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VOL. 7, NO. 2153 MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012



Another bloody Sunday Five killed in attack on Jos church, reprisal Two dead in Borno Pastor, wife, two children, 48 others injured in suicide bombing

•A victim of the bomb explosion at Christ Chosen Church of God, Rukuba, Jos at Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos…yesterday. SEE ALSO PAGE 63


•The Jos church after the suicide bombing...yesterday



•The wreckage of the suicide bomber’s car...yesterday

Rep Lawan faces suspension over alleged $3m subsidy bribe •Lawan

Lawmaker: I didn’t collect any cash





NEWS Another bloody Sunday

Blast occurred after prayers against untimely death, says witness



T was another bloody Sunday yesterday. No fewer than seven persons died — many were injured — in attacks on two churches during service. The nation is still mourning the death of no fewer than 153 people in the Dana Air plane crash in Lagos on June 3. Also on that day, 14 people were killed in an attack on two churches in Bauchi. In Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday’s suicide attack was the third on worshippers since January. The second attack was at the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria in Biu, 180 kilometres to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lt. Victor Ebhaleme told AFP on the telephone in Maiduguri that two people died and an unspecified number injured during the attack in Biu. Borno State Police Commissioner Bala Hassan said one person died and three others were injured. Hassan said the police had made appreciable progress in the investigation of the attack by “four young men’’ on Ekkilizia Yanuwa A Nigeria (EYN) Church on Gombe -Biu road. The police chief told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that his command had tightened security in vulnerable areas and would continue to do its best to ensure the safety of lives and property. “The attack on the church on Gombe-Biu Road happened around 9 a.m when four young

•Another victim of the explosion at Christ Chosen Church of God, Rukuba Jos, receiving treatment at Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos…yesterday PHOTO: NAN From Yusufu Aminu Idegu and Marie-Therese Nalong, Jos

men fired at a church during which one person died and three others were injured. “The attackers fled shortly after, but the police recovered a pistol, one of the weapons used during the attack,’’ Hassan said. Only on Friday, a suicide bomber rammed his car into the barricaded portion of the command’s headquarters in Maiduguri. Five persons died; 12 were injured. The dead are a policeman, three civilians and the suicide bomber The suicide attack on worshippers at the Christ Chosen Church of God (CCCG) on Rukuba Road in Jos and the reprisal that followed led to the death of no fewer than 10 people, including the suicide bomber. Over 50 worshippers have been killed in the three attacks on churches so far. Source said the original tar-

get of the suicide bombers was ECWA Church located about 50 meters away from CCCG, but there was a security check point before their target. The bombers diverted the explosives to the CCCG Church. The explosives, apparently, was timed. The church building came down on about 200 worshippers. Witnesses said many people, including the suicide bomber, died. Mr Manasseh Pampe, a senior official of the Red Cross Society, told NAN that it was difficult to ascertain the figure as yet. An eyewitness, Mr Richard Jonah, said the bomber entered through the church gate after deceiving the security personnel that he was a member coming for service. Jonah said the suicide bomber, who drove a Volkswagen Golf saloon car, posed as a member of the church and was admitted to the premises by

the security personnel. “But, immediately he entered into the premises, he drove straight into the church building and hit the structure with the bomb-laden vehicle while the second service was still going on,’’ he said. An official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Tajudeen Olanrewaju, also declined to be specific on the casualty figure. “As you can see, we are still evacuating those injured to hospitals. For now, we cannot give you any clear figure,’’ he said. Pastor Monday Uzoka of CCCG, his wife and two children are among the 52 victims of the suicide attack. A NAN correspondent, who visited the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), was told by medical personnel that Uzoka and another church elder were in “very critical situation”. Continued on Page 63

RS. Josephine Jacobson, a 63-year-old Deaconess of the Christ Chosen Church of God, said the suicide attack occurred just after the congregation had finished prayers against “untimely death”. Mrs. Jacobson told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital that she saw the car when it rushed into the church premises while she was sitting at the altar. “I was wondering who could be driving into the premises with such a speed but before I knew it, I just heard a bang and saw that the roof of the church had come down on us. “It was then that I realised we have been hit by suicide bomber.” According to her, the blast occurred just after the congregation had finished a prayer session against “untimely death”. “Actually, we have never prayed like that before. Our pastor had barely asked us to sit down quietly for his sermon when the incident happened. It was by sheer providence that I am alive today,” the Deaconess said. Another victim, Mr Odey Randy, said that he saw when the suicide bomber’s car entered the church before explosive went off. “I was just passing by in the front of the church on my way to buy something in a shop when the blast occurred,” he said. Randy, who was hit on his right leg, spoke to NAN at the hospital while waiting for

doctors to attend to him. “I saw the car rushing into the church. It was a Toyota Corolla saloon, but the blast went off just early enough to affect me. “I didn’t suspect that the car belonged to a suicide bomber. I just thought it was driven by one of the church members rushing in to meet up with the service.” Sympathisers and relations besieged BUTH in search of loved ones admitted after the bomb attack. The crowd at a time became uncontrollable, forcing the hospital management to barricade the entrance of one of the wards. “You people are making things so difficult for us in this place. Please, kindly leave the veranda of this ward and stay outside to enable us to attend to you loved ones“ a nurse, who gave his name as Sam, pleaded. When the crowd refused to heed the plea, the nurse called in one of the senior nurses, who mobilised some of the attendants to force the sympathisers to give way. As soon as they moved out of the way, the entrance to the ward was barricaded. At that point, the people besieged the windows of the ward to look through and also talk to their loved ones on admission. Mrs Maria Goni, Director, Nursing Services, said that the hospital had to control the crowd because of the risk of having too many people inside the ward. “Besides, the victims need not be disturbed in view of their conditions,’ ‘she said.

Rep Lawan faces suspension over alleged $3m susbsidy bribe


ARRING last-minute change of mind, the House of Representatives will this week suspend its member who allegedly collected $620,000 from an oil baron to influence the report of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime. The House leadership has shown the video clip of the bribe saga to the Representative, who reportedly collected the crash at 4am. The member, who initially denied collecting the bribe, was shocked to watch himself in the video which security agencies made available to the House leadership, it was learnt yesterday. But the plot by some forces in government to use the scandal to remove Speaker Aminu Tambuwal has backfired as members have resolved to stand by him, having been satisfied that the leadership was not involved in the scandal. The Nation learnt that after the scandal broke, the House leadership summoned the concerned Representative to hear his own side of the story. The Representative stood his ground that he did not collect any bribe from the oil magnate as alleged. Following his insistence, the House leadership decided to play the video tape of how the deal was struck and how money exchanged hands. A source in the House said: “You need to get the records straight. The bribe was actually collected at about 4am in the oil baron’s home in Maitama.

I never collected money from anybody, says Lawan


HAIRMAN of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy probe Hon. Farouk Lawan, has described as baseless and cheap blackmail media reports that a prominent member of the committee received $620,000 bribe from an oil marketer to influence the report. Lawan, who spoke in Abuja last night, categorically denied either demanding or collecting money from “anybody in connection with the fuel subsidy probe.” He said in a situation where the Committee uncovered fraud of over N1 trillion, it should be expected that the powerful cabal behind the high scale corruption in the oil sector would not only fight back but would fight dirty. Denying ever meeting the unnamed oil marketer at the Abuja airport to receive the $600,000 first installment of what was said to be a $3 million bribe, Lawan said he had to leave the country when pressure became unbearable from high quarters to doctor the report to suit certain interest. Lawan, in a statement he personally signed, said: “My attention has been drawn to several newspapers and Internet stories alleging that a prominent member of the House Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy demanded and received the sum of $620,000 as bribe from an oil marketer. “I wish to categorically deny that I or any member of the committee demanded and received any bribe from anybody in connection with the fuel subsidy probe and I believe this is evident from thorough and From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

The Representative had fixed an appointment for 1am but he got to the place at 4am in a white kaftan. He got $500,000 that early hour of the day. “Later, the committee’s sec-

From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja

indepth manner the investigation was carried out and the all-encompassing recommendations produced therefrom as approved by the whole House. “The general public is hereby reminded that during and after the investigations, we have severally raised alarm on pressures on us from different quarters. In particular, I wish to refer to the front page publication in the Leadership Weekend newspaper of 28th, April, 2012 captioned “Marketers offered subsidy committee plane-load of dollars” where we alerted the public that a marketer promised to fly in a jet loaded with US dollars which he “intended to share to both the House leadership and members of the Adhoc Committee” to influence the outcome of the report. “The clarification is necessary in order to clear all the insinuations being bandied about and more importantly to enable government concentrate on the implementation of the report. “The present mudslinging is not unexpected in view of the calibre of people whose actions or inactions were found wanting in the report. I am aware that in their desperation to discredit the report and divert the attention of the public from the real issues of large scale fraud in high places established in our report, a video footage displaying a caricature of my person allegedly having a dealing with a marketer reminiscent of military era when dignitaries were invited to the Villa to watch video clip of phantom coup

retary returned to the oil magnate’s house at about 7.30pm to collect $120,000, which was later handed over to the Representative. “The airport connection came a few days later when the Representative asked for the

involving Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is already in circulation. “I wish to assure all Nigerians that the sanctity of our report remains unassailable and it will be in the best interest of the country if the relevant authorities faithfully and consciously implement the resolutions of the House. No amount of red-herring and cheap blackmail will affect our resolve to act in the best interest of the country with all the available information at our disposal. No doubt, the last has not been heard”. In a brief chat, Lawan said the committee informed the House of all the attempts made to reach out to the members and all the issues were discussed. “You don’t fight corruption and expect that these people will just be silent. We anticipate they were going to fight back and fight dirty. There were several threats to our lives when we were doing the investigations. At a point, I did not sleep in my house for five days. And because of the pressures from very high quarters, I had to leave this country. I believe the aim of the persons peddling the latest news is to divert attention from the report. “This is not about me but a way of diverting attention from the findings in that report. We were approached and we made it known to the House. That was why the Speaker made allusions to the fact that these persons would fight back and would fight dirty during the presentation of that report”, he said. Lawan said he would speak further on the matter as events unfold.

balance of the agreed $3million. The oil magnate said they should meet at the airport in Abuja because he won’t be able to carry such a huge sum to his house. “At the appointed time, the Representative offered to send


had laid siege to the House member’s residence to track his movement to the airport but he stayed indoors that day.” Asked how the deal came about, the source added: “What happened was that the oil baron approached security agents; who made the marked notes and pen camera available to record the bribery saga. “Before the bribe deal became public knowledge, the Speaker was shown the video clip by security agencies.” A House source also gave account of how the leadership has been managing the crisis in the last few weeks. He said when the Representative was adamant, the leadership showed him the tape on how he got the bribe - as made available by relevant security agencies.

a third party to the airport but the oil baron rejected the arrangement. Security agents Continued on Page 61 CORRECTION Pa Joseph Adediran was inadvertently referred to as Adeniran in our story on page 25 of Friday, June 8, edition. This error is regretted. —Editor

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Oh, my life is gone, says He got married about five years ago. But the marriage of Ikechukwu Ochonogor to Tolulope ended with the Dana Air crash. Assistant Editor (Investigations) JOKE KUJENYA, at the wekend, met his family members


HIRTY-five-year-old Ikechukwu Ochonogor was until he died last Sunday in the Dana Air plane crash an employee of FEDEX Courier Services. His father, Mr. Ochonogor, 67, paced up and down without speaking when this reporter visited the family home in Akesan-Igando, on the outskirts of Lagos, on Saturday. He only acknowledged greetings from guests. At a point, the sexagenarian, who was blessed with six children (four men and two women) shouted: “Oh, my life is gone...” Ikechukwu was said to be his favourite child. His wife of about five years, Tolulope, has been extremely sad. Their two-year-old child, Binichukwu, is still young to understand what fate has befallen him. The deceased’s mother, simply called ‘Nma’, also 67, sat with her siblings but would not attend to media inquiry. Tolulope, an audit specialist, sat in one of the rooms, grief-stricken. Her mother, immediate elder sister and some other women, kept her company. Tolulope inaudibly acknowledged words of encouragement and admonitions. At a point, she said: “I was not close by to receive his call when he called my line shortly before he boarded the ill-fated plane on that Sunday.” Her comments were followed by “It is well” ... “It is well” chorus.

Then she looked up to the reporter and pleaded: “Please, talk to my sister-in-law. I can’t talk to you for now. Maybe some other time please...” Shortly thereafter, a communion service was conducted by the youngest brother of the departed. In his admonition, Chidi Owenogor said: “There are so many things we all as human beings describe as tragedies. But they are actually great decisions of God to show us, humans, His mercy and glory. We all wanted Iyke to be here with us. But what if he had survived but maimed and becomes a burden on the entire family? So, as we sit, I want us all to know that this family is not mourning. Rather, we are here to raise our voices to God in appreciation of His goodness...” The late Ikechukwu’s immediate elder sister, Mrs. Ifeoma DimejiSopeju, told The Nation: “It is rather unfortunate that as a result of the carelessness of the regulatory bodies in Nigeria, this kind of thing can happen. However, I will say boldly that my brother died a hero and if there is anything I should add, it is to say that Iyke was more than a hero. From the testimonies of the impact he made on people within his short span of 35 years of life, it has been quite overwhelming. And I want to appreciate God for that in his eventful but short life. “I would like to say that the DANA Air management is very

•The late Ikechukwu and his wife on their wedding day

careless. And I say this with all sense of responsibility. It was as a result of carelessness that over 158 lives were lost in one painful swoop. And this is extremely sad. But in all things, the Bible says, we should give thanks to God. “Our grief has also been compounded by the procedures and protocols from the end of the Lagos State government in their approach to managing things. Whatever it was they said they are offering, I think generally they have all been insensitive to the plight of the bereaved. It is also the same story from the Federal Government’s side. The

neglect has been palpable. The extent of flippancy we have experienced as families of the crash victims is also enough to crush us if not for God’s grace that is helping us to pull ourselves together. By now, Nigeria should have gone past this stage. “The government as a whole is taking the whole issue with levity. And it is not merely the suspension of DANA licence and services that we are talking about here; the procedure of getting their DNAs done so that we can lay to rest the pains matters more. “Can you imagine what it means

if your brother could just wake up one day to go to his office and never return? Upon that, some DANA staff, three of them, two men and a lady, came to our house on Thursday that they had come to apologise and sympathise with us and all they could bring along was an ‘unsigned’ letter from their management. We told them that they were very lucky we are a peaceful family because if it was another home; they could be lynched for bringing a letter which they claimed was from their Chief Executive and it was not signed. Are they telling us that no other official could sign on behalf of the CEO? Of

Peg aircraft’s age limit at 20 years, says Senator


HE Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Smart Adeyemi yesterday urged the Federal Government to peg the age of aircraft in the fleet of airlines at between 15 and 20 years. He called for the reactivation of emergency landing site for Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos . He said the government should also ensure that all airports have emergency landing sites. Adeyemi, who spoke with reporters in Abuja , said the nation must avert a repeat of last Sunday’s Dana Air crash. The senator said: “A week after the crash in Lagos , I could still not come to terms with the reality of losing 153 people; it is really unfortunate. The time has come for us as a nation to be proactive in the aviation sector. “We should peg the age of aircraft to be used in Nigeria at between 15 and 20 years. Any aircraft that is older than 20 years should not be allowed for commercial operations in Nigeria “We also do not have the capacity to locally maintain regular checks on aircraft operating in the country. We need to look inward on this aspect. “In Nigeria , airlines cut corners

‘So, Tosin, Chris, Charles are gone’


EVEN of them travelled to Abuja for a project. Two decided not to return to Lagos last Sunday. One of those who chose to stay back in Abuja is Ogbo Awoke Ogbo, an employee of Giantthoughts International, Operations Management at EDC/PAN African University. The five, who boarded Dana Air flight, including Tosin Anibaba, Christopher Okocha and Charles Ntuko, are dead. Ogbo, in an interview with The Nation, said he is yet to recover from the shock. He said: “Seven of us had travelled to Abuja together for a project. We were billed to return on the ill-fated flight but two of us rescheduled to a later Dana flight to attend to another matter in Abuja. In the event, we From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

because C-checks are not readily available. I have personally seen aircraft with worn out tires which could easily slip off while landing and I called the attention of operators to it.” Adeyemi recommended the use of propeller engines aircraft. He added: “I feel that a nation

By Joke Kujenya

bade one another bye and left words to meet in Lagos where we would put heads together to finetune fresh legs of our initiative. “Shortly after, news of the illfated crash rented the air and now, we have lost five of our precious colleagues to that flight. These were people I had just dined with and told, ‘See you later in Lagos’. I’m overwhelmed with sorrow. My dead colleagues were among the most brilliant minds I have known in this country... they still had so much life in them. I still can’t believe they are gone! I’m still dialling their phones ...please Tosin, answer me! Chris, pick my call! Charles, I hope you are on the other side of the line!”

•The late Mrs. Tosin Anibaba

like Nigeria should go for more of propeller engines which are cost effective. The Dana air crash should be a watershed in Nigeria’s aviation sector and we should maintain a higher regulatory standard more than the Western nations where regular checks can easily be done,” the Senator said. The senator said if not for the

use of propeller engines aircraft, the story of the crash of ThisDay editors in Borno in 2005 would have been different. He called for the reactivation of emergency landing site for Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos He said: “Every airport is supposed to have an open field which can be used for emergency

•Ogbo: I still can’t believe they are gone

landing. We understand that the one meant for Lagos Airport is located in a place called Matogun Road in Ogun State but close to the border between Lagos and Ogun states and that it is now overgrown with weeds. The Minister should investigate this, because if the Pilot had located that place, we would have saved lives.”




father of crash victim ‘

To us in this family, my brother is not dead. Our parents’ children remain six and we will never count him out. All I can appeal is that the government should make air traffic safer because we don’t a repeat of this calamity in out air space, again. Never! •Two-year-old Binichukwu: Lost dad to Dana crash

•Mrs. Dimeji-Sopeju: ‘My brother is not dead’ PHOTOS: JOKE KUJENYA

course, we rejected the letter and never collected it from them. They should put themselves in our stead. They even wanted to snap my photograph so they could show either their bosses or Nigerians that they were here to apologise to us. But we did not allow any of such things and then told them to leave because they were not willing to do things properly.” Asked to talk about his late younger brother, she said: “Ikechukwu, we all call him ‘Iyke’ was a staff of FEDEX. He had gone to Abuja on official duties and was due to return last week Sunday. In

fact, he had called a few of us that he would soon join the flight and be in Lagos. Then, he tried to call his wife, Tolulope, who was not holding her phone at the time. “By the time she got back to the phone and saw the ‘missed calls’, she tried to call him in return. But apparently they may have been airborne because his phone was then switched off. And that would have been their last conversation. “And as for their compensation, we have not taken a unilateral decision on that. The reason is that as much as money cannot bring my brother back; only our parents and

his wife can decide on that. However, we wish to affirm here that their compensation can never be a sufficient measure for the kind of short but purposeful life my brother lived. “That is why to us in this family, my brother is not dead. Our parents’ children remain six and we will never count him out. All I can appeal is that the government should make air travel safer because we don’t a repeat of this calamity in out air space, again. Never!” The family, in a statement, said they felt insulted by Dana Air’s

management. The statement reads: “We have been insulted by the management of DANA Airlines. Their negligence cost us, the Ochonogor’s family, the life of our brother, the late Ikechukwu Ochonogor, 35, who died in the ill-fated DANA crash on Sunday, June 3, in Iju-Ishaga, Lagos. Despite our pains, all that the DANA management could do was to send some junior staff from their office to deliver an ‘unsigned letter’ to our family. “This is unacceptable. And we are shocked that the Aviation Minister would even at this stage not wade

into the human relations between DANA Air and the bereaved families of the victims. “Is this a continuation of the bad system we will continue to fall victims to in our beloved country, Nigeria. We are, therefore, appealing to Minister of Justice to ensure that justice is given to our late brother, Ike Ochonogor, and other victims and their bereaved families.” The family plans to hold a Service of Songs in Ikechukwu’s memory next Saturday, whether or not his body is released by government.

‘Dana crash made me cry for my husband’ Plane exploded before we got there, says NEMA


•Mrs. Maciver


CTOBER 29, 2006 was the day Mrs. Mojisola Maciver lost her husband to the ADC Airline crash. The crash last Sunday of a Dana Air plane has made tears cascade down her cheeks. “I haven’t stopped crying since Sunday, June 3. The incident brought back tears to my eyes. It took me six years back to when I lost my husband, the late Mr. Abdulrasak Maciver, then 49, and an Assistant Controller of Customs, then serving in Sokoto Command of the Nigerian Customs Services, in the ADC Airline crash of October 2006. The flight he boarded left Lagos to Abuja to connect Sokoto. He was going to report for duty. So, from the moment a family friend informed me last Sunday that about 158 people

HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has debunked the insinuation that late arrival of rescue led to the explosion of the Dana Air plane, which killed all its passengers and crew members. The Southwest Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Iyiola Akande, said:“The information on the plane crash reached us at 4.00 p.m. and we moved out instantly for rescue operations. I sent a text to our Director-General in Abuja at 4.03 p.m. to inform him of our movement.” Akande added: “It took us less than 20 minutes to get to IjuIshaga to start our rescue operaBy Joke Kujenya

died in the Iju-Ishaga DANA Air plane crash, I developed a headache and it is still bothering me till this minute. This incident brought back painful memories...” In tears, Mrs Maciver added: “A deeper pain is inflicted by President Goodluck Jonathan’s inclusion of the Chairman of the ADC Airline, Captain Ufom Udom, a man who was one of the owners then and who till date, has not even come out with the cause of his own plane crash. He is

By Leke Salaudeen

tion but crowd control was something else. We were there early enough with our equipment and our Dedicated Emergency Response Van. But before we got there, the plane had exploded. We were left to carry out evacuation operations. It isn’t our fault. It’s an act of God. “In fact, we got the information immediately the plane crashed through one of our employees who lives within the vicinity of the crash. We work 24 hours every day because of the nature of our assignment.” On the performance of NEMA, the coordinator said it has improved in recent years and it will continue to improve. now in the current committee to unravel the cause of the DANA crash. To me, that is laughable. How can a man who has covered his own failure for so long now want to be used to open up another’s can of worms? And that has given me serious headache in the last six days. “The ADC flight my husband boarded had a stop-over in Abuja. Then, later they took off for Sokoto and that was the end of the story. That was how I became a widow at an early age in life. And this is where my pains lie. Many young women

He said: “The incumbent DG, Alhaji Sani Sidi, has given priority to the training of young professionals who can stand their ground anywhere, motivation of staff and undertaking of emergency assessment within 24 hours so that relief materials will get to victims within a week. The DG was in Lagos three hours after the Dana Air plane came down to join us in rescue operations. “NEMA is better equipped with an helicopter dedicated to search. “Notwithstanding, we have to update our equipment and keep pace with technological development in emergency operations.” have become widows to no fault of theirs . “We were married for 21 years and had four children. We got married in 1985 and after he died in 2006, it was like I was a confused young child who didn’t know what she was doing. And that is the reason why I am pained and afraid for the current set of victims and their bereaved families. I fear they would be taken through the same kind of ordeal we were made to go through. I fear for the trauma, the pains, the stress and all the troubles they might be subjected to.

It took the ADC Airline over three years to settle anything about compensation for our own set of people. They brought down their insurers from India who came to be negotiating with us on the amount to be paid, among others. “That is why I am making this passionate appeal to our government to make sure that something concrete is done about our aviation industry. On compensation, imagine where the regulators of the industry is telling families to accept what the airline is able to pay them. The same ADC Airline went to hire a team of lawyers to start negotiating the compensation to be paid; then, having their chairman on the committee, I insist, is in bad taste. “Ordinarily, the death of a family’s breadwinner automatically alters the smooth running and course of life of respective families in line with the pattern they intend to live. So, life has not been easy at all for me and many other women that we later formed a group to share our needs and feelings. So, for the women involved in this crash too, there’s going to be lots of traumas, pains and heartaches. “The causes of the air crashes in the country, Sosoliso, Bellview, ADC and few others, have not be known till today. The worst of all is that NCAA Director-General Demuren has been there for a while and solutions or causes of plane crashes are never disclosed after the crashes. There are some of the painful memories that filled my heart since last Sunday on the DANA crash.”




I leave everything to God, says man who lost wife, two kids Like the Biblical Job, Lanre Fatokun, who lost his wife, Anjola, and two children to the Dana Air plane crash, in a piece on his blog, said he has left everything to God. Excerpts:


FTER the preventable tragedy that took my lovely wife and blessed children away from me on Sunday, June 3 , various thoughts have flooded my mind. We started out rough, with a bike accident, and it all ended in a plane crash! My lovely wife was the most obedient stubborn girl I’ve ever met. With less than a year between us, and same school years, and an LLM from the United Kingdom (UK), she had every reason to let me know what ‘equality’ meant but l still do not know! I practically did not have to initiate a single conflict resolution in four years! She did it all! She spoilt me right? When people said I was cool and gentle, she’d shake her head and say “may they never know you!” There was never a brawl over lack! She did everything to please me. I think my love for her should be close to 60 per cent of what she had for me. Olaoluwa was me in every possible way, including genotype and blood group. three years and six months, I taught him to plan the tonic solfa on the piano, preparing him to be a third

generation pianist/choir director. I hate noise, he hated noise. He’d rather go with uncle Wisdom, a neighbour, than go with mummy for a wedding reception! If you had seen my baby pictures, you’d stop thinking he looked like Anjola. Ibukun could best pronounce her name as Ibubu, and she claimed everything that was hers with her name, including Ibubu’s daddy, leaving mummy for Ola! She was growing with a great musical voice. At one year and seven months, her best song was Kabiyesi o, Hossana o! Times when I scolded her, she won’t be silent, nor leave my presence till I said ‘sorry’ and hugged her. She always gave Ibubu’s daddy Mwaah at every opportunity; Anjola called her my ‘Younger Wife’. We were a closely-knit four. We had at least one full day together, once a week. Doubtlessly, these pictures will always remain; my preschoolers will never grow up, and my darling wife will never grow old! But l see light at the end of my tunnel Firstly, people have referred me to Job, and l think “E easy?” Job 16:4I also could speak as ye do!

Secondly, some have said that I am strong in faith. I ask them the question the disciples asked Jesus. John 6:68 – Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. Finally, l’ve heard one archbishop, ane three bishops visit me. But yesterday, Pastor Alex Adegboye explained to me Isaiah 57: 1 & 2. Meanwhile, right-living people die and no one gives them a thought. God-fearing people are carted off and no one even notices. The right-living people are out of their misery, they’re finally at rest. They lived well and with dignity and now they’re finally at peace. There are certainly conditions that make instant death seem small. But Anjola has done her part. Families have had dinner because she came; school fees have been paid because she came; she has taken up some marriages as projects, and I remember at least one that was restored. She has been a model wife/mother to many; built a model home for many. She has taught many how to bring up children, and how to feed them

•The late Anjola

•The late Olaoluwa

well. If you ever met my Anjola, you would have seen Proverbs 31 in person. The first time my brother met her, he told me she must not escape. She would gist with my dad till he’d sit up to talk at length. (I guess I alone noticed that the shirt grandpa wore on Monday, Anjola gave him in March). She could gist with my mum to

•The late Ibukun

any length. And when grandma required more from her, I used to tell her it was because of their relationship. “Our house was a hub for whoever needed a bed for a night or two. Lord, I thank you for her life, and for giving me a huge part in it. “I pray that her pet project, the Sisters-with-compassion continues to increase and transcends generations.”

No better sermon than a visit to the crash site, says cleric


HOUTS of ‘Praise the Lord. Hallelujah, praise the Lord…’ rented the air yesterday morning at church services around Popoola and Olaniyi streets, IjuIsaga, where a Dana Air plane crashed last Sunday. There was a large turn-out of worshippers at the Mispem Bible Church, aka ‘Mine shall be possible’ located at No. 7 Popoola Street next to the affected duplex on No. 9. The day began with the Workers’ Prayer Meeting at 7am. The sermon did not kick off until 10.30am. The hall was filled to the brim. Senior Pastor Patrick Akingbe, in a chat with The Nation before the service, said: “I was about going out when I heard something land on the roof. I raced out and saw so many people. Everywhere was like a war front. The bang was not so much, not until it exploded and shook the whole place. This was followed by a big smoke. I could not go out again. Everyone was trying to see how they could help. God was so kind that it did not land facing our street, if not my house and church would have been affected. It is indeed God’s work that it didn’t come directly towards our street because it was facing us before it touched down.” Perhaps too traumatised to preach, the sermon was given by Pastor Thomas Ayodele. His sermon entitled: “Our Coming and Our going,” bordered on the crash. Taking the text from Psalm 121: 6 to 8, Pastor Ayodele said the incident has shown that God is the greatest refuge that anyone can seek. He said: “Last week was a terrible and sad day. What happened was too much for the nation. In one day, there was a terrible road accident, bombing and a plane crash. Lord, put an end to such disasters in our nation. May we not see such again!” The day, he said, is one nobody prays to experience, saying the incident is a sermon on its own. In his words: “You don’t need a sermon this morning. Go to the

•Pastor Ayodele

•Pastor Akingbe


By Evelyn Osagie

crash site and you would find lessons greater than any sermon that will be preached. Those affected by the crash, who lost lives and properties, by 8pm the day before and 12pm that day, did not know what befell them would ever happen. It was a pathetic situation. Death met some inside their homes and beds, not outside; by the road, but inside the house. May disaster not meet us at home! Still some people missed the plane. What can we say about that? Death can come knocking anytime and anywhere. Who will keep your going out and coming in? This world is a journey but, He said, He would keep us. Whether there is calamity on your left or right, it will not come near you. The journey this week will not bring you death! It will not bring you sadness. God will keep your going out and coming in.” Pastor Ayodele urged members to

You don’t need a sermon this morning. Go to the crash site and you would find lessons greater than any sermon that will be preached. Those affected by the crash, who lost lives and properties, by 8pm the day before and 12pm that day, did not know what befell them would ever happen. It was a pathetic situation

commit their ways in God’s hands always. He said: “It happened there; why not here? The Lord is our protector and keeper as in Psalm 121. And Psalm 124: 1 says that ‘If it has not been the Lord who was on our side…’ and I say if it had not been

for God that was on our side, what would we have been saying now? What story would we have been telling now? As you go on the journey of this week, remember to commit your ways into God’s hand because Psalm 9:9 says the Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge

in times of trouble. Redeem the time because the days are evil. Pray that may the Lord keep my life. According to the Deuteronomy 28:6: ‘Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out, go in the protection of God and in His favour.’ Whether there is calamity on your left or right, it will not come near you. The journey this week will not bring you death or sadness. God will keep your going out and coming in.” He urged government to be alive to its responsibilities, saying this would help prevent recurrence. He said:“We travel out and see what is happening in other countries. They have a separate road for trailers. It is not the case with Nigeria. Even the roads we have are not well maintained and are death traps. For long our leaders have refused to repair our roads. People are dying everyday, especially by tankers overloaded with fuel, catching fire killing lots of people. Lord, touch our leaders’ heart to do the right thing to avert disasters like these. Let us continue to pray for this nation against such disaster. ” He prayed for the accident victims, saying: “May God comfort their hearts. It is those affected that know and understand how deep the pain is!” He urged members to pray for themselves as he ended the sermon calling on God for protection, saying: “Father, we thank you because we see that you did not sleep over our lives. Lord, we do not hide ourselves, we use faith to put ourselves in your hand…keep us from terrible disasters. Lord, as we go out this week and when our phone rings, they would not call us for bad news. May God will protect you. Wherever we go keep us according to your word, preserve and protect our going out and coming. When terrible things happen, keep us from there. When next we meet it would be in joy and good news will be our portion. Go in peace in Jesus name.” And the church said: “Amen!”



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Fashola sets up committee to release victims’ bodies

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday set up a committee that would facilitate speedy release of the bodies of the ill-fated Dana Air crash victims at the various government hospitals. Fashola took the step after a closed door meeting, which lasted about three hours, where family members of the victims ruled out the option of mass burial. The banquet hall of the Lagos State Government House, Alausa, the venue of the meeting, was filled to capacity. It was an emotional meeting. A big banner with Lagos State emblem and inscription, which reads: “Our heartfelt sympathy, thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those who passed away on the Dana Air crash of Sunday 3rd June 2012. We share in your grief,”ushered in the representatives of the various families. The protocol team in the Governor’s Office, also had their hands full screening visitors as several persons turned up for the meeting, posing as relatives of the victims. People exchanged greet-

•Victims’ families rule out mass burial By Miriam Ndikanwu

ings in low tones, while others nodded their heads in exchange of condolences. Fashola, who briefed journalists at the end of the meeting, said the meeting was important to let the families of victims know the intention of the government as well as the delay in the process of concluding autopsy on the bodies. He said a relationship team was established at the end of the meeting, to facilitate constant communication between the government and the families. He said: “What we have done is to provide details to the family so that they know what we are doing, so that they are also able to get a sense of what next. Some decisions have been taken essentially that they agreed with the process that we are pursuing to investigate so that we can identify who is who, before we can release the bodies to the various families and

they have indicated their readiness to wait for as long as the process takes. “We have set up a relationship team which will be communicating specifically with them and also they have agreed to constitute some of their members, so that we can have a more coordinated approach to communication, sharing information, managing the release of bodies of those that have been identified and generally working through all of the many twists and turns. It’s a very painful and tedious process, but I think this meeting was useful in helping us to at least chart a way forward”. “The incident happened in Lagos, and as a government we have responsibility to the people who are residents and pay their taxes, especially in this time of sorrow”. One of the victims’ relative, John Akande, told reporters that the families rejected the option of joint

Ahmadu's body was intact, says cousin of ex-DIG G RIEF stricken relatives of the late retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, John Hamza Ahmadu, have said his body was not burnt. Speaking with our reporter on phone yesterday, one of the late police chief's relations, Mr Benjamin Bako Dan-Borno, who was at the Lagos State University Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, to identify the body, said the family were grateful that his body was not touched by fire. The late Ahmadu’s was one of the 56 bodies of the victims of the ill-fated Dana Air flight 992 taken to the LASUTH mortuary. The aircraft had crashed into house 12, Olaniyi Street, off Toyin Bus Stop in a densely populated part of IjuIshaga, killing all the 153 passengers and crew on

By Yinka Aderibigbe

board. "I can confirm to you that my late cousin, Ahmadu, was not touched at all by fire. His body was found intact, but he sustained serious injuries. He sustained multiple injuries on both legs, which were broken in not less than three places. He must have suffocated to death, because we learnt that fire did not come near where he was at all," he said. Dan-Borno said the family had begun the process leading to the release of the body for a befitting burial in his home town. According to him, though the body might be released midweek, the burial has



•From left: Sheikh Abdur Rahman Ahmad, Christain Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman, Rev Monsignor Bernard Okodua and the Chief Imam of Lagos State Alhaji Garba Ibrahim Akinola...yesterday

been slated for June 23 in Kashimbilla, Takum Local Government of Taraba State. He added that Ahmadu's body would leave Lagos for his Abuja home, where a lying-in state and the Christian wake have been slated for June 21. Dan-Borno said the late ex- DIG Operations and later the DIG in charge of 'D' Investigations Department at the Force Headquarters, Abuja before his retirement on December 14, 2010, would be remembered for his gallantry and love for his people. The late Ahmadu’s remains may be burried on June 23, “to allow all his children outside the country, to witness the burial.”

Dana Air officials visit the injured at LASUTH HE management of Dana Air has been visiting the injured at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja. A Director of the company, Gautam Hathiramani, said the airline is saddened by the incident. He empathised with the injured and their relatives, promising that the airline will continue to assist them to ensure they fully recover to live their normal lives. Hathiramani said Dana Air will offset the medical bills of all four patients who suffered varying degrees of injury as a result of the accident. Counsellors and psychotherapists have been deployed to help manage their trauma, anxieties and fear, he said.

burial because of the stress it would bring. “The government committee and our own committee will meet to sort things out, so that we can all have the remains of our members on time.”

Akanbi said the victim’s families unanimously ruled out the idea of mass burial and agreed with the state government to set up a committee that would handle the process of identifying the victims before their bodies are released to the families.

•From left: Harold Demuren, and families and friends of the victims...yesterday

•Promise to offset their medical bills Since the incident, the chairman, directors and top management officials of Dana Air have continued to visits displaced persons at Iju-Ishaga and also the injured in LASUTH. The airline is also providing relief materials. The management at the weekend donated relief materials to families affected by the air mishap. Hathiramani, donating the materials said: “There is no way to sufficiently express our sadness over this tragic incident that has brought tears to the eyes of many. “Little children have been orphaned and many have lost their properties to the accident. Our hearts are with you in this trying period and

we will continue to do everything we can to support you. “We are making arrangements for accommodation shortly, and we will ensure that all who have lost their properties in the unfortunate incident get their dues,” he said. The company has visited the crash site to condole with the affected families and the Iju-Ishaga community at large since the incident occurred last Sunday. The provision of relief materials, the company said, will be a continuous exercise. The materials distributed included mattresses; blankets; food items; clothes and kitchen utensils, among others.

•Cross section of Dana officials and others





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Lagos begins sale of umrah forms

Displaced persons may be housed for one month, says LASEMA boss

By Miriam Ndikanwu

THE Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board will today begin the sale of the 2012 Umrah Hajj form. This, according to a statement, is to make this year’s Lesser Hajj (Umrah) less tedious and facilitate the prompt processing of the travelling documents for all intending pilgrims. The board secretary, Alhaji Kamal Sanusi, in the statement, directed all interested intending Umrah pilgrims to purchase their application forms with N5, 000 at the Board’s Secretariat, Ikeja. The Board promised that farreaching measures would be put in place for the purpose of a hitch-free lesser Hajj exercise this year.

Two arraigned for ‘stealing’ N600, 000 By Owolabi Tumininu

TWO men have been arraigned before a Lagos State Magistrate's court, sitting at the Public Works Department (PWD), Ikeja, for allegedly stealing N600, 000 and $9,600 belonging Mr Madu Frank. The accused, Obinna Odoh, 28, and Meltus Eya, 37, are facing a one-count charge of stealing, contrary to the Criminal Laws No. 11, Vol. 44, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011. The prosecutor, Mrs R. Williams, a Police Inspector, told the court, presided over by Mrs. A.B. Olagbegi Adelabu, that the accused allegedly committed the offence on April 5, at 21 Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos. She said the accused stole the money, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section (7) of the Criminal Laws No. 11, Vol. 44, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Adelabu, consequently granted each of the accused persons N150,000 bail with two sureties in the like sum. The matter was later adjourned till June 29, for hearing.

Funke Akindele, hubby in London AFTER their wedding which took place two weeks ago amidst pomp and pageantry, Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele and her hubby, Kenny Oloyede’s ‘whereabouts’ have been a little hazy, but recently the newlywed were spotted in London. It is not unlikely that they had gone there for their honeymoon. The actress was seen in a short black gown with her husband. With the look on their faces one can tell they are having the best of honeymoon.

By Yinka Aderibigbe



HE General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, has said the 38 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), at house 12, Olaniyi Street, Iju-Ishaga might not enjoy relief opportunity for more than one month. Oke-Osanyintolu said this at the weekend while conducting reporters round the LASEMA relief facility opened for the displaced persons at Ayobo, Ipaja, in the IpajaAyobo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos. He said: "The intention of the

Lagos State government is not to keep these people here for longer than necessary. Our intention is to keep them here for as long as it would take us to assist these people to get back to their feet. Here at this home, we have psychologist, medical doctors and physiotherapists as well as counsellors to attend to their needs." He said the facility would remain open for as long as it takes to resettle all the displaced persons, adding that a bus would be provided to take all affected persons to PenCinema, Agege, where they could easily connect a bus to their respective places of work, while their children would also be taken to their respective schools free of charge. He called on the IDPs to cooperate with the government in ameliorating the challenges facing them especially, at a critical point like this, adding that the government would continue to work at

ensuring the wellbeing of all citizens. Oke-Osanyintolu said the government has accredited 38 persons and six families as those affected in the ill-fated Dana Air plane crash, last Sunday. He pointed out that the affected persons have appointed a leader, Mr Kinsgley Okeke, to interface with the government on meeting the needs of the victims. The LASEMA boss took time off to debunk media reports that the agency is filling potholes around the area with human debris. He said: "Contrary to wild speculation by newspapers (not The Nation), the agency is taking all debris in the immediate area affected by the air crash to Olusosun dumpsite, which has appropriate facilities to accommodate such, while the remains of the crashed aeroplane had been taken to the airport." "What we are using to fill the potholes in the immediate area to make the entire area motorable were the perimeter fence and oth-

er structures that had to be pulled down by the rescue team to pave way for easy accessibility during the exercise. The Lagos State government can never and has not used any debris in the immediate area of the impact to fill anywhere and no smell could be perceived anywhere contrary to the newspaper report," he said. Okeke, a Mechanical Engineering graduate who claimed that he lost all his certificates in the fire that gutted the building after the incident, called on the state government to do something more concrete for all the affected persons beyond mere provision of accommodation, food and clothing. "Most of us have lost all that we had. I lost all my certificates, clothes and all, what becomes of us after the dust raised by this crash had died down? We all hope that we would not be abandoned by the state, the Federal Government and Dana, whose plane caused us all this anguish," Okeke said.

Assembly wades into Ojo local govt, Alaba market traders' row


TALL fees, revenue collected by Ojo Local Government Area from electronic traders at Alaba International Market, has led to a serious dispute between the council and the traders. This was disclosed at a meeting of the Committee on Local Government Administration and Chieftaincy Affairs of the Lagos State House of Assembly, when it met with the two parties, as a result of a petition written to the House by the traders. Chairman, Alaba Electronics Traders Association, Celestine Ezeani, told the committee that contrary to the approved rates of N3, 000 and N5, 000 by the state, to be paid on medium and large shops respectively, the council is charging N6, 200 and N12, 400 for medium and large shops respec-

By Oziegbe Okoeki

tively. This was stated in a petition written by the association on the May 18, to the House which prompted the Speaker, Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji, to mandate the committee headed by Hon. Moshood Oshun, to look into the matter. Ezeani claimed that the categorisation of markets in Lagos for stall age collection is based on geographical location and not on name 'International,' given to the market by the traders. He continued: "We wish to bring to your notice the indiscriminate levies by the local government council, which includes fumigation of ware houses/parking stores to the tune of N150, 000 from members of the market as well as tolls collected

from importers on every container brought into the market." The traders also said that they called on the Special Adviser on Taxation, Mr. Bola Sodipo, to intervene in the matter, which he did but yet to be resolved. The traders added: "It is regrettable that we generate over 60 per cent of internal revenue of the local government, but do not benefit anything from them." The local government chairman, Prince Yinka Durosinmi, however, explained that the market is one of the largest in the state and it falls under Grade A, which led to the charging of N6, 500. He explained that Ezeani closed down the market and instructed the traders not to respect the chairman of the local government. He said: "We are not dragging issues with the association, but we

have been collecting N6, 500, which other sections are paying apart from the electronic section that refuse to comply." Hon. Oshun, in his response, urged the two parties to let the sleeping dog lie and assured them that the House would decide on the issue without fear or favour. A member of the committee, Segun Olulade, appealed to Prince Durosinmi to provide necessary infrastructural amenities in the market in order to restore the cordial relationship between them. The committee therefore, resolved to call all the heads of the different sections in the market with the council chairman for another meeting to settle the matter, saying that all they want is to ensure law and order to reign in the market.

Traders to begin use of new measuring bowl


HE Lagos State government will launch the newly introduced grain measuring bowls for traders across the state tomorrow. The launch of the new bowl, slated for last week was rescheduled to mourn victims of the ill-fated Dana Air crash. Special Adviser to the governor on Commerce and Industry, Mr. Seye Oladejo, told the press that the development was a product of 10-year study by the state and the collaborating partner, Yucca design. The Special Adviser directed all traders selling grains, such as garri, beans, rice, millet and the rest in the state, to henceforth, liaise with the market leaders to purchase the new bowl as the old one has been abolished. He said with the launch of the new bowl, market men and women have one month to do away

By Miriam Ndikanwu

with the old bowls and purchase the new standard bowls for their businesses. Oladejo explained that the bowls are designed to help tackle the challenge of food contamination associated with the old measuring bowls as well as ensure that consumers get the right value for their money. According to him, “the introduction of the new measuring bowls was meant to replace the presently used measuring tins that were characterised with likelihood of contamination of food stuffs, which were being used to dispense, non-uniformity of supposedly same size of tin across and within the same market and often times, not up to the claimed measure. “This rape and abuse of the rights of consumers had been a source of worry to the government. Consequently, we have been

working on the provision and introduction of acceptable measure bowls that would mitigate these sharp practices by commodity retailers in our markets for a couple of years now. The new measuring bowls are now set to be introduced to the market,” he said. He stated that wider consultation had been sought and that all the various market leaders in the state have supported the introduction of the new bowls for measurement. “The new bowls are in five different volume capacities which upon introduction will be used for dispensing/selling grains or food stuffs like garri, yam powder (Elubo) and so on. The categories of the new bowls are 250cl (cup/agolo), 1 litre (kongo), 5 litres (Ilarin garawa), 10 litres (Ilaji garawa) and 20 litres (garawa). “I wish to reiterate that the present administration remains committed to the protection of the

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

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

rights of the citizens. It is in view of this that the Consumer Protection Committee was inaugurated in February, 2008, to address complaints arising from transactional issues and to provide redress for aggrieved complainants free of charge. “A number of Lagosians have benefited from the services of the Committee. Let me, therefore, seize this opportunity to advise aggrieved consumers in the state to channel their complaints to the Chairman, Consumer Protection Committee, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The service of the committee is absolutely free,” he said. The special adviser appealed to all market men and women in the various markets to see the introduction of the new bowls as a way of dignifying their tools for selling commodities to consumers. He said it was not meant to short-change them in any way. “And to consumers, it is to enhance the value of their payment for every such commodity they purchase. I therefore, urge our market men and women to quickly adopt the use of these new bowls for their daily sales while I urge the consumers to support this initiative and decision of the state government at ensuring that their rights and interests are protected by the introduction of these bowls,” he said.




Govt officials demolish Ogun lawmaker’s building


FFICIALS of the Ogun State Urban and Regional Planning (URP) yesterday demolished a two-bedroom structure belonging to a member of the House of Assembly, Mrs. Adijat Oladapo-Adeleye (Ifo 11). The structure was situated behind the lawmaker’s official home at the Legislative Quarters, opposite MKO Abiola Stadium in Kuto, Abeokuta, the state capital. It was learnt that the building was meant to accommodate members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving with Mrs. Oladapo-Adeleye. Sources said 16 URP officials arrived at the

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

lawmaker’s home in three vehicles about 10am. It was gathered that they flattened a portion of the perimeter fence to gain access into her compound and demolished the building under construction. The yet-to-be-identified URP officials carried out the exercise at a time most of the legislators had either gone to church or were yet to return from weekend visits to their constituencies. Mrs. Oladapo-Adeleye said she was taking her children to school and was almost in Lagos State, when she received a phone call that some URP agents forced

their way into her quarters and demolished the twobedroom flat. It was learnt that the structure, which was erected on government land, contravened the urban and regional planning regulations. Sources said the lawmaker was served a notice of contravention after the structure was marked for demolition. It was gathered that Mr. Samson Onademuren (Ijebu Northeast) witnessed the demolition but was unable to prevail on the URP agents to wait for his colleague to return from Lagos before pulling down the building. Speaker Suraj Adekumbi was said to have visited the

scene later. Mrs. Oladapo-Adeleye frowned at the manner the demolition was carried out. She said it violated her security and she has reported the matter to the State Security Service (SSS) and the police. Mrs. Oladapo-Adeleye said: “I was putting up a twobedroom flat behind my quarters for corps members and when the building reached the lintel level, the URP officials marked it and left a contravention notice. “I phoned URP’s General Manager and he advised me to go and resolve it politically. That was when I became suspicious. Why should it turn to resolving it politically? This morning, I

left the quarters to take my children back to school in Lagos. “I was about getting to Lagos when a small girl I left at home phoned and informed me that some people were destroying the building behind. I do not know why they came on a Sunday. But if they have the backing of the law, we will know within 24 hours. “Secondly, they broke through the fence behind the house, instead of coming in from the front. I do not know who authorised that.” URP GM, Mr. Stephen Adewolu, said: “I am a civil servant and I am not authorised to speak for the government.”

N180m for Ekiti schools

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

THE Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ondo State, Mr. Akin Orebiyi, at the weekend called for the establishment of voter education clubs in secondary schools. He said the forum would serve as a prelude to the development of a curriculum for the teaching of voter education as a subject in secondary schools. Orebiyi spoke in Akure, the state capital, during a workshop organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), tagged, “Catch them young for democratic governance”. He said the workshop was to enlighten youths on democracy.

Customs seizes 1,320 fake drugs

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


HE Ekiti State Government is to spend N180 million on the renovation of schools. This is aimed at reversing the decadent look of public schools and creating a conducive teaching/learning environment. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Eniola Ajayi stated this at the weekend in AdoEkiti, the state capital, during a meeting with head teachers. She said each of the state’s 177 public secondary schools would receive N1 million for the rehabilitation of infrastructure in the first phase of the exercise. The commissioner said the repairs would be carried out through the management committee of each school and urged members of the committees, as well as head teachers, to be accountable. She said the judicious use of the money would facilitate the release of more funds for other projects. Restating the state government’s commitment to revamp the education sector, she urged well meaning individuals and organisations to partner the government in providing facilities in the schools.

•From left: Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola; Managing Director, Laranod Ventures Limited and facilitator of the Executive Project Management Workshop, Lana Odutola; and Special Adviser to the Governor on Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Ayodele Owoade; at the the opening of the workshop organised by the Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building in collaboration with Laranod Ventures Ltd. in Osogbo... at the weekend.

Ondo community seeks police protection


ESIDENTS of Igoba, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, have raised the alarm over incessant attacks on them by hoodlums allegedly sponsored by a neighbouring community. They urged the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, and security agencies to come to their aid. It was learnt that the community and its neighbour, Isinigbo, have been at log-

From Damisi Ojo,Akure

ger heads over land ownership. Sources said hoodlums allegedly from Isingbo were detained for nine days at Alagbon Force Headquarters in 2010 for attempting to kill the Ajagun-Ode of Igoba, Chief Sunday Boboye, over a similar issue. Igoba spokeman Dr. Fola Ilesanmi said: “Nobody prays for the recurrence of the Modakeke/Ife crisis. In our quest for peace, we peti-

tioned the police commissioner on April 27 to ensure that the recent attack by hoodlums suspected to be sponsored by Isinigbo on our leaders, which was published in the April 29 edition of The Nation, is not swept under the carpet. “The attack was carried out a few weeks ago while Igoba leaders were allocating a parcel of land purchased by one Mr. Aborisade, a brother to the Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida. “The hoodlums came in

two buses and attacked some of our village heads with machetes. Our village heads were injured and we rushed them to the General Hospital in Iju/Itagbolu. Ilesanmi, a private investigator and member of the United Nations (UN) Interpol Surveillance Agency, urged the police to investigate the matter and protect his people. Police sources said the force is working hard to broker peace between the two communities.

EKSU students, authorities disagree over exam


REC seeks voter education in schools

TUDENTS of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), formerly University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD), are determined to resist the purported decision of the authorities to make students write their first semester examinations outside Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, it was learnt yesterday. The students are also not happy with the hike in school fees. A few weeks ago, students protested the management’s refusal to allow students who had not paid their school fees sit for examinations. The protest disrupted the examinations and it was postponed indefinitely. To prevent a recurrence,

•Decry fees hike

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

it was learnt that the authorities are considering shifting the examination venue outside the state capital. The school’s management insists that only students who have paid their fees would be allowed to sit for the examinations. According to findings, each student will now have to pay a minimum of N100,000, a situation the students said is a departure from Governor Kayode Fayemi’s directive, which fixed their fees between N50,000 and N100,000. It was learnt that the examinations would be held on June 18, with part-time stu-

dents sitting for their papers at centres in Ifaki, Oye, Ikere and the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti. The students, who said writing the examinations outside Ado-Ekiti would

impose additional burdens on them, said they would not allow it. But the institution’s spokesperson, Mr. Olubunmi Ajibade, said: “The university has merely

informed students that examinations would be conducted on June 18 and that students are expected to pay their school fees fully before they would be allowed to partake in it.” Ajibade was not comment on where the exams would be held.

MEN of the Customs Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, have seized goods with the duty value of N179 million in the last one month. Customs’ Deputy Spokesman Joseph Attah stated this in a statement yesterday. The goods include 1,320 cartons of fake drugs, used tyres, 5,660 cartons of frozen poultry products and 1 X 40ft container of assorted furniture parts. According to Attah, the Deputy ComptrollerGeneral of Customs in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Mr. Yinusa Saka, who spoke at the destruction site in Warri, Delta State, warned against the abuse of the “wellintentioned” policy of dismantling highway check points. He said the service is not ready to compromise “national security on the altar of trade facilitation”. Saka praised operatives of FOU, Zone C and the Delta State Customs Command for the seizures. Presenting the cartons of assorted fake drugs to officials of the National Food, Drug and Administration Control (NAFDAC), the Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed, said: “Only a heartless person will choose to trade in fake drugs. Why should one make money at the expense of human lives?” A NAFDAC official, simply identified as Mrs. Esther, thanked NCS for supporting the fight against fake and adulterated products.

David Mark urges Nigerians to pray


ENATE President David Mark yesterday urged Nigerians to

continue to pray for peace in the country. Mark spoke at St. Paul’s Catholic Cathedral, Utonkom, Ado Local Government Area of Benue State. He said: “There will soon

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

be light at the end of the tunnel.” In a statement by his media aide, Kola Ologbondiyan, the Senate President said: “The difficult period the nation is going

through is just for a while. “I urge Nigerians to continue to pray for our nation, so that we can see the end to the violence. “We are all the same before God, no matter our religion or the positions we hold in the society.” He urged the Boko Haram sect to dialogue with the


Federal Government and allow peace reign.



NEWS CBN: N7.2b spent on point of sale for cashless policy From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja


• Former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (right); Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (second right); Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, at the turbaning ceremony of the CBN governor as Dan Majen Kano, in Kano the weekend.

Fed Govt wants $3.4b African Diaspora institute sited in Nigeria


HE Federal Government has said it is willing to have the proposed African Remittance Institute of the World Bank sited in Nigeria. A total $3.4billionn has been earmarked for the project. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru, broke the news in his office in Abuja when the Abike Dabiri Erewaled House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora visited him. The minister said Nigeria is interested in hosting the bank, which will aid the remittances

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

by Africans in the Diaspora. Over 70 per cent of the remittances comes from the over eight million Nigerians living abroad, particularly in United Kingdom and the United States. Ashiru said a memorandum seeking approval for the locating of the bank in Nigeria has been sent to President Goodluck Jonathan. The minister noted that if the institute is sited in the country, it would help Nigeria, which has the largest number of Afri-

can nationals living abroad. Dabiri-Erewa wondered why, despite the huge benefits derivable from having the institute in Nigeria, the Federal Government has not shown keen interest. The lawmaker urged the government, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as the Ministry of Finance to show interest and fast-track the bank’s location in the country. According to her, Nigerians in the Diaspora remit yearly over $12 billion. She said over 70 per cent of Africans in the Diaspora are

Nigerians, adding that the nation cannot afford to miss the opportunity of hosting the institute. Dabiri-Erewa said: “We want Nigeria to show interest in locating the World Bank’s Africa Remittance Institute. We are not hearing anything about the government’s eagerness in having this all-important institute located in the country. “Let me say here that 70 per cent of remittances to Africa from Africans in the Diaspora is from Nigeria. So, I think it should be in Nigeria, being the hub of Diaspora affairs in Africa.”

‘Fed Govt loses N105t yearly to non-implementation of PIB’


HE Federal Government loses about N105.4 trillion (USD $680 billion) each year through its failure to implement the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the past 10 years. An energy and maritime consultant, Mr Emeka Okwuosa, gave the figure in a paper, entitled: Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB): Quo Vadis? he delivered at this year’s Law Week of the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). Quoting statistics from the executives of the oil industry, Okwuosa noted that over $50 billion (about N8.25t) potential investments are on hold because of the uncertainty over the passage of the Bill. He said the PIB, if operational, would increase government’s revenue substantially. The consultant regretted that the government losses through the non-existence of the Bill in


By Adebisi Onanuga

the past 10 years. Okwuosa, who identified lack of transparency, accountability and corruption as the bane of the oil and gas operations in the country, expressed doubts on the ability of the Special Task Force (STF) set up by the government to stem the rot in the industry without the passage of the PIB. He hailed President Goodluck Jonathan on the PIB reform initiative, saying: “The PIB will be a good and excellent law and open up investment opportunities, unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for better performance and result, and create a transparent, accountable and corrupt free energy regime,” if operational. Reflecting on the PIB, the consultant noted that the document is not yet perfect, adding that there is need to tidy some aspects of the Bill to address and

eliminate loophole and grey areas in it. According to him, some provisions of the PIB were poorly drafted some salient issues not addressed at all. He noted that the fiscal regime for gas was not touched at all while the fiscal regime for offshore drilling was poorly drafted and omitted ultra-deep offshore drilling. Okwuosa said the blueprint for NNPC privatisation is superficial and needs to include strong provisions for commercialising and privatizing the corporation, in line with international best practices. The role of the Minister of Petroleum Resources in the post-PIB regime is not properly defined, he added. Stakeholders, according to him, have argued that the approval process for licences must be simplified. He said a situation where the PIB provides for the creation of multiple agencies to regulate

each subsector has created overlapping mandates for the Inspectorate, Directorate and Petroleum Products Regulatory Agency. “This is costly and weakens regulatory oversight,” he said. Okwuosa noted that some stakeholders are seeking ad hoc amendments to oil and gas laws instead of one single regime. He cited the National Oil Spill Detection and Regulation Agency (NOSDRA) Amendment Bill 2012, being sponsored by Senator Bukola Saraki. The Bill seeks to create a more proactive oil spill management and regulation system and punish irresponsible environmental degradation caused by oil and gas exploitation. The consultant said since the essence of the PIB is to consolidate all laws into one single PIB document, “my take is that Senator Saraki’s noble and well thought-out amendment should be subsumed up under the PIB”.

‘Army ill-equipped to fight Boko Haram’

HE Nigerian Army lacks the weapons and personnel to curb the Boko Haram insurgency, it has been learnt. Some technocrats and researchers made the submission in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at a workshop organised by the Nigerian Army and flagged off by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika. They said there is need for effective training of soldiers to effectively combat and subdue the sect since it has been identified as “a threat the Nigerian

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

Army is not adequately trained and equipped to handle”. The submission is contained in a communique issued at the end of the five-day Second Commanding Officers’ workshop held at the 2 Divisional Headquarters, Ibadan. The workshop had the theme: Enhancing the capacity of unit commanders to meet contemporary challenges to the Nigerian Army. At the workshop were commanding officers of the Army

from parts of the country. Lt.Col. Chumbo Ochigbo, who was to attend the workshop with his colleagues, died in last week’s Dana Air crash at IjuIshaga, a Lagos suburb, with 152 other passengers. Dr. Osisioma Nwolise of the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan (UI), and Brig.-Gen. O.A. Umahi, the Commander of 4 Brigade, presented papers at the workshop. He said: “Commanding Officers should maintain good civil-military relations with communities in their areas of

operations (AORs) to enhance information gathering and success in operations.” Ihejirika, who was represented by Brig. Okon Ekanem, the Commander of the Second Division, Signals, described the workshop as successful. He noted that the spate of violent crimes, ranging from kidnappings, acts of terrorism by the Boko Haram sect, armed/bank robberies, illegal oil bunkering, cultism, bombings and killings within the country, would soon be curtailed.

IGERIA’S commercial banks have spent N7.2billion to buy Points of Sale (POS) terminals to comply with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cashless society, the apex bank has

said. The apex bank’s Deputy Governor (Operations), Mr Tunde Lemo, broke the news during the oversight visit of the Ibrahim Shehu Gusau-led House of Representatives Committee on ICT to the CBN. Lemo said banks have bought over 100,000 POS terminals to facilitate the cashless policy, which took off in Lagos in January and will go nationwide on January 1, 2013. He said: “The cumulative number of POS deployed/connected to NIBSS CTMS stood at 77,671 as at June 3. This represents an increase of over 100 per cent above the 5,992 recorded as at the end of January. “The target of purchasing at least 10,000 POS terminals per vendor has been met for three vendors. Registered merchants reached an all-time high at 122,830 on June 3. Presenting a document, entitled: The CBN Cash Policy: The journey so far to the lawmaker, Lemo said the CBN, in conjunction with the Bankers’ Committee, started a shared service programme to reduce the industry’s cost by 30 per cent. The CBN chief said four major manufacturers of POS terminals have been chosen to supply the tools for the cashless policy in the country. He said the apex bank signed a guarantee of a minimum number of POS terminals that would be supplied to bring down the cost to almost 50 per cent. “We managed to get them to give huge discounts, some of them at almost 50 per cent,” Lemo said. Briefing the lawmakers on what led to the policy, the banker said: “In the wake of the banking industry’s intervention, our analysis indicated that the high cost structure of the banks was partially responsible for their preference for lending to the capital market and the oil and gas industry. This led to asset bubbles. “Embedded within the lending rates and the cost of banking services are operating expenses arising from inefficiencies in the provision of banking services.” According to him, the CBN is striving to ensure that all banks attain a certain efficiency ratio to reduce the cost of operation for the benefit of customers.

Nigeria won’t collapse, says Fed Govt •Nigeria, Austria sign security pact


From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

HE Federal Government yesterday assured its Austrian counterpart that Nigeria would not crumble, despite the security challenges in parts of the country. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, spoke in Abuja when he received the Austrian ViceChancellor and Foreign Minister, Dr. Michael Spindelegger. According to him, Nigeria is blessed with strong Armed Forces which are committed to the nation’s unity. The minister said the armed forces are equal to the task, adding that their training is being refocused to include handling of terrorism. He said: “I can assure you that Nigeria is not going to fall apart. We have very strong armed forces on ground that can defend the integrity of Nigeria. They have been able to rise to the occasion. They have made a couple of gains in the past months. “The training of the armed forces is being refocused to handle terrorism. The issue of terrorism in Nigeria is localised. It is not going to spread to anywhere. Nigeria will remain strong “What we have done is to review the conditions of our relations. We have identified that the issues of trade and health are paramount. What we have done is to encourage Austria to make sure more of their companies come to Nigeria. We have enough market. “We will benefit from their coming into Nigeria. Vamed is already involved in equipping and building hospitals in Nigeria. I also briefed them on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the need for them to support peace in the sub-region.”

NIC chief urges NLC to put its house in order By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu


HE President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NIC), Justice Babatunde Adejumo, at the weekend urged the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to put its house in order. Justice Adejumo spoke at the resumed hearing in the suit on unlawful termination of employment brought against the NLC by Comrade Onah Iduh, who was the Acting Head of the Department of Information and Public Relations of the NLC until March, last year. He was advising the parties when the case was called at the weekend in Abuja. "I have stated before that it is better to always settle your disputes," Justice Adejumo said, adding: "You will be a more united front. It is better that you put your house in order. What Nigerians are reading on the pages of newspapers about you (NLC) is not good. At the end of the day, the union will suffer," he said. During cross-examination, the only defence witness in the matter, Comrade Happiness Okechukwu, who is an Accounts officer at the NLC, told the court that she was not conversant with the conditions of service or the constitution of the NLC.







Bank gives youths tricycles

Varsity sustains Zik’s legacies in Awka




MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012


Page 13


Job tools for Oyo women, youths


•From left: Hon Kolade Olagunju; the Chairman of Oluyole Local Government, Mr Sola Sofowora; Prince Abbas Ayodeji Aleshinloye while presenting a grinding machine to one of the beneficiaries

ITH job tools in their hands, no fewer than 128 women and youths in Oluloye Local Government Area, Oyo State, will face the world with hope. The transition chairman of the council, Hon Abass Ayodeji Aleshinloye provided them with equipment to enable them start up small-scale businesses. The items included 12 grinding machines, 12 deep freezers, thousands of water bottles, 200 mobile phones, 100 umbrellas and chairs, among others. The gesture has brightened the recipients’ chances of generating income and improving their living standards. The event took place at the council Secretariat at Idi-Ayunre where the council magazine published by Africa Applause International Magazine

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

was unveiled to showcase the achievement of the council chief. The items that were distributed includes, 12 grinding machines, 12 deep freezers, thousands of water bottles, 200 mobile phones, 100 umbrellas and chairs. Aleshinloye said that the economic empowerment materials were distributed to reduce the poverty rate in the society, adding that the beneficiaries were carefully selected from the 10 wards of the local government under the home-grown poverty alleviation scheme. He said: “By making these items available to the beneficiaries at no cost, it is our expectation that they will settle down to their respective

trades and businesses, thereby generating income and ultimately exiting the poverty quadrangle with time. “I have also dedicated to distribute water bottles to all nursery and primary one pupils in all public schools with the local government at my expence in honour of our amiable mother, wife of the Executive Governor Mrs Florence Ajimobi, in view of the need to protect our vulnerable children from contracting water-borne diseases.” The council urged the beneficiaries to resist the temptation of selling off the materials. Aleshinloye said the gesture was in support of Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s programme of making life better for residents of the state.


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s developmental efforts have won him an ally in a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Miss Sandra Nwabude, serving in the state. Inspired by the governor’s state renewal projects, Nwabude donated classroom furniture worth about N350,000 to two public schools in the state. The schools are Abeokuta Grammar School and Baptist Girls College, both in the state capital. The Corps member said Amosun’s programmes and policies had put the state on the path of recovery, making it imperative for individuals and corporate organisations to join forces with his administration. Nwabude said she realised the need to contribute to the development of the state when she saw the deplorable condition under which pupils studied in Abeokuta Grammar School as well as in Baptist Girls’. “When I looked and saw some rickety chairs in the classrooms I really made up my mind to donate chairs to the schools, to enable the less privileged learn in a conducive environment,” she said. She said it was her way of complementing the state government’s effort at making education affordable and qualitative in the Gateway State. Some Corps members complain of cash challenges, but Nwabude, a Microbiology graduate of Madonna University Elele Campus, Rivers State was concerned about touching lives and making a difference, in spite of her personal challenges. For days and months, she spent the allowance and her goodwill scouting for support from individuals and corporate organisations towards her school furniture project.

•Nwabude, her colleagues and students at the inauguration of the furniture

Corps member rehabilitates schools Ogun Assembly, school principal hail donor Benefactor praises Amosun effort, saying it would go a long From Mariam Sanni, Abeokuta

The Anambra State-born Corps member, who is serving with the Ogun State Ministry of Youth and Sports Sandra, donated 75 pieces of

furniture, each with inbuilt chair and desk, to the schools. At the inauguration of the furniture, Deputy Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr Tola Banjo, commended Nwabude’s

way in improving the conditions under which the pupils learned. Banjo advised the pupils to concentrate on their studies, so they too could be empower others and contribute their quota to the development of the society. In his appreciation, the Principal

of Abeokuta Grammar School, Chief Funsho Ogun, lauded Sandra, saying even though the Corps member is not indigenous to the state, she showed sensitivity to the plight of secondary school pupils in the state and also proceeded to address it. Ogun rued the fact that people •Continued on Page 50




Osun, NGO train OVC desk officers


•Managing Director Broad Hospital Lagos, Dr. Paul Akintelure recieving his Ambassador for Peace award from the National Coordinator, Universal Peace Federation, Dr George Ikpot (middle) supported by the Lagos State Chairman, Universal Peace Federation Bishop Abiodun Olugbenro (right) and Coordinator Universal Peace Federation. Rev. Imo Nkanta at the Lagos Airport Hotel PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

Governor assures monarchs

OVERNOR Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has pledged that his administration would continue to accord the tradi-


tional rulers due recognition, honour and respect. He gave this assurance in Owu-Isin when he presented the staff of office to five fourth-class traditional rulers in Isin and Irepodun Local Government Areas. Ahmed, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Peter Kisira, also promised that his government would provide an enabling environment for traditional rulers to perform their roles. “I want to assure the royal fathers, as I did in my maiden meeting with them after my assumption of office, that we shall not renege on our promise to improve on their welfare.’’ Ahmed, nonetheless, advised the monarchs to use their good offices to promote peace and rapid socio-economic development in their various domains. “I implore you to be partners in progress with this administration in order to bring the dividends of democracy to the doorsteps of your


WENTY one Orphan and Vulnerable Children Desk Officers from Osun and Oyo states have been empowered through training and exposure to the need for child protection policy. At the conference room of the Osun State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, the venue of the programme, the participants, 12 males, nine females, in a three-day workshop also received training on issues associated with children safety. Representing Dr. Ebunoluwa Jayesimi, the Director, Hope Worldwide Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organsation that provided technical assistance for the workshop, Mrs. Bola Oyebola, also Associate Director of the NGO, expressed gratitude to Osun State government for being sincere in mitigating the plight of vulnerable children. The state Special Adviser for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs. Funmi Eso-Williams, in her opening remarks, said that the training workshop was timely because all stakeholders in the development of the children are yearning for readily available primary data to assist them in tackling issues relating to orphans and vulnerable children, more so that cases

Osun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

of children being raped are recently on the increase. She said the plight of vulnerable children has been topic of discussion in the social welfare sub-sector all over the world, especially as a fallout of HIV and AIDS epidemic. The commissioner said: “The challenges posed by vulnerable children has made both the government and development partners to realise that more responsibilities have to be shouldered by them as this matter poses danger to the society at large.”She expressed hope that the training and skill the participants would receive from the workshop will translate to positive impacts on the lives and well-being of vulnerable children in their respective areas.True to the commissioner’s remarks, two of the participants, Mrs. Yemisi Olabode and Frank Lucky Ajuzie, affirmed that they had been trully empowered through the workshop. According to Ajuzie, who is the Programme Manager of the Jehovah Jireh Resource in Ibadan, Oyo State, the workshop had given them the knowledge on how to implement the child protection policy and sensitise their communities on the importance of child protection and how to keep children, particularly the vulnerable ones


By Kunle Akinrinade

who are vulnerable to the disease while at the same time complementing government effort. “I believe that every residents must join hands with government to eradicate Lassa fever from Nigeria because of its consequence on the lives of people, especially in the rural communities. “ I took it upon myself to organise this event to save lives and to assist government in tackling the scourge and I believe that it would go a long way in helping the indigent residents not only to get cure but to also empower them with what it takes to eradicate the scourge in our community”, she added. The occasion witnessed blood screening exercise, enlightenment and distribution of drugs to people.

` • Akinbile (right) welcoming Hon Arogundade on the occasion while Mrs. Otenaike watches

safe.Field Office Manager for Hope Worldwide Nigeria, Osun State, Joseph Fabian Inyang, said his organisation is partnering with the state government by providing capacity building for stakeholders in order to improve advocacy for the rights of the vulnerable children in the society.

Govt trains women


ACN chieftain tasks residents on Lassa fever

HERE must be concerted effort to tackle the prevalence of Lassa fever and its alarming spread in Nigeria, the Executive Chairman of Agbado-Oke-Odo Local Council Development, Hon Augustine Arogundade, has said. He gave these remarks at the Lassa Fever Enlightenment Programme organised by the Supervisor for Agriculture, Rural and Social Development, Hon Uzamat Akinbile, at the council secretariat. He said that residents must cultivate the hygienic environment to complement effort being made by government at all levels to combat the spread of the fever. “As residents, it is expected that we would ensure a clean and hygienic environment to discourage “breeding” of rats among other factors that encourage the spread of the disease while we must not practise self medication but visit hospital for treatment.” Speaking on the occasion, Hon Akinbile, a trained pharmacist said the programme was a personal project initiated to assist residents

•Mrs Laoye-Tomori

HE wife of the governor of Kaduna State, Mrs Amina Yakowa, has started a skill acquisition training for 560 women from Kaduna North Senatorial District. The training is being conducted under the Women Empowerment Scheme that was established by her. At the inauguration at Sabon-Gari Local Government secretariat recently, Yakowa, who was represented by Mrs Mariah Dogo, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, said the exercise was meant to reduce poverty among women. She said the training was part of the government’s drive to make people self-reliant, adding that the women would receive a two-week intensive training on sewing and knitting. According to her, each trainee will get one set of either sewing machine or knitting machine after the exercise. The Chairman, Ikara Local Government Area, Alhaji Alhassan Datti, appealed to the women to use the knowledge gained from the training to effect positive changes in their lives. Datti said the training was the first of its kind in the state, and urged the governor’s wife to sustain the efforts. About 70 women were selected from each of the eight local government areas of the district for the exercise.

people.’’ The governor described traditional rulers as the custodians of the people’s tradition and customs, urging the newly graded traditional rulers to view their grading as a challenge to provide excellent service delivery to the people. Ahmed urged them to support the government in efforts to combat societal ills such as armed robbery, cultism, drug addiction and other anti-social behaviours. Earlier, Alhaji Isa Adamu Bawa, the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, urged the newly graded traditional rulers to see their elevation as a call to contribute their quota to the areas’ development. The newly graded traditional rulers include Oba Babatunde Aboyeji, the Olusin of Iji-Isin and Oba Oyinloye Ewedunmoye I, the Onigbesi of Igbesi, both from Isin Local Government Area.

•The newly inducted students into leading United Kingdom universities at Leadmode Resources Lagos office


Council chief lauds Ajimobi

HE caretaker committee chairman of Ibadan North Local Government Hon. Idris Lapade has praised the Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi for donating relief material items to victims of the recent rainstorm disaster that ravaged some parts of Oke Itunu in Ibadan metropolis. The council chief gave the kudos in his office shortly after residents of his council area got the items. The donation of the relief materials which include: iron sheets, nails, bags of cement, clothes and other household items were presented to the people of Ibadan North Local government by the deputy governor, Hon. Moses Alake Adeyemo on behalf of the state governor at Agodi Gate headquarters of Ibadan North Local Government. Lapade said the donation came out of the concern of the governor for the citizenry. According to him “governor sympathised with the victims, that was why he urged them to take the relief assistance as a mark of the present administration’s commitment to make life better for all and sundry. I want to persuade the leadership at our various local government councils to expedite action towards constituting Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMC) in their respective local government areas”. He said the state government was concerned with the challenges facing residents, that is why he urged council chiefs to embark on measures such as media jingles, sensitisation and advocacy, dredging of streams, clearing of drains, reconstruction of roads and bridges are among strategic efforts geared towards

By Jeremiah Oke

forestalling the re-occurrence of the August last year flood disaster that ravaged parts of Ibadan, the state capital. He, therefore, expressed his gratitude to the state government and used the opportunity to highlight some of the recent achievements of his administration in complementing the efforts of the state government in making life better for the citizens Among them are introduction of e-payment of salaries to workers of the local government to which he said his administration is the first in the state to do so. He said his administration has also succeeded in the prompt payment of the pensioners’ salaries, construction of bridges and drainages, boreholes in different locations, prompt weekly environmental sanitation exercise, organising vocational programmes, giving maximum attention to the education sector, assisting the aged in the council among o t h e r programmes in the local council. The chairman, therefore, promised not to relent in his quest to complement the effort of the s t a t e government to make the people enjoy dividends of democracy. ` • Hon Lapade


Police warn vehicle owners THE Lagos State Police Command have warned owners of vehicles parked at the following divisions to remove them immediately or forfeit them through auction. They are: Alapere Division 1. Mazda Bus -XF 600ERY (scrap) 2. Omega Opel saloon car- CF208GCE Satellite Division 1. Volkswagen Faragon bus -XD239EPE Gowon Estate Division 1. Honda Accord car -DQ44ABD 2. Volkswagon Golf car -DW725LND 3. BMW car – QK434AAA 4. Toyota starlet -BA 256YAB Ijesha Division Volkswagen car -XV112GGE


Church holds programme THE Elijah Faith Assembly, Lagos branch, will hold a five-day Rhema programme with the theme: If it is not Rhema, it can never be Rhema. The programme will run from today to Friday, June 25 to June 29. The time is daily with a vigil on Friday. The venue is Elijah Faith Assembly Drive by Mechanic Village behind Aswani Market, Lagos. The spokesman, Deacon Charles Chinuke Emmanuel said the programme with the name Rhema water is a quarterly one saying: “it is done once in four months with emphasis on water. The water is given to those that attend the porgramme, the blind will receive sight, lame walk, barrenness broken. Testimonies are bound to follow total deliverance”. Many anointed men of God are expected at the programme.

MICROFINANCE bank, Ultimate Microfinance Bank, Ipaja, Lagos has donated 10 tricycles worth N3.7 million to combat youth unemployment and poverty. The gesture was offered on hire purchase. The programme brought together hundreds of residents in the area including government representative, traditional rulers, community development association, youth leaders and market women. Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the bank, Mr Wale Odunayo said that the initiative was borne out of the need to achieve the goal for which the bank was set up which is to alleviate poverty through microfinance loans and advances which is in line with the regulations of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) on microfinance banking. Odunayo further said that the bank is set to finance more projects and products especially at the micro level, such as traders support products, retail assets finance loan, household equipments purchase, educational and scholars loan among others. The Chairman explained that the bank has put in place a robust credit policy to guide and reduce incidence of bad loans to the barest minimum, stressing that the marketing department of the bank has been restructured and re-engineered towards expanding its marketing scope to reach out to more customers. In his appreciation speech, Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Com-

Bank donates tricycles By Adeola Ogunlade

Lagos merce and Industry at the State House of Assembly, Hon Bisi Yusuf said the council needs more support from the distributors of the tricycles, Wandel International Company, to assist the state in reducing the problem of transportation in the state. He equally urged the bank to give more loans to business men and women who engage in small scale businesses to further alleviate the people’s suffering and warned operators of the tricycles to obey traffic rules and avoid being sentenced to two years imprisonment as penalty for any violator. In his own remark, Chairman, Ayobo/Ipaja Local Council Development Area, Hon Sakiru Yusuf, urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the tricycles as that is the only way to show appreciation to the donor. While addressing journalists on the durability and conformity of the tricycles to bad roads, the Marketing Manager of Wandel Company, who are the distributors and assemblers of the tricycles, Mr Oyedeji Olaniran, said the TBS brand has been built to adapt to rough roads

•From left: Mr Kenah Oztekin, Deputy Secretary General, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce; Chief Mary Awhotu Iyasere, Vice President and Chairman Trade Fair and Exhibitions for NACCIMA and Mr John Isemede, Director-General NACCIMA and Mr Hakan Ozel, Vice Chairman Turkish Nigeria Business Council during the press conference on 1st Turkish Products Exhibition in Nigeria organised by Istanbul Chamber of Commerce at Eko Hotel Exhibition Centre PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS


HE Chairman of Iba Local Council Development Area, Princess Ramota Adeyeri-Oseni has reiterated the council’s commitment to evolve policies and programmes that will improve the standard of education in the area to ensure a secure future for children who are tomorrow’s leaders. Speaking at the Children’s Day celebration recently organised by the council, she emphasised that “education is the bedrock of every society. It is one of children’s human and constitutional rights to have access to education. It is very important to invest in education, because children are indeed the most important segment of our society. Education is the best legacy that we can bequeath to our children.” On this basis, Ramota advised parents to give more attention to their children as a way of correcting the ills in the society. She posited that parents have a great role to play in the society because the training of a child to be better citizen begins at home which, she said, is a microcosm of the larger society. She therefore stressed the need to for parents to pay more attention to children at home, even as she said that teachers’ role is to complement parents’ efforts. She reeled off some of the educational projects her administration had embarked on to include construction of model classrooms with toilet, sick bay, and administrative offices which she said will be inaugurated soon, distribution of 500 desks and benches to all primary schools, provision of 3, 000 school uniforms for primary school pupils and free extra mural coaching classes for the youth who will sit for the General Certificate of Education (GCE), the National Examination Council (NECO) and the Joint

•Mrs Adefulire like the type in most Lagos roads, adding that the brand is made in India unlike that of the China that is not as strong.

Motorists advised to renew vehicle documents


HE Lagos State government has called on all motorists in the state to ensure that they carry valid vehicle documents and ensure their vehicles are in road worthy condition. According to the Permanent Secretary, Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA), Mr. Akin Hanson, all motorists are expected to renew their expired vehicle documents as all law enforcement agencies have been fully mobilised to look out for defaulters. The MVAA chief stated that registration and renewal of vehicle documents have been made easy by the state government by fast tracking the process through automation and which can also be updated from any of the licensing offices, independent registration renewal outlets and branches of participating banks spread across the length and breadth of the state. Hanson further advised that motorists can also make use of the clients’ representatives who assist corporate organisations and individuals to obtain or renew their vehicle documents Finally, the Permanent Secretary warned all motorists to avoid any embarrassment that may arise from the non compliance with the law by ensuring that their vehicle documents are valid at all time.

Local govt stresses value Lagos of education By Amidu Arije

Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), among others. Some of the activities that marked the Children’s Day celebration included march-

past competition at the primary and secondary school levels. Bank Hall Private School came first in the competition. Meanwhile, Miss Uduak Bassey a student of Ishashi Senior Grammar School urged government to make education affordable for the less-privileged in the society.

• Princess Ramota presenting a prize to the student of Hall Bank School who won the marchpast competition













Egypt struggles toward a President

Time to overhaul NCAA (2) L •Enough is enough. Nigerians are tired of incessant dropping of planes from the skies


OBEL laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka’s evocative phrase lamenting what he once decried as the “recurrent cycle of human stupidity” applies forcefully to the seasonal replay of mostly avoidable tragedies in Nigeria’s embattled aviation sector. Each time an aircraft drops from our vulnerable skies, destroying precious lives, the responses can be easily predicted. These include the tardiness of emergency response and rescue; highly publicised visits to the site by public officials with emotive outpouring of grief; threats that heads will roll in the affected regulatory agencies; pledges of fundamental sectoral reforms to ensure that “never again” do we witness such a tragedy, and plenty of motion with little meaningful movement forward in a sector where organisational efficiency, professional discipline and moral integrity can make the difference between life and death. There is hardly anything new that can be said about the all-important issue of raising standards at all levels to boost public confidence in the safety of the country’s beleaguered aviation sector. Virtually all that has been said and done in response to last Sunday’s tragic crash of the ill-fated DANA aircraft at Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, with the loss of more than 153 lives only echo similar reactions to previous crashes. All too often, once the intense emotional trauma of the fiasco has been overcome, it is return to business as usual until the next tragedy hits.

(NCAA), by freeing it from undue bureaucratic bottlenecks; approval of round-theclock terminal radar services for all the airports; comprehensive audit of all Installations and maintenance of landing aircraft; rehabilitation of existing runways, erection of perimeter fence in all airports, installation of communication equipment in all operational airports and full fire coverage through provision of standard and serviceable fire fighting equipment at all the airports. To be fair to that administration, some progress was made towards achieving these objectives. For instance, the aviation sector reforms enabled the NCAA to measure up to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as well as the International Air

Promises of reforms

We will recall that when the air tragedies involving the Bellview and Sosoliso airlines in Ifo, Ogun State, and Port • Mrs Stella Oduah Harcourt, respectively, in 2005 and 2006, the Obasanjo Presidency prom- Transportation Association (IATA) and ised fundamental reforms in the country’s attaining the United States Federal Airaviation industry, following public out- port Authority Category One status on rage about the incessant dropping of air- aviation safety. It is also significant that craft from the skies. The former president some Nigerian airlines obtained the ICAO openly accused operators in the sector of Operational Safety Auditing (IOSA) moral depravity and took what he con- safety rights to operate international sidered far-reaching cleansing steps. Not flights. The reforms were backed finanonly did that administration convene an cially with the Aviation Intervention Fund Aviation Stakeholders Forum, it set up a of N19.5 billion for infrastructural develPresidential Task Force to oversee the rig- opment and the sum of N90 million was orous implementation of the recommen- reportedly paid to a Lagos – based auditing firm for the technical audit of the indations of the forum. Among the measures approved for dustry. Why the little progress? implementation at the time was making Why, despite all these efforts does the the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) autonomous of the Ministry of Aviation country’s aviation industry continue to and directly answerable to the Presi- ail as vividly demonstrated by the latest dency; enhancing the operational effi- Dana tragedy and, even after that, the ciency and professional independence of emergency diversion, last Friday, of dothe Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority mestic and international flights from the

‘There can be no short cut to excellence in a sector as critical as aviation. The NCAA has a great role to play in this matter. The authority and others having to do with ensuring standards in the sector have to shape up. It does not seem that these agencies, as presently constituted, have the capacity to attain the aviation sector of our dream. And we do not have to wait for another tragedy before doing the needful’

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to Lagos, due to unexpected power failure on the runway? A key part of the problem is, of course, the virus of corruption that insidiously eats away at the sinews of all critical sectors of our society. It is instructive, for instance, that two former aviation ministers are currently being prosecuted for alleged mismanagement of the Aviation Intervention Fund. Throwing money at problems will have scant efficacy when public officers criminally ‘privatise’ public resources with impunity and the law is so inexplicably slow in bringing them to book. It is also obvious that after the initial zeal and public relations stunts, the aviation sector reforms lost momentum and it was back to business as usual, particularly after the exit of the Obasanjo Administration. Even in the response to the latest tragedy, for instance, there has been little evidence of a well coordinated and cohesive industry where there is common respect for routine operational standards. Quite strangely, the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, identified the loss of the aircraft’s two engines as the probable cause of the crash.

Any regulators?

Yet, there are statutory bodies, including international organisations, with the legal authority and technical capacity to investigate and make definitive pronouncements on aviation matters. It is certainly an indication of the sorry state of the industry that we even lack a standard laboratory in Nigeria to conduct the necessary tests on either the parts of the aircraft or the recovered black box. To make matters more embarrassing, Dana Airline’s Director of Flight Operations came out to openly contradict the aviation minister’s claims as regards the alleged failure of the crashed aircraft’s dual engines. He claimed that the plane had actually undergone its mandatory 400-hourly A –Check 96 hours before its crash and it had a valid NCAA Certificate of Airworthiness. If true, what are the standards of these tests and how rigorous is the process of ascertaining airworthiness? We have had enough of these emotional, publicity-seeking, knee jerk responses to aviation tragedies. What we need now is to strengthen systems, processes, institutions and structures that will maintain the highest standards at all levels – manpower training, aircraft maintenance, airport facilities, passenger care and cabin services, aircraft boarding processes as well as emergency response and rescue operations. There can be no short cut to excellence in a sector as critical as aviation. The NCAA has a great role to play in this matter. The authority and others having to do with ensuring standards in the sector have to shape up. It does not seem that these agencies, as presently constituted, have the capacity to attain the aviation sector of our dream. And we do not have to wait for another tragedy before doing the needful. Whether the Jonathan Administration has the political will to act decisively is a different matter entirely.

AST month’s first round of presidential voting in Egypt produced two flawed, polarizing candidates: Ahmed Shafik, former President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister; and Mohamed Morsi, a functionary of the Muslim Brotherhood. There are serious questions about both men’s commitment to the political and economic reforms that Egypt so desperately needs. And, given those choices, it is highly worrying but not surprising that a growing number of Egyptian voters and politicians are talking about boycotting this month’s final vote. The electoral process is in chaos. The Supreme Constitutional Court does not plan to decide until June 14, two days before the election, whether Mr. Shafik could be disqualified under a law adopted by the Islamistmajority Parliament barring Mubarak-era officials from running. The court will also hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the law under which the Parliament was elected. Last week’s verdict against Mr. Mubarak has already seriously damaged the courts’ credibility. The former dictator was sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the killings of hundreds of protesters during last year’s uprising, but six top police commanders were acquitted. If, as many fear, the conviction is reversed on appeal, it would fuel more instability. Even more chilling: a spokesman for the judges who are expected to monitor this month’s vote declared Thursday that they were abandoning their impartiality in an effort to guard against an Islamist takeover. Egypt needs a competent government credibly elected. The electoral judges — and all of the judges — need to set aside their political agendas and do their jobs fairly. The statecontrolled media needs to stop fomenting animosity against pro-democracy protesters. The bureaucracy needs to stop fighting to keep the old system alive. Many Egyptian voters want to move beyond the old choices of autocracy or conservative Islam. In the first round of voting, two moderates — the secular leftist Hamdeen Sabahi and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a Brotherhood dissident — together got more votes than either of the winning candidates. Both men, and their supporters, will need to keep making their voices heard. The Obama administration needs to be thinking now about how it can best use its limited leverage. The administration has prepared a package of economic assistance, including a debt swap, for the new government. Egypt needs the help. Washington needs to make clear to Mr. Morsi that it will work with him and the Brotherhood — so long as they respect the rights of all Egyptians. It needs to tell Mr. Shafik the same and make clear that autocracy for stability, the old basis for business with Cairo, is over. – New York Times

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IR: “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future” – Former President Kennedy of America. “True statesmanship is the art of changing a nation from what it is into what it ought to be” – William R. Alger. “Leadership is acceptance of responsibility, and not of embodiment of liability” – Johnson E. Augustine. I wonder what was in the mind of President Goodluck Jonathan to have pressurized him to voice out dejectedly that he was not the problem of Nigeria, that the problems predated his administration. One does not need any soothsayer to tell us before we know that Nigeria has foundational, fundamental and constitutional problems. Saying this is saying the obvious and it’s a general knowledge among the public. But one expected the President to have pursued strategies and plans to ameliorate the problems. Did he just come to enjoy the meat at the king’s table or to serve and effect changes? If he knew he has nothing to offer to solve the myriad of problems facing the country, why did he allow the INEC to waste billions of tax payers’ money on the election? Why shift the blame to Lord


President Jonathan and Nigeria’s problems Lugard and not taking responsibility for the future? Thanks to President Roosevelt of America, for in his days that effected great change in his country even within the first 100days of his administration. Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore was able to move his country from a third world country to a developed country or first world as it became the most prosperous nation in South-East Asia. It was made possible because of his focus and patriotism. He was

a committed and dedicated leader who knew what was best for his country to be great and pursued it with all his strength, not minding whether he was rated good or otherwise, not minding whose ox is gored and never cared for popularity but desired success for his country without self aggrandisement or the glamour of the office. President John Jerry Rawlings of Ghana also researched and understudied the perennial

problems facing his country and made up his mind to change his country from what it is to what it ought to be. He did not shift blames nor did he exonerate himself but he studied and knew what to do to reposition his country. He laid the foundation for a better tomorrow which are already yielding positive fruits in Ghana economically today. Nigeria that prides itself as giant of Africa has not been able to produce daring-do leaders with


• Pastor Mark Debo Taiwo, Ogbomoso, Oyo State

UNILAG: Let the parliament have final say IR: I write to comment on the Bill sent to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan seeking for the legislative approval to effect the change of the name of three federal universities. Firstly, the timing is inappropriate considering the nature of this Bill. The issue involved especially the renaming of Unilag has been so controversial that Mr. President should have allowed the mourning period his administration declared


to really pass. Although three days were declared, but this grieve cannot subside within that period. Secondly, the cost of the re-branding of these universities which will run into billions of naira could be better used to improve the critical sectors of the economy like the power, aviation or fixing of Lagos –Ibadan Expressway which only about 64 billion naira is needed to ensure free movement and put an end to the carnage on that road. For instance renaming Eagle Square or

National Stadium would not cost the nation anything. Thirdly, MKO Abiola’s campaign slogan was ‘Bye-Bye to Poverty’; thus good governance and reduction of corruption in governance is needed more than anything to make the poor feel the impact of democracy in his honour. Fourthly and more importantly there is a subsisting resolution of the National Assembly calling on the executive to name National Stadium after MKO. The question is,

Bi-Courtney: Killing Nigerians slowly IR: The Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the blood-sucking highway was concessioned to BiCourtney for rehabilitation and maintenance a while back. How the company with little or no record of being in road maintenance and rehabilitation before won the contract is a matter for another day. For the past years, it has been either ‘men at work’ or ‘slow down, work in progress’. Yet, no tangible thing has been done on the major route. The only time we know BiCourtney is working is when there

metal touch, who will turn things round for good, who will take the bull by the horn, take actions and take responsibility for his action, have a set goals and achieve them to ameliorate the sufferings of the masses. Instead the President is strategizing for 2015 while many promises he made during the electioneering campaign are begging for his attention. Like John the Baptist in the moment of despair sent words to Jesus saying: are you the Messiah we are waiting for or shall we look for another person? The same question Nigerians are asking President Goodluck: are you the person of change the nation has been waiting for or shall we start to look in other direction?

is carnage on the road; the spokesperson of the company rushes to the media to do some damage control and the matter ends there without questions being asked. For how long? How will they ask questions when the major promoter of the company is close to the corridors of power winning laurels upon medals for being a good Nigerian? He is no other person than the tall, huge-framed Dr Wale Babalakin, SAN, honorary legal adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan.

While President Jonathan may be pardoned for being close to Babalakin because he inherited him from the previous administrations, he owes it a duty to Nigerians to ensure that his relationship with people both at personal and official levels does not derail him from doing the needful. He is the President of the republic and as such must do everything possible in his official capacity to protect Nigerians from predatory Jack-of-all trade businessmen. The President swore to defend the people when he was given the man-

date to lead. The Lagos-Ibadan highway has been a metaphor for state failure, killing a lot of Nigerians that ply the road almost every now and then. Added to this is the fact that those who own the heavy duty trucks that cause these accidents are members of the propertied class. This is how the political class connives with the propertied class to deny many Nigerians of their lives. When will Bi-Courtney be drilled? The people are waiting! • Akinboyo Temidayo, Igbotako, Ondo State

why can’t the President implement this resolution? The legislators must remind the executive of this resolution and seize this opportunity to let them know that resolutions of the parliament are not just ‘a mere opinion’. The legislature is the number one arm of government mentioned in the Constitution and consists of elected representatives of the people unlike executive council where only two people are elected and the others are picked by the President. The time for the parliament to demonstrate its supremacy is now. The time to show that resolutions must be obeyed is now. Lastly, the students have been protesting against this change of name. We must avoid another round of days of mourning by ensuring that none of the students are killed accidentally by the police. If the President is bent on honoring all those that died for us, he should also rename UNIPORT after Ken Saro-Wiwa in the interest of equity and justice. After all, Ken Saro-Wiwa died for the derivation money the people of Niger Delta are allocated now. • Femi Ogunbanwo, Esq. Lagos




Prize for a nation's unrighteousness


T has been a season of avoidable tragedies. On two consecutive two days, the devil's fire took charge of the jagged Lagos-Ibadan expressway, shattered many vehicles and ruined several lives and opportunities. The lamentation was still blistering when the satanic Boko Haram struck again in Bauchi on Sunday morning to achieve its evil purpose of maiming, killing and destroying. Before the scorching agony could spread across the terrain, a greater devastation swept the entire land, depressing the spirit, body and soul, with hot tears rolling down eyes. At about 3.42pm on the day of the Lord, a Dana Air-owned McDonnel Douglas (MD) 82 aircraft on flight 0992 coming from Abuja, barely two minutes to "emergency" landing at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, after hovering in the air rammed into a mango tree, killing a cow instantly and then crashed into a two-storey residential building adjoining a warehouse, bursting into flames a few minutes later, killing all the 153 persons on board and many yet unnumbered innocent souls on the ground. It was a disaster that drew the attention of the whole world to the outskirt Iju-Ishaga in Ifako-Ijaye Local Government Area of Lagos State. The devil is doing its worst in a society where unrighteousness is tolerable. How can we count the recurring preventable losses that are dominating the land due to the wickedness and selfcenteredness of few? Ours has become a nation where people are loving money than human lives. Otherwise, why are highways left in gully state such that many who would have travelled by road are scared of being trapped on rugged pathways and would have to resort to flying? Now, many lives are being wasted through the alternative airspace that has equally been rendered unsafe essentially because standards are being compromised with impunity. The dilemma of the country today has become the fear of auto crash dumping the people to the nightmare of air crash. Miserably, flying in Nigeria is now in the vein of taking a suicide step into a tempest with prayers onboard for non-violent take-off and landing. We have experienced several preventable stormy flights and landing in Nigeria. Congress for Progressive Change's leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was more outright in his conclusion on the nation's insecure airspace. He tagged the disasters in the aviation sector to corruption, moreso with two former Ministers of Aviation still undergoing prosecution for corruption. To him, the Dana


HEN the late Oba Oladele Olashore, a former Minister of Finance was dissecting the problem with Nigeria in a recent article, he left no one in doubt as to where the compass should lead: agriculture. According to Olashore, at the root of economic backwardness, stagnation and decline in Nigeria is the poor performance of the agriculture sector, which ideally, should have been the predominant sector. And of course, the root cause of the rapid decline in food production is well known. Domestic policies with regard to agriculture had often constituted a disincentive for farmers. The late monarch is not alone in this. It has indeed been the aspiration of many Nigerians to see agriculture rebound in our economy to play critical role in revenue generation and employment as in the past. For instance, in the 1960s, agriculture contributed over 60 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Nigeria was the world’s second largest producer of cocoa with 15 per cent of the world market; largest exporter of palm oil with 60 per cent market share, and leading exporter of groundnuts with 30 per cent of the world market. We also held dominant positions in the markets for cotton, rubber, hides and skins. Although the farmers relied on rudimentary, traditional tools and methods, the sector accounted for about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s exports, and about 95 per cent of our domestic food consumption. Indeed, the country has to go back to agriculture as the source of raw materials for our industries, for food for our teeming population and as a source of employment. The country’s massive investment in agriculture will additionally boost her foreign exchange, which will be saved if we stopped importing what could be produced at home. And one man in the struggle to actualize this dream is the current Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina whose recent bold step to incentivise local farmers, boost food production and expand export opportunities in cassava flour deserves to be commended. But, Adesina’s drive to empower local farmers and salvage Nigeria economy has met with criticism, mostly unconstructive. The white wheat flour industry has in recent time whipped up sentiments against the cassava flour introduced by the Honourable Minister in order for the industry to continue to fleece Nigerians and keep our economy in chains. This is not unusual. The white wheat flour industry in Nigeria with their foreign collaborators has been working to frustrate the government policy to have 40% of the cassava flour mandatorily used by the food industry. The white wheat flour industry has surreptitiously used their lobbyist to make in-road to the National Assembly with unsubstantiated reports of cassava flour known to cause diabetes. But it is important to deepen the understanding of the history, the experience, and the path of the enterprise in

Air crash coming a day after another Nigerian plane crashed in Ghana might just be signaling the return to the corruptioninduced era of incessant air crashes under the PDP-led administrations. "This is coming when we seem to have heaved a sigh of relief from the air-crashes in the last six year. Though we may join concerned and patriotic Nigerians in calling for judicial probe of this latest intrusion of the hitherto tranquil atmosphere, we doubt the sincerity of the PDP-led Federal Government in unearthing the real causes of these disasters." This is an expression of the worries of many. Buhari believes that this pervasive corruption by the successive government, regarding administration of the aviation sector, have corrupted this vital sector, that industry's best practices are often circumvented at will by the airline operators. "The result of these infractions is what we witness with air disasters." Come to consider it, how many countries in the world have recorded as much plane crashes as Nigeria in the last 20 years? Our neighbouring Ghana is very high above us in aviation services rating. For Ethiopia, the industry is indeed a major source of income to the nation - whereas the government here has failed and is only scooping resources on unmerited charges from airlines. Action Congress of Nigeria national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu's stance that "with the huge revenue coming to the government, there is no reason our airspace and runways should not be safe" is logical. According to him, for every N25 paid by a passenger, N11 goes to the Federal Government in one form or another, not to talk of the several billions of dollars accruing to the government coffers through the Bilateral Air Service Agreement. That such incomes are not being utilized to the benefit of the nation is patent wickedness. Last week I was called by a Spanish radio station to discuss the plane crash issue live. One of questions was the allegation that Nigeria's airspace is unsafe. In the tough effort to be patriotic, I laboured to defend the safety of it in the last five years. The reality is that safe airspace does not experience crashes as much as we do. Ethiopia for example has a safe airspace which is evident by 50 years of non-plane crash. Ours cannot be said to be safe with no fewer than three major crashes within the last 10 years. This is why Aviation Minister Mrs. Stella Oduah's proclamation that "we have the safest air space in the whole world" will not give people confidence on the government's probe inauguration. Her inability to back up her claim with statistics and the fact she had no answer to questions about the findings of previous air crash probes are not encouraging. Since she does not know what the past reports said and what happened to them, she could not have learnt anything about such historic disasters in the ministry she is now running, what then is the guarantee that the result of the new probe will ever see the light of day? This means whoever comes after her too will have no answer to the crash that has just occurred.

This is one country where a ban on importation of cars above five years was enacted and being implemented but also at the same time where aged aircraft of limited 20 years usage are allowed to operate with low or no enforced maintenance culture to the detriment of the citizens. The lead in The Nation of last Friday was the passengers' disillusionment over revelations about the over-age of many of the aircraft used by domestic airlines. The report was that some of the aircraft have average age of 22.2 years, and 25.6 years, with the oldest range of 30.2 years. Indeed, Asians have been allowed to take over the nation's economy without the essential checks and balances. They serve as proxies for the nation's top echelons, running the supposed privatised national assets and treating Nigerians as slaves in their own country. Many Indian companies, for instance, operate like cults with the responsibility to monitor them being mortgaged for selfish interests. In the oil industry, foreign investors hardly abide by COREN or NSE regulations because they are mainly Nigerian stand-ins who must make money at all cost - not minding if at the expense of the nation's interest. The apprehension now is the genuineness of the government in unearthing the real causes of the air disaster so that such will not re-occur. The sincerity behind handling of probes often manifest in the non-implementation of the outcome. The irony is that almost all the committees being set up to probe misdemeanors always submit their reports, but with most of the reports not implemented. Currently, there are the power probe, the stock market probe, the oil subsidy probe and many others with little or no expectations of value. This is why many skeptical that the Dana Air plane crash might as well go as another case of medicine after death. Periodic assessments of aircrafts ought to have been in place and not waiting for catastrophic accidents to occur. People are doubtful of viable outcome of the probe. Nigerians are tired of endless and purposeless probe exercise after each avoidable calamity with the assumption that President Jonathan do not have the political muscle to implement any tough and crucial recommendation. Those who see this new panel as a waste of gun powder firing at the moon. Are arguing that in the end, the report of the investigation would end up in the dust bin as a replay of what have been witnessed in the past. Truly, there cannot be a different result if errors are kept being repeated. Unless the issue of official corruption and unrighteousness are tackled head on, bureaucrats of the aviation ministry and its agencies would take bribe and frustrate the whole process. This is an opportunity for President Jonathan to at least make one difference by not only letting this probe report see the light of day, but by implementing whatever of the recommendations would be of benefit the nation. This is the only sincere way to compensate the innocent souls who paid the ultimate prize for the prevailing unrighteousness of this nation.

What is wrong with cassava flour? By Adeola Akinremi cassava flour and its impact on the people and the marketplace. Cassava flour, as against the white wheat industry’s claim as a major cause of diabetes is less than half-truth. Indeed, cassava flour is a healthier choice for diabetics than some other starches because of its relatively low glycemic index. The glycemic index is rating systems that can help diabetics predict how different foods will affect their blood sugar levels. Cassava has a low glycemic index of 46, which means that it is less likely than some foods to cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. If you are diabetic, cassava could be a healthier choice than white potatoes, which have a high glycemic index of 85 according to a study by America based journal, Diet and Fitness Today. As a matter of fact, several international reports have shown that the higher the Glycemic Index, the more prone to diabetic conditions the consumers are. For instance, a 55 and below glycemic index is considered low while high range starts at 70 and above. Interestingly, white wheat flour has 71 (whole wheat flour bread has 77). In one study published in the December 2006 issue of “Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology,” none of the 1,381 subjects had diabetes, even though cassava accounted for a full 84 percent of their caloric intake. A second study, published in the October 1992 issue of “Diabetes Care,” noted that Tanzanians who ate cassava regularly had a lower incidence of diabetes than those who rarely ate it. The same goes for other African countries, including Nigeria. Recently news media were awash with a purported bill for an Act to provide for the mandatory inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour in Nigeria, an executive Bill said to have been rejected by the Senate based on Senator Peter Edeh (PDP, Edo)’s opposition that compelling manufacturers of flour to include cassava would amount to compelling Nigerians to eat products that may be injurious to their health. Although, the executive has since denied sending such bill to the Senate, it remains to be seen who is behind the bill. It is needless to say that the government may be right in its denial of knowing anything about the bill that the Senate attributed to it. Perhaps the important question to ask is when did the bill go through mention, first reading, and public hearing as is norm with the process of legislation that Nigerians do not know and suddenly we hear in the newspapers about its second reading and its rejection. Here, the minister’s words seems pertinent: “In considering the decision on cassava bread, issues of patriotism and national pride, economy, food security and sound science must be all taken together. For far too long, Nigeria has

depended on importation of wheat flour annually to feed its population, which is not sustainable politically and economically. Nigeria spends N635 billion of hard-earned foreign exchange importing wheat every year. And there are those who make a lot of money doing this that does not want any effort of government to do partial substitution of wheat flour with cassava flour to work. They are working for themselves, their pockets, not for Nigerians”. I agree with Adesina. It is crystal clear that the cassava flour project will save the country about N635 billion a year when we substitute cassava for wheat importation. In addition, the substitution at 40 per cent will save us a lot of money, will help create a lot of jobs for the youths, create markets for our farmers, stabilize prices and give us a sense of pride in that we are eating made in Nigeria product. Already, United African Foods (UAC) has begun the use of cassava flour at the rate of 10% and some other bakeries are coming on board daily; these truly deserve commendation. And to demonstrate government’s seriousness about the initiative, a number of fiscal policy measures to encourage the substitution of high quality cassava flour for wheat flour in the production of bread have been introduced. From January 1, all equipment for processing of high quality cassava flour and composite flour blending as well as agricultural equipment have been attracting zero duty. There is also a corporate tax incentive of 12 per cent rebate for bakers to encourage the utilization of locally produced cassava flour in the baking of bread. Since March 31, importation of cassava flour has come under prohibition to give ventilation to the local farmers and from July, importation of wheat flour and wheat grain will attract higher duty. While wheat flour will attract a levy of 65 per cent to bring the effective duty to 100 per cent, wheat grain will attract a 15 per cent levy to bring the effective duty to 20 per cent. • Akinremi, a development and policy analyst writes from Lagos.

‘Nigeria spends N635 billion of hard-earned foreign exchange importing wheat every year. And there are those who make a lot of money doing this that does not want any effort of government to do partial substitution of wheat flour with cassava flour to work. They are working for themselves, their pockets, not for Nigerians”.





HE kidnap last week in Owerri, of a journalist with the Imo State Broadcasting Corporation Ndubuizu Ugorji and an Immigration Officer, Blessing Chidi, has added a frightening dimension to the security situation in the state. Reports had it that Ugorji was about taking his children to school when the gunmen struck. On their way, they ran into the immigration officer whom they equally abducted after firing sporadically into the air to scare away people. It is not that kidnapping is still big news in the country. The cankerworm first reared its ugly head in the Niger Delta region when militants demanding a fair share of revenue from oil, resorted to abducting expatriates who they set free after extorting large sums of money from them. Some of the captives were not lucky as they died in the custody of their abductors. Before the general amnesty granted them by the Yar’Adua regime, the dangerous impression had been created that kidnapping could also be a profitable endeavor to social misfits. Not unexpectedly, it spread like wide fire in some south eastern states with Abia standing out as the most notorious. The devastation which that ruinous activity wrought on that state will take a very long time to remedy. Of course, it took its toll on investments as no serious investor ventured to do business in such an inclement and suffocating environment. In Abia, kidnapping became an all comers affair lacking in the usual sophistication associated with that risky engagement. They operated in buses abducting people at random and setting them free after extracting sums of money which the kidnappers considered commensurate with the financial standing of their victims. The incidence has now reduced very considerably as the state government with the assistance of the federal government waged a relentless battle against the ill. Through this persistent battle, Abia was saved from the degenerate cesspool of kidnapping into which it had sunk. But that was after many had fled the state. Then, Imo was very peaceful recording almost zero incidence of the malfeasance. It is on record that the state for a very long time was one of the most peaceful in the country recording a regular influx of visitors which in turn robbed off positively on the entertainment industry. Hotel business became at once very alluring as people took advantage of the very inviting safe environment.


Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email:

Imo’s kidnap burden All that fizzled out during the last administration in the state as kidnapping began to manifest in varying dimensions. The concerns raised by the embarrassing incidence were so much so that it became a major campaign issue during the last election. There were even suspicions that there was some political undertone in the impunity with which the bandits operated. It was on record during that regime that a commissioner was abducted three days after he was relieved of his appointment and was held incommunicado for six months even after large sums of money had been extracted from his relatives. His abductors operated with such brazen disdain that at least on two occasions, they brought him to his private hospital, showed him to his staff and went away unchallenged only to make further monetary demands. Even when they eventually released him few days after the elections, they took away one of his nurses until they had received further payment from the victim. Given the above scenario, the general expectation was that the new government of Rochas Okorocha would do all within its powers to battle and unmask the high profile syndicate behind these kidnappings. Admittedly, the state government took a number of steps not only to battle kidnapping but all forms of criminality. But it would appear that all these efforts have not succeeded in stemming the tide of that devious activity as its perpetrators appear to have sworn that the state will know no peace. Instead of abetting, it has degenerated to an all comers affair as clearly indicated by last week’s abduction of a poor journalist and an

HE non-implementation of the decision of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to recall the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami underscores the appalling intersection between politics and rule of law and the influence (or superiority?) of the former over the latter. Politics protects interest while the rule of law protects rights and it is generally believed that in the realm of things, a man would fight harder to protect his interest than he would to defend his rights. Therefore, when there is a clash between both, it is always accompanied by a host of paradoxes guided by parochial and insular tendencies. To start with, there is no hope for the promotion of rule of law in Nigeria if law is not invoked automatically without political considerations or if the interpretation of law is made a subject of political expediency or group convenience. Therefore, from legal and constitutional standpoint, the controversy surrounding Justice Salami’s suspension and eventual reinstatement stems from the gravely erroneous assumption and absurdities created by the political interference in the work of the judiciary and the administration of justice in Nigeria. Hence, the only body to resolve the absurdity which has become one of the most vexed contemporary issues in Nigeria today is the NJC. The absurdity does not arise from the constitution because the constitutional provision is very clear and unambiguous on the powers of the NJC to suspend a judicial officer. The reason, for this is simple: the framers of the constitution in their bid to ensure the independence of the judiciary limits the powers of the President only to appointment and removal while creating special procedures for both. For instance, when the President wants to remove a judge on the recommendation of the NJC, he would send the request to the Senate for approval, the same way he would do for the confirmation of a judge. The framers of the constitution knew that if the President has to be involved in everyday summary discipline of judges, the judiciary will become an appendage of the executive in addition to the fact that the President may have his own extra-judicial priorities and interests which can weigh very heavily in his decisions and ultimately impact judicial independence, obstruct justice and rule of law. The power to suspend a judge under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is vested on the NJC, not the President. The Constitution in the Third Schedule, Part 1 par 21 states that : “ the National Judicial Council shall have power- (b) to recommend to the president the removal from office of the judicial officers specified in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph, AND TO EXERCISE DISCIPLINARY CONTROL OVER SUCH OFFICERS” (emphasis added). What this boils down to mean is that the NJC does not have to involve the President in its decision to suspend or reinstate a judicial officer, beyond asking him to appoint an acting President of the Court of Appeal. The legislature is aware that a person not occupying the position in substantive capacity does so temporarily, hence,

immigration woman. From all we know, these are not the kind of high profile people that are usually the regular targets of the bandits. I know Ugorji personally and it is very confounding why any sane person will consider him rich enough to be a prey. What is there in the wage or remuneration structure of a state broadcasting corporation to give him out as somebody who could cough out some reasonable amount of money? Same could also go for the immigration officer. Unless there is some other motive behind this singular kidnap, the immediate reading of the development is that the kidnapping crime has degenerated to such a very low level that nobody is safe any longer. It is now fast assuming the character of the madness that characterized Abia State during its days of the locust. If this trend is not checked, it could sabotage the efforts of the state government in the rapid infrastructural development it has embarked upon. I had the opportunity to attend a stakeholder’s forum organized by Governor Okorocha to give account of his one year performance in office. The issue of insecurity featured prominently that the governor had to ask the state commissioner of police to give the audience an update on the matter. As usual with the police in such issues, the commissioner began by informing the audience that throughout the previous week, there was no single incident of kidnapping in the state. Rather, his command performed a feat by unmasking and arresting about 10 suspects in a location he did

not want to name. He also spoke of the efforts the authorities were making in securing hi-tech equipment to track down suspects. In his view, as soon as they secure these equipments, there will be no hiding place for kidnappers in the state any more. One thing that stood out very unambiguously from the police commissioner’s account was an admission that the situation had become that bad. That is my reading of his relying solely on events of a previous week to plot a graph of decline in the incident. Of course, such a sample is inherently defective in empirical analysis as it cannot lead to any general conclusion. Why limit such comparisons to events of just one week? Perhaps, if the weeks preceding the one the commissioner chose to highlight recorded no incidents, he would have been very proud to report them in his brief. The point being made here is that the commissioner’s brief in its strict interpretation was a clear admission that the matter had become that serious. This has been poignantly underscored by the kidnap of the journalist and a female immigration officerpeople who ordinarily should not attract the attention of kidnappers. The security agencies have a serious task to unmask the masterminds of this devious activity. They should call into action both conventional and unconventional approaches to get at the cell of the syndicate. If it means re-enacting the ‘otokoto saga’ which dealt a death blow on all identified criminal elements in the state, so be it. Imo must be saved from this madness once again.

‘Imo was very peaceful recording almost zero incidence of the malfeasance. It is on record that the state for a very long time was one of the most peaceful in the country recording a regular influx of visitors which in turn robbed off positively on the entertainment industry’

Salami: Overcoming the absurdity By Kayode Oladele makes such appointment renewable every 90 days in the hope that the suspension of the substantive holder will not constitute a permanent action. From that analysis, it is clear that the NJC enjoys a measure of independence and it is at liberty to make certain determinations including the discipline of judicial officers without notifying the President for his approval and it has done so for several years without executive intervention. So what the NJC did in the case of Justice Salami was to communicate its decision to the President who had already appointed someone t o act as the President of the Court of Appeal and to put the President on notice that renewal of the appointment of the acting President is no longer necessary. Otherwise, if Justice Salami had been a judicial officer not holding the position of the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court or the Chief Justice of the Federation, the NJC would not have been required to intimate the President of its routine disciplinary action. What is therefore, happening now, that the President must approve the decision of the NJC to reinstate a judicial officer is not within the contemplation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Such an interpretation would amount to a brazen violation of the constitution because the President does not have powers to do so under the principle of memo dat quon non habet . No one gives what he does not have and all acts, whether by the executive, legislature or judiciary must be in accordance with the law, not beyond their powers, to be legitimate and validly executed. Unfortunately, the Presidency through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation has given various reasons why the President would not “approve” the recommendation citing rule of law, subjudice and pending court cases challenging the NJC’s .action thus creating an impression that the NJC’s power of discipline of judicial officers under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is subject to the approval of the President. If that position is true, where then is the separation of powers? With due respect, the Attorney-General’s position is preposterous without any legal support. Even assuming arguendo, that the President processes such powers, the pending cases are either moot and have become merely academic because there is longer an actual controversy for the courts to determine by virtue of the reinstatement action by the NJC (if they were filed by Justice Salami himself) or of no consequence to the decision by the NJC to reinstate Salami pursuant to the powers conferred on it by the constitution (if filed by interlopers and people without “locus standi” under the law). Government must adhere to the provisions of the law if our

claim to be a country governed by the rule of law is to be taken with any modicum of sincerity and respect by the international community. We cannot invent a Nigerian brand of rule of law and clog our judiciary with political actions and expect the world not to laugh at us. According to Prof. Emmanuel Omo Esiemokhai in his article, “The Rule of Law in Nigeria”, “the rule of law is a shield against discrimination, xenophobia and other reactionary minded tendencies. Due process hinders those who want to cut corners in order to reap where they did not sow”. The way forward? As I noted earlier, there is no absurdity in the 1999 Constitution regarding the disciplinary powers of the NJC over judicial officers. The NJC in accordance with the constitution had disciplined Justice Salami and invoking the same constitutional provision, the NJC has decided to recall him. Technically speaking, Justice Salami has been recalled having concluded that the provision of the constitution giving the NJC power to discipline a judicial officer is not subservient to the whims of the President. There is no absurdity in the NJC’s decision to notify the President, who is the appointing authority that it has recalled Justice Salami; the only absurdity, as I said earlier, being the misinterpretation of the NJC’s action by the political class. Once the NJC has decided to recall a suspended judicial officer in exercise of its powers under the Constitution that is the end of the matter and no further action is required to effect its decision. The powers of the NJC in this regard have never been a subject of controversy until now when the political class have seen an opportunity to muddle the water for the NJC. As Femi Falana said, “when there is a recommendation for removal of a judge, that is when the President or governor comes in because they are the appointing authorities. But with respect to investigation, it is the responsibility of the NJC to suspend and return a Judge if no indictment. .” Falana’s position has not only been endorsed by the Nigerian Bar Association, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Uwais, (Rtd), also stated in a recent interview with the Channels TV that “from legal point of view, the suspension of a Judge, the power to do so is given to the National Judicial Council not the President…..once the NJC decides he should be recalled, then he should be recalled by the NJC, not the President”. The NJC must take a principled approach with regard to the manifold stalemate being created by the political class and assert its power under the constitution by sending a formal letter of reinstatement to Justice Salami directing him to resume his duties as the President of the Court of Appeal without any further delay. This is not only the constitutional route and the intendment of the legislation, it is also just, fair and equitable.






T HE CEO Economy needs retail banking

National Assembly vs - P. 27 CBN News Briefing

Fed Govt earns $9b from NLNG THE Federal Government has earned not less than $9 billion as dividends from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) from 2004 to date, it was learnt.

- Page 26

Cashless: Banks deploy 100,000 PoS TO ensure success of the cashless policy, banks have rolled out 100,000 Point of Sale (PoS) terminals

- Page 30

We emphatically want to state that the choice of the 12 airports undergoing remodelling and face-lift was not influenced by any political considerations. -Mrs Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation

to grow’

- P. 32

PPPRA cuts fuel imports by 180,000mt


O check corruption and sharp practices in the fuel import business, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has reduced the volume of fuel imports by oil marketers in the second quarter of the year by 180,000 metric tonnes. The agency had in the first quarter of the year issued permits to 42 oil depot and facility owners to import a total of 3.755million metric tonnes of premium motor spirit (petrol), which is equivalent to 5.036billion litres. Theagency, however, reduced the volume in the second quarter to 3.575million metric tonnes or equivalent of 4.794billion litres, reflecting a drop of 180,000 metric

•Agency hinges reduction on transparency By Emeka Ugwuanyi

tonnes or 241.38 million litres despite retaining the same 42 marketing companies. Since the events of the first quarter, which saw the removal of fuel subsidy and subsequent fixing of a litre of fuel at N97, as well as the subsidy regime probe, the agency had been meticulous in issuance of fuel import permit. The agency started by reducing the number of fuel importing firm from 125 to 42 in the first quarter. Executive Secretary of the agency, Mr Reginald Stanley, warned the successful 42 companies to adhere to rules and

keep to contracted terms in order to improve transparency, noting that issuance of second quarter import permit would be based on first quarter performances of the companies. “The volumes to be supplied into the system for Q2 2012 would be based on marketers’performance in the past and their ability to secure the needed financing. Failure of a company to deliver the approved volume shall render the company liable for exclusion from the scheme for two successive quarters or more, aside from payment of appropriate reengagement fees,” he said. The agency in furtherance of its commitment to trans-

parency and probity had recently suspended First Deepwater Limited, an indigenous oil marketing company from importing premium motor spirit (petrol), pending the completion of investigation into its irreconcilable documents on previous fuel imports submitted to the agency. It also directed two foreign companies, Mercuria Energy Trading NV, Netherlands Antilles and Arcadia Energy of Switzerland to submit their mother-vessel load out documentations for scrutiny. The PPPRA had similarly sanctioned a Swiss oil trading firm, NIMEX for violation, which the agency recently said was part of its efforts to sanitise the sector and en-

New law ‘ll create jobs, says NAICOM


- Page 39



-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% 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

Insurers’ audited reports stuck with regulators By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

THE much-awaited Insurance Act would help create more jobs, the Commissioner for Insurance Mr Fola Daniel, has said. He told The Nation that the bill is aimed at supporting the government’s quest to reduce poverty.

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

shrine transparency in the fuel imports and marketing business. The scrutiny of the load outs of the foreign companies, the PPPRA chief had noted, was to ensure total transparency, accountability and probity in the industry, in line with the policy of the new management. Stanley explained that the scrutiny of the fuel supply claims of the foreign companies as well as local importers have become routine in order to eliminate graft and ensure that the probity and reforms, initiated by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, is sustained.

•From left: Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Union Bank of Nigeria PLC, Mrs Funke Osibodu; Deputy Governor (Corporate Services) Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Alhaji Sulaiman Barau; and Secretary-General, AFRACA, Saleh Usman Gashua, at the AFRACA, Western Africa Sub-Regional Workshop, organised by Union Bank at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

CBN hires consultants to review finance houses’rules T

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has employed consultants to review the guidelines for finance companies, The Nation has learnt. The consultants are also expected to develop a roadmap for the apex bank’s reform and transformation of the subsector. The reforms will look at the need to broaden funding sources for finance companies, upward review of the minimum capital base requirement for operator as well as determine the scope of permissible activities that finance companies should engage in. It will be consider devel-

By Collins Nweze

oping a regulatory framework that will govern finance lease practice, institutionalise a “funding pool” to stimulate lending activities in the subsector and structured programme to address the reputation and poor visibility challenges of the subsector. A source at the Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (FHAN), who spoke anonymously, said the consulting firms have presented a preliminary report to the apex bank, which de-

tailed the broad outlines of their mandate, their thinking, and the direction of their assignment. Also, to address challenges confronting the sector, the group is discussing with chief executive officers of finance houses in the country. The body is discussing salient issues in the operating environment, which should be addressed in the new policy framework that is in the works. President of the association, Samuel Durojaye, said

the CBN reforms in the sector will transform and reposition the finance company sub sector to enable it to play increasing role in Nigeria’s financing value chain. He acknowledged the apex bank’s continuing support to and engagement with the association on this project. He called on the association’s members to support the bank’s efforts at strengthening the regulatory environment by regular and timely rendering of statutory returns and reports, as well as the renewal of their operating licences every year.

UDITED reports and accounts of more than half of quoted insurance companies are stuck with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) as insurers struggle under poor compliance records and corporate governance issues. There are about 54 insurance firms in the country. The Nation’sinvestigation showed that more than 56 per cent of quoted insurance companies have their audited reports and accounts still awaiting approvals of NAICOM, more than five months after their end of year. The latest report on compliance status of quoted companies by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that insurance companies made up more than 77 per cent of total number of companies that have issues with their annual reports with their regulators. According to the report, 17 out of 30 quoted insurance companies have pending “insufficient financial information as a result of non-approval of financials by the primary regulator”. The non-availability of the insurers’report violated post-listing requirements and placed them in line for sanctions by the NSE. Post-listing rules of NSE state that audited annual accounts of companies should be submitted within three months after the year end, while quarterly financial statements are expected to be made available 45 days after the end of the quarter. In a notification to quoted companies obtained by The Nation, the management of the NSE said it would start imposing penalties on late submissions from April 30, this year.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

‘Reform insolvency laws’

MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

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

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

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

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

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana

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

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

By Ambrose Nnaji


•Head, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr Sunkanmi Omidiji (left) receiving the AADFI Rating award on behalf of the company from Prof. Benno Nduliu, Governor, Central Bank of Tanzania in Arusha. With them is Mr Adebayo Jimoh, Odu’a Group Managing Director.

Fed Govt earns $9b from NLNG


HE Federal Government has earned not less than $9 billion as dividends from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) from 2004 to date, it was learnt. The former Special Adviser on Petroleum Matters to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and now Chairman, Emerald Energy Resources Limited, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, disclosed this in the inaugural lecture entitled: Nigeria oil and gas: Yesterday, today and a guide for the future, he delivered at the inauguration of Abuja chapter of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) in Abuja. Egbogah, while stating milestones achieved in the oil and gas industry, noted that the NLNG project, which started operation in 1999 is a huge success story. He noted that besides the $9 billion the government has earned as its shares from the operating six trains,

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

that industry watchers expect another estimated $8 billion as foreign direct investment (FDI) on the construction of the planned Train 7. Besides, he said that the NLNG has contributed significantly to the reduction of gas flaring in the country and also contributes over $9 billion to the national gross domestic product (GDP) yearly. He said: “Nigeria accounts for about eight per cent of the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies. The NLNG’s six-train facility has a capacity for 22 million tonnes per annum (mpta) of LNG, and up to 5mtpa of natural gas liquids (NGL). “Since October 1999 when the first LNG cargo was loaded for delivery to France and following a final investment decision by the shareholders in

1995, Nigeria LNG has brought significant value to Nigeria. In line with government’s vision of generating as much revenue from gas as from oil, NLNG has successfully pioneered gas monetisation. It is the most significant arrow-head in government’s quest to end gas flaring in the country with the attendant environmental benefits. It is also the biggest single contributor efforts to diversify the Nigerian economy and income portfolio. “The success, which greeted the NLNG, has accelerated the execution of plans now at an advanced stage, for the building of the seventh train. The NLNG project grew in less than 10 years of production to a six-train operation producing 22 mtpa of LNG, with progressive plans for a seventh train intended to raise production to about 30 mtpa of LNG.”

OPS seeks overhaul of aviation

HE Orgaised Private Sector (OPS) has urged the Federal Government to overhaul the aviation industry. It also called for the launch of a full and speedy investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the crash of Dana airline flight 992 from Abuja to Lagos, on Sunday, which claimed over 153 lives. Besides, the members of the group urged the government to take whatever steps that is necessary to ensure improved regulation of the aviation sector and the safety of planes and skies. To the President, Nigerian–American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Sam Ohuabunwa, it is especially disheartening to witness such a terrible event, adding that the government should do a thorough, transparent and far-reaching investigation into what led to the crash. He called on the Federal Government and relevant authorities to en-


•$8b FDI expected from Train 7

By Toba Agboola

sure that no stone is left unturned in ascertaining the cause of the crash. He described the crash as another sad chapter in the history of the country. The President, Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr Ademola Ajayi also described the crash as one tragedy too many especially, as it was coming on the heels of several other incidents in different parts of the country, which had also resulted in the loss of many lives. He said the safety of air travellers should be paramount to the regulatory agencies and the airline operators whom, he said that have placed their priority only on profit and not safety. Speaking with The Nation, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Apapa branch, Mr John Aluya, said there is no doubt that there are some lapses in the aviation sector, adding

that it is time for government to deeply look into it. He said the government should empower the regulatory agent of the sector and called on the government to put in place a policy pegging the age of aircraft operating in the airspace. “We regret that this is happening at this period of time that we thought things will improve in the sector just as the government has introduced some policies. This has set us back. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of those, who lost their loved ones, friends and the entire nation on the loss of some of Nigeria’s best and brightest. “There is no doubt that things are not fine in the sector. There is an allegation that the flight is not in good condition and that Dana Management is aware of this. The government should critically look into this and extend the necessary punishment if found guilty.

Treasury bills set to regain their appeal


IGHER yields on Nigerian Treasury bills could lure back foreign investors who had turned their backs on the market in recent weeks. Offshore investors, according to Reuters, are seen returning to Nigeria’s debt market in the weeks ahead as yields on shorter-dated paper are becoming attractive again, traders said. Foreign investors had been exiting their positions in the face of less attractive yields, rising inflation and the unresolved Eurozone debt crisis. But that could

change as yields inch back up. The Federal Government sold 137.97 billion ($848.78 million) worth of Treasury bills on Thursday, with yields higher than at the previous auction. “There is a gradual shift of attention by investors to the Treasury bills market due to rising yields in recent times and we foresee more offshore investors returning to take position in the market,” one dealer said. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last Thursday sold N32.97 billion worth of three-month

paper at a yield of 14.10 per cent, compared with 13.50 per cent at the previous auction. It sold N45 billion naira worth of the six-month bill at 14.94 per cent, up from the 14.14 per cent previously, and N60 billion of 1year paper at a yield of 15.69 per cent, from 13.30 per cent. Traders said the bond market has remained sluggish as major investors shy away from taking positions, opting instead for shortdated instruments because of the more generous yields.

HE Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria (BRIPAN) has called on the government to reform insolvency laws. It said since some companies are growing and having assets outside the country, it is imperative for the government to take steps to reform the laws. Its President, Anthony Idigbe, said the laws that have been in operation have are outdated, they needed reformation. He spoke during the body’s first international workshop in Lagos, which has as theme Insolvency law and economic development in emerging economies. He said the group is working towards providing standard business rescue insolvency framework, as well as setting-up statutory regulations for the profession which includes standards of practice, rights and restrictions, adding that the body is trying to draw attention to the challenges of insolvency in the country as well as the need to improve on its knowledge. “We are working towards harnessing the country’s economy by bringing in experts from abroad to talk to us about topical issues and also to draw the attention of the public and the government on the need to reform the laws,” he added. The guest speaker, Steve Kargman, said one of the critical ingredients in any insolvency system is to have a judiciary that would deal with issues directly with companies in an efficient manner, stressing that it is important to put the laws in place so that they could be effectively implemented.

Uniform duty on imported vehicles coming By Oluwakemi Dauda


HE Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has planned to re-introduce the controversial bench mark on imported vehicles from August, The Nation has learnt. The move, it was gathered, is based on the irregularities in the payment of the duty at the NCS’s various commands on the same brands and age of vehicles. A senior Customs officer, who asked not to be named, told The Nation that the service is doing this to reduce the confusion and criminality associated with the vehicles clearance at the ports. The service, the officer said, also received requests from stakeholders on the matter. The National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, said his group made a similar call to the Customs on the suspended the controversial benchmark that affected 26 items. He said the duty differentials from one area command to the other is causing. “The truth is that the lack of a harmonised duty on vehicles is causing serious problem among our members and that is why we are requesting for a benchmark. With a benchmark, an agent will know that if he goes to command A or B, it is the same duty that will be paid for a car or bus A or B. With this, he will be in a better position to tell the importer the amount to pay,” Shittu said. Corroborating, the Managing Director, Folas Motors, Fola Arogundade, who spoke on behalf of other importers of used vehicles, said they have written a letter to the leadership of Customs Service to give them a uniform duty payment on all imported vehicles. In the letter, the importers bemoaned a situation where they are paying different duty on same vehicle at different terminals at the Lagos ports.



ISSUES The National Assembly has initiated moves to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act of 2007. The amendment, if carried, will strip CBN of its autonomy. The CBN is against the move so also are stakeholders in the money market. But can their arguments sway the National Assembly? COLLINS NWEZE examines the pros and cons of the planned amendment.

•Senate President David Mark


•Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal

National Assembly vs CBN S

HOULD the National Assembly strip the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of its autonomy through an amendment of the CBN Act 2007? Many, who have proffered answer to this question, are calling for caution on the part of the National Assembly. According to them, it is in line with international practices for the CBN to be autonomous. Such autonomy, they argued, insulates it from the bureaucracy usually associated with agencies tied to government apronstring. Under the planned amendment of the CBN Act the National Assembly inteads to politicise CBN’s economic decision making process, and drastically reduce the powers of its governor. The proposed amendment will make the Governor subservient to a politically appointed board chairman and remove the deputy governors board.

Legislator's grouse To the legislators, CBN is becoming increasingly overbearing. They might have arrived at this conlusion because the banking watchdog’s refusal to subject its annual budgets for scrutiny and appropriation by the legislature. Since the CBN governor also doubles as board chairman, some lawmakers see this as an over concentration of power and are, therefore, not comfortable with it. Trouble started when Sanusi wrote the National Assembly insisting that by vir-

tue of Section 6(3) of the CBN Act 2007, CBN will no longer send its budget to the legislators, for appropriation. The CBN Act he wrote, says: “The Board shall be responsible for the consideration and approval of the annual budget of the bank." But, the lawmakers insist that the CBN's failure to submit its budget to the National Assembly for scrutiny was an affront which they will not over look. The CBN Act 2007Ammendment Bill passed through second reading on May 2 at the House of Representatives. The bill provides for the appointment of a person, other than the CBN governor, as chairman and the exclusion of CBN deputy governors and directors as members of the bank's Board of Directors. It also seeks to divest the Board of the power to consider and approve the annual budget of the bank. The bill, according to Adams Jagaba (PDP- Kaduna), its sponsor, will enhance transparency and entrench the principle of check and balances in the administration and operations of the CBN. “The bill has been referred to the House committees on Banking and Currency and Justice for further legislative input. The bill entitled: "A Bill for an Act to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 No.7 to appoint a person other than Governor as Chairman of the Board of the bank, excludes deputy governors and directors as members of the Board, and divest the Board of the power of consideration and approval of the annual budget of the bank,

and for other related matters.” The bill seeks to change sections 6, 7(1) and 8(3), 49 and 50 of the Principal Act. The amendment deals with issues concerning the composition of the Board of CBN and who should audit the accounts of the apex bank. It also stipulates that instead of the Board of CBN fixing the salaries and allowances of its governor and deputy governors, it should now be done by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) subject to the approval of the President.

CBN's reaction Sanusi is calling for caution on the matter, so as not to jeopardise the CBN Governor Lamido. He told the Senate Joint Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions and Judiciary and Legal Matters during a public hearing on the issue, that withdrawing the autonomy of the apex bank would affect investors’ confidence and encourage political interferences. He said rather than insisting on CBN submitting its annual budget to the National Assembly, the existing Act should be strengthened, in line with best international practices. The CBN said it is persuading the National Assembly to suspend the planned review of the Act because of the consequences on the economy. CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Dr. Kingsley Moghalu said

the apex bank is persuading the legislators to have a rethink. Moghalu, who spoke with The Nation in London, said: "The position is that we have informal discussion with the legislators involved in this matter. We are preparing to submit a formal response to the issues raised in the National Assembly Draft Bill. We are going to send them a formal response articulating the reasons why leaving the Act the way it is for now is in the best interest of Nigeria and the management of the economy.” According to him, the National Assembly exercises oversight function over the CBN and those powers and responsibilities are definitely not contested by the apex bank. "We are collaborating with them, and hope that out of this discussion, we will have a more structured way of reporting to the National Assembly because that will be in the interest of the economy," he said.

Implications for economy The implication of amending the Act, he said would be quite negative. First, a lot of foreign management partners will lose confidence in the management of the economy while the independence of the institutions that are part of the central bank and participating in economic management will equally be negatively affected. • Continued on page 28



ISSUES • Continued from page 27

Moghalu said reducing the power and independence of the CBN would send a signal of retrogression at a time all the central banks in the world are moving towards greater autonomy to enable them handle intricate financial crises. He said the need for autonomy is best illustrated by the recent banking crisis in which the CBN promptly intervened in a manner that did not rock the boat. It is clear to everyone that if the CBN had waited for parliamentary debate on its lender of last resort function before injecting money into the distressed banks, there would certainly have been a run on the system even before parliament would finish debate. Even the banks that were not in grave condition would have been affected. Depositors would lose their money and there would no longer be confidence in the financial sytem. Also, usually, if bankers know in advance that insolvent banks will be closed and that lobbying to keep them open will fail, they will behave more prudently, thereby reducing the likelihood of a banking crisis. CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Tunde Lemo said a strong economy anywhere in the world is tied to the effectiveness of the conduct of its monetary policy. "You see, the monetary policy is a serious business; it could be very, very terrible to have an apex bank that does not have instrument or autonomy to conduct monetary policy. Because when you subject the conduct of monetary policy to political influence, you are not going to have a strong economy," he said. In its defence on the insinuation that it neither audits its accounts annually nor presents same to the Federal Government, the CBN said its accounts are duly audited by the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF). It added that it employs two international reputable accounting firms in the preparation of the accounts.

Stakeholders kick Former Governor of the CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, warned against amending the CBN Act 2007 in order to remove its autonomy. He said any attempt to remove the autonomy may lead to danger in the economy. He said such a development could hamper the effectiveness of monetary policy and the management of the macroeconomic framework of Nigeria, adding: "the survival of the CBN is at the heart of the survival of the economy." The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned the National Assembly against tampering with the CBN autonomy. Chief/Senior Resident Representative, IMF in Nigeria Scott Rogers said taking such action will put the economy at risk. He argued that a strong and independent apex bank would help ensure that monetary policies were not politicised. "As you can see, the CBN monetary policy has helped in building a strong reserve; so, it is important the CBN has its autonomy to help build the economy, and it should be able to take its decisions without fear of being penalised," he said. Managing Director/Chief Executive, Maxifund Securities Plc Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu argued that from the standpoint of the law, the National Assembly is in the best position to oversee the activities of the CBN, including calling for a review of its Act, if it so chooses. “It is the constitutional responsibility of the National Assembly to see to it that agencies of government surrender themselves to any inquisition at the instance of the two chambers of the National Assembly", he said. Unegbu, who was President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said the CBN used to be under the Ministry of Finance, with the CBN governor reporting to the minister its functions, policies. "But at a time, it was thought that the ministry because of its bureaucratic processes is so very slow in taking decisions when the CBN approaches them, particularly at a time banks were being licensed and there was a problem with foreign exchange, internal remittance, managing the budget", he said. To address this seeming inertia, the leg-

•Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala



National Assembly vs CBN islature, he recalled, subsequently passed a law making the CBN an autonomous institution, reporting to the president with oversight function from the National Assembly. Kayode Ajulo, an Abuja-based lawyer shares Unegbu's views. As far as he is concerned, there is nothing absolutely wrong about the review of the CBN Act. The law, he said, "Is dynamic, as such it should reflect the general thinking of the people and the aspiration of Nigerians. You will recall that the CBN Act is a product of the military, so there is need for a review to take care of the socio-economic realities.” President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Segun Aina, who made a presentation on behalf of the institute and the banking industry, said: "After examining the governance structure of central banks across the developed and emerging/frontier economies and the impact on the central bank’s independence, we found out that the CBN Act 2007 is in line with international best practices". He said: "The danger in having a separate body approve the budget is that it would become highly politicised thus leading to adverse effects on the macroeconomic environment and monetary stability. After thorough consideration of these facts, the institute strongly believes that the proposed amendment should not be implemented so as not to undermine the independence of the CBN." Aina said the CBN governor should remain the Chairman of Board of Directors in line with international best practices while the deputy governors should continue to be members of the board for effective board deliberations on policies for the economy and financial system. The CIBN boss said an independent central bank would be in the best position to ensure financial stability, sound economic performance, stable economic growth, access to resources to achieve its policy objectives, a positive international perception, among other benefits, than when under control of an external body or agency. He said central banks across the world have the core mandate of ensuring monetary and price stability, non-inflationary growth and a sound and stable financial system, in addition to other developmental functions. "These mandates and func-

tions are peculiar to central banks, and no other institution performs such functions", Aina said. Amusa Oladimeji Otiti, a former President and chairman of Body of Past presidents of the CIBN, affirmed the position of the institute. He said CBN should continue to have its operational and financial autonomy and its budget should not be subjected to financial appropriations. "I strongly implore members of the Senate and House of Representatives to leave the CBN Act alone as it was conceived by the founding fathers in 1958", he said. Otiti cautioned against subjecting the CBN annual budgets to the approval of the National Assembly, so as not to encumber its operations and effectiveness. He emphasised that changing the current position under which the CBN governor acts as chairman of the board and excluding the deputy governors and other directors from membership of the board, will reduce the impact of the bank's management on board decisions, give rise to the perception that there is a government majority on the board and entrench a CBN that is viewed as a government agency. Otiti said all these are capable of undermining the perceived "independence" of CBN and may lead to unintended consequences.

CBN’s powers The CBN, like most others, is empowered to maintain price stability and ensure a non-inflationary growth. It also has the responsibility to ensure a sound and stable financial system in addition to other developmental functions. These mandates and functions are peculiar to central banks across the world, and no other institution performs such functions. These special responsibilities are enormous and have continued to pose increasing challenges to central banks, largely because developments in the domestic and international economies create challenges in the financial systems and the art of central banking. Globalisation exemplified by economic and monetary unions has equally increased the challenges to central banking. Analysts insist that the effective discharge of these responsibilities requires that central banks be totally independ-

‘ We are collaborating with them, and hope that out of this discussion, we will have a more structured way of reporting to the National Assembly because that will be in the interest of the economy’

ent, that is, shielded from political interferences, have administrative independence and instrument autonomy. The CBN should, therefore, have both operational and financial independence. Financial independence entails the right to determine its own budget; the application of central bank-specific accounting rules; clear provisions on the distribution of profits; and clearly defined financial liability for supervisory authorities. These are particularly relevant, especially in not-well-developed political systems where central banks are most vulnerable to outside influence. The thinking is that the CBN would be operating under imminent danger if it depends on government for funding or waits for government/legislative approval for its financial needs.

Global best practices The central banks of the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Brazil and African countries, such, as South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana determine their budget. In the most recent regional integration of a wide scale, the European Union (EU), a key element in the European Monetary Union, was the formation of an independent supra-national central bank. The EU's view on central bank independence is defined by the provisions of Article 107 of the Maastricht treaty. It states: "When exercising the powers and carrying out the tasks and duties conferred upon them by this Treaty and the statute of the ESCB, neither the ECB, nor a national central bank, nor any member of their decision-making bodies shall seek or take instructions from community institutions or bodies, from any government of a member state or any other body. The community institutions and bodies and the governments of the member states undertake to respect this principle and not to seek to influence the members of the decision-making bodies of the ECB and the national central banks in the performance of their tasks.” Analysts insist that the CBN requires full independence in the true sense of it to enable it act appropriately, according to its expert and independent viewpoint. The global trend is towards full independence for central banks. It is established that budgetary and instrument autonomy is the reason why most central banks are now proactive rather than reactive in the discharge of their responsibilities. These institutions are able to anticipate and identify problems and unintended outcomes and respond immediately with appropriate policy actions. This is the trend across the world - in developed and developing countries - and Nigeria should not be an exception.




Investing beyond death


HE death on June 3 in the Dana airplane crash of Alhaji Ibrahim Damcida closed a glorious chapter of an astute and committed Nigerian investor. Having served the maximum tenure allowed by the new system of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Damcida had in February resigned from the board of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc. Though painful, especially the circumstance rather than the fact of it, death failed to diminish the standing of Damcida as a farsighted and knowledgeable investor. Even in death, he left a lesson in seamless transfer of goodwill and equities. After he had resigned in February, Damcida had witnessed the appointment and confirmation of his son and erstwhile alternate director, Alhaji Mustapha Damcida, as a substantive non-executive director of FCMB in May. Mustapha stepped into an illustrious and somewhat big shoe of his forebear. With interests spanning the key sectors of the economy including banking and telecommunications, Damcida was one of the largest known direct investors in the banking sector. Up till the time of his retirement, he directly held the third largest equity stake among the directors of FCMB. Besides, his nine-digit equity stake placed him among the 27 shareholders, including two institutional shareholders that held the majority equity stake in the highly

dispersed FCMB. Altogether, FCMB has about 156,000 shareholders but 27 core shareholders hold 67.23 per cent equity stake in the N65billion bank. A career civil servant, Damcida commenced his working career as an accountant with the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Government of the then Northern Region in 1959 and was transferred to the Federal Service in Lagos in 1962. He rose through the ranks to attain the highest level in the civil service serving severally as Permanent Secretary in three different ministries including Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance. An accounting graduate of the Westminster College and North-West Polytechnic in England, Damcida had combined his professional training and career to fashion out a dynamic investment strategy that saw him transforming into a high-profile investor. His accounting training and experience gave him the uncanny ability to pick determining figures ahead of the lot while his experience at the Ministries of Trade and Defence made him understand and embrace the risks and returns that come with businesses while maintaining a defensive strategy to minimise his risks. At a time that the defining characteristic of civil service was the grueling post-service pension and lately corruption, Damcida had provided a worthy example of how to lay out a blissful retirement


HE death of 163 persons due to the fatal plane crash on June 3,

•The late Damcida

and transited in honour and glory, while handing down a worthy legacy for the next generation. Mustapha Damcida also comes forth with impressive credentials as an astute risk manager and investor. Schooled in Law at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and business administration at the Robert Morris College, Pittsburgh, US, he runs three companies as managing director and chief executive. These include Damus International Limited, Damus Security Solutions and Damson Properties Limited. He also sits on the board of directors of Prudent Risk Advisors Limited. He had served as a director of the Nigerian American Bank Limited. While other things wither with the death of their owners, shareholdings live beyond their death and recreate and reinvigorate new generations that keep the forebears alive, even in death. That’s why most of the iconic global brands are names of astute farsighted investors, who not only kept the trade secrets but the controlling equities.

Ways and Means

Spending Naira while abroad with UBA AfriCard


NE of the traditional problems associated with foreign travel is exchange of local currency into foreign currency. With the lurking dangers of fakes, fraudsters and cheats, the additional problem of hauling money from one end to another poses serious security threat. But with the increasing global spread and automation of Nigerian banks, customers can use card products as substitute for cash handling and exchange. United Bank for Africa (UBA)’s classical card product- UBA Africard, particularly offers unbeatable reach and exciting choices. Customers can now leverage on the growing global presence of UBA in the continent and globally to ease the stress associated with business transactions and payments by roaming their money around the world with the UBA AfriCard; a Visa Prepaid debit card variant. AfriCard is a naira denominated card that is pre-funded and re-loadable and is internationally accepted in all VISA acceptance points. Divisional Head, e-Banking, UBA Plc, Dr. Yinka Adedeji, confirms that AfriCard allows customers to spend from their naira accounts in

other currencies anywhere in the world. UBA AfriCard comes with a significant cost savings to the customer as it provides lower charges while card holders can spend up to $40,000 or equivalent per year outside Nigeria. The pre-paid card can be loaded via U-Direct for all UBA customers. It also enables card-to-card transfer. AfriCard is set up without need for the customer to own or operate a bank account with UBA and it is accepted on more than 1.0 million ATMs and more than 30 million Point of Sale (PoS) terminals worldwide. AfriCard is premised on the value proposition by UBA as it consolidates its operations in the African continent. Some of the key features of the Africard included real time banking transactions, balance enquiry, purchase at Pos, purchase on web, ATM Cash withdrawal, Pos cash advance, mini account statement, card to card transfer, instant payment that is faster than writing cheque or running to ATM while it can also be used to book travel and shop online. Africard thus creates a simple, secured and convenient alternative to cash or debit card payments. The card increases the feeling of security as the prepaid card holder remains in control of the card

Process of changing shareholder’s details of a deceased

• GMD CEO, UBA Plc, Mr Phillips Oduoza

during transactions - a personal identification number (PIN) is used alongside the prepaid card as well as an SMS text alert is received in real time as the transaction is taking place. Besides, when cash is lost or stolen, the money is gone forever and in most cases cannot be recovered. But in the case of a lost or stolen prepaid card, the value on the cardholder’s account remains intact and can be transferred onto a replacement card or another prepaid card. With presence in 19 African countries, New York, London and Paris, UBA has emerged as a crucial financial link within and beyond Africa. With UBA Africard, one’s domestic currency is one’s global currency.

2012 brought to the fore one of the most difficult dealings in shareholding-transferring the holding of a deceased to his or her next of kin. Emotive and sometimes tedious, having working knowledge of the requirements for changing of ownership of a deceased to assigned person will reduce frustrations many next of kin usually faced. This is why we are reproducing earlier write-up on this subject matter. The major task in changing the shareholder’s details of a deceased that left a will is the proof that the will is authentic by a competent court of law. This is technically referred to as probate. Probate is used both for the testing process as well as the official copy of a will with the certification that it has been proved. Section 148 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) states that: the production to a company of any document which is by law sufficient of probate of the will, or letters of administration of the estate, or confirmation as executors, of a deceased person having been granted to some person, shall be accepted by the company as sufficient evidence of the grant, notwithstanding anything in its articles to the contrary. With the presence of the probate, the entire transfer process becomes a lot easier. Alongside the Photostat of the probate, the claimant will additionally provide the following documents to the registrar: photostat of death certificate, banker confirmation of specimen signature(s) of the claimant(s), which usually includes passport photos, CSCS statement of account and or all original share certificates, photostat of newspaper obituary when available, and a covering letter stating the request and confirming all documents attached and the current address of the claimant(s). The main function of the registrar in this case, like in any other process, is to subject all documents to exacting test of veracity. The registrar may request for the originals of all documents for sighting and it is also legally advisable to formally confirm the probate from the court of origination. A registrar may charge cost for the confirmation of the probate. This varies from institution to institution as well as locations. The registrar may also request the physical presence of the claimant(s). In-house, the confirmation process of the registrar starts from checking that the probate certificate bears necessary details including the name and particulars of the court of origination, the full name of the deceased, the date of death, names of the claimant(s), the date on the probate certificate, list of the shares related to the probate and more importantly, the seal of the court and the signature of the registrar.

By Taofik Salako

Where the registrar has proved correctness of all details and authenticity of all documents, the shares are there and then transferred to claimant(s), who thereof can exercise all authorities on them On the other hand, changing the shareholder’s details of a deceased that died intestate requires a much more windy process, although in many steps similar to the process for a deceased with a will. The overall objective of share registration and registrarship is the protection of ownership and to ensure that the rights and mandates (or desires) of the shareholder are protected including right to transfer whatsoever volume to identified beneficiary. Without a written will, it becomes quite complicated to realise this objective. In dealing with death intestate, there are broadly three issues to resolve: the family, legal and registrar. The family issue is by far the most onerous and conflicting issue and goes a long way to determine the easiness of the two other issues, which are quite distinctive and have industry-wide best practices. There are many reasons that make the resolution of the family difficult. The type of ‘nuclear’ family; monogamy or polygamy, relationship with extended family, the role and status of the deceased, religion, social influences among others usually create a labyrinth that requires utmost wisdom, tolerance and God’s guidance to successfully pass through. It is always very important that the family speaks with one voice. The objective of the two other parties, the law court and registrar, is to find a common ground within the family and where such exists before commencing the share transfer process; it hastens and makes the process less cumbersome. In this regard, there is no single approach to resolve the family issue. However, a common advice is that the family members meet, deliberate on the assets and liabilities of the deceased, the responsibilities left behind and in the spirit of oneness and fairness arrive at an equitable way for the administration or sharing of the net assets. With dialogue, fairness, tolerance and Godliness, the family members should be able to achieve a middlepoint that all parties will concede to without the agony of a rancorous legal battle, the only option left if the family fails to decide on its own. Assuming the family decided on its own, the best practice is to detail the resolutions of the meeting in a communiqué-like format and request all parties to sign the proofread and final copy. To confirm the signatures, a banker’s confirmation of each signature should be attached to the resolution. With this, the family can approach the court for letters of

administration. Where the family fails to arrive at a common ground, then the court will decide for parties. The court judgement thereon will form the basis for letters of administration. Letters of administration is an official court document appointing administrator(s) for the personal estate of a deceased that died without a will. The letters of administration can also form the basis for distribution of the estate by specifying the number of assets to be registered in the name of each beneficiary. Although there are six different types of letters of administration, the common form of letters of administration in Nigeria is the general grant of administration, which is a more inclusive type. With the letters of administration, the transfer process becomes much easier. Section 148 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) states that: the production to a company of any document which is by law sufficient of probate of the will, or letters of administration of the estate, or confirmation as executors, of a deceased person having been granted to some person, shall be accepted by the company as sufficient evidence of the grant, notwithstanding anything in its articles to the contrary. The two major differences between the requirements for change of shareholder’s details of a deceased with a will and that without a will are that in the case of the latter, letters of administration replaces probate and the submission of the original copy of the newspaper advertisement placed by the court in respect of the application for letters of administration to the registrar. The importance of the newspaper advertisement is to ensure that adequate publicity and opportunity was given to all parties to make their claim(s), if any. Alongside the photostat of the letters of administration and original copy of newspaper advertisement, other documents to be forwarded to the registrar include: Photostat of death certificate, banker confirmation of specimen signature(s), which usually includes passport photos, CSCS statement of account and or all original share certificates, Photostat of newspaper obituary when available, and a covering letter stating the request and confirming all documents attached and the current address of the administrator(s). The main function of the registrar in this case, like in the case of a probate, is to subject all documents to exacting test of veracity. The registrar may request for the originals of all documents for sighting and it is also legally advisable to formally confirm the letters of administration from the court of origination. A registrar may charge cost for the confirmation of the letters of administration. This varies from institution to institution as well as locations. The registrar may also request the physical presence of the administrator(s).

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Cashless: Banks deploy 100,000 PoS terminals


O ensure success of the cashless policy, banks in the country have rolled out 100,000 Point of Sale (PoS) terminals. Head, Shared Services at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Chidi Umeano, who disclosed this in Lagos, said banks are expected to have deployed over 150,000 PoS terminals by the end of this year. Banks have continued to roll out more innovative electronic payment platforms to meet customers’ expectations. Currently, banks have deployed about 100,000 PoS terminals and before the end of the year, if things go as planned, about 150,000 PoS ter-

By Akinola Ajibade

minals will have been deployed. “The cash-less project is on course and the initial challenges are being overcome,” he said. Umeano also said the CBN is set to acquire a new fraud prevention system, payments system oversight and anti-fraud system, to tackle fraud in the electronic payment (e-payment) system. He said the goal of the system is to provide the facility to distinguish fraudulent and legitimate transactions based on redefined checks in online payments. This will allow only legiti-

mate transactions to be processed. The CBN, he said, believes the adoption of the system will boost the cashless initiative by strengthening the protection against fraudulent payment activities. Fraud has always been one of the biggest challenges of any online payment system. Increasing fraud rates around the world has dampened the growth of electronic payment by exposing merchants to substantial losses and unnerving security-conscious customers. “The fraud detection system will help detect potential fraud situations through the generation of online alerts as a result of transaction analyses,”

Umeano said. He said this would help the apex bank in the efficient documentation of potential fraud situations, as well as facilitate identification and capturing of fraudsters. Aside the payments system oversight and anti-fraud system, Umeano noted that CBN, as part of measures to manage fraud on the e-payment landscape, had in 2010, effected migration from the magnetic stripe-

Firm to launch Nigeria operations LL is now set for International Treasury Services (ITS) to launch its Africa operations in Nigeria. With the opening of the Nigerian company in Lagos, ITS according to a statement, said it now has a presence in; London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Dubai, Beijing, and Mumbai. In spite of these still maintaining the ability to provide training to most countries. ITS said it has been providing a comprehensive range of training services to local and international clients in the financial banking markets. “From its grass roots as a Far East based company, ITS has a strong training foundation and excellent service reputation. “Over the years last 14 years ITS, has expanded its training operations in terms of local and international presence in delivering and supporting its training,” the statement said. According to the Commercial Director ITS (Africa) Mr Akinniyi Arikawe , ITS supports and delivers a wide range of banking/financial classroom training programmes, elearning courses, a Learning Management Portal (LMP) as well as an


Mainstreet Bank unfolds agenda for growth SET of initiatives and strategies that would return Mainstreet Bank Limted to the league of Nigeria’s top four banks is being pursued by lender’s board of directors. This according to a statement, stemmed from a Strategy Meeting that was fully attended by all members in Lagos over the weekend. Mainstreet Bank said it has drawn a road map to market leadership in its bid to validate the confidence of its shareholder and retain the loyalty of its customers across Nigeria. At the Strategy Meeting, the local business environment according to the lender, was thoroughly analysed and the relevant market segments clearly defined to pinpoint where Mainstreet Bank would operate at full speed for a stronger positioning and rapid result. The bank’s board of directors also assured customers and other stakeholders that Mainstreet Bank would soon take its position as one of the


top four banks in Nigeria performance indices and innovative product offerings. Emphasising his optimism on the strategic direction of the bank, Chairman of the Board, Mallam Falalu Bello observed that a careful implementation of the Strategy would translate in the shortest possible time, to better customer experience, efficient and effective operations and posting of competitive returns on investment for the stakeholders. “Our new strategy digs very deep into Mainstreet’s business potentials and capabilities and maps out ways to optimally deploy them for market leadership”, Mallam Falalu Bello assured. Reiterating the importance of the bank’s new strategic direction, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Mainstreet Bank, Faith TuedorMatthews expressed confidence in the new focus of the bank. She said: “We have set ambitious

but attainable business goals for ourselves. The Board and Management are committed to giving Mainstreet Bank a stronger foothold in the market with a stricter adherence to best business practices, operational excellence and other turn around benefits”. The Mainstreet Bank boss further pointed out that the lender has many numerous strength that have placed it in a vantage position for success. “We have over 220 branches that are evenly spread out across the length and breadth of this country and a large customer base that remains loyal to us,” Tuedor-Matthews observed pointing out that the bank was presently repositioning its business to meet the expectations of all stakeholders. Mainstreet bank had recently announced a plan to re-organise its business for efficiency and greater nimbleness, giving a window of opportunity to staff who had attained the retirement age to voluntarily retire from the bank.


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 ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m



Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




1.20 20.00 1.70 1.54 0.69 1.16 0.50 0.76 5.80 0.56


1.26 21.00 1.78 1.61 0.72 1.21 0.52 0.79 6.01 0.58


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

Current Before

O/PRICE 30.61 2.41 11.13 10.98 6.34 3.53 3.33 3.76 9.00 1.48

C/PRICE 29.08 2.29 10.58 10.44 6.03 3.36 3.17 3.58 8.57 1.41

CHANGE 1.53 0.12 0.55 0.54 0.31 0.17 0.16 0.18 0.43 0.07

29-2-12 27-2-12




C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

Dec ’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% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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


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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%




Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8



0.06 1.00 0.08 0.07 0.03 0.05 0.02 0.03 0.21 0.02


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


By Collins Nweze Assessment system, financial simulations platform and works with clients to develop Competency based Learning Models and Learning Academies. “We offer both closed private classroom courses as well as a public open enrolment programme offering a wide range of classroom courses. “Our team of trainers and consultants provide specialist knowledge on the world’s financial products and governments and major financial institutions have benefited from being able to access such expertise in the complex, ever evolving dynamics of financial banking,” Arikawe said. He added that International Treasury Services (Africa) Ltd have the following courses scheduled: June 2012 (Fundamentals of Global Markets, The Money Market and Preventing Money Laundering); July 2012: Introduction to Corporate Finance, Credit Analysis Techniques and Derivatives and Market Dynamics) and August: Enterprise-wide Risk management Techniques, Introduction to the FX Market and Analysing Equities.



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

based payment tokens, to the Chip and Personal Identity Number (PIN)-compliant channels and tokens, thereby recording over 90 per cent drop in card-related fraud incidents. He added that the CBN instituted an industry ATM Anti-fraud Committee, which was adjusted to become the EPayment Fraud Forum, a group that ensures that anti-fraud mechanisms are kept abreast of new challenges for proactive responses.

Offer Price

Bid Price


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


OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011











‘UK new car sales increased in May’


NITED Kingdom new car sales jumped to 162,288 last month, a 7.9 per cent rise compared with May last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was the largest percentage increasein registrations for 23 months, thanks largely to a 14.3 per cent increase in private sales, says the SMMT. The sharp rise in May brings the total for this year up to 868,166 - a

2.6 per cent rise over the same period last year. The fleet market was up 4.8 per cent , ending a three-month decline. “May’s 7.9 per cent increase in new car registrations is good news for the motor industry and the UK economy,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “The consistent climb in new car registrations during the first five months of the year suggests that confidence is returning, despite fi-

nancial uncertainty in the eurozone.” The best-selling car last month was the Vauxhall Corsa, but the Ford Fiesta remains the UK’s most popular new car this year, with 50,507 sold so far. The UK automotive industry has an annual turnover of about £49billion, accounting for more than 10 per cent of total exports, and employs 700,000 people. There was also significant growth

sales of lower emissions vehicles hybrid petrol-electric, electriconly, and range-extended cars which rose 31.8 per cent in May, albeit from a low base. Sales in this sector increased to 12,145 for 2012, compared with 11,347 for the same period last year, with the bulk of these being hybrid petrol-electric cars. But new models, such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric-powered cars, have also

helped boost the market. And Vauxhall and Chevrolet have released “range-extended” electric-powered cars that use petrol generators to increase the range of their electric batteries. “The green sector is growing fast,” Jonathan Visscher, SMMT spokesman told the BBC. “Every car manufacturer is going to have a hybrid model on its lists by the end of this year, even Ferrari.”

‘French growth may reduce’ HE Bank of France expects the French economy to contract by 0.1 per cent between April and this month, having predicted that there would be zero growth less than a month ago. But the German central bank has increased its forecast for German growth this year from 0.6 per cent to one per cent . German growth has kept the eurozone out of recession this year. There was zero growth in the French economy in the first three months of the year, following growth of just 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter. Earlier this week, the latest set of official figures confirmed that the eurozone economy as a while achieved zero growth in the first three months of this year. Also at the weekend, Spain again had to deny that it was about to ask for bailout funds to support its banking system. The Reuters news agency quoted unnamed EU and German sources saying that the request would be made on Saturday. But the Spanish government has maintained that it is waiting for reports from the International Monetary Fund and two private consultancies saying how much extra money the banking system needs. In addition, reports of a meeting of the Eurogroup of finance ministers to discuss the issue have not been confirmed.


•Netherland Prime Minister Mark Rutte (left) with Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, after a press conference on Spanish request for EU bank aid ... in Madrid.


HE United States(US) trade deficit shrank in April as a dramatic fall in imports offset the first decline in exports for five months. Exports saw their first fall since November as the deepening crisis in the eurozone hit demand for goods. US imports, however, also shrank dramatically due to weak domestic demand meaning the trade deficit overall fell 4.9 per cent to about $50 billion (£32.5billion). Exports to Europe were down 11.1 per cent in April. The region accounts for almost a fifth of US exports.

US trade deficit shrinks The US trade deficit, the difference between imports and exports, is now at $603billion for the year, already 7.7 per cent higher than last year’s total imbalance. A widening trade gap slows growth as it means the US is spending more on products made abroad than it is making on sales of domestically manufactured goods. The trade data follows on from a raft of other weak US data, including flat service sector growth last month and the creation of fewer

than expected jobs. Meanwhile, US growth for the first quarter was last week downgraded to 1.9 per cent . “With the eurozone crisis set to rumble on for some time yet, US exports to the eurozone are only likely to fall further,” said Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics. “The upshot is that net trade is unlikely to add much to GDP growth this year and may even subtract from it,” he said.

Japanese firm plans to cut 2,700 jobs LYMPUS, the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker says 2,700 jobs will go as part of a five-year plan. It lost 49billion yen ($618million; £400milion) in the year to the end of March, but forecasts a profit of 7billion yen in 2012-13. Last year, the company admitted hiding losses of 130billion yen. Olympus also approved at the weekend a £10million settlement with former chief executive Michael Woodford, who was sacked by the company’s board after raising the accounting irregularities. Mr Woodford, a Briton, had filed a complaint of wrongful dismissal


against his former employer, claiming he had been fired for blowing the whistle on the accounting scandal. Olympus had said its decision to dismiss Mr Woodford, the company’s first foreign chief executive, had been due to a clash of culture. Olympus, the world’s biggest maker of endoscopic cameras used by surgeons, is suffering with relatively high costs and debts. It will reduce its global workforce by seven per cent by 2014, and cut the number of its factories around the world from 30 to 18 by 2015. In its statement, the company said it wanted to “restore its financial

health”. Shareholder’s money accounts for less than five per cent of the company and the rest is financed by debt. A debt-to-equity ratio of 20 per cent is generally considered healthy. The group has hinted that it will ask shareholders for additional capital in a share sale. There had been reports that consumer electronics maker Panasonic could buy shares in Olympus. However, the BBC’s Tokyo correspondent, Roland Buerk, said: “There’s talk of a tie-up. Panasonic has said it’s not interested but Fujifilm does seem to be interested.”

M&S to launch bank with HSBC


ARKS and Spencer has upped the ante in its race with rival Tesco to offer banking services to customers with plans to open 50 branches in existing stores across London and other UK cities. The fashion and food retailer will target customers with a new current account in the autumn in an attempt to make banking more convenient for its shoppers and encourage them to spend more on M&S products. The bank will be run in collaboration with HSBC, which has owned M&S Money since 2004 and takes a 50 per cent share of profits. M&S, which already has three

million customers across a range of credit cards, loans, savings and insurance products, would not reveal whether it planned to charge for current accounts but said it would reward customer loyalty. “There won’t be much point banking here if (people) don’t shop here,” Colin Kersley, chief executive of M&S Bank, told the FT. M&S will join the handful of new providers – including Londonbased Metro Bank – that have attempted to challenge established banks since the financial crisis. Other retailers have delayed their entry into the market as they grapple with a challenging regulatory and

economic backdrop. Tesco has repeatedly postponed its planned launch of mortgages and is unlikely to start offering current accounts until at least 2013. Analysts have questioned the ability of new providers to compete with the big banks and meet regulatory costs if they only have a small base of banking customers. “Banking is a scale business. The M&S venture will not be particularly profitable if it only has 50 stores,” said one. M&S stressed that the partnership with HSBC would give customers access to the bank’s 1,300 branch network.

The cut in the French growth forecast came in the Bank of France’s Survey on Industry and Services for May. It found that “Industrial activity declined in May, in particular in the automotive and metalworking sectors.” In the services sector: “activity marked an overall decline, especially in the temporary work, transport and hotel-catering sectors”. Last week, official figures showed that French unemployment had hit 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2012. While there was better news from Germany for the current year, the Bundes bank also cut its 2013 forecast from 1.8 per cent to 1.6 per cent . Latest figures from Germany showed that its exports had dropped 1.7 per cent in April compared with the previous month. But exports grew 3.4 per cent compared with the same month last year, led by a 10.3 per cent increase in exports to countries outside the European Union. “The recent escalation of the debt crisis is leaving its mark. Orders are also declining because of weaker global demand,” said Juergen Michels from Citigroup. “Exports are likely to fall further in the months ahead because of this, but we won’t see a complete collapse.”

Rolls-Royce buys Goodrich


OLLS-ROYCE, the turbine and engine maker, is to take full control of Aero Engine Controls(AEC), its joint venture with Goodrich Corporation of the United States, in a deal that will bring “critical” technology back in-house. The deal, under which Rolls Royce will acquire the 50 per cent of shares it does not own in AEC, as well as assuming full responsibility for its debts, could be worth about £30million, although a sum has not been disclosed. AEC was set up in 2009 to combine the engine controls businesses of Rolls-Royce and Goodrich. The venture’s FADEC technology, which allows an engine’s thrust and fuel use to be continuously optimised during flight, has become increasingly important as rising fuel costs and environmental legislation place an ever higher premium on fuel efficiency. United Technologies, the US conglomerate, which owns Pratt & Whitney, a rival engine maker to Rolls Royce, is in the process of buying Goodrich and Friday’s deal will prevent the American group from controlling Rolls Royce’s main FADEC supplier. The relationship between the two engine-makers has been under considerable stress in recent years due to a complex series of patent disputes, and in October, Rolls Royce sold Pratt & Whitney its stake in their joint venture, International Aero Engines. “This acquisition will give Rolls-Royce full ownership of a

critical capability that confers competitive advantage,” Rolls Royce said in a statement. However, the company declined to comment on whether it had used change-of-control clauses in the joint venture agreement to trigger the buy-out. Nick Cunningham, an analyst at Agency Partners, said: “The FADEC technology is really important. People get really excited about the metallurgy in Rolls’ engines. But that is relatively old hat. Where change is really taking place is the ability to control engines and that is centred on FADEC.” The deal is subject to anti-trust approval and will only go through once UTC’s acquisition of Goodrich is complete. Rolls-Royce will assume full responsibility for AEC’s external debts of roughly £54million and its pension deficit of about £1million, as well as paying 50 per cent of the audited net asset value of AEC once UTC’s acquisition of Goodrich is complete. At the end of 2011, AEC’s net assets stood at roughly £8million. Mr Cunningham said those equated to “good terms” for Rolls Royce, pointing out that it was in effect buying up half of AEC’s sales, which came to £208million in 2011, for a fraction of their value. Rolls-Royce said the deal would have “no material impact” on this year’s financial performance. Shares in the FTSE 100 company closed 1.2 per cent, in line with the market.




‘Economy needs retail banking to grow’ • Wanka

Unity Bank Managing Director/CEO Ado Yakubu Wanka speaks with the Group Business Editor, AYODELE AMINU, on the state of banking, the capital market probe, how retail banking can grow the economy, job cuts in banks and the bank’s readiness for cash-less economy, among other issues.


OST banks returned to profitability in the first quarter of this year, after making huge provisions that shrank their profits last year. Is this sustainable? I believe it is sustainable. As you know, the administration in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has done so much in terms of sanitising the industry. With the sale of most of the toxic assets of banks to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and enforcement of the non-performing loans ratio of five per cent, the industry is now cleaner, leaner and more efficient. Therefore, chances are that now, you have room to create better credit and make more money. With good corporate governance being enforced in most banks now, definitely, profitability is sustainable. How would you assess the performance of the economy in the first quarter of this year? Being part of the global economy and with the slowdown in Europe and most of the major economies, we are witnessing a slight slowdown in the Nigerian economy as well. But I think with the emphasis on non-oil exports, coupled with the CBN coming in to put money in the form of intervention funds

in power and agriculture, definitely this will help push the economy and accelerate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Maybe in the second and third quarters, we’ll see more growth. But for now, I don’t think we’ve seen much growth in the first quarter. The Federal Government has for long, been the biggest beneficiary of credit from banks, crowding out the private sector. How do you think this can be addressed? Well, I am not sure the government has crowded out the private sector. Government’s borrowing per se, is not bad. It depends on how this credit is utilised, whether it is channelled towards the productive sectors of the economy. The manufacturing sector has actually been the highest user of funding from the banking industry. But I think what is important is channelling the funds to more productive sectors in order to grow the economy. That is what is important. Nigeria has about 20 banks in operation, would you say the country is over-banked or under-banked? Definitely, Nigeria is under-banked. There is need for financial inclusion. You travel to most parts of the country, especially by road, and you see a lot of communities with sub-

stantial or significant economic activities. But these communities have no banking or financial services around them. What we need to do is to find ways of reaching out to the larger populace. The cash-less economy initiative of the CBN, I believe, is one of the best ways of reaching the rural population and bringing in the lower strata of the society into the financial services ecosystem. I know CBN is working on Know Your Customer (KYC) so that the lower the amount of money you are putting in the bank, the easier it is for you to open an account with the bank. The issue of rural telephony, rural banking, mobile banking and so on, are all aimed at financial inclusion and expanding the scope of financial services to reach out to a greater majority of the people. So, I don’t think 20 banks are too many. But it’s not about the number of banks truly, it’s more about service availability, the quality and kind of products and services that we offer. I think we are bridging the gap and the future looks bright.. What is your take on the capital market probe? Do you think it is worthwhile and would the market be better off at the end of the day?

Anything that has to do with the protection of the interest of the customer and the consumer is worthwhile. I believe there was a lot of rascality in the industry back then. Luckily, we were not caught in that situation. You would recall that at a point in time, some banks went to the market, raised huge sums of money, yet not much came out of the whole thing. There is a lot that went wrong and should now be viewed as learning points for the industry. I think the lawmakers are looking into how to improve the system by bringing more transparency and probity to it. That’s good for business. The prevalent practice in the banking industry now is reduction of staff strength. Is Unity Bank considering job cuts now? At Unity Bank, we went through the largest merger in the history of the nation’s banking industry; we merged nine banks. We had already done much of our rightsizing and downsizing at the time of the merger back in 2006. For us, what we are really looking for now is how we can improve efficiency and effectiveness from our operations, focusing on training of our employees to • Continued on page 33




‘Economy needs retail banking to grow’ •Continued from page 32

optimise customer service. That is our main focus for now. As one of the largest financial institutions that emerged after the consolidation era, is Unity Bank thinking of growing organically or considering any acquisitions now or in the future? Our focus is more on organic growth-doing the things we have been doing over the last few years better so that we can grow the institution. We have seen remarkable growth in most of the indices of our business compared with where we were – four to five years ago. So, yes, the focus for us is more of organic growth. But of course, if we see other opportunities we’ll consider those too. So far, how has the journey been and what have been your major challenges? I have been part of the management of the bank in the last five years. Our focus is more in terms of doing what we’ve been doing better. You know the legacy banks that we took over were mainly retail; our core market is mainly retail to date. We aim to remain at the top of our game and soar even higher. To do that, of course, we need to focus on service efficiency. We need to focus on training our staff members. We need to focus on Information Technology (IT). For example, the banking software we are using is one of the best in the industry. We are also operating the most sophisticated and updated Oracle software, the 11g with web-logic. All these are aimed at making sure there is seamless operation in our branches so that whatever you want to do or whenever you enter our premises, you really enjoy the services that we offer. The journey has been very good and with lots of opportunities for growth in the future. How would you assess Unity Bank under your administration? As I said earlier, what we are doing is looking at our operation to make it better. For example, we look at our culture. We are from about nine different institutions. Therefore, there is need to develop a Unity Bank culture; a Unity Bank attitude. So we are looking at our culture and the attitude of our people, we are looking at our risk management processes, we are looking at our credit management processes and the structure and we are fine-tuning our credit culture to ensure that our risk assets remain top quality. This would guarantee growth and very low provisioning in our books. We looked at our IT, the connectivity between our branches; we looked at our e-banking products, both in terms of our e-cards products to improve on everything we do in these areas. We’ve launched our MasterCard products and Points of Sale (PoS) terminals. Our Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are providing the services needed by our customers and we’re expanding capacity in that regard while harnessing customer feedback to improve service experience. The point is, we have been working on the whole gamut of our operations to ensure that we give the best service to our customers. This commitment to positive change is yielding impressive results. What proactive steps are you taking to position the bank to meet up with its vision and your aspirations for it? My vision is to make this bank to be among the top five banks in the next five years, especially in the retail spectrum. Of course to do that, you have to get the right IT infrastructure which is very important because retail is all about the mass market. It’s all about reaching out to a greater number of people with the products that they need and you can only do that through a very good and efficient IT infrastructure. So, we’ve been working at it. We’ve established world class data storage infrastructure and installed new banking servers. We have installed the 11G Oracle platform for the bank. We are renovating all our outlets. We have keyed into the cash-less economy initiative of the apex bank in terms of deploying PoS terminals. We are buying a lot more ATMs. We have just launched our MasterCard product and it’s working well, including different versions and variants of the card. We have launched our mobile banking products in collaboration with our technical partners. We have activated our Internet banking platform. Our aim is to provide the best retail banking services comparable to any other bank in the world. Above all, we’ve put in place a very good performance management system, to ensure that our system is rewarddriven and our people are result-oriented.

• Wanka

‘Definitely, Nigeria is under-banked. There is need for financial inclusion. You travel to most parts of the country, especially by road, and you see a lot of communities with substantial or significant economic activities’

• Wanka

Creativity and innovation are key to our continued success and growth. Aggressive employee training will play an important role in achieving our objectives that is why we are investing heavily in building staff competencies through training, coaching and mentoring. I believe we have already begun seeing the positive impact of these efforts on the business. Our first quarter performance for 2012, which I’m sure you’ve seen, is proof that our plan is working. I‘m very optimistic about the future. Unity Bank made history by merging about nine institutions to become one. Can you tell us how you have managed to escape any leadership crisis despite the number of banks that merged? This has to do with the quality of our management team and our board members. There


is openness, integrity and cooperation. Remember, even during the CBN stress test examination, one of the criteria in which Unity Bank came tops, was corporate governance. We pride ourselves in being very open and transparent in what we do. Once you have that embedded in the system, definitely, there will be cooperation between management and the board. Our board was a very mature board. It was led by a very respectable individual, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, who provided necessary leadership to steer the bank through hard times. Remarkably, our staff latched on to this culture of sincerity and openness across the entire business. Where do you see Unity Bank in the next five years? We want to see ourselves among the top five banks in the country; we are here for the

long haul, we are here to stay. Nobody gave us a chance when we merged all the nine banks. But as you can see, we’ve succeeded; we’ve survived and we’re succeeding and we’ll continue to grow by the grace of God. What kind of management style do you operate in Unity Bank? You cannot succeed if you are autocratic. You can only succeed if you run an inclusive administration. You have to be firm and fair. You have to run based on accountability; based on target and agreed objectives; based on resources. You have to plan what you want to do and make sure you work towards it. We have an all-inclusive participatory management. After you take a bow from Unity Bank, what would you want to be remembered for? Well, I think I would like to be remembered as the MD that came, contributed his quota and took the bank to a level I’ll call ‘auto pilot.’ You know, the more difficult the operations of the bank, the more care you need in terms of making sure that you manage the bank and it grows and you reach a point where it just continues to grow effortlessly. I hope it will happen during my time so that by the time I leave this bank, whoever takes over from me will be able to build on what I’ve done. Given your contributions to the banking industry, especially at First Bank, did your appointment as Managing Director come as a surprise? Not at all. I came to Unity Bank as part of a deliberate succession strategy and I’ve been around as part of the former administration. My appointment is not by accident; it’s part of a deliberate succession plan approved by the board. It did not come as a surprise. Our succession plan runs through the entire system. That’s the way we have been running the bank since inception. It is a continuous process. What is unique about Unity Bank? Unity Bank is close to its customers. You know they jokingly used to call us Molue Bank. We are a bank that is grassroots-driven. We pride ourselves in being very close to the grassroots. I remember when I was in other banks, when you talk to customers, they’ll say, “Oga your bank is too big.” We are never too big for our customers. We are down to earth. We are close to our customers. Our employees are really very close to the people and I think that is what you require when you say ‘succeeding together.’ That is our mantra – Succeeding Together. And there is no way together if you don’t understand the market you are serving. Yes, serving the retail market may be costly, but at the end of the day, that is what this economy requires, given our peculiar situation. There seems to be a buzz around your Aim, Save & Win promo. What made the bank come up with the initiative and how has it been faring in the market? Again, our Aim, Save & Win promo is still part of our mantra, Succeeding Together. You see, once you are dealing with the mass market, you need to come up with products that will encourage people to save. Because it is only when you save that you’ll be able to meet your needs and also create wealth. We have a lot of variants of our savings products that encourage people to save, either to pay for school fees or set up a business – whatever it is that fancies them – provided it helps them to create wealth and meets their daily needs. The savings promo has been well-received so far and we will continue to work with the market to provide that product for as long as it takes. How do you perceive money? Well as a professional, I’ve been in this business for some time, managing money. But, personally, I don’t think money is everything; it is just a means to an end. It depends on how you look at it. Many people see it as very tempting. But what is important, however, is to use it to achieve desired aims and goals. It’s a means to an end, but it’s not everything. What do you cherish most in life? I think I cherish honesty, transparency and integrity and above all, reliability. I used to have a boss that says: “Reliability is not 100 per cent, but 105 per cent” and I agree because you have to be relied upon to deliver and for your colleagues to rely on you to contribute your quota. Those are my values. So, how do you relax? Well, I like travelling; sightseeing. I like to get off from time to time, see new places, new countries and new environments. I like to walk around. I like music very much.




Investors move funds to bonds as equities shiver



NVESTORS appeared to be readjusting their portfolios in favour of fixedincome securities as sustained recession at the Nigerian equity market brought the benchmark return to the verge of negative. Turnover at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) slowed down to 1.143 billion shares worth N8.861 billion in 18,880 deals last week as against a total of 1.301 billion shares valued at N9.46 billion traded in 14,792 deals in the preceding week. Conversely, turnover at the over-the-counter (OTC) bond market, where the sovereign bonds issued by the Federal Government are traded, spiraled upward to 118.964 million units worth N112.150 billion in 823 deals, a notable improvement on turnover of 100.19 million units worth N91.388billion swapped in 435 deals two weeks ago.

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Mean while, the financial services sector of the equities market remained the most active sector with a turnover of 840.921 million shares valued at N6.157 billion traded in 11,038 deals. This was followed by conglomerates sector with 114.532 million shares valued at N256.813 million traded in 1,014 deals. Banking subsector also maintained its traditional most active position with a turnover of 700.158 million shares worth N6.074 billion in 10,559 deals. The volume in the sector was driven by the trio of First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Zenith Bank Plc Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Trading in the shares of the three banks accounted for 391.553 million shares, representing 55.92 per cent, 46.56 per cent and 34.28 per cent of the turnover recorded

by the sector, subsector and total equities turnover for the week, respectively. The bearishness at the NSE worsened during the week with the All Share Index (ASI) dropping by 4.83 per cent from 21,963.87 points to close weekend at 20,902.95 points. Aggregate market value of all equities also depreciated from N7.004 trillion to N 6.666 trillion. All other sectoral indices trended downward. The NSE 30 index depreciated by 4.64 per cent, the NSE Consumer Goods Index declined by 3.41 per cent, the NSE Banking-10 Index depreciated by 3.75 per cent, the NSE Insurance-10 Index dropped by 3.62 per cent while the NSE Oil/Gas-5 Index slipped by 2.51 per cent. With nearly a ratio of two losers to a gainer, 22 equities appreciated while 42 stocks depreciated. Guinness Nigeria Plc led the gainers with a gain of N5.01 while Lafarge Wapco Plc followed with addition of 81 kobo. Dangote Cement Plc led the decliners with a loss of N10.24. Nigerian Breweries trailed with a loss of N9 per share.






Amidst successive declines in the overall market value of quoted equities, University Press Plc (UP) has played the contrarian stock with sustained capital appreciation. While massive loss of some N423 billion shaved equity market's year-to-date return to a paltry 0.83 per cent, UP has gained more than 21 per cent to push its year-to-date capital gain to about 35.3 per cent. TAOFIK SALAKO reports that dividend expectation might be the drive behind the resilience of the printing and publishing company.


HE Nigerian stock market has sustained downtrend in the past nine trading days. With a cumulative loss of some N423 billion, the overall market outlook opens today with a yearto-date return of 0.83 per cent, underlining the massive depreciation from its double-digit return. Although the negative overall market situation was orchestrated by highly capitalised stocks, several stocks across the small to mid-cap categories had trended along the overall market trend. There is already palpable tension that the market might slip into a negative position, given the substance and sequence of the downtrend in recent days. Printing and publishing subgroup generally falls within the small-mid cap stocks range with equities trading within a band of N5. The general subgroup trend mirrored the negative overall market situation. With three printing and publishing stocks trading at their lowest market considerations so far this year, only University Press Plc has shown resilience and, without gainsaying, impressive contrarian trend within the subgroup of four. Academy Press opens today at a low of N1.81 as against its high of N2.20. Learn Africa also opens at N2.29, its lowest market consideration this year after trading at a high of N3.09. Studio Press (Nigeria) has been static at N2.78 per share. But UP has traded consistently against the overall and sectoral negative sentiments. While it had opened this year at around its lowest market consideration at N3.40, UP had bottomed out in the first quarter to close at N3.45 per share. It witnessed a cautious trading range in the early weeks of the second quarter, closing the fifth month at N3.80 per share. UP's share price has since showed sustained gains in June, rallying 21.05 per cent to push its total year-to-date return to 35.29 per cent.

Underlying fundamentals The uptrend came on the heels of the closure of the company's business year ended March 31, 2012. With the post-listing rules of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) which stipulates that audited annual accounts of companies should be submitted within three months after the year end, UP's latest audited report is expected to be filed later this month or early next month. The share pricing trend is already anticipating the full-year audited report and dividend recommendation. With earnings per share of 48.7 kobo by the third quarter ended December 31, 2011, key fundamentals of UP appeared to show a stable trend that reassured on the probable returns for the just concluded year. Turnover closed December 2011 at N1.54 billion as against N1.47 billion in the corresponding period of 2010. Profit before tax rose from N281.5 million in 2010 to N300.43 million in 2011 while profit after tax improved from N196.72 million to N210.3 million in

How far will dividend expectation drive University Press? 2011. These indicated earnings per share of 48.7 kobo for the nine-month period ended December 2011 as against 45.6 kobo posted in the comparable period of 2010.

Anticipating the dividend With a minimum dividend per share of 30 kobo in the past five years, most pundits have expressed optimism that UP's payout may not fall below the 35 kobo paid for the 2011 business year. Even at today's opening price of N4.60, this implies a possible dividend yield of 7.6 per cent in the weeks ahead. With unbroken record of cash dividend payment for more than two decades and regular bonus issue, UP is a cash cow for investors. Average dividend per share in the past six years stands at 34 kobo. UP had distributed dividend per share of 25 kobo in 2006 and increased this to 30 and 35 kobo in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Dividend per share increased to 40 kobo per share in 2009, the same rate that was retained for the 2010 business year. The company distributed 35 kobo per share for the 2011 business year. Within the same period, the company made three bonus issues on the basis of one new share for every five shares held by shareholders, which in every instance automatically increased the shareholding of every shareholder by 20 per cent without any cash consideration. UP's shares are held largely by small and medium retail investors, with the shares spread around some 11,000 shareholders. Retail investors favour dividend paying stocks, since the payouts provide stable income streams that cushion adverse impact of

secondary market downtrend on buy and hold non-speculative investors.

Holding on the assurance Audited report and accounts of UP showed a turnover of N1.87 billion in 2011 as against N1.92 billion in 2010. Gross profit stood at N1.02 billion compared with N1.08 billion while trading profit dropped from N398.1 million to N289.14 million. Profit before tax stood at N326.63 million as against N410.37 million while profit after tax stood at N211.38 million compared with N276.82 million. Meanwhile, total assets rose from N2.02 billion to N2.41 billion. Shareholders' funds also rose from N1.26 billion to N1.77 billion. As the shareholders were commending the distribution of N144 million for the year ended March 31, 2011, chairman, University Press (UP) Plc, Dr. Lekan Are, had assured that the company has put in place measures to sustain its stable growth trend. According to him, irrespective of the operating challenges, the company has the ability to continue to deliver superior value to all stakeholders. He said the company has the resources and capabilities to tap into the emerging opportunities in the economy and translate these into higher returns to shareholders. He had projected a robust performance for the 2012 business year noting that plans, programmes and development projects of the government would likely continue to grow with improved capital expenditure, which would translate into a more conducive enabling environment for all manufacturers. "We are, therefore, optimistic that with all the resources that we have on ground; dedicated and enterprising workforce; lat-

•MD, UP Plc, Samuel Kolawole

est information technology and communication network; unparalleled distribution network facilities; high quality books for all categories of people; and effective cost control mechanism, your company is fully ready to unlock its potential to accomplish greater market penetration in the months ahead," Are said. The company had invested N204 million to acquire fixed assets to further strengthen its operations and position it ahead of competition. With the impending dividend recommendation, investors appear to be factoring their dividend expectations into the pricing trend.





OHN Holt Plc suffered a major reversal in 2011 with significant declines in sales and profitability as well as balance sheet position of the conglomerate. Audited report and accounts of John Holt for the year ended September 31, 2011 showed that sales almost halved while the conglomerate ended the year with a whooping loss of about N1.57 billion. With 19 per cent increase in operating expenses and 42 per cent decline in sales, substantial exposure to interest-based loans exacerbated the midline weakness, leaving shareholders with net loss per share of N4.02 in 2011 and 19 per cent decline in net assets per share. The report showed a generally negative performance outlook with higher financial leverage, significant negative margins and returns, lower efficiency, negative working capital and generally low liquidity. With current debt-to-equity ratio of 90 per cent and a pretax profit margin of -26 per cent, a cost-to-turnover ratio of more 100 per cent reflected the worsening performance of the conglomerate. John Holt, one of the few surviving conglomerates, has struggled to restructure its operations and had made appreciable recovery in 2010. The latest audited report indicates a major setback.

Financing structure The financing position of the company weakened in 2011 as the gearing ratio added almost 18 percentage points to 90.3 per cent as against 72.5 per cent in 2010. Total assets dropped by 20 per cent from N14.5 billion to N11.6 billion. Current assets had dwindled by 52 per cent from N6.5 billion to N3.1 billion. However, total liabilities also dropped correspondingly by 20 per cent from N10.56 billion to N8.41 billion. Current liabilities had declined by 16 per cent from N10.38 billion to N8.7 billion. Equity funds meanwhile dwindled to N3.16 billion as against N3.9 billion, representing a decline of 19 per cent. The proportion of shareholders' funds to total balance sheet size stood at 27.3 per cent in 2011 as against 27 per cent in 2010. Current liabilities/total assets ratio rose from 72 per cent to 75 per cent.

Fiscal Year Ended September 31 Nmillion 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) 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






•Chairman, John Holt Plc, Chief Christopher Ezeh

John Holt: Trading at a loss By Taofik Salako

Efficiency The conglomerate visibly witnessed considerable decline in productivity and efficiency during the period, although available details were not sufficient to determine the level of productivity and overall efficiency. Total costs of businessexcluding finance charges, rose to 107.9 per cent in 2011 as against 94.8 per cent in 2010, leaving the company with a negative operating margin.

Profitability John Holt witnessed considerable decline in profitability in 2011 with both actual profit and loss figures and underlying profitability indices closing on the negative. Group turnover dropped by 42 per cent from N10.26 billion in 2010 to N5.93 billion in 2011, the fourth consecutive drop in sales. Cost of sales however declined by 42.3 per cent to N4.87 billion in 2011 compared with N8.45 billion in 2010. Gross profit slumped to N1.06 billion as against N1.82 billion, representing a decline of about 42 per cent. However, distribution and administrative expenses shut up by 19 per cent from N1.29 billion to N1.53 billion.

Non-core business income increased from N57 million to N95 million while interest expenses declined from N582 million to N488 million. With additional exceptional items of N711 million in 2011, pretax loss massed to N1.53 billion as against a modest profit of N5 million in previous year. Net loss after tax leapt from N10 million in 2010 to N1.57 billion. On per share basis, net loss per share jumped from 2.5 kobo in 2010 to 402 kobo in 2011. Net assets per share also declined from N10.03 to N8.12. Underlying profitability measures showed weakening business fundamentals as pre-tax profit margin reversed from 0.05 per cent in 2010 to -25.8 per cent in 2011. Gross margin had slipped from 17.7 per cent to 17.9 per cent, pointing out that internal cost management and midline costs were majorly responsible for the negative bottom-line. Return on total assets stood at -13.2 per cent as against 0.03 per cent while return on equity worsened from -0.3 per cent to -49.5 per cent. With the negative bottom-line, the conglomerate could not declare any dividend for the period, the eighth consecutive year without dividend, according to historic reports provided by the Nigerian

2011 2010 12 months % change 12 months

Stock Exchange (NSE).

5,933 5,933 4,870 1,063 1,529 95 488 -1,530 -1,565 -402 0 0 812

The liquidity position of the conglomerate also followed the overall negative direction,

-42.2 -42.2 -42.3 -41.5 18.8 66.7 -16.2 -30700.0 15550.0 15980.0 0.0 0.0 -19.0

10,263 10,263 8,446 1,817 1,287 57 582 5 -10 -2.5 0 0 1,003

8,429 8,437 391 3,130 11,567

6.3 6.3 -52.3 -52.1 -20.0

7,929 7,937 820 6,529 14,466

183 2,851 8,696 -288 8,408

-50.9 0.7 -16.2 -259.1 -20.4

373 2,832 10,381 181 10,562

195 3,159

0.0 -19.1

195 3,904


with increasingly worsening benchmarks. Current ratio, which broadly indicates ability of the company to meet emerging financing needs, nearly halved from 0.63 time in 2010 to 0.36 time. With negative working capital, the proportion of working capital to total sales worsened from -37.5 per cent to -93.8 per cent. Debtors/creditors ratio also stood at 213.7 per cent in 2011 as against 219.8 per cent in 2010.

Governance and structures One of the largest surviving conglomerates, John Holt Plc has a history of 115 years but it has operated as an incorporated entity in Nigeria for 50 years. John Holt Group consists of some eight subsidiaries including HPL Limited, Africa Properties (Nigeria), Holt Engineering Limited, JALLCO Limited, John Holt Agricultural Engineers Limited, Probyn Road Properties Limited, West African Drug Company Limited and Yamaha Manufacturing (Nigeria) Limited. The conglomerate operates three principal business segments including technical products & leasing services, power and marine engines and property. Products under the conglomerates included high capacity diesel generators from 12.5kVA to 2200kVA, Holt Star air-conditioners, Angus Fire (UK) and Rosenbauer (Austria) fire-fighting equipment, industrial and agricultural equipment, vehicle components, storage tanks, Yamaha petrol and diesel generators from 0.7kVA to 10kVA, Yamaha motorcycles, Yamaha outboard motors, water pumps, multi-

Fiscal Year Ended September 31

purpose engines, glass reinforced plastic (GRP) boats in Nigeria and buildings and properties under John Holt Properties offers merchandising and redistribution depot services (MRDS) and luxury apartments. John Holt and Co Liverpool, United Kingdom, holds the majority controlling equity stake of 51.46 per cent while Nigerian individual and institutional investors hold 48.54 per cent. The board and management of the conglomerate witnessed a major change. While Chief Christopher Ezeh still chairs the board and Mr David Parmley supports as executive deputy chairman, Mr David WynRicketts just resigned as managing director, leaving Mr Parmley as the most senior executive. The company was until recently tagged as falling below listing standards by the NSE due to late submission of financials. However, the conglomerate complies broadly with relevant corporate governance rules and best practices.

Analyst's opinion The performance of John Holt shows the need for a comprehensive restructuring of the top-line and cost structure of the conglomerate. Fundamentally, it needs to reassess its financial leverage and reign in controllable extraneous costs that could further worsen the struggling top-line. The conglomerate should take the immediate past year as the critical review point to rework its strategies for optimal performance. With exciting underlying assets and some of the most iconic brands, John Holt has the wherewithal to regain its momentum and grow steadily to cover the historic deficits and dividend drought.

2011 %

2010 %

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

27.3 -2.5 75.2 90.3

27.0 1.3 71.8 72.5

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

17.9 -25.8 -13.2 -49.5 0.00

17.7 0.05 0.03 -0.3 0.00

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

NA NA 107.9

NA NA 94.8

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors

0.36 -93.8 213.7

0.63 -37.5 219.8






• A version of System Application Programme (SAP)

Simplifying the job process It is called the System Application Programme (SAP). Through it, workers’ job is made easier. Many companies are embracing it to enhance productivity, AKINOLA AJIBADE reports.


T is the age of technology and organisations worth their salt know that they have to be technologically relevant. Consequently, they go for devices that can enhance their operations and keep them ahead of the competition. One of such devices is the System Application Programme (SAP), which is expensive, responsive, flexible, broad, and used only by people trained to handle it. The device warehouses, among others, data needed to speed up the work process in a company. With SAP, the job is made easier. Among companies that have adopted SAP are Shell, Chevron Nigeria, FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG). These companies known as SAP Users

gathered in Lagos for the African SAP Conference where they reviewed their use of the application. The event was organised by African User Group (AFSUG), the body which promotes the use of system application programme in Africa. The aim was to launch an initiative called West Africa SAP User Group (WASUG). The conference sought to bring SAP users together to share industry information and experience and make WASUG their voice in the sub-region. A major highlight of the event was the sharing of case studies on how to use SAP to enhance job performance. Participants dwelled extensively on the use, benefits and importance of deploying SAP in a company. They agreed that the technology is good for human capital development.

The Information and Technology (IT) Manager, Nigerian Liquefied and Natural Gas, Mr Adegboyega Okunade, said the application helps in taking pressure off workers. Workers, he said, are saved the hassles of moving from one department to another if their company uses the technology. He said workers irrespective of their departments know what to do the moment the technology is in place. He said the technology is used to manage human resources, adding that companies have been using it to supervise the activities of their workers. Okunade said the device enhances productivity by about 25 per cent, adding that this increases when the bigger version of the application is deployed. He said: “SAP is a repository for data. It

warehouses meaningful information that the management needs to take a decision. What they need do is to press the button, and see what is happening around them without going through the stress of walking from one department to another. Because SAP is a data-based device, it is easier for workers to access data online to meet their production schedules. The device helps in saving time, as well as increasing the work rate. “SAP helps in integrating the business processes of an organisation, and subsequently reduces the turnaround time. Because it is an integration system, SAP helps in capturing data, and provides in• Continued on page 38




Simplifying the job process • Continued from page 37

formation online to different departments in an organisation.” Okunade said his firm has been able to increase work process since 2009 when it deployed the technology. The Manager, Industrial Solution, African SAP User Group, Mr Bola Adisa, said SAP can be used for human capital management. Adisa said an organisation that uses the technology properly would be able to know how effective its workers are. He said the device helps a company to coordinate its activities; to know where the work is slow or faster, and further takes decisions that would bring results. An organisation’s performance, he said, can be assessed by deploying the technology, adding that companies, irrespective of their size can use SAP to achieve desired objectives. “For instance, an electronic trader at Alaba International Market, Lagos, who uses SAP would be able to know his inventory, which stock is higher or lower, the market prospects and how to coordinate the distribution of goods electronically. Through this, he reduces stress and the cost of employing

more hands. A SAP consultant at the event, Mr Dikedi Uwan, said SAP helped companies to achieve full automation of their activities. Uwan said the device helps management to know the departments that are responsible for carrying out specific assignments, and the modules they are expected to use to achieve results. “SAP is good for human resources management. When it is time to pay salaries, it is done automatically. SAP enables companies to know the actual number of workers, prepare their salaries, among other issues. It helps in logging all events/activities of an organisation to forestall problems. It enables management to know who did what, how, when, and who authorised him to carry out a particular assignment,” he said. According to him, actions in one department affect the other once the technology has been deployed in an organisation. He said companies have been deploying the technology to achieve growth and get the best out of their workers. He said the technology is highly complex, adding that consultants are required to ensure its implementation. A company can

• Managing Director, SAP West Africa, Mr Richard Edet

implement SAP well, but may not be able to use it appropriately, he said, adding that when this happens, the purpose of deploying the technology is defeated. He advised companies to seek experts’ advice before they deploy the technology, pointing out that it would amount to waste of funds if

• Okunade

right methods are not followed. The Managing Director, Horizon Computer Learning Centre, Mr Tim Akano, said SAP is an application that can be used to improve the productivity of workers. Akano said SAP fosters networking when properly deployed in an organisation.


BBC names Powerlight Nigeria’s advert representative


HE British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Advertising, the commercial arm of the BBC, has appointed Powerlight Communications as advertising sales representative for Nigeria. A statement signed by Katie Waxman, BBC Advertising Director for Africa, said the appointment took effect from May 1, adding that the company will operate from Lagos. The statement said: “Powerlight will be responsible for selling advertising and sponsorship a cross platform integrated solutions on the BBC’s popular and highlyrated international news and BBC Worldwide’s digital properties, which include, BBC mobile and” Katie Waxman, in the statement, said the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Powerlight Communications, Mr Kayode Akinyemi is a seasoned and experienced practitioner in

journalism, public relations, advertising and marketing communication with career and experience spanning over two decades. Katie listed major reasons for the choice of Powerlight Communications as being the track record and career achievement of the MD/CEO Kayode Akinyemi, who was until October 2011 the Head of Corporate Communication of Skye Bank Plc, where he was responsible for the design, implementations and evaluation of appropriate programmes and projects aimed at projecting the image of the bank nationwide. He was also in charge of the bank’s internal and external communications, which involved dealing with and engaging the media. He also advises management on issues within the domain of the media as well as managing such issues. Before the merger of the five legacy banks that formed Skye

Bank in 2006, he was the Head of Corporate Affairs of the Legacy Prudent Bank where he also anchored and engineered the conceptualisation and implementation of the bank’s integrated marketing communication strategies. Prior to his career in banking environment, Akinyemi was Deputy Head of Advertisement Department of Vanguard Media Limited, where he helped turn the fortune of the newspaper around through hardhitting marketing and brand positioning. He was also Head of Marketing/Customer Service at Optil Exposure Limited, the leading outdoor Optimum advertising firm in Nigeria and member of Troyka Group. He worked at various managerial levels with responsibilities across media management, client servicing and advertising production in Centrespread Advertising, Vantage Advertising and Rock

Forte Advertising. Akinyemi is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APICON) and Association of Corporate Affairs Managers (ACAMB). Waxman said: “Kayode Akinyemi brings with him a wealth of experience from years of working in marketing and communications and we are delighted to have him in our team.” Commenting on the appointment of his company, Akinyemi said: “I am excited to have joined and partnered with a brand with high pedigree like BBC Worldwide and to be able to offer business in Nigeria the opportunity to promote their goods and services alongside some of the world’s best, most watched and most trusted content and look forward to build enduring relationship in the market.” The BBC Worldwide team accord-

ing to the statement will be in Nigeria sometime in June 2012 to formally launch the partnership between themselves and Powerlight Communication. attracts over 600 million page impressions per month and has seen the highest year on year growth of unique users compared with any international news and business website. It inspires real loyalty amongst its users, with 74 per cent not using another news site. BBC World News, an international 24-hour news and information channel, is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 300 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. In Africa, BBC World News’ viewers are senior, opinion leading, influential members of the business community - over half of Africa’s affluent population watches BBC World News every month.


Job search: When you have to be discreet W

HEN you don’t want your current employer to find out that you are job hunting, there are steps you can take to keep your job search confidential. The last thing you need to have happen when job searching is for your employer to accidentally find out that you’re looking for a new job. It could jeopardise both your current position and future references from your employer. Here are some suggestions on how to effectively job hunt on the sly, so that the wrong person doesn’t find out that you are looking to make a move.

Stealth job hunting do’s and don’ts, e-mail address Do not use your work email address for job hunting. Use your personal account or set up a free web-based email account specifically for job searching.

Office equipment Don’t use your employer’s computers or phone system. Many employers monitor Internet usage and review phone call logs. Keep your resume, your email correspondence, and anything and everything related to your job search on your home computer.

By Olu Oyeniran

Your resume Be careful where you post your resume. If you don’t want your current employer to accidently find your resume when searching for candidates, post on job sites where you can keep your employer and contact information confidential. For example, if you post your resume on Monster, you can make it confidential and your contact information and references won’t be displayed. You can block your present company’s name by entering an end date of present for your current position.

Additional resume options Other options for protecting your privacy (aside from blocking) include listing a generic company name and job title, rather than a specific one. You can also leave off company contact information. Do the same with your contact information and phone numbers. List your job searching email address and cell phone number.

Telephone tips Do not use your work phone number for job hunting. Instead, put your cell phone number and/or home phone number on

your resume. Be sure to have voice mail or an answering machine in place so you get the messages in a timely fashion.

How and when If you can’t job hunt from work, what other options are there besides evenings and weekends? Visit a bookstore, cafe or library with Internet access on your lunch hour and bring your laptop if you can find a wireless connection to use. Use your phone to job search - there are lots of job search apps available. Lunch time also a good time to return prospective employer phone calls, especially if you can take an early or late lunch to catch them in the office.

Interviewing Try to schedule interviews for either the beginning or the end of the day or on your lunch hour. If you have vacation time you can use, schedule multiple interviews for the same day.

Dress the part If you typically wear jeans to work, don’t wear a suit when you have an interview scheduled. Someone will start wondering what the occasion is for dressing up.

Be discreet Be careful who you tell that you’re looking for a new job. If you tell co-workers, you can be sure that it will get back to your boss, one way or the other. Do tell your family, so they can take messages for you and so they don’t inadvertently spill the beans to your work colleagues and leave you a message that someone is calling about an interview.

Social networking sites Be really careful what you post on social networking sites. Don’t tell your Facebook friends or your Linked In connections that you’re job searching. Don’t tweet about your job search activities either. Even if your boss doesn’t follow your updates, someone else may and the word that you’re job hunting could get back.

Start a job search system Confidential job searching will be much easier if you have a job search system in place. Olu Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Associates. Website: E-mail: Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).




New law ’ll create jobs, says NAICOM


HE much-awaited Insurance Act would help create more jobs, the Commissioner for Insurance Mr Fola Daniel, has said. He told The Nation the bill is aimed at supporting the government’s quest to reduce poverty. He said: “In the last three to four years, the industry has adopted developmental strategy.We believe that unless the industry is developed, it would lose its vibrancy; the regulator over time will become idle as there will be nothing to control or regulate. So, we have

Stories by Chuks Udo Okonta

focused more on developing the industry and that was why we introduced the MDRI programme. “The focus has been on development and that is where we are going. The law that is in the offing will support our development efforts and create jobs. One of the cardinal policies of the administration is to create jobs – reduce unemployment and restiveness in the society. Graduates that are not employed may be available for mischief. We believe that any new law that

is fashioned that did not support President Gooluck Jonathan’s quest to create employment and reduce poverty is not.” Daniel explained that a major condition for the development of insurance business is a strong legal system, stating that the industry may likely get a new insurance law before the end of 2013. He said: “The legislations are not only weak but sometimes difficult to enforce. The regulatory framework is ‘compliancebased’ rather than ‘frame-work’ as is the case with most advanced jurisdictions. This ar-

rangement hardly gives the commission the capacity to take regulatory initiatives in urgent and critical situations. “It is, therefore, desirable that the various pieces of legislations constituting the existing legal framework should be consolidated. The Insurance Law Review Committee appointed by the Federal Government to review the existing insurance laws completed its assignment since 2010. “The draft revised Consolidated Insurance Bill is ready for passage to the Legislature by the Executive. Depending on the agenda of the National Assembly, the country may expect a new insurance regulatory regime before the end of 2013.” Daniel noted that despite the limitations of its law, NAICOM has continued to provide leadership and roadmap for the industry in the relevant areas through issuing regulatory guidelines, circulars and letters. He noted that as part of the commission’s efforts at achieving efficiency, it has since 2011 ceased guidelines. Instead, guidelines now exist under the following: Oil and gas, AntiMoney Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/ CFT), risk management, claims

management, micro insurance and takaful insurance. He noted that another major challenge facing the industry is poor corporate governance, adding that though this may be considered as a problem for companies in Nigeria and elsewhere, there has been renewed interest in the corporate governance practices of modern corporations since 2001. “To stem the observed poor corporate governance practice in the insurance, and in line with international best practice, the commission in 2009 introduced a code of good corporate governance for the industry. The Commission is aware that corporate governance issues are at the core of regulation and supervision hence will continue to ensure that good corporate governance is restored to the companies,”he said. An underwriter, who pleaded anonymity, who also believes the industry needs a new legislation said the industry’s legislations should be collapsed into one law to be regulated by NAICOM. He noted that the commisssion should be empowered as the industry’s regulator, adding that a situation, in which Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) and Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) claim self- regulatory powers, is an anomaly.

‘LASACO Assurance committed to oil and gas’ •Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Executive Director, Enterprise Bank Limited (EBL) and Enugu State Governor, Mr Sullivan Chime, when she visited the governor at the Government House in Enugu.

L Insurers embrace cash-less policy I NSURERS are making effort to maximise the opportunities provided by the cash-less policy of the Central Bank, The Nation has learnt. Investigation has revealed that most firms are upgrading their Information and Communications Telecommunications (ICT) modules to enable them to have seamless operations in the cashless regime. Managing Director, CrystaLife Assurance Plc, Mrs Oluseyi Ifaturoti, said the policy is good, adding that it is expected to reduce the carrying of cash. She noted that her firm has embraced the policy and would continue to explore innovative ways to improve its application. She said: “We have adopted that line. We do not transact our business much on cash. We have always advised our policy holders to pay cheques into our account as much as possible. In line with the policy, we are also thinking of using Point of Sales (PoS) and have ensured that most of our claims payments are made with cheques.” Managing Director Niger Insurance Plc, Mr Justus Uranta, said as part of the firm’s ongoing re-engineering, it has acquired a new software programme called turnquest to boost service delivery. “To effectively benefit from this investment, extra funds have been approved, which would among other things enable the software’s connection to regional and branch offices, thereby effectively linking their operations with the head office,” he added. He said the software would afford real-time responses to

request, from or to the head office and improve on the quality of the company’s customer service. He further said the company’s retail business has not been that successful, adding that efforts have been made to revitalise that aspect of the business as a new incentive model has been put in place to drive the retail business. He said regional and branch managers would now be appraised on their ability to meet the company’s expectations on retail agency business. Uranta said the company will do every thing possible to abide by rules, adding that any officer who incurs penalties for the firm will be would be disciplined.


“Corporate governance has become a global issue because of its effect on operations of firms. It focuses on the adherence to acceptable ethical standards and best practices for the benefit of all stakeholders,” he said, adding, the legal environment of our business is fast changing with several rules coming from the regulators. “It would be very unfortunate if Niger Insurance is listed among those companies facing penalties for infractions. Consequently, officers whose act of omission and commission incurs penalties for the company would be held personal liable and made to face disciplinary actions as a result,” he added.

ASACO Assurance has affirmed its commitment to the oil and gas industry. In a statement the firm’s Executive Director, Babajide Wright, said the company is a major player in that sector and it is working hard to leverage on its potential. He said one major area the company has demonstrated its core policy is through prompt claims settlement. According to him, LASACO pays claims promptly. It is a policy its management pays attention to most, especially in oil and gas business. “International oil companies pay premium promptly,when claims materialise, we should do so too,” he added. He said the depth of the company’s professionalism in handling business, especially in the oil and gas sector, has made it to stand out from among its competitors, “LASACO’s involvement extends beyond growth of the company, it also encompasses ways and means of developing the market. It contains technical capacities

to develop the industry. To this end, LASACO has been in the forefront for capacity building and professional training. On how the firm intends to maintain its position in the industry, he said it will organise training and seminars, both locally and internationally for middle management and top management staff, attachment programmes in overseas for staff with international affiliates to get more knowledge of how the business is practised abroad. The firm also encourages in-house research into oil and gas business, among others. On the future in the oil and gas insurance, he said it is bright. With the advent of Oil and Gas Local Content Development Act 2010, many firms have the opportunity to make good income. “Insurance companies should be conscious; the business is lucrative. It could be very treacherous if the right arrangements are not made, it affects the company,” he warned.

Dana Air crash: Insurers assure payment for premium defaulters

HE Chairman Nigerian Insurers Association Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi has said the ‘No Premium No Cover’clause would not deter insurers from settling the claims of the civil servants who died in Dana aircraft crash on June 3. Ladipo-Ajayi, who spoke at a briefing in Lagos, said though the Federal Government is yet to pay the group life cover for its employees, insurers would settle the claims from the mishap and collect the premium later. He said: “On the issue of Head of Service, I know the laws says ‘No premium No cover’, but I am not aware that the law criminalises the issue of granting cover without premium. To the best of my understanding and belief, it is a gentleman agreement, when premiums have not been paid, that cover exists. And it has been a serious problem because the Federal

•NIA seeks implementation of recommendations Government is the major insurance buyer in this country and it observes that provision of the law in the breach of it, because of the administrative network. Insurance companies have been in the habit of collecting their premium in arrears. I am sure no insurance company will raise the clause no premium no cover at this point in time for the civil servants that died in the air crash.” He noted that the insurers and government would find a common place to resolve the issue to ensure that the victims get their benefits. He urged the government to implement the recommendations of the investigation panel on the cause of the Dana Air crash of Sunday, June 3.

A statement by Head, Corporate Communications (NIA), Davis Iyasere, quoted the NIA boss as saying the incident was a great loss to the economy. He called on stakeholders to work assiduously to forestall such reoccurrence. He also called on the government to support insurance by ensuring that premium is paid promptly. He said: “Premium payment has been a major problem in Nigeria. We are unable to play our intermediation role because people including the government do not pay their premium in time. “So, when they say we have not developed, it would be difficult for us to develop if insurance is not done properly. Also, insurance

industry is its own worst enemy, because competition has driven down prices and the price has continued to go down into unprofitable level. So, it is difficult to grow the industry.” He said insurers are working hard to take their pride of place in big insurance businesses, adding 70 per cent apportioned to local operators in the local content law is still reinsured abroad. “Insurance is not something you can localised. It is an international business and no countrycan effectively domicile it risks. What the local content has done is to ensure that risks are not shared in exclusion of Nigerian insurance firms. Risks in oil and gas are ours as they emanate from our country. “We should be the one to share the risks in the international communities and not the international communities coming to share it to our exclusion,” he added.



LABOUR Obey your employers, Ekiti House urges teachers


• Wogu, Omar and TUC President Peter Esele, delebrating on workers issues.

PHCN workers: Minister constitutes biometric reconciliation panel T HE Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity has constituted an inter-ministerial Biometric Reconciliation Panel to resolve outstanding verification issues which arose from the last biometric verification exercise conducted on electricity workers. The exercise is geared towards clearing all issues that can impede the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN). At the inauguration of the 10-man panel, Labour Minister Chief Emeka Wogu recalled that a negotiating committee, headed by former NLC President, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu was inaugurated a year ago to identify and resolve all labour related issues which might impede the privatisation process of PHCN. “You will recall that about a year ago, pursuant to the privatisation agenda of the Federal Government, I had a singular honour to inaugurate a Negotiating Committee headed by a veteran trade unionist, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu (OON). The committee was charged with the task of identifying and resolving all labour related issues which might impede the PHCN privatisation process. The 10-man panel is expected to submit its report to the Minister in two weeks. The committee carried out a Biometric Verification exercise for all employees of PHCN in April. The Minister said the result of theverification was unacceptable, hence constituting the new panel. The result of the exercise showed that out of

Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

37,136 permanent staff of PHCN, 1,635 could not be verified. Furthermore, out of 19,848 casual staff, 10,327 could not be verified. “It is against this background that government decided to constitute an inter-ministerial Biometric Reconciliation Panel charged with the following terms of reference, to: • “resolve all outstanding verification issues which arose from the biometric verification exS/N




Dr. Tunji Olaopa (Permanent Secretary) Mohammed S. Abdulafattah Suleiman Abdul

4. 5.

Mrs. O. O. More Mr. Pius Apuye

6. 7. 8. 9.

Hon. Nick O. Agbo Mallam Babagana Mr. Adebayo Fagbemi Comrade A. M. Ubabu II


Comrade Deacon C. N. Akoh


ercise; • “review documentation of PHCN employees with regard to purported claims; • “recommend approval for any staff that may merit re-verification; and • “recommend legal action against identified questionable claims. The panel members include:



Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity State Security Service


Economic & Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Federal Ministry of Justice Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Federal Ministry of Power Bureau of Public Enterprises Bureau of Public Enterprise Senior Staff Association of Electricity & Allied Companies National Union of Electricity Employees



NUPENG scribe, Okougbo retires • Aberare comes on board

Member Member Member Member Member Member Member

Dana disaster: Labour calls for public hearing on aviation sector T HE Integrity Group of Industrial Unions (IGIU) has called on the National Assembly for a public hearing on the aviation industry to forestall further air mishaps. The group, in a statement signed by the President of Hotel and Personal Services Workers (NUHPSW) and General Secretary, Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) Comrade Peters Adeyemi, urged the leadership of the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly, who have indicated they will hold an investigation and public hearing, not to limit it to only the DANA air crash, but carry out a holistic overview of the industry. “This disaster should rather be turned into an opportunity for setting a solid foundation for the aviation industry as well as a clarion call to regulators to be alive to their responsibilities so as to avert future air mishaps,” said the group. It added that while the national mourning may have ended, the air mishap like other such tragedies before it, brought to the fore some fundamental issues with respect to proper regulation of the aviation sector in line with international standards. The group also called on the government to investigate recent observations and alarms raised by key players as well as keen observers which suggest that there are aircraft which do not meet safety standards but are operating in the country.

HE Ekiti State House of Assembly has urged teachers in the state to obey their employers by writing the prescribed Teachers Development Needs Assessment (TDNA) examination. The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mrs Omowumi Ogunlola, made the plea in Ado-Ekiti while speaking to journalists. She said what was most honourable for the teachers to have done was to attempt the examination to prove that they were qualified and competent. The 18,000 teachers on the state government’s payroll last Monday shunned the examination also referred to as the “competency test”. The examination, which was specifically meant for teachers in the state’s public primary and secondary schools, was scheduled to hold on Monday in 39 designated centres across the 16 local government areas. The teachers unanimously boycotted the test in spite of warnings by the state Commissioner for Education, Dr Eniola Ajayi, that sanctions awaited any defaulting teacher. Ogunlola said the legislature had not been passive in the settlement of the feud. “I think what would have been most honourable for the teachers was for them to attempt the examination. “When teachers teach the students, they will go ahead and examine them, so why are they running away from the same examination they administer on students? ”Ekiti is noted for excellence and honour. We expect everybody to support the governor in his efforts at ensuring that he lays a foundation of excellence for the state,’’ she said. Mrs Ogunlola urged the teachers to display a sense of patriotism by allowing the tension generated by the controversy to recede in the interest of peace. She, however, pleaded with the duo to sheath their swords to facilitate a speedy resolution of the matter which, she claimed, had engendered so much ill-feeling in the state. The lawmaker also justified the vote of confidence it passed on the governor during its special session last Wednesday. She said it was meant to spur him into action by performing better .

The statement reads in part: “While we do not wish to pre-empt the intended investigation of the circumstances leading to the Dana plane crash, it is demoralising that preliminary investigation according to reports in the media point to the fact that the crash was avoidable as the ill-fated aircraft was believed to have been faulty. For us, this will amount to criminal negligence on the part of all those involved, from the management of the airline to the respective regulatory authorities in the aviation sector. Unlike past investigations of air disasters whose results were shrouded in secrecy, we call on the Federal Government to not only make public the outcome of the investigations on the circumstances surrounding the Dana crash, but equally take stern sanctions against all those found culpable to serve as deterrent to all players in the industry. “While we pray to Almighty God to grant the souls of all the dead eternal rest and to give their families and friends the fortitude to bear these irreparable losses, we also urge the Federal Government to expedite the compensation process to families of all those who lost their loved ones due to the crash. “The Federal Ministry of Aviation must go beyond the grounding of all DANA Airlines

aircraft from flying the Nigeria airspace to carry out an emergency assessment of the other airlines operating in the country in order to avert another disastrous crash.” “We urge the Federal Government to, therefore, look beyond the speculations surrounding the disaster and further reinforce the regulatory standards for sanity of our airspace. Air travel, being the safest and most dependable means of transport, must not be reduced to a means through which Nigerians fly to their untimely deaths due to negligence, greed on the part of industry players or incompetence of regulatory agencies. “We praise the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly, who have indicated that they will hold their own investigation and public hearing not only on the DANA air crash, but carry out a holistic overview of the industry. This disaster should rather be turned into an opportunity for setting a solid foundation for the aviation industry as well as a clarion call to regulators to be alive to their responsibilities so as to avert future air mishaps. “While we pray to Almighty God to grant the souls of all the dead eternal rest and to give their families and friends the fortitude to bear these irreparable losses, we also urge the Federal Government to expedite the compensation process to families of all those who lost their loved ones due to the crash.”


HE erstwhile General Secretary of NUPENG,Comrade Elijah Okougbo has bowed out of service after 33 years of meritorious service . He joined the union in 1979 and retired on May 31st, 2012. A statement signed by Mr Adamson Momoh, Senior Assistant General Secretary said Okougbo has been re-appointed as Industrial Relations Adviser to the President of the Union. Okougbo, a trade unionist and Industrial relations graduate of the University of Ibadan, had 18 merit awards and two medals during his period of service. He is now back to private life as the Chairman/CEO of Ogo Construction, Industrial and Commercial Services (OCICS) Ltd and Chairman/CEO, New Age Consult, Lagos. NUPENG has appointed Comrade Isaac O. Aberare as the Acting General Secretary. He is a graduate of Public Administration of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. He joined the union in 1982 and rose through the ranks to the position of Deputy General Secretary (Operations) before his new appointment.

Gombe to employ 1,107 teachers


NEMPLOYED teachers in Gombe are hopeful as the state government last week announced its intention to employ 1,107 teachers for secondary schools. The state’s Head of Service, Malam Dauda Yahaya said the recruitment is part of government’s resolve to engage youths and reduce unemployment in the state. The state is also considering recruitment of over 1,000 graduates as teachers in the primary schools. The government has, therefore, set up a state empowerment committee to determine the number of employable diploma holders, and to advise the government on how best to engage their services. The committee is also expected to advise the government on providing special skills training for other educated and uneducated youths towards skill acquisition and self employment. Yahaya urged beneficiaries of the programmes to reciprocate the gesture with more commitment to service.


MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012




After contesting the state gubernatorial election twice on the platfroms of opposition parties without success, Ahmed Yusuf, penultimate week returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),which he ditched in 2007. In this report, FANEN IHYONGO details the likely reasons why he rejoined the party he could not beat.

Taraba: Why CPC candidate returned to PDP “I

F you can’t beat them, join them”. That is the political aphorism that came to play penultimate week, when Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate in last year’s gubernatorial election in Taraba State, Ahmed Yusuf crawled back to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Yusuf must have been thoroughly frustrated as his previous attempts to rule the state as an opposition candidate bit the dust. Even though he is regarded as one of the most popular politicians in the state, he has found it difficult in the predominantly Christian state where votes are mostly cast along religious lines. His return to the ruling party has no doubt changed the political landscape of the state. He has been applauded and equally criticized. But above all, his defection has built an anxiety that has enveloped the political class in the countdown to the 2015 general poll, three clear years from now. This is so because the PDP in Taraba is afflicted by internal discord that culminated in the emergence of two factions. The consensus is that Yusuf would be used to neutralise Governor Dambaba Suntai’s perceived foes in the ruling party. Suntai is due to handover on May 29, 2015, after completing eight years in office. He is said to have started making in-roads to go to the senate when he finally bows out of Government House. Similarly, he has started shopping for a dependable successor, which he said, for now, has not been found. The anti-Suntai camp is not unaware of the governor’s political calculations. They are also planning his downfall and as well grooming a candidate that would favourably contend with the governor’s chosen one, since the 2015 governorship poll in Taraba would be largely void of the incumbency factor. Suntai has to slug it out with Senator Abubakar Tutare, who hails from Taraba Central’s senatorial district with him. This has made the relationship between Suntai and Tutare frosty. For the record, Suntai had once appointed Tutare as SSG and commissioner in the state.

• Supporters of Ahmed Yusuf during his return ceremony at the Trade Fair in Jalingo...

Tutare is fighting from all fronts to obviate being fizzled out of the senatorial race in favour of the governor in the party’s traditional style. Tutare has vowed to return to the senate in 2015, even if Suntai locks horns with him. With the enormous political space to operate, in which CPC could be an alternative platform, the governor feels threatened. The antidote for this gloomy future, Suntai reasoned, was to bring Yusuf –the former state leader of the CPC, which had strong holds in Taraba North and Central, back into the PDP fold. A deal was then struck with the former CPC candidate, one of which was for him to surrender all the CPC local councils, including Jalingo, to the PDP, after which his inputs would be used to combat internal rivals. Thus, Yusuf left the opposition soon after giving the PDP a clandestine support to sweep the 16 local government council poll, recently conducted by the Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission (TSIEC). A few days after, Yusuf was officially received by the governor and the PDP, in a ceremony well attended at the

Trade Fair Complex in Jalingo. Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sani Abubakar and the new PDP state chairman, Alhaji Victor Bala orchestrated Yusuf’s return, it was learnt. Yusuf returned with his teeming supporters who carried large-size placards with posters that have his portrait and Governor Suntai, inscribed on it “Welcome back home Gamaliya”. In his defection speech, Yusuf said he is not back in the PDP to take what belongs to anybody, or to execute a governorship ambition, but to work for the party’s progress. “I did not return to the PDP to fight for a position or influence, replace someone in the power equation, or fill any imaginary vacuum. I have returned to help strengthen the party I once built”, Yusuf said. Receiving Yusuf, the PDP chairman, Victor Bala said Yusuf had only gone on a “sabbatical leave”. “Now, he is back to his political duty post”. Bala said the former opposition man has come back with an “open mind, good intention and good faith, which was acceptable by all the PDP stake-

holders of the state”. In his speech, Suntai said Yusuf, during his reign as Commissioner of Finance, had introduced him to former Governor Jolly Nyame who brought him to prominence, including his present position. And since one good turn deserves another, Suntai said, “it is right for me to call him (Yusuf) so that we can work together in the interest of the state”. The question now is, if the interest of the state surpasses individual interest –that calls for Yusuf’s return, why has Suntai refused to reconcile with his predecessor and benefactor, Rev. Jolly Nyame –the acclaimed god-father of all of them? Suntai and Nyame, who is now the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state, do not see eye to eye. The former governor had brought Suntai from the opposition into the PDP, it was learnt. Political pundits said Suntai has brought Yusuf back to PDP, to among other things, dislodge Senator Aisha Alhassan, a lawyer who is representing Taraba North in the Senate. Yusuf and Alhassan are from the same sena-

torial district. Sources said the rising profile of the Taraba’s first woman senator, considered by the PDP as a neophyte, is a major worry to the party’s old horses. Alhassan was boldly penciled in Suntai’s black book, when the former wrote a petition against the governor to the national secretariat of the PDP. Since then, the PDP in the state has been craving the opportunity to suspend Alhassan from the ruling party. But at the same time, Suntai and the party are wary of her rich profile and stupendous wealth – which intimidates them as well as her close relationship with the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Incidentally, only Senators Alhassan and Tutare voted for Tukur at the party’s convention that brought him to office. The CPC has reacted to Yusuf’s defection to the PDP, accusing its former candidate of betrayal. It said Yusuf’s defection would not in any way annihilate the opposition in Taraba as has been touted by the PDP. “His defection has made no deference; Ahmed Yusuf is on his own solo voyage to seek greener pastures in the PDP”, the CPC Chairman, Alhaji Uba Ahmed stated at a press conference. He was accompanied by all the party executives, including CPC chairmen from the 16 local government areas of the state, who said “Yusuf did not consult any party stakeholder or official on his plans to return to the PDP. As such, no member of the CPC defected with him, except his family members and friends whom he contracted with money to stage-managed his return ceremony to the PDP”. The CPC supporters scored the Suntai administration low and vowed to remain in the opposition to continue their fight against “tyranny, election rigging and bad governance”. Paradoxically, the PDP has accused Senator Aisha Alhassan, also of the PDP, of sponsoring the CPC’s press conference –against Yusuf. The PDP is accusing her of anti-party activities as well as for publicly criticizing the governor on his lapses. Last •Continued on page 44

‘I’ll not impose myself on the people’ The former governorship candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Taraba State, Mr Ahmed Yusuf, has returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He has been warmly embraced by Governor Danbaba Suntai and the ruling party’s hierarchy in the state. He spoke to journalists on why he left the opposition for the PDP, refuting claims that he has been brought back for a hatchet job. FANEN IHYONGO was there.


OW that you have settled your differences with Governor Danbaba Suntai, what should we expect of Taraba in the next three years? I have never fought with Suntai. He is my friend and good neighbour. We had to do what we did because we belonged to different political platforms. And that is the beauty of democracy. It wasn’t a war between Governor Suntai and Ahmed Yusuf in the sense of a battle. What would you say about the opposition, now that you have returned to the ruling party? I wouldn’t want to be branded as being immodest. But now, I don’t think there would be any cause to

lose sleep about the opposition in Taraba State. All of us -collectively have the capacity to move this state forward. There is a blue print, which we are working on to attract massive development, not only in Jalingo –the state capital, but across the entire state, including the villages. I believe now that we are all in one umbrella it would be much easier to implement the blue print. You mean there is no more opposition in Taraba? I cannot speak for the opposition. What I am saying is that we shall all strive to unite the state in one umbrella. However, if in the process of doing that the opposition fizzles out, so be it. And we shall thank God for

that. It does not mean we are making concerted efforts to annihilate the opposition in the state. No, we are only capitalising on the reunion to move the state forward. There is a lot of political space for everybody to express his or herself. There are speculations that you were brought back to PDP to fight Senator Aisha Alhassan against 2015? I am not a hatchet man. And I don’t discuss people. How do you feel, returning to the PDP without the former Governor, Rev. Jolly Nyame, whom you worked closely with during his administration? We are not service twins. I have to

carry on with my life. You have collapsed your political structure from the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) back into the ruling PDP, what about your ambition? Ambition? I hope you are not branding me as one who has nothing to do politically than pursue personal ambitions. I am not like that. I did not return to the PDP to fight or displace anybody. I didn’t return because I want to look for any position. Leadership positions come from God. So, I will not impose myself on the people; if PDP deems it fit that the position of a messenger in the party is suitable for me I will accept, if they don’t fine. But if

• Yusuf

you say I am pursuing an ambition, it gives the impression that I am a desperate person. And I am not a desperate man; I am contented with what I have. I mean not in material kind, but what I am. I mustn’t be the governor of Taraba by hook or crook.




Bayelsa Assembly still smarting from impeachment intrigues

Edo 2012: Oyegun predicts massive win for ACN



ORMER governor of Edo State and chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief John Odigie Oyegun has predicted a massive win for the ruling party in the July 14, gubernatorial election. Oyegun told The Nation at the weekend that no opposition party in the state has what it takes to unseat or dethrone the ACN at the poll because of the solid achievements of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole led administration. “The campaigns are going on steadily, the party is heading for a massive win in the election and we are not relenting. The opposition is far behind us, I wonder if they can see our rear light. They are unpopular, they have no manifesto and they have no ideas whatsoever what they want to do with the power they are seeking. “Edo people cannot be fooled again, they have seen the solid achievements of the present administration and because the constitution allows them to renew the mandate of the Comrade Governor for another four years, why won’t they renew it and enjoy the development programmes of this administration? So you can be sure that the party is going to record a very massive win, not just a win by definition, it is going to be massive”, he assured. Oyegun nevertheless appealed to the electoral umpire to do a good job and earn the respect of the people of the state just as he urged those who are planning to foment trouble and violence not to do it as it will

• Oshiomhole

By Augustine Avwode

not serve the interest of the state. He maintained that the people of Edo State will insist on one man one vote. “Our appeal to the umpire is to do a good job and earn respect and applause from the people of Edo State and not the type of job that will earn the umpire the people’s scorn and wrath. Edo people are happy with what the administration is doing and they want him to continue and you can see that desire in every area you go to. I appeal that they should be allowed to freely choose their governor come July 14 and nobody should try to deny them the right to do just that”, he stated. Oyegun, a former vice presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and his supporters on Tuesday, May 22, joined the ACN. He had said then that he decided to join the party because it will become the political party in the vanguard of transformation in the country.

Why CPC candidate returned to PDP •Continued from page 43

month, the pro-Suntai PDP stakeholders held a meeting to plot Alhassan’s downfall. Suntai’s grouse with Alhassan became public when the governor asked his lead counsel, Offiong Offiong (SAN) not to defend Alhassan in the election petition instituted against her by former Governor Jolly Nyame. The level of animosity has since grown deeper, and considering Alhassan’s worth in the PDP, the governor has to do something, while the sun shines. Besides the purpose for which the party intends to use him, Yusuf, reputed for his deft political moves, may have his own political plans and

ambition to execute. At the turn of events, neither the governor nor the party could stop or cajole him. After all, it is said there is no permanent friend or enemy in politics; what is permanent is only the interest. Yusuf was once a strong stalwart of the PDP, earning the sobriquet ‘Gamaliya’. He is reputed for knowing all the state’s polling units by name and voting strengths. Gamaliya was expelled from the ruling party some seven years ago when he fell apart with former Governor Nyame. He pitched tent in the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and ran, for the first time, for the governorship poll in 2007 where he lost to Governor Danbaba Suntai, who was fielded by the PDP.

AST Monday, Bayelsa State House of Assembly was hit by high tide of impeachment as the Speaker, Hon. Friday Benson was removed by 11 of the 24 lawmakers and without the Mace. Since then, peace has been elusive as the House has been sealed by the Police. The impeached Speaker had allegedly traveled to India in company of his wife and son for medical check up when the change of guards took place. He has, however, hurried back since then in a bid to regain his position. In his place, the lawmakers who impeached him elected Hon. Fini Angaye, a former deputy speaker during former Governor Timipre Sylva’s tenure, to the position of speakership. He represents Kolokuma-Opokuma constituency 1. The exercise which took less than 30 minutes had been carried out under heavy security with policemen guarding the entrance to the Assembly and also present all over the Assembly complex. Even though no reason was adduced for the change of guards, the new Speaker, Fini Angaye told newsmen that “Bayelsa State House of Assembly had effected a change,” explaining that when members state their problem, it meant that they wanted a change. But allegations of pecuniary interest, power play and sundry political intrigues have been said to be at the heart of the crisis now rocking the House. Some of the alleged ‘sins’ of Hon Benson, according to a source, included the collection of the sum of N2.5m for himself in the course of applying for some largesse shortly before travelling to India with his family, while he applied for only N100, 000 for each member of the House. But another source denied it, saying he actually applied for N2.5m for self, N2m for deputy speaker and N1.5m for each of the other members of the Assembly before he traveled. But trouble started as soon as he jetted out when some aggrieved members who raised eye brows over the large sum he allegedly appropriated for himself decided to move against him. While his opponent are said to be alleging that he collected money, Hon Benson has denied it all. Besides they also alleged that he had a hand in the supply of cars for

•From left: Deputy Governor of Niger State,Hon Ahmed Ibeto; mother of the bride, Hajiya Ramatu Yahaya; the groom, Bashir Mohammed; bride, Ramatu Yahaya; father of the bride and Chief of Staff, Government House Minna,Prof Muhammed Kuta Yahaya and the Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Mr Adamu Usman when Prof Yahaya gave out Ramatu’s hand in marriage in Minna at the weekend.

• Benson

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

members which were later rejected and that he also collected N1.2 million meant for Children Parliament. However, Piriye Kiyaramo, media aide to Hon. Benson denied all the allegations against his principal, describing them as “bundles of lies”. Beyond the alleged pecuniary angle, there is also the issue of power play. Party bigwigs have been fingered as the force behind the ‘coup’ against Hon. Benson. It was learnt that a chietfain of the party who acts as a kingmaker in the Restoration Group and Chief Fred Agbedi, the current Political Adviser to the Governor were behind the moves. This allegation instantly ricocheted to mean that Hon. Benson’s travails had executive imprimateur since they are heavyweight and solid pillars in the Restoration Group in the state. But Chief Fred Agbedi denied all the allegations saying “they are all lies, the governor is not worried over who becomes the speaker. The most important thing is good governance. Neither me nor any other chieftain of the Restoration Group knew anything about the impeachment. I can tell you that Governor Dickson, too, had no hand in the impeachment saga. Please help me tell the world” It was also learnt that political power play between Chief Turner and Dame Patience Jonathan may also be at the centre of the crisis. A source informed that the two have not been best of friends since it came to the open that she is the God Mother of Hon. Benson. The source claimed that Turner, a very influential politician in the state would want his own person as Speaker. And that this explains why more lawmakers from the Ogbia Constituencies had to play a part in the impeachment saga. Recently, Dame Jonathan flew from Abuja to attend Hon. Benson’s thanksgiving service and reception in Yenagoa where she openly showed that she was behind his attaining the throne. On his part, Benson never also hesitated to thank Her Excellency for being the pillar behind his success. Since then, it was learnt, the plot to oust Benson gathered momentum. It was also alleged that the trip to South Africa by Governor Dickson which featured Turner and Angaye provided an opportunity to plan how the plot would be executed. It added that even though the number of lawmakers who supported the impeachment were few, they were so confident because of the “support from some heavy weights”. Allegations of Government House complicity was fueled by

the fact that on the very day the plan was carried out, Government House cameramen and security apparatus were the only people allowed into the hallowed Chambers to cover what some described as ‘illegal sitting’ of the few members. But some people who wouldn’t want to be named exonerated the governor from the allegation of complicity in the impeachment saga. They claimed he never knew what was happening as the ‘coup’ was masterminded by those close enough but not him. By last Friday, however, efforts at restoring peace to the troubled House was bolstered by the involvement of President Goodluck Jonathan. Sources confirmed that President Jonathan on Friday flew into the state to intervene in the crisis rocking the state house of assembly. He was said to have convened a meeting at his residence in Otuoke, Ogbia, where he appealed to the feuding parties to sheath their swords. Accompanied by Governor Seriake Dickson, the source said the President and the governor were unhappy with the crisis at the assembly, which had led to the removal of its speaker. It was learnt that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Chris Olakpe, and his State Security Service counterpart, were part of the meeting, adding that the ousted speaker may be back very soon. Also the PDP in the state had waded into the crisis. The state PDP chairman, Col. Sam Inokoba (rtd) was said to have presided over the peace parley called at the instance of the governor and held at the PDP state secretariat. All the principal actors were said to have been summoned to attend the meeting. A statement by Kiyaramo, titled “Why purported impeachment attempt on Bayelsa Speaker failed,” said Benson was never impeached by eleven members of the State House of Assembly last Monday, adding that the said action of the members did not comply with the standing orders of the House. He described the impeachment an embarrassment to the government and people of the state. The statement further said “prior to this unfortunate incident, which of course, is a distraction to the transformation agenda of the state governor, the House had enjoyed a very cordial working relationship with the executive arm to the admiration of all Bayelsans, with a record passage of about ten bills in just two months, a feat that is being applauded by all well meaning individuals, within and outside the state. “That, the eleven members who carried out the purported impeachment attempt on the Speaker were being instigated to fuel crisis between the State House of Assembly and the executive arm of government, to the detriment of the anticipated rapid infrastructural development of Bayelsa State. “That the leadership and the entire membership of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly do render an unreserved apology to the Governor of Bayelsa State, His Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for the embarrassment and unnecessary distraction this unfortunate (and) purported impeachment saga may have caused them and the people of the state, at a time when the whole nation is mourning the colossal loss of lives, occasioned by the ill fated Dana Airline crash in Lagos”. Whether all this spirited action by stakeholders will restore peace in the troubled House of Assembly soon only time will tell.




MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012


•Honda 2012

Refined, stylishly rugged Despite its size, the 2012 Honda Pilot moves like a large car. Rugged and refined, it is an SUV with character and style. NNEKA NWANERI explores what makes it sleek, stylish and the car to own.


HE Pilot’s steering is a bit heavily weighted, but it is very precise and offers good feedback in the turns. On the highway the Pilot tracks straight, and even strong wind gusts can’t deter it from its intended course. Its 3.5litre V6 for its timely response when one demands to go fast, and for its smooth, and silent operation. The fuel economy is near the best in this class. Some of its favorite features include its rearview mirror camera display. This 2.5-inch LCD display – conveniently located in the rearview mirror shows the driver what’s behind the vehicle while in reverse. The 2012 Honda Pilot SUV’s second row offers excellent room for taller passengers and also provides LATCH systems for three child seats. Other details of the vehicle include its interior, which keeps with Honda’s simple but functional design philosophy, the 2012 Pilot SUV’s interior is a study in efficiency. The dash and instruments are easy to operate and logically

placed. There are no fancy light shows here, no radical designs that look neat but don’t work well in the real world, just the basics. Of course, the Honda Pilot’s interior is by no means stark, and in EX-L trim it is downright plush. Legroom is more than adequate in all three rows, an unusual and welcome attribute in this class. Rear cargo space with the third-row seat in place, however, is not so abundant. Luckily, there is a large cargo bin below the floor for storing items, as well as ample roof space for a carrier rack. Fold the seats flat, and the 2012 Honda Pilot SUV can be used like a small pickup truck, or a sturdy steel tent with cozy accommodation for two. Its exterior has a new face, the 2012 Honda Pilot SUV somewhat softens its boxy and bland image, making it a bit more palatable to the fashion-conscious SUV driver. Still present are the Pilot’s long wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs, a design that not only makes the 2012 Pilot SUV look more solid and stable, but that allows for easy maneuvering in tight spots

•The interior of the car

With notable standard equipment which includes, remote entry system, automatic headlights, power windows, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 17-inch wheels, front and rear air conditioning, an integrated rear cargo net and underfloor storage, auxiliary input jack and an AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and a subwoofer, daytime running lights, Bluetooth and heated side mirrors. Under the hood, the Honda Pilot’s engine comes equipped with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, allowing for an uptick in horsepower and torque, as well as improved fuel economy. This VCM tech-

nology, similar to the system used in the Honda Accord, allows the vehicle to seamlessly run on three, four, or six cylinders, depending on driving conditions and requirements. The 2012 Honda Pilot nails the right combination of size, power, ability and value. It can accommodate as much as eight people, has plenty of room for cargo and gets reasonably good gas mileage for its size. On the downside, the Pilot offers only a V6 engine, can’t tackle Jeep-style off-road situations. For those who simply seek dependable, efficient and comfortable transportation for themselves and their family, the 2012 Honda Pilot

SUV is an easy choice if you need a vehicle that provides eight-passenger capacity but are dead set against driving a minivan, the 2012 Honda Pilot makes an excellent alternative. Strong, safe and easy to drive, the Pilot can tackle jobs no minivan would dare. The 2012 Honda Pilot receives a major front-end makeover, with more rounded edges, a softer grille and more chrome trim. EX and EXL trims gain updated audio systems that include a 2GB CD library, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, and streaming audio, while the EX-L gains an eight-inch colour Multi-Information Display.




Lagos-Ibadan expressway: We are capable, says Bi-Courtney


I-COURTNEY Highway Services Ltd has said that it is capable of carrying out standard reconstruction and expansion of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The company’s spokesman, Mr ‘Dipo Kehinde, made the remark while answering questions from journalists on its ability to deliver on the project. This followed the long delay in the reconstruction of the 105-kilometre project since the award of the contract in May 2009. Kehinde described the company as “a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV),’’ formed by a consortium of companies led by Bi-Courtney Nigeria Ltd.,

to deliver the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, under a concession agreement. He said the company’s level of preparation and readiness for the implementation of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway project was reflected in the team it had assembled for it. “We have the construction firm, Group Five; the financier, Rand Merchant Bank, Yolas; Vela VKE, Project Management International; and Aurecon, the firm that is providing independent Traffic and Technical Advisory Services. Kehinde said the group was a provider of integrated building, infrastructure and engineering solutions

operating in South Africa, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. “Since its listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1974, the group has played a major role in the development of Southern Africa’s infrastructure, achieving a reputation nationally and internationally, for innovation and professionalism,” he said. According to him, recent capital projects of the group included the N1N2 toll road concession valued at $2.5 billion (about N389.3 billion) and King Shaka International Airport, Durban, South Africa, valued at $ 700 million. Kehinde also cited the Zimba-

bwe Road Rehabilitation Project Phase 1, valued at $200 million , among others. He noted that the company’s chairman, Mr Wale Babalakin (SAN), deserved commendation for his commitment to the success of the project. Kehinde noted that Babalakin pays N35 million monthly to about 200 personnel, including expatriates, assembled for the project. “If Babalakin did not want to fix this road, why would he be investing so much in it?’’ he asked. Kehinde said the antagonistic stance of one of the host state governments of the expressway with

the concessionaire, had in no small measure contributed to the delay in the commencement of work on the road. According to him, that particular state government has always frustrated efforts to advance work on the road, noting that they seized some of the company’s equipment and have also refused to release the company’s newlyacquired $5 million Asphalt plant, for use on the road. Kehinde, however, added that the company was witnessing some new development which would translate into full commencement of work on the road shortly.

NOA honours driver who returned money left in his car


HE National Orientation Agency (NOA) has honoured an Abuja taxi driver, who returned a wallet containing a large sum of money and other belongings left in his taxi by a commuter. A statement signed by NOA spokesman, Mr Paul Odenyi, in Abuja stated that the honour was given to the driver in the spirit of “Do The Right Thing” campaign. Director-General of NOA, Mr Mike Omeri, expressed happiness over the driver’s behaviour, saying “it is high time our society began to recognise those who exhibit positive values.” Omeri said values, such as honesty, responsibility and trustworthiness, would encourage others to look up to people with such attitudes as role models. He said the agency deemed it fit to honour Mr Hudu Idris, the driver, for his honesty. Idris was given a Civic Responsibility Award, which conferred on him the status of a Civic Responsi-

bility Ambassador, as well as N30, 000 reward. Miss Iye Amana, the owner of the money and other valuables, said she left her wallet and other items in the cab out of excitement over her graduation from school. The graduate of Bingham University, Nasarawa State, said the driver traced her with the documents she left in the cab and returned them intact. Mr Eddy Amana, a former Executive Director of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), said the family was overwhelmed by the honesty of the driver. He said the family decided to reward him with a 32-inch LCD television, a full year subscribed satellite decoder and N50,000 cash. Expressing his appreciation for the gesture, Idris pledged to remain a worthy example for Nigerians. He said although he had no money to fuel his taxi and needed to make returns on the day of the incident, he was moved by the desire to do good.

Lagos to clamp down on motorists with expired documents


AGOS State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA) has said it will, henceforth, clampdown on motorists with expired vehicle licences. The was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, MVAA, Mr Akin Hanson. He said the government has fully mobilised the law enforcement agency on the development, stressing that motorists were expected to renew their expired vehicle documents. He urged motorists to ensure that they carry valid vehicle documents and ensure their vehicles are road worthy. The MVAA boss stated that registration and renewal of vehicle

By Miriam Ndikanwu

documents had been made easy by the state government through automation which could also be updated from any of the licensing offices, independent registration renewal outlets and branches of participating banks. Hanson further advised that motorists could also make use of the clients’ representatives who assist corporate organisations and individuals to obtain or renew their vehicle documents. The Permanent Secretary warned motorists to avoid any embarrassment that might arise from non-compliance with the law by ensuring that their vehicle documents were valid at all time.

•Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux hits five million sales


OYOTA Motor Corporation (TMC) has recorded another milestone in the cumulative global sales as one of the models from its stable - the Toyota Hilux has achieved a five million unit mark in its sales at the end of March, 2012. This milestone was revealed in an official bulletin by TMC Managing Officer Kazuhiro Kabayashi who was a central figure in the birth of the Hilux. Kabayashi said the aim of the Hilux project ‘’is to offer high-quality vehicles to customers in a timely manner.” The Toyota Hilux belongs in the category of the Innovative Interna-


HE Management of Beachouse Ventures, publishers of Onwheels magazine and organisers of The Nigerian Auto Awards (TNAA) has said the event, initially slated for last Friday at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos was postponed due to the Dana plane crash. The postponement, the organisation said was in commiseration over the Dana aircraft tragedy which claimed

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

tional Multipurpose Vehicles (IMV) and the IMV is one prime segment of the vehicle portfolio manufactured by TMC. The Hilux is a purpose built vehicle which evolved from the peculiar Superior Quality templateof the Toyota brand. For over 50 years since its introduction it has traversed the challenging African terrain in style and has become the toast of the pick up segment in Africa and indeed Nigeria. The Toyota Hilux epitomizes endearing versatility and relentless functionality which has won the trust and confidence of its loyal customers spanning over 50 years across international markets

andAfrica. Perhaps it is against this background that Toyota (Nigeria) Limited; the official Toyota franchise owner in Nigeria further decided to give the endearing attributes of the Hilux prominence by placing the model inexorably on the Beyond Tough catchphrase. It is an aptway of reassuring the customers of Hilux ability to deliver on this pedestal of toughness and profound ruggedness. Current figures availableto industry watchers show that in the near future the irrepressible Hilux is set to achieving greater milestones than the five million mark being celebrated now by its maker TMC in Japan.

Why we postponed TNAA over 100 lives. Managing Director/publisher of the magazine, Tunde Aina-Scott, that the country and the auto industry in particular have lost great patrons to the tragedy and it will take a long time to replace them, even if possible. “The national tragedy has imposed on all of us a national sense

of morning that calls for our collective reflection as a people and the automobile sector as an industry. We cannot but commiserate with those whose vibrant lives have been cut short by this tragedy, especially those in our industry who unfortunately fell victim of this tragedy, “Aina-Scott said.



ATA released by the Nigerian Metrological Centre and echoed by the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment on the amount and duration of rainfall expected this year, particularly in Lagos and some other coastal areas of Nigeria, should be of concern to all road users because of its implications to safety on our roads and highways. Therefore, the aim of this piece is to further sensitise road users, especially owners of fleet of vehicles and commercial vehicle operators that commute the length and breadth of Nigeria day and night. It is on record that more road traffic crashes occur during the

Driving safely during the rain By Ayodeji Oyedokun

rainy period than any other period of the year due to reduced visibility, flash flooding, fallen trees at the sides of the highways occupied by uncontrolled vegetal growth, downed power lines in urban and suburban areas, ignorance on the parts of drivers on the need to be prepared and take adequate precautionary measures, poorly maintained vehicles and so on. Driving under the rain is challenging requiring physical and mental preparation and good vehicle condition. The rains come with reduced visibility, reduced friction between the tyres and the

road surface which may lead to loss of control of the vehicle due to hydroplaning. The likelihood of flash floods in some parts of the country will introduce another dimension to hazards expected during this period. A flash flood is a rapid rise of water along a stream or low lying area. They can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges and carve out new channels. It is known widely in areas prone to this phenomenon that almost half of flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles. Many road traffic crashes and fatalities will be avoided this rainy season if road users, particularly

drivers, observe safety regulations and are aware of the various challenges that will come with the heavy rains. Some of the facts are that ‘six inches of water on the road surface can cause tyres to loose traction and begin to slide; twelve inches of water can float many cars; two feet of rushing water will carry off pick up trucks, SUVs and other vehicles; water across a road may hide a missing segment of a road bed or a missing bridge; and the depth of pools of water on the roads may not be correctly estimated while driving’. Night travel is especially more hazardous during the rains, fatigue is common, visibility becomes

poorer and there is the tendency for drivers to overdrive their headlights thereby crashing into broken down vehicles, fallen trees, downed power lines, missing portions of the road that might have been washed away due to heavy rains resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. The condition at night becomes more precarious as most law enforcement and rescue agencies will not be there, other people travelling may not be willing to stop to offer help for fear of their safety and many hospitals are sleeping during this period. This has led to increased fatalities of victims of night road crashes. •To be continued next week









Council trains 180 residents By Yinka Aderibigbe


•Some of the students at the event •Continued from Page 13 in the state have largely failed to fully understand the proper concept of free education in the state. The school principal said people tend to believe everything is free and that there is no need to contribute to the development of


HE L. B. Ayeni Foundation, a Lagos-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), has trained over 14,000 people in various vocations in Oshodi-Isolo 1 Constituency. The foundation owned by Hon. Lawrence Ayeni who represents the constituency in the state legislature, trained the people in such fields as computer engineering, desktop publishing, and has provided skills for the constituents. The effort has helped to increase the productive capacities of the people and reduce crime rate in the area, Ayeni said. The lawmaker said one thing on his mind is to help Oshodi/Isolo become a model in socio-economic development in the state. Ayeni stated this at the 15th edition of the graduation and empow-

Corps member rehabilitates schools the schools. The principal assured that the chairs and desks would be distributed to the brilliant and diligent pupils in the School. Nwabude said she was moved to donate the furniture because some of the chairs and tables used by

pupils were in deplorable condition. While Abeokuta Grammar School got 50 pieces of the furniture, Baptist Girls College received 25. “I want to state that even as a nonindigene of the state, I’m impressed with the effort of Governor Ibikunle

Amosun in the direction of changing the face of education for the better in the state,” she said. Sourcing the funds for the project was quite tough, she said, but assistance from some publicspirited firms made the furniture donation possible.

Foundation trains 14,000 in Lagos By Oziegbe Okoeki

erment programme organized by his foundation, Hon. L. B. Ayeni Foundation held at the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government secretariat at the weekend. According to the lawmaker, “the aims and objectives of the foundation is to empower the people of Oshodi 1 constituency through vocational training and skill acquisition as a way of complimenting the government’s effort in creating job opportunities as well as reducing the poverty level in the state and country as a whole”. He said that the foundation has trained over 14, 000 people in Com-

puter Engineering and Desktop Publishing since its existence and “I can tell you with this development things are changing at Oshodi, the menace of area boys has drastically declined because they are being trained and engaged in productive ventures”, Ayeni said. Ayeni does not only train his constituents in different skills, he also equips them with the tools to practice their trade, “because if I empower them they will be able to do something in life instead of coming to demand for money”, he said. At the event 970 of his constituents graduated with different skills after undergoing training while another 570 matriculated to commence training. Of this number 750

•Hon. Ayeni handing over dryer and certificate to one of the graduants while her mother looks on

graduated in Desktop Publishing and Computer engineering; 120 were trained in Hairdressing and Fashion Designing while the remaining 100 are women trained in tie and dye. He gave out dryers, sewing machines and some computers to the graduating students Those who matriculated include 500 in both Desktop Publishing and Computer Engineering and another 70 for Fashion Designing and Hairdressing. Ayeni who is doing a second term at the Assembly, said he started the foundation in year 2000 as a humanitarian gesture, ever before he was elected a lawmaker by his constituents, and he promised that the foundation will not die prematurely. “I am giving you assurance that the foundation will be run throughout my life time. And I implore the beneficiaries not to sell these items given to them”. While commending Ayeni for sustaining the programme, chairman of the occasion, Speaker of the Lagos state House of Assembly, who was represented by Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King, chairman, House Committee on Education, Science and Technology advised the beneficiaries to make good use of the tools given to them to launch into greater things in life. Speaking on behalf of the grandaunts, Deborah Olatunde thanked Ayeni saying they will remain ever grateful to him for equipping them to stand on their own.

HAIRMAN of Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Hon. Jide Jimoh has restated his commitment to women and youth empowerment. He spoke while declaring open, a week skill acquisition training for no fewer than 180 youth and women selected from all the council’s wards. Jimoh said he was determined to train the people on how to fish, rather than waiting to be fed. “We must develop the people. One of our core campaign mantra was to make our people job creators, with this scheme, we have begun on a sure footing the actualization of that dream,” he said. Jimoh said the content of empowerment must change from giving mere tokens to the people, to one that must ensure that the people are given new skills that would make them competitive, adding that the answer to the growing crime rate and general insecurity in the country lies in finding new ways of making the people productive. The programme which would be rounded off tomorrow, he said, is in collaboration with Lanyk Youth Empowerment, a Non-Government Organisation. Earlier, Supervisor Abel Enikanologbon said the programme which is taking place at the All Saints Primary School, Montomery, Yaba, is part of strategies meant to take Yaba LCDA to greater height. The selected persons, he said, are to receive training in bead making, soap making and pomade, paint making and event decoration. The Supervisor urged participants to take the class serious as no knowledge is lost. “Take the training serious, we expect that you all would leave with the determination to put all what you have learnt here to good use and be employers of labour,” Enikanologbon said. Lanyk’s Coordinator Mrs Olanike Olatunji praised the council chairman for his spontaneous support for the programme when the organisation brought the proposal for his approval. She said: Besides the readiness of the chairman, we must also commend the readiness of the people who came out to enlist for the programme. They show readiness to learn and I am assuring you that this organisation is prepared to turn them all into heroes before the end of the programme.”

•Hon. Jimoh


MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012

Today, things have changed. Apart from serious infrastructural upgrade which have given rise to various modern architectural masterpieces in this university, the whole campus today has become not only a massive construction yard but an institution which others can copy as a yardstick for their own development projects

Varsity sustains Zik’s legacies in Awka


HE authorities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka are doing their utmost to uphold the legacies of Nigeria’s first president. “Every succeeding helmsman on the campus has often consolidated on the achievements of the predecessor but I think the fourth substantive vice chancellor, Prof. Boniface Egboka has towered above others in the last three years,” said Richard Umeh, a public affairs analyst. The university Director, Information and Public Relations, Emmanuel C. Ojukwu said Egboka is focused on three major areas: “student’s welfare, staff management and prudent management of funds”. In the results for the year 2012 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exams (UTME), UNIZIK emerged the second most preferred institution of choice among the candidates seeking admission in Nigeria with a total number of 82,148 candidates following closely the University of Lagos that had 83,865 while university of Benin came third with 80,048 candidates. Why? A final year student in Faculty of Law, Chukwudubem Francis said the secret lies in positive changes that have taken place in the campus. Francis said gone are the days when students of the university were ridiculed. “Today, things have changed. Apart from serious infrastructural upgrade which have given rise to various modern architectural masterpieces in this university, the whole campus today has become not only a massive construction yard but an institution which others can copy as a yardstick

From Emeka Attah, Onitsha

for their own development projects” he said The vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Boniface Egboka also gave further insight into recent developments in the university. “For the past ten years, the university has never embarked on strike. Here has been very peaceful with no student or staff unrest while cultism is under serious check. The uninterrupted academic calendar is one of the reasons why we are being highly subscribed for by parents/students. “The university has grown from seven faculties and 26 programmes in 1991/92 academic year to 15 faculties; 83 degree programmes, 11 Coordinating centres and 20 Directorates. Our campuses located in different towns of Anambra like Awka here, Nnewi, Agulu, Ifite Ogwari and Mbaukwu parades dedicated staffs that ensure that the needed knowledge, skills and expertise are impacted on our students. The accreditation results of the 12man team from the National Universities Commission (NUC) that visited our university released recently showed that the university scored Grade A” level . We also have linkage programmes with about 13 institutions spread across Europe, Asia, Africa, USA and a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with 5 local institutions,” Egboka said. The Vice chancellor also appealed to the National Universities Commission for an upward review of the universities admission quota status so as

•One of the newly completed buildings on the campus to accommodate the teeming population of admission seekers in the institution. “We can confidently take up to 9000 students going by the facilities we have on ground now but we were allotted a meager number of 4373. We appeal to the NUC to help us in this direction” he said. When the reporter went round the campus, massive construction projects were ongoing at different parts of the university. Work has reached an advanced stage at the ELMADA International students’ hostel and the Phase I of the university stadium. Construction of walkways, access roads and the new ultra modern faculty of arts were

also ongoing. The faculty of pharmaceutical sciences located in Agulu has graduated its first set of pharmacists. The center has been approved by the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria which has also approved the facility as a mandatory continuing development center for further certification of pharmacists east of the River Niger. The university management also plans to build a world class international conference centre while an eight member committee has been set up to map out strategies for its take off and completion. The deputy vice chancellor (administration), Ven. Prof. Ben Chuks Okeke

also reflected on the journey so far. He said: “The University vacated its temporary site at Awka fully in 2006/2007 session and now operates completely on its permanent site. Since then, our administration has been working very hard to consolidate and further the developments already made. In this regard,we rely heavily on internally generated revenue as the capital funds from the federal government are insufficient to meet our developmental needs. Because of our prudent management of these scarce resources, philanthropic individuals and organizations have been assisting us in the area of infrastructural development”.

Repair roads, Rivers lawmaker urges govt



•The Abalamabie Link Road

HE lawmaker representing Bonny constituency at the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Aye Atamah Pepple has urged the Federal Government to expedite action on the Bomu/Bonny and the Bonny Ring roads, and to also facilitate the speedy take-off of the Bonny Polytechnic to give the people of the area a sense of belonging. Hon. Pepple made the call during the inauguration of Abalamabie Link Road, which is one of the constituency projects financed by him in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State. Pepple, who also donated 50 bags of cement to Ogwuede community to assist in completion of its youth development centre and 50 quality plastic chairs to Park Community, said

By Duro Babayemi

that the Federal Government must, as a matter of priority, complete the three projects that are crucial to the development of the area. This, he said, is in consideration of the contribution of the area to the country’s economy and the significant sacrifices it has made to sustain the country’s wealth. The lawmaker also called on the Rivers State Government to act on the dilapidated Bonny Jetty at Nembe/ Bille/Bonny Waterfront to alleviate the hardship experienced by travelers. He expressed gratitude to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the people of Bonny for giving him the opportunity to serve, stressing that the Abalamabie Link Road project was in

fulfilment of part of his campaign promises to the people. According to him, the road project was carried out after due consultation with the people of the area and will surely have a direct impact on residents just as the previous constituency projects like the youth development centre, blocks of classroom and the High Court Complex. Pepple explained that the Abalamabie Link Road project is one of the many he plans to execute, adding that the Epelema Community shore protection project and the Finima youth development centre had been approved as his 2012 constituency project are billed for inauguration soon. He said: “It is my resolve to continue to make the people the main focus in my decision-taking; especially concerning my choice of projects in the area.” This, he said, has enabled him to provide not just acceptable but also quality infrastructure for the people in the various communities as a way of appreciating them for their supports. While urging the people to support the PDP-led administration in the area, Pepple assured them of his continuous commitment to the transformation of the Island through peopleoriented projects in the various communities. While inaugurating the road, Rivers State Commissioner for Transport, Hon. George Tolofari, who was also the special guest of honour at the event, commended Pepple for his effort. He said Hon. Pepple has demonstrated wisdom and clarity of vision with the various constituency projects he had executed. He urged the people to continue to support the state gov-

ernor, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) so that such momentum of development could be sustained in the local government area. Tolofari also preached unity among those who are indigenous to Bonny; especially the elite to move the kingdom forward. He emphasised the need for a synergy between those in government, the traditional institution, elite and public-spirited individuals to ensure continuous peace and progress of the kingdom. “Bonny people must drop whatever personal grievances, politics with bitterness arising from political differences among others and work together for the progress and development of Bonny Kingdom,” he said. Speaking earlier, the chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, Hon. Edward Ebenezer Pepple had commended the lawmaker for complementing the efforts of his administration in transforming the area and improving on the lives of the people of Bonny. Represented by his Vice-Chairman, Hon. Emmanuel John Jumbo, the council chief described Hon. Pepple as a young, focused politician with a vision and a big heart, noting that if the trend of development from both the lawmaker and council continues, Bonny will, in no time, experience an all-round transformation. Chairman of Bonny Council of Chiefs, S. E Alapu Owen Manilla Pepple urged other political leaders in the area to emulate the footsteps of Hon. Pepple. The chairman of the PDP in Bonny, Hon. Harniel Pepple noted that PDP is more than determined to bring development at the door steps of every Bonny resident.





Ex-PDP women’s leader, 2,000 others join ACN in Mimiko’s ward

HE camp of the Ondo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) swelled up at the weekend with the defection of a former State Women’s Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs. Foluke Omojuwa, and over 2,000 others. The former PDP stalwart defected to the party through the Omoluwabi Platform of Dr Olu Agunloye. She was received into the ACN with the other defectors from the ruling Labour Party (LP) and the PDP. Mrs Omojuwa is from the same Ward 11 with Governor Olusegun Mimiko. She noted that with her followers working for the ACN, the ruling LP does not stand a chance in the October 20 election. The women’s leader said she would mobilise more support from the wards to ensure that ACN gets the majority votes in the local government area. Mrs Omojuwa warned lead-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

ers and followers of the ACN to learn from the crisis that led to the collapse of the leadership structure of the PDP before and after last year’s elections. She urged ACN members to build the party on a solid foundation, saying a house divided against itself can never stand. The women’s leader noted that it is necessary for women to play active roles in the emergence of an ACN government next year. The Local Government Women’s Leader, Mrs Lola Fagbemi, said it is high time women joined forces with the party’s leadership to unseat the Mimiko administration. According to her, this is the best way to end the “hard labour” the ruling party has subjected the people to. Another ACN leader from

Ondo West and Special Adviser to Osun State governor, Bola Ilori, said the party would create jobs for the youth and transform the economy, if voted to power. He noted that the state’s economy has been stagnant in the past three years. A governorship aspirant on the platform of the ACN, Dr Olu Agunloye, urged the residents to ensure the party’s victory at the poll. He said if he gets the party’s ticket, the development of the state’s economy would be his priority while every resident would have equal opportunity. Ten pressure groups in Ore, the headquarters of Odigbo Local Government Area, have said they would join the ACN. The groups are those of youths from the Democratic Youths Alliance (DYA), Victory

Forum (VF), Lepa Peoples Forum (LPF), Great Achievers’ Forum (GAF), Titilayo Forum (TF), Ajegunle Forum (AF), Ademola Forum (AF), among others. Members of the groups decried high rate of unemployment in the state, saying: “We all supported the LP, thinking Mimiko would create jobs for the youths. We decided to join ACN in support of one of its governorship aspirants, Dr. Agunloye.” The groups noted that Agunloye tackled unemployment in the state when he was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). They said: “Mimiko is now panicky about the sudden rise of ACN. If he believes that rigging can make him retain his seat, we are battle-ready. We

cannot continue to sit at home without jobs.” The ACN Chairman in Odigbo Local Government Area, Rafiu Gbadeyan, promised to always organise an extended executives meetings that would accommodate new members to contribute their quota to the party. Dr Agunloye assured that all moribund industries in the state would be revived to create jobs for the youths. He noted that peace would only reign in a country when the youths are employed. The former Minister of Defence promised that if he is given the mandate, his administration would develop the bitumen resource in the state. He added that his government would create employment for thousands of jobless youths. The governorship aspirant said his government would appoint non-indigenes for them to contribute to the development of the state.

• Dr Agunloye (middle) raising Mrs Omojuwa’s hands with other ACN chieftains to the crowd. With them are other party stalwarts and some of the defectors in the weekend.

Osun to host monarchs From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


HE Osun State Government has said the state Council of Obas will host the fifth summit of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria. The three-day summit ends tomorrow under the chairmanship of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, and the Co-Chairman, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade. In a statement by the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere, the government said at least 120 first-class traditional rulers and their 1,000 aides will participate in the summit. The commissioner said fundamental issues on the state of the nation would be addressed at the event. Akere described the summit as the first of its kind outside Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). He said the state government has made an arrangement to ensure a hitch-free summit for the monarchs. The commissioner urged Osun State residents to exhibit the Omoluabi (thoroughbred) virtues the state is known for and show warmth to the monarchs and their aides.

Oyo sacks 3,000 workers for ‘fake certificates’, others


HE Oyo State Government yesterday sacked 3,000 of its workers for alleged certificate forgery, falsified ages, among others. The government said the exercise would save the integrity of the service. In a statement in Ibadan, the state capital, by Dr Festus Adedayo, the Special Adviser (Media) to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the government explained that those affected are workers identified to have violated the rules of their engagement. The offences, according to the government, range from falsified ages and certificates, discovery of ghost workers without letters of appointment and those who were retired but were still on government’s payroll.

•Ajimobi to swear in 11 perm secs The others, the government added, included workers who had outstanding disciplinary cases against them. The Ajimobi administration said it inherited a staff rationalisation list from the former administration, which used a management consultancy, Captain Consultin, to audit the records of public and civil servants and their positions. After the audit, the government said, the consultancy outfit came up with the list of workers who had violated their rules of engagement and presented same to the former government. According to the government, the Ajimobi administration was urged to note that allowing indicted workers to stay

in the service would affect the morale of workers with genuine documents. It said the government was also advised to note that such stance, if it was taken, was against equity and fair play. The statement said the government, therefore, gave the affected workers the rights to fair hearing and set up a panel to review the consultant’s reports. The government added that it secured an indemnity from the consulting firm to ascertain that due process was followed in compiling the list of the affected workers. According to the government, after painstaking verification of the consultant’s claims, many of the workers,

who were exonerated by the panel, had their names struck out of the list of those to be packing. “The Oyo State Government is committed to improving the lot of workers in the state. It has done this in the past one year by paying more attention to workers’ welfare and promotion as at when due. It will not, in the spirit of the new Oyo State, abet the continued service of workers who forged their certificates, ages or those who violated their rules of engagement, to stay a day longer in the workforce. It is like a cancer which, if not promptly checked, can eat up the whole of the system,” the statement said. Ajimobi will today swear in 11 Permanent Secretaries who were recently promoted in the civil service.

Soldiers burn suspected oil thieves’ vehicles in Ondo


EMESIS has caught up with suspected oil thieves in the coastal areas of Ondo State. Men of the Army invaded their operational base and burnt five Toyota Diana vehicles laden with crude oil suspected to have been stolen. They also seized three other vehicles carrying oil. Before the soldiers struck, the suspected oil thieves, locally called bunkerers, had become ubiquitous in the coastal areas, especially in the past two weeks. The soldiers also destroyed several surface tanks used by the bunkerers to store crude oil and other materials for their illegal business. It was learnt that the soldiers invaded the areas by midnight and raided the villages till dawn. Some of the affected towns and villages are Agadagba, Gbaramatu, Igbekebo, among others. The suspects were said to have abandoned their products and fled when they heard that soldiers had invaded the areas to arrest oil thieves.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The soldiers burnt the mini-trucks laden with crude oil worth millions of naira. Other items destroyed included surface tanks, pumping machines and other equipment the suspects used to siphon crude oil. It was learnt that the soldiers had been on a 24-hour surveillance of the areas. The drivers of the vehicles were said to have run away on sighting the military men. The soldiers, it was learnt, chased the suspects until they could not be found. The soldiers had vowed to attack oil thieves and kidnappers in the areas. About a week ago, they arrested the suspected leader of a kidnapping gang at Arogbo in the coastal area of the state. He is believed to be the brain behind kidnappings in some states.

Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti declare June 12 holiday From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

SOUTHWESTERN states of Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo and Osun have declared tomorrow public holiday. It is to mark the 19th year of the nation’s fairest and freest election won by the late business mogul, Bashorun MKO Abiola. The poll was, annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida military government. A statement yesterday by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Ogun State, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, said the holiday is in honour of the late Abiola. The work-free day will also be used to mark Democracy Day in the state, Adeoluwa said. According to him, a Democracy Day walk will be led by Governor Ibikunle Amosun. The event will take off from the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, the state capital, at 9am. A statement by the Oyo State SSG, Alhaji Akin Olajide, said the government declared the day Democracy Day to remember June 12, 1993 election and the late Abiola. Addressing reporters at the weekend after the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting in Osogbo, Osun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere, said a public lecture would be delivered tomorrow by the National Coordinator of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform (CODER), Chief Ayo Opadokun. The commissioner said the lecture, entitled: Regionalisms and True Federalism as Panacea for Solving Nigeria’s Problem of Underdevelopment, will hold at the Local Government Service at 10am. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Ekiti State governor, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said the holiday is in line with the decision of the Kayode Fayemi administration to accord the June 12 election its rightful place in the political history of Nigeria. The statement noted that the sed of the current democratic dispensation in the country was sown through the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election. It urged the residents to work for the socio-economic and political advancement of the country in general and Ekiti State in particular. Activities for the celebration include a public lecture, a media chat and Democracy Walk, to be led by the governor.

Amosun meets ACN aspirants OGUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun will tomorrow meet with all chairmanship aspirants on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for next month’s local government election. The meeting will hold at 2pm at the Presidential Lodge, Ibara GRA, Abeokuta, the state capital. The meeting is part of the preparations to ensure that the ruling party has a hitch-free nomination process. All the aspirants in the 20 local governments are expected to attend the meeting without their supporters.










CJN decries conflicting judgment


HE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, has decried the conflicting judgment from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. This, he lamented, is creating confusion among legal practitioners and the public. Musdapher spoke at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Monthly Law Reports (NMLR) lecture with the theme: “Judicial Precedent: Taming the Common Law”. The report is published by Optimum Law Publishers, an affiliate of Messrs Babalakin and Co. The CJN said: “Quite a number of judgment from

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

the Court of Appeal and some from the Supreme Court confuse lawyers and the public. “The practice of distinguishing cases, usually employed by judges to depart from a previous decision, which they would otherwise be bound by, helps keep the law flexible. “However, I have noticed with dismay that the basis of differentiation has become arbitrary and dents this noble principle. “There must be a restoration of standard empirical reasoning, which satisfies the need for stability and consist-

ency together with ensuring that justice is done always. “When an issue begs for determination, the judge must carefully consider the precedents presented and ensure that the essence of the principles previously established is unmistakably reflected within the contest of the current case. “The process of differentiation must be clearly and logically explained in our judgment. “In addition, when a departure becomes expedient to ensure justice in an instant case, a balance between the consequences of change and the reasons begging for such change must be carefully contem-

plated. “We must strive to avoid making changes to establish positions purely on the facts of the instant case without proper consideration of the direct and implied effects of such changes.” Guest lecturer and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom Lord Robert Carnwath said: “Every judgment must be read as applicable to the particular facts proved, or assumed to be proved, since the generality of the expressions which may be found there are not intended to be expositions of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the particular facts of the case. “

ANPP calls for credible poll in Edo


HE All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a credible, free and fair election. Its National Chairman, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, spoke at the weekend in Benin City at the flag-off of Solomon Edebiri’s campaign. He said: “We want a situation in Nigeria where we conduct elections that are free , fair, peaceful and credible.” Also, the National Association of Niger Delta Students (NANDs) has warned politicians against using students and youths as political thugs. The body plans to hold a workshop for youths against participating in politics as thugs and other forms of electoral malpractices. Its National President, Anthony Annie, told reporters in Benin City that the workshop would educate youths on the inherent dangers in thuggery and electoral malpractices.

•NLC, students warn against violence

N730m raised for governor FORMER Governor of Kogi State Abubakar Audu has advised the people of Edo State to support Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s re-election bid. He made the plea at a fund-raiser for Oshiomhole in Benin City yesterday, where N730 million was raised to fund the re-election. Audu, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the governor needs support to enable him complete the projects he has started. “Edo people should not allow the dynamic governor to be rigged out because they cannot afford to disappoint their children. Do not lose this opportunity God has given to you because it comes only once,” he added. Former Governor John Odigie Oyegun described Oshiomhole as the architect of modern Benin and Edo State. A party chieftain, Tom Ikimi, said: “Edo is in the hand of a miracle worker and we have found that across the 18 local governments everybody wants Oshiomhole, the Adolor of Esanland and a son of Benin.” From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Also, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called for vigilance in the state. It condemned the activities of some politicians who are bent on frustrating the proc-

ess of the election. In a statement by its Acting President, Kiri Mohammed, the NLC condemned the call for the use of federal civil servants as INEC ad-hoc staff. The statement reads: “Every

registered voter must be allowed to freely vote without intimidation. And all the votes must count. “INEC must not submit to the pressure coming from certain political quarters that federal civil servants should be used as ad hoc staff for the election instead of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). “We call on all domestic and international election monitoring groups to gear up preparations for observing the election to ensure records of transparency and accountability of the electoral process. “We also urge the Inspector General of Police to reassure the nation that security agencies will be prepared and perform their duties without bias. “We call on parties and their candidates to play by the rules and avoid the consequences of being held responsible for any negative action.

Bread price to increase next month •Wheat imports hit N635b annually


OR bread lovers here is bad news. The price of the delicacy may increase from next month. This is because the import duty on wheat would attract a levy of 15 per cent as from July 1, pushing the duty to 20 per cent. In its monthly economic report for last month made available to The Nation, the Finance Derivative Company (FDC), a Lagos economic and financial advisory firm, indicated that Nigeria spends N635 billion ($4.1 billion) per annum on wheat importation. According to the report, based on the volume of wheat import, the price of flour which was N5,700 per 50kg bag , is expected to increase to N6,555 by the time the levy is imposed. The report showed that Nigeria is the largest importer of wheat from the United States. Available data showed that the country imported 123 million bushels of wheat from the US in 2010.

By Toba Agboola

The rising appetite for wheat has been linked to the growth in consumer demand, which has in turn spurred the expansion of flour milling plants in the country. The biggest beneficiary, according to the report, is Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, which controls 60 per cent of the market. There is the fear that this may lead to oligopoly. That is few suppliers, many buyers. The report added that millers are stocking up in readiness for the new regime on wheat imports next month. Their action, according to the report, was bound to translate into higher carrying and storage costs, which can either be transferred to consumers or borne by the millers by way of reduced margins. The likely outcome, according to the FDC , would entail the full cost of the increase in carrying and storage (80 per cent) being passed on to consumers. It means the price of bread will increase by 15 per cent from N200 to N230 per loaf.

Ex-Super Eagles midfielder freed by police •No ransom paid From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt


HE Delta State Police Command yesterday night rescued ex-Super Eagles and Udinese of Italy midfielder Christian Obodo from his abductors in Isoko, Delta State. Obodo was seized by a four-man gang in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area on Saturday. He was kidnapped in front of a church, Zion Prayer Ministry, in his Bentley Continental marked Obodo 5. Although the circumstances surrounding his rescue are still hazy, it was gathered that policemen acting on tip-off stormed the hideout of the hoodlums in the area. His kidnappers had earlier demanded N28million for his freedom. However, it was gathered that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan led a security meeting on Saturday during which the Commissioner of Police was directed to ensure Obodo’s release without negotiation with the hoodlums. Consequently, it was gathered that the hideout of the hoodlums was stormed in Emevor, Isoko South Local Government, where he was rescued. A source said at least eight persons were arrested. The Press Secretary to the Chairman,State Sports Commission,Amaju Pinnik, Timi Ebikagboro, confirmed the incident.

Kabo Air: our aircraft are not old


ABO Air Limited yesterday denied reports that some of its Aircraft are over 30 years old. A statement by its Public Relations Manager, Alhaji Aminu Hamza in Kano said the planes described in the reports had been phased out many years ago. The statement said: “The planes described in the reports have been phased out many years ago and are no longer in the fleet of the airline. “The management of Kabo Air is worried about the publication, entitled: “panic over age of aircraft”,

published in one of the daily newspapers on June. 8,” it said. According to the statement, the report erroneously painted a picture that Kabo Air had seven aircraft in its fleet and went on to give the average age of the aircraft as 35.3 years. The report, according to the statement, was contradictory as it specified the ages of five of the purported aircraft that were no longer in the fleet of the Kabo Airline. “The management wishes to state that three of the said aircraft, namely, 5N-JJJ, 5NPDP and 5N-RRR have been phased out several years ago’’ and wondered what the report wanted to achieve”.

•Oshiomhole flanked by Audu (left) and his deputy, Pius Odubu, at the the weekend

PDP sweeps Akwa Ibom council election


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won the chairmanship seats in the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom State in Saturday’s poll. The Chairman of the Akwa Ibom Independent Electoral Commission, (AKISIEC), Mrs. Gloria Ukpong, yesterday announced the results at the

•ACN, ANPP, UNPP get four councillor seats From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

commission’s headquarters in Uyo, the state capital. Mrs Ukpong said the PDP lost four councillorship slots to three parties in four local government areas. She said the Action Con-

gress of Nigeria (ACN) won two positions in Ikono and Mbo local government areas; the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) won a ward in Ukanafun Local Government Area and the United Nigeria Peoples Party(UNPP)also won

a ward in Esit Eket Local Government Area. The AKISIEC boss stated that details of the results would be made available today. Ukpong, however, acknowledged that there were pockets of protest in some local government areas.

Car rams into NAN building


OR the second time this year, a vehicle rammed into the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) building in Makurdi,the Benue State capital. The incident occurred at about 3:30am yesterday. The security guard attached to the building, who pleaded for anonymity, said the car lost control because the driver was playing with his female passenger. He said: “I think they were from a night club and the driver and the girl were playing so the vehicle lost control and rammed into the building, where it destroyed the electronic signpost and damaged the fence.” He, however, said the owner of the vehicle has taken full responsiblity and promised to repair the damaged portion.



NEWS Governor backs Anambra North ANAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has said Anambra North Senatorial Zone should be given a chance to produce the next governor. He pledged his support for the zone. Speaking during a meeting with stakeholders from the zone at the Government House, Awka, Obi said it is against his policy to impose a candidate on the people. He urged the zone to present a credible candidate for the race and forge a common front to achieve the goal. The governor was hopeful that his successor would sustain the tempo of development set by his administration. The traditional ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, represented by Prof. Ngozi Okafor, thanked the governor for his support and assured him that the zone will not disappoint the state. Leader of the delegation and a former Minister of Health, Dr. Tim Menakaya, said the governor has remained a man of his words and has continued to fulfill his electioneering promises. Assuring the governor that the zone will produce a credible candidate, Menakaya said Obi’s high sense of equity has entrenched peace and stability across the state.

I’ve invested N13b in Anambra’s future, says Obi A

NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi yesterday said his administration has invested over N13 billion in the state’s future. Obi said the money was invested in the National Independent Power Plant, SABMiller breweries, Orient Petroleum and other companies. Speaking at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Ebenator, during the Second Synod of Amichi Anglican Diocese, Obi said the investments would protect and grow the state’s economy. He said while other states are borrowing, his administration has, through prudent and transparent management of its meagre re-

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

sources, saved enough to invest in key sectors. Urging residents to pay their taxes promptly, Obi said he will pay his annual income tax of N32 million this week to the state government. He reminded the church of its responsibility of rebuilding moral values and speaking out against societal ills to check the excesses of politicians. Speaking later during an interview on the dissolution of his executive council, Obi said: “We dissolved our cabinet, but not in the

Nigerian fashion. We gave them a month’s notice and made sure they got their severance packages before leaving office. “I would not like what happened when I took over to happen to them because they are all my friends. For six years, we worked together and I appreciate them.” On the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Obi said there was no crisis in the party, but normal disagreements over intra-party issues. On his plans for the state, he said: “My vision for Anambra State and my strategy have not changed. We

are using the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). “Anambra State, under my leadership, is on course. Anambra is noted to have the best road network in Nigeria and I can go on and on to explain what we do here. As residents as well as journalists know better in this situation. There is no comparison between what is obtainable and what is now.” The Bishop of Amichi Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Ephraim Ikeakor, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sustain the fight against corruption. He thanked Obi for donating a bus and 10 computers to the Holy Child Convent.

‘Orji has restored peace in PDP’ From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia


HE Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, Chief Allen Nwachukwu, at the weekend described Governor Theodore Orji as “a man of peace”. He said Orji’s “peaceful disposition” has attracted many people back to the party. Speaking with The Nation in Umuahia, the state capital, Nwachukwu said the governor has united PDP members and ended the rivalry between Abuja based and Abia based chieftains of the party. He said: “The division between the Abia and Abuja based politicians robbed the state of federal presence, including appointments, but now that there is peace, those lost years are being recouped rapidly.”

Fayemi to speak at Ilorin NBA’s Law Week


Fake products: Eight held in Abia From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

THE Abia State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested eight suspects in Aba for allegedly dealing in fake and adulter•Governors Sullivan Chime (Enugu State, right); Obi (second right); Theodore Orji (Abia, middle) and others...yesterday. ated products. PHOTO: NAN The command also impounded fake consumer products at a warehouse in Eziukwu Cemetery Market, From Chris Oji, Enugu Aba. ment of the zone and the HE Southeast yesterThe impounded products creation of more states. day set up a 30-man ‘This was a meetinclude Mobil insecticide, St. All governors in the committee to collate Chairman of the Southing of the political Lauren wine, Seaman the views of the people of east Governors’ Forum, zone, except Imo State leadership. We Schnapps, Seaman’s branded the zone ahead of the pro- Anambra State Governor Governor Rochas cups, 5Alive juice, Eva wine, discussed issues of Okorocha, were at the posed constitutional re- Peter Obi, said they disChelsea London Dry Gin, Mc view at a meeting in cussed issues of common common interest in meeting. Dowell’s Whisky, Squadron Enugu. Members of the Nainterest. the zone, such as Blended Dark Rum, Bacchus The committee is tional Assembly from the He said: “This was a wine and Milo. the constitutional headed by Senator Uche meeting of the political zone, Secretary to the FedHanding over the seven amendment and eral Government Anyim leadership. We discussed men and one woman, and the Chukwumerije. Rising from a one day Pius Anyim, House of Asissues of common interest security issues’ fake products to the National meeting of political, tradi- in the zone, such as the sembly Speakers, tradiAgency for Food and Drug tional and religious lead- constitutional amendAdministration and Control Governor Chris Ngige tional ers in the zone, which ment and security issues.” rulers and the clergy (NAFDAC) in Umuahia, the said they deliberated on lasted several hours, the state capital, Abia NSCDC Former Anambra State the economic develop- were also present. Commandant Nathaniel Ubong said his men acted on a tip-off. Ubong said: “We have not recovered half of the things peanuts. NAMBRA State we discovered at the producBut the Traditional Ruling Government’s bulltion site because the crowd Council of Nnewi said the dozers at the weekthat was in sympathy with traders were paid N250,000 From Odogwu Emeka end pulled down property the suspects became volatile The truth is that each by the Federal GovernOdogwu, Nnewi worth over N1 billion in the and threw stones at my property time to save some ment. we were paid peapopular Nkwo Nnewi Trianmen.” of their belongings. Chairman of Nzuko Ora NAFDAC Deputy Director, gle. nuts as compensaThe owner of the storey Nnewi, the organisation sadThree filling stations (Ike Aba Special zone, Mr. Festus tion and we realised dled with the responsibility building, Chief G.C.N Oil, Elf Petroleum and Keno Anumba, decried the prolifIkejiuba, said he was not later that the Federal of paying the traders comOil) and a storey building operation of adulterated goods against the government’s pensation and relocating posite the Nigerian Post Ofin Aba. Government applan to beautify the Triangle them, Mr. Agu Onyeka, said fice, Nnewi, were demolAnumba thanked NSCDC proved N250,000 for compensation was paid, but and appealed to the governished. and urged other security ment to compensate them. did not say how much. each of us Tension mounted on Satagencies to support NAFDAC The four structures were He said the exercise was urday when some traders in the war against fake and spared in February, when carried out before he asprotested the demolition, adulterated products. had decided to beautify the other structures at the Triansumed office. but more policemen were He said: “We have been triangle to improve the gle were demolished to creA trader, who pleaded for deployed in the area to doing that and we will city’s aesthetics after the fuate parking space for guests anonymity, said: “The truth tighten security. continue to do it. But there neral. during the funeral of the late is that we were paid peanuts The enforcement team tarshould be a synergy between Some traders claimed they Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Emeka as compensation and we reried a little and continued the security agencies to get fake were not compensated for Ojukwu. alised later that the Federal products out of the markets.” demolition at midnight. The the February demolition; The government said it Government approved delay gave the owners of the others said they were given N250,000 for each of us.”

Southeast gets constitution review panel


Govt demolishes N1b property in Nnewi


•Owners seek compensation

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi will today speak on: Federalism and the Quest for National Integration and Development in Nigeria, as part of activities marking the biennial Law Week of the Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). A statement by his Chief Press secretary, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, said the governor’s keynote address would kick-start the programme. Other personalities from within and outside the legal profession are expected at the event. The Governor is expected to share from his experience as a seasoned technocrat, administrator and politician, according to the organisers.

Gunmen attack journalist in Ebonyi From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki


HREE gunmen at the weekend attacked the publisher of a local newspaper in Ebonyi State, National Issue, Mr. Emmanuel Igwe. It was learnt that the gunmen, dressed in police uniform, stopped Igwe on his way home about 8:30pm. The incident occurred on the road leading to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA). Igwe said: “Last Saturday around 8:30pm, as I was returning to my house around FETHA, three men dressed in police uniform flagged me down and said they were on a routine check. “Immediately I stopped, they hit me in the face with a gun, dragged me out of my car and started beating me. They left me when passers by raised the alarm and ran away. “I must have lost consciousness because when I woke up, I found myself in FETHA. They said I was brought there by good Samaritans. I lost everything I had on me, including money and some documents.”



NEWS Jonathan to inaugurate cement plant today From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will today inaugurate the third line of the Obajana Cement Plant in Kogi State. Security agents have been drafted to the Obajana community and its environs. Vehicular movement on the Obajana-Lokoja-Kabba Road may be restricted, it was learnt. According to a source, over 100 fully armed policemen have been drafted by the State Police Command to man strategic areas during the inauguration. The military and officials of the State Security Service (SSS) have also been patrolling major roads. Ahead of today’s visit, Governor Idris Wada has visited the plant to see the level of preparation by the government and the management of Obajana Cement Factory. He said the additional plant would help boost the state economy. The Managing Director of the plant, Mr. Van Anatharamanan, said the plant has modern accessories and is environmental friendly. According to him, the materials used in building the plant and those that will be used in processing cement are locally sourced.

ACN blasts Kwara PDP over achievements


HROUGH its Kwara State chapter, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration in the state as a continuation of outright lies and propaganda. According to the ACN, the last 365 days have been an embodiment of shared pains and hardship for Kwarans as opposed to the PDP mantra of shared prosperity. The Chairman of the party, Kayode Olawepo, said in a statement: “We have delib-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

erately delayed our reaction to Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed’s one-year anniversary, which, true to our prediction before and after the election last year, has been a continuation of the culture of outright lies, propaganda and false claims. “The days leading to May 29 Democracy Day celebration were filled with all manners of praises for the Kwara governor. Radio and television airtime and newspaper space were bought to list the

achievements of the administration, even when citizens groan at the rising poverty, unemployment, corruption and mismanagement of public funds. “Interestingly, the harbingers of the news of the Kwara eldorado are no other persons than paid agents of the government: commissioners, contractors, permanent secretaries, cronies and political associates. “Their claims in education, human capital development and youth empowerment, economic growth, strategic

infrastructure, quality health care, water supply and agriculture are bogus, and the government tells lies against itself as shown below: “During the period of campaign for the office of the then governor, the PDP candidate Abdulfatah Ahmed gave no identifiable programme or agenda to the electorate in Kwara State. The mantra then was continuity. “When the governor and his handlers reeled out achievements in agriculture, education and so on, they failed to tell the whole world

Audu, ACN appeal against judgment

Suswam: I won’t tolerate nonsense From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


WENTY-four hours after the Supreme Court affirmed his election, Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has warned opposition parties that he will no longer tolerate nonsense. Addressing a crowd at the IBB Square in Makurdi to mark his victory against the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidates at the Supreme Court, Suswam said now is time for governance to take precedence over politicking, as elections are over and a government has been put in place. He noted that for the past one year his administration has tolerated militancy and breach of the public peace in the name of opposition, warning that such acts of sabotage would no longer be acceptable as security men have been empowered to deal with trouble makers. The governor urged those who defected from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to other parties to feel free to return. He extended his hand of fellowship to the opposition to join his administration and develop the state. According to him, his administration obtained N1 billion additional agriculture loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost food production. He enjoined interested farmers to take advantage of the loan. PDP Chairman in the state, Dr. Agbo Emmanuel, hailed the indigenes and residents for supporting Suswam during the litigation.

how much the government of Kwara State received in the last one year through statutory allocations, Value Added Tax (VAT), Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), loans, excess crude oil and so on. “But we know that the state at the very least got a conservative average of three billion naira monthly for the past one year. “Therefore, for the past one year, the Kwara State Government should account for over N50 billion that accrued to it in the form of statutory allocation, Value Added Tax (VAT) and other grants. “This is besides the loans that are already accumulating, with its accompanying dangers for the future of the state. All objective analysis of achievements of the government should be based on available resources. The Ahmed administration has been quiet on this.”

•From right: Usman Bayero Nafada (former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives); Govenor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Inuwa Garba; and Chairman, House Commitee on Education, Faruk Lawan at the 16th and 17th convocation of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola.

Lawyer arraigned for alleged fraud in Zamfara governor’s property deal A N Abuja lawyer, Mr. Nnodu Okeke, has been arraigned by a Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged complicity in the illegal sale of a property belonging to Sir Ernest Elochukwu to the Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari. Okeke is arraigned alongside Obinna Kanu (now at large) on a 10-count charge. The property was entrusted to Okeke by the owner in 2009 and he was alleged to have connived with Kanu to sell the building to Yari in 2010, a development that has led to a litigation between the governor and the property owner. According to the charge sheet, “the accused persons did obtain from Elochukwu by false pretence and with intent to defraud the property known as House 1, Fatai Williams Street, Asokoro, Abuja valued at Two Hundred Million Naira (N200, 000, 000. 00) and thereby committed an offence under the same section. “That the two accused persons in 2011 did obtain from Elochukwu another property known as House 42, 1 Road, Federal Housing Estate, Lugbe, Abuja valued at N15, 000, 000. 00 “That the accused persons similarly obtained the sum of $150, 000. 00 from Elochukwu under false pretence. “That the accused persons

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

obtained another N25, 000, 000. 00 from Elochukwu under false pretence, among other charges. “The offences are contrary to Section 8 (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Free Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act CAP A6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2006.” Okeke pleaded not guilty to the charges. Counsel to the accused, Mr. Afam Osigwe, made an oral application for bail . He argued that the accused is an old lawyer and that he (Osigwe) owed him the obligation of securing his bail irrespective of his culpability. Osigwe said he appeared for Okeke in his capacity as the chairman of the Abuja chap-

ter of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). But the police prosecution counsel, Mr. Joseph Nwadike, opposed the bail application, arguing that the case for which the accused was being charged involved felony. He added that the onus was on the prosecution to advise the court whether or not the accused should be granted bail. The prosecution lawyer said: “My lord, the accused person does not deserve bail. He is not worthy to be a lawyer in the Bar to which I am called.” He showed the court another petition filed to the NBA by Col. Geoffrey Onyejegbu (rtd) in which he alleged that Okeke defrauded him of N1.1 million in 2011. Onyejegbu was also present in court.

The prosecution counsel said: “My lord, I challenge the NBA chairman that he has been blanketing all petitions filed before the NBA against the accused person. I am surprised that a person who calls himself a lawyer will be involved in fraud.” The presiding judge, Justice Gladys Olotu, granted the accused person bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum. She said the sureties must be directors in the federal civil service and must own property within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The judge said the prosecution counsel should verify the claims and particulars of the sureties before the bail application could sail through. The case was adjourned till October 24.

NDLEA arrests councillor with Indian hemp


HE Bauchi State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a councillor and two others for alleged possession of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp. The councillor, Mallam Aminu Maiwada, 23, Bala Saidu, 30 and Mu’azu Ada-

From Austine Tsenzughul Bauchi

mu, 18, were arrested on June 6 at Kwankiel in Darazo Local Government Area of the state with 39 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa (Indian hemp) whose street value was put at N531, 000. Parading the suspects before reporters, the state

NDLEA Commander, Mr. Julius Parah Bawa, also said 34 men have been arrested with a combined weight of 15.05 kilogrammes of psychotropic substances whose value was yet to be estimated. Of the 34, 12 were referred for counselling and 22 have been charged to court.

THE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its governorship candidate in the December 3, 2011 election in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, have filed a notice of appeal against the tribunal judgment which affirmed the return of Governor Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) . The Kogi State Governorship Election Tribunal struck out the petition filed by Audu challenging Wada’s election. Audu and the ACN, in a separate motion on June 5, expressed dissatisfaction about the decision of the Justice Suleiman Ambursaled three-member tribunal, alleging that it erred in law and thereby occasioned miscarriage of justice in the May 17 ruling. The appellants also held that in its ruling in the course of proceedings on May 9, the tribunal misdirected itself and caused miscarriage of justice. The notice of appeal signed by the ACN counsel, Tayo Olatunbosun, questioning the veracity of the judgment, was hinged on 34 grounds. The ACN also joined Audu and his running mate, Henry Ojuola, as co-respondents with Wada, his deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).

Retired teacher passes on A RETIRED teacher and church leader, Pa George Adetunji Adeniran, is dead. He died on April 27. He was 86. He was a pioneer administrator of Catholic schools in the old Oyo diocese. He supervised many schools in the area for years. He is survived by wife and many children, among who is the Director of Appointments and Training in the National Assembly Commission, Mrs. M. A. Ibikunle.



NEWS ‘Why lobbyists are after NSA Azazi’


HE plot for the removal of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Owoye Azazi, thickened at the weekend. Those seeking his sack are using the activities of the Boko Haram sect as reasons President Goodluck Jonathan should fire him. They have reportedly vowed to continue to mount pressure on the Presidency as long as Boko Haram intensifies its activities in the North. The lobby, which started after Gen. Azazi‘s statement at the Southsouth summit, where he accused some politicians of c reating the sec, got to the zenith at the weekend. They were also said to have vowed to attack some national institutions to show that Gen. Azazi is weak. Those in the group are said to be influential politicians, some retired military officers andsome close aides of some of the previous holders of the office. But the President is said to be showing little interest in the lobby against Gen. Azazi. Gen Azazi became the NSA in October 2010 as the first southerner to hold the office. Among those who have been NSA are Gen. Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, between 1990 and 1993 and March to September 2010. Gen Abdullahi Mohammed, Gen Aliyu Mohammed and Gen Sarki Mukhtar have also held the post. Sources said there are fears over the safety of Dr Jonathan, if the position of the NSA slips into the hands of those currently scheming for it. A source said: “Dr Jonathan has no problem with the North. After all, millions of northerners voted for him. He is, however, keenly aware that the office of the NSA controls the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) and, therefore, directly oversees his safety in the air. “Some of those lobbying for the position now are those Jonathan cannot entrust his life to.”

Group urges understanding on UNILAG name change


HE Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum(YRLF) has urged Nigerians to show understanding over the renaming of the University of Lagos by President Goodluck Jonathan. The group, in a statement by its Secretary General Akin Malaolu said given Chief Moshood Abiola’s contributions to Nigeria in all ramifications, it is inconceivable for Nigerians to be up in arms against the renaming of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after him by the President. The group recalled that Abiola paid the supreme prize for the democracy that we currently enjoy. “He died fighting for justice in the interest of democracy and the helpless millions of our people. “Those who think that the President has trespassed must first show proof of this as to who has the authority to call for a renaming of any national monument in the country”. The group urged the Yoruba to embrace the presidential gesture because “it is in order”.

Okorocha, Okonkwo float group to unite Igbo


MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha and Senator Annie Okonkwo are leading 19 others from the Southeast to redefine the place of Igbo in the country. The group, Committee 21 (C21), also has prominent Igbo politicians such as National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Chief Victor Umeh and Mr Ziggy Azike as officials . The group, at its inaugural outing at the Imo Conference Centre Owerri, said the foundation for Igbo rediscovery must be anchored on God. Rev Uma Ukpai, who led the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) leadership in the five states of the Southeast to the meeting, said: “Now is

the hour for Igbo to rise and shine because when the spirit to God moves, nothing can stop it. The president of the group, Senator Annie Okonkwo, said Ndigbo must unite. He went on: “Because this unity project is so important, we resolved that we must seek the face of God first, to help us achieve the oneness we need in achieving our best developmentally and politically.” Okorocha, who is the group’s Director of Mobilisation, said the Igbo must redefine their position. He added: “It is a tragic irony that the nation of hope for Nigeria from her cradle - the Igbo, has become a region largely tolerated but hardly

REMINDER OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF FTCY STAFF HOUSING SOCIETY This is to remind the general members of the above named society that its AGM will still hold on the 7th day of July, 2012 at the Assembly Hall of Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba Lagos by as resolved by the members of the society at its general meeting of 31st day of May, 2012 at the Assembly Hall of Federal Science and Technical CollegeYaba, Lagos. PLEASE TAKE NOTE. Signed: The President

negotiated with in Nigeria’s power contest. This reversible situation should start with an honest inquest amongst ourselves to change our ways where it hurts our dreams, because we are a nation naturally decorated with laurels of generals” Urging all Igbo to sink their differences, the governor said: “Please let us at this opportune moment remove our veil of shame and pride, and humble ourselves before God, because

BAT ‘committed to agribusiness’

B •Okorocha

Nigeria is obviously waiting for the Igboman to lead her to true greatness.” Umeh is itsDirector of Publicity and Azike is Director, Legal Services.

AUCTION! AUCTION!! AUCTION!! There will be public Auction/Sales of property owned by PACIFIC PRINTERS LTD located at Ijede, Ikorodu, Lagos. Interested buyers may please be informed that the building and moveable items are up for sale. The property has facilities for a Mini Port, Warehouse and jetty. Inspection will start from the 8/6/12 @ 10am till the date of sales. Interested buyers please contact appointed AUCTIONEER: ALH. ABU IBRAHIM: 08034508783 ENGR. SANI BUHARI (Chairman): 08033087844 HAZZAB GLOBAL RESOURCES LTD


RITISH American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) has reaffirmed its commitment to the agricultural sector as a solution to poverty, dwindling economy and unemployment. Speaking at the BusinessDay 2012 Agribusiness and Food Security Summit tagged: “Enhancing Agriculture Value – Chain for Economic Prosperity” in Lagos, , Executive Director, British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) Mr. Gbenga Ibikunle said: “It is imperative to note that agriculture is undoubtedly instrumental to national development for economic sustainability. It is in this vein that the nation needs to engage in national re-orientation, new thinking and new partnerships aimed at projecting and promoting agriculture”. Ibikunle said this year’s agribusiness summit is on growing food security concerns. He added that “theagricultural support fund will spur investment into the agribusiness sector with the ultimate goal of inclusive job creation and promotion of innovative, environmentally sustainable approaches to agriculture value chain.BATNF believes that employment generation and poverty reduction are directly related informed the decision to collaborate with National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in creating employment opportunities by training indigeneson poultry enterprise management in Ondo State.”





Kenyan minister dies in crash


ENYAN Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has been killed in a helicopter crash, officials say. Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode, died when the aircraft went down west of Nairobi. President Mwai Kibaki has declared three days of mourning. There is no word on the cause of the crash, in which six people were killed, including bodyguards and pilots.

F •Former Vice President (Africa) World Bank (left), Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Minister for Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, at the 70th birthday of Mrs Cecilia Nwayika, Mrs Ezekwesili’s mother in Abuja... at the weekend.

Saitoti, a former vice-president, had been planning to run in a forthcoming presidential poll. The 66-year-old was on his way to a security meeting when his helicopter crashed on Sunday morning. An journalist for AFP news agency saw six charred bodies being removed from the wreckage. Another reporter at the scene says debris of the burnt-

out police helicopter were strewn in the brush. Prime Minister Raila Odinga, speaking at the site, described the deaths as a “great tragedy”, and promised a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash. George Saitoti had been a key figure in Kenyan politics, holding a number of senior ministerial posts over the last 30 years and becoming the country’s longest-serving vice-president.

16 killed in Libyan tribal war

IGHTING between government forces and tribal fighters in the southern Libyan town of Kufra has continued for a second day, officials said. At least 16 people have died since the clashes began on Saturday, with women and children among the dead. Libya’s government has been struggling to maintain security since the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi last year. Meanwhile, officials said an election planned for later this month has been postponed to 7 July. Earlier, a delegation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has arrived in Libya to

try to secure the release of a four-person team detained after visiting Saif al-Gaddafi, the jailed son of the former leader. A Libyan official said Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, who was part of the team,

is being investigated on suspicion of spying. The government said the fighting in Kufra began after members of the Toubou tribe attacked a checkpoint and tried to gain access to a security building nearby and steal their vehicles.

Syrian opposition gets leader


HE opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) has elected a Kurdish activist as its new president. Abdelbaset Sayda was chosen to replace Burhan Ghalioun, who has held the post since the group was established last September, at a meeting in Istanbul. Activists have reported fresh shelling in Homs province, as international diplomatic efforts continue. Britain’s foreign secretary warned that Syria was beginning to resemble Bosnia in the 1990s. William Hague said the situation was on the edge of a sectarian civil war, and said that he could not rule out international military intervention.

Rep Lawan faces suspension over alleged Continued from page 2 $3m susbsidy bribe

•Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi (middle) and Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Chris Oboh (right) going through the site plan of the ongoing fish farm at the weekend. With them is an agricultural expert, Mr. Tamir Ezer of Onida Development Ltd

• Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed presenting the Kwara State Agricultural Masterplan to Prof Ronnie Coffman, a professor of Plant Breeding at Cornell University, New York United Staes (U.S.) at the the weekend.

‘Declare state of emergency in transportation’


EDERAL lawmaker from Osun State Adeyinka Ajayi, has urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the transportation, energy and security sectors of the economy. He said this is necessary to overcome transportation mishaps and security breaches that have caused the death of many people. In a statement yesterday, the lawmaker said: “There is no gain saying that serious efforts at correcting these anomalies will also reenergise the economy and, therefore, address unemployment and mass poverty among the masses.”

‘This is necessary to overcome transportation mishaps and security breaches that have caused the death of many people’ Ajayi, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, noted that rather than pay lip service and window dress issues, as successive governments have done, efforts should made to overhaul the affected sectors, which he described as the pillars of the economy. The lawmaker, who is also a member of the House Committee on Aviation, spoke

against the backdrop of the Dana Air plane which crashed in Lagos and Allied Air which crashed in Ghana a week ago. Reflecting on multiple accidents on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ajayi said these call for a sober reflection and an “awakening of our conscience, as leaders of this potentially great nation”. He assured Nigerians that the planned investigations by the joint Aviation Committees of the National Assembly on Dana and Allied Air crashes would be thorough. The lawmaker promised that the probe would also be without sentiments or emotions, adding that its report would not be swept under the carpet.

“He was dumbfounded that he was recorded by the oil baron. It was at that point that he told the House leadership that he was merely playing along with the oil baron,” the source said, adding: “But members queried why he refused to alert the House leadership if he was playing along and why he kept the cash for 60 days and only made it available when the scandal burst.” The source also claimed that the leadership rejected moves by the Representative to lay the money on the table before the House went on recess. A principal officer said: “When he brought the money in a Ghana-Must-Go bag to lay it on the table, we all resisted it because the allegation is more of an individual challenge than the entire House. “The Speaker and House leadership insisted that it would not allow the chamber to be returned to an era of laying bribe money on the floor without evidence to prove it. “The member in question has been asked to go and defend the allegation against him instead of dragging the House into it.” The House leadership has decided to suspend the Representative to underscore its commitment to probity. Yet another House source said: “We have reached a conclusion to suspend the member when we resume. This will enable him to clear his name on the allegation against him. “He will also use the period of the suspension to attend to security agencies and legal issues that might arise from this bribery allegation.” Meanwhile, a fresh plot to unseat the Speaker as a result of the bribery allegation has failed. Members of the House have decided to stand by the Speaker, having discovered that he was not in any way connected to the bribery. An influential member of the House said: “When the scandal was uncovered, most members took turns to challenge the Speaker on what he knew about it but he said he was never in the

picture. “We also conducted independent investigation and we realised that the Speaker and the entire House leadership are above board. You know, Tambuwal is a contented person. “So, when some forces in government attempted to capitalise on this latest bribe saga to get at the Speaker and his team, we decided to stand by him. “The truth is that we will resist any move to remove the Speaker over this allegation. We are building a consensus on this. The real target is the Speaker but those plotting missed the point as they did not know that the alleged bribetaker is not a member of the inner caucus. “Actually, having known the antecedents of the Representative, the Speaker had kept him at arm’s length but he has been treating him equally with others. “The same Representative was closer to a former Speaker of the House, Alhaji Aminu Masari, but he was one of those who blew the alleged certificate scam against the ex-Speaker. “This Representative has always been associating with those in government; he does

not belong to the inner caucus or think-tank of the Speaker. So, those thinking that they could use this to deal with the Speaker have failed.” Some forces said to be against the affected Representative chose to set him up as a result of the fallout of the election of the Speaker for the 7th House of Representatives last year, it was learnt. The Representative was allegedly engaged by some forces in government to mobilise members against the election of Tambuwal as the Speaker. It was gathered that while the embattled Representative was given N200million by some antiTambuwal forces in government, his co-coordinator got N100million. But the bribed lawmaker reneged on the assignment and voted for Tambuwal without returning the N200million. A source said: “This is a payback time for him from some forces in government. The man who collected N100million to mobilise House members against Tambuwal declared it but this Representative facing the heat never declared his own share of N200million. “In fact, after voting for Tambuwal, he openly slighted a former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Dem




Amun lauds Keshi, Eagles for draw against Malawi S


Greensprings Camp will revolutionise football in Nigeria


ORMER Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Association (now Federation) Fanny Amun has hailed the Super Eagles 1-1 draw away to Malawi in Blantyre on Saturday, arguing that it was no more easy beating teams on their home soil. “One thing I want people to know is that is no longer easy

•Says goal is victory for NPL From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja beating or pounding teams on their home soil anymore. For Stephen Keshi to have propelled his team to a score draw


away to Malawi should be commended despite the fact that there is room for improvement on any game played. “Another thing is the fact that Keshi is using more of the home based players in the Super Eagles now which I really commend him for. It takes somebody that has courage to take that risk in a soccer-crazy country like Nigeria so he should be commended for this singular act. We should also praise him for exposing the Nigerian players plying their trade in the domestic league called the Nigeria Premier League. “I am particularly happy that a Kano Pillars’ striker, Gabriel Reuben scored our only goal in

Keshi reassures on Eagles


UPER Eagles’ Head Coach Stephen Keshi has assured Nigerians that his team would get better in the nearest future. Keshi who is still in shock over the way his boys allowed in a last second equalizer to the Flames of Malawi on Saturday at the Kamuzu Banda Stadium in a world cup qualifier, was short of words when NationSports sought his comment immediately after the match. Keshi just looked at this reporter, shook his head and went straight into

NFF appeals for Obodo’s release


HE Nigeria Football Federation has appealed to kidnappers of Nigerian midfielder Christian Obodo to free the player and save the nation’s football family of anguish. Obodo, who plays his club football for Udinese FC in Italy, was reportedly abducted in Warri, Delta State on Saturday morning, hours before the Super Eagles’ 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying match against Malawi in Blantyre. When report of the incident filtered into Blantyre, capital of Malawi on Saturday night, NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari was thunderstruck. When he recovered, he said: “This is a sad thing. Christian Obodo served this country pa-

triotically and without blame when he played for the Senior National Team, Super Eagles. We know that if not for injuries that have blighted his international career, he probably would have been with us here in Malawi for this match. “The only thing we can do is to appeal passionately to the kidnappers to let him go. He is a young patriot who should not go through this kind of experience. “On behalf of the Nigeria football family, I urge the abductors to release Christian Obodo from this untoward experience and let us smile again.” The petite but lion-hearted midfielder played for Nigeria at the 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, and was in reck-

oning of then Coach Samson Siasia during the qualifying campaign for the 2012 African Cup of Nations finals.


COD United storm Portugal


IGERIA National League (NNL) campaigners, City of David (COD) United of Lagos will in the coming day’s storm Portugal for the 3rd edition of the LISBOA Cup 2012. The tourney slated to hold in Estoril, Portugal from June 2530, 2012, is expected to parade the likes of Juventus, FC Porto, Benfica, and Sporting Lisbon among 12 others. Executive Director of the COD

• MTN Football Scholar Finals gets June 13 date By Paul Oluwakoya

from Lee University, America, who is among the 10 foreign coaches for the MTN Football Scholars' noted that 10 student athletes have already been identified as outstanding among the candidates that played at the quarter finals of the project. Meanwhile, all is now set for the finals of the Competition, according to Yele Adewole, the Programme Director MTN Football Scholars who noted that some Nigerian coaches like Joe Erico, Amusa Adisa and Emmanuel Tetteh were involved in the selection of the players. "About 4,200 Nigerian

Patrick Ngwaogu Just back from Blantyre, Malawi the dressing room. In the dressing room, it took the former international over ten minutes to muster courage to cheer up the boys and urge them on. Keshi later said that is what the game of football is all about "this is football for you. You cannot rule out the possibility of this kind of incidents in the game. It was purely a loss of concenration that led to that equaliser. We are getting better, we would arrive where we want to be, it is a matter of time. Nigerians should be patient with us, we would surely make them smile" he concluded.


American coaches scout players for scholarship MERICAN university football coaches have arrived the country for the second edition of the PPM/MTN Football Scholar Competition, which will witness the emergence of more lucky beneficiaries of the youth development initiative. The foreign football coaches who were at the quarter final stage of the project, with their pen and papers, as they monitor and select best players based on skills, with focus on those who have credibility for SAT exams will on Wednessday, June 13 , at the MTN Football Scholars Finals, Campos Stadium, Lagos, release the name of 20 lucky players they have selected for MTN American scholarship season 2. Paul Fury, a football scouth

the dying minute of the match which speaks volume of the improvement of our local league. So I say kudos to the Nigeria Football Federation, kudos to the Nigeria Premier League and kudos to local players and to Keshi for daring everybody to embark on this project. “What Keshi is doing now is the risk I took in 1995 with the U- 20 national team when the then Nigeria Football Association Board frowned against. So I am in full support of what Keshi is doing now”, Amun who coached the Wilson Oruma led Golden Eaglets to win the 1993 FIFA U- 17 World Cup told The NationSport.

youths featured in the MTN Football Scholar tryout that was held in seven cities- PortHarcourt, Enugu, Ilorin, Benin, Akure, Abuja & Lagos. "The final on Wednesday, will witness the emergence of 20 lucky winners who will benefit from the second edition of the youth development initiative that provides an opportunity to combine active football with academics at the tertiary level under a scholarship scheme. "MTN Football Scholar is a platform that provides Nigerian students scholarship opportunities to soccer-oriented universities in the United States and linkages with other international soccer academies.

United, Shola Opaleye disclosed that the Portugal bound squad wholly made of Under-16 players, will use the tourney to improve on their game, even as he was quick to add that the Redeemed Christian Church of God outfit are looking forward to giving the same exposure to the U-14s, U-12s and U-10s squads in the years ahead. “From the 24th of this month, we will be the first Nigerian side to participate in the LISBOA Cup in Portugal. It is arguably the most competitive youth tourney in Europe judging by the caliber of clubs that will be participating. Hopefully, this will create opportunity for the youths and we believe that when they go and come back, their life will not remain the same.” Speaking further, Opaleye admitted that it was a tough task to select the 16-players that will represent COD United in Portugal. “We had over 450 players across the nation during the screening exercise despite the short notice we gave. “However, we are looking forward for their talent to be sported for a better opportunity in future. When such is achieved, we will give glory to God as we believe that when they go and come back, their life will not remain the same after the tournament in Portugal,” Opaleye added. Interestingly, the Lisboa Cup 2012 will feature four age categories in boys’ competitions and one age category for girls’.

UPER Eagles former captain, Nwankwo Kanu is confident that the maiden annual Greensprings Football Camp will help change the face of football in the country. The Portsmouth of England star who has assured of his commitment to the project added that he believes the camp would go beyond this year, following the worldclass facilities to be used for the clinic. Kanu, who inspected facilities at the Lekki Campus of Greensprings School, lauded the management of the school, saying, “These facilities can compete with any world class camp in the world and I am confident that the camp will stand the test of time. “This is the first grassroots development project I am identifying with in Nigeria and I can assure you that we will succeed. This is a Greensprings project and we have identified with it because we want to see to the evolution of a football culture in Nigeria,” he declared. Kanu, who is one of the torchbearers for the 2012 London Olympics, said he was encouraged to partner the school in order to give opportunity to youths and make them future stars. “We will not only discover talents, but we will give them opportunity to show case their talents at the highest level abroad. This is the first time I will be involved in developmental football programme in Nigeria and I intend to make the best of it,” he said. He said his decision to identify with the programme was borne out of his conviction that the school was indeed ready to champion the growth of school sports in Nigeria. “If I am not convinced that the programme will be a success, I will not have agreed

to be part of it. But I know that school sports has died in this country and if a school like Greensprings can, on its own, decide to champion the return of sports to school, I feel it is something I should really embrace,” Kanu said. The erstwhile Inter Milan star added: “The programme will also draw the attention of football academies all over the world and especially in African countries. In this regard, Greensprings School will not only be seen as a pacesetter but will also be fulfilling its objective in the development of a child academically, physically and emotionally by combining academics with sports.” Meanwhile, the participants have started collecting the forms while the organisers are putting everything in place to ensure success of the programme.



Fashola leads All Stars Against Ex-Abiola Babes


OVERNOR Babatunde Raji Fashola is expected to captain All Stars Football Club of Lagos as they take on a selected team of the defunct Abiola Babes in a football match tagged MKO Abiola Memorial Cup, which will be played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on Tuesday, June 12 by 4pm. The one day event is sponsored by the Lagos State Government through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to the Governor. The organiser of the event, former Nigerian international, Tajudeen Disu said that all necessary machinery has been put in place to ensure a hitch free event, adding that Governor Fashola has agreed to leave his busy schedule to honour the late Abiola, the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 general election. "The Governor will captain the All Stars to the historic match. Some of the players of his team will include Chief of Staff, Lanre Babalola and former Nigerian international,

Henry Nwosu, MON. Lagosians will have the opportunity to see players of the defunct Abiola Babes on parade. They include goalkeeper, Raymond King, Friday Ekpo, Dahiru Sadi, Bright Omokaro, Friday Christopher, Toyin Ayinla, Bremner Alada, Biodun Odejimi, Tarila Okoronwata, Nicholas Ukadike, Wasiu Ipaye, Monday Odiaka, Segun Agbayewa, Yemi Adebanjo and Rafiu Adegbenro," Disu said. He also revealed that some exfootballers, football academies have been invited to be part of the event, which will see renowned comedian, Johnny Walker performing. "I want all state governors to emulate Fashola with this kind of honour giving to a man, who paid the ultimate price for the democracy we are enjoying in the country now. "On a personal level, the late MKO Abiola was a father to me. I won't forget the scholarship he gave to me to study in the US and some other things he did for me. I think he deserves more than what Nigerians are doing for him now,"Disu said.




•Some of the victims with minor injuries after receiving treatment at the hospital…yesterday

•A victim on hospital bed

Another bloody Sunday •Continued from page 2

The rest of the 50 victims were on admission at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital (BUTH). Mrs. Maria Goni, BUTH’s Director of Nursing Services, said the duo were transferred to JUTH “because they were in a serious condition and in dire need of surgery”. “Right now, we have 50 persons on admission in our hospital. In fact, we are still counting and may have more. When we are through with counting, we shall know the exact figure we have. “We have people with orthopeadic and laceration cases among others, but we are doing our best to treat them,” she said. She said no death had so far been recorded among the victims brought to the hospital. The Red Cross International and the government of Plateau State had rendered help in the provision of drugs and other consumables. Among the victims were the elderly, women and children, who suffered various degrees of injuries from the blast. One of the victims, Mrs. Esther Emmanuel, 35, said that four of her children - Chigozie (11), Victor (3), Ikechukwu (8) and Chidinma (12) were also on admission. Another victim, Mrs. Mercy Francis, 45, said her six-yearold daughter, Blessing, had “disappeared” during the blast and called on the authorities to help locate her. “That is the only daughter I have. Please, tell them to help me to trace her where ever she may be, especially since I can’t get another child like her at my age now,” Francis cried out. Soon after the blast, youths went violent. Security agencies were denied access to the scene. The angry youths prevented also journalists from getting to the scene. They came

out in their thousands to barricade the road leading to the scene. A Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) crew, which made efforts to get to the scene, was attacked by the angry youths. Security agencies rescued a team of journalists from been lynched. The NTA vehicle was vandalised by the hoodlums. A Channels Television reporter, Yemi Kosoko, and his cameraman, John Farinola, also escaped attack. Journalists converged on the state headquarters of the police in protest. Police chief Emmanuel Oladipo Ayeni said: “Information reached my office at about 11am that there was a suicide bombing at Christ Chosen Church of God (CCCD). I immediately led a team of my men to the scene for rescue operation. “On reaching there, we saw no death, although the entire church building collapsed. We evacuated the injured worshippers, 42 of them, to the hospital. We took 36 injured victims to Bingham University teaching Hospital (BUTH) and we took six others to the Plateau Specialist Hospital. “There were two deaths around the premises and we are yet to ascertain what killed them. I hope investigation will reveal soon what caused their death, but I can confidently tell you that the explosion did not kill anyone apart from the suicide bomber.” When asked why the security agencies’ strategies to forestall another suicide bombing in Jos could not stop the attack, Ayeni said: “Look my friend, it is difficult for security agencies to checkmate a suicide bombing attack because the attackers have already committed their lives to death and they can do any-

•A blood stained victim after the treatment

thing to succeed. This particular attack could not be prevented because the church is located by the road side, which made it impossible for the church to block the road completely. “This is not to say there was leakage in the security strategies we adopted after the last two suicide bombings; our strategies are fool-proof, but now that they have done this, we will know what to do next.” “But I will confirm to you that this attack is a failed one because it did not result in death of any of the worshippers; there were only injuries and that shows our strategies are working. This kind of attack is a new challenge and we will tackle it as it comes,” said Ayeni. On the allegation that the suicide bomber’s vehicle was led by a Hilux belonging to STF, the police commissioner said: “I also heard of this same rumour, no one can say the rumour is true or false, but investigation will confirm it.

•Another victim on hospital bed

•Another victim at the hospital

The security agencies have already swung into action and the result surrounding this attack will be made public soon. The Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis confirmed the attack but was silent on the allegation against it men. The STF said the attack by hoodlums following the suicide bombing led to the death of four motorcycle riders.


STF spokesman, Captain Markus Mdahyelya, who signed the statement, said: “About four cyclists were killed and their motorcycles burnt along Rukuba road close to the scene of attack.” The state government spoke of its pain whenever its citizens are subjected to pains of this nature. Commissioner for Information Yiljap Abraham, said: “Government is again

thrown into grief. This is so painful because the Plateau State government, in collaboration with the Federal Government, has put in place all that is needed to prevent bloodshed in this state. “This is another challenge and I’m sure the security will do their best to rise up to the challenges. Yiljap expressed the government sympathy with victims of the attack.

Bombings: Senate raises the alarm over loss of innocent lives HE Senate yesterday expressed displeasure over the rate innocent lives are being wasted in the country through indiscriminate bombings. Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, who raised the alarm, said it was appalling to observe how mass murder has gradually become the order of the day in the country. The lawmaker in a statement yesterday noted that the killing of innocent worshippers at a church in Jos, Plateau State


when Nigerians are in a mournful mood over the loss of over 160 lives in the Dana airline plane crash, is the height of insensitive to human emotions. He described yesterday’s attack on worshippers as a crime against humanity and the sublime essence of God. He said: “No religious or moral teachings can justify hate and a culture of violence as standard for human behaviour. “It is appalling to see how mass murder has become the order of the day in our

country. “Over time, we have narrowed these criminal activities to the dreaded Boko Haram sect. “But time has come when we need to expand our searchlight and come up with fresher theories. “Nigeria must move on and no matter what the grievances of these people are, they need to exercise self restraint. “I believe that resolving those grievances can only happen when Nigeria is one united

country. “The serial killing of innocent worshippers is an action tantamount to crime against humanity and the sublime essence of the Most High God. “No religion or moral teaching condones hate and a culture of violence as a standard for human behaviour.” He expressed condolences to the families of those involved in the attack. He added that “only God can console the hearts of such families.”


WHO SAID WHAT ‘When an issue begs for determination, the judge must carefully consider the precedents presented and ensure that the essence of the principles previously established is unmistakably reflected within the contest of the current case. The process of differentiation must be clearly and logically explained in our judgment.’ VOL 7 NO 2,153



MID the cacophony, the ideological buntings and the poses and the semblances of rage, we can all agree about one thing on the UNILAG or MAULAG naming controversy: Moshood Kashimawo Abiola deserves to be honoured. We all agree he was no ordinary man, unlike the death wish of the Owu Chief when he was President. He atrophied his name from presidential conversations like some interpret the epitaph the poet John Keats wrote in vain modesty about himself: “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.” Keats saw water as immortal, and so his memory. Abiola already is immortal. If we don’t give him a holiday, or an Eagle Square or a UNILAG, Abiola is like what lawyer and statesman E.M. Stanton uttered at the funeral of Abraham Lincoln: “Now, he belongs to the ages.” And as the controversy has shown, Abiola is now “a climate of opinions,” apology to another poet, W.H. Auden, on Sigmund Freud. So, is it wrong to name a university, any university, after M.K.O. Abiola? I disagree in principle with the naysayers. As ThisDay publisher Nduka Obaigbena argued in his comet of a column at the back of his newspaper that Abiola contributed hugely to education. He gave many scholarships, rebuilt schools, among other laudable gestures. Other columnists have written furiously on this topic, and a few with logical conclusions. But the specious arguments have been that other universities, especially in the United States, were named after persons. Idowu Akinlotan argued yesterday that they were private universities, which knocks out the idea of a presidential intervention. But that is only a part of the argument. Whether it was Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Cornel, Duke or Princeton, the personalities after whom the schools were named did great things for their communities. But Duke did not die for his country. Harvard was a great philanthropist; he did not change the course of American history. They were local heroes. Abiola was a national icon and, after his death, a national hero. Abiola was a great man of education, but that was not the limit of his work. So, while it was in order that UNILAG could be named after Abiola, it can only come as a limited endorsement. Abiola was a great pillar of sports, and that is why many have suggested naming a stadium after him. He was a great employer and businessman, not only for himself but also for many. He helped many people start up businesses with his generous mentorship and funding. He was an entrepreneur of entrepreneurs. He also built bridges across ethnic groups: North and South, East and West, Igbo, Hausa, Fulani, Afemai, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Efik,


•The late Abiola

‘If he thought it was a noble thing, he did the right thing in a wrong way. Why not follow the rule of law? If he introduced it for debate, maybe he would have succumbed to wise counsel. Well, if the Justice Ayo Salami’s matter and others are not in the mould of the rule of law, why not Abiola matter? Jonathan ended up alienating the Yorubas he badly wanted clasped to his bosom’

Ibibio, etc. In fact, during the military era, he personally intervened in the melee over the battle of the Sultanate by helping to avert conflagration in the streets of Sokoto. As his employee in The Concord, I was witness to his ethnic open-mindedness as he had a long array of editors who were not Yoruba, like Nsikak Essien, Ben Oyeachonam, Lewis Obi, Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Yakubu Mohammed, Dimgba Igwe. He had Ajuluchukwu as his Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief as well as Stanley Egbochukwu as his Deputy Managing Director at another time. Tom Borha, an Edo, was his Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Chairman Editorial Board. All of this was obvious about Abiola before the June 12, 1993 rumbles. He died in the battle for democracy. He was asked by world

leaders, including American leaders and diplomats like Kofi Annan, to give up his mandate. He would not. It was his death that preceded the democracy we enjoy today despite its imperfections. This is the point that Obaigbena dodged in his tendentious column marked, in spite of its brilliance, with either a whiff of mischief or disingenuous flurry. President Goodluck Jonathan failed in rewarding Abiola appropriately. I say naming the university after Abiola would have been right, not as a presidential decision but as a proposal from the university itself, including its alumni. It would have gone through the National Assembly and benefited from the rigour of debate. But the President followed the path of Ibrahim Babangida, a dictator, who named the Univer-

sity of Ife after Awolowo. This was a cynical move, knowing he tormented Awo in his lifetime. Jonathan lives and heads a democratic dispensation. He took a decision that was enshrined in law and changed it by fiat. After the uproar, his spokesmen said it was final. After more uproar, he took the bill to the National Assembly. Should that not have been the first step? So, is the bill sent to the lawmakers for rubberstamp or for debate? If something is final, you don’t subject it to a debate. That is why some have argued that the renaming was as a sup to the Yorubas. If the Yorubas are angry with Jonathan, let us give UNILAG, their school, over to Abiola, some of his advisers might have thought. Maybe Yorubas would change their minds about the President. After all, months earlier, he had harassed them with soldiers and shut down their city. If that is in Jonathan’s mind, it backfired. If he thought it was a noble thing, he did the right thing in a wrong way. Why not follow the rule of law? If he introduced it for debate, maybe he would have succumbed to wise counsel. Well, if the Justice Ayo Salami’s matter and others are not in the mould of the rule of law, why not Abiola matter? Jonathan ended up alienating the Yorubas he badly wanted clasped to his bosom. Naming a stadium after him does not cover his legacy, though acceptable. Eagle Square is an all-Nigerian institution; so, it fits the bill. But a holiday, such as that on Martin Luther King, is the best in my view. It affects his ultimate legacy and it will affect all because Abiola, in life and death, affected all. A monument in Abuja will work. U.S. presidents have colleges named after them, especially the three great ones – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklyn Delano Roosevelt (FDR). The George Washington University was renamed from Columbia University. Three universities are named after Lincoln, and a few after FDR. But they were not federal decisions. Most of them were private and local decisions. The federal decisions were monuments in Washington D.C. for Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Jefferson, etc. President Jefferson established the University of Virginia, but it has not been named after him. So, naming a university should be a decision from those who live in that school, and they can suggest it. Imposing it in the military style is unbecoming of a democratic era. Let us give Abiola a holiday or build a monument for him in Abuja, which we can applaud. In the words of the author of Plgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan: “There is a stately palace before him (Abiola); the name is (sic) beautiful.”


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above


IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009& 2010 (D.A.M.E)

The name is beautiful

Germany’s WWII remorse and Nigerian parallel

NIGERIA NEEDS URGENT HEALING– Gombe Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo


...and urgent deliverance from the SPIRIT OF TERRORISM


N an effort to bring some form of closure to the atrocities committed by German troops during World War II in the two Czech villages of Lidice and Lezaky, German president, Joachim Gauck, has written an official letter of apology to his Czech counterpart, Vaclav Klaus. In 1942, Czech partisans had attacked a top Nazi official, Reinhard Heydrich, fatally wounding him. Heydrich was one of the architects of the holocaust and a ranking official during the occupation in the Bohemia and Moravia protectorate where the atrocities took place. He died a few days later of his wounds. In retaliation, German troops levelled the two Czech villages and in the process detaining, killing or hauling into concentration camps more than 15,000 Czech nationals. The Gauck letter of apology comes a few days before the 70th anniversary of the massacres. The massacres, anniversary and apology would seem far removed from Nigeria. In reality, however, they bear resemblance, if not parallel, to a number of atrocities Nigerian authorities have sanctioned or even inspired in some parts of the country. Un-

fortunately no closure of any type has been attempted here. Instead, in spite of various warnings from organisations like Amnesty International, atrocities have continued, and violence has continued to precipitate more violence. Take Boko Haram, for instance. Would the sect, which has now become a veritable nightmare to all, have become violent or terrorist had security agencies responded more intelligently to the sect’s provocations? What if the sect’s leader, 39year-old Mohammed Yusuf, had not been extrajudicially murdered by security agents in 2009? Germany has not only officially apologised to Czech Republic, it has also denounced the methods and goals of Nazism, and greatly deplored the atrocities committed by German troops during the war. On the contrary, Nigerian authorities have refused to condemn the atrocities committed by security agents in Odi town in Bayelsa State in November 1999 during the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo government. The same government even went ahead to repeat the reprehensible act in October 2001 in Zaki Biam, Benue State in retaliation for murdered security agents. In fact similar atrocities are being carried out

in other places, for example, against the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in parts of the Southeast. The government has not only failed to realise that it is slowly but steadily radicalising dissent, it has also been unable to offer the country the required security paradigm needed to foster stability. Rather than dismiss Amnesty International reports of extrajudicial killings in Nigeria, and continue to denounce as political virtually every manifestation of dissent and opposition, it is perhaps time the government recognised that using colonial tactics against dissent in independent and democratic Nigeria cannot but be counterproductive. The seething Boko Haram revolt in the northern part of Nigeria illustrates the danger inherent in high-handed and unintelligent security operations. The National Assembly must revisit some of these atrocities and make legislation regulating internal security operations. If we do not put on our thinking caps quickly, not only will the country’s stability be gravely undermined, even our cherished democracy will be imperilled.

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

The Nation June 01, 2012  

The Nation June 01, 2012

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