Nigeria’s truly national newspaper
Jonathan picks Jibril, Oghiadomhe, Abati •18 aides take oath of office today
ACN governors to pay minimum wage NEWS – Page 3
•Reps back revenue formula review http://www.thenationonlineng.net
VOL. 6, NO. 1813 THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
18 dead, many trapped in Lagos building collapse Couple die on first day in house Landlord’s wife among the dead By Joke Kujenya, Jude Isiguzo and Miriam Ndikanwu
NOTHER building went down in Lagos on Tuesday night. One of the men on rescue mission told our reporter at about 10.30p.m. that no fewer than 18 bodies had been recovered and taken to Agoro mosque in Idumota, Lagos Island. About 40 people, including children, rescued from the debris were injured – some of them seriously. Some residents were wailing from under the rubble, as rescue operation continued, more than 10 hours after the four-storey building collapsed. Neighbours said house No 6, Mogaji Close, Idumota, went down during the rain, which began at about 8.00p.m. The building was said to have been erected about 10 years ago. It is joined by a fragile platform to the next house, No 4, where the landlord’s wife, who died in the incident, was said to have had a plastic shop. A trapped woman was crying: E jo, e tete gbe wa, o tin re mi (Please, get us out of here quickly, I’m getting tired ... We are many here.) Her voice was faint. The whereabouts of the landlord, identified simply as Eletuwashe of Lagos (a.ka. Tao Let), was unknown. Rescuers comprised neighbours, the Nigerian Red Cross, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), National Continued on page 3
•The collapsed building ... yesterday
PHOTOS: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
Please, get us out of here quickly; I’m ‘getting tired ... We are many here. ’
Boko Haram attacks soldiers, police station 50 suspects held Four soldiers injured
STORY ON PAGE 2
•A neighbour, Muritala
•SENATE OKAYS OKONJO-IWEALA, AGANGA, NNAJI, HALIRU, OTHERS P2
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Boko Haram attacks soldiers, raid police station From Austine Tsenzughul,
Bauchi and Abiodun Joseph, Maiduguri
EMBERS of the Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram have struck again in Bauchi. They sacked a police station in Toro, looted the armoury and freed a detainee – in what is seen as a daring retaliation for Tuesday’s Police raid on their hideout. In Maiduguri, the group threw a bomb at soldiers who are members of the Joint Police/Army Task Force, enforcing security in the troubled city. Four soldiers were injured in the explosion that followed. The explosion took place at the mini super market at Abbaganaram ward opposite the state low cost housing estate. The soldiers were on patrol when they came under attack. The Commander of the
NBA flays SSS posture on Boko Haram From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja AWYERS have rejected the plan of the State Security Service (SSS) to let go off Boko Haram suspects without bers of the group. “It is the function of the Attorney Gentrial. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said eral of the Federation to decide to or not to the SSS has no power to decide not to pros- prosecute. Such statement should not come ecute anyone arrested for waging a war from the SSS,” he said. SSS spokesperson Marylin Ogar said against the state. The Bar also said it would consider the those arrested would not be prosecuted - in report of a committee set up to examine the line with the decision of President Goodluck Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Jonathan to adopt a “carrot and stick” policy. Aloysius Katsina-Alu and the President of On Tuesday, the service chiefs, led by the the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall feud at its next National Executive Council Oluseyi Petinrin, and the National Security (NEC) meeting, which will hold in Katsina Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Owoye Azazi, implicated the judiciary at the senate over later this month. Addressing reporters in Abuja on the the fight against terrorism. forthcoming First Criminal Justice Reform According to them, granting bail to susConference organised by the Bar, the NBA pected terrorists has heightened the heinous President, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), said crime as those released always return to the service overreached its power by say- cause more havoc. ing it will not prosecute the arrested mem- But Daudu said “institutions must be al-
Military Task Force, “Operation Restore Order” Gen. Jack Nwagbo, said: “One of the patrol teams was targeted this morning (yester-
day) by hoodlums around the new prison in Maiduguri. Three soldiers were injured and there was no civilian casualty.”
lowed to do their work by ensuring that the rule of law prevails” in order to tackle the increasing rate of crime. He urged the government to build more prisons as those available now, which were built when Nigeria had a population of 40 million, are overstretched and outdated. On the conference, Daudu said: “We are getting to a situation when we will sleep with one eye open. We have discovered that our criminal justice system needs overwhelming reforms.” The chairman, Organising Committee, Mr. A. B. Mahmud (SAN), said Nigeria’s hope of being among the top 20 world economies would be a mirage if criminal justice does not work. Daudu added that the Bar would address the challenges facing the justice sector, which he described as systemic. The aim is to provide short term, mid term and long-term measures which government could pursue.
An army spokesman who said four soldiers were indeed injured, said last night that one of the soldiers was in critical condition.
Okonjo-Iweala, Nnaji, Aganga, Haliru, six others cleared
HE Senate yesterday confirmed for minister World Bank Managing Director and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and immediate past Finance Minister, Olusegun Aganga. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) acting chairman Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed and Special Adviser to the President on Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji were also cleared. So also were former Deputy Governor of Osun State Mrs Olusola Obada; former Senator Idris Umar, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, Dr. Samuel Ortom and Comrade Abba Moro. Six of the nominees were asked questions on sundry topical issues. The remaining four were asked to just take a bow and go. In this category were Mohammed, Moro, Ortom and Umar. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala carried the day with simple, concise and unambiguous answers to questions on critical segments of the economy. As she spoke, the senators listened with rapt attention. Starting with the nation’s unstable fiscal policy over the years, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala decried a situation where recurrent expenditure consumes about 74 per cent of the budget, with very little provision for capital as it is the case with the 2011 budget. She rated budget implementation in 2010 at 53 per cent. She said the annual budget should be presented to the National Assembly on time, be passed on time and funds released on time to get the desired results. “We can run a budget with small fiscal deficit. I am worried about our budget being eaten up by recurrent expenditure. We should try to put in place a sensible fiscal policy and live within our means by fashioning fiscal policies that focus on sectors that have job creation potentials,” Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said. According to her, unemployment poses a major threat to the stability of the economy. To her, prioritising the power sector will encourage the revival of coma-
From Gbade Ogunwale and Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
tose industries, such as textile, agriculture related industries and other manufacturing options. She advised the Federal Government to do away with counter investment policies and the various man-made obstacles in the way of foreign and local investors. The former minister, however, pointed out that the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the required investment and financial implication needed to fix the power sector. She cautioned against the revaluation of the naira now, as being canvassed in some quarters. “This is not the time to talk about revaluing the naira; rather, we should work hard to grow the economy to a certain level before we can talk about revaluation of the naira,” Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said. On the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, she said: “Subsidy works only if it gets to those who really need it. In Nigeria, subsidy is for everybody. “A generalised subsidy won’t work when those who don’t need it benefit from it. In other countries, subsidies are for those who cannot afford basic things like medicare, education, feeding and all that. “The reverse is the case in Nigeria with about the highest inequality coefficient where the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The rich are sending their children to school abroad; they get medical care abroad whereas the poor are finding it difficult to feed.” “The first category of Nigerians don’t need subsidy, only the latter need it. It is as simple as that,” she added. Responding to a question, Okonjo-Iweala said there was no magic wand about privatisation, stressing that there is nothing wrong in government running commercial enterprises. The snag, she pointed out, is where such enterprises depend on the government’s budget for
He said soldiers had started interrogating 50 people that were arrested in the area which they cordoned off. The interrogation will determine if they were involved in the attack on fhe patrol team, he said. “We have arrested one of the perpetrators. My men are in the process of cordoning off the entire area as part of the initiatives to contain the activities of the hoodlums.” On Tuesday in Unguwar Kur Jahun ward in Bauchi, guns boomed as police raided a Boko Haram hideout. Residents of Tanshi Police Division, Danjuma Goje Street, Federal Low Cost Housing Estate and Games Village were shaken by the action. Boko Haram members sacked the Toro Divisional Police Station. The five po-
licemen on duty escaped unhurt. The fundamentalists seized the armoury and hauled away guns and ammunition. An official of Toro local government council who pleaded for anonymity for security reasons, said six gun-wielding Boko Haram men stormed the station a few minutes after 8 pm and started shooting sporadically into the air to scare away people. Policemen at the station, students of nearby Toro Teacher’s College and members of the public ran for safety. “After the policemen ran away, the gunmen entered the empty station, and took away the arms,” the official said. A suspect, who was arrested earlier in the day for allegedly stealing a goat, was set free by the invaders. It was gathered that before leaving the police station, the attackers dropped a bag suspected to contain explosives between the police station and the Toro Local Government secretariat. No casualty was recorded during the operation but hoodlums took advantage of the pandemonium to break into shops and other business houses, unchallenged. Bauchi police spokesman Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mohammed Barau declined comments. The Toro raid is the second by Boko Haram on police stations outside Bauchi, the state capital. The sect launched its first attack on police in Bauchi on July 27, 2009. Christian and Muslim clerics have urged their followers to fast and pray to God to touch the hearts of the fundamentalists.
Jonathan picks Jibril, Oghiadomhe, Kuku, Abati, 14 others as aides
P •Mrs Okonjo-Iweala ... yesterday
survival, a situation which she said must be avoided should government decide to run such ventures. She called for transparency in the oil sector for maximum benefit to the nation, advising the Federal Government to find out the factors responsible for failure of the refineries, with a view to addressing them. Aganga said the Excess Crude Account died with the passage of the Sovereign Wealth Bill by the National Assembly. He said: “You may recall that we got the Sovereign Wealth bill passed with the help of this Senate. The fund itself will be funded by the excess crude money. The idea is not fiscal; it is not the normal fund. “It is for saving and for infrastructure development. The money goes into three boxes. The first is for future generation. The second is equalisation in case of shortfalls in oil revenue. But the largest is for
PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
infrastructural development. The fact is that we cannot fund infrastructure because I know what the government has.” Nnaji also answered questions on the power sector. Mohammed, Moro, Ortom and Umar, were asked to take a bow and go. Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central) rattled the PDP chairman when he told him that he (Mohammed) had been in one public office or the other since the last 40 years, asking the visibly ruffled Mohammed when he would give way for the younger generation to contribute to the system. He was, however, saved the ordeal by Senate President David Mark, who tactically reduced the question to a joke. Mohammed could hardly wait for the approval of the senators to be left off the hook before he scurried out of the chamber. The screening continues today.
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday picked his special advisers. He retains Chief Mike Oghiadomhe as Chief of Staff. Former presidential aspirant Mrs. Sarah Jibril and Chairman, Editorial Board of the Guardian, Dr. Reuben Abati are among 18 persons to be sworn-in today by the President. The presidential aides are to be inaugurated at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja. Although President Jonathan has chosen 18, he is entitled to appoint more advisers in view of the approval by the National Assembly to appoint 20 advisers. Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim said in a statement yesterday that the immediate past Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku retains the position. Abati is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mrs. Jibril is Special Adviser on
By Eric Ikhilae
Ethnics and Values while Oronto Douglas was named Special Adviser on Research and Strategy. Also appointed are Senator Joy Emordi (National Assembly), Mohammed Kachalla Abubakar (Deputy, Chief of Staff), Ambassador Hassan Tukur (Principal Secretary), Prof Abubakar Sambo (Energy), Mrs. Sarah Akuben Pane (Social Development), Dr. Tunji Olagunju who has been around since the Babangida regime in the 80s, is in charge of NEPAD and Dr. Pius Olakunle Osunyinkanmi (International Relations). Others are Prof. Dan Adebiyi (Special Duties), Mrs. Asma’u Abdulkadir (Gender Issues), Nze Sullivan Akachukwu Nwakpo (Technical Matters), Mohammed Wakil (Political Matters in the office of the Vice President), Bashir Sufyan (Legal Matters in the office of the Vice President) and Senator Isaiah Ballat (Special Duties in the office of the Vice President).
CORRECTION In a news analysis on page 3 of yesterday’s edition, we erroneously stated that Mallam Nasir el-Rufai is facing charges for embezzling N32bn. We have since found out that there was nothing like that. We regret the error and wish to state that we hold the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in high esteem. – Editor
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THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
NEWS ‘The building swings forward and backward...’
18 dead, many trapped in Lagos collapsed building Continued from page 1
Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Physical Development Authority (LASPHYDA), Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASEMBUS) and many others. A resident, Mr. Adeogun, who was said to have travelled overseas, was lucky. His wife, Iya Risi, and his two sons were rescued alive with their mother, the residents said. Another resident, Mr. Tajudeen, popularly called Coach, leader of the Community Development Association (CDA), Idumota was getting set for a good night sleep with members of his family when he was suddenly hit by one of the falling pillars. His wife, a witness said, suffered broken bones while she was being pulled out. She is in a coma. ‘Coach’, who was dragged out of the building around midnight, was injured. He is admitted at a private hospital. A new couple, Mr and Mrs Taofik, moved into the house on the fateful day. They died. Their remains were pulled out last night. Another resident, Mr. Oluwa, was trapped under the ruins with two of his children – a boy and a girl. Rescuers pull the boy out but the girl died. Another woman, Mama Ahmed, who neighbours described as a very helpful and pleasant, was under the debris with her husband and four children. She died at the time she was being rescued but her husband and the children survived. Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development Mr. Toyin Ayinde said: “We got the information as early as 7.30-8.00am yesterday, and we immediately deployed our men from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and LASPHYDA, to the scene. The building is not under construction. It is an old building. And it is one of those listed as decrepit and the owner had been advised to vacate the building because it was identified as unsuitable for habitation. The standard rule for now is that the owner of any collapsed structure forfeits such properties to the government. Lagos Police spokesman Sam Jinadu, a Deputy Superintendent, said policemen were deployed immediately they received the distress call to join the rescue efforts and ensure that looters did not take advantage of the situation to carry out criminal activities. The building, it was learnt was
• One of the derelict buildings in the area
PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI
Another down; which next? M ANY of the buildings around the collapsed house at 6, Magaji Close, Idumota, Lagos, are old and dilapidated. Their weather-beaten looks give them away as house built with substandard materials. An elder in the area, Alhaji Ajakaiye said many of the landlords on the Island specialised in using cheap materials and cheap labour. The house near and joined to the collapsed building at 4, Magaji Close, Idumota, Lagos, is old and fragile. It looks like a structure waiting to crash. Many of its walls are cracked, revealing sandy patches. On a slight touch, part of the walls fell on the palm of the reporter. One of the rescuers, who would not give his name but came to save lives of those trapped under the building, tapped a spot on another building, house Number Eight on the same close, with his feet and the floor immediately caved in. Though many people stood on the balconies of some of the other old buildings to watch the rescue at House Number Six, the structures looked weak.
built about 10 years ago, by a property developer, one Chief Taofeek Eletu. Residents said the sudden collapse of the building indicated that substandard materials might have been used for its construction. Businesses and vehicular movement were stalled in the area as a result of the incident. A survivor, Oliver Nzubeikeja, who is a trader, said he was in his room with his sister when the house col-
By Joke Kujenya
Muritala, the resident, who spoke to The Nation, attested to it that all the buildings were dilapidated. He said: “Landlords and their greedy caretakers started adding floors without consideration for the occupants.” Officials of the Lagos State Fire Service said rescued work had been hampered by lack of access roads to the collapsed building. Journalists had a hard time getting close to the collapsed building. The paths became too narrow and crowded as families, friends, well-wishers and countless other people besieged the area to see what had happened Meanwhile, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development said that many of the buildings have been identified as unsuitable for habitation adding that the standard rule for now is that the owner of any collapsed structure would forfeit such properties to the government.
lapsed. “The building collapsed on us. We were trapped until the youths rescued us. We were on the third floor,” he said. As he spoke, a woman simply identified as Mama Lad, was brought out of the rubble dead. An eyewitness, Ahamed Taofik, told The Nation that rescue operation started immediately after the house collapsed and that before morning, five dead bodies had been recovered.
Another survivor, Stephen Egede, a commercial bus driver, said the grace of God saved him. According to him, he had just entered the bathroom to take a shower when he noticed that the building was shaking. “My brother, I abandoned what I was doing and jumped out of the house. It was God that saved me. I do not know how to thank Him. My wife and my two-month old daughter also escaped unhurt” Egede said.
A RESIDENT of the collapsed building, who was identified as Muritala said majority of the victims were porters. Speaking in Yoruba, he said: “As we speak, majority of the people under the rubbles are alabarus (porters). They help people to carry their loads from one location to another. I believe they must be up to 15 or 20. There are also other residents, who we have not been able to reach. We can’t even see the first floor as we talk to you. “At about 11.30pm yesterday night, we just heard a whooping sound as we literally saw the building swing forward and backward and suddenly many of us ran out. But others were not so lucky. I just came in because I was delayed by the rain that had started earlier in the evening. I saw the building as it came down and we started shouting and crying for help. People from other houses and streets came to help. “The major problem is that this is a very weak building. As you can see (touching the rubbles), all the materials, including the iron for building the house, are inferior. I believe this house is over 15 years though others may be saying seven to 10 years. I disagree. “Look at the cement used. Look at the rusted irons that was used. These are not strong irons. Can’t you see for yourself? There are so many people still under the rubbles, that we cannot reach. The government has to come in. Up till now, we have not seen officials from the secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja. Is that fair? “One of the residents we even rescued early eventually died because he was badly hit by one of the rocks that fell on him. I am not exaggerating. You can ask other residents. We lost a family of four with husband and wife. We had a person who sustained a spinal cord injury and has been taken to one hospital. We were told that many of them have been taken to the General Hospital in Lagos here. I cannot confirm that because I have not left this place since yesterday night. “All we can appeal for is that all old and bad buildings should be demolished by the government. Look at so many of them around. I can say that all the houses in this areas are old and dangerous. People come here because the houses are cheap and the landlords put new floors on older ones because they want to meet the demands of accommodation seekers.”
ACN governors agree to pay N18,000 minimum wage
OVERNORS on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have agreed to pay the N18,000 minimum wage, it was gathered last night. The governors took the position at a meeting in Lagos. Also yesterday, the House of Representatives gave its backing to the position of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on the review of the revenue formula to free more cash for the use of the state governments. Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Adams Oshimohole (Edo) and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) attended the meeting in Ikeja. Sources at the meeting said the ACN governors’ decision was taken after exhaustive deliberations since the ACN is running. The source said the decision of the governors to pay the minimum
•Reps back review of revenue formula From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor
wage was hinged on the ACN governors’ belief in not running foul of the National Minimum Wage Act of 2010 which makes the payment mandatory for the states of the federation. The source said the governors said they were elected on the basis of their belief in the welfare of their people. The governors were also said to have resolved to begin negotiations and discussions with the various labour leaders in their states on the modalities of the payment. The House of Representatives decision, followed the consideration of a motion entitled: “Impending strike action by the organised labour over non-implementation of the N18,000
national minimum wage.” The motion was sponsored by Hon. Peace Nnaji (Enugu State). The House specifically adopted a prayer which urged the Executive arm of government to initiate without further delay a new revenue allocation formula that would be in favour of local governments and states. The review of the existing revenue allocation formula in favour of states and local governments was one of the conditions state governors canvassed before they could implement the N18,000 minimum wage. The governors also sought the removal of fuel subsidy. The prayer for a new revenue allocation formula came as an amendment to the main prayers. It was proposed by Hon. Manir
Dan’agundi (Kano State). Curiously, another amendment which urged governors to pay the stipulated N18,000 minimum wage pending the time a new revenue allocation formula would come on stream was roundly defeated. Another amendment, which sought to compel governors to comply with the new minimum wage since it was already the law of the land was also killed. A point of Order raised by Hon. Abubakar Momoh ( Edo ) to the effect that the N18,000 minimum wage is already a law made by the National Assembly and does not need deliberation nor domestication for it to be implemented, was upheld in principle. A proposal by Hon. Momoh that the payment of the new minimum
wage should not be tied to the removal of fuel subsidy was thrown out. The implication of the position of the lawmakers, observers said, is that the new minimum wage might be kept in the cooler until a new revenue allocation formula is negotiated and agreed upon by the three tiers of government in the country. Nnaji had, in her lead debate noted that since the National Assembly passed the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Bill in 2011, which approved N18,000 for workers and the Bill having been assented to by President Goodluck Jonathan, there has been discordant tunes from governors over its implementation. The lawmaker said she was aware that labour unions were threatening to embark on industrial action unless the governors accepted to pay the new minimum wage.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
NEWS Lagos toll-free lines for victims of violence LAGOS State Government has established toll-free lines for victims of domestic violence. It urged residents to use the medium to report incidence of violence happening around their homes. Deputy Governor Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire made it known yesterday when she received members of the Gender Based Violence Response Network, a nongovernment organisation. They came to protest what they called the gruesome murder of a banker Titilayo Arowolo, by her husband. They urged the police not to treat the murder as a case of psychiatric patient as recent developments and claims by the husband portends. Mrs. Adefulire expressed government’s sadness over the incident. She said an action committee is being set up by the government to monitor on-going investigations and ensure that law enforcement agents bring the perpetrator to justice.
Court refuses ex-Finbank boss’, others applications By Abike Hassan and Segun Olaniyi
JUSTICE Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja yesterday dismissed applications for stay of proceedings filed separately by former Managing Director of Finbank Plc, Mr Okey Nwosu and some other directors. Justice Okunnu held that Section 277 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State forbids her to entertain such applications. “ Section 277 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State subject to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution states that an appeal for stay of proceedings shall not be entertained until judgment is delivered in a criminal matter,” she held. She also held that the entry of an appeal at the Court of Appeal does not guarantee an automatic stay of proceedings at the High Court. “It is not mandatory for the court to transmit its records to the court of appeal and Section 277 gives the court the powers to strike out any such application”, Justice Okunnu said. The judge said Section 277 was not contrary to the provisions of Section 13(4) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria but rather complements it. The judge said the purpose of the section is to ensure that criminal matters are determined and disposed off in a timely manner. She, therefore, adjourned the matter to July 13 for hearing of other pending applications and fixed Sept. 5 for beginning of trial. Nwosu, Dayo Famoroti , Danjuma Ocholi and Mrs Agnes Ebubedike are facing a 26-count charge of stealing . They were accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of stealing N10.9 billion belonging to the bank from Sept. 2006 to November 2007.
• A traffic jam caused by potholes at Mile 2 on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos ... yesterday
PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI
Workers get set for strike over minimum wage
NE week after their ultimatum to the Federal Government, workers yesterday vowed to ensure payment of the N18,000 minimum wage and collection of five months arrears. The workers last Thursday gave the government two weeks to pay the wage or face a strike, President-General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele told The Nation that the delayin payment would increase the arrears, adding: ‘’Since the law was signed in March by President Goodluck Jonathan, it follows that the arrears have been mounting since and must be paid. He said: “Already, we have five months arrears; whenever they implement them, the workers would have a lot of money.” On whether the Labour Minister Emeka Wogu, could stop the impending strike, Esele said Labour would support him in anyway it could. He, however, said being a minister, Wogu must ensure
•We’ll collect arrears •It’s the law, say activists By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu, Wale Adepoju and Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
that the law is respected. A member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and General Secretary, Non-Academic Staff Union of Univerities (NASU), Comrade Peter Adeyemi, said to avert the impending strike, the government must implement the Minimum Wage Act. Adeyemi was a member of the Tripartite Committee that produced the new Minimum Wage Act. He said NASU played a predominant role in the process that produced the new wage. The civil servants under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) said they were already mobilising for mass action in compliance with TUC’s directive. TUC’s Secretary General Solomon Onaghinon said with Wogu’s re-appointment,
Labour would see how the matter goes. Bankers are also in solidarity with their colleagues. The National President, Association of Senior Staff of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), Comrade Sunday Salako, said they were awaiting directives from TUC. He said government had no excuse not to implement the law, since it is “spending so much on politicians, why is it treating workers with disdain?” Also yesterday, the federal and state governments were urged to implement the wage. The Joint Action Forum (JAF), a pro-labour civil society component of the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), said the minimum wage is a law, and as such, compulsory for all tiers of government and private sector employers with 50 or more employees, to pay. JAF’s Secretary, Mr Abiodun Aremu, said failure to implement the wage would
be resisted because it had been signed into law by the President. He said the heat generated by workers’ agitations compelled the government to set up the Justice Belgore Negotiation Council where an agreement was reached on the minimum wage. Representatives of the government, private sector employers and organised labour were members of the council. Aremu, who spoke to reporters in Lagos, said the ultimatum issued last week should make them comply with the implementation, otherwise, workers would embark on strike. “We will embark on mass struggle after the expiration of the two-week ultimatum if the federal and state governmens do not change their stand. There will be protests, demonstration and strikes if need be, to enforce the minimum wage, which is the legitimate right of workers,” he said.
The Oyo State chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has called on the leadership of NLC to dialogue with the government to resolve the logjam over the wage. The association, in a statement by its leader, Mr Banjoko Ibrahim, urged the parties to find means of resolving the wage crisis amicably rather than allow it to degenerate to a strike. The students also condemned the spate of attacks by the Boko Haram sect and called for urgent action against the group by the government. NANS condemned proscription of students unionism at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, The Polythecnic, Ibadan and Federal College of Cooperatives, Eleyele, Ibadan. It urged authorities of the institutions to unban unionism to avoid the wrath of students.
No form of insecurity will be tolerated, says Jonathan
OR the umpteenth President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the Federal Government will not tolerate any form of insecurity in the country. He reiterated his administration’s commitment to the development of the country saying the current state of insecurity in the country was not necessary. The President said that Nigerians have the right to stay anywhere in the country irrespective of their ethnic background. Jonathan, who spoke in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, during the grand finale of the Nigerian Army Day celebration, said that the government would cre-
From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
ate an enabling environment for business to thrive. He warned the Nigerians to be security conscious at all time. The President stated that the federal government would construct three local refineries to end the problems associated with fuel importation. While in the Southsouth state, Jonathan also inaugurated the newly constructed Ikot Ekpene Prison; the underground drainage system; and the dualised EkomImam-Ekim Itam federal road built by the Governor Godswill Akpabio administration. Represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo,
Jonathan commended the military in managing the post-election violence shortly after the April polls. He urged Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika to place more emphasis on training as a way of sharpening the skills of officers and men. His words: “Nigerian army has been at the forefront of nourishing our democracy. The state of insecurity we have witnessed so far is uncalled for. No form of lawlessness will be tolerated by this government. Nigerians have the right to live and stay anywhere in the country.” Jonathan tasked the security agencies to find a lasting solution to the spate of insecurity in the country.
He added that the Government on its part would do all within its power to deliver more dividends of democracy to Nigerians. Jonathan stated that plans are on the way for the construction of a deep sea port in Akwa Ibom so as to serve as another source of income to the Federal and State Governments. His words: “Plans and design are at advance stage for the construction of railway from Lagos to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. “Already, the Federal Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve the operations of the oil and gas sector. Also, the Federal Government will build three
new refineries, build petrol chemical plants and fertilizers plants in order to improve food production.” The Controller-General of Prisons, O.A. Ogundipe, had earlier expressed worry over the state of the nation’s prisons across. Ogundipe lamented that 34,000 out of the estimated 48,000 prisoners in custody are awaiting trials. He stated that detainees have been frustrating the effort of prisons officers to reform convicts. He said: “This is so because more time and resources are being expended in containing the pre-trial suspects in custody than in the reformation of convicts.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
STATE OF FEDERAL ROADS
Fayemi seeks approval for board members, commissioners
Shame of a nation The road linking Nigeria’s busiest sea port in Lagos with other parts of the country is an eyesore. A firsttime traveller on it will take the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway as abandoned. JOE IGBOKWE, General Manager of Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) writes on this shame
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
•A bad portion of the Expressway
NYBODY who wishes to know how deep, unserious and myopic the Federal Government has sunk into in the past 12 years in matters of governance and service delivery, should visit the stretch of road from Berger Cement bus stop to Creek Road, Apapa in Lagos. I have seen failure of governance in every facet of our national life in the past 12 years, but the state of BergerApapa via Tin Can Island is worrisome, very disturbing and unacceptable. This is my experience: I went to the First Gate Festac on July 2, to inspect a car a relation is interested in buying. Business finished. I tried to go back to Surulere through Mile 2 to Ijeshatedo, I met a serious traffic jam at Mile 2. I continued to Berger Cement bus stop to make a turn but the story was the same. I then decided to go through Apapa-Western Avenue to get home. That was where my trouble started. I was on that road for more than four hours until it became impossible for me to continue at a point in front of Tin Can Island gate. I got out of the vehicle picked a commercial motorcycle to Apapa to board a taxi to Surulere. While we were in the traffic jam, I took time out to take a mental note of the Thomas Hobbes’ states of
KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has forwarded the names of four commissioners-designate to the House of Assembly for screening and approval. Mr Wole Olujobi, the Special Adviser to Speaker Dr Adewale Omirin, said in a statement that the governor sought the approval of the House to enable him bring in more competent hands to run the affairs of the state. Reading the letter on the floor of the House, Omirin listed the nominees for commissionership to include: Chief Dayo Fadipe, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, Paul Omotosho and Mrs. Bunmi Adelugba. Fadipe retired as a permanent secretary in the state civil service, while Afuye, from Ikere-Ekiti, was the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Leader in the State Assembly in the Third Assembly until the recommendation, while Omotosho from Imesi-Ekiti, in Gbonyin Local Government Area, was Special Adviser to Fayemi on Legal Matters. Fayemi also sent the names of members for four commissions including; the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), Local Government Service Commission, State Civil Service Commission and House of Assembly Service Commission. Those awaiting confirmation as SIEC members are: Mrs V.B. Adelusi, Niyi Idowu, Chief Gbenga Agbona, Chief Soji Oloketuyi, Mr. Olanrewaju Aina, Alhaji A. Coker and Chief Remi Olowoloba. On the list of Assembly Service Commission are: Mr Bayo Idowu, Mr Kole Fakiyesi, Mr. Tunde Adebayo, Mr. Olaiya Kupolati and Mrs. Modupe Bakare, while the Local Government Service Commission has Chief Aderemi Ajayi, Chief Reuben Akomolafe, Princess Omotunde Adelabu, Chief S.O. Abejide, Mr. Foluso Ibirinde, Mr. Olu Ale and Chief Jacob Olaseinde Adewunmi. To run the affairs of the State Civil Service Commission are: Alhaji Afolabi Ogunlayi, Elder S.O. Bankole, Mrs. Kemi Olaleye, Elders Yemi Alade and Mr. Sesan Fatoba. Urging the House to expedite action on the lists, Fayemi also informed the House that the State Universal Basic Education Board and Teaching Service Commission boards shall be simultaneously constituted. After deliberation, Omirin announced that screening and confirmation of the nominees would take place today.
•Another failed section of the road
nature which Tin Can Island Expressway had turn into. A combination of the bad roads, thousands of trailers and petrol tankers, human and other vehicular traffic, traders, hawkers, street urchins etc fused together to create a picture of hell on earth at Tin Can Island. It pains me to no end to see a place where the Federal Government is making billions everyday in total chaos. While inside the car, I looked through the window to notice that the drains have been converted to make shift toilet by thousands of men and women who have no business being in that zone were we a serious people. Emergency car dealers display their vehicles on the col-
lapsed portion of the road without caring a hoot. The trailers and petrol tanker drivers, park as they like. I have seen confusion, disorder and recklessness somewhere else but the situation on Berger-Apapa road stunned me into disbelief. How do those who work at Tin Can Island go to work and how do the return home every day? Do they worry about the situation of that road at all? What about the petrol dealers and their Tank Farms? How do they feel about the condition of that road? What about the Federal Ministry of Works? What about the claim we hear every day that “this one is a federal road and that this one is a state road”?
PHOTOS:OMOSEHIN MOSES AND DAYO ADEWUNMI
In other parts of the world, roads leading to such a seaport can be a 10-lane express or more on both sides, but here we are still saddled with the two lane expressway built almost 40 years ago. I am sure nobody envisaged that importers of petroleum products will one day come to Tin Can Island to build Tank Farms. I am sure that what we see there was not in the original plan of the builders. Berger-Tin Can Island has failed and something drastic must be done now. First, we must have the courage and the political will to clear the Augean Stable there-the roadside traders, the car dealers, the mechanics, the illegal struc-
tures, the abandoned vehicles, hawkers, etc-If the Federal Government cannot do it, please ask Governor Babatunde Fashola to help. We need to recover that very important road and restore order on that corridor to look like what we see abroad. I am ashamed of the Federal Ministry of Works, the managers of Tin Can Island Port, the oil magnates on that corridor, the banks, Customs, clearing and forwarding companies, truck owners and the police. It is a collective failure of governance. It is bad attitude to governance. It is clear demonstration of irresponsible leadership. It is inhuman, it is absurd, it is a disgrace.
Four INEC officials in court over electoral malpractice
OUR officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti State were yesterday brought before the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Ado-Ekiti for alleged electoral malpractice during the April 26 State Assembly election. The accused persons are Ojo Oluwafemi ,25; Ajayi
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
Gbenga, 42; Oni Babajide, 37; and Olusola Oladapo 41. They were arraigned on a nine-count charge, including misdemeanor, multiple thumb printing of counted votes in wilful attempt to void same and bribery, among others. They were also accused of having corruptly received
N180, 000.00 from one Anthonia Omonusi, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for Ekiti East 11 state constituency to procure her return to the House of Assembly in a fraudulent manner. “That you Ajayi Gbenga, a staff of Independent National Electoral Commission sometime in May 2011, corruptly received the sum of
N50,000 from Olusola Oladapo to procure the return of Anthonia Omonusi of Action Congress of Nigeria to Ekiti State house of Assembly by thumb printing the counted votes in favour of People Democratix Party in the Ekiti East Local Government Area election held sometimes in April 2011. Police prosecutor Sergeant
Adebayo Ajiboye told the court that the accused persons had committed offences which are punishable under various Sections of the Electoral Act 2010. Counsel to the accused persons Mr. Owoseni Ajayi and Vincent Amire pleaded with the court to grant the accused persons bail on liberal terms since the case was till under investigation.
“The accused are still innocent until proven guilty by the Court”, Ajayi stated. The Chief Magistrate, Mr. Richard Adegboye granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N20, 000.00 each and two sureties residing within the Ado-Ekiti Magisterial district. The case was adjourned till August 5, 2011.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
NEWS Benue Election Tribunal adjourns indefinitely From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
HE National and State Assemblies’ Election Tribunal in Benue State yesterday adjourned indefinitely until notices are served on the parties to the petition challenging the election of Senate President David Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by General Lawrence Onoja of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Both contested for Benue South South Senatorial District in last April election. At yesterday’s sitting, counsel to Onoja, Mr Ucha Ulegede, filed an application to withdraw an ex parte motion earlier filed before the tribunal for the pre-hearing. The motion seeks to grant the applicant leave to inspect and seal the ballot papers used for the April 9 senatorial election in Benue South Senatorial District for finger print analysis to ascertain alleged multiple thumb-printing. When the matter was mentioned, counsel to the petitioner complained that notices had not been served on them. They argued that for the pre-hearing to be scheduled, all pleadings must be completed in line with the electoral law. Ulegede filed an application for the withdrawal of his ex parte motion, but tribunal Chairman, Justice Anslem Nwigwe, struck it out and adjoined the matter indefinitely, pending when the parties would be served notices within seven days.
PUBLIC NOTICE I, ELEGBEDE ISMAIL TANIMOLA wishes to notify the general public that I am not the same person as Salau Lateef. He has no right to use any of my documents or parade himself as ELEGBEDE ISMAIL TANIMOLA.
PUBLIC NOTICE WOMEN IN MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL The general public is hereby notified that the above named Ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part ‘C’ of the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Pastor (Mrs.) Charity Dina 4. Pastor (Mrs.) Onyema William 2. Pastor Taiwo Dina 5. Miss Miracle Dina 3. Pastor (Mrs.) Moyo Ozodo THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. Ministry to members. 4. Humanitarian Services. 2. Ministry to the body of Christ. 5. Recreation. 3. Outreach. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the RegistrarGeneral, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi street, P.M.B. 198, Maitama, Abuja within twenty-eight (28) days of this publication.
SIGNED: PASTOR (MRS.) CHARITY DINA
PDP rejects ex-CPC senatorial candidate’s defection •‘I can’t abandon a house I helped to build’ HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State has rejected the plan by a former senatorial candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mr. T.J. Faniyi, to return to the party. But Faniyi has begged the PDP to give him a second chance, saying he could not abandon a house he helped to build. Faniyi, a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, lost PDP’s senatorial ticket for Kogi West to Senator Smart Adeyemi. On February 4, he resigned his membership of the PDP and joined the CPC where he sought the senatorial ticket in the April election. After losing to Adeyemi, Faniyi, on June 16, applied to rejoin the PDP at its Ward 09, Okemeta in Isanlu, Yagba East Local Government. But in a June 28 letter by the party’s Secretary in Yagba East Local Government, Chief Jibril Mamud, PDP said there was no automatic readmis-
HE House of Representatives will probe the crisis hindering the take-off of the proposed Federal University in Ekiti State. The decision followed a motion by Abimbola Daramola (ACN IKole/Oye Federal Constituency, Ekiti State) titled: Non-Take-off of the Proposed Federal University in Ekiti State. The House is to investigate the inconsistencies in the choice of location, the remote and immediate cause (s) of the violence and other factors af-
This is to notify the general public that the Private Lease with Registration Number 16/ 16/44 dated 7/7/76 Lands Registry, Port Harcourt, belonging to Late Chief Benjamin O. Olowo deposited with PAN AFRICAN BANK LTD (IN-LIQUIDATION) got lost in transit. All efforts to trace it proved abortive. If found pls. Contact, NDIC, ECC, 139 Chime Avenue New Haven , Enugu Dan Agwu, Esq.
CHANGE OF NAME WASIU
This is to inform the general public that the above named Initiative has applied for registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission under Part ‘C’ of Companies and Allied Matters Acts 1, 1990.
I formerly known as Wasiu, Moshood Babatunde, now wish to be known as Abdul-Wasi, Moshood Babatunde. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
Board of Trustees Alhaji (Chief) Dr. Lateef Kayode Jakande Chief (Mrs) Felicia Aderemi Ilaka Amb. Olusegun Olusola Hon. Chief Akintunde Rotimi Barr. Luqman Oyebisi Dr. Segun Ogundimu Chief F. A. Silva-Rotimi
I formerly known as Miss Elizabeth Ebong Edeth, now wish to be known as Mrs. Elizebeth Ndifreke Emmanuel. All former documents remain valid. Nigeria Police Force and the general public should please take note.
Chairman President Member Member Member Member Member
Aims and Objectives 1. To promote and encourage people to cater for the welfare of old people in the society. 2. To bring together all Nigerian citizens and promote mutual interest and understanding for peace, unity and progress of Nigeria through meetings, conferences etc. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General,Corporate Affairs Commission plot 420,Tigirs Cresent,Garki,Abuja within 28 days of the publication. Signed: ‘Wole Pereira General Secretary
Editor, Northern Operation
sion for Faniyi. The letter overruled the readmission of Faniyi by the Ward Chairman. The party asked him to apply to its Local Government Working Committee to determine his fate. It also said the PDP National Working Committee in Abuja would determine whether to place the defector on probation for one year or not. The letter reads: “I am directed to inform you that the PDP LGA Working Committee met on June 28 and deliberated on the subject matter and resolved that you (Ward Chairman) did not follow what the constitution of the party says. “You should read Article 8.5 of the party constitution accordingly. Your resolution on the subject matter should be forwarded to the next higher authority, which is the Local Government PDP Working Committee, since you have no approving authority over
the matter. “Also, I refer you to Article 8.9 of the constitution, which stipulates and I quote: ‘Persons who desire to rejoin the party after leaving it shall, unless exempted by the National Working Committee, be placed on probation for a period of time not less than a year’. “You are also referred to Article 10(b) and 10(c). We wish to advise you to let the higher organ of the party be involved before you finally take any action as spelt out in the PDP party constitution, please. “I am, therefore, requesting you to adhere to what I have highlighted above. After this must have been done, you can also inform me by writing on all actions taken.” Faniyi had, in his letter, said: “Reference (is hereby made) to my letter of February 4, in which I resigned my membership of the PDP as a result of circumstances prevailing at that time. “I, Chief T.J. Faniyi, after a very deep reflection and in
the absence of the circumstances that informed my decision at that time, wish to formally return to the PDP and state as fellows: •“As one of the major stakeholders and builders of the party in my ward (Okemeta Ward 09, Isanlu), in my local government area – Yagba East, in Outland, and Kogi State as a whole, it will amount to a bad judgment of situation for me to abandon a house I helped so much in building. • “It is my considered opinion that we are in a very critical stage of our political history, when all hands must be on deck to re-engineer our great party and move it forward to the great heights it deserves. • “In this connection, I, Chief T.J. Faniyi, hereby formally return to my root, to the great party (PDP), the best and greatest party in Africa. “While I thank you for your cooperation, accept sir, the assurances of my highest esteem and best regards.”
Reps to wade into proposed Federal University of Ekiti Crisis T
LOSS OF CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
PUBLIC NOTICE OLD PEOPLES WELFARE FOUNDATION, LAGOS STATE
From Yusuf Alli, Managing
I formerly known as Miss Soneye Iradat Ayomiku, now wish to be known as Mrs. Abiola Iradat Ayomiku. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should please take note.
CHUKWU I formerly known as Miss. Chukwu Adaeze Salome, now wish to be known as Mrs. Okpara Adaeze Salome. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should please take note.
From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja
fecting the take-off of the university as soon as its Committee on Education is constituted. The Ekiti Federal University is one of the six proposed by the Federal Government for the six geo-political zones. During the debate on the motion, Daramola said: “Following due consultations with stakeholders and recommendations of the Federal Government Visitation Panel comprising the Minister of Education, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), among other offi-
cials, Ikole-Ekiti was announced as the location for the university.” The lawmaker said the Minister of Information confirmed Ikole-Ekiti as the site at a press briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on December 22, last year. He regretted that the announcement of Oye-Ekiti as the site for the proposed university on February 11, instead of Ikole-Ekiti, caused violence between the two communities and led to three deaths and destruction of property. Daramola urged the House to intervene by appealing to
the President to direct that Ikole-Ekiti be maintained as the site for the university. He said efforts should be intensified for the take-off of the university since the Federal Government has provided N1.5 billion for its takeoff. Daramola urged his colleagues to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Uche Ekwenife agreed on the need for an ad hoc committee to probe the matter. They agreed that the probe should examine, among others, the choice of locations, the remote and immediate causes of the violence and other factors hindering the take-off of the university.
150,000 FCT councils’ plots for verification HE Federal Capital Territory Administration yesterday set up two committees to verify the ownership of 150,000 plots without certificates of occupancy (CofO) in the area councils. This followed an approval by the FCT Executive Committee for the exercise. FCT Minister Senator Bala Mohammed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi, inaugurated the committees in Abuja. The committees are: Executive Steering Committee of the Accelerated Area Councils Title
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
Reissuance Scheme Project (AACTRIS) and Project Implementation Committee of the Accelerated Area Councils Title Reissuance Scheme Project (AACTRIS) . The terms of reference of the committees include providing top level oversight functions for the project; liaising with the FCT administration as may be required on behalf of the project; ensuring that government’s objectives are met on the project; and overseeing policy decisions that affect the project’s outcome.
Group seeks replacement of ministerial nominee HE Jukun Development Association (JDA) has backed the call by the three Taraba State senators calling for the replacement of the state’s ministerial nominee, Dr Obadiah Ando. The three senators are: Aisha Alhasan, (Taraba North); Tutare Abubakar (Taraba Central); and Bwacha Emmanuel (Taraba South). Praising the senators for their courage to stand for their state, JDA said their
•NANS hails appointment By Yinka Aderibigbe
position is a true reflection of the feelings of their constituencies. In a telephone interview with The Nation, JDA President Mr Benjamin Bako said the group agreed with the senators because of Ando’s alleged poor performance when he was the Minister of Water Resources. But the National Association of Nigerian Students
NANS urged Dr Jonathan to
(NANS) yesterday praised President Jonathan for reappointing Ando. The apex students’ union expressed confidence in his ability to perform well. NANS President Comrade Bassey Etuk Williams, noted that Ando’s appointment showed that President Jonathan is determined to work with technocrats who would assist him to deliver democracy dividends.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
NEWS 70 Sokoto workers face sanction From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
SEVENTY workers of Maryam Abacha Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Sokoto, are to be penalised for lateness. They were reportedly found not to be at their duty posts when the Head of Service (HOS), Alhaji Abdullahi Wali, visited the hospital. Wali had emphasised punctuality as the soul of service delivery in the civil service. He said: “If you must earn, you must work for it and respect time as a requisite for employment to justify your earning. “It is time for reorientation; nothing less. State resources should be seen to be judiciously utilised to improve service delivery at all levels.”
Shi’ites threaten Nigeria’s security, say Islamic scholars
USLIM scholars have urged the Federal Government to monitor the activities of the Shi’ite sect to forestall security breaches. The scholars spoke at the sixth annual seminar of AsSunnah Academy for Da’awah and Research, held at the AlHikmah University, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. They alleged that the sect has an automobile assembly in Senegal and a university in Ghana through which they lure unsuspecting people to embrace their beliefs. The Muslim scholars also alleged that the group has the backing of Iranian Embassy, which facilitates penetration
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
of top-ranking government officials. In a communiqué by its Chairman, Publicity Committee, Dr Lukman Babalola, the group urged the government to stop tertiary institutions and others from registering Shi’ite organisations. The seminar was entitled: Shi’ism Incursion and the Attendant Threat to Communal Peace and National Security. The communiqué reads: “This year’s seminar, which is sixth, gathered scholars from every part of Nigeria to discuss issues relating to
the topic and unanimously agreed that ‘Shi’ism’ is a sect of beliefs of a group known as ‘Shi’ites’. “The seminar noted strongly that this group opposes the beliefs of the generality of Muslims in many fundamental areas, which vary with regard to the gravity of its deviation from the creed of Islam. The worst and most dangerous of them is a group, known as Al-ithnaa Asariyyah. It entered into Nigeria in the 1970s and now has a sizeable presence in the country and their activities are well known. It is more established and has greater presence in the Northern parts of Nigeria. It also has considerable presence in some
states in the South, especially Kwara, Lagos and Osun. “In particular, Al-ithnaa Asariyyah also has a considerable number of adherents in the northern part of the country; it is increasing in number, gaining more and more adherents from among males and females, employing various means, ranging from personal contacts, societal activities, to the building of infrastructure to spread and expand its reach. “In particular, it has an automobile assembly in Senegal and a university in Ghana both in West Africa - through which it lures unsuspecting citizens to its evil beliefs; also gives scholarship to unsuspect-
Agency begins analysis of airborne survey data
Islamic banking ‘ll not Islamise Nigeria, say lawyers
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
MUSLIM lawyers, under the aegis of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), yesterday said the introduction of Islamic banking in Nigeria is neither a northern agenda nor an attempt to Islamise the country. In a statement in Kaduna, the association said Islamic banking was provided for in the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, 2004, adding that its introduction came from former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo. The statement, signed by MULAN President Tajudeen Oladoja, said Sections 9, 23 and 52 of Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3, LFN, 2004, provides for the establishment of Islamic banking in Nigeria. The group noted that the system is about removing interest on loans, which is not unique to Islam alone, adding that other monotheistic religions, including Christianity, do not also accept usury.
‘Gaidam not underfunding councils’ From Duku Joel, Damaturu
THE Chairman, Fune Local Government Area of Yobe State, Adam Arjo Kayere, yesterday debunked the claim that some governors were starving local governments. He said a joint account between the state and local governments is legal and constitutional. Addressing reporters in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, Kayere absolved Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of mismanaging funds from the joint account. He said: “Gaidam is giving every local government enough funds to execute their projects”. Kayere said Fune Local Government would pay the N18,000 minimum wage if the state government issues a directive on the matter.
ing Muslims to study in various disciplines in Iranian institutes and universities, associates closely with people in high places and positions in government offices and agencies such as security forces, educational institutions and health organisations and the like, planting its adherents among them; employs the influence of the Iranian Embassy in Nigeria to assiduously propagate its evil beliefs among the top shots, ministers and other government officials in Nigeria, declares Muslims other than its members unbelievers and thus declares their killing permissible by various means as long as it does not lead to their arrest.”
•Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka (left); Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Eniola Ajayi; Managing Director, Ekiti State Emergency Management Authority, Mr. Lanre Owoeye (middle); Principal, Senior Secondary School, Corpus Christi College, Ilawe-Ekiti, Mr. Adedeji Adeyeye; and Principal, JSS, Corpus Christi College, Ilawe-Ekiti, Mr. Lawrence Apalowo, at the presentation of N1.5million cheque for rehabilitation of the damaged parts of the school by rainstorm, in Ado-Ekiti.
Aviation college to buy N3b simulators for training
HE Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State, will soon acquire two simulators to train its students. The simulators, to be imported in the next two months, will cost $10million each (about N1.5 billion). The Rector, Capt. Adebayo Araba, told reporters that the simulators would enable pilots to get better training, adding that students would no longer need aircraft for training before they are issued certificates. He said: “In another month or two, we are expecting more new equipment in this college; we are expecting brand new simulators. My target really is to have 737-NG “Level
By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor, Aviation Correspondent
D” simulators in this college. How many flying schools in the world have such equipment on ground? Very few, except those affiliated with airlines. “The simulators are for training of pilots and they will each cost about $10million or thereabout. With such equipment, we don’t even need an aeroplane to fly for our students to have the certificate; you don’t need an aeroplane for you to get the endorsement. That is what everybody is doing all over the world today; that is the Level D aspect of it. It is the
zero-hour endorsement. “Whatever you can do in a simulator is what you can do on the aeroplane. So, all the training and checkout would be done in that simulator. By the time you are done in that simulator, you have your licence. That is what is obtainable now anywhere in the world.” Araba said one of NCAT’s challenges is lack of maintenance of hangar facilities. He restated the readiness of the management to complete the abandoned hangar, which has been under construction since 1989. Araba said the college would need about N300 million to complete the abandoned hangar, adding that it
would be completed before the end of the year. According to him, the management would not start any new project until it completes all the abandoned ones such as the swimming pool, library, auditorium and hostel. Araba said: “Let’s complete the projects that we started rather than new contracts. Look at the hangar; it has been there since around 1989 or so and is yet to be completed. I just got some little money now. The state of that hangar is terrible. It just needs to be opened up again, and by the estimate we had, it will cost us about N300 million. Let’s hope that by the end of this year it will be completed.
Why we demand voters’ cards before jobs, by Kwara
HE Kwara State Government yesterday explained the rationale behind its demand for voter’s cards as a perquisite for ongoing registration of unemployed youths in the state’s Bridge Empowerment Scheme (KWABES). It said the scheme was designed by the Abdulfatah Ahmed administration to provide jobs for at least 2,000 youths in its first 100 days in office and generate data on unemployed youths. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state had
By Olamilekan Andu
criticised the demand for voter’s card for the registration. The scheme, the government said, should not be mistaken for political patronage, “as it is meant for all youths resident in the state, including non-indigenes, irrespective of party affiliation”. In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Abdulwahab Oba, the government said it was harping on the biometrics identification used by the Independent National Elec-
toral Commission (INEC) as an acknowledgement of its reliability, adding that “the voter’s card remains the most recent credible identification that could be relied upon”. The statement reads: “The decision of government to identify eligible registrants with voter’s cards was, therefore, to demonstrate the importance it attaches to the scheme, warning that no one should trivialise or attempt to trivialise it, based on primordial sentiments. “The scheme was put in place by the government pri-
marily to benefit the youths, having realised the high prevalence of mass unemployment among them, to stem the tide and checkmate youth restiveness. “Nine days after the registration took off in all the 16 local governments, 50,000 forms have been issued to youths of between 18 and 22 years, which indicates that the problem of unemployment among youths was far beyond expectation and, therefore, requires urgent attention from all and sundry, irrespective of political leanings.”
HE Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) has begun an interpretation of the country’s airborne geological survey data, the NGSA Director-General, Prof. Siyan Malomo, has said. Malomo spoke yesterday at the annual retreat for officers in the Southern Zone. He said the agency had completed a geological mapping of every state, zone in Nigeria. The director-general said the agency would, in partnership with the British Geological Survey Agency, do an urban mapping of some Nigerian cities. He said the Agency had completed the 2Dimension (2D) survey in Kaduna, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Gombe, Owerri, Enugu and Aba, adding that it would soon begin a 3Dimension (3D) level in Lagos and Port Harcourt. Malomo said: “We are working with the British to do the urban mapping of the urban cities in Nigeria. We have done the 2D survey up to date in Kaduna, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Gombe, Owerri, Enugu and Aba. We are now going to do 3D level and do Lagos and Port Harcourt, working with the British Geological Survey.” Continuing, Malomo said: “I have a roadmap already, which we are still following. But what we need to do is to bring out some key areas and improve on them. We have a roadmap and that will suit the minister’s own.” On the agency’s preparation for the Freedom of Information Act, Malomo said: “My officers should be prepared towards that through training. Soon, the gentleman who drafted it will be be here to address us about what our agency is going to do. We are being proactive.” The director-general, however noted that the agency would train high-level manpower saying: “People are the resource Nigeria has as a nation.” NGSA Chairman Alhaji Abu Kurfi said the Agency accounts for 90 per cent of the development of solid minerals in Nigeria because “you have to be knowledgeable in geology to develop mineral resources.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
NEWS Public holiday in Ogun
GUN State Government has declared today a work-free day to mark the death of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential polls, Bashorun MKO Abiola. The holiday is in line with an existing edict declaring the day a holiday to salute Abiola’s contribution to the struggle for democracy in Nigeria. Governor Ibikunle Amosun said: “The late Abiola paid the price for the current freedom we are all enjoying today.” “We must do all we can to ensure that we deepen our democracy and embark on policies that will impact positively on the lives of our people,” Amosun said.
Lawmaker decries misconception
HE lawmaker representing Epe II in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Segun Olulade, has said Lagosians needed to be educated on the activities of the House to dispel the misconception people have about it. Olulade said a lot of people blame the House if anything goes wrong in their constituencies or if things don’t go the way they expect. He said: “We need to project the House in the right direction and we need to let the people know what we are re-
By Oziegbe Okoeki
ally doing here. There is a lot of misconception about the House, for example people expect that we should fix bad roads and all that. “There is need to let them know that some of these things are not our responsibilities as lawmakers.” The lawmaker said he had misconceptions about the House until he became a member. “It is quite different from what you see outside,” he said.
10 injured in UNAD cults clash •Students protest T EN people were injured as two rival cult gangs, Eiye Confraternity and Black Axe, engaged in a gun battle at the University of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State. The battle lasted nearly one hour. It is examination period in the institution. Despite early commencement of some papers, the gangs, which had shifted their supremacy battle to the campus, disrupted the exams. Students scampered for
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
safety. In the process, 10 of them, six female and four male students, ran into a septic tank, and were injured. It was also gathered that a member of the Cadets Peace Corps was injured. Police spokesman Muhammed Jimoh said two suspects have been arrested.
There was a peaceful protest by students over poor security in the institution. The Student Union rejected the stand of the school authorities to continue with the exams. The President, Olalekan Shittu, said: “The authorities should not make innocent students suffer consequences of a development they know nothing about.
“The students are yet to sufficiently recover from the trauma of the clash.” He contended that the students were traumatised by the experience and deserve some ‘consideration’ and a postponement of examinations. But the Registrar, Dr. Omojola Awosusi, said the authorities had decided to continue with the examination. He said the exam would continue today.
Security strengthened in Ondo Assembly From Damisi Ojo, Akure
ECURITY has been strengthened at the Ondo State House of Assembly, Igbatoro road, Akure. The open-space in front of the Assembly Complex used as parking space for both lawmakers and visitors has now been restricted only to the lawmakers. It was learnt that the development might not been unconnected with the incessant bombings across the country, which has been linked to the Boko Haram sect. At the premises yesterday, only vehicles belonging to members of the Assembly and few government vehicles were allowed entry. The head of security operatives in the Assembly was having a hectic time directing his men to ensure strict compliance with the new order. A visitor, who parked his vehicle in an authorised place within the premises, had his four tyres deflated. Security personnel, including police, Civil Defence Corps and Assembly’s guards, mounted heavy security at the main entrance.
Jega for UNILAG lecture
HAIRMAN of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Attahiru Jega will deliver a post-election lecture today at the Main Auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) by 11am. The lecture is being organised by the Centre for Social Research and Advocacy (CSRA), University of Lagos,
as part of the university’s service to the community. Jega will speak on the topic “2011 General Elections and the Consolidation of the Democratic Process in Nigeria”. Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) is Special Guest of Honour at the lecture, which will be chaired by Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi.
Agbekoya warns against famine From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
HE pan-Yoruba farmers association, Nigerian Hunters and Farmers Union (aka Agbekoya) yesterday urged the three tiers of government to support agriculture to prevent imminent famine in the country. A statement by the union’s President-General, Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, in Ibadan yesterday said prices of food stuffs would rise, leading to scarcity of food should the situation prevail. The union said the only way out of the situation is for governments to address challenges faced by farmers, such as provision of fertiliser and access to funds to grow more food. Okikiola condemned the idea of importing food with billions of naira when local farmers can be helped to shore up their production. The union leader also called on President Goodluck Jonathan and governors in the Southwest to lend new support for farmers.
•Ajimobi (right) listening to the head, Malaria Control Unit, Ministry of Health, Dr. T.A Oladipo (left). With them are: Acting Permanent Secretary, Service Matters, Tunde Busari (centre) and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. J.O Okesola
Perm secs, others absent as Ajimobi visits ministries
YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi was shocked yesterday when he found that many civil servants were yet to report for work at 9:30 am in some ministries in the state secretariat. The governor visited the Civil Service Commission, Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives and Ministry of Health to have an on-the-spot assessment of work ethics and the state of infrastructure. He got there at 8am. But to his surprise, most of the workers, including permanent secretaries, were yet to report for work at 9:30 am. He lamented the general laxity of the workers, the dilapidated state of infrastructure in the ministries and the
HERE was a mild drama in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday as members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) hauled stones and assaulted their leaders for accepting the N9,400 minimum wage offered by Governor Abiola Ajimobi . The workers were agitating for N18,000 minimum wage. They blamed their leaders for not insisting on the N18,000 minimum wage, which they said was the only way out of the impending strike. It was a free-for-all after a meeting at the Agodi, Ibadan secretariat of the union between the workers and their
From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
leaders. The Chairman, Basiru Olanrewaju, gave a report of the meeting with Ajimobi based on the negotiation going on, regarding the N13, 000 earlier proposed by the government, as against the N18, 000 minimum wage approved by the National Assembly. Olanrewaju said: “We met with the government yesterday (Tuesday) and the governor said the old rate of N9, 400 had been paid into the workers’ accounts and it was not ready to withdraw it. “The salary was paid pending when agreement would be
reached on the ongoing negotiation. “The government said it would pay the balance of the salary later after the negotiation would have been concluded.” The workers were, however, not impressed by the report as they were expecting the leadership of the union to insist on the payment of N18, 000 which they had collected in May, or in the alternative, embark on strike. They started pelting the leaders with stones, shouting disapproval of the result of the meeting. There was pandemonium as everybody scampered for safety.
The chairman said: “We reported to the workers what the government told us. “The workers themselves admitted that the N9, 400 was paid into their account last week. But they have insisted that they would not take any balance. And this is the situation. They started protesting, throwing things at us. “There is nothing we can do now other than to wait for the decision of the national secretariat of the NLC. “The national secretariat has insisted on collecting N18, 000, but the Federal Government has not implemented it. So, we have to wait for them before taking any decision.”
Panel exposes N2.5b fraud in Osun Bureau From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
entation and Strategy at Efon Alaye made the appeal yesterday. Chief John Fakorede, the Obanla of Efon Alaye, who represented Oba Emmanuel Aladejare, lamented that erosion was ravaging the communities. He urged the government to initiate corrective measures to arrest further slide.
lackadaisical attitude to work. Ajimobi was shocked at the decay of amenities. He said that it would be difficult for workers to be productive without modern work tools. He said his visit was to demonstrate that he would lead by example as well as introduce new work orientation for civil servants. The governor urged the civil servants to be more dedicated to their work, stressing that his administration was committed to efficiency and effectiveness in public service.
Oyo workers assault NLC officials over minimum wage
Ekiti communities seek govt help HE people of Efon Alaye and Ekiti West local governments of Ekiti State have appealed to the government to facilitate the provision of water for the communities. The communities also urged the government to replace the aged pipes that have gone into disuse, causing severe shortage of water in the communities. Speakers at the village meetings organised by the Ministry of Information, Communication, Civic Ori-
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
HE report of a six-man investigation panel set up by Osun State Gov-
ernor Rauf Aregbesola to look into the activities of the Bureau of Computer and Information Technology in the Office of the Governor has exposed how N2.5 billion was misappropriated in the last six years. Submitting its report to the governor, the panel revealed that the amount was spent on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects in which contracts were awarded from 2005 and 2011.
Headed by Otunba Akin Doherty, the panel discovered that ICT projects, totalling N2.5 billion, were awarded in questionable manner by the bureau. Doherty said N2.5 billion spent on the ICT projects made no impact on the people, adding that the computer literacy level in Osun State Public Service was still low despite the huge investment on the sector. Giving details of how financial regulations were disregarded by the Permanent Sec-
retary, Mr. Abiodun Oladapo, the panel chairman said ICT projects were carried out by direct labour without following official regulations. He said a particular contract worth N837 million was divided into 76 units by Oladapo in a manner suggesting fraud. Doherty said Oladapo did so to ensure that they were within his official approval limit without submitting to the scrutiny of higher authorities. Aregbesola promised to refer the document to those who would work on the white paper.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION, THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
BUSINESS THE NATION
Naira falls on diverted NNPC dollar sales
HE naira eased slightly against the dollar on the interbank market yesterday as dollars expected to be sold to the market by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were instead sold to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), traders said. Consequently, the naira closed at N152.60 to the dollar on the interbank market from 152.45 a dollar on Tuesday. It had weakened to N154 to the dollar during early trading session but firmed after the CBN released results of its auction. The apex bank sold all the $310.38 million demanded at 150.50 to the dollar compared to $150 million sold at 150.90 a dollar on Monday. Traders said though the naira had weakened to N154 to the dollar mid-session, it firmed after the bi-weekly forex auction result showed the apex bank met all demand. “There were speculations in the market that NNPC sold its dollar to the CBN after the energy firm had failed to reach agreement on pricing with the selected banks it had initially offered the dollars,” one trader said. The NNPC sells dollars to some banks on monthly basis and transfers the naira proceeds to its account with the CBN. The dollar inflows from NNPC would have helped support the naira. “Three energy companies, Nigeria Agip Company, Addax and Chevron sold about $108 million to some banks between yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday) and this helped to provide some dollar liquidity in the market,” another trader said. Dealers said the naira could depreciate further if it was confirmed that NNPC dollar was sold to the apex bank.
COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$114.2/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 -12.4% 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 -$31.6bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 218 £ 242.5 $ 150.9 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 241.5 RIYAL 39.3
We have huge infrastructure deficit in many of our countries. I believe the solution is to continue to grow world class capital markets. It is important because for us to deploy the wealth of our nation on investment, to realise our full potential, we can raise the funds we need for infrastructure from the capital market and transform our economy. –Aruma Oteh, DG, SEC
Foreign investors move funds into Nigerian securities F
OREIGN investors are weighing in on last week’s removal of restriction on foreign participation in Nigerian securities to increase the country’s components of their emerging markets portfolios. Dealers yesterday said there have been keener interests in the Nigerian securities by foreign investors, citing the positive sentiments that greeted the lifting of restriction last week. At the Over-the-Counter (OTC) bond market last week, market considerations of the Nigerian sovereign debts of all maturities appreciated and most analysts said they expected further rallies this week. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week Friday removed the one-year investment holding period of Nigerian securities by foreign investors, paving ways for foreign portfolio managers and investors to trade on Nigerian securities irrespective of their tenors.
By Taofik Salako
Major Nigerian securities dealers including First Securities Discount House (FSDH) Limited, Sterling Capital and Cowry Assets Management Limited yesterday said there were indications foreign investors might further increase their inflows into the Nigerian securities market. Most investment advisers and securities analysts agreed that high yields on Nigerian sovereign debt issues were major attractions to foreign investors, in spite of the security risk that has moderated the investment profile of the country. Already, many Nigerian securities dealers have started developing investment proposals to serve as vehicles for further foreign investments in Nigerian sovereigns. Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said foreign investors have started making enquiries on further in-
vestments in Nigerian debt securities. He, however, noted that increasing foreign participation might lead to further decline in yields and increase in volatility of the Nigerian securities. The expert noted that increasing internationalisation of the Nigerian securities market makes it imperative for Nigerian economic managers to maintain stable and consistent monetary and fiscal policies. He pointed out that many investors were still cautiously waiting for the policy direction of the new Minister of Finance, adding that Nigeria needs to maintain a stable foreign exchange regime as any threat of devaluation would lead to exit of many foreign investors. ”This policy will generally increase participation from foreign investors, who will seek to earn the attractive return in the market,” FSDH Group stated in a note to investors yesterday.
FSDH Group has already developed investment proposals for NTBs, citing exciting investment opportunity offered by the attractive yields and flexibility of the investment options. Economist and securities advisor at Sterling Capital, Mr Sewa Wusu, said the relative positive impact being experienced in the securities market might rally into major influence in the weeks ahead, especially if the government is able to improve the security situation in the country. Citing the current inflation rate of 12.4 per cent and average minimum coupon of 12.75 per cent on Nigerian sovereign, Wusu said the Nigerian yield is a strong attraction to foreign investors. He, however, noted that foreign investors were also concerned about safety of their capital, emphasising the importance of a stable macro-economy.
Glo 1, Julius Berger seal connectivity contract
ONSTRUCTION giant, Julius Berger, has signed on to internet bandwidth provider, Glo 1 International submarine cable. The contract, according to a statement, was signed by the two firms yesterday at Globacom Headquarters, in Lagos. By the terms of the contract, Glo 1 will provide Julius Berger communication infrastructure and services to meet the construction company’s growing domestic and international connectivity needs. Giving details of the deal, Globacom’s Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO), Mohamed Jameel, said Glo 1 would provide the client international private leased circuit to connect their Abuja Headquarters to Julius Berger Wiesbadne, Germany, to ensure seamless data and voice communication between the Nigerian office and Julius Berger office in Germany. Jameel said Glo 1 will further provide domestic leased circuit to connect Julius Berger’s Lagos hub to Abuja as well as provide internet connectivity to meet the company’s internet needs in Abuja. The contract also includes the provision of 100 ADSL Lines to Julius Berger Life camp Abuja, which is the residential quarters for its expatriate workers, he added.
Recapitalisation is our major challenge, says Union Bank • From left: Mr Olugbenga Kolawole of UBA Stockbrokers Limited; Bayo Olugbemi, Chairman, CIBN, Lagos branch; MD/CEO, First Registrars Nig. Ltd., Akin Farimokun; Chairman, Bankers Night Organising Committee & MD, First Pension and Bolade Aabola, 1 st vice chairman, CIBN Lagos branch & Executive Director, Cashcraft Asset, at a briefing on the Bankers’Night of PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID Branch of the CIBN in Lagos.
Stakeholders back CBN on nationalisation
APITAL market investors yesterday said they are in support of the plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to nationalise banks that fail to recapitalise at the end of the September deadline set by the industry’s regulator. Stakeholders, who spoke with The Nation, argued that nationalising such banks is a better option than liquidation. The Chairman of the Association of Stock Brokering Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Alhaji Rashed Yussuf, said the pronouncement is more helpful than the one earlier canvassed. He said the decision will still leave the banks healthy. He said: “The CBN said the decision is the last option after other options have failed since they are working on the others. To me, it is preferable to liquidation.” Yussuf said three of the banks
By Tonia Osundolire
are at an advanced stage in their negotiation with core investors. “It is just three banks we are talking about here. My expectation and the market is that, they will meet up before the deadline,” he added . On the possible effect it would have on the capital market, he said: “It might send some jittery signals initially, but all things being equal, it would impact positively on the market. But you know all things are not always equal.” Also, the Chief Executive Officer of the Emerging Capital Limited, Chidi Agbapu, said before the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, settled for nationalisation, he would have weighed the advantages and the attendant consequences of the action, both nationally and on the owners of the banks, adding that he believed the ob-
jective of the CBN is to safeguard depositor’s funds. For the shareholders, he said this decision will ensure their investments were safely guarded, as against the likelihood of losing everything through liquidation. “The banks, in the custody of the government, simply means that experienced hands from the sector will be employed to manage them and at the end return them to shareholders. It will allow for equal right of investment in the banks rather than having them go through a faceless buyer who at the end will be an individual,” he said The Chief Executive Officer, Lambert Securities, David Adonri, stated that the arrangement would provide a buffer for any affected bank, pending when they will be eventually privatised, so that shareholders would eventually be in a position to recoup their loses.
“Nationalising is better for me as a broker and a shareholder. The government will only hold the bank for a while and later privatise them, which will at the end build the shareholders’ fund. It will restore more confidence than outright liquidation,” he argued. Since the apex bank intervened by easing out eight bank executives in 2008, various options have been contemplated on how to restore the banks to their healthy state. The CBN Governor, Sanusi, said last month that any rescued bank that failed to recapitalise by September 30, would be liquidated. However, following outcry and litigations, the CBN, did a volte face, opting instead for nationalisation. Nevertheless, from feelers coming from the CBN, the 30th September deadline, appear to remain sacrosanct.
NION Bank of Nigeria Plc yesterday said the major challenge it faced in the first half of 2011 was re-capitalisation. Head of Corporate Affairs of the bank, Mr Francis Barde, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the bank’s recapitalisation process would be concluded before the September deadline. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had set September as the deadline for the eight rescued banks, including the bank, to complete their exercise. Barde said that all other issues were secondary for the bank now until it completed the recapitalisation process. “Once the Union Bank is able to recapitalise, it will be on course for the future challenges,” he said. He said that the bank could not afford to lose focus and would survive all the challenges. Barde said that the bank was determined to improve in the areas of growth and increase its visibility in the market place, especially in the light of the recent challenges.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
BUSINESS NEWS More clout for emerging markets, says IMF MD
Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.
LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15
LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10
08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20
LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana 1. IRS 2. Arik
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 11.15 13.15 15.50 18.00
LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30
• From left: Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Chairman, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Osun State Chapter, Elder Gabriel Adesoji and Secretary of the Union, Dr. John Adelekan Olunlade, during the courtesy visit to Governor Aregbesola in his office at Abere in Osogbo.
Okonjo-Iweala backs non-interest banking
HE fears of exclusion and other forms of sentiments being expressed over the introduction of non-interest banking in Nigeria were yesterday allayed by the Managing Director of the World Bank and a ministerial nominee, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala. She said the new banking model was a good development and if well implemeted, would work in Nigeria just like in other countries. Plans to introduce Islamic banking as one of the models of non-interest financial services has sparked intense controversy in religiously divided Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) two weeks ago published a final set of regulations on non-interest banking, which includes Islamic banking, and cleared in principle two banks to offer the product.
By Collins Nweze
The CBN said the introduction of Islamic banking was part of its drive to propel Nigeria’s economy and promote financial inclusion by introducing alternative products. But Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, while responding to questions at the Senate screening yesterday, said that the issue of introduction of non-interest banking in Nigeria should be devoid of sentiments. She said: “We need to look at non-interest banking without emotions. It is another form of banking. We just need to unpack the elements of this system of banking in order to understand it.” On the feasibility of operating a non-interesting banking model in Nigeria, the ministerial nominee said: “From the evidence, it seems to be functioning relatively well in various parts of the world.”
She said with proper implementation, it should also work in Nigeria. The CBN says the introduction of Islamic banking is part of its drive to propel Nigeria’s economy and promote financial inclusion by introducing alternative products. “The non-interest regime offers veritable incentives and attractive options for investors,” Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said on Monday at a conference to promote Islamic banking in Abuja. The banking watchdog has also unveiled plans to issue sovereign sukuk or Islamic bonds in under two years. The two banks cleared so far are Jaiz International and Stanbic IBTC, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Standard Bank. Standard Chartered Bank has also sent an application to the CBN.
‘RMAFC to help states boost IGR’
HE Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is ready to work with state governments to boost their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the commission’s Chairman, Elias Mbam, has said. The RMAFC boss disclosed this when he received the Kano State Governor, Dr Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, who was accompanied by top officials of his cabinet. He noted that since Kano State
From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja
with the highest number of local governments and a very vibrant commercial city possesses the potential to become an economic success, these will to a large extent “always contribute immensely to the economic progress of the nation.” Mbam congratulated the Governor of Kano State on his elec-
tion and acknowledged that his emergence as the state governor reflected the confidence his constituency places on him. The governor of Kano State commended Mbam for his efforts to reposition the Commission to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities. He described the appointment of Mbam as not only a blessing to the commission, but a welcome development to the nation.
Customs rakes in N61.5b from shipped goods
HE Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Dikko Abdullahi, has said that the service raked in N65.1billion in June as tariffs on shipped goods. Addullahi, who spoke in an interactive session with journalists in Abuja yesterday, attributed the increase in revenue collection to the adequate training given to custom officers. He added that before now,
From Tayo Owolabi, Abuja
officers were uneducated in the new ways of retrieving customs duty. He said the amount tripled the total collection in 2009, which stood at N30b. Abdullahi attributed the growth in revenue to the training given to the customs personnel. “What usually happened here in Nigeria is that the Customs officer
merely called the importer to the office and agreed on something as the tariff. Essential duties such as classification and valuation were done abroad. The point is that when we practised pre-shipment inspection our men just dropped their guards and never studied anything on their duties. They were reduced to people who merely opened containers and shut them back.
NUPENG blames kerosine scarcity on poor HE Chairman of Western retail outlets across the distribution largest Zone of National Union of country, should be given the larg-
Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr Tokunbo Korodo, has blamed the poor distribution network for persistent scarcity of kerosine. Korodo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos that the Federal Government ought to have allocated more kerosine to the independent marketers.
He said the independent marketers have larger number of retail outlets than the major marketers who only operate in the cities. He said that the government ought to have carried stakeholders along in the chain of distribution, if it wanted better results. “To achieve better results, independent marketers, who have
est chunk of the allocation,’’ he said. Korodo also advised NNPC and PPMC to ensure the loading of kerosine was done at depots across the country to ease scarcity. He alleged that kerosine was not being loaded from the 21 NNPC depots across the country in the last 10 years.
HE International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) new chief, pledged yesterday to push ahead with reforms to give fastgrowing emerging markets greater sway at the global lender. At a news conference on her second day as IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde acknowledged an array of immediate issues confronting the Fund, including Europe’s debt crisis, but she also said she was focused on the need for the IMF to change with the times. Institutions like the IMF must better reflect the shifting balance of power in the global economy, she said, adding the idea of creating a top-ranking post at the IMF to give a higher profile to emerging markets was “not a bad idea.” “The world is going to continue to change,” she said. “We have these tectonic plates that are moving at the moment, and that needs to be reflected in the composition of governance and employment at the Fund.” Lagarde won the top spot at the IMF after her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, resigned in May to face charges of sexual assault against a hotel maid in New York. Strauss-Kahn has denied the charges and the case appears to be unraveling over questions about the credibility of his accuser. Lagarde declined to comment on Strauss-Kahn’s situation despite repeated questions. Questioning was occasionally tough at the heavily attended event, partly because of the drama surrounding her accession to the IMF leadership. Some emerging markets wanted the job to go to one of their members rather than carrying on a tradition of having a European head the global lender. Lagarde, a former French finance minister who has training as a corporate lawyer but not an economist, was asked directly whether she was qualified to hold the job, which among other things involves deciding the disbursement of tens of billions of dollars to needy countries.
Rescued banks retreat on nationalisation concern
ANKS bailed out two years ago following a debt crisis fell after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) threatened to nationalise them if they failed to meet a Sept. 30 recapitalisation deadline. Intercontinental Bank Plc, according to Bloomberg news, retreated for a third day, losing 3.1 per cent to 95 kobo in Lagos. Afribank Plc fell from 4.2 per cent to 1.13, the lowest in two weeks. Finbank Plc and Oceanic Bank International Plc both declined more than 3.5 per cent. The Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria (AMCON), created by the CBN to buy the bad debts of lenders, may become a majority shareholder in rescued banks by filling their equity shortfalls, Kingsley Moghalu, a Deputy Governor of the CBN said on July 1. While nationalisation is not the “favoured option,” it is preferable to liquidation, and if AMCON takes a majority stake in a lender, it may manage the bank for a year or two before selling it, he said. “Such comments are negative to the market,” Eugene Ezenwa, chief operating officer of Sterling Stockbrokers Ltd., a Lagos-based brokerage, said on the phone yesterday. “Ordinarily, in a situation where the government will be running banks, they will be making losses.” The CBN bailed out eight of the country’s 24 lenders in 2009, pumping N620 billion into the industry to prevent its collapse.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Group urges manufacturers to embrace backward integration
AGOS Business School (LBS), has called on manufacturers to embrace government’s backward integration initiative. Speaking with The Nation during the group’s visit to the N93 billion Ibeshe Cement Factory in Ogun State, the Head of Department, Entrepreneurship and Decision making, Mrs. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, said it was time the government tackled the infrastructural challenges in order to encourage local and foreign investments. She urged other entrepreneurs to emulate Dangote’s quest to touch the lives of people by providing their basic needs and creating employment. On the essence of the visit, she said the facility tour is in furtherance of the learning experience for students in its “Owner- Manager Pro-
Stories by Toba Agboola
gramme,” adding that it is to enable participants have a practical knowledge of the manufacturing processes in a cement firm. “It was also to enable the CEOs and other professionals here a unique opportunity of sharing experience with an entrepreneur who has done so well in Nigeria and Africa ,“ she said. Chairman, Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN), Joseph Makoju, in a presentation to the visitors, showcased the history of the Dangote Group. He said: “The mission of the Dangote Group is to touch the lives of people by providing their basic needs. And the vision is to be a world- class enterprise that is passionate about enhancing the stand-
ard of living of the general populace and giving high returns to stakeholders. “Today, as you will all agree, the Dangote Group, which started as a trading company, is now one of Nigeria’s most diversified business conglomerates with a hardearned reputation for excellent
‘The Dangote Group certainly deserves its global rating. Indeed, the imperative of policy support for investments such as these cannot be overemphasised’
business practices and products’ quality. The Group’s activities encompass cement, sugar, salt, flour and semolina, pasta, noodles, tomato paste, vegetable oil refinery, packaging materials, logistics, real estate and the Dangote Foundation”. Focusing on Ibeshe, Makoju described it as one of the benefits of a good government policy. In his words: “The Ibeshe plant and indeed other cement manufacturing plants now constructed by the Dangote Group, were basically due to the Backward Integration Policy introduced in 2002 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. The policy was intended to halt cement importation by encouraging local manufacture . Interestingly, the Dangote Group had five years ear-
lier-precisely in 1997- taken a strategic decision for import substitution, and has opted for local manufacturing.” He said production would begin in August and would increase local cement production capacity by six million tonnes. Managing Director of Halogen Securities Limited, Wale Laoye, said: “The Dangote Group certainly deserves its global rating. Indeed, the imperative of policy support for investments such as these cannot be overemphasised.” Meanwhile, the Dangote Group has taken over the responsibility for the rehabilitation of the road to its Ibeshe plant. The visit was in furtherance of the learning experience, and its quest for strategic partnerships with various stakeholders in the economy .
Vono to raise N1b from capital market • To partner Vitafoam on expansion
S part of its financial repo sitioning agenda, Vono Products Plc is to raise more funds from the capital market. The Managing Director, Mrs Titilola Bakare, said the money would be raised from existing shareholders through rights issue expected to hit the market by September. Mrs Bakare, who addressed journalists on the Vono-Vitafoam strategic partnership, stated that 525 million units of shares are expected to be raised from the existing shareholders of the company at 1.60k per share. “By late August or early September this year, we should be in the market to sell shares to our shareholders. It is expected that existing shareholders will leverage on this opportunity to enlarge their stake in readiness for the good days that are now within reach,” Mrs Bakare said. Stating that the company has not achieved the expected market share in the trade due to lack of visibility arising from her disengagement from the media space, the Vono MD, however, said: “Vono is now seeking a redefined presence of identity to validate her existence and promote the company’s unique products to a national audience after a long period of silence.” She disclosed that the turna-
round of the company cost about N500million. On Vono’s partnership with Vitafoam, Mrs Bakare said: “The two companies are major players in the bedding and furniture segment of the economy, and on their own rights great forces to reckon with. Their coming together in a strategic partnership that will translate to greater successes for each of the organisations (which still maintain their distinct identities); to the ultimate advantage of the stakeholders.” Also speaking, the Managing Director of Vitafoam, Dr. Dele Makanjuola, said: “Our overall
‘Our overall goal of the alliance is to collaborate with Vono Products Plc so as to achieve the objectives of the two great companies’
•From left: Managing Director, Brand Believers Limited, Mr Eshiet Essien; Mrs Bakare; Mr Ajiga and the Company Secretary, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Mr. Lekan Sanni, at the press conference in Lagos.
goal of the alliance is to collaborate with Vono Products Plc so as to achieve the objectives of the two great companies.” Makanjuola, who was represented by the Technical Director of Vitafoam, Mr Ajiga Joel, stated that the focus, “is to increase value for all stakeholders, reduce operational cost and grow the revenue and enhance the profitability of our partner in the alliance. He said the partnership will
boost the company’s market share, adding that key areas of working together include: “information sharing, development of new ideas and leveraging on our deep understanding of the business and the Nigerian market.” “Our robust distribution channels will play a key role in this alliance. This relationship will help Vono to concentrate more on their area of strength- inner spring beds; metal and wooden furniture.
“In a nutshell, Vitafoam will strive its best to make Vono regain her lost market share by providing customer focused services through maximum utilization of Vitafoam wide distribution network,” Makanjuola stated. The two companies stressed that the partnership is neither a merger nor acquisition, explaining that each company remains distinct and separate,” Vono Products’ Chief Executive, said.
SMEDAN empowers prison inmates to become entrepreneurs
HE Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has empowered inmates with entrpreneurial skills. The programme, also referred to as the Onesimus Project, is an initiative of the Prison Fellowship of Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigerian Prisons, and Covenant University (CU), Ota, Ogun State. The event was the second graduation and third matriculation ceremony of inmates, who had undergone spiritual counselling, entrepreneurial training and psycho-analytical counselling. The Executive Director of PFN, Mr Benson Iwuagwu, said it was established to serve as a bearer of transformation and restoration.
He said the project would “give hope to the incarcerated, dejected and often rejected, stigmatised and dehumanised inmates and exinmates of prisons.” Iwuagwu noted that, “the project is to reform, rehabilitate and reintegrate the near-broken products of our excruciating and castrating criminal justice system. It is not just concerned with giving hope to the inmates but also to campaign for a safe and receptive society for their re-entry.” The PFN diretor said the spiritual aspect of the programme was handled by the PFN, while SMEDAN handled the skill acquisition part, saying that the psycho-analytical evaluation and counselling of the inmates were done by the university’s counselling centre.
•From left: NACCIMA Director-General, John Isemede; National President, NACCIMA, Dr. Herbert Ajayi; Chairman, Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Cliff Sun and another member, during NACCIMA’s visit to Federation of Hong Kong Industries, recently.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Govt spent N750b on Ajaokuta Steel, says minister ‘As it stands, it is T HE Federal Government has spent over $5 billion (about N750 billion) to revitalise the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Minister of National Planning Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, has said. Usman, who stated this while being screened as a ministerial nominee by the Senate, said the major problem of the steel sector is lack of continuity and inconsistency of government policies. He lamented the present state of the complex, saying it is a good example of a graveyard. “If you want to see a good example of a graveyard, go to Ajaokuta Steel Complex. If you go there, you will cry because of the condition of the company,” he said. Another nominee, Alhaji Mohammed Sada, who also spoke on the problems of steel production in Nigeria, said a faulty privatisation process has created serious problems for the operations of the steel companies in the country. Sada said lack of raw materials is another problem facing steel production in Nigeria. His words: “The major problem is the absence of raw materials. Even if you fix the Ajaokuta Steel Company and you switch on the engines and the company starts running, there are no raw materials to produce sellable steel. “As it stands, it is cheaper to import iron and steel than to produce them in the country, because all the
Stories by Toba Agboola
raw materials are currently imported.” He said, if Nigeria could ensure the local production of raw materials and re-establish its iron ore mining industry, it would be possible for the companies to produce quality steel for the country. On privatisation, Sada noted that while he was at the helm of the Ministry of Mines and Steel, he wrote several letters to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) seeking clarifications on the status of agreements reached with the companies. He said most of the privatised steel companies have closed shop, while some are overgrown with weeds because there are litigations over their ownership. Usman further hinted that the Federal Government is committed to implementing the Vision 2020 development blueprint. Meanwhile, the President of the National Association of Miners (NAM), Alhaji Sani Shehu, has called on the Minister of Mines and Steel Development to pursue the development of the sector with vigour and also involve stakeholders. Shehu called on the government to continue the initiative of carrying stakeholders along by involving them in all programmes that concern the development of the sector.
cheaper to import iron and steel than to produce them in the country, because all the raw materials are currently imported’
the continent, they said in a release. Recently, cotton prices a year ago averaged about 90 cents a pound – significantly above the average of preceding years – and then climbed as high as 200 cents a pound in February. In May, prices averaged 160 cents per pound, more than double the average price of the last 20 years. The meeting was organised by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in collaboration with a series of agencies concerned with African farming: the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of the coordinating agency for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Steering Committee of the European Union-Africa Partnership on Cotton (COS-Cotton), the Secretariat of the African Caribbean, the Pacific
RESIDENT of the ECOWAS Commission, James Victor Gbeho, has said the Peoples Republic of China and ECOWAS will collaborate on the sixth ECOWAS Trade Fair later in the year to strengthen business relationship between West Africa’s private sector and their Chinese counterparts. At meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing and the Provinces of Wuhan and Sichuan, Gbeho, said their participation would help
showcase the business opportunities that can be explored by both sides. “It would also contribute to deepening the economic relations between them. This would make China the first nonECOWAS member state to participate in the now biennial fair that enables member states to showcase their products and help to stimulate intra-community trade,” he said.
Firm wins multiple awards He said Sada actively involved stakeholders in the planning of the regulation and other matters that concerned miners and other stakeholders. The NAM president said the major challenges that had faced miners in the past were the inconsistencies in the management of the ministry, poor funding, policy inconsistencies of the management and the ministry among others. He said the ministry is the only sector with a chain of ministers, a development he argued, does not augur well for the development of the sector. Alhaji Shehu added that the inconsistency in the management of the ministry hampered the development of the sector and called on the Federal Government to attend to the issue.
Stakeholders seek ways to boost cotton production
XPERTS, government officials and development partners at a three-day meeting in Cotonou are exploring joint efforts to develop a road map to overcome difficulty in the sector. The aim of the meeting is to seek how to resuscitate cotton production and attain greater profit for African farmers. The road map coming out of the Pan-African Cotton meeting was intended to focus on the three priorities of increasing productivity, improving marketing, and increasing value addition. This was informed by the recent global prices which had averagely doubled in the last 20 years in addition to considered prospects for sustained demand in developing country and search for greater supplies of cotton and textiles resurgence in
ECOWAS partners China on 2011 regional fair
Group of States, and the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC). Sponsors include, the Government of Benin, the CFC, the European Union, and the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE). Dignitaries in attendance are representatives of regional economic communities, governments, producer organisations, national industries, international buyers of cotton, and development experts from international organisations. According to them, the intent is to win greater profits for African farmers and broader and more long-lasting benefits for African economies. They agreed that steps must be taken to increase yields, since these lag behind global averages; also to provide financing so that farmers and domestic marketers can be more efficient and competitive.
ROMOWORLD Nigeria, the concessionaire to the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) on airport advertising, has won five awards in recognition of its innovative and service delivery to its numerous clients who are leading members of the Nigerian business community. The most recent of the awards was the African Order of Merit in Aviation Out – of – Home 2011, which was conferred by the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology. In the award letter signed by Moses Essien, the institute’s Country Director for Africa and the Middle East, Promoworld Nigeria was described as having performed “creditably and exceptionally well in compliance with regulatory laws and guidelines, compliance with professional codes and ethical standards and corporate / operational excellence.” The firm was also credited with having demonstrated “excellence in production and positioning of billboards; dependable after – sales service and maintenance; a track record of quality service and value delivery which has enabled it attain international status and recognition
in addition to developing human capital in outdoor advertising beyond its competitors.” The other awards include: The Nigerian Aviation Awards (NIGAV 2009); Women – in – Aviation Award in recognition of the company’s consistent observance of international best practices in its service delivery; West Africa’s World Class Aviation Consultants for 2010 from the Institute of Direct Marketing for Promoworld Nigeria’s leadership in aviation advertising across the West African Sub region, as well as corporate Membership of the Institute of Brand Management of Nigeria for fulfilling and exceeding the institute’s corporate membership requirement. The Managing Directo/CEO, Ayo Adefemi, said: “The awards are an inspiration for Promoworld Nigeria to continue to strive to make aviation advertising in Nigeria internationally competitive. Our organisation will delight our numerous clients and customers with the most creative and exciting advertising windows imaginable along with a service culture that is efficient, warm and friendly.”
Govt urged to generate funds from primary sources
N industrialist, Yemi Sholadoye, has urged the Oyo State Government to address the issue of multiple taxation, saying the state could not justify such a policy. Sholadoye, who is a member of the Jericho Business Club, said the government needs to design a blueprint for the economic transformation of the state, with a view to targetting funds to be generated from primary sources instead of taxation.
He gave the advice at a business dinner organised by the Jericho Business Club in Lagos to honour his appointment as the second national vice president of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII). “People will pay their tax but the same government should not depend solely on the allocation from the Federal Government. If we can recollect, Ibadan was actually the economic hub of the Western Region.
•From right: Member, Jericho Business Club, Mr Remi Olawoyin; Director, Trade Group, Lagos Chamber, Alhaji Remi Bello, a guest , Mrs. Tokunbo Salami, Second National Vice President, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Mr Yemi Sholadoye; President, Jericho Business Club, Mr Olutunde Aboderin; Mr Tunde Adewale; Mr Bisi Sanda; Mr. Tayo Oshuntokun and Alhaji Kola Ladipo, at a reception organised by Jericho Business Club in Lagos.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
POLITICS THE NATION
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, who is an alumnus of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), turns 47 today. In this interview with BISI OLANIYI and ISAAC OMBE at the Government House, Yenagoa, he describes himself as fulfilled. Besides expressing confidence that he would win the 2012 governorship election, he discloses why political opponents are after him. Excerpts:
Why political opponents are after me, by Sylva A
S the Governor of Bayelsa State, how has it been? It has been very interesting. In life, there is always the good, the bad and the ugly, mixed up. So far, so good. I believe that we have been able to make very significant strides. I feel fulfilled. We are very happy that the Lord and the people of Bayelsa State have given us this opportunity. Some Bayelsans say your administration has not been able to adequately develop and transform the state, as well as living up to the people’s expectations... Just today, I was speaking with one of my very strong opponents and he agreed that as far as development of Bayelsa State is concerned, I have tried, but that the problem is that I have not been carrying them along. That it is a political administration and that what they expect is that I should be carrying them along. In Bayelsa State, the problem is not whether we have performed or transformed the state or not. What we have achieved is extraordinary, but unfortunately, the expectation of the people is money in their pockets. You cannot just take money from the government and give to them, but opportunities can be created by government, which can be taken advantage of. Unfortunately, the disposition and orientation are not geared towards taking advantage of such opportunities. It is just getting money. Something that Prof. Okowa called the Abdulian capitalism. That is what has taken root in Bayelsa. Abdulian capitalism is to be rich without working. A lot of people have come to believe in that kind of capitalism, which is very unacceptable and that is the problem. Those few people have been making all the noise. Are they the only ones in that category? There is the rank of others, who are political people, who think that they can take over from me by misinforming the people and engaging in smear campaigns. Definitely, those people have history and the people of Bayelsa State know them and they will always ask them what they did when they had the opportunity. Some of the things that they could not do are the things that we are trying to correct now. For example, there was a jetty that was supposed to be built, but was not built. We are now building the jetty. If they have been so good, they would have built that jetty and we would have been able to save the money and done something else with it. There are others, who are just in Lagos and have never come to Bayelsa, who just take up licence of rumour and begin to go to town with it. We really do not bother with these persons. We only bother with the Bayelsans who are here (in the state) with us, who understand us,
who work with us and as far as we are concerned, we are in good stead with the real and true Bayelsans. You earlier said you spoke with one of your very strong opponents, who said you have tried in developing Bayelsa State. I was expecting you to mention the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Timi Alaibe. Is he not a factor in the 2012 governorship race? I do not mention names. I do not want to take issues. I have always said that it is not necessary to take issues, because this is a political situation. Rest assured that I met with one of my very strong political opponents. I really do not know if Timi Alaibe is my opponent. Maybe he is. I really do not consider him as my opponent. I do not really know if I have an opponent. You can see that the elections have just been over. Out of 24 seats, if a party won one, I do not think that such a party is qualified to be described as opposition (In Bayelsa Assembly, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 21 seats, LP has one, the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) has one, while KOWA Party also has one seat). I do not know if Timi Alaibe is running during the 2012 governorship election. If he is running, he is welcome. The more, the merrier. I really do not want to say if he is a factor or not. With the Lord and the people of Bayelsa State on my side, I do not see how anybody can defeat me. What is your strategy for winning the governorship election in 2012? My strategy is to wage war with development. You can see that a lot of projects are on. We are going to complete those projects. The people are seeing those projects we are embarking on. Those are the projects that will speak for us. We are also going to engage the people further, so that they can know exactly what we are doing. We will be on the same page with the people. I believe that the people will vote for us. You earlier indicated that some projects would be inaugurated in April, but did not take place. What went wrong? I said April and October. Unfortunately for us, within April, there were elections and we could not commission the projects. Then May, there was the swearing-in of the President. Some of these projects are presidential commissioning materials. They are not for me to commission. We are not supposed to be building and commissioning at the same time by ourselves. Now we are ready. Two weeks ago, I kicked it off, by commissioning the Igbogene Health Centre. A lot of projects that are ready are already there for me to commission. About
20 roads have been completed. I could start by commissioning those, but that is not the whole idea. Some projects slipped a little bit, which is normal, but they are still very much on course. The Elebele Craft Centre, for example, slipped. There were few additional details that came in. You know our terrain is a problem. When you have a project like that, you need a lot of landscaping and others, which were not initially considered. We had to vary the project a little bit. Those things accounted for the little delay in delivering those projects. I want to assure you that before October, we will commission most of these projects, if not all of them. What is happening to the proposed two model schools in each of the eight local government areas? The funds are there. The contracting processes are going on. You know our terrain. You can only start serious construction during the dry season. Towards the dry season, we would have concluded the award. I want to assure you that from October this year to April next year, when my election is due, we would have completed most of the schools. When are you presenting your commissioners to the Assembly? I have presented some names. How many? Nine, for now. What I have decided to do is to present them in batches, so that we do not delay. This is a very critical time for me and I need very senior and mature hands. I need to be very careful. How many of the immediate past commissioners are included? A few of them are there. Half is former commissioners and another half, new commissioners. Definitely, there will be no point in dissolving the council, if new hands are not to be brought in. New hands are coming in, but we also require some of the old hands, to be able to bring continuity to the government. There is no doubt that some commissioners were very outstanding in my previous cabinet. We will look at those who were outstanding and bring them back. Some commissioners performed very poorly and we will drop those commissioners. Some that performed even poorer have already been dropped, because we could not carry on with them. It has been a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly. President Goodluck Jonathan is from your state. Has this rubbed off on Bayelsa State and other parts of the Niger Delta, in terms of development? There is no way it cannot rub off on development. A lot of people come to Bayelsa today, saying they are coming to the home state of the President. A lot of investors have also even come here, stating that they want to invest in the home state
‘In Bayelsa State, the problem is not whether we have performed or whether we have not transformed the state. What we have achieved is extraordinary, but unfortunately, the expectation of the people is money in their pockets. You cannot just take money from the government and give to them, but opportunities can be created by government, which can be taken advantage of’
of the President. There are lots of advantages, but President Goodluck Jonathan is the President of Nigeria. We are not expecting him to unduly favour Bayelsa State. I have not made that kind of request and he has not offered it. What Bayelsans want him to be is to be a good and great President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. For us, we are just content with the fact that he is the President. His being President alone will bring benefits to us. What are you doing about the tourism potential of Bayelsa State? The problem we had was because of the way things were in Bayelsa; we would not have expected tourists to come to the state. We are still grappling with the perception issue till today. A lot of people still feel that Bayelsa is not a safe place. Even if you want to put all the museums and tourist sites, people will not come here. We are repositioning the state, so that investors and others can come in. Tourism is something that can happen naturally. If the sites are there and the tourism potentials are developed, people will come, as long as they feel safe. At some point, it was not very safe here and that really gave us a setback. Now, we
are beginning to really develop tourism again. One of the things we want to start at the end of this year is Christmas Children Carnival. We do not want to compete with Cross Rivers State, by doing a carnival for seniors. It will bring a lot of people to Bayelsa. Good hotels are also coming up in Bayelsa. Government is also building some of the hotels, as a way of supporting tourism. We have some important sites as well, which we are developing. As soon as we are able to complete these sites, tourism will be a major plank of our economy. At 47, how do you feel? I feel very young. At 47, you ought to feel as old as 47. When you look back, you will just realise that it was just yesterday. The spirit is still as young as it was. 47 is just a number. I still feel very vibrant. How was your growing up? I have been a very lucky person. The Lord has been very merciful to me in so many ways, considering the fact that I grew up without my parents. Ordinarily, nobody would have given me a chance. Somehow, I have been able to get to this level and I give the glory to God, anytime •Continued on page 18
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
In Oyo State, lawyers have taken over the political scene through the courts. Though the April general elections have come and gone, discontent over the outcome is still dragging before election petition tribunals sitting across the nation. In this report, BISI OLADELE examines the petitions being handled by the tribunal sitting in Ibadan on the results of the governorship and the National Assembly elections.
Legal fireworks over April elections in Oyo State
ANY voters were not surprised that candidates under various political parties in the last election headed for the tribunal over the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In spite of the fact, most observers (local and foreign) as well a vast majority of Nigerian citizens adjudged the election as free and fair, some candidates felt aggrieved and hold on to the belief that they were rigged out by rivals who won the elections. In Oyo State, the new governor, Abiola Ajimobi, is not spared of the legal battle. He was dragged before the tribunal by the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which claimed that the governor was not qualified to contest having allegedly acquired the citizenship of the United States of America (USA). Ajimobi contested and won under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). In the petition filed by the PDP, the party is seeking six reliefs all of which bother on the fact that he should be disqualified based on his alleged dual citizenship; that its governorship candidate at the election, Adebayo Alao-Akala, should be declared winner and be duly returned as governor having scored 387,132 votes to trail Ajimobi who polled 420, 852 votes in the election. Alternatively, the PDP is asking the tribunal to nullify the election and order INEC to order fresh
which also entitle him to social security certificate. “Possession of American green card, residency permit and right to social security certificate does not clothe any possessor of such documents as aforementioned with citizenship status as erroneously believed by the petitioner.”
election. The PDP legal team is being led by notable lawyers including Mr Nathaniel Oke (SAN), R. A. Lawal Rabana (SAN) and Titus Ashaolu (SAN). But Ajimobi, in his preliminary objection to the petition, asserted that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petition, that the petition is status barred and that the tribunal cannot grant the reliefs being sought by the petitioner. In his reply to the petition through
his lawyers: Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), Adebayo Ojo and others, Ajimobi explained that he applied for American citizenship in 1999 but that the application was not successful having been turned down by relevant American authorities. It stated further: “Abiola Ajimobi is a former chief executive of a multinational oil company with right to American green card, residency permit and work permit
Among the three senators at the National Assembly, only Senator Femi Lanlehin of Oyo South Senatorial District is spared of the legal tussle. The senator representing Oyo Central, Ayo Adeseun, of the ACN is contending with the petition against his election by Accord Party (AP) candidate, Chief Luqman Ilaka. Ilaka is contending that the votes cast in some local governments in Oyo town were rigged in favour of Adeseun. While Adeseun polled 105,975 votes to emerge winner of the election, Ilaka scored 92,544 votes to come second. The PDP candidate, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, scored 78,643 votes to come third. For Oyo North District, Dr Wale Okediran of the ACN is challenging the election of the only PDP senator from the South West, Hosea Agboola. The petitioner is challenging the election in 10 local governments in the district. According to INEC, Agboola scored 133, 143 votes to beat the ACN candidate who polled 94,896 to come second.
Okediran said he had enough facts confirming that the election was fraught with irregularities in the affected local government areas. But Agboola said Okediran contested the election in the councils where he lost, adding that his victory would still be affirmed by the tribunal when all facts would have proved it. The National Assembly petitions are being heard by a three-man panel headed by Justice Chukwuemeka Nwizu with Justices Alasa Omolaye-Ajileye and Muhammad Mahmud Alkali as members. Other cases pending before the tribunal include Chief Lawrence Adewale of the ACN in Oluyole Federal Constituency versus Dr Ibrahim Olaifa of (AP); Hon. Agoro Adeniran (ACN) and Yinusa Ayandoye (Democratic Peoples Party) in Irepo/Orelope/ Olorunsogo Federal Constituency versus Afeez Jimoh of the PDP and Oyetunji Omotayo (ACN) in Akinyele Federal Constituency versus Muritala Adewole (AP). Others include Olabisi Oyeniyi (ACN) in Saki East/Saki West/ Atisbo Federal Constituency versus Tajudeen Kareem of the PDP. In Ibadan South West/North West Federal Constituency, Mrs Folake Olunloyo-Osinowo (PDP) is challenging the election of Hon. Saheed Fijabi (ACN) while Adeniran Diekola (Alliance for Democracy) is also challenging the election of Olaifa in Oluyole Federal Constitutency.
Why political opponents are after me, by Sylva
• Sylva •Continued from page 17
I think back. I was born in 1964 and I lost my mother in 1970. I was barely six years old. I lost my father when I was 13. You can imagine that a child who grew up as an orphan, would not have been given the chance at all, to get to where I am today, but I give the glory to the Lord for His mercies. It was a very interesting childhood I had. I grew up with aunties and uncles, who all looked after me very well. I grew up in the village, mostly in the forest, picking wild fruits and catching wild birds, hunting little animals and birds, as well as catching fish from ponds. It was quite an interesting childhood. Sometimes, I still have a great nostalgia of my childhood. It was a great time. Looking back, I have seen the
mercies of the Lord. He has been guiding and guarding me through my life. I feel fulfilled. How did you meet your beautiful wife, Alanyingi? I am getting quite worried, when you are beginning to admire my wife. (Laughs). People out there always describe your wife as beautiful. That was on a lighter note. I met her on a flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt. There was a problem, as the airport was full. Those days, the tickets were usually oversold. Nobody was sure whether we were going to pick the ticket for the flight. I met this beautiful girl at Lagos airport and we got chatting. We picked tickets. We sat together and flew together. I got the opportunity of dropping her in her house and, of course, the visits started following. The rest is history now. I have three kids from her. When did you meet? That was 1992. The marriage process actually started in 1994 and we got married in 1996. As a Bayelsan, was there any resistance from your kinsmen to marrying your wife, since she is from Akwa Ibom State? I was lucky because I had already dropped the hint that I was not going to restrict myself to choosing my spouse only from my own place. I remember my aunt asking me where I wanted to marry from and, of course, she wanted me to marry from my village (Okpoma). I asked her: How many people are there in the village to choose from. The pool may be about 200,000 people, at most. Whereas, if I ex-
panded my horizon, I could be choosing from 140 million people. If I even expanded it further, I could be choosing from 500 million people. I told her not to restrict me, that I wanted to find my wife anywhere in the world. Somehow, my people already got the message early. When I told them I wanted to marry this lady, nobody in my family raised any objection or put up resistance. Everybody took her as one of the family. We have had that relationship with the family since. Most of the time, people do not even remember that she is not from Bayelsa State. She understands the language, which even makes it easier. At the last convocation of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), your alma mater, you promised to build a School of Graduate Studies. When will it commence? I have promised them that it will commence at the end of this month. I endowed two chairs as well. Will you be paying the workers of Bayelsa State the N18,000 minimum wage? There is no doubt that we will pay. It is a law that must be obeyed. For me, it is not an issue. We will pay the minimum wage, but you know I belong to a committee of governors. I cannot jump the gun. Because I can pay, that does not mean other governors will be able to pay. If I begin to just rush to pay, I can set a very dangerous precedent for other governors, who may not be able to pay. I will like to just wait, until everybody is able to
pay. We have to be a little bit cautious and be mindful of the feelings of our colleagues. Today in Bayelsa , we are already paying something very close to the minimum wage. It will not be a major leap for us. How is your relationship with your benefactor, former boss and mentor, His Royal Majesty Edmund Daukoru, the Amanyanabo of Nembe Kingdom in Bayelsa State? He is my king and my boss. There is no problem at all. We share a very wonderful relationship. He is a father to me. Some Bayelsans are insisting that all is not well between you and King Edmund Daukoru, a former Petroleum Minister. What is your reaction? If I put my phone on in front of you, you will see a lot of messages he sent to me. No problem at all. People will want to just produce problem where there is none. How can anybody else know what is going on between a father and the son? If they do not see me in his house today, that does not mean that I was not there yesterday or I am not going to be there tomorrow. That can only come from wicked people. Why travelling to the United States of America to celebrate late Major Isaac Adaka Boro (Ijaw freedom fighter) Day and not in Kaiama, his hometown in Bayelsa or Yenagoa, the state capital? Isaac Boro Day was not celebrated by me in the US. I have been an advocate of celebrating Isaac Boro
Day in Bayelsa State. Boro is our hero in Ijawland. If people, who are living in America say they want to celebrate him in America and they invite me, to give keynote address, that does not mean we are doing Boro Day there. The people are Bayelsans, even though they are in the Diaspora. They need to be informed of what is happening here and that is what I went for. To tell them what is going on in Bayelsa. At New Jersey, we did not play at all. It was a very full session. We brainstormed most of the time. There was no dull moment at all. The problem we have is that there are people who just like to criticise, for the sake of criticising, because they really do not have any other things to do. They will continue to criticise. Whatever you do, they will criticise you and some of us have accepted that as our fate, because that is where the Lord has put us. What are your messages for Bayelsa people and the youths of the Niger Delta, at this time of bomb blasts by Boko Haram? I will like to thank Bayelsa youths for embracing peace. Bayelsa is the safest and the most peaceful state in the country. It is very important to embrace peace. With peace, we will have prosperity. We are beginning to see investors coming in. I believe that when this first set of investors succeed, we will even get a larger stream of investors coming to Bayelsa. That will only anchor and happen very concretely, if we have peace in Bayelsa. Our youths should give peace a chance. Our people should continue to give peace a chance.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Triumph of reason •We welcome medical council’s decision to curb incessant strike by doctors
HE decision by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to curb wild-cat strikes may have finally laid to rest the issue of whether strikes by doctors is not in violation of their Hippocratic Oath. Says Dr. Rogers Makanjuola, chairman of the council of the highest decisionmaking body of doctors, “it is unethical to go on strike”. According to the medical elder, having sworn to the Hippocratic Oath, doctors should not go on strike because the oath says, first, the health of the patient shall be the first consideration and secondly, the oath enjoins the practitioner to maintain utmost respect for human life. His words: “these two components of the oath are clearly in conflict with strikes. If we do not intend to abide
‘Sure, no one can deny that strikes have assumed the status of epidemic in recent time. The elders of the lifesaving profession may have felt sufficiently embarrassed to recommend the drastic measures to curb one development that is on the verge of giving their profession a bad name’
by the Hippocratic Oath, we should stop swearing to it”. The MDCN chairman of course was merely giving vent to the decision of the stakeholders meeting of the practitioners at their Abuja parley of June 23. The new regulation says that doctors could only go on strike in extreme cases; even then, measures must be put in place before they can abandon their duty posts, including prior approval from the central committee of the MDCN. Not all; the rule affirms the primacy of patient care in the rare cases where strike is used: “when such industrial actions occur, the care of our patients is protected. The code stipulates that no patient can be abandoned in the midst of his or her treatment. A striking doctor must make arrangements to hand over the continued care of his patients before he leaves his post”. On measures to enforce compliance, Dr. Makanjuola said: “what we are saying is that if any doctor goes on strike and it is reported to the council, we will investigate it and if found culpable, sanctions will be imposed”. The decision of the council is certainly significant. It is unfortunate that the strike weapon appears to have been overused by doctors. Sure, no one can deny that strikes have assumed the status of epidemic in recent time. The elders of
the life-saving profession may have felt sufficiently embarrassed to recommend the drastic measures to curb one development that is on the verge of giving their profession a bad name. There could hardly be a better time than now to remind the doctors of their oath in general, and the humanitarian demands of their profession in particular. We must say that the issue is hardly the rightness of their cause; rather, it is mainly about the nature of their humanitarian duty to those caught between life and death. We say this because no matter how long-drawn and complex an industrial dispute appears to be, restitutions can always be made. However, the same cannot be said of lives lost to strikes; they cannot be replaced. The point really is that the regulation does not claim to outlaw strikes. Clearly, that would have been superflous. Nothing in our laws and statutes deprive an employee his right to withdraw his services. What the MDCN has done is insist that its members deploy the weapon of strike as the last option. We cannot agree more that this has become necessary. The rule may appear uneven-handed with the potential to buy more time for the obdurate government employers, the doctors’ exercise of this discretion would certainly win them more support than a thousand strikes will.
Sedition, what sedition? • The arrest of el-Rufai was an assault on free speech
UST as well wise counsel prevailed; and the State Security Service (SSS) decided against arraigning, for alleged sedition, Nasir el-Rufai, former minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The charge would have been utterly ludicrous, given that sedition, a colonial example of the law as heartless bully, had been expunged from our law books, since the return to democracy in 1999. But that ludicrousness would have been the easier part of the problem. To be sure, it would have thoroughly embarrassed the government. But that would have been well deserved if, in the 21st century when the regnant global philosophy is democracy and free speech, Nigerian security officials still resort to instinctive threats, instead of
‘The real danger, however, is if that laughable sedition charge had stood, it would have been a noxious corrosion of free speech. The message would have been sold to the populace that you needed to fear and tremble to hold an opinion, just because the powersthat-be did not like the colour of your face or the tone of your voice – or even the notorious facts that you marshalled!’
thinking through their jobs. The real danger, however, is if that laughable sedition charge had stood, it would have been a noxious corrosion of free speech. The message would have been sold to the populace that you needed to fear and tremble to hold an opinion, just because the powers-that-be did not like the colour of your face or the tone of your voice – or even the notorious facts that you marshalled! That, in a democratic order, is absolutely unacceptable – and just as well, the SSS backed off that misadventure. The whole el-Rufai drama started with some alleged mix-up of facts in a newspaper article. The federal authorities charged Mallam el-Rufai for allegedly sexing up his figures not only to embarrass the Jonathan government but also to allegedly incite the people against it. Such draconic spin to Mallam elRufai’s alleged figurative mischief appears a scene straight out of Lord Lugard’s colonial establishment, when even “justifiable journalese” was enough to send to jail James Bright Davies, then radical publishereditor of the Times of Nigeria. When Mallam el-Rufai then tagged on with the Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) pair of Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Pastor Tunde Bakare, Buhari’s running mate during the April 2011 presidential election, to Chatham House in London to mouth such apostasy, elRufai’s goose was cooked; and his charge for sedition brewed! Again, such intolerance of free expression
must never be contemplated, not to talk of being enforced, in a democracy. But having said that, Mallam elRufai, by virtue of his previous federal postings, should have been more circumspect with his utterances. But it is a moral issue, not a legal one. It certainly takes something off the image of the country that a former FCT minister could write in a local newspaper, or speak on a foreign platform, something so unflattering about his country. So, the worst the authorities should have done was to appeal to his sense of temperance, for the sake of the establishment, which he had earlier served. Still, if he had the right to express himself, if he did not break any law and felt it was for the good of the country – after all, Shakespeare’s Brutus joined in the conspiracy against Julius Caesar, not because he hated Caesar but because he allegedly loved Rome! Even then, Mallam el-Rufai has the bounden duty to stick to facts, so that he is not perceived as a frivolous figure who, to make partisan points, would dance to the gallery and sex up figures, though it is only fair to note that he has insisted the figures he quoted were the ones used in the budget. It is a good thing that wisdom has prevailed and the SSS has backed down. But let the body beware of such harebrained impulses in the future, in its dealings with citizens it was set up to protect.
HE Federal Trade Commission’s decision to open an investigation into
potential anticompetitive or deceptive practices at Google is a welcome move. While the Internet company has been a leader in innovation, giving consumers exciting new choices online, the public’s interest lies in ensuring fair competition in this fast-changing arena. There is no conclusive evidence that Google abuses its dominance in search by putting its own services, like YouTube, at the top of search results while shoving down competitors. Nonetheless, its aggressive expansion into new businesses, coupled with its ability to determine the all-important order of search results, warrants an increased level of scrutiny by regulators. Each new venture gives Google a new reason to use its tools to shut out rivals. Take the company’s push into the smartphone market with its Android operating system. Skyhook Wireless, which provides location services to pinpoint the position of cellphone users, filed a suit late last year accusing Google of getting manufacturers like Motorola to break contracts with Skyhook and use Google location services on Android phones instead. It alleged Google made bogus claims that Skyhook’s system did not comply with Android specifications and that Google had threatened Motorola with denying it timely access to new versions of Android and other Google applications. Google declined to discuss the case but has called it “a baseless complaint” in court filings. The F.T.C.’s investigation should look into Google’s behavior across all its businesses. Google’s argument that it must maintain the integrity of Android is plausible. So is its claim that it tweaks its search algorithm to improve the quality of its results — bumping down low-quality Web sites like link farms with no original content. Even favoring its own services, say delivering a Google map as a response to an address query, could serve consumers. The investigation will not necessarily lead to charges of misconduct. Google, however, is too important to most people’s Internet experience for regulators not to examine its behavior. – New York Times
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THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Welcome to AFGHANISTAN... Sorry, i mean NIGERIA!
IR: Ordinarily,President Goodluck Jonathan, PhD, ought to understand the dynamics of critical engagement most especially when it is intelligencebased..All over the world, positive and at times,flippant criticisms are a needed catalyst to drive the wheel of good governance.His own government cannot be an exception.He should stop muzzling opposition forces. Come to think of it,what is the relevance of the Freedom of Information law? Ours is not a lawless society where leaders do not respect the rights of the governed to freely express their minds on the issues bothering them without any fear of molestation.It is only an inefficient leadership that will clamp down on people against its meaningless governance. It is becoming apparent in this part of the world that the so-
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President Jonathan and the budding intolerance called intellectuals in government do not always display the hallmark of scholarship which is integrity be it personal or corporate. Nigeria needs a vibrant and articulate opposition that can always provide better and superior alternatives to the ways the current regime is being run. We might be in for trouble if the present body language of the president on opposition is anything to be taken for something.The trial of
Hassan Lawal has been labeled witch-hunting. No contrary evidence has been presented yet. It is obvious that,were he to be in the good books of the the high priest in Aso-rock,he would probably be a minister today. Dimeji Bankole is another example –his sins against our commonwealth notwithstanding. What Mallam El-Rufai said recently is still the fact available to Nigerians until the relevant agen-
cies of government give us their own figures. It has to be a two-dimensional thing so that ordinary Nigerians can decipher the truth and know actually who is deceiving who.His arrest smacks off something odious.No need to cover up what has been uncovered. An average discerning Nigerian knows that the current regime is one of the most expensive the world over.At least,the president is going to have about 42 cabinet ministers and 20
Another view on the Boko Haram
IR: Yes, I knew it will happen again! Some people also knew it will happen when reverence is accorded to miscreants who claimed to be fighting for the freedom of the weak and helpless, launching heavy attacks on oil facilities, kidnapping oil workers, maiming and killing innocent citizens, and destroying several worth of properties. Actually, when the news came that the former president, late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua proclaimed amnesty, I knew that the real trouble has begun. This is because when you give reverence to a criminal, you generate more criminals who then see criminality as a source of sharing the national cake. Bernard Beckwith was right when he said, “Learn to become still, and to take your attention away from what you don’t want, and all the emotional charge around it, and place the attention on what you wish to experience…because energy flows where attention goes.” Everything in life began with one thought. The Boko Haram got bigger because more Nigerians give their thoughts to it after it has appeared. Therefore, we have to learn to say nothing pertaining to this sect and take commensurate actions to bringing the solutions that will force the ugly name to extinction.
The media should change what they deliver to us and focus on what we want. I strongly believe that you cannot help Nigeria by focusing on the negative things. Focus on good governance, job creation, and abundance of food, quality education, peace, unity, and faith. If you want to eliminate war, focus on our motto: unity and faith, peace and progress. Our beloved Mother Theresa said, “I will never attend an anti-war rally. If you have a peace rally, invite me.” That means, there is need for our people, governors, and President Goodluck Jonathan to organize a peace rally in all parts of the country. Nigeria has reached a stage where youths
should be involved in decision making via the creation of Ministry of Youths Affairs (MYA) through which the opinions of youths would be channeled to the authorities; because there seems to be a very big gulf between the people, especially the youths and the government. There is no need to fight everything we don’t want, which actually creates more of a fight. “The anti-war movement creates more war. The anti-drug movement has actually created more drugs. Because we’re focusing on what we don’t want – drugs” (Jack Canfield). Instead of focusing on the Boko Haram sect, focus on the solution.
Hale Dwoskin clearly pointed that, “If you’re anti-war, be pro-peace instead. If you’re anti-hunger, be pro-people having more than enough to eat. If you are anti - a particular politician, be pro – his opponent with sincerity…” By so doing, our national song would not be abridged. I see Nigeria surviving this turbulent era! Surely, it’s well with my dear country, Nigeria. To my dear good people of Nigeria, HOLD YOUR TONGUE! • Nnadozie Prince Chinonso. University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
advisers coupled with series of assistants on God- knows what. How are they going to be maintained? This system cannot simply work. Nigerian workers are agitating for a token 18000 as the minimum that is not even enough to sustain them for a week.Unemployed graduates are swarming round like bees around honey. Depression is here with us,yet our political leaders seem to be clueless on what to do. Infrastructure wise,the country is in the woods. Our security is seriously threatened..What about the continued existence For the current regime to locate the compass of its bearing, the opposition must be allowed to thrive.The current regime at the federal level must tell us the fulcrum upon which the administration is anchored.Its policy direction is still shrouded in mystery, if there is any.There is no blue-print for national transformation. How will the nation meet its vision 2020 amidst this cacophony of inefficiency and insecurity? Party politics should be divorced from good governance now.What most Nigerians need are good roads,constant supply of electricity, functional educational system, social justice,sense of belonging, security etc.With all these in place,we can freely compete on our own to develop.To every action, an equal reaction is expected, apology to Sir Isaac Newton.Our President pretty well knows this in elementary physics.He should allow opposition views to thrive. Perhaps,from there, he may get the needed truth and advice to move this country forward.Over to you, Sir! • Akinboyo Temidayo, Igbotako,Ondo State.
No, to removal of fuel subsidy IR: I read with disgust the insensitive call on the Chairman by Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Governor Rotimi Amaechi for the immediate removal of subsidies on petroleum products as a pre-condition for their implementation of the national minimum wage. The removal of the subsidies will mean nothing to them and their families but one wonders if they, who are supposed to represent the interests of the poor masses cum electorates who suffered and even died during
the elections barely two months ago, ever thought of the excruciating effects and the potential danger posed by their ill-timed call. What a compensation! For instance, if Kerosene, which is commonly used sells at N161.01 per litre - the pump price according to Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), how would the street-trader, hawker and average income earner or even the unemployed cope? At what rate would it sell when there is scarcity of the product?
Furthermore, if Petrol sells at N148.00, the actual pump price quoting PPPRA, it will adversely affect cost of transportation which in turn affect market prices and the general cost of living. Thus, a chain reaction will occur, which ultimately renders the minimum wage meaningless. It behooves on the governors to push for better avenues to boost the federation account, such as building new refineries and rehabilitating existing ones to encourage exportation and avert importation of fuel
products. In addition, they should invest more money in the agricultural sector and introduce new technologies for improved production for export. This would boost the much needed internally generated revenue which would in turn complement their allocation from the federation account. Finally, I implore the President to ignore this irrational call in consideration of the poor and helpless masses. • Nwosu-Okey, Elizabeth Aba, Abia State.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Politics in Post 2011 Nigeria: Is Yorubaland endangered? - 6 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS NE mystery is why there should be so much bitterness in the politics of Yorubaland bearing in mind that fundamental religious differences have largely been resolved in Yorubaland. If something as fundamental as religion does not bring division, disunity and violence in Yorubaland, why then can politics not be put on the same peaceful pedestal? Yoruba people should be reconciled to the fact that their civilization embraces all the tenets of liberalism which allows a thousand flowers to bloom. The sky is large enough for all kinds of bird to fly without collision. This should be the credo of Yoruba politics. Besides it is in the contestation of ideas that one finds the highest truth. Debate should therefore be embraced rather than violent disputation occasioning bodily harm and sometimes loss of lives. Just as Yoruba people have set a standard of tolerance in religion, they should do the same in politics. This is what their culture and destiny demand. There is really no need for villains in politics. There is of course a place for heroes but this should not be at the expense and vilification of those whose politics one finds objectionable. Education of the masses and transparent electoral process will expose those who impose themselves on the masses through rigging of votes. It is this transparency and making peoples votes count that should be the kernel and credo of politics and politicians in Yorubaland. The Way Forward This is why the question whether the Yoruba would survive in the cut throat politics of succession in Nigeria does not arise. It is true as we have pointed out that there are two political tendencies in Yorubaland namely the “mainstream” and those who believe in “home rule” and demanding what is justly and constitutional their own in the Nigerian scheme of things. The people who believe and advocate belonging to the mainstream and joining others in the government of Nigeria have had their
‘What do the Yoruba want or should want in Nigeria? Like every other Nigerian group, the Yoruba people want Nigeria to be a modern state with highly developed and sophisticated infrastructure and a business friendly environment within which the economy would grow’
position weakened by the fact that there is nothing to show for the time when one of their sons was at the helm of the Presidency between 1999 and 2007. Yoruba people watched helplessly their roads become unmotorable and all other appurtenances of modern life collapse. They were rightly not singled out for favour. In fact if the truth must be told, the Obasanjo government bent over backward to accommodate other ethnic groups at the expense of the Yoruba. For example, since 2003 no Yoruba woman has been found suitable for ministerial appointment in a country where Yoruba women have led in the acquisition of western education since the imposition of colonial rule. Even in the distribution of ministerial positions, the Yoruba have faired worse than other ethnic groups. It is therefore open to debate if the Yoruba would have faired worse if they had not belonged to the mainstream. In any case constitutional provision of inclusion is included in Nigerian constitution. It is of course true that if Yorubaland is perceived as the land of opposition, its people would be subjected to political victimization. There will be avenues of redress in the courts and in forming political alliances with other parts of Nigeria that believe in fiscal federalism and enjoyment of a large measure of political autonomy. Things are in fact in a state of political flux and it seems most Nigerians would rather have a weak centre and a fiscally strengthened state or regional governments. The Yoruba ought to be able to manoeuvre its way through this labyrinth of political and economic negotiation necessary to see the Nigeria of our dream in which we will have a federation of contented people instead of the present situation in which the federation is constantly threatened by forces of fundamentalist Islam and regional jingoism. The recent primaries within the governing party, the P.D.P have further exposed the fragility of the state and its shaky foundation. Since the feeling of cultural difference and ethnic nationalism are not likely to disappear. In fact all over the world, it is becoming the reality whether in the United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, India, Pakistan and even China, ethnic fissiparous tendencies sometimes manifest themselves in outright violence. The Yoruba nation must anticipate this and help with others to move the nation in the direction of political devolution and fiscal federalism. The practical way to force the rest of the country in this direction is for the old West possibly including Edo State to plan together economic development rather than planning on state basis. In this regard, the Odua group should invite Lagos and Edo States to buy into the group so that it can become a stronger economic intervention and investment group in the Old Western region. Economic grouping usually presages political grouping and if done properly, can provide an avenue of understanding in the political space. One is heartened that at the instance of the current governor of Ondo
State, Dr. Segun Mimiko, there is the beginning of such move. If successful, other zones may follow and we may witness the evolution of zonal planning which should be superior to the planning by many of these puny principalities created at the whim and caprice of Jide erstwhile military political overlords. Osuntokun We may yet find out in the whirligig of time that our present 36 states structure is economically unsustainable. The time to begin rational national plan may be upon us and the Yoruba, because of their political and cultural history and education, is uniquely placed to show the way. What do the Yoruba want or should want in Nigeria? Like every other Nigerian group, the Yoruba people want Nigeria to be a modern state with highly developed and sophisticated infrastructure and a business friendly environment within which the economy would grow. If there is a quantum increase in the national wealth, all Nigerians would have something to do and the obsession with who is in or out of power would lessen. The Yoruba’s permanent interest which they should be ready to defend is that individual and group rights of its people should be protected. They should not want preferential treatment for themselves neither should they allow any other group to be treated as sacred cows. Ultimately what the Yorubas want is a level playing field for competition by all Nigerian peoples and a country in which career is open to talents. A liberal state and regime which normally agree with their own liberal disposition should be their objective. It is within a liberal regime that their well known genius would flourish. There should be no contradiction between Yoruba patriotism and Nigerian nationalism. What is good for the Yoruba should necessary be good for other Nigerians. It is therefore a bounden duty of Yoruba people to be involved in shaping the future of Nigeria. Since, the interests of the Yoruba are permanent, it should not matter who is elected at any particular time in Yorubaland because if the interest is evident and well known, all Yoruba people should be ready to defend their own interest and in doing this, they will be vicariously defending the interests of all Nigerians. Concluded.
Much ado about Islamic banking
NTIL many of us started taking religion as if we have become drunk we used to live together as one. Nigeria was a peaceful place to live then as we cohabited like brothers and sisters and looked out for one another. It was the period neighbours knew one another and would stop on the road to chat about happenings in the country. Unfortunately, this is no longer so. We are no longer our brother’s keeper, but have become our brother’s killer. We have become divided and conveniently forgotten that in unity lies our strength. We have been divided by religion which in the past played no role in our relationship. We never cared about the religion or where the other man came from because we felt there was no need for that. What mattered was the person and what he stands for; the ideas he espouses and his humaneness. But now religion and ethnicity determine the kind of relationship we keep. A muslim must be friend to a muslim and a christian must relate with a christian. On the ethnic plane, an Edo man must marry from his state and a Yoruba woman must marry a Yoruba guy. My heart aches over what is happening in our land today. We have allowed religion and ethnicity to eat deep into the fabric of the soci-
ety and many of our young ones are being misled by those who should guide them from going astray. Because those who should provide the expected leadership have strayed, the society itself is floundering. Nobody knows where all this will end if nothing is done to check the drift before it is too late. Why do we tend to see things from the myopic point of religion or ethnicity? Must every issue be given religious or ethnic coloration? For those of us who were born and raised outside our home states our hearts bleed when we see what has become of our country all because of religion and ethnicity. Those I went to school with in Lagos never for one day related with me on the basis of where I come from or my religion. We saw ourselves as brothers; we still see ourselves as brothers because in the last few months we have been meeting to see how we can strengthen the bond of friendship and also get to know one another’s family. And of course, we also have plans for our alma mater. These are people who left secondary school over 30 years ago. In Ahmadiyya College(now Anwar-ul Islam College) Agege, Lagos, then only a few of us were not from the Southwest. I can boldly say that we were less than five per cent of the student population, yet we were not dis-
criminated against. We played; we worked; we ate and slept together. In our formative years we lived as one and now that we have come of age we are(some of us though) still together and planning to carry our families along. Even non-muslims were not discriminated against despite Ahmadiyya being a muslim school. If Nigeria could be like Ahmadiyya of our own day, there will surely be peace in the land. There will be no altercations over matters on which people should not break bones. Why the quarrel over Islamic banking? To me, there is no need for the row generated by the planned introduction of such a bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN). The controversy was caused by the CBN which forgot that naming the bank after a particular religion could lead to crisis. What the CBN calls Islamic banking is simply non-interest banking. Although it is common in Islamic countries
‘What CBN should do is to educate the public, especially non-muslims about the merits and demerits of noninterest banking. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the country adopting this mode of banking, but in doing so it must be made clear that it is not an institution made for muslims and run solely by muslims’ •Lamido Sanusi, CBN boss
where banks are forbidden from charging interests on loans, many secular and even Christian countries have adopted the practice because of its immense benefits to the poor. Non-interest banking is not an Islamic enterprise. It is just unfortunate that the supervisory bank was rather intemperate in its choice of words when talking about its decision to allow those interested to set up the bank. With the calibre of those that have indicated interest in having such a bank, it is clear that non-interest banking is not for Islamic faithful alone. It is like the conventional bank but without the charges, commissions and rates that they charge customers. Islamic banking, if practised in the true sense of the word will be of mutual benefit to the banks and their customers because they will share the profit and loss accruing from any deal equally. What CBN should do is to educate the public, especially non-muslims about the merits and demerits of non-interest banking. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the country adopting this mode of banking, but in doing so it must be made clear that it is not an institution made for muslims and run solely by muslims. It is like all other banks open to all interested investors. And with due respect to CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi, he needs to be told that he has to exercise restraint on how he talks. He should not set the country on fire with his unguarded statement on this sensitive issue. He should not be seen to be combative in his utterances, rather he should be conciliatory. His remarks that those who feel aggrieved have no option but to go to court is uncalled for. In matters like this, he should explore moral suasion than try to prove that after all he is doing the rigjht
Lawal Ogienagbon firstname.lastname@example.org
thing and as such whoever is aggrieved is free to seek legal redress.Yes, every right-thinking person knows that, but if the legal fireworks should start now, I bet you it will delay the planned take-off of the project for years. Is that what Sanusi wants? This is why Mallam Sanusi should be cautious and mindful of what he says in order not to kill this project even before it starts.
A hollow ritual Despite what we wrote here last week, the Senate, in its collective wisdom, cleared all the ministerial nominees of President Goodluck Jonathan without as much as putting them through the mill. As some readers observed in their reactions, the Senate will clear them no matter what ‘’you write’’. I knew also within me that they may not be swayed by my write up not to do what they have already planned to do. But have they served the people’s interest well with their action? That is left for them and their conscience. On our part, we will continue to monitor the ministers to see if they will live up to expectations or just be mere figureheads. The Senate has spoken, but it did not speak well. Let’s all await the judgement of posterity. SMS ONLY: 08056504763
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
AM Omatseye carries a bewitching smile that rhymes with his fluid easy to read flirtatious write ups. He dissects issues with such subtlety that his readers know he is not afraid to take a stand on any issue without any form of inhibition. Even if you find one his manipulation of words disagreeable, his logic remains impregnable. Being an independent minded person, he allows no one’s law to be his law. Omatseye is never intimidated by even a superior argument. All he has to do on such occasion is to reach out for a repertoire of read authors and model builders in an attempt at invalidating an adversary’s otherwise unassailable position. Sam Omatseye is therefore a publisher’s nightmare. A colleague of his once told me of how an exasperated publisher often lamented Omatseye’s penchant for reducing very serious issues to poetry when what was needed was striking the nail on its head. If per chance anyone including Bola Ahmed Tinubu therefore commissions Omatseye to defend him, the final copy will still be crafted to reflect the ‘picture of truth’ in Omatseye’s head. Sam has been a victim of virulent attack from Nigerian Tribune in the last three weeks not on the substance of his treatise on Awo’s biological children and Awo’s ideological children but on alleged disrespect for Yeye Oodua by what Sam himself described as metaphorical application of words. It will appear therefore that what Tribune is fighting against is Omatseye’s style and not the substance of his treatise. Sam had only stated self evident facts which everyone including the warring Tribune editors and sympathizers who weep louder than the bereaved know.
‘While Awo’s biological children owe no one any apology for not matching the immense achievement of an illustrious father, it is sacrilegious to join force with the enemies of their father. Anyone who has read Obasanjo’s books will easily observe the level of malice and degree of disdain Obasanjo harboured for Awo’.
Between Awo’s biological and ideological children That Awo’s children are not Awoists is a statement of fact; that the recent triumph of Awoism in the old South west was in spite of Awo’s biological children cannot be denied; that it was an act of indiscretion for Awo’s biological children to cooperate with those reactionaries bent on erasing their father’s legacy is irrefutable. He had, out of love reminded them in case they forgot the tragedies that befell those progressives that became ‘mainstreamers’ out of greed and opportunism. Finally, he counseled Awo’s biological children who have not been able to step into the shoe of their illustrious father not to be despondent because they are not alone. To provide a sense of relief, he borrowed Noemie Emery’s thesis ‘the dynasty curse’ as possible explanation for their not uncommon predicament that has been the lot of many children of illustrious fathers. On this score, let me add that even nearer home, Awo‘s biological children are not alone. Not any of Adelabus children has been able to match his dancing prowess or what Professor Adebayo Williams described as his ‘precocious intellect, stubborn idealism, visionary imagination and contempt for mediocrity, and ‘his prodigious appetite and affinity for the fairer sex’. We must also add that SLA Akintola, who was a pain in the neck for the pre- independence British administrators was endowed with fertile mind, wittiness and what Awo described as a ‘capacity to plausibly argue for two diametrically opposing motions’ losing neither. Alas, Akintola was never able to reproduce
himself. Instead of raw feelings, I think, Awo’s biological children should take solace because ‘in the destruction of a noble line there is always a survivor’ or as the Yoruba will say, it is only God that ordains a child that will outlive his father in order to perform the final burial rites. Perhaps no one appreciated this better than Awo, the sage himself who was viciously attacked for failing to groom a successor among those who swore by the leader’s name. As it has turned out, all the front runners fell by the way side one after the other. Alhaji Lateef Jakande, alias Baba kekere (heir apparent) lost out to Abacha’s intrigue. So is Ebenezer Babatope, the self proclaimed Awo’s adopted son. That Bola Ige allowed himself to be outfoxed by Obasanjo demonstrated that ‘his sense of self worth’ overshadowed the requirement for Yoruba leadership which is selflessness, service and sometimes self sacrifice (apology to MKO Abiola). If those who eat and dine and swore by the leader’s name denied him before the cock crowed, what do we expect of biological children who never prepared for leadership position by being ‘a fetcher of fire wood and water for sale, farm labourer, pounder of raw clay for porters,’ like their illustrious father? Yoruba leadership as it has often been said often emerges from the rear. Asiwaju Tinubu was never on the line of succession. He never sought or schemed for it. His emergence was fortuitous. He found himself in the thick of the struggle and stood up to the challenges. He
outwitted PDP reactionaries and their local Yoruba supporters that were moved only by greed. Like the sage, Tinubu staked everything to liberate his people from the strangle-hold of men without vision beyond sharing of the national cake and looting of national patrimony. While the ideological battle raged , some of Awo’s biological children were accepting political appointments from the chief priest of those determined to erase their father’s legacies from the West while Awo’s Tribune, once the voice of the voiceless, was placed at the services of reactionaries fighting a man who was trying to uphold their father’s legacies. While Awo’s biological children owe no one any apology for not matching the immense achievement of an illustrious father, it is sacrilegious to join force with the enemies of their father. Anyone who has read Obasanjo’s books will easily observe the level of malice and degree of disdain Obasanjo harboured for Awo. While it is easy to explain off Obasanjo’s malice as inferiority complex syndrome which characterized most West African soldiers who join the armed forces in order to climb the social ladder, it is hard to explain why Awo’s children would accept jobs from Obasanjo. Even in developed democracies like America, Clinton’s daughter will not accept job offer from George W. Bush. Awo a life would have denounced Tinubu’s tongue in the cheek letter of apology. He would have expected him as the undisputed new leader who did not emerge out of intrigue, to rescue the aging Yeye Oodua, from the strangle-hold of those using her name, Papa’s good will and The Tribune to satisfy greed. Papa would expect him to scold the children in case they don’t know that certain things are not done. As for The Tribune, papa would have agreed what it needs is a rebirth and not help. For in spite of Pa Jeremiah Awo’s solid and unquestionable Christian faith, he believed people must reap what they sow. He had during his active years as a journalist argued that God doesn’t need to answer prayers. Using Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, VI; 7 ‘‘be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth. that shall he also reap.’ to justify his controversial position. Let The Tribune compare their today’s PDP ‘views paper’ to a paper once edited by Alhaji Lateef Jakande. Even Awo’s first government magazine in the early 50s was critical because he knew the Yoruba are a very critical and fastidious people who don’t easily swallow other’s prejudices.
VIEW FROM THE FOREIGN PRESS
EW things stir me about what is written in newspapers but, since last Saturday, I have swirled deeply. On my mind is an opinion by Eddy Odivwri that was published in Thisday newspaper of Saturday, July 2nd, which was titled, ‘Why I don’t trust Gov Slyva.’ Odivwiri was referring to Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State. In the piece, Odiwvri confessed that ‘until April 14, this year, Bayelsa State has hardly been a choice destination for me.’ By admitting to not visiting the state prior to that date, for that sole reason, I believe he has limited qualification to insinuate on any development that might have taken place before then. In this light, it is somewhat immoral castigating governor Sylva’s achievements in Bayelsa State. This is very distasteful, especially for someone who in the same piece claimed not to know the condition of things in Bayelsa before Sylva came on board as governor. While Odivwiri has a right to his opinion, as a public commentator, he also owes an obligation to feed his teeming followers with objectivity. But, I must say he has failed in that aspect of journalistic responsibility. If Odivwri were familiar with the situation in Bayelsa, I am positive he wouldn’t have written what he wrote. No doubt, any critical observer on ground in Bayelsa would know he was peripheral in his insinuations about minimal development in the state. I don’t know who or what prompted him to write what he wrote. In as much as the vitriolic content of that article reflects the author’s opinion, some facts need to be corrected. I would like to draw his attention to some things he should take note of should he visit Bayelsa again. Before Sylva became governor of Bayelsa, an object of ridicule was that the state had only one tarred road and that was the road leading to the Government House in Yenagoa. That is no longer the case. Presently, numerous internal roads across the state now wear a graceful look with asphalt. Though, the desired level in terms of road construction has not been reached; it is far better than what
Re: Why I don’t trust Sylva By Happy Ebi Sylva inherited. The roads were not a publicity stunt as Odivwri insinuated. Anyone familiar with the conditions of Bayelsa roads before Sylva came aboard would surely give him kudos. How about in the healthcare sector? Is Odivwri aware of the Diete Koki Memorial Hospital in Opolo? I guess not. It is a state of the art health facility which President Goodluck Jonathan described as one of the best in the country. While more can be done, the hospital is just one testimony of Sylva’s commitment to providing quality healthcare. In addition, Sylva has not forgotten other health facilities started by his predecessors. Now, in the area off education, apart from building and renovating schools, Sylva has scored a plus in providing little things such as free school buses to convey school students and pupils to and back from school. His administration also pays for the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) fees for students in the state. Under his watch, courses in the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacy, Electrical Engineering, and the faculty of Law of the Niger Delta University, were accredited. He was responsible for the situating of the Nigerian Law School at Agudama. To his credit is also the establishment of the Bayelsa State College of Education, Okpoma. Perhaps, Odivwri does not know all these. But, if he does, I really wonder what his true agenda is, taking such swipe at a governor of a state after he admits being in the dark of situations there? Anywhere in the world, politicians always tout their achievements and I wonder why Odivwri seems so galled that a governor decided to show reasons why he should be voted for a second term by pronouncing his
achievements on public space. The situation would have been different if Sylva’s claims of his achievements were false. But, this is not the case. Odivwri also writes of violence in Bayelsa State and hints of Sylva’s involvement. Before it was decided that elections in Bayelsa would not hold, violence in Bayelsa as well as other states got to an uncontrollable level. In the mayhem, many politicians in Nigeria bore the brunt. This journalist must be aware that the volatility which election matters take in the country is really beyond the candidates vying for positions. Though, this is deplorable, that is the Nigerian situation. In Bayelsa, the houses of the two figures (Timi Alaibe of the Labour Party and Governor Timipre Sylva) that would have contested in the gubernatorial elections were attacked. While, it is really sad that Nigerian politics is yet to evolve to the level where violence is completely eliminated, accusing Sylva of spawning any violence is really malicious. I wonder where Odivwri got evidence that Sylva was even remotely responsible for any violence in Bayelsa? He surely owes it to public interest to divulge such knowledge if really he knows what he is talking about, rather than loosely pontificate on pages of newspaper. When it was resolved by the courts that there would be no gubernatorial election in five states, including Bayelsa, the violence suddenly stopped, Odivwri touted. What evidence links Sylva as the perpetrator of the violence? It is on record that Sylva initiated the amnesty which has brought about peace in the whole Niger Delta today. He went into the creeks to broker a ceasefire which made
the militants in the creeks drop their arms and embrace an amnesty. All the other governors of the Niger-Delta states were reluctant to spearhead the initiative. The author must know that on August 22, 2009 at Isaac Boro Park, the largest cache of arms by restive youths in the region was submitted. This was due to Sylva’s efforts, which no doubt qualifies him as a man of peace. Then, on the issue of Sylva’s deputy, Perembowei Ebebi, it is sad for a journalist to just write such rubbish because he has the prerogative of airing opinions on pages of a national newspaper. I understand that Odivwri may not be a lawyer and may not understand the difference when a judge rules that a matter should revert to status quo and status quo ante. He really does not understand the case. He and his sponsors would do well to get better education on such matters or consult a lawyer, rather than abusing the privilege and sanctity of public space. • Ebi writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State
‘In Bayelsa, the houses of the two figures (Timi Alaibe of the Labour Party and Governor Timipre Sylva) that would have contested in the gubernatorial elections were attacked. While, it is really sad that Nigerian politics is yet to evolve to the level where violence is completely eliminated, accusing Sylva of spawning any violence is really malicious’
NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL
Ekeji commends Mbachu quits president Jonathan Super Falcons Pg. 24
Nation Thursday, July 7, 2011
GARDEN CITY GAMES
•Alimi Yetunde of Lagos in blue jersey and Aliu Kemi in 81kg boxing bout Lagos won. PHOTO Bola Omilabu
CONTROVERSY TRAILS WOMEN HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING
Organisers order rematch between Lagos and Ondo We are not interested – Team Lagos
HERE are strong indications that the rescheduled +81kg Heavy weight women semi final match between Aliu Kemi of Ondo state and Alimi Yetunde of Lagos at Convocation Arena, University of Port Harcourt might not hold as Lagos has pulled out of the fight. NationSport gathered that the said match which was held on Tuesday saw the judge award the fight to Yetunde the Lagos boxer which did not go down well with the supporters of the Ondo boxer. This resulted in a series of protests which made the organisers to order for a rematch. In a chat with NationSport, the Technical Adviser of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, Idika Nsofor said the technical committee
From Akeem Lawal and Florence Nkem, in Port Harcourt
had to review the math before it decided to order for a rematch. “We had a controversial bout and that was in +81kg female between Ondo and Lagos state boxers. What happened was that the Red corner (Lagos) was scoring more points, then later became very tired and the Red corner (Ondo) started picking up and in the 4th Round, the Lagos boxer was totally out of it. So the Red contestant was all over her all in the 4th Round. So when the result came out the score was awarded to Lagos and then there was commotion because she was out of
it. People did not think it was a fair scoring. So we had a meeting, the technical crew had a meeting and after reviewing the fight again, we declare it non contest and they will repeat the fight on Thursday. If you know you are stronger, climb the ring and this time they will have a fair judge,” he said. But in his reaction, the Chairman of Lagos State Sports Council, Agboola Dabiri expressed disappointment with the organisers after deciding to reverse their decision by ordering for a rematch, which he saidhis state will not would not be a party to. “The fight was very glaring, our girl defeated the girl from Ondo and the judges gave the score at 17-12 in favour of Lagos state. So to now announce that the fight is
cancelled and there should be a rematch is unfair. So we are not in for it again. Have you seen a situation whereby Enyimba won a match and it was announced that the match should be replayed?” he asked. Nsofor, however, noted that the technical committee has put in measures at ensuring that such ugly situation is not repeated . “We corrected it by announcing the state each judge comes from. If Lagos State is fighting, we won’t have a judge from Lagos State So now they are being transparent. They have been calling the names of the judges and the state they are from, so everybody will know that it is fair and we are not appointing judges from the same state or zone”, he noted.
THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Gombe blasts NFF over Falcons’ failure F
ORMER Gombe State Chairman of the Football Association, Alhaji Shuaibu Gara Gombe has blamed the overzealous technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by Chris Green for the poor outing of the Super Falcons at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. The Falcons were booted out of the group stage of the tournament losing 01, 0-1 to France and Germany, posting a 1-0 victory over Canada in the last match. But Gombe said that the team would have performed better if the technical committee had not derailed them by the removal of the assistant coach, Ann Chiejinle who was instrumental to the team’s victory at the African Women’s Championship in South Africa. “I have to blame Austin, Okocha, Garba Lawal and Victor Ikpeba for allowing Chris Green to mislead them in sacking Ann,” Gombe said. “Green sacked her so that he can bring in foreign coach. What impact did the foreign coach make
in Germany? I smell fraud in the appointment of the German coach and even that of the Flying Eagles. Green went to Germany without approval from the NFF to hire the coaches forcing the NFF to pay $20,000 each when as a matter of fact what gets to the coaches is $15,000 each. I am still waiting for the NFF Board minute that approved the German trip for Green. “How on earth will Green hire a foreign coach to assist Eucharia? If the coaches are good they won’t accept to be assistants. What Green has done is fraudulent.” Gombe commends the levelheadedness of the NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari on the current impasse between the NFF and the NFA but warned that the Bauchi administrator should be wary of the antics of Green to destroy the entire board. “The NFA is not the enemy of NFF as claimed by Green, rather the greatest enemy of NFF is Green. I want to warn Maigari to keep Green far away from him because he will bring this board to its knees. He believes that confrontation will solve the issues on ground but we want to tell him that he doesn’t have the monopoly of rascality. The NFA have chosen to be civil on this matter but Green believes that he can attack personalities and get away with it. He should leave Ekeji out of the matter and let us face the national interest first. “I know Green more than anybody in the board and I want to warn them to be wary of his antics. Green was happy when the stakeholders were being funded by Sambawa to remove Galadima, now he is talking about Ekeji romancing the NFA. We really do not need Ekeji to remove this board because the issues are clear to all Nigerians. If Ekeji had not stopped the police by now Green would have been in the cooler. He has to be grateful to Ekeji for saving this board till now.”
AHEAD OF U-20 WORLD CUP
Azeez, Okoro, Mohammed join Flying Eagles today •Obuh to submit final list July 15 •As team begins intensive training in Faro
HE trio of Flying Eagles players, led by skipper Ramon Azeez, Aliyu Mohammed and Stanley Okoro are expected to join up with the rest of the squad Today. NationSport also learnt that VVV Venlo star Ahmed Musa has equally promised to team up with the Flying Eagles in Portugal, according to head coach John Sam Obuh, who is also expected to submit to FIFA his final 21-man squad by July 15. According to the relaese made available to the NationSport by team's Media Officer, Sam Audu,The African champions began intensive training ahead of this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup Wednesday morning at the Browns Sports and Leisure Club in Faro, Portugal. The team is to train twice daily, by 7.30am and 5pm. Local time is the same with that of Nigeria. The 22 players and 10 officials arrived Faro through Frankfurt and Lisbon Tuesday evening. Also, Dream Team V players Emmanuel Anyanwu and Terna Suswan will also team up with the country’s youth team immediately after Sunday’s All Africa Games (AAG) qualifier in Ghana. The Browns Sports and Leisure Club in this favourite summer holiday resort in the Algrave is an ideal one-stop training base. It has a natural pitch, a beach soccer ground as well as artificial surface for five-aside football. The weather in Faro is warm with a high sun, over 30 degrees and comparable to what is obtainable in Nigeria.
By Innocent Amomoh It also has a one kilometre running track as well as outdoor and indoor swimming pools. It has hosted the Super Eagles as well as several teams like Angola, Gambia, Cape Verde as well as Portuguese giants Benfica and English Premier League side Fulham. It will also welcome Nigeria’s beach soccer team next month ahead of the Beach World Cup in Italy after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) picked Faro as the European training base for the country’s teams.
NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL
Ekeji commends president Jonathan D
IRECTOR GENERAL, National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr Patrick Ekeji has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his support to raise the standard of the National Sports Festival. The president, in declaring the 17th edition of the festival open in Port Harcourt on Sunday, had pledged N45 million for the best three states in the tournament.
“The National Sports Commission feel challenged with Mr President’s incentive,” Dr Ekeji said. “Mr President has shown once again that he is ready to drive sports in Nigeria to an enviable height. For the president to have come to declare the games open is also an indication that we are witnessing a new dawn in Nigeria’s sports. “We are happy that Rivers State has set the pace now and we can’t afford to lower
F/Eagles drawn against Argentina, Mexico
IGERIA’s Flying Eagles will take on the most successful team in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Argentina, Mexico and hosts Panama in an invitational tournament from July 18. Argentina have won the Under-20 World Cup a record six times and this included beating Nigeria 2-1 in the 2005 championship game in the Netherlands with two penalty goals by a Lionel Messi. Argentina are drawn against Mexico in Group F, while Panama are in a first round group that also has Brazil and African representatives Egypt. Officials disclosed that Nigeria, who are also African champions, will depart on a 12-hour flight to Panama on July 16.
Emenike charged to court
AYS after being arrested as part of a match-fixing investigation in Turkey, Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike has been charged to court. The forward was one of 26 people charged after questioning. Eleven others were released. Emenike is alleged to have been caught on camera negotiating to withdraw from Karabukspor's home game against Fenernahce in return for joining the Yellow Canaries if they become champions. He is also alleged to have been caught on tape receiving money. The player is yet to respond to the allegations. The Nigeria Football Federation have asked to be furnished with details of the player's case.
Their first match will be on July 18 with other match dates being July 20 and 22. All matches will have a late kick-off time because of the hot and humid conditions in Panama. Argentina, Mexico and Panama have all qualified for the 2011 U20 World Cup.
The Flying Eagles will then leave for Colombia, host country for this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup on July 23. Nigeria play their first match against Guatemala on July 31 in Armenia. They will also square up against Saudi Arabia and Croatia in Group D.
Sanni Emmanuel excited over U-20 call
ORMER Nigerian Under-17 national team striker, Sani Shehu Emmanuel, has expressed joy at teaming up with the Under-20 team ahead of the FIFA World Cup billed to kick off in Colombia this month. Emmanuel said he is ready to make his mark at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Colombia after securing a contract at Italian side, SS Lazio. "I'm happy to be back in the team after playing for the Under-17 in 2009. It is an opportunity that I'm going to have the chance to prove that I'm ready to serve my country again. I've signed for Lazio in Italy and now I will be focused on playing for the team," the 18-year-old forward said. The former My People FC striker also said he is an improved player after training with several teams in Europe before he sealed a deal at SS Lazio."I'm a better striker now than in 2009. I will put to good use all that I have learnt at different clubs I've been to in Europe," he said. Emmanuel was one of the Flying Eagles players that left the shores of Nigeria on Tuesday night for Faro in Portugal for pre-World Cup camping. The striker is remembered for his cameo exploits at the 2009 Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria when he scored five goals in five games for the Golden
Eaglets. The Flying Eagles will be camped at the Browns Sports and Leisure Club in Faro till July 16. On July 13, the Nigerian Under-20s will play their Portuguese counterparts in an international friendly in Lisbon. The squad will then fly to Panama for a four-nation tournament before leaving for Colombia. Nigeria are drawn in Group D with Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.
the standard as the NSC will continue to encourage states willing to host the games to aim for the best. “The introduction of the money incentive to the best three states by Mr President will be the catalyst that will revolutionise the sports festival as states will now put everything into their preparation to win the President’s prizes.” The Director General who initiated the concept of Team Nigeria in 2003 revealed that the moribund body would be looked into soonest to engineer the process of achieving the dream of the Federal Government to make Nigeria an economic and political power in the world before 2020. “With the new challenge from Mr President, the NSC will quickly have a look at the Team Nigeria document again with a view to fine-tuning it. Yes, I can say that Team Nigeria will be back, better and stronger than what it was in 2003.” Ekeji also disclosed that he has got approval from the Government to immediately start preparations for the All Africa Games in Maputo insisting that all the athletes will embark on a training tour to Germany, USA, Cuba and South Korea. “We have put everything in place to enhance better performance at the All Africa Games. The athlete will go on training tour by the end of the month and the Government has been supportive of all we are doing. There won’t be late release of funds this time because our mission in Maputo is to win the games irrespective of the antics of South Africa.”
•Udoka Chukwu of Borno State (r) tries Ezekiel Tunde of Delta State for size in the kick-boxing event. PHOTO: Bola Omilabu
Nigeria/Argentina re-match called off
HOSE expecting a re-match between the Super Eagles and the Argentina national team at least for now, should forget about the idea as the match would not hold. NationSport can now confirm that those who rule the game in the country have decided to jettison the idea of playing the match earlier slated for Bangladesh due to the complaints of the players, and the wrong timing of the match. According to one of the old players in the team who spoke to us in confidence, they have spoken to the eggheads in the NFF on the reasons why the game should not hold, and they have bought the idea “look, this not all about making money for ourselves, but the interest and pride of our nation is very paramount to us. The Argentines felt humiliated and they are strongly looking for a way to redeemed themselves, that is why they want the match by all means. First and foremost, we are not afraid of them, but the match is wrongly timed. We are playing Madagascar in an all important match 48 hours before the match. From Antananarivo to Bangladesh is 17 hours, and that would
From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja leave us with few hours to play the match, the task would be so demanding, and jetlag would also be there. God forbid, if the match in Madagascar did not favour us, which means we are out of the African Nations Cup, what mood do think some of us would be. So, I think the best thing is for them to allow us concentrate on the task in Antananarivo, and the quest to qualify for the Nations Cup, which is more important to our careers than anything else now. We are not afraid of the Argentines, but for now, they should allow us be”. On the implications of not playing the match, the player said “the Federation should sort that out with them. I think everything is based on agreement and superior reasoning” he concluded. It should be recalled that NationSport had earlier reported that the re-match against Argentina would not hold afterall, and that the NFF is ready to pay whatever fine
that may incur for pulling out of the match which Nigeria humiliated Argentina in the first match played in Abuja by four goals to one in the first week of June 2011.
Nigeria too crafty-Canada coach
ANADIAN women national coach, Carolina Morace has described the Nigeria women national team as very crafty. The Italian said the Nigerian players were very good in manipulating their way during Tuesday's preliminary match. Nigeria is very strong and very clever,' she said in passable English. Morace, however, praised her players for playing to instructions. "In the first half it was a balanced match but in the second half l would say that we had more possession but we just could not get past our opponents. They knew how to counter every move of ours," said the coach. "I watched the Nigerian team during their friendly against Germany and realized that they had greatly improved since then. It was a different team that played against my team. So you can see why l say that they are very tricky side as you can never know what they can be up to," she said. On the goal scored by Perpetua Nkwocha, the coach said it was a good one but felt it could have been prevented if the floodlights did not go of. The floodlights went off suddenly midway into the second half for about seven minutes which the engineers on ground blamed on an outstation fault. The team lost all three matches in group A to finish last without a point.
Arizona, where he had been in charge of the under-12s girls’ team for little more than a year. Emenalo’s first job at Chelsea was as head opposition scout but he was promoted to the first-team coaching staff last year and has made a positive impression on key figures at the club, including owner Roman Abramovich. Villas-Boas has already appointed his core coaching team, which includes former Chelsea midfielder Roberto di Matteo, and has said that he has no issue with working alongside the right technical director or director of football. However, his relationship with Emenalo is certain to come under scrutiny.
Mbachu quits Falcons •Rules out coaching, wants to be football agent •Happy to be voted Player of the Match
UPER FALCONS most capped player Stella Mbachu has finally retired from the women national team after an illustrious career that spanned over 16 years. Unfortunately she would have wished for a befitting farewell but was denied following Nigeria's ouster from the FIFA Women's World Cup going on in Germany on Tuesday. The player dropped the bombshell during the post match conference where she was announced as the player of the match against Canada. Nigeria won by a lone goal to record its first win of the competition. FIFA presented the player with a large frame. During the session, Mbachu explained that she was leaving the scene for the younger generation to express themselves. "Now is the time for me to quit the scene. I believe l have done well as a player both for my country and club. I would want to say a big thank you to those who have contributed immensely to my career. May l equally use this medium to wish the younger players the best of luck," she
said. The player referred to the 2004 Athens Olympic game and 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China as some of her fondest memories. Surprisingly the player who has featured in five World Cups has ruled out the possibility of becoming a coach in the future. "I want to become a football agent instead. I think that is a better option for me," she said. Born on April 16, 1978, Mbachu presently plays for Rivers Angels in the Nigeria women professional league. She has also played briefly in the Chinese league and Pelican Stars of Calabar.
WORLD CUP GOAL CELEBRATION
My colleagues denied me, says Nkwocha
EIGNING Africa female player, Perpetua Nkwocha has explained why she could not celebrate her goal after several attempts over the years. She said her colleagues prevented her due to the excitement. She broke the jinx on Tuesday against Canada after missing an earlier opportunity in the first half of the match to round off a disappointing campaign. "I had a special dance that l have always promised myself anytime l am privileged to score at the World Cup but unfortunately my teammates denied me the opportunity as they all gathered around me to jubilate with me," she said. Nkwocha has expressed her gratitude to her colleagues for the support extended to her. "My teammates made me proud despite our uneventful outing," she told NationSport. On her plans for retirement, Nkwocha said she it would be after the the London 2012 Olympics which
Chelsea to name Emenalo as new sporting director ICHAEL Emenalo is on the verge of another Chelsea promotion - this time to sporting director. The move will be Emenalo's second promotion since he joined the club in 2007, originally as head opposition scout. The move comes as new Chelsea boss André Villas-Boas reshapes his back room team and the former firstteam coach will have his new role as continental sporting director confirmed within the next 48 hours. The former Nigerian international joined Chelsea in 2007 when Avram Grant was manager. Grant recruited the former Nigerian international from the Tucson Soccer Academy in
•Thanks teammates for support •Says not under pressure to quit is, however, subject to Nigeria's qualification. She has however dismissed claims that she is under pressure to retire. "Nobody has put me under pressure to quit the national team. I just believe that by 2015 which is when Canada would be hosting the next World Cup l would not be there. Firstly age will no longer be on my side and secondly you cannot cheat nature," she said. Germany was the player's third appearance at the World Cup.
Falcons receive 1,000USD
ACH member of the women national team have received 1,000USD (N150,000) for their victory over Canada in their last group match of the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. They were paid before departing for Frankfurt late Tuesday night from Dresden after the match. They departed for Nigeria Wednesday morning aboard Lufthansa Airlines. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) assistant secretary general in charge
of competition, Mohammed Sanusi confirmed to NationSport. "We are not owing the girls," he told this reporter on the telephone. Sanusi travelled with the players as the head of delegation. Last Thursday, the players were paid 500USD for losing to Germany to motivate the players. They would have made more had they progressed further. This would be Nigeria's fifth appearances in the competition.
Eucharia stays back in Germany •To attend FIFA symposium
ALCONS chief coach, Uche Eucharia has remained in Germany to attend the forthcoming Federation of International Football (FIFA) symposium on Women's football.on July 15 and 16. The coach returned to Frankfurt with the team from Dresden which she confirmed to NationSport. 'I am going to be in Germany until
next week," she said. The symposium is usually organised during the women competition to find ways of addressing the several challenges facing the game. It is always held on the eve of the final. She may be joined by another top official of the Nigeria Football Federation. Usually it is the President and the general secretary of each federation that are affiliated to FIFA are privileged to attend.
THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Education was for long comatose in Plateau State. It was bedevilled by workers’strikes and the incessant ethno-religious strifes on the Plateau. There is now light at the end of the tunnel, with the government’s N6 billion vote to revive the sector. MARIE-THERESE PETER reports.
Education rebounds in Plateau •Govt’s N6b revival pill provokes reaction
OR sometime, education was in the doldrums in Plateau State. Every stratum – from primary to secondary and tertiary – was buffeted from all sides. Besides the incessant ethno-religious crises which paralysed the academic calendar, schools were on strike for the better part of the year. The schools were shut for many months, while the pupils and students roamed the streets. In 2009, teachers in public primary and secondary schools while agitating for the implementation of the Teachers’ Salary Structure (TSS), payment of Leave Transport Grant (LTG) and payment of shortfall of 2007 and 2008 LTG, among others, went on a five-month strike. Various groups of stakeholders, including the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, pleaded with the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the strike was suspended after the signing of a 10-point agreement. Since then, normalcy has returned to primary and secondary schools. The tertiary institutions then picked up the gauntlet from where they stopped. On October 28, last year, the Joint Union of Plateau State-owned tertiary institutions embarked on a strike, demanding the implementation of the Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS) and protesting what they called unlawful imposition of “illegal tax”, among others. The unions called off the strike on June 16, after the Joint Union Chairman, Mr Yusuf Selchang and the Head of Service, Mr Moses Gwom, signed an agreement that the new salary structure would be implemented within 10 working days and the issue of “unlawful tax” looked into. But, the students spent almost eight months at home before that happened. Both students and staff of the institutions felt the negative impact of the strike. Those who should have been mobilised for the Batch ‘B’ of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have to wait till next year because of the prolonged strike. To ensure a smooth session at all levels of education this year, the Plateau State Government has earmarked N6,474,030,961 in this year’s budget to cover projects in the sub-sector. The administration also provided N1,922,678,187 as matching grant to the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) for the provision of facilities. According to the breakdown of this year’s budget, provided by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr Davou Mang, the provision will cover projects such as construction of new school buildings, rehabilitation of secondary school buildings, purchase of computer accessories and generators for secondary schools, purchase of sports equipment in schools as well as procurement of technical
•Pupils of Lea Pilot Science School, Jos
•Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang
•The roof of Baptist Primary School, Park Road, Jos cries for attention
and science equipment. Mang further disclosed that tertiary institutions have been allocated various sums of money for the provision of projects and facilities. He said: “Plateau State Polytechnic has the sum of N240,265,000; College of Education has N206,000,000; College of Art, Science and Technology, N105,600,000; Plateau State University has N1,940,000,000 and the Scholarship Board has N7,050,000.” However, does the budgetary allocation mean that all the problems in the sector will come to an end? Teachers, unionists, students and parents told The Nation that many problems will be solved if the budget is well implemented. Speaking with The Nation, a source from the Plateau State Polytechnic said: “We are happy with the allocation. We hope it will not just be on paper because the money is much. If this budget is implemented as it is, we know it will go a long way to solve the problems we are facing in the institution”. However, the Plateau State Polytechnic Chapter Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Mr. Victor Dawurung,
said the needs of schools are more than the amount allocated. “The money is very small compared to the challenges the institution is facing. No matter the amount, it should be fully utilized in providing standard facilities as found in grade A polytechnics to meet the accreditation needs of the institutions. The fund should be used to give attention to priority needs in all the departments,” he said. Similarly, the Jos North Chapter Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr Patrick Azi, said the poor state of infrastructure in schools makes it impossible for teachers to give of their best. “I am not in the position to criticise the budget, those that allocated the said sum have their reason for doing so. But, I want the money to be used judiciously to renovate the dilapidated classrooms, enhance teachers’ welfare, ensure that working materials and facilities are provided so that the standard of education will improve in the state. “The state of infrastructure in public schools especially in the Primary schools is an eyesore; efforts should be doubled to ensure basic amenities as their absence is affecting the pro-
ductivity of teachers”. Given what has obtained in the past with budget implementation, a teacher with Government Secondary School, Kyan Rikkos, is not too optimistic that this year’s budget will make a difference. “We are watching. Every year they say there is budget but go to various schools, especially in the villages, and see the situation of things for yourself. If we go on strike, people do not understand. There is no motivation, no working tools, and no seats for students and teachers, nothing. “Though the present government has tried in its first term to revamp the education sector, we hope more will be done even by successive governments because the job is much and cannot be done in one fiscal year,” the teacher said. Like the teacher, a parent, Mrs. Charity Maina, whose children attend the College of Agriculture, Garkawa, fears the budget is just an announcement. She said: “We know most times, these things are just on paper, if you go to my children’s •Continued on page 26
•FRSC ACADEMY SET TO AWARD DEGREE - Page 28 •I WON’T SCRAP MEDICAL COLLEGE, SAYS FAYEMI - Page 38
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUULY 7, 2011
Lagos principals win foreign trip
•Fashola (middle); Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, (second right); Head of Service, Adesegun Ogunlewe and Ms Azeez (left) with the pupils at the Best Performance Awards for secondary schools PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES under the Eko Education Project
Civil defence chief denies clash with UTME candidates
HE Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ebonyi State Command, Mrs Margaret Adekeye, has denied that some of her officers clashed with some candidates who wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) on June 18 outside the Ugwuachara Secondary School, Abakaliki. The candidates alleged that the NSCDC personnel collected money to help them pass the examination but failed to deliver. Briefing reporters in Abakaliki, Mrs Adekeye said the officers deployed in various centres for the examination to ensure the security of lives discharged their
From Obinna Ogbonnaya, Abakaliki
duties responsibly. She said the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) assigned the security agency the responsibility to ensure strict compliance with the examination rules and regulation. She added that the officers never clashed with any of the candidates. According to her: “During the just concluded UTME, our officers were dispatched to various centres across the state, they discharged the duties diligently and never clashed with any candidate as alleged by one of the candidates.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that all the candidates comply strictly with the rules and regulation guiding the examination. The examination was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere devoid of any rancour or misunderstanding between the officers and the candidates. “We wish to state that we are determined to ensure that we discharge any responsibility assigned to us without compromise. The security agency since its establishments has upheld its integrity and competence. We don’t engage in any act capable of ridiculing the image of security agencies in the country”, Mrs Adekeye said.
Education rebounds in Plateau •Continued from Page 25
school, it is just like a village secondary school, nothing on ground. If previous budgets were actually implemented, there should be significant improvement by now but nothing seems to change. “I am appealing to all citizens to cooperate with the government because if there is crisis now, the government will tell you that it cannot do anything because every kobo is spent on security. I pray for peace and the fear of God so that the budget could be implemented accordingly, then everyone will know that government is serious about its agenda on education”. A secondary school pupil, Victoria Eggah, said the strikes affected her psychologically and hoped the budget will end it. “I have not been happy being at home when my friends in private schools are going to school. For these months that we have not been on strike, I like it because things are going smoothly in school. I want the people in charge of the budget to do all they can to ensure that they follow the procedures so that our teachers will remain in school to teach us,” she said. When The Nation contacted the Ministry of Finance on implementation, a source said the government was making effort to ensure that the money is well utilised. “There have been instances where
the budget is not implemented to the letter due to some unforeseen circumstances. But, this year’s budget will be different with a reason. The governor has put a committee to monitor the budget implementation and give quarterly report. With this in place, I believe the budget will be implemented”, the source said. Meanwhile, a parent, Mr Nuhu Dashe, whose daughter is in the College of Health Technology, Pankshin, decried the prolonged strike, saying: “My daughter would have completed her programme but for the strike. As it is, I do not know statistics but the money is reasonable, those implementing the budget should ensure that the amount is expended the way it should be so that the children will not need to go on strike at all throughout the fiscal year”. When The Nation visited the Jos campus of the polytechnic, it was a beehive as students who were asked to resume on Monday were seen trying to settle down for lectures. Many of them who returned to the hostel were seen cleaning their corners and arranging their belongings while those sighted at the lecture blocks were trying to complete their registration. Others were exchanging pleasantries with friends they did not see for the period the strike lasted. One of the students, Ruth Chundusu, said she got busy working while the strike lasted. “I am really excited being back at
school after the long strike. At a point, I was frustrated because of the idleness. Initially, I thought the strike will be for some weeks at most so, I travelled to visit relatives. But when it got to the second month, I had to find a job and, luckily, I got an administrative job in a school where I worked for four months. But I am really glad we are back to school so that I can face my studies and graduate. Though we have lost almost a session, I am optimistic we will catch up somehow,” she said. On the budget, she said: “I heard something about the budget over the radio. But, I cannot really explain the contents but whatever is meant for the education sector should be given to them so that students’ academic calendar would not be disrupted again in the name of strike”. A lecturer at the Public Administration Department told this reporter: “As you can see, we are ready to work and the students are ready to learn. That is why you see this place like this. Today is just the first day of resumption after the strike; everyone is trying to put everything in place. Hopefully, before the week comes to an end, every student will be in the lecture halls receiving lectures. “The strike had its effects, positive and otherwise; but we believe there will not be a repeat if the terms of agreement are obeyed, the money given to us in the budget could help in a way if they actually release it to us on time.”
S a reward for their hard work, principals of 12 public secondary schools in Lagos State will be travelling abroad for training. They are from schools adjudged the best in the implementation of the Eko Education Project for 2009/ 2010 in the six education districts. The project is a World Bank-assisted initiative which gives grants to schools to procure instructional materials, train teachers, carry out minor repairs and provide security. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) announced the prize while presenting cheques to the 126 junior and senior secondary schools, whose pupils have improved performances since the Eko Project came into being in 2009. The event was the Secondary Schools Performance Awards held at the 10 Degrees Event Centre, Oregun. “I have also decided to award the top two secondary school Principals in each of the six Education Districts international training to boost best practices within our education system,” he said. Each of the 126 schools got N2 million for improved students’ performance of up to 20 per cent based on assessment tests in English, Mathematics, Basic Science (for junior secondary schools) and Biology (senior schools). A total of N252 million cheques were presented at the event. In addition to the prizes for principals of the top two schools in each district, Fashola announced that pupils of the top 20 of the 126 schools will tour some projects during the holidays. He said: “In order to broaden their experience and knowledge beyond formal school education, I have approved a guided tour of our
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
newly constructed Independent Power Plants for 20 students from the first 20 schools in order to keep them busy during the long holiday and also give them a first-hand experience of what electricity generation is all about.” He expressed satisfaction about the performance of the recipient schools out of the 629 secondary schools in Lagos, which he said was a demonstration of their commitment to ensuring government’s effort is productive. “Today’s awardees have been selected based on their percentage improvement over a period of time in the standardized assessments administered by Lagos Eko Project. I am particularly impressed by the enterprising disposition of the awardees, because they have shown their commitment and determination to turn the huge investment in education into a much desired improved learning outcomes in public schools within a short space of time,” he said. In her speech, Eko Project Coordinator, Ms Ronke Azeez, said the schools have performed even much better than expectations of backers, World Bank. She said: “I recall at the design stage of this project that the World Bank assessment experts stated that we should not expect significant increase, in most cases, not more than five per cent in our students’ performance based on their experience across Africa. Our schools have proved that Lagos State is an exception to the rule having achieved 20, 30, even in some cases 75 per cent increase in performance. I am proud to be part of history making in Lagos State.”
Ibadan Poly celebrates 40th anniversary
HE Polytechnic, Ibadan is celebrating its achievements in its 40th years of existence. Speaking in Ibadan on Tuesday, the Rector, Prof Olusegun Odunola, said the polytechnic has enough reasons to celebrate having succeeded in pioneering many innovations in polytechnic education as well as meeting the needs of the country in manpower development, particularly in techno-scientific education. According to him, the institution was the first to introduce Mechatronic Engineering and Urban and Regional Planning Departments among others. He pointed out that two graduates of the poly-
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
technic are currently at Ferris State University, United States of America (USA) on a two-semester top-up programme for the award of a B. Tech. degree as part of an exchange programme with the university. Odunola also recalled that the institution has produced 99,379 graduates so far, adding that it has trained over 19,000 artisans through its Vocational Skill Entrepreneurship Study Centre (VSESC). In the course of the anniversary celebration, a book entitled: “The History of the Polytechnic, Ibadan,” would be launched.
“I hope they issue bullet-proof vests and anti-kidnap instructions very soon!”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
EDUCATION FEDPOFFA FILE STEP-B hands over Lab
THE multimillion naira Instrumentation Laboratory Project financed by the World Bank through the Science and Technology Education Post Basic (STEPB) of the Federal Government has been completed and handed over to the Management of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (FEDPOFFA), Kwara State. The Laboratory was equipped by STEP-B with modern equipment, machines and instruments worth about N22 million. Dr Anthony Okonta, FEDPOFFA STEP-B Project Manager, handed over documents relating to the equipment to the Rector Dr Mufutau Olatinwo in his office recently. The Management Team was also led by the Rector to take possession of the laboratory equipment at the Instrumentation Laboratory. Olatinwo commended the STEP-B Team for their commitment, loyalty and expertise in ensuring that the project was successful. He urged all polytechnic workers to emulate the STEP- B officers who carried out the multimillion naira project successfully without being preoccupied with personal benefits.
Directorates created THE FEDPOFFA Management has created two new directorates, Examinations and Special Duties, for smooth running of the institution. The Directorate of Examination which inherited all the functions of the former Examination Office is headed by Mr. B.O. Saliu while Mr Larongbe Afolabi is the Director of Special Duties.
FRSC Academy set to award degree
HE Federal Road Safety Corps has perfected plans to begin a Master’s Degree programme in Road Safety Management at its Academy at Udi, Enugu State, The Nation has learnt. The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of FRSC, Osita Chidoka, made this known in Ibadan during a tour of the Corps formations
From Sanni Ologun, Abuja
According to a statement by the Corps spokesman Nseobong Akpabio in Abuja, the Academy has been affiliated to the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) where lectures for pioneer students will commence in September before concluding the
programme at the Udi Academy next year. In future Chidoka said the academy will go online. “The FRSC Academy will be linked to optic fibre for a seamless on-line lectures and connectivity with other institutions of learning across the globe through teleconferencing to enhance communication and
learning process.” Pioneer set of students for the degree programme will be selected the field Commands and the national headquarter in Abuja as part of measures to provide a level playing ground for staff wishing to improve their academic profile especially in the field of Road Safety management and other related disciplines.
Varsity administrator urges women to brace up
UNIVERSITY administrator, Prof Rasheed Garba, has challenged women to participate more actively in the decision making process in any human endeavour they find themselves. Garba threw the challenge at a seminar organised by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) Bayero University,
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
Kano (BUK) Chapter on Monday in Kano. Garba, who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, BUK, noted that the 35 percent affirmative action would remain a mirage if women wait for men to invite them to play leadership role. “Gender differences are
merely fictionally and women’s participation in union activities is a great way of contributing to the development of the country.” His view was corroborated by the SSANU Chairman, Comrade Elija Egbunu, who urged women to take a bold step by participating in men-dominated activities.
Egbunu challenged women to play more active leadership roles, instead of relegating themselves to the background, adding women have the capacity to make the nation a better place to live in. The Women Leader of the SSANU, BUK Chapter, Comrade Beatrice Ezugwu called for the amendment of existing laws to enable women participate more actively in public life.
‘Mr IQ’ reality show to test knowledge
COMPETITION seeking to know how well groomed undergraduates of tertiary institutions in Nigeria are is to make its debut soon. The contest to be called ‘Mr IQ’, which will air on television stations across the country, will test the contestants’ knowledge of the courses they are studying in school. Initiator of the competition, Desmond Okocha, said in an interview that the competition will be opened to students in their second year and upwards studying any course in Nigerian universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education. He is optimistic that the competition will improve the quality of tuition at tertiary level as institutions getting it right would be exposed through the performance of their students in the
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
competition. “Questions are to be based on their disciplines. If you are sure of your discipline, you should be able to defend you knowledge. The institutions the winners come out from become the Green Campus because it means they were well taught. It will improve the education system because it will make lecturers teach better,” he said. Desmond said questions for the competition will be drafted by lecturers from various tertiary institutions across the country. The show will air in seasons with each season lasting two months. During each game, which will feature twice weekly, the contestants will go through speed tests, accuracy and pointbased rounds.
To enter for the competition, Desmond said students will register online and be immediately assigned faculties. Fortyeight students will start (42 of them selected from online registration and the six other selected from the studio audience. The number will continue to reduce as some make progress and others drop until the last man standing emerges. Desmond explained that the game is structured in a way that two students from different disciplines can compete head-to-head only that they would be graded based on questions they answer in their own disciplines. He added that the objective of the competition is to celebrate excellence irrespective of the students’ backgrounds such that winning the competition could give them leverage seeking employment af-
ter graduation. “Most of the corporate organisations will be able to note potential employees immediately. Whatever your social status, if you are intelligent, you will be celebrated. You will not need to know anybody to get a job,” he said. The overall winner of the competition will get a scholarship and be called “Mr IQ”.
Christian group prays THE President of Paul and Cedar, Pastor A. O. Israel, has said that the association is behind the FEDPOFFA polytechnic community and that through its teachings, bad conduct is being reduced to the barest minimum. He said this at the Federal Polytechnic, Offa. Pastor Israel explained that the association which was established last year is an interdenominational association where all Christian students irrespective of their denomination, gather to pray and seek God’s face to ensure peace in the polytechnic.
•From Left: Rector of The Polytechnic Ibadan, Prof Olusegun Odunola; Deputy Rector, Nathaniel Adebayo and Chief Librarian, Mrs Gbemisola Ogunkoya, responding to questions during a briefing on the 40th anniversary of the Polytechnic, at the Press PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan ... Tuesday
Don seeks funding for private varsities
HE Founder and ProChancellor of Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State, Prof Johnbosco Akam, has faulted Federal Government’s inability to financially assist private universities. Akim made the comment at the Oba take-off site of the university shortly after he returned from Abuja where he received a merit award on management intelligence.
From Adimike George, Onitsha
He described as unfortunate government’s inability to give the necessary financial aids to private universities in Nigeria. According to him, “When we go overseas we see how private tertiary institutions are encouraged by the government but down here we don’t practice what we see.
Overseas governments run private universities in partnership with their private owners. “They give grants. But in Nigeria, nobody is interested. That will not, however, discourage us in the private sector,” the Akim said. He said he believed that President Goodluck Jonathan, who he adjudged as having a listening ear, would when he settled down turn around the sector.
BRIEFS Don researches in Canada A LECTURER in the Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology at the Caleb University, Imota, Lagos, Dr Chuma Okoro, leaves Nigeria for Canada on Saturday to research how microbial growth can be controlled in oil field facilities. Such growths have been known to destroy facilities worth millions of dollars through plugging, biofouling and corrosion. Okoro’s research on the subject is focused on development of technologies that could arrest the menace in future. The research project is also aimed at developing cost effective remediation technologies that can be used to manage these problems once they are detected. He will be conducting the research at the University of Calgary in Canada for two years. The research is being supported by Cells and Environ. System Inc. Canada, Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria, Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, Nigeria, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Exxon Mobil Nigeria.
Union seeks better welfare THE National Association of Colleges of Education Academic Technologists of Nigeria (NACEATON) has urged relevant authorities to reconsider the issues of non- migration from CONTEDIS 12 to 14 of the technologists in the colleges of education. This, according to a communiqué issued after the maiden congress of the group held at the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE) Ondo, was to keep them at par with their counterparts in polytechnics and universities and that is in the interest of industrial harmony. The group is also fighting for the payment of this allowances such as laboratory hazard allowance. The communiqué signed by the association’s National President, Comrade Olusegun Agun, expressed dismay that technologists are unduly grouped with executive cadres in terms of waiting and placement in pegging salaries, grade levels and allowances. It reads in part: ”This will be found to be ridiculous and unacceptable as the minimum requirement and schedule of duties are ways apart. Besides, the technologists noted that as trained professionals, they should contribute to the national development in their areas of specialisation, stressing that they should be treated with respect and necessary privileges.
Mystery man at BUK
‘We want more development’
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THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
There is more to Christian fellowships on campuses than meets the eye. In this report, HANNAH OJO (300-L English, Obafemi Awolowo University OAU, Ile-Ife) captures this seamy side.
•Members of a popular fellowship in OAU during a prayer session at the Sports Complex.
The other side of campus fellowship “Y
OU are welcome to church. Glory to God!” The voice says in a gentle tone with a face full of smiles. Never mind that you may run into each other the next day and be met with dour resentment. “Take a step, fill a seat and relax.” These are familiar refrains; but then, wait until you start to hear “holy kiss, Christian hug, Jehovah el effizy, Jehovah to soji, to jasi, Jehovah moneyzee, give Jesus a wiper” and you ask in bewilderment: “Am I in church?” Church times are fascinating aspects of campus life. At the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, where there are close to 50 campus fellowships, the case is best described as exhilarating. It goes from the sublime to the ridiculous.
The struggle to get new members at the beginning of each session comes under names like “catch them young”, “soul winning” and “let’s go fishing.” During this period, all roads lead to Angola and Mozambique halls, the residence of freshmen. The pre-degree campus at Moro is not left out too. After the hustle for members comes another exerting tussle the task to prevent the new “catch” from wandering into other lands. A steady welfare package geared towards organising tutorials and helping out with food and financial challenges has proved to be an optimal means to this end. Although these efforts may have started with good intentions, a closer look reveals that most of the initiatives spring from the need to stay afloat in the midst of stifling competition from other fellowships and creating the “my fellowship is better than yours” impression. Ronke Sanya, 400-Level English, believes that fellowships on campuses operate more like political parties than religious groups. “Go to the sports complex any time and you see various gatherings and banners side by side. It’s more or less like a political campaign where peoples’ interests are drawn through gimmicks and propaganda”. The effort some students put into fellowship activities in OAU is unbelievable. Most students often stand in what they consider a “splendid isolation” by dedicating their social and even academic life to do the Lord’s bidding. Here, students fast, pray and strain to get ideas for programmes; there are the alluring posters and mindblowing projector displays. A single fellowship in OAU can organise a programme that would beat that of a faculty in terms of finance and content. The questions are: at what cost? At whose expense? A student,
PHOTO: AYODELE OBAJEUN
who identifies herself as, and attends one of the conservative fellowships, said it is students who bear the brunt of running things in the fellowship. “Every fellowship wants to have a bus. Each wants to hold a programme at the Amphitheatre. All fellowships sew jersey or shirts. These are at the personal expense of students,” she said. There have been cases where some students have failed owing to imbalance. This has been argued to be a two-way thing because while some fellowship pastors have been able to bag First Class honours, others have had to stay for extra years or seek transfer from a ‘tough’ discipline to one that is seemingly less challenging. A minus for most fellowships is believed to be the “pretentiousness” and “hypocrisy” of members. The hippy fellowships are decked out in their best attires to impress on Sunday mornings. Some guys even have a roster for the fellowship to attend when they are hunting for “babes”. Ask Victor Ogunleye, a 300-Level student of Public Administration, how the quest to go the extra mile drives one of his roommates, crazy. “He rushes to the room most Sunday mornings to borrow shirts, shoes and ties to combine with his pencil trousers. It is all about physical packaging with less regard for the mind.” Although there has been no empirical evidence to back up the claim that OAU is the second most religious campus in the world after the Oral Roberts University in the United States, the vigour with which OAU students pray can make one easily swallow this dogma. No theatricsal is as exciting as the students’ prayer style. The staying power is most incredulous. A •Continued on page 30
• Students die in road crash - Pg32 •12 to repeat in Kano NYSC - Pg33
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
N Tuesday, a pathetic story on page three of The Nation caught my attention. It was about a 17-year-old pre-degree student who was raped by two final year students of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD). The duo, Tope Adeniyi and Cosmos Betiku, was already in police net. They did their dirty deed last Friday. And it was not just the rape; they beat the girl as well and went ahead to take photos of her. A collaborator, the victim's supposed friend identified as Sadiat Hassan, was the one who lured the teenager to the den of reprobates. After violating another human being, Tope and Cosmos went into hiding! They were eventually apprehended while writing an examination. The folly of the degenerate! For them, what they did was normal, thus "no shaking". Clearly, the teenager was not their first victim. Others were cowed and secretly licked their wounds. Thanks to her courage though, she would be their last - at least in a long while. The suspected rapists are to face the law. Thanks also to the victim's father who took the matter up to ensure justice. I pray the police give this matter the deserved seriousness so that the criminals will pay for their deeds. I also call on the management of UNAD to equally step in and mete out the severest punishment on them. According to the police, Tope and Cosmos
Pushing Out with
Ngozi Nwozor 08054503104 (SMS only)
•firstname.lastname@example.org •email@example.com have owned up to the crime. Again, I salute this teenager's courage. The story reminds me of another we ran as cover on our July 24, 2008 edition. The victim, Ronke, was also gang-raped. She was an admission seeker at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. She had left Lagos for Ife, to participate in that year's post-UME screening test. Like the teenager at UNAD who followed a Saidat she thought she knew, Ronke had met a boy who lived in her area in Lagos and trustingly followed him to his house, offcampus. She was sure she just met what the Yoruba would call an egbon (older brother or someone you deferred to who looked out for you). The poor girl ended up not only being gangraped by this boy and his friends; she was also robbed as they took all the money on her and threw her out. By the time the test she went to write came up - she had gone three days earlier, ostensibly to have enough time to settle down - she was too weak to attend.
She was finally assisted by some good Samaritans to get to the police station and make a report before she was taken to hospital for treatment. We can blame Ronke and this teenager for being too trusting, or naïve, if you like. But truth remains that one cannot always be right; we all make mistakes - at one time or the other. Having said that, I earnestly urge young people to be careful of who they flock with as friends. All of us cannot be the independent type who are not easily pushed around; but due to the desperation of men and women these days, each would be doing himself or herself a favour by being a little
more fastidious on who and what to get entangled with. One rule that helped me a lot as a young adult was refusing to do something or go to any place with friends once I was not comfortable with the idea. God has imbued each of us with what is called a sixth sense. This is that small voice (sometimes also called the instinct) that warns you of danger. It comes on you like a restraining feeling when you are about to make certain decisions or take certain steps. In Christendom, we call it the Holy Spirit a Person. This is not saying that I did not "fumble" now and then; oh I did! But, thankfully, not as much as many others I saw and pitied. And there are some "fumbling", mistakes or errors we can get into which negative effects would stay with us for life. As my pastor would urge, every young person (even older people) must be careful not to commit sins that could keep them "trapped in Jericho”! A
word, they say, is enough for the wise. It does not matter what anyone says or does to help this teenager now; long after the last trace of the physical scar of this assault is gone, the emotional and psychological scars will remain. These will take only God and a strong determination on her part to get over. I also urge parents to get a little more involved in moulding their children and wards. True, we cannot be with them always; besides they are soon grown and leave home to become "visitors" forever. From secondary school (for those who attend boarding schools), the "visiting" years begin. But when parents take time to be with their children, a lot of training takes place. They learn a lot - unconsciously - in terms of understanding human nature, managing crisis, being resilient, discipline and much of those social graces that distinguish the champion from the mediocre. These are some of those virtues that are better taught by example. In other words, parental influence (read presence) helps our boys and girls to find it easier to say "No" to negative influences; to make the right decisions and to stand up to defend them without being overwhelmed by peer pressure which could be negative. Trust me, there are many wolves out there, disguised as sheep! Prudence is needed all the more these days. Ciao
End of our Free Enterprise Essay THIS is to thank all who participated in our Free Enterprise Essay Competition. As announced, submission of entries was closed on July 2. Winners will be announced on July 28.
The other side of fellowships •Continued from page 29
‘Following my passion is satisfying’ At the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dennis Wallat (500-L Mechanical Engineering) is a regular face at events. His Wall Imprints, a photography outfit, is everyone’s favourite on and off campus. DAYO IBITOYE (500-L Chemical Engineering) spoke with him.
ANY people know you by the camera you carry about and tend to wonder why such love for photography? I love photography not just because it is my passion to create beautiful things but because it gives man the ability to express feelings and sceneries that are most times unnoticed by the ordinary eye. This passion dates back to my secondary school days at Saint Joseph’s College, Jos, when I wasn’t so good at drawing but always around the photography studio asking questions. How has this passion benefitted you? It has opened many doors for me. I have met great people through this profession; it has also aided me in taking care of my bills. What kind of photography do you do? I am basically into events photography; this covers shows, conferences, weddings, parties and studio sessions. Have you any regret so far? Like I said earlier, it is a passion for me; following my passion has been very satisfying. I have no regret at all. I just enjoy it, like an art. I intend making it a profession with a blend of my acquired Engineering skills. When I see people like TY Bello, I have hope that I will get there one day. How do you combine your work with
studies? It is tedious. I remember a time when I had to cover a wedding the same day I wrote an exam. It was not funny that day. There were other times when I had to forgo one lecture or the other to cover events. I thank God because He is really helping me to maintain a balance. Do your parents agree with your decision? Not initially; they are giving me every support now. What are your most embarrassing and happiest moments as a photographer? I am yet to have any embarrassing moment but I think it will be when I don’t meet a deadline for delivery. On the other hand, seeing the satisfaction on a client’s face after a well done job makes me very happy. Do you have plans to go large-scale later? Yes. First and foremost, I will work on improving myself through consultation. I will also take photography courses in recognised institutions. By God’s grace, I’m dreaming of eventually setting up the largest photography studio and institution in Africa. What would you tell students who might want to go into photography? To make headway in photography, you must have a flair for the job; then, make customer satisfaction an utmost priority.
babe in spaghetti tops with jerkins showing voluptuous shapes, and no covering for her Brazilian wig, leading a prayer meeting, catches attention. The flow of the rhythm of the tongue is something to watch out for. For linguists, it is called glossollalia but students here refer to it as scabashing. While some students learn this act manually, others get it through impartation. Many students seem to get into the mood of speaking in tongues with ease. Some may even stop to answer a phone call, ping on a Blackberry or say “Wassup” to a friend passing and still get back to scabashing. Someone once said she overheard a girl speaking in tongues in the toilet. It’s not all about praying that makes campus fellowships interesting. There are also the various events like picnics, costume party and dinner. Decency at some of these events is as rare as a hen’s teeth since there are cases of sisters wearing attires with the upper part of their bodies screaming for space while the poor brothers are left drooling. As exciting and effective as fellowships are in changing lives, it is still a dark spot for a student like Ranti Adegbite, a student of History and International Relations, who stopped attending a fellowship on campus and opted for a church in town. “Campus fellowships tend to reflect on your relationship. They believe you must socialise with your fellowship members only and keep others at bay. Sometimes, they act nosy by wanting to know everything about you. There is also this internal politics, especially when it comes to the selection of leaders. Their shows are simply façade,” she said.
“When my roommates are praying, you will think heaven is on the verge of crashing down. They will even go to the extent of crying and rolling,” says Bimbo George, a 200-Level Law student who also attends a church in town. She added: “You see sisters who have slept around the previous day asking the congregation to lift up hands in worship.” Issues of the heart is an aspect that is controversial in some fellowships. The standing rule in most fellowships is that brothers who are interested in sisters should see the president, who some affectionately refer to as pastors. The reason for this, they say, is to prevent confusion and prevent pranks from some mischievous brothers who like “sampling”. Campus fellowships are also a marker of gender inequality. It is a rule in some that a woman cannot be president. Some even extend it to the office of vice-president and secretary. The stereotype women position is the sisters’ coordinator, who is often referred to as “Mumsy”. Student-pastors also enjoy a kind of prestige as they are often respected more than lecturers. Some of these pastors are too sophisticated to stay in the “common” hostels. Where they do, they have an exclusive apartment “to suit the work of ministry.” There is even what is called “cooler ministry” where sisters cater for the brothers’ tummy. Evidence has shown that campus fellowships are also avenues for building leadership qualities and life bonding relationships. The relative peace enjoyed on OAU has been attributed to the ‘wonders’ of fellowships. Said Perpetua Ohacho, “I had a ‘game plan’ when I just came to OAU but campus fellowship changed me and I’m now a better person.”
• A billboard announcing a fellowship’s programme at the OAU gate.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
CAMPUS LIFE Students of Bayero University, Kano (BUK) are worried over the identity of a man simply referred to as the “vagina man”. But the management of the institution denies his existence. IDRIS ABUBAKAR (400L Mass Communication) reports.
•Some residents of Ramat Hall, where the mystery man is alleged to be operating.
•The BUK main gate.
INCE the beginning of the semester, residents of Ramat Hall (a hostel for female students) at the Bayero University, Kano (BUK), have allegedly been sexually assaulted by an unidentified person they have nicknamed “vagina man”. But the management has denied the existence of such a person. The Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Badmus, reacting to our correspondent’s inquiry, said: “I am not aware of such occurrence”. Ramat girls are standing by their claims. Most of them spoke on the condition of anonymity. One said: “My friend who is resident in the hostel was asleep at night when she felt a hand moving through her body slowly; she was the only person in the room at the time. She quickly screamed and the man disappeared into the darkness.” CAMPUSLIFE learnt that the unknown man allegedly visited another room in the hall and stole a
Mystery man at BUK mobile phone. The owner was in the mosque at the time. When the stolen phone number was called, according to the girl, the voice from the other end burst into wild laughter and said: “Will you give me your vagina?” The man was said not to be in a hurry to drop the phone; and he kept making the same request amidst his sick laughter. This led the students to nickname him the “vagina man”. CAMPUSLIFE learnt that the fear of attack by the man has forced some of the students to vacate the hall. “I don’t feel secure anymore; so, I chose to leave Ramat until management does something about it,” said one of the residents. It is not unsual for the girls to flee at any sign of trouble. Another girl
narrated what happened in the hall last week: “I was making calls at midnight when I received a message on my Blackberry from a friend who said she saw the ‘vagina man’ creeping towards my block. After about five minutes, I saw a torchlight flash from the balcony. I was afraid but boldly raised my voice to enquire who that was. It was him because a male voice said something inaudible. I raised the alarm as I ran as fast as I could; I fell and got injured. Luckily, the noise woke some people and he disappeared.” Meanwhile, a 300-Level student of Special Education and resident of Ramat Hall refuted the DSA’s claim of not being informed about the development. She said: “We went to the Dean’s office to lodge a com-
plaint. We met him, but he sent us away and said it was a figment of our imagination.” Again, the residents led a peaceful demonstration to the security division. When our correspondent asked Dr. Badmus about the demonstration, he quipped: “I don’t know about it.” But when the Public Relations Officer, Mallam Mustapha Zahraddeen, was contacted, he told CAMPUSLIFE he heard of the story unofficially, but that his office would wait to get formally notified by the DSA “before forwarding the matter to the management.” The Director of Security, Col. Auwal Muhammad (rtd), in a statement, said: “We have asked the affected students to come forth and assist us with the necessary informa-
tion to apprehend the culprit, but none of them had done so.” He added: “In an attempt to capture the perpetrator, five of our men have been deployed in and around the hostel for surveillance, but we are yet to detect any sign of the socalled ‘vagina man’. At best, I can say the incidence is probably staged by some unscrupulous elements among the students to cause commotion and take advantage of the situation to steal.” However, a statement from the Student Union Caretaker Committee Chairman, Abubakar Gezawa, addressed to the DSA, confirmed the incidence. It reads in part: “When the Student Union made enquiries, it (established) that an unidentified man intruded into the female hostel.” As the argument over the existence or otherwise of the “vagina man” continues, the students of the affected hostel are imploring the management to tighten security within their hall.
At the University of Calabar (UNICAL), students have just resumed for the second semester. They have so far enjoyed a better deal under the administration of Prof James Epoke, who has spent a little over six months as Vice-Chancellor. They spoke to EMMANUEL SHEBBS (400L Political Science) and DAVIDSON MADUAGWU.
‘We want more development’
TUDENTS of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Cross River State, are back from a short holiday following the end of the first semester exams. The ViceChancellor, Prof James Epoke, had earlier in the year convinced them to pay a development levy. Now, they want the development to get to their hostels. Many of them who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE agreed that the “development promises of this administration have been coming gradually, but there are still areas we need to see this development”. Rejoice Eziedo is a 300-Level Education Administration and Planning student. She said: “I thank the management for changing the toilet seats in our halls as well as providing us with water in the hostel. However, it must try and complete the building of Hall 10 which has been abandoned for more than 20 years, before some of us were born, especially at a time when inadequate accommodation is a major headache. The place has long been overtaken by grasses”. The building is located beside Hall 9. Rejoice challenged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to “come back and complete the
hostel they started building in 2005 which it too abandoned”. Further speaking, she urged male students to “stop pouring water anyhow in their hostel; for while it is the duty of management to provide the basics, students have the duty to use these things with care”. In the same vein, Esther Ukpa, a student of History and International Relations, while commending the management for what it had done wants “electricity supply and lighting of the road linking the male and female hostels to be improved so as to take care of the darkness at night”. Justice Ohaka is a 200-Level student of Medical Laboratory. He said the Malabo Refectory - a big hall used for many programmes - is his concern. “Today, the place is not conducive for any student programme. It is here that I want to see some development this semester. The windows and the doors should experience a change so that, even in this rainy season, we can use the place without fear of being drenched”. Another student who did not want to be named spoke on what he called the “age-long Malabo Market Project”, wondering “why the management should ask business
operators to move out from their shops, demolish the shops and then abandon the project half way?” He added that this has made food sellers to operate in unhygienic conditions and unconducive places like walkways. Another student who spoke was George Aniekene, in 300-Level Laboratory Science. “The area I want to see improvement is the Students’ Refectory. When I came here as a 100Level student, I was told that the place was not just a canteen, but a solidarity point for students. But, today, it’s disheartening that the building is rotting away. Not even fellowships can use it as people have to run out of the building when it rains.” George urged the management and Student Union to liaise with corporate bodies “especially” banks to take over the renovation. “When you consider that over 99 percent of our students use ATM, you grow grey hair wondering why banks have not been convinced to renovate portions and install ATM machines in a major place like the Refectory.” He was also angry that the Students’ Centre “which ought to be a rallying point for activism” has been turned to a business centre. “This is where all the union
•Abandoned NDDC hostel.
•The run-down Malabo Refectory.
activity should be done. The Man ‘O’ War should have an office here; same for the press, judiciary, principal members of the parliament not only the executive;
even the Dean Student Affairs (DSA) should have a branch at the Students’ Centre. These will happen with proper renovation and a vibrant SUG in place.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
EADERS of the Social Sciences Students Association (SOSSA) held an orientation for freshers. The programme, which started at about 10am, lasted for close to four hours with students filling the faculty’s expansive auditorium. The theme of the orientation was Admission into social sciences: A step towards building future leaders. Dean of the faculty, Dr. W.A. Adesina was: the guest speaker. Part of the highlights included a beauty pageant for Mister and Miss
Orientation for freshers From Tunji Awe UNAD
SOSSA. Ade Ayodele, 100-Level Political Science, and Oluwatobi Ilesanmi, 100-L Psychology, won the contests. Winners of other contests - debate and Dean’s cup - were 100-Level students of Sociology and Economics respectively. In another development, Political Sci-
ence students also orientated their fresh students; this was two days after SOSSA’s. The HOD, Prof Kunle Ajayi, urged the students to set their goals now as later may be too late. On the second day of the orientation, the students took a trip to the popular Erin Ijesha waterfall in Osun State. Jide Akeju, in 100Level Political Science, said: “It was really an educative and entertaining orientation. I learned a lot.”
Students die in road crash
WO students of the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State,have died in an auto crash on the Abuja-Minna Highway. They are Benson Olotu, in 500-Level Physics and Michael Akinmade, in 300-Level Mechanical Engineering. They were returning to school when the accident ocurred. The FUT Minna community was thrown into shock when news of their death broke. Hard hit was the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS) FUT Minna where the deceased were ‘active’
From Faith Olaniran and Folajimi Orintunsin FUT MINNA
members. They have since been buried in Minna by their families. Olaolu Taiwo, a 500-Level student of Agric Engineering and also member of the Publicity Unit in FCS described their death as shocking: “How can young people’s lives with bright and great future just get terminated like that? Governments at all levels must make plans to repair all roads to ensure safety.”
SUG aspirants seek redress
M •The freshers at an excursion at the Erin Ijesha Waterfalls.
Education wins inter-faculty debate
OHAMMED Uthman Kamara, a student of the Faculty of Education, has won the 2011 edition of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) inter-faculty debate. The topic was: “Followers, and not leaders, are the problems in Nigeria.” Mohammed, a 200-Level student of Adult Education, speaking against the motion, defeated five others in the finals. The contestants represented the faculties of Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Law and Social Sciences. Mohammed scored 41.8 out of 50, to win a laptop and an undisclosed amount of money. While giving his speech, Mohammed attributed his victory to God and the support of his friends.
From Kayode Odumboni UNILAG
He said: “I am very happy because I am from the faculty of Education, the mother of all faculties. I am also from the department that everybody looks down on, Adult Education. But I must say that this is not in any way my handwork, but that of God, coupled with the unflinching support of my friends and my faculty association.” Coming behind him were Olaoluwa Oni of Law, and Gbenga Rufai of Social Sciences who took the third position. They were also presented undisclosed amounts of money. The Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof Kayode Ammund noted that the
programme had proven that learning is not restricted to the four walls of a classroom. He appreciated the very large turnout of students, even though the day had been declared lecture-free. Prof Ammund also commented that the essence of the programme was to challenge the youths and to get them involved in the governance of their country. As an incentive, the DSA promised that non-final-year debaters would henceforth live in choice halls of residence till their graduation. The panel of judges was headed by Prof Ralph Akinfeleye, the Head of Mass Communication. Other judges included Dr. Adedayo Adedun, Dr. Abiola Sanni, Dr. Elerin Ologbenla and Dr. G. Eyene.
•Students in a campus-wide procession, to mourn the late lecturer.
TUDENTS of the Adekunle Ajasin University, AkungbaAkoko (AAUA), Ondo State, could not fight back tears when the obituary of their Philosophy and Logic lecturer, Dr. Irene Adadevoh, was pasted. It was gathered that Mrs. Adadevoh died at the University College Teaching Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, after an accident on the Sagamu-Lagos expressroad. She was going for the 70th birthday party of her mother. CAMPUSLIFE learnt that the nursing mother also lost her two years old baby in the incident. Describing her death as the will of God, a 200-Level English Studies student, Olayinka Idowu said: “Her death
Students mourn lecturer From Babatunde Alao and Imoleayo Oyedeyi AAUA
though quite premature, was the will of God. It came as a big shock, because nobody expected it.” Another student, Ebenezer Olasunkanmi, said: “The death of Dr. Irene is a painful one. I must say, we will really miss her because she was a mother, a sister and a friend to everyone”. Describing her as a caring lecturer, a 100-Level student from the department of Philosophy, Gbenga Olatumeku, said: “Dr. Irene was a good woman,
highly intellectual and nice. She made me realise certain things I will never forget in life. I really miss her and I wish her a perfect rest in heaven.” In an emotion-laden tone, Oluyide Folarin, a student of Philosophy said: “We will miss her so much. Aside being a lecturer, she was a mother, industrious, tireless, and friendly and a brilliant teacher”. A prayer session was conducted in honour of the late lecturer by the students. “Aunty” as Dr. Adadevoh was fondly called, was the only female lecturer in Philosophy department and was expected to bag her professorship in few weeks time.
ANY aspirants are aggrieved with the outcome of the Student Union polls at the Anambra State University (ANSU), Igbariam Campus. They claimed that it was marred by multiple disqualification of candidates. The aspirants underwent a screening handled by the security unit. Some of the aspirants were detained for a day, their houses searched and some belongings seized. After the security submitted its report, the lists of qualified aspirants were called out by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Dr. Emeka Obi. This was on the manifesto day, 24 hours before the election. He said those who did not hear their names were disqualified. He advised
From Gerald Nwokocha ANSU
any aggrieved aspirant to seek redress through the right channels and warned that violence would not be condoned. It turned out many popular candidates were disqualified. At the election proper, five executive positions went unopposed as well as many legislative posts. Angered by the development, one of the aspirants, Emeka Okafor, claimed it was “a calculated attempt by the powers that be to impose unopposed candidates who are not even known by the students”. The disqualified aspirants have written to the Vice-Chancellor claiming that they were victimised.
Faculty welcomes back ex-VC
HE Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jos (UNIJOS), has held a welcome-back party for the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sonni Tyoden. The event, which took place at the Academic Staff Union pf Universities (ASUU) secretariat, was attended by staff and students of the faculty. The VC, Prof H.B. Mafuyai, his deputy for Academic, Prof B.T. Ugwu; DVC, Administration Prof M. Ibrahim and the Registrar, JilliDandam were also in attendance. The welcome address was given by the Dean, Prof Gray Ejikeme, who highlighted Tyoden’s achievements. He said: “Having successfully served as Dean of this faculty from February 2001 to October 2005, Prof Tyoden was adequately equipped with transformational leadership resources which the challenges of university administration demand. During his five-year tenure as the VC, he was God-fearing, humble, visionary, innovative, transformational, focused, democratic, firm and fair in carrying out his duties and relating to students and staff.” Ejikeme continued: “One lesson to be learned from his style is that it pays to have the fear of God and be
•Prof Tyoden. From Musliudeen Adebayo UNIJOS
humble in relating to everyone when placed in a leadership position. Being proud or arrogant can lead to a fall.” Responding Tyoden expressed his gratitude to the faculty for their support.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
CAMPUS LIFE Geology students embark on field trip
N line with the guidelines of the National Universities Commission (NUC), students of Geology at the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA) have been to Lokoja, Kogi State for their field trip. Some of them narrated their experience to CAMPUSLIFE after their return. They described as exciting and educative. The students did not go alone; they were accompanied by some of their lecturers who taught them how to identify various types of rock formations as well as how to map areas. They also learnt that rocks come in different forms and sizes.
From Faith Olaniran FUT MINNA One of them, Temitope Samuel, in the 300-Level class, said: “It was the best experience I ever had because I saw most of what I’d been taught in class. As a matter of fact, Geology is not a classroom course. Geology students need lots of field trips. I want Geology departments of various institutions across the country to endeavour to let their students have the privilege of seeing what they are being taught in the classroom, at least once every session.”
•The students at the end of the conference in UNILAG.
Accounting students hold conference
CCOUNTING students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have hosted the Third National Accounting Students’ Conference (NASC) 2011. The conference, was attended by students from the University of Calabar (UNICAL), University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Lagos State University (LASU), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Lead City, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) and Anambra State University (ANSU). In his remarks, President of the
From Stanley Uchegbu UNILAG
Nigeria Universities of Accounting Students Association (NUASA), UNILAG chapter Olusegun Rowaiye said he was surprised at the large turnout of students. He said the aim of the conference was to unite all accounting students in the country. Present at the conference were Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, UNILAG Vice-Chancellor, who read the welcome address; HOD of UNILAG Accounting, Dr. S.B. Adeyemi; the Staff Adviser of NUASA UNILAG, Mr Okwy
Okpala. The guest speakers were Mr Uyi Akpata, Partner, Price Waterhouse Coopers Nigeria; Mr D.C.A Sunmoni, the Auditor General of Lagos State; Mr Micheal Itegboje, President Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers Nigeria and Prof. M.T. Abdulrazaq, Partner Saffron Professional Services. There was also a quiz competition. OAU came first while UNILAG was second. Also, there was a novelty football match at the sport centre. On the third day, a congress was held at a guest house to elect the next institution that will host the conference in future.
•Some of the students who participated at the workshop.
Ondo commissioner advises girls
EMALE students in higher institutions have been advised to lay a solid foundation for success in life. Ondo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development Mrs Kehinde Momoh gave the advice, at a workshop. The event, organised by the ministry, in conjunction with a non-governmental organisation, Real Blaze Concepts, was held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). With the theme, The making of a vibrant woman, the workshop was attended by female students in tertiary institutions in the state. Mrs. Momoh, who spoke through her Personal Assistant, Mr. Gideon Bakare, said: “For a woman to be vibrant, she must be developed in all ramifications and must be educated” adding that the days when women were assigned to the kitchen were gone. While stressing the need for ladies to be versed in domestic activities, the commissioner reiterated her ministry’s effort in building capacity
From Akin Oyebode FUTA
for youths, especially the girl-child, through collaboration with NGOs. She thanked Real Blaze Concepts for the workshop. In a paper entitled Time management presented by Mrs. D. Akagha, Head of
Operations, Guaranty Trust Bank, Akure, participants were told the importance of time management. Mrs. Olukemi Adaramola, the Assistant Chief Nursing Officer at the FUTA Health Centre spoke on sex education and what women should do to stay healthy.
12 to repeat in Kano NYSC
HE National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Kano State has asked 12 of the 2010 Batch ‘B’ corps members to repeat their service year. It, however, rewarded seven others for their outstanding performance. The NYSC Coordinator, Mallam Lawal Zariya, spoke at the passing out parade held at the Immigration Training School, Kano. He said the corps members who were rewarded contributed immensely to the socioeconomic development of Kano State in public and private sectors, teaching, health care delivery and campaign against HIV/AIDS, mass lit-
From Nosakhare Uwadiae NYSC KANO
eracy campaign, tree planting among others. He said those whose service years were extended committed various offences. “Despite major challenges during the voter registration and general elections, it’s interesting to note that no corps member died during the post election crisis in Kano State”. In his farewell message, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso urged the corps members to join the government in building a good image for the country by shunning vices.
•Geology students during the firled trip.
Varsity builds new market
TUDENTS of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, are still grumbling over the new market built by the Prof Michael Faborode administration, ostensibly as a parting gift. The Old Buka, which used to be the favourite of most students because of its relatively cheap prices, was students’ friendly, and the Aluta market, which is the saviour of most guys who do not have time to cook, have been replaced with a new market called “the OAU central market”. Students are complaining over the distance of the market which is close to the ETF Hall. Other students, especially the girls are left to trek or go by bike. They also complain that “when you get there you might end up seeing nothing to buy or that the goods are too expensive.” In an interview with one of the market women, a lady named Olubukola, told CAMPUSLIFE that they were only given three months notice to vacate their former shops. She also stated that most of them there, had lost a lot of customers as students complain of the long distance. Some students shared their views. Temitope Oyewo is in 200-Level International Relations: “The market is nothing to write home about. Most of the shops are uncompleted and the distance from my hall to the market discourages me from going there.” Josephine Adelakin, in 300-Level
From Oyindamola Fadimu OAU Education, said: “I believe people will get used to the market but that will be generations that were not here when other markets were destroyed. With time, the market will be pleasant to behold.” A 400-Level student of Zoology, Oyindamola Adedeji, said: “The new market is not well planned. Management should have built the shops, then rented it out to people.”
Department elects executive From Yinka Olatunbosun IBBU
HE National Association of Students of English and Literary Studies (NASELS), Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai (IBBU) chapter, has elected new executive officers to pilot its affairs for another year. Paul Usman, a 400-Level student, is the new President; while Doris David, in 300-Level, is the Vice-President. Others are Saba Lucas, Assistant General Secretary; Abdulahi Fati, Treasurer and Gideon Oyedeji, Welfare Director. Paul appealed for cooperation from students “so as to take the body to a greater height.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
FUTO sends off former VC
EMBERS of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) community have sent off their Vice-Chancellor, Prof Celestine Onyemobi Onwuliri. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the event, which took place at the newly-constructed International Conference Centre, was the first of its kind in honour of a VC in the university’s 30 years of existence. Chairman of the occasion MrVita Abba, who is also the Pro-Chancellor and chairman of the ninth Governing Council, described Prof Onwuliri as “a great achiever”. He commended his tenure that “changed the face of FUTO in terms of infrastructural development”. The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie, who was represented at the occasion by Prof Akaneren Essien (former VC of UNIUYO), extolled the administrative skill of the outgoing VC. The event also witnessed the presentation of a paper on the celebrant: his life, education and contributions to education in Nigeria. It was delivered by Prof I.N.S. Dozie. There were other papers: the University Strategic Plan (2006-2011) and its implementation so far, by Prof M.O.E. Iwuala; and Inclusive university management, a sine-qua-non for stable academic calendar by Prof M.U. Iloeje. The high point of the event was the presentation of the book, University Education in the 21st Century - Attaining the International Benchmark in Nigeria” edited by J.E. Nwogu, Prof C.B.C. Ohanuzue, Prof E.B.J. Iheriohamma, Prof O.A. Emejulu and Dr. J.I. Lemchi. There was presentation of awards to past FUTO vice-chancellors - Professors Umaru Gomwalk; Amagh Nduka; Chuka O.G. Obah and Jude Njoku. Expressing appreciation, Prof Onwuliri thanked the Abba-led council for the honour. He also thanked FUTO students as well as all the unions on campus for creating an enabling environment for him to work. Congratulating his successor, Prof C.C. Asiabaka, he pleaded with all to extend to him the same support his administration enjoyed. Other dignitaries at the event included
From Gerald Nwokocha FUTO
Prof Boniface Egboka, Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; Prof J.D. Amin, Secretary-General of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors, represented by his deputy, Dr. A. Adigun; former VCs of FUTO Professors Nduka and Njoku and C.C. Ntamere; members of council and the alumni, traditional rulers, staff and students. In a related development, the FUTO Women Association (FUTOWA) has held a send off for Onwuliri and his wife, Prof Viola Adaku Onwuliri, who is also its immediate past president. The group’s daycare centre/nursery school was also inaugurated. The event was chaired by Senator Osita Izunaso (a former senator representing Orlu Zone). In her speech, Mrs Onwuliri listed some achievements under her leadership. She said she initiated the association in 2007. It has since then held monthly meetings and seminars on health issues, body image, and looking good, as well as what will help them impact in the society. They improved the transport system by introducing FUTOWA buses to convey staff and students at cheaper rates. She added that they have built a structure for women and child development. FUTOWA also championed the Igbo language campaign in FUTO. Mrs. Onwuliri described as shameful the fact that some students do not speak Igbo when they are brought up in Igbo. She called on all hands to be on deck for the rescue of Igbo culture. The Students Union Government (SUG), led by Michael Obiukwu, also stated the inauguration of some completed projects to coincide with the send off. The outgoing VC cut the tapes to inaugurate the projects. They included streetlights installed in the hostel area, and the tiling of the toilets and bathrooms in the hostels. He praised the SUG for bracing up to the challenges and needs of students. As Onwuliri and the SUG leaders went round the hostels, students shouted “VC, we love you, we love you!” Before the inauguration began, the SUG President, Michael recalled “the good old days when we used to visit the VC in his
•Prof Onwuliri and wife (middle) assisted by others to cut their sendforth cake.
•At the SUG projects’ commission, Prof Onwuliri (in red cap) and Michael, the unuion President (in suit), 5th from left.
lodge at odd hours at night and he would still welcome us”. At the event, the students presented Onwuliri with the “Living legend award” and a giant LG refrigerator. An overwhelmed Onwuliri said he was “dumb-
founded” even as he thanked them. The event was graced by the Dean of Students Affairs, Dr. Remy Uche; Dean of Engineering Prof E. E. Anyanwu and many others, including traditional rulers, staff and students.
Students hold ‘Praise Night’
Christian students launch magazine
From Michael Ariwei PTI EFFURUN
From Michael Ariwe and Okechukwu Solomon PTI
CHRISTIAN publication, Exceptional Magazine, has been launched by some students at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) Effurun, Delta State. It was held in Warri. The magazine contains articles written by different people. Also contained in the magazine are testimonies from persons who overcame difficult challenges, interview sessions with successful Christian professionals as well as articles which address different areas of the Christian life. The editor, Gbenga Ojo, said the magazine would be published quarterly and is aimed at showcasing creativity. “Exceptional Magazine has come to raise exceptional people in the Christian community through its powerful and creative articles. It has also come to reflect the exceptional activities of this generation to the world and generations yet unborn,” he said.
•The magazine’s Editor, Gbenga (middle) and some members of the editorial crew.
Fidelity Bank hosts workshop
HE Fidelity Bank Plc has held an international workshop on creative writing for budding writers and novelists. The event held at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), with a dinner at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium of the university. The theme of the programme was: Leading wings to the Nigerian story. Chief facilitator and Managing Director of the Fidelity Creative Writing, Mr. Helon Habila, presented a story on Plan step–by-step, saying “you must start a story at the beginning and not in the middle. It is necessary to diagnose an issue before you start writ-
From Oladele Oge UNN
ing on the event.” The second day of the workshop, which was facilitated by Jamal Majub, was based on the writing process. Jane Nwuka, a 200-Level student of English and Literary Studies, asked a question on how to start book publishing. Mr. Habila cited an example from his experience before he wrote his first book in Ketu, Lagos. He said there was no light and the condition was critical for him to start writing. He further advised that students should not allow finances to affect their creativity.
T was an evening of praise at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State, as students turned out in native attires to thank God for “His faithfulness and love towards us”. The programme, which was tagged “African Prayze Fiesta,” was an initiative of Da Treasure Place International, a gospel entertainment ministry. Highlights of the event include an exhortation from a popular lecturer in the institute, Pastor Emmie Oludele, who challenged those present to “give God quality praise as that is why we were created”. The Yoruba students were dressed in their native Iro and buba and Agbada, they presented songs in the language. Akwa Ibom students turned out in the Ibibio costume, also singing in Ibibio; so also Igbos in their Isiagu outfit, the Hausas in their flowing Babanriga. The Ijaws and the Urhobos were not left out as they gave praises exclusively. Banji Fagborila, in HND II Environmental Technology and President of Da Treasure, told CAMPUSLIFE that the programme was a success. He said: “Though there were challenges of finance and bad weather, the programme still held. Many people came to meet me, testifying how their souls were lifted.”
Department holds public lecture
HE development of a nation has been described as one which goes beyond economic growth but encompasses the overall well being of the people. A professor of Political Science at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Prof Victor Adetula, made this assertion at the second public lecture of the department. Speaking on the topic The study of politics and development process in Africa, Prof Adetula said development involved the moral, social and political consciousness of the people. He emphasised that development would only be achieved if Africans study the African political system as it would influence national development and sustenance.
From Esther Mark UNIJOS
In his opening remark, President of the students association, Matthew Obam, said the lecture was organised to integrate students of the department. Matthew further explained that the choice of the topic and lecturer was informed by the need to understand the influence of politics to the society which also informed the choice of the speaker as a professional in that field. In an interview, a student of the department, Grace Phillips, said the lecture provided them an opportunity to blend the theoretical and practical aspect of schooling as real life examples were portrayed in the course of the lecture.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
The Nigerian vision: Are we advancing?
Y country, Nigeria, wishes to be among the top 20 countries by the year 2020. I still feel it is a dream. There are times when one would dream of good things but when he wakes up, the fantasy would disappear immediately and one would laugh it off. There are other dreams one dreams and feels it is real. For Nigeria however, I feel we belong to the former and it is sad that we don’t want to wake up knowing that what we are seeing is far from the reality. The education system is just something else. Put the tertiary education aside and consider the very foundation of education, that is, the nursery, primary, and secondary. It is still unbelievable that so many pupils attend what they call school which is nothing more than an open field. And the teaching aids? A plank which serves as a board and sometimes, charcoal in place of chalk. As white board and markers are fast becoming old fashioned, Nigeria is still battling with black boards and planks. Surely, we are on
the verge of becoming one of the world’s top 20 economies in our dreams. Sometimes, I wonder what the Universal Basic Education Scheme (UBE) is about. Where pupils go to school in rags called uniforms, no shoes on their legs or at most, pairs of wretched slippers, with no books? Yet, millions are budgeted every year to sustain the scheme. Methinks we need proper accounting for the money spent yearly on the scheme. The officials of UBE would claim to renovate schools across the country. Whereas, the schools are painted with inferior paints, no library building or equipment, no teacher welfare package. Some lose their lives trying to bring up these young ones in the right path. Nigeria has had various plans and visions that fail to materialise and if vision 2020 would be different, then proper planning and implementation should be put in place. Nigerians demand better and improved services. If education is not given its due priority, nothing meaningful can be achieved.
The year 2020 would come and go and still have Nigerians maybe talking and analyzing the pros and cons of the vision that were not utilized. Trust Nigerians, we are good in analyzing but not at implementing. Maybe, until a law is passed compelling all public office holders starting from Mr. President to the heads of the legislative arm and other stakeholders to have their wards schooling in public schools, the education system in Nigeria may continue to go from cool to drool. You know it’s always said that it is gratifying to watch the antics of a lunatic but harrowing to have him as a son. The government and all stakeholders would always be saying things about the educational system, but would be forced to take them serious if they are to depend on the system for the training of their wards. To even show how unbelieving the government is to the system, their kids attend American and British schools (some in the country to make it look like they are patriotic citizens) with a mixture of both the British
2011 UTME: A post-mortem
UR progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource – John F. Kennedy (1917-1963). The above extract of one-time, charismatic American president held this writer spell-bound a week ago as he reminisced on the just concluded UTME/JAMB examination held recently across the nation. As I stole a glance at the morning sun piercing in through my window, my mind resonated with hope but soon, depression began to set in. In no time, I overheard a young man on phone divulging the details of a text message he had sent to his “candidates” to one of his corroborators. He told his fellow how he had collected N3,000 each from his “students”. Both of them had a good laugh while narrating sordid details of their escapades. What struck me was not the gravity of their depraved act. Not the height of their ignorance and bankruptcy of values. It was their obsession with getting what they want through the back door. It was their belief that Nigeria is corrupt and those who succeed in the system must dance to the dictates of that corruption. More so, I am persuaded that if we had all articulated how crucial our value system is, we would not but pursue our educational goals with integrity, dignity and pride. For decades, external examinations bodies in Nigeria have had to grapple with the reality of examination malpractices. Examples are WAEC, NECO, JAMB and so on. And overtime, managements of these bodies have instituted various measures to curtail the menace. But what is surprising is that as more and more innovations are being employed to fight it, cheating candidates and their accomplices also devise counter-attack measures. And till date, these crooks seem to be having smooth sail.
Sadly too,Byinvigilators Tunji Awedo not help matters. In most cases, they strike firstname.lastname@example.org deals with authorities of their examination centres before the D-day. With this, candidates are made to cough out some money to “wet the ground”. This, in some quarters is termed “cooperation fee”. And as the examination progresses, candidates are permitted to freely use their textbooks and other prohibited materials. At other times, external mercenaries are brought in to sit for some lazy slobs. When such a student gets into the university, he invents every means to keep himself going by cheating and offering bribes to lecturers. Sometimes in cash, and another time, in kind; depending on the lecturer’s preference. That explains why the cheating tradition has been so rampart in our tertiary institution today, putting the credibility of our certifications to question. A student goes into the exam hall, armed to the teeth with “chukuli” and at the end of the day, he makes a sharp 2.1 (Second Class Upper). He finishes strong, as they would say. He tells anyone that cares to listen that he’s set to get the world under his feet. But in the real world, his certificate begins to fail him. He becomes a certificate that lacks content, character, skills and technical competence. His emptiness soon begins to stare him in the face. Personal discontent begins to set in. And then, he would wonder, what is going on? But the truth remains that if this monster is not nipped in the bud, our generation may be heading for one of the greatest social crises in human history. Cheating is a circle and it just keeps brooding on, even amidst stern opposition. Like a fishing hook, it keeps its victims glued until everything he does oozes and spits corruption. But the situation is not hopeless. Our
and Nigerian curriculum (which for sure has like 80percent British and 20percent Nigerian curriculum). Sure, we are on the verge of evolving as one of the top nations indeed. In no distant time from now, it will be 2020. Its just a matter of sleep, wakeup and sleep again and before you know it, or say Esther Mark (which is shorter than Jack Robinson), 2020 would be here and we would start the cycle of analysis and blames again. To whom much is given, it has been said, much is required. Much has been given to Mr. President through the overwhelming mandate he got at the April elections. It is left for him to reassure Nigerians that he was not voted in vain. So many things are beckoning on him for attention. From our NEPA, sorry PHCN, to kerosene, security and education… the list is endless. We just need to have confidence that he can help us face these challenges. Without a steady and clear cut handling of these issues, the MDGs which have the deadline of 2015 and the far seeming vision 2020
By Nurudeen Yusuf email@example.com
larger percent of government officials either elected or appointed see their office
would all be agendas that are meant to be discussed and not actualised and implemented. Nigeria has passed the level we’re operating on. Nigerian kids need qualitative and sound education. Only when this is guaranteed can we be said to be striving for excellence. Esther, 300-Level Mass Comm., UNIJOS
As my two oga mi bow out
By Gilbert Alasa firstname.lastname@example.org parents owe us a duty to educate us so we can imbibe the right values. Our parents must stop paying mercenaries to write exams for us. Aside God, our parents are our closest role models and so, we imitate them in several ways. On the other hand, we must deemphasise the trust and value we place on certificates. Of course, a prima facia evidence of education is the certificate. But this must be marched with relevant competencies. Or else, we will continue to produce a bunch of graduates, like a young man who read Chemistry but could not say the atomic number of chlorine in an interview! Prof Dibu Ojerinde, Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, must be applauded, having taken the body this far. But there is still a lot on our plate. Prof Ojerinde must take drastic steps to address the problems of exam leakages from his house. Officers found culpable deserve to face the full wrath of the law. With this, candidates might be forced to read their books rather than awaiting text messages a day before the exam. Our progress as Nigerians depends largely on how far we have gone with education. Gilbert, 200-Level Foreign Languages, UNIBEN
S a primary school pupil, I would write on everything I could lay my hands on and most times mother would scold me for writing on her lesson notes but she would, at the same time, encourage me to continue and improve on my writing - though not on her lesson notes. My passion for writing in secondary school changed from prose and essay to poems. But I desired more. I love journalism with a passion and had dreamt of being on either the print media like Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, Editor of The Nation or on the electronic media like Ayinde Soaga and Cyril Stober, of NTA’s fame. But father would always tell me not to dabble into the media because of the fate that befell Dele Giwa. I turned down two different admission offers all in the name of wanting to study Mass Communication but had to settle for Law at the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD). When father perceived his first child who graduated as a young school boy was getting old at home, he had no choice. I was being brainwashed to believe that my destiny was not in line with the media which was why admission to study Mass Communication was not forthcoming. But, I was not deterred because upon my admission into UNAD, I saw myself reading CAMPUSLIFE pages in The Nation newspaper as a 12-unit course, which I dared not carry over. I cherish Sunday Ogundugba, Opeyemi Dibua and Segun Adegbenro for writing and updating the world weekly about happenings in UNAD. But I was lucky to have met the duo of Opeyemi and Segun at GT Bank, Ado-Ekiti in 2009, putting on the CAMPUSLIFE correspondents Tshirts. With love they welcomed me into their fold. And I could recall I did the first assignment they gave me with enthusiasm and passion. It was afterwards that I met Femi Asu, another CAMPUSLIFE reporter now serving
We need capital punishment as an opportunity for violating human rights. With this kind of mindset, Nigeria has lost its sense of innocence as anything and everything happen. What a pity! Capital punishment is the greatest punishment meted out for an offence or crime. Capital punishment is what Nigeria needs at this time when corruption has come to stay. There is this belief that corruption flows in the blood stream of Nigerians because our daily bread comes from corrupt practices. Capital punishment which takes different forms ranging from electrocution, execution by a firing squad,
By Esther Mark email@example.com
hanging, beheading, long-term imprisonment (at least 15years) with hard labour should be meted against public officers who are callous enough to deny Nigerians their right to a good life. Some offences that carry death sentences among the citizens are not more heinous than corruption among public office holders. What is sauce for the goose should also be sauce for the gander. The public officers use crooked means to loot the treasury. But many do not see this as a violation of fundamental human rights. Who does not know that the bad state of our roads now
cause the deaths of our fellow citizens on a daily basis? This is a direct consequence of the mindless embezzlement of collective fortune. To the set of light-fingered politicians, the phrase “pen is mightier than the sword” has been misinterpreted to mean pen is their own weapon to sign billions to enrich themselves thereby leaving the citizens in abject poverty. If they can cause the death of many, why would anybody suggest they should be spared from capital punishment? Do you remember Ghana in the time of Jerry Rawlings? Then,
By Tunji Awe firstname.lastname@example.org
in Ebonyi State. Opeyemi is an introvert and strongwilled. I was closer to Opeyemi than Segun; fondly calling both oga mi. Opeyemi would reply “O loyal”, meaning I was not loyal whenever I failed to carry out assignments he gave me. Though, he talked much about software, a term Opeyemi used to refer to ladies, he has just a girlfriend who he kept away from his friends. His love and passion for money is moderate and that is why he would push for equal share whenever it comes to money matter. He taught me how to conduct interviews and linked me with contacts I would need after they would have graduated. Opeyemi is a very hot tempered person. His love for campus politics is very minimal but his record in decency cannot be compared. Segun, on the other hand is an extrovert. He’s fond of using the word “Omo Ogun” (son of Ogun). It is always fun whenever one is with him. Handsome and outspoken, Segun has unbridled love for softwares as he had, on many occasions, run into trouble because of girls. I should have been closer to him than Opeyemi but his ever busy schedules with girls never allowed that. His love for campus politics gave him an edge over Opeyemi and that gained him access into the Ekiti State Government House. I recall when Opeyemi and I collectively fought Segun and another occasion when Segun and Opeyemi merged to fight me. I suffered most when the duo had a three-month disagreement and my neutrality was difficult as they both complained of me supporting the other. In all, we had good and bad times together. I hope the relationship continues for a lifetime. Tunji, 100-Level Political Science, UNAD
he conducted a house cleansing exercise after which the leaders found to have soiled their hands in corrupt practices were forced to face the wrath of capital punishment and that was Ghana’s turning point. The painful part of it all is that those ill-gotten wealth are used to oppress people who are supposed to be taken care of. To the corrupt politicians, the law can be interpreted to suit their cause because the constitution of the land does not protect the poor. For God’s sake, why should anyone toy with our lives – the destiny of millions - and we allow the person to enjoy the freedom • Continued on page 36
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
CAMPUS LIFE Don appointed NHRC boss
Making ‘killer’ presentations
VERY student, in a sense, is a sales person. This is true especially when you realise that, as a student, you will from time to time make project presentations and defend these projects. Many a time, students have created good works, but have stumbled during presentations. The presentation of an idea and or project is so vital that the entire process must be carefully studied and mastered so that every time you are called upon you will deliver a killer presentation! The following tips will give you an advantage in public presentation Enjoy people; socialise: Begin today with this simple step. Ensure you practice group social chats. This isn’t as simple as it sounds. With the emergence of new social media, people are increasingly losing the art of normal informal chats. We all have our heads buried in our Blackberries, Ipads, Iphones and the like. So get the hang and enjoy holding discussions with your peers. See how long you can hold them spell bound. Groom your diction: A major discouragement for young people in making presentations is the fear of making mistakes when speaking in public. It is quite unfortunate that we have become a society of “eloquent pidgin” English speakers. To groom your diction, I recommend that you listen to newscasters – even foreign stations like the BBC are still trendy - and watch their delivery of the news. Another good way to groom your diction is to read. There’s no shame in starting with simple story books which younger readers may read. These books are designed to aid younger readers articulate their speech, and if you notice this defect in you, do not be too ashamed or too proud to go back and pick up a simple story book and read. The final thing to assist in grooming your diction is to up the ante in the programming you expose yourself to be it radio or TV. Watching and listening to programmes that will aid your speaking confidence. Know the topic well: One thing that discourages many in their attempt to speak is a dearth in knowledge. No one wants to come out looking silly. It is a dangerous thing to stand in front of informed people and speak on a topic that is well known to them and little known to you, the speaker. So do well to ensure that you do not climb up any platform unprepared. Knowledge builds conviction and confidence. Speak with both. Be comfortable: On the day that you are to make any presentation, you must be comfortable firstly in your appearance. This is super critical. You must be conscious of how
On and Off Campus
By Uche Ogbonna
From Thomas Biniyat UNIJOS
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has appointed Prof Ben Amgwe the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Amgwe of the Faculty of Law, University of Jos (UNIJOS) was, before now, an aide to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN). Prof Amgwe related the development to final year Law students when he came to teach a course last week. He added that he
could not stay away from his students despite his tight schedules. The Benue State-born professor encouraged students to brace up for the challenges ahead and be part of the global practice for positive change and social justice. Some of the students who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE said they would miss Prof Amgwe’s simplicity and open mindedness.
you look. Your look must help you feel comfortable. For instance, if you are to speak before professors with conservative views, a revealing or compromising outfit may leave you feeling very uncomfortable and your mind will remain distracted and divided trying to figure out if you are losing points because of the attire. You must avoid such distractions by dressing exactly as you wish to be seen. Dress to suit your audience’s taste as any other look will unsettle you and take away points from your confidence level. Maintain eye contact: This takes practice but is an effective communicating tool. It says “I sincerely believe in what I am saying” and if executed right will carry the strong message of conviction which you wish to convey. It must be sincere for it to work. This is hard for many and I have heard people advocate that a speaker should avoid looking at the audience. My experience however is that maintaining eye contact connects you with your audience and puts you in the same space with them. They bond with you and tend to sympathise with your views. Remember that I said it takes practice so how can I practice this? Begin by maintaining eye contact with people you associate with informally. Practice looking into the eyes of your friends as you speak with them. You can maximise this by ensuring that you make eye contact with someone who is a friend or associate in the crowd or audience. This is important as it helps to boost your confidence. So when speaking, from time to time scan the audience and briefly maintain eye contact with someone who will affirm you by the nodding of the head or any other form of affirmation. It helps. However do not hold this gaze for long as the other members of the audience will draw an eye-line and may become distracted trying to find out why, what or who your gaze is fixated on. There are other tips to help you make a killer presentation and we will continue to explore these next week. Get to know us better. Visit a Fidelity Bank Plc branch near you and open a Flex account; better yet mail us at email@example.com and we will be glad to get to know you better.
•A cross-section of the beneficiaries at the event.
PHOTO: TOSIN AJUWON
Body grants students scholarship FEMAI World Congress, a U.Sbased organisation, has provided educational grants to students of Afemai origin in different higher institutions in Nigeria. The benefiting students were selected from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma (AAU) and Auchi Polytechnic, the three major higher institutions in Edo State. President of the body, Dr. Tunde Akande, affirmed that only students with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3points and above were entitled to the grant. Aside the scholarship, books were also presented to 13 primary schools in Afemai region as well as some secondary schools. The managements of the institution and
From Frank Ikpefan AUCHI POLY
beneficiaries of the grants expressed gratitude to the body and urged the organisation to sustain the gesture in subsequent years. Among dignitaries present at the award presentation were the Rector of Auchi Polytechnic, Dr. Philipa Idogho, the representative of Afemai World Congress and 38 beneficiaries of the scholarship awards. Meanwhile, some students of Afemai origin who do not want their names in print criticised the list of beneficiaries. They faulted the inclusion of some members of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the polytechnic namely, Judith Ife (President), Alex Lawani, (Speaker) and Isaiah Messiah (Secretary).
Mass Comm. gets new HOD •Predecessor becomes commissioner
By Solomon Izekor 08061522600
HE Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano (BUK), has announced the elevation of Dr. Balarabe Maikaba as Head of Department. The appointment was approved by the ViceChancellor, Prof Abdulrasheed Abubakar, on June 30. This came after the appointment of the former HOD, Associate Prof Umar Farouk Jubril, as the Commissioner of Information
From Isah Moshood and Samina Yayale BUK
in Kano State. Meanwhile the new Mass Communication HOD, Dr. Maikaba, assumed office with immediate effect. He bagged his Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Mass Communication at BUK and had his Master degree at University of Ibadan (UI). Further, he bagged his PhD about a year ago at BUK.
We need capital punishment • Continued from page 35
he does not deserve? Successive governments have made efforts to combat corruption but were efforts in futility. Anti-graft agencies were created and re-created but still we dwell in corruption. The progenitors of these agencies had forgotten the maxim of equity which says “he that goes to equity must come with clean hands”. Virtually all developed countries have zero tolerance for corruption. For a country to thrive, corruption will have to be at the lowest ebb. From my observation, I found that economic growth and development has no relationship with corruption. In addition, the Bible says in Matthew 7:17-20 “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit ....”
These capital punishments should be entrenched in our constitution at this era when the constitution will be amended as promised by the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal. Leadership by example is very important. There should be stringent constitutional provisions for sleaze to deter a would-be thieving officer from the act. Former governors of Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo to mention a few and all others found culpable of corrupt charges shouldn’t be allowed to stay in the midst the people. By now they should be languishing in jail for the pains they caused Nigeriand in order to cleanse and free Nigeria from corruption God bless Nigeria. Nurudeen, 100-Level, Islamic and Common Law, LASU, Ojo
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
AAUA urges NYSC to stop posting students to North HE Management of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, has urged the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Director-General, BrigGen Maharazu Tsiga, to stop posting students from the institution to the northern region. A statement signed by its Principal Assitant Registrar, Sola Imoru, said since the NYSC cannot guarantee the safety of corps members, then the board should
From Damisi Ojo,Akure
post students to violent-free areas. One of the university’s graduates, Kehinde Jehleel Adeniji, was among the 10 corps members killed after the April 16 Presidential election crisis that erupted in some states in the North. Adeniji was buried in Gbongan, Osun State, on May 3. In view of calls from parents and guardians of graduating
students to the management of the university, expressing apprehension about the posting of corps members to the north, the institution is suggesting that pending the time the Federal Government would be able to assure of safety of the corps members and address the huge security challenges in the country, graduating students should serve in their geo-political zones. The statement reads: “Adekunle Ajasin University
still traumatised by the death of one of its alumni, notices with dismay, that some of its graduates are still posted to these violenceprone states, including Bauchi, where Adeniji was mercilessly hacked to death, without sufficient guarantee of their safety by the National Youth Service Corps. “This smacks of outright insensitivity and total disregard for the sensibility of the AAUA community and stakeholders.”
Varsity plans Nursing programme THE Achievers University, Owo, in Ondo State, has planned to start a BSc. Nursing programme from the 2012/2013 academic session. To this end, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Adebayo Odebiyi, has inaugurated a committee on Nursing Department to fulfil the objective. At the inauguration, he urged members to see the task before them as “a call to service’ and do their utmost to prepare the ground for the establishment of the department and ensure that the university meets requirements of the Council of Nursing and Midwifery of Nigeria (CNMN) and the Universities Commission (NUC). He urged them not to hesitate to advice the university on required facilities for the smooth take-off and accreditation of the programme that would make “Achievers University a preferred choice for Nursing”. Odebiyi acknowledged the warm relationship and cooperation between the University and the Federal Medical Centre (F.M.C.), Owo in the development of Medical Laboratory Science programme of the university, which he said encouraged the university to take on Nursing. Dr Margaret Jemilugba, Director, Department of Nursing Services, Ministry of Health, Ondo State and member of the Committee, assured the ViceChancellor that the task was achievable if the university abides by the rules guiding the establishment of the programme laid down by CNMN and NUC. The Chairman of the 14-member Committee, Prof Samuel Oyewole, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university, was optimistic that the Committee would achieve its objectives considering the calibre of its members and the wide consultation the University made before the inauguration.
• Prof Odebiyi
ACE FILE Registry holds retreat THE Registry Division of Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo will hold its fifth Retreat on July 9. The Registrar of Federal College of Education, (Special) Oyo, Mr Olujimi Olukoga, is the guest speaker of this year’s edition that would be attended by a staff of the Registry in the College. He will be speaking on Languages and Technicalities of Minutes and Report Writing in the Administration of Higher Educational Institution. The Deputy Registrar, Academic Affairs, Mr. G. A. Awe, disclosed this during the meeting of all Registry staff in the College. The second paper of the one-day workshop would be delivered by The Director of Computer Centre, Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe, Mr. B.G. Adeyekun titled “Erecord Keeping and on-line Matters in an Administrative set up”
COEASU holds lecture
Don canvasses better approach to lecturers’ agitation
ATHER than engage governments in endless strikes, universities’ teachers have been urged to adopt a more intellectual means of agitating their demands. The Director, Higher Education and Libraries in Africa Program Carnegie Corporations, New York, United States, Prof Tade Akin-Aina, has said. He said: “ASUU (Academic Staff Union of University) needs to see how we can be a competitive structure; and it’s not by shutting down our universities for months when our students in private universities and universities outside the country are graduating. And when research laboratories are supposed to be functioning, they shut it down. That is not the solution anymore. Our comrades should try to be 21st Century comrades’. Let’s see what the goals and the challenges are and let’s begin to work hard from our different universities.” Aina, who was one of the key speakers at the 26th annual conference of the AVCNU, held at Covenant University Ota last week, accused ASUU of insensitivity to the plight of students who are forced to graduate later than expected as a result of strikes. “ASUU should care about our students. They should remember our students are not graduating. All these archaic mode of resistance must go. Let’s have a new face of academic unionism. Students should also have a voice to say what they think of ASUU. They should be able to assess lecturers. “All I’m saying is that if we are going to have a solution, it must involve all stakeholders, private, public and community,” he said. Aina said ASUU as an intellectual body, should no longer join forces with other unions who believe the only language the government understands is the ‘language of strikes’. He said it’s about time lecturers woke up to the nearly prostrate state of education, and production of half-
By Adegunle Olugbamila
baked graduates both of which he said are partly occasioned by endless strikes. He advised ASUU to channel its energy on some knotty issues in the polity, which, if properly addressed, could begin to show the way towards improved funding for universities. The professor of philosophy also asked the academic union to start rethinking their agitations for a unified salary structure. “Let the government set a minimum salary standard for every university. There is no way the salary scale of teachers and professors in one university should be the same with another,” he said. Earlier the Chairman, AVCNU Prof Ishaq Oloyede, had argued that Nigerian universities are not as bad as many people think. He also called on National Universities Commission (NUC) to increase the pace of curriculum review. Oloyede, Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, was responding to issues raised by the Chancellor of Covenant University, Bishop David Oyedepo who while delivering his keynote address said that Nigerian universities do not update their curricula on time like their counterparts in developed countries. “We are not using archaic curriculum,” Oloyede said, “The NUC benchmark (on curriculum) keeps on changing but not changing fast enough. The life span is too long. They are changing maybe once in 10 years. I want to see a curriculum that is dynamic and not up to 10 years. But to talk of 1960 (curriculum), I believe no university in Nigeria will be given accreditation from the NUC. “As the Vice-Chancellor myself, I know the University of Ilorin introduced Telecommunication Science; Biomedical Science; Nursing and a few others. There are so many new courses that are coming up in Nigeria universities and I believe we are responding. But the period of re-
sponding to the needs of the society ought to be increased. But I want you to know that rather than basing our argument on hearsay and submit, let’s go and find out what goes on in the Nigeria university system,” he said. In the same vein, Deputy SecretaryGeneral Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), Mr Olayiwola Adigun, has projected that in the next five years, private universities in Nigeria may outshine their public counterparts both at the state and federal levels. Adigun also envisaged a ‘massive drift’ of teachers from public universities to private universities because of the improved welfare packages and access to modern teaching facilities. At a briefing ahead of the conference on Monday last week, Adigun lamented the poor funding of public universities owing to negligence over the years. He said: “In truth many private universities in Nigeria today run uninterrupted academic calendars. Their students do not indulge in protests. Their lecturers are alive to their responsibilities as students do not need to go to their offices before they come to the class to teach unlike what happened in public institutions. Many of the (private) universities have modern facilities, and because they pay higher tuition, parents can also challenge the school authorities if their children are not getting what they paid for.” He added that in the light of manpower shortages in the university system, government should extend the retirement age university teachers who could still make more input after they clock 65. He, however, commended private universities for absorbing retired dons where they are now excelling. Adigun also praised CU for being the first private university to host the AVCNU conference based on its massive infrastructure and conducive environment for teaching and learning.
THE Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), ACE has held the its maiden edition of its Distinguished Leadership Lecture series at the College. It was attended by eminent educators and university administrators such as the Vice-Chancellor of Wesley University of Science and Technology (WUSTO), Prof Tola Badejo, former Dean of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof Kayode Alao, the Provost of the College who was represented by the College Librarian, Mr Rotimi Egunjobi and other members of College Management. A Professor of Counselling Psychology from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Prof Adebisi Daramola delivered the lecture on Conflict Resolution and Management: Implication for Peace on Campus. He said despite that many researchers have studied conflicts, there still appears to be no single proven method for preventing or resolving conflict. He, however, suggested managers of campuses to discard the imposition of ruthless measures, and embrace the establishment of equality and humane order that serves the true interests of all. Daramola called for the initiation of a philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance and the institution of student peace prize –awarded to a student or a student organisation that has made a significant contribution to promotion of peace.
Registry to enjoy ETF funds STAFF of the Registry will now enjoy funds from the Education Trust Fund for their conferences. According to the Deputy Registrar, General Administration, Mrs. O.O. Fakorede, the Management has set aside substantial amount from the ETF fund for conferences for non-teaching staff organised by professional bodies or other institutions of higher learning in the country. In a circular to all heads of departments in the College, papers to be forwarded the committee for of their staff must include the following details: Flier for the conference or details of the conference printed from the Internet, financial implication of the conference; and the current curriculum vitae of the applicant. Besides forwarding the application to the committee three months before the commencement of the conference, Heads of Department are expected to write recommendations in support or otherwise of the applicant.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
EDUCATION UNAD FILE Senate Chamber wears new look THE Senate Chamber of the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD) now wears a new look with the installation of automatic microphones like the ones found in the National Assembly. Commenting on the innovation, the Acting Vice-Chancellor Prof Dada Adelowo said the installation was to facilitate easy exchange of ideas and debates in the Senate without passing a microphone from one speaker to the other. According to him, the installation was to make the chamber rank among the best in universities. He noted that more installations would be done in other needy areas of the university.
I won’t scrap Medical College, says Fayemi
KITI State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has said that his administration will not scrap the College of Medicine of the University of Ado Ekiti (UNAD) . The governor gave this assurance during an interactive session with some Ekiti indigenes in Lagos shortly after his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Ekiti Parapo Association in Lagos last Friday. Fayemi said his administration does not have any intention to cancel the medical programme. Instead, he said his government would explore avenues to strengthen the college and ensure that it gets the necessary accreditation.
While reiterating his administration‘s commitment to human capital development, Fayemi said 5,000 Ekiti youths are undergoing leadership and entrepreneurial trainings as part of measures to reduce unemployment in the state. He stressed that the state government is in partnership with the Bank of Industry to train and empower young people for selfreliance. He said the government is targeting N1 billion monthly IGR, adding that the attainment of that mark would impact positively on the developmental efforts of the administration.
GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, at the weekend, lamented the deplorable state of tertiary institutions in in the state, and vowed to restore its lost glory. The Governor spoke in a meeting with Students’ Union leaders from the state’s tertiary institutions at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta. Amosun, who expressed concern that graduates of some of the tertiary institutions are not marketable, pledged to axe cultism and reduce tuition fees paid by students. “I am promising you that as a government we won’t encourage cultism. We will work to eradicate
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
it on our campuses,” Amosun said. He also dismissed speculations that he ordered the merger of some of the tertiary institutions. “Yes, they are many. We are still exploring ways of using what we have on ground and how to reposition them for greater performance. Some graduates of these institutions are simply unemployable and it is not only in Ogun State but all over the country. “But we are concerned with what is happening here. What we have in place now is not what we were given during our days. We must design ways of reversing the trend and restore these schools to their
UI alumni offers support
THE University of Ibadan Alumni Association Ado-Ekiti Chapter has pledged to support the Acting ViceChancellor of the University of AdoEkiti (UNAD), Prof Dada Adelowo, in the onerous assignment given to him by the Visitor to the University, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to pilot the affairs of the state-owned university. The association made the pledge when its leaders visited the Acting Vice-Chancellor last Friday. The President of the Association, Chief Bayo Adeniran said “you can count on our support in this assignment of uplifting the University of Ado-Ekiti:” Adeniran further urged the Acting Vice-Chancellor to help in mobilising workers who are Alumni of the University of Ibadan to form a chapter of the association in UNAD.
glorious days,” he said. The National Vice President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Toye Oladotun Olayiwola, had earlier called on the governor to assist the various students bodies to eradicate the cultism on campuses in the state. The students leaders also pleaded with the governor to take them into confidence when appointing the commissioner for Youths and Sports as well as the special assistant on Youths. Earlier, the Governor had approved and disbursed N17.3 million to all public secondary schools in the state as “running cost grants” which was stopped since the 2007/ 2008 academic session.
Union seeks retirement age review
Lecturers told to work hard
LECTURERS and teachers in universities and colleges of education have been urged to work hard in shaping their students to be good leaders of tomorrow. The UNAD Ag VC, Prof Dada Adelowo, made the plea while addressing Provosts and Registrars of Colleges of Education running affiliation programses with the university at a brief meeting in the Senate Chamber. He declared: “We are architects of shaping and re-shaping others. We want to produce future leaders but posterity will ask us are these future leaders well- baked, are they well manufactured? That is why we have to brace up.” Adelowo told the Provosts and Registrars that admission must follow due process, stressing that if they admit the right candidates they would be easier to manage and become well-baked leaders of tomorrow.
Amosun meets students’ leaders
Ag. directors appointed A FORMER assistant Director of the Sandwich Programme, Dr Bimbo Odu, has been appointed as the Acting Director of Directorate of Continuing Education Programmes. With this appointment, Dr Odu, who replaced Prof. R.O. Seweje is expected to provide effective academic leadership for the smooth running of all the academic programmes of the Directorate. Approving her appointment, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dada Adelowo urged her to perform to expectation. The appointments took effect from May 30. Meawhile, Dr. E.O. Ogunleye is the Acting Director of the Part-Time programme. Approving the appointment, the Vice-Chancellor said he should provide effective academic leadership for the Part-Time Programme (PTP). Dr. Ogunleye replaced Prof. A.A. Agagu. His appointment took effect from May 18.
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
The UNAD College of Medicine was started by the Otunba Niyi Adebayo-led administration, but suffered setbacks from successive administrations in the areas of funding and accreditation. The governor, who said his vision is to revamp the education sector of the state, assured that the College of Medicine, which is in its third academic session, would be given necessary attention to make it rank among the best in the country. He added that it would be properly funded now that the three stateowned universities have been merged for proper management.
By Adegunle Olugbamila
•From left: Directors, Dennis Okoro, Mrs Sadauki, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, all of MTN Foundation presenting the best overall prize to Jerry Gozie
MTNF extends MUSON Music scholarship
HE MTN Foundation (MTNF) has extended its pact to sponsor the diploma programme of the Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON) by another five years. The news was received with delightful cheers whenDirector, MUSON School of Music, Mrs Edna Syannwo, announced it during the fourth graduation of diploma students at the Agip Recital Hall of the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, last Tuesday. Mrs Sayannwo said the 29 students received world class music education in voice, clarinet, xylophone, and can now compose, arrange and present music. With their diplomas, Mrs Sayannwo said past products of the programme have gained direct entry admissions into world class universities to study music. She praised the sponsors for the scholarship largesse which covers tuition, books, transportation and lunch. “MTN sponsorship will go on for the next five years. Before we had done two years, they increased sponsorship to include food and transport fare. They (students) don’t pay fees and they don’t pay for text
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
books. The students have learnt the theory of music, composition, arrangement of music, harmony, history of music – Western, African and from the Diaspora,” she said. Shedding light on the rigours of the two-year training, the 29 graduands got, Mrs Sayannwo said each student learnt a major subject and a minor subject. She added that the training was patterned such that apart from their major subjects, each student was also versed in four or five other subjects. Despite describing the graduates as refined, persevering, hardworking, loyal and appreciative, she said some were guilty of serial absenteeism and non-completion of assignments and would not receive their certificates until they fulfilled all conditions laid down by the school. In his speech, Chairman, MUSON, Chief Femi Adeniyi-Williams said: “As you go out, I entreat you to spread the philosophy of the training which you have received here. Each of you has been set on the path that leads to true music. You all know that attention to the details is what makes the difference between a good
performance…and a great performance. So, in whatever field of music you find yourself, remember, there are no short cuts.” Also speaking, the Chairman, MTNF, Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, who was represented by Mrs Aishatu Sadauki, said the MTNF began supporting the programme in 2006 to help talented youths without the financial muscle to develop their skills through music education. To date, 103 students have benefited from the scheme. He particularly expressed delight that past alumni of the scheme went on to excel in foreign universities. “Indeed three of the first set of students who graduated in June 2008, later secured admission to the Department of Music, University of Dayton, Ohio, United States of America, where they graduated with honours. The trio of Olufemi Ogebule, Ezeuko Anuli and Paul Ogunboye are the first Africans to graduate with honours from the department of music of that prestigious university. We are excited about this achievement and the glory it has brought to MUSON and to Nigeria as well,” he said.
HE Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) has appealed to the Federal Government and the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the bill stipulating 65 years retirement age for its members. The union also urged governors that are yet to implement the new salary structure (CONTEDISS/ COMPCASS) to fulfill their pledges without delay. While commending states that have already started the new salary structure, SSUCCOEN, on the issue of migration to CONTEDISS 15, appealed to the NCCE to quicken action on the outstanding areas as it affects the Executive Cadre, Technologists Cadre, Secretarial Cadre, Nursing Cadre, who are made to terminate on CONTEDISS 12 instead of CONTEDISS 13. These were some of the resolutions of the communiqué issued at the Eighth edition of the SSUCOEN National Delegate Conference recently. The fiveday conference had as theme: Fostering Hamonious Relationship between Labour & Government in Nigeria was hosted by the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto/ Ijanikin. The union commended the gesture of the Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State who donated brand new Toyota Hiace Buses to the its chapters in AOCOED and the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, Noforija, Epe.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Educationists tie sound education to culture DUCATIONISTS have attributed the failure of the Nigerian education system to match those of the developed countries in terms of scientific breakthroughs to the neglect of its culture. Head of African Languages, Literatures and Communication Arts Department at the Lagos State University, Dr Harrison Adeniyi, and Proprietress of Holy Saviour School, Itele-Ota, Ogun State,Mrs Abigail Awolola, spoke on the issue at the school’s maiden cultural day. Mrs Awolola said the event was important, given that the pupils come from different tribes in the country. “By conducting the event in the different native languages of our students, we are promoting and preserving our cultural heritage which is necessary for our development as a nation. Native languages are used in some countries to teach their children in schools and they are better for it. Why can’t we do the same thing? So, parents should also teach their children their native languages and cultures,” she said. On his part, Adeniyi, who was the
•Proprietor/Visitor, Apostle Tom Samson (second left) flanked by Registrar, Otunba Olugbenga Steve-Ojo (extreme left) and Provost, Dr Olawale Odunuga and Pastor Lanre Samson at the first matriculation of Royal City College of Education, Iyesi-Ota, Ogun State ... on Thursday
guest speaker on the occasion, said the relegation of the country’s cultures and languages both in teaching and conduct of government business has hampered national development, noting that no nation can develop outside its culture. Pupils who are taught in their mother tongue, according to him, perform far better in examinations than those taught in English Language, adding that Japan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the rest of them have witnessed economic growth because their students have a good grasp of what they are taught in schools since native languages are their medium of instruction. He said: “There is the need to embrace our culture and language because they are crucial to the development of any nation. This country can only develop technologically, scientifically, economically and politically if we wholeheartedly embrace our culture. For instance, if we take to our native clothes, then it means more jobs for our tailors and this has effect on the economy of the country. So, the problem of underdevelopment in Nigeria today has to do with the neglect of our languages and cultures.”
Firm educates school owners on value
CHOOL owners have been urged to place premium on offering valuable educational services such that would distinguish their schools. Mr. Sola Lawson, an educationist, gave this advice at the third edition of Total School Support Seminar and Exhibition (TOSSE) organised by EDUMARK Education Consult, at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja. He urged them to position their schools in such a way that they would be identified for their uniqueness. He said: “The objective of the new marketing is to attract customers, not to make the next sale. If your school is expensive, what is the value? The criteria for entering will tell whether it is of high value, because school managers are looking for ways to admit pupils into their school, you see schools advertising to parents to pay for one and register the other free. There is no value for such a school and you don’t expect a parent who value education to take he or her child to such schools. “Customers will always pay for value where they find it. What does your school teach the pupils? Do they see a commitment to excellence? Value comes from the culture of the system. Coca Cola, from the top to the lowest person in the office you cannot see them drinking Coke from a cup but from the bottle, that is their culture. What is your school known for that parents will want every of their childdren to experience?” he asked. He further advised school managers to instill their culture into pupils and define goals for members of staff to achieve. “Your culture should be deposited into your pupils, where after some years, your culture would be found in them. Your culture should give birth to continuity. There is need for you to define the reason for your school; what you want to do and why
By Seun Olalude
you are doing it. School managers, there is need to improve on your commitment to quality, value, concept of strategy, efficiency and lower costs. Let your staff understand the reason for the business; instructions must be given to staff on why people come in to the school,” he said. Edumark boss, Mrs Yinka Ogunde, said the event was to enlighten schools on the need to adopt standard marketing skills. “Every Edumark programme has a purpose and TOSSE is certainly not an exception. This year, we have tried to critically analyse the issues facing owners of private institutions today. Top on the list is marketing. The need to understand basic marketing rules and guidelines has become imperative for top institutions. With little or no legislative guidelines in place, educational institutions are springing up daily in various to define themselves becomes necessary,” she said. She advised school managers to ensure quality education. “The school is the only business you are sure it will outlive you, if we are not careful it can be turned to a hotel. You see some school with expensive gadgets yet without education, ensure education not gadgets,” she said. Mr Abraham Olaleye who spoke on the topic: Retaining and Recruiting an Effective workforce, said the staffs in a school determine the success of the institution. His words: “Only one person can cause an organisation to lose huge amount. Make sure you employ good people who help to define a vision for your organisation. If you don’t have a vision and you have good people you can be sure they will work a vision out for you through their contribution.”
•Heritage daddies with their football trophy
Heritage School puts parents in spotlight
HEN pupils of Heritage House Montessori School, Yaba, Lagos had to choose between their teachers and parents penultimate Saturday, they lined up solidly behind their parents. Who could blame them? After their mothers lost a novelty match against female teachers of the school, which kicked-off the Parents’ Day, penultimate Saturday, they looked to their fathers to win the trophy when they played against the male teachers. When the match had to be decided by penalties after both sides failed to score by full time, the pupils and their mothers chanted “over the bar” when the teachers tried to score, and “into the net” when it was their fathers’ turn. To the children’s delight, the fathers won, taking their revenge on the male teachers who beat them one-nil last year. Parents were the focus of the programme– taking the podium to participate in activities that would have been done by their wards. There was a session on “Know your Spouse” during which the responses of the fathers and mothers on questions like: the time their first offspring was born, favourite colour, best perfume, car plate number etc, had to tally for each couple to earn a point. The couple with the highest score won the game.
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
The parents would also be careful when they want to correct their wards for making unsatisfactory grades in future because they are likely to remember that not all parents can answer questions meant for 10-year olds. During a quiz session tagged, “Are you smatter than a 10-year-olds?” Parents had to answer questions in mathematics, English, general knowledge and the sciences. Those who came last at the end of each round had to admit that indeed they were not smarter than 10-year olds. In what continent is Peru? What are the titles of newspaper articles called? And what is the last stage before an insect becomes a full adult were some of the questions the parents had to contend with. Teachers were drafted in once more to compete with parents – this time to debate on the topic: “Raising a Responsible Child is the School’s Duty”. The teachers successfully argued against the topic and beat the parents to the prize. The icing on the cake was the crowning of the Mum and Dad of the Year. Mrs Edna Jones was crowned Mummy Heritage while Mr Bolanle Olowolagba was Daddy Heritage. Speaking on the significance of the
event, which was organised by the parents, a parent and Secretary, Organising Committee for the event, Dr Nkechi Olalere, said the forum has improved the relationship between parents and the school. “This is the first of its kind and it has made parents bond and get to know each other better. Now we are thinking of how to help the school better,” she said. Director of Studies, Mrs Adebola Atoyebi said the eventwould function to make the pupils, who were present, understand that the home and the school collaborate in their upbringing. “It is important for children to see that we are all working together. The whole idea is that the school is a community and both parents and teachers have to collaborate to make the community work,” she said. Head of School, Mrs Yvonne Osunde agreed with her, adding that the school enjoys a high level of participation by parents. “In this school, we are quite blessed. Ninety per cent of our parents are very committed. We hold Parents Consultation Days when parents come in and discuss their ideas. We make changes based on their suggestions,” she said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
A needless death
T was with a heavy heart I read about the death by drowning of a 100 Level student of the University of Lagos at the Elegushi Beach in Lekki Kofoworola recently. The story showed negligence on the part of the life guards, Kofosagie@yahoo.com friends of the deceased, the or08054503077 (SMS only) ganisers of the inter-faculty beach party and the management of the private beach. Samson Adeniran, a 100-Level Mathematics student met his untimely death when he dived into the ocean to save a classmate, Ayodiya who could not get out. However, he could not save himself. While the girl was pushed out of the waves, the boy was pushed farther. Before he went on his rescue mission, the undergraduate was said to have changed into his swimming trunks and showed off his skills to the admiration of his peers from the university. He left his clothes and phones with his friends. It was reported that after the girl was saved and the waves had pushed Adeniran out of sight, the life guards failed to believe an eyewitness claim that someone was still in the water. What I do not understand is that Adeniran’s friends with whom he left his clothes could leave the beach without being concerned about his whereabouts enough to raise alarm and alert the managers of the beach. Even when the article said someone called from the beach that a student was in coma, nothing was done. It took an Uncle Funsho, maybe moved by the spirit, to call Adeniran’s phone to learn that he did not return to campus from the party. It was then the Uncle Funsho and his friends went back to the beach to look for Adeniran who by then was dead. It is a sad story of recklessness, lack of orgnisation and value for human life. It is a shame that those who coordinated the beach party did not care to ensure that they took a head count of all participants before and after the party. If they did, they would have known immediately that somebody was missing and mounted a search for him. Again, the managers of the beach have to revisit how their life guards deal with emergency issues. After they were told that somebody was still in danger, they failed to act – probably because they were not motivated enough to go the extra mile. But we are talking about a human here and not a dog. They did not do enough. Also, somebody from the beach must have called the university to alert them that a student was in coma. If they did, they should have also rushed the student to the hospital for medical treatment - perhaps Adeniran would have survived the ordeal. Adeniran must have been over confident of his swimming ability. But the managers of the beach should have warned the students about the weather conditions – whether it was safe to swim or not. We need to do more to protect human lives in this country.
•The rehabilitated school building
NB lifts Obele Primary School
EFORE the Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc rehabilitated Obele Primary School, Lawanson Surulere, Lagos, last Thursday, Head Teacher, Mrs Rhoda Ajayi, went to school everyday not knowing whether one of her pupils would end up in the hospital. The two-storey u-shaped building had no railings so pupils who ventured too close to the edge fell. “The school was an eyesore. There were no railings so children were falling off the building. They would call me from my office to rescue one child or the other. There was no rest of mind,” she said. It wasn’t only the railings alone that were gone from the building which Mrs Ajayi said had probably not been renovated since it was built in the ‘80s. The roof, windows, doors were gone as well, while the toilets had been non-functional for as long as members of staff have known. However, all that has changed and Mrs Ajayi can now have peace. The school located on Itire Road now wears a new look, thanks to the Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund of NB Plc which made the rehabilitation possible. As the new building was handed over last Thursday, the excitement on the faces of parents, teachers and pupils was infectious. Mr Nicholas Vervelde, Managing Director, NB Plc, said the organisation was glad that its
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
N30million investment in rehabilitating the facility is appreciated by the school community and promised to do more. “The project was executed by Marysons Works Nigeria Limited at the cost of about N30 million. The details of the work carried out include re-roofing, replacement of doors and windows, furnishing of classrooms and offices, provision of toilets, etc. The project was funded by the Nigerian Breweries Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund. We are happy that our effort has been
‘The project was executed by Marysons Works Nigeria Limited at the cost of about N30 million. The details of the work carried out include re-roofing, replacement of doors and windows, furnishing of classrooms and offices, provision of toilets, etc’
well received by both the school authorities and the Surulere Local Government Area Council. “We are also encouraged by the visible achievements of the Lagos State government in revamping the educational sector in Lagos. As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, our company would continue to assist the government to ensure a conducive learning environment for our nation,” he said. Also speaking, Dr Rasak Oyesegun Folami, Chairman Surulere Local Government Area, Lagos State described the project as mind blowing considering that he was close to tears when he first visited the school. “It will only take someone with the knowledge of the deplorable state of this edifice to appreciate the enormity of what has gone into it to bring about the beauty we are beholding today. I almost wept on one of my official visit to this school then,” he said. The Head teacher, Mrs Ajayi said with the environment now conducive for learning, the teachers would work harder. “With the rehabilitation of the school, I have told my teachers to work harder to show Nigerian Breweries that we appreciate all they have done,” she said. The school was inaugurated by Mrs Abimbola Fashola, who was represented by Mrs Folami, wife of the Surulere Local Government chair.
UNILAG donates bus to police
HE University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, has presented a brand new Nissan van to the Nigeria Police to complement its efforts in curbing crime. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, said the support of the police ensures there is peace on campus. “The police has a big role they play in the life of every institution and we believe that no support is little. We have enjoyed a stable
By Seun Olalude
academic calendar in the university. This is one of the products of the peaceful and secure environment we enjoy in our campus. This was made possible with the supportive role played by the police who have been working with our security unit, Civil Defence Corps, Man O’ War and the students’ cadets,” he said. Praising UNILAG for the gift, Superintendent of Police, Mr Bashiru Kehinde, promised to continue
supporting the institution. “Police will continue to be with UNILAG to ensure law and peace are maintain. We shall continue to be present for the university,” he said. The Registrar, Mr Oluwarotimi Shodimu, said the event was historical . “This is an historical event because I have never witnessed a situation where an institution will present a brand new bus to police,” he said.
ASUU FUTO lauds Council on VC
HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) branch, has commended the Vita Abba-led Governing Council for the transparency in the appointment of the sixth substantive Vice- Chancellor, Prof Chigozie Cyril Asiabaka. In a commendation letter to the
From Chris Oji, Enugu
Council signed by the Chairperson and Secretary of ASUU-FUTO, Dr. R. A. Ejimofor and Elder A. C. Ogbonna, the Union expressed satisfaction with “the procedure leading to, and the subsequent appointment of the sixth substantive ViceChancellor of the university”.
Asiabaka succeeded Prof C. O. E. Onwuliri whose tenure expired on June 18. The ASUU-FUTO also observed with great delight the rancour-free nature of the selection exercise before, during and after the appointment contrary to “the case in some instances of public office appointment in Nigeria”.
‘It is a sad story of recklessness, lack of orgnisation and value for human life. It is a shame that those who coordinated the beach party did not care to ensure that they took a head count of all participants before and after the party’
From my Inbox Re: Amosun should reward Iganmode (Thursday July 01, 2011) Kofo, your piece on Iganmode Grammar School, Ota was very thoughtful and encouraging. Theirs was a really brilliant performance in their Cowbell effort. I hope the OGSG has read you. Cheers. From 08055663—. Iganmode Grammar School deserves more than an award. Education wasn’t government’s project. When missionaries were owners of school, education was exclusive before government hijacked the schools. Shortly, free education (UPE and UBE) induced without a thorough analysis of the huge attendant problems and consequences. Free education in Nigeria is a photocopy work of the first Premier of the defunct Western Region, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He whole heartedly devoted about 40 per cent of the region’s income (which government cannot do. Sometimes they give as low as two per cent of their total budget). In the real sense, education is an expensive venture so free education is extremely difficult. It would be foolhardy to claim government can meet the needs of the scheme. Even in the democracy, education has been the greatest victim. The proliferation of private schools is a demonstration to retrieve those schools. I pray for cleansing in the education system. Miri Gwatau, Port Harcourt. Re: Iganmode. Please endeavour to personally write the Ogun State Governor on the Mathematics teacher in Iganmode. Kudos for the essay. From 08050779—. Re: What manner of JAMB People (Thursday, June 30) Hi Kofo, I saw the Edutalk on JAMB. It is not our fault. I also wrote this JAMB. In my centre we were not even allowed to use market women’s calculator. In some centres they allowed candidates. That is unfair. For example, my Maths, Chemistry, Physics, they are all calculation subjects. That is the reason why some students fail. Please tell JAMB to reduce their cut off mark to 180 and let them (candidates) face the post-UME. Olupade Seun, Ado-Ekiti.
THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL PHOTOS
• Aremu Martins of Ekiti state competing in gymnastics. PHOTOS: Bola Omilabu
• Udoka Chukwu of Borno state in blue short tries Ezekiel Tunde of Delta state for size in the kick-boxing event.
•Emeka Akamiro of Abia state competing in the disable shot-put event.
• River state swimmer in training for the final
•Bakare Kolawole of Ondo in red, slug it out with Fagunwa Dare of FCT in the 64kg category.
• Bassey Etim of Akwa Ibom (l) ‘lock horns’ with Muhammed Kazaure of Jigawa in the tradiotional wrestling event.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
e-Business CBN’s drive towards cashless economy Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) plan to make the economy a cashless one has continued to arouse interest and engender creativity. Nigerians are developing products, services and solutions to meet the new challenge, reports ADLINE ATILI electronic transactions, manages fuel consumption and also helps to keep track of vehicles. “Sprint works by identifying the vehicle to the EasyFuel system. It provides vehicle information such as fuel type and tank capacity, vehicle registration number, personal account number, fuel grade and permissible volume, minimum distance between refuelling and incremental odometer and hour metre readings. “Through a Web portal, fleet owners have access to transaction information per vehicle thereby enabling them have real-time visibility on fuelling costs per car and eventually, generate reports for planning purposes. Sprint also comes fitted with GPS module which enables asset tracking.” He said the benefits the products offer include convenience control, elimination of fraud and control of fuel expense. To reload the cards or top up, he said a consumer could make use of the traditional channels of reloading cards. “A consumer can top up through the phone, Quickteller online, top up account from an existing PoS device or ATM machine, or make a cash or cheque deposit into the card account in any bank branch,” he said.
HE aim of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in pushing for a cashless economy, is to create more efficient ways of making payments; cut down on costs of producing and maintaining the naira, as well as track movement of funds. A cashless economy is one skewed in favour of card transactions and less of cash payments. The move is tied to addressing difficulties associated with physical cash movement, such as theft, risks , inefficiency, storage and other ancilliary cost of handling.. According to the CBN, about N150 billion is spent yearly to produce, store, transport, protect and destroy naira notes. Only recently, Visa published an extensive report on the cost of cash to society, with particular reference to the European Commission (EC). Citing numerous independent papers by consultants and national governments, the payments company constructed a compelling case: “The European Commission has calculated that the total cost to society of all payments methods, including cash, cheques and payment cards, equates to two-three per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” the report states. “To put this figure into context, it should be remembered that the entire European Union’s (EU) agricultural sector equates to 2.1per cent of GDP, which means we spend more on payment than we produce on food.” The Dutch Central Bank, has published a similar study, estimating the annual cost of cash at •300 per family. Because cards are less risky and encourage spending, they are more efficient and offer better value, Visa argues. Furthermore, card transaction fees are expected to fall, with some countries in Europe, such as Denmark already offering free debit card services to retailers. Mobile payment Mobile payment, an advancement of the use of mobile devices and a drive towards a cashless society, is set to change the face of commerce
across the world. Mobile payment (or mobile wallet) is an alternative payment method. Instead of paying with cash or cheque, a consumer can use a mobile device to pay for goods and services. According to the CBN, mobile payments have very exciting potentials within Nigeria given the low infrastructure requirements and rapidly increasing mobile phone penetration. Last year, it issued approval-in-principles to 16 mobile payments schemes to commence pilot run in preparation for the mass roll out of their live run. The market for mobile payments is expected to grow significantly in the next several years, reaching $618 billion by 2016, according to a report by consulting firm, Edgar, Dunn & Co. and sponsored by MasterCard. Mobile payment has been well adopted in many parts of Europe and Asia. Combined market for all types of mobile payments is expected to reach more than $600 billion globally by 2013, which will double the current figure. e-Payment in the downstream oil and gas EasyFuel Limited, an e-payment provider in the downstream oil and gas sector, recently launched a range of products for consumers to perform financial transactions. The integrated e-payment solutions, which have the potential of revolutionising the Nigerian payment system in that sector, eliminate the use of cash in buying petroleum products at filling
stations. Managing Director of the company, Tayo Olajide, said the initiative, based on CBN’s interoperability policy was in line with the global trend towards cashless solutions. He said: “All around the world, there is a gradual shift towards cashless payment systems because of the various challenges that go with cash transactions. Our belief is that Nigeria cannot be an exception in adopting global standards. With these solutions, what a customer needs to purchase fuel is nothing but a bank card or any of EasyFuel’s proprietary e-payment products which may be installed in the vehicle or issued as contact-less fobs.” The solutions, he said, include: Automated Teller Machine cards, the eGO, Sprint and the SpeedPass. Olajide, explains: “The ATM cards enable customers pay for fuel electronically from their current/checking bank accounts. “For those who cannot entrust their drivers with the cards, SpeedPass comes in handy. SpeedPass is a contact-less device that is waved in front of a contact-less reader at the filling station to initiate a transaction. With it, customers can set pre-determined limits on how much a vehicle can refuel, how often and on what kinds of products and services, and during what period of time. “The Sprint product, offers the highest level of control and accountability for fleet managers. It is a smart Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device, which is installed in a vehicle. It is loaded with a card from a financial institution to perform
‘There is a gradual shift towards cashless payment systems because of the various challenges that go with cash transactions. Our belief is that Nigeria cannot be an exception in adopting global standards. With these solutions, what a customer needs to purchase fuel is nothing but a bank card or any of EasyFuel’s proprietary e-payment products which may be installed in the vehicle or issued as contact-less fobs’
Banking the under-banked To achieve the desired goal and ensure financial inclusion of the over 70 per cent underbanked Nigerian, the apex bank has been making relentless moves to ensure the inclusion of these Nigerians into the financial mainstream and move the economy from cash-based to cashless. An e-payment processing company, 3Line Card Management Limited, has set off an initiative aimed at financial empowerment of the informal sector through a venture that enables neighbourhood banking services. The service, making use of the 3Line card, known as Freedom Card is an improvement on the common ATM card in that while ATM cards can only do cash withdrawal transactions at mostly ATM locations, the Freedom Card allows the holder to do different transactions on the Freedom Network such as money transfer, savings, deposit and cash withdrawal, purchases, and payment of utility bills, airtime top ups, ticketing and pay-as-you-go vehicle insurance. The General Manger of 3line Cards Company, Mrs Funke Ade-Ojo, said Freedom Network empowers the under-served, under-banked and un-served groups by providing a common platform that delivers light banking services to them across the country. She said: “That segment of the economy has been neglected for too long, now is the time to move the people in this category into the financial ecosystem. “This group include the very low income entrepreneurs, the housewives, the farmers, the street vendors, the taxi drivers; in fact, the majority of Nigeria’s economically active population. We believe wholeheartedly that these groups should be empowered financially. Specifically, she explained that the 3 Line initiative is a customer friendly and cost effective way of providing secure light banking services like cash deposit, cash withdrawal, funds transfer, e-Government services, and utility payment, to groups of people in a community using existing merchants within same community who are known and trusted. Commending the initiative, Acting Director, Banking and Payment Systems of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abayomi Atoloye at the launch of the service, said the CBN had been trying for a long time to solve the problem of financial non-inclusion of some sections of the Nigerian population. •Continued on Page 46
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Why we embarked on SIM registration, by NCC
HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has explained the rationale behind the ongoing registration of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card. It said the exercise is meant to guarantee the security of subscribers and ensure the right amount of investment planning to boost Quality of Service (QoS). The Executive Vice-Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said: “The main purpose of the exercise is not only security, but statistics. Our aim is to know the exact number of active phone users in Nigeria. We want to be able to plan on our own, know the number we are working with and also hold the operators accountable for their own planning. “It has implications on quality of service delivery. By this we’ll know that this operator has this number of subscriber; as such, we should have this amount of facilities, the level of infrastructure in place to support the number of subscribers
Stories by Adline Atili
the operator has. “Congestion is the major cause of poor quality of service. The facilities in place are not enough to cope with the surging demands of subscribers. Therefore, extra investments in the networks are the only solution to poor quality of service. The operators have to build more base stations, transmission facilities to be able to carry calls and haul back calls to the switching centres.” He said to back up enforcement of adequate investments for improved telecoms service delivery, the commission has completed its regulations for QoS which will stipulate penalties for erring operators, in case Key Performance Indicators are not met. Juwah said: “Even though there are regulatory issues from various bodies that these operators have to contend with, in addition to the ‘price war’ that has put a burden on
the existing infrastructure, we’re determined to ‘flog’ these operators to make them perform. “We have completed our regulations for QoS which will stipulate penalties in case KPIs are not met. We’re also completing preparations to measure these KPIs independent of the operators so that we can let them know when they are not meeting up with the indicators, after which we’ll enforce penalties. “We are also putting into operation, regulatory accounting. This will help us see the plans of the operators, to see if it is in line with the number of subscribers an operator has or projects to have. “By regulatory accounting we’ll be able to check the amount of investment operators are putting in place and see if the level of subscribers can be sustained by the network such investment is expected to create. These are among the new initiatives of the commission to tackle poor quality of telecoms services.”
GSM celebrates 20 years of commerical service
HE Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) is 20. It clocked 20 on July 1, the day the first GSM call was made on a commercial network in Finland, in 1991. The system will, however, clock 10 in Nigeria next month. GSM was introduced in the country in August 2001, with MTN and Econet as the pioneer networks. Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) celebrated the 20th annversary in a statement in which it noted the evolution of the telephony system which has changed the face of communication worldwide. According to NSN, the first conversation on the network was held between Finland’s then Prime Minister, Harri Holkeri in Helsinki and Vice-Mayor of the city of Tampere, Kaarina Suonio. During the call, Holkeri and Suonio discussed the benefits of the new, digital, GSM technology, including superior voice quality and security, and the fact that the phone’s identity is in the Subscriber Identification Module card, making it easy for consumers to
choose the product they like. A year and a half later, Nokia, launched the world’s first commercially available GSM digital phone, the NOKIA 1011, the model number coming from the launch date: 10th November. GSM was adopted in 1987 as the European standard for digital mobile technology. This second generation mobile technology could carry data as well as voice traffic. GSM’s high-quality voice calls, easy international roaming and support for new services such as text messaging (SMS) laid the foundations for a worldwide boom in mobile phone use. In the following years, the number of GSM subscribers grew beyond all predictions. It reached more than 500 million in the first decade to 2001. Today’s 838 GSM networks in 234 countries and independent territories around the world have more than 4.4 billion subscriptions. GSM is still growing fast, with 1 million new GSM subscriptions added every day. That’s a rate of nearly 12 a second.
Firm launches electronic discount scheme
•Governor Imoke and Swaroop at the event.
Airtel, Cross River sign MoU on rural telephony
IRTEL Nigeria and Cross River State have signed an agreement on provision of integrated telecommunications solutions in health, education, tourism and rural telephony service. Signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Government House, Calabar, Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Rajan Swaroop, said the company would take telecommunications to the underserved rural communities of the state and support the government in increasing access to healthcare as well as development of tourism and education in the state. He said Airtel’s task is essentially to key-into the transformation agenda of the state Governor, Liyel Imoke, to take the state to the next level, adding that the Telco has the resources, technological capability as well as the right attitude to make it happen. While congratulating the state for embarking on the initiative, he said: “Cross River State is blazing a trail which will soon become an example for other states to emulate and it goes without saying that our commitment to this project is 110 per cent. “At Airtel, we believe that telecoms is an enabler, unleashing the latent creativity and entrepreneurial skills of people. This initiative is completely in line with our vision, and fits into our objec-
tive to empower the people of Nigeria and make life and business more enjoyable for them.” Imoke, said the government would shift focus to technology and will no longer depend solely on oil and gas. He said, the initiative will enable the government provide services to people in the remote parts of the state who need government most.
“We believe that Cross River State is well positioned to take advantage of technology to improve service delivery, and Airtel originates from an environment that is not different from ours and so has the experience and technical knowhow to help us achieve our objective of developing a knowledgebased economy. This is indeed is a new dawn for the people of Cross River,” he stated.
ISCOUNT Guaranteed, an emerging marketing and business development company, has launched a coupon promotion initiative for consumers’ awareness. The product will enable consumers to be aware of companies’ promotional offers and increase customer base of organisations. The offer, according to the company, works with local merchants including restaurants, supermarkets, and other companies who create heavily discounted offers. Discount Guaranteed will spread through Nigeria’s viral social media channels: social networks, emails and online forums. The company operates much like Groupon or LivingSocial in the United States where users receive an e-mail with a local deal of the day. They then have the opportunity to buy that deal within a specific time limit. Once enough people have made the purchase, the offer is triggered and users get the discount. At the official launch of the company’s Website in Lagos, Chief Operations Officer of the company, Mr Yinka Teibo explained how the service works: “Discount Guaranteed is a free service that promotes discounts to people who want to receive electronic discount coupons from retailers and service providers in Nigeria, and in some
instances, other countries. “With thousands of Internet users logged on to our Website, we will conduct massive daily and weekly deals through companies who are offering discount to consumers; this would not be less that 25 per cent. “Our users will receive notification in their emails or social media accounts to see the daily deals and discounts being offered. They then print their discount coupons or simply bring them on their mobile and smart devices to the respective retailer to be redeemed with purchase of the product or item. “Companies can set a time frame for coupons to expire or say a prospective claimant may not present coupons for use until a threshold is reached, to drive more patronage. “This initiative apart from being used to get businesses and new products exposed to potential customers, generates huge traffic for the company.” Teibo added that companies already registered via www.discountguaranteed.com will have the option of utilising Discount Guaranteed’s pre-designed coupons that fit the company’s particular business or industry; or create its own custom design to upload onto Discount Guaranteed’s Website.
CBN’s drive towards a cashless economy •Continued from page 45 Atoloye, who was represented by a payment analyst in the CBN, Emmanuel Nwanji, noted that with the initiative, 3Line Card Management had demonstrated the will, capacity and understanding to drive the inclusion of the un-banked in Nigeria, into the financial mainstream of the economy. He said: “In Europe and other developed world, if you are paying for goods and services with cards, you pay less, but pay more when paying with cash. “For those of us in the regulatory agency, it costs more to manage cash. It is the wear and tear of cash that brought about the concept of polymer. We will do everything to encourage the use of cards as a means of settlement. We at CBN
have been trying to solve the problem of financial exclusion. 3Line has taken the lead. “They have demonstrated the will, capacity and understanding to drive the project. This project
of banking the un-banked is succeeding in Kenya; it’s a working tool in Brazil and Russia. The time of structural banking is fast diminishing and so every support should be given to encour-
age the success of this project. The 3Line initiative should be the fruit of the economy, driven by indigenous technical knowhow, for the good of all Nigerians.”
NIGCOMSAT hosts stakeholders’ conference
N Thursday July 28, Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Limited will host a stakeholders’ conference on the proposed NigComSat-1R Satellite due for last quarter of this year. The conference with theme: Optimising Satellite Communications for National Development will be held at the Abuja International Conference Centre, and will ad-
dress salient issues including stakeholders’ expectations, the critical need for communications satellites and its collaborative potential with other Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools to aid national growth. The conference is also expected to address the vital position of satellite as a national backbone infrastructure for communications and the important role it will play in
the Federal Government’s drive for nationwide broadband penetration. According to NIGCOMSAT spokesman, Mr Sonny AragbaAkpore speakers at the conference will include: industry players, regulators in the telecommunications, broadcasting and ICT sectors, CEOs of companies and government agencies, legislators, among others.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Fashola’s 1,500 days of service as a positive agent of change By Oluranti Odutola
HE focal point of Lagos State is the pursuit of excel lence. All projects and programmes initiatives and implementations converge on it and all the truths that Lagos is working emerge from it. That Lagos State is the haven of excellence has never been in doubt. Antecedence of past leaders and other notable Lagosians in bringing prominence and excellence to the state clearly attests to this. The developmental drive has over the years been a joint effort of both the political leadership, as well as public service, corporate, industrial and economic sectors. They have all through actions and activities, plans, programmes and policies shown exemplary drive for positive change. Feats recorded by the Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) in the governance of the state since his assumption of office in 2007, further allude to this outstanding status of the state. The slogan, ‘Centre of Excellence’ bestowed on the state, is therefore very apt, as it clearly depicts the outstanding posture of the state in all its undertakings. Though all states in the federation have similar slogans peculiar to them, historical antecedence confirms that excellence has been the bedrock of activities in Lagos State. Since his return to Lagos House, Ikeja for his second term, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), has continued to display same trait of excellence the state is known for. A few days after he was sworn in for a second term to re- enact the first term blessings and glory, a time his colleagues were still acknowledging pleasantries from far and wide, the apostle of more work for hard work had jetted out to Canada to inspect equipment and coaches for the Lagos Light Rail project which is very much on course. He had started the journey towards the fulfilment of his electoral promises and reinforcing the trust reposed in him by the electorate. Less than twelve hours of his return to the country, he had made unscheduled and unannounced visits to the premises of the Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau (LASRAB) and later the almost completed ultra modern Alausa Secretariat Staff clinic. The Governor has equally put his administration before God, when on his first working day in office for the second term, he partnered public servants to give thanks to Almighty God who had preserved his life and his administration, as well as the state public service through the rigorous pace setting first term, energy sapping electoral campaigns and electoral victory at a
special devotional service at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium. After thanking the public servants for the support given him and his administration, he set the tone for what the workers and indeed Lagosians should expect in his second term. He said point blank that they should brace up for more work ahead, as the citizenry were expectant of much more than had been recorded in the first term and would entertain no excuses for failure to fulfil such expectations. At another forum, a workshop for senior Government officials from Assistant Director cadre upwards, he told the workers firmly to forget completely about first term successes and concentrate on improving tremendously on service delivery. He said his administration would be people friendly, hence would not take their needs and expectations from Government lightly. The Governor explained that he and his administration owe their legitimacy to the people and would centre attention on them. He stated that his administration would not make the same mistake British war hero, Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill made. Though he performed excellently in office during the Second World War, soaring the image of Britain, the electorate denied him access to further leadership after the war, as they told him that his war time strategies were out of tune with peace time philosophies. Not waiting to be caught in the Winston Churchill web, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) urged the senior Government officials to reset their minds to new challenges, new solutions and improved strategies for service delivery . The administration had commissioned four research consultants to professionally seek the people’s assessment of his administration, come up with its shortcomings and future needs and expectations. Government was emphatic that the people’s needs must not be as-
sumed nor taken for granted. Greater attention must henceforth be paid to closeness and strategic partnership with the electorate, while in the course of renewed service delivery, honesty, integrity and the fear of God must be their guiding philosophies. As part of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola’s proactive approaches to governance and as we commemorate the administration’s 1,500 days in office today, the Government is presenting his cabinet members to the political class, permanent secretaries and stakeholders in the state at a two day retreat with a view to finetuning strategies for the positioning of the administration for the task ahead. Indeed, to all intents and purposes, the reinvigorated Fashola’s administration in the second term would largely be focused on the philosophy of development centred on all citizens being change agents. Resting on the cliché, ‘Government of the people, by the people and for the people’, the administration is demanding total participation in the transformational drive of the state. In his inaugural address for his second term, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) reaffirmed this people centric stance, ‘Our decision making process has always and will remain driven by the consideration of what gives the greatest good to the greatest possible number of our people’. The developmental drive is a task for all and not the leadership or the public service alone. Every citizen should be a change agent. The expected changes would be driven by all citizens in their respective areas. Students are to be change agents in their educational institutions, studying hard, expressing displeasure individually and collectively against constituted authorities in civil and humane manners. Traditional rulers in their communities are to set examples by being sticklers for law
Since his return to Lagos House, Ikeja for his second term, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), has continued to display same trait of excellence the state is known for
Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and order, adhering to laws and regulations governing traditional institutions and giving effective leadership to those at the grassroots. Public servants in the course of public service delivery, are expected to be courteous, diligent, innovative and focused while artisans in their different vocations must be orderly and service driven in the most respectful manner. All hands must be on deck in this march to greater heights. We must as the Governor said, ‘reach a consensus from today to play by the rules, such as paying our taxes, driving in the proper way and on the proper lanes, building only in proper and designated places and doing everything in accordance with the rules’. All citizens must play their civic responsibilities as at when due, not when they feel it is right for them to do so. Lagosians of all cadre must continue to exercise patience with Government in its stride towards improving their standard and quality of living. In the words of the Governor at his inaugural address on May 29, 2011, ‘it is important in managing this expectation therefore for all of us to constantly remind ourselves that while your government will not relent in its efforts, we cannot solve all the problems at once. What should matter is not whether problems exist but whether Government is responding to these problems and whether those responses are yielding results where they are implemented and not whether everybody has benefitted. In other words, we appeal to you to be patient with us and to judge our performance not only by the fact that we may not have reached you but by whether we are responding in
some areas and positive change is happening as a result of those responses’. The first term was marked with much involvement of the citizenry at stakeholders meetings and public hearings before policies were instituted and institutions established. For instance stakeholders meetings were held on the digital mapping of the state, taxation, presentation of model plans, the ongoing Badagry Expressway to mention a few. The State House of Assembly equally organized public hearings before major bills were passed into law. There were equally Town Hall meetings on security and other vital issues. Certainly, more of such mind rubbing sessions would be organized in order to carry everyone along, as it is only well informed citizens that can act as change agents and advocates of the State Government. We know it is not yet ‘UHURU’, for us, Lagos is still work – in – progress. Together, we can create the Lagos of our dreams. Henceforth, Lagosians should see governance and the State Government as ‘ours’ and not ‘theirs’. Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has consistently spoken of ‘our administration’ and not ‘my’ administration. Similarly, he has often spoken of ‘we ‘to include Government and the people and re – emphasise the strategic partnership between Government and the governed. From now on, Lagosians must see Lagos State in the light of, Our Lagos. Your Lagos. My Lagos. Oluranti Odutola is Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Gallbladder stone and the sickle cell E
VERYDAY is not a tea party day for a writer. Sometimes, the normal flow of ideas often taken for granted just gets stuck somewhere for seemingly inexplicable reasons. This Sunday afternoon, I pace up and down my study, trying to connect. Since the late 1970s, I’d known about human helpers in the so-called beyond often described by many as guardian angels. I’d known also that man is not meant to be a thinking but intuitive being. That’s why when you misplace anything or you forget something, it is often futile exercise trying to think about how to retrieve it, or to remember what it is you cannot remember. When you learn to let your helpers help you, and stop thinking, they whisper something into your inner faculties, and then its… ureka! So, this Sunday afternoon, I just went back to the bedroom and, in no distant time, the gentle whisper came… why not check your case files! The last note in the file concerns a young woman with gallbladder stone and vaginal discharge.
anti-inflammatory power from Tumeric, Curcumin 2000X is formulated as 70 per cent Curcumin and 30 per cent Tumeric with cayenne, the circulatory spice and herb added to them. Cayenne, it is said, makes Curcumin 2,000 times more active in the body than if curcumin were used alone. Probiotics are involved with cholesterol metabolism in the intestines, which presents its re-absorption into the blood. Additionally, I would recommend Alfafa-based liquid chlorophyll or a green powder greens drink. What I am looking for here is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll cleanses the liver. I will suggest also Vitamin A and Zinc for repairs of cellular damage. The Vitamin A will be partly Vitamin A and largely Beta Carotene which converts easily to Vitamin A and is anti-oxidant, protective of the bile and liver. In this regard, I’d go for Spirulina, one of the richest sources of beta carotene, richer in fact than carrots, and a rich source of all amino acids which are about 90 per cent absorbable. Somehow, my eyes have just fallen on a pamphlet entitled IWE EGBOGI (book of medicine) written by Fatai Abayomi Alade – Bangbala (ISBN 978-044-209-X), first published in 1999. It is subtitled EWE EHIN OLUBE (phyllantus leaf) and described as “A friend of women, young or old”. I must go out now, and gather some. It is one herb that has been absent from my herbal medicine chest for years.
Gallbladder Stones The day before we spoke, she had an acute attack and vomited profusely, with pains in the right upper part of her abdomen (the liver’s region) radiating to the right shoulder blade in the back. She didn’t remember what food she ate which triggered the attack. Nevertheless, she received a fill of the riot drill: No bread, no milk, no sugar, no fried foods, no caffeine, limited use of oils, although there is much talk about olive oil and lemon or lime liver flush shattering gall stones. My first encounter with gallstone problem was in Maria Treben’s HELP THROUGH PHARMACY, which I first read in the 1980s. She had a large stone surgically removed from her gallbladder which she hewned to the handle of a kitchen knife as a momento, she wrote. One day, as she was cutting radishes in a tray in the kitchen, the door bell rang, and she threw the knife amidst the radishes to attend to the guest. To her surprise, the stone had been melted by the radish when she got back to the kitchen, and this inspired her from then on to advise use of radishes tea in gallbladder stone situations. Except perhaps in the north of Nigeria, radishes are not well known in this country. But there is a plant well known as an antimalarial, a male sexual vitality stimulant, anti-hypertension and anti-diabetic that is not known for its stone crushing capabilities. Readers of this column who always ask for Nigerian names of plants so often mentioned should be glad to learn that this plant, botanically called phyllantus nuriri is known in Yorubaland as Ehinbisowo or Ehin olube. The last traditional ruler of my hometown, in Isonyin, Oba Ogutuga, Shaderiren I, once told me traders wet their trading places with the fluid extract, to attract business and prosperity. The signature tune of the secret of its psychic influence or secret are the seeds which are longitudinally ribbed on the back of the leaves, veins. The Yoruba believe the seeds mean money, hence the name ehinbisowo (money on the back). In India, liver protecting substances useful even in Hepatitis B therapy such as lignansniranthin, nirtetralin hypophyllantin, and phyltetrahn have been isolated from this plant. About eight years ago, I ran into www.celestine-india.com/ pankajoudhia, which extols the reputation of Phyllanthus nuriri as “useful in thirst, bronchitis, leprosy… tubercular ulcer, anaemia, offensive sores, snake bite, typhoid fever…”. The website adds that phyllantus “is a major component of many popular liver tonics in India, including LIV-52. It adds that “fresh juice and powder of dried plant are used most frequently in Ayurvedic preparations” and that its value in crushing gallbladder and kidney stores, for which Asians call it different names, such as Chanca Piedra (shatter stones) or Quebra – Pedra (break stones), as suggested by the following comment in the website. “One of the people who looked me up was a Dr. Wolfram Wiemann, who came to Iquitos to buy medicinal materials for his store in Nuremberg, Germany. The chief purpose of his trip was to replenish his stock of Chancra Piedra (Phyllantus nuriri) which he considered a most important cure for gallstones and kidney stones. The plant losses none of its effectiveness when dried, so it can be shipped anywhere. Dr. Wiemann kept careful records of all his sales, and he told me that he had over a hundred case histories of this one. In 94 per cent of these, Chancra piedra had completely eliminated the calculi within a week or two; the other six per cent were people who did not keep the requested promise to report results or those he had been unable to locate after they failed to show up. According to his records, not only was the herb infallibly successful in healing, but the only evidence of any side effect was an occasional case of cramps during the expulsion of stores. Dr. Weimann believed the healing to be permanent. His description of the effect of Chancra piedra duplicated first-hand account I had received from acquaintances who had used it, and also the information given me long ago by my own Iquitos physician, Dr. Gil Villacorta. He told me he had been prescribing it for years and had never known it to fail or to cause any important side effects”. In my child rearing years, my family drank phyllanthus tea regularly. In these days, an Igbo chief who lived in Badagry asked me for cats claw to stop the bleeding of his protruded anal pile. Instead, I sent him through his driver a pack of phyllanthus. He sent the driver to return it. I sent the driver back with the herb and a note that it was a gift. Three days later, while in the traffic on the way to Lagos, he telephoned no, exclaiming: “It’s a miracle”. The bleeding stopped, and he could now sit comfortably. The young woman who is our case subject is going to have other remedies in addition to Phyllanthus, for the reason I will explain soon. In Yorubaland, you don’t blame the chick being attacked by the fox in the latter’s den for wandering there as a way of saving its life. Rather, you rescue the chick and chase away the fox before pontificating. That is, the threatening stones have to be melted, crushed and expelled before anything else. Crushing stones with phyllanthus without taking precaution-
ary measures in the future is no foolproof guarantee that the stones will not reform. Expelling splinters of the crushed stone may injure the gallbladder ducts, which may become infected, influenced and painful. This calls for an internal soothing balm, an anti-inflammatory, analyne (anti-pain) and tissue healer. So, what causes gallbladder stones, and in which other ways may they be crushed and then prevented from reforming?
ASKED the young woman if she knew what the gallbladder was or where it was. She didn’t. I then asked if she’d ever dressed chicken and cooked it. “Yes”, she replied. I asked if she remembered one small bag with a greenish yellow substance in the liver, she did. This bag is the gallbladder. If it is not carefully removed from dressed chicken and the greenish yellow substance, the bile, stains the liver or flesh, the stain renders the meat bitter. In the case of this woman, the greenish yellow bile in her gallbladder hardened into stones called gallbladder stones. The stones do not allow free flow of bile from the gallbladder through the bile ducts into the small intestines, where the bile facilitates the digestion and absorption of fats, among other functions. Some of these other functions include transportation of poisonous fat-soluble substances out of the body through the stool and transport of soluble fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A and E and CoQ10 for absorption. The bile has about four major components… ONE: Cholesterol TWO: Minerals THREE: Lecithin, and FOUR: Bile Salts. Produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder, bile is meant to be in liquid state and flow freely out of the bladder and through the ducts. Sometimes, a shortage of any of these components causes any or all of the others to congeal into stones. Thus, the stone could be cholesterol stone or mineral stones (calcium or magnesium in particular). Cholesterol is no longer a fearsome substance. When it was feared in the 1980s as a cause of hypertension, heart attacks and strokes, and it was avoided in the diet like a plague, it was soon found that many low-cholesterol people were as susceptible to these diseases as high-cholesterol people. It was Dr. Udo Erasmus who logically explained what was going on in his book, FATS THAT HEAL and FATS THAT KILL. We need cholesterol to live. It is made by the liver and transported to the cells by Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called “bad cholesterol”. The “good cholesterol”, High Density Lipoprotein, moves cholesterol not used by the cells back to the liver. The liver’s job is to turn it to bile. To do this, many co-factors are needed, among them minerals, vitamins A, C, and E, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and so on. When these are not available in sufficient quantum the liver’s conversion of cholesterol to bile is poor, and the liver becomes infiltrated by fat, becomes fatty and sets the tone for a wide range of problems, one of which is solidification into stones of the damaged cholesterol content of the bile. The stones hurt the bile ducts, which become inflamed and painful causing spasms, which the anti-spasm common club-moss tea may help, or burst, leading to problems which may warrant surgical removal of the gallbladder. It is reasonable to anticipate that life cannot be the same again where the gallbladder is removed, because fat digestion would become a problem and, unless precautions are taken, fat soluble nutrients such as Vitamins A and E will be denied the body and fat-soluble poisons to be excreted would accumulate. I have an acquaintance who suffered in silence for many years before he got a handle on his problem. He was always in pain, was allergic to fatty food and progressively grew thin, tired and ill. Yesterday, he told me he’d like to replace his jar of milk thistle. I had advised him to stock milk thistle, Anti-inflammatory & Digestive Enzymes, Dandelion, Tumeric (or, better still Curcumin 2000X), Alkaline Vitamin C and Probiotics (friendly bacteria). Milk thistle, like phyllantus (Chancra piedra) is liverprotective and increases the flow of bile. Anti-inflammatory & Digestive Enzymes, like Flax Seed Oil and Udo’s oil, check inflammation of the gallbladder and bile ducts and promote fat (cholesterol) metabolism apart from dispersing the fats. Tumeric is anti-inflammatory and relaxes bile ducts. Incidentially, what is active in this regard in Tumeric is Curcumin, the yellow component which forms only two per cent of Tumeric. To get more
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Sickle Cell anaemia S there a cure for sickle cell anaemia? This question kept ringing in my brain after I read a text message reminder of an enquiry from a man whose seven-year-old daughter was convalescing in hospital after a crisis. You’d be seen as a crazy person in medical circles if you challenge existing order and say there is a cure. I am still anxiously waiting for another visit by a retired teaching hospital matron who told me a few weeks ago there was a traditional medicine cure. She should know what she’s saying. And we agreed I would show no interest in the remedy, to protect intellectual property. We’d find some doctors who’d be interested in a kitchen experiment. Blood samples of some volunteers would be taken by these doctors and their genotype verified in the lab. She’d bring the remedy which the experimenters will take. If it works, as she says it has in many cases, that should be a profound medical breakthrough. Meanwhile, I still see sickled cell as a spiritual question. Earthman is spirit, soul and body. The body is dust. The soul is ethereal (non earthly, non-spiritual) covering bodies of the spirit minus the dust, the earthly body. The soul bodies belong to worlds which lie between the earth and the spirit world, Paradise. Coming to the earth, the Spirit “wore clothes” of each world it passed through and the earth’s as it were, and determines the nature of each garment. As the spirit forms its own physical body through a process of radiation which cannot be explained fully here, but which is being attested to by the GHOST PAIN SYNDROME, for example, we may ask: why do five children from the same womb have different types of red blood cells, some sickled, others normal. Perhaps, one day, one of the prophesied “masterpieces” of man still elusive to him, will come when each sickled cell person understands his or her nature or being spiritually, and can move or shift it away to non-sickling terrain. For, can matter be any different from its binding force, the essence, the animating core, SPIRIT? Surgeon Norman Sheally agrees it cannot. Meanwhile, from the earthly perspective, a spiritually lay person can only wonder: if everything above is an archetype of everything below, and, if everything below (matter) comprises atoms, can the spirit also be composed of something one can call for now an atom, from want of better, insightful language? Can we call them spirit motes? Units of energy? The natural order of spiritual growth is for earthly experiences to bring new recognitions to the indwelling spirit which make it change inwardly. But some physicians working at the psychic level, such as in psychic surgery, which is now a reality, believe, by altering the make up of the finer constituents of the mind (spirit?), through the administration of aromatic substances, personality (being) can be altered also. At the physical level, the sickled cell person may be helped by (1) prolonging the lifespan of the sickled cell (2) overcoming oxygen deficiency (3) degumming and preventing sickled cells from clumping (4) moderating stress in the bone marrow and (5) supporting production of enough red blood cells. The sickled red blood lives about half the lifespan of a normal cell because it is itself deficient in oxygen. It is in this regard like an electricity power generating station without electric power! It is weak and easily attacked by germs and free radicals. It can be protected against all these vagaries by antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc, Bioflavonoids and Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). Ginkgo biloba, also an antioxidant, like Grape Seed Extract (GSE), an antioxidant and antibiotic, prevent clumping and promote circulation. Squalene and/ or Shark liver oil, like Vitamin E and Selenium, improve oxygen content of the blood, irrespective of the sickled cell. Ditto the proprietary product called OXYGEN from OXYLife. Squalene, in Shark liver oil, enables the shark to live in deep, oxygen deficient waters and survive. Mountain climbers who take Vitamin E do not feel the rigour on metabolism imposed by reduced oxygen content in high altitudes. Vitamin C, like the Bioflavonoids, is antiviral. So also is Revivo tea for the overworked bone marrow in the sickled cell person. Yarrow tea, like PROLINK, can soothe its pains. And Stem Cell Activator can help the production of more cells at minimum discomfort. JOBELYN can so rapidly improve the blood haematoint in 24 hours that a crisis can always be prevented. There are lots more a sickled cell person can support himself or herself with, and lead a robust life supported by fulsome physical body, not the typical tell tale thin and feeble physique such that, unless people are told, the condition becomes a personal health secret.
Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Microfinance banks move to check serial borrowers
ollowing series of reforms that streamlined their lending plans and modalities, microfinance banks are engaging new ways of checking the activities of serial or predator borrowers. At their monthly meetings held in the six geopolitical zones, the banks exchanged information on debtors that lack the credibility and willingness to repay their loans, The Nation has learnt. Speaking during a media briefing in Lagos, Chief Operating Officer, Credit Registry Services (Credit Bureau), Edna Ishaya, said the banks have taken this step to
Stories by Collins Nweze Senior Correspondent
ensure that they correct the mistakes of the past where customers with questionable characters borrowed funds and refused to pay. She said aside from loan default problems, many of the 224 MfBs whose licences were withdrawn by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over liquidity problems, made costly mistakes in the course of their operations. Many of the banks lacked appropriate products to attract the right customers while oth-
ers were highly undercapitalised. Chief Executive Officer, CRC Credit Bureau, Tunde Popoola, said part of the problems bedeviling the sector, is that many microfinance banks still operate manually, thereby making it difficult to easily detect fraudulent activities. He said majority of the affected microfinance banks, still rely on manual operations as against using internationally tested accounting softwares that save time and reduce fraud in the system. Popoola, said aside from the problems asociated with insider
abuse in lending, many banks are not doing microfinance banking, as they target the same high networth customers as deposit money banks. He said many of the troubled microfinance banks lent large sums exceeding the N500,000 regulatory benchmark to borrowers. "Quite a number of microfinance banks are not doing microfinance banking. The guideline for their operation says that you cannot give more than N500,000 to one borrower, but just a handful of them adhere to this regulatory requirement. We have seen concentrations of funds in the hands of
N110b loans fetch FBN Capital awards
BN Capital, the Investment Banking and Asset Man agement subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, further established itself as an industry leader as it was awarded the 2010 Best Syndicated Loan in Africa on Oando’s N60 billion loan. The firm also won the 2010 Best Bond in Africa on Bayelsa State government’s N50 billion issuance at the EMEAFinance Fourth Annual Achievement Awards recently held in London.
The awards were presented during the Achievement Awards Charity Dinner, at a ceremony which saw representatives of corporate organisations, banks, multilateral agencies and advisers from the EMEA region. Executive Director and Head of Investment Banking at FBN Capital, Taiwo Okeowo, said the awards are a recognition of the firm’s exceptional capabilities in the Debt Capital Market as well as in the provision of intelligent financing solutions for
try leader in deal origination, execution and distribution, has demonstrated market leadership capabilities in debt structuring, arranging and syndication, Okeowo, stated. The company has successfully arranged and coordinated the financing of strategic infrastructure and Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects across the country over the past five years. It had equally advised clients on landmark transactions across several sectors of the economy, he added.
clients. “We are honored to be recognised in the international community for our work. Our goal as the investment banking arm of the business, is to become the market leader in advisory services and win more of such awards in the future.” In 2009, FBN Capital won EMEAFinance’s Achievement Award for the Best Initial Public Offer in Africa and the 2010 African Banker Award for the Best Debt House in Nigeria. FBN Capital, seen as an indus-
StanChat appoints Client Coverage boss STANDARD Chartered Africa, has appointed Olukorede Adenowo, as Head of Origination and Client Coverage (OCC) for West Africa, covering Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, The Gambia and Sierra Leone. Adenowo, joined Standard Chartered Group in 1999, and was
part of the team that helped to start the Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria business. Since then, he has worked in various roles, including Regional Head of Global Corporate Africa, Head of Sales OCC Nigeria and more recently, Head of Wholesale Bank-
cross border and inter-regional opportunities within key markets such as Senegal and Gabon. “Standard Chartered Wholesale Banking business, views these markets as very important to the bank with substantial scope to grow,” the bank said, in the statement.
ing, Cameroon. A statement from the bank, said it viewed the African markets as very important, especially for their substantial scope to grow. This role aims to ensure that the bank is better coordinated to maximize the region’s potential and capture the
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 467.7m 400m 452.3m 500m 499,8m
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
GAINERS AS AT 6-7-11 SYMBOL DIAMONDBNK CAPHOTEL ABBEYBDS CILEASING UNITYBNK NEM UNHOMES FIRSTBANK JAPAULOIL IBTC
O/PRICE 4.97 3,85 1.37 1.19 0.85 0.52 0.53 12.00 1.04 9.40
C/PRICE 5.20 4.04 1.43 1.23 0.89 0.54 0.55 12.02 1.05 9.41
CHANGE 0.23 0.19 0.06 0.04 0.04 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.01
LOSER AS AT 6-7-11 SYMBOL NB CONOIL CAP PZ DANGCEM OANDO WAPCO ETI BERGER NAHCO
O/PRICE 90.00 36.10 36.00 37.99 123.00 42.00 47.00 14.89 10.43 8.00
C/PRICE 88.00 34.30 34.22 36.80 122.00 41.00 46.00 14.32 9.91 7.60
few borrowers and increasing allegations of insider abuse, people giving loans to their family members for their own businesses," he said. Many of the MfBs liquidated by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) ran into trouble when many of their debtors refused to pay back their loans, over 80 per cent of which were unsecured. Besides, some of the MfBs were taking excessive risks, and branching out too quickly without considering resources at their disposal and whether utilised funds were short or long term obligations. But the CBN recently set new guidelines for the operation of MfBs. Under the new guidelines, microfinance banks would now operate under three categories, which include unit, state and national microfinance banks. A unit MfB bank is authorised to operate in one location without branches/cash centres and is required to have a minimum paid up capital of N20 million while that of a state is expected to have a minimum paid up capital of N100 million. It is equally allowed to open branches within the same state or the Federal Capital Territory. But the national MfB is authorised to operate in more than one state, including the FCT. It is required to have a minimum paid up capital of N2 billion and is allowed to open branches in all states of the federation and the FCT, although subject to prior written approval by the CBN. Analysts said this will stregnten the balance sheet of MfBs and create better opportunity for them to key into new businesses under better risk management procedures.
CHANGE 2.00 1.80 1.78 1.19 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.57 0.52 0.40
Amount Sold ($) 400m 400m 499.8m
Exchange Rate (N) 153.59 153.4 153.45
Date 25-5-11 23-5-11 16-5-11
EXHANGE RATE 30-05-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
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06-07-11 N7.756tr 24,256.97
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9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.3%
7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
05-07-11 N7.823tr 24,465.52
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THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Ekiti: we’ll abide by court ruling
HE Ekiti State Government yesterday said it would abide by Tuesday’s ruling of the Court of Appeal, sitting in AdoEkiti, the state capital, on the dissolution of the Local Government Commission. The Appellate Court held that the outstanding benefits of the members of the dissolved commission be paid
up till February 2, this year, when their tenure would have ended and go ahead to reconstitute the commission. A statement in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, said the government, being a firm believer in the , rule of law, has begun arrange-
ments to pay emoluments accrued to the members of the dissolved commission as directed by the court, after verifying the figures with relevant departments. But this, the statement added, would not delay the planned reconstitution of the commission, as no employee can be forced on an unwilling employer.
Atuche: MD denies knowledge of N4b loan By Abike Hassan and Segun Olaniyi
WITNESS in the trial of the former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, and two others, Mr. Diamond Uju, yesterday denied knowledge of a N4billion purportedly granted his company, Future View Financial Limited by Platinum Habib Bank (Bank PHB). Uju, the first prosecution witness, said this while testifying yesterday in the case involving Atuche, his wife Elizabeth, and a former
Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Mr Anyanwu Ugo. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the bank illegally granted a N4 billion loan without collateral and in suspicious circumstances to Future View Company. Uju, a General Manager of Future View said he was never aware of any form of loan granted the company whether through oral or written agreement. He admitted that his company acted as both underwriters and receiving agent in the issuance of the public offer of shares of the Bank in 2007 but added that no loan was given to the company to his knowledge. Uju said he had never known a situation where loan would be given to a company when no applica-
tion for loan is made. He added that the Managing Director of Future View should be able to give a clearer picture of the matter as he could only speak on issues known to him. Under cross-examination by Atuche’s lawyer, Anthony Idigbe (SAN), the witness said”Throughout my 25 years experience in the financial industry, I don’t know of a situation where loan would be granted, especially on the amount of money shown to me by the EFCC (Four billion naira) by way of oral agreement.” Presiding judge, Justice Lateefat Okunnu prevented EFCC’s lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro from inviting his second witness. He said there were other important cases to be attended to. The court later adjourned the case to July 12 for the hearing of the testimony of the second prosecution witness.
Christian men hold events
OUNG Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Archbishop Vinning Memorial Cathedral Church, Ikeja, Lagos,is commemorating its 44th Anniversary with a week-long activities. These events, according to the Chairman, Organising Committee, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, at a briefing today, kicked-off with a Charity visit to Heart of
Gold Children’s Hospice, Surulere, Lagos, on July 2. A musical Crusade, featuring: The Nightingale, Ayo Jesu Gospel Singers and the AVMCC Choir was held yesterday at the AVMCC Main Auditorium. According to Ohuabumwa,the Project Luncheon and Awards at The Sheraton Hotels and Towers, is aimed at raising funds for some of the socie-
ty’s projects for the year, as well as honour some deserving Christian political office holders , some top members of the clergy and retired judges. Some state governors, who have performed well, will also receive awards. The awards are to encourage Christians in public office to remain forthright in the face of corrupt practices that pervade our society.
Lagarde promises to diversify IMF
HRISTINE Lagarde, the new head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says she wants the Fund to be more connected, credible and comprehensive. Speaking at her first press conference since taking over at the IMF, she outlined “the three Cs” as the key external priorities for the Fund.
Ms Lagarde also said she wanted to improve diversity at the organisation. She pledged to push ahead with reforms to give emerging markets greater sway at the international lender. “The world is going to continue to change,” she said. “We have these tectonic plates that are moving at the moment, and that needs to be reflected in the composition of governance and employment at the Fund.” “First of all, let’s focus on those connections and those connecting-points between economies, within economies, and make sure that our servic-
es and our advice are actually properly including that particular aspect,” she told reporters. “For the fund to be credible, its analysis, its work, needs to be candid, needs to be credible, needs to be even-handed. There is no one category of country that deserves special treatment and another one that will receive harsh treatment.” Turning to the third “C”, comprehensiveness, she said: “We cannot only analyse the economy by looking at some of the traditional standard criteria... the comprehensiveness of our approach must be enhanced.”
200 drown in boat mishap off Sudan
BOUT 200 people drowned in the Red Sea when a boat carrying migrants to Saudi Arabia sank off Sudan’s coast after catching fire, Sudanese media says. Only three people have been rescued, according to the Sudanese Media Centre (SMC), a state-linked news agency. A governing party official told the BBC he believed the passengers were Somalis likely to be fleeing the drought. The Red Sea is a well-
known trafficking route for migrants wanting to reach Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The boat had set sail from Sudan’s Red Sea State, about 150km (about 90 miles) south of Port Sudan, near the border with Eritrea. A senior official at Sudan’s Ministry of Information, Rabbie Abdellatti, told the BBC he believed that most or all of those on board were Somalis. Mr Abdellatti linked the case to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, which is af-
fecting an estimated 12 million people It is the worst drought in 60 years. Its effects have been compounded by the violence in Somalia, which has been racked by constant war for more than 20 years - its last functioning national government was toppled in 1991. On Wednesday, the UN refugee agency said it estimated that a quarter of Somalis are either displaced within the country or living outside as refugees.
‘Osama bin Laden’s family won’t be repatriated’
SAMA bin Laden’s family, detained in Pakistan, will only be repatriated once a government-appointed commission investigating the al Qaeda leader’s killing allows them to leave, the panel said, a move that could set it on a collision course with the army. Sixteen people, including bin Laden’s three wives and several children, were detained by Pakistani security forces after U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in the north-
western garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2. Pakistan’s foreign office said in May that bin Laden’s wives, one from Yemen and two from Saudi Arabia, would be repatriated. However, the commission blocked the ministry of interior and the powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from allowing the family to leave Pakistan, it said in a statement issued late on Tuesday after its first meeting. “The family can provide vi-
tal information about the presence of bin Laden in Abbottabad or elsewhere which could help the commission and that’s why it has asked the government not to repatriate them to their countries,” said Asad Munir, a retired ISI officer. Bin Laden’s youngest wife, Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, told Pakistani investigators in May that bin Laden and his family lived for five years in the compound in Abbottabad where he was killed.
Insecurity threatens sovereignty, says Tambuwal
OUSE Speaker Aminu Waziri yesterday decried the wave of insecurity in the country, saying it has undermined sovereignty. In Lagos, the Coalition of Ethnic Nationalities of Nigeria (CENN) urged President Goodluck Jonathan to restore security and rekindle hope in the ability of his administration to bring the perpetrators of the mayhem to book. The group said the prosecution of the members of Boko Haram sect would serve as deterrents to trouble makers.
•ACF blames violence on bad governance By Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Oluwakemi Dauda
Tambuwal reflected on the security situation when a delegation of ACF visited him. He said: “This is the time that we need to understand that our federation is indeed, the only federation we have. There is no country to accommodate refugees from Nigeria arising from crisis.” The Speaker maintained that Nigeria sovereignty has been threatened by repeat-
ed violence, urging unity among the people of various religious and political affiliations. The leader of the delegation, Ambassador Musa Saudu, blamed the spate of insecurity on proliferation of armed groups and failure of governance. A leader of CENN, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) said the Boko Haram Sect would continue to loom large, unless its members are prosecuted for their nefarious activities.
Court remands five suspected kidnappers
HIGH Court in Umuahia, Abia State, has ordered that five suspected kidnappers be remanded in prison custody till the determination of the case against them. They were accused of attempting to kidnap a man simply identified as Eugene at Umungwa Obowo, Imo State, in 2008.
From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
The suspects are Christian Egeonu (alias Don) Ifeanyi Okoroji (alias Iyierioba), Kingsley (alias Jimbaz), Uche Monday and Elvis Ibe. Justice Doris Udeogu ordered that the car and other materials recovered from the suspects be brought to court. The suspects were
returned to the Umuahia prison. Governor Theodore Orji urged the Acting Chief Judge of the State, Justice Theresa Uzokwe,and other judges to stop granting frivolous bails to kidnap suspects. The governor advised the judges not to delay kidnap cases.
•Vice President Namadi Sambo cutting the tape to open the New Prison in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State...yesterday. With him are Governor Godswill Akpabio (second right) and prison officials
Funeral for Orunja begins today
CHRISTIAN wake keep of Mr Micheal Orunja, a Lagos teacher popularly known as Uncle Gaga, was held yesterday at his residence, Amodu Street, Itire, Surulere, Lagos. The late Orunja’s lying in state will take place at his family’s residence in Irona quarters Ado- Ekiti, Ekiti State while interment follows after the Church service at the family residence. The son of a former police chief, was born into the family of the late Johnson Akintayo
Orunja and Helen Aduke Orunja in 1957. He attended St. George’s Primary School Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos. He later went to Ekiti State for his primary and secondary school education. The deceased worked at the then Conference Visitors Unit (CVU), Obalende Lagos in 1979. He got admission into Federal College of Education, Ijanikin in 1981 to read Applied and Fine Arts. He graduated in 1983. A disciplinarian, he loved his family and he impacted so
•The late Orunja
much on the lives of everyone that came his way. He was ordained as a Deacon in Church Christ Apostolic Church (CAC).
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011
Tomorrow in THE NATION ‘On the flipside, it is instructive to note that the stewardship of President Jonathan and company, their rise to eminence as well as our seeming desperation to deride, eulogise, condemn and apologise for their politics aptly constitutes the epilogue and prologue to Nigeria’s descent and ascent into the doldrums and out of it respectively, and vice versa’ OLATUNJI OLOLADE
THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 6, NO.1,813
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
DISTURBING controversy has dogged the issue of the new minimum wage of N18, 000 per month. With the exception of Lagos and Edo states, the governors of the remaining states are dragging their feet on the matter. Lagos state is able to pay the new wage because it has widened its revenue base by substantially increasing its monthly internally generated revenue (IGR) to nearly N2 billion per month. This is what the other states should be doing instead of depending almost entirely on the federally collected revenue. In Edo state, Governor Oshiomole, a former leader of the Labour Union, evidently feels it a moral obligation for him to accept the new minimum wage, regardless of the financial inconvenience to the state. In Ondo state, the government has negotiated the prescribed minimum wage down to N14, 000 per month. But I am sure this is not the end of the matter as the workers in Ondo state will, in due course, demand more. The governments of Lagos and Edo states should be commended for their sense of duty and responsibility in accepting to pay the new minimum wage. The bitter dispute between the states government and the unions on the new minimum wage raises some fundamental questions. First, were the states governments not consulted over the proposed wage increase? Did they not participate in the drawn out negotiations with the labour unions? If they were, and they accepted, then are they not under a moral obligation to pay? Second, do the state governments not consider the Act passed by the National Assembly, in which all the states are represented, binding on them? From the statements of some of the state governors, it appears they do not regard the agreement as binding on them. In other words, the Act on wages passed by the National Assembly has no legal effect, and the Federal Government has no means of enforcing it; a classic constitutional muddle and anomaly. To enable them pay the new minimum wage, virtually all the state governments have asked for a review of the revenue allocation formula, as well as the removal of the so-called oil subsidy by the Federal Government. At a time like this, it is quite astonishing that the states should be asking for the removal of the oil subsidy. They have every right to ask that the federal share of the federally collected revenue be reviewed downwards from roughly 52per cent to 42per cent and the share of the state governments increased correspondingly. They say it is only on this basis that they will be in a position to accept the proposed minimum wage. Some are threatening to sack some of their staff. But this is no way to trim the work force. While there is considerable merit in the argument for a review of the states’ share in the federally collected national revenue, this demand, or that for the removal of oil subsidy, should not be tied up with the issue of the new minimum wage. These are separate issues worth pursuing on their own merit by the
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On the issue of minimum wage
states. To make these issues a quid pro quo would be regarded, quite rightly, by the workers as blackmail, as the workers are in no way responsible for the skewed revenue allocation formula that is so blatantly unfair to the states. If this matter is taken up seriously by the state governments, they will certainly enjoy the support of the workers, indeed that of the whole nation as well. This may well provide a suitable opportunity to break the logjam over the sharing among the governments of the federation of the federally collected revenue. A previous attempt to resolve the logjam at the National Political Conference of 2005 had floundered on the altar of ethnicism and regional considerations. This is the right time to revisit the issue. It is also the appropriate time to consider whether it is right, or not, for the Federal Government to determine what the national minimum wage should be. We run a federal system
of government in which the issue of wages should be placed on the concurrent list of the National Assembly, rather than on its exclusive list. This should enable the various states and the Federal Government to determine what they can conveniently pay as minimum wages in their respective areas of jurisdiction. In fact, this was the practice even before our independence from colonial rule when the regions decided their own minimum wages. For instance, in 1956, the Awolowo AG government in the then Western Region promised, in the run up to the regional elections of that year, that it would increase its minimum wage from 2sh/6p per day to 5sh. The idea was ridiculed as unsustainable by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, then premier of the Eastern Region, who offered to pay his workers a minimum wage of 3sh/4p per day. On his own part, the northern premier, the Sardauna, offered to pay only 2sh/6p which was what the Federal Government paid as well at the time. Awolowo fulfilled his promise in the Western Region, while the other two regions were unable to fulfill theirs due to financial constraints. This was despite the introduction of free primary education in the region in 1954. There was no acrimony as each paid according to its ability. The point being made here is that the issue of wages should be federalised, with all the governments of the federation being empowered to determine their wage structure. In most federal states, including the United States, Canada, and Australia, the determination of wages is placed on the concurrent list so that the constituent states can decide what their minimum wages should be. Naturally, this will depend on their revenue base. There will be no compulsion on them to pay wages that they can ill afford. The proposed minimum wage of N18, 000 represents an increase of 150per cent on the old minimum wage. But it is only roughly US$4 per day and the Labour Union had, in fact, originally asked for a minimum wage of N50, 000 per month. Through tough
UDGING by the speed with which they are rushing to repent of their sins at the feet of the bloodthirsty Boko Haram, some former and serving northern governors must have gravely wronged the sect in the past. Yesterday, former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, took out an advertorial in newspapers to tender an abject apology over his role in the 2009 military crackdown on the sect. Addressing the group by their formal name, he said: “I wish to publicly tender my apology to the Jama’atul Ahliss-Sunnah Ladda’awaiti Wal Jihad and any other group I might have offended in the course of discharging my duties as the Executive Governor of Borno State. It is human to err and divine to forgive.” For the ex-governor whose brother, Goni, and the then All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate in Borno State, Alhaji Modu Fannami Gubio, were slain by the militants, apologising must seem like nothing. Taking a cue, former Gombe State Governor, Danjuma Goje, last week took time off his senatorial duties to pen his own craven apology to the sect. Fresh from apologising for his flippant comments about the death of 10 National Youth Service Corps members in his state following
negotiations with the workers, this was reduced to N18, 000. Even artisans now ask for N5, 000 per day. This translates to N150, 000 per month, a far cry from what the public sector workers are demanding. Even if artisans work for only a week in a month, they will have earned far in excess of what public sector workers are struggling so desperately to earn. But in practice, these public sector workers earn far in excess of what is being offered them, by ‘moonlighting’, and by demanding and receiving bribes for quite shoddy service delivery in the public sector. It is the only way they are able to survive. Given the double digit inflation in the country and the consequent sharp increase in the cost of food, transportation, and rents, very few people will consider the new minimum wage too high. It is much lower than the minimum wages in many other African countries less endowed than our own country. In the light of the general profligacy in public spending and the huge salary and allowances of senior government officials, it would be quite difficult for the states to successfully resist the pressure to pay the new minimum wage. It would, in fact, be morally unjustified for them to refuse to pay what is still, essentially, a pittance. This could lead to labour strikes that can paralyse the domestic economy. As I write this, it was reported in the media that the labour unions had accused the state governments of ‘reckless insensitivity to the plight of workers’, threatening to go on strike if the minimum wage is not paid within the next two weeks. This should be avoided in the interest of the nation. It will, of course, be argued in official circles that the proposed minimum wage will further heighten the inflationary spiral. But this is a false argument as it is the rentier mentality of the political class, not the workers’ meagre salary that is mainly responsible for the high inflation in the country. The total sum involved nationwide in the proposed increase is, in fact, less than 1% of the total public expenditure on wages and salaries from which a lot of savings can be made to take care of the proposed increase in the minimum national wage. When you contrast this with the 25per cent of the total recurrent expenditure of the Federal Government that is being spent on the National Assembly, then it will be clear that the workers, even with the new minimum wage, cannot be said to have gotten a fair deal. As a matter of fact, minimum wage in the public sector lags seriously behind pay in the private sector as well as middle class households where gatemen now demand a minimum of N20, 000 per month. The state governments must wake up to their responsibility in this regard by meeting their increased wage bill from savings in public expenditure, particularly the huge amount of money being spent on their legislatures. • For comments, send SMS to 08054503031
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
The grovelling governors post-election violence in April, Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, appears to have acquired a taste for humble pie. His own plea for mercy was thorough. You would have thought such a quality apology would impress the militants. No way! Five days after Yuguda’s peace offering, gunmen suspected to be sect members, raided a police station in Toro town, Bauchi State, seizing all weapons they could lay hands on. A few weeks ago, Boko Haram listed conditions for a truce. Aside the apologies, they wanted security agents implicated in the extra-judicial killing of their erstwhile leader, Mohammed Yusuf, to be tried. Two weeks ago, the government duly obliged. Now, the indicted policemen are facing “terrorism” charges. Another outstanding issue is the resignation of current Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima. With his predecessor showing the way, no one should be shocked if the man patriotically throws in the towel. That would leave just one sticking point: the strict enforcement of Sharia in 12 northern states.
We are not sure where this sudden remorse over “injustices” meted out to Boko Haram members is coming from, but we can hazard a guess. It is either inspired by fear, or it exposes the fact that all the hot air about protecting lives and property emitted by these governors in the heat of the 2009 crisis was just that: hot air. They never had the courage of their convictions. These apologies are powerful in their symbolism. It shows who is calling the shots in the showdown between the government and the sect. While the governors are going on bended knees, and Aso Rock is pursuing its appeasement policy, a convenient amnesia has afflicted officialdom - so much so that there is no recollection of the crimes and human rights abuses carried out by Boko Haram members. If there is any rememberance at all, we don’t hear anyone calling them to apologise for their sins - at least. After all, we have been assured they are untouchables who should not be prosecuted in the interest of peace.
Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: email@example.com Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO