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News Court upholds tribunal’s power to declare winner Sport Nnamdi Oduamadi scores hat trick in Torino debut Business Reps okay Islamic Banking, cash withdrawal policy

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VOL. 6, NO. 1829 FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011



K N BAR S LL VE NS I GR FS O OA CC HIE 2B L AGE F E C N2 P 3 •From left: Prof. Soyinka, Ms Leagault, Fashola, Aliyu, Afuye (who represented Governor Kayode Fayemi) and Obaigbena ... yesterday


Soyinka calls for probe of ‘Yar’Adua’s concealment’


OBEL laureate Prof Wole Soyinka yesterday set the first test for the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. The new law, he said, should be used to unravel the concealment from Nigerians for almost one year of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

By Joseph Jibueze and Miriam Ndikanwu

Soyinka urged President Goodluck Jonathan to unmask those behind the hiding of an ailing President and who signed the Appropriation Bill purportedly signed by the late Yar’Adua. Soyinka spoke on the topic:

“Making FoI Law work for Nigeria” at a Townhall Meeting organised by the Newspaper Proprietors of Nigeria (NPAN) in Lagos. He said Nigerians deserved to know the circumstances under which the late Yar’Adua was hidden.

His words: “Many people think it’s all over. I beg to disagree. In this country, we had an instance where a whole human being was concealed for several months. This phantom actually travelled to Saudi Arabia, came back, still in concealment, in the dead of the night.

“Lights were doused at the airport and the phantom moved back to the seat of government. This phantom was not just an ordinary phantom. This phantom was a representative of the entire public will of Nigerians. He vanished out of sight for Continued on page 2

Jonathan backs push for new revenue formula Governors win battle for cash to pay minimum wage

States demand NNPC’s oil sales records


•Dr Jonathan

OVERNORS have won their battle for more cash, with the President agreeing that the revenue allocation formula should be dumped for a new one. After a “business-minded” session, President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday night backed the governors’ request to enable them pay the N18,000 minimum wage and address infrastructure. The President and the governors also agreed to set up a committee to address the Sovereign Wealth Fund and its management. Besides, the governors urged the


CURRENT Fed Govt - 52% States - 26.72% Local Govts - 20.60% From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

President to prevail on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to provide records of crude oil being sold and the proceeds. According to sources, most gov-

PROPOSED Fed Govt - 35% States - 42% Local Govts - 23% ernors at the meeting canvassed for the review of the revenue formula to be able to pay the N18,000 minimum wage and meet other socioeconomic challenges that could lead to better infrastructure, promote job creation and enhance standard of

living. It was gathered that the governors took note of the fact that the last review of the revenue allocation formula was in 2002. They claimed that the present formula is not equitable and could leave most states crippled. The revenue allocation formula is: Federal Government (52%); States (26.72%); and 770 Local Government Areas (20.60%). A committee raised by the Nigerian Governors Forum, headed by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, has recommended a drastic reduction in the Federal Government’s allocation. Continued on page 2





JTF, Boko Haram in gun duel


•Cross section of contestants for Miss NAOWA, during the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) group of schools graduation ceremony in Enugu ... yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

UNS boomed again in Maiduguri last night. The exchange of gunfire between the military Joint Task Force (JTF) and Boko Haram (Western education is evil) members in Gwanje One in the beleaguered Borno State capital, followed an explosion around at London Chiki ward. JTF spokesman Lt.-Col. Hassan Mohammed said the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was targeted at a JTF patrol team. Lt.-Col. Mohammed, who confirmed last night’s shootout, said no arrests were made.

From Abiodun Joseph, Maiduguri

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi, has said that Ramadan messages by Islamic preachers will be screened, apparently to forestall incitement. The royal father, who spoke to reporters at his palace after a meeting with officials of the Borno Emirates Council, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and clerics who preach in mosques, said preaching time would be adjusted during the Ramadan. He said stakeholders at the meeting agreed that as a result of the security situation

in Maiduguri and environs, the ministry would decide on the timing of Ramadan preaching (Tafsir) and night prayers (Tarawih and Kiyamul Lail). “A guideline for preaching will be issued to all accredited preachers,” said the Shehu, who is also the vice chairman of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Supreme Council Islamic Affairs (SCIA).

FoI: Soyinka calls for probe of ‘Yar’Adua’s concealment’ Continued from page 1

nearly a year. “For many people the incident is over, but it’s not. We want to know how it was possible. Who were the people involved? What document was signed that passed for the Appropriation Bill? Who authorised it? Whose signature appeared on the document? “Who was the major security involved in this act of concealment? Were any members of the family involved? Were members of Senate involved? Were foreign powers involved? Physically, that episode is over, but knowledge is unending – it is not yet over. “And so, I’m challenging the government of Jonathan and the public to put this Freedom of Information Act to the test, with one of the most melodramatic incidents that this country has ever witnessed. “You can say that it is the dramatist in me, which is

looking for material to write a play – it does not matter. If you call it vulgar curiosity, it does not matter. As a citizen, I have a right to know. “I challenge the public and President to put teeth into this law by setting up and making public the proceedings and the findings of that panel set to find out what happened to the President of this nation for nearly an entire year. This is where it begins.” Soyinka said the public, as the jury, and what he called the structure of justice exist to ensure that the spirit of the FoI Act is carried out to the letter. The government, he added, must be ready to answer to public pressure. “Nigeria, if it believes in absolute truth, cannot deny it to its citizens,” he said. The playwright went on: “It is not enough for a government to rely on the Official Secret Act, and it is not enough for the public to constantly accept that as an excuse for concealing issues in

which the public’s interest is involved, and the very essence of governance is in the public interest. “It is important, not just for the government, but for all of us here, to put the Information Act to the test as soon as possible with that undeniable agenda, which is to learn a little bit about the truth about ourselves. Soyinka hailed the role played by Wikileak in exposing lies and deception by governments around the world, saying: “In some societies, silence is a liar – an arrogant, disdainful liar, contemptuous of the public clamour that power be openly accountable. “The psychological impact not only on the exposed, but on the yet protected is considerable – the swagger of indifference gives way to nervous glances over the shoulder. Am I next? What else do they know? “The web of silence is gradually shredded as the lies as camouflaged for years, decades, even generations

are exposed. Like a soap opera addiction, the public cannot wait for the next installment.” He defended Wikileaks, saying: “If the collateral damage caused by the detonation of the nugget of truth far exceeds its ethical benefits and even threatens collapse of society, it is necessary for us to argue for the devil as we could see. Maybe the axis on which the world spins after all is not merely virtual, but is actually secrecy and concealment.” Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola said the people reserve the right to know how government affairs are conducted. “We’ll ensure that judges are familiar with not only the law, but all societal incidents. Everybody must recognise that the rights conferred under that law are essentially to be exercised for the purpose of enabling Nigeria to prosper. “We must also recognise that rights are never absolute.

They bring with them certain corresponding duties,” Fashola said. Activist-lawyer Femi Falana said only the courts can determine what is not in the public’s interest, and not any officer of government. “It is not within the purview of a public officer to determine what is in the public interest; you must send the information to the courts for the judge to determine whether the information is privileged in the interest of the public or in the interest of a particular officer.” Other speakers at the event were Canadian Commissioner for Informaton, Ms. Suzanne Legault; Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu; representative of the AttorneyGeneral and Minister of Justice, Prof Peter Ape; representative of Ekiti State governor, Mr Funmiyi Afuye; former Civil Liberties Organisation President, Ayo Obe and Prof Chidi Odinkalu. Others are: NPAN President Nduka Obaigbena; frontline

•Prof. Soyinka ... yesterday

journalist, Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor, publisher of BusinessDay, Frank Aigbogun; The News CEO Bayo Onanuga; Media Review’s Lanre Idowu; House of Representatives member Abike Dabiri-Erewa; and Newswatch CEO Ray Ekpu. Others are Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Alhaji Ismaila Isa, who chaired the event; activistjournalist Richard Akinnola; Professor of Mass Communication Ralph Akinfeleye, former Finance Minister Dr Kalu Idika Kalu and Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television, John Momoh.

Jonathan backs governors in battle for new revenue formula Continued from page 1

The governors are recommending this formula: Federal Government (35%); States (42%); and Local Governments (23%). A source close to the Presidential Villa meeting said: “We were persistent in demanding for the review of the revenue allocation formula. We also submitted our proposed review to the President for his consideration and other relevant agencies. “Armed with facts and figures, the President admitted that ‘the review is long overdue and it will be done.’ This assurance from the President gave us some hope.” Another source at the meeting, however, said: “After the governors submitted their proposal on revenue formula to the President, he was noncommittal on the percentage the Federal Government will concede to states and local governments. “But he promised that the review may be early next year. That is still promising.” Responding to a question, a third source said the governors sought to know the state of things in NNPC, especially the proceeds from crude oil sales. The source added: “Governors are worried that the more oil prices rise per barrel, the more our reserve is depleted.

Peculiarities of states to dictate minimum wage negotiation


T is not yet smiling time for workers in their battle for N18,000 minimum wage. According to the agreement signed by Labour leaders and governors on Tuesday night in Abuja, payment of the wage by all the states may not be feasible due to unequal financial position of the states. According to the agreement between governors and leaders of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), negotiations to be done individually at the states “should take into consideration peculiarities of each state.” This is in line with the argument by the governors that states should be allowed to negotiate based on their financial capability. An ex-governor told our reporter that it will be difficult for at least 20 states to pay the N18,000 wage because of their financial situation. According to the agreement, states are expected to conclude negotiation with Labour on July 30, the same date the federal government is also expected to finalise discussion with the Labour leaders. Details from the Tuesday meeting obtained from the Nigerian Governors’ Forum secretariat are: •The 36 states agree to comply with the new National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act, 2011; •states shall conclude negotiations with labour on the implementation of the new “They, therefore, persuaded Mr. President to compel the NNPC to make its

•Ajimobi: workers’ strike illegal From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan and Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

minimum wage not later than July 30; •Detailed negotiations on salary across board will be done with a view to effecting payments by next month; •modalities for payment of the minimum wage will be worked out according to the peculiarities of each state; •The States agree that the effective date for the implementation of the minimum wage shall not be later than August 1, provided that any worker who earned less than N18,000.00 between April 1 and the effective date of the implementation of the new wage shall be paid in arrears of the difference; •The time frame for the payment of the arrears effective April 1, 2011 shall not be later than October. The agreement was signed by Abdulwaheed Omar (NLC) and Peter Esele (TUC), Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Chairman of NGF signed for the governors. Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday described the on-going strike by the government workers in the state as illegal. He said the workers failed to issue the necessary notice to the government before their action which he described as unpatriotic.

records available so that we will know how many barrels of oil we are selling daily, the

Ajimobi told reporters that the workers’ action was borne out of selfish motive rather than the general interest of the state. The workers strike entered the third day yesterday. The governor said nothing had been done by his government so far to suggest lack of interest in the welfare of workers in the state. He said his government remained the only one that paid the N18,000 minimum wage to its workers in May. Contrary to the general impression created by the workers that former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala entered into an agreement with them on the minimum wage, Ajimobi said it was expressly stated in the said agreement that the minimum wage would only be implemented for May while further payment will be subject to increased revenue. He said the agreement with the workers was to continue to pay them the old rate pending the conclusion of negotiation with a pledge to pay in arrears whatever difference the two parties come up with after the negotiation. Ajimobi said the workers are being instigated against the government, adding that he could not understand why the workers should commence their strike a day before the proposed strike by the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). He said they refused to call it off after the NLC shelved is proposed three-day warning strike.

accruing revenue to the country, where the proceeds are kept and what goes into the

Federation Account.” A governor reportedly said: “We are after transparency in

the oil sector because there is secrecy in how we manage our oil proceeds. “The President told us that he has an audit report on NNPC and oil proceeds which he is willing to share with us. I think we may soon meet on the actual situation in the oil sector. “We know that we have been benefiting from money made from oil, but as governors in a Federal system, we do not know how much the nation is making daily, monthly or per year. “So, we cannot say whether we are actually getting our due or being shortchanged by those in charge. “If we are fully in the picture of oil cash, we will appreciate when certain financial decisions are taken by the Federal Government.” The Sovereign Wealth Fund and its management also came up at the session. While some governors praised the spirit behind the Fund, others felt the principle of Federalism ought to apply to make it discretionary for states. Another source said: “After arguments for and against, we agreed to raise a committee to look into all issues raised by the governors. “The President and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, will constitute those who will serve on the committee.”

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Thousands of kilometers away from his home in South Africa, former President Nelson Mandela got an exciting birthday bash yesterday in New York, United States where scores of Africans assembled to celebrate “Mandiba”, reports ADEOLA FAYEHUN

Africans in New York celebrate Nelson Celebrate birthday Mandela’s Birthday FRICANS, including Nigerians, Ghanaians and South Africans, resident in New York, United States yesterday celebrated the 93 birthday anniversary of Nelson Mandela. They were joined by friends of Africa. The event, which was organised by Global Information Network in collaboration with, had about 60 people in attendance. Three panelists talked about the legacy of the freedom fighter, who was imprisoned for 27 years during the apartheid regime in South-Africa. Speakers Peter Godwin, Les Payne and Tseliso Thipanyane, shared their personal recollections and insights into the transformation of Mandela from being a leader of an insurgent movement to a promoter of reconciliation. “The most important legacy that Mandela has left for all of us, is the believe and the hope that there can be a different world, that people of different races can live together and share a common space,” said Thipanyane, a former director of South-African Human Rights Commission. “We looked to South-Africa, we still do, to provide a leadership, to be a beacon on the hill for human rights and democracy in the rest of Africa,” said Godwin, a Zimbabwean journalist, who was reporting from Soweto during the apartheid. “The Africans in South-Africa



“The most important legacy that Mandela has left for all of us, is the believe and the hope that there can be a different world, that people of different races can live together and share a common space” destabilised it economically in order to free themselves. It is the black Africans that freed themselves!” said Godwin, an American journalist, who also reported from Soweto on the segregation in

the 70s. However, with the celebration came some concerns about the present state of South-Africa. “The sad thing is that our current leaders are not really upholding Mandela’s legacy, they are not really living to the ideals which Mandela stood for,” added Thipanyane. Godwin agreed with him, saying; “that is one of the reasons that South-Africa faces challenges today, in terms of the index of socio economic inequality, South Africa now ranks the highest in the world.” Mandela, father of six and 20 grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren was released from prison on February 11, 1990. He ruled as President on the plaform of the African National Congress (ANC) between 1994 and 1999.


From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

lion facility was given to the House less than a week to the end of its tenure. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We asked the two bank executives to make statements on how they came into the picture of the loan scandal in the House. “One told us about the banking relationship between it and the House, until the legislative arm sought a N10 billion loan in March last year. “He also gave details on how the

bank embarked on precautionary measures to recover the loan before the end of the tenure of the sixth House of Representatives. “We demanded agreement between the bank and the House, which was duly made available to our team of investigators. “All those who were signatories to the agreement on the facility will also be questioned. “What we are trying to establish is the reason the House gave in applying for the N10 billion loan.” The second bank chief, was quizzed on why the bank granted a last-

minute N12 billion facility less than a week to the completion of the term of the sixth House of Representatives. The source added: “After obtaining statement from the GMD, we isolated issues for him to respond to as follows: What was the tenor of the facility? What were the collaterals? How did the bank plan to recover the loan? “So far, he has claimed that he acted within the operational laws of the bank. But we are probing the extent to which the management of the bank followed due process in granting the loan.”

Presidential poll: PDP appeals against tribunal’s ruling


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has appealed against the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, which allowed the petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). CPC is challenging the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan in the April 16 poll. It urges the tribunal to cancel results in 20 states. Jonathan contested on the platform of the PDP against Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) of the CPC. The opposition party is alleging substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act and irregularities in Lagos, Bayelsa, Kaduna, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Kwara, Adamawa, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Enugu and Cross River. In a ruling delivered on July 14, the five-man panel of Justices chaired by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Salami refused the request by the PDP, President Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo to strike out the petition because it was filed on Sunday. The tribunal held that this was a mere technicality which inflicted no

ABOUT 61 Nigerians were yesterday deported from Britain for immigration-related offences. The deportees, who were flown in aboard a special charter flight, immigration sources hinted, arrived at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos in the morning. The source said they were returned home for offences that ranged from immigration to other offences, which were at variance with UK rules and regulations. The source also said the deportees consist of 47 men and 11 women with three minors. They were received by immigration officials and other security agencies before they were ushered out of the cargo wing of the airport. Some of their relatives were around to receive them.

Causes of kidney failure, by doctor

EFCC grills bank chiefs over N22billion House loans

HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday launched an investigation into the controversial N22billion loans by the sixth House of Representatives under the leadership of ex-Speaker Dimeji Bankole, grilling two bank chiefs. The two bank executives were interrogated at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja . One was questioned on Tuesday over the initial N10 billion loan obtained by the House last year. The other, who took his turn yesterday, was asked to explain how N12 bil-

Britain deports 61 Nigerians

•11 senior advocates lead onslaught against CPC’s petition From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

injury on the respondents, stressing that the matter will be decided on its merit. In a Notice of Appeal filed at the Supreme Court by 11 Senior Advocates (SAN), led by Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, the PDP urges the apex court to set aside the ruling of the lower court. It is contending that the lower court erred in law when it held “that the petition which was filed on a Sunday is competent and proper in law. It also said the tribunal was wrong for refusing to strike out the names of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as respondents. •That the learned justices of the lower court erred in law when they held in their ruling in paragraph 2

of page 39 that: “Apart from the fact that the provisions of Order 46 Rule 4 are subject to the discretion of the President, the submission of the learned senior counsel Sofunde, SAN that implicit in the provision of paragraph 26 (2) of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act, is that the Electoral Act envisages the opening of the Registry to do business on Saturdays and public holidays is unassailable”. According to the party, the provisions of Order 46 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 leave no room for the discretion of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court or the President of the Court of Appeal to direct the filing of a Court process on a Sunday. PDP argued that Paragraph 26 (2) of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) does not in any way envisage the opening of the Registry on a Sunday or a Public Holiday.

“There is no known law which permits filing of originating processes on a Sunday. Agreeing that by law, the Courts are permitted to sit on a Sunday or public holiday, the ruling party said “the law does not permit courts to issue any directive allowing for the filing of an originating process on a Sunday or public holiday”. “Even if the reverse were the case, the consent of Counsel must be sought as they cannot be compelled to appear in court on any day which is dies non juridicus. In its ruling, the tribunal had held that the non-joinder of the CPC’s candidate, Gen. Buhari (rtd) and his running mate; Tunde Bakare does not affect the competence of the Petition as argued by counsel to Jonathan and PDP. According to the panel, the CPC knows its candidates in the 2011 polls and actively participated. The tribunal also refused to be persuaded by the respondents that the petition is an abuse of court process.

Kidney failure can be the result of uncompleted treatment of malaria or hepatitis, or tobacco smoking, and it is therefore advisable for people to go for periodic checks. Dr Dorcas Angbazo, a nephrologist at the National Assembly Clinic, Abuja, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). “If you have malaria, treat it on time, if you have hepatitis treat it on time, if you have hypertension, make sure you take your drugs regularly and control your blood pressure level. “If you are diabetic, make sure you also control your sugar level and take your drugs regularly, and go for regular tests at least once or twice in a year. “You must exercise; a lot of us have developed this sedentary life style and it has caused major problems for us, especially in the function of our kidney, exercise is very important at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and three times a week. “Secondly, you must reduce your salt intake; salt aids in accumulation of fluid in your system and the more fluid you have, the more you are prone to hypertension which can eventually cause kidney failure,’’ she said. Angbazo noted that studies had shown that tobacco smoking decreases the kidney function which could also lead to kidney failure. According to her, the trend of chronic kidney disease is increasing rapidly in Nigeria while many people are ignorant of it. Functions of the kidney include controlling the volume of fluid in the system, removing waste products as well as secreting some hormones, she said.

Daily Times: Court orders arrest of Anosike brothers By Joseph Jibueze

A LAGOS State High Court, Ikeja yesterday issued a bench warrant on Fidelis Anosike and Noel Anosike, both Directors of Folio Communications Limited, owners of Daily Times Nigeria Limited. Justice Habeeb Abiru ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Hafiz Ringim, to arrest and produce them on September 28. He made the order following the defendants’ failure to appear before the court to face theft charges of N1.7 billion belonging to Daily Times. The Prosecutor, Mr Ernest Ezebilo told the court that the proof of evidence had been served on the Anosikes,who failed to appear in court for their arraignment.





•Former Finance Minister Kalu Idika Kalu Yakubu Sallau, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa Muhammed Kuba Yahya at the Newspaper Hall meeting on FoI Act at Muson Centre,

(left), Chairman, Minna Local Government, Alhaji and Chief of Staff to Niger State Governor Prof. •Publisher The Source Magazine, Dame Comfort Obi, eminent journalist Mr. Tunde Thompson Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN)’s Town and former Chief Press Secretary to Military Vice President Augustus Ahikhomu, Mr Nduka Onikan, Lagos…yesterday. Irabor.

•Mr. Tayo Oyetibo, a lawyer (left) and President. Nigeria Guild •Chief Olasupo Balogun (left) and Chairman, Daar of Editors (NGE), Mr. Gbenga Adefaye Communications Limited, operators of Africa Independent •Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (left) and Special Adviser on Media to Lagos State Governor, Mr Hakeem Bello Television (AIT) and RayPower , Chief Raymond Dokpesi

•Alhaji Ismaila Susan (left) and Publisher, Vanguard Newspapers Mr. Sam Amuka- •Solicitor-General, Niger State, Mr Ndagi Wali (left), Information and Communications Commissioner Mr. Danladi Abdul and Mr Peter Gana, Niger State government official Pemu

•Special Adviser to Attorney-General of the Federation, Prof Akper Peter (left), Prof Chidi Odinkalu and former Director, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Ms Ayo Obe

•Bashorun Jaiyeola Randle





Falana writes FERMA on fuel levy disbursement By Joseph Jibueze

LAGOS lawyer Femi Falana has written the Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency ((FERMA) demanding information on disbursement of fuel levy the agency collected since 2007. In a July 14 letter to FERMA, a copy of which was made available to The Nation, Falana said the public is unaware of how the money was disbursed and deserves to know. “Take notice that this request is anchored on Section 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011. “Consequently, if you do not accede to our request within seven days of the receipt of this letter, we shall not hesitate to initiate legal proceedings to compel disclosure of the information and prosecution of those who are found to have violated the law,” Falana wrote. According to him, following the incessant fuel hike under former Olusegun Obasanjo Administration, the FERMA Act provides for the collection of five per cent users’ charge on pump price of petrol and diesel. He said to ensure transparency in the utilisation and disbursement of the fund, Section 2 of the Act enjoins the Board to ‘cause the publication of its funds under Section 14 (h) of this section to be utilised by the established State Roads Maintenance Agencies and its disbursement in the electronic and print media from time to time.

Awo Foundation seeks abolition of constituency allowance PARTICIPANTS at this year’s Obafemi Awolowo Foundation’s special dialogue yesterday called for the abolition of the constituency allowances paid to federal legislators. They said the allowances were unethical, illegal, unconstitutional and corrupt. They also canvassed the enforcement of the provisions of the 2007 Fiscal Responsibility Act, stressing that it would foster financial discipline in government. A communiqué signed by the Foundation’s Executive Director, Dr Tokunbo AwolowoDosunmu after a two-day special dialogue, spoke on the need for massive infrastructural development in the country. The theme of the brainstorming session, which held at the Efunyela Hall, Ikenne, Ogun State, was ‘Transformational leadership and good governance: Lessons from the Awolowo example’. Participants lamented that due to the profligacy of leadership, Nigeria has been left behind by many countries, which were at the same level with it two decades ago.

Abuja court voids Electoral Act 2010


FEDERAL High Court, Abuja, yesterday declared the amended Sections 140 (2) and 141 of the 2010 Electoral Act as “unconstitutional, null and void”. Delivering judgment in a suit filed by the Labour Party, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who described the amendment as “legislative judgment”, said its provisions are against the letters and spirit of the Constitution. Sections 140(2) of the EA of the Act provides that: “Where an election tribunal or court nullifies an election on the ground that the person who obtained the highest votes at the election was not qualified to contest the

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

election, the election tribunal or court shall not declare the person with the second highest votes as elected, but shall order a fresh election.” Section 141 of the Act further provides that: “An election tribunal or court shall not under any circumstance declare any person a winner at an election in which such a person has not fully participated in all the stages of the said elections.” But Justice Kolawole held that the National Assembly lacked the competence to enact a law that infringes upon the powers of an Election Tribunal constituted by Sections 239 and 285 of the 1999 Consti-

tution to declare a candidate the winner of an election. He said: “I’m unable to see any provision that empowers this legislation as done in S 140 and 141. “The court is vested with supervisory power to decide the legality of legislation made. “Sections 140 (2) and 141 of the Electoral Act as amended is unconstitutional since they purportedly curtail the powers of the tribunals. It is nothing but a legislative judgment. It is a needless and unconstitutional intrusion.” “It is hereby declared to be inconsistent, not only with the letters of the Sections of the Constitution cit-

ed but the spirit of the entire Constitution. It is null and void. “The Election Tribunals constituted by Sections 239 and 285 of the Constitution as amended shall not be binded by the Electoral Act as amended,” the Judge said. In the suit, the defendants the Attorney General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) - agreed with the Plaintiff that Sections 140(2) and 141 of the Electoral Act 2010 are unconstitutional, null and void. According to the government, the sections purportedly infringe on the powers of the Election Tribunal to declare a candidate the winner

of an election. In the originating summons filed by Chief Chuwkuma Ekomaru (SAN), the LP asked the court to declare that the provisions of the Electoral Act stated above were inconsistent with the provisions of sections 6(6a), 134, 179, 285 of the 1999 Constitution. In a 17-paragraph affidavit he deposed to, LP National Chairman Mr. Dan Nwanyanwu averred: “I have read the Electoral Act, 2010 and discovered that Section 140(2) and Section 141 of the said Act smack of legislative tyranny in that they remove the constitutional guaranteed powers of the court to declare a candidate the winner of an election.”

400 Nigerians coming From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


•L-R: Prof. Ayo Ajomo (SAN), former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), former Justice Minister, Bola Ajibola (SAN) and Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), Director General, NIALS at the inaugural lecture titled: “Proceeds of Crime in Nigeria: getting our Act together. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID

Lagos evacuates 200 students from Borno


AGOS State government has evacuated 200 students of University of Maiduguri, Borno State, who were trapped in the city, following the closure of the institution on account of violence unleashed by Boko Haram sect. Governor Babatunde Fashola, who was piqued by the plight of the students, sent a chartered plane to Yola Airport, Adamawa State, to evacuate them. Commissioner for Special Duties Dr Wale Ahmed, who spoke with reporters at Agbowa, where he had gone to in-

•Displaced persons to leave Agbowa Resettlement Centre From Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

spect the facilities at the Resettlement Centre, said the governor was deeply saddened by the tribulation of the students when he received their text message. The 1,1000 displaced persons at the relief centre, who have accommodated and fed by the state government, following the devastating flood of October last year, are expected to vacate the centre this month end. The

commissioner assured that government would not abandon them as plans are underway to give them money for new accommodation. Ahmed reiterated the determination of the Fashola administration to welfare of Lagosians. “That was why the governor directed that the 200 students should be evacuated immediately. When their school was closed down as a result of the violence in Bornu, there was no bus to even take them

out of the town. The students sent an S.O.S and buses were provided to take them from Maiduguri to Yola Airport, where a chartered plane lifted them to Lagos”, he added. At Agbowa Relief Centre, the Camp Commandant, Ganiyi Sele, conducted the commissioner and Dr Aderemi Desalu round the premises from the police post at the gate, through the laundry, kitchen , consulting room, pharmacy, recreational centres, and administrative block.

BOUT 400 Nigerians in the Diaspora are home sick. They have registered to come back to contribute to the growth of the economy. Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF),Mr Taiye Haruna, said yesterday. Over 400 Diasporas registered to come back to Nigeria. Haruna also spoke on the 5th Nigeria Diaspora Day Conference in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Nigerians Transformation Agendathe Diaspora perspective.’ He said for them to this call means they believe in what is happening in Nigeria today. Haruna said: “I am assuring Nigerians in the Diaspora that the diaspora village is in pipeline, the government is making efforts at ensuring that their coming back to the country will not make them redundant. “The government has, over the last four years, intensified efforts to mobilise and engage the Nigerian diaspora towards national development agenda. “The diaspora engagement policy is driven by the need to harness the immense human capital and resources of Nigerians living abroad for the development of the nation state.

Mark challenges ICPC, EFCC on corruption


ORRIED by the continued stigma of corruption tag on Nigeria, Senate President, David Mark has promised full backing for corruption agencies to tackle corruption. According to a statement by his spokesman, Paul Mumeh, Mark spoke when members of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) visited him. He said the agencies need to rise up to the occasion to fight corruption. He said: “The challenge before all of us is that Nige-

•Extols Dogondaji From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

ria and Nigerians have been tagged names synonymous with corruption. We must do more of enlightenment to reduce corruption and possibly eradicate it so that we can remove this toga of corruption hanging on us” Mark reminded the ICPC and EFCC that it is easier to prevent corruption than preparing for prosecution. Acting chairman of the ICPC Dr. Rose Abang Wush-

ishi said the Commission operates within the ambit of the law and would continue to follow the rules of the game in the discharge of its duties. Mark has expressed grief over the death of Alhaji Ahmed Dogondaji,who, until his demise, was the Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, (NASC). Mark, in a condolence message to the family, government and people of

Sokoto State, described the late Dogondaji as a seasoned administrator and an astute technocrat, who believed in service delivery . He said: “Ahmed Dogondaji was a committed public officer, who left no stone unturned in service to the nation. He was committed, dedicated and a renowned public officer who was truly a goal getter.” Mark prayed God to give the bereaved family and the people of Sokoto State the fortitude to bear the huge loss. According to him, the late


Chairman of the NASC would be missed for his wealth of experience, sincerity and humility.



NEWS 'Saraki not resident in Kwara Govt House' By Olamilekan Andu ORMER Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki has not been residing at the Government House in Ilorin since he left office on May 29, his Chief Press Secretary, Mas’ud Adebimpe, said yesterday. He was reacting to a statement by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state. In a statement, Adebimpe said Saraki, who is the senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, has been living in Abuja. The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a spurious and tendentious allegation that Dr. Bukola Saraki has continued to reside in Kwara State Government House, two months after he handed over as the executive governor of the state. Nothing can be farther from the truth. “The baseless allegation and the controversy concocted around it are the handiwork of the ACN… We do not wish to be drawn into ACN’s attention-seeking gambit and increasing obsession with petty politics. This statement, however, is for the purposes of setting the records straight and guiding the unsuspecting public. “Saraki handed over to his successor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed on 29 May. He left Ilorin that same day, and has since relocated to Abuja to undertake his responsibilities as the Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District…”


Aliyu urges increased revenue A allocation to states

N upward review of the revenue sharing formula in favour of the 36 states will ease the payment of the N18,000 minimum wage to civil servants, Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu said yesterday. Addressing reporters at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Aliyu said it would be difficult for the governors to pay N18,000 with the current revenue allocation formula to states unless more money is increased. He said: “Many of us have

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi


I’m still Rivers ACN leader, says Sekibo From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt



HE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate for Kaduna North Senatorial District in the April 28 election, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, will know on August 1 whether or not he can reply to the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ahmed Makarfi. Makarfi is challenging the election of Baba-Ahmed. At the resumed hearing of


HE governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State, Dr Abiye Sekibo, has said he remains the party leader in the state. He said he was determined to rebuild and reposition the ACN in Rivers state. Sekibo spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt. The ACN’s governorship candidate recently withdrew his petition challenging the election of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Sekibo, who spoke through the party’s Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, said the party remains the leading opposition in the state. The former minister urged his supporters to keep hope alive and not to despair, assuring that there are better days ahead.

wage increase, that everybody must get it, you must understand, and I think that is where we are. “We governors have for a long time been asking for a review of the revenue allocation formula, many states as we are today, won’t be able to do anything but with either revenue formula or with fund that we expect will come from deregulating, am sure all the

states will be able to do that.” Under the present sharing formula, the centre gets approximately 52 per cent from the Federation Account; the 36 states share 26.72 per cent; and the 774 local governments get 20.60 per cent. The Governors’ Forum proposes 35 per cent for the Federal Government; 42 per cent for the states; and 23 per cent for the local governments.

Tribunal fixes Aug 1 for senator’s reply to Makarfi’s petition

Drivers’ unions urged to curb road crashes AUCHI State House of Assembly Speaker Yahaya Mohammed Miya has urged leaders of the state chapters of the National Union of Road Transport Employees (NURTE) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to caution their members against excessive speeding. He said drivers, who plied the Bauchi/Jos road, ignored traffic regulations that led to fatal accidents. Miya spoke in Bauchi, the state capital, when he received leaders of the union at the Assembly. The Speaker said: “It has come to the attention of the government that some commercial drivers, especially those who ply the Bauchi-Jos road, are involved in reckless driving. This has resulted in several fatal accidents and loss of property amounting to millions of naira. “Many people have been maimed or incapacitated for the rest of their lives in accidents that would have been avoided, if only the drivers were careful and had obeyed traffic rules and regulations.” He urged the union leaders to educate commercial drivers on the need to obey traffic regulations and save lives and property.

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

already started paying the minimum wage, but for others it will be difficult, but what you have at the federal level, the whole understanding of minimum wage, is that labour is talking about what is the minimum amount to be paid, it means the starting point, some have even added relativity to it, people are now looking at it like a

the case yesterday, counsel to the CPC candidate Abbas Ibrahim told the tribunal that their application seeking an extension of time was filed yesterday, adding that since the tribunal members had not received it, it could not be deemed to have been filed. Ibrahim said the petitioners served him a counter-affidavit on July 18. He noted that Paragraph 8(5) of the Practice Direction and Paragraph 47(5) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act gave respondents three days before replying to a counter-affidavit. The lawyer said his attempt to file the reply to the counter-affidavit on Wednesday was not successful because the Registry closed at 4pm, adding that the re-

sponse was filed at the Registry yesterday. Ibrahim said he was withdrawing the application filed on July 11 and substituting it with the one he filed on July 15, a request the tribunal Chairman, Justice Daniel Kailo, granted. The tribunal also granted the prayer of the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seeking more time to respond to the applications he filed. Ibrahim said he was seeking time to respond to the petition, adding: “We want to show the tribunal that we are not just buying time. We want to show what we have been able to do.” Counsel to Makarfi, Yunus Ustaz (SAN) said he opposed the application seeking an extension of time. The tribunal had on June

20 ruled that the CPC candidate be served the substantive petition through substituted service by pasting same at his last known address. Makarfi, former Kaduna State Governor, is challenging the declaration of BabaAhmed as the senator representing Kaduna North Senatorial District. He alleged that he did not score the highest number of valid votes cast in the April 28 election. The former governor said Baba-Ahmed was not duly elected, adding that the election and that the election was marred by irregularities. Makarfi wants the tribunal to declare him the winner of the election, having scored the highest lawful votes cast; or, in the alternative, order a fresh election in Zaria, Sabon-Gari, Kubau and Ikara local governments.

SSS arrests suspected impersonator


HE Bauchi State Directorate of the State Security Service (SSS) yesterday paraded a man, Ismaila Hassan Abdusalam, for alleged impersonation. SSS state Director Adeola Tosin said Abdusalam, 33, had been parading himself as a worker of the service. He alleged that he was arrested at the Nigerian Tele-

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

communications Limited (NITEL) repairs centre when he attempted to burgle the place. Represented by his deputy, Mr Olu Justin, the SSS chief said the suspect was apprehended by NITEL security officers and handed over to the service.

He said: “Investigation showed that Abdusalam has been parading himself as a worker of the SSS in the town. He even forged a letter of appointment of the service to convince people that he is an operative of the service.” Abdulsalam said he was an electrician. Among the suspect’s victims was a former Commissioner for Agriculture, whose

Task force arrests ‘gun manufacturer’ HE Plateau State Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crises, Operation Safe Haven, yesterday arrested a suspected gun manufacturer at a military check point in Bokkos Local Government. Parading the suspect at the STF headquarters in Jos, STF spokesperson Captain Charles Ekeocha said: “The particulars of the suspects show that he is a native of Pankshin Local Government, and his name is Paul Tongleng.


From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

“Tongleng was arrested at 7.30am yesterday during a routine stop-and-search operation with iron implements, which he used in producing rifles. “Soldiers asked the suspect to come down from the vehicle he was traveling in and in the process, Tongleng dropped a bag in the vehicle. When the soldier checked what he dropped, it was found to be empty cases of

7.62 calibre ammunition and some metals, designed like weapons, and some pipes designed as barrels for pistols.” Preliminary investigation, according to Ekeocha, showed that the suspect confessed to have supplied some people with the rifles. Ekeocha urged the residents to give information on any suspicious activity in their areas. He said Tongleng would be handed over to the police for further investigation.

PDP chair: Borno party chieftain joins race


HE former board Chairman of Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Gambo Lawan, yesterday declared his intention to vie for the chairmanship of the party. Lawan told reporters in Abuja that the younger generation needs to assume the leadership of the party. His action was said to have been motivated by the shifting of the party’s national convention from March 2012 to November, this year. The PDP has zoned the position to the North-

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

east, where Lawan hails from, precisely Borno State. He said his interest in the position stemmed from his belief that the younger generation should steer the party’s ship. Lawan said: “In the PDP I envision, fear of imposition will be eliminated and a new PDP that protects its members and party, believes in the principles and ideals of the party will be built. A level-playing field will become the order of the day, as the younger generation must wake up and take charge.”

name the SS did not disclose. Justin said: “We will hand him over for prosecution because we cannot take the law into our hands. We want to use this medium to announce that he has never been a worker in the service. Therefore, anybody who has any dealings with him should know he is not our staff.”

‘Human trafficking threatens security’ From Eunice Bosua, Dutse


HE Permanent Secretary in the Presidency, Mrs Esther Gonda, has said human trafficking is a threat to security. She spoke in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital, at a prebriefing for a two-day workshop for federal and state security administrators, which begins today in Dutse. Mrs Gonda sought the assistance of Governor Sule Lamido and that of other governors to educate the people about the menace. She said: “I have no apology to any foreigner in our midst: Nigeria is a leader in Africa and the Black race. Allowing the child of a leader to work for his subject means the leader has reduced his self-esteem.” Lamido said security is everybody’s business. The governor urged Nigerians to be security-conscious, noting that 30 years after the Civil War, the nation did not learn any lesson from the loss of lives and property.

He said: “It is high time we




Why I went beyond party line to pick exco, by Amosun •Olaniyonu, Soyinka, Ogunde, others take oath


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday explained why he went beyond party line to pick members of the executive council. He said the motive is to “harness the creative abilities and energies” of experts which would help actualise the programmes of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state. Amosun said exco members were not only selected on merit, but also in a way that enjoyed the blessings of ACN. The governor spoke at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, shortly after swearing in 18 commissioners and 12 special advisers. He said:”We have decided to employ the services of professionals, who have the same vision and

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

passion. It is a deliberate way to harness and take advantage of the creative abilities and energies of those who can deliver on the five cardinal programmes of our party. “Therefore, if it appeared that some people were not chosen, it was not intended to slight anyone or group. This state has many eminently qualified men and women scattered in all nooks and crannies in Nigeria and the world. “What we have done is to pick some of the best of these. Our decision may not be perfect, but it is a bold move to give the people the dividends of democracy in the next four years,” Amosun said. Amosun urged the nominees to see their appointment as a “call to service” and to

consider themselves as members of a “restoration and transformation team” for Ogun. “I want to urge you to faithfully and efficiently implement the five cardinal programmes of this administration, which are revitalisation of our educational system; implement free and effective health care delivery; employment generation; affordable housing and urban renewal; agriculture and industrial development,” he said. The commissioners were also assigned portfolios. They include Yusuph Olaniyonu (Information and Strategy); Daniel Adejobi (Housing); Adebayo Fari (Environment); Lanre Tejuoso (Special Duties); Falilu Adebisi Sabitu (Forestry); Bimbo Ashiru (Commerce and Industry); Mrs. Oluwande

Muoyo (Budget and Planning); Mrs. Elizabeth Sonubi (Women Affairs and Social Development); Muyiwa Oladipo (Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs); and Chief Olu Odeyemi (Culture and Tourism). Others are Olamilekan Adegbite (Works and Infrastructure); Segun Odubela (Education); Gbenga Otenuga (Youths and Sports); Ayo Olubori (Agriculture); Samuel Durojaiye Aiyedogbon (Community Development and Cooperative); Wemimo Ogunde (Attorney-General and Justice); Mrs. Kemi Adeosun (Finance) and Olaokun Soyinka (Health). Also sworn in as Special Advisers are Wale Ogunyomade, Mrs. Bimbo Lanre-Balogun, Ms Busola Ogundele, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Mrs. Yewande Amusan, Tunde Sanusi, Rotimi Adewunmi,

ASUU seeks monarchs’, others’ intervention on agreement From Bisi Oladele and Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan


HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday called on traditional rulers; the National Assembly and Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government to fully honour the 2009 Fed Govt/ASUU agreement to prevent another crisis in the education sector. The Chairman of the University of Ibadan Chapter, Dr Ademola Aremu, made the call while addressing reporters at the institution yesterday. Aremu, who described the ongoing face-off between the organised labour and the government as a display of lawlessness on the part of the latter, said it was wrong for the government to refuse to pay the wage that had been signed into law. The unionist said the education sector would be thrown into another avoidable crisis should the Federal Government fail to honour the 2009 agreement in full. “We do not want to heat up the polity but let it be known that nothing may stop the strike if the Federal Government fails to honour its part of the agreement. The agreement is due for a review next July while the old one is yet to be fully implemented.”

Ondo, PDP bicker over strike


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State yesterday criticised the purported recalcitrant posture of the state government over on-going workers strike on the minimum wage. It described the development as disappointing. The party, in a statement by Director of Publicity Ayo Fadaka, lamented that the governor is on vacation abroad to pursue personal interest at the expense of state business. He said it was certain that the strike would continue unabated because there is a care-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

free attitude on the side of government to resolve the imbroglio. But, the Commissioner for Informat the PDP as a drowning party that would never see anything good in the present administration. According to him, even the blind can see the unprecedented achievements that has been recorded by the administration. Akerele said even if the governor travels outside the country for months, he has assistants who can run the administration.

Oyo ACN begs workers From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

S the strike by civil servants in Oyo State entered its fourth day, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has appealed to the workers to shelve the action and embrace dialogue to resolve the impasse. In a statement by the Chairman and Secretary, Akin One and Wasiu Olatunbosun, the ACN expressed worry over the continued strike despite the cancellation of the proposed strike by the national leadership of labour unions. The statement urged the workers to be more understanding, saying “Governor Abiola Ajimobi remains committed to the cause of improved welfare of workers as well as life abundance for all the people of the pacesetter state.” The statement reads: “We appeal to the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to prevail on Oyo workers, who are on strike to be patient and understanding. “In Nigeria today, Ajimobi remains the only governor who has paid the new minimum wage. Labour should not fear concerning the sustenance of the pace, which is just a question of mutual understanding between government and its workers.”


•Fayemi flanked by Olubolade (right) and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, Bukar Goni Aji

No nation can develop without security, says Fayemi


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday said no country can develop without internal security. Fayemi spoke in Abuja when he visited the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), in his office. The governor noted that security is important and affects all sectors of the economy, adding that anyone saddled with the responsibility of providing internal security should be congratulated as well as commiserated with because of the challenges. He said the minister is equal to the task given his track record in public offices. Fayemi said the minister would serve the interest of

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

internal security, especially at this time when Nigerians are looking up to the police for protection. The governor said it was important to associate with someonewho would give his best to the job. Fayemi said the fact that the Minister and himself belong to different parties has nothing to do with development, adding that development has no party colour. In his remarks, Olubolade commended the governor for finding time to visit him, saying he was the first governor to visit him since he assumed office. The minister promised to work closely with the governor in terms of providing security in the country.

NDLEA discovers illicit drug centre in Lagos


HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has uncovered a clandestine laboratory used for the illicit production of Methamphetamine. The laboratory is a threebedroom bungalow in Iba, Ojo Local Government of Lagos State. It has a production capacity of 20 to 50 kilogrammes per cycle, thus making it a

By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

large production centre similar to the ones found in Mexico. Officials are working to ascertain the possibility of a link with international drug networks. The agency’s Chairman/ Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade, described the discovery as the first in West Africa and a success in Nigeria’s drug control operations. The

house had been sealed off. He said: “Some suspects have been arrested. We have begun investigation into the case. “The suspects are Bernard Umezurike(44) and Polycarp Ndilobi(41).” Forensic experts from the United States have begun dismantling the laboratory and evacuating of materials. Methamphetamine is a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that

easily dissolves in water or alcohol. It is usually taken orally or intra-nasally by snorting the powder; by needle injection, or by smoking. The drug is a strong stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It is highly addictive and is a derivative of Amphetamine. Some of the street names of methamphetamine are “speed”, “meth”, “chalk”, “ice”, “crystal” and “glass”.

Osun, Oyo hailed over LAUTECH


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State has commended the Oyo State Government for ordering the return of students of the Clinical Sciences and Medical College of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho to the Osogbo campus. The party, in a statement by its Director of Research and Strategy, Sunday Akere, praised Governor Abiola

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Ajimobi for conforming to the edict setting up the university. The Osun ACN said it is heart-warming to see the sister states ready to embrace peace, which is in contrast to the posture of past governors of the two states. The Osun ACN said this move had shown and confirmed that ACN governments have listening ears and have the interest of the public at heart.

Edo commissioner’s wife released From Osagie Otabor, Benin


IDNAPPED wife of Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Mrs. Florence Obayuwana has been released. Mrs. Obayuwana was abducted on Monday morning by unknown gunmen, who demanded for N20million. She was said to have been released at 8pm on Wednesday at a village in Egor Local Government. Her husband, Osagie Obayuwana, who confirmed the release, said his wife was hale and hearty but declined to comment on whether any ransom was paid. State Director of State Security Service (SSS) Bello Bakori said: “We carried out an operation and the woman was released”.




Delta rerun: Tribunal fixes July 25 for judgment


HE Delta State Election Petitions Tribunal will on Monday deliver judgment in a case filed by the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) governorship candidate in the January 6 rerun election, Great Ogboru. Ogboru is challenging the victory of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in the January 6 rerun election. Tribunal Chairperson Justice Uzoamaka Ogwurike fixed the judgment date yesterday after the adoption of written addresses by the opposing counsel. Uduaghan‘s counsel Wole Olanikpekun (SAN) urged the tribunal to dismiss Ogboru’s petition. An Asaba High Court, headed by Justice Ibrahim Buba, on Wednesday, ruled that Ogboru was not qualified to contest the rerun. Olanipekun, quoting Section 137 (1A) of the Electoral Act, said Ogboru had no locus standi to present his petition. He argued that the decision of the High Court was binding as the judgment was in “Rem”, urging the tribunal to take “judicial notice of it”. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Counsel, Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN), said the party joined issue on the

•Ogboru appeals to supporters From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

validity of Ogboru’s nomination , adding that “Justice Buba’s judgment has resolved the issue.” He urged the tribunal to dismiss Ogboru’s petition based on the evidence of materials before it, stressing that “the petitioner failed to discharge the burden of proof.” Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) argued that Ogboru’s allegation that voting took place in parts of the local governments was an admission that voting took place, saying that the petitioner’s assertion that INEC did not conduct election “is not correct”. Ogboru ‘s counsel Mogbeyi Sagay (SAN) argued that the tribunal cannot deliver judgment based on Justice Buba’s verdict, contending that proceedings of the High Court “were not pleaded”. He argued that if a matter was not before a court “that court is divested of powers to adjudicate on it” adding: “it cannot form the basis of the judgment of this tribunal”.

According to Sagay, Justice Buba’s decision was not a judgment in “Rem”, arguing that Section 50 (1) of the Evidence Act defined judgment in Rem as Probate, Admiralty and Insolvency matters. Ogboru has appealed to his supporters to remain calm. In a statement yesterday, he said: “We would like to appeal to our supporters to remain calm. The tribunal is doing its work. Our supporters have to be watchful so that nobody instigates them. We have been clamouring for a peaceful change. We stand by peaceful change. “Nothing will change our mind about this case. We have the support of the people who voted for us. We cannot let them down. We cannot walk away from the realisation of their wish. “This case is not about Ogboru or DPP. It is about the wish of the people of Delta State. “We are unshaken in our resolve to prove our case at the tribunal. We will definitely appeal the matter. Yesterday, we obtained a stay of execution of the judgment.”

Oshiomhole to Odion: revive state media


HE former Managing Director of National Life, Louis Odion, was yesterday sworn in as Edo State Commissioner for Information. At the ceremony in Benin, Governor Adams Oshiomhole urged Odion to revive the state-owned media outfits- Edo Broadcasting Services and The Nigerian Observer. Oshiomhole said: “We are bringing on board a gentlemen who will add value to governance in the state. He

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

may not have been a card carrying member of any party but he is versed in all issues. “I am very confident in your ability and I expect that you would be able to reorganise the Nigerian Observer, a paper that used to be one of the authoritative national newspapers. I expect Louis will help us reposition EBS.” “Odion is a seasoned manager. He has managed and currently managing the fastest growing newspaper that started a few years back as a

weekly and now a daily. He had made such profound impact that there is no question that the success of that paper made several statements about his managerial ability and quality of judgment.” Also sworn in was a Special Adviser to the governor on Environmental Sanitation, Irabor Onikolease. The governor said the monthly environmental sanitation would be re-introduced, adding that all would be done to make the exercise a successful one.

•Oshiomhole (left) congratulating Odion...yesterday

Igbinedion’s brother seeks court’s permission to travel


ROTHER to former Edo State Governor Lucky Igbinedion, Michael, who is on trial for alleged money laundering, has sought the court’s permission to travel abroad for medical treatment. At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, defence counsel Richard Ahonanruogho, who held brief for Ricky Tarfa (SAN), moved an application to seek the leave of the court to allow Michael Igbinedion travel abroad for medical treatment. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commis-

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

sion (EFFC) arraigned Michael and five others for allegedly laundering billions of naira belonging to Edo State Government. Prosecution counsel Adebisi Adeniyi, who stood in for Rotimi Jacobs, did not oppose the application but argued that such application should not be used in future to delay cases. Justice Adamu Hobon granted the accused 37 days and adjourned hearing till October 25.





NEWS Suswam gets more time to reply ACN candidate’s petition

Boko Haram: Belgore warns against force K

WARA State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in the April election, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN) yesterday cautioned the Federal Government to refrain from the use of force in tackling the Boko Haram sect. He urged the government to use legal means to curtail the activities of the sect, noting that armed force would escalate the problem. Belgore addressed reporters in Ilorin, the state capital, after appearing in a pre-hearing proceeding at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. He said: “What I am saying is that there should be more constructive ways, perhaps, rather than brute force. The government can rely on intelligence and infiltrate the ranks of the sect. Since it is the most important problem we have now, there has to be some form of engagement. “That is not to say government has to condone its activities. The government can deploy more people and intelligence to curtail its activities. “The security situation in our country now is terrible. A society cannot thrive under such an environment. The wellbeing of the people is affected. It is not conducive for business, and there is general tension everywhere. “Boko Haram is a different form of threat. So, it is


•CAC leader urges dialogue

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin and Gbenga Aderanti

very novel to us and I believe our security agencies can handle it, given the right political will and commitment. “I am a strong believer in government being not just tough on crime but also on its causes. A lot of criminal activities emanate from adverse social and economic conditions. Government policies never address the social consequences of those criminal activities. If the social and economic consequences are not addressed, then we are really scraping the problem at the surface. “It is pertinent to look at what may give rise to security threat and then take a bottoms up approach, rather than top-down approach that we are used to. That is why government has started tack-

ling the menace, ignoring the causes of the menace.” The General Evangelist of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Dr. Samuel Abiara, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to dialogue with the leaders of the Boko Haram sect to stop them from further security breaches. Abiara spoke at a meeting of the church in Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State. He said: “I want to advise the Federal Government to investigate the activities of Boko Haram to get to the root of the matter. Leaders of the sect should be invited for a dialogue. This may give the government the opportunity to understand the nature of their grievances and find a lasting solution to their destructive measures.”


Abiara said dialogue is important because Boko Haram members are not foreigners, adding that using force on them would not get the nation anywhere. He said: “Violence will not quell violence. The government cannot afford to be too hard on these people, because a tough action is never a solution to the group’s action.” The cleric urged Nigerians not to see every Muslim as a terrorist, saying: “Muslims are not terrorists. It is another subtle way of Satan to sow the seed of discord in Nigeria.”

HE Benue State Election Petition Tribunal has granted Governor Gabriel Suswam and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) more time to regularise their replies to the petition by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Prof Steve Ugbah. Tribunal Chairman Justice I.B. Garba ruled that it was in the interest of justice to grant the respondents more time to file their replies. He held that Paragraph 45 (1) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, as amended, gave the tribunal such powers to extend the time for the respondents to take their proceedings. Justice Garba, who determined two issues in the ruling, noted that while Ugbah filed his case on May 26 and served same on the first and second respondents on May 27, Ugba and Suswam filed their replies to the petition on different days – May 20 and 19. He said this raised the query by the petitioner that

9,000 workers for Sokoto council poll


INE thousand ad hoc workers have been recruited for tomorrow’s council elections in Sokoto State, the Chairman of the state Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), Alhaji Usman Abubakar, said yesterday. He said 22 parties registered candidates for the chairmanship and councillorship polls, adding that some withdrew their candidates. The SIEC chair said the SIEC had despatched sensitive materials to electoral offices for distribution to polling units in the 23 local governments.

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

Addressing reporters in his office at Shuni Road, Sokoto, Abubakar said the commission, which had rolled out the guidelines for the smooth conduct of the polls, would ensure credible polls. He said: “We have met with all political parties concerning relevant arrangements towards tomorrow’s election.” The SIEC chairman said the commission had concluded arrangements on security, allowances and transportation of workers and materials.

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

the respondent did not file his case within 21 days, as stipulated by the law. Referring to Paragraphs 10 (2) and 12 (1) of the Electoral Act, Justice Garba noted that the former grants a respondent the time to defend his petition while the latter imposes 21 days on a respondent to file a reply, without taking into consideration any memorandum of appearance. He said the panacea for Paragraph 12 (1), as amended, has been removed and provides that a respondent must file his replies within 21 days upon the entering of a memorandum of appearance. The tribunal held that it was not within its power to find a cure for Paragraph 12 (1), as amended, adding that doing so would mean working outside its limit. It declined to determine the first issue – the extension time - in favour of Suswam and the PDP. But on the second issue – regularising the reply - the tribunal maintained that the petition and the effect of Paragraph 45 (1) grant the governor and his party, in the interest of justice, an extension of time to regularise their replies. Commenting on the ruling, counsel to Suswam, Damian Dodo, hailed the tribunal for granting him an extension of time to defend the petition. The tribunal adjourned further hearing on the petition till July 26.





The message of the British Prime Minister is aid, trade and reform. Therefore, there is a lot of business in the air. Our entrepreneurs, governmental agencies, banks and commercial institutions must brace up to embrace it.

–Babatunde Raji Fashola Governor of Lagos State

Yields retreat as Fed Govt sells N70b bonds

‘India’s investment in Nigeria hits $56m’


IGERIA sold N70 bil lion in 3-, 5- and 10year sovereign bonds last Wednesday at its seventh debt auction of the year, the Debt Management Office (DMO), said yesterday. The debt office, said it sold N30 billion of the threeyear, N15 billion of fiveyear and N25 billion of 10year papers, due to mature in 2014, 2015 and 2018 respectively. All the papers are re-openings of previous issues, Reuters reported. Yields were lower than at a previous auction in June, with the three-year paper allotted at a marginal rate of 10.24 per cent compared to 11.69 per cent last month, while the five-year instruments were allotted at 10.70 per cent, down from 12.75 per cent. “There is a lot of bullish sentiment in the market,” Alan Cameron, an economist at CSL Stockbrokers Limited, said, in a phone interview yesterday, in London. “Yields are coming in partially because of the rules and partially because of inflation.” The 10-year papers were allotted at a marginal rate of 11.49 per cent. The banking watchdog last month eased restrictions on foreign investors holding of government debt for at least one year, a move meant to attract new offshore inflows into the country. “The original coupon rates of 10.50 per cent, 4.0 per cent and 10.70 per cent for the three-year, five-year and 10-year offers respectively will be maintained,” the debt office said in a statement.

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


• From left: Director, AIICO Insurance Plc, Rasheed Gbadamosi; MD/CEO, Mr David Shobanjo, and Chairman Dr Oladele Fajemirokun, at the 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of AIICO Insurance in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

Reps endorse Islamic banking, cash withdrawal policy • Members kick against exclusion of questions T HE House of Represen tatives yesterday gave tacit approval to the planned introduction of the controversial Islamic Banking in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). They also backed down from opposing the CBN’s proposed policy on cash withdrawal limit from banks. These endorsements came after the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi briefed members for about two hours in plenary. On Tuesday, the House had, through a resolution, invited Sanusi in line with Section 8(4)(5) of the CBN Act to brief members on the bank’s new policies on cash withdrawal limit and the implementation of Islamic Banking in the country. Intense controversies have continued to trail the two policies since they were unfolded by the apex bank. The proposed cash policy seeks to discourage daily withdrawals and lodgments above the prescribed limits (N150, 000 and N1 million for individuals and companies respectively). Christians have also kicked against Islamic Banking, which is a form of non-interest banking, saying it was a plan conceived to Islamise Nigeria. But after Sanusi’s briefing, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

Ihedioha, declared that they were satisfied with and better enlightened by the briefing. Ihedioha, who did not allow questions from members said: “It is not a question and answer session, we only invited the CBN Governor to brief us on the policies. We are satisfied and better enlightened and educated about the policies.” However, foreclosing questions by Ihedioha did not go down well with some members who protested openly after the plenary. Ihedioha presided over the session in the absence of Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who went to Sokoto for the burial of the Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission, Engr. Ahmed Aliyu Dogodaji. Sanusi, who started with what the policy of cash withdrawal limit meant and the rationale behind it, said the apex bank did not limit the amount individuals or corporate bodies could withdraw per day. He said most of those criticising the policy have

failed to read the circular on the policy. “If you withdraw more than N150,000 per day as an individual, there is a cost to pay and if you as a corporate body withdraw more than N1 million per day, there is also a cost to pay. “For the avoidance of doubt, no limit exists on cash transaction, but the very few high volume cash users should bear commensurate service cost, while most Nigerians are exempted from subsidising them. “The 90 per cent of Nigerians who are poor people are subsidising 10 per cent, who impose the huge cost of cash on the system,” Sanusi explained. The CBN Governor, who took time to explain how the CBN arrived at N150,000 and N1million, insisted that the policy was formulated to remove the burden of subsidising cash transactions of the rich by the poor. He said the industry proposal was not to place limit on cash transactions, but to provide that the 10 per cent of customers that make high volume cash transactions will bear the associated cost and eliminate the subsidy by the mass public (90 per cent) of banking cus-

tomers. The policy, he said, will have direct impact on banking industry efficiency and cost structure. It will also reduce the cost of cash to the financial system and result in significant savings that could be passed on to customers in form of reduced cost of banking services and lower lending rates to borrowers, he said. He noted that the objective of the policy on cash withdrawal was different as it was targeted at reducing cash transactions in the banking industry in favour of electronic means of payment. “We all travel all over the world, nobody goes to United Kingdom and carries one million pounds, and nobody goes to the United States of America and carries $1million.” He insisted that those who go to bank to withdraw N20 million, N30 million or N80 million have an alternative. “They can use electronic means to conduct their transactions, but if they choose to go to bank to withdraw N20 million they have to pay. The people complaining about cash withdrawal limit are the rich people,” he said.

SEC approves 67 compliance officers


HE Securities and Ex change Commission (SEC) has approved 67 compliance officers for stockbroking firms as part of efforts to ensure conformity with rules and regulations in the capital market. Head of Media of the SEC, Lanre Oloyi, said more applications were still being processed to ensure that the compliance officers are duly

By Tonia Osundolire

qualified to carry out their roles. Oloyi, said some applications were still coming in and some were fresh from those, who just registered with the Exchange. ”Some applications are just coming in and some are fresh. This is because they are subjected to normal registration

procedure. We have to ensure that they are fit and proper to operate in the capital market,” he said. Reacting to the number of approved compliance officers compared with 261 active dealing members in the market, Oloyi, said it would be difficult to pinpoint the number of those that are yet to get approval due to the fact that the exercise is on-going.

He said SEC has to check the registration status of companies for compliance exercise while the new ones may need to go through registration procedure. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) had earlier in the year given stockbrokers an April deadline to submit the names of their compliance officers or be denied operation on the floor of the Exchange.

NDIA’s High Commis sioner to Nigeria, Amb. Mahesh Sachdev, said Nigeria is India’s second largest trading partner, with $56 million investment in Nigeria. This is contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tony Onyekwere. The envoy made this known during his visit to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri. According to the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja, India’s contribution to Nigeria has generated employment in the area of banking, shipping, agriculture and transportation. Recalling India’s contributions to Nigeria on scholarship and training opportunities, Sachdev stated that Nigeria is entitled to eight fellowship scholarships in biotechnology and another 130 in skills acquisition programmes. In her response, Onwuliri, thanked the Indian envoy for the opportunity in terms of exchange programmes, noting that such programmes had helped in strengthening peace among countries. While complementing India’s co-operation in the areas of trade, investment, education and health care delivery, the minister called for more collaboration in the fight against HIV and AIDS. She pledged strengthened and sustained political and economic relations with India.

ICAN seeks overhaul of company laws


HE Institute of Char tered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) yesterday called for a total review of the existing company laws to facilitate implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). ICAN Chairman, Amuwo district, Johnson Ajileye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the review should focus on existing laws that affected the preparation of financial statements. He said unless the subsisting laws which were last reviewed in 2004, are amended, Nigeria might encounter difficulties in the application of IFRS. Ajileye, said unlike Nigeria, the implementation of IFRS started in 2005 in Australia, Hong Kong and the European Union.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

Minister warns terminal operators over pact

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

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

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

By Oluwakemi Dauda

Speaking with maritime reporters in his office in Abuja yesterday, the minister said he would soon embark on an official tour of the facilities put in place by the concessioners to ascertain the level of development in the ports and what they intend to do to key into President Gooluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda. He promised to rapidly transform the ports to international standard and complete all on-going projects being carried out by all the parastatals

under his ministry. The minister urged the staff to seatup and carry out their responsibilities judiciously. The era of bickering and internal wrangling between officials of the ministry and heads of parastatals under it, the minister said, was over. All heads of parastatals under the watch of the ministry, the new minister said, should be ready to take genuine directives from the permanent secretary and directors in the ministry of transport to boost the transformation agenda of the President.


ECRETARY, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Retirees As sociation, Mr Lanre Adisa, yesterday alleged that the ports authority had not paid pensions to those who retired in 2006. Adisa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the authority had remained adamant, in spite of calls by the affected retirees in the past four years. He said that though the NPA paid them large sums of money when they were leaving, its refusal to include them in the list of its pensioners was against Federal Government’s directive.

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40

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

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik


HE Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar has warned concessionaires and terminal operators to stop violating the agreement they had with the Federal Government before the ports were concessioned to them six years ago. Umar said he was not happy that some concessioners and terminal operators are working against the terms and conditions of the concession agreement and urged them to desist from violating the pact or be prepared to close shops.

Pension: NPA retirees decry non-payment

08.00 18.00

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

• From left: Mr Ladipo Oke, Managing Director, Education Electronic Data Marketing Company; Mr Bunmi Olukoya, Chief Operation Officer, Green Circle Network Africa; Mr Festus Imona, Deputy CEO; Mr Oladele Oye, Head, Marketing & Sales; Adedamola Onasile, Relationship Manager; Mr Patrick Odunze, Accountant, all from E2DMC; Mrs Happiness Ezeuko, Operation Manager, school & Office Max, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the insurance scheme tagged, ‘Royal Exchange Healthcare Advantage for Educational Sectors’ between Education Electronic data Marketing Company and Royal Exchange Healthcare Limited, in Lagos. PHOTO: GABRIEL KUTELU

Experts urge CBN to sanction banks over subsidiaries T

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been urged to im pose heavy sanctions on commercial banks that failed to divest from its existing subsidiaries by the end of 2011. The CBN had in September 2010 directed the banks to begin the process of disengaging from their subsidiaries in insurance, mortgage, company registrar and issuing houses. The banking watchdog gave a December 2011 deadline for them to comply with the directive. Two university lecturers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that the CBN must remain proactive in its reforms to restore sanity to the nation’s banking industry.

Dr Paul Adams, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Lagos, said the enforcement of the directive would help to enthrone good corporate governance. Adams also said that the apex bank should go beyond strict supervision, adding that failure of the CBN to review its operating rules periodically in the past and carry out checks had led to a near collapse of the industry. He listed some of the challenges facing banks as inadequate illiquidity, lack of corporate governance, poor managerial skills and high operating costs.

The lecturer commended the CBN for floating the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to absorb non-performing loans. “The intervention of AMCON is expected to improve the operations of banks and make them to be efficient in discharging their duties to customers,” he said. Similarly, Dr Olumide Owoade, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, Lagos State University (LASU), charged the CBN to ensure that the banks complied strictly with the rules and regulations. Owoade said that divesting from the subsidiaries would compelled the banks to focus more on the core business of banking.

Lagos plans ICT project for farmers


N line with the United Nation’s (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Lagos State government has committed itself to making sure information and communication technologies (ICTs) are integrated in the agricultural sector to contribute to the economic revival of the country. To this end,an agrinet project is planned for farmers in Lagos State. Speaking with The Nation yesterday, the Commissioner, Agriculture and Cooperatives ,Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said his administration is promoting the use of ICTs in its bid to attain agricultural sustainability and competitiveness

By Daniel Essiet

for the nation’s farmers. Lawal said government will fasttrack the dissemination of agricultural and natural resources information and technologies to farmers, upland dwellers, and rural entrepreneurs. He said his ministry is creating an integrated agricultural information system on pricing and market information, adding that its information for all agro products in Lagos will now be made available electronically to provide strategic information for farmers, government authorities, and other stakeholders at

the state and local government levels. To make more impact, Lawal said his administration will develop and promote ICT skills development among agricultural extension workers and farmers as well as develop a monitoring and evaluation system for sustainable utilisation of natural resources in agricultural production process. He explained that promoting agricultural development without building entrepreneurial and management skills among local farmers will help the nation in the quest to achieve sustainable agriculture.

Investment ministry to create jobs


INISTER of State, Trade and Investment Dr. Samuel Ortom has assured that the ministry will ensure job creation and growth of industries in the country. Ortom gave this assurance during a courtesy call by members of the National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

Party (PDP) in Abuja. He said that creation of jobs and growth of industries will be possible because with Dr. Olusegun Aganga by his side, the ministry will achieve their objectives. He said, “Our ministry is the main engine to drive the trans-

formation agenda of this administration. As you all can see, the country is already in good governance since the election that produced the President was free, fair and credible. “I would like to express my appreciation to the President for finding me worthy of this Ministerial Post”.

Urban Development Bank to float N100b bond


HE Urban Development Bank of Nigeria (UDBN) PLC will soon float a N100 billion bond for a metropolitan common service agency scheme, its Managing Director, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, announced in Abuja yesterday. Receiving the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, in his office, Oyinloye said the scheme is designed for collaborative infrastructural development ventures among contiguous local governments in the country under the Private, Public Partnership (PPP) system. With the scheme, the managing director said in a statement that the local governments would be able to, through the bank, access cheaper funds from the capital market for urban development. This will enable them, under a long-term loan scheme, jointly finance essential amenities like roads, water, hospitals, modern motor parks and waste management, Oyinloye explained. He pointed out that proper waste management could also be elevated to veritable sources of energy for steady electricity supply in the various localities. Oyinloye said the bank would assist the states and local governments to not only source infrastructure funds but also assist them in setting up their PPP offices for efficient execution and profitable management of the infrastructural facilities. He said it would also be the responsibility of the bank to secure necessary guarantees for the loan re-payment by the scheme’s stakeholders. The UDBN boss also disclosed that the bank had, under its N10 billion Public Mass Transit Fund (PMTF), given out 714 buses to road transport operators across the country out of the 1, 649 approved.




• From left: TUC President General, Peter Esele; Edo State Governor Oshiomhole; NLC President Abdulwaheed Omar. Back row: TUC Secretary-General John Kolawole at the Labour Government meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

How Fed Govt, states, Labour resolved minimum wage feud


ACTS have emerged on how the Federal Government, governors and Labour reached a compromise on the minimum wage to avert a workers strike. Workers had planned to go on a three-day strike which would have ended today. The planned strike was shelved on Thursday morning after Labour’s series of meetings with the Federal Government and governors. Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole was said to have played a key role in getting labour to shelve the strike. Oshiomhole, sources said, was the trump card used by the Federal and state governments to woo Labour.

Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

At thier meeting with Labour, the governors were said to have asked Oshiomhole to lead the talks. Oshiomhole was President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) before he became governor. Oshiomhole, sources said, initially declined, asking chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Rotimi Amaechi to lead the talks in his capacity as their leader. But Amaechi insisted on Oshiomhole doing the job because of his experience in Labour matters, a source said. He was also invited to lead the talks when

the Secretary to the Government of the Federal (SGF) Pius Anyim met with labour leaders at the Presidential villa on Wednesday. Labour was said to have agreed to shelve the strike out of respect for Oshiomhole. The source said Labour has a lot of respect for Oshiomhole, otherwise, it would have allowed the strike to hold, if only to teach the government a lesson that it should not be leaving serious labour matters unattended until the last minute. And that what Labour planned to do would have been unprecedented. For journalists, it was a waiting game. Reporters waiting at the entrance of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation

Union writes Jonathan over Personal Income Tax law


ENIOR civil servants have urged Federal Government to sign the Personal Income Tax Bill, as amended, into law. In a letter addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan, and entitled: “Need to sign the amended personal income tax act into law,” the workers, under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, urged the President, “to sign the Bill into law now to bring relief to millions of civil servants and other Nigerian workers who are groaning and moaning under the weight of the prevailing tax regime.” In the letter, signed by the Secretary General, Solomon Onaghinon, the workers alleged that some governors are advising the President not to endorse the Bill, because it would reduce the quantum of funds accruing to them. They said: “If any person or state government seeks to reverse the new tax regime you are about to sign into law, it should send a fresh (Amendment) Bill to the National Assembly.” “In an economy where the average Nigerian worker runs a mini-government, because he or she has to buy water, pay for security in the neighbourhood, contribute to mend or tar street, pay high electricity tariff for non-available power supply, pay exorbitant rent, medical bills, school fees, etc, it is self-evident that the high tax regime has further impoverished civil servants.” The letter reads in part: “We wish to recall that since the 2007 Consolidated Salary Structure became operational, the tax burden on civil


• Onaghinon

servants has been very unbearable. This is because prior to this policy, only basic salaries of workers were taxed while allowances were taxfree for most grade levels. But since the Consolidated Salary Structure was introduced, middle and even junior government employees pay tax rate as high as 30 per cent of the consolidated salary “It is against this background, Mr. President, Sir, that the association in 2008 presented a memorandum to the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) stressing the need for downward review of the Personal Income Tax to make it worker-friendly.

“The incidence of high tax regime was also discussed at the Panel on Public Service Remunerations, at the Chief Shonekan Committee as well as at the Alfa Belgore National Minimum Wage Committee. The end product of all these discussions and recommendations was that the Presidency forwarded an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Personal Income Tax Act 2004. As usual, the Bill went through legislative due process in the National Assembly including a public hearing before it was sanctioned by the Senate and the House of Representatives and consequently presented to Mr President for his assent. “But information reaching us, Mr President, indicates that you have been under tremendous pressure by some state governors not to sign the Bill into law on the spurious ground that it will reduce the quantum of taxation accruing to them from workers’ salaries. We find this highly objectionable because the state governments in question had all the opportunity in the world while the Bill was being processed in the National Assembly to make their inputs. “It must also be pointed out that law in general is made to serve the public interest and not the selfish interest of any specific state or entity. Our advice, therefore, is that Mr. President should not succumb to such ill-motivated pressure intended to create disaffection between him and the public. If any person or state government seeks to reverse the new tax regime you are about to sign into law, it should send a fresh (Amendment) Bill to the National Assembly.”

Industrialists to work with Fed Govt

HE Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASS) has promised to facilitate a partnership with the Federal Government on job creation. Its president, Chief Chukwu Wachukwu, said in Abuja that the plan was informed by the association’s commitment to poverty eradication. He said the partnership would lead to the

revival of small scale industries and reduction of unemployment. “Looking at the level of unemployment in this country, we have no option than to work with the Federal Government in its effort at eradicating poverty. “It is not because the government lacks the will to initiate policies that will address poverty eradication but the poverty

alleviation agencies are not effective,’’ he said. According to Wachukwu, the country can achieve poverty eradication when the small scale industries are revitalised. He praised President Goodluck Jonathan for his desire to initiate programmes which are favourable to wealth creation by tackling power failure.

(SGF)’s office cut the picture of expectant fathers waiting outside the labour room. The editors were expecting the outcome of the meeting which started a few minutes to 8pm. The meeting ended just before midnight. And the outcome? Implementation will now cut across the board. Arrears will also be paid, taking effect from March, and be paid not later than August. Above all, no worker shall be victimised in any manner, concerning their involvement in the minimum wage struggle. The strike was taken by Labour following the government’s foot-dragging on the implementation of the new N18,000 National Minimum Wage as endorsed by law.

Osun jobs scheme stresses ‘dignity of labour’


IFFERENT categories of graduates applied for the menial jobs provided by the Osun State Government under its Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), towards reducing unemployment. First and second degree holders clinched the jobs of street sweepers. OYES Commandant, Col. Enibukun Oyewole (rtd), said Masters degree holders and Law graduates are among those employed as cleaners under the scheme. Oyewole said the scheme placed much emphasis on dignity of labour. Governor Rauf Aregbesola had, on March 5, inaugurated 20,000 youths as volunteers into the scheme at Ede. He said the idea was not just employment, but the need to inculcate attitudinal change in youths to embrace the virtues of hard work, humility and discipline. Oyewole said although the scheme was designed to provide menial jobs to reduce the rate of unemployment, all categories of graduates applied for the job. He explained that the scheme covers greening, traffic control, paramedics, maintenance and rebuilding of infrastructure, with emphasis on environmental sanitation, for now. The Commandant said among those the scheme engaged to sweep streets and drain gutters are graduates of varied disciplines, adding that the fact that many of the volunteers are well educated has contributed immensely to the success of the programme. “Many of them behave maturely and work with little or no supervision, as well as receive instructions with ease just because of their level of education. The same jobs are assigned to holders of Master’s degree and school certificate holders and there has never been any complaint of friction or disharmony.







FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011




As Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi grapples with blending politicians with technocrats to raise a formidable executive council, BISI OLADELE examines the various power blocs striving to book good slots for themselves in the new team expected restore the pacesetter state.

Ajimobi, ACN leaders finetune Oyo Executive list


INCE the dust settled over the April general elections in Oyo State, stakeholders, including the ordinary citizens have been anxious to know the calibre of people to be appointed as cabinet members by the new governor. Ajimobi was elected under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). However, since then, things are yet to take good shape partly due to the pressure being faced by Ajimobi over appointments and which slots go to which power bloc within the ruling party. The situation became more cumbersome for the governor in view of his declaration of a new era of transformation, reformation and restoration and his determination to drive his vision with professionals both from among politicians and from the outside world. His appointments so far have signaled that the new administration has enough space for professionals. That may not be surprising because the governor himself is a management expert who was a Chief Executive of a frontline multinational. As the list of cabinet members begins to take shape, politicians are falling over themselves to feature for plum positions in the state, while the governor’s focus remains mainly on how best to actualise his mission. Starting with the ACN group loyal to the leader of the party in the state, Alhaji Lam Adesina, to the vast multitude of party members loyal to the governor since his days in the Alliance for Democracy (AD), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the new group in alliance with the government under the leadership of former governor Rashidi Ladoja, as well as Ajimobi’s primary constituency (the professionals), anxiety has gripped many over what the list would look like. Yet, another group of politicians who migrated from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) either from the Ladoja or the AlaoAkala group, is waiting earnestly for plum positions, having contributed to the success of the ACN in the election. The Lam Adesina group, which is in control of the party’s machinery, has submitted a list with the expectation that the governor would not tamper with the list as it is perceived within the circle that the governor did not patronise the party on the few previ-

‘A lot of people have been expressing apprehension about the people being appointed. They say we are only interested in well-read people. But let me assure you that everyone who worked for the success of the party would be allowed to make their contributions to the success of this administration’ • Ajimobi

ous appointments. A source close to the party disclosed to The Nation that the list included party’s candidates for both the cabinet and local government caretaker committees across the state. The PDP decampees are also apprehensive because of the party’s lack of patronage in the few appointments made so far, while the professionals are waiting at the wings to take even more slots in future appointments. It is understood that many party men are expressing concerns about the possibility of the governor giving more sensitive positions to professionals who they argue, were not around when the party faced the AlaoAkala and Ladoja in the election. But the governor has restated many times that as much as he was determined to engage more professionals, he would open up opportunities to party men who worked for the success of the ACN in the election. He said: “A lot of people have been expressing apprehension about the people be-

ing appointed. They say we are only interested in well-read people. But let me assure you that everyone who worked for the success of the party would be allowed to make their contributions to the success of this administration. “However, if you remember the swearing in ceremony at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, you will remember that the crowd was so much that the entire stadium was filled to the brim. All the roads leading to the stadium were crowded with our people such that we walked kilometres to get to the stadium. Never in the history of this state has such huge crowd turned up for the swearing in of a governor. “What that tells us is that the expectations of our people are high on us. We cannot afford to disappoint them. Therefore, in choosing people for appointments, we will place emphasis on competence whether within or outside the party.” Yet, the assurance is in no way, assuaging

the fears of many party supporters. As the state awaits the list, it is clear from the consistent utterances of the governor that certain ministries will not be left for just anybody. Such ministries will include Environment, Finance, Agriculture, Education and Works. Ajimobi has repeated times and again that his administration is here to change the face of the environment, particularly Ibadan, the state capital. Efforts by previous administration have not yielded much result save the last administration, which succeeded in beautifying some roads and major roundabouts in Ibadan. The new governor is not just comfortable with the present state of the city’s environmental situation, he has been expressing his disgust for it with passion. Therefore, the helmsman in that ministry is expected to be one who is bubbling with ideas about how to give the city the expected new looks. As for finance, the new administration, it was learnt, would want to go for a financial expert who can initiate, actualise and manage new ideas on improving the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state which currently stands at a paltry N1 billion, a far cry from what the administration needs to drive its welfarist transformational agenda. The governor is also expected to go for an expert who is able to cut cost in line with his pledge to save huge amounts in the cost of governance. Therefore, the ministry won’t be up for grabs by every Tom, Dick and Harry. The Ministry of Education is another sensitive one. It will need a professional that understands the Obafemi Awolowo policy which Ajimobi has vowed to revive and modify for the present time while Agriculture ministry would require similar hands. As for Works Ministry, people would expect to see a thorough-bred engineer who is able to deliver qualitative jobs, having endured poor quality road construction in the last four years. In all, the state is waiting for a team peopled with high-flying performers with agility to make Ajimobi’s dream of transformation, reformation and restoration a reality. However, to Ajimobi, the waiting game will eventually be worthwhile.

Aspirants warm up for council polls in Lagos


O fewer than 250 chairmanship as pirants have flagged off their campaigns across the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas of Lagos State on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Reliable sources close to the party secretariat also disclosed that about 600 have signified intention to vie for councillorship on the same platform. However, aspirants from opposition parties are yet to put their acts together. Last week, the chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Justice Fatai Adeyinka (rtd), unfolded plans for the council polls, saying that the exercise would hold in October. The retired jurist said that he was not aware of any plan by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) to extend the tenure of the chairmen and councillors. ACN is yet to release guidelines for nomination, but aspirants have intensified campaigns across the wards. Posters and bill boards are noticeable in public places across the councils and endorsement by groups and caucuses within the party and intense lobbying of party leaders are on. A party source hinted that there is an understanding that council chairmen who have

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

served for two or three terms in office may be edged out during the nomination. However, some of them who stepped down during the House of Representatives primaries may be excepted. Local government chairmen who may not re-contest include Mrs Modupe Oshegale (Isolo), Hon. Afeez Ipesa (Osodi/Isolo), Muyiwa Adedeji (Kosofe), Hon. Yetunde Arobieke (Agboyi-Ketu), Adefarasin Hassan (Ijede), Adedayo Adesola (Apapa-Iganmu), Yisa Owolabi (Eti-Osa), Bamigbose Hunsu (Badagry West), Sulaimon Akeem (Bariga), and Abdulkareem Jubreel (Agege). Prominent chairman who are re-contesting are Jide Jimoh (Yaba), Abiodun Mafe (Mosan-Okunola), Kehinde Bamigbetan (Ejigbo), Yemi Ali (Ojuwoye), Amida Abudu (Olorunda), Yinka Durosinmi (Ojo), Taofeek Adaranijo (Orile-Agege), Moses Dosu (Badagry Central), Ayodele Adewale (Amuwo-Odofin), and Adekanye Oladele (Mainland). Their campaign trains have rolled into palaces of royal fathers, residence of market men and women leaders, religious leaders and party chieftains, who are expected to play

active roles in their nominations. Supporters of Adaranijo formally kicked off his campaign at the commissioning of the new secretariat of Orile-Agege council, which was named in honour of the ACN National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu. In Oshodi-Isolo local government, majority of party chieftains and followers are rooting for the ambition of the vice chairman, Hon. Kayode Tinubu, a lawyer and educationist. In Isolo LCDA, there was a big rally for Hon. Shamsudeen Olaleye, a grassroots politician, who was said to have been anointed by the state chairman of the party, Otunba Dele Ajomale and other community leaders. At least, four aspirants have stepped down for him. Olaleye, who has lived in Isolo for 37 years and served as vice chairman of Alimoso Council and Secretary to Isolo Local government, was endorsed by eight groups, which vowed to install him based on merit. the aspirant challenged his co-contestants to debate, saying that he is more qualified and experienced as a council functionary for more than a decade. Addressing the rally, the aspirant said that he joined the race to serve, adding that his intention is to implement progressive pro-

grammes that would sealed the pact between the ACN and grassroots. He promised to rehabilitate schools, construct local government roads, establish more health centers, sink boreholes, and give bursary to indigent students. Olaleye said: “I want progress for this local government. I have capacity for service delivery. I have the experience. I have received the award for the best secretary before in Lagos State. My target is to become the best chairman of council in Lagos State. My administration will be performancedriven. I have a road map and this will be implemented for the benefit of our people”. About 12 different groups are campaigning for Hon. Jimoh, who is rated by the ACN leadership as a loyal party man and efficient administrator. Before he was asked to serve at the grassroots, he was a member of House of Assembly for eight years. He is one of the few chairmen without challengers. Ajomale told our correspondent that the guidelines for the nomination would be released next week. He said: “LASIEC has released its own guidelines and that would guide the party guidelines. We have set up a party committee to work on the guidelines and by next week, the guidelines would be out”.




How to extend food shelf life, by expert A

FOOD safety expert, Prof Dele Fapohunda, has urged large food concerns to embrace radiation processing as a strategy to increase shelf life of food and ensure safety. Radiation of food items involves treating certain types of food with ionising energy or radiation. Apart from destroying bacteria and parasites that cause human illnesses, it can also make food last longer by destroying or inactivating insects, moulds, yeasts etc that spoil food and delay ripening of fruits and vegetables besides limiting unwanted sprouting of potatoes and similar vegetables. Fapohunda, who is a past president, Mycotoxins Society of Nigeria, said radiation processing of food stuff was a universally accepted technology and used in commer-

• Fapohunda By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

cial applications in agriculture. According to him, seasonal

nature of production and the long and unmanageable distances between the production and consumption centres and the rising gap between demand and supply have posed great challenges to conventional techniques of food preservation and thereby to food security. He, however, maintained that it should form part of the collection of methods for preservation. According to him, radiation processing is an important application in the post-harvest handling and management of food stuff. He said the process improves food conservation and hygiene. He said the safety and nutritional adequacy of irradi-

ated foods for human consumption was well established. Local food frims have practised various methods of food preservation including sun drying, pickling and fermentation. These methods are being supplemented with more energy consuming techniques such as refrigeration, freezing and canning. Studies have proved that in comparison to other food processing and preservation methods, the nutritional value is least affected by radiation processing. Extensive scientific studies have also shown that radiation has very little effect on the main nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals. Generally, vitamins show varied sensitivity to food processing methods including radiation.

Group pushes for agric development


HE President of the Governing Council, Institute of Professional Agriculturists’ of Nigeria, (IPAN), Mr Caleb Akinola, has called on professional agriculturists to lift the profession. He said President Goodluck Jonathan’s determination to enforce a total paradigm shift in agricultural policies would enhance a new agricultural direction that would be driven by agro processing and segment industrialisation.

By Charity Williams

“The president is seeing agriculture as a future for Nigeria where primary agriculture will contribute less than 10 per cent to our Gross National Product (GDP), Currently, it contributes 42 per cent. Secondary agriculture, which also mean industrialised agriculture contributes 45 per cent to the national GDP (current GDP from secondary agriculture is less than five per cent),” he said. He challenged members of

the institute to support the president in developing an agricultural Nigeria that would be running at par with Brazil, which is currently the largest production of processed poultry in the world. Speaking at the association’s induction in Lagos on Tuesday, he stressed the need for career agriculturists to ensure a better structure for agricultural practice in the country as the institute would turn 18 in October. According to Akinola, since

the establishment of institute, it has been involved in the training and re-training of agriculturists in Nigeria to prepare them for the everchanging trends that have been the defining point of the industry. The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Fatima Bamidele, congratulated the inductees, stressing the essence of attaining self-sufficiency in production of basic food commodities.

• From left: Prof Adewale Adekunle receiving an award from Director, UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UKCDS), Dr Andrëe Carter and Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Prof Monty Jones.

Flood: Don seeks help for affected fishermen


PROFESSOR of Fisheries, Lagos State University (LASU), Martins Antehkai, has called for measures to help fishermen whose livelihoods have been affected by floods. Speaking with The Nation, Antehkai said the impact of high water levels may be affecting fishing opportunities. He said the weather service

was not providing enough information adequate weather advisories, watches and severe weather warnings across the country. The saving grace, he explained, are the native fishers will apply caution when fishing in locations with high water levels. According to him, the rainy season is hazardous for fishing and fishermen to make

sure their areas aren’t closed before they head out to the water. He explained, however, that the flooding in urban areas was a blessing to fishermen as nutrients washed away from the land is brought to the sea. He said the fish will have a lot to feed on from things that are washed in.

• Antehkai


Agro business opportunities in Kebbi By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent


GRICULTURE is the mainstay of Kebbi State’s economy. A large percentage of the people are farmers. Agriculture and livestock raising are the main sources of livelihood for about 70 per cent of the working population. Food crops include guinea corn, rice and millet while cash crops include groundnut and cotton. About 200,000 hectares of fertile land is fadama land, mainly situated along the flood plains of the Rima and Niger valleys. The land area is suitable for agricultural development and permits both agriculture and herding by nomadic tribes. The farmlands support large scale production of crops such as millet, guinea corn, rice, wheat, beans, groundnut, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, and vegetables like onion, pepper and tomatoes. Cash crops, such as sugarcane peanuts, citrus fruits, yams, tomatoes, mangoes and coffee can be grown. Same with subsistence crops such as sorghum, wheat, cowpeas, beans, pulses, corn, and barley. Crop cultivation was divided between a modern, market-oriented sector comprising mechanised, large-scale irrigated and rainfed farming and small-scale farming following traditional practices that was carried on in other parts of the state where rainfall or other water sources were sufficient for cultivation. Rainfall is seasonal, as such most farming is carried out during the wet season on the upland during which food and cash crops such as millet, sorghum, maize, rice, beans, cassava, cotton, and tobacco are cultivated. During the dry season, farming is carried out in the vast fadama lands where crops such as tomatoes, onions, pepper, sugar cane, vegetable and sweet potatoes and wheat are cultivated. Indigenous forms of cultivation are, however, gradually giving way, as more farmers now use • Governor Dakingari improved seed varieties, chemical fertilisers, formal credit facilities, and ploughs and tractors. Raising of livestock is pursued across the state. Camel farming is particularly popular. It has provided employment for so many people. Modernisation proposals have been based on improving existing practices. Some farmers rear cattle, sheep and goats to augment their income. These animals are fed with the stalk of grains, and leaves of legumes. For the most part, animals are grazed in the open field around the village and in the fadamas. Animal wastes are in turn used for manure. Kebbi State has abundant livestock which include cattle, sheep, goats, camels, horses, donkeys, pigs and poultry. It ranks among the five states with the highest number of livestock. The state exports quite a substantial number to other states of Nigeria. The state wants to create a diversified market-oriented economy based on an efficient agricultural sector capable of supporting manufacturing activities. This will mean supporting urban and rural farming programmes to encourage agro export and reduce food miles. The state is open for vegetarian restaurants, health food stores, garden supply stores and more farmers’ stalls to stimulate economic growth in the downtowns. Demand is increasing for fresh, high quality, locally grown vegetables. The government wants farmers to diversify, grow fresh vegetables and fruits and connect with grocery stores, restaurants and other buyers. The administration is posed to becoming a success story by building upon agriculture activities. Given new investments, the state’s agriculture industry has the potential to become a major source of employment, most especially for the thousands of women and youth. There is substantial amount of land suitable for future cropping. The state has natural resources and the potential to be a major producer of a wide range of agricultural commodities. Largely untapped livestock and fertile land all point to the agricultural potential of Kebbi. However, constraints to agricultural production and marketing include poor infrastructure, lack of access to capital and low-level agricultural technical efficiency and skills in production, marketing and business management.





Europe at the Brink

Saved by the bell •Government, Labour live to fight another day over minimum wage


N July 19, negotiators in the faceoff between organised Labour and federal/state governments over minimum wage shelved a national three-day “warning” strike that would have taken off on July 20, lasting till July 22. It is a salute to common sense that the strike was averted; and on this score, both the government and Labour deserve commendation. But it is also something not to be lauded that the truce was achieved at the very last minute, virtually pulling back from an industrial brink. It is certainly no way to govern, waiting for the very last moment to take such an important decision. The result is that though strike was averted, there were still huge losses in man-hours to the economy, since many workers still did not make it to work, or got to work late, simply because they got the news of the shelved strike on the very morning it was billed to start. Indeed, the strike was unnecessary. The reason is simple: the government, after protracted negotiation, passed the National Minimum Wage Act of 2011. The same government therefore cannot logically make a volte-face, and claim it was in no position to pay. If it had not done that, Labour would not have balked. And if Labour did not balk, there would have been no threatened strike. The general defence is the government does not have enough cash to pay. Many have even adduced the fear-inducing argument that should the government be brow-beaten to pay, it might mean laying off some staff or otherwise, paying a

few civil servants (a minority) at the painful expense of developing infrastructure for the rest of the people (the majority). Perhaps many, if not most of the governments in the federation, do not have the cash to pay. But if that was right, why did they endorse the agreement, since they were part of the negotiation, before it was codified into law? It is true that some states proposed figures lower than N18, 000. But it is also true that others proposed figures far higher than the adopted figure. Still, some states that proposed figures higher than N18, 000, later turned round to claim they could not pay N18, 000! Now, how is that? Such cynical behaviour from the government side is precisely what is responsible for the ultra-low trust level between government and its publics, not the least Labour. When government cannot be trusted for what it says, then it becomes a victim of its own antics, even if it has a genuine case. But that is not to say only the government side is remiss. Labour too does not exactly smell like roses. Beyond the emotional play of “it is N18, 000 or crippling strike”, Labour itself betrayed conceptual confusion by lumping minimum wage with relativity pay. What is Labour’s goal: to pad up the most vulnerable of earners or to ask for a general review of wages? While generally reviewing wages is not a bad idea, considering rising inflation, mixing it up with minimum wage defeats the goal of ameliorat-

ing the condition of the lowest paid workers. Still, there are more systemic ways of quietly increasing wages without sending the economy into a tailspin. It is by indexing yearly inflation rate into current wages and adjusting accordingly. That way, wages are not unnecessarily publicised and politicised, such that, as it is now, the so-called beneficiaries do not end up grand victims of inflationsucked wages. As it is however, both parties should keep to the terms of the July 19 agreement, particularly the government which has gained notoriety for reneging on agreements. Otherwise, the shelved strike would only be dress rehearsal for a more crippling strike after August. That would be bad for the economy.

‘Still, there are more systemic ways of quietly increasing wages without sending the economy into a tailspin. It is by indexing yearly inflation rate into current wages and adjusting accordingly. That way, wages are not unnecessarily publicised and politicised, such that, as it is now, the so-called beneficiaries do not end up grand victims of inflation-sucked wages’

When ‘dog ate dog’ •Police authorities should do mental tests before arming their men


IGERIANS are familiar with stories of policemen killing innocent Nigerians over nothing or over peanuts at checkpoints. It is only occasionally that they kill themselves. In almost all cases, they blame the killing on accidental discharge. But not the kind of killing, right in the Abia State Government House last Tuesday, when a mobile policeman attached to the governor, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji’s convoy shot one of his colleagues. The policeman, Corporal Umoru Mohammed had allegedly gone to the room of Corporal Clement Amachi at about 2.00 a.m. while the latter was sleeping and shot him severally on the head. According to reports, the cause of the problem was a N2.5 million gift the governor gave to the security details after a trip. Mohammed was said to have complained that he was always short-changed whenever the governor extended such generosity to them and was determined to teach his colleague that he thought was responsible a lesson he would not forget. After killing Amachi, he stormed out of the house with his AK 47 assault rifle, shooting sporadically as he walked towards the main gate of the government house. He was however shot and over-powered by other security operatives after he had expended the bullets in his gun and wanted to change to another magazine. He was then rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, for

treatment. Some accounts said Mohammed was shot in the leg, but another close to the medical centre said he was shot on the right side of his rib and the bullet pierced through and came out from his lower abdomen. For us, this is immaterial. At any rate, we did not expect that a policeman who shot his colleague in the circumstances that Mohammed allegedly did deserve the freedom to commit more atrocities. He is too dangerous to be left alone. So, if minimum force needed to be applied to demobilise him, so be it. The point is that nobody’s life is safe in the hands of a man whose mental state is questionable. Not even the governor he is supposed to be protecting. The circumstances might have been different, and perhaps the motives, but there are examples of leaders that had been killed by their own security personnel. But why would anyone be so provoked over a monetary gift (or anything for that matter) that he would take the life of another? Anyone who could do that is unfit to carry arms legally. We have said it before that the police authorities should device a way of assessing the temperament of the men they arm to protect us. We naturally should be concerned because once life is taken, it cannot be replaced. “Life”, as they say, “has no duplicate”. Reports alleged that a patient at the FMC said when Mohammed was brought to the hospital; he was too

violent and almost refused to be treated by the doctor. “He even fell on the floor of the hospital while he was refusing to be attended to,” the source said. If this account is true, then the police might have armed a man who lacked the temperament for the responsibility. People who carry arms must be able to control their anger and or emotions. The arms are meant to be turned against criminals and are not to be seen as tools for vengeance or something to be unleashed at the slightest provocation. The police authorities should investigate this matter and ensure that justice is done. Beyond that, they should start thinking of a way of certifying their men mentally fit to carry arms before saddling them with that responsibility.

‘We have said it before that the police authorities should device a way of assessing the temperament of the men they arm to protect us. We naturally should be concerned because once life is taken, it cannot be replaced. “Life”, as they say, “has no duplicate’


IME is running out for salvaging Greece and, beyond it, Europe’s shared currency, the euro. Thursday’s emergency summit meeting looms as a Lehman Brothers moment. If Europe’s leaders fail to extricate Greece from its current unsustainable debtservicing obligations — by lowering interest rates and lengthening maturities at a minimum — the market reaction, for all of Europe, may be unforgiving, and uncontainable as investors conclude that no European sovereign debt is safe from possible default. Had Europe faced up to the Greek problem a year and a half ago, the crisis would likely be more contained and manageable today. It should have reached a broad pact with Athens by trading growth-promoting reforms for long-term financial guarantees and relief. But that would have meant telling taxpayers in Germany and other northern European countries that they might have to finance some of the bailout and recovery costs (as they will end up doing anyway). And it would have meant acknowledging that heavily exposed German and French banks might have to be recapitalized at taxpayer expense. Instead, European Union leaders imposed on Greece harsh austerity conditions that suffocated growth. They lent just enough money so it could keep paying creditors, while the ratio of its debt to gross domestic product soared. With lower rates, longer maturities and the promise of long-term support from European institutions, Greece might have a fighting chance, or at least enough time for a negotiated solution with its creditors. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany says bank creditors must first agree to a partial write-down of their loans to Greece. That would certainly be fair. But there’s no time for that fight right now. Her demands are pushing private lenders to the exits, driving market interest rates even higher and blocking any resolution. France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has argued for swapping some of the Greek debt held by French banks for longer maturities. That offers some relief to the French banks but none to Greece, and rating agencies would likely label it partial default. Neither route addresses the fundamental problem that Greece cannot pay without lower interest rates and faster growth. The first, and perhaps immediate, consequence of a failed summit meeting could be a disorderly and destructive Greek default. The shock waves could spread to Ireland and Portugal as lenders conclude that if Greece can default despite European Union bailout programs, so could those countries. Spain and Italy could also be drawn in. They are large, solvent economies threatened by liquidity crunches if their interest costs keep rising. But credit markets, seeing Europe paralyzed, have started to back away from these two as well. The European Union can afford a sustainable bailout of all three smaller economies. It would be far more costly to have to rescue the two larger ones. What matters is that the relief Europe chooses results in a lower debt-servicing burden with longer payback periods and greater chance for growth for Greece and the other heavily indebted economies. Europe as a whole can raise money at much lower interest rates, and those funds can be used to restructure and refinance Greek debt. No such solution is possible unless Chancellor Merkel steps back from her unrealistic insistence that Greece’s bank creditors first bear some of the cost of any debt restructuring. German taxpayers, and all of Europe, must be told that everyone will pay a disastrously high price if Greece is allowed to go under. Europe’s leaders need to make hard choices. And they need to make them now. – New York Times

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IR: It is just too unfortunate for a dog to be found in a heap of bones yet could not feed from it. This is the scenario that portrays the plight of Aboh town when it comes in terms of overall development in Delta State. Aboh is fortunate to be located in the oil rich state in Nigeria. It is also among the oil producing areas in Delta state. The community is hosting one of the 25 local government areas in the state. Yet, it is the only local government headquarters in Delta State that lack access road to the council headquarters. Other infrastructure and social amenities have no place in Aboh. The big question that is demanding for an answer is: how long will it take Delta State government to complete the Aboh road project? Aboh road has become a white elephant project. The road is simply an abandoned project, crying for help, calling on the Delta State government to come to its aid. The most alarming situation now is that many of the construction equipment at the construction site at Aboh junction are gradually being taken away by the construction company (SETRACO). The company has moved all its construction machines months ago. As if that was not enough, the workers have recently embarked on evacuation of the stone base, gravel, and sharp sand meant for the road. Obviously the road has been abandoned, even after the state government announced to the entire nation that billions of naira has been released for the project, we don not need to wait until Delta Broadcasting Service news or its


IR: Not many nations would be given independence on a platter of gold in this contemporary time. The story of Palestine, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Tibet and few others are cases in point where the rather long struggle for independence and self rule from their perceived colonial masters still hangs in the balance. July 9, will forever remain a day Southern Sudanese will never forget in a hurry, most especially those who had long lived with and survived the tortuous three-decade long civil war. Today, South Sudan has an opportunity to take its


Aboh road: attention, Delta State government

sister media, The Pointer newspaper to announce to us about the failure of the state to construct access road to its local government headquarters? We should know that these are state own media bodies and are not expected to make public the failure of the state government. As a matter of fact these media bodies are only bent on glorifying the state rather than pointing where they fail. Aboh road which is now crying for help is the only tangible project


embarked on in Ndokwa East local government area in the first dispensation of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan‘s administration. Yet, this singular project in Ndokwa East land is suffering negligence. Meanwhile our counterparts in other local government areas can boast of a number of road projects financed and commissioned by the same state government. Aboh, as well as Ndokwa East in general, is rather suffering

marginalization in their own state where they belong and contribute substantially to its development. The Delta State government must answer the question on the lips of every Aboh son and daughter. The state government should explain to Aboh people why the abandonment of Aboh road? Will the government be bold enough to tell the people that the road construction will no longer continue as a result of lack of fund? Or that Aboh is not part of the state? Or that Aboh is not

qualified to have access road? Or that Aboh is not contributing its quota to the state? Or that Aboh road is just too long and expensive to be completed within the given time frame? These questions are urgently yearning for answer. I therefore call on the state government to urgently look into the situation of the road project and subsequently finance and mobilize the construction company back to site. We need not to beg for what is our right. The road is our right and not privilege as the government may think. For justice to prevail the road project must commence immediately in order to give the people a sense of belonging and save them the plight of always plying a pot-hole riddled road all year round. • Ifeanyi Ernest Aniuchi 146 Igbokwu road, Ashaka Delta State

To Professor Julius Ihonvbere at 55

IR: Progressivism is the political attitudes that favors or advocate changes or reforms in governmental action; it is the act of enforcing ideas that opposes elitism, subjectivity, conservatism and reactionary governance. One character that fits this bill in the contemporary Edo State politics is Professor Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere. Prof as he is fondly called by friends and admirers is a man of the people who can also be described as a philanthropist, lecturer/teacher and a progressive politician having served in various

capacities to the admiration of all. His dogged commitment to positive human transformation is derivable from his famous quote: “a candle loses nothing lighting another candle. It only give more light, help someone light a candle today”. Professor Ihonvbere represents different things to different people. To some he is a rare writer having authored many books that have served and still serving the needs of readers, a respected public commentator, opinion leader, a teacher and a lecturer who many scholars owe their academic success to, having received unquantifiable

support from him on their academic journey. To others, he is intelligent and very bold; having dared what most people fear. He is such an enigma that even people who have never come in contact with him talk as if they can write a whole chapter on him. But everyone agrees at least that here is a hugely successful public servant with an uncommon courage and determination to succeed above all odds. Professor Ihonvbere belongs to the few known to have held high public offices without using the offices for personal gains as evident in his sojourn at the Ford

resources which are quite similar to what Nigeria is experiencing. Nigeria even has more problems to contend with than what Sudan faced, yet over the years the Nigerian state has been able to solve her own problem. Despite this however, the corporate integrity of the Nigerian state has continued to come under threat. If recent events happening are anything to go by, the leadership must rise up to defend her territorial integrity, else a breakup could be in the offing. Many still perceive themselves as being citizens of a particular ethnic group while regarding the Nigerian

state as coming second. Some Igbos still wish for a Biafran state, while some in the North would rather welcome a state where western education is a taboo. Many have wished for a break up and they have even pegged the year 2015 as the probable time Nigeria will cease to exist as one entity. The lesson of Arab spring and the independence of Southern Sudan instruct that everything must be done to ensure there is equal distribution of wealth. Nobody has the right to be hungry in a land of plenty.

Lesson from Sudan destiny into its own hands. It must show that Africa is a place where development can thrive. All the unresolved issues like the contention over the oil rich Abiyei region, poverty, infant mortality rate and underdevelopment must as a matter of fact be tackled as quickly as possible so that those who are yet to accept the realities of the divorce will not laugh behind a failed new nation. The division between north and southern Sudan should be an eye opener for policy makers in Nigeria. The major contending issues in Sudan had more to do with religion and access to

• Raheem Oluwafunminiyi Lagos

Foundation and in the Presidency. He is one man who sees public office as potent weapon for social change. He is a man committed to the good of fellow human beings especially the downtrodden. His main motivation for service is the desire to make life more meaningful and liveable for the toiling masses of Edo State, Nigeria and humanity in general. He is indeed a treasure that is priceless, a gem worth searching for. Prof, as you have clocked 55years on June 25, I pray that God will fill your life with the melody that you give and may HE make your lofty and rare political plans for Edo State and Nigeria to come to fruition as you have long earned the right to lead. As John Maxwell, the world acclaimed authority on leadership, in his book; The Right to Lead, asked the question: What gives a man or a woman the right to lead? He provides the answer himself: the right to lead “isn’t gained by election or appointment. Having position, title, rank, or degrees does not come automatically from age or experience either. No, it would be accurate to say that no one can be given the right to lead, the right to lead can only be earned” • John Inegbedion, Lagos




Bad belle? (2)

Reality Bites “ I

(Not to trash or praise Reuben Abati)

Olatunji Ololade

PAKO o gbo suti, ori elegan lo baje (The occiput hears no scorn, it’s the traducer that’s unfortunate)” probably depicts Reuben Abati’s guiding principle right now. But neither ridicule nor the most self righteous elocution of disgust could force him to retrace his spirited lunge across our social divide. Say what you will, Abati is set to become that subtle shriek of tact Nigeria’s leadership is shorn of. He is set to become that thunderous bolt of wisdom President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration should never be shorn of. But how? What manner of wisdom does he seek to enrich the presidency with that he could not so generously proffer in his widely read newspaper column? How “special” could his “wise” counsel be that he had to pirouette a shocking 180 degree and thus evolve from renowned columnist and Chairman, Guardian Newspaper Editorial Board to Special Adviser, Media and Communication to Mr. President? Is it not outlandish to see a socalled fearless critic who allegedly caused high office to curse and tremble accept to become a presidential underling entrusted with the beatification of ineptitude and dirt of high office?

If Mr. President truly respected Reuben Abati, his didactic analyses cum practicable solutions to Nigeria’s problems; he would invite him to serve in more valuable capacities. If President Jonathan truly valued Abati’s genius, why didn’t he pick him as running mate…Vice President to be precise? And if that proved too impracticable, why didn’t he nominate him for a ministerial role by which his “fabulous” intellect could be set to more profitable venture? Is the current crop of ministers he appointed in anyway more intellectually and practically endowed than Reuben Abati? Is it not abnormal to see a so-called brilliant opinion leader and social reformer of note reduced to a minion in such outrageous manner? Vintage Jonathan. He has succeeded in killing two birds with one stone: he has silenced one of Nigeria’s most influential columnists and at once imbued his presidency with repute skimmed off the so-called distinguished journalist’s sterling character. Vintage Abati? He has evolved from the extraordinary columnist President Jonathan would treat with utmost respect to become an ordinary aide whose charge it is to deflect damaging media mention of Mr. Presi-

‘If President Jonathan truly valued Abati’s genius, why didn’t he pick him as running mate…Vice President to be precise? And if that proved too impracticable, why didn’t he nominate him for a ministerial role by which his “fabulous” intellect could be set to more profitable venture?’


USTINAH Chukwudi, a trader in patented medicines, lives in Idule village, Ifedore in Nigeria’s Ondo State. She is married to Godwin, an out-of-work trader from the South east. The two were down on their luck last year after a fire destroyed Godwin’s wares. The weight of that loss was made heavier by the fact they were expecting their fourth baby. The couple registered the pregnancy with a new maternal and child health program in the Ifedore area. A government ‘Health Ranger’ visited the Chukwudi’s home to check on Justinah. Finding she had swollen ankles, high blood pressure, and other signs of a complicated pregnancy, she referred Justinah to a midwife, who recommended a scan. At the hospital, Justinah was surprised to find that she was carrying not one baby, but three. When her time came in February 2011, an ambulance picked her up. The triplets were delivered by Csection at Akure hospital, and Justinah recovered well. This is a happy story, but if the difficult pregnancy had gone undetected without medical care, Justinah is certain that she would have died, like hundreds of African women who succumb daily to pregnancy-related deaths. With 50,000 maternal deaths a year, Nigeria has the second-highest estimated maternal deaths in the world after India (WHO, 2010). Justinah was particularly at risk in Ondo State, which has the highest rate of maternal mortality in southwest Nigeria—and yet, paradoxically, the highest number of professors per capita in the whole country, and abundant natural resources.

‘But Ondo state is now striving for vastly better maternal and child health, with its Abiye (the Yoruba word for ‘Safe Motherhood’) program piloted in rural Ifedore in late 2009. We believe that Abiye is an example of how health systems can be quickly overhauled with tangible results, of which Justinah and her triplets are just one example. Our message is that the rest of Africa can do this too, with strong political will and a drive for actual results’

dent. This piece too is probably too bigoted to appreciate the political, social, economic and a whole lot of other expediencies that necessitated Abati’s spirited thwart of his “legendary” ideological stance. If it is, I implore patience and understanding undiminished. I just can’t cease to wonder if Mr. Abati would “specially” advice Mr. President to adopt the principle of total disclosure and accountability that he so gallantly preached back when he was on the breadline’s side of the divide. Or is it beyond his purview official responsibilities? Will he “specially” advise President Jonathan against believing that a Reuben Abati would serve as a presidential doormat? Will he “specially” tell him that an Abati would not be reduced to a mere errand boy whose main responsibility is to distribute bulky brown envelopes, seven-figure cheques and intimidating online money transfers to senior editors and columnists – that they may tilt their pens and house styles to conform with an agenda to emasculate the Nigerian press? Will Abati in the spirit of transparency he so fearlessly preached reveal his actual remuneration? Will he “specially” advice Mr. President and company to disclose the true figures of their weekly allowances, monthly salaries and annual packages? How much does Reuben Abati earn currently; above the radar, amid the radar and under it? Bet Reuben Abati does not know that he is the latest conquest in the series of domestication of the Nigerian press. Does he even know that he is currently the laughing stock of the country’s political class? Does he know that by accepting to serve in his current capacity, he has substantiated the belief of the ruling class

that every journalist and self-styled activist is fundamentally cheap and self-serving? Maybe his decision to descend his moral mount to ascend Aso Rock was borne of the rarest love to serve fatherland. Maybe Abati interprets a script whose epilogue signals the amplification of hopes and dreams across our fatherland. Maybe today, he intends to serve as a gofer of sort to President Jonathan that he might rise to serve in more distinguished capacities as Information Minister, Vice President or President – in palpable deference to the Yoruba adage: Ibi pelebe ni ati nmu ole je (Great things start from humble beginnings). Journalism is much like medicine. The responsibilities of a journalist, particularly an analyst of note, could be likened to that of a social physician. Just as a surgeon dissects the human body to cut out or repair damaged tissues, so does a journalist and columnist of note dissect the human society, to identify and condemn gross foibles humanity ought to be done with. The essence of a journalist’s role lies in his ability to condemn the condemnable and applaud the laudable without inclination for sophistry and hogwash. But who am I to lecture a Reuben Abati? Who am I to teach the “leader of leader writers,” “agenda setter” and “nemesis of tyrant democrats and corrupt leadership” the principles of journalism and public morality? Who am I to set a limit to the aspirations of a full grown man? One camp of his admirers would have you believe that it’s nobody’s business what Abati decides to do with himself. Another camp finds his recent appointment and acceptance of it wholly treacherous, undignified and insulting to journalism and the Nigerian public.

How to keep mothers alive in Africa By Obiageli Ezekwesili and Dr. Olusegun Mimiko But Ondo state is now striving for vastly better maternal and child health, with its Abiye (the Yoruba word for ‘Safe Motherhood’) program piloted in rural Ifedore in late 2009. We believe that Abiye is an example of how health systems can be quickly overhauled with tangible results, of which Justinah and her triplets are just one example. Our message is that the rest of Africa can do this too, with strong political will and a drive for actual results. Abiye’s entirely home-grown model of care is by no means perfect, but it has made a creative attempt to get past the obstacles that prevent pregnant women in poor households from accessing affordable care. At the onset of the program, the government conducted a mass registration of pregnant women like Justinah in Ifedore, allowing the government to locate expectant mothers in the state and helping pregnant women to become more visible in their communities. Next, 50 trained ‘Health Rangers’ were each assigned 25 pregnant women in the Ifedore area, whom they visited at home, armed with checklists and advice. This way, the pregnant women of Ifedore become flesh and blood to their government, not mere statistics. Those who registered were given cell phones with free access to ‘Health Rangers’, midwives, the central hospital, or the state governor’s office. Calls began to pour in. The referral chain was ready—with rejuvenated health centres and a decent referral hospital at Akure. Staff members were well-trained, from ‘Health Rangers’ who knew what to look for, to midwives and nurses empowered to take decisions while doctors attended to surgery. Critically, these employees were incentivized to serve patients. Best of all, women did not have to wait long or pay for the service. Consequently, registration of pregnant women shot up seven-fold and skilled attendance at birth went up 15-fold in as many months. Albeit on a small scale, and with room for improvement, these are phenomenal results, especially in Nigeria, where antenatal coverage and skilled birth attendance actually fell

Who cares though? Such opportunities rarely come in a lifetime. Abati shan’t be fooled by the deluge of criticisms and cynicism trailing his career move because most of his critics are probably smarting from bad belle (Jealousy). They probably wish that they are in his shoes. Even you I guess, probably wish that you are in his shoes. Me? You never can tell what manner of fervor elicited this rant. I could also be jealous of Reuben Abati but then, there is really nothing to envy about him; just a whole lot to appreciate. Like Mike Awoyinfa rightly pointed out, there is a lot to learn from Reuben Abati. Let us just hope that journalism students and lecturers; and then juniors, contemporaries and even senior colleagues of Abati endeavour to digest Awoyinfa’s logic with a clinical probe – for only then could they differentiate between true inspiration and the most sentimental humbug. No manner of Public Relations spin could mitigate any damage to his hard earned reputation should his political adventure turn out to be a dismal dalliance with misadventure. Very soon, the bashing would cease and rampant votes of confidence and no confidence in Reuben Abati shall dissipate like sea suds in the wake of a menacing storm. Then Reuben Abati shall begin to enjoy the benefits of giving very “special” advice to President Goodluck Jonathan on media affairs and communication. But while whisperings and pangs of power domesticate his disabled genius, let him not forget the fates of Olusegun Adeniyi and Ima Niboro. Let him not forget that no grandiose title or intimidating bank account could restore honour sullied by perversion of candor and sterling industry. For SMS only 08038551123

slightly between 2003 and 2008. Abiye is not a boutique operation. Care per patient costs just $40 (whatever the mode of delivery), but excluding staff salaries. And the referral hospital is more efficient than many public hospitals. With just eight doctors, for instance, it has done nearly 4,000 deliveries in one year. The pilot can be scaled up to the rest of Ondo State for roughly a billion Nigerian naira (about $7 million) and tax revenue that could help to sustain the free care model would amount to just forty cents a month per adult in the state. Potentially, this model can be extended to Nigeria’s other states—from where many women have traveled to Akure hospital for help—as well as to other parts of Africa. As the continent moves towards results-based financing for frontline health facilities—with progress seen in countries like Rwanda and Burundi—there is an appetite for examples like Abiye. By replicating pockets of success, tremendous progress can be made towards the Millennium Development Goals on mother and child survival, and Africa can build the human capital that it so urgently needs to compete in the 21st century. • Ezekwesili, is currently World Bank Vice President for Africa, and Dr. Mimiko, Governor of Ondo State.

‘Abiye is not a boutique operation. Care per patient costs just $40 (whatever the mode of delivery), but excluding staff salaries. And the referral hospital is more efficient than many public hospitals. With just eight doctors, for instance, it has done nearly 4,000 deliveries in one year. The pilot can be scaled up to the rest of Ondo State for roughly a billion Nigerian naira (about $7 million) and tax revenue that could help to sustain the free care model would amount to just forty cents a month per adult in the state’



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘The true men of action in our time are the selfless politicians and statesmen whose deeds though speechless are concerned with things that promote humanity.’ ———J.F Kennedy OLITICALLY, things are coming up in the political firmament of south-west politics. Unlike in the past eight years when agents of retrogression mostly from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) dominated the western states’ corridors of power except in Lagos, using state power to tyrannise those they claimed to be governing in the process. The real leaders of progressive politics in the Oodua states of Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and Osun states were nearly hounded out of existence. They were victimised and persecuted but Lagos state under the fortification of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu remained the rallying point and fortress for progressive men and women that the reactionaries in PDP can not penetrate or break. Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun state whom some people prefer to call the Aremo, was one of the progressive leaders in the Oodua region that suffered the most ruthless treatment from Gbenga Daniel, the brutal immediate past governor of Ogun state. For paying an innocuous visit to the family of late Professor Afolabi Olabimtan during a constituency tour to Ilaro, a town in Ogun state where a federal polytechnic was sited, he was erroneously accused of goading students of the institution against the wife of Daniel who it was later gleaned was sent there same day by her husband to challenge Osoba’s presence in that town. However, the truth was that the students were protesting the abject neglect and total dearth of amenities like water on their campus. Daniel’s wife ran into them and rather than be motherly, she tried to show the monstrosity of the power she wielded by ordering her security men to open fire. In the end, one or two of the students laid dead and Daniel rather than accept blame tried to put culpability at the doorstep of Akinrogun. He went after him but nothing was found against him because Daniel was just out to obliterate progressive politics in that state and Akinrogun was and remains the symbol till today.



OOR Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State. What a way to celebrate his golden jubilee birthday? What is he gonna have to do now that he has been forced to bite the bullet? He has agreed to drink the N18,000 wage broth made from hyssop. I will be in fervent prayers for him to live down the trauma and hold out till 2014. By midweek last week, he had said, almost teary-eyed that his government could not contrive to pay the “crazy” (my word) minimum wage. Infact the gentleman governor said his state would pay the new wage at its peril. But labour would not relent on its agitprop method of achieving this demand. Its drum beat of strike got deafeningly uncomfortable and our obdurate Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) called a hasty meeting last Saturday. Weary, broken and perhaps slouching from the unanimous tonguelashings from Nigerians who bemoaned the govenors’ call for cut in the energy subsidy, the governors acceded to pay the18k without conditionalities. Poor Obi, as the vice chairman of the NGF, his picture was all over the weekend alongside the chairman’s, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi. With subdued mien and fallen visages, the governors who had said a few days ago that they could never pay had a sumptuous dinner eating their words. They appealed to labour call off their proposed strike as “the Forum resolved to comply with the provisions of the minimum wage Act and further agreed that individual states should commence implementation modalities.” So we take it that by this great capitulation, Anambra, Osun, Adamawa, Kano and many other states that had claimed the new wage was a death sentence will soon die a natural death? Where are the undertakers? How come David Mark’s Senate is threatening to create more states when about six to ten existing states are about to vanish? At a time like this, nobody wants to be a governor. Are we going to see a few brave souls throw in the towel in resignation? Are we going to have the pleasure of having some governors decline a second term ticket? Governor Peter Obi is one of the most respected few of the state chiefs in Nigeria. With far less revenue, he has managed to play himself into the class of Fashola (Lagos state) and Amaechi (Rivers). He is temperate, cultured, and in spite of his gentle mien

Osoba and resurgence of progressive politics

•Osoba As usual with our people who idolised those in power, most of them queued behind Daniel and those professional bootlickers will have nothing to do with Osoba, whom they benefited from in the past, at least in public. But now that Daniel belongs to the past, they are jostling to align with the current governor of the state. That is life! The picture depicted above is not different from what Papa Bisi Akande and Pa Lam Adesina and others suffered in the hands of PDP monsters masquerading as governors

for eight years in Oodua states. So, last week Friday (June 15th) which incidentally was Osoba’s 72 nd birthday, I was amused when l saw newspaper adverts congratulating the elder statesman on his birthday. Forget the fact that those adverts were from the governors of Ogun, Osun and Lagos states and other admirers of the former Ogun state governor. In over eight years, nothing of such happened except from very few persons like yours sincerely that does yearly column to celebrate Akinrogun. The intruders in the western states then would not do it and their supporters then would consider it a sacrilege to congratulate someone that their boss considered to be a political enemy. Things are indeed changing in the southwest as we could rightly say that the government of the people are now holding forth unlike the ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo’s inflicted governments that existed from 20032011. Some of his imposed governments were uprooted by the Court of Appeal from power. Under the current dispensation, an eerie air of camaraderie seem to be engulfing the south-west as the true spirit of brotherhood and fraternity are now existing across states’ borders in our cherished Oodua enclave. The birthday of Akinrogun, of last Friday, even though he was abroad, has set a template for the progressives just as it reminded


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Gov. Peter Obi’s agonistes and soprano voice, he must be as hardy as they come. You can’t run Anambra state being a sissy. He beat down a horde of wellheeled candidates early last year to win reelection. How then would Gov. Obi dare to suggest that a state that arguably, boast of the highest number of men of means in Nigeria is not viable. The answer is simple. Obi, like other governors in the country today may have been deploying the wrong template in running the affairs of their states. I had touched on this issue here about three weeks ago using Governor Ajimobi of Oyo state as a guinea pig. The arguments in that piece are much the same here today and as I said earlier, this free advice applicable to all governors. It is not about Peter Obi. First, wager that there is no state in Nigeria that cannot sustain itself within its borders if it has a creative governor. What had been Obi’s plan in the short, medium and long terms to make Anambra a viable selfsustaining enterprise zone? Five years on, did he ever have such a plan? When was the last time he engaged MAN, NACCIMA and the mass of entrepreneurs from the state with a view to enhancing their environment and enabling them do more? No dime is required to catalyse Anambra state to Nigeria’s Japan. With proper park and market management, Onitsha and Nnewi will probably yield Anambra far more than it gets from Abuja monthly. What specifically has Obi done to deliberately tap into the monstrous energy and business acumen of his people? How has he tried in five years to unleash the huge economic potentials of the state? Apart from markets, what else are Anambra’s economic strong points? What

are her tourists potentials? What about it’s intellectual and ICT capabilities? Anambra has vast rice belts. Rice farming, processing and packaging is not rocket science. Who says a state in Nigeria cannot supply half of the rice we import from Thailand and India. Palm oil, cassava and cashew seem like natural products to most states of the southeast. What have we done with them? Everywhere we see our governors running from pillar to post trying to do everything. Why do we have commissioners, advisers and heads of various agencies, LGA and LCDA chairmen if our governors build clinics, culverts, roads and remove wastes? We want to see other officials of state doing the work they are appointed to do. A governor is a leader not a manager. With hardly any exception, governors all over the country have stymied the third-tier of government making our rural areas a dead zone while LGA chairmen and LCDA coordinators merely pay salaries. No activities. Ever heard about LGA budget and budgeting process? Yet every month, an average of N50 million is allocated to each of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria without fail. What happens to this huge sum? In the same manner, state budgets are no more valuable than the papers they are written on. After the rigours of budgeting the oga reads it with fanfare (some barely understand what they read) and his sheepish subjects clap ecstatically. The document is immediately discarded. Welcome to another year of impulsive spending and riotous governance. I want to be proved wrong on this. How many states run a regime of fiscal discipline and strict adherence to budget? Not even the Federal Government.

us all of the resurgence of progressive politics that we must not allow to die again in our jurisdiction. The past eight years under PDP was that of darkness and stagnation because in terms of real growth and development, the region could not have been said to have profited. What we saw was official profligacy that was flagrantly insensitive to the poverty stridden condition of the people of south-west. That birthday should be a reminder to all the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governors that they must in all forms and at all times run an accountable government so that when another election time comes, Oodua states under their control, will not run deficit of dividends of democracy. Moreover, this kind of rare acknowledgement of a worthy Yoruba leader will not have been possible if not for the fact that the progressives are in power in the south-west. If we want to continue to celebrate other leaders just as was done to Akinrogun last Friday, it is imperative that the ACN governors must not run an imperial government where only them alone could do no wrong in their states. They must follow the constitution and also realise that just like they criticised others while outside power, there are others too having expired from power that will be looking for faults to use in sending them out of power. They must follow the Yoruba culture by deferring to elders and also adhere to the political tradition of party supremacy in Oodua land. Without the progressive platform and the resilience of leaders like Akande, Adesina, Osoba and especially Tinubu that confronted the Obasanjo/PDP menacingly surging political volcano, these governors will not be occupying such exalted position in today’s modern Nigeria. What a good coincidence that we have used Osoba’s day to manifest the resurgence of progressive politics in the southwest. This accomplished journalist, revered politician of note and incontrovertible god father of Ogun state politics has paid his dues. Nobody, no matter his position in that state, can deny Akinrogun’s significant role in bringing forth the current dispensation. If anyone does that for reasons of undue pride and current standing, I say just as the statesman said recently at a function-‘I concur, l concur and l concur.’

What is the strength of our work force? What quantum of value do they create? What is the ratio of ghost workers? Is it possible to have ghost workers on your payroll without the knowledge of the heads of service and permanent secretaries? What manner of reform has been brought to bear on the civil service? It is good to pay enhanced wage but not to people who are forever dozing in the offices only to agitate for wage hike each time they wake up. Lastly, the accountability thing: how much value is Anambra state government getting per naira? Is the auditor-general’s office doing its work or has it become a part of a diseased body? Quick recap: There is need to change the template thus: catalyse state’s economy, expand it so it can run irrespective of the Federal allocation. Two: Let MDAs, LGAs, LCDAs work properly.Three: Be faithful to your budget. Four: be accountable. Five: reform the civil service, make it work. If you consider these suggestions unachievable or not feasible, please write and share your opinion on this page. LAST MUG: Okigwe people ate their placards: there is an old ditty in Igboland thus: that every town had developed except Okigwe and orlu and the reason for their backwardness being that the leaders of Okigwe were illiterates. Well, the song has changed, Orlu too is said to have developed leaving only Okigwe in the backwaters. This matter played up recently when leaders of Okigwe senatorial zone in Imo state had gone to Aso Rock to protest that they had been orphaned in their land. They cried that governor, deputy governor, deputy speaker of Federal House and most other appointments at state and Federal levels had been denied them. Why should the Imo ministerial slot also go to Owerri zone when Okigwe has nothing, they moaned. When they were intimated that the ministerial slot was the choice of their great son, the immediate past governor of the state, some of them almost chewed their placards in anguish. The elders were said to have returned to their rustic, hilly Okigwe land utterly heart broken.



FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011



How NPL’s hotshot Akpabio missed F/Eagles


IGERIA’s Flying Eagles have failed to score in three successive pre-World Cup matches thus far just as George Akpabio who leads the Nigeria Premier League goals race missed the team’s cut. Akpabio has fired 14 goals in the NPL for relegation-threatened Plateau United and was set for his Under-20 debut in a qualifying match against Guinea in Conakry but missed out because he could not secure an international passport. “He has size and even though he struggled to measure up in training we were willing to give him more time to fight for a place in the team, but unfortunately when we needed him most, he was not available because he could not get his passport,” said Flying Eagles assistant coach, Samuel Abimbola. “We even allowed him to return to Jos to ensure he gets his passport but in the end, he could not travel with the team to Guinea because the document was not ready. “This is what he will not only need to leave the country, but it also serves as a playing license.” As they say, the rest is now history as Akpabio has since gone on to shoot to the top of the goals’ chart in the NPL with a tally only four of the alltime record set by Ahmed Musa last season. His goals have already earned him trials at top Norwegian club Viking just as Flying Eagles coach John Obuh continues to worry his head over his team’s goals’ drought ahead of the U20 World Cup in Colombia.




Flying Eagles lose to Portugal T

HE Nigerian Under-20 men's national team, the Flying Eagles, fell 2-0 to their Portuguese counterparts in continuation of the Copa de la Republica in Panama City on Wednesday. This was the third game in succession that the Nigerians have failed to score and coach John Obuh admitted that it was becoming a cause for serious concern. “The problem was that we again did not put away the chances we created especially in the first half, where we ought to have scored at least two goals,” said Obuh. “Instead they got their own chances and they took them.” Obuh started out with mostly the squad players and said it was an experiment that paid off. “We used this game to experiment a few things and I was glad I saw those things I was looking for,” he revealed. Gbenga Arokoyo shone in the heart of the defence while there was a great

improvement in the overall play of the Nigerian U20 team as they strung passes across the pitch with ease and confidence and attacked with a lot more urgency especially after they fell behind. Portugal were led by giant central defender Roderick Miranda, who missed the first clash between the two countries as his club Benfica insisted he be part of their pre-season training. Last Wednesday, Nigeria and Portugal played out a 0-0 draw in Lisbon as part of the teams’ build-up to the Under20 World Cup in Colombia, which kicks off next week. Edafe Egbedi threw away the biggest chance of this rematch on 36 minutes when he lobbed the ball over the bar with only an empty net facing him. The Flying Eagles effected attacking changes by the restart as Ahmed Musa and Bright Ejike came on for Egbedi and Chidi Osuchukwu. But it was two-goal hero Nelson Oliveira, who threatened severally before he finally made hay in the 55th

minute when he slotted past onrushing skipper and goalkeeper Danjuma Paul following a counterattack after a Chimezie Mbah's mistake in the Portugal half of the pitch. Nigeria attacked in search of an equaliser as Sani Emmanuel and Terna Suswam were also introduced into the fray. However, just when it looked like the African champions could get something out of this contest, Oliveira struck again in the 67th minute when he headed home off a corner. Musa went close with a superb solo run in the 78th minute and another substitute, Uche Nwofor, came very close but his powerful shot from inside the box went wide. Hosts, Panama forced Mexico to a 1-1 draw in the second game of the night at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez to leave Nigeria pointless and bottom of the four-nation tournament preparation.

Sports Minister intervenes S

PORTS Minister Suleiman Yusuf made good his words on Thursday when he invited the warring parties in the NFF/NFA tango, and advised them to settle their differences, if it is in the interest of football development in the country. The Minister who is also the Chairman of the National Sports Commission said that no meaningful development can be made in atmosphere of frequent rancour. He said that many had expected that by now, that Nigeria football would be at par with that of other European and South American Countries, but

From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja frequent frictions and distrust had left the game to continually grope about in darkness. He warned once again that he would not tolerate any of such rancour at all. In a comminique released at the end of the meeting attended by both chieftains of the Football bodies, the NFF was advised to set all necessary machinery in motion to reconcile the football players body in country with all the aggrieved parties with pending cases in court were advised to

...confronts Mexico today N

IGERIA's U-20 national team, the Flying Eagles will be confronting their Mexican counterparts in the final match of the four-nation invitational currently holding in Portugal ahead of the FIFA Junior World Cup slated to commence in Colombia next week. Being the only team that has lost a match in the competition, the African Champions still has a chance to stage a combark if they emerge victorious against the Mexican tonight. It is expected that team coach, John Obuh will most certainly roll out his full arsenal for this match even though a few of his players are still carrying knocks as the countdown to the World Cup draws nearer, consequently their should be a strong mental strength in the team and the players should be ready to clinch a win having put behind the 0-2 loss to Portugal,looking forward to Mexico and, most importantly, the World Cup in Colombia. Earlier reports showed that the Flying Eagles had no excuses to have lost to Portugal Wednesday night inside the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, named after one of Panama’s all-time greats who at only 27 died tragically in a car crash at his base in Spain in 1993. Skipper and goalkeeper Danjuma Paul, who was outjudged the top

•As team departs Panama Sunday


•John Obuh

game in Panama City ahead of next week’s World Cup. “There are no excuses. We lost fair and square,” Obuh told the players during the morning match review at the Hotel El Panama Thursday. “Defeat is part of the game and so we have to take our loss to Portugal in good faith. “We made mistakes tactically and we paid dearly for those mistakes, but the problem will be if we do not rise above these mistakes and be better for it in our next game.” The Nigeria U-20s created openings that could have seen them go in front in the first half, but rather, it was the Portuguese who took their own chances with both hands in the second half. “The players will have to really search themselves whether they gave everything that was expected of them in this match, both as individuals and also as part of the whole team,” said Obuh, whose team drew 0-0 with the same team a week ago in Lisbon. He also tasked the players over dead ball situations as they did not make

By Innocent Amomoh performer at the African Youth Championship in South Africa, but Wednesday night was beaten twice. With the expectation that team captain, Ramon Azeez and Olanrewaju Kayode would have finally arrived to join the other players yesterday, via Frankfurt, Germany,the Obuh tutored side will most certainly get the needed addition to boost the chances at goal. Meanwhile, NationSport gathered that Officials of the Nigerian team are making efforts to lay our hands on some tapes involving Group D teams Croatia from Portugal. The team are due to depart Panama Sunday for Bogota, it’s an hour’s flight, and then a 30-minute flight to Armenia, where they will play their first game on July 31 against Guatemala.

any headway from the numerous free kicks they won around the Portuguese box. “You do not only score goals through direct play but also from dead ball situations and we did not apply this thinking against Portugal,” he said. Nigeria plays their final build-up game against Mexico tonight. All four teams in this tournament will feature at the U-20 World Cup, beginning July 29. The Flying Eagles, made up of 21 players and 10 officials, are expected to fly out to Bogota, Colombia, on Sunday from Panama City after intensive residential training in Portugal and Panama. They are drawn in Group D along with Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala. Their opening first round match is against Guatemala on July 31 in Armenia, half an hour by air from the Colombian capital City of Bogota. The match will kick off 3pm Colombian time, which is 10pm Nigerian time as Colombia is seven hours behind Nigeria.

withdraw such with immediate effect The communique read as follows " 1. That all agreed to the need for peace to prevail as a prerequisite for football development in the country. 2. That there is a need to reconstitute football development in the country, and the need to constitute a football stakeholders forum made up of Nigerians of high integrity in the game in which NFF and the stakeholders shall nominate one representative each. 3. All parties should withdraw any intending legal matters to court, and subsequently refrain from taking football matters to court of law. 4. That NFF should as a matter of urgency put mercenaries in motion to reconcile the Nigeria players Union in the interest and welfare of Nigeria footballers. 5. That all actions would be geared to the good of the game and the its development in the country. Speaking after the meeting, the faction leader of the NFA Jaret Tenebe said he is ready to abide by the decisions of the meeting.


ORINO have played their first friendly in preparation for the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. The match ended 12-0 against Sappada, a local team in the Seconda Catgoria. Olympic National Team player Nnamdi Oduamadi scored a hat-trick (41st, 61st and 72nd) on his debut for the Turin

OC President Sani Ndanusa has boasted that Nigeria will not be going to the London 2012 Olympics as participants only, but to make a remarkable impact. Ndanusa who was a former Minister in the Sports Commission said all efforts are been channeled to ensure that they assist the NFF to ensure that both the Male and Female Football team qualify for the games. He said that it is only when the teams qualify that Nigerians would glue to their television sets watching the games all through. He said that the country is very ready to give all comers a fight in the games " in an effort to ensure that the athletes prepare adequately, we have given scholarship worth $4,000 to each of the athletes to enable prepare themselves. The games village in London is going to showcase Nigeria


IGERIANS Ekigho Ehiosun and Simon Zenke could not travel with their Turkish club Samsunspor to the Netherlands on Wednesday owing to a visa hitch. A club contingent of 25 players, six coaching staff and four medical officials

based side. Torino's President, Urbano Cairo is impressed with the youngsters in the team including Oduamadi. ''I liked a lot of the young people in the squad: Suciu, Verdi, Oduamadi and they appeared very confident of their abilities, '' says Cairo.

•Travels to Cameroun next Wednesday


•Henry Uche


Ehiosun, Zenke in visa hitch

Enyimba resumes camping for Coton Sport in Otta


culture to the fullest, the Bank of Industry in Nigeria will set up the games village which is just about 30 minutes from the event venues" Ndanusa said.



NYIMBA is not leaving any stone unturned in their bid to salvage their not too impressive start to the2011 CAF Champions League after the draw at home to Al Hilal of Sudan as the Peoples Elephants have resumed at their usual Temperance Hotel, Otta, Ogun State to start preparation for the Match Day Two fixture with Coton Sport Garoua of Cameroun which holds next weekend. Enyimba left for Otta on Wednesday to embark on a week close camping before their departure to Cameroun next week. Making this known to NationSport


Aderemi rues Nigeria’s absence

Ndanusa optimistic of Nigeria's success N N

Oduamadi scores hattrick in Torino debut

Obuh: No excuses for loss LYING EAGLES coach John Obuh has said there are no excuses to offer after his team lost 2-0 to Portugal in a warm-up



From Tunde Liadi, Owerri is the team’s combative midfielder, Henry Uche in a chat from Otta. He explained that the early trip to Otta was just the instant message the team wanted to send to show that they are ready to go to Cameroun and also pick crucial points just like Hilal did when they visited Aba last weekend. “We are in Otta at Temperance Hotel to intensify preparation for the next weekend’s Champions League match in Cameroun. We want to show Coton Sport that we are up to the task and that we can also win away from home if Hilal can come to Aba to draw.” Uche said. Meanwhile, plans have been concluded for Enyimba to depart for Cameroun next Wednesday to honour their second Group A match with Coton Sport of Garoua billed for next weekend. NationSport gathered that Enyimba early trip to Otta for close camping was at the instant of their break from the NPL this weekend with the postponement of their game owing to Kwara United’s WAFU Cup engagement. The Afonja Warriors would have played host to them if not for the Sub regional game with Enugu Rangers this Saturday at Ilorin. Enyimba and the remaining three clubs in Group A have one point after a match each.

flew out for a training camp without the Nigerians. But Zenke, who emerged top scorer last season to help secure the club's promotion to the Super League, remains optimistic. He is confident the club will sort the visas in the next couple of days to enable them join the 35-man contingent at the training camp. "Just a little hitch that should be resolved in the next couple of days," Zenke tells "Obviously, the busy schedule meant the application was put in late but we'll be with them soon hopefully by the weekend. "It's being handled by dedicated club officials and we are training on our own back in Samsunspor until that is sorted out." On a brighter note, Zenke is pleased by the arrival of Ehiosun. Despite a revolving door of football business, he has seen the void created by the departure of compatriot Akeem Agbetu filled with the loan arrival of the Super Eagles hitman. Zenke and Agbetu played a key role in the Samsunspor's success in ending a five-year spell in the second division to earn promotion last season. Agbetu has since left for promotionchasing second division side Karsiyaka but Zenke, who scored 15 goals last term, is delighted with Ehiosun's arrival. "It feels good to have him here, he's a talented and brilliant chap. The club is happy to have him but I'm extremely delighted to be honest," the former youth international says. "I'll miss Agbetu but that's football. With Ekigho Ehiosun here now I think we can be another major force. "Always good to have a countryman with you, and the press are talking about the partnership, but we also need to work harder, remain focussed and give our best to the club." Samsunspor have strong financial backing and are expected to compete well in the top flight in the 2011/12 season.

By Akeem Lawal ATIONAL Coach of Nigeria’s Under-19 Women team, Adewumi Aderemi, has expressed regrets over Nigeria’s inability to feature in the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women which got underway yesterday in Puerto Montt, Chile. Nigeria had to withdraw because of poor travel arrangement and Aderemi expressed dissatisfaction about the way other sports are disregarded by the country’s administrators. “I don’t know what the arrangement really was, but you can get the answer from the administrators, the Nigeria Basketball Federation and the National Sports Commission. When we talk of the effect of the trip, psychologically, the players are very down and they are highly disappointed but for me as a coach, it is part of coaching job. “It is going to be a big challenge to the basketball federation especially the sports commission that everything is not about football only. If it were the football team money will be available, the Under-20 football team will be traveling out very soon for the World Cup. But why is it that when it comes to the basketball there is no fund?” Aderemi asked. There is always sanction that are meted on countries that withdraw from major tournaments and Aderemi believes Nigeria will not be spared by the Basketball ruling body. “It is going to be heavy and it is going to tell on the purse of the federation. I don’t know the type of fine Nigeria will get from FIBA but I’m sure definitely Nigeria will be sanctioned”, he noted. The field of teams competing championship will now consist of 15 countries instead of 16 after Nigeria did not turn up. Nigeria had been drawn in Group C of the Preliminary Round and their opponents included Australia, hosts Chile and France. All three teams will now get byes following the Nigerians' forfeit. Nigeria had secured the second of two tickets to represent Africa in Chile by virtue of finishing second behind hosts Egypt at last year's FIBA Africa U18 Championship for Women in Cairo.

Muri Ogunbiyi signs two-year deal with Nimes


ORMER Enyimba man Muri Ogunbiyi has signed a two-year contract with Nîmes Olympique, the club reported on its website on Wednesday. Ogunbiyi was offered a deal by the relegated Ligue 2 club after he impressed in a test game against Hyeres. Ogunbiyi arrives as a free agent from EA Guingamp where he spent three years. Last season, he participated in 30 games and scored 13 goals with 10 assists. The 28-year-old Benin Republic international with roots in nearby Nigeria has had spells with AS Dragons FC Ouémé, Enyimba and Etoile Sahel.

20 For 2nd Bankers Football Tournament


LL is now set for the 2nd edition of the Bankers football Tournament billed to hold in Abuja in September at the National Stadium Goal Project pitch Twenty banks are expected to participate in the championship which has the blessings of the Nigeria Football Federation with the winners carting home a giant trophy and medals Unity Bank the defending champions who defeated Intercontinental bank in the maiden edition have since begun training in readiness to retain the trophy while Oceanic Bank that finished third last

By Richard Jideaka, Abuja year are also warming up in readiness to displace Unity Bank. According to the General Manager of the Bankers Football Championship, Abdullahi Ibrahim, there would be prizes for highest goal scorer, Most Valuable Player, Best Goalkeeper and Fair play awards. Banks expected to participate in the tournament include UBA, Unity, WEMA, CBN, GTB, PHB, Aso, Intercontinental, Oceanic, First Bank, FIN bank, Ecobank, Fidelity, UBA,FCMB, Afribank and Skyebank


Annnaul report

Civil servants enjoy minimum wage Rivers




Youths, monarch at loggerheads

Enugu boosts agric with 27 tractors






Page 25



HE people of Anambra State have heaved a sigh of relief. Ten years after they last drank from their taps, good quality water is runing again, courtesy of the state government. The people owe their relief to the inauguration by Governor Peter Obi of the Greater Awka Water project at Aroma and Okika/ Udoka schemes. Before now, the people found it extremely difficult sourcing potable water. They often resorted to patronising those who sank boreholes in their compounds and who capitalised on the situation to make brisk business. Newsextra investigation revealed that the last time the people drank pipe-borne water was in 2001. This was because all the water schemes, including the ones in Awka, Amawbia, Onitsha, Aguata and Ihiala, among others, had broken down. Now, the days of thirst and anguish are over. The people no longer have to depend on borehole owners for their water supply. About 13 water projects are now going on in the state as a result of the partnership between Anambra State and the European Union (EU). According to the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, David Mcrae, about 80m euros has been voted for provision of water in six states in Nigeria, including Anambra. Other states are Osun, Jigawa, Yobe, Katsina and Cross River. He also disclosed that another N16b has been earmarked by the Union to support the states in 2012. Mcrae, who was in Belgium on an official assignment, was represented at the flag-off ceremony by Dr. Martin Mbonu, a Director in the European Union. He assured the people of the state that the EU ambassador would visit the state in September for onthe-spot assessment. Governor Obi, who was delighted by the enthusiasm of the people who came in large numbers to witness the flag-off, pledged to transform the state through infrastructural development before the expiration of his tenure in 2014. He commended the EU for partnering with his administration to ensure that the people have


T is a city where you struggle to find garbage on the streets. But that weekend, only three things seemed to matter in Calabar, Cross River State capital. First, the newly constructed blue two-storey administrative building of the state House of Assembly was ready for inauguration. Second, the governor Liyel Imoke was launching a non-profit youth capacity-building organisation called The Bridge Leadership Foundation or TBLF. And, to mention the third, it was all coinciding with the governor’s 50th birthday anniversary, marked with the presentation of a book,

•The Aroma Water Scheme

New water schemes for Anambra communities Happy residents demand more Govt restates commitment to welfare From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

access to potable water which, he said, had eluded them for long. “We are committed to changing Awka. Our commitment is total; we are only seeking genuine support to finish our vision for the people of Awka,” he said. Obi further disclosed that his administration is building a hospital in Awka which he said would kick off in the next three months, even as

he added that “immediately after that, the dialysis centre would take off. “Public money must be used for public good. We are doing all these things for the good of the state and it may interest you to know that the government has already done over 13 good roads in the capital city. If we have done all these and willing to do more, then where have we gone wrong?” Obi queried.

Continuing, Governor Obi said: “People should support what we are doing in this state. I have already given out two transformers to Udoka Housing Estate. We will do everything within our strength to support Awka community.” Obi further told the people that UNICEF had, before now, provided water to about 40 schools in Anambra State including Awka, adding that he would want the state

to be a reference point in Nigeria before he vacates office. The State Commissioner for Public Utilities, Water Resources and Community Development, Emeka Nwankwu, told Newsextra that the scheme at Udoka was one of the 17 major water projects being executed by the Obi administration in collaboration with international support from •Continued on Page 25

Imoke’s youth foundation takes off By Ogochukwu Ikeje

Born to Serve. The book x-rays Imoke through the words of various people who have worked with him since his political career began in 1992 when he was elected senator. The inauguration of the legislators’ complex set the tone for what turned out to be a colourful Saturday in spite of the downpour. The arrival of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who de-

scended the sharp slope on which the building perches with surprising agility, stirred the crowd which had already gathered. At about 1:50pm the red-capped Senate President David Mark inaugurated the complex, and then pulled the dignitaries including Obasanjo and a horde of federal legislators inside for a facility tour. Shortly after, the expansive hall of the business destination and event centre, Tinapa, came alive with the inimitable vocalist Yinka

Davies rendering the National Anthem, and Malian singer Salif Kaita working up the crowd with electrifying traditional guitar work and the rhythmic swing of his pair of female dancers. The multimedia presentation by Enuma Chigbo’s Minds of Creation Limited provided profound insights into Imoke’s public profile. Elendah, the governor’s daughter, and her partner Nkechi’s rendition of Greatest Love of All impressed the audience, even getting Obasanjo to

stamp his right foot and tap his fingers gently to the beat. Yet, the most enduring offering of the day was the launch of TBLF, the youth foundation, said to have been conceived to empower young people. Imoke said he is very passionate about it though will not run it with government funds. Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio who donated •Continued on Page 25



Imoke’s youth foundation takes off •Continued from Page 25

N10m to The Bridge foundation project sent the crowd reeling with laughter when he announced that in his state, he too has been building bridges. Imoke himself said he, through the foundation, wants to “give young people knowledge which is the greatest resource,” adding that TLBF will provide youths with a mentoring and leadership platform, and keep them away from the negative realities of the society. The state, whose population is perhaps in excess of 2m, is viewed as one of the most peaceful in the

I believe children are a launch pad for all manner of achievements when the right variables of love, care, education, security are made available to them,” she said. “They will all excel and exhibit different talents, given the chance

country. Calabar, neat and green, is enchanting. But that is not to say there are no areas of concern. A good number of the state’s youths still face as many challenges as their counterparts elsewhere. But something is being done about it. Imoke’s wife, Obioma, is doing massive work in rehabilitating street children. Her organisation, the Destiny’s Child Centre, rescues wandering and abandoned children from the streets, grooms them, and gives them befitting education. “I believe (children) are a launch pad for all manner of achievements when the right variables of love, care, education, security are made available to them,” she said. “They will all excel and exhibit different talents, given the chance. So it saddens me when I see them wandering the streets, begging, stealing, hungry, unclothed…” Imoke and his Bridge Leadership Foundation team said they want to offer young people the opportunity to achieve their potential and offer their optimum to the society. TBLF, they said, “is committed to building generations of young people educated to become compassionate, entrepreneurial and engaged citizens who are empowered to take responsibility for their own lives and for making a difference in the world.”

• Imoke (middle) and his wife, Obioma, greet Salif Kaita

New water schemes for Anambra communities •Continued from Page 25

the EU and UNICEF towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target in water supply in 2015. The contract for the Udoka water scheme project was awarded to Regibel Limited at the cost of N59, 021, 700. Nwankwu said: “The project involves the rehabilitation of one existing borehole, drilling of two new ones, rehabilitation of two press steel-welded elevators and a surface water reservoir, construction of pump and security

houses, provision and installation of 100KVA transformer, 100KVA Generator, two 20HP booster pumps and reticulation (6km) within and outside Udoka Housing Estate, perimeter fencing and landscaping. The scheme is expected to provide potable water to Udoka community and its environs.” He stated that similar water projects have been completed in Aguata and Nnewi, which will soon be inaugurated and that others are nearing completion. He further said household water

His Excellency is flagging off not only another water scheme but also inaugurating an urban water scheme in Awka which will signal the running of taps that have remained dry over the years in the metropolis

• Obi speaking at the site of Udoka water scheme

connections are taking place at Nnewi and Aguata from the completed Omuko Nnewi Water Scheme and the Obizi-Aguata Regional Water Supply Scheme. “There is no doubt that the inauguration of this water scheme today by His Excellency will end the over 10 year’s acute water shortage in the Udoka Housing Estate and its environs. It will also ensure that the state water corporation will once again resume effective and functional service delivery,” he said. The state authorising officer (SAO), EU Programme and the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Prof. Chinyere Okunna told Newsextra that she was short of words for what she called the revolution the Obi administration had brought to the state. Okunna, who is also the state Chairman of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Implementation Committee said: “As we have explained several times, the revolution being orchestrated in the Anambra water sector began with the provision of boreholes and was scaled up to small town water schemes. We are now making steady progress towards the delivery of urban and regional water schemes. “Today, His Excellency is flagging off not only another water scheme but also inaugurating an urban water scheme in Awka which will signal the running of taps that have remained dry over the years in the metropolis. “We are all aware that public pipe born water was last experienced in Awka many years ago largely due to the abject neglect of water sector by previous administrations. It is therefore a thing of joy that the dry bones are rising again in the water sector. To us, this is a major revolution and we are all happy about it.” Continuing, she said: “We are also happy that these urban water schemes are coming on stream with the immeasurable support of the European Union whose partnership with the state government is

growing from strength to strength, all in the effort to give our people a new lease of life. “The Greater Awka (Aroma) Water Supply Scheme is being handled by Olimax International Group of Companies Nigeria Limited at a contract sum of N78, 552,140.28 and will cover renovation of existing structures and drilling of one new borehole, construction of one new press steel surface water storage reservoir, procurement and installation of generating set, two booster pumps, transformer, landscaping, 4.5km reticulation network and perimeter fencing,” Okunna said. The elated traditional ruler of Awka, Obi Gibson Nwosu warned that nobody in Awka should complain anytime any form of bill is given to their homes when the water scheme begins to function. However, he assured Governor Obi that the people of Awka would take responsibility of providing enough security for the project when completed. Nwosu therefore ordered the two different vigilance groups operating in Awka to provide two persons each who will provide adequate security for the schemes, even as he added that their efforts would complement those of the state police command. Earlier, the residents of phases one and two of Udoka Housing Estate in their address which was signed by former state chairman

of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Charles Onyeagba, had appealed to Governor Obi to look into other problems affecting the state, including roads. The address reads in part: “Your Excellency, Udoka Estate is a premier estate in Anambra State. Expectedly, it harbours most of the elite of your state and your administration. “The police, the judiciary, the legislature, the doctors, the bankers, the business class and meritoriously retired citizens, are all here. “They are all law-abiding and tax-paying citizens. Apart from these, all the political parties are here in one form or the other. With this type of population, Udoka is expected to attract government awareness and attention. “For more than seven years, we have been forgotten. We have suffered serious degradation and neglect. Our roads are in terrible disrepair and may have become death traps but for the continued filling and refilling we do. “Our electric power supply is the worst in Awka metropolis because of the over-loading resulting from both legal and illegal connections by Udoka neighbours and as a result of long dilapidated transformers. “Your Excellency, we have made spirited efforts to win your attention and care, but all to no avail. We have written letters, sought for appointments to see you through people we thought are close to you, but none yielded any result.”







Imo sure of free health

MO State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha has expressed the commitment of his administration to free healthcare. The governor made the declaration at a one-week Pro-Health International (PHI) free health programme organised in collaboration with the state government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He assured that no resident of the state would lose his or life due to inability to afford good health as the state government is recruiting doctors and nurses to take healthcare to every home. “Never again would any Imo person die because of N500. We are making sure that

Uduaghan applauds NDDC projects


ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has applauded the quality of physical projects undertaken by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the state, describing them as “the best of engineering works”. Uduaghan made the remark when the Managing Director of NDDC, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, led a team of the commission’s officials to Government House, Asaba, on a courtesy call. The governor said he personally inspected one of the road projects and was thrilled by the marvelous engineering job. “I visited the Iselu-Okaigben-Idungboko road and was amazed by the level of engineering work. I’m truly impressed,” he said. According to him, the road is strategically important as it serves as a by-pass from Asaba to Auchi, connecting both Delta and Edo states to parts of Northern Nigeria. Delta State Government, he said, is also excited by the human capacity development and empowerment programmes of the NDDC and was willing to collaborate with the commission. While assuring the commission of support, Uduaghan advised the NDDC boss not to be

Delta distracted by blackmails, but to remain focused in the task of delivering the commission’s mandate to Niger Delta people. “If they don’t talk about you, it means you are not doing well, but talking about you means you are working,” he said, adding: “Don’t be distracted, remain focused.” The NDDC Managing Director said they were at Government House to intimate the governor with the various programmes and projects of the commission, particularly in Delta State, with a view to exploring areas of co-operation. He said besides physical infrastructure, some of which are in Delta State, NDDC has also embarked on massive capacity development programme for Niger Delta people to make them both self reliant and employable. According to Mr. Ugwoha, 25 welders from the Niger Delta are in South Africa to be trained on welding skills in the oil and gas industry, while 2,500 graduates went for specialised computer training programme.

UNICEF lauds Sylva on maternal, child welfare T

Imo From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

the poor and sick that have been neglected will be taken care of”, he said. The governor disclosed that the state nursing school would be moved to the premises of the General Hospital in Owerri and called for the sinking of borehole and activation of the public power supply at the premises to ensure prompt attention. Speaking, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Obi Njoku, stressed that arrangement has been put in place to take free health to the door steps of the citizens and called for the cooperation of all to make the programme a success. In his speech on behalf of the NDDC, Dr. George Uzonwanne, pointed out that the programme would take the Primary Health Initiative to General Hospitals in six local government areas of the state, stating that every pregnant woman would be given free insecticide treated net. He added that the programme would work in consonance with vaccinations and HIV/ AIDs therapy, saying that the prevalence rate of these diseases has been reduced drastically.

•Akwa Ibom State Governor Chief Godswill Akpabio(right) welcoming the Managing Director of Julius Berger Company, Engr Woltgang Goetshin to Government House in Uyo

Niger Delta group threatens showdown


IGER Delta Peoples Forum (NDPF), a group agitating for the development and well-being of the people of Niger Delta region, has threatened to mobilise its members and the people of Ologbo community in Edo State against Edo State Oil Producing and Development Commission (EDOSOADEC) and the oil

Edo companies in the area. Declaring its meeting at the forum’s South West office in Lagos on Tuesday, NDPF President, Mr George Utomhim,a lawyer , said its decision was informed by the continued

Borno to compensate victims of crisis


ORNO State Governor Kashim Shettima has pledged to compensate victims of the clash between the Joint Task Force and insurgents just as he urged the residents of Maiduguri Metropolis and Jere not to flee. The governor made the remark in Kalari, one of the areas that were affected by the clash. Shettima after inspecting all the affected areas of bomb blasts in the state said he was touched by the situation and immediately directed the state Ministry of Works and Housing to renovate all the affected houses and for those that lost their husbands and wives as a result of the clash, the governor promised necessary support. The governor described Borno as their home and told the residents of Bulumkutu Kasuwa, Pompomari, and Kalari areas that he was in the areas to sympathise and appealed to them to remain in their houses as government is taking measures to

Borno From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

forestall future occurrence. Shettima said as the month of Ramadan was close, government has bought foodstuff worth N2billion that would be distributed to the public free of charge.He urged the people to report any act of intimidation or harassment and continue to pray for restoration of peace in the state. The governor said no amount of money can be compared to human life and prayed for the victims that lost their lives and urged the families to bear the irreparable loss. Replying, some of the residents of the affected areas said they were planning to leave the state but with the governor’s visit and promises, they were confident that government would assist them.

•Lagos Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ademorin Kuye(middle) with the Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Hon. Kehinde Bamgbetan(second right) and other state officials during a visit to parts of Ejigbo that were affected by the Lagos flood...


neglect of the Ologbo community, a major oil producing area of Edo State, and its people by the EDOSOPADEC and the oil companies, in the provision of social services and other welfare facilities. Utomhim explains: “In Ologbo, we have communities where oil companies such as Mobil Exxon, Shell BP and Agip Oil are involved in oil prospecting and production activities. “There is an oil revenue derivation that should accrue to the people of these areas. But what EDOSOPADEC and the oil companies are doing is that they set up structures to cater for the welfare of the people. These structures never go far enough in their responsibilities. “They would just manipulate the people, and government will always tell you that they are doing enough - that enough we are not seeing physically. They will give it to you on the pages of newspapers; whereas physically, you don’t see anything. They are only doing popular propaganda.

HE United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has praised the Bayelsa State government for its programme on the survival, development and protection of children. The UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Enugu, Mr. Charles Nzuki, gave the commendation while speaking at the signing of the 2011 Programme Implementation Agreement (PIA) between UNICEF and the state government. While reviewing the progress made by the state in the implementation of the 2010 agreement, the UNICEF chief lauded the state government for the improvement in the coverage of routine immunisation from 79 per cent in 2009 to 91 per cent in 2010, pointing out that it has placed Bayelsa in the national immunisation map as one of the best performing states in 2010. The state government was also commended for its progress in infrastructural development and investment in basic social facilities, development in basic education and the capacity development of 32 local government area programme officers involved in immunisation. Other areas of commendation include the scaling down of severe diarrhoea since 2009 and excellent record in water sanitation and hygiene intervention plans. The UNICEF chief however, called on the

•From left :Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC)Commissioner,Mrs Felicia Oriola ;Hon Tokun Pedro and Hon Moshood Amele during a stakeholders meeting with political parties on the forthcoming local government elections

Delta to restructure emergency relief agency


ELTA State Government is to restructure the State Emergency Relief Agency (SERA) in line with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to enable it cope with the challenges in disaster management. The State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who disclosed this when the Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Sani Sidi and his counterpart at the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Alhaji Idi Farouk, paid him a courtesy call in Asaba, said the measure would enable SERA to have the capacity to promptly and effectively respond to natural disasters and other emergencies. He revealed that the state government had earlier set up a committee that would be responsible for the removal of all structures blocking the natural water ways and clear drains and refuse to check flooding in the state. According to him, the committee was charged to re-orientate the populace on proper dumping of refuse but lamented that even the elite who were expected to know better still block the drains and natural waterways. He said: “Flooding is a serious issue and this committee is expected to remove all

Imo structures blocking the drains and waterways so that water can flow properly”. Explaining further, he said “The natural waterways are being blocked and this is not good enough especially in coastal areas where flood constitutes a menace. We need to reorientate our people not to block the drains and waterways”. Dr. Uduaghan, who blamed the international community for the climate change problem in developing nations, said that Delta State was already taking steps to tackle the challenges. He praised the National Emergency Management Agency for choosing Asaba as venue for its South-South regional workshop on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management. The governor expressed the hope that the seminar will prepare the people for the peculiar challenges of climate change in the region. The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi in his remarks, warned Nigerians against the increased risk involved in climate change. Alhaji Sani called on all states in the Federation to establish Emergency Relief Management Agencies to enable them respond promptly to emergency situations.

cancer awareness as well as establishment of cancer screening centres across the country. Chairman of the chapel, Mr. Titus Akhigbe, stated this at the first Clara Oshiomhole Cancer lecture organised by the Edo State Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the State Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA). Akhigbe lamented the scourge of cancer in the country, saying that proactive action needed to be taken by relevant government agencies. In an address, Governor Adams Oshiomhole represented by his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu disclosed that by September this year, his administration would begin the administration of Gardasil Cervical Cancer vaccine among female School Children throughout the 18 local government areas of the state. Governor Oshiomhole said the vacines would help prevent cervical cancer among the state young population throughout their life span. He described the event as another opportunity to reflect on his late wife’s battle against cancer and to also revisit her vision for a sound public health programme to fight cancer. “This lecture series is consistent with her vision and resolve, namely that we must collectively deploy the power of information and enlightenment in the battle against cancer. Therefore, the initiative of the correspondents chapel has great appeal to me “. Oshiomhole noted that a sound public health response would be developed to deal with the increasingly debilitating impact of cancer, such as higher pressure on health costs, emotional trauma for victims and families and the loss of valuable human assets. He stated that the state has established cervical screening centres where over 5000

state government to improve on access to early education, provide funds for the establishment of a State Bureau of Statistics to strengthen evidence generation, planning and budgeting. Nzuki, who noted that pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, which are some of the greatest child killer diseases, are all preventable, urged the government to intensify campaigns in the areas of handwashing and promotion of hygienic practices. He further called on stakeholders to scale up awareness for the prevention and eradication of HIV/AIDS in the state. Replying, the State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, assured that government would continue to partner with the UNICEF in the improvement of maternal and child health in the state. He acknowledged the commendation of

• Sylva

the UNICEF chief and assured that the state government would promptly pay its share of the counter-part funding. The high-point of the event was the signing of the Programme Implementation Agreement (PIA). The agreement re-affirms UNICEF’s commitment to further strengthen the long standing partnership with the state in its quest for the over-all development of children in the state.

Church gives free medicare


HE Winners Chapel of the Redeemed Christian Church,of 21, Adeyemi Odukomaiya Street Shangisha/Magodo in Lagos, is providing a day free health programme on July 23. This is to commemorate the 59th annual convention of the church. Speaking on the event, the zonal Pastor-incharge, Pastor Olalekan Olayioye said the free medical programme will be for examination of breast, cervical cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV among others, between from to 12pm. He added that there will be crusade at 5.00pm and Pastor Michael Opeyemi will minister.

Edo journalists seek more funds for HE Edo State Correspondent Chapel cancer control of the Nigeria Union of Journalists has advocated for more funding for breast



From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Edo women have been screened for cervical cancer through simple cervical cancer screening machines available in 34 public hospital and some of the primary health care centres across the state.


Vehicle owners warned THE Lagos Police Command has warned owners of vehicles parked at the following division to remove them immediately or forfeitsame through auction. They are: Akinpelu Division 1. Opel Kadet – XJ 662 EKY 2. Volvo Saloon Car – AG 768 LSR Ikotun Division 1. Nissan Sunny – CU 464 ABJ 2. BMW – BS 580KTU 3. Mercedes Benz – EQ 56AA Lion Building Division 1. Volkswagen bus – XM417 KJA 2. Volkswagen bus – XM 762LND 3. Transporter bus – XQ252 AGL 4. Tricycle – QX 986 MUS 5. Toyota Corolla – 546 AAA 6. Mercedes Benz lorry – XA 274NEW 7. Nissan saloon car – DC 308 GGE

• Mr Oscar Onyeama, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exhange (middle) explaining a point of interest to pupils of Havillah Schools in Arepo, Ogun State, during their excursion to the exchange in Lagos. He is flanked on his left by the proprietress, Mrs Yemisi Fakoyede and the school Head boy, Master Seyi Oladapo on the right

Okorocha urges judges to promote culture T HE Imo State Governor , Owelle Rocha Okorocha has appealed to judges to promote the section of the constitution which promotes traditional culture in the country especially that which bears on traditional way of settling cases. He stated this when judges led by the President of National Industrial Court Babatunde Adeniran Adejumi paid him a courtesy visit at Government House. Governor Okorocha explained that Western culture is good and accepted but runs in conflict with our traditional culture. He also stated that he is in support of the payment of minimum wage to workers, reminding them that his government is for the people.


From Emma Mgbeahurike. Owerri

The Chief Judge Imo State, Justice Benjamin Njemanze stated that the President of the National Industrial Court has decided to start a division of the court in Owerri and has come to get the governor’s approval for the commencement of the industrial court. Justice Adejumi explained that the establishment of industrial court in Owerri would reduce travel risk to the court at Enugu, create employment opportunity for Imo citizens and would boost the state economy.

Monarchs seek repair of roads From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo


HE Ibiono Ibom Traditional Rulers Council of Akwa Ibom State has appealed to the state government to repair the bad roads in Ibiaku/Ikot; Udom/Ikot; Uba/ Itukho/Aka Ikot Udo and Eno/ Ukwok in Ini Local Government Area. Addressing newsmen, the Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom, His Royal Majesty Okuku Ime Udousoro, said that the bad portions of the road had deteriorated to a death-track, thereby becoming impassable. Apart from the road construction, the monarch also urged the state government to recognise all the omitted villages and clan in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. The paramount ruler explained that since Ibiono Ibom has the largest number of villages; shrines; totems; and deities which were pre-requisite for government’s official gazette •Hon ‘Wale Odunlami, Chairman, Ikeja Local and recognition, there was need to Government Area, planting a tree during the recent Lagos divide the council into more LGAs. State Tree Planting Day






•Oba Oyefusi and his wife, Olori Muyibat flanked by Asiwaju of Ikorodu, Chief Benson (left) and Dr Ajenifuja

As part of activities marking the 80th birthday and 40th coronation anniversary of the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Salawudeen Adekoya Oyefusi, Oguntade II, was the presentation of “In His reign”, a book written in his honour, last Saturday at Ikorodu Town Hall, Lagos. SEYI ODEWALE was there.

‘I struggled with fate’ I

KORODU, the bustling community on the outskirts of Lagos, is rich in ancestral history. Ikorodu is Lagos and Lagos is Ikorodu,” its indigenes love to say. Ikorodu, the town that has refused to be swallowed by the old Lagos was in a celebratory mood last Saturday. Lagos virtually relocated to the town to celebrate with the indigenes who refer to themselves with pride as “Ikorodu eluku mede.” The Ikorodu Town Hall was the venue of the celebration of the 80th birthday of the Ayangburen, Oba Salawudeen Adekoya Oyefusi, and his 40th coronation anniversary. A book entitled: “In his reign,” was launched on the occasion. Many of the guests were honorary chiefs of the town, who are not all indigenes of Ikorodu but personalities that the Ayangburen had conferred with chieftaincy titles in the past for their contributions to the society.

They came with their friends, colleagues and relatives to celebrate the king whose reign, they all agreed, has transformed Ikorodu. The ageless Olori Muyibat Oyefusi was the cynosure of all eyes. She looked sparkling beside the

He was born on the 8th of July, 1931, that makes me to say that, four days after I was born. He had his primary and secondary education in Ikorodu. I happened to be his school mate at the Methodist Primary School, just across the road there.

Kabiyesi. The chiefs maroon-red embroidered Aso Oke with sky-blue stripes, sewn in agbada looked regal. The embroideries were woven in such a manner to make every Yoruba man proud of his culture. Their wives were also regally attired. The sky-blue Iro and Buba dresses were mixed with the colour of the Agbada worn by their husbands. The women’s colours of the day- maroon-red and sky-blue, were in consonance with the décor of the hall. As a backdrop to the stage on the raised platform of the hall, which sat the high table, were drapes of red and sky-blue, diligently woven to give a unique spectacle to the hall. So were the gallery and the main bowl, they looked every inch royal. The event, billed for noon, did not begin until about 2pm when the celebrator made a majestic entry into the big •Continued on Page 30




‘I struggled with fate ’ •Continued from page 29 hall. Accompanied by his Olori, Oba Oyefusi’s entourage included another traditional ruler in Ikorodu Division, the Olubeshe of Ibeshe Kingdom, Oba Abayomi Ogunsanya. The monarch’s arrival a few minutes to 2pm was well heralded. All his chiefs (both traditional and honorary) moved to the entrance of the hall to pay homage to him. Outside the main bowl were Gbedu drummers singing the praises of the monarchs and his chiefs. After the king and the guests settled down at the high table, the Master of Ceremonies, Toyin Kawojue, began the event by asking the Baba Adinni of Oriwu Central Mosque, Justice Abdul-Fatai Afolabi Adeyinka, to give the opening prayer. Kawojue, told the gathering that the king had spent 29,200 days, 4,160 weeks and 960 months on earth to clock 80 years. His calculation made everyone to appreciate the monarch whose looks bellied his age; he looks agile and 10 years younger than his age. The Asiwaju of Ikorodu, Chief Babatunde Olusola Benson (SAN), the first among equals, in his welcome address, thanked everyone for attending the event, which he described as epoch-making. “What we are

doing today is making history,” he said. He explained that since he retired from active legal practice some years ago, he has been involved in documenting books on history, especially the ones that border on indigeneship in Ikorodu and how the town has benefited from it in terms of appointments into political offices in Lagos State. The book, “In his reign”, he said, was to place on record that the monarch, “our esteemed Oba in truth and fact, is an indigene of Ikorodu.” “He was born on the 8th of July, 1931, that makes me to say that, four days after I was born. He had his primary and secondary education in Ikorodu. I happened to be his school mate at the Methodist Primary School, just across the road there,” Benson explained. In his address, the chairman of the occasion, Dr Bolaji Ajenifuja, said he was delighted to chair the day in deference to the king whom he respects a lot. He said he considered the honour of being chairman of the occasion rare especially, when his monarch is involved. The Mogaji of Ikorodu, Dr Tajudeen Kayode BawaAllah, who compiled, edited and presented the book, explained that it is a compendium on the four decades of Oba Oyefusi’s reign, the transformational changes

the town has witnessed in 40 years of his reign and the graphic history of the town, which hitherto did not have a documentary history of its origin, people and tradition. Shortly after, the book was unveiled by Ajenifuja in the company of Bawa-Allah. The celebrator thereafter cut the birthday cake accompanied by his Olori. On the band stand was Prof Y. K. Ajao and his group. The band treated everyone to melodious juju tunes, to which the monarch danced. Dignitaries at the event included: the Chief of Staff to former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Dr Abayomi Majekodunmi, who is also an honorary chief; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga; Aremo of Ikorodu, Aremo Adeniyi Ogunsanya; former Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Prof Nimbe Adedipe; the Otun of Ikorodu, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi; President of Oriwu Club of Ikorodu Chief Ladi Sowemimo; the Asipa of Ikorodu and former Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture Chief Kaoli Olusanya; former Rector,Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Chief Olawumi Gasper a n d t h e L o s i o f I k o r o d u , C h i e f Nurudeen Alowonle among others. The monarch thanked everyone for honouring him and making the day memorable. His ascendance to the throne, he said, was ordained. He referred to a portion of the book where he told the story of his life. According to him, he wrestled with his choice as monarch until he could no longer run away from being enthroned. He equally thanked his Olori, without whom he said his journey in life, especially as a king, would have been “very tortuous.”

•Chief Majekodunmi (left) and Chief Taiwo Kara

•Chief Gbadamosi and wife, Tinuade

•Chief Shonubi and wife, Kudirat

•From left: Dr Bawa-Allah, Justice Adeyinka and Chief Abibatu Bawa-Allah

• Prof Ninalowo flanked by his wife, Iyabo and Chief Israel Shonubi

•Aremo Ogunsanya (left) and Prof Adedipe






•Senator Mamora

•Alhaji Buhari Oloto

•The celebrator’s brother, Adeyinka Jeje

•Jeje and his wife, Tokunbo.

Celebrating Jeje, the ‘loyal partyman’ Friends and associates organised a reception for the Commissioner for Housing in Lagos State, Mr Olatunbosun Jeje, at Protea Hotel, Ikeja. EMMANUEL OLADESU was there.


T was a blissful weekend when ladies and gentlemen were free from worries of office hours. Rain was not a threat and traffic snarl seemed to have subsided. From glittering four wheels of various brands emerged the guests, who thronged Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, for the reception in honour of the newly appointed Lagos State Commissioner for Housing Hon Olatunbosun Jeje. In one accord, they felicitated with a man who now bears the burden of translating the housing policy of Lagos State Government into reality, without inflicting pain on the masses. Jeje, a banker, lawyer, property developer and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain from Kosofe sub-zone, Lagos East Senatorial District, assumed the reins at the ministry at a critical time when voters expect Governor Babatunde Fashola and his team to fulfil the promise of affordable housing he made during campaign. Jeje became popular because of the way he handled his political travails. When he curiously lost the bid to represent Kosofe Constituency in the House of Representatives, Jeje maintained philosophical calmness. When he was nominated for commissioner in 2007 and he was not sworn in, after being cleared by the House of Assembly, he did not sulk. Instead, he forged ahead with faith, full of hope for a brighter political future. During that period, he shunned self serving advice to rock the boat, insisting that, he would remain a party man to the end. Today, Jeje is a reference point in Lagos ACN for his loyalty and selflessness. The youthful commissioner was in a black suit, with a red bow tie to match. Accompanied by his wife, Tokunbo, and kids, he fell into the warm embrace of all as he entered the venue. Full of life and energy, he exchanged banters with men of power and influence like him, waving his hands almost simultaneously at the people he could not imme-

diately reach. In the usual politician’s style, rib cracking joke came from men of prestige and honour. The guests were not strangers to one another as politicians, pseudo-politicians, and top government functionaries. But the symbol of unity was Jeje, the cosmopolitan politician endowed with grassroots mobilisation. Apart from his political soulmates from Badagry, Ikorodu, Epe, Ikeja, and Lagos Island, who swarmed him, his professional colleagues were also in attendance. Top politicians among them Lagos State ACN Deputy Chairman, Pa Abiodun Sunmola and Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora –appeared in flowing Agbada befitting of Yoruba elders. ACN National Legal Adviser Dr Muiz Banire was identifiable with his now familiar ‘Awo’ cap, and his presence instantly reminded people that a ‘young party elder’ was also around. Former Deputy Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly Funmilayo Tejuoso showed up in a fascinating, free flowing, partly red, partly yellow, picnic dress, which confirmed her indomitable sense of beauty and fashion. Her husband, Kayode, a Prince of Oke-Ona Egba, wore a simple brown Buba and native cap befitting a humble Omo oba. He was full of princely tenderness; allowing his wife to steal the show. But frontline activist and House of Representatives aspirant from Epe Constituency, Dr Bunmi Omoseyindemi, strolled came in shirt and pai of trousers. He was hailed on arrival. Some eminent persons were accompanied by their spouses as requested by the organisers. But those who did not take their wife along were not queried as such. The tentative inquiry by Jeje’s wife, who probably did not want the men to dominate the women in numbers, was not an expression of displeasure. After all, smiles lit up her face as she welcomed people. Joy pervaded the circle of

ACN chieftains - Hon Mutiu Aare, former Rural Development Commissioner Lanre Balogun; Yaba Council Chairman Jide Jimoh, Jeje’s predecessor at the Housing Ministry, Francisco Abosede; former Sports Commissioner Segun Dawodu; former Finance Commissioner Chief Michael Olawale-Cole; former Kosofe Council boss, Tunde Braimoh, Femi Oshoniyi, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) Commissioner, Musbau Oyefeso; LASIEC scribe, Adekunle Jeje, and Juwa Adefuye, a grassroots politician from Kosofe Council. Between 2 pm and 6 pm, there was wining and dining, a sweet speech-making, and later, what paled into a cool-off around the hotel’s swimming pool. Many guests had nice things to say about Jeje. “He is my beloved political son in whom I am well pleased”, said Sunmola, leader of ACN in Kosofe and Lagos East District, who added: “I pray that he will succeed in his new assignment. Every one in the Lagos know Banire and Jeje as bosom friends and political associates. Banire bowed out of the cabinet after 12 years of meritorious service. He is, therefore, in a vantage position to advise Jeje. The former Environment Commissioner congratulated Jeje, who he described as a serious minded, intelligent and cool-headed fellow, urging him to bring his vast private sector experience to bear on governance. Actually, all eyes are on the banker-turned politician. The import of his call to service is not lost on him. Jeje thanked the people who turned up to honour him, despite their other engagements. He thanked Fashola for appointing him a commissioner. He promised Lagosians that he would deliver. “I am happy to have been invited to serve,” he told reporters, adding that since the opportunity had been given him, the onus is on him to live up to expectation. “I am in politics to serve. It has been my ambition to serve and I will not boggle the privilege”, Jeje stressed.

•Pa Sunmola (left) and Hon Are

•Mr Abosede

•From left: Hon Jimoh; Bayewu; Banire and Oyefeso

•Mr Oshoniyi

•Mr and Mrs Tejuoso

•Chief Executive Officer, Centre Spread, Alhaji Kola Ayanwale (left) and Chief Olawale-Cole PHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN




•From left: Dr. Chike Akunyili, Arch Bishop Okeke and Prof Dora Akunyili

• Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and Prof. Chukwuma Suludo

•Bishop Elect of Sokoto Diocese, Rev Mathew Kukah

• National Chairman APGA, Chief Victor Umeh (right) and Senator Annie Okonkwo PHOTO: OBI CLETUS

•Mrs. Prisca Umeh

In service of God The Order of the Knights of St Mulumba Nigeria, Lagos Metropolitan Council, elevated some of its Knights to Third Degree Knights, on Sunday. The colourful event took place at the Church of Divine Mercy, Catholic Church, Lekki, Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI was there.


HEY trooped in as early as 8.30am, looking colourful and radiant in their attires. Men looked trendy in their well-tailored black and white suits with matching bow ties, while ladies looked resplendent in their green skirts and blouses with bold inscriptions of KSM on each of them. They were the Knighted men and women of the Catholic Church in Lagos State. The gathering was to support their brethren who were elevated to the Third degree order of knighthood, having spent more than a decade on the order from which they were promoted. With their motto: “We serve and not to be served,” they filed out in large numbers to honour their own. At 10.00am, the Holy Mass kicked off with the duo of Monsignor Gabriel Osu and the Assistant Parish Priest of Divine Mercy, Fr Damion Alozie, ministering. The head hats, cape and swords were blessed. The admission was done, and the new third degree Knights were decorated in their purple robes and hats. Msgr Osu, who gave the homily, read from St Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 13:

24-43, and illustrated with the parable of the sowing. The cleric said he was happy the ladies were looking cute as ever. He described the day as one of happiness, where Jesus put before us and carefully explained his message to •us. He explained that the mercy of God is as wide as the ocean. “He washes our sins. He does not judge us rashly or unjustly. He’s so patient and kind if only we follow, we listen and change as human beings. So it is not how long, but how well we live our lives. He prayed for the congregation that the prodigal son in us will come back to our creator,” he said. To the knights, he said: “As we pray, we pray to be shinning lights of humility. Our actions should go beyond the uniforms and swords. As a group, you should be able to act and react. We pray that we will go further than the church ceremony and live worthy lives of who we are with the spirit of tolerance and peaceful co-existence, what Nigeria needs.” The metropolitan grand Knight, Bro Patrick Ikemefuna, shed more light on what the days’ event was about. “There are various degrees

of the order. The first degree knights are on green without hats. The second degree are also on green but with hats, third degree in purple and the fourth like I am are putting on, is red. As one grows in the number of years, they are elevated. Those in third degree are between 10 and 15 years in the order. Today, we are investing them with the 3rd degree regalia, the purple regalia, ceremonially. They all sat for an examination which is marked out and centrally held all over the country. Just like the JAMB examination, though some failed so they are not here,” he explained. He continued: “To be a knight is catholic action association. We work for the common good of the church and everyone in the community. We defend the church and we work for the propagation of faith. All those you see here are permitted to defend the faith and evangelisation. We are also involved in ministering.” He encouraged the celebrators. “I don’t need to tell them what it means to be a knight, but I will tell them to improve on what they are doing that has helped them attain this level. Also, their knowledge of

•Knights Ikemefuna(second right); his deputy Egberth Imomoh (right) National Treasurer Okonofuna Lawrence (second left) and Patrick Fajimi of Ikorodu Sub-Council

•Monsignor Osu (right) and Fr Alozie

the Catholic Church, the doctrine and teachings, the rules and regulations of the order of the Knights of St Mulumba, which they have carried all along should be

improved on and carried on,” he said. He also encouraged the young ones, whom he said can only see from outside. “Many who are from a


family where there are knights, you can emulate and do what they are doing. But I will say they should explore through our website and read more about us.”




Party for a soul mate Lagos lawyer and human rights activist Dr Tunji Abayomi held a reception at his Omole, outskirts of Lagos home in honour of a former member of the National Assembly, Senator Bode Olajumoke. ADEJO DAVID reports.


HE home of Abayomi at Omole Estate, Ikeja, Lagos, was packed full. It is not everyday that Dr Tunji Abayomi throws a party. Many don't even know that he has time for parties. They believe that his life is all about struggle. But this Saturday, Abayomi and his wife Foluke were at home hosting Senator Bode Olajumoke. The Senator serve in the sixth senate which tenure expired last month. Abayomi hosted Olajumoke for being an Omo Iyi (Honourable person) while in the senate. To drive home the point, Olajumoke was decked in a sash with the inscription: kaabo, omo iyi (wecome, honourable person. Among guests was Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, who in an interview, said he and Olajumoke were brothers despite their different political leanings: “Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand,” he said. Mamora said they had the same vision for the nation and the Yoruba race,

and worked together at the Senate. He said he was fascinated by Olajumoke’s passion for the underprivileged and disabled whose bill he (Olajumoke) sponsored at the National Assembly. He commended him for his carriage and expressed happiness that Lagos State endorsed the legislation for the disabled. Senator Mamora also noter the activities of Dr Abayomi which he said were masses-oriented. Olajumoke, who could not hide his joy, expressed his gratitude to Abayomi for honoUring him with the lavish reception. He said he was overwhelmed by the magnitude of people at the reception. According to him, what motivated his passion for helping the disabled was his humble background. He thanked God for making him to be of relevance to people living with disabilities. Olajumoke expressed his disappointment that the bill has not been by the president. About 20 million Nigerians, Dr Olajumoke said, are living

with of disabilities, but regrettably according to him, President Jonathan has not signed the bill. He described Abayomi as a good friend, open minded, sincere and fantastic. He said they have many things in common despite being members different parties. He interpreted “Kuabo omo iyi” “a welcome for a successful tenure at the Senate.” When asked if he was planning to decamp to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Olajumoke said defection was not on his agenda for now. Abayomi, who expressed appreciation for the turnout of guests. said he and the celebrator shared the same ideology, vision and mission. He said he was motivated by what Olajumoke stands for. “When his party was turning into election rigger, Dr Olajumoke stood for the truth. More importantly, he wanted to pass a message to the younger ones that they can stand for the truth and be what they are no matter where they find themselves,” he said.

•Senator Olajumoke (left) and his host Dr Abayomi

•Senator Mamora (right) and President, Mobility Aid and Appliances Research and Development, Mr Cosmas Okoli

•Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi and his wife, Tinuade •Senator Olajumoke’s wife, Remi

•Dr Abayomi’s wife, Foluke

•Vanguard Newspaper Publisher, Sir Sam Amuka-Pemu

•Major Olufemi Abobare

•Otunba of Ikaleland, Dr Paul Akintelure and his wife, Funmilayo PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID




Last Saturday at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, Adebanke Silifat Adedoyin and Olaniyi Abdulkareem Balogun were joined in a colourful Nikah to the delight of their friends, families and well-wishers. NNEKA NWANERI witnessed it all.

What Allah has joined… W

HEN Mr Ademola Adedoyin of Ada compound in Okoya-Ipo, Kwara State and Yisa Balogun of Balogun Agidi Family of Epe, Lagos State decided to join their families together, the heavens blessed their wish. After days of long preparations, it was time for Adebanke Silifat Adedoyin to bid spinsterhood goodbye. From the Nikah to the engagement to the reception, it was splendid. Earlier that Saturday, as a black Mercedes SUV snailed into the premises of the auditorium, guests could not help but stare at its lone passenger, the bride, looking radiant in her white iro and buba. The Nikah was officiated by Imams AbdulWahab Falowo; Alhaji Imran Muhamadu and Ustaz Olayiwola Allli. It was grand as they recited Suras from the Quran. They prayed that God might grant the couple abundant favour like He did to Zainab and Fatima, daughters of prophet Muhammed. The clerics urged guests not to put asunder what God has joined together. The engagement started in earnest after the Nikah. The groom appeared in a brown buba and cap bride had on cream iro and brown wrapper with headgear to go. Adebanke’s mother and grandmother wept when she knelt before them for blessing. Tears of joy rolled down their cheeks. The couple later changed into black suit and white wedding gown for the reception. They were ushered into the hall with the music of P’Square’s No one Like you and D’banj’s Fall in Love. They danced all the way to the podium, where a small tent made of lemon green and orange housed them for the event. The duo of Boy of God and Prince William, emcees, ensured no dull moment throughtout the event. The chairman on the occasion, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, was represented by Chris Mammah. Mammah conveyed appreciation from Atiku, who, he said was unavoidably absent and has been friends with the bride’s father for a long time. Marriage, he said, is a journey

•From left: Groom’s mother, Mrs Balogun; groom, Abdulkareem; his dad, Mr Balogun; bride’s father, Mr Adedoyin; bride, Silifat and her mum, Mrs Adedoyin

of a life time. “I know you have given thought to the decision you are making. Though you will have many good times, try to be good and accommodating and try to do what has brought you this far during turbulent times. Your marriage will work if you both make it what you want.’’ He further encouraged them to keep the family name in glory by adhering to what their parents have been teaching them. The bride, Silifat told The Nation how she met her beau. ‘’I met my husband on my way from NASFAT at Alausa one Sunday morning. He walked up to me and we got talking and we have since have been together for a year and some months. ‘’He didn’t propose in any special way. He just went to my father and told him, he wanted to marry me. I did not hesitate, but have hope in Allah to guide me. I really appreciate him and I thank him so much,’’ she said amid smiles. Olaniyi also reiterated what his bride said. ‘’Today, I feel great. I met her at NASFAT during our weekly prayers. I never knew she would be my wife, but after careful assessment, God told me she is. “I didn’t propose to her in any special way because I knew she’s the one for me. So, it was not a big deal of a proposal. Still, I want to let her know she means the world to me. And like they say, a lady is a complement of her husband.’’ Among the guests at the event were the Publisher of Global Excellence Magazine, Otunba Mayor Akinpelu; the Chairman/ CEO of Fidson Healthcare, Dr Fidelis Ayegbaye; Executive Director of Afribank Plc, Mr Joke Coker; Managing Director of Equatorial Trust Bank, Sir G.O. Folayan; Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Music, Ojo Cantonment, Col. J.O.Lafenwa; Zik Zulu Okafor; Chief Debo Adeleke and a host of others.

•Mammah flanked by Mayor Akinpelu (right) and City People magazine publisher, Seye Kehinde

•From left: Mr Yinka Aroyehun; Mr Isiaka Babatunde and Mr Niyi Kolawole

•Mr Lanre Alabi (left) and Mr Olufemi Amure

•Mr Wole Og unleye

•Alhaja Haolat Mustapha •Dr Islar Animashaun (left) and Mrs Kemi Otegbade

•Mr Taye Ige (right) and Mr Muyiwa Akintunde





When Old Boys met There was excitement as members of the King’s College Old Boys Association (1958/59 set) Lagos. T A J U D E E N ADEBANJO was there.

•From left: Prof Kusemiju, Dr Sunny Akpata and Alhaji Olaleye


ROM gleaming four wheels of various brands that converged on the serene Insha Allahu Street, Ogudu GRA, Lagos State appeared some old men and women who looked cheerful in attractive local and foreign attires. They all headed in one direction – House No. 5 on the street. It is a magnificent edifice, wellstructured and not-too- small to accommodate the throng. They were nurtured in different classrooms under one building at the same period. There, under stringent conditions, they learn how to cherish chivalry, hard work, truth and how to give their best in whatever circumstance. These features catapulted them to success in their various chosen endeavours. The set produced five ambassadors and many professors including a former Provost, College of Medicine, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Prof Kola Kusemiju. When the 1953-58/59 set of King’s College Old Boys Association assembled, sweet memories of their school days dominated the day. Interestingly, all of them have joined the club of septuagenarians and vividly, they still recollect in their college days including, nicknames. The gathering was coordinated by Prof Kusemiju, who beamed with joy throughout the event. The host, Alhaji Folorunsho Olaleye, while welcoming his guests, congratulated them for attending one of the best schools in the country. The college, Olaleye said, was then an epitome of discipline. No wonder, he said, students required no teacher to direct them on what to be done at any particular period. “Nobody would tell it’s time

•Prof Sowemimo (left) presenting a plaque to Ambassador Segun Ononaiye

•The late Osuntola’s widow, Mrs Kehinde, receiving a plaque from Otunba Christopher Tugbogbo

•Emeritus Professor Akinosi flanked by Prof Hussain AbdulKareem and his wife, Dr Halimah. Behind them is Mr Tam Fiofori

•From left: Mrs Marion Akpata; Prof Bashir Akande and Dr Edet Amana

•Alhaji Akin Laguda (right) and Mr Lamidi Obasa

for meal. Once you heard the bell rang, everybody would move down to the cafeteria. If you were five minutes late, that meal would begone. The bell directed our activities then and we really enjoyed ourselves, especially the choice of meal we took – Fish cake, salad, Jollof rice with half chicken per student name it. We had the best

derful gathering,” he said. Yet another, Prof Oyekunle Akinosi, described King’s College as a great school. Akinosi, an Emeritus Professor, who studied at Abeokuta Grammar School said he haD not seen any old student of the school that is not successful. This remark drew a rousing applause from the old students.

of everything,” he said. Another old boy, Prof Femi Sowemimo who succeeded Prof Kusemiju as Provost, College of Medicine, Idi-Araba, thanked everyone for creating time for the gathering. “It is always a pleasure to be re-united after long years. I cherish this day and I’m really excited to be part of this won-

“I am proud of that school,” he said. Highpoint of the re-union was the presentation of awards to appreciate some members for their exemplary performance. The honour included PostHumous award for the pioneer President of the association, the late Brig-Gen Olajide Osuntola.



•From left: Bride’s father Chief Ope Bademosi, Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Dr Frederick Obateru Akinruntan, and Oba Otudeko

•Hon Dabiri-Erewa flanked by provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Dr Elizabeth Nkem and Registrar, Dotun Adenjo PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS




Democracy and the rebirth of opposition in Nigeria Text of a lecture delivered by the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the Chatham House, London, United Kingdom on July 18, 2011.

‘Our objective will be to grow the economy for the benefit of the many and not the few. We shall do this by recalibrating the strategic balance between the real and financial sectors. We will put the financial sector in its rightful place as facilitator of investment to the real sector. Our emphasis will be on the agricultural, manufacturing and industrial sectors to expand Nigeria’s wealth. No country of our size can be great without a robust manufacturing base’

• Continued from yesterday


N the end, the opposition parties danced with each other but did not embrace. Our constant dancing however confused the public and partially doused some of the public’s enthusiasm. It was a learning experience that will not be repeated in the next election. A unified ticket would have made for a more competitive race and the final outcome would have been different. Due to the unique circumstances of his rise, much of the public saw Jonathan as a distinctive figure. They saw him as an outsider of the much detested PDP establishment. Because he faced a few powerful figures in the PDP primary, many people assumed he was the man of the future because he had squared off against men of the past. Thus we heard the popular refrain “I voted for Jonathan not the PDP.” Security and the Economy: The pillars of our future The election has come and gone. President Jonathan is there now in his own right. The first challenge he faced was the post-electoral violence in parts of the north. The violence was caused by perceived inequities much deeper than what occurred during the election. The eruption was both about the quality of the election and the dwindling quality of life. 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. While the opposition has a duty to lend support on existential issues of security, we likewise have a duty to draw a distinction between us and the PDP on key matters affecting the political economy. This is the area where the opposition must make material improvement in talking to the public and in highlighting the vast difference between us and the ruling party. The average Nigerian sees little space separating the PDP’s political and economic policies from ours. This means we have not been proficient in explaining who we are and what we stand for. We must alter the landscape of Nigerian politics. We have to remove the obstacles of region, ethnicity, religion and personality so that people can see the substantive issues more clearly. We must turn politics from the practice of “who do you know” to a critical inquiry into “what do you know and in what do you believe.” This is the opposition’s next great agenda.

• Tinubu

Should we do this, the public will begin to see the profound difference between the progressive Nigeria we want and the static Nigeria of the PDP. Should we do this well, the outcome of the next election will be vastly different notwithstanding any attempts to color the outcome in a hue different from that chosen by the people. At that point, we will be able to say that the scales of Nigeria’s future have shifted in favor of democracy and away from the mere semblance of democracy. In a nutshell, our objective will be to grow the economy for the benefit of the many and not the few. We shall do this by recalibrating the strategic balance between the real and financial sectors. We will put the financial sector in its rightful place as facilitator of investment to the real sector. Our emphasis will be on the agricultural, manufacturing and industrial sectors to expand Nigeria’s wealth. No country of our size can be great without a robust manufacturing base. Our elected officials shall be responsive to the people. That is why our party’s governors issued a public statement, agreeing to pay the minimum wage, while others were dithering. The bad management of the economy 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 species. 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. 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 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. This brings me to the issue of corruption which remains the bane of our development. 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. Mismanagement 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 practice 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 every-

‘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 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’

one else. This is dangerous. This policy began with President Obasanjo, who tried to establish a 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. One of the unspoken achievements of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was that he dismantled this scam. Nigeria owes him a debt of gratitude for this single act of justice and common decency. Unfortunately, many of those who plotted this course with Obasanjo are back and have angled close to President Jonathan. They want to finish what was interrupted, albeit in a more discreet, subtler manner. I sincerely doubt if President Jonathan is cognizant of this history or of the ulterior motives of these new found companions. He may think their advice will help move the economy toward broader prosperity and openness. The extent to which he takes their advice is the measure in which he will travel in the opposite direction. Despite the Supreme Court verdicts, the PDP government continues to practice a skewed form of fiscal federalism. 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. I cannot speak for other states, but I wager that the people of the ACN states would rather see theirs 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. Conclusion The Nigeria that now exists is neither the Nigeria I have worked for all my life nor the one I would have loved to bequeath to my children. Thus, I shall keep working. Nigeria stands in the middle of the road between democracy and disillusionment, between a strong, progressive economy and a mean, feeble one. It is time that we pulled Nigeria to the right side of the road. The PDP is a corrosive organisation beyond the hope of reform and redemption. It has long passed whatever utility it might have had. Although imperfect and in need of improvement in how we conduct ourselves, Nigeria’s opposition parties are her best chance for a virile democracy. We can only do this, if we continue to demand for fundamental electoral and financial reforms. Thus we must strive until we place Nigeria on the road to her better destiny. This we can achieve in partnership with the civil society, the media and progressive elements, by forging a critical mass that is capable of enthroning change. I thank you all for listening. • Concluded



FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011


Ebonyi youths, royal father at loggerheads By Joseph Jibueze

•Governor Elechi


OUTHS of Elugwu Village, Ishinkwo Community in Ukaba Local Government Area of Ebonyi State are at loggerheads with their traditional ruler, the Obinire I of Ishinkwo, His Royal Highness, Ezeogo I. A. Ikegwu over the alleged return of a man who was banished from the community for an alleged wrongdoing. The youths alleged that Mr Ezaka Ede Egwu, who was banished in 2007, has returned to the community and is being protected by the royal father. But Ezeogo Ikegwu has denied that anyone was ever banished from his community. He described the allegation as "baseless and unfounded." He urged the youth to go to court if they feel wronged in any way. According to the President, Ishinkwo Youth Assembly, Mr Innocent Elum, problem started in 2007 when a villager, Mr Francis Ekeh became seriously ill to the ex-

tent that there was a discharge of pus from his body. He was hospitalised for several months, yet his ailment could not be cured. Meanwhile, Ekeh was said to have had a disagreement with Egwu, his neighbour, over a piece of land. Ekeh's family suspected Egwu to be behind their father's incurable ailment. According to Elum, the community's elders agreed that a "fortune-teller" would be consulted to know if indeed Egwu was responsible for the ailment. On April 20, 2007, Newsextra learnt, the community sent a delegation comprising representatives from five villages to make the findings. It was allegedly discovered in the "sacred places" visited that it was the "sacrifices" Egwu made that caused Ekeh's ailment. Ekeh was said to have later admitted the allegation, and demanded certain sacrificial items, including a she-goat, to restore Ekeh's health. Despite the alleged corrective sacrifice, Ekeh died a few days later, leading to Egwu's alleged banishment from the community in 2007 in accordance with its tradition. According to Elum, the youth now have cause to believe that Egwu has secretly re-

turned to the town and is being protected by the royal father. This was after they had resisted earlier efforts to let Egwu return. The youth leader urged Governor Martin Elechi and the police to intervene in the matter. He said: "It was agreed that if found guilty, Ezaka Ede Egwu would undo what he had done to restore Mr Ekeh's health. Thereafter, he would be banished from the land in line with the customs and traditions of the community. "The agreement was signed, sealed and delivered in the palace. I don't know why this (Egwu's alleged return) is happening to my community. We have suffered a shock as a result of the brazen insult on our culture. This is a man who has broken the mores of his domain and who had confessed that he had done something wrong," he said. The deceased's son, Stephen, had petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Police Command, seeking his intervention. He said: "Findings would show that the banished man went to live in the Eze's house at Onueke and still lives there till today. Though I am personally involved in this matter, it is not the motive behind this petition. "My concern for public peace and innocent blood that may likely be wasted in the melee that might ensue if this development is

It was agreed that if found guilty, Ezaka Ede Egwu would undo what he had done to restore Mr Ekeh's health. Thereafter, he would be banished from the land in line with the customs and traditions of the community

not nipped in the bud is the pivot of this alarm. "I have since left everything in the hands of the Almighty God who now takes care of my mother and my siblings whose schooling had been cut short by the demise of our father." But Ezeogo Ikegwu denied the allegations, saying no one was ever banished or ostracised from his community. He said the story was a fabricated lie. "The allegation is baseless and unfounded," he said. "It is a false allegation and I don't have anything to do with it. There was never a time anyone was banished or ostracised from our community," he said. According to him, an unnamed human rights organisation has even investigated the allegation of banishment and discovered it was false. The royal father said the youth took laws into their hands by attacking Egwu's home and destroying part of his property. "I understand Egwu has sued those who attacked his home. I think the matter is before a Magistrate's Court in Abakaliki," he said. Ikegwu said assuming the man was indeed banished and has returned as alleged, anyone dissatisfied in the community could go to court to challenge it. He maintained that at no time was anyone sent away from his domain over any fetish activity that resulted in anyone's death. According to the Ikegwu, the youth leader, Elum is fond of fomenting trouble and making false allegations. "Let him return home," he said. When contacted, the Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr John Eluu, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said he was not aware of the development. He added that the petition to the police has not been brought to his attention. "I am not aware of the development. Usually, the Divisional Police Officer of the area should handle such matter but I am not aware of it yet."

Envoy seeks stronger US-Nigeria cooperation on terrorism


HE Consul-General of the United States in Nigeria, Mr Joseph Stafford has said that to win the war on terrorism which is a trans-national crime, a closer collaboration between Nigerian and the US government was an imperative. According to him, the US government is collaborating with

Nigeria in the areas of explosives crime scene investigations, intelligence gathering, analysis and inter-agency co-operation. He said that the US government agencies conducted counterterrorism training for Nigerian security officials and financing of anti-terrorism operations. Speaking at the 2011 Security

When United States wanted to capture al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, it went straight to Pakistan, a country which claimed to be in support of the war on terror and carried out a successfully operation without the knowledge of Pakistan

Conference entitled “Combating Terrorism in Nigeria,” organised by the Association of Industrial Safety and Security Operators of Nigeria in Lagos, he noted that with the menace of Boko Haram and AlQaeda, “we have to continue our part to work together to eliminate terrorism.” However, he said the two countries also collaborate in the areas of training, development of the task force against terrorism, basic forensic analysis and money laundering investigations. Acknowledging the US as a key partner in the fight against terrorism globally, he said that terrorists do not wage conventional wars. He identified four vital areas on the war on terror which include communication and intelligencesharing among security agencies, training of law enforcement and

security service personnel on specific strategies in combating terrorism. Stafford said there was the need to empower the judicial officers and reform the judicial system in order to successfully prosecute terrorists. He advised the Nigerian government to ensure the safety and security of judges and prosecutors to ensure that terrorists are brought to justice. He further said that in some countries like Iraq, dozens of prosecutors have been intimidated by terrorists and their supporters such that they were reluctant to adjudicate on terrorist cases. Another element which will help in combating terrorism was the use of intelligence in understanding the “underlying causes of terrorist movement, terrorist element and in dealing with the issues of poverty

and other social ills” Speaking on the topic “Fostering International Co-operation in the War on Terror,” the Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA) Prof. Bola Akinterinwa said greater successes could be achieved with international co-operation on war on terror when nations adhere to the provisions of various counterterrorism conventions and treaties. He said the commitment of many nations to the war should be examined in the face of current realities. “When United States wanted to capture al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, it went straight to Pakistan, a country which claimed to be in support of the war on terror and carried out a successfully operation without the knowledge of Pakistan,” he said.

Robbers attack The Nation’s photographer


photojournalist with The Nation newspaper, Mr. Toyin Anisulowo has been attacked by armed robbers. He had barely assumed duty officially in Abeokuta; having been transferred from Ekiti State. The bandits stormed the hotel where he lodged at midnight and dispossessed all who lodged there of their belongings at gun point. According to the victim, his hotel room was broken into by the robbers who shot at him thrice. Fortunately for him, the gun refused to fire, a development which he said infuriated one of the bandits who hit him with the butt of the gun below his right eye. As blood oozed out from his eye, the assailants ransacked his room and carted away his bag which contained N70,000, Cannon digital

camera G11, Sony digital camera and two mobile telephone sets, clothes, wallet containing driver’s licence and N13,000, among other items. Total cash collected from him amounted to N83, 000. Narrating his ordeal to Newsextra, Anisulowo said that when the robbers forcibly opened his door, they started asking him “where is the money?” pointing guns at him. He said when they entered he

thought it was the hotel manager who mistakenly pushed his door open. “When somebody came into my room uninvited, I shouted angrily at the manager, querying why he did that. I thought it was the hotel manager. The robbers attempted to shoot me thrice but the gun didn’t fire. I was fervently praying to my Lord to save me from this calamity,” he said. The assailants, numbering four,

When somebody came into my room uninvited, I thought it was the hotel manager. The robbers attempted to shoot me thrice but the gun didn’t fire

however, pushed him to the toilet and locked him in there with other guests before they started looting the hotel. He later found his way to the Government House where he met the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun to who he narrated his unsavoury experience in the hotel along Quarry Road. The victim said the governor quickly gave him money to go to the nearest hospital for treatment, even as he promised to assist him in acquiring what he had lost to the bandits. He had since returned to AdoEkiti where he’s receiving medical attention. The governor, has however, vowed to beef up security in the state with a view to making the state uncomfortable for criminals.

• Anisulowo



FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011

Farm to produce 220,000 broilers in six weeks


HE OFN-Delta Farm Nigeria Limited on UgheliAsaba Expressway, Delta State, will produce 220,000 broilers every six weeks at full capacity, the farm’s Project Director, Mr Chukwudi Okedadi, has said. He said the farm, a joint venture between the Obasanjo Farms Limited and Delta State Government, located on 200 hectares of land, will produce 3,500 crates of egg a day conservatively, with a layer capacity of N150, 000. “Every 16 weeks, we will have 50,000 hatchable birds,” Okediadi said, adding that work is ongoing on the N3b farm in which Delta owns a third of its equity. The farm at present produces 330 crates from 78,000 birds, which have a capacity for 2,000 crates. It has a feed mill that produces 25 tons of layers, crowers and chicks mashes daily. According to Okediadi, the farm started with 81, 830 day-old chicks, and 50 per cent of them have started laying eggs. “The feeds they consume are produced by our feed mill,” he said.

Our interest is not how much money we will make from the project…This government wants to leave a legacy of a Delta State that will be self-sufficient

•Mr Okediadi By Joseph Jibueze

A processing plant is still under construction, which he said could create 300 jobs directly. He added: “In the next one year, there will be about 1,000 people directly employed in the farm. “This will include veterinary doctors, production managers, animal scientists, marketers, microbiologists, food scientists, accountants, among others. We expect to earn reasonable revenue from sale of poultry droppings to be used as organic manure.” Secretary to the State Government, Mr Ovuozourie Macaulay spoke on why the state went into the partnership. “If you look at the most successful outfits in this country, you’ll see that expatriates usually head the management, while the citi-

•Feeds produced at the farm

zens are made the chairmen. “It is the man who is responsible for the day-to-day running that determines the success or failure of any project. The bottomline of our interest in the farm is to create employment and food security for the people of Delta. The farm at full capacity should be taking a minimum of 2,000 persons off the streets. “Our interest is not how much

money we will make from the project. But if we don’t show any commitment, the Obasanjo Farms Limited will not be interested. So, apart from the 25 per cent that we own, we have provided land and security so that the business can thrive. “If out of the 2,000 that will be employed there, about a 1,000 or more are Deltans, of course, we would have achieved our goal. If

at the end of the day dividend comes, that is okay, but it is not only the money that we want to get. As they say, government has no business in business. “This government wants to leave a legacy of a Delta State that will be self-sufficient. We want a state where there is peace and harmony among the people. I think that is the state we want to leave behind.”

Delta to penalise sanitation offenders



HE chairman of Delta State Task Force on sanitation Mr. Olori Magege has said that the state government will deal decisively with anyone who dumps refuse indiscriminately. Olori gave the warning in Warri during an inspection of sanitation exercise in Warri and its environs. He said the state government is embarking on a clean-up exercise in Asaba and Warri metropolis, saying that when they are through with these areas, the task force would move to Ughelli, Sapele and other

major areas of the state to clear refuse there. He said so far, they have rid a lot of areas in Warri and Asaba of filth. He added that the decision to embark on this was

The task force chairman said they are working on establishing local courts to try defaulters and ensure that fines are imposed on offenders who fail to comply with this directive. He further said that the era of indiscriminate dumping of waste was over

NAFDAC denies importing fake water


HE Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii has dismissed as baseless and unfounded insinuations that the Federal Government had imported contaminated water from Tanzania. Speaking at a sensitisation stakeholders’ forum organised by NAFDAC in Owerri, the Imo State capital, with the theme “Safeguarding the Health of the Nation, Orhii stressed that NAFDAC could not have embarked on a jamboree of importing water from another country when there is enough in the country. He said: “We are closely monitoring the water industry in the country. The availability of good water for all has progressively reduced the rate of water-borne diseases.” Desirous to eliminate production of fake and adulterated

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

drugs in the country, their circulation and consumption by unsuspecting members of the public, the NAFDAC boss disclosed that the agency had earned international recognition as one of the 18 regulating agencies in the world. He disparaged the country’s heavy reliance on oil for survival to the neglect of agriculture

a matching order from the state governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan to clear all the areas before seven days as, according to the task force chairman, the governor was not comfortable

which used to be the mainstay of the economy. Dr. Orhii added that NAFDAC is currently building a virile sustainable synergy with such bodies as National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Customs, Immigration, Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in order to record more success in the war against fake drugs. He recalled the history of fake

We are also combing 19 states in the country to tackle the problem and NAFDAC has directed all drug manufacturing companies to expand and upgrade their facilities for us to become net exporters of medicine

and adulterated drugs which, according to him, first reared its head in 1968, adding that NAFDAC had emerged as the first medicine regulatory agency. He however regretted that the issue of fake and adulterated medicine still rears its head in most parts of the country especially in the rural areas. “We are now combing 19 states in the country to tackle the problem and NAFDAC has directed all drug manufacturing companies to expand and upgrade their facilities for us to become net exporters of medicine. The Deputy Director in charge of Aba Special Zone of NAFDAC, Sir Festus Anumba commended the NAFDAC Director-General for choosing him for the crucial forum and enjoined the participants to take the message of the gathering seriously. Also speaking, the Comptroller of Immigrations, Imo State, the Coordinator of the NSCDC Mr. F.A Adeyinka and the Deputy Comptroller of Prisons, Imo State, Mrs. Ekavhiare Maria C. all

with the sanitary condition of the state. Olori said they are pursuing the establishment of local court to try defaulters to ensure that fines are imposed on offenders who fail to comply with this directive. He further said that the era of indiscriminate dumping of waste was over as defaulters will be made to pay for it. He said landlords are advised to keep their area clean, adding that their duty is not only to collect rents but also to clear the area of filth.


praised NAFDAC for organising the forum. They pledged to sustain the partnership with the agency to win the war against fake and adulterated drugs.

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011


Our dream of turning Enugu State into an agricultural paradise and making agriculture the pillar of its economy has taken root

Enugu boosts agric with 27 tractors


HE Enugu State government’s drive to boost agriculture through mechanised farming has received a boost as the government took delivery of 27 brand new multi-purpose tractors. Receiving the tractors at the old Government Lodge Enugu, Governor Sullivan Chime described their arrival as a major leap in the “silent revolution” that has been going on in the agricultural sector, adding that it marked a new era in government’s efforts to end large-scale manual farming. He disclosed that the government had prepared the grounds for the immediate deployment of the tractors with the establishment of two world-class farm settlements in Adani and Heneke in Uzo Uwani and Ezeagu local government areas respectively. He added that the settlements and others were capable of supplying all of the state’s agricultural needs in grains, vegetables and tubers as well as creating over 3,000 new jobs each year. He said: “Our dream of turning


HE Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) Federal Medical Centre Asaba chapter has hosted the union's South-South quarterly conference. At the meeting, participants from

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Enugu State into an agricultural paradise and making agriculture

the pillar of its economy has taken root. We already have two worldclass farm settlements capable of supplying all our needs in agri-

culture and creating jobs for our teeming youths. “Our multi-purpose, four-wheel drive tractors have now started arriving and we are confident that very soon, those trucks which normally bring farm produce to Enugu State from other parts of the country will soon be heading in the opposite direction.” The Governor disclosed that the tractors, which were procured with the assistance of the Songhai Agricultural Institute, Benin Republic, will also be made available to each of the 17 local government areas, stressing however that their performance and maintenance will be strictly monitored to ensure maximum productivity and sustenance. Also speaking, the Director of the Songhai Institute Rev. Father Geoffrey Nzeamujo puts the cost of the tractors at N79m, adding that they constituted the first batch of a series that would keep arriving until the state’s needs in mechanised farming were met.

•Chime He disclosed that the tractors were designed to perform multiple functions and work under all conditions and in all terrains round the year, even as he added that they would be principally deployed in the area of production of staple foods such as rice, maize, yam and cassava. Father Nzeamujo noted that his institute had trained over 200 graduates who are indigenous to Enugu State to work in the farm settlements. He maintained that their output will be greatly enhanced with the arrival of the tractors.

• Tractors

Union discusses members’ welfare From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Edo states deliberated on key issues militating against staff welfare, industrial harmony and the lingering crisis among some federating branches. The occasion also afforded MHWUN an opportunity to honour the four-man management team of Federal Medical Centre led by Dr Leonard Erhumwhunsee for

its outstanding achievements and worker-friendly disposition. In a brief award ceremony before the business session commenced, Dr Erhunmwhunsee in a short remark urged workers to eschew a confrontational attitude and work to enthrone harmonious relationship with the authorities. According to Dr Erhunmwhunsee, there is the need for prioritising the welfare of pa-

There is the need for prioritising the welfare of patients in their respective health facility... The patients are the reason for their being employed • Comrade Akilaiya

tients in their respective health facility, adding that the patients are the reason for their being employed. He observed the increase in the number of patients in the hospital attributing the increase to the concerted efforts of staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba. He commended MHWUN for finding the management team worthy of the awards conferred on them, but stressed that more work still needed to be done. He urged all to brace up for more work. Chairman Delta State branch of MHWUN, Federal Medical Centre, Comrade Davidson Akilaiya in an address appealed that members of junior staff at FMC who have advanced themselves professionally should be elevated from grade

level 04 to grade level 06. He appealed to the management team to commence the conversion of such staff in order to boost their morale and enhance their commitment to duty. In a remark, South-South zonal chairman, MWHUN, Comrade Clifford Opunsuju enjoined workers to exhibit highest levels of professionalism and commitment to medical ethos. However, the serene atmosphere that had characterised the conference was shattered following a meeting between the South-South executive body and the Congress of the Federal Medical Centre. Many staff of FMC vehemently protested the alleged interference by the state chairman of MHWUN Comrade Goodluck Ofobruku in their internal affairs.

Council inaugurates health centres


HE Deputy Governor of Lagos State Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire has restated the State government’s determination to provide good and quality healthcare system for Lagosians. She said the resolve was borne out of the desire to reduce to the barest minimum, infant and maternal mortality. The Deputy Governor stated this while inaugurating two new health centres located at Jakande Estate and Ona Iwamimo Street in the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area. At the Jakande Estate health centre, Mrs. Adefulire explained that the Lagos State government, in collaboration with local governments, has mapped out strategies towards achieving this objective before year 2015, even as she added that part of the strategies is the provision of health centres for the people at the local government level. The Deputy Governor commended the chairman of Ejigbo LCDA Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan for working in tandem with the aspiration of the state government by providing the

By Duro Babayemi

two health centres for the people of the LCDA. She said: “I must appreciate Kehinde Bamigbetan who has deemed it fit to get these health centres on course, among other laudable programmes he has for Ejigbo people. I am not surprised with the achievements of Bamigbetan because of his antecedents when he was in the service of Lagos State Government as Chief Press Secretary to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.” The Deputy Governor also congratulated residents of Ejigbo on having Bamigbetan as their chairman. She urged them to give him the maximum support to enable him continue the good work he has started. Mrs. Adefulire appealed to the residents particularly pregnant women and their children to make judicious use of the health centres by visiting them to check their health status, especially now that drugs and treatment have been made freely available by Bamigbetan’s administration at the health centres.

•L – R: Hon. Mrs. Yewande Adeshina, CAN president, Ejigbo chapter, Rev. Peter Fausoro, Chief Imam of Jakande Estate, Alhaji Sobajo Abdul Fatai, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Hon. Mrs. Adejoke Orelope – Adefulire and Ejigbo LCDA chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan during the event To this extent, by October 2011, sure that before he leaves office, every Earlier in his welcome address, Mr we would have nine health centres ward in the LCDA will have a priBamigbetan explained that during functioning in the LCDA, two of mary healthcare centre very close to the hectic electioneering campaign which Your Excellency will inauit. The council boss, who expressed which brought his administration gurate today. By the end of this his appreciation to the Deputy Govinto being, almost three years ago, month (July), if you don’t consider ernor for honouring the council’s inhe discovered that the health facilius as Oliver Twists, we will ask you vitation to inaugurate the two health ties in Ejigbo needed to be expanded to come and inaugurate another set centres, further stated that “our to cater for the 560, 000 people in the of two and hopefully by October, agenda is to build six new health cenarea. He added that since then he has we will ask you to come and launch tres in addition to the existing ones. taken it as his responsibility to enthe last two.”






FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011


e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


• The market place.

See what rain has done to markets After the heavy rain that wreaked havoc on many markets, traders are counting their losses. JANICE NKOLI IFEME spoke to some traders.

Dining sets that speak

My Shopping

‘I don’t spend to intimidate or impress’ Page 44

Page 45





HE rain is supposed to be a blessing. But when it becomes too much, it becomes another thing. The heavy rain which pounded Lagos and other cities on July 10, left in its trail death and destruction. The markets were not spared. Many markets were flooded. Up till now, shopping in the markets is not easy. But consumers keep coming because they have to keep body and soul together. For farmers, the rain is a welcome development; it would enable them plant their crops on time for an early harvest. In affirmation, an agriculturist. Mr Anthony Okoro, who was seen buying some seeds for planting at Mile 12 market said: “The rain has come early and it is good for us. After all, in other parts of the world, people are dying of drought and are begging for this very rain for which we are complaining that it is too much. We all know the negative effects, but we should thank God for the positive ones too. I studied Agriculture in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and I can tell you that it is profitable. Otherwise, how would I eat and what would anyone be looking for in the market?” A shopper, Mrs Vera Eneh, said: “The market can never be too bad for us not to visit. So, rain or sun, we have to shop.” During the down pour, places such as the Ikeja Computer Village, Mile 12, Alaba International and other markets in Lagos Island were simply a sorry sight. For instance, around the Lagos Metropolis, the Computer Village, Ikeja acclaimed the nation’s largest ICT market was one of the worst hit as businesses transactions stool still. When The Nation Shopping visited the market recently after a down pour, the entire area leading to the road were flooded. Rickety outdoor shelters, wooden shacks and

See what rain has done to markets

• Flood after the rain.

stalls that once housed several computer and phone accessories were either collapsed or washed away. Traders and shoppers alike gave accounts of shop owners dramatically dismantling wooden canopy tents and fled from the rain. There were cases of leaking roofs in some shops on the top floors of the market which had allowed rain water to slowly seep in and

accumulate. The roof condition in some of the shops became so bad that the occupants were forced to evacuate temporarily. Only traders who had shops on the tarred roads in the market with deep flood gutters running in front were able to escape the mayhem. The inside of the market, jam packed with shops had trapped flood water which, in some cases, rose above the ankles.

Dining sets that speak For a long lasting dining set, pick a style that is timeless. Choose a classic style that will adapt with all other elements of your home décor. Getting a dining set at affordable price, especially one with value is what matters most, writes TONIA ’DIYAN


VERYONE wants a beautiful home and to make this happen, many invest in decorative things such as house ceiling, kitchen tiling, bathroom tiling and dining sets. A dining set made up of four chairs and a table should be a very good and trendy design for any well furnished home. Once you have decided on a basic style, it is time to shop around for a reputable furniture maker, with skill in crafting and designing of selected furniture styles. But if you want a handcrafted solid wood dining furniture, so that you could cut the cost in half, there are lots of talented furniture makers eager to make your furniture at affordable prices. It is often a matter of finding a craft man who is experienced in your particular style and who routinely builds that type of dining furniture and who doesn’t have to spend a lot of time with furniture design. There are pros and cons for each choice, so be sure to have a close look at the craftsmanship in your furniture maker’s work and ask if the furniture is crafted of all wood or does it incorporate veneers or plywood. Most small local furniture makers will happily back their products with a lifetime guarantee, but if he doesn’t, find out what his reservations are and work through them, you may just want to find another furniture maker. There are also small dinning tablets which are undoubtedly very popular these days; they can be seen in small residence to save floor space within the dining room. They can be of four different types; the round dining

• A four-piece dining set.

table, square dining table, triangle dining table and the rectangle dining table. The round center table can be basically observed in several residences, but not specifically popular with property owners compared to other varieties as a result of some limitations like not been able to position the table against the wall and use all its sides. The square dining table is incredibly flexible to use and can be used anywhere just to save very much on floor space. It can be made of timber, and metal. The triangle dining table is similar to the round table; it is liked by homeowners with its round edges creating a few restrictions. The rectangle dining table is the best among the types and designs listed above. It contains an expansion slot in the middle.Bear in mind that it all depends on your requirements or wants.

• A six-piece dining set.

Traders recounted their losses, saying that business transactions worth several millions of naira were either postponed or cancelled following the persistent showers that came with thunderstorms and grew quickly into massive floods. For many of them, it was a usual occurrence during the rainy season. Mr Innocent Anozie, a dealer in computers and musical equipment, said: “There is nothing new about it. It is expected that the rain is making business dull, but it is just for a while. Unfortunately, things will not improve much until after this raining season, but we have survived it in the past. This one will not kill us’ Another major challenge being faced by several markets in Lagos is that of infrastructure and transportation. Traders who spoke complained bitterly about the poor road maintenance. Expressing their opinion, Mr Magnus Ibe said: “We know that our governor is constructing new roads, but he also has to maintain the old ones. Our roads are in very bad condition. As a result, transportation becomes extremely on the high side, which also affects our sales. This, in turn, tells on the economy and the masses will keep suffering.” It also brings to the fore, the issue of erosion and waste disposal in various markets. In many markets, consistent flooding has resulted in erosion within some of parts of the market such as making it impassable for vehicles bringing goods into the markets. There is also the concern of waste disposal, as many markets still remain dirty despite the efforts of the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA).




My Shopping

‘I don’t spend to intimidate or impress’


ET’s talk about shopping I don’t shop How do you get the things you

use? My wife does all that You must have done some shopping? May be, occasionally Would you say you are prudent? Yes, I am a very prudent man. How prudent? I only spend when it is necessary; to discharge my intellectual obligation, pay my children’s school fees and afford a roof over my head. I discharge my generosity to my capacity. What do you consider before spending? I am not going to spend money to appear like the rest of them. I am not going to spend in order to intimidate or impress anybody. That is megalomania. I was not brought up a spendthrift. That is not my orientation or philosophy of life. What is your impression on the way people spend money on clothing? In Nigeria, generally, we are very flamboyant and frivolous. We have very low mentality when it comes to display of affluence. I have travelled the length and

• Dele Alake, ex-Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy By Janice Nkoli Ifeme

breadth of the continents, particularly Africa. When you go to other African countries, at a glance, you see an atmosphere of subdued sobriety, a sober environment that gives credence to the degree of soberness in the entire society, which is also reflected in what they wear. Does that make us different from other African countries? We are too flamboyant and self-aggrandising. We like to show off and display our wealth to the annoyance of the other man. We like to feel that we are on top of the world. This has really led to our craving for materialism. Our orientation need to be changed. One piece of shopping advice We should shop with all sense of modesty. Do not shop to intimidate or impress. They should not shop to feel that they are on top of the world and to hell with others who do not have. If we are able to remove

‘I am not going to spend money to appear like the rest of them. I am not going to spend in order to intimidate or impress anybody. That is megalomania. I was not brought up a spendthrift. That is not my orientation or philosophy of life’ this material orientation from our subconscious, then Nigerians can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

• Alake










EASONS are like the tides of an ocean. They roll out spirally in quick succession and reshape the world’s environment from time to time. They come in multiple of months as no one measures a season in the absence of months. There can be no seasons without months. Europeans have so much respect for seasons that when they have an important guest they call him an ‘August visitor’. August is the peak of summer season and the most comfortable month of the year for the Caucasian race of Europe to display hospitality at its highest level hence the term ‘August Visitor’. Of the 12 lunar months in Islam, the most venerable is Ramadan. And that makes it the most venerable guest of all seasons. Ramadan’s visiting time is not restricted to any particular season or Gregorian month. Its arrival in the world may happen in any season. It is therefore a guest of all seasons. With Ramadan as a guest, not only the Muslims but the entire humanity is, consciously or unconsciously, engaged in hospitable activities. Those who cannot fast in the month do take advantage of its presence to sell or buy some relevant needs and wants. Farmers, manufacturers and service providers, all prepare their products for the arrival of the month thereby confirming that there can be no indifference to the awful presence of Ramadan in any part of the world. Perhaps nothing else is as captivating as this seasons’ guest. Once every year, Ramadan creeps into the world like the early morning light and moves kaleidoscopically into an arena where the centre becomes its stool. It lifts its veil in the days and beams a focus on the world with an arresting attention. It envelops the nights in a shroud of covenant linking the dream of man with the fulfilment of Allah, his Creator. No one knows its port of embarkation. No one knows its destination. All we know of it is that of a guest that is so vividly present in our world and yet so invisible. ‘RAMADAN’! That is the name by which it is divinely christened. Its coming is often heralded by a retinue of envoys. The months of ‘Rajab’ and ‘Sha’ban’ are the immediate escorts that alert us of its imminent arrival. Like the sun in the midst of stars, Ramadan ascends the throne in full regalia and all other months, (lunar and solar) quickly take their bow. If you call it the king where other months are mere chiefs you will be quite right. If you call it the doctor in a world of sick people you will not be wrong. If you call it the compass by which straying humanity can find their way you will be speaking the absolute truth. If you call it the reformer of human soul or the sterilizer of human spirit or even the purifier of human soul you will not be disputed. On its entourage are such invisible ministers like piety, knowledge, truth, justice and peace all of which usher it into the world with comforting splendour. Having taken its name from a natural healing phenomenon, this ninth lunar month is truly baking in effect. The word: Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word ramd (baking). The name came from the time before the Islamic calendar, when the month of Ramadan fell in summer. It was a baking summer that immediately followed a freezing winter. Its mission then and even now is to firm up all loose ends in the life of man. And it does that with a touch of perfection. The entire month is spent fasting from dawn to dusk. Such fasting is not only abstinence from foods and drinks alone. It is also about self restraint from all sinful acts. It is about repackaging one’s destiny through a new but sincere resolution. Fasting during this month is believed to figuratively burn away all sins. It was in this glorious month that the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) first began. In this month, all gates of paradise, according to the Prophet, are open while those of hell are closed. The first ten days in it are blessings galore for those of the Muslim Ummah who need blessings and seek them. The next ten days personify 08051101861

Season’s Guest

•Crescent forgiveness for those who realize the gravity of their sinful acts, repent on them and resolve never to return to such acts again. The last ten days are meant for the liberation of mankind from the manacles of Satan. Whoever is so liberated automatically becomes like a new born baby arriving in a new world with a tabularasa (clean slate). In these last ten days is a particular night called Laylatul Qadr in which the secret of human destiny is encapsulated. It is otherwise known as the ‘Night of power’. Meeting that night consciously and spiritually is like securing the key to one’s own apartment in Paradise. But one needs to remain awake throughout those nights to be fortunate to meet the night. Allah did not disclose even to Prophet Muhammad (SAW), which particular night harbours Laylatul Qadr. But by asking the Muslims to look for it in the odd nights of the last ten days, the Prophet has helped us tremendously. However, who can be so sure of the odd nights when the issue of sighting the crescent before starting Ramadan remains as controversial as ever? That is why during the last ten days of Ramadan, some willing Muslims, in accordance with the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), go for Umrah in Makkah or take to I’tikaf (spiritual seclusion) locally, to reaffirm their total submission to the will of Allah. Following this is a session of charity made compulsory for all Muslims irrespective of age, gender and status, to be given to the poor and the needy. This is called Zakatul Fitr or Sadaqatul Fitr. It is given out in the very early morning of Ramadan Festival Day or the night before it to enable the poor and the needy celebrate the festival with reasonable convenience. Yet, Ramadan never perches on the earth without raising certain vital questions such as the question of sighting a crescent before commencing the fast in it; the question of how to prepare for it socially, physically and spiritually; the question of what to do and what not to do in it; the question of who should fast and who may not fast in it; the question of how to spend its days and its nights; the question of what to benefit from Tafsir and how to observe Tarawih; The question of I’tikaf (seclusion) in it; the question of Laylatul Qadr, a night of majesty that is more beneficial to genuine Muslims than 1000 months; the question of Zakatul Fitr, Eidul Fitr and the features that characterize them as well as many other

‘With Ramadan, the hardest heart is softened and the wildest animal instinct in man is tamed. No other pillar of Islam preaches patience, sympathy and social welfare as effectively as Ramadan, the month that levels the ground under the feet of the rich and the poor alike’ questions including marriage, divorce and sexual intercourse in this sacred month. Most of these questions will be answered in the next 30 or 29 days from the beginning of August In sha’a Llah. This may serve either as a guide for those who are seeking Allah’s guidance in Ramadan or as a rejuvenator of piety for those who are already guided but need rejuvenation. For the teeming Muslim readers of ‘THE MESSAGE’ and others who may wish to know something about Ramadan, the next one month will be quite interesting. A daily ‘RAMADAN GUIDE’ column which is a unique initiative of The Nation will be found handy. This column examines Ramadan from all conceivable angles. It answers as much as possible, any questions which may arise on Ramadan and the conducts of Muslims in it. It guides, educates, counsels and admonishes all interested Muslims and non-Muslims alike who want to know something about Ramadan. With Ramadan, the hardest heart is softened and the wildest animal instinct in man is tamed. No other pillar of Islam preaches patience, sympathy and social welfare as effectively as Ramadan, the month that levels the ground under the feet of the rich and the poor alike. Islam is a dynamic religion and nothing should be rigid about the sighting of the crescent before starting Ramadan. Sighting the crescent is not the only condition for starting the great month. After all, the new crescent is not necessarily visible to all eyes at any given time in any locality. That is why a few who may be privileged to sight it are implored to invite some others to witness it and then inform the recognized authorities who will in turn, announce the arrival of Ramadan to the Muslim community in the locality or region. What is global about Ramadan fasting is the month and not the time. Dawn and dusk vary from country to country. It is therefore possible for the Muslims in one part of the world to be breaking their daily fast at a time when their brethren in another part are commencing theirs. The genuineness or otherwise of Ramadan fasting is not to be judged by man. That is why Allah is reported by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as saying in a sacred Hadith (Hadith ul Qudsi) thus: “Fasting is mine and I am the One to grant rewards on it.” RAMADAN KARIM!

Gold fingers T was a gathering of ‘who is who’ in Ibadan penultimate Sunday. The venue was the House of Chiefs in Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan. And the occasion chaired by Justice A. A. Adeyinka (rtd) was for MUSWEN annual lecture and presentation of winners of MUSWEN 2nd Essay Competition. Very important personalities including Sheikh Hafiz Abou, the Baba Adini of Lagos and the Chief Imam of Ibadan, came from the six South West States despite the torrential rain of that day. Following a captivating lecture delivered by the Head of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Dr. Abdul Hafis Oladosu the 17 pupils who wrote the final stage of the Essay were called out for presentation. They were supposed to be 18 in number on the basis of the best three from each State. But one pupil from Osun State could not make it. Five hundred and eighty three Senior Secondary School (SSS) pupils had written the first stage of the Essay in their respective States. The best 18 from the six States were then invited to MUSWEN Headquarters, in Ibadan, for the final. To emerge as the very best three were Fatimah Morenikeji Adubiaro of Ekiti State; Nurudeen Abayomi Alabi of Ondo State and Isah Hamed of Ekiti State respectively.The emergence of the three from Ekiti and Ondo (where Muslims are in the minority) was not a surprise but a confirmation of the fact that Muslim minorities in any part of the world are much more active than those in the majority. The 15 year old Fatimah Morenikeji Adubiaro who came 1st for the second year running was born in Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti Local Government to the family of Mr. And Dr. (Mrs) Adubiaro. She attended Igbayilola Nursery and Primary School, Ado-Ekiti before proceeding to At-Tawheed Model College from where she participated in the Essay Competition. Now an SSS II student, Fatimah was in SSS I in 2010 when she first won the competition. Her price for the first position then was a standard laptop while the two other pupils who came second and third got a mini laptop each as prices. The prices this year was monetary. Fatimah M. Adubiaro who came 1st got a price of N100000 while Nurudeen Abayomi Alabi andIsah Ahmed got N75000 and N50000 respectively. The other 14 finalists were given a consolatory price of N5000 cash each. They are the future’s ‘Gold Fingers’. Fatimah is a science student who is nursing the ambition of reading Medicine in the University with specialization in Obstetrics and gynaecology (according to her) “to aid the protection of Muslim women in our society from the embarrassment of exposing their ‘awrah’ to non Mahrah men’’. We pay the Almighty Allah to protect the lives of these children and continue to guide aright in their various lives odysseys. Amin. Meanwhile, while the arrangement for this year’s Essay Competition was on, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Saád Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto got in touch to indicate interest in the competition. He announced a scholarship of N100000 annually for each of the three winners mentioned above when they gain admission into the University. It will be recalled that the Sultan had initiated a scholarship scheme three years ago for three South West Muslim female medical students in the clinical years. He just renewed those scholarships a few weeks ago for another period of three years. This will enable another set of three female medical students benefit from the encouraging royal gesture. We pray Allah spare the life of His Eminence and grant him sound health, continuous guidance and protection. Amin.


49 FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011

Vol 3 No. 139

Convergence: Sony excites with Internet TV brand Convergence is a concept that acts as the driving force behind modern product development. The merger of similar devices into a single product form can create advantages for producers and consumers writes WALE ALABI


HIS is the logical higher phase of the journey where the value that can be derived by brands and consumers are extremely high and at times limited only by thought. A lot has been written about how technology convergence is redefining and even making certain categories irrelevant and obsolete. Email, PDA and mobile music, which earlier used to be three non-related product categories today are now combined in a single device. One of such devices is Sony range of BRAVIA Internet enabled televisions. The brand recently introduced 25 of the TV models, 20 of which are Internet-enabled TVs to meet the teeming needs of today’s tech savvy consumer. This is in harmony with Sony’s global “Television Redefined”, a new proposition which is based on the need for television to adapt itself and complement the increasing variety of hi-tech entertainment options for the home. Connectivity, network, and the 3D technology are the three platforms upon which the new Sony Internet TV range rests. Also new picture enhancement technology, X-Reality that reproduces high quality, enhanced picture quality of low resolution Internet content, realistic high definition and 3D video are salient features that the Bravia TV possesses. Osamu Miura, Managing Director, Sony Gulf, who unveiled the television range to journalists at a press briefing held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, said this new innovation is aimed at redefining home entertainment to meet the needs of today’s contemporary and savvy consumer because the 2011 Bravia LCD/ LED TV series offers smarter, sophisticated and more social entertainment that redefines the television experience. “First there was the television that was a mere display device for passive viewing, then came the internet - which was personal and interactive, and revolutionised the way people communicated. And now, we cannot imagine life without the Internet. Today, we introduce the new Sony Internet TV that combines the joys of watching high quality HD and 3D content, with the leisure of accessing the Internet and social networking sites, along with a seamless connectivity with various devices such as mobile phones, the PlayStation 3 and Blu-ray disc players,” he added. Miura said there has been a surge in the growth and popularity of social networking sites in Africa, with over three million Facebook users in Nigeria alone. “For Sony, these numbers are very encouraging as we aggressively execute our strategy to become the leading provider of networked entertainment. Consumers will now be able to enjoy a broader range of Internet entertainment services from Sony and others, well beyond the standard video offerings provided by cable and satellite programming.” He reiterated that Sony will not rest on its oars but will con-

•Sony TV tinue its evolution in connectivity with the new Sony Internet TV models that feature seamless Internet connectivity. This provides access to free and premium movies, video and music services through the BRAVIA Internet video platform, including YouTube. Social media enthusiasts can also look forward to the latest BRAVIA Internet widgets that include Facebook, Skype and Twitter. Users can stay connected with their friends simply by downloading personal widgets to the TV, enjoying real-time updates from these sites without having their TV viewing interrupted. Most of the TVs also feature DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct for quick and easy sharing of photos, music and movies from anywhere in the home. The range can wirelessly share media content on compatible devices such as PCs, iPhone, and Android phones such as the Sony Ericsson Arc and PlayStation 3 consoles from anywhere in the house. These remote devices act as DLNA servers from which the Sony Internet TV can access and display photos, videos and music. The latest BRAVIA models offer uncompromising picture quality with Sony’s new proprietary X-Reality® and X-Reality Pro® picture engines. These unique technologies separate incoming video signals by outline, texture, colour and contrast, and add appropriate image enhancements to create the best image possible. Only Sony, with X-Reality Pro, can optimise the large screen viewing of low resolution content. Apart from changing the concept from the television being a passive display to the smartest device in the house - the classy and sophisticated BRAVIA HX and NX Series’ monolithic design also transforms ones living room with its unparalleled The Monolithic Design concept which draws viewers into the picture when the TV is turned on and blends into the room décor when turned off. Designed to suit modern lounge rooms with low-set furniture, an optional Display Stand with Active Speaker System is also available with select BRAVIA HX series models. Sony has taken a lead role in the research and development of 3D technology to drive its growth at every level and its unmatched expertise in all areas of 3D technology has enabled the company to deliver 3D TVs that truly set the standard. The new BRAVIA TV line-up, featuring Sony’s industry-leading Full HD 3D picture quality, is a perfect way to experience high quality 3D. Sony’s Active Shutter 3D glasses are now recharge-

Starcomms holds customer forum


S part of its commitment to customers, the management of Starcomms Plc has hosted some of them to a dinner recently in Lagos. The Starcomms team, which was led by the Chief Operating Officer, Logan Pather and the Chief Financial Officer, David Ordman, expressed the desire of the company to discover the needs of its valued customers through regular interactive sessions so that solutions can be proffered without delay. Pather, in his address, said Starcomms has always considered everybody on its network as a member of its family and decided that monthly some customers would be invited to dinner so that the company would not just mean a

phone or modem to them, but real people who have relationships and are supporting each other to improve on mutual experiences. Some of the fêted customers have been using Starcomms voice and/or data services since the inception of the company while some recently joined the network and have remained consistent in their patronage. The customers in attendance were able to bare their minds on various issues concerning their interaction with the networks such as: the models of the devices they use; their preferred customer service personnel and even the company’s branding as well as its brand Ambassador Nneka.

able and lightweight to offer more comfort. The unique Active Shutter glass technology minimises flicker and enables viewers to enjoy an immersive, full HD 3D experience for hours. Reinforcing the commitment of making the excitement of 3D accessible to all consumers, the 2011 BRAVIA LCD TV lineup includes 11 Full HD 3D models, including the market’s first 32-inch model, offering best-in-class 3D picture quality and the complete entertainment experience. Also speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Ejimofor Chike Stanley a distributor and director of Electro Trust Nigeria Ltd said that competition does not measure up in terms of product quality and Sony has set the standard in the market for a long time running. Another distributor, Mrs. Adaze Adabanya of Value City Ltd, Enugu, lauded the Sony brand as one of the best in the market. According to her, “So far Sony’s products are of high standard in the market, their products are classic anytime any day. Over the years as a dealer, I can categorically say their products are what the consumers long for due to their high quality. However, the rate of advertising is low when compared to the likes of LG and Samsung. We suggest that SONY ensure they put more efforts in advertising so more people will know about their brand portfolio”. Emmanuel Okechuku, General Manager, Seozakoza Ltd and major distributor at Alaba International Market Lagos praised Sony for introducing the ground breaking televisions. Ikechekwu Nweke, another dealer said: “I sell only Sony products and I have been dealing with the product for over 5 years now. To me, Sony products are the best in the market and that is why I identify myself with them.” Also, Amaechi Okafor, a Sony dealer at Idumota market in Lagos stated that he has been selling Sony Products since 1994. “Sony is very good, I usually tell my customers that if they want electronics that will not give them problem, then they should go for Sony. I will advice Sony to keep up the good and quality products.” Kingsley Ezeomeke, CEO, K. C. Nweze Nigeria Limited, another dealer at Alaba International market, said he is excited to be part of the Sony family, “They are ahead in the market and we really want them to continually do more. I have been selling Sony electronics for over 11 years and we will really appreciate if the company can further come to our aid by making after sales services easier.”




Dansa, Tetra Pak partner on youth empowerment A

S part of efforts to engage unemployed youths in Nigeria and make them self-reliant Tetra Pak Nigeria Limited, has entered into a partnership with Dansa Food Limited, a subsidiary of Dangote Group to initiate a programme called Project Hydra. The Managing Director of Dansa Foods Limited, George Eremionkhale, disclosed this recently at the company’s office in Lagos while flagging off the project. He said the programme is meant to engage young people and also teach them ways of life using Dansa as a platform to achieve this objective. Eremionkhale said those that would be engaged in the project would make the company’s products available in the market places to satisfy their consumers. He added that the company’s products have been attested as one of the best in the country. Corroborating Eremionkhale,

the Project, Retail and Channel Manager of Tetra Pak, Mrs Joy Ogunleye said Tetra Pak decided to partner with Dansa Foods on the project as a result of its good quality products and the good cordial working relationship that exists between the two companies over the years. Mrs Ogunleye said: “The Hydra project is aimed at achieving two objectives. Apart from creating awareness for Dansa’s products which would be achieved through marketing and distribution of its well packaged and quality content juice, it is also an avenue to create employment to teeming Nigerian youths on the street.” She added that the products would also be made available and at affordable prices to the consumers. She said for easier distribution of Dansa products across the state, tricycles have been made available for the brand ambassadors for use to reach con-

•From left: Head Marketing, Dansa Foods Limited, Mr Chike Kafor; Mrs Ogunleye; Managinig Director, Dansa Foods Limited, Mr George Eremionkhale during the launch of Project Hydra, in Lagos.

sumers and retailers in all nooks and crannies of the state. “The provision of tricycles is because of the rough nature our roads and for accessibility because of bottle-neck vehicular traffic in Lagos most times,” saying “this would be

given to the people that would be engaged for the Hydra project and known as Dansa brand ambassadors representing the company,”Ogunleye stressed. She further explained that after they have successfully covered La-

gos, the programme would be replicated in other states so that Dansa’ products can be available in all the shops. Over a hundred youths would be engaged for the project. Meanwhile, the collaborative effort has kicked off with 10 youths.

Experts laud Timex on human capital devt


•Staff of Centre for Management Developement (CMD) during the accreditation and registration of management training institutions/firms in Nigeria

P&G introduces Oral-B Pro-Health toothpaste


LOBAL manufacturer of personal care and household products, Procter and Gamble has launched its Oral-B ProHealth toothpaste into the Nigerian market. According to officials of the company, the premium toothpaste is the product of over 15 years of research and development, enabling it to deliver unmatched benefits to users. The Managing Director, Procter and Gamble, Nigeria, Manoj Kumar, said the introduction of the product was driven by the need to have a truly, all-round protection health toothpaste in a market surrounded by basic fresh breath products. According to him, Oral-B ProHealth contains an anti-bacteria fluo-

ride technology based on Stannous complex, a new compound which is clinically proven to prevent tooth sensitivity, provide protection from tooth holes, limit bacterial build up, prevent tartar build up and reduce gum problems. In addition, the product whitens teeth and freshen breath. He said: ”We are so pleased to launch this revolutionary toothpaste in Nigeria. Oral-B Pro-health is no ordinary paste. It delivers protection on important areas of oral health. We are confident consumers will see and feel the difference when they try it.” Kumar pointed out that P&G is committed to the oral care category in Nigeria, and has clearly showcased this with the introduction

of Oral-B Pro-Health toothpaste. He added that there were seventy scientific studies, major innovations and 110 published articles standing behind this technology which guarantees its ability to give users healthier and stronger teeth in one week. Oral-B Brand Manager for P&G, West Africa, Cletus Onyebuoha said: “There has been little breakthrough in the toothpaste category for some time in Nigeria. Many of the products on the shelves have had the same formulation for over 20 years, but we know that our consumer needs have changed and that they want more from their toothpaste cavities. They want whitening plus more of a dentist level of cleaning.”

Firm gets new director


NTEGRATED Troops, the Ikeja based activation agency has fortified its management team with the inclusion of Ebo Bayem. Ebo, who is a pioneer staff of Group Africa with over two decades experience spanning Group Africa, EXP Edi Lawani and Associates and

RES-Q Ltd, is popularly known as ‘La-Don’. He resumes as Business Development and Project Management Director. He brings to the agency, additional fortification in business development and Project implementation dexterity. He will join the management team

comprising of others including Ifeanyi Konwea, the Business Development Director, Segun Adewale, the Business Management Director, Teddy Okoloko, the Director of Operations, planning and tactics and Biodun Lawal, the Director of Strategy and Insights.

HE commitment of Timex School of Communication, Kaduna to human capital development received commendation last week during the twin event of National Communication Summit and the inauguration of the Governing Council of the School. The guests in attendance reflected the status of the Executive Director and Founder of the School, Mallam Kabir Dangogo in the communications circle. He is reputed to have been contributing to the uplift of the PR profession at corporate, national, continental and international levels in the last three decades. Around to rejoice with him and celebrate what Dangogo termed “a dream come true” were former Information and National Orientation Minister, Prof Jerry Gana who delivered the keynote address. He said the founder could have invested his money elsewhere but he chose to build a school to train communications people. He, therefore, called on the audience to recognise the founder’s commitment to human capital development. He used several adjectives to commend the founder of the school. Farouk Lawan of the House of Representatives, who was the guest speaker, spoke on Why PR Education Matters to Policy Makers in Nigeria. He said both education and public relations were traced to the beginning of

man. He explained that it was important for policy makers to input public relations in their policies so as to guard against corporate and government PR disasters. In his opening remarks, Dangogo gave a historical background of the specialised training centre. Although, the piece of land, over one hectare, was secured in 2001, nothing much happened until 2005 when Dangogo retired from the services of the Union Bank as corporate affairs executive and set up his PR Consultancy, Timex Communications (Nig) Limited, which was initially headquartered in Abuja before it was relocated to the premises of the school in Kaduna on June 26, 2010. The centre with scenery environment and colourful landscape, which was admired by all and sundry, according to Dangogo, has witnessed some progress in the last one year, “but there are still a few buildings yet to be equipped. These are the library, ITC hall, two major classrooms and two radio studios. Besides, there is a major conference hall yet to be roofed and completed. We have written to a few good-spirited individuals to help out with these. We hope that they would not disappoint. But, we are ready to begin, hoping that help will come our way. There is a promise that things will get better and bigger by day.”

LUPAN moves against fake lubricants


RAND owners, under the auspices of Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN) have met and resolved to checkmate the activities of producers and marketers of faked and adulterated lubricants in Nigeria. During the meeting, held at their national secretariat in Lagos, the forum agreed to live up to the challenge of substandard lubricants being sold in the markets. The house was informed that some illegal mushroom blenders of lubricants are in the habit of using the factory of some recognised blenders, who act as third party blenders to churn out substandard products into the market.

Mr Babalola Oyeyemi of Ammasco International Limited, producers of quality lubricants in Nigeria, advised members of LUPAN to be active to the call and take part in driving the committee drawn from the stakeholder’s forum. He re-iterated the commitment of his company to stamping out the menace of fake products capable of negatively impacting on the dignity of authentic blenders. He highlighted the disadvantages of such products to the engines of vehicles; stating it will be religiously and ethically wrong to fold their hands and watch dubious people cheat unsuspecting consumers.







NEWS NDDC awards N250b projects From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt


•From left: Mr. Dennis Okoro, Director, MTN Foundation, presenting a certificate in shoemaking to Mr. Anifowoshe Shamsudeen and NDE’s Assistant Director Olowogbemi, at the graduation ceremony of the physically challenged from the MTNF/FOTD Centre on Lagos Island ... recently.

MTN lifts 45 physically challenged with vocational skills


ORTY-five physically challenged men and women have graduated from the Friends of the Disabled (FOTD) vocational and educational centre, sponsored by the MTN Foundation, the corporate social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria. They are all beneficiaries of the Foundation’s skills acquisition project, being implemented by the firm’s economic empowerment portfolio. Under the project, the MTN Foundation offers training for youths with physical disabilities in tailoring/fashion designing, welding and shoemaking/leatherworks, with a view to helping them earn their meal tickets and live more meaningful lives. The Foundation also provides funding for the centre.

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, who was represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs. Dim Ijeoma, commended the Foundation for sponsoring the project, stressing that such projects are necessary to ensure that physically challenged members of the society can still be very useful to themselves, their communities and indeed, the entire country. She enjoined other private organisations to emulate MTNF. Addressing the gathering, MTNF Chairman Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, said: “We are indeed delighted to see this first batch of beneficiaries graduate with various skills ranging from fashion designing and welding to shoemaking.”

He disclosed that in addition to providing sponsorship for the beneficiaries, the Foundation will also provide them with micro-credit loans in the form of tools-of-trade, monitor their progress and provide all the necessary support and exposure to help their businesses grow. According to him, corporate social responsibility is an integral part of MTN’s business strategy. He said the company would consequently continue to provide funds for this and other social projects being implemented by the Foundation. Also speaking, Chief Mrs. Christy Orduh, the Executive Director of FOTD, thanked the MTNF for supporting the centre since it was inaugurated two years ago and for approving the funding of another two-year programme to

for another set of 50 people with disabilities. She encouraged other organisations to emulate the Foundation and support physically challenged persons. Speaking on behalf of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mrs Christine Olowogbemi, commended the firm for being a responsive and responsible corporate citizen. She also pledged the directorate’s continuous support for the centre. In his remarks, the Chairman of the Parents/Teachers Association (PTA), Mr. Timothy Soyoola, expressed his appreciation on behalf of parents to the MTNF for the laudable initiative and the sponsorship of the beneficiaries. The high point of the ceremony was the presentation of certificates to the successful beneficiaries.


From: Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

tors and apply appropriate sanctions to serve as a deterrent to others.” He also advised the panel to be fair, just, honest and firm, because “your report will be taken seriously if it meets the standard of objectivity, fairness and balance. “We must get it right this time. It is not to aportion blames, we must say the truth and find lasting solutions to this avoidable menace. We are all stakeholders in the Nigerian project and we must collectively resolve this matter and uphold the sanctity of our unity as a nation.” Mark reminded public office seekers that politics should be seen as a game of call to service and not a thing of life and death. Lemu had earlier told his host that

the 22-member panel decide to divide itself into three sub-groups and have visited the sites of the violent incidents before arriving at the stage of meeting stakeholders to get their inputs into the reports. Also yesterday, Mark charged the Nigerian police to rise up to the challenge of growing insecurity in the land, saying the time called for hard work and sacrifice in the interest of the nation. Mark spoke while hosting the Police Affairs Minister, Navy Capt. Caleb Olabolade (rtd) and top officials of the ministry in Abuja. He charged the Police to do something positive that would redeem its not-too-good image before the public, saying that at the challenge no matter how enormous is surmountable”. The minister sought the assistance

December deadline for polio eradication From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


HE Federal Government may have set a December deadline to kick out polio virus out of the country, it was learnt yesterday. Dropping the hint in Kano during a courtesy to the Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, called for the collaboration of stakeholders including international donor agencies in the battle against polio scourge. Pate said he was in Kano State to hold a stakeholders’ meeting with religious and community leaders on how to tackle the deadly disease. While disclosing that Kano has the highest number of polio cases in the country. The minister, called for a synergy between the federal and state governments as well as donor agencies in the anti-polio battle.

Jonathan gets Liberia’s award

Fish out masterminds of post-election violence, Mark urges Lemu panel O bring the sponsors of the violence to book and serve as deterrent to others, Senate President David Mark yesterday urged the Dr. Sheik Ahmed Lemuled panel on the 2011 post- election violence and civil disturbances to leave no stone unturned while carrying out its assignment. Mark, in a statement by his spokesman, Paul Mumeh, gave the advice when the panel visited him in Abuja yesterday. He said: “No matter what we do, if the masterminds or sponsors are not brought to book, we will not achieve any result. “No body or group of people is bigger or greater than Nigeria. There should be no sacred cows. No one is above the law. “We must fish out the perpetra-

HE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has awarded over 70 mega projects worth more N250 billion in the past two years. The projects are to boost regional development and generate thousands of employment opportunities for residents of the region NDDC boss Chibuzor Ugwoha said. Speaking at the 44th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital yesterday, the Managing Director/CEO of the Commission, Mr. said the projects, ranging from roads and bridge construction, to shoreline protection and hospitals, are part of the Commission’s strategy to develop the region and its people. He disclosed that over 1000 minor projects targeted at addressing various developmental challenges have also been undertaken and are at various stages of completion. Ugwoha, who delivered a paper entitled: “Law, Peace and Development in the Niger Delta Region”, reiterated the importance of law, peace and order in the development process. “In framing a development agenda and searching for new insights into the economic regeneration of the region, we are looking at making the NDDC an institution that will operate on a strong legal foundation”, Ugwoha said.



of the upper legislative chamber to address the increasing rate of insecurity, bomb blasts, kidnapping, armed robbery and extra-judicial killings. He requested for more support in terms of equipment, logistics and improved funding, to enable the police perform.

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged Liberians to consolidate democracy. He also assured them of Nigeria’s support. The President spoke in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, yesterday after he was conferred with the highest honour, Grand Cordon in the most Venerae Order of the Pioneers of Republic of Liberia. Commending Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for her efforts in the post-war Liberia, Jonathan said her efforts have brought the country a long way as they now enjoy peace, freedom and stability in a democratic setting; hoping that the processes of democracy will be consolidated in the coming elections .








Cash limit to cut banking cost by 30%, says Sanusi T HE Central Bank of Nige ria (CBN) has said the cost of banking services is alarming, arguing that there is need to reduce it by 30 per cent in the next three years. Achieving this requires enforcement of four-pronged initiatives, such as reduction in cash management cost, electronic payment system, enhanced Information Technology and centralised back-office system, CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said yesterday. Addressing the House of Representatives members on cash limit and non-interest banking policies of the CBN, Sanusi, said 99 per cent of banking services in the country are cash-based, it cost banks N2 trillion to handle cash transactions in 2009. He said 90 per cent of the customers transacted less than N150,000; 86 per cent less than

By Collins Nweze Senior Correspondent

N100,000 and 45 per cent less than N10,000. He said it cost banks N1.5 trillion to service less than 10 per cent of bank customers who transacted more than N150,000. Sanusi explained that it would do the banking industry and customers a lot of service for banks to cut down on the amount being spent of handling cash. The apex bank also said banks would roll out 100,000 Point of Sales (PoS) terminals by June 1, 2012, to cope with pressures on the cash limit. The banks would also increase the PoS terminals to 350,000 before December 2015.

Section 47 of the CBN Act, empowers the apex bank to promote and facilitate the development of efficient and effective systems for the settlement of transactions. The apex bank had in June said it would limit cash transactions to N150,000 for individuals and N1 million for corporate organizations to reduce the cost of cash management in the banking sector. Implementation of the policy is strategically phased, and complementary reforms are progressing on alternative payments channels through the retail payments transformation programme, CBN Director, Currency Operations Department, Muhammad Nda, had said.

Shareholders urge CBN to release insurers’ deposit By Akinola Ajibade



Speaking during a Cash Management Seminar in Lagos, Nda, said the Bankers’ Committee has agreed to an aggressive deployment of PoS terminals by banks.

Diamond, GTBank sell insurance subsidiaries


HE insurance subsidiaries of Diamond Bank and GTBank have been sold to new investors. Diamond Bank, sold ADIC Insurance Limited to NSIA Participations SA, an Ivorian firm. The bank sold its 96.15 per cent stake as part of a strategy to comply with the new Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) banking model where banks were mandated to divest from their subsidiaries. Diamond Bank Plc executed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA), in respect of its divestment from the firm. “Diamond Bank announces the execution of a SPA with NSIA Participations S.A. Holding in respect of the sale of the bank’s 96.15 per cent equity stake in ADIC Insurance Limited to NSIA,”the news agency stated. This is in furtherance of the bank’s decision to divest from all its non-banking subsidiaries in compliance with the repeal of the Universal Banking Guidelines by the CBN and its subsequent directive to all deposit taking banks in Nigeria

ing a wide range of products and services for individuals and corporate businesses. NSIA Group, through its 21 subsidiaries in 2010 achieved a total turnover of 183 million Euro. After successfully completing its presence in Ghana, and with this significant investment in Nigeria, the NSIA Group reaffirms its pan-African character. Also, Guaranty Trust Bank yesterday said it plans to sell its 68 per cent stake in Guaranty Trust Assurance for about N12 billion in line with the bank’s decision to focus on core banking business. The bank said it has agreed to sell its stake in the insurance firm to a consortium made up of three private equity investors and three development finance institutions including Germany’s DEG and Netherland’s FMO. GTBank said it hoped to complete the sale by the end of the third quarter but any deal will be subject to regulatory approval.

to divest from all non-banking businesses. The bank, said emergence of NSIA as the preferred bidder resulted from a competitive bidding process successfully managed by Vetiva Capital Management Limited, the Bank’s financial adviser on the Sale. The SPA which was executed on Friday, 8th July, articulated the terms under which the Sale was consummated with NSIA. “The Sale has the approval of the Board of Directors and shareholders of the Bank.” NSIA Participations is a holding company headquartered in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, consolidating investments in Life, NonLife and Banking subsidiaries in 11 countries in Africa and has become the leading insurer in the region through a comprehensive product offering of life and non life. NSIA is organised around 10 core businesses including insurance, banking, bancassurance and micro insurance, provid-




Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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



Price Loss 2754.67 447.80


7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011



O/PRICE 10.60 34.30 5.93 4.79 0.91 1.14 3.01 0.51 19.45 1.35

C/PRICE 11.13 36.01 6.22 5.02 0.95 1.19 3.13 0.53 20.21 1.40

CHANGE 0.53 1.71 0.29 0.23 0.04 0.05 0.12 0.02 0.76 0.05




70.75 4.99 1.05 2.79 0.89 0.71 1.49 1.03 0.54 2.85


67.22 4.75 1.00 2.66 0.85 0.68 1.43 0.99 0.52 2.77



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market








February ’11

May ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.3%

% Change 0.34% 0.34%

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

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

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.62 1,586.00 0.81 0.98 1,586.00 9.47 1.39 1.87 8,827.74 193.00

9.08 1.00 117.16 1,576.75 0.78 0.98 1,576.75 9.01 1.33 1.80 8,557.73 191.08



7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

21-07-11 N7.606tr 23,787.31




21-07-11 N7.580tr 23,707.47



3.53 0.24 0.05 0.13 0.04 0.03 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.08


Offered ($) Demanded ($)

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

HAREHOLDERS have called for the withdrawal of the statutory deposit of insurance companies kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to facilitate growth. Insurance companies in accordance with the Insurance Act 2003, are required to keep 10 per cent of their capital with the CBN. The aim is to put them on comfort zone, in the event they wind up their operations. The National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, said billions of naira owned by insurance companies are lying idle with the CBN, adding that the development is affecting the growth of the insurance firms. Nwosu, while speaking during the 17 th Annual General Meeting of Regency Alliance Insurance Plc in Lagos yesterday, said the three per cent or four per cent interest, which CBN is paying the insurance firms in return for keeping their statutory deposits with it, amounts to nothing when one considers the challenges facing the industry. He said: “For instance, Regency Alliance is having N300million statutory deposit with the CBN. Many other firms have money with the CBN. If firms continue to keep this money with CBN, it is a bad development. I’m suggesting that all insurance companies must come together and protest strongly against the decision. They must meet CBN on the issue to untie their funds.” Also, an official of the Shareholders Solidarity Association of Nigeria (SSAN), Sunday Aderele, said the issue of statustory deposit with the CBN must be handled seriously if the insurance sector would achieve meaningful growth. Aderele urged the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to see to the withdrawal of the statutory deposit from the apex bank, adding that it was high time insurance operators took bold steps to record growth.




04 MAR, 2011

07, MAR, 2011











No of Deals 4 10 14


No of Deals 2 61 63

Company Name R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 5 5


No of Deals 134 16 55 13 52 36 595 43 744 49 47 76 25 173 48 150 109 10 41 303 2,719


No of Deals 112 32 128 272


No of Deals 48 14 20 20 102


No of Deals 1 1 17 19


No of Deals 1 16 17


No of Deals 2 37 1 10 44 30 124


No of Deals 11 7 1 19

Quotation(N) 0.50 7.50

Quantity Traded 2,006,000 359,857 2,365,857

Value of Shares (N) 1,003,000.00 2,697,470.40 3,700,470.40

Quantity Traded 3,200 1,127,548 1,130,748

Value of Shares (N) 7,900.00 7,948,779.13 7,956,679.13

Quantity Traded 39,417 39,417

Value of Shares (N) 78,834.00 78,834.00

Quantity Traded 14,433,278 629,582 9,428,016 145,422 4,853,787 373,773 9,726,579 2,317,956 35,335,980 1,043,891 2,197,557 2,508,954 1,752,976 23,623,729 5,598,436 4,897,303 3,570,516 30,500,000 2,958,962 35,754,165 191,650,862

Value of Shares (N) 92,907,289.63 548,336.92 47,111,379.20 389,149.16 28,670,088.82 834,772.30 118,091,330.50 1,222,341.50 489,479,890.57 9,787,695.49 2,187,032.30 2,928,261.06 1,262,836.54 143,047,506.33 7,687,658.71 24,426,666.44 8,612,320.53 24,721,000.00 2,785,568.12 524,444,657.86 1,531,145,781.98

Quantity Traded 187,345 548,387 563,895 1,299,627

Value of Shares (N) 43,272,920.27 3,349,222.96 50,794,050.32 97,416,193.55

Quantity Traded 690,510 237,320 64,174 84,900 1,076,904

Value of Shares (N) 13,913,283.27 2,007,360.80 7,696,508.00 3,883,324.90 27,500,476.97

Quantity Traded 100 241 119,018 119,359

Value of Shares (N) 301.00 2,053.32 3,218,720.20 3,221,074.52

Quantity Traded 500 282,917 283,417

Value of Shares (N) 250.00 854,545.72 854,795.72

Quantity Traded 1,640 190,407 1,000 162,400 1,372,717 186,827 1,914,991

Value of Shares (N) 3,263.60 7,208,573.12 6,110.00 167,272.00 53,577,556.29 5,030,918.34 65,993,693.35

Quantity Traded 116,798 4,350 40,000 161,148

Value of Shares (N) 310,682.68 213,605.00 145,600.00 669,887.68

Quantity Traded 4,000 4,000

Value of Shares (N) 9,300.00 9,300.00

Quantity Traded 7,835 516,687 51,508 2,142,875 501,628 24,836 6,000 1,146,573 132,133 18,771 50,000 200 4,599,046

Value of Shares (N) 352,718.71 8,795,491.34 824,128.00 23,822,596.00 42,369,907.28 100,429.60 10,200.00 5,520,632.75 5,606,556.94 7,543,025.90 25,000.00 130.00 94,970,816.52

Quantity Traded 487 87,000 86,000 150,375 91,261 340 415,463

Value of Shares (N) 2,585.97 94,830.00 154,800.00 3,721,406.70 347,270.09 523.60 4,321,416.36

Quantity Traded 51,000 30,547 81,547

AIR SERVICES Quotation(N) 2.50 7.00

AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Quotation(N) 2.07

BANKING Quotation(N) 6.50 0.85 5.00 2.80 5.95 2.25 12.12 0.52 14.10 9.40 0.99 1.19 0.68 6.16 1.40 5.02 2.40 0.81 0.95 14.60

BREWERIES Quotation(N) 243.00 6.38 90.00

BUILDING MATERIALS Quotation(N) 20.21 8.54 121.11 45.60

CHEMICAL & PAINTS Quotation(N) 3.16 8.96 27.00

COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Quotation(N) 0.50 3.13

Stock market sustains recovery as equities gain N26bn


By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

HE Nigerian stock market continued on the path of recovery yesterday as market value of quoted equities added N26 billion to close at N7.61 trillion. With the uptrend, the stock market garnered N75 billion in two days. The market had on Wednesday pulled back from a long streak of decline, rising from a low of N7.53 trillion to N7.58 trillion and further trended upward to N7.61 trillion at the end of yesterday’s trading. The benchmark common index, the All Share Index (ASI), which measures changes in share prices of all quoted companies, rose by 0.34 per cent to close at 23,787.31 points, reducing the year-to-date negative return to 3.97 per cent. The ASI had risen by 0.66 per cent from 23,552.84 points to 23,707.47 points on Wednesday. Analysts were however, divided on the sustainability of the positive market situation, saying the market remained on a cautious swing that could fluctuate between gains and losses in the days ahead.

They agreed however, that the stock market holds significant returns in the middle to long term, noting that most stocks have bottomed out and were trading at great values to discerning investors. The analysts cited the current earnings per share of most companies, expected future earnings and probable dividends as indicative of locked-in values for many stocks. Meanwhile, the gap between gainers and losers narrowed yesterday although many stocks recorded relatively higher gains. Conoil Plc, led the 21-stock gainers’ list with 171 kobo to close at N36.01 per share. Ashaka Cement followed with a gain of 76 kobo to close at N20.21. Dangote Sugar Refinery placed third with addition of 53 kobo to close at N11.13, while Guaranty Trust Bank and Capital Hotel gathered 40 kobo and 29 kobo to close at N14.10 and N6.22 respectively. On the downside, Chevron led the slackers with a


21 5 8 8 3 17 16 9 145

Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 15 15


No of Deals 65 65

Company Name DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 9 9


No of Deals 11 1 26 38


No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) 2.30

No of Deals 9 44 14 98 62 9 1 28 28 33 1 2 329


No of Deals 1 10 4 18 13 1 47


No of Deals 1 3 4

Quotation(N) 45.00 17.01 16.00 11.13 84.50 4.25 1.78 4.75 43.00 402.00 0.50 0.68

No of Deals 110 1 111

No of Deals 2 2 8 12

Quotation(N) 7.45 0.50 5.81


No of Deals 1 8 29 4 6 15 146 17 226


No of Deals 7 13 20

Value of Shares (N) 317,220.00 44,598.62 361,818.62

Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEV. CO. PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 11 11

Quantity Traded 2,700 20,500 40,319 63,519

Value of Shares (N) 19,116.00 10,250.00 237,452.61 266,818.61


No of Deals 1 1


No of Deals 3 3


No of Deals 41 41


No of Deals 1 10 11

Quotation(N) 4.97 0.59

Quantity Traded 100 1,229,850 1,229,950

Value of Shares (N) 497.00 722,611.50 723,108.50


No of Deals 40 18

Quotation(N) 0.69 1.00

Value of Shares (N) 1,280,871.08 1,280,871.08

Quantity Traded 1,704,227 1,704,227

Value of Shares (N) 1,753,992.74 1,753,992.74

Quantity Traded 45,000 45,000

Value of Shares (N) 22,500.00 22,500.00

Quantity Traded 513,000 10,000,000 1,683,664 12,196,664

Value of Shares (N) 677,160.00 5,000,000.00 871,806.27 6,548,966.27

Quantity Traded 405,000 405,000

Value of Shares (N) 202,500.00 202,500.00

Quantity Traded 8,644,269 500 8,644,769

Value of Shares (N) 20,061,120.89 6,040.00 20,067,160.89

Quantity Traded 7,000 114,296 293,113 75,000 6,696 13,657 366,873 23,304 899,939

Value of Shares (N) 3,500.00 7,682,977.12 10,437,978.90 306,750.00 129,098.88 2,047,844.38 14,287,642.81 4,528,202.08 39,423,994.17

Quantity Traded 51,723 115,026 166,749

Value of Shares (N) 275,166.36 551,898.30 827,064.66

Quantity Traded 25,700 25,700

Value of Shares (N) 472,858.50 472,858.50

Quantity Traded 400 400

Value of Shares (N) 220.00 220.00

Quantity Traded 13,359 13,359

Value of Shares (N) 7,881.81 7,881.81

Quantity Traded 2,034,727 10,911,459

Value of Shares (N) 1,395,404.86 11,227,956.72

Quotation(N) 14.45

Quantity Traded 873,338 873,338

Value of Shares (N) 12,339,603.75 12,339,603.75



Quotation(N) 1.03

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quotation(N) 1.38 0.50 0.51

Quotation(N) 0.50

PACKAGING Quotation(N) 2.35 12.71

PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Quotation(N) 0.50 67.22 36.01 4.30 19.28 157.50 38.76 195.50

PRINTING & PUBLISHING Quotation(N) 5.60 4.80



Quantity Traded 1,354,082 1,354,082



HOTEL & TOURISM Quotation(N) 6.22 1.46

Quotation(N) 0.96


No of Deals 9 9

HEALTHCARE Quotation(N) 5.31 1.14 1.80 25.10 3.88 1.62

1,006,713.45 10,015.00 306,250.00 443,007.64 50,125.00 2,431,700.00 306,535.02 45,000.00 17,222,707.69


Company Name ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC Sector Totals


358,247 20,030 608,500 306,834 100,250 4,645,000 597,910 90,000 19,672,957


CONSTRUCTION Quotation(N) 2.66 50.82 3.47

2.77 0.50 0.50 1.43 0.50 0.52 0.53 0.50 LEASING

CONGLOMERATES Quotation(N) 2.09 38.00 6.43 1.03 39.03 26.87

loss of 353 kobo to close at N67.22. Unilever Nigeria lost 43 kobo to close at N26.87. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria dropped by 38 kobo to close at N25.10. National Salt Company (Nascon) lost 24 kobo to close at N4.75, while Costain West Africa slipped by 13 kobo to N2.66 per share. Turnover stood at 252.59 million shares worth N1.94 billion in 4,457 deals. Banking sector remained atop the activity chart with 191.65 million shares valued at N1.53 billion in 2,719 deals. Insurance sector placed second with a turnover of 19.67 million shares worth N17.22 million in 145 deals. Mortgage sector ranked third with 12.2 million shares worth N6.55 million in 38 deals. Zenith Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 35.75 million shares valued at N524.44 million in 303 deals. GTBank followed with 35.3 million shares worth N489.5 million in744 deals. Unity Bank placed third with 305 million shares valued at N24.7 million in 10 deals.

Quotation(N) 19.15

ROAD TRANSPORTATION Quotation(N) 0.57 TEXTILES Quotation(N) 0.59


Overall Totals









Malawi deploys army to quell protests


RESIDENT Bingu wa Mutharika has vowed to “use any measure I can think of” to quell the demonstrations. Protesters accuse him of plunging Malawi into its worst economic crisis since independence. The army has been deployed in the capital, Lilongwe, the biggest city, Blantyre, and Mzuzu in the north. The troops bolster a strong contingent of riot police in the three cities. Police said two people were killed when security forces tried to stop looting in Lilong-

we’s townships on Thursday the first deaths recorded in the capital. One Lead the people killed was a bystander caught in the crossfire, correspondents say. At least eight people were killed on Wednesday in Mzuzu, some 300km (185 miles) north of Lilongwe, hospital officials said. A health ministry official has told Reuters news agency that 18 people have died over the two days. Lorry-loads of soldiers were patrolling central Lilongwe, clearing barricades set up by protesters.

The city centre is deserted with shops closed, correspondents say. In an address to the nation, Mr Mutharika said the protesters were “working for satan”. “As leader of the country, I have powers vested in me by the constitution to ensure peace, using every measure I can think of,” he said. Rev Maurice Munthali deputy Secretary General of the Church of the Central Africa Presbyterian told the BBC that the eight people who died in Mzuzu had been shot. “I’m actually in the mortuary identifying the bodies - it’s very sad.”

Space shuttle Atlantis makes final landing


SPACE shuttle Atlantis has landed back on Earth, bringing to a close America’s 30-year orbiter programme. The vehicle swept into the Kennedy Space Center, its wheels touching the runway just before local sunrise. Nasa’s shuttles were instrumental in building the space station, and were used to maintain the Hubble telescope. “The space shuttle changed the way we view the world and it changed the way we view the Universe,” said commander Chris Ferguson on landing. “There’s a lot of emotion today but one thing’s indisputable: America’s not going to stop exploring,” he radioed to mission control. Retirement of Nasa’s iconic shuttle fleet was ordered by the

US government, in part due to the high cost of maintaining the ships. The decision leaves the country with no means of putting astronauts in orbit. The Atlantis crew became known as “the final four” The US space agency’s intention is to invite the private sector to provide it with space transport services, and a number of commercial ventures already have crew ships in development. These are unlikely to be ready to fly for at least three or four years, however. In the interim, Nasa will rely on the Russians to ferry its people to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Despite the dark skies over Florida’s Space Coast, large crowds came out to try to glimpse Atlantis as it made its historic return from orbit. Two

thousand people were gathered at the landing strip itself, but even in Texas, where mission control is sited, they mingled outside the gates of the Johnson Space Center. The de-orbit track brought Atlantis across central Florida and the Titusville-Mims area before a hard bank to the left put the vehicle on a line to Runway 15 at Kennedy. A remarkable view of Atlantis captured by astronauts on the space station. The shuttle’s plasma trail appears as a bean sprout against clouds and city lights Commander Ferguson, a veteran of two previous shuttle missions was at the controls, with his pilot Doug Hurley alongside him. Mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim were sitting directly behind on the flightdeck.

Heat wave spreads in US



PUNISHING heat wave has settled over central and eastern parts of the US, pushing temperatures as high as 43C (110F) and causing up to 22 deaths. The National Weather Service warned of “dangerous” levels of heat and humidity creeping east, with no relief expected in eastern states until Sunday.

As much as 50% of the US population was under a heat advisory, officials said. Meteorologists have put the temperatures down to a “dome” of high pressure in the atmosphere. “This is an exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure that really has an exceptional scope and duration,” Eli Jacks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the BBC. “The air is sinking, as it sinks it compresses and gets warmer.” It also dries out, so few clouds form to block the high early-summer sun, he said. “There’s no good place to be,” Mr Jacks said. Heat is “the number one weather-related killer” in the US. Across the central and eastern US, people and animals alike are struggling to keep

cool amid the oppressive heat and humidity. As the heat peaks in major population centres in the east coast, the number of deaths is expected to rise. Mr Jacks said the combination of high heat and high humidity makes it hard for the human body to cool itself because sweat does not evaporate efficiently. In Minnesota - a northern state known for its frigid winters - farm livestock died from heat stress at a rate not seen in three decades, the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported. Turkeys were hit especially hard, the paper reported. In South Dakota, as many as 1,500 head of cattle have died in the heat, state veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven told Reuters.

Mau Mau Kenyans get leave to sue UK


OUR elderly Kenyans have been told they can sue the Foreign Office for their alleged torture by British colonial authorities 50 years ago. The High Court said the group could seek damages over their treatment during the 1950s and 60s. Mr Justice McCombe said the claimants had an “arguable case” and it would be “dishonourable” to block the action. Ministers say the UK gov-

ernment is not responsible for the actions of the colonial administration. The decision means that the government will have to defend accusations of torture, murder, sexual assault and other alleged abuses at a full damages trial in 2012. The four Kenyans, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambugu Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara, all in their 70s and 80s, say ministers in London ap-

Hotel’s weekly gig today


HE weekly entertainment gig at Best Western The Island Hotel, Bar Beach, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos will hold today. Guests will be treated to a variety of music by a live band at the hotel’s alluring court yard. The event will hold between 5pm and midnight, a statement by the management said yesterday.

proved systematic abuse in special camps. A fifth claimant has died since the action began. The Mau Mau, a guerrilla group, began a violent campaign against white settlers in 1952 The uprising was put down by the British colonial government by 1960 The Kenya Human Rights Commission says 90,000 Kenyans were executed, tortured or maimed It says 160,000 people were detained in appalling conditions Kenya gained independence in 1963 Bloody uprising of the Mau Maus The High Court heard that Mr Mutua and Mr Nzili had been castrated, Mr Nyingi was beaten unconscious in an incident in which 11 men were clubbed to death, and Mrs Mara had been subjected to appalling sexual abuse.








FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011



Labourers deserve their reward

•Minister of Labour and Productivity Emeka Wogu

gramme on the dignity of labour. There were other listeners around the transistor radio, most of who were manual workers. The point of the programme was to encourage the assimilation of the idea that there is dignity in labour. The manual workers around the radio were resentful and while they could not reach the narrator directly, they gave him a piece of their minds in absentia: “It’s not his fault,” one of them angrily said, “Will he offer to exchange his position with mine?” he asked.


‘Workers-teachers, artisans, academics, civil servants, and market women – see this unjustifiable exploitation by an unpatriotic bunch who got themselves into power just to satisfy their greed, and they are supposed to turn a blind eye and avoid resentment because they should expect their own rewards in heaven. It doesn’t work that way. And this explains the incessant reoccurrence of labour strikes’ This response is indicative of a mindset that, for various reasons, grudgingly approaches work as a chore rather than as an expression of the human essence. One reason is the social and economic condition under which people labour. John Dewey once observed that both work and play are “equally free and intrinsically motivated apart from false economic conditions, which tend to make play into idle excitement for the well-to-do, and work into uncongenial labour for the poor.” And it is clear even to the blind that in this corner of the world,


News– FHA to build 6,000 housing units


we thrive on such false economic conditions. One of such false economic conditions is the opulence of law makers and political elite vis-à-vis the poor teacher in the classroom and the manual worker in the field. Not too long ago, the scandalous appropriation of national wealth by national law makers came to light. In the heat of the controversy one of them, offended by the national outrage, defended his colleagues and himself with the argument that they risked their lives everyday! He, of course, did not try to compare the amount of risk to the proportion of the national wealth that they accumulate. Even when resources are not available, for our law makers, compensation for risks justifies the sourcing of bank loans just to increase the allowances they receive. Notice that it was to augment their allowances, which are on top of their fat salaries! Workers-teachers, artisans, academics, civil servants, and market women – see this unjustifiable exploitation by an unpatriotic bunch who got themselves into power just to satisfy their greed, and they are supposed to turn a blind eye and avoid resentment because they should expect their own rewards in heaven. It doesn’t work that way. And this explains the incessant reoccurrence of labour strikes. Workers see the socio-economic structure of our nation as unjust. They see our system as one which places emphasis on worker productivity but with no corresponding consideration for the wellbeing of workers. This leads to the conception of work as a curse because they feel that they are not regarded as persons to be respected but as just another factor for productivity and profit. When work is traditionally conceived as the cure for poverty, but a majority of workers still wallow in poverty despite their hard work, and there is so much hoopla over a minimum wage of N18,000, then we cannot dismiss as unreasonable the widespread conception of work as a curse. But this is not all. We bemoan the scourge of corruption and its attendant negative impact on productivity and national pride. While poverty and inadequate compensation does not excuse corrupt practices on the part of workers; to a significant extent it provides a partial explanation if not justification. This is especially true when the worker is aware of the same corrupt practices on the part of the political elite who cannot be seen as poor or hungry, but as downright greedy. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Boko Haram: welcome split, temporary respite


6,000 UNITS...for 150 MILLION peole?

NO. 1,828



T is an injunction from God. But it is breached with impunity by mortals. The reason has to do with greed, which is also against the will of the creator. The consequence is a negative attitude to labour with its attendant problem of low productivity and limited growth. Yet, a buoyant economy and high rate of growth and development are in the interest of workers and employers. Why is our system rigged against its own best interests? Another national strike by labour has just been averted on the eve of its debut. But for the last minute intervention of reason, the nation would have been thrown into another needless crisis with its pointless suffering by the innocent. What is responsible for this incessant crisis? Opalaba once compared the relationship between the worker and the employer as analogous to that between a character he named, Ogungbe and a Deer. Ogungbe is a hunter by profession and he is desperately looking for his means of livelihood, but more importantly for the means to pay his tax. On the other hand, for Mr. Deer, self- preservation is the first law of nature. So while Mr. Deer desperately wants to surviveOgungbe desperately aimed his gun at him. To survive Mr. Deer stoops, to hit his target, Ogungbe , the hunter, limps. That the relationship between the worker and the employer is analogous to that between a cat and a mouse is unfortunate. Work is productive activity and it is one of the essential aspects of the human condition. But as a result of the deprivation and dehumanisation that workers experience in this and some other climes, what should ordinarily be jumped at and embraced is conceived as a curse, a terrible plague to avoid. It is a triple jeopardy: considering work as a curse logically leads to efforts to avoid it. This in turn leads to low productivity; and this causes the frustration of individual wellbeing and national development. Our economy suffers from low productivity and this is a serious problem for everyone. Low productivity leads to need and desire frustration. An unproductive society cannot launch itself on the path of development and progress. Thus far, our record is unenviable, especially in the public sphere, at all levels of government, where a sizable number of our people are employed. The public sector provides a striking illustration of the conception of work as a curse. Years ago, I listened to a radio pro-

‘A once-docile, almost do-nothing populace is asking its leadership questions that were considered taboo in the past. They are asking the right questions: why is there corrosive corruption in high places? Why is Africa’s brand of democracy such a costly enterprise?’

T was probably the most unexpected news this week; and it came without warning and against the run of play. Boko Haram, the Islamic sect that has perpetrated the most notorious attacks on government establishments, security agencies and places of worship, has not only split, it has declared a moratorium on attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Maiduguri, the beleaguered capital city of Borno State, must be eager to heave a sigh of relief. So, too, will Churches, security agents and the ordinary man on the street, all of whom have borne a disproportionate share of the multiple bombings that have paralysed the state for months. Even the Joint Task Force (JTF) saddled with the responsibility of pacifying the city and environs has cautiously but disguisedly welcomed the moratorium. Everyone concerned is desperately hoping the temporary halt would transform into a permanent peace. However, from the brusque statement issued by the sect – though the fact that it was unsigned raises more questions than answers – it seems that what has taken place is less a split than a power struggle, or more accurately a clever propaganda tactics to sow distrust and confusion among the militants. On the surface, the sect’s disavowal of indis-

criminate bombings, particularly against places of worship and innocent civilian targets, appears like a split right than the middle of the militant group. In reality, however, we are left perplexed about who really is/are in control of the group and where they are headed. Since the group, or those purporting to act for the group, added robbing of banks to their repertoire, and unbelievably sought to justify it, it was anticipated that there would be attempts by ideologues within the group to purify its doctrine. If the group fought against indiscriminate killings by government troops, how could it justify indiscriminate killings by its own militants? If they resented looting of public treasury, how could they embrace and applaud looting of banks? In spite of all these, few perhaps expected that the power struggle would start so soon. If the statement purportedly issued by a faction of Boko Haram leadership was not issued by the group, then it must be one of the most insidious propaganda ever concocted by the authorities to undermine the group from within. The statement was admirably well written, precise and logical, though the longstanding spokesman of the sect, Abu Zaid, is known to be well-informed, well-spoken and incongruously too conver-

sant with modernity to be logically the redactor of the sect’s atavistic philosophy. The jury is out on what to make of the statement, or where it is coming from. However, given the fact that the city of Maiduguri has been brought to heel by the sect’s attacks, and the even more distressing fact that the military has gone in there to compound the problem rather than fight the enemy, it seems safe to conclude that the city’s previously somnolent elite have had enough. If they had been previously indifferent, they no longer seem so. They are sensible enough to know that if the sect’s activities continue for much longer, the Nigerian security agents, who are neither experts in surgical warfare nor ever balk at massive collateral damage, will sooner level the city than accept defeat or impotence. Indeed, given the attitude of the authorities to the allegations levelled against the JTF troops in Maiduguri, and the rather cavalier manner they are handling the soldiers arrested over the matter, Nigeria has a long way to go. In all, it is unlikely we have heard the last of Boko Haram, the so-called leadership split or factionalism, and its supposed ideological refinements. There is more to the matter than meets the eye.

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

The Nation July 22, 2011  

The Nation July 22, 2011

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