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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

APC to get nine-man body NEWS

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•Shekarau hopeful on party

News Oyelese slams Ladoja, Akala P9 Sports Everton chases Victor Moses P23 Business Pension cash savings now N3.4tr P11

VOL. 8, NO. 2512 MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013



Mandela’s long-time friend to family: let him go now Prayers for Madiba after second night in hospital


OUTH Africans prayed for Nelson Mandela as he spent a second day in hospital yesterday, suffering a lung infection that has sparked worldwide concerns for the ailing peace icon. But, a long-time friend of his, Andrew Mlangeni, 87, said his family should let him go. Mandela’s latest health scare was splashed across the front pages of local newspapers but government officials have released no updates since announcing he was hospitalised in Pretoria early Saturday in a “serious but stable” condition. The congregation at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto, a flashpoint during the antiapartheid struggle, prayed for the 94-yearyear-old national hero. “I am coming to church today with Madiba in my thoughts. I want him to get well,” churchgoer Nokuthula Tshibasa, 38, told AFP, using Mandela’s clan name. It is the fourth hospital stay since December for the Nobel peace prize laureate, who turns 95 next month, after he was discharged in April following treatment for pneumonia. South Africans are beginning to come to terms with the mortality of their first black president who is revered as the father of the “Rainbow Nation” multi-race democracy. “I mean Tata is 94. At 94 what do you expect?” said church goer Sannie Shezi, 36, using an affectionate term meaning father. “He lived his life, he worked for us. All we can say is God help him. If things happen they will happen, but we still love him.” The Sunday Times carried a front-page picture of the elder statesman smiling and wavContinued on page 2

•ALL FOR MADIBA: Messages for ailing Nelson Mandela, who is in the hospital, outside his Johannesburg home...yesterday.

We’ll obey court order on Amaechi, says PDP


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that it is ready to stay action on the ongoing trial of Governor Rotimi Amaechi by an 11-man Disciplinary Committee, if it gets a court order stopping the action. But, the Amaechi camp yesterday said it had served the party a court order restraining further action against the governor.

ACN: Boko Haram’s ban violates Constitution


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said that the recent proscription of Boko Haram and Ansaru, desirable as it may be in tackling the terrorist organisations, violates the Constitution. According to the party, the proscription stifles the press and tampers with the fundamental human rights of Nigerians. In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity


Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN said the order also makes it easy for an increasingly intolerant government to clamp down on the opposition, which it sees more as an irritant than an indispensable part of democracy. It urged professional media organisations to challenge the Order in court to save journalists from long Continued on page 2

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt on May 31 restrained the PDP from taking further action against Amaechi, pending the hearing of a substantive suit challenging his suspension from the party. Mr. Justice Emmanuel Ogbuji ordered the PDP to maintain the status quo on the matter.

The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “ If there is a court order restricting us from going ahead with the disciplinary action against Governor Rotimi Amaechi, we will abide by it. “If a court order has been served on the party, I am not in a position to say; it is the responsibility of the National Legal

Adviser. So far, no court order has been brought to our notice.” Responding to a question, Metuh said: “Well, the constitution of the PDP provides that within 30 days. “We would have taken care of the issues involved. We have referred the matter to the Disciplinary Committee. But, note Continued on page 2 •From left: A shareholder, Alhaji Muhktar Muhktar; Deputy Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka; NonExecutive Director, Mrs. Onari Duke; Managing Director, UBA Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Nnorom; and National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, at the 51st Annual General Meeting of UBA Plc, in Abuja…on Friday




NEWS 2015: INEC bans parties, politicians from campaign


OLITICIANS were warned yesterday to pull the brake on campaigns for 2015. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued the ban, which is coming six months after a letter was written to all political parties in January. Politicians seem to have rejected INEC’s warning. Besides President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign posters for the 2015 election, there have been others and leaflets for Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Governors Sule Lamido/ Rotimi Amaechi ticket and Governor Babangida Aliyu. There are ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar branded 2015 shoes

From Yusuf Alli and Vincent Ikuomola Abuja

on the Internet. The story is the same for aspirants seeking to contest at the state level. Although some of these political figures and aspirants have disowned the posters, INEC believes they were testing the waters in defiance of the Electoral Act. In a statement, INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kayode Robert Idowu, said violators of the Electoral Act would henceforth be arrested by security agencies. The statement said: “The InContinued on page 8

‘let him go now’ •House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal watching as former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar greets Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido at the wedding of Badriyya,daughter of former Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu and Mohammed, son of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, in Bauchi on Saturday. With them is Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu

PDP will obey court order if, says Metuh Continued from page 1

that we are not out to send the governor out of the party. We want to assert the supremacy of the party by promoting discipline.” But a highly placed source in Amaechi’s camp said contrary to Metuh’s claim, the court order was served on the party on June 3 by a court bailiff, Abdulwahab Musa, at about 12.50pm. “The court order was received by a secretary at the PDP National Secretariat, the source said, pleading not to be named. “In any case, the High Court in Port Harcourt gave Amaechi other option of pasting the order on the wall of the National Secretariat of PDP or on the wall of Rivers PDP secretariat. “The order grants “leave to serve the 1st and 2nd defendants here in with the originating processes and orders made in this suit by substituted means to wit: by pasting on the wall of the 1st defendant(PDP Rivers State)

Tukur: suspension of governors not a witch hunt


he suspension of Governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) from the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) is not a witch hunt, party Chairman Bamanga Tukur, said yesterday. According to him, the suspension is in line with the party’s Constitution and to instill discipline and maintain good conduct among members. In a statement from his office yesterday, Tukur said the actions of the governors constituted a distraction to President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda. The suspension, Tukur maintained, is not borne out of malice but a step aimed at ensuring that the PDP does not become a flock without a shepherd. The chairman added that the party was reorganising, with a view to making members appreciate the supremacy of the party’s constitution and its manifesto. The statement said: “We harbour no malice against any member. We only do not want to be a flock without a shepherd. “If we are not disciplined as a party, we certainly may not be able to produce the most progressive government in line with the greatest

and the wall of the 2nd defendant(PDP Secrtariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja).” In spite of the service of the

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

expectation of every Nigerian and the rest of the world. “The PDP government led by President Goodluck Jonathan has a good agenda founded on the desire to transform Nigeria. “The agenda has started bearing fruits. Indeed, the PDP should lead in the implementation. “We do not want to constitute a distraction to the President’s transformation agenda and this requires absolute discipline and loyalty from every member. “Right now, we are re-organising by way of bringing everyone to appreciate the Constitution and manifesto of the party so that when we go into election in 2015, we can win a landslide as a family in the election which will rank as the freest, most peaceful and most transparent in line with the desire of President Jonathan”.

court order, the 11-man Disciplinary Committee has continued to meet in defiance of the court.


Continued from page 1

ing under the headline: “It’s time to let him go”. “We wish Madiba a speedy recovery, but I think what is important is that his family must release him,” long-time friend Andrew Mlangeni, 87, told the newspaper. The former apartheid era prisoner who was jailed for life alongside Mandela in 1964 said it was clear he was not well and it was possible he “might not be well again”. “Once the family releases him, the people of South Africa will follow. We will say thank you, God, you have given us this man, and we will release him too.” Mandela’s third wife Graca Machel has been at his hospital bedside after calling off a trip to London. Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj, who also served time with Mandela in Robben Island, said Saturday he was in a “serious” condition, in an unusually sombre description of his state of health. But he told AFP that Mandela was breathing on his own. “The truth of the matter is a simple one. Madiba is a fighter and at his age as long as he is fighting, he’ll be fine,” he said. Mandela is revered as a global symbol of forgiveness after embracing his former jailers following his release from 27 years in prison and his latest

hospitalisation triggered outpourings of concern across the globe. “No one lasts forever. But I really wish there was an exception for Mandela,” said one post on Twitter. “Can we all just give this Great Man the dignity 2 die in peace if its his time. Has he not given us all enough #ThankU Tata #Mandela,” said another. British Prime Minister David Cameron said Mandela was in his thoughts, while the White House has also sent good wishes. Mandela was receiving care at his Johannesburg home when his lung problems returned. He was admitted to an undisclosed Pretoria hospital at 1:30 am Saturday (2330 GMT Friday) after his condition worsened. He was diagnosed with early-stage tuberculosis in 1988 and also has had treatment for prostate cancer and suffered stomach ailments. In December, Mandela spent 18 days in hospital, his longest as a free man. In March he was admitted for an overnight scheduled checkup before returning that month for 10 days. Still a powerful symbol of peace and unity, Mandela has not been seen in public since the World Cup final in July 2010. After serving just one term he Continued on page 8

Boko Haram’s, Ansaru’s proscription violates Constitution, says ACN Continued from page 1

jail terms “simply for carrying out their constitutional duties”. The ACN urged the Federal Government to clarify “the knotty and vague areas” of the open-ended Order, that may end up punishing journalists and infringing on the civil liberties of the citizens more than it will curtail the activities of the sects. ‘’Against the background of insinuations in government circles, let us be clear that we do not condone the activities of these sects that have killed and maimed innocent Nigerians and turned a section of the country into a battle field. Terrorism in all its ramifications is condemnable, and no responsible government will allow any group, no matter its name, grievances or ideology, to carry out terrorist acts unchecked. ‘’But we believe that whatever action government takes - even in an emergency - must pass the Constitutional test, especially since the relevant sections of the Constitution have not been suspended,’’ the party said.

It said the offensive section of the Order is Section 5 (1), which prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years ‘’for any person who knowingly, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group’’. The ACN said “support”, as defined by the Order, includes ‘’incitement to commit a terrorist act through the Internet, or any electronic means or through the use of printed materials or through the dissemination of terrorist information. ‘’Is this subsection not in conflict with Chapter II Section 22 of the Nigeria constitution, which says ‘The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media, shall AT ALL TIMES BE FREE (emphasis ours) to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people?’ ‘’By stifling the press, is the Order not abridging a part of the fundamental human

rights guaranteed every citizen under Chapter Four of the Nigerian Constitution in Section 39 (1), which states thus: ‘Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference?’(emphasis ours). ‘’Can journalists escape being sentenced to 20-year jail terms for publishing statements issued by the sects? Can they freely report on videos periodically posted on YouTube by Boko Haram leader Shekau? Can the media freely report the kind of massacre that took place in Baga in April without being held liable for ‘supporting’ terrorism? Can radio and television stations organise talk shows on terrorism without the discussants being held liable for ‘supporting’ terrorism? ‘’Can the opposition criticise the government’s strategies against the terrorist sects, through its regular intervention, without being perceived as offering sup-

port to the sects? Does this Order cover the satellite broadcast channels that can be accessed in many homes across the country? Who determines when this Order has been breached? These are some of the questions that arise under the proscription Order,’’ the party said. It said the government must take a cue from what obtains in other countries, especially in the US, which are also battling terrorism, adding that the media in those countries have continued to report freely on the activities of the global terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda, despite the horrendous attacks it has carried out in the US and Europe, among others. ‘’In a statement we issued on May 5th, we said inter alia: ‘The Jonathan Administration is steadily descending into despotism with a brazen assault on the freedom of expression and the press, the use of national institutions against perceived enemies and a growing inclination to denigrate opposition leaders. ‘’The Jonathan Administra-

tion is anchored on a Transformation Agenda. But the only transformation that we can see is the one from a democratically-elected President to an Emperor, a despot...If the President is not prevailed upon to change course, Nigeria may be in for another season of anomie, reminiscent of the days of the maximum ruler who took the country to the brink before his sudden demise.’ ‘’We hate to say this has turned out to be prescient, in view of the dangerous provisions of the Boko Haram’s and Ansaru’s proscription Order. The Order’s assault on the press freedom and the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of ordinary Nigerians is unprecedented in the country’s history. We call on the Federal Government to take a second look at this Order, with a view to resolving any conflict it may have with the Constitution,” the ACN said. In a reaction to the AC N statement, House of Representatives Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila said: “You make a controversial butb an interesting and valid


point. The order itself is in order but for the word support which is ambiguous n needs interpretation.”

ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678






Emergency • Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (middle) ; Director, New Initiative for Social Development Mr. Abiodun Oyeleye (left); Migration Advisor, Embassy of Switzerland Mr. Andreas Broger (second left);Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Chad and Niger Mr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel (second right); and an Attache to the Embassy, Mr. Roberto Lang, during the envoy's visit to the governor in Ado-Ekiti... yesterday.

•Corporate Sales Manager (Nigeria), British Airways Adetutu Otuyalo (left) presenting utilities including mosquito nets to Modupe Cole Child Care and Treatment Home/School, represented by Akinkunmi Abiodun (second right) and 18-yearold pupil Taiwo (second left), at Ikeja Saddle Club, Lagos. With them is Trade Sales Manager (Nigeria)Ademola Sanya (right).

At the beginning of the year, telecoms operators projected a revenue of N1.7 trillion. With the war on terror leading to shutdown of mobile networks, observers believe the projection is threatened, writes AFP


HE dusty, remote spot in Nigeria’s far northeast where the military says insurgents operated a major camp is now little more than burnt-out cars, strewn trash and unanswered questions. More than three weeks into a military offensive seeking to end a yearslong insurgency by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Nigeria has claimed important successes, but the truth is difficult to determine. It has denied killing civilians, though it declines to provide numbers or details on casualties. Soldiers say Boko Haram members have “scattered” in areas where the army has pushed them out, but they cannot say where, only that “hundreds” have been arrested. Thousands of residents have fled into neighbouring Niger and Cameroon, and some allege soldiers indiscriminately killed civilians in

•Soldiers preparing for a patrol in the north of Borno State .

raids before the offensive officially began. The military denies this. Mobile phone lines have been cut in much of the region since the start of the offensive on May 15 and visiting remote areas independently is difficult if not impossible. Journalists recently visited the deserted Boko Haram “camp” soldiers say they chased insurgents away from near the village of Kirenowa as part of a tightly orchestrated military tour. The tour wound into a patch of the semi-desert northeast, where acacia trees and shrubs dot the dry, flat landscape along with occasional villages of brick houses with thatch roofs. Military officials have at times provided conflicting details of operations, including involving the camp near Kirenowa, raising further questions over which version if any is correct.

Lufthansa gives reasons for foreign airlines’ fare disparity

T •Chairman, Learn Africa Plc Chief Emeke Iwerebon (second right), Managing Director/Chief Executive Mr Segun Oladipo (right), Director Mrs Yetunde Aina (left) and Company Secretary Miss Anne Agbo, at the company's 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.

From left: Communications Director, General Electric (GE) Africa Patricia Obozuwa; Global Supply Chain Leader Phil Griffith and Communications Coordinator for GE Nigeria Yewande Sobamowo, at an interactive session with editors in Lagos... at the weekend. PHOTO: ISACC JIMOH AYODELE

HE Lufthansa Airlines has said the economies of demand and supply is responsible for foreign airlines’ fare disparity among African nations. Managing Director, West and Central Africa of the airline, Mr Claus Becker, spoke yesterday during an award tour of some travel agents in Lagos. He said products offered by the foreign airlines were also responsible for the high fares. Becker said the airline had introduced a new range of products in its various aircraft. “We have the state of the art, first class; we have been winning Skyjet 5 Star awards for the best first class service and this is a very special product that we do have on our A380 aircraft. “We have a full-fledged business class which is also state-of-the-art and that is already being introduced on the new Boeing 747-800 and the up-todate economic class product,” he said. Becker said the airline would introduce more new products worldwide between 2013 and 2015. According to him, the Nigerian passengers will get the new products, as the planes will fly into Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja. “The passengers are sure of getting these new products, as well as other ones and then you have to consider a passenger who flies with Lufthansa from Nigeria to Frankfurt, Germany,’’ Becker said. He said the airline had employed Nigerians as part of its social responsibility to the country. Becker said employment was one of the major social responsibility issues supported by the company’s headquarters. “We have the Memorandum of Understanding to train Nigerian flight attendants and the airline has been having a good relationship with travelling agents in the country,” he said. The Managing Director, Finchglow Travelling Agent, Mr Bankole Bernard, urged the airline to assist in the training of travelling agents in Germany. “We want the foreign airlines flying into Nigeria to do more in developing our people as we are considered as a strategic business partner in the aviation industry,” he said. Bernard urged the Nigerian government to improve on its Open Skies policy with foreign airlines, saying that the aviation industry was improving. Five travelling agents were awarded ‘Top Agent of the Year 2012’, ‘Premium Agent of the Year 2012’ and ‘Agent of the Year 2012’. The agents were Finchglow Ltd., Touchdown Ltd., BCD Quantum, Travel Consult and Aeroland Travels.




y threatens telecoms revenue

•Soldiers manning a checkpoint on Thursday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

In 2009, Nigeria launched a brutal offensive against Boko Haram that killed some 800 people and forced the group underground for more than a year — but they returned with even deadlier attacks. This time the security operation “involved not just the military but the security agencies of the country,” Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, a defence spokesman, told reporters on Thursday. “The network this time is perfect, I mean near perfect, in the sense that the operation was planned to ensure their bases were dislocated — not just dislocated but completely wiped out.” Some say the offensive may have obliterated the possibility of legitimate dialogue, while others have expressed doubts that a military operation could lead to lasting peace. “The entire Chinese army cannot

solve this problem,” said Bulama Mali Gubio, spokesman for an influential elders’ forum in Nigeria’s Borno state, Boko Haram’s original home base.

Military abuse accusations

Boko Haram’s insurgency has been under way since 2009, but a series of particularly violent events preceded President Goodluck Jonathan’s state of emergency declaration on May 14 in the volatile northeast of Africa’s most populous nation. In April, the military faced accusations of major abuses after nearly 200 people were left dead in the town of Baga, with residents alleging soldiers shot civilians and set fire to much of the community. The Red Cross put the death toll at 187, but the military insisted that only 37 people died in the fighting, while saying insurgents caused the blazes. A May 7 attack in Bama saw insurgents disguised in military uniforms

It is likely that the Central Bank of Nigeria will intervene in the market in the near term and sell dollars directly to the banks to defend its nominal monetary policy anchor •Sanusi


AIRA has further weakened against the dollar, extending its worst weekly performance in a year, amid speculation the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) sold limited foreign-exchange to the market. The currency of Africa’s biggest crude producer fell for a fourth day as dollar sales from NNPC were

less than expected, said Samir Gadio, a London-based emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd., the continent’s largest lender. Yields on domestic bonds due January 2022 rose to their highest since October yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The naira weakened “amid less significant than expected NNPC flows, weaker confidence, limited

break into a prison and attack several government buildings, leaving 55 people dead. Nigerian authorities later said they freed three women and six children abducted by Boko Haram during the attack. However, there were also accusations of military abuses in Bama. Ali Elhadji, a 56-year-old who fled back to his parents’ home village in Cameroon, Gance, said Boko Haram had spread violence in Bama and soldiers brutally retaliated. He said soldiers arrived several weeks before the May 15 start of the offensive and killed indiscriminately. “They killed all those who appeared young and who they crossed in the streets,” he told AFP recently in Gance. “They killed many innocents.” There is no question that the insurgency mainly in Nigeria’s deeply

impoverished north has been brutal. Boko Haram is blamed for hundreds of deaths through suicide attacks, targeted killings, car bombings and other means. In declaring the state of emergency, the president said the group had taken over pockets of territory in the remote northeast. Soldiers said the extremists even raised their own flags in the Marte area. At the same time, the military’s response to the insurgency over the last several years has come under heavy criticism, with widespread accusations of extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions. Diplomats and analysts have long said a military solution alone is unlikely to resolve the problem, stressing that conditions in the severely underdeveloped north must be addressed.

Bad times for naira capital inflows,” Gadio said in an e-mailed reply to questions yesterday. “It is likely that the Central Bank of Nigeria will intervene in the market in the near term and sell dollars directly to the banks to defend its nominal monetary policy anchor.” Oil companies, including Abujabased NNPC, are the secondbiggest source of dollars after the Central Bank of Nigeria, which offers foreign currency at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to maintain exchange-rate stability. Nigeria’s currency weakened as much as 0.4 percent before trading 0.3 percent lower at 159.35 per dollar as of 12:25 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. That extended its weekly decline to 0.7 percent, the biggest fall since the five days through June 8, 2012. The yield on the 2022 securities rose 38 basis points, or 0.38 percentage point, to 13.33 percent yesterday, the highest since Oct. 30, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg. “Because the dollar-naira exchange rate is heavily managed, the unit has not experienced the same type of weakness against the dollar as displayed by more flexible emerging market currencies,” said Gadio. Central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi “is likely to take all necessary measures to defend exchange rate stability during the remainder of his term,” he said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shouldn’t rush to cut interest rates even as inflation is forecast to remain within target this year and it may even raise rates or the cash-reserve ratio if government spending becomes a threat to price stability, Sanusi said in an interview last month. The Central Bank of Nigeria left its policy rate unchanged at a record high of 12 percent on May 21, concerned that spending was poised to rise as the government battles Islamist insurgents in the northeast. The bank raised the level of reserves that lenders must hold in cash to 12 percent from 8 percent in July 2012. Inflation (NGCPIYOY) has stayed under 10 percent for four consecutive months, meeting the bank’s target. Nigeria has $48.4 billion of foreign-exchange reserves as of June 5, according to CBN data. Insparo Asset Management is “confident” of a strong naira outlook due to the “willingness” of the Abuja-based regulator to use them to support the currency and fight inflation, Graham Stock, chief strategist at the London-based fund, said in an interview yesterday. Yields on the nation’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 declined 10 basis points to 5.015 percent today. Ghana’s cedi was unchanged at 2.0015 per dollar in Accra.


The government in Africa’s largest oil producer has more recently sought to portray itself as offering a carrot-and-stick approach, carrying out the offensive but also forming a panel to look at possibilities for offering an amnesty to insurgents. It recently released 58 women and children who had been held in connection with the insurgency. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau had demanded that the government release the wives and children of its members. But with the offensive grinding on and its details unclear, it is difficult to know what effect if any such moves have had. “Is it dialogue with the people you are pursuing with troops, with armoured tanks and with fighter jets?” Gubio said. “Are these the people you are trying to give amnesty to?”

Indian firm to build biggest hydro-power plant AN Indian firm will set up the biggest hydroelectric power project in energy-starved northern Nigeria to generate 35 megawatts of electricity. India’s Skipper Group yesterday signed a MoU with Kano state in this regard, Indian High Commission to Nigeria said. “The project is the biggest hydroelectric power project in northern part of the nation and when completed in two years time, will be of immense benefit to the state,” said Mahesh Sachdev, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria after signing of the MoU. “The project will benefit water resources department in the state as well as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and help them stabilise their industries ailing due to power shortage,” said Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso. “One the biggest challenges in the country is power and there is the need to devise ways of solving the problem as demonstrated in the signing of the MoU,” he added. The company will generate 10 megawatts electricity from Tiga Dam while the remaining 25 will come from Chellawa Gorge Dam. The government of Nigeria has been encouraging foreign investors to invest in the sector to boost output. The country generates about 3000 to 4000 megawatts electricity.




Ogunbiyi denies Okeke’s allegation of interference


HE last may not have been heard of the allegation by retired Justice Okechukwu Okeke that Justice Clara Bata-Ogunbiyi attempted to influence his decision in a case involving the latter’s daughter, Mrs. Funmi Amadi. Justice Ogunbiyi has denied that she ever contacted Justice Okeke, formerly of the Federal High Court, Lagos, either directly or indirectly on any matter. Justice Ogunbiyi’s denial is coming as a rights advocacy group, Access to Justice (AJ), urged the National Judicial

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Council (NJC) to investigate the allegation. In an explanation note sent to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Justice Ogunbiyi accused Justice Okeke of not being truthful. She argued that Justice Okeke misled the world into believing that the NJC issued him a warning on the basis of ex-parte order he gave in a case involving her daughter, Mrs Funke Amadi (nee Ogunbiyi). “It is extremely ridiculous,

absurd and malicious for Justice Okeke to insinuate that it is the forgoing circumstances that formed the basis for the warning letter given to him on three petitions deliberated upon by the NJC, which I know nothing about. “I wish also to state that the alleged petition by the residents of 5A George Street, Ikoyi, to the NJC has nothing to do with me,” Justice Ogunbiyi said. She denied asking her daughter to see Justice Okeke and that she did not try to influence her on any matter.

She admitted contacting the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, after her daughter had narrated her ordeal following the ex-parte order issued by Justice Okeke for the sealing off of her daughter’s residence. Justice Ogunbiyi said: “In view of the grey areas surrounding the case, I, therefore, contacted Justice Ibrahim Auta, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, and narrated my daughter’s ordeal and, therefore, enquired about the laws governing AMCON case. He remarked that the laws are dra-

conian in their application and he promised to send me a copy, which he did a few days later. “On the allegation of the encounter between Justice Okeke and my daughter, Funke in his chambers, I wish to state categorically that I never instructed her to see Justice Okeke for any reason whatsoever. If she had done so in company of the evicted residents of all the flats, she acted on her own volition. She is an adult, a married woman with a family and she has a right to protect the interest of her family.

Nollywood stars for Soyinka’s biography


HOST of Nollywood thespians are gearing up to be part of Wole Soyinka’s biography, Ake. They have teamed up to adapt the award-winning book for a film. Though it was learnt that the movie will hit the cinemas soon, sources said this will not happen until 2014, when it will be premiered. The movie narrates Wole Soyinka’s childhood and his life as a boy growing up in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The producers of the film recently took its casts on a familiarisation visit to the Nobel Laureate’s home in Lagos. The cast and crew include Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, Akin Lewis, Dapo Adeniyi, Ben Tomoloju, Yeni Kuti, Jimi Solanke, among others.

‘Nigeria ‘ll soon have efficient rail service’ By Yinka Aderibigbe


• From left, back row: Comrades Femi Aborisade, Moshood Erubami, Osun State Commissioner Ajibola Bashiru (representing Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the guest speaker), Awa Bamiji (host), Alhaji Abidiru Oladimeji (representing Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, chairman of occassion), Kehinde Olaoni and Prof. Akinwunmi Isola, with some members of the National Organising Committee of the Third National Discourse on Political Situation in Nigeria in Ibadan.

Nine-man committee for APC registration


HE former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the last general election, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, has dismissed speculations that some prominent party leaders have been endorsed as the Interim National Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He said a nine-man Interim Management Committee, drawn from the three opposition parties - the ANPP, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which formed the APC – would be selected for speedy registration of the party with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The nine members will comprise three members from each of the merging parties. Shekarau addressed reporters yesterday in Kano on the merger of opposition parties for the formation of APC. He said such the stakeholders had not reached the stage to tip anybody as the new party’s interim chairman. The former governor, who

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

is a member of the merger arrangement, explained that when the interim management is formed, it will last three months within which it will work out an arrangement for the new party to be registered. He said after the certificate of the three parties are withdrawn by INEC, the commission will issue the certificate of registration to APC, which will facilitate the emergence of a National Executive Committee (NEC) that will produce the executives of the new party. According to him, the period the constitution allows them is three months. Shekarau said the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) were regarded from the onset as groups, adding that they have not held their national conventions. The former governor also said there are five major aspects that need to be submitted to INEC for registration. He said these include conveying the convention resolution by the party,

constitution and manifestoes approved by the convention, the office address of APC. All these, the former governor said, have been sorted out. He said three weeks after the convention, the leadership of the parties and the merger committees have been discussing how to set up the interim management. Shekarau said the constitution of the APC provides for a transitional leadership that will lead the party for six months to conduct its congresses, register the party as well as conduct the convention, to leave a place for substantive elected officers who will run the party for four years. He said: “At the close of the week, some consensus was arrived at to save time. The parties are busy discussing what structures to put in place for the caretaker transitional committee at national, states, local and wards levels to fast-track the process by using the three principal officers of the three parties, as the Chairman, the Secretary and the Treasurer. They will form application that will be conveyed to the INEC.”

Tinubu delivers keynote address at British House of Commons today


ORMER Lagos State governor and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will today be the lead speaker at the British African Diaspora Conference in the United Kingdom. The event will start at 7pm at the Grand Committee Room, Westminster Hall, House of Parliament, London. The conference, with the theme: Leadership, National Development and the People, will be hosted by a senior member of the British Parliament, Mr. David Lammy, MP. He will be joined by Mr. Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary for International Development as well as other top politicians from various parties in the British political circle. They will share thoughts and deliberate on salient is-

Nestle Nigeria gets new MD

Braithwaite advises National Assembly on LDER statesman and legal constitution amendment luminary, Dr. Tunji


Braithwaite, at the weekend urged the National Assembly to stop the ongoing constitution amendment, because it will not address the current imbalance, inequality, injustice and many other problems in the country. Rather, he said the Federal Government should set the machinery in motion by calling for a Sovereign National Con-

ference (SNC) to fashion out a new constitution that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people. According to him, what the members of the National Assembly are doing is whitewashing of civil administration has exposed the tenuous and fragile foundation of Nigeria’s brand of democracy to the danger, it portends for the peo-

ple. Braithwaite said: “The electoral, judicial and administrative systems and practices are so steep in corruption to the extent that, unless the people collectively and with singleness of purpose stand up squarely to dethrone king corruption, before any general election, there would be a catastrophic explosion.

sues of national development, as they concern Nigeria, Africa and the UK. A statement yesterday by Mr Sunday Dare of Tinubu Media Office, Lagos, quoted African Partnership Development, the UK body behind the convocation of the conference, as saying the choice of Asiwaju Tinubu as the keynote speaker, alongside other African leaders and top members of British Parliament, is to “stimulate proactive actions and deepen the understanding of the international community and the Diaspora public on the challenges of national development against progressive leadership in Africa from the perspective of the most populous black nation, Nigeria”. Tinubu is one of the movers of the All Progressives Congress (APC).



ESTLE Nigeria Plc has appointed Mr. Dharnesh Gordhon as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Gordhon succeeds Martin Woolnough who retired on May 31. South African-born Gordhon has held various commercial roles for Nestle in Southern African and Malaysia. He holds various academic and professional qualifications, including a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Gordhon has a strong belief that the key ingredient for success in an authentic passion for people and an unrelenting pusuit of excellent in action.

IGERIANS will soon have an efficient rail transportation service to compliment other modes and ease mass transit across the country, the Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has said. Baraje spoke at the Ikeja train station after the maiden ride with other board members of the corporation who were in Lagos for an on-the-spot inspection of the corporation’s facilities. He expressed happiness with the Minister of Transportation and the NRC Managing Director, Mr Adeseyi Sijuwade, to reposition the corporation. Baraje said: “My board is happy with the extent of work done by the minister and the NRC Managing Director. We will take off and consolidate on their Transformation Agenda and that of Mr President to drive the vision of an efficient rail services in line with the best global practices.” The NRC chairman backed the move to invite the private sector to invest in the railway sector, saying this would drive efficiency.

‘PIB must become law within 90 days’


EY leaders of the Niger Delta, under the aegis of the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), have said unless the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) becomes law in the next three months, the Federal Government and other oil and gas exploiters will be denied access to these natural resources. Rising from an emergency meeting in Warri, the Delta State capital, the group also frowned at the National Assembly’s insistence on perpetuating artificial dichotomy of ethnicity. Mr. Tony I. Uranta, Secretary-General of UNDEDSS said: “Anybody who thinks this is an idle joke is welcome to dare fate. Three months is just 90 days from now. Soon, we shall know who really owns what in this nation-state!” The group also condemned the focus on petty in-fighting among some governors who it said “are apparently little interested in good governance or the common good”.





My June 12 ordeal, by Kanu

NATIONAL Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chieftain, Air Marshal Ndubusi Kanu, has reflected on the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election by former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, stressing that the military betrayed Nigerians. The former military governor of Imo and Lagos states, who participated in the anti-military protests, said the annulment drew the country back in the march to democracy. He spoke with reporters in Lagos on his ordeals under the Abacha government, following the intensification of the call for the deannulment of the historic poll. NADECO’s National Secretary, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, said members of the pro-democracy group would storm Epetedo on Lagos Island tomorrow for the annulment’s 20th anniversary and the 19th anniversary of the June 11, 1994 Epetedo Declaration by the business mogul and Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate, the late Chief MKO Abiola, who was believed to have won the historic election. He said NADECO would bounce back to resume its unfinished business of clamouring for a Sovereign

•NADECO marks annulment’s 20th anniversary By Emmanuel Oladesu Group Political Editor

National Conference (SNC) to discuss the issues germane to peaceful coexistence and national unity. Said he: “We want to save Nigeria from this imminent Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). Asari Dokubo is saying if Dr. Goodluck Jonathan does not continue as the President in 2015, there will be problem. The North is saying there will be problem if power does not return to them. We must do the needful. This system is unsustainable, because of the lopsidedness of the structure.” Kanu recalled that the military had subscribed to a transition programme, which he lamented, was truncated by Gen. Babangida. He also recounted that after the late Gen. Sani Abacha sacked the Interim National Government (ING) headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan and pronounced himself as the Head of State, he started to harass, oppress and repress the pro-

democracy forces for their clamour for the restoration of Abiola’s mandate. Kanu, who was reluctant to disclose the details of the bruises he suffered under the despotic military regime, said: “They came to my house in the morning for a search, led by someone, who ended up in the long run to become a DIG in this country before he died in a crash. Also, there was a CSP, who I still relate with. They took me to the Force Headquarters. They asked whether I was carrying arms and ammunition. I said no. Then, they brought out a sheet for me to write a statement. They brought out a document, which they said contained the massive importation of arms and ammunition by the NADECO and elimination of anybody, who was against June 12. I told them that if I had prepared they would not see it because I am a security man. “They said they were looking for vehicles. I said for what? They said we were driving to my town to search me

well. We were four. I said no way, I wouldn’t drive. I said with that condition of the road, I would not drive. I would fly. They said I should stay there till the next day before we flew. I said no, I would go home and if they liked, they should surround my home. “The next morning, we took off to the airport. One policeman was going before me, one was behind me, one was by my right side, one was by my left side. We flew to Port Harcourt and left for my home town by road. When we got home, I asked them to go and search. They said that we should go together, I said no, go and search and if you put anything there, I left you with your conscience. “They came back to compile their report. I didn’t have an expert to confirm how they tried to sign my signature. Other harassments happened, but I don’t want to go into them. I sent a message to Abacha through Akhigbe, who was the Navy chief. I said that for somebody to have come and searched me in that way and manner, the instruction would have come from the top. I didn’t like it and I was angry.”

85 Almajiri schools completed, says Wike


HE Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has said despite the challenges facing the implementation of projects in the basic education sector, the Jonathan administration has completed 85 of the 124 Almajiri schools. He added that 12 of the 62 libraries under construction in Federal Government Colleges have also been completed and handed over. Wike, a lawyer, said the Federal Government has completed four of the 13 Special Girl-Child Model Colleges in different parts of the nation. He spoke at the Federal Ministry of Education headquarters in Abuja at the weekend during the monthly meeting with contractors and officials of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). The minister said in the next two weeks, the Jonathan administration would complete and hand over another set of Federal Government Colleges’ libraries to improve reading habit in the schools. He said by the end of next month, the remaining Almajiri model schools in different parts of the country would be completed and handed over to states. Wike directed the management of UBEC to terminate the contracts of three non-performing contractors with the aim of taking over the projects and completing same within a reasonable time. Said he: “We are working hard on different project sites and we are happy that we are making progress despite the challenges being experienced. Some of our contractors have been outstanding and they need to be encouraged. Those who have performed poorly will be blacklisted.” The Acting Executive Secretary of UBEC, Prof. Charles Onocha, assured the minister that the technical personnel and officials of UBEC would work with the officials of the Federal Ministry of Education and contractors to expedite action on the completion of the basic education projects.

•From left: Representatives of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Mr. Emma Enuku; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Comrade Adolphus Ude; All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Peter Okonkwo; and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, during the All Progressives Congress (APC), Enugu chapter inaugural meeting in Enugu... yesterday. Photo: NAN

CPC defends Buhari over call for arrest

•‘Oritsejafor working for Jonathan’ From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja



HE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday faulted the call for the arrest of the former Head of State and its National Leader, General Muhammadu Buhari, by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. The party said it is not surprised by Oritsejafor’s call, alleging that the CAN boss is working for President Goodluck Jonathan to achieve his 2015 presidential ambition. It said Buhari has never supported the activities of the Boko Haram sect and that he has always condemned the killings by the sect. A statement issued in Abuja by the CPC National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the recent call by Pastor Ayodele Oritsejafor, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), for the arrest of General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) – the National Leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) – on account of his recent commentaries on national

issues. “We are aware that this is a rehash of the stance of Pastor Oritsejafor to a previous piece of mendacious writing by Dr. Reuben Abati in his column in The Guardian, wherein he alluded to GMB as being responsible for post-election violence in some parts of the North in April 2011. “The subsequent libel suit instituted by GMB revealed that Abati had no shred of evidence for his reckless surmising. Meanwhile, Pastor Oritsejafor had used the platform of CAN to impetuously seek the arrest of GMB based on fiction and orchestrated literary violence by the PDP-led Federal Government. The subsequent appointment of Dr. Abati as the Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Media and Publicity revealed the fitting reward for that hatchet job. We have also noted the physical presence of President Jonathan at the ceremony where Pastor Oritsejafor was presented a gift of Bombardier Jet on November 10, 2012. “The kernel of the latest orchestrated distortion of GMB’s recent commentaries was done to blacken him as supporting the insurgency of Boko Haram in Nigeria. In fact, Pastor Oritsejafor impudently asserted: ‘He is, therefore, the prime leader of this religious and blood thirsty sect called Boko Haram, a movement that is based on a warped interpretation of a strict adherence to force people of other religions into Islam. This

kind of fundamentalism is the driving force behind his failure of each election in the country.’ “It is our view that this statement is utterly tendentious and unsupportable by incontrovertible facts. We are aware that as it was before and after the 2011 elections, Pastor Oritsejafor is keen on helping the electoral fortunes of his friend, President Jonathan. We are therefore compelled to re-tell GMB’s uncompromising stand on Boko Haram. In an interview in June 2012, this is what GMB said on Boko Haram: ‘When we knew who was Maitatsine, wasn’t he arrested, killed and his corpse shown to everybody? But this Boko Haram, if you could recall somebody recommended me to represent Boko Haram. I told them the honest truth that I didn’t know who their leadership was and I still don’t know who their leaders are. I don’t know their philosophy because no religion advocates hurting the innocent. So, all those people giving it a religious meaning are wrong. You can’t kill a person and say Allahu Akbar (God is great). It is either you don’t know what you are saying or you don’t believe in it. It is one of the two.’ “On the December 25, 2012 (Christmas day), bombings that took place at the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State; Jos, Plateau State; and Damaturu, Yobe State, this is what GMB said.”

Hezbollah: Detained suspects sue SSS, AGF •Demand public apology, N50b compensation


From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

OUR people arrested for allegedly stockpiling arms and ammunition in their Kano home have challenged their arrest and continued detention. Mustapha Fawaz and three Lebanese-Abdalah Tahini, Talal Rouda and Khosai Nouridine are contending in a suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja that their arrest and detention without a valid court order breached their right to movement. They also argued that the closure of their business premises by the State Security Service (SSS), allegedly acting on the orders of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), was a breach of their right to own property. The suit was filed on behalf of the suspected arms dealers by rights activist, Bamidele Aturu. Named as respondents in the Fundamental Rights Enforcement suit are the SSS, its Director- General, Ekpeyong Ita and the AGF, Mohammed Adoke (SAN). The applicants are demanding N50 billion as compensation for their alleged unlawful arrest and detention without trial. They have also asked the court to restrain the respondents from extraditing them except by a procedure permitted by law. The applicants asked the court to declare their arrest and continued detention without trial by the SSS on various dates as “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.” They prayed the court for an order directing their release and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from arresting or detaining or continuing to detain them except by a procedure permitted by law. The motion was brought pursuant to Sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution, Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation, 2004; and Order II Rules 1, 2 and 3 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

Reps committee chair decries extra-judicial killings


HE Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, has decried impunity by policemen. He is reacting to a report, which shows that extra-judicial killings by the police have come to stay. He said recent development in Rivers State supported the fact that the police needed re-orientation. Peterside, in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Mr. Sylvester Asoya, said:” On May 16 the Federal Government launched the ‘Stop Impunity Nigeria Campaign’, but many people are of the opinion that government is the biggest threat to the war against impunity. “For instance, there are all kinds of abuses evident around government circles and its agencies, the most recent being the abuse of constitutional role by the police as exemplified by developments in Rivers State. This is a pointer to the long walk ahead of us. A section of the judiciary, by its actions, is also believed to be fuelling impunity, coupled with corruption, which acts like a manure in the rising cases of violent crimes and impunity. There is even the perceived weakness of government to enforce laws, thus forcing people to resort to self help like the case of the Uniport 4. “As a people, we can save our country from this drift and reverse this ugly trend. The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) report has already set the agenda.




MASSOB members under fire over sit-at-home protest


EMBERS of the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) behind last Saturday’s sitat-home protest that was partially successful in the southeast may be in for a raw deal, it emerged yesterday. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi took exception to the mayhem perpetrated by some of the members, saying they would not go unpunished. The Police in Aba, one of the southeast commercial centres, said those arrested while trying to mobilise for the action would face prosecution. “Those miscreants, hooligans and touts, masquerading as MASSOB members in Anambra state, are to be dealt with,” Obi said yesterday. He insisted that real MASSOB members would not be extorting monies and belongings from unsuspecting members of the public and destroying hardearned property of private individuals and the public in the name of sit- at- home. Obi spoke in response to the appeal by Bishop of Amichi Diocese , Nnewi South, Rt. Rev. Ephraim Ikeakor to champion a move to look into the activities of MASSOB to weed out the miscreants. It was during the second session of the second Synod of the Diocese at St Peters in Amichi. Obi assured the Bishop that his government would invite genuine MASSOB leader , Chief



•Such action unacceptable, says Obi •Police to arraign arrested members today From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu,

Nnewi and Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

Ralph Uwazuruike, to dialogue and discuss the approach to be used to isolate the genuine non violent , peace-loving MASSOB members from the fake ,violent and criminal- minded miscreants parading themselves as MASSOB members. ‘’Education without morality is not enough and that is why my administration is investing in education and health and we are partnering the church. Before my administration came, there were touts everywhere harassing people in Onitsha. “We invited their leaders and you won’t believe it, their leader walked out on us at a meeting in the Governor’s office. All efforts to negotiate for peace failed and in just one night, the drivers union became history. ‘’For MASSOB , we will visit Chief Uwazuruike for dialogue on the best way to identify genuine MASSOB members so that we can deal mercilessly with these criminals parading themselves as members. We will deal with them as criminals because what happened in Onitsha on Saturday was unacceptable and pathetic. We will deal with this matter in our way of dealing with issues but we believe in dialogue, so we will first meet with

the leadership of MASSOB and separate the true, patriotic and selfless MASSOB members in peaceful agitation for a sovereign state from those using its name for crime and related matters.” He said. Governor Obi added that he was reconsidering banning commercial motorcycles, “since they have allowed themselves to be used by the miscreants in the name of MASSOB.” Obi insisted that Ndigbo were not and still not marginalised as claimed in some quarters. He said the Igbo were marginalising themselves . He lamented that it is only in Igboland that brothers and wives arrange kidnapping of their blood relations and spouses for money. He pointed out that degree certificate does not measure integrity and quality behaviour. He appealed to Ndigbo to support President Goodluck Jonathan. Bishop Ikeakor who said he is a MASSOB member as everybody in the Southeast whether the person is participating in the activities of those speaking for Ndigbo in the name of MASSOB or not, lamented that violence and criminality were alien to the movement until now and appealed to Obi to convene a meeting with relevant authorities including traditional rulers to put

Senator Dosunmu is dead

ORMER Alliance for Democracy (AD) chieftain, Senator Wahab Dosumu is dead. A former National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chief and Second Republic Minister of Housing, was said to have died in the United States yesterday.

Governors’ Forum crisis over soon, says Dickson

He was elected to the Senate in 1999 and served till 2003. He defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was appointed Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Malaysia where he served between 2004 and 2007. He was a member of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN)

in the Second Republic. Lagos PDP official, Mr. Taofik Gani, said last night: “The unfortunate and sudden of our great leader and thorough Lagosian has just filtered into our secretariat. “The death is a big loss to our party at this time. May his soul rest in peace.”


a stop to criminality. ‘’Everybody is sympathetic to the MASSOB as Ndigbo because we all are MASSOB but MASSOB is not known for violence. On Saturday, MASSOB members destroyed vehicles of people going about their normal businesses, some bishops coming for our Synod were nearly lynched by people said to be MASSOB members but the MASSOB we knew is not violent. Why destroying our property when you asked for a sit- athome and everybody complied. Why not leave those who do not want to sit- at- home to go about their normal businesses. ‘’There was marginalisation of Ndigbo before President Goodluck Jonathan came on board but we have not got to the state of Biafra and our property were destroyed and people nearly got lynched. How would it be when it is actualised? Abia State Police Commissioner Usman Tilli Abubakar said yesterday that arrested MASSOB members will be arraigned today for distributing inciting materials and threatening the peace of the state.

NNPC fixes Ibadan pipeline


HE Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC said yesterday it had clamped the rupture point along the Mosimi– Ibadan line and resumed fuel supply operation to Ibadan and its environs.

•Sen. Femi lanlehin unveiling the plaque at the inauguration of the renovated mosque at Inalende in Ibadan…yesterday. With him (from left) are: Community leaders, Alhaji Ahmed Imajenmi; Alhaji Taofeek Lanlehin and Imam of Arowodana Mosque Saheed Arowodana

2015: INEC bans parties, politicians from campaign Continued from page 2

dependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has observed that some politicians and registered political parties have begun unbridled campaign towards the forthcoming general election, thereby heating up the polity. “It is observed that campaign posters are being indiscriminately displayed, while electioneering broadcasts are being aired outside the statutory provision for campaigning towards elections into various elective offices.

“This trend is unhealthy and portends ill for the political process. Indeed, it is a threat to Nigeria’s democracy. “The Commission hereby reminds all players of the provision of Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended), which states as follows: “For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.” “Political parties are advised to note that campaigning out-

side this provision is a violation of the law, and the Commission will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions against culprits as provided by relevant sections of the law. “Meanwhile, INEC calls on security agents to apprehend violators, whose activities in this regard pose a threat to public order. “The Commission enjoins all parties to play strictly by the rules, as part of a collective effort to ensure the success of the 2015 elections.” A source in INEC, who spoke

in confidence, said: “When the commission was worried about the poster war in January, it wrote a letter to all political parties to call their members to order. “But INEC management has observed that these politicians have not relented, although they are clever to admit not being the brain behind such campaigns. “Heating up the system with 2015 campaign and posters amounts to lawlessness and unwillingness of these politicians to respect the rules of the game. We will not take kindly to it.”

OVES are underway to resolve the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) crisis, Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson said at the weekend. “Quite frankly, there is no governor who would say he is not touched or he is not sad by the development in the NGF. We are as outraged and saddened as any other Nigerian. It could have been handled better. I think that governors are responsible people; they are not irresponsible as the outcome of that election may have suggested,” he said. Following the May 24 election, the NGF split into two factions one led by Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who scored 19 votes out of 35 and the other by Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, who scored 16 votes. The Jang faction opened a new secretariat. Besides, it has been recognised by President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But major opposition parties are behind Amaechi. “We are putting our heads together, consulting across divides and very soon, with the feelers that I have, the misunderstanding will be resolved and NGF will be back,” Dickson added. Dickson said: “But the NGF that will be back, I’m sure, is an NGF that would have learnt its lessons; an NGF that would have learnt to stick to the founding principles of that organisation, which is a peer review mechanism; not a trade union, not a platform for personal political aggrandisement, not a platform for playing partisan politics. These are the guiding principles

By Augustine Avwode

of the NGF. “We are there actually to compare notes and also to be a platform for collaboration. It is not a political organisation; it is not a partisan organisation. It is a bipartisan or multi-partisan organisation that enables it to focus on what is the best, how we can deepen democracy and collaborate with the Federal Government on challenges of development, challenges of national security and so on.” He blamed the crisis in the NGF on the tendency by the occupant of the office of the chairman to project self. “The problem didn’t start now. PDP governors, who became chairmen of the Forum over the years, turned it to be a campaign platform – a platform for occupying national political space, a platform, when necessary, for promoting personal ambition, a platform also for promoting the ambitions of others. It didn’t start now, it didn’t start with Governor Amaechi; even before him, that was the tradition. So there was the urge of the Chairman of NGF to want to become the President or VicePresident. Once for an organisation of equals, a voluntary organisation of equals, things could fall apart and the centre may not be strong enough to hold. I think that was what happened basically. But, like I said, we are all not happy about what happened. We are all friends and colleagues and men of honour. We agree and disagree and I think very soon we will all come back to do the things we are supposed to do,” Dickson said.

Pension fund contribution hits N3.4tn


HE value of pension cash saved under the Contributory Pension Scheme is now N3.4 trillion, President Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) Dave Uduanu said at the weekend. He spoke during the association’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos. Uduanu said the subscribers’ base of the contributory pension scheme is 5.3 million, which is less than seven per cent of the working population. He said:”Pension operators are working tirelessly with the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to attract more subscribers as less than seven per cent of the working population has embraced the scheme”. Managing Director Leadway Pensions Limited Ronke Adedeji, said it is still complex for a subscriber to move base from one pension fund administrator to another. She said a lot of work has been done to support PenCom to ensure a smooth transfer process. He said the need for biometrics is crucial to the success of the transfer window, adding that in the absence of national data base in the country, it becomes difficult to get the accurate information on who is moving from one

By Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

PFA to another. She said: “On the face value, it always appears very simple. People always say, ‘I want to change my Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) and move from A to B,’ but it is complex from the perspective that when you are moving an account from one PFA to another, certain processes need to take place and the major one is the identification process. “We want to make sure that when you are transferring account from one entity to the other, you are transferring correctly and that you are not transferring somebody else’s account simply because they have common names. “As such, the identification process to ensure that the transfer is secure and correct has to take place. In Nigeria, we really haven’t sorted out identification, but in more developed parts of the world, identification is quite simple and straightforward. So, a major criterion for us is biometrics. There are various initiatives going on regarding biometrics.” The pension fund assets grew to N3trn by December 31, 2012. As at September 30, 2012, it stood at N2.94trillion.

‘let him go now’ Continued from page 2

turned his energy to AIDS and conflict resolution, before stepping out of the public eye a decade ago at the age of 85. In March, Zuma appeared to prepare the nation for Mandela’s passing, saying: “In Zulu, when someone passes away who is very old, people say he or she has gone home. I think those are some of the things we should be thinking about.” Controversial television footage in April showed a frail, distant and unsmiling Mandela being visited at home by ANC

leaders, sparking accusations that his party was exploiting him. The ruling African National Congress — facing elections next year — has lost much of its Mandela shine amid widespread corruption, poverty and poor public services. His own family has also been locked in a feud over control of various companies. “Whereas in the beginning we would get extremely anxious, this time our anxiety is tempered with a certain understanding of his age and his frailty. It’s a good healthy balance,” Maharaj said.




Subomi Balogun donates Paediatric Centre to UI


USINESSMAN Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun at the weekend explained why he gave the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre to the College of Medicine of the University of Ibadan (UI). He said the institution was the first to arouse his interest in children. Speaking in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, at the signing of the ‘Deed of Gift’, Balogun said: “A number of universities approached me, but I decided on UI because it first lured me into childcare and, among other things, gave me a Doctorate degree in 1989 for my contributions to the economy, healthcare and education.” He said before he arrived at the decision, he consulted his son, Ladi, who is the President of the Tunwase Balogun Foundation. Balogun said Ladi is more of a banker and would not have time to run the centre. He said: “I consulted him and the family and decided to give it to the university. So, here we are signing the deed of total gift. I am giving it to them and the University College Hospital (UCH), but I do not know anything about their internal structure. It will be a college of U.I., but I have asked them to please retain the original name. They can extend the services beyond children healthcare.” Balogun said his first encounter with the university was a long time ago, when he and a few others were invited by UCH. He said: “They wanted us to see the condition of their equipment and the hospital

By Simeon Ebulu

and whether we could help. “Someone took me to the children’s department and I was moved by the plight of the children. Somehow, I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to supporting children and nursing mothers. So, I adopted and reconstructed the Children’s Emergency Ward.” Balogun said he established the paedtric centre following a suggestion by the former Minister of Health, the late Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, that there was need for Nigeria to have a hospital like the Great Almond Street Hospital in London, which would be totally dedicated to the care of children. He said work began on the project on his 60th birthday, adding that “as at my 75th birthday, I had spent over N2 billion”. The Provost of the College of Medicine, UI, Prof. Olusegun Akinyinka, said: “By this gesture and your antecedents, we have seen that you are a very remarkable dad. Your qualities are lacking in most Nigerians. We sincerely appreciate you, your family and the people of Ijebu-Ode for giving us this major gift.” The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the occasion was of great significance to the institution. He said it was the first time the university was benefiting from “this type of largesse”. Adewole said: “We have had benefactions in the past, but this is a benefaction of a different kind. Simply put, it is outstanding and unparalleled.”

Ekiti CJ frees 28 inmates


KITI State Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, has freed 28 awaiting trial inmates of the Ado-Ekiti Prison. Justice Daramola released 16 unconditionally, discharged seven and granted five bail during a visit to the prison. He said though the prison was still congested, the number of awaiting trial inmates has reduced considerably compared to his last visit. Justice Daramola advised the freed inmates to be law-


abiding and urged prison officials to remain committed to their responsibilities. The State Comptroller of Prison, Aremu Tajudeen, lauded the state government’s efforts to decongest the prison. He said arrangements were on to build more structures in the prison. The freed inmates, including Ikechuckwu Nnanwoba, Nifemi Apalowo and Adeniyi Kolawole, thanked the state government and pledged to be law-abiding.

•Power Minister Prof Chinedu Nebo inaugurating the Goni Gora Injection Sub-station in Kaduna on Saturday. With him is the Managing Director, Kaduna Distribution Company, Alhaji Mohammed Idris.

Alliance talks: Oyelese slams Ladoja, Alao-Akala for ‘poor performance’


WO chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Elder Wole Oyelese and Senator Lekan Balogun, have criticised the proposed alliance between former Governors Rashidi Ladoja and Adebayo Alao-Akala. They described it as “selfseeking” and a “purposeless marriage of convenience”. Speaking with The Nation at the weekend, Oyelese said the alliance did not have the blessing of PDP leaders in the state. The former Minister of Power and Steel said the poor performance of Ladoja and Alao-Akala while in office created room for Governor Abiola Ajimobi to become a star within two years in office. Oyelese said: “I think Ladoja and Alao-Akala are getting it wrong on the socalled alliance. Their approach is wrong, as they are not carrying other PDP leaders along. It is unfortunate that they are coming together for the wrong reason because I read in the papers that they came together for the sole purpose of preventing Ajimobi from winning the election for a second term in office. “For now, it is possible to say that Ajimobi has performed in his first two years. But I believe he owes this perception largely to the inability of Ladoja and Alao-Akala to do some of the basic things he has done when they were in the same position.

•Lekan Balogun: it’s a purposeless marriage Ex-governor’s call for security outfit’s ban illogical, says Lanlehin


From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

ENATOR Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South District) yesterday condemned the call by former Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja for the proscription of the state’s security outfit, code-named Operation Burst. He described it as “illogical and anti-masses”. Lanlehin, who is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, spoke at the inauguration of the Arowodana Mosque in Omitowoju, Ibadan. The mosque’s former building was among structures razed in the community by a fire caused by a petroleum-laden tanker recently. Lanlehin urged Ladoja to “stop toying with the security of the masses”, warning that security issues should not be politicised. He said: “Anything that concerns security and the safety of life and property should not be discarded. If there are challenges or shortcomings, they could be improved upon or amended. We should not throw the baby away with the birth water. Any inadequacy observed should be addressed.” On the fire, Lanlehin said: “Regardless of the fire that ravaged the mosque, we give glory to God. Everything that we are and we hope to be is in the hands of God. Thank God no life was lost in the fire. “This mosque was rehabilitated to show gratitude to God. We have, so far, given relief materials worth N10 million to the fire victims.” The Chief Imam of the mosque, Mr. Saheed Arowodana, thanked the lawmaker and urged public office holders to emulate his gesture. From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

“If they had done it, Ajimobi would not have become such a star that he now appears to be for doing basic things. Ajimobi should not be their reason for coming together, as

I do not believe he is the best Oyo State can offer and should therefore not be a big issue. “At any rate, if their ambition is to come back as governor, the current situation where they belong to two different political parties smells

of confusion. I think one of them has to make up his mind to join the party of the other in order to have a platform. We also need to ask them if they are the only people in the PDP that can govern Oyo State, should Ladoja decide to join the party. “Their approach is faulty and not in the best interest of the PDP and Oyo State. Other party leaders, including me, do not think much of what they are doing. It is at best another way of further dividing the party, as the duo do not have better claim on the PDP than the rest of us leaders. “I think the alliance is a selfseeking venture. It is time they stopped thinking about themselves and their political aspiration to rule the state again and begin to think of the state’s progress.” Balogun said: “It is a political gimmickry that has no purpose. The people are not fools. The voters are now wiser than before. Today, both of them will not get up to the lowest of the votes one of them got the last time. “The masses are not fools. They are more intelligent than what these people take them for. Ladoja and Alao-Akala are not as popular as they think.” Ladoja and Alao-Akala raised a 10-man committee last week to work out modalities for an alliance between them.

Annulled election still haunts Nigeria, say activists

HE June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formations (J12CODEF) at the weekend said 20 years after the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, Nigeria is yet to recover from the injustice perpetrated by the military. The group said the annulled election would have set Nigeria on the path of credible elections and governance. It said years after, Nigeria is still living with its consequences. J12CODEF called for the convening of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to address the country’s problems. Speaking with reporters, the group’s Chairman, Mr. Baba Omojola and Secretary Nelson Ekujumi said: “J12CODEF is


Ogun declares June 12 holiday

HE Ogun State Government has declared Wednesday a holiday in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993, presidential election believed to have been won by the late Chief Moshood Abiola. The government has organised a democracy walk and rally in Abeokuta, the state capital, to mark the anniversary. The walk will begin at 7:30am from the June 12 Cultural Centre in Kuto and move through Oke Ilewo, Lalubu road, Ibara-Sokori-Totoro road, Enu Garder Lafenwa, Ago Ika, Oke-Ido and take a break at the late Abiola’s family house in Oja Igbo, where Governor Ibikunle Amosun and others will By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

lending its voice to the patriotic call to our elected public officials at all levels that the

speak with the late politician’s family. The walk will then move to Odo Oyo, Itoku, Sapon, Ago Oko, Ake, Isale Ake, Oke Ejigbo, Ijaye, Iyana Mortuary, Abiola Way and the MKO Stadium, where the governor will address the people. Workers, students, traders, artisans, civil society groups, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community Development Associations (CDAs), professional bodies, trade associations, transport unions and religious groups are all expected at the walk. In a statement, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, said the annulled election paved the way for democracy.

way out of this state of war, in which we are potential victims, lies in the convocation of a SNC, where all ethnic na-

tionalities would sit down unfettered, peacefully and fraternally at the round-table to discuss Nigeria.”

They said consequent of the annulment, “the Nigerian state is manifesting all the symptoms of a failed state, such as mass unemployment, poverty, monumental corruption, high infant and maternal mortality rate, worsening insecurity, culture of violence, subversion of democratic principles by democratically elected public officials, irresponsible and irresponsive leadership, failed value system and a culture of impunity”. The group flayed the constitutional amendment process on the grounds that the 1999 Constitution was not a creation of the Nigerian people but a military document robed in civilian camouflage. It said it was on this basis that issues of outrageous re-

muneration of elected office holders, corruption, insecurity and other undemocratic tendencies still thrive with no end in sight. J12CODEF said: “Civilian rule has fast become cabalised in exploiting the masses for the economic interest of a few ruling elites. These cabals have turned democracy into the opposite of what it connotes as a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” To mark the 20th anniversary of the annulled election, the group said members of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and civil society groups will renew the MKO Abiola Epetedo Declaration seeking recognition of the late Abiola as a former president-elect of Nigeria.



NEWS Ogun saves N100m monthly on salary From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

THE Ogun State Government now saves about N100 million monthly following the elimination of ghost workers from its payroll. The Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, spoke with reporters at the weekend in Abeokuta, the state capital. She said the feat was achieved through the use of the biometric data capture system. Mrs. Adeosun said of the N16.6 billion bank loan approved for the executive by the House of Assembly this year, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has only taken N7 billion. She said: “This administration inherited a debt profile of N87 billion as at May 2011, but following the financial re-engineering efforts of the Amosun team, the debt figure, as at December 2012, reduced to N61.640 billion, despite taking N14.95 billion new loans in the year. “The administration has repaid the amount borrowed. The medium term financial model we have developed is such that we will only grow our debt in proportion to the growth in our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and we are maintaining this discipline. “The focus of the Amosun administration is on growing the state’s IGR from the current average of N3 billion monthly to N5 billion, having crossed the N4 billion threshold in March.” The commissioner said the state has not taken N200 billion as is being bandied about by “confused persons”. She said: “Maybe the N200 billion is an internet loan. We did not take N200 billion from anybody. It is not even possible for anybody to borrow N200 billion. I do not know where they got the information from. “Honestly, I think people are just confused. I even heard somebody say it is a foreign loan. There is no foreign loan.”

Ogun CPC suspends nine From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

THE Ogun State chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has suspended nine members. Those affected include the party’s governorship candidate in the last election, Mr. Wale Okuniyi, Mr. Tosin Meadows and Mr. Adeolu Balogun. Others are Mrs. E TalabiAkinbile, Evang. Olusola Odeyemi, Mr. Aderemi Adeyemi, Ms. Bola Adeyemi, Tijani Adeomosun and Chief Oluseye Adeosun. In a statement by its Chairman, Mr Adekunle Mudashiru, it declared the Merger Transition Committee allegedly set up by Okuniyi illegal. Mudashiru said the matter would be referred to the party’s State Disciplinary Committee.

Don’t waste resources on frivolities, ACN tells Mimiko T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State has warned Governor Olusegun Mimiko against “wasting the state’s resources on frivolities”. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Agbede, at the weekend, the party accused the governor of wasting the state’s resources on a birthday bash for his wife, Olukemi, in the United States (US).

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

ACN alleged that Mimiko has a penchant for mundane things that have no positive impact on the people. It said: “It is ironical that a government that sacked workers and cannot afford to pay salary regularly has enough to throw around for an unnecessary Owambe par-

ty in a foreign land. “Ondo people, particularly civil servants, are groaning under the burden of unpaid salary, yet the governor has time for merry making around the world. “This is a pointer to the fact that he is not concerned about the plight of the people. “The mass sack of work-

ers, high unemployment rate and the abysmal poverty level cannot be good testimonies of a man, who claims to be working for the people.” The party condemned Mimiko’s role in the crisis rocking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). It urged ACN members `and the people to remain steadfast and pray for the emergence of a people-oriented government.

•Wife of the Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi (second right), unveiling a bus at the 40th memorial anniversary of a foremost theatre practitioner, Mr. Kola Ogunmola, at Okemesi-Ekiti. With her are the Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji (right); President, Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, Prince Jide Kosoko (left) and the deceased’s daughter, Mrs. Peju the weekend.


Ekiti doctors give 21-day strike notice

HE Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Ekiti State chapter, has given the state government 21 days to pay the “arrears” of the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS). It demanded that the government stops taxing the Call Duty Allowance of doctors.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

The doctors threatened to go on strike, if their demands are not met. In a statement at the weekend, the NMA Chairman, Dr. Sunday Obimakinde, said doctors in Ekiti councils receive only 72 per cent of the approved CONMESS.

He said CONMESS was approved for doctors in January, 2010, but was implemented in the state for doctors at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) in October, 2010. Obimakinde said their counterparts at the Ministry of Health and State Health Management Board had

been enjoying same since January, 2010. He said: “CONMESS is meant for all doctors in Nigeria. We are ready to dialogue with the government. If they invite us, we will go. We want to settle any controversy regarding the salary and allowances of our members.”

Jimoh Ibrahim: Private varsities’ graduates are almost unemployable


HE National Universities Commission (NUC) has been urged to redesign university programmes in a way that a graduate can have two degrees. Businessman and Chairman of the Energy Group Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim made the call while handing over a multimillion naira equipped Postgraduate College complex to his alma mater, the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife. Aside tallying with the current practice in some world-class universities, such as Harvard and Yale, Ibrahim said double degrees would address Africa’s economic and leadership problems. He urged NUC to enhance quality control in private universities, adding that, his experience as an employer of labour has revealed that graduates from these universities are weak. Ibrahim: “The standard of graduates from our private universities is very weak.

By Adegunle Olugbamila

We are employers of labour and we take the products of these universities. I can tell you categorically that the products are not good enough. That is why it is not easy for any alumni of these private universities to make significant impact. “If I ask you how many graduates of private universities have become professors, your answer will sim-

ply be none. How many of them have broken through in entrepreneurship? The answer again will be none. There is need for NUC to control the standard in these universities. “I also suggest the merger of some of these universities through collaborative effort because private universities are helping to mop the spillover from JAMB, which public universities cannot admit.”


From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

council , Mr. Idowu Korede, said since Aregbesola assumed office, he has transformed the state. He hailed Aregbesola’s initiatives to revamp the education sector, especially the provision of the (computer tablet) Opon Imo for secondary school pupils. Korede said Aregbesola has endeared himself to the people because of his administra-


HE Federation of Oyo State Students’ Union (FOSSU) has denounced the claim by the President of the National Association of Nigerian students (NANS), Yinka Gbadebo, that the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration is pursuing anti-student policies. In a statement yesterday by its President, Muili Ahmad and Senate President Ayansola Ezekiel, FOSSU said contrary to Gbadebo’s claims, Ajimobi has transformed the education sector and protected the interest of students. It said: “Contrary to the claim by the NANS president that the government has not constituted councils for tertiary institutions in the state, the governor has constituted councils for the three tertiary institutions. “The Chairman of the Council of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, is Prof. Oladipupo Afolabi, a former Head of Service of the Federation. That of the Council of the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, is Prof. Olu Okewole, a retired professor of international repute. Barrister Babatunde Soares is the Chairman of the College of Agriculture, IgboOra. “The claim by the NANS president is baseless. Ajimobi has also re-activated the award of local and foreign scholarships to Oyo indigenes. Apart from paying N100 million bursary and scholarship, the governor has also increased bursary to Oyo indigenes in law school to N150,000 per student. “The Ajimobi administration is in the process of giving the students’ union bodies in the institutions a bus each. It has interviewed applicants for teaching appointments to recruit 3,000 teachers, contrary to the the NANS president’s claim. Ajimobi’s urban renewal programme has changed the face of Ibadan and made the state attractive to foreign investors.” FOSSU advised the NANS president to consult students in the state on the position of things before making claims that will embarrass them.

Catholic bishop decries poverty rate •Ibrahim

Ibrahim studied Law at OAU and graduated in 1990. The Postgraduate College complex has a reception, mini conference room, offices and Information Communications Technology (ICT) room.

Ilesa East ACN backs Aregbesola for second term

EMBERS of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ilesa East Local Government Area of Osun State at the weekend rallied support for Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s reelection. Rising from its monthly meeting held at the party’s secretariat in Okesa Street, Ilesa, ACN members said the governor should be allowed to run for another term in view of his “brilliant performance”. The party chairman in the

Oyo students flay NANS president’s claim on Ajimobi

tion’s visionary, people-oriented and historic policies and programmes. He said the governor has revolutionised all sectors of the economy. Korede said: “No amount of the opposition’s blackmail or falsehood can deter the people, who have seen the big difference between the past failure and the present success, from making the best choice beneficial to their future and that of their children in next year’s governorship election.”


HE Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev.. Alfred Martins, has urged the country’s leaders to address the rising poverty rate. Martins spoke with reporters at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, on his 54th birthday. He described as “unfortunate” the political rift that has pitched President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Martins urged the president to call a conference of all ethnic groups to fashion out the best way to live in peace and harmony On Boko Haram, he said: “We must know the identity of these sect members and there must be genuine repentance on their part that would then pave the way for true reconciliation.”






Falana urges govt to reduce electricity tariff



LAWYER and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has urged the Federal Government to reduce electricity tariff and decentralise power generation and distribution. He said: “In a mid-term report released barely a week ago, the Goodluck Jonathan administration claimed to have performed well. “It gave itself a pass mark in electricity supply. But as soon as the official cel-

ebration of deception was over, the country was enveloped in darkness. The disgraceful development was confirmed by the Federal Government, which admitted that 120 million Nigerians have no access to electricity. Two days later, the remaining 47million Nigerians, who are said to have access to electricity, were subjected to system collapse to the extent that electricity supply has fallen below 2,000 megawatts from 4,000 megawatts. The situation has become so embarrassing that President Jonathan has set up a panel to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the system collapse in the energy sector. “Having repeatedly said that it would never probe the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, which spent $16 billion to generate darkness in eight years, it is clear that the panel will not be allowed to get to the root of

the energy crisis. “What is the basis of the probe when it is common knowledge that a cabal of importers of generators, spare parts and diesel, in collusion with official collaborators, have always sabotaged the energy sector? “The Federal Government should not waste scarce resources on another panel whose recommendations would be consigned to the archives. Since there are security forces in the country, they should be mobilised to prevent the socalled evil forces from stealing and vandalising electrical equipment and installations. “In addition, the Federal Government should decentralise the generation and distribution of electricity without delay. State and local gov-

ernments should play a dominant role in the ongoing privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), which is a part of our collective patrimony. “Having admitted that Nigerians have been put in darkness, the Federal Government should reduce electricity tariffs by 50 per cent. The proposed tariff should be retained until there is substantial improvement in electricity supply. “After all, billions of Naira are daily wasted on the purchase and maintenance of generators as well as diesel by governments, corporate bodies and individuals throughout the country. It is high time Nigerians kicked against bearing the brunt of official incompetence and negligence.”

IGP urges governors, corporate bodies to tackle insecurity


From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

HE Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar has urged governors and corporate bodies to partner the police to tackle insecurity. He said the Nigeria Police cannot do it alone without the support of other stakeholders. The IGP spoke yesterday at the Southwest sensitisation and community partnership workshop with the theme: ‘Enhancing National Security Through Intelligence and Community Partnership’. It was held at the Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The police boss, who was represented by the Deputy InspectorGeneral of Police coordinating the Southwest, Abdulraman Akano, said governors, commissioners, local government chairmen, traditional rulers, lawyers and other stakeholders should support the police to combat insecurity. According to him, there is need for a paradigm shift from the old order to a new security arrangement that will see security management as a process involving the police, citizens and the government. “There is need for the governors and local council bosses to invest more and provide the security agents with the equipment that will ensure an effective method to protect the lives and property of the public. Security should not be left to the Federal Government alone to finance,” the police boss noted. Speaking on the reason for the workshop, Abubakar said: “This is the last in this series, because it has been held in all the geopolitical zones in the country. “The concept of the workshop is to bridge the gap between the police and the public and sensitise citizens on the need to complement the police in the task of internal security management. “The workshop will reassure Nigerians of the commitment of the force to deviate from the policing practices that widen the gap between the citizens and the police by engaging pro-active policing strategies premised on intelligence-led policing practices.” He said there is need for the policemen to break away from the prejudice by showing a determination to defeat the criminals in the society. Abubakar stressed that this cannot be done without the public providing the criminal’s information to the police. Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi said his administration would work with the police to restore peace. Ajimobi, who was represented by his deputy, Moses Alake Adeyemo, recalled that in the past, the state was in a condition of lawlessness and violence and many innocent people were killed in the violence caused by political parties’ followers and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). He hailed the IGP for transforming the police to a friendly, outstanding outfit and making the people to have confidence in the force.

‘We’ll protect votes in 2015’


From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

GROUP, the Nigerian Independence Council for Electorate (NICE), said at the weekend that it would use the necessary strategies in 2015 to ensure that votes count. The President of the group, Mr. Godswill Walter, spoke at the Port Harcourt office of Vintage Press Ltd, publishers of The Nation and Sporting Life newspapers, when he led members of his group on a visit. He said: “2015 is not far from now. We are ready to declare a war, not of weapon or armoury, but on adequate sensitisation of the electorate through the language they could understand, to ensure that every vote counts.” Vowing to take the campaign to all parts of the country, Walter said: “Enough is enough. The country is in this bad shape because many did not say no to injustice, manipulation, corruption, election rigging and so on. But the 2015 election will not be business as usual.” He said his group visited the Vintage Press Ltd office to identify with the publishing company “because we have realised that the objective of The Nation is to protect the ordinary Nigerian, which is in line with the objective of our organisation.” The Assistant General Manager of Vintage Press Ltd, (Southsouth and Southeast regions), Mr. Olatunde Olasogba, said the company would partner those with good intention for the country. He said The Nation newspapers would protect democracy and economic freedom of Nigerians in line with its motto: “Truth in Defence of Freedom.”

Navy redeploys first Flag Officer, CNC


HE first Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command (CNC), Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, has been redeployed to Lagos State for a higher assignment. He has been replaced with a new Flag Officer, Rear Admiral Sidi-Ali Usman. Our correspondent learnt that Olutoyin was recommended by the Navy Headquarters, Abuja, to head the Nigerian Navy Safety and Standard Unit, which has its base in Lagos State. The unit, described as “an autonomous unit of the Nigerian Navy”, reports directly to the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Dele Ezeoba. Olutoyin’s track records in the CNC, which has its headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, were said to have earned him his new appointment. The top echelon of the naval headquarters in Abuja was reportedly impressed by the way Olutoyin established the CNC, which is a new command of the navy. Ezeoba was said to be happy that the CNC, which was established on February 12 and began operations on March 12, 2012, was put on a good footing by Olutoyin to combat oil theft in the area. Olutoyin was said to have established a good relationship between the command and its host communities. He was hailed for securing large expanse of land in Brass for a proposed construction of the command’s permanent site.

















Brave new world of government surveillance

An overdue law

•Secret, widespread spying on citizens by

• Oil and telecoms giants ought to list on stock exchange


F there is one legislation that is overdue, it would be the one making it mandatory for players in the two dominant sectors in the economy – oil and telecommunications– to list their shares on the Nigerian bourse. Several factors have rendered the legislation being considered by the National Assembly imperative. The first is that the clamour by stakeholders, rather than abate, has been getting more strident since it was first made some five years ago. The second is the apparent failure of moral suasion in getting the players in the two sectors to reason with the government and other stakeholders, with a view to forging an acceptable compromise. The third is the need to further deepen the capital market now on steady rebound. We must make the initial point that the Federal Government will not be doing anything novel with the plan to make the listing mandatory. We have ready examples in Kenya, which in 2002 enacted Foreign Investor Regulation, which compelled its multinational operators to list a minimum of 25 per cent reserve of the issued share capital for local investors on the capital market. Another example is Tanzania, which in February 2010 passed a Communication Bill mandating its mobile telecommunications companies to be listed on the Dar’ es Salaam Stock Exchange. Egypt on its part insisted on partial listing as a condition for the award of a mobile licence to Vodafone, a joint venture between

Telecom Egypt and Vodafone. And what are the concerns of those opposed to the measure? The first is that the decision of whether or not to go public should lie with the companies as private entities; the second is that the legislation could send wrong signals to foreign investors. A third reason that has since emerged is that the rules of the listing are generally inflexible. While these have some basis, the challenge is to address them in a way to reflect the nation’s larger interest. The nation’s interest here is to get the companies listed as soon as practicable. On the first count, we wonder whether corporate decisions can be expected to override the responsibility of the parliament to make laws for the smooth functioning of the economy. And on the second, it is hard to see the ground on which the proposed law can be said to have offended the ideals of free enterprise – it does not. The proposed law seems to us a direct response to an exigency. Even at that, there is need for the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to take another look at the listing rules, with a view to making them simpler. The more fundamental issue however is the responsibility of the government to promote the greatest good for the greatest number. Contrary to expressed fears, the legislation does not seek to expropriate any portion of the shares of any of the companies; rather, at the heart of the

quest is the need for companies to show greater sensitivity to the environment where they derive their sustenance. This obviously goes beyond the mandatory payment of taxes and other rates which they are all too often eager to advertise; it extends to giving the local investing public a stake – call it – an opportunity to share in the fortunes of the companies as co-owners. We consider it a shame that more than half a century of oil exploration, and more than a decade after the telecommunications revolution, none of the major players in the two sectors have thought it fit to voluntarily list their shares on the nation’s capital market. That should change with the coming law.

‘We consider it a shame that more than half a century of oil exploration, and more than a decade after the telecommunications revolution, none of the major players in the two sectors have thought it fit to voluntarily list their shares on the nation’s capital market. That should change with the coming law’

Enter Hezbollah


•Large arms haul in Kano linked to Lebanese group is another tell-tale security lapse

HAT will it be next? First it was the Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad, aka Boko Haram Islamist sect; then the Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan better known as Ansaru, both Nigerian grown terrorist groups. There were also talks of Al Qaeda infiltration and support for these two groups, and now an element of the Lebanese Hezbollah has been discovered in Kano, northwest of Nigeria. Not to be overlooked is the Ombatse cult of Lakiya, in Nasarawa State, which is alleged to have ambushed and massacred about 60 policemen and security operatives recently. In this season of violent affront to the sovereignty of Nigeria, which group will pose the next challenge?

‘While we commend the joint security team that made this catch, we shudder at the thought that this quantum of arms and ammunition could be smuggled into the country and buried underground in the heart of a city the size of Kano. From the rusty nature of the lethal articles on showcase, it suggests that they had been stored for quite some time. Are there other bunkers? There may be other ‘terror cells’ operating out of Nigeria. That is unsettling indeed’

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This must be the question in the minds of top government officials and the military hierarchy as they grapple with their latest terror challenge. On May 30, the Joint Task Force (JTF), the 3 Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Kano and the State Security Service (SSS) discovered a large cache of arms in the bunker of a house belonging to some Lebanese businessmen in Kano. Some of the Lebanese named in connection with the arms include Mustapha Fawaz, co-owner of the popular Amigos Supermarket and the Wonderland Amusement Park, both in Abuja. Others are Fauzi Fawad, Abdullahi Tahini and Talal Roda. Nigeria’s security apparatus has determined that the arms belonged to the Lebanese Hezbollah group’s cell in Nigeria that targets Israeli and American interests. According to army spokesman, Brigadier-General Ilyasu Isa Abba, the haul of weapons consists of different arms and ammunition which include: 11 anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank mines, a rocket propelled grenade (RPG), 21 RPG missiles, 17 AK-47s, two submachine guns and 76 grenades. While we commend the joint security team that made this catch, we shudder at the thought that this quantum of arms and ammunition could be smuggled into the country and buried underground in the heart of a city the size of Kano. From the rusty nature of the lethal articles on showcase, it suggests that they had been stored for quite some time. Are there other bunkers? There may be other ‘terror cells’ operating out of Nigeria. That is

unsettling indeed. Though Nigeria’s security agencies have pronounced the suspects as members of a cell of the violent Hezbollah of Lebanon, we hope that would not be a cover for unscrupulous foreign arms merchants who profit from massive importation and sale of arms to terrorists, robbers, cultists and sundry miscreants. We urge Nigeria’s security agents to look deeper to ensure that what may be a purely criminal enterprise does not find an escape route under the cover of international politics and regional agitations. Having noted all that, we wish to point out, as we have done several times before, that what have been unfurling before us in the last few years are security lapses arising from poor understanding and management of Nigeria’s internal security over the years; not to mention failure of leadership. Government must realise that in today’s world, security is paramount in every sovereign nation and even if all else fails, our security system must remain intact and unassailable. We urge government to take a holistic approach to the matter in order to revamp, overhaul and restructure Nigeria’s entire security system. As currently structured, the country is too porous, prostrate and pliable; her security agencies are ill-trained, illequipped, easy to compromise and rather anachronistic for this age. The huge arms haul in Kano is yet another wake-up call for urgent action.

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the government should be alarming to all Americans.


THERE’S a lot we don’t know about the secret court order giving the federal government access on an “ongoing daily basis” to millions of telephone records, and that’s a large part of the problem. But we know enough from a report in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, which essentially has been confirmed by officials, to conclude both that current law gives the government too much leeway to monitor the communications of its citizens, and that the Obama administration is exploiting that authority as aggressively as the George W. Bush administration did. The result is a brave new world of pervasive surveillance that Americans should find alarming. On Wednesday, the Guardian reported that the National Security Agency was collecting “telephony metadata” — information about the sources, destinations and duration of all telephone calls — from Verizon Business Networks Services. The surveillance was authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a tribunal that meets in secret and typically doesn’t make its rulings public. The order was issued April 25 and expires July 29. The fact that the order was issued shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings led some to speculate that the dragnet was part of the investigation of that terrorist attack. But on Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that as far as she knew “this is the exact threemonth renewal of what has been in place for the past seven years.” If the government is engaged in a long-term electronic fishing expedition, it’s likely that Verizon isn’t the only telecommunications provider turning over data. Feinstein emphasized that the government was gathering only metadata, not the actual content of communications, and suggested that investigators examine even that limited information only when there is “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that it is relevant and related to terrorist activity. But that is small comfort to Americans, many of whom will be uneasy that information that could shed light on their habits, travels and associations is being warehoused in government computers and possibly mined without their knowledge. When the Patriot Act was up for renewal, this page argued that its provisions for acquisition of “business records” — the section on which the judge in the Verizon case relied — were far too loose. We still believe that the government should be required to show more than that the material it seeks is “relevant to an authorized investigation.” Last month, President Obama warned that “a perpetual war — through drones or special forces or troop deployments — will prove selfdefeating and alter our country in troubling ways.” That observation also applies to domestic legislation enacted in the anxious aftermath of 9/11, and to the culture of secrecy to which both this administration and its predecessor succumbed. – Los Angeles Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso

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IR: Osun State in the last two and half years has witnessed transformational development. The on-going physical developments are having salutary effects on the lives of the populace. One of such remarkable project is the Osun Airport. Though some critics say that the airport development should not be a priority for the state, I however affirm that we should join the league of other states like Gombe, Akwa-Ibom, Katsina etc. that have benefitted through the services of airports. Every state in Nigeria is in a hurry to catch up with 21st century. Osun should not be an exception. We should be seen as a people who mastered their moment. The issue however is the naming of the airport after the late acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Basorun M.K.O Abiola. The naming of the




Name Osun airport after Sir Adesoji Aderemi

airport after him leaves Osun bare, as if there are no worthy indigenes – living or dead that could be accorded such honour. One of such notable personality of Osun origin, that Osun airport could be named after is our own late illustrious father and distinguished traditional ruler of his time – Sir Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi – K.B.E, Ooni of Ife (1930 - 1980). Sir Aderemi was the first indigenous governor of the old Western Region. Alayeluwa Adesoji Aderemi

was during his lifetime, excellencepersonified. He made royalty a thing of pride. He exuded aura, dignity and intellectual prowess particularly during the London Constitutional Conferences that heralded our independence. He remains up till date, the only indigenous governor of his era that no administration, either at state or federal levels, have so considered fit of a befitting immortalization in whatever form. Sirs Akanu Ibiam and Kashim Ibrahim – indigenous

governors of old Eastern and Northern regions respectively, have been honoured and immortalized by their people and government through one landmark edifice or the other. But here we are, our own revered late Sir Aderemi of blessed memory, remains uncelebrated; un-immortalized, so many years after his glorious transition. Even, in his native Ile-Ife – The Source – nothing worth-while has

your daughters would by now have abound everywhere in Nigeria. I think you forgot that you were a part of the executive council that advocated entrepreneurship training to graduates and students few years ago. Your council told us not to wait for white collar jobs. They said we should go into farming, callcards sale, poultry, barbing, fashion design, e.t.c all in the name of entrepreneurship. Now you claim your daughters have no job forgetting the gospel of entrepreneurship. If your daughters can’t go the

way of entrepreneurship, then why tell us to go that part few years ago? You claimed that you chaired the BPE with efficiency. If indeed you were right, the privatization programme under your watch would have given birth to industries that could have absorbed your daughters. I do not want to believe that you have demolished the industries that could have employed your daughters. Certainly, its clear that you are not only a part of the problem but the very problem we all talk about.

If I were you, I would toe the path of silence at times. If you must speak, speak wisely and do not forget yesterday. I urge Nigerians to be careful with their ears otherwise people who are worst than the devil will lead them astray with sanctimonious stories . When we hear the likes of El-Rufai, lets be bold to ask them what their legacy was, when they were in power. • Ehi O. G. Benin City. Edo State.

At the launching ceremony of the scheme held in Abeokuta, the First Lady stated that it would reduce the rigour, and other challenges encountered during the distribution of food and commodities to the aged across the state. Also worthy of note, is that the Welfare Card was donated to the state government by leading finan-

cial institution, Ecobank Plc, in line with the proposed cashless policy. There is no doubt that the distributed ATM cards would help beneficiaries access their monthly stipends quicker and easier. By this laudable intervention, they are now able to withdraw money without embarking on long trips to the state capital, which hitherto was the case.

Still on Malam El-Rufai’s daughters

IR: You recently announced to the world, with irredeemable frustration, that your two daughters are unemployed despite your noble quest to get them a job. Of a truth, your daughters will be proud of you in view of the fact that they have a father who takes it upon himself to get them a job. I do not know why you went public over your daughter’s plight but I hope you appreciate the fact that you have said nothing new. Good that you had the courage to comment on one of the greatest challenges rocking our society. You would have won my admiration and respect if you had told the world that you once had the chance to make a difference but failed to commit to job creation. It’s on record that you served in a Federal Executive Council that invested over $16 billion on power and the only profit we got was darkness. If your council had fixed the power sector, I believe that the industries which could have absorbed

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IR: Permit me to use your medium to commend the effort of the wife of our amiable Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, who saw the need to take care of the senior citizens in the state by distributing 500 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards across the 20 local government areas.

Kudos to Mrs Amosun

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been done to immortalize this great son of Yoruba race, nay Nigeria. This is why it is important that a gargantuan project like the on-going Osun Airport, should, as a matter of long overdue honour, be named – Adesoji Aderemi Airport. It is not too much to do so. The late Chiefs Obafemi Awolowo and Ladoke Akintola, both of whom are great sons of Nigeria, had a university each named after them. So is Olabisi Onabanjo in Ogun State. If we cannot rename Osun State University after the late Aderemi, please let us give him the honour of having the Osun Airport named after him. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola should also go a step further by renaming Osun College of Technology, EsaOke after the late Cicero, Uncle Bola Ige; the Osun State Polytechnic Iree, after late Chief S.M Afolabi, Osun College of Education, Ilesa after late Sir. Odeleye Fadahunsi and College of Education, Illa-Orangun after Chief Adebisi Akande while he lives. The late Chief M.K.O Abiola, we shall remember forever and for good. I am, like many other Nigerians, a great admirer of the late philanthropist and business mogul, and will even recommend that our country be renamed after him. Osun State government should get something else to honour him in death as we did, with our massive vote during the ill-fated June 12, 1993 Presidential election. • Olumide Lawal Ede, Osun State.

This great gesture by Mrs. Amosun is not only worthy of commedation and emulation, but will also cut avoidable cost incurred on transport, as well as contribute positively to grassroot development of the Gateway State. • Taiyese Ebunlomo B. Abeokuta.





ORMER Vice President Atiku Abubakar got it right vividly last week when he joined the State of Osun people in his wife’s town of Ilesa to launch of Opon-Imo. He was quoted: “Our greatest asset in this country is not oil; it is not cocoa; it is not cassava or groundnuts. And I respect all our farmers and their contributions towards our development. Our greatest asset is our people, the Nigerian people. We have to educate and train our teeming young population if we seriously hope to develop this country.” From experience, he believes education and training will open doors of opportunity to students and help in rebuilding the nation. “Only education can guarantee the future of our young people. The education of our children and the overall development of our human capital is something that we can all agree on, irrespective of our political parties or platforms. We may disagree on how and where. But very few people would ask why we should give our children quality education,” he summarized approvingly. Undeniably, one of the issues depressing Nigeria’s development today is the waning state of education. That people now prefer sending their children to school in Ghana is a pointer to failure locally. But I have become excited with the move taken by the governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, which was authenticated by Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, as step to revolutionize the education sector. The innovation of Opon-Imo (the Tablet of Knowledge), a standalone e-learning tablet that provides the high school pupils with the contents required to prepare for school leaving examinations manifests the optimism of practical transformation. To radically democratise access to learning, regardless of means, location or status, 150,000 of the tablets are being distributed to all government high school students across Ogbeni’s state. Opon-Imo, a portable electronic device, which is controlled through its touch screen interface, is the first of its kind initiative in Nigeria, Africa and possibly, the world. As informed by the governor, it will tackle the learning problem using contemporary ICTS, indigenous content, and taking into account socially-embedded factors. It is a mobile learning tool

‘They all booed him just the same way he is now being booed all around for his inanity, folly and senseless talk. Even an adversary of Fashola with wisdom cannot rebuff the impact of his performance on Lagosians’


N this sixth year of the Babatunde Raji Fashola administration in Lagos State and the 14 th year of uninterrupted civil rule in Nigeria, the media can be said to give a fairly decent account of happenings in society. In terms of providing general intelligence on happenings in society, our media often capture fairly well the sense of the occasion. Periodically, they provide flashes of brilliant reporting that bring a warm glow to the heart. Compared, however, to the craft of opinion writing, which boasts of a good number of outstanding columnists, I think the quality of reporting in our media today especially print requires urgent attention. On radio and television, most of what passes for news reporting is too fleeting for any exhaustive treatment. Once upon a time, there was a tradition of news features on radio but that, painfully, now appears to belong to the realm of folklore in Nigerian broadcasting. It is all too easy to predict media content these days. The subject matter is strikingly similar, the treatment, painfully predictable. Politics remains the main staple of the media, with the economy, a distant second and episodic interest in stories of conflict, disaster, prominence, consequence, and novelty bringing up the rear. If our media are not emphasizing the trifles of daily governance, they are busy throwing heat without light on issues crying for media clarity and direction. Too often there are gaping holes in the stories we publish, which tend to suggest insufficient attention to detail. Take for instance the story of the chairmanship of the Nigerian Governors Forum. In our fixation with conflict, controversy, and orchestrated drama as useful tools to boost sales, we have been carrying on as if the country is about to disintegrate over who becomes the chairman of the forum. Some of us can’t even make up our minds on who won a simple thing as an election among an electorate of 35. If we, media professionals, are not clear about the issues, how can we inform and educate the public? We regurgitate stories by vested interests without the moderating voice of the reporter whose investigations should help the public to resolve the doubts. Balance is not achieved simply by giving various parties access, but by also examining through interpretative reporting what they bring to the public space. Central to the role of journalism is to bring attention to the issues of the day, serve as an honest mediator among contending forces in society, defend the public interest, and hold government accountable to the people. In other words, we are to serve as the eyes and ears of the public so that we can competently give voice to their yearnings. Have we been serving as honest mediators? What are the issues in the NGF chairmanship election? There was an election to pick a chairman of the forum between the incumbent and a challenger. Does the rule of association

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Creative Ogbeni’s education revolution pupils can utilize in multiple at home, in school and any other location and fitting for a country like Nigeria with unreliable networks because the customized content will work regardless of data networks. With 56 tutorials and e-textbooks covering 17 subjects, there are also more than 40,000 practice questions and answers, seven extra-curricular books capable of tracking pupil’s academic progress. To make it more usable, beyond being powered by electricity, independent powering communal solar charging systems have already been installed in all the schools as a resourceful initiative in a nation stressed with awful power system. Apart from bringing the schools closer to the students and serving as “a silver bullet to the learning challenges,” Ogbeni affirmed that the project aimed at building a knowledge-based society and digital-drive economy will ultimately work towards the development of the nation. This benefit will even be beyond saving the state an estimated annual textbook procurement cost of N8.4billion ($53million). What a unique novelty. Just like Atiku counselled, notwithstanding political parties or platforms, Ogbeni has shown commendable inventive way other states and the central government can integrate into in order to transform this nation in reality. Also in the same manner Asiwaju Bola Tinubu applauded Ogbeni, he has indeed been performing as a man of “principle, determination, optimism and progressivism who always believe in achievements and transformation.” With the Opon-Imo creativeness, it is established that Ogbeni governing in ways that are not usual has “all it takes to perform wonders because he is a tested and trusted administrator who knows his onions.”

Please, boo misinformation minister more

What a pity that Information Minister Labaran Maku has lost the correct spirit of journalism which is based on the truth and truth alone. He now acts and talks the way of typical Nigerian politician, fabled in sham and fickleness. Why things have not been working in the country was because of the insincerity of those in power. They strive to impress themselves instead of dedication to pleasing the people who they used to attain power. In the exertion to satisfy the President, and not Nigerians, Maku was gallivanting at the 2013 Ministerial Platform of the administration’s mid-term report. He bragged that the Federal Government intervention in road and transport sector were unprecedented in Nigeria’s history. To him, the work on rail and water are so marvellous. “We have never seen anything like we have seen since 1960” on the jobs being done. Really? He claimed that since Tafawa Balewa administration in the 60s, no government was able to fulfil promises as much as GEJ’s. Na wha o! As he was over-shooting himself, as if those he was talking to were dumb and blind, he lashed Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola as a non-performer who merely generates

80% of the state revenue from federal infrastructure. According to him, “most of the projects in Lagos State where taxes are being collected are federal projects;” adding that “Lagos State does no significant thing other than environmental sanitation.” What an imprudent assertion? And that was how he fell to the hands of the thousands of participants at the event - comprising his erstwhile media colleagues, civil society organisations officers, MDA officials and members of the public who couldn’t see any sense in his cacophony. They all booed him just the same way he is now being booed all around for his inanity, folly and senseless talk. Even an adversary of Fashola with wisdom cannot rebuff the impact of his performance on Lagosians. FEEDBACK Re-Please, make Nigeria indivisible Sir, I agree with your piece. I must say that any government which fails to recognize the welfare of her subjects as primary duty deserves condemnation avalanche. Nigerian governments need to improve their service deliveries to the common people. May God bless Nigeria with good leaders. From Comrade Ishowo Olanrewaju, Ilorin. Soji, the dog that will get lost can, and will never listen to its owner’s whistle. Tell me, who can atone the sin of election abracadalists? The whole scenario is a game of sanctimonious hypocrisy. From Soji Oloketuyi Jnr, Igbemo Ekiti. “The nation that once had the potentiality of greatness has been stagnant for too long” was your last statement. You are not a young boy. If you’ve been watching Nigeria’s event with objective mind, you’ll know where our problems are from. I’m not happy with today’s Nigeria, but the ‘gully erosion’ that has devastated our lives actually has its origin. From Amadi Ibeleme Thanks Soji for your piece. Those still hoping on Jonathan to use federal might on Amaechi are living in fool’s paradise. The governor’s supporters in Rivers State are more than his rivals. But let GEJ know that the game is up. From Wenenda, PH Sir, not only that am I pleased with your write up, I also want to encourage you for good work. NGF election was monitored online by Nigerians. So, who are those fooling the president? From Solomon Vambe, PH Gov. Akpabio has a character issue. Can you ask him what practice he was into before entering politics? His real character came out when he couldn’t check that Yobe and Gombe governors’ names were on the list, that original date was cancelled and Gov. Jang’s name was added with a biro. What a shame is that in democracy? From Tony I wonder aloud whenever I saw or hear Akpabio behaving on telly. Are his subjects in Akwa Ibom so daft that none of them can call him to order? Yoruba has a name for his likes: omo aijobe to’ja epo sara. Thank you. From Samuel Oke Aro Thanks for your article on Amaechi. I am from South-South and I know I won’t vote for Jonathan in 2015. 2347057483717 PDP and GEJ are shooting themselves in the combined foot and making way for the opposition. From Utah

Reporting today By Lanre Idowu allow the incumbent to seek a second term? What are the forum’s electoral rules? Do the rules allow pre voting in the form of a political party collecting signatures of its members outside the election venue or before the election date and presenting same to other governors from other parties for adoption? What really happened that Friday when the governors met to vote? We have read that the procedure was filmed. Is it impossible for our journalists to watch the proceedings in the effort to have a better understanding of what really happened and educate the public appropriately? Rather than help the public to come to clear terms of what is happening some of us are being pussyfooting because we want to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds without clear appreciation of the damage being done to the national psyche. If there is so much confusion on an election conducted by 35 gentlemen, what should we expect from the coming general elections? I know that the media reserve the right to reject advertisements brought for publication for various reasons. Most times it is because the claims cannot be verified or the contents are libelous or offend public morality. In this regard, I wonder if an advert that purports to congratulate a loser for ‘winning’ an election does not amount to publishing an untruth and offending public morality and should have been rejected. Such contemplation apparently does not cross the mind of our media houses that have been publishing such adverts that patently contradict what they have presented to us as the truth. Obviously, the power of naira conveniently deodorizes immorality. Another issue that is germane to our discourse is the prevailing insecurity in the land, especially the menace of kidnapping. A few weeks ago, one of us, Kehinde Bamigbetan was the guest of kidnappers. I regret to say that we endangered his life with some of our reports. A good number of us were eager to inform the world that ransom was going to be paid with premature announcements of how the said ransom was being raised. We all know that it is not everything that comes our way that we publish or should publish. True, ransom has been paid in many kidnaps; it is also true that some hostages have been freed without any payment. When we rush to announce such payments we give the impression that it is fait accompli thereby strengthening the hands of kidnappers, losing faith in the law enforcement officers, dimming hope in the citizenry and spreading fear in the land. Still on the issue of insecurity, not too long ago a handful

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of our media houses devoted weekly space and time to addressing security challenges; I know two of such offerings have disappeared from two newspapers. I used to enjoy them. I wish they would resuscitate them as they speak to our current national situation. Indeed, there exists opportunities for our media houses to carry out some crusades on security consciousness for the good of society. Such would help in cultivating new patrons by helping the media to deepen the sense of community that is so crucial to media growth and indeed national development. If the media must continue to play creditably the positive role envisioned for it in a democracy such as we are building, we as journalists need to enrich our news judgment and treatment. We need to equip our journalists to interrogate our social conditions much more deeply by challenging governments to do more, by commending them when they get it right, by recommending alternate viewpoints outside partisan circles, and by condemning them when they get it wrong. We can only do that honestly when we are professional in our conduct and output. The media also needs more understanding and support from the public, especially our governments. • Excerpts from the address given by Idowu, CEO Diamond Publications & Trustee of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence Trust Fund, at Governor Babatunde Fashola’s dinner with media executives on Democracy Day.

‘If the media must continue to play creditably the positive role envisioned for it in a democracy such as we are building, we as journalists need to enrich our news judgment and treatment. We need to equip our journalists to interrogate our social conditions much more deeply by challenging governments to do more, by commending them when they get it right, by recommending alternate viewpoints outside partisan circles, and by condemning them when they get it wrong’





HERE is a huge cloud hanging over the Nigerian political space. It is evident from the utterances of groups and individuals. It can be seen in their actions or inaction. And the body language of key political personages also betrays this slide to the precipice. At the centre of the heating up of the polity, is the competition for the highest political office in the country-the presidency. Any and every issue sacrosanct for the overall survival of this country is now unduly politicized, trivialized and sabotaged. Even with two years to the next general elections, statecraft has been relegated to the background as sections are pitched against each other bandying spurious claims and counter claims. Not unexpectedly, these have resulted to threats and counter threats as to what harm awaits the nation should things not go the way of the contending interests. Much of these threats have come from the North and the South-south for very obvious reasons. But the North has been the greatest culprit in these divisive actions and utterances. It feels it has been badly shortchanged from that elated office given the eight years of Obasanjo; the six years Jonathan would have completed by 2015 and his touted desire to run again despite the purported agreement he signed in 2011 to serve one term. For these, northern leaders feel it is their turn to take a shot at the presidency and nothing can stand on their way. Also to their advantage is the original zoning in the PDP; an arrangement currently shrouded in controversy. But the South-south feels their son, Jonathan has a constitutional right to a second term and nothing should stop him from availing himself of that right. Their years of neglect even as the source of the nation’s wealth is also cited as a key reason they should be allowed for once, preside over the sharing of the nation’s wealth that is earned from their backyard. They are also piqued that Jonathan has not been allowed to do his job through contrived insurgency from the Boko Haram sect. The senseless killings in some parts of the North and the constant avowals by the insurgents to force Islam on the rest of the country are viewed with serious apprehension. This is more so, with the body language of some northern leaders which tend to lend tacit support to the violence in that part of the country. There are valid issues in the contending viewpoints. But a key point of note is that the two contending paradigms are being sponsored from within the ruling PDP.


Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email:

Ominous signals For a party that has boasted to rule for 100 years irrespective of its performance rating, it is not surprising why it is being seen as the surest way to power. Those threatening fire, lime, and brimstone should Jonathan run and make it or fail to make it, have their eyes on the capacity to manipulate that office to achieve electoral success. If they have faith in the sovereignty of the electorate; if they are firm believers in the sanctity of free and fair elections, their indecent desperation in concentrating all efforts in the PDP would have been needless. Even with the bitterness and hostility in that party that has seen it suspending two governors, its leaders still boast of the successes they intend to record in coming elections. One begins to wonder the source of this optimism if we remove the power of incumbency that has become a euphemism for rigging and falsifying election results. Rather than threats and counter threats, it would have made sense if the aggrieved were exploring other democratic methods of achieving their goals. And these abound in a truly democratic setting. However, Jonathan has the final decision to make. The success or failure of which will definitely shape the direction of events. There are two scenarios. The first envisages a situation where Jonathan runs and secures the ticket of his party. Going by the threats from the north, he should be prepared for the worst. We should expect civil unrest, escalation of violence and violent activities. After all, we now know that violence in the country peaked after the last primaries of the PDP. It will be worse this time around. These could manifest even before elections and degenerate thereafter as its outcome will be fiercely disputed.

Y a fascinating coincidence, “Anglo-Nigerian” writer Adewale Maja-Pearce, who turned 60 on June 3, was recently in the news as the target of a devastating public verbal assault by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, whose performance turned out to be a sensational “drama of existence”, to appropriate the categorical phrase of the Swedish Academy in awarding him the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, which made him the first African to be so decorated. The titan of letters was superlatively adjudged a lord of that dramatic definition. Interestingly, he staged his mastery in a wellcirculated interview granted Sahara Reporters, the daring and thorny online news portal. The interaction coincided with events leading to the May burial of novelist Chinua Achebe, another big name in the literary universe, and Soyinka’s peer in the socalled “first generation” of champions of Nigerian Literature in English. It was a platform for Soyinka, who turns 79 next month, to express his mind on contextual front-burner issues, especially his relationship with the departed author, a subject that has generated intense storm over the years. However, in the course of his clarifications, there was a side show. Soyinka devoted quality time and space to an individual writer who had attempted to probe in a book the relationship between himself, Achebe, playwright and poet JP Clark and poet Christopher Okigbo. It is instructive that following Achebe’s death, Soyinka and Clark had issued a joint statement saying, “Of the ‘pioneer quartet’ of contemporary Nigerian literature, two voices have been silenced”, referring to Okigbo and Achebe. The focus of Soyinka’s lavish attention was Maja-Pearce. Reacting to Achebe’s 2012 controversial last book, There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, here is how the distinguished dramatist characterized Maja-Pearce: “The saddest part for me was that this work was bound to give joy to sterile literary aspirants like Adewale Maja-Pearce, whose self-published book – self-respecting publishers having rejected his trash – sought to create a ‘tragedy’ out of the relationships among the earlier named ‘pioneer quartet’ and , with meanness aforethought, rubbish them all – WS especially. Chinua got off the lightest.” Qualifying the work as “that hatchet mission of an inept hustler”, Soyinka also called it “A compendium of outright impudent lies, fish market gossip, unanchored attributions, trendy drivel and name dropping.” He added, “This is a ghetto tract that tries to pass itself up as a product of research, and has actually succeeded in fooling at least one respectable scholar.” Not done with name-calling, Soyinka referred to Maja-Pearce as “that ignoble character I’ve just mentioned, who was so desperate to prove the existence of such a thing that he even tried to rope JP’s wife into it, citing her as source for something I never uttered in my entire existence.” He lamented, “I cannot think of a more unprincipled, despicable conduct. These empty, notoriety-hungry hangers-on and upstarts need to find relevance, so they concoct.”

Ooped Monday 10-6-2013ok.pmd


And if our experience in such matters is any thing to go by, the incumbent will be hard put to convince the world that he did not manipulate the outcome to personal advantage. Any observed infractions will be latched on to fault and discredit the outcome of that election. In the event of this, Jonathan, still wielding the instruments of coercion, will come down heavily on the anarchists. But the success or failure of this strategy will depend on the volume of violence that may erupt. Even then, the threats would have become a self-fulfilling prophesy. There is also the possibility of violence erupting from the opposition if the election fails the test of free and fair polls. We may witness a verity of the ‘dogs and baboons soaked in blood’. From both the point of view of the PDP and the opposition, possible sources of violence abound. The second scenario is a situation where Jonathan declines to run or runs and fails to secure his party’s ticket. This will see a northerner flying the flag of the PDP in 2015. Jonathan’s kinsmen said they will take resort to full blown militancy that can bring this country to its knees. This could commence before the elections or thereafter. If it begins before the election, then that election may not hold. Jonathan will then find himself waging a war against his kinsmen. If it commences after a new president, possibly from the north has been sworn in, the Niger Delta people are in for serious trouble. They may witness the treatment meted out to the Boko Haram sect in an escalated and vengeful proportion. The situation will be worse if the north succeeds in defeating

Jonathan at the primaries and eventually wins the election. They could even become very vindictive, using power the way it pleases them. They will rule for eight years and then hand over to another zone in the north to compensate for their thirst for power. No body in the PDP will have the moral right to challenge them given that zoning in that party has almost been considered dead. But then, that would be another source of conflict within the nation’s body politic. Other sections that have been denied that office will commence another round of agitations. The country will know no peace. And the prediction that the Nigerian state will fail, may inch nearer. The PDP should therefore take the blame for overheating the Nigerian political environment. All the bickering, intolerance and tension are traceable to their doorsteps. It is getting clearer that the party does not have what it takes to steer the ship of this nation safely. Going by these threats, whichever way the political pendulum swings in that party, is bound to midwife violence of inestimable proportion. That is the harm champions of regional or sectional causes for the sake of cornering the presidency are doing to this country. But the big question is, should Jonathan run or not given the foregoing circumstance? Rational calculations instruct that he should run and he will run. What are the issues? He is still allowed another term by our constitution. Two, if he chickens out, he would have been seen to have succumbed to intimidation. Three, he could fathom that he has not been really allowed to fully implement his programs through contrived violence that has held this country down in the past two years or so. Again, he might consider it risky to relinquish power now given the way the north is going after it. To chicken out, will be at the risk of posting an unenviable record of the worst president this nation ever had. Jonathan will run; threats of violence notwithstanding. Instead of violence, those aggrieved should explore alternative avenues to vote him out. Happily, there is a coalescing opposition capable of tilting the balance. In it, the various zones may find, a more orderly and rancor-free circulation of power and through it, safely navigate the impending doom.

Soyinka’s drama of sound and fury By Femi Macaulay How did Maja-Pearce find himself on the wrong end of Soyinka’s tongue? Ironically, before releasing the book that drew Soyinka’s ire, he had published a work on the dramatist which didn’t receive such harshly critical treatment from Soyinka, perhaps because it was flattering. The instant drama, therefore, seems to betray the logic of human nature. In August 1991, Maja-Pearce published Who’s Afraid of Wole Soyinka? Essays on Censorship. He has also edited Wole Soyinka: An Appraisal. He is an active essayist, book reviewer and publisher; and has published a number of books, including biographical and fictional works. In chronological terms, it is likely that Soyinka’s problem with him predated November 2010 when he published the biographical account, A Peculiar Tragedy: J.P. Clark-Bekederemo and the Beginning of Modern Nigerian Literature in English, the book that the playwright considered offensive and deserving of his rage. Maja Pearce had earlier done a review of Soyinka’s 2006 memoirs, You Must Set Forth At Dawn, for the London Review of Books, which apparently triggered his resentment. Maja-Pearce titled his 2007 review “Our Credulous Grammarian: Soyinka’s Dubious Friendships”. In an interview he granted Daily Independent a year ago, MajaPearce gave the background to Soyinka’s displeasure with him and provided an insight into behind-the-scenes interaction between them. So Soyinka’s sourness is not new; nevertheless, the fact that he revisited the issue of Maja-Pearce’s book in his recent interview speaks volumes about his state of anger. MajaPearce narrated: “I wrote to him because I was working on JP Clark’s book during the time they were launching Femi Osofisan’s book on JP. I said “do you have any piece on what you said about JP Clark?” This was because Soyinka alleged that Clark had been going around telling everybody that he (Soyinka) when he was in detention, he was suffering from terminal syphilis. It was a big thing, of course they went to court and everything and Clark eventually withdrew from the case. I said to Soyinka I’m engaged in JP book and I just want to know if you have further thought on your allegation. He said ‘no, no, no,’ he doesn’t have anything; that he stands by himself and that by the way, “I am glad to get in touch with you.” Maja-Pearce added: “He said he was willing to tell me that he had heard from so many quarters that I had written negative reviews of his book; that he hadn’t read it and he was not going to read it. I applied for a fellowship at the University of Nevada, United States of America with about $50 for one year nine months. I didn’t know that Soyinka was on the board. He said by the way I understand that you applied for this fellowship. I

6/9/2013, 4:45 PM

have to excuse myself from any consideration of your candidateship. So, I just wrote back to him that well, it was my fundamental human rights to say if I don’t like a book, that you yourself have reserved the right to say what you like about other people’s works. I know that censorship takes many forms. I said it was his choice to do whatever he had done.” Indeed, beyond Maja-Pearce’s asserted right to selfexpression, and his concession that Soyinka also had a right to express his views about other people’s works, there is the significant question of integrity. Who should be believed in this drama of colliding narratives? In an interestingly persuasive appeal to authority, Maja-Pearce’s contentious book is described by the publisher in the following terms: “Much of this book is the product of research conducted in Nigeria and the U.K., interviews from time spent with Clark over two years in Lagos and his country home of Kiagbodo, the setting for most of his early writings, and access to the writer’s personal papers. It throws new light on the famous quarrel between Achebe, Soyinka and Clark, and brings forth new responses from some of the actors themselves.” It is striking that Soyinka himself admitted that “at least one respectable scholar” had found the book’s contents worthy of belief. However, in the light of Soyinka’s bilious reaction, it is logical to ask, “Could Maja-Pearce have sexed up the information, or manipulated the material to serve his own ends?” Surely, Soyinka’s sound and fury in this joust cannot be enough. Perhaps unwittingly, though, he provided an illuminating ray when, with reference to his peers, he explained, “Life is sometimes strange – rich but strange, and inundated with flux…It would be stupid to claim that it was all constantly harmonious.” By this admission, it would, therefore, make sense to ponder whether a present state of relative harmony invalidates the reality of past discord. It is food for thought that signals from Soyinka indicate an open-ended battle. “There will be more said, in another place,” he assured the interviewers. Where, when and how? • Macaulay is on the editorial board of The Nation

‘It is striking that Soyinka himself admitted that “at least one respectable scholar” had found the book’s contents worthy of belief. However, in the light of Soyinka’s bilious reaction, it is logical to ask, “Could MajaPearce have sexed up the information, or manipulated the material to serve his own ends?”










‘The odds are against manufacturers’ - P. 27

News Briefing BoI’s credit to SMEs hits N238b THE Bank of Industry (BoI) has disbursed about N238 billion as loans to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) for refinancing and recapitalisation, its Managing Director Ms Evelyn Oputu has said.

- Page 26

Six applicants to get Cabotage fund THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to disburse the over N30.55 billion Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), The Nation has learnt.

- Page 26

Verification of Fed Govt’s retirees begins THE National Pension Commission (PenCom) has started the verification and enrolment of employees of Treasury Funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government who are to retire between January and December 2014.

- Page 29 DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N7.560 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation 11.9% Treasury Bills 7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending - 15.87% Savings rate 2% 91-day NTB 15% Time Deposit 5.49% MPR 12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

Following the approval of Federal Executive Council, we have concluded arrangements to commence the construction of not just one, but five brand new world class international airport terminal. - Ms Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation

Inter-bank rate bullish on CBN’s liquidity control measures - P. 38

Biometric records: Erring civil servants to lose salaries, says AGF T

HE Office of the Ac countant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has threatened to expunge the names of civil servants who do not revalidate their biometric records with the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS). If the AGF is forced to take this step, the affected civil servants will not be paid. Many civil servants had not received their salaries in some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja

Specifically, tthe workers of the Ministry of Defence were not paid their September, October, November and December 2012 salaries. Some of them who spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity said they were told that the problem was from the IPPIS. Mr Charles Nwodo, Deputy Director (Press),

Analysts see drop in May inflation, Naira value •Expect interest rate to remain 12%


NALYSTS at Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited see May inflation declining to 8.98 per cent from 9.1 per cent recorded last April. They forecast the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) retaining the benchmark interest rate (the Monetary Policy Rate, which determines other interest rates in the economy) that remained unchanged for a 10th consecutive meeting at 12 per cent. The Managing Director of FDC, Bismark Rewane, said in a report that last month’s inflation projection is supported by the slight moderation in the food index of the firm’s Lagos urban inflation and associated high prices in the base period of May last year. He explained that FDC’s Lagos urban price index moderated for the third consecutive month by 0.46 per cent to 10.83 per cent, from 11.29 per cent in April. Also, the urban index eased as a result of the decline in both the food and non-food indexes while prices of items such as rice, guinea corn, wheat, salt, cereals, and vegetable leaves declined, leading to a 0.08 per cent moderation in food index. He noted that the non-food index also declined by 0.35 per cent to 8.73 per cent last month due to a reduction in air fares, fall in cost of insecticides, men’s clothing and toiletries. “We anticipate that the headline inflation will remain in the single digit band before the next MPC meeting in July. After the last MPC meeting, the CBN Governor suggested the need for a tight monetary policy and highlighted the current risks to inflation. Recently, the Governor of the CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, hinted on a possible increase in the cash reserve requirement (CRR) if fiscal spending continues to in-

By Collins Nweze

crease,” he said. The FDC’s expectation is that the nominal interest rates in the economy will trend within the two per cent band of the benchmark policy rate until the next MPC meeting in July. However, movement in the government’s spending in coming days will foretell the direction the MPC will lean to when taking position in July, he said. The expert explained that the probability for an accommodative monetary policy is reduced by the continued increase in government’s spending, which it did not see dropping due to the approaching election season. Also, one of the major concerns of the MPC is its inability to discern if the level of inflation in the economy is a trend or a blip. Other concerns of the MPC, he said, include increased fiscal expenditure and naira stability. “In addition to the above, our forecast of a flat rate of inflation in May makes the chances for an accommodative monetary policy dim. Notwithstanding, our analysis suggests that the current inflation rate is more of a trend rather than a blip. Hence, we do not expect the MPC to change its monetary policy strategy as the CBN is poised to maintaining economic, monetary and exchange rate stability,” he said. Rewane also explained that inflation could impact the bond market based on CBN’s response through the use of monetary policy tools at its disposal. The second is more subtle and insidious to the portfolio returns of bond investors’ overtime. This is the effect of the lag between the nominal return and the real return provided by a bond.

the OAGF, said it would announce any moment the removal of the names of civil servants who have not complied with directives on the update of their biometric data. Nwodo said: “We are trying to make another publication that (to warn) those who have not complied, (that) their names would be removed. In fact, that’s what I am working on with the coordinator. She is the person that will say when the name would be removed.” He insisted that the OAGF had appealed to civil servants to “come forward and revalidate their biometric records, but some have some have not. But if somebody or an MDA

refuses to comply with some of these instructions, there will be no option, but to have their salaries delayed. “Any MDA that does not receive its salary as at when due should not blame the AGF. We have done all we can to make sure that salaries are paid on time,” he said. He also said the IPPIS had “issued a publication to the MDAs that there are some of their employees who have not revalidated their biometric records with the IPPIS. The IPPIS is like a gun, it is what you put inside that it shoots out. The MDAs are to prepare their bank details, biometric data and send the correct thing to the IPPIS.”

He said the MDAs “send the correct thing, the IPPIS will roll it out. So, if now there is an alteration, the IPPIS will also roll out what it has been fed so it is not the fault of IPPIS.” On the delay in the payment of the salaries of the workers of the Ministry of Defence, Nwodo said: “Did they tell you whether they are on IPPIS or TSA platform? There must be a reason. Whether it is from us or from them, (but) what I am assuring you is that it is not from us (OAGF).” Nwodo added: “There is a directive that 48 hours after every Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings, salaries must be paid and this is religiously complied with.”



BUSINESS NEWS Naira, interbank rates fall

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 7. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 9. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 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. Aero 12.20 13.30 15. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 16. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 17. Arik 13.45 14.45 18. IRS 14.00 15.20 19. Aero 14.10 15.30 20. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 21. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 22. Arik 15.50 16.50 23. Aero 16.00 17.20 24. IRS 16.30 17.50 25. Arik 16.50 17.50 26. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 27. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 29. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 20. Arik 18.45 19.45 31. Aero 19.20 20.40

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

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

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

•From left: Chairman, Credit Bureau Association of Nigeria (CBAN) Taiwo Ayedun; Head, Credit Risk Management, First Bank PLC, Omolade Olawore and Deputy Director, Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sir Steve Nwadiuko at the 1 st national credit reporting conference in Lagos.

BoI’s credit to SMEs hits N238b


HE Bank of Industry (BoI) has disbursed about N238 billion as loans to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) for re-financing and recapitalisation, its Managing Director Ms Evelyn Oputu has said. The bank has brought down the level of bad loans to 15 per cent from 70 per cent. The BoI boss to reporters at a workshop in Lekki Ajah, Lagos at the weekend. She said more than N60 billion of the Cotton and Textile Garment (CTG) fund, which represents 60 per cent of the total fund, had also been disbursed. She said: “Bad loans have come down to 15 per cent from the initial 70 per cent. We met it


at 70 per cent when I took over. Meanwhile, it was 10 per cent few months back, but because of the insecurity across the country, it recently hit 15 per cent.” Op u t u enjoi ned owners of SMEs to have bankable proposals before seeking funding supports from development finance institutions. Besides, she said SMEs should equip themselves with enough information about any funding agency they intend to approach for support so that they are armed and abreast with questions that may follow suit. One of the beneficiaries of the fund, former Speaker of House

Representatives, Alhaji Salisu Buhari, said BoI had, indeed, saved many firms in the norh from collapse. He said most of the commercial banks were running away from the north because of the security situation there. “The commercial banks are not ready to give us loan in the north. In fact, they are running away. Initially, we reluctantly gave BoI a chance, but the bank has saved many of us from total collapse. Some that have shut down are springing up again. BoI sat down with us and understood our plight and they have come to our rescue,” he said. General Manager, Operations, BoI, Mr Babatunde Joseph, said the bank would lend the SMEs.

Six applicants to benefit from N30b Cabotage fund

HE Nigerian Maritime Ad ministration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to disburse the over N30.55 billion Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), The Nation has learnt. Investigation revealed that six indigenous firms were selected from the 92 that applied after scaling the hurdles by both the government and banks. The six firms have received ministerial approval to get the fund. Sources at the Federal Ministry of Transport said NIMASA has received ministerial green light to disburse the fund to the first set of six operators while officials of the


By Toba Agboola

HE naira fell to its weakest level in almost 10 months on the interbank market last Friday, driven down by strong demand for the greenback by offshore investors exiting the bond market and repatriating dividends, traders said. The naira, according to Reuters, closed at N159.8 to the dollar on the interbank market, a level not seen since August 8, 2012 when it closed at N160.1 to the dollar. The naira closed at N158.98 the previous day. “Demand for the dollar is coming from some offshore investors who are exiting the bond market and some who are repatriating dividends from investments in the equity market,” one dealer said. The interbank lending rates also eased to an average of 10.25 per cent last Friday, compared with The 12.31 per cent average that they opened at, as the repayment of matured treasury bills by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) boosted liquidity. Traders said about N206 billion ($1.30 billion) in matured treasury bills was repaid on Thursday, raising the volume of cash in the market and pushing down cost of borrowing among lenders. “The Central Bank made attempt to mop-up the excess cash with the issuance of open market operations (OMO) debt note on Friday, with little success,” one dealer said. The market opened with a cash balance of about N206 billion on Friday, traders said. The secured Open Buy back (OBB), fell to 10.25 per cent compared with 12.25 per cent on Monday and 1.8 percentage points lower than the 12 per cent of the CBN’s benchmark interest rate. Both overnight placement and call money also fell to 10.25 per cent apiece, down from 12.25 per cent and 12.5 per cent at the start of the week. Traders said cost of borrowing should inch up gradually this week as the apex bank issues more OMO bills to reduce cash in the system in its bid to curb inflationary growth. “We expect to see more OMO issuance next week and with the coming bond auction on Wednesday, the volume of cash will reduce and rate will definitely rise,” another dealer said. Nigeria plans to sell N85 billion ($535 million) in bonds ranging between five and 20 years at its sixth monthly debt auction of the year on June 12.

By Oluwakemi Dauda

ministry and NIMASA have worked out the modalities for the disbursement of the fund. A senior official at the Ministry of Transport, who craved anonymity, said the fund has accumulated to over N40 billion which may be disbursed before the end of the month or early July. The fund was generated from the three per cent levy on cabotage operations collected by NIMASA and would be disbursed to assist in enlarging cargo business to carry goods generated by the international water-borne trade.

The Cabotage Act 2003 was designed to develop local capacity and grow the indigenous shipping industry. The Act established the CVFF to help increase indigenous tonnage operation in the domestic water transportation and grow local ship building and repairs. NIMASA, sources said, has, therefore, alerted the commercial banks warehousing the funds to get ready for the disbursement. The Director-General of the agency, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, NIMASA sources said, is doing everything possible to enable legitimate beneficiaries to have ac-

cess to the fund soon. The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, the source said, has been assisting NIMASA on the takeoff of the disbursement. The source denied the allegation that ministry officials are frustrating the disbursement of the fund. NIMASA has directed the banks to determine the amount that has accrued to each of them since the money was deposited with them to get their counterpart funding. The four Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) are Sterling Bank. , Fidelity Bank, Skye Bank and Diamond Bank.

Cash-less: CBN to reduce number of cheques

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to reduce the number of cheques to strengthen cash-less initiatives billed to start early next month, The Nation has learnt. Sources close to the apex bank said strategies have been put in place to reduce the number of cheques to encourage the use of Point of Sales (PoS), among other channels, to drive the cash-less initiative. The cash-less policy, whose implementation began in Lagos in January, last year, is aimed at reducing the domi-

By Akinola Ajibade

nance of cash in the system. The initiative specifies penal charges for individuals and corporate organisations that want to withdraw or lodge cash above prescribed limits. Under the policy, the CBN pegged the daily cumulative cash withdrawal or deposit limit for individual accounts at N150, 000 per day and N3 million per day for corporate accounts It was gathered that the banking watchdog was considering reviewing the activities of the security printing firms to

reduce the volume of cheques in the country. A Director of Third Security Printing Company, Mr Jamiu Ekungba, said the decision of the CBN to de-register 12 foreign-based security printing firms recently was to promoted the cash-less policy. He said: “CBN said it wants to domesticate the printing of cheques, hence the decision to axe the firms. There is nothing Nigerian or domestic on the issue because the inks, paper and technology used in printing cheques are still im-

ported. Rather, CBN was trying to reduce interface in the banking halls and further promote the cashless policy.” He said the United Kingdom-based outfit was one of the security firms licensed by the CBN to print cheques for the banks until recently. “The CBN de-registered the companies because it is not leaving anybody in doubt about the issue of the cash-less. In the next few years, the number of cheques that are going to be used for transactions will come down because the cash-less initiative is paramount to CBN,” he added.




‘The odds are against manufacturers’ In Nigeria, the real sector economy, which is universally regarded as the engine of growth, is in dire straits. But the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms Evelyn Oputu, who is at the centre of reviving most moribund firms, in this interview with TOBA GBOOLA, speaks on manufacturers’ constraints, how to address industrial deficiencies, financial inclusion and the extinction of the middle class. Excerpts:


AN you tell us your experience now as BoI chief and what it was like be fore you mounted the saddle? The journey has been interesting and quite challenging. I came into BoI with a lot of views and ideals and I needed the staff, myself and the major stakeholders to believe in the dream. How I was going to do it, I had no idea. But I came into BoI with that dream. As you know, I was an investment and commercial banker. I grew up both in the preand post-independent Nigeria. I saw a beautiful country. I am proud to be a Nigerian. I grew up when the values were high, when we held up our heads so high anywhere we went in the world. At that time, we were courted with respect, having five- to 10-year visas to most countries. We were the beautiful bride. And the oil boom came, thus even making us richer and better as a people. Then came the civil war and things started changing. But, all of a sudden, I saw visibly our people changing and I couldn’t just accept that a people can change overnight. And that we were different from what I thought we were when I was growing up. And that it will take us as individuals to change this space, having it in mind that nobody is going to come from outside to change it for us. As regards what I wanted to do in a career, I chose banking at that time because I thought it would impact on every aspect of life. But, specifically for BoI, when I came on

• Ms Oputu

Profile •Institutions attended

University of Lagos and Havard Business School

•Previous Positions

Executive Director, FirstBank Nigeria Plc (1991-1997); Executive Director, IMB Securities (1989-1990); General Manager, International Merchant Bank, IMB (1982-1989).

•Present Position

Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI).


Over 30 years .


Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration.

board, I came with a mindset of having seen the two sides of the divide because I finished my career in banking, having retired as an Executive Director at FirstBank. I immediately went into manufacturing and farming. I wanted to be a productive member of the society. I saw that we had moved away from being productive people to being rent seekers. People generally prefer to sell rather than produce. Whilst growing up, I saw a lot

of people who were producing, no matter how little it were. So, I said we all complain a lot and that I should do what I believe we should do. So, I went into manufacturing myself and really found out why people don’t go into it. Truly, it’s quite daunting. But I said to myself that if foreigners could come here and stay in it, then I will do it myself. So, with that experience of banking and

manufacturing, though it was on a Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) level, I knew that was the place to be. So, I came into BoI with a vision that my people are still a good set of beings and what we need is to give them the opportunity. It’s only in appearance that there is inequality in the system. It doesn’t exist. It’s only a small percentage of the population, and that happens everywhere. There is no reason everybody should follow that small percentage. If more people can come into that space, we can change it. And the change will only occur if we, as a people, are responsible and take over our collective asset. I also believe that the middle class had become completely eroded. When I was growing up, there was a middle class. And people were decent. If you wake one day and suddenly discover that you have been disenfranchised, and can’t get a job, there is an anger that comes with it. And it is that anger that pushes people to do unpleasant things. If one can take away that anger, you see the beauty of the person come out, would continue to lend massively to the SME sector because it remained the en•Continued on page 28




‘The odds are against manufacturers’

•Continued from page 27

gine room for growth. There is no doubt that the industrial sector is not contributing meaningfully to the economic growth. Its contribution to the GDP is very low. What is the reason for this? It’s not industrialisation essentially that is the problem; rather, It is the environmental problem. Specifically, lack of good infrastructure. It is really difficult to be a manufacturer. It’s daunting. All the odds are stacked up against the manufacturer. In the first place, like I said, the backbone infrastructure is not there to support them. Even if you manufacture, you have to become almost a local government, providing yourself with water, power and roads and, to add to that, you have all the agencies coming to you for the collection of one form of tax or the other, just because one is trying to create jobs. And one may have to ask him or herself, why am I doing this? Because if one is a trader, the entire inventory can be in the boot of one’s car, and nobody knows. The imported goods are not too expensive, if one knows how to buy them right. So, at the end of the day the question is; why am I doing this? Because the same set of people you are trying to help are the ones giving you problem. So, for someone who is looking at the cost and benefit analysis and those who don’t have the patience to wait that long, it’s just so much easier to be a trader. So, we all became traders. And if you take trading out of it; if you know some in an institution, one could become a contractor. So, contracting and just

rent seeking positions became more interesting, especially at a time we became de-industrialised as a country. Also, it should be remembered that the naira was very strong at that time. And again the thought that why should one bother when one can live well as a trader or contractor; why then be a manufacturer, taking all the troubles that I will describe in terms of infrastructure, just the basic things and the lack of conducive environment makes it less attractive. And you can’t blame either side. But anyone who is not so mindless and who thinks his roots will understand that if we toe that part, in no distant time we will become slaves in our country. So, how do we address these and what is the bank’s role? To address this industrial deficiency, we have done a lot to bridge this gap. Remember that in 2006, when we started the paradigm shift, we said we were going to allocate 85 per cent of all of our resources to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).We chose that sector because apart from the known academic facts that SMEs are the engine of growth in any economy, in terms of the units of investments because that is where most of the jobs are created anywhere and that is also where you find a lot of Nigerians playing. No nation can really be anything or grow if the nationals do not own the productive assets in their country. That was the most important thing for us at BoI. And when we said SMEs, it was not just any SMEs. The paradigm shift was hinged on some factors, with particular em-

‘Even if you manufacture, you have to become almost a local government, providing yourself with water, power and roads and, to add to that, you have all the agencies coming to you for the collection of one form of tax or the other, just because one is trying to create jobs’

• Ms Oputu

phasis on products that utilise local raw materials. So, if we had 10 people competing for funds, priority will be given to those that utilise our local raw materials. Why did we say that? If one utilises local raw materials, it is not just you now producing; you encourage someone else to produce. I told you from my own experience, that I had to buy my own generator and borehole. But fortunately because I was in Lagos, I didn’t have to construct road because I was at an industrial estate in Lagos. Lagos has industrial estates. It was less difficult for me than it was for other people. Also, I had to train my own staff. Again, there is lack of training for our people. But all the same, it was an interesting but challenging area of business. However, the bank would continue to lend massively to the SME sector because it remains the engine for growth. Sometime ago, you unveiled BoI’s strategic plans to set up a micro-credit fund to address the funding needs of micro-enterprises. Can you shed more light on this? Yes, this is in continuation of our drive to deliver our mandate. We identified some gaps in terms of funding, capacity building and mentoring among other challenges facing a segment of potential entrepreneurs who are either unserved or under-served vis-a-vis access to finance and other developmental support services. So, the bank, therefore, is desirous of achieving financial inclusion by reaching out to the vulnerable Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) group with a view to improving the quality of their lives. The approach is to set up a dedicated micro-credit fund for lending through microfinance banks. It is estimated that 70 per cent of the Nigerian population regarded as the rural poor are at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) and they are largely engaged in subsistence farming and sedentary activities. It is this group at the BoP that the BoI intends to serve in a new funding scheme in order to convert opportunities and potentials into realities. The bank will be partnering with the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Organised Private Sector (OPS) and the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), among others to achieve the objective. Achieving financial inclusion at the BoP requires revolutionary changes through a well structured eco-system consisting of development agencies such as BoI, large corporations, SMEs, Civil Society Organisation/NGOs. The collective activities of the eco-system will lead to co-creation of ideas and innovation which reduces investment needs and risks as more share in the investment as collaborators in a participatory process. What are the challenges and how did you address them? They are enormous and as you addressed one, another one springs up. When you surpass one, a new one comes on stream and ceases to be a challenge. It becomes difficult when you think you can’t. But one of the problems we have is getting people to buy into the vision of wanting to re-create the middle class. Trying to get people to understand that it is only when the

• Ms Oputu

‘If we had 10 people competing for funds, priority will be given to those that utilise our local raw materials. Why did we say that? If one utilises local raw materials, it is not just you now producing; you encourage someone else to produce’ middle class is re-created and the SMEs strong and also getting people to understand that we need to get strong institutions in Nigeria. Our target was to ensure that BoI becomes a strong institution that they can rely on because without institutions in a nation, what then are we doing? So, that was one of the challenges initially but I am trying to get quality people to stay focused in the bank. Getting all of that was at first difficult but fortunately for me as I went along, more of the staff in the bank bought into the dream. And that is why I said I do believe in Nigeria as a corporate entity because we are good people. Another is our inability to have sufficient funds to do what we want to do. But then it is normal not to have enough resources. One has to continue to be creative to be able to manage that situation. Most times, people complain that the problem with Nigerian products is the quality. But I say to them that countries that have quality products started one day. We all have to bear it and stay with them and actually let them know where they are getting it wrong. The problem is that we want them to believe that we have the money and can afford to go elsewhere to get the quality product we need. But it doesn’t work like that. To move forward, we must change our attitude as Nigerians, not just a section but all of us. We must recognise that we are all connected. If we realise that we are all connected, our attitude and ways of doing things will change. The Nigerian factor is a human factor, and not a Nigerian factor. It is a factor of I want it now and today. What I will call the fast lane approach. How have you managed the intervention funds? There are two legs to the questions and I am going to separate them. There is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), federal and state governments’ interventions. The state government is the one we started. Everybody lives in a state. Though there is the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) supervised

by the Minister. But apart from this, everybody comes under a state. So we approached these state governments, saying the citizens pay taxes to them and as such, they as state governments should be responsible to them because they voted them into power. So, we explained how it was going to work. They will give us some funds and we will match it. And when we match it, we would lend specifically to the citizens of just that state. For instance, we approached Ogun State, telling them the comparative advantages they have in the state. They have adire, ofada rice and sugarcane. In fact, they have a lot of products. What we did was to tell them to send us their citizens who are natural entrepreneurs and have difficulty in accessing funds to be able to become entrepreneurs. And this is how it works. If a state gives us N1 billion, we match it with another N1 billion. And if they give us N500 million, we match it with same figure. For those who run small businesses such as the medium size ones, we insist that they meet all the criteria to have access to cheap funds compared with the 17 to 20 per cent interest rate from the commercial. How far have you gone with the re-capitalisation of the bank? The President did say that the bank should be recapitalised up to N750 billion in realisation of its mandate. We have made recommendation that the capital should be opened up so that International Finance Institutions (IFIs) can come and invest. The process is on-going. And sometimes it takes an unusually long time for that to materialise. I won’t call it the Nigerian factor but rather the human factor. Yes, the President has approved and recommendations made that the equity be opened up so that we can use our balance sheets to borrow from the international community because in terms of the strength of the balance sheets and operations of the bank, it is strong. It is just the strongest decision in an investing class. That decision has been made. It may take time and it may not.



I NSURANCE horrible pieces of PenCom begins verification, enrolment of 12insurance advice Fed Govt’s retirees W T HE National Pension Commission (PenCom) has started a nationwide verification and enrolment exercise of all employees of Treasury Funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government that are due to retire between January and December, 2014 for payment of their retirement benefits. PenCom spokesman, Emeka told The Nation that there were mistakes and complications in the process of getting necessary data of the contributors. This, according to him, necessitated early commencement of the verification exercise so that all loose ends would be tightened early enough. On why the transfer window for contributors to the scheme has not been thrown open for them to change non-performing Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), in line with the Pension Reform Act 2004, he said it was due to data gathering problems. “The commission is aware that

Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

the transfer window is an important aspect of the Contributory Pension Scheme but there are a lot of complications. “There is the need to sort out issues that has to do with data. The commission is working hard to forestall the challenge of multiple registration which can mar the system if not properly done. “As a result, the commission does not want to continue with mistakes that has been discovered and has decided not to rush but ensure a genuine process of the transfer window,” he said. Onuoha said at the moment, some MDAs have different data base of their employees, but the commission does not intend to rely on them, adding that the National Data Department of PenCom had been working on

how to get the best out of the situation and would come up with a solution soon. In line with the Pension Reform Act 2004, PenCom contributors under the new pension scheme who are dissatisfied with the services being rendered to them by their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) would have the opportunity to transfer their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from one PFA to another. Section 11(2) of the Act provides that the employee may, not more than once in a year, transfer his RSA from one PFA to another without adducing any reason for such transfer. This provision is intended to facilitate pension assets portability in the pensions industry, and enhance healthy competition among the PFAs. It said notwithstanding, Section 11 (2) of the PRA 2004, the provisions of this regulation apply to a

single transfer of RSAs in a calendar year, adding that subsequent review of the regulation would address multiple transfers of RSAs within a calendar year. PenCom noted that RSA transfers shall only be effected quarterly; namely first, second, third and fourth quarters, adding that, however, an RSA holder seeking subsequent transfer of his/her RSA shall be eligible for such transfer after 12 months. PenCom said failure by PFAs/ PFCs to provide support to RSA holders shall attract a fine of N100,000 per RSA and N10,000 for every month of violation. Similarly, a monthly sanction of N100,000 per RSA shall be imposed on any PFA who violates the law. Onuoha further said PenCom has began a verification and enrolment of employees of Treasury Funded MDAs of the Federal Government who are to retire between January and December 2014 for the payment of their benefits.

2012 reports: ADIC, Mansard get NAICOM’s approval


WO underwriters, ADIC Insurance Plc and Mansad Insurance Plc, have crossed the hurdle of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) in their 2012 financial reports and secured the nod of the National Insurance Commission, The Nation reveal. The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the regulatory body of the insurance sector, has maintained strict reporting standard in the financials of insurance companies. It was also gathered that more underwriters have submitted their IFRS compliant accounts to the NAICOM to enable them to beat the June 30, submission deadline required by the industry’s law. Assistant Commissioner, Fi-

nance and Admin, NAICOM, Mr. George Onekhena confirmed to The Nation. He maintained that the commission would never approve any account that fails to meet the required standard. There are 59 insurance companies in the country with 17 operating as life, 32 as non-life and 10 as composite. They include Alliance & General Life Assurance Plc; African Alliance Insurance Company Ltd; ADIC Life Assurance Ltd; ADIC Insurance Company Ltd; AIICO Insurance Plc; AIICO General Insurance Company Ltd; Anchor Insurance Company Ltd; Capital Express Assurance Limited; Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc; Cornerstone Insurance Plc; Cystal Life Insurance Limited; Crusader

General Insurance Ltd; Crusader Life Insurance Limited; Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc; Goldlink Insurance Plc; Great Nigeria Life; Spring Life Assurance Plc; Guaranty Trust Assurance; Guinea Insurance Plc; Industrial & General Insurance Plc; Others are Insurance PHB Limited; International Energy Insurance Plc; UnityKapital Assurance Plc; Lasaco Assurance Plc; Lasaco Life Assurance; Law Union & Rock Insurance Company Plc; Leadway Assurance Company Limited; Linkage Assurance PLC; Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc; Mutual Benefits Life Assurance Company Ltd; NEM Insurance Plc; Niger Insurance Plc; Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation; Oasis Insurance Plc; Oceanic Insurance Company Ltd; Oceanic Life

Assurance Assurance Limited; Prestige Assurance Plc; Regency Alliance Insurance; Royal Exchange Assurance; Royal Prudential Life Assurance Plc; Sterling Assurance Nigeria Ltd; Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc; Staco Insurance Plc; Standard Alliance Insurance Plc; Standard Alliance Life Assurance Company Ltd; Universal Insurance Company Ltd; UBA Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Ltd; Investment & Allied Assurance co. Ltd; Union Assurance Company Ltd; Unitrust Insurance Company Limited; Intercontinental WAPIC Insurance Plc; Intercontinental WAPIC Life Assurance; Fin Insurance Company Limited; Zenith Insurance Company Limited; NICON Insurance; FBN Life Assurance Company Limited.

IEI renegotiates Daewoo Securities debt • Assures shareholders of profitability


NTERNATIONAL Energy Insurance (IEI) Plc has assured shareholders of profitability and stronger balance sheet in the future. This follows its successful share reconstruction, renegotiation of Daewoo Securities (Europe) Limited four-year’s old debt to preference equity capital and full provisioning of premium receivables. These formed the excitement of the company’s shareholders who gathered in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State at the weekend to consider its 2011 financial report and accounts. Chairman of the company, Sir Patrick Sule Ugboma, said with the conversation of Daewoo Securities debt to redeemable preference shares, having secured the approval of regulatory authorities and owners of the company, IEI has crossed a major hurdle in its business strategy, and is now well positioned to make good profit for the benefit of shareholders. He said: “With this development, Daewoo Securities is part owners of the company and its insurance business among other agreed benefits would be coming to IEI, and I can only assure shareholders that the future is bright. “Leadership of your company at

• From left: Mrs Ekeng; Sir Sule Ugboma and Company Secretary, Mr Paul Ekpenisi, at the AGM in Uyo. the board and management level is committed to our strategic goal of not only repositioning the company and turning to profitability, but to also be among the top leading insurance companies in the next few years.” According to him, the firm’s strategies and processes are being reviewed to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks that impair efficient service delivery and position to underwrite big ticket transactions. He added that the ICT infrastructure is also being upgraded for robust and optimal performance to give company competitive .

Ugboma further stated that IEI was working on increasing its financial and technical capacities to position effectively for the newly introduced risk based supervision introduced by the regulatory authority adding that this will no doubt stand the firm out as a proactive organisation and give it mileage in its niche area The underwriting firm which has further positioned for a bigger share of the market particularly in energy insurance, oil and gas and other allied risks, will have the first right of rejection for most of Daewoo insurance businesses

within and outside Nigeria, he said. Managing Director, IEI, Roseline Ekeng, said the company is positioning to key into the various initiatives of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and explore all opportunities open to it for a strong bottom line despite the challenging business environment. “We are however optimistic that the restructuring measures being put in place by our company will no doubt impact positively on our bottom-line in no distant time,” Ekeng said.

HEN you have an insurance claim, the last thing you want to discover is that you didn’t buy the right coverage. While it’s easy to point the finger at agents, coverage gaps could be a two-way street. Sometimes friends and family members offer bad advice, including tenuous, illogical and even illegal strategies, hoping to save you a few bucks. But the eventual losses can be huge. “When people shop for insurance, a lot of times they’re looking for the best deal,” says Ron Reitz, an independent insurance adjuster and president of Quality Claims Management in San Diego. We asked some insurance veterans about the bad advice they’ve heard over the years. Here’s what makes them cringe. Lock up all insurance policies and other important documents in a safe deposit box. Worst insurance advice! Do not keep your life insurance policy in a safe deposit box. If yours is the only name on the safe deposit box, no one but the executor of your will can get into it without Power of Attorney. If your life insurance policy is locked in there, your beneficiaries will have to wait until the estate is opened by a government entity and an executor is appointed. •If you want the assurance of having important documents locked up, buy a fire-safe box “Just make sure documents aren’t stored in a place where they can be lost in a flood or fire,” says Reitz. With today’s technology, there’s no excuse not to scan everything and create electronic copies of important papers that can be put on disks or in other storage devices. •You don’t need flood, earthquake or other disaster insurance If an earthquake destroys your home, you won’t recover a penny unless you have an earthquake insurance policy. The same rule applies to floods. Decisions about flood insurance should be based on your proximity to a body of water that could overflow, not whether the area flooded before. On the plus side, if you’re in a low-risk area, your policy will cost less while still providing the maximum protection. •Get the best rate even if you have to tell lie a little It might be tempting to fudge the truth on a life insurance application, especially if you have a serious health condition. “Don’t do it,” advises Steven Modell, president of Modell Brokerage Group in Wayne, Pa. “Not only is it insurance fraud and a felony, but it could prevent your beneficiaries from receiving the death benefit.” •Base your home insurance policy on the real estate value of your home Experts recommend setting the structural limit of a home insurance policy on what it would cost to rebuild the home if it were destroyed, not the real estate value. Trouble is, the rebuilding cost is a subjective number. •Set your dwelling limit low Some insurance agents try to give customers the lowest premium possible in order to close the sale. “One of the ways they’re doing it is by underestimating the value of the dwelling and slapping a 100 percent extended coverage endorsement on the policy,” explains Bach. “Most policies have four separate categories of coverage which dwelling, contents, other structures and additional living expenses. Three of the four pay a percentage of the dwelling, so if you lowball the dwelling value because you have 100 percent extended coverage endorsement, you’ll be underinsured for your contents, other structures and additional living expenses.” •To be continued • Tips by




Union Bank assures investors of better returns


NION Bank of Nigeria Plc has assured investors of better returns. Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of the bank, Mr Emeka Emuwa, gave this assurance last Friday at the bank’s Facts behind the Figures at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He noted that the bank’s capital adequacy ratio, which stands at 20 per cent is an improvement on that of 2011, which was 19 per cent but well above the 15 per cent regulatory requirement. This, he said, has put the bank in a better position in the financial industry. He said reliability is at the core of the bank’s strategy and transformation programme, adding that the lender is ready to give better returns to the investors. “As we build consistency, this will translate to returns for investors. We are out of the emergency room, stabilised and generally regaining our strength,” he said. The Union Bank boss said the lender will leverage on its network of 337 branches and its past heritage into the future by modernising its brand and operational base

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

to meet the demands of its customers. According to him, with the board’s repositioning plan in place and the injection of $500 million in September 2012, by its core investors, Union Global Partner Limited (UGPL), the bank has stabilised and returned to profitability. On the insinuation about the likely exit of the core investors, he assured that with their 65 per cent shareholding, they will not exit the bank in the foreseeable future. “The UGPL recapitalised the bank. They are longterm investors and they are bringing value to the bank. Capital does not exit from the bank but may change ownership,” he said. The GMD said: “With a seven-pillar transformation programme in place in the year, leveraging on its business model, people and culture and its risk management amongst others, the bank is set to take its rightful place in the banking industry. “As part of the on-going Enterprise Transformation

Programme, there is a new operating model for our branches. The new model is designed to allow branches to give dedicated focus to marketing and relationship management. “On the operational side, we will ensure the integrity of the bank’s accounting and financial reporting systems and that appropriate controls are in place, in particular, systems for monitoring risk, financial probity, and compliance with the law. “The corporate governance structure will be built around enhancing transparency and accountability. Steps had also been taken to increase the ratio of our market-facing staff in the new system. The organisational structure of the bank will be changed to reflect the new expectations. Our branches will be upgraded to be customer friendly in physical ambiance as well as working tools.” Union Bank’s balance sheet for the 2011 financial year through December, showed positive net assets of N197 billion compared with negative net assets of N115.7 billion a year earlier. Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange, Mr Oscar Onyema, commended the management of the bank for returning the institution to profitability and adhering to sound corporate governance in its operations.





BoI targets $500m AfDB facility T

HE Bank of Industry (BoI) has concluded arrangement to secure $500 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to expand its lending capacity, The Nation has learnt. Also, the bank demands 10 per cent equity contribution from prospective borrowers to enhance their commitment to the loans. BoI’s General Manager, Operations, Joseph Babatunde, made this known at the weekend during a media workshop organised by the bank in Lekki, Lagos. He said the AfDB would extend $200 million facility to the Nigeria-Export-import (NEXIM) Bank, adding that one of reasons for the delay in securing the loan


Stories by Collins Nweze

was because the lender (AfDB) was awaiting the Federal Government’s sovereign guarantee. “We have already secured the needed approvals for the loan aside getting a sovereign guarantee,” he said. Babatunde said rates for such loans are always at small margin above the Nigeria Interbank Offered Rate (NIBOR), adding that it will be a moving rate, rotating around NIBOR, and will be at single digit. “It is not going to be at high interest rate because it is international borrowing. But I can assure you it will be at a single digit rate,” he said. Babatunde also hinted that BOI

had secured government approval to increase its capital base from current N250 billion to N750 billion, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Ministry of Finance constitutes its major shareholders. He said the AfDB loan will soon be ready, adding that the delay in securing the fund had also stalled plans by the firm to honour its financial pledge to the entertainment industry. He however, said the BoI had in its own, extended over N1 billion facility to the subsector. The manager also explained why majority of prospective borrowers never secure loans from the bank. He said many of such requests do not meet the speci-

fied criteria with critical information such as formal application letter, completion of questionnaire, report of feasibility study, performa invoice of machinery and equipment from the sources indicated in the feasibility, prices and sources of raw materials, among others are usually missing. He said once these conditions are met, the legal documentation of the part of the bank does not take long time while approval and disbursement of such loans usually happen within two weeks. Also, supervision and monitoring of such loans follow while tenure ranges from five to 15 years depending on terms of the loan and cash flow.

•Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Stallion Home, Mutual Alliance in merger talks ing committee, two each from both Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs), have been inaugurated and saddled with the responsibility to put together necessary documentations as prescribed by the recapitalisation guidelines for submission to the CBN for approval. The committee is expected to conclude its assignment and submit the report by September 30, 2013. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Stallion Home Savings and Loan Limited, Johnson Akhidenor, said the emerging entity will be a

TALLION Home savings & Loan Limited and Mutual Alliance Savings &

loans Limited have started merger talks to beat the recapitalisation deadline of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In a statement, the two mortgage banks said they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the proposed business combinations that would result into a mega national mortgage bank. It said that to actualise the proposal, a four-member steer-

mega national mortgage bank with over N5 billion capital base.

Director of Mutual Alliance Savings& Loans Limited, James Taylor, said the merger

Bank to boost investment in Jigawa


Investment Summit. It added that the bank is partnering with the state government for its first-ever Jigawa investment summit. The theme of the summit was: Mobilising investments for sustainable development and it was attended by different stakeholders investment advisors and analysts, bankers and statesmen, among

IAMOND Bank Plc has expressed its readiness to bring forth prospective clients that will invest in agriculture, healthcare and Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Jigawa State. In a statement, the bank said a senior official of the bank, Alhaji Muhammed Lawan Shuaibu, spoke at the Jigawa Economic and

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

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


OBB Rate Call Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 07-06-13





0.50 5.40 54.45 5.05 61.98 1.14 3.64 1.61 2.05 110.00

0.55 5.94 59.89 5.55 68.00 1.25 3.99 1.75 2.22 119.00

CHANGE 0.05 0.54 5.44 0.50 6.02 0.11 0.35 0.14 0.17 9.00

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

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










NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) 149.7450 (S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N) Parallel Market 153.0000





14.54 1.75 1.03 3.42 10.00 0.55 1.48 0.65 0.64 17.51

13.09 1.58 0.93 3.09 9.06 0.50 1.36 0.60 0.60 17.15

1.45 0.17 0.10 0.33 0.94 0.05 0.12 0.05 0.04 0.36


July ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

July ’12

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

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


Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12



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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 07-06-13


others. The state Governor Sule Lamido said: “We want to announce to the whole world with all the noise we can muster that we are ready and our doors are now opened to take Jigawa to the next level.” The Chairman of the summit Lord Paul Boateng said he had the conviction that the state has great potentials.



will strengthen both firms to enable them to address the housing needs of Nigerians.


Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 141.44 159.53 0.80 1.16 1.14 100.00 1,000.00 1,826.91 14.39 1.39 1.87 12,263.63

9.08 1.00 140.94 158.41 0.78 1.16 1.13 100.00 1,000.00 1,818.16 13.69 1.33 1.80 11,904.80


Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

















Inter-bank rate bullish on CBN's T liquidity control measures HE inter-bank rate, last week, rose by 333 basis points to 14.5 per cent. This was largely due to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN's) liquidity management efforts. The CBN had mopped up over N200 billion via treasury bills on June 5 to support government liquidity needs. The overnight and seven-day money market rates rose to 14.45 per cent and 14.79 per cent respectively while threemonth Nigeria Inter-bank Offered Rate (NIBOR) also rose to 15.4 per cent, though less activities are done on the tenor. The inter-bank secured lending (Open Buy Back) rose to 14.16 per cent for commercial banks and discount houses respectively even as the CBN liquidity management remained active within the week. It was also supported by the circular issued on 1 August reviewing its guidelines for how banks access its Standing Lending Facility (SLF). However, Currency analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Ezun Olakunle hinted that the inflows of about N200 billion matured treasury bills and Open Market Operation bills on 6 June might gradually reduce rates by 200 basis points to about 12 per cent this week. At the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS), the apex bank offered and sold $300 million on June 5 at N155.74 to a dollar against $350 million sold on June 3 at N155.74. Over the short term, the naira is expected to continue to trade on the inter-bank market within the CBN's three per cent band either side of N155 to a dollar. On Friday, the naira dropped by 0.4 per cent before trading 0.3 per cent lower at 159.35 per dollar. The decline extended its weekly decline to 0.7 per cent, the biggest fall since the five days through June 8, 2012.

Nigeria Inter-bank Offered Rate (NIBOR) as at 7-6-13

ICAN The newly elected and re-elected members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) have been sworn in. They are Mrs. Comfort Olujumoke Eyitayo, Mrs. Uchenna Ifesinachi Erobu, Mr. Nnamdi Anthony Okwuadigbo, Alhaji Ismaila Muhammadu Zakari, Deacon Titus Alao Soetan, Mr. Sunday Abayomi Bammeke, Mr. Hart Wahab Odafen Ozoya, Mrs. Joy Onome Olaolu and Chief Oye Clement Olugbenga Akinsulire. A statement from the Director, Corporate Affairs, Claudia Binitie said the election which was conducted through e-balloting was in two categories: 'Membersin-Practice' and 'Members-not-in- Practice'. In the first category, 18 members contested, out of which seven were elected to fill the existing vacancies. In the second category, seven members contested and two were elected to fill the two existing vacancies. They will serve for three years before offering themselves for re-election. The ICAN President, Kabir Mohammed, welcomed Mr. Hart Ozoya and Mr. Oye Akinsulire, to their first Council meeting and encouraged them to contribute positively to deliberations on Council issues.

Bank to bank report

Banks' stocks Oil and gas as well as power projects financing have been tipped to soar returns on banks' stocks to 42 per cent by this year end, Vetiva Capital Management Ltd, an investment and research firm told Bloomberg. The Bloomberg NSE Banking Index, which tracks Nigeria's 10 biggest banks by market value, is trading at a price-to-book ratio of 0.8 times, less than the 1.4 times book value of assets for lenders in the MSCI Emerging Market Banks Index. It said the gauge for Nigerian banks has gained 34 per cent this year compared with a 0.5 per cent drop in MSCI EM Banks Index. Nigeria's all-share index has rallied 37 per cent this year, Africa's best performer after Ghana's benchmark equities measure. "What matters to us is the valuation of the banks, their move to create risk assets and how well they manage those risk assets. We've seen emerging market banks with similar risk profile with Nigerian banks, yet trading at higher multiples," Pabina Yinkere, an equity analyst at Lagos-based Vetiva said.

Mobile money The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained why it is unable to adopt a telco-led approach in the execution of mobile money services. CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said regulation of the telecoms sector was not within the bank's control, making it difficult to guide mobile money operations under the telco-led model being advocated by telecoms operators. Sanusi, who spoke at the risk management conference in Lagos, said the risks in mobile money operations were high, regulation has to be implemented. He said the banking watchdog does not control what the telcos are doing, unlike in the bank-led model where there are guidelines. Telecoms companies have been calling on the CBN to allow them to participate in the regulation of the mobile money subsector, one of the services provided by banks in support of the cashless banking initiative. Speaking at a seminar in Lagos, Tunde Kuponiyi, Globacom's Director, Telebanking Unit, said the regime of mobile money regulation, which is bankdriven, is not friendly to telecoms companies, which provide the mobile pay-

money to the banks to lend to SMEs. It is about building their confidence in the SMEs so that the subsector can easily obtain loans from lenders," he said.

• Source: FMDA By Collins Nweze

ment platform. He said though there was a lot that telecoms companies could contribute in a cash-less economy, their mandate was limited. Kuponiyi explained that since the mobile payments business is 90 per cent dependent on the mobile industry, it was unfair that the mobile networks are prevented from advertising their various mobile payment products, which are the foundation on which the bank products operate.

Nigeria, Canada The Nigeria, Canada trade volume will double to $6 billion from current $3 billion by 2015, the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast has said. He disclosed this in the Oxford Business Group (OBG) report which indicated that Canada is working closely with the Federal government to address issues relating to security. The report titled: 'Nigeria -2013 Report on Economic Reforms', the firm said rolling out of wide-ranging reforms across the Nigeria's economy is prompting investors to take a "fresh look" at the country. Also, Fast said Nigerian government's privatisation and anti-corruption reforms will create better opportunities for investors.

VISA The VISA Incorporated has re-iterated the need to focusmore on getting people

in remote parts of the country involved in banking. The Country Director, sub-Saharan Africa, VISA Incorporated, Mr Ade Ashaye, said a lot of money in circulation is outside the banking system and the CBN cash-less policy is only targeted at encouraging people to make payments electronically rather than cash. He said financial inclusion is being widely pursued because there has always been a problem on how to reach people that is far away from banks. This, he said will involve banks opening more branches and getting their customers into embracing e-payment services.

IFC The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an agency of the World Bank, is assisting local banks to boost lending to Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) in the country. Speaking at the SME Toolkit Global Partner conference in Lagos, IFC, Nigeria Country Manager, Solomon Quaynor, said the corporation found that banks do not want the high risk transactions associated with lending to SMEs. Quaynor said the SME Toolkit would enable the entrepreneurs to manage their businesses. IFC, he said, stepped in to derisk such loans by providing financial infrastructure and developing collateral registry that will assist banks in lending to the subsector. "We are working on getting the SMEs to use toolkit, so that banks can be more comfortable lending to the subsector. Our focus is not about giving

‘The inter-bank secured lending (Open Buy Back) rose to 14.16 per cent for commercial banks and discount houses respectively even as the CBN liquidity management remained active within the week’

Fidelity Bank Plc has concluded its 25th Anniversary Cars and Cash Savings promo during which it gave out N25 million and 25 cars to its customers. Speaking at the cars and cash presentation in Lagos, the bank's Chief Executive Officer, Reginald Ihejiahi said the bank gave out the cars to assure everyone that it keeps its promises. He said the bank is gender sensitive and has taken steps to empower women entrepreneurs, many of whom won some of the prizes. Some of the winners who were presented with their prizes are Abimbola Oluwaseun and Nnenna Edeh who won a brand new Hyundai car each. Also, Adewunmi Mary Ladi won N100,000; Janiat Jamiu won N100,000; Nwamba Chinyere won N250,000 while Chigere Chibuzor won N500,000. First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with LEGO, the world's fourth largest manufacturer of children's toys to introduce KidsFirst, one of the bank's children products to the market. At an exclusive cinema screenings to mark this year's Children's Day, the bank unveiled a comprehensive programme that includes three new products, exciting content partnerships, a dynamic new website and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Speaking on the programme, FirstBank's spokesperson, Folake Ani-Mumuney said the partnership with LEGO represents the bank's quest to create a platform for Nigerian children to express themselves and instill the culture of financial discipline in them. Unity Bank Plc has received the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification, the global information security standard that helps prevent card-related fraud, the lender said in a statement. Presenting the certificate to Unity Bank, Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa, Managing Director of Digital Jewels, a consulting firm on the project, said Unity Bank - which currently issues MasterCard and Interswitch Verve cards to its customers - had demonstrated leadership in the industry, being the fifth bank to receive the certification in the country. Mrs. Odunfa said: "After achieving the ISO270001 last year, Unity Bank has shown that it is one of the banks at the forefront of good security and compliance by now attaining the PCIDSS certification. You are the second bank in the country to have attained both of those certifications. That is quite a formidable feat given that there are several other banks who may claim to be more technological advanced than Unity Bank."





Cement-manufacturing companies are headlining the momentous bullish rally at the stock market. With average sectoral year-to-date return of about 72 per cent, all cement stocks rank within the best-performers so far this year. TAOFIK SALAKO reports that macroeconomic and structural advantages appear to be giving investors confidence on cement stocks.

Year-to-date returns of cement stock

Ashaka Cement



Lafarge Wapco

Time line: June 06, 2013


Can cement stocks sustain the bullish rally?

AFARGE Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc has attained a N100 per share benchmark to emerge as the first cement company with a widely diversified shareholding base to hit such a mark. Lafarge Cement's overtly bullish performance vividly illustrates the general performance in the cement manufacturing sector. All cement stocks are trading at around their all-time highest prices, exceedingly above the highest prices set in 2012. In the past five months and two weeks, year-to-date returns within the cement sector ranged from 50.1 per cent to more than 103 per cent. While the year-to-date return for the average stock at the Nigerian stock market, as indicated by the benchmark All Share Index (ASI), opened Friday at 40.71 per cent, all cement stocks opened trading with double-digit advantage above the average stock. Ashaka Cement opened with a year-to-date return of 50.1 per cent. Dangote Cement carried a return of 62.8 per cent. Lafarge Cement Wapco posted a return of 70.9 per cent while the industry's smallest company, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), headlined the returns with a year-to-date return of 103.2 per cent. The current share prices have seen most cement stocks crossing historic pricing lines. In 2012, Ashaka Cement had traded at a high of N19.62. CCNN peaked at N6.79 in 2012. Dangote Cement's highest consideration in 2012 was N128.10 while Lafarge Cement Wapco was at a high of N60. The underlying inference is that any pick on cement stocks in 2012, even at the highest prices-market fools' prices, would have made substantial return to an average in-

vestor. Redefining the industry Foods and other related products are categorised as fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) and essential products because of their resilience even in acute economic situation. But macroeconomic and structural advantages might have added cement stocks to the appendix list of FMCGs. With a growing population of more than 170 million, house deficits estimated at more than 80 million, huge infrastructural gap and several cement-based developmental projects, Nigeria's economic outlook provides robust immediate, medium and long-term potentials for the cement industry. Besides, the recent announcement of an increase in tariff on imported cement by the Minister of trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, implies that domestic cement manufacturing companies would further consolidate their market shares. Across the companies, significant investments have led to substantial increases in higher cement volumes, reduction in cost of energy per unit and better route-to-themarket.

Attraction In all these, Lafarge Cement Wapco is also potentially well-placed to set the return trend in the sector. With increased capacity and two cement manufacturing plants located within the fastest growing hub of cement users, Lafarge Cement Wapco has undertaken several initiatives to strengthen production base and widen market share.

The reactivation of railway services, which Lafarge Wapco has signed on to, opens opportunity for cheaper and wider up-market distribution. Economy of scale, international partnership and global link as member of world's largest cement group, experience and corporate stability should enable Lafarge Wapco to compete better than many other competitors; and thus be able to repel threat posed by shrinking national barriers and leverage its market share. With the coming on stream of its 2.2 million metric tonnes new cement plant, which raised the company's total capacity to 4.4 million metric tonnes per annum, Lafarge Wapco is expected to further consolidate its performance in the years ahead. Investments in power generation and utilisation- a major cost element in cement production, are also expected to provide stable platform for the realisation of the growth potential. But these revolve around the directors' handling of the company's leveraged financing structure. These would be the underlying variables shaping the cement stock's price discovery in the period ahead.

Bricks and mortals Market pundits and investors appear to be factoring recent earnings reports into Lafarge Wapco's pricing trend. Recent audited reports and interim reports have shown sustained gradual improvements in the fundamentals of the cement company. Shareholders in Lafarge Wapco Cement earned N2.02 in distributable earnings in the first

three months of 2013 as the cement manufacturing company optimised marginal sales through increased cost efficiency. Interim report and accounts of Lafarge Wapco for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 showed that basic earnings per share, the net earnings that could be distributed to shareholders if the company so decided, increased by 49 per cent to N2.02 as against N1.36 recorded in the comparable period of 2012. The report showed marginal sale growth of 3.1 per cent, but improved cost management leveraged pre and post-tax profits by 21 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. Turnover stood at N23.32 billion in first quarter 2013 as against N22.61 billion in comparable period of 2012. Profit before tax rose from N5.96 billion to N7.2 billion. Profit after tax also increased from N4.1 billion to N6.1 billion. Audited report and accounts of Lafarge Wapco for the year ended December 31, 2012 showed that profit before tax doubled from N10.3 billion in 2011 to N21.3 billion in 2012. Profit after tax also jumped from N8.64 billion to N14.71 billion, indicating earnings per share of N4.90 for 2012 as against N2.88 recorded for 2011. Turnover grew to N87.97 billion in 2012 as against N62.50 billion in 2011. Gross profit rose from N19.3 billion to N32.4 billion. Lafarge Wapco is paying a dividend per share of N1.20 for the 2012 business year. With the fundamentals of the cement companies mirroring one another, the prospects for the cement companies, as well as Lafarge Cement Wapco, is reasonably reassuring. That prospect is what is driving the cement companies.

Marke Cap 06 06 13





Greif Nigeria: Managing the downside

REIF Nigeria Plc reined in internal costs and leveraged on its strong balance sheet position to minimise the adverse impact of sluggish sale on the outlook of the company last year. But the slowdown in top-line performance, which shaved off about N131 million in sales, still coloured the performance negative. Audited report and accounts of the packaging company for the year ended October 31, 2012 showed about 15 per cent decline in sales. The company subsequently reduced top-line’s cost of sales and operating expenses by about 14 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. However, the size of top-line decline overwhelmed the cost-cutting measures, drawing the bottom-line and underlying variables into negative. Greif Nigeria maintained keen focus on its strong balance sheet, which provided substantial cushions amidst decline in sales. With more amenable financing structure and higher liquidity; larger working capital, strong immediate financing coverage for liabilities and the absence of immediate high-interest bank loans supported the overall performance during the year. It distributed N12.6 million as cash dividends out of net profit after tax of N36.4 million. The retained earnings meanwhile boosted the underlying equity value in the company as net assets per share rose by 6.4 per cent.

Financing structure

Greif Nigeria’s financing structure emerged stronger in 2012 with zero financial leverage and better equity funding for operations. The proportion of equity funds to total assets improved from 52.7 per cent to 54.7 per cent. Long-term liabilities/total assets ratio increased from 32.7 per cent to 34.2 per cent while the proportion of current liabilities to total balance sheet size improved from 14.6 per cent to 11.1 per cent. Total assets had improved marginally by 2.4 per cent to N713.8 million in 2012 as against N696.9 million in 2011. Fixed assets declined marginally from N246.9 million to N237 million while current assets had increased by 5.9 per cent from N450.1 million to N476.8 million. Total liabilities stood at

By Taofik Salako

N323.3 million in 2012, a slight decrease of 2.0 per cent from N330 million recorded in 2011. While long-term liabilities grew by 7.0 per cent from N228 million to N244 million, current liabilities dropped considerably by 22 per cent from N101.9 million to N79.2 million. Paid up capital remained unchanged at N21.3 million, consisting of 42.64 million ordinary shares of 5 kobo each. Meanwhile, shareholders’ funds rose by 6.4 per cent from N367 million to N390.6 million.


It struggled to optimise average cost but with the absence of a strong top-line performance, average unit cost outpaced underlying value and productivity. Total cost of business inched up to 92.1 per cent of total incomes in 2012 as against 91.7 per cent recorded in 2011, underlying the marginal decline in cost efficiency and productivity.


Greif Nigeria’s overall performance outlook was coloured by substantial decline in sales in 2012. With 15 per cent decline in sales, the company fell back on cost management to reduce the impact on the bottom-line, ending with a marginal decline of 5.2 per cent in net earnings. Underlying profitability ratios generally underlined the negative impact of the slowdown in sales, but they also underscored the tightening of cost management, which mitigated the top-line risk on the bottom-line. Gross profit margin stood at 17.3 per cent in 2012 as against 18.2 per cent in 2011. Pre-tax profit margin declined from 8.1 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Return on total assets slipped from 10.3 per cent to 7.9 per cent while return on equity shifted downward to 9.3 per cent as against 10.5 per cent in previous year. Greif Nigeria’s total sales had dropped by about 15 per cent from N879.5 million in 2011 to N748.7 million in 2012. Cost of sales declined by 14 per cent to N619.1 million as against N719.1 million in previous year. Gross profit thus slipped by 19.3 per cent from N160.5 million to N129.6 million.

Distribution and administrative expenses totalled N70.5 million in 2012 as against N87.6 million in 2011, representing a drop of about 20 per cent. With marginal noncore business incomes and zero financing charges, profit before tax shrank by about 22 per cent from N71.6 million in 2011 to N56.1 million in 2012. After taxes, net profit slipped by 5.2 per cent from N38.4 million to N36.4 million. Earnings per share stood at 85 kobo in 2012 compared with 90 kobo in 2011. However, net assets per share improved by 6.4 per cent to N9.16 compared with N8.61 recorded in previous year. The company would be distributing 35.2 per cent of net earnings to shareholders as dividends, totalling N12.8 million. This represented a dividend per share of 30 kobo. Dividend cover stood at 2.83 times.


The liquidity position of the company improved considerably during the period with larger working capital, improved financial coverage and stronger immediate response to financing obligations. Current ratio, which denotes the financial agility of a company by relating current assets to current liabilities, improved to 6.02 times in 2012 as against 4.42 times in 2011. Current ratio is generally accepted as one of the measures of solvency and going concern status. Also, the proportion of working capital to total turnover improved from 39.6 per cent in 2011 to 53.1 per cent in 2012. Debtors/creditors ratio stood at 422.9 per cent as against 284.2 per cent.

Analyst’s opinion

Greif Nigeria needs to rework its top-line growth strategy to create headroom for profit growth and better returns. While the strong balance sheet held on admirably and cost-management efforts miti-

gated the impact of sluggish sales in the year under review, there is a limit to these in the event of continuing decline in sales. Nonetheless, it must be admitted that the performance of Greif Nigeria reflected the slowdown in manufacturing activities. Although sustained Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth over the years has reckoned Nigeria as one of the resilient economies, the lopsided economic structure and dominance of the few hardcore sectors imply that GDP growth does not usually translate into general economic growth and development. With the crunchy reform in the banking sector, the prolonged recession at the primary capital market and generally tough operating environment, service-based companies such as Greif Nigeria, which rely on the industrial and manufacturing activities, are more susceptible to the slowdown. Greif Nigeria should leverage on its global network and access to mitigate domestic operating challenges. While its products drums and closures; appear to fall within products with less industrial differentiation, it should explore further innovations in designs, convenience, durability and affordability to create a niche market for itself. The cross-country experience of the Greif global network will make this easier.

Governance and structures

Greif Nigeria engages in manufacturing and marketing of metal drums, plastic containers and related flexible and rigid products and services. With three major operational locations in Nigeria, Greif Nigeria is a leader in the packaging subsector. Formerly known as Van Leer Containers Plc, Greif Nigeria Plc was incorporated in January 1940. It became a publicly quoted company in May 1979.

Fiscal Year Ended October 31 Nmillion

2012 12 months

% change

2011 12 months

Profit and Loss Statement Main Business Segment Total turnover Cost of sales Gross profit Operating expenses Interest and other incomes Finance expenses Pre-tax profit(loss) Post-tax profit (loss) Basic earnings per share(kobo) Gross dividend (Nm) Cash dividend per share (kobo) Net Assets per share (kobo)

748.7 748.7 619.1 129.6 70.5 0.6 0.0 56.1 36.4 85.0 12.8 30.0 916.0

-14.9 -14.9 -13.9 -19.3 -19.6 648.7 -100.0 -21.7 -5.2 -5.6 0.0 0.0 6.4

879.5 879.5 719.1 160.5 87.6 0.1 1.6 71.6 38.4 90.0 0.0 0.0 861.0

Balance Sheet Assets: Fixed assets Total long term assets Trade debtors Current assets Total assets Liabilities: Trade creditors Bank loans Current liabilities Long-term liabilities Total liabilities Equity Funds Share capital Total Equity Funds

Greif Nigeria is a member of Greif, a Delaware, Ohio, United States-based global packaging group with net sales of $4.27 by October 2012 and more than 200 operating locations in more than 50 countries. Greif Nigeria is owned mainly by Greif International Holdings B.V, which holds 51 per cent equity stake. The Van Leer Nigerian Education Trust holds 23 per cent while other Nigerian individuals and institutions hold 26 per cent. Greif Nigeria is a socially responsible corporate citizen with nearly a quarter of its net earnings dedicated to education of Nigerians through The Van Leer Nigerian Education Trust. The board and management of the company have remained stable.The company’s management and operating structures generally complied with extant code of corporate governance and best practices. It was, however, flagged the by regulatory authority for late submission of accounts.

237.0 237.0 215.1 476.8 713.8

-4.0 -4.0 -4.7 5.9 2.4

246.9 246.9 225.8 450.1 696.9

50.9 0.0 79.2 244.1 323.3

-36.0 0.0 -22.3 7.0 -2.0

79.4 0.0 101.9 228.0 330.0

21.3 390.6

0.0 6.4

21.3 367.0

Fiscal Year Ended October 31

2012 %

2011 %

Financing structure Equity funds/Total assets Long-term liabilities/Total assets Current liabilities/Total assets Debt/Equity ratio

54.7 34.2 11.1 0.0

52.7 32.7 14.6 0.0

Profitability Gross profit margin Pre-tax profit margin Return on total assets Return on equity Dividend cover (times)

17.3 7.5 7.9 9.3 2.83

18.2 8.1 10.3 10.5 0.00

Efficiency Pre-tax profit per employee (Nm) Staff cost per employee (Nm) Cost of sales, operating exp/Turnover

NA NA 92.1

NA NA 91.7

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors

6.02 53.1 422.9

4.42 39.6 284.2

"I love this player. Whenever I have played against him he has scored. I would really like Rooney to sign for PSG.” Paris Saint-German defender Thiago Silva on his desire to see Manchester United’s want-away striker Wayne Rooney at the Ligue 1 Champions next season.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Nadal wins record 8th French Open R

•Usain Bolt (r) presents the French Open trophy to Rafael Nadal

AFAEL NADAL raced to a record eighth French Open title Sunday with a straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-3 dismissal of fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in a final briefly interrupted by a protestor brandishing a lighted flare. Nadal was serving for the second set at 5-1 when a shirtless man with a white mask ran onto the Philippe Chatrier Court and came to within a few meters of Nadal. He was swiftly tackled by security staff -Nadal shook the hand of one of them -- but when play continued red smoke was still billowing over the court. Perhaps shaken, Nadal dropped his service but quickly regained his composure to close out the set in the next game. Protestors aside, the weather looked the only other obstacle to another Nadal triumph at Roland Garros. Persistent drizzle was in evidence throughout the match, but the heavier rain held off long enough for the reigning champion to wrap up victory in two hours 16 minutes. It was his 12th grand slam title and particularly sweet after his prolonged eighth

month absence from the game with a knee injury -- only returning to the ATP circuit in February. He also breaks out of a tie with Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, who had seven wins apiece in the same grand slam tournament, Wimbledon in their case. Nadal's reputation as the "King of Clay" was further enhanced by his epic semifinal victory over No.1 Novak Djokovic, but his friend and long-time riival Ferrer was to prove stiff opposition despite the scoreline. The 31-year-old fourth seed briefly led in the first set after an early break, but Nadal was soon back on track and claimed two breaks of his own to take the advantage. The second set was more one-sided, Ferrer making his only gain against service after the protest. Clearly impatient to close out his victory, Nadal immediately broke at the start of the third, but in trying to press made mistakes to be broken back. He broke through again to take a 5-3 lead and duly served out comfortably for victory, falling back on to the clay in trademark fashion to celebrate another stunning win.

Final disrupted by same-sex marriage protest Iniesta: Mourinho has The incident was similar to one that damaged Spanish football involved Roger Federer in his


N D R E S that person at all. So Iniesta is the if you don't mind l a t e s t we'll leave it at Barcelona star to that." launch a scathing Mourinho and attack on former Real Iniesta have Madrid boss Jose previously feuded Mourinho, accusing in the media earlier him of harming the •Iniesta this season when image of Spanish t h e S p a i n football. international Mourinho left los criticised the Blancos three years former's decision to before his contract continuously was due to expire after a o v e r l o o k g o a l k e e p e r I k e r trophyless season beset by Casillas. infighting and controversy Mourinho responded with a jibe before returning to his former at Barcelona's reliance on Lionel club Chelsea. Messi: Speaking in an interview in "[Iniesta] can think what he Sunday's edition of El Pais, likes, but I would say to him that Iniesta heavily criticised the without Messi his team is so Portuguese coach and the legacy different and that is why they did he left at Real Madrid. what they did in the semi-finals "You just have to look at the of the Champions League," the facts," the 29-year-old midfielder 50-year-old trainer retorted. said. Iniesta joins Xavi and Gerard "Yes he damaged Spanish Pique as the latest Barcelona football, in general more harm players to comment this week on than good. Mourinho's conduct whilst at "But I don't like talking about their fiercest rivals.


HE French Open men's final was held up by a flare-carrying protestor on Sunday, who came within just a few feet of defending champion Rafael Nadal. The match between Nadal and David Ferrer was in the second set when a shirtless spectator, wearing a white mask, leapt from the stands and onto the court before he was wrestled away by security officials. The match was briefly halted with Nadal even taking the time to shake the hand of

the security guard who had sprinted into the playing arena to protect him. The incident took place just in front of the VIP box on Court Philippe Chatrier where Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt and Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio were sitting. Shortly beforehand, two protestors were expelled from the stadium after holding up play by holding up a banner with a slogan on it protesting France's new same sex marriage law that was voted into law last month amid widespread opposition.


Phil Neville retires at 36

ORMER Manchester United, Everton and England defender Phil Neville has ended his 18-year playing career. Neville, 36, announced in April that he would leave Everton this summer and now hopes to coach and work in the media following 505 top-flight appearances. "In my heart, I knew that I wouldn't be playing again - at any level. I just wanted to drift away," he said. Neville has also revealed he may be working as a BBC pundit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He has been working as a coach with England at their unsuccessful European Under-21 Championship campaign in Israel. "If you had asked me two months ago, I thought I'd do a year with BBC or in the media," he said.

"It might work for some people but not me. "I will be going to the World Cup next year with the BBC - I won't be going as a player - I do enjoy the media side but I want to work, I want to coach, I want to get more hours on the grass. "I have got two paths - one to go into the media, the other to go into coaching and management. I have got offers from both. I will sit down at the end of the tournament." Neville, who has earned 59 England caps during his career, made his Premier League debut in 1995 for United in a 3-0 win over Manchester City and went on to feature in 19 seasons in the top flight. The former United full-back and midfielder won six Premier League

Thiago wants Rooney at PSG


ARIS SAINT-GERMAIN defender Thiago Silva says he would welcome Wayne Rooney at the Ligue 1 champions next season following speculation surrounding the Manchester United striker's future. It emerged on Saturday that the England international has held secret talks with one Premier League club and one foreign outfit regarding a

possible summer move. Rooney handed in a second transfer request in under three years near the end of last season and Silva, who played against the striker in the Three Lions' recent 2-2 draw with Brazil, believes he would be a "quality addition" to PSG's squad. "I love this player," Silva told reporters. "Whenever I have played

against him he has scored. I would really like Rooney to sign for PSG. "He would be a quality addition for us." The Brazilian captain has also been linked with a move this summer but, instead, he has underlined his happiness and intention to stay at Parc des Princes. "At the beginning of every summer it


victorious 2009 final at Roland Garros against Robin Soderling. On that occasion a serial sports event interferer known as Jimmy Jump leapt onto the court and ran up to Federer attempting to place a barretina hat on his head. He was tackled by a security guard while stumbling after he jumped over the net and taken into custody.


titles, three FA Cups and one Champions League crown at Old Trafford before joining Everton in 2005 for a fee of £3.5m. Neville went on to captain the Blues under David Moyes. He ended his eightyear spell on Merseyside at the end of this season and said he was not planning to retire. But Neville admitted he knew his time was up before the end of the campaign but did not want to announce his retirement with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson and ex-United midfielders David Beckham and Paul Scholes revealing their intentions to quit football in May. "Three weeks ago, everyone in the world seemed to be retiring. I thought 'I'm not jumping on this bandwagon'," he said.



MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013



In the history of Oyo State, no governor has been re-elected for a second term. Can Governor Abiola Ajimobi become an exception? Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the governor’s push for continuity and the impediments on the way.


Can Ajimobi break one term jinx?

INCE the Second Republic, no governor has been re-elected in Oyo State. Although the governors tried their luck, certain forces aborted their dream. Will Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who has been endorsed by his party and other stakeholders for a second term, make a difference in 2015? Oyo State is a politically conscious and sophisticated state. Its capital, Ibadan, which doubles as the political headquarter of the Southwest, is also a politically volatile city. The political actors there are not associated with long-term politics of affection. That apparently explains why no governor has been elected twice in the Pace setter State. The first civilian governor, the late Chief Bola Ige, was elected on the platform of the banned Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). That was in 1979. However, his second term ambition crumbled in 1983, following the split in the ruling party and the defection of key associates, including his deputy, the late Chief Sunday Afolabi, and the late Chief Busari Adelakun, to the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), which fielded Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, to challenge him. Olunloyo, who hails from Ibadan, was declared the winner in a controversial circumstance by the proscribed Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO). However, the NPN stalwart spent barely three months in the office. On December 31, 1063, he was sacked by the soldiers during the fifth military coup. The displacement of the legitimate authorities did not permit Olunloyo to nurse a second term ambition. In the aborted Third Republic, the late Chief Kolapo Ishola was elected as the governor under the banned Social Democratic Party (SDP). It was a turbulent period when the former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, foisted diarchy on the country. When he annulled the historic presidential election won by the late Chief Moshood Abiola, tension enveloped the polity. Babangida bowed out, following the setting up of the interim contraption headed by Chief Ernest Sonekan. In November 1993, Gen. Sani Abacha toppled the transitional government and declared himself as the Head of State. The Isola’s tenure ended on that note. In this dispensation, Oyo State has produced three governors before Ajimobi assumed the reins. Although they were interested in the second term, their ambitions were dashed. Former Governor Lamidi Adesina, who was elected on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999 failed at the poll in 2003. In that election, which result was disputed, the Independent Nigeria Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Senator Rashidi Ladoja of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the winner. Thus, Adesina’s second term dream was aborted. But Ladoja later faced the same predicament. He initially lost power for 11 months, following his impeachment, in error, by the legislators instigated by his benefactor-turned foe, the late Chief Lamidi Adedibu. When he regained his lost seat, after a protracted legal battle, he was hopeful. In fact, he went to

•Gov. Ajimobi


Akure, Ondo State capital, where the flags were presented to the Southwest PDP governorship candidates by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. To Ladoja’s consternation, the Oyo State ticket was given to his estranged deputy, Adebayo Alao-Akala. Thus, his second term hope was dashed. Alao-Akala, who ruled the state between 2007 and 2011, was basking in the euphoria of incumbency. But that incumbency power collapsed on poll day in 2011 when voters dumped him and elected Ajimobi as the governor. Before the mantle of leadership fell on him, Ajimobi was a long distance runner. In 2003 and 2007, he had vied for the position, but without success. But since he took the oath of office, his camp has been gazing at the future. The political development in the neighbouring state of Ondo, where Governor Segun Mimiko, seemed to have broken the one term jinx, may have energised them. The Oyo State governor is conscious of the volatile situation in his state, especially during electioneering. He is aware that his native Ibadan holds the ace. Many also agree that, if Ibadan decides to back a candidate, victory is sure. However, the city and state have been in pains in the past eight years. Before Ajimobi became the governor, Ibadan was living on its old glory- first stadium, first television in Africa, first sky scrapper (Cocoa House), and first university in Nigeria. The governor inherited a metropolis in ruins; with collapsed infrastructure, filth and violent thugs. Ajimobi rose to the occasion. Today, his insurance against future electoral loss is his performance. His first assignment was to stop the sharing of money in the State House. Gone were the acts of profligacy, theft and graft and misuse of public funds. Although detrac-

tors who could not adjust to the shift from the ‘amala politics’ to the politics of transformation and development fuelled the sentiment that government’s impact has not been felt. The deputy governor, Pa Alake Adeyemo, who listed the achievements of the governor, gave the administrationna pass mark. He explained that, since 2011, peace had returned to Oyo State. The clash of rival road transport union leaders has been nipped in the bud, thereby liberating the city from tension. Ajimobi may have also compared notes with Lagos State. Now, more than 100 buses have been acquired to replace the old rickety intra- and inter-city buses. There are free buses for workers in the civil service. Recently, the government commenced the state’s version of the Lagos BRT. Also, tricycles, popularly known as ‘Keke Ajumose,’ have been distributed to thousands of people. Hailing the government, a stakeholder, Moroof Adegbile, said it was a right step in the right direction. He advised the governor to spread the dividends of democracy to other parts of the state. “I think the government is kicking off on a good note in the area of providing befitting means of transportation for the populace, but more needs to be done so that this can reach the nooks and crannies of the state. Don’t forget that this is a very big state with huge population in the hinterlands who needs to also feel the impact of this government in the area of public transportation”, Adegbile added. Ajimobi has also been applauded for his urban renewal. The administration has rehabilitated over 199 roads and bridges across the state. It has also constructed the new billion flyover at Mokola, worth N2.1 billion. It is a novel project, which previous administrations have avoided. Other steps taken by

• Alao-Akala

Ajomobi included the clearing of over 120 blocked drains in Ibadan metropolis, dredging of 43 rivers and streams across the state, the ongoing beautification of ‘Trunk A’ roads, and the institutionalisation of weekly environmental sanitation. Reviewing the activities of his government, Ajimobi said: “In the last two years, we have provided infrastructural facilities that are unprecedented in the history of our state. We have constructed/rehabilitated over 260 roads and several bridges across the state. Right now, we are dualizing the major roads in the capital city of Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Iseyin and Oyo”. His distant predecessor, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, has commended him for the feats. The former governor said: “Rebuilding or even mere renovation often involves demolition of existing structures, be they standard buildings, shanties or slums; once they stand in the way of a new vision of what the place should look like. The work of the governor is therefore, necessary, valuable, and commendable repair of the facade of Ibadan.” During his visit to the state, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) chieftain, Senator Solomon Ewuga, applauded the governor. He said: “I want to use this opportunity to commend you on the work you are doing on infrastructure. We have gone round and we have seen the work you are doing; you need to be commended and please, don’t give up, that is the spirit of change that the new party, APC, is going to bring to Nigeria.” In the education sector, Ajimobi is not relenting in his efforts. Apart from building new classroom blocks and prompt payment of teachers’ salaries, efforts are also been made to provide adequate learning facilities. This may have

‘The PDP is also plotting Ajimobi’s downfall. Sources said that pressures are being mounted on Ladoja to return to the PDP, where he is being promised the position of the National Secretary. The calculation is that, if PDP and AP team together and they raise an Ibadan man as governor in 2015, they will shake Ajimobi.Those who were dropped in Ajimobi’s cabinet are not all that happy with Ladoja. They feel that it is better to have dealings with Ajimobi than Alao-Akala and the PDP’

led to the improvement recorded in the students’ results. The governor is also committed to the new Technical University project. The goal is to produce selfdependent youths who will not be running after the few jobs in the civil service. Other achievements include the constant training of teachers, the re-introduction of Science and Home Economics in secondary schools and the successful accreditation of courses at the Polytechnic, Ibadan, and College of Agriculture, Igboora. Another stakeholder, Kole Ajidahun, however, said: “The government will need to do more, if it is serious in bringing back the good, old days of the Action Group government in the West.” Also a social critic, Abel Makinde, urged the governor to promote the culture of prudence. He said only a governor who can erect lasting legacies would be remembered by the future generations. One of the factors that will shape the nomination process in 2015 is the performance of the governor. An acclaimed opposition leader in Oyo State, Ladoja, has described Ajimobi’s feats as cosmetic achievements. “It is window dressing”, he said, dismissing the urban renewal project as retrogresive. To the former governor, the programme lacks human face, adding that many people have been displaced and deprived of their means of livelihood. Ladoja has a motive. Since crisis broke out between him and the governor, he has been attracting to himself the governor’s political foes, with the aim of stopping his second term ambition. Recently, Ajimobi sacked Ladoja’s men in the administration. The Oyo State government has also written to President Goodluck Jonathan, alleging that Ladoja was creating security problems in the state. Today, the marriage between the ACN and Accord Party (AP) has been dissolved. Ladoja is involved in a new alliance with Alao-Akala, who supplanted him during the protracted crisis between him and the late Adedibu. The leadership of ACN in the state has described the new romance as the return of the gladiator to his vomit. But analysts said that it is in the nature of politics; there is no permanent friend, but permanent interest. The PDP is also plotting Ajimobi’s downfall. Sources said that pressures are being mounted on Ladoja to return to the PDP, where he is being promised the position of the National Secretary. “The calculation is that, if PDP and AP team together and they raise an Ibadan man as governor in 2015, they will shake Ajimobi”, said the source. However, a section of the AP is suspicious of AlaoAkala, judging by the role he played in the impeachment plot against Ladoja in the past. “Those who were dropped in Ajimobi’s cabinet are not all that happy with Ladoja. They feel that it is better to have dealings with Ajimobi than Alao-Akala and the PDP. They doubt the PDP’s sincerrity”, added the source.



POLITICS JUNE 12 ANNIVERSARY Veteran labour leader Chief Frank Kokori played a major role in the struggle for the revalidation the June 12, 1993 presidential election result. He spoke with MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE on the pains of the lost battle.


‘June 12 fighters have lost out’

ODAY marks the 20th anniver sary of ‘June 12’. Looking back, how would you describe the journey? I will say that it is quite a long period and everything is historical. We are happy that today, we are breathing the air of freedom in a democratic Nigeria; where people can now criticise openly in the newspapers. They can come out to demonstrate openly and say a lot of things about the President and the political leadership of this country. Every Nigeria is now free to speak out his mind, which is quite an achievement for the country. If we had not had dictatorship, military and civilian benevolent democracy, we will not appreciate what is freedom. Now, you could be arrested for any crime and be taken to court for trial. With the judiciary that is encumbered in democracy, you could be given a fair hearing and be granted bail. You could have representation of lawyers to defend you at courts. I think that is quite an achievement. But when you are under dictatorship which was that period we are now talking about, which is 20 years ago, in Nigeria there was nothing like democracy and freedom. In the military era, if you say anything that is against the President or those in power, you could be handled the way they like it and nobody heard about it. Today, we are very happy that we have reached a stage in Nigeria where freedom is no longer a luxury. But notwithstanding, that does not mean that our aspirations and most of the good things Nigerians were talking about when they went for the struggle have been achieved. Those who annulled June 12 have not told Nigerians the reason for that 20 years after… It is very unfortunate actually. But I think the fault is with Nigerians and you don’t have to blame the military people who were in power at that time and those who are still lucky to be alive, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), a coupist who caused the whole problem. This is because Nigerian themselves have not called him to order. Sorry to say that Nigeria’s situation has not helped even matters because those who struggle to get things done have not actually benefited from it. They have not actually found themselves in position to benefit from it. In other part of the world, freedom fighters end up being the real leaders of their countries. They set the milestone that guide their countries. A typical example is the Russian revolution, the American struggle. Coming back home we have South Africa where the African National Congress (ANC) took over the leadership of the country after the independence struggle. Uptill now they ANC governs the country and has made good laws guiding the country. They embark on genuine reconciliation, those guilty were told and the necessary atonement made. In Nigeria, the situation has not really been so, and nobody has been told they did one wrong or the other. Nigeria situation has always been that of opportunity. The people who struggle at the end of the day actually do not benefit from the power equation. Take Nigeria independence struggle for instance, the Southerners were more in the struggle. We have the likes of Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and others they were the people who were in the forefront and in the north we have the likes


of Ahamdu Bello and Tafawa Balewa. But it was like the was forcing the North to join the independence struggle. That was why it took much longer time before the independence came. Those in the South were proposing some date closer to 1954, 1956 and 1957, but because of the North, independence had to be delayed. And when independence actually came, the party that came to power was the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC). This, I will say, Nigeria got on a platter of gold without the shooting of guns. It was achieved based on dialogue and negotiation. But if you look at the process that brought Mozambique, Angola and other countries to independence, where the people died for the cause and particularly, what ANC actually passed through to get South Africa independence, one will understand that Nigeria got hers on a platter of gold. So, when you come to power on a platter of gold, you don’t seem to know how to manage it. Nigerians who were in their comfort zones are those ruling you today. The capitalist bourgeoisies took advantage of the freedom and lunched themselves to power. They could not come out to do things that we did. And unfortunately for us in this part of the world, when the political whistle was blown to start political activities they in their comfort zones who hobnobbed with the military to launch themselves to power. They had made corrupt and stupendous wealth; they now have the money to throw around because the people are so poor. The people

were easily manipulated by them. The civil society that went into the struggle was not even as organised as people thought. They were not organised to take over the governance and when the whistle was blown they were in disarray. The bourgeoisies who were more organised took over governance. The civil group was not deep in ideological social philosophy. It was later they now started to regret but already those people have entrenched themselves. And being a corrupt system, you can’t uproot them because they will always use money. The agitation for power shift to the North is now rift. Is this justifiable? You cannot tell me that 14 years is not a long period. But to me, I believe that people should demand for power when they know they want to make a good use of the power and not for self aggrandisement. The north has always held power for self aggrandisement but they struggle for it through coups or other methods. The southerners got it on a platter of gold after June 12. The norths now said oh, let us pacify this people and they gave it to us on a platter of gold. It has never been like that before. They had to even allow the candidates that contested the elections to come from the South. Obviously, they just wanted power to be in the South for between four and eight years and now it is going to 14 years. Obviously, you can’t say they want it back. And honestly, they want it back be-

cause power in Nigeria has so much patronages. The country has been so mismanaged that there is no other business as lucrative as government business. So, the most lucrative business in Nigeria is government business. They want if for self aggrandisement which too often resides in the hands of few. And now, the power is in the hands of President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors who are now enjoying it. Who do you think will want to give it up? Nobody wants to give it up. That is the Nigerian system; first of all they stay there to accumulate corrupt wealth. Thereafter, they live forever with the wealth acquired in a corrupt manner. But when we now reach a stage where you will account for how you make your wealth, they will be afraid to seek power and steal public fund. The re-naming of the University of Lagos after Chief M.K.O Abiola protests. Does that mean the man is no longer popular? No, the man is still very relevant. It is just that the way the government went about it angered the people. The way the government sold it to the people was not unwelcome. Even the most ardent supporters of Abiola felt it was wrong. If it was done when Abiola just died it would have been better. Many people will just merely grumble and that will be the end. You see, this type of things are not tampered with easily. You can’t just go to Oxford University over night and change its name to Margaret Thatcher University. Even when you consider the ages of the students, most of them were not born when the incident happened. You now went to their university which they are very proud of its name and say Unilag the brand name is now ‘MAU’. To me, this is right but it was not done in the proper way and untimely. There are other things that could be name after the man. It was even painful that most of the Pro-Abiola people could not speak against it. They were just grumbling, they could not just come out and say oh it was bad at that time. But to me too, I sympathise with the country and the system. The way it was done was political; at that time Jonathan aim was to please the people of the Southwest and when he did it the situation boomeranged. There are other good things he can still do in Abuja and Lagos for M.K.O Abiola. Goverment can even name the National Assembly because Abiola was the symbol of that democracy or declare a public holiday in his honour. You were almost forgotten in prison for your role in June 12 when General Abacha held sway. What lesson should Nigerians learn from the dark period? You see, when you struggle for your country that does not mean you will come and demand for compensation or that you want to enjoy something. It is just a 50-50 situation. For instance, how many people will pray to pass through what Nelson Mandela passed through by spending 27 years in jail? They cannot even

‘Every Nigeria is now free to speak out his mind, which is quite an achievement for the country. If we had not had dictatorship, military and civilian benevolent democracy, we will not appreciate what is freedom. Now, you could be arrested for any crime and be taken to court for trial’

afford one year in jail, nobody wants that. Mandela was just lucky, a lot of his compatriots just died unsong. Mandala suffered and suffered and old before becoming the president. Again, the people were better organised because they have a freedom fighting machine that knew what they wanted. To them, if they survive it good. What is even killing in the Nigerian system is the tribal sentiments attached to what we do and has become a national problem. There are certain people who will appreciate you and there are some who will not. The Nigerian civil society could not have come out with anything better because it was disorganised. We never agreed that this is what we wanted, so we lost everything to the bourgeoisie class. There is no system in the world that people will patronise you for just championing a change without the clear cut focus of leadership that you want to provide. Even in the West, people never went as far as what we went through. If I had been a Yoruba man, they will just give me a governorship on a platter of gold. I know what happened to late Lam Adeshina, People like Bola Tinubu, Segun Osoba and Bisi Akande, they were all made governors without money but for the role they played in the struggle. But I am from a different part of the country and my own belief was different from theirs. To me, it was Just NUPENG, give this to NUPENG or give that to NUPENG. It was just about the union alone and not political. If I had gone to Delta State at that time I could have become a governor even though it is more difficult to achieve this there than the West. At that time, I was the number one hero of democracy in this country. Apart from Abiola who was the symbol himself. Who again? Then the human rights people like Gani Fawehinmi who was not a politician, he later realised. That was why I said, we the human rights people were disorganised. We never knew what we were looking for. But you later contested elections in Delta State... No, I just had somebody who I was more interest in him becoming the governor. And I was just fighting for him, since I was getting older than the age that will provide me the rigour to serve as governor. The Delta politics too was heavily monetised. If you don’t have money, you can’t even run since huge money way involved. In 1999, you don’t need much money to contest elections. If it was monetised then, people like Lam Adeshina, Akande could not have become governors. People you even say were rich at that like Tinubu and Osoba were modestly rich. For those who don’t have money and want to serve the country, how do they go about it? They have to go their gods. It is so bad that people are being discouraged. In the South-south I think it only Cross River State that is only modest in terms of money you pay to become a councillor. Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom are on the high side. In the SDP days, you did not need much money to become a councillor but now a young boy there would need at least N2 – N3 million to become councillor. For local government chairman, you need up to N20 million that is the minimum. Who among the activists or student activists can afford such money? If you are talking of becoming a governor then you should be coughing out money running into billion of naira.













The public may easily contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking through the following number– 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888.


29 May, 2013 was celebrated nationally as the 14 Anniversary of Democracy in Nigeria and here in Kano State as the day that commemorates the 2nd year in Office of the 2nd incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. The day was celebrated as an intermission or interval of the performance of the incumbent administration but certainly not a timeout for respite as the usual weekly Council sitting was held a day earlier (Tuesday 28 th May, 2013) than the usual Wednesdays. During these sittings an average of 20 approvals were granted for the execution of projects across all sectors that impact positively on the lives of the citizenry. This way, an estimated 2000 approvals were granted for the execution of projects at an estimated cost of N250 billion in two years. It remains precisely two years for the present administration to complete its unsurpassed mission of transforming Kano State. To continue with the laudable performance of the present administration, Kano State Executive Council held its 101st sitting today Tuesday 4, June, 2013 (26th Rajab, 1434AH) during which ten (10) MDAs submitted forty (40) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Twenty-five (25) of them were approved for execution with an expenditure of Two billion, Six hundred and sixty five million, nine hundred and thirty one thousand, five hundred and ninety five naira (N2, 665,931,595.00) covering 23 projects. Thus: th


1. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT Four (4) Memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. All were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for funds for the construction of Multi-cell Box culvert at Kuki Bebeji LGCA:Council was notified, through contents of this memorandum that, an existing double-cell box culvert at Kuki town had collapsed causing hardships and difficulties to the people of the area when crossing the river – especially during the rainy season. Notably, majority of the inhabitants are farmers who need to convey their products to neighboring markets and communities as well as other locations. So, renovation of the collapsed doublecell culvert at Kuki town is paramount for which the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport assessed the scope of works required and requested for the release of the sum of N52, 688,233.11 by Council to enable the execution of the project. Details were presented for Council’s consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N52, 688,233.11 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable execution of the referred project. However, the money is to be contributed by the State Government and Bebeji Local Government Council at 60%:40% basis. b. Request for funds to provide erosion control at Gunshi Bridge along Karaye Kwanyawa Road: The Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport alerted Council of having received a report on erosion problems at Gunshi Bridge along Karaye – kwanyawa Road from the Hon. Member Representing Karaye Constituency in the Kano State House of Assembly. Prompt response to the report presented a picture of the situation which informed the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport on the scope of works required to be executed at the cost of N48,228,520.19, which was requested for release by Council. Details were presented for consideration. Considering the relevance of the project, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N48, 228,520.19 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the provision of erosion control at Gunshi Bridge, along karaye – Kwanyawa Road in Karaye LGCA. A sharing formula of 60%: 40% is to be used in sourcing the funds between the State Government and Karaye LGCA. c. Request for funds for the construction of two (2) Multi – Cell box Culverts along Kazaurawa and Gana Villages Roads in Yalwa Ward, Rano LGCA. The Hon. Member representing Rano Constituency in the State House of Assembly mailed a request to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, for the construction of bridges along the roads mentioned above. Relevant details were presented for Council’s consideration. The site was visited and scope of works were assessed at the aggregate sum of N101,478,473.52 which was requested for release by Council to enable execution of the project mentioned above. Congruence of the project with the policy of the present administration to provide qualitative infrastructure prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N101, 478,473.52 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the construction of two (2) Multi-Cell Box Culverts along Kazaurawa and Gana villages Roads in Yalwa Ward, Rano LGCA. d. Request for funds for the conversion of Magwan Water Restaurant into First Lady’s College, Kano:Education has received a lot of attention since the inception of this Administration with more than N9 billion out of the over N24 billion allocated to the sector in 2013 budget expended for its improvement through either the setting up of a new University; the Northwest University, the establishment of 21 skills acquiring institutions, the building of more classes, staff quarters, provision of instructional materials and the sponsorship of indigenous youths to pursue courses both within and outside the country. It may be recalled that recently the Administration sponsored 501 postgraduate students to study in Turkey, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Uruguay, Britain, etc. As a follow-up 100 candidates were sponsored to undergo Pilot training in Jordan, while another 100 were interviewed to study medicine overseas. It is in this vein that one should understand the basis of this memorandum submitted for the conversion of the 30 years abandoned Magwan Water Restaurant into the First Lady’s

College. Council recalled the conversion of Ado Bayero House, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport Kofar Nasarawa Yard, and Water Resources Engineering and Construction Agency Bagauda Office to the temporary site of the Northwest University site, Governors’ College and Technical College respectively. The conversion of abandoned/unutilized structures into educational institutions by this administration increases the number of schools and students intake. The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport tacitly reminded Council of a joint presentation by the Ministries of Works, Housing and Transport and Education on the conversion of Magwan Water Restaurant to First Lady’s College specifically meant for girls at the sum of N602, 110806.03 Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N602, 110,806.03 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the conversion of Magwan Water Restaurant to First Lady’s College according to the precise specifications presented.

2. MINISTRY OF JUSTICE The Ministry of Justice submitted two memoranda for deliberation by Council. Only one was approved for execution. Thus: Presentation on Petty Trading: The Office of the Attorney General/Hon. Commissioner for Justice submitted a memorandum to curtail School age children from exploitation and to ensure that all are given opportunity to attend schools. This is the basis for this memorandum proposing the introduction of measures to check street hawking in general and especially street hawking by females of school age. As such, Council was specifically notified, through the contents of this memorandum, of the existence of the following Laws: i. Petty Trading (Controls) Edict CAP 108 Laws of Kano State 1991. ii. Petty Trading (Prohibition of Female Juveniles) Edict CAP 109 Laws of Kano State 1991. Details were presented on both Laws for Council’s consideration as the Attorney General/Hon. Commissioner for Justice humbly requested Council to approve taking all necessary steps to ensure the full enforcement of the Petty Trading (Controls) Law CAP 108 1991 Laws of Kano State and Petty Trading (Prohibition of Females) Law 109 1991 Laws of Kano State. Council acknowledged the presentation in appreciation and approved the full enforcement of the two Laws. 3. MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Request for funds to enable the installation of New V-Sat and Local Area Network (LAN), Installations under the NICEF – Galaxy Backbone Initiative. The contents of this memorandum reminded Council of the partnership between the State and Galaxy Backbone to extend internet services to un served and underserved schools/institutions in the National Information Communication and Education Program (NICEP). Galaxy provides/supplies V-sat and accessories free of charge to beneficiaries as a Federal Government intervention program while respective collaborating Governments shoulder the responsibility for bandwidth cost and support services charges annually. 2012/2013 is a noteworthy period during which the Kano State Executive Council considered and approved the installation of the facility at nine (9) locations details on which were presented for Council’s perusal. The Ministry of Science and Technology has indentified ten (10) locations for the 2nd segment of the installations at an aggregate cost of N32,669,867.70. The new locations include the following:1. G.S.S. Kwankwaso 2. School of Nursing, Madobi 3. Kano Informatics Institute, Kura 4. Women Continuing Education Centre, Gidan Galadima 5. G. G. S. S. Jambaki 6. G. G. A. S. S. Tudun Murtala 7. G. G. S. S. Jogana 8. Mairo Tijjani Girls Science College, Kano. 9. Girls Unity School Kachako 10. School of Technology, Kano State Polytechnic As such, the Ministry of Science and Technology requested Council to approve the release of the sum of N32, 669,867.70 to enable the execution of the project mentioned in this submission. Considering the significance of the project, Council approved as requested. 4.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted eighteen (18) memoranda on behalf of some MDAs for deliberation by Council. Nine (9) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for the provision of Cash-Backed Guarantee of N10million as the final requirement for the International Air Transport Registration for Kano Amana Travels and Tours Ltd. Office of the Secretary to the State Government presented a submission, on behalf of the Kano Hospitality and Tourism Institute, intimating government on the requirements so far fulfilled in acquiring registration for Kano Amana Travels and Tours Ltd. This company was established by the Government on behalf of, and, to be run by the graduates of the Kano Hospitality and Tourism Institute. The Company is supposed to provide selfemployment to the graduates. Details were presented for Council’s perusal. Essentially, the final requirement for the International Air Transport Registration is the provision of cash-backed Bank Guarantee to the tune of N10million by a reputable Bank to the International Air Travel Agency (IATA).

Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso

Council noted, considered and approved the raising of a Bank Guarantee in the sum of N10million in respect of Amana Travels Ltd to be issued by Guarantee Trust Bank and directed the Ministry of Finance to liaise with the Bank in processing the issue. b. Request for provision of seven (7) vehicles for the conduct of operations at Kano Geographic Information Systems (KANGIS):KANGIS was a newly established Agency specifically set up to simplify, facilitate land documentation in the State for improved revenue generation. The authorities at the newly established KANGIS requested for the allocation of seven (7) vehicles for smooth conduct of its operations. Considering the real transportation needs of KANGIS, Council considered and approved the release of the funds to the tune of N18, 200,705.00 to enable the procurement and allocation of three vehicles to KANGIS, thus Toyota Hiace 18 seater, Toyota Hilux DC Pick-up and KIA Cerato 1.6 EX MT. d. Request for funds to enable commencement of the 3rd phase of renovation of Primary Schools across 44 LGCAS by the State Community Reorientation Council:The Office of the Special Adviser Community Reorientation Council (CRC) intimated Government of the successful completion of the 2nd phase of the renovation of Primary Schools across the 44 LGCAS in the State at the aggregate sum of N220, 000,000.00. Summary of the details involved were submitted for Council information. The Special Adviser CRC requested for another release of the sum of N220, 000,000.00 by Council to enable the execution of the 3 rd phase of the laudable exercise in which every Local Government Council Area is to benefit projects worth N5million. The request was considered credible and is in agreement with the policy of the present administration to provide qualitative education at all levels. Council approved the release of the requested sum of N220, 000,000.00 to the Office of the Special Adviser CRC to enable the execution of the 3rd phase of repairing Primary Schools across the 44 LGCAS. The Local Government Councils were directed to release the required N5million each to add up to the totally required aggregate sum of N220, 000,000.00 e. Request for ratification and release of funds to effect payment for diesel and lubricants supplied to MDAs:The State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested the release of the sum of N14,405,600.00 to enable the payment for diesel and lubricants supplied to MDAs. Substantial evidence from the supplier was presented to Council for consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N14,405,600.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable payment for diesel and lubricants supplied to MDAs according to the details presented. f. Request for funds to procure/provide uniforms and other accessories to Officers and Men of Hisbah in the Command Headquarters:The contents of this memorandum submitted by the Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner for Local Governments for deliberation by Council, referred the sitting to a communication from the Commander-General/Chief Executive, State Hisbah Board. The communication amply reminded Council that, Government procured and provided enough/befitting uniforms and accessories to officers and men of Hisbah across the 44 LGCAS in the State recently (2013). However, such facilities were not provided to the Hisbah officers and men that work at the Central Command as a result of separating the request for the same purpose. As such, Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner for Local Governments requested on behalf of the Hisbah Board, for the release of the sum of N25,095,943.03 to enable the procurement/provision of uniforms and other materials to officers and men of Hisbah in the Headquarters. Details were presented for Council’s consideration. Credibility of the request prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N25, 095,943.03. g. Request for funds to enable conduct of the first (1st) segment of the year 2013 Retreat for Political Office Holders Top Government functionaries and Directors in the State Civil Service:The Head of Civil Service submitted a request for the conduct of 2013 retreat tagged “Civil Service, Good Governance and Sustainable Development: Kano State experience”. T h e retreat is an annual event sponsored by the Government for exchange of ideas between political office holders and the public servants for improved service delivery in the State. Two alternatives were presented to Council to select from as venue for the worthwhile endeavor. Council noted, considered, selected/approved Abuja Nicon Luxury Hotel as venue for the retreat and approved the release of the projected sum of N80,961,587.50 to the Office of the Head of Civil Service to enable the conduct of a successful first (1 st ) segment retreat for the year 2013 for the earmarked Government functionaries. h. Request for funds to cover for Tuition, Accommodation and other charges in respect of 130 Postgraduate Kano State Indigenous Students to be relocated from Ukraine to India under the 501 Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme:The contents of this memorandum substantiated to Council the plausible reasons for the timely relocation of the 130 students from among the 501 postgraduate Kano State Indigenous candidates sponsored for studies abroad. These students selected to study in Ukraine were denied visa and all efforts failed despite the fact that the State Government has

THE NATION MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013 settled all fees in respect of the students. Realizing the unnecessary delay by the Ukraine Foreign Office to issue visa Council sought alternative Universities in India that agreed to admit the students to study the same courses offered by the Ukraine Universities. Machineries are now in process to recoup the fees paid for the students. This explains the basis of this memorandum seeking for the release of the sum of $2,265,050.00 US Dollars (equivalent to N362,408,000.00) for the payment of fees, visa process, etc, for the 130 candidates to proceed to India for their higher education as promised by the Government. Considering the reasons forwarded, Council approved the release of the requested sum of $2,265,050.00 (equivalent to N362,408,000.00) to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Ministry of Higher Education to enable relocating the 130 postgraduates sponsored for studies abroad from Ukraine to India in response to the positive reasons forwarded. i. Request for funds for Poultry Re-empowerment program for 200 Women:General empowerment and skill acquisition opportunities provision are among the cardinal resolutions of the present administration. The teeming unemployed/unskilled youths of both genders are provided for under the laudable multiple empowerment schemes embarked upon by the present administration. The Poultry Institute established at Tukwui village in Makoda LGCA is among the empowerment and skill acquisition institutes at which women are especially trained on poultry business. Women were selected from across the 44 LGCAS in the State for the training at the completion of which take-off packages are issued to the beneficiaries including chicks and cockerels. Concertedly, the empowerment coordination committee under the Chairmanship of Maryam Umar K/Mata identified 200 beneficiary women from ten (10) LGCAS that encountered problems especially with the death of the chicks and cockerels issued to them for one unfortunate reason or the other. As such, the empowerment Coordinating Committee recommended to Council to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N7,030,000.00 to replace some aspects of the take-off packages for the 200 affected Women. The request was considered credible by Council which granted approval for the requested sum of N7,030,000.00 to enable the replacement of some aspects of the take-off packages for the 200 affected/identified women across ten (10) LGCAS, which include Dala, Municipal, Tarauni, Gaya, Dambatta, Makoda, Dawakin Kudu and Shanono. 5. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Four (4) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Health. Three (3) of them were approved for execution as follows:a. Presentation on the need and request for funds for general repairs/renovation works at Dawakin Kudu General Hospital:The Hon. Commissioner for Health acknowledged and applauded the policy thrust of the present administration and its commitment to up lifting and improvement of healthcare delivery systems and services to all nooks and corners of the State. In the past two (2) years the state Government has repaired/renovated and expanded numerous health facilities/ Hospitals neglected by the immediate previous administration. This laudable policy drive instigated the Ministry of Health to identify and present the need for general repairs/renovation of Dawakin Kudu General Hospital, which was destroyed by fire outbreak and series of thunder storm calamities in addition to a state of disrepair/dilapidation as well as neglect from the immediate previous administration that operated for eight (8) years. Scopes of works required were assessed and estimates prepared to the tune of N132, 919,985.80. This has to be segmented into three phases with phase one being allocated the sum of N57,579,289.65 while phases two and three are allocated N40,884,225.24 and N34,456,470.95 respectively. The project was considered relevant as Council approved the release of the requested sum of N57,579,289.65 for phase one to the Ministry of Health to enable the execution of the general repairs/renovation works required at the Dawakin Kudu General Hospital. b. Presentation on the need and request for funds to purchase required equipment/instruments and other instructional materials for the immediate take-off of the newly established College of Nursing Madobi (Temporary Site):College of Nursing Madobi is among the newly established 21 tertiary institutions established for the training of youths to be of help to themselves and the society. Academic activities are yet to commence though the Madobi Local Government Council has provided and renovated a temporary site for the College as instructed. As such, the Ministry of Health proposed the equipping and furnishing of the temporary site to enable the take-off of the new College within the 2013/2014 academic session. The sum of N25,756,674.84 was requested for release by Council for the purpose. Again, the sum of N1,800,000.00 was requested for release to the Ministry of Health to enable the production of Application forms for admission into the College and meet accreditation requirement. So the aggregate sum of N27,556,674.82 was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Health. The request was considered credible as Council approved the release of the requested sum of N27,556,674.82 to the Ministry of Health to enable execution of the stated projects at the temporary site of the College of Nursing Madobi. c. Request for assistance to the bereaved family of Late Alh. Saidu Muhammad Fagge (Principal School of Nursing, Kano):Council condoled the bereaved family of Alh. Saidu Muhammad Fagge. With concern, Council approved the following in respect of the bereaved family: i. Granting of educational support to nine (9) children of the deceased to the tune of N1,638,000.00 ii. Provision of employment to three (3) among 12 children of the deceased who have already completed their education. iii. Immediate release of the bereaved family/service entitlements. iv. Processing and release of entitlements of the deceased to the bereaved family accordingly. 6.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, INTERNAL AFFAIRS, YOUTHS, SPORTS AND CULTURE Request for funds as financial assistance to the Nigerian Nationwide Clubs Association, Kano State Chapter:The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture drew Council’s attention to

51 a communication received from the Nigerian Nationwide Clubs Association, Kano State Chapter representing the State in the 2012/ 2013 Football Season requesting for financial assistance to its members. The Association has fifteen (15) clubs representing the State in different categories of Nationwide League (Amateur) in the country with some of them having gained promotion to the next grade in the previous season. Nevertheless, the weak financial disposition of the Association instigated the request for financial assistance from the State Government through the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture. Council acknowledged the request and approved the release of the sum of N7,500,000.00 to the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture for onward payment as financial assistance to the Nigeria Nationwide Clubs Association, Kano State Chapter for disbursement to its 15 member clubs in support of sports – especially football. 7. MINISTRY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION Two (2) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry for Higher Education. Only one of them was approved for execution. Thus:Request for funds to enable the replacement of the ceiling and chairs in a lecture hall and theater respectively at Aminu Kano College of Islamic Legal Studies, Kano:Governor Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE paid official visit to Aminu Kano College of Islamic Legal Studies on Monday 22nd April, 2013 when he observed the need to effect adjustments at some lecture halls under construction for which an Executive Directive was issued on the following:i. Replacement of ceiling in a lecture hall ii. Removal and replacement of chairs in the lecture theatre under construction. Responding to the Executive Directives, the Ministry for Higher Education requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N14,716,000.00 to enable the execution of the project. Approval was granted as requested by Council for the release of the sum of N14,716,000.00 to the Ministry for Higher Education to enable execution of the referred projects according to the details presented. 8 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION This Ministry submitted three (3) memoranda for deliberation by Council. All were approved for execution as follows:a. Presentation on request for the release and permission to utilize funds from the 2013 Universal Basic Education (UBE) counterpart funds:Judicious utilization of the UBE matching grants has boosted the development of Basic Education in Kano State as well as demonstrated the commitment and zeal of the present administration. To sustain the tempo, SUBEB has prepared a comprehensive plan for the execution of 2013 UBE matching grants projects. However, UBEC is yet to indicate how much is to respectively be disbursed to each State in the Federation as 2013 matching grant. This fact slows down the momentum at which Kano State Government executes its matching grants projects. Nevertheless, authentic records indicate that the sum of money required for the 2013 matching grant projects in Kano State may not be different from the 2012 sum of N852,936,713.93 approved and appropriated in the 2013 State Budget. Such projects are among the cardinal priorities of the present administration, which made SUBEB to propose for the execution of the following projects in utilizing the 2013 UBE matching grants:i. Construction of sixty-four (64), four (4) story blocks at various primary schools across the 44 LGCAS in the State at the cost of N1,028,603,432.73 ii. Establishment of three (3) model Primary Schools (with all necessary and standard infrastructure) at Amana, Bandarawo and Kwankwasiyya Cities at the cost of N373,896,851.14. iii. Construction of one – 8 classrooms block at Arewa Islamiyya primary School Kwankwaso at the cost of N25,838,205.38 iv. Construction of sixty-six (66) ventilation improved latrines (VIP) in some schools at the cost of N63,396,828.00 v. Provision of school furniture to the classrooms and schools mentioned above at the cost of N181,922,000.00 This brings the total cost for the proposed projects to the sum of N1,673,657,317.20, which made the Ministry of Education to request for the release of the sum of N852,936,713.92 by Council as counterpart fund to commence execution of the 2013 UBE matching grants projects for the 2013 pending release of the UBEC matching grant. Council considered the request appropriate and granted approval for the release of the requested sum of N852,936,713.92 to the Ministry of Education to enable SUBEB commence execution of the proposed UBE matching grant projects in the State. b. Request for funds as sustainability and replication funds to support the Islamiyya, Qur’anic and Tsangaya Education (IOTE) clusters and schools in the State:The Hon. Commissioner for Education notified Council, through the contents of the memorandum that, Kano State Government collaborates with the Education Sector Support Program in Nigeria (ESSPIN) in the implementation of its two (2) initiated Islamiyya, Qur’anic and Tsangaya Education (IQTE) pilot program in three focal LGCAS in the State; Albasu, Fagge and Kumbotso. The program initially targeted 9,261 children as beneficiaries to graduate into the mainstream JSS for further studies. 4000 additional number of children were also enrolled to benefit literacy and numeracy programs, which will afford them acquisition of same level of Basic Education as those in the conventional school who spend up to six years. A detailed review of the performance of ESSPIN in the education sector of the State was presented to Council for consideration. As such the Ministry of Education requested for the release of the sum of N85, 000,000.00 by Council for the sustenance and replication of the IQTE program in the State. The request was considered relevant and in agreement with laudable policy of the present administration, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N85, 000,000.00 to the Ministry of Education to enable sustenance and replication of the IQTE in the State. c. Presentation on request for funds to construct two (2) twin Science Laboratories at G.D.S.S. Kwankwaso Malamai:Need to improve performance in the final WAEC and NECO examinations on Science subjects by students in the State prompted the Ministry of Education to request for the release of the sum of N22,438,280.64 to enable the construction and equipping of two (2) twin science laboratories at Government Day Secondary School Malamai, Kwankwaso. Council noted, consideration and approved the release of the requested sum of N22,438,280.64 to the Ministry of Education to enable the construction of the required Science Laboratories at GDSS Kwankwaso.

9. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR/HON. COMMISSIONER MINISTRY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:This office submitted four (4) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Only one of them was approved for execution as follows:Presentation on and request for funds for the provision of Rural and Urban Solar Powered Infrastructure in Kano State as proposed by Cupious Energy Nigeria Ltd:The contents of this memorandum were a resubmission of an earlier one in which proposals were presented to Council for consideration by the Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner for Local Governments. Series of solar powered infrastructures were presented to Council for consideration and release of funds for acquisition and installation at appropriate urban and rural location. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the aggregate sum of N9,689,000.00 to the Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner for Local Governments to enable the following:i. Solar Irrigation Solution: One each of the infrastructure for underground water sources and surface water source to be acquired and installed as pilot to the entire project at the respective costs of: *N5,000,000.00 - for underground water sources *N3,350,000.00 - for surface water source Sub total N8,350,000.00 ii. Solar Powered deep freezers Two (2) solar powered refrigerators to be acquired and installed as pilot to the entire project at the cost of; *N483,000.00 – 60 watts hrs/day *N856,000.00 490 watts hrs/day Sub total N1,339,000.00 GRAND TOTAL N9,689,000.00 10. MINISTRY FOR SPECIAL DUTIES Presentation of Report from the Committee on the Progress of 100 Pilots Training Program at the Mideast Aviation Academy in Jordan:Council approved the set up of two (2) member committee comprising the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry for Special Duties and Captain Ali Magashi, an Aviation Consultant to visit Jordan in order to assess and report back on the progress of the 100 Kano State students on Pilot Program. Council was impressed on the performance of the students and their commitment. Based on the report Council considered and: i. Approved increasing the monthly stipend allowances to piloting students. ii. Directive to be issued to the MAA Management to issue each student with a Laptop Computer from the State funds. iii. Approved that a commendation letter be issued to the staff of the Nigerian Embassy in Jordan through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their support to the students .


COMMENDATION TO KANO PILLARS FOOTBALL CLUB Council congratulated Kano Pillars Football Club for retaining their 1st position in the National Premiere League. CHILDREN’S DAY CELEBRATION IN KANO Council was delighted with the successful celebration of Children’s day across the State, which was monitored by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. COMMENCEMENT OF TRAINING OF 400 WOMEN AT THE FISHERIES INSTITUTE BAGAUDA Council acknowledged the commencement of training of 400 Women selected from the 44 Local Government Areas of the State at the Fisheries Institute, Bagauda. This is among the laudable intent of the present administration towards improving the lives and creating job opportunities to the teeming youths in the State. RUMFA OLD BOYS ASSOCIATION CONTRIBUTION TO RUMFA COLLEGE


Council acknowledged with appreciation the RUMFOBA contribution to the development of their alma-mater at the recent meeting while Council called on other old boys to support their Schools for the development of education in the State. INTRODUCTION OF CASHLESS POLICY BY CBN IN KANO Council acknowledged the recent fiscal policy of the Federal Government over the introduction of the cashless society to reduce too much money in circulation. Council supported a gradual process because of the large amount of money in the hands of the people. SANITATION EXERCISE Council extended its appreciation on the successful conduct of the sanitation exercise, which was shifted to Saturday 1st June, 2013 during which 320 people were arraigned by the Sanitation Mobile Court for violating the sanitation regulations across the State. SIGNING OF AN MOU ON TIGA & CHALLAWA HYDRO POWER GENERATION PLANT Council acknowledged the successful signing of an MOU on the establishment of Hydro Power Plant between the State Government and Skipper Group of India at Tiga and Challawa Gorge Dams in the State. AWARDS TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR Council noted the successful trip made by Governor Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso FNSE to USA where he received numerous awards of Peace Ambassador from the Mayor of Arkansas State and Key to the city of Little Rock on the 1 st of June. Secondly, the Governor received another award by 39th Black Americans meeting for his efforts on education and progressive policy, transparency, prudence and resource management. Also another award was given to the Governor by the NEPU & PRP organization in the State for his contribution in emancipating the good ideology of Mallam Aminu Kano. For update on the activities of Kano State Government, click to

Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports & Culture, Kano State







Alleged N700m fraud: EFCC seizes 44 assets from eight suspects

HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized 44 assets from eight suspects who “defrauded” Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN)of about N700million. The seizure followed an interim order secured by the commission. Also, the commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Office of the Inspector General of the Global Fund to facilitate exchange of information on fraud and abuse of office in relation to grant programs According to a statement by the Commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, a Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State asked the anti-graft agency to take over the assets. The statement said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has received an interim order from Justice F.A Olubanjo of the Federal High Court, Umuahia, Abia State, to take possession of 44 assets of the eight persons who allegedly defrauded Union Bank of Nigeria Plc of about N700million. “The order also covers the freezing of the account of one of the accused person with a credit balance of N30million. “The eight accused are Chikezie Neoma Agbara, Amarachi Iroha, Lucy Nwosu and Glo Chizzy International Limited. Others are Nneamaka Raphael Iheabuchi, Nnamdi Nwosu, Ikechukwu Nwosu, Chukwu Chikezie and Oliver Ogbujie. “The accused were arraigned in two separate charges that border on crimi-

•Commission signs MoU with Global Fund From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

nal conspiracy, stealing by fraudulent conversion, money laundering and fraud to the tune of about N700million. “The EFCC had on January 4, 2013 sought the leave of the court to seize their assets - in line with Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004. Section 28 reads: “Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.” Justice Olubanjo, in granting the interim forfeiture request ordered as follows, “That all assets as listed in schedule 1 to 5 of the ex-parte originating summons being proceeds of economic and financial crimes held directly by or for the benefit of or on behalf of the persons named in Schedule 1 to 5 of this ex-parte originating summons be temporarily attached pending the conclusion of trial in charge Nos. FHC/UM/CR/30/2012FRN VS. Chikezie Neoma Agbara and 3 others; and FHC/UM/CR/77/2012-FRN vs. Chikezie Neoma Agbara and 6 others” “The Judge also ordered the manager or “ such other person in control of the financial institution in schedule 6 of this ex-parte originating summons i.e. Zenith Bank Plc, to freeze

all accounts held directly, indirectly, by or for the benefit, and on behalf of one Oliver Ogbujie within Nigeria more particularly account No. 2006909505.” The commission gave a breakdown of the affected choice mansions. The statement added: A breakdown of the assets affected by this order is as follows: A four bedroom apartment at World Bank Housing Estate, Umuahia; twin two bedroom apartment at Amakama, Umuahia; one storey building of four flats at Umudike, Umuahia; an undeveloped plot of land at Government Station layout, Umuahia; another undeveloped parcel of land at Udume Ibeku Umuahia North Local Government Area; uncompleted Hotel project at Winners Road, near House of Assembly Complex, Umuahia; a 2002 ModelToyota Camry and 2002 Model Toyota Corolla cars - all belonging to Chikezie Agbara “The property belonging to Nneamaka Raphael Ibeabuchi include, five bedroom duplex with two rooms Boys Quarters at Umuagoro, Umudike, Umauhia; a block of five self-contained students Hostel at Umuagoro, Umudike, Umauhia; 3-bedroom bungalow at Plot UM/ 964, Health Centre Road, World Bank Housing Estate, Umuahia, among other assets. “Assets belonging to Nnamdi Nwosu include, one storey uncompleted block of 16-room students residential apartment at Unuahu/ Ofeke Ndum Ibeku, Umudeke

Umuahia. A parcel of land at Umuohu Azueke, Umudike, Umuahia belonging to Ikechukwu Nwosu was also attached. Meanwhile, EFCC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Office of the Inspector General of the Global Fund to facilitate exchange of information on fraud and abuse of office in relation to grant programs managed by the Global Fund targeted at fighting Tuberculosis and Malaria in Nigeria. A separate statement by the commission said: “Under the MoU which was signed on behalf of the Fund and the Commission by the Head of the office of the Inspector General, Global Fund, Norbert Hauser, and the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, respectively, both parties will cooperate by providing information and intelligence to each other, which may help in the investigation and prosecution of anyone suspected of engaging in fraud and abuse of Global Fund grant funds and related criminal activity. “Terms of the agreement stipulate that both parties will consult regularly, in particular to exchange information regarding new areas of potential cooperation and other joint activities falling within their respective mandates. All information exchanged will be treated as strictly confidential. “The Memorandum stipulates that any information exchanged will not be used as evidence in any judicial proceedings without the express prior consent of the party providing that information.











CITYBEATS Foundation to rally aginst terror By Adegunle Olugbamila

A Civil Society Organisation, Foundation for World Peace (FWP) has concluded arrangements to hold the "mother of all rallies" against global terrorism on Saturday at the Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos. The rally tagged: "War against Global Terrorism" will also be a platform for speakers across the world to discuss how Nigeria can overcome insecurity. According to the coordinator, Archbishop Samson Benjamin, the main objective of the rally is to create awareness that terrorism or any act of violence is inimical to Nigeria's unity. He also said it will raise people's consciousness on vigilance and ensure Nigerians imbibe the culture of security at all times. "Nigerians are peace loving people who will reject anything that could create division among them.Therefore political leaders should stop usuing religion and violence to divide us," Benjamin said. As a prelude to the mega rally, the FWP held a commemorative rally at the weekend to highlight the evils of terrorism. The road show which began from Maza-maza, went through Lagos-Badagry Expressway to other parts of the metropolis. "The rally is to show that we are peace-loving people; that all we need in Nigeria now is peace. It is also to create awareness about a major rally coming up on June 15 at Tafawa Balewa Square. We are also planning series of rallies in Europe, Middle -East and America which will involve Nigerians in the Diaspora to showcase to the world that we are a peace-loving people,” Benjamin said.

LASAA relocates to new office

THE LAGOS State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) has relocated from its former headquarters at Alpha Plaza, Ikeja to a new office complex located at Eleganza Plaza, Suite 2, 33 Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Ikeja. Speaking on the relocation, the Managing Director of LASAA, Mr George Kayode Noah stated the new head office offers better outlook for the agency's expanding operations. ''From our new location, we will be able to serve our clients better and more professionally. Now that we've settled in our new office, we can concentrate on our statutory function of regulating outdoor and signage displays in the state.'' The new head office is a four -storey building which houses all the departments of the agency. LASAA was established in 2006 to regulate and control the display of signs and outdoor advertising. The LASAA model is currently being replicated in some states in the country.

Tree falls on car at Unilag gate By Emmanuel Oladesu

THERE was commotion at the University of Lagos, (UNILAG), Akoka yesterday as a big tree fell on the gate house, trapping a car. But the owner of the Honda car with registration number RN 66 KJA, Kenneth Odimegwu, escaped unhurt, although the vehicle was severely damaged. According to eye witnesses, the tree which had existed at the back of the Education Faculty since the sixties fell, following the early morning rain and storm. The accident thereafter caused a backlog of traffic as vehicles were directed to make use of the exit gate. "The tree did not give a sign that it was about to fall. It just fell. We were scared when we had the sound as it landed on the car and gatehouse", said a security guard at the gate. A visibly shocked Odimegwu said: "When I left home for here, I did not know that this would happen.. If my family had come with me, it would have been different. They would be on the back seat and that is where the tree landed".

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Help my son to live, mother cries to Nigerians


HE disease which threatens the life of two-year-old Oluwafeyijimi Benson began when he was just two months old. Unlike any other newly born babies, Oluwafeyijimi would open his mouth for a long time, appearing as if he was breathing through the mouth. Sometimes, he would gasp for breath and unable to explain what ailed him, he would express himself through frequent crying. Also unlike his peers, he falls sick frequently. His mother Mrs Toyin Benson, a petty trader did not think much of it until the sickness became more pronounced. "He was always opening his mouth as if gasping for breath. In fact, he was breathing from the mouth. He was also falling sick repeatedly. It appeared his immune system was low. This became a source of worry for everybody," Mrs Benson said. However, nothing could have prepared Mrs Benson or his father, who is a brick-layer for the result of a test carried out on their son which revealed that he had been living with Tetralogy of fallot or hole-in-the -heart. "When it became too persistent, I took him to a private hospital in Lagos. It was at the hospital that he was referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). There he had an echocardiogram (ECG) which revealed that he has been living with a hole-in-the-heart." Their world has since been shattered by that diagnosis. None of the parents or the extended family could afford the

‘He was always opening his mouth as if gasping for breath. In fact, he was breathing from the mouth. He was also falling sick repeatedly’

'Councils can drive development'

• Oluwafeyijimi

By Wale Adepoju

N2 million required for a corrective surgery in India. "There is no way we could afford it; the job of the father could hardly put food on our table. I take him to the hospital every fortnight because I can't afford to get a bed in the ward," Mrs Benson said when The Nation visited the family on 6, Irapada street, Agbado Crossing, Ogun State. The family had sought the help of the Lagos State Government.

"It was a consultant at LASUTH, Dr Barakat Animashaun that assisted me by applying on my son's behalf to the state's Medical Board. This was when he was just eight months old. So, Dr Animashaun advised that we take him to India for surgery," she said. She called on well-meaning individuals, corporate bodies and the government to come to the aid of her son. Do you have a heart to help Oluwafeyijimi live? A First Bank account with the name Oluwafeyijimi Benson: 3071772551 has been opened to receive donations.

Lagos inaugurates rural water scheme

• Fashola


ITH the inauguration of a new 180,000-litre per day micro-water scheme, Governor Babatunde Fashola has restated his administration's com-

mitment to providing potable water across Lagos State. Speaking through Finance Commissioner Adetokunbo Abiru at the inauguration of the Igborosun Micro-Water Scheme in Badagry Local Government Area of the state, the governor said the facility, which was installed to produce 60,000 litres of water per run, was to complement the efforts of the Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC) in suburbs, where the LSWC's services don't reach. Fashola said that so far, in the last six years, the state had provided 445 types of water projects of various designs in the rural and semi-urban settlements, depending on their population and topography in the last six years. He also said he had approved additional 28 water projects in the

semi-urban areas of the state to complement the existing ones. These projects, according to him, consist of 10 solar-powered modified Type A, 13 modified Type A and 5 Type A. Commissioner for Rural Development, Cornelius Ojelabi, said Igborosun was picked for the project to transform the lives of residents of the community and its environs, including Pota and Ikoga Zebe. Ojelabi noted that the scheme would boost the residents' healthcare as they would no longer waste time and dissipate energy in search of water. The commissioner enjoined the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to complement the efforts with regular power supply to maximise the full capacity of the water projects for people's benefits.

Herbal outfit rewards hard work


OR being hardworking and productive, 93 agents of Green Life Herbal Network Limited, a Chinese traditional medicine outfit, have been rewarded with N63 million gifts. At a ceremony held at Apata Hall, Isolo, Lagos, 84 marketers smiled home with international travelling awards worth N46.2 million; eight got N18.9 million car awards, and five teachers were recognised with Best Lecturers Award. The 84 awardees will travel abroad on the company's bill. One of the recipients, Blessing Favour, said: "The award is good and real. When you tell people, they don't believe it. I won it under two months by networking with people." Another recipient, Kolawole Taiwo, said he won the award because he did the right thing, adding: "It is a good award because it is part of the effort I put in and I'm

By Dada Aladelokun

excited about it." The event was also used by the organisation to introduce some of its products, including: Herbal Life Mat and water treatment products, among others. GreenLife is a multinational company engaging in distribution of herbal products through direct sales marketing. Founded in 1988, its vision, according to its Chairman, Prof Lin Hu, is to take the traditional Chinese medicine and its treasures to everybody and everywhere in the world. Besides creating wealth, Prof. Hu said GreenLife products were produced under high bio-engineering technology. "The products are effective for treatment and prevention of diseases such as hypertension/hypotension, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, stroke, hemorrhoid, dermatitis, sexual problems, infertility cases, arthritis, malaria,

• Mrs. Favour

cardiovascular diseases and infections. They also care for organs such as kidney, lungs, liver, heart and spleen."

A political scientist, Prof. Adele Jinadu, has said that local government areas could become the engine of economic development at the grassroots if properly managed. He spoke at an inaugural lecture organised by Eko Forum, a body of senior local government officials of Lagos division, held at Eko Club, Lagos. At the lecture, which was attended by representatives of all councils in the state, the University of Lagos Political Science lecturer said the councils should be the semi-autonomous level of government with assigned legislative competence in line with global trends. He cited several countries where constitutional recognition has granted the grassroots system autonomous level which cannot be revoked by the state government with each having its own constitution. He said that the local government areas should serve as the socio-political laboratory for incubating and nurturing popular participation and civic responsibility in a nation's life for economic and social development. The President, Eko Forum, Mr Babatunde Alli-Balogun, charged council officials to partner and plug into the plans, programmes and projects of the state government towards achieving the state's mega-city status. He stated: "We have observed that the local government system has not been functioning properly in terms of effective service delivery and proper functioning."

Mafe pledges soft loan to 100 entrepreneurs By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

CHAIRMAN of Mosan Okunola Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon Rasheed Mafe has spoken a plan by his administration to empower 100 entrepreneurs with vocational skills. Mafe, who dropped the hint at the weekend, said the beneficiaries would share n5 million. He made the pledge at the graduation of 800 persons, who recently completed a short-term vocational training programme, organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA). The students were trained in several vocations including soap making, hair dressing, bead making, catering, decoration and event planning, tie and die as well as stove thread making. The council chairman, who presented the graduating students with certificates, said each beneficiary will receive N50,000 as take-off grant for a small scale business. He said the grant will be done in phases, adding that the first batch of 100 graduates will be contacted in August to receive the grant. He said: "What we have done is to ask them to write down their names and phone numbers, because our intention as a government is to ensure we make our people self -reliant". Mafe , however, urged them to appreciate the gesture done by the state government to organise the free vocational training to promote self reliance. "This sort of training is done for a lot of money elsewhere, but the government thought it wise to bring it to you at your doorstep free of charge. You need to put it to judicious use," Mafe said. Corroborating him, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of WAPA, Mrs. Risikat Akiyode thanked the council for the support during the four weeks training, just as she urged the graduating students to take advantage of the training for themselves. Akiyode who was represented by a Director in the Ministry, Mrs. Abimbola Vincent enjoined the beneficiaries to make a career of it, noting that the non-availability of white collar jobs makes skill acquisition the most viable option of employment opportunity and economic self reliant.




Chevron boat survivor holds thanksgiving


WO weeks after he survived an accident involving a tug boat working for Chevron Nigeria Limited, which capsized in the Atlantic Ocean, Harrison Okene, yesterday rolled out the drums to celebrate his survival. Okene was still in a pensive mood when he stood before the congregation at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Divine Peace Parish, Okuokoko, Okpe Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday. He told the church how he spent two days under water before he was rescued on May 28 after the vessel, Jascon 4, plunged into the depth of the Atlantic. Still smarting from the loss of 11 colleagues who died in the accident, which happened about 20 miles off the coast of Escravos, Warri Southwest Local Government Area, the survivor could only attribute his fortune to God. Okene was the only survivor of the anchor handling tugboat owned by a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Sea Truck Group, West Africa Ventures, which capsized on May 26.

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

The vessel was towing a tanker during loading at the Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) #3, around the BOP (Blowout Preventer) owned by CNL, when it went under at about 4:50am. An initial statement from Chevron said “sudden ocean surge” caused the vessel to capsize. Okene, the cook of the vessel, who was in the rest room when the tugboat sank, was rescued alive. A search-and-rescue team comprising, Ugandan, South African and western and local divers rescued Harrison about 1900hrs on May 28. Ten bodies were recovered; one seaman remains unaccounted for. In his sermon, Pastor Francis Omoreme said the day was not one for long speeches, but for thanksgiving. Reading from Isaiah 32:1-8, the cleric thanked God for the grace that brought Okene out of the ocean. Pastor Omoreme led the congregation in a prayer for the family. Speaking at a reception in his home, Okene said he was saved by

•Okene with his wife and mother

the grace of God, insisting that he is “not more pious and blameless”. Covered in white native chalk (the Urhobo people symbol of victory and purity), the sombrelooking survivor said: “The rest of my life is not enough to thank God for this wonder, it is incredible.”

His wife , Akpos, described herself as “the luckiest woman alive.” Also decked in the white chalk, she said words are not enough to express her joy. “In all this, I am indeed the chief celebrant because God has been so

Headmaster arraigned for ‘defiling’ pupil


HE police in Bayelsa State have arraigned a 55-year-old headmaster of a private nursery and primary school in Akaba community, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Akpolagha Agbugiye, for allegedly defiling an eightyear- old pupil. The headmaster appeared before the Chief Magistrate Court 1 in Yenagoa. He was accused of inserting his finger into the privates of the pupil. The prosecuting lawyer, Roselyn Doctor, told the court

that the incident happened on May 3. She said the headmaster committed the offence at the back of the school building after summoning the pupil to the hidden spot. She said the school boss asked his pupil to touch the ground with her finger and raise her leg after which he removed her pants and inserted his finger into her. She said the posture he placed the girl was supposed to be a form of punishment called “pick a pin”. “The accused asked the

classmate of the victim to call her for him. When the two girls met him at the back of the school building, he asked the other girl to leave. “The headmaster then asked the pupil to pick a pin which the girl obeyed. At this point he pulled the girl’s pant and inserted his fingers into her private part”, she explained. The police prosecutor said the victim limped home and reported the incident to her mother. She said her mother later took her to the Federal Medical Centre for examination,

adding that the doctor confirmed that the girl had been defiled. The police told Magistrate Patricia Edouyemiekumo that the hedamaster’s action is a criminal offense punishable under Section 146(2) of the Criminal Code, Law of Bayelsa State, 2006. However, the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was granted bail of N100,000 with two sureties residing in the state capital. The case was adjourned till June 13.

Pathologists: police lied over student’s killing


HE preliminary reports of the pathologists who examined the remains of the late Ibrahim Momodu, which were exhumed on Thursday, showed that he was shot from the back with three bullets, which tore his heart, before exiting through the upper part of his chest. The reports, according to the counsel to the Momodu family, Jefferson Uwoghiren, showed that the police lied when they claimed that the


From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

late Momodu was shot in the leg. Uwoghiren said the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ogida Police station, Mrs. Carol Afegbai and members of her patrol team should be charged for murder. “We the solicitors to the family of Ibrahim Momodu, note with dismay attempts

by the police in Edo State to obfuscate the legal process of bringing Mrs. Afegbai and members of her patrol team to trial, by delivering report of police investigation to the Director of Public Prosecution without first charging the accused to court. “The family also rejected attempts by the police to exonerate the DPO because of her rank and gender. The leadership of the

National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on the government to include students in the panel set up to investigate the incident. A statement by NANS Vice President, (External Affairs) Peculiar Asemota said: “We demand that the process should be transparent and validated by an independent body with students included and the findings made public.”

NDDC terminates Eket-Ibeno road contract

HE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has terminated the contract for the construction of the EketIbeno road. The contract was awarded to Foundation Construction Company (FCC). NDDC’s Managing Director Christian Oboh said the commission would partner with the Akwa Ibom State Government on the dualisation of the road. Oboh said: “We have done some facelift of the Eket-Ibeno road. All the major potholes have disappeared. “As we speak, we have cancelled that contract. We are also in the process of procurement and this time, we are partnering with the Akwa

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

Ibom government so we can key into the uncommon transformation of Governo Godswill Akpabio. “We are partnering with them to ensure that the road will look like that the IwuoAchang road.

“Once we agree with the government and the new contractor, the contractor will go to site to get the road properly dualised. “What we have done is some remedial work on the road and we appeal to our people to bear with us. It is our hope that we will give them the best.”

Oboh, however, assured indigenes that before the end of August, another contractor would be mobilised to site. His words: “Before the end ofAugust, we would have moved the project to a place where even when we are not in the office, the contractor will just do his work.”

‘More subscribers porting to Etisalat’


ELECOMMUNICATIONS company Etisalat Nigeria has expressed satisfaction with the increased interest and enquiries made by customers on the ongoing Mobile Number Portability (MNP). The company said statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows that the number of subscribers who have switched over to its network surpasses those who have left.

The Chief Executive Officer, Steven Evans, made this known at a briefing in Lagos last Thursday. Evans said subscribers are porting to Etisalat because of their desire to experience better quality of service. “The Nigerian consumer is very discerning. They know what they want, and they go for it. They want quality of service in terms of clear voice and high speed data. “

kind to me.” Mrs. Christiana Okene, Harrison’s mother, thanked God that she did not bury her son. Also covered in white chalk and waving a white handkerchief, she danced to the admiration of wellwishers.

Edo lawmaker to NAMA: apologise


By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

HE Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Festus Ebea, has called on the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to apologise for embarrassing Governor Adams Oshiomhole by recalling the chartered helicopter he was flying in. Ebea said the control tower ought to have waited and allowed the aircraft to land at its destination before taking any action against the pilot. “It is not proper knowing that it was a chartered flight while not wait and deal with the issue later. “The Government of Edo State demands an apology from the NAMA management. That was a big embarrassment for the governor and the people.” The deputy speaker condemned the claim that the governor was delayed for 10 minutes, saying the governor was kept for more than one hour. “This was a chartered plane; it was not flying the governor out of the country. Is it the flight plan that will give the aircraft passage? What they should have done is to call Asaba and get the pilot arrested and inform the governor later.”

Why Igbinedion failed, by ex-SSG


From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

ORMER Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Edo State Government (SSG) Osagie Ize Iyamu has given an account of what led to the abysmal poor performance of the eight-year administration of ex-Governor Lucky Igbinedion. Iyamu spoke at a conference organised by Edo Political Forum with the theme “Rewarding Excellence, Promoting Freedom, Leveraging Opportunities”. He attributed the failure of the administration to multiple factors, which crippled the administration in terms of developmental transformation. “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which produced the governor had no manifestation, blue print or plan for governance. “Edo State was personified by one lead character, who was worshipped as the owner and giver of political powers. “To appreciate my role, you must understand my function. I was not in charge of any ministry or parastatal, neither did I have any financial authority.”


‘Leave Akpabio alone’

SOCIO-POLITICAL group, Akwa Ibom Progressive Forum (AIPROF), has warned that Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio should not be included in thecrisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This followed a report that Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wammako was suspended by the PDP because he rebuffed Akpabio’s leadership of the PDP Governors’ Forum. AIPROF, in a statement by Oduduabasi Umanah and Utibeabasi Umoren, president and secretary, said Akpabio had been known to enjoy the support and respect of his colleagues The forum said that while it was happy that “the party had debunked the sponsored story calculated at rubbishing Akpabio and the PDP by the opposition, Nigerians should be aware of shenanigans and their attempts to slander Akpabio, a performer whose good works had been speaking for him”.



NEWS We’ll ensure adequate security in Lagos, says military


By Precious Igbonwelundu

HE army has assured Lagos residents of security against attacks by Boko Haram. The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ibas Ibok-Ette, spoke yesterday at the regimental dinner of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). The regimental dinner, which was held at the Senior Officers mess of the Logistics Command of NAF, Lagos, was hosted by the Air Officer Commanding, Air Vice Marshal Aminu Adamu. Ibas, who was special guest of honour at the dinner, said the foiled attempt to bomb Lagos was sad reminder that evil men would not rest. He said: “Evil men do not rest, so we must always be at an alert in protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria. True, Nigeria is faced with diverse challenges that threaten its autonomy. “Therefore, there is hardly an arm of the Armed Forces that is not contributing to this effort. It is heartwarming that it is yielding positive result. It is also glad to note that the Armed Forces and its sister services are working together in interagency cooperation, information gathering and sharing.”

Man ‘stabs’ co-tenant to death in Enugu


TENANT in Enugu has allegedly stabbed a co-tenant to death over an electricity bill. Uzodinma Eneh was alleged to have stabbed Prince Uzor at the weekend in Trans Ekulu. A statement by police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said the duo were arguing


From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

Council workers protest


From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

ORKERS of Abia State unified local government system have protested the alleged manipulation of election of delegates to the sixth quadrennial delegates’ conference, scheduled for June 27 in Umuahia, the state capital. The workers said if nothing was done to reverse the trend, they will sue the executives of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE). Seven delegates are to be elected from each local government. The workers, however, alleged that instead of conducting elections as required by the union’s constitution, the branch chairmen handpicked their acquaintances and sent their names to Umuahia, claiming they were the elected delegates. They accused the chairmen of bypassing the union’s constitution. They called on the national body to intervene, threatening to sue executives of the union, if nothing was done to correct the anomaly.

over the sharing of the bill of the house where they live. The statement said Eneh was reportedly infuriated by comments from the victim, leading him to stab Uzor with a knife. The victim was rushed to ESUT Parklane Teaching Hos-

pital, where he died. The suspect has since been arrested. The police yesterday arrested two suspects, Sunday Ayogu and Kenneth Kingsley, for alleged robbery. It was gathered that the suspects reportedly broke into the house of their victim, where they stole

N250,000. Sources said when the victim raised the alarm, some neighbourhood watchmen called the police. The area was cordoned off and the suspects were arrested. The police said they recovered five handsets, a matchet, N197,000 and a long cut-tosize locally made dane gun.

Niger Delta needs N3tr for development, says Orubebe

Customs impounds N2.6m Indian hemp HE Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C Owerri of the Nigerian Customs Service has arrested a man with 73.1 kilogramme of Indian hemp worth over N2.6 million. Kola Onakino was arrested by officers, who were acting on a tip-off, on the Enugu/Port Harcourt axis. The substance, which was stuffed into plastic bags, was concealed in a luxury bus before it was intercepted. Handing over the suspect and the cannabis to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), The zonal head, Victor David Dimka, said the bus was intercepted on the Enugu/Port Harcourt road. He said the handing over of the substance and the suspect to NDLEA would enable the agency carry out further investigations.

From Chris Oji, Enugu



HE Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, has said the ministry would need about N3trillion for the development of the region. He, however, revealed that the area has received about N200 billion for its development projects. The minister decried the increasing wave of insecu-

rity in the oil-rich region, saying the rate of kidnapping has been a constraint to development. No fewer than 18 cases of kidnapping of construction workers have been recorded in the post-amnesty era. Orubebe, who spoke at the ministerial platform to commemorate the mid-term anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, noted: “Kidnapping still poses a great threat to the development of the Niger Delta.” Hbe said a minimum of five soldiers are attached to one construction worker on the East-West road.

•‘Kidnapping still a threat’ From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

The minister said: “Even though youth restiveness and insecurity in the region have abated, intermittent disruption of projects by youths, excessive demands on contractors by communities/ individuals and kidnapping still constitute serious problems. “These have often led to work stoppage.” He appealed to the people to shun the acts. “No amount can be too much for development and

if I am asked that how much will I need to develop the region I would say over N 3 trillion. “On what we have gotten as budgetary allocation for the period, it is over N200 billion.” Orubebe described the terrain as a challenge facing the region. This, he said, has led to high costs of projects and technology required for infrastructural projects. He added that the terrain in most part of the region makes infrastructural development a difficult task.

Ebonyi Assembly investigates NIGERCEM impasse


HE Ebonyi State House of Assembly has begun investigations into the impasse over the ownership of the Nigeria Cement Company Ltd (NIGERCEM), Nkalagu between the state government and the Ibeto Group. A five-man ad-hoc committee set up by the House has invited leaders of the host

From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

communities, who petitioned the House on the face-off. The government and Ibeto Group have been embroiled in a running battle over the ownership of the cement manufacturing factory at Nkalagu. The impasse also led to the sacking of four traditional rulers from the host communities

last month. In the petition by Benson Kalu Aliedema, Emmanuel Eze, Joseph Agu (Nkalagu community); Pius Nnaji, Patrick Ogbuabor, Ogbunkwu Nnaji, (Umuhuali); Lawrence Ogbuzuru, Paul Omebe, Boniface Ugwu, (Amaezu) and James Ogbu Aguiyi, James Ogbu, Uchenna Idenyi of Nkalaha community; the peti-

tioners pleaded with the lawmakers to “narrow the gap between government and the people”. They said: “That you appeal to the government to reinstate our traditional rulers and regents. “That the Assembly intervenes in the impasse between the government and Ibeto Group by bringing the two parties to a negotiating table.”

NANS condemns student’s killing


From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

ENATE President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Donald Onukaogu yesterday condemned the circumstances that led to the killing of a female student of the Anambra State University, Igbariam campus. Onukaogu appealed to security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended. “We condemn the failure of private hostel operators and host community to provide adequate security for students. “We want to state clearly that the varsity management is only responsible for the students living within the campus and cannot provide security for students who live offcampus. “We are calling on all security agencies to step up the search for the suspects.”

•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi with Bishop Ephraim Ikeakor during the second session of the second Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Amichi at St Peter’s Anglican Church, Amichi

APC holds meeting in Enugu


From Chris Oji, Enugu

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday in Enugu State held its inaugural meeting at Filbon Hotel, New Haven. The meeting was attended by Osita Okechukwu of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); Emma Enukwu of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP); A. C. Ude of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Peter Okonkwo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who acted as conveners. They told reporters that the meeting was held to keep anxious members informed till the formal registration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The conveners said the meeting was just mere briefing of the members since the national leadership of the party has not release the templates on how the merging parties would be formed at the states and local government levels. “But because the groups here are getting agitated, we have to tell them where we are.”

Court remands policeman in prison custody


N Abakaliki Magistrate’s Court at the weekend remanded a police officer, Bassey Otu, in prison custody for allegedly killing Timothy Nwanga with a rifle. The late Ndubuisi was allegedly shot during a crisis between tricycle operators and policemen in

From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

Abakaliki, the state capital. Otu was arraigned on a charge of killing Nwanga (22) on May 11 on 61, Gunning Road, Abakaliki, by shooting him with a rifle. The offence is punishable under Section 319(1) of the

Criminal Code cap 33 Vol.1 laws of Ebonyi State. The prosecutor said: “That you, Bassy Otu, on May 11 at 61, Gunning Road, Abakaliki, did unlawfully kill Timothy Nwanga by shooting him with a rifle and committing an offence punishable under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code

cap 33 Vol.1 laws of Ebonyi State”. Magistrate Ifeanyi Solange said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter and remanded Otu in Abakaliki prison. Sources said the suspect has been dismissed from service.



NEWS Yobe promises to rehabilitate freed Boko Haram suspects

Nasarawa police chief denies prior knowledge of village attack


ASARAWA State Police Commissioner Umar Shehu yesterday denied having a prior knowledge of the attack by some gunmen on Rukubi village, Ekye Development Area of the state. Over 40 persons were reportedly killed in the village last Wednesday by gunmen, who were said to have dressed mobile police uniform and armed with sophisticated weapons. They allegedly attacked the village and also abducted two residents - a man and a woman. A statement yesterday in Lafia, the state capital, by police spokesman, Cornelius Ocholi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), denied a media report, which alleged that Shehu ignored a prior notice on the attack. It described the report as “false, malicious and mischievous” and aimed at bringing the name of the police chief into disrepute and cause disaffection between him and the people of the area. The statement reads: “The (police) command wishes to

From Duku Joel, Damaturu


•Some of the buildings razed during the attack on Rukubi... yesterday. From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

categorically state that the commissioner of police did not receive any report prior to the attack on Rukubi community. There was no attack on Olam Farms (a Dutch agro-based company), as claimed, and (there was) no shootout between the police and Fulani

herdsmen before the incident.” The statement said Shehu personally led two units of riot policemen and restored normalcy to the affected area. The crisis in Ekye Development Area and parts of Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State has been reoccurring since the past years. Several residents of the ar-

eas have been forced to take refuge in surrounding villages. Despite a joint committee by the Nasarawa and Benue state governments to bring the situation under control, the crisis has not abated. Several displaced persons are scattered in surrounding but their attackers have not

been identified. Also, Deputy Governor Damishi Luka has visited the area for an on-the-spot assessment. He promised to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice soon. The deputy governor said the state is making efforts to ensure that peace returns to the affected area.

Gunmen kill four as two Kaduna villages are sacked


OME gunmen yesterday killed four people in Gwaron Dutse and Gwaska, two villages in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, in separate attacks. Several others were displaced. The Nation learnt that most of the villagers abandoned their homes and ran for safety when the gunmen, who were suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, stormed the villages at

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

4pm on Saturday and started shooting sporadically. Sources said the residents were terrified by the sound of machine guns. A resident, who spoke in confidence, said: “It was terrifying. We were at home when we started hearing gunshots from all directions. So, we all ran, including our wives, children, adult and the aged, into nearby bush.

“We suspected the attackers were armed bandits who have been terrorising our villages. We need help because there are no policemen or soldiers in our town. These people always come to terrorise us. As I am talking to you now, our villages have been turned to ghost towns. We all abandoned everything to save our lives.” The Nation also learnt that the gunmen invaded one of the villages last Wednesday

but were repelled by members of a vigilance group, who reportedly engaged them in a shootout. Some of the attackers were reportedly injured. The gunmen may have come back on a revenge mission, it was learnt. The source added: “They (attackers) were in the village on Wednesday but our vigilance group engaged them in a shootout. So, they left with some of their injured members.

Taraba crisis: Suntai’s brain not damaged, ARABA State Commissays commissioner sioner for Information,


Mr. Emmanuel Bello, yesterday said ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai can recognise everyone and everything around him, contrary to insinuations that he has suffered brain dam injury. The commissioner said when Suntai recently met with Acting Governor Garba Umar, he recognised Umar and called him by name. He said the governor is undergoing a “marvelous miracle”. The clarifications came amid indications that the State Executive Council has ruled out the setting up of a medical panel on the governor’s health. Bello, in a statement in Abuja, said Suntai will soon return to the country. He was not specific on the exact date. The statement followed fresh tension in the state over alleged plot to smuggle in Sun-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja and Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

tai into the country to prevent the acting governor from being inaugurated as the governor. The statement said: “The truth is that Suntai recognised Umar and even called him by name. There are reputable eyewitnesses in the hospital to testify to this. “What is more: Suntai can recognise everyone and everything around him, as attested to by even his doctors in a recent report. “The fact remains that Suntai is a beneficiary of a special kind of medical miracle - something that still baffles many. To survive a plane crash the way he did is amazing. And we continue to thank Nigerians for their prayers. “Governor Suntai is coming back to continue his good works

in Taraba State. No amount of insinuations will stop this marvelous miracle from taking place. “And whether it is ‘next week’, as some reports said, or anytime soon, the bottom line is that a man many said has died is on his way home to his people.” Responding to a question, Bello added: “We have been keeping the state and the entire nation abreast of the medical conditions of the governor. “Check the nation’s constitution and you will see that we are on course in Taraba State. Besides, the governor is doing well and will be back soon.” The commissioner urged Nigerians to “shun insinuations about the true state of health of Suntai”. As at press time, yesterday, there were indications that the State Executive Council was not ready to invoke Section 189 of

Youths to Rep: forget about 2015



the 1999 Constitution to raise a medical panel. A source said: “Most of the members of the State Executive Council are opposed to the setting up of a panel. They believe Suntai should be given more time to recover. “Except for the House of Assembly, where pro- and antiSuntai members are slugging it out at 50-50 per cent apiece, the State Executive and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba State are against application of Section 189.”

It’s Ado’s turn to take House seat, says Benue group


GROUP in Benue State, the Movement for Justice for Ado (MEJA) , has demanded that the Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpowu Federal Constituency seat be zone to Ado. In a statement yesterday by its President, Ede Ogaba Ede, and Secretary, Goodluck Agbo, MEJA said its demand was based on an agreement by the stakeholders in the constituen-

cy in 2010, that the seat should be rotating among the three local governments on a singleterm basis. Besides, the statement soke of the need to reward the area for its loyalty and sacrifice for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the area. The group said Sam, Obande, from Okpowu Local Government Area, held the

seat in 1999 while David Idoko took it in 2003. The current holder is Hassan Sale, from Ogbadibo Local Government. The statement said: “A caucus meeting of PDP stakeholders from the three local governments held in 2010 at Okpoga and attended by Sale, a former member Idoko; Minister for Interior, Abba Moro; state PDP

That is why they came back on Saturday for a revenge on the villagers.” The chairman of the local government, Alhaji Idris Musa Alhassan, confirmed the incident. He said four people were killed by the bandits and two others injured. Police Commissioner Adenaike Olufemi said he has not been briefed on the incident. He promised to address reporters today.

F the Committee on the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Suspected Boko Haram members have their way, the pardoned members of the sect in Yobe State are to be trained. Committee chairman Mr. Ahmed Mustapha Goniri, the Yobe State Chairman of the Committee on the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of suspected Boko Haram members who were released last week to the government by the Joint Task Force (JTF), has said the state plans a systematic rehabilitation and reintegration of female detainees. Goniri told The Nation in Damaturu, the state capital, that “willing detainees will be trained in certain skills while those who have already acquired skills will be provided with funds to kick-start their trades immediately”. The committee chair said a group of Imams and councillors would be recruited for the psychological and spiritual rehabilitation of the victims so that their communities would accept them. He said: “Rehabilitating the victims will be easy, but their integration into the society will take time. This is because this has to do with the psychology of the people; I mean those victims and the community. “We are going to recruit some Imams and trained counsellors to talk to the people to accept the victims and for the victims to freely mingle with the people as well.” The JTF, last Friday, handed over 38 Boko Haram suspects, mostly women and children, to the state government, following the directive from the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

chairman, Dr Agbo Emmanuel; former Senate President Ameh Ebute; Chief Obande Obeya, Chief John Ochoga, Dr Francis Ottah Agbo, Chris Adaba Aba, Chef Ekpe Ogbu and Theresa Ikwue, among others. “It was decided that beginning from 2011, each local government area shall be entitled to a single-term.”

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

HE Makurdi branch of Tomboy Youths Association (TYA) has told a federal lawmaker, Emmanuel Udende, to forget a re-election in 2015 because he has performed below expectation. Udende, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Ukum-Logo-Katsina Ala, last Saturday inaugurated a primary school in Anyiin, Makurdi, to mark his two years at the National Assembly. But the youths chose the day to advise him against seeking re-election in 2015. A statement by the group’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Terwase Ukura, said the federal lawmaker failed to connect with his people since he was elected. It described the siting of a projects in Anyiin, the country home of Governor Gabriel Suswam as a mere eye service.

Union leader to Govt: make budgetary provision for Ajaokuta Steel’s completion


From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

HE National President of the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN), Saliu Otori, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to make adequate budgetary provision for the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Kogi State. The ISSSAN president noted that Nigeria can solve the high rate of unemployment by completing and effectively operating the moribund steel complex. Otori told reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, that the steel company has the capacity to create over 20,000 jobs. He hailed President Goodluck Jonathan for appointing a seasoned metallurgical engineer as sole administrator of the ailing company. The ISSSAN president said the company will be the country’s economic giant if given due attention.

Baptist Conference holds meeting


HE Executive Committee meeting of the Lagos East Baptist Conference holds on June 15 at the Conference Room, Baptist Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos. The Conference President, Rev. E.A. Awotunde, said members should be punctual, adding that kingdom business and other matters affecting the associations and churches under the conference will be discussed at the meeting billed for 10 am.




Sudan edges back from oil showdown with South


N a show of magnanimity, Sudan yesterday edged back from a dayold order to block all oil exports from South Sudan, saying it could reverse its decision if its neighbor stopped backing rebels, and bringing the countries back from the brink of confrontation. The standoff, even if it is eventually resolved, was a stark reminder of the unpredictability of this small but, for China and other Asian buyers and producers, still significant corner of the crude industry. Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Saturday accused South Sudan of arming insurgents on his territory and ordered the closure of pipelines carrying oil from the landlocked South through his country to Port Sudan on the Red Sea - currently the South’s only export route.

But a day later, Sudan’s information minister told reporters Khartoum might not go through with the order and appeared to give the South a deadline to respond. “We plan to close the oil pipelines within 60 days,” Ahmed Belal Osman said. “But if South Sudan is serious ... and stops backing rebels, if we get international guarantees for that, then our door is open and we can reverse the stoppage.” A stoppage would cut off the crude and transit fees that make up both countries’ main source of foreign income. Bashir’s order raised fears of new tensions between old foes who came close to a fullblown war when skirmishes broke out along their disputed border in April 2012. It was also a setback for the African Union, effectively tearing up an agreement it

had brokered in March to resolve a dispute over transit fees that had shut the pipelines for 16 months. South Sudan has long dismissed accusations of arming rebels bent on toppling Bashir, including the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of insurgents based along Sudan’s southern border and Darfur in the west. The Chinese state-owned oil firm CNPC last week said it had already sold 1.2 million barrels of South Sudanese oil following the settlement of the earlier dispute. The market for South Sudan’s oil is dominated by Chinese, Indian and Malaysian firms. “We won’t confiscate this

oil because it does not belong to South Sudan only but also to the (oil) companies, so it will be exported. We’ll take our share,” Osman said. Sudan is entitled to export fees from the South, but is also locked in a row with oil firms over extra fees it wants from them, diplomats say. He said around 6 million barrels of crude had arrived in Sudan’s oil facilities since South Sudan restarted pumping with an initial output of less than 200,000 barrels per day. Its production was around 300,000 bpd before its last shutdown in January 2012. Oil experts warn it would be very costly to close the pipelines again. South Sudan would also have to shut down

UNICEF laments state of children malnutrition

S •al-Bashir

its entire oil production because it has no storage facilities. Sudan’s top intelligence chief, Mohammed Atta, said Khartoum had repeatedly provided South Sudanese President Salva Kiir with proof of the South’s support for rebels operating in Darfur and two border states.

Libya army chief of staff ‘resigns’


IBYAN army chief of staff Youssef alMangoush has reportedly resigned after 30 people died in clashes between protesters and a militia in Benghazi. The General National Congress accepted his resignation in a session on Sunday, sources at the assembly say. The clashes erupted when protesters gathered outside the Libya Shield Brigade premises demanding it disband. The government has struggled to tackle the presence of armed militias since Col Gaddafi’s death in 2011. Mr Mangoush’s deputy, Salem al-Gnaidy, will stand in as acting army chief until a new one is chosen, Reuters news agency reports. A doctor at Benghazi’s main hospital says that some

of the deaths were caused by gunshot wounds to the chest and that there were six cases of amputations among the dozens of people injured. Following Saturday’s violence, the Libyan army said it would take control of all bases run by the Libya Shield Brigade in Benghazi. The main headquarters, where the clashes took place, is already in the hands of a special forces unit in the city, an army spokesman said. While it is not clear what the handover means in the longterm, it is clear that officials have not used the word “dismantle” - a key demand of the protesters - our correspondent says. Members of security forces run away from clashes in Benghazi on 8 June Benghazi was also the scene of deadly anti-militia protests last year.

•Funerals for the protesters were held in Benghazi ... yesterday

OME 165 million children worldwide are stunted by malnutrition as babies and face a future of ill health, poor education, low earnings and poverty, the head of the United Nations children’s fund said on Friday. Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF, told Reuters the problem of malnutrition is vastly under-appreciated, largely because poor nutrition is often mistaken for a lack of food. In reality, he said, malnutrition and its irreversible health consequences also affect relatively welloff countries, such as India where there is plenty of food, but access to it is unequal and nutritional content can be low. “Undernutrition, and especially stunting, is one of the least recognized crises for children in the world,” Lake said. “It’s a horrible thing. These children are condemned.” Stunting is the consequence of undernutrition in the first 1,000 or so days of a baby’s life, including during gestation. Stunted children learn less in school and are more likely themselves to live in poverty and go on to have children also stunted by poor nutrition. These in turn increase poverty in affected countries and regions, and drive greater gaps between the rich and the poor, Lake said.


Turkey’s leader lambasts protesters


N a series of increasingly belligerent speeches to cheering supporters yesterday, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a verbal attack on the tens of thousands of anti-government protesters who flooded the streets for a 10th day, accusing them of creating an environment of terror. Mr. Erdogan made the most inflammatory of his speeches as he arrived in the capital, Ankara. Erdogan belittled the protesters, again calling them “capulcu,” the Turkish word for looters or vandals. He made his speech in Ankara on an open-top bus, which then drove into the city in a motorcade. The increasingly fiery tone could inflame tensions, with protesters in both Ankara and the country’s largest city, Istanbul, remaining on the streets. Protests have been held in at least 78 cities across the country so far. On two occasions, including one in the southern city of Adana Saturday night, clashes have been reported be-

• Members of the congregation at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, pray for Nelson Mandela during mass...yesterday

Reformists struggle with few options in Iran vote


ESPITE four years of non-stop pressure, arrests and intimidation, Iran’s dissidents still find ways to show their resilience. Protest messages still ricochet around social media despite Iran’s cyber cops’ attempts to control the Web. Angry graffiti pops up and then quickly painted over by authorities. Mourners at the funeral of a dissident cleric flashed V-for-victory gestures and chanted against the state. But just a look at the sidewalks around Tehran’s Mellat Park shows how far Iran’s opposition has fallen as the country prepares for Friday’s presidential election. Four years ago, girls on rollerblades sped around the park delivering fliers for the reform camp’s candidatehero Mir Hossein Mousavi. Emerald-colored head scarves and wrist bands representing Mousavi’s Green Movement were in such demand that bloggers would list shops with available fabric.

• A woman also praying for Mandela ...yesterday





Nigeria to take no chances with Namibia —Oduamadi


UPER EAGLES midfielder, Nnamdi Oduamadi believes a performance dominated by intense effort is required by African champions, Nigeria if they are to emerge victorious against Namibia this week. The Super Eagles will face the Brave Warriors at the Independence Stadium, Windhoek in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying game on June 12. Following a crucial 1-0 win against Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday, Oduamadi insists only a performance of a similar scale will give the Super Eagles another victory in the race for Brazil 2014. “We must put in another intense performance because that is the only way we can win (in Windhoek) on Wednesday,” Oduamadi told The Nigeria team arrived in Namibia on Friday and subsequently set up camp at the Country Club Resort Windhoek. They will spend six days, training for Wednesday’s game; a welcome change from the situation faced by the squad before their game against Kenya. Nigeria arrived in Nairobi at 1.30am on June 4, just over 24

Onazi furious at Lazio rumours


IGERIA international, Ogenyi Onazi has reacted angrily to reports supposedly coming out of his camp about his future at Italian club, SS Lazio. The midfielder’s “girlfriend” was apparently quoted discussing his future at the Rome club where he made 15 league appearances in the 2012/13 season. The 20-year-old has reacted with consternation at the news declaring that he does not “have any girlfriend in Rome.” Speaking on Saturday via his Twitter account, @OnaziOgenyi, the former My People FC stalwart said the quotes attributed to the individual did not emanate from him. “It just came to my notice that a news publication quoted someone who was referred to as my girlfriend, talking about my future at SS Lazio. “I hereby state as follows: 1. The said girl is NOT my girlfriend. As a matter if fact, I DO NOT have ANY girlfriend in Rome. “Thank you and God bless!,” he tweeted. Onazi made his Nigeria debut in 2012 and has scored once in 11 appearances for the Super Eagles.

hours to the game against Kenya in Nairobi and the win over the East Africans left Oduamadi in ecstatic mood. “The win against Kenya was important but we have now put that behind us as the next game is the most important. “Getting to Brazil next year is our main objective and we know we will get a step closer if we win against Namibia next Wednesday,” he stated. Oduamadi has impressed in his last three internationals for the Super Eagles against Kenya (twice) and Mexico. He says he is now focused on

'Kenyans did not attack Eagles, Nigerian fans'


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said that media reports claiming that the Super Eagles and their Nigerian fans were molested at the Moi Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday, are untrue. The Eagles pipped the Harambee Stars 1-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier and afterwards it was alleged by some news media that the Nigerian squad as well as their compatriots in the stadium were attacked. This has now been refuted by the NFF. “The Kenyans reacted because they needed to equalise or win the match and some of the decisions taken by referee in charge of the match, Nomandieze Doue from Cote d’Ivoire, were not taken in good faith by some of the fans. “But it was not like they were


From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja stoning the Nigerian fans, no, they were just throwing missiles on to the pitch to show that they were not happy with some of the decisions taken by the referee", the SecretaryGeneral of the NFF explained. He even commended the behaviour of the Kenyans. “I think by and large the Kenyans were well behaved when it dawned on them that they had lost the match. The Super Eagles played like true African Champions by dominating the game in Nairobi and we could have won the game by a larger margin. But the most important thing is that we got the three points at stake in the match,” Amadu disclosed.


Athletes' arrivals begin today


HE city of Warri will play host to athletes from different countries as they arrive for the Warri Relays/CAA Golden Prix slated for Friday in the oil-rich city. According to Olukayode Thomas, Head of Communications and Media of the Athletics Federation Nigeria (AFN), athletes from the USA, Great Britain, Ghana, Morocco and other parts of the world will start arriving in Nigeria from today to participate in the CAA event. The one-day competition is a premium event in the calendar of the CAA. ‘A’ grade events at this edition include the Men’s 100m, and 400m. For the Women, the ‘A’ events are 100m, 400m, and

Emenike to rejoin Eagles in October

UPER EAGLES striker Emmanuel Emenike will be back in the Eagles’ fold in October this year, according to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), SecretaryGeneral Musa Amadu. He told NationSport at the weekend in Abuja that NFF President Aminu Maigari met with Emenike and the football house is monitoring the player's recovery. “When the (NFF) President was coming back from Mauritius he met with (Emmanuel) Emenike in

Nigeria’s next fixture away to Namibia as the race to Brazil 2014 intensifies. Nigeria’s Super Eagles currently lead Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification for Africa on eight points from four games. The African champions are unbeaten in their last 16 fixtures but Namibia’s coach, Roger Palmgren has since declared that his side will be looking to upset the applecart this week. Wednesday’s match will start at 8pm at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, which has an artificial turf.

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja Dubai on the same Emirates Air Flight back to Nigeria. “They did discuss and he is making progress. He is in the country recuperating. “So, I believe that when we get to the last stage of the last round of qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in October (2014) and hopefully the friendly matches team would play before then, Emenike and Victor Moses would be fully back in the Super Eagles", Amadu assured.

By Stella Bamawo 400m Hurdles (H). The classic events for Men - 5000m, Javelin, Long Jump and Women - 100m H, High Jump and Long Jump. Apart from the premium and classic events, there are also some promotional events. They are 110m H, 3000m SC, 4x100m & 4x400m for men and for the women’s 800m, 5000m, 4x100m & 4x400m. While competition for positions in the individual events will be stiff because of the juicy prize money for top finishers, the relay events will be more competitive as they provide opportunities for countries that have not qualified for the relay events of the 2013 World Championships in Athletics slated for Russia to qualify. Achieving this feat in Warri will enable them showcase their talents at the world stage where the stakes are higher. The top three countries in the relay events will be presented with medals; there is no prize money for relay winners. Like it is done in other parts of the world, the meet organisers will only be responsible for the local t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , accommodation and feeding within Nigeria of a maximum of five athletes per relay event per team. Each participating country will be responsible for their international transportation.



VOL 8 NO 2,512

‘If we are not disciplined as a party, we certainly may not be able to produce the most progressive government in line with the greatest expectation of every Nigerian and the rest of the world’



T was a slate then. It is a slate now. Back in the day, we carried the miniature blackboard and wielded our chalks. We could only write on it. It had no memory, and whatever passed for memory we wiped off with our hands or what we called duster. It contained only what the learner or the teacher put on it at the moment. We call it primitive now. At that time, it was the grand way to learn, a miracle of erudition. Today, the story is different. Kids wield the cell phone, and through it borders collapse, time and space intertwine into a blur. The internet, cell phone, iPad, and the dizzy traffic are what Al Gore designated as the information superhighway. We are fulfilling what Daniel said in the Bible, that “men will go to and fro and knowledge shall increase.” In that rustic state of Osun, the grand old state of learning is about to get rusty. From its success, others will take a bow, and emulate what is potentially the most audacious move for education since Obafemi Awolowo, with free education, shed light into the brains of his compatriots in the 1950’s. The Yoruba call it Opon Imo, and it is translated as the tablet of knowledge. The launching last week was a consummation of about two years of soldiering. I hinted in this column two years ago when the idea was mooted that it was an extraordinary innovation. It was an example in idealism. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, with his trademark goatee, optimistic eyes and boyish zeal, took on the challenge. Over the past two years, I had waited for the moment last week. Often I would ask him, “what’s up with Opon Imo?” but his answers varied. At the beginning, his eyes glazed over when he boasted it would be a revolution. After over six months and I saw nothing, I wondered what was going on with it. His answer was more sober, without the glint of the sanguine. His answer, if I can recall properly, gave a hint that the work was on. But he had no enthusiasm to speak further on the subject. He, however, understood my agitation when I said that, for all his vision for the state, the project that impressed me the most was the tablet of revolution. He reassured me it would be done. I could see that he was a little embarrassed that the project did not move at the speed he wanted. I decided not to mention the subject for some time, but when the silence appeared to me like capitulation, I raised the issue about late last year. He was more spirited that time. The software was giving some problems but some experts had been hired and they were optimistic that they would get it done. The


IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •NMMA Columnist of the Year

The new slate

•Aregbesola light had resurrected in his eyes, and his body language resumed to the path of boyish glee. That was the way of technology. It is thorny with frustration. Biographers of Thomas Edison, who invented so many modern marvels, tell the story of his constant frustrations, near misses, surrenders, and the stage that playwright Samuel Becket described as to “fail better” than previous failures. The governor referred to this in his speech at the launching. In the end, courage and spirit triumphed over pain. The tablet is like the iPad in size but it contains multimedia content, 56 tutorials and e-textbooks covering 17 subjects, over 40,000 practice questions and answers and seven


TERRORISM? ...OBAMA take note

‘Opon Imo may hit some hiccups along the way, and I might say it is inevitable. But the destiny is inescapable. All others have to join him and adapt and even improve on it, so we can make education cheap for all across the country. It is time to move from the old form, by revising what we meet on the ground’ extra-curricular books. It gives the student the ability to learn on the go, and the teacher to track the student’s performance. It is not only an innovation in learning, but also creativity in economics as it saves the state N8.4 billion annually to procure textbooks for its students. It also domesticates learning, tapping from local culture and lore. Solar power plants have been located in the schools to allow them charge the device as counterfoil to power failure. This boost will play on the already breakneck rise in the number of enrollments across the state. The tablet cannot be seen in isolation but in the context of a programme



HE political game of hide and seek playing out in Taraba State is a reminiscence of the 93-day disappearing act enacted by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and his inner circle after he fell mysteriously ill and no one was willing to tell the nation the truth. The reason was simple. Spilling the beans would have made the former president vulnerable to all those who wanted to invoke Section 145 of the Nigerian constitution relating to the incapacitation of the president as grounds for his removal from office. Such was the intensity of public pressure back then Yar’Adua’s henchmen who had been spinning myriad tales of his imminent recovery reached breaking point, and smuggled the terminally ill man back into the country under the cover of darkness. A little over three years after that messy episode, another very brazen set of Nigerians are replaying the same script with little or no concern for originality. Yar’Adua was away for just three months before the bubble burst. Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai, has been away for close to eight months. What has allowed this situation to be this long drawn is the very spectacular public

Like Yar’Adua, like Suntai circumstance under which the governor fell ill. There is also the fact that his deputy, Alhaji Garba Umar, has been holding forth as Acting Governor. This has allowed Suntai to continue his “recuperation” away from scrutiny for this long. However, the situation can clearly not been sustained because of conflicting reports about the true state of the governor’s health. Since we are dealing with politicians and their interests here we must admit that many of the agendas being pushed in the Suntai affair are less than altruistic or patriotic. Now the state is awash with tales of plans by the governor’s loyalists to ‘smuggle’ him in from his sick bed in the United States to eliminate questions about his continued absence. But even if they manage to do so, they will still have to answer whether he is capable of carrying out the functions of his office. The only way to resolve it is by following provisions of the constitution.


that includes feeding of students in schools with protein-rich food, supply of other tools as well as the erection of a model schools all over the state in what is billed to be the biggest budgetary allocation ever to the sector to the tune of N40 billion. It is a programme of light for the future whose fruits the governor may not see until his hoary days. It is an endowment for posterity. It is also a paean to technology. It reminds one of the phrase, a brave new world, which was popularised by the novelist, Aldous Huxley, by giving that name to his inventive novel. He borrowed the phrase from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Other writers like Wells, Leibniz and Voltaire have been fascinated by the concept of technology. Technology helps us tackle the future. The world does not change without it. We remain where we are unless we invent. Alan Kay said the best way to predict the future is to invent it. We have had such things in our past, like the introduction of the television by Awolowo, the opening up of spectrum of mobile communication in the Obasanjo era and the use of software to account for and save revenue by former Governor Bola Tinubu. But technology often disrupts, and the word disrupts is always a good thing when scientists use it. When Gutenberg gave us the printing machine, it democratised learning. One of the beneficiaries was the lay man who could not access the Bible. He depended on the priest. But Gutenberg, who democratised learning, touched off the protestant revolution as a consequence. The steamroller, the car, the airplane, radio, etc, changed the world. Great leaders think about inventing. The Egyptian leader Mohammed Ali was so enamoured of change that a historian said that if they suggested to him to build a castle in the air, he would ask them to try it. Only those who dream, dare. Opon Imo is a testament to dreaming. Technology has not always done us good. But we need it. “The world is very different now,” intoned, John F. Kennedy, “for man holds the power to abolish all forms of poverty and all forms of life.” But that is only possible when “men have become tools of their own tools,” according Henry Thoreau. Opon Imo may hit some hiccups along the way, and I might say it is inevitable. But the destiny is inescapable. All others have to join him and adapt and even improve on it, so we can make education cheap for all across the country. It is time to move from the old form, by revising what we meet on the ground. That is merely mending. And as Huxley himself said, “ending is better than mending.” This is a surefire way to end illiteracy in land.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above But this is not likely to happen in a hurry as the State Executive Council, comprising mostly loyalists of Suntai, are refusing to raise a medical board to advice on the governor’s health. The people of Taraba deserve better. Rather than parochial politicians continuing with their silly games, they should act and resolve the situation by invoking of Section 189 of the constitution. That section says in part: “The Governor or Deputy Governor of a state shall cease to hold office if (a) by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all members of the executive council of the state it is declared that the Governor or Deputy Governor is incapable of discharging the functions of his office; “(b) the declaration in paragraph (a) of this subsection is verified, after such medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under subsection(4) of this section in its report to the Speaker of the House of Assembly.” But if they will not do the right thing, perhaps someone should remind the people of Taraba that, just like in Yar’Adua’s case, time and nature have a clinical way of resolving things, when selfish politicians refuse to act.

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. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

June 10, 2013  
June 10, 2013