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News Court remands 18 NURTW men over Ibadan killings P5 Sport Osaze won’t feature for Eagles now, says Siasia P24 Business Court grants ex-Afribank MD, others N425m bail P15 http://www.thenationonlineng.net
VOL. 6, NO. 1786 FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to approve a new capital base for microfinance banks (MFBs). Under the new dispensation billed to be announced by the banking watchdog before the end of this month, microfinance banks that want to operate at the national level must be capitalised to the tune of N2billion. Now, none of the microfinance banks has a na-
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
New capital base for microfinace banks By Akinola Ajibade, Senior Correspondent
tional spread. The capital of those operating at the regional level will be slashed from N1billion to N100million. Those seeking to operate at the rural level (one branch bank) will remain unchanged at N20million.
CBN spokesman Abdullahi Mohammed confirmed that the apex bank was planning to raise the capital base of MFBs operators. He said the apex bank was reviewing the activities of the operators, and would come up with its own position soon. A microfinance bank chief, who
pleaded not to be named, said CBN had at a recent meeting with MFBs operators decided to raise the capital base. He said the major concerns of the operators were how to recover their debts to meet up with the new capital regime. “Going by the feelers from the
N150.00 apex bank, I don’t think CBN would change its decision on the issue of increasing the capital base of MFB operators. Initially, CBN tried to increase the capital base to N50million, but realised that the money would not be enough in view of the crisis rocking the institutions. As operators, we are awaiting the review of the regulaContinued on page 2
Obama to Jonathan: give anti-graft battle priority Nigeria seeks US support From Vincent Ikuomola and Adeola Fayehun, New York
NITED States President Barack Obama has told President Goodluck Jonathan to “make fighting corruption a national priority”. He also requested the Nigerian leader to create conditions for sustained growth and lasting prosperity. Obama spoke at the White House on Wednesday during a meeting with Jonathan. The President took time off his visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York where he attended the HIV/AIDS summit to travel to Washington for the meeting with the U.S. leader. According to a transcript of the meeting, both leaders reaffirmed the strong bilateral partnership between the two countries. Obama congratulated Jonathan on the success of Nigeria’s April elections, which he said “deepened the foundation for future democratic contests”. The leaders also discussed how the Jonathan administration could build on the momentum of the elections “by investing in Nigeria’s energy supply, agricultural productivity, democratic institutions and security sector.” •President Jonathan speaking in New York ... yesterday. With him are UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon (right) and former US President Bill Continued on page 2
Clinton (second from right).
PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
MTN disowns call logs in petition against Salami
•SEE PAGE 2
Expert witness found to be bureau de change boss
•POLITICS P12 •AGRIC P17 •SOCIETY P29 •BRANDS P47 •MONEYLINK P56
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
•Vice President Namadi Sambo (left); Speaker, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal; Senate President David Mark and Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha after a meeting PHOTO: NAN with the Vice President in Abuja ... yesterday.
•Chief Arthur Mbanefo, chairman of the occasion, cutting the tape to open a book exhibition at Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos ... yesterday. With him are: NIIA DirectorGeneral Prof. Bola Akinterinwa (left), Amb. Saidu Pindar, Council member NIIA and Caleb PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju (right)
Obama to Jonathan: give anti-graft battle priority Continued from page 1
Obama told Jonathan “to make fighting corruption a national priority and a critical step in ensuring the necessary conditions for sustained economic growth and lasting prosperity”. Obama also thanked Jonathan for his leadership both regionally and within the United Nations Security Council on pressing issues, such as Sudan, Libya, and Cote d’Ivoire. Both leaders agreed to continue working together to promote peace and security. The meeting was the second between the two leaders. Jonathan, who was at the White House last year as acting President, thanked Obama for his support during the elections. He lauded him for his comments on the outcome of the elections. He also thanked Obama for the co-operation the US has been giving Nigeria. Jonathan called for more assistance to improve the quality of Nigeria’s infrastructure. Also yesterday, former Spe-
Why I should be granted bail, by Bankole
ETAINED former House Speaker Dimeji Bankole has prayed the Federal High Court, Abuja to release him on bail on self recognition, pending is trial. Bankole is facing a 16-count charge of contract inflation and awards without due process slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In a bail application filed before Justice Donatus Okorowo, Bankole said being the immediate past speaker and a holder of national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic, he is entitled to bail on self recognition. In the motion signed by his lead counsel, Chief Solomon Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, Bankole claimed that he had never been tried for any offence or convicted for any offence in Nigeria or any where.
cial Assistant to President Jonathan on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Hajiya Amina Az-Zubair said in New York that “commitment of governors and local government chairmen is the panacea to the country meeting the 2015 MDGs. Mrs Az-Zubair told reporters at the sideline of the High
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
He denied committing the alleged offences adding that his reputation and past record attest to the fact that he would not jump bail if granted one. In a 20-paragraph affidavit, the deponent averred that the ex-speaker was said to be happily married with two young children attached to him and may be emotionally traumatised if the court denied him bail being the bread winner for his family. Bankole is solely responsible for the emotion and material support of his aged parents and other dependants who would be adversely affected by any denial of his bail. The affidavit also claims that he will not jump bail if granted, adding that his travelling documents including the diplomatic passports have been seized by EFCC. The motion will be heard today.
Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, that what is required is governors and Local Government bosses’ full involvement, which also means taking full ownership of Primary healthcare. She said: “The major concern and challenges that we have is on health and this is because it is a three-tier re-
sponsibility. The MDGs are not at the national level, they are at the local level and until we get that strengthened with the partnership with governors and local government chairmen, then that will remain a challenge.” She said HIV/AIDS infection impacted greatly on the economy, hence the need to
involve the three tiers of government. “There is a lot of impact on the economy because when you don’t have a healthy population, productivity will go down. What is more important to HIV is because we have treated it in isolation of the main health system and what we are trying to say now is that we need to bring it back to the mainstream so that at the local level, where we carry the heaviest burden of transmission of mother to child, we can deal with it at the primary care level. “This is what President Jonathan is saying – that we should take leadership and ownership of this issue and to be more innovative about the funding and about the strategies that we should use since we cannot just continue to rely on external help, which does not come anyway. Smaller countries are benefitting but bigger countries like ours really need to get concerted effort for domestic solution to fighting HIV/AIDS.”
New capital base coming for microfinace banks Continued from page 1
tory policy and the increase in capital base, hence the resolve to recover all outstanding debts before the new recapitalisation fee is announced,” he added. Also, the Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Lagos Chapter, Mr Olufemi Babajide, told The Nation that the operators are aware of the
decision of CBN to strengthen the sub-sector with the introduction of the new capital. He said his colleagues have been using security operatives and moral persuasion to recover their debts. Besides, they have engaged debt collectors. The CBN had last year revoked the operating licences of 224 MFBs out of the 820 operating in the country, saying they were “terminally dis-
tressed and technically insolvent”. CBN Deputy Governor Kingsley Moghalu, who announced the decision in Abuja, said 178 of the MFBs were technically insolvent; 46 others were found to be terminally distressed and had closed operations for six months. He said the total deposited amount in the 224 banks was N18.2 billion and the loans
N19.6 billion. The shareholders’ fund was N6.1 billion. “The factors that contributed to the unsoundness of the MFBs were attributed to high level of non-performing loan resulting in high portfolio at risk which had impaired the capital, gross under-capitalisation in relation to level of operations, poor corporate governance and incompetent boards,” he said. Moghalu said the directors
and management of the closed banks who have abused their positions would be handed over to the law enforcement agencies for investigation and prosecution. One of the factors that contributed to the unsoundness of these microfinance banks is high level of non-performing loans, resulting in high portfolio at risk (PAR), which had impaired their capital.
Senate recess delays ministerial list
HE naming of Nigeria’s new cabinet could take several more weeks because the Senate has gone on recess, undermining President Goodluck Jonathan’s hopes of having a new administration in place quickly. Jonathan’s ministerial choices are being closely watched by both Nigerians and foreign investors who are keen to see a team capable of driving through badly-needed reforms in Africa’s most populous nation and third largest economy. Jonathan, who was sworn in for his first full term on May 29 after winning April elections, had said he wanted his new cabinet in place within two weeks and had been expected to submit his list of nominees for Senate approval this week. But lawmakers went on recess on Tuesday, a day after the new parliament was inaugurated, to allow new offices to be prepared and seats in the chamber to be assigned. “The submission of the list has now been delayed because of the long adjournment of the Senate,” a source in the presidency told Reuters, asking not to be named. “The initial plan was to have it submitted this week and for the Senate to give it accelerated screening between Thursday and Friday so that the cabinet can be sworn in next week. But now they have adjourned until June 28,” the source said.
MTN disowns call logs in petition against Salami
OBILE giant MTN yesterday disowned the call logs attributed to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, by former Ekiti Governor Segun Oni in a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC). MTN said the so-called call logs did not orginate from it and the format of the retrieval of the “curious” logs was strange. It was also revealed at the session that the call logs were obtained from a Bureau de Change operator. Oni and the Osun State chapter of the Peoples Demo-
From Yusuf Alli and Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
cratic Party (PDP) petitioned the NJC and accused Salami of engaging in telephone calls with some lawyers and politicians to influence Appeal Court decisions on Osun and Ekiti governorship elections’ petitions. The Nation learnt that the NJC panel, headed by Justice Umaru Abdullahi, decided to summon MTN to clarify the controversy surrounding the purported call logs. At the session yesterday, MTN was represented by a Senior Manager, Commercial
Legal in the Corporate Service Division, Rotimi Odusola. It was gathered that Odusola was cross-examined by two counsel, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Mr. Adebayo Adelodun (SAN). A source at the session said: “The MTN official told us that the call logs did not emanate from them. “He said the request for call logs from MTN can only come through security agencies, a subscriber and a court order. “He also said that from the records of the MTN, there was no letter requesting for call logs from either Segun Oni or the PDP chapter in Osun
State. “Upon a close examination of the log paper, the MTN official indicated that the call logs were printed on A3 instead of the A4 paper being used by the firm for such an exercise.” Another source at the session added: “At the sitting, it was discovered that an expert witness called by the petitioners was found to be the managing director of a Bureau de Change. “Although the witness later claimed to have been a stakeholder in an IT firm, but when he was cross examined, it was realised that he was not a di-
rector of the said firm. “You can see that the allegations of the petitioners cannot stand on anything. The onus was on them to prove beyond reasonable doubt and they could not even establish the source of the call logs.” Asked of the next stage, the source added: “The trio of Fagbemi, Adelodun and Emeka Ngige (SAN) will file their final address on Monday.” In a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan, Oni had levelled sundry allegations against Justice Salami and some Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Vice President Namadi Sambo (left); former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa; former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Chancellor, Baze University, Abuja, Alhaji Ahmadu Abubakar, at the first matriculation of the university in Abuja...yesterday
Causes of voter apathy, by Jega
‘An insult to Damilola’: Father’s fury as thugs cleared of killing his 10-year-old son are handed £70,000 for their ‘hurt feelings’
From Jide Babalola, Assistant Editor, Abuja
Payout is seven times the sum paid to Damilola Taylor’s parents
PAIR of thugs wrongly accused of killing Damilola Taylor have been handed a £70,000 payout for ‘hurt feelings’ – seven times the sum given to his parents. On Tuesday, the 10-year-old’s devastated family said they were ‘insulted’ by the compensation deal for the two brothers, who have criminal records dating back to the age of 10. Damilola’s father, Richard, and late mother, Gloria, were paid just £10,000 compensation after the 10year-old was stabbed in the thigh with a broken bottle on a council estate in Peckham, South-east London, in November 2000. Gary Trowsdale, head of the Damilola Taylor Trust, said: ‘Richard thinks the money handed out is insulting. ‘Whoever authorised it should hang their head in shame. It is maddening, when does the torture of this family stop? ‘If you look at the history of what has gone on in this case it is just an absolute disaster that they have gone through.’ Nicknamed the ‘New Krays’, the two thugs, both now 25, are renowned for violence. Their crime lists include theft, aggravated burglary, robbery, stealing cars, assaulting police and
‘Richard thinks the money handed out is insulting. ‘Whoever authorised it should hang their head in shame’ possessing cannabis. They were among a mob of five who tried to rape two girls aged just 10 and 11 just months before Damilola was stabbed to death. The youths, who were prominent members of the Young Peckham Boys gang which terrorised the North Peckham Estate, were accused of assaulting the girls in a park in 1999. They were said to have fled afterwards, shouting: ‘We’re the untouchables.’ The brothers were charged with indecent assault, but the case was thrown out because the judge ruled it should have been dealt with by a youth court, rather than crown. In 2002 they were wrongly accused of killing Nigerian-born Damilola. Known only as Boy A and Boy B,
the pair stood trial along with two other teenagers at the Old Bailey. However, the case collapsed after a key prosecution witness, a girl of 14, claimed to have seen the attack but was later revealed to be an ‘accomplished liar’ with her sights set on a £50,000 reward. The accused, then aged 16, walked free following unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdicts on all charges. The police inquiry and threemonth long trial of the teenagers is estimated to have cost taxpayers more than £10million. Two other youths Ricky and Danny Preddie, now 23 and 22, were jailed for eight years in 2006 for the manslaughter of Damilola. Then the acquitted brothers, who still cannot be named for legal reasons, sued for wrongful arrest. Scotland Yard has now paid out an estimated £35,000 to each brother for ‘hurt feelings’. ‘They are no angels – but they are not murderers. It’s not about money, it’s about getting your facts straight.’This contrasts greatly with the £10,000 Damilola’s parents received from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. This payment was the maximum allowed under the rules of the authority, which awards victims of crime. The Metropolitan Police con-
firmed a ‘settlement has been agreed’ last week, but detectives have refused to apologise. The mother of Boys A and B told The Sun newspaper: ‘They are no angels – but they are not murderers. It’s not about money, it’s about getting your facts straight.’ When another boy who was wrongly accused of Damilola’s murder, known as Boy D, won £27,000 compensation in 2009, he used the money to set up a drug business. Police in Solihull, Birmingham, arrested the 21-year-old later that year after receiving a tip-off. He was charged with possession with intent to supply amphetamines, and possession of cannabis. •Culled from Daily Mail
Okah’s brother, three others know fate July 29
USTICE Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja Federal High Court will on July 29 determine the propriety of the charge preferred against four persons over October 1, last year Abuja twin-bombings. Brother of the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta(MEND) leader, Charles Okah, Obi Nwabueze, Edmund Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Osvwo are challenging the competence of the charge . The judge promised expeditious hearing of the case. Adopting his address, counsel to
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
Okah and Ebiware Mr. Festus Keyamo, said: “Nothing in respect of the proof of evidence links the accused persons to the offence they are being tried.” He conceded that even though the first and second accused were planning to explode dynamites in one or two cars, “they were doing so with their personal funds”, drawing attention to Julius Berger Construction Company, which he said, explodes dynamites everyday. He urged the court to quash the
charges, since there is no scintilla of evidence linking the accused directly to the bombing. Adopting Keyamo’s argument, counsel to Ebiware and Osvwo, Messrs Uche and Idris Ibrahim relied on Section 77 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), Cap 80 Laws of the federation. Uche said his client’s case was different from others, since the proof of evidence merely said he had foreknowledge of the bombing. He said: “Of the 33 witnesses that testified, only three mentioned his name. And of the three, two said
there was never a time he told them that there would be such bombing, while the third witness said he believes the accused ought to know. The only evidence that can link him to the crime is a confessional statement from Henry Okah.” However, prosecuting counsel Alex Izinyon (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objections raised by defence counsel, citing Sections 77 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) and 33 of the Evidence Act to strengthen his position. He described the objections “as too simplistic to sway the court.”
INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) chair Prof. Attahiru Jega yesterday expressed concern over voter apathy, saying it is a huge problem confronting the nation. He said only 35 per cent of the 70 million registered voters participates in the last general elections. Jega spoke yesterday at the presentation of part of the findings of a research INEC commissioned and undertaken in conjunction with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation. Jega was represented by one of his National Commissioners, Prof. Lai Olurode, who is also the chairman of INEC’s Electoral Institute at a workshop on voter apathy in Abuja. He identified lack of transparent elections, election violence and politicians’ non-committal to their campaign promises as part of the major reasons for voter apathy in the country. The dismal participation level manifested in past elections and the April general elections that culminated into the election of President Goodluck Jonathan, members of the National and state legislatures and about 26 governors. Prof. Jega described the workshop as part of the commission’s effort “to extend the frontiers of citizenship and widen the scope of participation in elections and governance processes”. He acknowledged that the low participation of Nigerians in the polls is a clear indication of the existence of political apathy or citizens’ very inadequate interest in the electoral process. Jega said:“That there exists voters’ apathy in Nigeria is no longer contentious. Voters’ turnout in the just concluded general elections had provided a scientific and empirical evidence of the existence of voter’s apathy and disinterestedness of sections of the electorates in elections. “The National Assembly elections, the Presidential election and the Gubernatorial and those of the state Assembly elections conducted in April showed that voters’ turnout hovered around 35per cent. This ugly scenario has implications for popular participation and governance.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
NEWS Court jails man 16 yrs for stealing N20m from employers By Joseph Jibueze
FOR stealing N20 million belonging to his employers, a Lagos State High Court yesterday jailed a middleaged man, Mr Joel Omotosho, for 16 years and a half. But the court said Omotosho could keep the house he admitted he built with the stolen money. Omotosho was found guilty of 11 counts of conspiracy and stealing. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on each count. The jail term is to run concurrently. Justice Adebisi KayodeOgunmekan dismissed an application filed by the prosecution that Omotosho should forfeit the property. The prosecution asked the court to order the return of the house to his employers, Man Mountain and Company Limited as compensation. The judge said it was wrong for the prosecution to file the application after trial had been concluded. Counsel should have done so earlier, the court said. Justice Kayode-Ogunmekan added that the prosecution failed to follow the conditions specified by law to warrant the court to make such an order.
Demolition of my shop pushed me into drug A trafficking, says suspect
TRADER at the famous Idumota market in Lagos yesterday said he became involved in drug trafficking after his shop was demolished by the Lagos State government. The suspect, Quam Animashaun, 26, was caught at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, with 1.550kg of cocaine by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on his way to New Delhi, India. NDLEA Airport’s commander Alhaji Hamza Umar said the suspect was arrested during the screening of passengers on Ethiopian Airline to New Delhi. The drug, he said, was con-
By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
cealed on the sides of his luggage. Hamza said the drug was detected by officers at the luggage checking desk of the departure wing. He said:“It took the careful search by the officers to detect the drugs. There was no information on the suspect. When they suspected that the bag contained narcotics, they had to cut the sides of the bag to recover the parcels of cocaine weighing 1.550kg.”
Hamza added that the Airport command in May arrested four suspects with 5.365kg of illicit drugs. The quantity of cocaine seized is 2.865kg, methamphetamine 200 grammes and heroin 2.300kg. Animashaun said government forced him into drug trafficking after his shop at Idumota was demolished. “I used to sell clothes at Idumota market and I was a successful trader by all assessment. Things took a different turn after my shop was demolished and I was never
compensated. At least, I deserve to be relocated to another shop or given some money. I am married with a daughter and my family must survive. Drug trafficking was my last option. As a hardworking man, I have tried to sustain my family but it was not easy. I was promised 2,000 dollars to smuggle the drug to India but I was apprehended at the Lagos airport,” Animashaun said. The suspect hails from Lagos State. He resides in Ikorodu whilehis wife and daughter live at Ojodu in Lagos. His
New term for FRSC boss Chidoka
NAFDAC nabs fake Camerounian ‘doctors’ in Kaduna From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested two Cameroonians who specialised in administering fake Chinese drugs on their patients in Kaduna State. Director-General of the Agency Dr. Paul Orhii said stiffer penalties await those found to be engaged in adulteration and administration of unregistered products. Parading the suspects in Kaduna yesterday NAFDAC’s Deputy Director of Kaduna office, Ahemen Innocent said 40-year-old Kwekam Allen Blaise and 30-year old Yahaya Jida were arrested at their Central Medical Traditional Chiny Clinic in Pambegua, Kaduna State following a tip-off. He said Jida was once arrested for a similar offence in Jalingo, Taraba State. Innocent said: “ We got a tip-off on Wednesday that there were some people dealing in unregistered Chinese drugs and selling it to the people. In fact, when we got to the place, we discovered one ramshackle building and when we entered, we discovered that they were actually dispensing drugs there. “When we asked one of them, he claimed to be a doctor. When we asked him for his credentials, he had nothing to tender and we eventually discovered that the men running the fake clinic are Cameroonians.”
mission was to hand over the drug to a member of the drug syndicate in India and collect $2,000 with which he intended to buy Indian fabrics. Agency Chairman/Chief Executive Ahmadu Giade said the Agency would continue to protect legitimate business men and women. “We are prepared to protect the economy from the hands of drug traffickers that launder illicit drug proceeds into legitimate businesses. The implication is that even when he sells below the cost price, he will still be at advantage while law abiding business people bear the brunt,” he said. The suspect, he said, would soon be charged to court.
•From left: Member, House of Representatives Saudatu Sanni, Ekiti State Deputy Governor Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi and Mrs Funke Komolafe, a mother of triplet and beneficiary of the Multiple Birth Trust Fund, inaugurated by Mrs. Fayemi in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday
Tambuwal to NBA: expect new legislative blueprint for national growth
OUSE of Representatives’ Speaker Aminu Tambuwal yesterday told the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) that the National Assembly would soon unfold a new legislative blueprint that would engender national growth and social reform. Tambuwal said the new legislative agenda would be unfolded before the end of August. The Speaker delivered an address at the NBA National Executive Council (NEC) meeting . He said Nigerians demonstrated through the April elections that they wanted to be involved in how they are
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor
governed. He said: “We have so many challenges and task before us. With a revenue stream of about $40 billion a year, it is unacceptable that more than 70 per cent of our people live on less than $2 per day.” He listed youth unemployment, falling literacy rates, unimpressive agricultural production, poor electricity generation, high crime rate and insecurity as major concerns in the country. He noted that as the world’s seventh largest oil exporter,
“we cannot afford the state of power-poverty that continues to retard our economic growth.” Tambuwal said: “We will ensure that the vulnerable in our society are given appropriate opportunities to be heard. The cause of women, children and persons with disabilities will be championed with renewed vigour. “We shall be setting the legislative blueprint for national growth and social reform for the next four years. We hope to harmonise our priorities with those of the Senate and the Executive, so that the passage of legislation
for priority areas can be timely, efficient and responsive,” he added. The speaker noted that President Goodluck Jonathan had set standards that other arms of government must follow to make governance meaningful to the people. He assured the body of the support of the House to achieve the reform agenda of the present leadership, adding that all bills relating to judicial reforms would get accelerated passage. NBA President Joseph Daudu (SAN) urged the Speaker to redeem the battered image of the House.
‘Why U.S. sponsors Nigerians on exchange programmes’
OUNSELLOR for Public Affairs, United States Embassy in Nigeria Mr Peter Claussen yesterday said his country sponsors Nigerians on exchange programmes to equip them for the development of the country. Claussen spoke in Lagos at a meeting of past beneficiaries of America-sponsored programmes in Nigeria. He said the U.S. govt expects alumni of its exchange programmes to use their ex-
By Olukorede Yishau
periences while on the programmes to develop Nigeria. Past beneficiaries of the programmes drawn from the academia, the media and public sector shared their experiences at the first Nigerian Alumni Congress. The counsellor said the American government believes in the uplifting of other societies and that its pro-
grammes, such as the Fulbright and Humphrey were designed to achieve this end. He said no less than 4,000 Nigerians have benefitted from the U.S. exchange programmes. Some of the alumni, he said, are prominent Nigerians who are making changes in the society. Claussen said: "Prominent Nigerian alumni, in addition to the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S. Prof. Ade Adefuye, include: Prof. Attahiru Jega,
chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and former VicePresident Dr. Alex Ekwueme. I will like one day, somewhere when I am retired to have the name of the president of Nigeria on this list." Cultural Affairs Specialist, U.S. Consulate General, Lagos Bene Uche and Public Diplomacy Officer Peter Piness urged the alumni to see it as a duty to give back to their society, after returning from the exchange programmes.
HE Federal Government has re-appointed Osita Chidoka as Corps Marshal and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for another four year term. An approval letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said the re-appointment is in line with Section 7 (1) of the Federal Road Safety Commission Establishment Act,2007. The Corps Marshal’s re-appointment, said sources, would set the pace for the FRSC as a lead agency in the nation’s road traffic administration and safety management.
Fashola warns against parking on Airport Road By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
OVERNOR Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State yesterday cautioned motorists against parking their cars along the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Fashola said the practice has aggravated traffic on the Agege /Oshodi link road. Fashola spoke during an unscheduled visit to the area. The governor, who visited the location where the cars were blocking the road, told police officers to arrest offenders. Fashola urged owners of such vehicles to remove the cars within 24 hours or face the penalty. The governor, who was given a rousing welcome at the domestic airport police station, urged all to abide by the laws of the state so that the general security of the state would improve. Police officers, who spoke to reporters, lauded the governor. They said it was wrong for people to park on the road and obstruct traffic. They promised to redress the situation.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
NEWS Fayemi’s wife fights maternal mortality From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
• Fashola (4th left); his Deputy, Mrs. Victoria Orelope-Adefulire (fifth right) and the Head of Service, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe (3rd left), with the new PHOTO:OMOSEHIN MOSES appointees and others...yesterday
Fashola swears in five permanent secretaries
AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday swore in five permanent secretaries. They are Mrs. Mojirola Bola-Sadipe, Mr. Delano Adepoju-Konde, Mr. Adebayo Sodade, Mr. Hakeem MuriOkunola and Mrs. Modupe Iji. At the ceremony held at the Conference Room, Lagos House, Ikeja, Fashola urged them to contribute their quota to the development of the
By Miriam Ndikanwu
state. He said: “I expect the old and new public servants to work together, offer solutions to problems on ground, discuss among yourselves, respond quicker to telephone calls, letters and electronic mails. “If you do this, the number of people that troop into the secretariat in search of solutions would reduce and the fewer
cars we have on the road the better.” Reiterating the importance of meeting the needs of the people, Fashola urged them to be dedicated and hard working. He said: “Lagos has become the leading public service in the country and to become the model city of Africa, we must aspire to become the model public service in Africa. “You are here because you deserve
to be here. Your appointment signifies an elevation in the leadership of the public service. I wish you the best of luck and welcome you to a life of hard work and dedication in the service of our people.” Speaking on behalf of the new appointees, Mrs. Bola-Sadipe thanked the governor for the confidence reposed on them, promising that they will make the state safer and more productive.
18 Ibadan NURTW members remanded in prison E
IGHTEEN members of the Oyo State National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) were yesterday remanded in prison by an Ibadan High Court. They were arrested for their alleged involvement in last weekend’s clash between rival factions of the union at Iwo road, Ibadan, in which several persons were killed and many injured. About 20 shops were burnt, 30 looted and 50 vehicles vandalised. The suspects are facing a three-count-charge of armed robbery, illegal possession of arms and breach of peace.
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
The trial of the case will begin on June 21. Commissioner of Police Mr. Adisa Bolanta yesterday said the command has extended its search for the sponsors and perpetrators of the crime to other parts of the state. He said: “We are not limiting our search for the suspects to Ibadan. We are combing all parts of the state to fish them out. “In fact, we just arrested five persons in Iseyin yesterday and
‘In fact, we just arrested five persons in Iseyin today (yesterday) and anyone confirmed to have a link with the violence would be arraigned.’ anyone confirmed to have a link with the violence would be arraigned. It is either crimi-
nals change their ways or relocate from this state. There is no hiding place for them.” Over 30 suspects have been arrested by the police since the incident occurred last week. The factional leaders of the union, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (a.k.a. Tokyo) and Mr. Mukaila Lamidi (aka Auxilliary) have been declared wanted for failing to honour an invitation to meet with top officers of the command over the incident. Normalcy has since returned to the town as stern-looking policemen were deployed to maintain peace.
ICPC sues Ibadan college provost, bursar over workers’ pay T
HE Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has sued the princpal and bursar of the Federal Cooperative College, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government by presenting casual workers as permanent staff of the college. They are facing an eightcount-charge at an Ibadan High Court.
The charge sheet alleged that the accused presented 41 casual workers as permanent staff in the 2005 budget of the college. The workers were allegedly presented for benefits and emoluments totaling N7,041,861.15, while they were only entitled to N3,690,000. It was learnt that some ca-
sual workers petitioned the ICPC about the alleged fraud, stating that their status had been casual for several years with a fixed pay of N7,500 monthly. They said the principal told them in February, 2007, that the college had been receiving their full salary, but could not pay them because the government was yet to
regularise their employments. The workers alleged that when they attended a pre-retirement seminar in Akure, the Ondo State capital, their letters of employment showed that they were regarded as permanent staff by the government. The principal denied the allegations in her statement. The absence of the judge stalled hearing in the case yesterday.
School: Christians reject Ogun Assembly’s decision
HE Christian community in Ogun State has rejected the resolution of the House of Assembly, under the leadership of former Speaker Tunji Egbetokun, which reversed the return of secondary schools to missionaries. The schools, 23 of them, were returned to their original owners in 2009 by the past administration of Gbenga Daniel. But the lawmakers, at a
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
plenary session last week, reversed the decision, arguing that the owners were handsomely compensated in 1976. The lawmakers said the law, which empowered the government to take over the schools, is still in force. Egbetokun said the law has to be repealed or amended by the Assembly before the schools can be
returned. He said it was illegal of Daniel to unilaterally return the schools. Yesterday at a news conference jointly addressed by the Anglican Communion, African, Methodist and Catholic churches, Rev. Alfred Martins said they were “aggrieved and angered” by the reversal. He said: “We reject and condemn this move with all our strength.” They said when the
schools were returned to them in 2009, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government and urged the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun to respect the contract. They vowed to use every legitimate means to defend the said contract, adding that “if this position of reversal is pursued, it might inhibit the continuity of the harmonious relationship the state enjoys.”
WIFE of the Ekiti State governor Mrs. Bisi Fayemi has said the global ranking of Nigeria as having the second highest maternal mortality rate is dangerous. She said measures such as the Multiple Birth Trust Fund (MBTF) and Ekiti Development Foundation were aimed at reversing the trend. Mrs. Fayemi spoke yesterday at the School of Nursing Auditorium in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, during the launch of MBTF. She said the government has set aside funds in the 2011 Budget to cater for those with multiple births. Mrs. Fayemi is the President of the African Women Development Fund (AWDF), which has helped over 800 women in 42 countries. She said she set up the MBTF to prevent women from dying from complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth. Mrs. Fayemi said: “I don’t think it is good for us to fold our arms and allow these poor people to suffer because of God’s blessings.”
‘We’ve addressed Badagry Army/ Police clash’ By Titilayo Banjoko
HE Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Hafiz Ringim, has
said the clash between the Police and Army at Badagry, Lagos State, in which three senior police officers were killed, has been addressed. The IG spoke yesterday at the inauguration of the multi-million naira building for the Police Microfinance Bank at Obalende, Lagos. The bank is named after a former IGP, Mr. Aliyu Attah. Ringim said: “We have addressed the issue with the Chief of Army Staff. We discussed the way forward and jointly addressed our respective services. We as-
sured all of fair play when a common matter afflicts us. I assure you that those who committed the crime will be punished.” Declining to comment on the fate of the three police officers said to have ignited the imbroglio, who were arrested by the Army, Ringim said: “I can only assure you of our commitment to see this case to the end. “Whether the three policemen that were arrested have been found culpable or not, the true picture of what really happened will be found out and those behind the shameful act will be brought to book.” On claims that some of his men were not happy about his statement, which allegedly exonerated the soldiers said to have perpetuated the act, the IGP said everyone is innocent until proven guilty by the law. He urged those of his men who could identify any soldier involved in the clash to come forward.
Ondo communities seek more councils From Damisi Ojo, Akure
HE agitation for the creation of more local government councils in Ondo State was yesterday intensified as four communities in Ose Local Government Area called for the creation of Irekari local government. The communities are Idoani, Afo, Idogun and Imeri. Addressing a news conference, the spokesman of the communities, Major-General Olufemi Olutoye (rtd), said the creation of more local governments would aid development. He said the agitation started in 1949 and urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to consider their demand. The government has set up a committee on the creation of additional local governments. It is headed by a retired civil servant, Ola Ajetunmobi. The committee members are presently on a tour of the 18 local governments.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
NEWS NAFDAC boss donates N10m equipment
ACN urges probe of deaths at Kwara T PDP office
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday urged approFrom Uja Emmanuel, priate authorities to probe Makurdi the May 27 death of some people at the Kwara State THE Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign office to Drug Administration and prevent a recurrence. Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul In a statement in Ilorin, the Orhii has donated hospital state capital, by its National equipment worth over Publicity Secretary, Alhaji N10million to the Lessel General Hospital in Ushongo Lai Mohammed, ACN said the probe would unravel local government of Benue the cause of the tragedy, deState. The equipment included an termine whether or not it could have been avoided ambulance, a generator and and identify those who confurniture. tributed to it. He also donated relief It said a probe had become materials, including beds and necessary because of the children’s toys worth claim by the government N3million to the NKST Hosthat only two people died, pital, Mkar, in Gboko Local Government. Orhii promised to augment the salaries of three National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving at the Lessel General Hospital and take over the payment of salaries of five nurses and the ambulance driver. Orhii said the donation to the orphanage home at Mkar was his contribution to boost the inmates’ morale and make them live a worthy life. He promised to install a recreational facility at the orphanage, urging the management to ensure its proper use.
NEMA releases framework for disaster management From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
THE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Director-General, Alhaji Sani Sidi, has released the new framework for immediate response to disaster management. He stressed the need for adequate procedures and systems to deal with disaster before it happens. Sidi spoke during the signing of the document “National Disaster Management Framework” (NDMF) in Abuja, saying care must be taking to coordinate the effective use of resources, both human and physical for saving of lives and property. He said: “The National Disaster Management Framework is supposed to provide the foundation for the development and sustenance of such plans, procedures and systems. “In recognition of this fact, NEMA being the focal coordinating agency of the Federal Government for disaster management took the initiative to work out strategies towards achieving a sound and effective framework that would bring together the plans of all relevant disaster Management agencies for the purpose of coordination for seamless operation of disaster management activities. “The NDMF offers a holistic approach to disaster management. It serves as a legal instrument to address the need for consistency among multiple stakeholders. It is a coherent, transparent and inclusive policy for disaster management in Nigeria.
when it was common knowledge that the exceeded 70. ACN said: “Since the stampede in which the innocent souls perished was not the first of its kind in the state, it is necessary to find the root causes of such a senseless wastage of precious lives. If the death of over 30 people at the same venue last year, around the time of Eid-El-Kabir festival, had been properly investigated, this year’s deaths could have been avoided.” The party expressed shock at the government’s attitude over the issue, saying the
death of even one person should be of concern to any government. It added that the welfare and security of citizens are the raison d’etre of any government. “The reason over 70 innocent people were crushed to death in a stampede for handouts of cash and clothes cannot be unconnected with the mass poverty in Kwara, where the PDP government in the state has over the years impoverished the people with poor governance and the utter neglect of issues that can ensure better life for the masses.
“Only such crass poverty, which has been the lot of Kwarans under the PDP, can explain why hundreds of people will throng the socalled ‘Mandate House’ campaign office of the PDP for a mere pittance and cheap clothes. It is clear that the Abdulfatah Ahmed administration will be a continuation of the do-nothing Bukola Saraki administration. “We, therefore, urge the people of the state to work towards employing all democratic means to lift the yoke on their heads and put in place a government that will meet their yearnings and stop them from being reduced to pan-handlers.”
Three more Borno blast victims dead From Abiodun Joseph, Maiduguri
HREE more victims of Tuesday’s explosions in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have died at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). This brings to 14 the number of casualties. Nine people are being treated at the hospital of the injuries they sustained in the attack. The government has promised to compensate the victims. Governor Kashim Shettima spoke when he visited some of the places affected by the blasts. These included St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and the Dandal Police Station. He said: “We want to reiterate that what happened on Tuesday was unfortunate and we pray that we don’t witness such again. We will reach out to the families of the deceased and we want them to accept our sincere condolences.”
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•Chief Patrick Sunny Kenteb (left) receiving Mr Ernest Ndukwe (right) at the presentation of the former’s biography at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos...yesterday. With them is Mr Isah Clark. PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI
Expectant mother, others killed in Taraba
N expectant mother and two men, including her boyfriend, have been killed in Karim-Lamido Local Government of Taraba State. Eyewitnesses said the eight-month-old expectant Vasty Danladi, 16, died during an abortion. She was said to have been taken to a “chemist” identified as Mr. Abdulrazaq, by her boyfriend, Caleb anthony. Her father, Mr. Daniel Danladi, said he learnt that Anthony of Tonjo community impregnated his daughter and promised to marry
From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
her. But Anthony allegedly took Vasty to the “chemist” to abort the foetus. Vasty’s body was said to have been discovered at an uncompleted government building few metres from the Divisional Police Headquarters. Danladi said: “Her head was cut off; her breast, the foetus and other vital organs were removed.” Anthony was arrested and detained at the Police Divisional Headquarters, but an-
gry youths, believed to be Vasty’s relatives, reportedly stormed the place and lynched him. It was learnt that the youths torched Anthony’s house and killed Abdulrazaq. When our correspondent visited the area yesterday, Vasty’s decomposing headles body was still at the uncompleted building. It was gathered that Anthony’s remains had been buried. His neighbours deserted the area after his home was razed. Karimjo and Jonjo communities have been thrown into
mourning following the incident. The communities would have clashed but for the intervention of the Council Chairman, Mr. Idi Mali, who told The Nation that he held a meeting for tighter security to avert a communal crisis. Vasty’s father accused a Divisional Police Officer (DPO), whose name he gave as Alhaji Mahmud, of collecting N4,000 from him when he reported that his daughter was missing. He said: “When I discovered her headless body and informed him, the DPO refused to go and examine it.”
Kano panel urges Kwankwaso to probe Shekarau
HE Kano State Transition Committee raised by Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso has urged him to investigate the finances of his predecessor’s administration. The probe will enable Kwankwaso to authenticate the claim of financial impropriety against the former governor Ibrahim Shekarau administartion, the panel said. Chairman of the 26-man committee Alhaji Ado Gwaram spoke in Kano when he submitted the panel’s report to Kwankwaso.
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
He accused the Shekarau administration of completing only one of the 200 housing units, even after disbursing $1.4million to a Malaysian firm. Gwaram said the former government started the construction of 34 of the proposed 200 housing units and completed only one. He urged the government to investigate the anomalies that allegedly characterised the last administration’s performance, saying it left over N827.4million in
liabilities and incurred $135.86million debt. Gwaram noted that the outstanding liabilities, in recurrent and capital expenditures left by the Shekarau administration, stood at N76.8billion, with hotel bills alone of N4.2billion. He said there were discrepancies in the monthly wage bills presented to the committee by the former Head of Service (HOS) and the one tendered by the former Accountant-General. The figure provided by the HOS was N2.686 billion and
that of the Accountant-General, N3.026 billion, he said. According to him, the former HOS gave the figure of the civil service workforce as 40,000 but the former Accountant-General’s was 42,000. Kwankwaso said he would study the recommendations and take appropriate actions. He promised that the actions and decisions of his administration would be predicated on honesty to disabuse the minds of those who alleged that his administartion was out to witch-hunt some individuals.
ulated the lawmakers on their inauguration, promising to create an enabling environment for effective legislation. He said: “For us in the executive arm, we will continue to play a vital role of carrying government business in the right direction and ensuring that we work within the confines of what the law provides. “This will allow for a smooth relationship between the executive and legislature, because we cannot carry governance all alone; it has to be complimentary.” The governor expressed satisfaction with the leadership of the Assembly, saying it would enhance quality legislation and build on the achievements of the past Assembly. He said his administration had taken steps to ensure the development of all sectors of the economy to enable the residents reap the dividends of democracy.
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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
NEWS Niger to build Minna-Abuja rail
HE Niger State Government will construct and run rail services between Minna, the state capital, and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Governor Babangida Aliyu said yesterday. Aliyu spoke in Minna when he inaugurated 50 buses under the Federal Governmentassisted Mass Transit Scheme. He said the government was looking for investors that it would partner to actualise the project. According to him, necessary structures are in place to ensure that the investors derive optimum benefits from their partnership with the government. The governor added that the rehabilitation of rail tracks between Minna and Kaduna would soon be completed. Aliyu said once the rail, water, road and air transport infrastructure were in place,
From Justina Asishana, Minna
the state would become investors’ destination of choice, adding that the government would use the infrastructure to improve the people’s quality of life. The governor said his administration was prepared to assist the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to buy vehicles for mass transit operations. He expressed dismay over abandoned vehicles on highways and the way the drivers flouted the laws. Aliyu said relevant government agencies had been directed to punish anyone caught violating highway codes and regulations. He said four new trailer parks would be built across the state to check incessant accidents caused by indiscriminate parking of heavy duty vehicles.
ASUP set for nationwide solidarity strike
HE National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Mr. Mohammed Ali Kabir, yesterday said members of the union were set for a nationwide solidarity strike with the Plateau State chapter of the union, which had been on strike since October, last year. The workers are demanding the implementation of the new salary structure approved by the Federal Government for lecturers of polytechnics and colleges of education. Kabir addressed reporters in Jos, the state capital, when he attended a press briefing organised by the Zone ‘B’ of the union, comprising nine of the 19 northern states. Presenting the text of the conference, the Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Hussaini Abubakar, urged the government to resolve the dispute for the sake
•Police arrest protesting students From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos
of the students, their parents and the state. He noted that the body could not remain aloof when unfolding events were threatening the welfare of its members and the education sector. Abubakar said: “The high pedestal on which Plateau education was placed, is frittering away. The state-owned tertiary institutions have been closed for almost eight months over very clear issues that could be settled in less than 90 minutes. “Every salary meant for federal polytechnics must be implemented by the states because state governments do not have the scheme of service for their tertiary institutions other than the federal schemes
they have adopted. “Our members are employed, promoted and disengaged based on a Federal Government scheme of service ‘meant for federal polytechnics’ and all our programmes are regulated by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and not state ministries of Education. The reasoning follows that you pay such workers based on the scheme of service you have adopted to engage them.” “Of all the nine states in Zone ‘B’ of ASUP, it is only Plateau State that is having a problem with and arguing against the implementation of this salary package. We have the support of the national body that until the package is implemented, the strike would not be suspended.”
On the government accusation that the unions were seeking to evade tax, Abubakar urged the government to “consider the issue of this tax regime and apply the most appropriate taxation that will be acceptable and be seen to have been done in good faith.” He urged the Union members to “resist a selective tax regime until truth is done and justice enthroned”. ASUP Chairman at the State Polytechnic, Mr. Victor Dawurung, urged the government to offer what it could pay to the workers instead of resorting to a campaign of calumny aimed at using “passive members to break the rank of the union and dissuade them from achieving our legitimate rights.” The conference was attended by states under ASUP Zone ‘B’.
Kwankwaso to fish out ghost workers From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
ANO State Government will fish out ghost workers from the state civil service, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso said yesterday. The governor spoke in Kano, the state capital, at the swearing-in of eight permanent secretaries. He said his administration would embark on staff audit to ascertain the real figure of the work force since the Office of the Head of Service (HOS) and that of the Accountant-General presented inconsistent figures on the state’s monthly wage bill. Kwankwaso said: “The Office of the Head of Service and that of the Accountant-General gave conflicting figures of 40,000 and 42,000 workers respectively. This is an embarrassment, and it is unacceptable. We are going to sanitise the civil service and authenticate the actual number of our workers. “If we do this, we would save more money to meet the high expectations of our people.” Describing the civil servants as partners in progress, Kwankwaso assured them that the government would build a result-oriented civil service. He urged the new permanent secretaries to discharge their responsibilities diligently and honestly, advising them to know that the residents had high expectations from them. The new permanent secretaries are Muhammad Anwar Na’iya, for the Ministry of Local Government Affairs; Dayyabu Gano, Lands and Physical Planning; Adda’u Lawan Kutaman, Protocol; and Muhammad Dankadai Ibrahim, Water Resources.
Saraki cautions on Tambuwal From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
ORMER Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki yesterday urged Nigerians not to make a big issue out of the election of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Addressing reporters in Ilorin, the former governor acknowledged that Tambuwal’s election was against the zoning arrangement of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the benefits Nigerians would derive from it were more important. He said: “The House of Representatives’ members, from their own assessment
and beliefs, decided to elect a particular person as the Speaker. From my own interaction with the Speaker, when he was the Deputy Whip, he is somebody who is competent for the job. Though their (Reps’) decision is not what the party would have liked, but we should not make a big issue out of this. “What is important is for the House and Nigerians to benefit from his leadership. We have to begin to accept all that is good for us as a country. Looking at what happened at the presidential primaries, they have a right to decide what is good for them. My view is that we must always respect the view of the majority. “We should not perpetually put the country in a situation. Elections are over; it is now time for developing Nigeria with infrastructure and security issues. What is important is for everybody to rally round the government, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, to succeed, rather than dissipating energy on the consequences on power rotation.”
•From right: Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; House of Assembly Speaker, Dr Adewale Omirin; and Acting Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola at a stakeholders’ forum on the state’s finances in Ado-Ekiti... yesterday.
25 churches burnt in Niger, says CAN
HE Niger State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday said 25 churches, not seven, were burnt in the state during the post-election violence in parts of the North. It faulted the Police figure that only seven churches and eight mosques were destroyed. CAN said no mosque was torched or destroyed, adding that two people died in the crisis in the state. Addressing reporters in Minna, the state capital, CAN Chairman, Rev. Musa Dada said after the April 18 mayhem in Minna and Kampanin
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
Bobi, in Mariga Local Government, the association investigated and documented 25 destroyed churches. CAN said: “The day after the incident, CAN investigated and visited the sites of churches that were affected and, contrary to the Police report that only seven churches were affected, our findings showed that 25 were burnt, destroyed or vandalised on that day in Minna and Kampanin Bobi towns.” It said 22 of the affected churches were in Minna and
three in Kampanin Bobi. The association absolved its youths of complicity in the crisis, urging the Police to prove wtheir involvement. It said Christian youths did not attack any mosque, adding: “If the Police say mosques were affected in Niger State, we demand that the locations of such mosques be made public.” CAN said it compiled the list of affected churches, and gave it to a committee set up by the government to investigate the violence. It said: “For us, the names, locations, photographs and
video clips of the affected churches are available for verification. This, however, does not include individuals who were also affected, but if the Police have the list(s) of affected mosques, let them make it public.” The association alleged that 11 of the suspects arrested during the crisis had been released by the Police. CAN said: “We have compiled the list of 11 suspects arrested for attacking our members in Kampanin Bobi and have since been released, when there are proofs against them.”
Kwara ACN berates PDP over House Rules
HE Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday criticised the Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Yemi Afolayan, for justifying the amendment of the House of Assembly’s rules barring the opposition from occupying leadership position. Afolayan, who was the Chairman, House Committee on Information, reportedly said the amendment was a replication of the Senate’s position, which disallows fresh lawmakers from occupying leadership positions.
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
In a statement by its Chairman, Kayode Olawepo, ACN described the Assembly’s position and that of Afolayan as confusing. The statement reads in part: “While Yemi Afolayan claims that the House is replicating the position of the Senate, that no fresher will occupy any leadership seat, the House itself is claiming that the rule was made in December, 2008. Whichever way you look at it, it shows Kwara PDP is confused, clueless and self-
ish. The PDP-led House should know that the position of House Minority Leader is not a jamboree. “The House Minority Leader, in all democratic convention, is to lead his fellow opposition members to articulate at all times necessary, the policy position of their party on the floor of the House. He is to lead his colleague(s) to offer alternative view on whatever issues being discussed in the House. “The position of the Minority Leader serves a very big purpose of giving voice to the minority in the
House. Our democracy is modelled after America’s representative democracy. There, the House Minority Leader serves as the minority party’s counterpart to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. “A Representative is elected to the post by the minority party caucus. The Minority Leader speaks for the minority party and its policies, strives to protect the minority’s rights, and devises parliamentary strategies and tactics for maximising the influence of the minority party on legislative outcomes.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
NEWS Enugu doctors suspend strike
TRIKING medical doctors in Enugu State yesterday suspended their six- months strike. President of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Dr Okey Ogbodo made this known yesterday in a letter to the governor. Ogbodo congratulated Governor Sullivan Chime on his inauguration and assured of the doctor’s support to the implementation of health policies. He urged the governor to implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) to enhance health care delivery. The letter reads in part: “In response to your appeal during your inaugural speech on May 29 concerning the industrial action by health workers, we the members of the Association of Resident Doctors have suspended the ongoing industrial action. “ We appeal to you to implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) to enhance effective and efficient health care delivery. We congratulate you on your victory in the last April election and successful inauguration. “We assure you of our support toward effective health care delivery in the state.” Governor Chime hailed the doctors for their action and reiterated his administration’s commitment to promoting their welfare.
Police declare 18 wanted over Anambra communal crisis
HE Anambra State Police Command yesterday declared 18 persons wanted over the crisis in Obosi community in Idemili North local government. The police have arrested the brain behind the mayhem Omezie Chukwurah (aka Governor Obosi). He said he was released after interrogation. Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Mike Okoli confirmed the arrest of Chukwurah and 18 others. He also confirmed that thirty persons have reportedly died in the crisis in which properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
According to police spokesperson, Emeka Chukwuemeka, an assistant superintendent, those declared wanted are: Nonso Iwegbuna, Onyinye Nwenem , Azubugwu Agagwu, Nwabueze Onyeagom, Chijioke Ejindu, Tochukwu Nebo, Celestine Okwudebo, Mmadu Abughichukwu, Onyebuchi Onwurah, Nnoma Nwofia, Onyebuchi Aghanti, Ikechukwu Aguegbo, Obichukwu Anyafulu, Ifeanyi Ibeakuzie, Ugochukwu Nwobi, Ibebuaku Amechi, Ifeanyi Onwurah and Onyebuchi Onuorah. Chukwuemeka urged the
‘We have discovered that some persons who were involved in the crisis are still at large and we are determined to bringing all persons directly or indirectly responsible for the crisis to book.’ public to volunteer information to the police to facilitate the arrest of the fleeing suspects. He said: “The Anambra State Police Command has
waded into the Obosi crisis, we have deployed police officers in the community and so far about 19 persons have been arrested and charged to court. “We have discovered that some persons who were involved in the crisis are still at large and we are determined to bringing all persons directly or indirectly responsible for the crisis to book. “We have declared some persons wanted because they refused to answer our call.” Former Commonwealth Secretary- General Emeka Anyaoku, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Osita Chidoka and Governor Peter Obi are making efforts to resolve the crisis.
•The suspected kidnappers of Rev. Chikaodi Elendu and her aide, Ogochukwu Osueke.
Abia SSS parades five suspected kidnappers
HE State Security Services (SSS) in Abia State yesterday paraded five suspected kidnappers who allegedly attempted to kidnap Rev. Chikaodi Elendu and Ogochukwu Osueke on April 13 at Ozuabam in Arochukwu local government. Director of SSS Mathew Obodoechi confirmed their arrests. Obodoechi said: “We want to assure the people of the readiness of the SSS to curb kidnapping and armed robbery. The suspects are: Udochukwu Peter, Peter Kalu, Kelechi Dike, Ugochukwu George Nwankpa and Chisokwu Azubike.
From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
He said the suspects demanded N3 million ransom. “Following the pressure from my men, the women were released on April 20 and our investigation led to the arrests of five suspects at
various locations.” He said the suspects have admitted committing the crime. Obodoechi appealed to the public to volunteer information to the SSS, adding: “We are not spirits but human beings and we need such infor-
mation to operate. That is the only way we can succeed in fighting crimes.” He warned criminals to desist from the illicit trade or be ready to face the wrath of security agencies. The suspects prayed for God’s forgiveness.
Orji swears in SSG, others
HE Governor of Abia State Theodore Orji yesterday swore in Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG). He also swore in other principal officers. Orji urged them to bring their wealth of experience to bear in the discharge of their duties. He said their appointments would shape the direction of his administration. The governor urged the former Commissioner for Education and university
From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
don to be alive to his responsibilities , adding that he must not fail in the coordination of government policies. Orji also announced the appointment of Donatus Okorie (Chief of Staff), Bonnie Iwuoha(Media Adviser), Director of Protocol( Anyaso Anyaso) and Charles Ogbonnaya( retained his position as Deputy Chief f Staff).
Ex-minister laments nation’s dwindling value system F
ORMER Minister of Information and National Orientation Chukwuemeka Chikelu has lamented the dearth of noble personalities among public officers . He noted a reversal in the nation’s value system, adding that people now acquire reputation by mere occupation of public offices. Chikelu spoke in Lagos yesterday at the launch of
By Eric Ikhilae
the biography of one of the nation’s foremost telecommunications engineers, Patrick Sunny Kentebe, who retired last year as a Commissioner and Board member of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC). The book is entitled: “The journey of selfless telecoms service.
He said the socio-economic crises in the country to military incursion into power. Chikelu, who described the book as a trajectory through the nation’s telecoms history, said the crisis witnessed in the country today resulted from the truncation of the careers of the bulk of the nation’s fin-
est officers in the military. He was represented by Dr. Okey Ikechukwu of the National Institute of Leadership and Governance. He praised Kentebe and his likes for their contributions to the growth of the telecoms sector. Former Executive Chairman, NCC, Ernest Ndukwe eulogised Kentebe, noting that he contributed 45 years of his life to the telecoms industry.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10 , 2011
Corps members’ kidnappers demand N100m
HE kidnappers of five National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Rivers State have demanded N100 million ransom. It was gathered that the kidnappers contacted their families and asked them to bring the money to be an undisclosed spot. The victims are four women and one man. Worried family members met with the NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs. Esther
•Kidnapped Edo Deputy Governor’s father-in-law rescued From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt and Osagie Otabor, Benin
Wogbo, at the Secretariat on Ikwerre Road. It was learnt that two of the corps members are married and their husbands also met with Mrs. Wogbo. Mrs. Wogbo, in a telephone interview, confirmed that ransom was demanded from the families. She said the police and the
State Security Service (SSS) were working to rescue the youths. Some corps members pleaded with the gunmen to release their colleagues. They said the incident could discourage others from accepting to serve in Rivers and other parts of the Niger Delta. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam said the command is on the trail of the
Imoke assents to six bills From Kunle Johnson, Calabar
ROSS River State Governor Liyel Imoke has assented to six Executive Bills critical to the successful implementation of the government’s social development agenda. The bills were passed by the Assembly shortly before the dissolution of the Third Legislature of the Fourth Republic last week. The bills are: Community and Social Development Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2011, Cross River State Border Communities Development Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2011, Cross River State Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2011, Cross River State Signage and Advertisement Agency Bill. 2011, Cross River University of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2011, and Cross River State Revenue Administration Bill, 2011. The bills are intended to address challenges inherent in the full implementation of the administration’s Seven-Point Development Agenda, and its avowed determination to bring the government to those who need it most.
Rivers traffic agency impounds 570 cars From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
HE Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA--RIV) has impounded 570 cars for disobeying traffic laws. TIMA-RIV Controller-General Nelson Jaja said the agency had obtained a court injunction to sell 41 of the cars because it had spent more than three months with the agency. Jaja spoke yesterday at a briefing in Port Harcourt. He said 40 TIMA-RIV officials have been dismissed for bribery and corruption. His words: “We have spent one year speaking with motorists, traders and transport unions. We are commencing enforcement tomorrow (today). “Traders have converted Port Harcourt to one big market. They have taken over the roads and pedestrian walk ways with their wares. “We were initially seizing their wares, but they would still come back. We do not want to see traders 20 to 25 metres to road junctions and intersections. They must also not trade on the pedestrian walkways. “Commercial drivers, who have converted junctions and intersections to motor parks, must desist forthwith. Otherwise, their vehicles will be impounded.”
kidnappers. The youth corps members were kidnapped on Tuesday at Omademe in Ikwerre Local Government. They were leaving Omademe, where they went to inspect a library they built for the Community Secondary School, as part of their community development projects, preparatory to their passing out next Thursday. In another development, Security operatives have rescued the father in-law of Edo State Deputy Governor, Felix Okungbowa, who was kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Tuesday. Okungbowa was said to have been rescued after an attempt by the kidnappers to collect a N10million ransom
failed. Sources said Okungbowa was taken to a bush in Okabere, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government. One of the suspected kidnappers was said to have been shot dead by security operatives during the operation. They said two other suspects were later arrested at different locations. Okungbowa was abandoned in the bush where he was rescued. The kidnappers fled on learning that the police had discovered their hideout. He was taken to the office of the Deputy Governor by security operatives. Police spokesman Peter Ogboi said he was yet to be briefed.
Cross River fire displaces 39
•Senator Chris Ngige addressing a crowd at a reception in his honour after his inaguration in Abuja
MIDNIGHT inferno has engulfed a nineroom apartment at No. 125 Goldie Street, Calabar, the Cross River State capital, displacing 39 persons. Property worth millions of naira, including electronics, sewing machines, furniture, clothes and cash were destroyed. The victims are now living miserably as they are clamped into two of the rooms not so badly affected. The inferno was attributed to sparks from electrical appliances from one of the rooms. A victim, Effiong Edem(31), said he was aroused from sleep by shouts from his neighbour. He said he woke up to see his room filled with smoke and in the ensuing confusion he could hardly find his way out of his bedroom. His words: “I was not my-
From Kunle Johnson, Calabar
self as I was searching for the door. “By the time I found it, I was already choking and with the energy left in me, I simply threw myself out of the room. “Outside it was a different fearful sight as the entire environment was lit with the devastating fire burning down everything.” Another victim, Otu Sunday (41), said he lost everything. The Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Vincent Aquah, bemoaned the destruction caused by the fire. Aquah urged the victims to remain calm and hopeful as government would urgently respond to their situation.
Ex-militants to Jonathan: we want Kuku back
OLLOWING the dissolution of the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta by President Goodluck Jonathan, ex-militants have started canvassing for the re-appointment of Kinsley Kuku. The President of the Association for Non-Violence in the Niger Delta, Kennedy Tonjo-West, yesterday said appointing another person would destroy the peace between the ex-militants and the government. The ex-militants, accord-
From Gbenga Omokhunu and Olugbenga Adanikiu, Abuja
ing to Tonjo-West, see Kuku as someone who can drive the programme to a logical conclusion, adding that the President should avoid politicising it. He said: “There have been rumours on plans to appoint Kuku as a minister in the new cabinet. “Kuku has been a major voice for youths in the area so the appointment would not favour us. “It looks as if they want
to politicise the amnesty programme and if they are going to do that, it is not going to pay. “That is one area where the government must not compromise. “Kuku was a pioneer member of the Ijaw Youths Council. He was also a former spokesperson of the Ijaw Youth Council. “He has been in the creek, he has not deviated from the intellectual aspect of it and is still very rugged. “He is very frank with his brothers and then yet you want to politicise a person
Clark condemns alleged corruption in NDDC
HE Southsouth Peoples Assembly (SSPA) has condemned alleged financial impropriety in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The Assembly’s National leader, Chief Edwin Clark, blamed corruption for the lack of development in the region. He called on President Goodluck Joanthan to direct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Com-
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
mission (EFCC) to investigate the commission. In a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting, the Assembly said the anti-graft agencies need “to be alive to their responsibilities to investigate the allegations of financial impropriety.” It urged all elected and appointed leaders to conduct their affairs and discharge their duties with transparency to enhance the peace, unity and stability in Nigeria. Clark urged the Presiden-
tial Committee on the Post Election Violence to dispassionately, thoroughly and speedily discharge its duties to identify the remote and immediate causes of the hostilities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. He commended the National Assembly for the matured and peaceful conduct of the elections of their principal officers culminating in the emergence of David Mark as Senate President and Aminu Tambuwal as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
like that. “It is going to jeopardise this government so we are begging the government not to politicise the programme. “We want to use this medium to enjoin our brothers who have dropped their arms to continue as amnesty has come to stay. “Mr. President should call Kinsley Kuku back . “The issue of militancy is not something that you have to wait to go through the process of ministerial screening. “We believe that an issue sensitive as this should not be left unattended to. “The boys want Kuku back because they are expressing anxiety that it is Kuku or no other person.”
INEC declares winner of Burutu election From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Ughelli
THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Kennedy Daubry winner of the Burutu Constituency II House of Assembly election held on April 26. Announcing the results at the INEC office, Asaba, Delta State, the Returning Officer, Paul Opone said Daubry of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 10,174 votes to defeat six others. The others are: Kennedy Orubebe of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) 9,981 votes; Neamah Ekioebimine of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) 501 votes; Pudiya Biakpara of the Justice Party (JP) 136 votes; Alabor Odikeme of the National Conscience Party (NCP) four votes. Opone said the delay in announcing the result was caused by inconclusive election in some units, adding that a rerun was held, which was inconclusive. “I am announcing the results today because I received a letter from the commission to finish collation and announce the result today,” he said. He explained further that he only announced the results from 12 of the 16 units in the constituency. He noted that three units were cancelled due to duplication of results sheets. Opone said the last one was cancelled because presiding officer didnot submit the result to the Supervisory Presiding Officer (SPO).
Lawmaker loses father-in-law From Osagie Otabor, Benin
THE joy that greeted the inauguration of Samson Osagie as a member of the House of Representatives, representing Uhunmwode Federal Constituency in Edo State, has turned to sorrow. His father-in-law and driver died in a road accident while returning from the inauguration in Abuja. The father-in-law was simply identified as Igbinegie and the driver as Idiahi Benson. Seven other persons, including Osagie’s father, were injured in the accident that occurred on the BeninAuchi Road. Sources said the accident occurred after the back tyre of the Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) they were travelling in bursted and somersaulted. Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Henry Olatunji confirmed the incident.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Mark, Tambuwal meet Sambo
From Dele Anofi, Abuja
ENATE President David Mark and House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal yesterday pledged their loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan. It was at a meeting with Vice-President Namadi Sambo at the State House. Mark said the meeting was not only to pledge the loyalty of the National Assembly to the Federal Government but also to show that the Assembly has no friction with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the election of its principal officers and the inauguration of the seventh National Assembly. “We came to see the Vice President. It is normal courtesy call. I think that is normal, the National Assembly just finished, we have to allocate offices and we still work till the last day offices have to be allocated to the new members who are coming and we have to get the chambers ready. So, we are doing a lot” the Senate President said. He also noted that the relationship between the NASS, the PDP and the executive were cordial: “Very cordial, very normal. We just met with the Vice-President and we are going to work together for the common interest of Nigerians”. On insinuations that the party is not happy with the Assembly, he said. “That was before, not now but we are here to pay respect and meet with the Vice-President”.
NYSC stops posting of Corps members to crisis-prone areas
YO State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr Gabriel Ibe has announced that the management of the corps will no longer post corps members to crisis-prone areas in the country. He made the announcement in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital yesterday when he led top members of his staff on a courtesy visit to the wife of the governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi. Ibe said each state coordinator had been directed by the management of the Corps not to post any Corps member to any crisis-prone area in the country, adding that the directive would take effect with the next deployment of Corps members on July 7. He noted that the security and safety of lives of Corps members had been the major challenge of the scheme in recent time, stressing that the Corps was taking appropriate steps to secure the lives and property of Corps members posted to the state. Ibe said the visit was to felicitate with Ajimobi on the victory of her husband in the April governorship election, and to also formally introduce the scheme to her. He assured her of NYSC’s readiness to assist the state in manpower development. “We have a large resource of manpower in all disciplines, either in the areas of charity and entertainment. We are ready to serve and ensure that Oyo State benefits immensely in whatever area you want to utilise us,’’ Ibe said.
•Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Devlin Hainsworth (middle) endorsing the United Nations Decade of Action Card on Road Safety in Abuja. With him are Corps Marshal Osita Chidoka (right), Assistant Corps Marshal Ojeme Ewrudjakpor and FRSC’s Public Education Officer Deputy Corps Marshal Bisi Kazeem
Boko Haram: Fed Govt meets Borno governor, security chiefs
F feelers from a security meeting chaired yesterday by Vice President Namadi Sambo are anything to go by, a permanent solution to Boko Haram insurgency in Borno and some states in the North is underway. At the meeting held at the State House, Abuja were: Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, Chief of De-
From Dele Anofi, Abuja
fence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin; Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Vice-Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, Borno Commissioner of Police M. D. Abubakar, the representatives of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and Inspector-
PUBLIC NOTICE AYEDADE PROCESSED DRIED YAM AND GRAINS TRADERS ASSOCIATIONS OF NIGERIA
The general public is hereby informed that the above name has apply to corporate affair commission Abuja for registration under part C of the Company and Allied Matter Act No 1 of 1990 THE TRUSTEES ARE 1. Pa .Rev. Fagbemi Jacob Adebayo 2. Dr. Aree Adetutu Odunsi 3. Mr.Akinwale Jimoh 4. Mrs. Kuburat Lawal AIMS AND OBJECTIVE • To provide unity and love among others • To provide welfare assistance to the farmers and the public Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to RegistrarGeneral, Corporate Affairs commission, plot 420, Tigris crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi street,PMB 198, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: Mr Akinwale Jimoh
PUBLIC NOTICE MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP ORPHANAGE AND CARE CENTRE This is to notify the general public that the above named organization has applied to corporate affairs commission Abuja for registration under part 'C' of the companies and allied matters act 1 of 1990. TRUSTEES ARE: 1) Rev. fr. Frances Xavier Ekwugha......President 2) Rev. fr. Patrick Mbara 3) Barrister Bede Uchenna Ekwugha 4) Mrs. Rita Ngozi Opara 5) Ms Graace Chinyere Thomas AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1) To offer safety and hope to children of families in crisis and orphans through residential and non-residential care and other related services. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama Abuja within 28 days of this publication Signed: REV. FR FRANCES XAVIER EKWUGHA (President)
‘For those that are willing to lay down their arms, I believe the Federal Government and the state government will be very magnanimous’ General of Police (IGP). Though, the meeting held in camera, Shettima, who spoke with reporters, gave an overview of the strategies being planned by the Federal Government to end what he called a political problem. He said: “Actually, we are here to have discussions with the Vice President and other security chiefs on security challenges we are facing in Borno. “We had fruitful discussions and we cross-coordinated our ideas on how to address those pending issues and the Vice President has pledged full Federal Government support towards nipping in the bud once and for all the Boko Haram insurrections in the Northeast.” He, however, avoided the conclusions of the meeting on troop’s deployment to curtail the insurgency, saying, “These are things we rather not discuss about. The discussions were fruitful and thank God Boko Haram will be a thing of the past very soon”. The governor, who did not rule out the possibility of entering into dialogue with the Boko Haram sect members, noted that such discussions would have to depend on the commitment
from the banned outfit. His words: “Dialogue is an on-going business. For those that are ready to lay down their arms, the President was very empathic yesterday in New York when he said we were going to apply the carrot and stick approach. “For those that are willing to lay down their arms, I believe the Federal Government and the state government will be very magnanimous. This is an agenda the state government has been championing since we came to power.” On the type of reprieve awaiting those who surrender arms, Shettima said: “It is still premature. Let’s open the line of dialogue, know their grievances and see how we can address them but the line of dialogue is very much open. “Boko Haram, I wish to reiterate, is a political problem and a political problem always need a political solution. Meanwhile, we cannot talk to them from a position of weakness, we have to talk to them from a position of strength and the Federal Government has pledged all the support needed for us to restore peace and tranquility to Borno State and for Borno to restore its lost glory as the home of peace.” The governor declined comment on allegations from the opposition camp in the state that the Boko Haram issue has been politicised, saying; “some of the utterances are contempt, but I don’t want to join issues on such thing. “I am a leader for all the people of Borno irrespective of their political affiliation, religious persuasion and professional background. It is not for me to pass comment and give them the oxygen of relevance by responding to such diatribe.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
FCT Police arrest 1,357 suspected criminals •Seize 52 bags of Indian hemp From Sanni Ologun, Abuja
HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command yesterday said it arrested 1,357 suspected criminals from their hideouts in and around Abuja. FCT Commissioner of Police Haruna John, who spoke with reporters, dis-
played items recovered during the exercise tagged: “Operation Storm”. John said 52 bags of Indian hemp, three automatic rifles, eight locally made pistols, four automatic pistols, 14 cartridges, eight live ammunition, 13 motorcycles, nine drums of adulterated diesel, 10 generators and one pumping machine were recovered from the suspected criminals. He said the operation was meant to smoke out those with criminal intents, especially with the rising activities of terrorists now detonating bombs
in some parts of the country. He said the FCT had witnessed the influx of people suspected to be thugs recruited by politicians during the April elections. The Police Commissioner said: “We have since Tuesday embarked on Operation Storm across FCT. So far, 1,357 suspects were arrested at various locations identified as hideouts, criminal joints, and drug joints across the FCT. They are undergoing screening and some of them are already being charged to court. Others are being transferred to other agencies, such as the NDLEA
where further investigation would be conducted before they are prosecuted. “With the inauguration of Mr President, the Vice-President, governors and their deputies, and legislators who were recently elected into these offices, we of the FCT police command are now set to fully return to our regular beats to enforce law and order, arrest, investigate and prosecute offenders and ensure that lives and property are adequately protected. Over the years, we have been able to reduce the rate of crime in the FCT to the barest minimum. “Our response time to distress calls and situations remain prompt and instantaneous. As criminal minded ele-
ments of the society attempt to continue to commit crimes, so also are we unrelenting in our resolve to prevent and arrest them. Every day and night, our patrol teams and operatives arrest all manner of men of the underworld as soon as they try to commit offences or crimes. We foil an average of two robberies every night. “In view of the unfortunate dimension of crime perpetrated by misguided elements using terrorist tactics in some parts of the country, we in the FCT are taking measures in line with comprehensive guidelines issued by the IGP to counter this strange dimension. “The FCT Command in conjunction with our sister in-
Firm denies manipulation in agreement with NNPC, others
N indigenous oil firm, Seven Energy, has denied reports that the process leading to the signing of its Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was manipulated in its favour. The company’s Executive Chairman, Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director, Messrs Phillip Ihenacho, Scott Aitken and Kola Aluko, denied that their company breached due process or any applicable law in the agreement with NNPC. They stressed the company’s commitment to devel-
By Eric Ikhilae
oping the nation’s gas sub-sector through improved investments. Ihenacho said Seven Energy remains committed to its projects and partners, adding that it would not be deterred by what he called orchestrated negative campaign. “We strongly believe that for Nigeria to move forward, the private sector must form professional, constructive partnerships with the public sector corporations, such as NNPC and NPDC in order to mobilise capital and technical resources in support of the development of the resources of Nigeria,” he said.
Aitken said the agreement which the company signed through its subsidiary, Septa Energy, resulted from a three-year discussion with the NNPC, NPDC, and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on how to accelerate development of gas for the domestic market in Nigeria. “This dialogue resulted in an MOU in 2009 with the Ministry of Petroleum, which was then under the previous administration of Dr. Rilwan Lukman, and culminated in the signing of the SAA last year. “The SAA is modelled after other valid service contracts, which NPDC has entered into
with oil majors since 2000, under previous government administrations, which are still operational. “Seven Energy followed the same process with all the requisite approvals by NNPC, NPDC and the ministry. The terms were based on previous valid service contracts and set with reference to objective third-party reserves auditor reports of the fields in question,” he said. Aluko said the SAA did not assign NPDC’s 55 per cent interest to Septa. The terms, he said, provide that Septa funds capital and operational expenditure of the fields, as well as support
the technical resources of NPDC. He added that it would serve as a means for the NPDC to accelerate the funding and development of its fields.
telligence security and safety agencies will continue to synergise in planning and execution of operations that will effectively deter criminals from operating in and around the FCT. “We have increased our patrols and search of suspected hideouts on the highways. In the past two weeks our high way patrol teams twice encountered armed robbers who blocked the road between the airport and Giri junction as well as between Kwali and Abaji. “In the ensuing gun duel, three armed bandits were killed. Others were arrested with gunshot injuries. A number of firearms were recovered. Not less than five were recovered from them in addition to daggers and other things. We always respond to situations even when crimes are not reported or are not actually being committed. Where commuters or travellers at night feel unsafe, we provide them adequate escort.”
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
POLITICS THE NATION
• Senate President David Mark embracing House of Representatives Speaker PHOTO: NAN Aminu Tambuwal who visited him in his office.
• Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Senators Ganiyu Solomon, Oluremi Tinubu and Babafemi Ojudu at an interactive PHOTO: NAN. session with members of the National Assembly in Abuja.
Following the liquidation of zoning on the floor of the House of Representatives, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders are embroiled in another crisis over the election of Majority Leaders in the National Assembly. EMMANUEL OLADESU reports.
Who is the next Senate Leader? T
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in a fix again. Follow ing the rejection of zoning on the floor of the House of Representatives, the sharing of political offices has become more problematic. In the Senate, there is an intense lobbying by some senators who are working underground to ensure that the Senate Leader emerges from the Northeast. The agitation has divided the Upper Chamber. Objecting to the clamour for a ‘Northern Majority Leader’ are senators from the South, who are already queuing behind Senator Victor Udoma-Egba from Cross River State. The senator returned to the Senate for the third time after the April polls. Party tradition dictates that the Senate Leader, who is the head of the PDP caucus in the Senate, should
come from the ruling party. Besides, the party should be disposed to his candidature. Although the election of the Majority Leader is a parliamentary affair, the party usually shows keen interest because he is the liasion officer between it and the Senate. Sources said that many senators who are Moslems want the Senate Leader to be a Moslem. Their argument is that Senate President David Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, are Christians. Mark, who has been in the saddle since 2007, is from the Northcentral. The Deputy Senate President is from the Southeast. PDP leaders, who are worried about the turn of events in the House of Representatives, fear that insubordination to the party leadership may extend to the Upper Chamber. “That is why the party leadership is in constant touch with Mark to
forestall that,” said the source. Prominent Northerners, who were injured by the rejection of zoning during the preparation for the presidential elections, are encouraging senators from the region to take a pound o flesh. At the National Assembly Complex, senators were given leaflets decrying the religious imbalance in the Senate. The main objectiveis to point out that Moslems have lost out. Also a write-up by one Muazo Yohanna, was being circulated in the North to alert people to the religious imbalance. Yohanna argued that, since Mark and Ekeremadu are christians, it is sensible to reserve the position o Senate Leader for a moslem. In the write-up, Yohanna also argued that the leadership of the Senate had not changed much, adding that the ommision now is that a re-
Big row over anticorruption war President Goodluck Jonathan was hailed by many Nigerians when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted elections that were generally perceived to be free and fair. But, can the President also re-invigorate the anti-graft war and restore a culture of prudent management? Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU asks.
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan’s profile rose when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chaired by Prof. Attahiru Jega conducted free and fair elections, which observers believe, have heralded electoral sanity in the country. The question on the lips of many Nigerians is: Can the President also fight against corruption with the same vigour and determination? A wild applause greeted the es-
tablishment of the two anti-graft bodies; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. That followed serious warnings by development experts, who have established a linkage between graft in high places and failure of governance, that the country may continue to wallow in poverty and squalour, unless the
bad eggs are edged out. The agencies moved swiftly to track down corrupt politicians and public officials, who have looted the treasury and enriched themselves to the detriment of other
ligious sect may dominate the senate leadership. In the Sixth Senate, the Majority Leader, Teslim Folarin, is a Moslem. The Deputy Senate Leader, Udoma-Egba, is a Christian. Following the events that occurred on Monday in the House of Representatives, PDP, which sympathised with the Southwest, actully wished that the zone should retain the slot. However, the amended Senate Rule 13 is the roadblock. The rule states that only a ranking Senator is qualified for the position. In this dispensation, the lone PDP Senator from the zone is a new comer. Udoma-Egba is qualified, but he is from the same region with the President. Since the North is still ighting the President over zoning, senators are enlisted to fuel the battle.
“The North has woken up to the reality of employing its numerical strength in the Senate to dominate the scene, but without the cooperation of other zones, there will be chaos in the Senate”, said the source. Northern senators who met yesterday suggested the names of Senators Bello Guazo and Usman Dahiru from Sokoto State as likely aspirants for the slot. They are ranking senators and moslems. In the House of Representatives, there is a struggle by the zones for Majority Leader. Since Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola declined to become the Deputy Speaker; she is not likely to vie for the position. If the House allows it to be zoned to the West, then, Hon. Ajibola from Oyo State may fill the post. Religious consideration seems to take the back stage in the Lower Chamber, where the Speaker and his deputy are Moslem and Christian.
citizens. They beamed their searchlight on serving governors, ministers, National Assembly, boards and parastatals, civil service and private sectors, which were previously insulated from public scrutiny. Then, the fear of EFCC and ICPC became the beginning of wisdom. The two organs had not achieved much when the former President manipulated the process and turned them into agents of intimidation and victimisation of perceived political opponents. The beat was about to stop. Also, the suspects successfully exploited the weakness of the legal procedure to make a nonsense of their trial. Reflecting on the turn of events, a rights activist, Lanre Suraj, observed that the crusade against embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds is far from being won. At a one-day forum of rights activists organised by the Campaign for Defense of Human Rights (CDHR) in Lagos to deliberate on the anti-graft battle, he lauded the President for paying attention to the electoral process by support-
ing the collective push for credible elections. However, Suraj said President Jonathan has to focus on the anti-corruption battle with relentless zeal because of its implications for Nigeria’s image in the comity of nations. Another activist, Debo Adeniran, leader of the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), lamented that EFCC was moving at a slow speed, despite its avowed commitments to the fight against stealing. He disagreed with those describing EFCC as an idle agency, pointing out that the commission has made good attempts. Adeniran said: “EFCC and ICPC have done a lot of work in the area of investigation of corrupt cases, but what we have noticed is that the number of convictions being recorded in courts by these specialised agencies is not commensurate with the number of cases they have in court”. He added: “According to their figure, they have over 1,500 cases waiting to be determined in courts. •Continued on page 13
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
POLITICS Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Legal Adviser Dr Muiz Banire spoke with reporters on the litigations triggered by the recent general elections involving the party. Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU was there.
‘Expect more dividends of democracy in Lagos’
Banire: 2011 polls inconclusive L
OW many election petitions have the party filed across the country? The ACN has filed over 50 election petitions across the country and the petitions are still coming. My office usually receives copies of every petition. In Benue State for example, we have 21 election petitions; we also have in Akwa Ibom, Katsina and Jigawa states. In Lagos State, there are over 11 petitions filed against us. How optimistic is the party on these petitions? If there are no maneuverings, I am very optimistic about our petition in Benue and Akwa Ibom. We are also going to have a good case in Kwara State and in some senatorial seats in Adamawa State. My office has been relating with all our candidates who have gone to election tribunals across the country. I do receive comprehensive information from them on daily basis. Some of them relate with me directly while others keep me abreast of whatever they are doing in respect of their petitions through Internet. What is your view on the different interpretations of Section 28 of the Amended Electoral Act 2010 that the court may not have the power to declare winner? That view is not correct. Though the last National Assembly wanted to achieve that, they missed it because of the style of the drafting. There are two situations in the Electoral Act now. One is a situation where if a petitioner is able to prove his case that he got majority of lawful votes at the election, the court can declare him winner. But if it is on the strength that the other person was not qualified, then the court cannot declare him winner. In that situation the court will order a rerun. I have listened to many lawyers come up with wrong interpretations of that section. What is your reaction to the tussle for the Speakership of the Lagos State House of Assembly between the former Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Funmi Tejuosho and Kolawole Taiwo?
The first thing is that Tejuosho never indicated interest in becoming a Speaker. I have four representatives from my local council; two are going to the House of Representatives and two going to the State House of Assembly. I can say emphatically that none of them will do anything without letting me to know, particularly political issues. My view is that we should not struggle for anything. I also belief that the Speakership should not be zoned to Lagos West but to Lagos East because we already have a Deputy Speaker. But during the last leadership meeting I understand that the East conceded the Speakership position to the West again and I will not support any of my people to go and contest where I know the coast is not clear. I am not used to failure. It is not as if Tejuosho is not qualified, she is one of the most qualified lawmakers in the House. I am a product of party discipline and I belief in party discipline and supremacy. The party must influence the decision of the members. The second aspect of it relates to Taiwo and Ikuforiji. Again to me, it is legitimate for them to pursue their ambition. In terms of seniority, Taiwo is senior to Ikuforiji. He is going to the House for the fourth term while Ikuforiji is going there
for the third term. Also in terms of votes, Taiwo stands a better position of getting votes than Ikuforiji, in fact far higher votes if it is to be determined by votes. But as I said, some of these issues are usually that of the party to decide. That is why we will not find anybody directly commenting on some issues. It was just like when people were asking me about our party’s position on the proposed government of National Unity by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). My response was that the party has stated its position, which is part of party supremacy. After serving as a Speaker as a representative from Lagos East, What is you position on the agitation for a special status for Lagos? We all know that Lagos deserves a special status because we are the centre pool to every nationality and other citizens coming into the country. This has made the population pressure to continue to mount. Also being the former capital territory, it deserves a special status. In the World today, every country has granted special status to their former federal capital cities just to keep the spate of development going. The battle to control the center in country is always tough… The struggle for the centre in this country is tough because there are no corresponding liabilities to address at the center. All the money and wealth are concentrated and controlled at the centre, which has but less responsibility. What is the Federal Government doing with universities or agriculture? These are things that are supposed to be the responsibilities of the states. Imagine for four years that I served as Commissioner for the Environment in Lagos State, we could not assess the ecological fund despite the billions of money voted for ecology and there are so many ecological problems all over the place. Billions of naira set aside as ecological fund is just wasting in the Federal Government purse.
Is anti-corruption battle on course? •Continued from page 12
They claim that, of this figure, not less than 65 are cases of the politically exposed persons; governors, ministers and others. Our worry is why are these cases stalled in courts”. EFCC Chairman Farida Waziri, who explained the constraints to reporters in Lagos, painted an awful picture of the anti-corruption process, saying that the big people, who are suspects, often delay the litigation process. She drew attention to their penchant for asking for frivolous adjournments to buy more time, adding that, after tendering medical reports before courts, they get permission to travel abroad, thereby wasting the time of the court and EFCC. Mrs Waziri condemned the culture of worshipping corrupt officials standing trial by followers, who accompany them to the court with pomp. They alight from their posh cars and wave at the crowd of supporters as if they are heroes worthy of emulation, she complained, stressing that the process has indulged them. As if he was reading her lips, a pro-democracy crusader, Ayodele Akele, observed that the essence of anti-corruption battle in Nigeria, has paled into a trade of plea bargaining. What is worrisome to him is that privileged sus-
pects, who stole public money, are treated with kid gloves, unlike an ordinary man, who stole five tubers of yam and ends up in 12month jail. Akele, former governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), added: ‘They steal a huge sum and pay back a little in the name of plea bargaining. If somebody steals a handset, he is jailed for six months or a year. Why not jail corrupt politicians? To him, plea bargaining for political and economic fraudsters must be removed, if it cannot be extended to the poor. CDHR leader Supo Ojo a lawyer, has an axe to grind with the EFCC over what he called its readiness to sensationalise its complaints against suspects. “EFCC is heavy in the media. It is light in concrete performance of its statutory functions”, he said. One example he gave was the feud between the House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole and EFCC over an alleged N10 billion loan obtained by the House. The CDHR President, added; “EFCC should have completed its investigation and charged Bankole to court before condemning Bankole in the media. So many people, governors have been condemned in the media, but they are walking freely
on the streets”. Warning about the consequence of a failed anti-corruption war, Ojo said: “International agencies are declining to work with EFCC until there was a change of leadership at the agency.” Akele disagreed, saying that Bankole, who is over 40, is in a position to defend himself. Akele also alleged that the federal government was blocking the arrest of some notable people by the EFCC, although he did not name such people. He supported the call by the EFCC boss for a special court to try corrupt leaders, stressing that the judiciary is an accomplice in attempts by politicians to evade justice. “A special court will give EFCC teeth. The present system is faulty and not much can be done. There are constraints like perpetual injunctions. We need dedicated courts and special legislations and sanctions must be heavy”, he suggested. Besides, Akele said that the structural imbalance in EFCC should go, explaining that many top officers are from the North. “If this country is one, that structure must change. The West, East and Southsouth must be well represented. President Jonathan should also give EFCC a free hand to operate so that it will not be a toothless bull dog,” Akele stressed.
AGOS State government has called on public servants in the state to redouble their efforts and be more committed to the goal of build ing a greater Lagos. The deputy governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, made the call at a one- day Interactive Session/Workshop organised by the state government for the senior civil servants in the state. Adejoke-Adefulire, who thanked the civil servants for their support during the last general elections, charged them to rededicate themselves to their duties. She urged them to continue to support government policies and projects to ensure that people benefit from democracy dividends through efficient service delivery. While acknowledging the noble role played by them during the first tenure of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, the deputy governor noted that the civil service provided the synergy that drove the engine of governance for good four years through their faithful implementation of various people -oriented policies and programmes of the state government. “ I wish to put on record that we are never in doubt as to your capacity to deliver and do your job effectively as you have always demonstrated, she said.” Orelope-Adefulire urged the civil servants to put the euphoria of the first four years behind them and plan towards performing better than before to show genuine “appreciation to the people who stood by us, supported us and voted for our party.” The deputy governor reminded them that the people reposed high confidence in them by voting only for the representatives of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in all elections in the state, stressing that their vote was a signature on government’s score card and a mandate for continuity of excellent service delivery and progressive governance.
Southwest marginalised, says Ola
RONTLINE political scientist, Prof Opeyemi Ola, has lamented the collapse of zoning in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying that it has boxed the Southwest region into the marginalisation zone. He also complained that a big damage has been done to federal character and equitable distribution of political offices in the federation. Ola, a member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic, complained that Yoruba of the Southwest may lose a sense of belonging. He argued that the House of Representatives Speakership should have gone to the Southwest in the spirit off equity and geographical balance. Ola said that Yoruba has been left in the cold, stressing that key positions, including the President, Vice President, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Representatives Speaker and Deputy Speaker have eluded the zone. He added: “The PDP as the ruling majority party in Nigeria ought to have perfected a distribution formula, which would not have left the Yoruba in isolation.” Ola said that, in a federation, where the three blocs; Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo; and other minorities are cohabiting, it is wrong to exclude a major tribe from the leadership of the country. He also feared that the President, who is from the majority party, may not enjoy the support of his party members in the House. The former university don doubted if the House of Representatives is ready for the transformation envisaged by Nigerians. Ola said: “The transformational agenda of the President needs a transformational legislature and not shifting collission of parties with shifting interests.”
•Deputy Senate President Ike Ekeremadu and House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha when the latter visited him at the Senate Chambers.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
BUSINESS THE NATION
Oil gains as supply concerns mount
IL prices rose yester day, bolstered by concerns about supplies as investors assessed the impact of OPEC’s failure to agree a rise in output targets. Crude oil prices according to Reuters, are at levels governments around the world fear is hurting demand and threatening economic recovery. Talks by oil ministers of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) broke down in acrimony last Wednesday but Saudi Arabia pledged unilaterally to ensure plentiful supplies, helping cap gains in oil. “The non-outcome reinforces the floor under oil prices and leaves the output gap in place, but there is clear evidence of a slowdown in the global economy keeping demand in check,” oil analyst at BNP Paribas, Harry Tchilinguirian said. He noted the breakdown in talks didn’t move prices more because the fundamental supply situation remained unchanged, and individual countries would step in to meet demand as necessary. US crude for July delivery rose 33 cents to 101.07 dollars by 0955 GMT. Brent crude fell six cents to $117.79 a barrel. Lawrence Eagles at JPMorgan said in a report the bank retains its view that oil will reach $130 a barrel by 2011, “but arguably we now not only have to watch Saudi Arabian comments closely, but also those of the International Energy Agency.”
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$112.3/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N8.1 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion
RATES Inflation -11.3% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -7.50% Foreign Reserve - $32.5bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 220.9 £ 253.5 $ 153.59 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 245.85 RIYAL 39.3
Basically, we get confused a bit about what retail is. It is really just buying things, putting them on a floor and selling them. - Gerry Harvey
Ex-Afribank MD, others get N425m bail
LAGOS State High Court, Ikeja yesterday granted former Managing Director of Afribank Plc Mr Sebastian Adigwe and five others bail in the sum of N425million. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned them before Justice Olabisi Akinlade for allegedly stealing the bank’s N87.5billion. Adigwe was charged with Afribank’s former chairman, Osa Osunde and former executive directors – Isa Zailani, Chinedu Onyia, Henry Arogundade and Peter Ololo on 36 counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, stealing and
By Joseph Jibueze
receiving stolen property. Justice Akinlade granted Adigwe and Ololo bail in the sum of N100 million each with two sureties in like sum. One of their sureties must own a landed property worth N100 million in Lagos, and must produce a Certificate of Occupancy. One of the sureties must be a member of the board of directors of a corporate entity with headquarters in Lagos or Abuja, while the other must be in the employment of Federal or Lagos State government at Grade Level 17. The court barred them from
traveling abroad until the trial is concluded, and ordered them to deposit their international passports with the court’s registrar. They must report to the EFCC every first working day of the month, while an officer of the agency must verify the sureties. Osunde was granted bail in the sum of N75million with two sureties in like sum. One of his sureties must own a land valued at N75million in Lagos. He was also barred from foreign travels and ordered to deposit his International Passport with the court. Zailani, Onyia and Arogundade were granted bail in
the sum of N50million each with two sureties in like sum. One of their sureties must own a landed property in Lagos valued at N50 million. A surety must be a member of the board of directors of a corporate organisation with headquarters in Lagos, while the other must be in the employment of the Federal or Lagos State not below Grade Level 14. They were also barred from traveling abroad while the case lasts, and must deposit their International Passports. All the sureties must produce evidence of three years’ tax clearance.
• From left: Executive Director South, Oceanic Bank Plc, Henry Ajagbawa; Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and MD/CEO of the Bank John Aboh, during the visit to the Oyo State Governor in Ibadan.
Maevis raises N32b, $8.6m for FAAN
AEVIS Limited has collected and remit ted N32.5 billion revenue into the coffers of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) between August 2008 and May 31 this year, the organisation said yesterday. It has also collected $8.6 million out of the $12.2 million projected revenue in the same period from the operations of foreign airlines. The money has equally been remitted to the coffers of FAAN. Head of General Services, Maevis, Mr Wale Soneye dis-
closed these to newsmen yesterday in Lagos. Maevis signed a concession agreement with FAAN, which commenced on August 1, 2008, to collect revenue on behalf of the federal agency. But in recent weeks, on the promptings of FAAN, some airport workers have been staging protests against the activities of the organisation. FAAN has also been scheming to get the company out of the airport in spite of its activities boosting the revenue at the airport substantially.
Maevis took N7billion loan to deploy hi tech equipment to be able to carry out its activities. It was gathered that one of such equipment rescued Nigeria from embarrassment during the attempted bombing of an aircraft by Farouk Abdu Mutallab in the US in 2009. It was only the equipment that enabled Nigeria to meet the US request for the recording of Abdu Muttalab’s movement from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The Federal High Court has also restrained FAAN from
tampering with the agreement in a case before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako. Soneye said the projected revenue from local operations of N40.5 billion was not met because some of the local airlines default and that they were given three months moratorium by immediate past Minister of Aviation , Mrs Fidelia Njeze. He said the debt owed by foreign airlines, which is over $3.6 million, could easily be collected through the guarantee of standing orders and bank guarantees.
PPPRA calls for expression of interest in products supply
HE Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, (PPPRA), has called for an expression of interest from qualified oil marketers who may wish to participate in this year’s third quarter (Q3) petroleum products supply plan. A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the agency, Goody Egbuji, stipulated that interested marketers are expected to submit their requests not later than June 10, 2011 so as
By Collins Nweze
to allow for early processing of supply plan for the quarter. Outlining the requirements, the statement indicated that the operators must be under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme to participate. In the document, the agency notifies “all operators under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme that collation of Q3, 2011, PMS import proposal has com-
menced. Subsequently, marketers are advised to submit their requests not later than June 10th to allow for early processing of supply plan for the quarter”. It also noted that consideration shall be given to marketers’ expression of interest upon satisfaction of some stipulated parameters, which include the “evidence of Incorporation with the Corporate Affairs in downstream specific business, evidence of ownership of down-
stream logistic facilities (jetties/ depot, retail network) and submission of annual business turnover in the downstream sector in the last five years”. The companies are also required to have “valid throughput agreement in lieu of ownership facility in exceptional cases upon fulfillment of evidence of ownership of investment in other downstream logistic facilities”.
Multi- billion dollars investment coming for FCT From: Bukola Amusan, Abuja
HE Federal Capital Terri tory (FCT) Administra tion is expecting multi-billion dollars worth of investments in Abuja within the next two or three months, FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi has said. He said the investments are almost at the final stage of realisation courtesy of the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangements to provide the basic needed infrastructure in four new districts of the FCT. Olorunfemi made these disclosures yesterday in Abuja during a meeting with the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Chris Cooter. He listed the new districts to include Durumi, Gwarinpa I, Kado and Mabushi. He said additional three new districts are in their planning stage for the same kind of PPP arrangement. The Permanent Secretary urged Cooter to invite the Canadian investors to join the train by seizing this opportunity to invest in the infrastructural and Mass Housing development of the FCT. He disclosed that the Administration plans to make Abuja one of the top 20 cities in the world by the year 2020, which could only be achievable with massive and sustainable investment in infrastructure.
US launches new trade initiative for Africa
HE US has introduced a new trade capacity building initiative, the African Competitiveness and Trade Expansion Initiative (ACTE), to put significant resources behind its commitment to expand US African trade and intra-African trade. The US Trade Representative, Amb. Ron Kirk, who made this known in Lusaka yesterday, said the initiative would provide $120 million over the next four years to intensify and focus more sharply on the work of USAID’s African trade hubs. USAID’s African trade hubs are in Ghana, Senegal, Botswana and Kenya. They help to make African producers become more competitive by tackling cross-cutting problems in finance, transport, governance, business environment and telecommunications. They work with producers and firms ready to export in industries ranging from food to flowers to footwear. Kirk said in 2010, the trade hubs facilitated more than $100 million in African goods exports to the world, including $56 million to the US and assisted 1,200 African firms interested in developing or expanding their capacity to export.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.
LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15
LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10
08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40
of organisations and chairmanship of various technical committees. The other new directors also joining the board on non-executive capacity are Alhaji Aminu Ibrahim Babangida, Mr. Thomas Etuh, Alhaji
Ibrahim Abegu Kaugama, Engr. Olaseun Mabogunje, Dr. Oluwafunsho Olusegun Obasanjo and Mr. Hakeem Shagaya. The Bank with the approval of the CBN has also appointed two independent Directors as required by regulations. They are Alhaji Gimba Ibrahim and Mr. Gboyega Asabia. Unity Bank had last March announced the appointment of five executive directors with Alhaji Ado Yakubu Wanka as Managing Director designate. The executive directors as announced were Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, Information Technology & Operations, Ahmed Yusuf, Risk Management & Control, Ismaila Galadanchi, Central and Lanre Fagbohun as Executive Director, Lagos & South West. The out-going Group Managing Director, Falalu Bello, had at the time of the announcement expressed satisfaction with the smooth transition and confirmed that it was the design of the bank to prepare for its future growth and expansion.
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.15 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 08.00 18.00
LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30
SBC has agreed to pay $62m (37 million euro) to inves tors in a hedge fund that fed money to fraudulent manager, Bernard Modoff, becoming the first custodian bank to settle a class action law suit connected to the scandal. The settlement with Thema fund investors is equivalent to about 20 cents on the dollar for the fund’s $312m in real losses in the Ponzi scheme. HSBC, which served as custodian for the Irish-based fund, did not admit liability. The deal involves only a small portion of HSBC’s total exposure in connection with Mr Madoff. At the time of his arrest in December 2008, HSBC served as custodian or administrator for a number of funds that incurred real loses of about $4.3bn. The UK and Hong Kong bank is fighting litigation in Ireland, the US and Luxembourg, including a $9bn claim filed by Irving Piucard, the US trustee charged with recovering money for Madoff victims. The Thema settlement, which must be approved by a judge in New York, would allow HSBC to avoid protracted litigation. Thema investors have agreed to seek to dismiss Mr Picard’s claims on their behalf. HSBC said it continued to believe it had “good defences against the Madoff-related claims that have been brought against it and will continue to defend the other Madoff-related proceedings vigorously”.
World food prices to remain high By Daniel Essiet
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
LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
NITY Bank has appoited Alhaji Nu’uman Barau Danbatta, as its new chairman. The appoitment which has been ratified by the Central Bank of Nigeria, comes with that of eight non-executive directors. The bank said in a statement, that Danbatta, is a seasoned public servant and retired Federal permanent secretary. Hereplaces Professor Akin Mabogunje, who retired from the board along with some directors in December, 2010, having served since the inception of the bank in 2006 and were directors in some of the legacy banks for some years before they joined Unity Bank. The new Board Chairman, the statement explained, was at different times Permanent Secretary in nine Federal ministries including Power & Steel, Transportation, Education, Works and also served in the Public Service Office among other postings before retiring in 2010. He is bringing to the board of the bank 30 years of diverse exposure in various walks of life, including directorship of a number
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Unity Bank appoints new chair, non-executive directors H
08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20
LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik
HSBC agrees to $62m Madoff deal
• From left: Chief Human Resources Officer, Oando Plc, Mr. Akin Ayoola, receiving the “Exemplary Social Partner Award” presented to Oando by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), from past President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Austin Ezenwaka, at the organisation’s Triennial Delegate’s Conference held in Abuja recently. Also with them (middle) is Secretary General, PENGASSAN, Mr. Bayo Olowosile.
Spring Bank posts N6.2b profit
OR the first time in its six-year history, Spring Bank Plc, one of the eight banks rescued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has posted a profit in its operations. The 2010 audited accounts, released at the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, indicated that the bank posted a profit-before-tax of N6.2 billion. This is an outstanding performance when compared to the losses of the previous years. This sterling improvement contrasted with the loss of N28.7billion for the period ended December 31, 2009. The development represents a turn-around for the bank under the management of the Group Managing Director/CEO, Mrs. Sola Ayodele. In the 2010 first quarter unaudited results, the bank recorded a profit-before-tax of N636
By Akinola Ajibade
million. The trend, which has been sustained, has also received commendation from industry watchers, and attracted the keen interest of equity investors as well as other stakeholders of the bank. A cursory look at the results, indicated that the bank made a profitafter-tax of N6.1billion, while deposits grew from N142.7 billion in 2009 to N198.6 billion in 2010, representing an increase of 38 per cent. Also, the balance sheet size rose from N146.3 billion in 2009, to N197.1billion, in the review period, indicating a leap of 34 per cent. The positive turn of events in the bank which is also the result of a sharpened business focus and a more cost-efficient operation, is
expected to confer negotiation advantages to Spring Bank in the advanced on-going recapitalisation discussions with a number of foreign and local investors. Commenting on the performance of the bank, the GMD/CEO stated that the result is a fulfillment of the promise she made to the regulatory authorities, shareholders, customers and staff of the bank about 20 months ago when she assumed its mantle of leadership. She said that the launch of Spring Bank on the path of profitability has been made possible by the deployment of a number of strategic initiatives, which focused on effective liquidity management, loan recovery, operational efficiency and corporate governance in addition to the intervention funds received from the apex bank at the onset.
IGH and volatile agricultural commodity prices are likely to prevail for the rest of this year and into 2012, according to the latest analysis published on Tuesday in Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO)’s biannual Food Outlook. The report cites a sharp rundown on inventories and only modest overall production increases for the majority of crops as reasons for continuing strong prices. The next few months will be critical in determining how the major crops will fare this year, the report noted. Although prospects are encouraging in some countries such as the Russian Federation and Ukraine, weather conditions, featuring too little and in some cases too much rain, could hamper maize and wheat yields in Europe and North America. “The general situation for agricultural crops and food commodities is tight with world prices at stubbornly high levels, posing a threat to many low-income food deficit countries,” according to Director of FAO’s Markets and Trade DivisionDavid Hallam. International food prices, which earlier this year soared to levels seen in the 2007-8 food crisis, dropped a modest one per cent in May. The FAO Food Price Index averaged 232 points in May from a revised estimate of 235 points in April but was still 37 percent above May 2010. Declines in international prices of cereals and sugar were responsible for the slight decrease in the May index, more than offsetting increases in meat and dairy prices. Current prospects for cereals in 2011 point to a record harvest of 2,315 million tonnes — a 3.5 per cent increase over 2010, which marked a one percent drop over 2009.
Eurozone crisis’ll be my priority at IMF, says Lagarde
HE top candidate to run the In ternational Monetary Fund (IMF), French Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde, said the euro zone crisis will be a priority if she wins the job.
Lagarde, made the comments in Beijing, the latest leg of her world tour to seek support for her IMF candidacy. She is seen as the favourite to replace former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was arrested last
month on sexual assault charges. Lagarde said her talks with Chinese central bank and finance ministry officials about her candidacy were positive, but she stopped short of claiming Beijing’s outright support.
“I’m very positive about my trip to China but the decision does not belong to me. It belongs to the Chinese authorities,” she told a news conference at the French embassy in Beijing.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
AGRO-BUSINESS N1bn agric loan: 680 cooperative societies in Delta to benefit
HE Delta State government says it has approved an additional 480 farmers’ cooperative societies to benefit from the Federal Government’s N1 billion agriculture loan. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Jonathan Ochonogor, who disclosed this in Asaba, said the approval had brought the number of beneficiaries to 680. Ochonogor said the increase in the number of beneficiaries from 200 to 680 was necessitated by the receipt of more applications. He said the government received an additional 1,257 applications out of which 480 were selected. • United States Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), President, Dr. Namanga Ngongi, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Vilsack’s office in Washington, DC.
Fed Govt urged to control use of antibiotics in animal feed
HE Federal Government has been urged to take steps to address overuse of antibiotics in animal feed. Dr Moshood Belewu, who is of the Animal Production Department University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Ilorin, said there are potential health consequences of putting large quantities of antibiotics in feeds for animals. He explained that livestock begin their lives eating grass and drinking their mother’s milk while living healthy low-stress lives. According to him, there are positive health attributes of raising cattle on grass. Belewu said what the cattle need are low-level antibiotics administered to help manage highly concentrated grain diets and confined conditions. The best, Belewu explained, is grass diets which eliminate health concern and risk. He added that only limited use of antibiotics is needed to control internal parasites which commonly affect cattle, adding that over use of it can take the life of an animal. According to him, antibiotics are used in feed to prevent diseases, increase in food and water uptake, and increase the digestive effec-
Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agriculture Correspondent
tiveness of the animal. He said cattle are ruminant animals with four stomachs and are efficient at converting plant materials into energy through a fermentation process in their guts. Belewu said cattle process high energy/high protein material like grain poorly. He noted that sub therapeutic doses of certain antibiotics also stimulate growth by increasing feed conversion efficiency. Without antibiotics, up to 75 per cent of feedlot-finished cattle would have livers unfit for human consumption. Dr Aderemi Adeyemo,Head of General Management Department, Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), said over use of antibiotics will build resistance in animals the same way it does with humans. According to him, when an animal gets sick they use an antibiotic to cure an illness, but eventually the bacteria adapts and another antibiotic is used, but again the bacteria can adapt and a third or multiple antibiotics are required to cure the illness. Activists worldwide have
mounted campaigns asking governments to address the mounting health threat posed by overuse of antibiotics in animal feed, a practice linked to a rise in drug-resistant infections in humans since the early 70s. They have asked the governments to withdraw approval for most non-therapeutic uses of penicillin and tetracycline’s in animal feed. In the United States, approximately 70 per cent of all antibiotics used are given to healthy farm animals at low doses to promote faster growth and compensate for unsanitary living conditions – a practice that has increased over the past 60 years despite evidence that it breeds antibiotic-resistant bacteria dangerous to humans, according to the suit. The antibiotics, mixed into feed or water for pigs, cows, chickens and turkeys, are used at levels too low to treat disease, leaving surviving bacteria stronger and resistant to medical treatment, the suit says. FDA concluded in 1977 that feeding animals low doses of certain antibiotics used in human medicine – namely, penicillin and tetracyclines – could promote antibioticresistant bacteria capable of infecting people.
Tomato farmers want processing company
O prevent wastage of perishable produce, the Katsina State Chairman of Irrigation Farmers, Alhaji Salisu LemaJikamshi, has appealed to the Federal and state governments to facilitate the establishment of tomato processing companies. He made the appeal at the inauguration of the Karmawa seasonal vegetables market in Bakori Local Government Area. Lema-Jikamshi, said perishable food items, including onions, tomatoes, fruits and other vegetables, were being produced in commercial quantities through irrigation farming in different parts of the north but that a lot of these produce have been wasted because of lack of facilities for the preservation, adding that this had remained a major hitch to the growth of the business. According to him, farmers record huge losses while transporting the commodities to markets due to poor storage and preservation fa-
cilities. “I call on the government to address the problem in the interest of agricultural growth which serves as the backbone of our country’s real economy.’’ Also, the acting Chairman of Bakori Local Government Council, Alhaji Faruku Tsiga, called on residents to utilise the opportunity provided by the market through increased investment in irrigation. Tsiga pledged the council’s assistance to enhance their business, adding that the ongoing BakoriGuga road construction project would facilitate the transportation of produce. While commending Govrnor Ibrahim Shema for fulfilling his electoral promise by commencing the road project, Tsiga appealed to the people to live in peace and engage in businesses that would contribute to the nation’s development. Responding on behalf of the people, the Village Head of Kwantakwaram, Alhaji Abdullahi
Ochonogor said the state had satisfied all the conditions for accessing the loan, adding that on the average, 27 cooperative societies from each of the 25 local government areas of the state got approval to access the loan. He said the loan would attract nine per cent interest rate per annum, and Zenith Bank had been designated to handle the disbursement and management of the loan scheme. “The government has signed the necessary documents to ensure that the loan is repaid through direct deductions from the state’s allocation from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC),’’ Ochonogor said.
OXFAM launches global ‘GROW’ campaign
XFAM GB, an international confederation of 15 organisations, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to fulfill Nigeria’s commitment to the 2003 Maputo Declaration. The Associate Country Director of OXFAM, Mr Tunde Ojei, made the call in Abuja at the launch of the global campaign tagged “GROW, the Food justice Campaign’’. Ojei said increased public investment in agriculture was crucial to the reduction of the rising incidence of hunger and poverty across most parts of Africa. He described the campaign, also launched in 45 other countries, as a platform for all stakeholders to collectively provide solutions, by making practical changes on how food is produced, consumed and managed. “The campaign also seeks to manage other resources, markets, build capacities and transform government systems and policy flaws as it affects the current state of hunger in the world and in Nigeria in particular,” he said. According to him, available statistics shows that one in every seven individuals goes to bed hungry daily. He blamed the situation on rising food prices, climate insecurities, underinvestment in small food producers, insufficient land and resources, among others. The world’s poorest, he said, spent more than 80 per cent of their income on food, Ojei said, citing available statistics. He, therefore, stressed the need to evolve solutions and strategies to ameliorate the situation. The Country Director said the Nigeria campaign programme would focus on strengthening the livelihoods of small-scale farmers through campaigning for policy reforms, im-
proving women’s leadership and effectiveness in decision processes. “Emphasis would be placed on agricultural governance, as well as engagement in relevant climate change dialogues in view of its impact on agriculture and livelihoods generally,” he said. He said the campaign would be executed under the auspices of Voices for Food Security (VFS), a coalition of local civil society organisations and small-scale farmer associations, campaigning for the right of all Nigerians to have enough food to eat. “We all are stakeholders in creating an enabling environment for sustainable food, especially in our society where women in particular produce most of the food. “Lets come together to invest in the productivity of small scale food producers and also help avert national food crisis through a concerted joint effort and awareness,” Ojei said. In her remarks, Ms Jamilla Mwanjisi, the OXFAM Campaigns Manager, said 54.6 million Nigerians were estimated to suffer from hunger due to the broken down food system. Ms Mwanjisi criticised political leaders and policy makers for their inability to transform the food system to meet the increasing demand for food. She also criticised the political leaders for their inability to address the inequality between the rich and the poor, as well as developments in the international market place. According to her, the campaign will focus on three key areas of increasing support and resilience of smallholder farmers, tackle the food price crises and empower women, who constitute about 70 per cent agricultural producers.
World food digest
Food body’s E. coli alert: Port officers await instructions
• Governor Shema
Musa, said the market would enhance economic activities in the area. Musa also appealed to the state governor to construct Tsiga BardeKwantaram road. Similarly, a farmer, Malam Musa Abdu, called on Shema to upgrade the Karmawa/Uwar Gari Dam to ensure maximum water storage annually.
HE E. coli threat, that has impacted different parts of the world, has supposedly reached India, with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) signalling high alert against the deadly strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, according to media reports. The toxin has infected over 1,700 people across 12 European nations and has been spreading across different parts of the globe such as the US and Japan. According to media reports, FSSAI chief V N Gaur has asked officials posted in the five major ports and four airports, which receive imports, to watch out for all food items, especially fruits and vegetables, coming in from Europe. However, when the port officers in some of the above cities were contacted by FnB News, they revealed that they were yet to receive instructions in this regard from the Authority. A port official from Mumbai had earlier confirmed that there was no major contamination issue with regard to the imported food items. But he admitted that officers had been following special caution in allowing Japanese food in India due to the recent radiation problem in that country. These samples were being sent to BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) for testing. About E. coli, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has suggested countries to avoid trade restrictions related to this outbreak. The deadly food-borne bacteria causes haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) or kidney failure. It has already reported to have claimed six lives in Germany.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
AGRO-BUSINESS STATE FOCUS
‘Establish forestry development bank’ A
FORESTRY expert and Executive Director, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan, Prof. Solomon Badejo, has called for the establishment of a forestry development bank to assist processors in the sector to access loans. He said the bank has become necessary since most forestry projects were capital intensive. “When you look at the long gestation period of trees, there are some banks that may really not be willing or inclined to give stakeholders in the sector loans to go into forestry-based projects, because they are looking at the time frame,’’ he said. Badejo noted that most banks in Nigeria would only want to give loans for an investment or business that,
Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agriculture Correspondent
within six months, they would realise their expected income. “Such banks will never give a moratorium on loan repayment as expected in investment in the forestry sector. Rather, they will expect that the interest should be paid as soon as possible. “In a situation where there is a forestry-based development bank, it will really help a lot. This will encourage a lot of investors to go into forestry-based investments,’’ he added. Badejo asserted that no human being could do without forestry, since most of the needs of the people were from the forest. He declared: “When you look at the totality of benefits from forestry, you cannot do
without it. “It is not only providing timber, but there are so many non-timber forestry products that serve human needs. Take for example, wildlife and medicinal plants.’’ The forestry expert said there were many benefits derivable from forestry, including environmental protection against desert encroachment, sand dunes and soil erosion. “When you look at all the climate change problems, it is still regarded worldwide today that one of the best ways of checkmating climate change is via planting of trees,” he added. Badejo posited that any bank established to cater for the sector would not be the normal financial institution that would be interested in loan rescheduling and inter-
Agro business opportunities in Sokoto By Daniel Essiet, Agriculture Correspondent
• Prof Badejo
est payment deadline, as was the case with other businesses. “Such a forestry development bank will be very beneficial. It will encourage entrepreneurs and young unemployed graduates to go into commercial tree planting, which is very important,” he said. Such a bank, he added, should provide long-term loans with up to 15 years moratorium before the investor could begin to pay back.
• Fertiliser voucher distribution in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Farmers urge early release of fertiliser
ITH the inauguration of the new administrations at the federal and state levels over, farmers have stressed the need for timely release of fertiliser. Farmers in Zaria and its environs have appealed to the Kaduna State government to expedite action on fertiliser supply with the onset of the rains. A farmer, Alhaji Shehu Mohammed, expressed the hope that the state government would not only supply the commodity on time but ensure its availability to peasant farmers. Mohammed decried the politicisation of the distribution of the commodity, noting that often farmers were left with the option of purchasing the commodity from black marketers. Another farmer, Aliyu Nadabo, urged the government to ensure strict supervision during the distribution process to avert diversion. He also appealed to the government to consider more subsidy on the commodity to a level that peasant farmers could readily afford. An investigation in the
area showed that most of the farmers had cleared their farmlands awaiting fertiliser distribution while others had resorted to the use of manure. A peasant farmer, Malam Garba Jushi, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said they would no longer wait for the fertiliser. Jushi said: “We have already started cultivating our farmlands using manure. “Rainfall started early this year, therefore, we cannot continue to wait for the government to supply fertiliser before we start farming. “Manure is a good substitute for conventional fertiliser. Left to me, it is even better than the conventional one in terms of continuous soil fertility,” he added. Most of the areas around Zaria had witnessed several bouts of rainfall this year unlike the situation last year. Similarly, farmers in Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa State have decried the delay in the distribution of fertiliser to farmers in rural communities. The state government had in April launched the distribution of 50,000 tonnes of
fertiliser to be sold to farmers at a subsidised rate of N2,100 per bag. Investigation revealed that most of the councils had yet to commence the distribution of the commodity to farmers in their respective areas. A cross section of farmers said the call became imperative to end the scarcity and enhance farmers’ access to the commodity. A groundnut grower, Mr Jonah Yakubu, said the delay in fertiliser distribution had forced most farmers to rely on cow dung. Yakubu said the trend would negatively affect farming activities and called on the council authorities to ensure early distribution of the commodity. Malam Hashim Kabiru, a maize farmer, urged the state government to further cut down the fertiliser prices to enhance farmers’ access to the commodity. Kabiru said smallholder farmers could not afford the approved price of N2,100. “The price is too exorbitant for the peasant farmers and it might lead to diversion of the commodity. ”We are appealing to the government to further cut
the price down and provide more subsidies on agricultural inputs. “Effective measures are necessary to guard against diversion and ensure that the commodity gets to genuine farmers,” Kabiru added. Commenting on the development, an official of the council, who preferred anonymity, said the council had yet to receive its fertiliser allocation from the state government. “The council will commence distribution in earnest as soon as we receive the allocation,” the official said, adding that the council had set up committees at ward levels to ensure equitable distribution. In Bauchi, the state government said it had procured and distributed 127,685 tonnes of fertiliser to farmers in the state in four years. Governor Isa Yuguda disclosed this in his inaugural speech. Yuguda said the gesture was in fulfillment of his administration’s policy to revitalise agriculture by providing agricultural subsidies. “We promised that we will pave the way to enable farmers have easy access to agricultural inputs and credit facilities,’’ he said.
GRICULTURE is the most important sector in Sokoto State. The sector has provided jobs for 70 per cent of the state’s labour force. Over 80 per cent of the residents practice one form of agriculture. The state has great potential in the cultivation and processing of various crops such as millets, guinea-corn, maize, rice, potatoes, cassava, groundnut, beans, sorghum, cowpea, sesame seeds, onions, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, leafy vegetables, wheat and cotton. Sokoto is one of the nation’s biggest producers of millet and sorghum grown mostly in the northern parts of the country. The aim of the state government is to achieve self-sufficiency in dairy products, vegetables, and fruit and almost self-sufficiency in red meat. Its labour-intensive agricultural sector uses varying levels of fertilisers and pesticides. Transportation and storage facilities are poor, leading to high levels of waste. Severe droughts have proven to be enormously costly. Production is concentrated in the short rainy season which begins in May/June and extends up to the end of September. The state receives an average of 700 to 800 mm of rainfall which is suitable for the production of a wide range of tropical and sub-tropical crops. Large-scale farming is practised in using irrigation water from Goronyo Dam, Lugu, Kalmalo, Wamakko and Kwakwazo lakes among others. The farming system of the Kano zone is based on the cultivation of four main crops (millet, sorghum, groundnut and cowpea), on farmed parkland bearing economically valuable trees and on the production of livestock (mostly small ruminants, with some cattle and donkeys). The state is one of the fish producing areas of the country. Thus a large number of people along the River basins engage in fishing as well. The fishing industry provides minimal employment for the people. The state government is actively promoting investment in the agriculture sector. Investment opportunities exist in viable agri-processing activities such as tomatoes/ fruit canning/processing, sugar extraction/refining, fertiliser production, Monosodium glutamate produc- • Governor Wamakko tion, onion/garlic processing, flour mills, ethanol/biofuel production. There are abundant raw materials for agro-allied industries using cotton, groundnut, sorghum, maize, rice, wheat, sugar cane, cassava, gum arabic and tobacco. The Tsetse-free-open-grassland has made animal husbandry a very lucrative venture in the state. There are all kinds of animals both wild and domestic in the state. Sokoto ranks second in livestock production in the country with animal population of well over eight million. The availability of other potentials such as hides and skins, livestock provide good investment opportunities, for entrepreneurs and companies interested in industries such as flour mills, textiles, glue, tanning, fish canning, diary etc. The government is offering a range of incentives to investment in agriculture and agri-processing. These include: companies in the agro-allied business do not have their capital allowance restricted. The payment of minimum tax by companies that make small or no profits at all do not apply to agro-allied businesses. Agro-allied plants and equipment enjoy enhanced capital allowances of up to 50 per cent. Processing of agricultural produce is a pioneer industry; consequently there is 100 per cent tax-free period for five years. All agricultural and agro-industrial machines and equipment enjoy one per cent duty. The state has witnessed the introduction of new dry season, dual-purpose, ‘cowpea’ plant simultaneously provides good grain and fodder yields – thus addressing an important challenge of small-scale farmers in the area. Many farmers who have come into contact with the new variety have adopted it. The government is making efforts to increase farmers’ awareness of the benefits new seed varieties and farming technologies. In this regard, adequate training of extension staff has continued to be an integrated part of the farming production system. The state government is exploring how small farmers can increase output using low-cost, diversity enhancing technologies. This is based on the vision of building strong rural economies based on efficient small farming which encourages workers to remain with their families instead of migrating. To improve food security, the government is working towards strengthening the small farm sector. Second, to enhance sustainability, development of multi-functional agriculture is seen as a key strategy.
THE NATION FRIDAY,JUNE 10, 2011
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
LAUTECH medical students •Time to end ownership tussle between sister states of Osun, Oyo for the sake of students
HE disagreement over the ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), has taken enough toll on the institution, and we think the time to resolve the crisis has come. While the entire academic program may have been affected by the squabbles over ownership between the government of Osun and Oyo states, it is the final year medical students whose final year examination is in jeopardy that are worst hit. The medical students whose six year medical program is now in clear danger, have appealed to the governors of the two states to bury their differences, so that they can complete their program on schedule. We join the students and authorities of the institution to appeal to the two state governments to come up with a quick and reasonable resolution of the matter, in the interest of their integrity and the peoples of the states. It is worrisome that the past
‘The two governors need not be reminded of the legacies of the past, which they have sworn to further. One pivotal pillar of that illustrious past was education
administrations of the states allowed the matter to get to this head, and the new administrations should not allow that to continue. We have wondered, like many Nigerians why the ownership of the institution should be peculiar, considering that in some other states, ownership of academic institutions predating the creation of states were resolved without the drama and rancor that we are witnessing in this case. As the students had noted, they were very hopeful that with the recent election of the two progressive governors of the states, they would quickly put down the swords of the past governors and embrace peace. Their worry is that the two governors are now delaying their expectations and the delay is about to affect their academic program. This should not be so, considering the new progressive bent of the two states, and indeed the entire region. We hasten to remind them that academic programs in Nigeria are unnecessarily fraught with unmitigated disasters in the form of strikes and other disruptions, and to add a mix of political crisis to it is overkill. To drive home their point, the medical students had reminded Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State of his campaign promise that the crisis would be resolved once a government
of similar progressive bent was elected in Oyo State. Now that hope has become a reality. So we join the students to remind the governor that he should do all within his powers to keep his promise as the electorates have kept theirs. We are also minded to ask his brother governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State of the urgent need to join hands with his brother governor to show the difference between the past and present governments. The two governors need not be reminded of the legacies of the past, which they have sworn to further. One pivotal pillar of that illustrious past was education. The prevailing crisis in LAUTECH calls to question the credentials of the past administrators as beneficiaries of that past, and so it will not be asking too much to expect a remarkable difference from the present administration. Everyone expects them to emulate the illustrious past. Since education is key to the giant progress made by their forbearers, they must work hard to resolve this crisis so as to keep their various campaign promises to bring back the glorious era of free and qualitative education to the region. No body, particularly the students of LAUTECH expects anything less.
Hero and heroine •Community honour to two NYSC members commends the scheme despite current difficulties
WO national youth service corps (nysc) members have provided sharp ripostes to clamour to scrap the scheme, following the unfortunate slaying of serving members in the violent aftermath of the presidential election. At kekeshi in abaji local council area of the federal capital territory, dr. sherifat olusola adamo, a batch “b” corps member doing her primary service at the abaji township clinic, just built a clinic for the community. not only that. according to a report in the daily trust of june 7, she also donated drugs, medical test equipment, insecticide-treated nets, hiv/aids signboards and household water purification substances to yaba, agyana, nuku and naharati communities in the council area. the same corps member reportedly donated 50 desks, 50 chairs, six white boards to local education authority (lea) primary schools at agyana and pandagi communities, aside from organising free training for 104 pupils drawn from three secondary schools. Dr. adamo said she built the clinic because kekeshi lacked such a facility. for her noble gestures, a grateful kekeshi community honoured her with a chieftaincy, sarauniyan kekeshi, aside from the abaji council chairman pledging a donation of n300, 000 to the corps member. In neighbouring niger state, in the busu community, francis arinzeehindonye, another nysc batch “b” member, doing his primary assignment at the government secondary school,
busu, has been honoured with the galadima-makaranta (promoter of education) traditional title. he earned that honour by executing a series of projects: construction of a sports complex boasting a football pitch, volleyball court, and badminton and handball fields, according to a report in the punch of june 7. He also donated drugs for pregnant women in busu and its environs, and planted no less than 450 fruit trees like orange, guava and mango, aside from providing chemicals for their maintenance. mr. arinze-ehindonye’s community development project is reportedly worth more than n1.5 million. yet, less than two months ago, a large swathe of northern nigeria, where these grateful and civil communities are situated, became killing fields of serving corps members, in a moment of electoral madness. those who have rewarded these good deeds are northerners. but so were those who felled the innocent corps members. so, what has happened in less than two months, that a region that produced such despicable villains is now producing these admirable citizens? The stellar deeds of dr. adamo and mr. arinze-ehindonye are a fitting tribute to corps members as agents of change; and the nysc itself as an agency of national unity and development. but equally commendable are the gestures of the appreciative communities, giving these patriotic youths chieftaincies. but especially to be commended are the youths’ abiding
faith in civic responsibility and good citizenship, by seeing their projects through, and not letting the political madness of april kill their dreams for their country. The jury is still out on whether or not the nysc scheme should be scrapped. those who lost loved ones in such gory circumstances are naturally not about to be swayed by any appeal to hollow patriotism – not, in any case, to a country that cannot guarantee the safety of every of its citizens in every part of its territory. and to be honest, the victims cannot be grudged their hurt. Still, the commendable behaviour of the corps members and the admirable conduct of their appreciative hosts would stand as eternal tribute to the unity and developmental potentials of the NYSC scheme, whether it is retained or scrapped.
‘Still, the commendable behaviour of the corps members and the admirable conduct of their appreciative hosts would stand as eternal tribute to the unity and developmental potentials of the NYSC scheme, whether it is retained or scrapped’
Keeping Protectionism at Bay
HE world’s big trading nations have done a fairly good job over the last two years of resisting protectionism even as their economies stalled or shrank. But their patience with open markets seems to be wearing thin. With growth still slow and unemployment high, many developed countries are resorting to measures that restrict imports — from antidumping investigations to tariff increases. This must stop. The World Trade Organization has been monitoring new trade restrictions since the Group of 20 industrialized nations promised to refrain from protectionism in 2009. It found that between October 2010 and April 2011, these nations imposed 122 new restrictions affecting about 0.5 percent of world imports. That is more than twice as many as in the period between May and October 2010. This trend does not yet threaten global trade, which expanded by more than 14 percent last year, according to the W.T.O. But it indicates an erosion of the discipline that kept world markets open through the downturn and prevented protectionism from further denting global growth. Every country has given in to temptation to some degree. Brazil increased tariffs on tools and toys. China opened antidumping investigations against American grain imports and imports of photographic paper from the United States, the European Union and Japan. The United States imposed a special tax on some foreigners who win government procurement contracts. This course is not surprising given the sluggish recovery. In Europe and the United States, the end of fiscal stimulus has left communities and industries foundering. And with the international solidarity sparked by the global financial crisis eroding, governments want to give domestic firms an advantage. Since the financial crisis began in 2008, G-20 countries have imposed 550 measures to restrict or potentially distort trade. Such measures disrupt international supply chains, reduce economic activity and dent the sense of common purpose that was needed to survive the economic crisis. Giving in to the protectionist impulse now can only make matters worse. – New York Times
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi
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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
IR: One thing that gives me confidence in the ongoing transformation of the Nigerian Navy is the calibre of the officer who today is at the helm of affairs in the organisation. The choice of Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim as the Chief of Naval Staff by President Goodluck Jonathan was a wise decision and the appointment well deserved. Vice Admiral Ola Ibrahim declared that the focus of his administration is to lead a Navy that would discharge its constitutional roles and assigned tasks in a professional and responsible manner, consistent with global best practices, for the defence and protection of Nigeria’s territorial integrity. In a paper titled Naval Transformation: Ideals, Challenges and Strategies, delivered by Rear Admiral G.J. Jonah (rtd) at a workshop held recently in Abuja, it was made clear that the overall objective of government now was to reposition the NN through the strengthening of existing capabilities and the development of new ones to curb present and future challenges. It was rightly observed that in the new transformation journey, conscious efforts must be taken to avoid the mistakes of the past. He courageously warned that the NN risked being obsolete and irrelevant if the transformation programme was not properly articulated and steadfastly implemented. Vice Admiral Ibrahim on his part recalled at the workshop that the Naval Engineering conference
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Transforming the Nigerian Navy held in November 2010 was the first step towards transforming the Nigerian Navy into a more efficient service that the nation deserves and therefore described the recent one held in Abuja as a follow up action towards addressing some of the recommendations. The vision of the current Chief of Naval Staff about the NN is to ensure a Navy that is adequately motivated and being capable of effectively combating the security challenges of Nigeria’s maritime domain and the West African subregion.
Nevertheless, to meet the expanding challenges of the 21st Century, Nigeria as a developing nation needs a robust and well equipped Navy with improved combat capability to effectively protect the maritime environment, more so with the threat around the maritime environment. Good enough, Jonah (rtd) observed that in Nigeria’s circumstance, the destiny of our country as a maritime nation is inextricably linked to the existence and performance of the NN, hence the need for the Federal Government to reposition the NN, by adequately
investing in it. Nigerian leaders and the populace need to be more informed about the activities of the Navy so that there will be more political commitment if proper funding is sustained. An x-ray of the Nigerian Navy will be incomplete if mention is not made of the tenure of the former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ganiyu Adekeye (rtd), the Offa born naval prince. The establishment of the Nigerian Navy School of Health Sciences situated at Offa was during his tenure. Similarly during his tenure, he ensured
• Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Enough of hospitality trap
IR: The National Peace Organisation is using this medium to call on International hotels around the world to desist from sending beautiful female attendants to famous and powerful people lodging in their hotels with the ulterior motive of baiting them. In most cases, these female attendants turned out to be dangerous trap to set up many important people just to dent their integrity and to bring
their dignity to question. Mr Strauss-Kahn, embattled steppeddown head of the World Bank was the latest victim of this cruel act being perpetuated by conspiracy terrorists. These conspiracy terrorists work out all formulas to destroy the image of God in people and we feel highly concerned. However, what the conspiracy terrorists would not concede is that their victims would probably not have fallen prey of the so-
called trap but for the inherent weakness that so often plagues powerful men. We suggested that from this period on, all international hotels must send male attenants to men lodgers and female attendants to women lodgers. By doing this, this unceremonious occurrences will drastically be reduced and the fundamental human rights of the unwary innocent powerful men will
Memo to incoming NASS members IR: As you take oath of office to legislate over the country for the next four years, let it be known that your job must be done in such a manner that the laws you enact will have positive impact on the less privileged people in the country. so much is expected of you as true representatives of the people that toil in the sun and rain just to elect you all last april. remember that most of the past elected legislators wasted their tenures on frivolities since they were not able to make visible meaningful impact on the lives of
that the Navy did not relent in the fight against pirates and economic saboteurs which litter the waters in the country’s oil-rich Niger Delta. With the laudable initiatives and ideas of these men, the Nigerian Navy will no doubt soon become a “puncher navy” adequately positioned to tackle maritime challenges in the African continent. However, since no leader can rise above the collective intellect of the group or people he leads, there must be total cooperation of all stakeholders in the navy. There is the need for all hands within the navy to be on deck, particularly among officers and ratings so as to successfully and genuinely take it to an enviable and respected level.
their people. kindly endeavour to learn from history because four years is just around the corner and before you all know it, the day of reckoning will come. and all of you will be called upon to account for after this period is your stewardship. unlike the sixth national assembly that engaged in incessant bickering with the executive arm of government, this medium is being used to call on you all to be partners in progress to the executive without necessarily compromising standard. this should be done if only to preserve the overall interest of
the country. unnecessary confrontations have not yielded any progress in the past and as such should be discarded. all nigerians look up to you to initiate and rigorously debate private and public bills and to also pass resolutions that would benefit the entire country including ones that can sustain the unity of the country. these important tasks should be paramount in your minds at all time. we call on you all to shun acts that are detrimental to the wellbeing of the nation. the bickering that characterized the last national assembly,
particularly the issue of corruption which dented the image of the lower chamber should not be allowed to rear its ugly head again in this seven national assembly. laws that would make nigeria to be at par with other countries practicing good democracy should be passed. only if these are done can nigerians appreciate the seventh assembly adequately. thanks. • Bala Nayashi, Yashi area, Lokoja.
not be unduly breached.We also seize this opportunity to appeal to those in-charge of the Petroleum ministry to consider the plight of the common people by bringing down the high prices of keresene and diesel oil. If this is done and quickly too, it will impact greatful through an improvement in the living standard of the downtrodden in the nation.Those in power and in-charge of managing our collective oil resources must realise that the best thing they can do for themselves and families is to endeavour to leave behind a legacy of strong and effective leadership. They should think more of the poor masses who live in villages and slum areas in towns that can not afford to pay for electricity or eat good food.We are certain that this is the time to end the exploitation of Nigerians. Leaders as servant of the people should not consider themselves to be greater than the people they claimed to be representing. • Primate Ayoola OmonigbehinChairman,National Peace Organisation.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011 16
Your Excellencies, the people are still not smiling
Reality Bites T
HIS minute, hope falters in the hearts of natives in the districts where the city dream never reaches, nationwide. This minute, people in Lagos are not smiling. People in Cross River, Taraba, Plateau, Benue, and Ogun state, to mention a few, are hardly as cheery as they ought to be, still. Where they live, their fates remain irritable constants like specks of dirt…and death; still. They are still ordinary playthings caught in the familiar vortex of inharmonious processes that comforts and swells the ranks of the city dwellers, even as the odds make forgettable constituencies of them who pass as “village dwellers.” If our governors could go visiting, they could get to travel and experience the worst of roads where like the dead, foul dirt and dust still leap from the earth, to discolour and shut tight, the natives’ doors; particularly along the mud tracts where forgettable veterans retire to make the best of a saddening situation. For all the beauty of Governor Fashola’s megacity project, In Lagos, it’s still a terrible life some natives live. Particularly in Ipaja-Ayobo, Agbado Kollington, Dalemo, Akera,
Ijaye-Jankara. You need only travel the cratered paths and bypasses of Abule-Egba, Ahmadiyya, Meiran, Ipaja and Ajasa-Command. There is stress and madness on the road linking Ayobo with Itele, the roads in Iju-Ishaga, Akute, Ojodu and Ajegunle, just before Ogun state. Trust me; there is hardly anything excellent about these Lagos areas. And yet around the corner, at the point where the Lagos ghetto meshes with Ogun state palpitates the most hideous kind of filth, still. There is ugliness in Lafenwa, Aiyetoro, Olugbode, and every other community along Itele road. Life remains an everlasting eyesore in Owode-Ota, Owode-Ijako, Agoro, Iyana-Ilogbo, Ijoko, Oju Ore, IloAwela and Oke Aro. At Joju, Temidire and environ, mucky pools still stagnate in devastating craters because these hotspots are allegedly on a federal road. In Abeokuta, it’s still the same old story, same old misery…same old filth. There is devastation Ita-Elega, Itoku, Itoko, Isale-Ake, Onikolobo, Quarry road, Adatan, to mention a few. Nobody knows if Governor Ibikunle Amosu will rise above the pettiness and incompetency of his
‘It is taking forever for government presence to be felt in Owode-Ijako, Atan and Ado Odo in Ogun state. It is taking forever for the megacity bliss to extend to Ayobo, Ahmadiyya, Abule Egba, Meiran, IjaiyeOjokoro, Ekoro, Ajegunle and other forgotten areas of Lagos’
T was a spectacle. Many chose to ignore it. Some privileged few were glued to their television sets and of course, a legion of Nigerians were denied the opportunity to catch the sight, no thanks to the nation’s festering malignant tumour – near-nonexistent power supply. The man of the moment was the then newly swornin President Goodluck Jonathan. He was locked in a dance with his wife, Dame. Obviously, from the President’s toothy smiles and total mien, it was as though he was about assuming the leadership of a ready-made system – an el-Dorado. It was on May 29, moments after he was inaugurated to begin a four-year term. No fewer than 50 helmsmen of countries from across the globe honoured the epoch-making event. It gulped almost a billion naira of tax-payers’ money. The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Alhaji Idi Farouk said that the fortune spent on the inauguration is justified. His reason: Such an event comes once in four years. But to the wretched and wrecked that saw the crass waste, the NOA boss made no point! I was somewhere trying to cage my emotion with some drinks while the Abuja jamboree lasted. Suddenly, a middle-aged man caused a stir with an exclamation: “God, where are we going? See what my so-called President is doing with our money in a country where it has become a sin for the commoners to enjoy the basic necessities of life!” It was about 9.05 pm. To the man who later confessed that he was at a loss for how to ensure that his two kids did not go to bed with empty stomach, the inauguration should have been “ultra-modest.” “Our situation does not call for this wasteful extravaganza. After getting the baton after the oath-taking, I expected him (The President) to resume at his office and get straight at where hopeless Nigerians’ shoes pin,” said the obviously aggrieved Nigerian. Of course, the angry man had a point. Yes, even the worst dunderhead would agree that he expressed the minds of most Nigerians. But if the party had not held, how would the nation’s visitors know more of the beauty of the expensive capital city of our nation? Then, how would you and I know that we have a President and First Lady with enthralling terpsichorean ability? Most importantly, how would the world have had the opportunity to affirm Nigeria as the “real” Giant of Africa, not minding the monstrous poverty and criminal deprivations that had jointly dehumanised ordinary Nigerians?
predecessor and thus facilitate electricity for the people of Lafenwa, Olugbode, Itele and Old Ota road and better lives of the people of his state. And the world obviously sees the poverty and squalor in Sankwala. For all its gift of tourism and splendour, the mountain village playing host to the Obudu Mountain Resort (OMR) in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State, still gravitates in a mélange of poverty and splendour. In Gembu, the stars are still a backdrop for the human condition. Guess his Excellency in Taraba state has learnt to glance without flinching at the straggle of human settlement with scarcely a streetlight to illumine the pale ghost of his domain popularly known as the Mambilla Plateau. Wonder if he is unaware of the squalor in Gembu; perhaps he simply chose to ignore the tourist tract where poverty and bliss spit at each other, like cats; every day. Squalid scenery elongate beyond the forgotten streets of Lagos, past the capital city, bypasses and transit townships of Ogun; they are drawn out beyond the tourist tracts of Sankwala, in Cross River and the Mambilla Plateau, in Taraba to mention a few. The affected state governors are probably unmoved to affect heart-felt responses to the malaise. Perhaps they are making spirited gestures, even as you read, to extend citizenrycentred governance cum democratic dividends to the disillusioned natives of the forgotten parts; perhaps they just don’t know how to go about it. Ignorance is not an excuse for denying the citizenry good governance and their fundamental human rights. It shall no longer be tenable to hoodwink the citizenry by platitudinous avowal to abolish poverty and foster general prosperity; time has re-
vealed what section of the citizenry such benefits are meant for. It shall no longer be “politically expedient” to neglect a class of the governed just because, by will or circumstance, they inhabit parts of state the ruling class would rather not lose sleep over; except at the time of election or re-election. It is no longer acceptable for our governors, Mr. President and other serving public officers to feign ignorance of bad roads, total absence of electricity and various other infrastructural lacks and eyesores bedeviling Nigeria’s decrepit suburbs – just because the latter do not fall within the parts of state they consider “metro.” The state of Nigeria’s suburbs leaves too much to be desired. No governor, president or local government chairman should evade or ignore so great a horror on so vast a scale. Leadership need not be an ignorance of or perversion of the will and rights of the people. Nor should any leader or public administrator assume haughtily that he is doing anything extraordinary if perchance he is applauded for providing requisite social infrastructure for the survival and smooth running of the society; this is because such functions are basically the statutory duties of his office and for which we pay, by tax; and for which he is being handsomely rewarded too. Let every serving public officer be wary of those who would influence them to mistake squalor for paradise and bestiality as the essence of greatness, as long as it constitutes no bother to their lives. Let them be wary of sycophants, lobbyists, party thugs, columnists of note et al – for these lots among so many others, embody evils of all shades and conduct and from which they ought to keep the greatest distance. Let them not be intoxicated by the
Nigeria after the costly jamboree By Dada Aladelokun
Barely a week after, the 7th National Assembly of the nation was born, also amid boisterousness. Starched fabrics, predominantly guinea brocade, mostly flowing agbada, competed on the floors of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. ‘Thank you God, I’m here at long last’ was boldly written on most faces. It was smiles, bouts of laughter all the way! Who asked for what was going on in the minds of the pauperised lot at the moment? It’s of no use revelling in self-deceit; to many an average person, the opportunity is at the legislators’ beck and call to “eat and vomit” for another four-year term. Same, they say, applies to the executive across board. No doubt, the disenchantment of Nigerians is understandable. Of course, not a few were living witnesses to the heart-rending scandals involving people like former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye. Today, he is among the men directing the nation’s affairs in the Senate. Yes, Nigerians know quite well the kernel of ex-Speaker Dimeji Bankole’s travails in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Certainly, both are not alone on the ignominious page of the nation’s stinking history. Nigeria has for long, suffered the painful misfortune of being “blessed” to a nauseating extent, with men (and even women) of dead conscience, behaving as self-conceited drunkards at leadership positions to the detriment of the followership who has been made to undeservedly suffer incalculable socio-economic deprivations. Now, the ritual of oath taking has taken place for the umpteenth time with the Holy Books – Bible and Qu’ran. Oh, no; it was not the Ogun, the no-nonsense god of iron! Yes, many had dreamt of an era when prospective public office holders would swear by the dreaded one who, rather than bathe with water, would prefer blood; but no, dem no fit yet! However, President Jonathan has vowed: “Together, we will … improve the living standards of all our
barrage of mostly undeserved commendations and encomiums. Let them not be fooled by hastily composed, currency-activated eulogies ceaselessly heaped upon them by individuals and groups desperate enough to consider them “great” and thus dressing them in over-sized cloaks. Greatness should be earned. There is nothing as unreal and neurotic in concept as unearned greatness as it makes a wretch of the leader who seeks it. To substantiate it is in fact, impossible, thus the Nigerian leader caught in the web of such deceitfulness, dwells on highfaluting, indefinable sound-bites of altruism and collectivism to give a semi-plausible form to his nameless vanity and anchor it on reality – to support his own self-deception and deceive his victims; the citizenry. Such deception does not last very long. There is no short-cut to greatness. Let leaders we have now improve our lives now. December is too far away for electricity or a semblance of it to arrive in Itele, Olugbode and Lafenwa town in Ogun state. It is taking forever for government presence to be felt in Owode-Ijako, Atan and Ado Odo in Ogun state. It is taking forever for the megacity bliss to extend to Ayobo, Ahmadiyya, Abule Egba, Meiran, Ijaiye-Ojokoro, Ekoro, Ajegunle and other forgotten areas of Lagos. The good life remains far-fetched in Sankwala, Cross River state; Gembu and the Mambilla Plateau in Taraba. It gets worse in other parts of the nation. One cannot make the words too strong; last dispensation, our dreams asphyxiated in the hands of leadership we hoped would improve our lives. This dispensation, let leadership we have now endeavour to improve our lives, right now.
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peoples whether in the North or in the South; in the East or in the West. Our decade of development has begun. The march is on...” It was at the point of his inauguration. But will his “lucky” administration do the needful to retain voters’ confidence in the nation’s electoral odyssey? Will it sincerely set forth a new tradition where by like all “retiring” lawmakers and executives, pensioners who have served the nation meritoriously for 35 years will get their own “severance pay” without dying off in fruitless sorrow? Today, out of frustration, the general run of impoverished Nigerians are not even begging the powers that be on the ever-threatening unemployment and other ills plaguing the land; all they want the ‘elected’ to do is to give them reliable power supply to at least, resurrect the “dry economic bones” of the sick nation and ultimately, their private lives. Besides, brazen looting of public funds remains stubborn in government circles. Hunger walks the length and breath of the land with offensive arrogance. Do the President and the Senator David Mark-led National Assembly have the liver to step on toes to tame it? Do they possess the magic wand to get the nation’s economy out of the ‘intensive care unit’ where it has been lying critically ill? The postinauguration merriment should give way for serious business of governance now, lest we mourn the loss of a better yesterday after the next four years! • Dada Aladelokun is a staff of The Nation.
‘Nigeria has for long, suffered the painful misfortune of being “blessed” to a nauseating extent, with men (and even women) of dead conscience, behaving as self-conceited drunkards at leadership positions to the detriment of the followership who has been made to undeservedly suffer incalculable socio-economic deprivations’
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
IGERIANS like idle talks a lot. To many of our countrymen and women, this has become a pastime. Even the most respectable of Nigerian will always want to know what is going on around him. By that l do not mean what is going on in official circles alone but what happens in the innermost privacy of those occupying or may likely occupy sensitive positions in government quarters and organisations in the country. That is why what has come to be identified as junk journalism seems to be thriving to no end across the country. Many have made fortunes reporting basically what happens behind the scene and the innermost chambers of privileged citizens. Just some few weeks back, the nation after the epochal June 12, 1993 Presidential election won by Bashorun MKO Abiola witnessed another general election that was given kudos by both national and international observers. The elections were not perfect, but whatever inadequacies noticed are things that could be rectified in future elections. Afterall, those electoral shortcomings were reasonable enough to ensure that in most situations across the country, the wishes of the electorate triumphed. So, ordinarily after election period, comes the time for as usual speculations and rumours regarding who gets what. Without doubt, some people engage lobbyists just to ensure that they get appointed to positions of power, but there are still few others whose track record and perhaps luck will see through. Some are seeking re-appointment after meritorious or rather unmeritorious service spanning four years. Most Nigerians believe that merit has little role in deciding who gets what in this country and that getting to power is all about what one can squeeze out of the system and not what can be contributed for the greatest good of the greatest number. Yet, the nation can only move forward if we all can be (whether within or outside office) our brothers’ keepers. To those who see being appointed into positions of power as a matter of life and death, the time to move fast is now but to the few that sees the entire episode as just bythe-way-whatever happens is welcomed. During this period, it has become the fad to
HE 2011 elections have ushered in the maiden class of political, bureaucratic and technocratic functionaries of post 50 Nigeria. This governing class is a milestone because its members kicked off Nigeria’s march to the next 50 years. Indeed they are an epochal class because they mark the beginning of a new development era. They will leave a positive legacy if they see themselves as such, but will leave a negative legacy if they see themselves as an extension of the governments of the previous 50 years, especially those since the end of the civil war. To cause positive change, these functionaries must be prepared to pursue a transformational path. They need to be reminded of what the electorate assumes they already know and why they elected them, namely, that Nigerians urgently need and deserve national development. The story of development, aspects of which I outline below, provides lessons for ‘leaders’ of post 50 Nigeria in general and the maiden governing class in particular. Development has never been a gift from one developed nation to an underdeveloped other. There is no case in history where a people went to develop another society and altruistically handed it over to the indigenous population of the area. Rather, leaders and citizens of individual nations have always been the architects and prime movers of national development. In other words, foreign aid by itself cannot develop a country. Instead, leaders of aid receiving nations decide either to put aid to fruitful use or put it to frivolous use due to incompetence or corruption or both. It is common knowledge that the latter has been the case in Nigeria the last half century of political independence. Development cannot be outsourced or offshored. A country where leaders are complacent with hiring outsiders to build and maintain their national infrastructure stands on camouflaged, illusive development rather than on the solid slab of sustainable development. That is why most countries, rich in natural resources, which use their money to buy both their basic needs and luxuries from other countries still have characteristics of the Third World. A country is developed not because it has high gross national income per capita generated from the accident of abundant natural resources. A country is developed because it has the capacity to produce its needs of primary and value added products. It imports some commodities not because of a lack of capacity
Another season of appointment buzz
•Jonathan see many to be touting names of even sometimes the oblivious as being pencilled down for particular appointive positions. The unwary whose names are being speculated most times wondered where the source of such conjecture could be. In recent time, one has been to places where the main thrust of discussion has consistently been the peddling of names of people that would make the cabinet of governors in different parts of the country. Even when one is
not disposed to joining the discussion, the few that can recognise one as a journalist would make frantic attempts to draw one into the topic. Most of them already had the mindset that as a member of the fourth estate of the realm, information regarding what goes on in the innermost circles of government houses should be at one’s finger tips. Attempts to convince them that one does not have such information usually fall on deaf ears. Those are the people that tip one for position that was never applied for. On few occasions, their speculations could hit the target but on several other periods, they goofed. But, those people have never learnt to keep their mouths shut. In times past, seasons of appointment buzz were interesting occasions. The weeks ahead of the Sunday, May 29 inauguration of newly elected president and governors have thrown up so many appointment permutations. Some of these permutations are realistic and reasonable while others are just too superfluous. However, one incongruous aspect of this season is the fact that nobody ever bothers to ask or query the rationale behind some of these executive appointments. What normally happens is that once a name is announced, the norm among Nigerians is to start thinking of how to connect with such
What next for Nigeria’s development? By Chikwendu Christian Ukaegbu to produce but as a matter of choice based on the economic efficiency of importation over domestic production. But when importpenetration threatens the economy, it can comfortably apply its human and natural resources to produce to continue to meet its needs. Almost all countries classified as developed nations or core countries possess this characteristic. By contrast, countries classified as developing or the periphery lack the capacity to produce value added goods, or to import them, by choice. The result is that high import penetration causes the structural incoherence of those economies. Countries that have succeeded in the march to development combined import substitution with export orientation industrialization. National wealth is no longer based on extracting and marketing natural resources alone. But Nigeria in the last 50 years constricted its developmental capacity because of a monocultural economy of oil. A mono-cultural economy is structurally incoherent because it lacks backward and forward linkages and the resulting multiplier effects that diversify and strengthen the economy. It is shameful that Nigeria has been incapable of making optimal use of its most strategic resource (oil) to implant and deepen a manufacturing culture in the country. That governments spend a lot of the money from sale of crude oil on importation of petroleum products after 53 years of oil exploration is indefensible. Yet, domestic capacity exists to simplify the refining of crude oil through the medium of mini refineries. The mention of Biafra may be anathema to some. But it is a historical truth that Biafra maintained a robust supply of its energy needs by singlehandedly building a conventional refinery and later decentralized its oil refining capability through the medium of mini refineries. There is no reason this capability cannot be revived and spread across the country to reduce or even eliminate the inordinate but avoidable amounts of foreign currency that are
funneled to import of petroleum products. So no matter how much natural resources Nigeria has, its ‘leaders’ should intensify effort to diversify the economy through expansion of value added production. Put another way, industrialization of Nigeria is a must if political leaders at national, state, and local levels intend to provide the best possible quality of life for the very majority of their people. The value added products substitute for imports, save foreign exchange, while the export of surplus value added commodities brings in additional foreign exchange. That is the now familiar story of developmentally successful countries both in the past and the present. It does not mean that the primary sector, agriculture, be neglected. Rather, agriculture is developed to full capacity to provide national food security and support value added production in the industrial sector. In fact, that is another truism we know about developmentally successful countries. No country classified as developed is on the global hunger or malnutrition index. Countries, past and present, have attained development through participation in the world capitalist system. Even the former Soviet Union, a world power, with an economic system different from the world capitalist system had a partial attachment to the latter, through trade. It fully joined the world capitalist system after the fall of communism. China has enhanced its prosperity by full participation in the global capitalist system. The tiger economies of East Asia attained their now enviable status by operating within the world capitalist system. And successful emerging economies do so within the same system. But critical observers remind us that the global capitalist system is not benevolent to or considerate of the plight of developing countries; it is not an altruistic system. Even though it preaches the collective good of the ‘global community’, it is fundamentally a national self-oriented system. There is no Santa Claus in international relations. Nations will
person. Friends and family members who have never called the phone number of the newly appointed will start sending text messages laced with high-fallutine poetic words. The phones will never stop ringing and sometimes, could be quite distracting to the important task of the state. This season has led many to have an overestimated impression of themselves, leading in times past, to the abyss of depression when disappointment beckoned at the end of the exercise. Whoever gets appointed at the end of the day should not be envied because the president or governors that appointed them expect good performances that can boost the profile of their administrations. One other thing is the fact that government jobs are increasingly becoming mine-fields where the appointed should to be very careful, otherwise, he might be consumed by official volcanic eruptions. There are empirical examples of unwary victims of banana peels everywhere now. Thus, while celebrating with the newly and prospective appointed men and women across the nation, it is very important to remind the celebrated that this season and its attendant applause and accolades could be very deceitful. The people shouting hosanna today will shout crucify him tomorrow if anything slightly goes wrong. Let no one be intoxicated by the lucre of power. Some people have been there in the past and their footprints cannot be traced again in the history map of the land. Some whose footprints are traced have them blurred by tyrannical or corrupt exploits. Very few that have their names etched in gold are those that learned from the history of men of power. So, learn, those on stage now must!
‘Whoever gets appointed at the end of the day should not be envied because the president or governors that appointed them expect good performances that can boost the profile of their administrations’ always pursue and protect their interests and do so aggressively too. Hence only strong states in developing countries succeed in the world system. A strong state does not mean a dictatorship or the classic autocratic regime. A strong state means that political leaders or the governing group of a developing country assert autonomy from domestic and foreign vested interests by making decisions and implementing policies that are primarily in the best interest of their country or citizens. In development theory and practice, a strong state is equivalent to the developmental state. A developmental state is proactive, interventionist, ambitious, autonomous, and energetic in the implementation and supervision of its policies. It has a vision of to where it wants to lead the country. It recognizes the dominant ideology of neoliberal globalization, operates within it, but is not slave to it. It situates its development policies and practices within its unique history and borrows relevant models from outsiders rather than depend on them. It uses national revenue to solve the people’s problems and invokes integrity and honesty in the allocation of public resources. It trusts the ability of citizens to build the foundations of national development if given the proper leadership. Nigerians expect nothing less from this maiden governing class of post 50 Nigeria which the 2011 elections recently ushered in. • Ukaegbu is Professor, Sociology Development, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
‘A developmental state is proactive, interventionist, ambitious, autonomous, and energetic in the implementation and supervision of its policies. It has a vision of to where it wants to lead the country. It recognizes the dominant ideology of neoliberal globalization, operates within it, but is not slave to it’
Rabiu spurns Bolt: I’m good enough Dream Team recall for Man United Pg. 41
Nation Friday, June 10, 2011
Osaze not in my plans now —Siasia Pg. 24
Eagles coach: Argentina match cost us Ethiopia
Falcons draw with Austria Pg. 24
AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFIERS FALLOUT
Guinea vows to stop Nigeria Pg. 24
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
NATION SPORT Ronaldo in emotional goodbye to Brazil fans BRAZIL FORWARD legend Ronaldo bade farewell to the nation's fans on Wednesday in an emotional final match against Romania, and spoke from the pitch as the Selecao eased to a comfortable 1-0 victory in the friendly encounter. Mano Menezes' side triumphed 1-0 thanks to a Fred goal in the first half, but throughout the game the twotime World Cup winner was the centre of attention. Fans did not have to wait long to see him in action, as 30 minutes in the goalscorer was withdrawn to allow the ex-Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter and Milan star to take the pitch. Ronaldo desperately coveted a goal during a 15-minute cameo that brought the curtain down on his exceptional career. So too did the spectators, who showered the 34-yearold in applause during his swansong. However, despite three chances, two of them ones the striker fans came to know and love would have dispatched with his eyes closed, the 34-year-old was unable to realise his final on-pitch ambition. At half-time, during an emotional commemoration en route to Brazil's 1-0 win over Romania, Ronaldo expressed his disappointment at not finding the target and extreme gratitude to the supporters.
EPL’s income tops £2bn PREMIER LEAGUE clubs' revenues smashed through the £2 billion barrier for the first time last year but soaring wages remain a concern for the world's richest league, a study reported on Thursday. The 20th Annual Review of Football Finance from Deloitte reported that Premier League clubs earned £2.030 million in 2009/10, a figure which is expected to rise to £2.2 billion in 2010/ 2011 when new television deals kick in. However the report cautioned that the increase in revenues of £49 million was outstripped by the rise in total wage costs of £64 million, taking total payroll costs to more than £1.4 billion or 68 percent of revenues. Chelsea were the the club with the biggest wage bill (£174 million) followed by Manchester City (£133 million), who nosed ahead of city rivals Manchester United who spent £132 million. However City's mammoth wages represented 107 percent of the club's revenue, compared to United, whose wages-to-revenue ratio came in at 46 percent. City's spiralling wage costs represent a challenge for the club ahead of the introduction of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, which will seek to make clubs participating in European competition to break even by 2011-2012.
Siasia: Argentina match cost us Ethiopia flop
OACH Samson Siasia admits Nigeria's dropped points in Ethiopia stemming from last week's friendly with Argentina. The 2012 Nations Cup qualifier ended 2-2 in Addis Adaba, leaving the Super Eagles three points behind Group B leaders Guinea with two matches left. Having beaten Argentina 4-1 in Abuja last Wednesday, the Nigerians arrived in Ethiopia only hours before kick-off. "The boys probably took Argentina more seriously and approached Ethiopia with a relaxed attitude," said Siasia. "This cost us dearly. Admittedly, there were the problems of fatigue, high altitude and other minor things - but we didn't play well." The Super Eagles are set to play Argentina once again, in another friendly in Bangladesh on 6 September, but the coach insists that qualifying for 2012 Nations Cup is his main objective. "We paid the price in Ethiopia but we cannot make the same mistake twice, so attention is firmly on a Nations Cup ticket," the former international told BBC Sport. Nigeria face Madagascar on 4 September in a crucial Nations Cup qualifier, before travelling to the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to take on the Argentines just 48 hours later. With the trip to Antananarivo a priority, Siasia says he plans to ring the changes in his squad in order to find the right mentality. "We plan to travel to Madagascar with players who have the right attitude and mindset towards what is at stake," Siasia said. "However, we feel the time is right to ring changes in the team and we are going to give opportunities to others too. "There will be changes to playing personnel, the attitude and mentality will be different and fresh legs will be brought in." On 1 June, Argentina fielded an experimental side - with Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero all absent. The game has since become the subject of a match-fixing investigation by football's world governing body Fifa. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says its latest contract ensures the South Americans will take a full-
strength squad to Dhaka. "I'm not bothered about Argentina, we can beat them 4-1 again with Messi and others but it counts for nothing if we fail to qualify for the Nations Cup," Siasia insists. Meanwhile, reports in the local media claim that Siasia and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are expected to hold crisis talks to discuss qualification for next year's African Cup of Nations. The football authority will meet Siasia this week in a bid to thrash out challenges facing the team, according to the NFF's general secretary Musa Amadu. If the Super Eagles win their next two Nations Cup qualifiers - in Madagascar in September, and at home against Guinea a month later they will automatically qualify for next January's finals.
Osaze not in my plans now –Siasia •Insists West Brom star should apologise to team
UPER EAGLES gaffer Samson Siasia has insisted that West brom star player, Osaze Odenwingie would have to apologize to the whole team before he is accepted back into the fold. Emerging from an interactive session with the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Abuja, ‘Siaone’ said that he does not have the former Bendel Insurance player in his programme for now. “Osaze is not in my programme for now. His case did not come up during my interaction with the Technical
Committee, he would need to apologize first before to the entire team, then, we would start thinking of him”. He said that the player’s absence was not felt in the match against the Walyas Antelope of Ethiopia last weekend in Adisababa. It would be recalled that Osazee Odenwingie worked out on the team after their last qualifying match against Ethiopia in Abuja.
AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFIERS FALLOUT
Guinea vows to stop Nigeria S
UPER Eagles of Nigeria may have difficult time qualifying for African most prestigious soccer event, the African Cup of Nations when they engage the Syli National of Guinea in October. The Guineans are hoping to upset to their Nigerian counterparts in the race for the only tickets of the group for the African Cup of Nations. According to reports on the Guinean web site, Chairman of the Coordination Committee of Guinea football, Amadou Diaby, told reporters in Dakar, Senegal on Tuesday that Guinea would not miss the rare opportunity the team has at the moment to reach Gabon and Equatorial Guinea 2012, after chalking-up 10 points from four games to top Group B ahead of favorites Nigeria who are on seven points. Guinea will meet Ethiopia next who they crushed 4-1 at home in Addis Ababa during the first round, while the decider of the group will engage the Syli National and the Super Eagles in Nigeria for the last round of the qualifiers. However, the Guinean sports official believes his side will not waste the opportunity as current leaders of the group to qualify for the 2012 Afcon.
By Innocent Amomoh with Agency report “We have the players and the desire to qualify this time around, so we can’t afford to fall. We’ll do everything possible to stay atop the group to clinch our ticket,” he said. “We’ve got a very youthful team with full potentials and coach Michel Dussuyer is doing a very great job with little hurdles left on our way towards next year’s continental showpiece,” Diaby told Senegal Press Agency, APS. With two more matches to decide the team that will emerge as the sole
qualifier in Group B, hopes are high among the various teams contending for the only ticket in the group. Though the Syli National of Guinea seems to be comfortable on top of the table with 10 points to Nigeria’s 7, the fight to qualify from the group seems to be open to either teams depending on the outcome of subsequent matches. As Nigeria will be getting set to clinch a win against leaders, Guinea when they come visiting in October, expectations are however high especially among the teeming Nigerian fans.
Falcons draw with Austria
IGERIA's Super Falcons came from behind to draw 1-1 with Austria in the third of their warm-up games ahead of this month's FIFA Women's World Cup. Josephine Chukwunonye's second half goal earned Nigeria parity after the Austrians had taken the lead in the first period. The game was the third for coach Uche Eucharia's wards as they prepare
Bolt: I'm good Serena to return at Eastbourne enough for Man United THE All England Club welcomed the news that Serena Williams, four-times Ladies Singles' Champion at The Championships, Wimbledon, would be returning to competition at the AEGON International in Eastbourne next week. Williams, who has not competed since lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish last July, has suffered from a range of problems since injuring her foot last July, including a
ABIU IBRAHIM will not join Nigeria Olympic team for a must-win qualifier versus Tanzania as he has yet to recover from a knee injury. “I’m still feeling some pains around the knee and so won’t be part of the team now,” the holidaying PSV Eindhoven ace told MTNFootball.com. Rabiu received the injury during another 2012 London Olympics qualifying match against Liberia in Monrovia in April. Dream Team V, as the current Nigeria Olympic team are called, will be missing several other stars including Lillestrom of Norway pair of Nosa Igiebor and Anthony Ujah as they have been released back to their club. However, coach Austin Eguavoen has recalled Warri Wolves striker Ekigho Ehiosun who was away in Ethiopia on duty with the Super Eagles. He also disclosed that Enyimba star Eneji Otekpa will also rejoin the team in Benin City, where the team have begun training as they aim to overturn a 1-0 loss they suffered in Tanzania on Sunday.
Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports
USAIN BOLT believes he is good enough to play for Manchester United when he retires from athletics. The world record holder for both 100 and 200 metres, Bolt electrified a worldwide audience at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he burst onto the scene and he is confident he can electrify Old Trafford in the same manner. “I really want to try soccer after I retire because I’ve watched football over the years and I think I could be a good contender,” Bolt told the BBC. “I’m really looking forward to it and yes, I definitely think I’m good enough to play for Manchester United. "I'm good enough because I’m quick, I have a little skill - I have to refine it a little bit but I should be good enough.” The 9.58 second 100 metre man met the United squad at their training ground back in 2009 and offered sprinting tips to then-Red Devil star Cristiano Ronaldo. The Jamaican star would certainly add a turn-of-foot to Sir Alex Ferguson’s frontline, but for now his focus is on a 200 metre offering at Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Oslo.
From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja
He was subsequently dropped by the Chief Coach Samson Siasia who is insisting that his actions were tantamount to the unity in the team.Siasia confirmed that the Super Eagles would camp for five days in Mauritius before their next match against Madagascar in September. He said that his attention now would be on how to win the remaining two matches, saying that it would be disastrous if the Super Eagles does not qualify for the next edition of the African Nations Cup to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea next year. He said that his match report in the last game in Adisababa has not been submitted, as he would need some more time to put it together. The former International said he is willing to take on Argentina again, at whatever venue, saying that it would further enable him prove a point.
Rabiu spurns Dream Team recall
pulmonary embolism and a haematoma. "We are delighted to hear that Serena Williams will be returning to competition," said a spokesman for the AELTC. "Miss Williams is currently ranked No.25 in the world, and as such has direct entry into The Championships, 2011. Barring any setbacks, we look forward to seeing her defending her title."
for the World Cup. They defeated Austrian first division team, Wacker Innsbruck 70 in their first friendly match on Sunday, May 29 and edged the Czech Republic National women's team 10 on Wednesday, June 1. The match was played at the Stadion Leogang, only five minutes’ drive from the Falcons’ Hotel Saliterhof abode in Saalfelden, Austria. Eucharia is expected to name her final squad of 21 players by Friday's deadline.
COUNTDOWN TO 17TH NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL
Volunteers screening commence From Florence Nkem Israel, Port-Harcourt
HE Volunteers sub-committee of the 17th national sport festival tagged Garden City Games 2011 commenced its screening for volunteers that would work with the various committees during the events that is about to kick of in a few days time yesterday. NationSport gathered from the secretary of the committee, Mr. Sepribo Gilbert Nimifaa that over three thousand people submitted letters to the committee while they require about two thousand, two hundred and fifty people to carry out their job but have also being advised by the LOC chairman, Engineer Tele Ikuru to recruit two thousand five hundred persons to avoid shortage of personnel. He also noted that it was the list of required volunteers submitted by the various sub committees that his committee is working with. "We've just commenced the screening of the intended volunteers for the 17th national sports festival.”
The winners of the Nigeria vs Tanzania clash will qualify for a tournament in December from which the top three teams will qualify for next year’s Olympic football event for men in London, while the fourthplaced team will battle a team from Asia for another ticket for the competition.
MILO SCHOOLS BASKETBALL
MM College, GSS Zing qualifies
ENERAL MURTALA Muhammed College, Yola, Adamawa State and Government Secondary School, Zing, Taraba State have qualified for the national finals of the Nestle Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship following the end of the Savannah Conference competition in Kano. The Zing team will represent the Savannah Conference in the girls category while the Murtala will feature in the boys category in the final stage billed to hold at the National Stadium in Lagos by August. The ladies from Zing were the first to qualify from the zone after beating Army Day Secondary School, Birnin Kebbi 17-14. The boys’ match which marked the end of the competition was between the Murtala Muhammed College team and the hosts Ahmadiya College, Kano. The Adamawa boys who lost the first quarter by 14-13 came up strongly to win the match by 71-58. The coach of Murtala Muhammed College, Dickson Tinison said their success was made in Heaven. “The players worked very hard; the officials did their home work too and God simply crowned our effort. We have been playing in the conference final game without getting through to Lagos but this time we were very focussed and determined to get to that national finals. We give glory to God,” he said. The boys from Adamawa had played in five previous conference final games without scaling through. They and the girls from Zing will land in Lagos by August when the national finals hold. The Savannah Conference was the first in the series of zonal playoffs. The train moves to Enugu on Thursday where the Equatorial Conference playoffs will hold until next week. Two teams will qualify from each conference (one from boys and one from the girls) and will be joined by two best losers overall to complete the national finals.
Messi: Barca deserves to be remembered LIONEL MESSI will not admit that his Barcelona side are the best of all time, but he did say there are no secrets to their success after winning La Liga and the Champions League last season. The Argentine ace scored 53 goals in all competitions and he hit one in the final at Wembley as his team beat Manchester United 3-1 to lift the European Cup for a third time in less than six years. However, Messi was hesitant to state that his team are the greatest in history. "I cannot say this because there have been other great teams in certain eras, but we have shown this [team] deserves to be remembered," he said, according to Il Mattino newspaper. "The season was excellent, but there are no secrets. At Barcelona there is work and trust in our own possibilities." The 23-year-old went on to talk about next month's Copa America which will be held in his native Argentina. "I have the work culture. All I know is this. I try to stay calm in the good and bad moments. Now I want to win something with Argentina," he
interview with Jornal da Tarde. “Before I came to Brazil, Mourinho and the bosses at Madrid told me to spend a quiet holiday ahead of the pre-season. They knew there would be lot of speculation because there have been rumours ever since I arrived [at Madrid]. But I really want to stay and I will stay.”
THE agent of Inter defender Lucio, Alessandro Lucci, has revealed that the Brazilian has expressed his desire to remain with the Coppa Italia winners, and wants to pen a new deal at the Giuseppe Meazza. The centre-back's current contract with the world champions runs until the summer of 2012, and talks over an extension are ongoing. Ambitious La Liga side Malaga are closely monitoring the situation of the 33-year-old and are ready to pounce if negotiations break down, but Lucci stated that Lucio's first option is to prolong his stay at the Milanese club. "Nothing has gone wrong and there are no points of disagreement. We have put our cards on the table and are very calm," the representative was quoted as saying by La Repubblica. "They [Inter] know our demands. We are aware of Malaga's interest, however, Lucio's priority at the moment is to sign a new deal with Inter." The stopper has reportedly set his sights on a new contract until 2014, but it is not yet clear whether Inter are ready to extend the defender's stay for two additional seasons.
Turkish FA warns Chelsea over Guus Hiddink
THE president of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has issued a warning to Chelsea in their pursuit of Guus Hiddink and questioned the honesty of the manager himself. TFF president Mahmut Ozgener seems to be suspicious over an illegal move for the services of Hiddink and has cited his intent to bring the matter before FIFA if his suspicions are confirmed. “Chelsea has a past record for signing players who are under contract, if the same thing happens,
Kaka pledges loyalty to Madrid Lucio to extend stay at Inter
REAL MADRID playmaker Kaka has dismissed reports linking him with a summer move to Inter and claims their coach, Leonardo, respects his wish to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu. The 29-year-old’s future at the Spanish giants has been the subject of speculation ever since last summer, when he finished a disappointing debut campaign in the Primera Division, and recent reports claim the playmaker could link up with his friend Leonardo at Inter following an injury-riddled 2010-11 season. An exchange deal, with Maicon moving in the other direction, has also been mooted and Goal.com has learned that the Italian giants do indeed intend to part company with the Brazilian defender. However, Goal.com sources have also revealed that the final decision rests with Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, who has a number of attacking personnel at his disposal for the 201112 season and looks set to make further changes ahead of the next campaign. Kaka, though, seems intent on staying in Madrid and rejecting a return to Italy. “Frankly, my wish is to stay,” the Brazil international said in an
concluded.? The Copa will take place between July 1 and 24.
we will make a file of the payments we made to Hiddink and we will go to FIFA,” Ozgener told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. An official approach for the former Australia and South Korea manager’s services was made by Chelsea last week but Ozgener believes the 64year-old was sounded out prior to Turkey’s 1-1 draw with Belgium. “After the Belgium game I went to the dressing room and asked Hiddink what he will do,” Ozgener added. “He replied, ‘I will go to Turkey’s B team match and then go to South Korea for a charity match.’ But after that I learnt he said different things to the players. He should have told me what he told the players.” The Blues would be forced to pay the TFF £3.5 million in compensation should Hiddink make the return to Stamford Bridge and the London Club may well hope that Ozgener is deposed from his role during presidential re-elections at the end of June - an issue he insists will not affect Turkish Football’s policing of any deal for their current manager. “You cannot come to Turkey and then leave when you want,” Ozgener said. Should Chelsea land their man, they will take their compensation payments to over £9 million as the departed Carlo Ancelotti was set to receive £6 million for his dismissal.
Lazio confirms Klose signing GERMANY STRIKER Miroslav Klose has signed a two-year deal with Italian giants Lazio after failing to agree on a contract extension with German league side Bayern Munich. Klose, who turned 33 on Thursday, finally signed the deal late on Wednesday night and joins on a free transfer with his Bayern contract to expire at the end of the month after four years in Munich. Bayern confirmed on Monday that talks over a new deal had broken down and Klose, the top-scorer at the 2006 World Cup, has wasted no time in finding a new club. "Miroslav Klose is a Lazio player," read a brief statement on the Lazio website. With 61 goals in 109 appearances for Germany, Klose comes to Romebased Lazio with a wealth of experience and is closing in on Gerd Mueller's all-time record of 68 goals
for the German national side. His record of 14 goals in World Cup finals is second only to Brazil's Ronaldo.
Akpabio inaugurates multi-million naira bridge
Gifts for victim of assault
Community laments lack of infrastructure
Akwa Ibom 28
FRIDAY JUNE 10, 2011
NGO challenges Jonathan on security
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been urged to prioritise security in the implementation of his programmes. The New Nigeria Initiative (NNI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which gave this advice, said that there are several threats to national security which are inimical to foreign direct investments (FDI) and development initiatives of the country and Nigerians. Speaking in Abuja, the Coordinator of NNI in the
From Dele Anofi, Abuja
Diaspora, Mrs. Dorcas Ukpe stressed the urgency of curbing violence and unrest in the country. Ukpe, who decried the spate of violence that trailed the outcome of the April elections and the bomb explosions in Abuja and Bauchi however pointed out that the country cannot attain her goals of becoming a top 20 economy by 2020 in a climate of insecurity. Noting that the best way to nurture the country’s democracy
and move the nation forward is for winners to be magnanimous in victory, Ukpe added that threats to security of lives and properties across the nation constitute barriers to unity and good governance in the country. Questioning the inability of security agencies and the judiciary to uncover the perpetrators and enforce justice concerning the various murder cases in the country, Ukpe opined that only justice will serve as deterrent to others. She cited the Lafia-Makurdi
Road, particularly the Kadarko axis that has turned to “an enclave of criminal gangs and killers.” She said: “Adequate security steps have not been taken to address the situation. “I appeal to the federal and state governments to engage a regular joint security patrol team on permanent basis on that road and other flash points as well as prudent management of the information passed on to security agencies by persons living in the neighbourhood,” she added.
Plants thrill expectant communities Fertiliser, methanol facilities to create 1,000 jobs President Jonathan to lay foundation stone
ESIDENTS of Eleme and n e i g h b o u r i n g communities in Rivers State are looking forward to the establishment of two plants in their area. The plants, one for fertiliser, the other methanol, are owned by Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited(EPCL). Both facilities, according to EPCL, will generate about 1,000 jobs, a situation which thrills residents of the host communities. Theyarehopingtoseetheirteeming unemployed youths profitably engaged. The EPCL, once a thriving company, went under due to management, but has since been revived under a new ownership, with Indorama Corporation emergingasthecoreinvestor. The chairman of the company, Mr. S. P. Lohia disclosed that enormous resources were spent to bring the plant to its present state. This is apart from the more than $400m with which it was acquired beforeitsresuscitation. He also disclosed that the company spent over $130m in turn aroundmaintenance(TAM). President Goodluck Jonathan, on May 16, 2011, endorsed the company’s world-class fertiliser andmethanolplantstobelocatedat
The Eleme Petrochemical Company Complex By Bisi Olaniyi and Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt
its complex in Port Harcourt. The project will cost a whopping $1.8b (N275b). WhilehostingtheIndoramateam, comprising Lohia and the
company’s Managing Director, Mr. Manish Mundra, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President said he washappyaboutthefirm’splans. PresidentJonathanalsopromised to give Indorama EPCL the support it requires to make the project a success for the benefit of Nigerians
and the company, assuring that he would be laying the foundation of the fertiliser and methanol plants verysoon. Lohia had earlier informed the President that the fertiliser plant, whencompleted,woulddeliverone million tons of ammonia and urea
fertilisers annually for Nigeria’s agricultural and industrial purposes, while the methanol plant would serve as alternative fuel for public transportation and industries,evenasitwillenhancethe energysector. Continued on Page 26
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Imoke’s wife’s project marks third anniversary SFAC (a State Fit for a Child), the pet project of wife of Cross River State governor, Mrs Obioma Liyel Imoke through which she makes life meaningful for children has commemorated its third anniversary. The anniversary began with an advocacy walk that kicked off from the Federal Secretariat and terminated at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. Flagging off the event, Mrs. Imoke, who was represented by the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Glory Efiok Cobham congratulated Cross River children on the walk which coincided with the International Children’s Day celebrations.
From Kunle Johnson, Calabar
Mrs Imoke recalled that AsFac was initiated in May 2008 to make sure children have all the necessary facilities that would enable them to develop their full poten-
tial. She thanked Governor Imoke for supporting her projects and also for providing enabling environment that has made the state fit for children. Children from selected schools in
AsFac was initiated in May 2008 to make sure children have all the necessary facilities that would enable them to develop their full potential
Calabar were involved in the advocacy walk as they wore T-shirts that bore messages such as “freedom from discrimination,” “no child labour,” “right to dignity,” “teenage pregnancy leads to VVF,” “right to survival” and “no to criminal activities,” among others. These messages were to draw attention to the various child abuses and the Child Rights Law which is fully implemented in the state. Meanwhile, Asari Bassey has emerged the star prize winner of the Destiny’s Child Centre (DCC) Charity Fashion Show Raffle Draw. Senator Liyel Imoke picked the lucky ticket 0011237 which •Continued on Page 39
Plants thrill expectant communities •Continued from Page 25 The company’s managing director, while recently conducting journalists round the Eleme, Port Harcourt complex of the company, noted that revamping the EPCL had turned Nigeria into a net exporter of plastic resins (polypropylene and polyethylene), while meeting the needs of the local plastics industries. On the two new plants, he said a lot of work had already been done in the technical surveys, environmental impact assessment (EIA), land development, adequate power supply and gas availability, with local manpower being mobilised. When the two new projects take off, Mundra noted, total employment generation will be in excess of 1, 000 direct and indirect jobs and that major production of methanol will be for export until the Nigerian industries have the capacity for full utilisation of it. He further said the fertiliser plant would be the largest single urea plant in the world and once the plants are commissioned, EPCL’s Port Harcourt complex will be one of the largest petrochemicals companies in Africa. He also assured that the firm would be able to raise the $1.8b for the world-class fertiliser and methanol plants, with $600m to be provided by the shareholders, while $1.2b will be sourced from a consortium of international and domestic lenders. Mundra noted that the EPCL under Indorama has remained the best success story of privatisation in Nigeria, a confirmation that the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme in Nigeria can work. EPCL’s shareholding structure comprises Indorama 65 per cent; the Federal Government of Nigeria 15 per cent; the Rivers State government 10 per cent and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 10 per cent. On the issue of security, the managing director expressed his worry that this poses the greatest impediment to the company’s drive
towards excellence. He disclosed that in May, 2007, 12 top executive members of Indorama-EPCL were kidnapped by militants which heightened insecurity and made the management to shut down production for two months. He said: “You would realise that many expatriate companies left the Niger Delta during that period but we stayed back. This shows our seriousness and commitment. Of course, we could not have come back without the support of our host communities and the security they provided for us. “Since then, the company has been able to surmount the security challenges, thereby moving the EPCL forward. “It must be noted that a company like ours must maintain adequate security. This is what we have done. You still remember that we were attacked in 2007. You cannot perform optimally in a condition of insecurity. We must secure our employees, both local and expatriates and secure our operations too.” Commenting on the issue of casual workers which is very endemic in the oil and gas industry, he stated that “we have employees who are our direct staff. We also have people employed by our contractors. We don’t have the problem of casual workers here.” In order to keep the plant running for 24 hours, Mundra disclosed that the company does not depend on the epileptic electricity supply from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). He said: “As a strategic industry that consumes a large quantum of electricity, we have four power plants that generate all our energy needs. In fact, we use only about a quarter of what we have. You know that public power supply in Nigeria is unreliable for this calibre of plant that operates 24 hours a day.” On why the company has not considered extending the excess power to members of its host communities, he said it was being worked out.
The company does not depend on the epileptic electricity supply from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)…As a strategic industry that consumes a large quantum of electricity, we have four power plants that generate all our energy needs. In fact, we use only about a quarter of what we have. You know that public power supply in Nigeria is unreliable for this calibre of plant that operates 24 hours a day
•Mr. Lohia, with President Goodluck Jonathan Mundra said: “There is a law regulating the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power in Nigeria. We are making all efforts to ensure that our host communities enjoy electricity. But we cannot do it without PHCN. We are exploring ways on how we can turn this into reality.” He noted that Nigeria has great potential to be major exporter of agricultural products, adding that “Nigeria needs to get back to its status as a country that takes agriculture very seriously. We cannot do this without fertiliser which will help in enhancing agricultural yield. “Indorama’s fertiliser will help farmers to grow their crops. Besides, the fertiliser plant will create many job opportunities. We will also export about 50 per cent of our produce to earn foreign exchange for the country. “We believe we will surmount any challenge whatsoever. We already have the feedstock, which is gas. We already have trained manpower to manage production. We have identified both local and international markets. So, we are optimistic about success.” As a company that places emphasis on the development of its host communities and empowerment of the people, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the six host communities of Agbonchia, Aleto, Njuru, Okerewa, Akpajo and Elelenwo. Messrs Kendrick Oluka Ejire, Head of Community Relations and Development; Dr. Solomon War, Medical Services; Nyime Oluka, Industrial Relations and Fred Igwe,
who is the Special Adviser to the Managing Director on Community Relations are all Eleme sons that are members of the management staff. The company is also carrying out various community relations projects in the various communities. These projects comprise electricity, roads, schools and rehabilitation of Eleme General Hospital, among others. The methanol plant, according to the managing director, will help in creating job opportunities, which will help in the growth of the country’s economy, while the gas being flared will be converted into value-added-products, thereby earning foreign exchange for the country. Mundra pointed out that Indorama had contributed to the economy of Nigeria in six major areas consisting of the creation of employment opportunities (both direct and indirect), especially those from the Niger Delta region and the host communities in particular. He added that the company currently has a total of 650 Nigerians in its employ and more than 600 others employed by the company’s contractors. EPCL has also paid more than N11b to the government as taxes as Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs duty, withholding taxes and pay as you earn (PAYE). It has paid dividends of over N23b to its shareholders, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Rivers State Government and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) which holds shares on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The company under Indorama, has helped the nation to save
•Manish Mundra, MD approximately $1.3b in foreign exchange through import substitution and turning Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products, even as it has indeed achieved 10 per cent of the country’s total non-oil exports which made the company to win in 2010, a Presidential Award for Export, organised by the Nigerian Export Promotions Commission (NEPC). The EPCL has equally carried out various corporate social responsibility initiatives to enhance the living standards of the people in the communities where it operates. Mundra stated that Indorama EPCL was also adding Low Density Polypropylene (LDPE) production facilities in Port Harcourt, even as he expressed optimism that the projects would commence production before 2015.
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
‘Nigeria yet to conduct credible election’ From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
UNIVERSITY of Calabar lecturer, Dr. Cyril Osim Ndifon has said that despite commendations of Prof. Attahiru Jegaled Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the conduct of the April general elections, the country is yet to conduct credible elections since the return of democracy over 10 years ago. Speaking in Aba while delivering a lecture entitled “The Power of Ballot in Shaping Nigeria’s Democracy,” during this year’s Town Hall Meeting of National Association of Seadogs (NAS) Aba chapter, Ndifon said that Nigeria was yet to have election where the power of the ballot was brought to bear. Ndifon further said that over the years, elections which are imperfectly conducted in Nigeria are characterised by ballot box snatching and stuffing, doctored electoral results, corruption and thuggery which at the end produce “a government by the people and not of the people and for the people.” He noted that this year’s election in some places like Abia State was even worse where soldiers were reported to have helped the political class to rig election when they are supposed to give security for the electoral process. The don wondered how the election in such places could be said to be free, fair and credible when such alleged electoral malpractices and beating up of the members of the electorate were brazenly carried out. Ndifon said: “In a true democracy like Nigeria, power is with the people. In a true democracy, power resides in the people and belongs to the people. The people are the heart and soul of democracy; the people own the government and not government owning the people.” He said that the power of ballot was such that every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and should not be subjected to the will of another which ensures that public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elected them. The university lecturer noted that democracy which is a people-centred concept has its central pillar point based on the control of the government by the people through free and fair elections, adding that, “the people must not be onlookers, but the driving force behind democracy.” Ndifon regretted that factors such as poverty and illiteracy among the people are inhibiting the growth of democracy in the country. “Poverty, for instance, is a hindrance to democracy and the enjoyment of human rights. Poverty leaves many people susceptible to manipulations by several forces and interests. Continuing, he said: “A hungry person who usually is also an angry person cannot appreciate the beauty of the power in a ballot box or, for that matter, the significance of his ballot. Such a person thinks about food, not freedom.”
• The borehole project being inaugurated
ACN chieftain sinks borehole for community
GBOKO Community in Oredo Local Government Council of Edo State was agog when the state Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Osaro Idah, the Obazelu of Benin Kingdom, sank a borehole in the community. Idah is a former General Manager of Bendel Brewery and former Secretary of the Benin Traditional Council before he emerged the state Secretary of ACN. Speaking at the inauguration of the borehole project, he said it was in fulfilment of one of the promises he made during the
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
electioneering campaigns of the ACN. He said giving the people water is his way of thanking them for voting ACN despite monetary inducement from candidates of other political parties. Idah whose father was Oredo Council chief said government cannot provide all the infrastructural facilities for the people’s well-being, even as he added that with individual support, social amenities would reach every ward in the state.
I want to show the people what the ACN as a party is capable of. We promise and we deliver. We need you to continue your support for the ACN. This project marks the beginning of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s 2012 governorship campaign
Obi relishes achievements From Adimike George, Onitsha
HE Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi has described this year as the most active in his five years as governor of the state. Obi, who spoke to journalists in Awka through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Valentine Obienyem, rated the year as very successful in terms of project implementation. He noted that “in terms of physical projects
visible to the eyes such as roads, bridges, public buildings, provision of water and so on, this year cannot be compared to any other.” He explained that the recent completion of the second phase of the State Secretariat marked an important phase in erecting the machinery of government, adding that “the State Teaching Hospital is coming on strong. Eight buildings housing different departments including the radiology and pharmacology complexes as well as house officers’ quarters are nearing completion. “Within the last one year also, the governor started and is completing work on 15 different bridges connecting various parts of the state. There are the Otuku Bridge on Umuezeanam-Mmiata Road; Akpu Bridge on Okija Road; Aghommili Bridge linking Akpu-Aguluezechukwu Road; Ebenebe Bridge on Ebenebe Road; Ogbonabo Bridge connecting Okpuno and Isuanioocha and others,” he said. Obienyem pointed out that anyone familiar with the cost of bridges and roads will appreciate that the state’s money was being well utilised, adding that “as I speak to
you, work is ongoing on all roads including those here in Awka, as you can easily verify. The St Joseph the Worker Chaplaincy UNIZIK Road is in progress. Still, some people want government to be doing only roads forgetting that His Excellency has spent over N5b in paying arrears of gratuities and pensions. These cost as much as roads.” He emphasised that much attention has been paid towards providing communities with low water schemes. He mentioned some of the benefiting communities to include Amawbia, Awka, Nimo, Dunukofia, Awkuzu and Agulu. On why the popularity of the governor has not attracted a commensurate approval as his projects, Obienyem ascribed it to destructive opposition, adding: “Here, we have opposition forces that do not take the welfare of the people into consideration but are motivated only by their selfish interests. The opposition, from security reports, had hired canvassers to go about maligning the image of the governor. This is a problem but the governor is on top of the situation.” Obienyem contended that the April 2011 general elections were not bad for the gov-
Chief Idah said: “I want to show the people what the ACN as a party is capable of. We promise and we deliver. We need you to continue your support for the ACN. This project marks the beginning of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s 2012 governorship campaign. “Oshiomhole will not spend his money to campaign. We are sure that as a party, our achievements will give us victory. It is going to be a landslide. Every ward and local councils should begin Oshiomhole’s 2012 campaigns.” Inaugurating the borehole, the South-South National Vice-Chairman of the ACN, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu said Chief Idah has given ACN leaders in the state a huge challenge through the construction of the borehole project. Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who reiterated the party’s resolve to bring development to the people, said Chief Idah’s gesture needed commendation. Guests present at the occasion included members of the State House of Assembly.
Within the last one year also, the governor started and is completing work on 15 different bridges connecting various parts of the state ernor and APGA, since the party moved from a zero position in state and national assembly seats to about 70 per cent performance. He argued that those who were demanding 100 per cent election victory were those who believed in rigging. Obienyem expressed surprise at the interest being shown over the recent resignation of a Commissioner and a Special Adviser in the state. He said: “It is democracy at work. People resign in other states and it doesn’t cause a stir. In Anambra, it becomes breaking news. This shows the type of opposition we have.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Akpabio inaugurates bridge, road KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has assured residents of the state of his determination to continue transforming the state.He expressed the resolve at the inauguration of Ntak Inyang Bridge and section 2 of Nung Udoe Itak-Use Ikot Amama-Ibiaku Ikot Esifa Road.The contracts were awarded to Messrs Julius Berger in November 2007 and AEC Works Ltd. in 2008 repectively The bridge is 67.5 metres long, eight metres wide, each separated by a central crash barrier, three spans of 225 metres supported on bored piles while the
Oil firm creates 10,000 jobs
HE management of Chevron Nigeria Limited has been praised for its investment in the second largest gas plant in the world, the Escravos Gas To Liquid plant, located in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. A former Commissioner for Oil and Gas in the state, Mr. David Ekerekosu, who made the commendation, said that with such gigantic investments, EGTL could eradicate youth restiveness by creating employment for the teeming youths in the state. Already, Ekerekosu said the EGTL, which is a joint venture between American oil firm and the Federal Government, has employed over 10,000 youths, comprising 5,000 Deltans and similar figure from other parts of the country. The former commissioner enthused that the project that began in 2006 would be completed within two years, adding that it
Delta From Shola O’neil, Warri
would also end gas flaring in the Niger Delta region. “When completed, the project is designed to produce high quality diesel for local consumption and export so as to generate additional revenue for the country and state,” Ekerekosu added. He said beyond employing over 10,000 persons directly since its inception, the EGTL had also improved the economic life of the host communities through contractors for local contracts and the multiplier effect of funds directly invested and spent in the areas. “The achievement”, he added, “can be attributed to the peace and security agenda of the Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan government, which has ensured that issues of security are addressed on weekly basis.”
‘No life lost in Enugu building collapse’
HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that there was no loss of life in the recent collapse of a building under construction in Enugu, contrary to reports in some newspapers which had claimed that about three people may have died in the incident. South East Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Dr Onimode A. Bandele, made the clarification during a fact-finding visit by top officials of the state government. Dr Onimade confirmed that his office working in concert with its counterpart agency in Enugu, had conducted a prompt and extensive investigation of the site as well as the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the four-storey building and discovered that no life was lost in the disaster. He said that the investigating team was able to establish that no worker was on the site when the incident occurred and that it had been put under lock by the site manager since no work was in progress that day. He said the team also traced the cause of the collapse to the poor quality of materials being used by the builders, stressing that the cement mix contained too much of sand which ultimately could not support the weight of the structure.
completed Okoita-Nsai Use Road with street lights is 14.7 kilometres. Akpabio, who thanked Julius Berger for the quality job done, described the bridge as the best in the state. At the inauguration, the governor thanked AEC Works Ltd. as well and promised to link the road to Nsai Use-Use Ikot Amama-Ibiaku Ikot Esifa-Nung Ukim Road, a distance of 14.8 kilometres including the one leading to the palace of the Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom, Nsobom Ime Udo Usoro.
Isoko hails Uduaghan over SSG
Enugu The NEMA official disclosed that he had already scheduled a meeting with officials of concerned agencies including the town planning and local government authorities as well as relevant professional organisations with a view to establishing the level of culpability of different establishments and individuals in the incident. Meanwhile, the state government has set security agents on the trail of the owner of the collapsed and the site engineer with a view to bringing them to account for the disaster. Chukwudi Achife, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sullivan Chime who stated this in an interview with reporters, said that even though no life was lost in the disaster, anyone found to have been responsible for it would face the prescribed punishment, adding that this would serve as a deterrent against future occurrences. “The government certainly cannot sit by and allow people endanger other citizens’ lives due to negligence, carelessness or greed. Whoever was responsible for this incident must be brought to account for it”, he said.
‘We’ll fast-track development’
SOKO Patriotic Congress (IPC) has congratulated their illustrious son Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay on his well-deserved appointment as Secretary to the Delta State Government by the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan. A statement signed by IPC’s Director of Media and Publicity, Obuke Oyibotha, stated that the appointment has shown that at last, Governor Uduaghan has taken a concrete step to address the marginalisation of the Isoko nation over the years. “We hope that with this commendable appointment, the governor would go a step further to also seriously address the infrastructural deficit in the Isoko nation,” he said. The congress observed that Comrade Macaulay has what it takes to deliver creditably on his mandate and therefore urged him to use his position to effect significant changes in the government’s service delivery to the satisfaction of all Deltans without discrimination.
• From left: Hon Uyi Igbe, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Festus Ebea, Deputy Speaker and Dr Pius Odubu, Deputy Governor during a courtesy visit to the governor at Government House, after the first session of the 4th Assembly and election of principal officers of the House, in Benin City
5,000 to benefit from NDDC free health programme
BOUT 5000 residents of Ondo State are to benefit from a free health programme to be sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission. The effort is in support of the state government’s health programme and it is slated for the end of the month. This was disclosed by the state representative on the board of the commission, Dr Benson Enikuomehin in Akure, the state capital. Enikuomehin, who was in Haryana State in India on medical check-up, said his positive
Ondo From Damisi Ojo, Akure0
experience and the medical facilities he enjoyed during the visit, prompted him to initiate the free health programme for the benefit of the masses. The programme, according to him, will cost N80million which covers medical bills, security, accommodation and flying tickets of the surgeons. He said about 10 surgeons and 10 medical personnel from Artemis Health Institute from Haryana state in India would arrive the country at the end of this month with modern medical equipment for the programme which will last for four days. Enikuomehin disclosed that necessary arrangements that would facilitate the smooth take-off and success of the programme had been put in place to avoid unnecessary delay and lapses. He said the programme was in partnership with the state government and that experienced resident medical personnel from the state Ministry of Health would be involved in the exercise. The NDDC chief stated that the programme was part of the commission’s commitment to the provision of good health service delivery for the people in the Niger Delta
ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has said that his administration would move swiftly to meet up with the developmental needs of residents of the state during his second term Dr Uduaghan who stated this during a thanksgiving service organised by his Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) and his family at the St. Andrew’s Catholic Church Otu-Jeremi headquarters of Ughelli South Local Government of the state, said his administration was ready to fast-track developmental projects in the state. He observed that it was not the time to apportion blame and worry over the regrets arising from the April general elections, but a time to work for the benefits of Deltans. “This is not the time to apportion blame and worry over the regrets from the April general elections. I have put the incident behind me and ready to fast-track development in the state, we should all work in that spirit”. Governor Uduaghan, who attributed his and Utuama’s victory at the polls to God, explained that divine favour from the Catholic faith contributed greatly to their success story. Speaking further, the governor lamented the deplorable state of the Otu-Jeremi road and ordered the immediate commencement of work on the road, adding that the contract
Onward plans scholarship scheme for SOS kids
S part of her Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy and initiatives, Onward Paper Mill Plc is planning in-house scholarship schemes for children at the SOS Children Children’s Village. The gesture is part of the support promised by the company to the children to mark this year’s Children’s Day. Its Corporate Communications Manager, Segun Ajasa explained that the scholarship scheme will be an annual event which is part of the firm’s commitment to supporting children’s education and also caring for the less privileged in the society. He added: “We are beginning with sponsoring 15 children in SOS Children’s Villages and we hope to increase to 25 kids next year. We are also planning in-house scholarship schemes for every year.” Director of the SOS Village, Mr. Inusa Ahmed, expressed appreciation for the gifts and support. Ahmed, who was represented by Bolanle Nassar, said the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) lives on donations especially for our children in various institutions. “SOS is in 132 countries in the world, 500 of this kind of village in the world and currently we have four villages in Nigeria,” he said. Head of Marketing, Onward, Chika Madu, said, the firm is concerned about meeting educational needs of the les privileged.
ACN aspirant relives ordeal
•From left: :Master Victor Kehinde Akinro, Miss Victoria Taiwo Akinro, Miss Oluwakemi T. Akinro, presenting some food items to Mrs Ruth Adisa, a Senior Staff of Ibadan Homes for Motherless Babies, to mark the fisrt Anniversary remebrance of late Mrs Adebola Akinro, Wife of the former photo Editor of Daily Times of Nigeria Plc, held in Ibadan Oyo State.
Community seeks infrastructure
•The Co-ordinator of Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation, Pastor Emmanuel Alao (left) and members of staff of the foundation with children from less privileged homes at their Egbeda headquarters on Children’s Day
HE traditional ruler of Oke Abiye in Agbado Oke Odo Local Council Development Area, in Lagos State, High Chief Nojimu Ajolojuota has congratulated Governor Babatunde Fashola on his second term just as he welcomed the Deputy, Mrs Joke Orelope Adefulire to the saddle. He praised the governor for his excellent performance during his first tenure which, no doubt, aided his choice by his party and his eventual victory at the polls. The monarch advised the governour to go into his second term with a greater zeal so that he will live in the minds of the people forever. He however called on Fashola and his team to develop his community that lacks basic amenities such as roads, hospitals, electricity and potable water. “These are the dividends of democracy we are expecting from the governor and our representatives in the state House of Assembly, Prince Bisi Yusuf and House of Representatives, Hon. Solomon
Olamilekan. We will be glad if they can remember the community and the youths,” the monarch said.
CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairmanship aspirant in Ogun State, Basorun Folarin Stubo, has narrated his ordeal in the hands of alleged thugs shortly after Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s inaugural party. Recounting his experience to Newsextra, Basorun Sotubo, who is also the chairman, Folsot Truck Limited said: “Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony of the governor at the M.K.O Abilola Stadium, we all left for inaugural parties in our different wards. “From the stadium, I headed for our own inaugural party in front of the palace of Akarigbo, the paramount ruler of Remo, in a convoy. “We were unsuspecting until 6:00 p.m. when we left the party for my office on Oba Awolesi Road. On our way, we saw about 10 motorcycles with three guys on each of them. They were about 30. A number of them entered into the premises with us immediately the gate was opened.” Speaking further he said: “I was pushed to the vehicle, dragged by my agbada (robe) and one of them pointed gun at me saying I should drop my chairmanship ambition. “Two of my aides were severely beaten. One of them that sustained serious injury was rushed to Crescent Hospital, Sabo, Sagamu for treatmen.” As a result of the public holiday, the following Monday, the case was reported on Tuesday, at Sagamu Central Police Station. The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, at the time of filing this report could not be reached on
By Biodun Thomas-Davids
phone. A Police officer at Sagamu Central Police Station, who prefers anonymity, acknowledged that, “One Basorun Sotubo came tour office on Tuesday and reported that one Segun was attacked and taken to the hospital, but since no name was mentioned in connection with the attack we can’t make any arrest, we have only filed in the case….”
Delta From Shola O’neil, Warri
agreement reached with Julius Berger on the road, has been unnecessarily delayed by the firm. He pledged the donation of 100KVA generator to the St Andrews Catholic Church, Otu-Jeremi and two other branches of the church in the locality in response to the poor state of power supply in the area. Governor Uduaghan congratulated his Deputy and family for God’s numerous blessings in their lives especially for the life of Prof Amos Utuama, who celebrated his birthday that day. Utuama said that the family decided to thank God because of His answers to virtually all the requests and supplication made to Him. A reception was held after the service at the family compound of the Utuamas in
• Uduaghan Otu Jeremi with the governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan leading dignities that assisted the deputy Governor in cutting of his birthday cake.
Five pharmaceutical firms sealed off
HE Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has sealed five pharmaceutical companies in Imo State and issued 11 others with instructions to improve. This was made known by Mrs Anothonia Aruya while briefing reporters at the PCN state secretariat, Owerri, the state capital. The Deputy Director revealed that the organisation has been in existence for over three years and has visited about 12 states namely, Lagos, Ogun, Enugu, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Kwara and Akwa-Ibom. Stressing that in all these states visited, if they were to adhere strictly to the laws, almost all the companies would be affected. She made it known that unfortunately, Imo State is not an exception as many of the premises visited failed to fulfill the requirements of the law and hence their premises were sealed and some of them issued with specific directives to improve. Mrs. Aruya urged the public and all stakeholders involved to put hands on deck to sanitise the chaotic drug distribution system in the country.
Imo From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri
According to her, drugs are chemicals that need a special storage condition to maintain their integrity before they get to the end users and elaborated that all premises licensed by the PCN have been made to provide those requirements while also having trained personnel who can interpret and ensure that these conditions are met. She stressed that proper drug distribution is a vital part of pharmacy practice, which when disregarded could impact negatively on drug distribution system,thereby compromising the standard and quality of the products. She revealed that only drugs that pass through proper distribution channels can be safe, efficacious and of good quality. The director said that the presence of chaotic drug distribution system in the country led to the inauguration of Drug Distribution Inspection Committee (DDIC) in 2008 by the registrar of PCN Pharm. Ahmed Tijani Mora.
Community yearns for model school
OLLOWING the relocation of Ewet Timber Market in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State , the Ewet Offot community has appealed to the government to use the landmass to build a model primary school for the community. Speaking with newsmen, a community leader in Ewet Offot, Elder Ben Bassey, explained that in the whole of Uyo, it is only Ewet that lacked a model primary school. Bassey said that the community had lost great number of children to accidents as a result of going to school in other communities such as Itiam and Christ the King. He said:“We have certain things we want Governor Godswill Akpabio to do for us. This starts from the Government Technical School . The population there has risen immensely because of the free and compulsory education and as such pupils have outnumbered the classroom. “Infact, if you go to the premises, there is no tangible building that can contain the
Akwa Ibom From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
students. It is the fence that we rely upon and beyond the fence, that is inside, there is nothing to write home about. “We are pleading with him to see how these students could be catered for so that they have a conducive place to sit in and study. We also thank God that the governor has removed Ewet Timber market to a new location. “That gives us an opportunity to use the place to establish a primary school for the Ewet Offot community. We should be assisted to see how the primary school can be established now “ Corroborating Bassey’s stance, Youth President, Ewet Offot community, Prince Aniofiok Ebong, said that several attempts made by the community to see the governor on the way forward had yielded no positive results.
Cleric advises politicians THE newly inaugurated political leaders have been advised to seek the wisdom and power of God to help them pilot the affairs of the country. The admonition was given by the General Overseer of the Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Pastor Paul Enenche while speaking during a workshop with the theme: “In the days of His power”. According to Pastor Enenche, God’s power facilitates restoration without any hindrance. He said his assignment is to secure destinies of thousands through liberation messages. He called on politicians to fulfill their campaign promises to Nigerians so that democracy can blossom. The pastor charged political office holders to discharge their duties with fear of God and remember the down-trodden.
•Chairman, Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area of Lagos, Hon Hakeem Bamgbola (second right) receiving Best Outstanding Performance Award from Coordinator, Concerned Human Rights Nigeria, Comrade Declan Ihekaire. With them are Secretary to the council , Hon Olugbenga Oyebode (right) and Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Matters, Hon. Olufemi Odekunle
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
PEOPLE THE NATION
A SIX-PAGE SECTION ON SOCIETY
A LASTMA show? No; its a wedding
Former Lagos State Police Chief Young Arebamen was all smiles as his son Osewulumen got married last Saturday. SEYI ODEWALE reports.
•Arebamen’s son weds in style
HE piece of advice from the pulpit centred on how a wife can endear herself to her husband so that he does not abandon his home. The cleric started with the definition of love and ended with the duties of a wife. It all happened at the wedding of Osewulumen, son of the chief executive of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Young Arebamen, to his heart-throb, Angela. Said Rev. Fr John Paul Ale: “Love is commitment, sacrifice and giving your whole self. And you don’t just go into marriage to be a happy man. Many people make that mistake; I want to marry so that I can be a happy man; that is selfishness. You are going into marriage to make another person happy”. “By the time your husband is waiting for you to sleep before he comes back home, Angela, think O! Think very well and ask yourself why is this man coming late. When your husband starts calling you madam, you better watch it! Angela take care of your husband.” Fr. Ale, one of the four officiating ministers, noted that if truly love is blind, as the saying goes, marriage is then the institution for the blind. Many in the audience nodded in agreement. Traffic was unusually light last Saturday on all roads linking the Catholic Church of Assumption, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos. The heavy presence of LASTMA and Police personnel around the church indicated that something big was in the offing. Friends, colleagues and relatives of the couple trooped to the church for what some described as a “classical wedding.” At 10am, the wedding began with the Entrance Hymn: “All that on earth do dwell,” ushering in the bride and her father, Sir Felix Obiorah Ezeuduji. The groom was already waiting at the altar. Spotting a snow-white gown, nicely sown to bring out her shapely figure, Angela gingerly walked down the aisle, with her father beaming with smiles. The groom looked calm in his well-tailored black suit with a matching cream tie. The groom’s men
•The couple, Angela and Osewulumen cutting the cake
and the bridal train also looked smashing and beautiful in their black suits and olive green maxi gowns. After the processional hymn, entrance rite, penitential rite, opening prayer, the liturgy
A night to remember Pg 31
of the word and the homily followed in quick successions. It was during the homily that Rev. Fr. Ale proffered his advice. He spoke extensively on love and its true perception among
people. Love, according to the cleric, has been misused severally for inanimate objects than human beings that the word was meant for. •Continued on page 30
He went for Youth Service and found a wife Pg 33
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Arebamen’s son weds •Continued from page 29
“We have misused the word love. We hear I love you, but nowadays, not only human beings love themselves, you can hear I love my car, I love my job and so on and so forth,” he noted. He warned that the couple should not be carried away by the mere profession of love as, according to him, it is usually the opposite of what they profess. He said: “You know it is often said that love is blind but people have now added to it that marriage is the eye opener. If you don’t understand, ask your fathers and mothers, they will explain to you.” According to the cleric, if love is blind and marriage is an institution, it logically means that marriage is the institution for the blind. “If you want to be one in this marriage, learn to be blind, because if you open your eyes you will see too much and the more you see, the more the wahala you bring to yourself,” he explained. The marriage rite was later performed and declaration of consent, prayer of the faithful, offering hymns, prayer over gifts and the liturgy of the word followed to prepare the congregation for the Holy Communion, which was administered by Rev. Fr. Innocent Opogah assisted by other ministers on the altar. After the communion rite, the nuptial blessing, rite of peace and the prayer, the signing of the dotted lines followed with the couple’s families taking turns in signing the register. The signing was followed
•Groom’s parents, Mr and Mrs Young Arebamen
by the thanksgiving, final blessing and the recessional hymn. At the reception at St George’s School field, directly behind the church, dignitaries filled the giant tent that served as the hall. The police band were excellent in their performance as they dished out nice evergreen Juju and Highlife tunes that brought nostalgic moments to the guests. The presence of the Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos at the reception gave it a royal touch. Other dignitaries included a former Minister of Aviation, Air Vice Marshal Anthony Okpere; former Inspectors-General of Police, Ogbonnaya Onovo and Alhaji Musliu Smith. There were also retired and serving high ranking police officers; friends of the father of the groom who were or are in government and other personalities in attendance.
•Bride’s parents, Sir and Lady Felix Ezeuduji
•Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Ijewere
•Mr and Mrs Valentine Ozigbo
•Mr Okoro Ojebe (left) and AIG Felix Ogbaudu
•Mr Suleman Fakau (left) and AIG Oyakhire
•Mrs Vero Odunnuga (left) and Mrs Imeida Nbanaja
•Rosemary Princeles and Mr Pat Inegbedion
PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
•President-Elect Wale Osomo (left) and Okunuga
•Mrs Oladunni Ogunbanwo, who represented the wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, receiving an award on her behalf from Mr Jide Kosoko
•Mr and Mrs Mike Adekoya
A night to remember
•Chief Idowu Sofola (left) and Chief Oshunkeye
The 2011 presidential award night of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, was held last Sunday at the club hall. NNEKA NWANERI was there.
HE parking lot of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, was filled with exotic cars. They were cars that bespoke the status of their owners, who were either patrons, members or guests who came to witness the change of leadership baton at the club. There was a consensus that the outgoing executive of the club, founded on August 3, 1949 and incorporated in October 1956, had performed well. The incoming executive was happy to take office. There was excitement in the air as guests walked majestically into the club hall. The hall’s beauty was enhanced for the event; it was decorated in white and black. The captivating ushers, clad in black gowns, charmed guests with their smiles as they led them to their seats. Every member and guest scored a vital point in promoting African culture. They dressed as if they were given a dress code; their traditional attires of various colours and designs showcased their African, nay, Nigerian identity. Their arrival, one after the other, created a spectacle of sort as they posed on the red carpet for photographs. The presence of the sponsors, Nigerian Breweries Plc, was felt as various banners, bearing all the brands the company brews, were displayed at strategic points. Many Nollywood actors and actresses, led by their leader, Jide Kosoko, were there to add flavour to the gathering. Eucharia Anunobi, Gloria Young, Tina Mba, Saheed Balogun, Funke Akindele and others were present. Immediately the club’s call to order was made, the National Anthem was rendered. It was followed by the club’s anthem, which everyone sang gleefully. Chief Segun Osunkeye said the opening prayer. When it was time for speeches and credits,
the Award Planning Committee Chairman, the outgoing president and the sponsors (both individuals and corporate) took the floor. The outgoing president, Mr Babatunde Okunuga, in his valedictory speech, thanked members for their support since he took office in 2008. He thanked some individuals and stakeholders, including groups that supported him, telling them how grateful he was for their positive impact on the club during his three-year tenure. He encouraged members to love one another, quoting from 1 John 4:7-12 and Colossians 3:12-16. According to him, the club has not reneged on its duty of providing hospitality. “You are all welcome. Please, relax and enjoy the hospitality we are well known for,” he concluded. Evangelist Ebenezer (Obey) Fabiyi made a special appearance and dished out his evergreen Juju music to the delight of guests. He expressed delight, saying he was pleased to perform for the club. Guests in return were pleased with his performance, as they wriggled their waists and nodded their heads to the beats. There was no dull moment. Corporate organisations that bagged awards were: Nigerian Breweries Plc; Virgin Atlantic Airways; Elizade Motors; King Sunny Ade Organisation; E-Business Ltd; Air Nigeria; Intercontinental Distillers; Protea Leadway Hotels; Ademiluyi Foundation; Cargolux Merchant Express Ltd; Rainoil Ltd; MTN, Nigeria; Flour Mills of Nigeria; Dangote Paasta; UAC Nig Plc; Knight Crown Nig Ltd; Hot Sports Ltd and Grand Oak Ltd. Others included Promasidor Nig Ltd; Adetola Akinsulire & Co.; Nahco Aviance
•Mr Olusegun Ajeigbe and Mr Tajudeen Akande
Nig. Plc and Glaxosmithkline for their support and commitment to the club. Individual awardees included the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, his wife, Dame Abimbola; former Governor of Ogun State Gbenga Daniel; River State Governor Rotimi Amaechi; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Gbadebo; Chief Mobolaji Osomo; Sir Abidoye Ayoola; Otunba Lanre Folorunso; Chief Sam Bolarinde; Prince Adeniyi Oyemade; Babatunde Ogala and Asiwaju Maxwell Ayinla. Others are Mr Taye Ige; Funmi Tejuoso; Mr Mike Adekoya; Mr Frank Ekeng; Mr Adrien Gbinigie; Chief Femi Coker; Mr Olu Fagbemi; Chief Olusegun Oshunkeye; Otunba Wale Osomo; Mr Peter Folorunsho; Mr Gbenga Olowo; Otunba Wale Tawak and Mr Filippo Thrombi. Special appreciation awards were also given to trustees of the club and past presidents. The award was rounded off with a sumptuous buffet
•Chief Femi Coker PHOTOS: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
SOCIETY A book, Igniting the Nigerian Dream, written by “a gifted teacher, an insipiring leader, life coach and business consultant,” Akin Akintayo has been launched at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos NNEKA NWANERI was there.
•Akintayo (middle) flanked by Ajagu (left) and Cole displaying the book... on Wednesday
Pursuing the Nigerian dream
NSPIRED by everyday happenings, Akin Akintayo dreamt of writing a book for his beloved country. That dream became a reality when on Wednesday Igniting the Nigerian Dream was presented to the public. The Engineering and Information and Communications Technology graduate of Covenant University soared; proved himself to be a multidimensional young man as his friends, class mates and family members converged to share in his dream. Their presence meant a lot to him as they posed for pictures with the man of many parts. The chairman of the occasion, Mr Tonye Cole, in an address entitled “Being an Exemplary Nigerian,” attributed the problem of the country to leadership and those who hold top positions. Cole charged the audience on the solution to the problem. “As long as you turn a blind eye to an unemployable individual suddenly becoming a senator or governor, you have a problem. “As we launch this book, let us remember that a dream will remain a dream if we choose to be silent and uninterested in those who rule us and how they rule. Our aim is to turn this dream to reality. So, let us join hands to hold our leaders accountable and sanction them when they fail by voting them out of office,” he charged. President of Entrepreneurial Studies, Dr Ausbeth Ajagu, reviewed the book. He said the 54-paged book goes from the back drop that no one else but Nigerians can live the dream. “The 10 chaptered book brings to book the first two stanzas of our national anthem where the author pointed out that without peace, Ni-
geria might never see any progress.” The review also emphasised the fact that the book is a very motivational and inspiring. Also, its unique design of the shape and colour of the Nigerian flag gives it a pleasurable look and high quality. Ajagu encouraged educational institutions to make the handy book an institutional material by recommending it to students. “It’s not just buying the books, but imbibing the message therein.” Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Senior Pastor of Trinity House Church gave the keynote address. He did not give his usual sermon-like speeches. He just talked of the great virtues of Nigerians and gave practical examples to show how bold and arrogant Nigerians are. “ The problem is why we are so rich and yet so poor? Does Nigeria have a dream?” he asked. The author took to the microphone. He couldn’t even express his joy and gratitude for the guests who honoured his invitation. On the inspiration behind the writing of the book, he summed it up thus:”Teaching people how to earn a living and how to live. Nothing can capture living right for a typical Nigerian like the national anthem.” Akintayo, who said he never knew the day would come, charged Nigerians. “If your character is lost, you are nobody. Your daily living is a book. Live your lives so that one day when people open it, they will find treasures. So, ask yourselves this question: how are you living?” Guests were former Executive Director of AG Leventis, Prince Ademola Adetna, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Training and Pensions, Mrs R.I.Obasa and others.
‘On the inspiration behind the writing of the book, he summed it up thus:”Teaching people how to earn a living and how to live. Nothing can capture living right for a typical Nigerian like the national anthem’ ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
•From left: Managing Director, UACN Property Development Company Plc, Mr Hakeem Oguniran; Chairman, Mr Larry Ettah and Company Secretary, Godwin Samuel Esq. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE
•Mrs Obasa •Pastor Ighodalo
•From left: Flourish Peters, Fela Durotoye and Mrs Bunkunola Ogunjume PHOTOS:ADEJO DAVID
20TH COREN ZONAL ASSEMBLY IN IBADAN
•From left: President, Council for Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), Mr Mustapha Bulama; Oyo State Deputy Govenor; Chief Moses Adeyemo and former Vice President, COREN, Prof Olusoji Offi.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
SOCIETY The Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has held the maiden edition of its Spouses’ Forum. VIVIAN EBBAH was at the event where the chairman, Mrs Margaret Oguntala, called women married to engineers engineerest.
A gathering for engineerest
HEY stormed the imposing hall of Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Ikeja, Lagos, looking stunning in their eye-catching traditional attires. They are wives of engineers, whose husbands are members of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Ikeja branch. They attended the Spouses Forum organised for them by their husbands. The hall was breathtaking with exquisite decorations in orange and white colours. Shortly after the opening prayer, the introduction of spouses followed. The chairman of the branch, Mrs Margret Oguntala, gave her opening speech. She said the purpose of the forum was to bring spouses of engineers together to know one another and the importance of their husband’s profession. She noted that Ikeja branch has over 2,000 members and it has become a formidable force to reckon with in the engineering sector. The hall erupted in laughter when the chairman told the spouses to address themselves as engineerest, saying since their husbands are engineers it will be wise to refer to them as such. The proper business of the day started when the chairman read a brief citation of the guest speaker, Mrs Bisi Ajayi-Kayode, a lawyer, who spoke extensively on “The labour pains of balancing the wheel of life–The 21 st Century spouse.” Mrs Ajayi-Kayode said the wheel of life of the 21st Century Nigerian spouse comprises health, family, money, relationships, contribution, vision, career and personal development. She said the aforementioned wheel of life cannot operate effectively or be balanced without the enforcement of women’s fundamental human rights and a proper visualisation of the total image of the Nigerian women. She said due to the unique role of women in the society as daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, household managers and breadwin-
•From left: Mrs Bisi Ajayi-Kayode; Mrs Osakwe; Mrs Margaret Oguntala and Mrs Omotola Rotimi
ners, they face many challenges in their careers and businesses that make it difficult for them to balance the various segments of the wheel of life. Mrs Ajayi-Kayode noted that women need a high degree of enlightenment to balance the wheel of life without jeopardising their matrimony. She added that only the women can do these things for themselves because they live in a society where the cultural practices do not favour or comprehend the women’s wheel of life well enough, as it has led to serious gender gap in the society. She gave examples of women who have balanced the wheel of life. One of them, according to her, is Liberian President Dr Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, whom she described as the first modern and only elected woman Head of State in Africa. Others, according to Mrs Ajayi-Kayode, included Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance and the first woman to be the Managing Director of World Bank. She noted that the quest for balancing the wheel of life has led many women into entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship, she said, has many advantages, including flexible time schedules athat allow the woman to have time to attend to family matters whenever it is necessary. At the end of the lecture, a light meal was served followed by an interactive session.
•From left: Mrs Bisi Akintola; Mrs Fausat Aina and Mrs Funmi Akingbagbohun
•Comproller-General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahhi listening to Publisher, Africa Today, Kayode Soyinka who paid him a courtesy visit at the Abuja headquarters of the Nigerian Customs Service.
•Mr and Mrs Damola Olorunfemi
•From left: Mr and Mrs Bola Bido and Mrs Abosede Adenekan
PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID
•The couple, Mr and Mrs Nsima Umanah, at their wedding in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
SOCIETY Three years ago, Adeyemi Peters was in Bayelsa State for the one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. He found a wife there. TONIA DIYAN reports.
He went for Youth Service and found a wife T
HEIRS was a marriage made in heaven, blessed on earth and destined for eternity. They fulfilled a portion of the scripture which says that a virtuous woman is a blessing to her husband and any man who finds a wife will receive favour from God. Adeyemi Peters, no doubt, was favoured when he met his heartthrob, Adebukola Ronke, in Bayelsa State three years ago while serving the nation as a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), member. May 20, they officially sealed the union. The bride is the daughter of Isiaka, (the popular Alade Photos of Warri in Delta State). Members of both families turned out in their best, knowing that their children have made a good choice. The traditional marriage rite, rich in the Yoruba culture and laced with fun and pomp, was a sheer delight as guests at the well attended event were treated to mouth-watering dishes. Friends and colleagues of the couple were, of course, not left out of the event as they trooped in from the University of Benin, and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe, from where the couple obtained their university degrees, to witness the event. The day after the traditional marriage, Saturday, May 21st, the duo tied the nuptial knot at Daystar Church Centre, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. The church service began with an opening prayer at 11.30am. The church auditorium was filled to capacity for the one hour service. It was presided over by the Senior Pastor, Rev Sam Adeyemi. The sermon was taken from Genesis 2: 24. which says that a man must leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh. After the church service, the couple and the guests proceeded to Regency Hall behind MKO Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja where Chief Shoboyede, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain from Ogun State chaired the event. Friends of the couple and others who graced the occasion would not forget the memorable day. Present at the occasion were Nollywood ce-
•The couple, Adeyemi and Adebukola
•Groom’s mother, Mrs Rotimi Adegboyega
•Brandiny (right) and former CAN President, Mbang
• Bride’s mother, Mrs Iyabo Isiaka
•Rume Alajara (left); Mute Olori and Sidi
lebrities and comedians. Comedian Bovi and Buchi were the Masters of the Ceremony and they did an excellent job at putting smiles on the faces of everyone as they cracked the ribs of guests with their jokes. The groom, while responding to the toast,
thanked well-wishers for honouring them on their special day; a day he described as one to remember for a life time. The Nation spoke with the bride’s sister and Chief Executive Officer of Pinks and Peaches, Sidi Isiaka, who said though the
•From left: Lagos State Independent Electoral Commissioner (LASIEC), Alhaji Musbaudeen Oyefeso; former National Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr Usman Bugaje; Lagos State University (LASU) don, Dr Lateef Adetona and Alhaji Abdulfatai Abdulmajeed
family already misses the bride but marriage is a good thing and they are happy with the family their daughter is getting married into. She urged the bride to be very patient and respectful as the only way to build a home as a woman.
•From left: Sheikh Mahmood AbduRobu; Sheikh Habibullah Adam and Dr Hamzat AbdurRaheem
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Nigerians invest $1b in Ghana N
IGERIAN investors now have a stronghold in Ghana’s economy. They have invested over $1billion in insurance firms and banks, according to Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Joseph Anna. Anna told The Nation that the Nigerian-owned firms have been mandated to enter into various sub-sectors of insurance, to enable them contribute to Ghana’s development. He said at inception, the companies had challenges in meeting the regulatory requirement, adding that most of them wanted to operate like the conventional banks, contrary to the country’s financial sector guidelines. According to him, opportunities abound for Nigerian insurers who also want to operate in Ghana, as the primary desire of the country is for the firms to operate within the ambit of regulatory guidelines. He said: “Nigerian insurance and bank’s direct investment in Ghana is about $1billion. We are
• Insurance firms, banks benefit Stories by Chuks Udo Okonta encouraged with this development and hope to sustain the relationship. “We have been able to encourage the companies to diversify into the various sub-sectors of insurance in Ghana, in a way that it would not be detrimental to the insured, for some of the insurance firms are operating like the banks. We are very grateful about those investments. “Opportunities are still open for Nigerian insurers to invest in Ghana. With the concept of globalisation, firms can invest in any country provided they meet the nation’s regulatory guideline. We would welcome any business, which would add to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP), create jobs and impart the Ghanaian’s financial sector. We are mindful of the benefits an investment would bring to us,” he said.
The firms in the Ghanaian market are NEM Insurance Plc, Intercontinental Wapic Insurance, International Energy Insurance, Equity Assurance, Regency Alliance, Industrial and General Insurance Company, Capital Express Life and Equity Assurance. The number of insurance firms licensed to operate increased from 35 to 39 in 2008. A breakdown shows 17 are into life underwriting and 22 non-life. Others operating in Ghana include: SIC Insurance Company,
Vanguard Assurance, Enterprise Insurance, Donewell Insurance, Prime Insurance and Ghana Union. Also on the list are Phoenix , Provident, CDH Insurance, Quality Insurance, Unique Insurance, GLiCO General, Metropolitan Insurance, Star Assurance and Global Alliance, The life companies are SIC Life, StarLife, CDH Life, Ghana Life, GLiCO Life, Ghana Union Life, Provident Life, Donewell Life, Vanguard Life, Metropolitan Life Ghana, Enterprise Life Assurance Company, Quality Life, Phoenix Life, and Unique Life To sanitise the industry, Ghana’s
National Insurance Commission (NIC) said it has deployed officials in companies to identify operators who perpetuate rate-cutting. It condemned the unhealthy practice of price undercutting that is eating deep into the sector, adding that it is committed to utilising its resources to put a stop to unethical practices. It observed that some companies operating in the non-Life Insurance arm, were guilty of huge premium debt, and expressed hope that new guidelines from the Premium Credit Committee set up by the Commission, would address the problem.
Guaranty Assurance realises N7.52b premium
UARANTY Trust Assurance (GTA) Plc realised a gross premium of N7.52billion last year, its Chairman, Mr Gbolade Osibodu, said. Osibodu spoke at the company’s 19th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos. He said despite challenges, the company recorded positive growth indices during the year, adding that its premium grew by 34 per cent, from N2.37billion in 2009 to N3.17billion last year. According to him, in consonance with the company’s current dividend payout rate policy, it would pay 9kobo per share for the 2010 financial period. He said the underwriting profit grew by 50 per cent, from N1.06billion in 2009 to N1.59billion within the period under review, while the profit before tax moved by 25 per cent from N1.17billion in 2009 to N1.47billion.
Osibodu said the repeal of the universal banking regime stopped banks from retaining their shares in non-bank subsidiaries. He said Guaranty Trust Bank Plc had put in motion a process that would result in the divestment of majority of its shares in GTA. The process, which started last year, he said, was guided by the need to select new core investors with the utmost level of integrity, corporate governance and vision needed to preserve the productive edge and ethically-driven culture of the company. The chairman said this process was almost concluded and that investors with high levels of pedigree and reputation had been selected out of the many would-be buyers from across the world, who participated in the bid. He said once regulatory approvals are received from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the new core investors will be made known.
Operators cautioned on solvency margin
HE National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has urged insurers to adhere to the principles of solvency in preparing their accounts. This is contained in a guideline issued to educate operators on basic requirements needed in their financial accounts. NAICOM noted that for the purpose of determining the solvency margin of any insurer or re-insurer, the paid up share capital as contained in the recapitalisation guidelines of 2005, shall mean the minimum capital base defined as follows: issued and paid, statutory reserves, share premium,
general reserves and bonus issue reserves. It said: “For purposes of calculating the solvency status of insurance and reinsurance companies, the admissible assets and liabilities shall be as prescribed in Section 24 of the Insurance Act, 2003 and shall include: deferred acquisition cost; prepaid reinsurance cost.” “For avoidance of doubts, the following shall not form part of admissible assets under Section 24 of the Insurance Act, 2003. All investments / assets not in the name of the insurance company; investments in excess of the limits prescribed in section 1.10 (b) (vi) of this guideline; revaluation surplus of assets/ investment properties that have not stayed in the books for t h r e e years.”
• From left: President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mr Sunny Adeda; a former president, Prof Joe Irukwu and former Commissioner for Insurance Mr Eugene Okwor at an event in Lagos.
Insurers’ performance poor, says NSE boss
HE Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, is worried over what he calls the low performance of the insurance industry. Onyema said in Lagos that the industry operates below its potential as it contributes just less than one per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) despite having the capacity to be the biggest market in Africa. “Let me state here that there is great potential for the insurance industry in Nigeria. Given our population of over 140 million people and improving economic fortune, we are capable of driving the biggest insurance market in Africa. However, the
reality on ground is not comforting. “Nigeria has continued to record sub-optimal patronage in Africa’s insurance market, despite its huge population. For instance, South Africa, the largest insurance market in Africa, has a population of 40 million people and contributes 78.13 per cent of the continent’s premium. “Also, the South African insurance industry contributes about 16 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while Nigeria’s insurance industry contributes less than one per cent of the country’s GDP and only contributes about 2.3 per cent of the continent’s total premium,” he said. Onyema said the insurance sub-sec-
tor on NSE accounts for 1.8 per cent of the market value, while the Association of British Insurers, made up of 400 insurance companies and 94 per cent of United Kingdom insurance services, has almost 20 per cent of the investments in the London Stock Exchange (LSE). “Also, out of the 30 companies listed in this Sub-Sector of our market, only four, that is, 13.3 per cent of them are trading above N1.00 per share while majority are trading just above par value. With the potential available in Nigeria’s population, experts say that if the country is well positioned, it can become Africa’s hub in insurance business.
• From left: Managing Director Mr Clinton Uranta and Assistant General Manager/Head Corporate Affairs Mr Tony Ojeme of Niger Insurance Plc, at the company’s press briefing in Lagos.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
FEMI ABBAS ON
ET there become of you a nation that shall call for righteousness, enjoin justice and forbid evil. Such men shall surely triumph”. Q. 3: 104. Dear Legislators, This is the second time in three years that a letter of this kind is coming to you from this column. The first was in 2008 barely nine months after some of you resumed in your respective legislative houses. Though the contents of both letters are hardly different the need to write again is informed by the fact that a genuine preacher should never be tired of repeating himself even where and when the addressee chooses to be deaf and dumb as in the case of some of you. “Conscience”, according to Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodio, “is an open wound which only the truth can heal”. But one can talk of healing a wounded conscience only where it has not become cancerous. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told us in one Hadith that hypocrites are known by three signs: “When they talk they lie; when they promise they renege and when they are trusted they betray”. Most of you so much typify this Hadith as if the Prophet had Nigerian legislators in mind when he expressed that axiom. You will recall that when you started nursing the ambition to become legislators, whether at the federal or state level, or even as chairmen or councillors in local governments, your first announcement was that you wanted ‘to serve your people’. Based on that announcement, people rallied round you and embraced you as their representatives. That announcement was your first political covenant. It was not between you and the people in your constituency alone. Since it entailed your promise and the trust of the people, Allah’s hand was in it and He will surely hold you accountable for it because you made such promise it voluntarily. It does not matter whether you were genuinely elected or rigged into office thereafter as usual. Your original intention for making the announcement will be weighed against your action on getting to office. And you will be judged accordingly when you leave the office. That is quite different from the actual rigging that brought you into office (if you are part of that abominable gambit) after depriving your fellow human being of that position which rightfully belongs to him. Just as you will call on God for justice if you were in his shoes so he will take your case to God’s court. And the prayer of a cheated person, according to Prophet Muhammad (SAW), never suffers divine denial. You must remember that it is only God’s judgment that can neither be manipulated nor appealed. And no matter how long it may take, Allah’s judgment will be executed perhaps when you least expect. On that, you are left to your conscience if you have one. In Islam, two issues are exceptionally fundamental which Allah does not treat lightly. These are sacredness of life and justice. It is a great iniquity for any human being to engage in murder and injustice under any guise. Thus, anybody who kills fellow human beings extrajudiciously in the name of religion is nothing but a pagan. In Islam, killing of a fellow human being deliberately is such a grievous sacrilege that cannot and should not occur without commensurate punishment. Besides paganism, nothing draws the wrath of Allah as fast as these two crimes which Satan may continue to ask you to ignore at your own peril. Murder is physical termination of the life of a fellow human being. Injustice is to kill a person mentally, psychologically or spiritually by denying him his right. In Islam, rule of law is the foundation of justice but legislation is the material with which that foundation is built. Those who voluntarily chose to legislate for others must see themselves as the foundation layers of justice who should not, advertently or inadvertently, betray the course of justice. And can this be said of you? Honourable legislators, you are addressed as honourable today neither because you are more qualified intellectually than those for whom you are legislating nor because you are wiser and more experienced than them. What makes most of you legislators is sheer expediency arising from queer inadequacies sadly fostered by our so-called political system which gives room for gerrymandering. If such opportunity comes your way illegally, let it not be mistaken good luck. It may rather be a calamity waiting to strike in future. And when it strikes, no one except Allah can tell the extent of its effect. At least you can see how the consequences of the heartless annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election have become a draconian spectre chasing the ghost of
When tomorrow comes
Nigeria even after almost two decades of licking its wound. Due to lack of conscience, most of you may not have noticed, but you need to be hinted that shortly after you took oath of office, most of you started subverting the covenant you voluntarily reached with the people who elected you. That covenant is to serve them (the people). And those who serve are nothing but servants. But no sooner had you been sworn into office than you started calling yourselves leaders. That is why most of you often find it difficult to bend a little backwards and report to your constituencies on how you are serving them. The focus of some of you, as soon as you reach Abuja or your state capital or even the headquarters of your Local Governments automatically shifts from service to the people (which was your promise) to self service. And the betrayal is not of the electorate alone. It also affects your matrimonial homes. Since most of you are in those headquarters without your spouses, the first thing you do after settling down is to search for alternative but illegitimate sexual partners. And the cost is borne by the electorate. Not only that. You also begin your primary duty of legislating by first fixing your own salaries and allowances against all norms of morality and at the expense of those who made it possible for you to become legislators. We have started hearing of the varying figures of amounts of money you are to share as inconvenience allowances again even prior to the commencement of your legislative duty. You turn the privilege of legislating into a right and use it to intimidate the poor masses and ride roughshod over them. When you occasionally pretend to interact with those masses it is for the purpose of preparing their minds for the next election in which you hope to be returned, possibly, unopposed. And for this reason, you cunningly pay them pittances while making another fake promise to improve their wellbeing during your second or third term. Some of you have spent twelve or eight years in those legislative houses yet, there is no sign at all in your immediate constituencies that anybody is representing the people of those constituencies. You are satisfied with their milling around you for pittance and also assume that they are satisfied with such pittance. When you travel abroad officially, at people’s expense, you are never alarmed by the way the systems work in those countries. The primary concern of some of you is the latest cars on their roads and the most magnificent mansions seen as befitting to your new status. Thus, when you come back home, the race is towards achieving those selfish goals alone. That is why every political office holder
in Nigeria today is riding or eager to ride the newest jeep from the European, American or Japanese factories even as you own or want to own mansions in the choicest estates in the country. Why won’t corruption be legislated into legitimacy? And now, Nigeria is held to a standstill because you must doctor the annual budget presented to you by the executive to your own favour. Most of you as fathers and mothers will want your children to grow up as responsible men and women, yet, most of you have nothing in you that can serve as good examples for those children. Perhaps it is necessary to remind you that everything in this world is based on condition. The world itself did not come into existence without condition. Man was originally created to be Allah’ servant in the garden called the earth. And all other things in that garden were ordered to obey man on condition that he (man) would also obey and serve Allah. That service was not an imposition. It was voluntary. Before putting man in charge of the world at all, Allah had consulted far and wide with all the stake holders concerned. Each of them declined responsibility except man who, out of greed and arrogance, volunteered to take charge and be responsible for it. Allah states this clearly in Q. 33 V. 72 thus: “We offered the ‘TRUST’ (of the world) to the heavens, to the earth and to the mountains, but they refused to bear it and were afraid of it. Man undertook to bear it, but he has proved to be unjust, foolish”. By consulting so far and wide, Allah had elicited and got covenant from every creature. Those among them, that declined responsibility cannot and will not be asked to account for the occurrences therein. Accountability of the world solely rests on man’s shoulder according to the covenant he reached with Allah voluntarily. Covenant with Allah is the most fundamental law of existence. It is not one sided. As man has responsibilities to bear so does Allah has obligations to fulfil. It is from the covenant with Allah that all other covenants in the life of man, including those of marriage, trust and confidentiality, are derived. That covenant is what others call oath. In Islam, oath, whether private or public, does not necessarily require Muslims to carry the Qur’an in one’s hand as done in Nigeria particularly when oath has become a meaningless symbol. No oath is ever made without Allah being a witness to it. Besides, He has assigned two Angels (Raqib and ‘Atid) to every human being as secret police officers. The duty of these Angels is to record all utterances and secret actions of each person to whom they are assigned. The one records good deeds, the other records evil deeds. Their recordings are both in video and audio forms. This is contained in Q. 50: 16: “We surely created man and ‘We’ know the promptings of his mind and are closer to him than his jugular vein. We assign two guardians to watch him, one on his right and the other on his left. No utterance or action (or action from him) shall escape the records of these vigilant guardians….” It is from the functions of these invisible police that researchers came about the idea of video, audio and other technological devices used especially for espionage. With this scenario, you can see what damage some of you (legislators) are causing to the present and future of this country in a bid to display your illegal loot through immorality. By interpretation, the problem of immorality and gross indiscipline in Nigeria today is not with the youths alone. It is rather more with the parents, some of whom are in the legislative arm of government. Nigeria remains in darkness today after 50
years of independence because the priorities of those of you in government are permanently at variance with the country’s national priorities. For instance, one would have thought that rather than fighting corruption the way Obasanjo presumably started it, what a focused and sincere government should have done was to initiate a re-orientation revolution to enable all Nigerians know why corruption is evil. The Buhari/Idiagbon regime experimented this successfully and Nigeria was briefly better for it. Fighting corruption haphazardly as Obasanjo did during his agonizing eight year tenure is like starting the building of a house from the roof. Nigeria wasted those eight years chasing shadow in the name of fighting corruption while the monster kept feeding fat using ‘blind trust’ as cloak. That method must change. Legislating is a rare opportunity to serve one’s nation meritoriously. But some of you seem to have turned that opportunity into one of self-enrichment as well as that of securing the future of your children. All these are done at the expense of the wretched people around you whose role in democracy has been relegated to voting once in three or four years. You have forgotten that wealth is Allah’s endowment which cannot be inherited except by Allah’s will. Who inherited the expansive wealth and kingdom of King Solomon? Haven’t you ever seen some money bags of yester years wallowing in abject penury today? When will you learn your lesson? My dear honourable legislators; search your conscience and fear God. Remember that some people had legislated for this country in the past. There were even those who usurped the roles of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary together, in the name of military rule, made possible by coup d’état. Where are they today? Legislation, like governance, has its tenure. Four years may look endless, but for the wise, it is not more than a flash of lightening which only a fool will rely upon to walk his way through the darkness of the night. You are in the house of legislation to make laws for today and tomorrow. Ordinarily, that duty should be on part time and not full time basis in a serious country where patriotism holds sway. But since everything in Nigeria has a peculiar factor, it has become a rule that those who are legislating for us must take the lion’s share of our national cake even through the budget. That is why you randomly roar to the total embarrassment of the country that the President or the Governor must be impeached. Such impeachment becomes a serious business only when your salaries, allowances or social welfare are not provided as at when due and as you want. It does not matter to you whether or not the entire workforce in Nigeria remains unpaid for years. It is rather shameful and disappointing that even some of you (Muslim legislators) can participate in such evil charade despite your proclamation of Islam. Conscience, though invisible, has a mirror which only a few people know of. That mirror is shame. A person without shame is a person without conscience. And that is the main distinction between a genuine Muslim and a nominal one. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) admonished thus in respect of shame: “once you are bereft of shame, you can go ahead to do whatever you like”. This means that without shame you are a nonentity who can even strip naked in the market place. We can all see the example of this in a former President of this country. Honourable legislators, let it be kept permanently in your hearts that the only thing which keeps people alive in history even long after their demise is service to humanity. Prophets Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad (SAW), had neither bank accounts nor estates to bequeath to anybody. Their heritage is more than any material wealth for the entire world today. That heritage is service to humanity. What is your own planned heritage if only for posterity? That is a big question which only people with conscience can answer. And, as Muslims, you should be able to answer it. Remember that you are in a ship already voyaging on the high sea towards the shore. At the shore are the customs officers waiting to check the contents of your cargo. Be always at alert. Remember that if you cultivate friendship with Satan he will favour your wish. But if he grants you one favour, he will take ten from you in return. Be Muslims by name, conduct and mannerism. Whatever you do as Muslims will affect the image of Islam in one way or the other. I hope you will return home as Muslims that you claim to be and not as renegades. Remember all this and adjust now that you may be able to raise head high when tomorrow comes.
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Man in police net for alleged murder
OLICE detectives at the Homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Yaba Lagos are battling to uncover the circumstances surrounding the death of a suspected cultist, Sunday Okocha. Okocha was allegedly stabbed on the thigh with a kitchen knife during a cult clash on April 24 at the Ijegun-Satellite area of the state. It was gathered that the police arrested one Destiny Osaigbovo (33) in connection with the alleged murder. The suspect is currently being interrogated by detectives. In his confessional statement, Osaigbovo told the police that he stabbed Okocha in self defense, adding that Okocha and other members of a dreaded cult group had wanted to kill him. Narrating the incident, the suspect said: “Some members of the cult had threatened me earlier, promising to kill me if I do not join them. They came to meet me at a beer parlour where I was attending to my workers and started making trouble with me. That day, after my workers had left, I was still in that beer parlour drinking my beer. This was about 11:30 p.m. “Some boys walked inside the beer
Police dismiss killer cop
By Jude Isiguzo
parlour. One of the boys called Jonah approached me and asked me to buy beer for them which I did. While they were drinking, my phone rang. They made fun of my phone and asked that I join their cult but I refused. They became furious and started hitting me. As if that was not enough, they forcefully took my phone and my file away.” Continuing, he said: “The next day, I went out early in the morning to assist a friend of mine who had some problems, and on my way back home, I saw Okocha with the man who had seized my phone the previous night. They ordered me to follow them to Ijegun Waterside where they said they were residing but I refused. Okocha wanted me to follow them forcefully and I refused. He said they will return my phone without my SIM card if I do not follow them. At this point, I became angry and we started struggling. As we were struggling, they started beating me with anything they could lay their hands on and in order to save my life, I dragged them into a restaurant where I took a knife and stabbed Okocha on the thigh.” Sources disclosed that Okocha was
Some members of the cult had threatened me earlier, promising to kill me if I do not join them. They came to meet me at a beer parlour where I was attending to my workers and started making trouble with me
•Osaigbovo rushed to the Bethel Hospital where he later died. Regretting, Osaigbovo said: “I did not intend to kill him. In fact, I took him to several hospitals; but the doctors turned him down. He lost a lot of blood because of this and when he got to Bethel Hospital, it was too late. I had to report the matter to the police” Police spokesman Samuel Jinadu said the police arrested Osaigbovo after Okocha died. “Homicide detectives are investigating the death and investigation is ongoing. Both men were friends although the cause of the fight is not specifically known, it is related to cult activities,” he said. The suspect works as a designer of POP (plaster of Paris) and ceilings to earn a living. He has been in this business for over 12 years and he claims that he had never had any kind of fight with anybody until the incident that led to the death of Okocha.
Mob kills three suspected fraudsters
HREE suspected fraudsters popularly called one chance have been beaten to death by angry passers-by after their attempt to dispossess a lady passenger of her belongings in Abuja failed. The incident brought traffic along the Kado Expressway to a standstill. The hoodlums were said to have picked a female passenger in front of an undisclosed commercial bank after she had reportedly made some cash withdrawals. Luck, however, ran out of the conmen who were said to have been driving in a commercial taxi with Abuja colours, when they attempted to push the woman out of the cab after they had allegedly robbed her of the money and other valuables. The hysterical screaming of the victim was said to have alerted passers-by who immediately apprehended them. The taxi cab they operated in was vandalised by the angry mob while the hoodlums were beaten with clubs and stones. Two of the criminals were later thrown down the Mabushi Bridge before a police patrol team arrived at the scene. The duo were said to have died at the scene while the third man reportedly died on the way to the hospital. It took the intervention of officers of the Directorate of Road Traffic
The taxi cab they operated in was vandalised by the angry mob while the hoodlums were beaten with clubs and stones
From Sanni Ologun, Abuja
Service (VIO) to restore traffic flow. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Jimoh Moshood, a Superintendent of Police (SP), confirmed the incident. According to him, the remains of the deceased have been deposited at the Gwagwalada Teaching Hospital mortuary. He said that investigation into the incident had commenced and that efforts were on to ascertain the identity of the deceased persons, even as he said that the victim was yet to report formally to the police. He condemned the lynching of the hoodlums stating that the Force does not encourage “jungle justice.” He advised members of the public not to take the law into their hands. Moshood said suspected criminals
• Ifunnaya with her gifts
should be handed over to security agents for prosecution in the court of law, pointing out that efforts were on to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.
HE FCT Police Command has disclosed that it has dismissed the police corporal attached to Zenith Bank in Mpape, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who killed Mrs. Doris Okere. The FCT Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Jimoh Moshood disclosed this while speaking in Abuja at a media outreach organised by Centre for Enhancement of Human Rights Enforcement (CEHRE), a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Moshood, a Superintendent of Police said the erring policeman was already facing trial, adding that only the court can determine the punishment to be meted out to him if found guilty. While saying that the widower had been invited by the police command for discussions, he noted that the police were not an institution for law breakers or murderers but rather one set up for the protection of lives and property. He argued that the police were a product of the society. He pointed out that: “We are here because the society is here. We are not only your friends but partners, noting that policing was culturally biased. He described the police as an in-
We are here because the society is here. We are not only your friends but partners…Policing was culturally biased…Policing is by culture. We defend democracy more than any other institution
From Sanni Ologun, Abuja
stitution that defends democracy and that it often crumbles whenever democracy crumbles and thrives when it thrives. “Policing is by culture. We defend democracy more than any other institution. When democracy crumbles, police crumbles; as democracy grows, police grows,” he said. The FCT police spokesman further disclosed that recruitment in the police was deferred due to refresher and training courses going on in all police colleges throughout the country as a way of updating officers and men on the demands of society. He said the negative perception of the police on the part of members of the public was built from childhood when parents frighten erring children by threatening to invite the police to arrest them. Earlier, retired Chief Superintendent of Police and National Coordinator of the organisation, Mrs. Julian Soibi Harry, said CEHRE is out to change the negative perception of the public about the police. “The police is an orphan in the society and the members of the public should adopt them. The retired police officer disclosed that aside the general sensitisation of the public across the county to solicit for public cooperation to end aggression against security agents, the centre would organise interactive forums where police authorities would brief the public with regard to modern policing methods. She said: “We urge the authorities to open their hands to receive our sensitisation team that will engage the personnel on human relations and other attributes that will boost police image. “We intend to encourage the police to know that their efforts are not in vain by organising memorial services for those who died in service; assist their families by granting scholarships to some of the bereaved families as well as improve social activities within the police personnel.”
Gifts for victim of assault
ISS Ifunnaya Nwamba, a former pupil of Adeniyi Jones Primary School who was allegedly assaulted by her guardian in Lagos, could not hide her joy when she was presented with some gift items like clothes and money by teachers and students. The 12 year-old is currently putting up at the Lagos State Remand Home for girls Idi-Araba, where she is being taken care of by the state. She looked bright, radiant and healthy when she appeared at Court
By Jude Isiguzo
10 of the Ikeja Magistrate’s Court, where hearing on her assault case commenced on May 23. But the matter could not go ahead as all the parties were not in attendance and so was adjourned to July 4. In rare show of love and solidarity, Ifunnaya’s teachers, while presenting the items, told her that the students and every member of the school’s management team is solidly behind her. The items were presented to her
by former head-teacher who advised her to continue to be a good girl in her new home and avoid anything that would distract her. Ifunnaya said she was enjoying her new home, adding that she was being taken care of adequately, even as she added that the people there are nice. She was very grateful to her teachers and students of her former school for their support and kindness and promised that she would never disappoint them.
• Headteacher Mrs Ehiedu (second left) with her teachers in court, yesterday
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Oshiomhole congratulates Obaigbena
DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has congratulated the publisher of This Day newspapers, Mr Nduka Obaigbena on his election as president of the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN). Describing Obaigbena as a “new doyen of a different hue on the block,” the governor in a statement in Benin-City said his creative abil-
ity and immense contacts will be desirable to bail out the country’s print media particularly from the challenges posed by the online media. “We need to stand the vision of those who have predicted the imminent death of the newspaper against the challenges of the online media on its head,” he said. Oshiomhole further stated that given “Obaigbena’s resourceful pedigree to always explore innovations in the media business, his emergence as NPAN president definitely signals a new road map for the industry in Nigeria.” While saluting Obaigbena’s astuteness and doggedness particularly with regard to the novel introduction of the colour fad in the mid1990s; a more robust approach to print journalism with emphasis on both form and content; the improvement in the use of photo essays; the elevation of Life Style reporting to court the upwardly mobile middle class; the rise of incisive and highly informed commentaries and analyses and the development of a more vigorous media marketing cutting edge, the governor noted that This Day publisher popularly called The Duke, has not only opened new vistas in the media but has also left significant land marks in the sands of time. Recalling the floating of the glamorous annual This Day Forum which has featured former US President, Mr George Bush and the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice among others, Oshiomhole says this event represented a re-
markable attempt by Obaigbena who also published the now rested highbrow and glossy This Week magazine in the 80s, to not only popularise the discourse on the intractable Nigerian project but also deepened the cause of democracy in the world’s most populous black nation. In a related development, Oshiomhole also praised members of the National Assembly for bowing to popular wish by passing the harmonised version of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill which has been gathering dust in the apex legislative chamber since 1999. Noting that the passage of the FoI bill will not only promote transparency and accountability in the management of government business, the governor said it will further
deepen the capacity of the media which has remained resilient in spite of the travails of colonial rule and the dictatorship of the military and civilian elite, to discharge its responsibility to inform, educate and entertain the populace. He added that it will also enhance the rights of the citizenry to know. While calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently sign the bill, Oshiomhole said it will send strong signals that the government has resolved to vigorously tackle corruption and mismanagement of the country’s resources. “We need to take critical steps by sending the right message to those who want to pilfer our resources that they will no longer be treated with kid gloves,” he concluded.
Poverty, for instance, is a hindrance to democracy and the enjoyment of human rights. Poverty leaves many people susceptible to manipulations by several forces and interests…A hungry man who usually is also an angry person cannot appreciate the beauty of the power in a ballot box or, for that matter, the significance of his ballot. Such a person thinks about food, not freedom
Uduaghan adjudged best Delta governor
HE Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has been described as the best among both the civilian governors and administrators who have piloted the affairs of the state since its creation in 1991. An Itsekiri group, Iwere Knights Association (IKA) made this assertion in a press statement signed by its President, Mr. Taiye Ajiyen and General Secretary, Mr. Panama Edukugho. According to the group, Dr. Uduaghan, in the past four years, has transformed Delta State in line with international standard of good governance and best practices. The group said: “We have done our historical research. We have gone round the three Senatorial Districts of the state to verify
From Shola O’Neil, Warri
projects. We have talked to key opinion leaders of all the ethnic nationalities in the state. The result of all these and indeed the consensus opinion is that Dr. Uduaghan remains the best governor Delta State has ever had. “This unusual leader has positively touched virtually every aspect of the state in terms of good governance and value. The testimony is there for all to see. We challenge anybody to comprehensively compare and contrast in terms of good governance, the administration of Dr. Uduaghan with any past civilian governor or military administrator of Delta State, and make the findings public for all to see,” the statement added.
This unusual leader has positively touched virtually every aspect of the state in terms of good governance and value. The testimony is there for all to see. We challenge anybody to comprehensively compare and contrast in terms of good governance, the administration of Dr. Uduaghan with any past civilian governor or military administrator of Delta State, and make the findings public for all to see
While praising the governor for his “deliberate and conscious efforts at re-branding the state,” IKA further scored Uduaghan’s administration high in the areas of health, peace and security, human capital development, and infrastructural development. Specifically, the group praised Uduaghan for the international airport in Asaba, the Independent Power Project in Delta Central, the ongoing Trans-Warri-Ode-Itsekiri Bridge, the Koko Export Processing Zone, a revitalised educational sector, better road network, increased employment, and free medical care for children under the ages of five and pregnant women. “Elections have come and gone. Winners and losers have emerged. While we congratulate Dr. Uduaghan on his well-deserved victory, we believe that as true Deltans, it is indeed time to put partisan politics behind and join hands with Governor Uduaghan to take the state to higher heights, particularly when he has extended a hand of fellowship to all Deltans, including his opponents at the April 26, 2011 polls. “It is in this regard that we commend the patriotic and bold step of the gubernatorial candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, in teaming up with Governor Uduaghan to move the state forward. “We urge the candidate of the Democratic
•Uduaghan Peoples Party (DPP), Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, and indeed all other defeated gubernatorial candidates, to borrow a leaf from Chief Omo-Agege by being good sportsmen and team up with Governor Uduaghan to move Delta State to the next level,” IKA stated.
Imoke’ wife’s project marks third anniversary •Continued from Page 27
made Asari the winner of a brand new Hyundai I.10 car. The second prize, a 3.2GB Apple I-Pad, went to ticket number 0014975 belonging to Godwin Nkiri. While the third prize, a 32" Sony plasma screen television, was won by Abu Etim owner of ticket number 0006813. The 4th prize, a free weekend’s bed and breakfast stay at the Tinapa Hotel was won by Eyiam Donatus Sunday, owner of ticket number 0054834 and the 5th Prize ticket with number 0003782 was won by Master Isaiah Ugbo, and attached to the ticket is an all-expense-paid full day at the Tinapa Water Park. It would be recalled that AsFac was initiated three years ago by Mrs. Imoke with a view to tackle critical issues such as child abandonment, street children, teenage pregnancy, child protection and other children-related issues. On the journey so far, Mrs. Imoke has indeed matched her words with action through her Mothers against Child Abandonment
(MACA) Project which accommodates the two “Refuge Homes” that rescue and carter for abandoned babies and pregnant girls at risk. Her Destiny’s Child Centre (DCC) which is a home where former street children are rehabilitated and resettled with a view to re-integrating them back into society. From inception in 2009, the home has successfully reunited eight children with their family members. The home has about 106 children, 86 of who have been enrolled in schools while 19 are being trained on skills acquisition. Two years ago, AsFac joined in the advocacy that led to the passage of the Child Rights Law in the state. It has also paid hospital bills for cancer patients and children suffering from various ailments whose parents are indigent. Mrs. Imoke said: “What is paramount to me is to make Cross River State Fit for every child irrespective of circumstances surrounding his/her birth. I thank God on the progress AsFac has made so far.”
•The raffle draw star prize won by Mr. Asari Bassey at the event
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Edo community laments decay in infrastructure
ORRIED by the rate of worsening state of infrastructural facilities in Sobe High School in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, and the fear of the possibility that the only secondary school in the area would soon be extinct, the Chairman of Parent Teachers Association of the school, Mr. Anthony Abodowa Ehimiaghe has lamented the monumental deterioration of structures and learning facilities at the only public secondary school in the town. He blamed the decay on years of neglect by successive administrations in the state, even as he warned that except immediate rescue efforts are put in place, the town would be without a functioning public secondary school. Mr. Ehimiaghe, a retired educationist said that for the school to regain its lost glory and become relevant to the community’s need there must be a total overhauling of every section of the school system. He said: “Since Sobe was merged with Edo State in 1991, the school, which hitherto was the pride of the people has gradually transformed from being a centre of excellence to a centre of decay. “To achieve any meaningful progress in learning, the school structures must undergo total renovation, equipping of the classrooms, laboratories and library. Also, more teachers must be employed because there are very few teachers in the school now. Interestingly, the state government is the bigger stakeholder in the business of education in the state,” he said. Ehimiaghe therefore urged the State Board of Education and the community to work out a synergy on how to revamp the ailing school
By Ozolua Uhakheme
in line with the Action Congress of Nigeria’s cardinal point of providing quality education. The 37-year-old community college, built through self-help by Sobe community is in ruin. Of the 10 standing structures in the school compound, only two (the principal’s office and a block of classrooms) are in partial use and under very deplorable conditions. The remaining eight buildings, especially the classroom blocks, assembly block and hostels have become breeding ground for reptiles and rodents. Except for the 50 chairs and tables provided by the Education Trust Fund (ETF) in 2008, most of the classrooms are without chairs, tables, doors, windows and necessary learning equipment. The only building that used to house the science laboratories (Biology, Physic and Chemistry) burst into flames some six years ago, leaving the burnt walls as sad reminder of the blaze. Till date, students of the school were never provided with any alternative learning facilities. The two buildings that served as hostel facility for male and female students in the 80s are now without roofs and have been overgrown by weeds. What appears like a fresh breathe in the 37-year-old school is the ongoing construction of a block of classrooms located near the Principal’s office, which is however being built with low quality materials. When Newsextra visited the school recently, it learnt that from a population of 855 students and 53 teachers in the 80s, students’ enrolment has dropped to 345 and eight teachers includ-
•One of the hostel blocks
•One of the classrom blocks
Since Sobe was merged with Edo State in 1991, the school, which hitherto was the pride of the people has gradually transformed from being a centre of excellence to a centre of decay…To achieve any meaningful progress in learning, the school structures must undergo total renovation, equipping of the classrooms, laboratories and library ing two National Youth Service Corps members. At the junior level, there are two teachers and none is Mathematics teacher. As a result of this, most of the students moved to schools in neighbouring communities like Ifon, Ijagba and Owo in Ondo State. It was also learnt that because of inadequate facilities and low student enrolment, the school is given partial accreditation to hold the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) examinations. However, the decay in Sobe High School is not an isolated case. The other three public primary schools in the community- St. Thomas Catholic School, St. Stephen Anglican School and St. Eugene’s Catholic School are also in deplorable conditions; leaking roofs, collapsed classroom buildings and lack of teachers. On Sunday, April 24, 2011 Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was on campaign trip to Sobe canvassing for votes for the Action Congress of Nigeria’s candidates for the State House of Assembly election. At that forum, Oshiomhole paid courtesy call on the acting Odibiado of Sobe, His Royal Highness, D.S Imonide I, where he was briefed of the poor state of social infrastructure in the community, especially education. Mr. Francis Uwaifo, a banker and who is indigenous to Sobe expressed concern over the state of the schools in the area confirmed that Governor Oshiomhole did promise to rebuild Sobe High School to the standard he built St. Maria Gorothy College in Benin-City. According to him, the governor also promised to equip the burnt science laboratory in the school.
“Meanwhile a three-classroom block is under construction at St. Stephen Primary School by the local government council in fulfilment of his earlier campaign visit at the school in 2006. He has also provided the community with a new electricity transformer to augment the existing ones in the town,” he said. Uwaifo noted that the governor’s visit contributed greatly to the victory of ACN in the last State House of Assembly election in Sobe on April 26, 2011. He explained that many elderly women in the community took it upon themselves to place a curse on anyone that would be against the progress of the community. To them, only Governor Oshiomhole has identified with the problems of the community and has promised to bring relief to the people. Continuing, Uwaifo said: “Before Comrade Governor’s visit, Sobe community was angry with the government because none of her sons and daughters is in the government of the state, thus creating no link between the community and the state government. “It is on record that out of four witnesses from Owan West Local Government Area that testified at the Justice Peter Umeadi-led Election Tribunal in Benin on the governorship case, two were from Sobe and the Vice-Chairman of the council who they testified against, (a PDP member) is also a son of the community. “So, the community had resolved that should the governor fail to appreciate the risk its people took for his victory; they will go on protest vote for the opposition party in the state. But the governor’s surprise visit to the community and his promises influenced the community’s vote for the ACN during the State House of Assembly election.”
Author dedicates book to Tinubu
OR being “a symbol of excellence in democracy”, especially as the inspiration of the much-acknowledged rebirth of Lagos State, a book has been dedicated to former governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The 714-page book, ‘Government Accounting,’ was recently released into the market by its author, M. M. Hassan, Permanent Secretary/Auditor-General for Local Governments in Lagos State. Hassan also recently released for readers’ consumption, another book: Financial Management in Nigerian Local Governments (Revised Edition). Explaining why he dedicated the book to Tinubu, he said: “The fact cannot be denied that his legendary exploits in the eight-year administration of Lagos State was a direct function of his exemplary knowledge of accounting as an art in the business of governance. This is my own way of presenting him
By Dada Aladelokun
as a reliable model to many other public office holders who want to learn.” He further explained that the time has come for the expertise of the few among Nigerians like Tinubu to be appreciated not only for them to do more but for others to take a cue from, all in a bid to contribute to genuinely rebuilding the system through adroitness and accountability. Hassan is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Chartered Institute of Taxation, Chartered Institute of Administration, Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Local Government and Administration. Among his other publications are: Principles and Practice of Local Government Au-
dit; Financial Management in Nigerian Local Governments and Probity Magazine, his office journal. The book, Government Accounting, he said, “is concerned with recognising and reflecting on the appropriate books of accounts and records, government-generated revenue and disbursed expenditure so as to extract with ease, relevant financial information that are vital for appropriate decision making from time to time in line with the laws regulating government finances.” Explaining the rationale behind Financial Management in Nigerian Local Governments (Revised Edition), the author told Newsextra: “It was borne out of the need to make available good literature that would bring about rapid development in accounting and financial management at the local government level, all for transparency and assisting the fight against corruption.”
“How do they expect me to win in Aba (vs Enyimba) and Enugu (vs Rangers)? I really saw my suspension coming. I’m not disappointed,”
NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE...NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE...
Bukola Babes coach Festus Allen revealing he was not surprised by his suspension.
Rangers threaten strike
Zamfara’s skipper pleased with draw
Friday, June 10, 2011
LAYERS of NPL side Enugu Rangers will embark on a strike if the club fails to pay up their entitlements after the next three games. The players are owed 70% of their signing-on fee from last season and they are yet to receive a kobo for the current
campaign. “We have been taken for a ride for too long and we the players have resolved that after the next three games and our monies are still unpaid, we will stay away from training and matches,” a top player told MTNFootball.com. “We have families and other
dependants and they are suffering a lot. They think we are lying when we say we are yet to be paid even our entitlements from last season.” The players met with the club management behind closed doors immediately after their 2-0 home win over Bukola Babes during which
they gave the club an ultimatum to pay up. The state governmentowned team went on strike and skipped training towards the end of the first round of this season. 'The Flying Antelopes' are eighth on the table with 40 points from 26 matches.
APTAIN of Zamfara, Saka Abdullahi was pleased with the teams 2-2 draw away to Sharks in PortHacourt on Wednesday. Efosa Ikhimkin put the home side in front just two minutes into the game but Zamfara youngster, Jolly Osarumiise scored against the run of play to get his side back on level terms. Sharks were, however, back in front eight minutes after the restart. Bright Ejike, who had a poor first half atoned for his earlier misses as his surging run on the left and a great cross culminated in the simplest of tap in for Andrew Michael. Sharks continued to dominate but a moment of brilliance from Timothy Ndubuisi and one to forget for goalkeeper, Okiemute
Odah suddenly saw the away side clawing back into the game for the second time, midway into the second half. The forward received a pass from midfield and raced toward the Sharks penalty area. Sensing that Odah had strayed from his line, the nifty forward lobbed a cheeky ball beyond the despairing reach of an embarrassed keeper as Zamfara celebrated their second goal. “To be honest, this was a surprise but I am happy we were able to get this point. Hopefully, it will help us in our fight to avoid relegation,” he said. Sharks now slip to 7th after Enyimba and Rangers both won on Wednesday. The Port Harcourt side now has 42 points from 26 games. Zamfara remain in the drop zone with 24 points from 26 games.
AFTERMATH OF SUSPENSION
I saw it coming —Allen
UKOLA Babes coach Festus Allen has said he was not shocked by his suspension because he was given “an impossible” target by the NPL side. Allen was asked on Wednesday to take the back seat moments after Bukola Babes lost to Enugu Rangers in a week 26 fixture in Enugu. The coach was handed a three-match ultimatum by Bukola beginning with the away game at champions Enyimba and followed by a home game against Plateau United before the match in Enugu. His team could only draw one of the games and he was subsequently told to give way to assistant, Kabiru Sulaiman. “How do they expect me to
win in Aba (vs Enyimba) and Enugu (vs Rangers)? I really saw my suspension coming. I’m not disappointed,” he told MTNFootball.com. “The management were too harsh about their ultimatum.” NPL debutants Bukola Babes remain in 11th place on the table with 35 points from 26 matches.
JUTH coach blames loss on defenders
J •Action from Lobi versus Rangers match last season
Dike sure of continental spot R
A N G E R S International of Enugu coach, Alphonsus Dike has expressed optimism of securing a continental ticket after recording a 2-0 victory over Bukola Babes on
Wednesday. Goals from new signing, Ifeanyi Egwuim and youth international striker, Uche Nwofor in either half, ensured the Flying Antelopes the deserved victory which shot the team to eighth spot
on the league table with 40 points. Despite the goal margin, Dike, however, was not satisfied with the performance of the team as they ought to have won by bigger margin.
“I’m not satisfied with the scoreline as we had chances to score at least four goals. But all the same, we are on track to play continental football next year,” Dike said.
UTH handler, Emmanuel Deutsh has blamed the team’s 1-0 loss suffered in the hands of Kwara United at the Kwara Stadium on Wednesday on a defensive mistake. A 38th minute strike by Barnabas Imenga ensured JUTH remain at relegation zone on 19th position with just 22 points. Kwara United started off well with the duo of Imenger and Anthony Okemiri being constant troubles for the back line of JUTH in the opening minutes with their runs. But it took 39 minutes before the two, Imenger and Okemiri, to combine and produce what turned out to be the only goal of the game.
By Akeem Lawal
From a resultant corner kick, Okemiri turned his marker inside out to create space for a cross that Imenger planted into JUTH’s net from the near post to hand Kwara United a deserved lead. It was definitely one of the easiest goals Imenger, whose father Barnabas Imenger Senior also played in the Nigerian topflight, would score in his career. “It was a defensive mistake and Kwara got their goal and held on to it till the end. But my young team played well and deserved commendation,” said Deutsh.
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 08033349992 sms only
Making your bathroom glow
• Modern bathroom design
In many homes, the bathrooms lack the modern touch. Bathrooms are no longer what they used to be in the past. They now come complete with the requisite accessories for men and women. Want such a bathroom? Here are tips from TONIA ‘DIYAN Star product of the week
Bleach in sachet • Bathroom design
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Making your bathroom glow N
O matter the size of your space or the extent of your budget, there are several ways of giving your bathroom a new look. It involves assessing your space, knowing how you want to use it; finding the right pieces to define the space and adding any final touches to make it your own. Gone are the days of the small efficient bathroom area. Everyone now wants to have at least one bathroom suite in their homes, so changing a few key items can make a difference. This gradual progression from the simple bathing room to the bathroom suite is apparent to anyone who watches home improvement programmes channel. Modern design has always made sense in the bath and by understanding the essence of modern design; you can transform your bathroom into a simple yet luxurious one. Updating the look of your bathroom is quick, simple and serene when you maximise the minimal space you have whether you have a small or big apartment. When it comes to creating your space, it is not necessary to ignore either luxury or comfort to make or remake your bathroom. However, it is imperative to think differently during the design process. Concentrate on editing, rather than adding. When embarking on bathroom renovation, choose quality products, such as fixtures, tubs, plumbing, showers, flooring and paints. Green and orange are two colours you can make use of. It could be as simple as coordinating colours but too many colours can produce a chaotic atmosphere. Paints that hold up against moisture even if you want the latest colours reflected in your bathroom, you should consider the bathroom’s high humility, condensation and steam. Be sure to select a paint that is specifically made for the bath, because bath paints offer moisture, mildew are mold resistant and will not spot, fade or stain. They can be easily cleaned and are commonly used for interior walls, cabinets, celling and doors. Get rid of blocky cabinets and replace with a graceful fixture. Quality fixtures although may look similar but not all faucets are the same. Look for faucets constructed of high quality materials. A quality faucet will give you superior performance, as well as durability providing stylish addition to your bathroom. A faulty metal washer is the usual cause of faucet leakage.
LABA Suru market, situated between Orile and Mile two, on the Badagry Expressway, Lagos, has a section where only turkey and chicken are sold. The market is usually busy between Fridays and Sundays. The Nation Shopping visited the market on a rainy Saturday and observed that trading was at its peak despite the rain. Sellers enjoyed trading in the rain; buyers came in their cars clutching umbrellas. While some traders tried to shield themselves from the rain, others wore nylon gowns and caps, serving as rain coats and shower caps, to prevent them from being drenched. Would you say these sellers are greedy? A turkey seller, Mrs Kome Ageribe said: “You are entitled to your opinion, because we have to make ends meet, come rain, come shine. That is part of Lagos hustling and bustling. “I am sure this is so because in this market, you can find turkey and chicken at their cheapest prices, so people want to take advantage of this. Besides, many people, especially workers create time during the weekend for their shopping.” When asked if the rain does not obstruct selling, her response was: “Not at all, the rain helps us to wash the turkey and chicken. I mean the ones displayed outside the
• Female bathroom accessories
Ceramic tiles are very suitable for bathrooms, they come in various colours and sizes. It is better to make use of the coloured ones preferably pink for the female bathroom and blue for male bathroom while purple can be used for the kids bathroom because it is easier to wash compared to white which is difficult to maintain. Real wood vanities create lasting impression. Walk into any home improvement store or bathroom retailer and you will be confronted with vanities of all types and sizes. From maple to cherry to oak, the possibili-
• Male bathroom accessories
ties are endless. But be sure to select a vanity made of real wood. There are many vanities that may look like real wood, but when you look at them closely, you will find a veneer on top of pressed wood. In a steamy bathroom, the veneer may peel away from the pressed wood leaving you with a problem. Bathroom accessories should not be forgotten when you are renovating or creating your bathroom. They provide the finishing touches to any bathroom, they are the little things that enhance your bathroom such as bath rack, grab bar, robe hook, scale , shelves,
shower curtains, soap dish, toilet brush holder, toothbrush holder, towel bar, towel ring, towel warmer, and of course, toilet paper holder or nail if you prefer. Don’t forget you spend quite a lot of time in the bathroom so choose carefully and make it a relaxing and cozy place you desire it to be. If you are looking behind the walls at the plumbing system, or in the main room at decorative features, don’t be consumed by the stylish images in the latest magazines or the sales pitch at your local retailer. Always go beyond the surface to look for quality.
When traders defy rain From daily trading, the Suru Alaba turkey market is now a weekend only affair. TONIA ‘DIYAN visited the market on a rainy Saturday and found the place booming cold room. They appear cleaner and neater in the rain. The good thing about this is that buyers still come with their umbrellas, cars and the same nylon I use to cover my body. What we sell here is a necessity but not everyone eats turkey and chicken because of the fat they contain, but the way we display our turkey makes it inviting and very neat.” There is no difference between the turkey in the cold room and the ones displayed outside. The sellers just sell the displayed ones at a lesser price. The sellers preserve the turkey and chicken in cold rooms and freezers until they are bought. But they do not wait in their shops for buyers to come. They make use of the open space along the market road for easy access to their customers. After the buyer and the seller agree on a particular price, a separate table is used for cutting the turkey/
chicken into pieces, according to the choice of the buyer. Chicken lap is pieced into three parts and sold for N250.The turkey categories include eight pieces of the small size sold for N600 per kilo inside the cold room but N500 outside, because it must have been defrozen, thus reducing its value. Nine pieces of medium size chicken is N550 per kilo inside the cold room but N450 for the ones displayed outside. Ten pieces of big size is N500 per kilo inside the cold room but N400 outside. A carton of turkey is sold for N5,000, a kilo is sold for N500. The turkey sellers said they were asked to pay some compulsory dues monthly, weekly and daily to different people. Their refusal to pay would cost them their turkey. Monthly dues of N20, N500 at every siting,weekly dues of N200, Saturday dues of N70 plus N150 to different people and
Sunday dues of N50. We were asked to pay one due or the other for Itunu awe, [muslim Eld el fitri festival] at one time. A trader, who pleaded anonymity, said: “We turkey/ chicken sellers want to use this medium to plead with the government to please find a way of stopping or reducing these so called development
• A turkey seller
dues so that this market can be more comfortable for us. Some of us do not come to the market when we do not
have all these dues ready because you will not be allowed to sell. As you can see, we sell more outside than in
our cold rooms. You will not be given space to display items not to talk of selling them”.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
SHOPPING STAR PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Bleach in sachet
How to shop for the right food
OUR health is the most important thing you own. So, investing in it through the right food is the best investment you can make. However, I realise that finding the ‘right’ food can be challenging for some. The following steps will help you to find the best possible foods no matter where you are or what your budget is. Nutrition experts have observed that most people make their food choices based on taste, price, convenience, appearance and shelf life. These actually have nothing to do with health. It will help if you take a new approach to the way you look at buying food. If you are making all your food choices based on these criteria, you may be indulging your taste buds, staying within your budget and minimising your trips to the grocery store but your cells may all be starving for nutrients that they aren’t getting because they are not in those foods. I am not saying to ignore taste, price, convenience, appearance and shelf life. Go ahead and consider those, but consider them after you consider the nutritional value because nutritional value is the real reason we need to eat. The body needs nutrients and it is important to wake up to that. Whether you live in a rural area with no access to a health food store or are simply on a very tight budget, there are ways to weed through the offerings in any grocery store to come out with the most nutritious food available, and the following principles should help to guide you along your way. Learn your nutritional type This is the first step you should take, and it is an important one. Learning your nutritional type will allow you to choose the proper foods and this can vary drastically from a focus on meat to a focus on vegetables or healthy fats. Buy the freshest items The fresher the food, the more nutritious it will be. Only buy produce that is fresh and firm, otherwise you are wasting your money on food that has passed its prime, in terms of both nutrition and taste. This also applies to meat, poultry and fish. If it is not fresh, do not buy it.
Hypo Active for sparkling whites
LEACH is a chemical that removes stains, whitens or disinfects/ kills germs. Common chemical bleaches include household chlorine bleach and bleaching scouring powder. The bleaching process has been around for thousands of years. Modern bleaches have bactericidal properties, and are used for disinfecting and sterilising. Stain removal bleach can be any kind in a bottle. But you can be very sure of the Hypo super bleach in a sachet. The solution is 3.5% WV sodium hypochlorite as active ingredient. Apart from the fact that is whitens, removes stains and disinfects/kills germs, it is also very economical. A sachet cost N10.You can buy in bulk as well. A bag cost. The hypo super active bleach has some washing instructions: for white fabrics, add one of 75ml bleach in 10 liters of water in a bucket. Soak white fabrics and remove after 10 to15 minutes, rinse and wash with detergent as normal. For disinfecting and stain removing, add a sachet of 75ml in five litres of water,
By Tonia ‘Diyan
soak stained fabrics and other items. Remove after five to 10minutes, rinse and wash with detergent as normal. To clean hard surface and sanitizing, add one sachet of 75ml in five litres of water, wash and wet wipe hard surfaces such as floor, walls, kitchen counter tops, sinks, fridge, fan, basins, dustbins, bath tubs, shower, tiles, etc. To clean toilets and urinals, drains and water pipes: pour two sachets i.e. 150ml in the toilet bowl, rub and clean with brush around the rim to remove stain, allow it to remain for 15minutes,then clean with brush and flush with water thoroughly. This bleach allows you have an accurate measurement for whatever wash you want. It also comes in a bottle but the newly introduced sachet is more economical with all washing instructions written in different languages. When you buy, you are given a flyer containing various washing instructions.
Pick the leanest cut of beef Free-range meats and poultry are always the best choice, but there are other options if these are not available to you. In terms of beef, choose the leanest cuts as most of the toxins from hormones and antibiotics will settle in fattier tissue, so the fatter cuts tend to have more toxins. Lean cuts of beef include flank steak and round steak. Follow the white meat/dark meat guidelines based on your nutritional type. Another option is to ask the butcher to order some bison. In general, bison are raised much more naturally than other livestock, which means they are not given antibiotics or hormones and the meat is very lean. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do. It is one of the best tasting of all meats. Its flavour is similar to prime beef, but sweeter and more tender. If the chicken is from a factory farm, do not eat the
JANICE NKOLI IFEME skin Most chicken sold in typical grocery stores are raised in factory farms. Each full-grown chicken in a factory farm has as little as sixtenths of a square foot of space. These extremely overcrowded conditions pave the way for disease. Many are also genetically modified, and due to genetic manipulation, 90 per cent of broiler chickens have trouble walking. If you do not have access to freerange, organic or cage-free chicken, endeavour to remove the skin before eating. Fresh food is always better than frozen, but frozen is better than canned There is some confusion over whether frozen vegetables are as healthy as fresh vegetables, but you can be rest assured that fresh vegetables are always preferable to frozen ones. The freezing process causes damage to the cells in the food, which compromises its nutritional value. Eating pre-frozen food is acceptable, however, but be careful to not overload your diet with pre-frozen foods. If you have no choice and must choose between frozen or canned, frozen would be the better option. Avoid processed foods Processed foods, including canned goods, are among the most nutritionally devoid foods. Besides, they tend to be expensive, especially when you get into all of the packaged, name-brand junk foods. Save the money that you would normally spend on pricey and unhealthy items such as potato chips, cookies, ice cream and frozen pizzas, and spend it on some fresh vegetables or meat instead. Check prices on organic food-It is not always more expensive If you have access to organic food, do not just pass it up because you assume it is too expensive. Sometimes organic food is actually less expensive than traditionally grown food, especially when it is on sale. It may also be only slightly more expensive than a comparable regular item, and in that case the increased nutritional value (and lack of pesticides, etc.) would be well worth the extra price. So be sure to compare prices and choose the best value, which may in fact be organic. Adjust to your new way of eating, and enjoy the feeling Once you become accustomed to eating the best-quality foods for your nutritional type and start to experience the increased energy, weight normalisation and other health benefits, you may find that you are inspired to seek out even more of the healthiest foods. The habit can become quite addictive and I suspect you would discover that healthy foods are available in places you had not thought of before.
Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: email@example.com SMS - 08033349992
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
47 FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Vol 3 No. 132
KWII leverages on youth empowerment
The organisation has since grown into a dynamic institution with a mission to making every youth who comes our way tell a story of success in the nearest future. To achieve this goal, we adopt various strategies and initiatives aimed at developing the youth and getting them ready to become exemplary leaders. Today, activities are already on top gear in preparation for the EG 2011, scheduled to take place at the Sea School, Apapa, Lagos from July 24 to 31. The theme for this year’s event is Per Aspera Ad Astra-Through Difficulty to the Star.
Per aspera ad Astra’ captures KWII’s belief in the principle that Hardwork should precede Success. It tells the story we so very much want to pass across to Nigerian youths that success is a product of painstaking and diligent perspiration and productive engagement. We seek to use EG 20011 to further drive home our conviction that the path to greatness is fraught with all kinds of pitfalls, difficulties and challenges but it is possible to surmount them all and emerge a “star”.
HE story of Kingdom Wealth Initiative dates back to 2001 after the founder/President met with some young friends seeking a platform to express their support for young development. A meeting was called where the idea of starting a non-governmental organisation (NGO) was mooted to use their life experiences to improve the lot of the people in their immediate community. At the meeting, the organisation was to be named, Friends-For-Life international, (FFL International). In attendance at the meeting were Femi Olaniyan, Doyin Alabi and Dayo Olowo and the convener, Victor Akintunde. By the year 2002, the vision got bigger and better defined. The objective of using the Wealth of the Kingdom to empower people became stronger and clearer. Another meeting was convened and Kingdom Wealth Initiative [KWI] was born. Pioneers present at this second attempt included Sanjo Shodimu, Babatunde Oyeniyan, Lucky Onoigboria, Lanre Olabode and the convener, Victor Akintunde. KWI started with organising workshops and seminars which are used to enlighten people. The first major seminar which got a fairly elaborate amount of publicity was the “Success at Job Interviews” Seminar held on March 28, 2005, where some human resources experts were invited to facilitate the seminar. A decision was taken to register the organisation with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and a long tortuous process began. By the time the CAC eventually agreed to register the organisation, after several queries and setbacks including outright denial of registration, a little tweak to the name was required and it became Kingdom Wealth Imperial Initiative (KWI Initiative). Another seminar series, “Profile of Success” with the theme; “Stories that Inspire” was held on the June 16, 2007 and by 2008, the maiden edition of our flagship programme, Eagles Gathering ’08 was held at the Sea School, Apapa. The programme continues to grow in
The aims, objectives
‘This programme will also restore confidence in youths that today’s sufferings are the needed ingredients for a great future. We believe also that participants will have their hope rekindled that the current global economic downturn should not limit their capacity to attain greatness and financial prosperity’ leaps and bounds with successful outings in 2009 and 2010. Over the years, we have established a functional library with literatures covering from business to religion, science to management to inculcate a reading culture amongst youths in our community. In November 2009 we facilitates a heart surgery to India for Mr Akemode in collaboration with MTN Nigeria as part of our humanitarian development.
Two reasons underscore the choice of the theme. First, we hope to disabuse the minds of Nigerian youth about the now common fad that it is possible to attain success without having to work hard – the Short Cut Syndrome” or the “Get Rich Quick Fallacy”. Second, the entire world is currently trying to get out of a recession or the downturn in economic fortunes. We wish to restore and sustain the confidence of the youths that there is still a silver lining behind the dark clouds. That it is still possible to emerge successful, creating sustainable wealth in the midst of all these gloom.
We hope that going through EG 2011 will encourage participants to rededicate themselves to the age-old principal of hardwork, diligent and eschew the increasingly popular believe that success can come cheaply or by dubious means. This programme will also restore confidence in youths that today’s sufferings are the needed ingredients for a great future. We believe also that participants will have their hope rekindled that the current global economic downturn should not limit their capacity to attain greatness and financial prosperity.
More than ever before, Nigeria needs a movement that will shift the paradigm of her youths from the prevalent focus on short term goals of quick-fix solutions to life-time issues like success. The participants at this programme will become champions to spread the Gospel of hardwork and diligence among the teeming youths of Nigeria. Wealth creation, entrepreneurial spirit and the seeds of Productive Venture will be nurtured at EG2011 and this will have multiplier effect of the young unemployed population of Nigeria.
Legend storms Ikorodu for fiesta
T was a night to remember for Mr Ochei Obinna popularly known as Mikky Boy when his name was announced as the star prize winner of a giant sized refrigerator. His joy knew no bounds as he started exclaiming “God, God, God, you have done it for me”. He went on to say that he was just planning how to raise money to buy a refrigerator for his wife who has been pestering him for a long time for one. “Now you can see that it always pays to be loyal to a good brand. I thank Legend Extra Stout for this wonderful reward”, Obinna said. Micky boy was not the only lucky Legend brand loyalists that got rewarded on May 7, 2011, at the Koded Bar in the ancient city of Ikorodu, Lagos State. Other winners from the raffle draw include Mr. Mike Sunday, an upcoming music artiste, who won the second prize of generating set. Also Mr Banjoko Adeniyi; Mr Peter Okpara; Mr Taiwo Bello; Mr. Olabisi Ogunyinka, Mr Oha Ituah and Miss Ileriayo Odunuga, all won 50kg bags of rice each. Five other people also went home with gallons of vegetable oil each. They are Mr Kanmi Oyenuga, Mr Oseni Sarafadeen, Mr Musari Mukaila, Mr Patrick Irabhude and Mr Ademola Ogunsanya. They were among hundreds of Legend Extra Stout consumers that invaded Koded Bar while numerous others who came to Abegi Bar & Restaurant, also in Ikorodu Town, smiled home with lots of home appliances and edibles
courtesy Nigerian Breweries Plc’s newly repackaged Legend Extra Stout. Giving reasons for this show of love to consumers of his beer beverage brand, Mr Funso Ayeni, Legend Extra Stout Brand Manager, disclosed that “Legend as a brand is consumer-centric. In the spirit of the season, remember, we just celebrated Easter, we thought of a fantastic way to appreciate and put smiles on the faces of not only our brand loyalists who have stayed with Legend all these years, but also their families. So, we came up with gift items that will have direct benefit to all and sundry. That is why we are giving out all these home appliances and edibles. At least, the electric generators will be a good alternative source of power when PHCN strikes. Those who won refrigerators will be able to preserve and chill their foods and Legend beer all the time while those who went home with food items will not suffer hunger. All these are meant to add value to our customer’s life. That is the idea”, Ayeni said. Speaking further, Ayeni revealed that the ‘Real Deal Festival’ is a carefully conceived brand promotion to reward existing consumers of Legend and to drive taste acquisition whereby beer beverage drinkers who probably have not tasted stout beer before are encouraged to taste the richness of Legend Extra Stout and then make a choice of where their loyalty will be.
“Delectable ushers in branded Legend Real Deal T shirts and Fez caps were on ground to welcome you to the bar and offer you a free chilled bottle of Legend. Afterwards, you are now encouraged to buy subsequent bottles that would enable you to get a raffle ticket which automatically allows you to participate in the raffle draw. The beauty of this approach was that as many people as possible that participated or came to the bars would definitely go home with one prize or the other, moreso because, there are several consolation gifts.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Brandnews Teenager wins MTN millionaire game
Sprite unveils new promo
11-year old Anita Patrick emerged a millionaire in the Children’s Special Edition of the MTN sponsored family TV programme, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire (WWTBAM).
NITA Patrick, a Basic 6 pupil of King David Nursery and Primary School, Olodi Apapa, Lagos beat seven other kids at the fastest finger stage of the show to mount the much coveted hot seat in the Special Edition for season 7 of the Who Wants to Be A Millionaire,which was held on May 27 to mark the annual children’s day celebrations. Anita is the older of two children of the Patricks who are indigenes of Edo State. Esther, the visibly elated mother who accompanied her to the show was full of gratitude to MTN and its partner, Ultima Studios for the opportunity given, not just to her daughter but to children generally to come and display how knowledgeable they are and at the same time win money for their education. “I am very grateful to the sponsors of the programme (MTN) for this opportunity they give to children to
show how knowledgeable they are and also win some money to help their parents in their schooling,” she said. Also on the show was 11-year old Ilori Matthew, a pupil of Joy Children’s School, Ifako who walked away with N250,000 scholarship money. Several children are expected to enter and play for more millions next week when the Children’s Special is expected to end for this season. Children’s Special is a spin-off of the popular TV show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire sponsored by Nigeria’s largest Telecoms company MTN. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is one way the telecoms company with over 40 million subscribers in Nigeria enriches the lives of its customers.
Oando begins promo
ANDO has commenced a consumer promotion to generate consumer appeal and boost patronage. The promo, which is a strategic action plan by the Oando Abule Taylor service station in Lagos State, is designed to promote the values and benefits of the Oando brand to the target audience. It is also intended to drive traffic to the station and promote the uniqueness of the Oando brand to the target audience. The promo is strategically designed to deepen consumer experience of the Oando brand. It is one that will engage
the consumers and gauge the perception of consumers about the service delivery of the Oando service station. The promotion involves the winning of several prizes including plasma television, motorcycles, refrigerators, Generators, DVDs and other home appliances. The management of the Oando service station, Bidwil Energy Resources, stated that a consumer need to buy 30 litres of petrol, 15 litres of Diesel, 20 litres of Kerosene and four litres of lubricant to obtain a raffle ticket. The promo kicked off in June 1st and it will end on August 31, 2011.
PRITE, the world number one lemon and lime flavoured sparkling beverage from the stable of the Coca-Cola Company has activated the popular Sprite Triple Slam (STS) for the fourth straight year in line with the brand’s promise of creatively engaging its target audience consistently. The activation, which is a unique and exciting fusion of skill and dexterity in basketball, music, dance, embodies the free spirited and spark up creative attitude of the Spirte brand. Speaking at the media briefing heralding the activation in Lagos, Mr. Austin Ufomba, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria said the Sprite Triple Slam is targeted at the youth on campuses across Nigeria and is designed to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking and self-expression as well as to spark up creativity and unleash the ingenuity embedded in the average Nigerian youth. Also speaking on the event, BolajokoAjayi, Strategy Marketing Manager (Flavours), said the Sprite brand encapsulates the attitude and way of life of the urbane youth. According to her “Sprite stands for the attitude, edginess and swagger of the urbane youth and initiated the Sprite Triple Slam to further strengthen its connection with consumers. It is hinged on the three passion points of today’s youth; dance, music and basketball.” On why basketball was chosen over other
games, she stated that basketball has a culture which embodies everything the urbane youth stands for. The sagged jeans, punk hairstyles, tattoo and dare-to-do-attitude that is associated with the game and its heroes. “It is this spirit which is common to both the game and the brand and for this reason the game of basketball was chosen over others for the Sprite Triple Slam. Toyin Nnodi, Brand Manager, Flavour, said the digital campaign for STS has already kicked off on www.facebook.com/ tripleslam so also is the SMS platform which will serve as a veritable tool for registration for the competition nationwide. In line with this, regional activation will begin with Enugu activation on July 1, Calabar activation will be on July 8, while Abuja and Lagos activations will be held on July 15 and 22, respectively. The grand finale, where the overall winners for each category wound be chosen, will hold in Lagos on August 8. Nnodi stated that there is a slight modification of the activation this year, “Contestants will compete as individuals in the three categories of basketball, dance and music and will be rewarded in individual capacity unlike previous editions where registration, performance and rewards were team based. The cash prize of N1 million for each contestant, however, remains unchanged.
LG Electronics launches service centre in Apapa
S part of its plans to expand its pres ence Nigeria and reaffirm its commitment to delivering quality customer service, LG Electronics, a leader in consumer electronics and Mobile communications recently inaugurated its new service center in Apapa Lagos State. The service center, which is located at No.22 Burma Road, Apapa, Lagos, is equipped with state of the art equipment aimed at repairing faulty LG products ranging from washing machines to mobile phones, home theatres, air conditioners, refrigerators, televisions, among others and will be managed by trained experts who will be on ground to handle the repairs and attend to customers enquiries. Speaking at the official opening of the service center, the General Manager, Customer Service, LG Electronics, West Africa Operations, Mr. Weolwoo Choi, said: “The
service centre demonstrates LG’s continued commitment to invest and deliver excellent after sales services to meet the needs of customers.” Choi emphasized that the service center is for general maintenance of all LG products. In line with global standards, the repairs that would be carried out at the new service center will be made to LG specification thus ensuring uniformity and the product will be as good as new. Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director, Fouani Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mohammed Fouani, assured customers living in Apapa and its environs of experiencing world class after service delivery for their products each time they visit the service center. This, he noted, would enhance their lifestyles and put their minds at ease while using LG products.
Consolidated Breweries rewards loyal customers
ONSOLIDATED Breweries Plc has rewarded its outstanding distributors for their performance in the last financial
year. The brewer of quality value-for-money brands, which also recorded tremendous improvements in all indexes of growth, said it was appreciative of the distributor’s performances as they have contributed immensely to the growth recorded by the company last year. The company’s Annual Customers’ Award Nite, which was held on May 13, at Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan, is part of activities for the Company’s Annual Distributors’ Conference. The conference themed ‘A Winning Partnership: Mission Possible’, is a forum where the preceding year’s performance is reviewed and plans for the year are shared with the customers. General Manager, Commercial, Mr. Ed Weggemans, while sharing business plan for 2011 with major distributors at the conference, said 2010, though challenging, was nonetheless a successful year for Consolidated Breweries Plc and her business partners. According to him, Consolidated Breweries, as a proactive company, is seizing opportunities provided for business growth. “We have continued the upgrading of our brands and have witnessed especially good results from our flagship brand “33” Export while other brands, Turbo King, Hi-Malt and Maltex showed significant growth”, he said.
• General Manager, Commercial, Consolidated Breweries Plc, Mr. Ed Weggemans and winner of the company’s star prize, Mr Raifu Olaiya, at the Annual Customer Award Nite in Ibadan, recently
The company is also consolidating on the acquisition of DIL/Maltex and the brand, after the successful re-launch has been restored to its true position – The Original malt drink. Besides, he noted that the planned acquisition of majority
shares in Benue Brewery Ltd. and Champion Breweries Plc., if approved by the shareholders and successful, would also impact positively on the fortunes of Consolidated Breweries, which is currently coping with limited scope for future ex-
pansion and growth due to capacity constraints. “Generally, our brands are well accepted in the market and we gained market share as well as met our target profit, year on year”, Weggemans said, promising that “this year, extra efforts will be made to keep the growth momentum for the benefit of all stakeholders and ultimately to satisfy our consumers”. At the colorful event, various prizes were given out to the satisfaction of all in line with the company’s policy of rewarding outstanding performance, particularly partners who carry the entire brand portfolio of the company. It was a memorable moment for Customers who were very excited and delighted as they were rewarded with mouth-watering prizes such as generators, branded chillers, credit notes for the company’s products and empties as well as valuable plaques. Customers were also rewarded for the Highest Volume Sold for each brand in the portfolio. The Managing Director’s prize for outstanding growth in 2010 was a 3.5tonne, 400 crates capacity fully branded delivery truck which was won by Mrs Akinlolu Ajala, Managing Director of Akinlolu Ajala & Sons. The high point of the Award Night was the raffle draw in which the star prize: a 3.5 tonne 400 crates capacity fully branded delivery truck won by Mr Raifu Olaiya, Managing Director of R. Olaiya & Sons.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
CSR: A path to tread
URNING and turning widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconet, the centre cannot hold. Things fall apart, mere anarchy is loosed upon the…” Houston in this poetic exert as quoted in Chinua Achebe’s “Thing fall Apart”, expressed, in his own parochial twinkling a state of anarchy and unrest which can be encountered where two parties cannot reach an agreement or understanding. The centre will definitively collapse. Ever wonder why some business firms are usually at logger heads with their host communities? Or rather, why do some of these communities threaten to squeeze out life of the business organisations established within their environment? Like the biblical saying, “can two work together except they agree?” Some organisations are not so skilful or wise in managing their immediate publics. The mismanagement of the host communities have created an indelible fractured relations with the business firms, thus causing an un-peaceful atmosphere for the firm to operate. It can be worrisome and heart-aching dealing with communities that often display all manner of discomforting attitudes towards the organisation. But, it is the responsibility of such an organisation to look for all means to coexist peacefully with them no mater how hostile and difficult the community may be. Community relations, according to Wilbur Peak, is a bridge between the community and the company. If then it is a bridge, it has to be firmly constructed to carry the weight of the massive public relations problems that can destroy the good relationship between the
By Omomogbe Susan parties involved. Community relations are a corporate obligation as well as the social responsibility of such an organisation in any given locality. The firm has the duty to develop the community socially, educationally and economically. For instance, the firm must not be a parasite to the host. Instead, the relationship which ought to exist between the duo should be symbiotic where both parties stand a chance to benefit from each other. Communication is the greatest instrument if wielded well can solve any problem. It is crystal clear that communication is built and not made. Therefore, business firms should spend much to bridge any form of communication gap that may exist between itself and its host. Tangible projects should be funded to serve as benefit to these communities. This will not only promote these firms to saleable or popular stand but will accentuate it to be an indispensable organisation. Any business firm that wants to live continuously with its host must respect the host and must carry every activity in accordance with the culture of the people in the locality. Hence, to achieve a continuous acceptance from its publics, an organisation must adopt public relations strategies as a major tool in facilitating mutual respect and understanding between the community and itself. It has, therefore, become essential to note that any organisation which does not have a public relations office to manage its affairs have definitely planned to fail.
Brands community relations
COMMUNITY is a group of people who live in the same place, who have the same government and share the same cultural and historical background. People in a community are mutually dependent, therefore, for the people in a place to have access to good life, there is the need for institution and the institution can only exist with the concept and support of the people. It is, however, imperative that there exist a good relationship between an organisation and the people in the community. Community relation is a branch of public relations that is responsible for fostering good relationship between the people in the community and a given organisation. Community relations can also be viewed as the various methods which companies, organisations use to establish and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with the communities in which they operate. The reasons behind companies and organisations embarking on community relations are enormous; to avoid sabotage from the host community; to create a conducive business climate; to inform the people in the community about the organisation’s policy; operations and problems to answer criticism and prevent rumours by local pressure group who have been misinformed about the organisation; to corporate with other companies in understanding the business and economic system in the community to get acquainted with people in the community by inviting local groups and opinion leaders; to inform the employee connected with the company about its operations and stimulate them to pass such information to their friends and neighbours in the community. The underlying principle of community relations is that, when a company or organisation accepts it civic responsibility and takes an active interest in the well being of its community, then it gains a number of long term benefits. Benefits in terms of community support, loyalty, enabling environment in the host community so that the organisation can carry out its activities without hindrance, maximise profit, helping the organisation to discover trouble spots and goodwill. ‘’Community involvement’’ build public image and employee’s morale and foster a sense of team work that is essential in long term success. Lisa Desatnik noted in Cincinnati business jour-
By Peter Jaiyeola
nal that a comprehensive ongoing community relations programms can help virtually any organisation achieve visibility as a good community citizen. Organisations are recognised as a good community when they support programmes that improve the quality of life in their community which includes crime prevention, employment, environmental programmes, beautification, recycling and restoration. – Jaiyeola, a 300 Level student of Mass Communication, AAUA.
Banking for all through e-banking Bolaji Ogeyingbo, e-payment savvy and a fan, writes on how banking can reach mobile payment as part of e-banking; should be leveraged to deliver maximum value to the customer.
BELIEVE the ability to get funds at the instance of need combined with the secu rity of your fund and safe transfer is not enough. Other business methodologies will boost the Nigerian economy in many ways. In addition, I have thought of innovative ways of employing basic mobile technology (SMS and imaging) to deliver mobile payment services. Beginning with the business methodology of adding more financial services, I thought it wise to provide secure and risk free credit and investment services based on each customer’s contribution. To start with, assuming customer A comes with a worst-case scenario. I am trying to fault the five (5) C’s of credit here. So, the customer said he has turned a new leaf and wants to start his credit history all over again. Should he be shunned (banished for life) or given an opportunity? This is where my business model starts to build from, anyone that demands credit for any purpose should first sow a seed and wait for it to mature into the credit he craves for. What I mean is a very small deposit; say N500 or less should be deposited and managed in a hierarchical unit management system. Growth in any business depends on the volume of business done or the number of customers serviced. E-payment has both, and ebanking should realign their business strategies along this line to experience such monumental growth, which in this case can be better managed through an autonomic software system with the policies configured in it, servicing such high number of people without manual interference or manual policy management. Also, all banking products should be available for all and traditionally risk involved products such as credit should be based on contribution and the length of the customers’ relationship with the financial institution, and not based on status as currently is the case in the Nigerian banking industry. Otherwise it will just be banking for aristo-
crats or a few selected people, which is the current practice. That is why most banks are being liquidated and some are facing financial crisis. The more the number of people involved in having access to the entire banking product based on contribution and length of relationship, the less the risk and loss that the financial institution will be exposed too - a simple probability theory proves this. It is quite unfair, very unfair to collect deposit from a large number of people and restrict the people from having access to other banking products such as credit and investment. Banking in Nigeria, because of the way it is being practiced is disconnect with other financial services have polarised the Nigerian economy in such a way that only some sectors of the economy are growing so fast while the others are not supported. For example, more people in real estate, agriculture, hospitality and petroleum derived products nowadays while other very promising sectors such as high-tech (software, automation, manufacturing and medical are not being supported by the financial industry. This high-tech industries, however, though high risk, brings the highest turnover and revenue in the Western world. These products are imported and take away most of our income regularly. The second part, which deals with service delivery, is where mobile payment comes in. All banking products should be available through electronic or mobile channels. The days of brick and mortar business has long passed and electronic channels have huge capacity of delivery service to millions of people at very low cost. Therefore, I believe, either from the web, mobile phone or ATM, customers should be able to access all banking products through these three channels and not only to pay a third party or withdraw cash.
•L-R, Ms Nikki Bayliss, Head of New Market Development, Sightsavers; Mr Diran Olojo, GM, Corporate Affairs, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria; Master Joseph Oche, a student of JSS Gwagwa Secondry School, Abuja and Prof Kovin Naidoo, Global Programmes Director, International Centre for Eyecare Education(ICEE ), during the launch of ‘Seeing is believing’ Standard Chartered Bank-Funded Project in Abuja
*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Human Relations Executive - Owolabi Afolabi *Operations Executive - Isiaka Hassan *Creative - Oluwaseyi Sulaimon*Front Office Executive - Blessing Nkeanya * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Drumbeat Media and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. Corporate Suite: 20 Akinremi Street, off Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org © All rights reserved.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
FIRS collects N1.248trillion in Q1
HE Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has raked in N1.248 trillion between January and April this year. In a statement, the Director, Corporate Communications Department (CCD), Emmanuel Obeta, said the figure was disclosed at the opening of the ‘Service Regional Enlarged Management and Town Hall Meeting’ (REMM) of the North Central Region, held in Makurdi, the Benue state capital. The figure is made up of N841.61 billion of oil tax revenue and N406.80 of non-oil tax revenue collected in the period under consideration. Although the Service has exceeded the N1.164 trillion target set for the period, there is the need for sustainability of the FIRS cost of collection with emphases on improved non-oil revenue sources, the statement said. A further look at the breakdown of the collection showed that the non-oil sector, witness a negative variance when compared to the N570.84 billion recorded in the corresponding period of last year.. The meeting also stressed the need for effective collaboration among the Units, Departments and Groups in order to close the non-compliance gap as well as ensure effective and efficient service delivery to taxpayers. The central theme of the REMM which featured other presentations, was, ‘Closing
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
the Compliance Gap through the Implementation of Self Assessment’. Other presentations include Ensuring Taxpayer Compliance in a Self Assessment Regime Using Effective
Communication as a Veritable Tool; Achieving Voluntary Compliance through Self Assessment Tax Regime; Enhancing Compliance and Enforcement through Effective Debt Management in Full Assessment Regime and Re-
positioning the Audit Units for Optimal Performance in the Self Assessment Regime. The REMM is a reflection of the Eexcutive Chairman of the FIRS. Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okauru led management team efforts to widen and deepen its
HE foreign exchange forwards has re corded a cumulative demand of $117 million (about N17.9 billion) at the Wednesday, June 8 auction. This covers one, two and three months demand by traders. The trading pattern which started in March with the sale of $16.6 million in short-tenored, has since been sustained by the Central Bank of Nigeria moderated Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS). So far, $54 million forex
By Collins Nweze
has been sold for 30 days and $11 million for 60 days, while the figure for 90 days is still pending. The apex bank began offering 1-, 2- and 3-month forwards at its bi-weekly foreign exchange auctions as part of efforts to smooth dollar demand and help businesses in the country. The CBN, said FX Forwards would help Nigerian businesses, especially exporters, hedge against fluctuations in future ex-
change rates. It is a binding agreement by two parties where one commits itself to sell a predetermined amount of currency for settlement on a future date and at a pre-agreed exchange rate. Meanwhile, International Oil Companies (IOCs), have been boosting the foreign exchange market with dollar supplies. It is also expected that more liquidity will be introduced into the market as government distributes the monthly allocations to the three tiers
HE ECONOMIC Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for speedy implementation of the Commission’s Macroeconomic Convergence, known as ECOMAC, to expedite single monetary union in the region. A statement from ECOWAS Commission yesterday, said series of work-
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
shops had been held in Lomé, Lagos and Abidjan in 2010 to examine and validate the ECOMAC database to that effect. The Information Officer in the Commission, Uwem Thompson, said in a statement that the methods of data retrieval from each ECOWAS member state were also discussed in the workshop.
``Member states, experts and other regional institutions have called on the commission to accelerate the process for the operationalisation of the ECOWAS Macroeconomic Convergence,’’ the statement said. It said further that the Commission reiterated its commitment to the operation of the database to fa-
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
GAINERS AS AT 09-6-11 C/PRICE 39.13 4.01 5.51 1.30 2.17 2.42 1.26 10.40 2.59 0.92
CHANGE 1.86 0.19 0.26 0.06 0.10 0.114.76 0.05 0.40 0.07 0.02
%CHANGE 4.99 4.97 4.95 4.84 4.83 4.13 4.00 2.78 2.22
LOSER AS AT 09-6-11 SYMBOL
AFRIBANK INTBREW COSTAIN INTERCONT IKEJAHOTEL OCEANIC PLATINUM SPRINGBANK NIGERINS WAPIC
1.20 6.44 4.27 1.02 1.47 1.32 0.92 0.99 0.76 0.53
0.06 0.32 0.21 0.05 0.07 0.06 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.02
1.14 6.12 4.06 0.97 1.40 1.26 0.88 0.95 0.73 0.51
5.00 4.97 4.92 4.90 4.76 4.55 4.35 4.04 3.95 3.77
Amount Sold ($) 244m 400m 499.8m
Exchange Rate (N) 153.59 153.4 153.45
Date 06-6-11 23-5-11 16-5-11
EXHANGE RATE 30-05-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
O/PRICE 37.27 3.82 5.25 1.24 2.07 2.31 1.21 10.00 2.52 0.90
pared in the three ECOWAS official languages comprising English, French and Portuguese. The ECOWAS member states are the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, GuineaBissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
SYMBOL NBC NAMPAK UPL CILEASING UBN AIRSERVICE JAPAULOIL CCNN BAGCO AIICO
cilitate macroeconomic activities of the member states. The ECOMAC database is expected to be launched in July. The database will focus on generalities and countryspecific guides which were developed to address challenges in each of the member states. The general and countryspecific guides will be pre-
Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 300m 244m 400m 452.3m 500m 499,8m
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
The foreign reserve remained at $32.57 billion, while inflation is 11.3 per cent. Also, 91-day treasury bills are still at 9.5 per cent, while the Standing Lending Rate also stands at 9.5 per cent. The interbank also maintained an average rate of about 11.26 per cent within the week, from about 10.59 per cent the week before. Thesecured Open Buy Back (OBB) was unchanged from the previous week at 8.50 per cent.
Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
of government for the month of June by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). Inter-bank Market on Wednesday, opened at $1 to N155.20/155.30 bid and offer rates respectively. The day’s low was $1 to N154.99/155.09, while the day’s high was $1 to N155.27/155.37. With a closing rate of $1 to N155.15/155.25, the spread between inter-bank offered rate and CBN effective rate remained at N 0.87.
ECOWAS plans speedy single monetary union
OBB Rate Call Rate
of effective and efficient tax administration in Nigeria. The meeting equally offered staff from the regions the opportunity to share and harness ideas on tax administration in order to boost confidence on the entire system.
FX Forwards: 3-month demand hits N17.9b
decentralisation policy with the ultimate goal of improving tax collection. Such efforts, the statement explained, is designed to reach a greater number of officers and taxpayers at the regional levels to bear their minds and reflect on issues
Year Start Offer
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
Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N) Parallel Market 153.0000
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N)
09-06-11 N8.23tr 25.759.72
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.3%
7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
08-06-11 N8.243tr 25,781.65
% Change -0.1% -0.1%
NSE CAP Index
Rate (Previous) 04 MAR, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 24, MAY, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
9.17 1.00 117.35 119.45 0.84 1.00 1,582.15 9.94 1.39 1.87 9,199.45 193.00
9.08 1.00 116.81 118.70 0.81 1.00 1,576.19 9.46 1.33 1.80 8,887.66 191.08
ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 MAR, 2011
Current 07, MAR, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Islamic banking: Challenges and prospects Text of the address delivered by the Secretary-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Lateef Adegbite, at the Colloquium on Islamic banking at the Ayo Ajomo Auditorium, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, on June 6. Protocol
feel greatly honoured to be asked to chair this important Colloquium. It is commendable for the Institute to convene the Forum aimed at beaming a searchlight on Islamic Banking, as Nigeria contemplates introducing the world-acclaimed banking product into our financial system. This step by the Institute is in keeping with its historic mandate to conduct research into law and related disciplines I attest to the excellent performance of the Institute over the years in the fulfilment of its statutory functions and I am proud to recall the supporting role of some of us to the initiative of the erudite and eminent jurist, the Late Honourable Judge Professor Taslim Elias, the founding father of this Institute in the mid-seventies of the last Century, which paved the way for the Authourities of the University of Lagos and Law Faculties of other Nigeria Universities to establish the Institute with the subsequent strong backing of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Nigerian situation and Islamic banking system The growing importance of Islamic banking in the global financial system today cannot be over-emphasised. Countries all over the world are falling over themselves to establish the banking product. Nigeria, therefore, cannot be an exception. Indeed, as we aspire to be among the 20 leading economies of the world, we need to equip our financial system adequately by providing the facilities which the extremely mobile world investors would require anytime and anywhere, they find themselves in the conduct of their businesses. Indeed, such is the status of Nigeria in the world that she must not lag behind in financial creativity and must avail itself of all opportunities the global financial system has to offer. In Population, Nigeria is sixth largest Muslim Country in the World coming after Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Egypt. Such a leading Muslim nation cannot rightly carry on without Islamic Banking System for her teaming Muslim population, and a good number of non-Muslim Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike who desire to have access to non-interest banking. There are however, some grumblings in certain quarters that the adoption of Islamic Banking in Nigeria would be unconstitutional and illegal. The main objection relates to the so-called status of Nigeria as a secular state. This is a most erroneous stand, because the Nigerian Constitution has not prescribed secularism for the country. Section 10 of the Constitution which is often cited in support of this position provides: The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion. The provision is often misconstrued, interpreting it to mean that Nigeria has been declared a secular state. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The correct meaning of the Section is that neither the Federal Government nor any State Government can adopt a particular religion as the religion of the state to the exclusion of all others. In other words; Nigeria cannot be declared an Islamic state, abolishing Christianity or any other religion, or declared a Christian state, abolishing Islam or any other faith. Therefore, in reality, Nigeria is at once a Christian country and a Muslim State. It is a multi-religious Country operating under a liberal political order which protects all religions, and assures equality of treatment to all persons regardless of religious orientation. This is why the Constitution expressly guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. Thus Section 38 emphatically states that every person either alone or in community with others and in public or private, has the right to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
The Nigerian Constitution also clearly recognises religious institutions and laws. Thus Shari’ah Courts of Appeal are established for the Federal Capital Territory Abuja (Section 260) and for those States that choose to operate Shari’ah Law System (Sec. 275). If religious issues arise in litigation in any general court of the land, the Court shall determine the issues according to the religious law, applying the doctrine of choice of law as appropriate. It may be added that many English Judges and Jurists have declared that English Law is Christian-based. Yet, English Common Law is one of the main sources of Nigeria Law. Does this make Nigeria a Christian Country? In the light of the above submission, it would be mischievious and an exercise in religious intolerance for any one to argue that Islamic Banking should not be adopted in Nigeria and that the insertion of Shari’ah Clause in the relevant non-interest banking Regulation to be promulgated in Nigeria would be unconstitutional and illegal. In as much as the Islamic banking system envisaged for Nigeria would be nondiscriminatory, making its facilities open to and available to all Nigerians regardless of faith, the institution would be legal and constitutional. It should be emphasized that the pioneer non-interest Bank which Jaiz International Plc is poised to establish in Nigeria as soon as it receives a banking licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria, may be Islamic in concept and nature, it is certainly not a closed shop, available to Muslims only. Rather it would be a bank owned by Muslims and non-Muslims; its customers will also be drawn from all sectors of the community regardless of faith.
Understanding Islamic banking
S noted above, Islamic Banking and Finance has become very popular and widely accepted as a reliable financial system that has been integrated into the global financial system. For over three decades it has appeared on the world scene as an active player. As most of us know, Islamic Banking and Finance is based on the principles of Shari’ah, and this notwithstanding, its application and benefits do not discriminate between Muslims and non-Muslims. In fact, its ethical and transparent nature, its simplicity, and its emphasis on fairness and accountablility, etc endear it to many. Three most distinguishing factors that make Islamic Finance unique from the conventional system are: (a) Prohibition of Riba (interest) in all its forms; (b) Risksharing; (c) Asset-backed. The last factor eliminates speculation, extreme uncertainty, etc in financing and encourages growth of the real economy – this made it (Islamic Banking & Finance) more resilient during the world economic meltdown!
Global acceptance Islamic Banking and Finance practice is no longer limited to the Arab and the Muslim Worlds but has spread to the Far East, Asia, Europe, America and Africa. It is estimated that there are more than 200 non interest financial institutions operating in about 75 countries across the globe. Global financial institutions offering Islamic Banking services include HSBC, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Capital and ABN Amro. These institutions are leveraging on their skills, resources, expertise and access
to capital to drive the Islamic finance industry to higher levels. There are also other local/regional banks especially in the GCC countries which have started to expand their operations across their borders into other countries. These include Al-Rajhi Bank of Saudi Arabia, Dubai Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House, and Al Baraka Group. In Africa, the countries that have embraced Islamic Banking include South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Kenya, Tanzania, Algeria, Tunisia, and Benin Republic.
Market size – $1 trillion Although it constitutes less than five percent of the global financial market, the Islamic Banking & Finance market was growing between 15 & 20 percent before the world economic recession of 2008 and thereafter at an average of 15percent p.a. In the last four decades, the system has evolved from a small niche visible only in Islamic countries to a profitable, dynamic and resilient competitor at an international level. The size of Islamic banks around the world was estimated to be close to US $850 billion at the end of 2008. While Islamic Banking remains the main component of the Islamic financial system, the other elements, such as Takaful (Islamic Insurance), Mutual Funds and Sukuk (Islamic bonds and financial certificates), have witnessed strong global growth, too. According to a reliable estimate, the Islamic financial industry now amounts to over $1 trillion and projected to hit $1.6tr by 2012. Given its fast-growing nature the industry is estimated to double in size in less than a decade – other things being equal.
Regulation Although there are still challenges regarding uniform regulation of Islamic Banking and Finance, a lot has been achieved by countries that have been in the forefront such as Bahrain, Malaysia, UK, as well as other or organizations purposely established to help regulate and standardize Islamic Finance practice. Malaysia has been developing the necessary infrastructure to support the legal and regulatory framework for Islamic Finance industry since the 80’s. The Islamic Banking Act was enacted in 1983 and Takaful Act in 1984. The UK (FSA) has also reviewed some of its statutes to accommodate Islamic Finance since 2003. The Industry has also developed self regulatory bodies such as the Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Finance Institutions (AAOIFI), the Islamic Financial Service Board (IFSB), International Islamic Financial Markets (IIFM) and International Islamic Rating Agency (IIRA) among others. The AAOIFI which is based in Bahrain issues standards governing accounting, auditing, corporate governance and capital adequacy for the industry. Similarly the IFSB is an international body headquartered in Malaysia with more than 150 members including the IMF, IDB, World Bank for International Settlements, Central Banks, market players and professional firms. The body issues Standards and Guidelines on risk management, capital adequacy, corporate governance, etc. In Nigeria, as part of the ongoing reforms of the banking industry, the Central Bank (CBN) has abolished the Universal Banking Model (of the one-size-fit-all minimum capital of N25bn introduced in 2005) and released new guidelines for different
‘The growing importance of Islamic banking in the global financial system today cannot be over-emphasised. Countries all over the world are falling over themselves to establish the banking product. Nigeria, therefore, cannot be an exception. Indeed, as we aspire to be among the 20 leading economies of the world, we need to equip our financial system adequately by providing the facilities which the extremely mobile world investors would require anytime and anywhere, they find themselves in the conduct of their businesses’
categories of conventional banks as well as that of the Non-interest Banking (NIB) or Islamic Banking. The introduction of NIB is to deepen the Nigerian financial system and integrate it with the global financial system. The new reforms adequately contain serious regulatory issues especially poor corporate governance and other sharp practices that bedevilled the banking industry. HE CBN is now encouraging conventional banks to open NIB windows and others to establish fullfledged banks that offer NIB such as Jaiz International Plc.
The challenges The establishment of Islamic Banking and Finance in Nigeria faces a lot of challenges; and the main ones are: • Lack of skills/expertise and awareness • Absence of regulatory/supervisory framework •Lack of liquidity management instruments • Huge capital – entry barrier (until recent reforms) • Fiscal and Taxation issues • Absence of Shari’ah Scholars. Ladies and Gentlemen, many of these challenges have either been overcome and/ or being addressed through conscious efforts particularly at the CBN which is now the main driver of this initiative. The CBN has embarked on extensive capacity building in readiness for proper supervision of the new system. Jaiz has also directly or indirectly, within its limited resources, invested fairly in capacity building and in collaboration with other stakeholders to create awareness for Islamic Banking in Nigeria.
SLAMIC Banking and Finance has many benefits and opportunities for the entire population of Nigeria – Muslims and nonMuslims alike. Some of these include: • Ethical, transparent, non-discriminatory financial offering; • High potential market size –Muslim Pop. > 50% of the 155m population; • Large unbanked & informal sector > 55% of GDP; • Profitability – over 30% return on equity (b/4 crisis) • Resilience – IMF study shows that Islamic banks performed better in 2008 in terms of profitability, credit and asset growth.
Conclusion Nigeria is strongly committed to its vision 20:2020 i.e becoming among the top twenty economies by the year 2020, and the Millennium Development Goals to engender strong and sustainable economic growth and development. I wish to end this Address as I started, that the integration of Islamic Banking and Finance into the Nigerian financial system will not only enhance the realization of this vision but open a new window of opportunities for both local and foreign investors to partake. And this is the right time to move. In fact, Islamic Banking and Finance is long overdue in Nigeria!
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
FOREIGN NEWS Syria reported to Security Council THE United Nations nuclear watchdog is to report Syria to the Security Council over its alleged covert nuclear programme. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted to rebuke Syria on claims of an undeclared nuclear reactor. The alleged structure, which Syria has maintained was a non-nuclear military site, was destroyed by Israel in 2007. The IAEA’s move comes as international pressure mounts on the UN Security Council to censure Syria over its lethal crackdown on protests. European nations on Wednesday presented a separate draft resolution to the Council condemning Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
Libya crisis: Allies step up funding to rebels
ESTERN and Arab countries involved in the Libya campaign have pledged money to a new funding mechanism for the rebels, stepping up international pressure on Col Gaddafi’s regime. Italy is sending $586 (400m euros; £360m), France $420m, and Kuwait $180m. The Libyan rebels have said they need $3bn over the next four months. The pledges came at a meeting of the Contact Group on Libya in Abu Dhabi. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Col Gaddafi’s days were “numbered”. “As time passes, maintaining our resolve and unity only grows more important,”
she told the meeting of the Contact Group - which includes Britain, France and the US, as well as Arab allies Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar - convened to prepare for the postGaddafi era. Mrs Clinton added: “Alongside our military mission to protect the Libyan people, we must continue to escalate the political, diplomatic and financial pressure on Gaddafi and his regime. “Time is on our side - but we know we must sustain the pressure.” The temporary mechanism to transfer funds to the Libyan rebels is now operational, officials at the meeting said. Representatives for Lib-
ya’s rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) say it needs cash urgently to pay for salaries and food supplies. Italy said it would give the rebels up to $586m (400m euros; £360m) in cash and fuel aid backed by frozen Libyan assets. France said it would release $420m (290m euros; £257m) of frozen Libyan funds. However, correspondents say there is no sign of any progress in the rebel requests to unfreeze Libyan assets in the US. The NTC says it wants to restart oil production at fields under its control, at the rate of about 100,000 barrels a day, but has given no time-frame US Defence Secretary Rob-
ert Gates calls for more countries to contribute to Nato operations over Libya, saying those “bearing the brunt of the strike burden are increasingly pressed” US military operations in Libya are on course to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than the Pentagon estimated, according to figures obtained by the Financial Times Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has been debating a report on alleged human rights violations in Libya. The abuses include murder, torture, and indiscriminate attacks on civilians allegedly committed by pro-Gaddafi forces, as well as serious
Clinton: Gaddafi seeks to negotiate departure UNITED States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she is aware of “numerous and continuing” overtures by people close to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to negotiate his departure from power. Speaking to reporters after an international conference on Libya in the United Arab Emirates, Clinton said proposals from “people close to Gadhafi” presented to unspecified countries included the “potential for a transition.” But she said she could not predict if they would be accepted. She did, however, stress that she believed Gadhafi’s decades-long rule is nearing an end. Her comments came in response to a question about whether she could confirm that Gadhafi loyalists were seeking a way for him to go into exile in an African country.
Benefit of parley with Obama, by Gabon’s leader
violations by rebel forces. Libyan diplomat Mustafa Shaban yesterday told members that his government was “the victim of a widespread aggression” and blamed the media, opposition and foreign mercenaries for human rights abuses, including “acts of cannibalism”.
Ethiopian court jails 14 over AU summit
HE Ethiopian Supreme Court has sentenced 14 people to jail on terror related charges for scheming to bomb the capital during an African Union Summit in January. Government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said that the court sentenced on Wednesday four of the defendants to life imprisonment, six to 25 years, one to 14 years and three to nine years in jail. The 14 are accused of being members of the Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel group based in Ethiopia’s arch-rival Eritrea. Kemal said yesterday the 14 had planned to attack several hotels where the African heads of state were staying while they attended the AU Summit in January. He said the group also planned to attack government buildings as well as recreational centers. The Associated Press could not get immediate comment from representatives for the Oromo Liberation Front.
UN accuses Ivory Coast army of violence •NATO Airstrike: Rixos hotel Tripoli in flame...yesterday
UN chief urges world leaders to end AIDS by 2020
NITED Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has THE president of oil-rich called for global action to end Gabon said he hopes a the Aids disease by 2020. meeting with President “That is our goal - zero new Barack Obama late yesterday infections, zero stigma and will encourage the United zero Aids-related deaths,” Mr States leader to keep the Ban said at a UN summit on spotlight on Africa and launch the partnerships with Aids in New York. The three-day meeting African countries that he promised in 2009 to promote marks the 30th anniversary since the discovery of HIV a better life for millions on the virus that leads to Aids. the continent. Meanwhile, African leadAli Bongo, whose country holds the rotating presidency ers called for greater resources to battle the pandemic of the UN Security Council, across the world. said America and the world Some 34m people have have a “historic opportunity” to connect with Africans and Aids, but about half of them inspire government, business and civil society “to focus as one on the development and well-being of the people of Malawi’s governAfrica.” ment has scrapped Recalling Obama’s speech extra payments to to Ghana’s Parliament in 2009 where he said the US HIV-infected civil servants, wanted to build strong accusing some of them of partnerships in Africa and spending it on prostitutes strengthen business and and beer. prosperity on the continent, The $35 (£21) monthly payBongo said Gabon wants ment would be replaced with “these partnerships to begin “nutrition food bags”, said and flourish.”
do not know they have the disease, according to the UN. “Today, we gather to end Aids,” Mr Ban said at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Wednesday. “If we are to relegate Aids to the history books we must be bold. That means facing sensitive issues, including men who have sex with men, drug users and the sex trade,” the UN chief said. He also urged the global community to “come together in global solidarity as never before” to achieve universal access to Aids treatment by 2015 and also efforts to
lower costs. The meeting is being attended by 30 presidents and heads of government, and some of the African leaders spoke of the desperate need for more funds to fight the disease. “To say that adequate funding is critical to the success of our HIV and Aids response is an understatement,” said Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, whose country has the highest number of HIVpositive people after South Africa. Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba said that resources available for Africa
“remain insufficient given the size of the HIV/Aids impact on the continent”. More than 9m people still do not get retroviral treatment to keep HIV/Aids at bay, and an estimated 1.8m people die each year from Aids.
Malawi stops HIV cash allowance for civil servants
government official Mary Shaba. This would stop workers from using the money on prostitutes and “further spreading the virus”, she added. The scheme was intended to help sick workers improve their diet. Ms Shaba said the scheme,
introduced in 2007, had also been abused by civil servants who falsely claimed that they had HIV so that they could cash in on the allowance. Nearly 40,000 civil servants, out of about 170,000, claimed the allowance. The average monthly salary in Malawi’s civil service
is $100. Around 14% of the country’s population is HIV-positive. The illness has cut life expectancy in the southern African nation to 36. The move comes as the UN hosts a summit to mark the 30th anniversary of the first diagnosis of Aids.
HE United Nations has accused forces loyal to Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara of unleashing violence in the south and west of the country. The troops killed, wounded and arrested dozens of people, the UN said. It said many residents had fled to forests, leaving villages empty. The attacks took place against communities suspected of supporting former Ivorian strongman Laurent Gbagbo. The UN mission in Ivory Coast said it wanted an immediate and impartial investigation into the violence. It said pro-Ouattara forces had used heavy weapons during the attacks. They had looted villages, and had carried out the mass arrest of youths. The violence was carried out by troops from the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast. They captured Mr Gbagbo in April, with the backing of French and UN troops. At least 3,000 people were killed in months of violence after Mr Gbagbo refused to accept Mr Ouattara’s victory in presidential elections last year. Both sides in the conflict have been accused of atrocities. Mr Ouattara, who was sworn in last month, has promised an impartial investigation into the violence.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
Odemwingie set to snub Arsenal A
RSENAL target Peter Odemwingie looks like he may be staying put at West Bromwich Albion, rather than making an ambitious move to North
X-INTERNATIONAL, Barrister Adokie Amiesimaka has accepted to lead the 10-man planning committee for the establishment of the Nigeria Court of Arbitration for Sports(NCAS) at its inauguration held on Thursday at the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), building, located at the National Stadium Surulere. The initiative which is the brain child of the NOC has the following professionals on board: Barrister Ahmed Obande, Dr Olatunde Olatawura, Barrister Osasu Obayiuwanam, Chinwe Uwandu and Kevin Nwosu. Others are Ngozi Paul-Ajayi, Barrister Zainab Kuchi, Barrister Mohammed Sani Katu and Barrister Wahid Oshodi who has been appointed to serve as the secretary of the board. However, Amiesimaka has vowed to foot all personal bills incurred by him in the course of service to his fatherland. Hence he has requested to be exempted from all estacodes that the committee would be entitled to. Meanwhile, in a speech ushering the new members on board, President of NOC, Sanni Ndanusa noted that the committee will fashion out modalities for the establishment of a Court of Arbitration for Sports in
Heartland loses again at Ilaro From Tunde Liadi, Owerri
EARTLAND of Owerri lost more ground on the NPL log yesterday at the Ilaro International Stadium when the club lost her 11th match of the season against Crown FC of Ogbomosho in the delayed NPL Week 26 tie with Morenikeji Taofeekâ€™s first half spot kick the difference between the two sides. The tie was a repeat of the Week 6 match at Owerri just like it was at Ilaro, Heartland also triumphed by the same scoreline. The Naze Millionaires still have a lot of work to do if they do not want to start courting relegation. They have two more away fixtures against Kano Pillars and Kaduna United tough sides to honour this weekend and on Wednesday next week with the unexpected results further dimming their chances of staging any meaningful comeback in this stanza of the league . The three points garnered by the Ajilete Boys at the expense of Heartland ensured that Crown FC move to the 18th position from the bottom of the table with 24 points from 26 matches pipping Zamfara United by virtue of the goals difference since both have same number of points while JUTH occupied their previous place.
London, which is beginning to look increasingly unlikely. The Nigerian international is set to start talks with his current club West Brom this
week, so when a deal is agreed, Arsenal will be forced to look elsewhere for a new forward. This week, his
representative revealed that talks between Odemwingie and his current club are imminent. "West Brom are saying they
NIGERIA COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORTS
Amiesimaka accepts to head committee â€˘Vows to foot personal bills By Stella Bamawo
Nigeria. He said: "You will agree with me that disputes in our sports system is not only a recurring headache but also there are no established settlement procedures in line with the spirit of sportsmanship, hence, sports people often resort to
litigation in law courts even at the slightest provocations. Minor disputes that could easily be resolved at the round table often result in overflogged litigation and public embarrassments, to the detriment of stakeholders." The committee will put in place modalities for the setting up of NCAS, a process
which will be put into operation in the next few months. And by the resolution of the NOC Executive Board, which gave the approval to the establishment of NCAS, all National Federations affiliated to the NOC are under obligation to abide by the rules of NCAS and shall in turn reflect such provisions in their respective Federation statutes.
want to keep Peter and agree a new deal and they know Peter is happy there so hopefully all parties can come to an agreement." However, Odemwingie hinted that he would still be open to a move to Arsenal. "When top clubs like Arsenal or Chelsea show interest in you it is flattering." "It is a big opportunity to play for a club in the Champions League and it is something any player would have to consider." From a personal view, I'm not too sure whether Odemwingie is the right player for us. There's no doubt he's had a fantastic campaign at The Hawthorns this year, scoring 15 goals helping WBA avoid relegation, achieving an impressive final league finish of 11th.
But if he were to move to Arsenal, I feel the step up could be too great. He's a very good player at West Brom probably their best actually but I'm not too confident he would be as successful at a big club like The Arsenal. Would he be able to handle playing against Europe's elite in the Champions League, as well as having the pressure to consistently perform in-front of the fans and media, who will demand that we end our trophy drought next season? Like we've come to expect from Arsenal during every transfer window, we're just going to have to wait and see. If you want my opinion, I'm expecting the majority of our deals to be finished in the rush around an hour before the summer transfer window deadline.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
H R I S T I A N Chukwuemeka Chukwu and Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, the only two men to have captained Nigeria senior team to African Cup of Nations glory, will go up against each other on Saturday as opposing Head Coaches during the Nwankwo Kanu Testimonial Football Match at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Chukwu, captain of the 1980 Nations Cup winning-squad and a Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), will coach the Super Eagles’ All-Stars against Keshi’s ‘Friends of Kanu’, predominantly players invited from outside Nigeria. Keshi was captain of the squad that lifted the only African Cup of Nations title that Nigeria have won outside her shores, in Tunisia in 1994 and qualified tiny Togo for
Chukwu, Keshi to clash at Teslim Balogun the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany. Organisers have indeed found fitting crews for a showpiece game in honour of the most decorated footballer to have come out of Nigeria, at a venue aptly named after one of the greatest Nigerian players of all time. Chukwu is joined on the home team’s bench by fellow old horses Ganiyu Salami and Solomon Ogbeide, also exinternationals. Keshi will be supported by Coaches Joe Erico and Monday Odigie. Salami and Erico have been assistant Coaches of the
national senior team at different times. Erico was Nigeria’s number one goalkeeper for many years, including being in goal at the 1976 African Cup of Nations in Ethiopia. Among the big names coming from outside the country, who will play as ‘Friends of Kanu’, are Ghana’s Sammy Kuffour, Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah and Asamoah Gyan, Senegal’s El Hadj Diouf, Tony Silva and Khalilou Fadiga, South Africa’s Lucas Radebe and Aaron Mokoena, Cameroon’s Rigobert Song and DR
Sibi Gwar targets 16 goals S IBI Gwar who moved to Niger Tornadoes during the mid season transfer netted his eighth goal six matches on Wednesday in his club 3-0 whitewash of Ocean Boys and in an exclusively chat with NationSport says a total of 16 goals haul at the end of the season will make his switch to the Minna based side an unforgettable season. Gwar tried without success to convince Kadiri Ikhana led Kwara United technical crew but was farmed to Tornadoes where he has rediscovered his form
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri
and has been banging in goals to the satisfaction of the team’s supporters at the Bako Kotangora Stadium where most of goals were scored. He informed NationSport that he is targeting 16 goals in the NPL for the remainder of the season to make it a personal record and perhaps NPL record for a person with the most goals in the second stanza of the league. “ I increased my goals to eight
PALACE OF ACHIEVERS CLUB The general public is hereby informed that the above-named club has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE 1. Kola Ogunjobifele (Chairman) 2. Fatai Saheed Tunde (Vice-Chairman) 3. Adepoju Adewale 4. Sulaiman Kabir Shoagbe (Secretary) 5. Oluwole Ayodeji 6. Oladunjoye Akinola 7. Aderemi Malik 8. Peter Okodua Eigbokhan 9. Akinsola Ezekiel Olu AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To promote cooperation among members towards achieving their individual goals, objectives and interests. 2) To promote and ensure discipline among members and to encourage professionalism in their various occupations. 3) To be socially responsible by engaging in community self-help development projects. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, P.M.B. 198, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: Sulaiman Kabir Shoagbe (Secretary) (08057787662, email@example.com)
and I am still looking forward to scoring more goals. I am envisaging another eight more goals before the season comes to an end. It will be my personal best and if that will guarantee highest goals scorer award we shall wait and see. I am indeed delighted with my current form ever since the second stanza began and I am grateful to Tornadoes and the Almighty Allah who has been my guidance.” Gwar told NationSport that he would use the weekend to reflect on what God has done for him and chart a new course towards the remaining matches since they will not be on duty as their weekend opponent, Sunshine Stars will be in the thick of action as they strive to make it to the group stage of the CAF Confederations Cup against Libyan Al Ittihad.
Congo’s Lomana Tresor Lua Lua. Kanu’s former team-mate at West Bromwich Albion, Hermann Hreidarsson, Algeria’s Madjid Bougherra and Togo Captain Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor are also expected, alongside Zambia’s Kalusha Bwalya, the 1988 African Footballer of the Year, now President of Zambia FA and a current Member of the CAF Executive Committee. Head Coach of the Super Eagles, Samson Siasia will be among the home boys, also expected to include Mutiu Adepoju, Augustine Eguavoen and Daniel Amokachi. The Nigeria Football Federation has also appointed Dr. Ahmed Tijjani Yusuf, a two-time General Secretary of the Federation, as Match Commissioner for Saturday’s glamour event. Yusuf, who retired as a Deputy Director at the National Sports Commission and is now a lecturer at the Bayero University, Kano was Secretary General when Nigeria qualified for the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals and the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. He was also at one time Director of the National Institute for Sports, Lagos. FIFA-graded referees will be in charge of the encounter. The centre referee is Ago Abubakar, with Peter Edibe as first Assistant Referee and Revd. Father Chukwudi Onumajuru as second Assistant Referee. Benjamin Ode is the Fourth Official.
No hiding place for Rangers G —Gbolahan Salami
BOLAHAN Salami has stated that there will be no hidden place for Enugu Rangers when the Flying Antelopes storm MKO Stadium, Abeokuta this weekend in the NPL Week 27 tie. The Under-23 international was rested in his club’s away loss at Plateau United midweek and he informed
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri
NationSport that though he was not suffering from any
injury but the move was meant to make him looks refreshed and to enable him recover fully from the vari-
PUBLIC NOTICE CHANGE OF NAME -PETERI formerly known and addressed as UNYIME EFFIONG PETER, now wish to be known and address as ANSELEM PETER NKANGA. All former documents remain valid. The general public please take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE CHANGE OF NAME -OBINNAI formerly known and addressed as Pilot Mike Obinna, now wish to be known and address as Mike .O. Amaku. All former documents remain valid. The general public please take note.
ous knocks he received in the hands of visiting Enyimba International of Aba which they labored to win 1-0 courtesy of Gbolahan Salami was fell at the vital area for Chima Akass to strike home the decider from the spot. The former Sunshine Stars prodigy averred that 3SC is in dire need of the three points to consolidate their resurgence in the league and that the Oluyole Warriors will do everything possible to ensure that all the points become theirs on Sunday. I didn’t travel with them to Jos for the match though I heard we lost 1-0.I didn’t go become I was told to rest owing the knocks I received in the hands of Enyimba. I have recovered fully now and I am battle ready for Rangers they will not have hiding place at all come Sunday. We will show them we are in need of the three points and it will not be a difficult match at all.” 3SC is still flirting with relegation by virtue of their current position on the league table with 34 points from 26 matches and placed at a distant 14th on the log and all points will prove to be a shrewd way of making out ways to ensure the revered club does not suffer the humiliation of a berth in the first division next season while Rangers with barely six points better than 3SC will pray for a favourable result as well to placate the ever wanting Enugu people.
THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
YAN GIGGS has found himself hitting headlines once again, this time for an alleged extra-marital affair with his brother’s wife. A Sunday tabloid has claimed that the Manchester United star embarked on an eight-year relationship with his 28-year-old sister-in-law Natasha. Following his alleged affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, who was gagged with a superinjunction, now more claims of betrayal have stunned his fans. The News Of The World today claimed that the multi-millionaire footballer even spent the night with
Giggs accused of '8-year affair with his brother's wife'
estate agent Natasha last month on April 9. The tabloid also alleged that Giggs was seeing Natasha behind his wife Stacey’s back while she was pregnant. The 37-year-old former BBC Sports Personality of the Year is said to have met his brother’s wife in a string of hotels, after first meeting Natasha when she was single in 2003. A friend of Natasha told the newspaper: ‘I knew it was wrong. It’s the worst possible betrayal. I tried to end it but my relationship with Ryan was like an addiction. Anything he said, I did, I couldn’t say no.’ She continued that it was all on the footballer’s terms and he never told her he loved her. ‘Ryan was never romantic with me. It was all about sex’, the friend said. Giggs is said to have met Natasha eight-years-ago in Manchester nightclub Sugar Lounge, when she was 20-years-old. She had apparently recently split from the father of her first child and Giggs was engaged to his current wife Stacey. Natasha’s friend revealed that he apparently bought her drinks and
complimented her appearance before taking her number and allegedly asking her to meet him the following night. The following night they went to the Living Room bar, where Natasha also met Ryan’s brother Rhodri. The trio continued onto another club and then dined at a Chinese restaurant for a meal before all heading back to a friend’s house. The source told the tabloid that this was where Natasha allegedly first slept with Ryan, but afterwards found out that the star had a pregnant girlfriend After confronting him about Stacey, Ryan allegedly asked Natasha if he could trust her and claims he didn’t mention his fiancée again. But Giggs is claimed to have kept in touch with Natasha and regularly meet up with her to have sex. But in May 2003, Natasha started dating his brother Rhodri and two months later Ryan apparently stopped contacting her. They are said to have met up at a New Year party at his mother’s house though and Ryan apparently pretended to Stacey that he didn’t know Natasha.
After that they didn’t see each other for a year but Natasha’s friend claims Ryan contacted her once again to resume the alleged affair in the autumn of 2004. Natasha’s friend said: ‘I then read that Stacey had kicked him out. And a friend told me that they thought Stacey had found a message on Ryan’s phone. I wondered if it was from me.’ Meanwhile, Rhodri proposed to Natasha in 2005 and Ryan was meant to be his best man. Natasha became pregnant for Rhodri later that year, but she was alleged to have still slept with Ryan during a charity golf tournament in June 2006, according to the newspaper. Natasha and Rhodri’s son was born in August 2006, while Stacey gave birth to Ryan’s second child Zach two months later. In June 2008, rumours of the fling had apparently been spreading around Manchester and Natasha is said to have been confronted by one of Ryan’s ex-girlfriends with the question whether it was true. But as the alleged affair didn’t come out, Rhodri and Natasha finally wed in 2010, but with another pal Will
Mellor stepping in as best man instead of Ryan. The allegations come after Ryan Gigg’s alleged affair with former Miss Wales Imogen Thomas surfaced last month. The pair are said to have had a six month fling, which Imogen is still prohibited from discussing due to a super-injunction gagging her. Imogen Thomas was 'upset and shocked' to learn of new allegations about Ryan Giggs and the footballer's superinjunction looks set to become the worst own goal of his career, Max Clifford said. Giggs was named in Parliament as the footballer alleged to have had an affair with the Big Brother model after frenzied speculation on the internet, despite a High Court injunction. Today’s allegations that the Man U star had also carried out an eight year affair with his brother's wife Natasha, are said to have truly upset Thomas. Natasha only came forward after learning of his alleged relationship with Imogen Thomas, said Mr Clifford. But Imogen Thomas had no plans to reveal their relationship in the first place, and had Giggs not taken out the injunction it would have remained secret, he said. He said: ‘I spoke to Imogen this morning and I told her she needs to talk to her legal advisors, because a lot of things were put up in court about her which were very damaging. ‘That's what she's doing and she's going to get back to me and let me know what she wants to do. ‘She was upset and shocked [by today's story] and she had absolutely no idea. ‘The irony of it of course is that what came to light it was as a result of taking out an injunction which named Imogen that led to Natasha realising what had been going on. ‘The superinjunction has not only been incredibly damaging for him, but it has led to what has come out in the News of the World today.
TOMORROW IN THE NATION
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 6,
T the National Political Reform Conference in 2005, the Northern states rejected “in its entirety any attempt to covert the (so-called geopolitical) zones into regions.” They insisted that they recognised “only the three tiers of government, Federal, States and Local Government as enshrined in our constitution.” And they rejected “the concept of rotational presidency among the so-called zones” arguing that “it is subject to manipulation and abuse by unpatriotic Nigerians” and that “it is neither in our constitution nor in our electoral laws.” Short of accusing political parties of unconstitutional practices, the Northern states faulted them for the popularity of the practice of zoning as “strategies for winning elections or gaining political power and power sharing among various component units within the Federal, States and Local Governments.” As I read this declaration, I found myself applauding the Northern states for their patriotism and their thoughtfulness. For once, I said to myself, it is heartwarming to find a group that is so attached to constitutionalism and would stand by its tenets. Then, in the very next sentence, the Northern states declared a bombshell: “The Presidency should rotate between the North and the South and this time around it is the turn of the North.” And I wondered aloud, “pray, where is this written in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?” Are we supposed to exchange one act of illegality for another? If “the so-called geopolitical zones” are unconstitutional because there is no provision for zones or regions in the constitution of the republic, is there a provision for Northern and Southern regions or zones in the constitution? But why didn’t it occur to the Northern states that their position on these matters is contradictory and illogical? But that is not the end of the matter. For, being very sensitive to the plight of the minorities, and with a genuine interest in protecting them and promoting their interests and sense of belonging, the Northern statesproposed that “constitutional provision needs to be made for rotation within the States to provide opportunity to the various minority groups (sic) have access to the position of governorship within the states and to give them a sense of belonging.” This proposal has several implications. First, the Northern states affirm that the constitution is not etched in stone. Second, the Northern states implied that minorities only need to be accommodated and given a sense of belonging in their states. Third, the Northern States imposed a limit on the
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A question of structure (3)
•Map of Nigeria
aspirations of minorities—they can only aspire to the governorship of their states. The logic of their argument in this proposal leads to this conclusion. It is self-serving for the North to argue for a rotational presidency between the North and the South knowing fully well that minorities may not have a good chance. Did the NPFL have this in mind in their fierce struggle against the candidacy of Goodluck Jonathan? For obvious reasons of efficiency and effectiveness, many right-thinking people are against zoning. But if zoning is good for the states and a constitutional provision is warranted on that account, why can’t it be good for the nation? With the botched attempt to impose a Speaker on the House of Representatives by way of zoning, it appears that it is now dead and buried, and this is a development that should be applauded by all. It is a shame that some Southwest leaders found themselves championing a cause they
ought to condemn. Why should the Southwest tear up because a candidate for the position of Speaker lost her bid? Even if the process was not bedeviled by intrigues up to the highest level of governance, the controversy over zoning that the presidential election generated was enough a signal to what to expect. In any case, how has the Speakership of Dimeji Bankole translated into anything other than embarrassment for the Southwest? With respect to resource control, the Northern States stood by “the constitutional provision that the Federal Government should hold in trust, control, and facilitate the exploration and exploitation of all mineral resources in the country as enshrined in Section 44 (1.3) of the 1999 Constitution.” The Northern states’ position is backed by some powerful arguments. First, all mineral resources in Nigeria belong to Nigeria and not to any part thereof. This ingenious argument claims that “during the period of colonial conquest all Nigerian communities wherever they might be have lost automatically their sovereignty and resources such as mineral wealth. It was the collective will and nationalist struggle of all Nigerians that liberated the entire country and restored to the entire people of Nigeria their sovereignty and independence.” Therefore, the argument concludes, oil resources in any part of the country belongs to the entire nation, not to any particular community. There is a second argument offered by the Northern states: in view of the volatility of oil production to international politics, Nigeria has a duty to safeguard its “territorial integrity, sovereignty and resources.” And a third argument: “It was other national resources such as cash crops, solid minerals and other agricultural products that were used in the exploration and development of the oil sector.” The implication of this is too obvious to warrant any further explicit inference. What are we to make of these arguments?
ALAO-AKALA TOOK N3BN LOAN FIVE DAYS TO EXIT– Ajimobi
First, suppose colonial conquest entailed an automatic loss of sovereignty and mineral resources of the conquered territories to the conquerors. Suppose also that it was the collective will of all Nigerians that restored their sovereignty to the entire country. Does it follow then that the various territories that were liberated by the collective will of all Nigerians have permanently lost their resources? The nationalists who really fought for this liberation certainly didn’t think so. That was why they privileged the principle of derivation in the revenue allocation formula. Second, however, we must question the reasonableness of an assumption that grants legitimate ownership of a territory to an aggressor who invades and occupies another’s territory. In other contexts, Northern states would be in the forefront of agitators against such conduct. It’s incredible that they are here in the vanguard of those that rationalise colonial aggression. The second argument makes more sense. Oil production and distribution is enmeshed in international politics and the interests of powerful consuming nations cannot be brushed aside. Indeed, a version of the argument of the Northern States has once been deployed by a group of congressmen in the United States. For this group,the world’s mineral resources, including oil and natural gas belong to the entire world and not to any one territory. Therefore, no one country should have a privileged access at the expense of others. If the argument of the Northern States in the case of Nigeria succeeds, I don’t see why this analogous argument cannot. But here is the point about this second argument. A nation can exercise control over a product that poses a threat to its sovereignty without abrogating the rights of the communities in whose territories the product is located. The United States is a shining example of how this is done. Finally, the Northern states argue that other resources were used to develop the oil sector. The inference would be that the oil producing communities cannot now complain. It would be a good thing if proceeds from oil revenue are used to develop other sectors. Then, there would be hope of a diversified economy in the long run. But that is not what is happening and the oil communities are rightly concerned that they suffer environmental degradation and miserable livelihood while some politicians and their hangers-on are feeding fat on their misery. Surely the Northern states can understand this. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Borno: Ripe for state of emergency
‘Here was a young man whom we all thought would make the difference; the hope of the new Nigeria. Three years after, he is being singled out as a poster boy for rotten graft and for all that has gone wrong with the business of lawmaking in the country. Pity!’
HE events that triggered the imposition of a state of emergency in Plateau and Ekiti States by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo are nowhere as grave as what is playing out on a daily basis in Maiduguri and other parts of Borno State. In the latest attacks on Tuesday, suspected members of the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram set off three bombs, killing at least five persons in the process. As is their pattern, the militants targeted a couple of police stations. But for added mischief they also attempted to attack a church. Sect members hurled a bomb at the St Patrick’s Catholic Church, but the explosive missed its target. The device landed on the street outside and went off, killing two innocent passers-by and injuring another. Apparently, this was the second attempt to attack this same church because another bomb went off near its premises last week but there were no casualties. On Monday, a respected Islamic cleric, Sheik Ibrahim Birkuti, who has been a vocal critic of Boko Haram’s ideology – especially
their rejection of Western education - was killed in Biu by an unidentified gunman riding a motorcycle. Assassins riding motorcycles have been identified in the past as sect executioners. Since Boko Haram launched its uprising in 2009, it has murdered scores of soldiers, policemen, community leaders and destroyed government property of inestimable value. Among some of the more high profile victims was the brother of the former Governor Modu Sheriff. Today, bomb blasts and gunfire have become part of daily life. Such is the state of insecurity given that the militants launch their attacks at will. Even the police who are supposed to provide protective cover for the populace cannot even defend their own stations successfully. The situation is not much different from what exists in a war zone. The question Nigerians are asking is how long will this go on? How long will the authorities in Abuja continue to delude themselves that the Boko Haram uprising is something that can be dealt with using
regular policing methods? For as long as the sect is allowed to overrun an entire state unchallenged, it would be emboldened to spread the scope of its atrocities. Not too long ago, the group claimed responsibility for coordinated bombings that claimed 16 lives in three cities barely hours after President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in on May 29. It doesn’t matter whether these claims are credible or not. The fact of the matter is that given its ambitions Boko Haram is not going to be content with setting Maiduguri ablaze. The uprising has to be crushed by all necessary means before it consumes the entire country. It is only under a state of emergency that the government can lawfully apply the sort of remedies that this sort of insurgency calls for. This is not about partisan politics; after all a former gubernatorial candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) which governs the state was slain by the sect just before the April polls. So, no side is left out of the murderous reach of the militants.
Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: email@example.com Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO