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VOL. 6, NO. 1825 TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Strike talks collapse Govt fails to persuade NLC, TUC on action T
HE stage seems set for another nationwide strike as the Federal Government – Labour parley yesterday failed to stave off the planned three-day warning strike. The meeting ended in a stalemate last night. Unless today’s meeting between Labour leaders and governors turns the tide, the economy will be paralysed for three days beginning from tomorrow. The government promised to: •pay the N18,000 minimum wage to workers on grade levels 01 to 06 immediately; •pay workers on levels 07-17 after the passage of a supplementary budget; and •pay the new wage to only core civil servants But Labour rejected the proposals. Secretary to the Govern-
WHO SAID WHAT I appeal to labour to please A lot has changed. We suspend the strike ... We have agreed with your have no other country than position to review the table. The issue now is the Nigeria. I am aware that labour represents the poor funding. We have also agreed to pay across board. and the poor will suffer. – Amaechi – Wogu From Yusuf Alli, John Ofikhenua, Gbenga Omokhunu (Abuja), Bisi Olaniyi (Port Harcourt), Ugochukwu Eke (Umuahia), Damisi Ojo (Akure), Bisi Oladele (Ibadan), Austine Tsenzughul (Bauchi) and Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu (Lagos)
ment of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Anyim chaired the meeting in his office at Shehu Shagari House, Abuja. Minister of Labour and Productivity Emeka Wogu; chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Abdulwahed Omar; Trade Union Congress (TUC) President General Peter Esele, Di-
Tinubu hits PDP over Boko Haram •It’s failure of governance, says ACN leader at Chatham House From Yomi Odunuga (London)
EFORE an elite audience of intellectuals and eminent personalities, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday offered President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan his candid advice on the Boko Haram violence. Find a durable solution to the dilemma or watch as your failure damages Nigeria, he told the President. Tinubu said the Boko Haram threat has serious implication for national security. He described the emergence of the sect as indicative of failure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government. The ACN chieftain was delivering a lecture entitled Democracy and the rebirth of opposition in Nigeria at Chatham House, London. He said without a secured environment, the touted transformative agenda of the Jonathan administration will crash. In the about 100-man audience were technocrats, politicians, researchers and scholars. Tinubu said though there was an improvement in the conduct of the 2011 elections, compared to the brazen electoral heist of 2003 and 2007 elections, there were strong indications that the 2011 election was systemically rigged.
rector General, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu and others attended the meeting. Wogu told the workers’ representatives that the government shifted its ground by accepting to pay across board, but the immediate challenge is that because the new wage was misinterpreted, the government only included grade levels one to six in this year’s budget. He
First, I have come to know that nothing is impossible. Almost N100billion for INEC. It will not be impossible for a few billions for Nigerian workers. – NLC’s Adewusi
urged labour to be patient for it to be included in next year’s budget. “A lot has changed. We have agreed with your position to review the table. The issue now is the funding. We have also agreed to pay across board,” he told the union chiefs. NLC Deputy President Promise Adewusi said the government was adopting a divide-and-rule approach by offering to pay some workers now and others later. He said the NLC may boy-
CBN credit guarantee for three banks By Ayodele Aminu and Collins Nweze
cott today’s meeting with the governors. According to him, the Labour leadership had discovered that the government wanted to engage Labour leaders in Abuja to prevent them from mobilising workers for the warning strike. His words: “If there is going to be a strike on Wednesday, all workers in public and private sectors will be involved. First, I have come to know that nothing is impos-
FRESH breather came yesterday for three rescued banks. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) extended for them its interbank guarantee from September 30 to December 31. The beneficiary banks Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and FinBank Plc and Intercontinental Bank Plc – are those that have signed Transaction Implementation Agree-
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MANDELA AT 93
South African President Jacob Zuma (left) greeting former South African President Nelson Mandela on his 93rd birthday at his home in Qunu ... yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Continued on page 2
•SPORTS P13 •MARITIMEP15 •POLITICS P17 •PROPERTY P25 •ENERGY P37
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
NEWS CBN credit guarantee for three banks
Tinubu hits PDP over Boko Haram Continued from page 1
He said the violence that erupted after the emergence of Jonathan could be linked to perceived inequities and obvious dwindling of quality of life. His words: “The electoral violence comes from the same wellspring that has produced the urgent security threat called Boko Haram, which has launched a violent campaign against government authority. Boko Haram signposts the deficiency of the ruling party in governing the country. “The nation’s stability and the President’s mettle are being tested. Should he stumble on this, unrest may follow in other areas. Different groups may race to mimic Boko Haram’s apparent success in challenging government. This is a serious matter not to be under-estimated. On this issue, the President has my full sympathy and support in finding ways to quickly resolve Boko Haram. He must succeed, for his failure will damage Nigeria. However, he must do much better at communicating with the public, to build widespread support for a durable resolution to this dilemma. Without enduring peace, government will not be able to achieve the transformational agenda already promised Nigerians.” Tinubu, while acknowledging that the opposition parties did not get their acts early enough to challenge the machinery of the PDP, noted that the greatest electoral fraud was carried out in Akwa Ibom State where the full force of government security apparatus was used to emasculate the governorship candidate of the ACN and his
supporters. Reiterating his call for the full implementation of the Justice Muhammed Uwais report on electoral reform, Tinubu said although the Prof. Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could have achieved some relative transparency, it should not be seen as a total transformation of the electoral process. He noted that leaving the power of appointing the INEC chairman and the other commissioners to the President would expose the electoral body to manipulation and political influence. “It must be stressed, however, that the change in the leadership of INEC is insufficient for the total transformation of the electoral process in Nigeria. “First, the recalcitrant government failed to resolve the issue of the independence of the Electoral Commission. Second, government refused to alter the selection process giving a president unilateral power to appoint the chairman and its commissioners. And third, government refused to provide the Electoral Commission an independent budget. This means the Commission remains susceptible to political influence because the National Assembly and President could control the Commission’s purse strings for as long as they deem appropriate,” he said. ACN’s resurgence as the leading opposition party and government-in-waiting to a determination by its leaders to stand firm and fight the corrosive rape of democracy being practised by the PDP under the leadership of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his successors.
Continued from page 1
•Tinubu delivering the lecture ... yesterday
His words: “The PDP management of the economy in the last 12 years has been ineffective and here I am being charitable in my use of adjectives. They claim real GDP growth at a robust pace of nearly seven per cent per annum. How can that be? Inflation runs at over 12 per cent. Are they really claiming the economy is growing at nearly 20 per cent in nominal terms? “High unemployment rates remain unchanged. Official statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics puts unemployment rate in Nigeria at 19.7 per cent, with about 10 million Nigerians unemployed as at March 2009. But we know the
figures are much higher. The amount of people living below the poverty line has not decreased. The middle class – the backbone of any democracy is an endangered specie. Manufacturing and industrial firms are closing faster than others are opening. Electricity supply remains a serious challenge. In the last 10 years, over $15 billion has been spent to improve power generation. Yet, it remains at an abysmal level of less than 4,000 megawatts per day. Cities, such as London and New York, enjoy four to five times more electricity than the entire Nigeria. Continued on page 5
ment (TIA) with their core investors, CBN Deputy Governor (Financial System Stability) Kingsley Moghalu told reporters in Lagos. TIA is an irrevocable, which means legal document that such transactions have advanced and are binding by both parties. Thereafter, the parties’ agreements are expected to be submitted to the regulators and shareholders for their approval. Speaking on the state of banking, Moghalu said the other rescued banks (Spring Bank Plc, Equitorial Trust Bank, Oceanic Bank Plc, Afribank Plc and BankPHB Plc) are making progress in meeting the September 30 deadline to recapitalise. The CBN does not expect any of these banks to fail in meeting the deadline, but should that happen, the apex bank will decide on a new line of action. “The CBN is, however, reassuring that no depositor or creditor will suffer any loss, in any of these banks,” Moghalu said. He, however, said there was no going back on the deadline, stressing that it remains “firm, clear and sacrosanct”. The Deputy Governor said it was not in the interest of the financial system’s stability for recapitalisation of the banks to become an endless exercise. “Mergers and acquisitions have been on for about 18 months, and it is not in the interest of financial systems stability for it to become an endless exercise. If we allow the process to continue, people will continue to ask questions,” he said. The deputy governor said the three banks that have reached TIA stage have resolved about 50 per cent of the capital deficiency of all the eight rescued
banks. He said the CBN was working closely with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and other regulators to enable the three banks secure speedy approval of their mergers. Moghalu said the remaining banks will also enjoy similar gestures, when they take their recapitalisation plans to the TIA stage. He said it was remarkable that no bank has failed in the course of the banking reforms and no depositor has lost money. “The apex bank will continue to protect depositors at all times. The banking reforms have been ongoing with no cost to government, as the Sinking Fund contributed by banks and the CBN have been made available to take care of the cost of the resolving crises,” Moghalu said. He insisted the CBN was not directly involved in the mergers and acquisitions of rescued banks. The exercises are done with the banks’ Board of Directors of the banks, and not with shareholders. Moghalu said that recapitalisation of all the rescued banks would be resolved by December 31, adding that they have been given ample time to meet the deadline. He explained that negotiations had dragged on because vested interests have to be taken care of. To the CBN deputy governor, it is critical that the recapitalisation of the banks is completed in as “timely a manner as possible as the rescued banks remain in a fragile condition”. Moghalu said the apex bank continues to affirm its commitment to ensuring that financial stability is maintained throughout the final stage of the recapitalisation.
Govt fails to persuade Labour at planned strike talks Continued from page 1
sible. Almost N100billion for INEC. It will not be impossible for a few billions for Nigerian workers. If there is an emergency, government rises to it. Let it rise to this. What I am hearing and seeing is not giving me the confidence that the strike will not hold on Wednesday. Labour expected an agreement with government; if that will be done, we will be very happy to leave this place.” To Anyim, there is no problem as the Federal Government has agreed to all that the workers demand. He said because the labour leaders should agree with the government’s plan to pay level seven to 17 next year. “We have agreed to what you said; you should agree to ours,” he told the union chiefs. Obviously to show a good example as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Amaechi yesterday ordered the payment of the minimum wage. Amaechi gave the directive at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, while opening the state’s Civil Service Week/Awards’ Day. He pleaded with other governors to pay the wage to avert a strike. Amaechi, who was represented by his deputy Tele Ikuru, said his administration
Amaechi pleads as PENGASSAN joins strike
IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi said the Governors’ meeting with the labour leaders today will go ahead. He pleaded with the workers that the strike will affect the poor, whom labour claims to be protecting. “I promised that I will not speak here because I am neither of the Federal Government nor of labour. This is the law. Government will not disobey the law. I appeal to labour to please suspend the strike till we finish negotiation. It will be our benefit if the strike is called off. We have no other country than Nigeria. would deliver on its mandate of ensuring that workers get the best. The Abia State chapter of the NLC said there was no going back on the strike. Its Chairman, Comrade Sylvanus Eyeh, accused government of “making empty promises with the minimum wage”, and said workers were running out of patience. Eyeh said: “They have been telling us they will pay but till when? We are demanding that the minimum wage will take effect from the 1st of April, 2011 taking into consideration that the President assented to it in March. We have waited for so long and workers are becoming impatient, knowing full well the cost of living in Abia
I am aware that labour represents the poor and the poor will suffer.” He said the poor have no money to buy food items in bulk and attend private hospitals when they fall sick during the strike. “Therefore, they will be at the receiving end as the rich can always afford expensive services,” the Rivers governor said. Senior oil workers’ union PENGASSAN said yesterday it will join the warning strike, including shutting down oil and gas installations. The NLC and the TUC are already in discussions with the government after
State today. “Even traders have skyrocketed their prices, yet the money we have not seen. We are calling on Abia State government to implement this minimum wage urgently without which we will be left with no alternative than to obey our principal, the Labour house in Abuja, which has directed all workers to down tools with effect from Wednesday.” In Ondo State, workers yesterday said the on-going strike would continue till the state government honours the agreement on payment of salary relativity to workers. The agreement was signed between the state government and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) on July 1 by the
agreeing to begin a three-day strike tomorrow. “Government at all levels and the private sector must implement the minimum wage law and pay the wages as provided by the law,” Babatunde Ogun, president of PENGASSAN, said in a statement. A strike by oil workers would be damaging for Africa’s largest crude exporter. However, widespread action has been rare in recent years and previous walkouts tended to last only a day or two, in a country where much of the population is employed in the informal economy.
ruling Labour Party (LP) administration. The Labour unions, in a communiqué at the end of its emergency meeting in Akure, condemned alleged antics of the government since May 1, 2009. “We regret that a government enthroned by workers on the platform of LP is 100 per cent anti-labour, thereby negating the principles, philosophy and ideologies underscoring the formation of LP. “Governor Olusegun Mimiko should tell the world whether the minimum wage was not in existence on June 20, 2011 when the state government entered into an agreement with labour on the implementation of salary relativity before
minimum wage,” the statement said. At a stakeholder’s forum at the weekend, Mimiko called on well meaning indigenes to the State to prevail on the workers to reciprocate his administration’s commitment to their welfare by calling off the strike. The strike entered its fourth day, paralysing all ministries, departments and agencies as well as local government. Members of the State Executive of the union, which comprise workers in the public sector, declared the strike in Ibadan yesterday after their meeting. The meeting was presided over by the council’s chairman, Mr. Nurudeen Arowolo.
While justifying the industrial action, the workers alleged that the state government reneged on agreements reached with them on the new minimum wage on four occasions. They explained that the strike became necessary as the government’s failure to keep an agreement could no longer be tolerated. The strike is expected to paralyse activities at all public premises. Chairman Bashiru Olanrewaju said the strike planned for tomorrow stands. Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda said some states cannot afford the N18,000 wage but such states are ready to sit down with the NLC, open their books and agree on what is payable. Continued on page 7
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
NEWS Is this boy playing pranks with his employee’s money or that some unknown gunmen took him with the money to a land of no return? For now, the riddle remains unsolved. While his family writhes in agony over his whereabouts, his employer wants her money back. DADA ALADELOKUN, Assistant Editor, reports the development.
‘His phone has remained permanently switched off’ •Fear, anger as boy, 29, is ‘abducted’ with firm’s cash
O matter how pleasant things turn today for the family, one would not notice a flash of smile on the face of any member of a household: That household is that of James Nkama Ukpai, an indigene of Edda Local Government, Ebonyi State. Contrary to his family’s anticipation that one day, it will look back and thank God for his journey so far, James, current untoward situation has kept every member of the family on tenterhooks. They are neck-deep in fear and grief over his whereabouts. What could have happened to him? Is he alive or dead? What is the motive of his current unknown ‘hosts?’ Are we likely to see our own James again? These are some of the questions raging in the minds of his relations and friends. Having lost his mother a long time ago, the 29-year-old man is said to be the apple of his mother’s eyes. “His mother loved him so much because right from his youth, he has remained a highly responsible boy. He has never for a moment allowed his lowly family background to affect his character negatively; he has remained a pride to our family,” a source told The Nation. As one who reportedly believes in hardwork as the only means to
Agency forecasts more rains in Lagos, cities By Toluwani Eniola
AGOSIANS have been asked to brace up for more rains today and tomorrow. The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) yesterday said Lagos would experience relative humidity of 90 per cent, which would increase to 91 per cent tomorrow. In its weather bulletin, the agency predicted a maximum temperature of 30 degree Celsius today and 29 degree Celsius tomorrow in Lagos. Abuja, the nation’s capital, is expected to experience thunderstorm today and tomorrow . The maximum temperature would hover around 30 degree Celsius, the weatherman said. Other cities to experience downpour today, according to the bulletin, are Ibadan, Akure, Ilorin, Ado-Ekiti, Abeokuta, Awka. The bulletin forecast a relative humidity of 85 per cent today and 86 per cent tomorrow in Ibadan. Akure, the Ondo State capital, is to brace up for downpour as the bulletin forecast rain showers today’s evening and rain tomorrow morning. The maximum temperature would have a slight reduction from 30 degree Celcius today to 29 tomorrow in Akure. Aside from today’s evening rain forecast for Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, which is expected to continue till the early hours of tomorrow, the weatherman said it would rain in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, tomorrow morning, with 93 per cent relative humidity and a maximum temperature of 28 degree Celsius.
greatness, James was said to have struggled through thick and thin at the Abia State Polytechnic, where he eventually bagged an Ordinary National Diploma (OND). After a period of off-and-on trips to Lagos, the nation’s “land of opportunities,” luck smiled on James about four months ago. He secured a job with Merit Bureau De Change Limited, located at 174, Broad Street, Lagos. Things went well for him until June 15 this year, when it dawned on him that cruel fate was lurking to play the horrible one on him. On the fateful day, it was learnt, he had gone bidding at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on behalf of his company. Before getting to the Broad Street, venue of his assignment, he had a rude encounter with some gunmen who, to him, appeared to be policemen, though in mufti. As The Nation established, he made a frantic phone call to Eze Ezikpo, his cousin with whom he lives in Lagos around 6pm that day. His outcry: That he was being seized by some unknown plainclothe policemen at a location on the Broad Street. On him was $50,000, belonging to his company. Ever since, not only has his cousin, Eze, lost the opportunity of hav-
ing him tell his own tale, peace of mind has turned a scarce commodity in the day-to-day life of Eze. Reason: he has remained on his toes, combing everywhere in search of James. He told The Nation: “Immediately it happened, I promptly reported the matter at the Ebute Ero Police Station, Idumota, on Lagos Island. Each time I call his phone number, it has remained permanently switched off. I therefore took it upon myself to visit all the police stations in Lagos State with no clue about him. In fact, the policemen in Lagos have been trying their best on the matter. I don’t know where else to go now; I don’t know. “We are both from Edda in Ebonyi State and we have been staying together at my Isolo residence before the incident. I have never known him with any shady behaviour. But wherever they took him to, I believe God will rescue him.” When contacted for comment, the managing director of the company, Merit Bureau De Change Limited, Mrs. Udoka Ezeomenaka said: “As I speak with you, I’m right at the police station. I can’t understand what is happening. All I want is my money because from the story they are telling me, the boy (James) just wants to make away with my mon-
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ey. I don’t believe the story they are telling. Now, all I want is my money.” The matter, as was learnt yesterday, might likely be taken to court in a matter of days as the police have found it tough solving the riddle. As Mrs. Ezeomenaka is hell-bent on having her money back from Eze, who introduced James to her, Eze’s major concern is how to find his cousin.
NIGERIAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY WEATHER BULLETIN
ICPC uncovers how principals aid malpractices •Teacher ‘wrote exams for student’ From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
THE Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) yesterday said it has uncovered how some principals and teachers aided examination malpractices during the just-concluded May/ June General Certificate Examination (GCE) and West Africa School Certificate (WASC) Examinations. They said such principals and teachers in some states were charging between N25, 000 and N50, 000 to indulge in malpractices. The commission, which made the discovery through its National AntiCorruption Volunteer Corps (NAVC), claimed the practice was more noticeable in Ondo State . It cited the case of a school in Ondo State where a male teacher impersonated a female student to write examinations for the young girl. The ICPC, in a statement by its Resident Media Consultant, Mr. Folu Olamiti, said the malpractices was perpetrated at special centres created by some principals. It called for more vigilance on the path of Federal and State governments on special centers usually created for GCE and WASCE May/ June examinations. It added that such centers were being used to perpetrate mindblowing malpractices. The statement said: “The NAVC made the observation in a comprehensive report it made after monitoring the just concluded May/June examinations for secondary school students, stating that principals and teachers have been colluding with lazy students who had perfected the art of cheating during examinations after collecting some bribes. “Members of NAVC in Ondo State which reported that its findings from monitoring the last WASCE in the state noted that teachers and school principals usually collect the sum of up to N25,000 and N50,000 per students to sit for exams in the special centers. “The NAVC said it made the observations during the period of the last examination which covered both public and private secondary schools in all the eighteen (18) local government council of Ondo State. “In its comprehensive report, the NAVC said, ‘In our observation we discovered that most private schools were involved in examination malpractices in all area covered. There were cases where Principal of a certain school collaborated with their teachers to perpetrate this heinous crime which is deadly to the posterity of this nation. “Some of these private schools have special rooms or offices where this crime is perfectly committed. They also allow their students to come into the examination halls with textbooks, cell phone, micro-scripts, photocopied answers (The photocopies are with us). “Some of the proprietors, proprietresses and principals these schools boasted to our officers that we should go to the ministry of education and that we would meet them there. “Most Public School obliged and complied with examination rules and regulations, whereas some never did. There was a particular school where one Mr. Olaoye Enoch with phone number 0803527735 was caught impersonating a female candidate, in person of Musowo Funmilayo Aina with WASSEC number 4291636/163. “The said Mr. Olaoye Enoch is a teacher in the same School. Photograph and other relevant exhibits are available as proof of evidence. ”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Tambuwal backs Akande-Adeola for House leader
Akwa Ibom tribunal dismisses ACN’s petition
HE Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal From Yusuf Alli, Abuja yesterday dismissed the petitions by the Action Congress AS the House Speaker of Nigeria (ACN) and two Aminu Tambuwal and his others against the election of deputy Emeka Ihedioha Governor Godswill Akpabio embarked on ‘peace shuttle’ in April. to members to allow Hon. In a ruling by its Chairman Mulikat Akande-Adeola to Adam Onum, the tribunal emerge as House Leader. held that the petitioner failed But members told the to comply with the proviSpeaker to prevail on Mrs sions of the Electoral Act on Akande-Adeola to lobby the steps for applying for nothem instead of standing aloof as if it is a must for her tices for pre-hearing session. It held that the petitioners to become House Leader. failed to first apply for leave If the members accept the before moving their ex-parte Speaker’s plea, the ambition motion for pre-hearing noticof Hon. Muraina Ajibola to become the Leader will crash. es, as required under Paragraphs 18 and 47 of the First Ajibola, had initially Schedule of the Electoral Act offered to be Speaker but he stepped down for Tanbuwal. 2010. The petitioners said they It was learnt that the Speaker and his deputy spent would appeal the decision, a greater part of the weekend saying it was a miscarriage of justice and an exhibition of begging members to allow the tribunal’s bias. the Presidency and the PeoOne of the judges of the ples Democratic Party(PDP) three-man tribunal, Justice to have their way so that Lateef Lawal-Akapo, of the there can be peace in the Lagos High Court, did not sit House. with the others when the rulIt was gathered that the ing was read. new House leadership has The tribunal did not say not been ‘acceptable’ to the why the third judge was abPresidency and the party. sent. The tribunal chairman is But the choice of Mrs Akande-Adeola as the Leader from the Benue High Court, and the third member, Juswill determine whether the tice Joke Adepoju, is of the Presidency and the party Abuja Judiciary. should sheathe their swords Lawal-Akapo was sighted against Tambuwal and his deputy or draw a permanent in the tribunal premises before the beginning of probattle line. ceedings. He left the court A source in Muraina’s with the two other judges afcamp said: “There had been ter the proceedings had endsome talks but the ultimate decision is that of members.” ed. Lawal-Akapo was driven out of the court premises in a Toyota Camry XLE car, with registration nmber (Akwa Ibom) AG 261 UYY. THE Publisher and Board of The tribunal held that the Directors of Global Media non-granting of leave robbed Mirror Limited, publishers of it of jurisdiction to make the National Mirror , have appoint- order of July 5 with which it ed Mr. Steve Ayorinde as the set down the case for pre-hearManaging Director/Editor-In- ing sessions. It set aside the Chief of the newspaper. The order and quashed the proappointment, according to a ceedings leading to it. statement signed on behalf of It dismissed the petition the Publisher of the newspaprayed by the first and secper Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, takes ond respondents (Akpabio effect from July 15. Ayorinde, and his deputy, Nsima Ekere) until his elevation, was the and affirmed their emergence Daily Editor and Executive as winners of the election. Director (Publications). The tribunal upheld the peIbrahim described Aytitioners’ argument that the orinde as a “young, hardapplication for the issuance of working, loyal and commitpre-hearing notice could be ted journalist in whose hands by a motion ex-parte or mothe vision of making the tion on notice. National Mirror a brand of It discountenanced the archoice has been placed.” gument by the first and secIbrahim said Ayorinde’s ond respondents that they contributions to the company were not served with the many months before the motion for application for repackaged newspaper hit the pre-hearing notice. It held newsstands on December 17, that it was not the business of last year and the seven the petitioners to serve the remonths he has spent editing spondents. the newspaper has recomThe tribunal struck out a mended him for the new similar application by the Inposition. dependent National ElectorAyorinde, 41, is the current al Commission (INEC) on Editor of the year Diamond the ground that it was incomAwards for Media Excellence petent. (DAME), which he won last It said the application was year as the Editor of The PUNCH.
Ayorinde is MD National Mirror
Osinbajo: ruling strange, curious
AWYER to Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday described the ruling of the Governorship Election Petition tribunal sitting in Uyo as strange, saying it was not only new jurisprudence but also a very curious one indeed. In a statement, Osinbajo said: “The ACN was amazed by the ruling of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Uyo (today July 18, 2011), where the Tribunal strangely dismissed the petition of our party and that of our candidate Senator Akpanudoedehe and Dr. Samson Umana and as well, affirm the election of Godswill Akpabio as Governor of Akwa Ibom State even when petition is yet to be determined on the merit. “The only ground upon which the Tribunal came to its decision is that we, as petitioners, did not seek leave to bring the application for the Tribunal to issue pre-hearing notice. In effect, the Tribunal took the curious view that a motion to begin the pre-trial process (as it must be any way!) must be by leave! “While our party, the ACN, and its candidates who are co-petitioners hold and will continue to hold the judiciary in high esteem, we consider the ruling of this tribunal to be strange and in total variance with existing law and jurisprudence on issuance of pre-hearing. “The provision of paragraph 47(1) of the first schedule to the Electoral Act pursuant to which the Tribunal set aside the order for prehearing session it had earlier issued has been part of the Nigerian law since 2007 by way of paragraph 6(1) of the practice direction number 1 of 2007. However, there is no legal or judicial authority in Nigeria that prescribes that leave must first be sought and obtained before an application for pre-hearing session can be made and granted. Indeed no tribunal or Court of Appeal any where in the country since the practice directions were first issued in 2007 has ever held that a mission to begin pre-trial must be by leave of court because such a motion is taken outside the pre-trial session! “The ruling of the Akwa Ibom State Election Petition Tribunal is therefore not only new jurisprudence but also a very curious one indeed. “More strangely is the fact that the same
tribunal failed to consider the argument of the petitioners that in bringing their application, the 1st & 2nd respondents did not seek leave to bring the application outside prehearing session. Yet, the same tribunal set aside the orders it had previously granted for the issuance of pre-hearing notice on the sole ground that the petitioners did not apply for and obtain leave to determine the application. It would thus appear that to the honourable Tribunal, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander, assuming without conceding that the provision of leave is applicable for pre-hearing session of the petitioners. “In fact, the tribunal failed, refused and/or neglected to refer to and consider the argument of the petitioners that the application of the 1st and 2nd respondent is incompetent as no leave was sought to bring the application outside pre-hearing session, particularly when the contention of the 1st & 2nd respondents is that no pre-hearing has commenced. “The ACN also considers perverse, that the tribunal granted an unsought for relief by affirming the re-election of Akpabio when it had not even considered the substantive matter. The grant of this relief becomes even more troubling when compared to the earlier part of the tribunal’s ruling wherein it stated catego by a party only to turn around on the point for the purpose of confirming the re-election of Akpabio when same relief was not sought by any party. “In view of the fact that our party believes that the ruling of the tribunal files in the face of existing law and jurisprudence on the issue of applying for pre-hearing session, we have instructed our lawyers to immediately proceed on appeal. ‘’Only on Monday July 11, 2011 we caught on tape INEC officials stealing away ballot boxes from the INEC secretariat in Uyo, this was brought to the attention of the court. “We hereby, urge our teeming supporters and Akwa Ibom State electorate who voted enmasse for our party to remain steadfast and committed, as we believe that justice will definitely prevail and the usurpers will be shown the way out ultimately by the appropriate court,” the statement added.
From Eric Ikhilae and Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
not filed at the appropriate time to challenge the procedures adopted by the petitioners. ACN, its governorship candidate and his running mate, Senator John Akpanudoedehe and Ime Umanna had, by their petition, challenged the announcement of Akpabio as the winner of the April governorship election by INEC. Akpabio organised a thanks giving services on Sunday at Parish of Assumption, Ukana Iba, his local government. Most people in court wore long faces after the ruling. They grudgingly left the court premises and were heard saying the decision must be appealed. A lawyer, Ajibola Basiru, who stood in for the petitioners’ lead lawyer, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), said his clients would appeal the decision. He said the tribunal overstepped its bounds.
He said: “As far as we are concerned, the judgment of the tribunal is manifestly faulty in law and in justice. There is a manifest bias on the members of the panel. The same court that said it could not grant a prayer that was not sought, went ahead in its orders, to say it affirmed the election of Akpabio.
“That was not the issue before the court. It shows manifest bias and palpable injustice that the tribunal has wrecked on the people of Akwa Ibom State. As lawyers, we know our onions and we know what is right. “The absurdity of the tribunal’s ruling is clear. What we said is that we wanted to start
a process, that is, the pre-hearing session and the tribunal said we must first get leave before we could kick start the same process. That position is a clear absurdity. “The cases relied on by the tribunal in reaching its decision, particularly that of Okereke and Yar’Adua, are not relevant in the circumstance of this case. In Okereke and Yar’Adua, the application there was for further and better particulars and objection on point of law. “In this case, we said we want to even kick start our case and you said we have abandoned our petition. How can we abandon our petition when we have written a letter and also filed a motion ex-parte? “You see, with due respect, when people said the Judiciary is acting below standard, this is part of the reason. How can judges of the High Court be saying they have affirmed the election of somebody when the issue is not even before them. The issue before them is should the tribunal dismiss our petition? “The fact that you dismiss the petition does not mean you affirm the election. Assuming there are some other extant petitions by other parties, what then happen to those petitions, when you have affirmed the election? “Definitely this injustice can not stand. We have been through this part before. If you remember in Osun State, Justice Naron gave this kind of questionable ruling, which we appealed and the court had to send us back for retrial. “It took us three and half years, but at the end of the day, victory came at last. So the standing of the tribunal today that Akpabio is confirmed as governor of Akwa Ibom State, is certainly wrong in law. It shows manifest biased on the part of the judges and shows that they are acting a script that is actually outside their mandate as judges of the Nigerian courts. “Definitely, we are going to appeal. This is an injustice. There are so many appealable grounds: One, the ex-parte order to start the pre-hearing session does not affect any person. It is to kick-start a judicial process. It is only when an injunction has been granted against you that you should do an act or that you should not do an act, that you talk about bringing an application to discharge it. “So, clearly, Order 26, Rule 11 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, under which they purportedly brought the application, does not apply at all. “The second ground of our appeal would be to say that Paragraph 47(1) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act does not apply in the context of applying for kick-starting the pre-hearing process.”
Ringim embargoes movement of explosives
ATIONAL Security Adviser (NSA) Gen Andrew Azazi has waded into the crisis of confidence between the army and the police over the interception of 700 bombs in Abuja. The move is to ensure a close knit coordination of the activities of security agencies. The Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, who
From Sanni Onogu, Abuja
disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja also said he has banned the ‘unauthorised movement’ of explosives by construction companies. According to him, the Federal Government cannot out-rightly ban the use of explosives because of the effect it will have on the construction firms and their
employees. Ringim said: “Under the law, the Nigeria Police Force indeed, monitors and checks the magazines of various companies that deal in these explosives and we are doing our best. “Indeed, at the moment, the Inspector General of Police has placed an embargo on the movement of all these items without clearance from the police.”
He added: “Let me add that we must realise that even though we have the current security challenges, it is impossible for us to say that companies that deal in these cargoes should not deal in them because if you stop activities in all the quarries in this country, you will be causing another serious problem in the labour market. “Because when these companies do not operate,
you can imagine the number of people that will be out of job. I am not saying that government is not mindful of the security challenges but we are also mindful of other problems that will be caused. The Inspector General of Police has placed a ban, currently, on the movement and activities of those magazines until they seek clearance from the Inspector General of Police.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
BOKO HARAM VIOLENCE
Tinubu hits PDP over Boko Haram Continued from page 2
“Fuel supply is also a major challenge. We have a government unable to provide millions of Nigerians with refined petroleum products. While in the past, oil majors were able to meet demand, the reverse is the case now. Food prices are climbing so much so that hunger has entered households where it was once a stranger. After earning about 200 billion dollars from oil revenue in 10 years, based on NNPC documents, Nigeria is still a pauper nation. The PDP big guns must be the only ones benefitting from this illusory economic growth.” Describing corruption as the bane of development in the country, Tinubu noted: “Corruption continues unabated and examples abound. There are allegations bordering on the extortion of illicit payments from operators in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil economy. The outright wastage of financial resources on illegal subsidies that never percolate to the people need to be boldly addressed by President Jonathan. Mis-management of scarce resources
as exemplified in the delegation of the Petroleum Subsidy Funds (about $8billion per year) to the Ministry of Petroleum instead of the Ministry of Finance leaves the door wide open for corruption. “Nigeria suffers one of the world’s worst rates of income inequality. The economy is not an open one and we do not yet practise sufficient economic justice to change the skewed regime. The PDP strategy is a corporatist/financier model whereby it seeks to place a greater and greater concentration of economic wealth and power in the hands of a select few. The party exploits the levers of government to lay claim to vast tracts of economic power to the exclusion of everyone else. This is dangerous. This policy began with President Obasanjo, who tried to establish new economic elite in his own image. He pushed the formation of the holding company called Transcorp. The plan was to use Transcorp to lay claim to an obscene amount of the nation’s resources with the support of selfacclaimed technocrats in Obasanjo’s cabinet. Transcorp was to resemble one of the vast royal corporations
of two or three centuries past. This entity began purchasing everything it could grab, from national telephone company to the best hotel in Abuja. Had Obasanjo and his platoon of merry men succeeded with extending to a third presidential term, this vision for the domination of the Nigerian economy would have been realised.” Commending the late President Umaru Yar’Adua for dismantling the Transcorp scam, Tinubu cautioned Jonathan to be wary of some of Obasanjo’s men who are currently hanging around the corridors of power. He lashed the PDP for its “skewed” fiscal federalism, “despite the Supreme Court verdicts”. “Under the excess crude account and now its progeny, the Sovereign Wealth Fund, the federal government has improperly siphoned funds constitutionally meant for the states. This represents a massive slush fund that the federal government can use as it wishes with little public knowledge or oversight. At best, the monies will be used to fund rentier practices that enrich government cronies but
pauperise the larger economy. At worst, the money will be squandered,” he said. “I cannot speak for other states, but I wager that the people of the ACN states would rather see their states’ proper share of these funds in the hands of their governors than in the custody of the unnamed bureaucrats servile to PDP chieftains. The ACN will do better than the PDP in managing the economy by pursuing a true fiscal federalism,” Tinubu said. At the lecture, which was chaired by a member of the British Parliament, Chi Onwurah, who also moderated. In attendance were the Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, Mr. Muiz Banire, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Hon. Mudasir Obasa, Sen. Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Mr. Dele Alake, Muti Bello, Chief Segun Osoba, Chief Pivs Akinyelure and Prof. Adebayo Williams. After the event, the entourage proceeded to the Novotel Hotel, Waterloo, where Tinubu delivered a lecture on deepening democracy. Members of the Oyo State branch of the Joint Negotiating Council will today start an indefinite strike.
Yuguda: criminals on the rampage in Bauchi
AUCHI State Governor Isa Yuguda yesterday said criminals rather than Boko Haram members are on the rampage in Borno State and the northeast region. He also asked Nigerians to accept Islamic banking. Yuguda said the security situation in Borno State needs dialogue, instead of reprisal killings. He said: “These people are criminals. I know that those who call themselves Boko Haram to perpetrate this mayhem are not Muslims. If they are Muslims, they will not be taking lives because Islam forbids killings as we are witnessing in Borno State. Those Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnah Lid Da’awati Wal Jihad members are not the one behind the killings and bomb explosions. “Those doing business of killing, looting banks and public buildings in Borno are armed robbers. You cannot call them members of a religious sect. It is something that has to do more with poverty and it is a national issue. The government must come out headlong to address the issue of youth unemployment. “The issue of Borno, I am afraid, has more to do with poverty and injustice. Anywhere there is poverty and injustice, the end result is what you see in Borno. So, we must find a way of creating jobs. “What is happening now is extremely dangerous to us. The other implication is the international dimension; I mean how we are now being perceived in the other parts of the world. “The situation in Borno is pathetic, I
Borno House seeks probe of taskforce From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri
HE Borno State House of Assembly has demanded an immediate investigation into the various allegations of extra-judicial activities leveled against the Joint Task Force on the Restoration of order in the state. A motion was moved yesterday by the member representing Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Alhaji Abubakar Tijjani. Defending the motion, Alhaji Abubakar Tijjani said the allegations were grave enough to warrant indepth investigation into them. The motion advised the government to collaborate with the federal government to know the truth. Meanwhile, all houses allegedly razed by soldiers deployed in the state and those destroyed by the impact of bomb explosions in Maiduguri are to be rehabilitated. Similarly, all vehicles burnt in the incidents would be replaced, while those that are burnt beyond repairs fixed. Governor Kashim Shetima gave this indication during a tour of places affected. The governor commiserated with widows and other victims of the insensitivity, and pledged to provide them with relief materials. In another development, the demand for GSM recharge cards has gone high due to its scarcity in the state capital. From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
weep for them, I weep for Nigeria. I am their neghbour and you know we have had problem of insecurity in the past in Bauchi State. So, I know what they are going through. We pray that the Almighty God will assist us to bring the situation under control. “There is now mass exodus from Borno State and by the time everybody leaves, who will stay? “To my utter shock and surprise, Borno has the longest history of civilisation. They have over 1,400 history of civilization which money cannot buy. But they are losing this
history to the present crisis. Asked to be specific on how to address the insurgency in Borno, Yuguda added: “For those who are criminals, we must decriminalise them, we must not kill them. We should engage them in dialogue. “While I am not supporting criminality, let us find time for dialogue.” On Islamic banking, Yuguda said: “It is all about non-interest banking; it is a profit/loss-sharing banking. And if you look at our laws, there is a provision for the establishment of Islamic banks. “Islamic banking has nothing to do with construction of mosques or
churches. It is all about going to take money from banks which do not have crescent or cross; it is all about money you are going to take for development. They don’t charge interest but they will charge you commission. “What do Nigerians want really? If we have money for development coming from a pagan country, we should please let the money come. It is not the business of churches or mosques. “Our elders should please allow us to create jobs. I am aware of a Christian state in the South borrowing from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Nigerians should not play with the future of this country. “We should address issues, not sentiments. Why are we collecting money from China EXIM Bank when majority of them are Buddhists. A nation should choose where to go and bank. “It is wealth I want for my country. You see people suffering and you don’t want capital coming into the country.”
ANPP urges Fed Govt to dialogue with sect members
EARING the declaration of state of emergency in Borno State, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday called on the Federal Government to embark on dialogue and not the use of force. The ANPP said: “We wish to express our solidarity with the steps taken by Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, to solve this problem. Our great party is solidly behind him. We urge him to continue to work for peace and total reconciliation, for after rainfall would definitely follow sunshine the increasing incidence of loss of lives in some Northern parts of the country, especially in Borno State
From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram sect was worrisome”, The National Chairman of the party, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in a statement in Abuja said: “As a political Party committed to the principles of peace and consensus building, we wish to point out that the Boko Haram crisis cannot be solved through law enforcement alone. We need to do more. “In the past one month, hardly a day passes, without reports of one bomb blast or the other either in Abuja, Bauchi, Kaduna, Suleja or Maiduguri. In the process many
have been wounded and maimed. Several other innocent citizens, including women and children have been killed in cold blood. Nobody is spared as virtually, all Nigerians now live in fear of insecurity.” Onu said: “Reports indicate that in Maiduguri, many residents are leaving the town in the fear of the situation worsening. Our great Party has been adversely affected as many of our members in Borno State have been killed. “As a political Party committed to the principles of peace and consensus building, we wish to point out that the Boko Haram crisis cannot be
solved through law enforcement alone. It is our view that lasting solution to the problem lies in intelligence gathering, seeking community support and the pursuit of dialogue with all concerned. We need to find out what their grievances really are; why they have resorted to the approach they use and the underlying motives and reasons behind their actions”, Onu added stating that, “We believe, if carried out methodically and with sincerity of purpose, will arm the Federal Government with the appropriate strategy with which to find a permanent solution to the problem.
N12b liability cripples ministry From Dele Anofi, Abuja
ROANING under a N12 billion liability and its inability to access less than half of its allocation in last year’s budget, the Ministry of the Environment yesterday blamed its failure to tackle the nation’s environmental challenges on paucity of funds. The Minister in change of the ministry, Hajiya Hadiza Mailafiya, was told that only 47 per cent of the 2010 budgetary allocation was accessed, a situation that made of impossible for the ministry to implement its projects. Pleading with officials of the ministry to join hands with her to accomplish the set goals and objectives, Hajiya Mailafiya identified inadequate funding and dearth of infrastructure as major barriers. Besides, she also head that the N12b debt was not provided for in the 2011. The disclosures were made by the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Bashar while handing over to the minister. Hajiya Mailafiya, who expressed concerns over the prevailing environmental challenges across the country, citing Lagos and Sokoto floodings as instances, said all hands must be on deck if the goals of the Ministry must be realised. Her words: “The issue of the environment is very paramount in every sector of human endeavour and the prevailing situation in the world and in this country has made it expedient that we step up our efforts. “We have to explore ways of ensuring that prevention strategies are put in place knowing that prevention is better than cure.” She cited the Tsunami in Japan, and the recent flooding in some parts of the country, saying the level of environmental degradation through debris, pollution and other factors are pointers that concerted efforts are needed.
AGF to EFCC: violate new rules, face sanctions From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
TTORNEY-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mr. Bello Adoke, (SAN), yesterday cautioned anti-graft agencies to adhere to the new guidelines on their mode of operation or risk sanctions. Speaking at the opening of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) first Criminal Justice Reform Conference, in Abuja, the minister said anyone that contravenes the new rules will be prosecuted according to law. The conference has a mandate to examine the nation’s socio political and economic situations, the need for adequate funding, training of personnel and inter-institutional cooperation. Adoke accused some of the lawyers handling the prison decongestion programme of insincerity in their bid to getting paid for services not rendered. The prison decongestion programme was introduced to reduce the number of inmates languishing in jail over bailable offences or lacking legal representation. Adoke’s allegation came on a day the NBA President, Mr. Joseph Daudu, (SAN), blamed policy makers and security chiefs for the crises in the country. He lamented that the country lacked the manpower to tackle the challenges posed by terrorists and the rising crime wave, because the government had failed to invest in human development.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
One feared dead in Lagos ‘Area boys’/drivers clash O NE person was reportedly killed in a clash in Alagbado, Lagos State, yesterday between some hoodlums, popularly known as ‘area boys’, and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). It was gathered that a fight started when a commercial bus driver was attacked by ‘an area boy’, who felt offended when the driver allegedly refused to pay ‘bus stop charge’. Other commercial drivers rose up to defend their colleague. A clash ensued, which spread to Sango Ota/Tollgate in Ogun State. Traffic on the Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway was held
By Titilayo Banjoko and Ernest Nwokolo
up. Many people coming from Sango and heading towards Oshodi were forced to turn back . An eyewitness said the ‘area boys’ beat up the driver because he complained that his bus was not yet filled with passengers so he could not pay any charge. He said the drivers were throwing bottles and attacking the ‘area boys’. Police officers from the Area ‘G’ Command in Ogba later arrived and started shooting. A source said two people were killed.
He said a school boy was knocked down by a vehicle while a commercial driver died in the clash. Some drivers urged the government to come to their aid as they were been exploited by the ‘area boys’, who demand huge sums from them at every bus stop. A NURTW member, Ademuyiwa Ismali, said if the government recognises the union and legalises it, there would be autonomy from area boys, who claim to be a part of it. Police spokesmen in both states confirmed the crisis. But Ogun spokesman
Muyiwa Adejobi said: “Jelili Abubakar (27) was shot by the hoodlum; an unidentified person was also injured when our men got to the scene. “The two were rushed to the hospital; Abubakar is responding to treatment but the unidentified victim died.” Lagos spokesman Samuel Jinadu said the police have intervened in the crisis. He said: “The police ensured there was peace at the end of the day. It was a disagreement between ‘Agberos’ from Lagos and those from Ogun State. “The clash was due to high transport fare charged by transport workers in Sango/ Toll Gate, but our men from Area G were able to arrest the situation.”
‘Good governance is possible’
AGOS State Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire has said good governance is hinged on commitment and dedication on the part of leaders. Mrs. Adefulire spoke at the closing of the fifth edition of the Lagos Leadership Conference organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, at the weekend. She said leaders in authority must be sincere by building a sustainable economy and ensure rapid infrastructural development, to combat poverty and diseases. While noting that leadership is not limited to public office, the Deputy Governor said everybody has a talent and ability that needed to be explored. She said Nigeria can only have a country of its dreams “when we all play our roles, in any place that providence has placed us.”
Police arrest robbery suspect By Titilayo Banjoko
HE Federal Special Anti -Robbery Squad (FSARS), Adeniji Adele Unit, Lagos, has arrested a robbery suspect, Olusegun Ofolorun. Ofolorun(58) allegedly specialises in snatching cars in Lagos and sells them outside the state. A stolen vehicle was recovered from him. It was gathered that the suspect and other members of his gang reportedly stormed Ajah, Lagos, on July 14, at around 5am. They snatched a Honda Accord car from the owner, who was on his way to work. They ran out of luck when policemen pursued them towards the Lagos /Ibadan Expressway. Ofolorun was, however, intercepted in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, after a three- hour chase. Other members of the gang are still at large. The suspect had been charged before an Igbosere Magistrate Court .The case will be heard on August 9.
Oyo begins cleaning of Ibadan From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
HE Oyo State Government yesterday began the cleaning of major roads in the capital , Ibadan. It served a-seven day notice to shop owners and hawkers to quit or face demolition. The affected traders, mostly found around the secretariat, Agodi, Mokola, Dugbe, Challenge, Oke-Padre, and other areas of the city, were said to be constituting nuisance to government’s business and other road users in the city. In a July 18 letter titled “Notice to abate nuisance”, the government said its action was in consonance with the Public Health Law (Section 7 and SEPA Edict of 1999 of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources). But the traders’ spokesman, identified as Simeon, described the development as baffling. He said many of them resorted to trading when other options to secure employment had failed. He appealed to the government to rescind the decision in the interest of many of the traders.
Mimiko (left) spraying pesticide on crops at the Sunshine Agricultural Village, Ore…yesterday
Akure residents protest power outage
ESIDENTS of Ijoka/ Ijo Mimiko in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday protested the epileptic power supply by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in the last three months. The protesters decried the poor state of roads and irregular water supply to the area. They barricaded major roads , carried placards with inscriptions such as “We are tired of government’s insensitivity to our plight.” Their spokesperson, Peter Bayode, said: “We are tired of the kind of life we are living.
Ondo to create alternative power supply From Damisi Ojo, Akure NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko yesterday said arrangements were on to develop alternative means of power supply to the Caring Heart Agricultural Village at Ore in Odigbo local government area. Mimiko gave the assurance while conducting the Director of Prototype Engineering Development Institute Ilesha, Dr. Razak Adetunji and the Acting Director of the Engineering Materials Development Institute Akure, Bankole Olunlade round the village, located on the Benin-Ore Road. According to him, this was to workout modalities for the development of machine tools and hydro-power system to service the village due to high cost of generating sets.
From Damisi Ojo, Akure “In our area, electricity and water are the major problems we are facing. Most of
our wells have dried up and we have to trek long distance before we can get water. “When this government
gave us solar borehole, we did not know that it will not work. We have never enjoyed this facility. “Even the 300KVA transformer that Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) brought about two years ago has not been installed. “Often times, we pay a lot of money before we can get water to drink. Most of the people, who rely on electricity for their job, are the worse hit as they can no longer work. He appealed to Governor Olusegun Mimiko to come to their aid by sinking boreholes in the area.
Witnesses blame Oyo NURTW violence on Tokyo
LHAJI Lateef Akinsola (aka Tokyo) is responsible for the crisis rocking the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State, two witnesses said yesterday. NURTW Deputy National Secretary John Olaoye and a former Chairman James Ojewumi alleged that Tokyo introduced violence into the union, when he forcefully took over the leadership in August 1999. Olaoye said records at the National Secretariat show that the Oyo branch had no legal leader since Tokyo ‘toppled’ the leadership in 1999. Both witnesses testified before the panel set up by Governor Abiola Ajimobi to look
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
into the crisis yesterday. The panel is headed by Justice Olagoke Ige. While adopting the memorandum submitted by the National Executive to the panel, the Deputy National Secretary reaffirmed that the union had no leader since the elected Chairman, Ojewumi, was removed in 1999. He said Tokyo was the cause of violence in the union, adding that it was unfortunate that it resulted in the deaths of non-union members. Olaoye said the last time the National Executive supervised election in the state was in 1998, when Ojewunmi succeeded Alhaji Bashir Adigun.
He said elected officers were entitled to a maximum of two tenures of four years each, adding that by virtue of that provision, Tokyo could not have remained the chairman, if his leadership was recognised. The panacea to the crisis, he explained, was for the union to return to the path of constitutionalism. In his testimony, Ojewumi alleged that Tokyo mobilised his thugs to the Olomi Secretariat where he was asked to announce Tokyo as the new chairman under pressure from gun-wielding hoodlums and others armed with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons. He said: “On August 17 1999 at the union secretariat at Olo-
mi, gun-wielding members asked me to hand over my seat to Akinsola, who was then my deputy. “When I resisted, policemen, who were drafted to the scene, persuaded me to do so for my own sake. “It was when it dawned on me that I had nobody to support me that I reluctantly handed over to him. “I was also forced to raise his hand up to show that I have handed over to him. “That was the day violent takeover started in the union and it was the beginning of the crisis rocking the state council now. “Since Akinsola did it and went free, others started taking a cue from him.”
‘No Ekiti council worker was sacked’
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
HE Ekiti State Government yesterday debunked allegations that it sacked 5,000 workers in the 16 local governments. The government said those whose names were pasted at the Local Government Service Commission and local government offices were those with issues over their ages; academic qualifications; year of employment and other vital statistics about the workers. The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funminiyi Afuye, made this known in Ado-Ekiti yesterday. He said whoever claimed he had been sacked from the Local Government Service should produce the evidence. The Commissioner said the past administration started a Staff Audit Exercise in both the state and local government services, the result of which has just been compiled, submitted and pasted for everyone to see. Afuye resumed as commissioner yesterday. He took over from Mrs. Fola Richie-Adewusi, who has been moved to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Gender Empowerment. The Commissioner said nobody has been given any ‘sack letter’ in the local government service.
Jonathan in Lagos
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan flew into Lagos yesterday. The President arrived at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos aboard a Nigeria Air Force presidential aircraft marked FGN 001. There was heavy security around the presidential lounge as scores of armed mobile policemen, State Security Services (SSS) officials and other security agencies, including the National Civil Defence Corps, were on hand to regulate movement into the lounge. The aircraft touched down at about 5.45 pm. Jonathan was received by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, was also at the inner lounge of the presidential wing. Shortly after, Jonathan boarded a waiting helicopter, marked NAF 541, in company of Fashola and other principal aides. Among the dignitaries who received him was the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga. The British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived later. He is expected to have bilateral discussions with the President.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
‘I have no hand in Sen. Ibrahim’s arrest’
IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu has said his administration did not arrange the arrest and trial of Senator Ibrahim Musa Kontagora, the senator representing Niger North Senatorial District. Aliyu said the government was not involved in the arrest of the senator, adding that the Police operated independently and without the promptings of the government. The governor spoke at his Minna home when he received some political office holders.
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
He said there was no rift between him or his administration and the senator. Aliyu said the Constitution did not allow any state government to interfere in the activities of a senator, adding that both sides had their roles spelt out in the national document. According to him, he cannot influence any security agency to arrest an influential person, since it would have done its investigations before arresting the senator.
Tribunal adjourns petition against Gwarzo From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
HE National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Kano State yesterday adjourned till July 26 hearing on the petition filed by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate, Alhaji Barau Jubrin, challenging the election of Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Kano North Senatorial District. Tribunal chairman Justice Muktar Oladipo Abimbola adjourned the hearing to allow the sorting of ballot papers on the request of Barau and the ANPP. The judge declared that the sorting of the ballot papers must be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the presence of the representatives of the parties in the case. Six witnesses testified yesterday for the petitioners. They alleged multiple voting, under-age voting, inflation of votes and wide-spread electoral malpractices. Based on the account and following the request of the petitioners, Justice Abimbola ordered that the ballot papers be produced and sorted out within seven days. After the adoption of addresses, the witnesses were crossexamined by counsel to both parties. The witnesses said the election was marred by malpractices and irregularities. The request for the biometric data bank by the petitioners, which the tribunal initially granted, was yet to be complied with by INEC. Justice Abimbola said the tribunal would give necessary orders in that regard, at the appropriate time.
Muslim groups walk out on post-election panel
BOUT 24 Muslim communities in southern Kaduna yesterday walked out of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry established by Governor Patrick Yakowa to investigate the post-election violence in the state. They said that they had lost confidence in the ability of the commission to dispense justice to them. The communities, led by Mallam Hassan Maikudi, Dr. Bashir Kurfi and Captain Mohammed Joji, accused the panel chairman of bias in his handling of the petitions before the commission. They threatened to take their case to the International
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Geneva, and the ECOWAS Court. The communities walked out of the Gamji Multipurpose Hall, venue of the commission’s sitting, when one of the policemen attached to the commission, Corporal Ayuba Umar, asked one of the petitioners, Dr. Bashir Kurfi, who is a member of Network for Justice, to leave the venue. Kurfi alleged that he was asked to leave when he engaged a former Commissioner of Justice, Mark Jacob, who had remarked that witnesses were playing Hollywood at the commission.
Plateau tertiary institutions resume strike •Students protest
ARELY one month after their resumption from an eightmonth strike, the joint unions of Plateau Stateowned tertiary institutions yesterday began another indefinite strike. They are protesting the government failure to implement the terms of agreement between them. The unions had suspended their strike last month. With the resumption of the strike, students from the state polytechnic, who just resumed from the eightmonth strike, marched
From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos
through the streets of Jos and Heipang in Barkin Ladi Local Government, protesting what they called another ploy by government and the unions to scuttle their future. Speaking with The Nation on telephone, the Chairman, Joint Union of Plateau State-owned Tertiary Institutions, Yusuf Selchang said: “It is unfortunate the strike had to be resumed due to non-implementation of the terms of agreement that we signed with the government.
• A crane removing the trailer that caused the accident at Kugbo, on Abuja-Keffi road... yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN
20 die in Abuja road crashes WENTY people died yesterday in multiple accidents on Mararaba-Nyanya road, Abuja. Eyewitnesses said a trailer from Abuja, laden with iron rods, had a brake failure. It reportedly ran into eight vehicles, on the opposite lane. They included passenger buses. An eight-month-old baby was said to be the only survivor in the accident. The injured were taken to Asokoro General Hospital, Abuja. The accident led to a traffic gridlock on the dual carriage road. Most commuters trekked to their destinations. Officers of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), National Emergency Manage-
•NEMA: Only two died •FCTA commiserates with accident victims From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
ment Agency (NEMA) and other para-military agencies had a hectic time removing the mangled victims and controlling traffic. The dead have reportedly been deposited at the Asokoro General Hospital mortuary. Another trailer conveying a bulldozer from a demolition site also crashed near the Kugbo furniture market, on the same road. An unconfirmed number of people reportedly died in the accident. The trailer carrying the bull-
dozer was said to belong to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Department of Development Control. But its Public Relations Officer (PRO) Josie Mudashiru said none of the department’s bulldozers was involved in any accident. She told The Nation she had contacted site offices and confirmed that the trailer was not that of the FCT Administration. The second accident happened barely one hour after the first, leading to more obstruction in human and vehicular movement. In a text message to The Nation Abuja office, NEMA said
only two people died. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Muhammed, yesterday commiserated with the victims and those who lost loved ones in the accidents. The minister regretted the deaths, saying the FCT administration would resolve the traffic crisis on the road to minimise accidents. He said the FCT administration had awarded contracts for the Karshi –Apo road as an alternative to the usually congested Nyanya/Karu road. Muhammed said the movement of long vehicles (trailers) had been restricted into the FCT at peak periods, adding that efforts would be made to enforce the restriction.
Onoja granted leave to inspect materials
HE National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, yesterday granted the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Gen. Lawrence Onoja, leave to inspect materials used in the April 9 national Assembly election for Benue South Senatorial District.
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
Onoja filed a petition at the tribunal challenging the election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate David Mark, who is the Senate President. Ruling on the Motion on Notice filed by counsel to Onoja, Ucha Ulegede, tribunal Chairman Justice Anslem
Nwigwe ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make available the ballot papers and result sheets to Onoja for finger prints analysis to check alleged multiple thump-printing. Speaking with The Nation after the ruling, Ulegede said until the materials used in the disputed election are
inspected and sealed by the petitioner, the matter cannot proceed to pre-hearing. He described the ruling as a landmark and one step towards the success of the petition. Ulegede added that without the inspection of the ballot papers, the case cannot move to pre-hearing stage, as the respondents were praying the court.
Govt fails to persuade Labour leaders over planned strike Continued from page 2
He said what the governors agreed last Saturday was that the implementation of the new wage is “doable, when able”. He asked the NLC not to embark on blind agitation for N18, 000 wage in all the 36 states. He said: “Well, we have all agreed that it (the N18, 000 wage) is something doable, when able. As far as I am concerned, N18, 000 is even too small for the average Nigerian worker. If we can even add more, we should do that. “Labour knows the sources of funds of states and allocation of funds. They know how much we get and what we spend with many competing needs. “There are states, like Lagos and Rivers, whose Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) runs into billions of Naira. If I were the governor of those states, I will certainly pay N50,
000 or N80, 000. There is nothing as good as investing in human resources. “I also believe that there are states that can pay less than N18, 000. There are some states, from what I gathered from some of our colleagues, that the revenue that they are getting is not enough to pay the staff of the local governments, let alone that of civil servants. “We know the truth, we know the facts and we run away from the facts. We have an army of unemployed graduates in millions. It is scary, having university graduates without jobs. And we are all running away from the facts. If I don’t have money to pay, do I print money to pay? “All these labour leaders, are they not human beings? Why do they not fight for deregulation when they know that they are also going to be beneficiaries of the new minimum wage? If we are not careful with this country, it will collapse.
“There is no where in the world you borrow to finance recurrent expenditure (salaries and wages). If you are doing that, you will fail. When are we going to start telling ourselves the truth? “The NLC leaders should not close their eyes because they are Nigerians. If this country fails, they have also failed. Every state should look at its own peculiarities and what it can pay. “They should sit down with every state and look at their books. We would sit down with them, do our computation and see whether we will be able to pay the N18,000. “For every kobo that comes into government, every citizen of that state is entitled to benefit from it. Do you want me to stop that? I can stop so many things to pay N18,000. Do you want me to cut the workforce? When will Nigerians start thinking Nigeria? I am worried when they talk about pedestrian issues.
On withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products, Yuguda said it is long overdue. “Deregulation should have been done so many years ago. It is a necessity; it is sine qua non for the development of Nigeria. “Nigerians should allow Mr. President to take that decision. If N600billion or N700billion is going into few hands in the name of subsidy, is that proper? “You can count those benefiting from subsidy; they are few who are buying yacht and mansions in different parts of the world at the expense of all Nigerians. Those benefiting from the subsidy are oil marketers and those in the petroleum industry. It is a cartel. “I want to make it clear that it (deregulation) is a war that every Nigerian must fight. If you remove subsidy and pump N600billion or N700billion monthly into the state treasuries every month, all these criminalities and infrastructural decay will end.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
NEWS Edo Attorney-General’s wife kidnapped HE wife of Edo State
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Osagie Obayuwana, Florence, has been abducted by unknown gunmen. Mrs. Obayuwana was abducted yesterday morning at Ohonre Street, off UgbowoLagos Road, Benin on her way to work. She is the Deputy HeadTeacher of Adolor College on Ugbowo-Lagos road. Witnesses said Mrs. Obayuwana was kidnapped by a four man-gang. The gang came in a white Volkswagen golf with which it blocked her way. Pupils of Adolor College took to the streets protesting the abduction. They visited several television stations in Benin, demanding the release of Mrs. Obayuwana. This is the second time wives of commissioners in
From Osagie Otabor,
Benin and adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
Oshiomhole’s exco would be kidnapped. Confirming the incident, Obayuwana said he had been contacted by the kidnappers and that a ransom of N20million was demanded. Obayuwana said he was out of town. Police spokesman Peter Ogboi said he had not been briefed. The United Action for Democracy (UAD) has condemned the incident. Its National Convener, Taiwo Otitolaye, in a statement, expressed concern over what he termed “the abyss level of degeneracy in all facets of the polity and the nation, where no one is safe”. He urged the perpetrators to release the victim immediately.
Fed Govt to support Lagos on flood control T
HE Federal Government yesterday said it would assist the Lagos State Government to mitigate the effects of the flood that has hit the state. Permanent Secretary, Ecological Funds in the Office of the Presidency, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote spoke when she led a delegation to Lagos to assess the effects of the flood. Odusote and some Lagos State officials, including Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello and his counterparts in Information, Aderemi Ibirogba, Special Duties Wale Ahmed and the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Muyideen Akinsanya, visited areas, including Oko-
By Miriam Ndikanwu
Oba canal in Agege; Aboru canal in Alimosho; Arigbanla drainage channel in Agege as well as Elere drainage channel in Pen Cinema. Odusote, who spoke to reporters said the Federal Government was not ignorant of the effects of the rain, adding that her office had set measures ahead of the visit. She said: “Having gone round all these areas, we would package whatever we have in collaboration with the Lagos State Government to be able to know the areas
of solution. “Because there is a commitment, that is why we are here, otherwise, we wouldn’t have bothered to come here at all. The President directed that we should come to access what is happening and even after the water had receded. “So that we can know where the problems are, and for this area we have seen quite a lot, which means we are going to deal with them all at once or break them into phases and ensure that solution comes, but definitely we are expecting that solution will come through the Federal Government”.
She also stated that the Federal Government’s readiness to tackle the problem, recalling that the government intervened swiftly last year by disbursing funds when the state had a similar problem to mitigate the effects of the flood disaster that sacked some residents around Ikorodu area of the state. Minister for Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who inspected areas affected in Lekki and Eti-Osa, also reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to help mitigate the destruction. Bello said the state would require about N13billion to solve the problem of flooding.
PDP: only three to testify in Ogun From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
HE Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, resumed its pre-trial conference on the petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Governor Ibikunle Amosun and two others. The party is challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s’) declaration of Amosun as winner of the April 16 governorship polls in Ogun State. The PDP told the tribunal that of the 28 prospective witnesses listed, only three are ready to testify. The respondents are INEC, Amosun and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Bashir Suklola, had told PDP’s counsel, T. Amoo, to bring the three witnesses to court on July 20 and 21. Amoo told the court that though 28 witnesses were listed in the petition, statements have been collected from only three witnesses, adding they would be the ones to testify on July 20 and 21. Justice Sukola then set aside two hours,five minutes for crossexamining the witnesses in this order- Amosun’s Counsel Dr. Olumide Ayeni (45 minutes); ACN counsel George Oyeniyi (50minutes) and INEC counsel Don Umealor (30minutes). Oyeniyi agreed to call his witness on July 22; Ayeni to present his witness on July 23.
•Mrs Odusote with Bello(right) and Ibirogba listening to Akinsanya...yesterday.
Some ministries unnecessary, says Amaechi
Amosun appoints five media aides
GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday approved the appointment of five Special Assistants to manage his media and communication itinerary. They are Olusola Balogun (print); Idowu Sowunmi (print), Mrs. Ronke Raji (Broadcast); Oye Olubunmi (Broadcast) and Seyi EnitanOlubode (Public Communication). In a statement by his Senior Special Assistance on Media and Communication,
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
Mrs Funmi Wakama, the governor congratulated the aides and urged them to see their “appointment as a call to service.” He said they should use their expertise to positively project the image of the state to all. Before the appointment, Balogun and Sowunmi had worked with The Sun and Thisday; Ms Raji and Olubunmi were with Channels Television and AIT.
Osun ACN urges tribunal to order police chief to produce witness
IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has criticised the Federal Government for sustaining some ministries, which play little or no role in the administration of the country. Amaechi spoke at the opening of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) first Criminal Justice Reform Conference in Abuja. He said a few of the present ministries are irrelevant and ought to be departments in the Presidency. The governor criticised the constitution, which mandates governors to send names of nominees to the National Ju-
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State yesterday urged the Justice Yargata Nimpar-led Election Petitions tribunal sitting in Osogbo to order the Commissioner of Police, Solomon Olusegun, to produce its witness, Benedict Agboh. Agboh was arrested in the court last Friday. As the tribunal winds up today, ACN candidate for Obokun Oriade Federal Constituency Nathaniel Oke said Agboh’s appearance would help the court obtain evidence on the forensic examination carried out on the documents used during the election. Justice Nimpar did not grant the prayer of the respondents, saying the tribunal cannot interfere in the internal affairs of the police. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Oluwole Oke, filed a petition challenging the victory of Agunbiade in the April poll. Oke’s counsel Aderemi Abimbola said the legal team knew nothing about Agboh’s arrest and would not want to be involved in the matter. The Chairman of the tribunal had advised the ACN counsel to present another forensic expert, following the arrest of Agboh. The case was adjourned till today .
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
dicial Commission (NJC) for appointment as Chief Judge or High Court Judges of a state. He also wondered why a state will employ a person and the Federal Government tells it what to pay as salary. “Why do I have to send a judge to the NJC before he becomes the Chief Judge of Rivers State? Why not the State House of Assembly or State Judicial Service Commission? Why do I have to send a judge to the NJC for approval to become a judge of the High Court of Rivers State? Why do
I have to employ workers and federal government tells me how much I have to pay them. Is that fair? “Why do we have Federal Ministry of Agriculture when Federal Government has no land? Why not department of agriculture in the office of the President? Why do we have the Ministry of Housing when Federal Government is not building houses; Why not a department in the office of the president? Why do you have to come to Rivers State to take my oil? Why not task me to take the oil and pay the tax to Federal Government and use that for my sister
states that don’t have the resources? “Why will Rivers State generate power and I cannot serve my people because there is a provision in the law that says I cannot distribute the power except the Federal Government….so I become part of the process of ineffective and inefficient power structure. “It is when the judiciary interprets law in a way that suits and benefits our people that we can get a proper federalism. “But if we allow it to remain in the hands of the Executive and the legislature we will find it difficult.”
Minimum wage: Edo Civil Servants protest But the NLC State Chairman implementation Emmanuel Ademokun said
IVIL servants in Edo State yesterday protested the new minimum wage chart which labour leaders in the state signed with the government. The workers, who protested to the civil service club where the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was to hold a meeting, said the new minimum wage chart was distorted. They carried placards with inscriptions, such as “No relativity, No industrial harmony”; “Don’t negotiate the law”; “We say no to fake salary”; “Minimum wage is non-negotiable”. The workers threatened to form a splinter group if the state NLC refused to enter re-
•NLC: we did the best for them From Osagie Otabor, Benin
negotiation with the government. Their spokesman, Filani Ojo, said they would also seek redress in court if the chart was not re-negotiated. His words: “We the workers of Edo State are saying no to this distorted tampered chart. We are saying no to corruption because this chart is less than what we are expecting. We are asking the labour leaders to go and review this distorted
minimum wage chart. “We don’t know where they got this chart they are implementing for us in this state. We are privilege to have Oshiomhole as the Governor. He should have waited for the Federal Government’s chart before signing this one. He cannot push us to a corner. He cannot force this minimum wage down our throat. “We will reduce NLC to the minimum in this state and form other bodies that will represent us.”
what it has done was the best that could be achieved for the workers. Ademokun said with the new chart, workers on grade level one to six got 100% salary increase; those on level seven to 12 got 55 per cent increase and those in 13 and above had 50 per cent increase. He said the state had never been operating the federal chart, adding that they would resist the implementation of federal tax on the workers. The NLC Chairman said they would enter another negotiation for the teachers and judicial workers in the state.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Boko Haram: Normalcy returns to Borno N
ORMALCY is returning to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, after almost one week of mass exodus by residents following bombings by the Boko Haram religious sect. Last week, the residents fled the town in droves. Business and social activities are picking up as traders and other business owners are beginning to open their shops again. The Maiduguri Monday Market, Gamboru Market, Baga Road Market and Kano Motor Park
From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri
have reopened and commercial vehicles are plying the roads with more passengers for the few buses available. Many commercial vehicles relocated to other parts of the state when the Boko Haram violence began. Some residents told The Nation that they were happy that peace was returning to the troubled capital city and its environs. They prayed for the peace to last.
Prices of foodstuff and other commodities increased by about 500 per cent as there were few vehicles to transport goods. Some traders and housewives ascribed the high prices to what they described as the growing insecurity and the ripple effect of demand and supply. Despite the appeal by Governor Kashim Shettima to citizens to stop fleeing the state, scores of residents were at motor parks yesterday with their families, ready to leave the state capital.
Niger evacuates 135 indigenes from Maiduguri
HE Niger State Government has evacuated 135 students of the state origin from the
University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), following bombings by the Boko Haram sect. The government provided three luxury buses with six armed police escorts to ensure the safety of its indigenes. Addressing reporters yesterday in Minna, the state capital, the National President of the National Association of Niger State Students (NANISS), Abdulkadir Mohammed Amir, said the government also assisted stranded students from other states. According to him, 134 students from Niger State;
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
25 from Kwara; six from Lagos; 14 from Plateau; and 11 from Kaduna, were transported in three luxury buses from the university. Abdulkadir said the students’ body sent a report to the government, which directed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education to liaise with the state transport association (NSTA) to release the buses. He said the buses, with the armed escorts, left for Maiduguri immediately, and have since brought the students back to Minna. The NANISS president said the buses dropped off the students from Plateau and Kaduna in their states, adding that those from Lagos and Kwara states were taken to Minna, from where they went to their destinations.
‘N6b spent on Sokoto skill acquisition in four years’ From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
OKOTO State Governor Aliyu Wamakko has said his administration has spent N6 billion on skill acquisition programmes for the youth since it assumed office. He said youth empowerment was at the heart of his administration’s programmes, adding that this would make youths useful to the society. The governor said his administration would embark on programmes that would improve the lives of residents, particularly the youth. Wamakko spoke in Bodinga, headquarters of Bodinga Local Government, Sokoto, while campaigning ahead of the local government election. The governor said over 100 skill acquisition programmes were introduced to engage youths in productive ventures at various levels. He said: “We have been training the youth on various trades at both state, local government and community levels.” Wamakko said the resources committed to the programmes were meant to make the youth become self-reliant. He said his administration would sustain the programmes to make life better for the residents. The governor urged the youth to use the opportunities to enhance their future.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
BUSINESS THE NATION
‘Nigeria needs N30tr to provide infrastructure’ From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor
IGERIA needs N30 trillion to fix its in frastructure, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Urban Development Bank of Nigeria (UDBN) Mr Abdulrazaq Oyinloye, has said. Oyinloye, who disclosed this in Abuja at a workshop organised by the National Pension Commission (PenCom), noted that the N830 billion yearly average budgeted by the Federal Government for capital expenditure in its budget is inadequate. Consequently, he said it would now take the Federal Government about 37 years to address the country’s huge infrastructural challenges. Oyinloye pointed out that the level of financing required to address Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit surpasses the capital available from the government, adding that there was the need for increased private sector participation to assist the public sector. He called on stakeholders to access the country’s pension fund asset of over N2 trillion, which he said “was essential to easing the existing constraints on infrastructure financing in the country.” The UDBN boss said: “Nigeria’s current infrastructure deficit is estimated to be well in excess of $200 billion. The extent of financing required to bridge the country’s infrastructure deficit surpasses the supply of capital available from the government. There is thus a need for increased private sector participation alongside the public sector. In particular, accessing the capital of Nigeria’s N2 trillion pension fund pot is essential, providing a win-win solution for both pension fund managers looking for long term steady investment returns and growth potential.”
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$119.8/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N7.82 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion
RATES Inflation -10.2% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -8% Foreign Reserve -$34.4bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 210 £ 241.00 $ 150.00 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 241.5 RIYAL 39.3
For us at NAICOM, the greatest awareness campaign an insurance company can embark upon is prompt settlement of claims. When an insurance company pays claims promptly, then a lot of Nigerians would begin to have more confidence and people would buy more insurance products –Fola Daniel Commissioner for Insurance
Why bid for Afribank failed, by CBN T
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday explained why it rejected the acquisition bid for Afribank Nigeria Plc by one of its core investors – Vine Capital Partners. He listed some of the reasons to include lack of track record of successful management of a bank in the past, experience, competency and ability to demonstrate good corporate governance. CBN Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Kingsley Moghalu, disclosed these in Lagos while responding to questions
By Ayodele Aminu and Collins Nweze
shortly after a briefing on the state of the banking industry. He said the botched acquisition plan was worsened by Vine Capital’s plan to acquire two rescued banks (Afribank and Finbank Nigeria Plc at a go. Moghalu said acquiring a bank is not about money alone, stressing that the soundness of a core investor’s risk management and corporate governance practices were also considered.
He said a combination of these factors prompted the apex bank to reject Vine Capital’s acquisition bid, when the Board of Directors of Afribank brought the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both parties to it for approval. Moghalu explained that the terms of the merger of the duo were also rejected by the Financial Adviser of the CBN. So, the CBN’s judgment, which was a collective agreement by its board of directors and financial advisers, was based on the best information available. You
should also recall that we didn’t allow one of the healthy banks to acquire Afribank. So, why would we allow a firm that has not demonstrated a good understanding of the Nigeria financial services industry?” he asked. Fidelity Bank Plc, which had previously expressed interest in acquiring Afribank, is waiting for permission from the CBN to resume talks, an official at Fidelity, had told Bloomberg, declining to be named for the same reasons. Fidelity Bank Managing Director, Reginald, had also some months ago, told Reuters
the institution was interested in buying one of the eight banks rescued by the CBN and is awaiting guidelines on how such a bid would proceed. He however, declined to specify which banks Fidelity may be interested in acquiring, but said the Central Bank appears keen to get the process underway as quickly as possible. The CBN had injected N620billion ($4.1 billion) into the banking system since August 2009 after its auditors found nine institutions had built up bad loans, which left them too weak to sustain operations.
IPMAN begins sale of kerosine in Lagos
• From left: Managing Director, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Wolrgang Goetson; Chairman, AVM Nura Imam (Rtd); Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and Igwe Peter Nwokike Anugwu, during a courtesy call by Julius Berger execuPHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES tives on the governor at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja… on Sunday.
Nigeria spends N99.2tr on food importation, says Agric minister
HE Federal Govern ment spent over N99 trillion on food importation between 2007 and 2010, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Developments,Dr.Akinwumi Adesina, said yesterday. He said the government last year imported wheat worth N635 billion, spent N356 billion on importation of rice, N217 billion on sugar and N97 billion on fish. Dr. Adesina disclosed this at his inaugural meeting with officials of the ministry in Abuja. The minister, who condemned the importations however, pledged to integrate farming in the country by implementing required reforms and transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan to develop the agricultural sector. His words: “Nigeria is now one of the largest food importers in the world. The food import bill of Nigeria in 2007 – 2010 was N98trillion or $628 billion. In 2010 alone, Nige-
From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
ria spent N635billion on import of wheat, N356billion on importation of rice (that means we spend N1billion per day on rice alone), N217billion on sugar imports and with all the marine resources, rivers, lakes and creeks we are blessed with, Nigeria spends N97billion importing fish. “I will never let Nigerian down. As minister of Agriculture working closely with the minister of state, we will never let the farmers of Nigeria down. We will revamp the agricultural sector. We will accelerate food production in clear and visible ways that will impact the lives of our people and we will begin the hard work of restoring the lost glory of agriculture in Nigeria.” The minister regretted the position of agriculture in the country, stressing that Nigeria, which used to be the major player in agriculture world
over has lost its place in the global community. He said Nigeria was a major contributor of cocoa, palm oil, groundnut, groundnut oil and other major cash crops before it diverted to the oil sector. “In the 1960s, we had glory. That glory was visible for all to see. Nigeria accounted for 60 per cent of the global supply of palm oil, 30 per cent of groundnut, 20 - 30 per cent of groundnut oil and 15 per cent supply of cocoa. Our farmers, from the north to south generated wealth,”Adesina noted. While citing rice farmers as example, the Minister said dependence on food importation in the country undermines domestic productions as well as create fiscal challenges for the economy. “There is a problem: fiscally this is not sustainable. Nigeria is eating beyond its means. While we smile as we eat rice everyday, Nigerian rice farmers cry as the imports undermine domestic production. “This must stop. We must
accelerate domestic rice production and improve on processing to meet quality standards. We must tap into all the resources of our farmers across our nation and deliver a green revolution for rice that will make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production,” he added. Dr. Adesina declared that the days of referring to agriculture as a development programme or social sector were over, noting that agriculture is a business and must be structured, developed, resourced and financed as such. “The days of treating agriculture as a development in Nigeria are now over. We will develop and transform the sector as a business that works for small farmers, medium and large scale farmers that will unlock wealth and allow Nigeria to meet its food needs, while becoming a major player in global food markets, to help diversify income for the nations”.
HE Independent Petro leum Marketers Asso ciation of Nigeria (IPMAN), Ejigbo depot, on Monday began the sale of kerosine in Lagos. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commodity, sold at N50 per litre, was the first by IPMAN in more than two years. The sale followed the allocation of 10,000 litres of the commodity to each of 500 independent marketers. Mr Olumide Ogunmade, IPMAN Western Zone Chairman, commended the effort and urged the government to sustain product allocation to IPMAN to address the lingering scarcity of kerosine nationwide. He said the government’s partnership with IPMAN would help to solve the problem of kerosine distribution. He, however, said that the quantity allocated to IPMAN was inadequate. “The government should increase kerosine allocation to IPMAN to curb the scarcity; if the products flood the markets, no marketer can hoard the product. “We have instructed our members to ensure the sale of kerosine at N50 per litre to customers so as to meet up with the directive of government,’’ he said. The zonal chairman said that IPMAN had raised monitoring committees to ensure kerosine distribution and adherence to the pump price of N50 per litre “We have informed our members who receive kerosine product to sell at N50 per litre to avoid being embarrassed by the disciplinary committee and surveillance team. “Anybody caught selling the product above pump price will be sanctioned from receiving products and surcharged for going against the rules and regulation,’’ he said. He suggested the extension of kerosene import licence to IPMAN members as another way of effective and sustainable distribution.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule
‘Poor corporate governance cause of collapse in banks’
MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.
LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15
LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10
08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20
LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 16.30 Arik
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana 1. IRS 2. Arik
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 11.15 13.15 15.50 18.00
LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
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: General Manager (Marketing), Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited, Mr Dave Van Rensberg; Miss La Casera 2011, Nwando Ebeledike; Executive Director, Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited, Mr Bankole Animashaun, and Group Financial Director, Mr Anil Bapna, at the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant sponsored by La Casera in Lagos.
UBA adopts holding company structure
HE United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) yesterday joined the league of banks that have reorganised their operations into a Holding Company. UBA joins First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Stanbic/IBTC Plc and First City Monument Bank Plc, which had earlier announced such structures. A Holding Company is one that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operations by influencing or electing its board of directors. In a statement yesterday, UBA said the new struture follows approvals-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the bank’s Board. The bank said the Holding Company was aimed at strengthening its operational excellence and continental aspirations. “UBA will be now be restructured into a Financial Holding Company to be known as UBA Holdings Plc comprising UBA Plc, UBA Capital Holdings and UBA Africa Holdings as subsidiaries. “UBA Plc is the commercial bank with International authorisations and will comprise the banking operations in Nigeria (UBA Plc) and New York and UBA Pensions Ltd. It will be regulated by the CBN as an International Commercial Bank and remains listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. “All of the Group’s banking operations/subsidiaries outside Nigeria and across Africa (currently 18 countries) will now be held under UBA Africa Holdings Limited. This company will also be regulated by the CBN. “UBA Capital Holdings Limited will comprise all the Group’s non-banking
• Bank announces new appointments By Akinola Ajibade, Senior Correspondent
businesses, and will be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators. These businesses include UBA Trustees, UBA Asset Management, UBA Insurance Brokers, UBA Capital Africa, and UBA Capital Europe ( London ),” the statement said. In line with the CBN’s directive that banks can no longer own Registrar and Property businesses, the Group, according to the statement, will divest its interest in UBA Registrars Limited and UBA Properties Limited. Concequently, the Group has announced key appointments that flow from its long-term succession plan. Group Managing Director Phillips Oduoza will run the International Bank (UBA Plc) while Victor Osadolor, a Deputy Managing Director, becomes Managing Director of UBA Capital Holdings Limited. Gabriel Edgal and Emeke Iweriebor have been appointed the Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director of UBA Africa Holdings Ltd. Mr Osadolor was, prior to this appointment, in charge of the bank’s business across Southern Nigeria. He has also served as the Group CFO. Mr Edgal until recently was the CEO of UBA West Africa comprising eight countries after a very successful stint as UBA Ghana CEO. Emeke Iweriebor, the pioneer CEO UBA
Cameroon was until this appointment the CEO , East, Central and Southern Africa countries’ operations. “As pioneer professionals in the Group’s expansion into Africa, they will bring their strong business and technical skills to bear in strengthening and growing the Group’s footprint across the continent,” the statement said. Emmanuel Nnorom, the bank’s Executive Director (Finance) was also appointed to UBA Holdings Plc. With the movement of these top executives to the Holding Companies, the Group, according to the statement, also announced some key appointments in the International Bank (UBA Plc). Erstwhile Executive Director (Resources) Kennedy Uzoka has been appointed Deputy Managing Director while General Manager (North Bank) Mr Dan Okeke has been appointed Executive Director, all subject to CBN approval. Mr Dan Okeke will take over from Mrs Faith Tuedor-Matthews, who has resigned from the bank. Prior to her resignation, Mrs Tuedor-Mathews was the Deputy Managing Director covering the bank’s operations in Abuja “All the appointments reflect the personal strengths of the appointees as well as the deep talent pool of the group and a further confirmation of the well-established succession plan in the group,” said Mr Phillips Oduoza, the Group Managing Director, UBA Plc.
Petroleum Board begins e-payment for bridged HE Petroleum Equalisation some staff of PEFMB connived with products Fund Management Board marketers to pay for unsubstanti-
(PEFMB) has begun electronic payment for bridged petroleum products tagged ‘Project Aquila.’ Project Aquila would ensure that trucks bridging petroleum products are registered at points of loading and the volume and other information concerning the truck confirmed at the point of discharge. The processes undergo several approvals and these are done electronically. With the project, payments for claims of bridged products are accomplished in two weeks as against six months and above, which obtained in the past, the board said.
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
The Executive Secretary of the board, Mrs. Adefunke Sharon Kasali, disclosed these to industry stakeholders at a press conference in Lagos yesterday to announce the kick-off of the project. She said the e-payment system has helped the board to detect and stop payments of over N400 million worth of fictitious claims in the last 12 months. The project, according to her, has reduced fraud associated with manual processing payment where
ated transportation claims. It has also eliminated delayed payments, the board added. Besides, she noted that although the work flows for Project Aquila was designed by an external consultant, the software codes were written by a staff member of PEFMB, which saved the government about $2 million. Kasali said work on Project Aquila started over three years ago, but was worth the time because it has culminated in revolutionising operations in the downstream, adding that the project pioneered epayment in public service.
HE collapse of some banks in the country has been attrib uted to poor corporate governance and the long stay of some Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the banks. The Minna Branch Controller of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Alhaji Kabiru Danguasu, stated this last weekend at the on-going National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation in Paiko, Niger State. He said the apex bank, in a bid to boost the confidence in the banking system, has stabilised the industry with a bail out fund of N620billion for the eight rescued banks (Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Finbank Plc, Spring Bank Plc, Equitorial Trust Bank, Oceanic Bank Plc, Afribank Plc and BankPHB Plc. The first three banks have moved ahead in their recapitalisation with the signing of Transaction Implementation Agreement (TIA), while others are at various stages of the exercise. Danguasu pointed out that to avert the negative consequence of rescued banks on the nation’s economy, the apex bank has intervened and put in place measures to prevent them from failing again. He also dispelled the fears of some Nigerians on the issue of non-interest banking, stressing that the it is like any other banking product and has nothing to do with religion. “It is true that the non-interest banking service is derived from the principle of Islam that abhor interest, but accept sharing of profits and loss. But it is a product just as any other banking product,” he said. He urged Nigerians to stop giving religious connotation to the noninterest banking service, adding that taking services from those banks would not make such patron a Muslim. Danguasu explained that the noninterest banking service was not the initiative of the incumbent CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido, as the service had been approved by the Federal Government during the tenure of his predecessor, Prof Charles Soludo.
NASENI gets kudos From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
HE Science and Technology Education at the Post-Basic Level (STEP-B) project has scored the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) high for its efforts in promoting indigenous technologies in the country. Head, Internal Audit for STEP-B, Mr Ben Nwanze, who spoke during a visit to NASENI’s facilities at Idu-Abuja, stressed that the agency deserved its designation as a Centre of Excellence . STEP-B Project is made possible through the financial support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank and the development objective of this project is for the Nigerian federal post-basic education and research sub-sector to produce more and better qualified science and technology graduates, and higher quality and more relevant research. According to a statement by the Information Officer at NASENI, Stella Anuforo, she quoted Nwanze as saying: “NASENI is one of the 11 successful centres of excellence we are establishing in Nigeria and the Agency has a quantum of $5.7 million. The project in NASENI is all about establishing a centre of excellence in advanced materials and manufacturing technology.” Noting that his visit to the agency was to ascertain the facilities that are on ground in NASENI, he noted: “I am here to do an overall assessment and to get practical demonstration of what the agency have on ground because this mission is sent by the World Bank itself.”
Eagles’ defence John Obuh reveals worries Siasia selection challenge
Nation Tuesday, July 19, 2011
•Osaze shares a joke during training session in California
Osaze not for sale —Baggies
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Enyimba can still be champions –Anyansi E
NYIMBA drew 2-2 with Al Hilal in an opening CAF Champions League tie, but club boss Felix Anyansi-Agwu has insisted they will be champions. “It was a bad day for us but we have learnt some lessons from the game and we are forging ahead,” Anyansi told MTNFootball.com “If Hilal could come here and get a draw, why can't we go to Cameroon, Morocco and Sudan to get same or even a win? “I trust this team to do what the 2003/2004 class did. This is only a temporary setback that will be over by our next games. There is no cause for alarm." The two-time African champions failed to make home advantage count as visiting Al Hilal of Sudan shared the spoils with a 2-2 draw in a Group A clash in Aba Sunday. Two well struck goals from
Zimbabwean import Edward Sadomba in the 22nd and 76th minutes of the action-packed match gave the Sudanese champions a vital point at the dreaded Enyimba fortress. Enyimba first drew level four minutes after the restart thanks to a Valentine Nwaebili powerful pile driver that seemed harmless before the dependable Hilal goalie somehow pushed the ball into his own net. It was a reply to Sadomba’s stunner in the 22nd minute of the match. Enyimba then took the lead on 61 minutes when Peter Onoja’s cross off an infringement very close to Hilal’s 18 yard box was nodded home by striker Kalu Uche. Al Hilal were back on even terms in the 77th minute when a quickly played free kick caught Enyimba napping in the defence and freed the deadly Zimbabwean Sadomba to score again. Enyimba started out brightly but
they could not translate their dominance into goal as solid defending and the alertness of goalkeeper Goma Genaro Awad, kept them at bay throughout the first half. Nigeria international Yusuf Mohammed and compatriot Otobong Ene Edet Otudor warmed the Al Hilal bench throughout the 90 minutes. Hilal Serbian coach Micho Sredojevic saluted his team’s doggedness. “Enyimba is a very good team but it is important to win all your home matches and once you have got some draws away from home, you are already coasting home to the semi final,” said ‘Micho’. “We got Enyimba’s weak point when they were coming out for attack and on two occasions like that we caught them and we capitalised on that. "The (slippery) pitch really made playing very difficult but my players showed great understanding and we got a deserved draw that could have been better, if not for some good work from the Enyimba defenders." The scorer of the Enyimba equaliser, Valentine Nwabili, was picked as the Most Valuable Player on the back of his long-range drive that made a fool of the Hilal shot stopper.
Enyimba needs luck –Hilal coach
•Enyimba striker, Atanda Shakibu, takes on Pillars defender at the Super 4 League at Ijebu-Ode Enyinmba won 2-1
L HILAL Coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic believes Enyimba can win the 2011 CAF Champions’ League title with ‘a little bit of luck’. Enyimba played out a 2-2 draw against Al Hilal on Sunday in their first game of the group stage of the money spinning competition but Sredojevic is full of praise for the Aba club.
FLYING EAGLES DIARY/JULY 17
Goalkeeper Gambo's ankle aches badly
HE weather today is great, it’s dry and the sun is shining high and bright. The sky is blue laced with white clouds. It is now exactly two weeks before Nigeria’s opening match at the U-20 World Cup in Colombia. The church bell from behind the Hotel El Panama sounds out loud and clear by 7am, probably announcing the start of worship service in predominantly Catholic country. Last night, there was a huge society wedding at the hotel, fireworks, crackers and all. A few team members
were alarmed by the rumbling and crackling noise caused by these, but we are later assured that this is not some military coup. Mexico check into the hotel around that time and so three of the teams for the four-nation tourney kicking off Monday are at the El Panama and officials say the home team will also come down on Sunday. Earlier in the day, the players shop around for new playing boots. We also follow Copa America action on television – hosts Argentina being knocked out by Uruguay after a penalty shootout with the game tied at 1-1 and Peru stopping Colombia, who failed to find their feet for most of this quarterfinal clash. The Flying Eagles focus is on the opening match of the four-nation tournament on Monday against hosts Panama. There is a 45-minute first training Saturday night at the Agustin “Muquita” Sanchez Stadium on the outskirts of Panama City. This is the home of one of the country’s leading clubs, San Francisco Monks. It has an artificial pitch, but the venue for the matches is natural grass. The training consists of jogging, shorts sprints and stretching exercises and there is also some ball work at the end. “The weather here is similar to what we have back home in Nigeria,” chorus assistant coach Samuel Abimbola and forward Terry Envoh. Goalkeeper Gideon Gambo is still out with an ankle injury he picked up from the Portugal friendly, so also Belgium-based central defender Jamiu
Alimi. Sunday morning, the Flying Eagles have their first feel of the match venue, the 25,000-capacity Estadio Rommel Fernandez. “The pitch is okay, even though it is not as good as what we played on against Portugal in Lisbon,” says striker Sani Emmanuel. But coach Obuh is a lot more cautious, saying rain would mess up the playing surface. Training emphasis is on tactical play and set pieces and the team return to the hotel by 11am. This meant a very late breakfast, more like a brunch. At the restaurant on the ninth floor, rice is found out to be most popular among the Nigerian team and so it is agreed that that there will be more helpings of rice and less of the salads. Skipper Ramon Azeez and Olanrewaju Kayode are expected to join the team by Tuesday, meaning they will miss the first two games against Panama and Portugal in the Copa Presidente de la Republica. Kayode will also miss the opening World Cup game against Guatemala on July 31 in Armenia after he was sent off in the final of the African Youth Championship in South Africa. Team secretary Sirajo Hassan, coordinator Ahmed Abdul aka Ajakpo and equipment manager, Labaran Akawu, make the pre-match meeting. Like it was against Portugal last week, the Flying Eagles will turn out in all-white strips with the goalkeeper sporting a blue top in the match against Panama.
John Obuh reveals selection challenge F
Eagles’ defence worries Siasia AMSON Siasia is still in the hunt for at least three quality additions to his back four as he gets set to name his squad this week. At centre back, he is in the hunt for someone to partner captain Joseph Yobo. At left back, he requires a capable deputy for Taye Taiwo, and is at a similar crossroads at right back. A top team official told KickOffNigeria.com that the technical staff continue to sweat over the defence, especially at centre back. "We need a capable partner for Joseph Yobo in the heart of defence. If he gets injured now, or suspended, we could be in trouble. "So the coaches are seriously looking at alternatives," the official said. Efe Ambrose has partnered Yobo in recent games, but his errors, especially against Ethiopia in the last game, have left the coaches in a dilemma. Dele Adeleye has barely got a look in, and is expected to be left out of the squad to play Ghana, with Yusuf Ayila a distinct possibility to step in at central defence.
“Enyimba is full of tremendous quality: a very good side that can go all the way in this season’s Champions’ League,” Sredrojevic told SuperSport.com. Micho praised Enyimba’s Okey Emordi for building a strong team which made things difficult for his club. Predicting a tough run In for all clubs in Group A of the CAF Champions’ League, Micho said Enyimba could win it with a little bit of luck. “Of course, they can win it with a little bit of luck. They are a good and will make things hard for any team. We also want to win too and we will be giving our best in every game,” he said. Enyimba now travel to Cameroun to face Cotton Sport Garoua while Al Hilal play host to Raja Casablanca in the second round of matches in a competitive Group A. Both games will be played on the weekend of July 29-31.
At left back, Elderson Echiejile will get a recall when Siasia's squad is announced this week, but he is only expected to provide back up to Taye Taiwo. Right back presents a further challenge for Siasia and his men. Chibuzor Okonkwo has stepped into the breach and more than acquitted himself, but Siasia is said to be keeping an eye out for more quality. Nosa Igiebor, who has slotted into
ESPITE sitting out of West Brom's 4-2 win over Fusion on Sunday night, egg-heads of the English Premier League side have rubbished media speculation linking Peter Osaze Odemwingie with a move away from the club. Reports in some quaters in Nigeria (not NationSport) wrongly claim the Baggies have agreed a price for the 29-year-old striker and that he is
•To hunt for basketball talents
central defence at his club, is a possibility being explored by the Super Eagles coaches. "The coaches have enough players in midfield and attack, but they are really worried about the defence and need players there as soon as they can." Siasia is expected to travel to eastern Europe to scout out some prospective defenders before and after playing Ghana.
By Stella Bamawo give coaches and their teams the opportunity and atmosphere to take their game to another level. It could be recalled that a beneficiary of this project last year, Maduabam Chukwudi was drafted by the National Basketball Association(NBA) into the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball club hence the need for other young Nigerian basketball players to benefit from the programme. The camp will also provide athletes with an arena to learn, practice and develop offensive and defensive fundamentals used by athletes in the U.S.A. Athletes will also practice and play one-on –one and three-on –three as well as many other live situations. It will also be an avenue for athletes in the camp to be taught the mechanism, of the game of basketball, sportsmanship, teamwork and discipline using collegiate athletes and coaches who are living examples of this principle.
close to joining Arsenal. However, Albion's Sporting & Technical Director, Dan Ashworth, said: "Our aim is to retain our core players and try to strengthen our squad around them. "I want to make it clear that Peter Odemwingie is not for sale and remains a key member of our squad. "We have not received any offers for Peter and we have placed no valuation on his head. "He has two years left to run on his current Albion contract and talks over a new deal are ongoing."
DO STATE-BORN Victor Moses has rubbished talk he could join QPR by stating he is looking forward to the new season with Wigan.
The 20-year-old is expected to be a big star in the future and will be looking for more first team action this season having impressed when coming off the bench for the Latics last season. With his first team opportunities at Wigan having been limited thus far it had been reported QPR boss Neil Warnock would try to prise him away from the DW Stadium with the offer of more game time. Having worked with Moses while in charge of Crystal Palace Warnock was thought to be confident of completing a deal for £2.5million but has now been knocked back by Moses. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm still here, I'm happy here, I'm enjoying myself here and I want to stay here for as long as I can. It's a great club to be at, there's a real family-fee to the place, and I'm really settled here. All of the focus now is on next season, and I can't wait to get out there and show what I can do," Moses told the Wigan Evening Post.
NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE
Owumi resumes as NPL boss
Amoo assures 3SC of topflight football OACH Fatai Amoo has promised his relegationbattling side, 3SC, that they will retain their Nigeria Premier League (NPL) status at the end of the current season. A relieved Amoo said he is happy to watch his side return to winning ways after struggling in the previous six games before the triumph over Kwara United. “I must say I am happy that we won the game after failing to win in our last three home games. We have taken a bold step in escaping relegation. I want to tell our fans that this club will not be relegated this season,” said Amoo. The winless streak of the former Nigerian champions stretches back to June 5 when they last won in the topflight against Enyimba in Ibadan. It was however, veteran striker Kabiru Alausa, who got the winning
was that challenge of competition and I’m happy we have been able to get the best of them.” The squad are in Panama for a FourNation invitational.
Victor Moses denies QPR link
are involved in the CAF Confederation Cup and Kwara United and Enugu Rangers are taking part in WAFU Competitions. “All these clubs are also involved in the Federation Cup group stage. It is important that we allow them some breather to prepare for these continental and regional events so that they will not have too many distractions. The group stage of the 2011 Federation Cup will take place soon”, announced NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu. At the weekend, Enyimba FC of Aba could only draw 2-2 with visiting AlHilala of Sudan in the opening match of the CAF Champions League group stage, just as Kaduna United FC was forced to a 1-1 draw in Kaduna by visiting Inter Clube of Angola. Only Sunshine Stars achieved victory, with a 2-0 win over DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo in Ijebu-Ode.
Osaze not for sale –Baggies
Foreign Coaches storm Sports City IFTY Nigerian Basketball players will jostle for placements into various basketball clubs in the United States of America as they participate in the Dodan Warriors Prospects Basketball camp which begins today and ends on July 22 at the National Stadium, Lagos. On ground to pick the talented young Nigerians are more than six foreign coaches who flew into the country last week. The Coaches include the Head Coach of Erie Community College (ECC) USA, Alex Nwora who is also the Cape Verde’s National Basketball Team Coach. Others are Cameroon National Team Basketball Coach, Larzara Adingono, Head Coach ABA Sharks U.S.A, Richard Jacob and USA Coach, Jackie Knowles, Ugo Udezue of BDA Sports U.S.A and an alumni of the Dodan Warriors Basketball Club who is presently a coach in the States, Simon Akowe. According to the President of Dodan Warriors Basketball club, Col. Sam Ahmedu, the camp was designed to
LYING EAGLES coach John Obuh says it has been very difficult for him to pick a team for the World Youth Championships. Obuh says most of the addition to his team were scared of playing because of the belief that he will stick to the Under-17 team that got to the Final of the World Cup in 2009. “There was a big challenge because we were already working on the team that graduated from the Under-17 to Under-20 and most of the new players that came became scared of the original team. “At times we did not see anything good in these new players until lately when they began to play their game. If not for this, maybe you would have seen 21 players from the Under-17 ranks playing the Under-20 World Cup,” Obuh says. Obuh adds that there was the other challenge of too many quality players vying for the same position. “The players made it difficult because in every position we found it difficult picking one or two people so there
NFF shifts Federation Cup group phase HE Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has postponed the group stage games of this year’s Federation Cup competition, earlier billed to take place between 20th – 24th July in four centres across the federation. At a meeting which took place in Aba on Sunday and presided over by the NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, the Committee said a new date for the group stage matches will be announced soon. “The decision was taken as a result of the involvement of our various clubs in continental and regional competitions. We want to give these clubs the breather to prepare hard for their continental engagements and be in position to bring honour to the country. “Enyimba FC of Aba is involved in the CAF Champions League; Sunshine Stars and Kaduna United FC
goal for the Oluyole Warriors on 13th minute at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan. In spite of getting a win in Saturday’s Week 33 game against Kwara United, Amoo is still worried about his side’s profligacy in front of goal. “Though we won against Kwara United, I am still not satisfied because we are still wasteful in front of goal. If we want to win games goal-scoring is one aspect that we must learn to perfect,” Amoo said. Amoo has acknowledged that 3SC face difficult opponents in their last five games of the season. 3SC will play against Crown FC, Heartland, Juth, Lobi Stars and Dolphins to round off their campaign this season. “At this point of the season every team you face want to win. And our next opponents are going to be tough. That is why we must be very focused for these games,” he said.
AVIDSON Owumi has resumed officially as Chairman of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). Owumi met with the Acting Executive Secretary, Tunji Babalola Monday, to work out modalities on how the current season will come to a successful end. Owumi has also expressed appreciation to the executive members and the secretariat of the league body for running this season's championship to the present point. "I also want to thank the NPL executive board and the secretariat for a job well done so far in this season's league. I promise that we will do our best to put our league back on a
glorious path," Owumi said.
Anichebe arrives USA with Everton
UPER EAGLES forward, Victor Anichebe and his Everton teammates have arrived in America. The travelling Toffees touched down in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (US time) ahead of their week-long stay stateside. During the pre-season tour Anichebe is expected to be in action as Everton will play two friendly matches, facing Philadelphia Union on Wednesday (20 July) and DC United (23 July). David Moyes and his coaching staff
By Uchenna Ajah will be taking advantage of America's excellent training facilities to step up the squad's preparation for the Premier League season. Blues number two Steve Round said: "I am looking forward to it, we do it to play in good arenas against top oppostion, they will be tough games but we are looking forward to it." The tour also comprises two open training sessions, supporters' club events and media calls.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Port users groan under bad roads S
TAKEHOLDERS and port users have expressed concern over the poor state of the roads leading to the Lagos ports. They have urged the Federal Government to fix them to reduce the hardship of motorists this rainy season. The stakeholders urged the Minister of Transpoport, Senator Idris Umar, to expedite action on the state of the roads. The sorry state of the roads, they said, had taken a toll on their businesses as many trailers are now avoiding the place and making importers and clearing agents to pay more, adding that operations at the seaport have not been effective due to the negligence of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. Maybe you don’t know, you enter the Lagos ports through Badagry Creek via a 200m wide channel that has been dredged to 9.5m. Up to 28 vessels can be accommodated at Tin-can and Apapa ports at a time. The Managing Director, NPA, Omar Suleiman has also awarded the contracts for the rehabilitation of all the access roads within the ports and the contractors have started operations. But that is as far as the good news goes. Port workers have to manoeuvre their vehicles through the flood waters along the roads to get to the ports. The situation is worsened by the downpour witnessed in the last few days. The failed sections have worsened the agonies of container carriers and other port users in the last few days. The bad situation is going to worse as Lagos continues to witness more downpour. When The Nation visited the port last Friday, it was discovered that the flood, rather than decreasing,
By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
has continued to increase in length and depth. With the water everywhere, the roads have become no-go area for cars and buses that could not wade through them. Even the failed parts of the road have also continued to increase in size as the flood washes off most parts of the road. As of now, only trailers and heavy trucks could wade through the roads. Speaking with The Nation at TinCan port, one of the trailer drivers, Mr Joseph Abayomi said they were not happy with the state of the roads that lead to the port and urged the new minister to ensure that the Federal Government fixes the roads. “The truth of the matter is that majority of our members are not happy with the sorry state of the Oshodi-Apapa Express Road because that is the only major road that leads to the Lagos ports. “Therefore, we would be happy if the new minister can ensure that the road is given the necessary attention by the Federal Government. Before the rain started, it takes us more then two hours to get to the port from Oshodi because of the bad roads. The situation is worse now that the rain has come. When you consider the amount we buy diesel and service our trucks to get the job done, you will pity most of our members. “Although we are happy that the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of the access roads within the Lagos ports, but we would be glad if the Federal Government can compliment NPA’s efforts by fixing the
• Apapa port
Oshodi-Apapa Express Road,” Abayomi said. Also, a clearing agent, Mr Adelani Adegbola said they were paying through their nose to transport containers out of the ports because of the bad roads and urged the minister to use his good offices to correct the situation. “This is the time for the Federal Government to tell us that it is not just interested in collecting money from the port but also ready to perform its responsibilities to stakeholders and other port users. “It is shameful that the only major road that leads to the port has been neglected by successive governments despite the huge revenue the same government is generating from the ports. It shows the kind of leadership we are having in this country and the type of attitude they have in developing local
infrastructure,” Adegbola said. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Import and Export Logistics, Mr Alfred Philipson, appealed to the Federal Government to fix the Oshodi-Apapa Express road in the interest of the nation and the economy. Philipson told The Nation that the Federal Government needs to take the issue of the roads that lead to the ports seriously to curb cargo diversion and congestion at the ports. “Majority of us are worried. We are worried not only because of the amount we are paying in transporting our goods out of the ports but because of the bad image the road are giving our ports that are aspiring to become the hub in the sub-region,” he said The importer, therefore, appealed to the new minister to pay special attention to the road.
• Omar Suleiman
NIMASA will boost capacity building, says D-G
HE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will boost capacity building in the maritime industry, its Director-General, Ziakede Akpobolokemi, has said. Akpobolokemi spoke when he led a delegation from the agency to meet with Nigerian mariners living in the United Kingdom. He said the country has the human capital required to boost the maritime industry, assuring that
By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
efforts would be made to ensure that professionals are engaged irrespective of their location. He said the agency decided to engage Nigerian mariners in diaspora to fast-track the transformation of the maritime sector. While identifying lack of infrastructure as the bane of development of the sector, Akpobolokemi
described the level of awareness as high, saying the Federal Government is commited to transforming the situation for the better. He appealed to them to return home and contribute their quota to nation building with an assurance that NIMASA is ready to provide the platfom for them to succeed. In his words “We have the willpower to turn around the fortunes of the Nigerian maritime sector,
but we cannot do it all alone. We need your support. The Federal Government is ready to give us the political mussle to succeed. Nigeria is your country and we must all work collectively to succeed”. In his contribution, Joe Alegbeleye, a former officer with the Nigerian National Shipping Line, expressed his readiness to partner NIMASA in developing capacity for the industry.“We were trained by the Federal Government
of Nigeria, who sent us here to obtain professional qualifications in the maritime sector. At the moment, I am a teacher here and I desire to serve Nigeria in a better capacity.” Ubong Okon, who works with the Lyods Register in London, appealed for a concerted effort at improving the Nigerian Flag and assured the NIMASA team of his availability to project the country’s interest at all times.
Ports record 12% increase in cargo throughput
HE cargo throughput handled in the ports in creased from 66,908,322 metric tonnes in 2009 to 74,910,284 metric tonnes last year, representing a 12 per cent increase. A breakdown from available statistics showed that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment last year stood at 19,369,047 metric tonnes, indicating a growth of 40.7 per cent over 13,766,855 metric tonnes in 2009. General cargo shipment last year increased from 8,196,251 metric tonnes of 2009 to 9,047,030 metric tonnes reflecting a 10.4 per cent increase. However, a marginal drop of 10 per cent was recorded in Dry Bulk Cargo which reduced from 11,985,383 metric tonnes in 2009 to 11,858,121 metric tonnes in 2010. The total Refined Petroleum Shipment was 18,047,842 metric tonnes in 2010, an increase of 3.9 per cent over the 2009 figure of 17,365,247 metric tonnes.
By Uyoatta Eshiet,
The Laden Container throughput was 668,697, Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) in 2010 representing a growth of 8.8 per cent as against 614,538 TEU in 2009, while empty container throughput stood at 459,474 TEU showing an increase of 19.4 per cent over the 2009 figure of 384,915 TEU. Vehicle traffic stood at 187,635 units, a rise of 16.3 per cent over the 2009 figure of 161,396 units. Crude oil shipment stood at 105,839,032 metric tonnes which is an increase of 41 per cent over the 101,622,957 metric tons over the 2009 figure. The increase in cargo throughput witnessed in the year under review is a reflection of the regular dredging/maintenance of the channels embarked upon by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in conjunction with the authority of joint venture partners. This development allowed for
bigger draught vessels with large volume of cargo into Nigerian Ports. Other performance indicators also reflected a significant improvement in operationals. The
average turnaround time of the vessels for all the ports was 5.9 days compared with 6.7 days in 2009 while the average waiting time of vessels in all ports was 27.4 hours in 2010 compared with 50.4 hours in 2009.
In the same vein, dollar revenue generated and collected stood at $592.2 million showing an increase of 15.3 per cent over 2009 and $457.8 million a growth of 9.8 per cent over 2009.
APMT gives waiver to importers
N an attempt to eliminate congestion at the Apapa port, the management of the APM Terminals Apapa Limited and its sister firm, Lilypond Container Terminal, Ijora, Lagos have offered importers waiver on accumulated storage charges amounting to N1.3 billion. Speaking with The Nation, the Chief Commercial Officer of APM Terminals, Mr Koen De Backker, said all containers, which have been at the port for over one year, will enjoy a 75 per cent waiver. “At present, there are over 500 containers that qualify for this
By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
waiver,” De Backker said. He said the waiver is applicable only for containers that have been in the port for over one year, and will expire by the middle of next month. “We, therefore, request importers to approach the APM Terminals or Lilypond Container Terminal release desk to apply for this waiver,” he said. He said the waiver was unconditional and urged importers to take advantage of the opportunity to remove their containers from the port to avoid forfeiting them to the
government. In June 2010, in support of the Federal Government’s drive to enhance generation and distribution of electricity in the country, APM Terminals granted a 70 per cent waiver on charges incurred on all longstanding National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) containers, which had been at the terminal for about three years. The step, he said, was in line with the terminal operator’s policy of supporting the growth of the economy and in support of government’s desire to provide uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
MARITIME Govt okays logistics firm Community worried over T non-removal of wrecked ships R
ESIDENTS of Ilado/ Ilashe communities in Ojo, Lagos, are worried over the wrecked ships abandoned in their area. Speaking at a forum organised by the residents, their spokesman, Ibrahim Lawal, said the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), should collaborate to remove the wrecked ships. He urged the agencies to act fast now that the rainy season is here, saying it may be difficult for them to live in the area if the wrecks are not removed. Lawal said the wrecks have become more dangerous because they are on the navigational routes. NPA and NIMASA, Lawal said, are empowered to remove wrecks in accordance with laws that established them About two years ago, Lawal said the former Director-General of the Agency Temisan Omatseye and the President, Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Chief Isaac Jolapamo, led reporters to the site of the merchant tankers grounded by the tides squall which hit Lagos on February 14. The vessels, he said, are mainly merchant tankers,
Akpobolokemi Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
including Hollgan Star, K17 No 2, Arcturus No 3, Sunshine, both Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tankers and Morlap Trader, a fuel tanker. Others are Penil, a coastal tanker which was found with its starboard side to the beach and its hill was covered with growth; Odyssey Imo, No 6917504 with her post side to the beach; FK Badmus found flat on keel
with bow facing the beach and Ella-L, a coastal tanker was sitting on top of an older wreck. There were also two unidentified coastal tankers and a fishing trawler. The Federal Government, he said, approved over $1.7 million for the removal of the wrecks. ‘‘But it is unfortunate that almost two years after the squall and the huge amount spent by the Federal Government, two of the six vessels that were declared salvageable by NIMASA are still lying on the beach. “What they are doing there and why NIMASA has not removed them up till this time, we may never know. Maybe, it is not the responsibility of the agency to remove the wrecks and that is why we are calling on NPA to collaborate with them to secure our environment.” Lawal, however, urged the Federal Government to prevail on its agencies to save Lagos communities from flood and erosion. Another community leader, Mr Festus Solomon, said the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) of which the country is a category (C) council member, has as part of its mandate four key areas which include: •Safety of navigation;
•Protection of the maritime environment; •Maritime security; and •Human element in shipping. Of these four, the crucial and most critical of IMO thrusts is the presence of abandoned vessels, derelicts and wrecks which pose grave danger to safety of navigation, marine environmental protection and maritime security. Solomon said there were many economic benefits that would be derivable from clearing the abandoned ships. Among the benefits, according to him, is stoppage of erosion in the state. “By clearing the wrecked ships, maritime activities, particularly the movement of other cargoes in and outside the country would be enhanced and that is why we urging the management of NPA and NIMASA to collaborate on this issue.” Solomon said apart from enhancing easy trade, such would rub off positively on the Federal Government’s earrings. He emphasised that Nigeria is a great maritime hub, but that the nation has not been able to explore the advantage because government agencies have not been able to refine their services in line with current demand.
Customs agents set agenda for minister
HE leadership of the Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has urged the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, to promote policies that will enhance the revenue potential of the maritime sector. The body identified adequate development of competent manpower for the nation’s maritime industry as the solution to the stunted growth of the industry. ANLCA decried what it called isolated intervention which creates fragments that led to the poor state of the sector. Isolated intervention, ANLCA said, is the bane of the maritime industry. The clearing agents, therefore, canvassed robust, consistent, versatile and dynamic policies, which are in tandem with global issues to achieve the desired level of efficiency in the maritime industry. Speaking with The Nation in his office last week, the National President of the association, Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, said the nation’s maritime sector has not moved forward since the demise of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL). He said the defunct shipping line was responsible for training professionals in the industry. The need for a training school to develop competent manpower for the sector, he said, would help Nigerian youths obtain internationally recognised credentials and have positive impacts on youth unem-
ployment, restlessness and crime. One of the other challenges facing the sector, Shittu said, is multiple taxation at the port. He urged the minister to address it. He, however, called on Umar to provide holistic intervention rather than isolated intervention which he said, do not form part of a whole and hence creates fragments which cannot stand the test of time noting that isolated intervention is the bane of the maritime sector. Shittu emphasised the need for manpower audit, which he said, would help the nation determine the shortfall and ascertain the number of maritime institutions required to train personnel over a period of time. He said the country in spite of its population of about 150 million has only one maritime institution compared to the Philippines, which he said, has over 40 maritime academies with a population of 80 million people, noting that this has made the country supply over 30 per cent of the world seafarers requirement. The Managing Director,
Olas Shipping and Gas, Mr Seyi Ajetunmobi, blamed the dearth of professionals in the industry on the Federal Government’s allegedly reneging on the training of professionals. He added that the industry will move forward if only the government will co-opt the private sector in its manpower development strategy. Also speaking, a maritime operator, Mr Segun Ogunsanu, told The Nation that shipping is an international trade whose rules of safety of vessels used for
‘Most indigenous ship owners cannot find enough qualified crew members to man their vessels. Because of this, many youths are unemployed, turning to crime to survive’
trading is governed by the International Maritime organisation (IMO) Convention. Safety of ships, he said, largely depends on competency of seafarers that operate them. He said there was the need to establish a maritime training school that will be responsive to the changing needs of the highly competitive and technologically advanced sector. “Across the world, the shipping industry is short as many 100,000 qualified seafarers, of which 15,000 are officers. English speaking ratings and officers with internationally recognised credentials are limited. Nigeria’s cabotage laws require the employment of Nigerians aboard commercial ships operating in the coastal and inlands waterways-but most indigenous ship owners cannot find enough qualified crew members to man their vessels. Because of this, many youths are unemployed, turning to crime to survive, while Nigerian ship owners are hiring seafarers from other countries such as India, the Philippines and America,” he said. Ogunsanu hopes the training school would provide a complete programme of maritime instruction, including qualifying deck and engineering officers to intentional standards, provide sufficient support that could be found from the maritime industry in terms of specialised equipment and training berths aboard vessels.
HE Federal Government has approved the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) service provider as a full-fledged logistics base with all the legal support to operate as a Free Zone within Apapa Pilotage District. It is contained in an official Gazette Notice No. 284 signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport. It said LADOL is now presented as Africa’s fabrication outfit in the subregion. The gazette was published under No.15, Volume 95 of the government’s notice,
and granted the approval to take effect from September 27, 2010. The signed document reads in part. “Be it hereby notified that the Minister of Transport has approved the designation of Ladol Free Zone as a Deep Offshore Logistics Base within and part of Apapa Pilotage District, having fulfilled the relevant guidelines pertained theret.” Under the approval, the organisation, which was hitherto refered to as a ‘jetty,’ is now allowed to receive a maximum of two Ocean-Going ships per week.
More pay for dock workers
HE Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), have set a new minimum standard for the dock labour industry. The new minimum standard increases the wages of dock workers operating at the nation’s seaports. Spokesman of STOAN, Bolaji Akinola, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the
review of the dock workers’ wages is in tandem with the promise made by the port concessionaires to improve the working condition and welfare package of workers at the port. President, Dockworkers Branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, said the setting of the new minimum standard is a major milestone for the dock labour industry.
COTECNA signs Destination Inspection contract
OTECNA Inspection Group , one of the world’s leading government inspection companies has signed a seven-year Destination Inspection contract with the Minister of Finance and Budget of the Republic of Chad. Under the new agreement, COTECNA will assist Customs in Chad with documentary controls and the classification and valuation of imported goods
By Uyoatta Eshiet
that arrive at the land borders by vehicle and container. The contract also includes scanning operations. Operations will begin at the land border of Ngueli where goods arrive via two main routes coming from Nigeria and from Cameroon. Eventually, Cotecna will set up controls at three other land borders.
NDLEA laments porous borders
HE porous borders have become a source of concern to security operatives assigned to ensure the nation’s territorial integrity in the border town of Idiroko, Ogun State. Speaking in Badagry on The challenges of border control, Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Idiroko Special Area Command Mr. Oluketunbi Davies, said the
fight against drug trafficking in the border area was taking its tolls on the agency. He said the porosity of Idiroko border with Benin Republic, which accounts for the numerous illegal routes (one thousand illegal routes as estimated), posed a serious security and economic threat to the country and called for eternal vigilance on the part of the security operatives at the border.
Lawyers challenge govt on capacity building
ARITIME lawyers have urged the Federal Government to fashion out policies to promote the industry. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, the lawyers said the dearth of human and material capacities has been a source of worry in the maritime sector. They called relevant government agencies at the port to complement stakeholders’ efforts in capacitybuilding, noting that businesses blink first in the event of any government policy breakdown. Speaking on behalf of others, a maritime lawyer and consultant in the industry, Mr Frank Simpson, said the dream of the youths who
are seeking employment is only realisable through job creation via the sector and human capacity building. The consultant said the country can be the number one maritime nation in Africa if human capacity building is taken seriously. He said proper training of seafearers, officers, men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other government functionaries is key to the success of the scheme. Another lawyer, Mr Kabiru Adebanjo, observed that until relevant agencies in the transport sector brace up to the challenge of building human capacity, there will still be dearth of manpower in the industry.
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
POLITICS THE NATION
Dawn of new era in Kano? When Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso picked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for the April governorship election, he promised the Kano electorate to reorganise the government machinery. Two months after, he has constituted his executive council. What should the people expect from the team? KOLADE ADEYEMI reports development in Kano State since May 29.
EW weeks after he was sworn-in as Kano State Governor Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso set the machinery of governance rolling as he appointed and inaugurated 15 commissioners and 35 Special Advisers as members of the executive council saddled with the task of transforming the state in the next four years. As was the case when Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau was governor, the interest of non-indigenes are being protected as three non-indigenes were appointed into the cabinet with the designation of Special Advisers on Inter-community Relations. Some of the new Commissioners of Kwankwaso include Maliki Kuliya Umar as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Prof. Farouk Umar Jibril as the Commissioner for Information; Dr. Abubakar Nuhu Danburan, Commissioner for Commerce; Hon Garba Abdullahi Durbunde, Commissioner for Rural and Community Development; Hon Bala Muhammad Gwagwaruwa, Commissioner for Water Resources; Alhaji Yusuf Dambatta, Commissioner for Budget and Planning; and Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa as the Commissioner for Higher Education. Others are Alhaji Garba Ibrahim Muhammad, Commissioner for Science and Technology; Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas Sanusi; Commissioner for Environment; Engineer Bello Muhammad Kiru as the
T is two months into the second-term administration of Governor Jonah Jang in Plateau State. Despite the considerable goodwill that ensured his second coming as numberone man in the state, the former Air Force boss is yet to inaugurate his cabinet, and not a few are in shock. In fact, as The Nation has discovered, the governor has not considered it expedient to send the list of his prospective appointees to the state House of Assembly for their appropriate attention. Now, as the government does not appear in a hurry to do all that, which, to his people, would have helped his administration to start off on a promising note, he has only succeeded in keeping the people of the state guessing. The governor had re-appointed the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in his Berom kinsman who had served in that capacity within the first four years of his administration. Apart from that, Jang had made a few key appointments immediately after securing his second term mandate. First of such early appointments is the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). He also wasted no time in appointing his former Special Adviser on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Shedrack Best of the Political Science Department of the University of Jos. The governor also appointed as Chief of Staff, Gyang Pwajok, his former Director of Research and Documentation in Government House, Jos. However, the absence of a fully constituted executive council has not really affected the administration as the permanent secretaries in all the ministries are in charge of affairs of
‘Only two women (Agriculture and Women Affairs Ministries) have been appointed into Kwankwaso’s cabinet. However, two ministries - Finance and Health - are yet to get Commissioners, but no one can tell for now, if more women will be appointed as he shops for good hands for these two ministries’ Commissioner for Works; Alhaji Muhammad Nadu Yahaya as the Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning; Saratu Umar, Commissioner for Women Affairs; Hajia Barakat Sani, Commissioner for Agriculture, Farouk Iya, immediate past chairman of Kano PDP, as Commissioner for Education; and Alhaji Aminu Abdulsalam Gwarzo, Commissioner for Project Monitoring.
It is also pertinent to point out that in this new appointment, Kwankwaso made history to have appointed the first female Commissioner in the Ministry of Agriculture since the creation of Kano state in 1967. This development, critics say, may turn around the fate of farmers. For now, only two women (Agriculture and Women Affairs Ministries) have been appointed into Kwankwaso’s cabinet. However, two ministries -Finance and Health - are yet to get Commissioners, but no one can tell for now, if more women will be appointed as he shops for good hands for these two ministries. Also, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is mandated to oversee the Ministry of Local Government Affairs. All the Commissioners and Special Advisers passed through smooth screening at the state House of Assembly which has the PDP as the majority. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony at the state Government House, Kwankwaso charged the new commissioners to shun corrupt practices and discharge their duties with utmost honesty and diligence. Kwankwaso said he would not condone any act capable of tarnishing the image of his administration which he said, is predicated on honesty and transparency. Meanwhile, in his bid to take immediate action to tackle some of the problems facing the state, Governor Kwankwaso has inaugurated Committees to ensure that things get into shape. For instance, a 13-man committee was set-up to evolve mechanisms for the rehabilitation of street and traffic lights that have either broken down or were vandalized during the post election violence that rocked the ancient city of Kano . Deputy Governor, Ganduje, who swore-in the Committee charged it to identify and assess the nature and scope of the problems that have bedeviled the lighting system in Kano metropolis. Indeed, the Committee’s effort has yielded fruits as all the major streets in the state are now lit in the night, and this has gone a long way to curb the menace of miscreants and burglars who hitherto took advantage of the darkness to perpetrate their nefarious activities. As it is, all the Commissioners have swung into action in their respective ministries. For instance, the Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas took the bull by the horn during the recent rainstorm that devastated over 300 houses in Fagge and killed more than 30 as he ensured the evacuation of the heaps of refuse that blocked the water tunnels, and also ensured the sanitation of the debris of the fallen buildings. In an interview with The Nation, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Malam Umar Sa’ad Tudun Wada, said that, “as you can see, since their inauguration, all the Commissioners have taken their positions by reporting to their various ministries. So this development has now cushioned the burden on the governor. I must also tell you that they are all standing on their feet as none of them would want to betray the desire of this government to reform Kano and restore the peoples hope in governance.”
Jang ‘silent’ on new exco From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
their respective ministries. With these few appointments made so far, the governor obviously believes that state administration can continue smoothly while he takes his time to pick members of his primary cabinet – the commissioners. One thing the governor has always assured is that his appointments into his second term administration will focus on younger scholars and politicians from across the state. However, it was gathered that Jang is currently compiling his list secretly. And he is keeping it to his chest to avoid leakage and to be able to contain the pressure that will follow the leakage. In a couple of days, a source said that the governor might forward his list to the state House of Assembly for possible consideration and eventual approval to kick-start his administration. It would be recalled that the governor travelled out of the country early late last month
to have the exclusive opportunity to compile his lists without any pressure. After two weeks of sojourn abroad, he returned to the state and all eyes have since been on him by those who have been expecting him to release his lists. Many citizens of the state are still wondering why the governor has not constituted the much-expected cabinet. Some have alleged that it is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that is delaying the appointment of commissioners. The state PDP recently set up a committee to verify the performance of the party in the three senatorial zones of the state during the last elections so as to determine its area of strength and weakness. The party’s action, some believe, will review the performance of Gov. Jang’s former appointees who are mounting intense pressure for a re-appointment. It was insinuated that the report of the committees would inform the selection of those to serve in the next four years. However, the state chairman of the party, Dr. Haruna Dabin, said: “The setting of the
‘Many citizens of the state are still wondering why the governor has not constituted the much-expected cabinet. Some have alleged that it is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that is delaying the appointment of commissioners. The state PDP recently set up a committee to verify the performance of the party in the three senatorial zones of the state during the last elections so as to determine its area of strength and weakness’
• • Jang
verification committee in the party has nothing to do with the appointment of the commissioners” Notwithstanding all efforts to confirm from the Secretary to the State Government and the Chief of Staff to know the reason for the delay in the appointment of new commissioners was not successful. Also, the governor’s Director of Press, James Mannok, could not be reached on phone. For now, the waiting game continues for the anxious people.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
‘Governorship poll not free and fair in Taraba’ Senator Joel Ikenya is the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Taraba State. He explained to Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU why he is challenging the outcome of the poll at the tribunal.
HAT is your assessment of the political situation in Taraba State? Nothing has changed at all. The situation has become worsened. We have a government that cannot integrate the people. Some of the appointments he has made do not follow the constitution. You need to balance all the political appointments for the purpose of harmony, unity and fostering a sense of belonging. Would there have been any difference, if you are the governor? That is very clear. If I were the governor, there will be difference. I have programmes, vision and dreams. I am from ACN, not PDP. ACN has beautiful manifestos, beautiful constitution, good governors, focused governors I can copy directly or modify things because of the different terrain. What went wrong during the election? Was it that you were rigged out or you were forcing yourself on the people? That is not true. What happened at the governorship election was different entirely. We least expected that the military would be deployed. Our members were harassed. Voters were harassed. They were not allowed to vote. The presidential election was free and fair. When there was violence, the President said that they should use maximum security. Some of the governors went out of their ways and made sure that military police were involved in the election. This did not happen in the Southwest. In some places, where political consciousness was low, people were taken by surprise. There was a serious harassment. I was not only rigged out, our people were denied of their right to vote for those who they believe could represent them. It was one of the worst elections we had in Taraba State. Since the creation of the state, there was never a time soldiers were deployed to remote areas for elections. It was because they wanted the incumbent to be in power. On the day of election, the governor was also moving freely, intimidating people. He went to one local government five times and people’s money were used heavily to make sure that he got his way back. Fortunately, we are in court to see how best we counld rescue our people. We are doing so because we believe that Taraba State is one of the best states. Taraba State can still pay N18,000 minimum wage and still
have what it takes to develop the state. Most of the revenues are not being harnessed and they rely on federal allocation. If we are given the chance, we can copy Lagos. We cannot be like Lagos actually, but we can copy Lagos and have a better Taraba under the ACN government. What is the level of confidence you have in the judiciary? I have confidence in the judiciary. In the last four or five years, they have been dogged. The judiciary is the last hope of the common man. We believe that justice would be done. The governorship litigation is in three stages. It will go to the appeal and the highest court. No matter what the governor would do at the lower tribunal and appeal, the people at the top, the Supreme Court, would definitely do justice and Taraba will have a better government and people who have vision and programmes at the helm of affairs. The state is being bastardised. We will not continue to receive insult from somebody who does not have vision; somebody who do not want intelligent people in position of authority. This is the right time and I will continue to fight the right fight to rescue our people from danger. We will rescue Taraba from these few individuals who do not believe the development of the state. They travel abroad. They travel to Lagos, Edo State and see the development there, but they are not ready to change. For the past four years, no single project has been commissioned. The government has access to a lot of resources. It has collected a huge sum from the federal treasury and there is nothing to show for it. Even, after paying salaries, the money should still be enough to develop the state. The only road in Jalingo, the capital, was constructed through bank loan. That is the only project on ground in Taraba State. He was packaged to be a governor, but he does not have what it takes to be governor. Were your members intimidated because you defected from PDP to ACN? ACN is the best party today. I have seen it. I won three elections in PDP. I knew what I passed through to be what I am. People were on my side. I know what PDP is. I am happy with the development in the National Assembly, where the legislators told PDP that
‘For the past four years, no single project has been commissioned. The government has access to a lot of resources. It has collected a huge sum from the federal treasury and there is nothing to show for it. Even, after paying salaries, the money should still be enough to develop the state’ • Ikenya
they wanted to be independent. They wanted to be focused. Sometimes, after winning your primary election in PDP, another person’s name would be sent to the INEC. They said ACN had that kind of problem too. But it is not true. We have done a lot of primaries in ACN and nobody is in court like the PDP. In PDP, people are sworn in and next tomorrow, they are removed. Currently, some PDP people are being removed because their names should not have been sent to INEC. Because they won the primaries, they went to court. That is why I have confidence in the judiciary. INEC declared some of them winners of the election, but at the end of the day, the Supreme Court removed them because they did not win. It happened in Imo State. That is PDP, but I believe they would learn their lessons. Politics is about bringing ideas and developing the states and country, building infrastructure and making people to feel the government of the people, by the people and for the people. That is democracy and dividends of democracy should be seen on the faces
of the people. In Lagos, between 1992 and 1999, area boys invaded the streets. There were pick pockets and armed robbers were attacking banks. It has completely reduced. These things cannot reduce hundred percent, but the level they are in Lagos, everybody can sleep with two eyes closed. It is not like before. I am happy that ACN has taken over in the West. I am hoping that other governors taking over should copy ACN because government is about development. Government is about spreading dividends of democracy to people. We should not see going to government as an opportunity to steal, grab and bribe. What are the challenges you think President Goodluck Jonathan should quickly confront? I think the challenges are enormous. It is not about power only. The roads are so bad. Let the railway work. Unemployment is very alarming. He should do something about it quickly. He should fulfill his campaign promises. I believe that President Jonathan is humble. With the cabinet that he is putting in place, he will perform better. Some governors, especially from the North wanted to
impose ministers on him and he was resisting. I am happy that he was resisting. If he cannot appoint commissioners for them, they should not appoint ministers for him. Governors should face their states. You cannot see Oshiomhole and Fashola in Abuja unless things are happening there. But PDP governors are always in Abuja. Sometimes, they say they travel out to attract foreign investors. The President should assign portfolios based on expertise, professional ability and experience. Jonathan should be very firm. Why is budget implementation difficult? I don’t understand. They say they cannot pay N18,000 minimum wage. What is cash backing? If there is no money, there cannot be excess crude. Since the advent of oil, nobody knows exactly what is being loaded from the main terminal. The President does not know. It is what they tell him that he accepts. The actual crude oil lifted is not known. The DPRR has taken over the job of Weight and Measures department in the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the major terminals. The Weight and Measures Department is to serve as checks and balances on the Ministry of Petroleum. They are the ones closing filing stations. The President should take firm actions in the Ministry of Petroleum. The Freedom of Information Law should empower media to beam a searchlight. The issue of Boko Haram is threatening the country. Security is important and our constitution should not be violated. Those responsible should be brought to book. A lot of murder cases have not been resolved, including that of Bola Ige and Rewane. The police should be up and doing. If they have problems, they should voice it out, in terms of reward and training and retraining. Now, only the Army is trusted. But Army is for the protection of territorial integrity of the country. I am happy for Jonathan. I have been part of the process from his transition from Vice President to Acting President. We will continue to advice, pray and criticise him where necessary.
‘The kind of leadership Nigeria needs’
HE issue of leading Nigeria to her Promised Land is a task for all, therefore the commitment towards this drive must start from individual homes, workplaces and other areas
• Niger State Governor Dr Babangida Aliyu addressing the Minister of State, Ministry for Niger Delta, Hajiya Zainab Kutchi during her visit to the governor in Minna recently.
By Adegunle Olugbamila
where Nigerians take up leadership roles.” The above was suggested by Professor Anthony Oguntoye of the Department of Educational Transformation, University of Lagos, Akoka. It was as part of a lecture entitled: ‘Transformative Leadership in Public Administration: Towards Result-Oriented Governance.’ It was held at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) Otto/Ijanikin. Oguntoye, who identified qualities of a good leader as including patience, bridge building, purposefulness and being a careful listener, said that unlike naked power wielding, a leader must see himself as inseparable from people’s yearnings and aspirations and must determine the most appropriate behaviour in dealing with them. He said: “Leadership concerns itself with achieving results through people. Thus, the leader asks the question: what must I do to lead the people to whom I am responsible? The former provost of MOCOPED recommended transformational leadership for Nigeria, noting that the nation needed to bail herself out of squalor and bad governance and regain her position as the once Gi-
ant of Africa. “Transformational leadership,” he noted, “is the one which causes a change in individuals and social system. It creates valuable and positive changes in the followers and it enhances the motivation, morale and performance of followers. A transformational leader must understand the kind of masses he leads. “This is so because the leader offers followers something more than just working for self gains. The leader transforms and motivates through his idealised influence, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration. Leaders challenge followers to challenge the status-quo to alter the environment to support being successful.” He further added: “The public service organization must value workers. This will make them feel committed to the organisation. They will feel comfortable to take initiatives to apply skills and experiences in new ways to enhance their job performances. “Public service organization must have relatively egalitarian, nonbureaucratic culture; the structure that promotes the exchange of ideas and welcomes constructive challenges to the usual way of doing things will improve productivity. There is need to separate the enabling elements of bureaucracy.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
The debt alarm is heard
Small banks, big pay Our banks don’t measure up even in Africa, but their bosses are the highest paid
EAD they win, tail they win. That is the situation in the banking and high end financial services sector. But let us note that this is not a peculiarly Nigerian banker’s art. This (mis)behaviour seems to permeate the entire money world where other people’s cash is aplenty. For instance, in the heat of the global economic meltdown a few years back when the big money institutions in the United States were in serious crisis, their executives had been invited to Washington to discuss possible bailout plans with the treasury secretary and alas, they had all travelled like oil sheiks – chartered jets, first class and all. Of course Americans were scandalised and they took umbrage to no end. That seemingly insignificant act naturally, almost impaired
‘True, bankers’ pay is outside the purview of the regulators, but CBN has a responsibility to make sure that bank managers are not reckless and irresponsible; they are not allowed to compensate themselves to the detriment of the banks they run. The current pay in the banks as reported is in dissonance with the state of the banks and cannot be allowed to stand’
their quest for a government bailout. Back home in Nigeria, our top bankers, not known for half measures in matters of self- preservation, seem to be forever on a binge with people’s cash, even when the bottom has come off their banks. It has been recently revealed that Nigerian banks, though not among the Top 10 in Africa; their directors are miles ahead in aspects of wages and perks. According to a recent report, many Nigerian banks pay their directors outrageously far more than the biggest banks in Africa pay. For instance, First Bank of Nigeria Plc paid out to all its directors, a total of N3.7 billion in the year ended 2010 against Standard Bank Group of South Africa, acclaimed to be the biggest and best in Africa, which paid its directors only about N841million. Yet, whilst Standard Bank reported a capital base of N3.74trillion, assets worth of about N30trillion and posted an earning of N248.6billion, First Bank, during the same period, showed a market capitalisation of a mere N448billion and a profit after tax of N33.4billion. If First Bank may be excused for the reason that it is healthy and posts good enough returns to her shareholders, what is to be said for banks like Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, which has been in the doldrums for a few years now and whose board may not be able to say assuredly, which direction the embattled “Big, Strong, Reliable” stallion (as her slogan goes) is galloping to. UBN paid out N764million to her directors last year.
It is incontrovertible that these banks are private concerns and the issue of their remuneration and benefits are the prerogatives of their shareholders, Boards and Management, but a bank is a business like no other. It is basically in the business of keeping custody of depositors’ money which it trades with and makes returns therefrom. This is where the difference, and also, the trouble lie. If the directors of a candy manufacturing outfit for instance, get reckless with its funds and the company fails, consumers will simply switch their choice of candies and competition may even celebrate. But if one bank fails, both consumer, competition and even the man on the streets may go down with it. This is the reason why those running banks cannot be left to operate at their own whims – there is a debilitating vicarious effect on the rest of us. Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) had cause recently to raise eyebrows over the issue of jumbo pay that bank chiefs award themselves but shied from following it through. True, bankers’ pay is outside the purview of the regulators, but CBN has a responsibility to make sure that bank managers are not reckless and irresponsible; they are not allowed to compensate themselves to the detriment of the banks they run. The current pay in the banks as reported is in dissonance with the state of the banks and cannot be allowed to stand.
Quality and quantity •Nigeria needs more and better varsities NCREASING access to university education is one of Nigeria’s most urgent priorities. With a population exceeding 150 million, many of them youths, the country must provide the high-quality education that they need to be properly equipped to make meaningful contributions to national development. It is in this regard that the recent announcement that more private universities will soon emerge on the Nigerian educational landscape is a welcome one. Speaking in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okogie, explained that the measure was aimed at increasing access to tertiary education and enhancing healthy competition in the higher education sub-sector. It is obvious that the current number of universities is simply not enough to meet demand. Every year, more than one million candidates sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) set by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), competing for a little over 100,000 places in 117 federal, state and private universities. Such is the strength of demand that countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and even Ghana have come to Nigeria to aggressively market their higher institutions as viable alternatives to beleaguered Nigerian candidates. Increasing the number of universities available in Nigeria would naturally create more spaces for prospective candidates. It would also enable greater variety, as it would allow for the emergence of specialised universities catering to
identified gaps in the market. As acknowledged drivers of accelerated community development, the new universities would lead to increased commerce, employment and infrastructural development in the areas in which they are located. However, creating more universities should not be done in such a way that standards are compromised. Recent trends seem to indicate that as more universities are set up, the quality of tuition, research and facilities offered in them is markedly worse than what is available at their older counterparts, eventually leading to a general decline in standards. The establishment of private universities has not been commensurate with the production of the manpower required to run them effectively. Qualified academic staff, in particular, are in short supply: their scarcity has caused many new universities to resort to underhand means, such as having ‘ghost lecturers’ on their staff lists, to avoid losing accreditation for their academic programmes. In spite of high fees, some private universities are unable to offer standard lecture theatres, cafeterias and halls of residence. The approval of nine new federal universities by the Federal Government in February exemplifies the problems that can arise when quantity is given greater consideration than quality. The new institutions were given take-off grants of N1.5 billion each and vice-chancellors were announced for them, yet it was subsequently found that the basic question of where they were to be sited had not been fully resolved. In states like Ekiti
and Kogi, the controversy over the location of the new universities has taken a violent turn. The addition of new federal universities has not resolved the long-standing problems facing their older counterparts, that are battling with well-known issues of inadequate funding, insufficient capacity, and widespread indiscipline and corruption. Universities should not be set up for their own sake: they are simply too important to be used to score political points, provide jobs for cronies, or gain cheap popularity. Their establishment should be properly situated in carefully articulated higher-education development policies that are designed to ensure that qualitative improvements are made in direct proportion to numerical increase.
‘However, creating more universities should not be done in such a way that standards are compromised. Recent trends seem to indicate that as more universities are set up, the quality of tuition, research and facilities offered in them is markedly worse than what is available at their older counterparts, eventually leading to a general decline in standards’
S negotiators in the debt-ceiling talks sputtered and raged, the chill reality of an imminent government default crept up Wednesday and made a mockery of their gamesmanship. Two major rating agencies warned that a once-unthinkable downgrade of the nation’s credit rating would be at hand if this crisis was not immediately defused. That finally punctured the careless notion, popularized by Tea Party lawmakers like Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert, that default would be a minor inconvenience. Standard & Poor’s said a downgrade could occur if any required payments were missed, even if bondholders were paid first. Moody’s said a new process for dealing with the debt ceiling was needed. Although the bond markets have yet to be roiled, there are fresh indications that China and other investors are beginning to get nervous. The alarms could not be much louder, but mythmaking is still impeding the desperately needed deal. Many House Republicans persist in acting as though they are doing President Obama a favor by considering a debt-ceiling increase at all, and that in exchange they should get all the spending cuts they want. In fact, the debt ceiling is an artificial method of keeping an eye on borrowing that Congress itself imposed nearly a century ago. The president didn’t “ask” for an increase; he simply reminded Congress that the authority to continue borrowing had run out because of spending already incurred, largely because of wars, the recession, growing entitlement programs and the Bush tax cuts. The rating agencies’ message is that the debt ceiling should never have been used as a vehicle to force cuts in the size and the role of government. The nation’s debt will require long-term reduction. But the fundamental debate about the nature of government cannot be held in a matter of days while the nation’s credit rating hangs in the balance. There is too much pride and politics in the way. Republicansbeganthehostage-takingtoachievetheir ideological goal of shrinking government, resisting all attempts at compromise involving new tax revenues. The White House tried to impress independent voters with its own spending-cut proposals, and to salvage some stimulus measures. The ceiling was never very wise, but until now it has been used only to give Congress a voice in government borrowing, not as a radioactive weapon. Having picked up the weapon, though, neither side has seemed able to set it down. At last, a few senior Republicans have started to realize that the weapon, used in this way, is too powerful to be controlled. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said default would be bad for his party’s “brand” and would allow the president to shift blame for the poor economy onto Republicans. What he really meant, of course, was that default would expose the huge Republican role in creating the economic crisis. Republicans have not only consented to the skyrocketing deficit, they have also blocked any consideration of programs to put Americans back to work, all while blaming high unemployment on President Obama. Mr. McConnell knows such sophistry would be impossible if a default caused the economy to collapse. That is why he has proposed an escape hatch, allowing the debt ceiling to be lifted without required spending cuts as long as all blame falls on Mr. Obama. Though Mr. McConnell’s concern is partisan and parochial, others at the table should seize his idea, or some of the variations being discussed, if they care about the brand of the United States. – New York Times
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
IR: The choice of Senator George Akume representing Benue North West senatorial District as minority leader raised a lot of dust in the Senate. Some PDP senators had insidiously kicked against his choice, some of his colleagues from opposition parties made attempts to reject him. In fact, Senator Chris Ngige also of the ACN stock openly opposed Akume’s choice by writing a protest letter to stop his confirmation. However, the leadership of the ‘majority-minority’ party in the upper chambers (ACN) stood firmly in his support and Akume was confirmed. Akume’s experience in his bid to become the minority leader of the 7th Senate is not different from what transpired in the state where he was forced to dump the PDP for the ACN. In spite of the PDP’s enormous powers in the state as the ruling party, Akume was able to trounce his estranged political ‘godson’, Hon. Terngu Tsegba to return to the hallowed Senate chambers for the second time. Hence Akume’s triumph both at home and in the Senate have confirmed the goodwill and popularity he enjoys amongst his people and political associates. It is pertinent to state that the former governor raised the stakes of opposition politics in the state in the last general elections. In less than six months to the elections, Akume alongside some of his political disciples brought Professor Steve Ugbah all the way from the US. Ugbah instantly became a household name and gave Governor Gabriel Suswam the political fight of his life. Before the defection of Akume to the ACN, the PDP had enjoyed unfettered dominance in the state. In fact, after the death of Mr. Jonathan Biam, an ANPP gubernatorial aspirant, Suswam was virtually coasting to
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Now that Akume is minority leader victory unchallenged until Ugbah emerged on the scene. But Akume changed the tide; he popularized what is now widely known as ‘shoo changi’the game had changed in the state. Now, the question that is agitating the minds of many is what kind of opposition politician Akume would be. Can he fit the bill? Will he be able to transform into an opposition leader that could match anti-peoples policies and laws initiated by a ‘monster’ like PDP? As a PDP senator, Akume was criti-
cized for being largely anonymous. Most commentators carpeted the strong man of Benue politics for keeping sealed lips in the upper house even when matters of national interest were discussed on the floor. As opposition leader, Akume is the mouthpiece of the down trodden; the oppressed; the hopeless and the hapless citizens. As the ACN leader, he represents the most educated and critical part of Nigeria- the south west. In Benue, he represents the heart of Tiv land (Benue North West)
and as the foremost opposition leader in the country, Akume has stepped into the shoes of the Great Awo and is carrying on his shoulders the burden of all Nigerians who crave for good leaders and good governance that has unfortunately eluded the nation for many years. Therefore, it is time for Akume to show the stuff he is made of; for him to light the matches and let the fire of opposition rage on in the interest of the common man. People around him say he is a good man, humble, non-
The burden of diabetes mellitus
IR: The incidence and prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus is increasing at an alarming proportion especially in developing countries. Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder that results from the deficiency of a hormone called insulin which is produced by the human pancreas. It is a disease which is assuming an epidemic proportion worldwide. Presently, about 240 million people worldwide are said to be suffering from the disease and this figure is projected to get to about 340 million by the year 2030. Overall, it is estimated that eight to 10% of people over 50 years worldwide have diabetes and 40% will die from kidney disease and 60% from cardiovascular causes. In Nigeria, the national prevalence
of diabetes mellitus is put at about 2.2% and this continues to be on the increase. Many factors are responsible for this increase. With increasing urbanization, many people are adopting unhealthy western lifestyle with reduced physical activity, sedentary lifestyle and excessive intake of calories. This contributes to obesity which is a risk factor for development of Diabetes Mellitus. The symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus include polyuria or passage of excessive urine, polydypsia or excessive thirst, polyphagia or excessive eating and weight loss. It is a chronic illness and can lead to serious complications if not well managed. This includes kidney failure for which it is the leading cause, blindness, amputation of limbs, stroke, cardiac dis-
ease, erectile dysfunction amongst others. Indeed Diabetes Mellitus is the highest non-communicable disease cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa. Most worrisome is the fact that many people with diabetes do not know that they have the disease. Those that know do not take their medications and those who take their medications do not control their disease adequately thereby putting themselves at risk of developing the complications of diabetes. With the increasing incidence and prevalence of Diabetes, efforts must be put in place to address the situation. Adequate public enlightenment campaign must be mounted in the mass media, to educate people to adopt healthy lifestyles so as to reduce the risk of developing obesity
Open letter to the British High Commissioner
IR: I have the good fortune – as many would see it - of being a citizen of both Nigeria and the UK. For the last 20 years or so I have chosen to live in Nigeria, although I travel to the UK from time to time for professional as well as personal reasons. Almost 10 years ago I married my wife, Juliet Ezenwa, the artist and a Nigerian citizen. Shortly after our marriage she applied for, and received, a sixmonth visa to travel to the UK but was unable to use it for reasons which she explained in her three subsequent visa applications, the most recent being just last month. On each of these occasions she was denied a visa, apparently because it was thought that she might ab-
violent and God fearing. But these attributes, as good as they are, cannot translate into good governance and provision of social amenities for the people unless it is matched with action. Akume has to speak out. He cannot remain in the background while things go sour in the upper legislative chambers. The ante of legislative democracy must be stepped up now. Akume, cannot afford to fail because a preponderant population of the youth in the country is looking up to him to give the PDP objective and robust opposition that would engender good governance and enactment of proactive laws that would be beneficial to the common man. Let Akume be the reference point for representative democracy to compliment the excellent work ACN governors are doing in their respective states. • Philip Nyam Abuja.
scond and thereby become a burden on the state, and this despite the fact that we have our home here and have no desire to go and live in the UK, at least in the foreseeable future. On those three previous occasions she had been invited by family, including my mother, a British citizen who lives in the UK and had undertaken to host her for the duration of her stay. However, on this last occasion she was also invited by the King’s Theatre in Portsmouth, which invited her to hold an exhibition of her paintings from 29 July to 11 August 2011, the details of which are with you, including a letter from the director. I am now at a loss as to what to do. Neither the Germans nor the Italians shared your view about her likely intentions when they granted
her visas to travel to their countries, both times in connection with her art, and yet she cannot travel to her husband’s country for a similar activity. I know perfectly well that foreigners married to British citizens do not automatically qualify for British citizenship, and I know how difficult it can be for British citizens to have their wives join them in their own country, but it seems an abrogation of a fundamental human right that the wife of a British citizen is barred from travelling to her husband’s country for a specific period of time in pursuit of her legitimate business. I feel insulted on my own account and also on hers. Many others have written over the years about the cavalier treat-
ment meted out to Nigerians by the British High Commission and I know exactly what they mean. The pity, of course, is that successive Nigerian governments have never stood up for own their citizens, which is why other countries treat them with the contempt they do. Indeed, I witnessed it myself some time ago when I ran into a problem in neighbouring Togo with only my Nigerian passport to hand but that is a matter for Nigerians to solve. As regards my wife, by all means continue denying her what seems to me her legitimate right but I can at least voice my sense of outrage that she – and, by extension, myself also - should be treated in this despicable manner. • Adewale Maja-Pearce Lagos.
and subsequently Diabetes Mellitus. People should exercise regularly, cut down on excess calories and fatty foods. Adequate intake of vegetables and fresh fruits should also be encouraged. Adequate screening facilities and centres must be put in place for early detection of diabetes, and patients with the symptoms of diabetes should see a doctor for a blood sugar test and adequate management. Medications for the treatment of diabetes should be made more affordable and easily accessible and patients advised to take their medications and see a doctor regularly for periodic checkups. All adults above 45 years old should have a blood sugar test with a repeat every three years, and more frequently if they have other risk factors like hypertension, obesity, family history of diabetes or a previous history of big babies in women. Adequate budgetary allocation should be allocated to the health sector, medications like insulin and oral hypoglycaemic drugs should be subsidized and included in the National Health Insurance Scheme. Diagnostics centres should be established for the laboratory management of diabetes, training and retraining of health personnel involved in diabetes care and all emergency centres provided with a glucose testing machine or glucometer to adequately cater for patients with diabetic emergencies. With all this measures put in place, the excessive morbidity and mortality from diabetes will be reduced, and the burden imposed by the disease will be ameliorated. • Dr. Bernard Unadike University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo.
THE NATION TUESDAY,JULY 19, 2011
OKO Haram is the latest evidence of the Nigerian power elite’s dirty underbelly. These elite have eaten sour grapes. So, the teeth of the citizen are set on edge. These elite have sowed the wind. So, their innocent people are fated to reaping the whirlwind. That is all there is to the latest tremor in Nigeria’s North East. But could it trigger a tsunami that could fulfil America’s predicted
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Boko Haram: a dirty elite underbelly
Armageddon of 2015 – a scant four years away? That depends on how it is handled. But the omens are not very good, given the current play of events. Still, anyone with a grim sense of humour would nod in morbid approval that there is indeed a hefty price to pay for perceived power rascality. In an unprecedented move, even by Nigeria’s volatile power politics, a rogue group is climbing the moral high horse and dishing out reported “death sentences” to power bluebloods – a sitting governor and two former governors! It is the political equivalent of the falcon not hearing the falconer, to paraphrase William Butler Yeats, that famous Irish poet. Indeed, things are falling apart and mere anarchy is set to be loosed upon the world! According to the Saturday Tribune lead story of July 16, Boko Haram has placed Alhaji Isa Yuguda, sitting governor of Bauchi State, Senator Alli Modu Sheriff, former governor of Borno State, which capital, Maiduguri Boko Haram operates from, and Senator Danjuma Goje, former governor of Gombe State, as well as some unnamed Emirs on “death list”. Given the public apologies it had earlier extracted from these governors, the antediluvian philosophy it espouses, the way it has planted terror in the heart of Maiduguri and is on the way to making Borno State and its catchment areas ungovernable, the way even the Federal Government appears to be trembling before Its Fearful Majesty, Boko Haram, and the way the Mighty Military reacts like some demented Samson to its hit-and-run tactics, it is clear the Boko Haram Anarchist Manifesto is a threat to all. It must be contained fast; but in the right way. But handling the menace right has to issue from the correct analysis of the problem. That would be going right into its roots, without shutting out any possible lead. So, are the three governors the Judas Boko Haram are painting
“The message of the menace of Boko Haram is simple though grim: Nigeria, restructure or die! Is anyone listening?”
ILL somebody please step forward to tell us what is going on with our national currency – the naira? No word has yet been issued – at least officially – that the naira has been devalued. But then at last week rate of N162 or thereabout to the dollar –from about N152 which it sold barely a fortnight ago – that is some nearly 10 percent loss in value, the matter has since gone beyond denial – the naira is on a free-fall. For a nation which imports virtually every item it consumes, and gives nothing back by way of exports, it is sheer nonsense to pretend that the fate of the currency is not related to the well-being of the people. Ironically, just as major economic actors are preoccupied with how to resolve the minimum wage conundrum, the devaluation force – which has the potential to be as injurious to workers’ welfare as the wage issue, may have been unleashed surreptitiously without as much as a whimper. How come the naira suddenly came under such heavy pressure hence battering in recent weeks? For answers, we go to the pressure point – the prescriptions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its devaluation. I’m reminded of an African proverb in which an old witch was said to have crowed all night only for the dawn to herald the death of a child in the neighbourhood; no one need asking the question of whodunit. Now, there can be no questions as to who is calling the shots. Of course, the question has never been sufficiently answered as to why a nation whose sole export product is denominated in dollars – would require the pill of devaluation. As it was in the past – so it is even now: is the big idea about boosting non-existent export potentials, or for the fun of implementing a jaded economic orthodoxy even at the risk of impoverishing more citizens and putting more of the diminishing stock of local firms out of business? We need to dwell a bit on the perennially recycled fraud of market determinism – in an environment of rigid and inflexible supply as forex is in these parts. I can’t help asking the simple question each time the issue pops up: when will this farce stop? Isn’t it elementary economics that when supply of anything is inelastic – as it is with the foreign exchange situation, to look in the direction of market forces when things tumble out of control is to venture into that convenient zone of unreason and unreality famously acknowledged as mental abdication? Let’s look at the issue this way: the nation’s supply of forex is dependent on the volume and price of crude in the global energy market. Undeniably – the price of crude has been rising. At the moment, we are even said to be doing some 2.3 million barrels daily. Given that the nation exports virtually nothing outside of crude oil, any talk of pressure can only be explained by the insatiable hunger for, and the management (or manipulation) of the foreign exchange situation.
them to be, or are they just structural fall guys, being only the latest faces of the systemic under-development of Nigeria’s North East, even if the “North” had enjoyed federal power for 38 out of 51 years of Nigeria’s flag independence? Or indeed, is Boko Haram a mere ruse to hide sponsored insurrection, by some Northern malcontents as alleged by some figures, against President Goodluck Jonathan’s panNigeria presidential win, a fallout from the discontent over the April elections, in the like of the Zamfara Ahmed Yerima’s peaceful launch of the Sharia penal code, to undermine the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency? If the sponsored insurrection theory is true, then it would be some relief in a way, since the cause of the rebellion could be seen to be rather artificial, and is therefore likely to peter out like Yerima’s political Sharia. But that does not make the violence any less condemnable. Neither does it make it any less urgent for the federal government to swiftly apprehend those behind it and bring them to justice. But it would appear the cause is far deeper than that, even if some politicians could hide behind it to settle political scores. There is a disturbing school of thought that posits that the Boko Haram, not unlike the Niger Delta MEND, is election muscling turned awry. This school has even gone as far as frontally accusing a former governor of using Taliban thugs, now morphed into Boko Haram, to corral power and later dumped them by reneging on alleged sweet promises, allegedly taunting them to go jump into Lake Chad and get drowned! But why would a set of citizens be merry election canon fodders, for a Promised Land that is not at all assured? Alhaji Kashim Shettima, sitting governor of Borno State, has put his fingers on the problem: mass hunger and anger, mass unemployment, bad infrastructure, mass illiteracy and ignorance and general hopelessness. The governor added that Nigeria’s North East is part of the
Policy Sanya Oni email@example.com 08051101841
The naira amok Now, let’s look at the possible sources of the hunger said to have created the pressure on the naira. Most prominent of all is the anarchy set upon the market by the colony of speculators for whom currency speculation is brisk business. Here one talks of currency racketeers who seems to have staged a dramatic return after a long spell when the parallel and the official rates narrowed. Their allies in and out of the production orbit are well known enough. Their gains are most assuredly, our pains! But there is yet another class of speculators – the big boys of high finance. While the name of the game is arbitrage, the rules of the game are basically the same. The difference is that the players are the corporate types – the same unscrupulous players of yesterday that nearly brought the roofs down on our heads. They make their billions per second just by hoarding and selling forex – as regulators take their fancy trips to Rip Van Winkle dreamland! They are back in the business of round-tripping while the economy bleeds. However, there is yet another source of pressure – an unlikely one at that – to explain the current battering that the naira has suffered. It is no other than the pressure from the federation account –fuelled by the latest public sector wage demands. To some, the issue may sound academic – to me it is not. Isn’t it self-evident that a devalued naira means more money for the three tiers of government to spend? Can there be argument that for the same amount of dollar inflow into the federally distributable pool, the three tiers of government – courtesy of a devalued naira – can count on more sacks of naira to take back to their various capitals? Does it not seem a better pill to swallow after the talk of subsidy removal which is not only unsellable– but seems dead on arrival? Now we know – the dummy sold by the governors – linking the payment of the new wages to removal of petroleum subsidies – was actually a decoy; the real McCoy is the devaluation pill! And no one has yet announced – let alone acknowledged – its arrival!
laggard “Savannah-Sudan”, a grim tract of poverty and hopelessness that included Chad Republic, eastern tract of Niger Republic, Northern Cameroon and the Darfur Region of the recently fissured Republic of Sudan. The governor says the World Bank has declared that region one of the poorest in the world. But why would North East Nigeria, vicarious beneficiary of power for 38 of Nigeria’s 51 years of independence, fall into the same developmental category with the ever warring Chad, The Sudan and Niger, known to be one of the most politically unstable areas in the world? That appears the painful paradox of Nigeria’s power game:
long bouts of power hardly translate into development for the host population – not with the power elite gorging themselves silly on the so-called national cake. Thirty eight years later, Boko Haram stares everyone in the face! But if you think political power translating into stagnation and lack of development is a northern monopoly, consider how the South West fared under the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency. President Obasanjo once blithely dismissed Lagos, former federal capital and South West’s economic crown jewel, as a jungle! After eight years, all Obasanjo bequeathed the South West was some illusory “mainstream”. If you are not there, he queried on the hustings before the April elections, how can you know how it is shared? The voters voted with their feet and threw out Obasanjo and his mainstream! It is no wonder then that after just eight years, the new leaders of the South West are brainstorming over a developmental agenda independent of the federal government to get their Yoruba homeland working again! President Goodluck Jonathan, even if he did not go for second term, would have spent six years in power by 2015. Would that have translated into groundbreaking development for all – or would it, for the umpteenth time, be vicarious feel of power by his South-South people and little else? Those are the posers the Boko Haram crisis should pose in the minds of Nigerian power players, particularly those still hoping to have a shot at the presidency of Nigeria as it is presently structured. If political power continues to translate into frustration and hopelessness, and seldom into happiness and prosperity for the people (from what the Northern and South West experience has shown), it is not only common sense to pause and have some rethink? If the leaders are recklessly wayward, why shouldn’t the polity come up with adequate (read harsh) legislation to take care of those excesses? And if it is the system that is fatally flawed, why can’t Nigeria be restructured along development lines? Either way, the message of the menace of Boko Haram is simple though grim: Nigeria, restructure or die! Is anyone listening?
Has labour in particular bothered about the uncanny coincidence between its resolve to actualise the payment of the new minimum wage and the fate that has befallen the naira of late? Didn’t the powerful cartel of governors pretend to allow labour to cart to cart home the trophy after winning the minimum wage war? Why should anyone now consider denying the powerful governors the sweet victory of their manoeuvre this time? It should be a sobering lesson for labour on the illusion of victory. They may have won the battle over the minimum wage; it is increasingly hard to see the ultimate victory in the war of survival! Who are the losers? Answer is everyone. The ordinary employees faced with dire prospects of declining real incomes; the manufacturers – faced with the reality of higher costs for raw materials and spares; the rest of the citizens, already hemmed in by uncontrolled inflation – not least the larger economy that might be further constricted. So, what’s my idea of justice for all? It starts with recognising that decent living wages isn’t exactly the sweet poison that the government is making out; on the other hand, paying living wages for a miniscule fraction of the population is no guarantee for the sweet life that labour claims to desire for all. Clearly, the challenge is how to make the cake bigger to cater for the interest of everyone. It starts with getting the nation back to work. That seems the surest way to bring strength to the naira.
‘So, what’s my idea of justice for all? It starts with recognising that decent living wages isn’t exactly the sweet poison that the government is making out; on the other hand, paying living wages for a miniscule fraction of the population is no guarantee for the sweet life that labour claims to desire for all. Clearly, the challenge is how to make the cake bigger to cater for the interest of everyone. It starts with getting the nation back to work. That seems the surest way to bring strength to the naira’
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
S people begin to come to terms with the reality of the havocs inflicted by the heavy downpour that recently troubled Lagos and other parts of the country, it is important to reflect on some of the major fallouts of the tragic episode. It is quite distressing and unbelievable that people will want to play politics with such a natural disaster that brought so much pain to the people. It amounts to insensitivity and sheer ignorance on the part of any individual, group or organisation to attempt to score contemptible political points with an event like flooding which is a global phenomenon that has not spared even the most advanced nations of the world. For the education of those who are not aware, in the last two months, more than 36 million people are reported to have been affected by deadly floods in China while nearly 3,000 businesses were being disrupted and crops destroyed, pushing up food prices. The China flooding, the worst the country has experienced since 1955, has already left about 170 people missing and over 239 dead. The flooding was caused by heavy rain that inundated portions of 12 provinces, leaving other provinces still suffering prolonged drought, and with direct economic losses of nearly US$6.5 billion. By June 9, the floods were estimated to have destroyed nearly 7,500 houses and submerged 255,000 hectares (630,000 acres) of farmland, causing direct losses of 4.92 billion Yuan (US$760 million, •745 million) In Australia, at least 72 people are missing after flash floods which have already claimed eight lives. The tropical storms began in November last year, triggering the worst flooding in the Australian state of Queensland in decades. Some 200,000 people have been affected across Queensland. The flooding has been so widespread that while some communities are still bracing themselves for the worst, in others, the clean-up is well under way. The enduring floods in Queensland have washed away roads and railways, destroyed crops and brought the coal indus-
Lagos rain of fury: matters arising By Tayo Ogunbiyi try to a near standstill. The state premier has estimated that the price of rebuilding homes, businesses and infrastructure, coupled with economic losses, could exceed A$5bn (£3bn). In the American state of Arkansas, more than a million acres of farmland was submerged by spring floods in early May 2011. Preliminary research by the Arkansas Farm Bureau indicated that the damage caused by the floods could exceed $500 million. Between Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi, a total of nearly 3 million acres had been inundated. Affected crops included wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice, the last crop likely to be the hardest hit. The preceding breakdown is vital to our understanding of the global nature of flooding and why it is only a reckless and un-informed mind that will gamble to politicise the Lagos rain of terror. While attempting to explain the rain from a professional and more methodical perspective, an Assistant Director in the Nigeria Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research , Dr. Regina Folorunsho disclosed that the 264-millimetre rainfall recorded in Lagos is the volume expected for one full month. In other words, the exact amount of rain that fell on that fateful Sunday was the exact amount that was meant for one month. Consequently, she submitted that there was no way anyone could have prepared for such amount of rainfall in a day. If not for the proactive measures which the Lagos State government has been taking with regards to the environment in the last 12 years, it is apparent that we would have had on our hands a very overwhelm-
ing tragedy. It is not every city of the world that survives over 17 hours torrential rainfall and still has its banks, industries and other institutions open for business the following day. This is the outcome of the amount of work that the state government has done in sanitizing the environment in recent time. Ironically, when the state government started its environmental regeneration programme, which led to strict enforcement of regulations that had been evaded for long, the same group of people that are now employing the flooding incidence to cause mischief were quite vocal in their condemnation of the programme. When the state government was converting hitherto abandoned loops into parks and gardens, they were the ones that thundered: ‘is it flowers we will eat’. Moments of natural disasters like it was experienced in Lagos last Sunday offer unique opportunity for the people, irrespective of political and religious dissections, to bond together and collectively tackle the misery created by the force of nature. When the United States of America faced, perhaps, its darkest moment in the wake of the Al-Qaeda assault, its people were united in forging a common front against global terrorism. No wonder President Obama of the Democratic Party was able to finish what former President George Bush of the Republican Party started when he finally nailed Osama Bin Laden. This is a clear demonstration of the fact that human lives are too precious to play politics with. At a time like this what we need in Lagos is constructive and intelligent inputs that will help the forward looking government
that is in place to steer the state’s ship in the right direction. The Fashola administration has never prided itself of having the monopoly of knowledge with regards to finding the right solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the state. It has therefore consistently thrown its doors open to divergent opinions and views from various sources. In fact, the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of public functionaries including members of the State Executive Council, Local Government chairmen, Permanent Secretaries, Police Commissioner, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers ( DPOs), have become public properties in order to make them more accessible to members of the public who have meaningful contributions to make to governance in the state. The most vital need of Lagos today is for it to be accorded a special status and everyone that genuinely love the state must stand up to be counted in the struggle to make this a reality. • Ogunbiyi is of the Features Unit, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja
‘At a time like this what we need in Lagos is constructive and intelligent inputs that will help the forward looking government that is in place to steer the state’s ship in the right direction. The Fashola administration has never prided itself of having the monopoly of knowledge with regards to finding the right solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the state’
The return of Okonjo-Iweala
HE title of this piece, which is also a question, is what I had expected the Nigerian media to have attempted to analyze in its editorial and op-ed pages since it became public knowledge that our own “Lady Wonder” of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, would be coming back as the country’s Finance Minister. Although eminently qualified any day to head the country’s finance portfolio, I wonder why the Nigerian elite, the financial community, and the media are not puzzled, or at the very least curious, about her second coming. Methinks this palpable silence from all segments of society from the media to the financial communities about this second coming may not be unconnected with what they thought was a marvelous job she did in her first assignment, most especially in respect to the $18 billion payment to the Paris Club, which may very well have been a fraud. It went largely unnoticed by society’s watchdog because politics was too important than anything then. And still is. The developed countries of Europe and North America are experiencing serious financial hemorrhage. We should be under no illusion that leaders of these countries must find new monies from somewhere, anywhere, to stop the bleeding in order to prevent the “way of life” of their people from further deteriorating. The underdeveloped countries and those other countries whose financial houses are porous, disorganized and therefore vulnerable are going to be victims of the West’s scavenging for new funds. We should remember that Spain had already taken a hit from these global financial behemoths of the World Bank and IMF. Greece is reeling from under their yoke and they’re still not through with her. Other countries would soon follow and Nigeria may not be too far in line. Let’s recall that a top official of either the IMF or the World Bank was in Nigeria not too long ago. In his interaction with the media, he subtly hinted – more in a roundabout way that Nigeria’s currency is still over-valued. Our Central Bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi got the coded mes-
By Femi Odere sage after this interview and warned that currency devaluation is not going to happen and that they should not even think about it. A few other Nigerians who knew when a stage was being set for currency devaluation when they saw one, also cried foul. This top official quickly retracted his statement and hurriedly left town with his tail between his legs. You would think that having read the lips of our Central Bank governor and some key stakeholders, the matter should have been rested. But not when the global “financial policemen” had already set their radar on Nigeria that she ought to revalue her currency. Why not? They figure that Nigeria have so much money than she really knows what to do with it except to engage in constant squander and waste. They might have also concluded that since her leaders are so gullible, having foolishly paid $18 billion to members of the Paris Club—a club in which a member’s net worth is probably greater than our national budget—can be jacked around anyway. More so, in our confused state, we’re more willing to please outsiders than ourselves. They probably may have decided that Nigeria, in her perpetually confused nature, just cannot be allowed to be stepping all over the carefully laid global financial rug just because she thinks she has cash. She has to be guarded like a little child that she is, they might have reasoned. Nigeria must be led by the hand before she injures herself and muddle up the global financial arrangement as well. Since IMF and the World Bank are bent on putting Nigeria on notice because once a hint is dropped concerning their intention, there’s no going back. But the problem was the messenger who came to deliver the hint that our currency still has a “chip over its shoulder.” So they had to look for someone who looks like us and knows how to “bring us down” not only to deliver the message but also see to actualizing currency devaluation.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala may have been that perfect fit for the hatchet job more so since her pedigree is already very intimidating and against the backdrop of a president that has proven to be very weak. Out of pure sentiment and for her ability to dazzle our equally mostly gullible legislators with financial terms and technicalities, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is still very much loved. Otherwise, I don’t know why she could not have been put under close scrutiny this second time and her judgment called to question in the aftermath of that so-called $18 billion debt relief that Nigerians, unknowingly, are still intricately tied to the financial apron strings of the members of the Paris Club. Her second coming to take charge of Nigeria’s finance portfolio is probably the result of a carefully orchestrated, high-wire international politics by those players whose recommendations and authority, quite frankly, even our president cannot ignore. They tell us who they want to keep watch our financial gate and we have not much choice in the matter. But we think we do. Or they create the illusion that we do. Recall also her statement during her confirmation hearing when she was asked of her opinion on currency devaluation that “If we should devalue our currency, this is not the time to think about it,” or something to that effect. Translation: I will let you know “when” and not “if” Nigeria should devalue because my unstated primary brief, with my “hand-picked economic team,” is to “chart and direct the economy” of Nigeria into the waiting hands of the international financial system, in which the ultimate goal is currency devaluation. You will also recall President Goodluck Jonathan’s warning at the commissioning of the state-of-the-art pharmaceutical plant of the multinational May & Baker Pharmaceutical company at Sango Ota, that Nigerians should brace up for economic tough times ahead. But he did not tell us the nature and the dosage of the tough economic times we should expect because of what the ruthlessly erudite Tatalo Alamu called his “naïve optimism” to transform the country. He has been
sold a dummy that the only way to bring about his transformation agenda is some tough economic measures, and he believed them. It’s probably a safe bet that President Jonathan is genuinely concerned about the pathetic state of the country and would like to do something about it. But he has equally demonstrated that he is already overwhelmed and does not seem to have the required gut to fundamentally shift and subvert the dominant national paradigm to a different, progress-enhance and result-oriented direction. Chances are he’s probably going to leave Nigeria in a worse shape than he met it because providence catapulted the man right from the backwater – both literally and figuratively – of Otuoke, via the president of Nigeria, into a very complex and ruthless global arena he never envisaged, let alone prepared for. Therefore, the missing puzzle to the actualization of another currency devaluation has been found with Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala becoming our Finance Minister. So let the show begin in earnest. But I hope Nigerians would have the courage to hand Ngozi and her economic team a different script than the one she was given before she left Washington D.C; a new script that would truly transform them into a “Better and Rewarding Future (BRF).” • Femi Odere is a US-based media practitioner.
‘But he has equally demonstrated that he is already overwhelmed and does not seem to have the required gut to fundamentally shift and subvert the dominant national paradigm to a different, progress-enhance and result-oriented direction’
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes *Real Estate
Row over Lagos Land Use Charge •Experts: Levy is too high •It has come to stay, says govt The Lagos State Government introduced the Land Use Charge to generate funds for development. Intended to be a single property charge replacing all other state and local governments’ taxes on real estate property, the levy has drawn harsh criticisms from experts, who are grumbling that it is expensive, high handed and people, rather than process, driven. The government does not agree.OKWY IROEGBU reports.
•Victoria Island Mall Plaza, Lagos.
HEN the Federal Government sus pended the Lagos State local gov ernment fund in 2002, the then Governor Bola Tinubu administration knew it was time to look inwards to keep things going. It devised means of raising Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to meet development needs. When Governor Babatunde Fashola took over in 2007, he followed that path. In his first term, Fashola introduced the Land Use
PHOTO: OKWY IROEGBU
Charge, which is a tax levied on properties. The charge has over time been criticised by stakeholders in the property sector, who perceive it as “expensive” and unsuitable. Is the charge as bad as it is being painted? What is it all about? According to the charge, where the owner is not in possession of the property, the law authorises the collecting authority to appoint the occupier, who is usually the
tenant, to be assessed and be made to pay the tax. The tenant in turn is also authorised by the charge to offset such a payment made under this law, from money that may be due from the tenant to the owner of the property. In a forum organised by the International Real Estate Federation, Nigeria Chapter, participants criticised the gov•Continued on page 26
•Stakeholders okay Form •How buildings affect our •Mimiko calls for implementation of code to avert building collapse Technology for affordable housing health, by architects - PAGE 26
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
How buildings affect our health, by architects
EMALE architects have exam ined the relationship between human beings and the houses that they inhabit as well as the relationship between buildings and the natural environment. In a paper delivered at their 2011 BGM and Conference held in Lagos on Friday entitled: The potential impact of energy flow through building materials in achieving sustainable architecture, Chairman, Female Architects of Nigeria (FAN), Mrs Orbi EdozieIghofose, said a sustainable society restores, preserves, and enhances nature and culture for the benefit of all life, present and future. She regretted that today’s society is seriously degrading the environment, thereby making it unsustainable. Citing several authorities, she contended that the shelter we put our bodies could make it sick or healthy. She said: “What is actually critical is that we have lost conscious of the fact that the body requires direct nutrition from the sun and earth properly harnessed by natural habitat. ‘’If these direct nutrients are not received by the body placed in an enclosure, then sustainability in architecture is lost and we cannot discountenance the need in architecture to create healthy buildings as basics for creating a healthy living environment.” Mrs Edozie-Ighofose maintained that today’s architecture needs to tackle what gives life to individuals in space and how it can be maintained. She regretted that some building materials used in modern building has, unfortunately, reduced the flow of energies in our homes.
•Some female architects at the event By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
When our body lacks the balance of these energies, we are weakened and the weakest part of the body becomes diseased with all kinds of illness, she said. Driving home her point, the FAN chairman stated that from her investigations, architects and designers of buildings manages 75 per cent of what constitutes health to modern person and our number one cause of ill-health is our enclosures.
PHOTO: OKWY IROEGBU
However, she argued that modern architecture in solving the problem have devised cross ventilation, air-conditioning, electric heating, planting vegetation around buildings, courtyard design concepts. Others, she mentioned, are underground shelter, solar building, green architecture and eco architecture. She argued that they may be judged as good concept, but it must have the energy flow for the occupant in space to be sustained. She
called on her colleagues to provide shelter that would allow the physical body to acquire direct energy from the environment as it does in its natural setting. She maintained that sustainable architecture can only be achieved when edifices are built to allow the occupiers to enjoy the energies of health from the environment. In another paper: “Green architecture: regeneration of biophilic architectural concepts and psychosocial values in building design,” a
lecturer in the Department of Architecture, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, (ESUT), Enugu State, Rita Obiozo, observed that occupants of built environment do not want to work, play, eat or sleep in a functional building but rather they desire to be inspired, invigorated, comforted and reassured by their surroundings. On what can pass for an assuring environment, she said placing trees next to freeways and roads, and having roads pass through and by green areas, for instance, reduces driver stress as measured by blood pressure, heart rate and sympathetic nervous system changes. In addition to physical health improvements, Obiozo said there is considerable evidence to suggest that psychological health is enhanced when a person views flora and fauna. According to her, buildings and spaces affect our psyche as well as our bodies. They can be inspiring and supportive of daily activities, or they can deplete the spirits and undermine the best intentions of the designer. She stressed that positively experienced, psychologically healthy buildings and spaces have a host of features that distinguish them from less enjoyable buildings. Furthermore, she said buildings and spaces with high psychosocial value are designed and organised around basic human needs with connections to nature and the mind, adding that living and working in such an environment guarantees greater efficiency and effectiveness to productivity.
Row over Lagos Land Use Charge •Continued from page 25
ernment, calling for a review or outright cancellation of the charge. A surveyor, Chudi Ubosi, in a paper, entitled: “Property taxation in Nigeria – Perspectives from an estate surveyor and valuer,” observed that tax rates demanded by the governments are often in the very high percentages, and can almost be regarded as punitive. He cited the regularisation of title charge for Federal Government property purchasers in the state and the 15 per cent consent fees, which he argued is a disincentive to real estate transactions. He said: “High property taxes have been known to be a major disincentive to development and even transfer. This is obvious from our experiences with property development, particularly in Lagos State with reference to most of the Federal Government properties sold. “Most of the purchasers have been unable to proceed with redevelopment for the simple reason of some of the high taxes being demanded of them before construction can commence.” Ubosi said another major challenge with property tax is that of wrong assessment and valuations occasioned by the use of the wrong personnel or staff, who are not professionals and have little or no experience in property valuation. He stated that the Estate Surveyor and Valuer, who should be involved in these valuations, are excluded and wrong professionals as well as wrong methods of valuation are adopted. The Managing Director, UACN Property Development Company Plc, Hakeem Ogunniran, advised the government to look at its tax bracket critically. “There are a lot of people outside the tax bracket and in Lagos, less than 10 per cent
of the properties are perfected because it is expensive, high handed and laborious,” he said, and called for a review of the whole taxation policy, because in his opinion, “it is people driven instead of process driven.” He frowned at the fact that the whole process of obtaining title document requires over 13 steps that cover five different institutions. He urged the government to ensure specific time lags to guarantee efficiency. Also speaking, Osita Okoli, a surveyor, stated that the Land Use Charge is fundamentally faulty and urged his colleagues to work to discourage other states from adopting it. The Vice President, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Foluso Fasolo, stated that the land use charge is the greatest undoing of the housing sector, as it lacks transparency. He said: “All stakeholders should present a common front and all our complaints warehoused to either amend it or discard it completely.” President, Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), Bode Adediji, observed that government policies fail because of poor implementation. He advised government to always take on board professional advisers, arguing that any property transaction that does not involve those who manage over 74 per cent of the properties will fail. President International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), Nigeria, Chief Kola Akomolede, questioned the rationale for the numerous taxes in Lagos and the mode of assessment, which he said, is suspect. He said: “ The Land Use Charge is an annual tax, but it is levied on capital value, an annual tax should be based on annual value. Capital gains tax is based on the sale price instead of the gain as the name
•L-R: Adediji, Akomolede and Abayomi at event last Wednesday.
implies. What is consent fee? This is a tax known only in Nigeria. Taxes are payable on income.” He also questioned the tax that one is expected to pay on consent fee as the seller would have paid capital gains tax which is the appropriate tax on the income (profit) of the property seller. Akomolede queried why stamp duty and registration fees are based on the value of a particular property, noting that it is the same effort that is required to stamp or register a document no matter the figure on it. He said in developed countries, the figure is fixed and also very minimal unlike here
where it runs into millions. He revealed that the various property taxes imposed by the government have made property acquisition very expensive, thereby reducing the supply of housing and raising sale prices and rents. But Executive Chairman, Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue, Tunde Fowler, said the charge cannot be wished away because it has come to stay. Fowler, represented by the Assistant General Manager, Land Use Charge, Lanre Shoetan, said the government has two methods of assessing a property - remote sensing nd physical exami-
‘The Land Use Charge is an annual tax, but it is levied on capital value, an annual tax should be based on annual value. Capital gains tax is based on the sale price instead of the gain as the name implies. What is consent fee? This is a tax known only in Nigeria. Taxes are payable on income’
PHOTO: OKWY IROEGBU
nation, explaining that the accusation of wrong assessment does not arise as the planks for assessment are land use, building area and land area. He said “The Land Use Charge states that every property owner should pay and also makes provision for an occupier to pay and later on seek redress from the owner. The government does not use open market value because it will be a disincentive to property owners as it may turn out to be too expensive.” Fowler noted that the government has put incentives in place to encourage people to pay on time to take advantage of the 15 per cent discount if a bill is paid within 15 days of receiving it. He said the state has established a complaint unit where issues from the public can be addressed. According to him, the criticism of the law is based on incomplete knowledge of its operations since the law cannot be wished away as it is an integral part of the state’s IGR.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT Planners blame flooding on distortion of water courses
•Oresanya (middle) with some top LAWMA staff, at the tree planting ceremony
LAWMA explores urban agric •Underwrites tree planting cost on behalf of groups, families others
HE Managing Director Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Ola Oresanya, has acknowledged the efforts of the state towards urban forestry which has resulted in the planting of three million trees. On urban agriculture, he said the organisation is tending towards urban agriculture where areas known for particular fruits would be encouraged to plant such for the consumption of the people. He stated this at a planting ceremony organised by LAWMA at the Oshodi Transfer Load Station. He observed that the need to plant trees is predicated on the fact that it helps to mitigate flooding. While encouraging the public to plant trees as part of adaptation and mitigation strategies, he noted that it may not be enough to just plant trees without taking time to preserve existing ones from those who may want to cut the them down. The governor reiterated the fact that cutting down trees without permission of the state Ministry of Environment is unlawful with dire consequences. He said: “Cutting of trees threatens our economy, threatens our health and our planet. The exigencies of our time immensely require
By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
that we do more to preserve nature so that we can live in peace.” Oresanya regretted that over four million trees were cut down for infrastructure development of the state. He said that it calls for balancing of the eco-system, he added can only be achieved through the planting of trees. He said tree planting by the state government not only created jobs, but also beautified the environment as otherwise open spaces used by miscreants for defecating was turned into a tourist attraction, thereby making it impossible for people to have water- borne disease and other related disease. He said: “We want to reestablish our traditional nature where areas were named after fruits because of its prevalence to the benefit of the generality of the people”. In a related development, he charged residents on containerisation of their wastes in this season to ensure that their wastes are properly evaluated to save the environment from more flood-
ing. Oresanya advised residents to ensure that their wastes are contained in nylons bags dumped in waste containers for easy evacuation by PSP operators. He said: “Waste not properly handled and dumped in un-authorised places such as gutters, canals, drainages can lead to loss of properties and destroy valuables which could have been avoided if the containerisation system of taking care of waste was adopted.” He assured residents that all resources and manpower have been deployed to minimise the impact of the flood, stressing that the PSP operators have been mandated to work round the clock so that the turn round time can be improved upon. While calling for patience and extra precaution, he appealed to them to always ensure that their waste are properly kept in containers in the confines of their houses till evacuation by the authorised agents. He reiterated the ban on cart pushers and warned that any defaulter would be dealt with, stressing that they are not an alternative to waste evacuation.
HE Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has attrib uted the massive flooding experienced in some major cities to the distortion of natural and designed water courses. It decried the indiscriminate dumping of solid wastes in drainage channels and other infringements on extant planning regulations and warned that if not checked, the cities may witness more destructive floods. The institute was responding to the flooding that affected some parts of Kano, Katsina and Lagos, which led to loss of lives, destruction of properties worth millions of Naira and rendering many families homeless. In a statement signed by the National Public Relations Secretary of the institute, Mr Adebola Owokade, it regretted that despite the early warnings given by relevant authorities (NIMET and NEMA) of excessive magnitude of rainfalls antici-
By Okwy Iroegbu Asst. Editor
pated this year, adequate preparations were not made to the impacts. In their recommendation, the members asked that massive campaign and enlightenment be undertaken by the Federal, states and local governments to effectively sensitise members of the public on the risks related to flooding, especially people who live in areas that are vulnerable and the need to seek alternative accommodation. They also asked for the relocation of people recently displaced during the flood disaster to safe sites for temporary accommodation while the government should relocate people living in areas that are vulnerable or susceptible to flooding in addition to the enforcement of relevant planning laws to ensure that illegal developments are minimised.
NEMA, NOA partner on grassroots disaster awareness
ORRIED by the devasta tion caused by floods in some parts of the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has requested the support of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on grassroots disaster awareness to boost community resilience in reducing losses of lives and property. Director-General NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, made the request when he led the management of the agency on a courtesy visit to NOA in Abuja, stating that with enlightenment on disaster, the problem would reduce. He said: “There is need for the people to be properly informed about disaster risks in their communities to enable them to adopt necessary measures in the prevention and mitigation of disaster. “In the case of the present floods in some parts of the country, the agency had given early warning alerts months ago that enabled some of the affected communities to prepare ahead of the disaster. “It is disappointing when disasters in the country are humanly in-
From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
duced, the nation requires positive changes in the values, attitudes, cultures and orientation of the people. That is why the NOA should assist in creating the awareness, particularly at the grassroots. “The NOA should further assist in sensitising the states and local governments that were yet to establish their own functional emergency management agencies to complement the efforts of the Federal Government in their areas,” he said. Sidi said the agency has identified the need for synergy for comprehensive response to the challenges of disasters has, therefore, developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by relevant stakeholders for proper execution of emergency management in the country. Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Alhaji Idi Farouk, pledged the support of his organisation to collaborate with NEMA towards disaster reduction in the country.
Mimiko calls for implementation of code to avert building collapse
NDO State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has called for the implementation of the National Building Code to reduce the incidence of collapsed buildings that has claimed many lives and properties in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country. Mimiko was the Minister for Housing and Urban Development during the second term of President Olusegun Obasanjo when the National Building Code (NBC) was approved as a policy document for the built environment based on the recommendation of the National Council on Works. The governor, who spoke in Akure, the state capital last week during his investiture as the patron of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and Chairman’s Award Night, charged the built environment professionals to follow up the implementation of the code to tackle some of the environmental challenges confronting the country. He said: “If this is done, it will bring an end to building collapse in the country.” Governor Mimiko said his administration has taken up the challenge to transform the state and impact the lives of the people positively through the various projects being embarked on, particularly in education, health and other sectors.
By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
According to him, the plan of the administration is to change the face of Akure to a befitting state capital that is 21st century compliance. This, he said, led to the various urban renewal projects such as the dualisation of Oba Adesida road, construction of modern markets within the city. “By December, watch out, a new Akure is coming,” he said. Mimiko, who commended the Institution for considering him worthy to be their patron because of the performance of his administration in the last two years, charged members of the institution to continue to support the administration in its developmen-
tal projects. He commended the National President of the Institution, Mr Bode Adediji, for giving quality leadership to the institution and his contributions to the built environment sector in the country. President of the institution, Mr Bode Adediji, who conferred the honour on the governor, said the institution considered him fit as a patron of the institution because he is people oriented in his programmes that have transform the state in the past two years. He said the governor contributed tremendously to the built environment while he was the minister for Housing and Urban Development
when the National Building Code was approved by the government and the valuation of all federal properties in the country which was done by members of the institution. According to him, it was in recognition of these achievements that made the institution to consider him fit for the position. He urged the Ondo State members of the institution to position themselves in the scheme of things and together move the state forward. Ondo State Branch Chairman of the institution, Mr. Gboyega Akerele, said the Mimiko administration has touched their lives. He added that almost all the estate surveying and valuation firms in the state have
benefitted from the governmnt. According to him, it was on the these grounds that the Ondo State branch of NIESV approached the national body for an award to governor Mimiko, for which all the stakeholders agreed to. Said he: “This is not just an honour but a well-deserved recognition for our benefactor, Mr Governor. You have touched virtually every aspect of life from health to education, infrastructure and investment to name a few. “The people of the state now have the Caring Heart markets, Mother and Child Hospitals and numerous road projects out of which our professional colleagues have benefited.”
FOTE, others to hold workshop on Climate Change
RIENDS of the Environment (FOTE) in collaboration with the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), GEF/SGP and the LPG Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) will tomorrow at Adeyemi Bero Hall, Lagos State Secretariat Alausa organise a workshop on Climate Change: popularising the use of cooking gas in Nigeria. FOTE has identified clean and efficient energy as a key to mitigating the impact of Climate Change. It said
it is being exacerbated by the cutting of trees as fuel woods with trees acting as carbon sink, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen to the roots of trees binding soil and preventing landslides and erosion as witnessed in some parts of the country. The body regretted that despite the abundance of oil and gas resources, the nation still depends, to a large extent, on traditional energy sources such as fuel wood, charcoal and crop residue for its domestic energy needs, which currently account
for about 55 per cent of the nation’s primary energy requirements. In a statement, the group said it is proposing the awareness creation programme, to support national effort at expanding access of the public, particularly women, to clean energy services for improved living conditions. It argued that various studies showed that despite the economic and environment advantages of cooking with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG or cooking gas) in the
country, its acceptance in many homes are constrained by some challenges. The workshop, according to the statement, is, therefore, a step in the process of creating public awareness and fact-finding interactions with all stakeholders – government, LPG bottlers, consumers, development experts, etc to overcome barriers in the switch from fuel wood to LPG which is sustainable with low-environmental impact.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
‘Flooding can be checked by aggressive tree planting’
AGOS State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has said the proactive measures taken to tame natural disasters have paid off as the trees planted over the years have helped to reduce flooding and its consequential loss in the state. Fashola made this known at this year’s tree planting day celebrated acros the state. The theme of the celebration is A Tree for Life. Governor Fashola, in his keynote address, recalled that, when advocacy for greening and tree planting started, many who did not understand the great challenges that nature had in store, questioned the value of spending money on tree planting and preservation. He said: “While we may all not be able to determine precisely the role played by the trees we planted in limiting the damage and impact of the flood, the truth is that trees help to mitigate flooding and the combination of the strategies for mitigation and adaptation that we have em-
•A form work building under construction in Lekki, Lagos.
Stakeholders hail Form Technology for affordable housing E
XPERTS in the construction sec tor have tipped Form Technol ogy an alternative housing construction method to speed up the achievement of mass housing programme of the Federal Government at a minimum cost. This is coming on the heels of plans by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to develop 6,000 housing units in the nation’s six geospolitical zones. Achieving this laudable goal using the conventional building block work system is tasking and time consuming, operators in the nation’s construction industry said at the weekend. “There are new and fast building technologies that are being used in actualising this volume of housing globally, particularly in areas like Asia and the Middle East. ‘’These new technologies are used in America and in Europe as well,” said Jude Okoli, a real estate developer in Abuja. He advised the government to consider using the form building system created in the United States that is currently being used in the construction of Platinum Rows, a housing estate in Lekki, Lagos by IHL Properties, a subsidiary of Ibile Holdings Limited, an agency of the Lagos State government.
By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
Though the Platinum Rows are upscale town houses, the idea of introducing the form technology is to execute affordable housing, according to the firm’s Managing Director, Mr Adeyinka Onigbanjo. IHL Properties Ltd, Onigbanjo said was established when Ibile Holdings, which core business was stock marketing, had to change because of the crash in the stock market in 2008/2009. He said: “The company had to move into other areas that can generate income, because the company is expected to pay dividend to the government.” The Wall Ties and Form technology of the United States is tested and it is produced by Wall-Ties & Forms, Inc., the world's largest aluminum forms manufacturer and supplier as well as the premier designer of aluminum concrete forming systems and concrete formwork accessories. The technology is based on engineering excellence, custom design, quality, service, labour saving formwork products and leading edge technology innovations, which
the company’s official said tie together to form the foundation of WTF's solid relationship with their customers that saves them money, time and reduces wasted effort. Onigbanjo said this same technology would be used in developing 461 housing units at IHL Properties’ Iyanoba Housing Estate being executed in collaboration with the Ojo Local Government Council. The form technology is pretty new in the country and has been used only in a few projects such as the Rainbow Town in Port Harcourt and Palms Spring Estate in Lagos. “It is different from the cast system because it is cast in-situ (on site). All walls are load-bearing and they give the building structural support and the issue of differential settlement where you have cracks in buildings will not arise because of this technology. Every wall has steel reinforcement and all the mechanical and electrical facilities are embedded in the walls, and gives fine finishing. The technology guarantees speed of completion, pricing because it is low-cost pricing that takes off about 15 per cent discount on the cost of construction. The issue of cement
scriding (plaster) does not arise. Paints particularly texcote paints can be applied directly. A representative of Wall-Ties and Form, Mr Martin Shoemaker, who is supervising the Platinum Rows construction, said the company is based in Kansas, United States and that he has been using the technology for 35 years. “I have come to show the people how the technology works and to get them started on their way. It is a very fast system and only takes five days to do a complete unit; top and bottom floors. The biggest asset of it all is that you get people in a lot faster and get you money out at a lot quicker time. ‘’It is also good for the country’s labour force, because it takes considerable labour to do it. You could have two to three crews working at the bottom and on top, but the forms supplies that we have, we only have enough to do two crews. Right now, we employ 20 persons to set two sets of panels. The more forms you get the more people you have to employ. It puts a lot of people to work behind this also. So, it is good for the labour force any way you look at it.” Also in this category is the Royal Building Systems, which is fast and cost-saving and has, consequently,
By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
ployed prompt drainage of the flood immediately the rains stopped.” In reference to the last July 10 down pour, Fashola expressed satisfaction that the drains are efficient and that is why the state emerged from the devastating effects of an unprecedented rainfall that lasted not less than 16 hours. He said: “In other places, we have seen cities submerged and remaining like that for many days after just six hours rains.” According to the him, extreme weather conditions such as unusual snow fall, very cold winter, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, mud slides, volcanic eruptions, excessive heat, prolonged and intense rainfall have claimed more lives in a few short years than many of the wars that have been fought in human history. Tree planting and tree conservation, he said are some of the adaptation and mitigation strategies that have been recommended, which the state will continue to implement adding that trees will help erosion prone areas react better. Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, said: “It was alarming to note that half of the world’s population use trees as fuel wood and as a result the world loses million hectares of forests annually with far reaching consequences in terms of carbon emissions, loss of biodiversity, global warming and environmental degradation.” Bello, therefore, counselled against tree felling and advocated that tree planting is a campaign that must be sustained. The planting, he said has to be more aggressive, especially now that our people appreciate the aesthetic value trees add to our environment and also understand the health advantages. He said the days of trampling upon planted trees and willingly uprooting them are gone for good. Now is the time for all stakeholders to be more committed to the cause of this environmental regeneration.” The Commissioner appealed to Lagosians to take care of trees and plant more. His words: “When we plant trees, we give life, we plant hope; life and hope for us and to the future generation.”
‘Fed Govt uses satellite data for national decisions’
RESIDENT, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Olumuyiwa Alade Ajibola, has disclosed that data generated from satellite is being used in decision making in government, especially in agriculture, irrigation and urban management. Ajibola disclosed this at the inauguration of the Space Division in Abuja, stating that NSE is happy with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDRA) for
From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
the successes it has so far recorded in that endeavour. He said: “With the launch of Sat 2 and Sat X, the government is really benefitting from it. All over the world, there is increasing demand for engineering infrastructure to meet the ever increasing needs of the technological world. “Nations are strengthening their engineering practice and training in
response to the emerging scenario and Nigeria cannot be left behind. “That is why we are upgrading our engineering resource centres in Lagos and Abuja, while working with oil and gas companies and institutions, engineering based and engineering delivering ministries and agencies, international organisations, the private sector and other relevant institutions to meet the capacity building needs of our members.
“Space engineering is even more important as an emerging area where Nigeria must continue to play a key role if it must continue to be relevant among the comity of nations,” he stressed. Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Ayim Pius Ayim, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the SGF, Mrs. Esther Gonda, said engineers, whether Nigerian-based
or in the Diaspora can play a role in the public and private sectors, especially in areas of advanced technology know how. “The human capital that is available in space related discipline in Nigeria is highly commendable. The government by its policy will continue to encourage the development of the space industry, especially with the mandate of the NASDRA agency Act 2010,” Ayim said.
Surveyors explore solution to housing gap
IGERIAN Institution of Es tate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV) Lagos State chapter has outlined its programme for the Third Lagos International Housing conference. In a chat, the Chairman, Mr Sola Fatoki, said the conference is aimed at bringing stakeholders in the housing industry together for finding a solution to our housing problems and showcasing the role of
By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
surveyors in the real estate industry. He said: “The property market, if properly harnessed, can generate income for the government in terms of IGR and we are going to engage the government as to how best to tap our skill to achieve that.
‘’We will also work on helping the nation to have a credible mortgage, funding options and houses targeted at the low income group.” Fatoki also disclosed that his tenure would work on exploring relationships with key stakeholders in the sector, members and the government to move the practice of the discipline forward and position her members for patronage by the gov-
ernment. On the welfare package for his members, he said: “Our executive Council would ensure adequate integration of our members-both old and young as well as their welfare. “We shall encourage older members to participate in NIESV activities and function and also continue to implement our statutory activities such as the mandatory Con-
tinuous Professional Development (MCPD), Head of Practice Forum etc.” The Publicity Secretary of the institution, Mr Olusola Enitan, said they are also planning to make inroads in about two African countries to help them grow their real estate sector besides working on credible statistics and research and development to close the huge housing gap.
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Before the people’s Assembly •Accept pay cut, lawyers tell legislators
For years, members of the National Assembly have had it so good. They enjoy the best of everything. Faced with a 40 per cent pay cut, they are kicking. Is their complaint justified? To lawyers, it is not. They believe that it is unconstitutional for lawmakers to earn so much in a country where the majority is poor and the minimum wage a paltry N18,000. JOSEPH JIBUEZE sought their views.
OW much do lawmakers earn? Not many people know. What they know is that the legislators earn a ‘jumbo pay’ that runs into millions of naira. According to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the Senate President should earn N2.4 million as annual basic salary and a total emolument of N8.6 million. The Speaker of the House of Representatives should earn N2.47 million as annual basic salary and a total emolument of N4.95 million. A Senator is entitled to earn N12.76 million per annum. A member of the House, N9.52 million. The Senate President’s estacode is $1,300 per night; his deputy’s is $790. Other senators earn $600 per night for foreign travels. The Speaker gets $1,000 per night; his deputy $750, and House members $550 per night. But are these what the legislators truly earn? The fact is that they collect additional hefty sums in the name of ‘constituency allowances’ and usually vote unanimously when debates involve their welfare. Former Speaker Dimeji Bankole recently gave an insight into how a N10 billion loan obtained by the House was shared. Bankole named the former Majority Leader Tunde Akogun; the Deputy Leader, Mr Baba Shehu Agaie; and the former Chief
Whip, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, as major beneficiaries of the loan. He also listed the former Deputy Whip and now speaker, Tambuwal; and former Minority Whip Mr Femi Gbajabiamila (before he became the Minority Leader), among the beneficiaries. He denied that he and his former deputy, Usman Nafada benefitted from the money. According to Bankole, the House took the loan following a decision by all lawmakers to increase their quarterly allowances (running costs). He insisted that before the increment in quarterly allocation, which necessitated the taking of the loan, he received N100 million per quarter and Nafada, N80 million. Bankole added that after the increment, the
two presiding officers continued to receive the old rate. However, he revealed that from N46 million, Akogun’s allowance was jacked up to N60 million, a difference of N14 million. Agaie took N57 million, up from N43 million, a difference of N14 million. Similarly, he said Ihedioha’s was raised to N55 million from N41 million, with a difference of N14 million, Tambuwal got N54.5 million as against the old rate of N40.5 million. Gbajabiamila’s allocation was jacked up to N50 million from N30 million per quarter. The allocation of other members, who hitherto received N28 million each per quarter were raised to N42 million. Under the new sharing regime, the six former principal officers were said to be shar-
‘The salary of our lawmakers is an affront on the Nigerian people and it is tantamount to an act of economic terrorism on the Nigerian state ... I make bold to say that no lawmaker should earn more that a High Court Judge. Their ‘jumbo’ salary should be reduced by 70 per cent’
ing N456.5million every three months since March 30, 2010. Comparatively, lawmakers in Ghana’s unicameral legislature earn approximately N73,450 salary monthly, with other entitlements bringing the total monthly package to N226,000. According to a report, a Ghanaian legislator earns N2.5 million annually compared to his colleague in Nigeria’s House of Representatives who earns up to N23.76 million and Nigerian senator, who earns N29.76 million. Attempts by Ghanaian legislators to increase their salary in 2009 were halted following public outcry. Despite their pay, the Ghanaian legislators have managed to sustain the region’s most impressive democracy. Nigerian lawmakers were said to have earned N385.80 billion in three-and-a-half years as salaries and benefits. In Ghana and South Africa, the president must approve the compensation package of lawmakers. Put into the provision of electricity, that sum (which equals $2.572 billion) would add 2,572 megawatts to the current national capacity which stands at less than 3,000 megawatts, the report said. The $2.572 billion, experts said, could build four new refineries in addition to •Continued on page 33
•Fashola, others for young lawyers’ conference - P.33 •‘How to curb corruption’ - P.35
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
LAW COVER CONT’D
Before the people’s Assembly •Continued from page 31
rehabilitating the four that the country currently has. Compared to his counterpart in the United States who earns $174,000 annually, a Nigerian senator gets about N29.76 million ($198,400) as basic salary annually and this excludes constituency votes. With a total annual package amounting to N560 million ($3.71 million), the Office of the Senate President, gets 9.27 times more money than the $400,000 Barack Obama, the US president earns as annual salary. Obama leads the world’s richest country with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $14.256 trillion and a population of 310 million people. By contrast, Senate President David Mark presides over a chamber of 109 members in a country of 150 million people with a GDP of $280 billion and with more than 60 per cent of the population living on less than $1 a day. Hit by a 40 per cent pay cut last week, Senators and Representatives were said to have decided to ask President Goodluck Jonathan why the Executive has slashed its overhead. They were said to be also weighing whether to reject the cut, until the Executive makes its austerity measures public. But the National Assembly leadership said it might not go back on the 40 per cent cut. Although Senators and members of the House have been paid N8million per head for accommodation and furniture, they are angry that Ministers are earning more than that. A Senator from the South was quoted as saying: “If we are talking of cut in overhead, why is the Executive silent on jumbo allowances of its Ministers, Special Advisers and Special Assistants?” A member of the House of Representatives said: “In our case, the cut is about 63 per cent, which is a terrible development.” By the 2011 budget, the National Assembly is expected to spend N111, 244,416,513, although it had initially jacked up its estimate to N150billion before resolving the grey areas with the Executive. The National Assembly budget includes Personnel Cost (N17,974,915,979); Overhead Cost (N90,055,657,984); Recurrent (N108,030,573,962) and Capital (N3,213,842,551). The allowances that might be affected are recurrent (N108, 030,573,962) and overhead cost (N90, 055,657,984), such as travelling, entertainment, oversight to constituencies and projects, medical vacation, and so on. There has been public outcry over the lawmakers’ ‘jumbo’ pay in the face of widespread poverty in the land. The Action Congress of Nigeria described the fabulous allowances as immoral, obscene, unfair and unjustifiable.
•Senate President Mark
The party reminded government that the well-being of the citizenry is the essence of governance. “It is definitely not in the interest of Nigerians for a few people to appropriate a huge chunk of the country’s revenue to satisfy their greed, under the guise of public office holding,” it said. Lawyers have lent their voices in calling for a reduction of the lawmakers’ pay. Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) noted that a Nigerian legislator earns more than Obama. He lamented that a Nigerian Senator in 2009 alone earned N240 million in salaries and allowances while his House of Representatives counterpart earned N203.8 million. The legislators, therefore, received a total of N102.8 billion comprising N11.8 billion as salaries and N90.96 billion as allowances, he said. “In other words, a senator earned about $1.7 million and a member of the House of Representatives earned $1.45 million per annum,” he said. This, to him, shows that a legislator in Nigeria earns more than the US President, Obama, whose salary is $400,000 per annum. The British Prime Minister on the other hand, earns 190,000 pounds, but a senator in Nigeria, one of the poorest countries in the world, earns $1.7 million, he said. Sagay added that a legislator in Nigeria also earns more than his counterpart in the US and the United Kingdom. “By contrast, an American senator earns $174,000 and a U.K. Parliamentarian earns about $64, 000 per annum,” he said. “In spite of the dismal standard of living, poverty in the country and low per capita income of Nigeria, Nigerian legislators in Abuja have awarded themselves the highest salaries and allowances in the world. In other words, the Nigerian lawmakers in Abuja are the highest paid in the world,” lamented Sagay. “Is the tax payer getting value for this colossal sum in the current democratic dispensation? Should five percent of Nigeria’s annual budget be spent on 109 senators and 360 House of Representatives members? “In other words, should 469 Nigerians gulp
five percent of our budget, leaving the remaining 150 million of us to receive about N1, 000 each? “The Senate President is reported to be earning N250 million quarterly or N83.33 million per month, while his deputy earns N50 million per month. The Senate has allocated N1.02 billion as quarterly allowance to its 10 principal officers, known collectively as Senate leadership. “Each of the other principal officers earns N78 million every three months or N26 million per month. This tragic state of affairs is clearly unsustainable. Those engaged in this feeding frenzy are endangering our democracy,” he lamented. Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) said there must be a downward review of the huge salaries and other emoluments being paid to political office holders at the expense of the majority of Nigerians. “Everybody now wants to be a politician because politics has become the easiest way of becoming a millionaire over-night. This is because our Constitution has made political offices so lucrative. “The Constitution should be designed in such a way that each constituent unit should be empowered to exploit its resources and then pay certain agreed percentage to the central government while using the rest to develop its people and infrastructure at its own pace. “The Constitution should also ensure that local government’s political positions and those of the Houses of Assembly (state or national) are not made places for payment of huge salaries. The number of assembly men should also be reduced drastically. “Most political offices should be part-time while local government councillors should earn sitting allowances and no more, so that people who have other viable means of livelihood can go there purely to render services to the community.” For activist-lawyer Mr Ike Ofuokwu, what lawmakers earn in Nigeria amounted to economic terrorism and should be reduced not by 40 per cent, but by 70 per cent. He said: “The salary of our lawmakers is an affront on the Nigerian people and it is tantamount to an act of economic terrorism
on the Nigerian state. “I make bold to say that no lawmaker should earn more that a High Court Judge. Their ‘jumbo’ salary should be reduced by 70 per cent because it is a legislative gang up against the electorate. “This is when our workers cannot freely earn N18, 000 as minimum wage without applying the threat of an industrial action!” Lagos lawyer, Mr Theophilus Akanwa said it was high time the cost of running the legislature was drastically reduced. His words: “The reported refusal of the National Assembly members to accept a cut in the ‘jumbo’ salary despite the condemnation that has trailed it, which is one of the highest all over the world, is most unfortunate and regrettable. “It goes to show that we have not got those who will represent us without self-interest. We thought there would have been a clear difference between the sixth and seventh Assembly. “It is high time we reduced the high cost of running government and afford Nigerians the dividends of democracy for once. The roads are death traps; generator fumes are killing families due to lack of electricity and there is increasing joblessness. “The jumbo pay of National Assembly members should not remain and their alleged refusal to allow a cut of 40 per cent is condemnable. All well-meaning Nigerians should rise up and condemn it.” For Mr Jonathan Iyieke, it is sad that the lawmakers seem to place money before lawmaking. “It is unfortunate that our lawmakers are after money instead of making quality laws for the realisation of Nigeria’s dream. “What is the nexus between jumbo salary and legislature in a democratic society? It is a gateway to pauperising the entire populace. I condemn such wicked salary at the expense of the jobless youths and the unemployed. “Again, the rejection of the reduction of jumbo salary, as it appears, is against Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution. The wishes of the lawmakers cannot override that of the electorate who voted them in,” Iyieke said.
Fashola, Oguntade, Babalola for young lawyers’ conference
HE practice of law has become competitive, and for young lawyers, it brings increased challenges. They, therefore, need a platform beyond the classroom for proper grooming and enlightenment to compete favourably with peers from all over the world. This is the view of the Director, the Law Event Limited, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi, during a press conference to mark the second edition of the annual Young Lawyers Conference (YLC), scheduled to hold from July 21 to 22 at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos. Akinwunmi said the YLC was created to bring young lawyers together to discuss issues affecting them within the legal profession and proffer solutions to them. He added that the conference is aimed at helping young lawyers to develop the skill
By Segun Olaniyi
and capacity to ensure that they remain relevant in the modern day practice. “The aim of the conference is to create a constructive and meaningful avenue for young lawyers to feel a sense of belonging within the legal profession in Nigeria, and to enable them interact with one another, give them access to local and international mentors as well as to enable those in need of such to have access to potential employers,” he said He reiterated that the conference gives an opportunity to young lawyers to achieve their aim of being mentored by bringing accomplished senior lawyers, partners of law firms and corporate business lawyers to speak to them and interact with them and giving them their expectations and the tips
and secrets of having a successful law practice. The theme for this year’s conference is “Young Lawyers: Learning Today, Taking Ownership Tomorrow.” It will be declared opened by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) while the keynote address will be delivered by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN). Other speakers include Hon. Justice George Oguntade, JSC (rtd), Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), Mr.Osaro Eghobamien (SAN), Mr. Layi Babatunde (SAN), Mr. Babasola Alokolaro and a host of other dignitaries will be in attendance. Topics to be discussed at the conference include: “Continuous knowledge as a tool for maintaining an edge;” “Business development skills as a catalyst for growth in the legal profession;” “The role of a young lawyer in the electoral process,” among others.
LEGAL DIARY Institute holds inaugural Lecture THE Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) holds Inaugural Lecture. Titled: Proceeds of Crime in Nigeria: Getting our “Act” Together. Guest Lecturer: Director of Studies of the Institute, Prof. Deji Adekunle. Date: July 21, 2011 Time: 4 p.m. prompt Venue: Ayo Ajomo Auditorium, NIALS, UNILAG Campus, Akoka, Lagos Chairman: Former Director-General (NIALS), Prof Ayo Ajomo. Special Guest of Honour: Judge Bola Ajibola, former Judge of International Court of Justice. NBA holds NEC meeting THE National Executive Committee meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) holds in Katsina, Katsina State. Date: July 28 – 29 2011 Venue: Katsina Motel, GRA Katsina Time: 9.00 a.m.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
LAW & SOCIETY PUBLIC LECTURE ON THE STATE OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN NIGERIA, ORGANISED BY NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED LEGAL STUDIES (NIALS), LAGOS, IN ABUJA
•From left: Director-General, NIALS, Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN), President, NBA and Chairman of the occasion Joseph Daudu (SAN) and guest lecturer, former Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi (SAN)
•From left: Former Director-General, NIALS, Prof Amaze Guobadia; Chairman, NBA Section on Legal Practice (SLP) Chief Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) and NIALS Secretary James Bathnna
•Director of Research, NIALS Prof Bolaji Owasanoye (left); Director of Studies, NIALS Prof Deji Adekunle and Captain L. N. Ugwu, who represented the Chief of Naval Staff
•From left: General Secretary, NBA Olumuyiwa Akinboro; Col. Bello Fadile (rtd) and Col. Rowland Emokpae (rtd)
•From left: Prof Adebambo Adewopo, Prof Clement Dakas, Prof Lanre Fagbohun and Prof Paul Idonigie
•Sibi Garuba (left) and Hakie Garuba
•Prof Nnamdi Aduba and Mrs Olivia Agbajoh
•Chairman, NBA Abuja branch Afam Obi (left) and G. M. Obey
•Okwudi Odinukwu (left) and Mrs Chinyere Ufere
•Uduak Ekpo, Mrs Comfort Uma and Mrs Sena Jerry-Imahiagbe. PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
LEGAL OPINION Experts, including lawyers and anti-corruption advocates, gathered in Lagos to examine ways of containing corruption. ERIC IKHILAE reports.
LAW AND PUBLIC POWER
with gabriel AMALU email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan on a failed state
•From left: Githongo,Soji Awogbade of Aelex,Justice Ayoola, Kolawole and Ms. Wrage
‘How to curb corruption’ L
IKE most African countries, development in Nigeria is basically hampered by corruption, a malaise that feeds on the greed of a minuscule fraction of the population, that constitutes its leadership. The case in Nigeria is quite appalling because corruption, combined with abuse and desecration of public office and trust, have assumed a pervasive character. Corruption, a vice once regarded as a taboo in the natural African setting, has eaten deep into society’s fabric since the nation attained independence in 1960 that it has almost assumed the status of a norm. The endemic nature of corruption in the country is not helped with an ineffectual criminal law system, sustained by a compromised people who see the pilfering of the commonwealth by a few as a way of helping oneself to his share of the national cake. How can a nation seeking to become one of the 20 most developed nations in 2020 realise its dream in the face of these contradictions that threaten its continued existence? How can the country survive this ravaging culture of impunity fed generously by an unscrupulous leadership? These formed part of issues that engaged experts at a forum organised by a Lagos-based law firm, Aelex Legal Practitioners and Arbitrators. The event was the firm’s seventh annual lecture, and the theme was: “Corruption: The thief in broad daylight.” Speakers include a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and former Chair, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola; former Permanent Secretary for Government and Ethics in Kenya, John Githongo and former Chair, Anti-Corruption Committee, the American Bar Association’s International Section, Ms. Alexandra Wrage. Others were Bismark Rewane, a financial analyst and Editor/Divisional Director, Thisday newspaper, Simon
Kolawole. They identified the various shades of corruption in the country, its debilitating implication for the nation’s growth and suggested ways of containing it. The consensus was that, with the level corruption has attained and its somewhat general acceptance, the most that could be achieved now, is the adoption of a multi-pronged approach towards mitigating it. They particularly advocated the strengthening of the legal system to ensure that the law bites always. Justice lamented the hypocrisy that drives the general condemnation of corruption in the country, noting that it was ironic that while most Nigerians would readily condemn acts of corruption in the open, they engage in corruption at every available opportunity. He said his experience at ICPC made him realised that it was futile to rely solely on the criminal law option in the fight against corruption, even under an effective criminal justice system. He suggested the development of a holistic strategy that “puts the people first and engages the people and their values”, noting that “the required political will and people’s support are yet to manifest in Nigeria. “Rhetoric about corruption in Nigeria is profuse, but the level of accountability will not be raised with rhetoric. This is only achievable with government funding, accountability boosting agencies and empowering the people to be involved in anti-corruption efforts.” Stressing the strategic role lawyers could play in sustaining the fight against corruption, Justice Ayoola urged them not to stand aloof because it was against national interest when the ordinary people go away with the belief that the law exist for the preservation of the corruption. Githongo, who held out Kenya’s example as a template for his analysis of the destructive implication of corruption on any society, argued that the scourge breeds inequality by de-
nying the majority access to the basic needs of life. He advocated the need for African nations to focus on human development as against the current concentration of physical development. He attributed the recurring violence in most societies in the continent because the leadership is engrossed in the realisation of physical growth rather than enhancing the people’s access basic human needs. To him, this inequality is fuelled by the people’s docility and what seemed their collaboration with those denying them their entitlements by pilfering state’s funds. He suggested the need for legal reforms, collaboration with members of civil societies and international communities and urged the people to learn to query their leaders on how state’s funds are applied. Ms. Wrage, who spoke on “The role of law in addressing corruption,” expressed delight that the war against corruption was receiving global support, citting efforts in some developed nations in that direction. She said though more countries were criminalising by enacting laws that punish acts of corruption both within and outside their countries, Nigeria needs to move in that direction by putting in place legislations that punish corrupt acts. Rewane, who addressed the “Macroeconomic definition and perspective of corruption” regretted that most Nigerians have accepted the parasitic and dysfunctional behaviour that corruption is. He suggested the destruction or reorganisation of existing structure that encourage corruption which should be replaced by credible ones, capable of deterring corrupt behaviours. Kolawole agreed with Githongo on the assumption that there exists in the country, an agreement between perpetrators of corruption and the victims, a problem, which accounts for why corrupt leaders are hailed rather than being condemned.
Ex-lawmaker objects as community sues over land
HE Okokomaiko community, Lagos has sued a former member of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Taiwo Saheed, at the state High Court, Badagry, over six plots of land. The Baale (head) of Okokomaiko Community, Chief Mushadiku Jatto and the youth leaders –Babatunde Sulaimon, Ilo Muibi, Laiyiwola Bakare sued for themselves and on behalf of the community. They urged the court to make an order giving them possession of the land. According to them, the land, situated at Field Area, Igbo Eleri, Okokomaiko Town, was given to them by the late Chief Liade Ashade
By Joseph Jibueze
of Iba Town for the construction of a secondary school. The claimants accused Saheed, their former representative, of trying to take the land from them. He was said to have claimed to own the land. The community sought an order restraining him from trespassing the land or constructing a building on it, as well as N500,000 as general damages for alleged trespass. But Saheed, in Notice of Preliminary Objection, said the claimants have no locus standi (legal right) to institute the action. He said they have no connection with the land, and that the suit is an abuse of court process.
He said Jatto is not the community’s Baale but an impostor, while the Sulaimon, Muibi and Bakare are not part of a land-owning family in the community. “They parade themselves as youth leaders but have no authority or consent of Council of Chief of Okokomaiko who are accredited representatives of the community,” Saheed said. The defendant added the suit was filed by the claimants in order to harass, irritate and annoy him. He urged the court to dismiss the suit, which he said was filed to mislead and waste the court’s time. Hearing has been adjourned till September 15.
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan’s robust defence at the last inauguration of his cabinet that Nigeria is not a failed state was very patriotic. Nothing less was expected of a President recently elected on a popular ballot, and imbued with high expectations from the citizens of the country, whose life index is indicative of a failed state. It was also a palliative that the President said it was some people that refer to the country as a failed state, instead of statistics; that way, we can dismiss such people as being afflicted by mere bad belle, and envious of the African giant called Nigeria. Now let me put a caveat, that it would be indecorous to say that Mr President lied, more so when statistics also describe Nigeria as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with eight per cent growth potential in 2011, according by the International Monetary Fund, (IMF). So how come Nigeria bestrides the two worlds; that is having at the same time huge potentials as an emerging tiger and also some attributes of a failed nation? It will be helpful to understand the index used to determine a failed state, and also the areas Nigeria is growing to appreciate the paradox. According to the Wikipedia, the term failed state is used to refer to countries that have failed at providing the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government. It then refers for clarity to certain attributes proposed by the United States based Fund for Peace, to include: loss of control or monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force; erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decision; inability to provide public services and inability to interact with others as a full member of the international community. The characteristics of the road to a failed state is however different. In determining a failing state (emphasis mine), the characteristics include lack of effective control over much of the territory, non provision of public service, widespread corruption and criminality, refugee problem and sharp economic decline. When you examine the attributes of a failed state as against a failing state, you can understand Jonathan’s robust defense and patriotism. While Boko Haram and Niger Delta militias, at will demonopolise the exclusive use of physical force by the state authorities; nobody will deny that the legislators, the President and the governors have legitimate authority to make decisions. Again, while there is substantial inability on the part of the government to provide public services; we are a fully recognised member of the international community. So, that leaves us standing at the middle with a 50 per cent mark on the failed state index, though with lesser mark on the failing state criteria. Now, if former President Bill Clinton of the United States could get away with his delicate choice of words between oral and conjugal sex, during the Monica Lewinsky sex saga that nearly consumed his Presidency, then our own President Jonathan should be expected to equivocate as to whether 50 per cent is a failure. No doubt, Nigeria is standing at a middle point in her life, with an option to either make progress or deteriorate. The statistics again show Nigeria is ranked 37th in the world based on her GDP, while it is 19th on the failed state index, and listed on the alert category, the most worrisome level. Interestingly, despite the high ranking in the failed state index, the country has also been growing at about eight per cent annually in the past three years, principally because of the practice of democracy; which is a measure of stability for international capital. Again, while 60 per cent of the working population depends on agriculture, 80 per cent of the government revenue is derived from petroleum, which also forms 40 per cent of the GDP; and this paradox contributes to the continuous rural to urban migration; not significantly different from internal displacement. Nigeria is also listed as one of the fastest growing nations in the telecommunications sector. Notably, the telecoms companies that defied the fearful statistics about the cost of doing business in Nigeria, and started the revolution have never had it so good, as the Nigerian market easily turned their highest revenue sources within a short period. The same unprecedented profit is made by the oil companies, doing business in Nigeria. But conversely the Nigerian oil behemoth, NNPC thrives on opaque standards, and is accountable only to itself and has defied efforts to properly audit. According to statistics, millions of dollars of the state oil money has been siphoned into private accounts since the end of the civil war in 1970. Also most of the foreign oil companies conduct their business in complete disregard to international standards, knowing that the Nigerian state is too timid and compromised to call it to account. As some would argue, most of the profits that the foreign companies make, come from fleecing the citizens, as the rugged financial checks and balances applicable in other countries are not available in Nigeria. From the foregoing, it is obvious that democracy provides us an impetus to progress, as our positive international relations will help attract the needed international capital to confront our development challenges. Also in democracy lies the greatest opportunity to mobilise a people, as it provides the right to ask the vital questions from the leaders. It also gives the people the freedom to form and impact opinions in the press, and enables judicial review of governmental actions. It also allows for strike and civic actions against conducts of the state. Now, while President Jonathan is free to equivocate on the state of Nigeria, he should not when it comes to turning the statistics towards a positive direction; for mass revolt is also a democratic licence.
‘In determining a failing state, the characteristics include lack of effective control over much of the territory, non-provision of public service, widespread corruption and criminality, refugee problem and sharp economic decline’
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
ENERGY THE NATION
Oil companies the world over place special priority on safety in carrying out their operation. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is battling with such safety challenge at the Diamond Estate located in Isheri, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State where premium motor spirit flows like water. The estate can best be described as an estate sitting on a keg of gun powder waiting to explode. NNPC needs to do something urgently to save the lives of the residents, reports EMEKA UGWUANYI Assistant Editor (Energy).
NNPC, Diamond Estate residents seal accord on oil spill • Demand NNPC pipeline master plan in Alimosho
OR about one year running, there has been uncontrol lable seepage of premium motor spirit (PMS) commonly called petrol or gasoline from within the Diamond Estate located in Isheri, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. The residents have been crying out for solution from the government considering the level of danger confronting them. The management of NNPC and the residents met to find a permanent solution to the seepage to the environment. Added to this is the fact that the water boreholes in most of the houses have been taken over by fuel. A bucketful of liquid drawn from such a borehole at Road 20, Plot 2 of the Estate in the pres-
INSIDE • Kerosine: NNPC retail sells 88,000 litres to Amuwo-Odofin •••Page 38
• ‘High electricity tariff without proper metering is counterproductive’ •••Page 39
• LADOL begins repair, maintenance of vessels, oil rigs •••Page 40
ence of the NNPC team, the residents and reporters, was confirmed to contain 100 per cent PMS. A resident, Tunji Olutayo, was advised by the legislator representing Alimosho Federal Constituency, Hon. Adeola Solomon Olamilekun, to leave the house as soon as possible and relocate to a safe apartment either within or outside the estate. At the meeting which lasted some hours, the residents accused NNPC of reneging on its promises to provide a central borehole capable of supplying the estate the required potable water. The borehole has not been built, but the NNPC said the contractor handling the project has been mobilised by about 80 per cent of the contract cost, which the contractor who also was present at the meeting confirmed. The NNPC promised to relocate occupants of the two most affected houses, but that is yet to be actualised. The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs of NNPC, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, who led the NNPC team, confirmed that the relocation arrangement has been completed, which was also confirmed by the Estate manager. The residents revealed that 137 houses were affected at the last count. They demanded that the NNPC provide fire extinguishers for them if the corporation cannot station its fire-fighting truck and men at the estate until the problem is solved. Other demands include provision of fire alarm to alert members in case of emergency and immediate implementation of other palliative measures as well as NNPC pipeline master plan in the area to assist in finding permanent solution to the problem. The residents said as a result of the polluted water, children and infants in the residents suffer illnesses, some strange. “In fact, almost every one of us is suffering one illness or other.
• From left: Olorunlogbon Olayinka, General Secretary, Deacon Samson Adebayo, President and Patrick Zegar, Vice President, all of Diamond Estate Residents Association at the meeting with the NNPC to find solution to oil seepage in the estate.
• From left: Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, NNPC; Emmanuel Wowo, Executive Director, Operations, PPMC and Remi Eluyefa, Area Manager, PPMC, Mosimi at the NNPC-Diamond Estate meeting.
The NNPC explained that the cause of the seepage was as a result of continued sabotage of NNPC Atlas Cove-Mosimi and Atlas Cove-Satellite oil pipelines by vandals resulting in heavy oil spillage over the years. According to the corporation, no pipeline currently is leaking but the deposits of already spilled products is causing the
OIL PRICES JULY 8 - JULY 15
havoc coupled with the fact that the houses that are badly affected are located in the slope area where the water level is high especially during this period of rainy season. With the rains, the water pushes up the fuel up because fuel is lighter. Ajuonuma said: “We are not carrying mere publicity as speculated in some quarters. The NNPC is committed to ensuring that a permanent solution to the problem is found. Despite the various measures we have put in place and the monitoring the progress of work, our health, environment, and safety unit has never left this place. They have continued with the evacuation of product up till now. Our presence has always been here because we feel for the residents of Diamond Estate and we want to find a permanent solution to this problem. Apart from the palliative measures such as borehole the NNPC has employed the services of a
renowned geophysicist to explore ways of finding a permanent solution to this problem and that is why we are here.” The representative of Alimosho Federal Constituency in the House of Representative, Hon. Adeola Solomon Olamilekun said step taken by the management of the NNPC is commendable and he expressed satisfaction over the resolution reached by the residents and NNPC on both palliative and permanent solution as they await the implementation. He said: “This is the right step in the right direction, having the NNPC management team down in my local government. Prior to this meeting, I was planning to move a motion on the floor of the House concerning the oil spillage that has pervaded the entire Alimosho Federal Constituency. I chose to be part of the meeting and flew in from Abuja today to • Continued on page 38
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Kerosine: NNPC retail sells 88,000 litres to Amuwo-Odofin
HE direct sale of kerosine to consumers, an initiative of the NNPC Retail and Capital Oil and Gas, moved their train to Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, Lagos State at the weekend where 88,000 litres of the product were sold to residents of the area. The sale, which took place at the council’s head office, according to the Chairman of the Local Government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale started as early as 7am. When our correspondent got to the venue, the buyers were in the queue and well conducted. They pay to a cashier and collect receipt before proceeding to collect the product. Adewale said that over 300 people have bought the product about 4pm. They pay and are issued receipts, he said. He also noted that the council was discussing with partnership on how to build a filling station in AmuwoOdofin wholly dedicated to kerosene. The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, said the NNPC/Capital Oil Kero-Direct Scheme is meant to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians by taking the product to their doorsteps at affordable and regulated price of N50 per litre. He said: “Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited has been very much concerned about the sufferings of our people in the recent past in getting kerosene for their domestic use. It is in response to this that the company came up with this innovation of deploying mobile
filling stations with standard dispensing pumps to deliver kerosene at the official price of N50 per litre to the citizenry. “This scheme will afford our people greater and easy access to the product with a view to reducing the use of charcoal and firewood which more of our people, in recent times, have resorted to for cooking. The project kicks off with the supply and sale of kerosene to households in Apapa and Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Areas of Lagos State from where it will move on to other local government areas of the state. “Suffice it to say that all arrangements have been put in place to ensure continuous availability of the product. The choice to use local government headquarters as point is deliberate, as it will ensure that the product gets to the end-users. To avoid the scheme being hijacked by middlemen who will turn round to exploit the masses, the sale of the product has been restricted to 25 litres to each household.” Capital Oil, he said, has a storage capacity of 196 million litres and dispensing capability of 56 million litres per day. “We can supply up to four other depots simultaneously. With our newly acquired seven large barges and five tug boats, we are poised to deliver quality added service to Nigerians,” he added. The NNPC/Capital Oil Kero-Direct Scheme is an initiative in pilot scheme being test-run only in Lagos. If it succeeds in Lagos, it will be extended to other parts of the country, the partnership said.
NNPC, Diamond Estate residents seal accord on oil spill • Continued from page 37 ensure that everything should not be confrontational if there are other means to move things forward amicably, which we should not hesitate to do. “I made a request from NNPC to give us the master plan of the pipeline network within the local government so that it can guide us in terms of provision of infrastructure and facilities by the government of Lagos State and monitoring of the various pipelines located within Alimosho and environs. “As I talk, there are some planned roads in Alimosho that cannot be constructed because of pipeline underneath. Where the pipelines are, we don’t know. With the master plan, that will assist us to know how to move while carrying out developmental projects and infrastructure. “Recently, there was pipeline explosion at Ijegun where many lives and properties were lost because of lack of this pipeline master plan. “Once we have this master plan in place, it will help us in a lot of ways. And for the happenings within the Diamond Estate, it is quite unfortunate that we have about 137 houses that are affected within the estate by the oil spillage. As NNPC has stated in their request that there will be palliative measures and permanent solution, I want to work with them to ensure that all the oil spillage across the entire local government Diamond Estate located in Isheri, Baruwa and environs, Ayobo and Ikpaja and environs and Ijegun and environs, all are affected and
these are big communities within the local government. “The NNPC has said the permanent solution would cut across the entire local government and we are ready to work with them so that the people of Alimosho can live in peace and without fear. “We are having another meeting with the management of NNPC and from that meeting we will determine the next line of action.” On whether they will give NNPC time limit to implement the promises it made, Olamilekun said: “For the palliative measures, there can be time limit, but the permanent solution can take pretty long time because one finding in it can take up to 18 months. ‘But with the master plan, we can know where the pipelines are located and we will be able to find permanent solution to the problem. The Executive Chairman of Egbe-Idimu, Local Council Development Area, Hon. Adebayo Bello, said the resolution reached between the residents and the NNPC was commendable and should be implemented urging the corporation to channel the residents’ requests to the appropriate quarters for implementation. The geophysicist hired by the NNPC to find a solution, Prof. Bankole Ako, also reaffirmed the importance of providing the pipeline master plan to find solution to the problem. One of Ako’s briefs is to find the area where there is the highest accumulation of PMS and how it would be evacuated as well as the ways to make drinking water safe in the area.
• Tony Okonedo, Corporate Media Relations Manager SPDC; Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director, and Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Precious Okolobo, Media Officer, at a forum in Lagos.
Firm suggests captive plant for power crisis
N the face of the lingering elec tricity crisis in the country, an integrated power solutions company, Toptech Engineering Limited, has canvassed captive power as an option to be adopted by the government if the country is to free itself from the challenges of centralised power generation system that obtains in Nigeria. The concept of captive power implies the generation of power specifically for a particular user either for domestic or industrial purposes. The company’s Executive Director, Business Development Group, Adedeji Adeniyi, who made the proposal, said it has become inevitable to seek for alternatives such as captive power to help solve the electricity challenges considering the huge losses incurred from persistent outages that has characterised the centralised power system. “Without mincing words, I think the time has come for us as a country to look for ways to saving the power sector from its present logjam. Our centralised power generation system has been working in fits and starts, a situation that has prevented our economic and industrial development. Besides, huge losses running into billions of naira have been suffered owing to the epileptic nature of power supply in the country. What I believe we should be considering now are alternatives that can be exploited to ameliorate the suffering. “One of these alternatives is the concept of captive power. The concept is suitable both for domestic and industrial users. For instance, it can be as little as powering a three bedroom flat constantly without any problem. It can also be as high as electrifying industrial sites using dedicated power generating plants,” he said. He stated that although generation of captive loads may be expensive, it makes sense exploiting it if one considers the huge losses consumers suffer from persistent outages experienced from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) source. This, he said, explains why most manufacturing
By Bidemi Bakare
firms are adopting this option to avoid these losses notwithstanding the cost. He said: “Most companies are beginning to realise the need to spend much so as to save more. They are now adopting captive power as a result. “I am aware that companies such as Coca Cola generate their own power on Acme Road because I have visited them before. They run on generators driven by gas which feeds them from Alausa end. I am equally aware that companies like Nigerian Breweries and WAPCo run on dedicated power generating plants. These are examples of captive power. “What they have succeeded in doing is that they actually look at the cost of running the generating plants, the cost of gas and cost of maintenance, which are all operational expenditures (OPEX) and they discovered that the cost of kilowatt per hour from their generating plants is a little bit higher than that of PHCN. But they prefer to go for that higher cost because the losses they suffer when there is an outage of power source is far more than that marginal difference in cost. “So, they prefer to rather stick to the dedicated power generation plants and not rely on PHCN.” Using the example of Procter &Gamble (P&G) in Ibadan, he said the company loses a lot in production anytime there is a power failure. “When there is an outage in P&G, the company loses close to N4-5 million by way of wastage in the mixing going on in the chemical plants. The company has to flush out and start the process all over again. So because of this, they would rather have generator running 24/7 at a slightly higher cost than PHCN. To them they make more profit through captive power because if they count the losses in production when there is an outage it is cheaper for them to have generators running 24-7. So captive power is the way to go as far as Nigeria is concerned,” he said. He said the government’s deci-
sion to continue to centralise power system in the new dispensation would be counterproductive as consideration may not be given to how power finally gets to the endsers who are supposed to complete the entire value chain. “I think the option of the government in trying to start with centralising power generation in the new power dispensation is like putting the cart before the horse. This is because when these companies generate the required capacity and nobody is talking about how the power is going to get to the end users, then they are indirectly shooting themselves in the leg. There is no way that generation is going to pay for the cost that had gone into that investment. So, I think what the government should do is to encourage private Independent Power Producers (IPP) and investors and try to broker deals between them and manufacturing companies so that the initial burden on the national grid would be reduced and they can do what is called backward integration. Through this the government can start working on distribution back to the main generation,” he said. On what Toptech is prepared to offer in the emerging power sector, he said the company is ready to be actively involved with the set of power solutions and packages it has for the emancipation of the power sector. He said: “We are bringing basically three things. First is in the area of integrated power solution that we have been providing for close to 11 years now and that is actually one of our major strengths. The second is in the area of renewable energy options and we have done some little works for some banks and now we are trying to expand our horizons to all the GSM service providers. Then the third is in the area of power generation. But we are doing what we call backward integration. By this we are working from the customer end to the government end for the purpose of assisting the government in power generation,” he said.
SPE to hold 35th conference in Abuja
HE Society of Petroleum En gineers (SPE) is to hold its 35th Nigeria Annual International Conference & Exhibition (NAICE) series. The conference, described by the group as Nigeria’s leading oil and gas forum, is meant to provide additional interface for stakeholders in the public and private sectors to make viable contributions to addressing oil and gas challenges and opportunities. It was first held in 1976 and has over
the years grown to be the flagship event of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. The Chairman, External Communication, SPE Nigeria Council, Mr Emeka Ene, in a statement, said the conference billed for three days, would be compelling, building on the gains of 34 previous successful gatherings of most senior industry professionals, business leaders and public sector decision-makers including entrepreneurs. “In the past two editions, the
NAICE has focused its theme on transformational thinking dedicated to enhancing capacity and quality in Africa’s oil and gas sector. It will be sustaining that with the coming edition which will hold at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja between August 1 and 3 with the theme Global Energy Dynamics: Challenges and Opportunities in the Africa Region, as delegates to the conference will include high level government officials, international and national oil companies.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
‘High electricity tariff without proper metering is counter productive’
F the hike in electricity tariff must make the desired impact, it must be complemented with proper and adequate metering for effective service delivery, the National Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (NCEEC) has said. Director of the centre, Prof Wole Adegbenro, who spoke on the backdrop of the increase in electricity tariff from N8 to N10 per kilowatt/ hour (KWh), said: “It amounts to nothing increasing the tariff if consideration is not given to how the electricity consumed is to be measured accurately.” The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) announced increases in electricity tariff with effect from July 1. Adegbenro, in an interview with The Nation, said: “One must quite appreciate the decision of the government to increase tariff for the purpose of improving service delivery. “But I must say it is not only about tariff alone and that is why I think other measures, such as proper metering should be taken to complement this. This is because even if you have a tariff and the tariff is not followed truthfully, or you have a tariff and there is no way to measure the electricity, it would be counterproductive. “Most consumers are not me-
By Bidemi Bakare
tered and if you are not metered what is the purpose of having a tariff. There is no justification for pegging tariff at a rate for somebody who is just drawing energy and does not know the quantity of energy he is drawing. So, whether there is a tariff or not, there is need to have appropriate or correct metering of all consumers for the government to really know whether it is making money from the electricity generated and supplied or not. “But honestly speaking, the situation right now is that of people taking energy virtually for free.” On the report that the Federal Government has incurred about N109 billion debt due to electricity subsidy, the director said this would continue to be so as long as we prefer to cut cost and worsen the power situation rather than spending money to improve service. He said: “The government will continue to incur debt if it fails to do what is right. So, the government must understand that it has to spend a lot of money to correct all these lapses instead of saving money and ending up worsening the problem. For instance, if the problem of metering is to be tackled, it is going to cost the government a lot of money.
“Let me give you an example, when I went on an energy trade mission to Canada, I learnt the government of British Columbia in that country realised that it had to change to what is called smart metering to improve performance and service delivery. “As a result, they calculated how much it was going to cost the province to have everybody metered. It was a lot of money but they knew that after a long while, all that money would be recouped. In other words, after may be about five or six years all that money would have been recouped because everybody would be enjoying energy and would be paying for it. “So, it is apparent we need to tackle the issue of inadequate metering so that we would know where our problems lie .We need to invest a lot of money in metering. The metering that we have to do, should however, be peculiar to our environment where we have face to face houses. So, if we are going to meter a whole house for instance, the modalities should be worked out for us to know how to distribute to the small users within the house. This smart metering I must say may be very expensive but in the end it is going to give result.” Adegbenro also commented on the upsurge of investors bidding
for PHCN assets urging the government to painstakingly evaluate, scrutinise and investigate these bids before taking any decision on whom to sell these assets to. “Quite frankly, I think it is a well known fact that there are several factors that must be considered to determine who to hand over the PHCN assets to. “First of all, the record of performance of the investors is key. While I do not want to preempt what the government is considering, it is obvious that it needs to look for reputable investors with the record of performance elsewhere. I would like to suggest that companies that have recorded successes from areas that have similar conditions like ours may be the best bet. India, if you ask me, is a place where the government can visit. They are doing a lot to sort out their energy problems. Even though, they are still working on it, it appears they know the direction they are going. “They are putting a lot of emphasis on renewable energy like most other countries and they are doing it in an appropriate manner suitable to their environment. So, I think we can copy from India. Some other countries are too advanced for our level because what I know of these countries is
• Prof. Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power
that they bring sophisticated equipment here in Nigeria where the environment is rather too harsh for those sophisticated equipment. And they would expect you to continually service these projects with their own technology which may not be appropriate. “So, most of the equipment and technologies we get from developed countries are in a way not sustainable in our environment. And this is a serious problem. Therefore, I think the government needs to consider investors that are capable and with a record of performance while bearing in mind the peculiarity of our environment or terrain as well,” he said.
Oil price above $95 after Bernanke stimulus
IL prices hovered above $95 a barrel Friday in Asia af ter Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said another round of monetary stimulus was not imminent. Benchmark oil for August delivery was down 22 cents to $95.47 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude fell $2.36 to settle at $95.69 on Thursday. According to the Associated Press, in London, Brent crude fell 24 cents to $116.02 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. Bernanke said Thursday that there would have to be signs of deflation before the Fed would consider a third round of Treasury bond purchases, known as quantitative easing, or other stimulus measures. Quantitative easing weakens the U.S. dollar and boosts demand for oil, which is traded in dollars. On Wednesday, Bernanke’s comments that the Fed would consider more stimulus if the economy worsens
had sent oil prices higher. Crude surged from $84 in February to near $115 in May as a civil war in Libya shut down almost all of the country’s 1.6 million barrels a day of oil output. Crude has traded in the $90s for most of the last two months. Some analysts worry that Libya’s oil industry would be disrupted for longer than expected because the conflict has hardened into a stalemate and a departure of leader Moammar Gadhafi could create chaos. “To expect a return to the prior status quo in Libya, either politically or in the context of the oil market both in the short and the long term, would be incorrect,” Barclays Capital said in a report. “There is likely to be a tremendous political vacuum in the absence of Gadhafi.” Libya on Thursday barred Italy from future participation in its oil sector because of Rome’s role in NATO airstrikes on the country.
• Power facility
‘Oil & gas free zones can open up economy’
HE concept of oil and gas free zone has the capacity of changing the fortunes of Nigeria’s economy provided the country can think differently and invest heavily on this project. The Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority,Onne, Noble Abe, said the situation whereby the country exports crude oil only to import its bye products as raw materials for the manufacturing industries is deplorable. He said there is nothing stopping the country from taking advantage of a platform where those who have the resources and technologies to produce these bye-products in Nigeria can do so rather than resorting to import at a cost. “In Nigeria today when we find oil, we drill oil and put in vessels and export for refining. The byeproducts of the refined crude oil are
By Bidemi Bakare
later sold back to Nigeria to be used as raw materials for manufacturing industries. It appears we don’t realise that the real value in the oil we export is not only in the petrol, aviation fuel and the kerosine we get out of it but the over 6,000 other products that can be derived from it too. “But I think the country can do things differently. We must understand that we can actually produce some of these products here in Nigeria. And that is where the Free Zone concept comes in,” he said. He said the free zone concept can be exploited to add value to the crude oil locally in the form of local and foreign investors setting up factories to produce these bye products as raw materials for industries. He said: “For so long we have
been depending on importation of raw materials from overseas for the manufacture of little things such as bathroom slippers whereas these raw materials are gotten from the crude oil that the country exports. What I think is that with the free zone concept a man who has N10 million can set up a small factory where the bye-products of petroleum that we send elsewhere can be used. There are so many small scale industries we can set up out of the oil and gas industry. The raw material used in making the laptop case for instance is a bye product of petroleum. They are not multi-million dollar industries.” He said the free zone concept would also go a long way in reducing unemployment levels in the country as these industries that use the raw materials would need people to work for them.
“When we domesticate these industries, we expect them to transform our economy because a man who sets up a small factory would probably employ 30 other people that would help to produce slippers or handbags for instance. Don’t forget that even some clothes are made from petroleum products. “So, I believe with the concept of free zone it would surely help to transform our economy. We would surely get to a point that if we are able to set up petrochemical industries, the bye-products of some of the petrochemical would be the ordinary things that the ordinary man would use to produce some of the things he needs. China is making the best out of its free zone and that’s why they are making so many bye products out of petroleum for manufacturing,” he said.
Explaining that all free zones are extra-territorial in nature, Abe said the Onne Free Zone is no exception as it provides ancillary services such as banking and security, among others to investors doing business there. “Free zones are extra-territorial in nature. That explains why we have our own free custom zone that interfaces with the Nigerian custom free zone. We also have our own immigration that operates from here and of course banks. “Free zones have banks because when you have a concentration of businesses you know that they would need banks to operate. So, there is a link with the banking industry not necessarily directly with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) although we interface with them too,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
LADOL begins repair, maintenance of vessels, oil rigs
HE Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) has started repairs and maintenance on vessels and oil rigs. On a facility visit to its base at the Lagos Free Trade Zone at Tarkwa Bay, a massive oil rig belonging to Noble Drilling Corporation was undergoing a 240-tonne steel replacement. Chairman of the company, Ladi Jadesimi, stated that the Noble Rig was not their first as they have handled other rigs and vessels, which were delivered to their owners in record time. This, to him, was done in response to the Local Content Act and the much awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) yet to be passed into law by the National Assembly. “The Act and the Bill seek to get Nigerians fully involved in the oil and gas sector being the mainstay of our economy instead of leaving the scene to foreigners alone,” he added. Jadesimi said the development of logistics bases is one of the keys to making Nigeria the hub for deep offshore oil and gas in West Africa. Speaking on the Noble Drilling Rig undergoing steel replacement, he said before now, things such as this were done in neighbouring countries such as Cameroun or Ghana and it was not good for Nigeria being a major oil and gas country as well as a massive maritime country. He said: “We render technical support to those who need them. Most of the work that were done outside Nigeria are now handled
By Uyoatta Eshiet
by LADOL right here in the country with the same result but with added advantage because most of the work are handled by our technicians who are being retrained to meet international standard.” This, he said, is having a multiplier effect as our people are provided employment and have a stake in the oil and gas sector. He said there is a massive transfer of technology as well as the preservation of foreign exchange. Jadesimi said the logistics base can accommodate quite a number of rigs as well as vessels all under going maintenance at the same time. “It is a 200-metre long quay facility and has draft level of 8.5 metres with a plan to dredge it to over 10 meters to accommodate even much bigger vessels and rigs than it can do now.” Jadesimi said: “LADOL is the only indigenous Nigerian facility of its kind and one of the largest 100 per cent indigenous infrastructure developments in the oil and gas sector. Logistics bases provide the support and environment needed to enable all upstream petroleum related activities to take place in Nigeria. “This includes the full spectrum of activities from engineering, procurement and fabrication to personnel support, drilling and production. These activities will bring billions of dollars of long-term investment, create tens of thousands of jobs and en-
IEA sees global oil demand at 91m bpd next year
AINLY driven by nonOECD economies, global oil demand in 2012 is expected to rise by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) year-on-year to 91 million bpd, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its monthly report. In contrast to the rising demand in major emerging economies, demand from members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will see slight decline over 2012, according to IEA’s oil market report. According to Xinhua, for 2011, the agency predicted an estimated global demand to 89.5 million bpd, up by 1.2 million bpd year-on-year with upward demand in non-OECD economies outweighing downward revision in the OECD region. Comparing with other predictions, IEA’s estimation for 2011 was higher than that of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which expected oil demand to increase 1.6 percent this year to a record 88.16
million bpd. The OECD area, composed of 34 states including all advanced industrialized countries, were under the pressure of high fuel prices and weaker economy activity, a situation worrying the energy consumption watchdog so much that it has called repeatedly the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase crude supply. However, the supplier union failed to meet the request in June, as a result, the IEA, led by the United States, announced on June 23 a fourth release of strategic oil reserves in history to ease the market and pull down the prices. According to the IEA report, the release of 60 million barrels of strategic stocks for an initial 30 days “has helped realign sweet-sour price spreads, distorted by lost Libyan barrels, and flattened earlier Brent backwardation,” but the OPEC saw little positive effect of the IEA release in its monthly report released last week.
able long-term and sustainable economic growth in the country.” The Chairman said the target market is the West of the Niger, Equatorial Guinea and other African countries. He said the work was divided into phases with the first phase comprising the development of a Greenfield Deep Offshore Logistics Base which has been completed. Also completed are a 96room Harbour Hotel completely fitted with facilities of international standard and blocks of offices fully equipped with office support facilities that could be
found anywhere else in the developed world. The base is a Free Zone and ISPS Certified. The second phase will be to provide for onshore floating production and storage (FPSO) fabrication in Nigeria, Jadesimi disclosed. According to him, the World Oil Magazine in its May 2009 article reported that the deep offshore market is a time limited opportunity for Nigeria to overcome the “natural resource curse” and turn it into a blessing. The report said over $100 billion will be spent on deep offshore projects in West Africa and Nigeria has ev-
• An oil rig at LADOL
BP initiates enhanced drilling standards in GoM
P Exploration & Production Incorporated has said it would implement a new set of deepwater oil and gas drilling standards for its operations in the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM), demonstrating the company’s commitment to safe and reliable operations. The announcement was made in a letter to the director of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), Michael Bromwich. The company in a statement said the voluntary performance standards go beyond existing regulatory obligations and reflect the company’s determination to apply lessons it learned from the Deepwater Horizon accident and subsequent oil spill. “BP’s commitment in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon incident is
not only to restore the economic and environmental conditions among the affected areas of the Gulf Coast, but also to apply what we have learned to improve the way we operate,” said BP group chief executive Bob Dudley. “We believe the commitments we have outlined today will promote greater levels of safety and preparedness in deepwater drilling.” The foundations for these new voluntary standards for BP’s Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling operations have been developed since the Deepwater Horizon incident and through the lessons learned. BP is now making these standards public and will begin to implement them into its operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The new voluntary standards are: •BPXP will use, and will require its contractors involved in drilling operations to use, subsea blowout
Domestic prices of petroleum products Energy & Oil Prices OIL ($/bbl)
erything it takes to be the central hub from which these projects are conceived and in which the mega fabrication/integration/engineering takes place. Demand is here now – we’ve seen huge developments take place in recent years in Angola, South Africa, Ghana but development and investment in Nigeria has been stagnant. The United States Korea, Europe and even other African nations will continue to get these projects/jobs and resultant economic boost, while Nigeria continues to foot the bill,” he said.
Nymex Crude Future Dated Brent Spot WTI Cushing Spot OIL (¢/gal)
Nymex Heating Oil Future Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu)
Nymex Henry Hub Future Henry Hub Spot New York City Gate Spot ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour)
97.24 117.72 97.24
1.55 0.84 1.55
1.62% 0.72% 1.62%
07/15 07/15 07/15
4.55 4.49 4.73
0.17 0.07 0.09
3.84% 1.58% 1.94%
07/15 07/15 07/15
Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot 33.06 6.63 Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot 44.26 3.64 BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON 89.00 -6.90 Bloomberg Oil Buyers Guide subscriber
preventers (BOPs) equipped with no fewer than two blind shear rams and a casing shear ram on all drilling rigs under contract to BPXP for deepwater service operating in dynamic position mode. With respect to moored drilling rigs under contract to BPXP for deepwater drilling service using subsea BOPs, the subsea BOP will be equipped with two shear rams, which will include at least one blind shear ram and either an additional blind shear ram or a casing shear ram. •Each time a subsea BOP from a moored or dynamically-positioned drilling rig is brought to the surface and testing and maintenance on the BOP are conducted, BPXP will require that a third party verify that the testing and maintenance of the BOP were performed in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and industry recommended practice (API RP 53). •BPXP will require that laboratory testing of cement slurries for primary cementing of casing and exposed hydrocarbon-bearing zones relating to drilling operations of deepwater wells be conducted or witnessed by a BPXP engineer competent to evaluate such laboratory testing, or a competent third party independent of the cement provider. BPXP will provide laboratory results to the applicable BOEMRE field office within a reasonable period of time. •BPXP’s Oil Spill Response Plan (OSRP) will include information about enhanced measures for responding to a spill in open water, near-shore response and shoreline spill response based on lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. “BP is adopting these voluntary actions as part of its commitment to safe and reliable operations, and to help rebuild trust in the company following last year’s accident and oil spill,” said James Dupree, BP regional president, Gulf of Mexico.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
HEALTH THE NATION
Lagos appeals for donations for displaced flood victims
Faced with memory condition? Try this drug T
O guarantee optimal cognitive activity, the health
of the brain cells (neurons) must be maintained. This is because the brain controls all the physical and intellectual activity in the body,experts have said. To ensure the brain is alert and functions well, experts have come up with Cognitol. The drug, Cognitol, is a memory and intelligece quotient (IQ) enhancer. The drug is an alkaloid of common periwinkle plant (vinca minor L). It was presented at the 35 th Annual General and Scientific Meeting of the West African College of Physicians, Nigerian Chapter. The conference’s theme was: “Quality Healthcare in a developing economy: Opportunities and challenges. Its sub theme was: Improving child healthcare in Nigeria.” According to the Managing Director of Tyonex Nigeria Limited, Emmanuel Agba, Cognitol is useful in cerebral disorders such as poor memory, acute stroke, loss of the power of expression, inability to coordinate movements (aphasia), motor disorders and dizziness. Other uses include enhancing libido, improving visual acuity, bursts stress, controls urinary incontinence, tinnitus and other inner-ear problems. He said Cognitol boosts the metabolism in the brain by increasing the blood flow, enhancing oxygen utilisation,
• Agba , Ugbodaga and Tyonex National Sales Manager, Mr. Rasheed Ayinde at the event. By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
boosting the rate at which brain cells produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and accelerating the brain’s use of glucose. As a result, the brain can better retain information, thus enhancing memory. “Cognitol also maintains brain cell electrical conductivity and protects against damage caused by excessive intracellular release of calcium. It inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that can interfere with circulation or causes stroke. “It is acerebral vasodilator with a beneficial effect on cerebral metabolism. It selectively dilates the arteries and capillar-
ies in the head, improving circulation to the brain, thus alleviating cerebral insufficiency. Cognitol’s mechanisms of action are similar to Sildenafil, as both increase blood flow by inhibiting an enzyme that indirectly causes arterial constriction reduced blood flow”, said Agba. The Deputy Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Pschychiatric Hospital, Benin, Dr George Eze, said as the hospital is developing, it is shifting focus to geriatrics’ care, “And mental health in the hospital for the old is now embracing Cognitol. It has been found that it is good for dementia, as it restores impaired brain
‘Cognitol boosts the metabolism in the brain by increasing the blood flow, enhancing oxygen utilisation, boosting the rate at which brain cells produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and accelerating the brain’s use of glucose. As a result, the brain can better retain information, thus enhancing memory’
energy metabolism. ATP synthesis is improved, especially for individuals whose dementia, is caused by vascular insufficiency. “Its antiplatelet activity inhibits blood clotting and aids normalisation of blood to the brain. Its selective cerebral vasodilating aids in the reflow of blood and prevents stroke.” Also, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State, Dr Peter Femi, said almost anyone can benefit from Cognitol. “From people who already have cognitive deterioration, through the elderly who are starting to suffer the symptoms of memory loss to young people and students who want to enhance their memory, to increase their intellectual intelligence, as well as get good results I their exams,” said the Consultant Physician. A public Health Practitioner, Dr Imeh Okon added: “Noncommunicable diseases are gaining ground against noncommunicable disease. Cognitol makes practitioners feel like genius in the presence of patients. The drug has been scientifically proven within and outside the country.”
Our commitment to patients’ care still top priority, says LASUTH CMD
HE Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has restated its commitment to patient care with the provision of infrastructure, equipment and manpower to ensure adequate treatment of the sick . The hospital said its practice conforms with the government’s policy of free health care for patients who are under 12 and above 60 years. It’s Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Adewale Oke, made these known during a tour of the hospital by reporters. Oke said that the hospital is wellpositioned to meet the growing health challenges of the people, adding that even those not in the category for free health care would still enjoy total care at very moderate charges. “We don’t turn patients back, we try to help them recover,” he said. According to him, the hospital had been enjoying tremendous patronage from the patients from the time when
By Wale Adepoju
it was a General Hospital. It was providing primary, secondary and tertiary care. Even after its upgrade to a teaching hospital, the patients still come to the hospital. “Today, the hospital has wards and units such as the Surgical Emergency Ward, Medical Emergency Ward, Built and Transferred, otherwise called Bola Tinubu (BT) Ward and Oncology Unit, among others are fully equipped to provide adequate medical services to patients in the state and even beyond. “We have completed the Cardiac and Renal Centre at Gbagada and by December the new Critical Care Unit (CCU) meant for the treatment of patients with serious ailment such as severe burns, respiratory and cardiovascular problems and immune depression among others would be
completed. “The hospital wards are designed to meet various health challenges of the patients. The facilities that have been put in place is enough to prevent patients from embarking on oversee medical trips because similar facilities and expertise exist in the hospital to ensure that they are well taken care of.” Oke said the government is ensuring manpower and facility development in addition to what the hospital already has to meet the growing population estimated at 20 million. Consultant Orthopaedic/ Trauma Surgeon, and Head, Surgical Emergency unit, (LASUTH) Dr Ibrahim Mustapha said the hospital’s emergency care unit has the necessary facilities to cater for emergencies. Mustapha said patients only have
to be patient as “Emergency cases are attended to based on the extent of severity not usually as they come into the hospital.” He said patients in the Surgical Emergency unit are not supposed to be there beyond 24 hours before they are transferred to the ward. “Our unit here is well-equipped to meet the meet the emergency challenges. It is the eye of the hospital and the government is trying to increase the capacity both in human and infrastructure development to ensure that we give best service possible,” he said. Apex Nursing Officer, Mrs Modupe J. Shode, said the hospital has 720 beds in its 28 clinics, but only 600 beds are available since construction began at Ayinke House. She said the hospital experienced between 3,000 and 5,000 out-patients visits, adding that the most visits are to the paediatric, ophthalmology and orthopaedic wards and surgical and medical emergency units.
HE state government has urged well meaning Nigeri ans and Lagosians to donate relief materials to displaced persons affected by the floods in the state. A statement issued by the state government explained that such donations becomes necessary to alleviate the suffering of the displaced and affected members of the public. The Statement further stressed that people willing to make such contributions and donations can contact the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed on 0802234870; the Commissioner for Health Dr Jide Idris on 08022234273; the Special Adviser on Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina on 08055329229; and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties, Dr Remi Desalu on 08033041284. Others include Dr Femi Osanyintolu, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) on 08060907333; and Mrs Sade Sadeko, the focal or contact person at the Lagos State Ministry of Special Duties on 08089889104. The statement lauded the contributions and donations of these well-meaning Nigerians and Lagosians in the past assuring that their donations would get to the affected people. Idris alerted members of the public to the health hazards of the flood caused by last Sunday’s rain. He urged them to take precautionary health measures. Idris, who spoke in Lagos explained that the intermediate and secondary effects of the flood include the spread of cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, common cold and other Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTIs), skin infections like scabies, fungal infections and allergic reactions triggering asthma attacks.
Group urges Jonathan not to sign bill
HE Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to okay the National Health Bill into law, until its grey areas are addressed. The group said the Bill only favours medical doctors, who have been vested with the Executive Chairmanship position of the proposed National Tertiary Hospitals Commission in section 8 (2). Also in Section 11(2b), the position of Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Primary Health care Board could only be occupied by a medical doctor. Its National Chairman, Dr Ejiro Foyibo, who spoke to journalists advised President Jonathan to make specific recommendation to the National Assembly to re-examine sections 1(1) (6), 8 (2) and 11 (2) of the Bill in the interest of stakeholders and the public. According to her, the discriminatory clause in the Bill should be removed because the 1999 constitution, which is in operation in the country, guarantees equal chances and privileges for all citizens, but “this Bill states something different,” said Foyibo. She said having doctors only in the National Council on Health would constitute a major drawback in health planning due to non-representation of other health professional associations on such a sensitive and important Council.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
How media can help combat cancer Health T Tourism HE media has been identified as the most potent weapon against the spread of cancer in the country. Cancer, a non-communicable preventable disease, poses a global threat particularly in developing countries which bear about 80 per cent of the global cancer burden. According to Federal Ministry of Health figures, an estimated 350,000 new cases are diagnosed annually with a corresponding high fatality rate, estimated at 70 percent. Speaking in Abuja at a media workshop on cancer prevention in Nigeria, organised for Health correspondents by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Dr. Patience Sonubi, National Coordinator, National Cancer Control Programme underscored the critical role the media can play in the prevention of the dreaded disease in the country. “If screening and awareness take place, incidences of cancer will reduce by 40 percent,” she said. Permanent Secretary, Mr. Linus Awute said without the media being involved in the fight against cancer, prevention which is critical to spread would be difficult accomplish. He said: “Since the disease is preventable, all we need is to disseminate adequate information on life style and healthy living to the people both in the urban centers and the rural areas. “Without the full and determined
From: Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha and Dele Anofi, Abuja
involvement of the media, this cannot be achieved. Moreover policies and programmes put in place by the government towards prevention and cure of the disease would remain largely unknown to the victims and the generality of Nigerians if the media is not carried along. “With adequate information available to the people, the disease can be prevented and this is why we are soliciting for the support of the Nigerian media to buy into the crusade against the disease for a healthier and more productive society”. For instance, the people need to know that the FMOH has mapped out a strategic road map to curb the disease through the 5-year Cancer Control Plan (2008-2013), this is in addition to the comprehensive primary and secondary cancer prevention programme, early detection through regular cancer screening, early treatment intervention and palliative care to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. He said it is pertinent for Nigerians to know that albinos were not left out since they suffer from skin cancer, adding that skin cancer screening equipment and sunscreens have been given to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), University of Nigeria
Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu and the National Hospital Abuja (NHA) to manage health challenges of Albinos. He also stated that emphasis are being placed on preventing and preventable and treating the treatable cancers. “The Cervical Cancer Control Policy was developed and we have implemented the strategy of immunizing young girls (pre-cervical exposure) with Human Papilloma Virus vaccine (HPV) for the prevention of cervical cancer. “4,000 doses of HPV vaccines were procured and distributed to girls from indigent homes. Every State benefited. This is in addition to Hepatitis B virus vaccine for the prevention of Liver cancer,” the Permanent Secretary said. He also said the public need to know that as a result of challenge of one radiotherapy machine to 20,000,000 people, the FMOH went in to an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to procure 10 radiotherapy and 21 nuclear medicine equipment for diagnosis and treatment of cancer in 10 University Teaching Hospitals in the country. “In view of the urgent need for increased knowledge that will assist us in the maximum utilization of these technologies, eight Doctors, 21 Pharmacists and 20 Nurses have already or are about to commence specialist training in the use of these equipment abroad,” he added.
•From left: President, Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Idris Omede; Mr Awute; and Dr. Osinubi, at the workshop.
NAFDAC worried over energy drinks
HE National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has expressed concern over the abuse of some drugs by youths warning that the future of the country is at stake. According to officials of the agency, the use of some cough syrup that contain codeine as well as some brands of energy drinks to get high among the youths are on the rise .Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)Ahmadu Giade had complained about the rise in rampant use of unconventional drugs by the youths to stimulate their minds. Speaking in Abuja during an advocacy workshop for pharmaceutical inspectors, NAFDAC’s Director, Inspection and Establishment Hajia Hauwa Keri said the government and stakeholders must find a way of arresting the situation. She also expressed concern over the capabilities of pharmaceutical inspectors in executing their job at a workshop organised by the Pharmaceutical
From Dele Anofi, Abuja Council of Nigeria (PCN). Hajia Keri, who spoke against the backdrop of her position of inspecting facilities and components of drugs to be produced for local and international consumption, said: “Drug abuse is on the rise in this country and it is getting to a worrisome level. You will weep for this country when you see the kind of abuse these youths are subjecting themselves to. They now use some cough syrups that contain codeine and diphenhydramine as well as energy drinks to get intoxicated. The question, however, is that, as a group, what are we doing about it?” Keri also challenged the gathering on measures taken to address the situation on the discovery that those identified drugs and energy drinks are being abused. “What measures are being taken to redress it. Why produce so many types of these cough syrups that contain these active
ingredients and energy drinks from your companies when you know they are being abused? Is it to maximise profit?”, she asked. She also expressed her reservation on the competence of some pharmaceutical inspectors saying, they require training and retraining because, “some of them lack confidence and need to be adequately equipped to carry out their duties.” In his remarks, Registrar/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PCN, Ahmed Mora said the workshop became imperative as a result of emerging challenges in the health sector.”It is expected of inspectors to be versatile and up-to-date with the necessary inspection skills in relation to pharmaceutical premises in a harmonised manner throughout the country and this is what we hope to achieve,” said Mora. Mora said: “It is proper and legitimate for the PCN to ensure that the pharmaceutical inspectors are trained with the latest skills and competencies of inspection.”
With Dr Dheeraj Bojwani e-mail: email@example.com
Uterine fibroids: Common African women problem
IBROIDS are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus (womb). Another medical term for fibroids is “leiomyoma” or just “myoma”. Fibroids are growths enclosed in capsules attached to the wall of your womb. They don’t spread to other parts of your body. Fibroids are very common - more than two in five women have fibroids. However, most of these women don’t ever get any symptoms. The word fibroid in a gynecologist’s office evokes images of cancer, bleeding and at the very least surgery in the minds of the patients. The real picture may be far from any of these. Fibroids are not cancerous tumors as a rule. An extremely small percentage of fibroids would actually undergo cancerous changes. About 20 per cent to 80 per cent of women develop fibroids by the time they reach age 50. Fibroids are most common in women in their 40s and early 50s. No one knows for sure what causes fibroids. Researchers think that more than one factor could play a role. These factors could be; hormonal (affected by estrogen and progesterone levels) and/or genetic (runs in families). Fibroids range in size from very small (coin sized) to larger than a melon. A very large uterine fibroid can cause the uterus to expand to the size of a six or seven-month pregnancy. There can either be one dominant fibroid or a cluster of many small fibroids. Fibroids are usually not a problem, but they can grow to produce extremely bothersome symptoms such as bleeding, pain, or infertility, which can drastically lower a woman’s quality of life. The symptoms of fibroids can be troublesome or even unbearable. The most common symptoms of uterine fibroids include: • Heavy menstrual bleeding • Prolonged menstrual periods — seven days or more of menstrual bleeding • Pelvic pressure or pain • Frequent urination • Difficulty emptying your bladder • Constipation • Backache or leg pains Firstly, there is no instant remedy for fibroid. If you are under the impression that conventional medicines will provide you overnight relief you may be wrong. Also, there is no way to completely remove fibroids successfully without surgery. We know that menopause has an effect on fibroids by decreasing their size, but the fibroids never completely disappear. When medications have not worked, the patient may have to undergo surgery. The following surgical procedures may be considered: • Hysterectomy - A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, usually performed by a gynecologist. Hysterectomy may be total or partial. • Myomectomy - Myomectomy is a procedure in which uterine fibroids are surgically removed from the uterus. • UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization) - Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive treat-
ment for fibroid tumors of the uterus. The procedure is also sometimes referred to as Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) • Endometrial Ablation - Endometrial ablation is a procedure that destroys (ablates) the uterine lining, or endometrium. This procedure is used to treat dysfunctional or abnormal uterine bleeding. • Magnetic Resonance Guided Percutaneous Laser Ablation - Magnetic resonance (MR) image guided percutaneous laser ablation is a minimally invasive technique for the treatment of uterine fibroids. Patients are given intravenous sedation and analgesia and a catheter is placed in the bladde • Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery - MR guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure which uses high doses of focused ultrasound waves (HIFU) to destroy uterine fibroids, without affecting any of the other tissues around the fibroid. According to the latest research done, for African women, uterine fibroids can pose quite a burden. They occur more often than in their white counterparts, develop sooner and grow larger. Although rare in most women under the age of 20, some women do experience symptoms. Fibroids, however, are most common in women in their 30s and 40s, and tend to shrink after the menopause. Because fibroids aren’t cancerous and usually grow slowly, there is time to gather information before making a decision about if and how to proceed with treatment. One of the most critical questions that require a lot of consideration is whether surgical treatment of fibroids will affect a women’s fertility The option that’s right for you depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your signs and symptoms, your plans for childbearing, how close you are to menopause, and your feelings about surgery. Low cost of fibroid management and surgery in India Medical tourism offers affordably priced surgery in India for International patients. Thousands of female patients come to India for their Fibroid Surgery under some of the best fertility surgeons who have huge experience and expertise in this field. When compared, cost of fibroid surgery in India is just a quarter of what one would pay in the US or UK. Surgery in India is provided at best hospitals at low cost by interdisciplinary teams of specialists and delivers top-quality surgery combined with an active commitment to personalised care in an ambience of comfort and convenience. The various benefits of fibroid surgery in India are not just limited to medical treatment, in fact latest medical facilities combined with Indian hospitality encompassing travel and logistics arrangement ensure that your journey to India is hassle free.
Dr. Bojwani is the Chief Executive of Forerunners Healthcare Consultants Pvt Ltd, India’s Pioneer Medical tourism organisation. Local contact: 07042394040, 07090830097, 08191462542, 07037065779, 08023051420
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
How to treat pneumonia I
T is becoming clear to all that drugs are limited in effectiveness when it comes to fighting pneumonia or bronchitis. Antibiotics are usually administered as the first line of defense. But when a virus is causing the pneumonia, antibiotics won't help you at all. In fact, they will kill off the good bacteria so important to your gut health. To make matters worse, far too many bacteria are becoming drug resistant super bacteria that antibiotics just can't stop. So what can you do? The medical profession can do very little other than hope that you or your loved one will get better. If someone has a strong immune system, they may. If they don't, they may spend a miserable, expensive time in the hospital. Fortunately, there is a safe, effective and inexpensive natural product that will help you quickly obtain relief from pneumonia and bronchitis. It doesn't matter whether pneumonia or bronchitis is caused by mycoplasma, super bacteria or viruses. This works on virtually any pathogen.This is a specially processed liquid molecula silver formulation with a very small amount of hydrogen peroxide, called Respiratory Support. Silver has been used for years to fight infec-
tions. This is because silver particles kill virtually every type of pathogen there is. Viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma, parasites, you name it. Any of the pathogens that are causing your pneumonia. Even viruses or a super-bug that has mutated so that antibiotics don’t kill it. Silver will and here's how. Microorganisms depend on a specific enzyme to breathe. Silver particles disable these enzymes and as a result, the pathogens die. An ordinary antibiotic kills perhaps a half dozen different disease organisms; silver is known to kill more than 650 illness-causing microorganisms. Pathogens cannot develop a tolerance to it making it a remarkable product for helping in the fight against pneumonia and bronchitis. You can take silver products internally but, the best way to knock out pneumonia or bronchitis fast is to breathe it into the lungs. That way the silver directly affects the germs causing the pneumonia or bronchitis that are residing in the lungs. Which is what Respiratory Support is designed to do. It works very fast. It is not uncommon for bronchitis or pneumonia to clear up in a couple of days.
The best way to get the molecula silver into the lungs is to use a nebulizer which is a small device that takes Respiratory Support and atomizes it so that you can breathe it into the lungs. Usually, you only need to use a teaspoon about three times a day - 10 to 15 minutes each time. Respiratory Support is so gentle on your lungs it can be used five or six times a day for the most severe cases. So if it is so great, why isn’t my doctor telling me to use silver? There are probably two reasons. First, generally the medical profession only recommends pharmaceutical drugs. These drugs are what they are educated about and are what they know. Most MD's are very skeptical of natural alternatives to medications. Second, not all silver products are of good quality. In fact, a majority of them are not particularly effective. So even doctors who are open to recommending natural products may not recommend silver because they don’t know which types are effective and which aren’t. Many alternative doctors who do know which types work best speak highly of silver’s pathogen fighting abilities. Why we recommend Respiratory Support as the silver product to use.
Netherlands supports Global Fund with 163.5 euro
HE Global Fund has welcomed the decision by the Netherlands to commit a further 163.5 million euro for year 2011 to 2013. The money will help the Global Fund support poor countries in their efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and to save lives. Confirming the decision, the Netherlands Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, Ben Knapen, expressed his appreciation for the good results the Fund has achieved in a statement on the ministry’s website. The Fund’s programmes have saved over 6.5 million lives in less than 10 years. The Netherlands made the new pledge despite a reduction in the country’s overall official development assistance (ODA)
By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
budget. The Netherlands is the 10th largest donor to the Global Fund and has been among the most generous in terms of its contributions as a percentage of gross national income. It has pledged more than 648 million euro, including this latest pledge, to the Global Fund since its creation in 2002. “The strong commitment shown by the Netherlands has been absolutely vital for the Global Fund’s success so far,” said Global Fund Executive Director, Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, who met Mr Knapen in The Hague. “The announcement of this new contribution demonstrates the Netherlands’ continued confidence in the life-sav-
ing work of the Global Fund.” The Dutch announcement comes at a time that the Global Fund is implementing extensive reforms, which include a further strengthening of its fiduciary controls and financial safeguards. Mr Knapen referred to the Global Fund’s openness in communicating after the Global Fund uncovered and made public earlier this year that some of its grant money had been misappropriated in four countries. While concerned about the irregularities, Mr Knapen said he is satisfied with the measures taken by the Fund and its openness in communicating about the misappropriations. ‘The Netherlands does not wish to either reward secrecy or punish transparency,’ said the minister.
• Orumbie (right) addressing Esekhade (standing) during the visit.
The process for making the molecula silver that is used in Respiratory Support is a unique process that creates silver particles so fine they disperse through the body in a similar fashion to how a gas does. Getting into cells and killing pathogens with greater ability then ordinary colloidal or ionic silver products. One of the worlds leading physicists, considered to be the father of electro-medicine today, Robert C. Beck, tested these three forms of silver for penetrability. He found that all forms of colloidal and Ionic silver had a 5% to six per cent effectiveness for penetrating certain membranes. When he tested Molecula Silver he was astonished to see 100 per cent penetration! Another major distinction between this molecula silver and all others is that due to its energetic and etheric nature, it doesn’t break down. Direct sunlight does not change it’s composition even after years of exposure. Home colloidal silver makers produce, and most of the commercial colloidal and ionic silver products on the market are, inexpensive colloidal silver that is not effective for two reasons. •Culled from www.health-reports.com
Firm establishes N100m drug distribution centre
ANUFACTURERS Delivery Services (MDS) Logistics, a subsidiary of United African Company (UAC), has established a N100 million Drug Distribution Centre in Kano to assist the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in the herculean task of safeguarding the health of the nation. The centre, which is to serve as the distribution hub for the north, brings to two the number of distribution centres established by MDS Logistics, with the first one cited in Abuja. Speaking at the inauguration, the Group Managing Director of MDS Logistics, Mr. Larry Ettah, said the centre represents the commitment of his organisation to partner with NAFDAC in the war against counterfeit drugs in the country. Ettah, who stressed the need to sanitise drug distribution system in the country, urged manufacturers and importers to take advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities available at the distribution centre in storing and distributing their drugs. He said the establishment of the drug distribution centre, which is a long term project, gulped over N100 million, adding that though it was expensive, the investment was worth it in view of the sensitive nature of drug business. “We establish this drug distribution centre to attract clients to overcome their challenges in the distribution of drugs. This environment is where we can assure them of quality.” Earlier, the Chairman of the event, Sir Bright Ekweremadu, Managing Director, Society for Family Health, said the establishment of the drug distribution centres is the solution to the poor storage and distribution of drugs in the country. He commended MDS Logistics for the professional manner it handled the distribution of drugs in the country, saying that the company has the unmistakable esteem as pharmaceutical hub in parts of the country where it operates.
St John Ambulance donates to Cheshire Home
T John Ambulance, Nigeria has donated N143, 960 and other household materials to the Cheshire Home for the physically handicapped in Lagos. The visit to the home was part of activities to mark St. John Ambulance Day. The theme was: Save a life towards a healthy tomorrow. St John Ambulance Commissioner, Dr Patrick Orumbie, said the gesture was to demonstrate why the group is a leading, reputable and reliable first aid training and care giving organisation.
The Commissioner said most of the donations came from students to support the physically challenged. He said he visited the home 10 years ago when he was the President of Rotary Club of Surulere Northeast, adding that one of his projects was to foster a relationship between the home and Rotary Club. Orumbie said Rotary Club always visits regularly to know their needs. The Administrator of the Lagos Teaching Hospita (LUTH), Idi Araba, Ayo Olagunju, who
is the president of the group said: “Unless we, as Nigerians, by and large support these people, we are not doing the will of God. Therefore, we should donate generously to help the needy in the society.” The Chairman of the Home, Prof Bode Gbenle represented by the Public Relations Officer, Aig Esekhade, said St John and the home have been partners for a long time since it was established in 1961. He said the activities of street urchins known as area boys have been disturbing the home,
adding that plans are in the pipeline to move to the permanent site at Ibeshi, Ibafo which has residential facilities. Gbenle said the goal of the home is to train and empower residents to make them live on their own. He appealed for help from the body realise this dream. He said 15 residents currently live in the home, but over 200 are non-residents, adding that the students were taught basket and shoe making, fashion designing, petty trading, among others. “We also give them some money in form of microfinance to help them settle down,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Monarch praises A FERMA
member of the Lagos State Traditional Council, the Ranodu of Imota Ikorodu, Oba Mudashiru BakareAgoro (Olufoworesetie II), has praised the management of Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) for repairing the Lagos – Ikorodu –Itoikin Federal road which passes his community. The monarch gave the commendation during a visit to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FERMA, Mr Kabiru Abdullahi, in his office at Abuja. He said prior to FERMA’s intervention on the road, commuters from his community could only access Lagos Metropolis, which is
Stories by Tajudeen Adebanjo
just 36 kilometres away, by skirting round Epe and Lekki to the southeast of the community, thereby covering an extra 50 kilometres. The visit, he said, is not only to thank FERMA for the work it has done in his domain, but also to praise it on behalf of all traditional rulers in the state where the agency has proved its mettle by repairing and maintaining roads. FERMA, he added, has proved that when you have a focused and com-
petent technocrat at the helm of affairs in an agency, members of the public are assured of accessing services wherever they may live. Responding, Abdullahi said the agency is encouraged when members of the public show appreciation for the effort in delivering its mandate. He said many prominent Nigerians including four monarchs have visited the agency this year to express their appreciation for the road maintenance programmes. He said in addition to the Lagos – Ikorodu – Itoikin road, FERMA has also completed some metropolitan Federal roads in Lagos, including the
•Oba Bakare-Agoro (third right), Mr Abdullahi (third left) and other members of the monarch’s entourage.
completion of the rehabilitation of Ijora Causeway, maintenance of Lagos section of the old Abeokuta
road, maintenance of Lagos bridges and approaches, Apapa – Oworonsoki road and in-
stallation and maintenance of street lights on the Third Mainland Bridge, among other maintenance projects.
Coscharis donates bus to NDLEA
•Umeaka presenting the keys of the bus to Mrs Nnodim
Firm introduces commercial vehicles
LOBE Motors Holdings Nigeria Limited has introduced Hyundai brands of commercial vehicles into the market. The firm, a dealer in Toyota and Honda brands of vehicles, says it will extend its finance scheme to customers who are interested in the commercial vehicles, in addition to an after sales service programme. The Managing Director, Globe Motors, Mr Victor
Oguamalam, gave the range of commercial vehicles as buses, vans, light and heavy duty trucks, light and heavy cargo trucks, dump trucks, tractors and concrete mixers. Oguamalam said the vehicles could also be configured into a wide range of specialty vehicles for municipal, construction, transportation, educational and medical uses. He listed the vehicles as inter and intra-city buses, refrigerated vans or mobile
NE major problem of governments’ ministries, departments and agencies in the country is their irresponsiveness or slow response to hazard prevention. It is almost becoming a culture for proactive actions to be delayed until the milk is spilled before civil or public servants run helterskelter to profer fire brigade solutions to problems. In most cases, it is late before this is done. Consider the cases of the religious crises in the North; the kidnappings in the Niger Delta and Boko Haram bombings, among others. Recently, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) directed that abandoned vehicles at police stations nationwide should be removed. One reason he gave was that the abandoned vehicles around the Police Headquarters in Abuja hindered the vehicles of the Fire Service from having access to the bomb blast site early enough. This is unfortunate. Sometimes last year in this column, I wrote an article alerting the Nigeria Police Force (NPF)that the abandoned vehicles around the police stations in Nigeria were causing traffic jams and accidents. Since then, no action has been taken by the authorities of the NPF until it was affected directly. But why should they allow such loss of lives and damage to properties before tak-
cold rooms, ambulances/intensive care units, mobile clinics, mobile libraries, dump trucks, cargo trucks, refuse trucks, sewage trucks, fire trucks, mobile workshops, personnel carriers and water tankers. “The HD45 to HD120 light to medium cargo trucks offer customers a versatile array of applications. The Hyundai Universe luxury coach was used to convey all the team members and officials during the 2010 World Cup fiesta in South Africa,” he said.
OSCHARIS Motors, a leading auto company dealing on BMW vehicles among oters, has donated a Wuling bus to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Amuwo Zone to assist it in duties. The Group Finance Controller, Mr Godwin Umeaka, who represented the President/ Chief Executive Officer, Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka, said Coscharis Group is not only a solely profit-driven firm. Rather, it has passion to contribute to the society by identifying and supporting key specific areas and agencies towards sustainable community development. This, Umeaka said, was the reason the company has geared its social investment efforts in supporting the government, its agencies and other relevant stakeholders. While commending NDLEA's doggedness and commitment to fight drug defaulters and cartels, he promised that the company would continue to identify with such fights and support the government and its rel-
evant agencies for sustainable growth. He stated that the company was continuing with the ambitious programme of investments in government and other relevant stakeholders. He urged private firms to engage in a national effort to upgrade support for the public sector and the larger community. Umeaka, who described the gesture as part of its corporate social responsibility, hinted that there was no better way to dem-
onstrate its commitment to the brand it represents than to let the gesture speak for itself. Receiving the bus, the Assistant State Commander of NDLEA, Lagos State Command, Mrs Rosanna Nnodim, thanked the management of Coscharis Group for the gesture. Mrs Nnodim enjoined other private investors to emulate Coscharis Group to enable the agency to be better equipped to fight drug abuse.
NURTW leader hails appointment of Opeifa
HAIRMAN of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Ojodu/ Berger Branch, Lagos State, Seriki Tokunbo has praised the appointment of Comrade Kayode Opeifa as the new Commissioner for Transportation in the state. Tokunbo believed Opeifa is capable of improving the transportation system in the state. “He has been a front liner and supporter of the union even since he became the Special Adviser of
Transport. He has seen to the peaceful co-existence and unity among the members of the Union in the state,” he said. He urged him to see to the improvement of the BRT buses, promised that the union would continue to support the BRT project. “There is no need disputing the fact that the state Transportation ministry has made a landmark achievement over the years. Opeifa should not relax in his effort to keep the good work going,” he said.
IG’s order to police stations ing a meaningful action? Well, it is still better to be late than never and I do hope there will be full compliance. I want to appeal to the relevant government authorities to take proactive measures to fix the failed portions of roads before they swallow more lives. They must not wait till the roads kill VIPs before action is taken. Every life is important to God. People in positions of authority must know that God will hold them responsible for any problem caused by their failure to take appropriate steps. The recklessness of motorcycle and NAPEP tricycle riders calls for proactive action. Recently, I used the Fadeyi pedestrian bridge in Lagos and I saw two things which surprised me. The first, two physically challenged men sweep it daily. They are not employed by the Lagos State Government, but theyare volunteers who decided to cover the lapses of the government to earn a living from sympathisers. The second is the state of the bridge. If someone is not very careful there, he can easily fall from the bridge, or sustain serious injuries. The bridge, which the government is com-
pelling pedestrians to use, is in a bad state and no attention is being paid to it by the same government. Are they waiting till when a hazard occurs before rising up to the challenge? A trip to the Benin-Ore road will reveal more of this attitude. This is the usual pattern. In a particular part of this country, whenever a man is warned to wait for vehicles to pass before crossing, his usual refrain is: ‘’If they hit me, I will take the vehicle’s number and report the driver to the Police.” This is foolishness. Why should he allow the vehicle to hit him at all. If he is killed by the vehicle, he will surely not be in a position to take the number. Before ending this article, I want to mention a fundamental safety principle here. Every person in position of authority must develop and utilise hazard perception skills. The process starts with risk assessment which includes the following: • Identification of the hazards • Decide who might be harmed and how • Evaluation of the risks and taking a decision on the necessary precautionary mea-
sures. • Record the findings and strictly implement them without bias. •Monitor, evaluate and review your assessment and actions with the aim of Jide Owatunmise effecting an update where and when necessary. My candid advice is that the police officers and other people in positions of authority must be subjected to compulsory and intensive training in safety where they will be exposed to deep information on risk assessment, prevention and management. It is high time for the government, the armed forces and the para-military knew that half or partial education on any issue is not too far from illiteracy or ignorance. All the security lapses in the country are working against the inflow of foreign and local investments. If Nigeria must attain the Vision 20:2020, security and safety must be given the right attention at all levels. A stitch in time saves nine.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Harry not in the hunt for Parker T
OTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp has ruled out a possible move for West Ham midfielder Scott Parker. Parker is expected to leave Upton Park this summer following the club’s relegation to the Championship and Chelsea and Aston Villa have been linked with the England international. But Redknapp insists Tottenham will not join the race to sign Parker as he believes the club would be reluctant to spend heavily on a 30-year-old player. “If you take into account the fee of around £8m, signing on fees and wages you’re talking about a £30m deal,” he told the Sunday Mirror. “There is no way the club would sanction a deal for a 30year-old who would have no
resale value at the end of his contract.”
Sanchez just •1m from Barcelona
LEXIS Sanchez is closer than ever to Barcelona, as it’s reported the difference between offer and Udinese’s asking price is just •1m. The Friulani confirmed last week that the only advanced negotiations in place were with the Nou Camp side.
This is because Nino Maravilla has made it clear he is determined to join Barça and will reject all other options, such as Manchester City, regardless of the financial terms. According to Mundo Deportivo newspaper, the two clubs are closer than ever before to sealing a deal. It’s believed Barcelona have offered •26m plus •11m in performance-related bonuses and the proceeds from a friendly match. Udinese’s asking price has dropped to •27m upfront along with the bonuses, so the difference is minimal. It’s a long way off the Friulani’s original •50m pricetag, but already very close to the sum Manchester City proposed. There are reports Sanchez could finally complete his transfer to Barcelona some time next week.
Sneijder urged to join Utd
OLLAND boss Bert van Marwijk insists Wesley Sneijder would improve as a player if he joins Manchester United. United continue to be linked with the Inter Milan playmaker, despite Sir Alex Ferguson’s recent admission that he had ‘no real interest’ in signing the Dutchman. Sneijder has been touted as a suitable replacement for the retired Paul Scholes and Van Marwijk feels a switch to Old Trafford would give him a fresh test. “A transfer to United will do Wesley a lot of good. He will benefit as a player from playing
for them,” Van Marwijk told the Sunday Mirror. “With Real Madrid and Inter Milan he has already the biggest club names in football on his CV. But Manchester United will be another big step up the international ladder for him. “Manchester United have a unique playing style and they perform consistently at the highest level. Their methods in training, and the way people work at this club with players, are superb. “This is why it will be a new challenge to Wesley. It will inspire him and it will give him new energy.”
Dunne excited for Given deal
STON Villa defender Richard Dunne believes Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given would be a welcome addition at Villa Park. The Republic of Ireland international is close to securing a move to Villa from City and his compatriot is confident Given’s skills will benefit the Midlands club. “Shay is probably the best shotstopper there is and over the years has consistently been one of the best keepers in the League,” Dunne told the Sunday Mirror. “I know he will help us. He’s always talking, encouraging people, telling them where to be watching, what to be doing, and he keeps defenders on their toes. I think he’ll be good.
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“We’ve been international team-mates for 10 years and I can’t remember him having a bad game. “I can’t think of anybody better to be replacing Brad Friedel, who has been excellent for this club. “Shay has not played many club games recently but he’s played every international. When he’s turned up he’s been brilliant. He played three or four at the end of the season and didn’t concede a goal. “He always keeps himself fit and charged, so I don’t think that’ll be a worry.” He added: “I spoke to Shay and he just wanted to get started. He was frustrated over the way things have gone. “I know him. He will come in and within a week it’ll seem like he’s been here a long time.”
Casemiro: I’m ready for Serie A S AO Paulo’s Casemiro has claimed that he’s ready to play in Serie A as Inter are reportedly keen to add the youngster to their squad. Inter coach Gian Piero Gasperini is looking to add some fresh blood to his team ahead of the 2011-12 campaign and he sees the 19year-old as a possible addition. The midfielder is considered to be one of the most promising youngsters in South America and clubs such as Roma and AC Milan are also believed to be monitoring his progress. “I feel ready to play in Serie A as well as other European Leagues. I often speak to Coutinho, but not just about Inter. I know that the Nerazzurri and Roma have asked after me, but you’d have to talk about these matters with my agent,” the player was quoted as saying by Il Corriere dello Sport. “I often watch Italian football and my favourite Brazilians playing there are Alexandre Pato, Thiago Silva and Julio Cesar.” Casemiro has a contract
EAL Madrid midfielder Sergio Canales has stated that he has no intention of leaving Spain if he makes the decision
Nasri is under contract with Arsenal, it’s difficult. Only this.” Media reports have suggested Manchester City are still considering an improved £40m bid from Corinthians for Carlos Tevez and Mancini confirmed he will hold talks with the Argentine.
RamirezBologna row intensifies
HE battle between Bologna and the agents of Gaston Ramirez steps up. “There have been offers from Udinese and Roma.” Uruguayan talent Ramirez told newspapers he “felt like a prisoner” at the Stadio Dall’Ara. The club released a statement on Saturday insisting his agents were “ruining the reputation” of the player with their tactics and no serious bids had been tabled. However, this afternoon agent Vincenzo D’Ippolito hit back with an interview on Sky Sport Italia. “There have been offers from Udinese and Roma,” he insisted.
I would prefer to stay in Spain—Canales
Mancini shocked by Nasri row M
ANCHESTER City boss Roberto Mancini tried to play down his comments about Samir Nasri after Arsene Wenger criticised his public pursuit of the midfielder. Arsenal manager Wenger accused Mancini of breaking the ‘basic rules of football’ after the Italian admitted he hoped to sign the Gunners star by the end of the month. But Mancini was surprised by Wenger’s outburst and insisted he had said little to anger the Frenchman. “I said only that Nasri, (Sergio) Aguero are two good players and I said also that Nasri is under contract with Arsenal,” he said. “I don’t know why he’s upset, but only this. “Because the question was about some good players, I say that like this. I said also that
until the summer of 2015 with Sao Paulo, meaning that he won’t be available on the cheap if Inter decide to make a move for the midfielder.
to move away from Santiago Bernabeu this summer. The 20-year-old has struggled to secure regular first team football at Madrid since joining from Racing Santander in 2010, and could well be on his way out of the Copa del Rey winners again in this transfer window. Canales has been linked with clubs such as Aston Villa, Everton, Queens Park Rangers and Roma, but La Liga outfits Valencia and Villarreal seem to have a better chance of luring the Spain under-20 starlet away from the capital. “I want to get as much playing time as possible. If that’s not possible at Real Madrid, it’ll be at another club. I prefer to stay in Spain for now, though,” Canales was quoted as saying by AS. The midfielder, who is currently preparing for the under-20 World Cup in Colombia, has a contract until the summer of 2016 with Madrid.
Fiorentina expect Montolivo IORENTINA director exit of football Pantaleo
Corvino has indicated that Riccardo Montolivo is likely to leave the club this summer. The midfielder only has one year remaining on his current deal and has so far refused to sign an extension. Patience has gradually been wearing thin among club bosses and Corvino now appears resigned to losing the Italy international. “We have been clear with Montolivo. I asked his agent if he wanted to continue with us, but the response was that a decision has been made,” Corvino told Sportmediaset. “Having looked at Montolivo’s will, we will now see what solutions the transfer market offers us. “We only want motivated players for our future.” Montolivo impressed for Fiorentina last season and
• Corvino AC Milan are reportedly interested in snapping him up.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
NCAA decries animals’ invasion of runways T
HE Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, has said the lack of airfield lightings and the invasion of runways by animals are giving the authority “serious concerns”. Demuren spoke amid incidents in some runways over the year. Eighteen months ago, former Aviation Minister Babatunde Omotoba inaugurated 18 runways of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, without airfield lightings. Five years ago an Air France aircraft with over 200 passengers on board ran into cows that strayed into the runway of the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA). Four months ago, a chartered aircraft HS125 ferrying some Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftains ran into cows that were crossing the runway at Bauchi airstrip. The aircraft suffered small damages. Apparently worried by these development, Demuren said NCAA would not certify any airports be-
Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent
cause they have not met the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety standards. Speaking at the closing ceremony of the West Africa Wildlife Management Workshop organised by NCAA in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration at the MMIA, Demuren said the safety threat in the aviation industry was due to lack of infrastructure. He added that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is aware of these challenges and the NCAA is already working with the former to address this issues. He said: “I am disturbed, but FAAN is aware and we are working with them in this area. But again, I have talked to you about infrastructure decay. We need to improve on our infrastructure, but that cannot be done overnight, as it requires a lot of money. These are priorities and we pray that with the new budget, we will see the ones we will tackle first; safety is a critical area. Airfield lightnings fall into that; runway con-
• Capt Ore
dition falls into that, perimeter fencing falls into that. Those are the things that affect safety” Speaking on the some issues, the President of Aviation Round Table (ART), Capt Dele Ore, said
infrasructure is a challenge to the industry, but despite that, he believes the regulatory body will sustain its regulatory activities at the airports. Said Ore: “It’s a big challenge, but I believe the regulatory efforts will have to be sustained. The NCAA will not take ‘no’ for an answer. So, the end result will be that airports will not be certified until they meet requirements.” On airlines that are owing their staff, especially pilots, Demuren said, the issue is equally disturbing NCAA, but that the airlines, whose names he did not mention, have started paying and the pilots have confirmed that too. He said the agency will continue to put pressure on the airlines to ensure they pay their workers’ salaries promptly. He said: “It calls for concern and the good news is that they’ve started paying now. You can go and check and the pilots too have told me also. I don’t want to mention their names, but two or three of them have told us and the pilots came back to confirm it. We need to put pressure to
make sure they pay consistently. You know, this was not happening two or three years ago, but in the last few months, we have complained of operating cost. I have had fuel price gone up astronomically. I have had dollars gone up against the Naira and we have not survived on the interest rate.” The Director-General said he had spoken with pilot association and also called the airlines concerned to discuss the issue, adding that they have made some progress. Said Demuren: “I have been speaking with the pilot association. I have had various meetings with them and I have called the airlines to discuss this. I know the progress they are making but not that all has been paid, some are still being owed. They have given me some days that they will clear this very quickly. And I have told them that the workforce is our life, we have not designed an aeroplane that will fly by wire without human beings. We still need to have pilots and engineers and if you don’t pay them on time, they are not very happy”.
FAAN to brace for 21st century challenges
VIATION Minister Mrs Ada OduahOgiemwonyi has charged the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to rise to the challenge of the 21st century so as to remain competitive, or risk going out of business. She spoke after her maiden briefing by the Management
of FAAN following an assessment tour of FAAN’s facilities in Lagos. Mrs Oduah-Ogiemwonyi said the dynamics of presentday air transportation had changed remarkably; hence the agency must change its work ethic to remain competitive. “FAAN must change its attitude to work, you must
know that the dynamics of air transportation have changed and you must, therefore, change with the times,” she said. She urged the management to clean up the rot at airports, upgrade facilities, embrace and adopt new technologies and always put customer satisfaction at the centre of its activities.
Stressing that it was no longer going to be business as usual, the minister added: “We must ensure that for whatever we have for now, we must make it look better than what it is now and we must factor customer service, customer comfort and customer security in all you do. “It has to be customer, customer, customer, customer all the way if you intend to remain in business”. She urged the management to alter its thinking towards investment through the production of a strategic roadmap. The Minister said the road map must contain short, medium and long term deliverables, pledging to help drive the road map once it is presented and adopted. At the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), she learnt of the huge debt being owed by some airlines. NAMA’s Acting Managing Director, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh told her that Arik Air is owing the agency over N2 billion. The minister expressed shock over the debt, and directed that a committee be set up to negotiate immediate terms of payment with the airline within 30 days or be stopped from operating. Mrs Odua-Ogiemwonyi
said the airline must be alive to its contractual obligation to the agency for it to be able to provide a safe airspace for Nigeria. She, however, implored the agency to explain its commitments in terms of acquisition of equipment, overhead cost and staff welfare. She said NAMA should not rely on the government but to look inward to boost its internally generated revenue (IGR). The minister said immediate steps should be taken for the implementation of a single Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria, instead of the different radars covering different parts of the country. “We need to have a total national radar coverage as a nation, that is just one radar to cover the country and I know it can be done as it has to be done now,” the minister declared. On the numerous landed properties of NAMA littered across the country, the minister directed that modalities be immediately put in place to dispose them as they no longer have any direct bearing on the operations of the agency. She directed the management to seek approval from the relevant quarters to commence the disposal process. Mrs Oduah-Ogiemwonyi described as unacceptable the rising price of aviation
• Mrs Oduah-Ogiemwonyi
fuel and the scarcity of the product, which she said is giving the government serious concern, as it is threatening the survival of the industry. She said the high cost of air fares has made air travel out of the reach of the common man. She explained that no responsible government will fold its hands while airlines grapple to survive under the heavy yoke of high operating costs. Mrs Oduah-Ogiemwonyi said it will be out of place for air fares to increase to N25,000, which represents over hundred per cent from what it was in Janauary. The Minister said stakeholders must strategise on the way forward to make air travel convenient for Nigerians.
‘Asaba Airport good for Delta’s economy’
HE Special Project Director of the Asaba International Air-port, Mr Austin Ayemidejor has said the airport will contribute to the development of Delta State’s economy. Responding to a question on whether the airport is not an elitist project with no direct positive impact on the people, he said it would create jobs and generate revenue for the state. He spoke to journalists during a tour of the airport where flight operations began last Wednesday. The project cost N17.5 billion. On how the airport would benefit the people, Ayemidejor said: “We have had a five-star hotel indicat-
By Joseph Jibueze
ing interest to partner with us and build one here. A massive South African business mall has indicated interest to set up shop opposite the airport. “The airport is a springboard for more businesses to come in. This is going to generate employment, create wealth and reduce poverty. The biggest commercial nerve-centre in Africa, Onitsha, is just about 15 minutes’ drive from the airport. “About 70 per cent of cargoes entering Lagos are Onitsha-bound. Importers will take advantage of the proximity rather than landing in Lagos. What that means is that bonded ware-
houses will spring up in Asaba. That will generate revenue for Delta State, which is looking inwards. “The airport provides a branding platform from which huge revenue can be generated, enough to pay workers’ salaries,” he said. He added that the airport’s 3.4 kilometre runway is 100 per cent complete, while full international flight operations will begin in three months. According to him, flight operations would be initially limited to smaller aircraft such as Q4 and Dash 8, even as the runway has a capacity to allow bigger aircraft such as Boeing 737 and CRJ to land safely.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
"Chelsea have been in a couple of semi-finals and also one final in recent times. I don’t see why we can’t go on to win it. We need to get the most information as possible (during the tour). By the time we go to the market, we will know the kind of players we want. Hopefully we can do the deal that we want."
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
New Chelsea manager, Andre Villas-Boas, declaring he would win the Champions League with the Blues.
Arsenal gives Barca two weeks for Fabregas
• Portsmouth's Jason Pearce, in fight for the ball with Chelsea's Didier Drogba during their friendly soccer match at the Fratton Park Stadium
Villas-Boas vows to win Champions League N
EW Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas on Monday vowed to lead the club to an elusive Champions League title at the first attempt, dismissing suggestions his squad of super stars are past their prime. "In the next year for sure the trophy will arrive in this club," the former Porto coach declared confidently, in shades of his compatriot Jose Mourinho, the selfproclaimed "special one" who failed to deliver club football's top prize for Chelsea's ambitious owner Roman Abramovich. "Chelsea have been in a couple of semi-finals and also one final in recent times. I
don’t see why we can’t go on to win it," the Portuguese told reporters as the London team arrived in Kuala Lumpur to kick off their 15-day Asia tour. The trip will be Villas-Boas' first chance to see his players in competitive action on foreign soil and he said he will make a decision based on that whether to dip into the transfer market. "We need to get the most information as possible (during the tour). By the time we go to the market, we will know the kind of players we want. Hopefully we can do the deal that we want," he said. "I will use all 26 of my players in the tour and we will
make a decision once the tour is over." And despite being linked with a midfielder to replace the injured Michael Essien, Villas-Boas hinted he would give his ageing squad every chance to show their worth. "There is plenty of talent in this squad. I believe the players can still find new
Vidic: United not scared of Barcelona
EMANJA Vidic insists Manchester United are “not scared” to play Spanish and European champions Barcelona.
Corinthians deny Tevez deal is done
ORINTHIANS have issued a statement to clarify that they have not yet agreed a fee with Manchester City for Carlos Tevez, despite suggestions to the contrary from Roberto Mancini. Mancini claimed during the club's pre-season tour to North America that City "have an agreement with
Corinthians" regarding the sale of the Argentina international. However, Corinthians, who Tevez represented between 2005 and 2006, say the two clubs remain some way apart in discussions over a transfer. The Brazilian club claim City are still holding out for a higher fee having already rejected an offer of £35 million, and that the Premier League side believe Tevez owes them an outstanding payment. A statement issued by president Andres Sanchez says there is "nothing concrete" at present. "Following news reports claiming an arrangement had been reached between Corinthians and striker Carlos Tevez, the president Andres Sanchez is keen to come forward to clarify that Manchester City have not accepted the proposal by
things in them to exploit and I want to fully potentiate that talent," he said. The 33-year-old said all the players will have to prove themselves to him, including £50 million star striker Fernando Torres, who only scored once in 18 appearances for the Blues after joining from Liverpool in January.
Corinthians," a statement on the club's official website read. "In fact, the club sent a counter-proposal to Corinthians this morning that, due to the time difference, did not reach the attention of the board until now. In the counter-proposal, the Premier League club sought to change the structure of payment and the total value of the transaction. In addition, Manchester City also insist that Tevez gives up a pending amount with the English club. "Finally, the president Andres Sanchez advises that there is nothing concrete at the current moment with Tevez and that City's counterproposal will be reviewed by him and his board." Corinthians must finalise the transfer of Tevez before Wednesday's Brazilian transfer deadline.
Barca have defeated United in two of the last three UEFA Champions League finals, and though the English team recently claimed a record 19th league title, their chastening defeats at the hands of the Catalonians will live long in the memory. However, Vidic insists that United would be prepared to take on Barca at any time. "I don't know why you are always asking Manchester United players how we are going to bridge that gap," said the Serbian hard man at a press conference on the Red Devils’ preseason tour of the USA. "Like I say again, this team is successful. We are doing some good things. "We don't have any problem with the Barcelona players. We respect them but we are not scared to play against them. "It is hard when you get to the final and lose, especially because it was the last game. It is always in your mind. "Barcelona performed much better than us. We could and should do better. "But this is a new season. We have to forget what happened, take some points from that game and improve."
RSENAL have reportedly given Barcelona two weeks to meet their asking price of •45 million for Cesc Fabregas. The 24-year-old left the Catalan club in 2003 to join the Gunners, where he has gone on to make over 300 appearances. And in recent seasons, the midfielder has maintained that he would like to return to Barca at some point in his career. Now The Sun reports that the north London outfit have made it clear to the Spanish giants that they have to either come to an agreement within two weeks, or lose the opportunity to sign Fabregas. The current European champions have long been linked with a move for the midfielder, but their president Sandro Rosell has in the past admitted that the club have a •46m transfer budget for this summer. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that the midfielder will meet with manager Arsene Wenger to push
through with a potential move to Camp Nou. It is believed that the Gunners’ boss is resigned to eventually having to let go of the Spaniard, but is reported to be confident that the club can manage to keep Samir Nasri at the Emirates.
Gasperini hails Sneijder
HE Italian tactician was impressed with the Dutch midfielder and also praised the rest of his players after the win against Mezzocorona at the weekend Inter coach Gian Piero Gasperini was full of compliments for Wesley Sneijder following the 6-1 win over Mezzocorona in a pre-season friendly. Sneijder has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United with reports suggesting that an agreement between the two clubs has already been reached. The 27-year-old did not let the speculation affect him, however, and looked very comfortable in a midfield role leaving Gasperini delighted with the Dutchman's dominant display on Sunday.
"He performed very well in that role [midfield], he has the ability to do that because he knows how to play in different positions, but today [Sunday] he was very good indeed, Gasperini told Sky Sport 24. “He brought quality to the team's play, spreading passes around, closing down and he even scored a goal. A player who plays well and also helps the team to play better is a great element to have, as he is capable of leading the team.” When probed about Sneijder’s potential departure to Old Trafford this summer, Gasperini remarked: “What if he were to leave? We know that things can take sudden turns in the transfer market but the truth is that Sneijder is working hard because he's at Inter now and he's also looking to go forward with the club." The former Genoa coach went on to praise the rest of his players for their stellar showing and enthused: "The whole team showed today [Sunday] that they can adapt and the fact that they know where they have to be and where their team-mates are - regardless of who they are playing against - after just a week of training together is a good sign. “I must thank all the players, who have helped me in every way they could. I always say that in every group there are the locomotives and the wagons; here they are all locomotives pulling Inter along." Inter’s next pre-season friendly match is against Cremonese at the the Stadio Quercia in Rovereto on Wednesday.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
CBN pushes for financial stability in D-8 countries
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is canvassing for Developing Eight (D-8) countries to take steps aimed at achieving financial system stability in the region. CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi made the call at the opening of a two-day seminar for D8 Central Bank Governors, on “Enhancing Global Supervisory Standards and Practices for Banking Supervision and Financial Policy.’’ The D8 countries are Turkey, Iran, Nigeria, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia and Bangla-
Stories by Collins Nweze Senior Correspondent
desh. Sanusi said it would require effective international cooperation to enhance global supervisory standards and practices, stressing the need to refocus on efficient regulation and supervision of financial institutions. “A coordinated, broadened and proactive strategy will ensure financial system stability and soundness of financial institutions,’’ he said. The apex bank’s boss, said emerging markets of the D8 mem-
ways responded with vigour in the aftermath of financial crises, adding that concrete effort must be taken to sustain thetempo. “Such response was necessary, ``otherwise the lessons from the recent global financial crisis will be lost if we wait for another crisis before we take appropriate actions,’’ he said. The D-8 was established to improve member states’ position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at international levels and improve standards of living.
ber-countries should embrace proactive regulatory reform measures to surmount global economic challenges. He noted that there were wide gaps between regulatory standards and practices operating in developed and developing economies. He challenged the D-8 countries to strive to minimise the gaps, “if they want to remain in the ever challenging global economy,’’ urging the participants to come up with measures aimed at achieving “a seamless convergence of regulatory standards.’’ Sanusi, said the world has al-
Inflation slumps to 10.2% in June
NFLATION slowed to 10.2 per cent in June as the naira gained to a four-month high against the dollar, curbing the cost of imported food in country. The inflation rate fell from 12.4 per cent in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a state-
ment yesterday. Meanwhile, the naira climbed 2.8 per cent against the dollar in June, with the interbank rate reaching as high as 152.275 on June 30 after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lifted a curb on foreign investors’ bond holdings.
even support the downward trend in consumer prices in the second half,” Samir Gadio, an emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd told Bloomberg. The apex bank says its target is to bring inflation down to below 10 per cent.
Analysts said that may ease pressure on the bank to raise its benchmark interest rate after increasing it three times this year to 8 per cent. “The relative appreciation in the dollar-naira rates in recent weeks should help contain exogenous price pressures and
FirstBank empowers customers with leadership skills
IRSTBANK of Nigeria has sponsored some of its customers for a four-day business leadership training programme in Lagos and Enugu States. The project, anchored by Leap Africa, a non profit organization, is aimed at equipping business owners in the Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) with the required skills and tools necessary to effectively and efficiently manage such firms. The programme is meant to expose business owners to critical skills and tools for effective leadership as well as give
them the unique opportunity to reflect on their current leadership and managerial skills. The training, FirstBank said in a statement, is an avenue for the participants to build a close community of business owners who will encourage and support each other to build successful and sustainable businesses. The Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications of FirstBank, Folake Ani-Mumuney, explained that the bank was persuaded to undertake the task by the need to raise a new breed of enterprising leaders who will
personal and organisation’s mission and vision statements, goal setting, time management, networking and trust walk, among others. She said the bank’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) focus is driven along three priority areas: Education, Health & Economic Development. Also, between 2005 and 2008, FirstBank sponsored Business Leadership Programmes in Enugu, Kano and Lagos, reaching over 220 business owners and customers who run small and medium scale enterprises, the statement added.
work collaboratively to build successful and sustainable companies that will outlive them. “At FirstBank, we recognise that leadership development is critical to nation building and wealth creation hence the partnership with LEAP Africa,” she said. The training presented a good platform for business owners and aspiring ones to learn and interact with highly resource persons on issues of economic importance, she said, adding that participants were able to discuss topics such as - the art and act of leadership, developing
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 467.7m 400m 452.3m 500m 499,8m
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
GAINERS AS AT 18-7-11 SYMBOL OCEANIC CAPHOTEL GTASSURE PRESTIGE AIICO PREMBREW STARCOMMS CONTINSURE ECOBANK REDSTAREX
O/PRICE 1.20 5.65 1.42 1.83 0.68 0.93 0.55 1.02 2.72 2.78
C/PRICE 1.26 5.93 1.49 1.92 0.71 0.97 0.57 1.05 2.80 2.86
CHANGE 0.06 0.28 0.07 0.09 0.03 0.04 0.02 0.03 0.08 0.08
LOSER AS AT 18-7-11 SYMBOL CAP UAC-PROP NAHCO DANGSUGAR BERGER JAPAULOIL BAGCO RTBRISCOE PLATINUM UPL
O/PRICE 29.00 20.15 7.50 11.15 9.42 1.05 2.55 2.17 0.70 5.00
C/PRICE 27.55 19.15 7.13 10.60 8.96 1.00 2.43 2.07 0.67 4.80
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, offered $400 million forex at the biweekly Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS). This is coming after the apex bank sold $250 million at the last auction where less than $410 million was demanded by lenders. “Dealers expect the naira to depreciate slightly at the interbank market within the week due to the surge in demand for foreign exchange by the end users,” analysts said. The apex bank has been using foreign-currency reserves to keep the naira within a 3 percentagepoint band above or below the N150 per dollar at its twice-weekly auctions. The inability of the CBN to meet demand “is causing scarcity of dollars, with the naira depreciating to 165 per dollar at the black market,” Abubakar Mohammed, the managing director of Forward Marketing Communication Bureau de Change, said in an emailed statement.
CBN offers $400m forex
CHANGE 1.45 1.00 0.37 0.55 0.46 0.05 0.12 0.10 0.03 0.20
Amount Sold ($) 400m 400m 499.8m
Exchange Rate (N) 153.59 153.4 153.45
Date 25-5-11 23-5-11 16-5-11
EXHANGE RATE 30-05-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.3%
7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
15-07-11 N7.620tr 23,832.14
18-07-11 N7.582tr 23,71 `1.90
% Change 0.50% 0.50%
NSE CAP Index
Rate (Previous) 04 MAR, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 24, MAY, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 117.62 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 1,586.00 THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.81 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 0.99 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.99 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,586.00 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 9.47 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 8,827.74 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
9.08 1.00 117.16 1,576.75 0.78 0.99 0.99 1,576.75 9.01 1.33 1.80 8,557.25 191.08
OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 MAR, 2011
Current 07, MAR, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 18-07-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES
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ETI moves to acquire Ghanaian bank E
COBANK Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc, the parent company of Ecobank Nigeria Plc, has started a process to acquire significant equity stake in The Trust Bank (Ghana) Limited (TTB) to increase its market share in the new oil-producing state.. In a notice to investors yesterday, ETI said it plans to combine the business of TTB with that of Ecobank Ghana Limited and position the merged entity as the leading bank in Ghana. ETI however, said the acquisition process is still subject to requisite due diligence, regulatory and corporate approvals. The pan-African bankholding company said the acquisition is in line with Ecobankâ€™s strategy to be a major player in each market where it operates. According to the bank, the business combination, would lead to strong operational synergies, particularly in Ecobankâ€™s network and products, knowledge and know-how, to better meet the needs of the Ghanaian banking industry. Both ETI and Ecobank Nigeria Plc are quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Investors responded positively to the news of the acquisition
Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
with both ETI and Ecobank Nigeria gaining in a largely bearish market. Ecobank Nigeriaâ€™s market consideration rose by 8.0 kobo to close at N2.80, while ETIâ€™s share price added a kobo to close at N24.27. However, the overall market situation on the NSE, opened this week on the negative as benchmark All Share Index (ASI and aggregate market capitalisation, dropped by 0.5 per cent each. The total drop recorded by traded listed equities left the capitalisation closing lower at N7.582 trillion, a drop of N38 billion from the opening figure, while the index reduced by 120.24 points to close at 23,711.90 points. The market traded 230.923 million shares worth N1.954 billion across 4,218 deals. The banking stocks as usual, remain dominant with 197.056 million shares worth N1.419 billion across 2,694 deals. This was distantly followed by insurance with 8.252 million shares, while Food Beverages, Breweries and Maritime traded 4.009 million shares, 3.971 million shares and 3.114 million shares, respectively Volume of shares trans-
acted yesterday dropped lower in contrast to the 251.54 million shares worth N2.1 billion exchanged in 5,312 deals recorded last Friday. Nineteen stocks appreciated while 29 others depreciated. The decline in marketâ€™s position was due largely to losses recorded by highly capitalized stocks, including CAP, Dangote Sugar, Nigerian Breweries, Oando Oil, UAC Property Development Company (UPDC) and Zenith Bank. On the top trade table, Zenith Bank was the most actively traded stock with 25.47 million shares worth N150.98 million in 325 deals. Other equities that recorded significant volume were Diamond Bank, Access Bank, UBA and Wema Bank. Oceanic Bank led the gainers with the maximum five per cent price appreciation to close at N1.26. Capital Hotel, GT Assurance, Prestige Assurance and AIICO Insurance were other major gainers. Also on the losersâ€™ table, CAP shed a maximum of five per cent price to emerge the highest loser of the day. UPDC, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Dangote Sugar and Berger Paints were also on the top losersâ€™ list.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 18-07-11
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Kwara Govt House not guest house, says ACN T
HE Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday told the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Government House, Ilorin, was not a guest house. ACN was responding to a statement by the government on the continued stay of former Governor Bukola Saraki at the Presidential Wing of the Government House. The government had said the “government, as the custodian of the property of the state, reserves the right to host whoever it wishes in the collective interest of Kwarans in any of its property. It is not, therefore, out of place for the government to host Dr. Bukola Saraki or any other individuals it deems fit. “What we are doing for a former governor, a serving senator and a leader of PDP in the state, is not out of the ordi-
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
nary. For the avoidance of doubt, the former governor is not a resident of the Presidential Lodge wing of the Kwara Government House, but a guest. In a statement by its Chairman Kayode Olawepo, the party said: “We are disappointed at the lame defence the state government offered for the former Governor Saraki’s continued illegal occupation of the Presidential Lodge in the state.´ “While the state government is at liberty to call Saraki anything it wishes to call him, we insist that Kwara Government House is not, and cannot, be a guest house. There cannot be a justification for Saraki, more than two months after his ten-
ure has expired, to continue to live in Kwara Government House at the expense of the taxpaying people of the state. “Saraki is being paid from the purse of the Federal Government as a senator. This includes housing and other allowances. So, what is the justification for housing him in Kwara Government House at the expense of the impoverished people? “We dismiss as arrogant the claims by the government that it reserves the right to do whatever it wishes with the property of the state. Such claims only show how the orientation of the fellows illegitimately occupying Kwara Government House today is. Like we said in our previous statement, Kwara can no longer be run
like a private estate. “We also laugh off the dubious attempt of the government to deliberately confuse the outrageous pension package awarded to Saraki with mere severance package that every other government worker get at the end of his service. “We challenge the state government to publish the pension package as approved by the then pliable House of Assembly. It is also unfortunate that the same government, which has turned itself to official mouthpiece of Saraki, did not find its voice on the issue of pensioners who, after serving the state meritoriously, are illegally and inhumanly being denied what lawfully belongs to them. All of these show the character and disposition of the PDP government in Kwara.”
Abuja market women decry rising food prices From Sanni Onogu, Abuja
HE Abuja Market Women Association yesterday decried the rising cost of foodstuffs. It urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that the prices are reduced for ordinary Nigerians to buy their basic needs. President of the association Mrs Felicia Sani told reporters in Abuja that the prices of foodstuffs had gone up by 70 per cent and 100 per cent. She urged Jonathan to appeal to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) as he did with cement manufacturers to reduce the prices of essential commodities. Mrs Sani said: “Please, join me to call on President Jonathan to, as a matter of urgency, call on MAN, captains of industries, and the price regulatory bodies to bring down the prices of foodstuffs. “Most food items that are required for our healthy living and that of our children are beyond the reach of the common man. During elections, traders said they had to increase prices because the ban on importation made them not to import sufficient goods. I now thought that after the election, everything should be okay. “But after the elections, they said there was a curfew in some parts of the country; so, they couldn’t risk carrying goods around. Anybody that risked carrying goods would add a little gain to it. We prayed for stability. Then, things became normal. But the prices of goods never came back to normal.”
Rainstorm destroys 50 houses in Bauchi From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi
VER 50 houses and property worth millions of naira
have been destroyed by rainstorm in Dallaji village, Warji Local Government, Bauchi State. The Nation learnt that the victims have sought refuge in public buildings with few squatting with their relatives. Warji Local Government Chairman Adamu Mohammed Dan-Jummai expressed concern over the destruction, urging the victims to consider it as an act of God. He said the council had set up a committee to assess the damage and seek assistance from the state Emergency Relief Agency. Dan-Jummai urged the state government, donor agencies and philanthropists to assist the victims with foodstuffs and beddings. The councillor representing the area, Mallam Isa Sale, thanked the council for assisting the victims. He warned the residents against blocking drainages and building houses on water ways.
Aliyu’s brother dead From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu has lost one of his brothers, Alhaji Shuaibu Aliyu. The late Aliyu died at a private hospital in Minna, the state capital, after an illness. He was a former military attaché and Finance Officer with the Nigerian Embassy in Russia for 15 years when he served in the Nigeria Air Force (NAF). Former military leaders, Generals Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Abdulsalam Abubakar, were among sympathisers who visited the Aliyu family house. At the three-days fidua prayers yesterday, the Chief Imam of Minna Central Mosque, Alhaji Ibrahim Fari, prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
NEWS Flood kills seven kids in Anambra From Adimike George, Onitsha
RAVAGING flood has killed seven children in Iyiowa Odekpe community of Anambra State. The flood reportedly washed away their homes. The flood was allegedly caused by the blockage of a major water channel by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), while mounting high tension poles in the community. Addressing reporters in Onitsha yesterday, the spokesperson of Ogbaru Stakeholders’Forum Peter Okala appealed to the RHCN to reopen the water channel. Okala said residents had constructed make-shift wooden path ways to access their homes. One of the victims, a poultry farmer, Okechukwu Macbeth, said he lost all his birds. Another victim, Lucky Owuama, said:”We are appealing to the government to come to our aid before we are completely washed away by flood. The authority should prevail on the PHCN to reopen the blocked water channel to avoid an epidemic.”
Asaba Airport begins flight
SABA International Airport in Delta State has started commercial flight. The first flight from Abuja landed yesterday at 12.17pm. The 48-seater Overland aircraft, with registration number 5N-BND, had 20 passengers on board. One of the passengers, Sam Arowosafe, hailed the standard of the airport. Arowosafe said the airport would facilitate the economic development of the state.
From Adimike George, Onitsha
“This is a good development. We are happy to be here ,” he said. Another passenger, Ezechi Nwoye, commended the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan administration for the airport. Uduaghan, who came from Abuja with the flight, said the flight was smooth and pleasant. A passenger, Nosakhare Edokpayi, described the airport as unique.
Ebonyi mobilises for NLC strike
HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ebonyi State chapter, yesterday mobilised unions and private establishments ahead of the planned nationwide strike. Those mobilised are the National Association of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), National Association of Commercial Motorcycle Opera-
From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakiliki
tors, Abakaliki Market Association, Association of Tricycle Operators, Petroleum Dealers, among others. Addressing reporters, Chairman of the mobilisation committee, Comrade Leonard Nka said the exercise would ensure the success of the strike.
Nka said: “We are ready for the showdown. We are set for the proposed strike, except there is another directive from the national body. I am part of the committee that went round to mobilise other affiliate bodies of NLC and TUC for the strike. All the people will join in the strike. “We have mobilised the
National Union of Road Transport workers, Okada union, Keke NAPEP people and traders. Our aim is to ensure that the government implements the minimum wage.” Nka, who is also the state President of the National Association of Local Government Employees (NULGE), urged government to avert the strike.
Christian Council rejects Islamic banking
HE Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) has called for the resignation of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN),Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, over his insistence on the establishment of Islamic banks in the country. Chairman of CCN Rev.
From Chris Oji, Enugu
Emmanuel Chukwuma spoke in Enugu yesterday. He said Islamic banking should be discouraged and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to call Sanusi to or-
der. He said: “Islamic banking is an embarrassment to Jonathan. We do not support it and we call on the Central Bank to stop it. Sanusi should resign if he cannot consider the interest of other Nigerians. Jonathan should call him to order.”
He condemned the destruction of lives and property by Boko Haram group and urged government to prosecute members of the Islamic sect. He alleged that desperate politicians are using the Boko Haram sect to destabilise the country.
37 injured in task force, traders clash in Anambra From Adimike George, Onitsha
ENSION mounted yesterday in Idemili Local Government of Anambra State following a clash between members of the Task Force on Road Decongestion and traders. It was gathered that over 37 persons were injured and goods worth about N20 million destroyed. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka denied knowledge of the clash. According to an eye witness, trouble started when the taskforce team invaded Nkpor market. It was learnt that they were resisted by the traders. A victim, Mrs. Ngozi Iwuozor, said her goods were looted. The intervention of security agencies saved the situation from degenerating further. Chairman of the task force, Ikonso Onuoara, said his men were attacked by Nkpor youths. He said his men went to the market to maintain law and order,not to collect tolls. “There is a body authorised by government to collect tolls,my men were just there to ensure that it does not over-step its boundaries. The Nkpor youths attacked them and injured 15 of them,” he said. Commuters and other road users were held hostage for several hours.
Igbo businessman killed in Taraba
30-year-old Igbo business man, Ejike Ndulue, was yesterday found dead at his apartment in Jalingo, Taraba State. Police said he was murdered by unidentified assassins. An officer in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Alhaji Muhammed Wire, who led a police team to the deceased’s residence, described Ndulue’s death as a homicide. He promised to bring the
From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
perpetrators to book. The late Ndulue hails from Anambra State. Ndulue’s neighbour, Emmanuel Ogbonna, said: “I saw him when he came back from his shop last night around 11 pm. We went to our various rooms to sleep. “When I woke up this morning, 1 didn’t see him outside. I went to his door and discovered that it was opened.”
Imo pays 12 years pension arrears
•From left: National Legal Adviser, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Muiz Banire; Mrs Tokunbo Jeje, Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State, Bosun Jeje, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and Musibau Oyefaso at a party organised for Jeje at Protea Hotel, Ikeja, PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN Lagos...yesterday.
MO State Government has paid its retirees 12 years pension arrears. The event, which took place at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, yesterday, witnessed a large turn-out of retirees from the 27 local governments. Governor Okorocha declared July 18 of every year as Pensioners Day and donated two vehicles to the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Imo state branch. He also set up a Pensions Club for the retirees. He hailed their contribution to the development of the state and pledged to always regard their welfare as a priority. “We have come here to celebrate the efforts of our heroes past. May their labour never be in vain. I apologise to you over the sufferings and pains you have endured in the past”, he said. Okorocha advised the pensioners to engage in volunteer services. Chairman, Imo State Branch of NUP, Chief Emeka, expressed gratitude to the present administration and assured that the elder statesmen would continue to commit their wealth of experience to the development of the state.
Ojukwu to return home soon
HAIRMAN of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Victor Umeh has dismissed allegations that the ailing Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu , was abandoned in the United Kingdom. Umeh said Ojukwu would be back home soon. Umeh, who spoke in Enugu yesterday, said Ojukwu was receiving his final treatment. He described media reports that Ojukwu was abandoned as frivolous and
From Chris Oji, Enugu
mischievous. Umeh said all medical bills were paid by the Anambra State government. Dismissing the Internet report that Ojukwu was abandoned, Umeh said Ojukwu had been under the support of his wife ,Bianca, Governor Peter Obi and members of the party. Umeh said: “I visited him not long ago. Governor Peter Obi has been a regular visitor. Governor Okorocha
was in London in May. The Acting High Commissioner in London Dozie Nwanna makes it a duty to visit him daily.” He said the Anglican Bishop of Enugu Emmanuel Chukwuma, former Minister of Health Tim Menakaya and Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu also visited Ojukwu in London. “His children are also there with him.” He said Ojukwu is now at the famous Lyndyn Hill Therapeutic Centre, Twyford, for his
final treatment and urged all to pray for his quick recovery.
‘Cannabis dealers sell cocaine, heroin’
MO State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Mshelia Kaku has alleged that cannabis dealers sell cocaine and heroin. According to the commander, who promised to make Imo drug free,56 suspected drug traffickers were arrested with 191.793kg of narcotics. He said: “I resumed duty here in February. Since then,
we have successfully apprehended 56 drug dealers with 191.729kg of cannabis, cocaine and heroin.” NDLEA Chairman Ahmadu Giade urged the command to trace the supply chain of drugs and expressed concern over the spread of cocaine and heroin. He said: “The command must identify and break the drug supply chain .It is worri-
some that cocaine and heroin are finding their way to Owerri. “Most of the major cannabis dealers have been found to be selling cocaine and heroin in pinches. We are working hard to reduce the drug problem. We have a drug counseling and rehabilitation unit that attends to people with drug abuse problem.” The command, according
to Kaku, has prosecuted 10 suspected drug dealers. He appealed to the public to desist from drug trafficking and abuse and report drug dealers to the NDLEA.”The public should shun drug trafficking and abuse. They should volunteer information to the agency. We need information from them to arrest and prosecute offenders.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
Mandela celebrates 93rd birthday
OUTH Africans are celebrating former President Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday. His foundation urged people to do 67 minutes of voluntary work on the day - to represent the 67 years he devoted to South Africa’s political struggle. The anti-apartheid icon spent the day with family in his home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he was also visited by President Jacob Zuma. Millions of schoolchildren sang him a special birthday song before lessons. It is not clear whether the target of 12.4m was reached to set a new world record for the number of people singing to an individual at the same time. The song Happy Birthday Tata Madiba - specially composed for his 93rd birthday was sung at school assemblies across the country. President Zuma paid tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, saying he had changed the course of history. “From the moment Nel-
son Rolihlahla Mandela strode out of prison on the 11th of February 1990, we knew that South Africa would be a different place. “He showed us that despite the divisive racial oppression and hardships that this nation had gone through, it is not only possible, but necessary to embrace one another and to reconcile the South African people,” the president said in a statement. The ANC Youth League called on young people to change their profile pictures on social networking sites to an image of Mr Mandela, as “a sign of appreciation and celebration of the role [Mr] Mandela played in the struggle for political, social and economic emancipation”. Mr Mandela, who is a hero to many in South Africa and around the world for his long fight against white minority rule, has appeared increasingly frail since he retired from public life in 2004. He has been receiving round-the-clock medical care at home following his release from hospital in January where he was treated for an
acute respiratory infection, says the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko in Johannesburg. Known to South Africans by his clan name Madiba, Mr Mandela has not appeared at a public engagement since the closing ceremony of the football World Cup in July 2010. A photo released ahead of his birthday shows him smiling and surrounded by members of his family. The Nelson Mandela Foundation, backed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said it wanted Mr Mandela’s birthday to inspire people to help make the world a better place. “If a man could dedicate 67 years of his life to doing good for the world, imagine what we could achieve if everyone just gave 67 minutes of their time to do the same,” said Said Achmat Dangor, the head of the foundation. South African companies, charities and celebrities announced plans for voluntary work on the day. Mr Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, spent her morning working in a community vegetable garden in Qunu, then
cut a birthday cake and shared it with local children. Mr Ban urged others around the world to do the same. “The best way we can thank Nelson Mandela for his work is by taking action for others and inspiring change,” he said. In a statement released ahead of the occasion, US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela’s life and legacy exemplified “wisdom, strength and grace”. His wife, Michelle Obama, and daughters met Mr Mandela last month in Johannesburg during a visit to South Africa. Mr Obama said his family’s time with Mr Mandela was “the most moving part of their trip”. Mr Mandela stood down as South Africa’s president in 1999 after serving one term, handing over to Thabo Mbeki. After leaving prison in 1990 following 27 years in jail, he led the African National Congress party to a landslide victory in 1994 - the first time South Africa’s black majority was allowed to vote.
NoW whisleblower is dead
ORMER News of the World journalist who made phone-hacking allegations against the paper has been found dead. Sean Hoare had told the New York Times the practice was far more extensive than the paper acknowledged when police first investigated hacking claims. Hertfordshire Police said the body of a man was found at a property in Langley
Road, Watford, on Monday morning. A police spokesman said the death was currently being treated as unexplained, but was not thought to be suspicious. The spokesman said: “At 10.40am today (Monday) police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street.
Two police chiefs quit over phone hacking scandal
RITAIN’S spreading phone hacking and police bribery scandal forced two of London’s top police officers to resign in less than 24 hours and prompted Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday to call for an emergency session of parliament. Scotland Yard chief Paul Stephenson stepped down Sunday night, followed out the door Monday by Assistant Commissioner John Yates. Yates was the official who decided two years ago not to reopen police inquiries into phone hacking and police bribery by tabloid journalists, saying he did not believe there was any new evidence to consider. Detectives reopened the investigation earlier this year and now say they have the names of 3,700 potential victims. British Home Secretary Theresa May announced Monday that a police inspectorate will examine possible police corruption. She told lawmakers that at moments like this “it is natural to ask whom polices the police” and announced that the Inspectorate of Constabulary would look at links between the police and the press in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. The spate of high-profile resignations have made it even harder for Cameron to
contain the intensifying scandal that is threatening his leadership and knocking billions off of Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire. Parliament was to break for the summer on Tuesday after lawmakers grilled Murdoch, his son James and Murdoch’s former British chief executive Rebekah Brooks in a highly anticipated public airing about the scandal. Cameron, however, wanted lawmakers to reconvene Wednesday “so I can make a further statement.” Cameron spoke in Pretoria, South Africa, on the first day of a two-day visit to Africa. He had planned a longer trip but cut it short as his government faces a growing number of questions about its cozy relationship with the Murdoch empire during a scandal that has taken down top police and media figures with breathtaking speed. Opposition leader Ed Miliband said Cameron needed to answer “a whole series of questions” about his relationships with Brooks, James Murdoch and Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor that Cameron later hired as his communications chief. Coulson resigned from that post in January and is one of 10 people who have been arrested in the scandal. No one has been charged.
“Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after. “The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.” Hoare had told the BBC’s Panorama that phone hacking was “endemic” at the News of the World (NoW). He also said the then NoW
editor Andy Coulson had asked him to hack phones something Mr Coulson has denied.
EVERLASTING COVENANT OF PEACE MINISTRY INT’L. This is to inform the general public that the above named church ahs applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under PART “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Rev. Isaiah Bassey 2. Pastor Mrs. Margaret Isaiah Bassey 3. Evang. Esther Victor Bassey 4. Evang. Elizabeth Victor Bassey
5. 6. 7. 8.
Evag. Daniel Michael Ibok Deaconess Precious Victor Bassey Sis. Imaobong Isaiah Bassey Prophet Emmanuel Isaiah Bassey.
AIMS/OBJECTIVES 1. To preach and spread the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ to all nations 2. To Preach, teach and propagate the Word of God through electronic media, by radio, television, printing, publishing and distribution of magazine, pamphlets to all mankind. 3. To teach and train Christians to possess good Christian virtues, and shine as light in the world and salt of the earth e.t.c. Any objection should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama. P.M.B 198 Garki Abuja within 28 days of this publication.
Sign: Rev. Isaiah Bassey
PUBLIC NOTICE GREAT GOD PENTICOSTAL MISSION INTERNATIONAL This is to form the general public that the above named church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part C of the Companies and Allied Matter Acts, 1990. TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Jesse Ngozichukwu Oziri 2. Thamasine Chika Oziri 3. Ajoku Okechukwu
President National Coordinator Secretary
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To preach and propogate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 2. To preach the Gospel of God to sinners to depart from their sinful acts and worship God their Creator through Lord Jesus Christ. 3. To engage in spiritual warfare according to the teaching of Jesus Christ to redeem the captives. Any objection(s) to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar – General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Gabriel Ojumah Esq.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
SPORT EXTRA FIFA U20 WORLD CUP
FALLOUT OF NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL
Injury rules out Jamiu Alimi
Lagos athletes to return to classroom
ESTERLO of Belgium defender Jamiu Alimi has been ruled out of the FIFA U20 World Cup on account of a thigh strain. Alimi has distinguished himself in the Flying Eagles residential training in Faro, Portugal, but had a relapse of the injury during warm-up before the friendly against Portugal in Lisbon last week.
•As Obuh drafts Anyanwu to central defence
“He’s ruled out of the tournament,” disclosed coach John Obuh, who was advised by his medical team. He has not trained with the rest of the squad in Panama. Alimi has featured in five league games for his Belgian club this past season. He has a three-year contract. Meanwhile, Enyimba
FALL-OUT OF SUNSHINE/PEMBE MATCH
strongman Emmanuel Anyanwu will now feature for the Flying Eagles in the heart of the back four after he was played at left back at the African Youth championship. Flying Eagles coach, John Sam Obuh, announced that Anyanwu will play in his more familiar central defence henceforth for the team. “He played as a makeshift fullback at the AYC, but now
that there is no such a situation any longer, he will play in central defence,” disclosed Obuh. Anyanwu was in inspirational form for Nigeria’s Olympic team during the All Africa Games qualifier against Ghana in Kumasi recently. The Enyimba first-teamer has formed a great central defence partnership with former youth international star Nnaemeka Anyanwu.z
Ogunbote pleased with win
UNSHINE Stars of Akure coach Gbenga Ogunbote is pleased with his side’s 2-0 success over DC Motema Pembe in their first group game of the CAF Confederations’ Cup. Second half goals by Dayo Ojo and Ajani Ibrahim proved decisive as Sunshine claimed an important victory in Ijebu Ode on Sunday. “It was a great one. We thank God because it was a very difficult game. Motemba is a very good side and we had to play one of our best matches to win,” Ogunbote told SuperSport.com. Sunshine was the only Nigerian club that won on the continent at the weekend (Enyimba in the CAF Champions’ League and Kaduna United both drew at home in their respective first games) and Ogunbote expressed sadness at the mixed fortunes re-
corded by the clubs. “I am happy we won but I would have been happier if all our clubs on the continent had recorded victories. It’s still early days and I am sure Enyimba and Kaduna United will bounce back and do well in both competitions,” he said. Sunshine Stars are making their debut in the competition and Ogunbote remains clear on the club’s objective in the competition. “We want to win the trophy for Nigeria for the first time. We may be competing for the first time but no one should write us off because we are a serious minded club,” he said. Sunshine Stars currently tops Group B of the CAF Confederations’ Cup with 3 points from their solitary game. The Nigerians next travel to Algeria to face JS Kabylie who lost 1-0 to Morocco’s MAS in their first game.
•Nigeria's Anyanwu Emmanuel vies for the ball with South Korea's Lee Seung-Yeoul during their friendly football match in Suwon
RRANGEMENT is in top gear to ensure that athletes representing Lagos State in various sports are encouraged to return to school even as they star for the state in subsequent competitions. This according to the Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Council, Agboola Dabiri, is part of plans by the board to work in line with the programmes of the State governor, Bbatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) to develop the athletes in their chosen field even as they pursue their dreams in sports. He said the board of Sports Council is determined to put in place an effective implementation of government plans to raise the standard of athletes discovered from the grassroot and develop them to their full potentials, which can be achieved with the introduction of programmes that would not only benefit the athletes academically but also professionally. “We at the Sports Council have resolved to make conscious moves towards giving our athletes a better life which we expect to eradicate the menace called poaching. The council will come with activities that would ultimately be beneficial to both the Tertiary Institutions and Athletes,” he said. Part of the plans is to encourage the athletes and coaches to enrol at the National Institute of Sports (NIS), the Lagos State University (LASU), the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and
By Innocent Amomoh
Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH). He said this has become necessary as a result of the incessant attempts by rival states to poach athletes discovered and nurtured by Lagos, as the state prepares to host the National Sports Festival (NSF) come next year. He further said the gesture will take effect in the next academic session as the council intends to enter into agreement with the listed tertiary institutions in the state, on behalf of the athletes. The Council boss, who thanked the Governnor for his support to Team Lagos at the last NSF in Rivers State, said the council would embark on an aggressive move to improve sports in the state especially in the area of coaching, keeping its athletes and also providing quality sports equipment as well as introducing a developmental sports programme.
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
TOMORROW IN THE NATION ‘What is GEJ’s policy towards payment of the local debt estimated in the trillions? Economists worry it will cause inflation. But where are the morals in not paying for services rendered as a misguided weapon against inflation? If GEJ can pay trillion+ naira to politicians, he can pay contractor debts!’
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
HE ceremonies marking the transition of Southern Sudan from appendage of the north to sovereign nation would have been the culmination of Dr John Garang’s life mission. It also called to mind an encounter that nearly was, of which more presently. Garang had led the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the main guerrilla army that for more than three decades bore the brunt of the armed resistance to northern subjugation. He had led the talks with the authorities in Khartoum that broke a military stalemate and designed a phased transition programme that led to the birth of Africa’s newest nation 10 days ago. But he was not there to savour the moment and the triumph He was killed in a mysterious plane crash on July 30, 2005. At the time of his death, he was serving as a minister in the national unity government set up to implement the peace process. He was on his way back to Sudan after a secret visit with his close ally, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, when his plane, from Uganda’s presidential fleet, crashed, killing him, six aides and all seven crew members. He was aged 60. The official account says the crash resulted from poor visibility, but Museveni has maintained that sabotage could not be ruled out. Garang, who earned a doctorate in agricultural economics from Iowa State, belongs in a remarkable group of leaders of liberation movements in Africa, all of them militant intellectuals, who did not die in the heat of battle, yet did not live to witness the culmination of the struggle to which they had devoted their lives. Call it the curse of the African liberator. This ghastly chapter in modern Africa’s history opened with the assassination in Dare-es –Salaam, Tanzania, of Dr Eduardo Mondlane, leader of the Mozambique’s revolutionary liberation movement, FRELIMO. Mondlane held a doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University, and combined brilliance with charisma, winning support for his cause principally from the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries, but also in no small measure from the West. To the fascist regime of Antonio de Salazer in metropolitan Portugal, Mondlane was a mortal enemy who must be silenced. Capitalising on his love of reading, they sent him a book rigged with a bomb. It detonated when he opened the parcel at his Dar-es-Salaam headquarters on February 3, 1969, killing him instantly. He was only 49 years old. FRELIMO proclaimed Mozambique’s independence from Portugal six years later.
AT HOME ABROAD firstname.lastname@example.org
The curse of the African liberator
•South Sudan President Salva Kiir
Four years after despatching Mondlane, the fascist authorities struck again, this time in Conakry, in Sekou Toure’s Guinea. Their target was Amilcar Cabral, leader of the forces fighting for the independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde from Portuguese subjugation. Cabral held a doctorate in agronomy, but was and remains better known in intellectual circles as a revolutionary theoretician on a par with Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Frantz Fanon. On January 20, 1973, agents of the Portugal’s notorious secret police, PIDE, sneaked into the residence that served Cabral as home whenever he was not in the bush leading the armed struggle, shot him to death and vanished, just like that. And so when Guinea Bissau proclaimed independence from Portugal on September 24, 1973, it was his brother Luis Cabral who had led the guerrilla army that was named presi-
Minimum wage showdown: GOVT INSINCERE-Labour
•••If Govt says YES, it means NO!
dent. Down south, Herbert Chitepo, national chairman of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), would fall to an assassin’s bomb two years after Cabral. An urbane intellectual, Chitepo was the first black attorney in what was then Rhodesia, where a racist white minority lorded it over the majority black population When the black majority took up arms to win back their country and their dignity, Chitepo took off his wig and gown and slipped across the border into Zambia to lead the chimurenga, or war of liberation, under the banner of the Zimbabwe National Liberation Army, the military wing of ZANU Chitepo was killed on March 18, 1975 in Lusaka, when a car bomb planted in his Volkswagen Beetle exploded. The origin of the bomb remains undetermined. By one account, it was planted by agents of Ian Smith’s minority white regime. By another, it was the work of a dissident faction of ZANLA which wanted to wrest power from Chitepo. Chitepo’s compatriot, Josiah Togongara, was no intellectual. He grew up on a farm owned by Ian Smith, later rebel prime minister of Rhodesia. As field commander of ZANLA’s guerrilla army based in Mozambique, he was a key participant in the Lancaster House talks that set the clock for Zimbabwe’s independence and the end of white minority rule. Once the accords were signed, he left Britain to return to the front to break the news to his troops. He never made it to his headquarters. He was killed in a car accident, in circumstances that remain unresolved to this day. And so ended his chance of playing a leading role in Zimbabwe’s future, possibly as president or prime minister, and at the very least as defence minister. In two tours of journalistic duty in South
F final efforts to stave off the planned Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) general strike fail tomorrow, Nigerians will once again feel the wrath of workers agitating for the implementation of a new national minimum wage. State governors have promised to pay the new wage, but labour is insistent that government must go beyond just minimum wage to implement the new wage across board. The NLC has the right to agitate for wage increases, negotiate with employers, and if negotiation fails, call its union members out on strike. Starting from tomorrow, if those demands are not met, labour will begin a three-day warning strike, which it promised would be total. Ports and airports would be shut, banks would close, universities would not hold classes, and even PHCN, which it admits runs epileptic services, would do what it knows best how to do. To ensure the strike is total, labour also promised that roads would be barricaded. If agreements are not reached by today, labour is of course at liberty to embark on a strike involving all its union members.
Africa in 1990, Chris Hani was the only black person of consequence I did not get to meet. He lived in the country, away from the din and bustle of the city. But he always figured in discussions on the future of the country. Nelson Mandela was the man of the moment and putative leader of a post-apartheid South Africa But in the bustling townships, and among the young people, Hani was the iconic figure, role model, and man of the future. His daring escape from a house in Lesotho surrounded by apartheid South Africa’s troops was indeed the stuff of legend, as were his exploits as Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK for short), the military wing of the African National Congress. At the very least, Hani, who had taken a degree in Classics at Fort Hare, would have become the minister of defence in post-apartheid South Africa, and stood a good chance of being president one day. But it was not to be. Hani was assassinated outside his home on April 10, 1993. He had asked his guard to take the weekend off for Easter, which made him an easy target The killing, by a white man, set off violent protests that gravely imperilled the negotiations to end apartheid. It took a national broadcast by ANC leader Nelson Mandela to quell the protests. To return to Garang, and the encounter that nearly was: On assignment for The Guardian in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 1990 to interview OAU Secretary-General Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, Emeka Izeze and I learned from Ambassador Segun Olusola, who had facilitated additional interviews with practically everyone in the Ethiopian leadership except President Mengistu Haile Mariam, that Garang was in town, and that he could help arrange a meeting with him. That would have been a journalistic coup, a world exclusive. We quickly cancelled our reservation and awaited word from Garang. Returning to our lodging after a trip downtown one morning, we learned from the housekeeper that a lanky man with a military bearing had come to ask for us, and had combed the premises as if he was on reconnaissance. That afternoon, word came that Garang would not be available for the interview. We were disconsolate. We don’t know exactly what the aide, identified as Major Deng – if he had a first name, it was a closely guarded secret – told his principal. But, to be frank, the residence was a security nightmare. Maybe that was what Deng reported in his military appreciation, that an interview at that location was not worth the risk. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
NLC strike and road closure Most Nigerians will probably support them. But it has not told the public why it thinks barricading roads and obstructing movements should be a part of the strike. Are commercial bus drivers and taxi operators, who mostly depend on daily income to survive, also part of labour? If labour achieves its goals, will these commercial transport operators partake in the fruits of the strike by enjoying minimum wage? Labour has the right to strike, but that right must not infringe on the rights of non-unionised workers to earn their living legitimately. They cannot be compelled to join a protest they have no interest in being a part of. If labour wants to shut down everywhere, they must look for causes that every segment of the society can identify with. More fundamentally, the current wage agitation, as legitimate as it is, brings to
the fore once again the urgency of the need to restructure the country. The present structure is unworkable, expensive, burdensome and a threat to national security. There is absolute need for a truly federal structure to guarantee peace, development and a harmonious interaction among Nigeria’s different cultures. Uniform pay structures and uniform price regimes across the country distort social, economic and political realities, thereby making frictions and discontent all but unavoidable. By stubbornly keeping up the dangerous illusion of running a unitary government in the name of federalism, we are unwisely living a lie that will sooner than later undermine the very foundation of the country. It is unlikely that labour is oblivious of these contradictions, or that it should not be part of the solution to detoxify the multi-layered rot in the system.
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: email@example.com Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO
Published on Jul 18, 2011