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VOL. 6, NO. 1783 TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 2011




House rejects Jonathan’s candidate for Tambuwal EFCC seizes Bankole’s passport

ACN, CPC, others kill PDP’s agenda

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja


X-SPEAKER Dimeji Bankole’s passport was seized yesterday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The commission obtained a court warrant after which it sent a team of operatives to search Bankole’s 8, Clapperton Street, Asokoro Quarters, Abuja, home. The ex-Speaker was allowed access to a lawyer, Margaret Onyema. Bankole, who was arrested Sunday night, underwent about four hours interrogation. He was questioned about how the House spent N25billion between Janu-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor


ONING was dealt a fatal blow yesterday, with the election of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Tambuwal is from the Northwest. He is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which zoned Speaker to the Southwest. Tambuwal, who was Deputy Chief Whip in the sixth House, represents Kebbe/ Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State. He defeated PDP’s anointed candidate, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, who was believed to have been backed by President Goodluck Jonathan. The immediate past Chief Whip, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nkem Ihedioha, emerged Deputy Speaker - unopposed. It was all not without drama. On the eve of the election, it was widely

Continued on page 4

Continued on page 4

David Mark, Ekweremadu lead Senate From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE Senate yesterday rubberstamped the candidature of Senators David Mark (Benue South) and Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu West) as Senate President and Deputy Senate President. Their candidature was ratified by the body of senators without any opposition. Immediate past Deputy Majority Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba (Cross River Central) moved the motion nominating Mark for the office. It was seconded by Senator Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West). Ekweremadu was nominated by Senator Zaynab Kure (Niger South). Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) seconded the motion. Continued on page 4

CBN meets eight banks over costs •Mark taking the oath ... yesterday


I promise that I will be honest, transparent, fair and will ensure that there is equity and justice. Above all, I will preside with the fear of God.

•Tambuwal taking the oath ... yesterday

The House of Representatives is our collective House whose independence and autonomy we must uphold and protect at all times.

INSIDE •What future for National Assembly? •The man Tambuwal •Zoning: PDP beaten at its game •The man Ihedioha •Winners •Why Mark, Tambuwal were elected, by Jonathan •Losers •Poor crowd management, tear gas for VIPs at inauguration •ACN lawmakers will work for the people, says Tinubu SEE PAGES •Why Reps revolted against PDP’s, Jonathan’s choice 2-4,9&11-12

By Ayodele Aminu


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has met with eight of the banks that control 80 per cent of the banking transactions to discuss modalities for the implementation of the Shared Services Project. The project, a baby of the Banking Operations department of the CBN and spearheaded by Accenture on behalf of the industry, is geared towards reducing costs by about 30 per cent over the next three years. The eight giants are: First Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Continued on page 4





•Cross section of senators, Mrs Remi Tinubu, Gbenga Ashafa, Ganiyu Solomon, Abdullahi Adamu (second right) and others taking oath of office in Abuja yesterday

What future for National Assembly? N

OTWITHSTANDING the acknowledged acceptability of Senate President David Mark at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, not a few had feared that the “Nigerian factor” would come to play to alter all political permutations. Senators brought to bear the tradition of orderliness and legislative decorum which the Senate had evinced since 1999. Nobody lost his voice in any shouting match. Without ado amid rousing applause, Senator David Mark was nominated and returned unopposed alongside his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. It was a different ball game with the House of Representatives. Amid a fairly rowdy electioneering session, Aminu Tambuwal emerged Speaker with 252 votes, humbling Mulikat Akande-Adeola who polled 90. Emeka Ihedioha became the new Deputy Speaker. Right from the moment of the election in the House, keen observers of its antecedents had begun to ask questions about the future of

By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

the National Assembly which enjoys robust tradition of varied turbulence. Prior to the era of the immediate past Speaker of the House, Dimeji Bankole, who swam in multi-dimensional troubles till he said final bye to the potent gavel, early in the week, the House was never known for a culture of sustained peace. Before Bankole, Salisu Buhari, Aminu Masari and Patricia Etteh had spent brief but turbulent years in the saddle. And they hurried out of the seat in inglorious circumstances. However, Bankole stayed longer, but he had more splitting headache to grapple with, both within and outside the House, thus turning into the proverbial cat with nine lives. His troubles started almost immediately he was elected on November 1, 2007. Issues pertaining to his participation or otherwise in the compulsory national service

were raised. Somehow, he survived it. He was once locked in a battle with Hon Independence Ogunewe. He was to later be on collision course with some of his aggrieved colleagues who operated under the aegis of ‘Progressive-Minded Legislators (PML).’ The group, led by Hon Dino Melaye (Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), (Kogi State) accused him of certain financial misdemeanor. The battle was fought dirty. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the State Security Service (SSS) and the PDP) waded in. At a point, it turned bloody as fierce punches took over the floor of the House. Alongside some of Bankole’s colleagues, Lagos lawyer Festus Keyamo, again, got at his jugular over the shady purchase of Peugeot cars for House’s Committees’ works. They were said to have been overpriced. All that had remained unresolved

when in late 2009, Bankole was accused of financial mismanagement alongside three members of the House. While he was presumably envisaging eventual exit from the House, he had another problem in his hands. He had to explain his role in the “illegal” purchase of NITEL’s 37storey building - NECOM House on Marina, Lagos. He had not finished smarting from the controversy when a master-stroke landed on his head. He got neck-deep in tribulation over the now-controversial N10 billion loan obtained by the House. Moments after he dropped the rein of power, the EFCC found him a place in its custody on Sunday night. Will the Lower Chamber inherit the tradition of storms under the new leadership? Is it going to be a bed of roses under Speaker Aminu Tambuwal? This is a major poser by many an observer. And not a few others wonder whether or not the new leadership of the Assembly is here with a magic wand to make a clear break from the ugly past.

Zoning: PDP beaten at its own game


FTER successfully dismantling the zoning formula to pave the way for the emergence of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as its standard bearer in the April 16 presidential election, efforts by the party to restore the principle collapsed yesterday. Since it became apparent that the Seventh National Assembly would have to appoint principal officers for the Senate and the House of Representatives, the party’s hierarchy hammered on the need to maintain the status quo of having the Northcentral keep the office of the Senate President, while the Southwest produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The party put everything into it to ensure that its members in the dual chambers of the National Assembly toe the party line by ensuring smooth sails for the preferred candidates. At a point, the party mounted divisive campaigns to break the ranks of the adamant lawmakers who were bent on denying the Southwest the opportunity to lead the House. The party told the members that nothing would be left for the zone in the ruling party if denied the slot.

‘Unlike the inaugurations of 2003 and 2007, when the Katsina Stateborn Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari (Northeast) and the Osun State-born Mrs. Patricia OlubunmiEtte (Southwest) assumed the Speaker’s position without opposition, either from within the ruling PDP, or from the opposition lawmakers, the emergence of Tambuwal with 252 votes to Mrs. AkandeAdeola’s 90 votes was one with a difference’ By Bunmi Ogunmodede

At one point or the other, the President, his wife, Dame Patience, acting National Chairman Haliru Bello Mohammed, Chief Tony Anenih

and Senate President David Mark lobbied the arrowheads among the Representatives for a smooth sail for the party’s anointed candidate. While the ruling party had its way without stress in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, it was a different ball game at the lower arm. Majority of the PDP members vehemently kicked against the party’s position. Hence, the keen contest for the Speaker’s seat between the opposition-backed Sokoto state-born Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Northwest) and the PDP-anointed candidate Mrs. Mulikat AkandeAdeola from Ogbomoso, Oyo State. Unlike the inaugurations of 2003 and 2007, when the Katsina Stateborn Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari (Northeast) and the Osun State-born Mrs. Patricia Olubunmi-Ette (Southwest) assumed the Speaker’s position without opposition, either from within the ruling PDP, or from the opposition lawmakers, the emergence of Tambuwal with 252 votes to Mrs. Akande-Adeola’s 90 votes was one with a difference. The thinking in the political circle is that after the Jonathan presidency, the Southeast should have a shot at the nation’s most exalted office.

But the apostles of zoning who strongly believed that the principle was manipulated by the powers that be to rob the North of retaining the office, which was transferred by a stroke of fate with the demise of the late President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, are back with the megaphones, telling whoever cares to listen, that the presidency must return to the region by 2015. At the forefront of this agitation is the Malam Adamu Ciroma-led Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF). Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who was picked as the group’s consensus candidate lost to the President at the party’s special national converntion on January 13 at the Eagle Square, Abuja. Former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida has never spared any opportunity to remind Nigerians that the North is angling to take back power at the expiration of the four-year tenure of the President. With the failure of the party to restore zoning as a means of filling key national positions, especially in the 360-member House of Representatives, the PDP may as well have bidded the controversial principle the final bye.

Poor crowd management, tear gas for VIPs at inauguration From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja


OOR crowd management almost marred the inauguration of the seventh National Assembly yesterday. Policemen on duty fired teargas at a crowd of governors, former governors, Senators-elect, Rep members-elect, journalists, legislative aides and visitors at the entrance of the National Assembly. People ran helter-skelter in confusion after four canisters of tear-gas were fired. People with handkerchiefs covered their noses; others had tears streaming down their eyes, uncontrollably. Abia State Governor Theodore Orji and his aides, who trekked about half a kilometre to the main complex from the outer gate, were denied access into the National Assembly through the main entrance. The police officers asked him and his large entourage to leave the Complex but the Governor was eventually able to enter through another entrance. For “security reasons”, most of the invited guests were barred from entering the complex, forcing a large crowd of people to mass up at the entrance. Former Akwa Ibom state Governor Obong Victor Attah was barred at the entrance but he found his way in after a long wait. A former Clerk of the National Assembly was also disallowed from entering the complex. He waited for a long while when a senior police officer recognised him and assisted him to go in The clothes of a senator-elect was torn to shreds when he was rough-handled by the policemen at the entrance. Former Oyo state Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala narrowly missed being tear-gassed. He squeezed through the crowd into the lobby before tear-gas canisters were fired. Some family members of Senators and Reps who were invited and could not stand the brutality at the entrance, left in anger and disappointment.





OUSE of Representatives: The Lower Chamber emerged yesterday as House ready to assert itself and liberate itself from the yoke of the Presidency and ruling party leadership. It was a tentative boost to the principle of separation of powers and checks and balances. If it is sustained, as it should be in a presidential democracy, Nigeria will reap the benefit of good governance. Tambuwal: At exactly 5 pm yesterday, he sat for the first time on the exalted seat. He held the gavel firmly, waved it at his colleagues, off his black Edwardian cap and took a bow, amid cheers by his colleagues. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Kebbe-


Tambuwal Constituency) fulfilled his destiny, to the delight of his vast supporters, who gave the House a new perception. He is today one of the leaders of the ruling party, federal government and country. For him, the road to the parliamentary power was laced with thorns. Not even the governor of his state, who was employed by the Presidency, and top party leaders could persuade him to step down. He became the Speaker by the grace of strong will, commitment, determination and popular wish of the House. However, what will sustain him in office is good conduct, which is a rare commodity in politics. PDP House members: The message, which the PDP

members of the House sent across was that, the limitation to the culture of imposition should not be ignored and zoning can never take the place of merit, standard and excellence at all times. Although the ruling party may misinterpret the rejection of zoning and imposition as partisan rebellion, the election of the Speaker was not a party affair. Gone also were the days when lawmakers were threatened with denial of tickets for going against the ruling party’s wish. The instructive lesson which the PDP should learn is that wide and constructive consultation is superior to the tyrannical style of bullying. Northwest: In a country where the topmost



Why Mark, Tambuwal were elected, by Jonathan From Dele Anofi, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said the quality leadership provided by Senate President David Mark and House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal was responsible for their election. He said they have shown great commitment to strengthening democracy in the country. He however expressed hope of harmonious working relationships with the newly-elected leadership of the seventh National Assembly. President Jonathan also congratulated the leadership and members of the National Assembly. He said Mark and Tambuwal would not have been elected if their colleagues do not see leadership qualities in them. In a statement yesterday by Justin Abuah of the Office of the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), the president said he looks forward to working harmoniously with the new National Assembly to better the lot of Nigerians. The statement reads: “President Jonathan believes that the re-election of Senator David Mark as President of the Senate and the election of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as Speaker of the House of Representatives by their peers in the National Assembly is an affirmation of their leadership qualities and commitment to strengthening Nigeria’s democratic institutions. “The President looks forward to working harmoniously with the re-elected Senate President and his deputy, as well as the newly elected Speaker and his deputy, other principal officers and all members of the 7th National Assembly on the implementation of his Agenda for National Transformation. “He wishes the leadership and members of the new National Assembly a successful tenure in the service of the nation”.

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan: Like his predecessorsformer President Olusegun Obasanjo and the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua-, President Goodluck Jonathan was not indifferent to the nature and tendency of the occupant of the number four position. He had moved swiftly to protect the wish of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which had zone the House of Representatives speakership to the Southwest. But he failed to make Hon. Aminu Tambowal step down for his preferred candidate, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola. As Nigerians voted en mass for the President at the general elections, the representatives voted in the same vein for Tambowal, who defeated his opponent with 162 votes. The implication is that the new Speaker may not likely operate under the influence and shadow of the power-loaded Presidency. The pre-in-House election developments may continue to shape the relationship between the Lower Chamber and the executive arm of government as the House settles down for business. The President may have to moderate his steps in utter sensitivity to the presence of a potentially vibrant House of Representatives.

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By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

First Lady: The wife of the President, Mrs Patience Jonathan, had intended to acquire the image of power broker of a sort. As the power behind the throne, as it were, she invoked the feminist sentiment, urging the House to give operative content to the 35 per cent women affirmative action by electing the female legislator, Akande-Adeola, as successor to Hon. Dimeji Bankole. Gender balance, she was said to have argued, would boost women participation at the higher echelon of governance, in the spirit of Benjin Conference. Greater considerations for the independence of the House nullified the appeal to gender sentiments. PDP: The war against the zoning formula on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday revealed the weakness of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership. It signaled the collapse of party supremacy, gradual liquidation of the doctrine of party discipline in the ruling party and loss of cohesion. In particular, there was tension between party supremacy and

parliamentary independence. It is also doubtful that the choice of the party will emerge as the Majority Leader. It was not the ‘PDP Speaker’ that emerged, but Speaker of the Nigeria’s House of Representatives, who cannot, for now, be ignored by the PDP, on which platform he vied for a seat in the House, and the President. Southwest PDP: The Southwest, which is never fascinated by the so-called mainstream politics, is not the loser. The loser is the Southwest PDP caucus, which struggled to get the slot without success. To the progressives in the zone, there is no cause for alarm. Their thinking is that topmost positions are meaningless, if they are not occupied by patriotic citizens. The premise for this line of thought is their assessment of the eight years of President Obasanjo and four years of Bankole, which brought no particular progress to the politically sophisticated region. The most senior government officials from the Southwest in this dispensation would ministers. Analysts however, argue that it a set back to the zone. Now, it is a marginalised region, unlike the Southsouth which produced the President, Northwest

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THE MAN TAMBUWAL By Emmanuel Oladesu


Born on January 10, 1966, the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, attended Tambuwal Primary School, Tambuwal, Sokoto State and Government Teachers College, Dogon-Daji, before proceeding to Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, to study Law. He completed his one year compulsory legal studies at the Nigeria Law School, Lagos in 1992. He is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Body of Benchers, Nigeria, International Bar Association, American Bar Association, and an alumnus of Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, United States, Stanford Graduate school of Business, USA and Tulane University, USA. Tambuwal, who was elected into the Lower Chamber in 2003, is a former Chief Whip and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

offices in the federal and executive arms are perceived as national cakes, the present arrangement is to the advantage of the Northwest, which has produced the Vice President and House Speaker. Remarkably, the zone is also lucky to have seven states. but beyond this euphoria, the success of the two men on the hot seats will determine their suitability for the preeminent positions and fitness for higher political roles in the future. Southeast: Southeast is often described as a marginalised zone because it has not produced an ‘executive President’. while other regions have seven and six states, it also has five states. Now, the zone has produced the SGF and Deputy House Speaker.

1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 •Akande-Adeola which produced the Vice President and Representatives Speaker, Northcentral which produced the Senate President, Southeast which produced the Deputy Senate President, Representatives Deputy Speaker and Secretary to the Federal Government. Akande-Adeola: The lawyer and legislator from Ogbomoso is qualified for the position of the Speaker. But to the majority of members, she was an unwanted candidate. Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola showed her intention at a critical time the much needed home support in the House was lacking. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) representatives, who have displaced their PDP rivals, could not invest much confidence in her because of ideological differences. Ironically, they endorsed another PDP representative from Sokoto State, who shares the same ideological belief with her for reason of expediency. On the day of the election, Akande-Adeola’s supporters wiped emotions in the media. They enjoined the Southwest to avoid inflicting on itself an inexplicable marginalisation, stressing that the speakership was its patrimony. During the election on the floor, the advise paled into a weak wake up call.

THE MAN IHEDIOHA Deputy Speaker Chukwuemeka Ihedioha was born at Mbutu, Aboh Mbaise LGA, Imo State, Nigeria , on March 24, 1965 He had his secondary education at St. Ephraim’s Secondary School, Owerrinta. He attended the University of Lagos, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1988. He obtained an Executive Certificate Course in Financial Management from Stanford University, USA and Leadership Certificate Course from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA.



NEWS House rejects Jonathan’s candidate Continued from page 1

speculated that Tambuwal and Ihedioha might be arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) due to the damning report the office of immediate past Speaker Dimeji Bankole, released on how the controversial N10 billion loan was shared. But Tambuwal was said to have maneuvered his way into the Chamber, to the delight of his supporters, including members of the opposition parties, who backed him. The first signal that Tambuwal was on his way to becoming Speaker was the thunderous applause that followed the announcement of his name by the Clerk of the House, Mr. Sani Omolori, during the roll call of members. After the roll call, the House witnessed some momentary rowdiness, following the announcement of the voting procedure by Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa. Maikasuwa said members should indicate their name, constituency and the name of the person they voted for on the ballot paper. The procedure did not go down well with many members as they protested that it would defeat the open-secret ballot they adopted. But Maikasuwa warned that any ballot paper that did not bear the name of the voter, his/her constituency and the name of the candidate voted for would be de-

•Ihedioha taking the oath ... yesterday

•Ekweremadu taking the oath ... yesterday

clared invalid. Some members said the voting procedure was part of the ploy to intimidate members into voting for Mulikat Akande-Adeola, who had been adopted by the PDP for the job. But Maikasuwa claimed that the procedure was adopted to ensure transparency in the electoral process. Voting pattern sorted out, Maikasuwa called for nominations. Hon. Emmanuel Jime (Benue State) nominated Tambuwal for the position of Speaker. The nomination was seconded by Hon. Nnenna Elendu Ukeje (Abia State). Tambuwal promptly accepted his nomination. Hon. Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi (Imo State) nominated Hon. Mulikat AkandeAdeola (Oyo State) also for Speaker.

have been to send a message to President Goodluck Jonathan that he has nothing to fear. Counting of votes ended around 4.22 pm. Omolori announced that Tambuwal received 252 votes to defeat his only rival, AkandeAdeola, who got 90 votes. Eight votes were invalid. One member abstained from voting. Immediately after the announcement by Omolori, Mrs Akande-Adeola stepped forward, went to Tambuwal’s seat and congratulated him - to the admiration of other members. Maikasuwa, who acted as the Chief Returning Officer for the election, said: “Tambuwal, having scored the highest number of votes, is hereby returned as Speaker-elect.” The National Assembly Clerk asked Jime and Ukeje to accompany Tambuwal for swearing in and by 4.48 pm Tambuwal took the oath of office as Speaker.

Mrs Akande-Adeola’s nomination was seconded by Namadi Useni from Jigawa State. Voting was done state-bystate as individual members of the 360-member House were called to cast their votes. Voting lasted for over four hours. When counting of votes began, it became increasingly obvious that Tambuwal would carry the day. As Omolori counted up to 181 votes in favour of Tambuwal, the chamber erupted into jubilation. Some members congratulated one another even when counting of votes was still on. At a stage, Tambuwal, who wore black suit with black bowler-hat to match, removed his hat, wiped his face and took a deep breath as if to say “I have made”. Observers said that the bowler hat, the type that is common in the Southsouth, may

EFCC seizes passport Continued from page 1

ary and March; his alleged involvement in the N2.3billion car scam; and abuse of due process and corrupt practices associated with the N9bilion capital budget of the House of Representatives for 2008/2009 session among others. A source in the commission said: “During interrogation, a lot of allegations were put before him and he wrote his statement to respond to all these issues. “One of the issues we are seeking clarification from the Speaker on is how N25billion was spent by the House within three months. “According to records available to the EFCC, the House received its statutory budget allocation of N15.3billion on January 24, 2011 and two days later, it secured the controversial N10billion loan for allowances. “The Speaker has been asked to explain how N15.3billion was spent within two days. We want to know the whereabouts of the

budgetary allocation. “Bankole will also explain his alleged involvement in the N2.3billion car scam; and abuse of due process and corrupt practices associated with the N9bilion capital budget of the House of Representatives for 2008/2009 sessions among others. “After his initial statement, our operatives also asked him some follow-up questions but we are not done with him yet. “We may still engage Bankole on Tuesday on other issues and certain gaps in his statement. “So far, the ex-Speaker is in safe custody but his traveling documents have been impounded pending the conclusion of our investigation. “In the interim, the exSpeaker cannot travel out of the country except with the consent of the EFCC and eventually a court if he is arraigned in court. “But a special team went to conduct a thorough search in his house to retrieve some vital documents. “We made sure that we conducted the search in the presence of his counsel, Mar-

He took some steps back, shook hands with Jime, Ukeje, Maikasuwa and Omolori. The Speaker moved further back, looked closely at the Speaker’s seat and sat down at exactly 4.58pm. He removed his hat and took a bow. What followed was prolonged applause by members and others in the gallery. Hon. Musa Adar from Sokoto State nominated Ihedioha. The nomination was seconded by Hon Usman Bello Kumo from Gombe State. Ihedioha accepted his nomination. Maikasuwa asked if there were further nominations. Members thundered: “No more nomination, unopposed!” There was brief silence. The mood in the chamber was charged as many began shouting Ihedioha’s praises. Hon. Friday Itulah from Edo

CBN meets eight banks over costs Continued from page 1


garet Onyema, so that she can take a proper inventory of what we retrieved. The Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the seizure of Bankole’s passport. He said: “It is part of the process. As soon as we are through with the process of interrogation, we will release his passport. “The search on his house is normal to conduct such a search during a high-profile investigation like this. And that was done with a valid search warrant from a court.”

Bank of Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and Interconental Bank Plc. Sources close to the meeting, which was held in Abuja, said the trio (CBN, the eight banks and Accenture), whose committee is expected to brief the Banker’s Committee today in Abuja, deliberated extensively on how to reduce costs in the industry through the sharing of data centres, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), banking applications and power, amongst others. “The meeting was meant to discuss how the banks that control almost 80 per cent of the industry’s transactions can be reduced. It is like a prebankers committee meeting because we are suppose to give the Bankers’ Committee an update on the project. Precisely, the meeting was meant to fast-track the Bankers’ Committee meeting holding in Abuja at the CBN’s headquarters on Tuesday (today). “For instance, you know banks have different banking

applications, which are usually maintained by one vendor. Instead of many banks signing maintenance agreement with different vendors, they can sign as a group, pay same amount and this will ultimately reduce costs for the industry. “Another area that gulps huge amount of money from the industry is power, which can also be shared among the banks,” said a top CBN source who attended the meeting. The meeting, which was chaired by the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi also had in attendance the CBN deputy governor, Banking Operations, Babatunde Lemo. Sanusi lamented the high costs of the banking industry, saying if banks can reduce their costs; it would have a spill-over effect on customers through reduction in costs of transactions. “In most banks, 65 per cent of the banks’ employees are doing the back office work, while the remaining 35 per cent, which are core staff do real banking job and therefore have to work to pay themselves and the remain-

David Mark, Ekweremadu are Senate president, deputy Continued from page 1

Ndoma-Egba described Mark as “a social pragmatist, a magnet that moves both friends and foes into his enchanting orbit, a man whose flame and fame continues to

illuminate, a patriot, a true nationalist, a detribalised Nigerian, a social and political strategist of no means standing”. He went on: “His socio political charismatic personality

State, who was in the camp of Hon. Yakubu Dogara, another deputy speaker aspirant sprang up from his seat. Instead of nominating Dogara as widely speculated, Itulah said: “We have consulted and resolved that the nomination of Ihedioha will be unopposed.” Ihedioha, decked out in a flowing babaringa with a cap to match, was beaming as members trooped towards him to congratulate the unopposed Deputy Speaker. Some of the dignitaries who witnessed the election were for Chairman Board of Trustees of PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, former Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, who stayed briefly; and Ogun State Governor Aremo Segun Osoba.

ripples through the entire length and breadth of this great nation and beyond. He is a lover of democracy and the rule of law and, above all, a man of immense political sagacity.”

Ndoma-Egba said Mark has “all his life displayed vigour without vanity, strength without insolence and courage without ferocity and all the virtues of a natural commander without his

vices”. Mark said he was humbled by the confidence unanimously reposed in him by his colleagues, describing the Continued on page 8

ing 65 per cent that constitute Rebulk of the staff. In India, a single company provides back office for eight companies. So, why can’t banks share costs, he asked. Another area that consumes costs in the banking industry is cash management. The CBN and banks spend an average of N200 billion per annum on cash management. This had prompted the banking watchdog to place a ceiling on the daily cumulative withdrawals and lodgments at N150, 000 and N1 million for individuals and companies respectively. It said withdrawals above these limits would attract extra costs and this has elicited apprehension from the general public and stakeholders. But Sanusi justified the proposed policy, saying that based on the data available, only eight per cent of the banking public make withdrawals above the prescribed limits on daily bases. “Throughout last year, less than 5 per cent of cash transactions by individuals were above N150,000. We have the statistics. It costs the industry almost N200billion to process, secure, transport, and destroy cash. The top seven banks spend over N80billion on cash management,” he explained. The shared services project approaches industry cost in a strategic manner to scale down the banking industry’s operations cost by 30 per cent in the next three years.

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Our admission was transparent, says LASU VC HE 3, 127 full-time

Ibadan clashes: Ajimobi bans NURTW activities


OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi has banned activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State, following incessant violent clashes between factions of union. He also ordered the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of last weekend’s violence in Iwo road, Ibadan, the state capital. As the dust settled on the factional clash, about 33 persons were injured, 20 shops burnt, another thirty looted and about 50 vehicles vandalised. Ajimobi said the union posed a security risk to the state, stressing that his administration would not tolerate any breach of law and order. He took the decisions yesterday at an emergency State Security Council meeting held at his office in Ibadan. The meeting was attended by heads of security agencies, including the Army, Police, Nideria Immigration Service and the State Security Service (SSS). The management of all motor parks in the state was transferred to the local governments, which were described as the statutory owners. A communiqué released at the end of the meeting reads: “The security council notes with great concern the avoid-


•Orders arrest of perpetrators ‘Security agencies have been directed to arrest all perpetrators of the crimes leading directly or indirectly to the recent mayhem in the state and recover all illegal arms and ammunition.’ From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

able and unfortunate loss of lives and property of our dear citizens in the mayhem. The government sympathises with the victims and the affected families. May the Almighty God console them. “The council also observed that the NURTW poses a major security risk to the state. The genesis of the problem they constitute arises from the following factors: politicisation of the activities of the union, contending attempts to control the revenue of the parks by different factions, an alarming access to arms and ammunition among members of the union and the society at large,

abuse of court processes and ineffective enforcement of the law, violent succession crisis in the union and the lack of the political will by previous administrations to take appropriate decisions as at when required. “Consequent upon all these factors and in line with this administration’s commitment to law, order and peaceful coexistence of all residents, the following decisions have been taken. “Security agencies have been directed to arrest all perpetrators of the crimes leading directly or indirectly to the recent mayhem in the state and recover all illegal arms and ammunition. “Government hereby bans all NURTW activities at motor parks pending the investigation of the mayhem and prosecution of all the culprits. “Security agencies have also been directed to dislodge all NURTW members from the motor parks, so as to allow local governments take over the management of the parks. After all, the parks are statutorily properties of local governments.” The governor assured residents of his administration’s commitment to the maintenance of law and order, urging them to go about their legitimate


activities without fear. Also yesterday, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Samuel Odulana, and the Ibadan branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in separate statements, warned members of the drivers’ union against turning the city into a theatre of war. The monarch said: “It has become more compelling to warn the two factions of the NURTW involved in this crisis to desist forthwith from turning Ibadan into a theatre of war, which has disrupted the socio-economic life of the city in these past days. “No individual or group has the right to hold an entire town or the state to ransom in pursuit or defence of self interest. Ibadan has always been known as a peaceful and accommodating city.” The statement by the NBA Chairman, Luqman Laoye, and Secretary Bolaji Agoro described the violence as deplorable, barbaric and uncivilised, urging the warring parties to sheathe their swords.

candidates, who were yesterday matriculated for the 2010/2011 Academic Year at the Lagos State University (LASU) , Ojo, have been congratulated for scaling through an admission process described as “largely merit-driven,” by the university’s Acting ViceChancellor, Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello. At the event, which was held at the MBA Hall of the institution, Mrs. OlatunjiBello said 4, 311 candidates were admitted for the current academic session, but 1, 084 candidates could not join their colleagues to perform the academic ritual because they are yet to obtain their matriculation numbers. She said: “The 2010/2011 admission was transparent and based on merit. There were quotas for the two categories considered- Lagos and other states. Admission selection was based on these approved quotas. “Those who claimed to be of Lagos State origin were required to substantiate their claim. A transparent, thorough and fair body, called the Independent Indigeneship Verification Committee (IIVC), was constituted for this purpose. During this exercise, candidates with false claims had their provisional admission offers revoked.” The acting vc urged the matriculating students to focus on their studies as there were

By Adegunle Olugbamila

more challenges ahead. She warned them to stay off all anti-social activities that could drag the good name of the school into the mud. Mrs. Olatunji-Bello urged parents and guardians to join the varsity’s “Parents’ Forum, “so that they can participate in moulding the character of the students to become responsible men and women in future.” She said the scholarship scheme introduced by the university to encourage students who made a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.0 and above per session is still on course. Mrs. Olatunji-Bello challenged the new students to strive to be beneficiaries of the scheme, which she said reimburses a beneficiary’s tuition fees in addition to a N20.000 cash reward. She said the university’s Information and Telecommunication Technology (ICT) centre has been upgraded to make registration easier for the new students. A breakdown of the new intakes is as follows: Faculty of Arts (471), Faculty of Management (1008), Faculty of Social Sciences (275), Faculty of Education (496), Faculty of Sciences (387), Faculty of Law (143), School of Communication (185), College of Medicine (55), Faculty of Engineering (76) and School of Transport (31).

Students advise Jonathan on appointments


HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint worthy Nigerians as ministers and special advisers. NANS said this is the only way to facilitate rapid development and fulfill his promises to Nigerians. The association’s President, Bassey Williams, urged President Jonathan to form a team of competent technocrats. He urged the President to appoint non-corrupt, credible and administratively competent Nigerians with impeccable credentials to work with him. Bassey said the challenges of positive change, which Jonathan has put on the frontline of his agenda, can be surmounted if he appoints intelligent technocrats into his cabinet. Congratulating Jonathan on the take-off of the new administration, Bassey said: “NANS whole heartedly rejoices with the President on his inauguration.”

•From left: Secretary-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Dr. Lateef Adegbite; Deputy Director, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Ahmad Abdullahi and the Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), at a summit on Islamic Banking, held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG)...yesterday PHOTO:ADEJO DAVID

Imo owes N100b, says Okorocha


MO State Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha yesterday said the state is owing local and external debts to the tune of N100 billion. He also dissolved the 27 local government councils in the state. Okorocha sacked the acting Vice Chancellor of the Imo State University, Prof. Osita Nwebo.

•Dissolves local govts From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

In a radio and television broadcast in Owerri yesterday evening, the governor dissolved all the Development

Centres and the Council of Traditional Rulers headed by Eze Cletus Ilomuanya. He said he would review contracts awarded by ex-Governor Ikedi Ohakim and appointed his deputy, Mr. Jude Agbaso, as head the review committee. Okorocha also dissolved the board of state-owned oil palm industry, Adapalm.

Pastor held for alleged kidnap of toddler


HE DELTA State Police Command has arrested a pastor, Mr. Emmanuel Obovu, and his Cameroonian accomplice, Steven Williams, for allegedly abducting a threeyear- old girl in Ughelli North local government. The duo allegedly abducted Yolem Edoja from her parents’ hotel in Ughelli. Police Commissioner Mamman Tsafe confirmed their arrests.

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

He said the police traced the suspects to their hideout and rescued the victim unhurt. Tsafe, who assured of the security of lives and property of the citizens, said the suspects demanded N4 million ransom. But Obovu denied involvement in the crime, saying the Cameroonian lied against him.

He said he maintained a close relationship with Williams because of his impeccable conduct, adding that he often visited his parish for fellowship. Obovu lamented that his church was in disarray because of the allegation. On why he did not raise the alarm when he saw Williams with the toddler, he said Williams told him the victim was his niece. But Williams said both of them hatched the plan,

which was conceptualised by Obowu.

Group to review polls


ATIONAL leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Attahiru Jega and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Hafiz Ringim are billed to feature on a post- election event in Akure, Ondo State. Secretary-General of the Southwest Youth Leaders Association (SWYLA) Mr. Segun Awoyinfa said the event billed for July 1 offers the platform for a post mortem of the elections. The theme of the pro-

gramme is “Building on the gains of credibility: The triumph of the peoples will.” Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Dr. Ade Abolurin, newspaper guru Dr. Doyin Abiola and Chief Bola Ajibola (SAN) are expected at the event. Awoyinfa said the DirectorGeneral of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Alhaji Idi Farooq, Chief Olusola Segun, wife of Ekiti State governor Mrs. Bisi Fayemi and Chief Omolade Thomas Okoya are also expected at the event.

Police rescue abducted 74-year- old


HE Anambra State Police Command has rescued a 74 –yearold kidnap victim. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka made this known yesterday. He said the police stormed the kidnappers’ hide-out in Mbano local government, Imo State, and rescued the

From Adimike George, Onitsha

victim. The operation was led by Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of operations, B.D Makama. Chukwuemeka said the police acted on a tip off. He urged the public to always volunteer information to the

police. Chukwuemeka said the operation was carried out under strict surveillance, adding that there was no casualty on the side of the police. He said locally made guns were recovered from the suspects, adding that they would soon be charged to court.




Explosive found as Ogun Assembly is inaugurated

•Benin monarch advises lawmakers From Osagie Otabor, Benin


DO State House of Assembly yesterday elected Uyigue Oghogho Igbe, representing Oredo West Constituency, its Speaker. This followed Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s proclamation of the first session of the fifth Assembly via a letter read by the Clerk of the House, Egbe Evuomwan. Oshiomhole said: “In exercise of the powers conferred on me by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (Section 105, Sub-section 3), I hereby issue this proclamation for the convening of the first session of the fourth Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly on June 6.” Patrick Osayimen, representing Oredo East, nominated Igbe, seconded by Johnson Oghuma, representing Etsako Central Constituency. The other 23 members endorsed the nomination. Festus Ebea, representing Esan South East Constituency, was unanimously elected Deputy Speaker. Ebea’s election showed that the House did not invoke Rule 40 in the nomination of the Deputy Speaker, a firsttimer. Two Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nominated Philip Shuaibu, representing Estako West 1 as Majority Leader; Folly Ogedengbe, representing Owan East, was elected Chief Whip; and Patrick Osayimwen, Deputy Whip. Those nominated by the PDP are Emmanuel Okoduwa, representing Esan North East II as Minority Leader and Kingsley Ehigiamusoe representing Igueben as Minority Whip Discussion on the nominated principal officers was deferred to June 20, 2011. Igbe promised to operate an open-door policy, saying he would work with the executive without eroding “its autonomy or subordinating itself to anyone, arm or structure”.


N explosive device, believed to be a locally made bomb, was yesterday discovered at the chamber of the Ogun State House of Assembly. Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his deputy, Segun Adesegun, were still being expected at the inauguration of the 26-member Assembly when the device was discovered about 10am and removed by the Anti-Bomb Unit of the Police Command. Amosun described the planting of the device as wicked, praising the security agencies for a “commendable” job. He said the planting of the device showed the desperation of some people who were accustomed to unleashing violence on others.

•Amosun: bomb planting is wicked From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

The governor urged the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book. In a statement, the governor’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Communications Funmi Wakama said: “The governor finds such development not only condemnable. It depicts the height of desperation and wickedness by some agents of violence still prowling the state. “He believes such a development is alien to the state and vows that the administration will not allow agents of

violence to peddle their trade in the state.” Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident, saying the “vigilance and proactive” stance of the Police prevented what could have turned to be an ugly situation. Adejobi said Police Commissioner Musa Daura had ordered an investigation into the incident. The discovery of the explosive device caused apprehension at the Assembly complex, but the lawmakers began sitting at 10.30am and elected Suraj Adekunbi, representing Yewa Constituency, the Speaker and Tola Banjo, rep-

resenting Ijebu-Ode State Constituency, Deputy Speaker. Remmy Hazzan, (Odogbolu State Constituency), nominated Banjo, who defeated Motunrayo Oladapo-Adeleye, (Ifo II State Constituency). Odofin Shonuga, (Ikenne State Constituency)and Olakunle Oluomo, (Ifo State Constituency) nominated Adekunbi. Without a counter-nomination, 23 of the 26 lawmakers voted for Adekunbi to emerge Speaker. He took the oath of office at 11.03am. The Speaker promised to work with the executive for the peace and development of the state.

Omirin is Ekiti Speaker


HE Ekiti State House of Assembly yesterday elected Adewale Albert Omirin, an Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) member representing Gbonyin Constituency, the Speaker of the fourth House of Assembly. Governor Kayode Fayemi inaugurated the Assembly. Omirin presided over the Assembly, which granted Fayemi’s request for a sevenman caretaker committee to take charge of each of the 16 local governments in line with the state Local Government Transition Law. The governor also presented 13 Executive Bills to the new Assembly for passage into law. The Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Akintunde Famoyegun, who presided over proceedings before the election of the principal officers, noted that the proclamation of the new Assembly was in tune with Section 105, Sub-section 3 of

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

the 1999 Constitution. Omirin, a medical doctor and a native of Aisegba Ekiti, Gbonyin Local Government, was elected following a motion by Boluwade Kehinde, an ACN member representing Emure Ekiti Constituency and seconded by Ade Ajayi, another ACN member representing Oye Constituency 1. Adetunji Orisalade, representing Ido/Osi Constituency II, was elected Deputy Speaker following a motion by Seyi Shittu, representing Ado Ekiti Constituency 1, and seconded by Adeyinka Adeloye of Ikole Constituency 1. Other elected principal officers are: Churchill Adedipe (Majority Leader); Alaba Idowu, (Deputy Majority Leader); Wumi Ogunlola (Chief Whip); Ade Ajayi, (Deputy Chief Whip); and Bunmi Oriniowo, (Minority Leader).

Ikon elected Akwa Ibom Assembly Speaker From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo


AMUEL Ikon, representing Etinan State Constituency, was yesterday elected Speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly. Udoh Kyrian Akpan, from Oruk Anam State Constituency, was elected Deputy Speaker. Ikon succeeds Anietie Etuk, who is still a member of the Assembly, representing Nsit Ibom State Constituency. The new Speaker was the House Chairman, Public Account Committee in the last Assembly. Governor Godswill Akpabio inaugurated the 26-member Assembly under Section 105; Sub-section 3 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. The lawmakers elected Ikon and Akpan to lead the House for the next four years. Ten of the lawmakers were returned and 16 are newcomers. Twenty-five are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and one is of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Clerk of the House, Eddie Eyibo, read Akpabio’s letter of proclamation to the lawmakers at the chamber of the Assembly. Ikon hailed his colleagues for being chosen to lead the fifth Assembly, promising to work with the executive to bring in development to the state. Other elected principal officers are: Opulum Etteh, representing Esit-Eket Ibeno Constituency, (Majority Leader); and Mrs Ekaette Ebong Okon, Itu Constituency, (Deputy Majority Leader). Mrs. Alice Ekpenyong, Mbo Constituency, was elected the Chief Whip; and Emmanuel Sunday Akpan, Essien Udim Constituency, (Deputy Chief Whip). The Assembly adjourned sitting till June 21.

• Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (right) addressing members of the House of Assembly at its inauguration in AdoEkiti...yesterday.

Ebonyi Assembly member-elect stabbed


LAWMAKER representing Ezza North East State Constituency of Ebonyi State, Joseph Nwaobasi, was at the weekend stabbed by an unknown assailant at Mile 50 Layout, Abakaliki, the state capital. Nwaobasi, an All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) member, who is expected to join his colleagues for tomorrow’s inauguration, was reportedly stabbed by suspected thugs as he arrived from Enugu. An eyewitness, who pleaded for anonymiyu, said he was stabbed by three men who disguised as policemen detailed to arrest Nwaobasi for some spurious allegations. The witness said: “On Thursday, last week, Nwao-

•Lawmaker cries at valedictory session From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

basi, who had been attending a retreat organised by the state government for members-elect in Enugu, arrived Abakaliki about 7.45pm and decided to stay at his brother’s house at Mile 50 Layout. “Immediately he arrived at his brother’s home, three men who disguised as policemen, came there, saying they were directed to arrest the lawmaker. Before he could ask the reason for the arrest, they started stabbing everybody in the house, including Nwaobasi.

“When the residents raised the alarm, the assailants ran away. The lawmaker was rushed to a hospital where he received treatment. By God’s grace, he was discharged last Saturday.” ANPP Secretary Chief Chukwuemeka Onu said the incident was regrettable, adding that the security of elected members, especially those of the opposition, should be ensured. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the local government declined to comment on the matter. The only surviving woman among the lawmakers,

Mrs Helen Nwobasi, yesterday cried midway into her valedictory speech as she bade farewell to 18 outgoing members out of 24-member Assembly. The lawmaker, representing Abakaliki South Constituency, could not complete her speech as she wept uncontrollably. She had thanked her constituency for re-electing her and her colleagues for their cooperation. But as she wanted to thank former Speaker Augustin Nwankegwu, who lost his reelection, Nwobasi broke down in tears. She is among the six lawmakers returning to the Assembly.

Anambra APGA split over Speakership


HEAD of the inauguration of the new Anambra State House of the Assembly next week, the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has been split over the choice of Speaker. The battle for the position has been narrowed down to two persons from Anambra North Senatorial Zone, from the earlier five members from the zone.

•Two members fight for position From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

They are Chugbo Enwezor, (Onitsha I State Constituency) and Chinwe Nwebili, (Ogbaru II State Constituency). The Assembly has 30 members, with APGA having 16; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has eight; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), four; and Labour and Accord par-

ties, one each. The Nation gathered that Nwebili has the backing of the government because he is highly respected at the Assembly. Though Enwezor is a new comer, APGA leadership and new members are believed to favour him for the position. The Assembly, it was gathered, has been divided among

the old and new members and the government support for a candidate to emerge the Speaker. Governor Peter Obi reportedly scheduled a meeting with the lawmakers and APGA leaders yesterday night at the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia, near Awka, the state capital, to deliberate on the matter. Five members have reportedly been pencilled down to contest for the position.



NEWS INAUGURATION OF HOUSES OF ASSEMBLY Gangara is Kaduna Assembly Speaker From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

THE Kaduna State House of Assembly yesterday elected Alhaji Usman Gangara its Speaker, ahead of inauguration by Governor Patrick Yakowa. Gangara is representing Giwa Local Government. Dr. Matthew Dogara Mato was elected Deputy Speaker. The Assembly was earlier dissolved by the former Speaker Hassan Jumare, who said the outgoing House passed 36 bills from 2007 to 2011 out of the 41 bills brought before it. He said it amended an unspecified number of bills like those on Basic Education and stigmatisation against HIV/ AIDS. Jumare praised members of the outgoing Assembly for their cooperation, adding that no conflict was recorded during their tenure. Gangara congratulated the new members for their successes at the polls, saying he would ensure that they are carried along for deliberations on bills and other matters at the Assembly. He sought their cooperation to develop the state as representatives of the people.

Kwara ACN criticises House rule’s amendment against opposition T

HE Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday criticised the amendment of the House of Assembly’s Rule which nullifies the position of Minority Leader unless an opposition party has up to three members. The Assembly is dominated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In a statement yesterday, ACN Chairman Kayode Olawepo said: “We hereby dismiss as petty, unconventional, arrogant and unacceptable the PDP’s hurried amendment of the rules to disfavour our party. This is dubious and undemocratic. “It is not done anywhere in the world. It is the convention in any democracy in the world, including in all states of Nigeria, that when an opposition party is represented in the Assembly, the position of Minority Leader will be given to it.

•Ex-commissioner Atunwa elected Speaker From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

We will give just one example, among others. “In the immediate past 40member Lagos House of Assembly, arguably the most robust in the country, where the PDP had only two members as against ACN’s 38, one of them was given the position of Minority Leader, with all the rights and privileges accorded him. “It is against this background that we reject the puerile decision of the PDPdominated Kwara Assembly to shut the door against our members from enjoying what is due to them in a democrat-

ic setting. We demand immediate reversal of this undemocratic rule.” Kwara State former Commissioner for Finance Razaq Atunwa was yesterday elected the seventh Speaker of the House of Assembly. He is representing Asa State Constituency. Atunwa, a lawyer, served under former Governor Bukola Saraki as Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs; Works and Transport; and Finance. He succeeds Alhaji Babatunde Mohammed, who represented Omupo Constituency. The Acting Chief Judge Suleiman D. Kawu administered the oaths of office and

allegiance on the new Speaker in the presence of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Deputy Governor Peter Kishira. Prof Yissa Gana Yissa, a university teacher-turned politician, was elected Deputy Speaker. He also served in the Saraki administration as Commissioner for Agriculture. The first Speaker, Sheu Usman, presided over the House from 1979 to 1983. He was a member of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN). Unlike in the last dispensation, when the House was a PDP affair, the House under Atunwa would be conducted with the presence of two ACN

Odoh re-elected Enugu Assembly Speaker From Chris Oji, Enugu


Dabwan elected Plateau Assembly Speaker From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos

THE Plateau State House of Assembly yesterday elected John Clark Dabwan, representing Mangu South State Constituency, its Speaker. He defeated former Speaker Istifanus Mwansat. The Assembly also elected Johnbull Shekarau, the Deputy Speaker; and Gyang Fulani, Majority leader. It did not elect other officials.

Colleges hold conference THE Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCCOEN) will begin its five-day national delegates’ conference tomorrow at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos State. The college’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Adebowale Odunayo, said the delegates had begun arriving since yesterday, adding that this would continue throughout today before the opening of the conference at the second college auditorium at 10am tomorrow. He said the delegates would “chart a new way forward for the colleges of education and the Nigerian Certificates of Education (NCE) programmes in the country”. The Lagos State Head of Service (HOS), Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe, will be the special guest of honour.

members representing Offa State Constituency. Atunwa promised a smooth leadership adding that he would not compromise the principle of separation of powers. He said: “We shall continue to enjoy cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government in Kwara State. But while doing this, we shall not compromise our role as legislators to ensure checks and balances in governance.” The elated Atunwa who showered encomiums on Saraki, pledged dutiful legislation under his leadership towards churning out the gains of democracy to the people of the state and by extension make the state a model for others in the country. Other 22 state legislators later took their oaths of office and allegiance.

• Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed (left) congratulating Atunwa in Ilorin, yesterday.

Suspected PDP, ANPP thugs clash in Kano


USPECTED thugs of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and those of the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday clashed in Kano at the inauguration of the seventh House of Assembly. The confrontation nearly marred the inauguration but for the timely intervention of security agencies. It was gathered that trouble started when a group, suspected to be PDP supporters, sighted a vehicle with the sticker of the defeated ANPP governorship candidate, Alhaji Sagir Takai, at the Assembly premises. It was reportedly attacked, leading to alleged retaliation

•Assembly elects officers • Kwankwaso dissolves councils From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

from his supporters on vehicles believed to belong to the PDP. No fewer than four vehicles were reportedly damaged and four suspects arrested. The suspects were said to have been taken to the State Criminal Investigation Bureau (SCIB) for interrogation. Alhaji Yusuf Abdullahi Falgore, from Rano State Constituency, was elected Speaker and Isiyaku Ali Danja, from Gezawa State Constituency,

the Deputy Speaker. Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had dissolved the old Assembly and inaugurated the new one. Falgore and Danja took the oaths of allegiance and membership before the Director, Legal Services of the Assembly, Abdullahi Ibrahim Danfulo. They promised to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, saying they would follow democratic principles in their dealings with other arms of government. The Clerk of the House,

Bala Abdullahi Yaro, presided over the sitting. They equally reiterated their commitment to the fulfilment of promises made at the swearing in ceremony to provide good governance to the people, adding that they would pass motions that would promote the social and economic development of the state. The other lawmakers took the oaths of allegiance and membership. Kwankwaso has dissolved the Local Government Interim Management Committees and directed their chairmen to hand over to the Directors of Personnel Management (DPMs).

Borno Assembly elects Modu Speaker


HE Borno State House of Assembly yesterday elected Goni Ali Modu its Speaker. Governor Kashim Shettima inaugurated the seventh Assembly in Maiduguri, the state capital. The lawmakers in the 28member Assembly had earli-

From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

er presented their certificates of return and assets declaration forms for screening in line with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) stipulations. The Assembly comprises 22 All Nigeria Peoples Party

(ANPP) members and six Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members. Modu had been the Speaker since 2003. Other elected principal officers included Inusa Gamandi Danlami, representing Shani State Constituency (Deputy Speaker); Idrissa

Jidda (Majority Leader); Baba Ali Modu, Mafa State Constituency (Chief Whip); Bukar Gudusi, Jere State Constituency (PDP, Minority Leader); and Alumo Fani, Chibok State Constituency (PDP, Minority Whip). Shettima is expected to address the new Assembly today.

HE Enugu State House of Assembly yesterday re-elected Eugene Odoh as its Speaker. The 24-member Assembly’s principal officers included two women and 16 new entrants. Chime Oji, representing Enugu North State Constituency, was elected Deputy Speaker; Ude okoye Sunday (Awgu North), House Leader; Theresa Egbo, Chief Whip; and Cecilia Ezeilo, a former broadcaster with the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS), Deputy Whip. Addressing reporters, Odoh noted that though the Assembly had majority new members, it would ensure good representation of the constituencies. He promised to work with other Southeast Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly for a common agenda for the Southeast. Odoh said the new members would not be differentiated from the old, adding: “As far I am concerned, all of us are members of the same House of Assembly. The issue of new or old does not exist; that is a thing of the mind. What matters in the House is the level of attention and the level of representation.” He noted that being an old member does not make a lawmaker any better than a new member, adding that what would make the difference are the lawmakers’ inputs for their constituencies and the state. Odoh said: “Looking at the new members, I see some integrity and vigour in them and we hope that we will exploit from their endeavours to see how we can move forward.” The member representing Isi-Uzo State Constituency, Emeka Ogbuabor, told reporters that the Assembly would work with Governor Sullivan Chime on programmes and laws that would elevate the state.



NEWS Task before Reps, by Lagos lawmaker A MEMBER of the House of Representatives representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, James Abiodun Faleke, has said the post-inauguration task in the House is to settle down to business of working on bills that would make life better for the people especially those within his Ikeja Federal Constituency. Speaking yesterday after his inauguration as a member of the House in Abuja, Faleke said: “The waiting game is over and we are now members of the House of Representatives. For all of us in the House, the major task before us is to work towards legislating on better life for the people”. As to his priority, Faleke spoke of plans to attract more federal presence to his constituency. He said: “It is rather unfortunate that despite being the commercial nerve centre of the country, lkeja has not been enjoying the best of Federal Government presence. This should be corrected.

Akume kicks against Gemade’s comments


ORMER Benue State Governor George Akume yesterday deplored what he called former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Senator Barnabas Gemade’s “odious remarks” against him in a newspaper last Sunday. The Senator George Akume Campaign Organisation said the statement was aimed at tarnishing the image of the former governor and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). In the statement by its Director-General, Jerome TorShimbe, the organisation said: “Akume started his public service career as a young graduate and retired as a permanent secretary without blemish. “He was elected and served as governor for eight years. Thereafter, he was elected and served for four years as a Senator in the Sixth Senate and is again elected to serve in the Seventh Senate… He has given his life to public service on whose behalf he holds all he has. He has no problem with anybody.” The statement recalled that Gemade was the chairman of the five parties that nominated the late Gen. Sani Abacha to contest for president when the late Head of State was a serving general and not a member of any of the parties. Noting that Gemade scored 17 votes in the PDP presidential primaries in 2002 despite the zoning of the post to the Southwest, the statement said his “national approval rating showed when not a single governor or person stood with him and Chief Audu Ogbeh was brought in to take over as PDP chairman”. Tor-Shimbe said Gemade’s claim that Benue ACN leaders are lazy “is against the tide of the voice of the majority who voted for ACN and continue to stand by that vote.” According to him, Gemade never supported Governor Gabriel Suswam whose ‘achievements’ he is now praising.

•The remains of the building... yesterday


Fire outbreak at Leventis Motors


EVENTIS Motors, a division of A.G. Leventis (Nigeria) Plc, suffered a fire outbreak at its Apapa premises yesterday. The cause of the fire was not immediately known. But its management said the incident was already being investigated. A statement by the company said the fire occurred about 7:30am and that it did not affect operations. According to the statement, the fire was contained in a largely empty building area. “We are grateful that the fire resulted in no loss

•Operations not affected, says management of life and limb. Although there was damage to the workshop building, we want to assure our clients and the public that our operations at Leventis Motors will not suffer and to also let them know that we are open for business as usual, the company’s Head, Group External Relations Manager, Titi Talabi said. She praised the Lagos State Fire Service and the fire response team from the Nigerian Ports Au-

thority (NPA) for their prompt and diligent response and efforts in putting out the fire and ensuring that it did not spread further within the company grounds. She also expressed gratitude to the many companies within the Apapa business community for their help and support during the unfortunate incident.

N75.7b scam: Ex-minister’s case continues today

Jonathan signs anti-terrorism, A money laundering bills P

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has signed into law the Terrorism (Prevention) Bill 2011, and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Bill, 2011which were passed by the last National Assembly. Under the laws, it is an offence to finance terrorism and launder proceeds of crime The bills were signed last

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

Friday by the President, according to a statement by Justin Abuah of the Office of the Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity). The Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 establishes measures for the prevention, prohibition and combating of acts of terrorism and the financing of terrorism.

The statement reads: “It also provides for the effective implementation of the Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism as well as the Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, and prescribes penalties for the violation of its provisions. “The Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 repeals the Money Laundering

Act 2004 and makes comprehensive provisions to prohibit the financing of terrorism, and the laundering of the proceeds of crime or illegal acts. “It also expands the scope of supervisory and regulatory authorities so as to address the challenges faced in the implementation of the antimoney laundering regime in Nigeria”.

David Mark, Ekweremadu are Senate president, deputy Continued from page 2

gesture as a new Nigerian spirit, “birth of new National Assembly and increasing maturity in the democratic system”. He added: “As a mark of appreciation and reciprocation for the honour you have done to me, I promise that I will be honest, transparent, fair and will ensure that there is equity and justice. Above all, I will preside with the fear of God.” He described the mandate as a sacred trust, which he promised to hold in trust for the body of senators, and “to work for you, to work with you, and together, we shall all work for a greater Nigeria”. Recognising his position as first among equals, Mark urged collaboration, team spirit, networking and consensus building through dialogue and consultation. “To accomplish more, we would have to listen and consult more with the civil society, the organised private sector and other major stakeholders,” he said, adding: “Our budgeting system needs radical change. We, as representatives of the people, must initiate legislations that will reduce cost of governance at all levels, thereby freeing resources to attend to the basic needs of the people.” “We would also seek to strengthen the analytical capacity of the National Assembly as it relates to budgeting and oversight functions,” he said. Mark continued: “Our target is that hopefully, this session of the National Assembly shall set a historic record by

passing very critical legislations that would propel Nigeria to the 20 most advanced economies.” The National Assembly complex and environs started brimming with human and vehicular traffic as early as 7 am, with dozens of security agents searching incoming vehicles and frisking visitors to the complex. Many of the lawmakers were accompanied by their wives or husbands and other relatives. They were accommodated in two sections within the Senate chambers. Hundreds of visitors who came to witness the inauguration could not enter the complex. Many were seated at the Assembly’s main car park. Cars were not allowed in the main park. Apparently to ease traffic congestion, the lawmakers were brought to the complex in buses and were taken away the same way. The inauguration began at 10.05 am with the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Abubakar Salisu Maikasuwa, presiding. He was assisted by his deputy, Olumuyiwa Omojokun. Clerk of the Senate Mr. Benedict Efeturei and his Deputy, Duduyemi Lawal, were there. Efeturei took the roll call. Dignitaries at the ceremony included Secretary to the Government of the Federation Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Haliru Mohammed and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, among others.

N Abuja Federal High Court was yesterday forced to adjourn till today, to hear an application for amendment of charges on the embezzlement of N75.7 billion brought by the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a former minister, Hassan Lawal. At the resumed hearing of the case, Chief Alex Izinyon (SAN), counsel to Dr Adeogba Ademola and Digital Toll Company Ltd, argued that his clients’ preliminary objections against the application for amendment of the charges must be entertained first. Justice Bilkisu Aliyu, however, expressed disgust over the un-cooperative attitude of the counsel for the expeditious hearing of the case. “I will not move forward unless I hear the application for the amendment of the charge,’’ she said. Mr Wahab Shitu, counsel to the EFCC, said the counsel to the defendants were trying to frustrate the case, saying “my lord, I was only served the objection to our application for the amendment of the charge this morning. “My lord, in the light of the above, we are seeking for short adjournment to allow us digest the objection. The EFCC on May 11, arraigned the former Minister of Works and Housing, Lawal and seven others on a 24count criminal charge, bordering on fraudulent award of contracts, money laundering and embezzlement amounting to N75.7billion.




Senator Ganiyu Solomon(left),his wife Ronke, Action Congress National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, his wife Senator Oluremi, Senator Gbenga Ashafa and his wife after the inauguration of the seventh National Assembly in Abuja... yesterday

•Members-House of Representatives Abike Dabiri-Erewa(left)and Jumoke Okoya

•Senators Andy Uba(left) and Eyinnaya Abaribe

Senators Robert Borrofice (left) with Sunday Ogbuoji

•Senators Victor Lar (left) and Magnus Abe

•Senators Mudashiru Hussein(left), Prof Sola Adeyeye, Osun State Governor’s wife, Sherifat Aregbesola and Senator Jide Omoworare...yesterday

•Senator Nenadi Usman

•Senator Clever Ikisikpo

Supporters of a member of the House of Representatives Evelyn Ojakovo, (Okpe/Sapele/Uvwie Federal Constituency of Delta State) dancing PHOTOS:ABAYOMI FAYESE



NEWS Oyo doctors suspend seven-month strike From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

MEDICAL and dental officers in Oyo State-owned hospitals yesterday suspended their seven months strike. The State branch of the Association of Medical and Dental Officers (AMDO), in a statement, said the decision was taken at an emergency meeting yesterday. The statement directed members to resume work today. The statement was jointly signed by the association’s Chairman, Dr. Jeremiah Simire; General Secretary, Dr. Fola Oni, and the Publicity Secretary, Dr. Ademola Adeleke. They wished Governor Abiola Ajimobi a successful tenure. Members of the association embarked on strike last December over the failure by the Adebayo Alao-Akala administration to implement the Federal Government-approved Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS). They also wanted the government to employ at least 100 doctors to redress the shortage of doctors. AMDO also frowned at the high tax imposed on them.

EFCC opposes Akingbola’s bail application


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday opposed the bail applications of former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Dr Erastus Akingbola and General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited, Mr Bayo Dada. Both were arraigned at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on an amended 22count of N47.1billion theft charge. EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Godwin Obla, said Akingbola could run if he is granted bail. He said Akingbola’s wife, Anthonia, who was initially charged with her hus-

•Court to rule June 13 By Joseph Jibueze

band, has fled, prompting the prosecution to strike out her name from the charge. According to him, Akingbola reluctantly returned to Nigeria when he learned that the EFCC had arranged with the British Government to extradite him. Obla said: “The charges the defendants are facing before this court are very different from that at the Federal High Court. The first count is very obvious, stealing of 8.5 million Pounds Sterling. “This attracts a severe

punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment. The alleged offences at the Federal High Court attract only between two to five years which makes them completely different.” Akingbola’s lawyer, Mr Deji Sasegbon (SAN), argued that his client did not jump the bail granted him by Justice Charles Achibong of the Federal High Court, urging the court to grant them bail on the existing conditions. He said the defendants did not engage in disruptive behaviour while on bail and that he was certain they

would show up for trial. Sasegbon said the offences were bail-able. Justice Habeeb Abiru fixed June 13 for ruling on the bail applications. The EFCC alleged that Akingbola, as the Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Bank Plc, and Dada, obtained various sums of money from the bank and converted them to their personal use under false pretence between March and May 2009. According to the agency, some of the stolen money was fraudulently converted into loans to Tropics Securities Limited and Tropics Properties Limited, in which Akingbola is also a director.


The offences contravene Sections 390 (7) and 427 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C. 17, Laws of Lagos State, 2003. Akingbola and Dada pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Court nullifies election of sacked Ekiti council chairmen


N Ado-Ekiti High Court has declared the local government election conducted under the ousted Segun Oni administration illegal and unconstitutional. The court ruled that the purported election of the former chairmen and councillors who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was illegal, null, void and of no effect in law. Mr Justice Cornelius Akintayo, in a judgment delivered yesterday, held that the election conducted by the

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) on December 20, 2008 was unlawful and a violation of the 1999 Constitution and the State Electoral Law. The judge ruled that the notice given by SIEC to parties before the conduct of the poll was too short and lapsed on the number of days stipulated in the 1999 Constitution and the State Electoral Law. Mr Justice Akintayo said the 1999 Constitution stipu-

lates a 150-day notice. The State Electoral Law stipulates a 45-day notice. The election conducted by SIEC, according to Mr Justice Akintayo, cannot stand in the face of the law because the state electoral body under the chairmanship of Maj.-Gen. Kayode Oni (rtd) gave a notice to parties 26 days before the December 20, 2008 poll. He also expressed dismay that SIEC went ahead to conduct the election when a case against its composition was in court. Mr Justice Akintayo lashed the sacked council

chairmen and councillors for “attempting to use the court to legitimise an illegality”. The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, who represented the state government, described the judgment as a “victory for the rule of law”. Counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr. Obafemi Adewale, said an appeal against the judgment was likely. The former PDP council chairmen and councillors sought an order of the court to restrain the state government from removing them

from office. But the state government brought a preliminary objection to the suit filed by the sacked chairmen and councillors and their party, the PDP. The then Action Congress (AC) withdrewn from the 2008 election on grounds that the SIEC was illegally constituted and that the procedure for the conduct of the poll was not followed. Governor Kayode Fayemi, on October 27, 2010, dissolved the 16 local governments, removing the chairmen and councillors .



NEWS Army praises NDDC


HE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been praised for improving the standard of living of the people through the provision of basic infrastructure and human capacity building. The Commander, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Brigadier General T.Y. Burutai, gave the commendation when a six -man delegation of senior military officers visited the commission’s Corporate Headquarters in Port Harcourt. Gen Burutai said: “You have done a lot to achieve your mandate of improving the socio -economic and environmental conditions of the people of the region. “We are ready to support the commission’s progress in terms of adequate security in the region.” NDDC’s Managing Director/CEO Chibuzor Ugwoha enjoined the army to explore more areas of collaboration with the commission, especially in skills acquisition programmes as well as enlistment of youths into the military.

Delta police parade 18 suspects E IGHTEEN suspects were yesterday paraded by the Delta State Police Command for kidnapping, theft, robbery and impersonation. Briefing reporters yesterday in Asaba, the capital, Commissioner of Police Mamman Tsafe said the suspects would soon appear in court. Tsafe said a victim, Mrs. Toyin Oritsejafor, the wife of Solomon Oritsejafor, was rescued after an AntiTerrorist Squad stormed a hide-out and recovered

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

N1.3 million, AK-47 rifle and 85 rounds of ammunition. The suspects were identified as Oyibo Okuma; Monday Samuel; Ogaga Obodo; Anthony Oghenewe and Festus Adiotadada. He said his men smashed a gang of vandals, who specialise in the theft of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) cables. Tsafe said the suspects identified as Dimma Okolie (23); Pleasure Diamond (18);

Yakubu Ibrahim(23) and Boi Ya kawu (20) were responsible for vandaling PHCN cables within IsseleUku and environs. According to him, the confession of the suspects led to the arrest of the others, who received the stolen items. They are Timothy Obaji; Susan Nwaeze; Hassan Garba and Onwordi Oscar. Items recovered include three pieces of PHCN armoured cables, two spanners, Qlink 150 and CG 125 motorcycles.

Also, a four-man gang of robbers were arrested after they robbed students of the State University in Abraka. He said his men apprehended some members of the gang, including Eyetia Oghenero (21) and Odiete Apkowe (21). He said the suspects are helping in the investigation to arrest other members of the gang. A suspect, Ebinum Ameachi, was arrested on the Abraka-Ubiaruku road after he produced a fake Army identity card.

Akwa Ibom gets SSG

Bayelsa LP to inspect election documents From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

HE Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, yesterday granted an application filed by a Labour Party (LP) House of Assembly candidate, Daniel Igurubia, to inspect the documents used for the Ogbia Constituency 3 elections. Igurubia’s petition is against his brother, Walaman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Igurubia’s counsel E.J, Ejinyere in his May 26 motion exparte said he is filing the application in pursuance to Section 151 of the Electoral Act as amended to enable the LP get documents used. Tribunal Chairman Justice Ibrahim Auta granted the order .


From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

THE indigenes of Bonny Island in Rivers State have explained why they sued the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company and demanded $50 million. This, they said, is to compensate for gas flaring. The aggrieved indigenes yesterday took over the High Court premises. Justice Tijani Abubakar adjourned the matter till July 26, when the people’s counsel, George Ogara, will present his brief. The Youth Leader, Orinaemi Hart, said the indigenes could no longer continue to bear the effects of gas flaring. Hart acknowledged some of the contributions of NLNG to the host community but said the negative effects of gas flaring outweighed the development efforts. He said: “We are not asking NLNG to leave Bonny. We want the company to continue operating, but it has to consider the lives of the people of Bonny too. We deserve to live.”

Fed Govt to plant 1bn trees


NEW Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government has been sworn in. He is Umana Okon Umana. Governor Godswill Akpabio said Umana, an Ibibio man, was appointed because he shared in the passion of his administration. He said: “He did a wonderful job in the last four years and we are full of expectation that he would do even better in the next four years. “The depth of his understanding of policies and their backgrounds proved vital in our administrative efforts.” Akpabio said he has declared war on poverty and underdevelopment as part of his second term agenda. The governor said he would strengthen the bond between the people and the government through lifechanging developmental programmes and policies.

‘Why we sued NLNG’

•Akpabio (left) swearing-in Umana at the Government House, Uyo...yesterday

Tambuwal’s election jolts PDP leaders


HE election of Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and Emeka Ihedioha as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday jolted the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP zoned the positions to the Southwest and Northeast and urged its members to elect Hon Mulikat Akande-Adeola as Speaker. Following the turn of events, the party leaders reportedly met at the residence of its Acting National Chairman, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed in Maitama to plot the way forward after the surprise election. Those who attended the meeting were mostly Na-

•May meet new NASS leaders today From Sanni Ologun, Abuja

tional Working Committee (NWC) members. Sources close to the meeting said the party’s hierarchy might have decided to meet with the new leadership of the House today. It was learnt that the party leaders were not happy with the defeat of its candidate by Tambuwal from the Northwest. Mohammed, who was said to have asked a former Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BOT), Chief Tony Anenih, to monitor compliance of the

‘We do not do anything untoward against anybody in the National Assembly or anybody in particular and we don’t intend to change that position’ PDP members in the House to ensure that zoning was adhered to, called Anenih to leave the House to avoid being embarrassed by the

defiant posture of the legislators. The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, told reporters that the PDP does not and had never dictated to its members in the legislature on what to do and how to carry on their businesses. Alkali said: “We can only advise and if they refuse to accept our advice, it is up to them. We do not do anything untoward against anybody in the National Assembly or anybody in particular and we don’t intend to change that position.”

MEND to resume attacks on oil facilities


HE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has said it would resume attacks on oil facilities in the region. The group had, on April 2, suspended attacks on oil facilities. It said oppression, slavery and plundering of the region’s resources must end. MEND, in an online statement yesterday by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo,

•JTF studying MEND’s statement From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

faulted the involvement of the ENI Group of Italy, the parent company of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), in the attacks on Libya. But the spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha said: “JTF is studying the purported statement from MEND, to determine its

authenticity and will make its position known later.” MEND said: “The ENI Group has actively participated in the theft of oil in the Niger Delta for decades, assisting the military in its genocidal actions against the people of the Niger Delta. ENI and its subsidiaries are simply thieves and cheap opportunists. “Why have these Western nations ignored the

bombing of villages and civilians in the Niger Delta by the military? “If they are so concerned about the removal of dictators in Africa, why do they enjoy good relationships with dictators in Angola and Equatorial Guinea? “In solidarity with the oppressed people of Libya, we vow to henceforth pursue the complete destruction of all investments owned by ENI Group in Nigeria and urge all around Africa to do so.”

THE Federal Government yesterday said it would plant about one billion trees across the country as part of its afforestation programme. The Federal Controller of Environment, Adeyemi Adefule, announced this at the World Environment Day in Lagos with the theme: “Forest: Nature at Your Service.” Adefule said one of the core areas of the first phase would be the development of free nurseries in different states. “This initiative is to use 60 per cent of ecological fund for massive afforestation, planting about one billion trees in the country,” he said.

Tribunal allows Rivers ACN to inspect materials From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

THE Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday granted the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leave to inspect the April 26 governorship election materials. The Justice A. A. Wambailed tribunal also directed that the court’s processes be served on Governor Rotimi Amaechi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through substitution, by posting all the tribunal processes on the gates of the Government House. This was in view of the two motions filed by ACN governorship candidate Dr. Abiye Sekibo, through his counsel, Golden Tamuno. Sekibo maintained that the April elections were a sham, reflecting only the wishes of the members of the PDP. PDP members were also accused of conniving with the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agents to rig the election in their favour.




Why Reps revolted against PDP’s, Jonathan’s candidate


HE House of Representatives yesterday voted for Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker, in protest against the alleged imposition of a candidate on them, it was learnt last night. Reps reportedly opposed the alleged push for the candidacy of Mrs Mulikat Akande-Adeola, through the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership by First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan. It was also learnt that the inconsistency of the PDP on zoning accounted for the rejection of Mrs Akande-Adeola. Another factor, which swayed the votes in favour of Tambuwal, was the unity of the opposition parties, especially the Action Congress of Nigeria and aggrieved leaders of the PDP from the North. But while there was disquiet in the Presidency and the PDP, there was celebration in the camp of the former Speaker Dimeji Bankole. The Nation revealed that most Reps felt insulted by the last-minute decision of the party to bow to pressure from the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to impose Mrs Akande-Adeola on them. A member of the House said: “When we started initially, the PDP sold the choice of Muraina Ajibola to us. We were yet to be persuaded on Ajibola, who was ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s candidate, when the party leaders and governors told us that the First Lady wanted Mrs Akande-Adeola. “Most of our members actually queried the intrusion of the First Lady into legislative duties. “In fact, those sympathetic to Ajibola just decided to team up with Tambuwal (in sympathy) to prove a point that a party cannot ditch any candidate just like that. “At a point, Ajibola was offered Deputy Speakership which he rejected. He said he would remain a party man on the choice of Mrs Akande-Adeola, but his supporters felt otherwise.” A Rep from Imo State said: “We resisted imposition of Speaker and we went all out to exercise our rights to choose a new Speaker. “Imagine the party threatening sanctions on Reps who might oppose Mrs Akande-Adeola. Are we school children? “The arrest of the ex-Speaker

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Dimeji Bankole, who is an ally of Tambuwal, on the eve of the inauguration by the EFCC, helped the victory of the new Speaker. “Some of us, especially my colleagues from the North, saw the action as a signal that the Executive was desperate to impose Mrs Akande-Adeola and we kept on asking: ‘Are we school children? Why must they intimidate us?’ “We became united to protect the concept of Separation of Powers in a democracy.” It was gathered that the ‘abracadabra’ attitude of the PDP on zoning hastened the revolt. It was learnt that angry lawmakers from the North were shocked that the PDP which dumped zoning to pave the way for the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan, made a U-turn to enforce the formula. A Rep from Sokoto said: “The Northern Reps formed a united bloc to express their anger over the jettisoning of zoning formula by the PDP. “Our colleagues said since the PDP abandoned zoning during the presidential primaries, it is better to continue with the distortion of the power sharing formula.

“I also won’t deny the fact that Northern leaders, including members of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, supported our cause to choose a Speaker devoid of zoning formula. “PDP is inconsistent on zoning and the North was not ready to take that. If you look at the principal officers that have emerged in the House so far, you will know that they have the backing of Northern leaders. “For instance, the new Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, is a political godson of ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. “Tambuwal enjoys the support of key Northern leaders who had warned against the consequence of abandoning zoning.” A Representative from Niger State said: “The truth is that the credit goes to the opposition parties, like the Action Congress of Nigeria, the Congress for Progressive Change, the All Nigeria Peoples Party and the Accord Party. “These opposition parties were so united that they accounted for over 140 out of 360 votes, such that with about 50 votes from a divided PDP, Tambuwal would have won. That was the magic. ACN has about 70 Reps; CPC (30); ANPP (22+); Labour (8); and Accord (4).

“And it was difficult for the PDP to infiltrate the opposition parties.” The source explained that President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP leaders and governors battled desperately to unite PDP Reps and prevail on Tambuwal to step down but they failed. He said at a point, Governor Aliyu Wamako, ex-President Shehu Shagari and some Emirs were drafted in to talk to Tambuwal, but the candidate went underground. “As at Sunday, Tambuwal had gone underground when there were rumours that he might be arrested to intimidate him. “That was why he came into the chamber in a disguise suit with a South-South cap to match. He remained incommunicado till it was time to inaugurate the House. All enquiries meant for Tambuwal were routed through another Representative from Kano. “How he emerged yesterday in the House is still a guarded secret, which will be told one day.” Last night, there was shock and disquiet in the presidency over the revolt by the Representatives. Vice-President Namadi Sambo is said to be displeased that the distortion of the zoning formula came from his Northwest zone. A source said: “The Presidency

and the PDP were shocked by the development in the House because it has created a serious distortion in power sharing, with the Southwest without any key post. “What else can the presidency do to balance the power equation? They have created a major political challenge for Jonathan and his team. “The party has to return to the drawing board to accommodate the Southwest. “By their decision, most of the Representatives have shown that they do not believe in party discipline. It is really unfortunate. “Collaborating with the opposition to humiliate the Presidency and the party in the presence of some of its key government officials and leaders was really unfortunate. “Our party leaders are confused and unhappy. We did everything to prevail on these Reps to vote for Mrs Akande-Adeola, but they promised and did a different thing.” But while the Presidency was ruing the outcome of the House, Bankole’s camp was jubilating that his ally won. “We told the whole world that Bankole’s travails had to do with the plot to stop the choice of Tambuwal as Speaker. But the Reps have spoken; we are happy,” a source said.

Atiku congratulates Mark, Tambuwal From Sanni Ologun, Abuja


•From left:General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), Gorvenor Theodore Orji of Abia State, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim (SGF), Chief Tony Ukasoanya, Chief Chukwu Nwachukwu and Chief Mao Ohuabunwa during a courtesy visit to Anyim in Abuja...yesterday.

PUBLIC NOTICE CHRIST PREVAILING PRAYER AND COUNSELING MINISTRY The above named Organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for Registration in accordance with the provision of (“Part C”) of the companies Allied Matters Act of 1990 Trustees Are Pst/ Mrs Oluwasegun Oyedotun – G. O Bro. Ojo Thdeus Babatunde – Treasurer Bro. Adekunle Adeyeye Babatunde – Sec. Bro. Kola Falase – Member Bro. Olawale Oyunaya – Member Aims and Objectives 1. To preach the gospel of Christ 2. To baptize those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ 3. To publish and print religious books, Spiritual Audio Visual aids Magazine Ad Trades Any objections to the Registration should be forwarded to the Registrar –General, Corporate Affairs Commission Plot 420 Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja within 28days of this publication. Signed: Secretary

PUBLIC NOTICE GOVERNOR’S CUP LAGOS TENNIS CLUB The above named club has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission to be registered under Part C of the CAMA 1990 AIMS & OBJECTIVES 1. To complement through tennis and other sports related activities the efforts of the Lagos state government to make Lagos the Centre of excellence. 2. To educate people through sports in a spirit of better understanding between each other rand of friendship thereby helping to build a better and more peaceful world. 3. To develop in our citizens those’ physical and moral qualities which are the basis of sports. 4. To provide leisure, pleasure, entertainment and relaxation to Nigerians in general and Lagosians in particular. 5. To organize annually an international Tennis Championship to be called Governors’ Cup Lagos Tennis. The TRUSTEES OF THE CLUB ARE: 1. Chief Pius Oluwole Akinyelure 2. Engr. Afolabi Salami 3. Prince Wale Oladunjoye (Snr) 4. Architect Debo Aina 5. Engineer Abiodun Oshodi If there is any objection to the registration of this association, please direct same to the Registrar General, CAC, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

S. Olufemi Avoseh Esq. A.O.S. Hodonu & co 3rd Avenue, V Close Festac Town, Lagos Tel:08034446914

ACN lawmakers ‘ll work for the people, says Tinubu


EDERAL Legislators elected on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)are set to make a difference in National Assembly through peoplefocused lawmaking, ACN leader and former governor of Lagos state Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said yesterday. He spoke after the special reception for his wife, Senator Oluremi at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja. Tinubu said in the national interest, “ haphazard policy somersaults” and “legislation for the greedy by the greedy” must end. The former governor also said the ACN would be taking an unjustifiable risk by joining President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, adding that people in the President’s party have the tendency to do things that would derail of genuine governance. “The ACN has nothing to do with the appointment of ministers in a PDP government. Jonathan is an indi-

From Jide Babalola,

Assistant Editor, Abuja

vidual; he has been elected as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “It is for him to focus on the people and the nation rather than focus on partisan politics. If he is not careful and if he cannot separate that, then they may get him confused. If, by mistake, we participate in such a government, then, we will carry and share the problem,” he stated,” he said. He said his party’s increased strength in the National Assembly will be used to pursue objectives that include the establishment of genuine federalism. “They (ACN legislators) will work hard to reflect the yearnings of the people. I know my wife; she is going to get things done through law making. It is not a ministerial appointment; legislators are not to execute projects, they are to make laws on behalf of the people and for the greatest welfare

of the people,” he said. Hundreds of gaily-dressed Lagosians took Abuja by storm as they graced the special reception for Senator Remi Tinubu. National leaders of the ACN, former governors, Governors Babatunde Fashola and Rauf Aregesola and their spouses, members of Senator Tinubu’s along with Lagos white cap chiefs and other eminent members of various royal families in Lagos attended the event. “E seun, oju ko ni ti yin; Olorun a duro ti yin. A dupe to oju ko ti wa” (Thank you, you will not be ashamed; God will be with you. We give glory to God that we did not lose the race). The senator, who made a grand entrance into the venue, followed by a throng of supporters around 2. 30 pm went round greeting hundreds of people in the hall. She thanked:“My husband and Leader,” drawing applause from all those seated.

ORMER Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday congratulated Senator David Mark and Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on their elections as President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively. He said the action of the legislators, particularly the way and manner in which they chose their leaders has given fresh hopes that the entrenchment of democratic values and ethos is still possible in the Nigeria that we all desire. Commending the peaceful and orderly nature of the process, Atiku said that the National Assembly members have by their enviable conduct, showed themselves as “soldiers of democracy.” The former Vice President said in a statement issued by his media office in Abuja yesterday that he was particularly encouraged by the pan-Nigerian voting that characterised the elections of the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly. “With the pattern of panNigerian voting adopted by legislators in electing their leaders, there is hope that a new day beckons for deepening democratic values and ethos in Nigeria,” he said. According to him, the lesson to be learnt from the process that produced the National Assembly leaders is that transparency, independent opinion and courage are essential ingredients of an enduring democracy. Atiku commended the legislators for the maturity they showed in choosing their leaders and urged them to sustain and extend that same sense of purpose and political maturity in the service of the nation and the people.





Day Kwankwaso moved into Kano State House T

HE handover celebration held on May 29, 2011 may have come and gone. However, for the people of Kano State, mixed memories will linger for long. On that day, the ancient commercial city stood still for Mr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who was being inaugurated to pilot the affairs of the state in the next four years. From Nassarawa, Tukuntawa and Yankaji to Yankaba, thousands of people trooped into the Sani Abacha Stadium to celebrate what they considered a special day in the history of the northern Nigerian State. Residents of the city woke up to see security personnel everywhere. As early as 4.30 a.m, The Kano Command of the Nigeria Police, the armed forces and other allied security organizations had deployed their officers and men to strategic locations and flashpoints. Kano State Commissioner of Police, Mohammad Tambari Yabo explained it: “We received reports that some miscreants were planning to mar the inauguration ceremony, but, we were ready for them.” The day began with the handing over ceremony at the Kano State Government House Antechamber. PDP members dressed in white attires and red caps to match along with commissioners and aides of the former governor. Later, Shekarau and Kwankwaso walked into hall to the delight of everybody. The two arch political rivals

•Kwankwaso (right) receiving his certifcate of return at the Kano INEC office.

stood side by side for the National Anthem, but, it was obvious that there is no love lost between the outgoing and the incoming governors. Before handing over the reins of power, Shekarau gave a rundown of the achievements of his administration, the prospects and constraints of governance and the government’s revenue profile. But he

was silent on the expenditure profile of the state in the last eight years. Despite disturbing claims raised by the transition committee constituted by Kwankwaso, that the outgoing government bequeathed N77 billion liability to the new government, Shekarau revealed that his government left a credit balance of about N4.6 billion and a cash book balance of N5 billion.

The climax of the day took place at the Sani Abacha Stadium where thousands of people welcomed the new governor. Despite concerted efforts by security personnel, pickpockets had a field day. The new governor, however, went ahead to present his carefully crafted inaugural speech, in which he ‘bombed’ the outgoing administration for leaving behind an

empty treasury. The excited crowd accompanied the newly sworn-in Governor to the Government House, where the event turned into an avenue for criminality, all in the name of cleansing the Government House of the ‘vestiges’ of the Shekarau administration. People vandalized sections of the government House fence because security agencies locked them out. Like locusts on the rampage, they invaded the Kano State Government House, carting away government properties and belongings of residents within the Government House . It was adfter the new Governor was sworn in by the State Chief Judge, Justice Shehu Atiku. After enduring for eight long years, outside the mainstream politics of Kano State, Kwankwaso returned to the seat of power, with promises. Now, the question on the lips of many is whether or not the new government will probe the Shekarau’s administration. But the spokesman of the former Governor, Malam Sule Ya’u Sule, at a press conference in Kano, denied all the allegations, insisting that the new government is simply on a ‘vengeance mission’. Already, calls are flying in the air on the need to commence investigations into the finances of the state government under Shekarau. Whatever happens in the days ahead, it is certain is that the people of Kano State won’t forget in a hurry the events of May 29.

Furore over Lagos ministerial list Aggrieved Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains are protesting the criteria for the nomination of stalwarts for ministerial appointments by the State Executive Committee. Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the impact of the scheming and protests on the crisis-ridden branch.


INCE 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State has been the oppo-sition party, following its failure at the successive governorship elections. This has led to the scramble for the limited federal appointments allotted to the chapter by the President. After the periodic general elections, the members always brace up for the contest for ministerial appointments. However, like 2007, the list of ministerial nominees sent by the State Executive Committee led by Hon. Setonji Koshoedo is tearing the members apart. Many party leaders are bitter because only members of the faction led by Chief Olabode George made the list. Other groups led by former Works Minister Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, Senator Wahab Dosunmu, and Chief Rafiu Jafojo were left in the cold. Following the rejection of the exco’s list, the aggrieved groups met in Lagos to deliberate on the way forward. After extensive discussion, they initially resolved to submit a parallel list to the President. But the Southwest zonal leadership advised against the option, warning that President Goodluck Jonathan preferred to deal directly with the recognised executive of the party in states where PDP had failed to install a governor. A party source said the Southwest Zonal Executive Committee led by Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, also advised the aggrieved chieftains to forward petitions to the Presidency and the National Executive Committee on their marginalisation when the list was

drafted. The list sent by Koshoedo was accepted because he is the authentic chairman of the chapter recognised by the National Executive Committee (NEC). But the zonal leadership believed that stakeholders should have been carried along when the deliberations on the selection of likely nominees. The ministerial race in Lagos PDP is always tough. The competition is usually stiff because of the importance accorded to the minister as the arrowhead of the chapter. Having lost power at the state level, members turn to Abuja for succour. As the President’s link’s man in the state, the minister or special adviser is also perceived as the opposition leader by the ruling party. During electioneering, he is in charge of ‘logistics’ and mobilisation. However, no PDP minister has been perceived as a symbol of party unity. All of them have always aligned themselves to groups and factions. The two groups struggling for the soul of the party in the state have a meeting ground, despite their differences. They are opposed to the renomination of the Finance Minister Olusegun Aganga, who is not a politician. They are unanimous that the position should be given to a politician, who will in turn, use it to better the lot of the party and members. A member of Ogunlelwe/Dosunmu group told our correspondent that non-politicians, who are appointed as ministers from Lagos State usually distance themselves from the parthy,

unlike in other states, where they act as liaison between the branch and the Presidency. On the ministerial list are the chairman, Koshoedo, who was backed by George to lead the chapter, following the dissolution of the Caretaker Committee chaired by Hon. Adebayo Williams; Tunji Sele, Chief Bode Oyedele, Dr Ade Dosunmu, and Hon. Goke Salvador. All of them are said to be loyal members of George Camp. Dosunmu, the former head of NIMASA is the only governorship contender on the list. His chance is bright, judging by the trend of appointing failed governorship candidates as ministers in the state. He holds a doctorate degree in Administration from a reputable university. But, his performance during the governorship debates and campaigns in the metropolis was dull. A party source said that the former governorship flag bearer is the preferred choice of George, who is gradually bouncing back after his release from prison. “If he is cleared by the security agents, he will go for the screening in the Senate. Other names are decoys. He is the man he (George) can trust at the moment”, added the source. The main hurdle that Dosunmu will face is that the three Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) senators may deny him the endorsement, which is the first stage of the screening. When Ademola Seriki was nominated as minister, the senators-Adekunle Muse, Ganiyu Solomon and

• Koshoedo

• Dosumu

Olorunnimbe Mamora-endorsed his candidature because he was not perceived as a threat to their party. Hon. Sele, the State Financial Secretary, who also made the list, is not rated as a strong candidate. He is a committed party leader, but the profile of co-contestants may dwarf him. He is not as popular as Koshoedo, who is George’s stooge from Badagry Division. He came into limelight in 1999, when he was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the PDP. The politician’s undoing is that he is largely perceived as a devotee of the former National Deputy Chairman. When he took over the baton of party leadership, many challenges confronted him. he inherited a disunited fold, torn apart by endless personality clashes, bickering and polarising influence of George. He moved swiftly to bring the factions together, but the attempt was without success. There is no party member that can point any accusing finger at him that he is responsible for the inability of PDP to fly in Lagos. When anger is vent on his leadership, it is because members thought that he was im-

posed as chairman by his benefactor. Koshoedo is a pleasant personality. However, he is not as rugged as Oyedele, former Permanent Secretary in the State Civil Service. He has been an asset to the party since he joined the fold in 1999. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had appointed him as Senior Special Assistant on Ecology Matters. He was the hero of the 2006 House of Representatives rerun poll in Ibeju-Lekki won by the PDP. Although ACN defeated the party in the last general elections, the set back has not affected his profile as a strong and committed PDP politician. “Oyedele’s ministerial ambition dated 2003, but he has always missed being appointed. The odd against him is that he is not the preferred candidate of the power that be in the state PDP. But he is competent”, said the source. His rival, Salvador, is a rich businessman and party financier. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 1999. But around 2002, he dumped the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Afenifere, the pan Yoruba socio-political group. In April, he was •Continued on page 13




Ayo Opadokun is the co-ordinator of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER). In this interview with EMMANUEL OLADESU, he speaks about the agitation for a Sovereign National Conference (SNG). Excerpts:

‘National conference is solution to Nigeria’s problem’


HAT is your assessment of the 2011 general elections? Looking at the elections that were held in 1999, 2003 and 2007, that of 2011 was better particularly in the urban centres of the nation. Things were done nicely to some great measures and every eye was on the performance and proceedings of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). But then, Nigerians perhaps will find it difficult to be convinced that the igures that were recorded after the presidential elections as compared with those ones of the governorship were in anyway legitimate from the revelation we gathered through our officers who went round the entire country – two representatives from each state. It was clear that the promoters of various kinds of sophisticated rigging did not do so much at the polling units, they did it at the ward, local government and state collation centres. We should warn Nigerians. The very strongman in Imo, Ikedi Ohakim, he came with a very profound, bombastic, vituperation at the Presidency after the presidential election that he promised President (Goodluck) Jonathan 90 per cent votes, but he delivered 99 per cent. So, he garnered almost 1.4 million to President Jonathan during the presidential election and when it got to his own, he could not garner more than 300,000 votes. The disparity is too huge; it does not command respect anywhere. In fact, there is no way you can correlate that and that was what happened in many places. We are compiling our own report at CODER is compiling its own report. Within one or two weeks, we should be able to submit our report to INEC and then make a statement to let Nigerians know what really happened. What would you say about the violence that followed the April 16 presidential election? The rioting, burning down of houses and churches and properties of various dimensions; the wanton cold murder of people and the eternally condemnable and unconscionable killing of youth corpers in Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi and the like, have profoundly ex-

posed Nigeria’s underbelly of deception and the falsehood of our statehood. What I’m I saying here is that after the presidential election results were announced, the violence that took over has finally exposed the fact that Nigeria is never united and is never one. It’s in fact, a sorry state for us. Those who selfishly and because of the pecuniary gain they are reaping out of the current very perverted system, keep on telling Nigerians that Nigeria is one that cannot be dissolved, I beg to disagree with them. And I think they are being wicked and dishonest in every claim. Why did you say that? Nigeria was not carved out by God. It was packaged together by human beings initially led by Luggard on behalf of British imperialists who for their own pecuniary reasons decided to put these diverse ethnic groups, cultures and traditions together. They knew all along that these things would not work. They forced it down our throats. Here we are. It’s a fact that we don’t have a nation. Don’t let anybody deceive you. My advice to those who keep clamouring that Nigeria is united and cannot be dissolved is that they should join other patriots to agree on the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference, to discuss the Nigerian national question. There are many frustrated and unhappy nationalities in the country as a result of the current structure. I’m from Kwara State. Luggard had ceded us to the North. My people had never at any forum agreed to be part of the North. But when you have been counted as Northerners, if anything wants to happen to which I’m entitled, if I stick out my neck to get to the place, I will be told by the Northern oligarchy that I’m not a Northerner. If anything were to happen in the South-west and I stake my neck there, they will tell me I a Northerner and that I’m not from the South-west Region. So, people like me, the Yoruba in Kwara and Kogi states, are permanently disempowered and at a disadvantage. What kind of society is that one? And I keep on reminding some of these people that you cannot permanently continue to cla-

mour that people of diverse ethnic groups should co-exist forcefully. That is why my next focus is about the so-called committee that President Jonathan set up under Sheik Lemu. If you feel you are at a disadvantaged position, what do you think is the solution? That is why we are clamouring for Sovereign National Conference where the genuine representatives of each nationality will determine who will represent them, not an imposed representation by Abuja as was always done by military conferences that had met. Nigerian people on their own free will had never sat down to write a constitution in accordance with their real wishes and aspirations. It is when we succeed in writing our own autonomous constitution that we can talk of the fact that we have arrived as a nation. May the soul of Chief Obafemi Awolowo rest in peace. Himself and his peers, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Sadaurna, knew that this place is not a nation yet. All the steps that we needed to take to make Nigeria a nation, we have been shying away from them because some people dubiously are at an advantage and they want to keep that dubious advantage. That is the problem we have. Is that the reason Nigeria is n ot working? Today, one of the typical examples of the failure of the forced cohabitation is the failure of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic. It is no more on the map of the world. President Tito was a very remarkable leader of an empire called Yugoslavia. Where is it today? It broke into pieces. They sat on their own. In fact, just last year, I think there was an occurrence of events to the extent that the South Asian people needed to admit some of them into their empire. They said ‘no,’ that they would go to their proper communities. So, any country that has decided to force people to cohabit, knows that they cannot live together permanently. The most vicious imperialist in the world, the great Britain has been forced to conceded or cede liberty to the Irish Republic. The Queen of England, today (last Friday) is her fourth day of more than

• Opadokun

‘The succeeding governments in this country have always known promoters of violence. They don’t have the will power, because of the pecuniary advantage that they are enjoying from these characters, to bring them to book’ 100 years of the visit of the Queen of England to that republic. At the Irish Stadium where there was killing, murder of over 20 people at the stadium in 1920, people were weeping when they saw that the Queen of England could still come there. Those who imagine that they can lord it over the other people are just bidding for time. What will happen, they can never say it. What was the outcome of similar probes in the country? From 1981, we have had the Burukutu violence in Kano, the various ones of Maitasine in different parts of the North, systematic political killings and murders in Kaduna, Plateau, Jos and the like, not to talk of Boko Haram in Borno, its environs and Bauchi. Why is it that anytime an event like this happen, our own government will say they are constituting one curious panel? It is all an attempt to calm frayed nerves , ‘go and sleep,’ then the music continues. That is what we have witnessed. The succeeding governments in this country have always known promoters of violence. They don’t

have the will power, because of the pecuniary advantage that they are enjoying from these characters, to bring them to book. There are people promoting these young people, the almajiris and the rest to do all those things like that. The government of the day always knows them, but it is not honest. You won’t hear anything about it again. People are currently campaigning that (National Youth Service Scheme) NYSC should not be scrapped because of only one occurrence; some them honestly, are disappointing us. They are underrating their own national intelligence. Why must people, parents, who suffer a lot to train their wards, to get them tertiary education and in the course of the so-called service to their mother land, they are murdered in cold blood in an unconscionable way? Why should you say that parents should continue to submit their children for such scheme? What will be the contributions of NYSC in that regard when people are not treated as human beings in some other part of the country? Now is the time for us to be serious.

Furore over Lagos ministerial list •Continued from page 12

• From left: Senators Olorunnimbe Mamora, Chris Anyanwu, Bassey Ewa-Henshaw and Iyabo Obasanjo after the Senate plenary session in Abuja recently.

the PDP senatorial candidate in the West District. He kissed the dust before Senator Solomon. Sources said that other prominent politicians in the state, including Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Femi Pedro, Femi Anibaba, Muritala Ashorobi and de Abayomi Finnih, are also interested in becoming ministers, but they are not desperate. Many party elders, who have brokered failed peace meetings among the warring factions, fear that the next minister form the state may not be able to forge unity in the fold. “There is feeling that the minister will only serve the need of one faction within the larger group”, said a party leader. The competition for ministerial slots is the continuation of the war of attrition in Lagos PDP. Ahead of the last elections, many chieftains-Ademola Seriki, Lanre Rasak and Wale Ahmedleft the party for ACN, claiming that they were edged out of the decisionmaking process. Ahmed, former Pub-

licity Secretary, said that he was not part of the campaign programme of the governorship candidate, Dosunmu, explaining that it was the exclusive affair of George’s boys. Efforts to also harmonise the two parallel executives collapsed. Although the anti-George group offered concessions by accepting the report of the Reconciliation Panel chaired by Chief Tunde Oshunrinde from Ogun State, the recommendations were not implemented. Oshunride’s Committee had suggested a position sharing formula that would give the groups a sense of belonging. The chairmanship and other positions were conceded to George’s group. But, despite stringent calls for its implementation, no effort was made to harmonise the executive council. Ogunlewe’s group claimed that George’s group stalled the efforts by playing a politics of exclusion. Analysts contend that peace may continue to elude the troubled Lagos chapter. This, they also agree, will affect its preparations for the forth-coming local government elections.





It is rare to find a business partner who is selfless. If you are lucky it happens once in a lifetime. - Michael Eisner

Naira to strengthen as CBN meets forex demand


HE naira was broadly flat against the dollar on the interbank market yesterday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) met all demand at its foreign exchange auction and energy firms sold dollars. The naira traded at N155.10 to the greenback on the interbank market, that same level it closed last Friday. The apex bank sold all the $244 million demanded at N152.79 to the dollar at its bi-weekly forex auction, after selling $492 million sold at N153.09 at its previous auction last Wednesday. Traders said state-owned energy company, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), sold about $400 million to some selected banks last Friday, while inflows from other multinational oil firms also helped to calm the market. “The naira traded as low as N154.80 to the dollar earlier in the day before moving up to close at N155.10 as the market reacted to the inflows from energy majors and the appreciation at the official window,” one dealer said. CBN said yesterday it saw no need for a depreciation of the naira and would continue to focus monetary policy on controlling inflation. “We see the naira appreciating slightly ahead of the next auction on Wednesday because of the inflows from the energy companies and possible support for the currency by the central bank,” another dealer said.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$112.3/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

-N8.1 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -11.3% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -7.50% Foreign Reserve - $32.5bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 220.9 £ 253.5 $ 153.59 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 245.85 RIYAL 39.3

• From left: Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria , Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Interim President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mallam Balama Manu and Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo at the commemoration of 5o Years of Stock Market Trading in Nigeria on the Exchange yesterday.

Fed Govt to help oil, telecom firms list on NSE T

HE Federal Govern ment has said it would explore the possibilities of using its fiscal and monetary policies including privatisation to woo multinational companies operating in the key sectors of the economy to list their shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed this yesterday during a commemorative visit to the NSE. He said the government would implement policies that would enhance the development of the capital market. In apparent reference to the major demand of the NSE that the government should encourage oil, telecommunication, energy and other major companies to list their shares, Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the government would continue to

Taofik Salako & Tonia Osundolire

look into policies that will enhance capital market growth. He said the government would pursue definitive policies and programmes to transform the business environment and unleash the entrepreneurial zeal of Nigerians. “We are committed to vigorously pursuing those policies, which will have effect of strengthening the investment climate and engendering the requisite environment for Nigeria’s effective engagement with the global economic community,” Jonathan promised. In his welcome remarks, Interim President of the NSE, Mallam Ballama Manu, noted that under normal circumstances, the Exchange as a key player in

the capital market should be the barometer of the economy but it has not been able to optimally function as such due to the exclusion of major sectors of the economy from the market. He pointed out that the conspicuous absence of the two of the leading sectors in the economy; telecommunications and the upstream oil and gas, from the stock market has created a disconnect between these sectors of the economy and those traded on the stock market, which makes international investors to be uncertain about investing in the Nigerian stock market. He said that although the international telecom companies have local partners, the vast majority of Nigerian investors have not benefited from the huge profit made by these companies.

He added that the international oil companies in the Nigerian upstream oil and gas sectors should also be encouraged to list their shares by removing the current operating structure that precludes them from listing. Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fasola said Lagos State as the hub of the economy would continue to invest in infrastructure to support growth of companies in the state. He said the expansion of the Exchange will depend on the quality of the output of the listed companies and this can only be possible with proper infrastructure put in place by the government. He said the NSE would need to demonstrate a enormous flexibility to grow the market by encouraging all segments of the economy including entertainment and sport companies.

Power generation drops at Egbin Thermal Station


OWER generation at the Egbin Thermal Station has dropped from 1,100 to 500 megawatts, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Mr Mike Uzoigwe, Chief Executive Officer of the station, told NAN in Lagos yesterday that the drop was due to insufficient gas to power the turbines. “We have not received gas supply from the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) and the water level is low. “The station is at this time unusually witnessing low water level, which has made it impossible to generate the required level of power. “Egbin power generation

has dropped by about 70 per cent,’’ he said. Uzoigwe, had on May 27, assured that power generation from the station would reach its full capacity of 1,320 before the end of the fourth quarter of the year. He said this would be possible when unit six, which is currently down, was repaired. The station, which is the biggest electricity generating plant in Nigeria, has a total of six units, each of which has capacity of 220 megawatts. The Federal Government had recently spent N1.922 billion on repairs of the plant and building of a new hydro-

gen plant for the cooling of the turbines. While N1 billion was spent on repairing steam turbine 1 (ST-01), N922 million was spent on building the new hydrogen plant six years after the project was advertised. The Chief Executive Officer of Egbin, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, had assured that the power plant with the repairs and new equipment would ensure steady supply of electricity. The six turbines at Egbin as at April were generating 1080mw. Uzoigwe assured the Minister of State for Power, Nuhu Wya that if the government would make more money available, the company would

begin the repairs of ST-06, which has been out of use in the past two years, to be able to restore the plant to its full installed capacity of 1320mw. Each turbine at Egbin has an installed capacity of 220mw. Egbin is of the generation plants that are slated for privatisation. The Minister said the sale deal has since been concluded. “It is on record that during the reform, an exercise was carried out where some of the assets of the PHCN were put into the market and some transaction advisers appointed and indeed some transactions actually took place and Egbin is one of those I was told transactions were conducted at that time,” he said.

Oando plans private placement


ANDO Plc said yes terday it planned to issue 25 per cent of its share capital through a private placement to finance acquisitions. The energy firm, which has

1.8 billion shares in issue, is worth N94 billion ($604million) as at June 6. It said proceeds from the planned sale would be used for corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and employee

compensation. Almost a year ago, Oando said it hoped to raise $250 million by floating a minority stake in its local fuel retail arm on the Lagos bourse, as part of plans to turn into a major upstream

energy company in Nigeria. Oando, which is also listed in Johannesburg, said in its Annual General Meeting (AGM) notice it would seek approval at a shareholders meeting at the end of June for the issue.

First Bank nominated for corporate governance award


IRST Bank of Nigeria Plc has been nominated for the African Business Awards in the Good Corporate Governance category, scheduled for June 22 in London. A statement from First Bank said the organisers, nominated the Bank alongside four other African companies for its strong corporate governance credentials and best practice, which ensures that there is seamless business continuity and stability among all its stakeholders. “This corporate governance posture has won the bank much respect and recognition locally and internationally in the past,” the statement said. Now in its fourth year, the African Business Awards is a key annual event for African businesses and it is increasingly being sought after by Africa’s leading companies and entrepreneurs. Organised by African Business magazine, and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), the African Business Awards has become a platform to celebrate excellence and best practices in African business and recognises those who have driven Africa’s rapidly transforming economy. First Bank is Nigeria’s has been, providing over a century of dependable services to customers, the Bank was the first to introduce International Money Transfer services to the Nigerian market and recently won the Best Financial Reporting Company Award at the just concluded Africa investor – Reuters Analysts’ and Fund Managers’ Forum, usually held in association with Thomson Reuters in the United Kingdom. With over five million customers, 11 financial subsidiaries, and presence in the UK, France, South Africa, and China, the Bank is an iconic brand in Nigeria’s financial services industry.



BUSINESS NEWS 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

Experts attributed the difficulty to travel challenges by air from one part of Africa to another due to the absence of functional airports, financially weak airlines and unwillingness of African carriers to cooperate. They also listed other obtacles to include the unfriendly aeronautical policies by governments , sky-rocketing operational costs and high air navigational charges, which continue to pose hurdles against attempts to liberalise the air transport sector in Africa. According to Nick Fadugba, of African Aviation Services Limited, movement by air within Africa still

offers few routes and competitors for passengers, which have to pay much more in air fares, as they may have to sometimes fly into Europe before connecting flights into some parts of Africa. This, Fadugba said, is predicated mostly on the failure or unwillingness of African carriers to sign code share agreements among themselves or with other players. Code share agreement is an arrangement, in which a passenger could utilise the ticket purchased from one airline to travel beyond the point operated by that carrier, with connections provided by others it has agreement with.

09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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

09.15 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


LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 08.00 18.00

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

The challenge of intra - African connection among airlines continues to give European carriers the edge over African airlines, arising from lack of connectivity, which is determined by a myraid of factors not limited to passenger traffic, but hub status, capacity of operations, among others. Inability to connect flights with the African continent has been accentuated by the collapse of regional carriers including the 11member Francophone countries carrier: Air Afrique, the airline that provide connecting flights for passengers chiefly in West and Central Africa.

‘Nigeria’s LNG due in Portugal Thursday’


12.15 12.45

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

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

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. Dana


HE challenge of connecting flights within the African continent has continued to frustrate billions of dollars in businesses and investments in Africa, investigations revealed. Global bodies, including the African Airlines Association( AFRAA), African Development Bank( ADB), United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU) are worried over the gap in the air transport sector, which they insist could derail attempts by governments to fast-track the integration of Africa through commerce and other economic activities.

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40

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

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

How intra- Africa connections frustrate businesses

• Media/Public Affairs Manager,Edem Vindah; Brewery Manager,Nigerian Brewery Ibadan, Mr Eugene Odikanwa; Director General NAFDAC, Mr Paul Orhi and NAFDAC Director, Laboratory Services, Mrs Stella Denloye during a facility tour of Ibadan Brewery last weekend

‘Shareholders should decide rescued banks’ fate’


FORMER President of the As sociation of National Ac countants of Nigeria (ANAN), Dr Samuel Nzekwe, has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to involve shareholders in deciding the fate of the rescued banks. Nzekwe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos that recent pronouncements of the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on the sale of some of the distressed banks were discomforting. But Sanusi last Wednesday clarified his pronouncement , which had elicited reactions, with some experts expressing fears on the implications of the pronouncement on the gains already recorded in the last two years. Sanusi said liquidation had always been the last option and it still remained so because CBN’s aim is ensuring financial stability in the affected banks. “Liquidation is not a first option. If it was, it would have happened

before now, and preventing it was why CBN injected a N620 billion lifeline into the banks in the first place. Liquidation is a last option,” he stated. Sanusi, however, stressed “in a situation where some supposed shareholders get ex-parte orders from the courts stopping CBN from recapitalising banks through Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), or Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), what does one expect CBN to do?” He urged shareholders who are opposing the smooth recapitalisation process of the rescued banks to come up with cheques that will recapitalise the banks. But the former ANAN boss said those pronouncements were already overheating the financial system and could further erode depositors’ confidence in the banking system. “My worry about CBN’s pro-

nouncement is that it does not take into consideration the position of the shareholders who are the owners of the banks. “I wonder how the apex bank can be talking about recapitalisation and liquidation without recourse to the shareholders who should take such decisions,” he said. According to the accountant, the CBN is not considering positions of shareholders in all the decisions it is taking. He suggested that there must be a general meeting of shareholders of the affected banks where resolutions should be passed concerning whether to recapitalise or to merge. He said the CBN was going beyond the confines of its powers by interfering in the banks’ “internal matters’’. The former ANAN chief recalled that sometimes ago, the CBN pronounced that the rescued banks were at the level of profitability and wondered why the sudden decision to merge, sell or recapitalise these banks.

PenCom to engage agents for pension collection


HE National Pension Com mission (PenCom) is finalising a framework to contract the collection of pension contributions to agents, its Director-General Mr Ahmad Muhammad has said. Muhammad, who disclosed this at a press parley in Abuja, said the decision is to facilitate the process of pension contributions and make contributors comply with the new pension directive. He said PenCom would in the next two weeks place an advertorial for

By Chuks Udo Okonta

interested agents to apply for the offer, adding that the agents would be saddled with the responsibility of collecting contributions from the private sector. He said: “We are finalising a framework on how to engage agents for the collection of pension contributions from the private sector. We have got inputs from our operators and hope to put up an advertorial for special interest from reputable Nigerian organisations

that would be assigned to collect the contributions from private firms. “What we are currently doing by writing to individuals would be outsourced. So that, if you are appointed as an agent, it would be your responsibility to pursue the contributors that is one of the processes we have adopted to make people comply with the pension law. “I can tell you possibly in the next two weeks, we should be able to come up with that framework and put up the advertorial.”

ORTUGAL’s port of Sines said a liquefied natural gas tanker sailing from Bonny, Nigeria, is due to arrive on June 9. The cargo being carried by the BW Denise was not specified on the website of Administracao do Porto de Sines SA, the port’s management company. The vessel has a capacity of 78,637 cubic meters of the liquid fuel. The Sines LNG terminal, with a capacity of 5.26 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year, is managed by REN-Redes Energeticas Nacionais SA, the nation’s power and gas grid operator. LNG is gas that’s cooled to a liquid for shipment by tanker and then converted back to a gas at terminals for distribution to users. Galp Energia SGPS SA , Portugal’s biggest oil and gas company, receives LNG at Sines as well as gas from Algeria through a pipeline crossing Morocco and Spain. Galp also operates Portugal’s largest refinery at Sines. EDP-Energias de Portugal SA, the country’s biggest power utility, runs a coal- fired electricity plant at the site. Other ships expected at Sines include SKS Torrens, a vessel carrying coal that’s sailing from Baltimore in the US and is scheduled to arrive on June 12. Sines is one of the European Union’s biggest deepwater harbors, according to the port’s website.

Lagos ports expect 87 ships in June


BOUT 87 ships laden with various items are expected to sail into the Lagos ports between June 6 and 29. This was contained in the shipping position made available to journalists yesterday in Lagos by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA). The NPA, however, said the shipping position was subject to change anytime. It said the ships were expected to berth at the 5 Stars Terminal, APM Terminal, Ports and Terminal Multiservice Ltd. and Tin-Can Island Container Terminal Ltd. The document said two of the 87 ships would come in with kerosene while three others would carry petrol. Ten ships are coming with vehicles while four others are with bulk cement. NPA said the two ships carrying kerosene would berth on June 8 and 10. The report also indicated that five of the ships would carry bulk wheat, four with diesel while 59 others would carry general cargoes, ethanol, containers, soda ash, bulk rice, fish and base oil.




Issues Jonathan should address As President Goodluck Jonathan begins his tenure in office, stakeholders have called for action to revamp the maritime sector, reports OLUWAKEMI DAUDA.


Six shortlisted for Cabotage Fund Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

THE management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has shortlisted six companies to benefit from the long-awaited disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) The six companies emerged after the screening of proposals submitted to the four Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) appointed by NIMASA. A senior official of NIMASA who does not want his name in print told The Nation that over 100 proposals were received by the PLIs from several shipping companies but only the six satisfied the criteria for the fund. The companies include Rangk Limited, Ocean Marine, Niger Delta Shipping, Mich Harry & Co Limited, UTM Dredging Limited and A & G Butler Nigeria Limited. NIMASA, the official said, is also liaising with the members of the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) to identify 20 vessels from their fleet, which can be repaired, put in class and made available for employment. The rehabilitation of the 20 vessels, he said, would be executed within two weeks, with funding through the Maritime Fund under conditions to be subsequently agreed upon. Also, within one week, NIMASA is expected to liaise with financial institutions and facilitate the outright acquisition of 10 vessels at the onset for indigenous concerns.

•Apapa port, Lagos.

S President Goodluck Jonathan begins his new tenure, stakeholders in the maritime sector have identified areas critical to the realisation of the Federal Government’s reforms aimed at growing the economy. They are urging the President to formulate a blueprint industry, boost the economy and provide employment. The President, they said, should also see to the quick passage of the Port and Harbour Bill, which would impact significantly on the sector. They said the dearth of skilled professionals in the industry portends grave danger for the future of maritime and urged Jonathan to address the issue. Re-positioning the maritime industry by his administration, they said, will, in no small measure, boost stakeholders’ confidence in the industry. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos on Thursday, the Managing Director, Sea Business, Joseph Atolagbe, said there was the need for the Federal Government to provide an enabling environment for competition between foreign and indigenous operators. He said the provision of a level-playing field would serve as a catalyst for attaining sustainable national development. Atolagbe also urged the Federal Government to ensure effective implementation of the Cabotage Act in the interest of local operators who are suffering from foreign domination. He said that was the only way to make Nigeria a hub of maritime within the West Africa sub-region. This, he said, will promote growth, sustain increased local content participation in the industry and ensure strong collaboration between public and private participants. There is also the issue of infrastructure development at the ports, despite the huge revenue earned by the government while the port was concessioned. National President, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, said negligence and

Maritime Watch

corruption are the major factors responsible for the poor state of infrastructure at the ports. Government, the ANLCA chief said, should assist the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in rehabilitating the roads within and outside the ports, removal of wrecks to make the channels save, and embark on dredging. The sea port, Shittu said, is critical to the growth of a nation and its economy. He urged the President to take issues in the sector seriously. Part of the infrastructure still lacking is designated truck parks, which the Managing Director, Maritime Enterprise, Mr Francis Albert, said is responsible for indiscriminate parking of trucks on the access road to the nation’s main sea port in Lagos. “Few years back, it was easier to access the ports in Lagos, but now it has become near impossible to carry out any business successfully at the ports without getting stuck. The traffic congestion is highly reprehensible. “The roads leadng to the ports have depreciated; congestion is the order of the day at the terminals. Importers are paying through their nose to clear goods from the port. If you remove road from the port that has no efficient rail system, the port is finished and that is why we want the government to take the issue of the roads that lead to the ports seriously by building designated truck parks around the ports.” Albert said. The liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line, which once provided the much-needed sea opportunities for cadet seafarers, a ship owner and Chairman Folas Group of Company, Chief Fola Badmus said, has made training of seafarers, after the college phase, very difficult. The government, Badmus said, must, as a matter of urgency, organise a summit for “all ‘retired, but not tired’ mariners from various organisations, both within and outside the country, to gather and brainstorm on how to resolve the shortage of maritime professionals needed to move sustain the industry. Jonathan, Badmus said, should approve the acquisi-

•Managing Director, NPA, Omar Suleiman

tion of a training ship capable of accommodating over 400 cadets and officers to address the dearth of seatime opportunities for the teeming youth training and graduating from maritime schools. The General Manager, Ocean Solution Investment, Mr Solomon Okwudili, said container traffic has increased tremendously, which is why the Federal Government needs to come up with a blueprint to resolve the problem. “The turnover of containers in this country is enormous compared to other West African countries combined. That is why we are seeking a blueprint that will resolve most of the problems like high port charges and multiple government agencies at the ports,” Okwudili said. Five years after the ports were concessioned, stakeholders believe that tariffs charged at the ports are the highest in the sub-region. The concessionaires, they said, keep inventing new ways of collecting illegal levies from importers and clearing agents. The Chairman, Sunshine Investment, Chief Gabriel Lawson, said the amount importers are paying the concessionaires is 100 per cent higher than what they used to pay before the ports were concessioned. According to him, the shipping lines, terminal operators and off-dock terminals have jacked up their prices, while demurrage on containers have also tripled, far beyond

what was charged pre-concession era. Therefore, they want the government to address the issue. “Any country where maritime transport costs and port charges are high like Nigeria becomes marginalised in international trade. It is where port facilities and efficiency permit that larger vessels will call and that is why we want this administration to come up with a blueprint for the sector,’’ he said. Tolani Adeniji, an importer, believes that unfriendly port charges have been the major factor contributing to the diversion of cargo to neighbouring countries over the years. He pointed out that, as long as the government and service providers continue to impose more charges on importers, it would continue to distort the revenue generation of the Nigeria Customs Service because some would prefer to take the risk by smuggling items into the country to evade duty Stakeholders are wondering when the Maritime Bank will take off as directed by the then Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman. The bank was expected to take off in March after it had suffered a series of delays and postponements. Suleiman’s directive came a year after his predecessor gave assurance that the bank would start operations. The concerned departments in the Ministry of Transport, stakeholders said, should liaise with the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to commence work on the documentation and requirements for the take off of the bank. The Executive Secretary, Agenda for Good Governance, Mr Rotimi Onakoya, said 13 per cent of traffic of goods at the port in Cotonou is destined for the country, while about 75 per cent of the containers that land at the same port are headed for our country. Onakoya, therefore, urged the Federal Government and the agencies responsible for the management of the economy to make the ports competitive so that the ports would not become inactive and unproductive.

Maersk Line makes new policy MAERSK Line has introduced a new policy. It will no longer buy containers with floors made of uncertified tropical hardwood. The announcement was made in Copenhagen, Denmark by the head of Climate and Environment, Jacob Sterling. His words: “Illegal logging is widely recognised as a serious threat to forests, people and wildlife. We feel obligated to use our purchasing power to push for higher standards and ensure that the timber we use for container floors come from responsible forestry.” It takes two cubic metres of hardwood to produce floors for three 40-foot containers. The container industry uses approximately 1.2-1.5 million cubic metres of hardwood annually to meet demand for new containers. As a result of the new policy, all new Maersk Line containers purchased as of January 2011 will have floors made of timber from sources employing responsible forestry practices or non-wood alternatives such as bamboo and recycled plastic. Any tropical hardwood used will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As an interim solution applicable only in 2011, tropical hardwood verified as legally compliant will be accepted while other floor types are scaled up in production. To date, Maersk Line has purchased 64,000 containers that comply with the new policy. Over the next five years, Maersk Line will purchase approximately three million containers 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), more than doubling its current container fleet. A large percentage of the container fleet will, therefore, have new alternative floorboards within a relative short time span. Certified floors will be in all Maersk Line containers within 18 years, the typical lifetime of a container.

Annual shipping summit A communication company, Ships & Ports Limited, has announced the date and venue for the sixth Annual Shipping Career Summit. The summit is tagged Yenagoa 2011. It will be held next Tuesday, at the Creek Motel, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The summit has been held in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Ilorin and Abeokuta. It will attract a large number of participants from various fields in the maritime industry who will share their experiences and mentor participants. Career and investment opportunities to be discussed at the summit include: Engineering Career at Sea; Developing a rewarding Seafaring Career; Building a Successful Career in Maritime Law and How to Become an Effective Importer/Exporter. Others are How to Become an Effective Freight Forwarder; Business and Investment Opportunities in the Maritime Sector; How to Set up a Ship Agency Business; Exporting Without Tears; and How to set up a Ship Chandling Business. According to the Coordinator, Eucharia Okoli, the summit is designed by Ships & Ports to help Nigerians tap into career and investment opportunities in the sector. Okoli stated: “ Nigeria’s maritime sector is endowed with enormous natural resources, which provide great potentials and opportunities necessary to achieve sustainable growth and development. “But it is sad to note that the nation’s maritime industry is dominated by foreign interests after 50 years of independence but the only way Nigerians can take advantage of the plethora of opportunities in the maritime industry is to become aware of these opportunities,” she said.




NIMASA to enforce marine conventions T

HE Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, said he is happy with the management of African Circle Pollution Management Limited (ACPML), for the efforts it has made in fulfilling the agreement it signed with the Federal Government on the control of marine pollution in the nation’s territorial waters. The agency, he said, would enforce global maritime watchdog conventions as it relates to the management of the nation’s marine environment. The NIMASA boss stated this when he visited the company at the Free Zone, Snake Island, Lagos. He commended the management of ACPML on its level of compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Act. He said the agency would support public private partnership (PPP) models to facilitate effective management of ship-generated waste within the marine and coastal environment. The Act seeks to empower indigenous operators as it made it mandatory for operators in the oil and gas industry to ensure the use of local content in the execution of contracts.

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

He added that a roadmap on marine waste management in Nigeria would soon be made public. The NIMASA boss said regulations of IMO and Nigerian laws were taken into consideration in arriving at the road map structured to provide the ideal platform to grow the business of managing waste generated in the maritime environment. Hitherto, it was not mandatory for operators in the oil and gas industry, as well as other sectors to use indigenous resources in the execution of projects. This led to huge capital flight and the domination of the oil and gas industry by foreign operators. Describing it as encouraging, Akpobolokemi enjoined other companies in the maritime industry to emulate the management of ACPML in the implementation of the Local Content Act. ACPML was mandated by the Federal Government to provide waste reception facilities at the nation’s seaports in line with the guidelines of global maritime watchdog, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), particularly marine pollution (MARPOL)


72, 73, and 78. This was sequel to the provisions of the agreement it signed with the Federal Government on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. The agency also reiterated its commitment to the effective implementation of the provisions of the International Maritime

Organisation’s (IMO) guidelines and conventions, especially MARPOL 73/78. Akpobolokemi was at ACPML facility in the Snake Island as part of efforts to ensure that the provisions of the IMO MARPOL 1973/78 Conventions as it relates to adequacy of port reception facilities in the country are complied with. He added that a roadmap on marine waste management in Nigeria would soon be made public. While commending the management of ACPML for the Lagos operations which he described as the best in the West Africa subregion, Akpobolokemi enjoined the management of the firm which has Mr Ayodele Emmanuel as its Managing Director to work at improving operations in Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri and Onne Ports. He noted that investment in waste management in the marine environment would not only improve the country’s rating in the global maritime industry, but also have a multiplier effect of employment generation in Nigeria among others. “It is to the benefit of Nigerians that this PPP model of managing waste in our marine environment

is sustained and encouraged to grow rapidly. We are committed to the growth of this industry. This is because if you look at the manpower development, employment generation, economic activities, besides the fact that they help us meet IMO requirements in managing waste in our marine environment, you will agree with me that it is worth government support to ensure growth”, he said. Akpobolokemi also declared that the agency would look at issues based on IMO regulations and Nigerian laws in working out the guidelines that will provide the ideal environment to grow the business of managing waste generated in the marine environment. He assured that the agency would ensure an annual audit of the facility so as to maintain IMO standard. Consultant to ACPML, Captain Suleman Baiyee, who took Akpobolokemi and his team on a tour of the G-Force Plant, revealed that he was the first Director-General of NIMASA to visit the facility since it was established three years ago. He disclosed that over 100,000 tonnes of both solid and oily wastes are processed daily at the facility in Lagos.

Firm assures on logistics, vessels maintenance


HE Executive Chairman of the Lagos Deep Offshore Lo gistics base (LADOL), Ladi Jadesimi, has assured of his company’s commitment to the deep off-shore logistic programme and local maintenance of vessels. The LADOL facility, Jadesimi said, was established as an employment generations outfit and foreign exchange conservation entity. LADOL, he assured, would continue to give employment opportunities to Nigerians by embarking on vigorous capacity-building in the deep off-shore logistic. He, however, solicited for government’s support as the company moves forward to better the lots of Nigerians. The LADOL boss spoke when the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command, Idris Suleiman, paid a working visit to the facility of the base in Lagos last week. He pointed out that LADOL needs the support to grow for it to realise its full potential, adding that such support and encouragement could come from the government as well as the multinational companies in the country. Speaking at the occasion, the Customs Area Controller described the establishment of indigenous investment in the deep offshore sector as one of the needed efforts by the government towards quick economic recovery. “LADOL is a very interesting and

curious facility. It is interesting because it would do a lot to actually assist the government in terms of economic development of the country. One of the policies of the government is backward integration. That is, to ensure that Nigerians engage in manufacturing instead of merely trading,” Suleiman said. The Customs chief said the need to achieve the objective informed government’s decision to provide the enabling laws that would support the initiative through the proposed law of the Nigerian Exports Processing Zones Authority, otherwise called NEPZA Act. The Act, Suleiman said, is now before the National Assembly for passage into law. “This is a conscious effort in that direction. And therefore you find that there is a re-invigoration of the enabling law, which are the NEPZA Act among other laws. I was curious to know more about the NEPZA Act because that is what will make the future of such enterprises like LADOL very bright, and it is brighter now since the law is now before the National Assembly. “Therefore, I am happy to say that this kind of effort needs to lot of government support and goodwill, and it will definitely pay back, because when you talk about backward integrations, government is talking about employment for its citizens, and the social security of

the people, beyond the unemployed. ‘‘So this is a deliberate effort by the promoters of LADOL to help the government in that direction and so they need to be encouraged,” Suleiman said. The Area Controller, who also observed that a lot of money in terms of foreign exchange could be conserved, pointed out that it is one of the reasons for backward integrations for what he called, “a monoculture type of investment whereby everybody is talking about oil. But this, he said, was a deliberate and conscious effort by LADOL to provide logistics and all necessary requirements for the deep off-shore sector. The Area Controller said the advantage the country can have from this kind of effort provided by LADOL is big. For instance, he said vessels when they want to go for maintenance because of operational problems, they would have to leave what they were doing and travel for almost three months to go back to Europe or Asia for the maintenance. But, now we are having this kind of facility and activities going on here to provide employment for Nigerians and save foreign exchange for the country. “So, whatever they want to take away in terms of foreign exchange and technical knowledge, our people here would definitely do it

• L-R: Suleiman and Jadesimi at the event.

and in the process, they learn more. Japan and all the rest learnt it from America, and today, they are the master in the act,” Suleiman said. He, however, called on the management of LADOL to partner with NEPZA because the law is necessary. “Whatever activity you carry out should be guided by the law, and good enough, NEPZA is rising to the challenge. They have seen the deficiencies in the existing legislature, and now they have re-engineered, because law is a way of so-


cial engineering. They have now fashioned out new legislation to meet up with the new requirements in the industry they superintend. Now the new NEPZA legislature which I understand is coming up for the second reading at the National Assembly will transform NEPZA into a Commission, under the Presidency. Beyond NEPZA, I can see the presence of government here, because you have the representatives of Navy, Ports Authority, Customs and even Immigration, Suleiman added.

‘Conspiracy hinders Cabotage implementation’


ONSPIRATORS among Customs agents and importers are sabotaging the implementation of Cabotage Law, a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), and maritime lawyer, Mr Dipo Alaka, has said. He told The Nation last Friday that the implementation of the Law would have been very easy, but for some form of conspiracy between agents, importers and other operators. He said the law can be easily implemented if the agency saddled

with the responsibility of enforcing the law, musters the political will to do so. “This is the time for the government to buckle-up and see to the implementation of the Cabotage law. But we need to understand the problems confronting the agency before we can say yes, maybe some individuals in government are trying to frustrate the implementation. My thinking is that every ship that calls at our port should first declare arrival to the

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), NIMASA and the Navy. By doing so, it would become easy to implement the law,” he said. Alaka said the implementation should not be a problem. “The agency saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the law does not even need to get to the jetty to arrest a vessel; she can ask a vessel to tell her its point of loading. So, if it is offshore Lagos or offshore Cotonou, the agency can then verify if it is on the list of Cabotage registered vessels.

“Therefore, implementation should not be a major issue. From all indications there must be a kind of conspiracy between the operators and people that grant approval for foreign vessels to come into the country.” He said Nigerian ship owners must be supported by the government and banks to buy sufficient vessels to adequately carry out coastal trade. The Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003, he said, is a protectionist law enacted to create exclusive

areas of operations in the coastal trade for indigenous operators. “Much as it is estimated that marine transportation offshore alone has a potential annual revenue profit of millions of naira as against coastal trade in commodity and products, it is believed that harnessing the opportunities of effective implementation of Cabotage will provide a springboard for indigenous operators to acquire requisite capacity and expertise to launch themselves into global shipping.





Banned presidential jet •Nigerian officials involved in its purchase deserve to be sanctioned


E are perturbed that the newly procured Falcon 7X that costs the government $51m (about N7.65bn.) has been banned from flying in Europe and other parts of the world for safety reasons. The ban hammer came barely over two months that the new presidential jet arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The interdict was an Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that regulates the European aviation industry as well as Dassault, the executive jet’s manufacturer. It took effect from May 27. The Dassault’s Falcon 7X executive jet encountered an uncontrolled pitch trim runaway during descent, an in-flight anomaly, which could have caused the pilots to lose control. Fortunately, the crew succeeded in recovering a stable

‘More importantly, we need to ask how those Nigerian officials involved in the purchase of the aircraft arrived at their decision. While the manufacturer should be partly blamed for producing a faultprone aircraft, the large chunk of the blame should be heaped on the Nigerian buyers that refused to do due diligence before making payment for the aircraft’

situation and performed, according to EASA, ‘an uneventful landing.’ The order was an interim and precautionary measure, pending the outcome of the investigation by the manufacturer, to prevent a recurrence that could lead to loss of control of affected same brand airplanes in future. There are 112 Falcon 7X aircraft in effective service world-wide since it was introduced in 2007, and was designed to fly 5,950 nautical miles with at least eight passengers. The Falcon 7X has a sticker price of about $50m, depending on cabin features, even though the nation bought its own for $51 million. We recollect that the Federal Executive Council(FEC) had on August 12, 2010 approved $102m for the purchase of two Falcon 7X and $53.3m for one Gulf stream G550 aircraft to beef up the presidential fleet. The decision showed no preference for the sensibilities of majority of Nigerians who considered such expenditure as conspicuous public consumption. This is especially so in a land where poverty is highly prevalent with shameless official indifference. As if to confirm this position, the first assignment of the presidential jet was alleged to be its conveying Patience Jonathan, wife of the President with no definite constitutional assigned role to Sokoto State within the few days of its arrival in the country. We ask; of what need is the jet if such unnecessary duty was the sole purpose for acquiring it? Without doubt, safety and

environmental factors are salient ingredients desirous of utmost consideration in air transportation business. EASA was right in taking this precautionary step that would make the manufacturer to show more circumspection in future. More importantly, we need to ask how those Nigerian officials involved in the purchase of the aircraft arrived at their decision. While the manufacturer should be partly blamed for producing a faultprone aircraft, the large chunk of the blame should be heaped on the Nigerian buyers that refused to do due diligence before making payment for the aircraft. The sad thing now is that the plane as new as it is cannot be used to take President Goodluck Jonathan to any civilised part of the world. What then is the essence of the plane if, with all the huge investment on it by the nation, it can only be used within the country? The embarrassment that would emanate if the plane is flown outside the airspace of the country is better imagined as long as the ban subsists. We urge the Nigerian authorities to be more cautious with its procurement process. The latest presidential aircraft purchase has made nonsense of the much touted due diligence and procurement policy of the government. The jet should at least have warranty of some months. If the ban continues beyond this month, we call on the government to quickly return it to the manufacturer. This has become imperative in EASA’s view, to keep the world airspace safe for people to fly.

Alleged wife-beating •It is good we recalled the envoy to save the country further embarrassment


IGERIA has done well to have recalled its high commissioner to Kenya, Dr Chijioke Wigwe, who has been in the centre of allegation of wife battering, not necessarily because the envoy has been found guilty of the alleged offence, but at least to save the country from further embarrassment. No doubt negative reports like the one under consideration have a way of tarnishing any country’s image and Nigeria does not need any such tar on its image at this point in time. Dr Wigwe’s wife, Ms Tess Iyi Wigwe, had alleged that her husband beat her up and that she sustained injuries in the process. As a matter of fact, she is reported to have recorded a statement to this effect with the Diplomatic Police Unit in Gigiri, Kenya. She had also been examined by a police doctor over the claims. However, the Nigerian High Commission in Kenya has termed the allegations as “malevolent, far from the truth and unsubstantiated”. As a matter of fact, Dr Wigwe himself had denied the allegations, saying that his wife was the aggressor and that her behaviour could have been the result of her exposure to Western culture which many African women are now trying to copy. But from his account of what happened, it is evident that there is no love lost between him and his wife. According to him, “I came back from work as usual and I didn’t even speak to her. I did not even see her. This woman rushed into my room and started what she

started. In any case, she did not even fall. She hit her head while my daughter and I were trying to restrain her from fighting me. It was from there that she sustained the cut”. Dr Wigwe said that she then used her hand to spread blood round her face before running into her room to take a camera with which she photographed herself, saying she wanted the picture on the Internet, in Abuja and everywhere. From the tone of the envoy’s defence, the marriage seems to have collapsed; with the two of them just living like two strange bedfellows. We can infer this from the use of words like ‘this woman’ that Dr Wigwe used in making reference to his wife. In this kind of situation, anything could have happened, since the essential ingredient in any relationship: love, is conspicuously missing. Dr Wigwe even claimed that his children had gone to the police in Kenya to testify that he never beat his wife. But all this is neither here nor there. For one, are the children in question from the wife that has complained of battering? If the answer is in the affirmative, then we can assume that they would not have testified falsely against their mother. Otherwise, we cannot say that, given the traditional rivalry in Africa between children from different wives. Until the matter is resolved, we want to hold that Dr Wigwe is innocent of the allegation. But that does not in any way mean we want him to be retained as Nigeria’s envoy in Kenya or elsewhere. The

fact of the matter is that he cannot continue in that office with the messy situation on his hand. As the eyes and ears of Nigeria in Kenya, that is intolerable. A peaceful atmosphere in the home front is sine quanon for the efficient discharge of his responsibilities. At any rate, Dr Wigwe is not a career diplomat; in which case he lacks the requisite experience to handle this kind of situation. Perhaps an embarrassment like this would force the government to put square pegs in square holes in future. Ambassadorial postings should be for those groomed in the art of diplomacy. It is not a political pie that should be dispensed to party faithful and other political job seekers.

‘Until the matter is resolved, we want to hold that Dr Wigwe is innocent of the allegation. But that does not in any way mean we want him to be retained as Nigeria’s envoy in Kenya or elsewhere. The fact of the matter is that he cannot continue in that office with the messy situation on his hand. As the eyes and ears of Nigeria in Kenya, that is intolerable’

Playing with matches on the debt


UST ignore Tuesday’s vote against raising the debt ceiling, House Republican leaders whispered to Wall Street. We didn’t really vote against it, members suggested; we just sent another of our endless symbolic messages, pretending to take the nation’s credit to the brink of collapse in order to extract the maximum concessions from President Obama. Once he caves, members said, the debt limit will be raised and the credit scare will end. And the business world apparently got the message. It’s just a “joke,” said a leader of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and Wall Street is in on it. Not everyone found it funny. No matter how they tried to spin it, 318 House members actually voted against paying the country’s bills and keeping the promise made to federal bondholders. That’s an incredibly dangerous message to send in a softening global economy. Among the jokesters were 236 Republicans playing the politics of extortion, and 82 feckless Democrats who fret that Republicans could transform a courageous vote into a foul-smelling advertisement. The games that now pass for governing in an increasingly embarrassing 112th Congress are menacing the nation’s future. It was bad enough when Republicans threatened to shut down the government to achieve their extreme and extremely misguided spending cuts, but that threat would have caused temporary damage. The debt limit is something else altogether. If the global credit markets decide that the debt of the United States will regularly be held hostage to ideological demands, it could cause significant harm to investment in long-term bonds and other obligations. That, in turn, could damage domestic credit markets and easily spark another recession. To prevent this from happening, 114 Democrats in April asked for a “clean” vote without conditions. But Republicans were not about to set their hostage free. Knowing that the clean vote would not pass — and imposing a two-thirds majority requirement to ensure its failure — House Republicans gave the Democrats what they requested. They then voted it down, sending their reckless message to the world. But there was no excuse for so many Democrats to go along with that message, including the leadership. Steny Hoyer, the minority whip, urged his members to vote no so they would not “subject themselves to a political 30-second ad attack” with all Republicans voting no. Apparently Mr. Hoyer did not trust voters to understand what a dangerous and dishonest game the Republicans are playing. The exercise has prompted the White House to convene talks to discuss the Republicans’ scattershot demands, which have ranged from trillions in spending cuts to the outright dismantling of vital safety-net programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats have hoped to get an increase in revenues out of any deal, but House Republican leaders emerged from a White House meeting on Wednesday spouting the usual discredited claims that higher taxes on the rich would impede job growth. What Republicans seem unwilling to acknowledge is that the debt-limit debate is not about future spending. It is about paying for a deficit already incurred because of two wars and tax cuts approved by both Republicans and Democrats at the behest of a Republican president. Tuesday’s vote was a chance to do the right thing and educate the public on why it was necessary. Instead, too many lawmakers walked away from the truth. – New York Times

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IR: Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible. This best describes the passage of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) Bill by the National Assembly. For this singular feat, the National Assembly, under the leadership of distinguished Senator David Mark and Honourable Dimeji Bankole have displayed a towering level of astuteness in their esteemed role of lawmaking. Kudos also should be given to the Finance Committee of the Senate under the leadership of Senator Mohammed Makarfi. Call the proposed FRC Act a tool for good governance in the public and private sectors, a tool for ensuring accountability and transparency, an instrument for promoting efficient and effective use of resources, an instrument for attracting international capital flows, a tool for providing and ensuring credibility of information, creation of employment, a national poverty alleviation instrument or in summary, an economic development tool, and you would not be far from the fundamental economic objective of the Act. Since 2002, similar laws setting up similar bodies and many others have been enacted in various developed/developing countries to entrench good governance as well as sound and reliable financial regime. Such countries include the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia and Mauritius. The Bill once assented to by Mr. President, will put Nigeria on this list. In all of the countries mentioned above, and specifically in the UK, the enabling laws are referred to as the Financial Reporting Council Act. The proposed Act here in Nigeria has adopted that name too and its structure accords significantly with that of the UK. The FRC Bill had in 2007 been presented to the then National Assembly by the former Governing Council of the NASB under my Chairmanship when Mr. G.S. Nnadi was the Executive Secretary. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the bill at the time. However, due to some misconception and misunderstand-


The passage of Financial Reporting Council Bill ing, the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, did not give his assent to the bill. The former President was erroneously advised that the FRC Bill was meant for the establishment of another professional accountancy body in Nigeria. In his judgement, he felt that would be unhealthy considering the existing row between the two major bodies in Nigeria. The NASB Governing Council at that time then went ahead to shed light on what the proposed FRC Bill was all about and to clear all grey areas. However, all of these happened at the tail end of the Obasanjo

administration and the Bill was eventually not signed. This was a serious setback for financial reporting reform in Nigeria as it meant that the bill had to be represented to the new National Assembly going through the full hog of law making once again. I must commend the current Governing Council of the NASB as well as the Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive, Mr. Jim Obazee, for a job well done. Obazee who was Technical Director while I was the Chairman has been an invaluable tool for this achievement. Also, the support of the World Bank

in the passage of this Bill cannot be overemphasised. With this development, it is imperative for President Goodluck Jonathan to sign this Bill having been passed by the National Assembly. With the President’s renewed vision and mission for our dear country and with the passion with which he his pursuing his dream for a greater Nigeria, he will assent to the FRC Bill as soon as possible. •Olugbenga Olaofe Immediate Past Chairman, NASB, Lagos

Siasia, Osaze and the Super Eagles HE controversy over the noninvitation of Osaze Odewemgie over disciplinary issues, into the Super Eagles squad has divided soccer loving Nigerians. While some condemn the non inclusion of Osaze into the squad, others commended the coach for taking such a firm stand. The reason for the coach’s action is based on the purported walking out of Osaze from the camp, before the last friendly game against Kenya, without taking permission from the coaching crew. If, indeed, it is true that Osaze walked out on the team, then the coach must be commended for taking the decision to sanction him. Keen followers of the Super Eagles will agree that indiscipline is partly responsible for the recent downturn in the team’s performance. The glorious moment of the team was achieved in 1994 and it could be argued that aside the talents of the then players, coach Clemence Westerhof’s insistence on discipline was chiefly responsible


for the relative success recorded by the team during this period. The present coach of the team, Samson Siasia was himself sanctioned by Westerhof for refusing to pass the ball to an obviously well positioned Rashidi Yekini during a qualifier match in Abidjan against the Elephant of Cote D’Ivoire, en route the 1994 USA World Cup. That error cost Siasia his shirt in the team as it was taken over by Daniel Amokachi while he became a fringe player in the team. Since, the departure of Westerhof as the Chief Coach of the national team, the level of discipline in the team has seriously nose dived. We have had instances where players arrived late to the camp and were still given shirts above those that have trained so hard. This partly accounts for the decline of the team and this is why every right thinking Nigerian should commend the coach for welding the big stick on Osaze. At the last Olympic games in Beijing, China, Mikel Obi and Taye

Taiwo abandoned Nigeria at the last minute while Argentine players such as Machirano and Lionel Messi, who are more established and respected players came to represent their country at the event. What has Osaze achieved in football? How many trophies has he won in his career? What gave him the effrontery to disrespect coach Siasia who has won a Nation’s Cup gold as a player and silver twice as a national coach on international assignments? My advice to coach Siasia is that he should be steadfast and focused. I know there will be a lot of pressure on him to rescind his decision on Osaze, but he must remain resolute in his determination to instil discipline in the team. No one player can be greater than his country. This is the time to say no to the antics of the Super Eagles players who show little or no respect for the national colours. Enough is enough! • Tayo Ogunbiyi Alausa, Ikeja.

Stain on Bankole’s House


HE media have been awash with the purported exoneration of the former speaker of the House of Chief Mrs. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh of corruption charges by her comrades. This act smacks of indecent assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians. The manner of clearing her of all impropriety in the way and manner she handled the furniture matter casts a dark gloom over our recent electoral pass mark. The very item of news that nowhere in the records and books of the house is there to be found any charge of corruption against her tells many worrisome stories about our democracy. One must ask why the same records that proclaimed her innocence were not opened at that time. It means then that the beautiful hairdresser was hounded out of office for offences she did not commit. The development, coming on the hills of the 10 billion naira scam rocking the House of Representatives and the attendant hide and seek going on between the outgoing speaker; Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole and the Economic and financial crimes Commission(EFCC) bodes no good for the integrity of members of the lower house. For what reason, one may ask, was Hon. Dino Melaye and co. suspended? Most worrisome though is that by this pronouncement, our legislators are telling the world that their word is not their bond and that they are prone to rash rulings reached without due diligence and careful perusal of facts to arrive at a logical and final decision. Vacillations of this type portray a lack of focus and dearth of integrity. TThey have come to believe that they are above the law and can manipulate events and records at will. Nigerians refuse to accept this blatant attempt of old wine trying to stain the pristine cup of President Goodluck Jonathan. We urge the incoming legislators to eradicate such vestiges of corruption and public distortion of facts. • Sir Ogechi Placidus Opara Port Harcourt.






RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, clutching his panNigeria mandate and flush with new-found respect for a decent election, has clearly won the war of zoning. But can he ever win the peace? With the clinical burial of zoning, and President Jonathan storming to Olakunle a historic win on the ashes of the Abimbola loss of the “North” (many would, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) query, which North?), whose presidential zonal right got interred with the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua, one would have thought winning the peace of zoning was guaranteed. Not quite! Compare the stats with the North West (57 out of possible To boot, a lot of bathetic drama, issuing from the zoning 92): and a section of that zone is no zealous supporter of question, plays itself out. To start with, former President Jonathan’s presidential run! That appears to have fired the Olusegun Obasanjo has hinted at possible retirement from Aminu Tambuwal revolt against PDP’s anointed South West politics. What held him back, he piously announced, was to candidate for Speaker. ensure, in the interest of “justice and fair play”, a Speaker of Also, compare the poor South West showing to the South South West extraction was installed to succeed Dimeji Bankole. East’s overzealous support for the Jonathan dream (no less His man was Muraina Ajibola. than 35 PDP Representatives and a whopping 5.1 million votes Of course, Gen. Obasanjo is a great one for cant; and the for the president, according to Victor Umeh, national rush to throw “justice and fair play” and allied cant in your chairman of the All Progressives Grand alliance, APGA). face, when he knows, and he also knows that you know, that Factor in the allegation that the ballot was loaded to declare it is nothing but a ploy to sucker you with his Hobson’s choice, a too-good-to-be-true presidential voter turnout, and you is quite in his character. The general hints at political might just feel how hollow Obasanjo’s “justice and fair play” retirement. But with the result of the April elections, haven’t pitch sounds. the electorate already retired him? Still, unlike Mallam Tambuwal and his northern comrades, But retirement or not, it is doubtful if Gen. Obasanjo is the South East appears to have made its peace with the peculiar done with this polity. Take the satanic phrase of “simple “justice and fair play”, by quickly settling for the secretary to minority”. That hit Nigeria’s political lexicon during the federal government (SFG) in Anyim Pius Anyim, a former Obasanjo’s imperial presidency when “simple minorities”, Senate president, who somewhat escaped the late Chuba post-haste impeached any errant governor – errant, not in Okadigbo’s dreaded “banana peel” (from which Okadigbo the eyes of the law, but in the baleful eyes of His Imperial himself, the late Evan(s) Enwerem and Adolphus Wabara Majesty, the President. slipped from office); but did not win re-election because he But if you think “simple minority” is done with this polity, was reportedly no Obasanjo loyalist. you had better start thinking again. Or how else would you Even then, Anyim’s second coming comes with a bathetic rationalise Obasanjo’s push for the South West to produce the story of its own, dating back to those momentous pre-June 12 Speaker, when the region performed woefully for the ruling days. When MKO, after picking his running mate from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), nicking a measly five House North offered the South East SFG, the most linguistically of Representatives seats out of a possible 71? formidable Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi and Eze Igbo Gburugburu, dismissed the offer on the “Will Jonathan resort to Obasanjo- excellent reason that secretaries did nothing but served tea! the heat of political jiving as a National Republican era strong arm tactics and land himself In Convention (NRC) partisan, the most veritable Ikemba had his umpteenth pitch of handshake across the Niger with another Etteh, a castle built on forgotten between the West and the East. sand that soon collapses? Or remain Eighteen years after 1993, the South East, in what-I-have-Iversion, has quietly taken the SFG. Some say it is another true to his gentle Jona image, and hold manifestation of alleged Igbo lack of political self-worth. Others insist it is a strategic stooping to conquer, since the allow the rebels have their way?” acceptance would make it easier for half-Cousin Azikiwe,

epublican ipples

the president, to hand Ndigbo the Presidency in 2015. But whatever version is true, thank God the Ikemba is recovering from his illness in London and would soon be back home. The Most Pious Pius Anyim would be quite delighted to show the Eze Igbo Gburugburu his tea-serving skills! Even the reported dumping of Mr. Ajibola, having had the near-fatal kiss as Obasanjo’s alleged nominee, only produced Mrs. Mulikat Akande-Adeola (MAA), as PDP’s offer to appease its rebellious House of Representatives members. Now, MAA is no common hairdresser, promoted above her competence and mental acuity. On the contrary, she is an accomplished lawyer. Yet, her pick only echoes another Obasanjo legacy – the tragic pick of Mrs. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, as Nigeria’s first female Speaker, in the interest of, to use Obasanjo-speak, “justice and fair play”! Just as well Mrs Ette just got beatified from the alleged sleaze that made her tenure such a nightmare. But even before that debacle, Mrs. Ette, from her performance, never did justice to the gender activists that pushed her case as breaking the political glass ceiling; or was she particularly fair to the brand equity of the House. Of course, Dimeji Bankole came to right all that. But it is a moot point if the House Bankole led had more integrity, at least in public perception, than the House of Ette! But would the House of MAA or Tambuwal be any better? Obasanjo, Wabara, Ojukwu, Anyim, MAA – what has all this got to do with President Jonathan, the beloved Jona among the common folk, particularly the free spirits of the SouthSouth? Jona! That is somewhat reminiscent of Wole Soyinka’s fictional Brother Jero (Jero for Jeroboam, as Jona is for Jonathan), that suave, streetwise hero-villain of the famous Jero Plays: The Trials of Brother Jero and Jero’s Metamorphosis. Like Jero, Jona is facing his zoning trials. Does he boast the political street wisdom to survive like the rogue but likable fictional Jero? Jona allowed the rogue theory of killing political zoning for immediate self-benefit, though the president of the Federal Republic is no rogue. Indeed, everyone testifies to his gentle mien, his good breeding. That was perhaps why winning the zoning war was so sweeping and so sweet. But now comes the zoning peace. The House of Representatives is up in arms; with PDP members’ threat to ally with opposition members to defeat their party’s own nominee for Speaker. However it is resolved, it is sure fun to see the president squirm: will he resort to Obasanjo-era strong arm tactics and land himself with another Etteh, a castle built on sand that soon collapses? Or remain true to his gentle Jona image, and allow the rebels have their way? Ha, Brother Jona, it’s a hefty price to pay for bending principles for temporary benefit. We, the pro-zoning elements, we dey laugh oooooooooooooo!

Jona, now win the peace!

Traveller, you must set forth At dawn I promise marvels of the holy hour… Prof. Wole Soyinka


HE journey is long; the road is tortuous. Where and when exactly should the new Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, begin the process of reconstruction of the state? I think the best way to appreciate the state of our state is to form the image of an edifice in ruins, with valuables trapped underneath. You need to remove the valuables. You need to reconstruct the monument. Quite an arduous and daunting task. Ogun State, until recent years, was the pride of the nation. It was a haven of peace and tranquility; and a pacesetter in socio-economic development. It was an intellectual power house of the nation, noted for its mature and elegant politics. Except during the military interregnum, hardly was the state in the news for any wrong reason. But following the electoral blitzkrieg of the Peoples Democratic Party on the South West in 2003, the process of reversals began, albeit in an insidious manner. The heritage of our dear state began to suffer gradual and steady erosion. The fall of the nation, democratically, was reflected in the state, culminating in the infamy of Monday, September 6, 2010 at the Ogun State House of Assembly. On that fateful day, nine out of the 26 members of the Ogun State House of Assembly appropriated the mace of a local council and sat at the assembly chamber at about 7.00 am, where far-reaching decisions were taken: the Speaker and principal officers of the House were impeached; a new Speaker and two other principal officers were appointed; 14 other lawmakers were suspended; the supplementary budget was passed; and the controversial 100 billion naira bond Bill was approved! It sounds surreal, but it happened in my state! However, like other concerned citizens of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun did not simply fold his arms or raise them in lamentations, watching the incipient retrogression till it assumed the status of a monster. Senator Amosun, indeed, attempted to halt the slide by offering himself for the post of the governor in 2007. But just like the other progressive politicians, especially from the South West, he was robbed of victory. Perhaps a quick reminder of the conditions under which the 2007 elections held is apposite at this juncture. The European Union Election Observation Mission

Governor Amosun Sets Forth At Dawn By Idowu Abraham

Report On 2007 Elections said in part: “We feel extremely disappointed that things were worse in 2007 than they were in 2003. The 2007 state and federal elections fell far short of basic international and regional standards for democratic elections. The elections were marred by very poor organization; lack of essential transparency; widespread and procedural irregularities; substantial evidence of fraud; widespread voter disenfranchisement; lack of equal conditions for political parties and candidates; and numerous incidents of violence.” It was against this backdrop that Senator Ibikunle Amosun took his case to the Election Petition Tribunal. As a believer in the rule of law, it was the right thing to do. Alas, it never rains but it pours. In my article, The fear of the Court of Appeal, published in the press in mid-2008, I captured the travails of Senator Ibikunle Amosun in the following lines: “Again, after a putrid affair at the Ogun State Election Tribunal, where the petition of the ANPP gubernatorial candidate was dismissed on the grounds that he did not state his party, the colours of his shirt and shoes, Ibikunle Amosun sought sanctuary at the Court of Appeal but as usual the court upturned the lower tribunal’s verdict but failed to assume direct jurisdiction on the suit or order the setting up of a new panel. It is natural that the petitioner could not go back to the same panel that threw out his case on such grotesque grounds. But the PDP has gone to the High Court to challenge the legality of setting up another panel by the President of the Court of Appeal. By the time the matter will return from the apex court to the tribunal or Court of Appeal, Governor Gbenga Daniel would have completed his term in office. Where do we go from here?” Indeed, ‘where do we go from here’? Senator Amosun may not be a Bill Gates, he is certainly a wealthy man by any standard. Therefore, he could not be accused of seeking political office for self-aggrandizement. A humble philanthropist per excellence, Senator Amosun has, over the years, been a defender of the downtrodden masses. It is this rare attribute that has endeared him to generality

of Ogun citizens. And so, unlike run-of-the-mill politicians, who begin to throw money around in anticipation of electoral support, Senator Amosun stands out as one of the few politicians in Nigeria with a genuine following - in fact, ‘fanatical following’ is the appropriate phrase... Traveller Ibikunle Amosun has set forth at dawn. He knows the journey is long and the road is tortuous. And so, he is no longer in bed; he has hit the ground running from his first day in office. For instance, qualitative free education in primary and post-primary schools takes immediate effect; so is free health services for children under the age of five and citizens above the age of 70; women will no longer die at home during childbirth as fees for ante-natal and post-natal consultation in public hospitals will now be paid by the government; and the state has returned to its heritage – agriculture. Indeed, Governor Amosun has accepted the general invitation of our Nobel prize winner, Wole Soyinka, which he issued soon after he ‘arrived on the wheels of a Rockefeller Fellowship on New Year’s day, 1960…’ Traveller, you must set forth At dawn… Governor Amosun rides on the wheels of the state-wide, free mandate of his people. He’s sure to arrive at a safe destination. • Abraham, a public affairs analyst, writes from Isara, Ogun State.

‘Ogun State, until recent years, was the pride of the nation. It was a haven of peace and tranquility; and a pace-setter in socio-economic development. It was an intellectual power house of the nation, noted for its mature and elegant politics. … The fall of the nation, democratically, was reflected in the state, culminating in the infamy of Monday, September 6, 2010 at the Ogun State House of Assembly’




HEN President Goodluck Jonathan meets his American counterpart Barack Obama at the White House in Washington DC tomorrow, matters concerning HIV/AIDS which took our dear president to the United States are not likely to feature prominently in their talks. Barely two weeks after he got his full mandate from the Nigerian electorate Jonathan is heading for the talks with only his integrity to sell to the Americans to convince them to back his plans to make Nigeria work again. Whatever these plans are, a Government of National Unity being proposed by the president to include representatives of the leading opposition parties in his new cabinet should not be one of them because such would take this country down the road we are trying to avoid; the road to nowhere. The story of the so called Government of National Unity or GNU for short, in this country, is nothing but a license to loot the national treasury on a massive scale without any opposition. It is the democratization of looting with every party at the table and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) taking the lion’s share leaving the coalition partners with whatever it (PDP) does not want. Remember the phrase ‘come and chop’ used by one-time Internal Affairs Minister late Chief Sunday Afolabi to remind late Chief Bola Ige, a leader of the opposition Alliance for Democracy (AD) who was made a Minister by then President Olusegun Obasanjo, why he was invited into government, when he, Ige, was stepping out of line with the government? Come and chop and soil your fingers like us but don’t say anything, is the name of the game and PDP is at home with this kind of game playing on the greed of the average Nigerian politician. With Nigeria satisfying a sizeable chunk of America’s huge appetite for oil, the Obama administration would want to know how Jonathan’s GNU would impact on the Niger Delta where the oil comes from, in the next four years; how it would end insecurity in the north and prevent the area from slipping out of control especially into the hands of terrorists and sympathizers of Al Qaeda; how it would end the spate of killings and arson in the north all in the name of religion, poli-



HEN the judicially-hammered government of ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola held sway in Osun State, allegations from the opposition, of unfettered looting and racketeering that found abode in Osun state were dismissed with a wave of the hand. Recent developments, however, have confirmed the veracity of those allegations and the general public now knows who the real liar is. Nothing confirms the veracity of the allegation of unabated looting during Oyinlola’s regime than the advertorial placed by the Osun State government recently in some national dailies wherein the list of failed contractors was published. The Osun State government rolled out the names of contractors who failed to execute the contracts they collected from the illegitimate government of Oyinlola. The list was quite explosive and it left the people agape. It was to say the least appalling and disgraceful as many unexpected names were on the list. The list exposed big and small names, who, in collaboration with the golf-loving governor, were responsible for the under-development that befell Osun during

‘Either of two things will suffice; they must be made to execute those contracts according to specification – that is to the letter, or return the money they collected to the state’s treasury. The government has no reason to show mercy on these enemies of progress because they showed no mercy on the state’

The next four years tics and ethnicity; how it would prevent northern Nigeria from going the way of present day Pakistan. The White House would also like to know how this GNU would be different, if at all, from a similar one set up by Obasanjo and inherited by late President Umar Yar’Adua, which ended up not only destroying the opposition and some of its leading lights, but also weakening our democracy. Putting all (good) hands together to save Nigeria is not a bad idea but how to go about it in the best interest of the country is the problem. And here Jonathan could learn one or two things from the Americans. In constituting the administration in the US, both the President and the ruling party always put the country first and therefore go for the most competent American that can do the job irrespective of party affiliation or political leaning. Whether a Republican or a Democrat, the American president goes for the best and whoever was chosen, if he/she comes from the opposition party, leaves party affiliation at home and works 100 per cent for the country and remains loyal to the president. This explains why for instance President Obama retained Robert Gate, a Republican he inherited from the Republican administration of President George W. Bush as Defence Secretary because of the man’s excellent performance in office which earned him plaudits from Americans across the political divide. Gate has no doubt lived up to expectations. Obama didn’t appoint or retain him because he is a Republican or because he (Obama) wanted to pacify the Republican for their loss in the presidential election. It was

because the man was good. Even the most acrimonious presidential election in America’s recent history did not lead to a Government of National Unity. Recall that Bush narrowly defeated Al Gore of the Democratic Party in circumstances that would have been described as rigging were the elections to take place here. That not withstanding, Bush didn’t reserve seats in his cabinet for the Democrats. So as part of what Jonathan would discuss with Obama, he could take the opportunity to ask the American leader how he was able to tap a top ranking and highly respected Republican to serve in his administration. If Jonathan plans to pick anybody from the opposition to serve in his administration purely on merit, no problem as long as the person so chosen is not representing any other interest political or otherwise other than Nigeria’s interest. To avoid any collective guilt or praise, the government should rightly be called Jonathan’s administration and not a Government of National Unity. If it performs well, let the praise go to Jonathan and if it fails he should be blamed. Come to think of it, what has this collective administration done for Nigeria? Obasanjo purportedly brought AD into government when he appointed Bola Ige as Minister, what happened next? AD is where today and where is Bola Ige? The All Peoples Party (APP) later All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) is still licking its wounds today for jumping into bed with the PDP all in the name of Government of National Unity. It is better for Jonathan to carry his can, than looking for others to join him. If time

The looting of Osun By Kola Odepeju Oyinlola’s better-forgotten administration. It was a friend who called my attention to the advertorial and on seeing it, I was more than taken aback. Astonishingly, the first statement that came out of my mouth was that the allegations were true afterwards. I felt like fishing out these contractors personally and giving them punches for the atrocity they, in cahoots with ex-governor’ Oyinlola committed against the state. I had immediately wanted to do a write-up to condemn their counter-productive deeds but on second thought, I decided to give them some time, hoping that perhaps they would come up to deny the allegation - breach of contracts, that is. Alas, a month after the publication of that list, not a single contractor has dared to challenge that list which leaves one with no other conclusion other than they are guilty as charged. Any one looking for the enemies of Osun state should go nowhere else than the hide-outs of these failed contractors. They are the clogs in the wheel of progress in the state. No words can better describe these failed contractors than this – clogs in the wheel of progress. The good people of Osun State now know who their enemies are, for, the state has no other enemies than those who collected contracts and money for the execution of such but absconded with tax payer’s money. They are the real stealers of our commonwealth and they deserve to be prosecuted for their heinous act and counter-productive posture. Referring to them as thieves is the mot juste here because they have stalled the growth and progress of the state in no

small scale. They are responsible for the state of backwardness of the state among the comity of states in the federation. Their wickedness has affected the progress of the state drastically as they have drawn backward by countless hours the hands of the state’s clock of progress. A state that had foundation for development solidly laid for it by Chief Bisi Akande could not find itself on the list of the progressive states again under the inept Oyinlola’s administration. Rather than build on the foundation laid by the progressive Akande’s government, Oyinlola with these irresponsible contractors, destroyed Akande’s legacy and sent development on a journey of no return. The robbing of the state by these conscienceless contractors is of different categories. While many collected full money and did parts of their job (in most cases not up to 50% was done) before abandoning the contracts, some did not even do an atom size of the contracts for which they collected money. They only collected money and ran away – an act of irresponsibility of the highest order. The deuce of the matter is that these failed contractors were moving about freely and gallivanting around in the most conscienceless manner without Oyinlola asking them questions on the contracts they abandoned. Why would Oyinlola query them for their failure to execute the contracts for which they collected huge sums when the whole thing was an ‘arrangie’ thing ab- initio? Was it a case of a free-loading arrangement between Oyinlola and those contractors? One isn’t surprised therefore that these contactors

permits, he could say hello to David Cameron, the Conservative British Prime Minister at 10, Downing Street, London on his way from New York to find out how the coalition government is fairing. I am sure the Tory Premier would advise against any coalition government. Nick Clegg the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the coalition is not finding it funny at all as his party is being punished heavily by the electorate for teaming up with the Tories in government. I am sure if the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) should accept Jonathan’s invitation to join his administration, the move would not only weaken the opposition in Nigeria but the electorate would punish ACN heavily for this in subsequent elections in the country. Thank God the party has declined the invitation. I hope other opposition parties would do the same. Anybody or any individual in these parties who wish to join the administration should be free to do so but as an individual. It is about time we stopped deceiving ourselves about this so called Government of Nation Unity, it brings no unity to the government or the country, its just extending the hands of looting to the other parties. With this in mind Jonathan would do well to appoint competent people/Nigerians into his cabinet, irrespective of their political leanings or views, to help him pilot the affairs of state well in the next four years. This is what Obama would want to hear from him; this is what Nigerians demand of him.

‘Jonathan would do well to appoint competent people/Nigerians into his cabinet, irrespective of their political leanings or views, to help him pilot the affairs of state well in the next four years. This is what Obama would want to hear from him; this is what Nigerians demand of him’ absconded with state’s money without being apprehended. One should salute the courage of the new helmsman in the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for exposing these enemies of our dear state who, together with Oyinlola, stalled the development of the state by their greedy, irresponsible and ungodly behaviour. That expose has confirmed the allegation by the opposition of the looting without mercy that was going on in Osun State during Oyinlola’s era. How would Oyinlola and his failed contractors explain this act of gross irresponsibility and anti-progress to the world? How would the people forgive them? And how would they walk in public without covering their faces? They have brought opprobrium on themselves and they should eat the benefit of shame. The new governor of Osun state in his magnanimous and forgiving nature had said on assuming office that he was not interested in avenging the maltreatment meted to him and his followers during the struggle to reclaim his mandate. That is a wise decision for someone who has the fear of God. In the case of these failed contractors, however, the state must go ahead to prosecute them forthwith. Agreed that there is no vengeance but there must be accountability. There shouldn’t be any hiding place for them. Either of two things will suffice; they must be made to execute those contracts according to specification – that is to the letter, or return the money they collected to the state’s treasury. The government has no reason to show mercy on these enemies of progress because they showed no mercy on the state. Their mission was to bring the state down. Having treated the state shabbily, they must be made to vomit what they swallowed illegally. This is no witch-hunting. It is accountability. They must not go scot-free. Period.



Babangida confident Dream Team V arrives of Eagles’ qualification 12 noon today Pg. 41

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Nation Tuesday, June 7, 2011





Siasia blames players

Joel Obi misses Flying Eagles cut

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Dream Team V arrives 12 noon today •Winner to play in eight-team tourney


HE Dream Team V, Nigeria’s Olympic squad which lost 1-0 on Sunday to the Tanzanian Olympic side, the Vijana Stars in a 2012 Olympics football qualifier, will arrive Nigeria by 12 noon today. The Nigerian side must beat their East African foes by at least a twogoal margin to book a passage to the next round of elimination and anything short could mean they are out. A 1-0 win by the Nigerians in Benin in two weeks when both sides meet in the second leg will only mean the game goes into penalty shootout, while a 2-1 win or a onegoal margin victory where the Tanzanians succeed in getting an away goal automatically means Nigeria will bid farewell to the 2012 Games.

By Olusoji Olukayode The return leg against Tanzania holds on June 18th in Benin City and the winner over the two legs qualifies for the last phase of the eliminations which is an eight-team tournament billed for a yet-to-be-

Joel Obi misses Flying Eagles cut


EVERAL top stars including Inter Milan, Joel Obi are most likely to miss Nigeria’s final squad for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, as Tuesday is the deadline for the submission of a 30-man provisional squad for the tournament.

Xavi: Messi is better than Pele, Maradona XAVI believes that Barcelona are the best team of the last 20 years, and also claimed that Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time. The Blaugrana were in scintillating form again last season, winning a third consecutive La Liga title and collecting a second Champions League trophy in three years.


The Spain international spoke in an interview with German newspaper Bild, and was asked to comment on where he felt his team would be placed among the all time elite. "There have been some great teams in history, Pele's Brazil, [Johan] Cruyff's Ajax, [Arrigo] Sacchi's Milan, but in the past 20 years this Barcelona team is the best," insisted Xavi. He was also asked to give his opinion on his team-mate Messi, who is widely considered to be the best player of his generation. "He is the best player of all time better than Pele, [Diego] Maradona or Cruyff. We have to protect him as he is crucial. Without him we would not be what we are." The 31-year-old then went on to speak about the contrasting styles of Real Madrid and Manchester United, who Barca both beat en route to lifting the Champions League trophy. "Madrid were the hardest opponents but not because they played football but because they wanted to destroy the game. "I like Manchester United's approach a thousand times better. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Real did play."

Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports

Federer: Wimbledon 'top priority' ROGER FEDERER insists Wimbledon is the top priority for him this season following his French Open final defeat to Rafael Nadal. The Swiss will be looking to equal Pete Sampras's record of seven Wimbledon titles when he pitches up in SW19 in two weeks' time.


named venue. The mini competition will be hosted by one of the last eight teams in the qualifiers and the three topmost teams at that championship will qualify automatically to represent Africa at the London Games

The eight-team contest is provisionally billed to hold in December. The fourth placed team in that competition will go ahead to play the fourth placed team from Asia in a playoff to determine which of them joins the English party at the end. Nigeria won the Olympic football gold in 1996 and took the silver in 2008.

Federer had been written off as a fading force in many quarters after failing to reach a grand slam final for more than a year before his run in Paris last week. "It was important to get to another grand slam final and keep on playing well. I'm feeling better physically than I have in a long time." Victory over Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals proves there is life in the old dog yet, and the former world number one says he will go to Wimbledon on a high. "That's obviously the huge priority right now, to win Wimbledon in a few weeks' time," he said. "That's always the number one goal in the season. "This is where it all started for me back in 2003, or even with (the fourthround win over) Sampras in 2001. So that's why I always really enjoy coming back." Last year was a difficult one for Federer, who saw his record of reaching at least the semi-finals of 23 consecutive grand slams ended at Roland Garros before he was beaten by Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. gathered from Flying Eagles coach, John Sam Obuh, will have to submit his provisional squad list to FIFA latest Tuesday. Obuh has already named a 38-man squad to begin residential training in Port Harcourt this week, and it is from this list of call-ups that he will most likely pick his provisional squad. Obi, already a full international player, was not called up by Obuh even though the coach agreed that he could be a valuable addition to his team. Obuh was at some point hopeful that fellow Super Eagles star, Ahmed Musa, will convince Obi to star for the Flying Eagles at least at the World Cup in Colombia from end of next month. Cameroon, who were beaten in the final of this year’s African Youth

championship in South Africa, are looking at several of their full internationals including Francebased Aboubakar Vincent to feature at the U-20 World Cup. The Flying Eagles are drawn in a first round group along with Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.

Babangida confident of Eagles’ qualification

Samson Siasia blames D players S

UPER EAGLES head coach Samson Siasia has admitted that his team committed too many blunders in the 2-2 draw with Ethiopia in last Sunday's 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Addis Ababa. "It was a bad performance from the players. We committed too many mistakes in the midfield with players bumping into each other and even in


Basketballers set to thrill fans

defence we did badly," Siasia said. The Nigerian manager also attributed the belaboured display of the Super Eagles to jetlag, saying that the travelling plan, which was supposed to last four hours, claimed an additional three hours, leaving the players with little time to rest before the game. "Our travelling plans were poor and we took seven hours to get here. So the players got there jetlagged but that's not enough excuse for us to play badly," the former coach of Nigeria's Under-20 and Under-23 teams said. has learned that the travelling plan of the Super Eagles saw the team being flown through Lagos to Entebbe in Uganda where they had a one-hour stop-over before proceeding to Addis Ababa. Nigeria are now three points behind Group B leaders, Guinea, who have 10 points after defeating Madagascar 4-1 in Conakry on Sunday. The Super Eagles' next game will come up in Antananarivo against Madagascar in September before they play host to the Guineans later in the year.

ESPITE trailing by three points to the Syli Stars of Guinea and their dreams of participating at the 2012 African Cup of Nations Championship in jeopardy, former Super Eagles winger, Tijani Babangida has told NationSport that Nigeria will pip their West African neighbour to the leadership of the group. Making this known to NationSport from Kaduna on Sunday night, the one time Ajax Amsterdam, VVV Venlo and Roda JC of Holland ace averred that he was confident that the Eagles will triumph in their last two matches at home to current Group B pacesetters, Guinea and minnow, Madagascar in the deciding tie at Antananarivo when they are played. “ I will not like us to fret over the 22 draw Eagles got in Addis Ababa and we should be grateful we didn’t lose. We know Nigeria always delivers when the chips are down. You can quote me, we will beat Guinea here in Abuja and top that with another win in Madagascar on the last day of matches and qualify ahead of Guinea. “I know it is not always good to place ourselves in a precarious position before we realise our mistakes, but it has happened and there is nothing we can do about that. All our focus should be on the last two matches and we should downplay arguments about what ought to have happened in Addis Ababa that didn’t happen. “A win for the Eagles in the last two matches will fetch us 13 points and it


From Tunde Liadi, Owerri may just be adequate for qualification for the Nations Cup,” Babangida said. The Eagles currently have 7 points from four matches after the latest 2-2 draw in Ethiopia to place second while Guinea, the current Group B leaders, have 10 from same number of matches. For Nigeria to nurture any hope of qualification, the Eagles must beat Guinea by at least two goals with another crucial win in Antananarivo a must to top the Group. The duo of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will host the rest of Africa next year.


Esu: The referee caused our loss From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

By Innocent Amomoh



•Joel Obi

Tevez reveals Man City pay-rise offer CARLOS TEVEZ has admitted that Manchester City have offered him an improved contract. Tevez was presented with the new deal last month after City's FA Cup final success. He said in the News of the World: "Sheikh Mansour has made a lot of sacrifices to keep me and if I stay at City, it will be for him. "He signed me, he wants to keep me but, at the same time, he has told me


to do whatever I need to do to be happy. "He has told me, 'If you want to leave, then you can go'. There is no deadline - it's down to me. "They offered me a new contract in December but I didn't want to extend it. "At the end of the season they offered me another new deal but at the moment I don't know whether I will accept it."

member of the Team Nigeria for this year’s Special Olympics holding in Athens, Greece from June 25th to July 4, Witani Musa Paul has declared that the team is going to the Games to do the country proud by returning with more medals than they did in 2007 in China. Witani, who was speaking at the Media/ Sponsor’s visit to the team’s camp at the Gateway International Stadium in Shagamu, Ogun State, stated that the team can do better than they did in the last edition of the Games due to the improved support

Mourinho is world's best coach –Perez REAL MADRID president Florentino Perez insists Jose Mourinho is the best coach in the world and is certain that the capital city club are destined for big things next season. Perez was eager to reiterate his faith in the 'Special One' in front of 5000 club members who visited Valdebebas for a tour of Madrid's training facilities. "We are counting on a spectacular team which is young and has the best coach in the world," Perez said, according to The Blancos won the Copa del Rey for the first time in 18 years in April, defeating rivals Barcelona 1-0 in the final and the supremo believes Mourinho has laid down a marker for even more success next term. "This year we laid the basis for the future. We won the Copa and we are convinced this is just the start of a great run."

By Olusoji Olukayode they are enjoying this term from sponsors. She said: “We want to thank our sponsors. First, I want to just talk a little about the journey that we started in China in 2007. We went there and we got gold, silver and bronze. Although some of us did not win, this time round the gold medal that we are going to bring will be more than the ones we brought before because this time there are so many (people) sponsoring more than in 2007, so we hope to bring (medals) back to Nigeria again. Witani used the opportunity to charge the team to go all out and cart home the laurels which she believes are already awaiting their touch at the Athens Games. In her words: “So, please, I will want us to (go) and bring the medals, the medals are already waiting for us, we should go and take it. And we know that as we bring (pride) to Nigeria, we‘ll bring pride into our home, we‘ll bring pride into our country.” The Nigerian contingent currently training at the Shagamu Stadium will depart the country for the Games on June 19. The team to Athens will be made up of 43 athletes, 16 coaches/care givers, 1 Head of Delegation and an Assistant Head of Delegation. However, the team which needs a total 35 million naira to participate successfully in the competition, has only been able to raise 28 million and still needs 7 million naira to meet its financial target for the Games. Already, Guarantee Trust bank, CocaCola, Union Bank, MTNNigeria, Total Upstream, Vigeo Holdings Limited, Leadway Assurance and Phillips Outscoring Limited are backing the team. Also Channels Television and members of the Special Olympics Nigeria board as well as family members of the stakeholders have given support in one way or another to the project.

Ancelotti: I'm taking 12-month break CARLO ANCELOTTI maintains Arsenal, Roma and Juventus “have not contacted me. I am taking a year off to look around and study how my colleagues work.” The tactician is a free agent after he was sacked by Chelsea for ending the season empty-handed and had been expected to make a swift return to Serie A. “Apart from a six-month spell, I have been working non-stop since 1995. I will take a year off to look around and study how my colleagues work,” he told La Stampa newspaper. “I am not going to train anywhere next season, as I am in no hurry.” Among others, Ancelotti had been linked with Arsenal, Aston Villa, a return to Juve or his beloved Roma. “Arsenal? I haven’t been contacted by any English club. As for Roma, I never spoke to anyone there and the rest was all fantasy. One day I will be the Coach of Roma, I have always said that, but it’s still too early. “As for Juventus, it’s completely false to say they wanted me. I always had a strong rapport with President Andrea Agnelli, so if he wanted to call me, he could’ve done...” Italian football has again been rocked by match-fixing allegations, this time tied in with betting

•Ancelotti syndicates in which Beppe Signori was implicated. “I have been in football for 30 years and these are ugly stories. I hope not, but I fear it might be true. I was stunned by Signori. He is a good lad and I’m very sad to see him in this situation. “There was a betting scandal 30 years ago, then Calciopoli and now this. Our football was already having some problems and really did not need another blow. The culture is different in England, where the result is not everything.”

Ferguson: Hard work must continue

Sponsors will make us shine –Team Nigeria T

•N6m ups for grabs LL is now set for the fouth edition of the Sprite Tripple Slam (STS), a basketball show powered by the Nigerian Coca Cola company, to discover budding talents in the game of basketball. The competition which commences from July first to August 7 presents a total of six million naira as prize money, and each winner will be expected to take home N1.5m. The Activation which is a unique and exciting fusion of skill and dexterity in Basketball, Music and Dance, embodies the free-spirited and sparks up the creative attitude of the Sprite brand. In a chat with the Media in Lagos yesterday, the Marketing Director of of Coca Cola Nigeria, Austin Ufomba said the project is the organisation's way of giving back to the society, and that the target is youths on campuses all over the country, designed to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking and self-expression. He said it is also meant to spark up creativity and unleash the ingenuity embeded in the average Nigerian youth. On why the game of Basketball was chosen over other games, the Strategic Marketing Manager (Flavour), Bolajoko Bayo-Ajayi said Basketball has the culture which embodies everything the urban youth stands for. "It is this spirit which is common to both the game and the brand," she said. Brand Manager of the organisation, Flavours Toyin Nnodi however explained that the digital campaign for the competition has already kicked off on trippleslam so also is the SMS platform which will serve as a veritable tool for registration for the competition nationwide. The regional activations will be done in Abuja, Enugu, Calabar and Lagos, and each region will produce participants for the main competition.



HE sweat merchant of Crown Football Club of Ilaro, Godfrey Esu has accused the center referee, Jerry Akure of masterminding the 1-0 defeat of his team by Kano Pillars Football Club. Esu in an exclusive interview with NationSport in Kano yesterday said the referee disappointed him by making questionable decisions. The Coach of Crown FC, who was visibly angry, accused Nigerian referees of killing the game of football in the country by their biased officiating. He said: “I am disappointed in Nigerian referees because they have deliberately killed the game and that is why the game of football is not growing in the country.” Esu suggested that the panacea to the wrongdoing by referees is training and retraining so that they can catch up with the reality on ground in the game of soccer. “The center referee spoilt our game against the host team by allowing a controversial goal after a player was brought down in the 18-yard box but decided to look the other way.” “He center referee was good and unbiased in the first half of the match, but suddenly changed in the second half, and took sides with the home team, and this resulted in our defeat.” Esu expressed hope that his team would bounce out of relegation, insisting that there are many matches to be played before the end of the season. His opposite half, Ladan Bosso said Kano Pillars had to be cautious in approaching the game, since according to him, playing against a team struggling in relegation waters could be difficult. Bosso said: “if you are playing a team down the ladder, you have to be extra careful, and that was why my boys were cautious in their approach to the game so as not to commit mistakes and when the time for the goal came, my boys did not hesitate to convert it.”

SIR ALEX FERGUSON insists he is not going to put his feet up despite Manchester United overhauling Liverpool's record of 19 league titles. The landmark was a special one for the United manager but in an interview in the club's official magazine he says he has no thoughts of taking it easy. He told Inside United: "There's a responsibility as the manager of Manchester United. It doesn't go away. "I'm not going to take it easy because we won the title. Hopefully we'll be better next season. The only thing you can do at this club is win - that's all that matters.


We have to carry on, there's nothing else you can do. We have a responsibility and expectation to live up to and that carries on next season. Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager "We have to carry on, there's nothing else you can do. We have a responsibility and expectation to live up to and that carries on next season. "As I've always said, Manchester United should accept a challenge. We're good at that and, next season, we'll accept anything that comes our way." Ferguson reiterated that the 19th title was particularly special. He added: "It's a great feat winning this league, It was Liverpool's time in the 80’s, it's our time now. "This was a particularly special one because it means we've won the title more than anyone in the country. It's history and it's great for the tradition of this club. "The players have been great, I think they deserved it because there were a lot of great performances. I'm dismissing all that nonsense that it's not a great Manchester United team." Ferguson also described United's UEFA Champions League conquerors Barcelona as the best side they have ever played. He added: "They are at a tremendous peak in the cycle of their team - you get teams who elevate themselves to that status and I think Barcelona are that team. We were well beaten."

Chelsea eyes Hiddink return THE Daily Star says Chelsea have told Hiddink to walk out on Turkey – or they will turn to Mark Hughes as their new boss. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich does not want to pay the £3.5m compensation the Turkish FA want to release Hiddink. A 1-1 draw with Belgium on Friday in a Euro 2012 qualifier provoked hostile newspaper headlines including ‘He betrayed us’ and ‘Good riddance’. And although the compensation appears small change for billionaire Abramovich, he is determined not to cough up more than he has to. He is willing to pay Hiddink £6m a year at Stamford Bridge but insists he must force his way out of his current job first.




Tuesday, June 7, 2011


* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes *Real Estate


A law observed in the breach Apparently to check collapse of buildings, the Federal Government in 2003 enacted a law compelling builders to comply with Sections 64 and 65 of the Insurance Act. The law frowns at any building of more than two floors without an insurance. The liability is for construction risks caused by negligence. According to experts, the worst culprit is the government, which they have accused of neglecting its own law and, indirectly, exposing the citizenry to avoidable dangers. But, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is poised to enforce the law to safeguard the property sector. OKWY IROEGBU reports


T is a law prompted by happenings in the building industry. Buildings under construction were collapsing at will, maiming and killing people. There was public outcry over the incessant occurrence of such incidents. Determined to check the worrisome trend, the government came out with the Insurance Act 2003. Sections 64 and 65 of the law in particular seek to check the abuse of the sector by players. The sections stipulate that no person shall cause to be constructed any building of more than two floors without insuring with a registered insurer his liability in respect of construction risks caused by his negligence or

the negligence of his servants, agents or consultants, which may result in bodily injury or loss of life of any workman on the site or of any member of the public or damage to property. It also says that the duty to insure shall arise when a building is under construction and that a person who contravenes this section commits an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine of N250,000 or three years imprisonment or both. At a forum organised by the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Lagos State chapter, the Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission, Mr Fola

Daniel, said the objective of the law is to protect site workers and members of the public who may come in contact with the building under construction from the risk of collapse. He regretted that, until now, site workers and other members of the public who lost their lives or suffered injury or loss of property received no compensation and were left at the mercy of uninsured owners of such buildings who, in most cases, do not pay compensation. He explained that public building includes a tenement house, hostel, a building occupied by a tenant, lodger, any building that members of the public use for the pur•CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

•Propertymart, PW sign pact on •How NITEL lost ownership Arepo Grenadines CitiView estate of NECOM House - PAGE 26

- PAGE 27

•Urban societies can adapt to resource shortage - PAGE 28





HE signing of an agreement by Propertymart Real Estate Investment Limited and PW Construction Company Limited in Lagos has signalled the beginning of work at “The Grenadines CitiView,” a residential estate bordering the Journalists Estate at Arepo, on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. The Grenadines CitiView, according to its promoters, seeks to reinvent the concept of the old Government Reservation Area (GRA). Propertymart Managing Director Mr Adesope Adeyinka said: “With cutting-edge architecture and high living standard at affordable prices, the estate sets a benchmark in service delivery, infrastructure and environment. It displays functional and loft style individual housing typologies of contemporary Victoria architecture. It is at the same time modern while also offering a peep into the post-modern, varying in concept and facades that eliminate the barrack-like look; a sort of mosaic bespoke architecture.” Covered by global Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) obtained by Propertymart, the holding company, Grenadines CitiView is a five-minute drive from the Alausa Secretariat, Lagos State, a 15-minute drive to Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, while it is a 25-minute drive from the business communities of Victoria Island and Ikoyi on the Lagos Island. The estate is developed along zonal parameters of commercial and residential zones, infrastructure, recreational gardens, including a security post. PW is to provide all infrastructure facilities, such as paved stones road network, underground cable and drainage network, CCTV security network and patrol, helicopter and helipad services, in the estate. Others are estate bus shuttle and services, treated water supply, pedestrian boulevard, pools, perimeter fencing, road and drainage, street light and fire station. Adesope said during the signing of the agreement that Propertymart’s objective is to deliver quality service at an affordable price. He said, “Members of the public should be rest assured because our focus is to give them high quality services at a price they can afford; something others cannot offer. We are looking at an estate built to last,

Propertymart, PW sign pact on Arepo Grenadines CitiView estate

•The Granadines Estate Prototype By Okwy Iroegbu Asst. Editor

and the people are our target. “Today is a day of joy because we have been able to fulfill the essence of the existence of the company, which is not only to meet customer expectation, but rather to exceed such expectations. Our quest is to give the best to the public, a quest for excellence and the zeal to build an estate that the developers will be proud of,” he added. Signing on behalf of PW, the Group’s Contract Manager, Mr Adam Walsh, said he has lived in Nigeria for over 35 years and so he is not new to the construction industry. He added that PW is partnering with Propertymart to ensure that a “good job” is done. According to him, PW built the

Airport Road in 2001 as well as road network and other infrastructure at the Royal Gardens Estate in Ajah on the Lagos-Epe Expressway. Adesope described the Grenadines CitiView as a world-class estate, saying: “PW will never abandon one construction for another.” A Director at Propertymart, Mr. Egbeyemi Sultan, described the development as a benchmark on how to execute an estate. According to him, Propertymart is utilising private funds to execute the project and possessed the facilities to promote the construction. He said: “We enjoin members of the public to believe in us because we are ready to do our best to satisfy them. Propertymart is ready to partner with the public and the government to spread its services.

Propertymart is a public interest company.” Another Propertymart Director, Mr. Obat Olowu, highlighted the achievements of the organisation. He said:“Apart from making quality infrastructure available to the public, we have been trying to ensure that when a beneficiary acquires a property, we ensure that the customer is satisfied with our services and won’t have cause to regret doing business with Propertymart.” Project Director at Propertymart, Mr Steven Priem, expressed confidence on the quality of work being executed by the PW Group, saying: “The company stands for quality and it has given us an assurance that there will not be potholes on the roads and we will not experience

flooding in the estate.” The Director-General, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Yusuf Muda, who also graced the occasion, described it as a “good omen” that Propertymart “is solving Nigeria’s problems in terms of property development.” He congratulated the directors on the development and charged them to continue to deliver quality estates. Giving more details on the payment model, the Marketing Services Manager, Mr. Arosanyin Olaolu, said aspiring beneficiaries have three options — to pay instalmentally, outrightly or access a mortgage facility packaged by Resort Savings and Loans Plc. He said, “The self finance payment plan is for a prospective purchaser who wants to pay for his or her property himself without any recourse to a loan facility. Such a purchaser will 10 percent Commitment Fee, 20 percent to be paid within 90 days (foundation level), 30 per cent within another 90 days (decking level), 20 percent in another 90 days (roofing level), and 20 percent in another 90 days (finishing). The house is delivered within 12 months.” Explaining the mortgage payment plan, Olaolu said a prospective buyer pays 30 per cent to Propertymart as equity, through a facility from Resort Savings And Loans or any other reputable primary mortgage institution (PMI). For outright purchase, the buyer makes a one-off payment to us he said. On infrastructure development, he disclosed that a commercial bank is underwriting the financing while a Lagos-based firm is handling legal documentation between them and prospective customers. On the house types, he revealed that they comprise of three, four and five-bedroom detached houses with value between N26.5million, N31.5 million and N45 million with colour options of purple, grey and brown. Olaolu described the quoted prices as a promotional offer, pointing out that, apart from the 60 homes that are being built under the initial phase of the project, 40 plots (each measuring 120m by 60m) are on offer for N15 million each. He added that a beneficiary can purchase half a plot at N7.5 million.

A law observed in the breach •Continued from Page 26

pose of obtaining education or medical services. Others are for the purposes of recreation or transaction of business. The Insurance Commissioner who was represented by the Assistance Director (Inspectorate), Mr Sam Onyeka, regretted the low compliance by the government, parastatals and the private sector and warned that, as part of the on-going market development and restructuring initiative, the commission will, from September, begin active enforcement of the sector insurance products, especially for public buildings and buildings under construction. He rapped the government on the absence of a uniform building construction legislation and poor housing delivery. According to him, inefficient town planning departments and unethical practices are factors inhibiting the smooth running and application of the legislation. Former Imo State Commissioner

for Planning & Economic Development, Mr Levi Oguike, lamented that most government properties are casualties of under insurance. He said: “NITEL building, Investment building, Federal Secretariat in Abuja and Lagos and several other government buildings are not insured. It is imperative for government to lead the way if the piece of legislation must survive. Enforcement is a tall order here but insurance education should be as important as voter education, every economy is largely successful by its construction activities. Mandatory cover should not segregate.” Managing Director, Union Assurance Company Ltd, Mr. Godwin Odah, observed that no nation can develop properly if the insurance sector is not fully developed. He, therefore, encouraged government to encourage the growth of insurance which has the capacity to attract long-term fund that can be beneficial to the construction sector.

•Participants at the workshop on Thursday.

For the President, Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI), Mr M. O Williams, all registered construction companies are happy with the Insurance Act and its pro-

visions because it covers all risks. He appealed to government to give necessary encouragement tthe Act’s successful implementation.


He urged underwriters to take time to explain the hidden clauses before claims are made. In that way, he said, players will be encouraged to key into the policy.




How NITEL lost ownership of T NECOM House

HE storm raised by specula tive tales about the transaction sealed three years ago in respect of the magnificent NECOM House is gradually ebbing. More facts are shedding light on the supposedly hidden aspects of the transaction that took placed between 2007 and 2008. It was learnt that the 37-storey building, located on the Marina in Lagos was until 2005 part of the assets belonging to the Nigerian Telecommunication (NITEL) Plc. It later formed part of assets transferred by NITEL to a subsidiary entity, NITEL/MTEL Staff Pension Fund, managed and operated by NITEL Trustees Limited. It was further learnt that in 2007, in an effort to defray the then piling pension deficit owed to NITEL workers, the Federal Government, through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) decided to dispose of some of the company’s assets classified as “non core assets.” To that effect, the BPE engaged a group of some professionals who, working with NITEL’s management, compiled a list of such assets, which was later approved by NITEL’s Board. A firm of chartered accountants, Olusola Adekanola and Co was consequently engaged as a liquidator to effect the sale of the said assets. The firm, in executing its brief, placed advertorials in some national dailies, announcing the sale of all the assets which were equally listed. Interested parties responded to the advertorial, offering various sums. The property was eventually sold to a company, the West African Aluminum Products (WAAP) Plc at N4 billion in 2008. Parties to the transactions thought the deal was effectively sealed until recently when the media became awash with allegations suggesting that the transaction was manipulated in favour of the eventual buyer, a position that has been variously contested. The liquidator, Otunba Olusola Adekanola, a real estate expert, who acted as a consultant to the buyer, Mr Meckson Okoro of M. I. Okoro and Associates and the Executive Director, WAAP, Mr. Biola Bankole, have made public, their roles in the transaction. Although they did not provide any documentary evidence to that effect, they are of the view that the process leading to the eventual change in ownership was transparent, objectively conducted and in the public. They denied any manipulation and challenged whoever has contrary information to come out with it. In an advertorial published in a national daily on May 3, Adekanola gave detail of how he sold the property. He said there was no record of anyone opposing the advertisement of the house for sale. “The process leading to the sale of the NECOM House was transparently done and the N4 billion offer was the highest received for the property. The purchase was fully paid with facility secured from Skye

By Eric Ikhilae

Bank Plc and complied with other terms of the sale. He said the N4billion formed part of the N8 billion paid into the Accountant-General of the Federation’s account in August 2008 towards the settlement of the pension entitlement of the NITEL/MTEL staff. Bankole said his company, like every other, saw the advertorial published by Adekanola’s firm and bided for the NECOM House. He denied allegations of manipulations and under hand dealings. “We went to the Lang Registry and found out that the property in question had been legally ceded to NITEL Pension under a title that was legally registered at the Federal Land Registry at Ikoyi, Lagos. So, we were dealing with NITEL Pension, a defferent entity from NITEL. We never dealt with NITEL. Also, in the course of our investigation, we found out that the appointment of the liquidator was further supported by an order of a Federal High Court, Ikoyi. “When we became satisfied, we put in our bid of N4 billion. Luckily, our bid was accepted and the

property was offered to us. Payment was made in 2008. We went back to the Federal Land Registry to register our title, did the deed of assignment that was signed by an agent of the Federal Government. We went through all the necessary and normal processes and then took possession. At the point of taking possession, we realised that a section of the building was being occupied by NITEL. It actually had some of its equipment on one of the buildings. “So, we wrote to them, informing them about the need to pay us rent since the ownership of the property has changed. It was at that point that the NITEL people started complaining and raising issues that are baseless,” he said. He refused to disclose names of other companies that bided with WAAP in the sale process. He said it was not his business or that of his company to be concerned with those who had interest in the property. Bankole also said his company did not own any similar property anywhere else, and that they only bought NECOM House because they saw it as an investment oppor-

tunity then. He said they are not into property as a company. But into sale and production of aluminum products. On how transparent the sale process was, he said: “When you talk of transparency, you should consider a couple of issues. One, was there a directive to sell? Of course, there was. Secondly, was it done in the open or in secrecy? No. It was advertised in three national dailies. So, whoever was dissatisfied and had objections had time to have done that. All these procedures are specified in the Procurement Act.” He denied the possibility that the procedure leading to the sale of the NECOM House was manipulated in his company’s favour by anybody. Biola, who alleged the some NITEL personnel were behind the recent media report challenging the sale, said: “The question is whether NITEL even has the right to complain in respect of this transaction. In 2005 NITEL assigned all its unexhausted interests to NITEL Pension Fund, which is a limited liability company and a distinct entity from NITEL. It has a legal personality outside NITEL. So, you could see that we had no dealing with NITEL. Our contract is with NITEL Pension Fund and not NITEL. “So, by law, the property never even belonged to NITEL. It had ceded its ownership to NITEL Pension in 2005. Go to the Ikoyi Land Registry all the documents are there. “It is the NITEL Pension that sold the house to us. We are not joining issues with those at NITEL because we do not have any business with them. We did not buy the property from them. The property we bought through the liquidator, belonged to NITEL Pension and to whom we made payment. We paid to NITEL Pension and not NITEL. “We just decided to speak out and set the record straight in the eyes of the public. Otherwise we would not have even said anything. Nobody is challenging our ownership of the property. If they are bold enough, let them go to court,” he said. Okoro denied allegation that the property was undervalued and that the price was manipulated in favour of WAAP. “On the issue of pricing, I do not think that the impression that the property was undervalued at N4b was a good one. It is just hyping from the so called NITEL staff. I was involved in the sale of all Federal Government property in Ikoyi and all over the federation almost within that period. “One of the conditions was that before you sell anything, we have to get the appointed professional

•Biola Bankole

estate valuers to value it and determine the final value for which the property would be advertised. We call it a reserved price. “The fact that you get that reserved price does not mean that you must achieve that price. In between is a guide for you to negotiate. That was what we did for all the Federal Government property. “When Adekanola, the liquidator for the NITEL Pension Fund property, was appointed, he also invited professional valuers and I was one of them. But I did not value the NECOM House. Some of my colleagues did that. After the valuation, the property was advertised. The advertisement was even posted on the Internet. “The NECOM House was valued within the range of between N4b – N4.5b. And it was not kept at that rate with a particular company in mind. The valuers did their job innocently and left. Without any fear of contradiction, when the WAAP paid N4b, there could not have been a better offer for that property. “The claim by NITEL that the property was worth N75 billion is misleading. My professional body will take that issue up with NITEL when this issue is resolved. “The NITEL people who are behind these allegations are the same people who have the impression that these property should have been given to them. They believe it is their right to buy it. I am surprised that people have forgotten the story that the liquidator was even mandated to sell this same property to the Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) for N100 million. “It was at the point of selling it to Transcorp that the liquidator got a better deal after the adverts in the papers. It became open to the public and the N4 billion was the highest offer. Those who did the evaluation are still alive. “We are waiting for those behind this falsehood to go to court. That is where all the facts would be made public,” he said.

‘They believe it is their right to buy it. I am surprised that people have forgotten the story that the liquidator was even mandated to sell this same property to the Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) for N100 million’ •NECOM house

‘Inadequate funding hinders 2010 housing delivery’


HE outgoing Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Nduese Essien has given reasons why his ministry could not deliver lands and houses as expected in the last 12 months of his tenure as the Minister. He said this during his handing over ceremony in Abuja, insisting that the ministry cannot give what it does not have. He said: “Land is held by state governors and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory. The

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

Federal Government acquires land from the states and the FCT. The 2010 budget did not make any provision for land acquisition or housing development as the case may be. “The compensation for lands supposedly acquired by the Federal Government since the ‘70s had not been paid for by successive governments. That is why we made adequate provisions in the 2011 budget to address the anomaly and

if fully implemented will bring the desired boost to the housing sector. “During my inauguration address on April 12,2010 I had sought the support and cooperation of all of you to enable us lay the foundation for the provision of decent and affordable housing for our people, planned development of our cities and towns and effective management of our lands and allied resources. “While we started out with only four departments, today we have

secured the approval of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to operate under the following departments, Lands and Housing Development, Building Services and Quantity Surveys, Finance and Accounts, Architectural Services, Urban and Regional Development, Engineering Services, Human Resources Management, Planning, Research and Statistics. “Although we did not receive significant funding under the 2010 budget to carry out capital projects within the housing sub-sector, we

however recorded some laudable achievements. “We embarked on installation of solar street lights, solar powered boreholes, roads, and culverts, construction of market stalls, civic centres, and skill acquisition centres. Nduese confirmed that very little was achieved in 2010 due to the budget, stating that the ministry had contemplated on construction of 500 houses in each senatorial district of the country based on




How to align your home design to your budget


•R-L: Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr Samuel Ukura, Managing Director, UACN UPDC, Mr Hakeem Ogunniran and General Manager, Development, Mr Yemi Ejidiran at the event

UPDC delivers office complex to AGF


ACN Property Development Company, (UPDC) last week handed over an eight-storey office complex located in the Abuja Central Business District to the Auditor-General of the Federation. The property christened “Abuja Phase 3” is the third phase in a series of commercial development comprising three blocks of office accommodation in the Federal Capital Territory. The first phase houses UPDC’s Abuja office and other business outfits; phase 2, a six-storey office complex was bought by the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Phase 3 sold to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation. The building, a modern office block of eight floors has a total floor space measuring 500 square metre with a total land area of 3,189.204 square metres. Each floor has an open plan flexibility to suit every business need and it includes conveniences and kitchenettes for the

By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor

comfort of occupants. Other facilities in the building include: elevators, stand-by generators, borehole, water treatment plant and parking lots. At the handing over ceremony, Managing Director, UPDC Plc Hakeem Ogunniran, said the event marked the second time the firm is selling an office complex to a major government organisation. He said the first time was when the Securities & Exchange Commission purchased a six-storey building from the company. In addition to these commercial properties, Ogunniran said UPDC has also built and sold two residential estates in Abuja. He said: “The first, Hillview Estate is located in Gaduwa while the second, Salatu Royal Estate is a joint venture located within Wuse 2. “We are also constructing a 44-

‘The building, a modern office block of eight floors has a total floor space measuring 500 square metre with a total land area of 3,189.204 square metres’ unit housing estate in Apo and will soon start work on a 226-unit estate in Apo-Dutse. As a leader in the real estate market, we pride ourselves on providing convenient and comfortable housing for Nigerians in addition to providing and managing excellent facilities for all our estates.” He said the plan of his company is to make a significant mark on the Abuja landscape like they did in Lagos with top notch properties.

Stakeholders praise Nigerite at architects’ forum


IGERITE Limited has been commended for raising the bar in the real estate and construction sector through the introduction of innovative and quality products. It’s roofing sheet was given the thumbs-up at the Lagos State Architects Forum held at Eko Hotel and Suits by stakeholders who visited the company’s exhibition stand. Speaking at Nigerite’s exhibition stand, Innocent Okoli, CEO, Aborrh Associates Limited, said Nigerite has been known for quality and innovative products over the years.

“As far as the construction industry is concerned Nigerite Limited is a big player known for innovative and quality products. Also speaking, Samuel Ukpong, of Samuel Ukpong and Co., an estate surveyor and valuer, said Nigerite tends to have submitted itself to changes and innovations, which is basically what is needed in the building and construction industry. His words: “Nigerite Limited has stood the test of time being a giant in the building and construction industry with lots of innovative products to satisfy its various customers across the

country. It has brought innovations to compete with other major players. Yet, the company’s innovativeness and quality products delivery has earned it the leadership position and high rating by all relevant stakeholders.” Similarly too, Mr. Bunmi Davies of Lagos State Ministry of Lands, said Nigerite products have been in existence for a very long time and they are durable and affordable. She said: “Nigerite is a very great company, a market leader with products that are durable, popular and very attractive.”

Urban societies can adapt to resource shortage, Satterthwaite. “But this is not ITIES can break the link be Climate Change said the case for many cities.” tween high living stand


ards and significant contributions to climate change, using different technologies and policies that are available . This view was expressed in a paper published in May in the peerreviewed journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society by Dr David Satterthwaite, Senior Fellow in the International Institute for Environment and Development’s Human Settlements Group. The paper urged policymakers to seize the potential for cities to reduce waste, pollution and resource use whilst increasing the

By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor

quality of life of their inhabitants. It reviews evidence from studies of urban centres across the world in both developed and developing countries to show how such settlements can raise living standards and resilience to climate change without necessarily increasing their emissions of greenhouse gases. “Most people assume that cities are centres of high consumption and waste generation and so are also drivers of climate change,”

The paper shows that as low and middle income countries develop the growth of their cities need not come at a high environmental cost while in high-income countries it will be possible to greatly reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing living standards or economic opportunities. “Most cities have tremendous potential to delink high living standards from high resource use and greenhouse gas emissions.” “This needs to be understood and acted on if dangerous climate change is to be avoided,” said Satterthwaite.

T is important for everyone to By Okwy Iroegbu, limit their home design, size, Asst Editor style and aesthetics to their within the limits set by the local budget, as the design will detercouncil authority. These may inmine whether it costs N5million clude setbacks, height restrictions, or N20 million. floor to area ratio it is always betTo determine what you can after to check out with relevant govford to spend on a design is very ernment agency for home design easy. Simply check out your bank limits in your area. balance or stream of income in a It is important to verify this inquarter and you will arrive at what formation with relevant authoriyou can conveniently afford as ties because if you don’t, you may there is no room for guess work. find that you have gone through Once you know how much you the trouble and expense of develcan afford, you will need to find oping plans for a home design that out which home design you can cannot be built on your site! get for the amount you have to It is also important that you spend. This is not so easy. Go shopconsider the value of your home ping for a home similar in design design on the open market. None to what you want and compare of us know what the future will their value. From those home bring. To be safe, resale value prices you will have to subtract the should play an important part in land value, which you either will, the design of your home. A very or have gotten elsewhere. unique design may be exactly what Also you may need to consult you want, but may be difficult to some developers to see if you can sell. A home design get some near figthat does not “fit” in ures. You may not ‘It is important the neighborhood get very accurate into verify this may have a lower formation because resale value even if you do not yet have information it is clearly the best any house design with relevant in the surrounding to show anyone, but you do need to authorities be- area. Apart from what know about how cause if you you desire for yourmuch house you can get for the amount don’t, you may self in your design you must also note that you have. find that you that every habitable A lot of factors have gone room must have a come into play in window or mecost consideration through the chanical ventilation, such as the engagetrouble and ex- the total height of ment of the contrachome is often retor to supply matepense of devel- the stricted. Though we rials or a developer oping plans for have not gotten to a to build the choice design. If you are a home design point in this nation acting as your own that cannot be wherePlumbing, cargeneral contractor, pentry and electrical deduct at least 15 built on your equipment codes are per cent. If you can site’ very specific one will do a substantial part of the labour on the house yourself, you can cut the cost even more. If you plan to build a house in an area with soft soil and difficult topography expect to pay more but in a land with not too difficult terrain and out of the city the cost will normally be cheaper in terms of the cost of the land and probably labour charges. Building loans are not easily available from mortgage lending institutions due to rigours associated with the process of obtaining it and probably the cost associated with it. Now that you have a rough idea of how large a house design you can afford, you need to realistically decide how large a house you need, and design it to fit on your lot. It has been discovered that people usually react to their current abode in designing their homes in terms of how many bedrooms, baths, family room and living room. There are some pertinent questions about your real self that may add up in your choice of design. You may ask yourself these questions- do l entertain a great deal; do l need a study, library, home office and playroom for children? How big a garage, kitchen, rooms and lobby am l comfortable with? Remember you must stay

do oneself a lot of good by contracting the services of a qualified artisan to handle specific aspects of the job. One of the most challenging things in a house is that of plumbing, if not properly tackled can actually cause a lot of damage to a particular house. It’s always better to go for the best though it may mean paying a little bit more. Finally, If you must cut costs, rather than give up on the space you need, consider building a smaller house and include a patio with a foundation suitable for a future expansion. By planning exactly where you will expand now, and how big the expansion will be, you can design your home in such a way as to make the expansion easy and relatively inexpensive. The foundation will already be there for you to build a house addition later. In this scenario you should avoid installing any plumbing or heating pipes where they may have to be relocated in the future. If you expect to remove a section of wall to access the expansion, install a header at that location during the initial house building phase. A little forward planning now can save big Naira in the future.

‘By planning exactly where you will expand now, and how big the expansion will be, you can design your home in such a way as to make the expansion easy and relatively inexpensive’ •Contributions, questions? e-mail:




Ondo begins Owo township road dualisation


HE Ondo State Govern ment is set to begin work on the dualisation of the Owo township road. The Chairman of the Compensation Committee on Owo Township Dualisation Project and Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Akin Adaramola who spoke at Owo while briefing the Olowo on the progress of work so far, said no legal structure would be demolished until adequate compensation is paid by the government. Adaramola advised owners of illegal structures to remove them before the stipulated time frame in order to be able to utilise the materials salvaged for other purposes. He said the valuation of the property of those to be compensated will be completed soon and solicited the cooperation of the people with the state government so as to transform the town to enviable status. While reiterating that owners of legal buildings will be appropriately compensated before demolition commences Adaramola said owners of disputed buildings would have to resolve differences before compensation is paid to them. He pleaded with the traditional rulers to encourage the

From:Damisi Ojo, Akure

people of Owo to support the government on the Owo township dualisation project. Responding, the Olowo of Owo Kingdom, Oba Olateru Olagbegi, expressed optimism on the co-operation of the people, assuring that they would be adequately sensitised. The monarch appealed to the government to give full compensation to those that would be directly affected. Adaramola assured that any property affected either fully or half way will be fully compensated and such property would not be left to pose any threat. Similarly, the Ojomo – Oluda of Ijebu – Owo, Oba Oladoyinbo Ojomo reiterated the cooperation of the people with the government. The Owo township road project is one of the star projects billed for completion before the end of the first term tenure of this administration. The road, divided into three phases, extends from Emure junction to Iyere/ Benin road junction spanning a total of 14.843km long. The phase I which covers 7.8km extends from Oke Ogun to Ijebu Owo.

Groups rap govt on wood logging, furniture importation


group, Civil Society Club of Nigeria (CISOCON), has cautioned the Federal Government over illegal wood logging and importation of furniture. The National Coordinator of the group, Babatunde Ashafa, said the association frowns at the unbridled importation and logging, which have cost local furniture makers their jobs, as well as deprived the construction industry access to quality building materials resulting in building collapse. He stated this last week in Lagos at a workshop on: “The role of carpenters towards eradication of building collapse in Nigeria and repackaging the carpenters for increased better service delivery.” Ashafa said most buildings that collapse are as a result of poor building material, lack of institutional capacity building by building materials manufacturers with the relevant artisans. He, therefore, called on the relevant government ministries to set up a task force to monitor the activities of those he accused of profiteering through the use of substandard materials and the non engagement of relevant artisans in the building construction process. The call, he said, is based on their desire to ensure the survival of the nation’s tottering democracy and for the good of the majority of the people. He also kicked against the planned increase in

By Okwy Iroegbu Asst. Editor

electricity tariff. Ashafa called for a legislative approval before any increment of electricity tariff, warning that the unilateral increment of prices including that of petroleum products poses a threat to democracy and industrial peace. According to him, the proposed action is not only wicked, unjust, unconstitutional but also undemocratic. In the same vein, President, Professional Carpenters & Furniture Makers Association of Lagos State

‘Our position is that there should be physical improvement on electricity supply before any increment because our members are at the receiving end’

•Gov. Mimiko Inspecting a road construction

(PCFA), Mr. Anthony Aluko, berated the government on poor infrastructure provision which he said have left their businesses in comatose. He lamented: “Instead of the Federal Government to invest more on technology and infrastructure which will improve the lot of the artisans, they are busy engaging on the contrary by lifting the ban on importation of furniture. “This singular action has rendered our members jobless because Nigerian homes and markets are proliferated with flashy but non-durable imported furniture.” He warned that if in 120 days the Federal Government fails to make a reversal the over 100,000 members of the professional carpenters and furniture makers association Lagos State chapter will march to Abuja mobilising other branches on the way to demonstrate at the National Assembly to call attention to their plight. Aluko also criticised the epileptic power supply and questioned the rationale behind the planned tariff increase. He said: “Our position is that there should be physical improvement on electricity supply before any increment because our members are at the receiving end.” Aluko lamented the high cost of production that his members are experiencing due to the epileptic power supply which has resulted in their using alternative power supply instead of relying on the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), which has affected their profit.

‘Poor sanitation threat to achieving MDGs target’


OOR sanitary condition oc casioned by indiscriminate waste disposal poses a threat to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, according to a senior lecturer at the College of Health Technology, Kaduna, Shehu Mohammed. Mohammed disclosed this last week in Kaduna at a two-day workshop jointly organised by the Local Government Service Board and Abusalam Associates, a consulting firm. He said indiscriminate waste disposal posed a serious threat to the well-being of the citizens by slowing down the nation’s socioeconomic development. Mohammed blamed the situation on the lack of proper planning, inadequate manpower, poor resource base, undefined roles of stakeholders at all levels and the lack of health impact studies. He said poor public awareness and poverty also contributed to waste management and disposal problems experienced in most developing nations. The don said it is the constitutional mandate of local government councils to deliver sanitation and waste management services as well as provide basic health services to the citizens. The don noted that Kaduna State faced major challenges in attaining its water and sanitation MDGs

By Okwy Iroegbu Asst. Editor

due to poor sanitary conditions and water shortage. He, therefore, called on the Federal and state governments to develop accurate data that would guide them in meeting the MDGs target. The don also advised the government to increase budgetary allocations for sanitation to adequately address the challenges of waste management. He called on the government to effectively monitor the release and use of funds allocated for water and sanitation projects. Mohammed urged the government provide water and sanitary facilities at all levels to address the challenges of communicable diseases and to provide adequate drainage system as well as modern waste disposal equipment for household and dump sites. He underscored the need for enlightenment campaign to check the menace of communicable diseases, which, he said, was causing high morbidity and mortality rate in the state. Participants from the 23 local government areas, who attended the workshop, were mandated to develop a new mechanism of waste management to improve the sanitary condition of their respective areas.

Ex-minister tasks officials on environmental challenges


HE Former Minister of En vironment, Chief John Odey, has appealed to officials of the ministry to unite to boost the ministry’s efforts in tackling environmental challenges facing the country. Odey made the appeal in his address at a dinner organised by the friends of the ministry in hon-

our of Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, Head of Civil Service of the Federation in Abuja. It will be recalled that Afolabi was one of the pioneer staff of the ministry when it was created in 1999 and one time Permanent Secretary of the ministry. Odey underscored the role Afolabi played in ensuring the

establishment of the ministry. “He is a hard working man, dedicated, unassuming and resourceful person. He has done a great work for the government. “This is a turning point for the ministry to be strong and also a clarion call to be united in its effort to tackle the environmental issues,’’ Odey said.

In his remark, the Chairman, Civil Service Commission, Amb. Ahmed Al-Gazali, described Afolabi as a “man of humility.” He said with the level of humility the Head of Service employed in discharging his duties, it would be difficult for any civil staff to resist the urge to emulate him.

Responding, Afolabi, called on staff of the ministry to eschew bitterness and rancour in the discharge of their duties. “It is good to be ambitious but you have to consider others,’’ he said. He enjoined the staff to be friendly and interactive to enable the ministry achieve its set objectives.






Lawyers employed as legal advisers in government have important roles to play in policy formulation and implementation. But due to low capacity, sometimes foreign lawyers are hired, most times at very high cost to tax-payers, to draft agreements and offer advice in government businesses that are considered sensitive. To build the capacity of government legal advisers and enable them become global players, a four-day workshop was organised in Lagos by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS). JOSEPH JIBUEZE reports.

Expanding roles of govt legal advisers

• Azinge


OVERNMENTS across the world have recognised the need to engage the private sector in the provision of critical infrastructure. Called public/private sector partnership (PPP), it refers to a contractual agreement between a government agency and a private sector entity. PPP allows for greater private sector participation in the delivery of projects, and government legal advisers and law officers have the responsibility of designing the model, as well as drafting the contracts for the partnerships. In a globalised world where businesses are no longer local matters, a lot is expected of legal advisers and law officers. They are expected to posses certain skills, and must also appreciate key issues in globalisation. These formed the basis of a four-day workshop entitled: African Regional Course for Government Legal Advisers/Law Officers. It was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in Lagos. Speakers included NIALS Director-General,

• Idornigie Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN); Dean Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Ademola Popoola; Research Professor, NIALS, Prof Paul Idornigie; Professors of Law – Deji Adekunle, Animi Awah, Ayo Atsenuwa and Lanre Fagbohun. Other speakers were Mr Paul Usoro (SAN), Chief Charles Edosomwan (SAN); DirectorGeneral, Legal Aid Council, Mrs Joy BobManuel; Dr Osagie Obayuwana, Mrs Ngozi Udombana and Mrs Sade Adetiba. The opening paper, delivered by Prof Idornigie, was entitled: Public/Private Sector Models and the Role of the Legal Adviser. He said policy decisions regarding provision of infrastructure have ramifications throughout the economy, adding that PPPs are used across the world to build and upgrade existing infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, power plants, waste and water treatment plants and prisons. Compared with traditional procurement models, the private sector in this case assumes a greater role in the planning, financ-

‘The kind of Ministers Nigeria deserves’ – P.32

ing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of public facilities. Idornigie said the transaction models in a PPP include design-build (DB), design-buildmaintain (DBM), design-build-operate (DBO), design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM), build-own-operate (BOO), and build-operate-transfer (BOT). A PPP contract could be to service, manage, lease/concession or divest. To legal advisers, he said: “In rushing to adopt PPPs in Nigeria, care should be taken to ensure that the design, construction, maintenance, financing and operation are carefully evaluated. “More fundamentally, PPPs involve several contracts. Care should be taken to ensure that there is no contract mismatch.” Idornigie cautioned that the choice of projects that would involve the private sector should be selective, and where a project is economically weak and cannot provide acceptable rate of return to investors, project financing would be unsuitable except where

Lawyer advises INEC on use of powers – P.34

the public sector is ready to provide subsidies. He said each PPP model differs in terms of the roles assigned to the parties, ownership structure, risk allocations, investment responsibilities, operational requirements/ structure and incentives for operators. Agreements must, therefore, spell out in detail provisions covering construction, quality control, time scheduling, milestones, mode of transfer of assets at the end of concession period, exclusivity rights and guarantee that no other entity would be given similar rights over the same assets. On the role of legal advisers, he said it was unfortunate that it is poorly understood or reduced to being brought in at the closing stages to draft and negotiate the contracts, adding that their duties involve more. They include legal due diligence – analysing the legal and institutional environment, and examining legal obstacles •Continued on page 33

How it all began, by law report publishers - P.34




‘The kind of Ministers Nigeria deserves’ Mr Nimi Walson Jack, a commissioner in the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RISIEC), was General-Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). In this interview with JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, he speaks on those who should constitute the President’s cabinet and his expectations from the seventh National Assembly.


HAT are your expectations from the seventh National Assembly inaugurated yesterday? The new National Assembly, which is the seventh, will have to be better than the sixth. That is how we measure progress. The laws that they will make must be those that will have practical impact on people’s lives, laws that can regenerate the economy. Law is not only for punishment; the economy is also expected to grow through the law and, so, if at the end of their tenure we have put in X amount of money into governance, would we able to economically generate that amount through laws made by the Assembly? How much of investments do these laws bring in? So, these are the things we should look at. What else do you expect from it? We expect the new National Assembly to sit down and look at how lawmaking will help this democracy so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. Definitely, we expect them to be better than the outgone one. People have called for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme because of the killing of its members in the riots that followed the declaration of presidential election results. What is you view on this? The NYSC wasn’t the cause of the riots. The members bore the brunt of the crises because misguided individuals saw them as the problem, but they were not the problem. Nobody has alleged that members of the NYSC rigged elections. They only collated the results. I think that it was a misplaced aggression. Again it is a sign of the poverty of ideas and high level of illiteracy prevalent in our society. There is nothing wrong with the NYSC scheme. Like all other institutions and organisations, it can be improved upon. Improving it or reforming it should not be dependent on what happened during the crises. If we want to reform it, we should reform it on its own merit. Prof Chidi Odinkalu has just been appointed chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). What are your expectations from him? I look forward to a more vibrant NHRC. Good enough, the Executive Secretary of the Commission is also a vibrant person. He now has a chairman who would definitely work with him; it is not a question of two opposites. They agree. I want to believe that with other board members, we are going to see a vibrant organisation. NHRC is the acknowledged internal instrument which the government uses to check itself. So if you are appointed by the government and it says, ‘Look, we want you to tell us when we are going wrong and help us to remedy it.’ Then, of course, you have a presidential fiat to act. I believe that Odinkalu will deliver. The President will soon name a new cabinet. What are your expectations? We expect that the President will do his best to search for those who can deliver. Government programmes are known, so it is a question of who best fits the job delivery mould. If he doesn’t know them, he should ask. We have enough men and women in this country who can deliver; the issue is whether he will be able to discover them. Like every other Nigerian, I look forward to seeing quality ministers. We want to see superstar ministers; we have them. We have had ministers who in projecting Nigeria’s foreign policy did it so well that they were really known all over the world. We have had ministers who caused changes in education, sports and others. So, all we need to do is just go back to the same methods that brought those people and see how we can harness the resources and move the country forward, because the

stagnation has been too long and, luckily, the President said it is an era of transformation. Transformation, definitely, will give us change and we are all looking forward to that change. How did you get into partisan politics after your tenure as the General Secretary of NBA? Upon the completion of my tenure as the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the inception of the Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s administration in Rivers State, I was nominated by the civil society organisations to represent them on the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC). Apart from the civil society groups, who else is represented in the commission? Well, the NBA is represented and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) too. How long is a tenure? It is a four year appointment and it will be up in November this year. How many elections has the commission conducted since your appointment? In March 2008, we conducted the Local Government Council elections into the 23 councils in Rivers State. We had repeat elections in many places. All together, there were 75 repeat elections and, since then, we have held over 12 councillorship reruns, councillorship bye-elections, which is a replacement of exiting councillors for one reason or the other. In 2010, we held another election to replace the Local Government Authorities upon dissolution; and on May 21, we held the second Local Government Council elections for the 21 councils. On June 11, this weekend, there is going to be a repeat election in 10 wards and six local government areas for councillors. How would you appraise the elections in Rivers State, in terms of credibility and compliance with the laws? Since 2008, we have established a culture of elections where the law is strictly adhered to. Elections must be held to replace people once they are due. We have fared very well. We have also packaged a report about our experiences, which we call the 2008 Electoral Circles covering 2008 to 2010. We shared many experiences with Nigerians in that report about elections, which is just beyond voting. How do you mean? Unfortunately, a lot of people think that the credibility of an election depends on the voting and the counting. No, many things come before that. First, you must have an executive system that believes in a democratic order, and then the executive and the legislature must work towards having that conducive environment for work. You must have an impartial electoral body. The electoral man-


agement body must be impartial and that is what we have achieved in Rivers State by the way it is composed. Then you must have an educated electorate. That is the reality of the day and that is one area the nation doesn’t seem to be paying attention. We just believe that we will vote. Voting must be an informed decision; we must make an informed choice and that information lies in educating the people. So, civil education is a fundamental factor which we seem to have over-looked. Then, again, our attitude to politics matters a lot. What is Nigerians’ attitude to politics? A lot of us see politics as something for the boys or the never-do-wells; that is not correct. Politics is the bedrock of governance. So, more people, especially the edu-

‘You must have an impartial electoral body. The electoral management body must be impartial and that is what we have achieved in Rivers State by the way it is composed. Then you must have an educated electorate. That is the reality of the day and that is one area the nation doesn’t seem to be paying attention. We just believe that we will vote. Voting must be an informed decision; we must make an informed choice and that information lies in educating the people. So, civil education is a fundamental factor which we seem to have over-looked’

cated class, must get involved in the system, otherwise, what you get is not going to be what you expect; it becomes a case of garbage-in and garbage-out. What are the basic factors that can ensure credible elections? In the first place, you must have a credible register of voters. It is not enough to have a register of voters three weeks to an election, no. That is why we ended up with more than 70 million registered voters on the register and only about 30 million voted in the elections. Where did the rest go to within one month after the registration? So, the nation must organise a credible register of voters, which will, in one way or the other, link to the national identification programme. You must also have the human resources to run the political parties. There must be political parties, it doesn’t matter the member, but do you have the capacity to run the political parties. That, I think, is one of our problems in Nigeria. Yes, there are many political parties but the people to run the parties are limited in supply. That is itself affecting party administration, party management, party mobilisation and eventually, the performance of the political parties in the elections. So, it is quite a lot of work. How do we sustain and improve on the achievements in our electoral process? The last elections had a pass mark. So, it is a foundation on which you can build towards better elections. The question then is how did we get here? We got here because we have a president who made it clear that he would not interfere and he did not interfere. That is beautiful. •Continued on page 33




Expanding roles of govt legal advisers •Continued from page 31

and how they can be eliminated; identifying the contracting parties, and determining which parties own the assets. Legal advice is also needed on strategy, drafting of terms of reference, regulation; on environmental, health, safety and social issues; in ensuring that the issues addressed in the design stage are captured in the contracts, as well as in determining efficient enforcement mechanisms. A legal adviser, Idornigie said, must have negotiation skills. He has to vet and negotiate contracts, and monitor to ensure compliance with milestones and timelines. He must also address the challenges of successful contract implementation by considering regulatory risk, which could arise due to lack of sector regulator and capacity building. He also considers political risk, which is possible through uncertain policy direction of government; and commerce risk, which could arise due to electricity challenges, for instance. They also need to consider interest rate risks, barriers to entry into the capital market, the legal environment, and risk mitigation instruments. “Law officers should appreciate how to design a PPP, the various models, the principle of risk/responsibility allocation and the strategic legal, institutional and social challenges posed,” Idornigie concluded. A legal adviser must also go beyond understanding the local legal environment. This was the thrust of Prof Awah’s paper entitled: The Government Lawyer in a Globalised World. She said the government lawyer should have knowledge of statues and doctrines that govern the legal system. But he must go beyond that. “In an era of globalisation, the government lawyer should familiarise himself with global issues of governance, economics, environment, development, and matters that affect the sustainability of not just the nationstate, but the global polity,” she said. In his work, the government lawyer is to demonstrate tremendous courage even though the government is his ‘client’ and employer. Awah said: “The government lawyer should bear in mind that the government is the representative of the people and that it is funded by the public. He should therefore be an effective advocate of human rights, equity and good governance. “In advising on policy issues, knowledge of law and contemporary issues should be demonstrated, as well as knowledge of world issues in the context of globalisation. “His advice while taking in world view,


•Mrs Atsenuwa

•Mrs Bob-Manuel

should equally reckon with the level of development of the host country.” She said legal advisers live in a world of increasing complexity, interconnectedness and volatility, in which the lives and livelihood of each one are bound up with processes operating at a global scale. Under globalisation, she said individuals extend trust to unknown persons, impersonal forces, norms and patterns of symbolic exchanges that appear to be beyond the control of any concrete individual or group of individuals. People place themselves in the hands of their fellow humans. Globalisation increases competition between domestic firms, creates strong pressures on firms to innovate in both products and processes, and increases the need to sell abroad. The demand for financial services is no longer restricted to domestic context, and financial markets have become international. World trade implies an international division of labour, which in turn produces a relationship of domination and dependency, the source of which are trade and investment patterns. All this a government lawyer must understand, as well as human rights issues, development and inequality, the millennium development goals, climate change, universalism and cultural relativism.

“The lawyer engaged in the business of advising government and formulating national policies must, therefore, be conversant with a wide variety of issues and how they impact on the well-being of the society. “The government lawyer should be positioned to practice in the global world,” Awah said. Prof Azinge told reporters that under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration of transformation, a lot would be expected of government legal advisers. He said: “The era we are going into has been described as one of transformation, and there’s no doubt that government legal advisers and legal advisers generally will have a fundamental role to play in many ways. “For a government to be built on a solid foundation, it must be based on the rule of law anchored on sound legal advice. The same can be of any government that does not want to be seen as acting on impunity. It must rely on advice that comes from its legal advisers. “To that extent, it can only be surmised that the role of legal advisers in the era we’re going into is very crucial and critical in the sense that the government cannot make any meaningful progress without relying on the skill, judgment and input of legal advisers. “Whether it is about education, whether

it’s a question of building railways or roads, the role of the legal adviser will be very, very paramount. “To that extent, all the new things that the President has announced that he wants to embark upon, as well as the governors in their respective states, they will rely on the advice of their lawyers.” Azinge said the course was organised to help improve the quality of legal advisers. “What we’re doing is to make sure that those who are in a position to advise and advice appropriately are well-equipped to do so. That is the basis of this course. “It has been running for many years, but this is a new design for us to make sure that at this point in time, the legal advisers – whether in the National Assembly, ministries of Justice and other ministries and departments – that they are all well-prepared, so that they can advice and advice appropriately. “The last thing that can happen to any government is to enter into any agreement and make some fundamental mistakes or have obvious lapses that can weigh against the government. “We need to avoid that and it is the position of legal advisers to make sure such agreements and contracts are well-crafted and that all that ought to be contained therein are well captured in the document,” Azinge said.

‘The kind of Ministers Nigeria deserves’ •Continued from page 32

Did a similar thing happen in Rivers State? It is the same thing we experienced in Rivers State – a governor who said: ‘No, we will have to change the way we do elections.’ So, we have now got that in the president. That is excellent. You also have a commission that wants to be independent. The law says that it is independent. Independence is not only of law. The next thing is, do you want to be independent? Yes, we have a commission that so wants to be independent and, so, does things because it is the right way to do them, not because it is what the president wants, or what the ruling party wants. So, we were able to scale that hurdle. Now, the other aspect of it is that we were able, to some extent, to produce a register. I agree that half of the people didn’t turn out to vote, there is a question mark but, at least, it is still better because under the old

• Amaechi


register that Prof Maurice Iwu produced, if we had about 5,000 registered voters here in Port Harcourt and wanted to conduct elections, may be only 300 people would

turn up. The bulk of people will not find their names in the register, but at least in this last one that we did in May, the people who turned up to vote found their names

in the register. So, we have made progress register-wise. Now, the next thing to do is to look at the quality of the people. Do you support the use of NYSC members in elections? Prof Attahiru Jega relied on members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). For me, the point there is that the Youth Corps members are educated. That tallies with exactly what we did in Rivers State in 2008. We came in here when the electoral job was seen as something for the boys. School drop-outs were presiding officers and supervisors, but now you can’t do that. We set the minimum standards that you must be educated, you must be a graduate. We went into the universities to bring out the academics to participate in elections. Professionals participated in our elections. We knew that it was going to work. All we now have to do is, extend the electoral duties beyond Youth Corps members. Graduates generally must see electoral duties as another form of national service, so it is not something to be left for the boys. No, democracy is not an arm chair job; you don’t just sit down in your house. Being part of the electoral staff is a core duty in an election. So, we do not just need to improve, we need to make electoral duty an everyday thing in the society so that after a while, you will find out that even in our local clubs and associations, we will begin to do proper elections. Once we do that, it will reflect in the way we do elections in the local government, state and national levels.




How it all began, by law report publishers


T was time for stock taking last week for Florence and Lambard, publisher of the Monthly Judgment of the Supreme Court (MJSC). It regaled guests with a success story, resulting from a tortuous begining. It was at a gathering of eminent Nigerians in Lagos to mark the publication’s 10th anniversary. The publisher, Mrs Aderonke Fetuga and the Editor-in-Chief, Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), told the story of how willpower, dedication and diligence helped to realise the dream of MJSC. Among those at the gathering were first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mrs. Folake Solanke; Chairman, Macmillan Publishers, Mr. Bode Emmanuel; former Lagos State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and the state’s former Chief Judge, Justice Augustine Adetula Alabi. Mrs Fetuga recalled the publication’s early days and the teething problems that almost aborted the dream. She spoke of how reluctant the banks were in assisting with loans, the persistent disappointing outings of the contract printers and the reluctance of lawyers to embrace the product at birth. “Despite, and may be because of these challenges, we have every cause to celebrate that we are still standing. To date, we have 131 editions, nine indexes and a compact disk (CD) product,” she said. She



By Eric Ikhilae

praised Osipitan for his support and diligence. Osipitan attributed his success on the job to his commitment and wiliness to ensure the sustenance of the publication, which is of immense benefit to legal practitioners and the legal profession. Emmanuel and Osinbajo equally stressed the importance of law reports to lawyers and the profession. They commended the effort of the publishers of the MJSC. “The law is one essential defence for any society and I associate myself with John Locke that ‘where ever the law ends, tyranny begins.’ This can only be guaranteed with a honest, fearless and impartial judiciary dispensing judgment with dispatch,” he said. He called for an honest and upright judiciary and suggested the adoption of the practice in the United States where judges’ retirement age is not pegged. Osinbajo stressed the relevance of quality law report for the development of the profession. He said accurate and quality reports have the ability of preventing conflicting judgment by courts. Mrs Solanke urged the Federal Government to actualise its plan to revive reading culture through the recently launched “Bring the Book Back” project by building public libraries and employing qualified teachers to drive the scheme. She observed that the increasing

gabriel AMALU

•Mrs Fetuga acceptance of the computer has made books unpopular and urged that the Federal Government’s project should be pursued to fruition. She stressed the benefits of books, noting that reading expands the readers’ horizon and also nurtures the skill and sharpens the intellectual capacity of an average child. According to her, the decline of the reading culture had not only resulted in examination fraud but poor performance. Mrs Solanke also stressed the need for the country to emphasize the teaching of History in schools. She condemned the relegation of subject and indigenous languages in the country. She noted that the practice has prevented the younger ones from knowing their past heroes.

Lawyer advises INEC on use of powers


CTIVIST-lawyer Mr Joe Nwokedi has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to exercise more of its powers under the Electoral Act. According to him, INEC is empowered under Section 78(7) (4) of the Electoral Act to de-register political parties that failed to win a seat in the National or State Houses of Assembly elections, as well as governorship or presidential elections. Nwokedi said INEC should study the law and start enforcing the powers granted to it. According to him, if the body can implement all the powers given it by the Electoral Act Nigeria’s electoral system would change for the better. On de-registration of political parties, Nwokedi said: “Has INEC exercised this function? Instead they are busy registering more political parties, thus creating more confusion and problems for our semi literate and majority illiterate electorates in their bid to identify party Logos, names and symbols. “If INEC has exercised this power expressly vested on it by the Electoral Act, why must we be battling with 63 political parties of which 4/5 are not functioning according to the provisions of this Act?

•Nwokedi By Emmanuel Udodinma

“INEC is in various courts today because of exclusion of some party logos. This is because political parties that contest elections in Nigeria pose a challenge to INEC in terms of printing of party logos, names, voters card, and even public enlightenment.” He said going by the outcome of the just concluded elections in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act, not more than 15 parties out of

the 63 registered political parties are qualified to contest the 2015 elections. The rest should be de-registered, he said. “That will trim the numerous political parties we have today to only 10 or even less than that. It will cause INEC to spend less and also make our political parties to become more vibrant and at the same time save INEC and the nation the huge cost of running and funding non-existing political parties,” Nwokedi said. According to him, INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega should be retained to continue with the good work he has started. Nwokedi said: “INEC should take charge, they should be in absolute control. They should fashion a way to put the politicians under them and not above them as we have presently. They should create fear in the minds of the contestants and the electorate and put everybody under control by taking uncompromising and intransigent actions. “Prof. Jega should sanitise our electoral and political system. Prof. Dora Akunyili did it in NAFDAC. Nuhu Ribadu did it in EFCC. Lamido Sanusi did it in the Central Bank and Jega can do same in INEC. Let INEC laws be no respecter of persons.”

LEGAL DIARY Institute holds Diaspora Scholars Lecture The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) will hold its 2011 Diaspora Scholars Lecture today. It will hold at the NIALS Unilag Campus, Akoka, Lagos by 4 pm. The theme is: ‘Global Human Rights Law and its exceptions.’ Guest speaker is Prof Obiora Okafor of the Osgood Hall Law School, York University, Canada. Attendance is free

NBA holds NEC meeting The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) holds her quarterly National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting. Date: June 8 – 9 Venue: Int’l Conference Centre, Abuja. A statement from the National Members Officer, Mr Sule Usman, says NEC members would collect their materials and branch accommodation arrangements from the office of the welfare officer from 2 p.m at the conference venue.

Oaths of office are never enough


RESIDENT Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the state governors were on May 29, sworn in for a fresh term of four years. The oath taking ceremony should have been solemn, but rather it was buried in pomp and pageantry, as celebration and partying waited in the wings. The other governors yet to complete their terms, still bask in their oaths of office, which they took at their own inauguration. The oath of office to which the President and the Governors swore to, are provided for in the seventh schedule of 1999 Constitution as amended. An examination of the provisions show an attempt by the constitution to comprehensively rein in the physical, emotional and psychological make up of the oath takers, for the best interest of the country and her citizens. The provision talks about the oath takers discharging their duties to the best of their ability; of being faithful to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; of deferring personal interests when taking official decisions; of doing right to all manners of persons, without fear or favour, affection or ill will; and of devoting oneself to the service and wellbeing of Nigerians. These are substantially the contents of the oath of office our President and the governors took on May 29, before assuming their terms of office. It is this oath that gifts the governors still serving, the extension that many of us railed against to no consequence, as the court held that their terms started when they took fresh oaths of office. Not to forget, it is this oath of office that kick starts the immunity extended to the chief executives, as the constitution imbues them with extra constitutional personalities, as men and women, who are temporary above the law. So, despite the dance and drama that overshadow the ceremonies, oath taking ordinarily should have been a somber and tempestuous ceremony. How do l mean? If like me, you grew up in the village, then cast your mind to an oath ceremony before any of the shrines. Or if you are a Christian, such an oath ceremony taking place before a pastor or a priest. If you are in that mode, then juxtapose it with what you witnessed or watched on television, the penultimate week. While l may have personally witnessed only one or two of such highly emotional rituals, I guess the intensity of the emotions for the participants and their relations and well wishers may likely cut across cultures. Now let me confess my Christianity, and so may be cross with my family and constituency for pushing the ideas here; but sometimes you are entitled to your fancy. And more so when such flight of fancy may be an answer to a malady that is threatening to consume an entire country. So l imagined what if the governors of the South east states were asked to take their oath of office before the famous Ugwu Ezema shrine in my old town Imezi Owa; known and feared across wawaland for its ruthless efficiency in dealing with defaulters? Or better still, the Okija shrine in Anambra state which has the procedural competency to summon the accused from anywhere, since its jurisdiction is limitless. Since l am in a flight of fancy, could you imagine what savings Nigerians would have made if the former governors now before the courts for embezzling billions of naira were prevented by a more efficient oath. Even the allegedly fleeing former governors of Imo and Ogun states would have been spared the agony of possible apprehension as they departed the country upon the expiration of their immunity. For the people of South west, an oath by their governors before Sango or one of those legendry deities would have saved the region the trauma of stolen mandate, or billions wasted by the departed mainstreamers. Please note that l am not attempting to promote these deities as the only way forward. Because were the recent oath ceremonies taken before a priest or an imam; the oath takers would have taken the ceremonies more serious, and corruption would have been substantially minimised. When l was much younger, there were persons in my village that allegedly went mad, after swearing falsely with the bible; or others who breached the covenants made on oath. Unfortunately no Nigerian leader has suffered to public knowledge for their flagrant disregard of their oaths of office. Take for instance the ministers who awarded the contracts for the Benin Ore road, or the elusive power plants; since ministers also swear to oaths of office. While billions have been wasted over the years, our roads are substantially death traps for the users. The same for many other infrastructures, as confirmed by the presidential committee, with regards to trillions of naira worth of abandoned projects. Those who plundered the billons already spent to power the darkness generated by PHCN, at the executive and legislative levels, all took oaths of office, swearing to all that the constitution provided, and yet they did nearly nothing. So, these oaths are not enough; more so when there are no consequences for flagrantly disobeying them. The President, governor, legislator, minister, judge or other functionary who swears to an oath and disregards same has no punishment awaiting him. The oath ceremony is, therefore, reduced to a glamorous ritual, instead of a painstaking ceremony; so that an oath taker knows exactly what he is swearing to, and constantly endeavours to meet it. With only the remote fear of impeachment as consequence for breach, our President and governors were eager to take the oaths. May be the courts should help with declaratory orders where there is a clear breach?





•Justice Akande swearing in Fashola

•Justice Opeyemi Oke

•Justice Doris Okuwobi and Justice Adebola Adefope-Okojie

•Justice Yetunde Idowu and Justice Omolara Kayode-Ogunmekan

•Justice Habeeb Abiru and Justice Adenike Coker

•From left: Justices Joseph Oyewole, Olusola Williams and Olatunde Oshodi

•Justice Josephine Oyefeso and Justice Morenike Obadina

•Justice Marian Emeya and Justice Ayisat Opesanwo

•Justice Yetunde Adesanya

•Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo and Justice Sybil Nwaka

•Justice Christopher Balogun and Justice Karfeel Dawodu





•Mr Lateef Okunnu (SAN) (left) and Director-General, NIALS, Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN)

•Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) (left) with NIALS Secretary James Bathnna

•Director of Research, NIALS Prof Bolaji Owasonoye (left) and Prof Paul Idornigie

•Prof Animi Awah and Director of Studies, NIALS, Prof Deji Adekunle

•Audu Idris (left) and Abdul Lateef

•From left: Mr Denis Akhagba, Mrs Sena-Jerry Imahiagbe and Mrs Francisca Nlerum

•From left: Mrs Vera Chinwuba, Dr Adebisi Arewa and Tina Onyebashi

•From left: Dr Okwor Tochi, Mrs Joy Ezeilo and Dr Chinyere Ani

•From left: Catherine Anthony, Rauf Oba Toyin and Adlikwu Godwin Atsu

•From left: Miss Ezeh Stella, Moses Yuah and Mr Alfred Akinghondere







Oil firm directors accuse MD, others of fraud •Our stand, by spokesman


OUR directors of Acorn Petroleum Plc have accused the Managing Director, Doyin Adeyinka and some members of the management of financial misappropriation and managerial irregularities, including obtaining loans without the board’s approval, misleading shareholders and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to believe that the company made gain while it didn’t. They also accused the officials of getting involved in shady deals with some banks and other oil firms. In view of the allegations, the directors have urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the activities of the managing director and some members of his management team. They also alleged that due to the support of the chairman of the board, Kolapo Lawson and his sister, Mrs Adebola Adefope, it has been difficult to sanction Adeyinka. It was gathered from the petition that the management falsified the audited accounts of the 2007/2008 financial year claiming that the company made a profit of N270 million while in actual sense it made a loss of over N460 million. According to the petition, which was signed by Mr Omo-Oba Ayomane Oladele Odimayo, on behalf of other directors, the management’s attempt to cook the books again in 2008/2009 financial year, led to the conflict between the Adeyinka and his erstwhile Chief Fi-

By Emeka Ugwuanyi and Jude Isiguzo

nancial Officer, Olusegun Ogunmokun, who was determined to reveal all the false accounting attempts to some directors. Some of the allegations leveled against Adeyinka and the management team include gross abuse of office, fraudulent misappropriation of company assets, fraudulent diversion of company’s funds into their privately and publicly owned companies and money-laundering into foreign accounts of some of these officers, false accounting and forgery, obtaining credits and loans with forged documentation for their own selfish purposes. Others are fraudulent attempt to obtain loans from an international financial organisation with false accounting records and without the approval of the board of directors, as well as racketeering, falsification of records of shares and proceeds thereof and the abuse of process. For instance, the management was alleged to have obtained loans worth $52 million without the board’s approval, net impact write down of N436 million in 2008 and loss of N1.5 billion in 2009 as shown by draft audited account by KPMG, presentation of fraudulent sales transaction totaling N2.21 billion. The breakdown is as follows: Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (N887 million), Obat Petroleum (N1.098 billion) and African Petroleum (N228

million). Others include improper revenue transactions discovered by KPMG such as PPPRA interest reimbursement of N1 billion and PPPRA foreign exchange reimbursement of N1.7 billion and sale of 5.6 million litres of AGO (diesel) which was not accounted for. The aggrieved directors noted that the action of the managing director and his accomplices brought the company into disrepute and dampened shareholders’ confidence. The petition reads in part: “The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer is entrusted with the responsibility to run the affairs of the company’s business prudently. However, he ran the company’s affair in an oppressive manner for three consecutive financial years - 2008, 2009 and 2010 - to the detriment of the shareholders. “The managing director has been grossly negligent in connection with the performance of his duties. Sadly, because he was supported by his chairman, Mr Kolapo Lawson and his sister, Mrs Adebola Adefope, it has become difficult to remove him from office. “The recent successful effort of the duo, Kolapo Lawson and Doyin Adeyinka, to abort a properly arranged board meeting of the company on November 26, 2010, scheduled to take place at the company’s head office boardroom on that day, was the latest attempt made to prevent the company to function properly as a public company. “When the four directors arrived


at the office to attend the board meeting at 11.00 am on that day, they found the doors of the office locked without any executive or staff, junior or senior present, because they had all been directed to the company’s tank farm at Ibafon, near Tin-Can Island, so that the board meeting would not hold, since Lawson and Adeyinka were afraid of having the board meet to discuss the final reports of the investigations of the financial situation of the company that had been delivered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers a few days earlier on November 24.” The directors alleged that efforts made to have the office opened for the board’s normal business and meeting on that day failed, therefore, Odimayo urged the EFCC to investigate, arrest and interrogate all those linked to the fraud and ensure that shareholders and all other investors get justice. “My personal and official responsibility as a director of this company

demands that I should do all that I can to help ensure that the company repairs its damaged books by ensuring that all the actions of those who have contributed to these damaging activities should be reported to the authorities as soon as the records of the financial advisors are received. Such an action on my part, it is hoped will eventually lead to a refund of the lost funds as soon as possible so that our company can resume its business, without a negative impact on the investments of the shareholders. “It is my hope that your establishment will use its powers and authority to recover all the missing funds, especially those that have been siphoned to foreign bank accounts illegally, by those who are alleged to have been involved in these criminal activities,” Odimaya explained. When contacted, EFCC spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi, confirmed that • Continued on page 38

PPPRA carpets Mobil MD on pricing template

INSIDE •Shell records 2,580 barrels oil spill, pays $1.7m compensation


•••Page 38

•NCEEC seeks strict regulation to enforce energy efficiency

•••Page 39

•Cooking gas: NIPCO begins gas off-taking from NLNG •••Page 40

•Executive Secretary, Goody Egbuji


•Chairman,/Managing Director, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, Tunji Oyebanji


Light Crude



Brent Crude

HE utterance of the Chairman and Managing Director of Mobil Oil Plc, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji’s is causing disaffection in the industry as the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) is not taking the statement lightly. Oyebanji had at the sidelines of the company’s annual general meeting (AGM), held in Lagos last week, told reporters that the PPPRA’s current pricing template makes petroleum products marketing business unprofitable and if the agency doesn’t review template to reflect current foreign exchange rates, it might lead to fuel scarcity as oil marketers might shun fuel importation particularly premium motor spirit (petrol). The Mobil chief also said the situation might compel oil companies to downsize their workforce except if the template is reviewed to be favourable to marketers or get the downstream sector of the industry deregulated. Oyebanji said: “The exchange rate element of fuel supply is a big problem because if the PPPRA template does not reflect the current exchange rate, it would discourage marketers from importing fuel. The marketers may be losing in the current transaction because of this situation. For instance, when one purchases the product at between N156 and N158 to a dollar and the PPPRA template

By Emeka Ugwuanyi, Assistant Editor (Energy)

reflects N152 a dollar, which is the basis on which subsidy would be paid marketers, there is a clear difference in the actual cost incurred and the subsidy that government pays.” In a rebuttal signed by Mr. Lanre Oladele for the Executive Secretary, the PPPRA deflated Oyebanji’s claim describing it as incorrect and misleading noting that oil marketers want to use that reason to obtain undue margin increase on subsidy for imported products. The statement said: “The attention of PPPRA has been drawn to the comment credited to the Managing Director, Mobil Oil Plc, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, that his company had to sack workers to reduce the cost of operations, as a result of the pricing template of the PPPRA. Mr Adetunji, therefore, called for the urgent review of the template to increase the profit margins of marketers and also reflect the current exchange rate. The report also added, that the agency calculates its subsidy payments, based on $152 instead of the current exchange rate of between $156 -$158. “As a responsible agency of government, we hereby wish to affirm unequivocally that these claims are incorrect and misleading. Marketers • Continued on page 38




Shell records 2,580 barrels oil spill T

HE Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) says it recorded about 27,580 barrels in oil spills from both operational and sabotage incidents. A report released recently by the company noted that incidents that led to oil spills last year were more than those of 2009 adding that the company also spent more than $1.7 million last year in payment of compensation to the people living in the impacted areas. According to the company, there were 32 operational spills in 2010, 37 in 2009, but the volume spilled increased to 5,270 barrels from 2,300 in 2009. Most of this additional spillage happened when we started up production from assets that had been out of commission for some time – mainly as a result of deliberate damage. “Sabotage and crude oil theft was the cause of 22,310 barrels spilled from SPDC facilities in 112 incidents, an average of about one spill every three days, accounting

•pays $1.7m compensation Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi, Assistant Editor (Energy)

for over 80 per cent of the spilled volume during the year. 2010 saw a significant improvement in clean-up and remediation performance. At the beginning of 2010, there were 144 sites still to be cleaned up. By the end of 2010 only 41 sites were outstanding. After clean-up, the majority of sites were found to require remediation based on recommendations from inspections carried out with government regulators. “Of the 27,580 barrels of oil spilled in 2010, 18,763 barrels about 68 per cent were recovered. In some areas, the clean-up effort was frustrated by frequent new spills on the same site caused by repeated oil theft and illegal refiners,” SPDC said.

Commenting on the issue, the Managing Director of SPDC and Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu, said even though Nigerian law does not prescribe payment of compensation for incidents caused by sabotage, Shell is committed to prompt control of spillage and environmental remediation irrespective of the cause. He said: “When an oil spill occurs, a joint investigation team visits the site as quickly as possible to establish the cause and volume of the spill. The team is led by SPDC, and includes representatives of the regulatory bodies and the Ministry of Environment. The police, state government officials and impacted communities are also invited to attend the visit. “Where the investigation shows

that the spill was within SPDC’s control to prevent, SPDC negotiates with the affected landowners. In 2010, SPDC paid more than $1.7 million in compensation. The Nigerian law does not require payment of compensation in cases of sabotage. “No matter what the cause, SPDC is committed to stopping and containing all spills, recovering and cleaning up as much oil as possible and restoring sites in compliance with regulations as quickly as possible. In the initial cleanup we remove the free oil and affected vegetation. Thereafter, we carry out full environmental remediation. The techniques for restoring land sites impacted by oil spills have been researched and can be demonstrated to be effective for the soil and climate conditions in the equatorial heat of

the Niger Delta “For heavy spills, this may involve the addition of nutrients that stimulate the natural microbes in the soil. These feed on the remaining oil and break it down to carbon dioxide and water. Once clean-up and remediation are complete, the work is inspected, approved and certified by the government regulators. In 2010, 270 sites were certified. “In the last five years, since 2006, SPDC has been dealing with an average of 169 oil spills per year, slightly fewer than the 175 average for the 2005 to 2009 period. In 2010 there were 144 spills over 100kg. Shell does not report spills less than 100kg. “A total of 282 sites were remediated in 2010, of which 270 were certified. The remediation of the five remaining pre-2005 spill sites was hampered by community issues and security concerns. Remediation contracts have been awarded at all sites, and work has begun.”

Directors accuse MD, others of fraud • Continued from page 37 the commission has received some petitions against the company’s management, which are being investigated. “We are investigating. Our detectives in the Lagos office are the ones handling the investigation and we assure that everybody will get justice at the end of the day,” he said. Acorn spokesman, Austine Fischer, reacting to the allegations, said: “Following the company’s phenomenal growth from its N480 million turnover business to N5.6 billion business at the end of the June 2008 financial end, management realised it needed to enhance and overhaul the legacy financial management structure. “The process of putting together the appropriate manpower and the requisite technology required to support the growth of the business began towards the end of 2008. As it is usual with change, it was not such a smooth process migrating from legacy software to more user-friendly and sophisticated software. This posed a challenge and delayed the compilation of the 2009 year end results. At the end of the process, it was clear that the resultant figures could not be relied upon as accurate bearing in mind the growth in business from N5.6 billion in the previous year to over N28 billion as

•Level of oil spillage in Shell operations between 2006 and 2010

Total begins service stations upgrade


S part of increasing competitive edge as well as improved service delivery, Total Nigeria Plc, has begun extensive upgrading of its fuel service stations across the country. The Managing Director of the Company, Mr. Francois Boussagol reiterated the company’s commitment to excellent customer service delivery, during the re-commissioning ceremony of the Total service station GRA, Port Harcourt recently, adding that the company has set aside substantial amount to invest in the facility upgrade. He said: “Our commitment to customer satisfaction is indicative of the huge investment in the renovation of our network nationwide, with best quality tamper-proof pumps, which guarantees good delivery of products at our stations.” He said the stations would also be equipped with free air dispensers and eco-friendly equipments. The company said it also plans expansion of capacities of under-

ground storage facilities, which would be equipped with anti-leak/ pollution devices. Among the selected service stations for renovation, he said, was the Total Service Station GRA, Port Harcourt which was officially recommissioned recently. The station was first commissioned in 1974 as a filling station. In May 2010, Total commenced the reconstruction due to the relevance of the station to the environment, and keeping with the need to adapt to international standards. Boussagol said with this development, the company has demonstrated its commitment to international best practices, and would continue to comply by conforming to Health, Safety, Environment and Quality as its guiding principle. He said: “The group believes in the potential of the economy that has continued to attract our investments in Nigeria which resonates in various investment projects of this nature that we have embarked upon. We take delight in upgrad-

at the end of June 2009. “Conscious of the need to present a true and accurate position of its accounts to the investing public and other stakeholders, the company invited PriceWaterhouseCoopers – and auditing firm, to review its financial management framework and prepare the company’s financials prior to statutory audit. This decision was taken in the best interest of not only the company but other stakeholders. “Following the receipt of an interim report from Price Waterhouse Coopers in June 2010, the board directed that the statutory audit should commence. Our statutory auditors Messrs KPMG has thus completed the statutory audit and awaiting the board’s approval, which is expected to be approved when next the board sits.” On the allegations of obtaining loans by the company without the board’s approval, among others, Fischer said: “The company in the normal course of doing business obtains facilities from the banks to carry out its business and sometimes due to the nature of the business; some decisions are taken with anticipatory approval of the board. “The details of the transactions are usually communicated to the board in management reports to the board at all board meetings held within the relevant period.”

PPPRA carpets Mobil MD Oyebanji on pricing template • Continued from page 37


ing for improvement, the structural outlook of our stations to meet our customers’ needs while impacting positively on the environment of our host communities as core of our sustainable development policy.” The company also inaugurated its Ife mega service station in line with the expansion strategy.

are merely hiding under this pretext as an excuse to demand for margin increment, knowing that the PPPRA uses the prevailing exchange rate, as released by the Central Bank, in all its transactions. “The exchange rate applied daily by the PPPRA is as dynamic as the Forex market, while the market as we all know, responds to international market realities. Prices are therefore, calculated based on current market values as published by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) daily. “The average exchange rate used by the agency for the last five months in tandem with the Central Bank’s Forex rates are as follows: January 2011 - $152.98, February - $153.43, March - $153.86, April - $155.42 and May month end - $156.32. The claims of marketers are,

therefore, baseless, as there has never been a time the agency shortchanged any marketer or reduced their subsidy claims due to miscalculations. “It should also be added that even if the recent upward review of margin for NARTO had been responsible for this clamour, Mobil, as an important stakeholder in the downstream sector, should be able to pursue its interests and concerns within established structures that address issues such as this. “The PPPRA would like to reiterate the need for marketers of petroleum products to avoid making sweeping statements that can cause schism in the sensitive downstream sector. “The current level of product availability and the improved performance of the Petroleum Support Fund should be sustained by all concerned in the interest of consumers and the nation.”




NCEEC seeks strict regulation to enforce energy efficiency


HE National Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (NCEEC) has called for a strict policy and regulation from the government to strengthen energy efficiency and conservation on both the producers and consumers of energy products in the country. The Director of the centre, Professor Wole Adegbenro disclosed this in an interview with The Nation. Adegbenro lamented the situation whereby consumers in the country have not totally embraced the culture of energy efficiency by using energy efficient products like the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) in place of incandescent bulbs unlike their counterparts in some parts of Africa like Ghana who have been doing so. He said energy products producers have not even helped matter as they flood the market with substandard products thus negatively affecting the acceptability of these products. He stated that lack of legislations that define codes, standards and labeling procedures for lamps has meant the introduction of any kind of lamp into the market. He said: “The lack of legislation has caused us so much as products are being manufactured or imported into the country with no definite codes or standards. And so products that do not promote energy efficiency find their way into the market. Where proposals exist also, they remain as draft document without the instrumentality of legislation. In 2005, for instance, Global Environment Facility (GEF) provided for a PDF grant of $50,000 to allow for the development of

By Bidemi Bakare

medium sized project targeting the introduction of an energy label on a selection of domestic appliances. The project failed to be approved by government because it only proposed a voluntary labeling scheme to transform the appliances market.” Adegbenro however commended the government for the approval of The United Nation Development Project (UNDP) and GEF document on promoting energy efficiency in residential and public sector in Nigeria in June, 2009. He said the promotion of a concrete energy efficiency programme is a critical demand side management initiative which will help in reducing the energy consumption of selected end uses particularly, end use lighting efficiency. He called for the passing of Energy Efficiency legislation for relevant institutions such as Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to have a stronger mandate to promote energy efficiency. “As long as the importation of energy products particularly from Asia into the country continues, the government must have to do something about legislation for institutions such as SON and Nigeria Customs to be able to be on top of the game. As a matter of fact, we are indeed happy for what the SON is doing. By introducing a new initiative called the Conformity Assessment Programme (CAP) they have been able to ensure that all imported products are tested and accredited at the port of origin by agents of the government. The

•Transmission facility

CBN will decline to offer letters of credit to importers who fail to observe these regulations. Furthermore, all imports that do not have the required certifications are to be impounded at the point of entry by Nigeria’s custom and excise department. These are right steps in the right directions. But I believe government should do more as regards this issue of legislation if the war against substandard products must be won completely. He said: “The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in partnership with the Cuban government and with support from ECOWAS has been distributing 1 million CFLs in Nigeria free to residents in organised estates across the country. In this project, only CFLs that meet the proposed stringent standards are being used. This project is being implemented


By Bidemi Bakare

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Ernest Nwapa and the Deputy Director, Department of Academic Standards of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Abbas Imam are expected to grace the occasion with seven other leading oil and gas professionals to discuss how to build human capital in the industry. The debate will look in depth at the role universities would play in providing the next generation of engineers to the industry, the training that will be needed, investment required into the sector and how this will be made possible within the context of the new local content bill. The session intends to create vast interest among the oil and gas professionals and the universities’ representatives for them to come together to identify the fundamental tasks that need addressing in the industry.” Other speakers expected at the event include Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe; Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum Matters, Dr Emmanuel O Egbogah; NAPIMS’ Group General Manager M. A Fiddi and NNPC’s Group Executive Director, Exploration & Production Andrew Yakubu.

finding from our investigations have shown that unlike lamps obtained from ECN, several samples of CFLs purchased from the market and observed under test conditions exhibit erratic behaviours when their luminosities are compared against variation in supply voltage. We believe that with this finding, we would be able to educate consumers on what to look out for when they make purchases from the market as this will assist them in making the right choices. Apart from that, the center also educates the consumers on the benefits they stand to gain when they use energy efficient products in terms of its impacts on lowering their electricity bills, reducing fuel consumption, and preserving the environment, he concluded.”

Expectations heighten on output increase by OPEC

NCDMB, NUC, others to participate in NOGTech 2011 TAKEHOLDERS in the oil and gas industry including the Niger Delta Ministry, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) are meeting at an oil and gas conference to deliberate on how to improve on the implementation of the Local Content Bill passed into law in 2010 particularly in the area of human capacity building. The conference tagged Nigeria Oil and Gas Technology (NOGTech) 2011, is a three-day technical conference, which runs from June 7 to 9 in Lagos and focuses on the repositioning of Nigeria’s oil and gas technology, utilisation and commercialisation, with a special session on the role universities would play in shaping the oil and gas industry. According to the statement released by the organisers of the event, CWC, the conference will witness the gathering of operators of the oil and gas industry and the academics for deliberation on issues pertaining to human capacity building. “The NOGTech 2011 is going to be a momentous event as those who are coming are key stakeholders in the industry. The Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Honourable Sam Ode, Executive Secretary of the

across the 36 states of the federation. On our part, we have been complementing the effort of the ECN. Within Lagos for instance, we have replaced over 5000 incandescent bulbs with CFLs lamps in selected estates that are metered. Some of the estates are Jakande Low Cost Housing Estate, Amuwo Odofin, LSDPC Estate, Okooba, Agege, Federal College of Education (Technical), staff quarters, guest houses and residential quarters, department of Creative Arts Auditorium, NCEEC Offices & Laboratories within the University of Lagos,Akoka.” “At NCEEC we are concerned about the influx of substandard CFLs in the market. That explains why we have been carrying out investigations on the various kinds of CFLs in the market. Our

By Emeka Ugwuanyi, Asst. Editor (Energy)

•OPEC Secretary-General

Abdallah el-Badri HE 159th meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) conference will hold in Vienna, Austria, tomorrow and expectations are high that the organisation will ask its members to increase production to check the rising price of crude. In the past few months reputable organization in the oil and gas industry have been calling on OPEC to increase output to avoid high oil price hurting the global economy as was the case in 2008 yet the organisation maintains that the market was well supplied and the high price was not being driven by market fundamentals. An OPEC delegate reportedly told the Platts news service on condition of anonymity that members could raise production levels by as much at 1.5 million barrels per day to make


up for the lost supply from Libya. The OPEC Bulletin’s Keith Aylward-Marchant in the May edition of the bulletin noted that a lot has happened in the world and the oil market in the six months since the organisation last met in Ecuador, in December, and there will undoubtedly be a lot for the organisation’s 12 member energy ministers to talk about. He said: “Less clear, as we went to press, was the fourth change, affecting the Islamic Republic of Iran, which currently holds the OPEC Presidency, in the light of ongoing developments affecting the country’s institutions. On the activity front, the Ministers will try to get to the bottom of what has been happening in the international oil market since the last meeting on December 11. “The day before that meeting, the price of OPEC’s Reference Basket had been $87.65/barrel. However, that was already reflecting the early stages of an upward price trend which would continue into spring 2011. That trend had itself begun in early November, and it came after a period of relatively high price stability that had existed in the first ten months of 2010, with crude prices settling at levels which had won wide acceptance among producers and consumers. The daily Basket price has since topped $120/b on four occasions in April, representing

a rise of nearly 40 per cent since the Quito meeting, before falling heavily in May, to as low as $104.40/b on May 6. In fact, the $8.40/b drop on that day was the second-biggest decline in the daily Basket price ever. The following week, the price changed by more than $3/b on three of the five trading days. Nevertheless, despite this volatility and their decline from their April peaks, prices are still well above the level of December 10. “However, to get a truer picture of the situation, one must look at the price movements in relation to the falling value of the dollar. For example, while the price of Brent has risen by around 28 per cent in dollar terms since the start of the year, the increase is only half of this - 14 per cent - in euro terms. The reasons for this volatility have been well-catalogued, with several clear causes. At first, there was the early start to the winter, at the same time as forecasts of a quicker-thanexpected rise in oil demand and a surge of investment flows into commodity markets, including crude. Then the political events in the Middle East and North Africa began to have an impact. And, while this was happening, there was the triple disaster of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in Japan, which not only had immediate consequences for the world energy market, but would also trigger a broader, longer-term debate about the future global energy mix. All this has been set against the continuing uncertainty about the strength and sustainability of the world economic recovery.




NIPCO begins gas off-taking from NLNG


HE long awaited off-taking of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) commonly called cooking gas by the Nigerian Petroleum Company Plc (NIPCO) from the facility of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has begun. A source from the company confided in the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that NIPCO just joined other offtakers from the NLNG facility. The development would soothe a lot of pains as the two companies were almost in deep quarrel following the refusal of NLNG to accept NIPCO as one of the offtakers when NIPCO claimed to

Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi, Asst. Editor (Energy)

have invested much money in building bigger and better facilities than other companies NLNG management certified their facilities and took on board as offtakers. According to NAN, the NIPCO source said at the weekend in Lagos that the company has started receiving LPG from the Nigeria LNG. “NIPCO has LPG terminal with a storage capacity of over 4,500 metric tonnes that has been idle for over two years but has started

receiving gas from Nigeria LNG Limited for distribution to end-users. The source told NAN that following the visitation to NIPCO facility in February by the Managing Director of NLNG Mr. Chima Ibeneche, opened a new vista for the company because shortly after the visit, arrangements for offtake of gas was tied up and now they (NIPCO) have begun receiving gas from NLNG. The source said that the company has invested in transportation with the procurement of over 20 bulk tankers to facilitate the evacuation of gas to all nooks and crannies of the country.

He noted that with the abundant gas resources in the country, Nigerians should no longer be using firewood for cooking, in view of its impact on deforestation. “We have received about 3000 to 4000 metric tonnes of gas on three occasions from NLNG to our facilities in Apapa. We are expecting another one on ‘Taurus vessel’ at the weekend to deliver about 4000 metric tonnes to us,” the sources said. He noted that it is mind-boggling for a nation as blessed with gas as Nigeria to still be depending on other sources of fuel for domestic use. According to him, the unflinching support being

given to the company will definitely have a ripple effect on the investment climate in the downstream sector in the provision of necessary infrastructure for gas utilisation in Nigeria. NLNG spokesperson, Anne Palmer-Ikuku, confirmed that the contract has been finally signed with NIPCO to be part of the gas off-taker in Nigeria, adding that NLNG has also commenced delivery of gas to their facilities since March 2011. Investigation confirmed that NIPCO has received cooking gas from NLNG three times, which amounted to over one million metric tonnes.

Consultants engage oil firms on non-operational risks


EGESTER Larkin Energy – reputation management consultants and its Nigerian partners, Caritas Communications, have met with oil companies in Nigeria to forge ways on how to improve their reputation and mitigate ‘above the ground’ risks, through business intelligence. The firms at an interactive session with reporters in Lagos noted that most of the ‘above the ground’ risks such as community issues have been as a result of poor engagement of the community people from the start. They are of the view that when oil firms start early to engage the host communities, they (oil firms) would have fewer issues to contend with but oftentimes oil companies start when things have gone very wrong and there is a breakdown on trust between the communities and the oil companies. They said that oil firms should engage experts upfront to analyze and look at the prognosis of what the different scenarios might be irrespective of the country of operation. The Managing Director, Regester Larkin, Middle East, Mr. Rob Sherwin said the company is an international energy consultancy that advises companies operating, serving or investing in the energy, extractive and related industries to earn, maintain and expand their licence to operate. “We advise the senior management of supermajors, national oil companies (NOCs), large independent oil and gas companies, utilities, service and extractive

companies. We also help investors, insurance companies and other financial institutions evaluate the ‘above ground’ risks of proposed energy sector projects and deals. “We do this by providing expert counsel in six key practice areas, which include business intelligence and insight; strategy development; policy and positioning; strategic communication; crisis management and emergency response; and assurance and assessment. “What differentiates Regester Larkin Energy is that we are trusted by the world’s most respected energy companies, we have a deep knowledge of the energy sector and understand its unique aspects. Our consultants have held senior operational positions in some of the largest energy companies in the world. We understand the perspectives, priorities and policies of the energy industry’s business critical stakeholders. Our consultants have more than 30 years experience working with host governments, investors, regulators, joint venture partners, the media, local communities and NGOs “Over the last 15 years, Regester Larkin Group has

•From left: Chief Operating Officer, Caritas Communications Limited, Nduneche Ezurike; Consultant, Regester Larkin, Middle East, Jacqueline Ratcliffe; Managing Director, Caritas Communications Limited, Rob Sherwin and Managing Director, Regester Larkin, Middle East, Adedayo Ojo, at a press briefing in Lagos.

been credited with developing many of the crisis systems, procedures and training techniques now considered standard by many energy and extractive companies worldwide. Our consultants have worked beside senior executives during some of the worst industry crises over the last 30 years “We help mitigate ‘above ground’ risks and deliver new opportunities through the following

service areas: advises companies operating, serving or investing in the energy, extractive and related industries to earn, maintain and expand their licence to operate. “We provide ‘on-the-ground’ intelligence to an international energy company facing political obstruction to the conclusion of a transaction in West Africa; reputation due diligence for mining project in Guinea providing stra-

tegic coordination of a multinational energy company’s programme to re-engage communities at their top ten global sites in terms of potential stakeholder concern; preparedness consultancy and training for an indigenous Nigerian operator designing and implementing a global ‘Gold Standard’ of crisis readiness at an international gas company.

Gas association unveils learning solutions


HE Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) will introduce the industry capacity building programme tagged ’NGA Learning Solutions’ at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The event will hold on June 30. The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Ernest Nwapa, will be the special guest of honour and keynote speaker. The NGA Learning Solution is

a fit for purpose and cost-effective set of courses for operators and stakeholders in the gas industry covering technical and non technical areas in the whole gas value chain from exploration, production, processing, storage, market-

Energy prices

Domestic prices of petroleum products

Energy & Oil Prices OIL ($/bbl)

















PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Crude Future Dated Brent Spot WTI Cushing Spot OIL (¢/gal)

100.59 115.19 100.59

0.36 0.02 0.36

0.36% 0.02% 0.36%

06/03 06/03 06/03

PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Heating Oil Future Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu)

299.05 309.20

0.76 4.37

0.25% 1.43%

06/03 06/03













Nymex Henry Hub Future 4.52 Henry Hub Spot 4.36 New York City Gate Spot 4.60 ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour)













Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot 25.51 3.75 17.23% 06/03 Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot 35.02 1.05 3.09% 06/03 BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON 47.79 2.98 6.65% 06/03 Source:


PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME 0.16 -0.01 -0.04

3.62% -0.23% -0.86%

06/03 06/03 06/03


ing and including transportation to end users. NGA learning solutions boasts of a wide range of seasoned and renowned professionals and subject matter experts that would enhance participants’ understanding of the global and Nigeria gas business and its potential sectors, fundamentals of gas industry projects management, root cause analysis training in the gas sector and environmental protection and pollution control in the gas industry, are some of the courses on board. Also, some legal and management courses on offer at the learning solutions programme include; negotiating gas contracts in Nigeria and globally, joints ventures and other collaboration agreement for the gas industry including effective management of health, safety and environment in the gas sector, amongst others. Expected to be in attendance at the event are chief executives of international and national oil and gas companies, senior industry players, human resources executives from the sector, consultants and the media amongst others.


“Arsenal, Roma and Juventus have not contacted me. I am taking a year off to look around and study how my colleagues work.”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011




UNSHINE Stars of Akure’s opponent in this weekend’s CAF Confederations Cup match, Al Ittihad of Libya will arrive in Nigeria for the epic singleleg cracker on Thursday, June 9th, a top player of the team and Nigeria Dream Team V player, Azuka Izu has alerted NationSport. The match billed for the Gateway International Stadium, Ijebu Ode on June 12 is the second to be played by the Libyan team after


Al Ittihad arrives for Sunshine Thursday From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

suffering a 0-1 loss to Enyimba International FC which demoted them to the

Confederations Cup. A confident Azuka told NationSport that it would be a fight-to-the-finish this time,


Ajani: My rivals don’t scare me


UNSHINE Stars of Akure midfielder, Ajani Ibrahim has asserted that he is not worried that other strikers in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) are closing in on his 11 league goals in the race for the NPL highest goal scorer title. Ibrahim, who got his eleventh goal of the season on Sunday at the Gateway International Stadium, Ijebu Ode in their 2-0 home win over Sharks of Port Harcourt, told NationSport that although he believes his goalscoring instinct is divine, he prefers to concentrate on becoming better in front of goal than talking about his competitors. “Yes, I got my 11th goal and

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

I am happy about that. I am not bothered about the prospect of other strikers overtaking me in the race for the highest goal scorer, after all football is all about scoring goals. I will concentrate on myself and will not like to be drawn into any war of words over that. God that has been with me since the league started will continue to be with me and I am very confident more goals will come before the end of the season,” Ibrahim said. The striker’s goals combined with those of Atanda Sakibu and Akombo Ukeyima, who incidentally got the other goal against the

Blue Angels on Sunday, have helped to propel Sunshine to the second spot in the NPL with a whopping 51 points from 25 league matches. The trio has got 24 goals from the 34 the Mimiko Boys have garnered in the league thus far. Sunshine will not be involved in the NPL matches at least for a week as the club seeks maximum concentration on the forthcoming CAF Confederations Cup tie with Libyan side Al Ittihad on Sunday, June 12th. The winner of the one-legged tie will book a passage to the Group Stages of the second tier African club competition.

because, “We will not allow two Nigerian clubs to spoil our joy within the spate of two months. We are going to give the match all that it requires and I am assuring you that what happened to us against Enyimba will not repeat itself this time round.” Azuka further disclosed that Al Ittihad will arrive via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on Thursday and then travel by road to the match venue, Ijebu Ode on the same day.

Former Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti debunking Arsenal, Roma, Juventus link.

Sunshine stays in title chase


UNSHINE Stars cut back the lead at the top of the Nigeria Premier League as they beat Sharks 2-0 with Ajani Ibrahim netting his 11th goal on a weekend, the home teams again dominated. Zamfara piled more pressure on Enugu Rangers underfire coach, Alphonsus Dike with a win in Gusua, while 3SC won their second straight game courtesy of a 1-0 victory over champions Enyimba. There were also home wins for Ocean Boys, Lobi, Heartland, JUTH and Kano Pillars, but struggling Plateau United picked up a rare result away from home when they drew 2-2 at Bukola Babes. Sunshine Stars pegged Sharks 2-0 at Ijebu-Ode to now have 53 points from 25 matches. Ajani Ibrahim delivered a super cross from the left for Ukeyima Akombo to score his seventh goal in the 42nd minute. Ajani then scored his 11th goal from the penalty spot in the

Amankwei happy to return after illness •Scores against Kaduna United


FTER a two-week layoff due to illness, Ghanaian import and JUTH FC of Jos power-playing attacker, James Amankwei has told NationSport that he was relieved to have made the difference between The Healers and their NPL Week 25 opponents, Kaduna United. Amankwei informed NationSport that he suffered two weeks of malaria and typhoid fever, and this curtailed his involvement in the move by the Jos-based side to avoid the drop at the end of the league season. “I have been out due to malaria and typhoid fever just before the inauguration ceremony on May 29th and only came back in the match we played and won 1-0 against Kaduna United. It was very sad being on the sideline after putting so much effort to ensure we keep our place

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri among the elite division next season. Thank God I am back now and better than I was before the setback. I got the only goal which put three points in our kitty against Kaduna United.” The solitary strike against the Governor Yakowainspired Kaduna United was Amankwei’s sixth goal of the season in the NPL and his ninth for the Healers with the other three coming from the recently held Federation Cup matches where his club booked a spot in the national championship alongside Plateau United. Amankwei averred that all other things being equal, JUTH would keep on fighting till the end of the season to see how much points they could garner in their bid to extend their stay in the NPL.

second half after a foul by Sharks inside their box. Kano Pillars shot back to third spot courtesy of a lone goal home win over relegationthreatened Crown FC. Pillars have 43 points from 25 matches and Crown slumped to the foot of the table with 21 points. Gambo Mohammed was the match winner for Pillars after 76 minutes. It was the striker’s eighth goal of the season. A brace by former youth international Stanley Ohawuchi in the 28th and 62nd minutes gave hosts Heartland a 2-1 win over Kwara United. Kwara consolation effort was by Solomon Yahaya in stoppage time. Kwara are seventh in the standings with 38 points and Heartland occupy 12th position after amassing 34 points. Shooting Stars stopped champions Enyimba thanks to a Chima Akas penalty goal. Man of the match Gbolahan Salami was upended inside the box by Udochi Chinedu. The Ibadan club dominated for most part of the game before Enyimba fought back in search of an equalising goal. “We lost, we have to take it in good faith,” conceded Enyimba coach, Okey Emordi. JUTH FC of Jos moved off the basement of the league after they pipped visiting Kaduna United 1-0. Ghanaian striker James Amankwei found the back of the net in the 90th minute when he rounded up goalkeeper Richard Ochaiyi for his sixth goal of the season. Both Ochaiyi and his opposite number at JUTH, Nura Mohammed, were brilliant with Mohammed the busier of the two shot stoppers. Zamfara beat Enugu Rangers 1-0 as they fight to move outside the drop zone, Plateau United recorded a very vital 2-2 draw at Bukola Babes and Ocean Boys outscored Gombe United 2-0 in Yenagoa. Lobi Stars were 1-0 winners over visiting Warri Wolves. The Makurdi outfit are now ninth with 37 points.

I’m happy with Heartland — Arisa

F •Ajani

ORMER Nigerian international, Chike Arisa, said he was amazed by the transformation that is going on at Heartland FC of Owerri. Arisa, who spoke on phone from his base in Holland, said during his recent trip to Nigeria, he paid a visit to the Naze Millionaires' headquarters located at the Dan Anyiam

NPL WEEK 25 RESULTS Bukola 2 Plateau 2 Dolphin 3 Tornadoes 0 Zamfara 1 Rangers 0 Ocean Boys 2 Gombe Utd 0 Lobi 1 Wolves 0 Heartland 2 Kwara Utd 1 JUTH 1 Kaduna Utd 0 Pillars 1 Crown FC 0 Sunshine Stars 2 Sharks 0 3SC 1 Enyimba 0

Stadium in Owerri and for a moment, he could not believe his eyes concerning the novel ideas the club was putting in place. 'As I stepped into the office at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, I felt as if I was in Europe. I saw very bright ideas being put in place as it is done in the developed world. For once, I was proud to have come from there and to have played for the club,' he said. The former Super Eagles and Iwuanyanwu Nationale attacking midfielder said the bane of football development in Nigeria has been in its administration, but said he was happy that things were done differently at Heartland. 'With what I saw on ground, I have the confident that if I bring people from abroad to do business with Heartland, I'll not be messed up. The people at the helm of affairs there know what they are doing and are

committed to doing the right thing. You can see that from the secretariat, the set up and the reorganisation that is going on in the squad. Even the welfare plan they have for the players now is encouraging. 'I was also impressed with the managers' business sense and the drive to attain a level of financial independent for the club within a couple of years. I am sure that very soon Heartland will become a model club others will emulate in Nigeria,' he concluded.

•Heartland's Bello Kofarmata against an Enyimba player in a League duel








Tackling infrastructure deficit in aviation The Federal Government’s reformation programme has brought about major infrastructure facelift in some airports. But there are still gaps, KELVIN OSA-OKUNBOR reports.


HE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has left no one in doubt that its reformation programme, expected to touch deficiency in infrastructure, will be adequately addressed this year. The optimism of FAAN to see existing projects through has translated in the completion of some projects including the completion and inauguration of the domestic terminal of the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport (MAKO), Kano as well as the reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu last year, which was witnessed by President Goodluck Jonthan. But players in the aviation industry continue to impress it on FAAN to fast track the completion of the air field lighting system at the domestic runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. Domestic operations at the runway are carried out between 7.00 am and 6.00 pm every day, forcing airlines to burn aviation fuel to taxi to the runway at the international wing of the airport for take off and landing at hours outside the time stated. The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has continued to express grave reservations over the failure of FAAN and its contractors to fix this infrastructure which will make it easy for domestic airlines to carry out seamless flights. At the rate of over N180 per litre of fuel , domestic airlines are spending more money to operate flights at night and in the early hours, on account of the fact that they must either land or take off from the runway at the international wing. Meanwhile, the Managing Director of FAAN, Mr Richard Aisuebeogun, assured a few weeks ago that the contractor handling the air field lighting system is on course, as the materials needed for the completion of the project has been procured, even as he said the contractor has been given a timeline to deliver. Aisuebeogun said before the end of the second quarter of this year, domestic airlines could carry out their 24 hours operations from the domestic runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos as the government is committed to completing all priority projects in significant airports across the country. Sadly, the state of the car park at

the international wing of the MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos is nothing to write home about as the absence of a functional drainage at the car park has almost made the car park impassable for many limousine operators that ply the route from either the hajj camp or Ikeja axis of the metropolis. As the rainy season intensifies, floods have literily taken over the car park amid lack lustre plans by FAAN to fix an efficient drainage, which has raised fundamental questions whether the airport authority has abdicated its responsibilities in that respect. Many passengers who arrive from their destination continue to express disenchantment over the failure of the airport authority to fix the car park, which is a bad advertisement of how an airport car park should not look like. Commenting on the sorry state of the facility, spokesman of FAAN, Mr Akin Olukunle, said the authority is on top of the situation, as the contractor has been mobilised to site to urgently fix the car park, such that passengers can have a fulfilling travel experience. Olukunle said FAAN remains committed to fixing all identified gaps in infrastructure at airports across the country, with a view to ensuring that the transformation programme of the government is implemented. Meanwhile, an aviation expert, Mr Eke Ambrose, has called on Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, to consider equity participation in the development of the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport (SMICA), Owerri, to develop it into a hub. He affirmed that the upgrade of facilities at the airport if completed will reposition it as the preferred destination for aircraft carrying cargo into the Southeastern region. Ambrose, who is the Managing Director of Ambed Aviation International Airlines, said Okorocha could not afford to contribute less to the development of the airport, given his experience and investment in the aviation sector. He said the dilapidated state of the SMICA is evidence of abandonment by successive administrations in the state. The cargo expert spoke just as FAAN said it has attained 80 per cent completion in the perimeter fencing of the Owerri Airport, in addition to fast tracking of the

•A pool of stagnant water at the car park of MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.


renovation and rehabilitation of the terminal building of the airport, even as the contractor mandated to built a fuel depot at the airport has moved to site. Speaking on efforts by FAAN to reposition the airport, Olukunle said the construction of the airport perimeter fencing has attained 80 per cent completion, which is still on going, renovation of the terminal bidding, which has reached

40 per cent stage, even as the airport is yet to get a contractor for the bonded warehouse. But he affirmed that two fire vehicles have been received amid non completion of the air field lighting. Olukunle urged Okorocha to consider public and private sector participation for the development of the cargo airport, under the build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis in infrastructural development. He explained that the governor could create an enabling environment for the development of the Imo Airport, through favourable policies that will attract private sector players in investment in infrastructure including a befitting terminal complex, Customs bonded warehouse, cargo bay fuel tank, farm or depot and other ancillary facilities that will boost commercial activities at the airport. The cargo expert explained that if the requisite facilities are put in place, the Imo State government could partner with FAAN on how to review the feasibility of the airport to attract foreign airlines to schedule cargo flights into the state, affirming that there is ample evidence that some state governments have run airports very well as a catalyst for economic development. Ambrose said: “I do not think


operations into Owerri Airport is unprofitable, it all depends on how the airlines carry out their operations and the model they are using.If any investor should consider building a fuel dump in Owerri, it will attract aircraft traffic into the airport to make it more viable. Another further step is to carry out appropriate feasibility and lobby at the ministerial level to ensure that the airport is duly designated for international cargo operations through reduction of aircraft handling and landing charges. “Why can’t African Petroleum (AP) and Con oil consider setting up a fuel tank farm in Owerri? he asked.” Said Olukunle: “FAAN has tried to enhance the status of the airport, thus far, we have carried out 80 per cent completion of the airport perimeter fencing, which is on going, as we speak the terminal building renovation is on going, and it has reached 40 per cent completion. But, power improvement at the airport and air field lighting is yet to improve. The aviation fuel depot project is on going, even the contractor just reported to site. The airport has received two new fire vehicles, and the cargo bonded ware house is yet to take off, as no contractor has been approved yet.”

Many unanswered questions about Maevis, FAAN agreement


HE protest by aviation union members and workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAA) last week, has raised fresh questions over the status of the controversy that surrounds the agreement between the airport authority and one of its concessionaires Maevis Limited. Maevis is the firm responsible for installing the automated operations management system (AOMS) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. While FAAN workers insist the contract has since been terminated, following a termination

letter served on Maevis Limited, the firm is hinging its continued stay to collect revenue on behalf of FAAN on the court order which has called for arbitration on the vexed matter. Only a few weeks ago, a Federal High Court in Lagos ruled that FAAN in the first instance has no moral right to have terminated the agreement with FAAN, but due process was followed. But FAAN workers, who gathered last week at the Freedom square complex of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, said they have resolved to take their destiny in their hands by handling the collection of passen-

ger service charge by themselves, hinging their reasons on the alleged shortchanging of the airport authority by Maevis. Speaking on the vexed issue, the national president of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu, said: “The fight is no other fight than the Maevis contract which has been terminated . They should leave the premises of the Federal Airport Auhority of Nigeria. After that we must commence the collection of Passenger Service Charge in Lagos by FAAN workers. Our intension of coming here is not to destroy

any property, but we have come here to sensitise the airlines of the new directives on Passenger Service Charge. “However, we have come here and we have met the forces of the security agencies hindering us from entering the terminal building. “Right from the on set we had two plans, the first was to enforce the termination order conveyed to Maevis by FAAN which terminated on May 23. And Maevis has in the process been using other manipulations to still remain in business even when FAAN has given an order to all their service providers and all their customers that they should no more pay to

Maevis. Secondly, is to also enforce, as you are aware the collection of Passenger Service Charge by FAAN workers in all the domestic airports. “The struggle is not a FAAN management struggle, the struggle is for the survival of FAAN, and it was emancipated by the workers of FAAN. We don’t need the FAAN management to cooperate with us to achieve this aim. In the course of trying to achieve it, we identified that there are some management people that are not with us. We will have no other option than to push them out of the system.”




AIB installs VSAT for operations


HE Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has installed a new mobile Very Small Aperture Termal (VSAT), in one of its operational vehicles to enable it carry out its aviation accident and incident investigations from any remote location in Nigeria. The new technology installed in the vehicle is one of the steps taken by the agency to fast track its air accident investigation, which before now was encumbered by inadequate equipment. According to the Commissioner of AIB, Kayode Oduselu, the new technology will allow the dish, which is mounted on the vehicle access automatic satellite data and images for referencing in the global positioning system (GPS) on board. He explained that the equipment when mounted will establish the location and where it is going at the time of deployment. He further added that the mobile VSAT delivers a reliable, high speed, two way satellite based Internet connection, which allows its users to surf the web, access electronic mail, communicate using the deployed packages and uploading of urgent reports at any time from any location. Oduselu said the technology deployed for the equipment is powered by iNetVu, which delivers a reliable, high speed two way satellite based Internet connection. He said: “When informatiobn is essential, regardless of location or circumstance, you can trust the iNetVu to deliver, on time every time. No matter when,

• The AIB vehicle with the VSAT mounted. Stories by Kelvin OsaOkunbor Aviation Correspondent

or where, this technology does not fail, even in the remotest of locations, where other infrastructure do not exist, this technology comes to the rescue. “The iNetVu is a mobile auto acquisition satellite antenna system that delivers secure, high speed Internet access from virtually anywhere on the planet. With the simple push of a button, the iNetVu automatically unfolds, locates the appropriate satellite, locks on a signal and establishes a connection. “Whether conveying scientific data from isolated mobile laboratories or acquiring critical information in a time of extreme need, the iNetVu comes through on

time, every time.” According to Oduselu, the AIB is an agency of the Ministry of Aviation and is responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within Nigeria. The body has 14 technical officers comprising pilots, engineers-aeronautical and aircraft maintenance experts, air traffic controllers, air worthiness experts and fire safety engineers. The fundamental objective of AIB, he said is: “To improve aviation safety by determining the circumstances and causes of air accidents and serious incidents and making safety recommendations intended to prevent recurrence of similar accidents in future. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability. Recently, the agency


signed a contract worth $5,557,000 (N831,960,170 million) with a Canadian company, CAE/Flightscape, for the supply of flight recorder playback and analysis laboratory. The software enables effective study and understanding of recorded flight data from aircraft and flight simulators to improve safety, training, maintenance and flight operations. “We currently decode abroad. This laboratory will be the second in Africa and will definitely add more speed to our investigations even as it will enhance our leadership role in the region,” Oduselu said. He added that for the laboratory to operate effectively and efficiently, AIB personnel would be trained on how to use and maintain it.

IATA forecasts 5.8% increase in passenger traffic


HE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has given a forecast of over five per cent growth in passenger figures on the average between now and 2014, even as the global body affirmed that over 3.3 billion people will be hooked to the air transport system. According to IATA chief economist, Brain Pearce, the latest IATA five-year forecast suggests that passenger growth will average 5.8 per cent through 2014, meaning 3.3 billion people will be using the air transport sys-

tem by then. That is 800 million more people than today, meaning significant changes and challenges to the industry. Asia-Pacific, already the largest market, will add almost half of the new passengers, some 360 million extra people. China is the powerhouse. It will have 181 million more domestic passengers and 33 million more international passengers. Airports are being built but a lot of work remains to be done on air traffic management, especially in the critical Pearl River Delta region.

There could be seismic shifts elsewhere in the world. For a long time, Europe has been the stop-off point for Asia-United States travel. But the Middle East hubs and their home carriers are expanding rapidly. The growth in international travel in the Middle East will average more than 10 per cent a year, giving a 2014 total of more than 80 million international travelers. “The forecast takes into account two very different scenarios,” says Brian Pearce, IATA Chief Economist. “While emerging markets

have returned to strong growth much faster than expected, mature Western markets are still suffering from a lack of consumer confidence driven by government austerity measures.” Freight should be easier to predict, subject usually to more pedestrian trade winds than confidence-sapping consumer related events. Growth is expected to be 8.2 per cent per year. The challenge here will be in formulating a strategy that accounts for severe imbalances on key trade routes. Far more comes out of Asia than goes in.

• L-R: Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren; Chairman, International Aviation College, Ilorin, Capt. Edward Boyo; Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr Sam Oduselu and Managing Director, Medview Airline, Alihaji Muniree Bankole, at the inauguration of International Aviation College, Ilorin, Kwara PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE. State.

Briefs Group advocates 10 point agenda for growth AN aviation expert and president of Aviation Roundtable Captain Dele Ore has canvassed a ten-point agenda for the development of the aviation industry. The president of the aviation industry think tank group said the implementation of the ten-point blueprint is the only way the industry could improve on the strides of last year as it grapples with the challenge of raising the bar in service delivery. Ore listed the items in the agenda to include: putting in place a Search and Rescue mechanism to meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), professionalising the ministry in charge of aviation, control and management of Nigerian designated international airlines, that must be in the hands of Nigerians, as well as denial of expatriate quota in areas where Nigerians are denied. He listed other items in the agenda to include: the setting up of aircraft maintenance facilities and its imperatives, putting in place intervention funds for the industry for aviation agencies including NIMET, NCAT, AIB and NCAA for research, in addition to properly managed airlines which should be considered for qualification, as well as private public partnership (PPP) imperative. Others are a review of aviation policies, which sole aim will engender more favourable policies to improve the present insignificant market share of Nigerian airlines on international routes, concerns on multiple entry points and or multiple designations, which he considered as detrimental to the growth of the industry. According to Ore, states in the federation should sponsor their indigenes for capacity development programmes for the training of key aviation professionals such as pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers, whose role will impact positively on the growth of the industry.

Airbus delivers 100th Airbus to British Airways BRITISH Airways has taken delivery of an A320 aircraft, making it a member of a prestigious airline club that can boast 100 or more aircraft deliveries from every member of Airbus’ Single Aisle aircraft Family. The airline has already taken delivery of two A318s, 33 A319s, 48 A320s and 16 A321s. The 100th aircraft (an A320 powered by IAE engines) is also the 205th Airbus single aisle delivered to International Airlines Group, which was formed in January 2011 following the merger of British Airways and Iberia. Keith Williams, British Airways CEO said: “This milestone underlines British Airways’ commitment to continue to invest in new aircraft for the benefit of our customers. The average age of our short haul Airbus fleet is just over seven years old, making it one of the youngest Airbus fleets of the European network carriers.” British Airways became an Airbus operator in 1988, when it introduced the A320 in its fleet. It added the A319 in 1999, the A321 in 2004 and the A318 in 2009. “We are very proud that a world class airline like British Airways operates every member of our single aisle family aircraft, and even prouder to deliver to BA their 100th Airbus A320 family aircraft. We look forward to broadening and deepening our partnership with BA,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. With over 7,000 aircraft ordered, and more than 4,600 aircraft delivered to over 330 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is today the world’s bestselling single-aisle aircraft family.

EgyptAir launches new baggage allowance policy EGYPTAIR has launched a new baggage allowance policy that adds a new dimension for the level of services presented to customers and which will also lower the cost of travel. EgyptAir launched the new policy on all international and domestic flights on June 1. In this regard, Eng Hussein Massoud, EgyptAir Holding Chairman/CEO said: “In spite of the increase of operating costs because of the soaring oil prices, EgyptAir has launched this new policy to support the Egyptian customers and to encourage the tourism traffic into Egypt.” The new policy enables the economy class customers on all international flights to carry two free bags, 23 kilos each, with a total of 46 kilos. On the other hand, business class customers can carry two free pieces of baggage with 32 kilos each; this is in addition to one hand bag accompanied onboard with a maximum weight of seven kilos on all classes. Moreover, customers flying to any domestic destination in Egypt can carry one baggage with a maximum of 23 kilos on economy, 32 kilos on business in addition to 7 kilos to be carried onboard. EgyptAir Plus frequent flyers can enjoy additional benefits, as the gold card holders can carry an additional baggage with a maximum of 23 kilos. Further, the silver card holders will enjoy a 50 per cent discount on the third piece; this is in addition to other benefits such as the upgrade to a higher class, redeeming the points with free tickets, using the lounges around the globe, priority check-in and priority baggage handling.





Will Jonathan revive health sector? I

N 1991, the average life expectancy of Nigerians was 54 years for women and 53 years for men. In 2009, these figures had fallen to 48 for women and 46 for men. This was given last year by the global health watchdog, the World Health Organisation (WHO). Health indices indicate that the country may not have fared so well. With a teeming population of 140 million people and the average life expectancy of Nigerians standing unsteadily at 47 years; this figure reflects the relative high burden of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, and non communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure and cirrhosis of the liver. The debacle knows no gender. Maternal mortality is estimated at over 545 per 100,000 which translates to approximately 35,000 would-have-been-mothers dying from pregnancy related complications each year. When it comes to health, Nigeria is yet to get groovy. Children are not spared, with Nigeria still being one of the four PAIN countries in the world, yet to eradicate the wild polio virus, atop an infant mortality rate of 75 per 1,000 and under-five mortality rate of 157 per 1,000. A significant majority of these deaths are from common ailments such as malaria, respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, diarrhea and so on. Northern Nigeria is one of the reservoirs of polio mellitus virus. Though, traditional and religious leaders, headed by the Sultan of Sokoto and his Emirs, have provided support for the eradication programme. When President Goodluck Jonathan marked one year in office, he assured all Nigerians that rapid and significant improvement in public infrastructure, especially roads, transportation, educational facilities, health care, water supply and the development of our agricultural sector will continue to receive the full attention of his administration. A year on, it is yet to be. A top notch at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba who spoke on condition of anonymity for obvious reasons could not hide his disdain for insensitivity of government to the governed for what he described as misplaced priority. He said in a country where some tertiary institutions cannot acquire incubators, afford to fuel the electricity generating sets, or other modern state of art medical equipment, government has set aside a whooping N830million, on the inauguration of Mr President. “How do we explain a country whose Primary Health Centres (PHCs) cannot afford sterilising liquids to clean the scales for weighing babies, but mothers make do with old newspapers to forestall their babies contracting infections. What do we tell the Almajaris up North, and areas boys in the south who don’t have access to quality health care services? A practitioner, Mr Segun Fahuwa minced no words when he said the incoming government should sanitise the practice of traditional medicine, as doctor’s incessant strikes and poverty in the land coupled with unemployment have exposed all and sundry to embrace the practice, “leaving thousands of clients with damaged respiratory organs. There is the need to ensure there is a national umbrella body for the practice just as NMA exists for orthodox practice.” He said there are many questions begging for candid answers including why brain drain persists; why medical tourism is sky rocketing; why many cannot afford hospital bills but may rather prefer to suffer in silence and present late to hospital aggravated conditions. “Even if these questions are unanswered, it is worth stating that these critical questions highlight the dishevelled nature of the health system which the Health Minister, Prof Christian Onyebuchi has admitted needs to be fixed. Such a situation does not just affect the index pandemic but reflects a fundamental challenge to improving health care delivery and overall health outcomes in Nigeria,” said Fahuwa.

•A joyous mother of triplets •An incubator By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha and Wale Adepoju

Though, the agency responsible for safe guarding the health of Nigerians against counterfeit and substandard products and drugs is devising modern technology in combating the phenomenon, yet scruplous Nigerians are not giving up the nefarious act. But the drug war is yet to be over as various open drug markets still thrive. The regulatory agency, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other agencies are on the heels of the counterfeiters. Nigerians believe that the tide will finally turn against these unpatriotic Nigerians. Will this happen in this new dispensation or status maintained is the poser now. Consultant Neonatologist, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr Laraba Anga said the President should focus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 76 by 2015: “We need a reduction of 10 per cent per year from now till 2015,”she said. While some experts believe the country’s health care delivery is still a farce, others believe the one year of President Goodluck Jonathan has brought some rays of hope, hence change is imminent. There is no doubt about the fact that the country’s health sector is still a farce. To say that the country’s health sector is plagued with various challenges is an understatement. What can be a better way to describe the situation than top government officials seeking medical help abroad? This shows they lack confidence in the sector at home. Some of the expectations include deployment of midwives to villages, implementation of research, proper funding of Primary Health Care (PHC), secondary and tertiary health care. Provost and Chief Medical Director, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Abeokuta, Dr Adegboyega Ogunlesi said the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has done well for the health sector in terms of remuneration of workers, adding that: “He has been benevolent and magnanimous in approving new salary structure for all health workers which is an important motivational factor.” Ogunlesi also scored President Jonathan high in terms of infrastructural provision. He said: “In the last one year, the government has made available to seven specialists hospitals state-of-the-art equipment including my institution. It was given to us free because we didn’t have to pay anything for the computerised CT scan which is the latest version of an x-ray machine.” He blamed the government for its inability to quash industrial harmony, adding that: “When it comes to looking at industrial harmony there is no doubt that it has been a bit problematic. We have had rivalries from various forms and categories of health workers. We have had various industrial disharmonies.

•Fake drugs

•Primary Health Care (PHC) centre.

On this, we have suffered a bit of a minus. I am speaking not only for the federal workers but also for the state workers across the country.” In terms of expectation, he said: “We will expect the government to build up on the momentum. We expect that in terms of infrastructural provision, in terms of ensuring that health workers are given the tools that they need to work.” He appealed to all health workers to work as a team. “There is no need for us rivalling one another. There is no need to engage in unnecessary dispute. We should work as a team. There is no individual category of health workers that can solely discharge the onus of delivering the service. We need to make the team more virile. We need to set aside acrimonies and discontent. “And we can assure that Nigerians will be the beneficiaries of a better health care delivery system. Disharmony will certainly continue to be challenges among health workers.

Some categories of health workers are already against the signing of the Health Bill by the president, because they think it is conferring a lot of advantages on the medical group. This line of thinking will not move the country forward that is just a little, if you consider it in totality, there is a lot of benefit in our having the Bill passed by the National Assembly. The challenges still remain rivalry among various cadres of health workers.” According to the Programme Officer, Ford Foundation, Lagos, Nigeria, Prof Friday Okonofua, unless Nigeria encourages Basic Medical Research (BMR), it would not be able to do much in health care. He called for improvement in BMR to strengthen health care and reduce mortality in Nigeria. Berating the attitude of the country to research, Okonofua said the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) is a charade. “Researches in the country do not find place in top rated international journals,” he added.




Tapping health benefits of nuclear medicine Nuclear Medicine is a novel idea in Nigeria. It is being embraced by physicians to curb deaths from cancer and other devastating diseases. WALE ADEPOJU writes on the practice as a part of medicare in Nigeria.


UCLEAR Medicine is a common medical practice in developed coun-tries, but the idea is new in Nigeria. This sub-specialty of medicine, according to experts, began after the Second World War. Since then there has been evolution in the use of nuclear agent to treat diseases. Due to the development of new technologies such as the computer software, diagnosis and treatment of debilitating diseases have become much easier than previous times. So, scientists have developed a way for using the small nuclear agent to make diagnosis or to burn or treat cancer particularly. This practice involves the use of small amounts of radioactive materials also known as tracers to help diagnose and treat a variety of diseases. Through this practice, many cancer patients have been easily diagnosed and treated. Experts use nuclear medicine to determine the cause of the medical problem based on the function of the organ, tissue or bone. This type of diagnosis is what differentiates Nuclear medicine’s applications from an x-ray, ultrasound or any other diagnostic test that determines the presence of disease based on structural appearance. Head, Nuclear Medicine Department, National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Zabah Jawa, said nuclear medicine is a welcome development in the country, although it is relatively new but it can compliment other forms of treatment already in use in the health care delivery system. According to him, the practice is unique because experts in Nuclear medicine use safe, painless, and cost-effective techniques to examine the body and treat diseases. Jawa said nuclear medicine imaging is unique, because it provides doctors with information about the structure and function of the human body. It is a way of gathering medical information that would otherwise be unavailable, require surgery, or necessitate more expensive diagnostic tests. Nuclear medicine imaging procedures often identify abnormalities very early in the progress of a disease, long before many medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. Jawa said specialists can use molecular imaging to give patients the kind of diagnosis at an early stage and to ensure whether they are predisposed even before they develop cancer. He said they use nuclear medicine on various diseases such as thyroid, huge neck

swellings and goiter. “We use nuclear agents to treat arthritis,” he said. He said: “We treat patients with severe arthritis that cannot be managed on conventional tablets. We also use nuclear medicine to study the function of the heart, to treat patients who are likely going to develop heart failure or have a heart attack. “We have a way of using nuclear medicine to study patients’ heart and be able to say within the next five years it is likely that you will not develop a heart attack or you are likely to develop heart attack. We use the nuclear agent to study the heart of pilots so that they do not have a heart attack while flying. “Nuclear medicine is useful in the care of patients with cancer. Ninety to 95 per cent of what we do with nuclear agents is to make early diagnosis of cancer, to treat certain specific cancers, and to follow-up with patients who are on treatment with various forms of cancers.” Explaining who a nuclear physician is, he said: “We are also radiotherapists because we also use radiation. A radiotherapist means a person who uses radiation to treat patient. We use nuclear radiation to treat patient so we are also in a way radiotherapists. But a radiotherapist only uses x-rays for his therapy or phototherapy whereas we use nuclear energy or nuclear atoms for our therapy. So, radiotherapy means the use of radiation for therapy. But a nuclear physician apart from using radiation as therapy; also does imaging, investigates patients, and also carries out myocardial.” During the pre-treatment, the Consultant in Nuclear Medicine, said experts use very small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) to diagnose

and treat the disease. “In imaging, the radiopharmaceuticals are detected by special types of cameras that work with computers to provide very precise pictures about the area of the body being imaged. In treatment, the radiopharmaceuticals go directly to the organ being treated. The amount of radiation in a typical nuclear imaging procedure is comparable with that received during a diagnostic x-ray, and the amount received in a typical treatment procedure is kept within safe limits.” Jawa said the practice improves patients’ care and diagnosis accurately, adding that this boosts the doctors’ confidence as well. He said Nigeria has joined other countries that are practicing nuclear medicine by having centres at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and National Hospital, Abuja. There will be centres at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Lagos and Enugu by the end of the year, he added. Jawa said: “In two years time, we will have a centre in Maiduguri and Port Hercourt. In the next four years we will have close to five centres in the country. Nuclear medicine is going to improve the services to patients care because before we embraced it two years ago, patients who require nuclear medicine’s surgery are taken abroad for the investigations.” He said 70 per cent of the beneficiaries are patients who have cancer, adding that other patients can also benefit from the practice. “Nuclear medicine offers procedures that are essential in many medical specialties, from pediatrics to cardiology, and to psychiatry. New and innovative nuclear medicine treatments that target and pinpoint molecular levels within the body are revolutionising our understanding of and ap-

‘Nuclear medicine is useful in the care of patients with cancer. Ninety to 95 per cent of what we do with nuclear agents is to make early diagnosis of cancer, to treat certain specific cancers, and to follow-up with patients who are on treatment with various forms of cancers’


proach to a range of diseases and conditions,” he said. Jawa said: “Nuclear medicine is not important than other medicine but we are taking medicine to a whole new level. And we work together because it is a multidisciplinary approach. We need everyone on board including the nurses, laboratory technicians, x-ray experts even the cleaner is important. We are not saying nuclear medicine is better than the others.” He said nuclear medicine provides a very powerful and unique tool that can take medicine to another level. On the prognosis, he said: “Everything you do in life has side effects including the air you breathe and the water you drink but what is important is that as clinicians we weigh the side-effect of our medication to the advantage that is going to give you. “So, if I have a patient that needs nuclear medicine surgery or treatment it comes with some complications or sideeffects but we do certain things to minimise the side effects. And we weigh the advantage of that treatment to the possibility of risk.” Explaining further on the success rate of the practice, he said: “If I have a 30-yearold female patient with cancer of the thyroid and you don’t treat the cancer immediately she would die within five years. “But if you use nuclear agent to treat it she would survive for the next 30 to 40 years. But that woman also has a chance of developing another cancer 50 years after. So, that is why it counts. “So, you obviously have no choice than to use nuclear agent to treat the patient because you need to get rid of the disease process. If you don’t do that, the patient dies within five years. But it is possible that the patient will develop problems from your treatment after 50 years.”

UNICEF praises Nigeria for passing National Health Bill


•Dr Sakai

HE United Nation International Chil-dren’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has praised the National Assembly for passing the National Health Bill into law and looks forward to a quick assent by President Goodluck Jonathan to make it immediately implementable. According to the body, the health status of children and women in Nigeria remain poor but believes that with careful implementation of the National Health Act, along with sufficient funding for and close monitoring of the National Strategic Health Strategic Development Plan, Nigeria will take firm steps to reverse this trend. UNICEF expects the National Health Act to translate into the release of much needed funding from national revenues for the health of children and women, and commended the country’s focus on an essential minimum pack-

age of care to tackle the health problems which cause the highest number of death and illness in children and women. According to the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Suomi Sakai, scaling up the implementation of an essential package of proven, cost-effective and high-impact interventions in all primary health centres will bring Nigeria closer to attaining the health related MDGs. “ In doing so, we encourage the government and its partners to leave no child behind, as this momentum is really about securing quality primary health care with equity - for every woman and every child,” she said. The body said the theme underscored the critical role of good governance in realising the full spectrum of children’s

rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act of 2003, “Good governance should equal childfriendly governance and ensure that every child is counted and visible in the state budget” it said. Dr. Sakai said: “There is evidence to show that health care interventions often benefit only a small chunk of the population while marginalising the poorest and hardest to reach. However, good governance should not just be for the few. “It is our common plight to ensure, tirelessly, that all children have access to basic social services. “ We look forward to keep working with the government and its partners to make Nigeria’s new Health Act work for all children irrespective of origin, creed, economic status, disability and gender,” she said.




FMC sets up dialysis centre By Oyeyemi Gbenga Mustapha


•Managing Director, New Height Pharmaceutical Ltd, Mr Omaruaye Ogheneochuko (middle) flanked by Chief Operating Officer, Pharmacyplus Ltd, Mr Chukwuemeka Obi (right) and Mr Yakubu Obaro Abdulmaleek, at the media launch of Omron range of health products in Nigeria by New Height Pharmaceutical Limited in Lagos.

ENAL patients can now access dialysis care at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta, Lagos. The hospital has built and inaugurated a two floor dialysis centre. According to the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Yewande Jinadu, the dialysis centre is a product of necessity occasioned by the tremendous increase in patients and inadequacy of facilities for their intensive care needs. She said the need to build the centre was brought to the attention of the Board led by its Chairman, Otunba Solomon Oladunni, “And as a team, articulated ways and means of addressing the construction of the ultra modern dialysis centre.” The centre, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, with Critical Care Management Company (CCMC) comprised two floors and has state of the art dialysis chairs, administrative offices and MDG -sickle cell disease unit. Dr Jinadu assured potential clients of affordable charges. Oladunni said the centre will have a positive impact on the lives of patients who requires dialysis in Lagos and its environs.

‘Basic medical research will strengthen health care’


O strengthen health care and reduce mortality in Nigeria, professionals have called for improvement in Basic Medical Research (BMR). According to the Programme Officer, Ford Foundation, Lagos, Nigeria, Prof Friday Okonofua, unless Nigeria encourages BMR, it would not be able to do much in health care. Oko nofua, who was the keynote speaker, at the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos’ maiden Scientific Conference, said it is important to source and get research grants to help the country scientifically. He spoke on the theme Basic medical sciences research: prospect and grants opportunities. Okonofua said medical research has helped to increase longevity of humans over the

By Wale Adepoju

past century. He said various researches led to the invention of the vaccine for measles and polio, insulin treatment for diabetics, discovery of antibiotics, and medication for cancer and treatment for hypertension among others. Berating the attitude of the country to research, Okonofua said the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) is a charade. “Researches in the country do not find place in top rated international journals. It is only in Nigeria that you have eye infection because you did not use polio vaccine very well,” he said. Okonofua said with increased research there would be drugs for the treatment of HIV/ AIDS within the next six years. “BMR has helped to ensure in-Vitro ferti-

lization and embryo transfer and stem cell research. “BMR has also helped to discover new treatment of HIV/ AIDS. BMR was encouraged by increased funding by developed countries mainly due to emergence of new diseases such as AIDS, avian flu among others,” he said. He added that nobody can do BMR alone, adding that it could only be achieved through collaborative efforts. Okonofua identified poor funding, poor laboratory facilities and low nternet connectivity in the universities, poor contribution of the private sector as some of the challenges facing BMR, He said research capacity in universities started declining in the 80s, adding that the Federal Government needs to ensure resurrection of BMR in the ivory towers. Former Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Tolu Odugbemi, said the idea is that

any university without any research is not yet a university so the idea is that we should all pay more attention to research activities. He said: “It is good that the National Universities Commission (NUC) is taking a good lead trying to make the universities do the right thing that can improve our international ranking. “Good research work and additional funding will attract good staff from anywhere in the world to join our university system.” Former lecturer and Pioneer Test Tube Technology in Nigeria, Prof Oladele Ashiru said the focus was on diabetes and hypertension, and the emphasis was on the role of BMR. He said: “Bsically, BMR is the foundation for good health. Most developed countries now are spending a lot of money on BMR. For us to have good advances in health, we must invest in BMR.”

Firm repositions for better service


ULTISHIELD, a leading Health Main tenance Organisation (HMO), is be ing repositioned to provide better services to its growing client base, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Dr Gbenga Idowu has said. Idowu said Multishield Limited, which was incorporated in 1997 as a health maintenance organisation (HMO), started operations in the same year with prepaid health plans to cater for the health needs of individuals and corporate organisations. Idowu, who has over three decades of experience as a medical practitioner and consultant surgeon, said the company has a fully paid up share capital N100 million and has a few cooperate investors such as AIICO Insurance Plc. Multishield’s board is chaired by Chief Dele Fajemirokun, an astute businessman and Chairman of over 50 organisations, including American International Insurance Company (AIICO) Plc, Xerox HS, Food Concepts and Entertainment, Kings Guard Limited and Multishield Limited. He has a BSc in Economics from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Los Angeles, US. He said: “Following the successful rating by Agusto & Co, which was inaugurated by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Multishield was one of the first few pioneer HMOs accredited to operate and provide comprehensive health care to Nigerians including Federal and state government employees.” Much of these changes and reengineering, according to him, have paid off. Thus, a new vision statement released at the end of a

•From left: Fajemirokun, Idowu and Board Member, Multishield, Mr Kunle Ogunbayo By Okwy Iroegbu

meeting of the company’s board and management members during the week states that “Within the next five years, we will align Multishield as a leading market brand in health care management (and HMO) business with operations in every geopolitical zone of Nigeria. We will be distinguished as a company that always exceeds the expectations of our customers, people, pro-

viders, shareholders and other stakeholders. We will continuously improve our business towards greater excellence and profitability.” To achieve this position, the company tends to “satisfy and delight our customers, people, providers, shareholders, and other stakeholders by delivering value through quality health services managed by a highly motivated and well rewarded team of highperforming individuals under an environment of excellence, trust and cordiality while

attaining and maintaining profitability in the short to medium term.” Presenting the company’s business model, Idowu said: “There is considerable evidence globally that the quality of health services being offered to people can best be guaranteed when there is a third-party financing and management in place that enables a pooling of resources and medical expertise. This system of ensuring delivery and receipt of qualitative healthcare is provided by Multishield.”







Renault has announced its return to the auto industry with the introduction of three new products in Lagos. Courtesy of Alliance Autos Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of CFAO France, that organised a test drive for motoring journalists, reports TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO.


Renault introduces three SUVs R

ENAULT Duster, one of the new three vehicles rolled out by Alliance Autos Nigeria Limited, is a versatile vehicle which combines a spacious interior with saloon car comfort. Its compact footprint and high ground clearance ensures that it is at home in and about town as it is on country roads or off the beaten track The car, available in a 1.6 litre, 16V 105 petrol engine boasts of thrifty fuel consumption. All-terrain vehicles are often synonymous with bulk, but Renault Duster is an antidote to that idea. With a length of 4.31 metres and a width of 1.82 metres, the car is very compact. From the front, it exudes an impression of toughness: the wide wheel arches, the imposing lines of the chrome grille and the sump guard clearly emphasise the 4x4 DNA of Renault Duster. With these and many more features along with the two others - new Logan and Logan MCV- there is no doubt Renault is charting a new course in the nation’s auto industry. The three vehicles, test driven on a return trip to Eleko Beach, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos outskirts by motoring journalists are all tropicalised to meet the demands of the local users. In a chat with journalists, the company’s newly promoted Group Marketing Manager, Mr Harpreet Arora, described the Duster as the best in its segment, the 4X4 range of ve-

hicles in Nigeria. Arora said the combined cycle of fuel consumption of the 4x2 and 4x4 versions of Renault Duster are 7.5 and 7.9 litres/100km respectively. He said the two versions of Duster had earlier been launched in Ukraine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and some African countries. Arora noted that it was the first batch of six new Renault vehicles for the Nigerian market this year. He the new products would push Renault to an enviable leadership position among its competitors, especially in seeking to continue the Logan Phenomenon in Nigeria. Though the car was designed to cope with all types of roads and tracks, across the world, the model coming to Nigeria had received special attention in tune with the local environment In terms of its markets and production sites, Arora said Renault Duster had a global calling such as the Logan and Sandero, but it would be available with a Renault badging in Nigeria. “The 4x4 running gear uses tried and tested components, sourced from the Alliance (Nissan rear axle and coupling, new six-speed TL8 gearbox derived from the TL4 gearbox. “Particular attention has been paid to its ergonomics to ensure that the controls are conveniently positioned and that driving data is easy to read: the well-placed, intuitive 4x4 control button is a perfect example of this,” Arora

•Logan MCV

said. The 4x2 version has been designed for customers, who want good ground clearance and a reassuring elevated driving position, as well as loose-surface ability, but who don’t have a real need for all-wheel drive. The driver is encouraged to tackle even the toughest roads and tracks, with its high ground clearance, clearly defined wheel arches and protective mouldings. Owners of Renault Duster can enhance the vehicle’s good looks with its look pack. This pack includes 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels, roof bars, extra-tinted rear glass, and satin-finish chrome exterior mirrors, front and rear skid plates, and sills. A comprehensive range of accessories (including wing extenders, broad side protectors for doors, lateral bar) will complete this unique look.

The dashboard is modern, uncluttered and functional. Its design varies according to version, and several areas can be modified with various colours or surface finishes. A leather pack (seats, steering wheel, gear lever knob) is also available. Particular attention has been paid to its ergonomics to ensure that the controls are conveniently positioned and that driving data is easy to read: the well-placed, intuitive 4x4 control button is a perfect example of this. Renault Duster is a vehicle that is easy to use. It is lightweight for its size: 1,160kg for the 4x2 version and 1,250kg for the 4x4 version. Combined with compact dimensions, this ensures that the Duster is particularly agile. Arora said the company is offering three years warranty and a robust after-sale service on each of the new products.




‘Our roads need complete reconstruction’


HE Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr Kabiru Abdullahi has asserted that most of the nation’s roads have deteriorated beyond maintenance. Abdullahi, an engineer said what is maintainable is something in a reasonably good state, which is not the case with the present road network. Citing long years of neglect of maintenance and the severe pressures being exerted on the roads, he said the roads need complete rehabilitation and reconstruction. A release signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

Maryam Sanusi, said the agency is doing everything possible within its capacity to ensure all federal roads are motorable at all times. Apparently responding to a statement credited to the National President of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Dr Olufemi Ajewole that FERMA has failed in road maintenance, Abdullahi said the agency aside from numerous challenges facing it has stepped up efforts to ensure quality control of material used for road maintenance, high standard engineering specifications and procedure of operation as well as recruitment of competent

engineers and technicians who are regularly trained and re-trained to imbibe emerging best practices. Among the core challenges the roads face, he said, is the excess axle loading of articulated vehicles. “As anyone familiar with the technical knowledge will confirm, almost all roads in the Federal road network were designed to carry a maximum axle load of 30 tonnes. The fact, today, is that excess axle loading “overloading” is the major cause of damage to our roads. Many trucks carry up to 50 tonnes axle loading. The result is the visible ruts and cracks that are causing failures all over the place, as repair works

come under strain no sooner than they are completed,” he said. The solution, he proffered to excess axle loading, is the introduction of weighbridges, which the Federal Ministry of Works is putting in place with the co-operation of other stakeholders, including the FRSC, NARTO and FERMA. “Our roads also face the challenge of dumping of refuse on the shoulders, drains and manholes, with the result that flooding takes place during the rains. Water on the road or underneath, is the number one enemy of any road. Much of the flooding on our roads today is manmade and the consequence

is glaring. “Wrong and harmful parking on the highway is another cause of failure and collapse of these roads in addition to the unnecessary road crashes, injuries and fatalities they cause. As these trucks park on the shoulders, and in some cases right on the carriageway, they also carry out their repairs, including change of waste oil and spillage of AGO right there on the road,” he said. According to him, FERMA is already developing truck parks in various parts of the country to arrest the ugly development. He equally identified lack of proper funding as one of the challenges facing the


agency. He said:“With such an enormous task of maintaining nearly 35,000 kilometres of a network with about 60 per cent of the roads in poor state, it is common knowledge that funding is a big challenge.”

London double-decker buses get makeover


HE diesel-electric hybrid “New Bus for London,” made by Wrightbus and designed in conjunction with Heatherwick studio, has been chosen to be London’s new bus. London Mayor, Boris Johnson unveiled the new diesel-hybrid electric double-decker buses last week that are scheduled to hit London streets next year. The new hybrid buses will get 10 miles per gallon which is almost 40 per cent more efficient than a conventional diesel double-decker bus. London already has some diesel-hybrid buses in its fleet, but these newer mod-

els will be 15 per cent more efficient than those. “Over the next few months, its mettle will be well and truly tested. But I hope that process will confirm we have built a real eco-warrior of a bus that can contribute to improving the air of our city, while transporting Londoners in great style and safety,” Johnson said. London will still be keeping its iconic double-decker chassis. While 10 miles to the gallon may not seem like much of an improvement, if every bus in London performed to that standard, it would reduce London’s bus fleet NOx emissions by 57 percent,

Subaru to display sporty car in Tokyo


UBARU will display the production version of the long-awaited sporty car it is co-developing with Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show in December. The rear-wheel-drive car, which has a Subaru-designed drive train and Toyota-styled body, goes on sale next year. Toyota will sell its version as a Scion in the United States. Subaru Senior General Manager of Product Planning, Toshio Masuda said, Subaru expects a longer-than-average life cycle for the car and is looking at variant packages, including a possible STI version, to keep the offering fresh. Subaru’s STI tuner package typically offers turbocharging, lower profile tires, more powerful brakes and sport-tuned suspension. But going turbo is doubtful: Subaru officials say the vehicle’s original concept calls for keeping the engine naturally aspirated. The car will be built on a new line at Subaru’s plant in Gumma, Japan. Styling will draw from Toyota FT-86 concepts that have made the auto show rounds since 2009. Power is expected to come from a new generation 2.0-

litre, four-cylinder boxer engine that will be used in the redesigned Subaru Impreza arriving this fall. But the engine will be positioned nearly five inches lower than in the Impreza to bring down the car’s center of gravity and improve handling. The car also will have Toyota’s D-4S fuel injection system. And unlike the new Impreza, which gets an option for a continuously variable transmission, the sporty car will get a manual or automatic.

and its CO2 emissions by 230,000 tonnes annually, according to the mayor. The buses will be tested over the next few months, with plans to begin replacing London buses starting in 2012 under the operation of Arriva London, just in time for the London 2012 Olympics. London is not the only city revamping its iconic transportation. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in early May that the plug-in hybrid Nissan NV200 minivan will be New York City’s next taxi cab.


ERRARI, Renault, BMW, and McLaren have all used Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) in F1 racing. Now Volvo wants to bring the technology to road cars. Volvo received a grant from the Swedish government to develop a flywheelbased KERS, and will begin testing it on public roads later this year. The first production Volvos employing this system could become available by 2013. Similar to a hybrid electric system, KERS stores braking energy, reapplying it to the wheels when the driver calls for acceleration. But Volvo’s flywheel system doesn’t need batter-

•London bus

Volvo tests flywheel tech to increase fuel economy ies. Instead, Volvo fits the flywheel to the rear axle of the car. As the driver brakes, the flywheel spins up, storing the car’s forward momentum. A continuously variable transmission connects the rear axle to the flywheel. When the driver accelerates, the flywheel slows as the transmission sends its energy to the rear wheels. Volvo uses a carbon fiber flywheel in a vacuum sealed housing. Volvo tested a flywheel

system in the 1980s, but found the steel flywheel was too heavy, reducing its efficacy. In the new system, Volvo uses a carbon fiber flywheel weighing 13 pounds. It sits in a vacuum sealed housing to reduce friction, and spins at up to 60,000 rpm, churning out 80 horsepower. Using a front-wheeldrive car, Volvo’s KERS lets the engine shut down when the driver hits the brakes. The engine remains stopped as the car sits at a

stop light. When the driver accelerates, KERS provides the initial power, with the gas engine coming back online for power once the flywheel depletes its energy. Volvo says a car fitted with KERS could leave its engine off for half the time it drives in start-stop or city traffic, cutting fuel consumption by 20 per cent. Brake pads would also wear less as the flywheel absorbs the majority of a car’s forward motion.

DRIVING TIPS DECIDED to write this article mainly because of the long distance drivers who are fond of getting involved in extra marital affairs with women. A trip to Ogere tollgate tanker park around 10pm further compelled me to write this article. Sexual intercourse with commercial sex workers was like a competition with a lot of ladies trooping to the location for the men who were also thirsty for them. I was also told there is a special price (higher) for the women that allow the men to do it without condom. I was also informed that it has become a daily game


Sexual intercourse and driving at the park. There are other joints such as Ore, Jebba, Benin, Kaduna and other trailer/tanker parks. I would like to highlight the consequences of sexual intercourse to serve as a guide to safety – conscious drivers. •Possibility of being infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which can break down the immure system thus paving way for the opportunistic infections. •With every sexual intercourse, there will be loss of water, fructose (fruit sugar),

zinc and vitamin C. The more a man discharges all the above nutrients from his body, the weaker he becomes and the more urgent it becomes for him to replace them back. Failure to have all the above restored back quickly will lead to weakness, dizziness and other complications. The poor eating habit of drivers further put them at risk. •A driver with inadequate blood level is a safety risk if he is engaged in too much sex (beyond what his health can carry). This is because the erectile

tissue in the penis need much blood to expand and be rigid. This could reduce his energy level and cause a blackout or coma if the blood level is too low. Research has shown that majority of the drivers in Nigeria shy away from balanced diet. They feed more on carbohydrate. Hence their poor state of health. •As I usually say, driving is a complex activity that requires a high degree of physical and mental fitness. My advice is that drivers should be more conscious of their state of health and

Jide Owatunmise avoid other extra curricular activities that could make them safety risks on the road.












Rescued banks ‘ll meet recapitalisation deadline, says Sanusi


HE Governor of the Central Bank of Ni geria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has assured shareholders and other stakeholders that the rescued banks will meet the September 30 deadline to recapitalise the banks. Speaking yesterday during the Commemoration of 50 Years of Trading organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, (NSE), Sanusi said there are huge possibilities that the shareholders will reach agreement with management of the affected banks to beat the deadline. But should dialogue fail, the apex bank boss said he will move to implement other options, which may include handing over the banks to the

•’Naira depreciation not good for economy’

Stories by Collins Nweze Senior Correspondent

Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). “I remain optimistic that the shareholders will come to the table and that there would be deals by 30th September. I am realistic enough to make sure that there is option B and C. But it is only fair enough to make sure that first option succeed before thinking of the next option,” he said. The recapitalisation in many of the rescued banks is experiencing legal bottlenecks as seen in the court action that puts Intercontinental Bank and Access Bank merger plans on hold. There also seems to be more technical issues encumbering the process as talks

have broken down between other target banks and interested parties. Analysts say the main obstacles to the negotiations are some erring shareholders who have been able to resort to the law to put a hold on further negotiations. The CBN had at the onset of banking reforms, commenced a special joint examination in conjunction with the NDIC to ascertain the true state of the banking industry. The outcome of the examination revealed that a total of eight banks exhibited imminent signs of collapse, which could drag the entire banking sector down. To stem further deteriora-

tion in the condition of the affected banks and protect the interest of depositors and creditors, CBN replaced the executive management and in some cases, boards of the banks with new ones. The apex bank also injected a total of N620 billion into the banks in form of tier two capital to be repaid from the proceeds of recapitalisation. Meanwhile, the CBN has said it sees no need for a depreciation of the naira and will continue to focus its monetary policy on controlling inflation. CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Sarah Alade

Make Nigeria investors’ delight, says Elumelu


HE former Group Man aging Director/CEO United Bank for Africa Plc, Tony Elumelu has said entrepreneurship is crucial in economic survival of an individual and nation. Speaking during the ‘90 Minutes Speaker Series’ organised by Heirs Holdings, Elumelu said the investment climate in Nigeria is improving but can be better. He said the country needs to deal with the factors that can make it an attractive destination for investors from different parts of the world. He said aside improving the infrastructure of the country, the time in which goods are cleared in different ports has to be improved upon. “We need to deal with all the factors that will make Nigeria a good destination for investors. The ports have to be

Ecobank, Bharti Airtel partner on COBANK Transnational mobile banking Incorporated and Bharti Airtel, have signed a


Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote mobile banking services across Africa. Under the terms of the agreement, Ecobank and Airtel according to a statement from Ecobank, will explore the development of innovative mobile financial services focused both on serving the unbanked and under-banked in Africa. They will also contribute to the economic development of the 14 African countries in which both firms operate. Both entities have agreed to launch a wide range of mobile financial services offerings, including Person to Person (P2P), Business to Business (B2B) and mobile savings

products under the brand names of “Ecobank Mobile” and “Airtel Money”, subject to legal and regulatory requirements. “This MoU reaffirms Ecobank's commitment to providing banking and financial services to the unbanked and under-banked in Africa. And given that Ecobank and Airtel have already collaborated in some countries to successfully implement mobile financial services, it is logical that we extended this collaboration with Airtel to all the markets of our mutual presence in Africa,” said Ecobank's Group Chief Executive officer, Arnold Ekpe.

Airtel's CEO (International) and Joint Managing Director, Manoj Kohli Bharti said partnering with Ecobank will bring mobile financial services to all corners of Africa and will further demonstrate Airtel's commitment to the continent. It will also support the concept of borderless mobile telecoms services across the continent. Bharti reiterated that the partnership will combine the distribution capabilities of Africa's largest indigenous banking group, present in 32 countries across the continent and a telecoms operator committed to offering pioneering mobile services in Africa.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 28.09 6.45 2.10 0.69 2.31 0.50 23.75 1.95 47.23 1.05

C/PRICE 29.49 6.77 2.20 0.72 2.41 0.52 24.45 1.99 48.00 1.06

CHANGE +1.40 +0.32 +0.10 +0.03 +0.10 +0.02 +0.70 +0.04 +0.77 +0.01


O/PRICE 0.63 1.90 1.06 1.51 1.52 2.39 1.09 7.70 1.38 1.17

C/PRICE 0.60 1.81 1.01 1.44 1.45 2.28 1.04 7.35 1.32 1.12

ries is a monthly programme where leading business executives share their business and life experiences with young professionals. It provides insight into the lives of people who have succeeded in their chosen field and serves as a motivation for others to pursue their ambitions. A range of speakers that include career professionals as well as business people across various sectors are usually invited. Speakers are expected to discuss challenges they have faced, crucial advice they have received, leadership style, philosophies on life as well as general business issues. The structure of the speaker series is a 45 minute interview and a 30 minute session at the end open to the audience for questions and networking.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 300m 244m 400m 452.3m 500m 499,8m


OBB Rate Call Rate

in good working condition so are the roads and other infrastructure,” he said. He said that there is need to focus on agriculture because of the country has enough arable lands that can support commercial farming that will help reduce good scarcity in the country. He said that Heirs Holding is already discussing with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the some states like Ogun, Rivers, Benue among others on how to develop sustainable and viable agriculture development plan in the starts. Speaking with young entrepreneurs in Lagos, Elumelu who is also the Chairman of Heirs Holding, said that there is need for hard work and commitment to excellence to meet set goals. The 90 Minutes Speaker Se-




said the apex bank has maintained the naira in a band of plus or minus three percent around N150 to the dollar at its bi-weekly foreign exchange auctions for more than a year. She admitted that the rate on the interbank market has been more volatile. "The mid-point is still N150. We still want to stay within the band. If the fundamentals require us to change the midpoint we will. We do not think depreciation is in the interest of the economy, because of the high import dependency we have," Alade told Reuters. She said CBN is committed to

moderating inflation, which stands at 11.3 per cent. The monetary stance is one of tightening," Alade said. The naira has witnessed increased volatility in recent months both in the official and parallel markets. She said the surge in forex demand is making it difficult for the apex bank to stabilise the currency. In the official Wholesale Dutch Auction System segment an average of $2.8 billion per month has been demanded in the last five months compared to $1.9 billion per month in the corresponding period in 2010.

CHANGE -0.03 -0.09 -0.05 -0.07 -0.07 -0.11 -0.05 -0.35 -0.06 -0.05

Amount Sold ($) 244m 400m 499.8m

Exchange Rate (N) 153.59 153.4 153.45

Date 06-6-11 23-5-11 16-5-11


Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57

NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

















06-06-11 N8.258tr 25.830.53


January ’11

February ’11

May ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.3%


7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

03-06-11 N8.301tr 25,963.50

% Change -0.52% -0.51%





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

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

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.35 119.45 0.84 1,582.15 9.94 1.00 1.39 1.87 9,199.45 193.00

9.08 1.00 116.81 118.70 0.81 1,576.19 9.46 1.00 1.33 1.80 8,887.66 191.08




Bank P/Court

Previous 04 MAR, 2011

Current 07, MAR, 2011

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833






No of Deals 4 1 22 27


No of Deals 5 27 32

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.50 8.00

Quantity Traded 299,000 200,000 204,850 703,850

Value of Shares (N) 149,500.00 100,000.00 1,687,442.00 1,936,942.00

Quantity Traded 101,747 164,111 265,858

Value of Shares (N) 218,768.70 1,411,037.35 1,629,806.05

AIR SERVICES Quotation(N) 2.20 8.63


No of Deals 1 17 18


No of Deals 293 25 42 28 49 78 424 22 485 56 15 55 10 105 6 8 209 27 33 51 261 2,282


No of Deals 1 77 26 169 273

Quotation(N) 0.50 2.41

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,131 1,565.50 522,033 1,194,935.65 525,164 1,196,501.15

BANKING Quotation(N) 7.51 1.32 6.00 3.90 7.35 2.65 13.48 0.55 16.20 10.21 1.12 1.45 1.01 8.38 1.04 1.81 6.25 2.28 0.91 0.98 15.00

Quantity Traded 18,113,496 811,150 641,050 194,421 9,997,127 3,282,499 5,537,372 1,268,694 9,337,577 1,516,243 303,822 2,112,035 763,800 5,267,562 217,000 422,353 6,290,487 1,650,786 2,285,875 2,898,892 35,355,066 108,267,307

Value of Shares (N) 135,465,690.08 1,070,718.00 3,839,037.00 729,836.80 73,466,929.45 8,581,442.58 74,606,930.97 697,781.70 152,024,843.06 15,613,065.58 340,280.64 3,062,450.75 771,438.00 43,961,909.50 225,680.00 764,458.93 38,829,344.57 3,763,792.08 2,087,054.25 2,890,726.76 530,420,842.90 1,093,214,253.60

Quantity Traded 5,000 92,574 750,981 915,218 1,763,773

Value of Shares (N) 20,250.00 23,066,159.80 4,885,232.83 83,962,672.54 111,934,315.17

Quantity Traded 396,223 543,275 37,857 2,250,547 3,227,902

Value of Shares (N) 9,473,567.32 5,533,800.13 4,999,512.27 107,958,841.20 127,965,720.92

Quantity Traded 3,714 102,437 50 106,201

Value of Shares (N) 40,783.24 3,020,867.13 72.50 3,061,722.87

Quantity Traded 10,000 239,400 249,400

Value of Shares (N) 5,000.00 710,215.05 715,215.05

BREWERIES Quotation(N) 4.05 251.00 6.77 92.00


No of Deals 64 47 9 43 163

Quotation(N) 24.45 10.20 132.00 48.00


No of Deals 4 17 1 22

Quotation(N) 11.12 29.49 1.52

NSE steps up demutualisation process ‘We are T HE Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has stepped up the process for the demutualisation of the Exchange with the constitution of a special committee to address all issues relating to the successful completion of the exercise. Executive Director, IT and Market Operations of the NSE, Mr Ade Bajomo yesterday said demutualisation remained the key agenda of the council of the NSE, adding that the council was focused on concluding the process. Demutualisation involves the conversion of the NSE from its current status as a non-profit company limited by guarantee to a publicly quoted company with the shares available to the general investing public. Bajomo said the NSE was determined to implement a thorough process that would demonstrate the transparency and credibility of the conversion using the right procedures and right people. He added that the NSE would also focus on building the integrity and transparency of the market by ensuring that appropriate structures, rules, regulation and enforcements are put in place. He said the NSE would in-

No of Deals 1 13 14

Quotation(N) 0.50 2.89

No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 1.38

Quantity Traded 100 100

Value of Shares (N) 132.00 132.00


No of Deals 2 39 1 62 37 68 209


No of Deals 6 15 1 22

Quotation(N) 2.20 35.70 7.48 0.90 40.95 27.20

Quantity Traded 31,000 162,334 300 6,795,100 170,743 577,611 7,737,088

Value of Shares (N) 68,200.00 5,719,009.89 2,133.00 6,068,594.00 6,851,250.20 15,830,804.75 34,539,991.84

Quantity Traded 21,500 355,319 30,000 406,819

Value of Shares (N) 87,290.00 19,704,181.05 109,200.00 19,900,671.05

Quantity Traded 150,000 150,000

Value of Shares (N) 108,000.00 108,000.00

Quantity Traded 25,795 688,392 5,363,212 963,737 1,807,190 404,400 664,768 46,982 16,411 260,400 32,208 10,273,495

Value of Shares (N) 1,215,852.00 13,957,389.30 98,839,107.91 13,515,279.68 162,640,467.69 1,794,380.50 4,230,123.22 1,670,067.54 6,577,215.32 131,720.00 20,935.20 304,592,538.36

Quantity Traded 116,050 17,590 262,623 10,000 406,263

Value of Shares (N) 228,778.78 463,212.50 1,022,088.75 17,800.00 1,731,880.03

CONSTRUCTION Quotation(N) 4.27 55.50 3.47


No of Deals 3 3

Quotation(N) 0.72


No of Deals 15 59 102 84 59 25 34 13 40 5 2 438


No of Deals 9 14 25 1 49

Quotation(N) 46.00 20.00 18.35 14.00 90.00 4.51 6.27 35.50 400.49 0.52 0.66

HEALTHCARE Quotation(N) 1.99 27.10 3.90 1.87


No of Deals 1 29 5 35

Quotation(N) 3.05 1.44 4.53

Quantity Traded 2,000 1,372,522 500 1,375,022

Value of Shares (N) 6,100.00 2,009,880.76 2,155.00 2,018,135.76

Quantity Traded 2,000 57,897 59,897

Value of Shares (N) 15,600.00 328,687.67 344,287.67


No of Deals 1 9 10

Quotation(N) 8.20 5.83


No of Deals 18 18


No of Deals 46 19 11 9 17 1 10 18 6 5 4 2

Quotation(N) 0.60

Quantity Traded 5,705,045 5,705,045

Value of Shares (N) 3,433,219.35 3,433,219.35

Quantity Traded 6,080,381 8,191,000 1,138,500 749,500 365,000 50,000 584,262 1,888,369 75,000 421,000 1,063,500 40,000

Value of Shares (N) 5,313,387.40 8,215,060.00 3,302,810.89 374,750.00 595,052.00 25,000.00 299,503.50 981,275.68 55,750.00 715,065.61 531,750.00 20,000.00

INSURANCE Quotation(N) 0.89 1.06 2.81 0.50 1.60 0.50 0.51 0.52 0.76 1.70 0.50 0.50

commence the deployment of more advanced technology that will support leading-edge, time-sensitive, high speed trade execution like other advanced markets. He said the NSE is progressing with a major transformation that will enable it to once again play a pivotal role in the economic development of Nigeria . “We are poised to achieve our aspiration of becoming the gateway to the African frontier markets. Significant investment is being made to improve our operational efficiency, through the introduction of new products and leveraging on latest technology. “We are also actively engaging our broader stakeholder groups to rebuild the much needed market confidence,” Manu said.



crease its product ranges to deepen and improve the liquidity of the market. “The operational efficiency and new technology on an end to end bases right from the client all the way to settlement in terms of the whole processing and automations is what is going to be our focus in the next five years. “We want to use that to build the foundation, which allows us to leapfrog into the future,” Bajomo said. He said the Exchange is largely equity based now but authorities are working on introducing securities lending, which will allow operators to do some kinds of short selling “But we will not go as far as a naked short selling. We are very keen in introducing that kind of product. We want to bring in options into the market as well, we want to have proper market makers in the market and we have a couple of other initiatives we are looking at,” Bajomo added. Meanwhile, the Interim President of NSE, Mallam Ballama Manu, yesterday said the NSE would soon



poised to achieve our aspiration of becoming the gateway to the African frontier markets’

Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire


1 149


Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 10 10


No of Deals 65 65


No of Deals 3 23 26

12,000 20,658,512

6,120.00 20,435,525.08

LEASING Quotation(N) 1.19

Quantity Traded 344,760 344,760

Value of Shares (N) 399,866.40 399,866.40

Quotation(N) 1.25

Quantity Traded 1,962,206 1,962,206

Value of Shares (N) 2,460,411.98 2,460,411.98

Quotation(N) 0.51 0.50

Quantity Traded 400,000 362,100 762,100

Value of Shares (N) 204,000.00 181,050.00 385,050.00

Quantity Traded 1,000 5,800,000 522,300 6,323,300

Value of Shares (N) 500.00 2,900,000.00 287,265.00 3,187,765.00

Quantity Traded 22,717 22,717

Value of Shares (N) 11,358.50 11,358.50

Quantity Traded 952,405 100 10,000 500 963,005

Value of Shares (N) 2,405,942.77 1,208.00 12,100.00 1,390.00 2,420,640.77

Quantity Traded 193,013 222,350 14,158 40,985 153,520 38,257 835,842 8,505 1,506,630

Value of Shares (N) 3,985,157.80 111,175.00 985,672.00 1,634,891.65 749,231.80 5,999,884.25 44,118,400.85 1,662,827.79 59,247,241.14

Quantity Traded 73,562 73,562

Value of Shares (N) 374,489.30 374,489.30

Quantity Traded 53,262 53,262

Value of Shares (N) 932,253.20 932,253.20

Quantity Traded 5,000 10,000 15,000

Value of Shares (N) 500,000.00 500,000.00 1,000,000.00

Quantity Traded 69,000 69,000

Value of Shares (N) 44,160.00 44,160.00

Quantity Traded 3,339 3,339

Value of Shares (N) 2,014.15 2,014.15

Quotation(N) 15.00

Quantity Traded 454,000 454,000

Value of Shares (N) 6,798,085.00 6,798,085.00






No of Deals 1 6 11 18

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.50 0.55


No of Deals 1 1


No of Deals 55 1 1 1 58

Quotation(N) 0.50

PACKAGING Quotation(N) 2.58 12.71 1.27 2.92


No of Deals 51 7 9 27 15 18 95 17 239

Quotation(N) 21.35 0.50 72.00 39.89 4.95 163.49 53.00 195.50


No of Deals 13 13


No of Deals 11 11

Quotation(N) 4.99

REAL ESTATE Quotation(N) 18.16


Quotation(N) 97.00 50.00


No of Deals 6 6


No of Deals 3 3

Quotation(N) 0.67

TEXTILES Quotation(N) 0.62


No of Deals 23 23





Bulgarian UN air crew freed in Sudan


HREE Bulgarian air crew members working for the United Nations in Sudan have been set free six months after they were kidnapped in Darfur. The three men appeared to be in good health, according to the UN World Food Programme, which denied paying a ransom for their release. They are to be flown to the capital, Khartoum, and then home to Bulgaria. Attacks on aid workers have hampered efforts to help thousands of people who have fled their homes in Darfur. The three Bulgarians were seized in January by armed men about 75km (45 miles ) south-east of Geneina, capital of Western Darfur province. There has been a recent surge in violence in Darfur after a relative lull in recent years. Human Rights Watch (HRW) says this has been ignored, while the world’s attention has been on the separate dispute in South Sudan, which is set to gain independence in July. HRW says some 70,000 people have been forced from their homes in Darfur since September. The UN says some 300,000 people have died during the eightyear conflict between black African rebel groups and Arab militias in Darfur. The government says this figure has been exaggerated and the true figure of deaths from the conflict is 12,000.

Ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges


HE former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Khan, has entered a plea of not guilty in a New York court to charges of attempted rape and sexual assault. The 62-year-old Frenchman is accused of assaulting a maid at the Manhattan hotel where he was staying on 14 May. The complainant’s lawyer said outside court she “just wants justice”. Mr Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer said there had been “no element of compulsion” in the incident between the two parties. His next court date is set for 18 July.

The former finance chief who faces up to 25 years in prison if found guilty - arrived at New York Supreme Court on Monday with his wife, the French television journalist Anne Sinclair. A group of hotel workers shouted, “Shame on you!”, in a show of solidarity with the maid who accuses him of attacking her. She has not been idenitifed, but is known to be a 32-yearold single mother and immigrant worker from the West African country of Guinea. Hotel workers protest outside the New York court. Several dozen hotel workers were taken by a union-organised bus to protest outside the

court The accused spoke in a firm voice only twice: to enter his plea, and to confirm his next appearance. Defence lawyer Ben Brafman said outside court after the brief hearing: “It will be clear that there was no element of forcible compulsion in this case whatsoever. “Any suggestion to the contrary is simply not credible.” Mr Brafman has defended a string of high-profile clients, including Michael Jackson. The complainant’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said outside court: “It was a terrible sex assault on an innocent woman. She’s going to come to the court house.

DHL plane crashes in Gabon A DHL cargo plane has crashed in the Central African nation of Gabon, where police rescued the crew with speedboats. The plane went down yesterday morning, coming to rest with its nose buried in the low tide just off the coast near a major high school. Authorities at the scene who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the press said the four-man crew had survived and had been taken to a local hospital. An Associated Press photographer at the scene said DHL agents also were present. The plane came to rest in the shallow banks of the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast-hugging highway that traverses Gabon’s capital, Libreville. Because it was low tide, the plane was not fully submerged.

Yemeni injured president to return home EMENI President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who underwent surgery in Saudi Arabia for a shrapnel wound, would return to Yemen within days, his vice president said on Monday. ”The president was improving, recovering and would return to the homeland in the coming days,” Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, now the country’s acting leader, was quoted as saying by the state news agency Saba. Hadi said he spoke with Saleh on Sunday evening and yesterday morning by telephone, Saba said. Saleh’s departure over the weekend brought celebrations by the crowds of protesters who have been trying for months to oust him after nearly 33 years in power. The celebrations continued into yesterday, as fireworks lit up the sky across many cities overnight. In Sanaa, men, women and children poured into what protesters have dubbed “Change Square,” as patriotic songs blared. “You could see happiness painted on everyone’s faces,” one resident of the capital said. Another demonstrator said: “It’s impossible for us to let (Saleh) come back. And those of his people who are still here had better follow him to Saudi.” .Meanwhile, a cease-fire in Yemen’s capital was at risk of unraveling Monday as regime supporters opened fire on opposition fighters in renewed clashes that killed at least six. The leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain called on Monday for all sides in Yemen to respect the truce, brokered by Saudi Arabia and aimed at halting fighting that has killed more than 200 people.


•Mr. Strauss-Kahn (right) and his lawyers.... yesterday

Anti-govt protesters in Syria kill 40 policemen FORTY Syrian policemen have died in attacks in the north-western town of Jisr al-Shughour, state TV reports. Most of the dead were said to have been killed in an ambush “by armed gangs”, said the report. The news follows a weekend of unrest in the town, as troops crack down on antigovernment protests that have swept the country. At least 35 people, including police, were killed there on Sunday, unconfirmed reports say. Foreign media are greatly restricted in Syria and the details cannot be independently verified.

“She’s going to tell the truth. What she wants is justice. She is a woman of dignity and respect. She’s not courting publicity.” Monday’s formal plea before Judge Michael Obus sets the stage for a lengthy trial process, which is likely to start in the autumn. New York police arrested Mr Strauss-Kahn hours after the alleged assault on a plane that was about to take off for Paris. He was charged on 15 May on seven counts, including attempted rape, criminal sexual assault, sex abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.


Five US soldiers killed in central Iraq


IVE United States soldiers have been killed in central Iraq, the US military has said. Iraqi security sources said there had been a rocket attack, with other reports saying the target was on the outskirts of Baghdad. The BBC correspondent says the US military has suffered its single most serious incident in Iraq in over two years. Elsewhere in the country on Monday, at least 21 people were killed in twin bomb attacks, one on a mosque, in the northern city of Tikrit. US fatalities in Iraq have been rare since Washington officially ended combat operations in the country last Au-

gust, leaving about 45,000 troops. The role of the US army, which is due to pull out of Iraq on 31 December, is to advise and help the security forces. The military statement simply read: “Five US service members were killed Monday in central Iraq.” The names of the deceased are being withheld until next of kin have been informed. Agence France-Presse news agency quoted an interior ministry official and an Iraqi police officer as saying five rockets had struck the Camp Victory base on the edge of Baghdad. The Iraqi officials also told AFP that two apparent insur-

gents were found dead outside the base, apparently killed by their own rockets exploding in their vehicle. Neither report has been confirmed. However, Associated Press news agency said the Americans were killed in their living quarters on an Iraqi base, where they had been serving as advisers. The independent icasualties count of US service member fatalities in Iraq now stands at 4,459. A large number of the 45,000 US troops in Iraq are due to leave in the summer. However, during a visit in April, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said American

troops could, if required by Iraq, stay in the country beyond the withdrawal date of the year end. Violence has reduced in Iraq over the past few years, but there are still regular attacks and bombings. In Tikrit yesterday, a bomb exploded outside a mosque during Friday prayers, killing 16 people. Hours later, a suicide bomber attacked the hospital where the injured had been taken, killing another five. Our correspondent says Monday’s three attacks will again raise questions about how the Iraqi forces will cope once the Americans are gone.

First man ‘functionally cured’ of HIV


F the reports of the United Nations (UN) are anything to go by, then no fewer than 30 million people have died from the Human Immuno Virus (HIV) since the deadly virus was discovered some 30 years ago. The scourge continues to spread at the rate of 7,000 people per day globally. Much as scientists all over the world have tried, there has not been much good news

when it comes to the devastating virus. Till date, the virus can only be prevented. Its cure has not been invented. Perhaps, that is why the story of the man scientists call the “Berlin patient” is so remarkable and has generated so much excitement among the HIV advocacy community. Timothy Ray Brown, suffered from both leukemia and HIV when he received a bone

marrow stem cell transplant in Berlin, Germany in 2007. The transplant came from a man who was immune to HIV, which scientists say about one percent of Caucasians are. (According to San Francisco’s CBS affiliate, the trait may be passed down from ancestors who became immune to the plague centuries ago. This Wired story says it was more likely passed down from people who be-

came immune to a smallpoxlike disease.) What happened next has stunned the dozens of scientists who are closely monitoring Brown: His HIV went away. “He has no replicating virus and he isn’t taking any medication. And he will now probably never have any problems with HIV,” his doctor, Gero Huetter, told Reuters. Brown now lives in the

Bay Area and suffers from some mild neurological difficulties after the operation. “It makes me very happy,” he says of the incredible cure. The development of antiretroviral drugs in the 1990s was the first sign of hope in the epidemic, transforming the disease from a sudden killer to a more manageable illness that could be lived with for decades. But still, the miraculous cocktail of drugs is





Libyan rebels retake town in West F OLLOWING a series of NATO airstrikes, rebel forces retook the western mountain town of Yafran yesterday, breaking a monthlong siege by forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, news agencies reported. The western mountain region is the home territory for Libya’s minority Berbers, who have chafed under the rule of Colonel Qaddafi and rose up against his forces when the uprising began. In recent months, loyalist forces have besieged several cities in the region, including the largest, Zintan, which rebel forces said was coming under attack on Monday, Reuters said. NATO planes and attack helicopters battered targets around Tripoli early yester-

day and the oil port of Brega on Sunday, in an intensifying effort to break a stalemate in a conflict that is already in its fourth month, and in the third month of NATO airstrikes. In Brussels, the secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said yesterday that he intended to use the occasion of a ministerial meeting on Wednesday to ask more member countries to contribute to the offensive against the Qaddafi regime, The Associated Press reported. “Obviously, some of those allies and partners carrying the heavy burden start to ask whether it would be possible

to broaden the participation a bit,” Mr. Rasmussen said at a news briefing. “That is a point I will focus on at the defense ministers’ meeting.” But Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, returning Sunday from a brief visit to the rebel headquarters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, hinted at concern in Western capitals about what might come after the toppling of Colonel Qaddafi. Mr. Hague said he had pressed the rebel leaders to make early progress on a more detailed plan for a post-Qaddafi government that would include sharing power with some of Colonel Qaddafi’s loyalists.

Hundreds still missing in Libya’s boat accident


T least 26 bodies have been recovered from the sea after a Libyan trawler got into trouble last week, but hundreds are still missing, according to Tunisia’s state-run TAP news agency. Bad weather is preventing the recovery of more bodies, the head of the Sfax coast guard told TAP yesterday. The agency did not name the official. As many as 270 Libyan refugees were missing in the Mediterranean Sea after the overcrowded boat they were in encountered bad weather, the Tunisian state-run TAP news agency reported last week. The Tunisian coast guard responded to the rescue call regarding the fishing trawler, which became

disabled Wednesday night near the Kerkennah Islands. The ship was reportedly taking some 800 refugees from Libya to the Italian island of Lampedusa, TAP reported. Between 200 and 270 people were missing, while 577 people were rescued, the coast guard official told TAP yesterday. People on the boat began pushing each other in a panic to reach the lifeboats when they ran into high waves and winds, TAP said. Lampedusa, the closest Italian island to Africa, has become a destination for tens of thousands of refugees seeking to enter the European Union.

UN admits peacekeepers failed in Sudan clashes

•Sudanese President Omar Bashir

HE United Nations has admitted peacekeepers were wrong to stay in barracks during recent fighting between northern and southern Sudan that left scores of people dead and caused tens of thousands to flee. General Babacar Gaye, the UN peacekeeping department’s top military adviser, found that “we could have and should have had more visibility to deter any violence against civilians,” a spokesman said. The fighting and continued tensions over the fertile, oilrich Abyei region have raised fears of renewed civil war a month before southern Sudan secedes from the north. UN diplomats reportedly criticised the peacekeepers


PUBLIC NOTICE In The High Court of Ogun state, In The Ota Judicial Division Holden at Ota. Suit NO HCT/77/2010 Between Mrs Oluwakemi Olusola Isah .....Petitioner and Mr. Yakubu Muhammed Isah ... Respondent. Request To Set Undefended Suit Down For Trial Under Order XI Rule 39[1] &[2] of Matrimonial Causes Rule 1983. I, J. T. Ogunniyi Esq. the Solicitor for the Petitioner Certify that this Suit is ready for trial and request that this Suit be set down for trial. At the trial of the Suit, it is proposed to call, as witnesses, the Petitioner and any other witnesses who resides within jurisdiction. No proceedings, other than proceedings comprising this Suit, are pending in this Court between the Petitioner and the Respondent. In my opinion, a certificate of means is unnecessary. The probable length of trial is one day.Dated this May 17, 2011.

from Zambia for failing to carry out their mandate to patrol and protect civilians last month. “They locked themselves up for a couple of days,” one was quoted as saying by Reuters. “They were then instructed to come out of their barracks and start patrolling, but they had already lost a crucial 48 hours.” One senior diplomat described their performance as pathetic, Reuters reported. The failings were confirmed when Gaye visited the unit. Michel Bonnardeaux, public affairs officer for the

UN department of peacekeeping operations, said: “The military adviser went to Sudan to meet the force commander and troops on the ground. “He found that we could have and should have had more visibility to deter any violence against civilians and the destruction of property. He has given the appropriate guidance to the force commander and troops to be more proactive and visible.” The UN Missions in Sudan (Unmis) troops were themselves under fire at their base, Bonnardeaux added.

Moroccans demonstrate against killing of protester


HOUSANDS poured into the streets of Rabat to condemn the death of a protester and to demand an end to the country-wide government crackdown on peaceful demonstrations. “We are here today to protest the murder of Khaled alAmari,” said a 40-year-old Rabat resident who did not give her name out of fear of the authorities. “But we are also here because we demand

dignity, democracy and freedom. This repression must end.” Last Thursday, 30-year-old Khaled al-Amari, a member of Morocco’s main opposition group, died after reportedly suffering a severe beating at the hands of police during a protest in the city of Safi. Officers deny that his death was a direct result of police violence, despite eyewitness accounts that he was severely beaten.

PUBLIC NOTICE LIFE TRANSFORMING BIBLE CHURCH The General public is hereby informed that the above named Ministry has applied to the corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja , for registration under part “C” of the companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 1990. The Trustees are: 1) Apostle Nwachukwu Sunday 2) Pastor Mrs. Nwachukwu Ngozi 3) Pastor Ugochukwu Obioma 4) Mr. Innocent Iheke 5) Mr. Ifeanyi Obioma The Aims and Objectives 1) For the propagation of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 2) To serve as fore-runner of the second coming of Jesus Christ by creating awareness about his second coming.

Sign J.T. Ogunniyi Esq. J.T.Ogunniyi & Co, 105, Lagos -Abeokuta Motor Road, Ifo, Ogun State.

Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registration-General Corporate Affairs Commission Plot 565, Ndola Square Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, within twenty eight days (28 days) of the publication.

Respondent to take notice and for further information please call 08023414567 or 07039764643.









Akpoborie backs anti-violence campaign F

ORMER Super Eagles striker Jonathan Akpoborie has thrown his weight behind the 1-GAME football without violence campaign saying it was necessary for the growth of the game. The former VFL Wolfsburg and VFB Stuttgart forward informed 1 GAME founder Philip Obaji of his pledge to the campaign from his base in

Karlsruhe. “I am glad to be part of 1 GAME. It gives me satisfaction to see that this campaign is committed to eradicating football violence at all levels. I have been part of this initiative from the onset but it’s a different feeling to speak about my involvement to the entire world.” The 42-year old explained that he had been impressed

•Akpoborie during his days in the Super Eagles

with the ground breaking innovations of the campaign insisting that football violence would soon be kicked out if the trend is maintained. Akpoborie revealed that he had spoken to a number of his friends about the initiative. “What 1 GAME is doing is great and very necessary for football development. We all must support this initiative. I will speak about it to my friends and colleagues in Germany and Switzerland and I am sure they see it as a brilliant idea,” he said. Meanwhile NFF president Aminu Maigari has also added his voice in support of the 1 GAME anti violence crusade. Maigari who has since signed up with 1 GAME said the founder should be encouraged to succeed in the project. “Obaji must be commended. He has done well and must be encouraged. The federation will do everything in its powers to encourage people with ideas that will help the growth of the game,” Maigari told The 1-GAME campaign was founded in June 2010 with the aim of combating violence and fanaticism in football.

LSFA plans divisional FA Elections


S part of its plan to effectively take football to the greatest height through grassroot football development; the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) is set to hold elections into the 5 Divisional Football Association in the state scheduled tentatively for 30th June, 2011. The divisions are; Badagry, Ikeja, Lagos State Divisional, Epe and Ikorodu. At a joint meeting of the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) board, LSFA Electoral

Officials and Chiarmen and Secretaries of Divisional Football Associations held Monday, the board charged the divisions to ensure that credible candidates are elected into office and not just anybody who has no interest in the game. Tade Azeez; Vice Chairman, LSFA who chaired the meeting informed the board will not interfere in the election process and pledged that the board will support the electoral committee to do a thorough job as done during the

elections into the LSFA board. And while speaking; the chairman, electoral committee Alhaji Tijani Abdulazeez having assured of conducting a free and fair election solicited for the cooperation of the secretaries of all the divisional football associations. He informed that elections guidelines would be made available by next week Monday as well as election forms which will be available at the LSFA secretariat at Onikan Stadium.

Lagos set for NBBF/DSTv Basketball Championship


ASKETBALL fans in Nigeria will be thrilled to the best of the game when the Nigeria Basketball Ball Fedration (NBBF) in conjunction with broadcast giants, Digital Settelite Setellite Television (DSTV) brings to living rooms some exciting Basketball, so says the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the Backetball Championship taggged 'Lagos 2011' According to the LOC, the competition slated for June 20th to 27th will involve the final eight basketball teams, and will be hosted by Lagos State, the 2011 edition is going to be the best in the history of the tournament.

By Innocent Amomoh Chairman of the LOC, Babs Ogunade, told NationSport at the weekend that renovations had already started at the indoor sports hall of National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos ahead of the June 20 commencement date of the Championship.“We are calling on all Nigerians, private and corporate bodies to assist us in ensuring that this tournament live up to expectations by partnering with us in this project. Already, we have started renovation works at the indoor sports hall and we hope to complete it before the commencement of the cham-

pionship,” Ogunade said. A member of the Local Organising Committee, Ayo Bakare, however said all efforts are being made to ensure a quality officiating during the competition. “We are not going to have any problem with officials because there will be code of conduct for every team that will take part in the championship and I should also tell you that we are going to use elite referees in all the games, so we are confident that we are not going to have any problem with the standard of officiating,” Bakare added.

Baywood tournament dazzles Ikoyi golfers


T was fun all the way as the maiden edition of Baywood golf tournament holed out at the golf section of Ikoyi club on Saturday. Being the first of its kind in the section, the Baywood golf competition turned out to be a carnival of some sort even as entertained golfers admitted the day will linger in their mind for time to come. On hand to make the day even better was female drummer ‘Ara’ who added pep to the show as Akin Kogi reeled out names of the winners in the competition. Playing in his first competition this year, Dr. Stanley Majoroh played well as he emerged the overall winner of the Baywood golf competition.

To come top in his category, Majoroh carded a net score of 73, winning by 1-shot the field of 160-players. In his victory speech, Majoroh informed the sponsor, Chris Baywood Ibe was the force behind his success. According him, shaking the hand of the sponsors before teeing off was the tonic that helped him win the game. While Stanley smiled away with the trophies staked in the net category, former Inspector General of Police Sunday Ehindero came in the second position. His 74-net score over 18-holes placed him the behind winner while he defeated Dave Eguare on countback. Eguare also signed for a net

score of 74. Unesh Chandwany was further down on the winners chart at 75net score while former captain of the golf section Rasheed Ayinde Sanni completed the top five in the net category. The gross category has Paul Danjuma atop the winners chart after an 80-gross score. Chief Executive officer of OK Computer, Remi Olukoya ducked in the second position, while Dr. C. Ekeocha came third. Other winners in the keenly contested event are former Group Managing Director of Union Bank, Gat Oboh who won in the veteran category after a net score of 78, followed closely by A. C Malhotra, 79 and Mr. Afilaka 81.





HE Nigeria Football Federation has assured the Government and good people of Nigeria that the National senior football team, Super Eagles will qualify for next year’s African Cup of Nations finals slated for Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu said in Abuja that the Federation and the Super Eagles’ technical crew realise the enormity of work that must be done, following Sunday’s 2-2 draw in Ethiopia and Guinea’s 4-1



Falcons defeats Czech Republic 1-0 in friendly


NDER fire Falcons coach Uche Eucharia can now taken a relief breath after a fiercely contested friendly match, played in Kossen, Austria, the Falcons beat the Czech Republic 1-0. In the 49th minute, the Czech goalie failed to spot Glory Iroka's screamer. After the goal, it was one-way traffic as the Falcons' dictated the tempo of the game and tamed the Czech attackers. Last Sunday, the Falcons defeated FC Wacker Innsbruck, an Austrian Bundesliga II side by 7-0. Eucharia and her girls will play two more exhibition games: on Wednesday, 8 June, in Leogang against Austria, and on 16 June in Eugendorf against Slovakia.


We’ll ‘kill’ Tanzanians in Nigeria — Igiebor

NFF: Eagles will qualify D thrashing of Madagascar in Conakry. “We are fully aware of the huge task at hand and we are ready to face and conquer that particular task. Nigeria must be one of the 16 teams that will participate at the 28th African Cup of Nations to be co-hosted by Gabon and

All set Kanu’s Testimonial Match

RRANGEMENTS are now concluded for Saturday’s showpiece Testimonial Match for former Super Eagles’ skipper and Ambassador of Nigeria football, Nwankwo Kanu. According to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the match between Friends of Kanu and Super Eagles’ All-Stars will take place at the 25,000-capacity Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on Saturday, June 11. Among Kanu’s friends expected are Ghanaian midfield ace, Michael Essien, Cote d’Ivoire’s inimitable forward Didier Drogba and France’s 1998 World Cup winning defender, Marcel Dessaily, of Ghanaian descent. Sports-loving Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State will captain the Super Eagles’ All-Stars. The governor has also approved the free use of the Teslim Balogun Stadium for the showpiece. NFF officials confirmed on Monday that the Friends of Kanu coming from abroad have already secured their entry visas into Nigeria, while match tickets are almost ready. Tickets for the V.I.P section will go for N3,000 only while other seat will be available for N500 each. NFF will provide technical officials for the two teams, as well


as security and medical items. It will also provide match officials. Arrangements have been concluded for live telecast of the match by Supersport and AIT.

Equatorial Guinea early next year. That is non-negotiable. “This week, the NFF’s top hierarchy and Super Eagles’ Coach, Mr. Samson Siasia will sit down and look at all the challenges that are involved now and every step will be taken to overcome those challenges before the next game against Madagascar in Antananarivo in September. “We did our best for the team to earn a win in Addis Ababa on Sunday, but unfortunately, the match ended in a draw and that means more work for everyone involved. We are ready to do that work in order to ensure Nigeria’s

flag is flown in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea next year”, said Amadu. The 2-2 draw in Addis Ababa and Guinea’s emphatic 4-1 win over Madagascar in Conakry means Nigeria remain in second place in Group B with seven points, three adrift of leaders Guinea, who have also have a better goals difference of plus seven as against Nigeria plus five. The Eagles next square up against bottom team Madagascar away in Antananarivo on September 3 before hosting leaders Guinea on October 9 in Abuja.

REAM Team’s and Lillestrom of Norway Midfielder, Nosa Igiebor has declared that he and his team mates will ‘kill’ the Vijana stars of Tanzania when both sides clash in the second leg London 2012 Olympics qualifier billed for June 18 in Benin, Edo State. The Nigerians tutored by Augustine Eguavoen lost 1 – 0 to the East Africans in Dares-Salaam in the first leg played on Sunday and will need to beat their opponents by a two-goal margin in Nigeria when both clash and Igiebor said, the Tanzanians will be destroyed on the pitch of play. He said: “I know Nigerians are disappointed right now. There is no excuse for failure, we failed and I apologies to Nigerians on behalf of my colleagues but I also want to promise Nigerians that the return leg will be a different ball game. “We just want to promise them

By Olusoji Olukayode that we are going to ‘kill’ them from the blast of the whistle. For everything that happened in Dares-Salaam we have learnt our lessons and we are happy that we have a chance to correct our mistakes” Nosa added. The former FC Abuja player however blamed his side for their loss to their opponents in the first leg, stating that they underrated their hosts in the encounter. “It’s sad, it’s kind of difficult to say but I think the main point here is that we underrated the boys and that's just the truth about it,” he said. He went on “When we looked at them we thought we won the game even before it started. They had their only chance and they scored. I think we under rated the boys that’s just the big problem there.” Both teams meet on June 18 in Nigeria for the return leg.


VOL. 6


WHO SAID WHAT ‘It is for him (Jonathan) to focus on the people and the nation rather than focus on partisan politics. If he is not careful and if he cannot separate that, then they may get him confused. If, by mistake, we participate in such a government, then, we will carry and share the problem’ ASIWAJU BOLA TINUBU



T is early yet in the new dispensation, but the news from Abuja and many state capitals about some of the depredations of the old order is more than indicative that what often passed for governance and law-making was a calendar of scandal. Consider, for a start, the business of lawmaking in Abuja. Everyone knows how, from the inauguration of the National Assembly in 1999.its members appropriated unto themselves hefty allowances for furniture, wardrobe, entertainment, hardship, and so on. It was as if the nation owed them a living of opulence and splendour. They assigned unto themselves for every purpose under the sun cars purchased at inflated prices, only to sell the same cars to themselves at obscene discounts. What they could not get by blackmailing the Executive Branch, they acquired by legislative sleight of hand, including palatial homes that once served as their official residence. The best estimate put the cost to the Nigerian taxpayer of maintaining a legislator for three months at N27 million, or roughly N2.25 million a week, for staging desultory meetings that take up six months of the year. Deeming this recompense inadequate, they raised it to N42 million per quarter based on the recommendation of a 37-member Committee. It would be hard to find a grosser example of insider dealing. It is mark of the perversity of the National Assembly that it christened members of the committee “37 Wise Men.” When the official appropriations could not cover the increase, House Speaker Dimeji Bankole, it has been reported, took a bank loan of N10 billion to fund it, giving the body over which he presided until last week the dubious distinction of being the only one of its kind run on credit.. But another claim has it that Bankole had taken the bank loan to buy prime real estate in Lagos in the name of a surrogate. It is not entirely clear whether he had invoked the National Assembly’s name to obtain the loan, or had done so on his own recognisance. It is however beyond dispute that both the Speaker and the House ended their terms mired in high scandal. Bankole, once the fourth most powerful person in the official hierarchy – so powerful that he threatened to unleash the Nigerian army on the people of Ekiti to ensure that the PDP kept the Ekiti gubernatorial mandate it had stolen – ranked perhaps highest on the EFCC’s “Most Wanted” list. Even granting him the usual presumption of innocence until he is proven guilty, it has to be said that his tenure as Speaker ended as perhaps the most inglorious since the return



Ways of departing ‘His predecessors ended up ingloriously in their own ways, but none of them was quarantined on the suspicion that he or she might flee from justice. None suffered the ignominy of actual arrest in the investigation of a crime’ •Daniel


to representative government. His predecessors ended up ingloriously in their own ways, but none of them was quarantined on the suspicion that he or she might flee from justice. None suffered the ignominy of actual arrest in the investigation of a crime. Nor did the House mend its ill repute when, in its final session, it absolved Bankole’s predecessor, Patricia Etteh, of the reckless misconduct that resulted in her being ousted in a pitched battle on the House floor between the self-styled “Integrity Group” which demanded her resignation, and the so-called “National Interest Group” which supported her continuing in office. Integrity won the battle but lost the war. In any case, it remained funereally silent thereafter, and was nowhere to be found when the House absolved Etteh of a welldocumented misconduct that dominated the headlines for weeks. So much for Integrity. In Oyo State, the out-going governor carried on as if he had just been handed a fresh mandate by an overwhelming majority when


...infact he should have been CAPTURED

he had in fact been roundly defeated. He made sweeping changes in the chieftaincy hierarchy, appointed and promoted public servants to the highest ranks of the bureaucracy, packed the civil service, and most cynically approved the official minimum wage of N18,000 that he had been loath to implement during his tenure. It would be hard to conceive of a more lethal chalice. Poor Abiola Ajimobi. The ultimate prize for bad faith, for bringing the high office of governor into utter disrepute, belongs unquestionably to “Daani elebo,” or Daniel the Fetishist, who lorded it over Ogun State for eight years and fled to the UK for a “well-deserved rest” just before his tenure – and his immunity – ended. Daniel’s fate should remind those holding the levers of power that it is not how well you start but how well you end. In the beginning, he mouthed the progressive doctrine and followed its agenda to the point that he could claim, with some plausibility that, though elected on the platform of the PDP, he was actualising the Alliance for



HE election of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from Sokoto State as the Speaker of the 7th session of the House of Representatives is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it is a sign of how weakened the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become. It is also shows that no matter how powerful the office of president might be, its present occupant, Goodluck Jonathan, still has to earn the right to be feared. So overwhelming were the numbers of the members of the ruling party in the last session of the House that it could afford to ram its way through on most issues – even in a chamber notorious for its independent ways. No more. The loss of Mulikat AkandeAdeola - candidate of PDP and the presidency – is a humiliating defeat for party and president. What has happened shows extreme naivete. In the face of grossly diminished representation Jonathan and his foot soldiers failed to read the mood in the House properly. With the enhanced presence of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and other opposition parties, it was always a possibility that an alliance with a rebellious rump of the ruling party would deal the official candidate a bloody nose.

Democracy (AD) project. Some even got so carried away by his rhetoric and his posturing that they held him up as a re-incarnation of the Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Those who saw through the sham regarded it as sacrilege to mention Awolowo and Daniel in the same breath. Today, that comparison must be regarded as pure blasphemy When Daniel threatened to banish the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adetoun Gbadebo, for daring to call attention to the deplorable state of the township roads in Abeokuta and prominent sons and daughters of Egbaland set about propitiating him, I knew they were feeding a monster that would, in a manner of speaking, ultimately devour them. And devour them he did, in short order. His commissioners and senior aides; the Ogun State legislature; the leadership and senior faculty at the state-owned Olabisi Onabanjo University; his godfathers; real and perceived opponents of any hue: He left no one in doubt about who was in charge, and about the fate that awaited them if they ever challenged him or asked inconvenient questions. He left nothing to chance. In his circle, only those who had perfected the art of fawning or dissimulation survived. The other day, I tried a parlour game on some politically savvy friends to determine who among them could name the person who last served as deputy governor of Ogun State. None of them could name the person. Daniel was Ogun State. And like his Oyo soul mate, he passed on a poisoned chalice to his successor, Ibikunle Amosun. That Daniel could virtually abolish the state legislature and carry on the pretence of constitutional rule for the better part of a year through a reptile assembly and still continue to find favour and even preferment with President Jonathan Goodluck who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution casts Jonathan more as a witting enabler of the subversion of the Constitution than as its defender. The house of cards Daniel spent eight years constructing has collapsed in all its ugliness, laying bare the perfidy of its architect and his enablers in the political class and the news media. The Ogun State Assembly he sought to destroy when it would not betray the people has reversed some of the most egregious transactions of his last days in office, condemned to hold his breath while trying to figure out whether it is the EFCC on the line from Lagos, or Scotland Yard pressing the doorbell, armed with extradition papers. Not even his most implacable adversaries could have scripted this ignominious ending. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Tambuwal, zoning and all that The PDP has seen its authority so openly challenged by the legislators. The ball is now rolled back to the party’s court as the world watches how it would react to the revolt by its members in the House. Unfortunately, those who currently run things do not have a whip hand over the ornery lawmakers. Unlike former President Olusegun Obasanjo who is blessed with a long memory and an extraordinary capacity to exact cold revenge, Jonathan and company would probably gorge on humble pie and carry on. He is not the type who would spend sleepless nights plotting the overthrow of the uppity lawmaker who has defied the powers-that-be. But this is not just a one-off humiliation. A complex mix of factors has combined to pave way for the election of Tambuwal. There were angry voices from the SouthEast. All the forces in the North West who were ground under as the incumbency juggernaut rammed the Jonathan presidential candidacy through have exacted their pound of flesh.

Unfortunately the defeat of AkandeAdeola may yet turn out to be a pyrrhic victory for the anti-Jonathan forces. It has now made nonsense of the zoning mechanism they so cherished and desired to see the party maintain. Now we can well and truly say those who pushed Tambuwal within PDP ranks are the pallbearers of pure zoning. The case can now be made that in the ruling party anything goes. The big losers are the South-West wing of the PDP and its godfather, Obasanjo. Virtually annihilated by the rise of ACN in the zone, they are right back to their pre1999 standing within the party. ACN which has learnt from history would rather have a Tambuwal than a South-Western Speaker who could become a thorn in its flesh. Notice is served: Aso Rock can expect a turbulent ride in the House this term. We may very well have witnessed a wake for the last rubber-stamp assembly. The same coalition that defeated the PDP candidate could be activated to frustrate Jonathan’s legislative agenda moving forward.

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The Nation-June 7-2011  
The Nation-June 7-2011  

The Nation-June 7-2011