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Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

TS S POAX K -T N A RE IT B T B P OF GE S 6 R A FIR N3 P P 11

Obasanjo asks Tambuwal, Ihedioha, others to step down

NEWS – PAGE 2

•‘PDP heading for collapse if zoning dies’

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TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

VOL. 6, NO. 1834 WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

N150.00

CBN raises interest rate to 8.75% By Ayodele Aminu and Nduka Chiejina

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OR the fourth time this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday raised its benchmark interest rate – in a bid to cage inflation, which is expected to be triggered by rising wages and higher energy costs. The apex bank jacked up its rate (Monetary Policy Rate) by a bigger-than-expected 75 basis points to 8.75 per cent. The key borrowing and lending rates climbed by the same amount to 6.75 per cent and 10.75 per cent. Most analysts had expected the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)to lift interest rates by 25-50 basis points, after hiking rates at its last three meetings. Continued on page 11

THE FIGURES •MPR 8.75% •Borrowing rate 6.75% •Lending rate 10.75% •Inflation 10.2% •External reserves $33.73b

•Obi of Onitsha Alfred Achebe (left) Sheu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar, Sultan of Sokoto. Alhaji Abubakar Saad, Minister of Interior Comrade Abba Ortom and Alayemore of Ido Osun, Oba Aderemi Adedapo, during the National Stakeholders Summit on Security and Public Awareness in Abuja ... yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Jonathan pushes one term for President, governors The President makes it clear that his push ... is not borne out of any personal interest. The proposed amendment will not have anything to do with him as a person. – Jonathan

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•Dr Jonathan

BILL seeking a single term tenure for President and governors is on the way. President Goodluck Jonathan is sending the Bill, which will give legislators the opportunity for re election, to the National Assembly. But the proposal, if passed by the lawmakers, will be effective from 2015, ruling Dr Jonathan out of the beneficiaries. Presidential spokesman Dr Reuben Abati broke the news yesterday, saying in a statement that President’s action is intended to sanitise the nation’s politics.

WHO SAID WHAT What we need is true federalism. The centre is too power-loaded and power must devolve to the regions. There is need for restructuring. People are sharing a cake ... – Momoh

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Joseph Jibueze and Eric Ikhilae

But the statement did not state when the bill will be forwarded to the legislature or the number of years the single term will contain. “The envisaged Bill is part of the Jonathan administration’s transformation agenda aimed at sanitising the nation’s politics. The President believes that this single move, when actualised, will change the face of our politics and accelerate the overall development of our nation. If the proposed amendment is accepted by the National Assembly, the President as-

If there is no benefit to President Jonathan, I think it will give the bill more integrity. Whether we like it or not, we’re at a point where political maturity is not there ... – Agbakoba

sures that he will not in any way be a beneficiary,” the statement said. The statement added that the tenure of members of the National and State Assemblies “will be a little more than four years, and lawmakers will still be eligible for re-election as their constituencies may determine.” Abati said Jonathan’s commitment to a single term for head of the executive branches of government at the state and federal levels “is borne out of a patriotic zeal, after a painstaking study and belief that the constitutionally guaranteed two terms for Presidents and Governors is not helping

the focus of governance and institutionalisation of democracy at this stage of our development”. He added that while second term for the executive is not good for the polity, a longer term for lawmakers would on the other hand “help to stabilise the polity”. Abati said the President “is conContinued on page 2

•Is Jonathan eligible for a fresh tenure in 2015? ANALYSIS – PAGE 2

•ORUBEBE TO PRESIDENT: TRANSFER NDDC TO N/DELTA MINISTRY P54


S ST AX IT

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

NEWS

Is Jonathan eligible for a fresh tenure in 2015?

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•Residents of Transit Village on Victoria Island, Lagos protesting their planned forceful dislodgement... yesterday

PHOTO: NAN

Obasanjo asks Tambuwal, others to step down

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X-President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday told House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and other officers to step down in 2013. He was defending zoning – the controversial Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) power sharing formula, which collapsed in the House of Representatives when Tambuwal beat the official candidate Mrs Mulikat Akande-Adeola to the job. Obasanjo said the party must prevail on Tambuwal and others to step aside in 2013 when the decision to zone the office to the Southwest will be implemented. Should the PDP fail to ask Tambuwal to step down for a Southwest candidate, Obasanjo said, zoning will die. Obasanjo spoke at a meeting of the party’s Board of Trustees at the Presidential Villa, Abuja last night. The ex-President is the chairman of the BOT.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

He said: “Having laid out the positions of the party’s constitution, we should realise that what happened on 5th June 2011 when the House of Representatives set aside the zoning, rotation, and federal character policy and programme of the party and seemingly went against the party policy, programme and decision is a very serious issue that the party cannot sweep under the carpet. Let me repeat that all-inclusive policy and programme of the party have been the vital and critical pillar on which PDP stands since its inception. “Mr. President, it is that policy that brought me up as President in 1999 and brought President Yar’Adua up in 2007 and you up in 2011. It has given us some element of predictability, stability and order. “I, as the Chairman of the BOT, decided to point the at-

tention of the party and the government to this issue not because it affects the zone, which by accident of birth I come from, but because it has grave implication for the future of the PDP as a political party, the PDP government and, by extension, for the country. “If the situation is left unattended and uncorrected, we may take it that the pillar on which PDP stands is mortally impaired. A bad precedent would have been created and, in due course more will follow and before long, the edifice will collapse. “We can save the edifice by correcting what has gone wrong or by deciding to formally jettison zoning, rotation and, by extension, federal character. After all, other political parties have not instituted it in their constitution or be so vocal about it. It is better we jettison than observance by breach. “Since the beginning of the

present democratic dispensation in 1999, six offices are known to be zoned and/or rotated by PDP among the six geopolitical zones i.e. President, Vice –President by election and normally followed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by election at the National Assembly, but in line with the direction of the party, followed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by appointment and finally the chairman of the party by appointment confirmed by election. “Until now, on no account have two of these offices gone to one zone. It has been carefully observed and kept sacrosanct.” Obasanjo, whose address kept BOT members dumbfounded, said whatever was the reason for the event of June 5, the party must go into it. Continued on page 5

OW, the speculation on the direction of constitution amendment is getting clearer, with the indication that the President is forwarding to the National Assembly a Bill to make provision for a single tenure for governors and the President. The debate is not new. At the Constitutional Conference of 1994/1995, the issue was hotly debated but the report was dumped following the death of General Sani Abacha before the constitution could be fine-tuned. The Abdulsalami Abubakar regime chose to tread the line of least resistance. During the National Political Reform Conference organised by (then) President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, the Joseph Wayas-led committee that looked into the electoral system recommended a single tenure. The committee had the likes of Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Ogun State Deputy Governor Segun Adesegun and Chief Paul Unongo as members. It noted that the polity is always heated up when incumbents seek renewal of their tenures. They also observed that contests in which incumbent chief executives are contestants are never equal. The 1999 Constitution makes clear provisions for the tenure of the chief executives at the federal and state levels. Section 135 (2) provides for a four year tenure effective from the date the holder of the office was swornin or his predecessor, in case he was not originally elected at the inception of the administration, took the oath of allegiance to the

•Gen. Abdulsalami

ANALYSIS By Bolade Omonijo, Group Political Editor

country. Section 137 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution holds that, “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.” Now, the ball has moved to the court of legislators whose duty it is to allow or reject the amendment. It is expected to generate heated debate as usual with antagonists to the idea arguing that the problem with Nigeria is not the tenure of chief executives. They contend that the continuing bid to reform the electoral system and the judiciary should take precedence over presidential tenure. It is also argued that a single tenure could be dangerous as incumbents who know that they do not need the peoples’ votes again could become despots. Decision making could be more straightforward and less rancorous if President Goodluck Jonathan would not be contesting in 2015. Having served for four years as elected president and the one year left of the Umaru Yar’Adua presidency, benefitting from a six-year tenure could spark another row on the political scene. But, what does the law say? Is he eligible to contest, having not been “elected at any two previous elections”? He was sworn in as President in May last year. Would that qualify as a tenure within the contemplation of section 135? If he were to make himself available for election in 2015, would that be a violation of the constitution in case the amendment scales through since the law would have taken effect from the date it was signed into law. These are the mines ahead. The road will have to be well navigated in the interest of peace and stability in a fractured country.

Momoh, Agbakoba, Akeredolu, Oyegun, Ikenya weigh President’s action

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ONGRESS for Progressive Change (CPC) National Chairman Tony Momoh, Senators Olorunnimbe Mamora, Joel Ikenya, Ayo Fasanmi and Chief John Odigie-Oyegun said last night that the single term of office being proposed by the President should not be the priority of government. Momoh, who described the proposal as another tenure elongation bid, said President Goodluck Jonathan should tackle the pressing national questions threatening the social, economic and political fabric of the country. Mamora decried the move, saying it would pale into a license for corruption for elective office holders. Oyegun, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Presidential running mate in the last election, called for a national debate on the bill. He described the proposal as a serious matter. Oyegun said the only advantage is that the Presidency will move round the geo-political zones within a short time. The Third Republic governor of Edo State said: “That is a serious matter. It calls for a

Jonathan pushes one term for President, governors Continued from page 1

cerned about the acrimony which the issue of re-election, every four years, generates both at the federal and state levels”. He added: “The nation is still smarting from the unrest, the desperation for power and the overheating of the polity that has attended each general election. The fall out of all this is the unending inter and intra-party squabbles which have affected the growth of party democracy in the country, and have further undermined the country’s developmental aspirations. “In addition, the cost of conducting party primaries and the general elections By Emmanuel Oladesu, Joseph Jibueze and Eric Ikhilae

national debate. This is my preliminary reaction. It should not be done in a way that affects his (President’s) tenure. That will distort it like the third term. If it is being done for personal benefit, it has no merit. “On the surface, it has a merit. Four years is short. People spend a lot of time on how to have a second term. Given the nature of Nigeria,

has become too high for the economy to accommodate every four years. The proposed amendment Bill is necessary to consolidate our democracy and allow elected executives to concentrate on governance and service delivery for their full term, instead of running governments with re-election as their primary focus.” The statement dispelled speculations that the proposed Bill is meant to elongate the President’s tenure. It said: “Nothing can be more untrue. The energy that has been devoted to speculations on the content of the likely bill is akin to an attempt to force the abortion of a non-existent pregnancy. The details of the Bill will be clear in terms

the Presidency will move round a bit faster. My expectation is that the law will not have retroactive effect. It must be debated. May be, it is worth thinking about. The pros and cons should be debated”. Momoh, who suspected a tenure elongation agenda in the proposal to the National Assembly, advised the President to face the fundamental issues critical to the survival of the country. The CPC National Chairman asked the President to

of its provisions when it is forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration. “The President makes it clear that his push for a single tenure for the office of the President and that of the Governors is not borne out of any personal interest. The proposed amendment will not have anything to do with him as a person; what he owes Nigerians is good governance, and he is singularly committed to this. Besides, it is trite law that the envisaged amendment cannot have a retroactive effect. “This means that whatever singleterm tenure that is enacted into law by the National Assembly will take effect from 2015.”

devote more attention to restructuring of the polity to guarantee true federalism, adding that a return to parliamentary system and regionalism would do Nigeria a lot of good. Momoh stressed: “Tenure elongation is not the immediate problem of Nigeria. The immediate problem of Nigeria is social justice. We have opted for social justice and constitutional democracy. Social justice relates to the welfare package for Nigerians.

This is the road taken. But we are putting money on the road more than the destination. We are chasing shadows and not substance. “What we need is true federalism. The centre is too power-loaded and power must devolve to the regions. There is need for restructuring. People are sharing a cake they are not part of its baking. There should be true federalism after restructuring along the six geo-political zones of Southwest, Southeast,

Southsouth, Northwest, Northeast and Northcentral, should be the federating units. There must be democracy before development. There is the need to revert to regionalism and we need part-time legislature in a parliamentary system”. Mamora, a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), opposed the single term bid, saying that the President was busy chasing shadows. He said a single term of six years is “a veritable instrument for corruption, chop I chop and turn by turn chopping”, adding it would breed a new culture of “don’t disturb me; wait for your turn; and don’t interfere in my affair”. Mamora said the President should have concentrated on the immediate challenges of economy, security, infrastructural development and unemployment, which are germane to the development of the country. He added: “I have not seen the bill. But that is not what we need at this time. Continued on page 5

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

NEWS

Man, 65, arrested for defiling daughter, wife’s niece

Court okays extradition of Nigerian accused of defrauding 70 US law firms

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

A 65-YEAR-OLD soldier, Mr Ayinla Isiaka, has been arrested by the police for allegedly violating his 11-year-old daughter. The victim, a primary four pupil in a government-owned school in Ibadan, said her father defiled her for one year. Isiaka, who lives in Kobomoje, Ibadan, was also accused of sleeping with her wife’s nine-year-old niece. His daughter had earlier reported him to her mother but was rebuffed. She found the courage to speak out when an uncle to the niece being defiled reported that of the niece at the police station. She later confessed to policemen in the presence of her father. A police source confirmed that the two girls had been taken to a hospital for medical test. The suspect, who was said to have confessed to the crime, will be be taken to court today, according to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Femi Okanlawon.

•To stand trial on three-count charge

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FEDERAL High Court in Lagos yesterday granted an application by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, for the extradition of a Canada-based Nigerian, Emmanuel Ekhator, who is wanted in the United States for alleged criminal conducts. Ekhator is wanted in the US over his alleged link with a group that defrauded some US law firms of about $29 million. Justice Fatimat Nyako held that with the evidence provided by the prosecution, the court was convinced that Ekhator should be extradited to the US to stand trial on charges against him at the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The court ordered the US Embassy and the Federal Government to perfect his travel arrangement and ensure his extradition within 15 days. The three-count charge marked 10-244 was part of documents from the US Department of State exhibited before the court by the prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Islam Hassan of the Federal Ministry of Justice. Ekhator, who is said to be a member of a syndicate that specialises in internet fraud, is accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, involvement in mail and wire frauds and money laundering. Most of the offences are said to at-

By Eric Ikhilae

tract a maximum of 20 years imprisonment. He was said to have evaded arrest in the US last year and escaped to Nigeria. The US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was said to have placed him on its watch list. He was found in Benin, Edo State, where he was arrested earlier this year by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). EFCC, in a supporting affidavit to the extradition application, said Ekhator, who holds a Masters degree from the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, resided in Canada with his wife, Nkechi. The commission described Ekhator as the arrowhead of a ring of fraudsters operating between Canada, US and the Asian Peninsular, that had defrauded some law firms of $29 milliom. Ekhator and his gang were alleged to have, between August 2008 and August 2010 fleeced about 70 US law of over $29 million. EFCC said its investigation revealed that Ekhator and his gang simply contacts law firms through e-mails, posing as potential clients, claiming to be representatives of foreign companies, seeking legal representation to help negotiate and collect, on their behalf, claims and settlement in cases like real estate transaction, divorce or torts.

Mother throws seven months old daughter into well in Ibadan From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

•Ekhator...yesterday

Crisis rocks ICPC as chairman’s tenure expires

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HERE are vacancies in the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences (ICPC) board. The tenure of five of the six members of the board has expired but Mr. Abdullahi Bako from the Northeast stays till April, next year. The attempt by the acting chairman of the commission, Mrs Rose Abang Wushishi, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), to continue functioning after the expiration of her tenure last Friday has created a crisis. The tenure of three other commissioners expired same day. The acting chairman reported for work yesterday, raising eyebrows. While the tenure of the substantive Chairman, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola (rtd), ended on November 29, last year, other commissioners completed theirs on July 22. They are Mrs Wushishi (Southsouth); Chief Simeon Oguntime-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

hin (Southwest); Dame Julie OnuNwarikau (Southeast); and Dr. Uriah Angulu (Northcentral). It was gathered that while three former commissioners handed over their official vehicles and ICPC property in their care and stayed away from office, the acting ICPC chairman reported for duty on Monday. As at 3pm yesterday when our correspondent visited the ICPC office in Abuja, her official black SUV, BJ 178 KUJ, was still carrying the paraphernalia of the office. Some members of the management felt she had no right to report for duty after her tenure’s expiration. Following the tension in the commission, the ICPC Secretary, Mr. Elvis Oglafa, wrote the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, seeking clarification of

her status. A top source in the commission said: “We are in a precarious situation as no one is ready to take any directive from the acting chairman again because her tenure has expired. “What actually provoked the crisis was a proposal by the acting chairman to travel to Singapore and China on duty tour next week. But some management staff said since the acting Chairman has completed her four-year tenure, she cannot embark on any working visit to any part of the world in an official capacity. “Some of us said we will not associate ourselves with her continued stay in office, until otherwise directed by the Federal Government. “Any of the commissioners has a right to be re-appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan, but once a tenure lapses, he or she has to vacate office. There is nothing like anticipatory reappointment.

“What the staff are demanding is that the acting ICPC chairman should leave office, until otherwise decided by the government.” Section 3(7-14) of the ICPC Act is explicit on the tenure and reappointment of chairman and members. The section says in part: “The Chairman shall hold office for a period of five years and may be reappointed for another five years but shall not be eligible for another term. “Other members of the commission shall hold office for a period of four years and may be reappointed for another four years but shall not be eligible for reappointment thereafter. “The chairman and members of the commission shall hold office on such terms and conditions as may be specified in the instrument of appointment. “And they shall not be subject to any other authority, except as provided by the Act.”

Boko Haram: Fed Govt vows to punish erring soldiers

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NY member of the joint Task Force on Operation Restore Hope in Maiduguri, the troubled Borno State capital, flouting the rules of engagement will be dealt with, the Federal Government declared yesterday. The warning is coming against the background of claims by Amnesty International that 23 people were killed by members of the task force. The Army authorities have, however, denied such killings. President Goodluck Jonathan issued the warning yesterday in Abuja during the maiden stakeholder’s meeting on national security and public awareness, organised by the Presidential Committee on Public Awareness on

From Dele Anofi, Gbenga Omokhunu and Gbenga Adanikin, Abuja

Security and Civil responsibilities. He said: “For some time now, our nation has been confronted with some major security challenges, such as intra and interparty conflicts, socio-economic agitations, ethno-religious crises, civil and organised rebellion and outright criminality. “Let me reiterate that this administration remains irrevocably committed to its constitutional role of securing the life and property of all Nigerians,” he said. Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, declared that the

government was ready to do whatever needs to be done, “within the scope of the rule of law, to bring about lasting peace, while also laying more emphasis on an intelligence based approach to meeting our national security challenges.” The Minister of Defence, Dr.Haliru Bello, said the deployed soldiers were handed a rule of engagement that they were supposed to adhere to. Traditional rulers at the event appealed to Nigerians to give peace a chance, saying development is impossible in an atmosphere of insecurity. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad (III) advised the government to address funda-

mental causes of insecurity, citing hunger, beleaguered education among others. A nation with purpose must have God-fearing citizens because it is difficult for a nation to enjoy real peace without justice and equity”. The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Umar El-Kanemi, said armed robbers do not have the poor in their agenda, but that with the novel form of attack of bombing, everybody is at risk of being affected. The Ooni of Ife, who was represented by Oba Aderemi Adeniyi of Ido Osun, urged the government to address the spate of bombing in some parts of the country, more so when the Police Force headquarters was not spared by the bombers.

A 23-YEAR-OLD nursing mother, Bose Lateef, is cooling her heels in the police custody in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. She was arrested for allegedly throwing her seven-month old daughter, Aliyat, into a well yesterday, leading to her death. Mrs. Lateef was arrested at Olomi area of the city yesterday following a report of the incident to the police by a concerned neighbour. She was said to have left her husband in Lagos three weeks ago to live with her parents in Ibadan, following a quarrel between them. She was said to have confessed to the crime but said she could not explain what came over her at the time she committed the offence. Explaining that she had been in Ibadan for three weeks, the suspect recalled that her husband visited her in Ibadan last Friday during which the quarrel was settled before he returned to Lagos the following day. It was also learnt that her husband requested that they return to Lagos together but she asked to be allowed to stay till Tuesday (yesterday). Before leaving, she also recalled that she fed the baby around 10pm on Monday when she was crying. According to her, she did not just know how she picked the baby and threw her into the well within the compound. Confirming the incident to The Nation on telephone yesterday, the State’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Femi Okanlawon, said one neighbour reported the case at Sanyo Police Station. According to him, detectives were sent to the house and fetched the baby’s corpse from the well. He said interrogations continued with the suspect.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

NEWS

Ogun denies demolition of Bi-Courtney plant By Miriam Ndikanwu

THE Ogun State Government yesterday joined issue with Messrs Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, over allegations by the firm that Governor Ibikunle Amosun, on Sunday, led a demolition squad to dismantle equipment at its $6.5million asphalt plant, off the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Olumiluwa Adegite told reporters at the controversial site at the Sagamu interchange on the highway, that Bi-Courtney was spreading falsehood. The commissioner accused the firm of misleading the public and engaging in facesaving tactics over its failure to begin work on the road two years after it got the concession. Bi-Courtney had been franchised by the Federal Government two years ago to source N89,533 billion to redevelop the 120-kilometre road and recoup its investment over a 25-year period. The company, through its spokesman, Mr Dipo Kehinde, yesterday urged Nigerians to help prevail on the Amosun administration against stopping the work on the road. A 60-day ultimatum was on Sunday given to the concessionaire to re-surface the critical portions on the road. The commissioner for works challenged the company to come out with documents of land acquisition from the state government, stressing that the company was given six weeks from April 14 to pay N75 million on the land and write a letter of acceptance, alleging that the company did not comply. He said: “It was stated in the letter that if they accept this offer, they should write a letter of acceptance and BiCourtney neither wrote a letter nor paid the money within the stipulated time and that automatically meant that they had rejected the offer.” The commissioner explained that the land BiCourtney is laying claim to has been earmarked a trailers park as part of measures to check indiscriminate parking on the higway. “In the letter it was expressly stated that if the conditions stated are ok by them, the sum of money to be paid amounted to N75 million, and the total came to N75 million. It was stated in the letter that if they accept this offer, they should write a letter of acceptance and Bi-Courtney neither wrote a letter nor paid the money and what that told me is that the land was never allocated to the company. “We did not demolish anything here. We are all for this road, 80 per cent of the road lies in Ogun state, so we will like to partner with BiCourtney to fix the road. So if Bi-Courtney do what is proper, that is approach the government for land, of course we will allocate land for them but they need to do what is needful and we would definitely oblige them”. Reacting to the state government’s position, Kehinde said work has already commenced for the installation of the plant, lamenting that the state government’s move was a bid to frustrate the company from implementing the project.

Senate favours bill seeking deportation of convicted Nigerians T HE Senate yesterday passed the second reading of an amendment bill seeking to strip Nigerians convicted in Commonwealth countries the right of consent before they could be transferred home to serve their jail terms. The extant Act gives the convicts the right to accept or reject a transfer from the countries where they were convicted to their home country, Nigeria in this case. Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba who led the debate yesterday said the amendment would among others enable Nigerians convicted in Commonwealth counties to serve out their sentence at home. This, according to him, would ensure penal justice for criminals irrespective of where their crimes are committed and harmonise penal systems and reciprocity within the Commonwealth. Although majority of the

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

senators supported the bill, which was sent to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan only last week, a few of the lawmakers kicked against it. Arguing against the bill, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim doubted if there is any sane Nigerian who would be willing to be brought back home to serve a jail term and wondered how far the bill could go. Senators Uche Chukwumerije and Heineken Lokpobiri were of the opinion that the amendment seeks to infringe on the fundamental human rights of the convicts. Lokpobiri said that apart from infringement on the rights of the convicts, it would also overburden the nation’s already overstretched financ-

es and its inadequate prison facilities. Senators Ali Ndume, Aisha Alhassan and Minority Leader, George Akume also opposed the bill, citing the nation’s already congested prisons. Senator Nkechi Awogu wondered why the bill is being rushed through the process. Akume urged his colleagues to first seek means of reforming the nation’s prison system before they could talk about transferring Nigerian convicts back home. Senators Abdul Ningi, Ayogu Eze, Wilson Ake, Benedict Ayade joined Ndoma Egba to push for the amendment. They insisted that if passed, the implementation of the bill will expose convicted Nigerians who come back home to contest elections after being released from prison abroad.

According to them, it will also serve as a deterrent to prospective Nigerian offenders who hitherto have been hiding their crimes in foreign land from their kinsmen back home. They stressed that the practice has already gained global recognition. Senate President David Mark was however shocked when Senator Ayade told the session that there are about 16, 000 Nigerians currently in prison in the United Kingdom alone, warning that the Senate should consider the financial implication of having Nigerian convict transferred back hom. Mark said: “‘I am shocked that there are 16,000 Nigerians in U.K prisons. I believe that there will be proper coordination between the two countries before the transfer is effected”

“A lesson for us here is to reform our prison system. I don’t think it is right to push our responsibility to other countries” Briefing reporters shortly after the plenary session, Ndoma-Egba ruled out the possibility of pardon for such transferred convicts under the Prerogative of Mercy, saying that such moves could defeat the objective of the exercise. Ndoma-Egba stated: “The issue of our image is a major concern and this bill intends to address it. It will defeat the essence of the transfer if the convicts come home to benefit from pardon by the state” “It does not mean that all the convicts will be transferred on the passage of the amendment. It will be based on request” The amendment carried a majority voice vote while the minority dissenting voices mumbled away.

CMD boss makes case for FoI Act From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

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•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola signing the Bills for the establishment of Audit Service Commission and Office of the Auditor General into law at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja…yesterday. With him are Deputy Speaker Kolawole Taiwo (left) and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr Adeola Ipaye PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

‘Akingbola transferred funds to foreign account without bank’s approval’ C

HIEF Inspector of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr Abduraheem Jimoh yesterday told a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, how its former Managing Director, Dr Erastus Akingbola, transferred the bank’s N2.1billion to his foreign account in breach of procedure. He alleged that Akingbola used a subsidiary of Intercontinental Bank to carry out the transaction by unilaterally increasing its lifeline from N2 billion to N5 billion. According to him, the normal process was for the bank’s Board Risk Committee to ratify and approve such a request.

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•Defendants fail to halt trial

By Joseph Jibueze

Jimoh said: “In this case there was no approval or ratification,” Jimoh said, adding that Akingbola made several illegal transfers between March 16 and May 13 2009. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Akingbola and General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited, Mr Bayo Dada before Justice Habeeb Abiru on an amended 22 counts of stealing the bank’s

N47.1 billion. Before Jimoh began his testimony, the defendants’ lawyers – Messrs Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), Deji Sasegbon (SAN) and Rickey Tarfa (SAN) – failed in their bid to halt the trial with three successive oral applications. Each time the court refused one, they raised another. They made an application for adjournment on the grounds that the Lagos State High Court was on vacation,

so the court could not continue to hear the matter. They also sought for an adjournment because they had two applications before the court. In the first, they sought an adjournment pending the hearing and determination of their appeal before the Court of Appeal. The second was seeking to quash the charges. EFCC’s counsel Mr. Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), opposed all the applications, saying the the law did not permit adjournment on such grounds. Justice Abiru insisted that trial must continue.

HE Director-General, Centre for Management Development (CMD), Dr. Kabir Kabo Usman yesterday called for the adoption of the principles of Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of funds earmarked for training and re-training of personnel in public and private sectors. Usman made the call in Kano during the 22nd yearly Conference of Heads of Training and Development in the Public and Private Enterprises. He said such measure would go a long way to stop fraud and embezzlement. He spoke on the sub-theme: ’Managing the Training Fund: Probity and Accountability.” Usman said: “Training funds need to be well managed. Entrenching the principles of probity and accountability would aid in no small measure; best practices that would enhance the Freedom of Information Act should be adopted to ensure probity.” He also emphasised on the need for effective and efficient time management in the art of training, which he said remains imperative in the realisation of the goals of the nation’s economic blue-print— vision 20-2020. Kano State Head of Service Alhaji Umar Shehu Minjibir, described training and retraining of personnel as important tool imbuing the spirit of commitment and loyalty among employees, adding that adequate remuneration to participants also plays a vital role in motivating employees for better productivity.

How to resolve Boko Haram crisis, by CAN president

ROM the pulpit came yesterday a piece of advice for President Goodluck Jonathan on how to tackle the Boko Haram crisis. Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President Ayo Oritsejafor counseled Jonathan to seek international collaboration in handling the nation’s security challenge. He said developed countries who had tackled terrorism in the past could share their experience with him on how to ensure national unity and peace.

By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

Pastor Oritsejafor, who spoke at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, also called on the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi Lamido to explain whether his clamour for noninterest banking is not another opportunity to Islamise the country. He urged the CBN governor to give details on other forms of non-interest banking. Oritsejafor also challenged members of the House of Representatives for their inability to subject the presentation of Lamido to inquiry, rather they

failed as true representatives of the people to defend the interest of Nigerians on the vexed issue. The CAN president said: “This is a very serious moment for us as a nation. It’s a time everyone must think seriously before doing anything or saying anything. What happened at the House of Representatives was a shock. I think to most well-meaning Nigerians, it was a shock because it is an issue that has generated so much controversies. “You invite a man, he comes and he explains whatever he

explained to you. Now, after his explanation, we would have thought that the House of Representatives would have their views about this? That a man would come, explain himself, you clap for him and you say it is over and he walks out? “Does it then mean that you understood everything and they are clear to you? We are waiting to hear clearly from the leadership of the House of Representatives. Let them defend what happened. “Let me again make it abundantly clear, we are not against

the Muslims, they are Nigerians. There are some Nigerians who are Muslims, some are Christians, we are Nigerians and we have known each other for years and we will always be here. I’m a bit puzzled when I listen to what is coming from different angles. We are not basically against Muslims wanting a bank that would meet their needs. You can have a bank that will meet your needs. What we are saying is this, does the law of this country permits the CBN Governor to spend state money promoting a sectional banking system?”


5

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

NEWS

Halliburton: Rights group seeks EFCC, ICPC probe of Justice Minister T

HE Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) yesterday asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to probe the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) over $26m fines paid by Julius Berger Plc as part of the company’s plea bargain on Halliburton scam. It also alleged that another $3m was paid as bribe as part of secret terms forced on some multinational companies. But the AGF said the probe is a welcome development saying, “I have nothing to hide”. The coalition made the demand in a similar petition separately submitted to the EFCC and ICPC after protest marches in Abuja. The protest was led by CACOL Executive Chairman Mr. Debo Adeniran. The petition reads in part: “Your agency is therefore called upon to as a matter of urgency and national interest, investigate allegations that the Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke coordinated a bribery

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

scheme that extorted about $26 million USD from about 10 multinational companies involved in the Siemens and Halliburton bribery scandals in the last quarter of 2010. “This amount was believed to have been collected under the official cover of making the accused multinational companies pay the legal fees of prosecution counsels even though the accused were never prosecuted in any court to warrant such unethical secret levy. “While the EFCC and the Attorney General have listed various sums of money totaling about $240million as funds recovered in fines and penalties from these multinational companies, no one has dared mention the $26million or more secretly extorted from these companies and who the beneficiaries are. “Some of the multinational companies alleged to have been forced to pay various sums as fines and

•I welcome it, says Adoke ‘We also request you to establish through your investigation whether it is the practice for the accused in criminal cases to bear the cost of their own prosecution even though in these cases, no prosecution took place’ bribes under the cover of paying for prosecution’s legal fees include Julius Berger, Snamprogetti, Halliburton, Technipp, Shell, Siemens, Saipem, Japanese Gas Corporation, Transocean and Noble Drill. “While we have been able to get

•Plateau State Deputy Governor, Mr Ignatius Longjan, inspecting a parade by National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Batch “B” Corps members deployed to the state after their orientation course in Jos…yesterday

information that Julius Berger alone coughed out $26million in fines and another $3million USD as bribe, we call upon your agency as the one that investigated these cases and indeed filed charges against all the accused before they were withdrawn after some secret terms of settlement were forced on the multinational companies by the Attorney General, to as a matter of urgency and in line with President Jonathan’s directive, probe how much each of the accused paid as ‘legal fees’, and how these monies were shared. “We also request you to establish through your investigation whether it is the practice for the accused in criminal cases to bear the cost of their own prosecution even though in these cases, no prosecution took place. “We urge you to also file appropriate charges against anyone

found to have abused his office in this matter at the end of investigation.” In an exclusive interview, Adoke said: “I have nothing to hide, I am waiting for the probe, it is a welcome development. I have all the records intact. Let them probe it, let me expose them. “The amount paid was $26.5m and $3m was paid as legal fees to the lawyers. All the negotiations and terms of agreement were conducted under the supervision of a former National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau (rtd). “The agreement is there for anyone to access because the EFCC participated in the negotiation and in the agreement. The EFCC was represented by its Secretary, Mr. Emanuel Akomaye. “All the fines were paid to the Federal Government, not into my account. Everything was transparently done; I can hold my head high. “The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), J.B. Daudu (SAN); Godwin Obla and the EFCC Secretary participated in the negotiation. So, if they are alleging bribery, the EFCC might have benefited by their inference.”

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola inspecting the passing out parade of the Batch B of the NYSC at the orientation camp, Ede, Osun State...yesterday

Momoh, Agbakoba, Akeredolu, Oyegun, Ikenya weigh President’s action •Continued from page 2 The issues we need to address are not being addressed. It is like leaving leprosy and attending to minor ailments. The single term will turn out to be a way of instituting corruption in the system. “Once the elected executive is not coming back, he or she becomes a law to himself or herself. He is not bothered. It is the surest way of making a dictator. It will breed lawlessness. The person will have the feeling that he is not going back to the electorate to seek re-election. When a person is seeking re-nomination, he will be encouraged to do well and demand for a second term. “The demerits outweigh its merits, if there is any merit at all. A single term does not give you the opportunity of second chance, which means that you have to live with an error or mistake you have committed”. ACN governorship candidate in Taraba State, Senator Joel Ikenya, said the agitation for a single term is not new, adding that it is a nonissue. Ikenya added: “The issue is not about tenure. It is about performance. We must work on the system. It is uncalled for, a waste of resources and time. Tenure is not a problem. The people in authority are the problem. What we need is a political education so that those who fail to perform well

in office should be voted out. Reviewing the tenure is not a priority. The issue is the delivery of dividends of democracy. A leader of Afenifere, the Yoruba pan socio-political group, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, however, hailed the bill, saying that it is desirable. He said: “I think it is a welcome idea. There is the tendency in this part of the world, especially Nigeria, to see elective public office as an avenue for making money. Six years is sufficient for you to do what you think you can do in eight years. Staying longer in office leads to corruption and power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Former Nigerian Bar Association

(NBA) President, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) said: “If there is no benefit to President Jonathan, I think it will give the bill more integrity. That’s one. Whether we like it or not, we’re at a point in Nigeria where political maturity is not there and we have had the biggest challenges with succession. “I think from that point of view, if we have a single tenure of six years, a lot of rancour will be reduced quite honestly. To the extent that Jonathan is not presenting it to benefit from it, I think that will make the debate fair. People can put their mouth into it. “Personally, I think it is very welcome. The huge expense incurred by politicians to run for

office or second term is about 50 per cent of our national economy. Because we’re at a very low level development, I think it’s something to be supported to the extent that Jonathan does not benefit from it.” Another former NBA President, Rotimi Akeredolu said: “This is a matter that has to be debated thoroughly. They should put in public domain and allow time to discuss it. I think it is something that will be better for us. “The struggle to win second term has brought a lot of acrimony in politics. If they know they have just a single term of six years, probably the acrimony will be less. For me, it is a matter worth considering

since it has nothing to do with those serving now.” Constitutional lawyer Dr Joe Nwobike (SAN) said: “I do not think a six-year single tenure will make any impact at all in terms of reducing cost of governance. Every four years there will still be parliamentary elections. The usual cost will be incurred and may only be reduced minimally. “I think it is unnecessary because it is inconsistent with what we have always known to be our pattern of presidential politics. And I think there should be a referendum on the Constitution amendment. Let Nigerians have an opportunity to express their views especially with respect to the six-year single tenure.”

Obasanjo asks Tambuwal, others to step down •Continued from page 2 He added: “I am not recommending collective punishment or individual punishment for what happened that should not have happened. Rather, I am recommending that the party, as a family, should put its house in order. We should appreciate where and how the party has failed and correct ourselves. We should not do anything to put insult on injury. That will do more harm than the harm already done. “I believe that we should seek a

win-win remedy to get us out of the situation we found ourselves. It is a quagmire and to do nothing is to sink deeper in it. “The present PDP officers of the House of Representatives and all their supporters-open and covertshould express the reasons for doing what they did and the party, with Government, should see their point of view or explain things where necessary. The party should then seek remedy. “But let me suggest one possible remedy, but members of BOT and the party may suggest better remedies.

*The present Speaker and other PDP officers of the House of Representatives should remain in their respective positions for two years, up to 5th June 2013 when the party policy, programme and decision of zoning to South-West should be implemented. *Any other adjustments that may be deemed necessary may be carried out thereafter and in some future date. *Whatever the grievances on the side of the PDP members of the House of Representatives should be addressed and their points of view noted.

*With this remedy or any other acceptable remedy approved by the party and the legislature, the issue should be put behind us for now as a party and then we move forward sure-footedly together. “Failure to address this issue, with an acceptable remedy, will mean that PDP, as a political party, has said goodbye to the platform of zoning and rotation upon which it came into being and which has stood it in good stead up till now. That could be a serious and deadly mistake.” As at press time, BOT members were still discussing the issues raised by the ex-President.


6

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

NEWS NYSC BATCH ‘B’ CLOSING CEREMONY

Governors to Nigerians: don’t reject corps members By Our Correspondents

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OVERNORS yesterday urged employers of labour not to reject National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members posted to their organisations. They frowned at public and private employers that rejected the corps members, warning that such an action would no longer be tolerated. The governors spoke at NYSC orientation camps during the closing parades of the Batch “B”. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi warned employers against rejecting the corps members posted to their establishments. Represented by his deputy, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, the governor urged employers to accord priority to the welfare of corps members. He said: “I want to call on all employers of corps members, in the public and private sectors, to tap maximally from the rich potentials of these vibrant youths. “Cases of rejection and underutilisation of corps members by their employers must become a thing of the past in this state. Employers must ensure that their welfare needs are met, and they must pay them their entitlements and put smiles on their faces to get the best from them.” Kano State Governor Musa Kwankwaso also warned corporate organisations, government establishments and local governments from rejecting corps members. He noted that corps members worked for humanity and nation-building. Represented by his deputy, Dr Umar Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor said the one-year national service was for fostering unity and cordial relationship among Nigerians. Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda directed local government chairmen to ensure the protection of the corps members posted to their domains. Represented by the Head of Civil Service, Abdon Dalla Gin, the governor urged the corps members to report to the government through the state secretariat any council chairman that refuses to cooperate with them. He restated the commitment of his administration to the wellbeing and - security of the corps members, urging them to report to security agencies any suspicious movement around them. Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi praised the contributions of the NYSC to the success of the April elections, especially in the state. He said: “In the 2007 elections, many unpleasant things happened, but for the first time that the NYSC participated in the elections, I won clearly.” Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola urged the corps members to tolerate opposing social, political and religious views during their service year and beyond.

Lamido swears in 15 commissioners From Eunice Bosua, Dutse

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IGAWA State Governor Sule Lamido yesterday swore in 15 new commissioners, saying they were appointed on merit and for their contributions to the development of the state. The governor urged the commissioners to be hard working because his administration places emphasis on collective efforts. Lamido advised the new commissioners to promote peace in their duties, noting that the crises in the country were caused by political, religious and ethnic sentiments. One of the new commissioners is Salisu Mamuda, who was formerly at the Local Government Ministry, and now posted to the Ministry of Environment. The former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Hajia Hadiza Abdulwahab, has been appointed Commissioner for Women’s Affairs. Hajia Aldulwahab promised not to disappoint the state and the governor, saying she and her colleagues would serve the state with vigour.

Tension in Bauchi over Yuguda’s absence

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HERE was tension yesterday in Bauchi State over the long absence of Governor Isa Yuguda. The governor allegedly travelled from the state after his swearing-in in May. Though the Speaker of the House of Assembly Yahaya Mohammed Miya said Yuguda travelled out for a medical check-up after getting the consent of the Assembly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman Al-Ameen Ibrahim said the governor was on annual leave. Addressing reporters in Bauchi, Miya said: “The lead-

•Speaker: he’ll soon be back From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

ership of Bauchi State House of Assembly is aware that the governor travelled out. He informed the leadership of the Assembly before he left the state. We are aware that he went out for medical checkup. “He also informed the leadership of the Assembly that he was pursuing matters of interest to the state in Abuja. He travelled with our consent. We expect him back to the

state any moment from now.” Ibrahim said: “The governor has gone on leave. He is entitled to go on leave and there is nothing new about it.” Yuguda left Bauchi before June 15. His absence, according to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has halted the machinery of state. A CPC chieftain, who

•Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed congratulating Alhaja Ramota Adesina Abaya, Commissoner for Social Development, Culture and Tourism after her swearing-in in Ilorin.....yesterday.

Tribunal grants ACN leave to call more witnesses

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HE Kwara State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, the state capital, yesterday granted the applications of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to extend the pre-hearing session till tomorrow. The tribunal also granted the petitioners’ motion to call additional witnesses. ACN governorship candi-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

date in the April election, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), is challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) declaration of Abdulfatah Ahmed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governor.

The tribunal urged the parties to ensure that the issues to be dealt with during prehearing are resolved by today. Lead counsel to ACN Yemi Akangb, had prayed the tribunal for time extention, saying no progress had been made in the inspection of electoral materials used in the election, as ordered by the tribunal.

He said his team was ready to produce 107 witnesses. Counsel to Ahmed, Titus Ashaolu (SAN), promised to call 102 witnesses. Counsel to PDP, Saka Abimbola Ishau (SAN), promised to call 100 witnesses and counsel to the INEC said he would call 75 witnesses at the hearing proper.

Five dead in Kaduna road accident

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IVE people were confirmed dead yesterday in a motor accident involving an 18-seater passenger bus, which ran into a stationary truck that broke down on the edge of the Kaduna bridge late on Monday night. The bus, with 13 passengers, was travelling from the commercial centre of the

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

town to Ungwan Romi on the outskirt of Kaduna at about 9.30 pm when it ran into the broken down vehicle on the dual carriage way. Secretary of the Kaduna Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dominic Uzu, who said he was fol-

lowing the passenger bus behind when the accident occurred, said the bus ran into the truck killing about five of the passengers. “I went for a meeting and when I finished, I went back to the NUJ to pick up my car. I was following the bus behind when it suddenly ran into the truck. I had to pack my car with others to carry out res-

cue operation. I saw five people who were already dead”. According to him, the first set of security operatives to arrive the scene were officials of the state special security outfit, Operation Yaki, while the men of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) arrived later.

Kwara to publish ministries’ performance indicators

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HE Kwara State Government yesterday said it would publish the key performance indicators of its ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) “to energise government business”. Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed spoke in Ilorin, the state capital, at the inauguration of five commissioners and special advisers about two weeks after the

pleaded for anonymity, said: “Yuguda had promised to complete major projects, especially the roads he started in the last four years, within his first 100 days in office. He was sworn in on May 29, and today, the last week in July, there is nothing to show for his promise or his presence.” An assistant to Senator Suleman Nazeef Gamawa, the ANPP governorship candidate in the April election, said: “Yuguda is playing with the lives of Bauchi residents and nobody is drawing his attention to it. It will reach a stage that the people will react.”

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

first set of 11 commissioners took their oaths of office. Ahmed said: “In line with our commitment to service reform and determination to energise government business, my administration will publish key performance indicators of all ministries, departments and

agencies. These yardsticks would serve as indices for quarterly assessment of your performance by your peers and by the people of this state.” The governor urged the new appointees to shun corruption and align their lifestyles with the economic and social realities of the residents to sustain their trust, adding that his administration’s policy thrust is on youth empow-

erment, agriculture, solid minerals development, infrastructural development, tourism and human capital development, among others. He said the residents placed high expectations on his administration, adding that these must be met through timely and efficient service delivery for the development of the state.

NANS alerts Police to illegal activities

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HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has alerted the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, and Director-General of the State Security Service to the activities of some cults, which is trying to use unscrupulous students in Bayelsa State to cause a breakdown of law and order. In a statement by the national secretariat of NANS signed by the President, Comrade Bassey Etuk Williams and Secretary-General, Comrade Jossy Ekpe in Osogbo, Osun State, the union cautioned Timipre Sylva to disregard an illegal convention purportedly planned to hold in Yenagoa as it did not emanate from NANS. It said the association’s convention, billed for Abuja, had been suspended due to security reasons. NANS wondered why fraudsters, disguised as students, would impersonate it to dupe unsuspecting individuals and government. "We are using this medium to alert the Federal Government and Bayelsa state governor to be wary of some unscrupulous elements among students, who are colluding with notorious members of cult groups to perpetrate devillish actions under the guise of students' unionism," NANS stated.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

7

NEWS

Four held for allegedly killing E A policeman 400-Level medical student of Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State, Kolade Olajide (20), has been arrested for his role in the murder of Police Constable Olufowobi Olusegun, at his home at Moferere, Ajebamidele, Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State. Olusegun was attacked in his home, when three suspects attempted to rob him. Kolade reportedly murdered Olusegun. He was assisted by two others, Blessing Ohwosiri(27) and Ojo Ogundare (24) at 9pm on July 20. All three are now being held at the Ekiti State Police Command. A fourth suspect, a 22year-old pre-degree female student of Adeyemi College

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

of Education, Ondo, Sunkanmi Faleye, is also being detained. She is suspected to be Ohwosiri ‘s girlfriend Ohwosiri is at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital(OAUTH), Ile Ife, where he is receiving treatment for gunshot wounds. Faleye said she was arrested at OAUTH while taking drugs for Blessing. Olajide said Ohwosiri, who is popularly called the Master Orchestra, led him and Ogundare to the officer’s home.

Olajide, who claimed to be a former student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), where he met Ohwosiri, said neither the officer nor his home were the target of the operation. He said they were attracted to the building because it was well lit. Olajide, an indigene of Ado Ekiti, said the policeman resisted Ohwosiri’s order . This reportedly angered Ohwosiri, who shot at the victim. He said after the shot, Olusegun got his service pistol and shot Ohwosiri in the chest. He said: “I was in Ondo town that day when Ohwosiri

called me that we have a business to do in Ado Ekiti. “I had to come down. We were not bound for the officer’s house, but it was attractive. “As Ohwosiri entered the house, we stayed outside and heard gunshots and later another sound. “After some few minutes, Blessing rushed out of the house with blood oozing out of his body and we fled the scene and took him to the hospital.” He said they deceived policemen into helping them take him to the hospital by telling them that he was attacked by armed robbers. The Commissioner of Police, Olayinka Balogun, appealed to hospitals’ management not to reject victims of gunshot.

Fayemi, Fashola sign bills From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday signed six bills into laws. The bills include Ekiti State University Law 2011; Traffic Management Agency Law 2011 and Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2011. The rest are Ekiti State Public-Private Partnership Law 2011; Ekiti State Petroleum Products Consumers’ Protection Agency (Amendment) Law 2011 and Ekiti State Contributory Pension (Amendment) Law 2011. The signing of the bills is expected to accelerate the pace of development in key sectors and help drive the administration’s eight-point agenda. This has increased the number of bills signed by the governor to 15 since the Assembly was inaugurated on June 6. Also in Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) signed into law a safety commission bill and a bill for the establishment of the office of auditor-general. Signing the bills at the State House, Ikeja yesterday, Fashola said the new law would make government more responsible in discharging its primary duties. He said: “This new law will define our purpose as a protector of lives and property. The cases of avoidable loss of lives and property would be minimised. “The legislation would also ensure that private organisations give serious attention to the issue of safety in their operation.”

Gunmen attack cashier

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MAN was shot yesterday on his way to a bank. A bag suspected to contain company money was taken away by the gunmen. It was gathered that 13 gunmen trailed the worker, identified as Sikiru Onasanya, from his office. Sources said the suspects, who came in five motorcycles, were masked. The company’s Financial Controller, who simply identified himself as Abdul, confirmed that Onasanya was on his way to the bank to deposit N2.2million when he was shot in the neck. He said immediately after the incident, Onasanya was

By Titilayo Banjoko

rushed to the hospital. “He was first taken to a private hospital where he was rejected. We were asked to transfer him to Lagos State Teaching Hospital Idi-Araba (LUTH). “At LUTH, there was no bed space, so we had to take him to Saint Nicolas Hospital in Gbagada, where he is being operated upon. “No I do not suspect anyone, as a matter of fact, as we all know; Mushin is a notorious area, where we have a lot of hoodlums. “This is not his first time of going to the bank. He has gone to the bank to deposit N5million before”.

Funeral rites for Oni’s mother From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti •Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (middle); Deputy Governor Mrs. Funmi Olayinka (second right); Olotunja of Otunja, Oba Adeola Fagbemila (left); Elekole of Ikole, Oba Ajibade Fasiku (second left); his son, Prince Adejire and Olori Esther Fasiku when the Egbe Oba Ikole visited the governor...yesterday

Akala appointed Auxiliary to demolish NURTW office, says witness A

FACTIONAL leader of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mukaila Lamidi a.k.a. Auxiliary, was allegedly appointed by former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala to hire equipment for the demolition of the union secretariat on February 23, a witness said yesterday. Adetunji Rufai testified yesterday before the five-man panel, led by Justice Olagoke Ige, sitting at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Agodi. Rufai, a lawyer, represented Coastal Secured Ventures (Nig) Ltd the firm that loaned the equipment. He said over N300million debt was incurred by Auxil-

From Oseheye Okwuofu and Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

iary on behalf of the state, when the bulldozer and other equipment were set ablaze. A company driver, Yinusa Mohammed, was said to have been killed in the melee. Rufai said Auxiliary entered into a contract with the company on behalf of Akala and Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Majekodunmi Aborode, for the lease of an excavator, Mack tractor and low bed at N600,000 per day. This, he said, was backed with an invoice (No 0041), dated No-

vember 23, last year. The counsel said upon release of the equipment to Auxiliary, “it was diverted to Olomi area where the government purportedly tried to use them to demolish the NURTW secretariat controlled by the Tokyo faction of the union. “In the process, my client’s equipment were set ablaze and a driver, Yisau Mohammed, killed.” The firm urged the panel to replace the excavator valued at N36 million, the mack tractor (N18 million); low bed (N70 million); N50 million “for loss of business opportunities, N10 million compen-

sation for the family of the deceased driver as well as payment of N600,000 per day from February 23 till the date the equipment are replaced. Rufai said his client approached the former governor to replace the equipment about eight times. Another witness, Capt Tony Ogunsakin(rtd), who is the Special Adviser to Tokyo on Public Matters and Strategy, said the only solution to the crisis was to return Tokyo as chairman, having been ordered by the National Industrial Court in its 2009 judgment.

Court orders Akoko monarch to vacate throne

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N Akure High Court in Ondo State yesterday restrained Oba Yisa Olanipekun, the Zaki of Arigidi Akoko from parading himself as the monarch of the community. In a suit filed by Tunde Olanipekun, through his counsel, Wole Omotosho, against the government; the head of Ilara family, Pa. Salau Olanipekun; Oba Olanipekun and four others, he urged the court to declare the Zaki stool vacant. He said the defendants

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

have violated the court’s injunction by installing Olanipekun as the Zaki of Arigidi Akoko in 2008. Omotosho said the Zaki was appointed on November 5, 2008 in a letter by the State Secretary to the Government (SSG), Dr. Isaac Kekemeke. But he noted that the court had earlier restrained the government on November 3, 2008 from going ahead with the installation.

But Pa Salau’s counsel Mallan Ashairu said his client was not aware of the court order restraining the defendant from going ahead with the appointment. Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi said the defendants breached court injunction by going ahead with the installation. Kumuyi said: “As long as it subsisted whether null or not, those affected thereby are bound to obey court order. “The court will not hesitate to set aside the selection of the Zaki of Arigidi Akoko

and declare the stool vacant.” But the monarch said there was no prior notice that the judgment would come up yesterday, adding that none of his supporters was at the court. He said: “We are going to appeal the judgment, and confident that the appeal court will overrule the lower court judgment”. Oba Olanipekun insisted that he remains the traditional ruler of Arigidi Akoko, adding that he was in his palace performing the normal traditional roles.

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HE funeral rites for mother of former Governor of Ekiti State Segun Oni, the late Madam Comfort Ajayi Oni has started in Ifaki Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government. The rites started with a service of songs by the women’s fellowship of Methodist Church, Ifaki-Ekiti on Monday. In a statement in Ado-Ekiti yesterday by the Chairman of the funeral committee, former Deputy Governor Dr. Sikiru Tae Lawal, said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women’s caucus and Methodist Diocesan fellowship would render songs today. “Tomorrow, there would be a Christian Wake to be coordinated by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ido/Osi Local Government chapter. “On Friday, the funeral service would hold at the Methodist Church, Ifaki-Ekiti to be followed by a reception for guests at Methodist Girls High School in the town.”

Ex-Trade Bank MD joins ACN From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

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ORMER Managing Director of Trade Bank Plc Jamiu Ekungba yesterday picked the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) membership card in Owo Local Government of Ondo State. Over 5,000 supporters of Labour Party (LP); Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and other political parties also defected to the ACN. Ekungba, who is a close associate of former Kano State Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, was accompanied by Ayo Lawrence; Olu Agunloye and other dignitaries to the ACN Owo council secretariat. Speaking shortly after receiving his membership card, Ekungba said he was joining politics because he was not satisfied with the level of development in the state. He added that he joined the ACN because the party was the only progressive party that could bring development to the state and change the lives of the people.

Oyo ACN advises police chief

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State has urged the Commissioner of Police, Moses Onireti, to be sincere, responsive and professional. In a statement issued by its Chairman, Chief Akin Oke and SecretaryWasiu Olatubosun, the party said: “It is our expectation that the

new commissioner would avoid the banana peel which discredited his predecessor. “Onireti should display high level of sincerity, responsiveness and professionalism in his official conduct as the number one police officer in the state.” Onireti replaces Baba Adisa Bolanta, who has been posted to Jigawa State.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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NEWS Miners, council chief disagree

Jonathan hails Oshiomhole

THE Nigeria Union of Mine Workers on Monday said the union might go on strike in Cross River State, if the Chairman of Akamkpa Local Government, Dennis Nkiri, is not called to order. The union is quarrelling with the chairman over the formation of an illegal association in the local government. The union operates largely in the Southsouth and Southeast, particularly in Ebonyi and Cross River states. The union Chairman, White Nwaehie, said it was not true that the union leaders were non-indigenes as alleged by Nkiri. He refuted the allegation that the union did not recognise the chairman. The union chief said the union visited the chairman when he assumed duties . He said the government should wade in to stop an industrial action. Nkiri said he could not recognise the NUMW because the union leaders were strangers.

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has commended Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole for his “extraordinary measures” in helping to avert the nationwide strike called by the organised labour unions over the minimum wage. In a July 22 commendation letter, Jonathan said: “I note, with great delight and relief, the fact that the threat by Organised Labour to embark on a nationwide warning strike was called off at the last minute. “This positive development was due, in large measure, to the extraordinary efforts that you and other facilitators deployed in the engagements with the leadership of the trade union on the national minimum wage. “In particular, I note your personal devotion and patriotic commitment that contributed to the timely resolution of this matter. I very much hope that you will continue to exhibit the same passion and zeal as we set our sights on attaining a positive transformation for our dear country.”

Police foil kidnap attempt From Osagie Otabor, Benin

THE police in Edo State have foiled an attempt to kidnap a popular Benin-based transporter, Mr. Ohonba. Three suspects were arrested after a gun battle with the police at Ohonba’s home. The kidnappers were said to have invaded the home but did not meet their victim. They overpowered the security guards while they waited for their target until a neighbour called the police. Commissioner of Police David Omojola said the kidnappers engaged the police in a shootout. Omojola said two locally made revolver pistols with unexpended cartridges and a phone were recovered. The suspects were identified as Mutallab Tanko (19) from Kogi State; Sunday Philip (21) and Junior Prince (16) both from Port Harcourt. They, however, insisted that they were trying to extort money from the victim after holding members of his family and guards hostage. Philip said the guns were given to him by his friend, who he identified as Samuel. Tanko said he was hired by the others, who did not tell him the mission.

Ex-PDP spokesman joins ACN From Osagie Otabor, Benin

FORMER Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State (Chief Tony Anenih faction) Nosa Adams yesterday joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Others who also joined yesterday were Adams Aliyu of the Labour Party (LP); Mrs Grace Esemuede; PDP Woman Leader in Uhunmwode Local Government Samson Abu; Mr Johnson; and PDP leader in Oredo Local Government Isaac Irabor and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). The rally was held at the Urhokpota Hall in Benin.

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•Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi (right) talking to the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arumna Oteh and members of the commission, when they visited Port Harcourt

Industrial unrest looms in Edo over teachers’ strike A N industrial unrest is looming in Edo State as the strike embarked upon by primary and secondary school teachers over the implementation of the new minimum wage entered its second week. The government yesterday gave the striking teachers till Friday to return to the classrooms or risk being sacked. It also invoked the ‘no work no pay’ rule against the striking teachers. But the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) gave the government a seven-day ultimatum to include teachers in the new minimum wage. Teachers and judiciaryworkers were excluded from the new minimum wage signed by both the govern-

•NLC, govt issue counter ultimatum

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

ment and labour leaders. The government said workers not included in the new minimum wage should come for negotiation. It was gathered that nonteaching staff of Post-Primary Education Board and judiciary workers earlier excluded from the minimum wage had been included in the package. Commissioner for Education Ekpenisi Omorotiomwan said it was wrong for the teachers to embark on a strike without negotiation. Omorotiomwan said judi-

ciary workers and the nonteaching staff were considered after they made their presentation to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on why they should be included. His words: “Government cannot be hoodwinked into doing what is not justifiable. The National Union of Teachers (NUT), instead of coming for negotiation, hastily went on strike. “It cannot go on strike before negotiation. This is the height of irresponsibility. It has not come to tell us what it wants. “We have decided to invoke the no work no pay rule

for all the teachers for the period they stayed away from work. We have also given them till Friday to return to work or their jobs will be declared vacant. “We cannot treat teachers on the basis of what they said to the press. We cannot be blackmailed. Things must be done according to the law.” A statement by the Chairmen of NLC, TUC, JNC, Emma Ademokun; Joe Aligbe and Shaka Otoide, gave the government seven days to include teachers in the new wage as well as capture teachers 27.5 per cent TSA. The statement said: “Failure on the part of the government to implement the new wage for teachers and other workers in other government sectors, within seven days, organised labour will call out all other workers to embark on sympathy strike.”

Amaechi explains new aircraft mix-up

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IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has explained the planned acquisition of a new aircraft for the state. Amaechi said the state traded the old aircraft for a new one for safety reasons. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, had tagged the Amaechi administration corrupt for buying a new aircraft. In a special radio interview and phone-in programme in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the governor said the size of the

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old plane was not compliant to the current weather conditions and could be dangerous. He said: “We are not just buying a new plane, we are trading in the old one for something new and I don’t see anything wrong with that.” Also at a parley with the Director-General and Staff of the Security and Exchange Commission in Port Harcourt yesterday, Amaechi said the old aircraft was struck by lightning and had become unsafe. “If you look at the size of the plane and the current climatic conditions when you

fly, you will see how dangerous it is for us to fly in that small sized plane. We are not even buying a very large plane; we are trading it for an improved version. “Out of three, we sold one to Cross River State at $9 million and we are using the money to build a minimum of 10 primary schools. “I didn’t see the need to have two aircraft flying the governor, that’s why we sold one.” He told the people that he cannot listen to allegations by the ACN governorship candi-

date at the expense of his life. “I wouldn’t risk my life because I’m trying to listen to Abiye Sekibo ,who will accuse you of corruption if you buy a plane. That’s a wrong statement. I will not lead a corrupt government.” On the status of the state’s internally generated revenue, contrary to Sekibo’s claims that the state has spent N1 trillion, the governor said: “We got N45 billion this month and that is because from January to June, the Federal Government was paying us half of our funds so they paid us arrears.”

Nigeria to ratify Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission agreement

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said Nigeria would raise a committee to consider the draft agreement at the just-concluded session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission for ratification. Jonathan said this when he received the Cameroonian Deputy Prime Minis-

ter, Amadou Ali, who brought a special message from President Paul Biya. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the document includes agreements reached on the exploitation of hydro-carbons on the border of Nigeria and Cameroon.

The President said on the completion of the committee’s assignment, the document would be signed by the two leaders. Jonathan said the two countries should work together to check the activities of criminals along the border. He noted that it would be

necessary to involve other countries, who share the same borders, since “criminals don’t respect borders’’. Jonathan said Nigeria and Cameroon “are one people, separated by artificial boundaries’’. He said Nigeria would protect the rights of people on the border, and maintain relations with Cameroon.

Sylva condoles with Norway

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AYELSA State Governor Timipre Sylva has sent a condolence message to the government and people of the Kingdom of Norway over last weekend’s twin terror attacks. The attacks, which claimed 68 lives, started with explosions in public buildings in Oslo, the nation’s capital. This was followed by a shooting spree at a youth camp on the island of Utoya. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Doifie Ola, Sylva in a condolence letter to the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria said: “My thoughts go out to the friends and relatives of the victims of this incident. “ “This is a tragedy not only for the people of Norway, it is an attack on the common humanity that we share. “The government and people of Bayelsa State stand by you as you try to get over this tragedy and rebuild. You are in our thoughts and prayers.”

‘Be tolerant’

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HE Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Victor Ochei, has called on Nigerians to be tolerant. He made the call at OtorUdu at a thanksgiving service organised by the people for Liege Lord Keston Okoro, representing Udu constituency. Ochei said Christians and Muslims prayed together during the session for Okoro. He said such maturity was a gesture worth emulating. The Speaker advised Nigerians to s opt for tolerance as the only avenue through which they would come to appreciate one another.


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NEWS Kogi council chairmen urged to hand over From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

THE 21 local government chairmen in Kogi State have been asked to hand over to their Directors of Local Governments (DLGs). The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Joe Abraham, gave the order in a radio broadcast. The state High Court, presided over by the Chief Judge, Mohammed Nasir Ajana, had struck out a case filed by Mr. Yomi Mohammed, praying the court to stop the government, the first defendant, from sacking the council chairmen after the expiration of their three-year tenure. Justice Ajana had ruled that the first defendant was not legally bound to conduct elections into the councils within 150 days, before the expiration of the tenure of the chairmen and councilors. According to him, the first defendant could not be compelled to comply with Section 108 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 in exercising its power under Sections 18 and 37 of the state’s Local Government Electoral Law 2004 for the issuance of notice of elections into the councils. Justice Ajana ruled that by virtue of Section 18 of the Local Government Electoral Law 2004, the first defendant should publish a notice not later than 14 days before the date of the council elections.

States deserve more revenue, says Rep A MEMBER of the House of Representatives, who represents Lavun/Mokwa Federal Constituency, Sanni Legbo Kutigi, yesterday said states deserve more revenue if they must pay the national minimum wage. The lawmaker spoke in Minna, the Niger State capital, at the Speech and Prizegiving Day of Trust International School. Kutigi noted that with the

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

present revenue allocation, most states would not be able to pay the new wage. He said: “The governors are justified in clamouring for higher revenue allocation from the Federation Account. With the present formula, some states hardly have enough to run the states. Some can barely survive after the payment of salaries. The states deserve more, and I will sup-

port their demand.’’ Kutigi said most states do not have enough fund for developmental projects after salaries have been paid. “I am in support of the governors’ clamour for more revenue allocation to states. The call for an upward adjustment will enable state governments to provide the people with the dividends of democracy,” he said. Kutigi, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the

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From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

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From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

throughout the harmonisation process The ACN chieftain said they must respect the rule of equity, fair play and justice in establishing a new structure. He said all hands must be on deck to avoid the infiltration of political virus that may be induced by the enemies of the party. Aliu assured ACN supporters in the state that the time had come for the deliverance of the state, saying

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had to go with Federal Government policy on the new minimum wage. He said: “We cannot advocate for higher pay or protest the deductions on our pay packet. We have to concede to the Federal Government to ensure that the cost of governance is not only reduced but also avert problems by assisting the Federal Government to pay the new minimum wage.”

Customs intercepts 542 cartons of dangerous drugs

Audu will liberate Kogi ACN, says party chieftain N Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain in Kogi State, Hamza Aliu, has said the party would be victorious in the state if former Governor Abubakar Audu contests under the party flagship. Audu recently defected from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to ACN. Aliu noted that ACN had brighter chances in Kogi with Audu carrying the party flag. Addressing reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, Aliu said the number of Kogi residents embracing the party showed that it was ready to make history in the state. The ACN chieftain noted that Audu had been tested and trusted. He called on the members of the party to allow the voice of reason to prevail

House would soon set up a committee to review the revenue allocation formula to the three tiers of government. He noted that the reduction in federal lawmakers’ pay was a sacrifice in the interest of the nation, adding that it would enable the Federal Government to reduce the cost of governance and pay civil servants the new minimum wage. Kutigi said the lawmakers cannot advocate for a higher pay, adding that the House

•Audu

they must be prepared to withstand all forms of temptations.

HE Kaduna Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 542 cartons of dangerous drugs concealed in slippers, the Area Comptroller, Alhaji Yusuf Umar, has said. Addressing reporters yesterday in Kaduna, Umar said the 542 cartons consisted of textile materials seized from smugglers on the Katsina borders. He said the intercepted items included 542 cartons of dangerous drugs; 58 disclofenac; bales of foreign wax; and 154 cartons of sulphur ointments. Umar said the consignments were smuggled from Madarumfa, Niger Republic, through the Jibiya borders. He said the consignments were intercepted at Safana Local Government, Katsina State, adding that smugglers have been operating on the borders unhindered. He praised the NCS workers for the seizures, particularly the Chief Superintendent of Customs, Gambo Azare. Umar noted that illegal importation had denied the Federal Government huge revenue loss, saying the Customs would checkmate smugglers with renewed vigour.

Kwankwaso reclaims state’s land in Abuja

ANO State Governor Musa Kwankwaso has reclaimed a 26.7hectare land belonging to the state government at the

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

Lokogoma District of Abuja, the nation’s capital. A statement by the governor’s Special Assistant on Media, Malam Jaafar Jaafar, said Kwankwaso spoke about the recovery in Abuja when he inspected a demolition at the site. The statement said the land originally belonged to Kano State before some people illegally took it over through the alleged connivance of the

past government officials. Kwankwaso warned racketeers and others with vested interests on the land that his administration would not condone its land being stolen. He said: “This land belongs to the good people of Kano State, but some unscrupulous individuals in Kano and Abuja connived and attempted to take possession of the land. So whoever tries to takeover or encroach the

land, we would ensure that we take legal steps toward reclaiming the land.” Kwankwaso thanked the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Bala Muhammad for ordering the demolition of the illegal structures at the site. He urged the FCDA management to ensure that illegal structures on stolen lands are demolished.

Drama as tribunal chair, counsel argue over witness’ status HERE was drama yesterday at the beginning of the substantive hearing in the petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate challenging the election of Patrick Yakowa as the governor of Kaduna State in the April election. The drama followed the non-appearance of the Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Halilu Aliyu Tambuwal, who was summoned to appear before the tribunal. Tambuwal had been subpoenaed to tender some items requested by the petitioner. He was represented by an officer of the commission, Nasara Haruna Auta. An argument ensued between the tribunal Chairman, Justice Garba Ayuba Kwajafar, and the lead counsel to the petitioner, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN). The judge reminded the petitioner about an agreement during the pre-trial to give each witness five minutes to testify. Akintola said the REC, who was called to the witness stand as the first prosecution witness (PW1), was a witness of the tribunal and not that of the prosecution. Justice Kwajafar said he did not want the impression created that the tribunal insisted that the REC must appear before it, adding that the tribunal did not have the power to do so. Akintola said: “My Lord, the tribunal issued the subpoena that brought this witness to court. So, he is the witness of the court and not our witness.” Justice Kwajafar insisted that the witness was not the tribunal’s, saying: “You asked me to sign a subpoena for you because you said you needed him to prove your case. The fact that I signed it for you has not made him the witness of this tribunal. I

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From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

want us to get that very clear. He is your witness.” Counsel to the respondent Joseph Daudu (SAN) objected to the REC representative giving evidence before the tribunal, because he did not have a written statement under oath. But the tribunal Chairman overruled him. Asked to tender the required materials, Auta said he was not in the possession of them because the commission received the subpoena about 2pm on Monday when the REC had travelled out of town. Auta said he would require two weeks to produce the materials, adding: “The materials they are asking for are bulky and will require a longer time to prepare. We are still working on materials they requested for since May and we are yet to finish compiling them.” Akintola requested for a stand down of the witness to a later date to enable him produce the materials, pointing out that “My Lord, we are requesting for materials from 10 local government whose results we are challenging. They had told us that they will be able to produce for 9 local government because one local government was missing. He has just told the tribunal that they have certified for five local government and we have them here. So, I want him to tender them while we wait for them to produce for the rest four”. But the Chairman said the tribunal would concede to such an arrangement as it will amount to a waste of the tribunal’s time saying “we don’t want a situation where you will bring this man back later. So, we are stepping down the witness till tomorrow (today) to enable him produce the documents requested from them”.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Vision 20:2020 as it stands today is in a great danger. However, 2011 would determine whether we would start the journey. All the sectors of the economy are in a bad state. First of all, we need to make up for the loss time we have suffered and further accelerate our journey. –Mr Emmanuel Ijewere, former ICAN President

First Bank posts N36b Q2 pre-tax profit

Nine banks among top 1000 world banks

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IRST Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc grew net profit by more than 23 per cent in the first half of this year, harnessing the gains of the recent restructuring to improve its market share and profitability. Interim report and accounts of FBN for the first half ended June 30, 2011 released yesterday showed that the bank recorded double-digit growths in all key profit and loss items with gross earnings and operating incomes increasing by 14 per cent and 42 per cent. The report indicated that gross earnings closed first half 2011 at N139.7 billion as against N122.3 billion recorded in comparable period of 2010. Operating income stood at N120.9 billion compared with N85.6 billion in 2010 while net interest income grew by 54 per cent from N57.5 billion to N88.2 billion. Non-interest incomes also increased by 16 per cent from N28 billion to N32.6 billion. The report further showed a 13 per cent increase in pretax profit from N32 billion to N36 billion while net earnings after taxes stood at N31.3 billion as against N25.3 billion in comparable period of2010. This indicated possible earnings per share of N1.92 for 2011 compared with N1.74 posted in 2010. Underlying performance ratios showed improvement in assets quality with the reduction in the proportion of non-performing loans to total loans from 5.8 per cent in to 3.8 per cent while increase in net interest margin from 5.7 per cent to 8.2 per cent evidenced increasing profitability of the bank’s core banking operations. Group Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr Bisi Onasanya, said the performance of the bank in first half reflected the benefits of the transformational initiatives it embarked on in recent years.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$119.8/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N7.82 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.2% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -8% Foreign Reserve -$34.4bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 210 £ 241.00 $ 150.00 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 241.5 RIYAL 39.3

By Akinola Ajibade, Senior Correspondent

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• From left: Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Neo Communications, Mr Ehi Braimoh, Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Yusuf Ageni and Senior Brand Manager, Gulder, Mr. Ita Bassey, at the Gulder Ultimate Search (8) briefing in Lagos ... yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Reps make U-turn on Islamic Banking T HE House of Represen tatives yesterday said contrary to reports, it has not endorsed the introduction of Islamic Banking in the country. The House clarification came on a day the Anambra State Government wrote a protest letter to the Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal over the claim by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that the state had already obtained a loan from the Islamic Development Bank. The lawmakers noted that rather than okay Islamic Banking, the House would soon review Sanusi’s presentation on the matter to enable it to take a position on it. Members of the lower chamber were said to have been jolted over widespread report that the House endorsed the contentious Islamic Banking being proposed by the CBN. To underscore the gravity of the situation, the House quickly dissolved into a closed door session to trash out issues arising from the appearance of the CBN Governor in the House on July 22. The secret meeting, which lasted over one hour, was said to have been “charged”, while emotions took the better part of deliberations. A source at the closed door meeting said members de-

• Sanusi lied, says Anambra From Onyedi Ojiabor,

Assistant Editor and Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

manded to know why they were not allowed to ask the CBN Governor questions after his presentation. The source said the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided, seized the opportunity to explain to members why it became necessary not allow members to ask the CBN Governor questions. He said Ihedioha told members that he did not want the issues raised by Sanusi to divide the House. He said when a member drew the attention of the House to the barrage of attacks directed at the House over the way it handled Sanusi’s presentation on the floor of the House, Ihedioha said: “Members of this House should be very mindful of our responsibilities. We should not allow ourselves to be distracted by issues arising from the appearance of the CBN Governor. This morning, we had useful discussion in our Executive Session and members were satisfied.” Also speaking on the issue at

a press conference, Chairman, House ad-hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, of the House, Opeyemi Bamidele, said members dwelt on issues arising from Sanusi’s appearance at the closed door meeting. He noted that members discovered efforts to draw conclusions that the House endorsed Islamic Banking as proposed by the CBN Governor. Bamidele, however, declared: “The House has not by any means and on whatever grounds whatsoever endorsed Islamic Banking.” He said Sanusi was invited by the House to offer explanation on two issues, cash withdrawal limit and Islamic Banking. Meanwhile, the Anambra State Government protest letter entitled, ‘’Response to the statement by the Governor of Central Bank of NigeriaMallam Lamido Sanusi on Islamic Banking and Anambra State“ was presented by Rep. Uche Ekwunife. It read in part: “We write in response to the statement credited to the CBN Governor on the floor of the National As-

sembly that Anambra State was the first that obtained a loan from Islamic Development Bank. Anambra State did not at any time take any loan from Islamic Development Bank.” It said some time in 2007/ 2008, the state was one of the three qualifying states including Yobe and Gombe, for support from the Federal Government under the National Programme for Food Security Expansion Phase Support Project. “As a qualifying state based on established criteria, the Federal Government earmarked funds for on-lending to the three qualifying states for the purpose of assisting in the financing of this project in the states. “The responsibility for identifying the source and the sourcing of such funding is and has remained that of the Federal Government, who could have obtained such funds from either Islamic Development Bank or any other bank and from anywhere for that matter,” it said. The letter said : “It is, therefore, important to put the records straight sthat at no time in the recent foreseeable history of Anambra State had the state approached Islamic Development Bank for any facility or financing of any sort.”

INE banks have made the list of the Top 1000 World Banks that were ranked by Tier One Capital in this year’s edition by The Banker magazine as published in its current edition. Zenith Bank Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Plc, according to a statement from the Country Representative, Nigeria of The Banker, Mr Kunle Ogedengbe, are the two top ranked banks in Nigeria. While Zenith is ranked 296, First Bank of Nigeria Plc is ranked 310. Other Nigerian banks that made the Top 1000 World Banks list are Guaranty Trust Bank ranked 444, Access Bank (495), United Bank for Africa (513), Fidelity Bank (567), First City Monument Bank (586), Diamond Bank (650) and Skye Bank (657). Apart from featuring in the top 1000 World Banks, the banks also made the Top 25 banks in Africa with Nigeria being the only one in the continent that has nine banks in the ranking schedule. South Africa and Egypt have five banks each; Morocco has three while Togo, Angola and Mauritius have one each.

Nnaji warns power firms’ CEOs

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INISTER of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, has warned chief executive officers of the 18 unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) firms that failure to meet the target of the government would be sanctioned. He said this at a meeting with them at the Ministry’s Boardroom yesterday. In his first meeting yesterday with the helmsmen and other senior managers in the generation, transmission and distribution companies, the minister reminded them of the service level agreements (SLAs) that they signed through which the nation is expected to enjoy nearly 4,000MW of power.

CBN raises interest rate to 8.75% to beat inflation Continued from page 1

The implication of these developments is that borrowers would pay more and savers would earn more interest on their savings. Higher interest rates would also draw savers back into the banking system from the parallel market, which has continued to thrive because of the disparity between the exchange rates at the official and parallel markets. The MPR is the interest rate at which the banking watchdog lends to commercial banks. The last time the bank-

ing watchdog raised rates was in May when it climbed up by 50 basis points. Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday at the end of the twoday MPC meeting, CBN Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said the committee members voted 10-2 to raise rates. “The inflation outlook appears uncertain owing to the expected implementation of the new national minimum wage policy and the imminent deregulation of petroleum products. The Central Bank needed to proactively address the impact of huge injections of liquidity in the third quarter to correct the

negative interest rate situation in the market and attract foreign capital inflows to build up reserves,” he said. The CBN governor noted that the injection of liquidity (N1.3trillion) from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in the third quarter, coupled with the impact of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) recapitalising intervened banks to the tune of N1.6 trillion, would both add to inflationary pressures. Inflation fell to 10.2 per cent yearon-year in June from 12.4 percent in May – failing to meet the CBN’s single-digit target.

The economy will grow about 7.8 per cent this year, driven by the non-oil sector, which expanded 8.65 per cent in the first quarter,” Sanusi said. Nigeria’s economy, the third biggest on the continent after South Africa and Egypt, grew 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, from 7.4 per cent during the same period last year, the CBN governor said. He said external reserves, driven by higher oil prices and output, rose to $33.73 billion by July 21, an increase of $1.84 billion, or 5.77 per cent, over the level reached on June 30. Sanusi said the committee was

happy over the favourable growth projections but cautioned that the security challenges, infrastructural bottlenecks and the uncertainty in the international economy as well as fiscal developments could undermine investors’ confidence and output growth in the near future. “There is need for pursuing policies to foster macro- economic stability, economic diversification as well as encouraging foreign capital inflows” given that the current oil price level may not be sustained in the event of a slowdown in global economic recovery, Sanusi said.


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ISSUES

Will CBN’s planned cash limit achieve its aim? The CBN’s plan to limit cash withdrawal to N150,000 and N1 million for individuals and corporate organisations is generating heat. According to the CBN, its proposal is informed by the need to reduce the cost of cash transactions and cut lending rates. With CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi’s successful defence of the plan before the House of Representatives, it all seems a done deal. But the outcry is not abating. COLLINS NWEZE reports.

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HAT informed the Central Bank’s decision to adopt the cash withdrawal limit policy? The answer may be found in the report of the Bankers’ Committee on a study conducted for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The report identified cash as the major cost driver in the money market. The report prompted CBN to look at the possibility of achieving 30 per cent cost reduction to bring down lending rates, which are about 25 per cent per annum when other charges are factored in, and enhance banks’ profitability. Subsequently, it adopted a policy in May which limits cash transactions to N150,000 daily for individuals and N1 million for corporate organisations. CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has explained to the House of Representatives that the daily cash limit is a means of achieving the cost reduction objective. He estimated that by next year, banks would be spending N192 billion on cash handling

• Mallam Sanusi

and these would be passed to the customers as fees and interest charges. “The target is getting cost reduced by 30 per cent in three years, through enforcement of four-pronged initiatives: reduction in cash management cost, enhanced electronic payment system, information technology and centralised back-office systems,” he said. The apex bank also discovered that only 10 per cent of branch cash transactions are above N150,000, but they make up 86 per cent of the volume of cash handled. This minority, mainly the rich who could effectively use electronic payment channels are fueling the cost of banking operations, he said. “For the avoidance of doubt, no limit exists on cash transactions, but the very few high volume cash users should bear commensurate service cost while most Nigerians are exempted from subsidising them. The 90 per cent of Nigerians who are poor people are subsidising the 10 per cent who impose the huge cost of cash on the system,” he said.

No cash limit The apex bank said industry proposal is not to place limit on cash transactions, but to make customers involved in high volume cash transactions bear the associated cost, if they choose to ignore electronic payment channels. Sanusi said the policy was a way of mordernising the financial system, adding that the only means to move the nation from a cashless economy was to invest in and make regulation to support it. He said: “This policy will take effect from June 2012; I did not say there is a limit to N150 000, we simply said that if you want to cash more than that, it is just more expensive.”

Stakeholders’ perspective Diverse views have emerged since the apex bank made the planned policy public. Former Executive Director, Bank PHB Richard Obire said in the rural areas, banking

facilities are limited, and almost all transactions are carried out with cash. But transactions in such places would be so small that it’s not cost-effective for banks to operate there. He said strengthening the epayment platforms will create a great leap for the policy. “The policy will drastically reduce the cost of banking operations in the country. I think it should be pursued and accomplished for the sake of the economy and bank customers,” he said. Corporate Governance expert Oladele Solanke said the attention given to the proposed policy is an indication of its importance to the economic life of the people. “From the possibility of ordering and paying for fertiliser by farmers in all remote villages across the country using Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), to cut down on the cost of loans to borrowers. The cash limit policy seems to have something for everyone. The cash • Continued on page 14


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

ISSUES

Will CBN’s planned cash limit achieve its aim? • Continued from page 13

limit policy is expected to deemphasise cash and focus more on electronic banking products such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), credit cards and other online payment modems,” he said. For the policy to succeed, the apex bank, he said, must make the needed infrastructure available. Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Bismarck Rewane said the greatest challenge facing the policy is infrastructure, especially availability of power. According to a report from the FDC, the high penetration rate of mobile phones will, within the next few years, make payments easier, and revolutionise the country’s financial and banking landscape. This will enable banks to innovate and earn new commissions from financial services, and increase their net banking revenue. But the Managing Director of Abuja-based HASAL Microfinance bank, Mr Rogers Nwoke, said creating a cashless society is good for everybody, the banks, CBN, Nigerians and the economy. “However, we must be sure that the right infrastructure are in place. My staff go into rural areas and cities collecting cash, sometimes, more than N150,000. I maintain a commercial relationship with a commercial bank where I lodge all my collections and withdraw. It is absolutely impossible that I will take only N150,000 into the bank and the fees or penalties are definitely not acceptable if I am going to be in business,” he said. Rogers wants the apex bank to exclude microfinance banks from the policy because of their peculiar cases. But stockbrokers have said the policy will not affect their transactions as payment in the market is structured. The Managing Director, Rockview Trust and Investment Limited Kingsley Obinna said market activities might not be affected by the directive, going by the current guidelines of cash disbursement for the sale and purchase of shares in the market. Analysts said stockbroking firms are prohibited from taking cash or paying by cash to investors for stockbroking transactions. Consequently, the policy will have no effect on stockbroking business. But it is expected that because of the relatively low banking penetration in the economy and with Nigeria being a cash economy, compliance with the policy might be difficult initially. Vice Chairman, Integrated Cash Management Services Limited Charles Nwodo Jnr said reducing the cost associated with cash transactions is acceptable. Speaking during a cash management seminar, Nwodo said in other countries, central banks have only partial responsibility for the supply and management of cash while in Nigeria, the CBN has made it its sole responsibility. According to him, cash, if not well managed has significant cost and risk implications not only on the central bank’s business, but also on the larger economy. Consequently; he said the CBN should take the lead and move from an active player in the cash supply chain to an active regulator. He explained that the opportunities in the Nigeria Cash Supply Chain deserve quick, decisive and sustained action by CBN, the banks and licensed Cash In Transit /Cash processing companies. “It is my strong conviction that these actions if taken will result in reduced aggregate industry cost of cash, greatly increase operational efficiencies across board, and the emergence of a set of pan-industry, virile and profitable enterprises that will compete with the best in the world,” he said.

CBN’s actions The CBN has said the 24 banks would roll out 100,000 Point of Sales (PoS) terminals by June 1, next year, to cope with pressures in the cash limit. The apex bank also plans to increase PoS terminals to 350,000 before December 2015. Section 47 of the CBN Act empowers the apex bank to promote and facilitate the development of efficient as well as effective systems for the settlement of transactions. CBN Director, Currency Operations Department Muhammad Nda said implementation of the policy is strategically phased while complementary reforms are progressing on alternative payments channels through the

retail payments transformation programme. Nda said the Bankers’ Committee has agreed to an aggressive deployment of PoS terminals by banks. The apex bank, on the other hand, has made progress in addressing the infrastructural challenges in aid of the planned changes. Part of the steps taken, is the signing of agreement with telecommunication network firms to provide dedicated channels for PoS transaction data, he said, adding that 16 Mobile Payment Service Providers were issued approval in principle and they had piloted the service for three months.

Other cost saving measures To reduce the cost of cash operations and ensure healthy competition among banks, CBN is promoting the use of shared facilities. The process will be private sector-driven to enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of currency management, among others. The apex bank has also begun the registration of companies providing cash-in-transit and currency sorting. In addition to enhancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of currency management, the policy is aimed at facilitating the generation of fit notes for payment and ensuring product quality, integrity and standardisation. So far, two companies, Bankers Warehouse Limited and Integrated Cash Management Systems Limited, have been registered as Cash-In-Transit companies and given approval-in-principle as currency sorting companies.

• GMD, Union Bank Plc Funke Osibodu

• GMD, Sprng Bank Plc Sola Ayodele

• GMD Finbank Susan Iroche

• Mr Emefiele

Electronic banking as alternatives Electronic banking is expected to have a direct impact on banking industry efficiency and cost structure, reducing the cost of cash the financial system. This, Sanusi explained, will result in significant savings that can be passed on to customers in form of reduced cost of banking services and lower lending rates to borrowers. He said government’s e-payments directive, in addition to the Money Laundering Act and its involvement in the Inter-Governmental Action Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) would be further served through the new cash policy.

Reps approval The House of Representatives last Thursday gave tacit approval to the planned introduction of Islamic Banking by CBN. They also backed down from opposing the CBN’s proposed policy on cash limit. These endorsements came after Sanusi briefed members for about two hours. The House had, invited Sanusi in line with Section 8(4)(5) of the CBN Act to brief members on cash limit and Islamic Banking. Controversies have trailed the policies since they were unfolded by the apex bank.

Offsite ATMs return The CBN has also reversed its earlier directive, which asked banks to withdraw their offsite ATMs located in airports, hotels and eateries. Citing the cash limit policy, it said banks can now deploy ATMs outside their premises. But the Independent Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Deployers (IADs) licensed by the apex bank have decried the reversal of the policy. They have also accused CBN of insensitivity especially in the light of huge investments already made in the sector.

What banks are doing Plans by the CBN to test-run the planned cash limit policy in Lagos has compelled banks to prepare for its implementation. Lagos State, with a population of about 17 million, is arguably the economic capital of Nigeria. The Nation’s findings show that banks have started deploying ATMs and PoS terminals to strategic points like shopping malls, airports, higher institutions and busy markets to make cash readily available to customers. Speaking on the Africa Independent Television (AIT) Money Show, Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Mr. Godwin Emefiele said his bank is putting in place everything needed to achieve a “cashless Lagos”. This also includes massive deployment of ATMs, PoS terminals and other electronic payment modems needed for that objective. Emefiele said other countries including Uganda have improved on their e-payment platforms and hardly use cash in transactions. Emefiele insisted that Nigeria should not be an exception in the drive to increase the use of electronic modems in payments. Aside the deployment of ATMs, banks are also improving on their banking softwares to support the policy. “What we are going to do for the next six months, we have what we call a project `Cashless Lagos’, we’ll bring Lagos up as a model; you’ll see the ATM density; we are going to work with telecom companies and you find that you go to Lagos and do your

‘The apex bank has also begun the registration of companies providing cash-in-transit and currency sorting. In addition to enhancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of currency management, the policy is aimed at facilitating the generation of fit notes for payment and ensuring product quality, integrity and standardisation’

business with cards,” Sanusi said while unveiling the planned policy in May. Sanusi stressed that measures must be put in place to fight money laundering and corruption to transform the economy. He said the bank would continue to sensitise the people about the policy and be flexible about the limit. The apex bank has also promised that there would be regular public discussions that will lead to appropriate measures being taken to ensure seamless implementation.

Experience from other countries With a mobile banking system operating in Senegal, people now pay for services through their mobile phones. The service is a clear sign that mobile banking is taking root in Africa, giving some of the world’s poorest people a way to access financial services. Managing Director, Societe Generale Innovations Group Richard Hababou said the system, which is called Yoban’tel is a partnership between Obopay and Société Générale de Banques au Sénégal to help customers use text messages to transfer money to satellite and cell-phone providers. Users walk into a participating store and make a deposit into their Yoban’tel account. “In Senegal, traditional banking services are typically very limited but Obopay allows us to establish innovative and convenient mobile money transfer and payments for those Senegalese who have previously not had access to such services,” he said. In Kenya, the M-PESA was created to help microfinance institutions (MFIs) offer more competitive loan rates to their users, as there is a reduced cost of dealing in cash. The users of the service would gain by being able to track their finances more easily and make payments using their mobile phones. MPESA is a branchless banking service, meaning that it is designed to enable users to complete basic banking transactions without the need to visit a bank branch. The continuing success of M-PESA, in Kenya, has been due to the creation of a highly popular, affordable payment service with only limited involvement of a bank. The system was developed and run by Sagentia from inception to the six million customer mark.


Okonkwo wows Siasia in Owerri

FIFA UNDER-20 WORLD CUP

Pg. 16

Nigeria sweats on Envoh

Pg. 49

Nation Wednesday, July 27, 2011

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•Osaze

AHEAD NATIONS CUP QUALIFIER

No Mauritius camp for Eagles Pg. 16


WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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NATION SPORT

AHEAD FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD /CUP

Beach Eagles to play Portugal, three others From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

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HE Nigeria Beach Eagles will confront Portugal and other three unnamed opponents when they eventually travel to Faro, Portugal for the concluding part of their build up to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup slated for Italy in September this year. Making this known to NationSport was the chief coach of the team; Adamu Audu popularly dubbed ‘Ejo’. The coach said he was happy at the choice of Portugal where he disclosed would better prepare his wards for the task at hand in Italy because according to him beach Soccer is run like the conventional soccer with league matches in place in that country too. “We have put all things in proper perspective to do Nigeria and Africa proud and that informed the close camping exercise at Badagry in Lagos as from August 1st and a two week training tour in Faro, Portugal where I called an ideal place for preparation toward the competition of this magnitude. The country runs a league for Beach Soccer clubs just like the main soccer and there are clubs that we can also engage in tune up matches too. “We are going to play about four friendly matches in Portugal within the 14 days we are going to spend there. We already have fixture lined up with Portugal while other three friendly matches are on the card to keep the players and the officials well prepared for the task ahead in Italy.”

TENNIS DEVELOPMENT

Abdullahi plans fresh revolution •Hits Lagos for Olympic Day Run By Akeem Lawal

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IGERIA’s former tennis great, Sadiq Abdullahi, has revealed planned revolution aimed at taking the game to the next level. The former Olympian who spoke from his base in the United States, regretted, that the nation has continued to lose grounds in a game that has taken the image of most countries to the roof tops. The new approach according to him, will not only awaken interest among Nigerians, but return healthy rivalry that made the sport tick in the 80s and 90s. While commending efforts of Incumbent Tennis President and Head of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engr Sani Ndanusa and a few others before him, Abdullahi noted that time has come to expand the horizon to arrest the decline once and for all, even as he challenged the new minister Yusuf Suleiman to carry all sports along. “Tennis no doubt has taken many countries to enviable heights; we must harness what we have. This is no time to find faults but a time to apply new strategies that produce positive and visible result”, he said. Abdullahi who is due in the country any moment from now, expressed strong desire to be part of this years’ Olympic day run billed for August 6 in Lagos. The event originally scheduled for July, was shifted to August because of the aborted NLC/ TUC nationwide warning strike over N18, 000 national minimum wage. Vice president of NOC Jonathan Nnaji had earlier assured that the committee is determined to make the event a huge success. Olympic Day run is an annual event Observed by member countries of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

NATION SPORT

Okonkwo wows Siasia in Owerri H EARTLAND defender, Chibuzor Okonkwo, put up a superb display in his side’s 20 win over Bukola Babes in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) on Sunday to leave Super Eagles head coach, Samson Siasia impressed. Siasia and his former Super Eagles’ teammate, Victor Ikpeba, now a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee, were in the stands at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri to watch the game. Okonkwo, who has featured frequently at right-back for the Super

Eagles since Siasia took charge as head coach, put up a fine performance against Bukola Babes. SuperSport.com was informed that Siasia was happy with the performance of the former Bayelsa United man. “Chibuzor Okonkwo really impressed Siasia, who came to watch the game with Victor Ikpeba. And the Super Eagles coach didn’t hide it when he clapped in appreciation for the goals scored by the player,” an official of Heartland said. On 12 minutes of the game, Okonkwo’s effort from outside of the Babes’ goal area following a short

GULDER 5 A-SIDE FOOTBALL

City Rollers, Raymond King are North Central Champions

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HE Gulder 5 Aside zonal elimination contest ended on

Monday, at the Ibrahim Babangida Square in Makurdi, Benue State capital with Raymond King FC of Makurdi and City Rollers FC of Abuja knocking out other teams to qualified from the zone to make it to the finals in Lagos. The first semifinal clash between Raymond King FC of Makurdi and City Lions FC of Abuja ended 2-1 in favour of Raymond King to set up a final clash with City Rollers FC of Abuja who had earlier defeated Tijara FC of Jos also by 2-1 Speaking at the end of the tension soaked semi final clash with Tijara FC of Jos, the captain of the City Rollers of Abuja, Dele VictorAdaramola said that he was very happy to be part of the success. “It has been a fantastic outing for us and I am not surprise that we are getting the results because we really prepared for this competition. Though it is not the normal football competition that we are all used to, but we took it serious. Our tenacity has now qualified us for the finals in Lagos where we aim to go and conquer the rest 13 teams from other zones for Lagos Knock-out stage”, Victor-Adaramola said Victor-Adaramola who was also the highest goal scorer for his club with 5 goals to his credit, expressed his joy for being the highest goal scorer. “I am happy with my performance at this year’s Gulder 5-A-side. One day I hope to be a striker for Super Eagles of Nigeria though I still have a long way to go, but it is achievable” he said. Also speaking, the coach of City Rollers FC, Oluwatosin Oluremi

Ajayi said that his boys did not disappoint him as they played to instructions. “This is our first tournament this year and I told them that Lagos is our destination and we are grateful to God that we are going to Lagos. We will be focused and will not disappoint the north central zone in this tournament” he said Coach Raymond Toryila of Raymond King FC on the other hand was so excited for his club to be in the final. “When people think of football academies in Makurdi they will always think of Raymond Academy. Gulder 5 Aside has put us firmly on the map as a top academy now and people will think of us. We are looking forward to the finals in Lagos where we will know the ultimate champion of Gulder 5 Aside in Nigeria” he said. Coach Raymond further stated that this is just the stepping stone to Lagos. The success recorded here in Makurdi is just to spurs the team to do greater things in Lagos. “I see Gulder 5 Aside football tournament as another chance to play competitive football which can helps these boys build their confidence when playing professional football” Coach Raymond disclosed. The finals between Raymond King FC and City Rollers FC which was played in the early hours on Monday saw City Rollers of Abuja beating Raymond King FC of Makurdi 3-1 through penalty shootout after playing 1-1 draw at the regulation time. With the result City Rollers came first while Raymond King came second and the two clubs will represent the zone in Lagos.

corner kick sailed into goal past Suraj Ayeleso. The Super Eagles right-back, however, capped his superb outing in a rainy atmosphere with a free kick on 29 minutes. Okonkwo said he is happy that his performance on the afternoon did not go unnoticed by the Nigerian selectors. “I’m happy that I did well and we won. It was good to see the coach (Siasia) come and watch our match, and I thank God for the performance. “The coach was also happy to see me do well,” said the 22-year-old defender. Okonkwo is one of two Heartland players named in the squad to face the Black Stars of Ghana in an international friendly in London on August 9. Gege Soriola, a centre-back, is the other Heartland player in the team but did not dress in his club’s 2-0 win against Bukola Babes on Sunday.

AHEAD NATIONS CUP QUALIFIER

No Mauritius camp for Eagles N

IGERIA has shelved plans to open a training camp in Mauritius ahead of their all important African Nations Cup qualifier against neighbouring Madagascar in September. Following on from the shoddy traveling arrangements that marred their trip to Ethiopia in June, the NFF and coach Samson Siasia had initially

planned to camp for a few days in Mauritius before heading off to Antananarivo, but a top NFF official informed KickOffNigeria.com that those plans were torpedoed by Siasia. “The coach says he prefers to fly straight to Madagascar and allow the players to train and camp there before the match.” Officials say the reasoning behind

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From Tony Akowe, Kaduna games in Kaduna was one of the wonders lined up by the service for the people of Kaduna. When NationSport visited the Ahmadu Bello Stadium yesterday, athletes were seen putting finishing touches to preparation for the commencement of track and field events today, while the games has been going on smoothly in other venues. Traders were seen doing brisk business as security operatives had less problem controlling traffic in and out of the venues. In some of the handball events, Western Naval Command defeated Eastern Naval Command 11-6, Naval Headquarters defeated Logistic Command 19-11, while Naval Training Command lost to Eastern Naval Command 7-18 in the male event. In the female category, Western Naval Command defeated Eastern Naval Command 25-14, while Naval Headquarters defeated Logistics Command 9-5.

Nigeria sweats on Envoh

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IGERIA’s Flying Eagles forward Terry Envoh is an injury doubt after he quit training Monday afternoon in Armenia as a thigh complaint relapsed. Envoh was sidelined for the last warmup game against Mexico in the build-up to the U-20 World Cup as a precautionary measure and resumed full training Monday only to again sit by the sidelines soon after. His right thigh was strapped with an ice pack and it is looking very likely he could miss out on the team’s opening Group D match against Guatemala on Sunday. Envoh is a favourite of coach John Obuh and netted the winner in the final of the African Youth Championship against Cameroon in May. “I enjoyed the training, the weather is very good and the people here in Armenia are very warm,” said goalkeeper Paul Dami. The training touched on tactics with Obuh taking on the defenders, while his assistants, Samuel Abimbola and Yakubu Maidajin, worked with the attacking players. Earlier Monday, the Flying Eagles processed their accreditations for the Under-20 World Cup at their hotel base in Armenia, Colombia. FIFA officials processed the accreditations of all 21 players and 10 officials. A plaque of participation was also presented to coach John Obuh by

the venue co-ordinator. The players were also issued a certificate of participation as well as $100 each by FIFA. A refereeing session led by retired top Zimbabwean referee Felix Tangawarima was equally attended by both players and officials. During the session, Tangawarima with the aid of video clips stressed the need for fair play, respect for opponents as well as for match officials. Top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by president Aminu Maigari are due in Armenia Thursday.

•Envoh

Flying Eagles mourn Salsa music star

Navy takes water sport to land HE Nigerian Navy will attempt to take water sport to the land today when the various Naval formations slug it out in three water sports at the Wuyep Lakeside Club at the Nigeria Airforce base in Kaduna. The Games which was declared opened on Saturday by the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Bello Halilu Mohammed will also see athletes compete for honours in athletics which begins today at the main bowl of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium. Chairman of the Publicity Committee for the games, Navy Commander Omodara told NationSport that this will be the first time that the water sport will be taking place in the hinterland of the country. According to him, water sports such as Rowling, Sailing and Kayak have always been part of the Naval games and will be held as part of the 10th edition of the games. While calling on members of the public to come out enmasse to witness the event, Commander Omodara said that holding water sport as part of the

this is informed by the short time the squad will have together as the European season will be in full swing. “The coach does not want to start moving players from place to place in such a short period and will prefer to keep them together in one place and make maximum use of the little time he will have with the squad.” And to ensure that there will be no surprises, an advance party of two will travel to Madagascar later this week to inspect the facilities available, including training pitches, match day pitch, and hotels and report back to the coach. The Super Eagles need to win in Antananarivo to keep alive their hopes of not only beating Guinea to the Nations Cup post, but also to give themselves the best chance of qualifying as one of two ‘best losers’.

FIFA UNDER-20 WORLD CUP

•Taye Taiwo

HE team wakes up to the sad news of the passing on of one of Colombia’s icons, Salsa music star Joe Arroyo. Arroyo, 56, died in a private clinic in Barranquilla. He was regarded as a symbol of this country of 45 million people. The television and radio stations all pay glowing tribute to the fallen star. The local media also have news around the tournament – Brazil jetted into Colombia to receive a carnivallike welcome…Colombia’s vicepresident meets with the host nation at their training to wish them luck…there are also interviews with players of Argentina… Training will be at 3pm Colombian time, like it was the previous day. That will be 9pm Nigerian time and it is also the kick-off time for the Flying Eagles first match against Guatemala. Monday’s training at one of the designated training venues for this tournament lasted for about two hours with security personnel crawling all over the place. Trouble makers will be in for hard time against the armed, mean-looking Policia. Coach John Obuh leads the tactical training. He will take up the defenders, while his assistants, Samuel Abimbola and Yakubu Maidajin, work with the attacking players. Only Terry Envoh stays out of this training after he suffered a relapse of a thigh complaint. He looks very likely to miss out on the first game against Guatemala on Sunday inside the 21,000-capacity Estadio Centenario. The session is rounded up with a shooting practice by the entire squad. Goalkeeper Dami Paul pulls off a couple of spectacular saves, but Warri Wolves power-playing defender Chimezie Mbah peppers the goalkeepers with some bullets. Obuh, Paul and skipper Ramon Azeez meet the local media after the training. The reporters want to know things like what the Nigerian players like about Armenia, how are they coping with the weather, food and the people. The common line by the coach and the players is that they are very much at home in here and have come to do Nigeria and Africa proud. They will respect all the teams up against them as they take the tournament a match at a time. By 3pm Colombian time, the sun is

very high, but it is not scorching, rather there is a soothing breeze blowing across. It’s a good weather to play good and fast football. The Flying Eagles return to their Las Camelias Hotel Campestre to see that Group D rivals Saudi Arabia have also checked in. Guatemala and Croatia are now the other teams still being expected at the 110-room sprawling hotel. According to a top Colombian TV station, Caracol, the Saudis caused quite a stir when they asked that a church within the hotel be pulled down as they are now booked into the hotel. But they will not get their way, the hotel insists. Both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have already clashed. The Saudis forced the Flying Eagles to a 1-1 draw in Dubai long before the AYC in South Africa. Saudi officials in their smart ashcoloured suits are about the hotel,

meeting with chefs and other staff to ensure their players are very much at home here. Diego, a football coach based in the capital city of Bogota, is the team liaison officer for the African champions, and he has been of great help. Phone charges here are killing! MTN is the only Nigerian network that works here, but you have to pay through your nose to even send a text message. A bit of cheering news is that the team’s jerseys from kit sponsors adidas arrived the hotel from Germany Monday and they are to be inspected by FIFA officials later Tuesday. The officials will want to ensure that the playing kits conform to marketing regulations; players’ names were spelt correctly. The tournament and fair play logos will also be attached by the various kits managers on the arm sleeves of the shirts.

Siasia, Ikpeba tip U-20 to excel

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ESPITE having a below par build up to the FIFA World Under -20 World Cup slated for Colombia, the Flying Eagles of Nigeria have been given vote of confidence to go on to achieve greatness when the competition starts on July 29. In separate chats with journalists at Owerri recently Former Under 20 star and current coach of the Super Eagles, Samson Siasia and Golden Eaglets striker who is a member of the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Victor Ikpeba have both asserted that their slow start in the friendly matches played could turn out to be blessings in disguise to the country as spotlight would not be on them when the competition commences. Commenting on the drought of goals in the Flying Eagles squad, Siasia who was in the Under 20 to USSR, 85 World Cup opined that probably the players were reserving their best for the main World Cup and that they are bound to explode when the competition kicks off with their first match against Guatemala on Sunday this weekend. “Sometimes you don’t do well on all these pre World Cup matches may be when they get to the real one

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri they will do better. I am sure when they get to the real games they will try to get more goals and at least try to improve on their mistakes in their build up matches which was far from been impressive. “I think they have the capability to improve as the competition gets underway. The team is good and the technical crew is also up to the task.” Siaone noted. In the same vein, former Golden Eaglets striker to Scotland 89 Under 17 World Cup, Victor Ikpeba whose team was bundled out of the competition in the Quarter final by Ali Deayah inspired Saudi Arabia disclosed to journalists that the Flying Eagles have a chance and a mountain to climb if they want to emulate what Ghana Black Satellites did two years ago in Egypt where they defeated Brazil to lift the Under 20 World Cup for the first time for Africa. He reckoned that though the team had the best of preparations for the competition but that discipline should be their watchword and that they have to be encouraged with proper motivation for them to excel in Colombia.

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Saudis spark U-20 W/Cup controversy

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IGERIA’s rivals in the U-20 World Cup Saudi Arabia want a church at their hotel pulled down because they are putting up in the premises. According to a news report by one of Colombia’s leading television stations, Caracol, the Saudis, who are Muslims, have asked that a church built inside the sprawling Las Camelias Hotel Campestre in Armenia be brought down. The church is directly behind the front desk of the hotel, which is nestled in a thick forest. However, the manager of the hotel has reacted by saying there is nothing they can do about this. The Saudis checked into the hotel all the same Monday evening. Colombia is predominantly Catholic and in both private and public places symbols of that faith are proudly displayed. All four teams in Group D – Croatia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala – will be staying at the 101-room hotel. Like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia will play two games in Armenia. They take on Croatia on Sunday soon after the Nigeria vs Guatemala clash and on August 3, they tackle Guatemala also in Armenia. The 21,000-capacity Estadio Centenario will also stage a second round match.

Colombia tightens security

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OLOMBIA is leaving nothing to chance to ensure a safe Under20 World Cup beginning Friday as it has tightened security across the nation. Security was always going to be a major concern in this South American country as a result of the government’s running war with the rebel guerilla group FARC. Officials said FARC has now been widely seen as a group out to protect the narcotics trade Colombia has been notorious for as the government has eliminated most of the leadership of the guerilla group with whatever is left of the guerillas now hemmed in the jungle. The government now wishes to use the Under-20 World Cup as a platform to further announce to the world that Colombia is safe and open for more business with the outside world. President Juan Manuel Santos has within a year of assuming office improved Colombia’s economy and his government is winning the war against the drugs trade. Colombia beat fellow South Americans Venezuela to the hosting rights for one of FIFA’s most successful tournaments, which has produced stars from Diego Maradona to Lionel Messi. Security forces have undergone special drills to ensure the safety of teams and fans during the 24-team tournament from July 29 to August 20 across eight Colombian cities. Through searches on both visitors and staff members are conducted at the Las Camelias Hotel Campestre in Armenia, which will quarter four teams, namely Nigeria, Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala. And before the Flying Eagles first training in Armenia Monday afternoon, the police anti-bomb squad had to make sure everything was in order before approval was given for the team to train there. At the training ground, there were over a dozen anti-riot policemen fully decked in their combat clothes, mounted troops as well as regular police and other security personnel to make sure no harm comes to the Nigerian team. Regular policemen fully armed have swarmed the hotel in Armenia and officials disclosed that their number is expected to grow when the other teams in Group D check into it.


17

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

Why we supported Tambuwal, by Tinubu After delivering a speech on ‘Democracy and the rebirth of opposition in Nigeria’, the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, entertained questions from the plethora of guests gathered at Chatham House, London on Monday, July 18, 2011. Our Abuja Bureau Chief, YOMI ODUNUGA, was there. Excerpts:

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N your speech, you alluded to the fact that the attempt to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party failed because the opposition ‘danced but did not embrace.’ What did you mean? And how would you react to allegations that the merger talks between your party and the Congress for Progressive Change failed because of your ambition to run for the presidency in 2015? The truth is that we danced but we did not embrace. The handshake was just not there. The accusation or allegation or the blackmail of Bola Tinubu being the ambitious one is not tenable. First, I have what it takes to run for president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I feel I am superior to the candidates of the two parties. We conceded several things to them up to the last minute. They came with a rough, and untidy mind. I don’t want to belabour that aspect. It is unfortunate that we made all the sacrifices; our presidential candidate was ready to step down. But what do you concede? It cannot be one-sided. Ideologically and the fact that we said ‘okay, we are ready for the handshake, provided General Buhari is ready to embrace certain political norms’. We still have the memory of Obasanjo, coupled with the fact that Buhari had chosen a running mate without considering that our party was even stronger than his, our party was stronger; we won many National Assembly seats more than the Congress for Progressive Change, which is Buhari’s party. We had in existence four governors; he had none. And we still went ahead to concede the presidential ticket to him. So, who is more ambitious? Truth is: Buhari is more ambitious. As an opposition party, you should be concerned about security, especially as it relates to the Boko Haram crisis. What is the opposition doing to assist the government in tackling the insurgence? We are all concerned about the security challenge and we are working on it. The challenge is so serious that it could adversely affect the economy of the country and its political stability. Without peace, we cannot achieve our developmental goals. We have made it abundantly clear to President Goodluck Jonathan that we are ready to help him. But this is a political challenge. This is a product of over-rigging. If the former President Olusegun Obasanjo could describe the previous elections in 2003 and 2007 as do-or-die affairs for the ruling government, then those who wanted to keep their political territory organised these other people to defend it. They do not have uniform army; they do not have uniform police; all they could do was to organise within their area because they do not have any other means and this has metamorphosed into a dangerous menace confronting the Federal Government now. However, it is a duty of the entire country for us to work together, advising the government. Because they have introduced a dimension that is volatile, that is the religious dimension. It is a lie. It is a fluke. Look, they tried to use that during the Sharia situation. Today, where is the Sharia? Where is it? Nowhere. What we need is a political solution; deep reform with assurances that votes will count in Nigeria will solve the problem. First, there must be a serious effort to ensure the economic development of the people. Stealing, corruption and mis-management of the economy are equally parts of the problem. We all have the collective responsibility to assist the President. The election is over and the campaign is no more. It is another four years. We have a nation to defend, a nation to build. Definitely, you and I and the other people in the political class must do everything to keep Boko Haram from consuming all of us. I

• Tinubu

‘For all of us, we have the responsibility , whether you are in government or not, to put the government and the leadership to question; to continue to put pressure for accountability, transparency and better management of Nigeria’s resources. Nigeria is not poor and, therefore, we should not encourage poverty. With just 150 million people according to the census figures and with $200 billion a year in oil revenue, you can restructure and run the country properly. Go to Lagos today, it is the flagship of the Action Congress of Nigeria’ assure you we will do it. Few weeks ago, the vice presidential candidate of the CPC was here in Chatham House and he accused the ACN of not having a horse in the presidential election. What do you think the opposition should do so that they can have horses to challenge the PDP in the 2015 election? I am glad to hear that the running mate of General Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC, Pastor Tunde Bakare, was here in Chatham House. First, let me say that the person in question is not a politician. He has never contested and won a councillorship seat. He is a preacher who suddenly found himself in politics because we backed him when Yar’Adua was incapacitated and the National Assembly became an institution of do-nothing. We wanted the country to move forward and we came together and gave the Save Nigeria Group the best support possible that the National Assembly should be compelled to follow the path of constitutional democracy by allowing Jonathan to act. Bakare was in that group. For me, I have never lost any election in my country. I have been a Senator since 1985. I know my political terrain very well. Obasanjo stood and could not defeat me with all his arsenal. And we have built this party from one governor to six governors across the country. They are the ones without a chicken not to talk of laying an egg. If they allow the understanding of the political terrain and come up with a programme that is consistent and not parochial for the country, Jonathan will probably not be President today. No matter what you say, Jonathan won the election fair and square. It might be exaggerated result. I am not here to lie about that, but if they are being consistent and have listened to the mas-

ters in the politics of Nigeria, yes, they would have been the candidates to beat. What happened when we conceded the presidential ticket to him, has he won the election? Where is his horse? So, that is the truth. On April 13, this year, we read that you were flown on a Presidential Jet to Abuja. We want to know whether that was true and if it was true, what was the purpose? The story of the presidential jet is false. I never rode in one except when I travelled with President Umaru Yar’Adua. That story was a subtle blackmail. But as a President of country, it is true that he sent for me and that he wanted to see me. And I was in a jet, a friend’s jet to Abuja. It was not the presidential one. But when you take off from the presidential wing of the airport, every jet they see out of that place is a presidential jet. But to go to the substance of the matter, what was the discussion there? I can make it public and I have made it public. It was a question of who becomes the Speaker of the House of Representatives. And I said that instead of supporting the President’s nominee, I’d rather support the candidate for my party. If not, I would give our votes to whichever candidate we believe would do well for Nigeria and who believe in what we believe - true federalism and fiscal discipline of the revenue allocation. And that person is the current Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal. We won and I didn’t accede to the President’s request. That is what we discussed. What measures are in place to consolidate the gains of the opposition in the last election with particular reference to making an inroad into other regions of the country aside from the South West? But that is the problem of the opposition and we have faced the challenge. We are being led by a man who is focused and other parties are trying to join us. Watch the next two and half years, the Peoples Democratic Party’s time is limited. If you go to Benue today, you will know that the ACN is the party of the time. We are in Kebbi, Taraba, Bauchi and the All Nigeria Peoples Party has just dissolved completely in Kogi State. We are very strong in Kwara and Plateau is also a good area where our party is making strong showing. I sympathise with the foreign observers. But we have to continue to drum this, the opposition needs to come up with a strong programme and articulate the difference between it and the PDP and the future of our country. What is important again is for us to be ourselves and be on the side of the people. That is crucial. Once we do that, you will see the difference between Coca Cola and 7Up. What is the opposition doing about youth employment and curbing illiteracy which may be partly responsible for the Boko Haram menace? On the youth, you might be right that it is partly caused by the inequity in the system. But it is due to the failure of the PDP government to focus attention and a discipline financial institutional development. We have our party and we have our governors and they concentrate more on the youth. And we won all our elections from commitment to the development of the youth. The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi is here sitting among the guests. He has just created 20000 jobs; in Osun, Rauf Aregbesola has created 20,000 jobs. While I was the governor Lagos State, I created over 150,000 jobs for the youth, established skill development centres for the youth and established the second chance for the girl child. So, we are investing in youth. But what you see in Boko Haram is political selfishness. Inequity in the economy and the perception that the economy is being mismanaged and leadership deficiency have created problems for the country. For all of us, we have the responsibility , whether you are in government or not, to put the government and the leadership to question; to continue to put pressure for accountability, transparency and better management of Nigeria’s resources. Nigeria is not poor and, therefore, we should not encourage poverty. With just 150 million people according to the census figures and with $200 billion a year in oil revenue, you can restructure and run the country properly. Go to Lagos today, it is the flagship of the Action Congress of Nigeria. That is what we want to replicate everywhere. And that should also answer the question on the spread of the party’s policy paper and manifesto. We are working on that. To me the challenge is clear and we are equally happy that the Nigerians in the Diaspora are giving encouragement to the party. It is a journey that is critical and we will definitely make a difference for the country. We are determined to reshape our nation; we are determined to make Nigeria a country of justice; rule of law and economic progress for the people. We will do it. It is a big challenge. It is for you and I to convert the brain drain to brain gain.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

18

POLITICS APGA advocates stronger states, weaker centre

Nigerians heaved sigh of relief when last week, labour unions shelved their planned strike over the new minimum wage controversy through the intervention of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF). Will the Forum sustain the feat in future challenges? Assistant Editor, DADA ALADELOKUN, asks.

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Amaechi and NGF: What next? WHAT is that special about Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) now led by Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi. What will change in the new dispensation? Doubts trailed the birth of the Amaechi-led NGF when it came. Even doubting Thomases would not give him and his group a chance despite his pledge to ensure that his tenure as NGF would be to the overall interest of Nigerians. The first major opportunity to demonstrate his sincerity of purpose came with the minimum wage impasse. It had appeared certain that a crippling strike would ground activities nationwide last week. when both the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) locked horns with the federal and state governmentd over the N18,000 workers’ minimum wage issue. The reason is not hard to fetch. In the past, the Governors Forum had been battling with serious image problem, worsened by the general perception that the group was insensitive to the feelings, needs and general welfare of Nigerians. However, keen watchers of events since the coming of Governor Amaechi as the chairman of the NGF) are of the view that he had come to breathe life into the forum with more focus, direction and commitment, all geared towards ensuring that the generality of Nigerians don’t regret voting for democratic governance. Today, not a few would heave a sigh of relief that the forum has come refreshed. Many are now quick to recall the exemplary role he led the governors to play to avert the planned labour strike. “Already, I had rushed to the market to buy foodstuff and other useful items for the comfort of my family while the strike would last. I had felt that nothing was going to abort the strike. Even when we heard that the NGF wanted to wade into it, I expressed doubts because to the no-going-back stance of the Labour unions and their leaders. I was proved wrong.

• Amaechi

Amaechi and his group did what I considered not practicable. It is a very positive and cheering development that has not happened for a very long time,” Mr. Olawale Akinyemi, a Lagos based political ,told The Nation. The meeting between Labour and the federal government over the strike was initially deadlocked on Monday. Labour and the federal government teams’ negotiations met with a brick wall, thus averting any agreement on the issues. Then, labour had threatened that it would go ahead with the threeday warning strike billed to begin last Wednesday. It was as if Amaechi read the minds of his opponents, especially those who never believed the NGF could midwife any positive development, let alone douse a tension of that magnitude. Hence, on the night preceding the day of the planned strike when fear had gripped everywhere, it was learnt that Amaechi was on his toes, running around to soothe the frayed nerves of Labour, urging it to shelve the strike in the overall interest of Nigerians and the whole nation. The first of the governor’s intervention reportedly happened during the meeting between Labour and the federal government at the

Aso Villa, the nation’s seat of power. His media aide, David Iyofor, had, in a statement, assured Nigerians that Amaechi was poised to replicate what he had been doing with power in Rivers State in the NGF. And by extension, he gave Nigerians a hint of what to expect after the talks over the planned strike. “Governor Amaechi and the NGF stand for people’s welfare. The people’s interest is their main priority,” Iyofor had said. It was ahead of the meeting between Labour and the Governors Forum billed to hold the next day - Tuesday. It was at the meeting between labour and the Forum that broke the ice. It was at the meeting which lasted many hours that an agreement was eventually reached by Labour to call off the strike. After the aggrieved stakeholders’ agreement with the Amaechi-led NGF, they went to hold another parley with the federal government’s team for the final ratification of the agreement. Now, with the passing of that phase, Amaechi is leading the Governors Forum to push for the implementation of true fiscal federalism in the country. This includes improved revenue allocation formula among the tiers of government of government in actualisation of what most Nigerians have been clamoring for. Now, observers have no doubt that the NGF means well for Nigerians. But more importantly, they are of the view that ensuring the realization of the long-nursed fair fiscal federalism remains a major challenge in the Forum’s hands. Interestingly, immediately after his inauguration in May, the governor had pledged among other things, to collaborate with the President and the National Assembly to get more funds for the states for the advancement of education among other key issues among the people. Now, will Amaechi and his group sustain the refreshing trend to further oil the wheel of governance to put lasting smiles on the faces of Nigerians? Nigerians wait.

• From left: Chairman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, FCT chapter, Chief Nwabueze Obi, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and Dr. Paul Anosioawu during the visit of the executives of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, FCT chapter on the Deputy Speaker at the National Assembly complex.

• Umeh

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HE All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has advo cated a review in the revenue sharing formula that will strengthen the federating states of the country and ensure weaker centre in line with the spirit of true federalism. The National Chairman of the party, Sir Victor Umeh, who made the call yesterday, stated that the restructuring should be such that could reduce the level of responsibility currently being borne by the Federal Government, stressing that the central government has no need to undertake such responsibilities at the moment. Umeh added that the logjam over the minimum wage could be solved by a review of the revenue allocation formula. He said: “The revenue formula will work if we truly want to define responsibilities of government in the interest of the people. In this regard, I will be advocating that federal government will get between 25 and 30 percent and states and local governments will share between 70 and 75 percent. If you look at what is happening in Nigeria today, so much money is available to the federal government and corruption is at highest level within the federal system be-

cause they have access to so much money and people who are visionless are stealing the money they can find around them. So, if we do that there will be better accountability. He urged the governors to alert the presidency to the fact that the problem at hand lies in review of revenue formula rather than talking of removal of subsidy which will enable them have more money to share. Umeh added that the review must be done in such a manner that takes into consideration the long term implication, stressing that the adjustment would not be to enable states pay only the new minimum wage of N18,000, but makes for stronger economy, especially within the states. “If the states are the federating units, for the union to last, the states should be made stronger than the centre and that is the problem facing Nigeria today, where the federal government during campaigns will be promising Nigerians exactly what the state governments are promising – good health care, quality roads, improved education and all that. All these things state governments also do. So, you will find out that there is duplication of functions among the states and federal government. “In trying to adjust the revenue formula, we have to redefine the responsibilities of the federal government in a federal system of government. The federal government should not be providing rural water or those roads they classify as federal roads which pass through the states”, he added. He further tasked labour to agitate more on provision of amenities that could lift the living standards of the people.

Niger Delta Forum opposes amnesty for Boko Haram

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IGER Delta Nationalities Forum (NDNF) yesterday opposed the clamour for amnesty for the members of the Boko Haram sect, saying that the struggle of the group has no semblance with the activities of militants in the Southsouth geo-political zone. The group also advised President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore the calls for the withdrawal of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) from Bornu State, pointing out that, up to now, soldiers have not been withdrawn from the Niger Delta. The chairman of the group in Lagos State, Chief Manijar Seigha, wondered why prominent northern leaders who criticised the Niger Delta militants were silent on the violent activities of Boko Haram, which have dislocated social and economic activities in some parts of the north. He cautioned against extending amnesty to the religious sect in Bornu State, warning that Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Egbesu and other pseudo-militant tribal groups may perpetrate violence to attract empowerment from government. Seigha told reporters in Lagos that there is a difference between the goals of Niger Delta crusaders fighting against the neglect of the zone which lays the golden egg and Boko Haram sect, which is being used by unpatriotic elements to distract President Jonathan. He queried: “Where are the north-

By Emmanuel Oladesu

ern leaders who spoke against Niger Delta when the militants were fighting a just cause? Where were they when soldiers invaded the Niger Delta, impregnated our girls and wiped out entire communities? Has leadership collapsed in the north? Where are the likes of Tanko Yakassai? Why can’t they talk and stop Boko Haram? “Is Boko Haram meant to bring down Jonathan Administration? What is the demand of Boko Haram? Do they want Sharia or a separate country?”. Recalling that a federal legislator from the north once said that Niger Delta could be ignored because it is not up to 20million, Seigha, who maintained that Boko Haram cannot hold the country to ransom, said that “what goes around must come around”. He added: “JTF has been existing in the Niger Delta. They have not spent a month in Bornu and northern elders are crying wolf. We do not support the withdrawal of soldiers from Bornu.” Seigha , who clarified that the forum is not against dialogue, emphasised that Boko Haram is not qualified for amnesty. The Niger Delta leader urged the President to handle the controversial Islamic banking with care because of the secular nature of Nigeria. He said what has led to the suspicion in the proposed banking system is its religious affiliation.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY ,JULY 27, 2011

19

EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

COMMENT

Consumers vs. the Banks

5,000 wrongs •The Ekiti workers fired for certificate forgery and falsifying their ages reflects a deeper Nigerian problem

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ECENTLY, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi ordered the sacking of about 5,000 employees of the local governments in the state. The basis for this is that the affected workers either forged their certificates when they secured employment in the service or falsified their ages in order to remain in service even though they were due for retirement. The exercise followed the work of a screening committee to ascertain the staff strength in the state as well as the authenticity of the employment claims of the workers in the 16 local government areas. This affected the 16 local governments in the state. Ordinarily, the sacking of 5,000 workers is bound to elicit compassion from anyone who reads the headlines and outrage could also attend the emotions of those aware of the scarcity of jobs in Nigeria’s shrinking economy. Year after year, we churn out graduates from universities, polytechnics and other higher institutions. We also witness many mature into age of consent. All of them need jobs. Firing 5,000 people would seem unfeeling. But what the governor did was an act of good faith in keeping with the law and decency. Nigeria has often lamented the paucity of competent hands in our civil service and local governments. For ablebodied persons to secure jobs with forged certificates is not only illegal, it represents the growing disdain for propriety in Nigeria. We daresay that what happened in

Ekiti State is not peculiar. Recently, it was revealed that 43,000 ghost workers were exorcised from a list of 112,000 workers in seven federal ministries, departments and agencies in an ongoing exercise. It will be interesting to know how many will be exorcised at the end of the programme. The abundance of certificate forgery in our society reflects increasing penchant to reap where we did not sow. In 1999, the Lagos State government under Governor Bola Tinubu also exorcised such ghosts after a ruthless staff audit and saved huge revenue for the state. It became so dramatic that a challenge was issued out for those who did not receive their salaries as a result of the audit to show up in person. Hardly anyone did. The story of Ekiti is a comeuppance for corruption in low places. “Those affected were those that gained employment into the local government service using fake certificates and those that ought to have retired but refused to do so by continually falsifying their age,” said Adeyemi Ajayi, the chairman of the state’s local government service commission. The affected persons would not just have lost their jobs but would have been prosecuted if it happened in some other organised societies. Some rumbles of insensitivity from the affected tend to portray the governor as opportunistic and that it was a ploy to cut the payroll ahead of the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage. Others have argued that it was a ploy to employ political cronies.

This sort of charges should not be dismissed. The governor should set in motion a mechanism to replace the fired employees where necessary and the hiring should be pursued in a transparent manner. This will douse accusation that Governor Fayemi carried out his whittling of workers for a tendentious purpose. That some workers were able to gain employment through certificate forgeries, and others put off retirements by falsifying birth certificates means that the corruption goes deeper than the persons fired. Who were the officers who facilitated the hiring with fake certificates? How were persons who should have retired able to change their dates of birth in the system? Replacing the persons fired should also be accompanied by putting in place a system of hiring that is above board.

‘That some workers were able to gain employment through certificate forgeries, and others put off retirements by falsifying birth certificates means that the corruption goes deeper than the persons fired. Who were the officers who facilitated the hiring with fake certificates? How were persons who should have retired able to change their dates of birth in the system?’

Tragic mystery •PDP chieftain’s death raises more questions than answers

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T is truly sad that, after the death and destruction wrought by water in the wake of the heavy flooding of Lagos, that the state should lose a prominent indigene to the same fluid medium. The death by drowning of Chief Al-Mustain Abaniwonda in the Lagos Lagoon on Monday last week is a tragic end to a distinguished life. Reports have it that Abaniwonda, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Lagos East in the last elections, was on his way to his Lagos office when he instructed his driver to park so that he could ease himself. On alighting from his car and finding that the portable toilet that he had planned to use was already occupied, he sought to avail himself of the shore of the lagoon, but allegedly lost his balance on the slippery surface and fell in. This version of events had initially been superseded by news reports alleging that he had, in fact, taken off his watch and some items of clothing before jumping into the lagoon. Regardless of how Chief Abaniwonda, a prominent management consultant died, it is disheartening to learn that the attempts to save him were allegedly frustrated by the shocking lack of concern displayed by members of the Marine Police office at the Third Mainland Bridge close to where he lost his life. Abaniwonda’s driver claims that he sought their help, only for them to berate him for jumping

across ruined boats in his haste to get to them. They went on to tell him that they lacked the requisite equipment to assist him, and suggested that he turn to the fishermen whose boats he could hire for his mission. By the time he was able to organise a rescue effort, it was too late: his boss had disappeared beneath the waves of the lagoon. It beggars belief that the policemen who could have helped to effectively deal with this situation could blatantly refuse to heed the desperate pleas of a man trying to save someone in mortal danger. All over the world, rescue services are an important part of the duties of the police; indeed, it is in such roles that they are just as likely to be used as their supposedly primary task of preventing and detecting crime. If the lack of life-saving equipment was their excuse, what were they stationed there for? Even if they did not have the proper tools, why could they not have at least helped Abaniwonda’s driver in his rescue efforts? Such callous indifference brings the generally poor image of the police to a new low: long despised for the corruption and brutality that pervade their ranks, the citizenry must now realise that some of those who are paid to protect them are very likely to abandon them in their hour of greatest need. The police authorities should

thoroughly investigate the role of these men in the rescue of Chief Abaniwonda, and punish them accordingly if they are found to have been negligent in the performance of their duties. The country’s police and armed forces should produce a clear set of guidelines outlining the roles of their officers and men in times of natural disasters and similar emergencies. Given the scandalous absence of the police and the military in helping to provide succour during the recent floods in Lagos and elsewhere across the country, it is clear that Nigeria’s uniformed services need to understand that they must save lives when circumstances require that they do so. May the soul of Chief Abaniwonda rest in perfect peace.

‘Regardless of how Chief .Abaniwonda, a prominent management consultant died, it is disheartening to learn that the attempts to save him were allegedly frustrated by the shocking lack of concern displayed by members of the Marine Police office at the Third Mainland Bridge close to where he lost his life’

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HE Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officially opened its doors last week a year after it was established under the financial reform law. Score one for consumers. But the fight to create a bureau strong enough and independent enough to really take on the banks isn’t over. Federal watchdogs have given the bureau stellar marks for getting up and running in a timely, professional manner. The bureau has already begun to tackle crucial issues, like simplifying mortgage disclosure requirements and handling credit card complaints. Banks and their Congressional allies are pushing back hard, determined to weaken the bureau. It is not clear how much political capital President Obama is willing to spend to stop that from happening. It is important to recall why the bureau is so necessary. The financial crisis had its roots in dangerous, unregulated loans that inflated a credit bubble. When that burst, tens of millions of Americans lost their jobs, savings and home equity; millions lost their homes; and everyone lost trust in financial and government institutions. The new bureau concentrates consumer protection in one agency, with the sole purpose of shielding Americans, and the financial system, from abusive and deceptive lending in mortgages, credit cards and other borrowing. The banks — big campaign contributors — don’t want robust consumer protection because complex and obscure products are lucrative. House Republicans have begun to pass bills that would severely constrain the bureau’s power to write and enforce rules and reduce and imperil its budget. Mr. Obama has pledged to veto the bills if they reach his desk, but that won’t stop the assaults. Under the law, the bureau cannot exercise its full regulatory powers without a director. In May, 44 Republican senators vowed to block any nominee unless Democrats agreed to weaken the agency as called for in the House bills. Last week, when President Obama nominated Richard Cordray, the former attorney general of Ohio and currently chief of enforcement at the bureau, Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the banking committee, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the nomination was “dead on arrival.” Acting as if Dodd-Frank is not already the law of the land, he called on President Obama to “come to the negotiating table.” Mr. Obama erred in passing over Elizabeth Warren — the Harvard law professor and consumer advocate who set up the bureau — for the director’s job. Mr. Cordray is a good choice, with a notable proconsumer track record. Ms. Warren, who pioneered the idea for the bureau and helped push it through Congress, has drawn particular fire from banks and Republicans, who had turned their opposition to consumer protection into opposition to her. In deciding not to fight for Ms. Warren, the president has forfeited the opportunity to stand up to the banks and to highlight their relentless efforts to undermine reform. It is hard not to think that Mr. Obama was worried that choosing Ms. Warren would have cost him and Democratic senators campaign contributions from the banks. Mr. Cordray has the credentials and skills for the job. To win confirmation and, from there, to take on the banks and fully defend consumers, he will also need strong support from the White House. President Obama’s decision to jettison Ms. Warren is not a reassuring sign.

• The New York Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

20

EDITORIAL/OPINION

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IR: It is quite difficult to ignore the urge to join the debate on the controversial Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) introduction of Islamic Banking otherwise known as non interest banking into the county’s banking sector. As many commentators have already argued, the controversy is unnecessary. Islamic banking is only one of the many branches of the discipline of finance. What makes Islamic banking a bit different is that it has some parts of its doctrine borrowed from Islamic jurisprudence idea of not adding or subtracting interest. For example, the same mathematics, statistics and other analytical tools employed in conventional field of finance are used in Islamic finance. In fact, most of the academicians currently contributing to the field of Islamic finance started as conventional economists and they still are. In terms of the actual practice of the system for instance, the same current account that is in conventional banking is the same as in Islamic banking with very little difference.

EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 1000 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.com

Understanding Islamic finance Unlike in conventional banking, Islamic banks are restricted in the nature of their investments. They are not allowed to put their money or that of their customers in any transaction that has the elements of gambling or speculation. They are also not to trade in alcohol, pork meat, pornography and prostitution in the name of marketing. To ensure that Islamic banks comply with all these, an independent board must be constituted, called ‘Shariah board’ and saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the observance of all these Shariah guidelines concerning all financial transactions. The first Islamic bank to start operation originated from Egypt during the early 60s. Since then, the prac-

tice of Islamic banking has become a global phenomenon that is found in all the continents of the world. There is today no highly global international financial institution worth its name that is not engaged in the practice of Islamic banking or other aspect of Islamic finance, or considering going into the practice soonest. Big global brands like HSBC, City group, Barclays bank, BNP Paribas, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Chase, Union Bank of Switzerland to mention just a few have been involved in the practice in the last two decades. International financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF are in the forefront of those promoting the practice; in fact these two institutions between them

have produced over hundred working papers on Islamic finance and Economics over the last three decades. Some of the most outstanding contributors to the field of Islamic finance are either current or former staff of these institutions. That is why it did not surprise me when Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala gives her approval of the practice because of her background as ex staff of the World Bank. Growing in the range of 15 to 25 per cent annually, Islamic finance is currently the fastest growing segment of international finance. For those that are familiar with investment terminologies, there is what is called portfolio diversification. The theory tries to explain that

Playing politics with minimum wage

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IR: The implementation of the N18, 000 national minimum wage may not commence soon, going by the conflict of interests playing out among the principal actors. After several months of hanky panky, the National Assembly passed the National Minimum Wage Bill last March and it was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan. The governors have also reluctantly agreed to pay even though there are indications that some of them might back-out of the agreement signed recently. Gladiators began their scheming early when labour engaged government in dialogue on the need to review the minimum wage. This last agreement did not come on a platter of gold as it was a culmination of negotiations, walk-outs, and strike call off before something meaningful could be achieved. The governors except those in ACN states are already singing different tunes because they are not willing to pay the agreed minimum wage of 18,000 naira. They are insisting that the only way to pay the new minimum wage is a review of the current Federation’s allocation formula that gives more percentage

to the federal government. They argued that under the current sharing pattern, there was no way they could pay the new wage alongside the responsibility of running the affairs of their states. In other words, attempting to pay the minimum wage is to commit financial murder at the expense of delivery of dividends of democracy to the electorate that brought them to power. Alternatively, the state governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have advocated for the removal of the fuel subsidy, so as to make more

funds available for the implementation of the new salary structure. Just before elections, the governors canvassed for the new wage and promised to ensure payment in their states. For the sake of their integrity, the time to respect agreement reached with Labour. They should be reminded that the National Minimum Wage (Amendment Act, 2011) states that “as from the commencement of this Act, it shall be the duty of every employer (except as provided for under the Principal Act, as amended), to pay a wage not less than the national minimum wage of N18,000 per month,

to every worker” and that any default has a consequence, as provided under the Explanatory Memorandum of the Act. What should be the priority of the nation now is how to drive the economy fast, provide energy lifeline, stimulate employment for its teeming, angry and jobless youths, revamp its battered image and engender enduring peace and security, not playing politics with minimum wage. • Adewale Kupoluyi wrote in from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

in order to avoid a situation where investor will put all eggs in one basket, thereby exposing himself to high degree of risk; it states that a division of the eggs in different baskets to reduce the degree of risk is necessary. The global investment community has come to realize that Islamic finance has been providing that option by allowing investors to diversify their investment away from the kind of toxic assets that caused the last global financial crisis. The above explains the reason why significant numbers of those patronizing Islamic finance are non Muslim world wide. Also, with more than half of Nigerian public still not transacting anything with our existing banks (as is seen in some countries with many similarities to Nigeria) Islamic banking will help bring substantial number of these unbanked into the formal banking stream. Islamic micro finance institutions have been hailed world wide as comparatively stronger than their conventional counterparts. The introduction of these Islamic micro finance institutions will help in assisting government to achieve its objective of financing small and medium scale enterprises. Some branches of Islamic finance, for example Sukuk has been hailed as a highly innovative financial product that is currently seen as competing with any similar product the conventional economic and finance can offer. As at now, Sukuk is a hot cake that is embraced by governments around the world in order to manage their fiscal problems. However, the CBN and other relevant agencies must educate the Nigeria public first before the commencement of this novel scheme. •Shafiu Ibrahim Maiduguri Road, Kano.

Abdullahi,

When violence becomes counter-productive!

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IR: The current acts of bombings and extreme violence being perpetrated by Islamic jihadists across the world should be of serious concern to all peace loving individuals on the surface of the earth. In the last two decades, these men have constituted grave threats to world peace whether in the United States, Europe, Middle East or Africa. Several thousands of lives were lost in most harrowing manners to the evil machinations of these agents of destruction.

At the moment in the country, there is the on-going nefarious activity of Boko Haram in the north. These Islamic extremists are not in deed and words promoting the cause of Islam or that of the Islamic faith. In actual fact, their acts of violence have done immeasurable damage to the image of the religion and cast aspersions on the general belief that Islam is a religion of peace. This in my opinion is counterproductive to their professed objective and the very essence of Islam as a worldwide

religion of peace and harmony. It should be pointed out that, not so many people will be proud to associate with or wilfuly join any religious or social group whose activities bring sorrow, agony and death to believers, innocent souls, women and children. Rather, the educated young ones who are yet to have firm footing in any religion and many discerning minds will easily renounce such group and accept another which supports self development devoid of violence and acri-

mony, and one that has regards for dignity and sanctity of human lives. The time has come for Islamic leaders and scholars all over the world to caution these extremists on the damage they are doing to the image of Islam. Let them cease all hostilities and violence forthwith and embrace dialogue as a veritable means of conflict resolution. • Dr. Femi Akinwumi, Basorun, Ibadan.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

EDITORIAL/OPINION

Road Inhumanity; FRSC ‘Road Rage’; NTA: No to ‘No Face Show’ ; Abati; Aborted FIBA U-19 Girls trip

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HE coming end of the ‘N18,000 minimum wage troubles’ should mark the beginning of ‘Rapid Response Governance’ tackling problems Tony dehumanising Nigerians Marinho as Nigerian governments’ inhumanity to travelling Nigerians knows no bounds of maliciousness. The roads in the North are easily washed away because none of them have any rocky foundation as confirmed by the pictures on NTA showing the breaks in the roads as mere laterite causeways. Road repairs really are rocket science in Nigeria. In spite of billions spent monthly running FERMA, LASTMA, ‘YourStateMA’, FRSC you hardly see ‘action’ like any warning highway signs about potholes or engineers, workers and equipment on roads. Have you been on the misnamed Lagos Ibadan Expressway, abbreviated to LIE, recently? What type of inhuman Nigerian authorities continue to punish millions of Nigerians for 30 years forcing them to negotiate the 1000 major potholes which daily tear tyres causing blocked lanes, injury and death- all absolutely unnecessary? As a Matter of Urgent National Importance, a few million naira for a few tonnes of gravel and tar are immediately needed, rainy season or not, to save lives on most roads-‘Operation Nationwide Pothole Elimination and Road Edge Trimming’! Bring back PWD. Nigerians know what a good road is. Should only the roads to State and Aso Rock House be motorable? Why were the World Bank funded repairs stopped at the three lane, Lagos to Redemption Camp stretch which is a heavenly driving experience. And why are we subjected to the delays and atrocities at Mowe and Ibafo just because they are clearing their disgusting mountains of rubbish? Just this week we spent hours at the Redeemed area negotiating a severely uneven 100meters smoothened just a few months ago for President Jonathan. The potholes he was to travel on were miraculously ‘emergency’ repaired. Eh, so they know emergency, abi? I think the

tar was removed, for safe keeping, by persons unknown, abi, and the potholes reopended the next day? Why should we be treated worse than the President? We too deserve ‘potholefree’ roads, now, not in five years. We demand multi-contractor shorter times for contractors. We are subjected to actual road abuse. On the 21st July at 8.45am as an ex-Special Marshal I witnessed a FRSC man ‘road rage’ head-butt a driver, tear his buba and stamp on his foot. When Prof Soyinka started the FRSC, physical contact and verbal abuse were banned. The Corps Marshal should stop his staff making ‘road rage’ contact or bribe taking especially at Ogere. As a foundation Special Marshal and one who participated in writing the FRSC Highway Code I say such behaviour shames us all. The NTA does not show faces of arrested suspects. It is not legally wrong or human rights abuse to show them. If the IMF ex-President Strauss-Kahn, was seen worldwide wearing handcuffs on arrest in New York, Nigeria’s arrested suspects should enjoy similar publicity. They could be recognised. Faces may bring out fresh accusations, evidence, witnesses and caution their friends. It is useless for TV to show the back of a suspect’s head. We must name and shame suspects. In the face of rising terrorism, kidnapping and armed criminality, the much-abused Security Vote, estimated at over N50,000,000/month/state should be cancelled and spent directly through adequate security budgeting especially on local intelligence gathering as well as rapid communication, rapid transport and better funded police stations, better welfare to stop extortion at checkpoint, police station and by the failing FRSC which is losing focus and citizens’ respect. So, according to Prof Adekunle Adedeji of the Nig Institute of Adv Legal Studies, Africa loses $145b or 25% of GDP to corruption annually. He suggests that criminals’ assets should be used to fight crime and for judicial activities. Perhaps foreign agencies should withdraw their ‘bridging loans’ that counter the corruption effects. Do the Nigerian banks, especially those with foreign stakes, borrowing cheap low interest money from abroad at 1-5% and bringing it here to loan to ‘stupid Nigerians’ at 25%. Na wa O for that cut-throat banking!

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Vintage Soyinka!

AST THURSDAY, the Newspapers Proprietors of Nigeria, NPAN, held a “Townhall Meeting” on the Freedom of Information (FoI) ACT at Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Lagos. The first time I stumbled on the event’s advertorial, I called Feyi Smith, the head of the NPAN office, as directed in the advertorial to signify my intention to attend. Everything was set. But a phone call I received at 11pm on Wednesday, less than 12hours to the meeting, truncated my plans. I had earlier returned to Lagos from a trip to Port Harcourt on Tuesday evening for fear of being caught up in the proposed showdown between the organized labour (are they really organized?) and the government. Unfortunately, the strike was called off even before its commencement after causing disruptions to people’s plans for the week. That call late Wednesday from my bosom friend, brother and confidant, Prof. Steve Azaiki, completely altered my plans. Rather than head for MUSON Centre the following morning, I found myself heading to Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja en route Abuja for an urgent assignment of the National ThinkTank Initiative. But while I was in transit, my heart and soul were at MUSON Centre. It was one gathering I never intended to miss. Anyway, the media coverage of the event was massive. It was expected because of the dignitaries who congregated at the meeting. So many important things were said by so many eminent people. But by far, I was struck by the verbal salvo delivered by Nobel Laureate, Prof.

Wole Soyinka, who spoke on the topic: “Making FoI Law Work for Nigeria”. He set the first acid test for the FoI Act when he averred that the law should be used to unravel the concealment of how government was run for almost one year the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was gravely indisposed before he finally passed on, on May 5, 2010. Soyinka urged President Goodluck Jonathan to unmask those behind the hiding of an ailing President and the person who signed the Appropriation Bill purportedly signed by the late Yar’Adua. He said Nigerians deserved to know the circumstances under which the late President was hidden. In his words: “Many people think it’s all over. I beg to disagree. In this country, we had an instance where a whole human being was concealed for several months. This phantom actually travelled to Saudi Arabia, came back, still in concealment, in the dead of the night. “Lights were doused at the airport and the phantom moved back to the seat of government. This phantom was not just an ordinary phantom. This phantom was a representative of the entire public will of Nigerians. He vanished out of sight for nearly a year. “For many people the incident is over, but it’s not. We want to know how it was possible. Who were the people involved? What document was signed that passed for the Ap-

“Unless there are fundamental changes that could provide succor and respite for the suffocating masses of the people, Nigeria is surely approaching a conflagration of tsunami proportion”

propriation Bill? Who authorised it? Whose signature appeared on the document? “Who was the major security involved in this act of concealment? Were any members of the family involved? Were members of Senate involved? Were foreign powers involved? Physically, that episode is over, but knowledge is unending – it is not yet over. “And so, I’m challenging the government of Jonathan and the public to put this Freedom of Information Act to the test, with one of the most melodramatic incidents that this country has ever witnessed. “You can say that it is the dramatist in me, which is looking for material to write a play – it does not matter. If you call it vulgar curiosity, it does not matter. As a citizen, I have a right to know. “I challenge the public and President to put teeth into this law by setting up and making public the proceedings and the findings of that panel set to find out what happened to the President of this nation for nearly an entire year. This is where it begins.” Soyinka said the public, as the jury, and “the structure of justice” exist to ensure that the spirit of the FoI Act is carried out to the letter. The government, he added, must be ready to answer to public pressure. “Nigeria, if it believes in absolute truth, cannot deny it to its citizens,” he said. The playwright went on: “It is not enough for a government to rely on the Official Secret Act, and it is not enough for the public to constantly accept that as an excuse for concealing issues in which the public’s interest is involved, and the very essence of governance is in the public interest. “It is important, not just for the government, but for all of us here, to put the Information Act to the test as soon as possible with that

Congrats to Reuben Abati on his appointment as SA to the President on Media. He will not hide unpalatable media ‘takes’ and cartoons. A compulsory daily dose of uncut newspapers will must show the President the good, the bad and especially the ugly media reports. The SA must not become ‘his master’s voice’ but a ‘two way street’ carrying communications to the ‘People from the Presidency’ and to the ‘President from the People’. Abati should please ask the President to initiate a policy of ‘One Youth Centre/Ward’, the political unit where so is little left for the youth between election fever episodes! Quite typically, our Nigeria’s girls cannot go to the International Basketball Federation, FIBA Under-19, Championships abroad because of a lack funds. The abortion of the dreams of these girls is an embarrassment to government which should utilise such positive youth potential for national upliftment. The First Lady All Wives Retreat on Etiquette etc cost hundreds of millions, the ‘All Political Women’ retreat in Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja also consumes a lot. The political class should avoid falling for smart alec ‘let’s have a workshop’ scams or wining and dining ‘in the national interest’ while sweating athletic Nigerian youth with talent, struggle and suffer. Nigerian governments must realise that athletes, not just officials and politicians, benefit from attending international games even when not performing.

‘The NTA does not show faces of arrested suspects. It is not legally wrong or human rights abuse to show them. If the IMF ex-President Strauss-Kahn, was seen worldwide wearing handcuffs on arrest in New York, Nigeria’s arrested suspects should enjoy similar publicity’

undeniable agenda, which is to learn a little bit about the truth about ourselves. Soyinka hailed the role played by Wikileak in exposing lies and deception by governments around the world, saying: “In some societies, silence is a liar – an arrogant, disdainful liar, contemptuous of the public clamour that power be openly accountable. “The psychological impact, not only on the exposed, but on the yet protected is considerable – the swagger of indifference gives way to nervous glances over the shoulder. Am I next? What else do they know? “The web of silence is gradually shredded as the lies as camouflaged for years, decades, even generations are exposed. Like a soap opera addiction, the public cannot wait for the next installment.” That was vintage Soyinka! Shortly after the late President died last year, this column had called for a thorough probe of all that transpired during the period he was on his sick bed. It will be an understatement to say that a lot of underhand dealings were carried out by his handlers during the period. In fact, corruption was dressed in beautiful apparels and adorned with costly ornaments before being paraded in the corridors of power during this agonising and traumatic period in the nation’s history. Today, you hear about how hundreds of millions of dollars were transported in giant ‘Ghana-MustGo’ bags all over the place during this period while the nation was on the brink. Besides, Nigerians are yet to be told the real nature of the illness? Which doctor did what? How much was expended legitimately and otherwise? I am sure that when the lid is finally blown off this cloak of secrecy in which all these details are still shrouded,

Dele Agekameh Nigerians will marvel at the degree of atrocities perpetrated by commercial sympathizers to the plight of the late President. That is not to say that the exit of these lackeys from government has ended the pervasive malfeasance in the corridors of power. We cannot say that we are fighting corruption in this country when those who stole the public treasury blind in broad daylight are given a pat on the back and asked to move on in life with their ill-gotten wealth. The level of poverty among the populace and official misconduct by public officials have reached such an intolerable crescendo that we must do a rethink if truly we are determined to ‘transform’ the society for the better. What our leaders and policy makers seem to have taken for granted is the docility of the people. But with the revolutionary fervour currently rampaging the Arab world known for its extreme conservatism, the clamour for an end to years of oppression, denials and governance by deceit in Nigeria may well be in sight. The truth is that, unless there are fundamental changes that could provide succor and respite for the suffocating masses of the people, Nigeria is surely approaching a conflagration of tsunami proportion!


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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EDITORIAL/OPINION FROM THE CELL PHONE ‘Daily paid workers don’t collect as much as 150K per day! In anycase, one can plan for such days when major daily paid work is taking place on building site. In all, I think ordinary folks like you and I should support this policy so that thieving politicians who do large withdrawals to bribe during elections will be checkmated. From Terna’

• Jonathan

Dr Dare Olatunji Good morning sir, Long time! Terrific history lesson on the backpage of The Nation today. One missing entry is Fred Rwigema. Rwigema, better known as “Afande” was the founder of the FPR (RPF in English) in Rwanda. Having fought with FRELIMO in Mozambique and the NRM in Uganda, Rwigema founded the RPF to end the cycles of mass killings and exile in the country of his parents. He was killed also mysteriously on the 2nd day after his forces entered Rwanda in 1991. It took another 3 years before Paul Kagame, who succeeded Rwigema as leader of the RPF would be installed in Kigali. From Chidi Odinkalu Re: THE CURSE OF THE AFRICAN LIBERATOR- Good write-up. I don’t see it as a curse. It only shows the level of their sincerity. In Yoruba parlance “won fi inu we inu ni” All the people you have mentioned and many more forget that they are dining with the devil so their spoon must be long. What they needed would have been extra care. From Tunji Osobu I read with pains how excellent African brains who should be in the academia exposed themselves to death through political adventurism. From Dr. Dosu Malomo, Benin City. Sir, I could read of no revolutionary worthy of note from Nigeria. Does this not say volumes that Nigeria is a mirage, not worth dying for, not in the past and certainly not in the future, if she has one! From Wole St.Jones Your piece on ‘The curse of the African liberator’ was thought provoking but heart rending. The only consolation is that most of them had their dreams realized. The struggle must continue! Anonymous Re: “The curse of the African liberator.” Your piece which I consider a historical master piece provokes so much emotions. The few names mentioned and others were genuine liberationists who were selfless, determined and focused on their goals. That I think is why some of the countries so squarely liberated are not so corrupt. Nigeria as other British colonies in West Africa did not have to struggle as much because the “comprado bourgeoisie” had been established. The memories of the Garangs of Africa would forever be our reminder of the struggle for a just and equitable continent. From Opuene David. Thanks a lot for your mastery of details. I studied Political Science without an inkling of today’s piece.Thanks, God bless Sir. Anonymous Please uncle Dare, I’m so impressed about your write-up today but you don’t relate it to what is happening in Nigeria may be those who will be negatively affected will wise-up and will not allow the unfortunate that befell Sudan happen in our dear country. Anonymous I buy The Nation on Tuesdays and Sundays because of your column and that of Tatalo Alamu. I’m most deeply touched by today’s ‘Curse of the Liberator’. I guess it is because it got me transported back in

time to the 1970s when one was young and impressionable and the freedom fighters were our genuine heroes and reference ideologues. Thanks for giving me value for my N150, yet again. Anonymous Vintage Dare this is, but methinks Patrice Lumumba deserves a prominent mention in “The Curse Of the African Liberator.” From Lekan Oganla. Dear Dr. Dare, thanks for that masterpiece ‘The curse of the African liberator’. You can always find the answer to the ‘African curse’ in Ken Saro Wiwa’s last words. Why is Africa always killing her best brains? Talk of the slave trade which is yet to end, the crisis in the Niger Delta and now, Boko Haram... The stories never change. It’s always Africans vs Africans. Simple and short. We need GOD in Africa not gods that demand its children for sacrifice. Anonymous Sir, your piece ‘ The Curse Of The African Liberator’ is quite educative and informative. Honestly, I am more informed and I am sure as many as those who read this piece have had more information at their finger tips. May your brain never turn upside down sir. From Kola Odepeju Prof Segun Gbadegesin Thank God for this purposeful coalition by the west governors and thanks to Segun for the popularisation. I think power, agriculture, health and transportation via good roads and rail system be given pride of place for the following reasons: almost everybody relies on power for economic buoyancy; a hungry man is an angry man and an angry man is a dangerous man; transportation makes agric meaningful and life worthwhile; health is wealth. With these four fully functional, industries will pick up and jobs will be created. We will also be able to afford good quality education which is not cheap. Limit free education to the primary level and remember that oogun ti a ko ba fi owo se, ehin aaro l’ongbe. From Toyin Oke Those who assessed Karl Marx’s works estimated them to be worth five(5) Ph.Ds. And what did he conclude? That someday, workers would rule the world, and that they should unite. Greed, which starts with the “Tea Party” in America, has been transported to our ‘LATIFUNDISTAS’(Greedy Land Owners) in Nigeria whose chairman is in Ogun State. From Gbola Gbolagunte Hello Prof.,why are we always lamenting about our corrupt political elites? Why can’t we do what Chinua Achebe suggests in ‘Things Fall Apart’? Or is it that we don’t know them? As Achebe says, if a man comes into my house and defecates, what I do is take a stick and break his head. That is what we should do to all those thieving elites. Thanks. From Femi Olayiwola,Saki,Oyo State. What NLC chairman is doing, I like it. But he should not allow the hypocrite politicians to decieve him. Rex Row from Lagos. Good day sir! I read your column on labourers deserves their reward and I feel labourers out there reading it would be so excited about it for you have spoken the increadible truth about their worries and I am sure they will all appreciate that, what a genius coloumnist. From Muslihudeen,Lafia-Nasarawa State Daddy Segun, next time workers are angry like they were a few days ago, they should simply recall/remove those they put in power with their votes. Downing

tools leads to nowhere. Instead, sealingoff. Residences and blockading offices of the gluttons peacefully, will yield result. Please write on this. Anonymous The investigative and the prosecuting agents who should take over any given info are sick. So drop your FOI practical idea. You will be rubbished if you smart out info. Anonymous Great governors, great party-ACN. Please, don’t allow this vision to die. Let South West Governors emancipate our region from the foot-draging PDP led federal government. From Femi Hassan Work as curse! obviously true. The bane of this tragedy is the corrosive corrupt leadership busy transforming this nation into a doomsday. We stood in the rain and heat of sun to vote them in. They now turn against us. We are now in an animal farm. What a pity! Truly, workers deserve their wages, it is their right. Certainly, things will continue like that. Nature inputs checks and balances.Nothing is constant. From Iro Omorusi in Benin For Gbenga Omotoso I read your coment “Now the crush.” With the current situation, is there any reward in saying God bless Nigeria because most of our leaders have forgotten their nationality through their attitudes. I am sure that they don’t wish this nation well because they make their gains from the agonies of the poor masses . Re: Now the Crunch: Good comments on most issues but your cynism to plastic money is misplaced. Birthdays don’t just fall out of the blues. Anyone who needs to celebrate with cows can start withdrawing 150K per day a week or month to the date. Ditto the one who wants Aso-Ebi. Anonymous Spare parts for rickety cars don’t cost as much as 150K. Those with big cars of which parts cost that much should go to Germaine or Honda place where cheques are accepted. Anonymous Daily paid workers don’t collect as much as 150K per day! In anycase, one can plan for such days when major daily paid work is taking place on building site. In all, I think ordinary folks like you and I should support this policy so that thieving politicians who do large withdrawals to bribe during elections will be checkmated. From Terna Hi Omar, your article: “Now the crunch” summarised the situation of the country. But you failed to throw light on the issues of NASS 40% pay cut, that of minimum balance of community banks, Boko Haram, etc. I say kudos. From Levi Abuja Bravo to the Southwest governors, focus should be on improved medical care, first class education, stable power supply, affordable public transport and employment generation. From Olatunbosun Awe, Akure. If the whole nation should share whatever amount of money that was used to subside fuel, is it much? Even when the governors and their entire household still benefit from the subsidy directly or indirectly if governors are sincere to themselves, the money allocated to them as security votes are they using it all? Why cant they use some for the minimum wage even for their internal staffs and let the masses be to enjoy the crumbs called subsidy? We don’t want to consider the bad road, epileptic power supply, insecurity. Upon the security votes, all these impunities against the masses

• David Mark

should stop even if all the money are given to the governors there must be an excuse. Mr. governors sir, what is your own minimum wage with your commisioners and advisers what our governors lacks is fear of god and conscience. Anonymous Our governors of western Nigeria should give us modern faster rail that can compete with foreign countries they go on monthy basis , not old gauge lines which federal goverment and India patners are reparing ; which is archaic, it is a waste of revenue. From Olatunbi, J.A. Nigeria is a failed country where winners take it all (N14m a month vs #18,000). Who are the winers? the political class,(clicks)oh, I weep for these (orphans) police officers that Rilgim and Gudluck are sacrificing for killing Boko Haram leaders in 2009. God will help and safe Nigeria. From Prince Joshua Uyo. In your pieces of July 14, 2011, you referred to Ogun as god of thunder, which is incorrect as ogun is god of iron while sango is god of thunder. From F. O. Ibadan “Now the crunch”. Nigeria has become a nation where abnormalty becomes normal. What many of the actors in the “Nigerian irony” don’t know is that when all these issues finally bomerang on their heads, they will not be spared their lives. Let them learn from other nations. People are getting more frustrated by day. From Olugbodi Daniel “Now the crunch”. It bothers me alot when people know the right thing and deliberately do the wrong thing. The way out of all these problems in Nigeria is very simple. Let us sponsor a bill that gives 10% of total sum recovered from all the corrupt present and past leaders. I will personally recover well over $2billion in Kwara state alone, being the most corrupt state in the world. All ill-gotten wealth will be recovered right from 1960 till date. From Adebayo Sunday, Ilorin Sir, may I say without an iota of doubt or contradictions that the crop of ACN Governors we have now are extremely equiped physically and intellectually to combat the monumental rot in their states and increase the greatness of Southwestern and midwestern Nigeria nay the Country. God bless Nigeria. From Tim Ade. Ketu, Lagos “Now the crunch”. What a piece of analysis on our state of confusion. One wonders what caliber of persons the President has around him. Confusion of this nature are common when a leader occupy himself with trivial party matters and allow self-serving ‘advisers’ and lobby groups to decide our faith. Is Mr President really in charge? Dan Brian from Lagos. Gbenga Omotoso, the indept knowlegde of your editorial notebook is an eye opener, sectional increment, minimum wage increment, govornors bogus, security votes, NASS budget cut, I suggest the President and his group to add value to what they are suggesting by moving in the cutting issue. Thanks! Oduma Chukwunyelu C.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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MONEY

CBN seeks $5b oil cash for Islamic banking T

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is looking for between $4 billion and $5 billion oil funds from the Middle East to fund infrastructure, to support Islamic banking, its Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said. The funds are expected from investment in Islamic banking products that are being worked out between the Debt Management Office (DMO) and CBN. CBN plans to issue its first sovereign Sukuk within the next 17

By Collins Nweze months in a move aimed at boosting Islamic banking. Sukuk is an Islamic financial certificate, similar to a bond in Western finance, that complies with Sharia law. “We are working with the DMO. The Central Bank is collaborating with them on capacity building. We do have a target of issuing a first sovereign Sukuk in Nigeria within 18 months,” Sanusi said in Abuja.

The funds, he said, would be channelled into financing infrastructure, adding that there are several benefits accruable to the country through the system. He said he was taken aback by the negative reactions trailing the proposed banking model, adding that Islamic banking preceded his tenure as CBN boss. He explained that the apex bank is neither promoting nor establishing Islamic banking, explaining that Standard Chartered

Bank has applied for Islamic banking licence. Stanbic IBTC Bank, a unit of Standard Bank Group Limited, got an approval from CBN for Islamic banking, he said. “The Central Bank is not promoting or establishing Islamic Bank, the CBN is simply licensing and regulating an institution that is allowed to exist under the law. There is absolutely no discrimination. We have to continue making that point. Hopefully,

people will get to understand with time,’’ he said. Islamic finance is the fastestgrowing segment of the global financial system and sales of Islamic bonds rose by 24 per cent to $25 billion last year. Sharia-compliant assets reached about $400 billion in the world in 2009, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and the potential market is $4 trillion. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have the biggest Sharia-compliant assets.

Kudos for MfBs on returns

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HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has scored microfinance banks (MfBs) high for complying with its directives on the electronic submission of their returns. CBN fixed June 30 , as deadline for the on-line rendition of the returns. The directive followed the banks’ failure to render their monthly returns promptly and accurately to the CBN. CBN’s spokesman Mohammed Abdullahi said about 80 per cent of the MfBs seemed to have complied with the directive. Abdullahi told The Nation that majority of the banks have shown considerable interest in migrating from the manual processing of their monthly returns to the electronic format. “I think between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the banks have complied with the directive. Significant progress has been achieved in this regard,” he added. Prior to the directive, the apex bank assigned codes to microfinance banks to facilitate the rendition of their returns, and subsequently

• Aig-Imoukhuede

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HE merger plan between Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank has reached the Transaction Implementation Agreement (TIA) stage. The move demonstrates adherence to best

By Akinola Ajibade sent a memo on the June deadline. In the circular, the MFBs were reminded of the importance of meeting the deadline on migrating to electronic means of rendering their accounts. The Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Lagos State Chapter, Olufemi Babajide, said the banks have been complying with various regulatory decisions. He stated that the banks have not delayed in their efforts to switch to electronic rendition of their accounts. Babajide said, in line with the regulatory directives, many banks have complied with the directive on the on-line submission of returns even before the June deadline fell due, adding that the sub-sector is not leaving any stone unturned in its desire to record success. He assured that the banks are gradually regaining confidence in their operations.

• From left: Managing Director/CEO, ValuCard Nigeria Plc Kyari Bukar; Director, Children Developmental Centre (CDC) Yinka Akindayomi and Special Project Officer, CDC Bisola Ayodele, during presentation of a cheque to CDC as part of ValuCard’s support for the centre.

Access, Intercontinental banks’ planned merger enters crucial stage practice, and the high level of commitment shown by the parties, financial analysts said. The management of Access Bank reiterated that under TIA, the parties are legally bound to ensure the completion of the proposed merger with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The bank said the progress is a milestone in the banking sector’s consolidation story which would also boost investor confidence. The bank said until the success of the exercise became visible, the banking sector was looking vulnerable. But the professionalism that the parties brought to the negotiation, though tedious and torturous has paid off. “For Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank, this milestone is a cause for celebration – not only for the stakeholders of both banks, but also for the wider banking market. It is the first of the recapitalisation deals to reach such an advanced stage

among the so called ‘intervened banks’,” the bank said in a statement. Analysts discribed the proposed merger as an important transaction that would lift the economy. They believe that though the transaction has been slow when compared with the “first round” of consolidation in 2005, they concede that times have changed. “The situation this time around is very different. The intervened banks cannot be rescued without significant reorganisation and the absolute support of a stronger merger partner. Should this support be poorly structured, and the troubled banks lost, significant capacity would have been drained from the banking system at a critical moment in the growth of the economy,” one analyst said. Besides, the core investors were scrutinised by the regulators, competitors, current and potential investors, customers, staff and the public in general. Since the

Accountants decry public perception

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HE Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of Nigeria (CIMAN) has decried the way the society perceives them . According to its Director-General Dr Eddie Onwuchukwu, management accountants play important role in the development and growth of the society as honest people who look after money. He spoke at a public lecture to enlighten the public on the profession in Lagos.

Onwuchukwu said management accountants advise managers of the economic implications of their proposals and consequences of their decisions. He said the world is under the grasp of management accountants to ensure its security in the face of 21 st Century challenges, adding that: “We involve in the future – with what will happen so that correct decisions which depend on future event can Onwuchukwu said the view that

management accountants are conservatives and narrow-minded people needs to be collectively fought through a sustained and skillfully planning campaign of public education and enlightenment. He said what management wants is not the traditional kind of accountant but one who appreciates the manager’s problem rather than the shareholders and the auditors and knows the sort of information a manager needs to maximise his skill.

first announcement, the deal has been at the forefront of public discuss, and it is, therefore, imperative for both banks, that the transaction is done based on rules governing the merger process. Access Bank Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede earlier said the merger plan is moving according to plans. He said he was impressed with the co-operation received from the staff and management of Intercontinental Bank. It is only through such co-operation that the transaction continues to gain momentum and move towards a successful resolution for the benefit of all parties. He said both institutions have been painstaking in the exercise, and have engaged world-class advisers to make it a success. The management of Intercontinental bank led by Mahmoud Alabi has also taken all necessary steps to

ensure that the bank complies with all regulatory requirements and adheres to international best practises. Throughout the process, they have ensured that all stakeholders remain very engaged in the process. From shareholders, regulators, customers, staff to media and financial analyst community, both institutions have kept stakeholders involved all the way. “Besides, the apex bank has conducted itself as a committed and enthusiastic regulator whose only interest is the swift return of the banking sector to its once vibrant nature. But in implementing its agenda, the CBN has been understandably cautious and circumspect, insisting on best practice and regulatory compliance every step of the way,” the statement said.

Amaechi lauds Skye Bank

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HE Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has commended Skye Bank for funding infrastructure projects as well as assisting in transport and revenue generation in the state. The governor spoke in Port Harcourt while receiving the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, in his office. He said the partnership with the bank in key sectors of the state’s economy, has led to a major

facelift in infrastructure as well as appreciable increase in the average monthly generated revenue. In Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he also visited Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Durosinmi-Etti said the bank would continue to partner with the state. Amosun expressed his administration’s readiness to partner with the bank in urban and infrastructure development to deliver on his electoral promises to the people.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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MONEY

Industrialists seek easy access to N200b SME fund T

HE Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) is fashioning out ways for its members to access the N200 billion mapped out by the government for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). National President, NASSI Chuku Wachuku said since it was difficult for some members of the group without collateral to obtain loans, NASSI would guarantee the credits for them. But such members must meet the requirement set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for

By Collins Nweze small scale industrialists to secure loans. The group is equally working out a Mutual Credit Guarantee Scheme (MCGS) where borrowers guarantee one another in the credit accessing scheme. Wachuku told The Nation that NASSI has set up a six-man committee comprising three men from NASSI and three from NEXIM Bank to work out ways of accessing loans from the bank. He said his group would work out

critical minimum requirement for members to access loans from the banks. He said the problem of the real sector is policy implementation, insisting that whatever policies he set for his members to secure loans will be implemented. Wachuku, who was DirectorGeneral of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), said accessing loans is crucial for the survival of entrepreneurs and regretted that only one per cent credit goes to the SMEs. “I want to make sure the gov-

ernment understands that the engine of growth of any economy rests on SMEs. And it is my duty to initiate and tell people that the policy direction of NASSI is to make loans available to SMEs. I want to ensure that lack of collateral is addressed so that concessionary interest rate is given to small scale borrowers,” he said. According to Wachuku, what is lacking in SMEs is funding. He insisted that many of its members are now ready to boost the operations of their businesses. The government, he said, has

• Wachukwu

shown much commitment in growing the real sector which is the brain behind any prosperous nation.

328 Lagos pensioners receive N2.2b retirement bond

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• From left: Editor, Euromoney Clive Horwood; Group Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Arnold Ekpe and award host, Alexander Armstrong at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence.

NDIC seeks monitoring of MfBs

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HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NIDC) have called for proper monitoring of Microfinance Bank operators. They spoke during the induction for Microfinance Certified Bankers and Treasury Dealership Certificate holders in Lagos. NDIC Managing Director Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim said the distress witnessed in the industry would not occur again following the training and certification of microfinance bankers. Represented by a director in charge of finance at NDIC, Dr Ade Afolabi, Ibrahim said efforts were being made to monitor and assess the performance of microfinance operators to avoid crisis in the subsector. He said the agency conducted a survey showing majority of bankers do not know about deposit insurance, adding that there is the

By Akinola Ajibade need to incorporate ethics, and financial literacy in the industry to achieve growth. “There is no short-cut to building a virile banking industry than building skills. Only few banks have shown interest in skills development, while others are poaching. This has made them to recycle workers. Therefore, there is the need to invest in human capital. There must be training and retraining of workers in the industry to ensure value added service,” he said. He said the regulatory framework would be enhanced to put the microfinance operators on their toes. CBN’s Deputy Governor in Charge of Surveillance Services Dr Kingsley Moghalu said professionalism should be the watchword of operators of microfinance banks. Moghalu, represented by the Di-

rector, Microfinance Institution Department of CBN, Mr Olufemi Fabanwo, said CBN decided on certifying the managing directors of microfinance banks, when it conceptualised the ideas of such banks. “We look at the models from other countries before we came up with a policy on microfinance banks. We shortlisted 25 service providers in 2007 to provide microfinance training in the six regions. MFBs policy was introduced on the eve of banking consolidation. A lot of people who could not make the banking consolidation veered into microfinance banking. As a result, most of us are doing microfinance commercial banking. They are giving loans without collateral”, he said. Moghalu said the 319 certified microfinance bankers are not enough for the 816 microfinance banks operating in the country.

JPMorgan slashes commercial-mortgage bond sale

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PMORGAN Chase & Co. (JPM) has cut its 2011 forecast for sales of bonds tied to commercial mortgages by as much as $15 billion. The bank reduced its forecast to between $30 billion and $35 billion, the New York-based lender said in a July 22 report. It had projected in November as much as $45 billion in new offerings for this year. Securities tied to property loans

have declined as Europe’s fiscal crisis and a stalemate between United States lawmakers over raising the debt ceiling roil markets. Banks sold $3 billion in commercial-mortgage backed bonds last week at the highest yields this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It has gotten harder to make money in the new issue market,” according to JPMorgan analysts led

by Ed Reardon. Underwriters accumulate loans over several months to pool for sale as securities. A drop in values before the debt is sold means banks won’t receive as much cash as anticipated when the loans were made. Jumps in spreads may cause lenders to pull back as it’s difficult to protect against price swings, UBS AG analysts said in a July 21 report.

BOUT N2,198,568,804.94 retirement bond certificates have been given to 328 pensioners in Lagos State, Governor Babatunde Fashola has said. Presenting the cheques to beneficiaries at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja, Fashola said it was in fulfillment of the government’s commitment to the welfare of its workers. Fashola, represented by his deputy, Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire, explained that so far, the state had redeemed retirement bond worth over N3.5 billion to 649 retirees. He promised to pay an additional N1.6 billion to another 240 retirees in the next four weeks. He said the government discontinued the old method of Pay As You Go (PAYGO), because of the inherent bottlenecks hindering retirees from promptly accessing their retirement benefits. Fashola said to demonstrate commitment to the scheme, the government ensured that monthly contributions were made into employees’ retirement savings accounts. He said: “The funds are set aside religiously as a first line charge along with salaries, and paid into

By Miriam Ndikanwu the retirement bond redemption fund and a pension sinking fund account to ensure that 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, enjoined the pensioners to engage pension fund administrators in discussions that would enhance their investments for their benefit and those of their dependants. The Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Rotimi Hussain, said the government was the only one in Nigeria consistent with issuance of bond certificates in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004. Hussain explained that the ‘retirement bond,’ represents pension obligations made up of actuarially determined gratuity and pension benefits up to March 31, 2007, saying that provision has already been put in place by the state government to fund the liabilities.

FCMB gets ISO certification

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IRST City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc has achieved the International Organisation for Standardisation NIS ISO 9001:2008 certifications for its Quality Management System (QMS) and operating processes. The certification was awarded by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). FCMB’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Ladi Balogun said the certification is a

mark of its commitment to attaining world class standards in its activities. “It is also an important step in defining our customer experience and ensuring operational effectiveness. This lays a foundation for continuous improvement and we expect that over time these standards will impact positively on customer and employee satisfaction, our revenues and our costs,” he said.

CBN holds conference

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HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is searching for experts globally to educate operators on best practices. The search, which begun early this year, will climax with an international conference, tentatively billed to hold in Abuja next month. The conference will address issues such as corporate governance, lending mechanism and recapitalisation of finance companies, among others. President, Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (FHAN) Eddie Osaronkhoe said the conference would give birth to reforms in the sub-sector. According to him, experts

across the world will converge in Nigeria to introduce their own models, and further proffer lasting solutions to problems hindering the growth of finance companies. He said:” What is going to happen is that finance houses’ operators would learn about what is happening around the world, know other models of carrying out finance houses’ activities, and see how they can improve on their operations. With the conference, the foundation for reforms programme of the finance houses would be laid. I think things are looking forward for the players, based on the conference”.


CA TASTR OPHE CAT ASTROPHE Minister pledges security for corps members

AD VOCA CY ADV OCACY Aliyu seeks review of allocation formula Niger

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Kwara

WEDNESDAY JULY 27, 2011

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OKOTO State Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Muhammadu Arzika Tureta has said that the state government will continue to execute projects that will enhance the people’s welfare and develop the state. Muhammadu Tureta spoke in Sokoto at the launch of the Friends and Listeners of the Rima FM Station Association’s 2011 Calendar held at the Abdulrasheed Adisa Raji Special School for the Deaf and Handicapped in the state capital. He said the state government

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ASSURANCE Ilorin grapples with downpour FCT

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Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

Sokoto reiterates commitment to development From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

prioritises the development of the people, and will continue to meet their yearnings and aspirations. He added that the state government under the leadership of Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko wil do its utmost to raise the standards of education in the state. “We will not relent in transforming the system from the basis to the tertiary level,” the Commissioner said.

He spoke further: “Our policies and programmes are being followed religiously to ensure even spread of development across the state. “We will make sure that development reaches every part of the state with emphasis on rural areas”. Also speaking, Commissioner for Youths and Social Welfare, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu noted that the media is a reliable instrument for development, pointing

out that all government policies and programmes are disseminated through the media. He said the media has helped a great deal in crusade against idleness among the youths, drug abuse and other social vices which militate against the overall development of the society. According to him, the unity, progress and stability of every society are attributable largely to the media. “The media shapes the society

especially the future of youths who are seen to be leaders of tomorrow,” Tureta said. He also said that the success of any government is the function of the media because it as a dependable tool for the sustenance of societal values and culture. Rima FM is popular in the state, a development that many attribute to the support of Governor Wamakko. The station is said to compete with any other in the country.

Relief comes for violence victims S

CORES of families traumatised by the violence that swept through parts of the North in the aftermath of the presidential elections have got some relief. Apart from lost lives, many homes were shattered, leaving their occupants in need. But help has come for those in Kafanchan in the southern part of Kaduna State. The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in partnership with TearFund, a UKbased non-governmental organisation (NGO) has distributed relief materials worth millions of naira to them. The victims got cash. They also got beddings, bags of rice, beverages and toiletries, among others. The violence that erupted in April has continued to elicit condemnation. Addressing the victims in Kafanchan, ECWA General Secretary Rev. Samuel Waje Kunhiyop advised the people to live in peace with one another irrespective of religious, cultural and political differences. God created all humans to live together, he said, adding that Nigerians will do well to live within the plan of the Creator. The ECWA scribe recalled that during his youthful days Christian and Muslim youths celebrated religious festivals together. He wondered what has gone wrong, and called on parents to always caution their children against acts that could undermine peace in their community. The cleric explained that ECWA identifies with the victims of the violence, though he added that no amount of relief can replace the lives lost or property destroyed in the violence. Kunhiyop urged the people to forgive one another rather than resort to vengeance. “God created us all in His image and commanded us to love our neighbours, not to love only our tribal people,” he urged.

• A crisis victim (left) receives a pillow and mattress from ECWA representative in Kafanchan

ECWA, NGO donate cash, items in Kafanchan UK-based group urges peaceful coexistence From Yusuf Aminu, Jos

He advised that people should not contemplate vengeance as, according to him, vengeance belongs to God. Country Representative of

TearFund, Mr. Danladi Musa spoke in the same vein, urging the people to learn to forgive one another and live in peace. On behalf of the Muslim community, Alhaji Ahmadu Sale

commended ECWA and TearFund for the donations and prayed for peaceful coexistence among the various communities in the country. On his part, spokesman of the Christian Community Rev. Canon

Danjuma Jacob of the First African Church Mission Kafanchan, described the gesture as remarkable because no other church has demonstrated such care for the victims of the violence. He acknowledged that as a pastor, he has learnt a great lesson from the gesture of ECWA and TearFund. •Continued on Page 26


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 2011

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Relief comes for violence victims •Continued from Page 26 On arrival at Kafanchan, the Relief team led by the ECWA General Secretary accompanied by the Country Representative of Tearfund, some executives of ECWA Kafanchan District Church Council and members of ECWA Emergency Relief Committee paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Jema’a, Alhaji Mohammed Isah Mohammed. Kafanchan is in the emirate. The ECWA scribe told the monarch that the team was in Kafanchan to identify with the people over the post-election violence. The General Secretary went down memory

lane, recalling the cordial relationship that had existed among the various communities in the country. He regretted that things have changed and the situation has become worrisome, and prayed that the community will not witness violence again. Responding, the Emir expressed gratitude to ECWA and TearFund for identifying with the people. The traditional ruler who could not hide his displeasure over the violence that engulfed the area, acknowledged that Muslims and Christians need one another , and should live in peace. He added that religion is a matter of choice.

When we got the support to partner with ECWA to support the victims of the post-election violence, our emphasis was that the support should not be restricted to Christians only even though Tearfund is a Christian organisation. We insisted that Muslims should be included because they were also affected

According to him, without peaceful co-existence Nigeria cannot develop. He called on religious leaders to always persuade their followers to live in peace with their neighbours. Prayers were later offered for peaceful coexistence in the Emirate and the country as a whole. At the end of the distribution exercise journalists sought the feelings of the ECWA General Secretary and the Country Representative of TearFund on the entire exercise. On his part, Kunhiyop said since God has put us together, we must live peacefully with one another, adding that destroying life and property does not augur well for the country. “Nobody gains from destruction,” he said. “All of us are losers. I therefore plead with all people regardless of their own faith and conviction to forgive one another. “I often quote Mahatma Ghandi who says an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. We have to forgive one another so that the future would be good for us”. The Country Representative of Tearfund, Mr. Danladi Musa expressed delight over the distribution exercise and described it as what Tearfund intended from the beginning. He said, “When we got the support to partner with ECWA to support the victims of the post-election violence, our emphasis was that the support should not be restricted to Christians only even though Tearfund is a Christian organisation. We insisted that Muslims should be included because they were also

•Kunhiyop affected.” Musa used the forum to call on victims to forgive one another. He also cautioned against retaliation, which he said is not helpful because it creates a ciycle of violence. “Forgiveness must start from somewhere,” he said. “I urge that as Christians, we should start the aspect of forgiveness and then see how we can reconcile with one another and live at peace.”

Community honours Obi, others

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T started with the display of different musicians led by Prince Morroco Maduka, Chairman of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Anambra State Chapter. Maduka’s gripping gesticulation, pulsating gyration and silky voice kept the guests on their toes including the number one citizen of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi. The occasion was the spectacular reception given to Obi, the national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh and Chief Godson Ezenagu, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development by the Mgbakwu Community in Awka South Local Government Area. The grand reception was preceded by the conferment of chieftaincy titles on Obi and Sir Victor Umeh by not only the community, but by the entire traditional rulers in Awka North and South led by the Awka monarch, Obi Gibson Nwosu. Ezenagu was also honoured with a chieftaincy title. At the civic reception, it was discovered that the last time such a thing was done in the area was in 1992 when Senator Ebenezer Ikeyina was honoured. The community said Ezenagu has not only remained focused on his assignment but has also acquitted himself well in the spirit and philosophy of the Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS), the developmental model adopted by Governor Obi. The chairman, Awka North Traditional Ruler’s Council, Igwe B. O. Nweke “We hereby unanimously acknowledge him as a good ambassador of Awka North and certify him deserving of all the accolades that we can muster; we therefore warmly congratulate him and enjoin him to remain steadfast in the service of our dear state.” Obi was conferred with Chieftaincy title of (Ebekuo Dike) of Awka North while Sir Victor Umeh was given the title of (Ogbatulu Enyi). The titles according to the traditional rulers of Awka North in Council were in appreciation of Obi’s good work in the area and Umeh’s popularity and success in the last general elections in the state. For Ezenagu, who the people said had been in the forefront of developmental projects in the entire area, he was conferred with traditional title of (Ebube Awka North). The exercise was done by 10 traditional rulers from the communities in Awka North with a helping hand from the state vice chairman of traditional rulers council and the monarch of Awka kingdom, Eze-Uzu, Obi

• From left: Umeh, Ezenagu, Obi and Chinwe Nwebili, Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly at the event From Nwanosike Onu, Akwa

Gibson Nwosu. Before the awards of honour, the people of the area in a joint address had reeled out myriads of problems confronting the 10 communities in the local government area, despite what he had done in the zone. These include that “there is no single accessible road in Awka North as we speak – the people of Awba-Ofemili, Ugbene, Ugbenu, Ebenebe cannot come to Awka not to talk of reaching Achalla, the Headquarters of our Local Government Area.” “This is because as you are aware, the road from Amansea to Awba-Ofemili which you flagged off on 1st May, 2007 – over four years ago - has not progressed beyond 3km out of

the 32km – total distance, while the construction of the Ezu-bridge on the same raod has been progressing slowly.” “We hope to laugh last and best.” “The road from Mgbakwu to Ebenebe which you used when you visited during the last political campaigns is impassable now. Also, the road from Isu-Aniocha to Achalla is so deplorable that only motor-cycles and bicycles can ply it.” “Is it not surprising that our people from the nine communities of the Local Government Area will have to pass through the five local Government Areas of Awka South, Njikoka, Dunukofia, Oyi and Anambra East before getting to their Headquarters for a journey that would have taken a few minutes?”

The community said Ezenagu has not only remained focused on his assignment but has also acquitted himself well in the spirit and philosophy of the Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS), the developmental model adopted by Governor Obi

“In this 21st Century, the three communities of Urum, Amanuke and Awba-Ofemili have never enjoyed electricity for the first time. The government of Anambra State according to documents in circulation has distributed over three hundred transformers yet no attempt has been made or is being made to connect these communities to the National grid by any means whatsoever.” “Awka North is the only local government without an indigene in the hierarchy of the state civil service – no Permanent Secretary, no Director, etc. with the result that when a vacancy occurs in the low cadre of the service, our people get nothing because the recruitment is done at the level of the Ministry. Yet we have highly qualified indigenes who are ready to work in the Civil Service,” they said. However, the people did not forget the inroads the Obi administration has equally made in the zone which include the relocation of the Anambra State College of Agriculture from Igbariam to Mgbakwu and the various developmental activities taking place in the institution which led to the visitation of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). Again, the sitting of the National Youth Service Centre at Agba-ukwu, the sitting of the National Agro-Industrial Centre at Mgbakwu, the Construction of the Obibia bridge which is nearing completion and the various completed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects in the schools and Health Centres in Awka North among others.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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NIGERIA Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Ikeja recently conferred its Fellowship Award on the member of House of Representatives,Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa at a ceremony. EMMANUEL OLADESU was there. She stepped into the hall, radiating the joy of achievement and pride of fulfillment. Students, many of who were still in junior secondary schools when she made name as a presenter on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), swarmed her. Scores brought out cameras and phones to snap her picture. Their teachers, who share the same passion for journalism with her, also paid their respect to the broadcaster-turned politician. It was fun at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos. For the House of Representatives member, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who received the institute’s fellowship award, it was another historic moment. For the staff and students who savoured the lecture on the workability of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act delivered by the lawmaker, the event was impactful. The legislator from Ikorodu Constituency was decked in a blue academic gowns, which rekindled the fondness memory of her undergraduate days at the celebrated Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife and her post-graduate days at the cosmopolitan University of Lagos, Akoka, where she bagged a masters degree in Mass Communication. However, the main insignia of the award was a beautiful plague. As the symbol was presented to Dabiri, amid cheers from students, her name was instantly imprinted on the ‘Fellows’ Register’, which is a reference point for ever. The citation preceded the conferment. Every sentence was greeted with a wild applause by the enlightened audience. The profile revealed her noble background, power of industry and virtue of discipline. Born into a home of culture and etiquette, her parents, Papa and Mama Asafa Erogbogbo, are a household name in Ikorodu and Ikododu Division of Lagos State. She attended elite private schools before proceeding to study English at OAU. She observed her mandatory national service in Benin City; working with the News Agency of Nigeria. After graduation, she worked with NTA for about 14 years before entering politics. She achieved fame as the anchor of the popular television programme, ‘Newsline’, which she used to draw attention to millions of Nigerians suffering from the pains of poverty and injustice. Since

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Honour for Dabiri-Erewa

•Dr Nkem (left), Hon. Dabiri-Erewa and Mr Omonijo at the event By Emmanual Oladesu

2003, she has been a member of the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly. In the House of Representatives, she is not a bench warmer. She is one of the most visible members in the 360-member House who avoided scandal like poison. She has chaired the Media and Publicity and Diaspora Committees. But her most outstanding feat is the passage of the FOI Bill, which she sponsored along with like minds. At the political home front, the legislators has not abandoned the ACN faithful and indeed, her constituents. Dabiri has articulated the problems of Lagos State on the floor. She stood against the third term project of the former President, which she described as political kleptomania. She has extended a duty of care to the poor, awarded scholarship to indigent students up to tertiary level, given out free GCE and JAMB forms, sponsored intensive coaching classes for WAEC/NECO candidates, sunk boreholes in interior communities, rehabilitated schools, facilitated transformers to Ikorodu and empowered women. The provost, who congratulated Dabiri for these achievements commended her for playing a politics of principle and wisdom.

When it was time to present the award to her, both staff and students rose up to give honour to whom honour was due. “I present the fellowship award to you in recognition of your contribution to the field of journalism”, said the institute’s provost, Dr Elizabeth Nkem, who was assisted by the registrar, Dotun Omonijo, during the decoration. The provost also pronounced Dabiri as the institute’s grand ambassador, adding that generations of students, would continue to perceive her as a mentor and role model that she is, in her capacity as a veteran journalist and politician held in high esteem by the society. Drawing a link between Dabiri’s public stature and profile and the school’s mission, the provost reiterated NIJ’s commitment to raising a new generation of dedicated and disciplined people, who would serve the country with diligence and patriotism. Dabiri was all smiles. Before taking the audience through the incisive lecture titled: “ FOI Act: Prospects and Challenges”, she told her story of success. It was an exposition on the dignity of labour, perseverance and commitment to the goals of life. Politically, she described herself as a risk taker, who left her paid employment when challenges on

the job were waning. But she hinged her eventual political success on the grace of God because, according to her, women have narrow chances in politics, unless they double their efforts. That commitment, she maintained, was not in short supply when she took the bull by the horn as a corps member in Benin. “I learned on the job and our boss took notice of my because of I made efforts to write stories as a learner. My stories came out in newspapers’ ascribed to NAN”, she recalled. At NTA, Dabiri recalled that she forged ahead with a bubbling passion. “I even pursued stories for eight years to end them”, she said, referring to the investigative story on miracle baby, which earned her accolades nationwide. Dabiri charged the students to initiate and cultivate values, especially hard work, integrity and disciple as members of a dignifying profession. To her these are preconditions for success. Then, she reflected on the health of the supposedly federal country. She urged progressives in the country to intensify the agitation for true federalism, stressing that the concentration of power at the centre in a plural society is injurious to the health of the nation-state. The lawmaker also flayed governors, who are reluctant to pay

She is one of the most visible members in the 360-member House who avoided scandal like poison. She has chaired the Media and Publicity and Diaspora Committees. But her most outstanding feat is the passage of the FOI Bill, which she sponsored along with like minds the N18,000 minimum pay to workers, although she agreed that the states are not receiving enough funds from the Federation Account. She called for concerted legislative and political efforts aimed at devolving power to the states and local governments in the spirit of federalism. Dabiri said: “We must practice true federalism. States should develop at their own pace. Apart from Lagos, no state bothers about internally generated revenue. They go to Abuja to collect money. Nigeria cannot make progress, if we cannot practice true federalism. That is the reality of our time”. The legislator urged Nigerians to utilise the opportunity provided by the FOI Act to scrutinise government activities and subject elected and appointed officials to accountability. She added: “FOI Act will change many things in Nigeria. It will deepen democracy, enhance accountability and foster good governance”. Dabiri said that is a criminal offence to hide information or reel out false information to the public under the new Act, warning journalists never to misuse the opportunity. She explained that the greatest merit of the Act is that citizens are empowered to challenge those in authorities over government spending. The legislator added: “Constituents have the right to vet the legislators, their salaries, attendance and regularity in the chambers, motions raised and bills sponsored”.

Suswam in second phase of urban renewal

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•One of the roads being rehabilitated

ENUE State Governor Gabriel suswam has swung into action with massive construction of Makurdi township roads. It is the second phase of his urban renewal programme. Hitherto neglected roads and streets are getting attention. Within one month of winning a second mandate following the election, work has been • completed on four major roads in Makurdi, the state capital. They are NKST Road, Abinse Street, Uke Wende Street and High Level Motor Park Road. Also, construction work is ongoing on Queen’s Avenue, New International Market and Queen’s Clinic Road. Hajiag Construction Nig. Ltd , a company that has carried out construction work on major roads across the 23 local government, is saddled with the responsibility of opening

up more streets in the state capital. The company is reckoned to have built good quality roads. For Governor Suswam , there is no looking back despite the election petition hanging on his neck . He is said to be determined to change the face

of Benue State with his urban renewal crusade. The Project Coordinator of the construction company, Steven Akange, an engineer, told Newsextra that the company has been fully mobilised. This may have accounted for its presence in various parts of the state.


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Aliyu seeks review of allocation formula

IGER State Governor, Mohammed Babangida Aliyu has said that the upward review of the revenue sharing formula in favour of 36 states and local governments will enable them to conveniently pay the N18, 000 minimum wages to civil servants across the country. Governor Aliyu, who spoke with journalists at the presidential wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Ikeja, said it would be difficult for the governors to pay the minimum approved minimum wages with the current revenue allocation formula to states, adding that unless the revenue sharing formula is reviewed in favour of the states to make more money accruable to them, it will be difficult for them to effect the

•Aliyu

Ahmed advises youths on development

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IGERIAN youths have been urged to promote good relationship among themselves and create a peer review irrespective of tribal or ethnic differences. This will ensure youth development. The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed gave the charge in Ilorin while receiving a delegation of the Niger State Youth Organisation that paid him a courtesy visit at Government House. Alhaji Ahmed, who expressed gratitude to the delegation for its love and affection, informed them that his administration recognised that youths in Nigeria have more critical roles to play in the development of the country. Nigeria, the governor said, has a population of 150 million people in which about half of the population were in the category of youths, pointing out that whatever plan government intends to put in place would definitely take the youth into cognizance in view of the critical roles they play in shaping the country. Governor Ahmed enjoined them to continue to be relevant, understanding and focused, describing his administration as “one that would take into cognizance the future of youths.”

Kwara Alhaji Ahmed, who was presented with a horse gift by the youth organisation, disclosed that his administration would continue to foster good relationship between Kwara and Niger states as well as other neighbouring states irrespective of ethnicity to achieve maximum peace and unity which the country is in dire need of. He described the horse gift as a symbol of peace and harmony and assured them that his government would support the organisation in making the youth to realise their full potential in life. Earlier, the President of the Niger State Youth Organisation, Mallam Abubakar Ndanusa said members of the organisation were in Government House to felicitate with the governor on his victory at the polls and subsequent inauguration. Ndanusa commended Governor Ahmed for initiating people-oriented programmes since he assumed duties and the rapport between youths in Kwara and Niger states, which he noted, would further strengthen the existing relationship between the two states.

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Niger by Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

payment effectively. He disclosed that many of the states had already started paying the minimum wages, saying it may be difficult for others to pay. “We governors have, for a long time, been asking for a review of the revenue allocation formula. Many states today won’t be able to do anything but with either revenue formula or with fund that we expect will come from deregulation, am sure all the states will be able to do that. “Under the present sharing formula, the centre gets approximately 52 per cent of the Federation Account, the 36 states share 26.72 per cent and the 774 local governments get 20.60 per cent. The Governors’ Forum proposes 35 per cent for the Federal Government, 42 per cent for the states and 23 per cent for the local governments,” he said.

• 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

Rotary plans de-worming exercise in Edo

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OTARY Club of Edo State has said that it would soon embark on ‘aggressive de-worming exercise of children in primary schools in the state.” It said the de-worming exercise would be part of its good health campaign programme. President of Rotary Club the state, Friday

Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Ehiorobo who stated this in a chat with journalists said the club will also be involved in medical campaigns against ailments like hypertension,

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By Emmanuel Oladesu

the occasion of the launch of her book: The King and I, as part of the celebrations. She said that Olori Muibat has stood behind her husband as a faithful wife and mother, urging women to emulate her virtues. Dabiri added: “Oba Oyefusi is an outstanding monarch who has, through his humility, steadfastness, commitment to worthy community agenda and passion for socio-economic development, worked concertedly with leading lights to attract infrastructural facilities and dividends of democracy to Ikorodu. “No doubt, the Kabiyesi and Olori have actively supported my political career and offered frank and constructive advice for which I am most grateful. My prayer is that the Almighty Allah will grant our royal father and mother many more years of diligent and fruitful service to our community, state and country.”

•Representative of the Commissioner for the Enivornment, Mrs Toyin Popoola, assisted by Chairman, Mosan-Okunola LCDA, Hon. Abiodun Mafe to plant a tree during the tree planting exercise at Abesan Estate, Ipaja, Lagos

diabetes mellitus, breast cancer, cervical cancer and prostrate cancer. Ehiorobo said Rotary also intends to intensify its campaign against polio eradication especially in some Northern states of Nigeria. He said: “The club intends to provide sanitation facilities, health, agricultural aids and micro-credit scheme for some communities in Edo State. “ The Rotary president further said that a Spelling Bee competition would be introduced for primary and secondary schools to enhance students’ spelling abilities.

• Members of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O-YES) packing the waste products at a refuse collection centre at Dada Estate, Osogbo, during the weekly Saturday environmental sanitation exercise in Osogbo, the state capital

BRIEFS

‘Ban polythene materials’ WORRIED by the rate of flood in the country especially that of the Lagos State which claimed lives, the Director General National Orientation Agency (NOA), Alhaji Idi Farouk has called for the ban of polythene materials. The fall in environmental standard is in part structural, but the problem at its core Farouk said is that of attitude failure. Speaking in Abuja at a news conference on the forthcoming campaign of the agency tagged: “operation rid Nigerian streets of the menace of polythene materials”, Farouk said if the drainages in Lagos coastal and other inland states which recently experienced flooding were devoid of blockages caused majorly by polythene bags and solid wastes, the resultant floods would have been mild and controllable. Due to its non-degradable nature, the NOA boss said polythene materials are hard to decompose adding that it takes over 500 years for a polythene material to decompose. He said polythene materials can act as breeding places for many of the diseases which: “sooner or later, cause an epidemic in the surrounding environment.

NEMA warns Southsouth on flooding AFTER the devastating effect of flooding in some parts of the country in the last few weeks, The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on governors of the Southern states of the country to take proactive measures against further occurrence of floods and thunderstorm. The Director-General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi who gave the warning at a special regional workshop on climate change in Asaba, Delta State said the state governments should initiate policies that could help in reducing the impacts of climate change and include disaster management in their various developmental programmes to minimise avoidable losses of lives and property. 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 Local Government Emergency Management Agencies (LEMCs). This is necessary to provide the suitable platform for dealing with disaster issues at the grassroots and to promote community resilience and spontaneous responses. “We must do everything possible at national, state and community levels to adapt and take proactive measures needed to ensure that individuals and communities are capable of dealing with the detrimental impacts of climate change.

HE Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has directed state councils of the labour movement to immediately commence negotiation on implementation of the N18, 000 national minimum wages with state governments. According to Head, Information and Public Relations, Chris Uyot, the negotiation is aimed at ensuring workers’ rights, especially as regards salaries. He added: “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 action 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, and 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 for more battle. The campaign to actualise full implementation of the national minimum wage is not yet over!” The statement which was entitled “Minimum Wage: A salute to Nigerians,” the congress commended workers and the Nigerian people for their resolute commitment, steadfastness and support for the three-day warning strike on the struggle to implement the national minimum wage. He recalled that the strike, which was to commence on Wednesday July 20, was suspended on Tuesday July 19, 2011, on the signing of agreement between the Labour Movement and the Federal as well as the state governments. This was after protracted days of strenuous and very taxing negotiations which resulted in much of the demands of the Labour Movement being met by the governments, NLC added. 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

Cleric launches books August 7

EV. Greg Ndukauba of Altar Bible Church, near Trans Amadi Gardens Estate, Port Harcourt will on August 7, 2011 present two books on how people could enjoy abundant divine blessings. Ndukauba, who spoke in Port Harcourt explained that the books entitled, Provoke Heaven Now and Making Bold Statements would complement the existing religious literatures, as they are aimed at encouraging obedience of people to the word of God as well as making them to understand their spiritual

Dabiri felicitates with monarch OUSE of Representatives member Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency has felicitated with the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Salau Oyefusi, Oguntade 11 and his wife, Olori Muibat, on the occasion of his 80th birthday and 40th coronation anniversaries. The legislator described the royal father as a great and benevolent leader, who is perceived as the personification of unity in Ikorodu and Ikorodu Division. Dabiri said Oba Oyefusi has endowed the exalted throne with much honour, credibility and visibility, stressing that he had avoided scandals and acts capable of tarnishing the image of royalty in the state. She said Ikorodu has witnessed a lot of developments in the last 40 years, noting that members of the political class had adorned the bar of power like colossus. Babiri also congratulated “the most glamorous Olori in the world,” Muibat, on

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Rivers From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

inheritance respectively. Provoke Heaven Now, he said, would provide answers to what it takes to get heaven’s attention, God’s favour and the possibilities of living a life full of God’s blessings in abundance, while the book, Making Bold Statements deals with how people would take full possession of God’s inheritance and to debunk the allusion that holiness is associated with poverty.

NCIS lauds govt over N50b agric fund

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HE National Cooperative Insurance Society (NCIS) has commended the Federal Government for the provision of N50b for the promotion of agricultural development to which cooperative societies are beneficiaries.0 This was contained in a communiqué released at the end of the programme marking the International Day of Cooperative Societies in Nasarawa State. The statement was jointly signed by the society’s president, Engr. Jibrin Bala Abuja and secretary, Ambassador Onwuka Okorie. The society also lauded the Federal

From Tayo Owolabi and Genevieve Ajewole, Abuja

Government for the provision of $500m for the growing of small businesses across the country, even as it added 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 N50b for the promotion of agricultural development in Nigeria which cooperative societies are supposed to be major beneficiaries. We also commend the Federal Government for the provision of $500m for the development of growing businesses to which cooperative societies are listed as beneficiaries.

Labour orders negotiation with states Abuja From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

with the Federal and state governments as well as implementation by the private sector. “We re-affirm 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

•Omar, President Nigeria Labour Congress salary structure will be concluded not later than July 31, 2011.

Journalist donates drugs to prison inmates

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HE national Vice-President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Southeast Zone C, Ambrose Nwachukwu, has donated drugs worth more than N300, 000 to the Umuahia Prisons. Nwachukwu, who handed the medical items over to the Deputy Controller of Prisons in charge of Umuahia Prisons, Uche Nwobi, promised that similar gestures would be extended to Aba and Arochukwu prisons as well as the Kirikiri Medium Prisons, Lagos. Nwachukwu said the gesture was in fulfilment of his pledge to channel part of the proceeds from the public presentation of the book to the welfare of the prisons. Nwachukwu said: “During the public presentation, I told the audience that part of the proceeds will be used in the promotion of welfare of the prison because of the experience of Governor Orji, and because he has not ceased to appeal to people to assist the prisons in any material consequential.” The experiences of the governor while in prison informed my decision that part of the proceeds of that book will be invested in the promotion of

Abia From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

welfare of the various prison inmates across the country. “But our handicap has been that the pledges are not forthcoming from those who made them during the book presentation. But I said that the little that has come in, let’s start fulfilling the commitment of our words no matter how little.” Deputy Majority Leader of the Abia State House of Assembly, Princewill Onyegbu, who accompanied the donor to the prison, remarked that by keeping to his promise, the author was challenging all those who made promises at the book launch to redeem their pledges to support his humanitarian efforts. Onyegbu, who was the chairman of the book presentation committee, said Nwachukwu staked his credibility when he made the promise, stressing that other public-spirited people should emulate him.

Council, CDAs to partner on tree planting

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HE chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area in Lagos State, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan has stated that his administration would partner with members of the community development associations to ensure that residents cultivate the habit of planting trees to enhance the environment. This, he said, was aimed at achieving the objective healthy living condition for the people. Mr Bamigbetan disclosed this during the activities marking the 2011 tree planting campaign exercise in Dauda Ilo Street. He further explained that the Department of Agriculture, Rural and Social Development of the council will distribute plants which have been purchased by the council to each of the 48 CDA’s to plant on their streets. Mr Bamigbetan, who stressed the importance of tree planting to include control of erosion and prevention of flood, said his administration will not only distribute the plants to the CDA’s but will also monitor them to ensure that the seedlings are planted and nurtured to growth. The chairman, who read the address of the governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) at the occasion, said he was

By Duro Babayemi

happy that efforts by government at urban forestry which commenced in 2008 have been widely accepted by the people of the state. He said: “When we started this advocacy for greening and tree planting, many who did not understand the great challenge that nature had in store for us, questioned the value of spending money in tree planting and preservation. But in those 34 months of tree regeneration, we have planted over three million trees in Lagos State.” The governor, through the council chairman, re-asserted that it is not lawful for anybody to cut down any tree without permission from the Ministry of the Environment. He added that while over the last few days the state has emerged from the devastating effects of an unprecedented rainfall that lasted not less than 16 hours, Lagosians should continue to heed the advice of experts which include tree planting and tree conservation. “Trees will help erosion-prone areas react better and I therefore recommend them to us and urge everyone to go out from today and plant a tree for life,” he concluded.

Vehicle owners warned Monitoring Unit/ X-squad Ikeja 1. Ford Explorer Jeep BW 147 EKY 2. BMW 3 Series JC 387 KJA 3. One Scrap Bmw 5 Series EM 934 AAA 4. Renault Saloon Car AA 314 BZR 5. Opel Cadet Car JU 981 KJA 6. Peugeot 505 Saloon Car AR 561 MUS 7. M/Ben Saloon Car PV 25 RSH 8. Honda Prelude Car DH 252 AAA 9. Honda Accord Car Without Reg No 10. Peugeot 304 Saloon Car CG 475 KJA 11. Nissan Sunny Lift Back

12. Datsun Laurel Saloon Car 13. Jencheng M/Cycle Ok 009 Lan 14. Lifan M/Cycle Ok885 JJJ Ajah Division 1. Golf Jd 497 KJA 2. Vanagon Bus XM 38 JJJ 3. Honda Accord MF 764 KJA 4. Toyota Corolla Unregistered 5. Chrysler MB 621 AAA 6. Nissan Cc 716 AKD 7. Toyota Corona – CV 716 AKD 8. Mazda 626 KH 92 KJA 9. Chereoke Jeep BJ 954 KJA 10. Christer Unregistered Trinity Division 1. Volkswagen Xl 113 JJJ 2. Scrap Hyundai S/Car Unregistered

•From right: Lagos State Head of Service, Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe cuts the tape to inaugurate Ejigbo LCDA staff canteen. With him are Council Manager, Babatunde Mesewaku, the council chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan (middle) and the council treasurer, Alhaja Oshikoya Taofeeqat (left)


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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Life

The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Text only: 08023058761

‘Arts should have special status’

– Page 31

Beyond dispute: Origins, travails of Ona – Pages 32 •Fela Anikulapo

‘I wept watching Fela on Broadway’ Controversies trail reading – Page 34

Fela’s album cover designer Ghariokwu Lemi talks on his working relationship with the late Afrobeat icon. • SEE PAGE 32


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

‘I wept watching Fela on Broadway’ Ghariokwu Lemi is a leading sleeve designer. He designed the album covers of the late Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s major hits, including the popular Zombie. He spoke with OZOLUA UHAKHEME, Assistant Editor (Arts) on Fela on Broadway, his working relationship with the late musician and his touring solo exhibition to Brazil.

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FROBEAT legend the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s sleeve cover designer and artist, Ghariokwu Lemi, is not a stranger to Fela’s musical career. He is an indelible link between Fela’s music and life even after death. Until he had a controversy over 1977’s Sorrow, Tears And Blood, Lemi had designed most of Fela’s major hits sleeve covers. Since 1974, when his working relationship started with the designing of Alagbon Close and continuing through Beasts Of No Nation (1989), Lemi was responsible for the visual interpretation of Fela’s music and message, which were very critical of every administration, especially the military. Ever since, his art remains an integral part of Afrobeat’s message across the globe. Today, Lemi is still Afrobeat’s most soughtafter sleeve designer. He designed 26 album sleeves for Fela over 19 years. Next month, Lemi will be participating in a one-month 10-city travelling art exhibition in Brazil. He will feature 45 exhibits comprising 25 prints of Fela’s sleeve covers and 15 original works. The exhibits include Opposite People, Alagbon Close, JJD, Monkey Banana, Fear Not For Man, Kalakuta Show, Confusion Break Bone, Stalemate, Open and Close and Overtake Don’t Overtake Overtake. Others are Zombie, Yellow Fever, Sorrow, Tears and Blood, Chop and Quench, Don’t Gag Me. He will also exhibit sleeve covers of albums by Tu Face, Eedris Abdulkareem, Yaaba Funk and Akoya. Also, between January 6 and February 2, 2012, Lemi will be participating in an exhibition tagged, Force Noire, in Paris, France. He will display 50 original works and 25 prints of Fela’s sleeve covers at the exhibition. Lemi, who uses his Afro pop art (painting of Afro icons, images and messages on plastic sheet) for socio-political commentaries on national issues dumped printing business to face his studio practice full time. In a chat with The Nation at his Ikorodu Road studio, Lagos, the sleeve designer did not mince words on the ever-increasing window of opportunities he is getting from his long years of working with the late Afrobeat legend, Fela. Many years after his death, Lemi still drinks from the relationship, which he describes as enduring. “That is the beauty of knowing who you are as a person. Find out who you are, and get in tune with your infinite God. When you are in tune, you get guardian. That was what happened to me. At a point in time while with Fela, I thought I was going crazy. But today, everything is coming to pass like I have been dreaming. I feel very happy to be alive right now. Sometimes, I look up and say, Fela where are you? Come and see what is happening. “You know, Fela and I had issues, but today I am still representing his music and message and I am doing it constructively because Fela is a big brand. And sometime, I will say Fela, you will know who your true friendare now,” he said. He, however, disclosed that Fela never instructed him on what to illustrate on the album sleeve covers. In 2007, he exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos as part of events for the opening of the centre to the public. On his specific role in the production of Fela On Broadway in the US and London, Lemi recalled that he was contacted by the organisers some six years ago, but he only handled the designing of the official Fela Bus that was

used to convey the cast and crew during the performance. “They wanted me to brand the bus with the characters for the Broadway film. But I told them to give me free hand to present my visuals for the production, which they approved. So, I used Fela’s picture as well as his mother’s laced with those old yabis at the shrine as messages. In fact, I did the visuals to capture the kind of bus Fela would love to board in Lagos. For three weeks, I was camped at a studio in Connecticut, US where I executed the work,” he said. Last April, the original cast and crew of Fela’s life and music, Fela In Lagos, bankrolled by Jay Z and produced by Jada Smith was on stage at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos for six days. He described the production of Fela On Broadway as the greatest honour ever done to the musical icon. He recalled that he cried the first time he watched Fela On Broadway in the US in January 2010. “I am happy Fela has become a global product and brand. In fact, I watched the production 15 times in US, and eight times in London. If I have the time, I will watch it again and again,” Lemi noted expressing satisfaction with the level of production of the play both in the US and Lagos. Reason for his cries: “I asked myself so this man could be recognised now after all the humiliation and rejection? I am happy to be alive and witness the making of Fela as a global brand. Again, the writer of the story did a fantastic work, because I don’t think a Nigerian could have done better. Do you know why? Our biases will not let us do it well. The writer wrote it so well that I was impressed. Even the lyrics were done by nonNigerians and perfectly done. My prayer is for the play to go round the world and by that, it will put Nigeria on better light.” Asked what he is not comfortable with in the performance, he said: “Let’s be realistic, there is no perfection in any work of art. To embark on a fault-finding mission in the production is unnecessary. The ideal thing is for us Nigerians to undertake another production because we can do as many Fela In Broadway as we want. Remember, Fela’s life was very complex, so no man can mirror everything in a single production.” He hinted that Prof. Vivien Goldman of the New York University has introduced the study of Fela as part of the curriculum at Tisch School of Art, New York University, US in next year’s academic programme. Prof. Goldman is working on Lemi’s biography focusing on Afro Beat Art as seen by him. Already, many of the chapters of the book are undergoing proofreading while the foreword will be written by Beyonce or Jay Z. Prof. Goldman, who is the author of The Book of Exodus, the making and meaning of Bob Marley and The Wailer’s album of the century, The Black Chord, had wished to teach Fela in a Nigerian university. Lemi, who is also referred to as the inventor of Lagos Afro Pop Art was born in Lagos in 1955. He had no formal training, but his mother was artistic, as she used to weave and trace drawings, and his sister also used to draw, but never took it seriously. Lemi said he used to paint Mickey and other cartoons when he was a kid and this shows in his style - a cross between illustration and cartoon, his album jackets displaying a diverse narrative pattern which actually tell the story about the social issues the lyrics of the songs approach. Lemi designed 26 album

•Cosmic maestro by Ghariokwu Lemi

•Lemi

sleeves for Fela over 19 years. In 1974, he became friends with Fela through an acquaintanceship with the journalist Babatunde Harrison, who had seen a drawing of Lemi’s in a bar they both used to go to. He asked Lemi to do a portrait of Fela and then gave it to him. The musician was impressed and tried to give Lemi money for it, but he refused and instead got a pass for all of Fela’s shows. This was the year of the naming of Kalakuta Republic, so Lemi started frequenting the place and assimilating the ideology, already having a PanAfricanist mind frame: ‘I spent my life at the Shrine. I worked alone. I did my drawings there,” said Lemi. He was the YAP (Young African Pioneers)

news editor, designing two cartoons a week (one colour, one black & white) depicting and criticising what happened over the week, as the organisation also used to make ‘subversive’ posters which were banned in 1977.


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•Onobrakpeya

•Mrs Mbanefo-Obiago

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

•Tee Mac

‘Arts should have special status ’ Mrs Sandra Mbanefo-Obiago is pursuing something new. The founder/director of Communicating for Change (CFC) is seeking a turnaround in the creative industry. She wants the Nigerian artist(e) and creativity to be given pride of place as the nation’s major employer of labour. CFC, a media advocacy nongovernmental organisation, launched Red Hot! Nigerian Creativity to celebrate the industry’s talents and potentials. In this interview with EVELYN OSAGIE, she speaks of her passion and more.

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OW long have you been into advocacy? CFC was founded in 1998 and was formally registered in 1999. Since our very first film project, a documentary which focused on stopping human rights abuses of widows in Nigeria, we have been advocating for positive change in society. Since your films are usually advocacy films. What is the Redhot film addressing? Red Hot! Nigerian Creativity is an expose of Nigeria’s finest creative talent, showcasing the depth and breadth of our creativity – from visual artists such as Bruce Onobrakpeya, Uchay Joel Chima, Peju Alatise, Kainebi Osahenye, Nnenna Okore & TY Bello, to music talent Cobehams, Tee Mac and Ara, to performing artists SPAN, Julius Agwu, Crown Troupe of Africa, and Oriki praise singing by Idowu Motunrayo, to Nollywood talent, Teco Benson, Stephanie Okereke, Izu Ojukwu and Tunde Kelani. The film projects these artists as creative ambassadors, representing the amazing and vast talent pool we have in the country. But besides the beauty and entertainment value of art, music, theatre, song, and dance – the film is raising awareness about the economic importance of this industry. The film exposes the struggles and tribulations that artists go through to make it in Nigeria – we showcased those who are already famous, and those who are on the rise, and challenge our audience, especially government and corporate leaders to invest in this sector’s long term development. Arts should have a special status, like agriculture, in the nation’s development plan – the creative industry is the very best and most natural ‘re-branding tool’ that Nigeria has. Just look at the outstanding global success of the Broadway musical Fela – which has taken the world by storm. If the proper support and investment were given to Nigeria’s creative talent, we can do much better than foreign talent ‘cashing in’ on one of Nigeria’s best ‘brand ambassadors’. We have the singers, the dancers, the technical crew, and the amazing new and ‘ancient’ talent to pull off even better shows – what is lacking is long term, sustained investment in the sector. This is what the film is about. What’s the inspiration behind it? That’s very easy. Art has always been a very important part of my life. The people we showcased have been like family members of ‘our world’ since CFC begun. You can’t create a film without thinking about music, without thinking about acting, fashion, style and photography. You can’t produce a movie without amazing film directors, directors of photography, editors, and sound experts. CFC’s films have been aired in 40 countries across the world and all over Nigeria, because of the great technical standards and content of our films. I often watch art shows on Al Jazeera and

EuroNews, and ask myself, why are we not showcasing our exhibitions, our dance performances, or our musical shows for the world to see? These global broadcasters firstly don’t know how rich our creative scene is, and they also don’t have the content to put on the air, so this film series will hopefully put Nigerian art on the global map, and bring an international audience to appreciate our talent. Yes, some of our musicians have made it into the global main stream, and through our art auctions, interest in Nigerian art is growing, but there is so much more to reveal and celebrate! Abu Dhabi has had a focused, well resourced, and clear art strategy to become a global centre of art and culture and a repository of global art. The government and private sector have worked at it for years. And today, they indeed, have become one of the best art destinations in the world with the best exhibition space, tourism and hospitality and infrastructure supporting creativity. Which translates to jobs for the people! Growth and prosperity! As Nigeria tries to move away from almost a 100 per cent reliance on oil income, the entertainment industry becomes one of the best options to grow our economy – after all, according to recent statistics presented by The Economist magazine, “the $800m-a-year film industry is the second-most-prolific in the world and Nigeria’s second –biggest employer, after the government.” But this is mostly supported by personal finance. The film is saying – we simply must do more, if Nigeria is to live up to its name as the ‘Giant of Africa’. Who are the target audience? The film will be shown on Nigerian television to a general viewing audience, and will also be distributed on satellite TV and internationally. The audience is anyone from

‘The creative industry is the very best and most natural ‘re-branding tool’ that Nigeria has. Just look at the outstanding global success of the Broadway musical Fela – which has taken the world by storm. If the proper support and investment were given to Nigeria’s creative talent, we can do much better than foreign talent ‘cashing in’ on one of Nigeria’s best ‘brand ambassadors’

five years to 99 years, who loves listening to great music or seeing a dance performance, watching a great comedy act, or seeing how amazing art is produced! Is it a series? Yes. It is a five part documentary series on Nigerian creativity, Red Hot! Nigerian Creativity, featuring 17 visual and performing artists, musicians and film makers. We received funding from the Ford Foundation to produce the first five programmes, with support from Diamond Bank, Onward Paper Mill Plc, ARRA Wines and Cactus Restaurant. We are hoping to raise more funds to produce more segments which will feature the rising stars in fashion, architecture and design, the literary scene etc. What are you hoping to achieve with it? We are hoping to attract extensive long term support and investment from the government and the private sector into the creative industries. We want to inspire our philanthropists to invest in art centers such as the American Kennedy Centre or Guggenheim Museum or the French Pompidou Centre. As an aside – did you know that every French president has to invest in a new museum project during their tenure? Isn’t that amazing? President Sarkozy is investing in a history museum. The Pyramid in the middle of the famous Louvre museum was the project of President Francois Mitterand, while President Jacques Chirac invested in a museum of Tribal Art showcasing ancient works from Africa, Asia and Australasia. No wonder Paris has become one of the world’s symbols of culture, art and creativity! And who eventually benefits from those museums? Is it not all the ancillary industries, from tourism, to hospitality, to transportation etc? It means jobs! That is what we mean by long term structured investment. It is not just giving artists payment for a performance. It is looking at how to use Nigerian creativity as a magnet for foreign investment in the country. How long did it take you to package the film? Two years and we’re not finished yet What were some of the challenges encountered? The biggest challenge was getting enough funding to do the films. At some point, we had to “park the project” because we did not have enough money to pay the crew…but thank God, our sponsors came through because they understood our vision. The other big challenge was who to choose from Nigeria’s vast talent pool. It was very difficult and we had a lot of discussions on who to showcase. We used a number of what I like to call ‘cross over artists’ who express themselves through numerous art forms, such as TY Bello, who is a photographer, a singer-songwriter, and a filmmaker, or Peju Alatise, who paints, sculpts, designs, writes, creates jewellery, and also produces furniture.


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Beyond dispute: Origins, travails of Ona Twenty five years after it was founded, Ona Art Movement continues to attract controversies on who forms and manages the movement. In this report, USbased art historian, DR. MOYO OKEDIJI, one of the trios that nurtured the movement from conception, speaks on many issues bordering on the true founder and managers of the movement.

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RETENDERS to the crown of Pontifex Maximus of African poetics must learn to mind the thorns,” was Wole Soyinka’s incisive warning to The Troika in his canonical essay, “NeoTarzanism: The Poetics of Pseudo-Tradition.” On July 9 2011, under the title of The Return of Our Mother, Tola Wewe and I opened an exhibition of paintings and terracotta panels at the City Center in Lagos. The exhibition celebrated the triumphal return of Wewe’s mother from captivity, following her abduction in 2010 by unknown kidnappers. The other reason for the exhibition was to keep alive the waning flame of the Ona Movement. Attracted by the news of our show, the cream of the Lagos art world graced the event. Curators, artists, collectors, and connoisseurs present at the opening included Nike Okundaye, Yemisi Shyllon, Rasheed Gbadamosi, Chinwe Uwatse, Olu Amoda, and Craig Fashoro, who flew in from Houston, in Texas, United States. As supporters and prospective members of the Ona Movement originating from Ile Ife, a busload of professors and students of the Obafemi Awolowo University also drove in, adding cadence and texture to a cultural ceremony that became increasingly colorful as the proceeding of the evening unfolded. Janine Sytsma, hired by Azu Nwagbogu of the African Artists’ Foundation, to curate the exhibition, remarked that she had never witnessed a comparable show in which the press was so large that it became difficult to stop the interviews of the artists, in order to formally open the exhibition on time. Perhaps the most recurrent question that the press asked me concerned the origin of the Ona Movement. From what I was able to garner during my discussion with the press, there is a critical distortion of facts and gross manipulation of recent history concerning the origin of Ona. A young reporter drew my attention to the book titled Nigerian Artistry, recently published by one of the most famous writers on the subject of Nigerian art, Pat Oyelola. Inter alia, Oyelola wrote, “On the western side of the Niger, the Ona Movement crystallized at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, in 1989, having been initiated by Kunle Filani and Tola Wewe …. Moyo Okediji a member of the Ona Movement, has experimented successfully with earth colours, ultimate symbol of the locus of the Yoruba artist.” (p.281). Upon encountering this distortion and manipulation of history, my initial reaction was to keep quiet and allow time to settle the facts. But I have also considered the views of those who insist that history cannot write itself without the pens of illumination, the eyes of witnesses, and the visions of central characters. Whether the distortion of the origin of the Ona Movement is willful or the manipulation malignant is difficult to discern, and well beyond the purview of this review. As the key player in the formation and management of this art movement, I have listened to the plea of many people, including those in general academia, the Nigerian art world, and all other parties, particularly students of art history, who are eager to hear the story of the origin of this contemporary art school in Nigeria. I am therefore reconsidering the opinion of those who plead that it is my responsibility to academia and scholarship to present the facts surrounding the origin of this movement, in the art historical context within which it emerged in the eighties. This response will therefore open with a candid review of the stories that are currently served as staple menu in Nigeria art circles and schools today by those who were not conversant with the origin of the Ona Movement, and probably received their information from mis-

interpretations and misrepresentations. Perhaps the article that has misled most writers emanates from The Guardian newspaper. In this account of the origin of the Ona Movement, Mufu Onifade, wrote in 2007 under the title, Kunle Filani: Between Practice, Theory and Administration.” Another version of the article appeared as a review of The Return of Our Mother in NEXT, a news journal, on Sunday April 24 2011. As the central anchor of these articles, Onifade queries some facts in A History of Art in Africa, written by Monica Visona, Michael Harris, and Robin Poynor, with additional contributions by Rowland Abiodun of Amherst College and Suzanne Blier of Harvard University. The impressive canon of scholars behind the production of this book should have served as a crucial hint to Mr. Onifade that the academic team probably did a tireless volume of rigorous research, in the tradition of international scholarship, before the seasoned intellectuals began to pound their keyboards. Onifade, a product of the Ife school, however assumed that the accounts in the celebrated book were shoddy, and the claims of the distinguished scholars bereft of requisite rigorous peer reviewing, as might occur with the selfpublications quite rampant in Nigerian art scholarship. Without asking the founding members of the Ona Movement any questions, Onifade concluded that Visona et al did not know what they were talking about. I will summarize Onifade’s review here. He sought to settle, once and for all, what he considered the controversy surrounding the origin of the Ona Movement. He was disconcerted that Visona’s book, clearly the most important textbook in African art, contained a wrong account about Ona’s origin, despite its voluminous tome and unparalleled international success.Th The The chapter of the book that discusses the origin of Ona was researched and written by Robin Poynor. According to Onifade, “western scholars who found the philosophy of the (Ona) group unique and fascinating soon began a journey into misrepresentation of history when the group’s establishment was erroneously credited to Moyo Okediji. One of such scholars was Robin Poynor who, in a book, A History of Art in Africa edited by M. B. Vasona [sic] et al, erroneously reports that, ‘The founder of the group is Moyosore Okediji (born 1956), then a professor of art at Obefemi Awolowo University‘. Two errors of history emanated from Poynor’s scholarly blunder: at the time, Okediji was not a professor of art. Secondly, he did not found the Ona Group….It is common knowledge that the idea of the Ona Group was mooted by Filani in 1987 when he was still a teacher at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo. Not only that, he was mandated to develop the concept of the group long before it became a Movement. Subsequently, many meetings were held especially in Tola Wewe’s house with other friends as Ope Arije, Bankole Ojo and Segun Ademilua [sic] during the formative years before the idea was eventually broached to Moyo Okediji who was then working as editor on a journal, Curio Africana [sic].” At this point, Onifade quotes Filani as saying, “But we still have to credit Moyo for disposing himself to the idea and pursuing it rigorously.” My immediate reaction was to dismiss Onifade as a young man eager to make a name through cheap journalism and unmitigated fawning. Onifade’s essay is a dismal example of bad journalism, exemplifying sheer ignorance of Nigerian art history, and total lack of familiarity with the American cultural parlance. Given his status as a regular writer of art reviews in Nigerian newspapers, Onifade’s ignorance of Nigerian art history is culpable; but while it is not compulsory for him to understand American culture, without this requisite

•One of the works exhibited in The Return of our Mother

‘First, he is wrong that I was not the founder of the Ona Movement. Second, he is not familiar with the context of the use of language in the United States, in which ALL university teachers are described as professors. In other words, although I was a mere Senior Lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University when I founded Ona in the mid-eighties, I was, technically speaking, a “college professor,” from the American perspective and usage of that phrase’ •Okediji

background, he lacks the tool to review and critique American intellectual and cultural productions. First, he is wrong that I was not the founder of the Ona Movement. Second, he is not familiar with the context of the use of language in the United States, in which ALL university teachers are described as professors. In other words, although I was a mere Senior Lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University when I founded Ona in the mid eighties, I was, technically speaking, a “college professor,” from the American perspective and usage of that phrase. Poynor therefore describes me as a college professor in the eighties, not because he does not understand that I was only a Senior Lecturer at that time, but because he is writing as an American scholar. I did not know Onifade, neither had I heard of him, though I encountered his essay online while enjoying random internet browsing on a totally different subject. I had never read anything else that he wrote, nor did I comprehend his stake in the contemporary art in Nigeria. When I emigrated to the United States in 1992, I had never met this young man. He was not my student when I taught at the university in Ile Ife, from 1978 to 1992. I later discovered more about Onifade from Janine Sytsma a doctoral

student from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who is in Nigeria conducting research on the Ona Movement. I understand that Onifade studied at Ife after I left the Obafemi Awolowo University. Because Sytsma has had the opportunity to interview many of the players associated with the Ona movement within and outside Nigeria, she is a witness to the shameful commitment of blatant dishonesty that certain scholars and artists perpetrate in their undeserved rush to fame. Sytsma, in her research trips, was surprised to encounter in Nigeria a curious story about the origin of the Ona Movement. It is a story conflictive with what is internationally acknowledged, though the story seems “common knowledge” in art schools in Nigeria. As a thorough researcher, she confronted me with questions because she was eager to “get at the bottom” of the story. But, just out of curiosity, I also asked her questions concerning the status of the “other” story that is avidly shared in Nigeria about the origin of the Ona Movement. The alternative story emanates, I gathered, partly from writing by Filani, which is unavailable outside Nigeria, and the journalism of Onifade, who apparently is striving to fill a vacuum created by the lack of enthusiastic review of contemporary art in Nigeria. The more vigorous the Nigerian artistic production rises and soars, the less rigor-


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The Midweek Magazine

•The Return of our Mother by Wewe

•Filani

‘For the records: the Ona Movement did not start in 1987 as claimed by Onifade, or in 1989 as stated by Oyelola. It became a reality in 1986, when I began researching materials for Yoruba Images: Essays In Honour of Lamidi Fakeye ... The facts are surprisingly simple, although the full story had never been told until now: Lamidi Olonade Fakeye, the famous sculptor who recently passed on, was a colleague at the Obafemi Awolowo University, where I taught’

ous has become the art scholarship on the subject, a result of the “brain drain” that saw the departure of prominent art history scholars from Nigeria in the eighties and early nineties. This intellectual loss has opened the door to inept scholarship, shoddy writing, and trashy one-liners that now crowd bourgeoning journalistic entries on the art pages of the Nigerian news media. The intellectual loss has heralded the advent of Onifade as an emerging art reporter whose views are beginning to enjoy a modicum of familiarity by readers starved of in-depth analysis and intelligent reportage on Nigerian art. But, armed with a paucity of training in art history and a tremendous ram-like enthusiasm, Onifade has never been known to offer a reliable glow of illuminating views nor plausible information. In her critical essay titled, “In defense of creativity: professionalism in arts writing,” published in The Guardian, on October 20, 2009, Bisi Silva, the internationally recognized curator of the Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos, wrote the following about Onifade’s exhibition reviews: “While Onifade’s opinions … are acceptable and valid within his own subjectivity, the irritating aspect of any review is when writers use art historical vocabulary with a total disregard for, or any minimal attempt at, contextualization. Onifade’s text is replete with confusions and

sweeping generalisations. Besides, there is a plethora of inaccuracies.” But Onifade may be praised for his energy. He deserves better training in art history, connoisseurship, and criticism, however, if he must continue to critique the art of a nation of the magnitude and complexity of Nigeria. For example, no serious writer commits to paper “facts” that are not verified from all the participants in an event, activity, or story. Before writing his story about the origin of Ona, Onifade did not bother to crosscheck his information, by failing to interview Bolaji Campbell, Tunde Nasiru, Tola Wewe, or even me, the central players of the Ona Movement. He obtained all his information from Filani—a school administrator and minor player in the Ona group—who seemingly uses his recent writings and interviews to boost his peripheral status and modest talent as an artist. Onifade, falls victim to this unflattering strategy in his Guardian article on Filani, whom he profusely quotes. I discovered that Onifade’s view about Ona also feeds on Filani’s writing, which is unknown outside Nigeria. Unable to access reputable international publications because college libraries are poorly stocked, Nigerian students subsist on this local diet of shoddy writing, and it is from it that they derive their humble under-

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standing of contemporary art. Because the core of the Ona Movement left Nigeria for the United States in the nineties, Filani seized the opportunity to rewrite history by trying to reposition his status to that of a central figure in the Ona Movement. For the records: the Ona Movement did not start in 1987 as claimed by Onifade, or in 1989 as stated by Oyelola. It became a reality in 1986, when I began researching materials for Yoruba Images: Essays In Honour of Lamidi Fakeye. The facts are surprisingly simple, although the full story had never been told until now: Lamidi Olonade Fakeye, the famous sculptor who recently passed on, was a colleague at the Obafemi Awolowo University, where I taught. The idea to honor Fakeye with a symposium and publication came from Toyin Falola, a colleague teaching at the Department of History in the Obafemi Awolowo University at that time. The publication of Yoruba Images: Essays in Honor of Lamidi Fakeye, resulted from Falola’s prompting, as the founder and brain behind the Nigerian Humanities Societies, of which I was an inaugural member. When I approached Fakeye for an interview in 1986, and informed him of the role that Falola was playing in the making of the collection of essays, Fakeye lamented that the Ife art department lacked a body of rigorously committed scholars and artists to promote its flagging artistic image. It was at that moment that I decided to formally organize a movement of artists and scholars associated with the Ife art department. Because charity begins at home, in 1988 I invited Bolaji Campbell and Tunde Nasiru, who were my graduate students, to join me in forming the movement, and they accepted. I named the group Ona, borrowing from Fakeye’s middle name, Olonade (Ol-ona-de), which is a comprehensive term in Yoruba art criticism. It is a term that encompasses all forms of creative and artistic productions, including visual, literary, musical, and performance arts. I designed the logo of the group, anchored on an abstracted form of a kneeling “mother and child” figure, rendered in profile form. Largely because I was working with my graduate students in the establishment of this movement, I provided both leadership and all funding for its inauguration. I did not have any financial support from private or public organizations. All expenses were paid from my salary as a Senior Lecturer earning less than nine thousand naira a per annum. I was determined to not allow financial limitations to deter my ambition or dampen my resolution. With my two graduate students, I worked tirelessly and began to produce a journal named Kurio Africana, which I founded and edited. The journal was not christened Curio Africana as Onifade claims in his careless writing. I conscripted Victor Ekpuk—at that time a talented undergraduate and now a renowned artist living in the United States—to become our illustrator. But simply because he was not a graduate student, I did not invite him into the Ona group. Campbell, who succeeded me as editor, was the inaugural assistant editor. Because we resolved to be artists, scholars, and curators, we also began to mount a series of solo exhibitions, accompanied by catalogues containing critical analyses. I wrote all the texts in the catalogues, and the tombstone labels for the exhibitions. Campbell and Nasiru assisted in the production and execution of silkscreen designs for the covers of our publications and the publicity posters. The first of these exhibitions, titled Circlescopes, showcased my work. I wanted to provide a model and establish examples for my two graduate students—and pioneering Ona colleagues—to beat. In other words, Ona formally began with only three members: Campbell and Nasiru as inaugural members, and Okediji as founder and funder. Under my direction, we observed no protocol in terms of who was president, secretary, or otherwise. We were equal as artists, scholars, and curators, and these were sufficient labels for us. It is true that Wewe, Adejemilua, Solomon Irifere, Bankole Ojo, and Filani met twice in Wewe’s house to attempt to initiate an intellectual movement in 1987, which led to the insinuation of a movement tentatively christened Atunda. But it is not true that Filani called the meetings nor is it correct to claim that he “mooted” the idea. Wewe called the two meetings, hence his house as the venue. Filani, as a younger man, was not disposed to the leadership commitments that he now seems to ably handle—hence his on-going anxiety to rewrite and re-invent his past. But the Ondo meetings failed to produce fruition, because the dialoging artists lacked the funding and energy to push through their lofty aims. Neither did any of them approach me to realize their stalled ambitions, because they were aware of what I was already doing in Ile Ife, and all they wanted to

do what create a parallel idea in Ondo. Meanwhile, the news of our work as the trio of the Ife Ona Movement radiated internationally like a summer rainbow, not because we did anything outlandish or outstanding, but mostly because the art scene in Nigeria was facing a tragic depression. There were only a few notable artists active in Nigeria at that time. The north only had the Ahmadu Bello University, with Gani Odutokun as its solo voice. The southeast was a little better blessed with some vocal proponents of the Uli school, which produced Uche Okeke as its founder; Obiora Udechukwu as its northern star; and the incredible El Anatsui, then an emergent immigrant from Ghana, as its prodigy. There were a couple of lesser known artists and scholars, with Ola Oloidi, recently returned from Howard University armed with a Master’s degree in art history, as the Nsukka resident art historian. The southwest was far less endowed. The only visibility came from the Yaba College of Technology, led by Yusuf Grillo and Kolade Oshinowo. The Ife school was totally dormant after the departure of Rowand Abiodun and Babatunde Lawal in the early eighties. Before then, Uli Beier, the erstwhile director of the Institute of African Studies, had left Ife for Papua New Guinea, and the Ori Olokun school that he founded had all but faded into historic glory. As the first product of Ife to also teach there, I received the mantle of leadership that naturally fell on me. It is within this context that the Ona Movement emerged and marched forward, under my total and unquestioned command, although I did not fully understand where we were going. But I was young, energetic, and foolish. My sole challenge and desire was to rally anyone associated with the Ife school to become members of the Ona Movement. It was never conceived as an ethnic or tribal affiliation. I simply picked the term Ona because of its expansive ramification as an artistic terminology—and in honor of Fakeye who provoked me into action. It was easy to conscript Tola Wewe and Kunle Filani, who taught at the nearby Adeyemi College of Education. They were young and disgruntled artists who constantly lamented the peripheral status of Adeyemi, and the depressing atmosphere within which they taught in Ondo, a sleepy and uninspiring town in the eighties. Occasionally joined by Donatus Akatakpo, the two of them regularly visited me at Ife to drink beer and consume pepper soup at Iyawo’s Bar in the university’s famous “Bukateria.” I was known to smoke, and really did not drink—a situation that has now changed—but couldn’t resist Iyawo’s fish pepper soup, plus the opportunity to hang out with my former students, which Filani and Wewe were. (I began to teach at OAU in 1978, and Filani graduated in 1980, while Wewe completed his baccalaureate in 1983.) I therefore knew both of them very well, and was happy to fete them, joined by Campbell and Nasiru. It was during one of these sessions of inebriation in 1989 that Wewe and Filani accepted my invitation to join the Ona Movement. Before this time, activities organized by the Ona Movement were already in full swing. In 1987, I organized an art show at Ife, in which I displayed works by Rufus Orisayomi, Lamidi Fakeye, Ige Ibigbami, P.S.O. Aremu, J.R.O. Ojo, in addition to my paintings, as a way to recruit membership for Ona, but none of the participants seemed convinced enough to join me to form an art movement. In 1988, however, I turned to my acceding graduate students, and the movement started. We held solo exhibitions for artists including Tunde Nasiru, Bolaji Campbell, and me, in the central lounge of the University Building, at the Obafemi Awolowo University. That same year, we organized symposia and lectures in which intellectual and artistic giants of African art such as Solomon Wangboje, John Picton, Agbo Folarin, and Rowland Abiodun participated. But it was not until 1989 that we held a collective exhibition at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, featuring the works of the first three inaugural members, in addition to the paintings and drawings of Tola Wewe and Filani. In fact, it was Wewe who more or less dragged Filani into the exhibition, because Filani was mostly inclined to hang out with the rest of us, than to make art. Akatakpo, who would have been the sixth Ona member, did not participate, although he accepted my invitation to join the movement. The rest is history. But as soon as I left Nigeria for the United States in 1992, all the activities of the Ona Movement stopped, and did not resume until 2004, when I returned on a visit. During this visit, Tola Wewe and I organized an exhibition at the old Nimbus Gallery, curated by Chike Nwagbogu. Both of us have continued to keep the flame of the Ona Movement burning.


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Book lovers and writers gathered on Victoria Island, Lagos, for an evening of readings. They had more than they bargained for at the Life House as Jalaa Writers’ read. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

Controversies trail reading

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HEY were the hosts of the evening. Three writers, under the literary sensation Jalaa Writers’ Collective, hosted book lovers, fans and literary enthusiasts to an exciting time at the Life House, Lagos. It was a voyage into the works, minds, beliefs and more of the hosts - Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Jude Dibia and Odili Ujubuonu. Guests felt at home with its serene locale. They felt at home with the lit lanterns on tables outside. And inside, they found it relaxing seating on pouffe stools and pillows scattered in the small hall. It gave the reading the trappings of traditional village meetings. In short, the literary event also took the shape of a cultural summit. The audience interacted with the authors on diverse issues, including current environmental developments, traditional beliefs and their works. Each read from his works. Adimora-Ezeigbo took the audience into the impact of war as depicted in her novel Roses and Bullets, highlighting the conflicts the war generated in the lives of families. She read from pages on the experience of Ginika, a girl who got married during the war, in the hand of her mother-in-law. She explained: “Many girls got married during the war because there was nothing else to do. Also in a war situation libido is high at that time. I am reading an encounter between Ginika and her mother-in-law to show that even in a war situation when there is so much violence there can also be ordinary things happening other than surviving the war.” And so she read: “…Ginika was about to change into her night dress when her mother-in-law asked, ‘Are you pregnant?... Did you do what I advised you to do when I talked to you on this matter?...’ ‘I am not pregnant, mama,’ she answered…” Dibia presented to the audience into the world of Nduesoh in pages of his book, BlackBird that he read from. They saw at a glance certain psychological conflicts that the character passed through as a little girl. A very captivating scene was when Nduesoh discovers her long-lost baby doll with the words ‘UGLY Nduesoh’ written at the front and back of it. That left literary appetites wet. Again, Dibia is out with another controversial piece. On what the controversy is about, “buy and read my book and then you will find out,” he said. Just as in the BlackBird, controversies and conflicts seemed to be a major trait in Dibia’s novels – Walking with Shadows (2005) and Unbridled (2007). Ujubuonu’s reading was no less controversial. His was from a larger-than-life episode in his Pride of the Spider Clan where a boy kills a leopard and by the time he comes close to it, it turned out to be a human being – ‘their neighbour’. That episode sparked-off series of debates and questions on the stance of writers, Africans towards magical realism and their role in keeping the African tradition. And in most cases, Ujubuonu would answer questions with a traditional story – an anecdote. Abimbola Adelakun of The Punch newspaper related the story of a popular magician in Oyo town her mother told, asking if such still subsists and why it is not being explored. The magician, it was said, could turn into animals and turn his daughter into a big snake. And people would pay to see it. According to her, one day he wanted to change the girl from the snake sack to a human being and it didn’t work. He pleaded with the people that, there was someone there with evil powers, to release his daughter. But it got late and he had to take the girl to the river. Does that still exist and if it does why is it not common today,” she said. Molara Wood, Arts Editor, Next, said: “I am a magical realist. And I believe I come from a society that is so magically real. And a lot of things you hear about in traditional Yoruba society are things you can’t explain in normal modern times. It is a mystery and if you know the code it would no longer be a mystery.” The element of magical realism, the traditional Igbo ambiance evoked by Ujubuonu’s book and his depth in cultural tradition greatly impressed John Franklin, an African-American based in Nigeria. The question was also asked on the commercial viability of his book treating subjects that are termed ‘demonic’, devilish by other religious faiths. “My brother I am a son of the Kite (Egbe),” he answered. He gave an anecdote from Igbo folktales of how the Ugo (an Igbo word for Eagle) chased the Egbe and his family from the abode lent him by Egbe. He explained further: “I did not study English. I decided to write because I felt I was living in a period where we were losing a lot of things I saw as a child. And I needed to record them. So, the commercial success did not inspire me. I never thought of making money or being a great writer as a result of what I was writing. I did not even consider if I write this, would I be accepted. But you are correct because it was after writing this that I started facing the problem. I have been to several readings and workshops where people would ask me ‘has the subject you are writing on not been exhausted by Chinua Achebe and the rest. I remember in Ibadan a professor asked me what I was doing with pastoral literature. ‘You should do something topical and not this.’ And I told him as far as I am concerned this is topical because this is an endangered specie. And I am trying to retrieve it. Some people even say the problems we are having was because we had FESTAC. (Laughs). And that people from other parts of Africa brought other gods into Nigeria and dumped them here.” Writing should also reflect your religious affiliation and certain ideas that you stand for, it was said. Now that he is champi-

•Wood (middle) with other book lovers at the event

•From left: Dibia, Adimora-Ezeigbo and Ujubuonu.

oning the resuscitation of cultural elements that are ebbing off, where does he stand religiously, Ujubuonu was asked. “I am a conscript of the muse. I am Catholic and being Catholic I have a lot of issues. My father was one of those who brought Catholicism into my family and village. Suddenly we realised that when the white people and priests whom they trained left, our priests are now the ones destroying the shrine that our fathers never destroyed. They started seeing witches on tress. And so they started cutting down the tress that have lived long before they were born. And they also began to destroy our mmou (masquerades) cultures and every other aspect of our lives, including our environment,” he said. Franklin urged Ujubuonu and other African magical realist novelists saying: “As you are putting this into the consciousness of the people, I hope, even if you don’t embrace this as your religious orientation, that you recognise this is your cultural heritage as a Nigerian that should not be lost. “I personally think we need to rehabilitate our views on traditions because honestly the African is the only one who has this problem. The British were in India hundreds of years longer than they were in Nigeria. But when the Indians kicked them out they still remained very strong in their Hindu religion. America dropped an atomic bomb in Japan and basically colonised it for sometime but when Japan pushed they were ready to do it on there own now they still remained very strong in their Shinto religion. Even though the Japanese and the Indians embraced foreign religions such as Christianity and Islam they dare not say anything disrespectful about their native religion. They say ‘I have decided that Christianity is the context that I feel most

‘I have noticed that Nigerians, no matter their tribe, completely reject their native spiritual tradition. But what I don’t find so fine is this complete rejection and stigmatisation that is associated with anything that talks about forming a communion with the creator’

PHOTOS: EVELYN OSAGIE

comfortable forming a communion with my creator but I respect the ways of my people also.” In addition, he said: “I have been in your country for a couple of years now and I have noticed that Nigerians, no matter their tribe, completely reject their native spiritual tradition. You have this intensity for Christianity and Islam, which is okay. But what I don’t find so fine is this complete rejection and stigmatisation that is associated with anything that talks about forming a communion with the creator in the context of your own culture. “It is only in Africa that we somehow adopt these other traditions and throw our own away. I don’t know about you, but when a woman marries a man she is gonna join a new family but she is not going to throw her original family away. She would still honour her mother and father, although I expect her first allegiance to be to her new husband and family. I don’t think the African does a good job of that. We tend to think ‘Whoa! I love this western thing. It is so sexy; so new and senile’. And the African thing we are doing before is pagan, primitive and dirty. It was never good. Thank God for the Whiteman. That’s wrong and disrespectful. Some people even theorise that the reason Africa and Nigeria is catching such wahala is because we have turned our backs on our ancestors and in return they have turned their backs on us.” Jalaa Writers’ Collective is a publishing initiative consisting of nine Nigerian writers. Members are united by the common purpose of using their collective power to achieve individual writing goals, it was learnt.


7, 2011

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Lagos hosts EduHouse awards By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

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•From left: Mrs Olumide-Aluko, Mrs Zaccheaus and Mr Ward at the event

All for Pearls for my daughter A

BOOK: Pearls for my daughter has been presented at the Grange School, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos. It is the brainchild of Mrs Fadekemi Olumide Aluko, a lawyer turned educator whose teenage daughter, Wami inspired the writing of the book. The principal of the Grange Secondary School, William Pope, was thrilled at the values the book offers as it focuses on pre-teens and teenage girls. In his welcome address, he recommended all parents to buy the book for their girls as it addresses issues affecting the lives of teenagers today across the world. Mrs Lola Shoneyin, guest speaker and author of the Secret lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, spoke on, Is literature nurture or torture for children? She emphasised on the need for children to be exposed to literature early in life as it sharpens their creativity. She said, “There is so much that children need to fill their curious mind. Show me an underdeveloped society and I will show you the graveyard of creativity. Show me a developed society and I will show you the arts council. Literature introduces children to new experiences and has the ability to transport children to a world they may never be. It is a force to nurture the young ones. Our children should acquire the thirst to read as much as possible. This book affirms young Nigerians to be themselves and promotes integrity.” Mr Geoff Ward, the vice-principal of Grange Secondary School where Wami attends, coordinated the launch and commended the originator of Pearls for my daughter project, Mrs Aluko who was driven by a mother’s love and concern for her daughter. He said: “Mrs Fadekemi Aluko felt a compelling need to mark her daughter’s upcoming 13th birthday and this necessitated the need to write the book. If all mothers would care this much, the world will be a better place.” One of the highlights of the event was an excerpt reading by Wami, the daughter of the author who brilliantly read one of the pages of the book in which a mother was instructing her child on how to behave and handle the boys when they begin to sweet talk. ‘As a self-respecting girl, you have no business going out of your way to make a pass at a boy.

By Kehinde Falode

It is neither decent nor cool. If you do, you open yourself to possible ridicule and stand the risk of being subjected to unnecessary emotional turbulence. Boys generally like it when girls seem unable to control their affections for them; it enhances their ability to dominate’, she read. Pearls for my daughter is definitely a rare kind of book, self-instructive for today’s teenage girls. Mrs Fadekemi Olumide-Aluko, Managing Director of the Toddler Tree School and educational consultant in her vote of thanks, was full of smiles and thanked everyone that came to grace the occasion, especially, her mother, Dr Aderonke Manuwa-Olumide saying, “I want to thank everyone, especially, my mother for being there for me all these eventful years. If I’m a good mother, it’s because you were exemplary role models to me.” She said Pearls for my daughter offers no- holds-barred discussion on topics that many parents are prone to sweep under the carpet due to shyness or breakdown of communication. She said: “This book is the veritable life coach for teenage girls, providing a positive message of hope, liberty, purpose and self-worth. It is written in a language and style that they can relate to and enjoy. It covers issues such as identity, sexuality, peer-pressure and other core-values.” The event was graced by Mr Sogboma Ajumogobia who chaired the occasion; Mrs Yewande Zaccheus, CEO of Eventful Limited and one of the team of writers that contributed to Pearls for my daughter, Mrs Lola Soneyin, an author of five books who gave a short lecture. Simidele Dosekun, the book reviewer; Yetunde Oluwatomi, a representative of Skye Bank, Seven Energy, Management and staff of Grange School, parents of the author, Prof Olumide; and Dr Aderonke Manuwa-Olumide; husband, Mr Kola Aluko and other well wishers. The book is currently available for sale in leading bookstores within Lagos including Booksville in Ikeja and Ikoyi, Terra Kulture and Laterna Bookstores both in Victoria Island.

Six books make 2011 Nigeria Prize for Literature

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HE Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature has approved an initial shortlist of six of the 126 books submitted for the 2011 edition of the prize. The list parades wellknown writers of children’s literature like Uche Peter Umez, winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and runner-up for the 2007 The Nigeria Prize for Literature with his book The Runaway Hero; Philip Begho, author of over 70 books and two-time contender for The Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2004 and 2010 with his Aunty Felicia Goes to School; Ayodele Olofintuade, with Eno’s Story; Chinyere ObiObasi, with The Great Fall, Mai Nasara with The Missing Clock. Thelma Nwokeji,’ a new writer, also made the

list with her debut, Red Nest. The list was presented after two months of intensive scrutiny by the chairman of the panel of judges for this year’s prize, Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, a professor of English, University of Lagos and past co-winner of the prize. Other members of the panel are Prof. Lekan Oyegoke of Olabisi Onabanjo University, AgoIwoye, Ogun State, Prof. Yakubu Nasidi of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. David Ker, Vice Chancellor The Catholic University of Nigeria, Obehi, Abia State and Prof. Ini-Obong Uko, Department of English, University of Uyo, Cross River State. The Advisory Board was represented by its chairman

HE first educational and entertainment reality show, EduHouse awards featuring 40 participants drawn from across the country and Ghana will hold on Friday at the Aquatic Hotel, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos. The event will be preceded by a red carpet and live show to be anchored by Port Harcourt-based presenter, Agbani. According to Mr. Dick Tamunoemi Amos, the CEO of Education House Limited, 40 contestants will be camped in the eduhouse awards villa for 52 days beginning from today to September 19 at the Aquatic Hotel, Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos. Award winners will smile home with cash prizes that include $220,000, full tuition at the University in Nigeria and abroad, $15,000 living allowance, star prize of a brand new KIA Picanto car, and over 1,000 prizes to 18 winners that will emerge at the grand finale on September 18. He added that auditions for the participants were held at three centres - Port Harcourt, Accra, Lagos. Participants for the reality show will be tutored on all educational products and services while showcasing what they learnt via presentations through power point projector, debate, drama and singing. Television stations such as Silverbird TV and Multimesh Broadcasting Company are among official broadcasting partners to telecast the reality show. The reality show will be covered live throughout the seven weeks including the grand final and award presentation ceremony on September 18. Amos said, the reality show was initiated to provide excellent and brilliant youths, who may not be able to finance their high school and tertiary fees, the opportunity to compete favourably with their peers. “The eduhouse award is a multicultural, ethnic and religious reality TV show that focuses to equip and develop the mental and emotional qualities for the youths. It is also to give lecturers’ and teachers’ professional training through state of the art ICT technology that meets today’s fast growing world,” Amos said. He noted that eduHouse awards would be held annually and that eviction from the house will begin from the second week to the sixth week of the show. The reality show, which will feature Timi Dakolo, Mary and Lady Dyamoud, (who is also the chairperson) is being supported by ABC Transport, The Young and Evergreen Transport among others.

Bible translators target 75 languages From Marie-therese Peter, Jos

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XECUTIVE Director, Nigeria Bible Translation Trust (NBTT) Mr. Sule Auta has said many languages are at the risk of extinction. He said many people cannot read and write in their local languages. Auta spoke in Jos when the Jos University Linguistic Association (JULA) gave him an award of “excellence in language empowerment via developing practical orthographies”. He said: “Language is the identity of a people while culture is the way of life of people. In 2005 when the current administration took over the affairs at the Trust, there were just 12 living language projects that were existing but today NBTT is involved in the translation and development of the Bible in 75 Nigerian languages.” He said NBTT’s activities in the communities include language development, literacy and Bible translation” Auta added that his organisation is involved in language survey and analysis to discover the orthography of a language, compile word list, charts, dictionaries and primer construction for literacy activities. “Some of the communities we are working with have developed their languages so that their local and state governments have approved the teaching of these languages in primary and secondary schools. Examples are Lokaa and Mumuye in Cross River and Taraba states,” he noted.

Minister to lift culture sector From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

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•Umez

•Chinyere

Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo and Dr. Jerry Agada, President of the Association of Nigerian Authors. This standard this year, even more than other years, is uncompromising. Even though Nigerian writers from all over the world submitted entries for the prize, the six authors on parade are all home-based. Although the contending books are overwhelmingly for the 7-12 age range, rather than the teen or ‘crossover’ books that sometimes pass for children’s

books, they did not shy away from tackling gritty or difficult subjects. They are also books that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Although The Nigeria Prize for Literature has been withheld two times in the past when no book was considered suitable, the judges are always open-handed with praise and acclaim when necessary. The children’s literature prize does not favour any genre- prose, poetry or drama; only good writing is rewarded.

HE Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has promised to accommodate diverse views and ideas on how to move the tourism industry forward. Addressing staff of the Ministry in Abuja , Duke solicited their support in tackling the challenges confronting them in the discharge of their responsibilities. According to him, “to those that are here today or those that we will meet in the future please reassure them that a new dawn has come for tourism, culture and national orientation in Nigeria. This sector, which contributes to the growth of every economy in the world and Africa in particular, must rise to make its own contribution to Nigeria. ”I have absolutely no doubt that for Nigeria over the years laboured under the challenges of a mono-product economy, that we have the opportunity of ruling tourism out as a new frontier for our growth and development. I say this with confidence, this is the biggest economic sector of the world and if Nigeria must rightfully take its place as the biggest black nation on the face of the earth then, all of us must be willing solders in the new agenda.” The minister said that the transformational agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan must start from his ministry as one of the major employers of labour, and the greatest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

PHOTO OF THE WEEK •Seeking escape route from traffic trauma

•A cyclist on one of the busy Lagos roads.

Choral Festival honours Ikoli Whyte

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ORT Harcourt, the Rivers State capital is set to host the maiden edition of Garden City Choral Festival. The festival of music organised by the University of Port Harcourt is expected to feature over 50 choral groups across the the country. The event will hold from September 21 to 23. Its theme is: Restoring Hope Through Music- Odyssey of Harcourt Okoli Whyte, will celebrate music, encapsulating the life and times of Harcourt Ikoli Whyte; a renowned composer of inspirational music. Whyte, who in spite of contracting leprosy, sought a deeper meaning for his fate and condition so much that his life had a greater purpose than his affliction and the attendant stigma presented to him. The Garden City Choral Festival will among others offer a platform for the various choral groups to compete for honour, while bringing to fore the legacy of the celebrated composer who lived beyond his situation accepting the doctrine of ability in disability. Born in 1905 to a Kalabari parents in Abonnema Rivers state, he developed and was diagnosed with leprosy in 1919 at the age of 14, and was ostracised and taken to the Leprosy Centre in Uzuakoli in present day Abia State. The young Whyte painfully lost both parents at a tender age and that did not help his situation, as nature forced into been not just an orphan but also a victim of Leprosy. While at the leprosy Centre in Uzuakoli, he was not deterred, he developed strong interest in the religious hymns song in the hospital chapel and was encouraged to join the choir by the English missionaries who ran the hospital. Consequently, became an important member of the choir where he patiently rose to the position of conductor signalling the beginning of his success story. Interestingly, Whyte wrote over 200 choral pieces in his career, an incredible feat for a man infested with leprosy and with no formal education. He was however snatched by the cold hands of death in 1977. He left behind an emotional yet encouraging inscription captured in one of his auto biography saying; “I thank God

for the privilege of service, which he had given to me. As a boy, I had thought I was doomed to a life of despair as a beggar, but Jesus turned the defeat I had dreaded into a victorious praise for his goodness. It is this essence of hope that breeds victory that the upcoming Garden City Choral Festival aims to project and capture. Prof of Music and Dean, Faculty of Music UNIPORT, Prof Onyee Nwankpa, who also is the chairman of the festival planning committee, explained that the event would set Port Harcourt agog. He particularly thanked the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. J.A Ajienka for sharing in the dream and approving to host the Garden City Choral Festival, and former Vice chancellor of the University, Prof. Nimi Briggs who spurred the team into venturing into this project. The event expected to hold from Wednesday September 21 through 23, is scheduled for three venues; the Convocation Arena of the University, Civic Centre and the Presidential Hotel all in Port Harcourt. The maiden event would commence with a rally, a colourful opening ceremony and a command performance by the host choir at the Convocation Arena of the university. September 22 marks the choral festival competition proper where various choral groups will strive to outwit each other to cart away the prestigious trophy at the Port Harcourt Civic Centre, while the grand finale is billed for September 23 at the prestigious Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt. “The event not only celebrates the arts by specially honouring Harcourt Ikoli Whyte, but also helps to further connect the University of Port Harcourt to its community and environs” he said. He revealed that the event would be held annually to celebrate, recognise and document the works of profound indigenous choral music composers and performers in the Niger delta and beyond. The competition is expected to attract prizes ranging from one million naira for the overall winner, five hundred and three hundred thousand naira for the first and second runners up respectively.

Blaze1 collaborates with Terry G

•Blaze1

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LAZE1’S Ring Tone, his first hit single, is now making it hot on the airwaves. Blaze, whose real name is Okafor Tochukwu Henry, said he completed the sound tracks in October last year, before the video, which saw the lights late March. Finishing touches to the song was not done without the hot raps of Terry G, and today, the song is everywhere. “It is being played in most radio stations and TV, especially, in the South

west, Southeast and Abuja,” Blaze said. Like most others, Blaze had gone into music while he was still a student. The Abba, Anambra State-born singer began his musical career in 2003 at Owerri. When he could not continue due to certain issues with his colleagues, he had carried the singing thing to school, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, where he had combined music with academics. “I studied computer science at Unizik, but it did not in any way affect my academics. Music is my thing, and it was flowing naturally. I was into it then, and I was also deep into my studies. I was then using it to push myself forward, but it was then not on fire as it is now. It never affected my academics negatively as I came out very well” Blaze says he is not very sure when the album will be out but for now, he hopes to work on the promo very well. “I am not too much in a hurry, I know he who waits on God comes out on top. When the album is ripe, it will come out. In those days when several people opposed me, I hardly knew that I will get this far, but I am here today. People like Oramzy stood by me then, urging me on. I know I will get there”, Blaze said.

Book club holds reading

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HE second edition of Book n Gauge organised by Pulpfaction Book Club will hold next Saturday at Debonair Bookstore, 294, Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos State. The afternoon of readings and live performances start by 3pm. Four amazing writers and three performers are expected to entertain participants. The writers are Toni Kan, Akachi AdimoraEzeigbo, Jumoke Verissimo and Uche Ezeh. Kafayat Quadri, Aramide and D Tone, all engaging guitarists, will also delight the audience with their performances. Toni Kan is popularly known as one-

time editor of Hints. The award-winning poet, essayist and short story writer is the author of the acclaimed poetry collection, When a Dream Lingers Too Long and the novella, Ballad of Rage. His latest work Nights of the Creaking Bed is full of colourful characters involved in affecting dramas. With years of experience in the corporate sector, loads of laughter, the witty award-winning Toni Kan is always a delight. D Tone is one of the new Nigerian singers to watch out for. His new singles, “Sunkun Ife” and “Ife Gbagbara” have been attracting rave reviews.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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ABUJA REVIEW

Minister assures on corps members’ safety

• Abdullahi at the orientation camp with the corps members

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HE 2011 ‘Batch B’ of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members posted to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had cause to smile when Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, visited them at the Kubwa Orientation Camp. The visit coincided with the campfire night. Abdullahi, who was on a familiarisation tour, promised to provide transit camps for the corps members so that they could have a place to stay after their orientation programme instead of roaming the streets.

Stories from Bukola Amusan, Abuja

This, he said, would also help to ensure the security for corps members. Abdullahi noted that because the nation cherished its youths, the present administration would do its best to ensure their safety, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan was ready to harvest the potentials in the youths. The minister said instead of supporting the call for the scrapping of the NYSC, he would seek ways to

reposition it. He noted that if the youth sector is transformed with more jobs created, the importation of artisans to the country would stop. Abdullahi said with Nigeria’s population having the highest youths in the world, the nation should not suffer with its abundant human and material resources. He said: “Nigerian youths are expected to experience a repositioning and transformation so that the problems confronting the youth sector can be tackled.”

According to him, the ministry is in a vantage position to turn Nigeria’s huge youthful population into an asset. He promised to embark on an urgent reform of the NYSC scheme to ensure that it becomes more efficient to play a major role in the transformation agenda of the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Abdullahi said: “When the NYSC was founded about 38 years ago, our primary need of it at that time was national integration. That purpose is still relevant, but in addition to that, there is need to build an NYSC of national transformation.” The minister said the new NYSC would “create values and serve the current needs of our people”. He praised the corps members for their enthusiasm, restating his belief that the youths are the nation’s greatest asset. Abdullahi said: “Our greatest resource is not oil, but you, the youths.” At an interactive session with corps members, the minister promised to engage state governments and other government agencies on how to improve the welfare and security of corps members, assuring them of continuous government support. The FCT Coordinator of the NYSC Mrs. Linda Amugo said the desire to visit the corps members a few weeks after the minister’s appointment was a testimony to his unrivalled zeal and enthusiasm about the welfare of the youths. Due to inadequate camp facilities, she said 1,017 of the 3,930 registered corps members in the FCT camp were posted to Kano; 510 to Kaduna, and 482 to Benue camps. Amugo passed a vote of confidence on the corps members, saying the orientation had been smooth with their level of discipline.

FCTA woos security agencies over traffic jam

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O curb the chaotic traffic problem in the Federal Capital Territory, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has called for renewed synergy and collaboration among security agents that have anything

to do with road transportation. The Minister gave this challenge at a meeting with the Nigeria Police Force, FCT Vehicle Inspection Officers, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and FCT

FCT road to open by December

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NDICATIONS have emerged that the Apo-Karshi Road may be open for use by December 2011 as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed has given the contractor handling the project four months to provide primary infrastructures on the road so that it can be open for use. Mohammed who inspected the 14 kilometres road said the road when finally completed will reduce the daily traffic congestion on the Nyanya-Keffi road. Construction of the project awarded by the Federal Executive Council in December, 2010 started in January, this year. The Project Engineer, Oduche

Obiefuna said the project that is expected to cost N2.26 Billion will be a one carriage way with two lanes, two bridges with culverts. He added that another 25 kilometres Ara to Karshi road will cost N4 Billion. The Minister while charging the Contractor to expedite action on the project said the alternative road is very important to the FCT residents and Nigerians in order to forestall further loss of lives on the road. “Our people are dying on the other road daily because it is highly congested, the only option we have is to open up more roads to ease the problem facing commuters on the road,” he said.

Transportation Secretariat in Abuja. At the meeting with the minister were the FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi and the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Musa Yashi. Mohammed who expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the Transportation officials and the security agents charged them to be alive to their responsibility of ensuring free flow of traffic in the FCT. Although, he said, the meeting was not called to apportion blames, he lamented that they are never

seen when there is traffic crisis. According to the minister, there is the need for synergy and cooperation amongst all stakeholders including the security agents as well as Road Transport Owners Association and National Union of Road Transport Workers. He blamed the traffic problems in Abuja FCT on lack of discipline and value degeneration; stressing the urgent need to address the situation. He insisted that the security agents must make the system work by putting a halt to the situation and enforcing existing road traffic

When the NYSC was founded about 38 years ago, our primary need of it at that time was national integration. That purpose is still relevant, but in addition to that, there is need to build an NYSC of national transformation She told the minister that the corps members had been the most exceptional of those deployed to the FCT since the inception of the scheme. Amugo said: “They have been very obedient, responsible, energetic, intelligent, humble and enthusiastic.” Enumerating their tasks in camp, the Coordinator said the corps members had morning meditations, drills and physical exercise, parade rehearsals, cultural day and variety night, among others. The minister, who went through the various platoons in the camp and tasted the various meals prepared by the different platoons various groups, also witnessed the lightening of the camp fire and also danced round it. Other events of the night were cultural dances by some selected corps members as well as display by the men of the Man O War, Soldiers on camp and the presentation of Sourvenirs to the Minister by the Miss NYSC 2011 Batch B member.

regulations because Abuja cannot continue in this way. The Minister revealed that the FCT Administration intends to open special account for transport management in the Federal Capital City where levies/charges from traffic offenders will be lodged for the development of the sub-sector. Responding, Assistant Police Commissioner Wilson Inalegwu who represented the FCT Police Commissioner, thanked the Minister for the wake-up call which he noted will definitely strengthen their operation thereby making a difference. He expressed concern on the level of indiscipline by motorists on the Abuja highway.

•Labour union leaders in Ondo State addressing workers at the state secretariat after the workers called off their strike over minimum wage in Akure, the state capital.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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ABUJA REVIEW

Hawkers to get permit

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HERE is no keeping hawkers in the FCT out of business, but they will now have to get permit, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has said. Deputy Director, Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement, Uche Agbanusi said this at the Board’s inaugural meeting with residents of the FCT. Agbanusi argued that hawkers have been consciously and unconsciously encouraged by commuters who patronise them in the traffic and other non permitted areas. According to him, the AEPB was finalizing plans to restrict hawkers to particular location to engage in their business at a particular time of the day. He pointed out that the regulation of the hawkers will be strict as any person who defaults the conditions attached to the permit issued would be penalized. Under the permit for hawkers, the detail of the hawker will be captured while he or she is assigned a specific location for business to operate at particular time. “If such person is caught operating at the permitted area outside the hours of permission such person would be arrested. Also if the person with permit goes to another area outside his or her area covered by the permit, such person has defaulted and must be penalized”, Uche stated. “We are going to have them in a sort of “quarantine operation” for sanity and their safety as they go about their businesses”, he added. Hawkers who spoke on the matter at the weekend lauded the decision. They said if given a human face, it would encourage unemployed youths to pursue legitimate earnings.

• Hawkers on Abuja street

Stories from Bukola Amusan

Alfred Ochuko who hawks his apples along the Airport road said the move, if implemented will reduce the unhealthy embarrassment being faced by poor people who seek legitimate earning by hawking rather than stealing. “Look that is what they should have done

Ministry joins campaign on hypertension, diabetes

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HE World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number, the organisation says, is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention. Cardiovascular diseases are the world's largest killers, claiming 17.1 million lives a year. However, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina has said the diseases are manageable if those living with them have timely information. The minister said the ministry would support a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Hypertension and Diabetes Awareness Foundation, by linking it up with development partners and organisations for public awareness. Maina spoke in Abuja when she received members of the foundation in her office. She described the visit as timely because the ministry was working on programmes that affect the lives of women, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly, who constitute 70 per cent of the population. Maina, who was deco-

rated with the prestigious award of "Health Ambassador" of the foundation, noted that the elderly were more prone to the diseases. She said the group needed to be informed that early diagnosis and treatment would reduce the effects of the diseases. She praised the members of the foundation for venturing into such a worthy cause for the country. President of the founda-

tion, Felicitas Ogbuefi said people, especially women, could have diabetes and hypertension without knowing it. She said the foundation's awareness campaign would be carried out in all parts of the country ahead of the Annual World Diabetes Day on November 14, adding that this would coincide with its National Health Ambassador Award Programme.

long ago, anyway it is still good that they are doing it now because if you send us away from earning money legally and we have rent to pay and family to feed, how do we get the money to do all these if not to go and steal?” he asked. Elated by the news, Gladys as she simply identified herself said “God has answered my prayers. I am a widow and mother of three

T

RADITIONAL rulers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have urged the FCT Administration to upgrade their status and positions. The traditional rulers, who met with the Minister of State for FCT, Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide, in Abuja, assured that they would mobilise their subjects to ensure continued peace in the city. Ms Akinjide said her office would ensure consultation on the matter to have a uniform position amongst stakeholders. She said: “You are our royal fathers. You will have to show us good example by coming together and taking a resolution on the matter and present us with a unified

children; it has been difficult sustaining the family as task force (AEPB Task force team) always come to arrest us.” She said beside paying fines when caught; the goods are often damaged or totally lost causing her to incur unwarranted debts in her condition a burden that has taken a serious toll on her earnings and efforts to give her children food and education.

Monarchs seek higher status position.” The minster told the FCT Council of Chiefs that the ministry would partner it to advance the economy and security of the territory. Akinjide said the FCT administration would explore the agricultural opportunities of the territory to provide employment for the residents. She noted that efforts by the government to develop the economy would be meaningless if security was not adequately addressed. Akinjide said: “I know that the other challenge we have

•A member of the House of Representatives from Yola North/South/ Girei Constituency, Hajiya Aishat Ahmed(with microphone) presenting fertilizers to farmers in her constituency for the planting season

is the challenge of security because there is no security you cannot have investment you cannot have prosperity. It is good to have the police an all other security agencies, but the true security is in people living together in harmony. We are relying on the FCT traditional council to help us secure this territory. Whatever way we can support you, we will because we are your partners on sustainable development for our territory”. She emphasized that the best of security is where people in the communities live together in harmony, urging the Council of chiefs to sustain the present peaceful coexistence in their respective councils. Akinjide pointed out that human administration at pre-colonial Africa was predicated on traditional institution and this was done successfully. On the request for land to enable them develop agriculture for mass employment of the youth in their respective community, she said such land when assented by the government must be used for the purpose for which it was given. “Do not use it for commercial or residential purpose that might cause problem’ she cautioned. Earlier in his address, the HRH Adamu B. yunusa Ona of Abaji, had sought the support of the minister on various areas of needs which has impeded their efforts at meeting supporting their respective wards


40

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

No fewer than 12 camps have been opened in Jalingo, Zing and Yorro local government areas for the displaced persons. Although the government put the casualty figure at 10 when the violence first broke out, the death toll has risen to over 15, following reprisal attacks

Two communities at war over land

A

A parcel of land has brought two communities in Taraba State to blows. Both have recorded over 15

casualties, with 30 persons still missing, a hundred others injured and thousands displaced. Over 400 villages were torched, including Kaudat, Mindah, Gombiyu, Jauro Shaho and Shobai. No fewer than 12 camps have been opened in Jalingo, Zing and Yorro local government areas for the displaced persons. Although the government put the casualty figure at 10 when the violence first broke out, the death toll has risen to over 15, following reprisal attacks. Members of either community used antiquated armours and venomous swords, spears and bows and arrows. As the violence spread, the communities deployed high-tech weaponry. The crisis erupted in Mindah, Lau Local Government. Eight persons were immediately killed, including the councilor representing Kona Ward in Jalingo, Danjuma Kyano. The prelude to the crisis, according to eyewitnesses, was the attack on a 47-yearold woman, Monica Hunga. She had gone to harvest baoba leaves in the disputed land. She was reportedly attacked. A reprisal attack led to the escalation of the situation. It spread to many towns and villages, spilling to Ardo-Kola and Jalingo, the state capital,. Detruction of lives and property followed. Property worth millions of naira were destroyed. A landlord Marvis James said two of his huts leased to some Mumuye students of College of Education Jalingo, were set ablaze when the students had gone to school. "They lost everything, including books to the crisis", he said. When Newsextra visited the scenes of destruction at the weekend, the warring tribes had not sheathed their swords, even as the state government deployed a troop of mobile policemen and soldiers to the areas

A

Heavy down pour that lasted for about 30minutes left in its wake sorrow, and tears in parts of Ilorin, the Kwara state capital. It was the first of its kind this year in the metropolis. The rains destroyed properties estimated at over N100 million. It was gathered the rains accompanied by massive hailstones wreaked havoc on roofs of some buildings and building fences while some of the affected victims were presently taking refuge with neighbours. There were also heavy thunders and lightening causing many people to panic as the downpour destroyed a portion of a popular water producing company along Yidi Road still in the metropolis. Also occupants of No. 7, Moro Close in Adewole Housing Estate, Ilorin were seen counting their losses, while at Koko village around Sapati-Ile, a car was badly damaged as a cashew tree was said to have fallen on it. In all, 37 houses were said to have been affected. The worst hit areas include Imam Osere Compound, Idi Opobi, Alangua Compound, Alangua Oko Erin Central Mosque, Gada Jooro, and Ayetoro Baba Agbo Area. Besides, the entire areas have been thrown into total darkness due to the devastating effects of the rainstorm. Also affected by the downpour were electricity poles, as many residents of some areas in the town had been thrown into darkness. Not a few of the victims suggested some precautionary measures like construction of drainage patterns around buildings to aid free

•Police Commissioner Onu in handshake with an elder of one the warring communities From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

to quell the uprising. Both communities were still on the offensive 24 hours. It was dicey taking photographs, even in a clandestine way. Hostilities were far from over. Round thatched houses were blown off their roofs. Some torched properties were still smoking and deserted, just as bush paths leading to farms had not even a shadow of pedestrians. It was a scary serenity. A little cough could spa Eight persons were killed at the spot, including a Councilor representing Kona Ward in Jalingo, Hon. Danjuma Kyano. wn triple echo to attract a gunshot or arrow. The Kuru of Kona, Chief Augustine Venkhani said he had sent a representative, accompanied by a Ward Head to broker peace between the warring communities, but the errand men were shot with arrows, which later killed them. The State Deputy Governor, Abubakar Sani, through a press release, condemned the crisis. "The warring tribes disregarded constituted authority", he said. Sani urged

both tribes to shun violence and co-exist in peace and harmony, adding: "we cannot fold our arms and watch the citizens kill one another with impunity." The state government responded timely, to salvage the critical humanitarian situation, by providing food and relief materials to the war ravaged persons. Truck loads of relief materials were firstly supplied by the Secretary to State Government (SSG) Ambassador Emmanuel Njiwah and then the Commissioner of Police, Chintua Amajor Onu. The police are also on top of the situation to maintaining law and order. Massive arrests were made at the weekend to prevent recrudesce. Immediate past Chairman of Ardo-Kola Local Government Council, Mr. Philemon Bitah is among the several suspected culprits arrested for partaking in the crisis. Bitah, an ex-policeman, was a proxy force to the conflict. Sources said he poked the war fire by allegedly supplying arms and ammunitions to his Mumuye community to fight the Konas.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ibiang Mbaseki said the suspects were under intensive interrogation. He was not clear of the [exact] number arrested, but said: "there was a massive arrest", and added: "the suspects would be punished if found guilty, and their offences publicized". The warring tribes are largely farmers, when would they have the time to work on their farm crops? And what becomes fate of their children going to school? With the grounding reality, hunger is inevitable in the war ravaged villages. A multiplier-effect of it would also impinge negatively on the social and economic life of greater parts of northern Taraba. Even when normalcy returns, the ghost of the crisis will always hound around. Kona and Mumuye have co-existed for prehistoric years without skirmishes between them. They have even intermarried. The erupting communal crisis between them is a great set back. And you can't predict truce, because the land matter has been in the court. Both communities were awaiting verdict when they took offensive. Now, there are fears that the tribe that losses out in the court may not concede defeat.

Ilorin grapples with downpour From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

flow of water and to prevent building collapse and flooding in the state. Built environment experts attributed heavy down pour being experienced in parts of the country to climate change. But the Senator representing Kwara central at the National Assembly, Dr Bukola Saraki has pledged to assist victims of recent rainstorm. He made the pledge during an inspection tour of the affected area, commiserating with the victims mostly the aged as he promised to come to their aid. Narrating his ordeal to Saraki, the custodian of Central Mosque, Joro, Alhaji Oba Orelope said the hail stones that accompanied the storm wreaked more havoc than the storm itself. He said that “the thickness of the hail stones was like the head of a pestle. They perforated the corrugated iron roofs with ease and thus rendered all the roofs in this area useless. Since I came into this world and since God settled us here we had never experienced this type of calamity before.” Saraki who later spoke through his Special aide, Alhaji Kayode Yusuf, said “we can not leave you like this in your present conditions. We want to tell the whole world that legislature is about caring for the people of one’s constituencies and that is what we shall continue to do. The Councillor representing Oko Erin Ward,

• Residents clear up after the storm Babatunde Aliyu thanked the Senator on behalf of the victims, describing Saraki’s gesture as unprecedented in the history of legislators in the Senatorial district, urged the federal and state’s governments to declared the area a disaster zone as Saraki alone could not assuage the feelings of all the victims.” The Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Oko Erin Ward, Abdulmumuni Jimoh,

thanked the Senator for accommodating all the victims irrespective of their political affinities. Meanwhile, many of the victims now reside in the nearest mosques while others have moved into any of the rooms that escaped the hail stones attack within their buildings. When the Nation visited some of the areas beddings and cooking utensils moved from the affected houses littered the ground.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

41

THE NATION’S

INVESTORS W

With N861b, investors oversubscribe Fed Govt’s debt bonds

ITH N861.11 billion, investors oversubscribed the Federal Government’s debt issues of N396.50 billion in the first half of the year by N464.61 billion, representing an increase of 117 per cent. But the total amount of debt issues and subscription showed a decline in debt issues and investors' interest. The total amount issued represented a decline of 13.80 per cent on N460 billion offered during the comparable period of last year; the subscription level indicated 18.1 per cent drop from the N1.1 trillion staked in the corresponding period last year. The Debt Management Office (DMO) offered short-term three-year and mediumtenor five-year bonds in 2011 as against a mixture of short to medium and long term bonds issued in the comparable period of 2010. The government issued bonds with tenor ranging from three to 10 and 20 years last year. Most of the bonds offered in the first half of this year were the re-opening of earlier issues with the exception of the three-year bond issue floated in March. The issuance time table of DMO indicated that the government plans to raise between N165 billion and N255 billion through the domestic bond market this quarter. Analysts at FSDH Securities said they expected prices to increase while yield decreases with possible increase in the volatility of the bond market, citing an expected increase in foreign participation in the domestic market. Domestic sovereign bond issues have raised about N7 trillion in the past six years as investors' appetite for national debt issues has elongated tenor from initial two years in 2005 to 20 years since 2008. Since the commencement of the Federal Government's regular bond issuance programme in 2005, investors' appetites have always been ahead of government issues. The government bonds were oversubscribed by 133 per cent, 89 per cent, 95 per cent, 64 per cent and 93 per cent in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Despite the 55 per cent increase in value of issue, demand for sovereign bonds at the primary market was 111 per cent above issue last year.

By Taofik Salako

Economist and investment adviser, Sterling Capital Sewa Wusu attributed investors' oversubscriptions to the uncertainty in the non-fixed securities market. According to him, these types of instruments preserve capital and yield fixed

amount of interest, which explain why the bond market is currently a veritable haven for investors. "The only alternative investment outlets in the period of rapid selling pressure in the stock market are the fixed income instruments. That is why most investors are fleeing from the capital market to pitch tent in

the bond market,” Wusu said. The government's bond is usually called sovereign bond because it derives its risks and values from the sovereignty of the country. Given the omnibus power of the central government over resources and the almost limitless ways, its debt issues are regarded as almost risk-free, although the economic standing and management of resources may weigh in on the possible values and attractions of the debt issues.

•From left: Head, Agric Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Jacques Taylor, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi and Managing Director/CEO, Bank of Agriculture, Dr. Mohammed Santuraki, at a conference on transformation of the agricultural landscape organised by the CBN in Abuja.

DN Meyer seeks fresh funds as new investor takes over

P

AINT giant DN Meyer is set to recapitalise and reduce reliance on short-term borrowings to brighten its future, its Chairman, Sir Remi Omotosho, has said. Under the recapitalisation plan, fresh funds will be injected into the firm to plug its exposures. Audited report and accounts of DN Meyer at the end of December 31, last year had showed that its current liabilities exceeded its current assets by N880 million in addition to a net loss of N236 million. Omotosho said the company has completed and is ready to sell its Kuje Housing Estate, which would free tied-up capital for reinvestment. He blamed the poor financial position of

By Taofik Salako

the company on mismanagement by past management. According to him, a due diligence conducted on the company after the emergence of the new board and core investors early last year threw up a lot of issues including massive frauds through the sales operations, unexplained debt entries that resulted in bad debts of some N292 million, stock loss provision of about N72 million and sundry weak internal control issues. He noted that initial efforts to recapitalise the company through a rights issue was frustrated by the previous core investors, which constrained the company to depend on internally generated funds given that it had previously accumulated huge bank debts.

Edo raises state bonds on NSE to N249b THE listing of Edo State’s N25 billion bond on the Stock Exchange (NSE) has increased the number and value of state bonds on the secondary market to 11 and N249 billion. The N25 billion 14 per cent Fixed Rate Infrastructure Development Bond 2017 of N1,000 at par was listed last Thursday. However, turnover on the Over-theCounter (OTC) market for the Federal Government bonds stood at 252.72 million units worth N231.78 billion in 1798 deals in contrast to a total of 244.65 million units valued at N217.38 billion ex-

changed in 1,780 deals in the week ended on July 14. The most active bond was the 10 per cent Seventh Federal Government Bond 2030 Series 3 with a traded volume of 71.2 million units valued at N63.50 billion in 641 deals. It was followed by the four per cent 7th Federal Government Bond 2015 Series 2 with a traded volume of 69.9 million units valued at N55.92 billion in 535 deals. Fifteen of the available 29 Federal Government Bonds were traded last week compared with nine in the preceding week.

Omotosho said the new board has settled the debts with the intervention funds of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the manufacturing sector. The company, he added, has “extensively” dealt with management and internal control issues. "The board and management are now set and are working purposefully to make the company look north in all its performance indices. From 2011, the plan is to make quantumleap sustainable growth and profit in relative terms," Omotosho said. As part of efforts to achieve stable growth, he said, the construction subsidiary of the company would be repositioned with its separate board and management while the company would seek to take advantage of the 10 per cent local content provision in the oil and

Forecasts Q3 NPF MFB T/O N827.31M PBT N198.55M PAT N198.55M COMPANY FORECASTS Q3 Tripple Gee and

gas industry. According to him, the company is forming stronger alliances with major players in the housing sector, especially in the estate development segment to expanding its brand franchise. Audited report and accounts showed that turnover dropped by 37 per cent from N1.9 billion in 2009 to N1.2 billion last year. However, loss before tax reduced from N473.24 million to N231.94 million. Loss after tax also declined from N627.1 million to N236.4 million. Shareholders’ funds reduced from N823.8 million to N587.4 million. Omotosho said the board and management had taken steps to address operating challenges, adding that the impact of such actions would start to manifest with the 2011 results.

company Plc Turnover N166.09m PAT N74.59m

Gross Premium N2.039b PAT N72.93m

CUTIX PLC MUTUAL BENEFITS Turnover N588m PAT N68.75m ASSURANCE PLC Gross Premium N3.750b HONEYWELL FLOUR PAT N889.68m MILLS PLC Turnover N21.214b NIGER INSURANCE PAT N835.646m PLC


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

42

THE NATION’S INVESTORS

Z

ENITH Bank Plc has attributed its first half-year performance to strong growth across income lines and improved credit risks management. It expects that the full-year report will witness significant improvement on the previous year. In a teleconference with analysts and investors, the bank noted that robust growth in incomes and interest margins were major driv-

•GMD, Zenith Emefiele

Bank,

Godwin

Zenith Bank explains half year performance ers of performance in the first half, pointing out that corporate and retail banking contributed 93 per cent of total incomes. The bank remained mainly a Nigeria-based bank with operations accounting for 94 of gross earnings. It explained that the increase in operating expenses during the period was due TO 0.3 per cent provision for the contribution towards the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria’s (AMCON’s) sinking fund as well as the differential between its earlier provision on risk assets and the provision measurement under new prudential guidelines. The bank said that the decline in its non-performing loan assets was due to improving credit risks management and debt recoveries as well as disposal of bad loans to AMCON. Zenith Bank's classified loans had dropped to 3.3 per cent of gross loans and advances in the second quarter as against 5.4 per cent recorded in the first quarter, thus exceeding the five per cent industry target by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Zenith Bank had sold N37 billion bad loans to AMCON and recovered some N35 billion during the second quarter. The management of the bank said it was optimistic in sustaining the positive outlook for the first half throughout the year, citing that net interest margin would remain high to sustain high net interest income while it deploys its strong

balance sheet to explore further growth opportunities. The analysts-investors teleconference and reassurance by the management of the bank have improved market pundits' rating of Zenith Bank with analysts at Afrinvest West Africa foreseeing capital gain of 20 per cent on current market consideration. Interim report and accounts of

Zenith Bank for the first half had showed gross earnings of N122.84 billion in 2011 as against N96.85 billion in the comparable period of 2010. Profit after tax stood at N30.67 billion compared with N21.31 billion in 2010. The bank's shareholders' funds also increased from N363.56 billion in December 2010 to N367.75 billion in 2011.

‘28 firms still on technical suspension’

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WENTY-EIGHT companies are still on technical suspension at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for their inability to submit audited financial statements for the immediate past business year. The NSE had recently sanctioned 48 companies for the non-submission of audited reports and accounts within the stipulated timeline. According to information made available by the Listing Enforcement, Listing Regulation Department of the Exchange, 20 companies

By Tonia Osundolire

have so far complied and have had their suspension lifted. Also, their prices have been responding to the demand and supply forces of the market. The NSE said the share prices of the remaining 28 companies would still remain on hold until it received their reports. The NSE had said the punishment of these companies was due to the violation of the Post-Listing Rules of the Exchange which states that "audited annual accounts of com-

panies ought to be submitted within three months of year end”. According to NSE, the investing public and the market need timely financial information from listed companies to facilitate stock transactions that are based on market fundamentals. This is essential for fair price discovery and restoration of investor confidence in the capital market. NSE has also said it can take further action after the expiration of the 30-day deadline given to the companies to submit their reports.

Facts to Facts

Nestle Nigeria vs Cadbury Nigeria: Thriving competition

N

ESTLE Nigeria Plc and Cadbury Nigeria are the

two foremost food and beverages companies in the country. Both are multinationals. They share many things in common including foreign ownership, many decades of operations and leading competitive products. However, Nestle Nigeria, the highest-priced stock in Nigeria and most capitalised food and beverages company is older and bigger than Cadbury Nigeria. The products portfolio of Nestle Nigeria is also larger than Cadbury Nigeria's. The duo have recorded appreciate growth in recent years despite the general economic lull, portraying the food and beverages industry as a recession-resistant sector. They have sustained growth in sales as well as improvement in profitability year-on-year, with Cadbury Nigeria-which had suffered a major relapse and long streak of losses due to its 2006 accounting problem, continuing on the path of recovery. Nestle Nigeria is consolidating its impressive performance outlook. However, while the commendable strides made by Cadbury Nigeria in recent years are undeniable, Nestle Nigeria remains on top, making more profit and rendering better returns than its competitor. Sales Generation Cadbury Nigeria and Nestle Nigeria have sustained year-on-year growth in sales in recent years as against the contraction in the topline witnessed by many companies. Cadbury Nigeria had grown sales by 5.3 per cent in 2009 and further consolidated this with 14 per cent last year, putting it on a two-year average of about 10 per cent. Nestle Nigeria, meanwhile, maintained impressive double-digit growth in sales over the years, although the quantum of percentage leap in sales reduced in the immediate past year. With an average sales growth of about 27 per cent in recent years, Nestle Nigeria appeared unaffected by the muchcomplained economic lull and declining consumer purchasing power. Sales had grown by 32 per cent and 21 per cent in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Profitability

By Taofik Salako

Cadbury Nigeria broke away from a four-year losing streak in the immediate past year with appreciable improvements in underlying and actual profitability measures. With gross profit margin improving from 25 per cent in 2009 to 32 per cent in 2010, the company reversed its negative pre-tax profit margin of 9.3 per cent in 2009 to positive 6.7 per cent in 2010, a trend that underlined the final turnaround from loss to profit. Nestle Nigeria continued to set new profitability records with strong growths in actual and derived profit and loss items. Pretax profit margin improved from 20 per cent in 2009 to 22 per cent in 2010, indicating average margin of 21 per cent over the years. Gross profit margin had risen above two-year average of about 43 per cent to 44 per cent in 2010 as against about 42 per cent in 2009. Actual pre-tax profit thus doubled its growth rate from 16 per cent in 2009 to 32 per cent in 2010 while

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

PLC,

•Chairman, Cadbury Nig., Mr Atedo Peterside

net profit growth increased to 29 per cent in 2010 compared with 17 per cent in 2009. Actual Returns For the first time in five years, Cadbury Nigeria made a semblance of return to its shareholders, with the transfer of positive

net earnings to the reserves in 2010. Actual return to shareholders stood at nine per cent in 2010 as against loss of 9.8 per cent per unit holding hung on shareholders in the previous year. On the whole, the company made a positive return of 6.9 per cent on total

•Chairman,Nestle Nig. Olusegun Oshunkeye

assets in 2010 as against negative return of 9.4 per cent in 2009. Nestle Nigeria remained the toast of investors and stakeholders with average returns on equity and total assets of 89 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. Return on total assets rose above average to 30 per cent in 2010 as against 29 per cent in 2009. However, return on equity declined from 93 per cent in 2009 to 85 per cent in 2010. The Bottom-line The positive outlooks of Cadbury Nigeria and Nestle Nigeria reflected the impact of focused investment and capacitybuilding programmes by the companies. While Cadbury Nigeria had undergone painstaking restructuring and recapitalisation in recent years, Nestle Nigeria had stepped up investments in factories and operating resources. These ostensibly enhanced the inbuilt shock-absorbing mechanisms of the companies, which enabled them to improve their performances, irrespective of the constraints in the operating environment.

Cadbury Nig.

Nestle Nig. 2010 %

2009 %

Average %

21.1 27.7 32.4 43.8 22.1 28.8 30.2 84.8

32.0

26.55 13.85 24.3 42.65 21.15 23.1 29.7 88.8

16.2 41.5 20.2 17.4 29.2 92.8

Pre-tax profit margin (Nestle)

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

2010 %

2009 %

Average %

14.0 43.9 182.1 31.7 6.7 194.5 6.9 9.0

5.3

9.65 21.95 82.8 28.4 -1.3 70.3 -1.25 -0.4

-16.5 25.1 -9.3 -53.9 -9.4 -9.8

Pre-tax profit margin (Cadbury)


43

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

THE NATION’S INVESTORS Corporate Score Board

F

IRST City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc rode on the crest of robust growth in its operations and improved credit risks management framework to consolidate its overall outlook. But it witnessed considerable decline in the profitability of its core operations in the immediate past year. Audited report and accounts of FCMB for last year showed that in spite of impressive profit outlook, segmental analysis showed that the profitability of the bank's core banking operations weakened during the year with relatively high cost of fund shaving off some nine percentage points. However, the overall outlook of the last year’s report showed double-digit growth in core banking operations and an impressive three-digit growth in fee and commission-based businesses, lifting total earnings by 75 per cent. With a more efficient internal control and cost management, the robust top-line leapfrogged pre-tax profit by 953 per cent and net profit by 1,307 per cent, enabling the bank to increase cash payouts to shareholders by 600 per cent. The bank also emerged with a healthier balance sheet with its assets quality ranking within the best bracket in the industry. At less than six per cent, the proportion of nonperforming loans to total loans was almost at the ambitious Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) target of five per cent, putting FCMB far ahead of most banks. Improved liquidity also provided greater assurance of a responsive balance sheet. Besides, the accelerated business growth witnessed during the year reduced the equity funds coverage for the bank's operations and balance sheet, although the capital adequacy remained within acceptable band. Capital adequacy FCMB's group paid up share capital remained unchanged at N8.14 billion, but shareholders' funds increased marginally by four per cent to N134.8 billion in 2010 compared with N12.6 billion in 2009. Total balance sheet size grew by 16 per cent to N538.4 billion in 2010 compared with N463.6 billion in 2009.

FCMB: Strengths and weaknesses By Taofik Salako

Fixed assets had dropped by 8.6 per cent from N22 billion in 2009 to N20 billion in 2010 while non-permanent earning assets increased by 17 per cent from N442 billion in 2009 to N519 billion in 2010. Total liabilities also rose by 20 per cent to N404 billion as against N334 billion in 2009. Total deposits had grown by 26 per cent to N335 billion in 2010 in contrast with N266 billion in 2009. But the proportion of equity funds to total assets dropped from 28 per cent in 2009 to 25 per cent in 2010, while equity funds could only finance 41 per cent of loans and advances in 2010 as against 54 per cent in 2009. However, less funds were tied down in fixed assets in 2010 with fixed assets/equity funds ratio of 15 per cent as against 17 per cent in 2009. Assets quality FCMB showed a combination of significant growth and better quality in loans and advances. Gross loans and advances grew by 34 per cent while non-performing loans conversely increased by 3.2 per cent. Gross loans and advances stood at N346.2 billion in 2010 compared with N257.4 billion in 2009. Non-performing loans totalled N19.3 billion in 2010 as against N18.7 billion in 2009, indicating a decline in the proportion of classified loans to total loans and advances from 7.3 per cent in 2009 to 5.6 per cent in 2010. Meanwhile, classified loans' threat to the bank's equity base remained subdued at 14.3 per cent in 2010 as against 14.4 per cent in 2009 while the bank's loan loss reserves covered 75 per cent of possibly bad loans in 2010 as against 85 per cent coverage in 2009. Profitability FCMB consolidated its overall profit outlook in the immediate past year, but the bank witnessed contraction in the profitability of its core banking operations. While the profitability of the bank as a going concern improved by 12 per-

Fiscal Year Ended December 31 Asset Quality Gross Loans and Advances (Nm) Classified loans (Nm) % of classified loans Loan Loss Reserves/Classified Loans Classified Loans/Equity Stock

•GMD FCMB, Mr Ladi Balogun

centage points, profit derived from core banking operations dropped by nine percentage points. Although percentage growth rates for actual figures between 12-month 2010 and eight-month 2009 reduced when annualised, constant underlying profitability ratios, which usually give a more objective scenario irrespective of periodic differences, showed a generally positive performance outlook. Pre-tax profit margin leapt from 2.4 per cent in 2009 to 14.4 per cent in 2010. Returns on equity and total assets stood at 5.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent in 2010 as against negligible 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent in 2009. Operating expenses had dropped to 50 per cent of total gross earnings in 2010 as against 57 per cent in 2009 while average contribution of each employee to the bottom-line improved from N0.34 million in 2009 to N3.5 million in 2010. Although average cost per employee increased from N3.8 million in 2009 to N5.6 million in 2010, overall staff costs amounted to a lesser 23 per cent of total income in 2010 compared with 27 per cent in 2009. Feebased non-interest business was a major catalyst in 2010, contributing 30 per cent of gross earnings as

2010

2009

%

%

346,198 19,298 5.6 75.3 14.3

257,435 18,703 7.3 85.2 14.4

Capital Adequacy Equity/Total Assets Equity/Loans and Advances Permanent Assets/Equity

25.0 41.2 14.8

28.0 54.3 16.8

Loans & Advances/Total Assets 60.7 Cash & Bank Balances/Total Liabilities 11.5 Loans & Advances/Total deposits 97.6

51.5 8.2 89.7

Liquidity Ratios

Profitability ratios Pre-tax Profit Margin Return on Total Assets Return on Equity Net Interest Margin Interest Income/Loans & Advances Interest Paid/Total Deposits Operating Expense/Total Revenue Non-Interest Income/Total Revenue Pre-tax Profit Per Employee (Nm) Staff Costs per Employee (Nm) Staff Costs/Gross Revenue Earnings per share (basic)(kobo) Dividend per share (kobo) Dividend cover (times)

14.4 1.7 5.9 50.3 11.1 6.5 50.2 30.4 3.5 5.6 22.8 49 35 1.4

2.4 0.2 0.4 58.9 9.8 4.3 57.0 22.6 0.34 3.8 27.4 3.5 5.0 0.70

against about 23 per cent in 2009. However, relatively high cost of funds impinged on profitability in the core banking operations with net interest margin dropping from 59 per cent in 2009 to 50 per cent in 2010. Average cost of funds had increased from 4.3 per cent in 2009 to 6.5 per cent in 2010 as against increase in average lending rate from 9.8 per cent in 2009 to 11.1 per cent in 2010. In real figures, FCMB's gross earnings increased by 75 per cent in 2010 to N62.7 billion as against N35.8 billion in 2009. Non-interest income had grown by 136 per cent from N8.1 billion in 2009 to N19 billion in 2010 while interest incomes rose by 58 per cent from N27.7 billion in 2009 to N43.6 billion in 2010. With about 91 per cent increase in interest expense from N11.4 billion in 2009 to N22 billion in 2010, net interest income had risen by 34 per cent to N22 billion in 2010 as against N16.3 billion in 2009. Operating expense increased by 54 per cent from N20.4 billion in 2009 to N31.5 billion in 2010. With these, pre-tax profit leapt by 953 per cent from N857 million in 2009 to N9.03billion in 2010. Net distributable earnings equally jumped by 1307 per cent from N564 million in 2009 to N7.9 billion in 2010. Basic net earnings per share thus improved from 3.5 kobo in 2009 to 49 kobo in 2010, which enabled the bank to increase cash payout per share from 5.0 kobo in 2009 to 35 kobo in 2010. Even with 600 per cent increase in dividend payout, the sustainability of such payouts in future improved with a dividend cover of 1.4 times in 2010 as against 0.70 times in 2009. Liquidity There was a better cushion against liabilities in 2010 with the proportion of cash and bank balances to total liabilities improving from 8.2 per cent in 2009 to 11.5 per cent in 2010. However, loans and advances were up to about 98 per cent of total deposits in 2010 as against 90 per cent in 2009 while

Fiscal Year Ended December 31 Profit and Loss Statement Gross earnings Interest income Interest expense Net interest income Total non-interest income Total non-interest expense Profit before tax (loss) Profit after tax (loss) Balance Sheet Assets: Cash and balances with other banks Short-term investments Loans and advances (net) Total earning assets Fixed assets Total assets Liabilities and Capital: Total deposit liabilities Total liabilities Paid-up share capital Shareholders' funds Liabilities and equity

the proportion of loans and advances to total assets stood at 61 per cent in 2010 as against 52 per cent in 2009. Governance and structures FCMB is owned by a highly diversified group of Nigerian and international shareholders with current shareholders' base of about 156,000 shareholders. Interestingly, while it originated as a private family-owned bank, it is now one of the few banks without domineering control of a core investor. Less than 28 per cent of the entire shareholdings of the bank were held in two significant block shareholdings. It is also one of the few banks that have opted for group holding structure rather than divesting from its non-bank subsidiaries as required under the new banking regulations. FCMB Group includes the bank, five wholly-owned subsidiaries and an associated company. The board and management of the bank are stable. Dr. Jonathan Long still chairs the board while Mr. Ladi Balogun leads the group management team as group managing director and chief executive. Generally, the bank has complied with all relevant codes of best corporate governance practices as stipulated by Nigerian financial services authorities. Analyst's opinion The performance of FCMB is reassuring, especially against the background of the operating conditions in the financial services industry. The latest report underscores the feasibility of the bank's two-prong strategy, which ensures it maintains a stronghold on its traditional wholesale market while aggressively developing the retail franchise. With the on-going move to secure additional capital, a stronger balance sheet would be a bulwark of support for the bank's aggressive retail brand building while enhancing its capacity to further consolidate on the capital-intensive wholesale banking. Overall, there are reasonable basis to assume that FCMB would sustain positive performance outlook in years ahead, especially with its ongoing acquisition deal with Finbank Plc.

2010

2009

12 months

% change

8 months

62,674 43632 21698 21,934 19,041 31,479 9,026 7,935

75.1 57.5 90.5 34.4 135.7 54.4 953.2 1306.9

35,789 27710 11,392 16,318 8,080 20,383 857 564

46,570 46,737 326,900 518,658 19,933 538,591

69.7 -58.2 36.9 17.4 -8.6 16.2

27,440 111,877 238,732 441,823 21,818 463,641

334,821 403,820 8,136 134,771 538,591

25.9 20.9 0.0 4.0 16.2

266,013 334,048 8,136 129,593 463,641


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

44

INSURANCE

Shareholders raise the alarm over spurious claims payment S

HAREHOLDERS have raised the alarm over alleged spurious claims being paid by insurers to some policy holders. They want insurers to verify such claims before payment, henceforth. The shareholders spoke at an investors’ forum in Lagos, saying the issue is pertinent because of the slow growth in the industry. According to them, many policy holders have approached insurance firms with spurious claims, and got paid. A senior official of National Shareholders Solidarity Asso-

Stories by Akinola Ajibade

ciation (NSAA), Mr Sunday Aderele, said there are lots of fraudulent cases that must be probed. He said: “Do you have an investigative team that would go and find out the genuineness or otherwise of claims made by the insured. When a customer comes with claims, how do you investigate claims considering the fact that there are lots of fraudsters in the country? he asked. He said operators, among other stakeholders, should work to forestall fraud.

A director in one of the insurance firms, who pleaded anonymity, said it would be wrong to accuse the firms of paying claims to fraudsters. He said claims were investigated before payment. On unclaimed dividends, the shareholders urged the operators to ensure payment of the backlog. They said their dividends would become a waste, if they are not paid. They argued that unclaimed dividends were not ploughed back into the companies once they were 10 years old as stipulated by law.

The National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr Sunny Nwosu, described the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as the headache in the industry and other sub-sectors of the economy. Nwosu said these institutions, especially CBN have destroyed the economy, and are confused about the steps to take. He said non-remittance of premium could easily be controlled by NAICOM, but lamented that the commission is not doing anything.

Minimum wage: Law Union lauds Fed Govt, Labour THE Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, Mr Yinka Bolarinwa has lauded the meeting between the Federal Government and the organised labour, adding that the development resulted in the postponement of the proposed three day warning strike billed for last wednesday. The strikes aimed at putting pressure on the government to pay the N18,000 minimum wage to workers. Bolarinwa stated this at the Law Union and Rock head office in Yaba Lagos, after observing the peaceful approach and dialogue that resulted in the call off of the strikes by the NLC. He noted the government has shown to be receptive to a dialogue with the labour union, and further ensures that the strikes was postponed. ” We should all applaud both the Federal Government and the organised labour for showing understanding and compassion to the nation’s need, because at this crucial time of our democracy, we should all understand that we are all stakeholders in moving the nation forward” he added.

Firm records 1.803b premium

•Head of Service, Prof Oladapo Afolabi (middle) flanked by Director-General, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Mr Ajibade Peters (left) and former Director-General of the college, Prof Sheik Abdulahi, at a conference in Lagos

NAICOM rules our compensation for uninsured flood victims’

T

HE Director-General, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr Fola Daniel, has ruled out compensation for the victims of flood and other natural disasters that have no insurance policies. He spoke amid the belief that victims of flood, fire and other natural disasters would be compensated by insurance firms. Some cities were devastated by flood following heavy downpour. Daniel told The Nation that only those insurance policies are entitled to compensation, whenever there are such disasters. Daniel said insurance companies

are not relief agencies, but are licensed and charged with the statutory obligations to insure lives and properties. According to him, insurance firms have provided cover for victims of natural disasters in the past, used that doing it now cannot be a problem. He said: “If there is a massive flood now and subsequent loss of properties, it is only those with insurance policies that would be compensated. This is contrary to a situation where many people would be coming for claims, without obtaining insurance policies. The industry is not a relief agency.”

Insurance firms, he said, handle agricultural risks, adding that floods are part of the agricultural risks. “There is a fire insurance policy, which cater for loss of property through fire. Anything that has to do with flood is within the confine of agricultural risks. So, if you have obtained these policies in the event of unforeseen natural occurrences, you are covered,” he said. But, the Chairman, Nigeria Insurers Association, Mr Olusola Ladipo- Ajayi, said building insurance covers flood, which is part of the special perils covered under a normal fire policy, earthquake,

• Daniel,

strike and storm. He said when a river overflows its bank and causes flood, a person could ask for claims if he has an insurance policy.

‘Why offshore subsidiaries are not performing’

A

N insight has been given into why offshore insurance companies don’t do well. They underperform because of lack of cutting edge policiies, unconducive economic environment, operators’ inability to spread their shareholdings and dearth of good visibility studies, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Regency Alliance Plc, Mr Biyi Otegbeye, said at his company’s 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM), said many insurance agencies went outside the country with wrong business models. He said many Nigerian insurance firms operating in the West Africa sub-region were finding it difficult

to grow because they failed to divest their shares. The “owners take it all” approach, he said, have affected their capacity to win lucrative businesses outside the country, noting that the development has impacted negatively on their operations. “Many of the offshore subsidiaries established by the Nigerian insurance outfits are recording losses, because they failed to extend the shareholding structures to their hosts. They are controlling 100 per cent stakes in their subsidiaries, thereby hindering the capacity to record growth,” he said. He said Regency Alliance owed 80 per cent shares in its subsidiary in

Ghana, noting that the model has worked for the company. He said seven insurance firms in Ghana have been using the Regency model to record growth. Oil and gas business, Otegbeye said, is doing well in Ghana, adding that there is a good prospect for insurance companies in the country. Industry observers argued that offshore subsidiaries are experiencing a spillover of the bad economic situations in Nigeria. They said there is no justification for offshore expansion of some firms when the local market was yet to be fully explored. The companies, they said, need sometime to settle down in their

new investment environment before they can really begin to market returns to their parent companies. According to them, the 2.4 per cent market share captured by the Nigerian insurance firms operating in Ghana could not translate to any meaningful development. Insurance firms began to explore opportunities outside the country in 2009, following the initial progress recorded by the banks. The development, an aftermath of recapitalisation, saw firms like Industrial General Insurance Limited, International Energy Insurance, Intercontinental Wapic Insurance, Regency Alliance Insurance, and others setting up branches in Ghana.

rEGENCY Alliance Insurance Plc has recorded gross premuim of N1.803 billion. This is an increase of 19.93 per cent compared with the 2009 figure of N1.50billion. The company’s Chairman, Hon. Justice Karibi-Whyte disclosed this during the 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company in Lagos. Karibi-Whyte said the net claims expense increased by 17.97 per cent to N382.28 milion, while underwriting expense s reduced by 32.7 per cent. According to him, management expenses for the period was N44 8million, an increase of 3.29 per cent over the figure recorded for 2009. He said the company, has in line with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) guidelines, made a provision of N126.2 million for premium receivables, a reduction of 12.07 per cent when compared with last year’s provision. He said the net provision after tax jumped by 258 per cent from a loss of N68.752 million to a profit of N246.752 million.

CEOs for retreat THE Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) is organising a picnic for its members next weekend. The event, billed to hold at Eleko Beach, Lagos would provide opportunity for employees of insurance companies, members of their families, friends and associations to interact freely and unwind. According to the CIIN’s President, Dr Wole Adetimehin, the picnic would be the first since his investiture as the 44th President of the institute last month. Adetimehin urged members to take advantage of the opportunity be engaging in social engineering, adding that it is a good development seeing the chief executive officers of insurance companies and council members of the Institute coming together for relaxation. Other attractions include various beach competitions such as the Volley ball, Water Polo, Beach Walk and Chess.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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46

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

NATION SPORT

PREMIERSHIP TRANSFER...

Nelsen confident of defender stay

C

APTAIN Ryan Nelsen is confident that defender Christopher Samba will still be a Blackburn player when the new season starts. Samba only signed a new long-term contract at Ewood Park earlier this year but remains keen on quitting Rovers if the chance of a bigmoney move arises, with Arsenal and Tottenham both interested in his services. But boss Steve Kean revealed he is yet to receive any offers for the centre back last week and his defensive colleague Nelsen believes there is a good chance he will still be at the club when the new campaign begins in three weeks’ time. Nelsen told Sky Sports News: “He has been a fantastic purchase for us. “He is a great guy and he’s just signed a five-year deal, so he sees his future at Blackburn. “Papers talk about clubs

•Nelsen

coming in and it just becomes gossip. From what I know, Chris has signed a five-year deal, he has talked to the owners and he’s excited to be at the club.”

Coyle ready to end Jeffren pursuit

B

OLTON boss Owen Coyle has indicated he is ready to forget signing Barcelona’s Jeffren Suarez and move on to other strike targets. Reports had suggested the Wanderers boss was closing in on the £5million capture of the Spanish youthinternational but Coyle insists the rumours are wide of the mark. The Scot has revealed he is yet to talk to the forward,

•Coyle

47

despite agreeing a fee with Barcelona, and Coyle has moved to downplay his chances of signing the promising youngster. He told the Bolton News: “I don’t wait and see with anyone. Either you want to play for this football club, or you don’t. “I have not talked to Jeffren or his representatives, so the story makes it out that it’s a bit further down the line than it is, but if it isn’t going to happen, then we’ll move on.” Jeffren has also been linked with Atletico Madrid and Valencia and the striker is now expected to remain in La Liga. Coyle has been tipped to reignite his interest in Liverpool forward David Ngog after admitting defeat in the battle for Jeffren’s signature. The Wanderers boss made asked about the availability of Frenchman last summer and was quoted a price of £6million by the Anfield side. However, the latest reports suggest Liverpool may now be willing to lower their valuation and Coyle could capture the 22-year-old for around £3million.

Pantsil agrees Leicester switch Pacheco reveals Norwich interest

D

EFENDER John Pantsil is on the verge of completing a free transfer move to Leicester after leaving Fulham last month. Pantsil has agreed a threeyear contract with Leicester manager Sven Goran Eriksson and the 30-year-old Ghana centre back will complete his move to the Walkers Stadium subject to obtaining a work permit. Pantsil has been capped 68 times by his country while he has made more than 100 Premier League appearances from spells at West Ham and Fulham. Eriksson told www.lcfc.com: “It’s very good that a player of John’s experience and quality wants to join us at Leicester. “He is another established Premier League footballer with a lot of caps at international level. He’s very athletic, strong,

and I’m sure he will do very well for us. “If we lacked experience in defence last season, we have certainly addressed that with the players we have brought in this summer.”

•Pantsil

Hodgson continues keeper talks

W

EST Brom boss Roy Hodgson is continuing to hold talks with Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster about a £4m move to the Hawthorns. Hodgson is looking for a new first-choice in goal following the departure of Scott Carson last month and has made signing a new goalkeeper one of his major priorities this summer. West Ham’s Robert Green has also been linked with the Baggies but Foster is believed to be the manager’s preferred

option and he remains keen on completing a deal. Birmingham are keen to offload Foster following their relegation to the Championship last May with the England international reportedly on wages of £1.5 million a year. Speculation at the start of the week suggests that negotiations to sign are well advanced and it is thought an initial £1 million loan fee is close to being agreed with a view to a £4 million permanent move.

•Foster

Jol eyes Liverpool midfielder Latics face McCarthy battle

F

ULHAM boss Martin Jol has made a £1.5m approach for Liverpool midfielder Christian Poulsen, according to reports. Jol signed Czech under-21 star Marcel Gecov last week but remains keen on bolstering his squad ahead of the new season and speculation suggests that Poulsen is one of his targets. The Denmark international is facing an uncertain future at Liverpool having made only 21 appearances for the Reds last term and looks to have fallen further down the midfield pecking order over the summer following the arrivals of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson. Liverpool appear ready to sell Poulsen but the transfer fee could be the sticking point with Fulham’s Premier

League rivals likely to want to recoup the majority of the £5 million fee they paid for him last summer.

•Poulsen

W

IGAN face a battle to keep midfielder James McCarthy as Arsenal have reportedly enquired about the youngster. McCarthy joined the Latics from Scottish side Hamilton and has since established himself as a key man in the Wigan midfield. Arsenal are believed to have asked about the 20-year-old’s availability earlier in the summer but were told he was not for sale by Wigan. However, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is now ready to test the Latics’ resolve and is expected to launch a firm offer before the transfer window slams shut at the end of next month. Martinez has stressed his desire to retain McCarthy on a number of occasions and will be desperate to keeo hold

of the Republic of Ireland international. Liverpool have also been linked with a move and if Wigan are forced to part with the talented youngster they can expect to see a significant profit on the £1.2million they paid the Accies for his services in 2009.

•McCarthy

O

UT-OF-FAVOUR Liverpool striker Dani Pacheco has revealed he would be interested in a return to Norwich in the future. Pacheco became an immediate favourite with Canaries’ fans last season during a short loan spell at Carrow Road in which he made six appearances. Norwich boss Paul Lambert is still on the look-out to strengthen his squad if the right player becomes available and the 20-year-old admitted he would consider rejoining the Canaries if things continue to not work out for him at Liverpool. Pacheco has made only 14 first team appearances for the Reds since joining them in 2007. The Spain under-21 international told Spanish daily newspaper Diaro Sur: “I hoped for a lot more (at Liverpool); why should I deny it? “I was told I was going to have opportunities; quite simply, if they don’t give me

•Pacheco

more opportunities, I am very clear I want to leave. “Above all, I want to play and if I have to leave to do that then there will be no problem. “Some day I would like to return home. If it happens, it happens. I’ve become very fond of Norwich and their fans. It’s another option for the future and I’ll have to assess it.”

Pardew hopes for Enrique resolution

N

EWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew hopes to keep hold of left-back Jose Enrique, despite the defender’s outburst at the club’s hierarchy. Enrique, a reported target for both Liverpool and Arsenal, launched a scathing attack on the club’s transfer policy via Twitter over the weekend. The Spaniard wrote: “The club is allowing all the major players of the team to go. Seriously, do you think it is the fault of the players? Andy [Carroll], nobby [Kevin Nolan] etc etc. This club will never again fight to be among the top six again with this policy.” In May Pardew revealed the club would make Enrique a “fantastic” offer to remain at St James’ Park, but Enrique insists he has not been offered improved terms. He added: “The [sic] give the money I have already. They lie all the time. But is no for money is because they don’t want spend in the club and bring quality players that’s why everybody go [sic].” Enrique’s candid outburst has increased the speculation he could be heading for a summer exit but Pardew is desperate to keep hold of the 25-year-old and remains optimistic he can be convinced

to stay. Pardew told the Journal: “As a manager, of course I want him to stay. The worst thing for us would be if he went late, that’s the problem. “We are trying to do some business because we need to cover ourselves in that area between now and the end of the window regardless of Enrique.” Despite Pardew’s insistence that he is confident Enrique will stay the Newcastle boss has still been linked with a number of left-backs and saw a move for Swansea’s Neil Taylor collapse earlier in the summer.

•Enrique

Potters reignite striker swoop

S

TOKE have been tipped to make a fresh move for West Ham’s Carlton Cole, despite seeing a move fall through earlier in the summer. Tony Pulis admitted last week that we wanted “four or five” new players before the transfer window slams shut, with Jonathan Woodgate the Potters boss’ only capture so far. Cole is one of Pulis’ top targets but it appeared as if the deal was dead after talks broke down between the player and the club, after Stoke had agreed a £6million fee with West Ham. However, the latest reports suggest Pulis is ready to meet Cole’s £40,000 a week wage

demands in order to secure the 27-year-old frontman.

•Cole


48

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

NATION SPORT FOOTBALL TRANSFER...FOOTBALL TRANSFER...FOOTBALL TRANSFER... Barca: Still time for Cesc deal Lazzari: Montolivo Storari too pricey for PSG should stay at Fiorentina B

ARCELONA are confident they still have plenty of time to secure the signing of Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas. Barcelona's sporting vicepresident Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident the club still have plenty of time to secure the signing of Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas. The European champions have taken their time in the transfer market this summer, with their first signing that of

Alexis Sanchez from Udinese on Thursday, and others are expected to follow. At a press conference held today to formally unveil the Chile forward, Bartomeu claimed the deal for Fabregas remains in the pipeline. "They [the talks] are going in the right direction," he said. "We will try and do what we can with the money we have. "We have until August 30 to do things and I am sure we will."

N

EW Fiorentina signing Andrea Lazzari has pleaded with Riccardo Montolivo to remain at the Tuscan club. Reports have continued to link the 26-year-old Italy international with a switch to AC Milan after CEO Adriano Galliani met with the player's agent Giovanni Branchini last week to discuss the transfer. However, Lazzari, who has just arrived from Cagliari, feels his former Atalanta colleague should remain for another season. "Riccardo has always been a friend. I have known him for years and we grew up together at Atalanta," Lazzari told the press during his unveiling. "It is right that every player

J Rangers seal Gabbidon deal

Q

Ham. The 31-year-old defender,

•Gabbidon

who made 113 appearances in six years with the Hammers, has agreed a one-year deal at Loftus Road.He becomes Rangers boss Neil Warnock's third signing of the summer, along with fellow former Hammer Kieron Dyer and Cardiff striker Jay Bothroyd. Gabbidon told Rangers' official website: "Hopefully I can bring experience to the table having played in the Premier League for a number of years. "I know the ins and outs of the league, and what's required. "There are a lot of good players here already but hopefully, with my ability, I can add something to the team."

UVENTUS have responded to Bayern Munich chairman KarlHeinz Rummenigge following his comments regarding the transfer of Arturo Vidal. The Italians landed Vidal last week from Bayer Leverkusen, and the move caused consternation for Bayern Munich who accused the player of not keeping his word. Rummenigge then slammed the player again on

Valencia rule out Juan Mata sale

V

ALENCIA President Manuel Llorente has ruled out a summer departure for star man Juan Mata in spite of increased speculation around the attacker’s future. The Spanish international has been linked in the summer considerably with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Inter, but it seems Mata will not suffer the same fate as David Villa and David Silva. The two former Valencia stars were sold by the club for big money last summer as the club aimed to service their substantial debt. In spite of reducing that by almost •200m inside two years, aided by Villa and Silva’s departures, the club’s Coach Unai Emery recently conceded to Marca that they could still have to sell Mata if a European giant offered big money. However, Llorente has contradicted those comments much to the delight of Valencia fans, with the former Real Madrid Castilla player looking set to stay at the Mestalla for the coming season. He told Superdeporte: “The decision is clear and money will not change our position. Valencia will not sell to any club that wants to buy Mata.”

•Lazzari

The World Cup and European Under-21 Championship winner had been suggested as a possible replacement for Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal as the Gunners’ captain is expected to seal a transfer to Barcelona, whilst Mata had also been linked with Inter due to the uncertainty surrounding their playmaker Wesley Sneijder. Last season, Mata managed 33 league appearances, scoring eight goals in the process and was instrumental in helping the Spain win the European Under-21 Championships earlier this summer.

•Mata

•Vidal

Monday, but Juventus have hit back via a strong statement. "With reference to Arturo Vidal’s signing and to the statements expressed by KarlHeinz Rummenigge president of the vigilance committee at Bayern Munich - Juventus’ response occurs through the words of the managing director and sports director general Giuseppe Marotta. "'In the circumstance concerning Vidal, Juventus operated according to the regular channels of the transfer market, including an agreement both with the club, in this case Bayer Leverkusen, and with the player involved. "'Apparently, Rummenigge relied on less conventional channels, I’m really sorry for him and Bayern. They missed a good chance, both in the transfer market and in their communication: silence would have been preferable. "Evidently, the past of a great champion and executive who wore the Nerazzurri’s [Inter's] shirt as Rummenigge did, carries some weight and, as known, the heart cannot be controlled.'”

Lazio to swoop for Manuel Vargas

L

AZIO are hopeful of luring Juan Manuel Vargas away from Fiorentina ahead of the start of the 2011-12 campaign as they are looking to further boost their squad, Il Corriere dello Sport report. The Stadio Olimpico side have already secured the services of players such as Miroslav Klose, Djibril Cisse and Federico Marchetti, and club president Claudio Lotito has now set his sights on Vargas. Nevertheless, Lazio face an uphill task to lure the 27-yearold away from Fiorentina, who have set a •15 million asking price for the winger. The Peru international has a contract until the summer of 2013 with the Tuscan side. A possible move for Vargas could therefore depend on the future of Mauro Zarate, who has been linked with Atletico Madrid. "I don't know anything

P

Cup 2010. Earlier today, PSG confirmed the capture of Jeremy Menez from Roma.

•Storari

Roma to up Stekelenburg bid

Juventus slam Bayern over Vidal transfer

•Fabregas

PR have completed the signing of Danny Gabbidon following his release by West

aims to better themselves, but I really want him to stay." Lazzari, 26, has joined the Artemio Franchi-based side on a three-year deal.

ARIS SG have ended their interest in Marco Storari after Juventus aimed high in terms of a transfer fee. The French club were interested in the veteran shotstopper and had offered the Turin giants •3m for him. However, according to Sky Sport Italia, Juventus asked the French giants for a fee of •5m for the 34-year-old. That is deemed as excessive by PSG, especially as the Old Lady signed the same player just 12 months ago for •4.5m. Juve made a move for the former Milan and Sampdoria man after Gigi Buffon picked up a serious injury at World

•Vargas

about my future yet. I know that a number of important clubs have made enquiries, but we'll have to wait and see what happens. I'm still a Fiorentina player for now," stated Vargas at the weekend. The winger joined Fiorentina from Catania in the summer of 2008 and has since made close to 100 appearances for the club.

R

OMA are ready to offer •8m to Ajax in an effort to complete the capture of Maarten Stekelenburg, say Sky Sport Italia. The two clubs have been in talks about the goalkeeper, but agreeing a fee has proved problematic. With just a year left on his contract, there has been a

difference of opinion with regard to demand and offer. The Italian side are known to have made a •5m bid last week, but that was rejected by the Dutch club. The former European champions want closer to •10m for the international, but •8m may now be enough to close the deal.

•Stekelenburg

Palermo cool Silvestre rumours

P

ALERMO have cooled speculation that they have made a serious bid for Matias Silvestre of Catania. The Argentine has been made available for transfer by Catania and they are hoping to get •8m for him. A host of sides have been paired with his services, with Palermo the latest associated after links with Juventus, Roma, Milan and Genoa. “There are no meetings lined up with Catania,” Palermo sporting director Sean Sogliano told italsportpress.it. “There is also no strong offensive from us in order to take Silvestre to Palermo. “All I can say about the Argentine defender is that he is a good element, but there is nothing concrete at this time.” Sogliano did confirm that Davide Lanzafame could be heading to Catania though. “That’s true,” he added. “I know Catania have spoken to

his agent and that they are interested in the player. “We are ready to sell him as he doesn’t fit in with the plans of the Coach. We’ll see what happens in the next few days.”

•Silvestre


SLIDING TACKLE

“I’m 27. Don’t worry I don’t forget to score goals... I will score,” It’s going to be a big season. My form is ok, it’s time to be fit and ready. We’re trying to get into the best form. We have got big expectations and I can see the winning mentality we have (at Chelsea).” Wednesday, July 27, 2011

50

Chelsea striker, Fernando Torres vowing to end his goal-drought in the next season.

AHEAD OF COMMUNITY SHIELD CLASH

Fergie warns ‘noisy neighbours’ City

S

IR Alex Ferguson warned Manchester City that he will use next month’s Community Shield as an opportunity to put his ‘noisy neighbours’ in their place. City beat United in last season’s FA Cup semi-final on the way to ending their 35-year wait for a trophy, and Ferguson admitted that Roberto Mancini’s side have now emerged as a genuine threat to his hopes of retaining the Barclays Premier League title. However, the Old Trafford boss is determined to strike an early

•Batista

blow when the two rivals return to Wembley on August 7 after reviving his famous comment about City in New York. ‘Obviously the Community Shield is not a normal one for Manchester United,’ said Ferguson. ‘It’s about addressing our noisy neighbours again. It’s going to be an interesting match. ‘If you look at the possibilities of the top teams, anyone one of them can win the league. Ourselves, City, Liverpool have improved a lot, and Arsenal and Chelsea are always challengers.’

FIFA set to investigate Caribbean meeting

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Argentina fires Batista A

RGENTINA has dispensed with the services of coach Sergio Batista, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has announced. Batista’s future at the helm of the South American giants had been a huge source of conjecture following the team’s failure to go beyond the quarterfinals at Copa America while hosting the competition. Argentina was ousted from the competition after losing to eventual winners Uruguay on penalties, a result that followed two draws and one victory in the group stage. Batista met with the AFA’s Executive Committee earlier on Monday at the association’s headquarters in Ezeiza and it was decided to cut the coach’s time short.

AFA’s spokesman Cherquis Bialo confirmed the decision during a press conference. “I would like to inform you that after a cordial and friendly telephone conversation between Sergio Batista and (AFA president) Julio Grondona, Mr. Batista left the decision to the selection committee,” he explained. “The committee has decided to rescind its contract with Batista and suspend the friendly match with Romania to consider who will take on the duties of the national team. There are no deadlines to decide a successor; the decision will be made in time.” Batista, 48, took over from Diego Maradona after the 2010 World Cup finals initially on a temporary basis, but landed a permanent role just

three months into the job. Bialo insisted that “Batista wasn’t fired” and when asked if the tactician would be given compensation on his contract that is due to expire in 2014, he stated: “It is an administrative matter and I

cannot comment on it.” Former Estudiantes coach Alejandro Sabella, Paraguay boss Gerardo Martino and Carlos Bianchi, formerly with Boca Juniors and Atletico Madrid, have been linked to fill the vacancy.

IFA are set to open a further investigation into the meeting of Caribbean football officials which resulted in former presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam being banned for life. Soccer’s governing body told Reuters that all Caribbean Football Union (CFU) member associations had been given 48 hours to “provide and report all relevant information in their possession” about the meeting in Port of Spain on May 10-11 where Bin Hammam was alleged to have offered votes for cash. “Following this 48-hour

period, the ethics Committee will be asked to open the necessary ethics proceedings,” FIFA told Reuters in an email on Tuesday. “Truthful and complete reporting will be considered in mitigation by the ethics committee when deciding on potential sanctions. “Any person who has relevant information but does not come forward during this 48 hour period will be subject to the full range of sanctions.” Bin Hammam, alleged to have offered cash for votes at the meeting, was found guilty of bribery on Saturday.

I'll score, Fernando Torres vows C

HELSEA’s misfiring striker Fernando Torres on Tuesday swatted away fears over his form since his £50 million ($82 million) switch from Liverpool, vowing to end his goal drought in the new season. Torres, who scored once in 18 appearances in a miserable four months last season, remains a concern for Chelsea after failing to find the target

in the club’s two Asia tour outings ahead of their Premier League start on August 14. Critics have questioned whether the Spaniard, recruited for a British transfer record, has the ability to help the west London outfit win trophies under new manager Andre Villas-Boas. But speaking to reporters in Hong Kong, where Chelsea end their tour this week with two games in the Barclays

Asia Trophy, Torres hit back at his doubters. “I’m 27. Don’t worry I don’t forget to score goals... I will score,” said the World Cupwinning Spain international. “It’s going to be a big season. My form is ok, it’s time to be fit and ready. We’re trying to get into the best form. We have got big expectations and I can see the winning mentality we have (at Chelsea).” Torres, who became a

Liverpool legend with his rampant goal-scoring, did not make the scoresheet in Chelsea’s laboured 1-0 win over Malaysia or their 4-0 victory in Thailand. His dry spell has prompted speculation that Chelsea may have bought a striker on the wane and leaves Villas-Boas, who arrived from Porto for £13.3 million, with a dilemma over whether the star forward merits a starting spot.

OTHER SPORTS...OTHER SPORTS...OTHER SPORTS...OTHER SPORTS...OTHER SPORTS...OTHER SPORTS...

Felix set for 200 and 400 Sharapova eyes Ryan Lochte beats world 200 Serena reunion in Stanford Phelps in 200m freestyle THREE-TIMES in Worlds metres champion Allyson Felix will seek to become the first on Felix’s legs before she tries

THE prospect of renewing her long rivalry with Serena Williams has provided Maria Sharapova with added incentive to win this week’s Stanford Classic. The Russian and the American are both on comebacks from health problems and could meet in the quarter-finals at Stanford as they launch their US hard court seasons in California. “I love playing against her,” Sharapova said. “We’ve had very, very tough matches against each other. “I don’t have a great record against her and I would love to change that. There is no doubt I would love to play her this summer at some point.” The pair have played each other eight times, with

Williams winning six and the Russian twice. Sharapova beat Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final but the American has won their last five in a row. “Rivalries are exciting for me and for the sport,” Sharapova said.

•Sharapova

AMERICAN Ryan Lochte received a massive confidence boost ahead of next year’s London Games when he swum down compatriot and Olympic champion Michael Phelps to claim the men’s 200 metres freestyle world championships title on Tuesday. The 26-year-old Lochte, who has often had to play second fiddle to Phelps and the now retired Aaron Peirsol throughout his career, overpowered a high class field and emerged as a genuine challenger for multiple Olympics titles next year. “It’s a major confidence boost,” Lochte told reporters after he won gold in one minute, 44.44 seconds. “It’s the

most challenging competition (I’ve ever raced). “I have done all the training I can. There were a couple of bumps in the road but for most of it, I was a straight shot (and) I think it was my time tonight.”

•Ryan Lochte

woman to win World Championships gold at both 200 and 400 metres next month in South Korea. Decided to go for the double (200/400) at WC’s,” Felix tweeted. “Will be very difficult, but first step to accomplishing greatness is trying.” France’s Marie-Jose Perec won both the 200 and 400 metres at the 1996 Olympics but no woman has been successful in the World Championships. Felix, 25, had debated whether to attempt the double at the August 27-September 4 championships in Daegu, South Korea because of the schedule. The 400 metres will come first on the programme, with its three rounds putting extra strain

for an unprecedented fourth world 200m title. “The fourth 200 is something that would be very special,” Felix said last month, “but the opportunity to double is something that does not come around a lot.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

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SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP TIPS

IFC to invest in Food Concepts

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HE International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $20 million in Food Concepts Plc, owner of Chicken Republic, to help the quick-service restaurant and bakery operator expand operations in Nigeria and Ghana. IFC is providing a financing package consisting of a $13 million equity investment and a $7 million loan to the company to develop about 40 new quick-service restaurants, double bakery production, and establish a poultry production farm in the country. Food Concepts’ expansion plan is expected to create hundreds of jobs, benefitting many smaller businesses in its supply chain. Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Food Concepts, Deji Akinyanju, said: “IFC’s long-term capital and loan will allow Food Concepts to implement its long-term growth strategy. IFC’s global expertise will also enable us to become a leading regional quick service restaurant and bakery operator, using best practices in corporate governance, insurance, financial management, and environmental and social matters.” IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, said: “IFC’s investment in Food Concepts underscores our commitment to supporting Nigeria’s private sector, especially its SMEs sector. Our partnership with Food Concepts will also help develop reliable food supply chains and strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa’s agribusiness and food-processing sectors, which are vital to the region’s development.” Early this year, the fast food service provider started the floating of its N5 billion five-year Nigeria’s first asset-backed corporate bond. The quick service restaurant chain said the move was to enable it refinance short-term loans obtained from banks in the past as well as fund its medium and long-term expansion programmes.

•A pig breast feeding

Entrepreneur seeks support for SMEs

How to run a pig farm M

ANY years ago, consumers ate more meat, fish or eggs and other proteinous foods. Protein consumption has since increased as incomes rise, and significant growth occurs in preferred menu options including fatty products. Pork consumption is now prevalent. The meat is on the menu list of many hotels and restaurants across the country. On the average, pork purchases make up about 10 percent of their total meat expenditures. There is high demand for pork products amongst well-travelled consumers and foreigners and processed products such as sliced meats, hams, bacon and sausage can be found in specialty shops and high-end restaurants. The popularity of pork products is related to the fact that there are local catering butchers with reputation for supplying quality pig meat at competitive prices, There are local companies that process sausages, bacon and canned meat, as well as small quantities of frozen meat.They need pork.This means big business opportunity. The Managing Director, Latosa Farms, Babasola Oyeleye, said piggery business is a highly profitable business and one can make money from it. He said pig farming can provide one with satisfaction if one does it right. The fundamental element of raising pigs rests on the construction of a spacious and well-ventilated pig pen. How large the area is depends on the amount of pigs one wants to breed. Oyeleye said it is profitable to invest in pig farming and pork production . Pigs feed on both grains and meat. They can also be fed with cooked table scraps and vegetables. Corn is their most common food, but they could benefit from having a diet with protein from soybeans or cooked meat. General Manager,Optimix Premix Group,Animal Care Konsult Limited,Mr Chimere Joseph, said pigs grow faster with vitamins and other supplements. To help famers meet their higher nutritional requirements, he said his organisation has prepared Animix feed product.

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HE Managing Director, Perfect Care Systems (PCS), Mr Gbenga Babatunde, has called for a boost for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to engender sustainable economic development. Babatunde said in Lagos that pegging economic development on the SMEs would lead to an inclusive and diversified economic growth. He said while SMEs had been accepted globally as the vehicle for economic development, the entrepreneurial skill of Nigerians and opportunities made it imperative for the nation to encourage them. “It is for the SMEs to grow and have facilities from the big companies, so that many youths who don‘t have white jobs can be engages,” he added.

By Daniel Essiet

Animix, he explained, is for optimal profit in piggery because it offers the essential vitamins for better growth of the pig at various stages. After about seven months, pigs are expected to reach ideal market weight of more than 90 kg to be sold or slaughtered for consumption. Because of poor feeding, he said farmers achieve this weight in one and a half years. According to Joseph, pigs need a rich combination of vegetables, high protein grain diet and ground corn to achieve maximum weight gain. With Animix, he explained, that it is possible to reach 90 kg in six months. Faster growing pigs are more efficient converters of feed and deposit lean tissue faster, resulting in better carcass quality and a higher value per pig sold. The heavier pigs have a better developed digestive system and are able to digest solid feeds more efficiently, which not only leads to faster growth, but also results in a lower incidence of health problems. He said there are structures for rearing different groups of pigs, size of pen structure for small/ big pigs, cost effective feed(type) and ideal management practices for different groups of pigs. The issue, Joseph said is to advise on how to make pig farming a profitable business, especially on housing, feeding and minimising costs particularly those relating to feeds. According to him, when the pigs are ready to be sold, they will be priced based on size and health Because the feeds used are consumed at this stage, differences in efficiency have a large effect on production costs and margins In preparing a business plan, he emphasised that nutritious feeding should take premium place. According to Joseph, the weaning age continues to have a big influence on the performance of pigs at the finishing stage, because they enter the finishing barn at a higher weight and consequently continue to grow faster and more efficiently. Sanitation, Joseph added, is important to keep the pigs disease-

Developing office complex •Oyeleye

free,adding that the farmer must make provision for easy cleaning and removal of waste. According to him, the pigs need a dry, secure place to live that will protect them from the weather and provide enough space to move around. To achieve greater results, he noted that pigs need housing to keep them warm during cold temperatures and comfortable during excessive heat. Experts said growth rate during the nursery phase has been shown to influence carcass quality, especially loin eye depth, and backfat depth. Weaning weight is the biggest influence on nursery growth rate, but any factor that results in a reduction in growth rate – such as disease, poor environment or inadequate diets – will also adversely affect carcass quality. According to Joseph, this is because in the early stages of growth pigs are depositing lean and very little fat and the more rapidly they lay it down, the higher the lean content in the carcass. Conversely, slow early growth means that more fat is deposited at the later stages of growth and the loin is less well developed at market weight. A small scale entrepreneur can start commercial pig farming with five sows and one boar. With ideal housing, he could increase it to a capacity of 100 pigs and start selling piglets given proper feeding. He said one needs a bout N400,000 to make a big start. This is besides basic infrastructure. Experts said the pigs drink two to four gallons of water per day. One needs to keep a tub and fill it with clean water throughout the day

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HE building and construction sector has continued to record remarkable growth ,especially since the early 1990s. This situation is true for urban cities, as depicted by numerous building projects such as offices, schools and residential accommodation. Next to food, shelter is the second most important requirement by man. It is not a luxury, but a necessity to live and operate under a shelter. The task of accommodating the nation’s increasing populations and improving their living standards poses a major challenge not only for urban development and housing polices, but for national development. The buoyancy of the economy in the early 70s and the uneven spatial distribution of industrial development accelerated the rate of urbanisation in the country. The concentration of industries and government ministries /parastatals in urban centres coupled with the availability of adequate socio-economic infrastructural facilities have resulted in massive rural-urban migration. This uncontrolled and unplanned urbanisation has cumulated in high demand for accommodation in qualitative and quantitative forms. However, not everybody, particularly those in the urban areas have access to resources to construct and own a shelter. Majority of the workers, therefore, live in rented accommodation. People who demand rentable accommodation are, to a large extent, workers who live in the urban areas. There are bright prospects for development and management of properties in Nigeria, especially in the urban parts. It is influenced by government policies and direct involvement in building and construction works, population growth, rapid urbanisation and social averseness. The building industry will continue to expand in future because of the urgent need to provide new structures, rehabilitate and redevelop obsolete ones, and the need to provide essential infrastructure such as decent accommodation/ offices for the nation’s economic and technological development. Cost of setting up a small scale Property Development Company in any of the urban cities of Nigeria could range from N15 million to N35 million. The project stand a chance of reaping huge incomes for the promoters. A turnover of about N75 million of its 45 per cent installed capacity utilisation at first year operation is possible. This will give a first year after tax profit of about N18.75 million, which is 25 per cent of its turnover. This project stands a good chance of attracting loan facility from the bank. We are also positioned to source offshore funds for both existing business and off-takers. A well-packaged feasibility report is a prerequisite to securing both local and international finance for the project. For details on how to implement this project or any other (over 5,000 on our researched list), please contact us. We are willing to assist potential investors on any aspect of the project. Prospective investors may get in touch with us at the address stated hereunder. By: Edwin Agbaike [Projects/Financial Consultant] Kris-Ed Brilliant Limited (Brilliant Consulting). No. Tel. Nos. 08098525122; 08023381900. E-mail: krisedbrilliant@ yahoo.com; edwinagbaike@yahoo.com.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

52

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION with

How to promote yourself BOOK REVIEW Author: Hal Lancaster Publisher: Free Press Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi

GOKE ILESANMI

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OST employees face the challenge of getting promotion in the workplace. They adduce different (wrong) reasons for this. Such people need to read this book entitled “Promoting Yourself”. It is written by Hal Lancaster who spent more than 30 years at “The Wall Street Journal” as a reporter, bureau chief, editor and columnist. Lancaster reveals that today’s workplace requires you to compete against ambitious bosses, peers and subordinates, all seeking the brass ring of success. He assures that this text offers readers the street smarts and insight needed to tackle the highly-political and often-unjust reality of corporate life. The text is divided into seven parts of 52 chapters. Part one is generically christened “Selling yourself”, and contains the first eight chapters. Chapter one is interrogatively entitled “Whither goest resumes?” Here, Lancaster says when he first started writing on career management, he vowed that he would not waste much time on the intricacies of curriculum vitae (called “resume” in American English). The author adds that in truth, even the greatest curriculum vitae is not likely to get you a job, and the best it can do is to get you in the door. He expatiates that in the ultimate hiring decision, your interview and references carry far more weight. Lancaster adds that a bad curriculum vitae can cost you a job by eliminating you from

contention before you get a chance to dazzle. Chapter two is based on highlighting your hidden skills. Here, this author says you may not be able to fathom that miraculous little thing that finally makes a hiring manager hire you. Lancaster says it is necessary to keep an inventory of all your experience and skills, adding that part or one of them may someday land you the career of your dreams. In chapters three to eight, he examines subject matters such as promoting yourself online; how to tell good schmoozing from bad; being wary in job-hunting; who is likely to get a job; acting the interview and getting what you are worth. Part two is based on the eclectic concept of getting ahead, and has seven chapters, covering chapters nine to 15. Here, the author discusses concepts such as taking the road less travelled; hunting the elusive mentor; leading when you are not the leader; breaking out of your pigeonhole; chasing the MBA and dunning your boss for a raise. Part three is generally summarised as “into the management maelstrom” and contains five chapters, that is, chapters 16 to 20. Chapter 16 is entitled “Avoiding those first-time manager blues”. Lancaster says making the leap to a managerial position is not quite that traumatic, but close to that. According to him, “Most get thrown into the arena under-trained and under-armed, uncertain how much authority they really have and just how to wield it without alienating this gaggle of needy humans they’ve been asked to lead.” In chapters 17 to 20, the author analytically X-rays concepts such as who said techies cannot manage?;

managing techies when you are not one; managing a hostile crew; and the art and craft of being a good number two. Part four has the overall subject of making midcourse corrections, and covers nine chapters, that is, chapters 21 to 29. Chapter 21 is entitled “Turnarounds and careers: Even a lemon has juice”. Here, Lancaster says if you want to make a name for yourself as a can-do manager, find something broken that needs to be fixed. He stresses that turnaround managers must always stay calm and think clearly in the midst of turmoil and be able to envision both short- and longterm goals. In chapters 22 to 29, the author discusses concepts such as avoidance of crisis; learning from failure; adapting to continual turmoil; return of the living dead; and job-hopping. The remaining concepts are how to survive your middle crisis; going home again and using a job hiatus to build a new career. Part five is based on the generic subject matter of swimming in a sea of change and contains seven chapters, that is, chapters 30 to 36. Here, Lancaster analytically X-rays concepts such as high-anxiety, lowesteem blues; reinventing your job; creating your own new job; taking a buyout and going bye-bye; wielding the broom; post-merger trauma; and chasing the start-up pot of gold. Part six is summarily woven together as “Office politics: Playing well with others”, and contains seven chapters, covering chapters 37 to 43. Here, the author examines concepts such as mastering office politics without becoming a jerk; getting noticed without being pushy; learning to negotiate in your career; living with bad bosses; surviving a new boss; going over the boss’s head, etc. Part seven, the last part has general thematic focus of alternate paths to glory, and covers chapters 44 to 52. Here, Lancaster beams his analytical searchlight on concepts such as the perils and promise of turning your hobby into a career;

alternative work arrangements; getting branded for life; building a parallel career for fun and profit, etc. Stylistically, this text is a success. The language is standard and simple while the presentation is superb. Lancaster lends credibility to the text by illustrating with stories of real-life professionals. Through this strategy, he is able to inspire readers to take action. However, the layout of inside pages needs to be improved upon, because graphics are not used.

There is an error of punctuation on page four where the –ing compound noun “job hunting” is used without a hyphen so that it can be something like “jobhunting”. Also, chapter one that is based on curriculum vitae needs to be made clearer and more definite. I am a curriculum vitae consultant and know the chapter needs to be beefed up. Finally, this text is fantastic and is thus highly recommended to those who want to bid their career stagnation farewell.

Organisational crises and effective communication strategy

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RISIS and organisational communication. It is a reality that all corporate organisations are vulnerable to crises. In short, it is inevitable to be in business without experiencing situations involving lawsuits, sudden changes in company ownership or management, and other volatile situations on which stakeholders often focus. Good news But the good news is that organisations can better cope with crises if they have established sound and long-term relationship with stakeholders, that is, the people and organisations that are at risk from the decisions and actions of such organisations. No organisation has enough resources to engage in the ideal two-way symmetric dialogue with every stakeholder, so management must allocate resources in the order of priority. Stakeholder relationship management should be a priority task of management. Stakeholders can be assessed and prioritised according to their impact on the organisation. Public liability companies in

By Goke Ilesanmi times of crises It is natural that a crisis will have effects on the future financial performance of a company, so crisis communication plans should make full allowance for releasing information to interested parties simultaneously. As regards public liability companies in times of crises, basically such companies are obliged to follow the rules of their local stock exchange in releasing information into the public arena. Kim Harrison, a renowned authority on public relations, says all information relating to the financial performance of such a company has to be announced simultaneously to shareholders through the exchange, analysts, the media and other stakeholders. Stakeholders’ perception and speed The stakeholders to a crisis will immediately form their perception about the content of the organisation’s messages in various ways. The first one is the communication speed. First im-

pression is the lasting impression. The first message received on a subject sets the stage for comparison of all future messages on that subject. The speed with which the first communication is issued can be an indicator to stakeholders and the public as to how prepared the organisation is to respond to the crisis. If stakeholders are not aware of the organisation’s response to the event, then as far as they are concerned, the organisation is not responding. The stakeholders will lose confidence and the organisation will always be attempting to catch up the perception. Message facts Another way through which stakeholders to a crisis form their perception about the content of an organisation’s message is through the facts of a message. The stakeholders will be listening for the facts, so the organisation should get the facts right, repeat them consistently and ensure all credible sources share the same facts. Preparation can help to maximise the amount of information that can be as-

sembled and disseminated. Trust Trust is another way through which stakeholders to a crisis form their perception. As with risk communication, it is vital to establish trust and credibility with your key audiences. There are four basic elements to establishing trust and credibility through crisis communication. People will realise if these elements are faked. All written and verbal messages during a crisis should contain the following elements: Empathy, competence, honesty and dedication. Addition Empathy. Empathy should be expressed in the first 30 seconds. Being perceived as empathetic and caring provides greater opportunity for the message to be accepted by the receiver. Competence. Obviously, education, position title and organisational roles are quick ways to indicate expertise. Previous experience and demonstrated abilities in the current situation enhance the perception of competence. Honesty. Convey all the relevant

information. If the spokesperson is prevented from passing on certain information then it helps to explain why, e.g. “We don’t have that information at this stage”, etc. • To be continued

NOTE: The duration of the public speaking seminar has been greatly reduced as requested, in addition to other adjustments. You will find the programme on the right side at the upper part of my website. Click on the text and see details. I appreciate your suggestions and requests. •GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: info@gokeilesanmi.com Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 , 2011

NEWS Onitsha Bridgehead Road critical, says Obi NANMBRA State Governor Peter Obi said yesterday the Expressway from Onitsha Bridgehead to Enugu is critical to Anambra State. He described the road as strategic to the state in addition to its economic importance to the nation. Obi spoke during a visit to Minister of Works, Michael Onolememen in Abuja. Obi said though the contract had long been awarded, the state Government was not satisfied with the pace of work which necessitated his visit to the Minister. Obi promised to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Works on the project even if it meant the state financing the project and being reimbursed later. The Governor expressed happiness that President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister had the project in mind. The Minister said on assumption of office, the Onitsha Bridgehead road was the first the President gave him directives on.

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Man, 60, sues army for N.5b

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SIXTY-YEAR- old man, Joseph Agu, has sued the army for N500 million. He alleged that he lost his sight after an attack by a soldier. Addressing a news conference yesterday, Agu said Sergeant Francis Ogah of the Army Public Relations unit attacked him on January 15 last year on Abakpa-Ogui Road, Enugu State. Agu, he said, was on uniform. He added that he subsequently lost his eyes. His case is being prosecuted by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDP). Justice Dorathy Agishi of

From Chris Oji, Enugu

the Federal High Court in Enugu adjourned the case till Oct 5. Agu’s counsel, Ifeoma Adaghara,has said the court should declare that the attack on Agu violated his fundamental rights. She prayed court to declare that the lack of interest by the army is a violation of the fundamental rights of the applicant. She said the army’s failure to take care of Agu and his family after he was allegedly blinded by a soldier violated Section 34(1) of the Constitution. The counsel prayed the

court to order the army to pay the applicant N500 million for unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional violation of his rights, leading to permanent loss of sight. Counsel to the army, Venatus Odo, said the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and General Officer Commanding (GOC) could not be sued. According to him, Sergeant Ogah was not on duty at the time of the offence and the army was not liable for his action. Ogah’s counsel E. Enechukwu told the court that her client had been dismissed from the army following the offence.

He said the incident occured when he was driving a tipper on AbakpaOgui Road in Enugu State . Ogah was driving a Mitsubishi L300 bus on the same route. Agu said Ogah blocked his vehicle, pulled him out and beat him up. He said Ogah hit him on the eyes with his military belt, adding that the delay in procuring surgery to his damaged nostril also cost him his right eye. According to him, Agu said Colonel D. A. Amos incharge of military police, 82 Division, who handled the initial reports, had lost interest in the case.

• Manbo Tasana Cultural troupe entertaining guests during the Osun- Osogbo international conference at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja ...yesterday. PHOTO:RAHMAN SANUSI

Orji blames council chair, rulers over oil theft

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O V E R N O R Theodore Orji of Abia State has decried the loss of revenue following the theft of crude oil at Umuokwo, Ukwa West Local Government, where some unidentified persons allegedly lifted oil from about 150 tankers. The governor, who visited the site, described the incident as an economic sabotage and vowed to bring the penetrators to book. Orji described the loss as important to to the growth of the state economy. Orji said: “We are talking of

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

lack of money, we are talking of diminishing returns in terms of what comes to us in oil. Our oil production is going down everyday. We did not know people were sabotaging us, carting away our crude oil free of charge and making all the money to the detriment of the state.” He alleged that the council chairman, Felix Ebere and traditional rulers of the community connived with the perpetrators. Orji said: “But today, nem-

‘The governor cannot be everywhere. That is why we have the local government chairmen and traditional rulers. We have all of them at the grassroots, something is wrong somewhere.’ esis has caught up with them. And it is unfortunate that the traditional rulers of the community connived

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with the saboteurs. “The governor cannot be everywhere. That is why we have the local government chairmen and traditional rulers. We have all of them at the grassroots, something is wrong somewhere.” The state Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Commission (NSCDC), Nathaniel Ubong, had said his command arrested six persons and three trucks belonging to an Oando oil company at Obehie in Ukwa West local government for alleged oil bunkering.

CLO protests police brutality in Anambra

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HE Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) yesterday protested the manhandling of its Secretary Comrade Justus Ijeoma by the police. Over 100 members of the organisation stormed the headquarters of the State Police Command, demanding the removal of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and Divisional Crime

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Officer (DCO)of Fegge police in Onitsha. Chairman of the rights group Alloysius Attah called for an independent team to monitor the activities of policemen on duty in the state. Some of the placards displayed by the CLO members reads: “Police would abuse peoples rights, we demand

justice for our brutalised Secretary, police stop using traders to make money, police we believe in the rule of law,” among others. The CLO Secretary was allegedly beaten up by policemen from Fegge division, Onitsha, following the alleged instruction of the Divisional Crime Officer(DCO) and Deputy Superintendent of Police

Elechi submits list of ‘commissioners’, Advisers OVERNOR Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State has sent a list of 20 commissioner nominees and seven Special Advisers to the House of Assembly for screening and confirmation. The nominees had been screened by the State Security Service(SSS). According to a statement

ANAMBRA State Government has set up a fiveman committee to investigate the activities and employment procedure of Anambra State Broadcasting Service (ABS). The ABS is headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, Dike Ndulue. According to Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Maja Umeh, members of the committee were drawn from the Ministry of Justice. Umeh said 46 of the corporation had been disengaged, adding that their employment was illegal. Umeh and the Chairman of Radio, Television, Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU), Emeka Kalu addressed reporters yesterday in Awka.

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

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From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

‘Igbo language must not die’

Okorocha defends size of exco OVERNOR Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has defended the size of his executive council. He said those appointed in the exco would generate resources and create wealth for the state. The governor spoke at a meeting with appointees at the Government House in Owerri. He described criticism against his large exco as baseless and frivolous. He said the Imo government had been structured to operate as a task-force to achieve results. “My team players will work to generate their pay. I have defined their roles. I am optimistic that they will deliver,”he said. Okorocha said his administration was in a hurry to deliver democracy dividends to the people and address bureaucratic bottlenecks that delays policy implementation. He assured of infrastructural development, healthcare delivery, industrialisation, security and free education at all levels. The governor said his administration had cut down the cost of governance and reiterated his resolve to run a corruption-free administration. He warned political appointees to shun corruption.

Anambra to probe corporation

by the spokesman of the Assembly, Simon Nwankwo, in Abakiliki yesterday, 12 former commissioners made the list while eight are new. They are Romanus Nwasum, Donatus Ajah ,Hycienth Ikpo,Sunday Ugwuocha, Friday Nwaugha, Ifeanyi Ikeh, Samuel Mgbada Junior,

Chike Onwe, Celestine Nwali, Fred Udogu, Ben Okah and James Aro Nweke. Others are Sunday Nwangele, Chukwuma Nwandiugo, Ben Igwenyi, Paul Okorie, Jonah Egba, Ndubuisi Chibueze Agbo, Timothy Odah and Chinyere Nwanoke. The Special Advisers are

Chidi Emerole Ejem, John Nwaokerekwu, Ken Uhor, Beatrice Nkwuda, Clement Nweke, Collins Agbo and Chinyere Elom. According to the statement, the nominees are expected to proceed to the House of Assembly with their credentials for screening and confirmation.

(DSP) (names withheld). Ijeoma’s offence, according to the CLO, was that he challenged the DCO II and IPO when he demanded N30,00 0 bail fee from Cyril Akubue before he could be released. Akubue was arrested following a complaint by Odinaka Okorie that he (Akubue) accused him (Odinaka) of stealing his cell phone. The police officers allegedly used gun butt, batons and fist on him. Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Administration Edna Ugbebor and Assistant Commissioner in-charge of Criminal Investigation Department Mike Okoli addressed the protesters. Ugbebor said the matter had been handed over to the state CID for investigation.

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has called for the resuscitation of theIgbo language and culture. He threatened the revocation of licences of schools that do not offer Igbo as a language. Also, he said Igbo would soon become a criterion for employment in the Civil Service. He said this yesterday at the Government House in Awka, while handing over a bus to the Committee in charge of the Ogbalu Igbo language School under construction by his government. The committee is headed by Prof. Pita Ejiofor, the former Vice-Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Book on Awo for launch A book on Obafemi Awolowo and the making of Remo will be launched Tomorrow at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Lagos. In a statement by former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science and Chancellor, Lead City University, Prof Gabriel Ogunmola, the guest lecturer is Dr Tokunbo AwolowoDosumu . Prof Jide Osuntokun will review the book. The book is written by Dr Insa Nolte, lecturer in African Culture at the University of Birmingham, England. Guests are to be seated by 11 am.

Church holds conference PRISCA, the annual women’s conference of the Father’s House Church, Akute, Ogun State, begins on Friday. The three -day programme, tagged: ’ Woman Arise’, will end on Sunday. The conference will be held at the headquarters of the church. Rev. Richard Udoh is expected to minister on Sunday.


54

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

NEWS

T

Youth fund coming

‘Niger Delta Ministry should supervise NDDC’

HE Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to transfer the supervisory role of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. He said the transfer would prevent the duplication of function and waste of resources, which exist in the NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta. Orubebe said: “A point in reference is the design and construction of the Niger Delta Coastal Road and the on-going projects in which both the ministry and the NDDC were trying to execute without reference to each other.” The minister noted that since the function of the ministry is to drive the policies of government with respect to the development of the Niger Delta, the NDDC should logically be under the ministry’s

By Musa Odoshimokhe

supervision. “It is our considered view that the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, which currently supervises the NDDC, has no direct developmental relationship with the commission, the minister said.” According to him, placing NDDC under the ministry will promote greater efficiency

and effectiveness in the deployment of resources, curb wastage, ensure coordination and the attainment of government policy for peace and prosperity of the region. The minister said the transfer has become imperative to conform with the general perception both nationally and internationally. “Very often, the ministry is inundated with questions by both national and interna-

tional stakeholders about the operation of NDDC but the ministry is always embarrassed to explain that it is not involved with or informed about the activities of the commission,” Orubebe said. He said the creation of the ministry has brought substantial respite to the nation, both socially and economically. “It is gratifying to note that militant activities have been effectively curtailed through the programme of general amnesty graciously extended to the militants and youth.” Orubebe explained that as

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

T

•Orubebe

the policy arm of the Federal Government on the Niger Delta and in line with the approved schedule of duties, the ministry is in the best position to coordinate the efforts of stakeholders in the development of the region.

Tribunal upholds Oyo PDP senator’s election

T

HE Election Petition Tribunal in Oyo State yesterday upheld the election of Senator Hosea Agboola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Agboola, who represents Oyo North, is the Deputy Chief Whip at the upper legislative chamber. His election had been challenged by the candidate of the

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr Wale Okediran, who claimed that Agboola was not validly sponsored by his party in accordance with sections 65(2) (b) and 228 of the 1999 Constitution and that he was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes in April. The tribunal dismissed the petition on the grounds of non-

compliance with the time limit stipulated by the Electoral Act (2010) as amended. The respondent, through his lawyers, led by Mallam Yusuf Alli (SAN), had filed a motion for the dismissal of the petition on the grounds that the petitioner did not bring his application for a pre-hearing conference within the stipulated time limit imposed by para-

graphs 18 (1) and (3) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act (2010) as amended. In its ruling read by Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye, the tribunal held the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act gave the petitioner seven days to apply for a pre-hearing conference after the filing of the respondents’ reply and the petitioner’s reply to the respondents’ reply.

HE Federal Government is to set up a youth development

fund. The fund, according to President Goodluck Jonathan, who spoke yesterday at the opening of the African Youth Assembly, would be given out in form of grants to youths to set up small scale businesses. The criteria for the assessment of the grant by youth will be determined by the Federal Ministry of Youth Development. Represented by the Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the President said the fund would be used as a launch pad for young people, who are aspiring to be self-employed and self-reliant. Jonathan said: “This fund will not only serve to support youth programmes, but also facilitate a coordinated approach to the youth empowerment and entrepreneurship.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

55


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

56

MONEY LINK

Foreign reserves slump to $33.54b as CBN defends naira

T

HE nation’s foreign reserves dropped to $33.54 billion by July 22 from $34.57 billion on July 13, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) statistics have shown. But the reserves were lower than the level a year ago, when it stood at $37.86 billion. Currency dealers said the most recent decline in reserves was partly explained by a surge in demand for dollars on the domestic market as the CBN continues to defend the naira. The naira firmed slightly against the dollar on the interbank market on Monday after two energy companies sold dollars to selected lenders, traders said. The naira traded at 152.30 to the dollar on the interbank compared to

By Collins Nweze

152.35 at Friday's close and in spite of a slight depreciation at the official window. Before the current decline, the reserves rose to $34.5 billion in July 13, from $31.5 billion in July 7, resulting in an increase of nearly $3 billion. Foreign-currency reserves stood at $31.7 billion as at July 4, compared with $37 billion a year earlier, according to data from the CBN website. The CBN noted that inflow into the nation’s coffers is not consistent with the high oil prices, underscoring the need for tighter fiscal controls around oil revenues as well as first-line charges including Joint Venture Companies deductions and subsidies.

depreciation of the naira. The foreign reserves stood at over $40 billion a year earlier, but have fallen sharply since then due to demand pressure from importers and a reduction in accruals from oil export revenues. The CBN has maintained that the present level could finance more than 17 months of import. Experts say in a highly import-dependent economy with large passthrough effects of import prices on domestic prices like Nigeria, it is necessary to create a climate conducive to larger foreign capital inflows. This could be done through appropriate fiscal measures, particularly in the light of the gains that could be made in the current context of high crude oil prices. There is therefore need of

A higher rate of retention of oil revenues is expected to facilitate the efforts at maintaining exchange rate stability as an antidote to imported inflation without excessive reliance on monetary tightening measures. The reserves shed seven per cent from the middle of last month to the end of the month, as the CBN tried to defend the naira. “The current external reserves level is still adequate and is expected to remain robust in view of the favorable outlook for oil prices and output,” CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido, said. Nigeria’s foreign reserves have been under pressure since last month with strong local demand for the United States dollar by oil and rice importers, leading, sometimes, to a

•Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor

continuing structural reforms and infrastructural development to enhance domestic production to reduce large import cost.

BDC’s forex supplies to operators decline

B

ANKS have significantly re duced the proportion of forex supplied to the Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, with an average of about 90 per cent. The Nation learnt that many banks now sell between $15,000 to $20,000 to each of the Bureau De Change operators, instead of an average of $300,000 provided to them during the peak period. Five of the banks spoken to on the issue replied in the affirmative, blaming the development on the volatility experienced in the foreign exchange market. They said rationalisation of dollars

By Akinola Ajibade

becomes imperative, following the refusal of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to meet their demands at its official window. A BDC operator, who asked one of the banks whether he could get $100,000 for next week, was turned down on the ground of scarcity of foreign exchange. The Managing Director, Dambis Bureau De Change Limited, Adeboye Adenuga, confirmed that getting dollars to buy at the inter-bank market is a big problem now as banks have pegged their weekly supplies to an

with the scarcity of dollars need not be blamed on the CBN, or the banks, adding that the CBN was being careful at releasing excess foreign exchange into the economy. “ Because of money laundering and other predicate offences, CBN was trying to cut down the supply of dollars to the economy as much as possible. The apex bank wanted to checkmate the people that indulge in those activities, he said. Also, another BDC operator, Femi Babajide, said banks are selling below $20,000 to operators now since they do not have enough forex to play around with, he stated.

operator to $10,000. Adenuga, said banks were selling $1million or more to a BDC operator before, depending on what a company demanded for. “There was a time banks were selling $3 million to an operator, depending on the volume of dollars at their disposal. Then, banks were meeting our demands, making it possible for us to have enough to sell to the end-users. But now, you can’t get more than $10,000 per week from the banks. If you are lucky, you may get something that is a little bit higher,” he said. He said the problems associated

AFC seals $50m bilateral term loan

A

FRICA Finance Corporation (AFC) completed its debut borrowing, a $50 million bilateral loan facility with Standard Bank Plc. This marks AFC’s initial step in fully leveraging its balance sheet to invest in and support the development of critical infrastructure. FGN BONDS

Standard Bank Plc was the sole arranger, lender and agent of the Facility. Commenting on AFC’s debut borrowing in the International Loan markets, Andrew Alli, CEO and President of AFC, said: “All financial institutions need to leverage their balance sheets in order to have access to the necessary

strengthening financial capacity of the continent and the close intra-African ties that are being developed. We expect to continue to develop our funding program by working with institutions such as Standard Bank, as well as by tapping the debt capital markets.”

liquidity to fund the assets they create. This bilateral facility with Standard Bank marks the launch of AFC’s international borrowing strategy. We are pleased that our maiden borrowing is with Standard Bank whom we expect to continue to work with closely. This Loan demonstrates the

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

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

INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate

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

GAINERS AS AT 26-7-11 SYMBOL ASHAKACEM FLORMILL CAP UACN WAPCO CAPHOTEL FCMB INTBREW SKYEBANK NAHCO

O/PRICE 21.09 85.00 28.00 39.06 46.10 6.53 6.36 6.07 6.78 7.00

C/PRICE 22.14 86.00 28.53 39.50 46.50 6.85 6.67 6.37 7.08 7.29

CHANGE 1.05 1.00 0.53 0.44 0.40 0.32 0.31 0.30 0.30 0.29

LOSER AS AT 26-7-11 SYMBOL CCNN ACCESS HONYFLOUR ZENITHBANK DIAMONDBNK VITAFOAM UBN FIDELITYBK RTBRISCOE BERGER

O/PRICE 8.54 6.72 4.04 15.19 5.25 6.00 2.59 2.30 2.07 8.96

U

NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) has said it is targeting a 15- 20 per cent increase in loan book this year. The bank also has plans of opening subsidiaries in Mali and Angola, according to Reuters report yesterday. The Chief Financial Officer, Emmanuel Nnorom, told analysts that UBA, the bank with the largest distribution network in sub-Saharan Africa's second biggest economy, achieved a loan growth of 12 per cent in the first half of the year and was on track to meet its target for 2011. Nnorom, said UBA aimed to rank within the top six banks in Africa and will increase its network to 21, once Mali and Angola operations commence. It has 706 branches and operates 1,230 ATMs in its biggest operation, Nigeria. He didn't give a timeframe for the new operations.

DATA BANK

Tenor

NIDF NESF

UBA to grow loans by 20%

C/PRICE 8.20 6.50 3.84 15.00 5.11 5.88 2.47 2.19 1.97 8.90

CHANGE 0.34 0.22 0.20 0.19 0.14 0.12 0.12 0.11 0.10 0.06

Amount Sold ($)

Exchange Rate (N)

Date

400m

467.7m

400m

153.59

25-5-11

400m

452.3m

400m

153.4

23-5-11

500m

499,8m

499.8m

153.45

16-5-11

EXHANGE RATE 30-05-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD NGN GBP

147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57

NGN EUR

212.4997

207.9023

209.2910

-1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

Bureau de Change 152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

(S/N) Parallel Market

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

NSE CAP Index

NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N)

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

25-07-11 N7.689tr 24,046.65

% Change +0.51% +0.51%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

(S/N)

153.0000

DISCOUNT WINDOW January ’11

February ’11

May ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

8.00%

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 9.55 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 9.09 1.33 1.80 8,557.25 191.08

ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

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%

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK Previous

Current

04 MAR, 2011

07, MAR, 2011

Bank

8.5000

8.5000

P/Court

8.0833

8.0833

Movement


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011

57

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-07-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name PRESCO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 5 5

Quotation(N) 7.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 120,335 902,612.50 120,335 902,612.50

AIR SERVICES Company Name AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 6 56 62

Quotation(N) 2.50 7.29

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 84,323 210,822.04 783,615 5,610,547.29 867,938 5,821,369.33

Quotation(N) 0.50 1.97

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 7,065 3,532.50 821,246 1,617,854.62 828,311 1,621,387.12

Quotation(N) 6.50 0.81 5.11 2.83 6.67 2.19 12.20 0.52 14.96 9.35 0.91 1.11 0.66 7.08 0.87 1.58 5.60 2.47 0.81 0.97 15.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 11,112,144 72,636,972.54 1,084,926 878,790.06 3,464,253 17,759,081.78 215,549 622,133.59 5,142,480 34,276,961.80 9,738,302 21,983,442.24 20,841,191 254,222,399.37 15,345,348 7,980,830.96 14,918,228 222,661,626.05 663,706 6,217,395.80 12,987,865 11,819,406.65 11,365,021 12,616,195.13 5,263,426 3,495,341.16 12,335,703 86,982,292.03 611,998 515,088.19 2,558,234 3,807,850.04 18,323,172 101,370,329.01 4,458,614 11,075,890.99 34,178,627 27,701,936.07 2,061,764 1,999,094.74 16,938,762 254,151,898.04 203,609,313 1,154,774,956.24

Quotation(N) 230.85 6.37 90.45 0.97

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 364,521 84,248,807.44 768,290 4,706,115.10 1,000,818 90,368,247.33 10,000 9,700.00 2,143,629 179,332,869.87

Quotation(N) 22.14 8.20 119.51 46.50

Quantity Traded Value 238,277 3,250,260 245,583 289,615 4,023,735

Quotation(N) 3.16 8.90 28.53

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,000 15,050.00 912,009 7,804,291.61 1,362,847 38,940,033.64 2,279,856 46,759,375.25

AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 10 11 BANKING

Company Name ACCESS BANK PLC AFRIBANK NIGERIA PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC FINBANK PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC. OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC BANK PHB PLC SKYE BANK PLC. SPRING BANK PLC STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 178 17 65 25 55 133 633 74 634 35 57 80 53 163 15 25 306 92 23 35 367 3,065 BREWERIES

Company Name GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC PREMIER BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 89 45 124 1 259 BUILDING MATERIALS

Company Name ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 38 26 38 34 136

of Shares (N) 5,195,412.88 26,668,882.00 29,440,156.15 13,410,688.00 74,715,139.03

CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name AFRICAN PAINTS (NIG.) PLC BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 29 44 74

COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 45 45

Quotation(N) 3.46

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,685,977 5,829,189.82 1,685,977 5,829,189.82

Quotation(N) 2.09 7.22 38.06 1.03 39.50 28.00

Quantity Traded Value 8,100 100 117,663 125,717 643,361 1,169,911 2,064,852

Quotation(N) 2.79 50.82

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 152,422 434,104.10 31,562 1,565,260.60 183,984 1,999,364.70

CONGLOMERATES Company Name A. G. LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) PLC CHELLARAMS PLC PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1 30 10 48 62 152

of Shares (N) 16,119.00 686.00 4,403,837.14 129,488.51 25,202,475.64 32,455,094.24 62,207,700.53

CONSTRUCTION Company Name COSTAIN (WA) PLC JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 19 9 28

May & Baker assures shareholders on future growth

R

ECENT investments in new businesses and

production facilities, coupled with on-going initiatives in product development and expansion, would ensure that May and Baker Nigeria Plc, achieves sustainable growth over the years, the board of the company has assured. Speaking at the annual general meeting of the company in Lagos yesterday, the Chairman, Lt.Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), said the company’s optimism on a bright future is premised on prospective benefits from strategic initiatives being taken by the board and management of the company. He said the company has incorporated some market-facing subsidiaries with a view to increasing its market share in the pharmaceutical business, while at the same time, it has started implementing aggressive market expansion and penetration strategies that would simultaneously strengthen its market position in Nigeria and open up immense opportunities in subSahara Africa. “Our new pharmaceutical factory in Ota, Ogun State, The PharmaCentre, has become operational. That factory holds the hope to the emergence of our company as a global player in the pharmaceutical industry. But above all, it holds the key to improved earnings for shareholders in the near future,” Danjuma said. He urged the shareholders and all other stakeholders to support the company’s pursuit of the World Health Organisa-

No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.54

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 14,600 7,884.00 14,600 7,884.00

DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-07-11 Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 87 87

Company Name DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 6 6

FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC TANTALIZERS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 21 44 8 109 74 13 31 24 40 2 2 2 370

Quotation(N) 45.00 18.00 16.00 12.36 86.00 3.84 4.95 43.25 402.09 24.70 0.50 0.68

No of Deals 8 20 10 10 48

Quotation(N) 1.05 1.89 25.10 3.88

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 4,033,366 4,235,214.30 253,864 475,889.96 441,265 11,025,400.39 131,397 488,541.66 4,859,892 16,225,046.31

Quotation(N) 6.85 1.46

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,010,750 6,916,865.00 234,981 343,072.26 1,245,731 7,259,937.26

HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name CAPITAL HOTEL PLC IKEJA HOTEL PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 6 8

INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name FIRST ALUMINIUM NIGERIA PLC VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 9 11

Quotation(N) 0.50 5.88

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 7,000 3,500.00 125,216 740,339.43 132,216 743,839.43

INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name CHAMS PLC STARCOMMS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 44 45

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.67

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 4,000 2,000.00 2,796,586 1,864,912.62 2,800,586 1,866,912.62

INSURANCE Company Name AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC STACO INSURANCE PLC STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC UNIC INSURANCE PLC. UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY PLC INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INSURANCE PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 151 3 8 5 21 18 1 34 18 11 1 1 2 3 1 1 279

Quotation(N) 0.67 1.02 2.77 0.50 1.50 0.50 0.50 0.53 0.54 1.67 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.53

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,252,807 1,536,404.29 224,042 236,322.84 31,220 89,544.40 165,000 82,500.00 1,428,801 2,164,370.35 6,952,936 3,694,853.00 100,000 50,000.00 8,173,600 4,266,924.00 614,118 316,815.94 106,000 177,020.00 3,300 1,650.00 200 100.00 14,000 7,000.00 3,140 1,570.00 4,000 2,000.00 258 131.58 20,073,422 12,627,206.40

Quotation(N) 1.03

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 450,000 434,300.00 450,000 434,300.00

LEASING Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 14 14 MARITIME

Quotation(N) 1.04

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,738,199 3,829,988.10 3,738,199 3,829,988.10

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 7,000 3,500.00 7,000 3,500.00

MEDIA Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 19,805 896,190.83 222,492 4,015,541.69 6,250 100,000.00 2,832,779 35,220,020.67 578,666 49,686,008.57 244,590 966,163.60 421,765 2,092,250.36 154,250 6,632,458.42 45,672 18,369,607.34 468 10,983.96 60,000 30,000.00 15,500 10,075.00 4,602,237 118,029,300.44

HEALTHCARE Company Name EVANS MEDICALPLC. FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. Sector Totals

Danjuma, said the performance of the firm could have been a lot better but for the lower than projected contribution of the foods business due to fierce competition, high cost of some key inputs like sugar, refined palm oil and packaging materials. He assured shareholders that the company would deliver higher returns in the years ahead. Meanwhile, turnover at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) stood at 275.49 million shares worth N1.83 billion in 5,186 deals. Banking sector topped the activity chart with a turnover of 203.61million shares worth N1.15 billion in 3,065 deals. Packaging sector placed a distant sector with a turnover of 9.05 million shares valued at N19.73 million in 126 deals. Other financial institutions sector followed with 5.6 million shares worth N2.80 million in 38 deals. The market remained on the uptrend with the benchmark index, the All Share Index, gaining 0.05 per cent to close at 24,057.90 points. This reduced the negative year-to-date return at the NSE to 2.88 per cent. Market capitalisation also increased by 0.05 per cent to N7.69 trillion. Ashaka Cement topped the gainer’s list with a gain of 105 kobo to close at N22.14 per share. Flour Mills of Nigeria added 100 kobo to close at N86. CAP gained 53 kobo to close at N28.53. UAC of Nigeria gathered 44 kobo to close at N39.50 while Lafarge Wapco Cement and Capital Hotel gained 40 kobo and 32 kobo to close at

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE

ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Company Name NIGERIAN WIRE AND CABLE PLC. Sector Totals

By Taofik Salako

tion (WHO) pre-qualification, which would open the doors to May and Baker’s participation in drug procurement funded by multilateral and donor agencies. He added that the company’s vaccines production business, which it had partnered with the Federal Government, might soon take off given the positive signals from government. “Consistent with our determination to increase our market share, we introduced new products in 2010. We have entered the food supplement segment and our new brand, Multamin Syrup, is gaining a strong market share in this segment. We are also making investments in new brands to be launched soon,” Danjuma stated. He explained that the company could not pay dividend for the 2010 business year, because of the additional funds required to finance part of the Ota factory, urging that shareholders should look into the future yields and potential gains from the reinvestments. Audited report and accounts of the company for the year ended December 31, 2010, showed that turnover increased from N4.60 billion in 2009 to N4.64 billion in 2011. Profit before tax however dropped from N344.16 million in 2009 to N307.79 million in 2010. Profit after tax also stood at N192.98 million in 2010 as against N232.08 million in 2009. Shareholders’ funds meanwhile increased from N2.71 billion in 2009 to N2.88 billion in 2010.

MORTGAGE COMPANIES Company Name ASO SAVINGS AND LOAND PLC RESORT SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 2 20 23

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.50 0.53

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 20,000 10,000.00 12,000 6,000.00 1,423,750 755,876.08 1,455,750 771,876.08

OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name CRUSADER NIGERIA PLC. ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 29 9 38

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.52

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,354,899 2,677,449.50 243,478 123,567.80 5,598,377 2,801,017.30

Quotation(N) 2.30 1.10 2.92 13.97

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 9,035,645 19,499,617.40 7,000 7,350.00 2,000 5,560.00 15,000 219,900.00 9,059,645 19,732,427.40

PACKAGING Company Name NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC POLY PRODUCTS (NIGERIA) PLC. STUDIO PRESS (NIGERIA) PLC. GREIF NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 122 1 1 2 126

PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Company Name BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. FORTE OIL PLC MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 6 18 6 10 13 168 6 228

Quotation(N) 0.50 67.22 36.01 4.09 19.28 157.50 41.00 195.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 4,500 2,250.00 9,419 601,871.70 17,211 589,092.10 82,200 319,758.00 3,498 67,441.44 4,973 755,922.11 2,118,715 86,846,607.38 6,932 1,293,702.46 2,247,448 90,476,645.19

PRINTING & PUBLISHING Company Name ACADEMY PRESS PLC. LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1 12 14

Quotation(N) 3.17 5.60 4.71

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 4,000 12,080.00 400 2,128.00 170,588 813,239.77 174,988 827,447.77

Quotation(N) 19.25

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 33,650 615,506.50 33,650 615,506.50

REAL ESTATE Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 6 6

ROAD TRANSPORTATION Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1

Company Name UNITED NIGERIA TEXTILES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) 0.55

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,323 701.19 1,323 701.19

Quotation(N) 0.59

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 14,577 8,600.43 14,577 8,600.43

TEXTILES

THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED Sector Totals Overall Totals

No of Deals 42 42

Quotation(N) 15.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,172,700 17,532,690.00 1,172,700 17,532,690.00

5,186

275,490,271

1,827,758,790.81


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FOREIGN NEWS

78 die as Moroccan military plane crashes

T

HE aircraft crashed as it tried to land at a military airbase Seventy-eight people were killed when a Moroccan military aircraft crashed into a mountain in the south of the country, the army says. The army said three other people were severely wounded in the crash, in what is thought to be one of Morocco’s deadliest air disasters in years. The C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed near Guelmim, just north of the disputed Western Sahara territory. Officials have blamed the

accident on poor weather. “Above all, it was the fog and bad weather conditions that are believed to be behind this accident. But for the moment, we don’t have enough information,” AFP news agency quoted an official from the interior ministry as saying. A local resident told Reuters news agency there was thick fog at the time of the crash. The plane was travelling from Dakhla, in the Western Sahara, to Kinitra in northern Morocco. It crashed at about 09:00 local time (08:00 GMT) as it

was attempting to make a scheduled stop at a military airbase some 10km (six miles) east of Guelmim. It was carrying 81 people: nine crew members, 60 troops and 12 civilians. Forty-two bodies have been found. The search continues for the others. The mineral-rich, mainly desert territory of Western Sahara is the subject of a decades-long dispute between Morocco and the Algerianbacked Polisario Front. Most of it has been under Moroccan control since 1976.

NATO forces ‘kill 35 Taliban militants’

A

T least 35 Taliban militants from Pakistan have been killed and several wounded by Nato-led forces inside Afghanistan, officials say. The militants are said to have crossed over into the Afghan province of Paktia to target coalition forces when they came under attack last week. Sources in Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal region told the BBC that many of those wounded had now been brought back. Some are said to be receiving medical treatment in the town of Miranshah. Pakistan has been under severe pressure from

the US in recent months to prevent militants based in its tribal regions from crossing into Afghanistan to fight Nato troops based there. Earlier this month Washington said that it was cutting $800m (£500m) in military aid to Islamabad because of “difficulties” in its relationship with Pakistan. Dangerous faction Efforts are said to be under way to bring back the bodies of those killed in the latest fighting for burials. Reports suggest many of the dead and wounded belonged to two leading militant leaders in Waziristan - Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Mullah Nazir.

Republicans renew attack on Obama

H

OUSE Speaker John Boehner (centre) said his plan would put the US fiscal house back in order Republicans have lined up to renew their attack on US President Barack Obama over the country’s looming debt default deadline. At the Republican headquarters in Washington DC, House Speaker John Boehner said their budget plan was the most

likely to pass Congress. He said the Republican proposal was a “common-sense plan” that would put America’s fiscal house back in order. The US risks default without a deal to raise the borrowing limit by 2 August. The federal government runs a budget deficit that topped $1.5tn (£920bn) this year, and has amassed a national debt of $14.3tn.

•Charred remains of the crashed plane

Norwegian gunman insane, says lawyer

HE lawyer defending Anders Behring Breivik, who admits carrying out Friday’s mass killings in Norway, says his client is probably insane. However he added it was too early to say if Mr Breivik would plead insanity. Meanwhile, police have defended their handling of the event in which 76 people died in the bombing in Oslo and a shooting spree on a nearby island. It was an hour-and-a-half before an armed unit reached Utoeya island after the shooting began. “I don’t think we think we could have done this faster,” Police Chief of Staff Johan Fredriksen told journalists in Oslo. He also dismissed criticism

T

that staff manning the police department’s one helicopter were on holiday. Mr Fredriksen said the helicopter was only used for observational purposes and would not have affected the reaction to the shooting. Mr Breivik is facing terrorism charges and police are considering also charging him with crimes against humanity, which carry a possible 30-year sentence, a prosecutor has said. Mr Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told reporters: “This whole case indicated that he is insane.” He said his client believed that he was in a war and that he would be vindicated in 60 years’ time.

A medical evaluation would be carried out to establish his psychiatric condition, Mr Lippestad added. He said Mr Breivik had told him he was part of an anti-Islam network that had two cells in Norway and several more abroad. Norwegian police and researchers have cast doubt on such claims, but said they were investigating them. A police spokesman said two psychiatrists would assess Mr Breivik, who was also being kept on suicide watch. Mr Lippestad also said that his client had used “some kind of drugs” before the crime.


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SPORT EXTRA NIGERIA VS ARGENTINA

Eagles to face Albiceleste with full squard S UPER Eagles’ gaffer Samson Siasia has finally on Tuesday swallowed his words when he decided that the senior national team will now play the controversial friendly rematch with Argentina in Dhaka Bangladash in September. The former international said that the organizers has agreed to provide the team with a chartered flight to convey them

From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja

from Madagascar to Bangladash "we have agreed to play the match with our full squad since the contract has been signed. I will talk to the players to honour the match, and I am sure they would be willing. The

SCHOOL SPORTS REVIVAL

Minister tasks Odegbami, others

T

HE Minister in charge of Tourism, Edem Duke has opined that if all the energies that sports administrators expend in various squabbles are converted to the development of the sector, that Nigeria would have been a greater country in sports. The Minister spoke in Abuja on Tuesday when members of the Presidential committee on the revival of Academical games paid him a visit in his office. The Minister said that much resources that would have done the country well in the various areas of sports, have been wasted in various types of crisis that yielded no meaningful dividend. He urged the Committee to ensure that all the sports are carried along in the revival effort. He advised that various academical sports that have rested should be revived “I am

From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja very much interested in seeing the revival of the Nigeria/ Ghana Academical games, I want to see a game between Nigeria and the Caribbeans, because we have alot of people in that region that are of African extraction. I want to assure you that my Ministry will support you in this”. The Minister thanked the Committee for their visit. Earlier, the Committee chairman Segun Odegbami had told the Minister that their visit is in recognition of the role tourism plays in sports development. He said that the Academical revival committee would soon submit its blueprint on this, and commence the games will start in October. The Committee also visited the Executive Secretary of NAPEP in his office.

recent furore that engulfed the match should serve as a great lesson to those in authority, that whenever they are signing any contract, they should always carry the Coaches along. I know if they had informed me before signing the contract, we would have avoided all the controversy that trailed the match. I want to tell Nigerians that we are not scared of the Argentines, let them come to Bangladash with whatever squad they have, we would be ready for them". He also confirmed that he would meet the players and discuss the change of events with them. It would be recalled that the former Julius Berger of Lagos play-maker had vowed not play the re-match against Argentina, saying that he would want to keep the pride of beaten Argentina by as much as four goals to one intact.

•Siasia


Tomorrow in THE NATION

http://www.thenationonlineng.net

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL. 6 NO.1834

‘The inability to remember details sometimes led to forfeiture of their lives. Just as kingdoms and dynasties had their historians, lineages and families had theirs. Most of these were the old people in the societies who handed over these stories from generation to generation. Oral tradition was of course handled with care to avoid distortion or the possibility of its being used to serve selfish or particularistic interests.’JIDE OSUNTOKUN

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

A

LITTLE over two months ago President Goodluck Jonathan unveiled his road map to power reform. The road map is essentially a redressing of the 2005 power reform of former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, except that this time the president no longer wants to be held up to specific and measurable targets and clearly marked milestones; Professor Bert Nnaji, his Special Adviser on Power, recently said, “The President does not like to bandy words on these 4,000 MW, 3,000MW and 6,000MW. What the President wants is that there is actual improvement and wherever we get to we stay there...6,000MW won’t even do anything for Nigeria. So we are not talking about 6,000MW at all. We are talking about power reliability in the country.” (Sunday Punch, November 7) (For a scientist, especially one who professes science, this, to say the least, is a strange way to measure progress.) The centrepiece of Obasanjo’s reform was the privatisation of government’s electricity company, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). In pursuit of that reform, the PHCN was unbundled into 18 companies, six for power generation, eleven for distribution and marketing and one for transmission. Under the reform government was to concession the country’s three hydroelectric plants at Shiroro, Jebba and Kainji to private companies, sell 51% of the distribution companies and the same percentage of its many thermal plants including those in Lagos (Egbin) Sapele, Ugheli (Delta) and Port Harcourt (Afam) to the public, but retain 100% ownership of the transmission company. However even this was to be managed privately. In addition government issued licences to several private sector companies to generate electricity for sale to the public. It is a sad commentary on the effectiveness of the reform that five years on and with at least $3 billion of public spending to boot in pursuit of the reform, none of the licensees has generated even one watt of electricity and there are still no takers of government’s 51% offer. Not surprisingly instead of the 6,000 Megawatts that was promised by 2007 in 2005, today the supply has dropped to around 2,000, often much less. Since President Jonathan unveiled his road map on August 26, it seems obvious that the central lesson that privatisation is not the only, perhaps not even the main, solution to our crisis of power supply it is widely touted as, has not been learnt. If anything, Jonathan’s presidency seems to believe in the magic of privatisation even more than Obasanjo’s; the president told a retreat for international investors in, and executives of, the power sector in Abuja on October 14 that government will stop investing in power generation from next year. Before then Professor Nnaji had told The Guardian in effect that there was no alternative to privatisation as a solution to our power crisis. “There has been,” he said, “a coalition of

People and Politics By

MOHAMMED HARUNA ndajika@yahoo.com

The president’s power reform roadmap

•Dr Jonathan

unholy interests to ensure that government remains the provider of power so that they will continue with what they are doing.” (The Guardian, August 29) Last Sunday, November 7, Nnaji fingered those unholy interests and spelt out how they carried out their unholy acts. This was in the Sunday Punch interview I have referred to. “Think of it this way,” he said, “the headquarters of corruption is with the electricity distribution sector because you cannot have a transformer easily. For instance, the distribution companies in the last five years have not been audited. So by privatising them you wipe out corruption there...Some people are not happy about it. Now they are fighting back to ensure that all manner of contracts don’t go. Not to talk of those profiting from Nigerians who are using generators.” The most charitable thing one can say about this explanation of our power crisis is that it is a gross oversimplification of the problem. As the professor knows all too well privatisation on its own is not a cure-all for society’s economic problems. On the contrary it was the over-reliance on so-called

free market forces by the West that has led to the recent global economic recession from which the world is yet to recover. At any rate if privatisation is the solution to corruption as the bane of our development, how come our own banking sector and the stock exchange, for example, suffered the financial buccaneering by insiders that led to their virtual collapse? As the president’s special adviser on power knows all too well, power generation in South Africa, the continent’s economic giant, is wholly public sector owned. And the generation is to the tune of 40,000 MW for a country with a population of less than 50 million and which has nowhere near the size of our oil and gas and, arguably, hydro-electric sources. Again as the professor knows all too well private ownership of the generation transmission and distribution of electricity in America, that bastion of free market, has not stopped the country from experiencing costly blackouts as occurred in California in 2001 and on the East coast in 2003. On that second occasion, the country’s then Energy Secretary, Mr. Bill Richardson, was quoted as lamenting the state of the country’s energy supply. “In my view,” he said, “we are the world’s greatest super power but we have a Third World electricity grid.” The source of that deterioration was, by common consent, the Reagan era privatisation of power supply. Before then the country produced at least 15% spare capacity to take care of inevitable surges in demand. After President Ronald Reagan’s privatisation of the sector in the early eighties, the spare capacity dropped to a dangerous 3 to 4%. This was not surprising since spare capacity costs money and private companies put their profit margin before everything else. Since unfolding his road map on power reform, the president has apparently been unable to resist the temptation to play politics with the power crisis. “The past governments in this country,” he said in his address to this year’s 16th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja on October 19, “neglected the much needed investment in the power sector...But the governments we had between 1985 and 2000 are the main culprits here. At some point

HARDBALL

I

N what may pass as his most definitive statement so far on the Boko Haram menace in the north eastern part of the country, President Goodluck Jonathan has said he prefers to appeal to the “good in us” rather than use force to rein in the militant sect troubling the whole North. He made the comment two days ago, according to a newspaper report, on the social networking site, Facebook. He did not spell out what constitutes the good he saw in man, or how he identified it. As we have all suspected all along, the Boko Haram trouble has put the president in a quandary he apparently now wishes to extricate himself from by using philosophy. It is not clear whether he knew what he was getting himself into, or whether his answer wasn’t merely a reflection of his longstanding indecision on the militant uprising in the Northeast. Whatever the answer is, there is little doubt Jonathan is attempting a limber

the sector went for seven straight years without a single kobo given to it and this is a sector that the economy of the country depended on to thrive.” The president did not name names but it was pretty obvious that the cap was meant to fit the heads of Generals Ibrahim Babangida - apparently his biggest headache - late Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar – all three military leaders from the region that has mounted the stiffest opposition to his presidential bid. Apparently the irony was lost on the president that his decision to stop public sector investment in the energy sector from next year is exactly what he has condemned Babangida, et al, for – assuming, that is, that it was true they invested absolutely nothing in the sector during their rule. That assumption is obviously a fallacy. If the president had been properly briefed before his speech, he would have known that Shiroro dam whose capacity, at 600 MW, is bigger than Kaiji, at 520 MW, and also bigger than Jebba, at 540 MW, was constructed during the period he claimed government did not invest a kobo in the power sector. And Shiroro was not the only government investment during the period. A day after the president unfolded his reform, Thisday hailed it as a reason to hope for an end to our power crisis. “Jonathan’s bold power reforms,” the newspaper said, “provide reason for renewed hope, and it will be a major consideration in his rating by Nigerians.” Thisday, I think, was being rather optimistic. A more realistic assessment of the reform was The Guardian’s editorial of October 28. The reform, the newspaper said, is unlikely to make any difference to the state of the power sector for three reasons. First, it seems too dependent on foreign private sector investors who, the newspaper said, can only be self-serving. Second, and related to this, is the danger that foreigners would take over a vital sector of the nation’s economy, something which, it said, cannot be in the national interest. Third, is the fact that there still seems to be no end in sight for what the newspaper called the country’s “long-running but otherwise totally avoidable excessive fiscal deficits (that) have had corrosive effect on tariffs.” You can argue about the merit of the newspaper’s position on the president’s road map but it is difficult, if not impossible, to dismiss the fact that the problems of our power sector, like those of the rest of the politicaleconomy, is not so much public sector involvement in the production of goods and services – at least the more social of such goods and services like education, water and electricity – as the fact that we have had, and still have, leaders at all levels of society who preach socio-economic and political virtues they do not practice. Virtues like equity, transparency, fiscal responsibility and trustworthiness. •This article was first published on 10th November, 2010. •For comments, send SMS to 08054502909

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Jonathan stirs philosophers’ hornet’s nest straddle on a matter requiring more persuasive and foresighted response. In his Facebook statement, Jonathan had written: “As we combat this global menace here in Nigeria, let us fall back on our convictions as Christians and Muslims and refuse to be overcome by terrorism, but proactively bring out and use the good in us to overcome the scourge while remembering that the only difference amongst humans is that between good and bad, and not between creeds. Truly, the only answer to those who want to curtail our freedom is to ensure that there are more freedoms.” Let us ignore the fact that philosophy students and their teachers will be uncomfortable with the president’s gentle and easy dualism. Let us also enjoy, in these truculent times, his

foray into what passes for a philosophical enquiry into freedoms as the template for the battle between the forces of good and evil. What should instead engage us is why the president has chosen to adopt John Locke’s position about human goodness while almost completely ignoring Jean Jacques Rousseau’s engaging ambivalence on the subject, and the anti-Lockean arguments of Niccolo Machiaveli, the Italian, and Xun Zi, the Confucian, among others. After we have attempted to second-guess the president, we should then proceed to understand whether his philosophical forays are not a cover for his lack of substantial ideas and political will on the trouble in the Northeast. What the president is called upon to do on Boko Haram is to determine whether he wants to use force and how; or

whether he wants to dialogue and when. By now Jonathan must have perused a hatful of expository essays on the social, economic and cultural imperatives of Boko Haram. Rather than add his own essays to the seething broth endangering the country, Nigeria yearns for the president’s practical ideas on how to solve the menace. More freedoms, as the president suggests incredulously to undo Boko Haram’s effort to curtail our freedom, will not wash. Appealing to our good, in case some inherent goodness can be found in the bombers, is like tilting at windmills. Let the president quit camouflaging; let him take the bull by the horns if we are not to perish under his cocktail of philosophical “goodness” and “freedoms.”

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


The nation July 27,2011  

The nation July 27,2011

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