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Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

Boko Haram bombs kill eight

States shun N34b education fund


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NEWS – Page 3

•UBE worried as President intervenes

•Three soldiers injured in Borno

VOL. 6, NO. 1832 MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011



Lions scare rocks Ibadan


ANY residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were scared at the weekend by the rumour that two lions had escaped from the zoological garden of the University of Ibadan. A text message, which was also relayed on BlackBerry messengers to residents at the institution, stated that the two lions escaped ... News Page 7

West Brom offer Osaze N7b


•Grieving members of the public embrace after a “mass for sorrow and hope” at Oslo’s Cathedral ... yesterday

Norway gun suspect ‘acted alone’, say police

T •The face of a killer: Breivik

HE suspect charged with carrying out a massacre at a youth camp in Norway and a bombing in the capital, Oslo, says he acted alone, police say. Anders Behring Breivik, 32, admitted to carrying out both attacks, which he described as “gruesome

but necessary”. At least 93 people were killed in Friday’s attacks - 96 have been injured and some are still missing. Memorial services have been held across the country, including at the main Lutheran cathedral in Oslo.

Norway’s King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja attended the cathedral, along with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, laying single white flowers outside as they entered. Continued on page 2

Strike: NLC insists on one week deadline


TATES got yesterday a wakeup call on the N18,000 minimum wage. Speed up the talks, Labour told state governments, warning that the suspended strike could resume, should the government renege on the bilateral agreement. It expressed readiness to do battle with the government and called on its affiliates “not to demobilise”. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) directed its state chapters to immediately begin negotiations with

N18,000 minimum wage talks ‘must end on Sunday’ From John Ofikhenua, Abuja and Jide Orintunsin, Minna

state governments so as to agree on the payment schedule. Negotiations, it said, must be concluded by Sunday - in line with the agreement signed by the leadership of Labour and representatives of gov-

ernment last week. A last-minute meeting between the leaders of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the Federal Government delegation, led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim,

on Tuesday night staved off the strike planned for Wednesday. But there have been discordant tunes from governors and some Federal Government officials about the landmines on the way of implementation of the agreements reached. In a statement yesterday, Head, Information and Public Relations of the NLC, Chris Uyot, said the negotiation was aimed at ensuring that workers’ rights, are not trampled Continued on page 2

UPER Eagles forward Peter Osaze Odemwingie is on the verge of an improved West Brom three-year deal worth around £45,000-aweek (about N11.1m). According to reports from London Sunday, the former Lille of France striker is expected to earn about N44.6m-amonth and N2.3b-a-year contract ... Sports – Page 24

Floods alert in Southsouth


HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has urged Southsouth governors to take proactive measures against floods and thunderstorm. The Director-General, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, gave the warning at a special regional workshop ... News – Page 54

ACN to Jonathan: lead by example


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday threw a challenge at President Goodluck Jonathan. It urged the President to lead by example in cutting the high cost of governance, which it noted has eaten deep into the country’s resources ... News – Page 3





Muslim group says no going back on Islamic Banking


•Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar (left) with Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Public Presentation of Holy Qur’an translation into fulfulde language in Yola, Adamawa State ... yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

MUSLIM group in the North yesterday threatened to defend the implementation of the Islamic Banking system with the last drop of their blood. It warned the Christian community opposed to it to back off or face the full wrath of their anger. The Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria told reporters at the end of its meeting in Kaduna last night that it would rather go to war than give up their agitation for Islamic banking. It said since Islamic banking has been implemented in Britain and other Christian-dominated

NLC issues one week deadline Continued from page 1

upon. He said: “We wish to reiterate that the strike for the full implementation of the minimum wage has only been suspended and not called off, and any attempt to observe the prevailing agreements in contravention will provoke a strike without further notice. “We wish to salute workers and the Nigerian people for the overwhelming support given to our preparations for the suspended three-day strike. We call on affiliate unions and our allies in civil society not to demobilise existing machinery for action, but to continue to mobilise and be vigilant in readiness to do more battle. The campaign to actualise full implementation of the National Minimum Wage is not yet over!” In the statement entitled “Minimum Wage: A salute to Nigerians”, the NLC praised workers and Nigerians for their

resolute commitment, steadfastness and support for the planned warning strike on the struggle to implement the National Minimum Wage. The statement reads in parts: “For the avoidance of doubt, the strike has only been suspended to allow for the implementation of the minimum wage agreements signed with the Federal and State Governments as well as implementation by the private sector. “We reaffirm that the agreement with the Federal Government stipulates that the new wages will be paid with effect from August 1, 2011, and the arrears with effect from March 23, 2011, will be paid not later than August 31, 2011. It was also agreed that detailed negotiations on the relativity implications of the new wage, which will cut across board, taking into consideration all levels of grades in the federal salary structure, will be concluded not later than July 31, 2011. “On the part of the state governments, major highlights of the agreement provide that the

negotiations with the labour movement on implementation of the new wage across board will be concluded not later than July 31, 2011, and payment effected from August 2011. The time frame for payment of the arrears shall not be later than October 2011. “It is our hope that in the interest of our country and collective well being, these agreements will be implemented. However, we assure workers and the Nigerian people that the labour movement is resolutely committed to following to its logical conclusion the spirit and letter of these agreements to ensure compliance.” Barely 48 hours after Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu said in Lagos that the state could not pay the minimum wage, unless its financial situation improves, the Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Mua’zu Bawa, contradicted his boss, saying the state was ready to comply with the Minimum Wage Law. He told staff of his ministry during an interaction at the

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

countries, there is no reason why it cannot be implemented in Nigeria. President of the group, Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, who read the communiqué, warned Christians to drop their opposition to the interest-free Islamic banks in Nigeria. Datti said: “We are very happy that with a lot of efforts Jaiz Bank has now become a reality. The company owning Jaiz has assured us that the bank is coming in September and they have as-

House leader row: Reps insist on voting

A •Omar

weekend that the government was committed to paying, irrespective of the prevailing revenue formula. Bawa said the report of a committee raised by the government to fine tune the payment was being awaited. He said so far the committee had discovered 4,000 ghost workers on the government’s payroll. He said the e-payment system put in place by the government was being perfected so as to make it foolproof to prevent fraud in ministries, departments and agencies.

FTER three weeks of horse-trading, members of the House of Representatives are mounting pressure on Speaker Aminu Tambuwal to throw the choice of the House Leader open to voting. The race is between Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola and Hon. Muraina Ajibola. Both are from Oyo State. While Mrs Akande-Adeola is favoured by the presidency, many representatives prefer Ajibola, who abandoned his ambition to allow Tambuwal to emerge as the Speaker. But the House leadership has been prevailing on Ajibola to step down for Akande-Adeola in line with the decision of the presidency. The Speaker and some of his principal officers spent a greater part of last week begging members to allow the presidency to have its way “in line with the House’s new rap-

Norway gun suspect ‘acted alone’, say police Continued from page 1

The pews in the church were full, with the congregation spilling into the square outside, which was covered in candles and flowers. Mr Stoltenberg told the mourners that the two days since the attacks took place felt like “an eternity - hours, days, and nights filled with shock and angst and crying”. As many of those in the cathedral wept, he said: “Each and every one of those who’ve left us is a tragedy together, it’s a national tragedy.” Throughout the day people continued to pour into the square outside the cathedral, laying flowers and candles at a memorial for the victims. Meanwhile more details have emerged about why the police operation to capture the gunman took so long. Local police said a boat they wanted to use to get to the island was too small and leaky to carry personnel and equipment, and they decided to wait for a special unit from Oslo. And asked why a helicopter was not used, police chief Sveinung Sponheim said this would have taken longer as the nearest police helicopter was at a base in the south.

Lake Tyrifjorden is a picture of Norwegian tranquillity - peaceful waters encircled by forested hills and, above, a broad uninterrupted sky. From the shore it is almost impossible to connect this scene with the reality of what happened on the idyllic island retreat of Utoeya out in the middle of the lake. The only reminder of the slaughter of the young Norwegians on Friday afternoon is the constant departure of Red Cross boats. This is normally a very peaceful, harmonious society, and is very open. Now, that’s been shattered. However, a large number of people I’ve spoken to have been quite defiant - they are determined this won’t undermine the values the country stands for - openness and tolerance. Yesterday, police briefly detained and later released several people without charge in a raid in Oslo. Mr Sponheim told reporters the suspect had property in the area of the raid and police were looking for traces of explosives, though nothing of value was found. In an earlier news conference, he said Mr Breivik “admitted to the facts of both the

bombing and the shooting, although he’s not admitting criminal guilt”. “He says he was alone but the police must verify everything that he said. Some of the witness statements from the island have made us unsure of whether there was one or more shooters.” He said police were not looking for anyone else at the moment - though they had not ruled out that the suspect might have had help. He said Mr Breivik, who has been charged over both attacks and is due to appear in court today, had co-operated during his interrogation. Mr Sponheim confirmed that the maximum time Mr Breivik could face in prison under Norwegian law is 21 years. At least seven people were killed in the bomb attack on the government quarter in Oslo. Soon afterwards, 85 people were shot dead as a gunman, dressed as a policeman, ran amok on the nearby island of Utoeya. An 86th person died in hospital on Sunday. The gunman was arrested when police arrived an estimated 90 minutes after the massacre began. Mr Breivik’s lawyer said his client surrendered after running out of

ammunition, but police later said he still had a lot with him. At least four people from the island camp shooting are yet to be found; it is thought some may have drowned after swimming out into the lake to escape the hail of bullets. Mr Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said the attack had been planned “for some while” Police are using a mini-submarine to search for the missing bodies. In Oslo, police said the death toll could rise further as bodies or body parts were in buildings damaged by the bomb but still too unstable to search. Mr Breivik’s lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norwegian media: “He thought it was gruesome having to commit these acts, but in his head they were necessary. “He wished to attack society and the structure of society,” Mr Lippestad said. He added that the actions had been planned for some time. The suspect is reported to have had links with rightwing extremists. Still pictures of him, wearing a wetsuit and carrying an automatic weapon, appeared in a 12-minute anti-Muslim video called Knights Templar

sured us that they will be starting with three branches, namely Abuja, Kaduna and Kano. And they will continue to open the branches rapidly thereafter. “I want to assure them that nothing can stop the Jaiz bank from coming into been because it’s being brought in according to the laws of Nigeria. There is nothing illegal about it. If they have a Christian bank that they want to establish, they have the freedom to bring it to the Central bank and if they can prove their case, a Christian bank will be opened.

2083, which appeared briefly on YouTube. A 1,500-page document written in English and said to be by Mr Breivik - posted under the pseudonym of Andrew Berwick - was also put online hours before the attacks, suggesting they had been years in the planning. The document and the video repeatedly refer to multiculturalism and Muslim immigration; the author claims to be a follower of the Knights Templar - a medieval Christian organisation involved in the Crusades, and sometimes revered by white supremacists. Police have not speculated on motives for the attack but the bomb in Oslo targeted buildings connected to Norway’s governing Labour Party, and the youth camp on Utoeya island was also run by the party. In the document posted online, references were made to targeting “cultural Marxists/ multiculturalist traitors”. Norway has had problems with neo-Nazi groups in the past but the assumption was that such groups had been largely eliminated and did not pose a significant threat, says the BBC’s Richard Galpin, near the island which remains cordoned off by police.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

prochement with the Executive. It was however learnt that most members have remained adamant against imposition of House Leader alleged the presidency. A source said: “The battle is still tough; we are opposed to imposition of a House Leader by the presidency. We made a statement with the election of Tambuwal and we are standing by that decision to assert the independence of the House. “What some of us could not understand is that Tambuwal is trying to crush the same ‘revolution’ that brought him to power. This is dangerous. “The only option we have given the speaker is to subject the controversy over the two candidates to voting. They should allow us to choose between the two.” Another returnee member of the House added: “Most of us have not been persuaded by the argument of the Speaker. We want Tambuwal to throw the issue open and allow us to vote since he is confused. “We are facing serious dilemma because the Speaker is trying to bow to pressure from the Executive. He lobbied us to believe in a cause but he wants to abandon this noble path overnight. We see him as inconsistent.” A Representative from the Southwest said: “The Speaker should appreciate that he is first among equals. He cannot impose a House Leader on us. “It speaks of hypocrisy for a Speaker who came into office by resisting imposition to now become an apostle of imposition. We won’t accept AkandeAdeola. “In the alternative, they should let us vote and lay this issue to rest once and for all.” A female member of the House said: “I think our members should give AkandeAdeola a chance because she is eminently qualified to be our Leader. “I foresee her becoming the stabiliser between the Executive and the House. We need peace and all those still engaging in war drumbeats should stop it.” A member of the House from Kano State said: “What we are demanding from the Speaker is that Akande-Adeola must be humble and reach out to members that she wants this office.

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




Jonathan intervenes as states fail to access N34.1b UBE grants


ESPITE President Goodluck Jonathan’s intervention, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are yet to access about N34, 152,759,106.63 matching grant for the funding of Universal Basic Education (UBE) funding. This fact is contained in a status report, which was prepared by the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Modibbo, on un-accessed matching grant from 2005 to 2011. The report exposes the attitude of most states to basic education (Primary Education to Junior Secondary School 3). The President is encouraging the states to access the grant, according to Modibo. According to the report, six states have not accessed their grant since 2008; 11 did not respond in 2009; and 27 states left their grant unattended to last year. None of the states and the FCT has withdrawn its grant for the first and second quarters of this year. The report indicated that following the intervention of the President last year, the un-accessed grant reduced from about N53billion in 2009 to N13,495,308,593.01 in 2010. But the states’ tardiness has led to a jump in the outstanding grant. To be able to secure grant from UBEC, states must fulfill, including (a) Evidence of lodgment of states’ counterpart contribution

THE STATES AND MATCHING GRANT FUNDS Abia Adamawa Akwa Ibom Anambra Bauchi Bayelsa Benue Borno Cross River Delta Ebonyi Edo Ekiti Enugu Gombe Imo Jigawa Kaduna Kano

N1,465,294,572.80 N311,390,985.10 N1,465,294,572.80 N1,465,294,572.80 N311,755,850.54 N1,630,091,868.80 N2,113,909,436.80 N333,294,563.84 N934,172,951.18 N3111,390,985.54 N2,297,727,005.24 N634,568,886.54 N934,172,951.18 N1,465,294,573.80 N634,568,889.98 N1,228,972,951.14 N634,568,886.98 N311,390.985.54 N2,297,727,004.80

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

(not less than 50% of the total cost of projects as the states’ commitment); (b) Development and submission of State Action Plan to UBEC for approval; and (c) Judicious utilisation of earlier disbursement in compliance with Section 9(b) of the UBE Act 2004 before subsequent disbursements. The breakdown of the outstanding N34.1b grant is as follows: Abia(N1,465,294,572.80); Adamawa(N311,390,985.10); Akwa

Katsina Kebbi Kogi Kwara Lagos Nasarawa Niger Ogun Ondo Osun Oyo Plateau Rivers Sokoto Taraba Yobe Zamfara FCT

Ibom(N1,465,294,572.80); Anambra((N1,465,294,572.80); Bauchi(N311,755,850.54); Bayelsa(N1,630,091,868.80); Benue(N2,113,909,436.80); Borno(N333,294,563.84); Cross River(N934,172,951.18); Delta(N3111,390,985.54); Ebonyi(N2,297,727,005.24); Edo(N634,568,886.54); Ekiti(N934,172,951.18); Enugu(N1,465,294,573.80); Gombe(N634,568,889.98); and Imo (N1,228,972,951.14). Others are: Jigawa (N634,568,886.98); Ka-

N311,390,985.54 N634, 568,887.64 N622,172,951.18 N635,294,572.80 N634,568,904.54 N2,297,727,004.80 N771,881,374.78 N1,350,389,166.74 N311,390,985.54 N934,172,951.18 N311,390,985.54 N634,568,886.98 N934,172,951.18 N591,755,849.54 N484,766,854.86 N634,568,886.98 N965,673,426.38 N311, 390,985.03 dunaN311,390.985.54); Kano(N2,297,727,004.80); Katsina(N311,390,985.54); Kebbi(N634, 568,887.64); Kogi(N622,172,951.18); Kwara(N635,294,572.80); Lagos(N634,568,904.54); Nasarawa(N2,297,727,004.80); Niger(N771,881,374.78); Ogun(N1,350,389,166.74); Ondo(N311,390,985.54); Osun(N934,172,951.18); Oyo(N311,390,985.54);Plateau ( N 6 3 4 , 5 6 8 , 8 8 6 . 9 8 ) ; Rivers(N934,172,951.18); Sokoto ( N 5 9 1 , 7 5 5 , 8 4 9 . 5 4 ) ;

Taraba(N484,766,854.86); Yobe(N634,568,886.98); Zamfara(N965,673,426.38); FCT(N311, 390,985.03). The status report said: “From the inception of the programme in 2005 to second quarter of 2011, the total matching grants released to the Commission is at N148, 071,899,093.02 - from 2005 to 2011. “The total disbursements as at July 5, 2011 is N113,919,169,985.99. The un-accessed balance is N34,152,729,107.03. “A key factor identified as constituting impediment to the smooth implementation of the programme is the inability of states to provide the 50 per cent counterpart contribution required to access the matching grant from the commission. “Worried by the unsatisfactory level of implementation of the UBE Programme, Mr. President consulted with the governors on the need to salvage the situation and, accordingly, took the decision that the Ministers of Finance and Education as well as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria to articulate realistic remedial measures to overcome the challenge. “Accordingly, the threesome proposed that the Funds, then domiciled in CBN, should be managed by selected commercial banks that would be expected to create dedicated accounts to domicile the Funds. Mr. President graciously approved the domiciliation of the Matching Grant Funds in commercial banks’’.

12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 Eight dead in another 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 Maiduguri explosion 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 •Three soldiers wounded 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 EIGHT people died in another 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 bomb explosion yesterday in 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 Maiduguri, a witness said. 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 Badigma Bukar, 45, who was 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 in Saturday’s attack, was 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 injured by the AP as saying he 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 quoted saw eight dead bodies after the 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 near the palace of the 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 explosion Shehu of Borno. 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 A worker at the University of 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 who spoke on condition of 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 anonymity, said two dead 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 bodies were taken to the hospi12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 morgue. 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 talDetails Sunday’s attack 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 could alsoofnot be confirmed last 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 night. 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 But spokesman of the Joint 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 Task Force (JTF) Lt. Col. Hassan 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 Mohammed refused to confirm 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 there were deaths in Sun12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 that 12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123 day’s explosion. •The burnt Budum market after the explosion on Saturday.

ACN to President: show leadership by example


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday threw a challenge at President Goodluck Jonathan. It urged the President to lead by example in cutting the high cost of governance, which it noted has eaten deep into the country’s resources, leaving little or nothing for developmental projects. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement that the President has so far sent out conflicting signals over the issue and therefore urged him to be more consistent and firm. Mohammed described as a contradiction when Jonathan promised to run an austere administration and at the same time, pushed for a pay rise for his aides. His statement reads: “In one breath, President Jonathan is giving an impression that he wants to run a lean and effective government by

By Nneka Nwaneri

asking his ministers to drastically cut the number of their aides to two, as widely reported in the media and so far unrefuted. “In another, the same President has raised the cost of governance by appointing a retinue of personal aides and at least 40 ministers, even when the Constitution prescribes one minister per state which should have pegged the total number at 36, creating additional ministries when he could have streamlined the existing ones, and by also asking for higher pay for some of his aides. “A President who is seeking higher pay for his aides and creating additional ministries can definitely not have the moral authority to lead the ongoing campaign to get federal lawmakers to slash their jumbo pay in the interest of the country.” The party said, however, that it is not too late for the President to re-

trace his steps and show leadership, saying the achievements of any administration are not directly proportional to the number of ministers or presidential aides. It said the ‘transformational agenda’ of the present administration will remain a cliche, just like the Seven-point Agenda of his predecessor (the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua), unless the President can match his rhetoric with action, “take hard decisions and stop pandering to the whims and caprices of his sponsors or his directionless party.” The statement said: “This week will mark the third month of the Jonathan administration, but Nigerians are yet to see any sign of the lofty ideals espoused by the President in his inauguration speech. But we are prepared to hold our fire and give the President the benefit of the doubt for now. But if the saying that morning shows the day is anything to go by,

then we are afraid that the signs so far are not promising.” The AC N urged the President to routinely look at himself in the mirror by monitoring what Nigerians are saying, through the independent media, instead of listening to fawning aides. It said: “For example, the country’s ever-creative newspaper cartoonists are already having a field day: In place of the President’s lamentation that he went to school without shoes, Nigerian children are now crying they have no food on their tables.” “In response to the President’s statement that the youth should emulate him, all we see are more youth donning bowler (or is it fedora) hats and the president’s trademark attire; and whereas a few fat-cat politicians and government appointees are savouring their new-found wealth, Nigerians are being crushed by rising costs of living. We hope the President is paying attention.”

He however earlier yesterday confirmed that three soldiers were injured after bombs were thrown at a patrol team. He also did not give details. A series of bomb blasts occurred in the Budum area of the city after which sporadic gun shots were heard in the area. Col. Mohammed confirmed the explosion and the injury to the three soldiers but he did not give the extent of the injuries. Boko Haram wants to impose strict Sharia law across the North, and it rejects the Constitution and the Federal Government. The group was blamed for deadly bomb attacks and ambushes that caused an exodus earlier this month from Maiduguri in volatile Borno State. The group launched an uprising across much of the north in 2009 that was put down by the military in a campaign that killed more than 800 people. Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has proposed amnesty for Boko Haram men to halt the killings.




Falana urges govt to re-introduce People’s Bank


Akwa Ibom ACN appeals tribunal’s ruling

HE Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria By Wale Adepoju sought has occasioned a mis(ACN) and two others have ACTIVIST lawyer Mr Femi carriage of justice to the petiappealed the decision of the Falana has urged the Federal tioners. The holding is perGovernorship Election PetiGovernment to re-introduce verse’’, they argued. tion Tribunal, dismissing its the People’s Bank and also They contended that the tripetition against the declaraestablish the Nigerian Educabunal erred in law when it tion of Governor Godswill tion Bank. held that the petitioners ought Akpabio as winner of the last In a letter to President to have sought for and obelection. Goodluck Jonathan, Falana tained the leave of the tribuACN, its governorship cansaid the nation’s underprivinal to move the application for didate and his running mate, leged could not benefit from issuance of pre-hearing notice. conventional banking because Senator John Akpanudoedehe According to them, applicaand Chief Ime Umanah, in the of their inability to provide tion for issuance of pre-hearcollateral for credit facilities. appeal filed before the Court ing notice is guided by proviHe said this makes the of Appeal, Calabar, argued sion of Paragraph 18 of the People’s Bank necessary to that the tribunal erred in law First Schedule to the Electoral support economic activities. in reaching its decision. Act, 2010 (as amended), saying According to him, the ConIn the notice of appeal filed •Akpabio •Akpanudoedehe Paragraph 47 relied upon by stitution mandates the state to by their lead counsel, Prof the tribunal was totally inapdirect its policy towards Yemi Osinbajo, the appellants tioners’ application for an orFrom Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo plicable to the application for ensuring that the economic raised 10 grounds of appeal. der for the issuance of the presystem is not operated to issuance of pre-hearing notice. They are seeking six reliefs, hearing notice and thus holdtion dated July 11, 2011 on the enrich only few individuals, The appellants faulted the among which is an order aling that the leave of court was ground that they are incombut the entire nation, regardtribunal for setting aside the lowing the appeal and setting imperative to move petitionpetent. less of their status. proceeding of July 5 on the aside the ruling of the tribuers’ application for the comThey faulted the tribunal’s c He noted that the country’s basis that the petitioner did not nal of July 18. mencement of pre-hearing hair for reading a ruling/judgsecularity allowed for nonapply for leave to bring the exThey are also seeking an session. ment that was not authenticatinterest banking, adding that parte application for issuance order that the petitioners’ pe“The case of Okereke v. ed by any of the justices of the licences should be issued to of pre-hearing notice. tition be remitted to the triYar’Adua is not an authority those interested in operating tribunal, stating that Section They said the tribunal has bunal for it to be heard on its for the position that leave of it. 294 (1) of the 1999 Constituno jurisdiction to refuse to ismerit by another panel of Justhe tribunal shall be obtained Falana said the People’s tion (as amended) expressly sue pre-hearing notice within tices. before an application for issuBank of Nigeria Act, Section 2 stipulates that the judgment of time, saying the relevant proThe appellants also want the ance of pre-hearing notice can (2) states that the underprivia court shall be duly authentivision for issuance of pre-hearcourt to set aside the order of be brought and ordered. leged like roadside mechanics, the tribunal affirming the recated. ing notice is paragraph 18 and The appellants also consmall-scale farmers, and They argued that the failure not paragraph 47 of the first turn of Akpabio, as governor demned the tribunal for gratelectricians, among others, of the judges of the tribunal to schedule to Electoral Act, 2010 and its order discharging the ing a substantive prayer not should have access to nonauthenticate the ruling/judg(as amended). order ex-parte made by the trisought for by affirming Akinterest credit facilities to ment in the instant case occaThe appellants also critibunal on July 5. pabio and Ekere as winners of enhance their businesses. sioned substantial miscarriage cised the tribunal for holding They urged the court to hold He berated the government the disputed election. of justice as provided in Secthat there was no application that the petitioners/appelfor its inability to establish “No governorship election tion 294 (5) of the 1999 Constiknown to law for a pre-hearlants’ letter and motion ex-parte Nigerian Education Bank was held in Akwa Ibom State tution (as amended); saying an ing session as at the date the filed for issuance of pre-heardespite enacting the Nigerian on April 12, 2011. The tribualleged ruling/judgment not ruling was delivered. Education Bank Act (Cap N104) ing notice were made within nal has no jurisdiction to grant duly authenticated is not a valThey argued that the tribu2004, adding that in 1993 it was the time prescribed under reliefs not sought by parties. id judgment in law, saying it nal’s reason for its decision is paragraph 18(1) of the First to provide loans to indigent The 1st and 2nd respondents is void. the erroneous conclusion that Schedule to the Act. students pursuing various did not seek relief that elecThey contended that the trino leave was obtained to The appellants are also courses in institutions of tion of the 1st respondent be bunal misapplied the case of move the petitioners’ applipraying for an order striking higher learning. affirmed in their application. Okereke v. Yar’Adua (2008) 12 cation for pre-hearing session Falana said the government out and or dismissing the 1st Granting of the relief not NWLR (pt 1100) 95 to the petiwhich was moved and which and 2nd respondents’ applicadecision to introduce noninterest banking years ago to assist economically disadvantaged people to run their business is marred by religious oath of allegiance on a ed to INEC where Abia said HE Independent NaFrom Yusuf Alli, Abuja controversy, adding that unless member of the National that having been issued tional Electoral fore the Federal High something is done quickly it Assembly is within the certificate of return by the Commission (INEC) Court, Abuja for a stay of may be shelved to detriment of awaiting the decision of the purview of the Clerk to the electoral body, he “must execution of its judgement. the masses. Court of Appeal on who National Assembly, which enjoy the benefits until it The trial judge, Justice was actually the candidate has been done to his (Dan is nullified by a final appelAbdu Kafarati, however, on of the Peoples Democratic Abia’s) opponent under late court.” July 8 rejected Abia’s appliParty (PDP) for Eket/ Section 75(2) of the ElectorThe protest letter from cation. Onna/Esit/Ibeno Federal al Act. Abia made INEC ChairThe judge said since EyiConstituency seat. “This section gives the man, Prof. Attahiru Jega to boh had been sworn in as a Two candidates, Mr. Esright to be sworn-in to a seek legal advice on what By Emmanuel Oladesu member of the House, “the eme Eyiboh and Bassey candidate once he has a to do about the two claimDeputy Political Editor motion itself is of no conDan Abia, a lawyer, are competent order of court. ants to the seat. sequence”. laying claim to the office. “The petitioner claims he Armed with a July 7 leCONGRESS for Progressive Kafarati claimed that alBut the Federal High has appealed, then the gal advice, INEC decided to Change (CPC) vice presidenthough appeal had been enCourt, Abuja on June 1 deCommission and other await the decision of the tial candidate Pastor Tunde tered by Abia, the fact that clared that Eyiboh was the stakeholders will have to appellate on the matter. Bakare yesterday chided Eyiboh had been sworn in valid candidate of the PDP wait for the outcome of his The INEC’s memo reads religious leaders, who have has made the motion for a and not Abia, who was appeal.” in part: “The petition is adopposed the Islamic banking, stay of execution to be purportedly declared the branding them as antiEyiboh, who spoke with dressed to the Clerk to the “overtaken by events.” winner. development elements. our correspondent yesterNational Assembly and the But the battle later shiftHe said the introduction of Abia filed a motion beday, said: “Contrary to a reduty of administering the non-interest banking could not lead to the “islamisation” and “christianisation” of Nigeria, advising them to desist from misleading the public. Bakare told reporters shortly after the weekly Sunday service at his Latter Rain Assembly Church, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos that non-interest banking could galvanise the country and encourage small scale investment. He said that it is worrisome that Christian leaders opposed the new banking system, despite the fact that the Bible is against usury. Bakare said: “They are antidevelopment elements. Why waste energy on trivial things? It is not Islam or Christianity that is the problem.” The cleric said the plan for the non-interest banking has been in the pipeline before the Central Bank Governor (CBN) •Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola flanked by Environment Commissioner Tunji Bello (left), Works Minister Mike Lamido Sanusi got to office, Works Commissioner Dr. Femi Hamzat and Ejike Nngbemena, Lagos State Controller of Works when the stressing that it would operate Onolememen, minister visited Fashola…at the weekend PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES within the ambit of the law.


Islamic banking: Bakare chides religious leaders

•Party alleges ruling not signed by other judges

the tribunal considered and granted on July 5, 2011. “There was a competent valid and proper application filed within time before the tribunal which it considered and granted. The tribunal failed to consider the fact that all parties agreed that pleadings indeed closed on June 27, 2011 and that the petitioners filed both letter and motion ex-parte after the service of their reply with seven days as stipulated by paragraph 18(1) of the Act. “The petitioners’ application for issuance of pre-hearing session moved on July 5, 2011 was valid, legal and consistent with paragraph 18(1) of the schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). The tribunal did not specify which of the petitioners’ letter or motion exparte (both applications dated and filed June 27, 2011) is unknown to law. “The tribunal misconstrued what constitutes an application under paragraph 18(1) (2) of the First Schedule to the Act. The finding is manifestly unsustainable and ought to be set aside,” they argued. They also contented that the tribunal erred in law when it held that paragraph 53(2) of the Schedule does not apply to bar and /or stop the 1st and 2nd respondents from filing their motion to dismiss the petition. “The 1st and 2nd respondent did not file their application to dismiss the petition within a reasonable time after being aware of the alleged defect and had further taken steps in the proceedings within the true and proper meaning of Paragraph 53(2) of the Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).”

INEC awaits Court of Appeal’s decision on Eket seat port, no stay of execution order was issued by the Court of Appeal on the matter. As a matter of fact, only the court of first instance(High Court) issues a stay of execution order. “My opponent sought for a stay of execution order from the Federal High Court and the application was rejected on July 8. “So, it is erroneous to claim that a stay of execution order was served on Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and he refused to comply. “Whoever has a copy of the stay of execution order from the Court of Appeal should produce it.”

NYSC seeks more pay for Corps members


HE National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) yesterday appealed to states and local governments to increase members’ monthly allowances, in line with current realities. Its Director-General BrigGen Maharazu Tsiga made the appeal in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The NYSC in June increased the monthly allowance of Corps members from N9,775 to N19,800. He said: “States and councils should work toward increasing the allowances paid to NYSC members serving under them, in line with current realities.





Court to Okiro: pay monarch N60m From: Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


Mourners at the memorial mass in Oslo Cathedral …yesterday. Inset is Breivik

Norway attacks: the unanswered questions


S Norwegians try to make sense of the terror attacks that killed 94 people on Friday, many questions remain unanswered: Police say Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted responsibility for the bomb and gun attacks, claimed to have acted alone. Investigations are continuing into unconfirmed reports of a second gunman on the island of Utøya and possible connections between Breivik and far-right international groups. The police chief, Sveinung Sponheim, said they were “not at all certain” whether Breivik had acted alone. “That is one of the things that the investigation will concentrate on.” But so far, no evidence has implicated anybody else and police say they have no other suspects at present. Breivik appears to have been a loner with few friends. He was described by Norwegian media as a rightwing fanatic. His father, who lives in France, said he had had no contact with his son since 1995. Comparisons have been drawn with Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people with a truck bomb in Oklahoma City in 1995. Breivik appears to have developed a pathological hatred of the Norwegian “establishment”, principally the political class symbolised by the ruling Labour Party, whose youth camp on Utøya he attacked. His political views were too extreme for the rightwing Progress Party, of which he was once a member. An ethnic Norwegian, he was strongly opposed to government policies favouring multiculturalism. Although an apparent racial supremacist and Islamophobe, he adopted the language of Muslim jihadists. Agencies reported that a video posted on the YouTube website showed several pictures of Breivik, including one of him in a scuba diving outfit pointing an automatic weapon. “Before we can start our crusade we must do our duty by decimating cultural marxism,” said a caption under the video called Knights Templar 2083. The video has been taken down. A Norwegian website has provided a link to a 1,500-page electronic manifesto and a book which

Anders Breivik not Christian but anti-Islam


HE Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who shot dead more than 90 young socialists at their summer camp on Friday, after mounting a huge bomb attack on the centre of Oslo, has been described as a fundamentalist Christian. But he published enough of his thoughts on the internet to make it clear that even in his saner moments, his ideology had nothing to do with Christianity, but was based on an atavistic horror of Muslims and a loathing of “Marxists”, by which he meant anyone to the left of Genghis Khan. Two huge conspiracy theories form the gearboxes of his writing. The first is that Islam threatens the survival of Europe through what he called “demographic Jihad”. Through a combination of uncontrolled immigration and uncontrolled breeding, the Muslims, who cannot live at peace with their neighbours, are conquering Europe. But these ideas, however crazy, are part of a widespread paranoid ideology that links the European and American far-right and even elements of mainstream conservatism in Britain. In an argument on the rightwing Norwegian site, Breivik wrote: “Show me a country where Muslims have lived at peace with non-Muslims without waging Jihad against the Kaffir (dhimmitude, systematic slaughter, or demographic warfare)? Can you please give me one single example where Muslims have been successfully assimilated? How many thousands of Europeans must die, how many hundreds of thousands of European women must be raped, millions robbed and bullied before you realise that multiculturalism and Islam cannot work?”

Breivik was said to have written. “Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike,” the book said. Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said: “He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary.” Police said it took them an hour to stop the massacre on Utøya island, from the moment they were notified of the shootings to the point when they arrested Breivik. “The response time from when we got the message was quick,” Sponheim said after criticism that there had been an unacceptable delay. “There were problems with transport out to the island.” One unanswered question is why police drove, instead of using a helicopter. Utøya island is situated in a lake about 26 miles Northwest of Oslo. It was also unclear whether the

He obsessively posted statistics showing the growth of Muslim populations in Lebanon, Kosovo, Kashmir and even Turkey over the centuries in order to demonstrate the same process was under way in Oslo, as well as in other European cities. The second is the idea that the elite have sold out to “Marxism”, which controls the universities, the mainstream media, and almost all the political parties, and is bent on the destruction of Western civilisation. “Europe lost the cold war as early as 1950, at the moment when we allowed Marxists/anti-nationalists to operate freely, without keeping them out of jobs where they could seize power and influence, especially teaching in schools and universities.” These two grand conspiracies are linked by the “Eurabia” conspiracy theory, which holds that European Union (EU) bureaucrats have struck a secret deal to hand over Europe to Islam in exchange for oil. Such extreme ideas are distributed among far-right blogs across Europe and America. The American antiMuslim agitator Robert Spencer was namechecked when Breivik listed his intellectual influences on, along with a pseudonymous Norwegian who calls himself Fjordman and the equally pseudonymous Bat Ye’or, who invented the Eurabia conspiracy. Spencer, along with his sidekick Pamela Geller, was responsible for the campaign against the socalled “Ground Zero Mosque”. He has also been invited to speak in Sweden by the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat Party.

police had the appropriate equipment and weapons for dealing with a homicidal gunman or gunmen. The government buildings in Oslo appear to have been relatively unprotected compared with their equivalents in London or Washington DC. The bombing and massacre are certain to force a top-level security rethink. Police have not given any details of Breivik’s capture, but said he gave himself up to armed officers when they arrived on Utøya. Breivik seems to have surrendered without a fight and does not appear to have attempted to escape. This suggests he was determined that his actions would have the maximum political impact, including what is certain to be a highprofile trial. Breivik does not appear to have tried to turn his gun on himself, as perpetrators of similar mass killings in the United States (US) and

Britain have done. The initial reaction among Norwegians had been one of shock that such a tragedy could occur in a traditionally peaceful country where crime rates are low – and that the perpetrator was one of their “own”. The sense of national disorientation increased when assumptions that Middle Eastern terrorists or Islamists were responsible proved wrong. Commentators have begun to talk of the attacks as a defining moment for Norway, marking a “loss of innocence”. Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said he was determined Norway would maintain its liberal and progressive traditions. “It’s too early to say how this will change Norwegian society,” he said. He added that he hoped Norway could maintain its open and democratic society. “Those who try to scare us shall not win.”

N Abuja High Court has ordered a former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mike Okiro, to pay Igwe Godwin N. Madu about N60 million with 10 per cent interest from the judgment date. Justice Abubakar Talba gave the judgment in a suit filed by Goddyson West Africa Limited against Okiro and two of his companies-Hekiro Nigeria Limited and INGSOC International Limited. The judge observed that Okiro in his notice of defence admitted to owing the plaintiff the said sum. In an affidavit, Igwe Madu, who is the traditional ruler of EnuguAgu, Achi, in Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State told the court that Okiro bought a landed property on Plot 795 Cadastral Zone B1, Gudu District in 2008 and refused to pay the N60 million balance. He also accused the former IGP of issuing him a dud cheque of N45 million. “That the cheque bounced when I paid it on the ground that there was no sufficient fund in the second defendant account for the transaction”, he told the court, adding that Okiro only came back for renegotiation from the initial N150 million to N133 million after he had instituted a legal action against him. Upon yielding to the request to discontinue the case, the monarch alleged that the former IGP refused to pay again. Narrating his ordeal, Madu informed Okiro had in the past issued him six post-dated cheques of N10 million which he later instructed his bank to stop. The affidavit reads: “That I have travelled from Enugu to Abuja on several occasions to sign the Deed of Assignment but all was in vain as (Okiro) and his counsel have been avoiding. “That the action of the defendants has caused the plaintiff so much financial loss and unless this Honourable Court grants the plaintiff’s reliefs, it will not recover from the damages it has sufferred as a result of the defendant’s action.” In his defence, Okiro, who called the monarch a “fraudster” said he “will disappear into thin air with the money (N60 million) if paid without signing the remaining title documents...” This, he claimed, was responsible for his refusal to pay the balance, adding that he was ready to pay the money once the plaintiff agreed to sign the said documents. In the ruling, Justice Talba ordered the plaintiff to “sign the Deed of Assignment and the application for the minister’s consent upon the receipt of the judgment sum and to acknowledge same in writing. “Both the payment of the judgment sum by the defendant and the receipt of same by the plaintiff are to be done through the Chief Registrar of this court”, the judge ruled.

62 institutes for CMB training From: Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


HE Centre for Management Development CMD has commenced the training of 62 institutes of management. The move is to address skill shortages and mismatch identified by the Federal Government. The Director-Genenal of the Centre, Dr. Kabir Usman said the training will address skill gaps that were identified during accreditation of the institutions across the country.



NEWS Gaidam swears in new SSG, others

NASFAT urges Fed Govt to strengthen security

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

YOBE State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has sworn in a new Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Babagoni Machina. He also swore in the Grand Khadi, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmad, and executive chairman, Yobe State Pilgrims Board, Mallam Ibrahim Usman Al-Arab. Gaidam said the appointments are keys to his administration’s success, urging the new appointees to live up to the people’s expectations He said: “It’s our prayers that the new appointees will live up to expectation and justify the confidence reposed in them by the government and the good people of Yobe State. We expect them to serve with loyalty, dedication, determination and above all fear of Almighty Allah.” The governor noted that the office of the SSG is the secretariat of the government with the responsibility of coordinating the activities of ministries, boards, departments and parastatals for the smooth administration of policies.

Church rewards teachers, pupils

THE Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos, will tomorrow reward teachers and pupils of some public schools in the area as part of its social responsibility. The event, under the church’s Education Support Project, will hold at Estate Grammar School, Ilupeju. Teachers from six secondary schools in the area will be honoured for their exemplary conducts. Five pupils, who got admission into tertiary institutions, will be given scholarships. The church will present science kits, for teaching core science subjects, to three junior secondary schools in the area.

Anglican priest dead VENERABLE Theophilus Akinbobola Olumakaiye is dead. He was aged 90. A native of Idanre, Ondo State, the late cleric served in many churches in the Anglican Communion. He was the former Provost of St Barnabas Cathedral, Ilorin; Archdeacon, St Michael’s Church, Esie, Kwara State; St Peter’s Church, Aiyede Ekiti, Ekiti State; Vicar, All Saints Church, Ogbonkowo, Ondo; and priest, St Barnabas Church, Bromborough, United Kingdom. His son, Humphrey Olumakaiye, and in-law, Dapo Ashaju, were consecrated as bishops of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria. He is survived by Mrs Iyabo Olumakaiye and seven children: Helen, Harriet, Kole, Humphrey, Bukky and Gbolabo. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


• From left: Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako; Minister of Transport, Alhaji Idris Abdullahi; Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Musdafa and others at the turbaning of some prominent Adamawa indigenes in the weekend.

Negligence: Court awards N8.5m damages against teaching hospital


FEDERAL High Court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, has awarded N8.5million damages against the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) for administrative negligence. The hospital’s negligence led to the death of a patient, Ernest Abegunde, its inpatient in 2008. The court ordered that the damages be paid because the family had proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was the hospital’s negligence that resulted in Ernest’s death. A doctor and son of the deceased, Dele Abegunde, sued the UITH, claiming that his father did not die of diabetics, but of negligence caused

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

by the medical team assigned to attend to him. The plaintiff demanded special damages covering medical and funeral expenses as well as general damages covering the agony and pains suffered by the deceased’s family as a result of his death. Justice Olayinka Faaji held that the plaintiff was able to establish that the defendant breached its duty of caring for the deceased. He said this caused the deceased the damages he suffered. The judge said negligence was proved in the medical file

of the deceased, which the plaintiff tendered as evidence. Justice Faaji said in the medical file, the deceased was recorded as a female patient with breast cancer, contraray to its admission as a male diabetic. The judge said the plaintiff was able to prove that the lack of care for the defendant led to the deceased developing bedsores at the defendant’s hospital, a fact he said the defendant did not controvert. He said the plaintiff also proved negligence in the defendant’s lack of records on the deceased, saying he established that the deceased died on March 26, 2008, and not on April 26 in the hospital’s

record. Justice Faaji ruled that “lack of proper keeping of medical record is a clear evidence of negligence”. He ordered the defendant to pay the plaintiff N3.5million as special damages and N5million as general damages. Counsel to the plaintiff Omotoyosi Osunwumi praised the judge for a “well considered judgment”. Counsel to the defendant Yahaya Saadu also thanked the judge for the judgment. Dele Abegunde said the prime interest of the deceased’s family was not in the damages but in fighting against negligence in the treatment of patients.

HE Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) has urged the Federal Government to strengthen its security network and adopt reconciliatory efforts to tackle security challenges in the country. Addressing reporters at the end of the 2011 National Women’s Week and fund raising in Abuja, NASFAT branch Chairman, Alhaji Shehudeen Giwa, urged the government to use its intelligence apparatus to unravel the causes and sponsors of violence in Nigeria. He noted that there was need for the government to tackle unemployment and poverty, adding that they “are giving room for people to be easily manipulated”. Besides, Giwa urged the government to dialogue with the Boko Haram sect and other aggrieved groups in the country “if it is reasonable and within the purview of national security. People go to war and still come back to talk peace.” He identified suspicion and intolerance among people of different faiths as issues that should be addressed by religious leaders to boost peace and unity in the country. On the theme of the celebration: Muslim Women in Leadership: Opportunities and Challenges, the cleric urged women in leadership positions to brace up for the challenge of moulding the society by demonstrating values, commitment, hard work, transparency and selfless service. Giwa said: “Women have a greater responsibility of moulding the society. It is the greatest role placed on them by God.”

ACN candidate appeals tribunal judgement in Gombe


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) House of Representatives’ candidate in Balanga/ Billiri Federal Constituency, Gombe State, Yila Yaro Mustapha, has appealed the judgement of the Legislative House Election Petition Tribunal, which dismissed his petition against the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislator,

From Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

Manu Yususf. In a unanimous judgment delivered by tribunal Chairman Justice A. Kakaan, the tribunal held that the petition of the ACN candidate complaining of his unlawful exclusion and that of his party by the Independent National Electoral

Commission (INEC) from the election was a pre-election matter. The petitioners said they were unlawfully excluded from the poll, but PDP and the INEC argued that the basis of the exclusion was because ACN did not conduct primaries in nominating its candidates in Gombe State. Counsel to the ACN Luka

Haruna, argued that the party’s candidates were duly nominated during the primaries conducted in the constituencies and led evidence on that premise. The tribunal held that unlawful exclusion is a pre-election matter, adding that the tribunal was not the proper avenue to argue on it. The tribunal did not

make any pronouncement on the contention of the petitioners that Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, 2010, is unconstitutional for empowering INEC to disqualify a candidate and his party for not holding a party primary. The petitioners said they would appeal the judgment, arguing that the decision was against the law.

Boko Haram: IGP Ringim shuns reporters at parade


NSPECTOR-General of Police Hafiz Ringim shunned reporters at the passing out parade of cadet officers at the Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State, at the weekend. The reporters had planned to ask the IGP at the Officers’ Mess. But Ringim, who had entertained questions from reporters at the Academy’s Officers’ Mess, after the passingout parade in February, drove off to an unknown destination immediately after the ceremony. It was gathered that the IGP’s action was not unconnected with his alleged utter-

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

ance in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, over the Boko Haram sect. Ringim had been quoted as saying “the days of Boko Haram are numbered”. Security was strengthened at characterised the passing-out parade of 419 cadet officers, ostensibly to forestall possible Boko Haram attacks. As early as 6am, fiercelooking police officers had been drafted to the main gate of the Academy, where they screened visitors, relatives and friends of cadet

officers. Vehicles were prevented from entering the premises. They were ordered to park on the highway, and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) was stationed in front of the gate to ward off vehicles. About five luxury buses were used to ferry people from the entrance of the Academy to the parade ground, after they were screened by officials of the Anti-Bomb Squad. The tight security may not be unconnected with the fact that Wudil, the host town of the Police Academy, is the base of Boko Haram in Kano

State, where a mosque and the home of one of the leaders of the religious sect were demolished in 2009 on the orders of former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau. Amid the heavy security, the colourful parade ceremony went on without hitches. In attendance were Kano State Deputy Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, top security chiefs and traditional rulers. Ringim urged the cadet officers to shun corruption and uphold patriotism, selflessness and service to humanity. He said: “Having im-

bibed this training, you are to uphold the highest levels of discipline and loyalty in the most professional manner. “As you go into the public, you have the duty to serve and protect the public with dignity and courage. Democratic policing upholds the rights and privileges of the citizenry whom you must treat with all courtesy, respect and civility in the performance of your duties.” The graduating officers consisted 207 cadet Inspectors and 212 cadet Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs).




I’ll complete projects, says Mimiko


NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko at the weekend pledged to continue to take decisions that would benefit the people. Mimiko assured that nothing would dissuade him from making Ondo the pride of its people.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

He promised that all ongoing projects would be completed. The governor said this in Ondo during a thanksgiving and reception programme in honour of Dr. Joseph Akinlaja.

Tinubu, others for Faleti’s 80th birthday


• The widow, Mrs . Kuburat Abaniwonda (second right) and her daughters Omoyosola (left); Omorinsola (second left) and Omodasola at the eighth day Fidau for the late politician Mustain Abaniwonda... yesterday in Lagos

Lion scare grips Ibadan residents


ANY residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were in panic over the rumour that two lions had escaped from the zoological gardens of the University of Ibadan. A text message, which was also relayed on BlackBerry phones to many residents, stated that the two lions escaped on Saturday after injuring two guards. Another was said to have been killed. It added that Dr Fakayode of the Anthropology Department sighted the animals on

•UI : it’s all lies From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

Tech Road and reported to security men on the campus. The message cautioned residents and those with relatives on campus to warn their loved ones to stay away from the road. But the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the institution, Mrs. Joke Akinpelu, denied the rumour. She said the six lions in the

gardens were safe. The PRO added that no guard was injured or killed. Mrs. Akinpelu said the institution had gone on the local media to deny the rumour as soon as it got to the knowledge of the management at the weekend. She said: “There is nothing like that. Some people just like causing confusion. Immediately the rumour got to us on Saturday, I confirmed from

Ogun to move trailers from expressway HE Ogun State Government is to provide a park for trailers on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. This followed the acquisition of a site at the Sagamu Interchange, which had earlier been occupied by the Reynolds Construction Company (RCC). In a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the government said: “The LagosIbadan Expressway has become a major weak link in our national road network. The road now constitutes a major menace to its users, both residents and travellers. “It is to solve the problems and make life easier for all that


the government found a disused site around the Sagamu Interchange, which had earlier been occupied by the RCC. “The site which is situated within two kilometre global acquisition on the LagosIbadan Expressway will eliminate the public nuisance constituted by trailers and petrol tankers, which are usually parked along the expressway. It should be noted that the said parcel of land was already under government acquisition and therefore its being designated as a trailer park is in public interest. “The government has found that a private company submitted application for the use of the same site on April 20

and the application was approved. “But, there is no record that the company had either furnished consideration nor fulfilled other pre-conditions necessary for it to take full possession. “By operation of law, title cannot pass if there is failure of consideration. Therefore, any claim by any individual or company to the parcel of land is without basis. “The government wishes to assure residents that it will always act in the overall general interest, take decisions that will improve on the their general well-being and continue to deliver on its electoral promises.”

PDP crisis: Oyinlola, Ogundokun reconcile PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Osun State, Chief Abiola Ogundokun, has reconciled with former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola. After a peace parley initiated by some PDP loyalists and Oyinlola’s brother, Adetoyese, Ogundokun said peace must reign in the PDP. Ogundokun and Oyinlola were quarrelling over alleged unwholesome running of the party. The duo parted ways when Ogundokun resisted Oyinlo-


From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

la’s alleged use of the party’s machinery to appropriate elective positions to himself and his cronies. Realising the need to close ranks and redeem the chances of the party, Oyinlola met Ogundokun and apologised to him at the meeting. “I have no alternative than to forget the past and forgive him, more so that life is lived forward, not backward. “After all, as a foundation member of the party and an elder statesman I should al-

Osun receives indigenes from Borno From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


VER 60 displaced indigenes of Osun State at the weekend returned from trouble spots in Borno State. The government has assured them of protection. Receiving them at the Governor’s Office in Abere, Osogbo, Deputy Governor, Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori said government plans to resettle them in their communities. She advised them to provide the state with information on any of their people who might still be trapped in any part of the troubled zones.

ways think of how to harmonise conflicting interests and bring everyone together in the interest of the party, Osun State and the nation. “Having listened to Oyinlola’s defence, he must have been misled by a gang of selfish conspirators, particularly among the party executives and the sit-tight agents of destruction. “I am delighted that Oyinlola’s eyes are now than open and the simplicity in which he has accepted his mistakes really impressed me. He has promised to work with others in making the party great again in the state,” Ogundokun said. Ogundokun enjoined members of the PDP in Osun State , who might have wronged their colleagues to emulate Oyinlola’s example and approached them for forgiveness, adding that all aggrieved members should also bury the hatchet and learn to forgive in the interest of peace and progress of the party.

the Director of the zoo, who said the news was false. “The university has six lions and the six are in their cages as I am speaking to you now. No lion escaped and nobody was injured or killed. “Immediately the rumour broke, we quickly sent a news item to the state broadcasting television station and it was being relayed, dispelling the information as mere rumour. “We hereby call on the public to be rest assured and go about their duties normally without any fear of attack from any imaginary lion, as the rumour is untrue.”

ATIONAL Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is among eminent Yoruba leaders scheduled to grace the two-day events marking the 80th birthday of Alagba Adebayo Faleti. Tinubu is to deliver a public lecture titled: “Igbiyanju Alagba Adebayo Faleti l’ori itesiwaju asa ati ise Yoruba” at the Institute of Language Arts, the University of Ibadan by 11 am on Thursday. Also expected are Governors of Lagos, Osun and Oyo states, Babatunde Fashola

By Eric Ikhilae

(SAN), Rauf Aregbesola and Abiola Ajimobi. Others are former Oyo State Governor Lam Adesina and founder, African Refugee Foundation (AREF) Segun Olusola. The event is being organised by a group, the Grand Council of Yoruba Youths (GCYY) and the Faculty of Arts, U.I. A statement by Prof Adedotun Ogundeji of the Faculty of Arts, U. I. and Awa Bamiji of GCYY said the second day will feature a film show at the Trenchard Hall at 6pm.

Lagos warns traders


RADERS in Lagos State have been warned to stop indiscriminate dumping of refuse. Special Adviser to the governor on Central Business District (CBD) Mrs. Derin Disu gave the warning at the weekend when she visited some markets. Disu, who was accompanied by the Managing Director of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) Mr. Ola Oresan-

By Miriam Ndikanwu

ya, condemned the indiscriminate dumping of refuse by traders, especially at Lagoon Plaza and the Union Homes Plaza on Nnamdi Azikiwe Street . She directed the market leaders to arrest the situation or face appropriate sanctions. “I expect traders in this plaza and other markets to bag their waste and give them to waste collectors.”



NEWS Whereabouts of kidnapped council chief unknown HE Ebonyi State Police Command has said the whereabouts of abducted Ebonyi council boss and Chairman of Ebonyi Coordinators’ Forum Nwode Eche is not yet known. Eche, who is the Coordinator of Ikwo Development Centre in Ikwo Local Government and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was abducted on Friday in Abakiliki. Police spokesman John Eluu spoke in Abakiliki yesterday. He assured that the police


From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakiliki

would fish out perpetrators of the crime. Three coordinators of Development Centres were kidnapped by gunmen in Afikpo-South Local Government in March. Thirty million naira was reportedly paid to secure their release. Gunmen had on June 7 abducted the member representing Ikwo South constituency Chike Imo Ogiji. Eche’s abduction brings to 11 the number of PDP chieftains abducted this year.

Nsukka heist: Police recover N62.5m


HE Ebonyi State Police Command has recovered N62.5 million from a 12- man robbery gang that robbed a bullion van belonging to a first generation bank at Nsukka, Enugu State. Sixty-eight million naira was reportedly carted away

by the hoodlums. Police spokesman John Eluu spoke at a news conference in Abakiliki. Eluu said the police killed two members of the gang and recovered the money from the bullion van. He said: “The command has recovered N62.5 million of the N68 million

carted away by a 12- man armed robbery gang that robbed a bullion van belonging to a first generation bank at Nsukka on Friday. Two Inspectors of Police were killed. Ebonyi State Police Commissioner Dippo Ayeni confirmed the recovery of the money.

Ayeni said the hoodlums were intercepted by police men from Enugu and Ebonyi states. He said the police also recovered GPMG rifle, bus, Mercedes Benz car and a dead goat. Ayeni assured on the protection of lives and property of the citizenry.

Commission on Bakassi Peninsula to wind down From Dele Anofi, Abuja


HE Nigeria-Cameroun Mixed Commission established in 2003 to implement the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on boundary dispute and other issues, would wind up its activities by November next year, it was learnt at the weekend. The Federal Government has, however, reiterated its determination to support the work of the commission to sustain the cordial relationship between the two countries. Vice President Namadi Sambo, speaking at the 28th session of the commission in Abuja at the weekend, said the resolution of the Bakassi Peninsula issue was a practical demonstration of African brotherhood. He said the two countries have shown that dialogue and negotiation remain the most effective means of resolving crisis.

AUCTION!! AUCTION!! AUCTION!! At the instance of the Govt House Umuahia. There will be Public Auction sales of her unserviceable materials, Equipment, vehicles plants and disused obsolete store items. Date: Thursday 28th July, 2011. Contact: Auc. Mazi Silas Offor. SAIKY ENTERPRISES. Umuohu Okpula Ndume Ibeku Umuahia North LGA, Abia State. Phone: 08068026470 / 08120135667. Dated 20th July 2011

•END OF THE ROAD: A Toyota Camry climbed a tricycle after an accident in Umuahia...yesterday


Abia‘ll pay minimum wage, says Orji


O V E R N O R Theodore Orji of Abia State has reiterated his promise to pay the national minimum wage. Orji dismissed allegations that his earlier promise to pay the minimum wage was an electoral gimmick to secure the peoples votes. He said: “The insinuation that my promise to pay the minimum wage was an electoral gimmick to secure the

‘It is indecent to begin to aver that the governor will not pay the minimum wage’ peoples votes is the vituperation of detractors .

The governor’s stand on national issues has become a reference point. He is the only governor who kicked against removal of oil subsidy. He was the first to declare that he would pay the minimum wage as well as called on President Goodluck Jonathan to avert the planned NLC strike. I have no reason not to pay the minimum wage since President Jonathan had acceded to The Governors’

Forum demand to review the revenue allocation formula as well as revert to modalities suitable to the peculiarities of each state. “It is indecent to begin to aver that the governor will not pay the minimum wage. “The governor would uplift the living standard of the people.The governor wishes to assure Abians that he would push for upward review of the minimum wage.”

Aviation Minister assures of improved facilities


INISTER of Aviation Stella Adaeze Oduah has promised to improve facilities at the nation’s airports. Oduah spoke after her assessment of facilities at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport in Owerri, Imo State.

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

She described the airport as strategic in the Southeast. The minister, who came with a chartered helicopter, inspected the departure hall, arrival hall, luggage room and the VIP lounge. She observed that the air-

port should not be allowed to die because it plays “very important and strategic role in the Southeast and complements Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom airports.” “The airport is doing well in the region. It complements Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom airports. It is

strategically located. “The economic development that this airport would bring to the region is huge, we must make it work”, she said. She assured that Governor Rochas Okorocha would partner the ministry to improve facilities at the airport.

Buhari won’t quit politics, says CPC chair


ATIONAL Chairman of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Tony Momoh has said former military Head of State and presidential candidate of the party Gen. Muhammadu Buhari won’t quit politics. He dismissed allegations that Buhari was through with politics, saying the former military leader would rule the country better than any other presiden-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

tial candidate. Momoh said the CPC would triumph over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the April 16 presidential election at the tribunal. He said: “Buhari is the only person in Nigeria today who can rule this country. There is no other person. So, if you have such a person around there would be equity, stability and pros-

perity. “We want to secure Nigeria and anybody interested in securing Nigeria will normally have sympathy for CPC. “Anybody who wants to stabilise Nigeria will have sympathy for us. So, we are not frightened by what people say about the CPC when Buhari leaves. “CPC is the only party that is ideologically based. We are the party that believes Nigeria cannot work without restructuring


and it is there in our manifesto.”

NAFDAC spends N500m on fake drug dealers


IRECTOR- General of the National Agency for Food, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr Paul Orhii has said the agency has spent about M500million in the

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

last two years to prosecute suspected fake drug dealers. He spoke in Makurdi ,Benue State, after an award by Nigerian Tribune.

Orhii said the agency now has a committee to review its law to conform with present realities. He advocated the death sentence for fake drug manufacturers. He said the committee

might recommend life in prison for offenders. The NAFDAC boss said the agency has created desk offices in the local governments and solicited the assistance of the council chairmen.





NEWS Bible Society celebrates King James version

FCTA to sue Ahmadu Alli’s wife for alleged assault

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

From Toony Akowe, Kaduna

THE Bible Society of Nigeria will mark 400 years of the translation of the Bible to the King James Version (KJV) on November 22 and 23 in Kaduna. Over 10,000 Christians are expected to attend the anniversary. Inaugurating the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Coordinator of the celebration Rev. Olawale Akoshile said Lagos, Enugu and Port Harcourt had hosted the celebration, adding that the northern events would hold in Kaduna and Abuja. Akoshile said though there had been other translations, the King James Version remains the most accepted. The cleric said the KJV was first published in 1611, followed by a new edition in 1631. He said a major error led to the withdrawal of over 33,000 copies, which had gone into circulation. Akoshile said the first copy of the English translation of the Bible, called the Geneva; the Royal Bible, which precedes the King James Version; a copy of the Evil Bible and other Christian artefacts that Nigerians spend millions of dollars to see in Museums abroad, would be displayed at an exhibition during the celebration. The LOC is headed by the Chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and organised under the auspices of the Bible Society of Nigeria and the West Africa Christian Theological Seminary, Lagos.



HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will, this week, sue the wife of former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs. Maryam Ahmadu Alli, for alleged assault. Mrs. Alli reportedly beat up some officials of the FCT Development Control Unit last week when they attempted to demolish a fence in her residence. Also, Association of Professional Bodies has said it would petition President Goodluck Jonathan and join the FCT Administration on its legal action on Mrs. Ahmadu Alli. The Director, Department of Development Control, Yahaya Yusuf, who received officials of the group at the weekend in Abuja, said the department had evidence of notices served on Mrs. Alli’s property at Plot 1316, Asokoro District, before last week when the demolition team went there to remove the obstructing property. Yusuf said his department lodged a formal complaint to the FCT Police Command on Mrs Alli’s attack in which a policeman had a broken arm.

He said he had forwarded a detailed report of the incident to the FCT Minister Bala Muhammed in preparation for a legal action. Yusuf said contrary to the insinuations that the house was pulled down because it was on a water line, the rebuilding of the property after it had been pulled down for contravening the law, was the main issue. According to him, the structures were developed without approval, contrary to Mrs. Alli’s claim that she got approval from the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS). He said: “Unlike the notion that the department removed a section of Mrs. Ahmadu Alli’s house, for being on water line, the actual reason was the redevelopment of the once removed property into a wrong

‘The action of this nature must not be allowed to pass; we must obey the rule of law. We have to discuss at our various councils and take appropriate actions, which may include petitioning Mr. President. set of uses: for commercial purposes such as shopping, boutique, offices and particularly a hotel, against the master plan’s designation of the place for residential use. The area has a respected member of the diplomatic community

as resident.” Yusuf said the attack on him and his officials was not unusual, adding that illegal developers in the FCT have often used the Judiciary and antgraft agencies to stall the department’s enforcement of its mandate. President of Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC) Allabeh G. Ndirmbula noted that the type of face-off between the FCTA and Mrs Alli could be avoided if aggrieved parties took their cases to the Urban and Regional Planning Tribunal. He said the tribunal had resolved many cases bordering on similar disputes. Ndirmmbula said: “To assault people, break someone’s arm and tear people’s clothes, I think, is a serious act; it is a criminal act. It amounts to ter-

rorism, because they (aggressors) came here to terrorise the workers.” Insisting that the matter must not be swept under the carpet, the TOPREC President said the association would stand up to fight what he described as “a gross misconduct”. He said: “The action of this nature must not be allowed to pass; we must obey the rule of law. We have to discuss at our various councils and take appropriate actions, which may include petitioning Mr. President. It will also include joining the department and the FCT Minister in the case. It could also mean going public on the matter, that is, the court of public opinion.” Ndirmbula noted that if Mrs. Alli’s action was unchallenged, it would amount to making a mockery of the Department of Development Control, the FCT Administration and the Presidency.

PDP factions clash over councillorship position


ELEGATES from different factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the council primaries in Chanchaga Local Government, Niger State, at the weekend clashed over the party’s ticket for the October 8 council elections. Some faction members were injured in the clash. An eight-year-old boy, who had machete cuts on his neck and back. He was rushed to the Minna General Hospital for treatment. The incident turned Kwasau Primary School, venue of

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

the election, into a battle ground. Residents near the school scampered for safety and shop owners hurriedly closed for the day. The Nation gathered that the Saturday clash was the climax of the battle for supremacy between the two factions. One of the factions reportedly supported the return of Suleiman Umar Arah, the incumbent councillor for Limawa ‘B’ Ward, and the other rooted for Mallam Aminu Garba in the same ward.

Tension mounted when Arah, who had reportedly been accused of not representing the interest of the ward in the last four years, declared his intention to contest the councillorship. Garba’s supporters vowed to ensure his success and prevent Arah from getting the party’s ticket at the election which held in 274 wards. Some armed youths, who were in support of one of the candidates, stormed the venue in a Volkswagen Golf car and an 18-seater bus. They wielded machetes, cudgels and knives.

But they were resisted by the other faction. This led to the bloody confrontation. It was gathered that the distress calls by the residents to Police headquarters, some metres from the election venue. Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Richard Oguche, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), told The Nation on phone that he had not got details of the clash but said a detachment of policemen sent to the venue was able to forestall breakdown of law and order.





There is a problem: Fiscally, this is not sustainable. Nigeria is eating beyond its means. While we smile as we eat rice every day, Nigeria rice farmers cry as the import undermine domestic production. This must stop. We must accelerate domestic rice production and improve on processing to meet quality standards. Minister of Agriculture Dr Akinwumi Adesina

Naira eases on high dollar demand

CBN may raise rate as experts differ



HE naira eased slightly against the dollar at the interbank market last Friday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) failed to meet all demands for the greenback at its bi-weekly auction, traders said. The naira eased to N152.30 to the dollar after opening at N152.12 last Friday, although it remained broadly flat this week. Traders said Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) sold $15 million on Thursday, but it was not enough to lift the local currency after the CBN failed to meet demand for $362 million at its Wednesday auction. It sold only $250 million at N150.40. Banking sources said the CBN may increase the amount lenders can sell to Bureau De Change to $500,000 to channel some of the unmet demand, after limiting it to $250,000 in the wake of national elections in April. Traders say naira quotes at the CBN auction and interbank market are beginning to converge, meaning that most people would prefer to go to the regulator for better rates, leading to a spike in demand at the auction. The naira is expected to firm up next week due to month end dollar sales from oil companies and trickles of foreign inflow into the bond market as real interest rates get closer to positive territory. “Foreign investors are coming into the bond market, but we thought we would see a steady inflow of dollars ... to cater for some of the demands,” one dealer told Reuters. The banking watchdog lifted a requirement for foreign investors in government debt to hold their positions for at least one year, a move which it anticipated will bring inflows into the bond market and increase demand for the local currency.

NALYSTS are divided on whether the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will raise its benchmark interest rate (Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) when its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets in Abuja today and tomorrow. Majority, however, supported a rise in the interest rate, which has been jacked up thrice this year as the apex bank continues to battle inflation, which dropped to 10.2 per cent last month. The MPR was raised by 50 basis points to eight per cent last May. The key borrowing and lending rates climbed by the same amount to six per cent and 10 per cent, while the reserve requirement on banks was increased to four per cent from two per cent with effect from June 8, 2011 to align with the next reserve averaging maintenance period. The MPR is the interest rate at which the banking watchdog lends to commercial banks, while the CRR is the proportion of banks total deposits held in cash balance with the CBN. While eight analysts at Standard Chartered Bank, Morgan

• Eight support increase By Ayodele Aminu, Group Business Editor

Stanley, Access Bank, First Bank, First City Monument Bank, Vetiva, Standard Bank, Renaissance Capital and those that spoke with Reuters expect rate to be raised, the Managing Director of Financial Derivatives, Bismark Rewane, thinks otherwise. ‘’There is every indication that interest rates will inch up by at least 25 per cent and that will lead to a re-pricing of bond yields across all maturities,”one dealer told Reuters. Headline inflation fell to 10.2 per cent year-on-year in June from 12.4 per cent in May, which could encourage MPC members to pause monetary tightening. However, Nigeria’s inflation figures are volatile and members may be looking for a more sustained decline, Reuters said. The CBN will be eyeing the impact increased liquidity flows could have on inflation after Nigeria distributed a record N1.3 trillion to the three

tiers of government in June, more than double the previous month. “The expected implementation of the new minimum wage, evidence of large liquidity in the banking system, expected continued high price for crude oil on the global market and possible removal of fuel subsidies ... are all expected to influence the MPC,” said Kayode Akindele, partner at Lagosbased advisory firm JMH-TIA Capital. Former World Bank Managing Director Ngozi OkonjoIweala is expected to be appointed as the new finance minister and she has already made strong comments about the need for a tightening in government spending, but the impact of any changes are likely to be longer-term, Reuters said. It also noted that naira’s appreciation supports the argument for leaving rates unchanged, but US dollar demand remains robust. “Even though the naira has been firmer in recent weeks,

demand for foreign exchange remains elevated and foreign capital is unlikely to really start flowing in until positive real rates are achieved,” said Alan Cameron, London-based economist for Nigerian stockbroker CSL. Institution forecast: First Bank +50 bps, RenCap +50 bps, Access +25, FCMB +50 bps, Vetiva Capital +25 bps, JMH-TIA +25 bps, Standard Bank +25-50 bps, Standard Chartered +50 bps and Morgan Stanley +50 bps. Analyst at Standard Chartered Bank also believe the CBN would move up rates because bond yields have declined and the naira has appreciated. “Even with the best fiscal intentions, it may take several months before Nigeria sees meaningful progress in spending cuts. Any new Bill would have to be passed by the National Assembly, before being signed by the President. Deliberations might be lengthy. Moreover, state governments – now forced to implement the new national minimum wage have argued for a change in the revenue sharing formula to allow them to do so. Fiscal pressures appear ‘baked in

NRC introduces services on Kaduna-Kano route By Eric Ikhilae


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

• From left: Mrs. Adelusi Eniola Bamidele, Star Prize Winner (FCT Region) receiving the keys to her new Toyota Corolla car from Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Intercontinental Bank, Mahmoud Lai Alabi and (behind in suit) is Sufiyanu Garba, Regional Director (Government Businesses, FCT) of the bank. With them are Chairman of the occasion, Justice Umaru Kalgo (who is also Chairman, Nigerian Law Reform Commission) and Ijeoma Ekeocha, Regional Director (Non-Government Business FCT) of the bank, at the 1st Intercontinental Bank I-Save, I-Win Promo Zonal Draws for FCT/North Central Regions in Abuja ...last week. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS



-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

the cake’ so to speak – once introduced, it is a difficult task to rein them in, Standard Chartered Bank analyst, Razia Khan said. “But an increased spread between the official and parallel markets raises the risk of ‘roundtripping’, sourcing official funds for onward sales on the parallel market. No system is entirely leak-proof, and sustained pressure on the parallel market suggests there is still a strong need for further tightening in Nigeria. Real interest rates are still negative after all. We would recommend at least a 50 bps tightening, taking the Monetary Policy Rate to 8.5 per cent,” the expert said. But Rewane believes the apex bank should leave the rate unchanged to see whether inflation will subside. “If I were the CBN governor, I would rather wait for one month to see if inflation would subside. It went up in May and came down in June. The CBN can decide to reserve the right to interfere now. After all, interest rate is not the only tool they (CBN) can use, there are others,” he said.

Promasidor to list shares on Exchange ROMASIDOR Nigeria Limited would float an initial public offering (IPO) and list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by 2012 as the company consolidates its position as a one of the leading food and beverages companies in the country. Founder of Promasidor, Mr Robert Rose, at the weekend disclosed the impending conversion of the company to a publicly quoted company. He noted that the underlining corporate philosophy behind Promasidor was commitment to giving values back to the people. Rose said the company would be making additional

Taofik Salako

huge investments in Nigeria through the establishment of a soya-based food drink factory, which would be five times bigger than the current operations of the company in Nigeria. The net proceeds of the IPO would be used to partly finance the new factory. According to him, Promasidor, which plans to sell four billion small sachets of milk this year, would continue to explore opportunities to grow its business in Nigeria by investing in possible local raw materials and production efficiency. Rose described Nigerian

market as “wonderful”, pointing out that the country’s huge population presents enormous opportunity for the company. He, however, decried the neglect of major infrastructure by many African countries which has seen Africa contributing two per cent of world’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) as against its potential of about 25 per cent. He pointed out that there were huge unemployment across Africa but there were also huge resources that could be used to develop the continent into a major segment of the world’ economy. “There are huge opportunities but I believe that there

would be bigger opportunities if we all work to improve infrastructure,” Rose said. According to him, over the next 50 years, the opportunity will be greater in Africa than anywhere in the world because the present fastgrowing economies such as China and other Middle East and Asian countries do not have the kind of huge resources that Africa possesses. Recounting how he started Promasidor against all odds in Kinshasa, Rose reiterated his commitment to helping Africa discover its huge potential, adding that Promasidor is dedicated to improving the lives of everyone.

HE Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said it has started passenger services from Kaduna to Kano. Itintroduced the services last week, starting with trial runs on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays along with the existing schedules for the northern. “The train for now and pending the outcome of final schedule, will depart Kano City by 7.30am for Kaduna Junction. Having reached Kaduna Junction by 1.35pm, the train departs back to Kano City by 2.35pm and arrives by 8.30pm,” David Ndakotsu, NRC’s Assistant Director, Public Relations, said in a statement. He said the running of the train was designed to connect two other trains originating same day from Kafanchan Junction and Minna using the Kaduna junction as hub. “Given the economic activities of the people in the area and the need for an alternative to road transportation, it is assured that the train services will be of immense benefits to the commuting people in this axis and the entire area the trains ply. “The train service will also assist farmers to transport their farm produce to the cities, to stem the rising cost of food stuffs and consumables,” he said. Before now, NRC has successfully provided passenger services in Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Maiduguri, Minna, Ilorin and Jos and would soon resume freight and long distance train services, Ndakotsu added.



BUSINESS NEWS NCIS hails N50b Agric Fund

Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

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

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

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


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

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 11.15 13.15 15.50 18.00

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

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: Tayo Owolabi and Genevieve Ajewole, Abuja


• MD/CEO, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), Mr Bayo Egunbiyi; GMD/CEO Springbank Plc, Mrs. Sola Ayodele and Group Head, Corporate Banking, Joshua Ikioda, during a courtesy visit by the bank’s team to CSCS ... last week. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

SON forecloses deadline extension on substandard goods


HE Director-General, Stan dards Organisation of Nige ria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, has warned manufacturers to adhere to the August 15, this year deadline given to them to stop producing substandard products or face prosecution. In a statement, he said the regulatory agency was magnanimous to have extended the initial June 30 deadline, based on the plea of some importers for more time and others who described their goods as not life-threatening. Insisting that there is no more hiding place for manufacturers, importers and sellers of substandard products in Nigeria, Odumodu warned that the regulatory agency was set to deal with culprits. He said: “After August 15, we will invade the markets and get rid of all substandard products wherever they are found. They would not only be impounded, but their

importers and marketers would be arrested and prosecuted,” he said. The SON boss also reiterated the organisation’s earlier warning that all products coming into Nigeria must, in addition to the prevailing SON conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) certification, also have what was referred to as a Certificate of Free Use (CFU). Stressing that Nigeria is set for an era of Zero- tolerance for substandard goods in the country, Odumodu said the organisation was prepared for the challenges of its new resolve. For desired positive result, he said necessary internal restructuring and reorientation had been done to prepare SON officials for the task ahead, adding that there are incentives to boost their commitment. While admitting that the organisation also harboured some people with dishonest tendencies, he assured that such officials would be shoved out once discovered.

“Since I resumed, I have had to do away with the services of a few people either because of outright dishonesty or questionable conduct,” he disclosed, adding that there would be no room for corrupt SON officials. The SON boss pleaded for the support of all Nigerians in the battle against substandard products in the country, because “it is for the overall benefit of us all”. He regretted that some Nigerians, including wealthy importers, highly placed people and top politicians, would not relent in their attempts at subverting due process in the country by offering financial inducements and boasting about their connections to halt SON’s renewed battle against substandard products in the country. Odumodu reiterated that monitoring of compliance to standards and quality by relevant stakeholders is a top priority of his administration.

India envoy challenges Fed Govt on power


HE Indian Government has urged the Federal Govern ment to see the challenges of Nigeria’s power sector as a battle that must be won to show Africa its capability. A statement from the Head, Media and Public Relations, Mr Greyne Anosike, said this call was made by the Indian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Mahesh Sachdev, when he paid a solidarity visit to the Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji. He said for the long standing relations with India and as two prominent leaders of the Commonwealth, India would do all in her powers to complement the efforts of Nigeria in driving darkness out of the country through what he called “regular

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

gesture of support”. The envoy told the Minister that some quality and credible Indian investors are interested in the privatisation programme in the power sector and pleaded with the Minister to ensure that Indian buyers are favourably considered without distorting the level playing ground mantra of the current administration. Prof. Nnaji in his response assured the High Commissioner that Nigeria had faced enough embarrassment because of her energy crisis and that the time had come to close mark the problems in the sector, which he noted, was more of ineffi-

ciency and maladministration. The Minister said he would not afford to toy with the confidence and trust Mr President, his colleagues in Council as well as Nigerians in general had in him, assuring that as a leader in the sector, he must ensure that inefficiency was addressed through proactive measures. Meanwhile, the Power Minister revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan has recognised the enormity of challenges facing Independent Power Producers in Nigeria and has vowed to address them. Nnaji spoke when he received the executive members of Independent Power Producers Association of Nigeria (IPPAN) led by its Chairman,

Lagos, micro finance banks plan loans for farmers


HE Lagos State government is working with microfinance banks to help farmers have access to loans. The Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, disclosed this during a tour of farms. He said the government is working with microfinance banks to make agriculture a viable business. The government, he said, wants to provide soft loans to peasant farmers in the state at a single digit interest rate to make it easier for them to pay back. Lawal added that only farmers registered as co-operatives would be eligible for the loans. He said the state government

By Daniel Essiet

wants to ensure that many people benefit from the revolving loans. Lawal said the state is ready to support farmers to make production more efficient. He said extension services officials would be trained to teach farmers how to implement new farming techniques that would improve crop yields. The goal, according to him, is to enable farmers to make a living from farming. He said the state is determined to provide incentives to farmers to raise their production. however, the farmers asked for

a favourable price support. So far, the state government has given N500million loans through its Agriculture Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES) , a youth empowerment programme in agriculture based in Epe, Lagos. The Agric-YES loans are given to groups of farmers and are insured by the government’s Agricultural Co-operative Bank. The scheme is a six- month fulltime capacity building project at the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI), Araga in Epe area of the state. It has 320 hectares of land out of which 10 are being developed for the project.

HE National Co-operative In surance Society (NCIS) has commended the Federal Government for the provision of N50billion for the promotion of agricultural development to which cooperative societies are beneficiaries. This was contained in a communiqué released at the end of the event marking the international day of co-operative societies in Nassarawa State. The statement was jointly signed by the society’s President, Jibrin Bala Abuja and secretary, Ambassador Onwuka Okorie. The society also lauded the Federal Government for the provision of $500million for the growing of small businesses across the country, adding that the government should review the policies on the modalities of accessing these funds. The communiqué reads in part: “We want to commend the Federal Government for the provision of N50billion for the promotion of agricultural development in Nigeria which co-operative societies are supposed to be major beneficiaries. That we also commend the Federal Government for the provision of $500million for the development of growing business to which co--operative societies are listed as beneficiaries.” “The Federal Government should review the policy on modalities of accessing these funds so that co-operative societies can access these funds directly through state governments’machinery which are political.” The society urged the Federal Government “to include the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria and its sectoral apexes in the list of fertiliser distribution as this will help the co-operators get fertilisers at reasonable time and enjoy government’s fertiliser subsidy.”

AfDB floats microfinance fund By Daniel Essiet


HE African Development Bank Group (AfDB), in part nership with the Government of Spain, has launched the Microfinance Capacity Building Fund for Africa. The bank said the purpose is to help strengthen efforts in the financial sector that benefit poor and low-income earners in the continent, particularly women and those living in rural areas. Microfinance in Africa has been described as a strategy to promote inclusive economic growth and generate employment. Yet the sector is fragile and its outreach is limited: only one in five households have a deposit account with a regulated financial institution, compared to an average of one-and-a-half in five in other developing regions, and four in five in developed countries. Indeed, the core mission of the Microfinance Capacity Building Fund is to deepen the outreach of the African financial sector by developing inclusive financial sectors that are composed of diverse institutions providing permanent access to a wide and adapted variety of financial services for a broad range of poor and low-income people. The fund will help increase transparency within the microfinance sector, supporting projects in rural areas and empowering women. It will provide technical assistance at three levels: at the micro level to retail institutions, at the medium level to market infrastructure, and at the macro level for legal and regulatory framework and supervision.




Insurers at war against money laundering The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and stakeholders have risen to the challenge of protecting insurance against money laundering. CHUKS UDO OKONTA examines the efforts and strategies adopted to combat the menace.


ACKLING the menace of money laundering has been a challenge to the government and organisations. Over the years, several measures have been initiated to check the activities of individuals who siphon public funds into their personal accounts. Reports have it that billions of naira are being laundered abroad by corrupt individuals, who perpetuate their illicit act through weak links in the financial services sector.

To stall the menace, the government through anti-graft agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have mandated financial services organisations to report transactions within N500,000 for individuals and N10 million for organisations to the agencies to monitor the movement of funds. Aligning with the directive on stamping money laundering from the financial service sector,

NAICOM has issued guidelines that would enable insurance firms to ward-off money launderers from leveraging on their services to perpetuate their illicit act. NAICOM, in a Gazette on AntiMoney Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism, urged insurance operators to be wary of any policy holder who insists on anonymity, reluctant to provide identifying information, or providing minimal and seemingly fictitious information.

Other indications insurers are to watch for are frequent policy surrenders by policy holders, payment of premium and tops ups over and above N500, 000 per person policy. It explained: “A suspicious transaction may be defined as one which is unusual because of its size, volume, type or pattern or otherwise suggestive of known money laundering methods. It includes such a transaction that is inconsistent with a policy holder’s known legitimate business or personal activities or

normal business that lack obvious economic rationale. “Operators should be wary of a request for a purchase of a policy in amount considered beyond the apparent need of the policy holder, frequent policy surrenders by policy holders, policy from a place where he does not reside or is employed, unusual terminating of policies and refunds, frequent request for change in address. Others are borrowing the maximum

•Continued on page 14




Insurers at war against money laundering •Continued from page 13 amount against a policy soon after buying it, inflated or totally fraudulent claims and overpayment of premium with a request for a refund of amount overpaid.” NAICOM urged all insurers and re-insurers to display visibly in all their operation centres nationwide, the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004 regarding their duty to file cash transaction reports (CTRs) and suspicious transaction reports (STRs) with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and copies should be forwarded to NAICOM. ”In line with the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004, it is mandatory for all insurers and re-insurers to identify their customer and their businesses before entering into or establishing any business relationship with the customer.” Customer identification shall be in compliance with the provisions of the Know Your Customers Guidelines (KYCG) issued by the National Insurance Commission and other guidelines/regulations, which may be issued or made by the EFCC from time to time. ”All insurers and re-insurers shall report to the NFIU within seven days any single cash transaction, lodgements or transfer of funds in excess of N1,000,000 or its equivalent in the case of an individual, or N5, 000,000 or its equivalent in the case of a corporate body,” it said. NAICOM noted that failure to file CTR will attract various penalties as contained in the relevant laws, adding that for effective industry compliance, where neither cash transaction in excess of the limit prescribed nor any suspicious transaction is recorded, the insurer or re-insurer in question is nevertheless required to file a nil return monthly to NFIU and copy the Commission. It warned that companies that fail to comply with the regulation on money laundering would pay a fine of N500, 000, adding companies effecting transfers, payment or remittance to foreign insurance companies, re-insurance and other firms must obtain letter of attestation from NAICOM, before consummating such transactions. NAICOM urged operators to pay special attention to large transactions that have no apparent or visible economic purpose. “According to the guideline, insurance companies are required to pay special attention to all complex, unusual large transactions or unusual patterns that have no apparent or visible economic or lawful purpose. Examples of such transactions or pattern of transactions include significant transactions relative to a relationship or transactions that exceed certain limits. “Insurance companies are required to examine as far as possible the background and purpose of such transactions and to set forth their findings in writing. They are to report such to NAICOM. “Noncompliance with any of the provisions stated in the guidelines shall attract a fine of N500, 000 under section 49 of NAICOM Act 1997. This is in addition to any other specific punishment under the provision of the Anti-Money Laundering legislation”. The guidelines warned insurers not to establish a business relationship until all relevant parties to the relationship have been identified and the nature of the businesses they intend to conduct have been ascertained. Commissioner for Insurance Fola Daniel said NAICOM would con-

tinue to keep a tab on the operations of insurers to ensure that they are not used as emissaries by fraudulent individuals to launder stolen money. Daniel, who spoke on the rising level of unethical practices in the industry, urged insurers to uphold tenets of the profession, especially the market agreement entered to sanitise the sector. He said NAICOM is perturbed about the trends in the industry and would continue to discipline errant operators, to ensure that the industry remains afoot. He said violation of a market agreement reached by all insurance companies could be catastrophic as it can result in the abortion of an excellent attempt to self- regulation and discipline by the operators. He stressed that before the ink with which the agreement was written had dried, a portfolio that a group of companies had underwritten and the cover running was purportedly poached by another company, without just cause. “In spite of the agreement to “Consult the Lead” the client was encouraged to transfer the business without payment of premium by our colleagues. The ridiculous thing was that the latter cover was just to run for the remaining 45 days of 2009, with no offer to renew thereafter. “We cannot continue on this path any longer. There must be a change of attitude and behaviour among practitioners. We cannot continue to do the same thing all the time and expect a different result. The future is bright for the industry if only we could be more professional in our approach to the business,” he added. He said to stem the depravity, NAICOM will upscale strict enforcement of the provisions of the Insurance and NAICOM Acts 2003 and 1997 relating to market behaviour. Former Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Wole Oshin, said the introduction of market agreement will help harmonise the rate charge by underwriters, curb rate cutting and bring best practices.He noted that the agreement was introduced by the association to enthrone best practices in the conduct of insurance business by members companies, adding that the agreement represents the modest efforts by the leadership of the association to encourage professionalism, sound ethics and best practices.He appealed to underwriters to adhere strictly to the agreement to ensure quality service delivery to all stakeholders. Director-General, NIA Mr Sunday Thomas, said the association is poised to expel members who do not conform to the stipulated laws of the industry. He said the association has in the past disciplined errant members, adding that members whose activities do not conform to the association tenets would be disciplined. “We have a disciplinary committee for members who discipline errant members. Some members have been suspended and on serious cases, some members have been expelled. Ours is a voluntary association not set-up by the government. If the way a member con-

• Daniel

ducts his affairs is not consistent with the belief of the association, the association has the right to excuse the fellow. If the association sees that what you are doing is not helping the interest of the association, they would ask you to move, which is part of the constitution of the association,” he said. He noted that the association’s market agreement is to ensure sanity on rates has been reviewed, adding that members have been encouraged to adhere to the tenets of the agreement. “The issue of market agreement is not just about rates, but about service delivery. People would have misconstrued market agree-

• Thomas

ment to mean rates. They have actually taken market agreement to be synonymous with rate cutting. It is beyond that, a lot of things are meant to be achieved in the insurance market. I can say the market agreement is working. “We have had interventions in issues that relate to the market agreement. We had an understanding on the perception of our members, hence we had a retreat and the focus of the retreat essentially is to review the agreement and make it more workable. That is exactly what we have done. So far, members are respecting the agreement, we have not had serious complants as we had prior the retreat,” he

‘NAICOM would continue to keep a tab on the operations of insurers to ensure that they are not used as emissaries by fraudulent individuals to launder stolen money’

added. Echoing Daniel on the level of unethical practices in the industry, Head Compliance Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Mr Giwa Sechap, accused insurers on their poor reporting system, adding that insurers are a weak link in the financial services sector. He noted that insurers have poor customers’ identification system and that their reports are often incomplete. Sechap further noted that no insurance firm has ever filed suspicious transaction reports about their customers to the NFIU. He said most firms file their customers’ transaction reports monthly instead of weekly. A former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Victor Odozi, said internal control measures should be put in place to stall the menace, adding that customers due diligence procedures, record keeping and screening and training of staff should be encouraged to keep the industry safe from money laundering.








Can National Assembly create new states? Agitation for the creation of more states will soon take the centre stage when the Constitution Review Committee of the National Assembly is reconstituted.With most of the existing states groaning under crippling wage bills, opinions are divided over the viability and desirability of new states. Assistant Editor GBADE OGUNWALE reports moves by proponents of new states to address the issue.


HE two chambers of the National Assembly are set to reconstitute the Constitution Amendment Committee, either jointly or separately. In the last exercise, there were 88 members in all - 44 each from the Senate and the House of Representatives. One of the issues that have remained on the front burner is the agitation for creation of more states. So far, no fewer than 26 demands for states have been received by the secretariat of the committee. But analysts have continued to argue that adding more states to the existing 36 will amount to creating more economic problems for the country and its people. To them, rather than create more states, concerted efforts should be made to ensure the viability of the existing ones, with the argument that creating additional states will only provide a few political elite with fertile grounds to entrench their political dynasties in the new states. In fact, opponents of the exercise believe that some of the existing states should be merged. To Senator Nimi Barigha Amange who represents Bayelsa East in the last Senate, creating more states would be counter-productive when most of the existing 36 states can’t pay their workers a minimum wage of N18, 000 per month. He, however, made case for the creation of one state for the South East geopolitical zone which currently has five states against other zones with at least six states each. He argued: “Some states just have eight local governments areas and these are the states producing the wealth of the country. Some other states have 44 local governments depending on the wealth from the states that have eight local governments to survive. It is imbalance of the highest order and should be corrected for the sake of equity and fair play. The Southeast has five states instead of six like other regions. In terms of balancing, we can give zone one state to make up its number to six like other areas. But we don’t have more than six states in Nigeria. “The other ones are just glorified local government areas. How do you call yourself a state when you cannot even pay salary of workers without the assistance of the Federal Government? If I have the power, most of these states will be merged. Talking about viability, in the south, you have Rivers, Delta and Lagos states. They have industries and without assistance from the Federal Government they can survive. In the north, you have Kano and Kaduna as the only viable states. They have industries; they can generate funds to run the states. I have checked all these things; we have only six states in the country. Left to me most of the states will be de-listed the way the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wants to de-list some unviable political parties. They are the drain pipe in the country. They are crying that they cannot pay N18, 000 minimum wages; why then do they call themselves states? Another area of the constitution that I regret that we were not able to amend in the last dispensation is fiscal feder-

• Tambuwal


SOME OF THE PROPOSED STATES i. ii iii iv v vi vii. viii ix. x. xi xii xiii

Apa from present Benue State Toru-Ebe from Delta, Edo and Ondo States Ogoja from Cross River State Urhobo from Delta State Minji-Se Ado State Confluence from Kogi Aba from Abia Adada from Enugu State Orashi from Imo State Ugwuaku State Njaba from Imo State New Oyo from Oyo

alism. When you talk about federalism, they are semi-autonomous. They pay tax to the centre. Not the situation where you generate funds, bring to the centre, you share it and then give peanuts to the states”. But three serving senators, Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), Ayogu Eze (Enugu North) and Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South) who are fully involved in the quest, disagree with Amange. Adeyemi argued: “I feel strongly that more states should be created. The existing states did not evolve through any democratic process. They were created by military fiat apparently to pacify some restless elements in the military that were perceived to be creating problems for the military authorities with their ambition to hold political offices. The Nigerian people will continue to agitate for more states to allow them have a sense of belonging. In true federalism, the federating units must have their components based on common nuances, values, cultures and tradition. “Above all, there must be this willingness to be together as a result of their homogeneity.

xiv xv xvi xvii xviii xix xx xxi xxii xxiii xxiv

Ijebu-Remo from Ogun State Ijesha from Osun Oduduwa State from Osun State Ijebu from Ogun State Oluwa from Lagos Kainji from Niger State Edu from Kwara, Kogi and Niger Borgu from Niger State Okun from Kogi Katagum from Bauchi State Southern Kaduna from Kaduna State xxv Oke Ogun from Oyo State xxvi Ibadan from Oyo State

You don’t force people of diverse traditions and cultures to be together in a state and expect them to live in peace and harmony. That is why we have cases of conflicts and communal clashes all over the country. So there is need for the restructuring of the country to reflect and strengthen their common values. That is when we can begin to talk of peaceful co-existence among the federating units. I am also of the strong view that state creation will reduce corruption in the system. In the present arrangement there is so much money at the disposal of states and the Federal Government, thereby hampering devolution of power. Creation of more states will engender a spread of available resources and states will start looking inwards by exploring every available human and material resource in their domains which are now being neglected.” He spoke further: “For instance, we are agitating for a new state out of the present Kogi State. We are looking for a separate state comprising the Yoruba in the West and the Ebira, Ogongo and other groups in the East. The

‘Some states just have eight local government areas and these are the states producing the wealth of the country. Some other states have 44 local government areas depending on the wealth from the states that have eight local government areas to survive. It is imbalance of the highest order and should be corrected for the sake of equity and fair play’

present Kogi State is one of the largest states in the federation. As a matter of fact, the present Kogi State can be split into two or three viable states. I still maintain that the military did not do justice to the state creation exercise.” Echoing Adeyemi’s view, Eze said: “State creation will definitely bring governance nearer to the people and engender even development in the country. Demand for the creation of Adada State is one of the few qualified agitations with overwhelming support from the people of Enugu State, particularly Governor Sullivan Chime. We have already set up a committee to ensure the creation of Adada State to ensure equality in the number of states in each geo-political zone. The state Assembly has even passed a resolution supporting the creation of Adada State. All members of the National Assembly from Enugu State have also resolved to support the creation of the new state and we are all hopeful that it will be actualised”. Lanlehin also advanced his reason for calling for Ibadan State out of the present Oyo State: “I support the creation of new states wholeheartedly, particularly the demand for the creation of Ibadan State. Ibadan remains the only regional capital that has not been constituted into a state. That apart, it meets all the criteria for viability of a functional state. We have the land mass with eleven local governments areas and additional three local governments in Ibarapa. The envisaged Ibadan State has a population of about four million and the required land mass. In terms of economic viability, Ibadan and Ibarapa have both agrarian and industrial potentials including abundant mineral deposits like asphalt, kaolin and other minerals in Akinyele and Lagelu areas. Also, there are vast agricultural potentials and arable land at Ona Ara, Egbeda, Ido with old farm settlements in Ibarapa which used to serve as food providers to a large part of the old Western Region. Of course, there are existing industrial estates at Oluyole, Apata, Eleiyele to provide a wide range of economic activities. Human resources are also in abundance. Similarly, the skill and manpower in educational, technical and manufacturing are there in abundance too. Apart from Lagos, Ibadan is much more viable than other nonoil producing states in the country. It is also near the sea port”. But how viable will the new states be in view of the present economic downturn and financial crunch being experienced across the country? Can additional states survive under the present circumstances where most of the existing ones are groaning under the weight of wage bills and decaying infrastructure? Will the creation of more states not add to the already depleting national resources and overstretched amenities? Senator Adeyemi offers the panacea: “They •Continued on page 18




Despite the praises that his administration has been receiving for giving Ekiti people the fruits of democratic governance, Governor Kayode Fayemi tells Deputy Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU, in this interview, that the full package will soon be unveiled.

Fayemi: Ekiti is building on progressive heritage


ERHAPS, the greatest achievement of the administration is the restoration of peace and harmony. That sense of security, occasionally ruptured by flashes of armed robbery in few towns, has its foundation in the growing legitimacy of government flowing from popular consent. Unlike the previous seven years, the blood of the people flow in the veins of Fayemi Administration. Since the government of the people is in place, expectations are predictably high. Ekiti State is a marginalised state. The proof is the lack of federal government presence in the ‘Fountain of Knowledge’. Many people could not even distinguish those federal roads, which are death traps, from the intra-state roads, which are the concerns of the state and local government. Ekiti is not an industrial hub. Its poverty is underscore by two factors. The federal allocation is a patience, which is hardly enough to foot bills in the civil service state. In addition, internally generated revenue is tall ambition as city and rural dwellers erroneously perceive the essential duty as modern enslavement. Many observers therefore, believe that governance in Ekiti is an uphill task. The onus is on Kayode Fayemi, development expert and governor of the agrarian state, to take the bull by the horn. Governance in the hilly enclave is not a tea party because, in spite of the dearth of resources, indigenes are never ready to accept complaints from progressives in power. That is why the governor, who has mapped out an eight-point agenda for the state, is not relenting in bridging the loopholes. Theft and graft is becoming a thing of the past. There is also a concerted war against wasteful spending, political terrorism, wrong prioritisation and ‘business as usual’, which were the hallmarks of the sacked Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governments in the state be-

tween 2003 and 2010. At the recent anniversary of Ekiti Parapo, Lagos State branch, indigenes reflected on the task of re-building the state in the post-liberation war period. At the ceremony, which held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, were eminent sons of the soil. They included former military governor of the defunct Western State Major Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), former Governor Niyi Adebayo, his wife, Angela, former Military Governor Kayode Olofinmoyin, Senator Femi Ojudu, House of Assembly Speaker Dr Wale Omirin, his deputy, Hon. Orisalade, frontline pharmacist, Chief Julius Adeluyi-Adewusi, Prof. Akin Oyebode, Mr Dare Ojo, Femi Orebe, and Asiwaju Bolarinde. Former Interim Secretary for Health, Adeluyi-Adelusi, who shared the occasion, said that, Ekiti is lucky to have at the helm of affairs a young man bubbling with bright ideas and patriotic feelings. “We do have a trusted leadership in Ekiti now; a leadership people can identify as epitomised by our governor. Ekiti is the fountain of knowledge and the governor is the bacon”, he said, hailing the governor’s past scholarly pursuits as a researcher in war studies, civil-military relations, democratisation and good governance. The former minister identified the challenges that would inevitably confront the government. All the sectors are in a state of decay. Adelusi, a native of Ado-Ekiti, pointed out that education was the pride of the state. He said the government must restore order into a state of pandemonium. In the Ekiti elder’s view, the state must return to its cherished values of brilliance, ingenuity, creativity, professionalism and integrity, adding that the core issues of infrastructural dilapidation and poverty should be tackled. The state is necessarily polarised by politics. This is worrisome to Adelusi, who is not a partisan politician. He called for unity in a state utterly divided by the fierce struggle for power and kinsmen’s prejudice dictated by politi-

•Dr Fayemi

cal antagonism. Then, he suggested that Ekiti must look for the best to run its affairs, irrespective of differences. Adelusi said: “Ekiti must immediately embark on sowing the seeds of accommodation, reconciliation, brotherhood and harmony”. His assumption is that, since no one has complete understanding and solution to the problems confronting the state, government and people must build bridges of understanding and friendship. “Ekiti should embark on collective, collaborative strategy. In Ekiti, we all have different views. The governor is young and dynamic. He must harness the diverse opinions in the state”. He added: “We should use oursearchlight to discover talents and nurture them, irrespective of political divides. We must work for a common destiny for our group interest. Ekiti can peculiarly become a success, if we pull ourselves together. Ekiti is

not a footnote in Yoruba affairs. but we must help ourselves”. Adelusi lamented the lack of strong financial base. But he also chided people of affluence for not doing enough for the state in terms of grooming or mentoring the youths. Every state has its icons. Adelusi said that, in Ogun, there was Obafemi Awolowo, in Oyo, there was Ladoke Akintola, in Osun, there was Bola Ige and Ondo produced Adekunle Ajasin. “In Ekiti, which one are we going to mention?”, he queried. “There are many good people in Ekiti. They go away unhonoured, unsung”, he fumed. The governor does not take responsibility for this neglect. His pre-occupation now is the work of development. He told the gathering that his government is up and doing. And he tendered evidence. Fayemi said the infrastructure battle was being fought, adding that Ado-Itawure road, a federal road which used to be a death trap, was being tarred, following an appeal to FERMA and Federal Ministry of Works and substantial contribution by the state government. The governor acknowledged that “we are indeed, at a crossroad” because there was never a time a government was facing the challenge of high expectation like this. he explained that this has been compounded by the fact that people, who are aware of the lack of resources, are eager for great results, including good education, healthcare, modernised agriculture, infrastructural development, improvement in tourism and job creation. Fayemi said that he and members of his team were ready for the task, having had enough tutorials, stressing that the regime does not suffer from shortage of goodwill and ideas to transform Ekiti. He agreed that peace, unity and spirit of reconciliation were also pre-conditions for development. But the governor quickly clarified that there is possibility of existence of natural opposi-

tion bent on undermining patriotic intentions and progressive programmes of the government. Fayemi said the collective rescue mission, which was his campaign slogan, has not been discarded. He said: “We need the commitment of all and collective compassion for Ekiti progress. Our government is building on progressive heritage”. The governor did not claim to have answers for all the problems. He was humble enough to also appreciate the need to tap experience, knowledge and expertise of indigenes at home and abroad to fuel development. Thus, he recalled that, when he visited the United Kingdom, he met with Ekiti people to solicit their cooperation. But Fayemi identified an obstacle on the way. Waxing philosophical, he said: “we are still in chains; psychological chains, imaginary chains holding us down”. He pleaded that “we should believe in the possibility of a prosperous journey into the future”. The governor hailed the dedication of the members of House of Assembly and federal legislators from the state who share the same passion for development of the communities and state. On job creation, he said his administration has trained numerous youths to acquire skills and become gainfully employed, assuring that this would have multiplier effects. “They will have a sense of engagement and actualisation”, he stressed. Fayemi peeped into the future, saying that in this civil service state, “we must diversify our economy so that other players can secure interest”. He reiterated the determination of his government to make Ekiti a key player in the Southwest economic integration. Already, there is a commissioner in charge of this assignment and the governor unfolded plans for a road show to advertise Ekiti potentialities. His belief is that the regional economic integration would impact positively on the state.

Senators, powerful forces push for new states •Continued from page 17

can be viable if stiffer penalties are prescribed for corruption. If corruption cannot attract the death penalty, then it should attract very long jail term to serve as deterrent. The governors should learn how not to depend entirely on allocation from the federation account by squandering the resources of their states. More states will be forced to harness available resources by increasing their internally generated revenue and expanding their economic frontiers. This will lead to the revival of agro allied industries, job creation and improved revenue profile. The new states will fare better if state governors are God-fearing enough to take far less than what they have been taking as security vote. How do you justify a situation where governors collect about N200 million monthly as security vote? Never before have we impoverished the Nigerian people more than the present generation of leaders. The good thing however, is that President Goodluck Jonathan is putting in place the necessary mechanism aimed at fighting corruption. So far, the President has demonstrated sincerity and purposefulness in governance. I hope the state governments will follow his example”. In a similar vein, Eze insists: “It is all about prudent management of resources because we have what it takes in terms of human and material resources. Like the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said, Ni-

• Adeyemi

• Lanlehin

• Eze

geria is a dream about to happen. All we need do is to work honestly for the development of the country. Nigeria has the potentials to be one of the world powers. Only last year, the World Bank emerging economic forecast predicted Nigeria as one of the economic powers to look out for in the next decade. Already, President Goodluck Jonathan has set in motion a transformation agenda. We should all support and encourage him to actualise this agenda”. Lanlehin also spoke further: “The oil wealth has become a paradox of bless-

ing and curse because it has reduced us to a nation of rent collectors. We don’t appreciate hard work anymore. We export our crude oil only to import its refined derivatives like kerosene, petrol, lubricants at exorbitant prices. Everybody now depends on money from oil. There is no state in Nigeria that does not have what it takes to make progress in terms of agricultural and industrial potentials. But the aged ones are the only ones left in the farms, resulting in social dislocation. Electricity supply has collapsed. Water-

borne diseases are what we get from public water supply. The leaders should focus on the people rather than selves. Recurrent expenditure has remained scandalously high resulting in under-employment. We need to redirect resources for skilled manpower, system that trains and cultivates people; we need a system that works.” Senate President David Mark is in the vanguard of the agitation for the creation of Apa State for his Idoma people. One of his major campaign promises to his people during the last electioneering campaign was to ensure the

creation of Apa State apparently with the aim of freeing the Idoma people from the domineering grip of the Tiv in the present Benue State. Today, every Idoma wants him to make good his promise. Similarly, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona is rooting for the creation of Ijebu State. The Awujale led a delegation to the National Assembly last year, armed with the memorandum for the creation of Ijebu State. Enugu State Governor Chime is the undisputed leader in the agitation for the creation of Adada State. And the move appears to be highly favoured by powerful forces in the South East with consensus of virtually every political office holder in Enugu State. In addition, chairman of the National Assembly Joint Committee on the Review of the Constitution and Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu is from Enugu State. He supports the bid. Agitation for the creation of Katagum State out of the present Bauchi State is being pushed by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed. Even in his capacity as SGF, Yayale was at the head of a Bauchi State delegation to the National Assembly to submit memorandum in respect of the new state. More demands for creation of states are expected to pour in once the Constitution Review Committee is reconstituted.





Wrong prescription •The proposed bill for six-year terms for president and governor lacks merit RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has stirred the hornet’s nest with his proposition for a six-year single term for the president and governors. Currently, these elective executive positions attract a maximum constitutional two terms of four years per tenure. For the President, Section 135 (2) of the 1999 Constitution provides: “Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the President shall vacate his office at the expiration of a period of four years…” For the purpose of clarity, Section 137 (1b) further provides: “A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections.” On the terms to be served by governors, sections 180 (2) and 182 (1b) of the 1999 Constitution emphasise the same conditions. Assuming President Jonathan’s proposition is accepted by the National Assembly, these are the provisions that must, among others, be amended. We note however that a weary public deceived by leaders, hiding under otherwise altruistic motives in the past to achieve selfish ends, have received the proposal with skepticism. So, the reported move by the President to sponsor an executive bill that will bring forth this idea is viewed by many as another suspicious political game-plan for tenure extension by the current administration. President Jonathan, the architect of the idea, according to reports, believes his


initiative will totally eradicate violence and rancour that habitually accompany reelection bids in the country. Almost all the governors and the president, especially under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, in their bid to get re-elected got desperate and in the process deployed state instruments of coercion and sometimes extra-legal means to outsmart their opponents. Unfortunately, the National Assembly may begin the next constitutional amendment that will come up soon with such controversial bill. This is because the presidency has reportedly concluded plans to send the bill on a single term of six years for governors and the president to the National Assembly. President Jonathan still thinks that this will reduce the rat-race for re-election that has over time destroyed the credibility of elections in the nation. We are averse to the adoption of a sixyear single term to the two most senior positions at the federal and state levels. It will de-motivate them to perform. They will have no reason to justify their elections because they will not be tested for a second term. They may grow cocky and insesnitive and turn their positions into defacto monarchs. In our view, the President and governors will be more responsive and accountable to the electorate if they look forward to a second term in office. The contention gaining traction in some circles is that a four-year term leaves an executive little time to govern because the first two years are consumed in electoral fights and setting a governance template

while the other two years go to re-election battles. If the first two years are frittered away in battles, it is because the executive is not prepared for the work. We have seen governors who left justifications for their second terms on the strengths of work in progress. The issue of a single term of six years should be dropped while official efforts should concentrate on more rewarding initiatives that could bring about an improvement in the living standards of Nigerians. The agonies of minimum wage, pensioners’ plight, rising cost of living, infrastructural decay, hunger, ignorance and diseases are challenges that government should focus on and not on whether an ambitious politician should become a six-year peacock and emperor in a democracy. The issue of a single term of six years should be dropped while official efforts should concentrate on more rewarding initiatives that could bring about an improvement in the living standards of Nigeria n s . T h e agonies o f m i n i m u m wage, pensioners’ plight, rising cost of living, infrastructural decay, hunger, ignorance and diseases are challenges that government should focus on and not on whether an ambitious politician should become a sixyear peacock and emperor in a democracy.

Revenue formula •Renewed calls for a review in favour of states and local governments are a good sign


NE good that the agitation over the implementation of the new minimum wage has done is bring into sharper focus, the age-long, lopsided and inequitable sharing of the revenue from the federation account. Thanks to the Minimum Wage Act 2011, yesterday’s whispers in the executive chambers at state capitals have now assumed the stridency of a clamour for a greater share of what accrues into the federation account, to such an extent that it can no longer be ignored. Of course, there have been legitimate questions about the wisdom – or lack thereof – of linking the payment of the new wage to the revenue allocation formula. Howbeit, it seemed settled that the current revenue sharing formula is not just inequitable; it has become something of an anachronism. What has been missing all along is the will to undertake the necessary review to ensure fairness and equity among the constituent parts of the

‘But rather than the RMAFC take off from where the governors stopped, by taking their recommendation to the National Assembly whose responsibility it is to frame the appropriate legislation, the body is said to be embarking on a separate exercise – a needless one, which at best, can only duplicate what the governors have done’

federation. Last week, a parley on the matter was held at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan. Two related issues formed the substance of the meeting which had the 36 states chief executives in attendance: first is the revenue formula and second, the issue of “inappropriate” deductions from the federation account. While it seems early at this time to run into definitive judgments, the matter is finally getting some deserved attention. It may, on the surface, seem as pandering to the wishes of the governors who are obviously looking for money to pay the new minimum wage; the urgency of the need to redress the fiscally anomalous situation in which the centre literally swims in money while the states exist as its mere appendages can no longer be denied. It is not as if the governors have been indifferent to their parlous economic situation, though. We recall, for instance, that their body - the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) - did set up the Babatunde Fashola-led committee to rework the revenue formula when it became apparent that the statutory body charged with the task, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has, for inexplicable reasons, neglected to undertake the statutory duty. The committee has since proposed a ratio of 35 percent for the Federal Government, 42 percent to states and 23 percent to the local governments, against the

existing formula which gives 52 percent to the federal, 26.72 percent to states and 20.6 percent to local governments. The point is that their efforts were merely advisory. But rather than the RMAFC take off from where the governors stopped, by taking their recommendation to the National Assembly whose responsibility it is to frame the appropriate legislation, the body is said to be embarking on a separate exercise – a needless one, which at best, can only duplicate what the governors have done. Now that matters have reached a head, we expect the President’s intervention to translate into a new momentum to drive matters to an early conclusion. It seems as simple as prodding the RMAFC to forward the governors’ proposal to the National Assembly at the shortest possible time. Of course, we are aware that the sharing ratio is not the only matter in contention as the governors have long queried the basis of determining the accruals into the federation account. If there is any time for the Federal Government to let state accountant-generals into the books of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) – that is assuming that the corporation has nothing to hide – this is the time. As equal stakeholders, the state governors, as indeed every Nigerian citizen, are entitled to know how the funds in the distributable pool are determined. We consider this demand – which translates to transparency and accountability –no less a component of the requirement for the fiscal equity being sought.

Egypt can still lead the Arab world to democracy


OST-REVOLUTIONARY Egypt often appears to be on the verge of a breakdown. Strikes and protests remain rampant, while the economy is still moribund. Since July 9, thousands of protesters have been gathering once again in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, accusing the ruling military of betraying their revolution. There have been occasional clashes with regime forces; meanwhile, the generals have been hinting at an attempt to grant themselves extraordinary powers in the new political system. On closer inspection, there is less cause for alarm. Egypt is progressing steadily — though messily — toward greater freedom. Last week hundreds of police officers implicated in abuses were dismissed, while a cabinet reshuffle this week brought more secular liberals into the civilian administration of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf. Parliamentary elections have been pushed from September until November to give new democratic parties more time to organize — and to level the playing field with established Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Military leaders have been relatively responsive to demands from the revolutionaries. Even the proposed constitutional enshrinement of military powers has grown out of an attempt by the ruling council of generals to satisfy a demand from many liberals that a new constitution be prepared before elections are held. While continuing to resist that approach, the military says it will issue a “declaration of principles” to govern the writing of the new charter to ensure that basic freedoms are protected. All this, of course, does not mean that Egypt’s transition to democracy is assured, or that there is no role for the United States and other outside powers to play. While the Egyptian military appears anxious to yield responsibility for government, it will want to protect its privileges — including the large slice of the economy it controls — and prevent Islamic parties from taking power. But the United States, which supplies the military with the funds to purchase sophisticated weapons, should support Egyptian democrats when they insist that there can be no military veto over future democratic governments. U.S. and European officials should meanwhile be pressing Mr. Sharaf’s administration for decisive steps to turn around the economy. Currently Egypt is squandering tens of billions on subsidies, especially for fuel, that it can ill afford, and it has turned away loan offers from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Western governments should press for market-oriented policies and back that up with steps to foster the private sector and grass-roots development initiatives. A free-trade agreement, which Egypt’s business community has long sought, could be a centerpiece of American engagement with the next government. Inevitably, Egypt will continue to look disorderly for months and probably years to come — especially when compared with the rotten stasis of its former autocracy. But it still has an extraordinary chance to forge a working democracy and tip the rest of the Arab world toward freedom. – WashingtonPost

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IR: In the words of British war time Premier and hero, Winston Churchill “We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give”. The life of former South Africa President, Nelson Mandela who just turned 93 aptly fit into Churchill’s assertion. This iconic international statesman is one of the most respected and influential personalities around; not on account of monetary endowment, or material riches, but purely on account of a life of purpose, tenacity, unwavering perseverance, and unquantifiable forgiving spirit; all embodied into one mortal figure. Though now visibly frail as a result of old age, the Madiba is still the most celebrated man on Earth going by the number of his international awards, which stands at over 250. The life and achievement of this extra-ordinary African warrior is littered with lessons of adversities and perhaps for many, insurmountable problems, which he regarded as mere temporary challenges on the road to collective triumph, through which he led a people. From an career which took the illustrious African to a mine in Johannesburg where he got his first job as a guard after he was expelled from Fort Hare University, to the pinnacle of international fame while in prison, Mandela’s courage and nationalist spirit propelled him to become the first truly democratically elected President of South Africa in April, 1994 after enduring years of persecution and incarceration in the hands of the authority. The turning point in his life was the decision of his political party, the African National Congress (ANC) to take up arms in fighting the 1948 introduction of the racial segregation policy of apartheid by the minority Afrikaners government of the Nationalist Party (NP). Then, Mandela became the leader of the MK (the armed wing of the ANC), which planned series of attacks on government targets. His anti-



Celebrating Mandela at 93 government activities led to his arrest in 1962, after the ANC was declared a terrorist group by the government, supported by the United States and Britain. The unpopular Rivonia trial of Mandela and others on charge of sabotage led to his conviction and sentence to life imprisonment. Undeterred, Mandela spent the next 27 years in prison, been tenant in Robben Island, Pollsmoor, and finally Victor Verster prisons , in pursuit of a free-for-all South Africa. Tasting personal freedom after almost three decades of confinement in February, 1991, an uncompromising Mandela insisted

on an all participatory election, in which segregation of any sort is outlawed while leading negotiations between the ANC and B. W. De Clerk led NP. The impending victory of the ANC became too glaring, due to Mandela’s popularity, even long before the elections of April, 1994. It is worth registering that his Presidency not only nailed the coffin of apartheid and its racial prejudice, but also transformed him into a rallying point for all South Africans. Apart from being a rallying point for South Africans, Nelson Mandela has also contributed to international peace and

tranquillity. For instance, after years of bitter diplomacy between pariah Libya and the West, emanating from the alleged involvement of Libyan intelligence officials in the bombing of an American airliner over Lockerbie (Scotland) which claimed about 270 lives in 1991; Mr Mandela successfully negotiated a peaceful and mutually agreed settlement among the conflicting parties. In true display of a life of service to humanity, Mandela further committed himself to helping the poor. His pet project, the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) has contributed financially to the upkeep of many vulnerable,


• Ajala Funmilola Ibadan, Oyo State.

Giving teeth to child’s rights laws


IR: In all societies of the world, the very old saying that children are the leaders of tomorrow form the bedrock of the philosophy of proper development and protection of the child, the framework for harnessing their creative potentials for national integration and development. Children are regarded as precious gifts from God. Universally, childhood is recognized as a period of sensitivity requiring special care, attention and protection. Children’s rights has been in world focus since 1979, when the United Nations designated that year as the international year of the child and developed a list of children’s rights. Among the rights are the rights to love and understanding, adequate food and health, free education, play, an identity and special attention of

handicapped regardless of colour, sex, religion and national or social origin. Most countries in the world, Nigeria inclusive, have since ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which was first adopted in 1989. The Convention accords to children a wide range of rights including, most centrally, the right to have their ‘best interests’ be ‘a primary consideration’ in all actions concerning them, the ‘inherent right to life’ and the right of a child “who is capable of forming his or her own views … to express these views freely in all matters affecting the child’. UNICEF reports that nearly half the population of the world’s 49 least developed countries is under the age of 18. In that sense, these countries are the richest in children. But they are the poorest

in terms of child survival and development. They have the highest rates of child mortality and out-of-school children and the lowest rates of access to basic health care, maternity services, safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia together account for more than three quarters of the 100 million primary-school-aged children currently out of school. It is becoming exceedingly worrisome the sheer number of children hawkers on the streets of our cities, children that have been turned to breadwinners for their families. A visit to the red light zones around the country will reveal the level at which girls under the age of 18 have embraced prostitution. Child slavery in the name of domestic helps has attained a new dimension. The

Boko Haram: fifth columnist at work?

IR: Since the BokoHaram sect took the nation by storm months back, Nigerians have been expressing their views on the problem. l took time to assess the sect, their purported grievances, their actions as it affects the nation, l saw the need to ask some questions. Despite being called Boko Haram meaning, western education is sin, why haven’t they attacked any nursery and primary school or secondary not to mention any polytechnic or university since

especially orphans. In addition, he is also a keen supporter of the “One Goal “campaign, aimed at providing education to vulnerable children around the globe. Since his retirement from public affairs in June, 2004 (at the age of 85), Mandela’s residence in Johannesburg has become a Mecca of some sort, with frequent pilgrimages from all corners of the universe who want to catch a glimpse of the icon. The latest being the United States First Lady, Michelle Obama, who alongside her two children visited him while on an official trip to South Africa recently. In 2010, the United Nations (UN), in recognition of Mandela’s 67 years of service to mankind, honoured the sage by designating July 18 (his birthday) “Nelson Mandela International Day”. Indeed, in a World suffering from the dearth of “Mandelas”, one cannot but celebrate this man of exemplary vision at 93.

the beginning of hostilities? If they hate western education with pride, will they visit the public hospital, a product of western education for treatment? Why did they choose to attack security agencies and their establishments? For every theory, there must be valid premises of argument. Their leader was arrested and he insisted on meeting former Governor Alimodu Sheriff but surprisingly he died in police custody. Their excuse? There was an exchange of

fire “inside cell”. The remaining part of the sect regrouped to avenge the death of their leader, but unknown to them, some people who had scores to settle with those in power infiltrated the sect and started using it to perpetrate evil. At this point we need to ask the former governor what he knew about the sect, the police how someone in custody could have access to a gun. Why are the sect able to strike with clinical precision? Why is the SSS refusing

to prosecute arrested members? Why would Sheriff apologise to them? We need to look back and search for truth because the government and the so called stakeholders knew more than they are telling Nigerians. There is a sect but there is a camouflage in Boko Haram’s face which we must unravel before it is too late. • Adeloye Johnson Alakia, Ibadan, Oyo State.

number of the almajiris has continued to soar. The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) reports that Nigeria has more children out of school than any other country in the world. It claims that an astounding 8.2 million children are not provided with adequate education in Africa’s most populous country, comparing the nation’s wealth with the apparent low standard of education. Despite the promulgation of the Child Right Act in the country for close to 10 years now, we are yet to see a considerable reduction in the rate at which Nigerian children are subjected to serious physical, sexual or emotional ill-treatment or neglect, most especially by those who should ordinarily be responsible for their welfare. The Child’s Right Law with regard to the right to life, education, survival, protection against abuse and exploitation amongst others is not meant to be just a statue book but rather to be placed at the public domain for all stakeholders and the general public to uphold. The laws must stop being a toothless dog if we intend to build a virile nation and not lag behind in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Our children are simply our future! Their survival and development must be paramount in our hearts. • Sola Ogunmosunle Features Unit, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.




Turning upside down I

F God were to let loose His hold upon this nation called Nigeria and release His judgement, the tragedy that befell Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible would be a child’s play. The event of the heavy downpour that brought up fatal flooding in Lagos and parts of neighbouring Ogun State might just be a teaser as to how ready we are as a people for the eventual day of judgement. Only a fool would not appreciate the goodness and grace of God upon Nigeria. This was a country divinely endowed with all that are needed to be great and flourishing; yet it remains a place of affliction and groaning where the whopping majority are living in abject penury in the midst of abundance. Of course God can never be blamed for man’s self-inflicted misery and despair. Afterall, He is not a God who gambles with His creation. Everything He creates is meant to fulfil specific purposes. Before the foundation of the earth, God surely knew a country called Nigeria would exist, notwithstanding the circumstances of its emergence. To accomplish its destiny, He endowed the land under its governance with abundant natural resources, clement climate capable of producing variety of profitable products and rugged human breed of humanity to be in charge. If things were to be the way it ought to be, the country we are in should today be the pride of Africa - a model for the less privileged entities. In other words, this land was a favoured one from the onset before man started manipulating the will of God. Once upon a time, the prospect of Nigeria becoming great was bright despite man-made challenges along its path. As it was not sunk by the rivalry turbulence and political hurly-burly of the first republic and the consequent military intrusion that led to fratricidal civil war, the nation launched into an era where its leader never knew what to do with abundant inflow of money – even as the land with its masses remained in parlous state of underdevelopment and virtual destitution. Opportunities that are defied might turn to liabilities. Whatever one makes of an opening would surely rub off – positively or negatively. And so it seems to have been with our blessed nation. Countless prospects have


IGHT years of Governor Ibrahim Idris in power has brought the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi

State into sharp focus as the people brace for the challenges of the postponed governorship election now scheduled to hold in 2012. Prior to the elongation of the tenure of the incumbent, it was hoped that Kogi State might be inching closer to the dawn of a new era but one cannot but be disappointed with the turn of events in the ruling party. Recent jostling for political leadership in the state had taken off on a brighter note replete with robust and competitive campaign, but it was assumed warped and ill-fated from the start in the face of the dramas trailing the January party primaries. And ultimately the tenure elongation Judgment ushered in a fresh beginning. Of note were the contributions from eminent contenders in the ill-fated 2011 governorship race. These set of would-be governors brought some colour and refreshment into the usually colourless campaign. The likes of Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), Alhaji Yakubu Muhammed, Mr James Enejo Ocholi (SAN), Prince Sola Akanmode, Alhaji Sule Ogirima, Air Vice Marshal Salihu Atawodi (rtd) and Alhaji Abdulrazaq Kutepa stepped forward and sold their programmes to the people. They showcased the human resource potentials of Kogi State to the outside world. This set of aspirants did not just have their popularity thrust upon them overnight but earned it by conduct, high work rate, programmes, focus and vision. Alas, the election turned out the eye opener for the Igalas, Okuns, the Ebira Mozun, the Ebira Koto, the Kakandas, the Ogoris, the Ajaokutas, the Bassa, the Nupes, the Oworo, as the various peoples who hitherto were unable to come to agreement since 1991, decided to dump the ethnic gab for the unity of Kogi State . The minorities also got their act right for the first time and they found in one man a rallying point. Although the people appreciated the fact that the age long agitation for power shift, as desirable as it is, is a change that would come slowly with an uncommon patience, one could see the faint outlines that the much expected power shift will not have to wait

crumbled under visionless leadership and a hustling populace. Talk of a people that desperately crave to be where the enlightened world is, there Nigerians would be found. But the problem has been that of inability to acquire the wisdom to getting there. Pervading unrighteousness has been the bane; all manner of shortcuts won’t just work. These days, the harder the people struggle, the further backward stepladder they climb. Political enthusiasm would end in stark disappointment; business investments are crashing by the day as manufacturing companies are also folding up; social degradation is enveloping the land as a result of growing moral decadence. And since all these run counter to the word of God that says that it is only righteousness that can exalt a nation as sin would always remain a reproach to any people, the nation has remained stalked – if not reverting. The youth of today appears to be giving up to the nonworkability of the system. I could see frustration in any one leaving his hair like that of a mad man in the name of fashion – or any decent lady exposing the bulk of her breasts under the pretence that such is the in-thing. Imitating insanity is a sign of the end time when knowledge becomes device for destruction. If raging murderous cultists in tertiary institutions are unstoppable, it is because of the insincerity of those in charge just the same way Boko Haram has ceaselessly been harassing the nation without instant solution. Afterall, the nation had to stoop to the equally devastating Niger Delta militants in the name of amnesty before peace could reign. The opportuned ones in position of leadership and power are no less on the path of self-destruction. People are desperate to occupy public offices mainly for self-enrichment and hardly to serve the people. In years past, public officers steal with trembling and fear. These days, they scoop the commonwealth in billions and yet would never be contented; the higher they ascend, the more they pilfer. Whenever a team is being put together to administer the affairs of the nation, the good would be mixed with the evil, and the result would be detrimental to the people. This is because the contaminating spirit of the evil ones would just not make the chains of progress to work in totality. It has always been that that there is so much to be done beyond lamentations to move this country forward. Until the self-inflicted sufferings resulting in losses of God-given favours are turned around for gains, it shall be a case of steering wheel movement without progress. There must be a lesson for Nigeria the way the fortunes of neighbouring Ghana is being turned around for good. When Ghana was at the ebb, its citizens were here as

labourers and petty artisans. But when a decisive and determined leadership emerged, sacrifices were made that are today yielding the fruits of all-round development and advancement. How many could we count? Go to Ghana today, it’s a story of swapped fortunes. Nigerians are the hustlers there, doing the menials that were once done here by Ghanaians. In the Shagari days of ‘Ghana-must-go’, we laughed them off. Today, if they decide to pay us back, they would have a sweeter laughter. If Nigeria claims to have expended trillions of naira on power and yet still deepening in darkness and further ruination of the economy, then let’s find out how Ghana got out of the bondage. It’s incongruous that a company would close down operations in Nigeria to relocate in the same Ghana that once depended on made in Nigeria products for survival. Likewise, as the rich Nigerians now prefer to send their children abroad to Ghana for schooling, it might just make sense to understand where we got it wrong for rectification. That we are today a nation sweating over N18,000 minimum wage whereas the bulk of the nation’s wealth is stacked in the private purse of few should make us to re-think our tomorrow. When we realise that no matter the wealth accumulated, not a kobo would enter the grave with the departed, then we’ll begin to have a heart of love for our neighbours and choose to live a life of service. It is then we can hope to bestow a worthy nation to generations yet unborn. The challenge goes beyond partisanship - from local through state to federal governments. Otherwise, it might just be the turn of Nigeria to experience the revolutionary occurrences in Tunisia and Egypt. FEEDBACK Re-Federalism: In truth and in deed A well written and thought provoking article that draws immediate attention to the shallow leadership that has prevailed in a wasteland called Nigeria. The truth has been told but we know the pseudo ruling class that feeds on this anomaly will rather insist on maintaining the status quo. Thanks Soji. –Victor Onyiliagha Sir, I do concur with the part where you said true federalism is the answer. In addition, I see states are too much because some do not have the capacity to be called a state. -2347034437030 Dear Omotunde, I commend your effort in an attempt to fix the entity Nigeria. I agree with all you said, but not comfortable with the issue of state police. Security is the issue of federal Government. Allowing the state to have a police force is subject to abuse; or can be used to crack down political enemies or balkanization of the force. – Josephus, Jos.

Kutepa and Kogi 2012 governorship race By Jude Ogunjobi for too long. This revelation didn’t just happen to happen: indeed some attributed the new mindset of Kogi people to time and chance! Homage must be paid to the man who paved the way for what became one of the brightest episodes in Kogi’s political history; one man who taught Kogians how to live together as one and at once; indeed and without mincing words, the new spirit revolving around a “Borderless Kogi” came off the strong content of character, determination and acceptability of one man running against history, running against time, running towards what he believed would change the course of history towards the birth of a new Kogi State where the place of birth of anyone shall never again determine his right to rule the state. He is Abdulrazaq Kutepa. He initiated the reunion of estranged PDP members in 2010 which saw the likes of Olusola Akanmode and Senator Otaru Salihu Ohize leading a mass return to the party from the ACN. From the day he indicated interest to run for the governorship, it was obvious that something new was fated to happen in the life of the state. Kogi has three majority tribes: Ebira in the Central, Igala in the East and Yoruba in the West. Previous governorship elections in the state had been determined by the strength of population. The Igala have had the upper hand on all occasions because of their 45 percent strength. Meanwhile, Kutepa does not belong to any of these three majority ethnic groups: Born in Lokoja, a minority axis of Kogi West, he had his origin in Bassa, another core-minority group in Kogi East. He speaks Yoruba fluently having worked all his life in Lagos. He cuts across the barriers and instantly became an institution. He plunged into the race with the advocacy for the majority tribes

to consider the minority-minority option as the best for a state in want of the necessary antidotes to ethnic politics and unity barriers. Age on his side, a sound private sector background and a big war chest combined to make Kutepa run an unrivalled campaign in the election. He became the rave of the moment and was tipped by bookmakers to clinch the PDP ticket. His albatross came from his governor friend, Ibrahim Idris who all along held the state spellbound by playing lip service to power shift advocacy. But like King Pharaoh to the Israelites, the Governor to the chagrin of all, changed heart and swapped support to his Igala kinsman and in-law, Jibrin Isah. When it became obvious that Kutepa was the preferred candidate of the teeming PDP delegates, pressure was mounted on some leading aspirants who were “compensated” to withdraw for Jibrin Isah. The machinations finally gave Kutepa 303 votes, 58 votes short of Jibrin Isah’s 361 votes. Yet the voting pattern showed wide acceptability of a micro-minority candidate in an election where old war horses and majority candidates were caught off guards. The PDP NWC did see through the manipulations, including a 10 minutes long light out which threw the Lokoja Township Stadium venue of the election into darkness during which swapping of ballot boxes was believed to have been perpetrated! PDP NWC acted right when the body announced the nullification of the exercise. As the rerun beckoned, all eyes were on Kutepa to prove his superiority over his coaspirants. Curiously, the PDP leadership in Abuja which annulled the flawed election and fixed rerun for January 25 started talking from both sides of the mouth. From that

point, the plot to kill the New Kogi Dream had started with the decision of the party’s leadership to reverse self on the rerun order. Then it happened! The new court judgment elongating the tenure of Alhaji Idris came! That the failure to old the rerun primary election had been stage-managed is not the issue now. The issue now is that the events of January 9 and other events that followed have succeeded in giving birth to new bridges and mindsets across the divides such that it would be suicidal for PDP to ignore its consequences for the party’s chances at the coming election. Beyond the majority/ minority issue, the Kutepa phenomenon has become institutionalized in the minds of the general masses who crave good governance. It is the reason for the palpable apprehension in the PDP secretariat and the Lugard House! It was the common denominator for the mass defections witnessed in the PDP in the state lately and the anti-PDP protest votes witnessed in some parts of the state in April! Happily, the PDP NWC has lain to rest debates on whether there will be fresh primaries or not, following the body’s decision to return nomination fees to governorship aspirants in the five states affected by tenure elongation. A Kutepa candidature has the uncanny prospect of putting PDP back on course, though much damage has been done. The reinvigorated support base for Kutepa in the west is legion, buoyed by his shock brave performance in the first ballot and mainly for the inaction of Governor Idris whom the West helped to power in 2003 and 2007 but who aside having nothing to show in appreciation for the support given to him, also failed in his promise that he would return the favour after two terms of eight years. The minorities constitute 60 per cent of the population of the state, and now, thanks to the Kutepa phenomenon, they have found their voice. For daring to “tread upon the lions,” Kutepa is unarguably the issue in Kogi State politics and the man of the moment. • Ogunjobi, is the General Secretary, Okun Youth Initiative (OYI), umbrella Kogi Yoruba Socio-political organization,





HINUA Achebe Anthills points out that recurring inability to learn from history power is a major flaw of men in power. The portrayal of the powerlessness of power in that fictional plenitude mirrors how pretenses of power to the grandeur of divinity would always come to woeful ends. Really, only few are endowed to grasp the transient nature of power. Fewer still are able to grasp the impermanence of its apparatuses; anthills of ego and distractions from the main reasons for power. That might be why Thomas Jefferson advised the wise must shun power to avoid its malevolent embrace. Jefferson counseled that ‘power should not be alluring to pure minds’. The man apparently did not mean what he said; like most politicians failed to heed his own counsel. Jefferson was an icon of power politics. He was America’s first Secretary of State. He was also third president of America and one of its greatest presidents ever. It is America’s good fortune that Thomas Jefferson did not take his own counsel especially on power as antithesis of purity. It is hard to think of what impure mind would have authored the American Declaration of Independence, passed the statute of Religious Freedom in Virginia or founded the University of Virginia. But pure minds would always be a rarity in the portals of power; may be, because it is always a rarity of life and politics is a part of life. You will not blame societies therefore when they raise monuments to few true heroes that sometimes managed to rise above the pettiness of the multitude in spite of the corrosive influence of power. It is why Mandela’s busts had sprouted all over in South Africa and Mahatma Gandhi’s, in India. It is also why many monuments sprouted in honour of ‘apolitical’ Jefferson in Virginia and across America.

‘The man apparently did not mean what he said; like most politicians failed to heed his own counsel. Jefferson was an icon of power politics. He was America’s first Secretary of State. He was also third president of America and one of its greatest presidents ever’

Awo and the meaning of a statue By Wole Akinyosoye Those with good sense of South West politics would know it was not over yet on the removal of Awo’s statue at Agodi even amid the hoopla generated by the issue in the era of Amala politics. Anyone with a good sense on how things work would know that removing Awolowo’s monument from the precinct of power in Ibadan was like clipping a pumpkin leaf in rainy season; it is bound to sprout again. The reasons were obvious. Agodi is where Chief Obafemi Awolowo ruled from 1952 to 1960 and wrote his name in gold. It is where he demonstrated that a brilliant mind needs not be antithetical to power and politics. Here is where he proved you do not need to hold power in perpetuity to affect peoples’ lives for good. Awo hatched the free education policy in that ambience; the policy that rescued many kids from lives destined for subsistence farming and set them on course to become agriculturalists, doctors, engineers and top-fight administrators. Put succinctly, Agodi is the enduring symbol of Awo’s genius; the place from where he embossed his name forever on the souls of the Old West. You could understand why my uncle, one of those destined for a life of subsistence farming before the epiphany is fanatical about Awo. Long after the Agodi controversy he still broods over “the audacity of that hedonist.” Asked why he didn’t advise Governor Mimiko to bring the statue over to Alagbaka, in his home-state, if it was that imperative, you received a lengthy homily on why “monument controversy should be kept in context”, and after all, Awo didn’t govern from Akure and Dr. Segun Mimiko “is doing a better job than cleaning up the hedonist’s mess” Awo and the statue are back in the news and the Oyo legislators seem ready to clear up that peculiar mess. If the news is correct, they have voted to restore the statue to its former site and erect an electronic screen by the side to reel sage’s achievements on a digital platform. That I am

convinced would be pleasing to my uncle. But the logic of re-commissioning a statute may seem diverting in a state still smarting from the comprehensive pillage of its immediate past. After all, a statue on a golden dais would not put food on the table or provide work for the army of unemployed. Restoring Awolowo’s statue would not dig the state out of its present financial cesspool or clear its mountains of garbage. But it is an appropriate thing to do. Restoring that that statue to the point from was hewed would point the sordid present to its glitzy past and teach a lesson on the virtues in service. The restoration would also teach impressionable youths, that history is not a subject of gubernatorial discretion and that true heroes are not toppled by political whims. Restoration of Awo’s statue would remind those now ensconced in the anthills of power about the limits of the power and the true meaning of service. Honoring past heroes could persuade those that have taken to display puny achievements on big billboards that it pays better to do more worthwhile things for the greater good of the society so they can write on the minds of the people. Power and the trappings of power cannot confer man with the grandeur of divinity. Power exercised for the common good can last life beyond the grave. That may be the greatest lesson so far on Awo and the planned return of his statue. • Mr. Akinyosoye contributed this piece from Bamikemo, Ile-Oluji.

‘Restoring that that statue to the point from was hewed would point the sordid present to its glitzy past and teach a lesson on the virtues in service. The restoration would also teach impressionable youths, that history is not a subject of gubernatorial discretion and that true heroes are not toppled by political whims’



OUNTRIES that succeed in their journeys to development place premium on high quality education. The popular view is that education in Nigeria has lost quality, efficacy, and functionality over the years. This public outcry is in order. But the diagnoses and prescriptions for solving the problem are inadequate. Education is both a public and private good. Education equips individuals with skills to serve society. For the recipient of education, however, it is primarily a private good. Unfortunately, the Nigerian economy which should serve as receptacle for products of education has not been able to play that role. The result is loss of motivation for excellence among learners and sometimes teachers. That is the underemphasised part of the diagnoses. Commentators have identified many reasons for the poor quality of education. These include poor quality of teachers at primary and secondary levels, underfunding of education, dilapidated facilities, nonchalance on the part of federal, state and local governments about falling standards, lack of dedication to work among some teachers, etc. There are also those who blame the poor quality of present-day university graduates on the unwillingness of students to study hard to achieve academic excellence. The reason, as I see it, is that students do not see the promise of education and are therefore not motivated to give it their all. Recall the days when a student had four letters of employment one month or two before graduation or before the end of youth service. Certainty about access to the promise of education motivated students to pursue excellence in order to be able to compete for the best of the numerous opportunities available to them at the time. So those who diagnose the problem of higher education by blaming students and the education sector alone are not looking at the entire picture. Development is a systems process where all the social institutions are mobilized for transformation. Reclaiming the educational system must therefore be a multi-sectoral endeavor. The economy must be made dynamic enough to play its role as the primary buffer for the products of education. And the political institution through the agency of a developmental state must be central to that endeavor. I add that the apparent oversubscription to

Dilemma of education in Nigeria By Chikwendu Christian Ukaegbu Nigerian higher education is not unrelated to the weak and haphazard economy. Strengthen the economy in such a way that secondary school graduates, with short term vocational or on-the-job training, can find gainful employment, and you will see the number of applicants to universities drop. Strengthen the economy today in such a way that the majority of first degree graduates secure gainful employment, and you will see a drop in the number of students rushing to pursue higher degrees. In the ideal scenario, liberalization of higher education remains in place. But those who pursue higher education will do so not because they see it as a temporary diversion from the anxieties and insecurities of joblessness, but because they actually want to and are capable of achieving educational success. With the preponderance of informal economic activity, the Nigerian economy is currently incapable of acting as an agent of fulfilling the promise of education. The majority of the economic activity, 90%, takes place in the unorganized informal sector where people are in an unending struggle to scrape by. Improvement in the quality of education and strengthening the economy must go side by side. After all, Man must wak is a popular saying in Nigeria. This is the more reason the maiden governing group of post 50 Nigeria should place emphasis on action to transform the face and substance of the economy. Discussions, analyses, think-tanks, visions, blue prints, conferences, summits, workshops, task forces, studies, white papers, gazettes, plans, and agenda about everything in the purview of development have been organized and compiled at the instance of federal and state governments. But there is little to show for them in reality. Read Vision 2010, Vision 2015, Vision 2020, NEEDS, reports of economic summits, and many more; they repeat the same labored ideas about infrastructural deficits that the World Bank had empirically studied and restudied long before the documents listed above came into being.

There is something no one can deny; the World Bank is a repository of data and information which if seriously and imaginatively interpreted and used can help a developing country to move forward. A series of studies on Africa, Nigeria inclusive, by the Bank’s Regional Program for Enterprise Development (RPED) started around the 1980s. The climax of the series on Nigeria completed in 2002 and 2004 are compendia of development research at its best. World Bank researchers lucidly defined the infrastructural problems of Nigeria and measured their costs on the economy to the penny. But you never see or hear successive governments respond to these serious-minded studies. Do they even know or care about them? Rather, officials relish in public display of archaic ideas at flamboyant conferences and summits. There is more than enough information that a developmental state can use to steer Nigeria to the path of sustainable development. It is time to stop talking and start doing something. I chuckled when I read of the recent job summit convened by the federal government. There does not need to be a job summit for the government to know and do what is common knowledge from numerous studies, think-tanks, and visions on Nigeria. Declare a national emergency on the country’s physical infrastructure through huge investments of the people’s money in public works; provide regulatory safeguards to check the opportunistic behaviors that pervade the implementation and execution of government projects. The result will be jobs, jobs, jobs; and even more jobs if the inputs for the construction and maintenance of public works are sourced in Nigeria. Nor does it require a special summit to know that governments can tie job creation to the contracts they award firms in agriculture, manufacturing, construction or service and establish mechanisms to ensure that firms which win such contracts strictly adhere to the job creation requirements. One of the committees of the above mentioned job summit suggested that jobs be-

low N500 million must be assigned to Nigerian firms. Face value, this appears to have potential to boost the economy. But upon critical evaluation, Nigerian firms can be easily sidelined for jobs above this amount. If this suggestion holds, Nigerian firms will be perceived as incompetent to do bigger things. And government officials will take advantage of it to readily offshore potential job creating contracts abroad as they did last year when the FEC approved the purchase of 1000 plastic dustbins worth N1 billion from abroad and described Nigerian products as inferior. Why didn’t the FEC think of it this way? The more the government procures its needs from local firms, the more the firms are motivated to expand their scale and scope of production, and the more they will generate more jobs for the unemployed including the teeming population of university graduates. There must be no limit to the amount or volume of contracts given to Nigerian firms. Nigerian firms must have the basic right of maximum benefit from the revenues that accrue from the natural resources of their country. Foreign-owned firms based in Nigeria should be equally encouraged because they create employment for citizens. Governments have very limited capacity to create jobs. The private sector creates the majority of jobs in a free enterprise economy such as Nigeria’s. The role of a developmental state is to make and implement policies that enable private firms to make profit, expand production, and in the process create many jobs in society. By so doing, the economy enables youths to see and live the promise of education, and as a result they pursue education with the motivation it demands and the unflinching commitment it deserves. • Ukaegbu is Professor, Sociology of Development, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill, USA;

‘This is the more reason the maiden governing group of post 50 Nigeria should place emphasis on action to transform the face and substance of the economy’



MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011




West Brom’s N7b offer for Osaze

•Nigerian to earn N11m weekly


UPER Eagles forward, Peter Osaze Odemwingie is on the verge of an improved West Brom three-year deal worth around


By Taofeek Babalola £45,000-a-week (about N11.1m). According to reports emanating from London Sunday, the former Lille of France striker is expected to earn about N44.6m -a -month and N2.3bn a-year contract respectively, if the deal is finally sealed between both parties. Additionally, the Nigeria international will receive N7bn if he stays on to complete the new three years offer. The Baggies will return from their America pre season tour this week – and immediately set about securing Odemwingie’s future at the club. The Nigerian hotshot, who turned 30

Onuoha faces uncertain future at Man City


NE MAN who is facing up to an uncertain future at Manchester City is Nedum Onuoha, who has returned to the club this summer following a season-long loan at Sunderland. The former England U-21 international was another expected to be offloaded during the transfer window, but he claims he is prepared to fight for a place in Roberto Mancini's plans - even though he has no locker or squad number. Onuoha told the Daily Star Sunday:

"There have been a few structural changes since I've been away, but that seems to happen every year anyway. "I don't have a locker, I don't have a squad number now but other than that, it's same as. "I'm going to keep going through preseason. Nothing has changed on my side and it's the same with a few others, too." On his future, Onuoha added: "I'd love to stay and fight and until someone tells me to jog on, I'll keep trying."

last week, has two years to run on his deal at the Hawthorns and that means the likes of Tottenham, Newcastle and Everton are all monitoring his situation. But Baggies boss Roy Hodgson has told club chiefs he is desperate to keep Odemwingie following his prolific first season in the Premier League. The ex-Locomotiv Moscow striker, a £2.5million buy, rattled in 15 goals last term to help the Baggies retain topflight status. It could be a busy few days for the Roy Hodgson tutored-side as they are also closing in on two other targets – Reading’s Irish striker Shane Long and Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster. Hodgson has turned his attentions on the pair after missing out on Fulham striker Andy Johnson and the England and West Ham stopper Robert Green. Long, 24, who banged in 25 goals for the Royals in the Championship last season, will cost around £5million, while Foster, 28, may well arrive on a season-long loan from St Andrew’s.

London Friendly: Ghana announces ‘killer squad’ for Nigeria

Maigari: NFF officials not paid for missing ‘Germany’ G P

RESIDENT of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari on Sunday debunked a report in a national newspaper that officials of the Federation who did not travel to Germany for the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals were paid estacodes. “No official of the NFF was paid for not traveling. That is a fact that we have stated before, but as a responsible public establishment, we feel duty-bound to reiterate this in the face of this fresh offensive by detractors. “There is no division or disagreement among Members of the NFF Executive Committee as imagined by the reporter, because no


By Innocent Amomoh the National camp, I will be back to fighting fitness much sooner than I had initially anticipated.” It would be recalled that after winning his first two fights convincingly at the Baku Olympics qualifiers, a knee injury during the second round forced Nigeria’s Chika Chukwumerije to withdraw from the quarterfinal tie against Greece’s Alexandros Nikoladis. Chukwumerije, who has been described by taekwondo experts, as one of the best fighters in the world, was at his best in the first round when he overcame India’s seven times national champion, Kundu Sandeep 8-2. In the second round, he confirmed his status, as he also overwhelmed Austria’s Christoph Decker 7-2 to berth in the quarterfinal stage. But during the second round encounter, Chukwumerije dislocated his knee but he managed to hold on against the Austrian. After examination by the medical experts, the 2007 All Africa Games gold medalist was advised to withdraw, as he could not stand with the knee. And this prevented Chukwumerije from avenging his semifinal loss at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China against Greece’s Nikoladis in the quarterfinal stage. Hence the Greek progressed to the last four and berth in London 2012. For now, Chukwumerije will have another opportunity to make it to 2012 London Olympics when the African qualifiers hold in January in Egypt. Meanwhile, 24 spots were secured at the Baku World Qualification Tournament in Azerbaijan with 15 countries taking at least one ticket to the taekwondo competition of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Korea grabbed four tickets while six countries – host Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, China, Croatia and Chinese Taipei – won two berths each for the 2012 Olympic Games, while eight countries – Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Sweden, Turkey, Brazil, France, Italy and Greece – took one spot to the London Olympic Games.

Executive Committee are not paid $381 per night as estacode. “We appreciate the efforts of the media in the development of Nigerian football and the constructive criticism that even help those at the helm of affairs. But the sections of the media that are committed to hawking falsehood should stop under-rating the intelligence of Nigerians”, urged Maigari.

earned his debut senior team call-up. The Evian Thonon-Gaillard player is expected to replace injured Chelsea ace Michael Essien. Left-back Nana Akwasi Asare of Dutch side FC Utrecht has been handed another opportunity by the Serb to seal a permanent place in the team. The Gomoa Fetteh Feyenoord trainee was first invited by Stevanovic in February during an exhibition match against Togo’s in Antwerp, Belgium. He was an unused substitute during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations finals on home soil under Frenchman Claude Le Roy. AC Milan ace Kevin-Prince Boateng has been dropped after broke the news



UPER EAGLES foward, Victor Anichebe at the weekend scored in Everton's 3-1 bashing of American side D.C United in a preseason friendly in the United State of America. The Nigeria international Anichebe and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov scored first-half goals to put the English Premier League team Everton ahead at the night. Magaye Gueye added a goal in the

81st minute to cancel out Chris Pontius‘ strike for D.C. just after halftime. Despite a game-time temperature of 99 degrees, the British side started quickly in the finale of its a two-match American preseason tour. Anichebe had beaten Brandon McDonald to Leighton Baines‘ throughball and scored in the 4th minute. Bilyaletdinov doubled the lead after reaching Ross Barkley’s diagonal pass.

Dwayne De Rosario’s long ball found Pontius alone on goal in the 47th minute. But Gueye slotted in Jermaine Beckford’s cross to send United to its second defeat in an international friendly this season. Coach David Moyes continued to rest Everton and United States goalkeeper Tim Howard Saturday after Howard spent June helping the U.S. team reach the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. Howard is still expected to be Everton’s starter by August 13, when it opens its season at Tottenham Hotspur.

on the transition could be made as early as Monday. Makinwa's agent, Paolo Fabbri has clarified the situation of his client. ''The interest of Benevento is real, we are evaluating the assumptions and are very confident. Regarding the transfer of the player in Italy, this could become possible as Makinwa has a residence in Italy for over ten years and then could obtain permission to take Italian citizenship thus acquiring the status of an EU Player,'' says Fabbri to


U-20 W/Cup excites Kwara goalie



that the former Germany youth international’s loyalty was in question. He claims he is recovering from surgery despite playing for the Italian champions in a friendly last Wednesday against Solbiatese. Ghana FA authorities suspect that closer to the game on 9 August, Boateng will say he is not available for the game in London next month. FC Dnipro new signing Derek Boateng has also been left out of the squad to allow him to settle down at his new club. Ghana face the Super Eagles at the Vicarage Road Stadium in a warm-up game to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland at home in September. GHANA SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (Unattached), Adam Larsen Kwarasey (Stromgodest, Norway) Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (FC Dnipro), John Paintsil (Leicester City), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Nana Akwasi Asare (FC Utrecht), John Mensah (Olympique Lyon), Isaac Vorsah (TSG Hoffenheim), Jonathan Mensah (Evian Thonon-Gaillard) Midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Evian Thonon-Gaillard), Anthony Annan (Schalke 04), Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille), Kwadwo Asamoah, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu (Udinese), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan) Strikers: Dominic Adiyiah (Karsiyaka), Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland), Prince Tagoe (TSG Hoffenheim).

Anichebe scores in Everton’s victory Gulder 5-Aside: Action shifts to Makurdi

t the end of the 2010-2011 season, Stephen Makinwa was not redeemed by Greece Super League club Larissa. The 27-year-old Nigeria international is attracting concrete interest from China and Poland, but he wishes to continue his career in Italy. According to a report in, Makinwa is on his way to AC Benevento,a club currently campaigning in the third tier of Italian football. The hypothesis is that he arrives on loan, provided he obtains an Italian Passport, which he is eligible for. Lazio's President has given the greenlight for Makinwa to move to AC Benevento, and an official announcement

I’ll be back to fighting form soon , says Chukwumerije


such payment was made in the first place. “The story was a concoction of lies and it is such a shame. Only one Member of the Executive Committee, not four Board Members as claimed by the reporter, was to travel to Germany for the finals, but the trip had been called off the day our girls lost to the host nation and were eliminated, and NOT as a result of any newspaper report. “The reporter was so desperate to get his lies published that he failed to achieve consistency in his allegation of what was paid to each person, whether it was $5,334 or $5,313. And those who should know are aware that Members of

HANA coach Goran Stevanovic has named two new faces and a returnee in his 18-man squad for next month’s friendly against Nigeria in London, can exclusively reveal. A Ghana FA source also told two unnamed England-based players will join the squad for training. Norway-born Goalkeeper Kwarasey is set to earn his debut after being listed alongside first choice Richard Kingson. The 23-year-old had his nationality status confirmed by Fifa two months ago and could be in line for his first cap. Ghana youth midfielder Rabiu Mohammed who was recommended by assistant coach Akwasi Appiah has

Makinwa on his way to AC Benevento A


EIJING 2008 Olympics bronze medalist, Chika Chukwumerije has reaffirmed his stance to return to action after a possible surgery was ruled out for the injury he copped during the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)-organised 2012 London Olympic Games Qualifiers held in Baku, Azerbaijan. NationSport learnt that for Chukwumerije, this is indeed good news, following his inability to qualify from the Baku tourney to London. “I have passed on the MRI report to our excellent physio team in the National Camp, and they will be reviewing it shortly. But in summary, my general practitioner (GP) in Manchester informed me I won't be needing a surgery, rather extensive physiotherapy. He also explained that it is my physio that will determine how long the treatment will last,” he said. The 2007 All Africa Games gold medalist added: “I am very happy that I do not need a surgery as I had feared, and I remain confident that given the fantastic physiotherapists available in


WARA UNITED shot stopper, Kazeem Yekeen, has expressed happiness at making the cut for Nigeria's Under20s ahead of the FIFA World Championship that begins in Colombia on July 29. Nigeria Under-20 national team head coach, John Obuh, named Yekeen alongside two other keepers from the local league in his squad. The two others are Danjuma Paul of Nasarawa United and Gideon Gambo of Sharks. The 18-year-old Kwara United first-choice keeper said he is happy to make the team after he missed the chance to be part of the Under17s in 2009. "I'm happy to make the team this time. I will only continue to do my best if called up for any game," Yekeen told Yekeen does not mind playing second fiddle to Paul, who has established himself as the number one with the Under-20s. "I will wait for my chance to come. We are a team and I will be happy to see the team win with or without me in goal. Danjuma is a very good keeper and I'm happy to be in the same team with him and Gambo," the teenage Nigerian keeper said. Obuh retained majority of the players that won the 2011 Orange African Youth Championship in South Africa for the World Cup in Colombia. Nigeria's Flying Eagles have finished second twice at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 1989 and

2005. Obuh's men will play in Group D against Guatemala, Croatia and Saudi Arabia. The African champions will kick off their quest for a first world title against Guatemala in the City of Armenia on July 31.

importantly we will not lose concentration as we have set our eyes on the final in Lagos” Coach Ibrahim also disclosed that the Gulder 5 Aside football competition is a magnificent tournament for players to realise their dreams and also have the opportunity of getting a club. Nuhu Aminu, of ISDE FC, who has so far scored 3 goal in one match, could not contain his excitement on his team’s success: “We came here with the aim of winning and proceeding to the next stage of Gulder 5 Aside in Lagos. Our coach inspired us to have fun and believe in ourselves. He told us before the tournament that we could win by any margin of goals, and we have exhibited that today. It was awesome.” “I have scored 3 goals so far the aim now is to be the highest goal scorer for the entire tournament. “The Gulder 5 Aside competition is a great stepping stone for us to realize our dreams” said Aminu. “It is not just one or two weeks of training, but we have been playing together for months, which give us the opportunity to polish our skills. My favorite player is Christiano Ronaldo, and I aspire to play for great clubs like him one day.” “Nigerian Breweries is proud to play a part in developing talents,” said Ejiro Omonode. Project Coordinator, “The tournament is well underway now and as a brand, we are obviously looking to build talent for the future, therefore we want the community in all the regions to come and see the future football stars in action.”

Nsofor banks on new Super Eagles


•Kazeem Yekeen


HE Gulder 5 Aside Football Zonal elimination screening is now well underway at Ibrahim Babangida Square in Makurdi, venue for the zones’ competition. The elimination exercise which began on Saturday has produced suprising results with clubs displaying extra ordinary skills and techniques. Out of over 100 clubs that registered, 32 were eligible to participate in the competition which was divided into groups of twos to play on a knockout basis Despantan FC of Abuja looked set for a showdown as they sent a warning signal to other clubs from the zone with an emphatic 5-0 win over hapless Youngstar FC also from Abuja. In another game of the day ISDE FC defeated Crusader FC by 4-1 in the opening match of the day 3 goals while Raymond King FC ran 3-0 better than Afrisport FC. Speaking on the outcome of the match between ISDE FC and Crusader FC, the coach of the ISDE FC, Ibrahim Issa said that the result did not come as a surprise to him as they have trained very hard for the competition. I am very happy that we were able to score four goals with three coming from one player. Coach Ibrahim said “with this result in our opening match it is a morale booster for the boys that will propel them to go all out in their next match. We will not underrate any club, as we all have the potential to qualify from the zone but we will be playing each match as they come and most

OKOMOTIV Moscow forward Obinna Nsofor said he hopes the new spirit shown by Nigeria will be taken into an August 9 clash against Ghana. "There is a new spirit in the team and I hope we can take this into the game in London as well as the next Nations Cup qualifier against Madagascar,” the striker who recently moved to Russia told "The pressure will come from the fans who want us to win against Ghana and that is to be expected. "We are involved in a lot of friendlies but our main focus is the 2012 Nations Cup." With a huge Nigerian and Ghanaian communities expected for the game at Vicarage Road, home of Watford, Nsofor said he knows the Eagles have to turn the heat on the Black Stars. "I've heard several things being said about this game but a verbal match is not going to earn us anything, we need to go out there and give our best against Ghana," said a delighted Nsofor, who is looking forward to a return to London, a city he adores. "We haven't beaten them recently and there is so much expectations as

the rivalry is very intense between both countries." With eyes on London and Ghana, Nsofor was quick to recall the hardfought 2-2 draw against Ethiopia in

the Super Eagles last match. "We showed a lot of resilience and desire to fight our way back into that game and got something out of it." Nsofor told

Enugu Rangers win again in WAFU Cup E NUGU Rangers have moved a step into the next round of the sub-regional WAFU Cup after they defeated Kwara United 1-0 in Ilorin Saturday. The match winner was Kabiru Umar, who found target after 38 minutes.Rangers top coach, Alphonsus Dike, told shortly after the match: "Well once again we thank God for the successes we have recorded so far. I also praise my boys for firing on all cylinders. This is the result of hard work from the team. "We must also give kudos to Kwara United for playing well in the match they really gave us a good fight. "Now our target is winning the Cup. With hard work and consistency in performance from my boys, I think this is achievable." Rangers thumped Mighty Barrole to reach this stage of the sub-regional

competition. Another Nigerian club, Sharks of Port Harcourt are the defending champions. •Brendan Ogbu





By a stroke of luck, a boat driver, a secondary school pupil and 11 teachers cheated death when their boat capsized on the lagoon close to the Ojo Local Government Area. Some of the victims shared their experience with ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA.

• The shore where the journey began

S usual, the teachers set out by boat for their destinations - Local Authority Primary School and Osolu High School. The schools are in Irewe, a riverine community in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State. But on this fateful day, the journey nearly ended in disaster. The boat capsized midway, discharging its passengers into the lagoon. It was a close shave with death. But for the life jackets they wore and the gallantry of the two brave swimmers who rescued them, the story would have been different. According to the survivors, the speedboat capsized after the driver suddenly lost control. Fortunately, one of the teachers, Mr Alowosehin Benjamin and his son, Femi, both of whom are good swimmers, were on board and they deployed their skills in saving others. “It was one experience I never wished on even my worst enemies,” said Mr Adenuga Adeniyi, one of the survivors. We boarded the boat at the usual shore. There are four bends we usually under-



Teachers’ close shave with death at sea •’We thought we were going to die’ take before getting to Irewe, our final destination. “After about five minutes, we got to the second bend and it was at this point that the driver of the boat suddenly lost control and we all started screaming for help. The boat eventually capsized, throwing all of us into the river. For about 30 minutes after the accident, no help came and no speedboat passed by. I thought I was going to die. I continued praying inwardly. In the gloom that enveloped all of us, I heard one of my colleagues say ‘it’s finished.’ That was when I gave up.” Adeniyi continued: “Fortunately,

Community seeks police help THE traditional ruler of Elemoro , Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Oba Tajudeen Afolabi Elemoro has appealed to the government and the police for help over the frequent robberies in his domain. The monarch made the appeal during a chat with reporters in his palace. According to him, the community is witnessed an upsurge in robberies and criminal activities in the last five months. As a result, the residents, he said now sleep with one eye closed. He explained that the robbers use sledgehammers to forcefully gain entry into homes at night. Notable leaders in the community including the community including the Secretary to the Ibeju- Lekki Local Government, Hon. Shamsideen Elomoro, the Oba are victims of robbery.

none of us drowned, because we had our life jackets on. But as help did not come from anywhere, we became increasingly worried. Luckily for us, we had Mr Benjamin, his son, Femi and another woman. They know how to swim. “They were the first to swim out from underneath the boat to the edge of the river. Then they cut a long bamboo, started stretching it to us. As each of us held on to the bamboo, they tried to force us out one by one. It was after 20 minutes during this process that information reached those at the shore that our boat capsized. So, some rescu-

ers came and joined the others to pull us out.” None of the survivors sustained serious injuries. But the shock sent some of them into coma. Those who regained their composure were taken to the local government health centre; others with injuries were conveyed to the General Hospital, Igando. Though they were discharged the same day, the incident literally ended activities in the teachers’ schools for that day. “We never believed they could survive because they didn’t receive help on time”, recounted one of the

'Stop unregistered commercial motorcyclists' THE Chairman, Motorcycle Operator Association of Lagos State(MOALS), Mr Tijani Pekis, has urged security operatives in the state to enforce the laws guiding the operations of commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders. Pekis told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there are two recognised motorcyclist associations but that many mushroom ones are springing up. He said many unregistered motorcyclists who ply the roads have increased road accidents in Lagos. "There are underage and minors who are not sound enough to handle a motorcycle but many are on the streets with fake rider's card.This is why the government needs to intervene and stop these unregistered riders from plying the roads," Pekis said.

rescuers who simply identified himself as Ojo. “At the time the news got to us at the shore, everybody was confused. Other teachers who were still at the shore because they came late were also worried. Some traders who sell at the market near the shore were also crying because they know all the teachers well. That was when some of us who steer these boats and can swim very well dived into the river to rescue them.” Miss Akinsanya Oluwakemi, a teacher from Osolu Senior High School, relived their harrowing experience. “When we eventually got ashore, people were asking us repeatedly how we survived the accident but I could not answer. I realised many of us could not answer as well. Personally, I developed emotional problems like others. Throughout that day, I could not talk to anyone. At night, I could not sleep. The pictures kept coming back every time.


Ikuforiji NNNNNCNCSCN calls for virile media

SPEAKER of Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has said the only way to build a virile nation and the Nigeria of our dream is by building democratic institutions such as the media and the legislature. Ikuforiji was delivering a keynote address at a workshop organised by the Assembly for House correspondents, Information officers and assistants at Harmony Castle Hotel, Ikorodu. He said: “The media is the first of these democratic institutions followed by the legislature which we must build if we are to have a virile nation where no man is oppressed and where we live together in brotherhood and enjoy peace in plenty. “It is only when these two institutions are positively strong and dynamic, that we can come together to build other institutions.”



CITY BEATS Teachers’ close shave with death at sea

• Continued from page 25

“People were calling me (on phone) to confirm if it truly happened, but I didn’t know what to tell them. I had to switch off the phone throughout that day.” For Mrs Ashiyanbi Olusola from LA Primary School, the picture would linger in her memory for long. “At a point, I saw some of my colleagues already rescued at the edge of the river. I was still in the river and I asked myself: ‘Am I going to join my collegues over there or end up here?’ ‘Will they go and tell my husband and children that I didn’t survive the accident?’ But that experience taught me to be composed and not fidget or panic when you are in that kind of crisis. In the midst of the crisis, we were repeatedly assured that we would survive; and so we held on to our minds praying fervently.” Though many of them lost valuables including cash, cell phones, identity cards, and wristwatches, none of the survivors missed those

•Mr Adenuga

• Mrs Akinsanya

items. What was most important was that they still had their lives. They told this reporter they still had lots to be grateful to God. “When there is life, there is hope,” many of them said. Of the lot, Adeniyi appeared to be the happiest. He clocked 48 a day after the incident. Amid handshakes, SMS and congratulatory phone calls by friends and colleagues, he told this reporter that it would have been an irony of fate, if the accident had claimed his life. “I’ve received many calls and text messages today to wish me happy birthday and I’m still receiving many more,” he said with a smile. If I’d died, this celebration would have turned into mourning for my family. Sympathisers would have flooded my house to sign condolence register. People would have

been saying ‘this man would have been a year older today, but death snatched him away’. Even the nature of the death could have been most painful to people. But, I thank God that it never happened. Earnestly, this experience has brought me closer to my God and I’m going to hold a thanksgiving service with my family to thank my Creator for His mercies,” he said. It was quite obvious from their discussions that they feel neglected by their employer, the Lagos State Government. The incident brought into painful focus the neglect faced by teachers teaching in schools located in such hard-to-reach areas like theirs. “Do you realise that up till this time, the Education Secretary and the TGPS (Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary) of this District (V)

When we eventually got ashore, people were asking us repeatedly how we survived the accident, but I could not answer

have neither called nor come here to see us. In fact, it took the intervention of our Vice-Principal, Mr Ariyo, who went to the district with a letter informing them of what happened.” Another victim said: “It’s like the government has completely forgotten us in this place. It’s just like once you are posted to a riverine school, you are forgotten forever. “The rule in the civil service says we are eligible for redeployment once you have spent five years in a particular place. But do you realise that there are teachers who have been here for more than 14 years, and even more and have not been transferred? Such teachers have resigned themselves to fate because it will only be a miracle the day they receive their letter of transfer.” The incident has once again ignited the plight of teachers deployed in riverine schools. Aside the risk of a likely boat mishap, findings have shown that many of the teachers, because of frustrations, hardly visit the schools more than once or twice in a week; others don’t visit at all. This also has consequence on attendance of the

pupils who often hardly show up in schools. Before now, there have been repeated agitations by teachers in the riverine areas for some incentives from their employers. Among other demands, the teachers have canvassed more incentives, building of dormitories for them to stay all through the week, payment of risk allowances and the need for personal speedboats, among others. When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Education District V, Mrs Yinka Okunade, said in addition to sending emissaries to visit the victims in their schools, the TG/PS of the district, Mrs Mary Iji, has written to inform the Education Commissioner, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, who was sworn in on the day of the incident. “My TG/PS sent a letter to the victims through their principal. She also sent the Director of School Administration, Mrs Oshun and four others to visit the victims. “She has also written to the Commissioner of Education to inform her about the incident and request that the ministry should do something urgently to address the situation.”

More youths embrace skill acquisition


HE perception that vocational training is meant for school drop-outs or less intelligent pupils is gradually fading. Today, more talents are being churned out from skill acquisition centres in Lagos to prove this perception wrong. These centres, specially established by government to equip women and youths with skills for self-employment, have become platforms many Nigerians, both educated and the uneducated, embrace to realise their dreams. One of the pupils at the Agege Skill Acquisition Centre, Bunmi Ajayi, is counting her blessings. Bunmi, 22, was born in England where she had acquired education at Christ the King College, London, before returning to Nigeria. She told our reporter that she came to Nigeria two years ago after her father was displeased with her performance in the entrance examination into the university. She was sent back to Nigeria to imbibe the African cultural values. Bunmi relived her story: “Two years ago after I failed my entrance examination into the university in England, my father brought me down to Nigeria. Daddy explained that it was important for me to know my roots, and that it would also help me sit up and do better in my subsequent examinations. “I was left in the care of my aunty, who registered me at the skill acquisition centre and since then, my life has witnessed a tremendous turn around. “One basic thing I have realised in the course of my training here is the fact that God has deposited different gifts in every individual and I have seen that Nigerians are multi-talented and intelligent people. “I am not only keen on having a university education, but I am

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

•Some of the apprentices during training By Miriam Ndikanwu

equally determined to pursue my dream in cosmetology and become a name that the world will reckon with.” On how she adapted to the condition in Nigeria, she said: “Initial-

ly, it was tough trying to cope with the irregular power supply and the fact that I was compelled to do the house chores which I was not used to. “Today, I am counting all these as my gains of coming to Nigeria. I just find the people interesting

It was better for me to know that I was jobless than to keep deceiving myself that I was employed even when nothing is left for me at the end of the month

2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Zonal Command Phone No: 080-77690200; 01-7742771 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-776909201; 01-2881304 FRSC Emergency No: 070-022553772

and besides, the warmness of the people is amazing. “Most of the educated ones will want to focus on corporate jobs rather than obtaining skills that could enable them to establish their own businesses.” “Before now,” she said, “I learnt how to dress hair from a road-side saloon. It was not until I came to this centre that I realised that the exposure I had at the former place was not good enough to carry me through in the industry. “There is a huge difference between where I was coming from

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

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

and here, where the emphasis is only on practicals and not theories. Dupe John-Alade is another beneficiary. She had traversed the length and breadth of Lagos in search of a job for two years after graduating from the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, Noforija, Epe, Lagos, in 2007. According to her, she eventually settled for a teaching job at a primary school in Onipanu area of the state. She quit the job when her salary could not transport her to work from her house at Owode-Elede, in Mile 12.

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




Group trains youths on leadership skills


VER 100 youths were trained in various skills to effective leadership by the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, at its Leadership Training Programme held at the expansive auditorium of Somolu Central Mosque, Somolu, Lagos. Speaking on the topic, Strategic Leadership in a challenging World, a Senior Lecturer at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Mr Luqman AbdurRaheem, said only well-trained and nurtured individuals could lead effectively. AbdurRaheem gave the qualities of leaders as sincerity of intention and purpose. “The qualities of a leader include sincerity, expertise, trust, consultation, accountability, integrity, dedication, dedication, magnanimity, humility and creativity,” he said. He tasked the future leaders to imbibe the spirit and

By Bukola Akinjole

SOMOLU principle of strategic leadership. “As leaders, you must realise that imbibing strategic leadership principles and skills is a task overdue, it is better late than never. Wake up from your intellectual slumber, so that you will build an enduring legacy in your organisation and immediate environment,” he charged youths. The don also said that a good leader must be able to communicate effectively with the public. He X-rays the management principles of leadership as ability to delegate powers and responsibilities effectively. "As leaders, you must adhere strictly to division of work, authority and responsibility, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction subordination of individual

interest, equity, and initiative and spirit de corps," he said. The Amir (President) of the group, Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen, described MSSN, as a vanguard of societal reformation. "The MSSN in Lagos is at the vanguard of reformation through constant training and retraining of its members at various levels to stand the challenges posed by leadership," he said. "A leader should be foresighted and have determined his goal well. He should have the mental capacity to discern the development he might encounter in the future. He should also be able to evaluate the past, the present and the future together and reach new synthesis. A leader who frequently changes opinions causes rifts and disagreement among his community," Badrudeen said quoting the words of Prophet Muhammad.

• Alhaji Badrudeen flanked by AbdulHakeem Ogunmiuyiwa (right) and Idris Muhammed Awwal.


HAIRMAN of Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area, Hon Akeem Bamgbola, has tasked residents on the need to preserve the climate. The council boss said it would help mitigate the impact of climate change. He urged the people to abstain from the habit of felling trees and cultivate the habit of planting instead. "I want to strongly appeal to Lagosians to take care of trees and plant more. When we plant trees, we give life, we plant hope; life and hope for us and to the future generation. Let us all discourage bush burning; it takes one tree to make 10, 000 matches but one match to burn 10,

•The new abbatoir in Ejigbo

New lease of life for Ejigbo


OR years, the Ejigbo area of the ‘city of excellence’ has been neglected, with very little government’s presence in the place despite its strategic location. However, hope that Ejigbo might join the league of better developed areas in the state, is on the horizon going by feelers from the council. The Chairman of the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, said that concerted efforts have been made to provide more facilities for the well-being of the residents. These include the provision of drainage systems, a magistrate court, a modern abbatoir, a primary health care centre, public toilets, road reconstructions among other projects. Most of the projects, he said, would be inaugurated this month. The chairman noted that the

By Patience Saduwa

EJIGBO council had been consistent in working hard to provide these facilities that will make life more meaningful for residents. On the long neglect of Ejigbo, which he referred to as the ‘Niger-Delta of Lagos,’ the chairman stated: “Ejigbo suffered from neglect for so long due to outright marginalisation as well as the political economy of development. Roads promote urbanisation-they open up a place for new industries to be sited and encourage migration. That is the advantage Isolo had over Ejigbo with the construction of the expressway and other roads there. Ejigbo had to trail behind. Isolo also has a lot of influential people who help to bring development there. That is one area we are ex-

Council boss urges residents to plant trees By Tajudeen Adebanjo

000 trees. Let all of us continually complement the state government's efforts in this onerous task of planting up our state for a sustainable environment," he said. Tree planting, Bamgbola said, is a campaign that must be sustained. "The planting has to be more aggressive, especially now that our people appreciate the aesthetic value trees add to our environment and also understand the health advantages," he said. He noted that the days of trampling upon planted trees and

willingly uprooting them are gone for good, adding that it is time for all stakeholders to be more committed to the cause of the environmental regeneration. Representative of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, Mrs Modupe Oguntuase, urged the people to continue to heed the advice of the experts. Mrs Oguntuase, Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pension, said it is mitigation and adaptation that will help make life sustainable on the planet because "our consumption and utilisation of nature's gift has already caused

some damage.” "Tree planting and tree conservation are some of the adaptations and mitigation strategies that have been recommended which we will continue to implement," she said. She noted that the present

ploring here. We want to reach out to high networth individuals, who are residents here and see how they can contribute to the development of the council.” He added that another issue the council was looking at seriously was the improvement of the road network in the council. “Roads that will ease traffic are another priority of the council, an artery of roads that will take off pressure from Oke-Afa-Ejigbo Road,” he said. To this end, he stated that construction on the proposed Ejigbo-Ajao Estate link bridge would start soon. “It’s a Public-Private Partnership project and it has been approved by the state government. When this road and other artery roads are completed, traffic will ease in the area and people can get to their offices and homes on time,” he disclosed.

difficulties caused by flooding goes beyond the current seasonal challenge. She remarked that it is a hard lesson to Nigerians to change their ways of life as a people. "The cutting of trees threatens our economy, our health and our planet. The exigencies of our time immensely require that we do more to preserve nature so that we can live in peace,” she said.

‘We need the people’s support’


HE Majority Leader of Ikeja Local Government Council, Councillor Edward Samuel Arogbonjoh, has urged Nigerians to support the governors and newly elected representatives in the Southwest and that would aid the delivery of dividends of democracy in the South west. Arogbonoh, who stated this in an interview with CityBeats in Ikeja, Lagos, said the legacy of good governance exhibited by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, will be replicated in all the states in the Southwest, if the people are ready to work with the government on policies and programmes that would make up for sustainable development. He said the sterling stride performance of the governor, which has become a reference point, was

By Adeola Ogunlade

made possible due to the support and encouragement given to him by the people of the state. Arogbonoh, Chairman, Committee on Education, Youth and Sport of the Council, noted that the track record and antecedent of the newly elected representatives in the Southwest are enough strides to show they would deliver on their campaign promises. “Good governance is about the people, thus monitoring and evaluating the programmes and policies of the newly elected representatives is key to the socioeconomic development in Nigeria.” He noted that the country would continue to have leaders who would make a mess of the system if the people are indifferent to-

ward good governance and accountability. Edward lamented the penchant for Nigerians telling their leaders what they would like to hear instead of the bitter truth that has not helped in ensuring good governance. He said: “The task of removing Nigeria from the quagmire of dearth of infrastructure facilities, unmitigated unemployment, unreliable electricity, inadequate water supply, bad roads, skyrocketing food prices lies on the people who are ready to engage their elected representative.” He noted that it is high time Nigerians should not be moved by long speeches or routine programmes of governments at all levels, but actions that would help bring about development to the people.

• From left: Mrs Oguntuase, Bamgbola and Ahmed Apatira




‘What she did was an abomination’

A •From left: Mattig, Olurode and Akinboye

INEC committed to democracy, Non-Governmental says Commissioner Organisation (NGO),


Friedrich-EbertStiftung, has presented a book, entitled: Reflections on a decade of democratisation in Nigeria as part of its contribution to democracy. The book is a compilation of papers presented at a workshop jointly organised by the foundation and Islamic Network for Development in 2009.The launch took place in Lagos. Resident representative of the foundation, Mr Thomas Mattig, said the recognition of Nigeria’s challenges influenced the publication, noting that it would it would serve as a wealth of knowledge and a reference point for those interested in the continuation of democratisation in Nigeria.

•Foundation launches book By Toluwani Eniola

“It also makes suggestion on how through politics, issues of underdevelopment, poverty and corruption can be addressed for the advancement of the ordinary citizen in Nigeria,” he added. Mattig said the foundation would not relent in its commitment to the values of social democracy, adding that it would continuously support the movement for democracy and social justice. The event attracted academics, civil society organisation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident commissioner for Lagos, Dr Adekunle

It also makes suggestion on how through politics, issues of underdevelopment, poverty and corruption can be addressed for the advancement of the ordinary citizen in Nigeria

Ogunmola and his Oyo and Ogun states counterparts, Mr Ayo Adakeja and Mr Martins Okunfolami. Also present was the Director, Centre for Social Research, University of Lagos, Prof Kayode Oguntuase, Prof. Samuel Akinboye, Prof. Sam Egwu, Dr Chris Iyimoga and the President, Islamic Network for Development Alhaja Kafeel Oshodi. A National Commissioner of INEC, Prof. Lai Olurode, who edited the book, said it assesses critically, development in the last decade of democratic rule. Olurode said the journey toward a sound democracy is yet to garner sustainable momentum in the country. He said the situation would get better if Nigerians to see commitment as collective efforts. Olurode noted that continuous vigilance must be embraced adding that no effort is insignificant in the tortuous journey to civilisation.

Fashola hailed over contract


HE traditional ruler of Igbo-Illogbo, Ayobo in Ayobo-Ipaja Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Alimosho, Lagos, Oba Arole Idowu Ojo-Ijo, has expressed happiness over the contract awarded to Plycom Construction Company, by the state government, to construct Ayobo-Ipaja road. Speaking with journalists at his palace, the monarch said he was particularly happy to see the erection of the contractor’s sign post an-

By Oziegbe Okoeki

nouncing the commencement of work. He urged the state government to quickly fund the project to enable the contractor to accelerate the pace of work for quick completion, noting that the road had been long abandoned and causing serious problem to the residents. “Now that work is about to start, Ayobo-Ipaja people will forever remain grateful

to the governor,” the Oba said. The traditional ruler also congratulated the national leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the African Servant Leadership award bestowed on him by the Graduate School of Governance and Leadership in Accra, Ghana. He also congratulated the state Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on his 48th birthday.

Council chief consoles flood victims


HE Chairman, IfakoIjaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State, Hon Demola Doherty, has urged the victims of the July 10 floods and building collapse victims in the council area to take heart. Doherty, who was accompanied by other officials of

The damages were much because most residents either built their houses on the drain channels or erect structures on unauthorised places

By Yinka Aderibigbe

the council to the floodsravaged communities, such as Shoretire Street, Olatunde/Okebola Street, Gbeleyi Street and Adetoun Street in Ifako, as well as Abu-Alfred Street, OlaJesu Street, Adekunle Juniad Street, Kaje Street, all in Obawole area, noted that the incident remained the saddest moment recorded since he assumed office three years ago. Doherty said though the heavy rain was a natural phenomenon, resulting from climate change, the damages were much because most residents either built their houses on the drain channels or erect structures on unauthorised places. He appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Mr

Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), to evacuate the occupants of collapsed buildings on Unity Street, Aina Ajobo Area, where a 13-year-old JSS 2 student of Keke Junior Secondary School, Ifako, Master Abayomi Okeowo, got trapped and died. Doherty assisted the flood victims with funds to hire pumping machine to deflood the area to salvage the situation. Besides, the family of the late boy also got financial assistance to enable them to get the deceased buried. One of the victims, Alhaja Temitope Ojerinde, while thanking the Chairman for his prompt visit and kind gesture, pleaded with the government to construct more drainages to link the main drain at Yaya Abatan.

52-YEAR-OLD contractor has pleaded with a Grade ‘A’ Customary Court in Lagos to dissolve his 28-year-old marriage over incompatibility with his wife. The petitioner, Mr Johnson Agbo-Ola, told the court to dissolve his marriage to Rosaline who, he said, was not submissive to him. He alleged that Rosaline left their matrimonial home along with their three children 10 years ago and had not shown any willingness to return home because they had a fight. “My wife abandoned me and took the three children away from me since 2001 af-

By Uchechi Nze

ter a little misunderstanding between us. "When I realised my mistakes of beating her, I went with my family to apologise to her. She accepted my apology but her mother made a statement that ‘if she should return to my house, she should be ready to face her death’. I was not surprised to hear such a statement from her mother because she had been against our marriage,” he said. According to him, four years after his wife left, his leg got swollen to the extent he could not walk like before. He said he has been to

I know she will not like to reconcile with me. I want the court to grant me the custody of my three children aged 21, 19 and 14. I am missing my children

different hospitals for tests and medical check-ups, but they told him they could not find the major problem for the swollen leg. “If not for my sister, I would have been on the street of Lagos. “I know she will not like to reconcile with me. I want the court to grant me the custody of my three children aged 21, 19 and 14. I am missing my children,’’ Johnson said. Responding, Rosaline (49) consented to the dissolution of the union. She told the court that she packed out because of alleged maltreatment and quarrelsomeness by Johnson. “Since 2001, I did not set my eyes on him or any of his family members. He has refused to care for his children. The first two children are schooling in Delta State while the last child is living with me in Ketu,” Roseline, who sells beverages, said. The Court President, Dr Abayomi Ipaye, adjourned the case till August 2 for further hearing. He directed that the three children be present at the hearing.

Businesswoman sues for divorce


35-YEAR-OLD businesswoman has pleaded with a Mushin Customary Court to dissolve her 18-year old marriage to enable her to remarry. The petitioner, Shakirat Taiwo, 35, filed a suit seeking the dissolution of her union with Nafiu Taiwo. “I do not love my husband again. I want the court to dissolve the marriage since we


have been living separately since 2001. I have seen another man that I want to marry and I do not want my husband to continue to harass me, that is why I filed the divorce,’’ she told the court. Shakirat said she parked out of her matrimonial home because of constant battering she received from the man.` She said the marriage had

been blessed with three children of between ages 11 and 17. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the husband was, however, absent in court. The President of the court, Dr Abayomi Ipaye, ordered the court’s bailiff to serve the husband another summons to enable him to appear in court. He adjourned the case till today for further hearing.

Husband arraigned for alleged 49-YEAR-OLD man, He said the accused comwife assault mitted Andrew Amonu, has the alleged offence

been arraigned for allegedly strangling his wife, Ngozi and stabbing her with a broken mirror. Amonu is standing trial at the Ilupeju-Oshodi Magistrate’s Court on a threecount charge of breach of the peace, assault and stabbing. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Magistrate, Mrs M.R. Osho-Adebiyi, granted him bail for N200,000 with two

sureties in the like sum. The prosecutor, Cpl. Kehinde Olatunde told the court earlier that Mr Amonu assaulted his wife by strangling her on the neck over a disagreement. Olatunde also alleged that the accused stabbed Ngozi with a broken mirror on the forehead and caused her severe headache and grievous body harm.

on March 20, at No 1, Arowojobe Close, Oshodi, Lagos. He submitted that the alleged offence contravened Sections 249 (d), 351 and 335 Cap C17, Vol. II of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State. The case was adjourned to August 5 for further hearing.

Businessman charged with fraud


BUSINESSMAN, Mutiu Babatunde, who allegedly obtained N490, 000 under false pretence has been charged before an Ejigbo Magistrate’s Court, Lagos. Standing trial on a twocount charge of conspiracy and fraud, Babatunde, 31, however, pleaded not guilty. Cpl. Oladejo Balogun insisted that the accused with

an accomplice still at large, committed the offence on Nov. 6, 2010 about 1 p.m. at 8/9, Idimu Road, Ejigbo, a Lagos suburb. The prosecutor said the accused fraudulently obtained N490, 000 from Mr Dabit Digol under the pretext of procuring a Qatar visa for him. “Babatunde collected the money and failed to obtain a Qatar visa for the complain-

ant. He also disappeared until he was arrested,’’ he told the court. He said the offence contravened Sections 419 and 516 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State. The Chief Magistrate, Miss Sherifat Solebo granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in the like sum. The case was adjourned for further hearing.

Man, 19, docked for motorcycle theft


HE Police in Lagos have arraigned a 19year-old man, Kelechi Amanachi, for allegedly stealing a motorcycle valued N86, 000. The accused is being tried at an Apapa Senior Magistrate’s Court. He, however, pleaded not guilty. Sgt. Uche Kalu told the

court that the accused stole the motorcycle from where it was parked about 2 a.m. on July 20 at 13, Baruwa St., Kuje-Amuwo, Lagos. Kalu said the accused also stole a reflector jacket worth N4, 000 in addition to the motorcycle with registration no. QB 410 APP, property of Messers Edobor Walis and Stanley

Akapomba. He said the offence contravened Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State. The Senior Magistrate, Mrs A. K. Shonubi, granted the accused bail for N40, 000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned for further hearing.





Aregbesola Centre inaugurated

Council empowers community Ondo




MONDAY JULY 25, 2011

Women urge selfdevelopment Lagos 35


Page 29


Fayemi returns to the classroom


•Dr Fayemi

HE day started like any other. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi went out to inspect projects in various parts of the state. The inspection of roads and culverts started from the Ifaki-Iworoko-AdoEkiti Road and took the governor to the House of Assembly complex, Afao-Ado-Ekiti Road and the power station at Omisanjana as well as the water project at Ajilosun. Then Fayemi decided to inspect the IlaweAdo Road before retiring to his office. But as the convoy of three vehicles sneaked out of Ado-Ekiti, the capital of the state, to Ilawe, he noticed a very bad portion of the road. He ordered the convoy to stop and came down to inspect the portion. He sought ex-

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Akure

planation from the officials of the Ministry of Works who supervised the project going on there. As he did, he was attracted by a jubilant shout of “Governor Fayemi!” by pupils of the nearby Itanla Primary School. Not even a rebuke by a cane-wielding teacher could dissuade the excited pupils who shouted the more. Their effort paid off. As soon as the governor was through with the contractors and the officials, he went in the direction of the pupils, who were shouting and waving from their classes. The pupil of Primary Five A perhaps shouted the loudest. Fayemi spent

about 20 minutes in the class, taking them through an English language lesson, followed by a session of verbal aptitude test. “Good morning, children,” he greeted the pupils. “Good morning, Sir,” they chorused in wild jubilation, adding: “Welcome to Primary 5 A”. The governor ordered them to have their seat, after which he went straight to the board and asked a few questions from a passage on the board. Apparently impressed by the smartness of the pupils, the governor asked them a few questions to determine their level of IQ. Again, the pu•Continued on Page 30

A medical mission by USbased Operation Heal Africa Foundation has restored the sight of over 150 residents of Eruwa, Oyo State, reports SUNDAY OGUNTOLA


LL eyes were filled with tears. Seven-year-old Jamiu Adegbola shook hands excitedly with awed football enthusiasts in a field somewhere in Igboora, Oyo State. A few minutes later, he asked for a football and kicked it to the delight of all. Those who knew Adegbola agreed he was a living miracle. He was seeing for the first time, having been born blind. Five days earlier, he underwent a surgery in nearby Eruwa with much precipitation. His mother, Adejoke, took him there without much of hope. “We had tried many things in the past to make him see,” she said. “So when they mentioned this exercise, I was very sceptical. I almost did not take him there, until I told myself it wouldn’t cost much to take him there. See what God has done for me and this boy now.” Today, Adegbola’s dream of becoming a doctor is back on track. “I want to be a doctor,” he said, grinning after the surgery. He sees no impediment to the fulfil- •After surgery, a patient (middle) gets ready to leave the hospital ment of his dream. “I am going to be a doctor. Nothing will stop me again,” he beamed again. He said he owes it all to the medical mission in the rocky town of Eruwa. Tagged Eruwa Medical Mission, the initiative was the brainchild of Operation Heal Africa Foundation, a US-based philanthropic medical organisation. The charitable organisation was in the ancient town for over a week recently with For Pa Amos Ojebode, blindness became ophthalmic surgeons and personnel for has been the biggest cross of my family,’’ eye surgeries. Over 150 persons success- he began. “It’s so sad to see other kids a way of life almost a decade ago. “I was a fully underwent surgeries for partial growing up normally and watching yours big-time farmer in this town,” he started. blindness and cataract. Each of the sur- unable to do things for himself.” Today, “I was fending for my family with my farmgeries, according to medical experts, costs Mumuni’s story has changed. “He started ing business, sending my children to school last week,’’ his father said on school. This thing (blindness) started N45,000. Five-year-old Mumuni Momodu was phone. He wants to be an engineer, a gradually. I thought it was a small play one of the beneficiaries. The Lanlate-born dream that would have been dashed. He until I could not see again one afternoon. lad lost his sight at two. His father, Sakiru and Jamiu are prepared to take on the Since then, my life has taken a turn for the worst,” he recalled. He became practically said life had been hellish since then. “It world.

The blind see in Oyo community US medical team performs eye surgery Patients hail mission

a beggar and lost one of his children last year. Then, help came. “I heard about this exercise and came straight away. I am happy I can see again,” he smiled. He said he would return to farming to regain lost ground. “What else can I do? Farming bought me fortunes and to it I shall return,” he informed. Madam Bisi Olakunle is also picking up the pieces of her life again after five years of blindness. “I am back alive now. I was lost in the grave because a blind •Continued on Page 30



The blind see •Continued from Page 30

woman is a dead woman,” she shared. Having regained her sight, she said she would return to trading with which she acquired relative wealth. All the beneficiaries told our correspondent blindness has cost them a lot. Miss Bose Ojuawo is in her mid-30s. Until she lost her sight about four years ago, she was altar-bound. “I had a steady relationship and my fiancée was prepared to settle down with me. Then this illness started. But for it, I would be married and blessed with children,” she bemoaned. Her loss notwithstanding, she said getting back her sight is like being born anew. “I feel like a baby. I feel free. I thought I was under a spell and doomed. Now, I am free, liberated to leave again,” she said amid sobs. The mission was not just about surgeries. Residents of the town and environs with sight problems also received free drugs and glasses from the America-based charity. “With this glass, I see better now,’’ a middle aged man who identified himself as Mr. Egunjobi said. ‘’It is a glass of hope for the future,’’ he said with delight. Bukola Taiwo, an SS 2 student of Obaseku High School, Eruwa can now heave a sigh of relief. Being long-sighted, she left her front row months ago. Her performances dwindled, causing her and well-wishers much concern. Things have changed since she got a pair of treated glasses. ‘’The glasses have saved me from shame and a bleak future. I have returned to the front row that I belong to and hear my teachers better. I now con-

.•The medical team

centrate more and my studies have improved,’’ she testified. Such personal turn-around is what Operation Heal Africa foundation exists to make possible, its President Dr Dapo Popoola said. The mission, he said, was motivated by the desire to give something back to his native country. The US-based Nigerian doctor said: ‘’I was sent to America for medical education by this country. I visited home seven years and left determined to give something back. It’s so relieving to pay back to the society. I feel I have been blessed in my practice and I can only do this little service to give back’’. He debunked insinuations that he initiated the scheme to gain political advan-

tage. ‘’I have never been a politician and I will not be one. I have friends who are and I simply pity them. I am happy being a doctor. So, there is nothing like that at all”. The scheme, he said, will be sustained. He said the organisation will solicit for more funds and surgeons for subsequent editions. He revealed the mission was a product of collective and individual sacrifices. “All the doctors paid their way. They had to solicit for funds to be able to come. We all came on our own and people contributed for us. But it has been worth all the pennies. We have seen transformation of lives and that is satisfying,” he stated. The Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Akindele I praised the team for its efforts.

Monarchs back council dissolution RADITIONAL rulers in Mbaise, Imo State have declared their support for Governor Rochas Okorocha on the dissolution of local government areas and suspension of 10,000 jobs pproject started by predecessor. They described the step as one of the best taken by the governor, saying it will sanitise the state of the wrath done by past administration. They said the 10,000-job workers were full of non-existent persons. The chairman of Mbaise Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Eze Chidume Okoro disclosed this at a press conference marking the commencement of the 2011 New Yam festival Festival. The council’s Deputy Chairman, who is the traditional ruler of Amano autonomous community in Ahiazu Mbaise local government area regretted that past Council Chairmen did not utilise the resources of the council well. The monarch disclosed 15th August 2011 as date for the 2011 New Yam festival scheduled to be hosted by Ahiazu Mbaise at Chioma Ajunwa Spots stadium.


•Continued from Page 27 pils were up to the task. They answered quite impressively. In response to his question, most of the pupils told Dr Fayemi that they would like to be governors when they grew up. Some also said they would like to be both a medical doctor and governor at the same time. The governor told the pupils that if they continue to excel in their academic pursuit the way they have demonstrated, they would eventually attained their ambition to be great. According to him, “I can see that you are all smart boys and girls. If you continue to excel in your academic work and shun laziness, I am sure you too would soon become a doctor, an engineer, a teacher, a governor. You can become anything you want to be if you are hard-working and focused.” “I have no doubt in my heart that I am standing before future leaders of our state and our country. Just remain good boys and girls.” The governor who commended the authority of the school said government was committed to creating environment that are conducive for leaning in its schools.

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

The royal father flanked at the briefing by other traditional rulers from Aboh and Ezinihitte Mmbaise respectively described it as annual festival that brings all sons and daughters of from far and near together.

He said that the event would among other activities feature colloquium, dances, and wrestling, adding that the Mbaise people do not eat yams until after the celebration. Eze Okoro sounded it clearly that the festival is not meant for conferring of tittles to people, adding that plan are on the way

The monarchs described the step one of the best taken by the governor, saying it will sanitise the state of the wrath done by past administration. They said the 10,000-job workers were full of non-existent persons

Fayemi returns to the classroom Speaking shortly after the encounter, Governor Fayemi said there was no big deal in taking some time off to teach the pupils as he is first and foremost a teacher. “Well, I have just taught some smart pupils. There is really no big deal, because I am a teacher,” he said. The governor said he was impressed with the quality of education at the public school, adding that his administration is committed to giving quality education to its citizens. He however admitted that some of the public schools do not have good buildings.The Governor who said that poor learning environment was identified at the Education Summit as one of the bane to education and must be at par with productive learning added that his administration would build more classrooms where they are lacking but assured that they won’t be built as a political patronage. “Wherever it is necessary, we will build classrooms but we will not build classrooms as a party patronage process. That happened in the last administration, as there are

places where you don’t really build classrooms and you find low quality classrooms being built. That will not happen,” Fayemi submitted. The governor said the appointment of a renowned educationalist and World Bank Consultant, Prof Modupe Adelabu as chairman of the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) was based on the need to have a professional as its board chairman. He said this would enhance proper handling and repositioning of primary education in the state. Professor Adelabu was, until her appointment earlier in the month, a professor of Education at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. The wild jubilation of the excited pupils continued as the governor’s convoy snaked out of the area.

“We are really blessed and surprised by their selflessness. That they came is a big miracle. We are happy and urge them to continue to come back again,” he said. He said the town has many cases of partial blindness, pointing out that the success of the exercise would lead to greater economic activities. “When you are blind partially or fully, you cannot do much. Like they say, the eye is the light of humanity. Now that some are seeing, it is a great advantage and I can only pray that God will bless the team for us”. He appealed to the team to consider coming back for more works. “I have told them to please come back. We need them and will do whatever is needful to facilitate their works,” he pledged. to initiate a n o t h e r a n n u a l ceremony where tittles could be conferred on people. He said that all sons a n d daughters from they are both those residing outside the country and those within


are expected to come home and participate in the festival.

Council partners NDLEA on drug abuse


GEGE Local Government area of Lagos has partnered the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to create awareness on the dangerous of drug abuse and related problems within the council. The council chief, Hon Jubreel AbdulKareem, said the dangers inherent in involvement of youths in drug-related crime and usage isbecoming alarming Abdulkareem noted that .his administration has put in place youth development centres with the aim of getting then busy. He urged the youths from different secondary schools present at the event to steer clear of drugs, noting that drug is capable of destroying their future.



MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011

Lagos to boost small businesses


AGOS State Government is stepping up plans to improve the economic viability of small- and medium-scale industries in the state. This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu, when she toured some small-scale industrial estates at Isolo, Mushin and Yaba areas of the state. Oworu assured entrepreneurs of the government’s willingness to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs operating within the state. She urged them to always maintain a clean environment in order to reduce the effect of flooding that may mar business activities. She sought their cooperation in maintaining government facilities provided to reduce the cost of production by industries within the estate. The commissioner highlighted the need for them to meet their responsibilities to the government through prompt payment of taxes and rent, while assuring that such monies collected will be channelled into the provision of facilities that will ehance their production capacity. She assured them that the government has worked out modalities to shore up their capital base through a collaborative effort with the micro-finance banks and Bank of Industry (BOI). They could approach these institutions for soft loans with one digit interest rate, she said. Oworu stated that the objective of establishing the estates was to grow smalland medium-scale industries in the state. “That is why what you are paying as rent is cheaper than what is obtained in other market settlements,” she said.


HE Interim Caretaker Chairman of Ondo West Local Government Area, Otunba Ade Adeniyi has boosted the productive capacity of over 127 people with equipment and cash worth N20million. The beneficiaries were the less-privileged, unemployed youths, widows, the aged, traders, among others. The council sponsored six persons to a fashion school in Ikeja, Lagos for a six-month training, after which they would come back to train about 70 people interested in making a career in fashion-design. The council has also trained indigenes of the community in shoemaking and the production of bags and belts. Speaking on the occasion, the council chairman, Otunba Adeniyi said his administra-

•Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Wale Raji, Commissioner, Mrs. Sola Oworu, Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce and Industry, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo and Director of Industry, Mr. T Aloba during the familiarisation tour of small-scale industrial estates in Lagos By Miriam Ndikanwu

She urged occupants to take advantage of this gesture to save their excess profit in order to prepare for future expansion of their businesses. She further explained that the state government is determined to give room for prospective entrepreneurs and industrialists to grow their businesses, promote entrepreneurship culture for the socio-economic growth of the state and add value to the Gross Domestic Product. Other officials of the ministry who accompanied the commissioner on the tour were the Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Commerce

Oworu assured entrepreneurs of the government’s willingness to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs operating within the state. She urged them to always maintain a clean environment in order to reduce the effect of flooding that may mar business activities and Industry, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Wale Raji, Director of Industry, Mr. Raheem

Aloba, Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Alaka Abayomi Akeem, among others.

Council chief empowers community From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

tion is determined to reduce unemployment in the society. He said when people, especially youths, are productively engaged, thuggish activities and armed robbery will reduce, and there will be peace in the community. Adeniyi said it is his desire to make the people great and also contribute to the development of the ancient town. “We want to teach people how to fish instead of giving them fish. This, we believe, will be a lasting legacy of our bid to make

our people great and our land a great one. “We have embarked on mass training, dissemination of knowledge, putting in place re-orientation programmes, establishment of a well-equipped youth empowerment centre, compilation of a database of the unemployed and desiring youth detailing their aspiration. “We have sent out for training six of our people in the area of fashion-design at an enormous cost of N1.18million and we are happy to say that they have been our worthy ambassadors. “These people will form the first set of graduates from the youth empowerment programme

and their period of training will be three-six months and thereafter they will be equipped and supervised, and then released to make themselves great people in the society.” He however urged those who have not benefitted from the first phase of the empowerment programme not to be discouraged, saying that he would ensure everyone will feel the impact of his administration. In his speech, the Council Supervisor for Youth and Sports, Mr. Lanre Awosokanre commended the state government over the introduction of skill acquisition programmes for the youth. He said 136 people have been pencilled down for artisanship training in different fields in order to fight against unemployment.

We want to teach people how to fish instead of giving them fish. This, we believe, will be a lasting legacy of our bid to make our people great. We have embarked on mass training, dissemination of knowledge

•Hon. Adeniyi displaying one of the equipment distributed to the youths





Banks to work with govt



ANAGEMENT teams of Sterling Bank Plc and Sky Bank Plc led by their Group Managing Directors and Chief Executive Officers, Mr. Yemi Adeola and Mr. Kehinde Durosimi Etti have solicited collaboration of the government of Ogun State in its rebuilding process. Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Ibikunle Amosun at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta in Ogun State, the Group Managing Director of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Adeola explained that the bank can be the number one partner of Ogun State governmnent with a view to rebuilding the state. “We have partnered with some states in the federation in the areas of internally

Oyo, NRC partner on rail services


FTER many years of unfulfilled dream, the Oyo State government and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) have set up partnership modalities for the enhancement of rail transportation in the State. Governor Abiola Ajimobi disclosed this while receiving the management team of the NRC in his office in Ibadan. The governor said plans had been concluded to kick-start the partnership with the Nigeria Railway Corporation towards the commencement of mass transit by rail, adding that a five-man committee would be set up to work out modalities for the take-off. Ajimobi said that residents of the state are keen and willing to patronise the Nigeria Railway Corporation in its services, considering its safety, reliability and timeliness. He expressed the wish that rail services would begin soon,promising that the bottlenecks of bureaucracy would not be allowed to affect the government’s desire to kick-start the partnership in a matter of weeks. He advised the NRC to identify key areas


Oyo From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

where there are large concentration of people that will benefit more from its services, urging the corporation to look into the possibility of beginning rail mass transit from Lagos to Ibadan. In his remarks, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Engr. Seyi Sijuade, said the proposed partnership was to seek ways of collaborating with the state government in enhancing passenger and freight services by rail in the state. He said that over 200 coaches had been rehabilitated by the Federal Government, including rail tracks from Lagos to Kano, just as a number of brand new locomotives had been acquired for the successful operation of the corporation. The managing director also assured the governor of the immediate take-off of the partnership arrangement.

Ogun generated revenue, transportation scheme and among others. We hope to replicate these in Ogun State,” he said. In another development,the Group Managing Director of Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Durosimi while on a courtesy call on the governor also expressed his bank’s desire to partner with Ogun State in areas of education, economic development and among others. Replying, Governor Amosun said his administration would •Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain, Cardinal James Odunbaku (right) decorating the Olu of Itori, interface with the private Oba Fatai Akamo (middle) with ACN hand-band while popular fuji musician, Abass Akande Obesereentertain sector with a view to fixing the challenges in the the audience during the 2011 Itori Day in Abeokuta PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU state. “We would not hesistate to partner with you, rather we would create enabling environment for the private sector to invest in our state. For us, it is going to be a mutually beneficial relationship between our state, our people and the private sector,” he said. The governor added that though the task ahead is challenging, it is not insurmountable.

Ekiti spends N1b on water supply


KITI State government has assured residents of Ado Ekiti and its environs of adequate supply of potable water before the end of September just as it plans to inject over N1billion to boost water provision to communities in the state.

Lawmaker condemns varsity relocation

S the controversy over the relocation of the Federal University rages on in Ekiti State, a member of the State House of Assembly, Hon Adeyinka Adeloye, has reminded President Goodluck Jonathan that the relocation will sabotage the efforts of the state government and the community if effected. The lawmaker described Ikole Ekiti as a better choice than Oye Ekiti for the siting of the university, saying the town had never been in a vantage position in terms of governments’ presence . Ruling out the possibility of relocating the university to another state over the controversy on the premise that Ekiti was the only state without a Federal University in the Southwest, Adeloye urged the President to make a definite pronouncement on where the university will be located to calm frayed nerves. Briefing newsmen in Ado Ekiti, the Action Congress of Nigeria lawmaker representing

Ekiti From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Ikole Constituency 1 at the State Assembly, said the town has already contributed N20 million to aid the smooth take-off of the university in Ikole Ekiti. The lawmaker also disclosed that Governor Kayode Fayemi, whom he said received the siting of the university with warm heart, had expended energy and money in processing the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the land allocated for the institution. The former Minister of State (Education), Dr Kenneth Gbagi, had last year after his visit to the state recommended the choice of the community for the siting of the university that is yet to take off in the state.

• Chairman, Iba Local Council Development Area. Hon. Ramota Adeyeri-Oseni planting a tree during the tree planting exercise in her council

•From left: The Minister-in-charge of Motailatu Church, Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide. Special Apostle I.S. Akinadewo; Most Senior Apostle D.A. Fakoya; Primate P.A. Akinbo and Special Senior Apostle D.K. Onanuga at the 10th Anniversary of Motailatu Church, Alakuko, Lagos

‘Council creation has helped Fashola’


Chairmanship aspirant of IkosiIsheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Kosofe, in Lagos State, Arch. Kuti Odukunle Babajide, has said that the creation of more local councils in the state is partly responsible for the success of Fashola’s administration. Babajide expressed said this in an exclusive interview with Newsextra recently in Kosofe.This is because the councils at the local level are taking care of the needs of the people. Babajide said though he felt bad over the non-listing of the newly created councils by the National Assembly up till now, “nonlisting does not make any difference; because listing or no listing, we are still working and moving on and delivering to our people and that is the most important thing”. The architect, who said he has been actively involved in politics since his undergraduate days at the Obafemi Awolowo University, opted to vie for the chairmanship position because “I want to bring about meaningful changes in the lives of the people, for them to live a better life and for the youths to have a voice in government”. He has also been actively involved in the politics of his locality since his undergraduate days. He was the Secretary, Caretaker Committee of his Community

Ekiti From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

The water project embarked upon by the state government under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) projects involves laying of ductile pipes that would link dams with several reservoirs that were strategically positioned across the state as well as the procurement of generators and pumping machines. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Utilities, Mr. Kayode Jegede, disclosed that the focus was to ensure adequate water supply in the state capital and its environs. He noted that 700 ductile pipes worth N140 million were already being laid from the Ureje Water Works in Ado Ekiti to the OkeIla reservoir. According to Mr. Jegede, the Fayemi-led administration intended to utilise the Okeila reservoir that was built and abandoned over 13 years ago, to boost distribution of water to Ajibade, Ido-olofin and Adebayo areas as well as the two housing estates in the state capital. Jegede, who put the cost of the project at N300 million, said it would be completed in September. The special adviser said that the current administration began the turn-around maintenance of the four dams with Ureje and Ero dams, noting that the state Executive Council recently approved the contract of N180million for the supply of a 2500kva power generator at the Ero dam.

By Oziegbe Okoeki

drainages etc, it was all a selfless service.” Babajide promised to make a difference in local council administration by making sure he assembles a very strong team to work with him, apart from the councilors whose choice he has no control over, “as a young professional I will make sure that those to work with me are people that have been proven to be performers and achievers, people that are committed and masses conscious”.

Minister harps on development Abuja From Bukola Amusan, Abuja


HE chairmen and councillors in the 774 local government areas of the federation have been urged to work hard for the development of their respective councils. The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, gave this charge while receiving the officials of the Bauchi State Councillors’ Forum that visited him in Abuja. The minister emphasised that there will be no meaningful development in the country if, the local governments are unable to discharge their statutory responsibilities because majority of the country’s population reside in the local areas. Senator Mohammed reiterated that local governments must be up and doing to positively impact on the lives of people in their areas. The minister said that all these can only be achieved with sound institutional framework which must be supported by the legislative arms of the local government consisting of councillors. He admonished them to shun personal interest for national interest, stressing that leadership is a test from the Almighty. The minister revealed that he and the Bauchi State Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda have put aside their differences in the interest of the people of Bauchi State and the nation at large.

Ondo to create alternative power supply Ondo From Damisi Ojo, Akure

administration’s determination to fight hunger and poverty in the state, expressed happiness at the level of commitment and the zeal of the 1,000 participants of the agric scheme that he met on the farm during the inspection visit. The agric village, which is the pilot of the agricultural revolution programme of the state government, according to Governor Mimiko, came into existence so as to create employment opportunities for the youth and prepare them

•Mimiko to be self-reliant in animal husbandry, poultry farming, fishery and mushroom farming among others.

Ekiti to spend N2b on urban renewal


HE Ekiti State government is to spend N2 billion on the proposed urban renewal project in Ado Ekiti, the state capital. The Commissioner for Physical Urban and Regional Planning, Mr Kayode Olaosebikan, made the disclosure in a chat with newsmen in the state capital, saying the expenditure would be met through the 2011 Appropriation bill that had been signed into law . He disclosed that demolition of illegal structures from Basiri to Ajilosun Area will begin on July 31 to pave way for the commencement of the urban renewal and beautification programme. He advised those served with quit notices to comply within the stipulated time. Olaosebikan regretted that Ado Ekiti had been reduced to a slum due to preponderance of illegal structures along major and minor roads. He said the project was fashioned to give AdoEkiti a facelift and make it look like a befitting state capital. The commissioner assured that the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi had made provision for the payment of compensation to

Ekiti From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti.

all the owners of legal structures that would be demolished , advising the affected individuals to present all the relevant documents at the Ministry of Physical, Urban and Regional Planning. He appealed to the public not to read political meanings to the programme, noting that no affected individuals would be deprived of his compensation benefits because on his political belief or party affiliation. Speaking in a similar vein, the Commissioner for Housing and Environment, Mr Wole Adewumi, said the state government has commenced the building of new market in Ajilosun area of the state capital that would accommodate those that would be displaced by the demolition exercise. Adewumi said those who acquired their lands legally for the building of their demolished lock-up -shops would be allocated new ones at the new market.


Lagos Development Association (CDA), president of Ikosi Isheri People Solidarity Movement, “whose major objective was bringing Kosofe youths together to demand for justice as well as wellbeing and y o u t h empowerment; we were also involved in community development activities like patching of roads, blocking pot holes, c l e a r i n g •Babajide

NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has said arrangements were at advanced stage to develop alternative means of power supply to the Caring Heart Agricultural Village at Ore in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state. Besides, the state government is determined to ensure the success of its agricultural revolution which is expected to employ over one million youths. Mimiko gave this assurance while conducting the Director of Prototype Engineering Development Institute, Ilesha, Dr. Razak Adetunji and the Acting Director of the Engineering Materials Development Institute, Akure, Mr Bankole Olunlade round the village, located along Benin-Ore expressway. According to him, the purpose of the visit was to work out modalities for the development of machine tools and hydropower system to service the village due to high cost of generating sets. Mimiko,who reiterated his

Church holds summit

Ondo NDLEA destroys 34 hectares of cannabis

By Alidu Balogun

THE Resident Pastor of Ilupeju Branch of New Testament Life Mission, Pastor Lanre Adelaja, has emphasised the need for people to always put God first in all their plans and endeavours. According to him, this is the only way to partake of God blessings and protection at all time. He said this during the monthly prayer programme ‘covenant prayer and prophetic (CPP) summit’ which is organised by the church. According to him, “At the beginning of each month, there is the need to invite God to lead and guide us so that all our undertakings in the months ahead will be danger-free and prosperous.’ He urged the general public to attend this blessingprovoking programme. ‘There is the need to position yourself with God for your possession this month’, he said. Distinguished men of God are expected to attend the (CPP) programme. The programme comes up on August 1 at the church auditorium, 25, Oyewole Street, off Shillion Street, Palmgrove, Lagos.

OPERATIVES of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) in Ondo State, have destroyed about 34 hectares of carnabis plantation in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State. The operation succeeded because of the assistance of state Police Force. The state NDLEA Commander, Mr. Walter Nicholas who led the operation and accompained by the officer in charge of the State Anti Robbery Squad, Mr. Tunji Disu,said the farms were discovered when policemen traced some armed robbers to the area. Disu explained that the robbers had escaped into the forest and that the security personnel discovered that a large expanse of land was being used there to cultivate the weed. He said: “When the officers came back from the bush, they brought the report of their discovery and we reported to the NDLEA.” Nicholas told the journalists that his agency would continue to put in place necessary efforts to ensure that the hemp business was reduced to the barest minimum in the state.

• Neighbours and children of The Nation’s photographer Dayo Adewunmi parking their belongings to a safe place as a resuit of the flood at Olaniyi Street,off Dalemo Alakuko Road, Agbado ,Lagos

Council recruits 65 drain duckers


HE Chairman of Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area,in Lagos State, Hon Akeem Bamgbola, recruited over 65 drain duckers to de-flood the areas affected by the last heavy down pour. Bamgbola in a chat with Newsextra lamented the destruction of valuable properties the 15 hours heavy down pour caused. He solicited the support of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola towards clearing of the canals and building new channels from Lawanson to Pako. Though, he admitted that there were no casualties recorded during the flooding, he sought the assistance of the state government for those adversely affected . On efforts of the council to assist the victims , Bamgbola said his council is collaborating with the State government to provide succour. The council, he disclosed, has opened a register at the council secretariat for people affected to channel their complaints. He urged the residents to stop dumping refuse inside the drain and cultivate the habit cleaning

Lagos By Tajudeen Adebanjo

the drain. “Our people should realise that they would be the major victim of flooding if the drain are blocked with refuse. The community leaders should educate their people on the danger inherent in it. They should make as a point of duty to clear the drain at all time and not wait for the government always,” he said. He urged the people to remain calm because whenever there is intense rainfall, there will be flooding. “Where there is intense rainfall, you will see flood described as flash flooding, but be calm because once it subsides, the flood will go away,” he said. The drain duckers are working on over 15 roads some of which are Kilo; Alawode; Noibi; Adeboyejo; Tiwo; Agunlejika; Akinkunmi; Ogunmuyiwa and Adeyemi.



MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011

Clergy deplores violence


CLERIC has joined the wide condemnation of the violence rocking some parts of Nigeria. The Anglican Bishop of Ido-Ani Diocese in Ondo State, the Rt. Rev. Ezekiel Dahunsi, has urged architects of the anti-social behaviour to stop it or face God’s wrath. The cleric described the incessant detonation of bombs that have claimed many innocent lives as barbaric and sinful, noting that the reign of terror is alien to Nigeria. Speaking shortly after the ordination of Deacons Rufus Kehinde Fatorisa and Elisha Akinlolu Agara, Bishop Dahunsi maintained that insecurity in the country needs to be addressed by the federal government. He pointed out that the blood of the innocent souls being killed by the Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, will have adverse effect on peace and development in the country. Delivering his homily at the well-attended service, the Dean of the Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity, Ido-Ani, Ven. F.A Ayenigbara noted that the success of any organisation, group, town, local government, state or nation depends on the type of leaders at the helm of affairs. He advised the newly ordained deacons to consider their training, stressing that everyone is looking up to them to be exemplary Christian leaders. “Leaders must wait on the Lord, obey God’s voice, endure, shun fornication and idolatry, among other vices,” he said. Ven. Ayenigbara who quoted copiously from the Bible , cited examples of leaders who because of self-interest and jealousy lost heaven.


OSUN-OKUNOLA Local Development Area of Lagos State has built a medical centre named after Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola. The governor inaugurated the facility in the company of his wife Alhaja Sherifat and chairman of the council, Hon Abiodun Mafe. The medical centre is equipped to handle primary and secondary health challenges. The two-storey building boasts a gigantic stand-by generator, an ambulance, medical accessories and renowned medical personnel. Aregbesola said it stands as a testimony of their dream eight years ago. A visibly elated Aregbesola heaped praises on the council boss for keying into the vision behind the creation of the LCDA. “We told the world then that government would be meaningful and have more impact on the people if it is closer to them. This is

•Bishop Dahunsi (third from left), his wife, Mrs. A. O. Dahunsi (third from right)and the two new Deacons with their wives From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The Cathedral administrator advised the congregation to put their trust in the Lord, stressing that it is only God that gives power and position to those who deserve them. He advised the newly ordained deacons to respect those they met in God’s vineyard. The duo were ordained by Bishop Dahunsi who showered blessings on them and their entire families.

The Bishop pointed out that the blood of the innocent souls being killed by the suspected Islamic sect Boko Haram will have adverse effect on the sustainability of peace and development in the country

Aregbesola Medical Centre inaugurated By Tajudeen Adebanjo

one of many examples and I am sure it will not end with this centre,” he said. He hailed the vision and doggedness of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for creating the 37 LCDAs in 2005, describing the health centre as another feather in Tinubu’s cap. Mosun-Okunola was carved out of Alimosho Local Government Area. “Our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s struggle for development at the local level has been justified. This is yet another of his numerous achievements. I am proud that one of the LCDAs has succeeded in building this giant edifice bigger than what state governors outside Lagos could boast of.”

Aregbesola congratulated the leadership of Alimosho for their positive contribution to the development of the state. He described the area as the bastion of progressive politics in Nigeria. Alimosho, he said, has over the years been a source of pride to Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. He hailed the giant strides of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. He congratulated the council boss, Hon Mafe on vision to build the edifice. Fashola, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Olugbile described Mafe’s effort as a right step in achieving the goal of the administration to have a health centre in each

ward of the state. He expressed happiness that the dividends of democracy especially good health is delivered to the people at the grassroots. If people have easy access to good health care, he said, it will reduce the level of poverty in the state and ensure a healthy nation. Mafe said his administration has displayed unusual determination and commitment to achieve its set goals and improve the quality of the people’s lives. “This administration places high premium on the wellness of our people. We had earlier equipped our Primary Health Care centres and made them function to meet modern health care challenges. They are now rendering 24 hours services to the people,” he said. He believes the new medical centre will reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases and ameliorate the suffering of the people residing in the area who usually sought secondary medical attention in far places.

This administration places high premium on the wellness of our people. We had earlier equipped our Primary Health Care centres and made them function to meet modern health care challenges. They are now rendering 24 hours services to the people •Aregbesola (left) assisted by his wife, Alhaja Sherifat, Dr Olugbile (second right) and Mafe to cut the tape



MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011

Akwa Ibom partners foreign donors on health


HE health profile of newborns will receive a major boost in Akwa Ibom State as the state government and international organisations have sealed a pact to tackle childhood diseases. Also to benefit from the partner-

From Mike Akpan, Uyo

ship, are pregnant women. United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), World Health Organisation (WHO), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) World Bank are pro-

viding counterpart funding in the partnership. One major area of focus is malaria, which continues to terrorise many in Africva, especially children. The donor agencies are helping

• Dr. Udoh handing out health packs to pregnant women


SE/ORUN Local Government in Ekiti State is happy with Guinness Plc over the multi-millionnaira water project it is sponsoring in conjunction with the local government to lift people in the area. It is a water project which is located in the heart of Ise. Water from the project will be distributed to Oge, Okeshoko, Odo Moba, Motor Park area, Oke Odi, Ojude, Kajola, Lower Ilisa, and Oja Oba market areas in Ise Ekiti when completed. A statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to Association of Local government of Nigeria, (ALGON) in the state, Gbenga Sodeinde said the water project is timely and that it is in tandem with the eight-point agenda of Governor

throug funding and technical support. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Nestor Udoh while flagging off the first round of maternal and child health week (MNCHW) in the state, said activities marking the seven-day event were designed to bring succour to children, newborns and pregnant women. The “high impact intervention,” as it is called, included immunisation against childhood diseases, provision of Vitamin “A” supplement, birth registration, de-worming, long-lasting insectiside treated net (LLINS), ante-natal care, screening of children for malnutrition, instruction on hand washing technicalities, HIV/AIDS counselling and health education. The partnership with donor agencies is a demonstration of the state government’s political will to eradicate childhood illness and reduce maternal and child mortality rate in the state. Already, comprehensive mobilisation taking place at the grassroots, including churches, village councils. Akwa Ibom State has been free from wild polio virus (WPV) for the past 10 years. Unicef has provided up to N2.3m for social mobilisation and media activities in the state. The global organisation has also provided Vitamin A supplements for children in the state.

The partnership with donor agencies is a demonstration of the state government’s political will to eradicate childhood illness and reduce maternal and child mortality rate in the state The vaccine administered during the health week included BCG against Tuberculosis and DPT against Diphtheria, Perphesis, and Tetanus. OPV was aslo adminstered against polio. Other vaccinations were against tetanus and measles. Expectant women received medication and adequate information.

Guinness, council sponsor water project By Dada Aladelokun

Kayode Fayemi‘s administration. The caretaker Chairman of the local government, Mr Femi Ajayi who expressed satisfaction at the level of job done at the site declared after inspecting the project, that the project which began in April this year will be completed within the next few weeks, adding that it will be due for “commissioning within the next one month, because with my assessment the job 85 percent completed”. Aside this, the council chairman who disclosed his intention to power the water plant with a giant genera-

tor, however, promised to extend the water supply to other villages and towns in the local government areas after completion as part of the road map development agenda of the Fayemi administration. He, however, declared that Ise Orun Local Government in Ekiti State is lucky to have been picked as the first place for the project out of the two towns where the project will be located in the whole country In another development, in a statement made available to Newsextra by the ALGON spokes-

person, Mr Sodeinde, the local government chairman has warned late comers and truants working in Ise/ Orun local government to desist or risk disciplinary action Hon. Ajayi who made the declaration after an emergency roll call of staffs of the local government yesterday in Ise/Orun was particularly miffed at the scanty presence of staffs as at 9; 30 am in local government. “Imagine I met only 131 staffs in the whole local government where I have staff strength of about 1, 092,” he averred. Aside this, the chairman said “ it

has been noticed that some would only come and signed that they are in office, after which they will go back either to market or elsewhere for the whole day, while some would not even bother to come at all but would only be frequent in the office whenever they are going to get their salary” Hon. Ajayi who declared that the Governor Kayode Fayemi led government would not condone any act of indiscipline declared that anyone caught in any of these acts would forfeit his or her salary for that month.

Women urge self-development


ESOURCE persons at the women summit organised by the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State have advised women to inspire themselves and avoid excuses. The summit, themed “Essential Tools for Women Empowerment”, attracted many women in the council and featured lectures on entrepreneurship, communication, business networking as well as character and dressing right. At the event were the representatives of the wife of the Lagos State governor, Mrs Oyetola, Ifemade, Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale; President, National Council of Women Society, Alhaja Sidikat Ayodele. One o the resource persons, Mrs Pat Ofik, praised the council for initiating the programme. She said it is better to be trained to fish than to be given the fish. She urged women who are not educated to acquire skills that can transmute to wealth. Mrs Ofik said many women refuse to take personal responsibility for their condition because

By Toluwani Eniola

of ignorance, laziness and low selfesteem. “There are many financial facilities for women who want to establish small or medium scale businesses, but they hardly make efforts to access them. The Executive Director, Foundation for Skills Development, Mrs Omowale Ogunrinde described women empowerment as a pathway to sustainable national development. Mrs Ogunrinde, who delivered a lecture entitled, empowering women; the future of Nigeria , said the nation would experience accelerated economic growth if women are given equal opportunities as men. She urged women to adopt a business in line with their passion, noting that idleness and reliance on their husbands will not augur well for them. Mrs Ogunrinde also advised government to provide essential services, adding that a nation that wants to grow must embrace entrepreneurship. Her words: “It is proven that when women are empowered, they will take care of at least two other persons. Women too have a role to

•From right: Comrade Adewale, Mrs Oyetola, Alhaja Ayodele and Alhaja Memunat Ajao, MD CEO Ajao Enterprises Nig. Ltd at the summit play even if the encouragement is not there. The must strive for personal development and create a business and run it. One of the ways to do this is by joining a coooperative society. This is not a good time as many companies are cutting down the size of their workforce, so small business is the solution.

Mrs Atinuke Adelakun underscored the essence of communication and dressing right. She told the women to treat their customers well, noting that first impressing last long. Comrade Adewale , in his remarks, urged the women to put the information into use. He restated the council’s commitment to women development, adding that he goal of

the event was to ensure that women have a voice in governance and the private sector so that they can participate actively in public dialogue and decision making. The event also featured the investiture of the wife of the AmuwoOdofin council chair, Mrs Zainab Adewale as a patron of the National Council for Women society.

MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011


The magnitude of the challenge in the youth sector has also created a good opportunity for this government to carve its name in gold and for individuals with clear vision to excel

Ex-ambassador advocates review of education system


ORMER Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia and founder, African Refugee Foundation, AREF, Segun Olusola has advocated the need for the country to review its educational system. Olusola, who spoke at the 13th Valedictory Service and Prize-Giving Day of Good Shepherd Schools, Meiran, Lagos, said this would help arrest the decay in the sector. According to him, there was the need to overhaul the system as things had gone very bad, adding that recognising the fact that things have gone wrong with the educational system would surely lead to a solution in curbing the decay. “The fact that you recognised that there is decay in the system; we have to say this in public, so that the education authorities can read about it, hear about it and know there is decay. “ Once they know, I have no doubt in my mind that the authorities in education at the state and federal government levels will be persuaded to set up a review, upgrade the system in such a way that the decay you refer to can be ameliorated,” he stated. On whether plans to change the 6-3-3-4 education system would help to address the decay in the educational system, Olusola said he had no doubt that some consultation were going on, “but my recommendation is of the views that our professional teachers, both private and public ought to be taken into consideration for this far reaching changes to be introduced into the system. “I think today, the contributions of teachers in private schools has been good; their views ought to be taken to consideration, once that is done, I have


BOUT 328 pensioner that retired from the employ of Lagos State Government have received their retirement bond certificates worth N2.2 billion. Presenting the cheque to beneficiaries at Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja Secretariat, Governor Fashola said the presentation was in fulfillment of the government commitment to the welfare of workers in the state. Fashola, who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, explained that so far the state had redeemed retirement bond worth over N3.5 billion to 649 retirees with the promise to pay additional N1.6 to another set of 240 retirees in the next four weeks. He said the state government had to discontinue with the old method of Pay As You Go, (PAYGO) scheme because of the inherent bottlenecks that hindered retirees from having prompt access to their retirement benefits. Fashola stressed that, in order to demonstrate full commitment to the scheme, government ensured that monthly

•A cross section of the graduating students at the valedictory service and prize-giving day By Miriam Ndikanwu

no doubt that they will be properly guided.” Speaking at the occasion, the Head, Department of History and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos, UNILAG, Prof. Rufus Akinyele, who delivered a paper titled: Nigeria: The Nation, the Youths and the Future, lamented that governments at all levels had failed to improve the lots of youths. “As in the past, the youths constituted the ‘destructive elements’ in the post election violence of March this year and in the ongoing Boko Haram crisis in the north. The degree of threats to lives has necessitated the call for the cancellation of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.


The university don charged the graduating students to embrace the opportunity at their disposal, persevere as well as embrace self-discipline, saying that “time waits for no one. Aim for the sky, navigate the way with your compass, deploy your energy and talents and the world will celebrate you.” The Proprietor of the school, Dr. Bayo Oyeyemi, said what was needed in the nation now was educational revolution and how to get the devastating problem in the educational sector solved. “We know there is decay in the educational sector but in Good Shepherd, we don’t condone examination malpractice; we stand for qualitative education without corruption. We stand for discipline in this school,” he said.

Lagos pensioners receive N2.2bn retirement bond By Miriam Ndikanwu

contributions were made by the state government into employees’ retirement savings account. He said: “The funds are set aside religiously as a first line charge along with salaries, and paid into the retirement bond redemption fund and a pension sinking fund account to

ensure that anyone retirees, accrued pension rights made up of gratuity and pension entitlements due to the employee for years spent in state service under the old PAYGO which was discontinued are immediately credited into retirement savings.” The governor, therefore, enjoined the pensioners to engage pension fund

A part from the five percent of employees’ monthly wage bill statutory funding obligations created under the Lagos Pension Law for accumulation in the Retirement Redemption Fund Account, the state also created a sinking fund into which funds amass for funding of pension deficits

Cleric seeks understanding prominent Islamic scholar, Sheikh Habeebullah Adam-El-Ilory, has called on the opponents of the Islamic banking to be accommodating Sheikh Adam said that Islamic Banking is about removing the practice of interest which is alien to all religious principles. “Other monotheistic religions including Christianity also do not accept usury. Islam is not the only religion that

“Incidentally, it is into this youth sector the graduating students of today’s ceremony are being released. Does it mean then that the future is bleak? What strategies should they adopt to complement government efforts to improve their own situation? “Let me quickly observe that the magnitude of the challenge in the youth sector has also created a good opportunity for this government to carve its name in gold and for individuals with clear vision to excel,” he said. On the way forward, he called on the Federal Government to review the national youth policy, create youth development centres, create massive employment for youths and adherence to the national youth development index.

prohibits usury; it is only because the rules of prohibition are very structured that it has achieved world prominence. It encourages Muslims and other people to invest their money and to become partners in order to share profits and risks in the business instead of becoming creditors. Islamic finance is based on the belief that the provider of capital and the user of

capital should equally share the risk of business ventures, whether those are industries, farms, service companies or simple trade deals.” He described Islamic banking as a universal system. “Let us try to understand one another’s differences and respect such. It is baseless and totally uncalled for that non-interest banking will Islamise the country, rather, will be beneficial to all,” he said.

administrators in discussions that will enhance their investments for their benefit and that that of their dependants. Also speaking, the Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission LASPEC, Mr. Rotimi Hussain, said that the state government is the only state in Nigeria that has been consistent with issuance of bond certificates in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004. Hussain, explained that the ‘retirement bond’, which represents pension obligations made up of actuarially determined gratuity and pension benefits up to 31st March, 2007 saying that provision has already been put in place by the state government to fund the liabilities. He explained that apart from the five percent of employees’ monthly wage bill statutory funding obligations created under the Lagos Pension Law for accumulation in the Retirement Redemption Fund Account, the state also created a sinking fund into which funds amass for funding of pension deficits. While explaining the two exit options available to retirees in the contributory pension scheme, Hussain stressed that the Pension Act 2004 does not require Pension Fund Administrators, PFA to neither impose any option on the retiree nor coerce or influence the choice of the retiree between programmed withdrawal and annuity. He said that where a retiree opts for the programme withdrawal plan, the benefit template is to be signed before the retiree begins to draw monthly pension, in line with arrangement with his PFA.






EFCC, Institute,join forces against graft


O cleanse the society, the Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria (IFCON) is to partner the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to fight graft. The institute made its stand known when 246 of its new members were inducted during its fourth mandatory seminar for Associate Grade, Ikeja, Lagos. In his speech, the President/Chairman of IFON’s Governing Council Dr Nimiye Egai said renowned legal practitioners were working on a draft for the charter status of the institute. He said: “Plans are on to invite all fellow members of the institute to an interactive session where the key issue in the agenda will be that of the bill.” According to him, the session will afford fellow members the opportunity to have their input into the bill and discuss modalities for the presentation.

• • • • • •

By Jude Isiguzo

Advising the inductees on the need to uphold professional ethics, Egia said: ”We must do all that is at our disposal to build an enviable institute that all of us will be proud of. This you can do by adhering to the institute’s code of conduct and by upholding the oath of allegiance you will be swearing, which is a public declaration of your submission as a professional financial controller to all that this institute stands for.” Egai explained that the institute is also working out a partnership with the Consultancy Service unit of the University of Benin in running a certificate course in finance and Control. He said the collaboration will cover consultancy businesses and that the idea is to allow the activities of the institute affect greater number of persons in the

What the EFCC is doing is to fight all those who have in one way or the other stolen from the country and ensure that the stolen funds are returned and used to develop the country

• • • • •



By Emmanuel Udodinma

They were said to have committed the offence at Alaba International Market, Lagos, in April 2005. The prosecutor, Seargent Chinalu Uwadione said Obieze and Nwaoye obtained N3.5million from Mr Atuegwu on the pretext of selling him a plot of land at plot 1833b A close, 7th Avenue, Festac. The offence is punishable under section 419 of the

They were jailed for defrauding Mr Clement Atuegwu of N3.5 million with the pretext of selling a plot of land to him


One Oligbe Lasunkanmi ‘m’ aged 24yrs old about 5ft tall, fair in complexion, speaks English and Yoruba Languages fluently. If seen contact one Olaigbe Babatunde ‘m’ of Block 7, Flat 5 LSDPC Housing Estate Agege, Lagos or Pen Cinema Police Station.


One Abayomi Idowu ‘m’ aged 15yrs old about 5ft tall, dark in complexion, speaks English and Yoruba Languages fluently. If seen contact One Idowu Saheed ‘m’ of Zuwe Wesome Village along Ilogbo Eremi or Morogbo Police Station.


One Victor Abioye ‘m’ aged 35yrs old about 5ft tall, dark in complexion, speaks English and Yoruba Language fluently. If seen contact One Ayomikun Abioye ‘f’ of No. 85, Mafoluku Street, Oshodi Lagos or Isokoko Police Station.


One Dupe Rofia ‘f’ aged 18yrs old, about 4ft tall, light in complexion, speaks English and Yoruba Language fluently. If seen contact One Ayeni Louis ‘m’ of No. 80, St Finbarrs College Road, Akoka Bariga Lagos or Bariga Police Station.


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


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


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

•Mrs Waziri

country and to ensure that financial matters are better handled by professionals in both the private and public sector of the economy. In a keynote address, the Head of Legal Unit of the EFCC in Enugu, Mr Ojogbana Johnson, said it is a pity Nigeria is a country blessed with plenty, but that its people live in abject poverty. He said what the EFCC is doing is to fight all those who have in one way or the other stolen from the country and ensure that the stolen funds are returned and used to develop the country. Johnson noted that the commission is interested in what the institute is doing and is ready to assist the institute whenever it is called upon.

Two jailed for N3.5m fraud Yaba Magistrate’s Court in Lagos has jailed Mr Arthur Obieze and Chris Nwaoye for three-years without option of fine for fraud. They were jailed for defrauding Mr Clement Atuegwu of N3.5 million with the pretext of selling a plot of land to him. Mr Obieze and Nwaoye, both 45, were arraigned on charges bordering on forgery of land document and obtaining money falsely.

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

Criminal Code Laws, 2003. According to the police, Obieze issued a dud United Bank of Nigeria (UBA) cheque for N1 million and forged an allocation paper of the Federal Housing Authority, Abuja, for the plot dated April 27, 2005. The prosecution said the offence was punishable under section 464 of the Criminal Code and under section 1 (1a) of Dishonoured Cheques Offence Act, Cap 102, Laws of Federation, 1990. Giving judgment in the case, Magistrate Mrs A.A. Demi-Ajayi, said from evidence presented, she found the suspects guilty on four counts of conspiracy, felony, obtaining money under false pretence, stealing and forgery.

•Jinadu, receiving the tyre inflators from Olewunne while the company’s Brand Manager, Mr Henry Olewunne looks on


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


One Honda Accord S/Car with Reg. No. FN 756 LSR Colour Green with Chassis No. IHGCD5636TA214149 and Engine No. F22B23515224. If seen contact any nearest Police Station or Ikeja Police Station Area ‘F’ Command.


One Honda CRV Jeep with Reg. No. MW 843 AAA Colour White with Chassis No. JHLRD1878Y5005615 and Engine No. B20223007681. If seen contact any nearest Police Station or Area ‘G’ Ogba Police Station.


One Honda Accord with Reg. No. JU 271 EKY Colour Dark Green with Chassis No. IHGCG5668YA805317 and Engine No. F23A13051072. If seen contact any nearest Police Station or Iponri Police Station. RECOVERED VEHICLES

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





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


DE 537 LND BR 387 AKD EZ 789 APP LR 105 AAA TV 336 ABC PU 446 MUS SY 805 AAA CQ 88 APP DC 470 MUS BW 624 AKL EY 442 APP TU 730 KJA BZ 638 KSF PP 856 RBC EE 809 KJA DG 491 GGE ET 398 APP SM 974 KJA EP 61 KRD SD 242 KJA DY 489 AAA DN 623 LSD FW 449 LSR DE 934 RBC NW 137 AAA CS 239 MUS JF 80 KJA 473 APP



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




Muslim clerics canvass scientific approach to moon sighting


FORUM for providing a lasting solution to moon sighting for the starting of Ramadan fasting, the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, has held at the Lagos Central Mosque. Muslim clerics and scholars gathered at the Lagos Central Mosque to address how the moon could be easily sighted using scientific meth-

• Ustadh Simwal

By Amidu Arije

ods. It was at a workshop on moon sighting organised by the Lagos State Moon Sighting Committee. Scholars deliberated on how the moon could be sighted using modern technology to fast-track the starting of Ramadan fast without having divided opinions on the issue. Moon sighting for the take-off of the Ramadan fasting has, for some time remained a problem for some Muslims, but the gathering proffers solution to it. The occasion was chaired by the Secretary-General of the Islamic Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Abdul Lateef Adegbite. In his keynote address, Adegbite emphasised the importance of moon sighting for the starting of the much-popularised Ramadan fasting. Quoting Prophet Muhammed he said: ‘’When you see

Hilal (crescent) begin fasting, and when you see the crescent again, stop fasting and if the sky is overcast, then complete the month of Ramadan in the 13th day.” He also said the moon sighting through the use of modern technology is only meant to make it uniform in sighting, to make the fasting be the same in the nation. Saying taht it is not intended to wipe off the local means of sighting through the eyes, the use of previous calendar or other means through which the moon has been previously sighted, but rather to make it more easy for the people to see. "It is not intended to absolutely replace physical sighting of the moon by the naked eyes. Rather, it is to guide us to the appropriate time we should look for the moon," he said. Supporting his stance on the use of modern technology, Adegbite further stressed the words of the Prophet Muhammed,

saying that Muslims should seek knowledge even if it’s as far as China. China at that time was considered furtherest. He stated that the main objective of the NSCIA is to ensure that every part of the country participates in the moon sighting exercise. Adegbite urged all to respect and regard the authorities in the sighting of the moon and accept the pronouncement of the sighting of the moon by the council if seen in any part of the country. "Therefore, once the moon is sighted in any part of the country and authenticated by the designated authorities, we must recognise the dates proclaimed. Such a collective action reemphasised the importance the oneness of Islam and reflects the beauty of the faith,” he said. Prof Tajudeen Gbadamosi stressed the importance of using modern technology for moon sighting as a means of making the

Estate residents lament bad road


HE residents of Alahun Osunba Estate (Monkey Village), Maza-Maza, Lagos State, have sent a 'Save our soul' to Governor Babatunde Fashola over the deplorable state of their road, saying it has hampered economic growth. To this end, the residents said there was an urgent need for the government to assist the estate and provide a lasting solution to several problems facing the people. Speaking with CityBeats, President of the estate, Chief Chris Onyebueke, also called on the Chairman, Oriade Local Council Development Area, Hon. Ibrahim Babatunde Sanusi, to rescue the residents of the estate. He pleaded for the rehabilitation of the estate road linking Nigerian Navy Gate exit and main bus stop. According to him, over 10,000 inhabitants of the estate find it difficult to come in or go out of the es-

• From Left: Alhaji Rasak Gawat; Dr Adegbite; Prof Gbadamosi and Alhaji Shakiru Abdul Gafar

NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation (NGO), Ifunanya Abdu Foundation, has called for assistance for the needy and the less privileged . Officials of the organisation said helping the needy would contribute immensely to making the country a better place to live in. The Executive Secretary of the foundation, Mr Everistus Asadu, made the call when the foundation donated N150, 000 to two blind persons, Mr Joseph Oladipo and baby Praise Adegbola, in Lagos. While Oladipo, a blind poultry farmer and soap maker got a cheque of N100,000, baby Adegbola ,who was born with an eye defect known as congenital sibliferon, a condition where the upper eyelid is permanently glued to the eye brow and requires multiple surgery, received a cheque of N50, 000.

Ramadan fast the same. Speaking on the theme of the workshop: “The importance of modern technology for moon sighting,” Prof Gbadamosi stated that effective use of the technology would help in unifying the month of Ramadan. He said the participants would also be taught how to effectively use the gadget for proper moon sighting. The Lagos State Governor Mr Babatunde Fashola was represented by the Director, Monitoring, in the Ministry of Local Government, Musbahudeen Aelona. Fashola pledged his support for the moon sighting committee and restated his commitment to the upliftment of Islam. Other scholars included Ustaz Jubril Simwal, Sheikh Abdul Rasaq Ishola, Sheikh Majolagbe Mansur, Alhaji S.A.O. Muhideen, Prince Onikoyi KT and Alhaji M. A. Shittu.

Help the needy call as Foundation aids two blind persons


By Emeka Ugwuanyi

Asadu noted that the foundation was motivated to donate to Oladipo as a result of his industry in spite of his being physically challenged. “Mr Oladipo is a blind man, who has been striving to survive without begging for alms or waiting for others to feed him. He decided to engage in poultry farming and

soap making to fend for himself and his family. Because he has shown that there is ability in disability, the foundation decided to give a token of N100, 000 to support his businesses,” Asadu said. He also added: “On the day we were making plans to come and see Oladipo, we saw a publication in

Mr Oladipo is a blind man, who has been striving to survive without begging for alms or waiting for others to feed him. He decided to engage in poultry farming and soap making to fend for himself and his family

•From left: Oladipo, Asadu and Mrs Onwuachi, during the presentation of the N100,000 cheque

The Punch about baby Adegbola, who has eye defect and requires about N3.3 million for surgical operation in India. We picked interest in the case of the little girl and decided to come with our own little help of N50, 000. “We believe that if others come with little support for the family, the little girl would go for the surgery in India. If one million Nigerians should donate N1 each, that is already N1 million. So, I want to use this opportunity to call on other non-governmental organisations, corporate organisations and philanthropists to also come to the aid of the family. We believe that if everybody should give the little he/she has to the family and others who are in need of help, the society will be better for it.” Both recipients thanked the foundation for the gesture. Baby Adegbola’s father, Mr Peter Adegbola, however, used the opportunity to call for more assistance to the family, noting that they have only raised N270, 000 excluding the N50, 000 from the foundation.

By Emmanuel Udodinma

tate since the rain began. He said if nothing is done as soon as possible, the residents would be in serious trouble. Onyebueke said when they first came to the area, there was no road, electricity or other infrastructure. According to him, it was the Landlords Association that constructed the road that led to the estate and brought electricity through selfefforts. Other problems they face in the area are the lack of good drainage system, lack of potable water, and erratic power supply. "The water channel has been blocked. When it rains, the residents find it hard to drive in or out of the estate. The situation of the road is compounded by current rainfall, which has flooded the street," he said. He said the road, if constructed, could ease traffic congestion. "We know that the Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, is a listening governor. "We have seen his landmark achievement in the state. Now we are pleading with him to use his good offices to come to our aid. ''We have spent well above a N100 million on three transformers to ensure supply of electricity to the estate. "At inception, we had security problems, but we formed a security committee and hired independent security personnel in collaboration with the police who have been coming to our aid anytime there is a problem. The major problem that we have now is the drainage system," Onyebueke explained. When CityBeats visited the area, motorists were having a hectic time passing through the street as it was waterlogged due to a heavy rain. A food seller in the area, Mama Obi, said: "Because of bad roads, we do not make much and this leaves me with little to provide food my family. "The government should come in and save the estate from flood caused by the poor drainage of the street.”



MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011


QUOTE OF THE WEEK “One of the marks of a true democracy is effective local governance. To achieve this, the citizens must engage their leaders and hold them accountable. There must be eternal vigilance against corruption. There is no magic solution, the people must work for it. Professor Bayo Olukoshi, during a lecture organised by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism to mark Prof Wole Soyinka’s 77th birthday in Lagos.


Expert cautions students on drug abuse By Wale Adepoju



HE Registrar, Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital Yaba, Lagos, Dr Oyedele Akinjola, has warned youths against drug abuse. He described drug abuse as the ‘evil of our time’ because it is destroying the youth who are the

life-wire of the society. He made this known at the sensitisation carried out by the hospital as part of activities to mark the International Day for Drug Abuse at New Era Girls Secondary School, Lagos. Akinjola said the society cannot progress if its youths are damaged by drugs hence the need to educate them on the danger it poses to their lives. He said: “Drug abuse is the use of substances by people in such a way that it is affecting their mental, social and physical performance. It may also cause suffering to either the individual or others.” He said psychoactive drugs affect the brain directly while nonpsychoactive drugs do not affect the brain. Akinjola listed analgesic, antibiotics, bleaching creams and herbal concoctions as drugs that do not affect the brain directly but have direct damaging effect on other organs of the body.

He identified alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine, opium, sedative drugs, petrol, paints and glue among others, as common drugs being abused. Akinjola said most drug abuse cases usually begin when the victims are between 16 and 24 years. “The peak age of drug use is between 21 and 29 years, but unknown to many that this is the period when individuals achieve meaningful education and chart their path in life. He said alcohol and cannabis are the most abused substances in the country, adding that it is most prevalent among the unemployed. "Alcohol and cannabis are common among commercial bus operators, sailors and students. The major cause is ignorance,” he said. Akinjola said keeping bad company was one of the major reasons people take drugs. He said those who take drugs experience reddening of the eyes, and most of them sell their property. "Some steal, others engage in indiscrimi-

nate use of perfume. Many also go about with needle and syringes in their bags," he said. He identified inheritance, imitating older people and the drive to enhance performance as the major causes of drug abuse. Others are peer group pressure, previous prescription by doctors, personality problems, low self-esteem, stress and recreational use. Drug abuse, he noted, has effect on individuals, family and the society at large. "It could also have effect on the brain, physical effect on the body organs and society. When it affects the brain it could cause mental disorder, intellectual impairment and a motivational syndrome." He listed the physical effects of drug abuse as liver damage, lung damage heart problems, kidney problems, and inDrug fections, birth defects in pregnant us- affects ers, cancers, peptic the ulcers, seizure disorders and death brain from overdose

among others. Drug abuse, he said, also has effect on social and family life, because "it drains family resources, increases rate of divorce, loss of manpower/productivity and increase death rate among others." On management, he said, drug problem is difficult to treat because psychoactive drugs stimulate the pleasure centre of the brain, adding that human body also develops tolerance to the drugs. He said the best modality is prevention which involves preventing people from starting psychoactive drugs, and preventing complication in those already using drugs and rehabilitating them. Everyone, he added, has a role to play to ensure that it is prevented. Present at the event were students of New Era Girls Secondary School, Surulere; Gbaja Girls High School, Surulere; Stadium Senior High School, Surulere, Lagos among other schools.

Fashola canvasses programmes to tackle youth unemployment By Miriam Ndikanwu


• Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (second right); Mr Benson Uwatse; Chief John Edozien (left) and Mr Raji, during the inauguration of the Mercedes Centre at Lekki, Lagos.

Woman needs N1.4m lifeline


ANIYAT Ibrahim wants to be a lawyer. She desires to liberate people. But the most latent of the tool, she requires, her mouth, is at the moment, shackled. Life has momentarily stopped for this 24-yearold girl. The last insitution she attended was Igando Community High School, Igando. After completing her Junior Secondary School (JSS3) certificate examination, she could not go further. She has stopped schooling due to the stigma she was been exposed to. Her condition is medically defined as Medibular tumour. Yet, she is not giving up her dreams. She needs now, about N1.4 million to get her life back on the track - she amount she requires for the surgery that will be done to remove the abnormal tumour from her jaw. The extensive medical report reads: ‘’There is a huge cystic expansive jaw mass in the half of the jaw, with a floating uninterrupted tooth within it. There is a suggestion of fluid level within it, featuring an amelobplastoma.” Ganiyat is now appealing for the assistance of N1.4million to enable her to get the malignant growth out of her life. “I appeal to all Nigerians to help me realise my dreams in life. I want to be a lawyer. I love the profession. I don’t feel fine. I want to continue with my education. My mother is a petty trader and my father is a transporter. They struggle hard to take care of my two

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

brothers and three sisters. I am the third born. The swell gives me pains and I am the only one in the family with that condition. Please help me.” ‘’Please send your donation to Ibrahim Kaseem Babatunde, Intercontinental Bank, A/ C No: 01481100062910, Egbeda Branch, Lagos,” she appealed. Her father also appealed to the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire, because, “I have been staying at Alimosho, her constituency, close to a decade. I know if she gets to read this, she will help out because she is a mother.” Her predicament, according to her father, Ganiyu, a transporter, started in 2005 when Ganiyat complained of tooth ache. He took her to a Primary Health Centre and all the seven members of her family believed the ache had been treated. When the nagging pain won’t abate, the parents were advised to visit the then Ikeja General Hospital. But no results, not even of the X-ray taken twice, was given to them. They also went to the Military Hospital, Yaba. There, after a thorough examination, some teeth were removed and blood samples taken and were taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba in 2010. Some months later, the ache came with such a virulent pain that she was taken to Lantoro in

• Ganiyat Abeokuta from whe was moved to University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. There, series of tests were done, including the taking of her blood samples as specimen for laboratory diagnosis. The amount required then to treat her was N500, 000 and her family was able to raise the money. But it was the doctors’ strike that staled the traetment, the family lamented.

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has urged the private sector to design programmes that will help tackle youth unemployment. Fashola made the call at the opening of a Mercedes Benz Centre on Victoria Island owned by M-B Automobile Service Limited. Fashola, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mr Wale Raji, said collaboration was required to curb the gap in the society. He expressed satisfaction with the establishment of the facility, adding that the initiative came at the right time when the state is intensifying efforts to renew and develop infrastructure; invest in human capacity development and empower the people with skills acquisition and opportunities which would enable them create wealth for themselves, their families and the society at large. He said the Mercedes Benz Centre would impact positively on the socio-economic fortunes of the locals, especially the youth, through access to employment and other empowerment opportunities. He pointed out that the construction of the flagship Mercedes Benz Centre in Lekki, the first in Africa, is an indication of the commitment of Daimler AG, Stuttgart to collaborate effectively with local businesses in ensuring quality service delivery to customers. He said the state-of-the-art auto centre, which was designed for marketing and maintenance of Mercedes Benz brand, conforms to the highest standards of service delivery worldwide. Fashola noted that Nigerians, particularly, Lagosians, appreciate quality service and are ready to give their support “to anybody or product that is prepared to deliver premium service rather than those who promise so much but deliver so little.” He said his administration was determined to promote quality services and provide necessary infrastructure that would ensure that indigenous and foreign investors get premium returns on their investments.







The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set September 30 deadline for the eight rescued banks to recapitalise or have their institutions nationalised. Three — Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Finbank Plc and International Bank Plc — have reached an advanced stage in their recapitalisation. The others, the CBN has said, would also make it. At an interactive session with Business Editors, Union Bank’s Group Managing Director Mrs. Funke Osibodu explained the ongoing recapitalisation, the roles of shareholders and assured stakeholders that the institution is on course. Group Business Editor AYODELE AMINU was there.

‘Union Bank will be around by Sept 30’

• Mrs Osibodu


OW comfortable are you with the shareholders, in view of the contention of most of the rescued banks’ shareholders since recapitalisation started. Are there factors disturbing the process? Have there been issues with them? Each bank is unique in its own way and the process for each bank is unique too. I can speak authoritatively for Union Bank and I can be very clear on that side. What is common is the aspect relating to how we all came into the banks through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention. Beyond that, each bank is arranging its recapitalisation. There will always be shareholders who agree and those who do not agree. Even without the CBN intervention, every bank, among its shareholders, will have those who will disagree with what is going on in their bank. But I believe that there has been too much emphasis on those who do not agree. It will be useful to request for the number and the volume of shareholding that those who disagree represent. How many are they? Though the law allows you, even if you are the only dissenting voice to raise your issue even if you have only one share, it does not mean that this cuts across all shareholders. We have over 500,000 shareholders. When you have over 500,000 shareholders, you should not expect everybody to say the same thing. But you should be able to do your best for those who are saying something different and to show them all the evidence that you are doing the right thing, and that is what we are doing. So we should not generalise that all the

shareholders are in disagreement of the process. For Union Bank, we expect success and the reason is simple: we have carried along our various constituencies. We have had meetings with various groups of shareholders and stakeholders to update them. We also made sure that, when they have questions, they are free to call us. I think, in the last four weeks, several stakeholders have called me to find out if we can meet the September 30 deadline and I have always told them the position. What of foreign investors? For Union Bank specifically, on our foreign investors, we have been very careful on how we went about choosing them. I did tell you that there were many parties interested and we went through a rigorous process in selecting them. At Board level, there is a committee, and then there is the main Board and then we had external advisers who assisted us with the process. We went through a rigorous process to choose. But, beyond that, even before we signed the agreement, the investors had to come to Nigeria and were interviewed by us (the management and the Board). They were interviewed so that we can know that they are who they said they are and the value they are bringing to the bank. We also went through a process for them to show that they can commit the money we are demanding, because we do not want to start a process and later find out that the parties don’t have the money. Having done that within ourselves, we went to the next stage where we carried out due diligence on each of them. They call it confirmatory due diligence, where

all parties do the full detail review of each other to know that what they think they are, is what they really are. If some of you come to our bank, it is not unusual to see some foreigners hanging around the bank and they fly in at different times and have their own different types of review. We also had international third parties who were doing their own due diligence on them, so that we can independently get information from those parties. This was the period we used to make sure that we get to the stage where both parties are very comfortable. So in that process, I believe we have done substantial unveiling of each other, and we do not expect any surprise. I believe that because the Board and management did a decent job at the initial stage, during the second phase we did not find anything that will affect the transaction. So, we are now at a stage where having signed the TIA we will now go through the regulatory approval. Will Union Bank still be around by September 30? Indeed, we will, definitely, be around. Our recapitalisation is progressing well. Prior to this time, the last public communication on the recapitalisation process by us was in relation to the execution of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with a group of private equity investors, led by the ACA Consortium. We did, at that time, highlight the members of the consortium. At that time, we had mentioned that we would be proceeding to the next phase in the process, that is, the negotiation and execution of the definitive and robust agreement called Transaction

Implementation Agreement (TIA). This is the agreement that provides the details of how the recapitalisation process and the imminent investment by the consortium will be implemented. As published this month (July), we have now signed this agreement. It is a detailed document in which the way the relationship will work and the way bank will be recapitalised has been agreed on. With the execution of the agreement, the recapitalisation is now in full steam. The TIA officially announces the engagement of Union Bank and the core investors, subject to the approval of the regulators and shareholders. With the signing of the TIA, we have gotten, as an institution, into what we call a substantive agreement which will be presented to two key parties - the regulators and the shareholders - for their blessing. It will no longer be left to the management and Board. The determining parties will be the regulators and the shareholders. On the regulators side, the initial key regulators to approve are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Federal High Court. What is the next step in the process? For the next step in the process, following the execution of the TIA, we will obtain the CBN approval of the TIA, and then we will approach the SEC for clearance of what is known as the ‘scheme documents’ and, separately, the Rights Issue Circular. Once we have the SEC clearance of the scheme, we will make an • Continued on page 44



THE CEO • Continued from page 43

application to the Federal High Court to convene what is known as the Court Ordered Meeting of the shareholders for the scheme while we will also call for a meeting of the shareholders to approve the proposed Rights Issue. At this meeting, the shareholders will be presented with the recapitalisation proposal, and once approved by them and sanctioned by the Federal High Court, this will trigger the injection of capital into the bank by our three partners, the Assets Management Corporation (AMCON), which will ensure that the negative capital of the bank is restored to zero, and then there is the core investor and the shareholders who will get the capital of the bank to capital adequacy level. The shareholders’ money will come in through a Rights Issue. We expect that once shareholders approve, and the Federal High Court sanctions, the three partners will bring in money by September. So, Union Bank will be around, well after September 30. That, in a nutshell, is what we are doing on recapitalisation. Please explain the negative capital? I will use some analogy. As you know, for all of us (intervened banks), we have negative capital. It is not unusual for a company to have negative shareholders’ fund. It will always be negative when you are not making profit and when whatever capital you put into the company has been eroded. So, for instance, if you have capital of N50 million as a company and you made a loss of N120 million, automatically, your capital is no longer N50 million, it is N50 million minus N120 million, which means that your capital is negative by N70 million. When your capital is minus N70 million, if you are an ordinary company, you can decide to bring in some money or you use profit to work your way out of it over time. When your capital is negative, it is almost like saying you are bankrupt because everything you own has been wiped out as a shareholders. However, in the banking system, it goes beyond that, because banking is a licensed and regulated business which has a major party, the depositors. Often, the capital that the shareholders bring in is less than what the depositors put down. So, if you look at banks, even those that do not have negative shareholders capital, compared with their depositors’ funds, capital is always small. Because the regulators license banks to be able to take other people’s money, use it and intermediate for others, the regulator has its rules about what the capital of the bank should be, vis a vis the deposit it is taking and the various things it is doing. Even internationally, there is what is called the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), which requires your capital to be a minimum of a particular amount of your qualifying assets. It means that even if you have capital and it is positive, you can only grow by as much as that capital allows you to grow, vis a vis how you relate it to your total assets. So, at Union Bank, we have negative capital because our income is less than our expenses and we have given out loans that went bad and could not be repaid. By our audited accounts in December, last year, our negative capital was N182 billion. In addition, there is a minimum capital adequacy requirement that we must meet for a bank our size on top of the negative capital. This total amount will be provided by AMCON, core investors and shareholders. If AMCON is taking shares, how will it get the ownership in the bank? Are you going to create additional shares for AMCON? First, existing shareholders are not selling what they have. In other words, this is not an offer for sale. It will be an offer to AMCON and core investors of new shares to be issued as well as a Rights Issue to existing shareholders, who want to own more shares. What will be sold will be additional new shares being issued and this will be given to the additional parties that become shareholder. Those additional parties will be the existing shareholders (Rights Issue) and new parties (AMCON and core investor).

‘Union Bank will be around by Sept 30’

• Mrs Osibodu

‘The precise figure cannot be determined until when we cut off. If the cut off is end of July, whatever profit or loss that the bank made between January and July 2011 is added to December 2010 figure and so it is at that point that you can be precise. So, you can only give estimate now. This is around N300 billion’

• Mrs Osibodu

But is it necessary for AMCON to come in. Wouldn’t it be better to have this done between the existing shareholders and core investors so that the government doesn’t come into the bank at all?

We need at least N200 billion to take the bank’s capital to zero level, and then on top of this we need to take our capital to what is referred to as “capital adequacy” level, which is statutorily a minimum of

10 per cent of risk weighted assets (an ideal of 15 per cent), if the banking licence of the bank is to be retained. The bank thus needs close to another N100 billion after getting to zero level to be adequately capitalised. From the data we have for the last four to five years, public offers as low as N20 billion failed to be fully subscribed, not to talk of N300 billion for one bank out of eight banks needing large sums of capital. Investors do not want to put down money without being assured that the bank will be fully capitalised. If the negative capital is not covered, the bank would have failed to meet the statutory capital requirement and thus stands the risk of losing its banking licence with shareholders and new core investors losing their investments. What AMCON is doing is significantly reducing the risk of failure by picking up the negative capital whilst leaving shareholders and core investors to finish the capitalisation. This is very important and good for the banks. What is the total capital that would be put into the bank at the end of the process? The precise figure cannot be determined until when we cut off. If the cut off is end of July, whatever profit or loss that the bank made between January and July 2011 is added to December 2010 figure and so it is at that point that you can be precise. So, you can only give estimate now. This is around N300 billion. Considering the fate of NITEL, what is Plan B for the bank’s recapitalisation? Your comment on NITEL is a very useful one. I know such things do happen where an approved core investor does not provide money when called upon. This is especially so if you don’t do your homework before hand and making sure that those investors are committed and have the ability to pay and honour their contractual obligations. And to do that, you must have done a lot of home work in terms of due-diligence and investigation of the parties beforehand. All the members of the ACA consortium are parties that if you investigate them, you will get data that most of them manage billions of dollars. That tells you that their ability to pay exists and that to me is very fundamental. Now, what is plan B ? Plan B can be many options that are not as comfortable. Plan B can be to hand the bank over to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to liquidate, Plan B can be AMCON or government to becomes 100 per cent shareholder, if there is appetite. You know there were two things done in the international financial markets affected by the global meltdown. It was either they allowed the bank to fail, like Lehman Brothers or they (regulators) took over the bank, like Northern Rock. The CBN decided that it would not allow such takeover to happen, unless there is no other choice and that is what has been happening in the past one year. Unfortunately, there has been pressure not to allow the private capitalisation process to happen and when there are pressures like that; you have to move to the next level. We can’t keep leaving depositors hanging for too long on CBN forbearance. What the CBN has done in its own wisdom is to say that this process will not continue forever and that by September capitalisation process must be concluded. In other words, they are saying that they are removing their forbearance and going to the next stage. I think what we ought to be doing is facing those who are slowing the banks down from allowing the banks get out of their current unsafe situation and move on. Let’s not look at the regulators. They (CBN) have assisted so far, because they didn’t need to provide forbearance and guarantees. The fact, that they kept depositors confident and maintained that no depositor will lose any kobo means that they will protect the largest stakeholders, the depositors. Who will lose if we do not conclude the capitalisation by September? The shareholders! What we have done is to make sure that our Plan A is solid and able to materialise, so that the shareholders do not lose out. For us, that is the most important.




Firm donates truck to FRSC


HE CFAO-CICA, owners of the Great Wall brand in Nigeria, has donated a oneton Truck to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). The gesture, according to Managing Director, CFAO-CICA, Mr Regis Tromeur, was in aid of the FRSC’s Children Accident Prevention Initiative (CAPI). Tromeur described the company’s efforts at giving back to the society, especially through a measure that cares for children’s safety as vital. “We feel highly honoured and proud to be part of the CAPI’s effort because the initiative specially address the need of our children in terms of traffic accident prevention.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo “As leaders of tomorrow, no sacrifice is too much to be made for these children who will take over the leadership,” he said. He said it is the company’s belief that the donation of the truck will assist the project organisers to reach the children in the nooks and crannies of Lagos State. The choice of the Great Wall Wingle for this initiative, he said, was as a result of careful consideration of its ability to deliver on tough terrains, ensure fuel efficiency, and passenger comfort. Lagos State Sector Commander, Mr Jonas Agwu said the CAPI initiative is an answer to sensitising the children to the safety drive campaign. The project, Agwu added, was

designed to create awareness among the children on the need for them to be safety conscious. He said the efforts of an Intervention Group, inaugurated in May, was to sensitise school owners, administrators, parents and other relevant stakeholders ahead of the commencement of the project. Recalling the unfortunate incident of the three school children, who lost their lives in an accident on the Lekki-Epe Expressway Road, Agwu said that the initiative could not have come at a better time. He said many of such cases continue to occur without abating. He informed the gathering that pupils of public and private schools in the country

NRC urges train passengers on security consciousness


HE Lagos District of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has urged commuters to be vigilant and security conscious. In a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, the District, Manager, Mr John Dottie appealed to passengers to help themselves by reporting suspicious movements on the trains and the corporation’s premises. Dottie said armed policemen had been deployed to all the stations to beef up security. “The security of the stations has to be beefed up to avoid any unforeseen happenings around the corporation that could result in loss of lives and compromise the safety of com-

muters. “The rule of Railways is safety first and we always work towards that as the largest mover of commuters daily,’’ he said. He appealed to commuters to co-operate with security personnel whenever they were called to handover their luggage for checking. NRC transports an average of 15,000 commuters daily in the Lagos area. Some commuters, who spoke to NAN on the security situation on the trains, observed that the presence of the armed policemen at railway stations had raised fears as it was unusual. A civil servant, Mr Thomas

Aigbe described the development welcome adding, however, that their duty should not go beyond security checks. “I appeal to the security officers to approach the people politely and not harass them in carrying out their duties,” Aigbe said. Another civil servant, Mrs Jokotola Akinwunmi, also welcomes the development, but urged the NRC management to further put in place some security gadgets. Akinwunmi said that alarms should be installed on the trains to alert people on board on dangers while large mirrors should be placed at the stations to monitor happenings.

•Tromeur (left) presenting the truck keys to Agwu

would soon adorn reflective jackets over their school uniforms as part of the safety initiative. According to him, the measure is designed to provide a safety column around the children against automobile accidents through high

visibility and thus safeguard the lives of these young pupils. The Southwest Co-ordinator of CAPI Mr Aduba Benjamin said the team would in three weeks move neighbouring states to Lagos to inaugurate

the project and later take it to other parts of the country. Benjamin urged well-meaning corporate organisations and individuals to join hands with the group to bring relief to the children.

ABC rewards drivers, attendants


COMMERCIAL auto firm, ABC Transport has rewarded its drivers for operating for five years without accident. The company at an event in Owerri awarded 2 categories of drivers such as coach, haulage, sprinter and shuttle, cargo and attendants. Twenty coach drivers, 11 sprinter and shuttle drivers, nine cargo drivers, six attendants and four drivers benefited from the award. Presenting the award, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer ABC Transport, Mr Frank Nneji, described the drivers as the heroes who fly the safety flag and bring pride to the company.

Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri Nneji said the drivers and attendants of the firm are guided by the principles of professionalism and a passion for excellence. While appreciating the effort of the drivers and attendants of the company in ensuring safety on the road, he urged them to keep it on for the sake of their lives. He said the award was presented to those who did not record any accident last year, while the second category include those who have consistently maintained an accidentfree record for five years. Nneji advised drivers to apply

caution while driving in good road adding that the rate of accident on roads that are good are higher than in roads that are bad. He reiterated the need to work on the attitude of drivers whenever the roads are good. Chairman on the occasion Dr Chijioke Osuji said safety in the country is a serious. Osuji said for the awardees drivers of the company to have driven for five years without accidents is a thing to be grateful to God. He urged them to ensure they sustain it. One of the recipients Mr Chukwu Jonathan, on behalf of coach drivers thanked the management for the honour them.

How to reduce accidents


HE Corps Marshal of the Federal Road safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Osita Chidoka, has identified road designs as one of the important fundamentals in making roads safe. Chidoka made the assertion when he visited the scene of last Monday’s fatal accident on the Abuja-Keffi road, which claimed 13 lives and damaged nine vehicles. The Corps Marshal urged Ministries of Works and relevant stakeholders to avail the commission of their respective road designs before embarking on construction. He said this would enable the to commission make input on how the roads could be made safer. “The issues are more fundamental than restricting trucks from moving at a point. The issues are fundamental because we need to go back to road designs. “Road designs are important in making sure that the road can be safely used by those using it. “One of the things we have been requesting for is that ministries should share their road designs with us so that we can at least give them safety perspectives on how the roads can be made safer,’’ Chidoka said. He said the stoppage of movement of articulated vehicles on the Abuja-Keffi road to a certain time of the day when the traffic was heavy was part of the strategy to check accidents. He assured that the FRSC would continue to mobilise the public to demand maximum safety standards from those that use the roads. Chidokathenurgedalltobesafety managers of lives on the roads.



















NEWS Lawmaker gives first salary MAJORITY Leader of the Edo State House of Assembly Phillip Shuaibu yesterday gave his first salary to women in his constituency. Over 500 women benefitted from the gesture. The lawmaker, who represents Etsako West Constituency 1, said it was a way of appreciating the women for their role in his re-election. He said the sharing of his salary was not the end to his promise of delivering dividends of democracy to the people Shuaibu promised sustained empowerment to women in Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), which he started during his first term. The lawmaker said: “Just like what I did in my last term, women will be empowered with N200,000 each to start any business of their choice. “Although I started late during my first term, I am starting quite early this time around to empower a good number of women.”

Man killed in Yenagoa GUNMEN at the weekend killed a middle-aged man at Opolo, a suburb of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. An eyewitness said the three-man gang stormed the Opolo motor park in a private car and shot at the man. The deceased is yet to be identified. Sources said the incident occurred at about 11.45am. There was suspicion that the action may not be unconnected with a cult feud. The assailants were said to have confirmed that their victim was dead before they fled the scene. Police spokesman Eguaveon Emokpai said: “It is true that somebody was killed around Opolo today but details are still sketchy.”

Amaechi, Sekibo disagree R over $48m aircraft

IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Dr. Abiye Sekibo have disagreed over the state’s plan to buy a $48 million aircraft. Sekibo said the “rubber stamp” members of the House of Assembly approved $48 million to buy a new jet when the aircraft bought by the Dr. Peter Odili administration are still working perfectly. He alleged that the Amaechi administration is institutionalising corruption. Sekibo said he never collected money from Amaechi and did not nominate ACN members to be appointed as commissioners as compensation for withdrawing his petition at the Election Petitions Tribunal. But Amaechi, through his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Blessing Wikina, said Sekibo should not be taken seriously. The governor said the government’s three aircraft consists of two jets and an helicopter. One of the jets has been sold to the Cross River State Government; the other was traded for a new model. Amaechi said it was wrong to describe the lawmakers as rubber stamp. He urged Sekibo to be conversant with global economy and stop “blabbering”. Sekibo said his relationship with Odili is no longer “fantastic,” stressing that

•‘Why I withdrew the petition’

•Amaechi From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

withdrawing the petition was a painful decision, done in good faith, in the interest of the ACN and Rivers people. Sekibo stated: “They said I was offered N5 billion to withdraw my petition and that I wanted N10 billion, with Dr. Odili begging me to accept N7 billion. It is untrue and ridiculous. “Up till Easter Sunday , I had a fantastic relationship with Dr. Peter Odili, but I cannot say the same now. “There was pressure from certain quarters, asking me to return to the PDP, but it is a closed chapter. “The only hope for Rivers people is the ACN, which is the only party that has not been bought.

•Sekibo “The April 26 governorship election was resoundingly won by the ACN. “The PDP, Rivers State Government and INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) frustrated our petition at the tribunal. “They made it difficult to get from INEC, photocopies of documents to prove our case. “We had 10 photocopying machines at INEC headquarters in Port Harcourt, but we were frustrated. “INEC officials, who ought to be neutral, colluded with PDP and the government officials. “We bought over 5,000 cameras with phones, torch, pens, wristwatches, but less than 500 were recovered. “Some ACN members,

who lack integrity, took them to PDP leaders in exchange for money. “I consulted elders of ACN and based on my lawyers’ advice, I had to withdraw the petition. We decided to take the matter to the court of public opinion. Remaining at the tribunal would create the impression that we were pursuing a case we were not allowed to pursue. I take full responsibility for the decision we took. “I apologise for not contacting all the members of the ACN in Rivers state, by calling the party’s congress, where the issue ought to have been discussed. “ACN is not afraid of being the opposition party. We will continue to play the role of watchdog, in the process of preparing for future elections. For too long in Rivers state, opposition parties had been for trade. There must be opposition in Rivers state. “I remain a member of the ACN today, tomorrow and into the foreseeable future. “I have not met with anybody in any other party to discuss moving to another party. “I joined other leaders of PDP for reforms in the party. “I was suspended and recalled, but I refused to go back to the PDP.”

NEMA warns against floods


HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on governors of the Southsouth to take proactive measures against floods and thunderstorm. The Director-General, Muhammad Sani-Sidi gave the warning at a special regional workshop on climate

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

change in Asaba, Delta State. He said the states should initiate policies that could help in reducing the impact of climate change and include disaster management in their developmental programmes . He said: “Though climate change is a global challenge,

its harmful impact is local with peculiar hazards and risks, thereby exposing communities to devastating consequences. “I want the states that are yet to have their Management Emergency Agency (SEMA)to create one and at the same time take a step further to put in place their Lo-

cal Government Emergency Management Agencies (LEMCs). “We must do everything possible at national, states and community levels to adapt and take proactive measures needed to ensure that individuals and communities are capable of dealing with the detrimental impact of climate change.”

50, 000 benefit from NDDC


IFTY thousand people in Ondo State have benefited from a free N80 million health care programme of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The state representative, Dr Benson Enkuomehin, said the programme was in partnership with the government. Of the figure, 10,000 children between the ages of five and six were de-wormed in Okitipupa last month. According to Enikuomehin, the N80 million covers medical bills; security; accommodation and flight tickets for the medical team. “The commission is committed to good health and that is why I put this programme in place to ensure that those who could not go for medical treatment abroad benefitted from the programme. “Ten surgeons and 10 other medical personnel from Artemis Health Institute in India were flown into the country with modern equipment. “Also, 25 resident doctors and 30 professional nurses in the Ondo State Ministry of Health were engaged in the free health programme.”

Erosion threatens Edo communities From Osagie Otabor, Benin


HE emergence of a gully on Ekenwan Road in Benin has become a source of worry to residents in Oredo Egor and Ovia Northeast local councils. Access to the capital would be cut-off if the road finally caves in to the gully. Several houses have been lost to the gully, which is now a few metres from away from Ekenwan road. Ekenwan road is the link road to Gelegele jetty that was recently approved for upgrading to a seaport. Special Adviser to the governor on MediaTony Iyare said the Ministries of Works and Environment and Public Utilities have been mobilised to start remedial work on the site.






Dearth of manpower: CBN flays poaching


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said poaching of ex perienced hands in the banking industry should be discouraged as it will not do the sector any good. The CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Kingsley Moghalu said rather than poaching, banks should focus more on training and retraining of their workforce. Speaking during the induction of 319 microfinance bank (MfB) staff into the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Lagos at the weekend, he said there is urgent need for capacity building in the sector. The Deputy Governor, who was represented by

By Collins Nweze Senior Correspondent

Olufemi Fagbawo, said adherence to the regulatory framework mandating prospective Chief Executive Officers to be certified. He said that MfBs have strategic role in empowering the poor, and doing that effectively would require the use of highly skilled manpower. He said there is need to have a sound MfB sector in order to grow the economy. Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Umaru Ibrahim said the Nigerian financial services industry has over the years, under-

taining organisation’s relevance and value creation. “Investing in the development of human capital will be the differentiating factor that will contribute to the effectiveness, resilience and competitiveness of the Nigerian banking sector,” he said. He regretted that only a few banks now show interest in investing in human capital. Rather, many now prefer to poach from other banks thereby recycling the same skilled/experienced hands within the system. He said, banks should go back to those good old days and begin to show more commitment to the training and re-training of staff with a view to continuously en-

gone series of structural and institutional changes. He said coming out successfully under such reforms would require experienced and highly skilled manpower. “Under such changes, I must emphasise here that there is no short cut to building a strong and virile banking institution except through a continuous upgrading of the skills and quality of the manpower resources in the sector. In an environment of rapid change, a key factor that will influence the future prospects of the nation’s banking industry will be investment in its human capital,” he said. Umaru said continuous training and re-training is a sure way of sus-

Wema records 58% Q2 profit rise


EMA Bank Plc has re corded N1.889 billion profit in its unaudited result for the second quarter. This represents about 58 per cent rise from N1.207 billion recorded as at June 2010. Profit After Tax (PAT) stood at N1.606 billion representing a 60 per cent increase from N1.020 billion recorded in the corresponding period of last year whilst Total Assets also grew from N216 billion to N223 billion. Coming on the heels of the bank’s impressive December 2010 financial performance, this, according to a statement from the

bank, is an indication of success of its decision to adopt a commercial banking licence with regional scope. The policy has deepened the bank’s focus in its niche markets and within the commercial nerve centres of the country. According to the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Segun Oloketuyi, the results were largely driven by the resilience and quality of the bank’s balance sheet, a rigorous execution of the its business plan as well as sustained confidence of the bank’s customers.


He expressed confidence that the Timex School of Communications will collaborate with other tertiary institutions to develop the necessary manpower for the growing organisational and human communication industry. He made the remarks in a congratulatory letter to the promoter of the school, Kabiru Dangogo,

He added that the rejuvenated Wema Bank was poised to further deepen its reach in its niche markets by exploring new areas of opportunities within the scope of its banking licence. He was also of the opinion that in line with the successes recorded in the half year results and with the determination and dedication of Wema Bank staff and management, the bank was poised to post better results by the 2011 year-end.


INBANK has launched Finpay funds transfer product to deepen its grip on the e-payment mar-

ket. With the acquisition of a new application and a good support base, FinBank has added another delivery channel to its staple to further empower customers with greater freedom and convenience of conducting banking transactions from the comfort of their offices and homes. The Finpay application enables corporate bodies to effect multiple payments to vendors, contractors, suppliers, etc, irrespective of where the beneficiary’s account is domiciled. It also enables organisations to effect payment of their employees’ salaries. According to Group Head, e-Business, Olusegun Falana, “the Finpay application has the capability to handle taxes and regulatory returns and was well thought out to provide individuals and corporate customers with effective payment solution especially

who was one time AGM/Head, Corporate Affairs of Union Bank. He also affirmed that the establishment of the school of communications, being the first of its kind in the North and second in the country, is a major step towards the development of Public Relations practice in the country.


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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($)

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

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 1.40 1.00 6.22 5.02 14.10 6.16 0.85 1.92 11.13 38.76

C/PRICE 1.47 1.05 6.53 5.27 14.79 6.46 0.89 2.01 11.65 40.50

CHANGE 0.07 0.05 0.31 0.25 1.69 0.30 0.04 0.09 0.52 1.74


O/PRICE 3.50 1.14 0.68 121.11 9.40 3.35 2.40 0.70 6.05 2.40

as the new payment system announced by CBN takes off soon. FinBank has therefore positioned itself in this regard”. With Finpay product, customers, especially of corporate organisations, can now avail themselves the benefits of immediate and multiple payments to account holders with any bank in Nigeria. Customers can now initiate and conclude payment transactions across banks at the click of a button. The product was designed to take care of the current manual process of handling payment. Users can be set up with defined rules, responsibilities and approval limits assigned to different officers. The application is robust and secured to handle large volume of transactions. The application offers payment of their employees’ salaries and was tailored to cater for the current manual process of handling payment. Users can be set up with defined rules, responsibilities and approval limits assigned to different officers.




hancing their skills. This, he said, would ensure that banks contribute to the overall economic growth and development of the nation.

FinBank strengthens e-banking with Finpay

Unity Bank MD lauds establishment of school HE managing Director of Unity Bank Alhaji Ado Wanka has commended the foresight in the establishment of the Timex School of Communications, Kaduna. He is of the view that the school will fill the gap in specialised tertiary institutions in the northern part of the country.

•Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor

C/PRICE 3.33 1.10 0.67 119.50 9.31 2.34 2.33 0.68 5.90 2.37

CHANGE 0.17 0.04 0.01 1.61 0.09 0.01 0.07 0.02 0.15 0.03

Amount Sold ($)

Exchange Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57










Bureau de Change 152.0000




(S/N) Parallel Market






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

22-07-11 N7.650tr 23,925.72

% Change +0.58% +0.58%





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%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.62 1,586.00 0.81 0.99 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 0.99 0.98 1,576.75 9.01 1.33 1.80 8,557.25 191.08


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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%




04 MAR, 2011

07, MAR, 2011











No of Deals 1 5 6

Quotation(N) 0.50 7.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 38,000 19,000.00 42,100 316,750.00 80,100 335,750.00

Quotation(N) 2.50 7.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,100 7,750.00 319,825 2,256,914.39 322,925 2,264,664.39

Quotation(N) 0.50 2.07

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 258,900 129,450.00 570,338 1,177,966.37 829,238 1,307,416.37

Quotation(N) 6.73 0.87 5.10 2.80 6.06 2.33 12.25 0.54 14.79 9.31 1.00 1.22 0.67 6.46 0.89 1.47 5.27 2.50 0.81 0.96 14.80

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 9,266,476 62,157,200.89 2,986,712 2,530,666.21 2,301,224 11,651,076.88 101,665 281,379.90 1,155,371 7,041,482.00 4,227,139 9,839,695.97 13,721,300 168,389,857.75 6,411,479 3,417,988.06 18,036,133 264,438,446.30 307,552 2,880,987.36 2,941,443 2,925,367.70 6,366,890 7,587,571.23 6,267,262 4,285,644.82 14,318,872 91,877,266.85 778,929 652,410.40 1,959,862 2,876,431.26 2,454,178 12,888,118.06 1,368,427 3,385,158.55 1,743,500 1,435,535.00 1,284,023 1,225,137.69 43,068,896 637,392,111.57 141,067,333 1,299,159,534.45

Quotation(N) 243.00 90.00

Quantity Traded Value 212,630 394,292 606,922

of Shares (N) 49,098,150.67 35,597,179.71 84,695,330.38

Quotation(N) 20.21 8.54 119.50 45.60

Quantity Traded Value 293,546 23,675 353,024 242,487 912,732

of Shares (N) 5,915,123.87 211,293.58 42,100,886.30 11,184,125.75 59,411,429.50

Quotation(N) 8.96 28.00 0.91 10.53

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 8,500 72,420.00 110,129 3,062,003.62 1,250 1,137.50 3,265 32,682.65 123,144 3,168,243.77


No of Deals 1 41 42


No of Deals 5 14 19 BANKING


No of Deals 117 37 45 14 63 65 493 49 647 31 48 207 47 129 51 28 84 93 18 26 275 2,567 BREWERIES


No of Deals 66 123 189 BUILDING MATERIALS


No of Deals 52 6 55 44 157 CHEMICAL & PAINTS


No of Deals 4 24 1 2 31


No of Deals 25 1 26

Quotation(N) 3.15 3.82

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 330,545 1,033,779.25 1,300 4,719.00 331,845 1,038,498.25


No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) 3.25

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 27,918 86,266.62 27,918 86,266.62

Quotation(N) 38.00 6.43 1.03 39.03 26.87

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 89,546 3,379,540.59 1,250 7,637.50 635,545 654,611.35 482,085 18,824,825.81 181,394 4,895,797.56 1,389,820 27,762,412.81

Quotation(N) 2.66 50.82 0.50 3.47

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 237,509 604,400.75 8,000 393,450.00 1,204,163 602,081.50 40,000 145,600.00 1,489,672 1,745,532.25


No of Deals 47 1 18 32 44 142 CONSTRUCTION


No of Deals 24 6 5 1 36


No of Deals 4 2 6

Quotation(N) 2.30 0.54

Half year: Dangote Group surpasses average return at N2.3tr T HE four quoted compa nies within the Dangote Group added some N162 billion to investors’ value in forms of capital gains during the first half of this year, indicating percentage return eight times higher than the average return on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) during the period. The market value of the four companies including Dangote Cement (Dancem) Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR)Plc, Dangote Flour Mills (DFM) Plc and National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCON) Plc rose to N2.262 trillion by June 30, 2011, indicating an increase of 7.7 per cent or N162 billion on the group’s year-opening value of N2.1 trillion. The return posted by the Dangote Group significantly surpassed average return of 0.85 per cent recorded by the All Share Index (ASI), the common index that measures the changes in value of all quoted companies. With a capitalisation of N2.26 trillion, Dangote Group accounted for 28 per cent of the total market value of all quoted equities on the NSE, which had closed first half at N7.987 trillion. Stock-by-stock analysis of the companies showed that Dangote Cement rose from its opening value of N1.889 trillion to N2.014 trillion while DSR, DFM and NASCON recorded N154 billion, N80 billion and N14 billion respectively. Market pundits still categorised the Dangote companies as growth companies citing on-going inve4stments in additional capacities and greater market controls by the companies. They noted that appreciable dividend payment policy of the Dangote Group would continue to be an incentive to investors pointing out that three of the companies have so far paid a total dividend of N74.36 billion for the 2010 business year. Dividend recommendation of

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 10,606 24,393.80 10,600 5,724.00 21,206 30,117.80

No of Deals 18 33 16 130 48 5 17 31 34 2 1 2 337

Quotation(N) 45.00 17.01 16.00 11.65 84.50 4.25 4.94 43.25 402.00 24.70 0.50 0.68

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 18,746 845,345.50 203,916 3,563,979.74 45,370 725,920.00 4,780,939 55,670,452.52 337,011 28,449,838.88 29,700 120,318.00 228,296 1,113,125.73 426,974 18,205,473.88 14,966 6,020,901.48 1,568 36,800.96 33,480 16,740.00 1,949 1,266.85 6,122,915 114,770,163.54


No of Deals 16 4 9 7 10 46

Quotation(N) 1.10 1.80 25.10 3.88 1.62

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 464,632 509,448.88 50,211 90,304.05 21,078 527,157.80 77,355 308,855.75 52,000 80,080.00 665,276 1,515,846.48

Quotation(N) 6.53 1.46

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,036,001 13,294,476.53 14,960 21,841.60 2,050,961 13,316,318.13


No of Deals 6 2 8


No of Deals 2 19 21

Quotation(N) 7.45 6.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,500 10,805.00 1,313,001.41 220,829 222,329 1,323,806.41


No of Deals 16 16

Quotation(N) 0.61

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,770,130 3,519,094.10 5,770,130 3,519,094.10

Quotation(N) 0.69 1.05 0.50 2.77 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.47 0.50 0.51 0.52 0.54 2.01 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.53

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,591,387 2,519,393.56 10,464,042 10,987,244.10 252,635 126,317.50 47,475 135,927.50 500 250.00 50,000 25,000.00 1,250,500 625,255.00 1,134,350 1,680,966.50 250,000 125,000.00 249,750 126,892.50 6,173,815 3,215,543.80 1,739,090 896,086.38 553,000 1,110,260.00 5,000 2,500.00 30,800 15,400.00 60,000 30,000.00 428,230 214,115.00 46,080 23,500.80 26,326,654 21,859,652.64


No of Deals 44 3 3 3 1 1 8 17 3 3 27 24 6 1 1 1 2 1 149 LEASING

Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 17 17

Quotation(N) 0.96

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,297,971 1,217,433.32 1,297,971 1,217,433.32

Dangote Flour Mills is being expected. President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote had projected that the companies in the group would be worth $60 billion by 2015 as it consolidates its market shares in Nigeria and other African countries. According to him, the group is working towards making Dangote the biggest conglomerate in Africa. “Now that we are training youths in the Dangote Academy, we are targeting that by 2015, Dangote will have $60 billion market capitalisation. When you look at the equivalent, the total reserve of Nigeria is about $35 billion, by the next four years, our own market capitalisation should be somewhere around twice the reserve of Nigeria,” Dangote said. He noted that by 2014, the group’s cement business should be producing more than 50 million metric tonnes in more than 14 countries excluding Nigeria while it would also replicate this feat in the sugar segment of its business. Meanwhile, turnover on the NSE stood at 1.156 billion shares worth N9.65 billion in 21,712 deals last week as against a total of 0.94 billion shares valued at N7.58 billion traded in 26,528 deals in the previous week. The banking sub sector was the most active during the week with 774.38 million shares worth N5.93 billion exchanged by investors in 13,410 deals. Volume in the Banking sub sector was driven by activities in the shares of Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc, which accounted for 406.41 million shares, representing 52.48 per cent and 35.14 per cent of the sub sector’s turnover and total volume traded during the week. The insurance sub sector,

boosted by activity in the shares of Unity Kapital Assurance Plc and Continental Re-Insurance Plc followed on the week’s activity chart with a sub-sector turnover of 138.36 million shares valued at N96.7 million in 650 deals. The ASI appreciated by 93.58 points or 0.4 per cent to close on Friday at 23,925.72 while the market capitalization of the 194 First -Tier equities increased to N7.649 trillion. The NSE-30 Index appreciated by 8.82 points or 0.84 per cent to close at 1,069.31. All four sectoral indices appreciated during the week compared with the preceding week in which all four indices depreciated. The NSE Food & Beverage Index appreciated by 12.94 points or 1.65 per cent to close at 797.47, the NSE Banking Index appreciated by 8.92 points or 2.6 per cent to close at 356.18, the NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.99 points or 0.7 per cent to close at 159.19 and the NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 5.62 points or 1.95 per cent to close at 293.24. PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc led on the gainers’ table with a gain of N3.50 or 10.15 per cent to close at N38 per share while Flour Mills Nigeria Plc followed with a gain of N2.98 or 3.66 per cent to close at N84.50 per share. However, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc led on the price losers’ table, dropping by N3.53 or 4.99 per cent to close at N67.22 per share while Julius Berger Nigeria Plc followed with a loss of N2.67or 4.99 per cent to close at N50.82 per share. The NSE during the week admitted the Edo State Government N25 billion bonds to its daily official list while it also listed a total of 66.27 million supplementary shares in the name of Trans-Nationwide Express Plc following the bonus of one for two shares.



By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire


No of Deals 61 61

Quotation(N) 1.06

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,107,022 2,177,474.18 2,107,022 2,177,474.18

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 104,800 52,400.00 104,800 52,400.00


No of Deals 4 4


No of Deals 1 3 42 46

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.50 0.53

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 40,000,000 20,000,000.00 213,210 106,605.00 3,646,749 1,869,817.40 43,859,959 21,976,422.40


No of Deals 1 2 3

Quotation(N) 552.20 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 100 52,459.00 40,710 20,355.00 40,810 72,814.00

Quotation(N) 2.34

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 6,475,541 14,696,441.99 6,475,541 14,696,441.99


No of Deals 78 78


No of Deals 4 12 22 3 11 12 105 9 178

Quotation(N) 0.50 67.22 36.01 4.30 19.28 157.50 40.50 195.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 21,100 10,550.00 5,823 379,517.58 46,571 1,653,066.63 6,660 27,239.40 17,737 341,969.36 9,330 1,397,903.28 1,002,658 40,329,162.17 6,521 1,296,510.00 1,116,400 45,435,918.42


No of Deals 1 3 11 15

Quotation(N) 3.33 5.60 5.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 110,880 369,230.40 14,000 74,480.00 128,279 641,108.60 253,159 1,084,819.00

Quotation(N) 19.25

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 167,817 3,195,991.80 167,817 3,195,991.80

Quotation(N) 0.59

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 7,474 4,409.66 7,474 4,409.66


No of Deals 13 13 TEXTILES


No of Deals 2 2


No of Deals 16 16

Quotation(N) 14.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 535,935 7,794,061.00 535,935 7,794,061.00













Bomb blast kills five Yemeni soldiers A CAR bomb blast has killed at least five Yemeni soldiers in the coastal city of Aden, officials say. Several others were injured in the blast which hit as troops with supplies were preparing to leave for the nearby province of Abyan. Officials said they were being sent to fight al-Qaeda linked militants. Yemen has been plagued by political unrest for months, including clashes in the south between security forces and Islamist militants.

Geithner confident of US debt deal UNITED States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said he is confident the White House and Congress will be able to agree a deal to reduce the US debt. His comments come after talks between President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders on Saturday failed to make a breakthrough. A debt reduction deal has to be signed before the US can raise its current $14.3tn (£8.7tn) borrowing limit. This limit is due to be reached by August 2. At this point the US Treasury could run out of money to pay all of its bills which could lead to interest rate rises, threaten the US economic recovery and in turn the global recovery.

Iran’s nuclear’ scientist shot dead in Tehran

Dakar rally backs Senegal’s President Wade third term bid


UNDREDS of thousands of government supporters have rallied in Senegal’s capital Dakar to back a third term for President Abdoulaye Wade. Hours earlier, a smaller opposition demonstration called on Mr Wade not to stand in next year’s election, saying a third term would be unconstitutional. The rallies came exactly a month after violent protests forced Mr Wade to withdraw electoral reform proposals.

The site of the opposition protest was changed at the last minute. It had been due to take place in Independence Square in central Dakar, which is near the presidential palace, but earlier this week the government banned gatherings in the city’s main squares and roads. The opposition June 23 Movement was formed after last month’s countrywide protests - the most violent protests of Mr Wade’s 11-year rule. They led Mr Wade to drop

his plans to reduce the proportion of votes needed to win a presidential election, and avoid a run-off, from more than 50% to 25%. He had also wanted to create an elected post of vice-president. Mr Wade’s critics accused him of planning to use the new post to hand power to his son, already a powerful minister. Mr Wade, a veteran opposition leader, first came to power in democratic polls in 2000.



Aid reaches Somali drought victims


HE Red Cross says it has delivered food into one of Somalia’s worst hit drought areas, controlled by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab. Working through a local committee, the Red Cross delivered by lorry food for 24,000 people. The badly needed aid was distributed to families in the

town of Baardhere, north-west of the capital Mogadishu. But the World Food Programme says it cannot reach 2.2m people inside Somalia. The food was delivered by the Red Cross was sent in from Mogadishu and given to locals and others who had come to the town to escape the famine. The delivery took place on Saturday, and the Red Cross

are now moving on to other areas. The aid consisted of beans, rice and oil - enough rations to last a family one month. This indicates that although al-Shabab has halted food aid by some agencies in areas they control, other agencies can operate in their territory. This is vital, if the flow of Somalis into neighbouring

Kenya and Ethiopia is to be reduced. The World Food Programme is among the agencies banned by the Islamists. Executive Director Josette Sheeran, who is in the area, says this is limiting the aid they can provide. “The epicentre of this famine and the drought is in Somalia,” says Ms Sheeran.

North Sudan launches a new currency, following South Sudan


UDAN has officially introduced a new currency. The new notes are available in banks and currency exchange points all over Sudan, according to the Central Bank. The move is a response to South Sudan, which seceded two weeks ago, launching its own currency.

Both economies are likely to suffer, as financial arrangements between the two states are part of several outstanding issues. The Central Bank hopes all the old notes will have been replaced within three months, but at this point this is not a hard deadline. The Bank says the new currency is being introduced as a

‘precautionary measure’, since South Sudan has already brought in its own new currency. It is estimated up to 2bn Sudanese pounds are in circulation in the new country, which has the potential to destabilise Sudan’s economy. Further talks with the authorities in Juba over over old notes in the South are not

ruled out. “We will undertake all precautionary measures to protect the Sudanese economy, and I hope that we will reach an satisfactory agreement for both sides regarding the pound circulating in the South,” deputy governor Badr al-Din Mahmoud said in a statement.

N Iranian scientist believed to have links to the country’s nuclear programme has been shot dead outside his home in Tehran, Iranian media say. Isna news agency named him as Daryoush Rezaei, 35, adding that his wife was wounded and rushed to hospital. In 2010, nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed by a remote-controlled bomb in Tehran. Iran blamed that attack on Israeli secret service Mossad. Israel has long warned about Iran’s nuclear programme. Some reports said the latest attack involved assailants on a motorcycle, who shot him in the neck in front of his house. Mr Rezaei was said to be a physicist at a Tehran university, where media reports described him variously as a teacher, researcher and student. Several have linked him to the country’s nuclear programme. Isna said that Mr Rezaei was an expert with links to the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran. ‘New provocation’ The US, Israel and many Western nations have opposed Iran’s atomic programme, fearing it may be a front to creating a nuclear bomb. Iran insists its nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes.







‘Surely, Buhari the Soldier could not threaten the media with harsh imprisonment during his tenure as military head of state, only to rebrand as Buhari the Democrat to threaten the same media with even harsher litigation?’ VOL. 6, NO. 1,831



T was not supposed to happen, the apology. Governors sit on peacock thrones, and walk in high places. One thing you least expect of them though is apology. Imagine any of them teary-eyed, defaced, stooping, head down, hands behind their backs as though in a pose of worship. “I can believe anything,” wrote Oscar Wilde whose life still reads like a mystery, “provided it is quite incredible.” Governors command. They are the hubris of the system. People grovel and stoop before them and worship and flatter them. No one expects any apologies from them except as an act of condescending comedy. A highfalutin self-mockery. It would be, as playwright Samuel Beckett put it, a laugh laughing at itself. You might have said so of the three governors who apologised to Boko Haram a few weeks back. But if you examined the language of the men, the obsequious tone, and the desperate repetitiveness of the mea culpa, you would know that this was not only comedy. There was comedy in the possibility of it. But it was not your normal comedy. It was a big man begging. That in itself was funny. It was not so funny though. Nothing is really funny when you know a head may roll. But you cannot help laughing before you realise you ought to be sad. So we have a tragi-comic matter on our hands. Ali Modu Sherriff ordinarily is a tragi-comic man, who ruled his state with a sense of burlesque drama. He said his people of Borno State did not read or understand English and the press could slam him as much as it wanted but his people would not know. Now, this man takes advertisement on pages of the same newspapers to apologise. He expects the same people who were not supposed to touch newspapers to read them. Isa Yuguda has acted as an emperor in a democracy, reckless in rhetoric, peacock in defiance, although opportunistic in romance. He executed an about-face over his poisonous outpouring about youth corps members slaughtered under his watch. He never apologised. He railed back that he was only misquoted. That perhaps was the beginning of his public humility. Now, he begs for forgiveness. Danjuma Goje is a little different. He has been more than a little showy and vainglorious. But he has not cut the figure of a potentate like the others. If you want to be sorry for anyone, it is Goje. Why are these men blaming themselves? Normally people blame themselves before others tar them as an act of pride. They want to be the ones to say sorry. Better for them to humiliate themselves than others. Oscar Wilde again: “When we blame our-



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

When leaders apologise


selves, we feel that no one else has the right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.” These three governors’ case is different. They blame themselves, not out of humility, not out of pride, but out of desperation. This is not quiet desperation. They are public desperados proclaiming their remorse. They dread Boko Haram. They also still loathe Boko Haram. They apologise not because they are sorry. They apologise like a man under duress. They would say whatever they have to say to move, breathe and have their beings. After years of infallibility as governors, they must be appalled at their own fragility, their own humanity. The fear of Boko Haram is the beginning



Defiance is what greets our acts of foolishness. Rather than apologise over the massacre of Odi, Obasanjo applauds himself. Rather than apologise over poll rigging, we go to court. In the North, the governors probably saw the youths as soldiers for electioneering. That was the story in the Niger Delta. After the cessation of conflict between the Itsekiri and Ijaw, the idle youths became militants on behalf of the governors then. They were their election foot soldiers, matadors of rigging. How great it would have been if men who were governors then came out and apologised. But they carried along as though they never helped to stoke the fire. It took two governors with different approaches to end it. Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State with the olive branch approach with amnesty and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State with the stick approach. Both succeeded. How refreshing it could have been if IBB apologised for June 12 rather than proclaim himself the evil genius. But apologies are not always easy. In fact, they can deflate the penitent. If IBB apologised, who would have believed him? Some did not believe the Clinton apologies. They claimed he apologised because he was caught. Graceful men don’t get caught, claimed a writer. There is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. In spite of the turbulence of Watergate, Nixon sought renewal in other ways. He became elder statesman, writing books and advancing sublime suggestions. He never said sorry. I wonder though if after apology works once or twice in Nigeria, it might not become a commodity. Everyone would apologise to become hip and popular. “I apologised, so I won the vote” may become cliche. Apology may become an end itself. We would have abused not only penitence but also mercy. In Dostoyevsky’s The Brother’s Karamazov, the principal character abuses everything he touches. Nigerians have abused love, power, God, the church, the vote, the naira, the visa, brother, sister, zoning, the Good Samaritan, heaven and hell. So why not abuse the apology? Yet, it will be interesting to see how that drama unfolds. Clerics have apologised, though not on this soil. They committed either adultery or financial fraud. But they sometimes attract forgiveness. Politicians ride sins to victory, especially in our clime. So who needs apologies when you can sin to win? That is the irony of our own apologia. When our governors decided to kneel down with palms together to say sorry, it was not to heal the system but to save their own heads. They apologised not as governors, but as human beings in flight for their lives.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Hydra-headed Boko Haram and others


Who told you?...they are in ABUJA!

of their wisdom. That is not what interests me here. This is the first time that a governor or prominent political leader would apologise with such an extravagance of public contrition. I would have wanted this often in our public life. I would like to see presidents, governors and party wheel horses apologise for their sundry sins. What a country this would be if those who stole came out and apologised! We would like to see governors and presidents and local government chairmen seek forgiveness for the various woes they leave behind. They should apologise for the poor, for power failure, for dud hospitals, for roads that take away more than they give, for poor educational standard. We would like to see them stoop and beg on television, on campaign rallies, at the market square. We would like to see their tears sully the television screen. Not quite long ago, U.S. President Bill Clinton issued two apologies, one institutional and the other personal. He said he was sorry for his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He also apologised in a separate context to Africa on behalf of his country for the butchery of slavery and slave trade. German leaders have apologised to Israel over the holocaust, and political leaders in South Korea have apologised serially over corruption. In our country, no one has to apologise. We do not have the culture of shame we had in rural Nigeria. The advent of the white man ironically has rid us of it even though it is an important part of their story. Recently, Rupert Murdoch apologised over the phone-hacking scandal of his scandal sheet, News of The World. Some commentators said he merely put up an act. He did not mean his mea culpa.


S feared by Hardball on Friday in this place, leaders of the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram, have issued a statement denouncing newspaper reports of a split within their ranks. There was nothing like that, they claimed, and suggested the reports emanated from the security agencies, particularly the State Security Services (SSS). Readers will recall that last Friday, this column wondered whether the reported split in Boko Haram was real. It wrote: “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.” Looking closely at the language of the newspaper reports on the split, especially the similarities in the choice of facts, Hardball was even more sceptical of the news of split. Said the column last Friday: “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 wellinformed, well-spoken and incongruously too conversant 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.” In the light of the denial reported by newspapers to have been issued by the militant sect about a split in their group or a loss of focus, Hardball has become even more reluctant to accept additional reports of schisms. For instance, it was again reported that Boko Haram had split into three groups, not the two previously published, and names were even given to the leadership of the three. The security implication of a three-way split is indeed frightening, for it suggests we have a hydra-headed monster in our hands. If we

couldn’t pacify one troublesome group, how can we hope to handle three? To compound the nightmare, we are also told that a rival militant group dedicated to terror tactics against members and interests of Boko Haram had been formed. Called Akhwat Akwop, the new militant group is said to have saddled itself with defending Christians and people of the Middle Belt. We may be tempted to disregard this new terror group, as we cynically dismissed Boko Haram’s precursor, the Taliban of Nigeria, when it first started. We should not. But whether Boko Haram is united or split, or whether a new counter-terror group has been formed or not, there was always danger that terror would fester uncontrollably with the Federal Government’s demonstrable impotence in the face of challenge to national security. If the government does not tackle terrorism with the severity its new law dictates, but instead prefers to negotiate, its folly will sooner than later be exposed. The omens are definitely not too good.

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The Nation July 25, 2011  
The Nation July 25, 2011  

The Nation July 25, 2011