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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

NNPC pipeline explodes in Ibadan

•Vandals damage facilities

How Shell, ENI ‘grabbed’ oil block


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•Report details Malabu Oil mess

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VOL. 8, NO. 2519 MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2013




Dignitaries honour Tinubu’s mum •Jonathan leads rain of tributes By Augustine Avwode, Joseph Jibueze and Tajudeen Adebanjo


UNDAYS are usually calm in Alausa — the seat of the government of Lagos State. Low traffic as well as shut offices. But yesterday was an extra-ordinary Sunday. It was the funeral of the mother of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Alhaja Abibatu Asabi Mogaji died at her Alausa home on Saturday evening, aged 96. She would have been 97 in October. Since the news broke, all routes to the home have been busy, as dignitaries pay their last respects to the President-General, Associa- •Speaker Tambuwal (second from left), Asiwaju Tinubu (third right), Senator Ajimobi (left), Senator Amosun (second right), Senator tion of Nigerian Market Tinubu (right) and Hon. Gbajabiamila (behind Tambuwal)...yesterday SEE ALSO PAGES 6,7,9,10 & 11 PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

Continued on page 4

•The late Alhaja Mogaji

Amaechi warns Jang: don’t impersonate NGF chair Plateau governor insists controversial meeting will hold

N •Amaechi

IGERIA Governors Forum (NGF) Chairman Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi yesterday warned Governor Jonah Jang to stop parading himself as the forum’s leader. He said Jang’s assumption of NGF chairmanship is subjudice to the ongoing court process instituted by La-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

gos State Governor Babatunde Fashola against the usurpation of the NGF leadership by the Plateau State governor. Jang has called a meeting of governors for today. Amaechi said there would be no meeting. But, he urged

governors to attend a session with President Goodluck Jonathan scheduled to hold at 9pm at the Aso Rock Villa. Amaechi, in a statement made available to reporters in Abuja, urged Jang to act within the “confines of decorum.” “On Saturday June 15 and Sunday

June 16, reports in the media credited to my brother governor, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, announced that he has called for a Nigeria Governors’ Forum meeting. “Ordinarily, I would have ignored these reports as I do not imagine that as governors who hold our people’s Continued on page 4





How Shell,

• Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left), Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI) Ms. Evelyn Oputu and the Executive Director, Business Development Mr. Waheed Olagunju reading a piece in the bank's newsletter when the bank’s management visited the Governor's Office in Ibadan... at the weekend.

•Managing Director SIBS international, Mr. Pedro Hipolito (second right) and Marketing Division Manager Mr. Hugo Araujo (right), Managing Director, Intermarc Consulting, Mr. Adeyinka Adeyemi (left) and his wife Funmi, at the card, ATM and Mobile Expo e-Business Award and Dinnner in Lagos. Photo: Solomon Adeola

•From left: Executive Director, British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) Mr Gbenga Ibikunle, Chief of Staff to the Chairman, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State Mr. Emmanuel Uzeh and Village Head, Ekpeyong Ufum Community Chief Okoronkwo Umoh Akaneha, during the commissioning of BATNF’s Palm Oil Processing Cottage in Ekpenyong Ufum Community, .

•Deputy Director, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Musa Jimoh (middle) presenting the Platinum Sponsorship Award to Director, Acceptance Development, West Africa, MasterCard Kamil Olufowobi (right), at the Award Dinner of the 13th edition of Card, ATM & Mobile Expo Africa in Lagos. With them is Group Head Marketing, Intermarc Consulting Ann Agbokhan.

Court documents shed light on the manoeuvrings of Shell and ENI to win a huge Nigerian oil block and on the dilemmas of their industry, reports The Economist


EALS for oilfields can be as opaque as the stuff that is pumped from them. But when partners fall out and go to court, light is sometimes shed on the bargaining process—and what it exposes is not always pretty. That is certainly true in the tangled case of OPL245, a massive Nigerian offshore block with as much as 9 billion barrels of oil—enough to keep all of Africa supplied for seven years. After years of legal tussles, in 2011 Shell, in partnership with ENI of Italy, paid a total of $1.3 billion for the block. The Nigerian government acted as a conduit for directing most of that money to the block’s original owner, a shadowy local company called Malabu Oil and Gas. Two middlemen hired by Malabu, one Nigerian, one Azerbaijani, then sued the firm separately in London—in the High Court and in an arbitration tribunal, respectively—claiming unpaid fees for brokering the deal. The resulting testimony and filings make fascinating reading for anyone interested in the uses and abuses of anonymous shell companies, the dilemmas that oil firms face when operating in ill-governed countries and the tactics they feel compelled to employ to obfuscate their dealings with corrupt bigwigs. They also demonstrate the importance of the efforts the G8 countries will pledge to make, at their summit next week, to put a stop to hidden company ownership and to make energy and mining companies disclose more about the payments they make to win concessions. On June 12th the European Parliament voted to make EU-based resources companies disclose all payments of at least •100,000 ($130,000) on any project. The saga of block OPL245 began in 1998 when Nigeria’s then petroleum minister, Dan Etete, awarded it to Malabu, which had been established just days before and had no employees or assets. The price was a “signature bonus” of $20m (of which Malabu only ever paid $2m). The firm intended to bring in Shell as a 40% partner, but in 1999 a new government took power and two years later it cried foul and cancelled the deal. The block was put out to bid and Shell won the right to operate it, in a production-sharing contract with the national petroleum company, subject to payment of an enlarged signature bonus of $210m. Shell did not immediately pay this, for reasons it declines to explain, but began spending heavily on exploration in the block. Malabu then sued the government. After much legal wrangling, they reached a deal in 2006 that reinstated the firm as the block’s owner. This caught Shell unawares, even though it had conducted extensive due diligence and had a keen understanding of the Nigerian operating climate thanks to its long and often bumpy history in the country. It responded by launching various legal actions,

• Etete in his days as petroleum minister

including taking the government to the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. Malabu ploughed on, hiring Ednan Agaev, a former Soviet diplomat, to find other investors. Rosneft of Russia and Total of France, among others, showed interest but were put off by Malabu’s disputes with Shell and the government. Things moved forward again when Emeka Obi, a Nigerian subcontracted by Mr Agaev, brought in ENI (which already owned a nearby oil block). After further toing and froing—and no end of meetings in swanky European hotels—ENI and Shell agreed in 2011 to pay $1.3 billion for the block. Malabu gave up its rights to OPL245 and Shell dropped its legal actions (see timeline). The deal was apparently split into two transactions. Shell and ENI paid $1.3 billion to the Nigerian government. Then, once Malabu had signed away its rights to the block, the government clipped off its $210m unpaid signature bonus and transferred just under $1.1 billion to Malabu. Tom Mayne of Global Witness, an NGO, has followed the case closely; he believes things were structured this way so that Shell and ENI could obscure their deal with Malabu by inserting a layer between them. Mr Agaev, Malabu’s former fixer, lends weight to this interpretation. It was, he says, structured to be a “safe-sex transaction”, with the government acting as a “condom” between the buyers and seller. It is not hard to see why the oil giants would want to avoid being seen to be dealing directly with Malabu, a shell company with tainted provenance. Its ultimate beneficial owner is widely believed to be Mr Etete, the very minister who had awarded it the block while serving under Sani Abacha, the late, staggeringly corrupt dictator. In 2007 Mr Etete was found guilty of money-laundering by a French court. His conviction was upheld in 2009. The trial centred on bribes he had allegedly demanded from foreign investors while in government. He used these to buy, among other things, a French mansion and about •1m-worth of Art Deco furniture, according to French court documents. Then in 2011 Mr Obi, one of the middlemen in the final deal with Shell and ENI, took his claim for unpaid fees to the High Court in London, calling on Mr Etete to give testimony. For unclear reasons, he agreed to do so—




ENI ‘grabbed’ juicy oil block

Shell and ENI now each own half of an attractive oil block. To get it, however, they have had to strike a deal that brings with it reputational and legal risks. They might conceivably face action under their home countries’ anticorruption laws, if enforcers reject their claim to have dealt only with the Nigerian government, not Malabu

but the hearings had to be moved briefly to Paris so that Mr Etete could give evidence, because he had been barred from Britain for failing to disclose his French conviction on entering the country. Mr Etete claims he has never been more than a consultant to Malabu. If so, he is unusually hands-on. He was the company’s main negotiator and its representative in the High Court, where he admitted to being the sole signatory on its bank accounts. Indeed, there is no evidence of anyone else making decisions for Malabu. When asked in court about others purportedly linked to the company and its record-keeping, Malabu’s company secretary, Rasky Gbinigie (who describes Mr Etete as a “family friend”), insisted that he had lost the firm’s copy of the register of shareholders and all minutes of meetings, that there was no written correspondence between him, the directors and the shareholders, and that he had no documents to verify who put up the company’s original share capital.

A not-so-secret alias Last year Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) looked into Malabu after Mohammed Abacha, a son of the former dictator, complained that he had been a founding shareholder but had been illegally cut out. In an interim report later in the year, the commission said that one Kweku Amafegha “stood in” as a nominee director for Mr Etete. In the High Court’s hearing in Paris Mr Etete admitted that he had himself used the surname Amafegha to open accounts

in the past. It was, he said, an alias that “I have always used when I go out for secret missions internationally.” In the same hearing Mr Etete said of OPL245: “I put my blood, I put my life into this oil block”—quite a commitment for a mere consultant. Yet, when asked directly if he was its owner through Malabu, he denied it. When presented with transcripts of a recording in which he supposedly claimed that “It is my block”, he dismissed the transcripts as inaccurate. Shell and ENI did not respond to The Economist’s questions about whom they believed to be the beneficial owner of Malabu. Whether or not they suspected it to be Mr Etete, their dealings with him were extensive. He met ENI executives repeatedly. High Court testimony indicated that Shell officials had met him as recently as December 2009, after his moneylaundering conviction was upheld. In an e-mail that came out in court, a Shell man talked of having had lunch and “lots of iced champagne” with Mr Etete, who had requested figures from Shell on what it was willing to pay Malabu for the block. ENI says it considered cutting a deal with Malabu directly, until it emerged that the firm might not have full ownership of the oil block because of “existing disputes”, including with Mr Abacha. Mr Obi testified that Shell broke off direct talks with Mr Etete for the same reason, and because he was “an impossible person to deal with”. But the oil giants were clearly reluctant to throw in the towel. Shell was loth to walk away from a block

in which it had already invested tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. (The company will not say how much.) ENI was attracted by the size of the block, the prospect of accompanying tax holidays and a waiver of the usual requirement that production revenues be shared with the national oil company. Shell and ENI reject the suggestion that their joint purchase was a thinly disguised transaction with a dodgy brass-plate company. Shell says it made payments to the Nigerian government only and that it has acted at all times in accordance with Nigerian law. It previously said it had “not acted in any way that is outside normal global industry practice”. ENI says its payments to the government “were made in a transparent manner through an escrow arrangement with a major international bank”. That bank was JPMorgan Chase. A Lebanese bank had earlier declined to handle the payments, it emerged in court. The companies’ claim that they bought the block from the state, not Malabu, is disingenuous, says Mr Mayne of Global Witness. It is also contradicted by Nigeria’s attorneygeneral, Mohammed Bello Adoke, who told a parliamentary committee last July that the companies “agreed to pay Malabu”, with the government acting as an “obligor” and “facilitator.” The attorney-general was unusually active in helping the deal along. He held meetings with Shell, ENI and Malabu, helped to structure the final agreement and even advised on payments to middlemen, according to Mr Obi. In Nigeria it is highly unusual for an attorney-general to be so involved in a big oil deal. The lead is typically taken by the petroleum ministry, which in this case was said to be livid at being sidelined—particularly when Mr Adoke requested that it extend the deadline it had given Malabu to pay its long-owed signature bonus. Mr Adoke, it was suggested in the High Court, had been lawyer to none other than Mr Etete before serving in government. (Mr Adoke could not be reached for comment.)

Where did the money go? The attorney-general has rejected as “without basis” claims in the Nigerian press that much of the money the government paid to Malabu in the 2011 deal was “round-tripped” back to bank accounts controlled by public officials. But where that

money did end up is shrouded in mystery. Of the $1.1 billion, $800m was paid in two tranches into Malabu accounts. This was then transferred to five Nigerian companies that appear to be shells. One of these, Rocky Top Resources, received $336.5m, some of which seems to have been passed on to unknown “various persons”, according to the EFCC’s report. Some $60m went to an account controlled by Mr Etete, who has said that he received $250m in total for his role in the deal. He said in court that “Malabu shareholders decided to spend their money the way they deemed fit” and that he is investing on their behalf. Among the listed owners of three of the recipient companies is Abubakar Aliyu, who is reported to have close business ties to a senior politician, Diepreiye Alamiesegha, the former governor of Bayelsa state. Mr Alamiesegha’s skills in escapology would impress Houdini. Detained in Britain on money-laundering charges in 2005, he jumped bail. After returning to Nigeria, he was sentenced in 2007 to two years for each of six corruption-related charges, though he served only a few hours in prison. In March 2013 he received a controversial pardon from Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president. Local press reports have made unsubstantiated allegations linking both the president and Mr Alamiesegha to the Malabu deal. The EFCC’s report states: “Investigations conducted so far reveal a cloudy scene associated with fraudulent dealings. A prima facie case of conspiracy, breach of trust, theft anmd (sic) money laundering can be established against some real and artificial persons.” Officially, the EFCC’s investigation is still open, but a source familiar with it says that its sleuths have been discouraged by higher-ups from moving forward. However, other countries’ fraudbusters have taken an interest. At least one of the parties involved in the oil-block sale has been contacted by America’s Department of Justice. As for the legal actions brought in London against Malabu by the middlemen, the High Court is expected to rule soon on Mr Obi’s claim for $200m. Mr Agaev’s separate arbitration case, in which he sought payment of a $65.5m “success fee”, was recently settled behind closed doors. Shell and ENI now each own half of an attractive oil block. To get it, however, they have had to strike a deal that brings with it reputational and legal risks. They might conceivably face action under their home countries’ anti-corruption laws, if enforcers reject their claim to have dealt only with the Nigerian government, not Malabu. Shell “would obviously have preferred to secure OPL245 without going within a million miles of Malabu and Etete,” says someone who was involved in the negotiations.

Ethical dilemmas

The saga is a striking example of an ethical dilemma that is growing more acute for international oil companies. They are desperate to replace their shrinking reserves with new finds, but many of the most attractive fields are in unstable or poorly governed places. Worse, the industry has to contend with increased resource nationalism in oil-producing countries, making it harder for outsiders to secure reserves, and with greater competition from stateowned firms in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, which may not have to operate to the same ethical standards.

As a result, firms that refuse to touch any deal with the slightest whiff of impropriety risk eventually going out of business, says Peter Hughes, an energy consultant and former BP executive. They may feel that the best they can do, short of walking away, is to put as much distance as possible between them and the source of the bad smell, as Shell and ENI apparently tried to do with their two-part transaction. How arm’s-length is arm’s-length enough? That depends on the company’s “threshold of ambiguity”, says Cory Harvey of Control Risks, which helps companies to manage political and reputational risk. This will vary from company to company and will be perceived differently by management, regulators and NGOs. Ms Harvey has seen oil-industry clients walk away from deals because of concerns about the reputation of, or lack of reliable information on, a seller or local partner. But energy transactions in difficult places can be “spectacularly complex”, she says, making it hard to gauge the acceptable level of risk. Nigeria is “arguably the most complex environment of all”. Mr Hughes argues that when foreign companies turn a blind eye to questionable aspects of a deal, it can sometimes benefit developing countries with natural resources. The publicly traded oil majors are, on balance, a force for good, raising overall standards of behaviour by trying to operate as cleanly as possible in most circumstances, he says; better that than leaving the field to less scrupulous operators. Ethically speaking, the industry “has to be viewed in relative, not absolutist, terms,” he argues. Mr Hughes points out that Shell periodically talks of scaling back its Nigerian operations, which he believes to be “part of a politicalrisk management strategy” to exert pressure on the government to act more cleanly and predictably. Global Witness prefers to see the OPL245 affair as “a lesson in corruption” that demonstrates how important it is for rich-world governments to press on with transparency initiatives, on two fronts. The first front concerns payments to governments. In the past year America and the EU have begun to require resources firms listed there, and large unlisted firms in the EU, to report, project-byproject, their payments to governments. Had this been in force at the time, it would have picked up the $1.3 billion transaction with Nigeria. This would have prompted public scrutiny of the deal and the subsequent money flows through Malabu, which in the end came to light only because the two middlemen decided to sue. Shell says it favours greater transparency, if applied globally. It opposes the existing project-by-project initiatives because they omit companies not listed in America or Europe, thereby handing them a competitive advantage. The second front for improving transparency concerns the use of murky corporate vehicles. Hopes are growing that the G8, which meets next week with Britain’s David Cameron in the chair, will take steps towards ending the use of anonymous shell companies. Had corporate registries been collecting, and making publicly available, information on beneficial owners back in 1998, the identity of Malabu’s owners might have been clear from the start. And it would have been much more difficult to move the proceeds of the sale to Shell and ENI into the corporate equivalent of a black hole, seemingly out of the reach even of Nigeria’s anticorruption commission.




Amaechi warns Jang: don’t impersonate NGF chair

Continued from page 1

mandate through the democratic process of free and fair elections, we would do anything to impugn our integrity. “However, as chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, elected by my colleagues to safeguard their integrity and that of the forum, it has become imperative for me to request my brother Governor Jang to remain within the confines of decorum and cease to impersonate me and to stop parading himself as NGF chairman. “There is only one chairman of the forum, duly elected by a vote tally of 19: 16 on Thursday, May 23, 2013. “For the avoidance of doubt, I as chairman of the NGF have not called for any Governors’ Forum meeting for Monday, June 17, 2013. “The only meeting scheduled for Monday June 17 is a meeting of all governors with His

Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan scheduled to hold at 9pm at Aso Rock Villa. All governors should please ensure attendance at this meeting with Mr. President. “I wish to reassure my brother governors that this storm shall pass and we all will be reunited as one family committed to our nation’s unity and supporting Mr. President in his vision for a Nigeria that safeguards the rights of all its citizens to good governance and democratic norms. “Governor Jang is my brother and friend and I habour no ill feelings towards him, but it is important that he stops this impersonation, as it could threaten all the good work we all have done together. “May I remind Governor Jang that there is a legal action that has been instituted against him by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State from parading himself as the chair-

man of NGF. “As leaders elected by our people, Nigerians are closely watching us. We must comport ourselves according to the dictates and principles of democratic and lawful practices and norms.” But indications emerged yesterday that the 16 governors loyal to Jang are plotting to make the President “recognise” the Plateau State Governor as the NGF chairman at the session. According to sources, one of the secret agenda behind the session with the governors is to cut Amaechi to size.” A source privy to the plot said: “Their plan is that after discussing some national issues with the governors, the pro-Jang supporters will push for response from their defeated leader as NGF chairman. “The President will thereafter tacitly ask Jang to respond. And since the meeting is hold-

ing within the confines of the Presidential Villa, it will be difficult for any of them to raise a voice against Jonathan. “Jang is expected to present a make-belief resolution of the NGF on the stalemate over the monthly revenue allocation at last Thursday’s meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee(FACC) in Abuja.” It was also learnt that some agencies have been mandated to provide adequate security for a meeting of the Jang faction fixed for today in Abuja. “Some forces in government are mounting pressure on most of the 23 PDP governors to attend Jang’s meeting. They are desperate to increase the number from 16 to 20 to show that Jang is in charge,” another source said. Last night, there were indications that some governors might boycott or walk out of Continued on page 5

Jonathan urges governors to okay capital punishment


IGERIA cannot run away from capital punishment to ensure discipline and better living, President Goodluck Jonathan declared yesterday. He spoke at the Father’s Day service at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja. The President said he had been urging governors to sign the law for capital punishment in their states. He said: “If in the case of capital punishment, the governors will sign - even governors sometimes find it difficult to sign - I have been telling the governors that they must sign because that is the law. The work we are doing has a very sweet part and a very ugly part and we must perform both. No matter how painful it is, it is part of their responsibilities.” While urging fathers at home to endeavour to be role mod-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

els to their children, the President insisted that discipline in the families should not be relegated to the background. “Let me wish all of us happy Father’s Day. Today is Father’s Day and that is why we are here to celebrate. Who is a father? If we look through all the references that we have today with the father in the Bible, you will see that we expect a father to show love. The father is the breadwinner of the family, to take care of the mother and the children, to provide food for them and take care of their education. We expect fathers to be role models where children will want to be like their fathers. “I want to urge all of us who are fathers to discipline our chilContinued on page 5

Dignitaries pay last respects to Tinubu’s mum Continued from page 1

Men and Women (the Iyaloja of Lagos and the Iyaloja General). The presence of a large detachment of policemen and men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in their combat-gears, officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), men of the state Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), officers of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI Brigade), among others, bore witness to the power of the loss. The late Alhaja Mogaji’s influence explains the attention her burial received. Only recently, the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, during its 50th anniversary, honoured her, alongside former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, with a doctorate degree. At about 8.45am, Asiwaju Tinubu, in company of his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, family members and associates, left his Bourdilion Road, Ikoyi, home in a convoy to her late mother’s residence in Alausa. There, he met a huge crowd and praying sympathisers. Among guests at the home were Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi. Moslem faithful gathered in the packed premises, praying for the repose of the deceased’s soul. In the room where the late Alhaja Mogaji was laid in-state in a white casket, the former governor, his wife and other family members gathered, tears dropping from their eyes as the reality of their mother’s death stared at them. ACN National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande joined them, expressing his condolences and urging the family to be strong. There were pushing and shoving, but security agents did their utmost to ensure prayers were done without much distractions. The full effect of the crowd was felt as the body, at exactly 9.38 am, was driven to the Central Mosque in Lagos. It was one of the longest convoys ever witnessed in the city. The Third Mainland Bridge Continued on page 5

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NEWS Jonathan urges governors to okay capital punishment Continued from page 4 •President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) testing a guitar presented to him by the 2013 Father’s Day Organising Committee at the Aso Villa chapel in Abuja …yesterday

Amaechi warns Jang: don’t impersonate NGF chair Continued from page 4

the session with the President if any attempt is made to confer legitimacy on Jang at the Monday session. A source added: “I do not think it will be that easy for the President to recognise Jang as NGF chairman. This will open a new dimension to the NGF crisis. “Some governors might walk out if Jang is allowed to speak for the NGF at the meeting in the Villa.


“Those who are loyal to Amaechi have their own plan to curtail any plot to foist Jang on NGF members. It will be an interesting session.”The Director-General of Jang’s factional Secretariat of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Mr. Osaro Onaiwu last night said there is no going back on a meeting of the Forum convened by Governor Jang. He said the meeting was summoned to discuss the declining statutory monthly allo-

cation to states by the Federation Account Allocation Committee( FAAC). Onaiwu, who spoke with our correspondent, said the meeting would hold by 6pm on Monday (today) before the governors hold another session with President Goodluck Jonathan by 9pm. He said: “This meeting will go on as scheduled; it is not a political session; we are not out for sentiments. The meeting will start by 6pm.

“The representatives of states walked out of the FAAC meeting last Thursday and whether you are NGF chairman or a governor, there is no way you will not be concerned.” On Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s position that Jang has no authority to convene the meeting, Onaiwu added: “Why can’t he convene his own meeting if he feels strongly about the session initiated by Governor Jang?”

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

date for the House of Assembly rerun election in Oguta council area. The rampaging youths in the campaign train of Eugene Dibiagwu of the PDP, intercepted Okorocha’s convoy and barricaded the road - in defiance of threats

by security operatives attached to the governor’s convoy. On April 19, a driver rammed his car into Okorocha’s vehicle on Orlu-Owerri Road. The governor, who sustained a head injury in the collision, was flown abroad for treatment.

dren. No matter what you do, even if you show love and provide the needs of the family, if you don’t discipline your children, it is not good.” “Like my late father, when we were young, anytime we committed an offence and we heard his voice, we would start crying. You would not wait to see him because you knew what would happen to you.” “These days, because of modern life, discipline is almost gone. Discipline can be in various forms. In the states, it could be admonition. Magistrates can just admonish and allow him to go. From admonition to various forms of punishments, it could be imprisonment. The extreme is capital punishment. “So for us as parents, it is important for us to let our children constantly know that it is good to take the right path. It is good for them to know that they must be upright.” He said. In his sermon entitled ‘Fathers’ Responsibility’, President of Church of Christ in Nigeria, Rev. Soja Bewarang, said those working with the President must refrain from stealing public funds and must be honest if Nigeria must move forward. He said: “If this country must survive, all men working under the President must practice honesty and they must not steal. He (the President) cannot

fight corruption when you are not supporting him. He may try, but he cannot be everywhere. You are his representatives, so you must practice honesty and you must not steal.” Nigerians, he said, should pray for good fathers like Enoch, Joshua, Abraham, and those who will walk with God like Noah. Among those who attended the service were Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) and Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife. Also there were Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih; some members of the Federal Executive Council; Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. David Paradang; Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ade Abolurin; and some members of the National Assembly. Others were the Ambassador of Ireland in Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Fhearghail; the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Uriel Palti; former House Leader, Tunde Akogun; Rep Ndidi Elumelu; and some Nollywood stars. The organisers presented gifts of a guitar and a mobile telephone handset to the President to commemorate the day while other dignitaries also went home with different gifts.

Anxiety as youths attack Imo Governor Okorocha’s convoy

ESS than two months after a driver collided with his car on Orlu-Owerri Road, Governor Rochas Okorocha’s convoy was yesterday attacked by some youths in Awa community, Oguta Local Government Area.

The youths were protesting against an outrider in the governor’s convoy, who reportedly knocked down another cyclist in the campaign train of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candi-

According to an eye-witness account, the governor was on a project tour of Oguta Local Government Area when his convoy ran into the campaign train of the PDP flagbearer yesterday. The eye-witness claimed the governor’s outrider knocked

Fanfare as dignitaries pay last respects to Tinubu’s mum Continued from page 4

brought to mind a typical rushhour Monday morning. It was packed with hundreds of vehicles taking guests to the mosque for prayers before the final funeral rites. There was fanfare. Many policemen and LASTMA officials led the way on motorbikes. Sounds of sirens rent the air. At the mosque, a huge crowd had gathered. Lagos Island residents lined the road through CMS, Tinubu and Broad Street, among others, waving at the long line up of vehicles. At the mosque were House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Senator Isa Muhammed, former Lagos State Governor Lateef Jakande, former Supreme Court Justice George Oguntade, and ThisDay Publisher Prince Nduka Obaigbena, among others. The session lasted less than 30 minutes. Tinubu, dressed in a white agbada and a dark sunshade, waved at the ecstatic crowd as he stepped out of the mosque with the dignitaries. The Osolu of Oposolu Kingdom, Oba Abideen Adekambi, captured the sentiments of those weeping. He said: “We love you mama.” The late Alhaja Mogaji was interred in accordance with Muslim rites at about 12:40pm at the Vaults and Gardens, behind the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ikoyi – the final resting place of the rich and powerful. Lagos banker Tayo Aderinokun, among others, was buried there.


down a cyclist and thereafter seized his radio. But another account alleged that Okorocha was on a mobilisation tour for the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Walter Uzonwanne, for the rerun election slated for next week.

Jonathan: Alhaja Mogaji defended the less-privileged

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday commiserated with Asiwaju Tinubu and his family on the death of Alhaja Mogaji. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President said the highly respected market leader, businesswoman, political activist and philanthropist will be long remembered and honoured in the country for championing the cause of market women and men and defending the interests of the poor and underprivileged in the society. “On behalf of himself, his family and the Federal Government, President Jonathan extends sincere condolences to Asiwaju It is a beautiful garden of bright flowers and lush green grass with narrow but clean walkways . The body was brought to the cemetery at exactly 12. 20 pm in a Mercedes Benz marked TOS 7 of the TOS Funerals. Leading the graveside prayers, the Chief Missioner of Lagos Central Mosque, Alhaji Mujitaba Giwa, who stood in for the Chief Imam, prayed for Allah to be merciful to the late market leader and grant her soul peaceful repose. Speaking in Yoruba, the cleric described the late Alhaja Mogaji as a good citizen who lived a good life and left good legacies behind. “We are gathered here to bid our mama goodbye. As an individual, she came into this world well, lived well and left well,” the cleric said. With Tinubu at the graveside were Tambuwal, Governors Amosun (Ogun), Ajimobi (Oyo), Aregbesola (Osun), Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Tinubu as Alhaja Abibat who passed on at the grand old age of 96 and is laid to rest in Lagos today (yesterday).” “The President joins Asiwaju Tinubu, his family, the people of Lagos and the many Nigerians whose lives were touched in positive ways by Alhaja Abibat’s activism over the years in mourning the late President-General of the Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men. “He also joins them in giving thanks to God Almighty for Alhaja Abibat’s long and very fulfilled life in the course of which she developed a great personal fol-

Dangote, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed and National Legal Adviser Dr Muiz Banire. Others are: Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, Lagos Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Secretary to Osun State Government (SSG) Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, former Minister of State for Defence Demola Seriki, former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Dele Alake, Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Yusuf Olaniyonu and Lagos ACN chieftain Cardinal James Odumbaku. Others include members of the Lagos State Executive Council, Local Government Council chairmen and representatives of traditional rulers, party chieftains, traders, youth groups and many other sympathisers. Immediately after the interment, the party headed for The Blue Roof, LTV 8, Alausa, Ikeja,

lowership and contributed immensely to communal, societal and national development. “President Jonathan believes that the highly revered and respected market leader, businesswoman political activist and philanthropist will be long remembered and honoured in Lagos and across the country for her indefatigable championship of the cause of market women and men as well as for her acclaimed persistence, well into old age, in defending the interests of the poor and underprivileged in the society. “He prays that God Almighty will grant Alhaja Abibat a well-deserved rest from her earthly labours.”

where a special prayer for the late Alhaja Mogaji was observed. The prayer, which lasted for about an hour, also featured two special lectures - one each in Yoruba and English languages. Alhaji Giwa, who delivered his lecture in Yoruba, said death is certain for all. He advised everybody to live in a way that will make departure a thing to be celebrated than what men and women would agonise over. He urged those present to strive to leave behind, whenever the last hour comes, good legacies and hope for good reward hereafter. “We would all die, but what would be our reward? “ Giwa asked. He pleaded with those left behind by the late Alhaja Mogaji to keep her legacies alive. The National Missioner of Ansar-udeen Society of Nigeria described death as a long process, which grows with man as he grows older every day. Death, he said, is the only thing that is certain in life, adding that money, power, connection and fame can-

not buy or delay death forever. It is for this reason that every living being must be prepared and live a life that will elicit commendation and not condemnation, said the cleric. Members of the Conference of Chairmen of Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, Lagos State (CONFERENCE 57) and their wives wore aso ebi. Itinerant drummers were everywhere entertaining the crowd and praise-singing some dignitaries. Two big portraits bearing the picture of Alhaja Mogaji were placed on the right and left sides of the stage. The stage was occupied by a horde of Islamic clerics from various parts of Lagos – different mosques and organisations were well-represented. Inside the packed expansive hall, were many other dignitaries, including Chief Akande, Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, former Foreign Affairs Min-

•Dr. Jonathan

ister and ACN chieftain Tom Ikimi, Lagos State First Lady Dame Abimbola Fashola, Osun State Deputy Governor Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori, Alhaji Femi Okunnu SAN, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Lagos State ACN Chairman Henry Ajomale, Lagos State ACN Publicity Secretary Joe Igbokwe and a large army of party supporters. Also in attendance were former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Hon. Oyetunde Ojo and wife Folashade; Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola; Mrs. Olufunso Amosun; Mrs. Florence Ajimobi; traditional rulers; white cap chiefs; Baba Adinni of Lagos Sheikh Abou Afeez; Secretary to the Lagos State Government Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule; Alhaja Fatima Bintu Tinubu; Alhaji Kola Oseni; Mr. Kayode Opeifa; Mr Wale Edun; Senator Ajayi Boroffice; Oba Olatunji Hamzat; Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor Alhaji Lanre Babalola; Chief of Staff to Osun State Governor Gbenga Oyetola and wife, Kafayat and others. Giving the vote of thanks, Aregbesola expressed gratitude to all and sundry for their show of love and prayed Almighty Allah to reward them bountifully.



NEWS ALHAJA ABIBATU MOGAJI (1917-2013) Oyinlola mourns Iyaloja-General


ORMER Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has described the death of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji as a personal loss. The ex-governor, who said the late Alhaja Mogaji’s death has made Nigeria poorer in quality counsel, noted the tremendous support the deceased gave him and other successive governors of Lagos State. “Between 1994 and 1996 when I was the military administrator of Lagos State, the late Alhaja Mogaji as the head of market men and women was a mother to me. Her counsel and support in those turbulent political days were invaluable. “Even after my exit from the Lagos State Government House, the late Alhaja Mogaji maintained the bond so much that she remained a mother to me till the end,” Prince Oyinlola said. He described the deceased as a woman of strong character, a principled leader and a religious person. “I pray that God Almighty will grant her soul eternal rest and give those she left behind the courage to bear the loss,” Oyinlola said.


Ribadu: a chapter is closed

HE 2011 presidential standard-bearer of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has described the death of the mother of the ACN National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, as drawing the curtain of an era of “courageous women movement that characterised independence struggle and beyond in Nigeria.” A statement by Ribadu’s media aide, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, last night in Abuja quoted the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss as expressing sorrow and shock over the death of the renowned women leader, who he described as “the last of exemplary amazons.” According to him, the deceased’s doggedness, resilience and selfless community service were virtues that would remain indelible in the face of Nigeria’s history and non-state movements in black Africa. Ribadu, who also hailed the entrepreneurship acumen of the deceased nonagenarian, said the late Alhaja Mogaji was a successful businesswoman, as “she carried many budding entrepreneurs under her wings into building their financial empires.” Her death, he said, was not only a loss to her immediate family and the people of Lagos State, “personally, I consider her as a mother-figure and a source of inspiration, who remained a devout Muslim and was committed to improving the lives of others till she breathed her last. She was a true nationalist and a bridge builder. We will miss her a lot.”

Nigeria has lost a progressive, says Borno governor From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation


ORNO State Governor Kashim Shettima yesterday said the nation has lost a progressive in the late Alhaja Abibatu Asabi Mogaji, mother of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. He said the deceased was a grand mobiliser of Nigerians for a good cause. Shettima paid the tribute in a statement through his Special Adviser on Communications, Alhaji Isa Gusau. The statement reads: “Nigeria has lost a progressive, a woman with distinction in mobilising citizens for a good cause, following the death of Alhaja (Dr.) Abibatu Asabi Mogaji, mother of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. “In my days as a banker, with our headquarters in Lagos and as a postgraduate student in the University of Ibadan (UI), whose transit point was usually Lagos, I was a regular traveller to Lagos and this gave me the opportunity to be conversant with the effective and efficient organisational ability of Mama not just as a successful entrepreneur, but also as a grand mobiliser of Nigerians for good causes. She was an activist, who struggled for the rights of the common people, including millions of traders she led.

Ajimobi commiserates with ACN leader


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has lamented the death of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, mother of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He said her death had robbed the nation of one of the greatest commercial and political matriarchs. Governor Ajimobi spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo. He traced the late Alhaja Mogaji’s involvement in politics from her days as a member of the defunct Action Group (AG) and the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), led by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. According to him, her footprints on the political terrain, especially in the mobilisation of the womenfolk for political development, could never be wished away. The governor hailed Alhaja Mogaji’s involvement in commerce and the role she played as the President- General of the Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men, an association with which she fought for the rights of market men and women. Ajimobi said he thanked God that the matriarch of the Tinubu family lived a fulfilled life and prayed that God would grant her soul blissful repose.

•Mourners at the Vaults and Gardens, Ikoyi, during the burial of Alhaja Mogaji in Lagos... yesterday.


Mark mourns Tinubu’s mother

ENATE President David Mark yesterday commiserated with the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibat Mogaji. Mark, in a condolence message to the government and people of Lagos State, described the late Alhaja Mogaji as an “ideal mother”, who contributed her quota to the peace and development of the society. He noted that the late matriarch was a great business woman and leader, whose philanthropic gesture cut across ethnic and religious boundaries. He said the late Alhaja Mogaji would be remembered for her industry and leadership quality, adding that she was “a great leader, who brought dignity and honour to administration and purposeful manage-


From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

ment in commerce and industry in Lagos and its environs. “We shall miss her wise

counsel. We shall miss her care and sense of humour.” The Senate President, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, in Abuja also told the govern-

ment and people of Lagos State, especially the bereaved family, to take solace that their late mother lived an “eventful and accomplished life worthy of emulation.”

Oni commiserates with Jagaban


ORMER Ekiti State Governor, Chief Segun Oni, has commiserated with ex-Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over the death of his mother, Alhaji Abibatu Asabi Mogaji. Reacting to Alhaja Mogaji’s death through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Lere Olayinka, Oni said: “Alhaja Mogaji will be sorely missed as a renowned market lead-

er, who nurtured many entrepreneurs to maturity and financial independence.” He went on: “Although Mama died at 96, her death cannot but be a great loss to Asiwaju Tinubu, the Mogaji family and the entire world.” Oni implored the family and the market men and women to seek solace that she discharged her duties, by playing pivotal roles in the development of commerce in the country. “I, therefore, urge Asiwaju

Bola Tinubu, the people of Lagos State and the entire market men and women in Nigeria to be consoled that death is the inevitable end of all mortals and it must come when it would come. “It is also my prayer that the Almighty Allah will grant the deceased Jannatul firdaus and also grant her families, friends and associates the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” he said.

Mogaji left a legacy of service, says Osun ACN

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), 0sun State chapter, has joined friends, sympathisers, family members and party faithful to condole with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, which sad event occurred at the weekend. In a statement by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, made available to reporters in Osogbo yesterday, the party’s Chairman, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi, said although Nigerians - especially those in the Association of Market Men and Women, would not only miss Alhaji Mogaji physically, they would also miss an indelible legacy in the quality and impact of her leadership and service delivery. The party said she gave the country one of her kind in the person of her son, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to continue with her quality of leadership and service, which Nigeria needs to save the country from chaos and systemic collapse. According to the party, “the passing on of Alhaja Mogaji once again reminds us of the finite nature of our existence on this side of life; and it tells us in graphic language that whoever we are, and whatever we do, somehow, someday, it will be over.

“Whatever will be left are reminiscences of how we had lived either for good or evil, impacting people’s lives or destroying them.” The ACN leader believes “this is the most important consideration. We are, therefore, consoled that Alhaja Mogaji left a legacy of service and selfless leadership, which

changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Nigerian men and women in the business world. It is this quality of service that we shall miss.” The party is of the opinion that “our seeming loss in her death, is in reality her spiritual gain; because in service to humanity, Alhaja Mogaji attained the life of triumphant that should earn her a blissful

rest in Alijannah. “To that extent, therefore, even in so-called death, she has also given us joy. That is the quintessence of her legacy.” The ACN rejoices - in spite of her passing away - that Alhaja Mogaji lived a full life up to her dignified age of 96, “for which we are all grateful to the Almighty Allah. May her soul rest in peace.”

Oshiomhole condoles with Aare of Ile-Oluji on mum’s death


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has commiserated with the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji. In a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, Comrade Oshiomhole said: “I commiserate with you, my leader, and with the entire Tinubu family, on the passing on of your beloved mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji. I wish to offer the condolence of the people and government of Edo State and my personal commiseration over this loss. “Our thoughts are with you and the rest of the family at this difficult period. With her demise, the nation has lost a senior citizen, who contributed her quota to the growth of

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

My leader, I have no doubt that you will miss her very much, as she was no doubt the pillar of the Tinubu family

the nation. Mama was a model mother, industrious woman and philanthropist, who brought up her children with the fear of God. “My leader, I have no doubt that you will miss her very

much, as she was no doubt the pillar of the Tinubu family. “I also commiserate with the government and people of Lagos State on this sad loss. “While we mourn Mama, we must find comfort in the fact that she lived to a ripe old age, seeing her children rise to prominence in the society. We are also proud of her achievements, the good she had done and the respect she enjoyed beyond the family, which earned her the worthy title of President-General, Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men. “We join Your Excellency to offer prayers for the repose of her soul and for our Heavenly Father to grant her eternal rest. We also pray to God to strengthen you and the family with the fortitude to bear the loss.”



NEWS Northern governors commiserate From Jide Orintunsin, Minna


HE Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) yesterday commiserated with the former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji. Describing the late Iyaloja of Lagos as a towering figure, the forum noted that the late Alhaja Mogaji brought changes to the business and political landscape of Lagos, Nigeria at large and beyond. According to a statement by the Chairman of the forum, Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, Alhaja Mogaji’s death was a big loss as she would be missed by members of her family, the people of Lagos State and all Nigerians.

Tambuwal condoles with Tinubu


HE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has described the death of Alhaja Abibatu Asabi Mogaji, mother of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a painful loss, which has created a vacuum in the ranks of philanthropic Nigerians. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, the Speaker described the deceased as a committed nationalist, who gave all for the unity, progress and devel-

•Ihedioha too From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

opment of the nation. It reads: "As family members, friends and associates mourn Alhaja Abibat, they should be comforted that the renowned market leader lived a life full of many indelible achievements and notable contributions to the development of Lagos State in particular and Nigeria in gen-

eral. "The deceased was an uncommon gift to Nigeria, and we will continue to cherish her love and affection. "Alhaja Mogaji's love for the people and her concern for equity and justice will remain evergreen with us. "While praying to Allah to reward her good deeds with Jannat, we pray that God would give the family the fortitude to bear the loss." The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, has also con-

doled with the family of Asiwaju Tinubu over the death of Alhaja Mogaji. He described her death as a painful and sad event. Ihedioha said the late Alhaja Mogaji was a grassroots social mobiliser whose strides and track record of achievements were known far and wide. The Deputy Speaker expressed sincere and heartfelt condolences to Asiwaju Tinubu, the bereaved family and the people of Lagos and prayed that God Almighty would grant her soul eternal rest.

By Oziegbe Okoeki

Former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has commiserated with the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji. He urged Tinubu to be consoled that not only did Alhaja Mogaji live up to the ripe age of 95, but she also impacted on the lives of Nigerians.

‘She was a warrior’


MEMBER of the House of Representatives, Maruf Akinderu-Fatai, has described the late President-General, Association of Market Women and Men of Nigeria, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, as a warrior. He said Alhaja Mogaji’s death was a great loss to Lagos State and the nation. “One can never forget her roles during the June 12, 1993 impasse.”

Third day prayer tomorrow


HE third day prayer for the late Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji will be held tomorrow at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island. Time is between 11am and 1pm.


ORMER Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has expressed shock over the death of Hajiya Abibatu Asabi Mogaji, the mother of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He said the death of Alhaja Mogaji was a sad event. Atiku said the deceased’s children had a duty to keep her virtues alive, adding that they should immortalise her. He noted: “The loss of a mother that made sacrifices to make us happy is an experience words cannot describe.” While praying Allah to grant the deceased eternal bliss in aljanna, the former Vice- President urged Asiwaju Tinubu and his siblings to remain the living symbols of her virtues of love and family unity.



Kalu condoles with Tinubu

From Gbade Ogunwale

Lanlehin, Oyo ACN commiserate with Tinubu

Ikuforiji: she was a great woman PEAKER of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has described the late Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji as “one of the greatest Nigerian women.” In statement Ikuforiji said: “The demise of our great mother, Alhaja Mogaji, at this time is very sad and unfortunate. Notwithstanding that she died at a ripe age of 96, we had wished that Mama would still be here with us for some more time so that we could be drinking from her rich reservoir of wisdom, love and care. How we wish she would still be with us when our new mega party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), makes a debut shortly. “We commiserate with our visionary leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his siblings and family members on this great loss.

Atiku consoles Asiwaju

•Guests awaiting the remains of Alhaja Mogaji at the Lagos Central Mosque, Idumota... yesterday.


Fayemi, Udughan, Obi mourn

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has described the death of the President-General of the Market Men and Women Association of Nigeria, Alhaja Abibat Mogaji, as a great and monumental loss for the nation’s commerce and economy. The Governor said in a statement at the weekend that Alhaja Mogaji was a pillar of support for many people in her life, as she served as an oak of succour to the less-privileged. He described Alhaja


Mogaji as a legend, a colossus and a titan whose contributions would remain indelible in the minds of many. Governor Fayemi, however, said he was happy that the late market leader lived to a very ripe age and contributed to the nation’s economy as an investor, entrepreneur, employer of labour and a big-time merchant. Describing Alhaja Mogaji as an “activist par excellence”, he recalled that the deceased used her

position to mobilise market women to fight for their economic rights and empowerment. The Governor said Alhaja Mogaji was in the forefront of women emancipation and participation in politics, most especially in having a say in the election of their political leaders. He described the son of the deceased and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the greatest gift bequeathed to the nation by the nonagenarian.

PDP, APGA console ex-governor

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday expressed its condolence over the death of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, mother of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said although the exit of the matriarch at a ripe age of 96 was a glorious one, “it has created a vacuum in the nation, Lagos State and the deceased’s family and we share in the loss.” The statement reads: “The leadership and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) commiserate with the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the entire Tinubu family on the glorious passage of their matriarch. “A devout Muslim, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji lived an active life worthy of emulation. She remained a shining example of a mother and a leader whose inner strength, candour and forthrightness served as fountains of tutelage and inspiration to millions across the country. “As the President-General of the Lagos Market Men and Women Association, Alhaja

From Gbade Ogunwale and Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

Mogaji showed extraordinary organisational skills and influence in the areas of politics and commerce, not only in Lagos State, but also across the country. “Her contributions in defending the rights of the people, especially the less privileged and down-trodden and ensuring their economic empowerment irrespective of tribal and religious affiliations, remain as testimonials to her kindness and selfless service to humanity. “We seek solace that Alhaji Mogaji led a fulfilled life and


has gone to be with the Almighty Allah. We, therefore, pray God to give all the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.” The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) yesterday condoled with Asiwaju Tinubu on the death of his mother, Alhaja Mogaji. A statement in Abuja by the Senior Media Assistant to the APGA National Chairman, Maxi Okwu, Francis Ede, said: “APGA also commiserates with the government and people of Lagos State, particularly the market men and women she loved and served until her transition to glory on June 15.

Governor Fayemi urged Asiwaju Tinubu to seek solace in the fact that her mother was a blessing to Lagos State, Yoruba land and Nigeria. Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, described the death of Alhaja Abibat Mogaji as a big blow not only to Lagos State and market women all over Nigeria, but also to Delta State, which shares a close affinity with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, son of the deceased and his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, a proud daughter of Delta State. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi said he was saddened by the incident, which he described as a huge loss.

ENATOR Olufemi Lanlehin representing Oyo South yesterday described the late PresidentGeneral, Association of Nigerian Market Men and Women, Alhaja Abibat Mogaji, as a rare breed and an irreplaceable jewel, whose demise had created a big vacuum. Lanlehin, the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, spoke while reacting to the death of the Iyaloja of Lagos, who was also the mother of the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He said: “The news of the death of Alhaja Mogaji came with indescribable shock and disbelief in view of the fact that one could not have expected such a wonderful, virtuous and courageous woman to be taken away from our reach for any reason. “As a matter of fact, most of us forgot that Mama was a mortal, who would die. In her 96 years of existence on earth, Mama touched many lives, impacted positively on the society and devoted her life to the cause of service to God and humanity.”

Saraki: Tinubu’s mother was a model


From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

ORMER Kwara State governor, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday described the late mother of exLagos State Governor and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a model worthy of emulation. The senator, who represents Kwara Central in the Upper Chamber said: “I am saddened by the demise of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, the mother of Asiwaju Tinubu. “She would be remembered for her giant stride in the business world. She lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation. “I pray that Almighty Allah will grant the entire family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”

Akume, Akpanudoedehe pay tributes

ENATE Minority Leader, Senator George Akume and Akwa Ibom politician, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, yesterday extolled the virtues of the late Alhaja Abibat Mogaji. In separate interviews with our correspondent, they said the prominent market leader and politician led a fulfilled life worthy of emulation. Akume, the former Benue State governor , described the

deceased as an accomplished mother, women leader, mobiliser and politician, who left indelible footprints on the sand of time. He said: “Alhaja Mogaji was a truly accomplished mother, a great political leader, a great businesswoman and a great mother of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“She was a highly respected President-General of the Nigerian Market men and Women Association. She supported worthy political causes. She identified with the progressive forces throughout her life. She led a fulfilled life worthy of celebration. I rejoice with Asiwaju Tinubu for surviving his mother and for a life of fulfillment she led, which is worthy of emula-

tion.” Akpandonuedohe said: “I am happy that Alhaja Mogaji lived to a ripe age of 96 and I pray that Allah will grant her eternal rest. I am happy she was the mother of Asiwaju Tinubu, who is a source of joy and pillar of support to many. I urge the ACN National Leader to continue his good work, which he started when his mother was alive”.



NEWS Fayemi, NGOs distribute foodstuff to indigent residents


From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi at the weekend distributed

foodstuff to indigent residents under the free feeding initiative, tagged “Ekiti Food Kitchen”. The kitchen was established by the Centre for Family and Reproductive Health Initiatives (CFRHI) with the support of the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), founded by the governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi. The foodstuff included bags of rice, gari, beans and wheat powder, tubers of yam, tin tomato, seasoning cubes, noodles, salt, semovita, frozen fish, frozen chicken, palm oil, vegetable oil, dry pepper, crayfish and fresh fish. Dignitaries at the event included the Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Secretary to the State Government Dr. Ganiyu Owolabi and the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment, Mrs. Fola RichieAdewusi, who is the founder of the CFRHI, among others. Restating his administration’s commitment to eradicating poverty, the governor said: “The more people we have on the streets with begging bowls, the more obvious it is that we are not doing enough as a government to alleviate poverty.” He pledged one-tenth of his farm’s annual yield as his contribution to the project, urging individuals and corporate bodies to support the initiative. Fayemi said: “If people come to our state and they do not see anyone begging for alms, it would say a lot about how far we have gone in creating a relatively level playing society.” Erelu Fayemi said the target beneficiaries were widows, orphans, single mothers, HIV/AIDS patients, vulnerable children and other categories of indigent residents. She said “the centre would cater for the basic nutritional needs of beneficiaries on a monthly basis”.

Mrs. Fayemi said apart from collecting foodstuff, the beneficiaries from the 16 local governments would be “given a token as transport fare to their destinations”. She said the Ministry of Agriculture had liaised with 10 top commercial farmers in the state to contribute some output of their farms to the food bank. Warning against reading negative meanings to the programme, Mrs. Fayemi said: “Please, do not join people to read any spiritual meaning to this programme. With time, you will hear enemies of progress saying there is an evil intention behind the initiative. This is not true. This is the kind of programme you get in advanced climes like the United States (US) and Britain, which make their lives better. “We know what our detractors can do and that is why we allow the beneficiaries, who we refer to as volunteers, to cook the food themselves. We are going to engage the local government to ensure the sustainability of the programme.” She said all the 177 wards in the state would have a kitchen each before the year ends. Mrs. Fayemi said the governor targeted only 200 families when the programme began last October, adding that “now, there are about 3,000 beneficiaries and the number keeps increasing”. Prof. Adelabu described the programme as “the first of its kind in Africa”, saying it was intended to tackle poverty. Dr. Richie-Adewusi said each kitchen was mandated to provide food for about 50 people three time a week. She assured residents that were not considered in the first phase that they would be enlisted in the second phase. An 80-year-old woman, Mrs. Deborah Owoseni, was close to tears when she collected the bag of foodstuff, which she could barely lift from the ground, from the governor.

Dangote builds roads for host communities ANGOTE Cement


Plc has started the construction and rehabilitation of roads in 14 communities near its plant in Ibese, Ogun State. The company, in a statement, said the hard concrete roads “are the first of their kind in the Southwest”. The roads are in three phases. The first phase is 8kms, stretching from the Ibese plant to Ilaro Junction. The start of work on the dilapidated road has ended months of speculation by anxious residents. At the inauguration of the plant, Dangote Cement Plc pledged to rehabilitate roads in the communities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It said the roads would be concrete asphalt to demonstrate the superiority of concrete road over bitumen asphalting. The manager in charge of the Ibese road project, Mr. Auwalu Halliru, said the road would be world standard in terms of quality and

design when completed. He said the company would have started the rehabilitation long ago but for the delay in securing the approval of the Federal Ministry of Works and the state government. Halliru said: “You know we are campaigning for the use of cement concrete road and we want to use the Ibese road as a test case so that the whole world would see how good the concrete road is and the quality it is made of. Anyone who passes through the Ibese road when we finish the job would commend us for a job well done.” The Asiwaju of Ibese, Chief Hezy Idowu, said the people were happy with the road and urged the company to provide water and share part of the electricity being generated at the plant with the community. He said the people would continue to guarantee conducive environment for the plant.

Ekiti teachers urged to accept 15 per cent allowance payment


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has urged secondary school teachers to shelve their two-week strike and return to work. The governor spoke through some commissioners - Mr. Ojo Kehinde (Education), Mr. Tayo Ekundayo (Information) and Mr. Oluwole Ariyo (Labour) - at the weekend. The teachers, who are on an indefinite strike, are demanding payment of the 27.5 per cent Teachers’ Professional Allowance. At a meeting with officials of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the commissioners urged the teachers to accept 15 per and call off the strike. Kehinde said the government would pay the 15 per cent now and pay the remaining 12.5 per cent later when the state’s economy improves. He said: “The Fayemi ad-

FACTS & FIGURES 27.5% N155m N1.8b N2.3-2.4b

•Ekiti State’s •Cost of •What teachers •Cost of paying 27.5% monthly are demanding paying 27.5% monthly annually revenue



•What the government •Cost of paying 15% is pleading monthly to pay From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

ministration is teachers’friendly. It restored the car and housing loans that were stopped by the immediatepast administration and appointed teachers into key offices, including me, Deputy Governor Modupe Adelabu and some others. “So, I expect teachers to have confidence that this administration will pay the rest when the economy improves. As things stand now, the govern-

N848m N1.9-2b •Ekiti State’s •Cost of paying 15% monthly wage bill annually ment cannot pay and we we want our children back in school.” Ekundayo said the implementation of the 27.5 per cent Teachers’ Professional Allowance would cost N155 million monthly and N1.8 billion annually. He said: “Even the 15 per cent offered by the state will increase the wage bill by N70 million monthly and N848 million annually. “It is on record that teach-

ers willingly dropped the 27.5 per cent Teachers’ Professional Allowance for the 33 per cent relativity because of the belief that the latter suited workers better. “Despite this, the state is not saying it would not pay. It is seeking their understanding to pay what it can afford, in view of the financial reality.” Ariyo urged the teachers’ to accept the 15 per cent offered by the government. NUT State Chairman Samuel Akosile said: “The agitation started in 2008 when the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) agreed to pay 27.5 per cent of the 150 per cent demanded by teachers. “Former ‘Governor’ Olusegun Oni paid 27.5 per cent for 19 months. When Fayemi assumed office, he paid it for six months and stopped. It will be unfair to imagine that teachers will settle for less after receiving 27.5 per cent for 25 months.”

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (third right); from left: Director of Finance and Planning, CIO Office, IBM, United States (US), Brad Gibson; Distinguished Engineer, Telco Sector, IBM, US, Marc Segre; Director, Smarter Solution, IBM, Canada, Shelly Lowe; IBM Lead Account Partner, United Kingdom (UK), Rob Wilmot and Director, IBM Marketing, US, Matt Berry at the IBM team’s presentation of “Smarter Transportation” solutions to the Lagos State the weekend.

Ondo ACN members hold reconciliation meeting


HIEFTAINS of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State at the weekend converged on Owo for a reconciliation meeting initiated by the party’s governorship candidate in last October’s election, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). Akeredolu urged members to forget “the shortcomings of the election” and unite to ensure positive changes in the state. Those present include Mr. Sunday Abegunde; Akeredolu’s running mate, Dr. Paul Akintelure; Mrs. Adegbonmire; Mr. Bola Ilori; Prince Olu Adegboro; Mr. Gboyega Adefarati; Mr. Olayato Aribo; Mr. Wale Omojuwa; Mr. Tayo Alasoadura; Mr. Wale Akinterinwa; Mrs. Ronke Ojo and Erelu Modupe Johnson. Others are Prince Sola Amodeni; Mr. Wale Akintimehin; Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe; Mrs. Grace Animola, Mr. Ade Adetimehin; Dr. K. S. Shaba; Prof. Sola Ebisemiju and Mr. Rotimi Agbede. Akeredolu informed them that the Appeal Court will on July 1 deliver its judgment in the party’s petition challenging the declaration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko as governor.

Akeredolu disowns scam SMS


HE candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the last governorship election in Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has told the public to ignore a text message urging them to pay some money into a First Bank account to bribe some judges. In a statement yesterday, Akeredolu said: “My attention has been drawn to the scam SMS sent from GSM no 08087099960, asking that money be paid into some Justices for whatever reason. “I dissociate myself from the fraudulent mails and invite law enforcement agents to investigate them without delay. I also assert without equivocation that First Bank Account no 0032150025 is not mine. “I have not instructed anyone to open that account or any other one on my behalf for the stated reason or any other one. It is inconceivable that anyone who is truly desirous of offering bribes to Justices will choose that medium to solicit funds.” From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President said he had petitioned the President of the Court of Appeal on his dissatisfaction with the conduct of the judges that heard his appeal after the Election Petition Tribunal struck out some paragraphs of the petition. He said even though the Appeal panel restored some paragraphs of the petition, he passed a ‘vote-of-no-confidence’ in the panel and called for the constitution of a fresh panel. Urging his supporters to remain steadfast, Akeredolu said:

“ I urge my supporters to be steadfast as better days are ahead. We have a long way to go in this legal battle. The Appeal Court will give its judgment latest by July 1. I know they will want to appeal again and take it to the Supreme Court. The law is open.Whether they go to the Supreme Court or not, I know we will emerge victorious. We will get judgment latest by September at the Supreme Court. “I have begged those who had complaints about the last election. We are wiser now. If another election comes up, we will do better and will not

make the mistake of the past. “There is no need to create factions in the party. There is no Borrofice’s or Akeredolu’s group. All of us are one.” The party’s former chairperson, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose (nee Ajasin), could not attend the meeting because she was indisposed. Akeredolu said Senator Ajayi Borrofice was away on vacation. A chieftain of the party, Mr. Jamiu Ekungba, sent a representative and apologised for his absence. Akeredolu said the party remains ACN, adding that the national leadership has directed all chapters to go on a membership drive for the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ilori, who is the Special Adviser to Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Environment and Sanitation, suggested that the party sets up an 11-man committee to be led by Akeredolu to drive membership for the APC. The suggestion was applauded by the gathering and the committee was established. Members are Akeredolu; Akintelure; Borrofice; Abegunde; Ilori; Mr. Sola Iji; Erelu Johnson; Shaba; Mr. Enas Mohammed; Mr. Ade Adetimehin and Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe, the secretary.





•From left: Hajia Abba Folawiyo; Alhaja Fatimah Tinubu; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Mrs Florence Ajimobi; Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola and Mrs Olufunsho Amosun

•Governor Rauf Aregbesola giving the vote of thanks.

•Mr Dele Alake (left) and Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji •From left: Oba Olatunji Hamzat; Senator Ajayi Boroffice and Senator Ganiyu Solomon

•Mr Osama (left) and Comfax Managing Director Hassan Fawaz

•Former Ekiti State Governor Otunba Niyi Adebayo (left) and Chief Nduka Obaigbena

•Sheikh Gbajabiamila leading Janazah

•Sheikh Mujitaba Giwa delivering a lecture





•Asiwaju Tinubu performing the dust-to-dust rite...yesterday

•The hearse bearing the remains of Alhaja Mogaji

•Asiwaju Tinubu (right) and Alhaji Femi Okunnu

•Former Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Olawale Edun (left) and Mr Olusegun Awolowo Jnr

•Alhaji Sakariyahu Babalola (left) and Alhaji Lateef Odunsi

•From left: Omoba Murphy Adetoro; Prince Rotimi Agunsoye; Alhaji Muibi Jamiu and Senator Munir Muse

• Lagos White Cap Chiefs

•ACN National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande and Asiwaju Tinubu

•Senators Ajayi Borrofice (left) and Ganiyu Solomon

•From left: Conference 57 Chairman Akeem Sulaiman; General Secretary ofthe Conference Hakeem Bamgbola; Prince Yinka Durosinmi; Ramota Oseni and Apostle Oloruntoba Oke




•Remains of Alhaja Mogaji being carried to the cemetery

•From left: Hajia Abbah Folawiyo; Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Alhaji Aliko Dangote

•From right: Governors Adams Oshiomhole(Edo); Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Chief Emeka Anyaoku

•Alhaji Lateef Jakande (right) and Sheikh Abou Afeez

•Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan (left) and Alhaji Yakub Abiodun

•Alhaji Rasak Okoya (left) and Justice George Oguntade (rtd)

•From left: Dr Muiz Banire; Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Prince Demola Seriki

•Former Lagos State Deputy Governor Femi Pedro (right) and Chief Shina Soyebo

•From left: Alhaji Ganiyu Badmus; Mrs Omobolanle Akinyemi-Obe and Cardinal Omolaja Odunmbaku

•Comrade Ayodele Adewale (left) and Joe Igbokwe















COMMUNIQUE AT THE END OF CHRISTIAN RURAL AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CRUDAN) ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) HELD AT HEKAN CATHEDRAL, KADUNA, KADUNA STATE, 16TH MAY, 2013. The Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN), a faith- based not- for-profit, Non-governmental organization that promotes Christian Wholistic Development by empowering Christian organisations, individuals and Churches had its 23rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the HEKAN Cathedral Kaduna on 16th May, 2013 and came up with the following observations and recommendations: CRUDAN observes as follow: 1. The state of insecurity in the country is a threat to the unity and peaceful coexistence of the country. 2. Corruption is still one of the principal challenges in Nigeria and this has given rise to unemployment, bad leadership, falling standard of education, moral decadence, poverty and many other problems. 3. The “YOU-WIN� Programme of the federal government is a laudable programme that will boost both entrepreneurship and employment amongst the youth in the country. 4. Poverty is being experienced in the country and survival is becoming more difficult especially in the rural areas. 5. The expectations/objectives of the 2012 Federal Government of Nigeria budget were largely not met, especially in the areas of job creation and poverty alleviation. CRUDAN recommends as follow: 1. Commends its role in empowering the grassroots (rural and urban communities and the churches) through its multi-faceted programs despite all challenges. 2. Commends His Excellency the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his pronouncement of State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States in order to protect further loss of lives and properties due to the activities of insurgents. 3. Commiserates with the people and government of those States affected by the recent violence and killings, the security agencies and families of the victims and pray God to give them and indeed every well-meaning Nigerian the fortitude to bear the loss. CRUDAN hereby condemns this and every other acts of terrorism in Nigeria. 4. Urges security agencies to continue to do their job as professionally as possible, and appeals to all aggrieved individuals and groups in Nigeria to appreciate the fact that violence can never be a solution to any problem. 5. Calls on religious bodies to intensify the teaching on good moral values e.g. handwork, respect for human life, honesty, love, etc., to their followers, to ensure peaceful co-existence and eradication of crime in the Nigerian society. 6. Calls on the Federal, State and Local governments to intensify their effort in the provision of good storage facilities and road networks to ease the preservation and transportation of rural farm produce, as well as the provision of other social amenities to improve the living conditions of the rural populace. 7. Calls on the government at all levels and other well-meaning Nigerians to intensify effort in the war against corruption in order to promote transparency and accountability in all facets of national life. 8. Calls for the delineation of its North West Zone in order to facilitate effective program implementation in the zone. 9. Calls on the government at all levels to support NGOs financially in their rural development services. 10. Condemns the establishment of any religious banking. Nigeria is a secular state and such banking will be biased in favor of one group against others in the state. 11. Calls for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, not only to attract foreign investment into the sector, but also to ensure that the nation optimizes its benefits from the resources while it lasts. 12. Calls on the present administration led by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and all State and Local Government Executives to provide good governance in their various jurisdictions. 13. Urges the government to carefully examine the factors that hindered the effective implementation of the 2012 budget with a view to avoiding a reoccurrence in 2013 and the years ahead. Long live CRUDAN, Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria






Power nightmare


• It is incredible that only 25% of Nigerians have light despite huge investments in the sector

HE recent confession by the Federal Government that not less than 120 million Nigerians live without electricity is despicable. Hajia Zaynab Kuchi, Minister of State for Power, after a recent Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, made the startling revelation. Professor Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power and Kuchi’s senior colleague in the ministry was among the ministers at the briefing during the presentation of progress report of the power sector. He corroborated her position when he said that provision of electricity has become a ‘nightmare’ for the present administration. Hajia Kuchi was blunt when she said: “We have 160 million Nigerians now and we are only giving power to 40 million of that population. What it means is that there are about 120 million Nigerians that are without power and wish to buy power.’’ The revealed figure translates to 25 percent of Nigerians that currently have access to electricity. In the 21st century, this is indeed nightmarish in a country that is as blessed as Nigeria. The duo’s position that the only way to deliver power to Nigerians is by ‘serious commercialisation’ is faulty. They believe that the country can be powered through Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and collaboration of Public-Private Partnership. But we ask: Is government no longer responsible for the commercialisation of power? Should the

government now be seeking for scapegoat in its futile attempt to commercialise the power sector through the IPPs? While it could be over-looked that natural occurrences such as storms, as posited by Prof Nebo, could wreak havoc as was the case in Bayelsa and Kebbi states where storms reportedly destroyed transmission lines, it is totally wrong to use that as absolute reason for the rapidly diminishing power supply across the country. The minister’s allusion to alleged vandalisation of power projects by some youths in Abuja will even not suffice. The truth is that there is need for total overhaul of generation and transmission networks in the nation, a thing the government is not taking seriously yet. The government seems to be exhuming excuses meant to exculpate official ineptitude. The minister suddenly realised mid-year that the sector is poorly funded because no fund was provided for routine maintenance of the generation and distribution companies this year. This is scandalous. The official explanation that power privatisation would have been completed since last year is equally bunkum. Is it not the government that is handling the privatisation that should be held responsible for slowing down the process? Despite huge government’s investment in the sector meant to guarantee stable power supply, it is sad that power gen-

eration in the country still stands at far below the desired megawatts - and most times highly epileptic or even not available for months in some areas. What then is the significance of the over $16 billion spent by the Obasanjo administration on the power sector, not to talk of the one spent by the current government that is yet to be made public. We doubt whether the projected December target for 10,000 megawatts is realistic with the current state of the IPPs. Nigerians only know the beginning of power contracts but are left in the dark about their terminal dates. It is sad that the history of power transformation has so far been that of miserable projections, failed promises and criminal defaults.

‘We doubt whether the projected December target for 10,000 megawatts is realistic with the current state of the IPPs. Nigerians only know the beginning of power contracts but are left in the dark about their terminal dates. It is sad that the history of power transformation has so far been that of miserable projections, failed promises and criminal defaults’

Port security


•Why must we wait to be told by outsiders before doing the needful?

OR how long will Nigeria continue to wait for the prodding of a foreign government before she rises up to her basic international obligations? This question has become pertinent in the wake of the 90-day ultimatum handed the Nigerian government by its United States counterpart, to improve ports security. Last month, a team from the United States Coast Guards reportedly visited Nigeria to undertake an assessment of the state of security at our ports. Their finding at the end of the visit was that the state of ports security in Nigeria – particularly, the Tin-Can Island Ports –was deplorable. Acting on the report, the US government is said to have issued the Nigerian government a 90-day deadline, to rem-

‘A ready example is the aviation industry where it took the relentless pressure by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to get the authorities in charge to do the needful. The International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) certification, known as Category 1 Status, which the nation currently enjoys is proof enough of that. More fundamental is whether any serious nation can afford the Federal Government’s leisurely pace of doing things in this age of global terrorism’

edy the situation or risk the ban of American ships from sailing into Nigeria, not excluding the possibility of other Western countries being mobilised to join in the ban. That deadline ends in August. The proposed measure seems drastic. However, no matter how regrettable the measure appears to be, it takes some knowledge of how our Federal Government works to appreciate why such measures are sometimes inevitable. Oftentimes, it seems that is the only way to get things moving. But then, this would not even be the first time that the US government will literally browbeat its Nigerian counterpart to do what is needful on matters bordering on its national security interests. A ready example is the aviation industry where it took the relentless pressure by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to get the authorities in charge to do the needful. The International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) certification, known as Category 1 Status, which the nation currently enjoys is proof enough of that. More fundamental is whether any serious nation can afford the Federal Government’s leisurely pace of doing things in this age of global terrorism. As major player in the global maritime business, the US cannot afford to be indifferent to issues of ports security, particularly one involving one of its major trading partners. In any case, the issues highlighted by the US authorities are those that Nigerians are all too familiar with; they may present as America’s; they are no less Nigeria’s headache. Today, de-

spite the so-called reforms, the ports have remained unreformable. Ports scenes cut a pathetic picture of a market square where all kinds of activities take place; they are as rowdy as they are chaotic. As for the infrastructure of operations and security, they are not only palpably inadequate; they are just as archaic as they were when the government ran port operations. The issues raised by the Americans, although border on port security and hence touching directly on the obligations of the Nigerian government to ensure security of port users; however, we consider them essentially as governance issues on which the government should ordinarily have needed no prodding. The shame of it all is that the same officials who brought the embarrassment to the country are said to be making frantic moves to address the concerns – which of course suggests that the problems are within their capacities to solve in the first place. We expect the Federal Government to take the concerns highlighted by the US authorities very seriously. It starts with getting those responsible for the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code – the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) convention to secure and safeguard ships and port facilities around the world – to take their job seriously. It also calls for greater investment in ports security infrastructure. None of the above, in our view, needs the oversight of a foreign government to achieve.

Keep the focus on China cyber threat

• NSA furore risks overshadowing the real threat to US HROUGHOUT the past week, the US media have been dominated by revelations concerning America’s National Security Agency from Edward Snowden. Most of the focus has been on the NSA’s domestic surveillance activities and the extent to which it collects data traffic from millions of Americans. But on Wednesday, the whistleblower focused on another NSA activity: its spying on China. The NSA had “61,000 hacking operations globally”, with hundreds of targets in Hong Kong and China. This “gives us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers.” A claim like this should surprise nobody. The NSA, like most national intelligence services, does lots of spying overseas. That is what they are paid to do. But Mr Snowden’s words have allowed Chinese commentators to hit back at the US after months in which Washington has openly attacked China for its cyber espionage activities. The Chinese are arguing that Mr Snowden’s revelations in an interview show the US is hypocritical and guilty of double standards. That argument must be challenged. The US and China both engage in cyber offence. But there are big differences in what they do. The US is largely focused on securing information that protects national security. China’s operations are alleged to be different. The bulk of its operations – often conducted by the military – are said to involve the theft of intellectual property from western companies. China has always denied such activity. But western businesses say they find it truly alarming. It is still unclear how the US can counter the threat from China. US lawmakers want to pass legislation punishing Chinese companies that use stolen trade secrets. They want to impose visa bans on known Chinese hackers. President Barack Obama wants to get China to agree to norms of behaviour in cyberspace, akin to trade rules. But progress is slow. One point must not be lost, however. The great danger of the furore over the NSA in recent days is that it will distract attention from the immense threat from China that US companies face. Yes, the US government must be accountable and transparent when it comes to the surveillance of its own citizens. But the scale of cyber espionage by China against western companies is on an altogether different scale. The concerns that western companies have on this issue must not be overshadowed by debates on US civil liberties.


Financial Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

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IR: One constituency that got the least mention in the manifestos of political parties that struggled fervently for votes of the electorate in Imo State during the April 2011 polls was the pensioners. Among the pensioners, the retired primary school teachers have been most hit by the seeming insensitivity of successive administrations to them. None in this category of pensioners has received their federal pensions since 2002. The result is that many of them are left with the pittance that they call state pension, some as little as N1,000 a month. This is because the state government has failed to harmonize the pensions of those who retired many years back with that of those who retired later on same salary scale but earned bigger amounts of money due to salary adjustments over the years. Harmonization is an exercise which statutorily should be carried




Plight of Imo’s primary school teachers’ pensioners out yearly. The federal government had carried out this harmonization at a point hence the part of the pensions which it usually contributes to the funds for the retirees increased, giving hope and comfort of the pensioners until the state government threw a spanner in the works. Their trouble began when state governments won a suit against the Obasanjo-led federal government which, at a stage, had decided to pay the retired teachers

directly through their banks instead of the state or local governments. The decision was predicated on the fact that state governments diverted the funds, leaving the poor retirees to suffer. Apparently, they had capitalized on their access to the local government funds through their joint accounts. The governments might have been unmindful of the atrocity meted out to these frail members of the society who had expended their blood at youth in the service of the

nation only to be denied their due by the same children they had nurtured to adulthood as teachers. A nation that treats its once productive elderly with scorn and ignominy is only comparable to George Orwell’s Animal Farm which ought to be consigned only to the imaginary world of satire. It is a violation of the tenets of equity and natural justice and the cry of the victims, most certainly, reaches the high heavens. The simple demand of these pen-

are supposed to be in a democracy, the option should always be available. Be that as it may, who says that a conference will lead to disintegration anyway? There some people who are adept at using this prospect as a scare tactic to have their way, particularly those who are benefitting from this warped and convoluted Nigerian federalism. A national conference is being advocated because it is the ultimate solution to conflicting interests. Even if there is a war, the only way to end it ultimately is through a conference between conflicting parties. We can already see some warmongers among us- those advocating that the ’North’ must get the presidency or that Jonathan must get a second term. Both parties are promising

that hell will be let loose should their wish fail to materialize. Where does that leave the rest of us? Sending the current ruling partyPDP out of governance and replacing it with opposition such as APC or such other party will not offer a lasting solution to our problem. The resolution of the structural deficiency of Nigeria should take precedence over politics, particularly the politics of 2015 elections. There is humongous danger ahead if we pay scant attention to this but invest most of our time and resources in fighting for the control of federal government in 2015. Even though a lot of people mouth the need for a conference, and some polls have actually recorded that the preponderance of Nigerians want a conference. Four out of the six zones

of the federation at one time or the other agreed to have a conference but as usual in Nigeria’s brand of democracy, the wish of two zones prevailed over four. It is disheartening that Nigeria that boasts of some of the most educated, widely read and sophisticated people in the world cannot fashion a successful system of governance for itself but let the morons lead it by the nose to war instead of dialogue. Where and what then is the essence of its ‘greatness’? The thought of the catastrophe that lies ahead if we continue the way we are going should be enough to make us shudder enough to amend our ways as soon as possible- even right now. • Tokunbo Ajasin

Why national conference is overdue

IR: The Nigerian situation often defies any explanation and sometimes calls our rationality to question. It confirms the notion that in the midst of mad people, a lone sane man becomes the insane. Or how else do we explain why a simple call for a conference becomes such an uphill task? While we prefer to hold dialogues with sectional groups, we neglect to hold a conference that embraces everyone. For so long, particularly since the military incursion/ (mis)adventure into our body politic, there has been a lot of agitation for a National conference to resolve the various contradictions of the Nigerian state. Yet in 2013, a year before the centenary, and despite the fact that the Nigerian state has been wobbling and tottering from pillar to post without making headway, we are yet to sit down together and holistically find solutions to our problems. We prefer ad hoc and sectional solutions that have no mileage. The fears of people who do not want a conference is that such a conference will lead to the dissolution of Nigeria, even though everything points to the contrary view- that it is in fact the absence of such a conference that will spell the doom of Nigeria. As powerful as the USSR was when the time came for it to break apart it did. Would it not be better to break apart than be kept together by force of arms against our will? Since we


sioners is that their federal pensions be restored immediately so that they would enjoy their old age and pass on happily. One of the pensioners in this class sat down one day and calculated how much the government owed him as federal pensions and the figures he saw stunned him. He simply muttered a prayer, wishing that God may touch the heart of the authorities to, at least, resume payment of the federal pensions to them in no distant time. Governor Rochas Okorocha showed some promise in 2011 when he summoned the senior citizens to the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, where he gave them a treat and actually served them rice and coke. He hugged them and fraternized with them. The camaraderie that existed on that day set them thinking that their days of anguish were over. He pledged to clear the arrears which the Ohakim administration could not pay them. Indeed, since he became governor, he has struggled hard to pay the pensioners in good time and is everyday cracking his brain on how best to alleviate the sufferings of these grannies. Part of his plan is to pay them through the newly created community government councils to ease off traveling long distances and avoid racketeering as well. He still needs to find out why these retired primary school teachers are being denied the federal pension and promptly reinstate it. That way, the cycle of his glory in that aspect will be complete and forever he would bask in the blessings of the senior citizens for ending their 11 years of anguish. • Richard Dirim Odu Owerri, Imo State

S.O.S. to LASG on noise pollution

IR: An appeal is hereby made to the Lagos state Governor, Babatunde Fashola and Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Bola Ikuforiji, to come to the rescue of the people residing around 13, Agbado Road, Iju Ishaga from going deaf owing to the unceasing noise that usually emanate both day and night from the loudspeakers of the Kingdom Force Assembly - a religious house. The attention of the overseer of the church has been drawn times without number in the past to the inconvenience, danger and health

hazard to which the people living around the church were being subjected to through the thunderous noise from the church’s loudspeakers. All appeals have continued to fall on deaf ears. To worsen the matter, on one occasion, the Pastor used his connection with the Divisional Police Officer at the Red House, Iju to harass the complaining residents all in an attempt to silence them and to force them to resign to their fate. Without mincing words, noise pollution emanating from the activities of record sellers and places of

worship across the length and breadth of Lagos State has continued to be a hard nut to crack more so when there is no law put in place to check menace as is done in civilized and other democratic nations of the world. In a recent report, Nigeria was ranked as the second noisiest nation in the world and this damning report might have informed a recent a phone-in progamme aired on Radio Faji FM in Alausa during which listeners subjected to any form of inconvenience through noise pollution in Lagos State were advised, at the

close of the programme, to make protest to Lagos State Ministry of Environment. Now is the time for the Lagos State House of Assembly to enact a law that would regulate and save Lagosians from going deaf owing to the impunity of users of loud speakers that cause untold hardship to the people of Lagos State. There is no doubt that when the relevant law is enacted by the State Assembly, the state governor would not hesitate in giving his assent to it. • Bamidele Odet Iju-Ishaga, Lagos





ET me repeat a statement I have made severally in this column: not all Nigerians are fools. Many are not also strangers in the land who are ignorant of the situation they are today compared to what their condition used to be. So, to be telling lies as intrigue to deceive the people is shortage of wisdom as the truth must surely emerge at the right stage. Opposition parties might be working to pull a president in power down. That is not strange to politics across the world – even in advanced democracies. After all, United States President Barack Obama’s emergence for second term was through a sweating struggle against the Republicans. It was evident that it is hardly easy to retain power under democratic dispensation when all politicians desire to attain power to accomplish their missions. Otherwise, they will end up as failures no matter their visions. Today, our President Goodluck Jonathan is not having a restful mid-term tenure essentially because of his focus to retain power rather than satisfying the peoples’ will. He might not have declared his political desire publicly, but only the blind in the spirit would not see his desperation and diversion of focus to 2015. The Nigerian Governors’ Forum debacle and the consequences of the loss of his candidate in the election among the governors are evident of the heart of the presidency. My conclusion is that the president is in political dilemma today basically because of his advisers and aides pinning him down to failure. They are not helping him with all their reckless and senseless responses to critical national issues. Last week, for example, Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, was more abusive in his response to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s comment about leadership and good governance. Okupe became erratic that the opposition national leader claimed that Jonathan administration was drawing the country backward. Instead of facing the raised issues, he kept boasting that the current leadership had done more than any other in the country’s 52 years of nationhood. He only admitted that no administration has been abused like the Jonathan administration, except that he lied that the administration was being lied against than any other. Like his fellow aides to the president, abuses might just have further been degrading his boss that defending what in reality are not working in his favour. If things are not working, viable solutions should be acknowledged from all slants to makes them work. It goes beyond merely defending the indefensible. I remember the president once told chieftains of his party that democracy would have collapsed in the country without their party. He said the


HIS headline will surely elicit excitement or scorn. Let me go straightaway to announce the good news: that Nigeria, this year, made it into the list of the 50 Most Reputable Countries in the World in 2012! This was the result of the 2012 Reputation Track conducted by the US-based Reputation Institute (RI), the world’s foremost organisation that imparts reputation knowledge and monitors reputation of organisations, places and leaders. The announcement was made at the just concluded 17th international conference on Corporate Reputation, Brand Identity and Competitiveness held from June 5-7 in Barcelona Spain. Nigeria was noted to have made some significant improvement in its reputation. Before now, the country was not even considered for ranking. The not-so-good news, however, is that Nigeria was rated 47th out of 50. It scored only 31.54% mark above Pakistan (26.59%), Iran (21.34%) and Iraq (20.32%). All the eight countries that scored below 40% (China, Colombia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc) were noted for poor/bottom tier reputation. Two other African countries – South Africa (33rd) and Egypt (39th) made the list in the weak/vulnerable reputation category. Canada, Australia and Sweden topped the list of countries with strong/robust reputation. The criteria for the ranking were three-fold: effective government, advanced economy and appealing environment. Under “effective government”, a country with robust reputation is expected to have adopted progressive social and economic policies, is a responsible participant in the global economy, is a safe place and operates efficiently. Under “advanced economy”, a reputable country is supposed to produce high quality products/services, have many well-known brands, is an important contributor to global culture, is technologically advanced, has a well-educated workforce, and values education. And under “appealing environment”, a reputable country is supposed to be a beautiful country, is an enjoyable place, offers an appealing lifestyle, and the people are friendly and welcoming to visitors. That Nigeria was indeed mentioned among the world’s 50 most reputable countries was therefore cheering enough for me at the conference, especially with all our concerns about corruption, insecurity, challenges of governance, poor economy, weak institutions, decayed infrastructure, high unemployment, among others. The fact that Nigeria was mentioned among the most reputable countries in the world would certainly excite many Nigerians, especially government officials who would now incorporate the information into their campaigns. But for serious minded professionals, this is a wake-up call for strategies to pull Nigeria up the reputation ladder in the ranking for next year. Besides, this result shows that reputation is not earned by sloganeering, propaganda or the so-called

A nation beyond paper-growth economy intention of the opposition was to sink the PDP by imaging it as a horrific party. He accused the opposition of adopting ‘philosophy’ of “when you say the wrong thing one thousand times, it becomes the right thing.” In shielding his failed party which has been ruling for 14 years without making positive impact on the nation, he said that though PDP controls the Federal Government, it operates a system that allows the opposition to fly higher than the ruling party. His words: “They abuse us more, but we allow it. And it is the PDP that is handling the affairs of the country; that is stabilising the democracy in the country.” Castigating the opposition parties for being critical is nonsensical. Nobody is talking about party but achievement. To many, the present administration has been non-performing. The mid-term report was more of paper work painting than visible realities. There is suffering in the land; insecurity everywhere. Poor people are getting poorer. Yet, corruption keeps draining without discernible reversal of criminalities. It has been that Mr. President keeps shooting himself in the foot with the temperament of his advisers and aides who would not let him know ongoing realities in the country. They keep lying in order to impress him. Impressing the people should be with fulfillment of promises. Many voted Jonathan as a person and not necessarily to a ‘people deceiving people’ party. But it is untoward that his priority has been to perpetuate PDP’s grip on power in the nation. What the people want are results and not slackness, casualness or paper works by ministers stating economic growth that are not having impact on the life of the masses. If ongoing disruptions and distractions in PDP are sustained by those in power, there is the tendency of eventual collapse of the country. What will manifest by earnest criticisms is the fact that without PDP the way it now operates, democracy will not only survive but strive in Nigeria. Paper-growth economy being promoted by ministers is of no value to the people as long as they remain in poverty. Many Nigerians have nothing to hold on to today because they feel there is no future for them and their children. There is nothing people will accept as meaningful governance when they can hardly be inspired by good and effective leadership surrounded by honest patriotic advisers.

ate from booing him to throwing rotten eggs and tomatoes at him to show our dissatisfaction. Shame on Maku. From Iormough Belamo, Makurdi, Benue State. My reply to Maku is for him to simply look at the number of PDP governors that come to Lagos to understudy Fashola’s projects and programmes. Plateaus State is doing it right now in waste management. A government official in my state once described Jang as being second only to Fashola in terms of performances. He is the yardstick that the PDP governors used to measure their achievements - not Maku’s assessment tours.2347042325266 Sir, when you wrote “Opon-Imo..., is the first of its kind initiative in Nigeria, Africa and possibly the World,” I can’t agree less. Ogbeni deserve a big commendation for his purposeful governance. From Isola Olalere, Ondo. Interestingly, I do loud it on Radio Kwara interactive programme each time I called upon as a discussant that some brains among the governors deserve an encomium which Ogbeni falls among the grassroots governors with unique initiatives. Keep it up. The progressives appreciate your performances. On Maku, what do you expect of his category to say about an idealist like Fashola? During his tour to Kwara State for projects inspection, I challenged Federal Government on allocation formula through SMS that some governors have the minds to do more than this, but their allocation is insufficient. What did he say? Kasa! From Comrade Ishowo Olanrewaju. This PDP ‘misinformation minister’ if clinically examined must be suffering from somnambulism. Let him and Oga continue to be living in Paradise by doctoring their (not Nigeria) nocturnally prepared marking scheme. ‘Won a ba eru won ni bode’ by God’s grace with their tattered fetish umbrella come 2015. From Soji Oloketuyi, Igbemo Ekiti. Sir, I disagree with you that Maku has lost the correct spirit of journalism which is truth and truth alone. Even though he worked as a journalist, check out the records and you will understand why he talks too much, telling stories, sometimes of events that does not exist. As a trained historian, he is always trying to create his own history, and in the process, misinform Nigerians. It is shame that after practicing as a journalist, he will go down as the worst Information Minister in Nigeria. FromTony, Kaduna.

· FEEDBACK As it is, yes Uncle Soji, just as it is. When has it become law for a federal minister to monitor state performers? Was there any special grant outside the meager allocation from Abuja to Lagos that would warrant Labaran Maku to monitor? The minister felt he could play on Mr. Fashola (SAN), the pacesetter intelligent to collect money and praise him. Fashola has done well for Lagosians, he doesn’t need praise singer for anything. From Engr. Adekoya, Port Harcourt Soji, people like Labaran Maku has short memories. He said he fought government as student because he did not know government works. Now he knows; that’s why he is being like those he fought in his student days. Very soon, we will gradu-

‘Paper-growth economy being promoted by ministers is of no value to the people as long as they remain in poverty. Many Nigerians have nothing to hold on to today because they feel there is no future for them and their children’

Nigeria’s image: Good news from Barcelona By Jossy Nkwocha “image-laundering” which is the practice of quacks. Reputation is the result of hard work — effective governance, appealing place, good people and strong economy. Slogans are only devised to communicate the goodness. As the Reputation Institute clearly stated in its report, just like companies, the world’s places – its countries, states and cities exist in a reputation economy. How they are perceived by stakeholders, tourists, investors, students, workers and consumers can make the difference between having a robust or depressed economy. The economic impact of good reputation on countries is enormous: they attract more foreign direct investments (FDI), increased exports and foreign knowledge and talents. Investors want to invest in countries where their investments would be profitable and safe, where there are infrastructures to harness the investment, where the people are friendly, and where there is respect for the rule of law. Tourists want a beautiful place where they can go, watch exciting scenes, meet friendly people and go back home safe. Spain has no oil. Its economy is sustained mainly by tourism. In 2012, the country recorded 57 million tourists. Out of that number, Barcelona, where the RI conference was held - a very beautiful city- had more than 43 million tourists! The Nigerian government must find a way to build and manage its reputation through a strategic approach. Whoever is in charge must understand the concepts of corporate reputation and branding. Such a person must work very closely with the President (as is done in companies) and the key ministers of government. Indeed the Country’s Chief Reputation Officer (CCRO) is the President himself. What he says or does adds or subtracts from the country’s reputation. If the President truly leads by example, if he truly fights corruption, if he is truly in effective control of governance, if he truly promotes rule of law – all these will enhance the country’s reputation. That means that the minister or special adviser in charge of the country’s image/reputation must be the President’s and the Government’s key advisor. Indeed, like in the companies, he must exercise some level of oversight on all ministries and agencies of government, and report directly to the President. The government in Spain for instance, takes the country’s reputation very seriously. Two years ago, Spain found itself on the throes of serious economic crisis. The government

appointed a Minister in charge of Brand Spain. The Minister, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros addressed us at the conference and spoke very strongly on the strategies the government devised to rebuild the reputation of Spain and keep tourists coming in again. Spain was on the 18th position in the 2011 reputation ranking. In 2013, they moved up to 16th position. This was not achieved by mere sloganeering that Spain is good, come to Spain! Monteros told the conference that his office monitors every credible reputation ranking, every important newspaper article about Spain, every comment about Spain by critical stakeholders, every report of any misbehaviour of any government official or agency — and follows up to ensure that the right things are done. He was not employed as an attack dog. Monteros also ensures that good things about Spain – its strengths—are communicated effectively through various channels in many parts of the world, especially the G-8 countries where the major economic decisions of the world are made. I have a story to illustrate my point: When I arrived Barcelona Airport on June 4, my luggage was missing. I reported at the airport’s help desk. The officer in charge promptly contacted the airline which promised to deliver my luggage that evening. The officer went further to contact my hotel to confirm my reservation. Thereafter, she asked me to go to my hotel and wait for the luggage, which she promised would be delivered to me the next day in my hotel. By the time I got to my hotel, the information was already on display. And as promised, the next day, my luggage was delivered to me in good condition. The system worked for me; and I felt even better about Spain. Nigeria has a lot to learn from the Reputation Institute and Spain! • Sir Nkwocha, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), is currently Head of Corporate Communications at Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

‘If the President truly leads by example, if he truly fights corruption, if he is truly in effective control of governance, if he truly promotes rule of law – all these will enhance the country’s reputation’





EPORTS that some youths in Borno State floated a vigilante group to hunt suspected Boko Haram members must have come to many with mixed feelings. Operating under the banner “Civilian JTF”, the youths go from street to street and house to house, arresting suspects who they subsequently hand over to the “military JTF”. Clutching cutlasses, iron rods and wooden batons, the youths were apparently emboldened by the relative successes by the military since the declaration of state of emergency and disenchantment with the lingering insecurity that has made life unbearable for them. They had to take resort to self-help ostensible to complement the efforts of the military. Given the intractable dimension the insurgency has assumed especially in that state, the reaction of the youths is quite understandable. With increased military presence forcing insurgents to flee, the youths must have mustered confidence that they can now turn against the insurgents without fear of reprisals as was hitherto the case. In the past, any attempt to expose the insurgents attracted severe repercussions from the marauders who had become law unto themselves. This made it difficult for civilians to volunteer information to the military and emboldened the insurgents to unleash more lethal attacks on their targets. The reaction of the youths could therefore pass for a vote of confidence in the activities of the JTF. With increased cooperation from the civilian population, there is hope that the insurgents will soon be smoked out of their hideouts. This should be something to cheer not only for the military that has been battling allegations of human rights violations, but the entire Ni-

‘As we get closer to electioneering campaigns, terrorism, religion and ethnicity will turn out as irreducible decimals that will shape political discourse’


Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email:

Borno’s civilian JTF gerian citizenry that is equally terrified by these terrorist acts. Even then, the self-assigned crusade of the youths is equally laden with potent dangers. There is the risk of abuse. There is also the issue of the genuineness of those purportedly crusading as anti-insurgents. There is nothing to give comfort that the said civilian JTF is not a decoy by fifth columnists to mess up the renewed onslaught on the insurgents. Some other miscreants could equally hijack the exercise to wreak more havoc on the same society they purport to be crusading for. It could also turn out as another avenue for witch-hunting and scores-settling by the sponsors of the insurgency. These fears are real and have to be very carefully monitored. Rather than take to the streets clutching dangerous weapons, the youths would be more effective in the areas of information gathering and espionage. They should be encouraged to supply whatever intelligence information they have on suspects to the JTF. They cannot possible be a parallel unstructured army because of the frightening prospects of sliding into lawlessness. We say so because there is the possibility of politicizing the entire exercise with more devastating consequences for the overall health of the campaign. Signals emanating from the political turf indicate a deliberate attempt by the political parties to put the Boko Haram insurgency to partisan advantage. At the moment, there is a deliberate attempt by the political parties to place the blame of the heightened security challenge at the door steps of each other. In a

OTHING perhaps can illustrate the disillusionment regarding the delivery of justice in the country as the reported lamentation of Mr. Justice Okechukwu Okeke who recently retired from the Federal High Court. Speaking at a reception on his retirement, Justice Okeke informed his audience that 35,000 cases were pending in his court when he was presiding at the Federal High Court. He said he learnt that the number has since gone up to about 70,000 since he left; yet, only one judge still presides over the cases. Justice Okeke is just one of many judges to have gone through similar experiences. The learned judge hit the nail on its head by his simple deduction that the increase in the number of cases pending in law courts is attributable to shortage of judges and high rate of litigations. Obviously that inference is begging for official acknowledgment as a reason for the slow machinery of justice dispensation. But a situation whereby a judge battles with 35,000 cases is a recipe for corruption. So those who believe that the Nigerian judiciary has become tainted with the pervasive corruption in the land have a strong factor in their favour. When that factor is laced with the cumbersome processes of court; the often cramp court-rooms and court environment; the absence of facilities, the unreliability of power supply (both from the PHCN and the generators), the malfunctioning air conditioners, the tedious long-hand recording of proceedings by the judges; the non-availability of legal research assistants and the predisposition of the judges, as human beings, to these looming factors, the result is anybody’s guess but certainly in dissonance with smooth administration of justice. It is notable that the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar is all too familiar with these scenarios in court. She went through them on her way to the Supreme Court which in itself is heavily saddled with pending matters. Justice Aloma has had several occasions to speak publicly about the problems of the judiciary, vis-à-vis her own vision, which includes zero-tolerance for corruption and un-productivity. She recently told judicial officers: “As you are well aware and as I have reiterated on so many occasions, we have a vision of a justice system that is simple, fast and efficient. It must be responsive to the needs and yearnings of the citizenry. If the public loses respect for the Bench, the society may gradually be creeping back to the days of jungle justice, as less and less persons and institutions will be willing to entrust their disputes to us”. Speaking at the official commissioning of the permanent site of the Appeal Court, Ibadan last month, Mrs. Mukhtar said Nigerian courts, like many others in developing countries of the world, struggle to cope with situations like absence of standard libraries and out-dated legal infrastructure. Quite appropriately, she summed it all up with a verdict that, for courts to discharge their role of dispute settlement and interpretation of law effectively, they must not be denied of

desperate attempt to gain partisan advantage, the parties now, seek ways to label their opponents supporters or sponsors of terrorism. The issue is not helped by the utterances of key political persons since state of emergency was announced in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. PDP publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh labeled the coalescing opposition as terrorists, sequel to a statement from the Action Congress of Nigeria ACN urging the National Assembly not to approve the declaration of the state of emergency by President Jonathan. Though the ACN later modified its stance urging the National Assembly to take a very dispassionate perspective of the matter, the cat had already been let out of the bag. As that was not enough, Mohammed Buhari’s statement that the state of emergency is anti-North equally drew the ire of the government. It has elicited calls for his arrest and the trading of words between him and the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN. The Boko Haram challenge is no doubt a very sensitive one. A lot of families have suffered immeasurably both in human and material losses. It is one issue that is laden with the prospects of inflaming tempers not only along sectional but ethnic and religious lines. The positions political parties take on the matter are bound to affect their perception by the electorate and ultimately their electoral fortunes. Nothing illustrates this slide to partisanship more

poignantly than a statement issued by the publicity secretary of ACN, Lai Mohammed in which the party reacted to insinuations by the PDP and the presidency that are intended to rope in the opposition or the leadership of ACN as sponsors of terrorism. In that statement, Mohammed contended that the sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria are either within the PDP or are somehow associated with it. The party drew attention to a publication in the journal of the New York-based World Policy Institute in which some names of Nigerian sponsors of terrorism were published. Mohammed said a perusal of that document shows a former Nigerian Ambassador to Sao Tome and Principe and a serving Nigerian state governor, all members of the PDP as alleged sponsors. Before now, we have equally been told by no less a person than the late National Security Adviser; Andrew Owoye Azazi that terrorism took to an all time high after the last presidential primaries of the PDP. The issue was also raised by Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu when he tasked the committee on amnesty to focus on the sponsorship of the insurgency as a way of getting at the root of the mater. The point here is that there is an increasing focus on the sponsors of acts of terrorism in the country. What this indicates is that unless we expose those surreptitiously backing the Boko Haram insurgents, we are only scratching the surface of the matter. This point is unassailable. It is in this effort to expose those responsible for the huge resources that sustain the insurgency that the parties want to take political advantage. As we get closer to electioneering campaigns, terrorism, religion and ethnicity will turn out as irreducible decimals that will shape political discourse. We will also begin to see attempts to link some of the candidates to Boko Haram. Issues as the sections of the country and states most prone to terrorism; the parties that control them and the positions of leaders on the matter are bound to be played up. From the current posturing of the PDP and the opposition, sponsorship of terrorism has become a major issue that will be put to advantage when the ban on campaigns is lifted. The way it is handled will determine the success or failure of the coming elections. Time will bear this out.

Reforming the judiciary By Victor Nelson requisite infrastructure, expertise and technology. Justice Mukhtar has not been alone in seeking to unravel the delay in administering justice in the country. Former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta had also pinpointed corruption as a factor. Justice Auta is perhaps more blunt when he accused the police, lawyers, prison officials and fellow judges of contributing to the slow pace of criminal justice delivery by acts of omission or commission. “Corruption is the only reason that can explain the snail’s speed at which the administration of criminal justice is moving in Nigeria.” The CJN certainly cannot be found wanting in articulating the problems of that all-important sector she heads; and consequently seeking to solve them. In practical terms, the challenge ahead is far greater. Surely, Justice Mukhtar did not create the loopholes afflicting the judiciary and thus causing the slow grinding of the wheel of justice. But if after all said and done, there is little or no change for the better, who else can one blame but the Chief Justice? All cases are important but criminal matters, which often involve the liberty of the accused, are more important. Many such cases have been pending in court, for one reason or the other, for too long. The CJN ought to be particularly interested because the effect, locally, is that of justice denied – following the dictum that justice delayed is justice denied. Internationally, such delays have deeper implications, one of which is the clog it presents in attracting enduring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country. Justice Mukhtar may not be a fund keeper for the judiciary, but she is a fund manager and adviser. She has a role to play in directing appropriate expenditure first, towards meeting the infrastructure deficits she has identified as the bane of quick justice dispensation; and, not being directly in charge of all aspects of the judiciary, particularly in the states, she needs to advise the various governments accordingly. The judiciary is continually under scrutiny and test of performance and reliability. Fortunately for the institution, it has continued to survive as the hope of Nigerians despite the serious reputational bashing it has also suffered in the recent past. As a woman and the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mrs. Mukhtar should strive to make a difference regarding court rules and procedure. There must be a way of ensuring that judges have research assistants to enable them sift the whiff from the chaff of legal submissions. There must be a way around the ready exploitation of countless loopholes by which some lawyers cover up their

inadequacy or unpreparedness by seeking and obtaining adjournments endlessly. There must be a way of managing epileptic power supply to at least achieve a minimum condition of ventilation and safety for the courts. The Chief Justice has admitted on some occasions that many Nigerians laws are archaic, amounting to no more than relics of colonisation. Given that law reform is slow and often expensive, there must be a way to identify the more inglorious of such archaic laws and bring them to civilization; or dispense with them altogether. Importantly, there must be a wayindeed conscious effort must be exerted-to ensure fairness of trial, and accordance of due respect to accused persons in the course of trial. Nothing must be allowed to trample on section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution, to the effect that an accused person is presumed innocent until his guilt is proven by a court of competent jurisdiction. Justice Mukhtar has a holistic assignment of correcting these and other ills afflicting the judiciary and thus sustaining the notion that the courts are indeed the last hope of Nigerians. However, running Nigeria’s judiciary in public like the CJN does with her public statements of late seems at variance with the standards expected of that otherwise normally conservative arm of government. These public pronouncements are reminiscent of the military style era of the 1970s when the whiplash of ‘sack with immediate effect’ was visited on the civil service with its horrendous and damaging effects. Is this the future we want for the judiciary? When you threaten your judges in public with fire and brimstone rather than through the process of administrative circulars, the discerning public is left wondering what the motives were. The challenges are not going to be solved through kneejerk approach, but through articulately thought-through solutions rather than public statements about judicial cleansing that would have the unnecessary result of putting the judges on edge. • Nelson, Attorney At Law, wrote from Lagos.

‘The challenges are not going to be solved through knee-jerk approach, but through articulately thought-through solutions rather than public statements about judicial cleansing that would have the unnecessary result of putting the judges on edge’







JOB LAWMA: Clearing waste, creating jobs - P. 37

‘Nigeria needs a land bank’ - P. 27 News Briefing ‘Fed Govt lied over Benue River dredging’ CONTRARY to what was contained in the Mid Term Report on Achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan about the dredging of River Benue, it has been discovered that no provision was made for the implementation of the project in 2013 budget.

- Page 26

Execution of compulsory insurance shaky ABOUT five years into the implementation of five major compulsory insurance in the country by the regulatory authority, the National Insurance Commission’s (NAICOM) enforcement seems shaky.

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Anxiety over Pension Act amendment WORKERS are fretting over the on-going process by legislators to amend the Pension Act 2004. They are afraid that their hard-earned contributory pension may get into wrong hands should the Act be amended.

- Page 40 DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

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

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

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

Foreign portfolio outflows unsettle T financial markets HE Naira buckled and Nigerian equities withered last week following the exit of foreign investors from the financial markets. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that had remained bullish tumbled in mid-week trading, building up a whooping loss of N888 billion within last three trading days of last week culminating in a decline of 5.85 per cent. The declines across Nigerian financial markets echoed the turbulent global financial markets, amid concerns about the prospects of world’s leading economies. Market sources said the depreciation across the markets was driven by foreign portfolio outflows as global funds sought to lock in profit or back up their central positions. Expectedly, this development exerted pressure on the Naira, which fell 0.8 per cent to N162.60 a dollar taking its weekly decline to 1.8 per cent. It was the worst performance since the five days through December 23, 2011 based on data compiled by Bloomberg. At the black market otherwise known as the unofficial market, the Naira, which opened last week at N159 per dollar closed at the weekend at N163 per dollar. The depreciation partly reflected strong corporate demand for dollar, and to a lesser extent upward trending bond yields that signals likely foreign divestment out of the bond market. But the CBN has assured that it’s ready to defend the naira and move the currency back to within the plus or minus three per cent of N155 band. CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Dr. Sarah Alade, who gave this assurance in a chat with The Nation at the weekend, urged operators in the financial markets not to panic. She said: “With our reserves at $49.35billion as at Thursday June 13, 2013, investors do not have any reason to worry at all. The CBN is still committed to making the exchange market stable. The movement outside the band is just a temporary measure.” Asked to confirm if foreign investors were actually exiting the equities and bond markets and repatriating their funds, the deputy governor said she could not authenticate that but the picture would be clearer today. In a bid to defend the exchange rate, the banking watchdog has been intervening in the bi-weekly official foreign exchange market

•Equities lose 6%, Naira drops 1.8% By Ayodele Aminu and Taofik Salako

(Whole Dutch Auction System) by increasing its dollar sale and had mopped through Treasury Bills and bonds a total of N7.6 trillion from the economy this year. Data from the CBN shows that forex sales at WDAS increased from an average of $162 million per session in the first quarter to $285 million from April to date. Nigerian financial markets are substantially susceptible to global market’s turbulence with foreign investors and companies dominating trading in Nigerian financial assets. Latest update shows that foreign investors accounted for 64.48 per cent of total transaction value at stock market in April, the last available data, a substantial increase on 52.78 per cent they recorded in March when they displaced domestic investors as the most influential investment block. However, last week’s decline came amidst concerns that a combination of continuous decline in global crude oil prices and domestic crude oil production could lead to depletion of external reserves, exchange rate instability and increased debt and higher fiscal deficit. Recent report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria’s economic output in the first quarter slipped by 0.43 per cent to 6.56 per cent in the first quarter of this year as against 6.99 per cent recorded in the previous quarter-fourth quarter of 2012. The decline was largely due to poor output in the oil sector which led to a 1.05 per cent decline in the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Products (GDP) to 14.75 per cent. Global oil prices had declined considerably in recent period. Nigeria’s bonny light crude currently trades at $107.5pb, 7.2 per cent lower than $115.3 per barrel (pb) in first quarter 2013 just as Nigeria’s oil output declined to 1.94 million barrel per day (mbpd) in April. The decline in global oil prices is largely due to demand concerns and the continuous uncertainty in Europe. Domestic oil output has also been negatively affected by several disruptions such as pipeline vandalism, bunkering and force majeure. Financial Derivatives

•CBN assures of stability, mops N7.6tr

Company noted that the declining price and output imply a shortfall in federal government revenue as a result of Nigeria’s ultra dependence on oil, estimating that Nigeria might have since lost some 6.8 per cent of its oil revenue of $1.85 trillion in first quarter 2013. According to analysts, a further decline in global oil prices to $90pb will be devastating for the Nigerian economy, as the reverberations of the shocks will hamper any form of growth across all sectors of the economy. All these could be compounded by possible increase in the government

spending in view of the military action in some Northern states, which poses potential risks to inflation and exchange rate. “Given that oil prices, notably bonny light crude, decline to $90pb, Nigeria could see a further decline in its growth rate by 1.5per cent. Also, oil revenue w ou l d i m m ed i a t el y d ecline by 30 per cent or $2.4 billion per month in nominal terms. This will cause a rapid increase in government borrowing, add to the current total government debt of N8.7 trillion and increase the nation’s fiscal deficit beyond the current t arget of 2.85 per cent of

GDP,” analysts at FDC had noted. They pointed out that as the value of the naira falls at the parallel market and the likelihood for capital flight increases, external reserves could be depleted by about $10 billion to $15 billion from the current level of $48.5 billion. The resultant $33.5 billion to $38.5 billion will only cover an average of eight months of exports, which may lead to increase in Nigeria’s borrowing. “The implications of a further decline in oil prices paint a bleak picture for the Nigerian economy,” FDC stated. Analysts, however, noted the possibility of an upturn in global economy, which may also positively impact Nigeria’s economic outlook and stave the economy from austere future.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

Experts flay creation of another regulatory body


By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

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

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

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 Arik Aero Arik Aero

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

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

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

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

08.00 18.00

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


•From left: Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya, a renowned artist and Mrs Carla Sojinrin of the Corporate Banking Group, Sterling Bank Plc. during the judging ceremony of the Sterling bank staff children art competition in Lagos.

‘Fed Govt lied over Benue River dredging’


ONTRARY to what was contained in the Mid Term Report on Achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan about the dredging of River Benue, it has been discovered that no provision was made for the implementation of the project in 2013 budget. A copy of the document obtained by The Nation in Abuja, showed that the project was at procurement stage. It reads: “Procurement processes are on for the dredging of the River Benue and the construction of Makurdi River Port.” Stakeholders in the transport sector have expressed disappointment over the non-inclusion of the dredging of the Benue River in the 2013 budget. They accused the government of paying lip service to its promise of dredging the river. Investigation by the newpaper revealed that no provision was made for the project as the cost of the project was not reflected in this year’s budget. Therefore, the government only made mere pronouncement with no commitment. An official of the government,


From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

who spoke in confidence to The Nation, said: “Government promised to make available necessary provisions to ensure that the dredging commences before the end of the first quarter but here we are with nothing. It’s really a sign of un-seriousness on the part of the government.” Another source at the National Inland Water Ways Authority (NIWA), wondered if the dredging of the Benue River will take the Federal Government 30 years that it took it to dredge River Niger. However, members of the House of Representatives from Benue State and the executive council of Benue State, have started pushing for the quick implementation of the project, it was learnt. During the meeting of the National Council on Transport (NCT) in December last year, the Federal Government promised to embark on the dredging before end of first quarter of this year. At the end of the meeting, which involved commissioners of transport and regulatory agencies, a communiqué issued

by the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar and Commissioners for Transport from two other states stated that the project would start alongside construction of Makurdi River port. Part of the communiqué read: “That the Federal Ministry of Transport should expedite action on the dredging of the Lower River Benue, the Development of the Makurdi River Port, and other Ports and Jetties along the Lower River Niger and River Benue. “The Federal Ministry of Transport should encourage Inter-Ministerial and Inter Agency collaboration, to ensure effective utilisation of the nation’s water resources, inland waterways, river basins and others. ”In view of the recent incidents of flooding in many parts of the country and their impact on transportation and its infrastructure, that Council should advocate for the convocation of an all-stakeholders’ summit to address the problems of flooding holistically with a view to finding appropriate solutions.”

Computer Society seeks ICT Ministry

ESPITE the establish ment of the Federal Min istry of Communications Technology by the Federal Government, the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) has said the creation of an Information Technology Ministry is the only way the nation can fully optimise the huge potential in the IT industry. Speaking on the sideline during the conferment of honoraray award on Jim Ovia, Chairman, Visafone Communications, in Lagos, Provost, College of Fellows, NCS, Oladimeji Ogunewe, insisted that since the core of information communication technology (ICT) is IT, it is imperative that the Federal Government take a second look at the creation of an IT ministry. This, he argued, would allow for the participation in the design and implementation of IT infra-

By Lucas Ajanaku

structure. “The core of ICT is IT. So anything you do in the IT profession is computer. We believe in putting emphasis on the core knowledge usage of where IT comes from (which is) computing machinery. Most of what we do in IT now is training. We want to be part of adding value to IT and you can only get that when you are a core participant, part of the design of IT infrastructure. “I believe we can get there faster if we concentrate on IT, all other things will be added unto you but again some school of thought talks of convergence but it’s like six and half a dozen. No big issue but our preference is for us to concentrate on core (IT) as a condition for participating in ICT usage worldwide. It is when you begin design-

ing and manufacturing of the infrastructure of IT that your value addition can be patronised by other companies,” he said. He lamented that because of the absence of an IT ministry, indigenous original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) were struggling to survive. “Even some of our senior colleagues who are manufacturing, there is a lot to get if government were to give total concentration to them to do what they are doing. “There are so many infrastructural tools that if you are chasing after as individuals, it will be hard to achieve but if government gives the enabling platform like IT parks and others, this will allow for concentration on adding value and not re-inventing the wheel,”he added.

XPERTS in the aviation in dustry have picked holes in some sections of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Policy ( NCAP), including the proposed creation of an economic regulatory body for the sector other than the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). They insisted that taking over the statutory function of the NCAA would bring about infraction on air safety as experience has shown in other countries, including the United Kingdom. The experts are Captain Dung Pam, chairman, Nigerian Aviation Safety a initiative ( NASI), and Mr Olumide Ohunayo, an aviation analyst and Head of Strategy, Zenith Travels. They spoke in separate interviews in Lagos. Capt Pam argued that withdrawing the statutory economic regulation functions of the aviation sector from the NCAA, and giving to another autonomous body would create communication gaps between the economic and safety components of the industry. He said: “The danger with this proposal is that it will introduce a communication chasm between safety and economic regulation as both bodies may tend to display their autonomy. This will make prompt coordinated remedial action almost impossible. “The outcome will dilute the effectiveness of the NCAA in performing its statutory functions with regards to aviation safety, consumer protection and antitrust matters.” Corroborating Capt Pam, Ohunayo said some aspects of the policy need to be reviewed and taht an independent search and rescue agency with offices in the six geo-political zones would only over burden the system with attendant cost implication. “Why do we want to protect a new group of private investors at the expense of investors using the banner of a national carrier? The government is starting another flag carrier not national, so the carrier should be free to compete rather than seek government protection?” he asked.

Cocoa union plans farmers’database


By Daniel Essiet

HE Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) is plan ning a database of farmers, the association’s General Secretary, Mr Adebola Aragbada, has said. He said the group is registering cocoa farmers to assist the government in implementating the agricultural transformation programme. There are concerns about certified cocoa beans. Aragbada said the database would help in making decisions on the cocoa sector. He said it would capture both personal information and farmers’ activities, such as location and size of farms, among others. He said there are opportunities for optimising income in cocoaproducing communities and that CAN was ready to support the government to increase cocoa production and eradicate inefficiencies. He noted that this would not be possible if the government doesn’t know number of cocoa farmers, their land holdings, and viable cocoa trees. He said the information available on cocoa production sector was scarce.



THE CEO The scramble for land, especially in the urban areas of the country, is a do-or-die. To former President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Chief Charles Olumide Adebiyi the solution to the problem lies the creation of a land bank. In this interview with SEYI ODEWALE he speaks on challenges facing real estate, insisting that local governments should be involved in providing shelter for the people.


O governments, at any level, have any business in property develop ment, especially, housing? What you called property is land based. And land in Nigeria and most other places, is under the jurisdiction and control of the government. To that extent, we can say that property, real estate, whether it is housing, commercial or industrial, because it requires land to be allocated and government is in full control of allocation and pricing of land, yes government has business in property and real estate. The extent to which government has business is what we may define. Now the cost and value of any product depend on the cost and value of inputs for making that product. If real estate is a product made out of land together with other factors of production such as capital, labour; all of them added together, the cost of real estate will depend on the cost of all of those factors together with the entrepreneurship that was brought about to combine them together. To that extent, government is an important and critical part of the business of property or real estate as you may wish to define it. Whoever goes into real estate business has the mind of making money... Yes, everybody who goes into business has to make profit otherwise, he will not survive. But a government that tries to be populist may not have the mind of making profit in real estate if it ventures into it? There are certain areas of the economy where profit is not the essential factor. Social housing for instance, may not necessarily require profit making. It is an economic activity that probably requires taxes to be applied to subsidising the production, distribution and allocation of that kind of product. And you know that the scope of real estate is very wide and it cuts across the entire spectrum of the society. From the rich to the poor, all of them must have access particularly, in terms of housing, to one form of housing or the other. In terms of the other aspects of real estate, it may not necessarily be one that is all encompassing across the social spectrum. But for housing, everyone must have one form of housing or the other. So, government is under obligation to ensure that, somehow, every citizen has access to some form of housing. It may not be full ownership, but some form of housing, shelter ought to be provided. There are different types of shelters that can be provided. Some people are provided with hostels; some with camps, depending on who they are, whether they are itinerant people, but some people are permanent in some urban places. There will be urban housing; there may be rural housing; there may be housing for those moving round. For instance in the United Kingdom (UK) and other places, people buy Caravans and take them to Caravan sites and plug their houses there for the time that they are going to spend there. There are holiday houses; there are all kinds of houses. Government cannot be separated from it, because it regulates nearly every aspect of property or real estate. But government often gets consumed with trying to provide houses that it ends up not doing anything at all? Government must also look at its own resources, look at the people targeted and rationalise how best to do it. Government cannot be providing subsidised housing for the rich. Government cannot be providing subsidised housing facilitation for the near-rich. Government has an obligation to facilitate some form of housing provision for the poor. But the so-called subsidised houses do not get to those intended? That is the problem you face in a system where the methods and organisation of things are in trouble. It is not only in terms of housing, there are many things we try to

• Adebiyi

‘Nigeria needs a land bank’ Profile •Institutions attended

University of Lagos; University of Ghana, Legon 1970; London City and Guilds 1966; Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, 1973.

•Previous Positions

Draughtsman in the Civil Engineering Department, Nigeria Railway Corporation 1963 to 1968; Knight, Frank & Rutley (Nig), 1971; Onakanmi & Partners, 1976 to 1977.

•Present Position

Chairman/CEO Charles Adebiyi & Company, since 1978.

•Professional membership Fellow, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; Fellow, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. •Experience

Over 40 years.

do in our country that are targeted at certain people in certain areas, but never get to them. From fertiliser distribution to all kinds of goodies, people often do not get them. This is because of those in-between, who cream

up the profits that are involved there. That really is a political issue. If government has the will and the people are alert and aware of what is happening, then I think some control can happen. But the trouble is that many

Nigerians are not aware of what is happening to them in the economy, even in politics. Their so-called leaders are the ones who decide for them and they are silent. All those who talk about Nigerians say this, Nigerians say that, are not representing the people. Most of the time, Nigerians are not saying anything, they are not even aware of what is going on. Is this deliberate on the part of the people? Now if you have the illiteracy level of nearly 50 per cent across the land, although different from region to region, you can expect that the level of awareness will also be low because knowledge is power. Without the knowledge of what is going on, like the Bible said in one of its chapters that: “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” •Continued on page 28



THE CEO •Continued from page 27

It is important that people are aware of what is going on and know what their rights are. Once people are aware and can see what government is doing, that there is transparency and openness, then they will be able to contribute and tell government what they really want. Everybody must be able to analyse what people want before they provide those things for them. There must always be needs assessment before you do anything. But if people do not know what they want, if they do not know about themselves and do not understand what is going on, then a group of people will corner the decision making process. That is inevitable with a society like ours; that is why education is important; mass education is very important for people to understand what their rights are. There have been instances of where government appeared to be genuine by selling land to people to develop, perhaps on site and services scheme, and later took the land from them, citing frivolous excuses. I don’t seem to understand that. I will give you an instance. The Abesan scheme in Aboru, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos people, we are told, bought the land on site and services scheme and the land was later taken from them... Abesan is a complicated case. I think it is a situation where Federal Government was first involved and the state government later came into it. Then there was a tussle, largely between the state and the Federal Government, and I don’t know how it was resolved. People don’t seem to trust government again, especially on land matters... I agree with you that there are many things we could do, but because of lack of trust we are not able to do them Not only in primary issues of land allocation and acquisition, but also on issues relating to developing property, bringing people together to undertake investment in property. It is possible in other places like real estate investment trust; securitisation and so on. It is possible to do many things and make supply available. It is very difficult in Nigeria because of lack of trust. There is lack of trust between the people and government; there is lack of trust among the people themselves in terms of what people say they will deliver; the ability, the willingness and truthfulness in delivery. That is a major problem and it is also one of the things we need to examine very closely. Is government providing an enabling environment for private sector participation? It depends on the government you are talking about. You know government has three tiers with different powers and jurisdictions. So, we have to examine what the Federal Government is doing, what it has been able to do and what it should really be doing. Sometimes in the past, I used to think that Federal Government was not placing sufficient importance on issues relating to land and urban development. I used to think that the government was so concerned with petroleum and somethings spinning money for it that it did not bother too much about land. You can track it and look at government budgets over the years and see what was on at the federal level. It may be like a federal thing, but it is not important for it to get fully involved in the area since power over land now vests with the states. Then we need to ask what the states are doing? Some states are doing absolutely wonderful, while some others are not just concerned. May be it also depends on pressure that is imposed on those states. Lagos State for instance, has no choice, but to place a lot of emphasis on issues relating to land and its development; allocation of resources relating to land. But there are some states that are not worried. May be they have low population and there is plenty of land. I always thought that the distribution of jurisdiction for the facilitation of land related matters is not balanced. I think that the local level should be more involved in doing some form of housing facilitation. Out of whatever allocation it has, I have always been of the view that local governments must have a

‘Nigeria needs a land bank’

• Adebiyi

‘For land to be properly managed, you need a very viable land information system. It requires a technology that is new and not widespread. Even professionals in our field and other land related professions do not have that capacity. We are still talking about how to enlarge capacity building for land information system, which will make for good management and effective allocation and distribution. Until we are able to do that, we will be nowhere because we are acting out of ignorance’

• Adebiyi

kind of compulsion to provide a certain number of housing facilitating, either in terms of site and services or in terms of actual production of housing. No matter how small, at least, once a year.

But some councils claimed to have been shortchanged by the states in their monthly federal allocations. That is one of the problems. I have always thought that if those responsible for

allocating funds among the tiers of government know this they can restructure in such a way that the little given to them can be utilised. After all, there is a certain amount of distribution that is granted to the states or local governments from the petroleum equalisation fund. You can see the critical need, the critical nature of housing that we have, and we must not pretend that we don’t have it. And this is going to take a long time to solve. It is going to bring its own crisis later on, beyond the ones we are talking about. No matter how small, each of these local governments has to provide, at least, five units of housing a year. They should get into the habit, which will later become a culture of ensuring that they have local government council housing. Whether they sell or rent to those who need them is another issue. But it has to be done. Perhaps the pressure on land in Lagos is responsible for the preponderance of litigations. For instance, some people after buying their land and perfecting the papers are again asked to repurchase the land because a court judgment changed the ownership of the land in question... It is because of the historical nature of our land tenure system. Even before the land use Act came, we have already had complicated land tenure system, where even amongst us, there had always been rivalries and arguments. One cannot say that all the problems were brought about by the Land Use Act because if you recall, you would know that the nature of our settlements and the way, we were urbanised in the Southwest, had always been one characterised by disputes over land. In certain cases people claimed to have the original ownership and certain people would come and were granted the use of the land. They eventually became those claiming ownership of such land. And maybe nothing is said for a long time, and generations after generations, some people will come and because of the terrible state of the economy, start controversies on such land. To solve that issue, which I see as a big one, we need a land bank. I don’t know whether we can reach that point of technical capacity of setting up one. To reach that point would have meant setting up a land bank. At some point in time, whether in the past or present, of course, something was done by the Geographic Information System (GIS). What we would have done was to set up a land bank in which everyone, no matter who they are, will be invited to bring what they consider to be their land ownership; its history, and geography-survey and there will be an agency that will verify these claims, articulate and decide on what to do. Sometimes it may be for solving a problem between two aggrieved parties. What is essential is information on land to solve whatever riddles surrounding it. I think that is why states like Lagos have been doing programmes on GIS. But we need the technology because of the overwhelming nature of data that we have to capture and the capacity of the people who would do it is not there. So, it is going to take some time and most governments are not even aware of what we are talking about. For land to be properly managed, you need a very viable land information system. It requires a technology that is new and not widespread. Even professionals in our field and other land related professions do not have that capacity. We are still talking about how to enlarge capacity building for land information system, which will make for good management and effective allocation and distribution. Until we are able to do that, we will be nowhere because we are acting out of ignorance. If these things are in place, judges’ jobs will be easier because there will be a bank for all the information on land. Mabogunje used to talk about land registration, which in my view would have improved the economy, because the land that is registered is given a kind of certification, there is a kind of value attached to it, even if the value does not increase, but it can be ascertained and used in securing assistance or as collateral. The percentage of land that has come under the ambit of what we are talking about is very small.




Five years after, enforcement of compulsory insurance shaky A

BOUT five years into the implementation of five major compulsory insurance in the country by the regulatory authority, the National Insurance Commission’s (NAICOM) enforcement seems shaky. The compulsory insurance was introduced by the commission through its Market Development Initiative (MDRI) programme and made compulsory by law by the Insurance Act 2003 and other sister legislations. They include Group Life Insurance in line with the PenCom Act 2004; Motor Third party Insurance covered by Section 68 of the Insurance Act 2003; Buildings under Construction covered by Section 64 of the Insurance Act 2003; Occupiers Liability insurance covered by section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003 and Health Care Professional Indemnity Insurance under Section 45 of the NHIS Act 1999. The MDRI project, according to the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Fola Daniel, is designed to be a medium-term project that would install the first phase of reforms in the areas of industry capacity, market efficiency and consumer

Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

protection in the country, adding that the project would be effective between 2009 and 2012. Daniel also said it is expected to expand the industry to generate a projected income of N1trillion gross premium last year, a figure he said is capable of significant contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But, as at end of last year out of the projected N1trillion through the MDRI, only about N200million was generated. NAICOM appears to be suffering a major setback in enforcing the law against erring members of the public as it was discovered that the commission lacked the enforcement power like the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to carry out necessary actions following enforcement take-off plan which began in September 2011. Offenders in this case will be vehicle owners, landlords, builders and doctors, who do not have the

necessary insurance to protect third party’s lives and properties. The Commission in 2011 began enforcing the law with a combined team of the Police, Federal Road Safety Commision (FRSC), Fire Service officers, the Insurance Consumers Association of Nigeria and NAICOM officials. At present, none of these officials were on ground to arrest and enforce these laws against erring persons. Investigations by The Nation reveal that many landlords are not aware of the Occupiers Liability insurance or Buildings under Construction insurance while some are non-chalant. A landlord in Lagos, Alhaji Wasiu Oladele, who does not want his address stated, simply said he has heard about the law, but he does not have it. Another landlord, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was not aware of the law and as such did not insure his property. Head, Corporate Affairs of NAICOM, Rasaaq Salami, told The

Nation explained the commission’s challenges and constraints. He said: “Enforcement is not only when you go out to raid people and arrest them but having the powers to execute the law. “If you go and arrest and you don’t have the powers to execute, the police cannot detain them for more than 48 hours before they are released.” Salami, however, disclosed that the commission was working on guidelines that would address the challenges. Leadway Assurance Ms. Adetoun Adetona said the implementation and enforcement lie with the government at state and federal levels while insurers can only build awareness. She pointed out that the motor insurance, which is an initiative of the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), is making progress, noting that builders’ liability is suppose to be supported by the Fire Service in terms of enforcement. “While NIA is working on the NIID—for the success of the motor insurance, we expect the Fire Service to enforce builders’ liability effectively because the police

•Daniel cannot be going into buildings to inspect if they have the necessary insurances. “There is need for the industry to engage the Fire Services to enforce the law on building liability just like the NIA that is taking care of third party motor insurance”, she said.

‘Insurance panacea for nation’s growth’


NSURANCE plays a critical role in an economy’s savings for productive investment and growth, an octogenarian and industrial giant, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode, has said. He spoke at the yearly International Education Conference of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Lagos. He said the insured, insurer and the nation would be better off if lives and properties are insured. The event has as theme: The nation in transformation: Repositioning the insurance industry. He called on the public to take advantage of insurance, urging insurers to ensure prompt payment of claims. If this is done, he said, insurance business would prosper while the nation would also gain from boost. Onosode, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, called on insurers to embrace discipline, adding that for an organisation to grow, there should be commitment to discipline. Prof. Pat Utomi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), said using pooled risks to


reduce uncertainties should be a major role insurers must play in the nation’s transformation. Speaking on the topic, Leadership and strategy governance challenges in a transforming economy, he said insurers should also play the role of developing venture capital in its investment and engage in risk and capital formation in the long term. He called on insurers to be more proactive and rise to the challenge of questioning whatever seems inimical to growth and development. Utomi said Nigeria has the potential to become great in the comity of nations if people contribute their best to it. Chairman, First Bank Capital, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, called on insurers to fashion new products that could support industries. Outgoing President of the institute, Dr. Wole Adetimehin, pointed out that Nigeria’s transformation is evidenced by activities in both public and private operations in the economy. He, however, noted that the conference contemplated the challenges of transforming financial services equation, with emphasis on issues in the financial and

• Former Vice Chancellor, Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado Ekiti, Prof. Akin Oyebode; Onosode; Adetimehin and Utomi at the conference in Lagos. regulatory intermediation by the regulatory bodies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Insurance Commission. He added that the conference’s theme was borne out of the institute’s commitment to the provision of platforms for continuous

professional education and the need to engage its members in constructive revaluation of the business environment. “As professionals, our contributions to nation-building cannot be overemphasised. The on-going transformation process which our nation is passing through repre-

sents the most critical phase of nationhood and therefore requires our collective support as Insurance professionals, especially at a time when the most challenging and unprecedented developments continue to threaten our co-existence as citizens of one nation,” he said.

Dana crash: 24 families to get $70,000 balance, says Prestige

HEQUES of $70, 000 each of 24 victims’families of last year’s Dana Air crash out of 101 are ready, the underwriter Presitige Insurance has said. The Dana Air’s Boeing McDonnel MD-83 flight No. 992 on June 3, last year crashed in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, killing all the 153 passengers and the crew on board. It destroyed properties and killed about 13 victims on ground. In a statement, Presitige Managing Director, Mr Arnand Prakash Mittal, said over 101 deceased passengers’ family cheques and fund transfer certificates had been released to the lawyers for the initial liability payment of $30,000. He also said the company has handed over the cheques for some of the third party property on ground, which were certified and forwarded to them by the legal firm.

He noted that other co-insurers working with the relevant government agencies would continue to work round the clock to ensure the processing and payment of these claims and compensations once proper documentation is done. He reiterated the company’s commitment to honouring its contract to families of victims of the Dana air crash that occurred in Lagos exactly a year ago. In his words, “As the nation marks the first anniversary of the Dana air crash, the management of Prestige Assurance Plc, the lead insurance underwriter to Dana Air, commiserates yet again with the families of victims of the crash that occurred in Lagos exactly a year ago. “The company seizes the opportunity of the one year anniversary of the accident to pray God to continue to repose in the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear

the loss of their loved ones. “Suffice it to say that as responsible risk bearers, Prestige Assurance Plc is committed to honouring its contract and, therefore, reiterates its preparedness to settle all genuine claims arising from the unfortunate incident and certified by the solicitors appointed by the lead reinsurers (overseas) as provided by the Dana aviation policy terms and condition”. He further said: “On behalf of other co-insurers, the company wishes to assure families of victims of the air disaster that the insurance companies will pay com-


pensations to all beneficiaries once their documentations are certified genuine and okay for payment by the competent authority. “Consequently, the company solicits the cooperation and understanding of victims’ families to exercise restraint and settle their internal differences and come up with proper documentations to enable settlement of their claims without further delay. “It is on record that over 101 deceased passengers’ families’ cheques/fund transfer certificates have been released to the solicitors for the initial liability payment of

$30,000, while about 24 of them have been able to provide the required Letters of Administration and their cheques for the balance of $70,000.00 each, as final payment have also been handed over to the firm of solicitors to enable them hand over same to appointed administrators of the deceased passengers’ estate, after finalisation of the legal processes involved. In addition to this, we have also handed over the cheques for some of the third party property on ground which were certified and forwarded to us by the legal firm”.

Rising indemnity cited in proposed compensation plan

PROPOSAL to raise New York workers compensation rates by 16.9 per cent is based in part on increasing indemnity and medical claim severity, according to the New York Compensation Insurance

Rating Board. The board submitted a rate filing to the state’s Department of Financial Services last month and recently posted details of the filing online. If approved, the rate increase would

be effective on October 1, 2013. In its rate filing, the NYCIRB noted that indemnity claim severity has risen two per cent from 2007 to 2011, while medical severity has jumped 4.9 per cent during that period.




Equities lose N888b in three days


IGERIAN equities lost N888 billion in the last three trading days of last week as the global capital market rocketed from concerns about likely adverse impact of fiscal cuts by the United States of America (USA) and further relapse in sticky economies of Europe and America. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which had peaked at N12.855 trillion last Tuesday, dropped successively to close weekend at N11.967 trillion, indicating a loss of N888 billion within the last three days. The main index at the NSE, the All Share Index (ASI), also nosed down from its recent high of 40,012.66 points on Tuesday to close the week at 37,249.93 points. The market’s decline was largely orchestrated by profit-taking transactions on highly capitalised stocks, especially the hitherto extremely bullish fast moving consumer goods and industrial stocks. The downturn came on the heels of global downshift in world’s equities’ market amidst worries about the outlooks for advanced economies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its outlook for USA’s economic growth in 2014 from 3.0 per cent published in April to 2.7 per cent, citing what it described as “excessively rapid and ill-designed” fiscal cuts. The IMF warned that fiscal reductions in the areas of education, science and infrastructure could reduce potential growth. Nigerian equity market has

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

a strong linkage with the international financial markets. Latest update shows that foreign investors accounted for 64.48 per cent of total transaction value at the NSE in April, the last available data, a substantial increase on 52.78 per cent they recorded in March when they displaced domestic investors as the most influential investment block. Altogether, the Nigerian equity market recorded weekly average return of 5.85 per cent last week as the losses within the last three trading days upset earlier gains. Aggregate market value of equities, which opened the week at N12.640 trillion, closed at N11.967 trillion while the ASI dropped from its week’s index on board of 39,564.79 points to close at 37,249.93 points. All other indices at the NSE reflected the pervasive downtrend. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised companies, dropped by 5.86 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index slipped by 7.05 per cent. The NSE Banking Index dropped by 7.23 per cent. Insurance index indicated average loss of 2.87 per cent. The NSE Oil and Gas Index declined by 5.82 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index dropped by 6.59 per cent. Total turnover stood at 3.73 billion shares worth of N75.874 billion in 39,060 deals. Financial services sector accounted for a turnover of 1.70 billion shares valued at N14.7 billion traded in

19,826 deals. The trio of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, IHS Plc and Dangote Cement Plc accounted for 1.35 billion shares worth N48.72 billion in 1,692 deals, representing 36.19 per cent of aggregate turnover. Meanwhile, shareholders of Total Nigeria Plc have been assured of a better package in 2013 despite the challenges surrounding the sector. Speaking at the 35th annual general meeting (AGM) of the company on Friday in Lagos, chairman, Total Nigeria Plc, Mr Momar Nguer assured shareholders that the company is well positioned to overcome the challenges of the business environment. “We expect 2013 will be a year that will provide us with the opportunities for growth and investment and within which we shall consolidate on our past achievements, take advantage of the projected growth the Nigerian economy will offer and deliver value to our shareholder and other stakeholders. “We also envisaged that the year will not be without its own challenges but your company is well positioned to overcome the challenges of the business environment as she has the human capital and experience to do so,” Nguer said. Total Nigeria Plc posted a turnover of N217.84 billion in its 2012 operations, against N173.95 recorded in 2011 while profit after tax also increased from N3.81 billion in 2011 to N4.67 billion during the year under review. Based on the improved performance, the company directors are proposing a dividend of N2.72 billion, translating to 800 kobo per share to be distributed as final dividend for 2012 financial year. The company had earlier distributed N1.02 billion or 300 kobo per share as interim dividend.





Vision 20:2020 for cash-less feasible, says NIBSS T

HE vision of Nigeria to be among the top 20 economies in the world providing efficient e-payment services by the year 2020 will be achieved, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has said. NIBSS Executive Director, Business Development, Chritabel Onyejekwe disclosed this at the weekend during the 13 th Card, ATM & Mobile Expo held in Lagos. She said the cash-less banking initiative has recorded huge success and has been able to drastically reduce banks’ operational costs significantly. She said NIBSS in collaboration with the Central Bank of


By Collins Nweze

Nigeria (CBN), banks and other international partners are committed to the journey of transformation for the e-payment industry via cash-less economy. He said all the parties agree that a lot of work needs to be done at the grassroots. She said SIBS International a Portuguese firm has been supporting NIBSS in achieving the cash-less objective. Speaking at a press conference during the card expo, Managing Director, SIBS International, Pedro Hipolito, pledged the firm’s support towards the success of the cash-

less policy initiative in the country. He explained that SIBS International, which is a global payment processors, provides flexible and innovative payment services through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and Point of Sale (PoS) terminal services, network management, full issuing and acquiring transaction processing for clients. Hipolito said his firm was opening an office in Lagos in order to play a long-term proximity role in bringing the cashless policy to fruition. He said the firm has been partnership with NIBSS since 2011.

He said the firm’s intent in moving into Nigeria was to enable it assist the country in achieving a cash-less economy: “We are going to deepen our presence in Nigeria by opening an office here. This move signals our commitment towards

UBA recognised for agric financing


NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has been named the best bank in support of agriculture in the country. In a statement, the bank said it got the recognition following its contribution to the growth of Nigeria’s agricultural sector and value addition to the economy. UBA clinched the award at the maiden edition of BusinessDay Annual Banking Awards, which held recently in Lagos. The lender said : “The bank beat three other banks that were nominated after a critical assess-

CIBN, FITC partner on capacity building

HE Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) will be partnering with Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) to improve the competency level among bank’s staff. In a statement issued at the weekend, the institute said such move would help in bridging skills gaps in the banking and finance industry. The exercise is coming after stakeholders’ engagement with the FITC led by CIBN’ President/ Chairman of Council, Segun Aina. He noted that the engagement was part of familiarisation and bridge-building efforts to dialogue with major stakeholders in the sector. He observed that the industry

was so large and replete with many value adding opportunities such that there was room for the each of the two organisations to make its own impact without any hindrance. He called for collaboration and cooperation between CIBN and FITC in areas of common goals and interest. The CIBN boss said that the CIBN’s new Centre for Financial Studies (CFS) was established to provide thoughtful leadership around emerging issues in banking and finance. He stressed that the CFS will not engage in traditional mass market training but will focus on organising knowledge based events such as roundtables, guest

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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


OUTH Africa said it will track and repatriate Libyan funds and assets that were hidden in the country during the rule of dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan reached the agreement after talks with Libyan officials, including Usama al Abid, minister in the office of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan, on June 4, according to a statement from the South African finance ministry. The repatriation will be done under United Nations protocols.

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

speaker series, breakfast sessions, public lectures among others so as to generate ideas that would be shared among bankers. Managing Director of FITC Lucy Newman, said that by partnering with CIBN, both agencies will be able to fulfill their obligations to the financial sector.


OBB Rate Call Rate

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 14-06-13





3.60 2.06 1.62 3.16 0.80 1.18 1.19 46.92 1.80 160.62

3.96 2.25 1.76 3.40 0.86 1.25 1.25 49.00 1.85 165.00

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

CHANGE 0.36 0.19 0.14 0.24 0.06 0.07 0.06 2.08 0.05 4.38

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51





Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N) Parallel Market 153.0000









July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%





5.10 0.90 5.83 0.65 1.63 2.00 16.00 1.70 0.81 48.26

4.59 0.81 5.25 0.59 1.48 1.82 14.60 1.56 0.75 45.00

0.51 0.09 0.58 0.06 0.15 0.18 1.40 1.14 0.06 3.26

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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%


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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



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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 14-06-13


Libya, which ousted Qaddafi last year, is seeking the return of overseas assets after the value of its sovereign wealth fund dropped. The Libyan Investment Authority’s assets are about $57 billion, down from about $61 billion in 2008, outgoing sovereign wealth head Mohsen Derregia said in March. The country is also examining losses on derivative contracts it entered into with Societe Generale SA and Goldman Sachs Group that contributed to the declines, he said.


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

ment by organisers of the awards. “According to statistics, UBA tops the Central Bank’s list of lenders to the agricultural sector. By 2012 financial year end, UBA had channeled seven per cent of its N687 billion loan book to agriculture. This is the highest exposure of any bank in Nigeria and invariably places the bank as one of the strongest supporters of agriculture in Nigeria.” Divisional Head, Consumer Banking, UBA Plc, Mr. Ilesanmi Owoeye, received the award on behalf of the bank.

S’Africa agrees to repatriate Libya’ funds hidden in country


supporting Nigeria’s quest for cash-less payment system. We will ensure that we have people on the ground to cultivate relationships and meaningful exchange of knowledge and also provide cutting edge technology towards that goal”, he said.

Offer Price

Bid Price


Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833









Amidst the lull in the stock market, May & Baker Nigeria Plc has shown strong resilience. With a 14-day capital gain of 36.2 per cent, the company has out-performed the average market's return of -1.4 per cent. TAOFIK SALAKO reports on the underlying variables

What prospects for May & Baker? T

HE stock market is witnessing a slowdown this month. With average monthly gain of 12.70 per cent in May and five-month average return of 34.60 per cent by the end of May, substantial capital gains and global variables have orchestrated profit-taking transactions. The All Share Index (ASI), the common value-based index that tracks prices of all listed equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), opens today with a month-to-date return of -1.44 per cent. Besides its primary importance as the general benchmark index for the stock market, the ASI doubles as Nigeria's country index and as such reflects the mingling variables of the Nigerian market with the global marketplace. In simple value terms, investors have lost about N108 billion so far this month. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities opens today at N11.967 trillion as against its opening value of N12.075 trillion. Last week was particularly testy with the market losing N888 billion within the last three trading days. May & Baker Nigeria has proved to be the contrarian stock amidst the downtrend. With a month-to-date return of 36.2 per cent so far this month, investors in the healthcare company have earned N784 million in capital gain in the past two weeks. May and Baker opens today at N3.01 per share as against its valueon-board of N2.21 for June. With this, its market capitalisation increased from June's opening value of N2.166 billion to open today at N2.950 billion, indicating one of the largest upswings in the market within the period. Investors appeared to be looking beyond the immediate to the potential value of the healthcare company.

Investing for future On the verge of a major breakthrough as a World Health Organisation (WHO)prequalified pharmaceutical company as well as the activation of its partnership with the Federal Government for local production of vaccines, May & Baker Nigeria's stock market performance appears to underline investors' confidence that it could surmount its financial leverage and capital inadequacy as well as harness its expansive capacity to deliver better returns in the period ahead. May & Baker Nigeria has invested significantly in manufacturing capacity and research and development in recent years. The completion and commissioning of a World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalified pharmaceutical factory known as the PharmaCentre in 2011 had more than doubled May & Baker Nigeria's pharmaceutical manufacturing operations. The PharmaCentre is currently undergoing the process for WHO pre-qualification, which will make its products to be internationally accepted, a situation no Nigerian pharmaceutical company currently enjoys. The WHO prequalification will help the nation become self-sufficient in the manufacture of essential medicines and invariably have multiplier effects on the economy notable among, which will be job creation and increased foreign exchange earnings. Besides, May & Baker's subsidiary,

BioVaccines Nigeria Limited, a joint venture with the Federal Government, reached advanced stage in perfecting the renewal of the joint venture agreement with the Federal Government on the local manufacturing of vaccines and it is expected to shortly commence local production of vaccines after the agreement.

Still a slow start Audited report and accounts of May & Baker for the year ended December 31, 2012 showed muted impact of the capacity expansion but its cost burden was evident. Key extracts of the audited report, which was prepared and approved in compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), showed that turnover continued to rise on the back of recent expansion. Total sales closed 2012 at N5.7 billion as against N4.8 billion recorded in 2011. Gross profit also increased from N1.9 billion in 2011 to N2.1 billion in 2012. Profit for the year stood at N75.9 million in 2012 as against net profit of N222.2 million recorded in 2011. The decline in the bottom-line was largely due to depreciation and financing expenses related to the new manufacturing plant that had not begun. Managing director, May & Baker Nigeria, Mr Nnamdi Okafor, highlighted that provisions for depreciation on the over N4 billion new pharmaceutical plant as well huge finance costs, high interest rates and teething challenges with product transfer to the new factory, which severely hampered factory output and revenue realisation also affected the bottom-line in 2012.

Refinancing the business Recapitalisation is a key issue for May & Baker Nigeria. With the construction and finance of its expansive Ota manufacturing complex affected by the capital market meltdown, the company had little choice than to suspend the development of the new manufacturing complex or turn to bank loans to

finance an obvious long-term project. It chose to go ahead with the project, but with the unavoidable mismatch. The attendant high interests and pressures on earnings now pose threats to profitability. While the soft loan from T.Y Holdings Limited, a holding company of Chairman, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Lt. Gen Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), has significantly reduced the financial leverage of the company, it remains substantially leveraged and financially delinquent. Already, the company is considering raising additional capital to support its business expansion and steady itself against competition. Danjuma (rtd) confirmed recently that the company has started considering various ways of raising new capital and would soon choose the most appropriate means to bolster the capital base of the company. According to him, it has become expedient for the company to recapitalise to muster enough liquidity to face the challenges of the business environment.

Beyond the present Beyond the immense opportunities in the WHO prequalification of the company's manufacturing plant, the imminent renewal of the joint venture agreement between the Federal Government and May & Baker for the local production and distribution of vaccines in Nigeria holds huge prospects for large earnings. The renewal is expected to impact significantly on the prospects of May & Baker Nigeria's subsidiary, BioVaccines Nigeria Limited. Vaccination is a multi-billion Naira budget for Nigeria, which imports virtually all its vaccines. With several rounds of vaccinations for children and women, BioVaccines Nigeria has a ready market to tap into. The take-off of BioVaccines' operations will create new income stream and impact on the group performance. Besides, for expanding companies, the capacity utilisation in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry is still low and there is enormous room for growth. With estimated in-

• Okafor

dustry value of some N200 billion, capacity utilisation by the plethora of domestic drug manufacturers is around 40 per cent while Nigeria relies heavily on importation. Federal Government's policy stand that favours local production as indicated by the Local Content Act and recent fiscal adjustments should impact positively on farsighted domestic manufacturers. The board and management of May & Baker are also optimistic about the prospects of the group. Okafor said the group expects better results in 2013 based on increased output from its new pharmaceutical manufacturing plant and ongoing business restructuring efforts. According to him, the company also expects to reduce finance costs as a result of a recent access to soft loan provided by Danjuma, which is expected to significantly raise the profitability of the company in 2013. He pointed out that its world-class new plant, otherwise known as The PharmaCentre, has raised May & Baker's production capacity by over 60 per cent. Danjuma said the company has rolled out a new five-year strategic plan that would seek to harness all opportunities to increase the group's earnings and returns to shareholders. He outlined that the company has projected turnover of N9.6 billion for 2013 based on expected increased output from its new manufacturing plant, business restructuring efforts and expected reduction in financing costs following the soft loan received from T.Y Holdings during the last quarter of last year. According to him, profit is also expected to increase in 2013 as the company continues to optimise production and cost efficiencies. "Our company is well-positioned for the future with a lot of potentials from the strategic investment we have made in Ota and other attractive business prospects in our sight. As we vigourously pursue our new five-year strategic plan with all the opportunities it presents, we can only hope for better performance and stronger earnings capacity going forward," Danjuma said. With the key stakeholders rallying for recapitalisation of the company, investors appear to be taking early positions in the May & Baker Nigeria.




Inter-bank rate falls on N230b T-Bills, OMO refund


HE inter-bank rate last week fell by 516 basis points to 10.5 per cent, largely due to improved market liquidity from treasury bills (T-Bills) and Open Market Operation (OMO) bills repayment worth N230 billion. The call and seven-day money market rates fell to 10.54 per cent and 10.94 per cent respectively while the three-month Nigeria Interbank Offered Rate (NIBOR) also fell to 11.7 per cent. The inter-bank secured lending fell to 10.3 per cent for commercial banks and 10.5 per cent for discount houses. The naira depreciated 0.7 per cent against the dollar in the Interbank on 13 June. The depreciation partly reflected strong corporate demand for dollar, and to a lesser extent upward trending bond yields that signals likely foreign divestment out of the bond market. However on Friday, the local currency fell for a fourth day against the dollar, extending its worst weekly performance in 18 months. The naira fell 0.8 per cent to N162.60 a dollar taking its weekly decline to 1.8 per cent. It’s the worst performance since the five days through December 23, 2011 based on data compiled by Bloomberg.

NIBOR as at June 14, 2013

Credit bureau The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been advised to fully enforce its policy mandating financial institutions to obtain credit report from at least two credit bureaux operators before giving out loans. This was part of the resolutions reached at the credit reporting forum held in Lagos. Considering the critical role that a Credit Reporting system plays as an enabler in developing a stable and inclusive financial system, especially in emerging markets, the Federal Government was also advised by participants drawn from different sectors of the economy to take the development of the Credit Reporting system in the country as a national project. This, participants said, should boost usage by financial institutions and ensure an inclusive system. Over 180 delegates representing key drivers of the nation’s financial system including the CBN, credit bureau operators, deposit money banks, microfinance banks, insurance, pension administration, payment systems, financial training institutions, discount houses, trading and finance companies, industry associations among others attended the conference. It also registered representations from the Bank of Tanzania and credit bureau operators from South Africa and Tanzania, while the International Finance Corporation (IFC) also attended and made presentations.

Inflation Analysts at Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited have forecast May inflation to decline to 8.98 per cent from 9.1 per cent recorded in April. They also see the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) retaining the benchmark interest rate at 12 per cent when the committee members meet in July. The Managing Director of FDC, Bismark Rewane, said in a report that the May projection is supported by the slight moderation in the food index of the firm’s Lagos urban inflation and associated high prices in the base period of May 2012. He explained that FDC’s Lagos urban price index moderated for the third consecutive month by 0.46 per cent to 10.83 per cent, from 11.29 per cent in April. Also, the urban index eased as a result of the decline in both the food and non-food indexes while prices of items such as rice, guinea corn, wheat, salt, cereals, and vegetable leaves declined leading to a 0.08 per cent moderation in food index.

ICAN/NDIC The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Abuja District Society has acknowledged roles played by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) in bringing sanity to the Nigeria financial system especially in the course of the ongoing banking reforms. ICAN Chairman, Abuja District, Shehu Usman Aladire, said NDIC’s role in the reforms inspired depositors’ confidence in the nation’s banking system. Aladire spoke at a gala night held in Abuja to honour the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, NDIC, Umaru Ibrahim. The ICAN chairman cited the increase of deposit insurance coverage levels from N50,000 to N200,000 per depositor of deposit money banks (DMBs) and the extension of

•Source: FMDA By Collins Nweze

insurance coverage to depositors of microfinance banks (MfBs) and primary mortgage banks (PMBs) at N100,000 per depositor of the MfBs and PMBs and the second upward review to N500,000 and N200,000 per depositor of DMBs and MfBs/ PMBs. This, he said, had met the current economic realities and promoted public confidence in the financial system.

Foreign inflows The foreign exchange reserves, which was $48.4 billion a month ago, comprised $12 billion portfolio flows, about a quarter of the reserves, FBN Capital has said. The investment and research firm said the tapering off of quantitative easing in the United States and other advanced economies could result in the exit of offshore funds as other emerging markets have experienced recently, and further pressure on the naira. A reduction in demand for Nigerian crude by the United States following its increased production of shale oil has resulted in a minus seven per cent year to date softening in the price of the Bonny Light, Nigeria’s benchmark crude. Consequently, the research firm hinted that easing of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) tight monetary stance is likely to be pushed out that bit further given conditions in the external environment and the apex bank’s determination to hold the line on the exchange rate. “We see an exchange rate of N159 to a dollar by year end 2013,” it said. Data from the CBN shows that forex sales at the Bank’s bi-weekly foreign exchange auction increased from an average of $162 million per session in the first quarter to $285 million from April to date. However, the slight weakening of the naira in recent weeks would suggest that forex demand has increased, and a reduction in dollar sales by the multinational oil companies. Although increased dollar sales by the CBN have kept the naira trading within the plus or minus three per cent of N155 band, external sector developments are testing the limit of that band.

BoI The Bank of Industry (BoI) said it had disbursed a combined N437.39 billion out of the N535 billion funds it secured from the Federal Government for financing projects in the power and manufacturing sectors of the economy as at March this year. Speaking during the media workshop organised by the bank in Lagos, its General Manager, Operations, Joseph Babatunde

disclosed that the managed funds comprise of CBN’s N235 billion Refinancing/ Restructuring Fund (RRF) of commercial banks loans to the manufacturing sector and N300 billion Power and Aviation Fund (PAIF). Both funds were approved in 2011. He said of the RRF, N229.18 billion had been disbursed as at March and is targeted at refinancing commercial banks’ loans to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector. The fund, he explained, is expected to enhance the liquidity of commercial banks and facilitate more credits to the real sector.

Reserves The Nigerian foreign reserves have stabilised in the past two months after $12 billion inflows over eight months to $48.6 billion, FBN Capital research has shown. The rally ended at the end of March, this year. It explained in an emailed report that the increase can be traced directly to the tightening measures taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in July 2012 and the announcement the following month by JP Morgan that it was to include Nigeria in its indices of local currency government bonds. “The level of reserves, which are reported by the CBN as 30-day moving averages, has stabilised not because the offshore investors have rushed for the exit but because of drawings on the excess crude account (ECA),” it hinted. The balance in the ECA, which forms part of the reserves, has declined this year by $4 billion, to about $5 billion, as a result of withdrawals announced by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

MfB Lovonus Microfinance Bank Limited has launched salary advance scheme for employees of small to medium size companies to ease financial difficulties often faced before the monthly remuneration is due for payment by the employer. The scheme provides salary advance or instant loan to the employee, with a flexible repayment plan of one to three months, Usman Onoja, chief executive of the Lagosbased microfinance bank (MfB) said. He explained that to ensure the convenience of the employee, the salary advance is processed within 48 hours from the application or documentation, with delivery almost immediately, stressing that interest rate on the product is negotiable. To further deepen its customer service, the microfinance bank launched three new

‘The local currency fell for a fourth day against the dollar, extending its worst weekly performance in 18 months. The naira fell 0.8 per cent to N162.60 a dollar taking its weekly decline to 1.8 per cent. It’s the worst performance since the five days through December 23, 2011 based on data compiled by Bloomberg’ products recently, branded lovflex, lovflexplus and lovflexpremium. According to Onoja, lovflex is targeted at micro traders in need of N5,000 to N30,000. He said that interest rate on the facility was cut to seven per cent per month for a maximum four months tenure while the repayment plan could be by daily or weekly contributions. “Lovflexplus is for traders in need of N40,000 to N70,000 credit, for a four-month tenor with interest rate of seven per cent, while Lovflexpremium is for 80,000 to 100,000 loan, on four months maximum tenure, with interest rate of seven per cent monthly and repayment scheduled daily or weekly,” said Onoja.

Bank to bank report Unity Bank Plc has been rewarded with a Special Recognition award for its unwavering “Excellence in banking” and unmatched commitment to the economic development of Nigeria, particularly Northern states. The bank received the award from Business Day newspaper at the just concluded Maiden BusinessDay Banking Awards. A statement from the bank said the awards were instituted to “…recognise Nigerian banks that have been outstanding in supporting economic growth in Nigeria. They have been instituted as a credible way of rewarding banks that are supporting economic growth in Nigeria without putting at risk the financial system.” Diamond Bank will today break its new campaign to, undoubtedly, claim its position as one of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria- providing customers with tangible financial solutions tailored specifically to suit their lifestyle. In a statement, the bank said the launch follows a successful brand refresh in November 2012 where the brand saw changes in its colours moving away from the monosyllabic greys and dark tones to more vibrant colours. The motive according to the bank, was to make the brand more approachable in line with its’ positioning as a leading retail bank in Nigeria. For more than 20 years, Diamond Bank said it has built equity as a strong reliable salient bank. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc’s first quarter pre-tax profit rose 40.33 per cent to N7.69 billion compared with N5.48 billion in the same period last year. The lender, which gave the detail to Reuters did not give any reason for the rise. However, its gross earnings dropped marginally to N29.79 billion from N29.84 billion the same period last year, the bank said in a statement. Also, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) disclosed that it expected its pretax profit for the third quarter to hit N20.7 billion, compared with N21.9 billion in the same period last year. The lender said gross earnings will be N41.25 billion in the threemonths to September 2013, down 42 per cent from N70.52 billion in the same period a year ago, it said in a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). GT Bank also did not give reasons for the falls earnings and profit.





Chams: Making a turnaround?

IGNIFICANT improvement in its core identity management business, improved cost management and increased productivity boosted the performance outlook of Chams Plc in 2012. Audited report and accounts of the company for the year ended December 31, 2012 showed a major turnaround as the technology innovation group harnessed substantial growth in turnover and improved efficiency to break away from its recent losing streak to profitability. With 249 per cent growth in its core business segment, strident cost management and internal efficiency initiatives being implemented by the management impacted positively on the top-down profit structure of the group. The group’s increasingly efficient cost management was underlined by 51 per cent decline in cost of sales and muted increase of 14 per cent and 1.7 per cent in operating expenses and finance expenses respectively. These turned around the bottom-line from a net loss of N1.24 billion in 2011 to a modest net profit of N87.5 million. While it could not declare any dividend, the positive bottom-line locked in values for shareholders and reassured on the prospects of the company. Return on equity turned positive at 1.9 per cent in 2012 as against -30.8 per cent in 2011. Return on total assets also curved from -15.2 per cent to 1.9 per cent. The liquidity and financing position of the group improved during the period, with more working capital and improved financing for emerging obligations. The structure and composition of its top-line however, remained precarious, largely dependent on unpredictable public sector’s projects.

Financing structure

Chams Group’s paid up capital re-




Fiscal Year Ended December 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 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

By Taofik Salako

mained unchanged at N2.35 billion, consisting of about 4.7 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. Shareholders’ funds rose on the back of modest retained earnings to N4.49 billion, about 12 per cent above N4.01 billion recorded in 2011. Total assets increased by 10.5 per cent from N7.89 billion to N8.72 billion. Current assets rose by 40 per cent from N4.51 billion to N6.33 billion while longterm assets dropped by 22 per cent from N3.07 billion to N2.39 billion. Total liabilities stood at N4.23 billion in 2012 as against N3.88 billion in 2011, indicating marginal increase of 9.1 per cent. The financing position of the group remained steady. The proportion of equity funds to total assets inched up from 50.8 per cent to 51.5 per cent. Debt-to-equity ratio however, rose slightly from 23.3 per cent to 24.3 per cent. Current liabilities/total assets ratio was almost flat at 46.1 per cent as against 46.5 per cent while longterm liabilities/total assets ratio reduced from 2.7 per cent to 2.4 per cent.


There was noticeable improvement in the overall cost efficiency and productivity of the group. On the basis of estimated workforce of 500 persons, average level of productivity per head and relevant cost per unit of production showed improved optimisation. Average contribution of each employee to pre-tax profit improved from –N2.40 million in 2011 to N0.34 million in 2012. However, average cost per staff reduced from N1.03 billion to N0.75 million. The company had undertaken staff audit and performance review during the period. Total cost of the business, excluding finance charges, reduced to about 105 per cent



of total sales in 2012 as against 181.6 per cent in 2011. The reduction in topline and operating costs enabled the group to leverage the bottom-line from additional incomes from noncore businesses.


Chams’ profit outlook showed considerable improvement in the intrinsic profit-making capacity of the company as it consolidated expansive sales growth into notable profitability. Both outward and underlying profit and loss measures indicated significant upturn in the profit outlook, headlined by replacement of previous loss of N1.24 billion with a modest profit of N87.5 million. Group turnover rose by about 60 per cent to N2.84 billion in 2012 as against N1.78 billion recorded in 2011. Top-line performance was driven by the group’s identity management solutions business, which recorded 249.3 per cent increase from N700 million to N2.45 billion. While cost of sales dropped by 51 per cent from N1.09 billion to N534 million, gross profit jumped by 235 per cent from N687 million to N2.30 billion. Operating expense remained muted at N2.45 billion compared with N2.14 billion while interest expense was almost flat at N230 million compared with N226 million in previous year. With these, Chams broke away from recent losing streak with a profit before tax of N170 million in 2012 as against pre-tax loss of N1.20 billion in 2011. After taxes, net profit stood at N87.5 million in 2012 as against net loss of N1.24 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 107 per cent. It thus replaced its basic loss per share of 26 kobo in 2011 with modest earnings per share of 3.0 kobo for 2012. The group’s net asset per share also increased from 85 kobo to 95 kobo. Underlying profitability indices showed generally positive outlook. Gross profit margin more than doubled at 81.2 per cent in 2012 as against 38.6 per cent in 2011. Profit before tax margin, which underlines average profit per unit of sales, turned around from -67.4 per cent in 2011 to 6.0 per cent in 2012. This implies that while Chams lost N67.4 on every N100 worth of operations in 2011, it made a modest profit of N6 on similar unit in 2012. The improved bottom-line also reflected on the underlying returns to shareholders and other

2012 12 months

% change

2011 12 months

2,446 2,836 534 2,302 2,445 543 230 170 87.5 3 0 0 95

249.3 59.5 -51.1 235.2 14.4 13.5 1.7 -114.2 -107.1 -111.5 0.0 0.0 11.8

700 1,778 1,091 687 2,137 478 226 -1,198 -1,237 -26 0 0 85

2,056 2,391 3,676 6,326 8,717

-23.6 -22.2 110.5 40.3 10.5

2,692 3,072 1,746 4,509 7,888

591 1,092 4,017 211 4,228

-29.4 17.0 9.6 0.1 9.1

838 934 3,666 211 3,877

2,348 4,490

0.0 11.9

2,348 4,011

stakeholders. Return on equity stood at 1.9 per cent in 2012 as against -30.8 per cent in 2011. Return on total assets also turned around from -15.2 per cent to 1.9 per cent. The company did not pay any dividend for 2012, which underlined the nascent recovery. Its last dividend payment was in 2009.


The liquidity position of the group improved considerably with more working capital and improved financing for emerging obligations. Current ratio, which relates available current assets to similar current liabilities, improved from 1.23 times in 2011 to 1.57 times in 2012. The proportion of working capital to total sales almost doubled at 81.4 per cent in 2012 compared with 47.4 per cent in 2011. Debtors/creditors ratio stood at 622 per cent in 2012 as against 208 per cent in 2011.

Governance and structures

Incorporated in 1985 as a private limited liability company, Chams converted to a public limited company in 2007 and listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2008 by way of introduction. Chams Plc and its subsidiaries offer complete end to end solution to small and large projects in the areas of identity management, payments, collection and transactional systems, as well as providing digital platform and ICT trainings. The Chams Group consists of four subsidiaries; CardCentre Nigeria Limited, which is engaged in the production and manufacturing of identity, payment and other smart cards; PayMaster Limited, which deals with deployment of Point of Sales (POS) terminals; ChamsAcccess Limited, a licensed consortium for the deployment of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), which is also involved in the deployment of multi application terminals; and ChamsSwitch, which engages in provision of the e-payment transaction processing platform for the Nigerian Market. Chams is owned by about 8,500 shareholders with substantial shareholdings by financial and asset management companies and institutional investors. Nigerian institutional investors hold 48 per cent equity stake in the company. The board and management of the company have remained stable. Mr. Demola Aladekomo, the founding managing director and main promoter of the company, retained his position. Meanwhile, Prof. Adebayo Akinde retired as the chairman of the company earlier this month and Very Revd Ayo Richards was appointed as chairman. Akinde had served on the board for two decades and had been the chairman of the board in the past seven years. The company’s governance and reporting structures comply


largely with extant codes of corporate governance and reporting standards.

Analyst’s opinion

The performance of Chams shows a ray of hope and reassures on the prospects of the company. It however, remains delicate and cautious. While the top-line performance was commendable, it was driven mainly by its one-line identity management contract with the Federal Government. Although the group has made remarkable progress in its privatesector-driven payment solutions, its top-line remained heavily skewed towards the public sector, with penchant for unreliable project timelines and commitments. There is also the operating risk of policy somersault and realignment, which could see a slowdown or reversal of essential public policies on economic payment automation and identity management. There is no guarantee of institutionalisation of public policies in Nigeria’s highly politicised public decision-making process. The deficits, created by its previous streak of losses, remained a potential threat. Notwithstanding, there is reasonable basis to be optimistic about the prospects of the company. The Governments, across the levels, are increasingly focused on identity management for internal security, planning and revenue generation. The automation of payment system, being driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and with general buy-in from major public and private stakeholders, has continued to gather momentum. It’s doubtful that there would be any major reversal in any of these directions. In all these, Chams holds competitive advantages as a stand-alone company and partnerof-choice.The company holds CBN’s licenses for mobile banking and automated payments including PoS terminal and PTSP licenses. Its partnership with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is on stronger footing, and recent security events have reinforced the government’s desire on efficient identity management.

Fiscal Year Ended December 31

2012 %

2011 %

51.5 2.4 46.1 24.3

50.8 2.7 46.5 23.3

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

81.2 6.0 1.9 1.9 NA

38.6 67.4 15.2 30.8 NA

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

0.34 0.75 105.0

2.40 1.03 181.6

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors

1.57 81.4 621.8

1.23 47.4 208.4

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





• Highway Managers in a training programme (Inset: LAWMA marine cleaners).

LAWMA: Clearing waste, creating jobs Its mandate is to keep the metropolis clean, but the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has gone beyond that to empower the people by creating jobs for them. Assistant Editor OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reports.


ANY entrepreneurs and wouldbe investors are faced with a challenge and that is epileptic power supply. The power problem has also affected job creation. But the resourceful can get a job or create one where there is none. Since its coming a few years ago, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has been creating jobs while battling to make the metropolis clean. It employs artisans whose shops were demolished for the ‘New face of Lagos’ and those who monitor the environment, plant trees, flowers and their supervisors. The waste management agency is also considering demographic policies and strategies targeted specifically at women graduate drivers and advocacy personnel who move around town and far-flung places to advise residents on environmental issues. LAWMA Managing Director Ola Oresanya said the 46 female drivers initially engaged to drive the waste evacuation trucks have shown an uncommon

Statistics of jobs created by LAWMA Street Sweepers PSP Programme LAWMA Waste Policing Marine Waste Resource Managers (manning recycling banks strategically placed across Lagos) Physically Challenged sweepers tenderness in handling the vehicles. This, he said, has encouraged the organisation to consider hiring more hands. The job creation services of the agency is also targetting divers and swimmers to clean the ocean views and the riverine areas. The process of job creation at LAWMA is evolving, according to Oresanya, who also

Over 10,000 4,500 770 600 30 20

disclosed that the agency has established a recycling plant at the 20-year-old dumpsite at Olusosun, Oregun, Ikeja. He said the plant can create jobs for thousands of youths directly and indirectly. He said: “The 42.7 hectares site has been efficiently re-fitted with the installation of plastic/nylon recycling warehouse, odour

neutralisers and mobile atomisers and construction of fuel bay and access roads to make the site convenient for those who will work there.” He explained that the landfill site receives an average of 300 trucks of waste daily, which are weighed at the weigh bridge to ascertain the quantity of waste coming into the site per truck. He said every aspect of LAWMA activity creates jobs. The LAWMA boss said the waste-toelectricity project in markets is a job spinner as people will be employed to collect the waste and also work in the conversion process that will generate electricity to all the markets in the state. He said Ikosi Market is benefiting from it as it has been energised from wastes collected. He spoke of the readiness of the agency to replicate this in other locations. He said: “These infrastructural developments have been of tremendous benefit to the proper management of waste at the •Continued on page 38




LAWMA: Clearing waste, creating jobs •Continued from page 37 landfill. It has helped in the upgrading of the site and improvement of the accessibility of refuse trucks and compactors servicing the site. This has resulted to the reduction of the traffic congestion on adjoining roads and, in the process, creating huge employment opportunities for Lagosians.” Oresanya stated that at the handover of newly-purchased skip trucks by the state government to LAWMA, the female drivers had recorded zero accidents with the vehicles compared with their male counterparts. Besides, he said the female drivers were more friendly and considerate of other road users. They are also enthusiastic about their job. He noted that the decision to engage them was

in line with Governor Babatunde Fashola’s focus on women empowerment in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Three years ago, we brought in women to drive our trucks on an experimental basis. I am proud to say the experiment has been a huge success,” he said. The LAWMA boss said the female drivers were trained for six months at the Lagos Drivers’ Institute before they were given the vehicles to handle, adding that the organisation was using them as models for their male counterparts. Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello, who handed over the vehicles to the LAWMA female drivers, said the skip trucks would be suitable for evacuating waste in inner and narrow streets, and from communal pick spots where

• Oresanya (middle) with female graduate drivers.

compactors could not easily get to. He said the state government was an ‘equal opportunity employer’ and would support the female drivers, who would operate the skip trucks, to explore their potential with adequate healthcare facilities

and insurance packages. Bello said: “To Lagos residents, this is your tax in action. When we started our environmental revolution efforts, a lot of people doubted us. But we have been waxing stronger. We are not only inter-

ested in the highbrow areas, but everywhere in the state. “The residents owe it a duty to pay for the evacuation of their refuse so that we can reinvest the money in building capacity to serve them better.”




HE Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) has sworn in new executive council led by Mrs. Lola Odedina, the Head of Communication and External Affairs of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Until now, Odedina was the first Vice President of the association. She succeeded Mr Babatunde Shofowora. A statement from ACAMB said the election of new officers was the highpoint of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ACAMB in Lagos. Members of the new Council include Charles Aigbe of UBA Plc, First Vice President, while Diran Olojo of

Odedina leads ACAMB Standard Chartered Bank Plc emerged as the Second Vice President. To serve as General Secretary is Ogechukwu Udeagha of First Bank Plc, with Rafiu Mohammed of First City Monument Bank Plc as Assistant General Secretary. Other members are Mrs. Morin Adeyemi (Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc), Financial Secretary; Victoria Onwubiko (First Bank Plc), Treasurer and Joseph Udo (Mainstreet Bank), Publicity Secretary. Four ex-officio members were also elected. They are Babatunde

Shofowora, Ugochukwu Okoroafor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ben Igbokwe of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and Alhaji Hardi Birchi of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Odedina described the coming onboard of the new Executive Council as, “a call to service and a defining moment for ACAMB.” She assured that the Association, under her leadership, would, “be repositioned and reinvigorated to fulfil

its objectives.” While urging members, “to close ranks,” the new President stressed that activities would be embarked upon to assist in the success of the ongoing reforms in the financial sector. She solicited the support of stakeholders towards building, “a stronger and vibrant ACAMB and the financial sector”. Established in 1996, ACAMB is the umbrella body of corporate communication and allied professionals in the banking industry. Among other objectives, the association has the mandate to provide the best of reputation management for the industry.



ANY job seekers have experienced a feeling of frustration that after many interviews, they are yet to secure an offer of appointment. Many things could be wrong, but there is one area we started to look at last week. What do employers want? You attended interviews, they asked questions, and you provided answers. But are these answered the correct answers? You don’t know. May be nobody knows for sure, except the interviewer. But there are certain qualities and attributes desired by most, if not all employers. We noted, however, that: • The point of emphasis differ from position to position • The requirement for entry point/ low level position differs from that of senior/executive positions. Listed last week as desirable by most, if not all employers are: • Basic competence- ability to do what you are to be employed for • Communication skills-ability to understand and pass instructions both verbal and in writing • Interpersonal skills- being able to relate to others, maintain and build relationships • Adaptability -ability to • Willingliness to learn • Initiative and independence ability to make your decisions and get result with little supervision • Cooperation and collaborationunderstanding and working well within teams • Motivation-inner desire for achievement and enthusiasm. Now, let’s go on to discussion on the others in detail.


Employers want employees that are reliable and responsible. You are expected to identify closely with the company and her needs, for better for worse. To what extent is the candidate prepared to give committed service to the company? Although the

What employers are looking for (II) By Olu Oyeniran

employer does not expect a promise that you will stay for twenty years, he expects a not-too- short stay and sudden exit that will cause disruption in his system. He also expects that you will be committed to doing the job at hand and giving it your best, as long as you are in employment.


Employers want employees that can do things right as well as those that can do the right things. No matter your brilliance, no employer would take you if you cannot be trusted. They do not like people with disruptive, pernicious, unstable, intolerant or any other negative character.

Positive attitude

A positive attitude to situation and circumstances is desired in all job situations. Every position has its own content of frustrations, disturbances distractions, but all of these are easily surmountable with the right mental attitude. I will tell you, an individual with “get up and go” attitude is worthy of consideration for appointment, even if he fails to meet some other job attributes/requirements.

Analytical skills

To make decisions and properly evaluate situations, candidates with analytical skills are desired by employers. The ability to make reasonable jugedments and assess expected and unexpected situations is of great value on any job. Are you able to look at a given work load, set priorities and find ways to solve the most, most immediate and important

problems? Will you panic and fall apart in the face of work related crisis?

Personal presentation

Employer consider that job candidates, indeed all of their employees to be well dressed and groomed. Like they say, at least dress the part i.e. dress in a manner and way that very appropriate for the position you are planning to occupy. Always, be clean and neat.

Healthy body

To perform at all, you need to look and feel well. No employer will readily employ a sickly job candidate. It will cause disaffection and disruption of work later. Note that it is your primary responsibility to remain healthy, and functional. The attribute we have been discussing since last week applies mostly to entry to middle level managers, and to some extent the executive positions. However, there are some attributes that most employers desire specifically in respect of senior executives. They include the following:

Experience and know how

Senior manager who wants to move into new positions are expected to bring on the table expertise and practical knowledge. This is critical, as they are not only expected to work with little supervision, but also to provide leadership/coaching for their subordinates. They are generally expensive, and the major reason why they are wanted is that there is nobody within the system with the required experience and know- how to perform the job. You see incompetent executive represent an enormous

waste and risk to the enterprise.

Track record of performance

The position may have because vacant because the previous occupier was eased out for poor performance. Then it is reasonable that the employer will want a replacement with proof of performance. Often history of excellent performance in previous job position(s) give comfort to the employer that if might be better this time.


As said earlier, senior managers are expected to provide leadership not only within then unit, but also across in the organisation. Employer therefore desire good and tested leaders. They want candidates who know how to be a leader, enjoying being a leader and fully appreciate the attendant responsibilities. He is also expected to understand team dynamics and be able to lead and function with team.

Administration and management competence

Aside from technical and departmental responsibilities, employers expect senior executives to be versed in administration, policy development and implementation. They need to understand management processes.


As the organisation becomes large, ownership is somewhat shared, and the CEO may not be in a position to see all the opportunities and threat to the business. He desires managed that would assume “ownership” and look out for business and growth opportunities. He also depends on

them for product people and process improvement that will reduce waste and increased profitability. Now where does all these leave the job hunter? What about these in job hunting? One, jobs are lost and won often times on the basis of these attributes. A lot of times, more than the number of required candidates ties on the level of basic qualifications and experience. In instances like this, candidates may be chosen the basis of which seemed better on one or two of the attributes we have been discussing considered critical to the job position. Two, aside from your educational attainments, these desirables when combined well form your unique selling point. Three, match the key attributes you possess with the specific requirements of the employer for the position. This will work well if you do enough research on the job/company/industry to determine which are the most relevant and critical. Four, and finally, you must communication this. Even when you have the key attributes desired by an employer in a specific situation, you must endeavour to communicate it to the employer. Don’t ever assume that it is so obvious that he ought to see it. Blow your trumpet. Use every opportunity and contact with the employer to communicate the match (and your suitability)- application letters, telephone conversations, resume, interview, etc. Now that you have the syllabus, go win yourself some job. See you next week. •Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Associates. He can be reached on Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).




NCAA seeks information sharing on aviation threat T O promote aviation security, airline operators, security agencies and airports’ airports have been urged to embrace information sharing. Exchange of information , according to the Acting Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mr Joyce Nkemakolam, is a way of preventing security threats in the industry. In an address at a stakeholders’ seminar at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos with the theme: Dealing with emerging challenges in aviation security, Nkemakolam, represented by the Director, Customer Protection Directorate, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi said the consequences of insider threat to aviation security worldwide remains high. He said hijackers had changed their style from hijacking to blowing up of aircraft in other climes, warning that some aviation security personnel might give out their country due to enticement. According to Nkemakolam, threat to civil aviation industry has changed since September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked the twin towers in the United States. Before, he said, terrorists used massive weapons, but have changed to liquids and explosives, which could eliminate hundreds of people in seconds.

Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

Terrorism threat remained the greatest challenge to safety, he said, to the world, challenging aviation security personnel to be more vigilant at all times as “these deadly men are evolving new ways of beating security.” The Vice President, Air Transport Staff Senior Services of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, Comrade Ahmadu Ilitrus, urged airports’users to tackle pilferage and stealing onboard of plane. He said the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and cameras at strategic places within the airport would help reduce stealing. He said: “It is very important for the airlines and other players in the industry to have effective security

training for their personnel. It is not enough for the personnel to be trained in accordance with ICAO standards alone, but they should be periodically trained. “Any staff with questionable characters should be dealt with accordingly, which I think will send a note of warning to others and will help in checkmating criminal activities among the people in the sector because pilferage and stealing are done with the collaboration of insiders.” An industry player, Comrade Chukwuemeke Iwelumo, said the security challenges called for closer collaboration He said: “Serious security challenges like the one that is prevalent in the country today calls for urgent and collaborative action by all stakeholders to stem the development.’’

‘Any staff with questionable characters should be dealt with accordingly, which I think will send a note of warning to others and will help in checkmating criminal activities among the people in the sector because pilferage and stealing are done with the collaboration of insiders’

IATA cautions African carriers THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned that African carriers would face high operating costs in the third quarter of this year, with the cost of aviation fuel averaging 21 per cent higher than other parts of the world. Its Chief Executive Officer and Director-General of IATA, Mr Tony Tyler, explained that African carriers would also face stiff opposition from carriers outside the region, in long haul operations. Tyler said carriers from Africa would need to work hard to resolve aero- political barriers that still stands in the way of enhanced regional connectivity. He said: “The region’s airlines continue to face high operating costs, especially for fuel, which is on average 21 per cent more costly than in other parts of the world. Long haul services face stiff competition from carriers outside the region, while significant aero-political barriers still stand in the way of enhanced regional connectivity. He said: ”African airlines continue to be the weakest performers, with passenger load factors below 70 per cent operating margins averaging less than one per

cent and profits of just $100 million. Compared with the $100 million loss of 2012, however, this is a better performance. Passenger capacity growth 6.7 per cent is expected to be outstripped by demand growth of 7.5 per cent This will improve load factors.” Meanwhile, the IATA upgraded its global outlook for the airline industry to a $12.7 billion profit in 2013 on $711 billion in revenues. This is $2.1 billion better than the $10.6 billion profit projected in March of this year and an improvement on the $7.6 billion profit generated in 2012. “This is a very tough business. The day-to-day challenges of keeping revenues ahead of costs remain monumental. Many airlines are struggling. On average airlines will earn about $4 for every passenger carried—less than the cost of a sandwich in most places,” said Tyler. He said: “Profitability is thin, but there is a solid performance improvement story over the last seven to eight years. More efficient use of assets is the main contributor.”

Why aviation growth is slow, by NAMA chief THE Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh, has attributed the slow pace of growth of aviation in Africa to poor aerospace development, inadequate airport and airspace infrastructure. Udoh listed other challenges the industry is grappling with to include safety, security, inadequate human resources and poor budgetary provision. Speaking at a seminar in Lagos last weekend, he said until the government took seriously the role of infrastructure in airspace safety and security, the growth of the industry could be stunted. The areas that are critical for the development of the industry include a consistent plan by government to address issues bordering on airport management and se-

curity. He said: “The aviation sector continues to grapple with a myriad of challenges. Some of these challenges include: poor budgetary provision and funding of the industry, weak project matrix, due process and other procurement bottlenecks, change management failures, liquidation of national airlines as well as issues of privatisation.” He explained that if the industry must rescue itself from its slow pace of growth, government must resolve issues bordering on challenges of human resource. Udoh said if Nigeria aims to be among one of the developed aviation nations, government should consider a framework that would help to achieve safer skies.

Virgin to pull out of Ghana

• Some workers of Chanchangi Airlines protesting the airline’s alleged failure to pay them their outstanding salaries, after being sent on compulsory leave in 2010.


Labour threatens to picket airlines

RADE’ unions may be forced to picket domestic airlines that disallow their workers from joining any group of their choice, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Omar Abdulwaheed has said. He said the airlines’ attitude was tantamount to depriving the workers their freedom of association as enshrined in the constitution. He said no efforts would be spared to ensure that workers were allowed to free themselves from the “shackles of slave drivers in the aviation sector.” Omar spoke at the Ninth

Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) in Abuja. He said it was disgusting that out of all the country’s domestic airlines, only Aero Contractors allowed its workers to join the union of their choice. The airlines’ action, he said was illegal, adding: ”If foreign airlines, such as British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM and others that are flying into the country can respect our laws, it is shocking that our own Nigerian airlines are infringing on workers’ freedom of association.”

Omar, who vowed that the Labour was ready to put an end to this, hinted that airlines would be picketed soon. He said: ”We shall start with the big one among them after which we will move to others.” He assured the workers’ delegates of Labour’s support in the fight against the airlines and governments agencies which trample on their’ rights. Omar praised the NUATE executive for its achievements, urging the leaders and their members not to allow any management to infiltrate their ranks.

Ethiopian Airlines Academy graduates 26 pilots


THIOPIAN Airlines Aviation Academy has graduated 26 pilots trained with MultiCrew Pilot License (MPL), which is a first in Africa. The academy, according to a statement, has been the first in Af-

rica and among the few in the world to start the ICAO certified training in July 2011. The MPL training was kicked off in partnership with Flight Path International. In addition to the 26 MPL pilots, Ethiopian also graduated 68 cabin crew trainees on the

same day. The MPL training is a response to the ever-changing and technology driven aviation industry. Ethiopian Aviation Academy is now one of the few in the world and the only one in Africa providing these training.

THE employees of Virgin Atlantic in Ghana will lose their jobs in three months as the airline will shut its offices in Accra after its last flight on September 23. In a statement last weekend, the airline, which operates direct flights on the Accra-London route, said it was closing shop in Ghana. It said its decision was due to “exceptionally high fuel costs, a challenging wider economic environment and an inability to operate morning arrivals from Accra due to scarcity of slots at Heathrow.” When the last flight takes off in September,the airline will close its

offices in Accra and the 16 staff hired through a General Sales Agent will be made redundant, Joanne Foster, Virgin’s Communication Manager in-charge of the UK, India, Middle East and Africa, said. Asked about the implication of the decision on the employees, she said: “We are discussing the details with the employees and will be offering them a redundancy package as well as provide support to assist in their efforts to seek re-employment.” Ms. Foster also said the airline might return when the economy improved.

SAA to spend $7b on aircraft acquisition SOUTH African Airways (SAA) is set to invest between $4 billion and $7 billion on the acquisition of 2530 long haul aircraft following increased activity in the South African air travel industry and increased number of travellers across the continent. According to Reuters, the SAA plans to acquire the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. SAAA Chief Executive Nico Bezuidenhout, said the stateowned carrier should take delivery of the aircraft from 2017. SAA would not disclose the aircraft manufacturer they will be buying these aircraft from. “SAA hopes fuel efficient aircraft

will help defray expensive energy costs,” Bezuidenhout told Reuters. It was reported that the financially-struggling SAA will borrow R1.5billion from two South African banks. Chief Financial Officer Wolf Meyer the firm would do this until the cabinet adopted the airline’s turnaround plans. The banks were identified as investment banks, Rand Merchant Bank and Investec. SAA has expanded the number of flights to Africa and other parts of the world. It launched flights to new destinations since 2011 and cut prices to attract more travellers to South Africa.




Anxiety over Pension Act amendment


ORKERS are worried over the ongoing process by legislators to amend the Pension Act 2004. They are afraid that their hard-earned contributory pension may get into wrong hands should the Act be amended. Also, plans to channel the pension funds into infrastruture development is giving the workers nightmare. The funds hit about N2.94 trillion in September last year. A Director in the Federal Ministry of Works, who craves anonymity, told The Nation over the weekend that the Pension Reform Act 2004 was the best thing to have happened to workers. The reform took place under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He lamented that civil service rules were being set aside in desperation of the Federal Government to tamper with the pension funds, ostensibly to prosecute the 2015 electioneering process under the guise of channeling it into infrastructure development. The director recalled that the mismanaged pension funds got into wrong hands because they were not covered by the Pension Act 2004.

Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

He blamed the inability of the government to deal decisively with alleged looters of pension funds on its complicity in the fraud. According to him, the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, battling allegations of collusion with other top government officials to mismanage the pensions of public sector workers may be set free. Speaking on the ongoing amendment, a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Pensions, Hon. Mustapha Bala Dawaki, said: "It's unfortunate that this government is mutilating and bastardising such an all-important law just because of one individual. Why should they personify government institutions?" His comments refer to a provision of the Bill that seeks to change the provision in the original Act providing that the PenCom directorgeneral’s office must be occupied by someone with working experience of between 15 and 20 years. General Secretary of the National Union of Chemical Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-

Mettalic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Comrade Douglas Adiele, said the pension fund is for security of those who have worked and retired, warning the Federal Government to stay off it. "If this pension fund wasn’t on ground, won’t the Federal Government think of ways of financing the development of infrstructure in the country?" he asked. He warned that if the Federal Government was allowed to tamper with the fund as it is planning to do, the pensioners may not see their money when it is time for them to use it. He urged the lawmakers to support the cause of the workers by rejecting the amendment, adding that anything to the contrary will amount to collaborating with the executive to ruin the future of the workers. Adiele said the Pension Act 2004 has brought in transparency into pension funds management and administration, arguing that since the funds were already being lawfully invested, the government should not expose the funds to the dangers of mismanagement and embezzlement by government officials.

Ogun teachers want strike resolved


HE Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Ogun State chapter, has advised the state government to initiate dialogue with its members in line with the principles of collective bargaining. Chairman of NUT in the state, Mr Dare Ilekoya, gave the advice in Abeokuta. He urged the government to desist from issuing threats to its members, saying negotiation was the only option available in resolving the strike called by its national leadership over non-implementation of the Teachers Salary Structure (TSS). He wondered why the state government had not resumed payment of the TSS, which it suspended in December 2010, on the excuse of paucity of funds. “There can be no further excuse for nonpayment with the rise in internally generated revenue from N1billion monthly in 2010 to N4billion since 2011. “My members remain adamant and unperturbed by the threats of the government,'' he said. The teachers embarked on the strike on Monday following a directive from the NUT. The union had directed its members in nine states, including Ogun, where the TSS had not been implemented, to down tools until their demands are met. The state Commissioner for Education, Mr Segun Odubela, however, insisted that attendance register must be signed by teachers. He warned the leadership of the union in the state against picketing.

NYSC seeks employers’ collaboration

T • From left: Trade Union Congress President, Peter Esele; Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Deputy President Issa Aremu; Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole and NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, at a meeting with the governor in Abuja.


June 12: Why NUPENG led the struggle, by Kokori

ORMER General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Kokori, has lamented that the ‘compromising attitude’ of the organised labour during the June 12, 1993 crisis, which forced NUPENG to lead the struggle to defend the rights of the people. He spoke in Lagos while fielding questions from reporters at an event organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the annulled 1993 presidential elections. He accused the organised labour of refusing to rescue the people when it mattered most. He explained that the way the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was constituted then, its affiliates refused to join the struggle, so NUPENG decided to fight for the people.


“Not that we enjoyed what we did, we just had to do it because the people and workers were being humiliated. Labour at the time was not ready to fight for the people. That was the cause of the great upheaval. That was the cause of the great resistance that led to our being locked up,”Kokori said. He decried the high unemplyment rate in the country, arguing that the various tertiary institutions were churning out unemployable graduates. He also lamented the upsurge in private universities for commercial purposes at the detriment of the educational standards, which kept dropping. Kokori urged the government to improve on power supply to boost human development and encourage self-employment. He expressed concern that the increase in the country’s

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) announced recently by the Federal Government, did not reflect in the standard of living of the citizens. He warned that President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda would not succeed if the power problem is not solved once and for all. He said: “There is no way you can grow economically if you do not give your people power; power is one of the things we never had.” The President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr Femi Adeshina, urged the media to take up the challenge of fighting corruption. He said power had been hijacked by corrupt leaders who were given their mandate by Nigerians who voted them into power. “For how long are we going to afflict ourselves with bad leaders?” he asked.

workers in Abuja. He noted that lack of sufficient accommodation had never stopped Nigerians living abroad from returning home. The President, Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association, Mr Tunde Abdulrahman, said the plan was good. He advised that Nigerians abroad should contribute to the NHS. He regretted that many civil servants had contributed to the housing scheme for many years without being able to access loans to

construct houses of their own. He urged the Federal Government to monitor such a scheme to ensure its effective implementation. The General Secretary, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Mr Alade Lawal, said it was worrisome that up to 17 million Nigerians abroad needed houses. He advised the government to meet the housing needs of Nigerians at home. Lawal urged the government to verify the figure before building houses for those abroad.

Labour slams govt over Diaspora housing scheme

HE organised labour has condemned the Federal Government’s initiative to assist Nigerians in the Diaspora to own houses at home. The Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Mr Ya’u Kumo said in Washington, United States, that about 17 million Nigerians, living outside the country, desire to own houses at home, but had challenges, and that the government would help them achieve their dream. But the Acting General Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Emma Ugboaja, said though the plan is good, the housing problems of Nigerians at home should be addressed first. Ugboaja said: “Ya’u Kumo said about 17 million Nigerians, living outside the country, had the desire to own houses at home but had challenges. “It is a vision that should be executed when the government completes housing projects for those living in the country.’’ He said it would be right for the government to satisfy the housing needs of Nigerians living at home first, since they were the primary contributors to the National Housing Scheme (NHS). He also said the mortgage bank was collaborating with the NLC in building houses for


HE Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia, has urged employers to provide conducive atmosphere for corps members to promote discipline and good work ethics among them. He made the call at a sensitisation workshop for corps employers in Dutse. The event, tagged: “Harnessing the gains of Youth Service scheme through cordial Corps member/Employer Relationship", was organised to enable corps members to contribute to the development of the society. Okore-Affia, represented by Mrs Stella Abba, a Director with NYSC, said the exercise was aimed at promoting cordial working relationship between employers and corps members. He said it was also to help develop an effective performance monitoring mechanism of youths and their activities. He stressed the need for employers to instil discipline and sense of patriotism, good moral values and ethics in NYSC members. "Corps members spend greater period of their service year with you as their employers. "It is imperative to take personal interest, not only in their welfare but in issues that will shape their destiny through counselling and discipline," he said. The director-general said employers were expected to provide decent accommodation, security, transport allowances and good working environment for Corps members to put in their best. The state's NYSC Director, Mr Ishaya Dede,warned Corps members against indiscriminate travelling outside their places of primary assignments, adding that those found wanting would be penalised.

TUC president: Two contestants step down

HERE is a new twist in the race to the office of the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) soon to be vacated by Mr Peter Esele as some of the major contestants have stepped down. Three senior staff union presidents were initially billed to slug it out at the polls. The aspirants, President of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, (ASSBIFI), Comrade Sunday Olusoji Salako and Comrade Babatunde Abdulrahman, President of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (FOBTOB) offered to step down for Babatunde Ogun, President

of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN). According to sources, the three union presidents met in Lagos and harmonised the various contestable positions ahead of this week’s Ninth Triennial Delegates’Conference/election of the group which holds this Thursday. Under the umbrella of the Harmony Group, Salako is seeking to become first Deputy President-General, while Abdulrahman is contesting to become the TUC Treasurer. With this development, the race for the presidency of TUC has been narrowed down

to Ogun and Kaigama Boboi, President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN). At a ceremony to present the 13 candidates under the Harmony Group, Ogun said if elected, the priority of the group would be to deliver TUC secretariat structure with facilities and responsive personnel to move the union to the next level. He promised to make TUC focused with data, research and analysis in line with the dynamics of global economic realities, adding that he would make TUC a centre that trains, develops and impacts on legislation, policy review and drive, among others.


Monday, June 17, 2013



MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2013



SOKOTO POLITICS In Sokoto State, the 2015 governorship will be a straight fight between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), writes ADAMU SULEIMAN.

Sokoto 2015: Can PDP retain power? T

HE 2015 governeorship contest in Sokoto State will be a tough battle. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), despite its internal crisis, is working assiduously to remain in power. But observers contend that, unless the party puts its house in order, it is doomed. The All Progressives Congress (APC) is waxing strong in the Caliphate. Unlike the ruling party, the opposition is united. There are discordant tunes within the PDP. Governor Aliyu Wamakko, who returned from an overseas trip last week to a rousing reception, used the opportunity to blast the leadership of the party. He particularly singled out the national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, accussing him of running the party in a manner that has done more harm to it than good. At the reception was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal. The party had two weeks ago suspended the governor for alleged insurbordination. Analysts say Wamakko’s suspension was not as a result of any insurbordiation but the fact that “Abuja” is uncomfortable with the “perceived plans” by Wamakko to instal in 2015 a candidate who is not anointed by “Abuja.” Besides, many governorship aspirant in the state are anti-Abuja. Already, there are stong indications within and outside the state that four front runners in the race for the Government House in the PDP have emerged. Others are still “consulting.” Among the leading contenders is Tambuwal; there is also the incumbent Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari; the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Farouk Yabo. Also in contention are the former Minister of Sports, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, and Senator Abubakar Gada. The two had tested their popularity in 2011 against Governor Wamakko at the primaries, but lost to him. It is being rumoured that they are strategising to launch their bid, once again, to clinch the party’s ticket for the plum job. Within the PDP, Tambuwal is said to be the front runner. His popularity has soared, since the historic election that produced him as the Speaker. The PDP machinery was arrayed against him in that contest, but he pulled through in a manner that left the PDP bigwigs in the gallery, who had gone to witness the election, dumbfounded. Besides, his leadership style has earned him more respect and he is a major source of worry to the powers that be in Abuja. His rating soared when former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida called on him to seek “higher office” on the understanding that he has performed creditably. Moreover, Tambuwal has established a rare relationship with the opposition party members, a style that has infuriated the lead-

• Wamakko

• Map of Sokoto State

• Tambuwal

• Bafarawa

• Shagari

‘The coming of the APC is a good omen for Nigeria and its citizens. The party is a reflection of true democracy, which we need now, to free the masses from the shackles of poverty and maladministration, which the PDP government has subjected them to in the last 14 years’ ership of the PDP. In fact, it has earned him the rather derogatory appelation of “Opposition Speaker.” Within the House, he is at home with all and sundry, except, perhaps, the die-hard supporters of the establishment. Shagari, a former Minister of Water Resources and hardcore loyalist of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, comes across as a very loyal deputy to Wamakko. He is adjudged by analysts to be politically mature to step into the

shoes of his boss. He has gone through the test of the game and may be rewarded for his patience and loyalty. The sacrifice he made could earn him the ticket. Even though Yabo is not too old in the game, he is an enterprising and highly resourceful politican. He is also very humble and often attracts remarkable attention at political gatherings across the state. He is nicknamed the “man of the people’’. This, analysts say, could

surprisingly smoothen his political ambition at any given opportunity. But the PDP will face a big challenge from the mega party in the making, the APC. It is a merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (UPGA). The opposition is enjoying a huge popularity. The APC is determined to take the state from the PDP. The ANPP governorship candidate in 2012, Alhaji Yusha’u Ahmad, recently described the APC as the political messiah for Nigerians. ‘’The coming of the APC is a good omen for Nigeria and its citizens. The party is a reflection of true democracy, which we need now, to free the masses from the shackles of poverty and maladministration, which the PDP government has subjected them to in the last 14 years,” he said. Ahmad said the clamour for change can no longer be neglected, and to meet the yearnings of the peoples, the leaders of the opposition decided to come together to provide the needed alternative, which is the APC. ‘’There is wide agitation for change by the people of Sokoto State and Nigerians, and APC is set to build the needed confidence in the electorate, ahead of the next general elections, ’’ he said Ahmad said Nigeria required leaders with integrity, foresight, vision and commitment that can religiously pursue relevant policies for the benefit of the citizenry, adding that ‘’ this is what APC stands for’’. He maintained that these qualities are lacking in this current leadership. According to him, the masses need to be sensitised to their fundamental rights, which they ought to protect by electing credible candidates of their choice. His words: “There is absolute need to change the leadership and direction in the state and in the country.’’ Ahmad accused the PDP government of turning the state to a ‘’beggar spot where basic demands of the majority of people cannot be addressed by the ruling PDP in the state”. Wamakko has warned politicians to allow his administration a breathing space to pursue his programmes, adding that campaigns in any form or guise will constitute a distratcion for his administration. He urged all the aspirants to allow him enough space to channel resources and energies to the empowerment of the youth through job creation, poverty reduction and self reliant activities to give them a sense of belonging and prepare them as tomorrow’s leaders.



POLITICS Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson recently spoke with reporters in Yenogua, the state capital, on the activities of his administration and other partisan issues. AUGUSTINE AVWODE reports.

Bayelsa in hurry to develop, says Dickson Y OU said your government is spending so much on road con struction. Why is this so? That was what I promised the people of the state and also that is what they deserve. We are preparing our state for industrialisation; to be a foremost tourism and investment destination. We dream of joining the league of developed states. We are in a hurry to see development in the state. Initially, people asked: where is he going to get the money? His dreams are too big for this state; too big for four years; even too big for eight years. But as for me, I always try my best in all the responsibilities that I have been privileged to handle. I try to make a success, however modest, and this will be no exception. You have seen improvement in security. You asked why Julius Berger and all these companies. It’s not just Berger. All major construction companies in Nigeria have presence here. A lot more are even coming, because the whole state is about construction. I have also succeeded, within this short period, to create an enabling secure environment. The Commissioner for Works, who is a committed young man, and selfless, understands the vision and he is effectively supervising and leading the charge. This is the tip of the iceberg. There is construction in all sectors, in all our communities across the length and breadth of this state. Bayelsa was created out of the old Rivers State. How much of development was on ground when the state was created? Bayelsa was the least developed part of the old Rivers State. When we came, we just saw ourselves living in an abandoned forest; an abandoned swamp with all its challenges, the difficulty of our terrains and then the challenges of under-development of the people themselves. That brought a lot of negative consequences - rise in militancy, high level of illiteracy and unemployment and all that. So, the key to reversing the trend is to open up the state and that is why it has been roads and roads everywhere. A place that is inaccessible is a forgotten place. The underdevelopment here predated Nigeria’s independence and that was why our leaders and chiefs, at the time before Nigeria’s independence was agreed upon, requested for a conference and the colonial masters listened and summoned the Willink Commission. That was how the Willink Commission came into being. It studied the complaints of the minorities of the Niger Delta, who felt that their terrain was very difficult and the majority groups, in an independent Nigeria, would not take care of them; would not develop the place; would not even understand their challenges and the British government saw reasons and convened the Willink Commission. That was how they now granted special status to these areas.

So, this is a very special area. The terrain is so difficult. What I spend on one kilometre of road, you can use it to construct 20 kilometres in other places. So imagine me doing what I am doing on a dry land, you would have seen that even within this 14 months that I have been here would have been something else. You’ve got to first excavate up to eight feet, in some places even more, and that is why I select only first class construction companies. Whatever I put in place here, I will like it to stand the test of time. But I am not a showman. I am not putting up structures for political campaigns. Whatever I put on ground here should outlive us. Any sector I touch, succeeding government should not think of that area; it should think of other things. So that’s the kind of ambition I have. What are you doing about human capital development? The challenge of human capacity building, in fact, that is the most important that I need to confront. Part of the consequences of under-development of this area is that human development index is very low. No good schools; I know that the standard of education, generally, has fallen in this country. Here, it is something else. Everywhere, the standard is always higher in urban areas than it is in the rural areas. So, for a state that is completely rural; a state that is inaccessible, you can imagine what is going on. I noticed that to prepare for tomorrow, you’ve got to invest in human mind today and that is why we are investing so much in education. You must have been told about our declaration of free education for primary and secondary schools. In one year, we have built 400 schools; 400 Teachers’ Quarters. I’m not aware of any other government that is building Teachers’ Quarters. At the secondary school level, we are constructing modern secondary schools with modern facilities. The key is to have boarding re-introduced. Most of us passed through boarding schools and they taught us a lot of things, not just academics. So the key, for us in this state, is once this boarding schools that we are constructing are finished and we hope to finish a number of them by September, then we begin the next phase. Secondary education in this state, generally, will be boarding and the state will take responsibility for their feeding and maintenance. In other words, once a child gets into secondary school, the parents will pay little or nothing. Because if you introduce compulsory boarding, you also need to consider capacity of parents so that students don’t drop out. So the state has to intervene in a revolutionary manner on that. So we are building eight model schools – one in each local government headquarters which will have a capacity for 1,200 students.


• Lamai

But now we are decentralising it also. Every state has constituencies, so we also have a constituency boarding secondary schools. So we are building 26 constituency secondary schools. We have 24 constituencies but there are some areas, which are highly populated and we have challenges of illiteracy, so I’m putting more there Southern Ijaw to be precise. So in all the 26 of them construction is going on and most of them are at roofing stage. Also, the girls’ school – the oldest school – we are rebuilding it. We are virtually rebuilding every facility so that it can serve as a topmost girls’ training school. We have the college of education introduced with so many students now there receiving lectures. We introduce the Teachers’ Training Institute to train teachers. We’ve got a lot of courses for the teachers in the state and all of them will pass through that school for training and retraining. What is happening in the area of scholarship? In the last one year, we have given over a hundred Ph.D scholarships within this country and outside; over 250 to 300 Masters degree scholarships; over 400 undergraduate scholarships; even selected 250 pupils from primary schools selected and as we speak, they are in top boarding schools in this country – Nigerian-Turkish, Bell, Loyola, all over. They are indigent students who are bright. The program was started by the President (Goodluck Jonathan) when he was governor, but my predecessor (Timipre Silva) stopped it. So for some five years the program was cut off. The ones that the President started with about 100 of them, I think so, they passed out last year. So we are now starting the programme again and a number of them have been sent out on scholarships. We got support from the Amnesty Office because they do a lot of training. In this state since I became governor no student pays for WAEC, NECO or JAMB. It’s free. You just need to indicate that you are set to take WAE, NECO or JAMB and the government pays. But parents pay for teaching science practical and all that. We supply text books, notebooks even writing pen, school bags and uniforms. I just directed the Finance commissioner to release N5m to every LGA and N10m to the two largest LGAs – Yenagoa and Southern Ijaw – for the chairman and the committees to now buy more school uniforms for them. We are doing this is because in vain do we build roads and bridges if we do not develop human beings. Yes, we are building roads because we have to prepare the place for development and industrialisation. We have to prepare the place as a modern city and developed economy. But the most important challenge is the challenge of capacity development. What is your government going to

• Gov. Dickson

‘We are preparing our state for industrialisation; to be a foremost tourism and investment destination. We dream of joining the league of developed states. We are in a hurry to see development in the state. Initially, people asked: where is he going to get the money? His dreams are too big for this state; too big for four years; even too big for eight years. But as for me, I always try my best in all the responsibilities that I have been privileged to handle’ do about the 500-bed hospital that is enmeshed in controversy? I don’t know of controversies but the issues on the hospital are not insurmountable. They are not things that cannot be resolved; they are not serious issues. If you went there, you would have seen the diagnostic centre that is coming up there. The whole idea is that when that centre is finished then we will begin to fix the development of that hospital. The hospital was conceived without due regard to available manpower that will run it and so many other fundamental issues involved. So, we are working with the private sector. That is not an hospital that can be run by any state government. So, we are looking for people – major firms, major medical firms. A lot of them have shown interest because of improved image of the state. They have come from India, from South Africa, Dubai and England to come and look at it. We are looking at there proposals. We want to outsource that place for them to use and with the diagnostic centre we are building, to complement it. That place will become a centre for medical excellence. So it is not abandoned at all. What efforts are you making in the area of transport? We are working with the Federal Government to have an airport, which for me, is not a necessity but a necessity for our development. The arrangement is for us to acquire the land then pay compensation for the land. The Federal Government will build the terminals; the state government will

build the runway. The runway is the most important component. That is the collaboration. We have already done our part – we have acquired the land and we have even cleared the land. We have awarded contract for the construction and we have mobilised to site. So, anytime from now, the sand filling will start and about a year or less, we should have an airport here. Certainly, before the end of my tenure, we want to deliver on an airport. Can you shed more light on the Safe City and Safe State project? We want to provide fool proof security as much as it is humanly possible and we are calling in technology because that is the trend all over the world. You saw what happened in Boston. You can’t prevent all crimes. The important thing is that the one you cannot provide, you should be able to apprehend and punish as quickly as possible. So I want our law enforcement agencies to have that kind of capacity in Yenogoa. That is what we should have in all our cities, really. But over the years, just as we have abandoned investment in education and then we allowed the generation to grow up without values, without morals, without knowledge all over the country – and it’s hunting us now - so also we didn’t invest in security. So we are reversing that trend. We want people to troop to Yenagoa, feel safe here, do business and live here. I hope that by the time the new Yenagoa City project is launched by about November or December, the new Yenagoa City will be like Dubai.

‘Assess Jonathan with open mind’

CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples Democratic Party and member of the Board of Trustees of the Southsouth Peoples Assembly (SSPA), Chief Richard Lamai, has given President Goodluck Jonathan pass mark on performance. Speaking to The Nation in Lagos, the Edo State born politician urged Nigerians, to assess the two year administration realistically. He said it was only by so doing that they would be able to appreciate his efforts in trying to reverse the infrastructure decay in the country. He argued that President

By Augustine Avwode

Jonathan has brought some innovations into governance, pointing out partisanship has made it impossible for people to appreciate it. “President Jonathan has done well. But because ofpartisan politics, it has been difficult for Nigerians to accept this as a fact. I’m a politician who travels a lot by road around the country and I see how much our once death traps called roads have been transformed. “From the North to South and East, major roads have been rehabilited or at the verge of reha-

bilitation. Today nobody complains of the Benin/Ore road any more”, Lamai said. Lamai also said the transformation of the aviation sector, the construction and rebuilding of new airports around the country, as a reasonable achievement that should be applauded. “Look at the aviation sector, we have never had it so good. The Jonathan Administration is at the verge of giving us a national carrier, something past administrations considered unimportant. This can only be appreciated if we assess it with open mind void of partisan

politics”. Lamai also alluded the revolution in the agricultural sector, saying it was a necessary way to diversify the economy. “Gone are the days when our farmers used all their time looking for fertilizers, seedlings and farming equipment. Today these things are delivered to their farms directly. All Nigerians, especially the farmers agree that agriculture has never had it so good. Yet critics, especially the opposition want Nigerians to believe that nothing has happened under President Jonathan in the past two years.”

















NEWS I can’t say when Suntai’ll return, says acting governor


ARABA State Acting Governor Alhaji Garba Umar, said yesterday he could not say when his boss, Governor Danbaba Suntai, will return from his medical trip abroad. Umar told reporters in Jalingo, the state capital that only the medical experts at John Hopkins Hospital in the United States (US) could determine Suntai return date. The acting governor was in the hospital to see Suntai as well as in Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser hajj. He told reporters that they shook hands and exchanged pleasantries but there was no long discussion between them. Umar said that he would continue to pursue the programmes and projects initiated by Suntai to ensure continuity in governance. The statement came on the heel of speculations that the ailing governor had recovered and would soon return to the state. Umar, who got a rousing reception, thanked the people for their solidarity and support.

NATCOMS seeks protection for telecoms equipment


HE National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) yesterday called for a law that would make vandalism of telecommunications equipment a capital offence. NATCOMS’ President Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that having such a law became necessary to protect telecommunications installations and promote effective service delivery. According to Ogunbanjo, the law would prevent vandals from sabotaging telecommunications infrastructure and frustrating the efforts of operators in providing quality services. He noted that telecommunications equipment had been subject of attacks, especially in violence-prone areas. The NATCOMS chief described as regrettable that such frequent attacks have been disrupting services. Ogunbanjo said that the vandalism was adversely affecting economic activities of people whose livelihood depended on telecoms. He advised that the Federal Government should not leave the protection of telecoms facilities to the operators alone because of their importance. Besides, the NATCOMS president urged the Federal Government to declare telecommunications facilities as critical national infrastructure. CHANGE OF NAME AMAGADA I, formerly known and addressed MISS. OKEOGHENE KUMOBOR AMAGADA now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. OKEOGHENE KUMOBOR AMAGADA SITO . All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.




CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Two in prison over N1.8b fuel subsidy scam


HE police have stepped up investigations into the alleged involvement of two persons in a N1.8 billion fuel subsidy scam, spokesperson of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Police Command, Ikoyi, Lagos, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said yesterday. A Magistrate's Court in Apapa, Lagos, last week, remanded two suspects in the Ikoyi Prison for allegedly defrauding "the government of Nigeria" of about N1.8 billion in 2011. The suspects, Samuel Owa, 55, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Stonebridge Oil Limited and Olori Onassis Wajutome, 38, a worker with Vibrant Ventures, were arraigned before Magistrate Martins Owumi. They were arraigned by the SFU following their indictment by the team of auditors of the Presidential Com-

‘They were arraigned by the SFU following their indictment by the team of Auditors of the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments’ By Jude Isiguzo, Police Affairs Correspondent

mittee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments. The committee alleged that Owa defrauded the Federal Government of Nigeria of a total sum of N1,784,715,258.14 by pretending that

• The suspects ... during their arraignment

the company had imported and sold 15,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) under the Fuel Subsidy Regime of the 2011 fiscal year. The committee further alleged that

Wajutome, a cargo Superintendent of the Vibrant Ventures, a warehousing agent appointed by Ecobank Plc, bankers and financiers of Stonebridge Oil Limited, for the importation of the

Slain policeman's sibling seeks justice By Precious Igbonwelundu

• Nicholas


NE month after about 90 policemen were gruesomely murdered by the Ombatse Cult in Nasarawa State, relations of one of the victims have remained traumatised. Now, they are worried that justice has been delayed over the matter.

Christian Ibekwe was among the victims, who were cut down in their prime. His 22-year-old brother, Nicholas, a journalist, sobbed while narrating the trauma of the deceased kinsmen, including his 65-year-old mother, Mrs. Christiana Ibekwe. Nicholas told The Nation that the absence of justice over the case "has tormented me and every member of our bereaved family like a sore toe in an ill-fitting shoe." Christian, an Inspector attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Nasarawa, was 45 when he was killed, leaving behind, his young wife, two kids and his aged mother. Nicholas said: "I've only succeeded in switching from one level of depression to another like a danfo driver switching lanes in Lagos rush-hour traffic. Even when I manage to sleep, it's often in snatches - I'm violently roused to reality by frightful nightmares as I sweat as if I took a dive in the devil's pool. Leaving the house is terribly becoming unexciting these

Honour for Tambuwal, Ajomale in Ekiti


HE first-year coronation anniversary of the Alawe of Ilawe Kingdom in Ekiti State, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi, is billed for Saturday. The anniversary coincides with the town's 2013 Unity Day and the launch of its proposed N500 million ultra-modern civic centre. Chieftaincy titles will also be conferred on some deserving Nigerians Those to be honoured include the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal, who will be honoured with the Bobagunwa of Ilawe title, while the chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Lagos State, Otunba Henry Ajomale will become the Gbobaniyi of Ilawe. Others include: Babatunde Babalola, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Deepwater Group (Otunba


days. I'm badly beaten and bruised all over by dejection. "One might argue that these are signs of intense grieving. True. I haven't known grief this deep. The pain I felt at the passing of my old man was nothing compared to this. However, I'm traumatised more by my helplessness at bringing the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. It disturbs me greatly that 10 years from now, I might have to tell my two nephews that the savages that killed their father were never arrested or prosecuted." He spoke further: "Worse, the government and police authorities have made only a feeble, or honestly, no attempt whatsoever to make them pay. They haven't even bothered to tell the truth of how these men were led to their death. It breaks my heart that the founder of this cult group still talks freely to the media and brags about how "his gods sent fire from above to kill the policemen." "I want to express how brazen we have become at the brutal waste of human lives and the impunity around it. Further, I hope by sharing the trauma my family endured this past

month, we can begin to, at least, imagine the suffering of thousands of families that lost loved ones in the convulsing madness that has darkened the soul of the country. I also intend that this will serve as a wake-up call for those of us in our little bubbles outside the north that evil is roaming just down the street." Nicholas added: "Many of the murdered policemen would still be alive today if the police authorities had done basic checks before hurriedly deploying them to death. They were not properly briefed. "There was basically no planning whatsoever. Their convoy was easily ambushed and the men butchered in the most cold-blooded manner. Many of the bodies recovered were sprayed with bullets, butchered with cutlasses and deliberately burnt beyond recognition. The Assistant Commissioner that led the team was discovered in an abandoned well, bloated, with one of his legs missing.” Though he said the shock of his brother's killing was gradually subsiding, he reiterated his call on police authorities to ensure justice.

By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

Bobaselu) and John Femi Jegede, a Permanent Secretary in the Presidency (Bobajiro). According to the Chairman, Planning Committee, Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN), special guests expected at occasion are: Governor Kayode Fayemi, Tambuwal and the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. The event which, according to its Chairman, Publicity Committee, Chief Gbenga Agbona, will hold at the Corpus Christi College Playing Ground, Ilawe, will start at 11am. A pre-event dinner and an interactive session, he added, would hold at the monarch's palace in the evening of Friday. new hair styles, teach professionals the latest trend in the market and celebrate with stylists and beauticians." She explained that "this fiesta is a platform for them to see themselves and learn different styles from each other. It is an avenue for them to network in a very comfortable environment." She also said the event provided opportunity for participants to know some things about the company's latest collections, including Darling VIP collection, Moroccan Weave, Liela and Loose Dip.

College celebrates at 65

ANWAR-UL Islam College (Formerly Ahmadiyya College) in Agege, a Lagos suburb, is 65. Established in 1948, it is the first Muslim College in Lagos State. Old boys of the school will hold a 65th Reunion and Anniversary Dinner at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Friday at 6.30pm. At the event, the old boys will launch a N100 million appeal fund for the rehabilitaion of the school. Cards for the dinner can be collected from the National Publicity Secretary of Anwar-ul Islam College Old Students Association (ACAOSA), Alhaji Muftau Ottun whose number is 08053090107.

Foundation inducts new members By Uyoatta Eshiet

THE Professional Excellence Foundation of Nigeria (PEFON), a non-governmental organisation, has inducted 40 new members. At the induction ceremony held in Lagos, its founder, Dr. Dipo Bailey, said professionals in governance would create a better Nigeria, adding that "PEFON plans to increase its members across the country." Bailey, who lamented the dearth professionals in various fields of human endeavour in the country, said that part of the objectives of PEFON was to recognise those who have excelled in their chosen professions and also raise funds to assist the young ones. Chairman, Board of Trustee of the foundation, Prince Julius AdelusiAdeluyi, said the foundation was ready to promote high ethical standards in the country, adding that it would grow and be useful in mentoring the younger generation.

NIALS boss to bury mum in July

Hair firm holds contest

OREMOST artificial hair manufacturer, Lorna Nigeria Ltd, makers of Amigos and Darling hair, has hosted 150 hair stylists in a competition. The overall winner of the contest was rewarded with N250,000 while the second and third place winners went home with N150,000 and N100,000 respectively. Speaking during the event held at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, Marketing Manager of the company, Mrs. Adelola Chu-Osakwe, said the ceremony was "to bring out

PMS, aided Owa in committing the alleged offence. Magistrate Owumi remanded them at the prison till the adjourned date June 24.

• Genevieve (2nd left) with other participants ... after the exercise

Genevieve, others run for cancer


OLLYWOOD actress Genevieve Nnaji, with some entertainers, ran a five-mile race at the weekend for breast cancer. It was through an awareness project organised by Mrs. Onari Duke,

former First Lady of Cross Rivers State. The charity run involved other stars including P-Square's Peter Okoye; actor Paul Obazele and MUD cosmetics' Onyinye Igwe.

The Director-General of Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) and the entire Asinge family of Asaba, Delta State will from Monday, July 1, commence the weeklong activities for the burial rites of the Matriarch of the Azinge family, Mama Angelina Onyebuchi Azinge who passed on to eternal glory recently. The burial arrangement released by the family indicates the burial will cimmence on Monday, July 1, with official announcement to Asaba community anf end on Sunday, July 7, with outing service at Peters Catherdral, Asaba.




Nigerian cab driver stabbed to death in New York A NIGERIAN cab driver, Orji-Ama Uro, 54, has been murdered with an umbrella in New York, the United States. Uro was described as a hardworking father-of-five who emigrated from Nigeria for his children. “He came to get a better life. He didn’t go to university and he wanted to do everything in his power for his kids to go to school,” said the late Uro’s sister-in-law, Chinedum Agwu, 30. She said the cabbie was always “cautious”. Agwu added: “He moved here 10 years ago. I just hope they’ll be able to find who did this. How do his kids go on?” His wife lives in Nigeria and still does not know he is dead, said his brother, Agwu A. Agwu, 35.

From Adeola Oladele, New York

“It’s still a shock to me. He’s a responsible family man,” he said. Uro was reportedly killed when a passenger stabbed him in the eye with the tip of an umbrella. A man and woman were spotted fleeing from the scene. The motive for the killing was initially thought to be robbery, but investigators found some hundred dollars in his pocket. He still had his cell phone, police sources said. After getting gored, the cabby continued to drive for about a block before hitting two parked minivans on Thomas S. Boyland Street in Brownsville

at 5pm, authorities said. Uro was taken to Brookdale Hospital in critical condition and later died. Policemen are looking for a black male and female, in their mid-20s, who were in the driver’s 2000 Mercury sedan. The cab had New Jersey number plates and was operated by Freedom Car Service, police said. Grainy video obtained by The Post from a nearby bodega shows the couple getting out of the car and walking calmly away, as the cab keeps heading slowly down the street and turns right onto Lott Avenue. The mortally wounded driver crashed across the street from a school where children

were playing in the yard. “I was cooking in the kitchen and I heard a loud bang; so, I ran to my window. I saw the cab driver bleeding like crazy. His face was full of blood,” said Lena Taylor, 51, who lives on that street. “I called 911 and they arrived fast and got him out of the car. He already looked dead.” Police were not certain of the nature of the dispute, but believe the driver was robbed, said cab-union chief Fernando Mateo. “It was a terrible way for a man to die,” Mateo said. The driver had no valid identification when he was found. There is a $5,000 reward for information that can lead to the arrest of his attackers.

Mark, senators for China From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja



ENATE President David Mark will tomorrow meet with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing, Peoples Republic of China, for an inter-parliamentary programme. In a statement in Abuja, Mark’s Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, said the trip is in furtherance of the exchange programmes with advanced democracies, which was initiated by the Senate President. The programme, the statement said, is part of measures to strengthen the Nigerian legislature and consolidate democracy in the country. Senators on the delegation


include the Senate Minority Whip Ganiyu Solomon; the Chairman, Senate Committee on Women and Social Development, Helen Esuene and Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Sani Saleh. The statement reads: “The Nigerian Senate President, on arrival in Beijing, will visit the President of the Peoples Republic of China, Xi Jinping, before the interactive session with his Chinese counterpart and Chairman of the Parliament of the Peoples Republic of China, Zhang Dejiang. “Thereafter, the Nigerian delegation will meet their China parliamentary group to exchange ideas on parliamentary practices and procedures as well as measures to deepen democracy in both countries. “Mark and his team are expected back in Nigeria on Friday.”

Abdulsalami: Democracy thriving in Nigeria

ORMER Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), has said democracy and politics are growing in the country, despite the bickering among politicians, elected leaders, political parties and other citizens. He also said security situation in the country has improved in the last one year. Gen. Abubakar addressed reporters at the home of a former Plateau State deputy governor, Dame Pauline Talen, at Rayfield, Jos, the state capital. The retired military leader was on a condolence visit to Mrs Tallen, whose father, Pa Paul Katiem, died last week. He was 102. The former Head of State said: “Democracy or politics everywhere in the world is a growing process. Our democracy in Nigeria is also growing. “Yes, I know I brought about this current dispensation. The kind of democracy I envisaged when I handed over in 1999 does not matter. The most important thing is that our democracy is on course. I’m happy our democracy is growing. “We stumble and fumble, we stagger here and there, as we move on in our democratic


From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

journey. But we are growing, politically. There is no doubt about that.” On the prevailing security situation across the country, Gen. Abdulsalami said: “Our security situation has improved in the last one year.” The former military leader urged the media to display a sense of responsibility in discharging their duties. He said: “The media have the responsibility to inform and educate Nigerians and global citizens. I expect them to do that in a responsible way. I expect the media to report in a manner that will encourage the growth of democracy in the country. This country belongs to all of us. Whatever image we portray in our reports is the way the international community will see us. “So, if we know the media play such crucial role in our polity, they should do that in a responsible way. They should not heat up the polity unnecessarily. Even if the politicians are behaving in such a way that will heat up the polity, it is still the duty of the media to report it in a manner that would douse tension and calm down nerves.

Expert predicts depletion of Nigeria’s oil in 40 years

PROFESSOR of Medicine and sustainable environment advocate, Prof. Vincent Idemyor, has said Nigeria’s oil and gas deposits, particularly in the Niger Delta, will not last beyond the next 40 years. United States-based Idemyor, currently a Visitor at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), gave the warning at the weekend during a lecture at a workshop convened by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Development in Nigeria. He said: “Experts are undivided on the reality that the

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

oil and gas being drained from the Niger Delta is non-renewable. But the experts, who are oil takers and regulators in the Nigeria environment, are reluctant to talk about it. But it is not their prerogative to tell us the truth. “I have been doing my own calculations, based on the trends in our proven reserves and production figures. I can tell you that what we have in the soil at the rate we are taking may not last beyond the next 35 of 40 years. That poses a serious question mark on our capacity for sustainable development.”




Osundare, others for Ekiti Graduate Summer School


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi and renowned poet Prof. Niyi Osundare will today address the first set of participants of the Ikogosi Graduate Summer School (IGSS) at the Warm Spring Resort in Ikogosi-Ekiti. IGSS is the first ever Summer School programme for graduate and research students. Fayemi will open the twoweek programme aimed at equipping participants, drawn from various universities with research skills, writing skills and knowledge sharing. Osundare of the University of New Orleans, United States (US), will give the keynote address. Participants will work on various topics and specialised fields, including gender study, peace building, security sector governance, political economy, literature and society, grants and proposal writing. They will be mentored by distinguished scholars, such as World Bank Consultant Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun; Prof. Bayo Olukoshi of the United Nations (UN) African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP); Dr. Ebenezer Obadare of Kansas University, US; Dr. Wale Adebanwi of the University of California at Davis; Prof. Oko Obono of the University of Ibadan; Dr. Biodun Alao and Dr. Funmi Olonisakin of the King’s College, United Kingdom (UK).

‘Proscription of farmers’ groups in Ondo baseless’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure


HE All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has criticised the proscription of farmers’ groups by the Ondo State Government. The government, through the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Olusegun Mimiko on Union Matters, Mr. Dayo Fadahunsi, last Tuesday proscribed farmers’ associations. AFAN Chairman Mr. Joshua Oyedele at the weekend said the government erred in its decision, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture was playing politics with farmers. Oyedele said: “After almost two years of rigmarole, the ministry officials woke up last Tuesday to set up a technical committee, not on productivity improvement, but to organise an election for farmers in the state. Why can’t the ministry approach Prof. Attahiru Jega and his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, if they are looking for technical experts on election, instead of Mrs. Mosun Adesuyi, who is the only woman of integrity among the technical crew.” He said the farmers elected their officers at the state and local government levels on May 14, adding that the technical committee would serve no purpose.

Explosion rocks Ibadan community


HERE was an explosion at the weekend at Alapata, Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State. The explosion, which was caused by pipeline vandals, occurred on Saturday night, forcing residents of the agrarian community to abandon their homes. The valve pit used by the vandals was still burning as at press time yesterday, with thick smoke covering the area. The hose used by the vandals was found burnt at the Valve Pit. Men of the anti-vandalism squad of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Police, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the State Security Service (SSS) visited the

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

scene yesterday. An eyewitness said nobody was killed. A farmer, Alhaji Fatai Ayilara, told reporters that security operatives were alerted when strange movement was noticed around the pit last Wednesday. Ayilara said: “We noticed strange movements around this area on Wednesday and informed security agents. About eight of them came around and we went round together. On Friday, when I closed from work, I observed that they had tampered with the valve pit. I went round and realised the padlock was intact. There was no damage to the

iron there too. I thought the footprints I saw on the bush path were those of the security men. “On Saturday morning around 10am, I heard noise from the pit hole and told some members of the community to alert security men. However, before we got back, fuel had already started gushing out and spreading into farmlands, a stream and adjourning areas. “We informed security men and I left. I was later informed that the place caught fire. You can see the burnt hose they used by the pit. We need a bridge here. If a road is built here, people will ply the route and it will reduce the activities of vandals.” The Chairman of the Ido Local Government Area, Prof.

Adeniyi Olowofela, urged NNPC to fund a joint security patrol of pipelines in the area. Olowofela, who spoke with reporters on the scene of the explosion, said an insider was among the vandals. He urged the National Assembly to set aside a special fund for communities vulnerable to pipeline vandalism. Olowofela said: “The place gutted fire but you must agree with me that those doing this must have some inside knowledge of how to do the job. I told the General Manager of NNPC that we need to look for a way of jointly funding a team to patrol NNPC pipelines in the council. It will be a joint effort between the community, NNPC and the council.”

Court hears fees increment suit tomorrow From Damisi Ojo, Akure


HE Supreme Court will tomorrow hear an appeal filed by an Akure lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, on the increment of court fees by the Ondo State Government. Titiloye is challenging a February 9, 2011, circular by the Ondo State Judiciary’s Chief Registrar, increasing court fees. In the circular, Oath Fee was increased from N50 to N300 and Commercial Oath was introduced costing N2,000. The High Court and Court of Appeal declined jurisdiction to hear the case on grounds that the plaintiff lacks the locus standi to institute the action.

Ajimobi endows Varsity chair


Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan flanked by former Minister of External Affairs Ike Nwachukwu and United Nations (UN) Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Baroness Valerie Amos during the UN team’s visit to Uduaghan in the weekend.

Associates, friends bid Dosunmu farewell


HE remains of frontline politician and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Senator Wahab Dosunmu were buried yesterday at his Aja home in Lagos. His body was interred at about 4:30 pm. It arrived from the United States (US) yesterday morning and was laid-in-state at the Eko Club, Surulere; the family house at Epetedo, Lagos Island and the Yoruba Tennis Club, where friends and associates paid their last respects. PDP National Vice-Chairman, Southwest, Chief Ishola Filani, described the late Dosunmu as “a valuable asset”. He said: “Dosunmu was a loving man, who gave his time to the family. He was a brilliant man and there was noth-

By Musa Odoshimokhe

ing he could not discuss, particularly when it came to politics. The party will definitely miss this invaluable asset, who passed on when he was needed most.” He said the vibrancy and analytical mind of the politician would have contributed to the party’s success in future elections. Senator Khariat Gwadabe said the deceased’s contributions to the society would not be matched for a long time. She said: “We had a good relationship when we were in the National Assembly, though he was a member of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) while I was in the PDP. Each time I had a motion to pass, I ensured I carried him

along, otherwise he would oppose it. “His discussions were down-to-earth and put the ruling party on its toes because he provided a robust opposition in the National Assembly. He was not afraid to speak his mind. Given that he often opposed me, my friends would jokingly ask: ‘Why is Senator Dosunmu always opposing you?’” The Chairman of the Yoruba Tennis Club, Mr. Seyi Joseph, said the late Dosunmu was a rare breed, who sacrificed his comfort and took a risky journey to save the country from the claws of the military junta. Joseph said: “He is an illustrious son of Nigeria and Africa at large. As a National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) member, he had to

leave the country to fight for our survival from overseas. He was unassuming and was ready to assist those who came his way.” Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye said when the late politician defected to the PDP, the effect was devastating, adding that despite pressure to rescind the decision, he stood his ground. The head of the Dosunmu family, Alhaji Moroof Dosunmu, said the late ambassador’s impact in the family would be missed. Present at the funeral were Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Rasaz Okoya, Mr. Tunji Shelle, Senator Femi Lanlehin, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, Mr. Demola Seriki, Mr. Femi Pedro, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and traditional rulers.

Ekiti ACN urges probe of Fayose’s ‘assassination claim’

From Sulaiman Sakawudeen, Ado-Ekiti



HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ekiti State has urged the police to probe former Governor Ayo Fayose’s claims that hoodlums attempted to assassinate him. Fayose said his car was shot four times by suspected hoodlums in Ado-Ekiti, the state capi-

tal, last Tuesday. The ACN described the claim as “suspicious”, adding that the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration has made the state one of the safest in the country. The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Tunde Adeleke, wondered why Fayose did not report the alleged attack to the police, instead of going to the press. The party said: “One would have expected Fayose to report the alleged attack to the police for investigation. The police said they are not aware of any attack since no report has been made. “We urge the police to invite

the former governor to substantiate the claims in order to carry out a proper investigation. “Knowing Fayose’s antecedents and his capacity for mischief, it is important for the police to get to the root of the matter with a view to establishing the truth. Fayose’s claim should not be ignored. “It is on record that the state has been peaceful in the last two-and-a-half years that the present administration has been in place, hence claims of such close shave with death, if true, should be probed. “The investigation will discourage those who would like to hide under such spurious claims to introduce a violent

dimension to politics in the state as well as those who would like to capitalise on such claims to perpetrate acts of violence and brigandage for which they are well noted. “We are not unmindful of massive killings and maiming of innocent citizens during past administrations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a development that has changed in this administration. “We urge the police and other security agencies to do everything possible to discourage any direct and indirect introduction of violence to Ekiti politics by remaining vigilant, carrying out a thorough probe of cases of violence and bringing culprits to book.”

YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has endowed a professorial chair in Public Management in the Department of Management of the Technical University, Ibadan in memory of renowned technocrat and former Head of Service in the old Western Region, Chief Simeon Adebo. The governor at the weekend donated N20 million on behalf of the government and N1 million personally to ensure the quick take-off of the Chair. Ajimobi’s decision to endow the chair followed a challenge by a World Bank consultant, Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun, at a lecture by civil servants in the state last week.

Church reinstates pastor suspended for ‘anti-Akala sermons’ From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan


HE suspended pastor of Okelerin First Baptist Church, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Rev. John Aworinde, has been reinstated by the leadership of the church. The pastor was allegedly suspended for his sermons against former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala’s quest to return to power in 2015. Alao-Akala is a member of the church. Rev. Aworinde allegedly preached against the former governor’s ambition on two occasions. An April 8 letter by the Acting Church Secretary, Mr D.O. Odoje, announced his suspension, which was said to be part of the resolutions reached at the Church-inConference held on April 7. The statement reinstating him reads: “A resolution committee comprising Rev. Dr. A.A. Adeniji, Rev. S.O. Areo, Rev. S.O. Olajire, Rev. J.O. Awoniyi and Mr. T.A. Oloyede recommended that the suspension of Rev. Aworinde as the Pastor of the Okelerin First Baptist Church on April 7 and all decisions taken to hinder his performance as the church’s Pastor be reversed with immediate effect to foster peace, stability and progress in the church.”








Uncertainty as Edo bans motorcycles, tricycles


HE ban on motorcycles and tricycles in three local government areas of Edo State takes effect today. The government banned motorcycles and tricycles from plying major streets in Oredo; Egor, Ikpoba-Okha and Aduwawa in Uhnmwode and Ekosodin in Ovia Northeast. Tricycle operators, according to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, would be allowed to operate “in very remote areas” of the affected local governments areas. What caused apprehension among residents was the announcement that those using motorcycles for private use will not be allowed to use them in the restricted areas. Oshiomhole, in the broad-

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

cast, said the decision to ban motorcycle was painful and that it was in the state’s overall security interest. The governor urged residents to comply with the directives as “security agencies have been mobilised to enforce the ban”. He said any motorcycle intercepted would be destroyed. Oshiomhole said he had met with registered okada riders for provision for alternatives but that the benefits would not accrue to those who came to the state because of the ban in other states. “We do not want to bring any hardship on anyone but we are determined to enforce it ruthlessly. “ I advise all bike riders to

comply and keep off the roads. Should any bike rider defy this order, he will be dealt with ruthlessly. The bike will be confiscated and destroyed. “In the overriding interest of our collective security, I ask you to appreciate that this is a sacrifice that you have to make. Everyone must make sacrifice and be security conscious. “We have lots of security challenges in the country. There will be a time this issue will be resolved and everyone will be happy. “Do not doubt our will to enforce this decision. Motorcycles will be destroyed on my orders. Keep out of our roads in the aforementioned areas. “I care about your welfare but we are not about to replace

‘Gazette ex-militants’ pardon’



motor bike with Keke NAPEP. “Please stay out of trouble. It is not my wish to visit hardship on anyone. It is my duty to provide security for the people. Please respect this order,” he said. Those willing to sell off their motorcycles are finding it hard as buyers are haggling prices between N20,000 and N35,000. Some said they would keep their motorcycles for future use.

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been urged to gazette the pardon for repentant militants, who were granted amnesty, to prevent anarchy in the region. The President of the Association for Non-Violence in the Niger Delta, Kennedy West, gave the advice yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. He pointed out that of all the programmes of President Jonathan for the Niger Delta,

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

only the amnesty was working. He said: “Not having a gazette on the pardon for Niger Delta freedom fighters since 2009 is worrisome. “Without the gazette, the amnesty proclamation will be a fraud and will be seen to be an avenue to woo the boys into doing the government’s bidding. Government will turn around to begin to take its pound of flesh.”

N50m electrification project suffers


HE hope of three communities in Edo State of getting electricity has suffered a setback, following the inability of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to light up the communities as promised. Ayairan, Ikiron-Oke and Ikakumo in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area have been battling the execution of the project since it was awarded in 1999.

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

Explaining why these communities cannot be lighted, the project coordinator, Sunny Oyewole, said the primary source of energy, which is to be tapped at the 33 KV line at IsuaAkoko in Ondo State has not been powered by the firm. Oyewole said this was because sub-standard materials, including conductors, were used by the contractor.

FRSC cautioned on driver’s licence


ROSS River State Security Adviser Rekpene Bassey has cautioned the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) against issuing licences to drivers without adequate education and sensitisation on road signs. Speaking when he received the new State Sector Commander, Alvansus Nwachukwu, Bassey said: “There are many people who have no business driving vehicles because they hardly obey road signs. “Majority of them are illiterates who cannot read road signs or obey such signs as it is not significant to them.

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

“In the past, the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) carry out comprehensive tests on people applying to be granted driver’s licence and only those who passed such tests are considered eligible for licences. “But the practice now is that every Tom, Dick and Harry is given such licences without tests and this has greatly contributed to the high rate of accidents and carnage on our roads.” Bassey urged the FRSC to conduct periodic checks on drivers, adding that this would reduce accidents on the roads.

Ijaw to NDDC: complete projects

•Julius (left) and Mark at the police headquarters in Calabar...yesterday.

Why I kidnapped my cousin, by suspect


OR being unable to obtain money from his uncle, Prince Mark, 27, thought the only way he could get back at him was to kidnap his seven-year-old son, Wilfred, and demand a N5 million ransom. But, Mark met his waterloo as he was seized by the police the following day at his hideout, following a tip-off by some neighbours. Mark was living with his uncle, Williams, in Igoli in

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State. Speaking with reporters at the State Police Headquarters in Calabar at the weekend, where he was paraded with a suspected accomplice, Ogbor Julius, 22, Mark confessed that on June 10 he colluded with Julius to abduct Wilfred from school. “That day I needed money from my uncle to buy some things, but he did not give me

so I decided to kidnap his son and ask for N5 million,” adding: “I went to the boy’s school and told him that his father wanted to see him. I took him into the bush. Then I called my uncle to bring the money, otherwise we will kill the boy. “He agreed to pay. But before we knew what was going on, we were surrounded by policemen and arrested. I feel really bad about it now.” Julius said he agreed to be part of the ploy because of the

money. He said the incident was “the work of the devil.” Commissioner of Police Kola Sodipo said his men raided the kidnappers’ hideout following information made available to them by the public. “The boy was rescued and has joined his family. Two of the kidnappers were arrested. We thank members of the public for their cooperation and ask them to always be vigilant,” Sodipo said.

Corruption hampers independence, says KWA Ibom State Gover Construction Company, Akpabio ernor Godswill Akpabut some local tabloids ac-


bio has said a country may have political independence but it may not be free from bribery and corruption, ethnicity, crimes, diseases, maladministration and hatred, among other sundry vices. Akpabio, who spoke at the monthly prayer meeting held at St. John’s Chapel, Governor’s Lodge, Uyo, said the late Joshua Nkomo, a reverred freedom fighter of Rhodesia now Zimbabwe had in his au-

tobiography observed that it was possible. He said an attempt to empower some people, especially local contractors, with highly technical jobs, the government could hand over decayed infrastructure to the masses. The governor recounted that some contractors after contract award and collection of mobilisation fees abandon such projects. Akpabio said he started awarding jobs to Julius Berg-

cused him of encouraging capital flight. He, however, pointed out that some of the uncompleted roads in Oron town would not have been abandoned if some local contractors showed apathy towards completing the jobs on time. “We will soon sort out some abandoned roads in Oron.” The governor assured the people that he would complete all abandoned roads in


HE Ijaw in riverine areas of Edo State have urged the Niger Delta Development Company (NDDC) to tell contractors handling its projects in the areas to complete them on time. They said the projects, especially the Udo-Ofunama road, would ameliorate their sufferings. Spokesman for the Ijaw in Ovia South-West Local Government, Don Ben, said they were neglected by previous administrations. He spoke when the State Commissioner for NDDC, Henry Okhuarobo and the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Orobosa Omo-Ojo, inspected some projects in the



Oron before the end of his administration in 2015. He said in his six years of administration, he has raised the bar of leadership in infrastructural renaissance of the state.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

state. Ben said: “Before the NDDC took over the construction of this road, the road was impassable, especially during the rainy season. “This road is a very important road. It leads to the Okomu Wild Life Sanctuary, an important tourism destination. “We are appealing to the NDDC and the contractor to expedite action on the road to ensure that it is completed on time. “Apart from the area which has been inspected now, the other portion of the road is still impassable.”

Delta to partner UN

ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has restated his administration's readiness to collaborate with the United Nations (UN) in the effective management of the postflood challenges. Uduaghan said this at the weekend during a Town Hall meeting in Asaba organised by the government as part of the official visit of the United Nations Under-SecretaryGeneral for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, Baroness Valerie Amos. The governor said government alone cannot handle the

post-flood challenges because of the enormous funds required. He said his government was willing to partner with the United Nations to enable it manage the challenges and mitigate the effects of the flood. Uduaghan said the state was faced with the problem of re-building destroyed houses for the victims. He noted that the displaced victims have agreed to be relocated from flood prone areas to new settlement, adding that the decision also had its own challenges.


NEWS 7,000 to be empowered From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

ANAMBRA State Government will empower 7,000 youths, the Special Assistant to the governor on Youth Mobilisation, Nduka Alor, has said. Applicants will be trained in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), fishery, poultry, snail farming, crop production, cassava production and processing, as well as rice and palm oil production. Other arrears, such as vocational trainings, will also be covered. Nduka announced that youth development and empowerment committees has been set up in the three senatorial zones, 21 local government areas as in the 326 wards. The aide encouraged youths to remain supportive of Governor Peter Obi’s administration by praying for him.


Sunken boat: Chevron, Seatrucks trade blames


HE managements of Chevron Nigeria Limited and West African Ventures are engaged in a game of bulk passing on comments about the boat accident in which 11 people died on May 26. The accident occurred when Jascon 4, owned by WAV, a subsidiary of Sea Trucks Group, was towing a tanker loading at the SBM 3# (Single Buoy Mooring 3) owned by Chevron about 30km off the coast of Escravos, Warri, Delta State. It was gathered that the families of 10 Nigerian victims are demanding information on what led to the accident. Our reporter’s quest for answers from the companies met a brick wall as each firm referred our inquiry to the other. A preliminary investigation showed that the accident was caused when the tanker broke free from the SBM before it was submerged by waves as high as two to three

•Victims’ relatives demand answers •Families to get compensation From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt

metres. A source, who is privy to the investigation, said: “There are questions that only the mooring master can answer: such questions as why did the tanker break free and was drifting to necessitate tension tow?” Chevron’s General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs, Deji Haastrup, who was contacted at the weekend, said: “I am in the UK. Please talk to WAV, owners of the vessel.” Francis Ogaree, Managing Director of WAV, declined comments when our reporter contacted him. He said the accident was being investigated by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Ogaree urged our reporter to wait for the report

of the investigation, which “would be available soonest”. However, a source at WAV’s Warri office told our reporter that the head office is unhappy about Chevron’s stance on the incident. “The incident that led to the accident was purely a Chevron operation; it is surprising that it is not willing to speak on it. “It should be the one telling the public what happened and why it happened because it has the facts,” the source added. The source said the Mooring Master at the SBM, who is a staff of Chevron, captain and crew members of the tanker could hold the key to the mystery surrounding the accident. It was gathered that although the tanker was initially detained by NIMASA, it was released because of in-

terventions by “powerful forces”. The Nation also learnt that the management of WAV has concluded plans to compensate the families of the 11 sailors. A source at the Human Resources Department of the company in Lagos said the company is awaiting the conclusion of NIMASA’s investigation to enable it file for claims payment from its insurers. “When we have the report from NIMASA, it will pave the way for us to make claims from our insurers and begin the process for payment of compensation to the relatives of the victims.” Information obtained by our reporter indicated that the money to be paid to each family would be determined by the victim’s annual basic salary. “Everything is ready; the

Praises for Chime, Ekweremadu

‘Governors don’t revere constitution’

From Chris Oji, Enugu


From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

THE Senator representing Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone, Sonni Oguoji, has said most governors don’t respect the constitution as they don’t conduct local government elections. The senator spoke at the weekend in Abakaliki, the state capital, at a forum organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). He said the Senate is advocating for the withholding of funds to local governments where the governors have refused to conduct elections. “Not conducting local government elections only goes to demonstrate how much respect the governors have for the constitution. “The opinion of the National Assembly is that where there is no elected chairman, governors don’t deserve funds.”

Lawmakers share N3.6b From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

MEMBERS of the Anambra State House of Assembly yesterday shared N3.6 billion for their constituency project fund. Each member got N12 million to enable them carry out development projects in their constituencies. The member representing Aguata Constituency, Ikem Uzoezie, insisted that the money is to be used to improve the lives of the people. Uzoezie said the constituency project fund is paid yearly for the lawmakers to carry out projects in their constituencies in areas of education, environment and empowerment. A group, Transform Nigerian Movement (TNM), warned the lawmakers to use the fund judiciously.

terms of service provides for 350 per cent of the annual salary of the workers as compensation in case of such accidents. All the victims will get this money, I can assure you that,” the source added. Our source said the Dutch firm is anxious for the investigation to be concluded to pave the way for compensation payment as the company would continue to pay salaries to families of the 11 victims. “As soon as the report of the NIMASA investigation is out, the next of kin would be verified and compensation would be paid without WAV waiting for the insurer’s indemnity. “We will continue to pay the victim’s family their full salary, pending the conclusion of the investigation or when compensation is paid to the families. We have paid them the salaries for last month and they will get June salaries as well,” the source said.

•Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha presenting a gift to the Senate President of Spain, Pio Garcia Escudero during a parliamentary visit to Spain. With them is the Head of Awepa-Spain (European Parliamentarians with Africa), Josep Maldonado.

Imo governorship petition: Group urges CJN to intervene


CIVIL-SOCIETY group, Lawyers in Defence of Democracy, has urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Aloma Mukhtar, to intervene in the Imo State governorship election petition impasse. It said it fears “there exists an understanding” to frustrate the respondents to the appeal by making the case drag on till the governor completes the term of the mandate in dispute, after which the case becomes an academic exercise. “We urge the CJN to take the following steps: give a nearer date to hear and determine the interlocutory appeal; recall the main case from the Court of Appeal since it is


ByJoseph Jibueze

purely a constitutional issue that is currently heating up the polity; and change the panel or preside over it herself. “Without exaggeration, the above steps are the only ways the CJN can demonstrate to Nigerians that the judiciary, which is witnessing a new lease of life, is ready to live above board on this matter,” the group said. The group, an affiliate of the Leadership Watch International (USA), in a June 5 letter by its National Secretary Chimezie Onwu and Adebalogun Sai, expressed

worries that the case was being unduly delayed. “Already, this appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the joining of Ikedi Ohakim to the case has been on for more than one year. “If this is added to the fact that the parties will still have to return to the main case, which is already more than one and half years at the Appeal Court in Owerri, it then means the saying that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ finds a very eloquent expression in the instant matter,” the group said. The case is seeking to re-

solve the issue as to whether the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the powers to conduct a governorship election outside the time-frame stipulated by the constitution. The plaintiffs also want the court to clarify whether INEC can conduct a “Supplementary Election” as it allegedly did on May 6, 2011 after which Governor Rochas Okorocha was declared winner. “Needless to say, Nigerians are eager to see this interpretation before the next election, as circumstances that led to the current case may rear their ugly heads again unless Nigerians are properly guided by the judiciary,” said the group.

woman pleaded that she was only carrying out her duty and besides she never knew it was the lawmaker in the cab, but no heed was paid to her as the lawmaker continued to slap her. “When the policewoman tried to explain the lawmaker punched and slapped her several times on the face and dragged her by the neck, warning the officer to respect her

as a senior legislator”, the eyewitness said. The lawmaker’s action, it was gathered, drew the attention of other police officers and House members who intervened. Police spokesman John Umoh said he could not comment on the matter as they were still investigating to know the true situation.

Cross River lawmaker assaults policewoman

FEMALE lawmaker in the Cross River House of Assembly allegedly attacked a female police officer at the weekend in Calabar. An eyewitness said the lawmaker was in a taxi which wanted to enter the Assembly’s residential quarters at Ekorinm but the female officer at the gate stopped the

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

vehicle as cabs were not allowed into the premises. The eye witness said the lawmaker immediately stepped down from the vehicle and without speaking approached the policewoman, who she slapped several times and tore her uniform. It was learnt that the police-

group, Enugu State Roots Initiative (ESRI), has praised Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and Governor Sullivan Chime for zoning the governorship slot to Nsukka. In a statement by its chairman, Joni Icheka, Secretary Uche Nwegbo and Treasurer Emma Nwodo, the group hailed Ekweremadu for denying his ‘governorship’ ambition. It praised Chime for making the pronouncement that it was the turn of the Enugu North Senatorial Zone to produce the next governor. “We join the governor to urge politicians to follow the path of honour and support aspirants from Enugu North Senatorial Zone. “His Excellency has by this statement deflated unnecessary tension and acrimony which would have bugged the Enugu polity. “ESRI also commends Senator Ike Ekweremadu for the clarifications he made distancing himself from his posters being circulated in Enugu State, suggesting that he is interested in the governorship race. “The Deputy Senate President explained that he would be happy to see the next governor produced from Enugu North Senatorial Zone.”

‘Zoning not part of Anambra politics’ From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

A GOVERNORSHIP aspirant in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, Ugochukwu Okeke, yesterday condemned those calling for the governorship slot to shift to the North Senatorial District next year. He said zoning has never been part of the state’s politics. Okeke said proponents of zoning are trying to bring confusion into the state’s polity, adding that Anambra North has always produced aspirants and therefore could not be said to be marginalised.




Celebration as kidnapped girl returns after two years After over two years with kidnappers and a woman she was sold to in Enugu, a fouryear-old girl has reunited with her parents. The reunion was celebrated at the weekend among members of her family and others.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano



•Praise (second right) with members of her family...yesterday.

wa Adejobi, confirmed that Praise was found four days ago following the confession of her kidnapper, Benjamin Ajaelu. The police spokesman said Ajaelu died after his confession, adding that he reportedly owned up because he had been having nightmares since he kidnapped the girl. Adejobi said the late kidnapper made some useful confession which the police are investigating to arrest others involved in the kidnapping syndicate. The overwhelmed father of the rescued girl, Samuel Eleng, thanked God yesterday as he narrated the ordeal he and his wife went through since Praise was kidnapped. “I bless the name of the Lord! God is awesome. I thought my waiting was in vain. But I have now seen the hand of God. I


ER name is Praise and there was indeed every reason yesterday at the Living Faith Church, Ota, Ogun State, to praise God for her life. Two years and two months after she was kidnapped from the children’s department of the church, when she was two years old, Praise Eleng, a twin, was back at the church for a special testimony. She was kidnapped on April 17, 2011 by a man and reportedly sold for N40,000 before being sold to another woman, who she has been living with in Enugu. Praise was found following the self-confession of the man who kidnapped her. He was said to have owned up to kidnapping the girl when he requested and met with the Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church (aka Winners Chapel), David Oyedepo. The person who sold the girl and the woman who bought her are in police custody in Ota and Enugu. Ogun State police command spokesman, Olumuyi-

I bless the name of the Lord! God is awesome. I thought my waiting was in vain. But I have now seen the hand of God. I will serve God all the days of my life


will serve God all the days of my life,” Eleng said. Adejobi said the case was almost abandoned because it happened almost two years ago. He said the late Ajaelu confessed that he was the leader of the gang that stole the baby two years ago and that he died a day after the confession.

•Praise... yesterday.

The police spokesman said Ajaelu’s confessional statement, which he declined to comment on, would aid police investigation to enable security agents get to the root of the matter. According to him, the command will not divulge Ajaelu’s confession to the media to avoid jeopardising police investigation. Adejobi said the deceased mentioned some names before his death last Friday, adding that the police are working on it in their investigation. “We will do the necessary thing to ensure that we conclude our investigation on the matter. There are also assurances that the police will make arrests now based on his confession,” Adejobi said. It was learnt that late Ajaelu voluntarily told the congre-

Two killed, seven injured in Okene-Lokoja road crash


WO people died and seven others were injured on Saturday in a road accident at Zariagi Village, on the Okene-Lokoja Road, Kogi State. The state’s command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) announced the accident in a statement yesterday in Lokoja, the state capital, by the Sector Commander, Mr Olakunle Motajo. Motajo said the accident involved two vehicles, a Toyota Hilux van, with registration number KG 24U 01, and a commercial Peugeot 504 station wagon, with registration number (Lagos) BC 942 LND. He said the vehicles had a head on collision, killing two people on the spot; seven others sustained various degrees of injuries. Motajo blamed the accident on human error, adding that wrongful overtaking by one of the vehicles caused the accident. He said investigation on the incident has begun. The sector commander said the bodies, a male and female, have been deposited at the morgue of the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. Motajo said the seven injured victims were taken to the same hospital and were responding to treatment. He added that the road, which was blocked as a result of the accident, has been cleared to ease free flow of traffic.

Security operatives impound Russian plane

gation that he had a confession to make on the matter to avoid sudden death. A source close to the church told our correspondent that Ajaelu had been seriously ill before his decision to confess before the church. He was said to have told the church that he had a dream in which he was ordered to confess his sins so that he would not die. It was further learnt that elders of the church invited the police, after listening to the shocking confession of the late Ajaelu. Some workers of the Canaanland University Staff School, where the girl was stolen about two years ago, were arrested, interrogated and later charged with negligence. • See interview tomorrow

•Vice President Namadi Sambo (right) condoling with his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Malam Umar Sani, on the death of his wife, in Kaduna... on Saturday. With them is Kaduna State Governor Ramalan Yero.

ECURITY operatives attached to the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, have impounded a Russian Antonov Aircraft, allegedly laden with sophisticated military hardware. The aircraft was reportedly impounded at 8pm on Saturday night with its nine member crew members, who were detained for more than 10 hours, citing security reasons. Sources at the airport said the cargo aircraft made a technical landing, apparently to refuel. But on suspicion, the security agents attached to the airport searched the aircraft and found military weapons. Sources, who spoke in confidence, told our correspondent that the shocking discovery prompted the security men to demand for the cargo’s manifest, which indicated that the aircraft was laden with weapons.

Rawlings for Abuja lecture today


HANA’S former President, Flt.-Lt Jerry John Rawlings, left Accra yesterday for Abuja, Nigeria, to address an international conference on Emerging Democracies in Africa. The conference holds today and tomorrow. Rawlings will deliver the keynote address on the topic: Emerging Democracies in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities, at the opening session of the conference at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja today. The conference, which is organised by the Nigeria National Institute for Legislative Studies and the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA), will bring together statesmen, parliamentarians, civil society, the academia, development partners and critical stakeholders to explore the different dimensions of threats and challenges as well as opportunities that confront emerging democracies.

Suswam invites EFCC over Aper Aku Stadium contract


‘Kwara ACN will win 2015 elections’

TALWARTS, loyalists and supporters of the Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the weekend converged on AjaseIpo, Irepodun Local Government Area, with a resolve to oust the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in this year’s local government election and the 2015 general elections. The party said its historical antecedents of “playing politics of programme, principle and commitment would work in its favour at the hustling. The ACN stalwarts said: “We are members of the ACN on our way to a new party, called the All Progressives Congress (APC). We are also all from the Kwara South Senatorial District. We are currently not in power in the state but our aspiration is to win first in

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the 2013 local government election and finally root out the PDP from power in the 2015 general elections.” Speakers after speakers at the event extolled the neversay-die spirit of progressiveminded politicians from the Kwara South Senatorial District. In speech entitled: Enough is Enough, ACN Chairman in Kwara South Senatorial District, Alhaji Hassan Salami said: “We are in the tradition of our dead heroes like Chiefs J. S. Olawoyin, G. D. Ekunrin, Pa Ogunbiyi, J. T. Obayo, P. B. Olatunde who, with unparalleled devotion to the interest of our people, terminated the then loathsome emirate system evidenced by physical possession

of our land. “Today, we stand at the threshold of history to salute these heroes who still remain a source of inspiration to us in our bitter struggle to create essence for our people in a state still dominated by oppression and deprivation. We salute our past heroes in the politics of commitment, principle, programmes and total identification with the interests of our people. “Since 2003, when the PDP has been in control of government, other brands of politicians have emerged in Kwara South Senatorial District. They represent the phases of oppression as they are lackeys and agents of oppressors. They erase the gains of the past and bring shame to the people of the district. Lacking in merit

and totally disconnected from the people, they make themselves ready tools in the hands of those that are always happy to bring backwardness to our land. “From 2003 till date, they have occupied undeserved political offices. The main feature of their leadership is being in office without being in power. They are not the authentic representatives of our people; their loyalty is to their leader, living or dead. They are equally disconnected from the people and, above all, they keep abiding faith with their stomachs. “When political events of the last one decade will be written the part played by the estranged sons and daughters of the district will be well documented.”

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


ENUE State Governor Gabriel Suswam has said the contractor handling the astral turf-laying contract inside the main bowl of Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi, the state capital, would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), if he fails to resume work within a month. The governor was speaking for the first time since the controversy surrounding the slow space of work at the stadium began. The contract was awarded to Monimichelle Facility and Sports Development Nigeria Limited. But the job was abandon, over five years ago. Suswam said if the contractor fails to resume at the site within a month, he would be handed over to the EFFC so that public funds would be recovered.




Power outage at Abuja airport From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

•Members of Girls’ Brigade Nigeria, Bauchi State Council, during the celebration of its 120 years anniversary, 1893-2013, in Bauchi...yesterday

Supreme Court confirms death sentences


HE Supreme Court has sentenced three men to death and another to 21 years imprisonment for murder, armed robbery and robbery. The apex court, in four separate judgments last Friday, upheld the decisions of the Court of Appeal in Ibadan (Oyo State), Kaduna (Kaduna State) and Calabar (Cross River State) on the cases against the four – Yekini Afosi, Maikudi Aliyu, Wale Banjo and Victor Essien

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Victor. Afosi and Aliyu were charged with murder; Victor with armed robbery. Banjo was initially charged with armed robbery but his charge was converted to ordinary robbery. Afosi was charged with murder, contrary to Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun State 1978. He was arraigned before the Ogun State

High Court, Ijebu-Igbo. He was accused of killing Mufutau Amusa on August 23, 1997 at No. 22 Idesan Street, Oke Agbo, Ijebu-Igbo. The prosecution said Amusa had tried to intervene in a quarrel between Musibau Elesin and Afosi, when he (Afosi) accused Amusa of beaming a torchlight on his face. He became angry, raced to his house nearby and got a dagger, with which he stabbed


By Jude Isiguzo

‘Nigeria spends $12b on food importation’


From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

HE Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the establishment of 80 mechanised farm service centres in the country. They will be equipped with about 400 tractors to save the nation huge amounts of money on importation of food. The Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Dr. Mohammed Santuraki, spoke at the weekend in Kaduna on the need to cut down the nation’s expenses on food importation. He noted that despite having about 60 per cent of Nigerians in farming, the country still spends about $12 billion yearly on food importation. Santuraki addressed reporters after inspecting Tak tractor assembly plant as part of a new scheme by the government to boost agriculture.

NEMA chief heads ECOWAS body on disaster management


From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

HE Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mallam Muhammad Sani Sidi, has been elected President of the ECOWAS Regional Committee for Disaster Management. He was elected at the 7th annual meeting of the committee in Abuja. Participants at the meeting were drawn from the heads of disaster management agencies and international humanitarian organisations in West African countries. The election was in recognition of the progress Nigeria made in disaster management and providing exemplary leadership for other countries in the region. President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Sidi in September 2010 as the NEMA DG. Before his appointment, he was a member of the Kaduna State Executive Council, where he served variously as the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Works and Transport as well as Culture and Tourism.

concurrent decisions by the trial and appellate courts that “the two defences of self-defence and provocation put forward by the appellant were not available to avail him”. The judge added: “Therefore, having come to the conclusion that the two defences of self-defence and provocation could not avail the appellant, it follows that the court below (Court of Appeal) was right in so holding and its conclusion is unassailable.”

Senator Tinubu: Nigeria needs better govt

Court remands MD, official over N1.8b alleged fuel subsidy scam Magistrate’s Court in Apapa, Lagos, has remanded two suspects in the Ikoyi Prison for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government of about N1.8billion in 2011. The suspects, Samuel Owa, 55, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Stonebridge Oil Limited and Olori Onassis Wajutome, 38, a cargo superintendent with Vibrant Ventures, were arraigned before Magistrate Martins Owumi last week. They were arraigned by the Special Fraud Unit of the police, following their indictment by the team of auditors of the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments. Magistrate Owumi remanded the suspects at Ikoyi Prison, Lagos, till the adjourned date on June 24. The police investigation is ongoing.

Amusa in the back, causing his death. The trial court found Afosi guilty and sentenced him to death. Dissatisfied, the accused headed to the Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division. In its judgment of June 7, 2011, the Appellate Court confirmed the trial court’s decision. This forced him to take the matter to the Supreme Court, which resolved all the issues raised in his appeal against him. Justice Ariwoola upheld the

THERE was an outage yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja. Eyewitnesses said the outage, which started about 11am, lasted over three hours. It left many travellers stranded and frustrated. There were no explanations from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), which manages the airports. Some industry watchers said the outage affected about 70 flights, all of which were delayed. But the authorities said the outage lasted only 15 minutes. The Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation on Media, Mr. Joe Obi, debunked the claim that 70 aircraft were unable to take off at the airport. Obi, however, admitted that there was an outage at the airport around 11am but that it lasted only 15 minutes. He explained that there was a little problem with one of the underground cables, which he said was resolved almost immediately. “The truth is that there was a short outage that lasted just 15 minutes. The incident happened around 11am this morning (yesterday) when one of the underground cables had a fault. It was fixed almost 15 minutes after.

•‘APC is solution to Nigeria’s problems’ By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor

•Senator Tinubu


HE senator representing Lagos Central at the National Assembly, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to vote for a power shift from the conservative forces to the progressive block in the 2015 elections. The senator decried the soaring poverty, unemployment, disrespect for the rule of law and moral decadence across the land. She said: “We need a better government in 2015. The crown is too big for President Goodluck Jonathan. In 2015, the answer is the APC. “Today, given the level of Nigeria’s development and the disposition of Nigeria’s leadership, there is no doubt that Nigeria is in great need of a change and development. While the manifesto of our


party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), is based on a populist foundation, we resolved to join hands with other progressive thinkers and form the All Progressives Congress (APC) so that we can all realise a new dawn in Nigeria.” Senator Tinubu addressed reporters in Lagos on her activities as a legislator. The media parley was witnessed by ACN leaders, including the former National Vice Chairman, Prince Tajudeen Olusi; Eti-Osa, Lagos political leader, Prince Murphy Adetoro; former Minister of State for Defence, Chief Demola Seriki and an ACN stalwart, Alhaji Mutiu Are. She denied insinuations that she was warming up to contest the governorship election in Lagos. The senator said such rumours arose from the figments of imagination of the peddlers.

The ACN chieftain said her pre-occupation now is how to make a success of her current assignment. Mrs Tinubu aligned with the suggestion of ACN National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on part-time federal parliament and pruning of the parliamentary seats. She stressed that the nation’s political structures are expensive to maintain. The senator explained that the prevailing trend of soaring recurrent expenditure, particularly the devotion of the national resources exclusively for salaries and emoluments, does not augur for national development. Taking exception to the state of emergency proclamations, Mrs. Tinubu said: “The state of emergency came too late after the budget had been devoted to security. I never supported it. I don’t believe in it.” Mrs Tinubu also reacted to the position of Britain on gay marriage, urging Nigeria to

defend the nation’s diverse traditions, moral interest and sovereignty. She said: “Britain is wrong. It is about the freedom of choice. Africa has its tradition and culture, unless they want to give us a new Bible. The Anglican Church has even dissociated itself from the Church of England on this issue.” Advising Nigerians to embrace the progressives, the senator said the nation requires a government that can introduce social security benefit, free education and health as well as other welfare programmes. She also spoke on her two bills on social security for the elderly and jobs for women. According to her, the third bill is on the special status for Lagos. Mrs Tinubu added: “My humble effort to help redress the federal infrastructural deficit in my constituency includes facilitating the construction of a N222.3 million Drug Rehabilitation and Counselling Centre in the Lagos Central District under the 2012 Budget and a N223 million ultra-modern market that is about to be constructed in the district under the 2013 National Budget.”

Imo contract fraud: Detained Spanish tycoon seeks ny partnered Emenike’s HormiIGP, EFCC probe presa, being an indigenous agent, for the project awarded

OSE Lopez-Pepe, a Spanish businessman, who is being held by the police for allegedly defrauding Imo State Government, has urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to examine the allegation against him. Lopez-Pepe, who was accused of absconding with about 1.6 million Euros (N1.2 billion) part of an initial payment for N3.6 billion contract awarded to his company, was reportedly arrested in Abuja last week and handed over to the police in Imo State.

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

In a petition by his lawyers Abiodun Oduwole and David Ashaolu - addressed to the EFCC Chairman and IGP, Lopez-Pepe accused the Imo State Government and his Nigerian partner of allegedly misrepresenting facts. The arrest of Lopez-Pepe, the manager of New International FPS SL, was said to have followed a petition by his Nigerian partner and Managing Director of Hormipresa Nigeria Limited, Benjamin Emenike.

The Nigerian businessman allegedly accused his Spanish partner of diverting funds for the supply of equipment for a contract awarded to them by the state. But Lopez-Pepe denied receiving any part-payment for the project from the state government. He urged the IGP and the EFCC to jointly investigate Emenike and some officials of the Imo State Government to unravel the mystery behind the missing funds. Lopez-Pepe said his compa-

on November 8, 2011, at N3.6 billion. He explained that this is because his company was not registered in Nigeria. The Spaniard added that while he returned to his country for technical drawings and other equipment for the project, Emenike allegedly failed to transfer to him the N1.2 billion, being 30 per cent part-payment of the total contract cost. Lopez-Pepe accused Emenike of insincerity in handling his part of the transaction. He wondered why he (Emenike) was also not arrested.




Iran’s president-elect says economy will take time


RAN’s newly elected reformist-backed president said yesterday that the country’s dire economic problems cannot be solved “overnight,” as he took his first steps in consulting with members of the clerically dominated establishment on his new policies. Hasan Rowhani’s surprise victory in Friday’s elections puts him in charge of an executive branch that traditionally has taken the lead in handling the economy, but nuclear efforts, defense and foreign affairs remain primarily in the hands of the ruling clerics and their powerful protectors, the Revolutionary Guard. This creates a challenge for Rowhani, as Iran suffers from more than 30 percent inflation as well as 14 percent unemployment rates linked to Western sanctions for Tehran’s suspect nuclear program. Rowhani has called for reaching out to the international community but has little authority over the nuclear activities tied to sanctions. The semi-official ISNA agency said Rowhani discussed inflation and unemployment as well as possible members of his cabinet with Ali Larijani, speaker for Iran’s conservative dominated parliament. “Today, we took the first step for cooperation between two branches of power,” Rowhani was quoted as saying. Rowhani will take office in August and needs parliament to approve his proposed nominees for 18 ministries. Meanwhile, the Revolution-


From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday commended the government and people of Iran on the successful and peaceful election of a successor to outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President applauded Mr. Rouhani’s characterisation of the outcome of the Iranian presidential elections as a victory for wisdom, moderation and maturity and his declared commitment to running an administration that will promote democracy, interaction and free dialogue. He said that the Federal Government of Nigeria is looking forward to working with the President-elect and his incoming administration in order to further strengthen existing relations and bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and Iran. ary Guard declared its willingness to cooperate with the president. “We announce our comprehensive readiness for interaction and cooperation with the next administration in the framework of legal duties and assignments,” the Guard said on its webpage.

The outward displays of cooperation by Iran’s establishment reflect its desire to close the political rift caused by unrest over disputed election results in 2009, and signal to world leaders that the ruling clerics are not publicly standing against Rowhani’s



call for outreach and dialogue with the international community. At campaign rallies, Rowhani pledged to seek “constructive interaction with the world” that includes efforts to ease Western concerns about Iran’s program and lift punishing international sanctions that have pummeled the economy. The West and its allies fear Iran could be moving toward development of a nuclear weapon. Iranian officials, including Rowhani, insist that the country only seeks nuclear reactors for energy and medical applications.

•Protesters scatter as Turkish riot police fire tear gas on Taksim Square in Istanbul..yesterday. A plan to redevelop nearby Gezi Park sparked Turkey’s biggest anti-government protests in decades

Scotland said that five people out of the flight’s roughly 300 passengers were now claiming asylum in Britain. Speaking from Cairo, EgyptAir CEO Tawfeek Asi identified the passengers as Syrians, although the Scottish police spokeswoman said she could not provide any infor-

mation about their nationality. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying office rules forbade her from identifying herself publicly. Britain’s Home Office, which is responsible for matters of immigration and asylum, declined to comment Sunday.

Mandela making ‘sustained improvement’, says Zuma

Mali ‘suicide-vest factory found’ WORKSHOP to make suicide bomber vests has been discovered in northern Mali, the French army has said. About 5,000kg of fertiliser intended to be used as explosive was also uncovered in Bourem, a town on the Niger River between Gao and Timbuktu. A sample suicide vest and 18 sewing machines were found and it appears local women were employed there, a French army spokesman told the BBC. French forces have led an operation to oust Islamist militants from the north.


Jonathan congratulates new leader

UK police: Five from diverted plane claim asylum

IVE passengers from an EgyptAir flight diverted to a Scottish airport over an apparent threat to destroy the aircraft are now seeking asylum in Britain, authorities said yesterday. New York-bound Flight 985 from Cairo was forced to make an emergency landing on Saturday after a threatening note was found in the plane’s lavatory. British Typhoon fighter jets escorted the plane to Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport, where the flight was met by a heavy police presence, but no arrests were made and the flight was eventually cleared to carry on its journey to the U.S. A spokeswoman for Police

Israeli PM: sanctions on Iran should increase

•School children pray in the Regina Mundi Church outskirts of Soweto for Mandela. PHOTO: AFP


ORMER South African President Nelson Mandela is engaging with his family and seeing improvement from the recurring lung infection that forced him to spend a ninth day in the hospital yesterday, President Jacob Zuma has said. Mandela remains in serious condition but that over the last two days his doctors have said that the improvements in his health have been sustained. Zuma said Mandela “continues to engage with fam-

ily,” according to the prepared text of a speech released by the president’s office. Family members are visiting Mandela daily. The leader of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, Mandela spent 27 years in prison during white racist rule. He was freed in 1990 and became South Africa’s first black president in 1994. His hospitalization in Pretoria, the capital, is Mandela’s fourth admittance for treatment since December.



HOUSANDS of demonstrators took to the streets of Belfast at the weekend to protest against the G8 summit - but police had to move in to prevent disorder after pro-British loyalists tried to stage a protest in the same area. Environmentalists, trade unionists and other civil society activists paraded through Belfast city centre at lunchtime for what they bill as a march and festival for a fairer world. US President Barack Obama

SRAEL yesterday warned the international community against easing sanctions on Iran following the election of a reformist-backed president, saying the country’s nuclear efforts remain firmly in the hands of Iran’s extremist ruling clerics. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the warning a day after the surprise victory by Hasan Rowhani. Although Rowhani is considered a relative moderate and had the backing of Iranian reformists, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the ultimate authority on all state matters and key security policy decisions, including nuclear efforts, defense and foreign affairs, remain in the hands of Khamenei and his powerful protectors, the Revolutionary Guard. Netanyahu noted that the Iranian clerics disqualified


candidates they disagreed with from running in the election. He said the international community must not get caught in “wishful thinking” and ease the pressure on Tehran, saying “Iran will be tested by its deeds.” Israel considers a nucleararmed Iran to be an existential threat, citing Iranian calls for Israel’s destruction, its support for anti-Israel militant groups and its missile and nuclear technology. Tehran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, a claim that Israel and many Western countries reject. Israeli President Shimon Peres took a softer line. While Peres said it was too early to make predictions, he felt the vote was a clear sign of dissatisfaction with Iran’s hardline leadership and its outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Fresh violence in Turkey as PM Erdogan holds rally

RESH unrest has erupted in Ankara and Istanbul, with police firing tear gas and water cannon amid continuing antigovernment protests. The unrest flared as PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s supporters gathered for a show of strength in Istanbul. Some 1,000 riot police from Turkish provinces have been flown in to the city to try to curb the protests. Police broke up a protest camp in the city’s Taksim Square, the focal point of the unrest, on Saturday evening. The protests began on 28 May against a plan to redevelop nearby Gezi Park, but snowballed into nationwide anti-government protests af-

ter the perceived highhanded response of the authorities under their threeterm prime minister. Medical officials estimate that 5,000 people have been injured and at least four killed since protests began. Police fired tear gas and water cannon to clear demonstrators in Ankara’s Kizilay Square yesterday afternoon. At least four people were injured. Police earlier dispersed a memorial service in the capital for a protester who died of injuries during a demonstration. Tear gas and water cannon were also fired in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

Anti-G8 protesters march on Northern Ireland

is among the premiers arriving at the Lough Erne golf resort in Fermanagh for the two-day G8 meeting starting today. Campaigners behind the city centre march said: “We believe that achieving social, economic and environmental justice must be central to political decision-making.” Police had to move in to prevent disorder after pro-British loyalists tried to stage a protest in the same area.

Police and armoured vehicles created a barrier between the loyalists - Protestants who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom - and the G8 protesters. Hosted by British prime minister David Cameron – Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom – the G8, or Group of Eight, is a forum for the governments of the world’s largest economies to talk shop.





VOL 8 NO 2,519

‘As leaders elected by our people, Nigerians are closely watching us. We must comport ourselves according to the dictates and principles of democratic and lawful practices and norms.’




HE Peoples Democratic Party wallows in disarray, and the party leaders strut as though it is juice rather than poison. And the major culprit is the chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, who is gaining notoriety like other oldies like the exmilitary officer Jonah Jang of Plateau State and the peacock without glory from the Niger Delta, E.K. Clark. These men have wizened but are not wise. Age has become an obstacle rather than leapfrog to sagacity. They make old age look like the plague. The latest firestorm involves Governor Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto, and how the party leadership under Tukur decided to flush out the man from party “honour” because he played a role of conscience during the recently concluded Governors Forum election. He is accused, like his fellow traveller Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, of anti-party activity. Tukur on the surface has a stellar resume. He was a governor in the Second Republic of the old Gongola State. Prior to that, he was the helmsman of the Nigeria Ports Authority during the infamous Cement Armada scandal where he acquitted himself well when he decongested the ports in the Gowon era. He heads and is a member of many boards both locally and internationally. Without bagging a first degree with the toil and sweat of lucubration, he parades himself as a doctor that he acquired in the now common Nigerian fashion. If after all these, he decided to take a bow from public service after clocking the hoary tapestry of 70 years, he would have escaped scrutiny and soared to his maker as a man of immense stature and nobility. But he reminds one of the tragicomic protagonist in the novel Being There by Jerzy Kosinski. It is about a man who knew not much, witnessed not much, attended not much school, spoke little. Suddenly by the accident of history, he was, by wide acclaim, being touted for the presidency of the United States. It is a cautionary tale about the empty grandeur of fame and fortune, and the dizzy deceptions of democracy and capitalism. The climb to party leadership has brought Tukur to a pitiful pass. Two developments have led to his demystification. One, the stories of his sons, Auwal and Mahmud. The second is the crisis that has alienated the majority of governors from his own region from the party he shepherds. In the case of his sons, he exposed his lack of grace. When his son, Mahmud, became charged with involvement in a N1.2 billion rip-off of the Petroleum Support Fund Scheme, attentions turned to him. His son, many believed,


Very soon, it’ll be ‘LIFE FOR SALE’


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

Old man and the sea

•Tukur benefitted from his high connections. On his own, Mahmud could not have enjoyed the high place in the world, and so when Mahmud suffered, the father also suffered. Some say he manipulated his high connection to plume his son and, vicariously, himself with oil fortune. This may not be fair, but that is life. But he commented later that he was not involved in his son’s story with the alleged oil subsidy scam. I thought that it was tactless. All he needed to do was stay quiet on the matter. We cannot visit the sins of the son on the

father. We may say though that the blessings of the father may have foisted dubious gifts on the son. As for his other son, Auwal, the man wants his son to be governor. He wants to visit his blessings of many years ago on his son. He is the party chairman and that provides a conflict of interest. Why should a father want to impose his son and use the instruments of the centre that is at his beck and call to create his own dynastic fiefdom? He charges back by saying his son, Auwal, had been in politics before he ascended the party chair, and the son has a right on his own to do what is right. What is right is not always honourable. His son has a right to run for office whatever the father’s fortune. It is when honour meets right that we attain what poet John Keats goal of truth meeting beauty. The father should have played his role without interfering in the affairs or seeming to marshal his high office in the slugfest. We all know that he loathes the incumbent Governor, Murtala Nyaka, another clueless oldie in politics, who wants to create a dynasty by imposing his son Abdul-Aziz. On the surface again, we can say Tukur is right for wanting to challenge Nyako for trying to impose a nepotistic tyranny in the governor sweepstakes. Let the son do it and let us not see traces of your power looming from the centre. That is where again I saw that the man has wizened but is not wise. He is playing dubious messiah as though he wants to save Adamawa State from a tyrant. But he just wants to take it for himself. He is no hero. The affairs of his son have unveiled his iniquities like the story of the grand priest of the Bible known as Eli whose sons led him to



T is an old dictum that what you love most is likely to be your albatross. Nigerians love football to no end and often, it is their worst source of heartache. Hardball cannot seem to count any two consecutive weeks without a rumpus in Nigeria’s football house. Recall that no sooner did the national football team, the Super Eagles, snatch the African football diadem than we heard that the victorious coach, Stephen Keshi, had resigned in South Africa – before he could even bring the trophy home. He resigned! He did not resign, he was only pre-empting a sack – hee-haw, he-haw (as hogs carry on their sordid forage). And that simply blew over just as it started. Nobody told the real story of that momentary madness; no questions asked, no answers given, all the muck was swept under the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and life went on. But it never really did go on, things never seem to be at ease with the soulless; our football house never seems to sleep but not out of honest conscientious engagements you can bet. A few weeks after the “I have resigned hoax”, it broke out again like measles in the football house: “We are broke, dead broke,” was the new song and before you say “African Champions”, the fellows in our football office which they glibly call Glass House, went into a frenzy of sacking and appointments. A number of Keshi’s assistants and support staff

Football house of commotion were chucked out ignominiously. Then some bogus, ‘big men’ appointments were made, people earning fat salaries. Remember too that the last African Nations’ cup tournament was not beamed on our national television and were it not for cable TV, Nigerians would have been in the dark all through the competition that we eventually won. Recent World Cup qualifiers (against Kenya and Namibia) were all blacked out on Nigerians and our Eagles are supposed to be a high market value champion brand! The football house’s bag of tricks seems to brim with fresh stunts all the time. A house that claims to be broke would haul the African Champions all the way to the USA in a friendly match against another continental champion, Mexico for just $40,000? It is certain that $40,000 could not have covered the cost of that friendly expedition. Are we to understand that the NFF subsidised a friendly invitation match of that magnitude? The truth, Hardball must make known, is that all the above are mere preambles. The big story for today is that Nigeria was recently put to shame by our shambolic football house. The

spiritual limbo. All these acts prepared Tukur for his present malady with the governors. He is doing all of these because he needs the backing of the president for his special prize: governorship for his son Mahmud. The president since Obasanjo has always imposed the party candidate from the centre. He expects to play serf to Jonathan for a presidential quid pro quo in Adamawa State government House. That is the opportunism of Tukur and his lack of grace. His is an old man who wants to have peace even if it means his party is at sea. We all know the story of Hemingway’s classic where an old man struggles after forlorn attempts to catch a fish. After his success, he spends his last ounce of energy to drag the prey to shore. Much of the fish is gone, but he has honour and dignity - a spiritual satisfaction. The novel Old Man and the Sea has become a testament to literature and the sublimity of the human spirit. It is not to Tukur’s credit that he should wreck his party in order to build his own joy. It is cynical politics at best, but it exposes the worst in Nigerian politics. He is using his power in a way that reminds one of 19 the century Prussia before it became Germany and historians described it as an army with a state rather than a state with an army. It may be Tukur’s Hobbesian peace but it is PDP’s and Nigerian nightmare.

Abibat Mogaji for the ages


HE was a woman of grace, energy and dignity. From her commerce, we drew acumen and prosperity. From her struggles, we earned dignity. She lifted her community with integrity and industry, and her politics exuded progress in an age of compromise. She acted without fear and confronted the evil of the age with poise and candour. She did not seek praise and, when she earned it, she did not gloat. She gave women flair and éclat when the race wallowed in subdued dignity. She knew wealth but knew humility more. She had power, but she preferred authority. When I turned 50, I never sent her an invitation nor had a personal encounter with her before then. But she sent a team of women to be present at the event, and they were among the first to arrive. I did not know who they were until Senator Remi Tinubu drew my attention to them. Touching indeed. When I visited her to say my thanks, she prayed profusely for me in the name of Jesus and showered me with gifts. As the poet said of Lincoln when he passed, I should say, Iyaloja belongs to the ages.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above story, which you probably know is that the Super Eagles who are to participate in the ongoing Confederation competition in Brazil (starting Saturday June15) were still on transit even on the opening day, missing the opening ceremonies and opening matches. What went amiss: the players refused to proceed to Brazil after their World Cup qualifiers in Namibia; their match bonuses had been slashed from $10,000 to $5000 for a win and from $5000 to $2,500 for a draw. Since the new rate was not discussed and agreed with the boys, they refused to accept the slash. Were it not for FIFA that rushed to rescue the situation, Nigeria would not have been at the champions’ spectacle in Brazil. The world would have laughed Nigeria to death. Because of the bunch of bumblers at the NFF, the entire football world was put on the tenterhooks awaiting the arrival of the Eagles, wondering whether they would make it to Brazil one day after the show started. We ask: what logic informs the slashing of the bonus of players after they became champions and ought to earn an increase? Why is it that NFF officials earn match bonuses too? How many officials are travelling with the team at a very huge expense? It is Hammer house of horror but as the saying goes, Mr. Hog will eventually get to its destination just that the world around it would suffer unimaginable trouble. What a pity.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

June 17, 2013  
June 17, 2013