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News Buhari, CPC blame Dana Air crash on corruption P9 Sports Victor Moses promises more goals for Super EaglesP24 Business NLC seeks review of airlines’ licences after crash P11 www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 7, NO. 2147 TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

148 bodies recovered at Lagos plane crash site Jonathan: it’s setback for reforms Black box recovered

SOME OF THE VICTIMS

•Prof Obot

•Femi Shobowale

•Mr. Sonny Ehioghae

•Adedunni Doherty

•Mrs. Maimuna Shaibu

•Prof. Celestine Onwuliri

•Mallam Mahmud Dukawa •Mrs. Chinwe Obi

•Alvana Ojukwu

•Myindadi Berkisu

•Kunbi Adebiyi

•Wale Eribake

•Aderoju Osunbade

•Ameena Bugaje

•Ike Abubu

•Damcida

•Vivian

•Oluchi

•Rev Ayodeji Cole

•Maimuna Anyene

By Yinka Aderibigbe, Kelvin Osa-Okunbor and Wale Adepoju

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LL was calm and gloomy yesterday in Iju-Ishaga on the outskirts of Lagos, where Dana Air flight 9J-922 went down on Sunday. Rescue operations have given way to investigation – on how and why the aircraft crashed. It was, also, time for relatives of victims to begin the terrible but necessary task of identifying their loved ones among the piles of bodies – 148, as at 8.30pm- taken to the morgue. All 153 people on board died in the crash. An unspecified number of people died on the ground as the plane crashed into buildings. Family members of victims were at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja to identify the bodies of their relatives. Federal Road Safety Commission spokesman Jonas Agwu gave the details of the recovered bodies as males 88, females 48 and children 12. He said the recovery of bodies would continue today. DNA tests have begun on the retrieved bodies from the scene of the crash, especially those burnt beyond recognition, according to the General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu. He said the tests were being carried out at LASUTH. The bodies were taken to the morgues at LASUTH and the Mainland General Hospital. An official said the identified bodies were tagged.

Three kids to Fashola: help find our parents By Miriam Ndikanwu, Staff Reporter

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AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) was yesterday at the scene of Sunday’s plane crash in Iju-Ishaga to see things for himself, encourage the rescuers and comfort the bereaved. He was already on his way out when he encountered three distraught kids, who were wondering what had become of their parents. Joel Okwuchukwu, 11, his nine-year-old brother Chisom Okwuchukwu and seven-yearold sister Esther Okwuchukwu, until yesterday, lived with their parents - Mr. Jeremiah and Mrs. Josephine Okwuchukwu - in one of the buildings affected by the crash. Joel told the governor that they narrowly

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INSIDE •Ajuonuma family ‘dreaming’ •Confusion over manifest PAGES •Iju...the water works town 2,4-9 &10 •Maj-Gen. Umar Tahir alive •My lucky escape, by landlord •Jukun ‘have lost a great man’

•Joel, Esther and Chisom...yesterday

Continued on page 2

•ENERGY P15 •SPORTS P23 •POLITICS P43 •MONEY LINK P51 •EQUITIES P50


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

NEWS DANA AIR PLANE CRASH...THE MORNING AFTER

‘Help find our parents’

Security agencies rule out attack

Continued from page 1

escaped the tragedy as they were sent out on an errand by their parents. The incident occurred while they were returning home. They slept at a neighbour’s house and had not seen their parents since Sunday, the boy told Fashola. The children said they could only remember the name of one of their uncles in Abuja - Tony Okechukwu. Fashola, moved by their plight brought them to the State House, Ikeja, pending when a relative of theirs would be found. Speaking at the scene of the crash, Fashola said: “My sympathy and condolences go to all of the victims and their families. It’s really hard finding words to express our pain and grief here but our

•NCAA shake-up likely

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MAJOR shake-up seems imminent in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) following Sunday’s Dana Air crash in Lagos. Security agencies have also ruled out any terror attack on the aircraft following a preliminary technical audit which confirmed that the plane did not explode mid-air, The Nation learnt. It was gathered that the impact of the collision between the plane and nearby buildings caused the huge explosion, which residents heard. A security source, who spoke in confidence, said: “From preliminary technical audit, the crash was not as a result of any terror attack. There was no security threat or breach at all. “The impact of the crash on some buildings caused the huge explosion. It is certainly remote to link the crash to any act of terrorism. “We got clues that the crew actually sent a distress note to the control tower for emergency landing. What we are trying to analyse from the incident is the manner of the distress which the black box will reveal.” Responding to a question, the source added: “It is apparent that there are lapses within the sector because the regu-

•Flags flying at half mast at the Presidential Villa, PHOTO: NAN Abuja...yesterday From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

latory authority is not enforcing the required rules and laws. There is likely to be a major shake-up in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). “Most airlines have taken the NCAA for granted by circumventing basic safety procedures. Some of them cut corners.” Investigators from the U.S. National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) are going to assist the Federal Government to

probe the crash. Dana Air has broken its silence on the air mishap. In a statement by its Chief Executive Officer, Jacky Hathiramani, the airline said it regretted the tragic loss of 153 lives on Flight 9J-922 Dana Air said: “The Dana Air family is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of the passengers and crew of Flight 9J-922 of Sunday, June 3, 2012. “The aircraft, with Registration Number 5N-RAM, departed Abuja for Lagos with 146 passengers onboard.

condolences go out to the family of the bereaved, friends and relations. “It is so sad that ordinary people trying to earn a living end up so tragically. This is a traumatic and painful experience but we also condole with the management and staff of Dana Air and we want to commend the first responder, the Fire service, LASEMA, NEMA, Red Cross, police and others that have supported in the rescue efforts.” The governor urged the public to stay away from the scene to enable the investigators carry out their assignment. “I want to use this opportunity also to appeal to the media and other people; this is not a tourist site. It is an investigation site and we should keep our distance and

allow the first responder to do their work. The difference between whether anybody would have surviveed or not is a question of how quickly they can get to that person and we should not be in the way of the first responder when they come to this kind of site and I want to appeal once again that whilst the media has a job to do here, they should keep a very respectable distance. They should keep all this sad images of body away because our children are at home to watch”. The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, alongside his Environment counterpart, Tunji Bello, released a help line 08023414111 to enable relatives make contact with the government.

‘Crashed plane engines caught fire in the air’

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HE aviation world was still wondering last night how and why the ill-fated Dana Airlines plane crashed in Lagos, killing 153 people on board and many on the ground. An industry source told The Nation that engines got stuck minutes before landing. The pilot had made a May Day call to the Control 5 Tower following the “guiting” of the engines, the sources an aviation expert, said. At exactly 14:43, the plane was said to have disappeared from the radar and crashed

into three buildings in Iju-Ishaga on the outsjirts of Lagos. The McDonnel Dougla, MC 83 is said to have been described as unfit for flying, following technical problems it suffered in the last few weeks. These facts were contained in a preliminary report submitted to The Presidency late last night in Abuja. There were also strong indication that the regulators would be queried for failing to do proper checks on the aircraft flying the Nigerian air space. A source told our correspondent that the aircraft registered

5N/RAM was to fly without passengers to Lagos from a Southsouth state before being diverted to Abuja to carry Lagos bound passenger. The airline did not confirm this last night. The source said: “We need to ask the right questions. Who certified the plane to fly? If it was true that it had a record of technical faults, why were those faults not rectified before flying it? And why would two engines quit and catch fire just three minutes into landing? I doubt if heads will not roll on this matter.”

148 bodies recovered at Lagos plane crash site Crash is major setback for reform, says Jonathan

Continued from page 1

Another FRSC official Mr. Fatai Adesina Bakare added: “ We have also recovered a number of personal effects, like handbags, traveller’s bags, shoes, combs and cash. We have, for instance, an identity card of an employee of NNPC, and from his purse, we recovered some cash, and business cards, which have been lodged. We also recovered a woman’s a purse containing $114 and N4,000 cash.” “We have created a desk where all those personal effects are been documented and officials who are in charge would do justice to them and ensure that it gets to family members of the victims safely,” he added. Two Indians were among the victims of the air crash. One was the co-pilot of the illfated plane. Rani Malik, the consular officer of the Indian High Commission in Lagos told PTI that the name of the Indian co-pilot was Mahendra Singh Rathore. Rijo Eldos, a young computer engineer from Neriamangalam in the Idukki district of Kerala, was the other Indian. According to his family in Kochi, Eldos was travelling from Abuja to Lagos to take part in a company meeting. He was working with Reddington Nigeria. According to the Chinese Consulate in Nigeria, six of its men died in the crash. A representative of the Peoples Republic of China, who led a team to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) said their country

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HE President yesterday said Sunday’s crash of a Dana Air plane in Lagos is a setback for his administration’s aviation reforms. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan spoke at IjuIshaga, the crash site on the outskirts of Lagos. He was accompanied by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, Aviation Minister Stella Oduah and Inspector-General of Police Muhammed Abubakar. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation Senator Hope Uzodinma and House of Representatives Aviation Committee chairman Ms Nkeruka Onyeojiocha were also with him. The President was dressed in an all black outfit to depict the mood. Dr. Jonathan said : “ Let me use this opportunity to express my condolences to all those who have lost their dear ones in the crash. It is a sad event for us all. We all know that aviation is an international business and all the laws that govern it are international. I want to thank those of you who are here with us, especially those who are conducting the operations. “It is a sad event for all of us. And which was why the Federal Government has declared three days of mourning. was grieved at the unfortunate incident which he described as unfortunate. He said the Chinese government would appreciate it if the hospital could help to identify the bodies of its citizens for onward repatriation back to China for burial. One of the victims was the Deputy Managing Director (DMD), Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited The Accident Investigation

By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor, Yinka Aderibigbe, Seyi Odewale and Jude Isiguzo

We have been working very hard to improve the aviation conditions in the country. For those of you who travel a lot, you have noticed some improvement going on in our airports. So, the government is totally committed to improving the quality of the aviation in the country. This particular incident is a major setback to us as a people and here with me are members of the National Assembly because we are thoroughly going to investigate this accident. “The technical people will carry out their responsibility to tell us what went wrong, but we will also look at the administrative issues which is the part the National Assembly will play. The government will also play its part. So, at the end of the day, we will make sure that this does not repeat itself in this country.” The President added: “ We recall that only on Saturday, we had a similar incident in Ghana where a Nigerian based cargo plane had a similar incident but that was not as devastating as this. So, we will make sure that we do our best for this country and for the world so that

Bureau (AIB) has begun investigation into the crash. An official confirmed yesterday that the agency already has in its custody the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), popularly known as the black box. AIB spokesman Mr Tunji Oketumbi explained that investigators recovered the black box from the scene of the crash. He said preliminary work had begun on how to ascertain its contents.

the Nigerian airspace will be a safe place. “Let me thank the government of Lagos State for what it has been doing since the crash because I have been in constant touch with the governor. Let me also thank all the Federal Government agencies and other private sector operatives like Julius Berger and others, who have been working with us voluntarily on this rescue operation.” Fashola said: “There is not much to say as we continue to struggle with this tragedy than to thank President Jonathan. In spite of the fact that I briefed you on this development this morning, you still came to commiserate with us.” Senator Uzodima said: “The President invited us to come and see things for ourselves. We are sure that lessons have been learnt; that there would be no repeat of such. I’m sure we will get over this.” Onyeojiocha said: “This is a very difficult time for us as a country, now that we are losing lives. Yesterday in Bauchi, some people died; yesterday; Dana crashed. We only pray that God will grant them eternal rest. Our hearts also go out to the families who have directly lost their loved ones whose lives were cut short.”

Oketumbi said AIB officials, have started gathering the evidence needed for the investigation from the components of the aircraft, which will be taken to a laboratory for test and detailed examination. The investigations will be carried out in collaboration with the the United States National Transportation Safety Board(NTSB), whose officials are expected in the country. The NTSB team will be ac-

companied by representatives of the country of manufacture of the aircraft to assist in the investigation. Oketumbi explained that nothing could be disclosed about the cause of the crash until the investigators have completed their assignment. Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) spokesman Sam Adurogboye said the aircraft and its crew had a valid insurance cover - part of NCAA’s requirements for airlines.

DANA Air is expected to pay not less than one $100,000.00 as insurance claims for each of the 153 passengers - in line with the requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO). The expected compensation regime is in line with the the standard set by the ICAO , Montreal Convention, which a few years ago raised the compensation to $100,000.00 from the $10,000.00 stipulated by ICAO, according to the Warsaw Convention. For the two pilots, DANA Air is expected to pay $250,000.00 each. The six crew members’ will each be paid $150,000.00 each .

•The black box...yesterday

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


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS DANA AIR PLANE CRASH...THE MORNING AFTER

CBN loses eight to crash • Maj. Gen. Umar Tahir alive and well

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•President Goodluck Jonathan visted the scene of the crash.... yesterday. With him are: Governor Fashola, Minister of Aviation Stella Ogiemwonyi (right) and IGP M.D Abubakar (left)

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lost eight of its staff in Sunday’s Dana air disaster. Speaking to The Nation yesterday, CBN spokesman Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor disclosed that the bank was still trying to see if more of its staff were involved. He described Sunday’s tragedy as a “painful day for the CBN.” He said the CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was still contacting family members and had addressed the entire staff of the apex bank to commiserate with them, as well pay individual visits to the various departments that lost their staffs. Okoroafor also stated that the CBN governor will be visiting the family members of staff that died in the crash before the bank will issue a statement about the tragedy. The CBN spokesman also stated that the Sunday tragedy affected not only the staff of the CBN but their

From Nduka Chiejina Assistant Editor, Abuja

families as well. According to Okoroafor, “the CBN governor also suffered a personal lose as a cousin of his was involved in the crash, another staff he said lost two relatives, a wife and child, while his, (Okoroafor) nephew lost his wife. Contrary to earlier reports and the list of victims published, MajGen. Umar Tahir did not board the ill-fated flight. According to a family friend, “the General is alive and well; he missed the flight because he arrived late to the airport and could not board the plane because the plane had just taken off.” Attempts to get the General to speak to The Nation did not yield any result, as he did not answer telephone calls placed to him nor did he reply the text message sent to him.

Our Executive Director was a victim, says NCF

T •Vice-President Namadi Sambo during a condolence visit to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, who lost her husband in the crash...yesterday

•Governor Ibikunle Amosun at the scene... yesterday

HE Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) yesterday said its Executive Director, Prof. Emmanuel Asuquo Obot was in the ill-fated Dana Airline flight. In a statement by its management, the foundation said Obot was a renowned Professor of Botany, who contributed immensely to environmental issues and sustainable development in Africa. The statement noted: “A researcher of international repute, he worked with the National Institute for Fresh Water Fishery Research and coordinated biological research during the establishment phase of the Cross River National Park at Okwango. “As a lecturer, the Professor had several years of teaching experience at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the Rivers State University of Science and Technology as well as the Nigerian Defence Academy among others. He was author of several published books and journals. He was also the editor of the Nigerian field. “Until his passing away, he was the NCF’s Executive Director, a position he held for about 10 years. Professor Obot represented Nigeria at many international conferences and participated in the negotiation

and conclusion of several treaties and conventions related to nature conservation. “Nigerian Conservation Foundation has lost a gem. We pray for the peaceful repose of the soul of this unsung hero of the nature conservation and sustainable development. Our thoughts and prayers go to the family of Professor Obot as well as to the families of other victims of the tragic crash.”

‘He made a distress call before crash’

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•Sympathisers at the scene... yesterday

A researcher of international repute, he worked with the National Institute for Fresh Water Fishery Research and coordinated biological research during the establishment phase of the Cross River National Park at Okwango

AMILY and colleagues of one of the victims, Lt Col. Chumbo Ochigbo, yesterday said they received a distress call from the deceased before the crash. A close associate of Ochigbo, who is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, was at the Lagos State University Teaching hospital mortuary yesterday to identify his body. He said: “I received a call before the crash. They called for help but no one came to their rescue. They were left unattended to for 20 minutes. What manner of a system do we run in this country? That we have to waste people’s lives like chickens? Oh my God!” A female relative of the deceased said: “I don’t even know what to tell his wife. I just told her I was going to Lagos. Where do I start? Ochigbo has been her mother, her father, her everything because her parents are no longer alive. Now he’s dead and she’s left with four children. “I won’t leave here today, until I see his body. I am not in a hurry. I

I received a call before the crash. They called for help but no one came to their rescue. They were left unattended to for 20 minutes. What manner of a system do we run in this country? That we have to waste people’s lives like chickens? Oh my God!

By Precious Igbonwelundu

will stay and see if more corpses will be brought from the scene.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS DANA AIR PLANE CRASH...THE MORNING AFTER

‘My house escaped by the whiskers’

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•Some survivors at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospotal... yesterday

AFAR Sanusi, a resident of Segun Osoba Road, Toyin area, Iju-Ishaga, whose house is about 200 meters away from the scene of the crash, said he escaped by the whiskers. Narrating his experience to The Nation, Sanusi said: “I saw it happen; it was like a movie. I saw the plane hovering in the sky. I’m sure the pilot tried his best to land it on an open place. I was at the balcony of my house when I saw it descending with a loud unusual noise and too close to the ground. That was when I lay flat on my balcony, because it was as if it was landing directly on my house. That was when it surged forward and its right wing smashed into a mango tree. “In fact, the moment the plane crashed. We heard a loud noise as

By Seyi Odewale

if it was a bomb that was detonated and everyone was terrified. After a while, about 10 minutes later, I rushed to the scene. In fact, the area is about three streets away from my house; you can see how close it was to my house. I managed to take some shots with by BlackBerry phone. Some of the shots I took were those of the pilot and one white man already dead. Honestly, I think the pilot did all his best. I think he was looking for a plain field to land when it occurred to him that he could longer control the plane. Again, I think he was trying to avoid the high tension wire along the street. He probably would have crashed the plane on the main street.”

‘My brother-in-law died when Govt opens relief camp for victims the plane crashed into our house’ T By Yinka Aderibigbe

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SURVIVOR in one of the buildings crashed into by the ill-fated Dana plane yesterday relieved his ordeal to reporters when Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) visited Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to condole with them. The survivor, Mr. Chima Iruka, wept profusely on sighting the

By Miriam Ndikanwu

governor and some members of his commissioners at his bed side. Iruka, who sustained severe injury on his head, told reporters that he was attending to three guests in his house with his youngest daughter when suddenly there was a loud bang on the building. He said: “My wife and other children had gone out and I was at

home with my daughter attending to three guests when we heard the noise of the plane and suddenly there was this loud noise in the building. “That was all I can remember because I passed out immediately. I only got to know I was alive in this hospital bed, but unlike me, my brother in-law was not that lucky because I was told that he died in the incident while my daughter came out unhurt and two of my guests were injured.”

My lucky escape, by owner of warehouse plane crashed into By Jude Isiguzo

•Omowumi

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ASTOR Daniel Omowumi, the owner of the warehouse and residential building on which the ill-fated Dana Air aircraft landed, yesterday said his family

was saved from being killed because of a meeting he was attending in church on Sunday. The Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) pastor told The Nation that he could not recognise his property when he rushed back home on hearing about the incident. Omowumin said: “I left for church in the morning with my mother, wife and children. After church, I entered into a meeting that delayed us from going home. I was still at the meeting when I received a call informing me of what had happened. I left my family in the church and rushed back to access the extent of damage but I could not even get to my property or even

recognise it with what was left of them. “As I speak with you now, the only thing that I have is what I am wearing. I had six containers in the warehouse. Four of the containers were loaded with kitchen items while the other two had educational materials in them. I also lost printing machines and four of my fish ponds were destroyed. I had some Sports Utility Vehicles parked in there that were completely damaged. “I cannot estimate the amount of what I lost; it will run into millions of naira. The properties are beyond repairs. The warehouse was built on four plots of land. We slept in church yesterday and my family has remained their since. We no longer have a home.”

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ARGE sums of money, including foreign currencies, and religious materials such as the catholic rosary were among personal belongings of victims recovered at the crash site yesterday. Also recovered were hand bags, personal identification cards, shoes and cloth. Most of the bodies recovered were tagged based on the ID cards found on them. Olusegun Okebiorun, Comptroller General of the Fire Service said:“ “The corpses are tagged with the ID cards and complimentary cards that were found on them, so it will not be too difficult for the family members.”

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By Jude Isiguzo

school. As a policeman, he used his connections and contacts to ensure that many of our sons and daughters were enlisted into the Nigerian Police Force. The entire Jukun community is still shocked following the news of his death. The only thing that can put our minds at peace is a proper investigation and compensation of the family of the deceased. “How come a faulty aircraft was allowed to fly? We need answers because innocent souls would not be wasted because of the carelessness and insincerity of some few greedy businessmen. We will not accept anything less than an overhaul of the aviation sector and a total reform of that sector in order to save Nigerians of more of such careless deaths. We will really miss Ahmadu.”

Money, religious materials

‘We lost a good man’

‘Jukun have lost a great man’ ETIRED Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) John Ahmadu was one of the Dana airline crash victims. His corpse was identified yesterday with the identification card found on him by rescue workers. His death has thrown the people of Jukun community, in Taraba State into mourning. They said they have lost a man who stood for everything good and progressive. The National President of Jukun, Bako Benjamin Dan-Brono, said: “Ahamdu is like an uncle to me and he is one of the greatest personalities Jukun community has ever produced. He has distinguished himself within the community and the country as a whole. He single handedly brought development to Jukun, and ensured that youth were employed. “He gave scholarships to youths and encouraged them to go to

HE Managing Director Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu yesterday said an a relief camp has been opened for victims. The LASEMA boss said those affected by the incident have been moved to the Agbowa relief camp in Agbowa-Ikosi Local Council Development Area (LCDA). Oke-Osanyintolu said: “The incident occurred around 3.06 pm and we received the distress call at 3.15pm and within minutes, I led the LASEMA team to the place. I met on ground the Fire Service men who did their best to control the fire from spreading to other buildings. You can see that this place is a very thickly populated area and for an aeroplane to crash into a place like this would have presupposed that the fire would spread. But we were able to contain it such that it did not go beyond the originally affected property. We moved in police men to help us control the crowd who swooped on this area and when it seemed their efforts was proving ineffective, we moved in the army, to help us control the crowd and take charge of the environment.” Oke-Osanyintolu, who said three buildings and a factory were affected by the crash, added: “As night draws close yesterday, we at LASEMA turned night into day by flooding this place with flood lights. This assisted all officials greatly to work all through the night. “I can also confirm to you that five victims were rescued from the two storey building alive. While four had been treated and discharged, one who sustained serious injury and needed to stabilise is still under intensive care at the Lagos State General Hospital. The bodies recovered so far have been taken to Lagos General Hospital mortuary.”

•Dan-Brono

ELATIVES of Mr Sanford Igoh, one of the victims of the ill-fated Dana Airline plane, besieged the crash site to see if they could identify and take his body home yesterday. The late Igoh, a businessman, was described by his cousin, Emmanuel Igoh, who spoke with The Nation, as one of the largest exporter of rubber in Africa. Igoh said: “He was a good man and he employed so many people. We do not know why this should happen at a time like this. It is just unfortunate.” He noted that the deceased’s aged mother is alive and has been devastated by the news. He said: “He called the driver to come and pick him at the airport around 3pm. By 4pm, the driver called to inform us that they were

By Jude Isiguzo

yet to arrive that he has not seen him. We called his numbers and they were not going. It was at this point that we started calling other relatives to know if anybody had heard from him. His wife was especially worried because she had heard of the plane crash.” He said it was when they got to the airport that it was confirmed to them that the late Igoh was on the ill-fated flight. Simon Ohwofa, another relative of the late Igoh, said: “I lost a man, a likeable Ibo man, hard working, religious, it is unfortunate that have to lose him this way. We have to wait for government to know the cause of this crash. But what we know is that air crashes like other accidents is not avoidable.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS DANA AIR PLANE CRASH...THE MORNING AFTER

Minister mourns five NUC top shots S From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

HE was there to sign a condolence register. But Minister of Education Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I could not hold back tears for five top shots of the National Universities Commission (NUC), who died in the Dana air crash. She described the incident as a great loss to the NUC and the entire country. She said: “Losing energetic, educated and highly committed individuals in active service is sad. We will continue to pray for them and the entire people that loss their lives in this unfortunate air crash. Three of the dead were men while the other two were women. Their names are: Mallam Mohammed Dukwa, Arch. Chinwe Obi, Prof. Celetine O. E. Onwuliri, Mr. Sonny A. Ettioghas and Mrs. M. A. Shu’Aibu. It was a long day of weeping and mourning for members and staff of the commission, as they stood in groups discussing the death of five top management staff of the commission who lost their lives in Sunday’s Dana Air crash. The minister said: “We pray that their families would bear the loss. And we will do the best we can to encourage and support them. And we pray for Nigeria as a nation that this tragedy never happens again.” NUC’s Executive Secretary Prof. Julius Okojie said they were on official assignment to Lagos. Okojie berated the operators of the Dana Air. He said: “I do not think we deserve it. These are the finest of our officers and they were on officer business. When it happens and I was told that it was Abuja to Lagos I did not think that any of my staff was travelling in that direction on a weekend and on Sunday. We also grieve for other Nigerians who perish in that crash. It calls for caution and prayers. We pray for the families at this time. “No Nigerian deserves to die this way. As President Goodluck Jonathan has directed, we are in three days mourning but for us in NUC it is going to be a very long period of mourning. This year we are supposed to be celebrating our 50th anniversary but we have no cause to celebrate now. We know each other in NUC. Some of them have been here for more than 28 years.”

•Rescue work continuing at the site... yesterday

‘It’s still like a dream to us’ Ajuonuma’s family

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HE silence in the home of the late Levi Ajuonuma, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) eerie. “We still don’t accept that he is dead,” said a family member who refused to give his name. At the entrance of his Omodara Estate home in Opebi, guests were thoroughly screened before they were allowed in. The late Ajuonuma is one of the victims of the ill-fated DANA Airline flight that crashed into some residential buildings in IjuIshag, Agege, Lagos. Ms. Sarah Ajuomona, a PR official with Mobil and the second daughter of the deceased, told The Nation: “Sorry, we shall issue a press statement tomorrow. At the moment, this is like a dream and until we are able to confirm certain things, we are not talking to anyone.” She added: “I am attending to you because of the civil way you approached me. If not, I would have asked that you are made to leave the same way we sent out a TV reporter who just came in and started setting up her camera. This is a very sensitive moments for us and I beg you all, media people, to please appreciate that. So, you may leave now.” Also asked for her mother, Sarah said: “She’s upstairs sleeping. It has been very devastating and shocking for her. So, we ask her to stay upstairs for her to be stabilised until we know the actual situation of things. She can’t speak to anyone yet. But like I said, we shall issue a press statement tomorrow.” A man, who introduced himself simply as Tony and a second cousin of the late Ajuonuma, said:

By Joke Kujenya

“We plead with you to leave. And try not to misquote any family member please because we are not talking yet. I shall shortly be leaving for the hospital with some other family members to see if we can identify his body at the hospital where they are being taken to. But that’s about it for now. We are not admitting journalists into the house for now.” On the flower-laden terrace of the house sat a few people looking forlorn and talking in hushed tones. The patio, decked with various sizes of flower pots and palm trees, has two sets of canopies. Under the fixed awning shelter to the left of the entrance sat a few guests on cane seats. And the one in the middle of the yard, has white set of plastic chairs. In front of the chairs, a black table covered with red silky clothe, had the picture of the late Ajuomona placed on it with a condolence register in which about forty-eight people had signed in, at the time The Nation reporter scanned through the pages. Also inside the dark-lit living room sat a handful of women, but no reporter was allowed beyond the porch. Some members of his church, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) came in a white Toyota Hiace bus with number plate DA 178 MUS. None of them was willing to speak with reporters. By 2.12pm, Tony and about three men drove off in a marooncoloured vehicle to visit the hospital to see if they could identify the remains of the late Ajuonuma.

•Pupils in a school around the crash site wearing a red bands in memory of the victims... yesterday

Iju…no longer about Water Works

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EARS cascade down eyes freely here now. Sight of children crying for missing loved ones is no rarity. Pungent smell has rented the air. Peace has literally taken a walk. It will never be the same again. History has given Iju, a bubbly settlement tucked between Lagos and Ogun states, a dark place in its evolution. Men, women, boys and girls now troop there. Emergency officials and government officials are not left out of the rush to the Lagos outskirts. A Mecca has been made out of this settlement, which is a gateway to many Ogun State communities. Yesterday, it played host to Governor Babatunde Fashola, who is no stranger to the area. He has been there before on account of the popular Iju Water Works, which supply water to the bulk of Lagos metropolis. But when he was there yesterday, he was a sad man torn apart by emotions. And when he discovered some kids searching for

By Olukorede Yishau

their parents, he almost became an emotional wreck. Fashola’s Ogun State counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun, was also there yesterday. And he managed to compose himself in the face of the emotional pressure that the area brings to bear. Then there was the big masquerade himself, President Goodluck Jonathan, who might have visited for the first time. On his entourage were Aviation Minister Stella Ogiemwonyi, Inspector-General of Police M.D. Abubakar and spokesperson of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Dame Comfort Obi. Before Sunday’s crash of a Dana Air plane, Iju, which is some five minutes drive from the popular Pen Cinema Bus Stop in Agege, was known for being the host of the water works, which quenches the thirst of the bulk of homes in the State of Aquatic Splendour. Many also

remember it for playing host to Grail Land Hills, a worship centre for adherents of the grail message. It is also remembered as a major terminus for rail transport. Not a few also remember it for being the home of ace Juju musician Sir Shina Peters, whose rail front whitepainted residence close to Fagba Bus Stop was cynosure of all eyes in the late 90s for its complex-simplicity. But the story of Iju has changed. It will no longer be about the water works; neither will it be about Grail Land, rail terminus nor Shina Peters. Dana Air has changed Iju’s place. Now, it will evoke memories of pains. Children have become orphans. Men and women have lost treasures they may never be able to recover. Wives have lost husbands they may never able to replace. Properties worth millions of naira have given way and may never spring up. Iju has certainly lost its virginity. Forever.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS DANA AIR PLANE CRASH...THE MORNING AFTER

•Investigators combing for evidence... yesterday

•A survivor and a child, at the scene... yesterday

The remnants of the warehouse affected by the crash... yesterday PHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN, MOSES OMOSEHIN AND DAY ADEWUNMI

•Rescue workers carying a recovered body into the ambulance... yesterday

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OME families of the 153 victims of McDonald Douglas (MD) 82 aircraft, belonging to Dana Airline will not partake in the compensation due to air crash victims. Reason: they might have used the tickets of others who changed their minds and did not fly the ill-fated aircraft from Abuja to Lagos. Acting on the advice of the airline, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on Sunday night, released the manifest containing the supposed passengers aboard the plane that came crashed into residential buildings, two minutes away from its destination. Yesterday, some ‘passengers’, believed to have died according to the manifest, spoke yesterday, stating how they cheated death. Aviation touts often mass-purchase tickets which they resell to desperate passengers at cut-throat prices at the 11th hour. Such anticipatory tickets do not bear the real names of the passengers using them to board. Besides, passengers could change their mind and allow proxies tom travel with their tickets. About $120,000 may be paid as

Confusion over ill-fated flight’s manifest Anxiety at MMA 2 as passenger traffic drops •DANA refunds fares to passengers

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PALL of anxiety and uncertainty yesterday pervaded the domestic terminal two of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos (MMA2) as a result of Sunday’s Dana Air crash. Scores of airport workers and passengers gathered in groups to discuss the crash. Passenger traffic, at both the old and domestic terminals of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, was low. The departure halls of the terminals were devoid of the usual hustle and bustle of a Monday. By Bunmi Ogunmodede

compensation by the Dana Airline management on each of the 153 passengers aboard its ill-fated flight. The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), through its Defence Information Director Col Mohammed Yerima, said Maj-Gen Tahir Umar, whose name was published among the dead, was not aboard the ill-fated plane. Yerima, who admitted that the General bought a ticket and booked a seat, said his superior was not in-

By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

A few passengers lined up at the counters of the other airlines, wearing mournful looks. Officials of Dana Air yesterday refunded fares to passengers who turned up at the MMA2 to board the early morning flight out of Lagos. The passengers had got to the airport only to meet the empty counters. The airline did not operate any flight out of the airport.

volved in the crash as he could not make the trip. The Defence spokesman gave no reason for the cancellation. “The DHQ joined Umar and his family in thanking God for saving his life,” a statement by Yerima said. Mrs. Erokwu Obiageli, the mother of Obianuju Erokwu, whose name was included on the published manifest, said her daughter never boarded the ill-fated plane. According to Mrs. Erokwu, who is the Director of Finance & Account

of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), said she was embarrassed to see her daughter’s name on the list od dead passengers. In a letter addressed to Dana management, Mrs. Erokwu demanded that Miss Obianuju’s name be deleted from the list. She said her daughter could no longer make the trip for lack of funds after making an on-line booking. Her words: “My daughter booked on-line for the flight; she could pay and subsequently did not travel with

the flight. “I am therefore highly embarrassed to see her name in the published manifest, the on-line booking printout without any evidence of payment available for reference. I am by this letter requesting that her name be deleted from the published manifest.” Mrs. Priscilla Eleje, whose name appeared on the list of dead passengers is alive, the husband, Ifeanyi, said yesterday. According to Mr. Ifeanyi, his wife, an employee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), actually booked a seat aboard the ill-fated flight, but was not board. But contrary to reports that a family of five – the Anyene family died in the crash, a neighbor on Sadauki Street, Wusasa, in Zaria, Kaduna State, Mr. Samuel Irabor said eight members of the family were on board. Irabor, a lawyer claimed Mr Onyeka Anyene, his wife, Maimuna (nee Mjindadai) died with four kids, mother-in-law (Hajia Mjindadai Bilkisu) and cousin, Oluchi Onyeyiri. According to him, they were travelling to Lagos for a wedding slated for Lagos on Saturday (June 9).


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

DANA AIR PLANE CRASH... THE MORNING AFTER

Ajimobi suspends anniversary programmes

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HE Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has commiserated with the families of the victims of the illfated Dana Airline that crash on Sunday. According to him the crasht was a monumental disaster, which only God could wipe its tears away from the nation. Ajimobi, stated this yesterday, in Ibadan in a statement released

by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo. As a mark of respect, the governor said, Oyo State government has suspended all state activities, especially, the programmes of its first anniversary for one week, in honour of the dead. The governor admonished Nigerians to spend the period of the mourning to reflect on how Ni-

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

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•Okorocha

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HE governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has commiserated with the families of the victims involved in the ill-fated Abuja-Lagos bound Dana Air Passenger plane that crashed in Lagos on Sunday.

aviation industry. “We urge the relevant aviation regulatory agencies to be stricter in enforcing safety standards and ensure that airlines comply with regulations. We also want agencies connected with disaster and emergency management to be more strengthened to ensure quick response to situations like this.

The governor in a brief address in Owerri, said: "We have heard that about four persons from Imo State were on-board the ill-fated plane that crashed in Lagos. This is a moment of sorrow for all Imolites and our hearts are heavy over the sad news. We feel very sorrowful about the situation and wish to use this opportunity to commiserate with the families of those involve in the plane crash, especially those of them that are from Imo State. May I specifically condole with the Onwuliris, Ajuonumas and Ibes for the loss of their loved ones in the crash. My prayer is that Almighty God will grant them the heart to bear the irrepara-

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victims as well as the management and staff of Dana Air. In another letter of condolence signed by Arik Air's Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, the airline pledged its readiness and willingness to help Dana Air it wished for any assistance during this difficult period. "We hope that both in the short and long term, we are able to provide a measure of support until Dana Air is fully operational again", Arik Air said in its condolence letter.

Russia sympathises with Nigeria

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LATEAU state governor, Jonah David Jang has described the Dana Airline crash in Lagos and that of Allied Air in Ghana as a very sad chapter in the life of the nation and the aviation industry. In a statement signed by Director

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

of press to Jang, James Mannok, Gov. Jang described the incidence as regrettable and colossal loss of nation human resources need to build the nation. Jang who calls for national prayers for the departed souls also

•Okorocha

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EPUTY Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha yesterday expressed distress and complete sadness over the tragic loss of lives in the Dana air crash, the suicide bombing of a Church in Bauchi

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•Putin From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

grief over numerous victims, I would be grateful to you for conveying condolences to the families of the deceased and wishes for the soonest recovery to the injured."

Obi mourns OVERNOR Peter Obi has expressed profound grief over the crash of Dana airlines in Iju, Lagos, yesterday. In a statement by the governor, he said that though the Nigerian airspace has been relatively safe in recent times, but that the crash, killing over 150 persons was touching, extremely painful and most agonizing. He prayed to God for peaceful repose of the souls of the dead and for Him to grant the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Aviation, all Nigerians, especially those affected directly by the crash the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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sues for proper investigation of the accidence so as to be able to prevent such accident in future. He said, "I wish on behalf of government and good people of Plateau state condole President Goodluck Jonathan and families of the victims of the air crash.

Ihedioha rues tragic weekend State, the tanker fire inferno on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as well as the crash-landing of a cargo aircraft in Ghana, all of which happened at the weekend. "This is one weekend of very tragic occurrences that has cast a huge pall of despair on the nation and no amount of words can convey the depth of sadness and grief I feel personally," he said in an emotion-laden tone. The Deputy Speaker said he could only wish the souls of the departed a warm embrace in the bosom of the Almighty Lord "whose mercies all Nigerians must now fervently seek in the face of these extremely disheartening and fatal happenings," while condoling with families of the victims.

NMA shocked by plane crash

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HE Russian government yesterday, joined other nations to condole Nigeria over the loss of lives in the Dana Plane, which crashed on Sunday. A statement issued by the Russian Embassy in Nigeria yesterday, containing the transcription of the Russian President ,Vladmir. Putin, was sent to President Goodluck Jonathan. It reads: "Dear Mr. President, I would like to express my sincere sympathy in connection with a severe tragedy - the passenger aircraft crash in Lagos. While sharing your

ble loss". He stated that Nigeria as a nation is presently passing through a very difficult period and challenges that need divine intervention to overcome. "Our nation is going through a difficult period and some challenges. Some of them are manmade crisis while others are natural disasters and hazards. “We must at this critical moment of our lives resolve to seek the face of God because it appears the situation on ground needs divine intervention. Having lost so many lives this year in crisis and natural disasters, it is now proper to resort to prayers as well as close ranks as a nation to preach the gospel of peace, unity and understanding."

•Ajimobi

Jang condoles with families of victims

Arik Air to assist Dana Air HE Board and Management of Arik Air have expressed their deepest condolences to the management and victims of Dana Air that crashed on Sunday in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State. The Executive Vice President/ Managing Director of Arik Air, Mr. Chris Ndulue, who led a delegation of the airline to the Ikeja, Lagos office of the airline to deliver a letter of condolence, described the incident as tragic and said thoughts and prayers of Arik Air are with the families of the

operation on the aviation sector, said that the need to do a systemic shake-up of the aviation sector becomes urgent because it was one sector that is a leveller for all Nigerians. "I pray that Almighty God gives Nigeria and the families of the dead the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss," Ajimobi said.

Okorocha seeks divine intervention

It’s a national calamity, says Fayemi KITI State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has described Sunday's Dana Airline crash in Lagos as a "huge national calamity." Fayemi also described the crash as a shock too much to bear for a nation that has been hit by the loss of several lives in recent times. The governor in a statement on yesterday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, described the crash and the attendant grief as painful, sad, unfortunate, devastating and heart-rending. He prayed God to give the family members, friends and associates of the victims of the crash the courage to bear the monumental loss. Fayemi said: "This is certainly one disaster too many, we have witnessed such incidents in the past but this one has further aggravated the previous wounds. "The investigation is necessary to ensure a safer airspace and restore public confidence in the nation's

geria could overcome its aviation challenges. Governor Ajimobi lamented that the state lost ample number of quality sons and daughters in the crash. He prayed that Almighty God would wipe away the grief of the nation. The governor, who called for a concerted and urgent surgical

HE National Medical Association (NMA) yesterday, expressed shock over the Dana plane crash which it described as a monumental national tragedy. In a statement in Abuja by the NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said the crash was very painful and extremely sad to the nation. “The crash,” he said, “once again , calls to question Nigeria's Aviation safety standards and regulations and the quality and safety of the airplanes that fly the Nigerian airspace.” He also called for immediate holistic audit of the aviation sector,

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

including audit and re-certification of the airplanes and aviation equipments in the country. He said: "This crash which came on the heels of another crash of a Nigerian cargo airplane in Accra, Ghana (which killed 10 passengers in a minibus, i as well as the several days of traumatic traffic experience resulting from multiple autocrashes occurring on the unfixed Lagos-Ibadan expressway, is very painful, extremely sad, and a monumental national tragedy. "As part of our efforts at assisting

LAGOS EMERGENCY LINES STATE AGENCIES 1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-33235890; 080-23321770; 080-56374036. 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: Head office Phone Nos: 2. Federal Road Safety Corps 01-4703325; 01-7743026 080-75005411; 080-60152462 (FRSC) 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) 080-23111742; 080-29728371 Lagos Zonal Command Phone Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 080-23909364; 080-77551000 No:080-33706639; 01-7742771 070-35068242 01-7904983 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-79279349; 080-63299264

070-55462708; 080-65154338 767 or email: rapidresponsesquad@yahoo.com 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.

While regretting that no amount of tears can bring the dead back to life, Ihedioha said the House of Representatives is eager to confront facts and insights that would emerge from investigations into the tragedies with appropriate measures in order to avert future occurrences. "Human lives are far too precious and the loss of one life must spur us all to be sober, more responsible and responsive to the protection of the right to life of the citizenry as enshrined in universal principles of modern societies," he said, adding: "Our hearts are certainly with the bereaved in this moment of national calamity. May God Almighty in his infinite mercies heal our land and our hearts." in search and rescue efforts and administration of first aid, immediately we got the sad news of the air crash on Sunday, our Lagos and Ogun State branches of the Nigerian Medical Association were directed to mobilise our members to the crash site. We also requested all hospitals and doctors in the environs to offer free first aid treatment to any of the injured survivors. "We wish to use this medium to restate our call on our members in Ogun and Lagos States to remain alert and activate their accident and emergency centres/units to offer the necessary treatment to any injured survivor/victim of the air crash. "Certainly, this crash once again, calls to question Nigeria's Aviation safety standards and regulations, particularly with respect to adherence to global aviation operational standards. The availability and quality of maintenance facilities in Nigeria, as well as the training and re-training of the technical crew remain extremely worrisome despite the avalanche of recommendations from several investigation panels over similar air crashes in the past.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

NEWS DANA AIR PLANE CRASH...THE MORNING AFTER Allison-Madueke, Tinubu commiserate with Ajuonuma’s family

US Redeemed pastor loses two daughters A PASTOR with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), based in Houston, Texas, United States (US), lost two daughters to the Dana air crash of Sunday. The victims, Jennifer Onita, 29, and Josephine Onita, 24, were in the country to attend a wedding builed for Saturday. Their parents, whose identities have not been disclosed, are RCCG pastors in Houston. The father was said to have returned to the country recently, while the mother is still abroad on evangelical duty.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

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HE Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Group Managing Director of Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu, yesterday visited the family of the late Group General Manager of the Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Levi Ajuonuma. The minister was accompanied by Tinubu to the Ajuonumas’ home in Opebi, Ikeja. They commiserated with the members of the late journalist and Public Relations (PR) practitioner. Mrs Alison-Madueke extolled the proficiency of the late Ajuonuma, saying he always ensured an effective communication of activities in the oil and gas industry. She said: “You all knew him very well and how forthright he was; how much he enjoyed his job and how well he did it. “Ajuonuma did not only speak for the NNPC but also for the oil and gas sector and the nation as a whole, wherever he went. “It is very hard to express how we feel about him. His exit has caused lots of pains to his family and us at the oil and gas industry. But we cannot question God. We just pray that the Lord will give us and his family the strength, guidance, protection and grace to bear the loss.” The minister prayed that God would give the family the fortitude to bear the loss. People, according to her, say getting somebody like Ajuonuma would be very difficult. She said this is because the late NNPC spokesman was a unique individual. “It is very difficult to get a unique individual like him. But our concern presently is much more for the family members and what they are going through,” she added. Tinubu noted that Ajuonuma’s death is a great loss to the oil and gas sector, adding that he was a good man who worked hard at the NNPC and oil and gas sector. “All of us in the oil and gas sector regarded him so much,” he said. In a statement in Abuja by Dr. Omar Ibrahim, the General Manager, Media Relations Department of the NNPC, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mr. Austen Oniwon, said the corporation was shocked at the news of the air crash. Oniwon spoke from the United States, where he is attending an official assignment. He said: “The NNPC, as a family, is united in faith with God, who is All-Knowing. It is only God that can comfort and console us in this dark hour.

Amaechi: it’s heart-rending •Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu (right) consoling a bereaved director in the ministry, Mr Paul Okwulehie and his daughter, Uzoma, on the death of Mrs Okwulehie in the plane crash, in Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

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Buhari, CPC blame disaster on corruption

ORMER Head of State and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), yesterday expressed shock over the Sunday’s DANA air crash. Undoubtedly, Buhari said the corruption in the aviation sector is seen in the fact that: “two former Ministers of Aviation are undergoing prosecution for corruption. “This pervasive corruption by the successive PDP-led Federal Government, as regards administration of the aviation sector, have corrupted this important sector of the nation state that industry’s best practices are often circumvented at will by the airline operators.

From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

The result of these infractions is what we witness with Air disasters!” According to a statement in Abuja by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, Buhari was quoted as saying the CPC calling for the probe of the crash. He, however, said: “But we doubt the sincerity of the PDPled Federal Government in unearthing the real causes of these disasters.” Fashakin said the weak handling of the probes will never get the country to develop

positively. The statement reads “The national leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and the entire leadership of the party hereby commiserate with the families of the victims of the DANA air crash of Sunday, 3rd June, 2012. Our hearts truly go out to these Nigerians at this very difficult time of sudden bereavement. “Indeed, this latest aviation disaster coming a day after another Nigerian plane crashed in Ghana is already causing concern among Nigerians that hoping this is not the signal for

the return to the corruptioninduced era of incessant air crashes under the PDP-led administrations! “This is coming when we seem to have heaved a sigh of relief from the aircrashes in the last six year. Though we may join concerned and patriotic Nigerians in calling for judicial probe of this latest intrusion of the hitherto tranquil atmosphere, we doubt the sincerity of the PDPled Federal Government in unearthing the real causes of these disasters. “The feeble handling of the probes shows in the way and manner the recommendations are never implemented! For example, on the 4th of May, 2002, an EAS aircraft (with 77 on board) crashed in Kano.”

Crash is symptom of grave inadequacies, says Ngige From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

•Senator Ngige

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ENATOR Chris Ngige yesterday described the DANA plane crash as a symptom of grave inadequacies in the nation’s aviation sector. He also urged the Federal Government to take urgent actions to sanitiSe the sector. Ngige, who lamented the

loss of over 153 passengers and crew members of the MD-82 illfated aircraft which crashed a few minutes to touch down in Lagos, urged the government to ensure the air worthiness of aircrafts flying in the country. He said: “This crash and the simultaneous air mishap of a Nigerian registered Air Cargo plane in Kotota Airport, Ghana, killing 10 persons with many wounded, are symptoms of grave inadequacies in our aviation sector.” The statement reads: “I received with deep and rude shock, the news that a Dana plane flying with 153 passengers from Abuja to Lagos had

crashed with no survivors. “This sad event could not have come at a worse time in the life of our country, as Nigerians are grappling with ongoing challenges of security of their lives and properties in addition to an excruciating economic hardship. “On behalf of the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District, I send our heart-felt sympathies to the families, companies and other establishments that lost lives in this terrible disaster. “This incident once more, calls for very vigorous government actions through the aviation regulatory authorities, especially in the area of air worthiness of aircrafts admitted to

fly our airspace in order to ensure that safety standards are met. “This crash and the simultaneous air mishap of a Nigerian registered Air Cargo plane in Kotota Airport, Ghana, killing 10 persons with many wounded, are symptoms of grave inadequacies in our aviation sector. “My prayers are that the souls of the departed be reposed in peace; and that they rest in the bosom of our allknowing Almighty God. “And that all the affected families and establishments find strength in the prayers and sympathies of Nigerians to deal with their terrible losses.”

Rep Faleke, others condole with victims’ families

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OUSE of Representatives member Abiodun Faleke; Lagos State House of Assembly member, Wahab Alawiye-King; and a local government chairman, Adeyemi Alli, have expressed sympathy with families of those who died in the Dana aircraft crash which occurred at Iju-Ishaga, in Ifako-Ijaye Local Government Area of Lagos state on Sunday. The trio also called for thor-

ough investigation into the circumstances leading to the sad event. Reacting to the tragedy, Faleke, who represents Ikeja Federal Constituency, described the event as a national tragedy. “This is indeed a national tragedy. My heart goes out to the families of the victims of this monumental tragedy,” he said. According to the chairman

of the House Committee on Anti-corruption, Ethics and National Values, the sad event was a wake-up call to the Federal Government to put in place measures that will ensure strict monitoring and evaluation of aircrafts plying the country’s local air space. “It is sad but it is a wake-up call for the Federal Government to put in place measures that will ensure that only airworthy planes fly the Nigerian

air space. “This is needed to prevent unnecessary wastage of lives of innocent Nigerians. Apart from this, this incident must not be swept under the carpet as it becomes imperative for the government to conduct thorough investigation into this tragedy,” he said. Alli, who is the chairman of Odiolowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area (LCDA), stated he was yet to

come to terms with the tragedy. He said: “It was such a painful death and just anybody could have been involved. I want to express a deep sympathy on behalf of the people, staff and management of Odiolowo/Ojuwoye LCDA to the victims of this tragedy of monumental proportion. Almighty God will give the fortitude to bear the losses in their families.”

RIVERS State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Chibuike Amaechi has condoled with the families of the victims of the Dana Air crash in Lagos. In a statement by his spokesman, David Iyofor, the governor described the incident as heart-rending and a tragic loss to Nigeria and Nigerians. He prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and the courage for their families to bear the loss. “It is indeed a tragic time in the lives of all Nigerians. And as we mourn, let us also remember to pray for the families of victims of the crash.” “It’s so sad that such a disaster could visit us again as a nation after the gruesome experiences of the past. We pray that this does not happen again; and stern measures must be taken by all relevant authorities to make sure that this does not reoccur,”Amaechi said.

NCF mourns executive director Obot THE Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) yesterday described as shocking the death of its Executive Director, Prof Emmanuel Asuquo Obot, in the illfated Dana Air plane crash on Sunday in Lagos. It described the crash as a tragedy and a monumental disaster to the cause of environment conservation in the country. A statement by the NCF management said: “The loss of this committed environmentalist is a big loss for the struggle to have biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the country especially at this period when his technical expertise and experience would be needed to drive the efforts to tackle the huge challenges. “The only tribute that can be paid to the memory of this fallen hero is to remain resolute and committed in the struggle for nature conservation and sustainable development.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

NEWS DANA AIR PLANE CRASH...THE MORNING AFTER

Reps to investigate crash

Lagos suspends activities to mourn victims

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By Miriam Ndikanwu

HE Lagos State Government has canceled all its programmes for the week in honour of the victims of the Dana Air crash in which 153 passengers on board and several others on ground were killed. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, told reporters in Lagos that the decision followed the outcome of the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting. “We are doing this in remembrance of those that lost their lives and we will continue to pray for the repose of their souls and the fortitude for us to bear the loss. “So, all programmes of the state government is hereby suspended for the week this was a decision of today EXCO.” He expressed condolence and sympathies with the families of the victims and the entire residents of the state, while promising that the state government would continue to assist those affected by the crash. “It is unfortunate thing, but God know why it happened. We will continue to do our best to assist those affected by the crash. We really sympathies with the families of the victims of the crash,” he explained. But before the news conference, the state government had launched a helpline: 0802 341 4111 to enable those affected by the unfortunate incident to reach out to the government.

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HE House of Representatives is set to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash of an aircraft belonging Dana Airline. All 153 passengers aboard the ill-fated plane flying from Abuja, en route Lagos, crashed into residential apartments in Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos suburb. Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Muhammed, declared the stance of the House yesterday in Kaduna. He said members of the House are greatly shocked by the crash and would ensure that the accident is properly investigated. Muhammed spoke yesterday immediately after the

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Kaduna

Speaker Aminu Tambuwal postponed a scheduled retreat meant for the Press Corps of the lower legislative chamber. According to him, the issue of the air crash will be brought up at plenary today, adding that an ad-hoc committee will be constituted to probe the tragedy. According to Mohammed, the House will act swiftly on the findings of the committee and the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on anyone found wanting. His words: “By tomorrow (today) at the plenary, the House will definitely discuss the incident and possibly order an investigation of the air

crash. “Last Sunday’s air disaster claimed the lives of many Nigerians and we are not just going let the matter go without proper investigation to unravel the causes of the crash.” He assured that the House will not allow the report of the committee to be swept under the carpet, adding that the chamber owes Nigerians a responsibility to halt a repetition of such grievous incidents. According to the lawmaker, the Black Box of the ill-fated plane has been recovered, adding that the information gathered from the Box will present accurate information on the probable cause of the crash. Mohammed who also spoke on the public perception on the

non-implementation of previous reports of investigations on government agencies, assured that the 7th National Assembly would not joke with the issue of corruption in government cycles as well as poor performance, adding that the House will ensure that the investigation is treated like that of the fuel subsidy. He said: “Agencies like the Federal Civil Aviation, National Emergency Management Agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and others in the aviation sector are under the oversight supervision of the National Assembly and we are going to apply the full weight the law if any one of them is found to have fallen short of their professional conduct.”

‘Corruption responsible for Nigeria’s ills’ From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

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HE Senator representing Ekiti Central, Babafemi Ojudu, has said corruption is responsible for most of the nation’s woes. He said the Federal Government needs to take steps that would stamp out the malaise, which he said has caused the multidimensional problems militating against Nigeria’s progress. In a statement yesterday in Abuja by his media aid, Mr. Dimeji Daniels, the senator noted that if countervailing measures are not instituted against corruption, the country and its citizens may be consumed soon. Ojudu was reacting to the Dana Air plane, which crashed in IjuIshaga, Lagos, on Sunday, killing all the passengers and crew on board. He said: “All Nigeria’s ills are traceable to corruption.” The senator noted that “most of those who are supposed to be supervisors in the various sectors have neglected their primary duties and have become unconcerned because their palms have been greased with cheap money”. Ojudu said there is no other way to tackle the nation’s woes except stamping corruption ot of the country. According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan must lead the way and demonstrate zero tolerance for corruption. The lawmaker urged the President to start with some known corrupt elements in his administration. He said Dr Jonathan should not wait until any non-performing or under-performing official in his government is convicted before he relieves him of his duties, to warn others to be forthright. This, according to the lawmaker, is why no meaningful action has been taken by the authorities to checkmate the rise in corruption in the country. Ojudu urged Nigerian leaders directly involved in governance to “search their conscience deeply and decide if they are concerned about quality service delivery to Nigerians or how to line their pockets with wads of blood money”. He recalled that in December, last year, alone, 472 persons died in road accidents across the country. The lawmaker condemned a situation where the government jokes with vital national projects that should have long been completed. One of such project, he said, is the expansion and reconstruction of the Ibadan-Lagos Expressway.

Nigeria needs prayers, says cleric From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

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HE Metropolitan Archbishop of the Calabar of the Catholic Church, Rev Joseph Edra Ukpo, yesterday said Nigeria need prayers to overcome its numerous challenges. Addressing reporters in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, as part of activities to mark his 75th birthday, Rev Ukpo said: “The only thing for me is prayer. We should do ourselves a kind of self-examination of the conscience. What are we not doing right? There is no hard and fast rule for solving a crisis. There is no generic rule to solve all kinds of crises that come your way. God tells us: ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ God is not a liar. What kind of nation do we want? We have to ask him and we ask him through prayers. The solution we have for all these is to get closer to God and ask Him to guide us. Prayer for us is the solution and consciousness that all powers rest in God.” The archbishop, who will be 75 tomorrow, said he would retire as in line with the church’s stipulation. He said: “For a bishop, the retiring age is at 75. So, from June 7, I can easily talk as a retired archbishop. “I’m retired but not tired. An archbishop does not retire until he is buried. The administrative work is what I will retire from, to give way to some other person to administer the archdiocese. That does not mean that I will no more be an archbishop. Another bishop will be promoted to the rank of an archbishop and he will now administer the archdiocese.” The cleric said he was ordained as a priest 47 years ago and as a bishop 41 years ago.

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle); Environment Commissioner Tunji Bello (second left); and his Health counterpart, Dr Jide Idris, at the crash site PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

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Relations, friends, others throng LASUTH AMILY members, friends morgue to identify bodies would lose funds. So, they said they would lose resources if and others yesterday

besieged the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to identify the bodies of the victims of Sunday’s Dana Air plane crash in Lagos. The relatives began to assemble at the hospital as early as 7am. They were mostly wearing black dresses and wore mournful expressions. They waited eagerly at the hospital to identify the victims of the crash at Iju-Ishaga. The atmosphere increasingly became tense at the time ticked by. An acrid smell emanated from the Lekan Ogunsola Memorial House, the premises of LASUTH’s morgue. Mourners and workers could smell the near stench from the bodies deposited at

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By Wale Adepoju

the morgue. Many could not control their emotion as they wept profusely for the dead. Among the corpses were those of expectant mothers, children and adults. A mourner, who did not want to be named, said he had lost a friend in the crash. He said the victim was a worker of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to him, the victim was Mr Ami-Aka Raphael. Another mourner, Mr Sambo Tanko, said he lost a breadwinner to the crash. According to him, the deceased was a precious person to him. “He was a grandfather, an uncle and very precious to me. He was the former three-

time Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Alhaji Ibrahim Damcida. He served the country under the Olusegun Obasanjo government. Damchida was the Chairman of Ericson. They called him a Super Perm Sec during Philip Asiodu’s era. He celebrated his 79th birthday just three weeks ago,” Tanko said. Angered by the crash, he said: “There’s no government in this country. I’m just expressing my pain. This moment, I’m feeling very bad. When you want to talk, don’t mention the government. Forget it. We have no government in this country. First, we were made to understand that that the German engineer grounded that plane. But the Indian owners of the plane said they

they didn’t fly. And their management “bribed” the aviation authority and they were allowed to fly. “Now that they have killed our people, what will happen? What do they expect us to do? Oh, compensation? Please! The pain is there. Let us mourn our dead first. For God’s sake, the person (Danchida) I’m talking about here is a royal father, a very important citizen of this nation. This man trained me and he is still training my children. “Was it not only yesterday that they killed people in Bauchi? So, if I decided to go by road and my car tyre punctured and I decided to stop and change the tyre, what if they swoop on me? Is it not the same insecurity we’re talking about?”

Plane crash, Boko Haram: PDP, ACN disagree ACN said: “All is not well on bloodbath in Nigeria with Nigeria under the PDP-

HE ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the main opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State yesterday disagreed over bloodbath in Nigeria. They were reacting to the Dana Air plane crash in Lagos on Sunday and the activities of Boko Haram suicide bombers as well as accidents on the nation’s damaged roads, among others. The PDP, through its Rivers Publicity Secretary, George Ukwuoma-Nwogba, described Sunday’s plane crash as tragic. He condoled with the families of the passengers, the crew on board and others who

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

died where the aircraft crashed. The Rivers Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Jerry Needam, blamed the “unrestrained” bloodbath in the country on the PDP. Rivers PDP, led by Chief Godspower Ake, expressed shock over the crash. He noted that it called for national solemnity and solidarity, devoid of politics. The politician said the plane crash was not a political party’s tragedy but that of all Nigerians.

He said: “Grief, in whatever measure, leaves deep scare in the hearts, much less in a manner as sudden as the plane crash. No doubt, the entire country is mourning. “At this time, our tears should flow together, in honour of the dead and respect for the loved ones left in the smoke of grief. “We see the plane crash as unfortunate and it demands the sympathy of every Nigerian. In times of national calamity, as the Dana Air crash, politics should be kept beyond the border of collective grief.”

led government. ACN is not particularly happy with the unfolding events in Nigeria, whereby innocent lives are murdered daily in the name of Boko Haram and through multiple crashes on our highways, kidnappings and the Dana Air crash. “The PDP-led government in Nigeria lacks the political will to tackle these problems and make our land, water and airways safe. They are surrounded by ‘carpenters’, who know nothing about issues relating to good governance...”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

11

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

‘We are ready to cancel certificates of any insurance company or insurance broker that fails to pay genuine claims as and when due. We insist that cheques must be given within the 90 days stipulated period.’ - Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance

NLC seeks review of airlines’ licences

Court adjourns hearing in Econet/ Bharti Airtel suit By Adline Atili

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

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HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday urged the Federal Government to revamp the aviation industry and review the operating licences of airlines. In a statement by its President, Comrade Abdualwahed Omar, the NLC called on the Federal Government to enact a policy that would peg the age of aircraft operating in the nation’s airspace. It said: “We urge the Federal Government to overhaul the aviation industry, review the licences of airlines operating in Nigeria, including foreign airlines, conduct proper checks on the airworthiness of the aircraft before renewing the licences of the airlines. The Federal Government should also put in place a policy of pegging the age of aircraft operating in Nigeria’s airspace.” Omar noted that in view of the reports on last Sunday’s air crash involving Dana Airline in Lagos, it is apparent that the crash could have been averted if the appropriate regulatory agencies were effective in their responsibilities, adding that the airplane involved was alleged to have been faulty, and this was to the knowledge of its management. He added: “We believe the safety of air travellers in Nigeria should be paramount to the regulatory agencies as well as the airlines that seem to have placed their priority only on profit and not safety. We, specifically, urge the government to do a thorough, transparent and farreaching investigation of this particular crash.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil - $123.6/barrel Cocoa - $2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold - $1,800/troy ounce Rubber - ¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL

-

FOREX

0.2958 206.9 245 156.4 1.9179 241 40.472

•From left: Senior Manager, Government Relations, MTN Nigeria Mr Austin Iyashere; Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria Mr Wale Goodluck; Abia State Governor Theodore Orji and Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma during a courtesy visit by the excutives of MTN to the governor in Umuahia.

Pension fund probe: Senate vows to step on toes

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HE Senate has declared its readiness to step on some “big toes”in its determination to name those behind the multi-billion pension fund scam. The Upper Chamber is expected to receive the report of the Senator Aloysius Etok-led investigative committee that probed the management of pension fund in the country this week. The co-Chairman of the investigation panel, Senator Kabiru Gaya, told reporters in Abuja that the report would not only be comprehensive, but would spare nobody. He was answering questions on why it has taken the committee months to submit its report. Gaya said members of the panel resolved to name any person involved in the pension scam, no matter how highly placed the person might be. He said: “Pension fund administration is difficult to in-

•Says ‘heads will roll’ From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

vestigate. We resolved to name anybody involved in the mismanagement or outright theft of pension funds no matter how powerful that individual might be. Nigeria is greater than any one individual. We are determined to sanitise pension fund administration in this country.” Gaya, who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on States and Local Government, noted that when former Military Head of State General Murtala Mohammed conducted an audit of pension fund administration, it was discovered that some individuals embezzled N100,000 or N200,000. He said it was a matter of concern to members of the

probe Committee to discover that “today people are embezzling billions of naira.” He said: “In the Police Pension Office, we were told that somebody opened 24 accounts in one day. An officer of the Police Pension Office admitted that his account was used to siphon billions of naira. “The officer admitted to have received millions of naira which he paid into his account and later withdrew for other officials. We directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to grab the individuals and give us a report.” Gaya also said another startling discovery the committee made was billion of pension funds starched away in banks by dubious pension fund managers. Pension fund, he said, is

not supposed to be kept in a bank for more than one month, “but we discovered that billions of pension funds were kept in banks for years.” He said: “We saw where N8 billion, N10 billion and N20 billion were kept in banks for more than one year and the bank managers claimed that pension fund does not attract interest. “The bank managers said that it attracts only one per cent. They are lending the money to their customers and using it to run their business. The billions are kept in big banks without interest.” The lawmaker said it was also curious that the affected banks accepted the money without the authorisation of the Accountant-General of the Federation. He said it was curious that 125 pension officials should be drafted to travel abroad to verify 18 pensioners.

Fed Govt secures N6.6t investment commitments HE Federal Government, through the Ministry of Trade and Investment, has secured investment commitments worth N6.6 trillion for the next three years, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Mustafa Bello, has said. Bello, who dropped the hint at a lecture orgnised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) held at Eko Hotel, said the amount comprised N3.9 trillion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and N2.7 trillion in Local Direct Investment (LDI), adding that the investments have the potential for

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By Toba Agboola

job creation. He said the investment drive is on-going, given the many reforms that the Federal Government is putting in place to improve the nation’s business and investment climate. He listed the port reforms, liberalisation in goods clearance, ease of business registartion , tax, immigration, power and improved infrastrcuture as some of the incentives to aid business growth. “Our country has continued to attract the required flow of investment from both domestic and foreign sources, especially in sectors where

we have competitive and comparative advantages, such as downstream oil and gas, mining, agriculture, real estate development, maritime and shipping. “Only recently, the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIPR) was launched by the Ministry and Trade and Investment with participation by the Oraginsed Private Sector (OPS) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). The aim of the plan, which has innovation and skills development as its core agenda, is to firm up our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises( MSME), enhance the productivity of our industrial sector, and transform

it into a modern engine of growth , wealth and job creation,” he said. On the Public Works/ Women and Youth Empowerment (PWYE) Project launched by the government, Bello said the project is expected to generate about 370,000 jobs by the end of the year, adding that the Youth With Innovation programme (YOUWIN), is aimed at empowering 1,200 youths with between N1million and N10million to start their businesses. The President, LCCI, Goddie Ibru, said the country has a private sector that is weak, adding that this is of concern to the operators.

HIGH Court in Lagos yesterday adjourned hearing in an injunction application filed by Bharti Airtel that seeks to prevent an international arbitral process from assessing the amount of equitable compensation and damages due to Econet Wireless Limited. Justice Oludotun AdefopeOkojie said further proceedings in the case would be heard on October 4. On January 24, this year, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had ordered Airtel Nigeria to reverse its name to Econet Wireless Limited (EWL), following a case instituted against it by EWL. Justice Shuaib of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who gave judgment in the matter, said EWL, an international company, based in the United Kingdom, is a shareholder of Bharti Airtel Nigeria Limited and holds five per cent of issued shares of the company and ordered Airtel to reinstate the shareholding of EWL. The court also ordered that actions and resolutions taken by the company, since October 2003 during which EWL was entitled to be notified and to participate in, as a shareholder, but was prohibited, are null and void. This includes decisions to sell shares, issue shares and transfer shares to third parties. The court also ordered that the name change from Econet Wireless Nigeria, which took effect in 2003, was irregular, and must be reversed forthwith. Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was also ordered to cancel any certificate previously issued for the company’s change of name and restore the name of the company to Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited. By the judgment, EWL, through its lawyers, claimed to have written to Airtel Nigeria , for the immediate reissuance of shares in the company to Econet to reinstate its five per cent equity share. Additionally, by the judgment, Airtel is to provide Econet, access to information relating to board decisions and shareholder resolutions in accordance with the Companies Act, the shareholders agreement between the parties and in pursuance of the orders of the Federal High Court. In a swift move, Airtel filed an application for “Stay of Execution” of the said court judgment, made in favour of Econet. In its application, Bharti told the court that, if the judgment is implemented, it would adversely affect the operations of Bharti and its corporate existence, and may impair its ability to effectively prosecute its appeal against the judgment, adding that some key corporate actions taken by the company would be unravelled and this will cause the company incalculable financial losses.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

Naira weakens to four-month low

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

$250 million at N155.75 at its last auction on Wednesday. It did not disclose the amount demanded. The naira has been falling in recent weeks, despite the nation's foreign exchange reserves rising to a 21-month high of $37.64 billion by May 28, up three per cent from a month earlier, as dollar supply still fails to meet demand. The currency, which had consistently stabilised around the N157 to the dollar level for more than three months of this year, came under pressure two weeks ago from strong dollar demand from fuel importers and

12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

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

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

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35

11.35

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

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

By Simeon Ebulu with Agency report

investors repatriating dividends. The CBN has directly sold dollars in the interbank market since last week, outside its bi-weekly foreign exchange auction, to calm the market, with mixed results. Traders expect it to remain relatively stable so long as the apex bank intervenes aggressively to support it. Dealers said foreign investors were exiting their bond positions in Nigeria owing to the rise in inflation, projected to reach 14.5 per cent by the third quarter, from 12.9 per cent in April, which meant a worse outlook for the naira. Weakening United States job data and the unresolved Eurozone debt crisis has prompted foreign investors to pull money out of riskier frontier markets including Nigeria to safe havens or to switch to cash, dealers said.

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. Dana

•As foreign investors repatriate funds

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

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HE naira weakened to a fourmonth low yesterday as foreign investors nervous about inflation and currency weakness pulled their money out of government bills and bonds to repatriate it. The naira was trading at N161.25 to the dollar about midday, against N160.70 on Friday at the interbank market, dealers said. "Foreign investors are exiting the market and that's affecting the naira. This has been the trend since May," a dealer told Reuters, adding that the naira was also very illiquid at the moment. "Real interest rates have slimmed down due to a rise in inflation and forex rates are going up." The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) auctioned $300 million at N155.80 to the dollar, which wasn't enough to support the local currency. It sold

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

‘EEG policy, detrimental to leather industry’ From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

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HE Leather and Allied Products Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (LAPAN) has kicked against the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) policy, stressing that it is causing more harm than good to the country’s economy. In a memorandum submitted to the House Committee on Trade and Investment over the weekend, signed by the Chairman, Board of Trustees of LAPAN, Malam Bashir Ibrahim Danyaro, the industrialists, argued that they are not convinced with the claim that it has created more jobs for Nigerians. They said: “There is this argument that the benefiting companies had provided jobs, but can it be compared to the destruction of the local tanners, who lack the financial muscles to compete in buying the raw skins?” “Due to the unattractive 30 per cent EEG offered to the exporters, thousands of jobs were lost in the shoe industries within the country. We have the leather cottage industries, which solely depends on local tanneries for their source of raw material that have been badly hit, due to the lopsided implementation of the EEG. These beneficiaries of the EEG scheme in the leather sector have sky rocketed the price to an all time high, making it impossible for any local user of leather to remain profitable in the business. “LAPAN should investigate what led to the closure of these shoe factories, namely, Bata Shoes, Silver Shoes, Anita Shoes, Exclusive Leather, Whanu Shoes, Lennards Shoes, Ajalyn Shoes,Kenny Shoes, Unix Shoes, John White and others, which were household names in Nigeria, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

Plateau MDGs’ office executes N2.6b projects •Deputy Governor, Lagos State Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire with Director, Oando Foundation Tokunboh Durosaro, during the latter’s courtesy visit to the Deputy Governor at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja.

N2.264b debt: Consultant loses to Access Bank

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USTICE John Tsoho of the Federal Court has struck out a petition filed by Chief Ajibola Aribisala (SAN) of AOS Practice against Access Bank over its alleged inability to pay a N2.264 billion debt for incompetence and abuse of court process. The court also awarded N300, 000 costs against Aribisala. In his ruling, Justice Tsoho stated that the debt, which formed the basis of the petition is disputed and as such it must be first resolved before a court can have jurisdiction over same. He ruled that Aribisala’s petition was incompetent and constitutes an abuse of court process, stressing that the bank has a legal right not to be unduly interfered with except in a manner allowed by law and, therefore, to advertise the petition, which is founded on a disputed debt amounts to an undue interference with the bank’s right. He added that the court has a jurisdiction to determine the competence of the petition and prevent the abuse of its process by terminating the proceedings where petition presented constitutes an abuse as is this case with the winding-up petition filed by Chief Aribisala. Aribisala had in the petition filed

By Akinola Ajibade

before Justice Tsoho of a Federal High Court in Lagos, alleged that he was owed N2, 264,716,007.98, as fees for various legal services he had rendered to the bank. In the petition, Aribisala averred that he was instructed at different times by the bank to recover various debts, running into billions of Naira, owed the bank by Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited and BiCourtney Limited, adding that the bank also agreed to pay him 10 per cent of the recovered sum. He further alleged that after he had taken steps to recover the debt, Access Bank sold Zenon’s loan assets to the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) for N13.5 billion, in defiance of an earlier agreement he had with the bank. However, during the last proceedings, Access Bank faulted the claims, stressing that it did not at any time agree to pay the petitioner 10 per cent of any amount recovered. The bank, speaking through its counsel, Babatunde Fagbohun (SAN) of Aluko and Oyebode, disclosed that in the letter of instruction given to Aribisala by the bank, the mandate given to him to recover the debt was not exclusive. According to the

bank, it was never in the agreement that it could not resort to other means to recover its money. Contrary to Aribisala’s allegation that Zenon’s loan was sold for N13.5 billion, Access Bank said AMCON only issued bond for the loan, which was, in itself, an instrument of debt. The bank, while describing the bond as a promise to pay at a later date, added that it was not true that AMCON had paid for the loan. The bank said apart from the fact that Aribisala had been paid N173 million, the amount being claimed by him was in dispute, adding that this had robbed the Federal High Court of any jurisdiction in the matter. The bank sought a stay of proceedings on the ground that the alleged indebtedness was being disputed on substantial ground, adding that the court was not the proper forum for the matter to be heard. Aribisala, however, through his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, had filed a preliminary objection to bank’s motion and urged the court to dismiss it and proceed with the matter. But the Court refused Aribisala’s preliminary objection and struck out the petition for being incompetent and constituting an abuse of the court process.

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HE Co-ordinator, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Plateau State, Francis Bot, has said the agency executed 449 projects worth N2.6 billion in various parts of the state in 2008 and 2009. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Jos that the projects were part of MDGs intervention programmes in its bid to meet the 2015 target. He said: “The Plateau MDGs Office was given N895.8million in 2008 to execute the projects, while the office received N1.79billion in 2009,” adding that the MDGs Office has sunk 136 motorised solar boreholes and 289 hand-pump boreholes in communities across the 17 local government areas of the state. He stated that the office distributed 37,400 units of insecticidetreated mosquito nets and 37,400 units of anti-malaria drugs. “Within the two years, 24 clinics were constructed while 55 other clinics were renovated. We have also provided hospital equipment to 96 clinics in the state,”adding that the office trained 340 youths in various skills such as woodwork, computer and carpentry. Bot said guidelines for applying for the intervention programme from the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs are “too cumbersome,” and called for the review of the process to fast-track the implementation for the country to meet the MDGs deadline.


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TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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ENERGY THE NATION

E-mail:- energy@thenationonlineng.net

The members of House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) as part of their oversight function visited petroleum depots in Lagos and Ibadan where they made remarkable observations, which they promised to give urgent attention when they settle for business, EMEKA UGWUANYI Assistant Editor (Energy) reports.

Reps to tackle kerosene scarcity, T downstream issues

HE House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) has said it will tackle the problems that cause scarcity and high price of dual purpose kerosene (DPK) and other issues in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. The committee as part of their oversight function had three-day tour of petroleum depots in Lagos and Ibadan to ascertain the state of the facilities and other challenges that need attention and policy review. After the tour of facilities in Lagos, the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Dakuku Peterside announced the preliminary observations of the committee and assured that the issues would be adequately addressed. In the preliminary observations, Peterside said the committee noticed that the issue of kerosene was identified as a problem by the marketers and companies they visited, which he noted, calls for urgent attention. He said the committee observed that government owned and managed facilities are decayed while those owned by private sector entrepreneurs are well run and managed. He said the House Committee would after thorough examinations of the issues, take a position on all the issues, which would be presented to the House. Peterside said: “We have noticed to our chagrin, that almost all government owned downstream infrastructures are either not well managed or well maintained or in some cases both. We were at Atlas Cove, perhaps those structures were built over 30 years ago and till today there has not been any major upgrade. They still rely on the technology of the 1970s whereas we are in the second decade of 21st century, and every year we do budgeting process, is it that we don’t capture these downstream facilities in our yearly budget?” That is a matter for serious consideration, he added. He said on the contrary, we also noticed that most of the privately owned downstream infrastructures are well run, well managed and well maintained.You can only give it a single meaning, which is, business or even the economy, is better driven by the private sector, other than government. We think that at the appropriate time, when we have reviewed the situation, we should be able to advise government on the limit which it can go in the downstream sector and allow the private sector drive the sector. Another issue the committee noted was that everywhere the members went, DPK was an issue. “Everybody agreed that DPK don’t seem to get to the common man or the consumer at the agreed government rate, whereas the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supply DPK at about N42 per litre to the dealer and it doesn’t get to the final consumer at N50, which is the approved government rate, therefore, something is wrong, which calls for serious attention and we will give it the attention it deserves as a committee and as parliament,” he added. He said: “The other thing we observed is that Nigeria has adequate facility to become a downstream hub

in the West Africa sub-region but we are not. We have adequate storage capacity, we have supportive downstream infrastructure but most of them are heavily underutilised. What that means to us is that there is no synergy between the government and business and there ought to be synergy between government and business. Why there is no synergy is what we cannot explain. We need to investigate further to find out if through legislation and regulation of policy, we can better the situation we have now, so we can strengthen the link between government and business and ensure that Nigeria truly emerges as a downstream hub in the West African sub-region. “We also noticed that a lot of persons have invested heavily in the downstream sector but most of these facilities are either underutilised or under-optimised.” Peterside said the issue of pipeline vandalism is one that requires priority attention because it is impacting on the cost and delivery of products and service in the entire downstream subsector of the petroleum industry. I don’t k now what else we should do but I believe that there is a way out. The committee has agreed to join forces to do anything humanly possible to get out of this messy situation. But as long as we don’t address the issue of pipeline vandalisation, we cannot claim to be serious in ensuring energy security, so we will give it serious attention. On monitoring and surveillance of industry activities, he said the DPR is doing very well but it needs to step up its monitoring function. He said from DPR’s story, within the circumstances in which it operates, it has done its best but it needs to step up. There is gap in their monitoring function and there is much to be done and it seems the current management seems poised to tackle the challenges but we don’t want to believe they are handicapped by re-

sources or by personnel, he added. He also said there is urgent need for downstream facilities to be IT driven. We underlined a bit of that in NIPCO. We need to see that situation in many other facilities so that the situation we had pre-subsidy investigation, which includes serious challenges with product received, distributed and consumed, would not reoccur. If our downstream facilities are IT driven, we will have better records, facilities and data of products that come into the country, he added. The committee noticed that lack of enhanced transparency in the conduct of downstream operation, is another issue in the industry. Peterside said that all the marketers agreed that sometimes they are confused about those to be allocated

product importation and how product distribution is done. We want enhanced transparency in the conduct of business in the downstream sector but as long as we are under regulation clime, we need to push for a bit more transparency, the committee added. On the issue of power, the committee said that virtually everywhere they set in, people provide their own power, most of them depend on generator 24 hours, although that has nothing to do with the Ministry of Petroleum or the industry, it is a nationwide problem but it impacts on distribution and final cost of product and what the consumer pays. At the appropriate time, “we will appeal to all agencies of government with responsibility for power to do everything

humanly possible to ensure that we step up our power output so that it will eventually rub off on the economy, the committee said. “Another recurring issue is environmental challenges associated with petroleum product handling and operation, we will tackle that as soon as we settle down for real business. The environmental challenges are real and threatening,” the committee said. The committee said: “We think that government needs to draw up a programme, set up machinery in motion on how to encourage the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as source of energy at the home front in place of DPK. We know the challenges we have with DPK, and a viable alternative is LPG.” We have seen a few things being done by Oando and a few other players in the industry. If government makes it strong policy to support and encourage use of LPG, our country will be better off for it.”

•From left: Hon. Dakuku Peterside, Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Mr Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, Managing Director, Capital Oil and Gas Limited and Hon Raphael Nnanna Igbokwe during the committee’s visit to Capital Oil’s depot at Apapa, Lagos.

Nnaji explains electricity tariff review

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HE Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji has explained to members of House of Representatives the reason the Federal Government decided to review electricity tariff, from June 1. Nnaji told the lawmakers that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) carries out a major review of electricity tariff every five years as a component of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) in line with the Electric Power Sector Reform (ESPR) Act of 2005 noting that the tariff review has been due since January 1, 2012. The review, he explained, has become imperative because the cost of self generation has become prohibitive, as high as at least four times the cost of having public power supply. He said the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), industrialists in Nigeria generated a little over 4,000megawatts in 2010, which is about the quantum of grid power generated last January, the highest amount of

power ever produced in our national history. The high cost of self generation, he noted, is responsible for the uncompetitive prices of many of our locally manufactured goods, with all the obvious consequences like job losses and high crime rate. It is also responsible for Nigeria’s de-industrialisation, which has seen major companies like Mitchellin and Dunlop migrate from our territory. This trend must be reversed, he added. He said it is also imperative to reverse the situation and save the electric power sector from collapse. “The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), for instance, is in dire straits. It owes critical suppliers huge amounts of money, N400 billion. The creditor firms are huge companies, so they have been able to bear the tremendous burden of the debt crisis. But how long will the situation remain like this? The bad news I have for you here is that these companies are threatening to

stop further supplies until the debts are settled. If the threat is carried out, it will mean a loss of well over 1,000MW from the current supply level, which is a very significant quantum of power,” he said. He said the PHCN generates between N14 billion and N18 billion monthly.The revenue rose up to N18 billion last November because of improved power supply across the country. But it fell to N14 billion last January because of the nationwide protests against the removal of fuel subsidy and the protest by a section of the PHCN staff at the redeployment of their staff members from the corporate headquarters to PHCN successor companies, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and the Ministry of Power. Yet, the PHCN needs to generate a minimum of N22.5 billion monthly to be able to meet its obligations to suppliers, contractors, consultants and, the staff whose wage salary was reviewed upwards by 50 per cent

June 2011 as an incentive for greater productivity. The new tariff regime is critical to the PHCN meeting its contractual obligations to all, Nnaji added. Commenting on the tariff review, Nnaji said the current administration has taken every step to protect the interests of the Nigerian people, particularly the less privileged, in arriving at the tariff which came into effect from June 1. The urban poor and rural dwellers, who have been paying N7 per kilowatt hour (kw/h), will now be paying N4 per kw/h. In addition, they will no longer be paying fixed charge and meter maintenance charge. The government has also decided to make meters available to this category of Nigerians free of charge; the cost of producing and maintaining their meters is now part of the electricity charge. This class of Nigerians comprises those who consume 50kw/h or less per month. They are called R1 and C1 consumers, he said.


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ENERGY Eko Electricity invests N1.5b on power projects

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•From right: Managing Director, SNEPCO, Mr Chika Onyejekwe; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, Ernest Nwapa; and Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission Nigerian, Mr Peter West at Nigeria-UK Oil and Gas Supply Chain programme in Lagos.

HE management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company said it has committed N1.5 billion on maintenance of its equipment in the last six months. The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Oladele Amoda, disclosed this to reporters while fielding questions on the achievements of the company. He said within the last six months, the company has achieved a lot on distribution of transformers to various areas within its network. Amoda said that over N500 million has been spent on faulty or replacement of transformers and installation of new and damage

‘Nigerian firms get 85% of oil contracts’

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HE Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Ernest Nwapa, has said indigenous Nigeria firms are awarded between 70 and 85 per cent of the total contracts in the oil and gas industry Nwapa, who delivered a keynote address at the Nigeria-UK Oil and Gas Supply Chain programme in Lagos, commended the increase in jobs given to indigeneous companies. However, he described it as a partial percentage value of Nigerian Content achieved by the industry. He explained that though there has been a marked increase in contracts awarded to indigeneous companies, the industry still had a long way to go on recording substantial percentages of real Nigerian Content. The Executive Secretary maintained that real Nigerian Content value is based on the proportion of contract sums spent within the Nigerian economy especially on Nigerian made goods and services rendered with Nigerian owned assets and equipment. Nwapa said the real Nigerian

By Emeka Ugwuanyi Assistant Editor

Content value hovers between 12 per cent and 18 per cent at this point, up from three to five percent recorded two years ago. He identified a major weakness of the local supply chain in Nigeria as the absence of manufacturing activity and stated that for such a mature industry, a supply chain without local manufacturing is like a house without solid foundation. Nwapa explained that the predominant message captured in the Nigerian content Act is development of local capacity and Nigerians must be determined to pursue this goal in their quest for partnerships. He stressed that without developing local manufacturing of components used by the industry, there would be no further Nigerian Content growth and creation of employment opportunities would be stunted. In view of this, the Executive Secretary said the board conceived the Equipment Components Manufacturing Initiative, which seeks to get local representatives of Original

Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Nigeria to partner with such OEMs to set up manufacturing facilities in Nigeria. Following this, the board has made it mandatory that any equipment that would be supplied for use henceforth in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, certain components must be manufactured locally. He said the initiative is already yielding positive results with significant number of applications by OEM representatives to domicile equipment component manufacture in Nigeria. Benefits of this initiative for the Nigerian economy will include technology transfer, productive employment and elevation of manufacturing base, he said. Nwapa explained that the industry had achieved between 85 and 90 per cent Nigerian Content in engineering, adding that fabrication tonnage is over 50 per cent, with thousands of jobs created. He also said that Nigerian investors had started owning hi-tech assets and efforts were on course to move some foreign held assets by Nigerians. Commending Shell Nigeria for

organising the UKTI event with the British High Commission in Nigeria, Nwapa noted that Shell is playing a key role in the board’s effort to develop new pipe mills in the country. In his speech at the event, the Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Peter West said, over 40 new alliances formed by British and Nigerian companies are expected to expend over $500 million in the Nigerian oil and gas industry within the next five years. West said the partnerships, some of which will undertake specialist local manufacture, technology cooperation for deepwater production and gas utilisation have the potential to create new investment, business opportunities and high value employment for skilled Nigerian talents. He underscored the importance of the Nigeria UK Supply Chain events, stressing that they bring Nigerian and UK companies together to form sustainable, long term partnerships which will contribute to the competitive delivery of Nigeria’s oil and gas projects.

Ogun, Schneider seal 500 transformers deal

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CHNEIDER Electric has delivered 500 transformers to the Ogun State Government for distribution to the rural communities in the state. It is the initiative of the state government to partner with the company to meet the energy needs of the state in providing both grid and off-grid power sources to the state. Earlier, 350 transformers were handed down to the state government for distribution but after an extensive investigation it was discovered that many of the communities were left out hence, the additional 150 making the total number of 500. The transformers which cost over N700 million have distribution capacity ranging between 200500 KVA and included one 2.5MVApower transformer. Speaking during the ceremony to mark the flag off of the transformers at the Government House in Abeokuta, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Lanre Tejuosho, said this was in fulfillment of the need to have electricity in every home in the state as well as assist the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to have transformers that would enable the electricity generated in the state to get to the rural dwellers. He said the partnership with Schneider arose from the need to ensure that the barriers in terms of

By Ambrose Nnaji

delivery of transformers in the state were bridged. Tejuosho said: “That’s why we partner with Schneider to get the best quality in terms of transformers because in the past people have been buying transformers but we realized that quality had failed us all these while. We don’t want to have any kind of problems with these transformers we are buying that’s why we are going for the best industry.” Schneider Electric, he said, is a global specialist in energy management which offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments including utilities and infrastructure, industries and machine manufacturers, data centres and networks. According to him, the company is focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient and productive. The commissioner said Schneider and the state government would continue to partner towards meeting the energy needs of the state. The government of Ogun state, he said, has remained relentless in its efforts to enhance the productivity and economic potentials of citizens of the state by investing in power projects. It is in this light that the state government collaborated with Schneider electric to provide both grid and off-grid power to the state.

He said one of the major conditions of partnering with Schneider is to have a maintenance workshop where local people would be trained within and outside the country on how to maintain and assemble transformers in the state. He said efforts are ongoing to develop a state owned solar bank, solar farm as well as investing in mini mega plants and installation

and all other sources of energy that are available. The Country President of Schneider Electric, Marcel Horchet, said the technology transfer would create opportunities for employment for many Nigerians. According to him, most of the solar equipment •Continued on page 17

•Akam-Amoda

poles. He said that over 80 transformers of 500 KVA and 70 poles have been installed in the zone in the last six months. Besides, he said: “We have also spent about N96 million on replacement of obsolete switchgear of 33kv at Ademola, Victoria Island and Bekley injection substations. Also 11kv switchgear at Festac, Satellite and Amuwo injection substations were replaced.” The PHCN boss said the company has constructed series of 11kv power lines in several locations such as Mushin, Lekki , Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Ijora and Yaba, among others and about N 58 million to relieve existing line. He said the replacement of faulty 15 MVA and 33/11 KV transformers at Cappa/Nitel, Ademola, Anifowoshe, Keffi and Yaba cost the company over N240 million. “Additional installation of 15 MVA and 33KV/11kv transformers which is ongoing at Agugi in lkekki, Sanya, Keffi and Ajah was estimated at N295 million,” he added. Amoda said that 10 injections stations of the Nigerian Independent Power Projects (NIPP) out of the 27 projects under the zone have been commissioned. He, however, assured that when all the projects are completed by end of the year, it will boost power supply to the zone. Amoda said that the zone has distributed over 100,000 pre-paid meters, while 25,000 was disbursed in the last six months on both new premises and replacement. “About 130,000 customers in the zone who have faulty and obsolete meters will be replaced in the next 18 months from now. New customers are guaranteed to be metered within three weeks of payment of the approved connection fees, while those who have paid earlier with verification receipts of payment shall be metered within three days. Amoda said that zone has deployed effective marketing staff to all its customers of about 320,000 on house-to-house monitoring and to address their complaints promptly.

•From left: Ogun State Governor Sen. Ibikunle Amosun; Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Lanre Tejuoso; Consul-General of France, Mr Francois Sastourne and Country President, Schneider Electric Nigeria, Mr Marcel Hochet, during the flag off of the state-wide distribution of 500 transformers to communities in Ogun at the Government House, Abeokuta.


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ENERGY

Oando deepens LPG consumption with 3kg T cylinders, burners

HE Oando Marketing, a subsidiary of Oando Plc, has taken a step forward toward encouraging increased consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) also called cooking gas . The oil firm has renewed massive importation of smaller cylinders especially the 3kg gas cylinders tagged “3kg O-Gas,” by the company. Various stakeholders including the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association have over the years been making efforts to deepen consumption of cooking gas. They had wooed the government to provide incentives such as reduction and removal of some import duties and taxes paid on LPG accessories, to enable easy and cheaper access to the commodity. Currently, Nigeria is ranked the lowest consumer of LPG having the lowest per capita consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa, hence the efforts by the stakeholders in the LPG sector to step up the consumption especially as Nigeria is one of the world’s largest producers and exporter of crude and gas.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi Assistant Editor

To encourage as many Nigerians as possible to switch over to LPG, Oando promised customers of free re-kitting and refurbishing of damaged valves on 3kg, 12.5kg and 50kg cylinders at any of its retail outlets and also introduced pay-asyou-gas, and initiative that enables a customer to buy the quantity of gas it he can afford. The 3kg O-Gas programme and burners are certified safe for use by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and the company said the programme is targeted at low-income earners. It is cheap and very affordable to refill because with less than N1000, a customer can refill the 3kg cylinder. To further create awareness on the importance of using LPG, which is globally accepted as the cleaner source of energy as against other fossil fuels, wood, coal,

among others, Oando Marketing used the occasion of the 9th year coronation anniversary of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu for endorsement, to spread the good news that cooking gas is no more for the elites and rich as believed by many Nigerians. Although the 3kg O-Gas programme is yet to be formally launched, many people have begun to make enquires on how to get the 3kg gas cylinders with the burners. Oando said it targets to reach over five million households in the next five years. These consumers, the company said, would switch over to gas and reduce environment pollution, and by extension green house gases and global warming as well as deaths. Speaking during the presentation of the O-Gas cylinders and burners to the Oba of Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer of Oando Marketing, Yomi Awobokun, said with

the introduction of the 3kg cylinder, every Nigerian is afforded the opportunity of using LPG, the rich and poor alike. He said: “It is very affordable and we have put in place an initiative to ensure that every Nigerian is cooking with LPG. With the support of the Federal Government initiative, by 2015, with N1,600 to N1,800, a 12.5kg cylinder can be refilled and the government is doing a lot to ensure that the price stays that way. The Federal Government and some state governors have been supportive to ensure that the product is available for all Nigerians. “The advantage of gas is that it is clear energy. The gas project supports the Federal Government’s clean energy initiative and helps reduce deforestation and the emission of harmful gases into the environment and gas helps prevent indoor pollution, which kills up to 100,000 people every year, caused by dirty fumes from domestic use. The health benefits are immense in addition to the environmental benefit apart from the fact that it is

Ogun, Schneider seal 500 transformers deal •Continued from page 16

would be manufactured locally. “As you can see, the equipments that we exhibit today have been developed by Nigerian engineers and manufactured locally “This is the making of technology that we are delivering, technology that will give access to people to have electricity in the remote areas; people who were believed were not going to benefit from the grid in the next 10-15 years or more. Right away, they can have electricity in their communities, we are bringing the right technology, cost effective technology for the state government and which can quickly be implemented, creating jobs and boosting the economy of the state,” he said. He said the transformers were built to the global quality standard for which Schneider Electric is known. Adding, if well maintained the transformers would last for

over 35 years. He commended the Ogun State Government in its efforts of improving access to power in the state. ‘We wish to commend the Ogun State Government for its tireless efforts to enhance access to electricity in the state. We wish to assure the government of our commitment to work with it on an ongoing basis to achieve this objective’, he said. The event also witnessed the unveiling of the latest upgraded renewable energy solutions including containerized micro off-grid solution - Villasol, individual home lighting solution - Indiya and solar powered water solution Water of the Sun. The upgraded solutions, he said, would meet the rising global energy need through innovation. He said we have upgraded our existing renewable energy solutions to suit the peculiar energy needs of people across our markets.

cheaper than the biomass alternative. “We are also into power. We have the Akute Power Plant servicing the Akute Water Works ensuring that Lagosians have water as part of the Lagos State Government’s initiative to bring water to all. We are also involved in gas power initiative. We have gas lines all over Lagos providing gas, which is in turn used for energy for industry, driving down the cost of goods and products for all. “On the fuel side, we have fuel stations all over Lagos selling refined petroleum products with quality service. The LPG we have provided for Lagosians with our 3kg O-Gas and other initiatives we are already executing are to ensure that Lagos remains the foremost and fastest growing city in Africa. The Chairman of House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) Hon. Dakuku Peterside commended the efforts of Oando toward boosting the consumption of the commodity in the country after the committee’s visit to the company as part of its oversight function.

•Oando’s 3kg O-Gas cylinders and burners on display when they were presented to Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu for endorsement.

Ikeja Electricity installs 61,000 meters, 905 transformers By Ambrose Nnaji

•Akamnonu

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KEJA Electricity Distribution Company has installed about 61,000 units of single and three phase prepayment meters in their network and currently installs about 7,000 meters on monthly basis, which is expected to increase to 10,000 meters per month in the next few months. The Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Okaa Akamnonu, an engineer, stated this when the company held its consumers’ parliament in Lagos. He assured the customers that Ikeja was positioned to meet the target set by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to meter all customers within 18 months.

He, however, regretted that payment of connection fees when houses have not been completed as well as some unscrupulous customers’ engagement in meter bypass have been the major challenges confronting prepayment metering and called on all consumers of electricity to desist from such fraudulent act as any one found culpable would not only pay a fine of N5,000 but would also be prosecuted in the law court. Akamnonu also said that the new tariff regime was not in the interest of inflicting pains on Nigerians as rural dwellers and the urban poor would be favoured by the new tariff structure given the N50 billion subsidy provided by the Federal Government. He said à component part of the new tariff system was the encouragement of customers on the need for energy conservation. He said the Ministry of Power had finalized arrangement to distribute energy saving bulbs to customers, which according to him, would be launched in June this year and would be given out free. In order to complement the efforts of the Federal Government in the ongoing power transformation, Akamnonu said a 15MVA transformer is being installed at

Yusuf Injection Substation at Abule Egba, which he said currently has 7.5MVA transformer. Also an additional transformer is being installed at Ago-Okota which he said would be completed soon. Meanwhile, the company had embarked on massive rehabilitation and reconstruction work at the injection substations, which according to him, was aimed at reducing faults occasioned by poor network and vegetation. Already,

rehabilitation work had been completed at Bolorunpe, PTC, Ekoro Abesan and Alimosho. The work which involved complete change of obsolete 11KV panels to new ones is ongoing and would be carried out in other 29 locations within the company’s network. He said the Ikeja Distribution Company was committed to providing quality power supply to all its customers. He said the company had be-

tween 2009 to date injected 905 distribution transformers into the system to relieve and uprate overloaded ones and also replace faulty ones. He said that customer-care centres have been established in all the business units and the company’s headquarters. These centres, he said, have been adequately staffed and well equipped to address the problems of customers.

Seplat Petroleum unveils plans for World Environment Day

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EPLAT Petroleum Development Company Limited, a leading indigenous exploration and production firm, has unveiled plans to celebrate this year’s World Environmental Day in a unique way. The company in a statement said it is devoting time to commemorating and drawing attention to the environment and issues concerning it, as an environment friendly corporate entity. Some of the activities planned by the company include environment-centric education activities, support for environment nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and environment quiz competition for its employees. This year’s World Environment Day is significant and compli-

ments the United Nations’ vision of designating 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The theme of this year’s celebration is – Green Economy: Does it include you? The World Environment Day comes up June 5, 2012. According to the company’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs and New Business Development, Dr. Chioma Nwachukwu, preserving the environment is one of Seplat’s top priorities and core values. She said: “We are mindful of our responsibility to help preserve the environment; we ensure that our operations are in complete harmony with the environment. “This year, we have extended

our concern for the environment beyond the scope of our normal engagements to include environment centered educational activities for the youth. This is in tune with the theme for this year. Our objective is to make the students environmentally aware by engendering environmental consciousness for the young people in our immediate environment through an essay competition.” Seplat has organised an essay competition entitled: Challenges to achieving green economy in Nigeria, in its host communities, said Nwachukwu. “The competition, which was open to secondary school students within our host communities in Delta and Edo States is being conducted with the support of the Chief Inspectors of Education in the areas.”


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ENERGY

•From right: Max Lee Guo Qiaosheng, P.A site manager; Peter Kajewole site manager, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC); Bill White, Head, Generation; James Olotu, Managing Director NDPHC; Philip Ogala, Project Co-ordinator and Liu Zhaolong MD, China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corp (CMEC) Nigeria, the company handling Omotoso Power Plant, when the NPPHC chief paid a working visit to the plant.

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NIPP boosts power with new facilities

HE Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, owners of the National Integrated Power Project(NIPP), is investing on new infrastructure to give the country larger transmission capacity to deliver electricity to homes and businesses. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, the Managing Director James Obi, acknowledged the pressing need for clean infrastructure and the reinforcement and expansion of existing electricity transmission system. He said the agency has been working with state and local authorities, amongst others, in planning the works on the lines, which cross industrial areas, roads, railways and waterways. Olotu handed over some facilities, which include 1x15MVA Fowler injection substation; 1x15MVA Alagbon injection substation; 1x15MVA Bekkley injection substation; 1x15MVA Apapa Road injection substation; and 1x15MVA Tin Can injection substation, to Eko Electricity Distribution Company. He said the national grid faces a number of challenges and that the government is working to create opportunities for addressing the challenges. Olotu noted the needs for new infrastructure to keep up with the demands of the country’s electricity network. He highlighted the importance of investments to repair, upgrade and expand the nation’s power grid, which he added, would boost the economy. Currently, the biggest outlay will be for investments to expand large scale hydroelectric power generation. The other focus is on natural gas generation. Olotu said that NIPP is hoping to achieve a level of capability, where it can effectively evacuate power as generation improves. He said there would be steady rise in power and that whatever was generated would be made available to Nigerians. He said 69 substations are being executed in Lagos alone. The projects, he said, will serve Ikeja and Eko Distribution Companies. According to him, the three sub stations are part of the 34 projects under Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company. He said remarkable progress has also been made in the rehabilitation of the existing PHCN power stations. He said the NIPP is working to complete Omotosho Power Station Phase 2 in Ondo State. He said about 1000 megawatt (MW) will be added to the national grid before the end of the year. He had commissioned

By Daniel Essiet

three 1x15MVA 33/11kv injection substations at Agbowa, Ijede and Ipakodo in Ikorodu area of Lagos. He said what the company is doing is to set up structures to ensure that service delivery keeps on improving. He said the country was growing rapidly, and there were a lot of generation and transmission facilities being built to supply it. Olotu said the electricity framework involves a lot of components. These include installation of distribution transformers in various locations, construction and erection of poles and construction of transformer and feeder pillar plinths. The network consists of overhead lines, under-

ground cables and substations that carry high voltage electricity across the country. He said the investment will keep the lines in good working order to ensure that everyone has the power they need, safely, and at the touch of a button. He said longterm outages could pose a threat to the economy. According to him, the interdependencies of other critical infrastructure, such as gas on electric power are also a concern for long term outages. He said the government is adding new infrastructure to increase the resilience of the nation’s electric transmission grid. The transmission grid is the backbone of our electric infrastructure, providing the long haul delivery of electricity by connecting the genera-

tion capacity to the distribution network. Transformers are subject to a number of vulnerabilities that can impact the grid’s ability to rapidly to distribute light. The Chief Operating Officer, GTA Engineering (Nigeria) Limited, one of the contractors that did the job, Praveen Gupta said his company has undertaken several projects under NIPP that were completed within record time without compromising quality. Such projects include amongst others building 33/11kv substation. He said his organisation has been working with PHCN to replace 15MVA,33/11Kv transformers that

were faulty. He said his company is involved in manufacturing of transformers and substation equipment. According to him, the emphasis is on transformer technologies ,which makes the unit more modular, easily transportable, and quick to install as key priorities. He said his company is building transformers which are reduced in weight and size for transportation purposes while maintaining performance and reliability. He said the company ‘s transformers are designed to the specific voltage levels and rapidly deployed when needed.

Obi backs power sector reforms

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HE Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has said the ongoing reforms in the power sector will reposition the sector for sustainable growth and efficient service delivery. Governor Obi spoke at the second session of the Fifth Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Oji River at St. Marks Church, Amankpunato-Achi, Oji River Local Government Area, Enugu State. Obi, who lamented that huge resources expended in the sector by previous administrations, did not yield any appreciable result, and expressed confidence that the new programmes introduced by President Goodluck

Jonathan would reinvigorate the sector to meet the needs and expectations of the people, as well as reduce government involvement in power management. Obi also explained that the removal of oil subsidy would help tackle corruption in the oil sub-sector adding that the new power tariff introduced in the country would benefit the poor as they would pay less for power consumed. He warned of the dangers of borrowing to finance consumption and urged the church to speak out against the shortcomings of political leaders to enable them learn and correct their mistakes.

•Gov. Obi being blessed by the Anglican ArchBishop of Enugu Province, Most Rev. Amanke Chinelo Madu at the event.

Energy prices

Domestic prices of petroleum products

Energy & Oil Prices OIL ($/bbl)

Companies

PMS

AGO

DPK

Conoil

97.00

160.00

140.00

AP

97.00

160.00

140.00

Total

97.00

160.00

140.00

Oando

97.00

160.00

140.00

Mobil

97.00

160.00

140.00

Texaco

97.00

160.00

140.00

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

83. 23 98. 81 83 23

Energy

97.00

160.00

140.00

Fagbems

97.00

160.00

140.00

Nipco

97.00

160.00

140.00

- 3. 81% -3. 20% -3. 81%

06/01 06/01 06/01

PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Heating Oil Future 262.88 Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future 265.68 NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu)

-7.53 -6.69

-2. 79% -2. 42%

06/01 06/01

PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Henry Hub Future 2.33 Henry Hub Spot 2.24 New York City Gate Spot 2.29 ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour)

INDIGENOUS

-3.30 -3.27 -3.30

PRICE*

-0.10 -0.11 -0.16

-3.96% -4.68% -6.53%

06/01 06/01 06/01

CHANGE % CHANGE TIME

Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot 19.27 8.56 79. 93% Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot 28.69 -1.69 -5. 56% BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON 26.38 -0.81 -2.98% • Bloomberg Oil Buyers Guide

06/01 06/01 05/31


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

19

EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

COMMENT

153 deaths and counting •We need urgent inquest into not only Dana management but also the NCAA

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OR Nigerians, it was yet another call to national mourning when Sunday June 3, Dana Air Flight 0092 crashed into a residential building at the Iju area of Lagos, killing about 153 persons, including crew members on board. Coming only a few hours after suicide bombers killed 15 people and injured 42 others in two churches in Bauchi, Bauchi State, the day has been rightly described as ‘black Sunday’. The plane, which took off for Lagos from Abuja was said to have declared an emergency with the Lagos Control Tower at 11 nautical miles to the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos. We still dont knowhow many died on the street where the plane crashed into. The crash was a sad reminder of the sad era when planes dropped from the skies as if the country was under some spell. We recall the crash of EAS Airlines’ BAC 1-11-500 on May 4, 2002 in a poor, densely populated area of the ancient city of Kano. About 148 persons died in the crash, including 72 on the ground. Then on December 10, 2005 a Sosoliso Airlines DC-9 crashed in Port Harcourt, killing all 103 persons, mostly students coming home for the Christmas/New Year holidays. And on October 29, 2006, ADC Airline Boeing 737 carrying about 104 persons crashed during a rainstorm, minutes after take-off from the Abuja Airport. Although there were six survivors, the Sultan of Sokoto who was among the passengers died in the incident. Apart from these fatal crashes, there were other near mishaps, including that

of Air France A330 on July 6, 2005, in Port Harcourt; among others. We have had planes overrun runways, run into cows on the tarmacs due to lack of a basic facility as perimeter fence. Indeed, the frequency of these mishaps became an embarrassment to Nigerians and the President Olusegun Obasanjo government which, at some point, almost became a specialist in graveside orations. Nigerians called for concerted actions to halt the trend, rather than empty promises to investigate the crashes, and punish culprits. We cannot afford to return to that era where air travellers in the country would be travelling with their hearts in their mouths. And we need more than the president’s declaration of mourning in honour of the dead. We also need more than his assurances to air travellers that every possible effort would be made to ensure that we learn the right lessons from the sad incident. We have heard that time and again from his predecessors. Indeed, such statements coming from Nigerian leaders have almost become a cliché. We have also seen intervention funds in the sector (as in most other sectors) disappearing into thin air without consequences. There is much to lament over this crash. Is it true the plane had terrible technical defects before it was brought to Nigeria? Moreover, Governor Godswill Akpabio said he warned the managing director of Dana Air over its negligence, following the averted disaster involving an aircraft en-route Lagos from Uyo.

We have to focus more on regulating air operations. Apparently many aircraft flying our airspace are not worthy. The Sunday crash made mincemeat of the aviation authorities’ celebration of five years accident-free in the sector. It was perhaps more of an act of Providence than any measures put in place. We call for a swift and thorough inquest into the Dana tragedy as well as a comprehensive technical investigation into the activities of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and its adherence to standards, as well as possible culpability of the Dana Air management’s neglect and incompetence. Punishment and sanctions should be unsparing. Lives are too important to be left in the hands of airline managers alone.

‘We call for a swift and thorough inquest into the Dana tragedy as well as a comprehensive technical investigation into the activities of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and its adherence to standards, as well as possible culpability of the Dana Air management’s neglect and incompetence. Punishment and sanctions should be unsparing. Lives are too important to be left in the hands of airline managers alone’

Pending cases in courts •CJN should do more than raise the alarm on the figures; he should reform the process

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HIEF Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, has observed that over 110,000 cases are pending at the Federal and State High Courts. This number is unduly high. The CJN also stated that there is an ongoing justice reform initiative for “a fast, simple and efficient justice system.” He made these observations when the chairman and members of the Tax Appeal Tribunal visited him. We share the CJN’s concern and urge him to do all within his powers to move that reform process forward, so as to bring greater efficiency into our judicial process. Part of the reasons for the und uly high number of pending cases is that, relative to our population, the courts are obviously

‘Justice Dahiru Musdapher has observed that over 110,000 cases are pending at the Federal and State High Courts. This number is unduly high ... We share the CJN’s concern and urge him to do all within his powers to move that reform process forward, so as to bring greater efficiency into our judicial process’

not enough. In Lagos State for instance, despite the fact that the state has more number of courts at federal and state levels than the states in some regions of the country put together, the judges are still overburdened. This overstretched system affects efficiency and causes delay. Of course, part of the problem arose from years of rot left behind by military dictators who did not attach any importance to the development of a strong and virile judicial process. Another challenge yet to be fully addressed to aid our judicial process is the slow rate of introducing technology to our courts. It is not helpful that many of our judges still write the proceedings of their courts in long hand, despite the clear advantages and certainty that technology confers. For instance, with an efficient and protected recording system, all a judge has to do is keenly observe the demeanour of a witness and guide proceedings in his court, instead of the tedious labour of writing all that the witnesses and counsel are saying, and probably missing out on some helpful conducts of the litigants. Moreover, the excessive number of cases aid corruption. While the aphorism that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ is true in the circumstance, there is even the more worrisome stance that such could aid corruption, as prioritisation may come with a price. The delay in our judicial process also discourages confidence from the international community,

which in turn affects the highly competitive international investment. In the same vein, confidence of the litigants is affected and instead of placing confidence on the judicial process, many resort to self-help or crimes to settle business relations that have gone awry. To help the judicial process reform to acceptable international standards, there is the need for concerted investment by the governments. Such intervention will ensure that more courts are built, and more judges appointed to handle the cases. As we have argued before, there is the need for special funding for Lagos, as it represents the business hub of the country, and efficiency in the judicial process will aid substantially foreign direct investment, as the state is the barometer through which the country is gauged. We must also be ready to invest in the training of judges and members of their staff. Judges need to go on regular refresher courses and also get trained on information technology, so that they can write and type their judgments by themselves, if they want to. Also, their confidential and other staff need to be trained on the peculiarity of their responsibilities and information technology. Without a robust refresher training, many of the judges perform at very slow pace, which also compounds the systems inefficiency. While agreeing with the CJN’s observations, it is important that he walks his talk for a more efficient judicial process.

Charles Taylor and the next 50 years

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N his fancy suit, yellow tie and wire-rimmed glasses, Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, looked deceptively respectable as he sat waiting for his sentencing on Wednesday. No one was fooled, least of all the judge at an international criminal court near The Hague who gave the former warlord 50 years in prison for his role in instigating murder, mutilation, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone’s horrifying civil war during the 1990s. Now he must also be held accountable for his role in Liberia’s 14-year civil war. Some 250,000 people died in the fighting in the two countries — and their blood is on Mr. Taylor’s hands. It took a decade, but justice is finally catching up with one of West Africa’s most feared men. His case is a historic victory for the rule of law and his thousands of victims. He is the first head of state convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international court since the Nuremberg trials after World War II. His legal team said it would appeal and argued that the sentence was excessive because it means Mr. Taylor, 64, would spend the rest of his life behind bars. The court rightly found him guilty of “aiding and abetting, as well as planning, some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history.” There is no doubt about his role or the fact that he deserves no mercy. The success of this case — and the prosecutions of wartime Bosnian and Serb leaders — should be a warning to other murderous leaders that there will be no impunity. Proceedings at the International Criminal Court have already begun against the Ivory Coast’s brutal former president, Laurent Gbagbo. And Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is the subject of an international arrest warrant. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who has been waging terror against his people for 14 months, should be worried as well. – New York Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

20

EDITORIAL/OPINION

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IR: President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29 announced the change of name of the University of Lagos after the acclaimed winner of the June 12 election, late Chief MKO Abiola. This action of the President resulted in protests and criticisms as students of the university trooped out in their thousands to register their grievance. As expected, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku came out to say there is no going back on the issue. This is utterly undemocratic. It is therefore important that Nigerians know why the students are protesting. It is wrong for a segment of the public to say the students do not know or appreciate the contribution of Abiola to democracy in Nigeria. We are intellectuals who have read a great deal about Abiola. What about the

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UNILAG and name change protest alumni, post-graduate students, members of ASUU, UNILAG branch and staff of the University who were around during the June 12 saga? We all appreciate the heroism of Abiola and acknowledge that he deserves to be honoured but not in these circumstances. The people have to know that the President is renaming UNILAG simply because of politics. He wants to garner cheap popularity from the people of the South-west.

What this means is that the President is toying with the 50years legacy of UNILAG not because he truly wants to honour Abiola but because of politics. How can the President wake up one morning and decide to rename the University of Lagos, which was created by an Act of Parliament, without recourse to the National Assembly and the authorities of the university? Didn’t Abiola famously say that you cannot shave a man’s hair in his absence? The

President did this on Democracy Day in a manner reminiscent of the military who unjustly crucified Abiola. The University of Lagos has built and maintained its brand for the past 50 years. It has signed various memoranda with foreign universities and international organisations of repute. This change of name is sure to jostle them. It would also cost billions of naira of taxpayers’ money to effect the change of name on all letter

The furore over teacher assesment in Ekiti

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IR: In 2008, I attended the christening of a baby in a church owned by the husband of my secondary school English teacher. Very intelligent woman! The time came for her to deliver the sermon and she mounted the pulpit. I listened carefully to be sure the words I was hearing were actually coming from her. How could my cherished English teacher sound like this? Then I realised that she had been like that all along. I also discovered that that was why many of my friends from the same secondary school still battle to get the Ekiti accent out of their spoken English. This woman is responsible for the heavily accented English language and the uncoordinated English sentences that had become the trademark of most of the students who attended the same secondary school as I! Being our English teacher, not knowing any better, we looked up to her as the shining example who spoke the perfect Queen’s English. Years later, it turned out that she

had only succeeded in handing down to us a blighted English language. My saving grace was going to the university to study English and Literary Studies. Not many of my friends had this chance, more reason some of them still consider our teacher a shining example today. Would I put my child under the tutelage of such a teacher today? No! Do I consider her competent enough to impart meaningfully the lives of the students under her? No! Unfortunately, what I think does not matter in this case because our schools are populated by teachers like this. If ‘stood’ is what one’s teacher calls ‘stool’, unlike a child who has educated parents who could instruct him otherwise, who instructs the child of unlettered parents? This is where government should come in as the hope of such kids, ensuring that teachers are exposed to up-to-date teaching methods and the teachers should be made to write tests which would let the appropriate regulatory body

discern their professional fitness and areas to be improved upon. Only this way would the future of the Nigerian child and the future of Nigeria be salvaged. It beats me, however, that teachers in the employ of Ekiti State Government have done all in their power to resist efforts by the government to conduct the Teacher Development Needs Assessment (TDNA). I have watched how the whole process has been distastefully reduced to politics. It is true that some of these teachers have been doing the job for years, but times have changed and are still changing. We cannot afford to keep recycling ignorance. If the children of the poor must measure up to their rich counterparts who are put in good schools, those who impart knowledge to them must be effective, competent and up-to-date. As for the politicians who have lashed on to the TDNA to run down the Kayode Fayemi administration, we all know that in Nigerian politics, most times good reasoning gives in to pedestrian arguments

because of insatiable thirst for power. Fayemi is the Governor of Ekiti State now; if it is part of his agenda to restore sanity and efficiency to the education sector, the teachers just have to fall in line. Rather than sack any teacher deemed incompetent after the TDNA test, the Fayemi government, as it has promised, should embark on massive training and re-training of the teachers. It should expose them to modern trends. Should any teacher afterwards prove un-trainable, the government can then redeploy such to other sectors where they could prove useful. As is commonly believed by some, teachers are born. Not everyone can be a teacher. There is a need to separate the ones who became teachers out of frustration due to the prevailing unemployment situation in the country from those who really have passion for the job. • ‘Dimeji Daniels Ado- Ekiti

headings, certificates, sign posts, documents, tags, websites and other symbols of identity and representation. This money can be used to improve the standard of education that we have clamoured for in our universities. If the President truly wants to honour Abiola, why can’t he name the Abuja National Stadium after him since Abiola was considered as the Pillar of African Sport? After all, the National Assembly passed the motion for the stadium to be named after Abiola during Obasanjo’s era. Abiola’s heroism brought democracy to Nigeria and not the South-West alone. So why can’t he be honoured on a national scale? Places such as the Eagle Square, the National Hospital in Abuja where Abiola died, or one of the nine newly established universities that lack identities could be named after the late sage. In my view, the best way to honour Abiola is to declare him winner of the June 12 election, uncover the shady events surrounding his death in 1998, and name June 12 democracy day or MKO Abiola Day. There is a saying which goes, if you want to rob a man of his manhood, simply take away his identity. UNILAG is more than a name, it is more than an identity; it is a society. Names of universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, University of London and University of California have not been changed not because their respective nations do not have heroes to name them after, but because these institutions are the pride of their nations. So also, the University of Lagos is a reference point in the scheme of things in Nigeria. We therefore call on the Nigerian people to support us in this quest of fighting dictatorship and undue politicking, and retaining the name that has served as a pride to Nigeria for the past 50 years. • Obia Vincent Adakole, University of Lagos


21

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

EDITORIAL/OPINION

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REAT MAULites, great! his university? Would he not Great MAULites, great! thunder, legal-speak, what their Greeeeeaaaaatttt! locus is? Yeah, public universities are not that sweeping. But Students and alumni of the University it is the same principle of proof Lagos (Unilag) proudly hail themprietary rights. selves “Akokites”; from Akoka, near As to the former viceYaba Lagos, where the university is sited. chancellor’s claim that MKO But now, courtesy of President was not connected with Unilag Goodluck Jonathan’s May 29 Democracy Olakunle as Awo was with Unife, that is Day broadcast, it has been decreed they true only on the surface. For lordbeek@yahoo.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola would henceforth be MAULites (a cynic starters, MKO once worked at quipped: all other documents remain the Lagos University Teaching invalid!). Hospital (LUTH) as chief acThey are now students and alumni of countant. Is LUTH the teaching the renamed Moshood Abiola Univerhospital of the University of sity, Lagos (MAUL) – to be sure, not the most pleasant-soundIbadan? Then, one day when MKO endowed all Nigerian uniing of acronyms! Great Akokites, great! But Great MAULites? Of course many, if not most, of his colleagues were just arversities to the tune of billions of naira, Unilag was a grateful Still, should a sudden change – and decreed to boot! – from rested, to use youth-speak, by “e-fizzy” and swagger: youth-driven and happy beneficiary. When his Abiola Bookshops also doAkokite to MAULite trigger hair-splitting protests so far vanity with little introspection. nated to Unilag, as to other tertiary institutions, nobody thought engendered? Hardly! That is where jokes like, with Unilag becoming MAUL, the Abiola’s name sounded inferior or less “tush” – the basis of the Flashback 1987, at the death of Chief Obafemi Awolowo university’s female undergraduates were now “Abiola babes” vainglorious agitation going on, over Unilag’s so-called pres(1909-1987), and the consequent renaming, by the Ibrahim (someone even suggested “Moshudi babes”!); or claims that the tige. Babangida military junta, of the University of Ife (Unife) as university would lose its prestige and brand equity and all that. Besides, when MKO’s Community Concord let the gown to the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). But how? By the way, did anybody tell the hotheads in the town at a premium, using academics from Unilag and other Ripples was at Graduate School in Mass Communication, streets that without MKO’s martyrdom for democracy, the tertiary institutions teaching mass communication as resource ironically in this same Unilag; with a young female classBabangida and Abacha military era “mad dogs” would gladly persons, no one complained Abiola’s munificence was less mate, an Ife graduate. Rather conceitedly, the girl sneered at have mown them down? measly than Unilag’s! And those whose angst is the humongous the gesture and arrogantly declared she was a graduate of Ife Regrettably, even the alumni and associated key figures have cost to rebrand Unilag as MAUL: is that costlier than sustaining and never of OAU. not shown any appreciation of Nigerian history and MKO’s the grave injustice of MKO losing his mandate, his humongous Was Awo intrinsically bad and Unife intrinsically good eminent place in it, earned with blood and gore. One former business, his wife and finally his life, for winning the fairest that the Awo name would have thoroughly polluted the Ife vice-chancellor accused Jonathan of lacking a sense of history. election in Nigerian history? academic brand? In the same token, was MKO so intrinsiHis claim? Aside from Unilag being founded by statute and that The connect between MKO and Unilag, vis-a-vis Jonathan’s cally bad and Unilag so intrinsically good, that the Unilag law had not been amended, MKO was not connected with Unilag announced name change, is simple. Some unconscionable fedbrand would be thoroughly compromised and destroyed, if as Awo was connected with Ife. Another, a former pro-chanceleral power monsters had committed grave injustice against Unilag is renamed MAUL? Hardly! lor and chairman of council – also a private university owner – MKO and his family. Now Jonathan, from that same corridor, With all due respect to the feelings of the aggrieved, the declared that, as at now, MAUL was unknown to the Unilag 1962 after Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’adua, not to present uproar over the change of Unilag to MAUL is founded Act of Parliament; and to that extent, the renaming was illegal. talk of Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha, the original conon nothing but empty sentiments; a frothing wave of unreaBut the operative phrase is “as at now”. A legitimate presidenspirators, has renamed the first federal university after indeson driven by culpable zero sense of history. tial prerogative has started an executive process. To be sure, it pendence to right that wrong! For starters, the Unilag students that stormed the streets would have been tidier to have amended the Act before anIs there then a Babangida in all of them (to parody that great hardly knew MKO Abiola. It is a classic burlesque of the nouncing the change in name. But until the National Assembly columnist, Gbolabo Ogunsanwo of the defunt Sunday Times Biblical Pharaoh who knew Joseph not! soundly rejects the president’s proposal – and on what basis fame), youth and elders, chasing shadows over “prestige”, inIn a grand and remarkable irony, which was totally lost on would it? – it is pretty hasty to declare the move illegal, with all stead of hailing the righting of a great historical wrong? Even him, a Unilag protester told The Punch that he was in pridue respect to the legal giant. the claim that Unilag is “South West” is emotive. As at the mary one when the 12 June 1993 crisis started; and that he did Besides, as a university owner himself, would the students time Unilag was founded, Akoka was part of the federal terrinot know Abiola. However, his father told him MKO was a take to the streets because he had announced he would rename tory of Lagos Mainland, not the Western Region, though Lagos lover of sports. Why didn’t Jonathan, he queried with the is ethnic Yoruba. Really, the Unilag folk should be proud as puritanical ire of a wizened sage, name a sports stadium vessel to right the great Abiola wrong! after MKO, instead of his darling Unilag? This youngster, in “The present uproar over the change prime Ripples is always very critical of Jonathan. But on this one, his second year, belonged to the university’s Faculty of Arts of Unilag to MAUL is founded on the president is spot on. If indeed, it was a cynical move as and Social Sciences! insist, it is just desert that the alleged cynicism has blown Yet, even as an arts/social sciences student, his academic nothing but empty sentiments; a many in his face. But even that is a grand lesson: see the cost of trying appetite was never sharpened to go on the net and read up right the wrong of June 12, after 19 years, when the same frothing wave of unreason driven by to MKO? What sort of youth are these – almost always reacting Jonathan presidency is trying to force the Ayo Salami juridical on the spur of the moment, with little or no perspectives? culpable zero sense of history” wrong on the beleaguered polity?

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epublican ipples

OING by the new wave of regulatory activism in the last six months, Nigeria ought to have turned the corner of corporate institutional meltdown in at least two major sectors of the economy. I refer here to the sectors of aviation and telecommunications – sectors that have seen their regulators mount the offensive –as far as wielding, or threatening to wield, their heavy regulatory hand to get the operators to deliver value to those they are meant to serve. Unfortunately, we are learning late in the day how deceptive appearances can be. I start with the honey pot called the telecommunications industry – a sector that has been in the news for the wrong reasons of late. This sector has known nothing but decline as far as delivering value to the consumer is concerned. As operator after operator ran out of excuses to explain the inverse relationships between their revenues and quality of services, the telecommunications regulator, woke up, as if from the dead in mid-May to announce a hefty fine of N1.17 billion on the network operators. The plank of the regulatory action was that the operators had failed collectively to meet the Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) set by it for the months of March and April. For this, MTN and Etisalat were asked to cough out N360 million each; Airtel on its part was required to pay N270 million and Globacom N180 million. Perhaps out of fear of possible operator-defiance, each was served notice of additional penalty of N2.5 million for every single day they fail to pay after the May 25 deadline. Well, this is the third week; and it seems unlikely that the record N1.17 billion fines had hit the NCC account. Rather, the indications are that a form of accommodation is being sought through the office of supervising minister for the operators – excepting the payment of the stipulated fine! The issue here is hardly one of who is right – or wrong. There may, indeed, be legitimate questions about the propriety – or otherwise of the regulatory action. What is revealing is the pathetic helplessness of the regulator in the aftermath of its regulatory hammer. The question of why the body would dare to bare its teeth when it knows it cannot bite has, naturally arisen. But even more is the professional depth of the regulator in making judgment calls that it knows that it cannot enforce. While it may seem early at this time to draw conclusions on the possible outcome of the tango, it looks increasingly unlikely the NCC would emerge from the affair with its hard-won reputation intact. Now, that is how costly bad judgments can be! As for the aviation sector, the wave of regulatory activism seems to have started last year when the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) came down hard on the two British mega carriers – British Airways and Virgin Atlantic over charges of collusion and price fixing. At the time, not

Furore over MAUL

Policy Sanya Oni sanyaoni@yahoo.co.uk 08051101841

A tale of two regulators a few Nigerians were led into the false suggestion that the Daniels – so to speak – of the two airlines had come to judgment. After all, it was common knowledge that both had been convicted and fined heavily in the UK and US for the same crime of collusion. What followed was a hefty fine of $125 million a-piece even as both denied any wrong-doing. As it turned out, our regulator was not even aware that it had no basis in law to impose any monetary fine. Indeed, it took few weeks for the arbitration body empanelled by the authority after the protest by the two offenders to turn in the verdict that the maximum penalty at the time the infractions took place was a “stop and desist order” notice – whatever that means! A similar scenario – involving the same British mega carriers – was to play out again in March. Nigeria’s Aviation Minister Stella Oduah had charged the two airlines with unfair trade practices. For that, they were ordered them to dismantle what was then described as imbalance in fares or suffer the hefty risk of a ban from the lucrative Lagos-London route. They were given a 30-day window to comply by the minister. Three months after, we are still waiting for the minister to set in motion the process to ban both airlines since both opted to defy her! Those who had problems with the minister taking on the airlines as against the industry’s regulator – the NCAA are probably right. Nothing of the discriminatory fare issue existed that could not have been handled by the NCAA. It may well be that for reasons bordering on hollow patriotic rage; the minister, particularly in the wake of the crisis over the unfair treatment meted to the Nigerian carrier – Arik – chose to escalate the crisis as if to draw battle over the of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) said to have been unfavourably skewed against Nigeria. Well, the honourable minister has had nearly three months to imbibe the lesson that activism does have its limits. Not only is our lone crusader forced to eat the humble

pie, the offending airlines can – to use the Nigerian parlance – “carry go” – threats or no threats! The lesson here: hollow rage cannot substitute for integrity and proficiency of those charged with the business of regulating institutions. With the DANA Air disaster at the weekend, the nation seems set to relearn the ABC of aviation regulation anew. It is a journey of discovery of the impotence of our so-called regulators. The troubling indication is that we may well have been majoring on minors all these while. Now this is hardly about drawing premature judgment about the weekend disaster. However, it is hard to resist the premature comment that we may have done pretty well at taking care of minor things –such as painting of airport terminals – which is where easy money is made – while the industry was left to slip into its ignominious past. It seems not too long ago that we had one-aircraft airlines. How come these have returned after the hoopla of aviation reforms? Yes, we are hearing threats –lots of it – being bandied about as unscrupulous, conniving officials twist all regulations in the rule books to save their skins. And while we are at it, we have been granted three days to mourn the souls that perished – enough time to reflect on how as citizens, we have been reduced to the status of expendables by our government – through the institutions said to have been established to take care of us. The saying is true after all – that in Nigeria’s regulatory jungle, anything is permissible!

‘We are hearing threats –lots of it – being bandied about as unscrupulous, conniving officials twist all regulations in the rule books to save their skins. And while we are at it, we have been granted three days to mourn the souls that perished – enough time to reflect on how as citizens, we have been reduced to the status of expendables by our government – through the institutions said to have been established to take care of us’


22

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

EDITORIAL/OPINION

G

OD, please give Nigeria leaders who will act in the best interest of Nigerians and the country all the time. You will get to know soon why I am saying this prayer, as I am of the strong opinion that the country has been unfortunate not to have such leaders, past or present. You may want to disagree with this by arguing that we’ve had quite a few that were good, you may be right, but then most of these beautiful ones never held positions that matters in this country, where they could affect the destiny of our people and our nation substantially, for good. I have been off this page for some time now traveling round the country campaigning for a leadership position in the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). The election has come and gone (permit me to use that cliche) and the outcome was not too good, but if I tell you why we failed you’ll be shocked. All I can say is that if things continue like this in the country, we are headed for disaster. Don’t say God forbid; let’s work and pray for Nigeria. The journey through the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory by road was tortious and I am sure you know why. Most of the roads are so bad that one was left with the impression that our leaders are wicked. Although this might be taking the annoyance too far, the fact remains that if our leaders, especially the Minister of Works (what’s his name) travel round Nigeria by road once or twice a year, they will know first hand the

‘The coastal road project could in one breadth settle the problem of marginalization which the people have been crying over, create jobs and job opportunities for the teeming unemployed, thereby removing the source of recruitment of potential militants and create life more abundant for the people as well as shore up and diversify Nigeria’s economy. This is what Jonathan should do and posterity would remember him for good’

H

OUSING, clothing and foods are the basic needs of every human being. Of the three, housing problem has become a recurring decimal in Nigeria since independence. The cost of housing has continued to skyrocket in the face of poor economic growth. There are not enough houses for Nigerians to lay their heads. After the Second World War, the British government in their wisdom built more than two million houses. That is why till today in Britain, people do not look for where to build houses, but houses that they will buy and the houses are always there for sale because they are enough. But in Nigeria, the reverse is the case because of the neglect of the housing sector by successive governments, especially over the argument whether private sector should take over the sector or should government continue to get involved in it. Some state governments have hidden under this argument to abandon the sector completely in the developmental agenda. That is even when it is clear that in developed economies of the world, governments are still deeply involved in housing programmes. This is because their involvement will make the houses affordable, unlike when the sector is being left in the hands of private investors only. During the Second Republic in Lagos State, the then governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande built a lot of estates especially for the low-income earners. Till today, the estates have saved a lot of people the problems of accommodation in the state at affordable rate. It is one monumental achievement, which Jakande is still being remembered and respected for in the state and country today, many after he has left office as governor. It appears the Abia State government under Governor Theodore Orji is toeing Jakande’s footstep in the housing projects in

Why not East-West Coastal Road? conditions of the roads; the ones that need urgent attention/repair/reconstruction and; where new roads should be constructed and why. I am sure the minister has never done this, not even his principal, President Goodluck Jonathan has travelled round Nigeria by road. What a pity? And these are our leaders? Though the bad roads are not restricted to one region of the country alone, in some regions the Federal Government needs to act fast in the interest of the economic and social lives of the people of those regions in particular and the country in general. Once of such regions is the Niger-Delta area in Nigeria’s South-south geopolitical zone. One has been to that region several times but often times flying into Port Harcourt, the regional capital and making the rest of the journey to the other states by road. Traveling throughout this region from Lagos by road is another experience, one which many would not wish to go through but which most of the 30 million or so population of the region have no choice but to make on a daily basis. Traveling through the present East-West road especially from Warri in Delta State through Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom to Cross River state is hell, but this is the only option open to some of the people there; and this is even just a part of the story. The main story is that many of the people, especially in the riverside areas don’t even have any road to travel on, they rely on water, need I say polluted water/rivers, to move around, conducting their social and economic activities. The present East-West road as bad as it is, is even of no use to them as they are located about 40 kilometers away from this road constructed by the then Rivers State Government of Alfred Diete-Spiff. It is in this riverside areas that the wealth of the nation is located; talk of Oil and Gas and related

minerals, fishing and the potentially huge goldmine called Ecotourism. While this wealth especially oil is locked up in these areas with only the Federal Government through the oil majors having access to it, most times to the detriment of the people, the people concerned are not getting the benefits commensurate with what is being taken away from their land. The government itself stands to benefit more if the necessary infrastructure is provided to open up these areas to greater economic activities. This is where the issue of a 704-kilometer East-West Coastal Road comes in, to serve as the shortest route linking Lagos to the coastal areas of Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States and also connecting the North-South vertical routes. Presently it takes about nine hours to travel from Lagos to Port Harcourt, but with the East-West Coastal Road, the journey would be reduced to just three hours. The economic and political importance of this project can not be over emphasized. As far back as 1998, the Niger Delta Environmental Survey, in formulating development priorities in the Niger Delta Region, proposed the construction of an EastWest Coastal Road. An International Conference on the development of the Niger Delta Region organised jointly by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the United Nations Development Programmer (UNDP) in December 2001 also emphasized the need for this road. This was followed in 2004 by the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan, a blueprint for the sustainable development of the area, which laid the conceptual foundation for the road project. In advocating for this road the conference was of the view that there can be no meaningful development of the region

without the proposed coastal road. Considering the immense benefits of this project one can not but agree with the conclusion of the conference and this must have spurred the NDDC, the interventionist agency saddled with the responsibility of kick starting the needed development in the Niger Delta region, to swing into action and commission the design of the coastal road. The design which took a holistic look at the potential economic, political as well as environmental impact of the project on the people of the region and the area in general had since been submitted awaiting execution. Bids for the execution, it was gathered had been submitted by interested contractors. So what is delaying the implementation? Politics? Greed? Or is the the usual lack of care or feelings on the part of our leaders for the sufferings of the people? Whatever is delaying the project must be tackled by President Jonathan immediately lest the project go the way of the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos or the aborted Lagos Metroline Project. Against wise counsel, Second Republic president Shehu Shagari abandoned the completion of the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos, even in the face of compelling social and economic reasons for it’s completion. It took several years later and countless number of lives lost and social and economic problems for the people before the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida finally completed the project, at a cost far in excess of the original cost. The case of the Metroline was even worse as the project initiated by the Lagos State Government in the Second Republic was cancelled by the Military Government of General Muhammadu Buhari. The transportation problem the project was supposed to solve is still with us here in Lagos and Lagosians are suffering, no thanks to Buhari’s lack of foresight and recourse to cheap politics. Is this the road President Jonathan wants to travel? In a region with perhaps the highest unemployment rate in the country and which until recently was at the centre of insecurity in the country, the coastal road project could in one breadth settle the problem of marginalization which the people have been crying over, create jobs and job opportunities for the teeming unemployed, thereby removing the source of recruitment of potential militants and create life more abundant for the people as well as shore up and diversify Nigeria’s economy. This is what Jonathan should do and posterity would remember him for good. It is signature projects like this that he needs to leave his footprints in the sands of Nigeria.

Housing in Nigeria; the Abia example By Benson Onyekwe the state with his target of 3000 residential housing before the end of his second term in 2015. Presently, some housing estates have been developed in Aba and Umuahia, the state capital. At Aba, there is the Unity Garden Estate in Osisioma where already some buildings have been allotted to some people. In Umuahia, there are Amauba, Adelabu street/ Amaokwe and Isieke Ibeku estates. At Amauba Estate, there is provision for 300 houses out of which 55 have been long completed comprising 30 one-bedroom bungalows and 28 three, four and five bedroom ones. There are also low-income units, which have been sold out. The remaining three, four and five bedrooms duplexes are in the process of being sold out at slashed prices At Adelabu street/Amaokwe Estate located in the heart of the state capital, there are 56 duplexes already completed with additional four under construction. The most modern of the estates is the Isieke Ibeku where works are ongoing on the 300 housing units comprising 225 three-bedroom bungalows and 75 duplexes and modified duplexes. Apart from residential housing, there are also some non-residential housing projects being undertaken by the state government as part of its developmental agenda. Among them are four dormitory blocks at the state National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Umunna, Bende Council Area, four new duplexes for commissioners at the Commissioners’ Quarters, the multimillion naira most modern 3,000 capacity International Conference Centre in the state capital and the new ultra modern state secretariat in Umuahia that will house

about 12 ministries with modern facilities to include lift. At Amachara General Hospital, four building complexes have been completed for the School of Midwifery and a model students dormitory at Santa Crux High School, Olokoro. At the State Broadcasting Corporation, 48 rooms office complex is under construction. Also not left in the massive housing renovation and construction by the state government is the judiciary, the last hope of a common man. The State Customary Court of Appeal Umuahia has been fully remodeled and expanded and a two-storey building is under construction at the state Ministry of Justice. The old structures at the ministry have been given a facelift. The Abia State Planning Commission office complex has also been completed. Also at Aba and Umuahia, the government has embarked on the construction of six additional court halls at the High Court complexes. On the issue of using estate developers in developing the estates, the state government has before now lamented on the challenges of getting credible developers that will deliver according to specifications and set deadline with affordable limits. That is why instead of abandoning the projects, they have continued to carry on with it with the meagre resources that accrue to the state monthly from federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). To ensure proper maintenance of the estates after completion and handover to beneficiaries, the government has established Estate Maintenance Management Systems. This is to avoid ugly experience in the past where some estates built by governments across the country are left unattended to or unmaintained. In such situation, some of

them ended up as economic waste even when majority of the people have no house to live. Already people in the state are already opening mortgage accounts to make themselves ready to qualify to be funded by the various mortgage institutions in operation, as the state government has concluded arrangements with some financial institutions to assist buyers under a mortgage scheme. Under the Site and Services Scheme, the state government has, rather than build and sell houses, gone into allocation of the lands, determining the type of house an allottee shall erect within a time frame. The scheme has been hailed and commended by the people, as it will fast-track the development of the state. It will ensure that those who are ready to build will be allocated with lands, not those who will get it to trade with it as land speculators. With the scheme, if a land is allotted to somebody, such person has a specific time frame to start development. Failure to do so allows government to reclaim the land and re-allocate it. Abia state government model should serve as reference point for governments across the country. • Benson Onyekwe, an architect wrote from Owerri, Imo State

‘Under the Site and Services Scheme, the state government has, rather than build and sell houses, gone into allocation of the lands, determining the type of house an allottee shall erect within a time frame’


25

PROPERTY

Tuesday, JUNE 5, 2012

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com

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

email:- property@thenationonlineng.net

In the past, it was fashionable to build houses with bricks and mortars, but with the high cost of cement, many would-be home-owners are having a rethink. They are going for cheaper means of building houses. One of these is the Modular system. Under the system, houses can be completed in 30 days and the intriguing thing is that cement won’t be used. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reports.

•Two-story modular home

The coming of Modular houses •CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

•FMBN concludes N26b mortgage fund - PAGE 26

•50% urban growth forecast for Lagos, others - PAGE 39

•Commissioner praises commuters for obeying traffic rules - PAGE 40


26

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

C

FMBN concludes N26b mortgage fund

IVIL servents in Abuja will soon be proud owners of peroperties in Abuja, courtesy of a N26 billion mortgage fund by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). FMBN and stakeholders last week in Lagos redeemed the N26 billion proposed for the project. The project’s structural advisers, Messrs Dunn Loren Merrifield, said the success of the offer reflected public confidence in it. FMBN Chief Executive Officer Gimba Yau’komo said the fiveyear tenured bond was issued to refinance the sale of Federal Government properties in Abuja to civil servants under the monetisation programme. He said: “The mortgages had an average amortisation period of 15 years, hence the need to refinance the bond at maturity.” Yau’komo, represented by the Executive Director, Securities Issuance and Market Development at FMBN, Bola Ogunsola, said the goal was to bring about a single-digit interest rate mortgage regime. He lamented the subsequent market volatility, as interest rates “created a steep negative between the already fixed-rate mortgages and the market-determined bond yields.” According to him, this remains a central lesson that would guide future transactions of this nature and confirms the existence of some positive attributes in the environment. He also regretted that unstable interest rate remains a major challenge in projects of this nature. The programme, Ogunsola said, has also proved that Nigerians now have the culture of taking mortgage loans and pay-

‘The mortgages had an average amortisation period of 15 years, hence the need to refinance the bond at maturity’

• Central Bank of Nigeria building By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

ing, provided the right supporting structures such as effective loan servicing arrangements and foreclosure process are internalised. He praised the record of mortgage repayments and pre-payments under the scheme which attests to the fact. Besides, he observed the high appetite for appropriately structured long-term mortgage instruments amongst the nation’s institutional investors as exemplified by the pension fund. Earlier in the year, FMBN SPV

Issuer Limited successfully issued N6 billion notes by way of private placement to qualified institutional investors. The Series 2 Fixed Rate Notes was issued under the N100 billion residential mortgage backed securities programme which is 100 per cent guaranteed by the Federal Government and sponsored by FMBN. The programme is on the heels of the 2006 monetisation of the Federal Government, which gave civil servants who were living in government quarters the option of buying those quarters. At the event, FMBN SPV’s Di-

rector Newman Ordia, said because the civil servants didn’t have the money for outright of the quarters, government requested FMBN to raise money from the stock market to augment the mortgage originated by the Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) on their behalf . He said the idea behind it was to raise money from the capital market to refinance mortgages for those who have bought those Federal Government houses through the monetisation policy. Also at the signing of the second tranche, Dunn Loren Merrifield (DLM) acted as struc-

tural adviser, lead arranger and lead book runner to the transaction; Chapel Hill Denham and Mainstreet Bank Limited acted as the joint book runners. Documents made showed that the issue is the Series 2 N6 billion 17.25 per cent fixed rate notes due April 3, 2017. The Series 2 Notes The Nation, learnt is secured with cash flows from a pool of mortgages totalling N8.9 billion and the unconditional and irrevocable guarantee of the Federal Government. Dunn Loren Merrifield’s MD/ CEO Sonnie Ayere, said: “This transaction is a reflection of FMBN’s mandate to link the capital market with the housing industry and to establish an evergreen source of providing long tenured and cheaper financing for the mortgage market in Nigeria through the capital market.”

The coming of Modular houses •CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25

F

OR many would–be home owners whenever they are thinking of building their houses what comes to their minds first is the cost of cement. They think like that because of their belief that every building must be made of bricks and mortars. Consequently, the high cost of cement has put paid to the ambition of many to own their homes. But all hope is not lost yet. Such people can still build their dream homes without cement. How? It is called Modular home, and it can be constructed without following the conventional way of building a house. It is an innovative structural building with rapid and accurate design fabrication and installation. It is built in sections in a factory setting, where it is subjected to weather conditions. The sections move through the factory, with the company’s quality control department checking on every step. Finished modules are covered for protection and then transported to home sites where they are placed on a pre-made foundation, joined, and completed by a builder. The houses are affordable, durable, energy efficient and meet the acceptable standard of quality housing. Depending on one’s preferred design, size and manufacturer, it can be finished in one or two weeks in the factory. Since modular panels are built indoors, there’s nothing like weather delay. It usually takes another two-

four weeks for a builder to complete the home once it’s delivered to the building site. The homes are made to conform to the building codes that are required at the specific location it will be delivered to, and in many cases construction exceeds the required codes. Unless people are there to see the house delivered and assembled, they may not guess it’s a modular home. Modular home manufacturers use computer aided design programmes to draw plans to the owner’s specifications, or to modify one of their standard plans to suit the owner’s needs, so nearly any home plan can be turned into a modular home. Consumers in search of a custombuilt home are giving modular home designs thought. Sometimes they turn to modular houses because they cannot get a conventional builder to respond in time. More frequently, superior quality, faster completion time, and better prices are the inducements, along with greater energy efficiency, extended warranties, and flexible design options. Customers who want high-quality finishes as well as highquality construction increasingly understand that they can get both with a modular home. A builder and Managing Director of Build Point Limited said modular housing, is most cost-effective in design and delivery, has the potential to grow the economy if the government is committed to bridging the housing gap. He suggested the installation of

• A modular house

energy efficient technologies for optimal performance of modular homes wherever they are situated. While encouraging government to patronise the manufacturers of these panelled homes, he said an advantage of the building concept is that it’s construction not only reduces material waste and comes with speed and efficiency because it is factory produced.

Another advantage, he said, is that it also decreases the number of site visits and, hence, auto emissions associated with trips to the jobsite. This, he argues, adds up to the preservation of the environment by checking greenhouse emissions and mitigating climate change effects. Sales Manager, Unitek Modular Housing System Mr Bruce Joe said his firm offers one-stop solution

MODULAR HOUSES’ ROOM SPECIFICATION PER SQUARE METRE 3-bedroom Master Bedroom Bedroom 1 Bedroom 2 Living & Dining room

20 12.3 12.3 37.2

2-bedroom Master Bedroom Bedroom 1 Master bathroom Guest bathroom Living & Dining room Kitchen Storage Lobby

17.9 11.6 4.4 3.8 25.9 7.9 1

through computer aided design using standardised panel and component in its houses. He said his company is dedicated to resolving the housing shortage and upgrading the living environment in the country. On the advantages of the modular houses, he said they are easy to build, low capital cost, low risk, speedy construction and utilisation of local labour. Joe said his firm’s houses come with full complements from foundation to the roof with fitted kitchen and steel roof. On the cost, he said, for a threebedroom flat fitted with windows, doors, balconies, kitchen and rooms the buyer will part with about N6.5 million. Comparing it with the conventional houses, he said, the modular system is better in terms of speed, convenience, cost and quality.


TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

27

The problem with us as a country is not with the dearth of rules, regulations and laws but it is attitudinal. Our attitudinal disposition to the workings of the law is not serious. How far have we gone with the constitution we have in place that we are talking about a new one?

E-mail:- law@thenationonlineng.net

• SEE PAGE 29

• UNILAG students protesting on a hijacked LAGBUS. Inset: Protesters at UNILAG main gate

Was the renaming of University of Lagos (UNILAG) Moshood Was Abiola University, Lagos (MAULAG) by President Goodluck legal? No, say some lawyers, who are urging him to UNILAG Jonathan seek an amendment of the UNILAG Act before the name change. Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), Prof Gabriel name Olawoyin (SAN), Lagos Attorney-General Ade Ipaye, Femi Falana, others, spoke with ADEBISI ONANUGA, JOSEPH change among JIBUEZE and PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU . legal? T

•Lawyers say action is ‘illegal’

HE renaming of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) as Moshood Abiola University, Lagos (MAULAG) should ordinarily be hailed by all. Instead, the name changed as contained in President Goodluck Jonathan’s Democracy Day’s broadcast has generated widespread reactions. While some have lauded the decision to honour Abiola, describing it as long overdue, oth-

ers including alumni, staff and students of the university and some public analysts have condemned the decision. Those opposed to the decision are worried that such a change will bring harm to the original name of the university, which many describe as a brand in itself.They also condemned the timing of the decision which they described as belated. The announcement led to spontaneous pro-

Inside: How justice, security ensure women’s health -P.31

tests by students, who also blocked the Third Mainland Bridge for over two hours last Wednesday. They later clashed with the police. The resultant consequence was the closure of the institution for two weeks by the Federal Government. Lawyers are unanimous in their view that

•Continued on page 28

Preventing rights abuses on roads - P.34


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

28

LAW COVER CONT’D

Was UNILAG name change legal? •Continued from page 27

•Babalola (SAN)

•Osipitan (SAN)

•Ipaye

•Falana

effect a change in the name of the University. “The powers of the visitor are as expressly contained in the University of Lagos Act. It is settled that where power is vested in any individual or body such body or individual cannot exceed the powers which had been so vested. To do so would be to act ultra vires. “A careful perusal of the provisions of Section 16 of the Act will reveal that the exercise of the powers vested in the visitor of the University must be consistent with the provisions of the Act. “This is the direct purport of Section 16(3)(b) which requires bodies and persons comprised in the university to give effect to the instructions of the visitor which are consistent with the provisions of the Act. “Clearly, a unilateral change in the name of the university from that stated in Section 1 of the Act cannot under any guise be regarded as consistent with the provisions of the Act. “In any event, it is settled that there is a world of difference between the office of the President and that of the Visitor of the University even though both are occupied by one individual. “This is in itself instructive for two reasons:cIn making the announcement, President Jonathan was not acting as the Visitor of the University. He was acting as the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As stated earlier, this position cannot and indeed does not enable him to usurp the powers of the National Assembly. “Even if it were to be assumed that in making the announcement, President Jonathan was acting as the Visitor of the University (which obviously is not the case), it cannot be denied that he exceeded the powers vested in him in Section 16 of the University of Lagos Act.” The eminent jurist said whatever reasoning may have informed the decision of the Federal Government to announce the name change; it would have been better effected if proper attention had been given to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the University of Lagos Act. “It is instructive to note that many notable Nigerians who championed the call for the immortalisation of the contribution of the late Bashorun MKO Abiola to the current democratic dispensation are appalled at the manner with which the government has gone about its decision. “It is my view that things could have been better handled. While it is proper to give honour where it is due, such must be done in ac-

cordance with the Law. Afterall, respect for the law is an integral part of democracy itself. “It is my hope that the authorities concerned will review their position and take appropriate step to do things in a lawful manner. That to my mind would be the greatest honour to the late Bashorun MKO Abiola.”

the name of UNILAG cannot be changed until there is an amendment to the Act establishing the institution. Those who spoke include former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, UNILAG, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), Prof Gabriel Olawoyin (SAN) and Mr Dele Belgore (SAN). Others are Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr Ade Ipaye, Mr Fred Agbaje, Mr Femi Falana, Mr Bamidele Aturu and Mr Abdul Oroh

What the law says UNILAG is a creation of statute. The university was founded in 1962 by an Act of Parliament. The extant law is the University of Lagos Act Cap U9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The Act provides for the establishment, incorporation and administration of the University among others. Section 1 provides: There is hereby established a University to be known as the University of Lagos (in this Act referred to as “the University”) to provide courses of instruction and learning in the faculties of arts, law, medicine, science, education, commerce and business administration, engineering, and any other faculties which may, from time to time, be approved under this Act. The University shall be a body corporate and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal. According to Babalola, the name “University of Lagos” is derived from an Act of the National Assembly. Therefore, any other name other than “University of Lagos” would run contrary to the provisions of the Act. “With the above in mind, it is not difficult to see that the name announced by the President Jonathan is unknown to the University of Lagos Act,” he said. He said being an Act of the National Assembly, the provisions of the University of Lagos Act can only be amended by another Act of the National Assembly. “Prior to the decision of the Federal Government to change the name of the University, no amendment was made to the provisions of the University of Lagos Act. “The decision of Mr President ostensibly acting in concert with the Federal Executive Council amounts to an usurpation of the powers of the National Assembly. “Section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended confers Legislative Powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the National Assembly which consist of the Senate and the House of Representative.” Do President Jonathan’s powers as visitor include ability to change a university’s name without amendment of its establishment law? Babalola Section 16 of the University of Lagos Act provides as follows: The President shall be the Visitor of the University The Visitor shall as often as circumstances may require, not being less than once every five years, conduct a visitation or direct that such a visitation be conducted by such persons and in respect of the affairs of the University as the Visitor may direct. It shall be the duty of the bodies and persons comprised in the University – to make available to the visitor, and to any other persons conducting a visitation in pursuance of this section, such facilities and assistance as he or they reasonably require for the purposes of a visitation; and to give effect to any instructions consistent with the provisions of this Act which may be given by the Visitor in consequence of a visitation. Babalola said: “I am of the considered view that the powers vested in the President by virtue of the above stated provisions of the Law do not empower him to unilaterally direct or

Varsity teachers’ stand Professor of Law Osipitan (SAN) said the President’s announcement still remains an intention. It will take effect when it is backed by law. “I must commend the President for remembering to honour Abiola, but the President should know that the only way the University of Lagos can be renamed is through the National Assembly (NASS). “This is because it is an institution that is established by law and the NASS will have to amend the law establishing the university. “If the president really wants to honour Abiola, he should have thought of naming one of the new federal universities after him because UNILAG is a very cosmopolitan institution with local and international image,” he said. Another professor of law, Prof Olawoyin (SAN), agreed with Osipitan. He accused Jonathan of acting as if he were in a military dispensation. “This is not a military rule. What the President attempted to do was what a military man would easily have done but in a truly civilian administration, you don’t do that kind of thing,” he said. According to the law professor, UNILAG is an institution created by law and any change in the law has to go through the National Assembly before any pronouncement is made. “The President may have done the right thing, but in a wrong way,” Olawoyin concluded.

Other lawyers’ position Former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate Belgore said President Jonathan got it absolutely wrong, adding that it is a desecration of a national institution. “There are procedures to follow, you do not just get up and announce the renaming of an institution created by law. Since the law says that institution shall be called the University of Lagos, the law establishing the institution

has to be changed before such an announcement. “If there was broad enough consultation, I believe he will probably not have fallen into this kind of error. “A protest that cause inconvenience to the public should be generally condemned, but looking at it from the protesters point of view, they have got to be heard. If they do not create inconvenience for the public, nobody is going to hear them. “The question is: Is it really what we need at this time? UNILAG will be 50 in a short while. Let’s even assume it is the right time to change the name, is it the way to go about it? “So, the action itself is provocative and one that has given rise to the protest,” Belgore said. Lagos Attorney-General Ipaye said he viewed President Jonathan’s announcement as a “proposal”. “I take it as a proposal by the President, a form of bill. It will have to go through the lawmaking process, including public hearing. “Everybody will have ample opportunity to contribute. You can’t change the name of a university, which is created by law, unless you change that law. “If you don’t pass a law to amend the Act, then there is no name change.” Lagos lawyer and human rights activist Falana said rather than the University of Lagos, the Federal Government should rename the National Stadium, Abuja or the Eagle Square after Abiola. “Since the name of Ogun State Polytechnic had been changed to Moshood Abiola Polytechnic by the Ogun State government, there is no justification for naming another institution after the leading hero of liberal democracy in the country.” He said, however, that the best way to honour Chief Abiola “is to release the result of the 1993 presidential election and declare him the winner instead of continuing to refer to him as ‘the presumed winner’ of the fair and free election. “Thereafter, the Federal Government should proceed to implement the recommendations of the Justice Mohammed Uwais-led electoral reform panel in toto,” he said. Falana noted that the University of Lagos Act has not been amended by the National Assembly; therefore, the name has not been changed. “After all, the presidential announcement is at best a declaration of intent as the name of the university has not been changed in accordance with the law,” he said. Falanaurgedthe students and other stakeholders to engage members of the National Assembly in a lobby and persuade them not to approve the amendment of the law setting up the institution to effect the name change. For Agbaje, it is yet another shocker from the president as a Democracy Day present to rename UNILAG without sending a bill to the National Assembly for the amendment of the establishment law of the institution. “Did the President not see the National Stadium or any other monument to honour Chief Abiola with? “Look at the protests his pronouncement has generated?Abiola deserves to be honoured and it should be done in the proper way,” he said. Aturu said UNILAG was christened as such by law and can only be rechristened by law, even as he maintained that a government that is unwilling to respect the decision of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to re-instate President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami may have shot itself in the foot. On account of this alone, UNILAG students will be justified to resist the name change coming from a government that is perceived as lawless, the lawyer said. He said: “Democracy is all about consultation and consensus. The government has clearly and manifestly failed to carry the people along. The lesson for it is that no matter how lofty its aims may be it must win the support of the people on critical issues. “I sincerely hope that it will take this lesson to heart in its proposal to jerk up electricity bills and fully deregulate the downstream sector of the oil industry, whatever that really means.” The former CLO boss Oroh noted that Abiola contributed financially to support many Nigerian universities in their trying times, adding that he died in the struggle for democracy. “MKO was denied an election that was acclaimed the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria. In his struggle for democracy, he was imprisoned after which he died the eve of reclaiming his mandate. “So, there is nothing wrong with the president honouring him by renaming UNILAG after him. Even abroad, Havard was formerly called New College but later renamed after John Harvard.”


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LAW PERSONALITY Norrison Quakers (SAN) was until recently a partner in the firm of Olisa Agbakoba and Associates. The 1990 graduate of the Lagos State University (LASU) belongs to some law bodies and has served in various capacities, including being Secretary, National Working Committee (NWC) of the Review of Nigeria Law of Evidence. He speaks with PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU on the legal profession, the call for a sovereign national conference and corruption in the judiciary.

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O you agree with the insinuation that the judiciary is corrupt? If yes, how can this trend be reversed? Never isolate any group of professionals or profession from the Nigerian factor. Corruption has become part of our system and it cuts across. If I were a judge, obviously I went to school with some colleagues. Then, I sit in chambers and I am informed by my clerk that an old school friend of mine is around to see me. Will I shut my door against him? Then, in the course of our discussion, he mentions that he is interested in one matter that is before me. What happens? At worst, I will tell him not to discuss such matters with me. But even if he did not offer me money, the mere fact that he has access to me and discussed it, could influence my thinking when I get into court. There are different ways to corruption. It is taking advantage or making someone do what he ordinary will not do. This is something you cannot isolate the Bar and the Bench from. It goes back to our value system. Some years back, judges were not seen in public, they do not socialise. They were isolated and kept to themselves. But what do you now have today? Society has since developed such that judges now fraternise. So, it goes down to human discipline. The fact that you are my friend or relative does not mean that when it gets to doing justice, you should influence me. Part of what we are taught is that if a judge, for instance, is faced with a decision in a matter involving a friend of his, he must disqualify himself because of his relationship with that person. These are the things we must guide against. If we must ensure that judges are not corrupt, you need to isolate them. For lawyers not to be corrupt, the system must also be conducive. Do you imply that it will be difficult to achieve, the level of transparency and forthrightness earlier witnessed in the nation’s judiciary? We still have some very good judges. I know some of them even at the High, Appeal and Supreme courts that do not even entertain visitors. It is that serious with them, they don’t socialise. And then, we have the bad ones too because corruption is not alien to our system. There are insinuations that the executive sometimes, victimise justices whose verdicts are at variance with the interest of the government. How true is this? I have heard about such, but it goes back to individual conviction. We must be ready to bite the bullet. A judge must dispense justice and damn the consequences. I remember when a particular judge in Kwara State made a pronouncement and his orderly was withdrawn from him. The judge said he would not sit until his safety is guaranteed, and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the state rose up in support of the judge. His police protection, both in court and at home, were restored. In the constitutional appointment of judges, the executive plays a role, but it does not stop with the executive, there is also the National Judiciary Council (NJC). The removal of the judge does not lie with the executive, it lies with the NJC. So, if a judge does what he ought to do and he is being disciplined, you now look at the structure. The executive will not come to discipline the particular judge who has made the pronouncement that has

•Quakers (SAN)

‘Judges must dispense justice and damn the consequence’ ‘The fact that you are my friend or relative does not mean that when it gets to doing justice, you should influence me. Part of what we are taught is that if a judge for instance, is faced with a decision to decide in a matter involving a friend of his, he must disqualify himself because of his relationship with that person’ affected the executive. It has to go through the judicial system. There have been calls for a fundamental review of the constitution or at best, a new one. What do you think is wrong with the constitution? The problem with us as a country is not with the dearth of rules, regulations and laws but it is attitudinal. Our attitudinal disposition to the workings of the law is not serious. How far have we gone with the constitution we have in place that we are talking about a new one? Let me give you an example on some of the rules of court. Some of the things now in the rules existed in the previous rules, but not in the way they are now. Under the old rules we had civil procedures for instance, we had what is called discovery and inspection. What about the call for a sovereign national conference? I am one of those who believe that if we have a National Assembly that knows what it is doing, we do not need a Sovereign National Conference (SNC). The NASS is saddled with discussing the welfare and turning around the government. All the issues affecting the various constituencies can be tabled at the NASS, discussed and then a fi-

nal position taken. What is the thing now in the constitution that is needful? Resource control essentially is the major problem. Before we get to that, what about the money that has been released so far, what developments can be pointed to when people are pocketing public funds to the detriment of infrastructural and socio-economic development of the masses? What then is the essence of the clamour for a new constitution when the basic one in place has not been fully utilised. Rather than address fundamental issues we are busy chasing shadows. Are you saying the constitution is workable as it is? We can see what is going on in the pension fund where billions are looted. The executive reporting system is there in the constitution. The power to impeach a Governor or President for failure to carry out his governmental duties is also there. When last did we see a governor impeached, apart from Balarabe Musa under the old regime? And Alamieyeseigha, whose own was political because there are other governors who did worse things but are walking freely today. With all these known corrupt politicians still occupying sensitive positions in government and the National Assembly, do you think they

will want to make laws to create functional institutions that can checkmate them? What good thing can they do for the states they have impoverished? Something drastic must be done. It is not about the constitution. In other developed countries, constitutional development is done piecemeal, based on observation. You must amend the constitution with the trend. Each constituency is expected to capture its grievances by way of a document and you pass it on to your representatives, who will discuss it at the gathering of other representatives from across the country. The constitution has a provision for its amendment. So, SNC or what ever name it is called, I don’t see how that can fly under constitutional development. Can it then be said that the clamour for SNC is informed by the perceived failure on the part of the National Assembly? I will see those calling for it as concerned Nigerians, seeking for a need to have what is called a level playing field to address political imbalances. If at the end of the day, the conference comes up with a working paper, that paper can be presented to the NASS. In other words, you do not need legislative backing for the confer-

ence. Agitation sometimes can lead to reversal of policies. You do not need any law to back up the SNC. It is not an attempt to take over government, but an attempt to assist the government. Do you agree with the claim that the standard of law education is declining? The issue of decline in standard of students cannot be isolated from the society. If you are looking at decline in standard, it goes back to the homes; failure in families, decline in terms of moral standards and values. If values are misplaced in any given society, the products of that society will transcend various strata of development - education, work environment, establishment and others. So, the falling standards go back to societal posture, if there is a decline in the society it affects every facet of our lives as a people. To what will you attribute this unfortunate development? We now operate a money culture, where people are interested in how much you have, not whether you are educated or not. We need to go back to the family, environment and institutions. People no longer have time to teach. Everyone is now involved in the rat race. In the past you had highly educated people, who spoke authoritatively and people gravitated towards them. But now, people tend to gravitate towards those with means and stature. Are you aware that the people of old, who had Standard School certificates, are better than most of our university graduates today? It is because the quality then was high. We now have a situation where students are more interested in entertainment, appearance and projecting life of affluence. What time do they create to study? The value of hard work is no longer there, unlike in the past when there was some promotion for hard work. Ask some students now what they want to become and they will probably tell you governors, senators or president. But in the past, no one had the time to think of such things. It is like an escape route now for a number of people to make money. How will you improve on the quality of Law education if appointed the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School? There are a number of things I have come to accept. One of these is that you cannot legislate conduct or make rules on the way people behave. So, if people have not imbibed the culture of decency, there is no amount of law that can make them decent. How can anybody turn around the education misfortune to the school? First step is to go back to the universities because, what you have in the Law School are products from the university system. To overhaul the system is a complete surgery of the education sector. You cannot isolate the Law School. For us to say this is what the standard should be, we must make a turn around of the academic and educational foundation. Our value system must be redirected. If you notice, those who were called to Bar in the 70s were products of those you can refer to as a people from the background of hard work. And those of us who came after them had the privilege of being close to such people. Subsequent lawyers, who emerged, came from what you can call a hard core military era; when might was right and when, who you knew and who you could contact, formed the basis of what you get. That is one problem and not something one individual can do.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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LAW & DEVELOPMENT LAW AND PUBLIC POWER

with gabriel AMALU email:gabrielamalu1@yahoo.com

Ownership of the Nigerian Stock Exchange •From left: Mrs Odejayi; Justice Akande and Head, Training Mrs Bola Idowu at the event PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI

Lagos CJ warns judiciary workers against rumour mongering

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HE Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Inumidun Enitan Akande has advised new executives of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Lagos Branch against spreading rumour among their colleagues to gain cheap popularity. Justice Akande, who described rumour mongering as an ill-wind that does no one any good, stressed that “where union leaders are rumour mongers, tale bearers and harbingers of malicious propaganda, just for cheap popularity among their colleagues and co-workers will not augur well for the system”. She gave the advice while declaring open a three-day retreat organised for the new state executive members of JUSUN in the state and held at the Judges and Magistrates recreation centre, G.R.A. Ikeja. The Lagos Chief judge advised the union leaders to always follow the due process when agitating for the rights of their members. While congratulating the new union executives on their election, Jus-

By Adebisi Onanuga

tice Akande emhasised the need for them to imbibe constructive and responsible unionism. “As leaders in your category, the onus rests on you to ensure existing harmonious relationship is not unnecessarily jeopardised. Yours is that of a bridge builder, a role entrusted on you by your membership of this body. “Unionism must be constructive and negotiations, where imperative, must flow freely in an atmosphere devoid of rancor and name calling”, she said. Justice Akande urged them to emulate their predecessors in office saying, “as leaders and representatives of your colleagues in the service of the Lagos State Judiciary, the experiences of the past should guide as informed knowledge on whatever steps or actions you might wish to take on issues as they present themselves from time to time”. She expressed confidence that the retreat will equip and broaden their knowledge in Labour and Industrial

Relations matters, adding that their knowledge of relevant laws and procedures in industrial and related matters will assist in providing necessary guide and support in making informed decisions, void of avoidable errors and needless conflict with management or constituted authorities. The Chief Judge reminded them of the state of affairs in the state judiciary prior to her assumption of office and efforts made under her administration to inject sanity into the system, adding that “the facts on ground are enough proof of our diligent commitments to the welfare of staff and support to active unionism in the state judiciary. She pointed out that the recent election of the new executive and subsequent resurgence of the union was a product of the genuine concern of her administration for the welfare of all categories of staff in the state judiciary, “a concern which in the past 33 months propelled us into action on programmes and policies with direct impact on the welfare and wellbeing of the entire staff .

‘How to nurture judicial independence’

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NE way to nurture the independence of the judiciary is to insulate magistrates and judges from executive control, a former Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State Prof Yemi Osinbajo has said. He stated this at the Fifth Conference of the Network of African Constitutional Lawyers entitled: Nurturing Judicial independence and accountability at the University of Lagos, UNILAG; (now Moshood Abiola University). Noting that a good judge is a sina qua non to democracy, Osibanjo, who was the Guest speaker, said the best way to sustain the judicial system is to ensure that through a strong political will, it is properly built, made independent (of other arms of government) and virile. He lamented that military regimes, autocratic rules in the past, corruption and poverty either destroyed or interferred with some judicial institutions, thereby making them inefficient or ineffective. On corruption, he said: “It seriously undermines the credibility of the judiciary. The perception of corruption in the context of the judiciary is possibly damaging as a reality. The suspicion that justice can be bought is possibly the most virulent poison to our judicial system. Clearly, a well-considered approach to dealing with the issue is crucial.” On how to tackle corruption, many

By Joseph Eshanokpe

have called for judicial reforms in preference to fire brigade approaches, he said. He cited the Eso inquiry into judicial corruption in the Sani Abacha military regime, the outcome of which was not executed. To really solve the problem, he suggested that there should be a political will to do so. Osinbajo, who was a professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, UNILAG, said the first step is to determine its incidence and form. Citing Transparency Initiative’s review of 32 countries, he said corruption takes several forms, namely legal, social, cultural, economic or political. They include lack of merit in appointments, poor conditions of service, unaccountability and indiscipline in service. As attorney-general/commissioner for justice in Lagos, he said he was confronted with the problem of corruption, among others in the system. Having assessed it through research, he identified some factors namely poor remuneration of judicial officers and judges,long delays in the trial process, appointments were based on cronyism, ineffective sanctions and low detection rates due to high tolerance levels in the society. He said he had put in place a new process in the selection of judges, which included the involvement of lawyers, orientation for new judges, upward review of their conditions of

•Osinbajo (SAN)

service, which saw their salaries being increased by over 300 per cent and granting of other allowances such as housing, land shares, official cars to them. Magistrates received similar treatment. In 2001, he said, a code of conduct was drawn for judges such that those found guilty of it were disciplined. On the delays at the courts, this was addressed through the introduction of new rules, creation of specialist divisions, new recording machines to replace manual ones, automation of manual processes from filing of cases to judgments and the introduction of the Alternative Dispute resolution (ADR) option in the country. “What gets measured and monitored gets done. Measuring performance enhances performance. This applies to all, including judges. If lazy and corrupt judges are not disciplined and hardworking judges are not compensated or promoted, performance flags,” he added.

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HE testimony of the former Director-General (DG) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Prof Ndi Okereke-Onyuike at the House of Representatives’public hearing that the NSE is a private concern must have startled quite a few. Worse still, her arrogance, over accountability of the NSE to the public, must have angered and disillusioned many. I can correctly guess that many Nigerians until her sarcasm at their despondency over their recent losses in the NSE must have believed that the Exchange was a public company accountable to the Nigerian state. They would be wondering how a private company as the former DG has disdainfully informed them, can be allowed to take them for a sad ride into penury while deceptively bearing for effect, a name giving the impression that it is a public institution. The ‘Nigerian’ (mis)representation in the name may have helped save the Exchange from a plethora of litigations to test, whether the Exchange acted fiduciary in the monumental losses incurred by the investing public in the last few years. After all, even a private concern owes its customers the duty of care and professional competence, in the performance of its activities. With the recent testimony of Okereke-Onyiuke, about the private ownership of the Exchange, I believe it is time that the company is asked to expunge Nigerian from its name which confers undue advantage considering the provisions of section 30(2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which provides that “... no company shall be registered by a name which ... suggest that it enjoys the patronage of the Government of the Federation ...” Since the former DG has told the members of the National Assembly and Nigerians to go hang over the propriety of their financial recklessness, there is the need to question their registration credentials at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and also find out and make public the names of the other shareholders of the Exchange, to know whether they are on the same page with their former DG. They should find out if the Exchange is registered as it should as a company limited by Guarantee under section 26 of CAMA. If it is not, then I doubt whether the right things were done, considering that the primary purpose of such a monopoly, enjoying immense public patronage, should primarily be the promotion of commerce, not a high-end super market dealing unconscionably in toxic materials packaged as effervescent elixirs. Regardless of the nature of the private concern that the Exchange is registered as, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the statutory powers to whip the owners into conformity with the provisions of Investments and Securities Act (ISA) of 1999. By the provisions of section 8 of the ISA, the commission is granted enormous statutory powers to regulate Security Exchanges among other Capital market operators. Under section 8(J) the commission is indeed empowered to “act in the public interest having regard to the protection of investors and the maintenance of fair and orderly market and to this end, establish a nationwide trust scheme to compensate investors whose losses are not covered under the investors protection funds administered by Securities Exchange and Capital Trade Points”. Even more helpful for the Commission to checkmate any recklessness on the part of Nigerian Stock Exchange is section 8(q), empowering it to “call for information from and undertake, inspect, conduct inquires and audits of the Security Exchanges ….” I doubt whether the power to audit had ever been carried out by the commission with the former DG’s attitude that no body should tell the Exchange how to spend their money, even when there are serious allegations of financial recklessness; and the more important enquiry, whether in seeking to amass that haughty private capital, the Exchange had acted in a manner that may have been injuries to the general public good and laws of the land. While laws cannot be made to fix risk associated with investment, the ISA is made to regulate the risk process and procedures; and the NSE is one institution that a few big cats cannot be allowed to own and conduct as any other private company. The real tragedy for the ordinary Nigerians however is the conspiracy between the political elite and the business elite to look after one another at their detriment. Take, for instance, the conduct of the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Capital Market Committee, Hon. Ihembe and the Director-General of SEC, Dr. Arunma Oteh. The two public personalities were engaged a in a come and chop relationship until they failed to agree on the sharing formula. To show connivance at the highest level, Hon. Ihembe is occasionally paraded on television sandwiched between security men to give the impression that something is being done; while those who dealt in criminal insider trading that led to the collapse of the Stock Exchange are parading as statesmen and women. Since the leadership of the House of Representative has succumbed to filial idolatry, with Hon. Ihedioha as the chief priest, may be a judicial panel of enquiry should be put in place to unearth those behind the cataclysm that befell Nigerians at the so called one of the most sophisticated stock exchange in the world. But the Presidency appears not to attach any importance to the private capital of the ordinary people. Conceding to the dubious scheme of the political elite in connivance with their collaborating economic elite, the government has established a body and handed it our national resources to buy off the toxic debts of the elite; while the poor and hungry that were mislead to buy unadulterated toxic wastes as shares are left to stew in their misery.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

LAW & SOCIETY What have justice and security got to do with women’s health? This topic was explored at the Founders’ Day lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in Lagos. JOSEPH JIBUEZE reports.

How justice, security ensure women’s health W

HAT are the ways in which women experience insecurity, and what conditions need to exist to make them more secure? Is enough attention paid to the security needs of women or are there gaps? Experts say there is the need to incorporate gender as a key dimension to human security discourses. This, they said, will help determine in what circumstances women’s experiences and gender discrimination exacerbate their insecurity. Leading this discussion was a professor of criminal justice and Director, Centre for Criminal Justice, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, Prof Sussane Karstedt. She delivered this year’s Founders’ Day lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in Lagos. It had the theme: Justice, security and women’s health: a global perspective. The book: Reproductive health law: A jurisprudential analysis of gender-specific human rights for the African region written by Dr Nkolika Aniekwu of NIALS, was presented at the event. Prof Karstedt said people rarely think of women’s health in terms of laws. The relationship, she said, is that where there is adherence to rule of law, women’s health are more guaranteed. It would mean more respect for women’s rights. “There are still many parts of the world that women’s rights are taken for granted,” she said. For instance, it is not everywhere in the world that women are allowed to sue violent husbands, nor are women free everywhere to initiate divorce proceedings when they feel they need to leave a loveless home. Apart from being subjected to “violations of bodily integrity”, Prof Karstedt said women

•Prof Sagay (SAN), Prof Kastardt, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, Emeritus Prof Adeyemi and Prof Azinge (SAN)

in some places are forced to leave their homes for refugee camps for various reasons. Others are helpless. Therefore, women everywhere should be empowered and their social rights should include the right to sue, freedom to choose a place to live, and right to live without being violated. “There is an intricate link between violence and health,” said Prof Karstedt. Domestic violence, for instance, has a direct effect on a woman’s health. Addressing the fundamental issues, such as inequality, is, therefore crucial. “Gender inequality is a decisive factor in domestic violence,” she said. Noting that “data on homicide in Nigeria is not consistent,” Prof Karstedt said countries that have high homicide rates also have high maternal mortality rates. “Societies that are violent don’t treat women well enough to enjoy a healthy life. When the rule of law increases, women mortality decreases,” she said. According to her, justice and rule of law have a positive impact on the health of women and their reproductive health. “Nigeria does not have a very good record of maternal mortality.” Domestic violence, she said, remains a global problem. It is not confined to a continent, social class or race. “Several assaults happen in respectable homes.” Therefore, enforcing the laws that have been enacted against domestic violence is very crucial. Women are also vulnerable to sexual offences outside the home. In fact, she said it took much longer to recognise rape as a crime. “Nigeria still ranks very high in the area of sexual offences, and women are much more conscious of reporting these,” she said. It, therefore, behooves legal practitioners to

help ensure that women’s rights are protected by applying the laws, she said. “Lawyers are not doctors, but they have very powerful tools in their hands.” Rule of law, she said, is vital for developing the economy, and when leaders and governments stick to it, there is better distribution of wealth and prevention of unfair decisions that can affect women. “Justice and security delivered by the rule of law and through legal institutions have impact on women’s health,” she added. NIALS Director-General Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) said the political will to enforce women’s rights is needed. In addition, lawyers have to act. Since the courts are there to ensure that rights are enforced, including women’s rights, they have to be approached. “The most important thing is to leave here with the thinking that we can activate the court. People must not remain indifferent on approaching the courts,” he said. According to him, somebody must be willing to “take the first shot”. “Let us take action. Let us walk the talk.” NIALS is willing to support such a course. He said the institute met with the House of Representatives Committee on Women to discuss a bill sponsored by NIALS on affirmative action. Azinge said the bill, which captures issues having to do with the protection of women’s rights, will soon be presented to the House for First Reading. Emeritus Prof Adedokun Adeyemi said without justice, there can be no security, both of which can be guaranteed by good governance. And where social and economic security are lacking, health cannot be guaranteed. “We have got to

•Members of NBA Lagos led by the branch Chairman Mr Taiwo Taiwo during a courtesy visit to former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Lagos.

guarantee justice and security in all ramification, particularly for women and children,” he said. He added that a lot of women are inhibited; therefore, more sensitisation is needed if the rights of those violated are to be enforced. Azinge also called for a review of punishment for those found guilty of abuse of women. It will be difficult for most women to testify against their husbands no matter what they have gone through when they know the outcome will be years of incarceration. “As long as the major approach is incarceration, it (women becoming less inhibited) may not work, but alternative punishments could be considered,” he said. For Professor of Law, Itse Sagay (SAN), existing laws are enough to guarantee women’s rights. He said: “Our constitution has provisions which prohibit discrimination of women’s rights. They are already there. “What we need to do is put life into them by bringing out specific legislations based on those provisions.” Programme Officer at the Ford Foundation, Lagos, Prof Friday Okonofua, said the legal profession has to be in the forefront of protection of women’s rights. The former provost, College of Medical Services at the University of Benin, added that some women simply die because their rights are denied them. He called for integration of basic rights of women into the legal education curriculum so that it becomes part of “knowledge framework” for lawyers. Prof Mike Ikhariale of NIALS said much may not be achieved unless more women are empowered even though the laws are there. “Women have to be empowered to be able to say: I am a human being,” he said. Dr Adebisi Arewa agreed, saying: “The first thing to do is to empower women.” Prof Aniekwu said the challenge remains to implement the “beautiful” laws being produced, as well as how to “negotiate the legal space in terms of enforcement.” Rights activist Mohammed Fawehinmi said most abuses of women can be enforced through the Fundamental Rights Civil Procedure Rules, as well as Section 46 of the Constitution. “The horizon is very bright and we can still do a lot,” he said. Justice R. N. Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court, who chaired the event, spared a thought for children, saying: “I have not had any child’s rights case in my court. “We’ve made provisions for the laws but we’ve not made provision for enforceability.” On the significance of the lecture, Azinge said: “Founders Day avails us the opportunity to come to terms with the visions of our founding fathers and what obviously they imagined at the time and for us to reflect on how far we have walked the journey to realising the vision of the founding fathers. “So, it’s a time for stock-taking and sober reflection. But more significantly, we commemorate this day with a lecture that is highly topical, and obviously will provoke a lot of thoughts. “I believe that the lecture by this eminent scholar will remind us of what is left of the journey towards the realisation of the vision of our founding fathers.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

LAW & SOCIETY THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION (NBA) IN LOKOJA, KOGI STATE CAPITAL

•From left: Prince M. A. Okonta; Chief Linus M. Ezeofor; Michael O. Nwamu and Chief Joseph Kyari Gadzama (SAN).

•From left: Chief Judge Kogi State, Justice Nasir A. Ajanah; General Secretary, NBA, Olumuyiwa Akinboro and Solicitor-General, Kogi State, R. B. Bello

•From left: Mrs Stella Ugboma; Okey Wali (SAN) and Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN)

•Former NBA Presidents Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN); Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and Lanke Odogiyan

•From left: NBA Legal Adviser Victor Nwaugo; Lady Debbie Obodoukwu and Hajiya Fatima Kwaku

•From left: Prince Akuzamus; Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) and J. S. Okutepa (SAN)

•From left: Alhaji M. U. Ibrahim (Jam Jam); Yusuf Ali (SAN) and Adebayo Adelodun (SAN)

•Otunba Deleoye; Chairman, Eastern Bar Forum Kemasuode Wodu; Okey Wali (SAN) and Secretary EBF, O. O. Igwenyi

•From left: Secretary, NBA Lagos Branch Alex Muoka; Chairman, NBA Lagos Taiwo Taiwo and Seun Abimbola

•From left: Joe Agi (SAN); former General Secretary, NBA, Lawal Rafiu Rabana (SAN) and Justice Josiah Joe Majebi PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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LAW & SOCIETY AT THE‘GOVERNMENT LEGAL ADVISERS AND LAW OFFICERS’ COURSE’ORGANISED BY THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED LEGAL STUDIES (NIALS) IN LAGOS

•From left: NIALS Director-General Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) and Prof Paul Idornigie

•NIALS Secretary James Bathnna and Prof Bolaji Owasanoye

•NIALS Librarian Mrs Ufoma Lamikanra and Chief Charles Edosomwan (SAN)

•Anegbe Asemokhai and Prof Lanre Fagbohun

•Dare Funsho, Bethy Ugwueze and Agbonifo Osamende

PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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LAW & DEVELOPMENT

‘Preventing rights abuses on roads’

•From left: Rev. Adebiyi; Dr Yemi Oke; Leo Dibia; Prof Chidi Odinkalu; Prof Oyebode; Mr Nwankwo; Mrs Rotimi and Reps Speaker’s representative Adekunle Adeyemi

O

F all areas where human abuses are topical, little or no mention is made about the abuses and other deprivations that people go through on the roads. Even when we encounter problems on the roads, it never occurred to us that their rights are being abused. The degree of abuses they are subjected to on the roads in the hands of security agents, however, depends on so many factors including individuals‘ status. The state of the roads, unknown to many, also constitutes deprivations and an abuse of rights, especially in a situation where the condition of the road resulted in vehicular accidents and sometimes deaths. It was against this background that a human right group, Crusade for Justice, chose, Human rights violations and abuses on the Nigerian roads: The way out as the theme for the lecture of its 10th anniversary to address these abuses and proffer a way out of them for victims. Eminent Professor of International Law at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akin Oyebode, who was the lead speaker at the lecture noted that the police, security and other law-enforcement agents are charged with maintaining law and order on public highways, adding that this entails enforcement of the high way codes and other relevant laws on roads and streets, as well as ensuring security. He said, however, that in carrying out these responsibilities, they are expected to adhere to due process of law and be mindful of the rights and dignity of road users. He said recent experience in terms of civil liberties and the use of public high ways under the civilian dispensation has not been cheering. Oyebode said even if we have a change of baton to the civilian faction of the ruling class from military cohorts, the country is still far from being a democracy. “Our police and other security agents do not seem to be in a hurry to get rid of their insensitivity, impunity and disregard for the rights of their civilian compatriots. They seem totally oblivious of the constitutional provisions regarding right to dignity of the human person”, he said. Citing instances, the don recalled the days of military rulers when hapless victims of the impunity of the police and other security agents, were not spared of the instruments of terror and intimidation, ranging from sirens, horse whips and gun shots to exact the right of way from the ‘“bloody civilians” who dare stand in their way in an attempt to remind all that their boss was on the road. “Not only were Lagos roads peremptorily closed to private vehicles and pedestrians whenever the resident military head of state or president had to take flight from the airport or return from his interminable foreign travels, troublesome civilians were frequently frog-jumped and subjected to humiliating drills on the streets for sundry acts of in discretion and disrespect to the men in khaki.”

By Adebisi Onanuga

He said the roads are not immune from the insecurity, which has engulfed the country and cited the activities of terrorists on the roads, the innumerable reports of rape of innocent victims as the collapse of the edifice of law enforcement, adding: “If buses and private vehicles can be waylaid and robbers deprive travellers of their property at will and female passengers, including school girls, are sexually violated without any response from the state or they are lined up to be run over by on-coming vehicles, then it is no exaggeration to aver that this house, has indeed, fallen. “Citizenship is a legal bond between a state and individuals such that the state owes its citizens protection of life and limb as well as property in exchange for payment of taxes and allegiance to that state. In fact, social contract theorists postulate that where and when the state is unwilling or unable to discharge its obligations under social covenant to citizens, the latter reserves the right to sever or terminate that relationship. In other words, the right of the people to rebel against the status quo stems from the inability of the state to guarantee the rights of the citizens,” he added. As a way out of rights abuses and deprivations on roads, Oyebode advocated the institution of a scheme under which victims of road accidents would receive compensation, pointing out that the lack of social security in the country could pose problems for road accident victims, especially with regard to health care and compensation. He acknowledged the efforts of some states, which are trying to put in place manifests for intending passengers in commercial vehicles to aid identification of the dead and critically injured, but posited that “without a proper scheme of compensation for victims of road accidents, it would be most difficult, if not impossible to safeguard the rights of travellers in commercial vehicles”. He pointed out that law enforcements agents such as Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO), who operate on the highways with efficiency and respect, should constantly bear in mind the need to respect the rights of vehicle driver, commuters and other road users, stressing that once there is awareness among all that road users have rights which cannot be interfered with without probable cause, prospects for a new dawn on roads would be so much enhanced. President of Crusade for Justice, Mr Richard Nwankwo, said there is a critical situation on our hand as far as abuses and violence are concerned on our roads. He said the secretariat of his human rifgt group is being inundated with a lot of petitions by victims of some of these abuses. “You would recall that the IG recently gave an order that all police road blocks should be dismantled from the roads. So, the withdrawal of all these roadblocks on the highways has given a new

lease of life to commuters. This is a welcome development” Nwankwo said the Crusade for Justice has a very large portfolio on these cases and that they have been able to battle through most of them, especially the ones that happened in Lagos axis. “Our interventions, of course, are not restricted to highway violations. What we tried to do these days is to push the issue of road violations right into the front burner so that Nigerians could appreciate the challenges and deprivations other Nigerians are going through when they are moving from point A to point B. The trust of the lecture we had was to put the issue within the consciousness of Nigerian publics and that I believed we had greatly achieved As away out and to sensitise Nigerians of their rights on the roads, he said they are trying to reach out to organisations and some of these security agencies and partner with them. The challenge we are having is that there is absence of the requisite enlightenment of this situation in this area. When citizens and members of the security agencies are enlightened about these things, it becomes a lot easier. We have found a lot of instances where the effect of these enlightenment have made a lot of changes. I believe that enlightenment is key to reducing abuses and violations on the roads. If you look at Chapter 4 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you will find out that the constitutional provisions there are absolutely comprehensive even though chapter 2 which deals with political and social rights are not justifiable if you go by the provisions of section 16(c) of the constitution but over and above that you found out that the provisions of Chapter 4 is very key, talking about the section that deals with fundamental rights provisions of the constitution. Nigerians should look at some of these provisions and appreciate how it works because it is very very wrong for the Police or these security agencies to invade your privacy with-

out due recourse to the law. It is also wrong for them to impound your vehicle without due recourse to the law.. The citizens should be made to appreciate the fact that they have rights and that these rights are vibrantly enforceable. Once you appreciate that fact, whoever wants to trample on your right, you would take cognisance of the attitude towards that, that is the position of the law. Nwankwo observed that the human rights on the highway are in very bad shape, adding that this was why the theme of this year’s lecture centered on the road and gross and dehumanising violations that are experienced daily on the roads. The Director of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) Mrs Omotola Rotimi, said: “Violence on the roads should not be limited to only deprivations suffered by motorisits. Rather, she would want human rights organisations to look into other abuses suffered by other road users. According to Mrs Rotimi, there have been several cases of children being abused by their parents when they send them to hawk on the roads. This, she said, constitute abuses of scuh children as they are exposed to danger. Mrs Rotimi also said there have been cases of rapes on the roads. “We’ve had cases of young girls and boys being raped on the roads. Some of these cases are being handled by the OPD. We have about five cases where women were gang-raped on the streets of Lagos when going on their places of work very early in the morning,” she added. The OPD director said cases that were brought to the attention of the department were being handled appropriately. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who was represented by the Special Adviser, Regional Integration, Rev Tunji Adebiyi, said the government was committed to the safety of lives and property on the roads, stressing that that was why his administration accorded priority attention to the construction of good roads in the state.

LEGAL DIARY Lawyers to honour Fashola, Tinubu, Aregbesola, others THE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, will tomorrow honour former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu with a special award for his contributions to the strengthening of the judiciary in the state, as part of activities marking its law week. Others to be honoured for their contributions to democracy and rule of law are Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and his Osun and Benue states counterparts, Rauf Aregbesola, and Gabriel Suswam. Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Inumidun Akande, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), Mr Rickey Tarfa (SAN), a lawyer Oluwakemi Balogun, Zenith Bank and Century Group will also receive awards. Briefing reporters on the week-long activities, which began yesterday, the Chairman,

Law Week Committee, Mr Hannibal Uwaifo, who represented the Branch Chairman, Mr Taiwo O. Taiwo, said Tinubu will be honoured for the massive infrastructure development of the courts and improvement of judge’s welfare by his administration, which other states now emulate. Meanwhile, the Branch’s Human Rights Committee, will hold free legal clinic next week as part of the ceremonies. Uwaifo said: “Lawyers would be available from 9am to 3pm daily for the next one week to offer free legal advice and answer questions at any of the following points: High Court of Lagos Foyer; the Magistrates’ Court, Igbosere, Ojuelegba Bus Stop, Surulere; City Hall; Eti-Osa Local Government Secretariat and Ikota Shopping Complex, Ajah.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

NATIONAL BAR

Fed Govt, Dangote in legal battle over cement import waiver T HE Federal Government has accused one of the nation’s cement manufacturers, Dangote Cement Plc, of plotting to entrench itself as a single player in the cement industry by allegedly engaging in acts capable of eliminating competitors. The government argued that such alleged plot by Dangote Cement was inimical to its policies of job creation, rebuilding of decayed infrastructure and creating and maintaining “a level playing field for Nigerians and investors with no discrimination.” This formed part of the Federal Government’s submissions in response to a suit initiated against it and nine others, at the Federal High Court, Lagos by Dangote Cement. Dangote is, among others, alleged discriminatory in conducts on the part of the government in the granting of licence to some local firms for the importation of bulk cement. In the counter affidavit it filed for itself and six others, the government said Dangote’s claims in the suit were “anti-competition and designed to control the cement industry and leave Nigerians at the mercy of the plaintiff’s (Dangote’s) price, whims and caprices.” Named as defendants in the suit are Ibeto Cement Company, IBG Investment Limited, Derima Ventures Ltd, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney-General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Board of Customs and Excise, Federal Inland Revenue Service and Nigerian Ports Authority. It is Dangote Cement’s claim that Ibeto, acting in concert with its subsidiaries, IBG and Derima Ventures, allegedly suppressed facts and acted fraudulently in obtaining a consent judgment against the Fed Government in consolidated suits marked FHC/Abj/CS/400/ 2006 and FHC/Abj/CS/496/2010. In the consent judgment, the court ordered the government to pay Ibeto about N7.8 billion for the unjustified closure of its plant be-

By Eric Ikhilae

tween 2005 and 2007 and set aside a 2010 presidential directive raising import duties and abolishing the import waiver granted Ibeto between 2007 and 2017. By the judgment, Ibeto was to continue paying five per cent import duty till 2017. Dangote accused Ibeto and other defendants in the suit of colluding to confer an advantage on Ibeto and its subsidiaries, by allegedly being allowed to import bulk cement with only five per cent import tax, excluding Value Added Tax (VAT) as against a presidential directive of July 8, 2010 directing cement importers to pay 20 per cent import duty and five per cent VAT. The plaintiff, which claimed to be the largest investor in cement manufacturing in the country, argued that the non-implementation of the Presidential directive of 2010 and other earlier directives regulating the tax on imported cement, has denied the Federal Government, Board of Internal Revenue and related agencies of their deserved incomes from such importation. It noted, for instance, that Ibeto, through its subsidiaries, allegedly denied the government of revenue estimated at N880million in 2008, N2 billion in 2009, N4.2 billion in 2010 and N8.9 billion in 2011. Dangote, in its originating summons, set seven questions for the court’s determination and urged the court to, among others, declare

‘Dangote, in its originating summons, set seven questions for the court’s determination and urged the court, to among others, declare that the President lacked the powers to waive or alter the provisions of the VAT Act without the National Assembly’

Ayorinde is Legal Aid Council chair

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has appointed a Chairman for the Legal Aid Council. He is Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN). Ayorinde (SAN) is a former Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, and former Chairman, Committee for the De-congestion of Prisons in Oyo State. He will serve a four year term. The mandate was conveyed in the Legal Aid Act 2011 assented to by the President, which effectively repeals Cap L9, Laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004. Reacting to the appointment, the Attorney-General of Oyo State, Mr Bayo Ojo, in a telephone conversation with The Nation said he has no doubt that he is going to take the council higher. According to him, “Chief Ayorinde knows the problem of the council and I am confident that he is going to solve all the problems in admiration of stakeholders. A Daniel has come to judgment in the Legal Aid Council with his appointment; the Federal Government has put a round peg in a round hole. It is a fitting and well-deserved appointment. He is going to make everybody proud in that council. Also, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe, a Senior Advocate said: “He is a very good man. I know him very well. He is the Financial Secretary of the body of Senior Advocate of Nigeria while I am the Treasurer. He is going to revitalise the council as the organisation has been docile for sometimes now, but with his appointment by the President, I have no doubt it will have positive impact on the society. He is a man of action.” Another Senior Advocate, Mallam Yusuf Ali, said the new council boss has tremendous capacity for public service. “I have no doubt he has all it takes to

that the President lacked the powers to waive or alter the provisions of the VAT Act without the National Assembly. It also prayed the court to declare that the 2010 Presidential directive constituted a cancellation of the waiver or tax relief granted Ibeto in 2007. The plaintiff urged the court to order the Federal Government to recover duties and taxes owed by Ibeto and its subsidiaries, by virtue of the 2010 directive, an order setting aside the consent judgment and an order directing Ibeto, IBG and Deriva to refund the N7.8billion paid to it by the government by virtue of the judgment. It further prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the three companies from further importing cement into the country, except as newly approved by the appropriate authorities under the fiscal tax policy stipulations in force. The Federal Government, in its counter affidavit, urged the court to dismiss the suit. It denied Dangote’s allegation that the consent judgment was obtained fraudulently. It denied that Ibeto suppressed any fact and misled the court into granting the consent judgment. It queried Dangote’s locus standi in instituting the suit. It argued that since Dangote was not a party in the consolidated suits in which the consent judgment was given, and since it was not directly affected by the judgment, it lacked the right to challenge the judgment.

•Ayorinde (SAN) By Adebisi Onanuga

deliver on his mandate at the Legal Aid Council. I hope that he will be able to improve on what his predecessors did. “Moreover, I hope he will be able to push through an amendment to the enabling law so that the services of Legal Aid Council will be more assessable and cover both criminal and civil cases. He is a man I have worked with and he is capable. I have no doubt in my mind.” The Legal Aid Council of Nigeria is empowered by law to handle criminal, civil and fundamental rights cases brought to it by litigants, especially indigents and underprivileged Nigerians who require its services.

•Dangote

The government also contended that since Dangote lacked the statutory powers to recover unpaid tax on behalf of the government, it cannot institute cases with the aim of recovering government’s purported unpaid tax. Also in their joint counter affidavit, Ibeto,IBG and Derima denied all allegations by Dangote. They denied any allegation of fraud and misrepresentation. They claimed to have legitimately consent judgment and the presidential waiver, allowing them to import bulk cement by paying five per cent import duty between 2007 and 2017. The three companies denied owing the government any unpaid tax as alleged by the plaintiff. They also challenged the plaintiff’s locus standi; the court’s jurisdiction on the ground that none of the defendants was based in Lagos and urged the court to either dismiss the case or strike it out. Hearing in the case will open on July 3.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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LAW & DEVELOPMENT

ICCN launches arbitration/ADR rules

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ITH the launch in Nigeria of the new Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) rules, experts say a foundation has been laid for easy resolution of cross-border disputes. The rules, launched last week by the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN), addresses areas of concern to users, such as control of time and cost in arbitration, emergency arbitrator provisions and arbitration involving multiple parties. They also contain changes to facilitate handling of disputes arising under investment treaties and free trade agreements. Secretary-General, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Mr Jason Fry, the goal of the new rules is to have simple guidelines for complex situations. ICCN Chairman, Mr Babatunde Savage, said the revision of the rules was concluded after a study spanning four years by a special task force comprising members from various national committees among other stakeholders. “The new rules will meet the needs of those involved in international trade and allow participants to learn the basics about different amicable dispute resolution techniques, taking into account crosscultural awareness and legal considerations,” Savage said. Chairman, ICCN Commission on Arbitration, Prof Gabriel Olawoyin (SAN) explained why the 2012 Arbitration and ADR Rules are being launched in Nigeria a few months after the rules had come into operation. “The simple answer is that the launch of the rules in each of the countries where it has taken place has necessarily involved some of the top functionaries of the ICC headquarters in Paris. That explains why we have in our midst Mr Fry, a few other prominent visitors who are in Nigeria, specifically for this launch. “Given the fact that such people are very busy people with extremely tight schedules, it is perhaps inevitable that the series of launches of the rules must necessarily extend beyond the date it formally came into operation.” He spoke on the role of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. “The ICC Court is the world’s leading institution for the resolution of international commercial and business disputes. “The international character and structure of the Court have helped to project its image to such an enviable level that a lot of multinational companies see the ICC Court as a forum where disputes involving them can fairly and speedily be resolved. “It is normal to expect a party involved in cross-border disputes to have reservations for the resolution of such disputes in the municipal courts of the other party to such disputes. “Parties involved in such disputes are often from different countries with diverse cultural and legal backgrounds. Arbitration has, therefore, proved to be a very viable solution for the resolution of such disputes. The normal court ligation is out of the question in such situations for various reasons. “First, regular courts are national institutions within each country and their rules and procedures will almost always be strange to foreigners. Secondly, business enterprises generally abhor publicity particularly the negative ones like the publicity of court proceedings which could be damaging to the interests of the parties concerned. “Thirdly, regular courts are generally more expensive and time

By Joseph Jibueze and Precious Igbonwelundu

consuming. Even where the monetary costs of arbitration turn out to be higher, the time saved in going to arbitration makes it a lot more attractive to the average entrepreneur than the normal court. “Other attractions of ICC arbitration such as specialised competence of arbitrators, the international recognition of arbitral awards pursuant to the New York Convention of 1958, and the widely acclaimed administrative and supervisory roles of the ICC Court provide a uniqueness which gives comfort to parties who opt for ICC arbitration in their contracts.” A member of ICCN, Mrs Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour and Partner, Head of International Arbitration and ADR, Norton Rose LLP, London, Mr Joseph Tirado, highlighted salient provisions of the new rules. According to them, the inability of an arbitral tribunal to deal with urgent preliminary issues in view of the time it takes to constitute a tribunal is often considered a major disadvantage of the arbitral process. They said: “The ICC 2012 Emergency Arbitrator Provisions are well crafted and make available the opportunity to expeditiously obtain an interim ruling or conservatory measure from an emergency arbitrator usually within a period of 15 days. “Article 29 (7) of the Rules preserves the court’s power with respect to interim protection measures. Thus the 2012 Rules provides the parties with the option of either seeking the relief from the court or the emergency arbitrator in circumstances where an urgent interim relief is considered necessary. “Applications cannot be made exparte under the Rules and the provisions may not be suitable in instances where a surprise element on the other side is essential in view of the nature of the relief sought. “Parties, however, now have the option of determining the appropriate venue for needed urgent measures and in such case may have recourse to the courts. “Statutory provisions regulating the enforcement of interim orders of arbitral tribunals are available. Some jurisdictions have adopted the Revised UNCITRAL Model Law 2006 provisions on the enforcement of interim measures, these include Lagos State of Nigeria. “ICC has taken a positive step in incorporating the Emergency Arbitrator Provisions in the revised rules and parties should avail themselves by incorporating a clause agreeing on the application of the emergency arbitrator provisions.” An arbitrator, Tinuade Oyekunle, noted that the impartiality and independence of arbitrators, who have become adjudicators in the field of arbitration parties have become a sine qua non for the final resolution of the disputes terminating in valid and enforceable awards. “Trade and investments have globally grown at a rapid space and confidence in such dispute resolution mechanisms has tremendously increased,” she said. On the new rules, she added: “The 2012 ICC Rules respond to today’s business needs and its provisions ‘remain faithful to the ethos and retain the essential features to ICC arbitration, while adding new provisions to address other matters. “The Rules define a structured, institutional framework intended to ensure transparency, efficiency and fairness in the dispute resolution

•From left: Tirado; Prof Olawoyin (SAN) and Mrs Rhodes-Vivour

•From left: Dele Belgore (SAN) and Savage

•Prof Andrew Chukwuemerie (SAN) and former Foreign Affairs Minister Odein Ajumogobia (SAN)

•From left: Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN); Yamta Ali and Chizoba Madubuko

process while allowing parties freedom to exercise their choice over many aspects of procedure. “The recent publication was made in answer to the growing demand for a holistic approach to dispute resolution techniques.” On the relevance of ethics in arbitration, Oyekunle said they ensure

legitimacy in international arbitration so that awards emanating from the decision of Arbitrators may be easily accepted by parties rather than lead to a continuum of court cases and subsequent ill-feelings among commercially friendly parties. “The increased focus on ethics

arose from, among other things, the high stakes in arbitration disputes involving huge sums of money and the expansion of trade among global communities with different cultural and ethnic philosophies with less instinctive trust either in the adjudicators and/or the institutions,” she said.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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AVIATION The pilot’s last distress call was ‘May Day!May Day!!’ That was eleven nautical miles to Lagos and the plane went off the radar. It crashed barely a minute later around Iju, on the outskirts of Lagos. KELVIN OSA-OKUNBOR reports

•The tail of the crashed aircraft

May Day! May Day!! ... And the plane went down U

NTIL last Sunday, Nigeria was basking in the joy of not experiencing any air crash in the past five years. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was also beginning to look at the Nigerian aviation sector from a different prism. And then it happened: a plane crash around Iju Ishaga, on the outskirts of Lagos. The plane was gliding to the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos, when about 11 nautical miles to its destination, it ran into some hitches. What the problems were, nobody can say for now, until the Black Box is recovered. The Black Bux will reveal the last moments of the plane before it went down, killing all those on board. For now, nothing has been said about the crew. The pilot, his assistant, the stewards and stewardesses. They were said to be seven in number and the passengers, 146, making a total of 153. The passengers’ names have since been released, but those of the crew are still shrouded in secrecy, perhaps because their families have not been informed about their fate. For those with relations on the aircraft, Sunday will forever not be a day to remember. Sundays have a way of spelling air tragedy for the country. Most times, planes crash on that day, leaving hundreds dead. Between October 2005 and October 2009, no fewer than 325 were killed in four plane crashes. About 111 were killed in a Bellview plane crash on October 22, 2005. On December 10, 2005, 105 persons, half of them school children were killed in a Sosoliso plane crash. Seventeen to military officers were killed in a plane crash in Benue State on September 17, 2006 and on October 29, 2006, 114 died in an ADC plane crash. News of Sunday’s DANA plane mishap spread like wildfire. Initially, speculation were that it was a light plane involved in the crash, but the picture became clearer much later. Then families, friends and associates those who travelled trooped to the Ikeja airport for information. “Is it true?” they wondered, as they sought confirmation of the news they heard. They didn’t wait for an answer because the situation on ground showed clearly that something untoward had happened. The DANA counter was closed, with no officials at hand to answer enquiries. The somber mood of the airport also showed that all was

•Part of the aircraft

not well. Those who came to catch their flights returned home on hearing the sad news. In no time, relations and friends of those on board the ill-fated DANA plane, burst into tears. It was a moving scene as those in tears also tried to console those weeping. Scores of people are believed to have died at the crash site, but the figure cannot be ascertained because the bodies of the dead were burnt beyond recognition. It was a gory sight which only the lion-hearted could stand. Among those who died in the crash were son of the late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, Ehime, spokesman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr Levi Ajuonuma, two military officers and 149 others. On Sunday night, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a three-day national morning for them. A statement by his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, said the President who cancelled all his public engagements scheduled for yesterday, also directed that the Nigerian flag be flown at half-mast during the mourning. The President also ordered “full investigation” into the crash. In line with the presidential directive, Aviation Minister Princess Stella Oduah told reporters at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos, that the government would investigate the cause of the crash. She said: “On Sunday, June 3, 2012, at 3.43 pm local time, DANA Air flight 0992 from Abuja

to Lagos declared an emergency with the Lagos Control Tower at eleven nautical miles to Murtala Muhammed Airport( MMIA). A minute later, the aircraft disappeared from the air traffic control radar. The flight was found to have crashed into a residential building at Iju area of Agege with 153 people on board. The police, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), rescue teams from the airport, Lagos State, Ogun State and other agencies were at the crash site within minutes, At this time, no survivor have been found. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the passengers and the people on the ground who lost their lives in this tragedy. The Federal Government will ensure that this incident is thoroughly investigated to determine the exact cause of the accident in order to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.” Pleading for restraint in reporting the crash, Mr Oche Victor Elias, Special Adviser (Technical) to the Minister, said: “Fortunately, you have had access to the manifest which ideally should have come from the NCAA reading the names. We are shocked you have access to it. We are all Nigerians and we understand the pain and anxiety. I specifically beg all of us, any of us that has lost people, it is really painful and by the grace of God, we will get to the root of this unpalatable, very untimely, ill timed, unexpected happening. “The aircraft was 11 miles to touch down when the pilot declared emergency. You know the aviation thing. After the May Day, May Day,

they give you priority. And about 4 miles that is when the mishap happened. Every other detail will be passed to you. “We need to harmonise and harness our information, so that we don’t have distorted information. Nigerians are waiting for you for the real truth; we want to beg you that any other thing is speculative. “The Minister of aviation, any moment from now from Lagos end will speak to Nigerians and tell us what happened going through the manifest, log book in the control tower and going through the tape and they will give it professional reading. But for now, there is still investigation. Please let us maintain cool. We feel the pain too. The list of who is alive and who is not will get to you. Don’t speculate.” The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Mrs. Anne Ene-Itta, said: “For all of us in the aviation sector as well as Nigerians as a whole it is very unfortunate. Well, search and rescue operation is on. We don’t have any further information for now. Please, bear with us, we will be with you as soon as we get information from Lagos . “The incident happened nearer Lagos than here. So, we are waiting for Lagos to give us more information. So, I’m pleading with all Nigerians to bear with us. It is a very sad incident. It is going to affect each and everyone of us one way or the other, family members, friends may be in there. So, let us pray that all is well.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

MARITIME ‘The problem with Cabotage Act By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

•Lagos port

NPA invests N860m in rail at ports

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HE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has invested over N860 million in the rehabilitation and standardisation of railways in the major ports in the country to facilitate cargo clearance. The contract was awarded to Messrs CCECC Nigeria Limited for N860, 657,797.23 to connect the ports to the rail lines. A source at NPA Head Office in Lagos told The Nation, that the authority embarked on the project to fulfil part of its agreement with the concessionaries in 2006 and to make the ports attractive for business. NPA, the source also said, has been generating between N100 billion and N130 billion yearly after handing the ports over to terminal operators. Going by the source’s estimates, NPA has been making a steady increase of N20 billion to N30 billion yearly; this is over 35 per cent over its pre-concessioning income. When The Nation visited the Apapa port last week, the rail lines have been demarcated.

• Minister of Transport, Idris Umar Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

When contacted, the General Manager, Public Affairs, Chief Michael Ajayi, confirmed the award of the contract. Although he did not disclosed the amount, Ajayi said the management of NPA has awarded the contract to meet international standard in ports operations. Also, he said NPA has awarded the contract for the

supply and installation of marine fenders to zones one, two and three in the seaports to protect vessels and the quay walls against damage and to allow for smooth maneuvering of vessels alongside the quays during berthing. The image maker said since concessioning, NPA has been able to focus on its core functions of infrastructural development and keeping the channels safe for navigation and other responsibilities as the technical regulator. “To make the Nigerian ports to fulfill its aspiration of becoming the hub in the West African sub-region, NPA sees development of infrastructure as the major vehicle to achieve it. “The increases in the ship and cargo volume since the port concession have taken their tolls on port facility based on the constant use. Ports infrastructure have been subjected to environmental degradation, accidental impact by vessels and quay apron damage resulting in destruction of facilities,” he added. A senior manager in one of

the terminals at Apapa port, who craved anonymity, said the authority has in the last few months devoted the needed attention to its marine division where the official said, NPA has acquired 69 channel marking buoys for Lagos pilotage district, adding that it has also rehabilitated lights houses to aid navigation in Lagos harbour. The official, however, urged the Federal Government to support the NPA’s rail initiative to decongest the port by making it a transit point with an effective rail system. He advised the government to develop other means of transport, especially the rail system, to bring about efficient delivery of goods in the maritime sector. The operator said the interconnectivity of the rail system to water ways is very important. “Marine transport is a component part of transportation system in the world and from my training and experience, the marine transport cannot operate in isolation from other modes of transportation, especially with rail system,” he added.

Importers accuse freight forwarders of fraud

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OME indigeneous importers are complaining of being fleeced by foreign freight forwarders. No fewer than 50 told The Nation that they have been milked in the last 10 months are complaining. An importer, Mr Felix Ayinla, said any time he imported goods, through some foreign freight forwarders, they charged and asked him to pay for their clearing in Nigeria. But the freight forwarder, he alleged, would abandon the goods at the port. Ayinla said when it became rampart, he made enquiries and the freight forwarder told him that Customs officials seized the goods because they were prohibited items. When he tried other freight forwarders, the report was almost the same. They told him that either the money he gave to them was not enough or that the Customs has increased tariff on some of the items. He said some of the freight forwarders have made him and his friends to lose millions of naira between July and May, this year.

When contacted, the National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, confirmed the story. He told The Nation that similar cases were reported to him by some importers. “The story you are telling me is genuine because I have received similar reports when I travelled abroad. On why importers are falling victims, Shittu said ma-

jority of them are looking for the cheapest ways to clear their goods from the port. “While the majority of clearing agents would tell the importers to follow the due process and pay the correct duty, the freight forwarders,who are based abroad would tell them lies that they have some people in Customs that would help them to clear the goods and collect some foreign curren-

cies from them. It is when the deal fails that they would run to the press to complain,” he said. Another importer Mr Gbolahan Ibrahim denied the allegation. He, however, called on the Federal Government to compel the Nigerian Customs Service to introduce a bench mark on every category of vehicle to be imported into the country to save them from these fraudulent freight forwarders.

‘Ports better managed under concessionaire’

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HE Federal Government acted right in concessioning the ports to private terminals operators, President-General of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Anthony Emmanuel Nted has said. He said the ports were working well than before, adding that cargoes are better handled now by the terminal operators. He said: “The visit (to the Lagos Ports Complex) is to familiarise with our members and also look at areas where they are lacking and where we their leaders are

By Uyoatta Eshiet

lacking. “As I always say, the government reserves the right to concession the ports and they have done it and what we are seeing today, it is 100 per cent better than when the Nigerian Ports Authority was in charge. So, it is a welcome development and I welcome the ports reforms.” Speaking on insecurity in the country, the union leader urged dockworkers to help in bridging the lapses in security. He said members of the union, especially the

dockworkers, have a role to play in ensuring Nigeria’s security since, according to him, they are the first to come in contact with cargoes imported into the country. Nted urged dockworkers to raise that alarm if certain cargoes imported into Nigeria are considered to be inimical to lives and properties, noting that, by so doing, the dockworkers will save their lives and that of the country. He appealed to members to realise that everyone should be involved in the governance. He said governance is not only for those in Abuja and Alausa.

THE influx of old vessels by local ship owners, and the phasing out of single hull vessels by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have been identified as one of the reasons Nigerians have not benefited from the Cabotage Act. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, a stakeholder in the maritime sector, Mr Bayo Adegbite, said the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) should stop old vessels from entering the country. He said the influx of old vessels was because of illegal bunkering. “If you allow ship owners to bring old vessels into the country and you register them as Cabotage vessels, then you must be ready to give them jobs; forget about IMO laws and the other laws because you have collected money from the owners for registration and that is why NIMASA must stop them.” Adegbite also called on the NIMASA to ensure that indigenous ship owners are given jobs by the oil companies since they were registered by NIMASA under the Act. Also, a maritime lawyer, Mr Festus Olayinka, also identified financial involvement at the point of applying for waiver under the Cabotage Act as one of the reasons for the circumvention of the gains of the Act. He alleged that waivers are granted “before approval because those who apply for waivers are made to pay while their applications are still being processed. “The Act stipulates that 100 per cent rating, 60 per cent of officers for Nigerians and 40 per cent for foreigners. But the foreigners come in with a waiver clause that the country does not have qualified hands to man the industry. “Also, if you want a waiver to be granted, you apply to NIMASA and your file would be taken to Abuja for ministerial approval. Before the approval comes from Abuja, you must have paid money to NIMASA. After collecting my money, it is as good as saying that you have granted me the waiver because it would be difficult for you to return my money because by the time the file leaves for Abuja, the job would have done,” Olayinka said.

Stakeholder faults shipping policy A STAKEHOLDER in the maritime industry has faulted the Federal Government’s policy on ship repairs. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, the operator Mr Funsho Badmus, said the government has not offered special incentives for the sector to promote and enhance efficiency in shipping-related services and make the country a hub. He said ship building is capital intensive and urged the Federal Government to make special provision for capacity building in the industry. He said local ship owners face difficulties in raising funds to facilitate improved business prospects. He said the facilities at the shipyards were highly inadequate when compared to what is required at the international level. He said ship repairs business is highly competitive and should be supported by national policies and subsidies, adding that without the government’s support, the growth of the industry would be difficult, adding that for the sector to grow, there should be incentives, such as lower taxes to offset the costs.

ANCLA distributes ID Cards By Uyoatta Eshiet

The Association of Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA) has begun the distribution of the Biometric Identity Cards to registered members. Its National President Prince Olayiwola Shittu said the project is aimed at checking criminalities at the ports. According to him, the Biometric Identity Card project, handled by the firm which produced the National Identity Card, lasted for six months. He disclosed that the association has covered all the border ports except Idiroko. The event, which took place at Apapa Area I Customs Command and was witnessed by the command Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller A.Y. Garko. At the event, a N1 million cheque was presented to the next-ofkin to the late Chief Femi Bamgboye, a vice-chairman of the Apapa Chapter of the association. Mr Akin Bamgboye received the money. Speaking at the ceremony, Shittu said one of the objectives of the Biometric Identity Card was to decongest the port of human traffic as is obtained in abroad. Saying that the members of the group must be professionals, he warned that any of them who commits fraud will not be assisted. He urged the chief executive officers of each of the companies to collect their staff Biometric Card at the National Secretariat of the association to prevent impersonation. It was noted that about 402 firms with 488 workers have been registered in Apapa. Shittu noted that plans are a foot to insure every member of the association against death and risks associated with their job. On the death of Chief Femi Bamgboye, he advised members to take care of their health by going for regular medical checks.


39

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

50% urban growth forecast for Lagos, others

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MERGING cities, such as Lagos, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro and others will witness rapid urbanisation and growth in 15 years, experts have said They also forecast a 50 per cent growth rate in the urban centres of Africa that will drive economic development. The experts, who spoke at “The Economist Conference on Future Cities”, said Africa would transform into an investment destination in few years. They urged the government to embark on massive infrastructure development that will drive the expected investment from outside the continent. Speaking on the theme Managing Africa’s Urban Transformation, the experts observed that African economies are growing exponentially, citing an instance with Lagos where growth in urbanisation is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. They explained that urbanisation growth has strong correlation with the growth in the construction industry especially in Nigeria where it is expected that the industry will witness bout 15 per cent growth by 2020. Head of Conference Programmes, The Economist Group, Dougal Thomson, in his introductory remarks at the conference, predicted that African population is going to surpass that of China by 2050. He cited International Monetary Fund (IMF) projection, which says that African GDP growth at the moment is 5.4 per cent per annum. Lending credence to the latest 10year forecast from Global Construc-

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

tion Perspectives and Oxford Economics, which says construction growth in Nigeria will be the fastest of all markets, he pointed out that China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest construction market by 2018. The report says Nigeria remains the market where the fastest growth will happen as it will be the global hotspot from now to 2020 as the nation’s construction growth have risen higher than India’s, which reflects increased wealth. Thomson, who spoke on ‘The World in 2020: Understanding the Drivers of Change’ however, pointed out that Africans are still struggling to get going, noting that so much money is needed to transform cities in the continent. “There is need for job creation to cope with the growing population; the continent anticipates growth of the middle class and the emergence of people with purchasing power”, he said. Another keynote speaker, Robert Neuwirth, in his presentation The Dynamism of Street Savvy: The New Growth Driver underscored some of the economic potentials of cities in what he called ‘street opportunity’, stressing that urban city development is an opportunity. Neuwirth, the author of Nations and Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, a New Urban World, said Lagos habours a lot of economic activities ranging from the very micro to macro businesses. He said that trading activities

• Falomo roundabout, Lagos

alone in the city generate about $10 trillion a year. Neuwirth stated this on the heels of Credit Suisse’s report released last month, which notes that urbanisation continues to provide one of the most significant drivers of growth for the global economy. He predicted that Lagos will be the sixth fastest growing city in the world by 2025. The expert pointed out that access to deep capital markets is essential for financing and encouraging private investment and enterprise in

cities such as Lagos. The bank analyst said: “The most successful global cities are those that anticipate and also make provision for the necessary public and private funding growth required, rather than responding to population growth and being constantly behind the curve.” Earlier, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, said the state has developed an annual household survey, which forms the road-map for planning the state’s budget. “There has been a gap in plan-

ning, especially during the military regime, where a governor stayed in office on average, less than 24 months. Today, we have changed that as we have developed master plans for eight independent towns in Lagos, which are all to be linked by transport infrastructure.” He said the state government is employing the public-private sector(PPP) model in a number of sectors such as the light rail, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Eko Atlantic city project and the Lekki – Epe expressway.

Fashola restates commitment to Tenancy Law

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AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has restated his commitment to the State Tenancy Law, which makes it unlawful for a landlord or his agent to demand or receive rent in excess of six months from a sitting tenant. With the new bill, it becomes illegal for any landlord to receive more than a year rent from a new tenant otherwise he will pay a fine of N100,000 or be sentenced to three years imprisonment. Besides, it will also be unlawful for a tenant to offer to pay more than a year rent even though it gives room for the two parties to sign a tenancy agreement. The governor said the law was put in place to protect both the landlord and tenant stressing that where a tenant goes against the

•Commissions Lagos Traffic Radio By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

dictates of the law by clandestinely paying above what the law stipulates, he will not get any relief from the court. He stated this at the commissioning of Lagos Traffic Radio 96.1, the first ever traffic radio station in the country. The specialised radio station, according to him, was inaugurated in a bid to finding ways to ease the traffic situation in the state. Fashola said the vehicular density of the state averages at 224 vehicles per kilometre noting that “If you are caught in traffic, you lose time, you lose money and you suffer stress.” The governor stressed that the

Traffic Radio will help people to make informed choices as to the route to follow when they set out to work or to their business in the morning and also offer first-hand information on the traffic situation so that people manage your time well and save cost.” Speaking also at the launch, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, said the Lagos Traffic Radio was part of the several innovative responses of the present administration to the perennial traffic challenges on the state adding that it was aimed at making the state an investors delight. The Commissioner said:“The station is prepared for the challenges of meeting the expectations of the

21st Century listening audience in terms of content and facilities”, adding that the feedback since it commenced test transmission on 96.1 MHZ since the last three weeks was very satisfactory. Furthermore, the governor said that every month 50 new home owners will emerge through the various housing schemes of government. He regretted that mortgages have not been successful in the country due to reasons associated with high cost of fund, land and building materials. Ibirogba said ,however,’ we use tax payers money to provide a single digit interest to provide homes to make them affordable to the ordinary man on the street’. He also spoke on the ongoing construction of the Lagos/Badagry expressway, stressing that as soon

•Fashola

as government secures the right of way and have the needed fund the project will move at top speed.

Firm plans raise of capital to N2.5b in private placement

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EDAN Capital Ltd(RC), an investment arm of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), has concluded plans to raise its capital base from N50 million to N2.5billion through private placement, which will open soon. RC is a finance and capital solutions company incorporated by REDAN over two years ago to enable it deal in businesses which it cannot legally deal in. The newly appointed Chairman of RC, Dr. Chris Ekong, who disclosed this to journalists at the weekend in Abuja, noted that the placement, which will enable the company expand its financial services and also float subsidiaries that will provide essential services such as mortgage banking, construction leasing and bulk sourcing of build-

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

ing materials to property/estate and infrastructure developers, will be addressed to REDAN members and other interested private investors He said: “Our mission is to be in strategic partnership with key stakeholders for harnessing capital resources within and outside Nigeria towards providing quality and affordable housing through consis-

tent and efficient delivery of superior value-added services specifically designed to meet the needs of estate and property developers in Nigeria and in the sub regional Africa. “We deliver superior valueadded services by bridging the gap that exists in accessing finance and by tapping into the huge opportunities and prospects that exist in the property market/mortgage finance in Nigeria.

‘The large volume of dealings before us has necessitated us to move up from an initial N50 million capital base to N2.5 billion. And with this move, RC will now be able to bring more businesses under its portfolio’

“The large volume of dealings before us has necessitated us to move up from an initial N50 million capital base to N2.5 billion. And with this move, RC will now be able to bring more businesses under its portfolio. “That the property market/mortgage finance sub-sector is the future of the economy, which is capable of stimulating other sectors of the economy if all the challenges are properly addressed considering the population, demand and the economic capacity of the people,” he stressed. Speaking, General Manager of RC, Mr Olawale Okunade, maintained that the company is concluding discussions with international financial institutions and stakeholders, including Shelter Afrique for possible

investing in RC and this forms part of the basis for a meeting with Shelter Afrique in Kigali, Rwanda after their 31st AGM this month. RC intends to fill the gap in the real estate and property industry, which is currently not developersfriendly as funding is not easily accessible and when a developer eventually gets one from FMBN and mortgage institutions, the incidence of great difficulty in exiting loans by developers is critical due to the inability of Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), to promptly disburse NHF loans or to create mortgages for off-takers, adding ’this translates into huge loss as result of huge accumulated interest on loans for the risk taker, who most-times are home developers.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT Building Issues

How to move out of your parents’ house

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OVING out of one’s parent’s house is a major decision, especially for a young person though some older people live forever in their parents’ house out of volition or to gain advantage over other children, especially in polygamous homes. But in a normal situation one sees more of this as a big step for a young person to make. No longer will you have to follow the rules of your parents but on the flip side you are now responsible for taking care of yourself. Living on your own can be scary for some and a fantastic experience for others but either way it takes lots of planning and preparation to make a smooth transition into the life of an independent adult. If you rush things you will in all likelihood end up back into your parents’ house worse off financially or be altogether homeless.

• Minister of Works Mike Onolememen(left) receiving the report of the Road Sector Reform Committee from the Vice-Chairman of the Committee; Mr Isa Usman Emoabino, in his office in Abuja. Another member of the committee, Mr Mike Osimen, watches.

Commissioner praises commuters for obeying traffic rules

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AGOS State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Femi Hamzat has praised commuters plying the Ozumba Mbadiwe road for complying with the diversion notice. The Commissioner, who visited the road, noted that “though there was an initial heavy traffic on the first day of the diversion, which is to be expected, but commuters easily adjusted and used alternative routes as announced”. He reiterated government’s commitment to improving the quality of infrastructure, saying “ultimately the construction will improve the travel time and impact on business and the quality of life of citizens who are able to get to work quickly with less hassle”. While stating that the on-going development will complete the reconstruction already undertaken from Ajah to Falomo

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

Bridge, Hamzat said in spite of the initial discomfort occasioned by the diversion the sacrifices are not in vain as the people are the ultimate beneficiary. He expressed the hope that people will continue to abide by traffic regulations and also support Police and LASTMA officials drafted to the zone to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Commenting generally on government’s plans, the Commissioner said the regeneration and renewal of the State infrastructure is on-going and assured that contractors are being mobilised especially in the wake of the new awards of the State’s Tenders Board early in the year to begin to deliver on the mandate. He observed that several roads

have been completed and will soon be handed over to the communities adding that the new strategies are being evolved to ensure that projects are delivered on time and according to specification. He listed such strategies as including listing the telephone number of site engineers and contractors at project site; the adoption of ICT for monitoring purposes and regular site visit by the Ministry. He further assured that the construction of Awolowo Road in Ikorodu will be completed on schedule adding that the project is being monitored by the ministry’s officials both for quality and service. He said: “It is only the availability of resources that limits what we can deliver. It is not the willingness, ability or capacity. It is just how much we have to prosecute our vision.”

Akure-Ado-Ekiti road for rehabilitation

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ELIEF has finally come the way of traumatised road users along Akure/ Ado-Ekiti road as the Federal Government has ordered the immediate rehabilitation of the road. The 40-kilometre road has turned a death trap for motorists,but has now been included in the 2012 budget. A member of the House of Representatives for Akure South/ North federal constituency in Ondo State, Ifedayo Abegunde a.k.a (Abena) who disclosed this to reporters shortly after inspecting the deplorable road said he had influenced the inclusion of the road in the budget because of the untold hardship of the citizenry.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Abegunde, who is also a governorship aspirant of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) noted that it was part of his electioneering campaign promises to ensure that the people in the state feel the impact of the Federal Government. According to him: “This road has created hardship for the people of this community. Not only that, it has disturbed free flow of vehicles from Ekiti to Akure and as a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing this particular constituency, I wrote to the Federal Government that this road should be part of the roads to be keyed in into this year bud-

get. “We thank God that our people will soon be feeling the impact of the Federal Government. Very soon, this road will be reconstructed , I just want people to know that I am representing them well. “When I was contesting, I told my people that experience in governance is very important and as a second timer, I am able to connect within the house, I connected with the Speaker, I connected with Chairmen of Committees, not only that I also connected with ministries so that my people will enjoy the dividends of democracy. Residents praised Abegunde for his efforts to ensure that the road was included in the 2012 budget.

If you want to move out of your parent’s house carefully consider all of the steps you need to take and the loose ends you need to tie up before doing so. I have seen some young people out of youthful exuberance rush out of their parents’ house to avoid control only to regret it later as they are exposed to challenges out there in the world. However, the first thing that you need to have before moving out is some money to rent an apartment or a

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

The way to go is to have enough income each month to pay for all of your necessities and it is a very good idea to set aside an emergency fund of sizeable amount in your account before considering moving out. Putting yourself in debt just to have your first apartment is not a deft move because it will find a way to hunt you at some point in future. In a situation that you have sufficient cash to move out the first thing to do is to scout for the house type you can afford in the areas you prefer. Since you probably have an estimated budget you should be able to now tell what apartments or rentals are in your price range. Make a list of all the places that are in your price range and spend your time reading reviews from tenants, looking at photographs of the apartments, and seeing what type of amenities each place offers. If you have talked to your parents about moving out and have a good relationship with them then you should definitely bring them along to look at the apartment with you. You really need someone that have been through the process before and can spot the impending dangers with how the apartment complex operates or with problems inside the actual unit. Also, you will want to know what kind of neighborhood you are moving in to. An apartment may be cheap and the neighborhood might seem nice and safe but it could very well be a high crime area and it would definitely be worth the extra money each month to live in a better part of town. You should also want to choose a place that is close to where you work or go to school so that you don’t have to make a long commute each day. I know a lot of places around that are nice and cheap but so way-off to make it not worth it. Maybe you do want to live on your own but found it too expensive, having a roommate or two can allow you to live in a nicer place than you otherwise would be able to afford for a single bedroom. Choosing the right roommate is key for moving out on your own. You want somebody that you know shares a similar lifestyle as you and is responsible enough to take care of their share of the rent and buy their own food. If you’re quiet and like to stay home at night you won’t want to move in with a party freak that gets drunk every night. Make sure this person is a close friend that you respect or if you end up with a stranger make sure that you clearly define the rules and boundaries about each other’s space and belongings. It really helps to draw up a contract about living arrangements so that if your roommate doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain you don’t get stuck with having to pay their share. Goodluck!

‘The first thing that you need to have before moving out is some money to rent an apartment or a house’

house. What is your current source of income? If you currently have a job, that is a good start but consider if that job pays enough and also consider it’s sustainability. If you’re still absolutely insistent on moving out then you will need to calculate your budget. If you have a car then you will probably need to make monthly payments or at least take into consideration your fuel and maintenance bills. Beyond just rent and transportation, you will also need to provide yourself with food, furniture, entertainment, and any other miscellaneous costs that will pop up each month. Furniture can be cheap if you’re willing to buy from second hand stores or perhaps even get some items from your parents, depending on how you left them. You will need or want to have a bed, sofa, pots, pans, a desk, chairs, tables, etc. Some apartments may have some furnishings but definitely you would not expect the cheaper places and run-down outof –town locations to offer such luxury. In those places you strictly provide for yourself what you think you need to live comfortably. This is where the choice of living or not living your parents’ house comes in. If after estimating all your monthly expenses and you exceed or come very close to equaling your monthly income then you should probably not move out on your own. Living paycheck to paycheck is not easy to do and there will be times where you have to make a decision on something important to cut from your budget because you don’t make ends meet.

•Contributions, questions? e-mail: quichi3cities@yahoo.com


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TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

•Dr Jonathan

• Mark

• Tambuwal

State of the Nation Address Bill: Waiting for Jonathan Many Nigerians were taken aback last Monday when the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, confronted President Goodluck Jonathan over his refusal to assent to bills passed by the National Assembly. Assistant Editor ONYEDI OJIABOR examines one of such bills and asks how long the President is constitutionally empowered to withhold his assent.

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ORE than two years after its passage by the National As sembly, perhaps the question being asked by federal lawmakers and lawyers is why President Goodluck Jonathan has withheld assent to the State of the Nation Address Bill. The question was raised last week following the revelation that many bills, especially. To say that most Nigerians are looking up to the man they voted for as President to offer explanations to many nagging issues bordering on the state of the nation may be stating the obvious. Such national issues as growing insecurity in parts of the country, dwindling national economy, external and internal debt profile, social justice among others are issues that feature prominently in a State of the Nation Address in other climes. Entitled, “A Bill for Act to enshrine an annual State of the Nation Address and for other matters connected thereto,” it was passed by the Senate in 2010 while the House of Representatives concurred in 2011. The Bill, which received wide acceptance in both chambers, was sponsored by no less a Senator than the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. Section 1(1) of the Bill states, “Without prejudice to the presentation of annual budget speech by the President it shall be mandatory for the President to present annually a State of the Nation Address to the joint sitting of the National Assembly while 1 (2) states “The President shall not delegate his responsibilities under this Act to any subordinate or aide but shall be accompanied by the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the Federation and such other officials as he may deem necessary to the said joint sitting under this Act.” Section 1(3) states “The State of the Nation Address shall be delivered to the joint sitting of the National Assembly on the first day of the second week in May of every year while Section 2(1) states “The President shall address the joint sitting aforesaid on such critical issues including but not limited to national security, the economy, external debt situation, defence, poverty eradication, social justice and observance of federal character in key government appointments, intergovernmental relationship, foreign policy and regional co-operation, education, health and agriculture. Section 2(2) states “The two house of the National Assembly shall variously debate the issues raised within five legislative days following the presentation of the State of the National Address while Section 2(3) states “The resolutions of both houses shall be harmonised by a joint conference committee and forwarded to the President. The Bill has three other Sections that added pep to the piece of legislation. Last Monday, President Jonathan and Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, openly disagreed at the presidential Villa Abuja over the failure of President Jonathan to assent to Bills passed by the National Assembly. Tambuwal pointedly accused Jonathan of shirking his constitutional responsibility to sign Bills passed by the parliament. Jonathan, on his part, charged that lawmakers are overreaching the separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution. But observers believe that the open disagreement is healthy for the growth of democracy in the country. The observers specifically referred to the State of the Nation Address Bill which has been lying fallow in the Presidency. Analysts believe that though President Jonathan came in person to the National Assembly to lay the National Budget last year and gave an address there is nothing in the statute book that compels

him or indeed any Nigerian President to do so. To support this position, observers quoted Section 81 (1) of the 1999 Constitution which only provides that “The President shall cause to be prepared and laid before each House of the National Assembly at any time in each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the federation for the next following financial year.” The meaning is that it is at “the discretion and pleasure” of the President to appear before the parliamentarians in person. It also means that a President can as well delegate the function if he so wish since nothing compels him to appear in person for such a function. That may explain why Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Mohammed Abba Aji performed the function when former President Umaru Yar’Adua was outside the country on medical treatment. Because nothing compels the President to address the joint session of the National Assembly, the President can decide to simply lay the budget estimate, take a bow and go without saying a word. But the difference is clear in the United States of America model of federalism which Nigeria copied. In the US, it is the convention for the President to deliver a State of the Union Address For instance, Article II, Section 3 of the US Constitution provides for a State of the Union Address. “The President of the United States shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Over 220 years since President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union Address on January 8, 1790, tagged then President’s Annual Message to the Congress, the Address has grown to become a moving international event followed live by millions around the world. The State of the Union Address offers the US President the opportunity to give account of his stewardship to the people through their representatives. It is also an opportunity for the President to unveil policy thrusts and other critical issues to the Union . In return, the President obtains a feedback in the form of resolution by each Chamber of the Congress after a scrupulous debate of the Address by Congressmen. It should also be pointed out that Russia , Mexico , Micronesia , Ghana , South Africa , Zimbabwe , and Philippines are some other countries that have perfected one form of State of the Nation Address or the another in their quest to deepen democracy, growth of good governance and participatory democracy. Many thought that Nigeria was set to join the league of nations where State of the Nation Address has been institutionalized with the passage the Bill by the two chambers of the National Assembly but that was not to be. President Jonathan has been foot-dragging in signing the Bill for more than two years. Specifically, the Bill was passed by the Senate on February 18, 2009 while the House concurred in March 2011. Analysts agree that accountability and transparency remain the tonic with which operators oil the wheel of democracy. Democracy, they say, goes beyond the ritual of elections. Good governance, to them, is more important to the people than mere election victory. It may therefore be pertinent to say that as a government of the people, it follows logically that the people should hold their elected leaders accountable in a democracy.

Observers believe that leaders should make governance as transparent, accountable, participatory and decentralised as possible. No provision must be created for one superman, all-knowing President to dictate to the rest of the citizenry, they argue. Analysts believe that the State of the Nation Address Bill does not in any way foreclose the annual budget presentation by the President. For analysts rather than foreclose the annual budget presentation, the Address will take the presentation beyond a mere ritual to a legal obligation as is the case in the US . With the Act in place, every Nigerian President would be fully aware that he is to face Nigerians through their elected representatives at a joint sitting of the National Assembly on a legally enshrined date. With the Act, it will no longer be business as usual, just presentation of annual budgetary estimates, but the President will statutorily be required to give account of his stewardship, assess the polity and declare his policy thrusts in vital areas of the nation including but not limited to the economy, security, political developments, foreign policy. Since the Act does not allow for delegation of this responsibility, National Assembly members will have the opportunity to make their input through resolutions. Observers considered the legislation one landmark by the sixth National Assembly. They equated it with the successful amendment of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act by the same sixth National Assembly as was piloted by Deputy Senate President, Senator Ekweremadu. But the snag is that President Jonathan has kept the Bill in limbo, nobody can tell the President’s frame of mind towards the Bill. Many expected him to have endorsed the Bill to become effective. One school of thought is, however, urging the National Assembly to override the President’s assent as was the case with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Bill when former President Olusegun Obasanjo refused to sign it into law. Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, who reacted to the development, said if Mr. President refuse to assent to any bill, the National Assembly may have no option than to over ride him. Enang who represents Akwa Ibom North East, said the Constitution created safeguard for the National Assembly to over ride the President when occasion demands. The lawmaker, however, gave a caveat, “The status of the bill should be established.” To avoid a frosty relationship between the National Assembly and President he said: “Ministers and other Presidential aides including the Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters, should make necessary input into bills while they are being considered at the committee level. “Presidential aides should make input at Public Hearing. They should continuously brief and advise Mr. President on bills being considered by the National Assembly. “The Attorney General and Minister of Justice should also come in and offer his advice to Mr. President about the implications of every bill. “It is not healthy that some bills are just there with Mr. President you don’t hear anything about them.” Also Ekweremadu said that contrary to the position of President Goodluck Jonathan some bills he refused to sign have no financial implications.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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POLITICS The newly constructed chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly was inaugurated last Thursday. OZIEGBE OKOEKI, who witnessed the event, reports.

Strengthening the legislature in Lagos

Oshiomhole kicks against use of federal workers

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HE original plan by the Lagos State House of Assembly was to expand the old chamber which former governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu observed in 2005, when he presented the 2006 budget had become too small. The Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, in his remarks at the inauguration of the new chamber last Thursday said: “Initially, the decision of the House was to extend the gallery of the old chamber; but when I became Speaker, I took a second look at the project and felt it would be better and more cost-effective to build an entirely new chamber to accommodate a larger number of people; a totally new 21st century building in line with a world which has become more technologically savvy. “Shortly before the end of his tenure as Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu approved the proposal for the construction of this ultra modern chamber and gallery while his successor, our own Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola magnanimously released the funds for the eventual construction”. That was the genesis of the ultra-modern chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly which was commissioned last Thursday. Deputy Leader of the House, Lola Akande, made a toast to the inauguration, explaining that with the newly constructed chamber, the House has, at last overcome the problem of insufficient space for lawmakers on the one hand, and members of the general public, particularly, during plenary sessions. According to her, “with this epoch-making event, the inauguration of this e-compliant and aweinspiring edifice, has once again confirmed our state as the Centre of Excellence and the Lagos State House of Assembly as the best and most innovative State House of Assembly in Nigeria”. Chairman of the occasion, Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, described the new House as a fitting gift for democracy. “I feel highly honoured to be called upon to commission this befitting House of Assembly for the good people of Lagos State. I can think of no better gift in celebration of our democracy or in marking 50 years of the creation of this state than a building dedicated for the law making process. “As Lagos celebrates, perhaps, it is only fitting that it is doing so with such an outstanding administrator at the helm of affairs. Governor Babatunde Fashola has been able to raise the bar a little higher than usual even for a state used to seeing action governors”, he said. He, however, urged the lawmakers to take advantage of the fine edifice to churn out bills that will stand the test of time, reminding them that their job has been made a little easier now and that they have even less excuse if they don’t perform well. Ikuforiji said of the new Assembly Complex: “It shall become a bastion of democracy, a shelter for the strong and the weak, where the burdens of the people will be shared, in order to alleviate such. “As lawmakers, we are mindful of the enormous responsibilities we bear. We are privileged to be the representatives of over 18 million Lagosians, who see the House of Assembly as their sec-

EDO 2012

•Ikuforiji

ond home because of their quest for social justice and equity. We must therefore continue to do our best to uphold the tenets of the constitution in this hallowed and sacred chamber. It is a sacred chamber because the laws and decisions which affect the lives of all Lagosians are made here,” he added. The State Governor, Fashola, said the Lagos House of Assembly is the only one that is autonomous of the executive. He explained that the new chamber belongs to the people, because their tax was used to build the edifice. The National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said: “The stability of this country will depend on how much we value and defend our institutions. We must not decapitate our institutions, no matter what happens, the institutions must survive. The legislature has created stability to make this country proud.” While pointing out that the country still experiences executive recklessness, the ACN leader challenged the legislature to from time to time check the excesses of the executive arm of government. Speaking on behalf of the Conference of Speakers of the 36 state Houses of Assembly, its chairman, Hon. Mohammed Inuwa said, “after seeing the new chamber in Lagos, we unanimously agree that it is a job well done through the speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji who has been up and doing in putting legislation and legislators in a pedestal that can never be forgotten in the history of Lagos state. “We congratulate him and appreciate the contribution of the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, other statesmen and Lagosians for understanding and cooperation with the House and government. What they have done is a testimony that democracy in Nigeria has come to stay; they are people with vision, determination and focus to make sacrifices for the development of democracy in the country”, Inuwa said. The new edifice has on the ground floor, the reception; 54 seats for lawmakers; 177 seats for dignitaries; Speaker’s/guest rostrum; a lounge; control/technical room; external equipment room; 13 units of male and female conveniences; security room; executive office for Speaker and eight seats for clerks-at-the-table. The first floor has 345 seats; choir arena; executive lounge; 2 press viewing room; a unit of male and female

conveniences and observers’ stand while the second floor has two committee rooms, a press viewing room and two units of male and female conveniences. Those who witnessed the opening of the chamber included the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who had earlier been honoured as a member of the House; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire serving Senators and members of the House of Representatives and top Lagos State government officials. Former Governor of the State, Lateef Jakande and his wife, former Senator, Olorunimbe Mamora, ACN chieftains including the State Chairman of the party, Henry Ajomale, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, traditional rulers and a host of Speakers of State Assemblies led by their Chairman and Speaker of Gombe Assembly, Mohammed Inuwa, were also in attendance. Lady Diane Julie Abbott, the first black woman to be elected Member of Parliament in the UK and still serving led other parliamentarians to witness the occasion. The old chamber has, however, been named Lateef Jakande Auditorium.

DO State Governor, Com rade Adams Oshiomhole has kicked against plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use federal workers in the conduct the July 14, governorship election. Oshiomhole who noted that it was part of a grand conspiracy by the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) to manipulate the votes, said the pronouncement of the Director-General of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to stop the use of Youth Corps members for the election will only cause confusion in the state. He spoke at an interactive session with members of the Nigerian Bar Association in Edo State at the Police Officers’ mess, Benin City. It would be recalled that the PDP had kicked against the use NYSC members over allegations that they have been compromised. But Oshiomhole countered that the protest against the use of youth corps members for the conduct of the election was because PDP was anticipating violence. According to him, “They protested that they do not want corpers to conduct the elections because they saw some youth corps members at the venue of our campaigns even when it was obvious that the rallies are held in schools and students are in session. They claimed the decision was due to the violence in the state. Where is the violence in the state.” “They can bring the youth corps members from anywhere, from Sokoto, from Maiduguri, but we do not want federal employees. This election must be won or lost at the polling booth.” He urged the NBA to prevail on the NYSC Director General not to allow anybody to manipulate him and if they allow federal civil servants to be used to conduct the election, they will bring people that will manipulate the election. Oshiomhole used the opportunity to render an account of his stewardship so far in Edo State. He said he was fired to go into politics because of the poor state of affairs in the state which has

• Oshiomhole

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

so much promise and to demonstrate that the state was viable and that actually led his administration into doing some things differently. “We have focused on areas completely abandoned by previous administrations and succeeded in delivering the greatest good to the greatest number of people around Benin City and across the state. We have made a bold statement on roads, connecting the rural communities with semi urban areas,” he noted. He said Edo people will not forget in a hurry the horrible state of Benin City before his assumption of office, adding that that the government has now restored integrity in public schools, reordered government’s operations and cleaned up the wastage in the system. “The challenge in the second term is to consolidate on the progress we have made, not only in the building of infrastructure but the political sub-structure which include a credible electoral system,” he added. Also present at the interactive session with the NBA was the candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Chief Solomon Edebiri , the NBA state chairman, Razak Isenalume and members of the bar.

• Abia State Governor Theodore Orji receiving his portrait from the National Vice Chairman Southeast, of the Peoples Democractic Party (PDP), Col. Austin Akobondu (rtd), during a courtesy visit to the Government House, Umuahia.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

45

HEALTH THE NATION

E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

How to tackle maternal child mortality, by experts •‘25% of maternal deaths caused by bleeding’

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HAT is the way out of maternal and child mortality which kills thousands of women and children in the country yearly? It can be adressed through appropriate ante-natal measures, says Emeritus professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Kelsey Harrison He spoke at the Seventh Memorial Lecture of Prof Olikoye Ransome-Kuti at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba. As former Minister of Health from 1985 to 1993, the late Ransome-Kuti institutionalised primary health care. The event was organised by Women Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) and the family of the Prof Ransome-Kuti. Harrison, a former Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, spoke on the theme: Preventing maternal deaths in Nigeria: Looking back and forward. According to him, there are key factors for maternal survival. These include living conditions, which must improve to the point at which a majority of people are healthy; pregnant women must receive basic professional antenatal care; measures must be taken to ensure that pregnant women who develop life-threatening complications get effective treatment, if necessary operative interventions before it is too late and accurate and reliable records must be kept for audit and other purposes. He added that to make childbirth safe for women and children, governments at all levels can take a cue from the Church Missionary Society (CMS) by de-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha, Wale Adepoju and Paul Oluwakoya

ploying well-trained committed midwives backed up by community health education. “A maternal mortality ratio for Nigeria variously estimated to be from 480 to 600 deaths per 100, 000 live births against a figure of 18 for a developed countries, and five for Finland, in this day and age is unacceptable. More so, because there are reminders that in the past, we have done things better. In the 1940s, the Church Missionary Society succeeded in reducing the maternal mortality ratio in parts of Diocese of Niger to less than 50 per 100, 000 births. “The Church Missionary Society strategy was backed up by community health education on a massive scale, in accord with its mission statement- to raise the standard of midwifery work in this country and try to bring it nearer to that of similar work in England and other countries. Sadly, we ignored this achievement. Instead, the downward slide continued,” he stated. Harrison noted that with the Abiye project of Ondo State introduced by the Governor Olusegun Mimiko administration, all hope is not lost, and other states could replicate it. “There are signs that we have again started to take human development seriously after decades of neglect, as the Abiye programme in Ondo State demonstrates. There might be other examples elsewhere. I know about Rivers State, where dilapidated primary school buildings are being replaced by solid structures, primary health centres are being

‘Hunger can prolong life’

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ANT to live long? All you have to do is to become lean and go

hungry. According to a Professor of Immunology at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Gabriel Oyeyinka, leanness and slight hunger can prolong life. He was delivering the 107th Inaugural Lecture of the university entitled: Longevity: How long? Immunological involvement in ageing. He said research has shown that hunger reduces infections while too much food activates them. Oyeyinka recommended moderation in feeding, especially among the aged, adding that obesity should be manged to enhance well-being. “Ageing people should screen for diabetes and comply with treatment prescriptions by the physician to avoid a shortened lifespan; non-immue pregnant women should receive vaccines targeted at agents of infection

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

that are common in the environment to assist in the protection of their would-be babies in the first months of life. “The fact that they have less than optimal immue capacity dictates that old people should avoid risky practices such as eating or drinking from doubtful sources to minimise exposure to infection. “If the immune and other protective systems of the body were able to maintain themselves over time with no age-related degradation, the everyday loss of energy and vitality that occurs in the lives of older people as a consequence of viruses, arthritis and other debilitating circumstances would be greatly lessened.” The immunologist recommended proper funding of a well-equipped (world class) research and diagnostic laboratories by the government, noting that there are too many illequipped ones in the country.

• From left: Mimiko, Harison; Dr Kole Setima and Yemisi Kuti at the lecture built, and there is sustained increase in the training and retaining of the work force.” In sharing how the Abiye project came into being and its success story, Mimiko said his passion for improving maternal and child health fuelled his administration resolve, “as no nation is taken seriously on the global stage if that nation fails to address the needs of pregnant women and children. “At the advent of our administration, the report of the 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) classified Ondo State as having the worst maternal and child health statistics in the whole of the Southwestern zone of Nigeria. Three years on, the Abiye project piloted in Ifedore Local Government Area is the benchmark for maternal and child health care for Africa and, indeed, the developing world as declared by the World Bank. “The backbone of the project is to track women through pregnancy, delivery and puerperium, which is not so different from Prof Harrison’s recommendations from the ground- breaking Zaria maternity survey. As part of the strategy to derive a system of data collection to continually measure the impact of our interventions on maternal health and use such information to allocate resources appropriately, the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in Ondo State (CEMDOS) Bill was signed into law about two years ago. “This law makes reporting of maternal deaths mandatory wherever it may occur and inwhatever circumstance. There is an urgent

need to replicate such legislation in other states and at the federal level if we are to succeed in tracking all parturient,” said Mimiko. The Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Ado Mohammed, who represented the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu said the good deeds of the pioneer of primary health, the late RansomeKuti, would continue to live on. He charged his children to further the legacies of their father. In a related development, an expert, Prof Christopher BalogunLynch has said 25 per cent of maternal deaths are caused by excessive bleeding, an expert. He spoke on the International Conference and Exhibition on Maternal Health at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos. It was organised by a United Kingdombased company, Resuscitate Medical Services Limited and Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Nigeria (SOGON), Lagos chapter. He said Post Partum Haemorrhage (PPH) is no respecter of anyone, “whether rich or poor, it can kill after childbirth”. To save lives, Balogun-Lynch, who is of the International Faculty of PPH, said the government must collaborate with the private sector to solve the problem. The private sector can help to tackle it, he added. “So, you have to enhance health in particular areas where people would die, especially women and children, to have purposeful future in the society,” he said. On his B-Lynch invention, he said: “In 1989, I invented this op-

eration which saves women dying from childbirth. Before then, if a woman has heavy bleeding in labour, she either has complete removal of fertility or they can die from the procedure. I had a doctor in Saudi Arabia, who woke me up in the middle of the night, saying that his patient was going to die and on my bed. I interpreted to him how he could save this woman’s life. It proved successful. “He rang me six hours to say I saved his life. I asked, what do you mean? He said he was operating on the daughter of the king and that he would have been executed if the patient had died. So, he was grateful that he saved the life of an important person. But you save life for everybody. Not just the affluent because we are all the same in the eyes of the Almighty. You can die just as I can die or my wife can die just as yours can die as well. We have to put in communal efforts in saving lives of people from dying pre-maturely.” He said over 7,000 women across the world have had successful treatment using his invention. “So, it is very successful and I am pleased it is an invention from an African,” he added. He said Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) can be reduced through two strategies.The first is prevention.“You identify the problem and then you prevent it. You need to study the risk factors and work out a plan to solve it. Unless you adhere mentally and physically, you cannot achieve it,” he said.

Pneumonia kills one in three children

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NEUMONIA remains a leading cause of child mortality in many Third World countries, killing one in three children. According to the President of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Lagos State Chapter, Dr. Dumebi Owa, ignorance is the major cause of the problem. He spoke at an event to mark Children’s Day organised by Pfizer, Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). Owa decried the level of ignorance in the society on pneumonia, which she said is a preventable disease. Director, Communication and

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

Public Affairs, Pfizer NEAR, Mrs. Margaret Olele, said the collaboration ofthe three oraganisations is aimed at creating awareness on pneumonia at the grassroots and promoting Pfizer’s efforts at reducing the spread of the disease in Nigeria. She said: “Pfizer has maintained its commitment to reducing to the barest minimum, the cases of pneumonia through its provision of high quality vaccines that have the broadest coverage for the Nigerian child. We are also doing our best to ensure access to the vaccine and importantly, the creation of adequate awareness on the illness. In addition to these numerous awareness programmes,

we at Pfizer, are also working with partners to create awareness among parents on the need to protect their children with PCV 13.” Owa recalled efforts made by the association to ensure that women and children have access to health care facility. She pledged the association’s support and collaboration with Pfizer and NTA to provide access to information on the disease. Assistant Director, Medical, NTA Dr Martina Agberien charged the media to help in the dissemination of information and also put pressure on the government to subsidise the rate of pneumococcal vaccines and make it affordable for the less privileged. .


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

46

DISCOURSE

Nigeria: A country in search of a birth certificate

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AY I express a deep sense of appreciation to members of the Lions Club, for the esteemed invitation extended to me, not only to attend the National Multiple Convention of Lions Clubs District 404 Nigeria as a Guest of Honour, but also as a Guest Speaker to address an eminent gathering of this magnitude comprising the very best one can get and boast of in any assembly or gathering, ranging from acclaimed nationalists, thoroughbred individuals, successful professionals, relentless philanthropists, proud community leaders, captains of industries, to eggheads in the ivory towers and retired but not tired public servants. It is a tall order when people like you command me to give a talk of not more than twentyfive to thirty minutes on a topic of my choice. I received the invitation with trepidation, as my thought started meandering from one topic to the other and I actually became unsettled as to which topic would fit an occasion like this. Thank goodness, I virtually settled for this topic which I believe is not only apt, but also very evergreen. It is a topic that concerns and touches every Nigerian, whether old or young and whatever professional or religions side of the divide he belongs. Before delving into the core and nitty-gritty of the topic, let me commend the Lions Club globally, particularly the inspiration of the 38year old Insurance Manager who formed the club in 1917, in Chicago, U.S.A. Let the entire world, through this lecture celebrate the phenomena growth of the mustard seed planted in 1917 to a universal oak comprising 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs spread across over 260 countries and geographical areas of the world. In particular, may I heartily congratulate, commend and applaud the Lions Club International Multiple District 404 Nigeria consisting of over 4,000 members in over 160 clubs in this country. Both the vision and mission statements of Lions Club, that is, respectively, “To be the global leader in community service” and “To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs”, to my mind, signal and signpost peace, freedom, liberty, selflessness and the attainment of all that is good, lofty, ideal and godly. No wonder then that both the vision and mission statements have a universally accepted confluence in the motto of Lions Clubs International, to wit, “we serve”. There is no gainsaying the fact that this universal clubs have grown far beyond the dreams of Melvin Jones, the Chicago businessman who founded the first club on June 7, 1917. The rhetorical question he asked at that point in time, with regard to his colleagues, that is, “What if these men who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?” and his personal quote, to wit, “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else”, remind us jointly and severally, even as we gather here this morning of the very sorry and pitiable situation in our country to the extent that we cannot but ask, “What if those of us who are gathered here today, successful as we are in our different callings, intelligence, drive and ambition were to put our talents to work improving our different communities, hamlets, villages, towns, local

governments, states and country?” We would come to this nagging question when we get to the core topic of the lecture. CONSIDERATION OF THE TOPIC Aboard a British airline flight from London, Heathrow, Terminal 5 to Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos on 14th April, 2012, I was reading a book titled: “In the Interest of Justice” by Joel J. Seidemann and I was particularly moved and touched when I got to Chapter 11 thereof containing the powerful speech of Congressman Henry Hyde, the U.S. House Judiciary Chairman which he gave in January, 1989 on the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton. What attracted my curiosity and attention was and still remains his reference to the American “Birth Certificate”, when he said thus concerning the issue of Clinton’s impeachment. “This case is a test of whether what the Founding Fathers described as “a sacred honour” still has meaning in our time 222 years after those two words, “sacred honour” were inscribed our country’s birth certificate, our Declaration of Independence. Every schoolchild in the United States has intuitive sense of the sacred honour that is one of the foundation stones of the American House of Freedom for everyday in every classroom in America, our children pledge allegiance to a nation under God. That statement is not a prideful claim …..” It then dawned on me that the ‘birth certificate’ of the United States of America (USA) came into being when the representatives of the first thirteen States that formed the United States of America made the unanimous Declaration of Independence in Congress on July 4, 1776. For our records, the states were: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia. The Declaration itself was not only frontal, robust, pungent, well articulated, but also evoked the powers of God, the Almighty, the creator and maker of all beings and the one who controls and designs their destinies. Let us repeat some snippets of the Declaration for the purpose of this lecture. “We hold these truths to be self – evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Governments, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. – Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object

•Chief Olanipekun

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Text of a lecture delivered by Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN, FCIArb) at the National Multiple Convention of Lions Club International, District 404, Nigeria’s Annual Convention, Akure on May 17, 2012

We have been oscillating from one constitution to another without any attempt to reach our destination. We moved from the Clifford’s Constitution in 1922 to the Richard’s Constitution of 1946.

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the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world… We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intention, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That These United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honour.” Fifty-seven representatives subscribed to the American Declaration of Independence. They are known to this day as the Founding Fathers of America. Two very fundamental points are discernible from the American experiment and they are: (1) That America has a birth certificate and (2) that the birth-certificate was given to America by her Founding Fathers. Stretched further, America has a precise date of birth and known parentage. Every human being has a biological father and mother. Even the so-called bastards do have biologi-

cal fathers, except that their fathers are cowards who are afraid of openly accepting their parentage. The law is well crystallized on the proposition that it is only the father or mother of a child who can ascertain, declare and solemnly say the age of the child. See the case of Modupe vs. State (1988) 9 SC 1 at 6. Since there are two main religions in Nigeria, Christianity and Islam and since both of them agree on the patriarchism of Abraham, it is common ground among the two religions that Abraham’s or Ibrahim’s father was Terah. Terah’s father was Nahor and Nahor’s father was Serug. See Genesis 11:12 – 25. Why this analogy? The Lions here present may ask. The essence of it all is that each of us here has a father and mother and, we should be able, without hallucinating or going into any trance mention the names of our paternal and maternal grand-parents. Aligning this empirical situation with Nigeria, some pertinent, questions arise, who was the father or mother of Nigeria or who are the founding fathers of Nigeria who signed her birth certificate as we had in America? We cannot answer these questions rightly, honestly and correctly and our children will continue to ask us, but anytime the questions are asked, we would continue to parry them off, to our detriment. Yet, if we do not answer them and fix a date of birth for Nigeria and formally give her a birth certificate, our country will continue to be described as an experiment which has never been completed and/or, an experiment, which is likened to a foetus in the womb of an over-burdened woman from 1914, without any deliverance, even in 2012. In contra-distinction to the American birth certificate which was made and secured by natural, identified, known and acclaimed leaders, the Preamble to our own Constitution reads thus: “Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: Having firmly and solemnly resolved To live in unity and harmony as an indivisible and indissoluble sovereign Nation under God dedicated to the promotion of inter-African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding. And to provide for a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country on the principles of Freedom, Equality and Justice, and for the purpose of Consolidating the Unity of our people. Do hereby make and give to ourselves the following Constitution:” The late doyen of the Bar, Chief F.R.A. Williams, SAN once stated that the Preamble to the Nigerian Constitution tells lies about both itself and the people of Nigeria. One cannot agree more with the legal potentate on this point. Let us start with the first sentence which reads thus: “WE THE PEOPLE of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. Who are these “We?” And who are the “people?” Where and when did we meet and what are/were our agreements on our Federalism? The cold fact remains that at nowhere did we meet and that between 1979 and now, successive Military Governments have foisted on us some Constitutions based on their own ill-digested notions of federalism when, in actual fact, what we practice is unitarism in disguise. Before losing track of the fundamental questions posed by this topic, let me, for now, sidetrack or resist the temptation of plunging this audience into the clear parallels between federalism and unitarism, as that is a topic for another day. Rather, let us quickly retrace our steps and come back to the topic under consideration. By so doing, some

other questions will also agitate our minds and these include: who gave Nigeria her name? What is the meaning of that name? How did Nigeria, as it is today, come into being? That again reminds us of how names are given in our respective societies and backgrounds. I was always constantly reminded by my parents that my paternal grandmother gave me the name ‘Oluwole’ at birth, either shortened as ‘Olu’ or ‘Wole’, as the case may be. Those who have no parents to give them names at birth, particularly those who have been unfortunately dumped in the orphanages are given names by their custodians. In the case of Nigeria, one Miss Flora Shaw, a mistress of Lord Lugard, who later got married to him gave Nigeria her “name” and in so doing, she had a negative perception of that name, that is, ‘a dark and primitive continent’. See http:// www.onlinenigeria.com/ history.asp. Unfortunately, her husband, Lord Lugard, a colonial Administrator, without taking the peculiarities of the over 300 ethnic nationalities in Nigeria into consideration amalgamated us in 1914. Each and every one of us here present does not appreciate the fact that naturally, it is difficult to amalgamate or merge people with different backgrounds and identities. It is companies that are usually amalgamated through mergers and acquisitions and in so doing, each of the merging companies acts voluntarily. To me, it is negative to say that Lord Lugard amalgamated Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1914 and his mistress gave us a name. I agree entirely with what the highly respected and erudite Professor Ango Abdullahi was quoted as saying on page 6 of THISDAY newspaper of Wednesday, May 2, 2012 to the effect that: “The amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Nigeria by Lord Fredrick Lugard was a great and tragic mistake”. The Bible in Psalm 11:3 states thus: “If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” No wonder then that since the said amalgamation of our 300 ethnic nationalities, our dear country has not been able to find or locate its bearing. We have been oscillating from one constitution to another without any attempt to reach our destination. We moved from the Clifford’s Constitution in 1922 to the Richard’s Constitution of 1946. Thereafter, we oscillated to the McPherson Constitution in 1951 and a fairly Federal Constitution in 1954. Still unsettled and unable to land on any solid ground, we again moved to the Independence Constitution of 1960, from where we got to the Republican Constitution of 1963. As a lawyer, I must confess that the Republican Constitution of 1963 was fairly representative of a Federation. Ever since the jettisoning of the Republican Constitution, we have been transiting, on a constant experimental basis with one constitution after the other, all of them initiated and propelled by the military and militarism. Under the aegis of Murtala/ Obasanjo, Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsallam (all in military uniform) and later and up till now, under Obasanjo, Yar’ Adua and Jonathan, all attempting to build a super structure on the quicksand of the duo of Mr. and Mrs. Lugard. In effect, we have been transiting since 1914 and we are still transiting as at 2012, without knowing when we would get to the end of our journey. The Bible tells us in Numbers 14:33 that as a punishment for the insubordination of the Israelites, a journey that was to take them 40 days was elongated to 40 years. That took place in the days of yore, but even as at then, God was not only giving them manna from heaven, water to drink from the rock, but also leading them by the pillar of fire by the night and pillar of cloud by the day. •To be continued


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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 4-6-12

Market opens with N57b loss

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HE Nigerian stock market opened yesterday with a negative outlook, sustaining the bearish rally that has seen the market dropping from the N7 trillion mark to N6 trillion. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities dropped by N57 billion to close at N6.948 trillion as against its opening value of N7.004 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI) also slipped by 0.81 per cent from 21,963.87 points to 21,785.37. The market, which some said was a reflection of the ugly incident of the plane crash had a total of 37 equities with price change. Fifteen stocks were traded with a higher value of transaction while the re-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

maining 22 reflected price drop at the end of transactions. The downturn was stimulated by value losses over moderate volume posted in the following mid and large capitalised stocks; Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank Transactional Incorporation (ETI), GT Bank, Nigerian Breweries, Oando, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank Leading the gainer’s table was Neimeth with a price gain of N0.03 to close at N0.63 followed by May & Baker with a gain of N0.07 to close at N1.48. Others on the table were UPL, Japaul Oil, Red Star Express, WAPCO, Paint

company, NASCON, RT Briscoe and Transcorp. On the loser’s table, Diamond Bank led with a drop of N0.13 to close at N2.50. Also on the table were Access Bank with a slip of N0.34 to close at N6.55. Others were Portpint, UBN, Glaxosmith, Cutix, Honeywell Flour, DN Meryer, ETI and Stanbic IBTC. In all, investors traded 279.904 million shares worth N2.142 billion shares across 3,866 deals. Finance Services was the most sought after with 168.377 million shares worth N1.559 billion exchanged in 2,160 deals. Other actively traded sectors were Conglomerates, ICT, Consumer Goods, Oil & Gas, Industrial Goods and Healthcare with 53.542 million shares, 26.338 million shares, 15.467 million shares, 8.230 million shares, 3.203 million shares and 2.207 million shares respectively.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 4-6-12


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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MONEY LINK SPIKE in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will affect the value of the naira, the Financial Derivatives Limited, a research firm has said. It determines the quantities and the prices at which consumables are being exchanged in the market. The market forces play an important toles in dermining the consumer price index of a country. Any changes in consumer price

‘Consumer price hike ‘ll affect naira’

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Stories by Akinola Ajibade

index will automatically affect the rate of inflation. In a report titled: FDC’s Economic Bulletin, the firm said the chances are that CBN will adjust the value of naira by at least three per cent towards N160 per $1 if the consumer price index shots up to 15 per cent.

The firm said inflation would increase from its current 12 per cent position, of the naira value is adjusted. It said: “At the moment, the inflationary pressure has not altered the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of naira yet. So, any increase in CPI would affect the purchasing power of the con-

sumers”. On real estate market, the firm said residential properties has been a major casualty of high interest rates. It said the value of property has dipped by as much as 20 per cent due to the high vacancy ratio. “Occupancy in the commercial properties is equally low, and this slacking demand has led to a continued decline in values,” the firm added. The research outfit said it does not expect problems between employers and labour, in view of the huge employment rate in Nigeria.

Access bank to champion new workplace health initiatives A CCESS Bank Plc has de clared its intention to champion the implementation of new initiatives in workplace health issues across the West African sub-region. The bank made Commitment at the GBC’s Health Annual Conference held in New York . The theme of this year conference is: “Defining Forward: Business, Health and the Road Ahead”. Speaking during the event, the bank’s managing director, Mr Aigboje Aig- Imoukhuede said that beyond institution pioneering role in the fight against HIV/ AIDS, TB and Malaria, the bank is expanding its frontiers on the global health space to implement programmes that will contain cancer and other Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)”.

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HE African Development Bank (AfDB) Group made approvals of almost USD 8.5 billion in 2011, a 36 per cent increase on 2010, which totalled approximately USD 6.2 billion. The figures were revealed at a presentation of the AfDB’s results

He said the bank has resolved to continuously promote healthy living amongst its employees and other stakeholder groups, adding that this is the only way the bank can contribute greatly to the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs). He used the occasion to acknowledge Ambassador Brinker’s works, saying “it is people like him who can give hope to the world. He said: “ I work for a bank that said its activities are basically beyond making profits, beyond signing new customers, beyond all the things that banks are supposed to do, we have a responsibility to serve those in the community.

“We focus in the area of health. The work that Komen for Cure is doing resounds particularly with us at Access Bank.” One of the major highlights of the conference was a presentation on the effect of breast cancer on women in developing countries by Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Founder and CEO, Susan G. Komen for Cure. According to her, “developing countries have most breast cancer cases and only five per cent of the global resources to fight the disease are those countries, adding that women in these countries only learn that they have breast cancer when it is too late and they die without even pain medication.”

CBN, Lagos hold e-payment workshop

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THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Office of the Auditor-General of Lagos State will hold a two-day workshop on electronic payment services. The event, which has the theme: “the workings of electronic payment/cashless policy for public sector functionaries, Local governments and Local government education authorities in Lagos state” would attract participants from both the public and private sector respectively. The event holds between June 13th t0 14th, in Lagos.

By Simeon Ebulu with agency report

and operations for 2011 made on May 30 in Arusha, Tanzania, where the institution is holding its annual meetings. The largest area of operations in

financial terms was infrastructure, accounting for just over 38 percent of loans and grants, followed by multisector loans and grants which came to almost 21 percent of the total. The multisector category cov-

ers public sector management, including good governance and anti-corruption programs, industrial import facilitation and export promotion. Another large sector was finance, accounting for just over

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011

GAINERS AS AT 4-6-12 SYMBOL

NEIMETH MAYBAKER UPL JAPAULOIL REDSTAREX WAPCO PAINTCOM NASCON RTBRISCOE TRANSCORP

O/PRICE

0.60 1.41 3.99 0.64 2.79 41.20 1.15 4.20 1.17 0.97

C/PRICE

0.63 1.48 4.18 0.67 2.92 43.00 1.20 4.38 1.22 1.01

113m

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

Current Before

C/PRICE 2.50 6.55 2.90 3.57 20.00 1.26 2.01 0.68 10.90 6.00

CHANGE 0.13 0.34 0.15 0.18 1.00 0.06 0.09 0.03 0.35 0.19

29-2-12 27-2-12

113m

155.7

22-2-12

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

Dec ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

NSE CAP Index

27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

Date

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 4-6-12

SYMBOL O/PRICE DIAMONDBNK 2.63 ACCESS 6.89 PORTPAINT 3.05 UBN 3.75 GLAXOSMITH 21.00 CUTIX 1.32 HONYFLOUR 2.10 DNMEYER 0.71 ETI 11.25 IBTC 6.19

Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

CHANGE

0.03 0.07 0.19 0.03 0.13 1.80 0.05 0.18 0.05 0.04

113m

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

19 per cent of the total. The finance operation includes financing to development banking, commercial banking, nonbank financial intermediation, reinsurance and microfinance funds.

DATA BANK

Tenor

OBB Rate Call Rate

Expected at the event are chairmen, council managers, secretaries in local government councils, officials of pension board, local government‘s treasurers/ heads of accounts, paymasters, banks, epayment solution providers, among other stakeholders. According to the head of planning, research and development Lagos State office of the AuditorGeneral for Local Government, Mr Adeniji Salami, the workshop would help in educating local government officials about the basics of e-payment services.

AfDB records 36% increase in loans

FGN BONDS

NIDF NESF

“Labour Union response to inflation is typically to seek wage adjustments, based on the philosophy of indextion. However, because of high unemployment rate of 23.9 per cent , the bargaining power of organised labour is very weak. Therefore, we should not expect major confrontations between the labour and employers,” it said. The firm advised the CBN to increase the Monetary Policy Rate(MPR), allow currency appreciation, or use tools such as lquidity and cash reserve ratio to curb inflation, and further encourage economic growth.

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 123.93 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 105.00 THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.75 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.08 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.89 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,710.94 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 9.42 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 7,690.48 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

9.08 1.00 123.81 104.34 0.73 1.08 0.88 1,703.76 8.96 1.33 1.80 7,486.02 191.08 1.62

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011

Bank

8.5000

8.5000

P/Court

8.0833

8.0833

Movement


52

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS Ekiti Speaker decries high maternal mortality

Fayemi swears in CJ •Judges get Prado SUVs From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

•Fayemi’s wife urges regulation of missionary maternity homes

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KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday swore in Justice Ayodeji Daramola as the new Chief Judge (CJ) of the state. The governor urged the new CJ to ensure a reduction in the number of awaiting trial detainees (ATDs) in the state’s prison. Daramola is the first substantive CJ of the state since 2006. He and other High Court judges received brand new Toyota Prado Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) from the governor in fulfillment of his promise to improve their welfare. Fayemi noted that though prison congestion is not peculiar to Ekiti State, he said the fact that the Federal Government and other states are yet to find a solution to the problem of ATDs has compelled the state to take the lead. The governor said the state has inaugurated the Administration of Justice Sector Reform Committee with a mandate to provide expert advice on how to achieve efficiency in the justice sector, especially as 200 of the 268 inmates at the Ado-Ekiti prison are ATDs.

Lagos cancels World Environment Day celebration

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AGOSIANS were yesterday urged to embrace the Green Economy to preserve the Earth for the present and future generations. State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, who made the urge, said he has the mandate of Governor Babatunde Fashola to shelve all activities scheduled this year’s World Environmental Day. The cancellation, Bello0 said, is to honour the victims of the Dana Air plane crash on Sunday. He noted that the task of preserving the Earth is a global mission and a challenge to all its inhabitants to live in peace with nature. June 5 has been set aside through a United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution 2297 of December 15, 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden, to be observed as the World Environment Day. The theme of this year’s edition is: Green economy: Does it include you? The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said a green economy has low carbon; is resource-efficient and socially inclusive. It is an economy that recognises the need for ecological balance. The commissioner said a green economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments with the capacity to reduce carbon emissions and pollution. Bello noted that several alarming reports have been issued, including that of the UN which urged world leaders to quickly address the current pace of unsustainable development. He said the UN Report has warned of a future with food, water and energy shortages as the global population increases with about a billion more inhabitants by 2050.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

•Dr Fayemi (second left); Deputy Governor Funmi Olayinka (second right); Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Yemi Adaramodu (left); and Justice Daramola, during the presentation of Toyota SUVs to the CJ and other judges in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday

He said: “It is trite knowledge that one of the challenges faced by our courts is that of a significant backlog of undecided cases. This is more so with respect to criminal matters. The

effect is that many of the inmates in our prisons continue to spend an unreasonable period of time in prison, waiting for their day in court.” Quoting the recent figures by

the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Fayemi said out of the 50,601 in mates in prisons, 36,934 of them are awaiting trial. “This, simply said, means that

72per cent of inmates in the prisons are awaiting trial. Painfully also in Ekiti State, out of the 268 inmates in prison, there are 200 awaiting trial detainees,” he said.

Neighbour ‘stabs co-tenant to death’

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28-YEAR-OLD lady, Miss Kemi Agunbiade, was allegedly stabbed to death on Sunday evening by her neighbor. The deceased, who lived at Tudun Wada District of Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Lugbe, Abuja, was reportedly stabbed on the neck, chest, back and belly. She was said to have died instantly. Miss Agunbiade and her neighbour, Miss Hannah Agwu, were said to have had an altercation over the former’s insistence on switching on her power generating set.

From Olugbenga Adanikin and Adeola Adeyoye, Abuja

A relative of the deceased, Mrs. Toyin Ademuroti, said the late Miss Agunbiade was about switching on her generator when Miss Agwu accosted her, insisting that she should not switch it on because the noise and the fume would affect her. Mrs. Ademuroti said: “Immediately she came back from the church, she brought out her generator to switch it on. But Hannah (Miss Agwu) told her not to. Hannah said she did not

want her to switch on the generating set because the fume often disturbed her. So, she threw out the generator. “Kemi (Miss Agunbiade) was on her way to pick up the generator when she was stabbed at the neck, chest, back and belly.” According to her, Miss Agwu had complained of inhaling carbon monoxide fume from the generator. A mob at the scene wanted to lynch Miss Agwu but the police were called in. Mrs Ademuroti said the deceased once reported Miss

Agwu at the Lugbe Police Station before the incident. Miss Agwu was said to have attempted suicide before she pleaded guilty to the offence. She is in police custody for further investigation. Miss Agunbiade’s body has been deposited at the morgue in Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital. Police investigator, Mr Jonathan, confirmed the incident. He said it was reported at the station at 10pm and that the deceased has been taken to the hospital’s morgue.

EKITI State House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin has decried the high rate of maternal and child mortality in the country. Omirin, a medical practitioner, noted that the current trend may worsen if necessary countervailing steps are not taken. The Speaker said current figures indicate that over 15 children from every 1,000 new born babies die during childbirth, while the country records an annual 241,000 infant mortality rate. According to him, the trend is dangerous to the nation’s future. Omirin spoke at the maiden public lecture organised by Women and Children Development and Health Initiatives (WCDHRI), a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), in collaboration with Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF). Speaking on: The Role of Legislature in Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality in Ekiti State, the Speaker said an average of 700 children die each day because of inadequate health care delivery. He said Nigeria ranks next to India in maternal deaths on the global scale. According to him, lack of poor legislation and improper policy implementation largely accounts for poor maternal care in Nigeria. Omirin noted that “poor structure in defining roles for all the tiers of governments in health care delivery” is another reason for increasing infant and maternal mortality in the country.

Osun community declares seven-day mourning for Oba Olashore

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ESIDENTS of IlokoIjesha in Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State have begun a weeklong mourning of their traditional ruler, Oba Samuel Oladele Olashore. The Nation learnt that the community has begun consultations with the family of the late monarch, the state’s Council of Obas and Chiefs as well as the state government on the funeral rites for the late monarch. The late Olashore, who was a financial expert and Finance Minister, died last Friday in a London hospital, after an ill-

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

ness. Sympathisers from parts of the country have continued to throng the Iloko-Ijesha home of the monarch to commiserate with the community. Those who have paid condolence visits to the town include members of the Osun State House of Assembly, the Chairman of Oriade Local Government Area, Mr. Taiwo Fatiregun, among others. It was learnt yesterday that students of Olashore International School, the late monarch’s private co-educa-

tional institution, is mourning the death of their proprietor. Students and workers of the school yesterday held a special prayer for the late monarch. During the seven-day mourning, which started yesterday, major commercial and social activities in the town are put on hold. It was gathered that schools in the town pray for at least 10 minutes for the repose of the late Oba Olashore’s soul during their devotion. Churches and mosques are also to pray for the late monarch. According to the Lisa of

Iloko-Ijesha, who is also the chairman of Iloko-Ijesha Traditional Council, Chief Olusola Ogunsanya, the late Oba Olashore deserves the honour because of his contributions to the development of the town. Addressing reporters on Monday, Ogunsanya said Olashore’s death has created a vacuum which would be difficult to fill for a long time. He said the community is devastated by the monarch’s death. The chief said details of the monarch’s funeral would be announced after consultations with his family, the traditional

council and the government. Ogunsanya said the local government area was consulting with the community on how to give the late traditional ruler a befitting burial. He said: “The late Oba Olashore was a lover of his community. He dedicated his life to the development of his town. His love for the community is unusual. He has many of his investments here in Iloko. He gave a great name to Iloko, even at international level, with the establishment of Olashore International School in Iloko-Ijesha. We shall forever miss him.”

Ondo lawmaker urges Appeal Court to stay execution of verdict

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N Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) lawmaker representing Akure South/ North Federal Constituency of Ondo State in the House of Representatives, Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde, yesterday filed a Notice of Appeal at the Court of Appeal against a judgment of the Federal High Court which declared his seat vacant. The lawmaker is praying for a stay of execution on the enforcement of the judgment, which ordered him to vacate his seat at the National Assembly. Justice Glorial Okeke of the Federal High Court, sitting at the Akure Judicial Division, last week, sacked Abegunde for

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

defecting to the ACN from the Labour Party (LP), on whose platform he was elected in the April 2011 election. In an order of enrolment, Justice Okeke, on June 1, ordered House of Representatives Speaker to declare Abegunde’s seat vacant. Justice Okeke also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately fill Abegunde’s seat through a by-election. But the lawmaker’s lawyers, Adekola Adewoye and Segun Akanmode, have faulted the verdict, describing it as a vacuum.

Addressing reporters in Akure, the state capital, Adewoye said: “It is a lame judgment. What I mean is that the judgment is not enforceable by the INEC because the commission is not a party to the case. “I know that the INEC is being pressed to conduct a byelection to fill the assumed vacant position. We have appealed the judgment and filed a motion to restrain the execution of the judgment. Until the appeal is determined, there is nothing anybody can do.” The lawyer averred that the trial court has struck out INEC’s name from the matter. According to him, the impli-

cation of the matter is that the order to conduct a by-election does not bind the commission since it is not a party in the case “If INEC conducts a by-election, it is courting litigations. The position of the law is clear. INEC is not a party and it cannot be a party at this stage,” Adewoye said. Akanmode accused INEC of having an unholy alliance with the LP, wondering how two documents on which the judgment was based came from INEC, which is not a party to the matter. He queried the decision of Justice Okeke to sideline the pending cases before her court relating to the leadership cri-

sis in LP which had been filed months before Abegunde’s case. The lawyer berates LP and the Ondo State Government for allegedly dishing out falsehood as if the judgment was the end of the case. Akanmode noted that no party can claim victory in a matter until its final resolution, probably by the Supreme Court. He said: “Nobody can conduct a by-election for Akure North/South Federal Constituency now. It is a lame judgment. There is nothing for them to celebrate. INEC is no more a party to the suit and it cannot be imported into it this time round.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS Renaming of UNILAG: Court orders service of processes on Jonathan

Why Supreme Court must hear appeals against 180-day deadline, by ACN, ANPP candidates

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Benue, Prof Steve Ugba, has told the Supreme Court why it must hear his appeal. He said his right to fair hearing under Section 35 overrides other provisions of the Constitution including Section 285(6). His counterpart in the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Daniel Saror, also said the interpretation of the Constitution cannot convey a meaning that is unjust. The two are challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the verdict of the Election Petition Tribunals that dismissed their petitions on the ground that they were not heard within 180 days as stipulated in Section 285 (6) of the Constitution. They had gone to the tribunal to challenge the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Governor Gabriel Suswam in the April 2011 election, where the petitions were dismissed at the preliminary stage. The Supreme Court on November 14, last year ordered that the petitions be heard on its merit. But the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal both declined to hear the cases, cit-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

ing the apex court decision in the consolidated appeals of the ANPP v PDP Governorship candidate in Borno, Mohammed Goni. Dissatisfied, the Appellants approached the Supreme Court again for a redress. Ugba is praying the court either reinforce its order for retrial or assume jurisdiction and give judgment in the matter since there is no additional evidence required. Saror is also asking the court to assume jurisdiction and give final judgment. The PDP’s counsel, Jibril Okutepa (SAN) yesterday urged the court to dismiss the Ugba appeal. The matter has been adjourned till Friday for ruling on preliminary objection. According to him, the Supreme Court order for remittance cannot confer jurisdiction on the tribunal to hear the matter outside the 180 days. Adopting the PDP’s argument, Suswam’s counsel, Damien Dodo (SAN) also urged the court to dismiss the appeal. But counsel to Ugba, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who led Femi Falana said the apex court will only promote anarchy if the constitutional

‘The Constitution gives us the right of appeal. You cannot use preliminary objection to deny a constitutional right’ right of appeal of a petitioner is denied by technicality. Besides, he said it was premature for the appeal to be described as an abuse of court process at the preliminary stage without going into the substantive matter. “The Constitution gives us the right of appeal. You cannot use preliminary objection to deny a constitutional right. The preliminary objection is unfounded and should be dismissed because we are exercising our constitutional right. This appeal is based on extant decision of the court which has not been set aside. The order is binding on everybody, it has not been reversed. Given the opportunity, we will prove to the court that this case is different from others. If the order for fresh trial cannot achieve something, there is a problem. The constitutional right to fair hearing has overriding power on other provisions. If the

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•Prof. Ugbah

court ordered that a matter be heard denovo, there cannot be a limitation to statute.” Akeredolu recalled that the Respondent withdrew their application on 180 days at the Supreme Court on the day the order for remittance was made. “A constitutional right of appeal cannot be without remedy. The court cannot justify its usefulness by limitation on technicalities”, he added. In his own submission, Counsel to Saror, Mr. Iorpin argued that Section 285(6) of the Constitution heavily relied on by the Respondents said judgment must be delivered within 180 days. According to him, judgment could only be delivered after a case had been heard. He asked what becomes the fate of a petitioner if applications on technicalities are raised at the tribunal to frustrate the case of the petitioner.

FEDERAL High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the service of court documents in a suit filed by students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on President Goodluck Jonathan, in Presidential Villa, Abuja. The students, who sued through some of their representatives, led by Sunday Asaolu, are by their suit, challenging the powers of the President to change their school’s name without first amending its establishing law – the University of Lagos Act 1967 (as amended). Justice Mohammed Liman gave the order for service outside jurisdiction, while ruling on an exparte application by the plaintiffs. The judge adjourned to July 10 for report of service. The students, who raised two questions for the court’s determination, are seeking two declarative reliefs and an order in their originating summons filed yesterday. They want the court to decide whether President Jonathan, in his capacity as the Visitor of their institution, has the power under the law establishing the school, to unilaterally change its name to Mo-

By Eric Ikhilae

shood Abiola University. They are also praying the court to decide whether the President, in the exercise of the executive powers vested in him by virtue of the provision of Section 5 of the Constitution, can unilaterally change the name of the institution without recourse to the National Assembly. The plaintiffs, in their supporting affidavit, averred that the school had, both in its internal management and relationship with other bodies and persons, been regulated by the University of Lagos Act. They argued that President Jonathan, as the Visitor lacked the power, within the school’s establishment Act or the Constitution to amend or alter any provisions of the university by administrative fiat. Although the students stormed the court in large number, they were prevented from accessing the court premises by a detachment of men of the Police, who were promptly drafted to the court to forestall any untoward developments. The students mounted the court’s two gates andwere there until the closing of business.


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NEWS

Ohanaeze, APGA youths disown Uwazuruike

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HE youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday condemned “an unpleasant remark made by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, about the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh. Speaking with reporters in Enugu, the Ohanaeze youths and the APGA Youth Coalition said they were not happy with the way Uwazuruike treats Ohanaeze Ndigbo and APGA leaders. Leader of the Ohanaeze Youth Council Mr. Okechukwu Isiguzoro said: “The anti-Ohanaeze posture of Uwazuruike is well known to all Igbo, despite the goodwill he enjoys from the Presi-

From Chris Oji, Enugu

dent-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Amb. Ralph Uwechue. “We have avoided tackling Uwazuruike over his stand on issues before, during and after the death of our revered Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. “We will soon tell the world the travails the activities of Uwazuruike have caused Ndigbo. Many Igbo youths have been killed through his less than altruistic activities? What about the reduction of Ndigbo to a demographic minority in the 2006 National Census, through the intimidation of eligible Igbo from participating in that very important exercise? “Igbo leaders often put their integrity and security on the line to intervene each time Uwazuruike falls out with the

Nigerian state, and all he is paying them back with insult and grandstanding. “The truth is that Uwazuruike is capitalising on the nostalgia of Ndigbo for Biafra in the past to achieve his personal agenda, but Ndigbo know their true leaders and those masquerading as such.” Leader of the APGA Youth Coalition Mr. Destiny Nwagwu said the alleged threat by Uwazuruike that he would strip Umeh naked shows how far “so-called leaders can go to curry favour”. The youths said only Uwechue can speak for Ndigbo and not Uwazuruike. They expressed confidence in Umeh as APGA National Chairman and urged Anambra State Governor Peter Obi to identify with the party that brought him into power.

Court orders Ogun electoral commission to accept nominations from all PDP factions N Ogun State High Court, sitting in Abeokuta, yesterday ordered the State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) to accept the nominations and documents submitted to it in respect of the local government polls by the Mr. Bayo Dayo-led state executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The court also told OGSIEC to extend the same treatment to interested persons in the PDP, who are desirous of making nominations regarding the council polls. The electoral body is to proceed with the processing of such nominations and documents from all sides

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UNN doctor kidnapped in Enugu

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MEDICAL practitioner with the University of Nigeria,

Nsukka (UNN), Medical Centre, Dr. Adebola Sadiq, was kidnapped on Sunday night. It was gathered that the doctor was abducted by 10 gunmen at his private clinic, Mount Arafat Hospital, at No. 58, Aku Road, Nsukka. A source said Sadiq was driving out of the hospital when he was accosted by the hoodlums. The gateman of the hospital said the gunmen arrived about 10:10pm. He said: “They put a gun close to my mouth and threatened to kill me, if I made any sound. They hit my head with a gun and forced MD (Sadiq) out of the drivers’ seat. “They pushed him into the back seat and said they would not harm him, if he co-operates. They zoomed off with the MD few minutes after their arrival. We have reported to the police and they have come here twice.” Police spokesman in Enugu State Mr. Ebere Amarizu confirmed Sadiq’s kidnap. He said the police have begun investigation and the doctor would soon be rescued.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

until the court determines what group is the authentic representative of the state party. Earlier, the Dayo-led faction got an exparte injunction from a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, restraining OGSIEC from relating with the another faction of the party believed to be loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Yesterday, counsel to the Dayo group, Mr. Rotimi

Oluyede, urged the court to direct OGSIEC to recognise his client as the authentic PDP executive, but this was opposed by OGSIEC’s counsel, Mr. Abraham Adeoye, on the grounds that the premise upon which the motion rested had been struck out by the court. Justice Abiodun Akinyemi ordered OGSIEC to receive communications and correspondents, including lists of candidates from all sides in the PDP, until the determination of the substantive suit.

Power sub-station inaugurated in Umuahia From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

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HE 2x40 MVA, 132/33kv Transmission Sub-station in Ohiya, Umuahia, Abia State, built by the Federal Government has been inaugurated. Speaking at the ceremony, Abia State Governor Theodore Orji thanked the Federal Government for completing the project within a short time. Orji said the state government assisted in evacuating power to Umuahia and neighboring communities, including some parts of Imo State. He said since the completion of the project, Umuahia has been enjoying relatively constant power supply. The governor said the development has reduced the noise of electricity generating sets, tightened security and revived economic activities. He said other parts of the state would also enjoy regular power supply when the integrated power plant at Alaoji is completed. Orji thanked President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Power Prof. Bart Nnaji, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the contractors that handled the project. He urged the contractors to complete the feeders soon.

Abia communities fight over land

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WO communities in Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State are at loggerheads over land ownership. Amaba has accused Ovim of trespassing into its land and terrorising its people with uniformed men. About two weeks ago, some youths demolished the popular Ogwumabiri market in Amaba and claimed to be acting on the instructions of the son of an Army chief. President General of Amaba Town Union Dr. Ezeagwula Madukwe said dispute over who owns the land

where the market is situated has been on since 1951, when the railway station was built and named after Ovim, instead of Amaba. He said the land around the station belong to Amaba, but Ovim people have been laying claims to them and have allegedly demolished 13 houses belonging to Amaba people.” President-General of Ovim Union Mr. Ndukwe said the land where the market was built belongs to his people. He said the son of the army chief, who is their kinsman, was not involved in any of their actions.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS Hospital building collapses in Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin

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MISHAP occurred yesterday at the construction site of the new Central Hospital, Benin. A crane collided with a freshly constructed beam, affecting a section of the structure. Of the seven workers trapped in the rubbles, six had been rescued while relief workers were working frantically to free the last man, an expatriate. The construction, which is being undertaken by Sincies Chimentin Ltd, an Italian firm, is part of an infrastructural renewal programme initiated by the Adams Oshiomhole administration to upgrade the hospital built in 1903. Government officials, led by Deputy Governor Pius Odubu, are supervising the rescue operation.

Bayelsa Speaker impeached From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

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HE Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson, has been impeached. Fini Agaye has been elected the new Speaker. Eleven of the 24-member Assembly reportedly impeached Benson, who is out of the country for medical check-up. The ex-Speaker’s media aide, Piriye Kiyaramo, said Agaye led 10 lawmakers into the Assembly chambers to preside over the affairs of the day. Commissioner of Police Chris Olakpe initially ordered the closure of the Assembly complex but it was later reopened. Angaye said the House decided to make a change in its leadership, following complaints from members. “I am their leader now, when I go astray they will advise me and I’ll take their advice.” He accused his predecessor of dividing the House and not carrying members along. The government has been accused of sponsoring the impeachment. But a government official denied the allegation. “The lawmakers are on their own. Governor Seriake Dickson is not aware of what led to the change of leadership in the House,”the official said.

•Some of the suspects...yesterday

Senate hails NDDC projects

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•The warning to JTF

HE Senate Committee on Niger Delta has hailed the quality of job on the 19km Abalama-Idoh-Degema Road project in Rivers State being constructed by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The Committee Chairman, Senator James Manager, who spoke during an inspection tour, described

•Some items recovered

the project as a job well done. The Committee, however, condemned the slow pace of work on the Igbiri-AbbiboOba Road and bridges linking Okrika Local Government Area. NDDC Managing Director Christian Oboh regretted the development and advocated an amendment to the NDDC Act that will enable stiffer penalty for erring contractors.

Soldiers parade 65-year-old mum, Uduaghan: reform justice system 56 others F D IFTY-seven suspects arrested in Edo and Delta states were yesterday paraded by soldiers from 4 Brigade. The suspects were arrested for offences ranging from alleged kidnapping, robbery, bunkering, pipeline vandalism, hard drugs syndicate, amongst others. Among those paraded was a 65-year-old woman, identified as Elisabeth Iruma, who was arrested with two 25kg sacks of weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp. A three-man gang, which planned to bomb oil instal-

•Destroy 2,000 illegal refineries

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

latons belonging to Chevron, was also paraded. A member of the gang, Harrison Bojo, said they resolved to destroy Chevron facilities after several attempts to get paid employment in the oil firm failed. H e s a i d t h e y wrote to Chevron management, warning it of the attacks and also to the Joint Task Force

(JTF) not to interfere. Commander of 4 Brigade Brig-Gen Abel Umahi said the suspects were arrested in various communities in Edo and Delta states. He said a suspected kidnap kingpin, Omon Tonwerigha, was arrested, following a tipoff. Umahi said his command has destroyed over 2,000 illegal refineries in Edo and Del-

ta. We impounded over 200 Cotonou boats carrying crude oil and several tankers in the last two months. He said the brigade would ensure that illegal bunkering is stopped. Items recovered included three parcels of dynamites, charms, arms, amongst others. Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who came to see the suspects, praised the soldiers for the feat. He said it was neccessary to keep arms out of circulation, especially as election is approaching.

UNIPORT part-time students protest fee hike

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ART-TIME students of University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) yesterday protested what they described as “arbitrary increase in school fees”. The fees were hiked from N35,000 to N120,000 for returning students while freshmen are to pay N200,000 as against N50,000. The protest caused traffic snarl on the busy Ikwere Road. Despite the presence of armed policemen at the school gate, there was however, no confrontation as the students were peaceful. The students alleged that the school authority has threatened to dismiss any student who fails to meet up with the payment of the new tuition fees, which will take effect from the 2012 academic session. The protesters’ spokesman, Emeka Chidi, said: “The

From Clarice Azuatalum, Port Harcourt

move by the school authority to hike the school fees is a wicked act and insensitive. “This is a means of discouraging the poor from going to school. “Most of us sponsor ourselves in school, some of us hawk , some do menial jobs that earn as little as N15,000 a month and out of that we strive to go to school. “But it is disheartening that the government does not consider the masses in its educational policy.” Chidi, however, called on the National Assembly and other relevant authorities to intervene in the matter by urging the university to revert the fees . He warned that if the fees are not reversed, the situation may force the students

into the streets and thereby increasing crimes and militancy in the state. “ We urge the National Assembly to intervene because we desire to go to school and become useful citizens but if something is not done to address this arbitrary increase; it may push some of us to the streets,” he warned. The university’s spokesman, Williams Wodi, said he is not aware of the protest but he admitted that there was an increase in the students’ tuition fees. Wodi said the increase was as a result of pressure from the school management in the running of the part-time programme. His words: “The Federal Government does not fund the programme and therefore the hike was done to sustain the programme. “When compared to other

institutions which run similar programmes , Uniport’s current fees remains the least. “The programme is not funded by the Federal Government so it is putting pressure on the authority. “We called a meeting and told the student leaders that it is either we close down the programme or increase the fees to sustain the university and we reached an agreement.” He said the programme is distracting the management from attending to the regular students. The spokesman also noted that the programme was meant for students from the age of 30 and above but regretted that students who are below 20 now enroll due to failure to meet the regular students’ standard.

ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday called for the reform of the Nigerian criminal justice system to ensure speedy dispensation of criminal cases. He said this would also ensure the decongestion of prisons. Uduaghan spoke at the Nigerian Bar Association Second Conference on the Reform of the Criminal Justice System in Asaba, the state capital. He noted that there were reasons why all stakeholders should map out appropriate reforms in criminal justice administration. The governor who was represented by Deputy Governor Amos Utuama (SAN) said: “ It has become necessary to examine the possibility of having special courts to handle specific offences as this will go a long way in decongesting the courts.” Uduaghan lamented that 29,000 inmates are awaiting trial in various prisons across the country due to bottlenecks in the criminal justice system.

‘Perform or face sanctions’

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HE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Akwa Ibom State Government and Exxon Mobil have agreed to fast track the completion of the Eket-Ibeno Road Project being undertaking by the NDDC. A three-month ultimatum has been issued to the contractor.

NDDC Managing Director Christian Oboh announced this at Eket after a meeting between the partners and FCC Nigeria Limited, handling the project. Oboh said the NDDC would ensure prompt release of funds to the contractor while the Akwa Ibom Government will nominate a consultant to provide a buffer.

Rivers pension bill condemned From Clarice Azuatalum, Port Harcourt

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group, the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform (NDCBP), has flayed the Rivers State Public Office Holders (Payment of Pension) Bill, which was assented to by Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The bill, which was signed into law barely 24 hours after it was passed by the House of Assembly, makes provisions for several benefits for former governors and deputy governors. The Coordinator of NDCBP, Ken Henshaw, described the law as obnoxious and called on the House of Assembly to repeal it. Henshaw said: “The law is obnoxious, undemocratic, antipeople, unpopular and unjustifiable and should therefore be repealed in the collective interest of the state.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

NEWS

Ekiti teachers boycott assessment test

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EACHERS in Ekiti State yesterday boycotted the Teachers’ Needs Assessment Test (TDNA) organised by the state government. In compliance with the directives of the state’s chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the teachers stayed away from the 39 designated exam centres across the 16 local government areas. The examination, which was supposed to start at 9am with a training session to be followed by a test in the afternoon, did not hold. At Ola-Oluwa Muslim Grammar School on Ilawe Road, the Area Education Officer of Ado Ekiti Local Government, Mr. Sunday Gabriel Ojo, said no one turned up for the test. It was the same at the African Church

•Govt: defiance won’t alter our decision By Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Comprehensive High School Centre and St’ Louis Grammar School, both in Ikere-Ekiti, where Mrs. Florence Ajayi and Mrs. Rachael Adeagbo said no one turned up. The coordinator of the capacity building workshop scheduled to hold before the test, Prof. Bayode Popoola from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, said he was not aware that an examination was slated for the same day. The teachers argued that the test is aimed at pruning down their number, but the government insisted that it is to improve the quality of teaching in public schools. The teachers said “after

‘It is not a union issue. It is just the official position and decision of the government. However, when we get to the bridge we will know how to cross it’ similar examinations were held last year for top officers of the Local Government Service Commission and head teachers of public secondary schools, some of them were either sacked or demoted”. However, NUT directed its members to resume work to-

day. Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation Mr. Funminiyi Afuye said the defiant posture of the teachers would not prevent the implementation of the policy. Afuye faulted NUT for turning a government policy into a trade union issue, adding that “no one tests the will of the government, especially on a noble cause like this”. He said: “The issue here is not directly about workers’ welfare and they have not been cheated in any way. So they have no reason to declare any strike or order the teachers to shun the examination. “It is not a union issue. It is just the official position and decision of the government. However, when we get to the bridge we will know how to cross it.”

Osun begins dredging of waterways From Bisi Oladele , Ibadan

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HE Osun State Government has begun the dredging of waterways and canals to prevent flooding. The government said last year’s decision to embark on early dredging of the waterways paid off significantly, as the state did not witness the kind of tragedies that befell many states. Commissioner for the Environment Prof. Olubukola Oyawoye, who spoke with reporters in Osogbo, the state capital, at the weekend said while last year’s dredging took care of most of the major canals and streams in many of the towns and cities, there are still streams that have the capacity to overflow because of the people’s habits. Oyawoye said: “Another round of dredging has begun to prevent flooding. “This becomes even more compelling with the earlier warning that our state capital and its environs are prone to heavy downpour this year. For this round, 29 kilometres of waterways and canals have already been cleared to pave the way for the free flow of water.” Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment and Sanitation Bola Ilori listed some of the areas where dredging have been completed as Edun Abon, Ipetu Ijesa, Ife, Ila, Ikire Apomu and others. Some of the streams he listed include Gbalefefe, Mogimogi, Unique, Adeti and others. Oyawoye said the dredging has enabled many people, who had hitherto abandoned their houses because of flooding to return. The commissioner urged the people to complement the government’s efforts by disposing refuse properly and avoiding all actions that can deplete the environment.

ACN gets new members in Oyo council

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EMBERS of the Accord in Oke-Ola, Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, have defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). They were received by the Chairman of the council’s Caretaker Committee, Mr. Abiola Ambali, at the weekend. The defectors included returnees, such as Pa Salau Lasissi, Busari Alao, Ayodeji Bolarinwa and Pastor Yemi Adepoju, among others. Led by Alhaja Adegboyega, the defectors

By Jeremiah Oke

said they were impressed with the achievements of the ACN government. Ambali urged persons who had left the ACN for various reasons to return without hesitation. He assured his constituents of good governance and equal development across the council. Ambali restated his determination to alleviate poverty and empower the people. The chairman urged the people to support Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s efforts to reposition the state.

‘Curb crime on Lagos/Ibadan road’ •Chairman, Council of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, Arch. Thomas Chukwuemeka Awagu (middle); his deputy, Mr. Ray Atelly (right); and a member of the council’s Training and Programmes Committee, Chief Sunbo Onitiri, during a news conference in Lagos on the June 2012 Trade Mission to the United Kingdom (UK) . PHOTO:SOLOMO ADEOLA

Ondo LP defectors back Boroffice EMBERS of the Labour Party (LP) in Ode-Aye, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the weekend. The defectors said they defected to support the governorship aspiration of Senator Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North District). Mr. Bode Olajide, who spoke for them, said they were fed up with the “non-

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From Damisi Ojo, Akure

performance” of the Governor Olusegun Mimiko administration. He said the state government has failed to account for the allocations it has been getting from the Federation Account since February, 2009. Olajide said the LP administration has been executing cosmetic projects, which have no impact on the life of residents.

Boroffice, who was represented by his Director of Mobilisation, Mr. Jimi Adekanle, pledged to provide social amenities in Ode-Aye, if elected. He said although notable sons of the community, such as the late Pa Kayode Iwakun and the late Oye Alademehin, who worked for the emergence of the LP administration, Ode-Aye has remained in the background. The senator urged the

people to ensure the ACN’s victory in the election. The party’s chairman in Ward 1, Chief Kole Arebuwa, and a notable indigene of Ode-Aye, Prof. O. Daramola, pledged to work for Boroffice’s victory, if he gets the ACN’s ticket. Ode-Aye is the hometown of LP chieftain and former Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, the late Chief Oye Alademehin, and his successor, Mr. Diran Iyantan.

PDP group wants Alao-Akala called to order

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GROUP within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, the Oyo Parapo, at the weekend urged the leadership of the party in the state and the Southwest to call former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala to order. In a statement by its Coordinator, Mr. Kola Adegoke, the group condemned AlaoAkala’s verbal attacks on his predecessor, former Governor Rashidi Ladoja; his former deputy, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; and some other leaders in the state. It said Alao-Akala’s utterances show that he is yet to

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

realise that his faulty relationship with the said people made the PDP lose the 2011 election. The group said AlaoAkala’s comments stand against the reconciliatory process in the party and is capable of scuttling the PDP’s chances in the 2015 elections. Oyo Parapo said: “AlaoAkala should see himself as a statesman and stop fanning the embers of division and disaffection in the PDP through uncomplimentary remarks against respectable individuals in the society, if the goal of rebranding and repackaging the PDP for fu-

ture elections is to be realised.” Reacting to the interview granted by the former governor in a national daily yesterday, the group said: “Alao-Akala was not in the good books of the three most prominent traditional rulers in the state (the Alaafin, Olubadan and Soun) and other prominent citizens like Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola Alao and the PDP paid dearly for it by losing the last governorship election to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). “It is surprising that one year after that defeat, the former governor is yet to re-

alise his mistake and retrace his steps. We call on the PDP’s zonal and national leadership to call him to order.”

YORUBA socio-cultural group, Apapo Oodua Koya (AOKOYA), yesterday urged Southwest states to rid the Ogere end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway of those it described as Hausa-Fulani urchins. In a statement by its spokesman in Ogun State, Mr. Ariyo Alabi, AOKOYA said: “In the past 10 years, the Hausa-Fulani people have occupied, by force, the most important strategic highway in Southern Nigeria. “This occupation has led to a high crime rate, such as the murder and rape of commuters on the route daily. The place has been turned into a red light district, where rape, robbery, prostitution, armed robbery and violence have become a recurrent event. “We urge the governments of Southwest states to ensure the immediate evacuation of these people to forestall greater pitfalls. “No ethnic group in Nigeria will allow its economic artery to be seized by armed invaders under any guise. No one can do this in Kano or Maiduguri. It is of note that for many years, the invaders in this occupied territory have terrorised and traumatised travellers and the indigenous community that owns the land. “In a fragile and tempestuous country, where ethnic conflict is handy, this is a dangerous trend for the Yoruba people. This situation must be corrected immediately. “On many occasions, they run their cattle on the highway to pave the way for unimaginable atrocities against travellers. We can no longer tolerate this and if this situation continues unhindered, we have the historic responsibility to protect our people in ways in line with the Yoruba custom.”

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Senator Tinubu mourns The Nation’s Ngozi Agbo

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ENATOR Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central District) has commiserated with the management of Vintage Press Limited, the publisher of The Nation, on the death of Mrs. Ngozi Agbo, who was the coordinator of the Campus Life section of the paper. In a condolence letter to the Managing Director of the company, Mrs. Tinubu described the late Mrs. Agbo as “a very productive staff”

By Wale Ajetunmobi

of The Nation. The letter reads: “Recently, I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the last edition of the Campus Life Awards. There, I found the late Ngozi’s disposition to duty a remarkable attestation of the excellence your company represents in the society. “Seeing her at work gave me a clear impression that she was a young person with

whom I share a passion. Even while pregnant, she was very busy trying to ensure that her work effectively motivates multitudes of young people to live a worthwhile life and aspire to make a difference in the world.” Mrs. Tinubu prayed that God would grant the late Ngozi’s husband, Mr. Agbo Agbo, the fortitude to bear the “irreparable” loss and take care of the son the deceased left behind.


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NEWS Oyedepo curses Boko Haram, sponsors

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HE General Overseer and Founder of the Living Faith Church popularly called Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, yesterday in Bauchi, cursed the Boko Haram members and their sponsors. He condoled with •Oyedepo Christians and victims of From Austine Tsenzughul, Sunday’s suicide bombings, Bauchi saying “we serve a God of vengeance who has vowed to avenge the deaths of saints.” The cleric, who was in the state on a condolence visit to the victims of the suicide bombings at the Harvest Field Church and Living Faith Church, condemned the attacks. Oyedepo, whose private jet landed at the Bauchi airstrip at about 1:48 pm, and was received by the presiding pastor, Pastor Gaius Biyal, was driven in a car to the Winners’ Chapel where he prayed and anointed Bauchi land and the church premises. He urged Christians to be strong and courageous, saying by the power of his anointing, they would prevail. Accompanied by Bishop David Abioye, other bishops and senior pastors of the church, Oyedepo, in a fiery prayer of vengeance, placed a curse on the activities of the Boko Haram, other terrorists and their supporters within and outside the country.

Boko Haram: Maiduguri residents relocate for fear of fresh attack

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ESIDENTS of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday began relocating from one part of the town to another for fear of being caught in the crossfire between members of the Boko Haram sect and men of the Joint Task Force (JTF). The movement from parts of Maiduguri is coming on the heels of a threat by the sect to launch attacks on the military and security agencies as well as media establishments. Some residents of Lawan Bukar area in the Maiduguri metropolis were yesterday seeing fleeing their homes to other parts of the town as a result of the renewed attacks and reported killings at night by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram. Some of them said they were forced to leave the area because of the incessant killings and possible reprisal attacks by the JTF. The Boko Haram sect has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack on a church in Bauchi, boasting that “the operation was highly successful.”

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The group in a statement said: “One thing obvious is that the soldiers have only succeeded in killing over 10 innocent people in the neighborhood (Kano confrontation). We challenge reporters to go to the area and verify our claims whether our men have killed soldiers during the confrontation or not. Why are they (soldiers) hiding their victims from the press? “The media should also verify whether the military had extra-judicially killed civilians or not. We are listening to what everybody is saying about us. Let them continue to say whatever they want to say. The fact is that as soon as we complete our preparations and start launching attacks, nobody should persuade us to stop. This is a special warning to media houses and reporters who are fond of exaggerating and giving prominence to stories given to them by our enemies, even when such press releases and stories are not true.”

From Marie-therese Nanlong, Jos

Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Alexander Bankole, said government approved the donation of the relief materials to cushion the effects of the attacks and enable the victims to return to normal lives. He said the relief materials would be shared at a ratio of 75:25 between the two local government areas in relation to the degree of losses they suffered.

Ex-National Open University VC now Kogi SSG

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HIGH tension wire belonging to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) that fell on the ground has electrocuted two siblings, killing one and leaving the other with a permanent disability. The victims, Faith and Goodness Gambo, were said to be returning from

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

church when the incident occurred. An eyewitness said Faith died shortly after the incident while injured Goodness has been admitted at the Bingham University Hospita (BUTH)l, Jos, Plateau State.

Doctors said the injured victim sustained first degree burns, which resulted in the amputation of her arm. The eyewitness said: “When the high tension wire fell, it was reported to officials of the PHCN, but they failed to respond quickly. Later, electricity

was restored and this led to the electrocution of the children.” The father of the victims, Mr. Gwakbong Gambo, said: “This is purely a case of negligence on the part of the PHCN. I will hold the company responsible for the calamity that has befallen my children.”

Policeman ‘kills’ student in Gombe

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TUDENTS of the Federal College of Education (Technical) Gombe, yesterday protested against the alleged killing of one of their mates by a policeman. The deceased, Mohammed Nasir Kabir, a 200 level student in Biology and Integrated Science department, was alleged to have been shot by a mobile policeman while trying to

From Vincent Ekhoragbon, Gombe

calm down his colleagues. According to an eyewitness who pleaded anonymity, the security operatives comprising soldiers and mobile policemen arrived at the college in an AntiKalare Squad 04 van, claiming they were on the trail of a suspect. They eventually arrested the suspect who was wear-

ing a military camouflage, but some students confronted them when they were about leaving the school premises. The source said the security operatives shot into the air to ward off the rampaging students, while the late Kabir tried to calm down his colleagues. He was allegedly killed later. The source added that they were not sure if the person dressed in the mili-

tary camouflage was a student. When our correspondent visited the school, there was no management staff to comment on the incident. The police commissioner was also not available for comments. Deputy Governor Tha’anda Jason Rubainu appealed to the students to be calm, saying government would set up a committee of enquiry on the incident.

From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

NEMA donates relief materials HE National Emergento councils

cy Management Agency (NEMA) has donated relief materials worth millions of naira to the victims of the recent attacks in Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas of Plateau State. Presenting the items in Riyom, the Director-General of NEMA, Muhammed Sidi, said government was concerned about the spate of killings and wanton destruction of belongings in the state and was making efforts to stop them. Sidi, who was represented by the agency’s Director,

Two siblings electrocuted in Jos A

OVERNOR Idris Wada of Kogi State yesterday approved the appointment of the former Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede, as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). Four special advisers and one senior special assistant were also appointed by the governor. The special advisers include: Hajia Maimunat Jumai Umar (Health Care), Idakwoji Reuben Ilemona (Assembly and Legislative Matters), Talib Salihu Raji (Legal Matters), Eric Fiki (Policy and Political Affairs) and Ahmed Ladi S. Jatto (Senior Special Assistant in charge of Environment and Physical Development).

•Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State (fifth from left) in a group photograph with members of the German Solar Power Project, PHOTO: NAN during a courtesy call on the governor in Bauchi...yesterday.

CAN, JNI condemn Bauchi bomb blasts

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HE Islamic umbrella body in the North, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and its Christian counterpart, the Christian Association (CAN) yesterday said the continued bombings and killings in the North was unacceptable. They condemned Sunday’s bomb blasts in Bauchi. The northern CAN in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Sunday Oibe, urged the Federal Government to stop forthwith, further overtures from the northern elders to enter into negotiation with the Boko Haram sect. The body said the bomb blasts in two churches in Bauchi, which claimed about 12 lives, were barbaric, satanic, evil and unacceptable to Christians in the country. It hailed the efforts of the Federal Government and security agencies to stamp out terrorism, particularly the Boko Haram insurgency. CAN said the bomb blasts clearly confirmed once more the agenda of Boko Haram to exterminate Christians in the North and entrench the Sharia law. The statement reads: “We praise the courage of the Christians in Bauchi who repelled the suicide bombers before the arrival of the security agencies. We call on

Harvest Field Church bombing: 20 dead, 45 injured, CAN alleges From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

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HE Bauchi State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday alleged that 20 people died and 45 were injured in the suicide bombing which occurred on Sunday at the Harvest Field Church, Yelwa, a suburb of Bauchi, the state capital. At a press conference in Bauchi, the state’s chairman of CAN, Rev. Lawi Pokti, alleged: “Twenty Christians and a Muslim have been confirmed dead. Twelve died from the bomb blast while eight were shot dead by the military personnel drafted to the scene to maintain law and order.” Pokti, accompanied by CAN executives, condemned the bombing and described it as evil, dastardly and satanic. According to him, “though CAN appreciates the state government’s efforts in responding quickly to the attack and attending to the injured victims by taking them to hospital, we condemn in strong terms the extra-judicial killing and injuring of the unarmed and aggrieved relations of the victims of the bomb blast.” He added: “Women and children have sustained various degrees of injuries from the military bullets. As far as the civilised world is concerned, we see this as an extra judicial killing.” From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

them to be more resolute in their faith in God, just as we commiserate with those who lost their loved ones in the attacks. It is our belief that the Almighty God will grant their souls eternal rest. “We urged Christians not to be deterred by those who can only kill the body but not the soul, as we believe there is always victory of good over evil. It is in the light of

this that we ask them to join other Christians in a fasting and prayer session ordered by the national body of CAN on June 16. “The northern CAN enjoins security agencies to be more cautious in their suppression of protests by those whose loved ones have been killed in unprovoked attacks. In the light of the continued suicide bombings and attacks on churches in the North, we call on the

Federal Government not to entertain overtures from the so-called Northern Elders Forum because they have displayed inability in calling the terrorists in their midst to order.” The Secretary-General of the JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said the attacks on the two churches were unacceptable, adding that any attack on worship places was against the tenets of Islam. He said in a statement in Kaduna that the Islamic body decried the Bauchi bomb blasts. The statement reads: “The Jama’atu Naril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, once again expresses displeasure and condemns in strongest terms the Bauchi bomb blasts in two churches, which have resulted in the loss of human lives and destruction of properties. “This is totally unacceptable as attack on any place of worship is against the tenets of Islam. We offer our heartfelt condolence to the families of the victims and call on security agencies to rise up to the occasion and bring to an end these dastardly activities of the criminals who are destabilising our country.”


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NEWS

•Revellers gather in Hyde Park during the Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace in London..yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Prince Phillips misses Diamond Jubilee celebrations

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HE Duke of Edinburgh has been taken to hospital with a bladder infection and will miss the rest of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip, 90, had been taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle as a “precau-

tionary measure”. The Queen joined 12,000 others at the Jubilee concert. The prince will remain in hospital under observation for a few days. The prince had appeared to be in good health when he accompanied the Queen on Sunday on the royal barge the Spirit of Chartwell, which

formed part of the raindrenched Jubilee river pageant. He and the Queen stood for most of the 80-minute journey, as they were accompanied by 1,000 boats travelling seven miles down the river to Tower Bridge. The prince, who had treatment for a blocked coronary

artery in December and turns 91 on Sunday, missed yesterday’s concert and the national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral today. The Queen, dressed in a black cloak, was helped to her seat by Prince Charles at 21:00 BST, when she joined concertgoers an hour-and-a-half into the celebration.

The concert opened with a fireworks display and a fanfare from the Cold Stream Guards followed by Robbie Williams’s opening number Let Me Entertain You. Other performers have so far included Jessie J, Annie Lennox, Tom Jones and Cliff Richard - singing a medley of his songs from six differ-

ent decades. Comedians including Lee Mack, Rob Brydon and Jimmy Carr have also performed. The Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron were in the audience while the Queen took her seat at 21:00 BST.

South Sudan leader accuses officials of corruption

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OUTH Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has accused officials of stealing at least $4billion (£2.6bn) from state resources. He has written to 75 current and former senior government employees, asking for the money be returned. “People in South Sudan are suffering and yet some government officials simply care about themselves,” President Kiir said in the letter. The new nation is desperately in need of funds after its oil production was shut down in an argument with Sudan. Oil accounts for 98% of revenue in South Sudan, which only seceded from Sudan to form the world’s newest nation last July. In a letter dated May 3 and reportedly sent sometime in the last 10 days, President Kiir wrote: “An estimated $4bn are unaccounted for or, simply put, stolen by current and former officials, as well as corrupt individuals with close ties to government officials. “Most of these funds have been taken out of the country and deposited in foreign accounts. Some have purchased properties, often paid in cash.” South Sudan’s information minister also told Reuters news agency that more than $2bn went missing in a well-publicised scandal involving the staple crop sorghum.

China arrests Tiananmen activists

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HINA has arrested activists and placed others under increased surveillance to stop them from marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Searches on social media sites have also been restricted to try to prevent any reference to the 1989 events. The foreign ministry expressed “strong dissatisfaction” over a call from the US to free those still in prison for their involvement in the protests. In 1989, the army shot dead hundreds of civilians rallying for democracy. Beijing says the June 1989 events were a counter-revolutionary revolt and defends its response. The Communist Party still prevents any public remembrance of the event. On Sunday, the US government urged China to free all those still in prison after the crackdown on protesters. It called China’s “violent suppression” of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations a “tragic loss of innocent lives”. From the capital, Beijing, to Fuzhou on the east coast and Guiyang in the far south-west, Chinese police have moved to detain and pressure activists.

Syrian rebels abandon ceasefire

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HE rebel Free Syrian Army is no longer committed to the nominal ceasefire in Syria, a spokesman has said. Spokesman Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters news agency the FSA had begun attacking soldiers to “defend our people”. At least 80 Syrian soldiers were killed by rebels over the weekend, an activist group said. The ceasefire is part of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan - very little of which has been actually implemented, observers say. The FSA’s announcement and a defiant speech by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday have raised questions about the viability of Annan’s six-point plan. Yesterday French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there had been “so many abuses” by the Syrian regime that no lasting solution was possible while Assad remained in power. But UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has reiterated that Annan’s plan “remains central” to resolving the Syrian crisis.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

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NEWS

Groups call for sovereign national conference S OME pro-democracy groups, INCLUDING the National Democracy Coalition (NADECO), Campaign for Democracy (CD), Kudirat Abiola Initiative for Democracy (KAIND) and Women Arise (WA), yesterday urged the Federal Government to convene a sovereign national conference (SNC) to tackle the nation’s problems. The groups made the resolution in Lagos during a walk to commemorate the 16th year of the assassination of the late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola. NADECO’s National President, Admiral Ndubisi Kanu (rtd), said there are some fundamentals issues that need to

•National Publicity Secretary, Campaign for Democracy (CD), Comrade Popoola Ajayi (left); Chairman, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, Comrade Ayodele Adewale; President, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KAIND), Mrs Hafsat Abiola-Costello’ Chairman, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu; President, CD, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; Chairman, Southwest CD, Prince Obi Goodluck; and Secretary-General, Comrade Solomon Sobade, at the 16th memorial anniversary of the late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola in Ikeja...yesterday.

•From right: Deputy Senate President Ike Ikweremadu, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha and Director-General, National Institute for Legislatives Studies, Dr. Ladi Hamalai, at a retreat organised for states assemblies in Abuja...yesterday

By Jeremiah Oke

be addressed before the Federal Government can put certain things in place. He said if the government refuses to do this, the nation may not make progress. Kanu said: “The people of the country are to decide how they will be governed, not a few set of people who believe they are holding the mandate. The Federal Government said it doesn’t have a sovereign national conference, but we need to address some fundamental issues, which can only be done through it. Nigeria is one of the greatest countries in the world, with talented individu-

als. Yet, we are still suffering. “We are facing a lot of problems, such as bombings in the North, corruption, militancy and accidents, because of the condition of our roads, bad economy and unemployment of youths, among other problems facing the country. Yet, they are not ready for a way to solve it. In my own view, this is the way out of the problems facing us.” The chairman of AmuwoOdofin Local Government Area of Lagos State and a member of Campaign for Democracy (CD), Comrade Ayodeji Adewale, urged the Federal Government to test the prodemocracy constitution, which he said was made years back to deliver the masses from the poverty.

Ondo ACN aspirant to increase bursary

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N Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship aspirant in Ondo State, Dr Michael Olusegun Abraham, has promised to increase the bursary of the indigenes in the Nigerian Law School. Currently, Ondo State indigenes in the school are paid N50,000 by Governor Olusegun Mimiko. A statement by the aspirant’s Media Adviser, Akin Orimolade, said Dr Abraham spoke in his Ugbe Akoko home when he received a delegation of the students. He said: “By the grace of God, when I am given the mandate to serve this great state as governor, I intend to correct that injustice. No indigene of Ondo State will feel inferior anywhere he is working or studying. “If states in the North, which are not oil producing, could pay as much as N500,000 and other oil producing states are paying something reasonable, Ondo State under an ACN ad-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

ministration will pay what other oil producing states are paying.” Dr Abraham urged the Law students to be good ambassadors of the state, face their studies and return home with their Bar certificates to contribute to the development of the state. “There are lots of work to be done and we should be ready to serve at various capacities as we intend to take Ondo State to the next level,” he said. The aspirant said he would order a comprehensive review of the fees introduced by the state judiciary, if he is given the party’s ticket and the people’s mandate. He said: “The incumbent governor is a beneficiary of a good judicial system with a human face. He would not have smelt the Governor’s Office but for the judiciary. The newly introduced fees would shut the doors of the judicial system against indigent and

not too rich litigants.” The leader of the students, Mr Felix Adebayo, said Ondo State students were made to look inferior among their classmates who are not only encouraged but paid “reasonable bursary” by their states. Adebayo added: “Sir, it may interest you to know that Oyo State, which is not an oil producing state, with a students’ population that doubles our state, pays N100,000 to each student.” He urged Abraham to assist the students with laptops and Law books. CORRECTION LAGOS police spokesman Jayeoba Joseph didn’t confirm that an officer of the command was killed in a Lagos bank robbery as reported in our story yesterday. The policeman involved was shot in the leg and he is responding to treatment at an undisclosed hospital, Joseph said.


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SPORT EXTRA

Malawi: Eagles to train on artificial turf TK Football Academy, LAGOS GUFAF ZONE QUALIFIERS

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HE Super Eagles will start training for the Match Day 2 2014 World Cup Qualifying fixture with the Flames of Malawi Tuesday at the artificial turf of the FIFA Goal Project training pitch in Abuja with information filtered in from Blantyre that the Southern Africans were planning to play

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri against Nigeria on an artificial field on June 9. The media officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya made this known to NationSport on Sunday shortly after the Eagles’ laboured 1-0 win over the Brave Warriors of Namibia at the UJ

MTN Lagos Street Soccer season five kicks off in July

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HE season five of the MTN Lagos Street Soccer Championship kicks off in July just as the sponsors, MTN Nigeria Plc has reaffirmed its commitment to partner with the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development in its continued sponsorship of the championship. According to the Local Organising Committee (LOC), after four consecutive seasons, the Ministry is determined to reignite the vision,incorporate a range of innovations for the purpose of bringing additional value to the property, raise the overall standard and offer unprecedented mileage to our sponsors. The LOC stated: “Therefore, 2012 edition, will witness the introduction of Player Mentoring Programme (PMP), Female and Corporate category,as we believe that there is a need to give more scope and promote growth in participation.” They stressed that the Player

Mentoring Programme (PMP) is the silver lining in this year’s tourney designed to put the focus on the players by implementing organized scouting and developmental initiatives, aimed at identifying talented players, training, mentoring, and exposure to professional clubs and academies (both at home and abroad). As a new innovation to the previous editions, female and corporate teams are expected to also compete in the five-aaside competition, which is a unique opportunity for female footballers and also a platform to unite working professionals, create networking opportunities while encouraging a healthy lifestyle amongst corporate Lagos. The LOC listed some of the benefits for the players such as qualifying incentives, foreign tour for top three teams, as well as the usual prize money to winners. He added that official ball and trophy would also be unveiled for this year’s event.

Esuene Stadium, Calabar. He opined that: “We have heard that the Malawians want to take us to an artificial pitch and because of this we will begin intensive training in Abuja on Tuesday to commence training at the FIFA Goal Project site in the FCT, Abuja and that is where we are going to be training until the chartered flight takes us from there to Blantyre where we are going to engage Malawi. I am very sure we are going to give a good account of ourselves when we get there. “They have played on an artificial turf before against Angola and I don’t think that they struggled because it was just a friendly match in preparation for the 2012 African Cup of Nations

which we didn’t attend. They (Angolans) just came to play defensive game and they succeeded. We had so many scoring chances that could not be put away. But when we played Zambia on natural field we were able to win 2-0 even though the Zambians went ahead to emerge as African Champions in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea AFCON.” The Eagles defeated the Brave Warriors of Namibia 1-0 through an 80th minute goal from Ikechukwu Uche and they are atop their World Cup Qualifying Group with three points, while Malawi and Kenya are tied on one point each, with Namibia at the bottom of the log with no point.

ZENITH BANK WOMEN BASKETBALL LEAGUE

Teams go on break as First Deepwater BC leads the way

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HE ten teams vying for honours in the 8th Zenith Bank Women Basketball League will observe today as rest day, as defending champion First Deepwater basketball club lead other teams in the title race. On the opening day of the third phase last Thursday, Sunshine Angels basketball club of Akure defeated Nigeria Customs basketball club of Lagos by 45-32 points former champion First Bank basketball club of Lagos humbled Delta Force basketball club of Asaba (92-57), title holder First Deepwater basketball club of Ilawe-Ekiti recorded a 97-32 points victory over Plateau Rocks basketball club of Jos as Dolphins basketball club of Lagos walkedover late comer FCT Angels

basketball club of Abuja. First Deepwater of Ekiti continued from where it left off last Friday in the opening game of Day-2 with a 132-18 whitewashing of AHIP Queens basketball club of Kano, Customs defeated Delta Force by 54-49 points, Sunshine Angels gained easy points over FCT Angels while First Bank went past Dolphins 7560 points in a thrilling encounter. Results from Day-3 and Day-4; Sunshine Angels defeated Plateau Rocks by 65-46 points, Dolphins beat Delta Force by 60-37 points, Customs 42-23 AHIP Queens, First Bank 82-38 Plateau Rocks, Delta Force 63-35 AHIP Queens, Sunshine Angels 57-78 First Deepwater and Customs 48-44 FCT Angels.

De Royal II FC qualify …Draws hold on Tuesday in Lagos

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FTER three exciting days of intense competitive football, the 2012 Lagos zonal qualifies of the Gulder Ultimate Five Aside Football came to an end with TK Football Academy and De Royal II emerging as the flag bearers for Lagos State. The end of the Lagos qualifiers brings the total number of teams to play in the next stage of the Gulder annual football competition to 12. The conclusion of the Lagos qualifiers sets the stage for the Gulder Ultimate Five ASide draws scheduled to hold on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at the Radison Blue Hotel, Victoria Island. The 12 teams that have qualified from all the zones will know their fate after the draws As is the tradition in the qualifiers, TK Football Academy and De Royal II, the two qualifiers from Lagos, squared up against each other for the final game to determine the overall winner of the Lagos Qualifiers. TK Academy became the winning team after beating De Royal Academy 4-3 on penalties. The two teams qualified to the next stage ahead of more than 200 other teams that thronged the National Stadium Complex for the event.

Amongst the dignitaries present during the final day of the qualifiers was Henry Nwosu, former Nigerian exinternational footballer, who expressed delight at the competition. According to Nwosu, the organisers of the competition deserve commendation for the N5m prize money for the winners which he described as ‘a challenge for other soccer loving corporate bodies’. I can say that the Gulder FiveA-Side tournament is a wonderful thing. The turnout today is totally unbelievable. But I’m not surprised at the turn out because this is the highest prize money in Nigerian football. I see the prize money as a challenge for other soccer loving corporate bodies,” he said. Nwosu also urged Nigerian Breweries Plc., makers of Gulder Larger beer to sustain the grassroots focus of the competition. “I will want to plead with Gulder not to allow other professional players to participate, because this is indeed a great grassroots development football competition,” he said. The next stage of the competition will see the twelve qualifiers from all the zones take on each other in the final round which holds from the Thursday, June 14, 2012.


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TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

TOMORROW IN THE NATION

‘There is nothing bad in the President reversing himself on the UNILAG issue. All this talk about ‘’no going back’’ is mere bravado when it is obvious that an avoidable blunder has been committed’ VOL. 7

NO.2,147

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

“J

UNE 12,” the anniversary of the 1993 presidential election in which Nigerians set aside ancient hatreds and tribe and tongue and creed to confer a sweeping mandate on the Muslim-Muslim ticket of Moshood Abiola and Babagana Kingibe, came surprisingly early this year. Usually, all is quiet on that front until the two or three days leading to the anniversary. Then the “June Twelvers” stir into action to commemorate it in various ways, mostly in the Southwest which, unlike the rest of the country, embraces it as the nation’s authentic “Democracy Day.” But President Goodluck Jonathan brought the day forward by two weeks when he proclaimed, in his national broadcast of May 29, the day that former President Olusegun Obasanjo foisted on Nigeria as “Democracy Day” in a futile bid to eviscerate June 12, that the University of Lagos had been renamed Moshood Abiola University in recognition of Abiola’s political martyrdom. Finally, the hero of June 12, who endured cruel deprivations and rejected every blandishment that would have compromised his mandate and died in captivity – done to death by the imperium and its local proxies, according to the best sources – was finally getting, 19 years later, the national recognition he had been most cynically denied. As political gestures go, this was surely to be commended. For the eight years he held office as president, not once could Obasanjo bring himself to utter Abiola’s name in public. And yet, it was the struggle to actualise Abiola’s mandate, plus Abiola’s martyrdom, that made his second coming as chief of state possible. Obasanjo’s successor, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, had in a message to the ACN national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on the occasion of Abiola’s posthumous 70th birthday anniversary, promised to consecrate a befitting monument to Abiola. Yar’Adua died before he could fulfill the pledge. Nothing in Dr Jonathan’s comportment or deportment since taking office suggested that he was enthusiastic about democracy or anything for that matter, except cassava bread. Even that is a new-found enthusiasm. So, he seemed the unlikeliest person to acknowledge Abiola’s heroic contributions to the establishing in Nigeria of government based on the consent of the people, and to do so in concrete terms. In fact, in his sprawling May 29 broadcast, the passage recalling Abiola’s place in Nigeria’s democratic struggle stands out as the post eloquent For doing what Obasanjo would not do and what Yar’Adua could not do, Dr Jonathan deserves high praise. But within hours of decreeing the name change, good intention turned distressingly

OLATUNJI DARE

AT HOME ABROAD olatunji.dare@thenationonlineng.net

Coming to terms with ‘June 12’

•The late Chief Abiola

awry. Lagos University students poured out of their hostels in protest and barricaded the gates. Alumni, media commentators and bloggers added their voices. In response, the authorities shut down the university and ordered the students to vacate the campus. Dr Jonathan, bless his innocence, must be wondering how what had seemed at first blush a noble gesture could have turned so quickly and disagreeably into a raging controversy. The gesture,it is necessary to insist, is unexceptionable. It is the way he went about it that rankled. He went about it in the manner all too reminiscent of General Ibrahim Babangida and General Sani Abacha. He went about it as if he was a military ruler issuing a decree that overrides the national constitution. He went about it without consulting the Council of the University of Lagos. He decreed the change while the university community was still mourning the death of its vice chancellor. He did not place the matter before the National Assembly. We do not know for certain

RIPPLES Democracy Day: We’ve cause to celebrate-PDP chieftain

Yes, those FAT BANK ACCOUNTS are WORTH CELEBRATING

whether he had brought it up at the Executive Council of the Federation even as an “a.o.b” (any other business), after the Council has concluded its weekly routine of awarding contracts. Nor is it known for certain whether he sought the advice of the Attorney-General of the Federation, or even Aso Rock’s resident counsel. Maybe Dr Jonathan’s strategists had assured him that, as the university’s Visitor, he could do and undo as he pleased. If that is the case, the least that can be said is that they set him up for public embarrassment. He deserves much better from those who serve at his pleasure. But if they had counseled against such a unilateral move and he still went ahead, believing that it would be greeted with dancing in the streets, he can blame only himself. What lies at the heart of the controversy is not just process, however. There is substance, too. Abiola won a pan-Nigerian mandate, the most decisive in Nigeria’s history, in the fairest election Nigeria has ever witnessed. He was prevented from taking office, kept in squalid confinement for years, denied medical attention. For reading, he was allowed only the Holy Bible and the Quran. His senior wife Kudirat who helped keep the struggle alive while he was in captivity was murdered by agents of the Nigerian state. His global business empire was crippled. All because he chose to keep faith with the public rather than betray their mandate. And all that Dr Jonathan can do by way of acknowledgement is re-name the University of Lagos for him by proclamation? It seems so tokenistic. Those who are not persuaded of the nobility of his intention but see it as a cynical move to conscript June 12 to shore up the disputed legitimacy of May 29 as Nigeria’s “Democracy Day” can hardly be blamed for calling it a backhanded compliment. Those who claim that the re-naming was misplaced because education did not figure as one of Abiola’s major concerns are entitled to their ignorance. Here was a man who

HARDBALL

D

ISAGREEMENTS between the legislature and the executive on a few controversial bills are normally expected from time to time. What is not expected is a pileup of bills on the president’s table to which he neither gives nor withholds assent. By the last count, according to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, some 14 unsigned bills were awaiting the president’s attention. Last week, at a symposium to mark Democracy Day attended by President Goodluck Jonathan, Hon Tambuwal drew the attention of the public to presidential inaction on the said bills. The president shirked his responsibility, he alleged. Most of the bills, it was also reported, had passed the statutory 30 days required of the president to sign them into law. Others were even passed by the Sixth National Assembly. In most of the cases, the president neither signed the bills nor vetoed them, nor apparently even considered them. Shocked by the accusations, but deliberately side-tracking the issue, the president in his response blamed the National Assembly for being too overzealous in carrying out its legislative duties. “We even wanted to go to court, so that the Supreme Court would tell us if it is the duty of the National Assembly to

Unsigned bills controversy plan the economy,” Jonathan replied cynically. “Let them do the budget, hand over to us, and we will implement. But if it is our duty, then they should listen to us because the executive arm of government has a ministry of planning and finance, and works with the Central Bank.” Accusing the National Assembly of deliberately tearing and distorting budget proposals, the president wondered why the Peoples Democratic Party-dominated National Assembly should refuse to join hands with the executive in running the country. Yet there was no budget bill outstanding among the unsigned bills the National Assembly complained about. Why the president veered into an issue no one complained about is hard to explain. However, aides of the president said that even before the National Assembly complained, the president was in the process of re-examining the outstanding bills waiting for his assent. The bills, they said, were not more than 12 because a few had since been

DELE AGEKAMEH

donated one million Naira to each of 10 universities in Nigeria, at a time when the annual salary of a Senior Lecturer was N8, 000, set up a bookstore to make scarce textbooks available and affordable, provided generously for faculty to attend learned conferences overseas, and gave scholarships to anyone who could place his or her case before him. He was, withal, chancellor of a university. Those who acknowledge Abiola’s munificence but turn round to charge that he had made his money through questionable deals miss the point. The point is that he gave and gave and gave, for beneficent ends. Can the same thing be said about most of the other wealthy Nigerians who made their money through patently fraudulent means? Ernest Shonekan never contested an election, and never won one. He was foisted on the nation by Babangida as head of a so-called Interim National Government principally to provide cover for Babangida’s forced retreat from Abuja, to create the illusion of an orderly transfer of power, and to frustrate the struggle to establish a government led by Abiola on the basis of the June12 mandate. Shonekan does not even qualify as a usurper, for that would imply that he was a major actor on the national stage. He was merely the deluded and obliging surrogate of anti-democratic forces in Nigeria. The institution of which he was the nominal head was not a government and was not national. Mercifully, it lived up to its interim billing, doddering 83 days until Sani Abacha put it out of its misery. Yet, today, Shonekan is accorded the status of a former head of state, with all the attendant rights and privileges, including a seat on the Council of State. The churlish can, in defiance of the facts, continue to qualify President-elect Moshood Abiola as “the presumed winner” of the 1993 presidential election, or even more perversely as the SDP presidential candidate in that election. Until Abiola is posthumously designated President and accorded all the rights and privileges and honour of that office, every other recognition, however well-intentioned, must be judged tokenistic. Even without such a designation, his place in history is assured. He will be remembered and revered long after his traducers have become the merest adjuncts to history. NOTE: This piece was written before last Sunday’s twin tragedies –the plane crash in Lagos and the church bombing in Bauchi.

•For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above signed, and others were likely to be signed soon. The rest, they were quoted by the press as saying, would be sent back to the National Assembly for fresh deliberations because they had been overtaken by events. Everything points to presidential dereliction of duty. It has been established that the National Assembly worked on the bills, of course at the expense of the taxpayer, and the bills were passed to the office of the president. The presidency is familiar with what must be done when bills come from the legislature. In the case in discussion, however, little or no work was done. The question is why? It is not enough that the presidency has promised fresh action on the bills, officials owe the country an explanation, bill by bill, why nothing was done before and why the presidency handled the bills in such shockingly slipshod manner. Even if the National Assembly sometimes ignored party ideology and loyalty, as the president complained, it is no reason for him to ignore the bills. Indeed, it is about time the president abandoned his rosy and unrealistic view of lawmaking and began to recognise the importance of the legislature in making laws that transcend party differences, laws capable of transforming and uniting the country.

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


The Nation June 05, 2012  

The Nation June 05, 2012

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