Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
News Oyo orders demolition of stalls after electrocution P56 Sports I will give more to Super Eagles, says Ike Uche P24 Business Shell MD: Nigeria loses $8b to illegal bunkering P11 www.thenationonlineng.net
VOL. 7, NO. 2169 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Government must embark on a workable decentralisation of authority, such as creating some form of neighbourhood or state police because, as it has been enacted, the internal security of each state is the responsibility of the state authorities only to be complemented by the Federal Government. Page 46 — Action Cong eria (A CN) Chair man Chief Bisi Akande a te 2012 R etr ea o, y ester da y Congrress of Nig Nigeria (ACN) Chairman att the Sena Senate Retr etrea eatt in Uy Uyo yester esterda day
Guns boom in Kano, Yobe Policeman, four gunmen dead
Jonathan sacks NNPC GMD, board
Security tips for churches, mosques
•Yakubu replaces Oniwon
N earthquake hit the National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) yesterday. Group Managing Director Mr. Austen Oniwon was removed. Gone with him is the oil giant’s entire management board. Andrew Yakubu, an engineer, is now the GMD. Yakubu graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1979, with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He joined the NNPC in 1980. He has been Managing Director of the Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company and Group Executive Director (Exploration and Production). Yakubu is an indigene of Kaduna State and a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). According to a statement by presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, the sack is to further strengthen the ongoing reforms and transformation of the petroleum sector.
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano and Duku Joel, Damaturu
UNS boomed again in Kano, the North’s commercial engine-room, and Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, last
night. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEAs) were set off in attacks on a police station and a prison in Kano. The Joint Task Force (JTF) returned fire, combing the area for suspects. Yesterday’s terror strike coincided with the resumption in Abuja of the newly appointed National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki. Kano and Damaturu have been the centre of operations by terrorists, particularly the Islamist Boko Haram (Western education is sin).
People who left for the day’s business cannot come back home. Some of us inside our homes are trapped. No one goes out or comes in. Children and women are wailing. It is a terrible situation
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
Besides, he stated, the action of the President was in furtherance of efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in government. The statement reads: “To further strengthen the ongoing reforms and transformation of Nigeria’s petroleum sector, and in furtherance of efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in government, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the re-composition of the executive management team of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as follows: “Andrew Yakubu - Group Managing Director; Mr. Bernard O.N. Otti - Group Executive Director (Finance and Accounts); Abiye MemContinued on Page 4
In Kano, gunmen suspected to be members of the sect stormed the police station and the prison yard near frontline businessman Ishyaku Rabiu’s home in Dala Local Government within the metropolis. They set off explosives and fired guns sporadically. The incident, which happened from about 5:30 p.m., left residents in fear. “We heard multiple sounds of explosions followed by shootings. As I am speaking with you now, the frightening sounds of gunshots are still reverberating. We cannot ascertain where the shots and bombings are coming from. “People who left for the day’s business cannot come back home. Some of us inside our homes are trapped. No one goes out or comes in. Children and women are wailing. It is a terrible situation,” a resident said on the telephone. Security sources said the terrorists planted Continued on Page 4
•STEPPING IN: The new National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, at the PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN Presidential Villa, Abuja…yesterday
•MONEY P13 •INVESTORS P17 •SPORTS P23 •LIFE P29•POLITICS P43
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
Dana Air crash: we can’t release Interim Report now, says AIB
NEW YEAR MESSAGES
T •Vice-President Namadi Sambo exchanging pleasantries with Anambra State Governor Peter Obi during a a meeting of the committee on mass transit at the presidential villa in Abuja... yesterday PHOTO: NAN
•Assistant Inspector- General of Police Mamman Tsafe presenting a gift to Oba Rilwan Akiolu... yesterday PHOTO: NAN
•Former Minister of Defence, Dr Bello Mohammed (right) handing over to the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu PHOTO: NAN Olusola Obada in Abuja...yesterday
Head, Smart Phones, Samsung Electronics, West Africa, Mr. Olumide Ojo, raffle draw winner, Mr. Mukesh Sharma and Regional Operations Manager, Samsung Electronics, West Africa, Mr. Tonye Briggs at the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S III smart phone in Lagos... on Saturday. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI
HE Accident and Investigation Bureau (AIB) has said it cannot release the Interim Report of the June 3, Dana Air crash to the public because investigation is still on. It also asked anyone interested in the report of the crash to formally comply with Section 2 subsection 3(f) of the FOI Act 2011. Dana Air yesterday said some of its expatriate staff are also collaborating with investigating authorities to unravel the causes of the crash. The airline also admitted that it had made contact with 118 families and nine (9) embassies. Out of the families, it said 34 had filled insurance forms. But the AIB investigating the crash said it might not release an Interim Report now. The AIB made the clarifications in a June 22, 2012 response to an enquiry raised by an Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Osuagwu Ugochukwu on June 14. The Bureau’s response, signed by its Legal Adviser, Mrs. M. A. Tsenongo, reads: “I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your email requesting for the Interim Report on the subject referenced above. “I am to inform you that investigation into the causes/ contributory factors to the accident is ongoing and I am to request that you comply with Section 2 subsection 3(f) of the FOI Act 2011 formally. “Secondly, I am to inform you that it is within public knowledge that the Flight Data Recorder and cockpit Voice Recorder have been taken abroad by the Bureau for download which forms part of the relevant documents and are privileged information for the purpose of investigation. In a June 14 letter, an Abuja lawyer, Mr. Osuagwu Ugochukwu, asked the Commissioner in charge of Accident and Investigation Bureau to release the Interim Report to his law firm- Victory and Rose Associates. The letter reads: “Pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 4 and 5 Freedom of Information Act 2011 kindly provide our firm within seven days from now the Interim Report on the cause of Dana MD-83 Aircraft crash of June 3 2012. “We also want to know if the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been taken to the laboratory for analysis. The Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, who spoke with our correspondent, yesterday said: “Interim Reports are not necessarily published because they could jeopardise final outcome of investigation. “But the Interim Reports are usually given to stakeholders who are supposed to do something or take remedial steps on observations made by investigators. For example, if in the course of an investigation, it is discovered that there is no runway lighting, the Interim Report will be made available to the affected stakeholder to take remedial steps and correct the problem. “So, as investigation progresses, whatever is noticed in the Interim Report is sent to any regulatory body to correct. Interim Report does not need to be published.” A daily update by Dana Air on the crash yesterday, however, said that some of its expatriate staff are also assisting investigating authorities. The update said: “Dana Air would
The Interim Reports are usually given to stakeholders who are supposed to do something or take remedial steps on observations made by investigators. For example, if in the course of an investigation, it is discovered that there is no runway lighting, the Interim Report will be made available to the affected stakeholder to take remedial steps and correct the problem
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
like to respond to media coverage suggesting that expatriate staff of the airline have left the company’s employment since the accident. “Of the over 450 staff of the airline, most of whom are Nigerians, not one has left the company’s employment. “Dana Air is committed to finding out the cause of the unfortunate accident and some of our expatriate staff are among the airline’s officials currently assisting the investigating authorities in this regard. “All Dana Air staff are voluntarily assisting in one way or the other, especially with respect to visiting the affected families and providing information on processing of insurance claims. “Investigation into the cause of the accident is still on-going and Dana Air continues to offer every form of assistance to the investigating authorities. “Dana Air shares in the pains of the affected families and continues to offer every form of assistance required by the hospital authorities and overseas laboratory to ensure that the process is completed as soon as possible, so that the families can lay their loved ones to rest. “As per last update on Friday, 22nd June, 98% of DNA samples had been successfully collected and dispatched to a UK laboratory for testing. “The company has now made direct contact with 118 families who lost loved ones in the accident and have also made contact with the nine (9) embassies managing communications with the families of those victims from other countries. “These families and embassies have been sent letters of condolence and the insurance documentation necessary in order to facilitate compensation payments. “As of the Close of business on Monday, June 25, the company had received completed insurance forms for 34 of the victims, 2 of which are our staff members.” To facilitate the completion of claims forms by the families the company has established toll free lines to a crisis management centre to provide assistance. The company will continue to provide this service until all claims have been addressed and settled.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NEWS 51 political parties sue INEC over de-registration threat
IFTY-ONE political parties have sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over threat to deregister them. They are: the Better Nigeria Progressive Party, African Liberation Party, United Democratic Party, Peoples Redemption Party, Citizens Popular Party, Republican Party of Nigeria, Change Advocacy Party, National Unity Party, Action Alliance, Peoples Democratic Congress and Social Democratic Mega Party, among others. Joined as defendants are the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Assembly. In the suit before Justice Gabriel Kolawole, the plaintiffs through their counsel, Mr. Kan Osieke are seeking the following reliefs: • A declaration that Section 78 (7) (ii) of the electoral Act 2011 as amended is unconstitutional and in effect null and void. • A declaration that Section 78 (7) (ii) of the electoral Act 2011 as amended is a calculated attempt to sulfucate life from young enterprising and growing political parties from growing and an attempt to stop them from participating in Nigerian politics. • A declaration that the said Section 78 (7) (ii) of the electoral Act 2011 as amended be expunged as same offends Section 40 of the 2011 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended which is a light to other laws, Acts, Rules and Regulations.
SEGUN OLUSOLA (1935 - 2012)
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
•A declaration that the plaintiffs have the right to belong to any political party of their choice, work hard for them to grow after being duely registered according to law. The plaintiffs, which claimed that they belong to a body known as Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), want the court to determine “whether INEC can deregister a party which has fulfilled and satisfied all requirements of registration simply because it fails to win a seat in the Presidential, Governorship, National or State Assembly without considering other elections like the Local Government Chairmanship and Councillors Elections. • Whether a party that wins Local Government elections can still be deregistered having not satisfied Section 78 (7) (ii) of the electoral Act 2011 as amended”. In the notice of preliminary objection, the National Assembly (Second defendant/applicant) contended that the plaintiff/ respondents lack the requisite locus standi to file the case. It stated that the court lacks the jurisdiction to hear and determine the case. It noted that there was no existing law known as Electoral Act, 2011 upon which the suit was premised. It urged the court to strike out or dismiss the suit for lacking in merit. Hearing has been fixed for October 25.
•Mr Olujimi Olusola (left) receiving a condolence letter from the President, International Television and Radio Programme Producers Association of Nigeria, Mr Elkanah Mowarim at the Lagos residence of teh late Segun Olusola...yesterday
Reps order Navy to hand over seized ship to EFCC •Blast ministers, naval chief for shunning public hearing From Dele Anofi, Abuja
HE House of Representatives yesterday expressed doubts over the ability of the Navy to secure a foreign ship arrested for illegal bunkering. It directed the Navy to hand over the ship, MT Vanessa to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) within 72 hours for safekeeping. The Muraina Ajibola-led Joint Committee on Petroleum Upstream and Navy, at a public hearing on the upsurge in illegal oil bunkering, said the ship must not be allowed to disappear. The Managing Director (MD) of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mutiu Sumonu, who appeared before the committee, expressed concerns over security laxity in the Niger Delta. A member of the Committee, Jerry Manwe, said: “Now that one of the seized ships has disappeared and before the other one disappears again, I think we need to, as a matter of urgency, resolve to direct the Navy to hand over the ship to the EFCC for custody because we know that with EFCC, it will not disappear.” The motion reads: “The ship, MT Vanessa under the study of Navy and anchored in Bonny be handed over to the EFCC within 24 hours. “Also that the Navy must work with the EFCC to ensure the safety of the ship because the Navy has the capacity to ensure its safety’ was unanimously adopted by the committee.” The committee constituted a sub-committee to ascertain the content of the ship within 72 hours. Ajibola said: “Though we were told that it contained 8.5m barrels of crude but we are not sure but we hope and pray that it has not disappeared. “Why we are doing is because we are aware of two ships that were seized, one from Libya escaped but the second ship is presently anchored in Bonny, Port Harcourt. “Whether right or wrong, what we were told is that it contained stolen crude of 8.5 million barrels; what are we securing if our resources are being stolen by some people, including foreigners? “We are taking this measure because we don’t want to be told that it has disappeared. On Saturday, I wrote to the Chief of the Naval Staff on the matter expecting him to to take it seriously and asked him to come and brief us over it this morning. “Where is he now? His representative is telling us that he is attending a handing over ceremony at the Ministry of Defence. Which is more important to the country? Handing over ceremony of Ministers or a forum to throw light on what affects the economy?” The Committee directed the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Chief of the Naval S taff (CNS) and the ministers of Petroleum Resources and Environment to appear before it today or be sanctioned. Ajibola said: “This is a condemnable act that cannot be tolerated by any parliament around the world but I want those that are here to be taken because the essence of the forum is to gather information while absentee CEOs should be told in clear terms the result of their actions. “This parliament has a tradition and we don’t have the intention of rubbishing it and that is taking the submissions of Heads of Agencies when we are having a public hearing.”
• Justice Afolabi Adeyinka signing the condolence register at the late Olusola’s residence...yesterday
•MIC Undertaker’s chief Tunji Okusanya signing the condolence register at the residence of teh late Olusola...yesterday PHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
•President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo with National Population Commission Commissioners after their inauguration in Abuja…yesterday
‘Govt to make birth control law’
OVERNMENT is contemplating a legislation to control population growth, President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday. Dr. Jonathan said although the issue of population regulation is very sensitive, government cannot fold its arms until the country’s population becomes uncontrollable. The President spoke at the inauguration of the Chairman and Commissioners of the National Population Commission (NPC) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. He said Nigeria would not be the first country to make law on birth control, adding that religious belief should not be a tool to frustrate a good policy. Former Managing Director
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
of Nigeria Brewery PLC, Chief Festus Odumegwu, was inaugurated as Chairman of the Commission. Twenty two of the 23 appointed Commissioners took the oath of Office and oath of Allegiance. The Commissioner representing Sokoto, Sen. Jubril Gada, was absent. The President assured that government would carry out enough sensitisation before making the law controlling birth and population. He also directed the NPC team to begin advocacy on birth control and promised government support and funding. “For us to plan properly, we
must manage our population, but it is extremely sensitive, we are extremely religious people, either you are a Christian or Moslem. “Both Christians and Moslems and even traditionalists believe that children are God’s gifts to man, so it is difficult for you to tell any Nigerian to limit the number of their children because they are gifts of God. “It is a very sensitive thing but we must begin to think about it. We must begin to think about how we manage it “The key thing is that how you will through your advocacy come up with plans and programmes that as a way of Continued on Page 5
PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Jonathan sacks NNPC GMD, board Continued from Page 1 Arokodare (outgoing Group
bere - Group Executive Director (Exploration and Production); Dr. Peter S. Nmadu Group Executive Director (Corporate Services); Anthony Ogbuigwe - Group Executive Director (Refineries & Petrochemicals); Dr. Attahir B. Yusuf - Group Executive Director (Commercial & Investments); Dr. David Ige - Group Executive Director (Gas & Power). “President Jonathan has also approved the appointment of Victor Briggs as the new Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). “The incumbent Group Managing Director, Austen Oniwon, and Mr. Michael
Executive Director (Finance and Accounts), Mr. Philip Chukwu, outgoing Group Executive Director (Refineries & Petrochemicals), and Billy Agha, outgoing Group Executive Director (Engineering & Technology) are to proceed on retirement. “President Jonathan commends the outgoing directors for their service to the nation and urges the new management team to be fully committed to rapidly implementing the critical interventions needed to positively transform Nigeria’s petroleum industry.” Oniwon spent 14 months after he was due for retirement. Oniwon was due for retirement on April 1, 2011, when he turned 60, which is the
mandatory retirement age. But the presidency extended his tenure, which by the reorganisation ended yesterday. Chukwu had about two years to retire. He served as the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) before being moved to head the Research and Development Division where he became the Managing Director of National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO). He was promoted to Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production appointed and later Group Executive Director, Refineries and Petrochemicals, a position he held until yesterday.
Terrorism: IGP gives security tips to churches, mosques
CTING Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar has given some security tips to churches and mosques to stave off terrorist attacks. A statement by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, advised churches and mosques to carry out risk assessment and vulnerability surveys to enable them determine the level of risk, they are exposed to. According to Abubakar, location of the church/mosque, analysis of its neighbourhood demography, size and architectural design of the church/ mosque, population of the members, nature of access roads to the place etc are crucial to the assessment survey. Some of the measures are: “Churches and Mosques should establish standard security and safety committee. Members should be volunteers with impeccable background and a passion for safety and security. Proper vetting and background checks must be carried out on all prospective members to avoid infiltration by enemies. “The committee members should work closely with the local police authority and other relevant security agencies in formulating appropriate security measures. The churches/ mosques may consider the options of organising constant trainings, workshops and seminars for committee members. “Ushers in churches should be encouraged to perform additional security duties. Ushers should be given extra trainings and briefings on security. Competency and individual pedigree, rather than mere looks should be the yardstick for appointing ushers.
Gun battles in Kano, Yobe Continued from Page 1
over 20 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) within the area. “We were very surprised at the attack. But I want to assure you that we are on top of the situation. As I am speaking to you now, we are taking them on a deadly shootout. There is heavy reinforcement of the JTF. “We have cordoned off the area with over 15 Hilux vehicles. We warned them and they must surrender. We are not taking chances. They must be brought down to their knees,” a member of the JTF operation team said on telephone. The Goron Dutse Police Station was attacked with explosives. Five persons - a police corporal and four terrorists – were killed, a police source said last night. Explosions were also heard at ChallaFrom Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
“Churches and Mosques may consider erecting barriers to keep human and vehicular traffic away from designated areas. One of the most effective ways of preventing suicide bombing is to isolate the suicide bomber to himself and prevent him from reaching his targeted audience. “Churches and mosques officials are advised to make conscious efforts to know their members. This will make it easier for them to spot and identify strangers and intruders. “Churches and mosques in restive areas must avoid the temptation of isolating themselves from the public or their host community. They must avoid the “fortress mentality”. They are encouraged to go into the society and play positive roles in solving the problems of
wa Area near the Mobile Police Formation. At the spot of the attack, there is a police barracks and a prison and no one could tell the main target of the attack. As at the time of filing in this report, the total casualty figure could not be ascertained. In Damaturu, unidentified gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram launched another onslaught on the city. Commissioner of Police Patrick Egbuniwe confirmed the incident last night. The Nation gathered from Sabon Pegi residents close to the scene of the exchange of fire that “the battle was fiecre and scary”. There were thunderous blasts and sporadic gunshots that resonated across the
the community and changing the society for good. They must build bridges and build bonds. “They should strive to build strong relationship with local security agencies (Police, Military, Fire Service etc) and encourage seamless flow of information between themselves and the agencies. “Worshippers should park their vehicles at designated distances away from the places of worship. Worshippers who reside close to the places of worship are encouraged to walk rather than drive to the worship centres. This will reduce the number of cars around the worship centres. “Worshippers should be discouraged from entering the worship centres with handbags, briefcases and other similar items. There is need for perimeter fencing of all places of worship to prevent invaders from gaining cheap access, es-
town at about 5:30pm, sending cold shivers in the spines of residents. Loud explosions were heard near the Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu but the CP said the attackers were repelled from entering the school. He however noted that the police and the Joint Task Force (JTF) could not ascertain any damage because the incident took place “very late”. “Right now, we don’t know what damage has been caused because this took place very late as you can see,” Egbuniwe said. Students of Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu were last Thursday asked to vaccate the campus till further notice following the Monday attacks in the town. The latest attack came barely 24 hours after the government had further relaxed the 18 hours curfew from 6pm to 7am daily.
pecially during prayers/services. “There is need for training of churches/mosques guards by the law enforcement agents to meet up with their responsibilities at their duty posts. Churches/mosques are advised to invest on modern security gadgets such as CCTV cameras, scanners, etc. “The officials and worshippers at churches and mosques should be ready to partner and cooperate with the security agencies deployed to their places of worship on Sundays and Fridays. People should avoid rushing to the scene of incidents, especially explosions, to avoid distorting the scene of crime and exposing themselves to further danger. “The youths and other members of the congregation must be sufficiently sensitised on the need to always allow the security agencies unrestricted ac-
cess to scenes of incidents in all emergency situations. Worshippers should be advised to return to their various homes rather than clustering/loitering around the worship centres after Sunday services or Jummat prayers. “Worshippers should be security conscious and report all suspicious characters and observations to the police.” The statement regretted that churches and mosques, which are traditionally regarded as safe havens and sanctuaries have come under relentless terrorist attacks in recent times, particularly in certain parts in the north. “They are safe heavens and sanctuaries for worshiping and experiencing God’s love, mercy and grace. They are hallowed places and somewhat immune from the troubles, conflicts and violence of the world, including wars.
•Abubakar “However, recent events in Nigeria and other parts of the world, particularly the serial attacks on churches in some parts of the country, appear to have fundamentally altered this agelong view,” the statement said. The police said the decision to issue the above safety and security tips should not be seen as an attempt by the security agencies to abdicate their responsibility of protecting lives and property. The statement added that the periodic release of security tips and other advisory notes was in line with the concept of community and democratic policing, which demands constant engagement and interaction with stakeholders. “Although, we concede that the concept of absolute security is almost impossible, nonetheless, we believe that with adequate advance planning and systematic synergy amongst the officials of the various places of worship, the worshippers, the host community and the law enforcement agencies, the risks of criminal attacks on our places of worship could be reduced almost to a zero level,” the statement added.
ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
N6.5b aviation contract: Judge walks out of court as SANs engage in argument ’ T ’ HE on-going trial of former Minister of Aviation, Babalola Borisade, took a dramatic turn on Tuesday when the judge of an Abuja High Court, walked out on the court. Borisade is standing trial alongside a former Managing Director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Rowland Iyayi; Tunde Dairo, a former Personal Assistant to Borisade and George Eider, an Austrian and Managing Director of Avsatel Communications Ltd. The four are standing trial over the alleged mismanagement of the N6.5 billion Aviation Safe Tower contract. They were arraigned by the EFCC on a 15-count charge bordering on bribe-taking and forging of documents relating to aviation contract on November 19, 2009. At the resumed hearing
yesterday, Justice Abubakar Umar walked out on the court for 35 minutes, as he ordered ‘a trial within trial’ to ascertain whether the confessional statement of Dairo (third accused) was admissible. During the trial, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), counsel to Dairo (third accused) and Mr Sebastine Hon (SAN), EFCC counsel, engaged themselves in a heated argument. The judge, who had earlier asked each of them to take their seats and allow one person to talk, ordered the clerk, Akinwale Akinlolu, to announce his (judge’s) exit from the court when the counsel refused to stop arguing. The argument started after Hon, EFCC counsel, objected to the manner a witness, Mr Reuben Omosigho, was being cross-examined by Borisade’s
My witness should not be made to answer any question the way the accused counsel wants the answer to be
counsel, Mr Kehinde Ogunmiyiju. But Awomolo, counsel to Iyayi, also stood up and asked Hon to stop interjecting in the re-examination process, but Hon refused and continued with his objection. “I cannot be intimated by anybody. My witness should not be made to answer any question the way the accused counsel wants the answer to be,” Hon said. Replying, Awomolo shouted: “I became a SAN
I became a SAN before you. I am 24 years as SAN. You should have respect for me
before you. I am 24 years as SAN. You should have respect for me.” Justice Umar then asked both of them to stop shouting in court and take their seats. He said: “If you will behave like this, how do you expect the younger ones in the bar to act?” The arguments lasted for close to 10 minutes and when Umar could not bear the situation, he immediately summoned the SANs to his chamber, and walked out.
After about 35 minutes, the two SANs returned to the open court and some minutes later, Justice Umar returned. When the case resumed, the prosecution witness, Mr Omosigho, continued with his testimony. He told the court that the third accused (Dairo) made the statement voluntarily, and denied the accusations by counsel to the accused that the EFCC obtained the statement under duress. Before the adjournment, both Hon and Awomolo apologised to the judge over what had happened. Awomolo said: “I wish to on behalf of my learned silk apologise to the court for the earlier disruption of court process. Justice Umar, after listening to the apology, adjourned the ‘trial within trial’ to July 10 for continuation of hearing at the instance of the EFCC.
SARS arrests wanted Lagos robbery kingpin
HE Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) on Tuesday said that it has arrested a suspected armed robbery kingpin who specialised in car snatching in Lagos. The head of the squad, SP Abba Kyari, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that the 36-year-old suspect was arrested at Ota, Ogun State. Kyari said that the suspect, who was linked with over 10 recent robbery cases in Lagos, has been on the squad’s wanted list since 2010. According to him, the suspect specialised in recruiting young men into armed robbery and car snatching and on interrogation, some suspected armed robbers have confessed that they were working for him. Kyari said that items recovered from the suspect included a yellow painted commercial minibus (Damfo), a doublebarrel pistol, four live cartridges and five expended cartridges.
•Director, Africa, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Olabode Adekeye (left), Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, at the meeting with House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the killing of a Nigerian in China at the National Assembly, Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO:ABAYOMI FAYESE
‘Govt to make birth control law’ •Continued from page 4
advocacy you begin to encourage Nigerians to have the number of children they can manage before government comes up with clear policies and guidelines. “First and foremost is the personal consciousness that people should get the family they can manage. “Sometimes you get to somebody’s house living in a well furnished duplex. The
husband and wife there may have two, three four children. The maiguard guiding them have nine children. That is the scenario you have. “That means there is a segment of the population that knows that you must get a number that you can manage but the other segment of the population don’t. The new board has three
female commissioners. These are Mrs Roli , Mrs Sheyi Olusanya and Mrs Cecilia Dakwot . Others members are, Mr David Danuwa (Adamawa), Mr. Moses Ekpo (Akwa Ibom), Alhaji Mohammed Hamman (Borno), Alhaji Idi Baba Yakubu (Cross River) , Dr Tunde Lakoju (Edo) and Mr Bala Mogaji (Gombe).The Commissioners also include; Mr. Nwogu
Emmanuel (Imo), Alh. Mohammed Suraju (Kano), Mr.Mohammed Akuboh (Kogi), Alhaji Abubakar Ndake (Kwara), Mr. Zakare Umaru-Kifo (Nasarawa) and Chief Olalere Oyewumi (Osun)We also have; Dr. Oluremi Akogun (Ondo), Mr. Donald Wokoma (Rivers), Sen. Anguno Sunday-Zik (Taraba), Prof. Simon Chika (Anambra), Dr. Chima Uzor (Enugu), and Mr. Chris Okereke (Ebonyi).
Court stays execution of N721m debt against Bi-Courtney
JUSTICE Morenike Obadina of the Lagos High Court yesterday stayed execution of a N721 million debt which BiCourtney Limited owes Aso Savings and Loans Plc. She ordered Bi-Courtney to provide a bank guarantee on the sum within 21 days pending the hearing and determination of its appeal at the Court of Appeal, Lagos. Bi-Courtney was said to have secured a N500 million credit facility from Aso Savings in July 2009 at an interest rate of 24 per cent per annum. Its property at Plot 70, Alexander Avenue, Ikoyi was used
By Joseph Jibueze
as mortgage for the credit facility which had a 180-day tenure. Following Bi-Courtney’s alleged refusal to liquidate its indebtedness at the expiration of the tenure and after several demand letters, Aso Savings later sued. By then, the value of the credit facility had risen to N721, 170,781,40. A consent judgment was consequently entered against Bi-Courtney following terms of settlement filed by the parties. It was agreed that BiCourtney would pay in five installments.
However, Bi-Courtney returned to the court with a motion seeking to enlarge time to comply with the judgment. It also sought an order restraining Aso Savings and its agents from taking steps to take over the property pledged as collateral. But Justice Obadina held that Bi-Courtney’s motion was unmeritorious and frivolous. She said the consent judgment subsists and is enforceable against Bi-Courtney by Aso Savings. Dissatisfied with the ruling, Bi-Courtney appealed and urged the High Court to stay execution of the judgment un-
til its appeal is heard and determined. Ruling on Bi-Courtney’s application, Justice Obadina held that its grounds of appeal contained special and exceptional circumstance; therefore stay ought to be granted, but not unconditionally. She said: “The merit of an appeal is not relevant when considering application for stay of injunction pending appeal. “The grounds of appeal in the Notice of Appeal which contained recondite issues of law in my view constitute special and exceptional circumstance and stay ought to be
granted but not unconditionally as prayed. “In view of the fact that the consent judgment is subsisting and there is no appeal against same, the course of justice demands grant of conditional stay. “I grant injunction pending appeal and a stay of execution on the condition that the judgment-debtor/applicant provides a bank guarantee covering the entire judgment sum of N721, 170, 781. 40k pending the hearing and determination of the appeal against the ruling of this court delivered on June 20, 2011.”
NSA takes seat From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
THE National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) yesterday resumed duty. He held a closed door meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo in his office. He was decked in a grey caftan and a cap to match. Dasuki came in a black Lexus SUV with Abuja number plate: BR 469 KUJ at about 4.30pm and left the Vice President’s office 30 minutes later. He also met with the Chief of Staff to the President. Dasuki declined to talk to reporters. He only asked: “You want to talk to me? Not now, not now”. He was appointed last Friday followinng the sack of Gen. Owoye Azazi. Dasuki was a former Aide De Camp (ADC) to former military President Ibrahim Babangida.
EFCC arraigns car dealer THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned an auto dealer, Mr. Bello Tambuwal of Tambuwal Global Motors Limited before Justice Mohammed Talba of the FCT High Court, Gudu District, Abuja on a onecount charge of criminal breach of trust. The judge ordered the detention of the suspect till July 2 when he will rule on his application for bail. According to a statement by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the accused had purportedly secured a Lincoln Navigator SUV on behalf of Sokoto State Governor Aliyu M. Wammako without paying the agreed sum of N11.5million.
SSS officials remanded for ‘robbery’ AN Akure Chief Magistrates’ Court has remanded two officials of the State Security Service (SSS) in prison custody for alleged armed robbery. The officials, Owolabi Kolawole, 25, and Okunola Kayode, 28, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Igbekele Akinyele on a twocount charge of conspiracy and armed robbery. They were said to have committed the offence with others at large on June 14, 2012 at about 11.30 a.m. at UBA on Owo/Ado Road, Akure. The police accused the two SSS operatives of robbing a car dealer, Peter Charles Denis of his N480,000. The offence, the police said, was contrary to and punishable under Section 402 (1) of the Criminal Code cap 30 Vol. II laws of Ondo State, 1978. The accused pleade not guilty. Kolawole, however, told the court that they went to arrest the complainant, Denis, and he gave them N100,000 so that they won’t take him to their office. When asked by the court what the money was meant for, the accused persons said it was to lobby them not to take the complainant to SSS office.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NEWS VC advises EKSU part-time students THE Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti State University (EKSU), Prof. Patrick Oladipo Aina, has told the students of the part-time programme of the university to continue their examinations, despite the announcement by the National Universities Commission (NUC) suspending such programmes. Prof Aina told reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, that the university has been proactive on parttime programmes. According to him, the university had restructured part-time programmes and stopped admitting fresh students before the NUC announcement. In a statement by the Deputy Registrar (Information), Ajibade Olubunmi, the Vice-Chancellor said existing students of the programmes would complete their studies at the university.
Ondo ACN aspirants resolve differences over candidate
OVERNORSHIP aspirants of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday said they would abide by the decision of the party’s leadership on the selection of a candidate for the October 20 election. This is in contrast to reports that some “aggrieved aspirants” planned to dump the party following the alleged choice of a particular aspirant as its candidate. In a communique issued after an emergency meeting at the party’s secretariat in Akure, the state capital, the chairman of the Aspirants’ Forum, Mr. Sola Iji, said: “All aspirants have agreed to deliberate on the development of our party, especially on the issue of selecting the party’s flag bearer. “All of us have agreed in principle to abide by the decision of the party’s leadership, as maintained from the beginning of our aspiration, that whosoever emerges as the can-
Party seeks support for candidate
HE Ondo State Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Rotimi Agbede, yesterday urged aggrieved members of the party to support the decision of the party’s national leadership on the selection of its flag bearer for the October 20 governorship election. He noted that the party has a hierarchy which its elders used in picking the governorship candidate. The party’s chieftain was addressing members of the Ondo State Coalition Group (OSCG), who were protesting the candidature of former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). The group urged the party’s leadership to pick Dr. Joseph Ajatta Jaiyeola instead. Its Coordinator Ayotunde Okikiola said: “As a group working to sustain good governance with democratic norms and values, we shall resist every form of imposition.” The group’s leader said it is only Ajatta they recognised as a party chieftain who has worked From Damisi Ojo, Akure
didate will be supported by all in the interests of the party.”
From Leke Akeredolu, Akure
throughout the 203 wards and 18 local government areas of the state. He said: “In mobilising, restructuring and building the party to its contestable levels now, Ajatta has supported the party financially for the past one year of rebuilding it and maintaining different groups across the state. “If truly our national leaders are on a mission with all sincerity of purpose to rescue the state from hardship, poverty, degradation and dehumanisation in the hands of the Olusegun Mimiko administration, we call for an immediate return to the status quo.” But Agbede advised the aggrieved group to support the decision of the party’s leaders to ensure that ACN rules the state from next year. He said: “As committed members of ACN, who always pray for the success of the party, we must back the idea of our leaders. If ACN wins the poll, there are lots of benefits for the masses and party members.”
The former party chairman said the aspirants would work for the success of the party in the election.
He said: “We are using this forum to call on party members, supporters and admirers to remain loyal and commit-
Doctors offer free surgery in Oyo • Alaafin hails MEMBERS of the Association of Rural Surgical Practitioners of Nigeria (ARSPON) have carried out a three-day free treatment and free surgery on over 100 patients in Oyo town and neighbouring villages in Oyo State. The doctors, mainly drawn from Oyo and its environs, as well as those from Lagos, under the national presidency of Dr. Charles Agbamu Sagua, treated and carried out surgery on over 100 patients between Thursday and Saturday. Using Momoh Memorial Hospital and Shekinah Medical Centre at Akeetan and Owode in Oyo town, the doctors operated in the following areas: Lipomas and other lumps, including breast lumps, hernias, simple goitres, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts as well as prostate diseases. During the surgery, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, visited both hospitals and praised their doctors for the humanitarian service. He noted that “the government cannot do it all alone”. Oba Adeyemi said: “Anybody who is living in pains and agony is not living a meaningful life. Many have died because they could not afford the cost of surgery. We thank all the doctors and nurses that have volunteered to do this for my people. God will continue to strengthen and protect you.” ARSPON President Dr. Sagua said: “We are happy to be here; to be part of history and to serve you and your people. It is this service and love for you that brought us here, because the Oyo kingdom has history. We know about its rise, ascent and the powerful Aare Ona Kakanfos that have come from this kingdom and have dignified Nigeria. It is the kingdom that we have come to serve and through you, reach our people, the common, unreached and the unmet mekunus (the indigent), as we call them. They constitute 70 to 80 per cent of our population.”
ted to the struggle of ensuring the emergence of an ACN candidate as the next governor.” Iji urged members to shun insinuations that could bring the party into disrepute. He said: “We share the same positive aspiration on the agenda of the party. We have been talking to ourselves on the agenda of the party to unseat the Mimiko administration. We will not at this crucial stage allow all our past efforts to go in vain. We are determined to work assiduously for the victory of the party. “Many of the aspirants were at the meeting. Some sent their apologies for not being able to attend because of other pressing assignments.” They promised their solidarity with the party’s candidate after the primaries to be held soon in Akure.
Cocoa farmers decry alleged plan to divert N3b loans
•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (middle); Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu (right); Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Channels Television, Mr John Momoh (second left); General Manager (Special Duties), Channels Television, Mr. Judo Steve (left); and General Manager (Operations), Channels Television, Mr. Taiwo Akintemi, during a courtesy visit by the management of the television station to the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta...yesterday
Ondo PDP faults workers’ forced rally for Mimiko
HE Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday condemned a rally organised by the state union leaders to support the second term ambition of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. The party alleged that workers were forced by the union leaders to attend the rally following their threat that anyone who failed to attend would be sacked. The PDP noted that labour unions are supposed protect the interest of their members on welfare and not to be forced into partisan politics. Addressing reporters at the party’s state secretariat in Akure, the state capital, the Publicity Secretary, Wale Ozogoro, said the PDP was aware of the government’s pact with some national union leaders to storm the state next month for another rally. According to him, this will give the impression that the ruling Labour Party (LP) government is worker-friendly. Ozogoro alleged that a lot of money was spent to mobilise the
‘NLC’s rally for Mimiko shameful’
KURE lawyer, Morakinyo Ogele, yesterday described the purported solidarity rally organised by the Ondo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s reelection bid as show of shame. Ogele said it was embarrassing that the NLC has thrown caution to the wind by organising a rally for a candidate contesting the October 20 governorship election in the state. He said: “It has never happened in the political history of Nigeria that the NLC mobilised its members and staged a solidarity support for a political party as the Ondo State chapter did in Akure yesterday. “Even more disquieting was the presence of a workers for the rally, adding that they were given free T-shirts, fez caps and cash. He said: “We are not unaware of the funds that have been spent to compromise those who were recruited to behead the unions so unabashedly. The government has spent about N300million to produce the fez caps, T-shirt and mobilisation of the workers for the rally. “Realising that many workers
national officer from Abuja, who presented a sword to Mimiko and urged him to use it to crush his opposition in Ondo State.” The lawyer condemned the solidarity march. He urged the national executive of the NLC to dissolve the Ondo State executive. Ogele asked NLC President to summon the state chairperson, Mrs Daramola, to disclose the amount spent and those who initiated the rally. He noted that the Ondo NLC leadership has always been behaving like a traitor. The activist recalled that during the protest against fuel price increase, the umbrella labour union backed out before the national body called off the strike.
may choose to boycott the arrangement, they (government) decided to mark registers at the venue, and this is with a view to intimidating those that might not want to attend... “This act is an indication of the desperation of the LP government to arm-twist the people of this state to do its bidding at all cost. But this is just an exercise in futility, as it will fail to accomplish its ultimate aim.
“It is a well known fact that workers’ unions are essentially pressure groups that exist only to protect and serve the interest of their members and not permitted by law and convention to be involved in political activities. Aside from this, it is also a known fact that the bulk of workers in this state are civil servants who, by calling and compulsion, must remain politically anonymous.”
EMBERS of the Cocoa Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (CFAN) in Ondo State have decried the Federal Government’s procedure on the disbursement of N3billion loans to their members. They have threatened to sue the government, if it continues to procure chemicals with the money without considering their position. Addressing reporters in Akure, the state capital, the Southwest Zonal Vice-President of the association, Mr. Joseph Ayodele, who was accompanied by the National Secretary, Mr. Adeola Adegoke, alleged that some top government officials were planning to divert the N3billion loans, approved by President Goodluck Jonathan to another purpose. The briefing was attended by representatives of cocoa producing states. Ayodele alleged that the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has not been consulting the farmers on how to apply the loans. The zonal vice-chairman also alleged that the minister has been working with a consultant, indentified as Dr. Peter Aikpokpodion, to meet with agro-chemical sellers. According to him, this is against the procedure for procuring chemicals for farmers. Ayodele said: “We were very happy when President Jonathan disclosed on ‘Democracy Day’ that he had released N3billion for the procurement of chemicals and fertilisers for cocoa farmers. But since then, we have not on any occasion been invited for proper usage of the funds.”
Ekiti elders to Fayemi: don’t be distracted by PDP
KITI State elders yesterday urged Governor Kayode Fayemi to avoid being distracted by what they described as “Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) disgruntled partisanship”. The elders were reacting to a statement credited to the state chairman of the PDP, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, who al-
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
leged that the Fayemi administration has not performed to expectation in the 20 months it has been in power. In a statement by their Chairman, Chief Adegoroye Olayisade, the elders said: “It was a most disappointing wonder that PDP could offer itself
so cheaply for mindless and baseless politicking when Fayemi has made Ekiti an example in all parameters of desirable governance. “While we feel we should not join the bug of political tirading and exchanges, the fact is that most of those who are championing atavistic rottweiler partisanship in the PDP today are
themselves one way or another recipients and beneficiaries of Fayemi’s revolutionary and positive strides in the state. This sickens us to the marrow. “If this is how the PDP wants to play politics, we will be set for a confrontation; if this is what the membership of the PDP can offer as support for the government in the state, we
want to see how they will do it. “The struggle to derail Fayemi and distract the government is a struggle against every Ekiti man and woman anywhere in the world; it is a struggle against decency, commonsense, progress, development, newness, focused reversals and all-embracing poverty alleviation programmes.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
ACN: Jonathan not committed to fighting graft, insecurity T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said President Goodluck Jonathan’s comments on key national issues during his Media Chat programme last Sunday have exposed his administration’s lack of commitment to the fight against corruption and to ending the Boko Haram crisis, among others. The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed yesterday, said: ‘’If that programme had been designed to showcase the President’s ability to grapple with key national issues, it only succeeded in achieving the exact opposite, and the programme’s architects must now seriously have a rethink on whether they want to continue to feature their principal on that platform.’’
Police arrest suspected killer of DIG Ningi From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
HE police in Kano yesterday said they arrested the suspected killer of a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Alhaji Saleh Abubakar Ningi. Speaking to reporters at the Bompai Police Headquarters, the Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said Salihu Goni Amma (alias Kaka) (34) of Rijiyan Lemu Quarters was arrested following intensive investigation. He confessed to be part of the conspiracy that led to the assassination of the late DIG Ningi, Idris said. He stated that upon further investigation, Alhaji Gana Bukar (34) of Rakat Quarters, Hotoro was arrested for allegedly conspiring to assassinate the late DIG, together with others at large. The police commissioner said: “According to Goni, he was the mastermind of the plot. He was very close to the late senior officer and used his closeness to plan and carry out the act. He monitored the late officer in his factory and as he departed the factory, he alerted Alhaji Gana Bukar, who together with one other at large, ambushed the DIG in a block-making industry near the late senior officer’s factory and assassinated him. “It is pertinent to state here that Salihu Goni has very close relationship with the families of the late senior officer. The late DIG has been his benefactor, helping him with money and food items during Sallah celebrations and other festivities. He has been a constant visitor to the family house, severally eating together with them.” According to him, Alhaji Bukar Gana also confessed to the Police that he was behind the killing of a Chief Superintendent of Customs and a State Security Service (SSS) officer, who was murdered last month in cold blood at his residence in Hotoro Tishama quarters. All the suspects have been transferred to Force Headquarters.
It described as unfortunate and poorly-thought-through the President’s exhibition of nonchalance when he said he would not publicly declare his assets, adding that with that statement, the President has undermined his own administration’s fight against corruption and almost wiped off whatever gains have been made by the country in its continuous battle against the vice. The party said: ‘’The President, by refusing to publicly declare his assets, and by doing so with a choice of words that portray arrogance and nonchalance (I don’t give a damn about that), has given the green light to his cabinet members and other government officials to downplay the fight against corruption and to eschew transparency. ‘’Yes, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not mandate public officials to make their assets declaration public. But in a country hobbled by corruption and lack of transparency in governance, public declaration of assets is more an issue of morality and leadership than constitutionality or legality.
In a country hobbled by corruption and lack of transparency in governance, public declaration of assets is more an issue of morality and leadership than constitutionality or legality
‘’Since leadership is key to achieving success in this epic battle, President Jonathan, by thumbing his nose at his own administration’s much-stated commitment to transparency and anti-corruption, has simply decreed an Open Sesame for corruption and opaqueness in government,’’ ACN said. The party said equally disturbing is the President’s statement that because Boko Haram is faceless, the government cannot engage in talks
aimed at ending the daily dosage of maiming and killing being given to innocent Nigerians by the sect. ‘’Mr. President, if this remains the stand of your administration almost three years into the Boko Haram insurgency, then Nigerians are in serious trouble. This stand is as dangerous as it is ill-informed. Such negotiations are done through back-channels, through intermediaries, Mr. President. Waiting for the leaders of Boko Haram to come to the table to negotiate with the government is like waiting for Godot.’’ The party said the statement has confirmed the speculations in some circles that the Jonathan Administration is not sincere about ending the Boko Haram crisis, because it is being increasingly seen by the President as his trump card for a second term in office. It has also confirmed the President’s own admission that Boko Haram has infiltrated his administration, in which case it is now possible that he is being advised by fifth columnists within his government on how to end the crisis!
The party said: ‘’But we will like to tell Mr. President that when the Western allies, led by the US, decided to talk to insurgents either in Iraq or Afghanistan, supposed facelessness of the insurgency was not a condition for initiating the talks. In any case, when the intermediaries brokering “The talks with Boko Haram recently opted out due to alleged government insincerity and leakage of sensitive information, what did your Administration do, Mr. President, to get the intermediaries back to the table?” The party expressed shock at the President’s justification of his trip to Brazil when his country was in the throes of violence. ACN said: ‘’As we said earlier, Mr. President, that trip was a product of poor and uncaring leadership, pure and simple. Leaders elsewhere rush home from foreign trips when crises occur in their home countries. In our own case, Mr. President, you had not even taken off when the killings and counter-killings started. Yet you travelled out, a huge entourage in tow, under the guise of assuring some gullible investors. Somebody somewhere is not telling you the truth, Mr. President!’’
Senior citizens mourn Olusola THE Senior Citizens Association of Nigeria (SCAN) yesterday condoled with the family of the late Chief Segun Olusola. The association, in a statement by its chairman, Primate Ayoola Omonigbehin, and its media director, Apostle Segun Orebela, said the deceased touched many during his lifetime. The association prayed to God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss. It said the late Olusola contributed immensely to the development of broadcasting, journalism, art and culture. The association said: “We are going to miss him very much. In fact, the artists’ community has been rocked by his death. He was a rally point manner. It is sad and we are going to miss him. Olusola lived art, believed in it, and gave all to its development. We will miss him as a reservoir of wisdom, fountain of cultural knowledge, and as a reference personality. But our solace is that Baba Olusola left a legacy that will outlive him. His contributions to the sector will remain indelible in the annals of history. He was a leader in his
own right and very articulate.”
Angry residents disrupt PHCN operations in Onitsha •Officials accused of extortion From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside (middle), Deputy Chairman Yusuf Galambi and a member of the committee, Sule Garo (left) at the investigative meeting on the Petroleum Equalisation Fund in Abuja ... yesterday
Man accused of killing banker wife collapses in court T HE testimony of Akolade Arowolo, who is facing trial at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja for allegedly killing his banker wife, Tititaalyo, was cut short yesterday. Reason: he collapsed in the dock, forcing Justice Lateefa Okunnu to stand down the matter to enable him take his medication and rest. Before the collapse, the court heard that a foremost pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa carried out some tests on Arowolo before his arraignment. Inspector Benson Ajie, a prosecution witness, told Justice Lateefa Okunnu that Akolade was taken before the Lagos Chief pathologist at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital(LASUTH) because of the nature of the wounds found on him at the time of the murder of his wife, Titilayo. Inspector Benson Ajie told the court that the defendant, while being interrogated, told him that he and his late wife struggled with a knife and
By Adebisi Onanuga
that this was responsible for his wounds. The witness, who was being led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, before Justice Lateefa Okunnu at the resumed hearing of the matter, added that Akolade also told him that he jumped from the balcony of their home down to the ground floor on the day of the incident. Akolade, he said, told him that this was responsible for his limping. Akolade, 31, who claimed to be a youth pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), is facing trial on a one-count charge of allegedly stabbing Titilayo to death at their 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos home. Inspector Ajie told the court that he took Akolade to two hospitals - the Police Clinic at Panti and the Falomo Police Hospital for treatment because the defendant had
some deep open wounds on his palm and navel area. He added that Akolade made three statements while he was being questioned by him on June 27, June 30 and July 4, 2012. The statements were admitted as exhibits P48 – P50. The witness also tendered, the letter of authority appended by Akolade for the release of his car to his father and which was admitted as Exhibit 51. In answer to a question by Akolade’s counsel, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, Inspector Ajei said he was not in position to determine whether Akolade’s pictures and that of his wounds were taken during investigations. Another prosecution witness, Sergeant Bayern Cletus, an Investigating Police Officer at Aswani Police Station, told the court Tuesday that he was at the house of the couple on the day of the incident. Cletus said when he visited
the residence of the deceased in Isola, he met Titilayo’s body on the bed with her face up. He added that she was in a pool of her blood “with a deep cut on her breast and stab wounds on her right eye as well as several bruises on her face and neck”. “The whole apartment was very rough and scattered”. Justice Okunnu adjourned further hearing till tomorrow.
FOR the second time in less than a week, angry residents from East Niger community have disrupted the activities of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in Ogbaru Business District. The development followed a peaceful demonstration they staged in the early hours of yesterday. Chanting anti-PCHN slogans, the protesters defied the early morning drizzle and stormed the PHCN office as early as 7.30am. They carried placards bearing inscriptions such as: “We don’t want fixed billing anymore, it is suicidal”; “We have been paying for services we did not enjoy”; “Nnaji, please save us from PHCN extortion” and “We want prepaid meters or no more bills”, among others. The protest caused a heavy gridlock as vehicular and human movement were stalled for more than two hours. President-General of the East Niger Community Development Union Chief Ernest Ojimba, who spoke for the aggrieved power consumers, said the protest was to register their grievances against alleged extortion by PHCN officials. According to him, officials of the company have been fleecing the consumers through estimated billings, lamenting that a consumer is billed as much as N7, 000.00 per month. He said: “ The practice of staying in the comfort of their offices and randomly send out bills is criminal and we will no longer tolerate it.” The Ogbaru Business District Manager of the PHCN, Chijioke Uzoeto, could not reached for comment as the combined team of policemen and the company’s security personnel denied reporters access to his office.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
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Lagos Assembly wants immunity for heads of legislatures, judiciary
HE Lagos House of Assembly yesterday adopted a proposal seeking to extend the Immunity clause to heads of the legislative and judicial arms of government. The proposal was made at plenary by Hon. Bisi Yusuf (Alimosho 1) during the deliberation on the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly. Yusuf said for the same reason that the immunity should be retained for Presidents and governors, as advocated by Governor Fashola during the public hearing last Friday, the gesture should also be extended to other arms of government. “There are three arms of government and if the head of one arm is enjoying immunity, the heads of the other two should also be granted immunity. I am therefore proposing that President of the Senate, Speaker of House of Representatives and Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly be granted immunity by the constitution that we are at the process of amending,” he said. “One arm should not be singled out for immunity because just like the head of the executive could be distracted by unnecessary summons and litigation, heads of the other two arms could equally be distracted especially considering the fact that lawmaking is a serious busi-
By Oziegbe Okoeki
ness.” Hon. Segun Olulade agreed with Yusuf in his argument that it is the legislature that actually provides the platform on which the executive operates. “It will also be odd for the Chief Judge of Lagos, for instance, to be summoned to appear in the court when she is the head of all the courts in the state. So this is the right time to corerct some of these wrongs in our constitution,” Olulade said. In his contribution, Assembly Speaker, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji said the three arms of government are to work independently and none is expected to play second fid-
dle to any other. “It can even be said that the legislative arm is first among equals because it makes the law to be executed by the Executive and interpreted by the Judiciary,”. “If obstacles can be put on the legislative’s way, then the other two arms cannot be expected to do their best. If the Chief Judge can be summoned to any court that he or she is supposed to head, how would it look like? The legislature is even, more self regulatory than other arms; the same reason for retaining immunity for the executive goes for the head of other arms of government,” Ikuforiji said. The proposal was subsequently adopted by the House.
•Abule-Egba on the outskirts of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway experiencing a traffic jam as a result of flooding after the rains... yesterday PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI
Terrorism, exam malpractices now I criminal offences in Lagos
T is now a criminal offence in Lagos State to impregnate a woman and abandon her, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Ade Ipaye said yesterday. Also the state has abolished offences like bigamy, sedition, defamation and infanticide. These, Ipaye said, are contained in awareness and sensitisation programmes on the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 and Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2011. The law created offences,
By Adebisi Onanuga
such as terrorism, cheating in examinations, money laundering and allied offences, especially aggravated offences, unlawful harassment of debtors, unlawful conversion of public property, unlawful interferences with property and new sexual offences. “Any person who impregnates a woman or girl
and fails, refuses or neglects to contribute to maternity related cost from ante-natal or post-natal stages is guilty of an offence under Section 277 of the criminal law of Lagos State and is liable to face the wrath of the law,” he said. Ipaye said it is the governments responsibility to ensure that people are well aware of the laws. Ignorance of the law, he said, would not be an excuse for non-compliance. According to him, what informed the review was the fact that some of the laws in existence before now were outdated. The review is to reflect current realities as the old Crimi-
nal Code has become inadequate in addressing the challenges of contemporary criminality. Ipaye said: “We are in a democratic dispensation, which means that we should carry everyone along and the way we put out our laws should be different from that of the military.” Ipaye said the law was enacted to provide rules on criminal conduct, regulate public order and other connected purposes, adding that it repeals and replaces the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State Cap.C17 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003, first introduced in Southern Nigeria in 1914 by the British Colonial
Government. He said the law was a departure from the old criminal code that focused only on the imposition of custodial sentences and fines, adding that the new law provides for other forms of punishment, including compensation, restitution, community service orders and probation. “We have a society that is changing, certain crimes which were unknown in the past have grown, which is why the legislators have to keep reviewing our laws to respond to societal changes and promoting the consciousness of the society about what government is doing,” Ipaye said.
Man, 29, arraigned for alleged theft
29-year-old man, Moses Fasomo, has been arraigned at Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos Island, for allegedly stealing N900, 000 belonging to Omowunmi Sulemon. The defendant was charged with conspiracy and stealing. He pleaded not guilty. It is an offence punishable Under Section 285(7) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011. The prosecuting counsel, Philip Osijale, a police sergeant, said that the defendant was a sales boy Sulemon. He said that Moses was arrested along side Adedeji Adeniji who is said to be the brother. Adedeji said he was approached by the plaintiff that she needed a sales boy and that was why he brought the defendant to her. He also said that she em-
By Fisayo Ige
ployed him and was paying him N15, 000 monthly and N200 for feeding daily. Osijale told the court that the complainant owns a shop at Oke Arin, Lagos Island where she sells toiletries . Sulemon claimed that she gave the defendant the money to pay for their supplier, but later got a call from the supplier that she did not get the money. She said she called Fasomo and he said he was on his way to pay the money, which he never did. According to her, efforts to get Easomo on his mobile phone proved abortive and he was not seen at home either. Sergeant Osijale said that the accused wrote in his statement that they keep money in a drawer in the shop and he takes money to buy goods
every two days, but he noticed that each time he goes to fetch money in the drawer some amount would have been stolen. He said he didn’t bother to tell his boss or his brother, but that he was covering up by using the money meant for other items to pay for the missing amount. He also said that N300, 000 was missing from the N900, 000 he kept in the drawer that was meant for the supplier and that was why he ran away to Ondo State to hide. The Magistrate, Mrs F.O Aigbokhaevbo, granted the defendant bail of N500, 000 with two sureties. The sureties must be gainfully employed in Lagos State with tax clearance and a home address to be verified by the police. The matter was adjourned till July 9.
Exhibition to create network in Lagos
N exhibition, which will afford organisations and business community the opportunity to showcase their new and existing products, will hold in Lagos from 24th to 26th August, 2012. The exhibition is organised by Reli Communications, a strategic Marketing/ PR consultancy outfit in conjunction with the Catholic Church of Presentation, where the exhibition will hold. According to Emma Anyagwa, the outfit’s Principal Partner, the exhibition is
By Segun Balogun
“designed to open an opportunity to meet the collective needs of a large segment of the catholic community.” He said participants at the exhibition will include “heads of parish councils, high net-worth people, schools, societies and organisations, health communities, and families.” He therefore called on the manufacturing, banking, telecommunication, and food and beverage industries to “exploit this opportunity for greater benefits”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NEWS THE BATTLE FOR EDO
•Participants at the debate...yesterday
Candidates present manifestos at debate
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday shunned a debate organised in Benin City by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) for deputy governorship candidates. The debate, moderated by Nancy Iloh, was organised to give parties the opportunity to tell voters their programmes and policies. No reason was given for the absence of the PDP candidate, Johnson Abolagba. Party sources last night that it was a party decision not to attend any debate for the governorship candidate and his deputy. The Labour Party (LP) and National Conscience Party (NCP) also stayed away from the debate. Four parties presented their candidates for the debate. They are Pius Odubu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); Felix Konomoore of the All Nigeria Peoples Party
Stories by Osagie Otabor, Benin
(ANPP); Paul Oyarenua of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Isaac Ogona of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP). The candidates answered questions from a three-man panel, consisting of senior reporters selected by NEDG. They spoke on issues ranging from sports, housing, agriculture, infrastructures and their party manifestos. Odubu said the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole has revived the economy of the state. He said they were seeking re-election to consolidate on the gains they have recorded and not to give room for the state to be retarded. On why local councils election have not been conducted in the past three years, the deputy governor
said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be blamed for not providing a credible voters register. He said the Oshiomholeled administration embarked on aggresive tax drive to boost the Internally Generated Revenue which he said was presently N1.5billion monthly on average level. “In Edo South, 33 roads have been completed, seven in Edo North and five in Edo Central and many are ongoing. We want to create new towns to stop rural urban drift.” ANPP ‘s Felix Konomoore, who described himself as a visioner, said industries will be created in each local government to attract foreign investment and Public Private Partnership. Konomoore said dead in-
dustries will be revived in the state for the purpose of job creation, adding that new refineries would be built. He said agriculture would be made to be the bedrock of Edo economy, adding that they would introduce free qualitative primary and secondary education and pursue vocational education. Paul Oyarekhua of the CPC said power generation would be increased to 7000 megawatts. He said electricity and water would be provided to rural areas, saying it takes vision to achieve projects in the state. The SDMP candidate, Isaac Ogona said Oshiomhole has performed well but put it at one per cent performance. He said the SDMP administration would encourage farmers to form cooperatives for loans benefit as well as build cottage hospital in all local governments.
More support for Oshiomhole
FORMER Deputy Senate President and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Albert Legogie, has pledged support for the re-election bid of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Legogie said his decision was based on the governor’s performance. He spoke at a political meeting in Ekperi Grammar School, UgbekpeEkperi. Legogie said he is backing Oshiomhole irrespective of
•PDP, LP, NCP absent
party affiliation and sentiments. The former Deputy Senate President said the governor’s achievements are unprecedented, despite the lean finances of the state. He urged the people to shun party and tribal sentiments and vote for Governor Oshiomhole on the basis of his performance. Legogie said: “In modern politics, action, performance and the burning desire to serve the people are the in-
dices for choosing a leader. “Governor Oshiomhole has demonstrated clearly and in practical terms that he can match his words with action. “Do not mortgage your conscience for peanuts. The governor has to come on board again for a second term to enable him complete the good job that he has started.” The Igiegbai of Ekperi Kingdom, Deke Yakubu Kanoba, said the area has
been neglected and lacked development until the coming of the comrade governor, who ushered in massive transformation into the locality. “The unborn child will be happy with what Oshiomhole is doing, we have to reciprocate on July 14. “There is what is called appreciation and you can show appreciation for that person to do more because Allah says: “If you are thankful to me, I will give you more”.
Airhiavbere promises to revive industries
EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Maj-Gen Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) has pledged to revive ailing industries, including the stateowned Agbede/Warreke Farms located at Etsako West Local Government Area. Airhiavbere, who spoke at a campaign rally at Agbede, said the decision to revive the industries is part of efforts to provide employment for the youth as well as boost agriculture. The PDP candidate said the need to restore agriculture was because the state was known for its large scale agricultural produce in the past. His words: “Edo State is practically without industries, those established years ago have been allowed to rot away by successive admin-
istrations. “The state has no means of employment for its teeming youth, what would you expect? “Governance is all about the people, so if the youth who would take charge of the affairs tomorrow are not
being considered in decision making and other activities that affect them positively, you are pushing them to the wall. It could lead them to crime. “That has led us to the state of insecurity in this state today. All these have
to change in our time. Our programmes are channelled towards youth’s development.” PDP State Chairman Dan Orbih told the people that a PDP-led government would create equal opportunities for Christians and Muslims.
Be transparent, group urges INEC
HE Pan-Igbo sociopolitical group, Committee 21 (C21) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure transparency in the governorship election in Edo State. The group’s president, Senator Annie Okonkwo, said the commission must ensure there is no repeat of the “drama” of the last governorship poll. He said: “This is why I
honestly believe that INEC must use the July 14 election to transparently atone for the pain the people suffered then, by making sure the outcome of this one reflects their candid electoral choice and preference. “Given the increased violence after elections, INEC must work to make sure Edo, the heart beat of our bleeding nation, is spared this viral subculture of violence and social disharmony.”
Okonkwo said the group would not sit idle and watch INEC deny the people their choice. He added: “C21 cannot sit by quietly and allow electoral rape. This is why INEC must deploy responsive and responsible creativity to ensure this is not the case in Edo now and in Anambra come 2014. “As the nation focuses its attention on Edo, the chance to get it right must not be missed again.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NEWS Group raises fund for Osun community’s health care
GROUP, Egbe Omo Obokun of Ijesaland, has launched a fund to service health care in the Ijesa community of Osun State. Governor Rauf Aregbesola was represented by Mr. Wale Idowu, a director at the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC), at the event held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. President of the group Ayo Odeyemi said the fund-raiser was the culmination of a six-month plan to turn around the health service delivery system in Ijesaland. Among the hospitals to benefit from the fund is the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa. Odeyemi noted that the hospital has a rich history, adding that its 212-bed facility would be refurbished to bring it up to standard. The group’s chairman said individual and group donors would be immortalised with personalised engraved bricks installed in the hospital’s walkways to aid safe movements of patients and beautify the hospital environment. A United Nations (UN) consultant, Dr, Amos Aduroja, gave a lecture on health care delivery in Ijesaland.
Aregbesola extols virtues of senator’s wife
SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has described the wife of Senator Ayo Fasanmi, Mama Felicia Fasanmi, as an amazon the wives of contemporary political leaders have a lot to learn from. Mrs Fasanmi clocks 80 today. Aregbesola noted that the octogenarian has supported her husband, “a pharmacist of repute, a politician of the progressive stock and a leader of the Afenifere group” for decades. In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the governor said Mama, as she is fondly called, “is worthy of celebration for attaining her present age, especially after her contributions to her husband’s landmark political achievements”. Aregbesola said wives of politicians in Nigeria have a lot to learn from Mrs Fasanmi because “the avarice, lack of commitment to the welfare of the populace and others could be prevented if politicians’ wives maintain very positive influence on their husbands”.
Vanguard holds children’s conference
HE fourth Vanguard children’s conference, organised by Vanguard Newspapers, will hold tomorrow at the Agip Recital Hall of MUSON Centre, Lagos. The conference’s theme is: Child Abuse: Enforcing the Child’s Rights for a Peaceful Nation. Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and the governor’s wife, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, are expected at the event. The yearly conference draws the attention of governments, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders to the plight of Nigerian children. It also creates an awareness, monitoring and implementation of the Child Rights Law in Nigeria. Highlights of the event include the induction of participating children as Anti-Child Ambassadors. The inductees are expected to champion the crusade in their schools for better monitoring and implementation of the Child Rights Law.
•From left: Members of the Harvest Committee of the Catholic Church, GRA, Ikeja, Mrs Nike Ogunlesi and Tessy Asiru; associate priest, Rev. Andrew Osuagwu; 2012 Harvest Chief Launcher, Mr Fabian Oneazim-Neme; parish priest, Rev. Ethelbert Ukpabi; Harvest Secretary Clara Chizea; and Chairman, Harvest Committee, Chief Charles Ogunlesi, at the church’s harvest nad thanksgiving service. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID
New projects to solve Lagos housing challenge, says Fashola
AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday inspected the ongoing construction of new housing projects under the state’s Ownership Mortgage Schemes (HOMS). The governor noted that the completion of the projects would solve housing challenges in the state. He told reporters after the inspection that the delay in flagging off the projects was due to insufficient housing projects. According to him, the mortgage scheme will make it possible for many residents to own their homes. Fashola said the existing social housing schemes are located in strategic parts of the state to
By Miriam Ndikanwu
enable occupants of the homes have access to the infrastructure and amenities the government is providing. He said: “This is one of the housing components. We have gone to three sites. At the Ilupeju site, we have 10 blocks of buildings, with each block having 12 apartments. Essentially, that will house 120 households. That of Mushin has five blocks. The one in Ikeja GRA has about 76 apartments for 76 households. There are so many others in other parts of the state. “What we are just doing is to monitor how much progress the contractors are making and
when they are going to finish, preparatory to the flag-off of the Lagos HOM schemes. “The flag-off is not as important as ensuring that the houses are ready. If you flag off the schemes and there are no homes, it is not right. We keep advertising. You know we will not do that. We are more committed to deliver the houses, and once we start, it will be sustained.” The governor explained that the decision to pay special attention to Power, Agriculture, Transport and Housing (PATH) informed the decision of the government to make it the fulcrum on which the discussions at the last economic summit revolved.
“This is the housing component of that. You have seen what we are already doing in agriculture in the past few weeks in Ikorodu, Epe, Imota and so on. You could also see across the state constant lighting of our streets. We are making progress on the various Independent Power Projects (IPPs) for Ikeja, Lekki and Alausa.” Commissioner for Housing Bosun Jeje said when the housing projects are completed, they would be given out on mortgage to be amortised within 15 years. The commissioner urged prospective home owners to take advantage of the scheme to own their homes.
No going back on council poll, says Ogun electoral body
HE Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) yesterday said it would conduct the July 21 local government election, notwithstanding a court’s pronouncement seeking to put the poll on hold. The electoral body noted that though nominations were received from two factions of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), only nominees or candidates from Chief Ireti Oniyide, the state Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, would participate in the poll. The Oniyide group is be-
•‘ACN has no factions’ From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
lieved to be loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday restrained the electoral body from taking further action on the council poll, pending the hearing of a contempt proceeding against some chieftains of the PDP. The restraining order was obtained by the Adebayo Dayoled State Executive Committee. Addressing reporters yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, the Chairman of the Screen-
ing Committee for OGSIEC Mr Mutiu Agboke said the commission has been contending with challenges of misjudgment and misinterpretation of issues by political parties. He said OGSIEC would abide by the directive of the PDP national secretariat on which of its candidates should be accepted for the poll. Agboke said OGSIEC was determined to conduct the election, adding that there is no order that the body should not conduct the poll. In a letter by its National Sec-
retary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and addressed to OGSIEC Chairman, the PDP drew the commission’s attention to a Court of Appeal, Lagos ruling on Monday. It urged the commission to relate with the Oniyide-led Caretaker Committee on the poll. The letter reads: “As you are aware, the Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos, has, by its recent ruling, granted a stay of proceedings in a matter brought before it by some people opposed to the decision of the National Working Committee of the PDP to endorse candidates fielded for the forthcoming local government election in Ogun State.
Osun promises to increase agric funding
SUN State commissioners and Special Advisers in the Rauf Aregbesola administration yesterday visited the 1,600-acre farm at Ife-Odan under the Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP) for an onthe-spot assessment of work done on the project. The government promised to accelerate the funding of the project for the development of agriculture. Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Wale Adedoyin, conducted his colleagues round the farm. He said the visit justified the efforts of the government and confirmed the strong case he had been making at the state Executive Council (Exco) meeting. The commissioner said the
•Commissioners, others inspect QIIP farm government is preparing cribs, warehouses and other storage devices to prevent wastages and glut. Adedoyin explained that the Aregbesola administration is talking to large scale users of maize to absorb the bumper harvest expected from the farm this year. He urged private investors to tap into the opportunities, which the governor is offering them to launch the state into prosperity and development. The farm is located at a hitherto dense forest in Ejigbo Local Government Area. The highly elated commissioners who represented other cabinet members included Mr. Sunday Akere (Information and Strategy), Mrs. Mofolake
Adegboyega (Women Affairs and Social Welfare), Ms. Mobolaji Akande (Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr. Kolapo Alimi (Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs), the Director General of the Bureau of Social Services, Mr. Femi Ifaturoti and Special Advisers. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs. Mofolake Adegboyega expressed delight at seeing the success story of QIIP arising from the passion of Governor Rauf Aregbesola adding that she would make a special case for increased government support for farm. She advised critics and pessimists to visit the QIIP farm site to witness the fulfilment of Aregbesola’s pact with the resi-
dents at ensuring food security and banishing poverty from the state. After conducting the inspection which lasted more than three hours, the commissioners spoke in unison and concluded that the farmers needed urgent support to prevent failure of their maize crops. Explaining the rationale behind the project, the Coordinator of QIIP, Mr. Dele Ogundipe stated that the IfeOdan farm was proposed for yam planting from August but currently used for planting maize to prevent it from being overgrown with weeds. According to the QIIP chief, the farm has been allocated to 22 farmers’ cooperative societies at 50 acres each.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
BUSINESS THE NATION
Despite the ongoing Accident Investigation Bureau (AIG) investigation it became clear from the public reaction to the Dana Accident that there was a need to assure the public that the FG was committed to maintaining a high level of aviation safety in the country. - Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation
Nigeria to raise N134.5b in treasury bills
Okonjo-Iweala sends subsidy report to Presidency
From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor
HE Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday received the verification report on the arrears of claims on petroleum subsidy for 2011. A reliable source in the ministry told The Nation confirmed this said she has despatched it to the Presidency. The source was, however, silent on the content of the report. The Committee, headed by Aig Imokhuede, was set up in May, this year to determine the claims by petroleum products importers and marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the payments made on the alleged importation. Following the failed attempt by the government to remove fuel subsidy in January, this year, there have been several probes into the activities of petroleum marketers and allegations that some marketers were either over paid for the importation of fuel into the country or they received foreign currencies to import fuel but never did. It is alleged that the Aig Imoukhuede committee discovered significant discrepancies running into hundreds of billions of Naira from the claims made by oil marketers.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil - $123.6/barrel Cocoa - $2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold - $1,800/troy ounce Rubber - ¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES
Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL
0.2958 206.9 245 156.4 1.9179 241 40.472
• Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu(right); Head, Security, Shell, Gbenga Jegede and Senior Business Advisor, Iyke Ndubuisi, during a publc hearing on illegal oil bunkering at the National Assembly, Abuja ... yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
Oil subsidy: Tambuwal vows to deal with culprits S PEAKER of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has vowed to deal with those indicted in the oil subsidy probe, saying the House would not succumb to any blackmail. He said since the commencement of the investigation, a campaign of calumny, blackmail, name calling and lies has been directed at members of the lower chamber. Tambuwal spoke yesterday in Asaba, Delta State at a public lecture organised to mark the first year anniversary of the inauguration of the state’s fifth assembly. He urged the lawmakers not to lose sight of its complementary role of the threearms of government to facilitate the running of government. He reminded the leadership of the various legislative houses to perform their statutory functions without fear. While assuring of cthe ontinuous harmonious relationship between the legis-
• Nigeria loses $8b to illegal oil bunkering
From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba and Dele Anofi, Abuja
lature and the executive, he said the legislature remains the least understood among the three arms of government. He said efforts would be made to engage in public enlightenment by promoting public attendance of their sessions. He said the legislature has the highest quantum of direct representation with highly sensitive functions touching on the very fabric of the system. His words: ”I charge you to remain focused and never lose sight of the complementary nature of the roles of the three arms of government in order to facilitate the running of government free from avoidable friction.
Make no mistake however, that the functions, duties and powers conferred on you by the Constitution must be performed because they are mandatory and not discretionary.” Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, said the legislative arm represents a broader range of leadership reflected from various constituencies, stressing that it is a misconception that legislative work begins and ends with making laws and oversight functions. He said democracy will continue to grow if the legislative and executive complement each other. Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Victor Ochei, said the lecture was initiated to look at the legislature and shed more light on its role in a fledgling con-
stitutional democracy. Meanwhile, the Nigeria is losing between $5billion and $8billion yearly to illegal oil bunkering. The Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mutiu Sumonu and Tambuwal expressed concerns over the menace, saying the vice is killing the country. Represented by the Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Murktar Mohammed, the Speaker regretted that illegal oil bunkering has assumed an intractable challenge facing the country. He said billions of naira and the security of the nation was at risk, but that it would be in the interest of the country to get rid of it by a long term legislation. He said: “Illegal bunkering is one intractable problem facing us. Several billions of naira as well as security personnel have been lost to the threat. It affects our oil, which is the mainstay of the economy and the earlier we got rid of it the better.
NAICOM: Game up for fake vehicle insurance racketeers
HE activities of fake vehicle insurance rack eteers have hit the rock with the launch of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID), the helmsman National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and Commissioner for Insurance Mr Fola Daniel has said. Daniel, who spoke at the event in Lagos, said the project is a great milestone for the industry, adding that NAICOM would continue to lend its support to projects that will transform the industry. He noted that the industry has come of age and that efforts would be intensified to ensure that public expec-
By Chuks Udo Okonta
tations are met. Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, said the information technology- based project, would facilitate an easy identification of genuine insurance documents. He noted that vehicle owners can verify the authenticity of their policies through Short Messaging Service (SMS) by texting their policy number, vehicle plate number to 33125 (policy No*plate No to 33125). Ladipo-Ajayi enumerated the benefits of the project to
include monitoring and authenticating insurance transactions documents, reducing incidences of fraudulent insurance transactions and policies, especially for motor and marine policies, reducing red tape and corruption by integrating with the vehicle registration system of the FRSC, the police and other relevant agencies and ensuring access to statistical data for effective decision making. He stated that the project will also help develop capacity in NIA to monitor and authenticate underwriting and facilitate information sharing on stolen vehicles through technology-
driven collaboration among relevant agencies. Director-General NIA Sunday Thomas said the customised e-reader gadget to be used by security agents to verify vehicle policies would be distributed in the country.
IGERIA plans to raise 134.56 billion ($827.27 million) in treasury bills ranging from three-month to one-year maturities at its regular bimonthly debt auction on Wednesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said yesterday. It said it will issue 21.84 billion in 91-day paper, 52.73 billion in 182-day bills and N60 billion in 364-day bills next week on June 28. Nigeria, Africa's second biggest economy after South Africa, issues treasury bills regularly to reduce money supply, curb inflation and help lenders manage their liquidity. Dealers said the release of May budget allocations to government agencies would spur demand for the paper, but yields are expected to be mixed.
‘Why revenue generation is poor’ From Osagie Otabor, Benin
ORMER Chairman of the Federal Inland Rev enue Service (FIRS), Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, has identified the absence of a strong revenue generating mind set, neglect of revenue authorities and weak institutions as factors responsible for the country’s weak revenue drive. Mrs Omoigui-Okauru stated that the problem with revenue generation is that Nigeria has an expenditure mindset instead of revenue generation mindset. The former FIRS boss, who spoke in Benin City at the weekend at a reception organised in her honour, said: “There is revenue to be generated everywhere in this country,” adding that a revenue mindset must be entrenched in upcoming generations in the country. “An atmosphere where you get any service in a government office without paying your taxes should never be allowed to prevail because it is inimical to our development as a country. “I am happy when oil price goes down because it will help us to think about strengthening our other avenues of revenue generation. Oil selling at $100 is good, but I don’t even mind if it goes down to $30 per barrel because it will make us think properly. “Anytime governments at the local, state and federal levels announce their budgets for the fiscal year, the focus is always on breakdown, but nobody is asking how the budgets are going to be funded. Funding constitutes taxes, loans and user charges among others. So, the big task for the press is to probe further the funding of government projects,” she added.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012 PUBLIC NOTICE MOUNT DELIGHT DELIVERANCE MINISTRY
The General public is hereby notified that the above ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, No. 1 of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. PASTOR JOSEPH EPKENYOUNG OBO (PRESIDENT) 2. EVANG. ANIETIE BASSY NYAH (SECRETARY) 3. PASTOR SAMUEL GEORGE ETUK (MEMBER) 4. PASTOR FELIX JOSEPH BASSEY (MEMBER) AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To care for the spiritual and physical welfare of members/society. 2) To open educational institutions for the benefit of the less privilege . 3) To promote health services, caring for motherless children. 4) To promote great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ which includes preaching, teaching, healing and baptizing. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, P.M.B, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication.
DCN KONSULT LTD, 08036331297.
PUBLIC NOTICE THIS IS TO NOTIFY THE GENERAL ABOUT AN ACRED OF LAND SITUATED AT BENLAHVILLA AYODELESHITTA/ALHAJI MUKAILA STREET OFF ABOGUNLOKO STREET, IKOTUN, LAGOS. BELONGING TO MR. MICHEAL OSHUNBAYO AND MRS. OLASUNBO OSHUNBAYO. TRESSPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED. BUYERS AND GENERAL PUBLIC SHOULD TAKE NOTE.
BoI, Oyo partner on hydro power plants T HE Bank of Industry (BOI) said it would as sist Oyo State in the provision of small hydro power plants in Omi Adio and Arowomole in Ido and Ogbomoso South Local Government areas. In a statement, Dr. Festus Adedayo, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, said the Managing Director, BoI, Ms. Evelyn Oputu, stated this yesterday during a courtesy call on Governor Abiola Ajimobi in Ibadan. She said this is part of the bank’s contributions to improve power supply in the state. The bank had early this year provided N1 billion to the state to develop small
and medium scale industry, with the government adding N500 million to actualise the programme. This, according to her, is aimed at reducing unemployment and poverty in the state. Ms Oputu assured that government would be assisted to participate in the forthcoming London Olympics. In his response, Governor Ajimobi expressed his administration’s determination to regain the lost glory of the state through its sevenpoint agenda which emphasise infrastructure and hu-
man capital development. He said his administration would leverage on the support of the bank in industrialisation, commercialisation, with priority on small and medium scale industry. Governor Ajimobi, who described the state as the largest producer of cassava in Africa, also solicited the support of the bank for agriculture, especially the production of cassava, rice and starch. He said the state would participate in the forthcoming London Olympics with the Bank of Industry.
PUBLIC NOTICE CHRIST EVERLASTING COVENANT MINISTRY (CHAPEL OF WISDOM) This is to notify the general Public that the above named Church has applied to the Coroperate Affairs Commission (CAC) for registration under Part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEE ARE: 1. Pastor Effiong Edet Effiong - President 2. Evang. Esther Effiong Edet - Vice President 3. Deaconess Rigina Linus Adam - Member 4. Bro. Hezekiah Nwachukwu Nnadi - Member 5. Bro. Mathew Elisha Otoyok - Member 6. Sis. Elizabeth Iniobong Edward - Treasurer 7. Bro. Anietie Umoette James - Secretary THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE CHURCH ARE: 1) To preach, teach, to raise disciples and to propagate the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Nigeria and all over the world. 2) To cater needs of Christ faithfully less privileged in our society. 3) To establish and maintain Churches and missions in and outside Nigeria. 4) To establish and maintain Bible and Religion oriented institution 5) To establish and maintain educational institution at all levels. Any objection to the above registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication.
CHIEF (BARR.) SAMPSON N. WORLU Worlu & Worlu Esteem Chambers 12 Airport Road, Rumuodumaya Civic Centre, Port Harcourt.
PUBLIC NOTICE SKYBLUE HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION This is to notify the general public that the above Foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Abuja, Nigeria for registration under part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES OF THE FOUNDATION ARE: 1. Prince (Engr.) Ramoni Adeniyi Okeowo 2. Hon. Ipoola Ahmed Omisore 3. Jimoh Ishaq Folorunso 4. Chief Durodola Omolewa Kuteyi 5. Adejare Dauda Adelabu. 6. Lateef Orisunmibare Abiodun THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE FOUNDATION ARE: 1) To empower Nigerian youths particularly the less privileged who aspire to go for vocational training. 2) To promote the general interest of Nigerian youths, particularly the less privileged. 3) To help youths develop themselves as well training them to be entrepreneurs. 4) To equip them with the necessary skills, ideas and strategies they need to succeed in the labour market. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar general, Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, within 28 days of the publication. SIGNED: JIMOH. I. FOLORUNSHO
• From left: Consultant to Minister of Agriculture, Chief James Awoniyi; Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed and Managing Director, Ireti Farms, Shonga Farms Holdings, Mr Graham Hatty, during a visit to the Governor in Ilorin.
NAPEP pays N348m allowances From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
HE National Poverty Eradication Pro gramme (NAPEP) has completed the payment of N348 million to over 19,000 households in 27 states for April and May, this year. This is part of the N1.5 billion expected to be disbursed by the end of the year. In a statement, NAPEP’s National Co-ordinator’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Hassan Kobi, in Abuja, assured that the Programme would ensure prompt release of the next batch of payments as they fall due. He said: “The National Co-ordinator NAPEP, Mukhtar Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, has directed states secretaries to ensure the effective monitoring of the entire payment process to guarantee transparency and accountability. In line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, NAPEP is committed to ensuring an effective synergy with relevant stakeholders in the fight against poverty.” He said the National Coordinator commended Akwa Ibom, Kebbi, Bauchi, Anambra, Enugu and Zamfara states for their partnership with NAPEP for the implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer programme (COPE).
NPA retirees protest
HE 1991 retirees of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) yesterday in Lagos protested the non-payment of their gratuity. But NPA management said the money has been paid to them based on the Supreme Court ruling on the matter. The protesters, numbering about 40, converged on the Marina Head office of the the NPA to press home their demand. Addressing reporters on the occasion, the Chairman of the group, Mr Okon Andrew, said in 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in their favour that their gratuity should be paid, but the management did not obey the order. Retirees, who served for less than 10 years and above, have not been paid, he said. “We are worried that 21 years after, nothing has been done in respect of our money and that is why we are here to demand for our right by embarking on this
• NPA pensioners during the protest ... on Tuesday. By Oluwakemi Dauda
peaceful protest. “We urge Nigerians to help us appeal to NPA to pay us our gratuity as ruled by the Supreme Court,” Okon said. But the General Manager, Public Affairs, NPA, Chief Michael Ajayi, debunked the allegation. NPA, he insisted, has since paid the gratuity. “A few days after the judgment was delivered by the apex court, the management of NPA sprang into action by contacting a financial insti-
tution to assist in finding an acceptable figure that would be paid to the retirees. “NPA had to contact the government institution because when they were retired, a level 12 officer working with the authority earns less than N1, 500 per month. “Based on the advice we received from the government approved financial institution, we placed adverts in many dailies, publishing the names of the retirees to intimate them on the need to furnish the authority with their bank accounts, and majority of them complied. And
for those that did not give us their bank accounts on time, we have to publish their names separately, so that none of them would be left out,” Ajayi said. After the screening, NPA then paid the money, he claimed. He wondered why the retirees embarked on the protest after collecting their money. The General Manager, however, advised the retirees to send their representatives to the management of the authority to resolve the matter .
Strike: Nigerite moves to settle workers
IGERITE Limited has taken steps to resolve the industrial dispute with its employees. The workers embarked on a sit-in industrial action to press home their demand for improved condition of service.
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie
A top management staff member of the company, dropped the hint. The source said: “There has been an on-going discussion between the company’s management and
representatives of the workers on welfare issues.” The workers had in a move to press home their demands on welfare, embarked on a sit-in industrial action with a view to attracting management’s
attention to their various needs. Before now, relationship between management and workers had been cordial. They were up and doing during the launch of the firm’s Ten-Point Agenda last year.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
Tax Administration in Nigeria
3.1.5 Federal Executive Council in general and the Federal Ministries of Finance, Education and Information in Particular The Federal Executive Council (FEC) is the highest Federal level decision making body in Nigeria and is responsible for decisions, which impact all levels of Government in Nigeria. In addition, the Minister of Finance who exercises oversight functions on tax and fiscal issues is a member of the FEC.
In this regard, the FEC shall be responsible for approving all matters, which will ensure effective oversight of tax policy and administration. The FEC would be expected to give necessary direction to other levels and tiers of Government in this respect as may be relevant. Tax and fiscal matters shall be treated with priority, given the important role they play in the economic and national development of the country.
· The executive arm of Government is responsible for encouraging voluntary compliance. by taxpayers. An effective mechanism for achieving high compliance is by leading by example as well as by making the most efficient use of the tax revenue collected by the Government. Accordingly, all members of the FEC shall on an annual basis ensure that they fully disclose all sources of income and ensure the right taxes are computed culminating in the publication of their tax clearance certificate by the 30th of June annually. The FEC shall in addition ensure in all of its decisions and actions that tax revenue is judiciously allocated and utilised for the benefit of the entire citizenry. The FEC shall also ensure that on a monthly basis taxpayers are informed of the use to which tax monies are being applied. In this wise, the FEC shall ensure that matters of taxation and revenue generation in general form an intrinsic part of the deliberations and decisions around the annual appropriation budget as well as in discussions at the Federal Executive Council meetings on at least a quarterly basis.
· · ·
The FEC shall co-operate with the Legislature in initiating legislation on tax matters and shall provide the necessary approvals required to speedily implement legislation, which is passed by the Legislature. The FEC shall also ensure a cordial relationship with the Judiciary and that the independence and integrity of the Judiciary is maintained at all times. There shall be co- operation amongst all the members of the FEC in relation to tax and fiscal matters especially with regard to information sharing. All Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies are required to provide and share all information that would assist in the accurate assessment and collection of the relevant taxes. This would include amongst others: a. Having a revenue generation (as distinct from an expenditure) mindset. Strict implementation of tax, laws including overt and explicit support through referrals of major cases to tax authorities (Federal and State) on a continuous basis and integration of tax “psyche” in the day to day business of government b. Ensuring proper assessment, collection and prompt remittance of taxes to designated government accounts. c. Ensuring fiscal compliance of every person that they deal with. d. Ensuring that every database maintained in, government has a compulsory field for the inclusion of the unique taxpayer identification number for every company, enterprise, individual and other registered organisation e. Use of e-payment systems in all transactions inclusive of direct remittance to the accounts of the tax authorities. f. Use of technology and related systems in the way business is done e.g. electronic cash registers, automated land registries, etc and linkage of databases and such systems maintained in government to the Federal and State tax authority databases g. Ensuring tax is a major consideration in the evaluation process of individuals and organisations such that the lack of payment of taxes is seen as an affront on government and a crime. h. Ensuring that all Tax Clearance Certificates and other tax documents used in government transactions are referred back to the relevant revenue authority for authentication. Some specific roles and responsibilities of respective Ministries are as follows: The Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) shall: · Have primary responsibility for tax policy matters, including initiating proposals for amendments to tax laws by the National Assembly. · The FMF shall coordinate all requests from other Federal Ministries and Agencies relating to fiscal issues as would ensure harmonisation of the fiscal policy issues of government. In this regard, no other Federal Ministry or Government agency shall have the right to commit government through the signing of aqreernents, writing of letters, or other communication regarding fiscal policy issues without the authority or consent of the Federal Ministry of Finance. · The FMF and the relevant Government agency, which will administer the tax, shall seek recommendations from the relevant stakeholders to ensure that enactments are regularly reviewed and substantially meet the principles of good taxation and the objectives of Nigeria’s tax system as stated in this document. · The FMF shall partner with the State Ministries of Finance and other State and Local Government agencies to ensure the development of Nigeria’s tax system and a tax culture amongst Nigerian citizens. · The FMF shall in this role, work closely with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Joint Tax Board and the Nigeria Customs Service (in the case of import and excise duties) who have secondary responsibilities to support the FMF on all tax policy issues affecting the country. · The FMF shall support the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Customs Service (in the case of duties) on all tax administration matters as would complement the efforts of those agencies. Such support shall cover amongst others: · Ensuring that taxpayers monies collected are effectively accounted for and judiciously utilised · Communicating to the tax payer the use to which tax payer monies are being put. Demonstrating in action and words that the taxpayer is a priority of government and is well appreciated The Federal Ministry of Education (FME) · Shall provide support to the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in developing a tax culture amongst Nigerians. The Ministry through its relevant organs shall be responsible for ensuring the inclusion of taxation in the curricula of Nigerian educational institutions from primary to tertiary institutions based on a cradle to grave concept. The Federal Ministry of Information (FMI) · Shall provide support to the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in carrying out public enlightenment campaigns on tax and revenue matters affecting the country. It shall support the process of providing accurate and timely information flow to Nigerians on all tax and revenue matters
• ALHAJI KABIR MOHAMMED MASHI, AG. EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, FIRS
“Given that the NCS is made up of distinguished and experienced persons such as former Presidents and Chief Justices of the Federation, current State Governors, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the National House of Assembly, it is expected that the NCS would provide deep and varied insight on the matters upon, which it would be called to advise the President.” decided at the Federal Executive level. In this regard, it shall cooperate with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities to obtain the required information for dissemination to the public. 3.1.6 State Executive Council in general and the Ministries of Finance, Education and Information in particular The State Executive Council (SEC) shall play a role similar to that of the Federal Executive Council as the highest decision making body at State level. In this regard, it shall be responsible for approving all matters pertaining to policy development as well as the implementation and enforcement of taxes at State and Local Government levels. It is also expected to give the necessary leadership and direction to Local Governments in respect of revenue generation matters. Tax and revenue matters shall be treated with priority, given the important role they play in the economic development of the States. The SEC shall co-operate with the State Houses of Assembly in initiating legislation on tax and revenue matters, which are within the jurisdiction of the State Houses of Assembly and also provide the necessary approvals required to implement legislation, which is passed by the House of Assembly. The SEC shall ensure a cordial relationship with the judiciary and that the independence and integrity of the Judiciary is maintained at all times. There shall be co-operation amongst all the members of the SEC in relation to revenue matters. All State Government (SG) Ministries, Departments and Agencies are required to provide and share all information that would assist in the accurate assessment and collection of the relevant taxes. This would include amongst others: a. Having a revenue generation (as distinct from an expenditure) mindset. b. Strict implementation of tax laws including overt and explicit support through referrals of major cases to tax authorities (Federal and State) on a continuous basis and integration of tax “psyche” in the day to day business of government c. Ensuring proper assessment, collection and prompt remittance of taxes to designated government accounts. d. Ensuring fiscal compliance of every person that they deal with. e. Ensuring that every database maintained in government has a compulsory field for the inclusion of the unique taxpayer identification number for every company, enterprise, individual and other registered organisations f. Use of e-payment systems in all transactions inclusive of direct remittance to the accounts of the tax authorities. . g. Use of technology and related systems in the way business is done e.g. electronic cash registers, automated land registries, etc and linkage of databases and such systems maintained in government to the Federal and State tax authority databases h. Ensuring tax is a major consideration in the evaluation process of individuals and organisations such that the lack of payment of taxes is seen as an affront on government and a crime. i. Ensuring that all Tax Clearance Certificates and other tax documents used in government transactions are referred back to the relevant revenue authority for authentication. Some specific roles and responsibilities of respective Ministries are as follows: The State Ministry of Finance (SMF) · Shall have primary responsibility for tax policy matters at the State level, including initiating proposals for amendments to tax laws by the National. Assembly (in the case of Federal tax laws) and the State House of Assembly in the case of State and LG tax laws).
The SMF shall coordinate all requests from other State Ministries and Agencies relating to fiscal issues as would ensure harmonisation of the fiscal policy issues of the State and Federal Government. In this regard, no other State or Local Government, Ministry or State or LG Government agency shall have the right to commit the State or Federal government through the signing of agreements, writingof letters, or other communication regarding fiscal policy issues without the authority or consent of the Federal and State Ministry of Finance The SMF and the relevant Government agency, which will administer the tax, shall seek recommendations from the relevant stakeholders to ensure that enactments are regularly reviewed and substantially meet the principles of good taxation and the objectives of Nigeria’s tax system as stated in this document. The SMF shall partner with the Federal Ministry of Finance and other State and Local Government agencies to ensure the development of Nigeria’s tax system and a tax culture amongst Nigerian citizens. The SMF shall in this role, work closely with the State Board of Internal Revenue as well as the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Customs Service (in the case of import and excise duties). Support the State internal Revenue Service, Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Joint Tax Board, and the Nigeria Customs Service (in the case of import and excise duties) as the case may be on all tax administration matters as would complement the efforts of those agencies. Such support shall cover amongst others: Ensuring that taxpayers monies collected are effectively accounted for and judiciously utilised Communicating to the tax payer the use to which tax payer monies are being put Demonstrating in action and words that the taxpayer is a priority of government and is well appreciated
The State Ministry of Education (FME) · Shall provide support to the State and Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in developing a tax culture amongst Nigerians. The Ministry through its relevant organs shall be responsible for ensuring the inclusion of taxation in the curricula of educational institutions in the State from primary to tertiary institutions based on a cradle to grave concept. The State Ministry of Information (FMI) · Shall provide support to the State and Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in carrying out public enlightenment campaigns on tax and revenue matters affecting the country. It shall support the process of providing accurate and timely information flow to Nigerians on all tax and revenue matters decided at the State Executive level. In this regard, it shall cooperate with the State and Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities to obtain the required information for dissemination to the public. 3.1.7 Local Government Chairmen Local Government Chairmen are Chief Executives at the Local Government level and they would be responsible along with the Local Government Councils for the implementation and enforcement of tax laws at the Local Government level. They would be responsible for oversight functions on the local government revenue authorities and provide leadership and direction to these authorities. Local Government Chairmen shall also be responsible for liaison with the State Ministries of finance and the State Houses of Assembly with respect to revenue matters, which are within the jurisdiction of the State or Local Governments. They should also ensure adequate funding and staffing of revenue authorities at the Local Government level. Local government Chairmen in the State shall ensure there is close cooperation between local governments on all revenue matters and ensure eliminate of multiple taxation Local Government Councils Government Councils shall be responsible for the collection of revenue at the local government level as provided in the Fourth Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution and the control and regulation of such other matters as they are empowered to. They may also carry out such other functions as may be conferred on them by the State House of Assembly. With respect to revenue generation, it is expected that the local government councils shall carry out this function in strict adherence and compliance with the relevant legislation as may be enacted by the State House of Assembly. When required the local government councils shall through the local government chairman approach the State Houses of Assembly to enact such laws as may be required for the efficient and effective discharge of their functions. Local government councils shall co-operate amongst themselves to ensure the elimination of multiple taxation at the local government level. In addition, all Local Government (LG) Departments and Agencies are required to provide and share all information that would assist in the accurate assessment and collection of the relevant taxes. This would include amongst others: a. Having a revenue generation (as distinct from an expenditure) mindset. b. Strict implementation of tax laws including overt and explicit support through referrals of major cases to tax authorities (Federal and State) on a continuous basis and integration of tax “psyche” in the day to day business of government c. Ensuring proper assessment, collection and prompt remittance of taxes to designated government accounts. d. Ensuring fiscal compliance of every person that they deal with e. Ensuring that every database maintained in government has a compulsory field for the inclusion of the unique taxpayer identification number for every company, enterprise, individual and other registered organisations. f. Use of e-payment systems in all transactions inclusive of direct remittance to the accounts of the tax authorities. g. Use of technology and related systems in the way business is done e.g. electronic cash registers, automated land registries, etc and linkage of databases and such systems maintained in government to the Federal and State tax authority databases h. Ensuring tax is a major consideration in the evaluation process of individuals and organisations such that the lack of payment of taxes is seen as an affront on government and a crime. i. Ensuring that all Tax Clearance Certificates and other tax documents used government transactions are referred back to the relevant revenue authority for authentication.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
Agro-processing firms get N73b loan A
GRICULTURAL processing companies have secured a N73.99 billion loan under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. CBN is implementing the scheme. Giving a breakdown of the performance of banks under the scheme, the CBN said they have been given agro-processing firms enough consideration since 2009 when the scheme began. Lenders, CBN said, have disbursed N142.53 billion out of
By Akinola Ajibade
N200 billion earmarked for the scheme. It noted that 18 banks have participated in the scheme since inception, adding that the banks have disbursed funds to 195 beneficiaries in various agricultural value chains. The banks, it said, financed 76 agricultural processing projects with N73.99 billion, 90 agricultural productions, N45.6 billion, 16 marketing projects (N15.31 billion), storage projects (N5.9 billion) and input supplies (N1.7 bil-
lion). CBN said: “With regards to the value of funds released, processing accounted for 52 per cent, followed by production which accounted for 45.6 per cent of the value of enterprise financed. These were followed by marketing, storage and input supplies which registered 15.31 per cent, 5.9 per cent and one per cent.” According to CBN, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has released N30.257 billion to privately owned agro firms, FirstBank Plc (N15.973 billion), Skye Bank Plc
(N9.217 billion), Ecobank Nigeria Plc( 2.67 billion) and Fidelity Bank (N2.575 billion). Others are First City Monument Bank (N0.583 billion), Guaranty Trust Bank (N4.55 billion), Citibank Nigeria Limited (N1.5 billion), Diamond Bank (N1.9 billion), and Stanbic/IBTC (N11.162 billion). Also included are Sterling Bank (N4.579 billion), Union Bank (N12.543 billion), Access Bank (N9.256 billion), Unity Bank (N16.776 billion), Wema Bank (N0.715 billion), Zenith Bank (N15.755 billion), Mainstreet Bank (N2 billion) and Enterprise Bank (N0.335 billion).
Former President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr Emmanuel Ijewere, said banks are yet to advance credit to the sector. He said the sector is still under-funded, in spite of various initiatives taken to make it more productive. The CACS was established by the CBN in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. The N200 billion was raised through the issuance of FGN Bond by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in two tranches. Loans made under this scheme are at single digit interest rate subject to a maximum of nine per cent.
FirstBank floats Young Savers Account
IRSTBANK has created a special savings account for those who are 18 years and below. Tagged: ‘FirstBank HiFi Young Savers Account,’ it allows the young to become financially independent and secured early in life. The bank, in a statement, said the account is designed to inculcate a savings culture among youths. It said by imbibing the habit, “the tendency to grow up with the right financial skills is high.” On the modalities for operating the account, the bank said it could be opened and operated for a child from birth until such a child attains the age of 18 years. Thereafter, the beneficiary is at liberty to convert the account to a cur-
rent or savings account. According to the bank, intending operators, are expexted to open the Hifi account with N5,000. Account holders are entitled to gift packs on the respective child’s birthday, a customised welcome pack” when the account balance reaches N50,000 and eligibility for a N1 million raffle draw on account balances from N750,000 and above,” the statement said. The Hifi account is also eligible for cash collaterised loan of up to 80 per cent of account balance, which could be converted to a chequing account when the young saver attains 18 years of age. It could be used as Standing Order for the payment of school fees.
‘Data quality to enhance Basel II Accords’ • From left: President, West African Union of Tax Institutes (WAUTI), Rasaq Kunle Quadri presenting a plaque to the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Beyond Luc Adolphe Tiaho during the union’s visit to Burkina Faso.
CBN, telcos partner on cash-less banking T
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and telecommunication firms are working together to ensure the success of cashless banking. Speaking on efforts by regulators and stakeholders to ensure that the cash-less project works, Managing Director, Unified Payments System, Agada Apochi said telecommunication firms have been supportive of the policy. In a statement, the Bankers’ Committee said the policy needs centralised back office operations and alignment of information technology standards across the industry for its implementation. The implementation of these initiatives will impact positively on industry cost structure, which banks are expected to ultimately pass on to their customers by way of lower charges. In terms of infrastructure, the committee said CBN is working
By Collins Nweze
with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and telecoms operators to ensure that there are dedicated communication links for the Point of Sale (PoS) system. PoS, it said, is key to successful implementation of the cash-less banking initiative, adding that it is secured. “If the PoS or mobile phone is stolen, the money for the user is safe as the devices do not hold the money,” it said. To make the platforms secured and reliable, the Committee said all PoS must have a minimum of two SIMs from telecommunication operators, even as there is a minimum of 24 hours battery life, and sometimes, car charges are attached.
line with its developmental roles in the economy. The draft was prepared by a German-based consultancy firm, Messrs Roland Berger in collaboration with the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), Lagos. CBN has, therefore, solicited for inputs from the public to enable it finalise the document. The CBN said commercial and other banks need to be key partners in its drive for financial inclusion, even if for reasons of enlightened self-interest. In this context, there is a need to take a different approach to bank charges and fees to customers. It advised banks to bear financial inclusion considerations in mind in developing business
forward-looking financial institutions. According to him, challenges of implementation continue to pose barriers to its full usage by concerned institutions. Basel Accord, analysts said, is a set of agreements set by the Basel Committee on Bank Supervision (BCBS), which provides recommendations on banking regulations in regards to capital market and operational risk. The Basel II is to be fully implemented by 2015 and focuses on three main areas, including minimum capital requirements, supervisory review and market discipline, which are known as the three pillars.
Settlement Account: CBN pegs clearing benchmark at N15b
... targets 20% unbanked by 2020 HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is planning to reduce the percentage of the unbanked population by 20 in year 2020. The apex bank said, in a statement, that its target is to reduce the percentage of adult Nigerians excluded from financial services from 46.3 per cent as at 2010 to 20 per cent by 2020. The aim is to enable them access financial services, engage in economic activities and contribute to the economic development of the country. To achieve this, the apex bank has developed an Exposure Draft on Financial Inclusion Strategy for the banking sector. The banking watchdog said the step is in
HE implementation of Basel II Accords will require banks and other financial institutions to address the issue of data quality, Head, Risk Management Practice, H. Pierson Associates, Dhananjoy Misra has said. He said availability of data, data history and quality have to be checked and balanced at every stage of implementing the accord. Misra spoke during a breakfast session on Basel II on the theme: Basel II Implementation - Strategic benefits, Challenges and Solutions. He said the programme will provide some of the best initiatives for effective risk management for
models and products. The CBN said financial inclusion, alternatively characterised as ‘access to finance’ has been defined as ‘universal access at reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services to everyone needing them, provided by a diversity of sound and sustainable institutions.’ Going forward, the apex bank said it will synthesise the schemes and programmes of stakeholders in the area of financial inclusion; establish weaknesses and causes of failure of these programmes and how to address them; define work and action plans of stakeholders to address financial inclusion in Nigeria.
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will only maintain a Settlement Account for a bank that provides clearing collateral of not less than N15 billion worth of treasury bills. This is contained in a Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade and Exchange guideline posted on the CBN’s website. CBN said achieving the benchmark gives a bank the right to engage in clearing and settlement operations. Besides, such a bank will have the ability to offer agency facilities to other banks and settle on their behalf, nationwide. It will equally have a branch network in all the CBN locations. The guidelines will be reviewed from time to time. It said banks that meet the specified criteria will continue to be designated as “Settlement Banks”. This implies that non-settlement banks, called “Clearing Banks” will continue to carry out clearing operations through the settlement banks under agency arrangement.
By Collins Nweze
Agency arrangements will be mutually agreed between the Settlement Banks and the Clearing Banks but both institutions will continue to maintain Current Account, RTGS-Settlement Account, and CRR Account, with the regulator until directed otherwise. The CBN also advised banks to limit financial system risk by encouraging the use of electronic based transactions. It also retained the maximum limit on cheque payments at N10 million per transaction. Payments in excess of that value will be consummated only through the e-payment mode. The apex bank said it will continue to finetune policies and ensure implementation of the guidelines issued for the promotion of government supplier payments, person-to-person (P2P) payments, salary and pension payments, tax payments, consumer bill payments, stored value and prepaid cards, among others.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
INVESTORS Nigerian equities lag behind global stocks T
HE average return at the stock market has fallen below average returns in major advanced and emerging global stock markets, raising fears that the Nigerian market might underperform the global equity recovery for the second consecutive quarter. Latest comparative returns analysis showed that average returns in the South Africa and Ghana stock markets more than doubled that of the Nigerian market while return at the Egypt stock market was some 26 percentage points above Nigeria’s benchmark return. Average returns in major advanced economies, excluding United Kingdom and France, also outpaced Nigeria’s return with the United States of America (USA)’s Standard & Poors’ 500 Index posting a year-to-date return of 5.40 per cent. The comparative return analysis made available by FSDH Securities showed that Nigeria’s benchmark index- the All Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), posted a year-to-date return of 2.98 per cent as against average returns of 7.97 per cent and 6.77 per cent posted by the ASIs of JSE Stock Exchange of South Africa and Ghana Stock Exchange. Egypt’s Cairo Sen Gen Index recorded year-to-date return of 30.63 per cent. Also, USA’s NASDAQ Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) returned 9.75 per cent and 2.91 per cent. Germany’s Dax Index showed a positive return of 7.54 per cent while Japan, India and Hong Kong recorded 4.36 per cent, 10.21 per cent and 4.51 per cent. However, Nigeria outperformed
Stories by Taofik Salako
many markets including the United Kingdom, which benchmark FTSE 100 Index recorded a marginal negative return of -0.11 per cent. France’s CAC 40 Index also posted a return of -1.44 per cent while debttroubled Spain recorded -19.97 per cent. The was the worst performing market, according to comparative trading data for the period ended June 21, this year. While most market pundits remained optimistic that the Nigerian stock market would close the second quarter with positive return, comparative return analysis appeared to be falling into the first quarter performance trend when Nigeria fell behind global stock recovery. Nigeria’s benchmark index had returned -0.38 per cent in the first quarter in contrast with healthy recovery by major markets during the period. DJIA and S & P 500 had closed the quarter with their best performance since 1998 while the Nasdaq fared better with return that outperformed other comparable quarters. The S & P 500 closed first quarter with some 12 per cent gain. Also, Japan’s Nikkei returned some 19 per cent gain, its best first quarter in 24 years. Meanwhile, analysts at FSDH Securities said the Nigerian equity market could still deliver positive average returns of more than 13 per cent for the current financial year. According to analysts, equities were still favoured by the prevailing macroeconomic and market conditions to deliver better returns
this year. Analysts outlined that the primary factors that would drive the equities market included the attractive valuation in the market, adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) and the import substitution strategies of the government, which is expected to
lead to more retention of investible funds within the local market. Besides, analysts said the relative stability in the foreign exchange market and government’s efforts at jumpstarting critical infrastructure will boost investors’ confidence. “We believe that there are op-
portunities in the market both for capital appreciation and dividend earnings. The market situation demands that investors identify large capitalised stocks with a track record of good dividend payments that still have potential for both capital appreciation and dividend payment,” FSDH noted.
•From left: Executive Officer, Networks for AfriBusiness ExpertEase, Manz Denga with Mr Ruhakana Rugunda, Minister of Information & Communication Technology, Uganda, at the National Bank of Commerce, Uganda (NBCU) Annual General Meeting in Uganda.
SEC to start ‘fit-and-prosper’ tests for operators
ECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) will soon begin inspection of stockbroking firms and other capital market operators to ascertain their compliance with regulations. Its Acting Director-General, Mr Ibrahim Bello, has directed the audit of operators as one of the strategies to restore investor confidence and block loopholes that could undermine the market stability. Besides, the new SEC leadership has also resuscitated the registration meeting for consideration and licensing of new individual and institutional operators. Both the audit and new registration were part of a comprehensive
strategic plan of the new SEC leadership to stabilise and restore the growth of the capital market. The two regulations - registration and inspection - had been suspended for over a year.
Bello, who has been meeting with capital market operators and stakeholders, has intimated them of the immediate take off of inspection and registration. The inspection, according to SEC
‘Both the audit and new registration were part of a comprehensive strategic plan of the new SEC leadership to stabilise and restore the growth of the capital market. The two regulations - registration and inspection - had been suspended for over a year’
sources, would include the capital adequacy, compliance with trading, accounting and reporting rules and framework for market operations. The inspection would provide input for measures by SEC, which has warned that it would sanction erring operators. At the meetings with operators, the acting director-general reiterated his commitment to firm and fair regulation of the market. While soliciting for the support of the market operators and their input on how to move the market forward, Bello warned that operators should put their houses in order or get sanctions. “Our quick win strategies would include those strategies that would
restore investor confidence in the market as well as bring more investors,” Bello said. He reiterated that his priority was to stabilise the capital market and put it on the path of growth again. He assured that SEC would collaborate with stakeholders in the market, noting that the commission would start its repositioning with some quick-win strategies. He added that the commission would embark on investor education to ensure that investors know their right and adopt better ways of investing in the market to further protect their investment. He added that a well-educated investor is a well-protected investor.
Access Bank Gross earnings N54.782b Profit after tax N11.907b Resort Savings & Loans Gross earnings N960.736m Profit after tax N165.540m Trans-Nationwide Exp Gross earnings N170.342m Profit after tax N40.568m GT Assure Gross premium N9.525b Profit after tax N1.241b Pharma-Deko Turnover N454m Profit before tax N10m Eterna Turnover N56.413b Profit after tax N859.734m Consolidated Hallmark Ins Gross premium N4.110b Profit after tax N511.564m
MRS Oil Nig Turnover N76.804b Profit after tax N1.068b Transcorp Total income N2.658b Profit after tax N1.507b Evans Medicals Revenue N1.619b Profit after tax N64.656m AIICO Ins Gross premium N2.561b Profit after tax N344.406m GSK Nig Turnover N6.756b Profit after taxation N580.824m Abbey Building Society Gross earnings N1.300b Profit after tax N217.537m Regency Alliance Gross premium N1.300b Profit after tax N303.777m
Forecasts Q3 Sept 2012 Total Nigeria Turnover N54.466b Profit after tax N1.804b Red Star Express Turnover N2.888b Profit after tax N200.557m Cadbury Nig Turnover N9.873b Profit after tax N735m Okomu Oil Turnover N2.176b Profit after tax N667.068m Continental Re Turnover N10.028b Profit after tax N1.207b Livestock Feeds Turnover N1.379b Profit after tax N51.654m IEI Gross Premium N4.250b
Profit after tax N533.898m Cornerstone Ins Premium Revenue N919.418m Profit after tax N41.002m Skye Bank Gross earnings N99.710b Profit after tax N13.933b CCNN Turnover N3.683b Profit after Tax N402.165m Custodian & Allied Gross Premium N8.540b Profit after tax N1.345b UPDC Turnover N10.274b Profit after tax N1.002b Nestle Nig Turnover N28.850b Profit after tax N4.014b UACN
Turnover N48.313b Profit after tax N4.611b Julius Berger Turnover N125.541b Profit after tax N3.993b Diamond Bank Gross earnings N27.315b Profit after tax N3.107b Oando Turnover N123.207b Profit after tax N2.967b Presco Turnover N2.400b Profit after tax N613.760m Berger Paints Turnover N976.303m Profit after tax N88.258m Oasis Ins Turnover N450m Profit after tax N63.894m
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION INVESTORS
SEC Board never asked for extension, says Minister
INISTER of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has debunked insinuations from some quarters that the Senator Udoma Udo Udoma-led Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), whose tenure ended on June 15, 2012, was lobbying for extension. In a statement by Paul Nwabuikwu, Senior Special Assistant to the Finance Minister, she stated that contrary to the impression created by some reports that the immediate past board of SEC was forced to quit, the board served meritoriously until its statutory mandate came to an end. She affirmed that the board never sought for extension of its tenure. “Contrary to some media reports, which have suggested that the immediate past Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission was forced to wind up against its will, the Board made no request for an extension of its
tenure,” the statement stated. In the heat of the board’s resolution to send the commission’s Director-General, Ms Arunma Oteh, on compulsory leave, it was reported that the Finance Minister had sacked the SEC Board, having declined to grant its request to have its tenure extended beyond June 15. On Monday, June 11, 2011, SEC board had passed a resolution to send Oteh on compulsory leave in order to allow for an unfettered investigation into several allegations against her management, including the commission’s Project 50 programme. Ms Daisy Ekineh, the then outgoing Executive Commissioner (Operations), was appointed Acting Director General. Erstwhile SEC’s Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Bolaji Bello has since taken over as Acting Director-General following the expiration of the tenure of the board, which included the chairman and the executive commissioners.
•Deputy Governor, Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka flanked by Mr Deolu Ijose (left) and Commissioner for Finance, Mr Dapo Kolawole, during a courtesy call by UBA executives on the Deputy Governor in Ado-Ekiti.
Unilever vs PZ Cussons: Different sides of conglomerates
NILEVER Nigeria Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc are two of the largest conglomerates in the stock market. Large manufacturers and marketers of many similar home and personal care products, both parade several international brands and are ranked within the topmost bracket of the fast moving consumer good (FMCG) industry. PZ Cussons Nigeria and Unilever Nigeria shared many things including business model, foreign ownership and management thoughts. Both operate highly diversified business models. While PZ Cussons Nigeria complements its business with a vibrant home appliances segment, Unilever Nigeria flavours its business with its vibrant seasoning brands. However, in terms of size, PZ Cussons Nigeria is the larger of the two companies with assets base more than twice that of Unilever Nigeria. PZ Cussons Nigeria’s equity funds quadrupled that of Unilever Nigeria. Besides, while Unilever Nigeria runs the normal Gregorian calendar year as its business year, PZ Cussons’ business year runs from June to May. Latest audited reports and accounts of the two companies showed Unilever Nigeria leading the conglomerates’ fundamental contest in key indices. From sales growth to actual profit and returns, Unilever Nigeria dominated the chart, though substantial recovery also placed PZ Cussons on better footing. Sales Generation Unilever Nigeria grew sales by about 17 per cent in 2011, building on modest top-line growth of 5.2 per cent in 2010. These indicated average annual growth of 11.05 per cent in the past two years. However, PZ Cussons Nigeria’s sales recovered from the contraction in 2010 to achieve modest growth in 2011. Total sales rose by 5.1 per cent in 2011 as against a marginal decline of two per cent in 2010. These showed average growth sale of 1.55 per cent over the two-year period. PZ Cussons’ performance obviously fell below its peer, in both year-on-year growth and recent averages. Profitability Unilever Nigeria witnessed significant improvements in profitability in 2011 to push its average annual growth further ahead of its
FACTS TO FACTS
Turnover growth Gross profit growth Pre-tax profit growth Gross margin Pre-tax profit margin Net profit growth Return on Assets Return on Equity
5.1 6.7 1.3 28 12.1 -1.5 11.6 12.7
Cussons 2010 % -2 -8.2 4 27.6 12.7 10 13.5 13.7
Unilever Average % 1.55 -0.75 2.65 27.8 12.4 4.25 12.55 13.2
Pre-tax profit margin (PZ)
By Taofik Salako
competitor. As against a marginal growth of 0.35 per cent in 2010, gross profit rose by 14.7 per cent in 2011. Profit before tax also tripled from a growth of 8.7 per cent in 2010 to 29.8 per cent increase in 2011. Net profit jumped by31.3 per cent in 2011 as against a marginal growth of 2.2 per cent in 2010. Although gross profit margin dropped from 37.3 per cent to 36.6 per cent, pre-tax profit margin improved from 13.1 per cent to 14.6 per cent. On the other side, PZ Cussons Nigeria showed a mixed performance with substantial recovery in gross profit but decline in pretax profit. While gross profit rose by 6.7 per cent in 2011 as against a decline of8.2 per cent in 2010, profit before tax recorded 1.3 per cent growth in 2011 as against four per
cent in 2010. Gross profit margin improved from 27.6 per cent to 28 per cent. However, pre-tax profit margin fell below two-year average of 12.4 per cent to 12.1 per cent in 2011 compared with 12.7 per cent in 2010. Net profit dropped marginally by 1.5 per cent in 2011 as against 10 per cent increase in the previous year, indicating average growth rate of 4.25 per cent. On the average, Unilever Nigeria led the peers with average gross profit growth of 7.53 per cent as against -0.75 per cent for PZ Cussons Nigeria. Compared with PZ Cussons’ modest average pretax profit growth of 2.65 per cent, Unilever Nigeria’s pre-tax profit growth averaged 19.25 per cent over the past two years. While PZ Cussons has growth net profit by an average of some 4.25 per cent over the past two years, Unilever
Turnover growth Gross profit growth Pre-tax profit growth Gross margin Pre-tax profit margin Net profit growth Return on Assets Return on Equity
2011 % 16.9 14.7 29.8 36.6 14.6 31.3 24.7 56.8
2010 Average % % 5.2 11.05 0.35 7.53 8.7 19.25 37.3 36.95 13.1 13.85 2.2 16.75 23.7 24.2 50.2 53.5
Pre-tax profit margin (Unilever)
Nigeria’s net profit has grown by annual average of about 17 per cent over the years. Underlying fundamentals of Unilever Nigeria were also stronger with average gross and pre-tax profits margins of 36.95 per cent and 13.85 per cent compared with 27.8 per cent and 12.4 per cent annual average recorded respectively by PZ Cussons Nigeria. Actual Returns Meanwhile, both companies continued to sustain positive returns. However, PZ Cussons Nigeria recorded declines in both returns on total assets and equity. Return on total assets dropped below twoyear average of 8.65 per cent to 8.3 per cent in 2011 as against 9.0 per cent in 2010. Actual return on shareholders’ funds also slipped below average from about 14 per cent in 2010 to about 13 per cent in 2011.
On the other hand, Unilever Nigeria improved returns to their highest level in recent years in 2011. Return on total assets improved from 23.7 per cent in 2010 to 24.7 per cent in 2011 while return on equity increased from 50.2 per cent in 2010 to 56.8 per cent in 2011. Unilever Nigeria’s average annual returns on assets and equity thus stood at 24.2 per cent and 53.5 per cent compared with PZ Cussons Nigeria’s 12.55 per cent and 13.2 per cent. The Bottom-line Against the background of the sluggish, Unilever Nigeria appeared to have found working strategies to expand top-line growth and deepen profitability. PZ Cussons Nigeria also shown appreciable recovery the past year, though its performance was largely tepid.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Egypt stumbles forward
Good start •More Nigerians should benefit from the National Heritage site initiative T is certainly welcome news that the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, (NCMM), has decided that the tombs of three of Nigeria’s former leaders, General Murtala Muhammed, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, as well as the historical site of the Oloibiiri oil well are to be declared National Heritage sites. General Muhammed was military Head of State for six months (between 1975 until his death in 1976); Dr Azikiwe was the country’s first President while Alhaji Tafawa Balewa was the country’s first Prime Minister. They were buried in Kano, Onitsha and Bauchi, respectively. On its part, Oloibiri is a small community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State where oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria on January 15, 1966. No one can credibly fault the decision to make these places National Heritage sites. These three leaders as well as Oloibiri occupy prominent positions in the country’s history. But then, there are critical questions that must be asked as regards, particularly, the preservation of the tombs of key political figures as National Heritage sites. Should this gesture be reserved only for political leaders who occupied formal positions at the national level? Can any credible, accurate and valid history of Nigeria be written without mentioning the roles of such figures as Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Ladoke Akintola, Dr. Michael Okpara, Herbert Macaulay, Mallam Aminu Kano, Chief Anthony Enahoro, General Sani Abacha, Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Dr. Dennis
Osadebey, General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, Adaka Boro, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo or even Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, to mention just a few? In the preservation of a nation’s historical memories, partisan, sectional, or sectarian judgements about the role of the individual should be relegated to the background. Our duty should be to preserve the records as they are and let future generations draw the appropriate conclusions. Beyond the political terrain, should the tombs, artefacts, relics and documents of great Nigerians like Comrade Michael Imoudu, Dr. Tai Solarin, Professor Pius Okigbo, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Professor Ayodele Awojobi, Chief Rotimi Williams, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Chief Henry Fajemirokun, Chief Adeola Odutola, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, Professor Claude Ake and Dr. Bala Usman, among hundreds of others, not be preserved for posterity? We agree with the Head of Department of Monuments, Heritage and Sites at the NCMM that the commission has “the power to declare monuments because of their standing value in the areas in which they are found”. Indeed, the commission, which has already established and maintained 65 monuments nationwide and is currently working on 24 sites to make them fit for National Heritage status, has been doing a reasonably commendable job of fulfilling its mandate. However, this task is too sensitive and daunting to be concentrated in one centralised institution in a complex and diverse polity like
ours. The challenge for the NCMM, therefore, is to work with public and private sector organisations at all levels to institutionalise in our society the culture of keeping and preserving records and documents of historical value by individuals and groups. One of the key reasons for establishing the Antiquities Commission and the Federal Department of Antiquities, which were merged to become the NCMM in 1990, was to facilitate cultural education to foster unity and understanding among Nigerians. But how can this objective be achieved when most Nigerians are completely unaware of the National Heritage sites established and maintained by the commission? There is thus the need to more effectively publicise the activities of the NCMM to generate greater interest in these sites and thus promote historical knowledge, cultural integration and tourism.
‘This task is too sensitive and daunting to be concentrated in one centralised institution in a complex and diverse polity like ours. The challenge for the NCMM, therefore, is to work with public and private sector organisations at all levels to institutionalise in our society the culture of keeping and preserving records and documents of historical value by individuals and groups’
Commonsense, from abroad •Declaration of assets makes more sense when done publicly HE problem of official graft has become a recurring decimal that defies antidote within the nation’s establishment. The country, sadly, continues to manifest deliberate laxity in the management of the public till, creating in the process, unusually wealthy public officers, to the detriment of national development. But wise counsel has come from the United States (U.S.) that is calling on elected and senior public officials in the nation to publicly declare their assets. At a recent Nigeria-US Bi-national Commission (BNC) meeting in Washington, the focal point during its Governance, Transparency and Integrity working group closed-door session was on how to help restore accountability and probity among Nigeria’s public officers. Maria Otero, US under Secretary, who
‘The country, sadly, continues to manifest deliberate laxity in the management of the public till, creating in the process, unusually wealthy public officers, to the detriment of national development. But wise counsel has come from the United States (U.S.) that is calling on elected and senior public officials in the nation to publicly declare their assets’
represented Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, reportedly enjoined the Nigerian delegation to tell its government to take with seriousness, public declaration of assets by elected and senior public officers. Abdullahi Yola, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Ibrahim Lamorde, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were among those who represented Nigeria at the meeting. The U.S. has a culture of respect for its laws and serious consequences for breach by public officials. For example, its president and other elected and senior public officials routinely release their income statements on a yearly basis in particular, while filling their yearly taxes. But the same cannot be said of Nigeria where, despite constitutional provisions in that regard, most elected and other senior public officers still treat assets declaration as top secret, even with the passage of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. The 1999 Constitution (as amended) under the Fifth Schedule, Part 1, Code of Conduct for Public Officers is quite explicit on what lawful requirements from public officers on the issue of assets declaration are. It provides in Section 11.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every public officer shall within three months after the coming into force of this Code of Conduct or immediately after taking office and thereafter (a) at the end of every four years; and (b) at the end of his term of office, submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written
declaration of all his properties, assets, and liabilities and those of his unmarried children under the age of eighteen years. (2) Any statement in such declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorised in that behalf to verify it shall be deemed to be a breach of this Code. (3) Any property or assets acquired by a public officer after any declaration required under this Constitution and which is not fairly attributable to income, gift, or loan approved by this Code shall be deemed to have been acquired in breach of this Code unless the contrary is proved. Unfortunately, these provisions of the constitution have been observed more in the breach than adherence while even the existence of FoI Act has not in any way mitigated the craze for acquiring, at public expense, stupendous wealth by public officers. So bad is the situation that government is being run in secrecy waning public confidence as no one can claim to have seen published audited accounts of the federation. The situation must change for good. It is sad that the nation has to wait for a foreign country to tell it this bitter truth. The situation of Nigeria being derided abroad due to official lust for graft, can only stop if elected and senior public officers show unalloyed respect for the Constitution and imbibe the culture/ values of transparency in the running of national affairs. As the US undersecretary of state has said, it is not just a matter of assets being declared in secrecy, this should be done publicly.
GYPT HAS taken another halting step toward democracy — and avoided a plunge into chaos. By recognizing the victory of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi in a presidential runoff election, the ruling military has sidestepped the unbridled domestic conflict and international censure it might have provoked had it tried to void or manipulate the voting results. For the first time in its history, Egypt has a freely elected president. Whether that development becomes a foundation to build on or a prelude to further destabilization in the Arab world’s most populous country will depend on whether the military and Islamists can find a modus vivendi based on democratic principles. Unfortunately neither has so far shown a sufficient willingness to do so. Having initially announced that it would neither seek a majority in parliamentary elections nor nominate a candidate for president, the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party did both. Using the leading position in parliament it won, it tried to dominate the selection of a constitution-writing committee, causing the process to break down. The ruling military council and other remnants of the former autocratic regime under Hosni Mubarak have been far more destructive. After Mr. Mubarak’s ouster last year, the generals failed to restore public security or protect minorities such as Egypt’s Christians, mismanaged the economy, and repressed secular liberals, including nongovernmental groups funded by the United States. As the presidential runoff approached, the council issued an edict stripping power from the presidency, while judges appointed under the Mubarak regime ordered the dissolution of parliament. Martial law was restored. Many Egyptians feared that the military would complete a creeping coup by awarding the presidency to former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq despite clear evidence that he lost the June 17 vote to Mr. Morsi. That this did not take place may reflect an accommodation in behind-thescenes negotiations between the two sides. The Obama administration also probably contributed positively by urging the military to respect the election results and hinting that U.S. aid might be at risk. The United States should now press the military to hand over full governing power to Mr. Morsi’s new administration by June 30, as it pledged to do, and to refrain from curtailing his tenure. A diverse and fully representative body is needed to immediately begin work on a constitution that will consolidate a democratic rule of law, including civilian control over the military. A fairly elected parliament must be seated. For that to happen, the Muslim Brotherhood probably will have to make some concessions to the military. More important, it will have to build a broad alliance of pro-democracy forces, reassure Christian and secular Egyptians, and set aside most of its ideological agenda. Egypt still has a chance to complete a democratic transition, but it will require more mature political behavior by all sides. Strong encouragement by the United States — particularly to the recalcitrant generals of the old order — can help. – Washington Post
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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
IR: At the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of Wednesday, June 13, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, alerted the nation of imminent economic recession suggesting we should probably brace for austerity as though Nigerians have had life easy in recent times. Madam Iweala’s ministerial alert is stale news and further demonstrates that the ruling class is grossly out of sync with grueling realities Nigerians experience daily. Her warning is a ninety-ninth hour prediction of prolonged harsh reality on ground. Consequently, the indices on which her economic intelligence is founded are flawed and mocks the former World Bank chief’s Harvard degree. Since the discovery of Black Gold in 1956 at Oloibiri, Rivers State, Nigeria has been steadily dipping into economic recession because our agricultural
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Okonjo-Iweala missed the mark on the economy sector that fueled a buoyant economy through exports and provision of sufficient consumables for domestic use was neglected to pursue crude oil exploitation by the cabal recycling themselves in power. With time, the economy became monolithic, agricultural exports ceased, we began to import everything- even food, and life became progressively tougher for the common man as a once thriving economy went into economic lullwhat economists like Iweala call recession. But even an economic nov-
ice knows excessive imports leads to imbalance of trade and portends economic foreboding for a consumerist state. In case our dear Dr. Iweala is of the opinion that Nigeria is only tethering on the borders of economic recession, she should think again. The juntas of Olusegun Obasanjo and Muhammadu Buhari respectively initiated Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) and Green Revolution. Both were attempts to revamp the country’s moribund agricultural sector and rescue the nation from
the claws of imports and recession. Babangida’s infamous Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) was an International Monetary Fund (IMF) austerity condition for loan his government wanted to secure to plug economic deficiencies. Unfortunately, Okonjo-Iweala seems to have forgotten our long romance with economic recession hence her goof. Dr. Iweala considered only her economic figures not economic predicament of Nigerians. We have been told the economy grew by
Oke-Ogun deserves the proposed Oyo varsity
IR: The plan of the Oyo State government under the able leadership of Senator Abiola Ajimobi to establish a separate University for Oyo State is a welcome development. The government deserves accolades from all wellmeaning people. However, the only reservation I have about the proposed university is the site. Oyo State government proposed to site the University in Ibadan, the state capital, by converting the campus of the Polytechnic, Ibadan to the university. The governor cited lack of fund or huge fund, about five billion, which is required to provide infrastructure in the proposed university as the reason for converting the Polytechnic Ibadan which has all necessary infrastructure. As good as the reason proffered by the government is, I still believe fund could still be raised by the good people of Oyo State to provide the needed infrastructure in a virgin land, if the government so wished. I could recollect that every community in the old Oyo State contributed fund for the take-off of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. If this could be done, I think the University, could be sited in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State going by the role of the area as the food basket not only of Oyo State, but South-
west and beyond and absence of meaningful development in the area. I believe if the university is sited in Igboho/ Kishi/ Igbeti axis and precisely, Kishi which is responsible for about 50% of the yam, maize and guinea corn consumed in the South-west, the university would help in transforming agricultural practices in that area. Another fact is that, there would be even development in all geopolitical zones in Oyo State and the
cry of marginalization among Oke Ogun people would recede. Besides, Kishi is about the only local government headquarters in the pre1991 Oyo State that has no governmental presence till date in terms of industry or higher institution of learning. Rather than being misconstrued as an opposition against Ibadan, the message I am passing through is that a new university could be used to open up a new or undeveloped
area for development. Ibadan city has witnessed tremendous development which a new university will add little to. Therefore, for justice, equity and fairness among all sections of Oyo State, I appeal to the government of Oyo State to leave the Polytechnic Ibadan alone and seek for fund to establish Oyo State Technical University at Oke Ogun precisely, in Kishi. • Adewuyi Adegbite Apake, Ogbomoso.
some high margin and President Jonathan proudly referred to it in his Democracy Day speech. In fact, Nigeria is said to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world but commoners are familiar with a legacy of woes instead. What kind of growth is that Dr. Iweala? Sadly, we have a crassly ignorant leadership that is easily bamboozled by grandiose technical jargons fed by a team of economic experts. It is why the administration can unconvincingly push and enforce anti-people policies like fuel subsidy removal. Former House of Representative member, Patrick Obahiagbon, during the subsidy protests famously said we are ruled by Cabalocracy government. Dr. Iweala is acting like a cabalocrat. Only this January she emphatically said Nigeria is not broke; five months later she sounds the note of economic recession. Where in the world does a buoyant country experience recession? Madam Finance Minister, and other government officials, is subsidized by Nigerians- transportation, feeding and all the incentives. She should advise President Jonathan to reduce extravagant recurrent spending like Presidents Joyce Banda of Malawi is doing and Francoise Hollande of France is proposing. This is one way of saving the country from recession. And if the President rejects her counsel, then she should resign honourably because she is fast losing her integrity. • Ogunsanya Akintayo Adesoji Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.
Tribute to Ambassador Segun Olusola
IR: The news of the passing on of Ambassador Olusegun Olusola reached me with great sadness and shock because hitherto I never knew that he was sick at any time. He was very active and appeared physically sound moving from one essential activity of the nation to the other. It is true that he served this nation and indeed Africa to the best of his ability on cultural matters and dedication to the service of humanity. I personally admired and respected him for his courage at all times. He demonstrated one act of bravery during the time he was serving as our Ambassador to Ethiopia early in the 1970s during my international services all over Africa as an arbitrator. I was staying
in Geon International Hotel in Addis Ababa when in the middle of the night, I heard the sound of bombs and guns sounding close to the hotel’s backyard. Little did I know then that the military were busy with their terrible assignment of assassinating Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian Head of State. In the morning people were running helter-skelter for safety of their lives. My option was to rush to our embassy in order to seek refuge at our foreign mission where incidentally late Chief Olusola was Nigeria’s ambassador. He welcomed me warmly with respect but politely informed me that I needed to move out as quickly as possible since our mission could be the target of the military coup that
just took place. My decision was to rush to the airport and when I informed him thus he agreed with me but further informed me that he must stay at the embassy no matter whatever could possibly happen. He wished me well and bade me goodbye. What a brave and highly courageous Ambassador he was keeping the fort faithfully for the love of Nigeria and our continental Africa. Our next interaction was in the field of humanitarian services. We met several times in our services to humanity with regard to our charitable, humanitarian, nonpolitical and non-governmental organisations. Mine was called African Concern while his own was African Refugees Foundation. Our
two NGOs actively participated in alleviating the sufferings of refugees from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and from other parts of Africa at Oru, close to Ijebu-Ode. We both participated actively in the Ogun State Elders’ Consultative Forum where I am still serving as the chairman. He was someone who believed passionately in the development of our culture which he demonstrated throughout his life. In fact, he reflected this in his normal appearance, utterances and dressing at times in a colourful way. Above all, he was a gentleman. We shall all miss him and may his soul rest in perfect peace. • Prince Bola Ajibola, Abeokuta, Ogun State
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
Chief Olusola; Temp Pedestrian Bodija Bridge Pls; Rainy season ‘Pothole Filling = Priority One’
W Tony Marinho
E respectfully remember the huge contributions to Nigeria of the maestro of many parts, master of them all, Ambassador, Chief Olusegun Olusola, 78, cultural and media
icon, of Village Headmaster fame and more recently father of African Refugees Foundation founded by him in 1993, his last and most selfless love and man of the people. If only he had been given the financial clout to further transform the arts and refugee arenas! Unfortunately, Nigeria finds funds for funerals and never for good initiatives during the life of its most hard working and unassuming fellow Nigerian citizens! Nigeria could not even honour its artists enough by completing the Arts Building at Falomo during his lifetime. Shame? No. Disgraceful -Yes! Rest In Perfect Peace, Sir. Nigeria did you as bad as they did Uncle Steve Rhodes! What will they do to Professor Soyinka – but of course they are waiting for his funeral to cry crocodile tears! These are dangerous times. Already too many fellow Nigerians killed and injured. Where is the Victims Support Group positioned in the Presidency to help those depressed, deafened, orphaned, injured, homeless, koboless by the mayhem which has no end in sight? If danger does not come through the door or window, it drops in through the roof from the sky. Changing the Minister of Defence and the National Security Adviser may not change the operatives. Do you have strange neighbours? I do. We must heighten security consciousness at home, neighbourhood, school, church and office now that we are all threatened by various types of people lurking around our streets and even our own employees. Even those employed within our own household and our own family members can turn out to harbour evil intentions
towards us and members of our family. Eternal vigilance is the price of safety. You must make a show of photographing and documenting all employees particularly the domestic and security staff and telling them the records are not kept at home but in the police station, with friends or at your office. Certainly governments need to throw much more intelligence gathering and surveillance at the problem. As for robbers, the police know them and give them freedom until ‘Orders From Above’. If only the police did more preventive policing with the hundreds of donated police vehicles, Nigeria would be safer. Talking of neighbours, I have a VIP school boarding house opposite me. Their latest playing style is the replacement of their wooden basketball court goal ring boards with metal sheet ones. Unfortunately it is permanent. Perhaps that is the idea as maybe the wooden ones did not stand up to the antics of past students. Now every time the ball hits the goal board there is an earth shattering vibrating metallic boom. Who approved a metal basketball goal board? I played basketball for my school, St Gregory’s College, in the 60s and for the University of Ibadan in the 70s. I never ever saw or used a metal gaol board. Why create a disturbance to the immediate neighbourhood every time a ball hits the board – more than 100 times in 60 minutes? This is completely avoidable bad example for the children. Nigeria demonstrates times without number that people do not matter. Bodija is brimful with brilliant brains and retired academic giants and aging intellectuals who deserve peace. Every Saturday the massed running feet of three Bodija boarding schools pound around the streets doing ‘sport’. I really weep for the children when I remember our own days with not one but two different sports fields at our feet-tips. Paradoxically the students are not even happy to be released from their compounds as they mostly wear long faces and are reluctant to really benefit from the exercise and often dodge their enthusiastic teachers. It is very easy for even favoured governments to lose the hearts and minds of the people. The Bodija Bridge,
Ibadan is a necessary construction and government is to be congratulated for tackling it head-on. Wisely the alternative route through the Secretariat is open till 6pm and traffic officials are on the route through the Customs to Tewogbade and Salami Estate. These are good government initiatives. Both the Davies Hotel/ Secretariat Back Road route and the Tewogbade Route have potholes that could usefully be filled to reduce travel times. I like figures and would welcome NISER studying the cost of these diversions in extra time on the road, extra travel distances, extra fuel consumption and overall extra cost. A two minute bridge crossing is now at least 10-30 minutes and a 2-6km detour through Premier, Tewogbade or Secretariat twice or four times a day for maybe a million vehicles and several million citizen and school children trips a day till December. The cost is in the billions. Perhaps it will be possible to construct a secure ‘Temporary Pedestrian and Motorcycle Bodija Bridge’, like a military Bailey Bridge immediately. Government must research and implement new ways to further reduce the sacrifice of millions. Pothole filling and temporary bridges are not nuclear physics to Nigerian engineers. Please make ‘Rainy Season Pothole Filling = Priority One’ for any thinking government especially during the rainy season! ADVICE: Don’t take out big obituary adverts but donate that same money to the African Refugees Foundation and the Ajibulu Moniya Gallery if you love what Ambassador Olusola stood for! With your financial help, his legacy to live on!
‘We must heighten security consciousness at home, neighbourhood, school, church and office now that we are all threatened by various types of people lurking around our streets and even our own employees’
Time to close ranks(1)
ITH last Friday’s minor but dramatic changes in the top echelon of the nation’s security configuration, President Goodluck Jonathan may have finally risen up to the exigency of the day. The changes came on the heels of the controversy over the recent visit to the President by a group of elders from the Northern part of the country. Not too long ago, a group of northern elders under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum, NEF, paid a courtesy call on the President in Aso Rock Villa, the seat of government in Abuja. Reading through the address delivered on behalf of the group by Yusuf Maitama Sule, the Danmasanin Kano, at the event, one could heave a sigh of relief that, at last, some form of detente was in progress to resolve the protracted crisis in that part of the country. Surprisingly, a few days after that visit, some notable people from the North condemned the visit. In an interview with a national newspaper, Dr. Junaid Muhammed, the spokesperson of the coalition of northern leaders, academics, professionals and businessmen, said those who parleyed with the President under the guise that they were true representatives of the North were indeed far from what they claimed to be. According to Muhammed, “Many people are going about by the name northern leaders. They went to the President to say that the North is with him.” Taking a swipe at their host, the President, Muhammed said, “He is the President of the country and should not wait for anyone to tell
him those (who are) with or against him”. He then asked rhetorically: “Is it our right to quench crisis in the North?” That was about the first time a major crack in the North was almost becoming an open sore. Now, that NEF’s visit may have paid off with the removal of General Andrew Owoye Azazi as the National Security Adviser and his replacement with Colonel Sambo Dasuki(retd) one-time Aide to former President Ibrahim Babangida. The removal of Azazi shows a major policy shift in government, one that is capable of ameliorating the crisis in the North. And if that happens, the whole country will be better off. Except for deep-seated animosity, there was nothing really self-serving about the move made by the NEF to visit the President. In his address during the visit, Maitama Sule said the delegation of elders from the 19 northern states was there on behalf of the larger assembly of elders who recently met on a number of occasions to take stock of events in the country. He pointed out that there were many groups in the North working to see that peace and development returned to the region. According to him, NEF is a complementary group with similar objectives. He noted that they sought audience to discuss just two major issues among the many others the forum discussed during their several meetings. These are security challenges facing the country in general and the North in particular, and certain developments and events, which can constitute a threat to the unity and peace of the country.
‘The removal of Azazi shows a major policy shift in government, one that is capable of ameliorating the crisis in the North. And if that happens, the whole country will be better off’
On security, the elders were of the view that the current spate of violence and other variants of insecurity have several facets and dimensions, which are interwoven with politics, economy, crime, ethnicity and religion. They noted that they were fully aware that the country could not achieve any meaningful development without peace and security. Therefore, the elders sought the President’s permission to bring to his attention, the following considerations; ethno-religious crises, Boko Haram and other forms of militancy, the threat to national unity, corruption, lopsidedness in national appointments and all that. On ethno-religious crises, the group noted that the persistent failure of all governments in implementing the recommendations of numerous panels of inquiry into ethno-religious crises over the years in all parts of the country have contributed to entrenching the culture of impunity on the part of those who continue to instigate these crises. On the issue of Boko Haram and other forms of militancy, the elders observed that the phenomenon has been with the country for over a decade now. They, however, noted that the escalation of violence by the original Boko Haram was as a result of misjudgment by the authorities, which led to the poor handling of the sect’s activities in 2009 through the use of excessive and disproportionate force, leading to several deaths, including the innocent ones. The elders further observed that instead of a dispassionate appraisal of the Boko Haram phenomenon, the matter has been manipulated to assume numerous colourations, from religion to politics and from ethnicity to sectionalism. In this regard, the elders said, instead of isolating the sect and what it stands for, the country was being forced to believe that it was at war. They also stated that some had even irresponsibly peddled the mis-
chief that the Boko Haram was the creation of northern Muslims with frustrated political ambitions to make the country ungovernable and to put a permanent wedge between Christians and Muslims in the North. While expressing concern over the activities of the Boko Haram sect, which they condemned in its totality, the elders said they were equally concerned about the “unprofessional” behaviour of the security personnel, especially soldiers deployed throughout the North to preserve peace and protect lives and property. They also spoke on the spate of extra-judicial killings which, they claimed, was being carried out in the North by the Joint Task Force put in place in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgence. According to the group, reports have it that, currently, the JTF is holding on to thousands of people, mostly youths, in various secret detention centres all over the country under dehumanising conditions, including, allegedly, one underground detention cell where the inmates were said to be on a rationed feeding of half a loaf of N100 worth of bread per day, with four of them sharing a sachet of water, popularly called ‘pure water’, daily. They drew the attention of the President to the incident at Potiskum International Cattle Market, which took place on May 2, when the market was sacked in broad daylight by a gang of unknown gunmen, resulting in the death of hundreds of people and cattle. They said such attack in broad daylight had left people wondering how such a large number of armed gang was able to pass more than five checkpoints mounted by security forces within the radius of three kilometres to four kilometres from the cattle market without being detected. More disturbing, according to the group, was the fact that the attack happened twice on the
Dele Agekameh same day, lasting for several hours without security forces making any effort to intervene, as it was left for the market people to repel the assailants. They told the President in unmistakable terms that there was clear danger to the maintenance of law and order when people lose confidence in security personnel and resort to self-help to protect their lives and property. The elders were of the view that there was an urgent need for the JTF to change its mode of operation to an approach that will engender mutual respect and trust between them and the generality of the populace whose co-operation they need to accomplish their lawful mission. According to them, this was the only way to isolate the Boko Haram group and deal with their criminal activities decisively and squarely. They told the President that a good beginning was for the government to reconsider the recommendations of the Borno Elders Forum, the Galtimari Committee Report and the many others earlier submitted with a view to implementing the cogent recommendations therein. • (To be continued)
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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘Thanks Dear Segun for your write-up of Comment and Debate. I will join the vanguard if the Christians will soon understand what Christ told the disciples to sell their coat and buy a sword. All Christians should buy and sharp their cutlass, take them along to church and be prepared for revenge anytime. Believe me, the more you fear to die, the more death pursues one. The Muslims always jubilate any time churches are bombed and they will come out to tell the world, Boko Haram are not Muslims. Are they pagans? If so, how many times have they bombed mosques? No to dialogue. Anonymous’
For Olatunji Dare 19 years after....We lost our heroes, Our heroes have been revealed as villain, and our greatest heroes are arch-villain... Anonymous They say paper no de talk lie. This was a graphic picture of all that took place under the umbrella of June l2. The recast is refreshing. From Osia Justus Omoku, Rivers State Dear sir, I guess I am lucky that I was old enough to have read the ‘original’ version of these articles then. I want to know if June 12: diary of a debacle is now in book form. Anonymous Re: June 12: days of intrigue and suspense2. Those days between 1994 and 1998 were days of intrigue and suspense. From successful election to imaginary annulment, imaginary court goings and verdicts, imagined shellings from protestants and government itself, insecurity all over the country, Epetedo declaration, capture of the late MKO, struggles for MKO to be presidentcrowning, attempt that he survived, betrayal between the genuine strugglers and bootlickers, killings and massacre by Abacha’s loyalists, forced exiles on NADECO and Human Rights people then the death of Abacha and MKO. From Lanre Oseni. For Segun Gbadegesin Your partial SWOT analysis concludes one matter; no strategic thinking at the top in Nigeria under PDP. The possible scenarios are clear, but the capability to decipher is lacking. Anonymous “Slouching towards Hades”: Sir, thank you for speaking so clearly and frankly to the authorities and others concerned about the planned and systematic implementation of the agenda of Muslim Jihad against Christians in Nigeria, starting from the North! It is another wake up call! Truth can never be vanquished! Not all religions preach peace! In fact some have violence, force, hatred and intolerance as cardinal pillars of their faith! Even to the extent of believing that to kill is the surest way to heaven and enjoyment! Check out the books of authority on the religions! This truth is self evident! Anonymous For so long, I do not read or listen to news about Nigeria for an obvious reason. I have said it before that the President is intellectually weak and conceptually poor. The primary duty of any government is to protect lives and properties. This is the oath. Now he cannot. Anonymous “Slouching towards Hades”: Yes, that is what I expect in Nigeria very soon. How soon, I cannot say. I have made my views known on topical issues I have read in some columns of The Nation, and I will repeat here again that because Nigeria’s problems are hydra headed, National Conference or Regional Government should be the solution. I also added in my SMS then that we are not one in this country. What is keeping us together is the petroleum in the South-south. If that petroleum is in Northern Nigeria, the Southerners, especially Christians, would have been driven away since. In Nigeria, when a Muslim offends he/she gets away
with it, but if it were a Christian it will be the way. Why is Boko Haram bombing Christians and churches? The President travelled when his house is on fire. One does not go to sleep when one’s house was on fire, says a Yoruba adage. Nigeria should split (to Republics) so as to bring development to all. Anonymous Re: ‘Slouching towards Hades’: an update. Honestly, the insecurity situation has become demonic and disgraceful to the Federal Government and all the state governments. It has hightened tempo of pathos to the wounded, maimed, blown-ups, the families of the affected as well as those of us moving round daily. God has done enough for Nigeria but Nigeria is not yet blessed with a leader that will take us, in totality, to the Promised Land. Nothing aside ‘shame on those getting Nigeria shamed all these years’. From Lanre Oseni, Lagos Hahahaha! I can’t stop laughing about your nice write-up about Otedola vs Lawan on their movie entitled set up jammed set up! This is an interesting movie to watch! Can we have part 2 and 3 of it? Please, give us more because I do not want to stop laughing with Naija.Anonymous Kaduna youths have turned all the cheeks but are now protecting themselves as the mad people are punching for their heads. Anonymous Slouching towards Hades makes a very interesting reading. It is as things would become if the government remains ineffective to the challenges. Indeed “what has been demonstrated in mini Nigeria is what should be expected in maxi Nigeria”. From Opuene Yenagoa Segun, your piece of Friday, June 22, was a vivid record of what has been harrassing my mind since the murderers called Boko Haram escalated their attacks on churches. I now feel more troubled because they appear to be achieving their devilish objective - that of engineering a religious war in Nigeria. My question is: ‘Can we afford a Somalia or Sudan in Nigeria?’ I think the greatest misfortune that has ever happened to Nigeria since her independence is her current lethargic President, GEJ! From R. Gbola, Ilorin Your piece today was a piece. But will Jonathan listen? We are living in Hades paradise. From Oryina Hindan, Benue state The problem with our leaders is that they take us for granted, and until the entire populace rise and overthrow all those thieves and rogues of leaders; we will never have a peaceful Nigeria for this is their wish, to see us continually divided and to continue killing ourselves so that attention will not be drawn to their evil deeds. From Caleb Zadok Are you suggesting we also get prepared in the Southwest? Anonymous God Blessings and guidance be upon your sage head. May you know more to write on your Comments and Debates.Anonymous You called the violence going on in Jos as senseless. I was just wondering if you wouldnt defend yourself if you were attacked by people that want to take over your land in your state. Anyway this has only happened due to the cosmopolitan nature of Jos. In Riyom and Barkin Ladi, the Berom have done what the Bible says by turning the other cheek and what the government says by not taking the law into their hands despite claiming to know the villages where their attackers live. The result of not being senseless was clear when I watched on local television here where the beroms were made refugees in their own land. Beroms were shown with their belongings on their heads fleeing their homes after persistent attacks.
This is what doing the right thing and waiting on government will do to anyone who believes defending oneself is senseless. Boko Harams revenge bombings for past Christian atrocities are a reprisal itself. They have been hitting the nail on ‘our’ heads. It is now time for us to hit the nail on their head. Thanks to the Kaduna youths who have demonstrated that by dying, you can destroy death. This monopoly of violence is not anybody’s birthright. From Barr. Iheanyi Ochor, Owerri, Imo State We have not passed the stage of dialogue. Every time is for making peace. Yes, Boko Haram is a wrong Islamic sect but it was a Christian, Jerry Gana who facilitated Muhamed Yusufu out of detention under Obasanjo regime.Anonymous I am one of your admirers. Your write-up, slouching towards Hades: an update on the back page of The Nation of June 22, 2012 was great. Please go on hitting the nail on the head. From Bello. Reading the series of your detailed accounts of the June 12 injustice to civil rule, it is obvious where the democratic problems of this country come from. Unfortunately, these same people are presently writing the scripts for their protegees in today’s government to act. Thanks Prof. for the revelation. From Olukayode. Thanks Dear Segun for your write-up of Comment and Debate. I will join the vanguard if the Christians will soon understand what Christ told the disciples to sell their coat and buy a sword. All Christians should buy and sharpen their cutlass, take them along to church and be prepared for revenge anytime. Believe me, the more you fear to die, the more death pursues one. The Muslims always jubilate any time churches are bombed and they will come out to tell the world, Boko Haram are not Muslims. Are they pagans? If so, how many times have they bombed mosques? No to dialogue. Anonymous Segun, your Friday column was the best. I am from Kaduna and you have rightly made it clear that the age of turning the other cheek is over. We are arming ourselves for the armagedon since the president we voted for betrayed us, that is why we are still being massacred. 2015 is coming, we will wait no more. From Samson. No government in Nigeria can stop that Boko nonsense but counter attack from other sects. Dan (UYO) Anonymous For Tunji Adegboyega Tunji, for five years and still counting that I have been reading your good self and other columnists in The Nation, never have I laughed as much as you made me when I read “Off to Brazil! So what?’ On a more serious note, what could Nigerians have expected from a man whose capacity to understand the purpose of his office is really suspect? To make matters worse, he had surrounded himself with individuals that can only be appropriately described as clowns … You know that before the 2011 elections at which Jonathan was elected, some of us that were warning were called names for stating the obvious: that Jonathan lacks the capacity to govern Nigeria because of his antecedents; now it has dawned on all of us that we have surreptitiously and stupidly mortgaged our lives for another four years simply because the ‘majority ‘ allowed sentiments rather than wisdom and rationality to guide their decisions on the
• MKO election day. A wise saying has it that ‘a people get the kind of leader they deserve’. Pray Almighty Allah help us rid Nigeria of bad leaders that do not care a hoot about what happens to those they govern. Pray, what kind of president and his band of clowns will leave his domain to attend a third rate conference while multiples were losing their lives in a senseless orgy of violence; when just a few days before, over 150 lost their lives in a plane crash? If the president mourns these illustrious sons and daughters of this great country for 30 days and remains at home to visit each and every family as a mark of respect to the dead, would that have been too much? This is not wishing the president any bad luck, I am sure he wouldn’t have left the country in haste like he did had he lost either a son or daughter in any of these tragedies. Dr Jonathan, it’s time to reconsider and get your priorities right. God bless you, Tunji for your write-up and your paper, The Nation. From . M.B.A. Owosho Esq. Sir, on ‘Off to Brazil! So what?’, people will start attacking you because many Nigerians cannot identify and understand satire. I warn you, sir. From Ayo Ojeniyi. ‘Off to Brazil! So what?’ Tunji, you spoke not only well but very, very well. Keep it up. From Ibrahim, Ibadan. Tunji, I didn’t get your message until I got to the end. You need to be anywhere up north to appreciate the security situation. We all live in fear. Even Abuja is not spared. Your article is damn good. Congratulations. Sorry. You forgot to mention the 116-member contingent, the largest in the world. Thanks. From Adoga. You said it all. God bless you always. Anonymous. Very incisive, perceptive, humorous, yet witty and biting piece on GEJ’s Brazil trip; an award-winner any day. Anonymous. Thanks, as the Yoruba will say, ‘O wii re’ (you spoke well). God bless you as you continue to tell them. Anonymous. Nigerians are an ungrateful lot. What has Jonathan done that other presidents before him have not done? He travels less than Obasanjo. You are sarcastic but I like the write-up. From Otunba Abiodun. ‘Off to Brazil! So what?’ is a smash, especially the humorous end. Kudos.!Yes, you have spoken well. From Chike! Yes, well spoken! You made my Sunday. Anonymous. I read your article on Jonathan’s trip to Brazil. To be candid, I don’t know if you are for Jonathan or against him. Please when writing next time; try to make your point clear. Thanks. Anonymous. God bless you for your wise write-up on Jonathan’s trip to Brazil. Anonymous. Tunji, when did you become a satirist? Your piece on ‘Off to Brazil! So what?’ was quite interesting. Jonathan can even live permanently in Brazil. Anonymous. My brother, you have spoken well, o jare! After all, NET building was on fire and Shagari left for India. PDP na grandson of NPN. Anonymous.
Team Rivers for closed
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18TH NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL
Team Rivers for closed
Hope as NRC rahabilitates rail line
NGO rehabilitates 45 youths
Lawmaker trains 50
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
Ogun to employ 800 medical workers
O fewer than 800 professionals are about to be engaged by the Ogun State government in its health sector. They include 334 medical personnel and 448 others in various fields. A breakdown of the figure shows that 40 doctors, 20 consultants, five dental officers, eight dental therapists, 15 pharmacists, 20 pharmacy technicians, 12 medical laboratory attendants, 170 nurses and 120 health attendants, among others, are to be employed. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, who disclosed this in Abeokuta, the state capital, assured that the adminis-
The latest employment drive is the government’s answer to the yearning of the people of the state who want competent medical personnel to be appointed to man health facilities in the state From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
tration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun was committed to the comprehensive administration of
the health sector by engaging the services of competent and qualified people in various positions. He assured that the appointments would be based strictly on merit. Dr. Soyinka explained that
healthcare delivery forms a major aspect of the five cardinal points of the state government and as such would not relent in rendering qualitative healthcare services to the people. Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Health, Dr. Rotimi Ogungbe, explained that different cadres were scheduled for different dates for the screening exercise. The latest employment drive is the government’s answer to the yearning of the people of the state who want competent medical personnel to be appointed to man health facilities in the state.
HINGS are looking up in Agojeju-Odo community in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State. A rundown clinic serving as the community’s main health facility has bounced back to life, lifting the spirits of the residents. The people have the Australian government to thank for it. The facility, once dilapidated, has been rebuilt. Once without drugs, it has been restocked. The people’s hope has been restored. They no longer have to travel far to receive treatment for even common ailments. Lives will be saved. Hon. Aliyu Akuh who represents Omala constituency in Kogi State House of Assembly was thrilled at the development. The state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) was just as excited. The IDA president, Gabriel Ibrahim poured out the impressions of the community. The rehabilitated clinic which cost no less than N20m, has four beds spaces, a doctor’s consulting office, a labour room, a medical store and an out-patient department (OPD), with a befitting signboard. The Australian High Commissioner, Mr. Ian McConville inaugurated the facility and handed it over to the National President of Ife Development Association (IDA), Mr. Gabriel Ibrahim on behalf of the community. Agojeju-Odo is an Igala community, whose residents readily expressed relief and joy as the facility came alive again. They celebrated the concern of the Australian government about their well-being. On the inauguration day, McConville and his wife were draped with the Igala traditional wear. Ibrahim assured the High Commissioner that the AgojejuOdo and entire Ife community in Omala council will ever be grateful for the gesture. “This is the first international
•Australian High Commisssioner draws water from Agojeju community spring
Facility upgrade thrills Igala Australia renovates community clinic Kogi NMA hails project From Isah Idris, Katsina
intervention project in this community rich in agriculture and tourism,” Ibrahim said. “Our community has also become a home for the Australians; you are good
friends indeed. “By your Midas touch on our community, you have now established a bond between your country and our community and we remain hopeful for a more bilateral relationship in the near future.” Hon. Akuh said: “Once you
have good health, all other things follow. The people here including myself are all part of the community and we are indeed grateful to you for renovating our clinic and bringing quality health care to us. We will continue to remember you in prayers. Even, we will teach our children the good thing you have done for us and I pray we will con-
tinue with this good relationship”. Akuh also appealed to the donor to help in solving the community’s water challenges, urging other embassies to emulate the Australian gesture. The community has been battling water shortages for a long time. He thanked those who helped in the clinic project, urging fel•Continued on Page 26
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
Facility upgrade thrills Igala
•Continued from Page 25
low indigenous people of the community to also initiate developmental projects that will benefit the people. The lawmaker also pledged to contribute to the project, promising to bring the plight of the community to the attention of the state government. Director of Social Welfare at the state branch of the NMA, Dr. Simion Omakoji Oyiguh said in the last two years, the leadership of NMA, Kogi Chapter, visited the community and inspected the General Hospital, Abejukolo, saying the delegation was not happy with the conditions at the hospital. He said the issue of maternal and child health care was worrisome before the coming of the Governor Idris Wada but the medical doctor thanked the Australian government for intervening and complementing the effort of the present government in tackling health challenges in the state. “We will not want you to just stop at donating this structure to the community, we appeal that you take further interest in how this project can be sustained. We in the NMA are commending the state government for its transformation in the health sector which we are partners in progress. “NMA is also appealing to the wife of Kogi State Governor, Hajiya Halima Wada as the mother of the state to help in changing poor maternal and child health care profile in the state.”
NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation, Masterpiece Resource Development Centre (MRDC), has concluded plans to train over 500 youths in Lagos State on entrepreneurship. Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Mrs. Modupe Oyekunle said the training was necessary in order to address the high unemployment of youths in the country. A recent report, for instance, said 47 per cent of Nigeria’s population are currently without jobs. She said the situation was worrisome, adding that if 24 million jobs are not created by 2020, Nigeria could witness an uprising. Oyekunle attributed the current
We have a strong focus on health projects and are particularly working in communities where the targets are women and children. This is a project that has always been for children, so we are delighted to be here working •The reconstructed Agojeju-Odo clinic
One way to do this, Oyiguh said, is to direct the chairmen of local governments in the state to set aside a certain percentage of their monthly revenue to support maternal and child health care in rural areas. The President of Agojeju-Odo Development Association, Mr Peter Ocholi called on the state government to take over the running and maintenance of the clinic to guarantee health care delivery to
the people. The Australian High Commissioner said he was overwhelmed by the reception given him by the community. “The reason I brought my wife here is that she is a midwife, a nurse who understands the importance of health,” he said. “There is nothing as important as the physical health of a community and that is why we always look forward to support a project like this clinic. We will also look at projects that need
support”. “We have a strong focus on health projects and are particularly working in communities where the targets are women and children. This is a project that has always been for children, so we are delighted to be here working”. “One has to look at women and children and their health needs because they are the most important members of the family. Even as you talk of me as the Australian High Commissioner here, it is not me but
my wife”. McConville later inspected the community’s main source of drinking water, the Abukpe spring water, found to be inadequate for the growing population of the area. He and wife were conducted round the water source; he also drew water in the fashion of the locals, using a plastic pail. He promised to help in expanding the water sources of the community.
500 youths for training in Lagos By Miriam Ndikanwu
security challenge of the radical sect, Boko Haram and the recent threats of thousands of youths in the Niger Delta to the growing population of idle young men and women, caused by unemployment. Admitting that entrepreneurship was one of the surest ways of tackling unemployment, Oyekunle said, “The Federal Government needs to put youth development on top priority and not continue to play politics with
it. We need to show more seriousness in exploring the option of entrepreneurship and we need to start now before it gets totally out of hand”. She also urged government to provide infrastructures such as power supply and access to financial facilities, resources and policies that will help new business ideas and young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Commending the YouWin initiative by the Federal Government targeted at creating 370,000 across the country for youths, she called for a holistic approach to
be adopted in tackling unemployment as well as partnering with different local and international organisations. She said the Young Entrepreneur’s Network (YEN) conference was part of MRDC’s effort to complement the government employment drive by equipping budding entrepreneurs with the right skill to start up their own businesses and grow them into empires. She said this year’s edition, the 3rd in the series with the theme
Ogun Water Corporation gives toll-free lines
S part of measures to enhance its operations and quicken service delivery, the management of Ogun State Water Corporation has released three toll-free GSM numbers to members of the public. The phone lines are 08031230137, 07080601900 and 07058890007 In a statement, the Corporation’s Public Relations Officer, Olatunji Somide enjoined members of the public to make use of the phone lines to reach out to the Corporation in order to serve them better, adding that calls on the lines are at
•Pastor Rotimi Oyekunle (left), Mrs Modupe Oyekunle and Mr Abiola Popoola at the event
‘Taking a LEAP: Exiting from Small Business to a Mega BusinessTaking the Next Vital Step’ will feature successful entrepreneurs from all walks of life with about 1000 youths expected to participate. “This is a core objective of this organisation. We have been employing entrepreneurial training and development as a tool for reducing poverty and unemployment for accelerated national development and we are getting results,” Oyekunle said.
no charges to callers on the same network. The statement added that the Corporation remained committed to providing regular supply of potable water to residents as it placed a high premium on its relationship with the customers that are considered to be vital to its drive towards improved revenue generation. The water agency equally commended customers who have taken the pain to inform it of cases of burst pipes and urged them to keep it up.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
OMMUTERS in PortHarcourt and adjoining cities will have cause to smile as the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced plans to shift its rail infrastructure rehabilitation efforts to the eastern line. Rail transport is cheaper over long distances and is preferred by a larger chunk of the people. The concentration of rehabilitation activities on the eastern line corridor will ensure a prompt return of rail services in the area, beginning with Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and adjoining communities. The line runs from Port-Harcourt, through Makurdi to Maiduguri. NRC’s Managing Director, Adeseyi Sijuwade spoke about this while in Port-Harcourt to inspect the first consignment of track materials imported by the firm engaged in the rehabilitation of the Port-Harcourt-Makurdi section of the line. The 8,500 tonnes materials, estimated at about N2.5billion include rails, fasteners and fish plates. He said the materials and another consignment of sleepers being expected by the middle of next month will be deployed to the rehabilitation of the section of the line. Sijuwade said, with the materials in place, the corporation will be looking at commencing operations in the Port-Harcourt area in the next two to three months in the form of a mass transit system that will run from Port-Harcourt through TransAmadi to the Imo River Station, which is the border between Abia and Rivers states. He identified the benefits of the corporation’s planned mass transit service to include the alleviation of the perennial traffic congestion on the Aba Road, which is the backbone of the road network in the Port-Harcourt city. “What we are doing here is to replicate was we are doing in Lagos at the moment. Today in Lagos, we are moving 12,000 passengers daily from Apapa through Iddo to Ijoko and Agbado. And we are looking at doubling that in the next few months as we put more rolling stock into use. “We now want to replicate that
HE war against the spread of HIV/AIDS can be won when stakeholders, particularly parents and guardians play their expected roles in moulding the lifestyle of the youths and school children. This was the consensus of opinions at the State Population Education Committee (SPEC) meeting organised for Family Life and Health Education (FLHE) teachers,
Hope as NRC rehabilitates eastern rail line By Eric Ikhilae
in Port-Harcourt city, where we will have this mass transit service. At the same time, we intend to replicate this in the Enugu area. Our mass transit service in Enugu is intended to cover a stretch of about 72 kilo meters, running from Enugu, through Emene and Ugbaho to Iheamafu. “Those are the two sections on which we intend to commence operations in the next few months. As the rehabilitation work progresses,
we will be looking at recommencing our long-haul freight services from Port-Harcourt, through Aba, Umahia, Enugu to Makurdi, Lafia, Kafachan, Kuru, Bauchi, Gombe, Maiduguri . “We intend to commence this service with our long-time faithful costumers like PZ Soap in Aba, Grand Cereal, Jos, Ashaka from the Gombe area. We will also source for new customers for the haulage service. Next few months are going to be interesting months for the Eastern Line, that is from Port-
Harcourt to Maiduguri,” Sijuwade said. On the expected duration of the project, Sijuwade said he was confident that the entire line will be completed by the middle of next year. He said his organisation will engage sectional completion, to allow the completion of the stretch from Port-Harcourt towards Aba and Enugu to Makurdi before the end of this year. This strategy, he said will allow the corporation to commence its mass transit service along the PortHarcourt corridor as soon as possi-
ble. “As we speak, similar effort is being replicated on the section from Makurdi to Kuru. It is being handled by another company. It has just imported its own stack of materials which came in through the Apapa Port. So, in the next few weeks, I will be at Apapa to inspect the materials to be used for the section. “We are quite hopeful that by the middle of next year, we will be witnessing significant progress in the work on the eastern line,” he said.
‘Parents can lead fight against HIV’ From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
Inter-faith Mission, Guardian Counselors in secondary schools and Education Officers at the local government levels in Abeokuta, the state capital.
•Participants at a civil service workshop in Abuja
The meeting, organised by the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in conjunction with the United Population Fund Agency (UNFPA) was part of measures being put in place to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS among youths and school children.
Speaking at the event, the UNFPA Reproductive Health Vocal person, Dr. Olubunmi Asa said HIV/AIDS should be seen as a collective responsibility and parents need to really understand that its existence among youths was an issue that must be given attention in order to achieve required behavioral change. Dr. Asa pointed out that parents should be enlightened on the prevalence level of the disease among school children and the need to collectively stop its spread. In the same vein, the Secretary, Inter-faith on HIV/AIDS Coalition, Alhaji Lawal Jubril advocated for adoption of new ideas and innovations by parents to really mould the life of the present generation of youths. “We can’t use 16th Century ideas to solve 21st Century problems” he said. Jubril urged parents to have a rethink and break away from old per-
ception of life in order to obtain expected moral standard among the youths, pointing out that parents and guardians need to inculcate sound religious and moral values in them so as to become responsible and healthy future leaders. In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Ambali Ishola said though the teachers were employed to teach and impart sound academic knowledge in the children, the importance of parents in their growth and development cannot be glossed over as they spend more time with them than the teachers. He pointed out that FLHE project was conceptualized to assist individuals have a clear and factual view of themselves, change and affect behaviours, reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS to bearest minimum and provide individuals with information and skills necessary for rational decision making about their sexual health.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY JUNE 27, 2012
Security strengthened up in Kano churches I
• From left: Presiding Judge of the newly inaugurated Family Court, Ekiti State judiciary, Justice Monisola Abodunde; Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment, Mrs. Fola Richie-Adewusi; wife of Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; and Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, during the inauguration of the court in Ado-Ekiti
Gaidam makes case for police
OBE State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has urged Federal Government to ensure the welfare of the men of police force is given top priority. This, he said, would motivate them in the wake of the security challenges. Gaidam disclosed this during a meeting with the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) Atiku Kafur at the Government House Damaturu. He said: “In the course of their duties, as we have observed, the police is seriously handicapped in the areas of logistics, training and welfare. “Perhaps, this explains why it has been difficult to do away with some of the unwholesome practices at check-points as the morale of police personnel is at its lowest ebb.” The Governor canvassed special welfare package for police officers and men ‘in the event of death, injury or accident in the course of discharging their responsibilities’. He said this will equip them with confidence and make them to go to the limits of their abilities knowing that the Government ‘is there for them’. Gaidam said his administration is doing a lot to supporting the police and other secu-
Yobe From Duku Joel, Damaturu
rity agencies with the provision of 180 fourwheel drive jeeps and over N40 million monthly in Ration Cash Allowance (RCA). Kafur commended Gaidam for being of the ‘foremost State Governors’ in providing support to security agencies. He saluted the government’s sensitisation drive among communities on the need for people to provide useful intelligence that would help in apprehending criminals. “In other States, people have realised that the responsibility of curtailing crime is not the security agencies’ alone. In Kano for instance, people are quick to report any unknown or suspicious persons they cited in their community. Here in Yobe too, we can achieve a lot once people develop this mindset and collaborate with the security agencies”, Kafur said. The DIG also said that he was impressed with the level the army and police repelled the attackers during the last Monday attacks on Damaturu.
N a bid to forestall loss of lives and property, operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF, has beefed up security in all places of worship in the metropolitan city of Kano. As early as 6:00 in the morning, a combined team of security agencies mounted stop-andsearch check-points at all access routes to churches, particularly in Sabon Gari area of the city where churches are concentrated. All vehicles plying these routes were stopped and thoroughly screened with metal detectors before being allowed passage, while those established not to have any business in the vicinity were diverted to other routes. It was also observed that in some places of worship in Sabon Gari, motorcycles were ordered to take other routes, while in other routes leading to churches, they were ordered to disembark and push their motorbikes
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
some distance before mounting. As part of security measures, some churches lined up sand filled drums at the entrance of their gates to prevent any eventuality, while the JTF also stationed armoured personnel carriers 500 metres away from the churches. Despite the security challenges, which were heightened by Sunday last week’s bomb attacks in three churches in Kaduna and Zaria respectively, the turn out of worshippers was encouraging.
Christians in Kaduna pray for peace
ORRIED by the insecurity situation in the Kaduna State, Christians in the state have offered special prayers in churches for the restoration of peace and normalcy. The prayers became necessary as a result of the June 17 attacks on three churches in Kaduna and Zaria. The churches offered special prayers for peace, stability and unity in the country and urged the faithful to cooperate with security agents to restore law and order. Pastor Edward Isah of the Covenant Church admonished Christians to “watch, pray and not to take laws into their hands.” Isah further urged members to continue to pray for peace in the state and for God to prevail over the attacks on churches. Similarly, Bishop Idowu Fearon of the Kaduna Anglican Diocese reminded Chris-
Kaduna tians and Muslims of the need to give peace a chance and live in harmony as ordained by God. Fearon said that God created Muslims and Christians in Kaduna State to live together as a people with different faith. “We, therefore, appreciate God and live with one another irrespective of our religious differences,’’ he said. The service was conducted in various Churches across the state under tight security. Meanwhile, residents have thronged shopping centres in the metropolis to restock their essential needs before the four-hour grace elapsed.
•Chairman, Oriade Local Council Development Area, Hon. Sanusi (left) and secretary to the council, Hon. Kareem Sunmola at the book launch by traditional medicine practitioners in Lagos
Plateau From Yusufu Aminu Idegu and Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
out any fear of intimidation or molestation as necessary mechanism has been put in place to protect worship centres in the state.” Apart from the statement, the state Commissioner of Police Emmanuel Oladipo Ayeni, in company of the state Commissioner for Information Yiljap Abraham toured round the city to assure citizens of safety, even as they encouraged them to discard the rumour. However, the commissioner has said that a bill is underway to regulate religious activities in the state. He said: “We just went round with the Police commissioner to discover that some of the churches were not complying with the security arrangements and government will not condone that. Some churches are so close to major roads and they don’t have serious security arrangements for their members.
•Ayeni (middle) and Commissioner for Information, Yiljap Abraham inspecting compliance with security arrangement by churches in Jos.
Community accuses firm of neglect
HE management of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company has been accused of marginalising those who are indigenous to Bonny and Rivers State in the process of recruitment of its staff.
Group decries discrimination
By Amidu Arije
ecuted by Ramota’s administration within the shortest period in office. The projects included construction and rehabilitation of roads, construction of schools, provision of free school uniform and exercise books, purchase of General Certificate on Education (GCE) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms for students with free extra-moral coaching. He added that Ramota’s leadership style has brought rapid development to the council area. In her response, the council boss thanked the organisers of the award for the honour bestowed on her. She described the award as a challenge which would spur her to do more for her people.
Bomb scare keeps Jos residents indoors
By Aminat Adesina
Council chief honoured HAIRMAN, Iba Local Council Development Area, Lagos, Princess Ramota Adeyeri-Oseni has won this year’s national grassroots award for leadership excellence. The award was initiated by Grassroots Media Limited as a platform to reward council chiefs who show commitment to empowering residents of the respective councils. The award ceremony which was held at the prestigious Nicon Noga Hotel Abuja earned the council boss an eight-seater bus as the best performed local government chairman in the Southwest. Publisher of Grassroots Media, Dr Paul Adesegun, said at the award ceremony that Ramota was honoured for her exemplary leadership through which she had affected lives of many at the grassroots. He added that “our team went round the country for assessment. The teamed was marvelled at the projects ex-
OST of Plateau State citizens stayed indoors from Sunday, following rumour of massive attacks in Jos, the state capital. The rumour, which got the round at the weekend scared residents from coming out of their homes just as many refused to observe their weekly Sunday services in churches. Streets were deserted and churches witnessed low attendance by its members as a result of the rumour. One of the text messages that caused tension and apprehension read thus: “There was plan of massive attacks in worship areas in Jos and some selected parts of the country; it is therefore advisable that Christians should remain indoors and watch event on Sunday, there should be no vehicular movement until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.” Based on the rumour, many did not go to worship centres. Disturbed by the tension, the state government and Jos Police Command had to issue a statement to debunk the rumour which gave some residents confidence to come out of their homes later in the day. The police statement, signed by its Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abuh Emmanuel reads: “The attention of the Plateau State Police Command has been drawn to the unfounded rumour being peddled around in some quarters that motor vehicles are restricted from movement. “I wish to state clearly that such rumour is a calculated attempt to divert the attention of security agencies. There is no iota of truth in it and should be discarded.” The statement, which further encouraged residents to go about their normal businesses also said: “The command wishes to appeal to the good people of Plateau State to go about their lawful duties with-
•This vehicle on Abuja-Kaduna Road aparently moving to a safe place
Speaker inaugurates constituency offices
HE Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji has inaugurated constituency offices for councillors in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Lagos State. Represented by his deputy, Kolawole Taiwo, the Speaker said the constituency offices were the first of its kind in the history of local governments in Nigeria were built by the Kehinde Bamigbetan administration. The ward offices were located in all the six wards within the LCDA namely, OkeOfa, Ailegun, llamoshe, Aigbaka, Fadu and Ifoshi. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Ejigbo LCDA chairman, Bamigbetan, said the offices were built in order to lay a solid foundation for democracy at the local government level, which is the closest to the people. “This phenomenal advance in grassroots democratisation is in response to the comments and observations of our people, particularly during the last council elections, to the effect that many citizens do not know the councillors in their wards as well as their roles. Many of those who know the councillors and their role complain that
Lagos By Duro Babayemi
they do not have access to them. “Following our election, we established a regular consultative forum of the executive and legislative arms to discuss common challenges. One of the conclusions of the forum was the need to respond to the yearnings of the people by creating constituency offices for each councilor in his ward. “The constituency offices will enable us to comply with one of the critical laws of the State Assembly, which mandates each local council to publish its financial reports in each ward in its jurisdiction. It will also provide an avenue for residents to make enquiries concerning the activities and services of local government and meet with their councillors to find out how they can assist them.” Continuing, Bamigbetan said: “We expect the new offices to be great source of information that will enable the legislative arm of the council to initiate and make laws for the peace, prosperity and orderly governance of our local government and our state of excellence.”
ORRIED by the growing discrimination between holders of the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in the labour market by both the government and private organisations, the Lagos State Polytechnic Alumni Association has registered its disapproval of the situation. The alumni gathered recently during the 3rd annual Lagos State Polytechnic Alumni lecture at the Lagos Airport Hotel to brainstorm on the discrepancy.. Speaking at the event, the former rector of the institution, Chief Olawunmi Gasper stated that “governments at all levels should legislate against this discrimination,” saying that will be the only solution to the discrepancy. He said that university education is basically theoretical in contrast to that of the polytechnic which is practically-oriented. He maintained that the two certificates are needed for the development of the country. Contributing, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology Moshood Abiola University, Lagos, Dr Oni Bankole Fagbohungbe said: “Discrimination between HND and B.SC graduates has so many disadvantages that should not be ignored. “Due to the application of the discriminate variables by employers of labour (private and public), the discriminate barriers are therefore introduced between HND and B.SC graduates. This, in turn, produces two diametrically opposite work behaviours. That of the HND graduate led to organisational ineffectiveness which translates to nothing functional. That of the B.SC graduate translates to organisational effectiveness. “Unfortunately, this does not translate to national development because it is grossly inadequate,” he said. He emphasised that both graduates must be treated alike for the good of the country. “The country is made up of component parts that must work together coherently. Therefore, where a component like HND graduates are frustrated, their contribution to national development do not therefore add to the totality of developmental target,” he said.
• Chairman Yaba Local Government Area. Hon Jimon Abduraheem Olajide (right), receiving the award of honour from one of the representatives of West Africa Students’ Union Diplomat Aziz Kamara of the University of the Gambia. With them is Diplomat Paulinious Kelvin of the University of Cape Coast Ghana during the conferment of 2011/2012 Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award on Administration and Icon of Society Development held at the council’s secretariat Lagos. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
Aregbesola birthday lecture holds tomorrow T HE birthday lecture series of Osun State Governor, AbduRauf Aregbesola will come up on Thursday June 28, 2012 at the Oranmiyan Hall of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The inaugural birthday lecture would hold under the aegis of Oranmiyan Democrats, a fledgling political association which is the brainchild of one of the chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in Osun State and former chairman of Ife East Local Government Area, Oluomo Gbenga Owolabi, will have as its theme” The Doctrine of Omoluabi and its Impact on Yoruba Culture” According to the statement signed by the coordinator of the event, Mr. Lawrence Omidiora, the lecture will be geared towards celebrating the monumental achievements of Governor Aregbesola who celebrated his 55th birthday anniversary recently. Erudite Professor, Siyan Oyeweso who is expected as the guest speaker will X-ray the Economic Integration programme of the Aregbesola administration that is aimed at revamping the economy of the state that prides itself as the Livingspring with the view to make its capital, Osogbo the economic hub of the South West region. It will also discuss in details the concept of Omoluabi in term of delivering democracy dividends to the masses in Osun as exemplified by Aregbesola. Other dignitaries expected at the ceremony are National Chairman of ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, former NADECO Chieftain, Gen Alani Akinrinade, national leader of ACN, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse
By Emmanuel Oladesu
11, members of state executive council, state lawmakers and members of National Assembly.
The latest knocks came from the president of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture, PHCCIMA Dr Vincent Furo who took a swipe at the company for allegedly excluding the names of Bonny and Rivers people in the NLNG 2012 technicians training and employment programme. Dr Furo made this observation while fielding questions with newsmen at Port Harcourt International Airport, shortly on arrival from a trip abroad. Furo expressed disappointment that an international company like NLNG can employ as much as 33 people into its 2012 technicians training and employment programme without making provision for its host community. He insisted that the management should go back and ensure that the people of Bonny (the host community) and Rivers State are accommodated so as to reflect local content and catchments area arrangement. He said: “We are talking about a community that has sacrificed the health of its people on the platter of dangerous emission of gas. A community where life expectancy is constantly threatened while corrosion, acid rain and environmental degradation are now a way of life. However, when it comes to accommodating the people in gainful employment and appointment, they are grossly neglected.” He explained that the likes of NLNG and other multi-national companies have been told to support current efforts of the Federal Government to end youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region by offering training and employment opportunities to youths of the region. He described the deliberate exclusion of Bonny people as the height of insensitivity on the part of the company. The PHCCIMA helmsman stressed that companies must be compelled by relevant laws to comply with catchments area laws to address their excesses. He pointed out that the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder every responsibility in its quest to address the issues of the region hence; companies owe it as corporate social responsibility to assist communities and states where they carry out their businesses.
•Motorcycles to be distributed to extension workers at the launch of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme in Awka, Anambra State
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- email@example.com
Text only: 08023058761
‘Corruption should carry death penalty’ – Page 30
Memorial service for Christy EssienIgbokwe – Page 33
•The late Olusola
NGO embraces art to empower women – Page 34
Lights out for culture icon
- SEE PAGE 31
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Yusuf Olaolu Ali (SAN) is better known as a lawyer, but he also has passion for creativity. This informs his sponsorship of a nationwide literary campaign, in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), tagged ANA/Yusuf Ali Literary Awareness Campaign (AYALAC). In this interview with EVELYN OSAGIE, he speaks on his passion and burning national issues
HAT inspired your sponsorship of the literary campaign with N3million? The dwindling reading culture, especially among students, inspired my sponsoring of the campaign. It is a major cause of the crises facing the polity. Reading has helped my life a lot. Nigeria needs people of sound intellect. The nation is suffering from illiteracy of ideals and intellectualism. It is part of the problem we are facing as a nation. We have not had leaders who are thinkers. Twenty years ago, Dubai was a mirage. Today, it’s reality. If we have people with a robust reading culture, we probably would not be having problems with security, where one person will mislead others into carrying out criminal activities such as bombing. This is my little contribution to celebrate writers; because without them there would be no books to read in the first place. Do you plan to sustain it? Yes. God sparing our lives, and by His Grace, I intend to continue the sponsorship annually and even extend the campaign to other states. Sixteen states are benefiting from the camapign, we hope to increase that number next year. Aside the campaign. There would be other collaborative areas. I encourage others who can afford it to invest in the literary development in our country through an association like ANA. I have followed their activities for years and their selfless contribution motivated me. Who inspired the man you became? My parents…My father prefers poverty than to become corrupt and be rich. So, right from my youth, I had imbibed the culture of honesty, hard work and loyalty to worthy causes. My father had the opportunity to cut corners to become rich, but refused. And today, he is better off because his colleagues, who chose to cut corners – though they were comfortable in the short-run – lost most of the things they acquired at the end. And I love reading, and I read wide. What were your aspirations as a young man? I wanted, greatly, to be a teacher because it was the in thing then. Teachers were held in awe in the 60s. And it affected my educational path. When I left primary school in 1967, I went to Modern School, which one attends before Grade II Teachers’ Training College, but then, my vision changed and I ended up going from Modern School to secondary school after joining my parents in Ibadan. Incidentally, I entered secondary school the year after I should have left if I had gone straight. At what point did you delve into law? We were the guinea pigs of JAMB: the pioneer students that took JAMB; and JAMB had not got it right then. Before then, in 1977, I took constitutional examination in which I picked University of Ibadan (UI) to study Agriculture and University of Ife (UNIFE), Law. But, unfortunately, my Chemistry was not releases. So, I couldn’t go to UI even though the then Dean of Agriculture had said if I have at least a ‘P’ in Chemistry because I performed very well in the examination; and got the letter of admission from UNIFE two weeks after Matriculation. In 1978, I took JAMB again, and was offered History in UNIFE even though Law was what I had applied for. After my first semester, I spoke with a professor of Chemical Engineering, a family friend, that I wanted to change to Law; and was taken to the then Acting Dean. I had made all A’s and he charged that if I maintained such result, they would take me in the Faculty of Law. I performed likewise in the second semester, and they were willing to accept me; but the Department of History refused, saying it won’t release its best student. It became a tug-of-war. I was advised to take another JAMB examination and fill Law, which I did and passed very well. But later I got to know my name was number one on change of course list. Because of the result, I became a university scholar and Federal Government Merit Award winner which came with scholarship and conditions for keeping those scholarships was maintenance of the good result, and, while changing the former faculty must agree that you move with the scholarships. But my former Dean did not allow me to take my fellowship awards with me. But I won back the award in my first year in law, which was in 200 level, and left the school with it. It was worth N650 at the time but that was a lot of money. Can you recall your first day as a lawyer? It was during Youth Service in ’83. Two interesting things happened: firstly, I forgot my Wig and Gown in the office, and turned back to collect them; and we lost the judgment. And our client, a lady, felt we lost the case because I was the one who handled it. Then, lawyers were not posted to private chambers. I was posted to the Ministry of Justice and from there to the Judiciary; and was attached to the Justice Obayan (rtd) as the research assistant. I told his Lordship that I wanted some exposure; and so I went to join Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN). And I did what is called PP in his office - and in fact, I worked with him for 11 years before opening my own chamber. My first day in court was a judg-
‘Corruption should carry death penalty’ INTERVIEW ment at the Ogbomosho High Court. He sent me there to take the judgment when I forgot my Wig and Gown in the office; and, subsequently, we lost the judgment involving a lady and the Town Planning Authority that demolished her shop without notice. It was quite embarrassing. As one who have handled many high profile cases, which would you regard as the most memorable? All cases are memorable, but a couple of cases are outstanding; but I regard the impeachment case of former Oyo State Governor, Chief Rasheed Ladoja as a landmark. I was his lawyer. Many people thought it was an impossible task because before then, there had been no successful impeachment case in Nigeria. But we scaled through and the man was reinstated. And that case – with its judgment coming from the Supreme Court – changed the face of our constitution; and brought an end to the rainfall of impeachments across the country at the time. And as such, it is a landmark to me. My prayer had been that I wanted to be a lawyer that would make original contribution to the development of Corpus Jurist. Why do you choose to represent the high and mighty? We don’t have a choice on who we represent; they come to us. If you are good, definitely, clients would come to
‘I see corruption as a very terrible sin. Eighty per cent of the country’s problems (socially, economically, religiously, developmentally, etc) are caused by corruption. I support death penalty for people, who are convicted for corruption. That is the only way we can get out of this mess’
you. I also do a lot of activism. There are cases we do for free, but we don’t make it an issue because it is a covenant between me and God. And the profession, in itself, is a service to humanity. All lawyers are activists by training: to assist the weak when they are being oppressed by the powerful. Those, who make it the mantra of their practice and make so much noise about it, are profiting from it. What is your view on the state of corruption in the country? I see corruption as a very terrible sin. Eighty per cent of the country’s problems (socially, economically, religiously, developmentally, etc) are caused by corruption. I support death penalty for people, who are convicted for corruption. That is the only way we can get out of this mess. In which case, the man who corruptly enriches himself and is found liable and executed will not be a beneficiary of his loot. The system we practice is, if a person steals N20 billion and goes to jail for 10 years, he comes back to enjoy the loot. If Nigerians know that once one is caught, prosecuted and convicted for corruption such person is going to die; nobody would want to steal for others to come and enjoy. We don’t work here. This is a place where when they declare public holiday, you’d see old men clapping. According to a Chinese proverbs as long as a man sets out early in the morning with a mind of fending for his family, 360 days in a year, he can never remain poor. This means that the average person there works for 360 days in a year. That is the problem. I spend an average of 14 hours in my office daily. What is your take on security and Boko Haram? It is corruption that has brought about all these. I have said it before that religious groups are promoting corruption. No church or mosque ever asked their members where they get the money they are donating. And it is only in Nigeria that you hear of an evangelist with private jets. I think we should get to a point when people would be called to give account of the resources. Once, one cannot give a satisfactory account of his/her resources or income. It is the duty of all of us. This society condoles corruption. When I was young, if a man travels from the village to the city and comes back after two years with a bicycle, he will be questioned that, how come he was able to buy bicycle in two years, not to talk of a car. But today, once a man that could • Continued on page 31
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The Midweek Magazine
Olusegun Olusola: 1935 -2012
Lights out for culture icon
OUSE 49, Babs Animashaun Street, Surulere, Lagos residence of the late Ambassador Segun Olusola has become a Mecca of a sort since Thursday last week. Nigerians from all walks of life as well as representatives of corporate bodies have continued to pay condolence visit to the bereaved family. The ace broadcaster, Olusola 77, died on Thursday last week in Lagos. Among the sympathizers were governors, chief executives of corporate bodies, representatives of professional bodies, friends and associates of the creator of the popular TV drama, The Village Headmaster. The late founder of Ajibulu-Moniya Art Gallery, Surulere, Lagos, is a man of many parts. He was into almost all aspects of the arts and culture: theatre, fine art and literature. Mediation and provision of relief for displayed victims of ethnic crises were also an area of his passion. Until his death, Olusola made several efforts to revamp the popular TV serial, The Village Headmaster. Age and death of some key members of the pioneer casts of the soap were among setbacks that befell the idea of bringing the production back to the screen. Asked why the idea of returning The Village Headmaster to the television was handicapped, Olusola said the fundamental problems plaguing the nation today are dramatised in the drama, and as such would be a timely and effective means of addressing them. He cited the indigene versus the settlers’ crisis that often tears communities apart. To him, The Village Headmaster would be a satirical commentary on tolerance and unity. With the death of its creator, will The Village Headmaster ever return to the screen? Only time will tell. His African Refugee Foundation (AREF), is another platform through which the late broadcaster brought smiles to the faces of victims of interethnic crises and wars in African region. The Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Alhaji Musa Mayaki, on behalf of the board and management and staff of the authority, regretted to announce the demise of the former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia. In a statement, he said: “A veteran broadcaster, ace dramatist and culture icon, Ambassador Olusola was one of the pioneers of Broadcasting in Nigeria. He began his career at the Nigeria Broadcasting Service (NBC), Ibadan, in 1955, from where he moved to the Western Nigerian Television Authority
•The late Olusola By Ozolua UHakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)
MEMORIAL WNTV) on inception in 1959, and later to the NTA, where he had a glorious career, which saw him serve in various capacities until retirement in 1987.The defining moment of Chief Olusola’s career arrived in 1968 with the creation of the famous television drama, The Village Headmaster, renowned as the best and longest running television programme in Nigeria. The entire management and staff of the NTA are deeply pained by the loss of this broadcasting colossus whose immeasurable contributions had a defining impact on the growth and
Some of the pioneer cast of the Village Headmaster Dead Funsho Adeolu (Eleyinmi) Wole Amele Elsie Olusola (Sisi Clara) Joe Layode
Living Dejumo Lewis Femi Robinson Ted Mukoro Jimi Johnson Jab Adu
development of the NTA and the broadcasting industry in Nigeria in general. The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr M. M. Maidugu, said it was a sad moment for Nigerians, particularly those in the culture sector. This, he said, was because the industry has lost an icon of arts and culture in Nigeria. “The sector is able to attain its present level of achievement as a result of the contribution of people like him. He had given us the inspiration, professionalism and i n t e l l e c t u a l strength to propel the sector to its present level. “In the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), he was like our umbrella in the sense that he has been able to give us a sense of direction and leadership. He was there for us at all times; he was the brain behind the FESTAC 77, which metamorphosed into the National Council for Arts and Culture and was always at all the staging of the festival since I assumed office as the chief executive of NCAC. “He not only honoured us with his
presence, he was also the symbol of the festival, which we collectively work towards sustaining and developing so that all the stakeholders can benefit from it. He gave us inspiration and courage we have; he provided the leadership we needed. We will ever remember him because he is irreplaceable. “We pray God to give his immediate family and the art community the fortitude to bear the loss.” Olusola, a veteran broadcaster, diplomat and ace television producer was born at Iperu-Remo on March 18, 1935. He hailed from Iperu-Remo in Ogun State. He attended St. John’s Catholic School and Wesley School, Iperu-Remo from 1941 to 1947. He attended Remo Secondary School, Sagamu between 1941 and 1947. He proceeded to the United States of America for his University Education between 1948 and 1961 where he attended Syracuse and Pittsburgh University. Upon graduation, he returned to the country and worked with the Nigeria Broadcasting Service (now FRCN), Ibadan as Broadcasting Officer, 1955-1959, Executive Producer, WNBC/WNTV Ibadan, 1959-1964. He was Controller of Programmes at NBC–TV, Lagos between 1965 and 1974, Director of Programmes at the NTA Lagos, from 1974 to 1976, General Manager at NTA, between 1976 and 1978, Director, NTA Lagos, between 1978 and 1987. In 1987, he was appointed Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia and the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU). He also served the country in various and private capacities. He was the founding director of the Players of Dawn between 1958 and 1964 and Theatre Express between 1966 and 1969. He was chairman, National Festival Committee and the Nigeria Arts Council, 1970; Director, Second All– Nigeria Festival of Arts and Culture, 1971. Olusola was Vice-Chairman, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) Planning Committee for the Second All African Games in 1973. He was a lecturer at the Institute of Journalism, between 1973 and 1974; Chairman, Programmes Committee Management Board, University of Lagos, Centre of Cultural Studies. He wrote the following books: Telecape, 20 years of TV in Africa, 1979 and The Motorist Company. He was the President, Remo Secondary School Old Students Association; Vice- President, Alumni Association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in 1993. He was also the Chairman, International Centre for Arts, Lagos and the founding President, African Refugees Foundation (AREF) and Ajibola Moniya Gallery. He was past President/Fellow, Society of Nigerian Broadcasters and member/trustee, International Institute of Communication since 1976. Ambassador Olusola is the Jibulu of Iperu Remo.
‘Corruption should carry death penalty’ • Continued from page 30 not own a bicycle gets a political assignment in six months, he has a personal jet, nobody queries him. But isn’t Boko Haram fighting about scholarship and not finance… What brought it about…it is because we have lot of people who are jobless with no education. And we have been told that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So, a man who has no hope does not care whether he dies today or not. These people have been pushed to the position of hopelessness because of the circumstances in the country, so
they don’t value the things others value. We must change our moral orientation. One of the ways to do so is through enlightenment; that was why I sponsoring the AYALAC campaign. If a person is enlightened, he cannot be brainwashed. There has been debate in some quarters over the adoption of Sharia Law and Islamic Banking into the constitution. What your take on the issue? Ordinarily, people should not be fighting over choices. If Islamic Banking and Sharia Law are adopted, it would be a matter of choice and they won’t be forced on anybody. It is not healthy for our nation
for its two major religions always being on each other throat. There is no need for that. God has a reason why these two originates from the Middle East; and they have not killed themselves there, so, why should we who have merely adopted them? What is your take on the push for regional status as a solution to the unrest? The talk for creation of local governments and states should stop because it is a waste of time. If the existing states would not be merged, then, let’s stop this merry-goround about state and local government creation. We have states that are not economically viable. Not all the 36 states can
pay salaries based on its internally generated revenue. When you create more states, you create additional overhead and recurrent expenditure; and such cannot take us out of the wood. It is when you have the larger percentage of your budget dedicated to capital projects that there can be development. We can work on six geo-political zones as vehicle of convenience deliver services to the people. But it shouldn’t be regionalism based on ethnicity: it was one of the things that led to the death of the First Republic: giving exceeding loyalty to the region in preference to patriotism and loyalty to the nation.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The Midweek Magazine
There are millions of books in the world today, but only few can move man from the carnal to the spiritual plane. Peter Afangideh’s new book, The Mystery of Life is one of such few books. Afangideh, a lawyer, won the 2011 Award of Scholar of Merit in Comparative Law at Stanford University, Birmingham, Alabama, United States. He speaks with Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME on why Nigeria cannot develop, the significance of exploring the mysteries surrounding man and his environment.
OUR book is entitled: The Mystery of Life. Why? Generally, there are certain things or questions, which battle man a great deal from the foundation of the world. These are things the world would have loved to know if there was anyone who could explain to them. These issues bother Christians and non-Christians. That is the main focus of the book. The book brings to readers that type of information that is trustworthy and real. The issues of life and death, poverty and wealth, health and sickness, issues covering the destiny of man, things everyone wants to know. But the feeling is that matters touching on life and death cannot be known by man. What is your take? This is correct. That is why the book is unique in that it has distinguished guests from other planets who have come to tell man what he does not know. As a matter of fact, no man can write this book if he does not have divine assistance. Of course, you know there are billions of beings in other planets, but I am referring to the holy angels of God. Are you saying that angels still speak to man today? Certainly, but some years ago, I would I have considered this to be blasphemy. As a member of the Church of Christ, the belief has always been that God stopped talking to man when the Bible was completed. But my studies exposed to me the fallacy of this belief. I found from my studies that God continues to speak to mankind in our time and would continue to do so. When we had an experience in the year 2007, it did not come as a surprise, even though the experience itself was wonderful. Many of the ideas in this book flow from that encounter. As a matter of fact, chapters 11 and 12 are verbatim reproductions. You mentioned studies, what kind of books did you study? This is a very interesting question. Many Christians do not read anything beside the Holy Bible. They think that the Bible is a literature book, easy to understand. But long ago, I discovered that the Bible was a book of wisdom and philosophy (take the Book of Revelation, for instance) and the Lord made available to me books of all kinds that would help me have a proper understanding of its contents. I have studied philosophical books, metaphysical books, occult books, and books in all the major world religions. You see, if your interest is on knowledge, then you can and should study any book. But if your interest is on power that is where the danger lies. I figured out that I could not have a fruitful discourse with the Hindu without knowing the depth of their belief. These studies have been a blessing to me. Take the case of the kingdom of God, which was the central teaching of Christ. Then, you go to the philosopher Hermes, who lived in Egypt thousands of years before Christ. He spoke of immortality on earth. Then, you go to Pythagoras and Plato. And you learn that our present life rather resembles death than life. And so when Christ says you should seek the kingdom, you then understand that he is talking about a good life, a glorious life, which God provided for man to enjoy, which is spiritual life. But, at the moment, all existing books on the kingdom by the churches and universities say that the kingdom is either the church or a future life in Heaven. This is an error. This is why God commands us to study (II Tim. 2:15). An ignorant Christian is most dangerous. How can a poor man benefit from this book? Well, the book addresses issues beyond poverty. It
Pathway to mystery of life INTERVIEW addresses all kinds of human problems. It touches sickness, how you can have and enjoy good health. It also addresses spiritual attacks and how you can enjoy some immunity. It even addresses the problem of death saying that every death is a suicide. Now back to poverty. The book has a chapter on how to create wealth. It teaches that poverty is a state of mind not of being. In other words, there is nothing like a poor man but a man living in the state of poverty. Poverty is a state like Lagos. Many of those who lived in Lagos for 10 years and above do not feel any need to move elsewhere. They do not
feel there is a better place than Lagos, even when they are living under the bridge. They see the number of new people pouring into the city daily and they conclude that this is their state. All that a poor man needs to do is move out of that state. He should see that state as a transit camp. Poverty shows at that point in time your mind is vibrating on the poverty frequency. It can be on the matter of low income or waste and extravagance. Whenever you see a man that is poor, he vibrates on any of this axis. Poverty arises from ignorance or weakness. Every Christian is a royalty. God, your father is wealthy. You should be like him. Poverty is a form of sickness that must be fully eradicated to give man freedom. Poverty is a form of imprisonment or bondage. Is it possible for man to enjoy immortality on earth? If you ask Hermes, who lived 3,000 years before Christ, his answers will be unequivocal yes. If you ask Pythagoras and Plato both agree with Hermes. And if you ask Christ, this is his reply: Verily, Verily, I say unto you, if a man keeps my saying, he shall never see death (John 8:51). And you know that the Jews took up stones to stone him for making that statement. So, you see that man hates new ideas. Don’t be surprised if your reader reacts as the Jews. It is our tradition. But tell them that the author of the book has lived for the last eight years of his life from January to December without swallowing one tablet. You see man is never created with a certain amount of energy that then wears out and dies. Instead, he is newly created in each moment; everyday is a new beginning for him. He is not like an automobile battery that is programmed for a certain number of years, then it expires. Instead, he enjoys self renewal perpetually. This battery is the spirit, which never dies. But it is only forced to abandon the body through sin. This is what the Bible means that the wages of sin is death. So, if you remove sin – the cause of death – what do you have? Can you summarise the book? Life is full of mysteries, which reason and logic, could not unravel. The mysteries lie at the root of Christianity, science, our origin, destiny, and the well-being of man. If man is to live a happy and successful life, he must come to terms with them. Millions of people perish yearly (who otherwise would have been saved) simply on account of ignorance as Prophet Hosea had predicted for thousands of years. This book stands out as the “tree of life” for those who would embrace it. It contains no speculative thought, but knowledge that can be demonstrated by anyone. One of the greatest mysteries which the book focuses on from beginning to end is the subject of spiritual warfare – a subject which is still incomprehensible to most Christians. It stresses the fact that we are spiritual beings living in a spiritual world. But, at the moment, we tend to focus our attention on the material plain, thereby leading to all our problems. By the principles and techniques taught in this book, which the author obtained through divine assistance, the author has been able to conquer, poverty, sickness and their ugly mother – ignorance. And this is why I am turning this wisdom to all the common heritage of mankind. If you can place this book in every household in Nigeria, you would have laid the foundation stone for Nigeria to become a world power. Yesterday, it was Egypt, in future it will be Nigeria.
Grillo Pavilion honours David Dale
HE Grillo Pavilion Visual Art Festival is to hold a mid-year soiree in honour of renowned muralist, graphic artist and stained-glass maker, David Dale, one of Nigeria’s most creative artists. The Grillo Pavilion is the organiser of the yearly Grillo Pavilion Visual Art Festival at Kunbi Haven, Ikorodu, Lagos. Grillo Pavilion is dedicated to the celebration of excellence in visual art practice. It also houses the private collections of Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi. According to the founder of Grillo Pavilion Visual Art Fiesta, Gbadamosi, the soiree will hold on July 8 at the pavilion’s annex at Ikoyi, Lagos. The celebration will feature 21 new works by Dale comprising original engraving, foil works, beads, stained glass and 30 other works from the private collections of Gbadamosi, Mr Sam Olagbaju, and Sehinde Odimayo. Gbadamosi said the soiree is an experiment initiated to honour Dale, who was the first Nigerian artist to exhibit after the group exhibition of the first generation of Zaria artists. “We have prevailed on Dale to have patience and that one day, he would be
By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)
CELEBRATION honoured even if not on an elaborate scale. His choice is in line with the celebration of the Zarianists. The day has therefore come for the celebration of Dale. “If this experiment works out fine, it will be a good template for other activities at the Lagos annex of the Pavilion. Blame it on me if it fails. But if it works, Dale should be glad in it,” Gbadamosi said. He recalled that it was not easy getting an artist to kickstart the soiree adding that for Dale to agree as first artist for the show was a big relief. On future structural plans for Kunbi Haven, Gbadamosi added: “When I bid the world bye, the family will decide what becomes of the Kunbi Haven. In fact, there are strong cultural links between the family and the Haven”. Dale, 64, who has worked in over 23 media and received several awards, noted that the soiree has gingered him up despite the health challenges he
•From left: Gbadamosi and Dale
went through. “Until now, I used to paint two hours each day, but since the announcement of the soiree, I now paint for about six hours daily. In 1977, Dale started teaching at the University of Lagos, on part time basis for 13 years
teaching art in context to architecture. Dale’s commissioned works include the stained-glass work at Our Saviour’s Church, Onikan, Lagos; mosaic work at St. Agnes Church, Maryland, Lagos and a mural for the MTN Building at Ibadan.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The Midweek Magazine
School holds Children’s Arts exhibition
I am the Niger Seye Aluko
HE Kings School, Gbagada, Lagos has said its yearly Children Art Exhibition will help build values and creative talents among the young. The competition, the fifth in series,was jointly organised by the school, National Gallery of Art, MTN and Terra Kuture. It was attended by among others Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Adefulire, represented by Director of Child Development in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Alaba Fadairo, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Senior Pastor of the Trinity House and Mrs. Ekene Okoroma, Curator of the National Gallery of Art. The competition featured pupils with ages ranging between three and 12. Those within ages three to five: Peace in my Home; Ages six to eight: Peace in my School and ages nine to twelve: Peace in the World. Each age group category had a winner and two runners-up. Judges for the competition were from the National Gallery of Art, the top entries in each category also had their works on display at the exhibition held during the prize award at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Chief Executive Officer of the Kings School, Mrs. Victoria Tandoh, said: “Art is a very important element of a child’s learning experience. It gives children a unique way to express themselves and helps them to relate to culture and life around them. “It also allows the child to experiment with textures, shapes, and colours as well as offers experiences that help increase a child’s observation skills, fine motor
AM called N’ger’ gereo (Niger)-Tuareg (River of Rivers) but -prefer my native namesQuorra (Kwara) Or Joliba! My sister rivers are Nile and Congo, We are the heart and soul of the rivers of Africa. I, the Niger, am tributary to no river. I brook no barrier, boundary or barricade, but surround, swamp, strangle and suffocate -
By Miriam Ndikanwu
The Oli River, The Goroual, The Kaduna. The Albari and The Sokoto, they answer to me alone!
I have submerged the mighty Benue, (the “Mother of Waters”) at the confluence at Lokoja:
• Mrs. Tandoh, Mrs. Fadairo and Pastor Ighodalo at the event.
strength, eye and hand co-ordination.” She expressed the hope that from the competition will arise a new breed of young talented Nigerian artists who will make Nigeria proud in the arts sector. She said that the winning works will also be displayed at the London International Gallery of Children’s Art later in September, this year. Mrs Tandoh said the arts competition/exhibition is organised yearly as part of the The King’s School vision to encourage every child to fulfill their full potential. “The organisers decided to focus on younger children because arts completion and indeed many other school competitions are organised all the time for older children and teenagers while the younger children are mostly neglected in such, she said.
Lagos, Jo’ Burg host expo
N exhibition of arts, culture, tourism and business featuring participants from Nigeria and South Africa entitled: A tale of 2 African cities will hold in Lagos and Johannesburg. It will open in Lagos at the Sun International Hotel, Lagos from October 3 to 6. The Johannesburg leg will come up early next year. The project is managed by Inspiro Productions and endorsed by the South African High Commission in Lagos. The economic and social roles of both Lagos and Johannesburg in shaping trends in Africa will come into focus as the event kicks-off. Lagos, the gate way to the Nigerian economy with a population of over 15 million is Africa’s second largest city. With strong cultural, tourism and business potential, it serves as a business hub for the sub-region and beyond. Lagos attracts many people seeking a better life from all parts of Nigeria and beyond and can be described as Nigeria’s most prosperous city. A port city, Lagos has one of Africa’s largest and busiest ports. It also has one of the largest and most extensive road networks in West Africa. As the fastest growing city in Africa, and the seventh fastest growing in the world, Lagos is divided into the mainland and the Island and is known for its tourism potentials by virtue of various festivals including the Eyo Festival, The Lagos Black Heritage Festival, The Lagos Carnival, Fanti Carnival and much more. It has a vibrant night life and thriving music industry and is the traditional home of Afro-beat, Fuji and Juju, Apala and now Naija Flavor Hip-hop, among others. Lagos music has continued to flourish influencing sounds
EXHIBITION across Africa, beginning with Highlife greats like legendary Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey and now 2face, D’banj, Flavour, P Square and others. The city is also the centre of the movie Industry known as ‘Nollywood’. Johannesburg is the home of Kwaito and Jazz music, known as Egoli-the city of gold; it generates about 40 per cent of the South Africa’s income. Manufacturing and banking also play key role in the economy. From a town of tents, Johannesburg has evolved into a thriving metropolis and South Africa’s largest city with strong tourism potentials, a thriving banking sector and its own sound boasting legends like the late legendary Mariam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and Hugh Masakela. With a strong live band tradition, it has a vibrant Jazz heritage. Popular Johannesburg landmarks include the Hill brow Tower, the Nelson Mandela Bridge, New Town and O.R. Tambo International Airport. According to a statement, the South Africa High Commission stated that it has agreed to endorse the initiative because it would further showcase both countries’ rich cultural heritage and by extension promote the African agenda. “This will further strengthen the good bilateral relationship that exists between both countries politically, economically and socially. This mandate is driven by a broad vision of the South African government and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO),” the statement added.
Memorial service for Christy Essien-Igbokwe
HE family of the late Christy EssienIgbokwe will on Sunday hold a oneyear remembrance service for her. It will hold at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, G.R.A., Ikeja, Lagos by10a.m. “It is rather for us a sober moment to reunite with her in faith and spirit as our family always did together while she was here with us, and time to glorify God who had admitted her into His place of Eternal Peace in Heaven. That is the path me and Christy’s (biological) four sons have thought we should rather go for the commemoration of her one year of transition to eternal glory,” a statement by the family stated.
•The late Essien-Igbokwe
Two mighty rivers become one, and yet are known as “Niger!” I am the uniting, dividing, re-uniting Niger! I am the appearing, disappearing, re-appearing Niger! I am the fathomable, unfathomable, predictable, unpredictable malevolent, benevolent Niger! Irritable! Irascible! Impetuous! Tempestuous! Violent! I name cities, I make them great: Timbuktu, Niamey, Bamako, Onitsha, Lafiaji, Asaba. Great Nations bear my name: Niger and Nigeria… I rush seawards, spilling into a many-pronged Delta. In sultry mangrove swamps called: “The Oil Rivers.” I, the Niger, Lordly and magnificent! I, the Niger of contrast and conjecture, I , the Niger of Herodotus and Leo the African, I, the Niger of Lander, Clapperton and Park. But I have somewhat against you (my namesake “NIGERIA”) After me you were named to be “greater” (and not lesser)! You were conceived as a mighty creation, not a puny caricature! Now embrace the greatness in the name “NIGER” (The name that entranced Baike, Denham and Laird) Dig into the well-springs of my grandeur, Be at the front, and not behind, Flow into your appointed Destiny, Be majestic, as I (the Niger) am majestic. I, amongst the greatest of the rivers of Africa, I, amongst the grandest of the rivers of the world!
Okediran launches book THE former chair, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) will present his book entitled: Fearless: The Emergence of a Virile and Formidable Opposition and Leader, on the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, today. The foreword of the book, which is a biography on Gbajabiamila, is written by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The event, which is part of activities marking Gbajabiamila’s 50th birthday, will be chaired Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN), former Federal Commissioner for Works. Chief launcher is Chairman, Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu. The book will be reviewed by Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu. Other dignitaries expected include the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, among others.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- email@example.com
•From left: Vice-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof Joseph Ajienka, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Koko Kalango, Jesse Jackson, Femi Eke, at the Garden City Literary Festival last year
Port Harcourt eyes World Book Capital City
NE of Nigeria’s major seaports and famous Garden City, Port Harcourt, is eyeing the prestigious status of becoming the first city in sub-Sahara Africa to serve as UNESCO’s World Book Capital City. This is courtesy of a bid proposal to UNESCO by the Rainbow Book Club, organisers of the yearly Garden City Literary Festival, Garden City Book Fair, Get Nigeria Reading campaigns among other literary activities. These literary events have attracted great scholars, such as Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Gabriel Okara, Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi, Jesse Jackson, among others. Based on the experience of World Book and Copyright Day, launched in 1996, UNESCO initiated the concept of World Book Capital City and nominated Madrid, Spain as the Capital for 2001. Following this successful experience the general conference adopted, on November 2, 2001, the 31 C/Resolution 29, establishing the yearly nomination of the Book Capital City. The bid for Port Harcourt is coming at an auspicious year when Nigeria will be 100 years since its amalgamation by the British colonial authorities. Founder of Rainbow Book Club, Mrs. Koko Kalango, assured that if Port Harcourt is granted the World Book Capital City for 2014, the club would build on the legacy of its literary history and culture to expand its role and influence by attracting stakeholders in the publishing industry from the continent. She added that it would also promote books and reading, meeting pressing development needs in Africa in line with the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals.
By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)
LITERATURE Port Harcourt, as World Book Capital City, she said, would transform not just the Niger Delta region and Nigeria but also the rest of Arica. She explained that this is because of Nigeria’s strategic place in Africa as its most populous country as well as its economic, political and social leadership role on the continent. “This bid proposes a rich variety of events to run through the world Book Capital year. It will include the scaling and strengthening of existing events in the city, as well as launching strategic activities that would ensure popular reach, accelerate the rate of literary promotion in the city and catalyse writers from across the region, the country and the continent. In order to drive the 2014 activities, Kalango chose the theme, Books: Window to our world of possibilities, which captures the simple but powerful concept that the act of reading books provides knowledge and exposure, allowing the reader to be transported to new worlds, introduced to new concepts and ideas. According to her, enlightened individuals would be empowered to protect democracy, promote social justice and contribute towards the development of the society. She noted that to achieve all this, is a collective responsibility of a dynamic team composed of literature experts, leaders from the private sector, civil society groups, which is supported by the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, a literary enthusiast.
NGO embraces art to empower women
Care mothers get lift
By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)
IKE Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos, has held a fund raiser for an art auction organised by Ripples, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) operating under BME Concern, a registered Charity in England, United King-
dom. The auction that also featured solo singing and dance drama sketch attracted captains of industry, such as, Keith Richards of the Promasidor Group, Ladi Balogun of the First City Monument Bank, Prince Yemisi Shyllon of OYASAF, Chief Frank Okonta of Nkem Gallery, Mrs Nike Okundaye, Miss Peju Alatise, among others. Four paintings by Rom Isichei, Biodun Olaku, Nike Okundaye/Tola Wewe and Oyerinde Olotu were offered for auction. Of the four works, the 2005 painting by Nike Okundaye and Tola Wewe got the auctioneer’s hammer at N400,000. Prince Yemisi Shyllon was the auctioneer at the event. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Ripples, Anne Philips, the auction was organised to also sensitise the corporate bodies and individuals to understand the needs of the deprived women in the society. Ripples, she said, works with women and children on specific projects that are sustainable because women are passionate about getting empowered. Philips noted that 85 per cent of Nigerians live in the rural areas, adding that the people are becoming destitute because of poverty and neglect. “Our charity supports village women and women in deprived areas of big African cities to alleviate poverty under our Village Enterprise Programme. We consult village women and work with them to set up Village Enter-
The Federal Government is also enthusiastic and supportive of the bid, according to the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Strategy and Research, Mr Oronto Douglas. In fact, under the auspices of its Bring back The Book campaign, Nigeria will support the bid for Port Harcourt to be designated the World Book Capital City for 2014. “The importance of this campaign cannot be overemphasised and the many laudable activities of the Rainbow Book Club key in very strongly into the citizen driven nature of the initiative ... In line with the Federal Government’s transformation agenda, the Rainbow Book Club has been a very positive influence in Port Harcourt which is at the heart of Nigeria’s once restive Niger Delta. The designation of Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital City 2014 would strengthen on-going efforts towards the several of our reading culture, to help set our country on the path to greater progress,” Douglas said in an endorsement to the UNESCO. The team, Kalango said, would work collaboratively to enable effective management and governance of the activities for the year with special attention to transparency and accountability. “In addition, the committee will develop tools for measuring and evaluating the impact of the programmes and ensuring sustainability of all the programmes beyond 2014,” she added. Other cities in the race include Ganja, (Azerbaidjan), Incheon (Korea Republic), Krakow (Poland), Lyon (France), Moscow (Russia), Oxford (UK), Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) Vilnius (Lithuania) and Yaounde (Cameroon).
prises; sustainable and viable businesses owned and run by the women to generate income for them to support their families. We also have a Medical Initiative where we hold Surgeries and offer Medical (MOT), consultations and dispensing of medicine to help villagers, mainly women and children who have little or no access to basic medical care. “As we all know, the degree of need for support in Nigerian villages where most Nigerians reside is enormous, and so is the number of requests for help we have received. This is why we’re requesting for your kind support. We believe that securing the support of your corporate bodies and Nigerians will help us reach even more villages and support more desperate families,” she added. Since commencing operation last year in Nigeria, Ripples has embarked on 39 projects across three states of the federation. Philips described Promasidor as one of the amazing supporters of Ripples projects noting that the company recently spent N5.5million to fly in medical supplies and clothing. Among the states that are within being considered by Ripples include Edo, Oyo and Ekiti.
INNERS of the Pampers Premium Care 5 star memorable moments contest were hosted by Procter & Gamble, the makers of Pampers Premium Care to a one-day spa treatment in Lagos. The winners, who were mainly mothers had a swell time at The Wheat Baker, Ikoyi, Lagos, venue of the event, which began with a spa treatment for the mothers, makeovers by celebrity make-up artist Banke Meshida as well as family photo sessions and dinner. During dinner, the mothers were presented with photo albums from their previously held family photo shoot sponsored by Pampers. Brand Manager, Baby & Oral Care, Procter & Gamble, Mr Cletus Onyebuaha appreciated the mothers for their unflinching support for the brand, and most especially, for giving the best diaper care to their babies. He said: “Pampers Premium Care was introduced as a result of fresh insights by dermatologists that babies’ skin requires extra special protection in the diaper area because their skin is subject to very specific demands, compared to the skin of older children or adults. This is due to exposure from external irritants.” While outlining the features of the diaper, Onyebuaha re-iterated that its five-star features make it a perfect diaper for skin that feels everything so intensely. Onyebuaha stressed the company’s commitment to assisting mothers’ help their babies have high quality skin protection, adding that by selecting a good quality diaper that offers high quality skin protection, mothers can nurture a most vital asset essential to babies’ experiences of the world around them and important to their unique and special bond. On why the company decided to honour mothers, Brand Public Relations Manager, Procter & Gamble, Miss Ngozi Coker said: “at P&G we recognise that mothers are the key primary care givers in the home. By honouring mothers across Nigeria as we have done with Pampers Premium Care Memorable Moments, we are keeping with our purpose which is to touch and improve the lives of our consumers.” Mrs. Madukwe Chinwe, one of the mothers at the event, said: “I have been using Pampers Premium Care for the last two years now.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The Midweek Magazine The quintessential Ojukwu
OME books can simply overwhelm one. I guess I do have a well-earned reputation as a devourer of books and the written word, but I have to confess from the very beginning that Chuks Iloegbunam’s General of the People’s Army was quite overpowering to me. It is a book that contains multitudes. The wellannotated volume deserves a dissertation for due justice to be done to it. Be that as it may, Iloegbunam understands that the man adored in his lifetime as EzeIgbo Gburugburu was akin to a big masquerade that cannot be fully appreciated whist standing on one spot, whence this take from the blurb: “Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu was a multi-dimensional phenomenon. Because individual effort is incapable of adequately interpreting the legend, an amalgamation of local and international voices has assembled a composite pronouncement on the man who declared the Republic of Biafra. Given the centrality of Ojukwu in the history of Nigeria, General of the People’s Army is at once the story of a courageous soldier, a record of the African continent’s bloodiest attempt at secession and a statement on the texture of relations between former Biafrans and the rest of their countrymen and women.” General of the People’s Army is divided into six bold chapters that should be actually seen as sections thus: 1. The Masquerade Changes Realm…; 2. Obituaries Abroad; 3. Nigerian Editorials; 4. Interviews; 5. Tributes; 6. Biafra and Aftermath. Three appendices: 11 Casualties of the January 1966 Coup; 40 Casualties of the July 1966 Counter-Coup (Officers); and 128 Casualties of the July 1966 Counter-Coup (NCOs and other Ranks) round up the book. Iloegbunam is meticulous enough to point out that the list does not include victims like Majors Christian Anuforo and Donatus Okafor who were active participants in the January 1966 coup. Although the book is divided into the six broad chapters or sections, it can be read quite seamlessly. The inclusion of the epochal “Ahiara Declaration” in General of the People’s Army is a coup, a book on its own, or a book embedded in another book! Iloegbunam gives Ojukwu his due with the following words of the Ikemba: “It seems rather odd that people find it difficult to know how to address me. They didn’t know whether to say lieutenant-colonel or to say general. And then on that basis, I indicated that that was still one of the things that bedevilled our effort at coming
By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
BOOK REVIEW together. We have not been able to come together because, you see, when you strip a man of everything, be careful, don’t strip him of his plans… How can I contribute fully to the War College when you, in front of me and in front of Major-General Philip Effiong, call him• Colonel, or when you cannot even call him any rank? The American civil war was fought very bitterly, but in personal relationship, all the other officers on the other side bear their ranks. I will always be a four-star general. General of the Biafran Army. I have never claimed to be a General of the Nigerian Army.” Dedicated “to the cause of a negotiated Nigeria”, General of the People’s Army kicks off with a robust preface from Iloegbunam thusly: “There are many like Ojukwu in the Igbo country – including Chinua Achebe, and Mbonu Ojike who died in his prime. They are the true measure of the Igbo spirit which Ojukwu exemplified in 1966. Today, people will be hard put to find sterling characters like them. Today, the dangling of an oil block or the waving of a fat dollar denominated cheque or a ministerial appointment would send many a pretender to Igbo leadership into swearing that the anti-Igbo pogrom of 1966 had not taken place. It is eternally to Ojukwu’s credit that he never posted his conscience, nor was he ever enticed by filthy lucre; he continued to the very end with the insistence that no ethnic group deserved to be cannon fodder in the Nigerian polity; no Nigerian deserved to be a second-class citizen in his own country.”
Saturday, November 26, 2011 was the redletter day on which Emeka OdumegwuOjukwu passed on in London, as evinced by the testimony of his son, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu Jr, published in this book wherein he thanked President Goodluck Jonathan, and of course Anambra State Governor, “Mr. Peter Obi who went above the call of duty to look after him (Ojukwu snr.) Besides paying the hospital bills, he visited London on monthly basis to see him. He was there yesterday and only came back this morning to receive the news, whereupon he entered the next available flight back to London.” Governor Obi in his lament, written in Igbo, mourns that “lightning and thunderbolt are silenced” with the passing of Ojukwu. Chinua Achebe celebrates the giant who lived for others. For President Jonathan, “Ojukwu’s place in Nigerian history remains assured.” Senate President David Mark celebrates Ojukwu’s “metamorphosis from military leadership to a true democrat.” Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu revels in the Ikemba’s courage and fearlessness. For Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Ojukwu was “the man who saw tomorrow.” Brigadier-General Samuel Ogbemudia, who fought against Ojukwu in the war, stresses that “Biafra would have been the toast of Africa” if it had succeeded. The inimitable emitter of vocabulary, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon insists that “the fundamental issues which Ikemba confronted have now even coagulated and ossified into gorgon medusa.” Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe sees Ojukwu as one of the greatest Igbo of all time whose death should lead to the goals of doing justice to the Igbo genocide and the restoration of Igbo sovereignty. General Olusegun Obasanjo sees Ojukwu’s death as the end of an era while General Ibrahim Babangida argues that Ojukwu’s understanding of the political dynamics of Nigeria was extraordinary. Ojukwu was indeed a global phenomenon as showcased by the obituaries of The Economist, Associated Press, Time World, Washington Post, The Guardian of London etc. The Nigerian newspapers counted too with their editorials. The many dimensions of Ojukwu are limned by fine minds such as Joe Achuzia, Prof Sam Aluko, Igwe Alex Nwokedi, Odia Ofeimun, Brigadier-General Oluwole Rotimi, Brigadier-General Johm Shagaya, Udemefuna Ojukwu, Ralph Uwazuruike, Sabella Abidde, Louis Achi, Adamu Adamu, Olusegun Adeniyi, Femi Adeshina, Lady Grace Nonyelum Agude, Anthony Akinola, Dada Aladelokun, Chidi Amuta, Douglas Anele, Ejike Anyaduba, Abiodun Awolaja, Nnorom Azuonye, Pini Jason, Mahmud Jega, Okey C. Iheduru, Ikeddy Isiguzo, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, Simon Kolawole, Kayode Komolafe, Olaitan Ladipo, Edwin Madunagu, Okey Ndibe, Ochereome Nnanna, Obi Nwakanma, Charles Ofoji, Nnedi Ogaziechi, Ikeogu Oke, Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, Wole Olaoye, Sam Omatseye, Bolade Omonijo, Kanayo Esinulo etc.
Where psychopaths are enthroned… By Yomi Oguntoyinbo
OW can she be called a mother Woman whose hand’s full of murder? Being blind, deaf and dumb To the agony of her children – her people, Who wonder around like sparrows without nest. A denial of milk and honey nature bequeathed Man unkind to mankind; Birthright forfeited Will a child cry out in pain And the mother not respond? Her people surrounded by ocean greatly thirst Dwell in plenty; yet, malnutritionally fed Exiles, refugees, and slaves of the world they become Yet, stranger is king in their homeland. The leaders having more dribbling skills Than the mango tree has leaves The people’s pride deeply buried in the mud Insecurity hovers in the air; darkness all around Smiles have vanished from their faces Their soul weary and scary Blood of the innocents crying, while Looters are exonerated, celebrated and decorated. A place where psychopaths are enthroned, Virtues, values, sanity… are sacrificed! Oh, Mother Africa! Her leaders Dancing to the drumbeat of third parties Whose interest only is coveted. A stain on the conscience of the world Pillar by corruption and unpatriotism The People ride on vague promises, Lack of basic provisions only enjoyed Butcher’s son feeds on assorted bones; Cloth merchant’s haggardly clothed in rags Bankrupt! On less than a dollar a day they live, Yet, millions of dollar oil barrens daily exported. Isn’t a hungry people an angry people? Will a people cry out in pain And the nation not be concerned?
69 salute to a jurist
T was John McCain in his book: Faith of my fathers, who said “nothing is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone” and to me to succeed in life is to contribute to making life easier for others to live, this is the life Justice Umaru Eri has lived for more than six decades. Whereas I cannot position myself as a chronicler of Justice Eri’s life story as his authorised biography, In the eye of the law, he narrated in a more illustrative ways all that needed to be made known about him. The book remains one of the best on my bookshelf, however I find it difficult and irresistible not to write about this larger than life personality who is worthy of celebrating on this occasion of his 69th birthday. I remember my several conversations with him, especially the day I made a casual remark about his robust youhtfulness even at his old age. I said: ‘my Lord this your dressing today depicts a young man in his 20s; with this your overall jeans attire and in his characteristic manner, he returned the compliment with a smile. Justice Eri is strong, active, agile and charming. His frankness, fearlessness and attention to details are something to behold, and his ability to remember events quickly thrills
By Kolade Umoru
TRIBUTE those of us that work directly with him. Many of us draw from his inspiration, wisdom and, of course, the knowledge that he churns out everyday in the office and at home. He is resourceful, energetic, and sagacious. He is a regular face at most gatherings of eminent jurists. In many cases, his views are needed at any critical moment in the nation’s judiciary. Since he assumed duty at the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in August 2008, he has not put any one in doubt as to his determation to pursue the mandate and statutory objectives of the Institute. He has encouraged the Institute to collaborate with other organisations in Nigeria and abroad to improve and update the knowledge of judicial officers and to take the institute to international standard. He has since completed in record time all uncompleted projects under the first phase of the Institute.There is massive infrastructural developments going on in the Institute which include an estate of guest chalets, guest reception centre, guest motel, hotels, estate of residential quarters for principal and intermediate officers, a mosque, a Christian worship centre, a
shopping centre, a social centre, a banquet hall with catering facilities, seminar halls for study and research department, a functioning estate and maintenance department and a golf course. As a man of perfection, he takes time out of his busy schedule to assess the work on the sites. He started and completed major projects in the Institute namely Justice Idris Kutigi Library, the NJI Clinic, fire station with latest fire fighting equipment and a fitness centre. for greater efficiency and productivity. Under Eri, the staff are provided materials and the logistics to do their work. The staff are getting set for local and international trainings. To many, Justice Eri is a role model and a shinning example of what a good leader should be. He also plays a role of locus parent to many people. A man of many parts, you know him from the part you see. Justice Eri was the pioneer Chief Judge of Kogi State (1991-2008), and has been a life Beneher for more than a decade now. He was born on June 27, 1943 in KotonKarfe. He attended RCM Primary School, Idah and Anglican Primary School, Akabe. He was at the Government College, Keffi (1959-1963) and the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1970. He started his Judicial career as a Pupil Counsel in 1971; Chief Magistrate, 1978;
Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Benue State,1980. He was appointed the First Chief Judge of Kogi State in 1991. He was awarded National Honour of the Officer of the order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2004. Justice Eri is dogged, courageous, resilient, fearless and humorous. As he turns 69 today, I salute a role model and distingustished jurist. • Umoru, a staff member of NJI, wrote from Abuja.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The Midweek Magazine
Ezekwesili reads to Ajegunle pupils
ORMER Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili was guest reader at Rainbow Book Club organised by Get Nigeria Reading campaign to mark the Day of the African Child. Alakoto Senior High School, Ajegunle, Lagos was the venue of the event that attracted 150 junior and secondary school pupils from 13 schools. The message of getting a good education by developing a reading habit set the tone for the day and the children were thrilled to have former Minister for Education Dr. Oby Ezekwesili read to them. She read from The Missing Clock by Mai Nasara, winner of the NLNG-sponsored Nigeria Prize for Literature. The Principal of the school Mr Titoni Ikhigbo, said he believed that the saying, “can anything good come out of Israel (Ajegunle, the jungle city?) was put to rest with the visit of Ezekwesili, who attended a family-owned primary school in Ajegunle. House of poetry enterrtained the pupils and special guests to a soul stirring drama performance of Ajegunle Cannot Cry written by Daggar Tolar, co-ordinator of the programme and Chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Lagos. One of the children also performed a rousing dance to Olori Oko. Founder of Rainbow Book Club, Mrs Koko Kalango was the moderator of the reading. With a synopsis of the award winning book read to the audience, the ambience for the reading was further heightened. Pupils relished the moment listening to the story of Mrs Ezekwesili and her meteoric rise to fame. Drawing a moral lesson from a line in the story; though you start with little, you end with much, she enjoined the pupils to cultivate the habit of reading at an early stage. ‘‘I went to primary school here in Ajegunle. I really need you to know that you can be anything you aspire to be in this life. I want you to imagine that
•Ezekwesili and the pupils at the reading
LITERATURE even though you are here today, you can rule the world. Develop a strong appetite for reading. When you read, you become superior mentally to your old self. When you read, you prepare yourself to become a success. You must plant something by reading.’’ Samson Idoko, a senior secondary school pupil of the school, stole the day with his attention grabbing question that got Ezekwesili astonished as she rose to her feet in utter amazement. Harping on reading as the common denominator for a successful life, she responded heartily to every round of questions. She asked the students to take a cue from Banji, the central character in the story who brought wealth and fame to his parents by an idea he got
from planting. She stressed that through reading, ideas are planted that would help them contribute towards nation building. She called on all present to eschew corruption, become diligent and embrace hard work. In her words; ‘the best investment for you is to get the best education possible. Girl-child education is vital to building and development of the society. A literate woman makes the best choices for her children.’ No doubt, the visit of Ezekwesili, a long time mentee of Koko Kalango and a professional activist in nation building to the slums of Ajegunle, made a big impression on the students and the community. Skye Bank representative, Mr Lekan Faleye, donated books to the students on behalf of the bank and joined the ex-minister in presentation of bag of books to the students.
•From left: Mr Oyewole; Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr Ashamu Fadipe; Special Adviser to the Governor onInformation and Strategy, Mr Lateef Raji; Mr Ibirogba; Mr Ayobolu; Mr Abidoye; Mr Uthman and Mr Adepoju at the event
Archives vital to development, say information managers
RCHIVES are repositories of knowledge which can aid development, information managers have said. At a symposium to mark Archives Day, they said there was a drought of young archivists, records managers and teachers of the archival profession. The Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau (LASRAB) held the symposium entitled: Sharing Knowledge: The place of archives in development. It also featured a photo exhibition tagged: From Colony to megacity to commemorate Lagos State at 45. The Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, decried the dearth of young archivist, records managers, teachers in the profession. He urged parents, archival institutions, guardian and teachers to educate and expose their wards to the rudiments of records keeping, better reading culture and adoption of excursion visit to archives and such places. He said: “I commend the zeal and dynamism of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). He is an agent of innovation and change, championing records and archives reformation with the construction of LASRAB HOUSE, a multi-purpose repository, the pride of the state. This would ensure better preservation of archival materials.” Editor-At- Large of, The Nation Mr Segun Ayobolu, said archives were an indispensable resource for human advancement. “Archives are for the human community what the memory is for the individual. Archives are essential to the national development of any country as they help to relate to the past, establish and identify, sustain relationships and to have concrete hopes for the future. A society without a collective memory would be as disoriented, dysfunctional,
By Evelyn Osagie
SYMPOSIUM incoherent and programmed for destruction as an individual without critical faculty,” he said. He decried the sorry state of the defunct Daily Times Library, saying: “It was a gold mine of critical archival materials consisting of historic photographs and documents dating from the pre-colonial era through all the critical phases of Nigeria’s post-colonial history. Most of its vital, irreplaceable documents in the now moth-ridden and dilapidated library were over time stolen, defaced or destroyed.” He called on LASRAB to explore the possibility of retrieving and storing for posterity whatever valuable documents that the library may still hold.
‘Archives are essential to the national development of any country as they help to relate to the past, establish and identify, sustain relationships and to have concrete hopes for the future. A society without a collective memory would be as disoriented, dysfunctional, incoherent and programmed for destruction as an individual without critical faculty’
Ayobolu regretted not preserving critical documents for posterity while practising as a journalist with the defunct newspaper, recalling that as political editor, he was privileged to interview and record on tape several key political actors, such as the late Gen. Shehu Yar ‘Adua, Chief Olu Falae, Ambassador Bamanga Tukur, Chief Tom Ikimi, Prof. Femi Agbalajobi, Chief Dapo Sarumi, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Arthur Nzeribe, among others. “However, rather than keep the recordings after transcribing the interview, I promptly wiped off the tape for another interview,” he said. June 13 is the day set aside by the global community for archivists, archival institutions and allied professions to unite their voices and highlight the importance of records and archives in the sustenance of human development. Participants agreed on the need to revamp the archives profession before it becomes comatose, calling on the national as well as other state government to emulate Lagos in the drive to make archives a viable profession of the future. Other guests included Director, National Archives, Abeokuta Branch, Dr Afolabi Abiodun; Head of Library, United Nations Information Centre, Mrs Olajumoke Araba; President, Records and Information Management Awareness (RIMA) Foundation, Mr Oyedokun Oyewole; Director General LASRAB, Mr Bolaji Uthman; General Manager, Radio Lagos/ Eko FM Radio Services, Mr Aderoju Adepoju; Rep of MD Xerox (Nig) Limited, Mr Femi Abidoye, General Manager (Marketing); officials of the state’s MDAs, students, among others. The event featured a three-day photo exhibition, highlighting the state’s evolution into a megacity. The exhibits depicted the state’s milestones transformation since British annexation in 1801. The exhibition was sponsored by Xerox HS (Nig) Limited.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
HE children were well fed on the day. They also had something tasty to gulp down. They even went on a road show, the able-bodied and physically challenged mixing freely in Awka, the Anambra State capital. But one pertinent question remained unresolved: when will they get what they deserve? “It is still painful that after all these years, we are still battling to get it right for the children in education and health sectors, among other things,” said Mr. Emeka Ejide, Director, Child Development in the state Ministry of Women Affairs. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) footed the bill, and its media desk officer in Anambra, Mrs Chito Osili, coordinated the activities as the Fund marked the Day of the African Child. The event was held on the premises of the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS). But it was not a day of celebration; it was rather one on which the unflattering profile of the Nigerian child lay open before everyone. Placards demanded a better deal for them. One urged: say no to [child] hawking. Another said: parents listen to the voice of the child. Others protested child marriage or advocated children’s right to education, good health, among others. The children moved to the Women Development Centre where Ejide said every June 16 calls for sober reflection because it was that day in 1976 that more than 1,000 children were slaughtered in South Africa by the apartheid regime. But Ejide wondered why, after all these years, children are still poorly treated, adding that it was in realisation of this poor profile that the child’s right law was established in Anambra State. The law, he said, stipulates that if a child is caught hawking during school hours in the state, his parents will be prosecuted.
•The children also entertained at the event
‘When will children be treated fairly?’ From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
“I shed tears when the deaf and dumb were making signs to the public,” said Mrs Osili; “it is high time the media will be integrated fully in making sure that the public is fully sensitised on the rights of the child”. She therefore called on donor agencies, individuals and govern-
ments at all levels to take up the challenges of the African child. At the ABS premises, little Ukamaka Nwali, though physically challenged, held the audience spellbound with a wonderful rendition of her poem entitled “Give the dog the bone and allow it with its decision”. Another physically challenged child, Bethel Eze entertained the audience in his wheelchair.
While addressing the children, the Acting Managing Director of the Broadcasting Station, Sir Oseloka Offor praised the state governor Peter Obi for his love for children, saying that was why he put up so many things for the wellbeing of children. These, according to him, include good healthcare, provision of educational materials for the children, and good roads, among other
things. He said: “You are special people to Anambra State and your rights must be protected and that is why our amiable governor, Mr. Peter Obi has come up with a good number of reforms in making sure that your rights are protected. “Also, this station (ABS) has marshalled out a good number of programmes tailored to make sure •Continued on Page 37
Lawmaker donates 32 tricycles in Taraba
MEMBER of the House of Representatives from Taraba State, Hon. Ibrahim Elsudi has donated 32 tricycles worth N19.2million to his constituents. Elsudi, a lawyer, represents Gashaka, Sardauna and Kurmi in the House. There are 31 wards in the three lo-
From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
cal government areas that make up Elsudi’s federal constituency. Each of the wards got a tricycle. The remaining tricycle went to a supervisor, who will keep an eye on the other operators. The tricycles were leased to the
recipients who will operate them for about 12 months within which they would pay back N600,000 each, being the cost of vehicles. After that, the the operators would take ownership of the tricycles. The beneficiaries, who are largely party supporters of the lawmaker, are to operate in Jalingo, the state capital.
But why in Jalingo? The state government has launched a crackdown on motorcyclists in Jalingo metropolis in the aftermath of recent security challenges. Newsextra gathered that motorcycles were commonly used in the area by terrorists and criminals to unleash mayhem on residents and security operatives,particularly the police. The twin incidents of bomb blast that killed no fewer than 11 persons and injured 20 were carried out on motorcycles. In the following week, a policeman was shot dead at the popular Nassarawo Roundabout in broad daylight. The two unidentified men who killed the cop attacked from a motorcycle. That was why the state government had to crack down on motorcycles –both private and commerciala development which has made commuting difficult in Jalingo. The lawmaker’s donation, Governor Danbaba Suntai said, would alleviate the people’s suffering. Suntai, who spoke at the official launch of the programme in Jalingo Motel, said: “With Elsudi’s donation, we now have about 182 tricycles for town services. I am expecting another 50 (tricycles); if they arrive, the police should shoot on sight any-
•Hon. Elsudi body riding a motorcycle in Jalingo. “When the remaining 50 tricycles arrive, I will carry a rifle myself and kill any dan iska (hoodlum) plying the streets on a motorbike”. Speaking to Newsextra, the donor said his gesture is to complement Taraba State government’s efforts in curbing crime. Elsudi said: “The tricycles will combat youth unemployment and poverty and also reduce people’s suffering from long trekking. “My tricycles are the latest products; they are not only durable on all types of roads, they have the capacity to comfortably carry eight passengers, with low fuel consumption level”.
With Elsudi’s donation, we now have about 182 tricycles for town services. I am expecting another 50; if they arrive, the police should shoot on sight anybody riding a motorcycle in Jalingo •The tricycles
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
•Participants at the workshop
S efforts to restore permanent peace continue in earnest in Plateau State, a nongovernmental organisation, Apurimac Onlus, run by the Catholic Church has concluded plans to rehabilitate 45 youths reportedly linked to the crises bedevilling the state. The NGO is working in collaboration with Diamitta Peace Initiative and the Order of St. Augustine. The intention is to train them and take their minds away from criminal activities. The youths were randomly picked from 17 communities in Jos North and Jos South local government areas to undergo a 12-month programme of rehabilitation, psychological trauma counselling, peace building capacity and skill acquisition after which they would be given
NGO rehabilitates 45 Plateau youths From Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
grants to start their own businesses and in time become emplyers of labour. Speaking with Newsextra in Jos on the project, the Country Representative of Apurimac Onlus, Mr. Godwin Okoko stated that government and every responsible citizen of the state seek the return of peace in the state, hence the collaboration with various stakeholders. Okoko further disclosed that plans have been concluded for the state government to provide shops for the participants at the end of their train-
ing while facilitators for the project are from the AVP in the United States of America headed by a Nigerian, Magi Peters. He urged residents of the state to desist from violence as crisis is inimical to the development of the state. The project has been on for six months. Meanwhile, in the face of an outcry over the over-saturation of the law courts in Plateau State, residents have been urged to seek alternative means of addressing conflicts so that peace could be achieved in the state. At an awareness workshop organised for the police, magistrates and lower court judges, traditional and
‘When will children be treated fairly?’ •Continued from Page 36 that the children are well entertained and educated.” Anambra State Permanent Secretary, Information, Culture and tourism Mr. Dike Ndulue said child abandonment is a crime, adding that people need to be sensitised. Ndulue, an engineer, said that the Obi admiistration has done everything possible to make children happy and is still doing more. He said: “We are here to give honour to the African child in
Anambra State; Governor Obi has made it part of his government to celebrate town hall meetings with the children each year”. “Every year also, we have children’s cultural carnival in order to have a better tomorrow for the children.” In her lecture entitled “Protecting the rights of disabled children,” a legal practitioner, Juliet Amasiatu said that Article (1) of the Convention on the rights of a child provides that a person who is mentally retarded and physically challenged has the same basic rights as
other citizens of the same country and same age. She said when the able-bodied witness those children with challenges demonstrating their abilities will the stigma, hostility and hatred begin to diminish. The lawyer therefore advocated making the environment friendly for physically challenged children, adding that the effective implementation of the Disability Act 1995 and the National Policy 2006 will go a long way in deciding the fate of children, especially those with disability.
•Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke (second left) inaugurates a rehabilitation centre for widows in Calabar. With him are the Speaker, House of Assembly, Hon. Larry Odey (left), wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Gloria Efiok Cobham (second right) and Mrs Obioma Imoke
religious leaders as well the media on the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism in justice administration in the state, residents were urged to imbibe this method as it is cost effective and less cumbersome. Speaking at the workshop, the Director of the Centre for the Advocacy of Justice and Rights (CAJR), Mr. Gad Peter who organised the event in conjunction with the German Development Corporation (GIZ) reiterated the need for people to resort to the ADR mechanism because it is very accessible to every citizen of the state. His words: “Today, participants for this workshop cut across ethnic and religious divides and are drawn from three local government areas of Jos North, Kanam and Wase. We are talking about access to justice,
not where people feel only the presence of courts and lawyers in urban centres but where women, the poor and other vulnerable groups can have access to justice. “Statistics has shown that these groups of people are regarded as second class citizens especially in the rural areas and they do not have access to justice because of the remote proximity of the courts to their communities and the cost of justice hence the urgent need to imbibe the mechanism of ADR”. Also speaking at the event, the State Police Commissioner, Emmanuel Ayeni, represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Longe urged citizens of the state, especially the participants, to adopt the ADR method as it would go a long way in helping to restore peace among the people.
Fed Govt hails Amnesty at third anniversary
HE Federal Government has praised the amnesty granted ex-combatants in the Niger Delta, saying the programme saved the economy from collapse. Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman of the Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku said but for the timely intervention of the Federal Government with the concession, the economy would have completely crumbled. Speaking to Newsextra in a phone interview, Kuku said the programme has largely met the objectives for which it was announced. “I can tell you that as we prepare to celebrate the third anniversary of the Amnesty Programme that it has done a lot to salvage the Nigerian economy that was lying prostrate before it was announced. It came in the nick of time and we thank God. It was the begining of the journey from the doldrums.” He however admitted that there was still a lot to be done and that as time goes on and with the level of commitment shown by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to see it through, the problems would be solved. “There is no doubt that there are problems. But given the commitment by the President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, I am sure that we would overcome them,” he stated. Before June 25, 2009, Nigeria’s economy was tethering dangerously on the brink of collapse. Crude oil
By Augustine Avwode
production, the mainstay of the economy, had dropped significantly owing to militancy and youth restiveness in the Niger Delta. Even though military operations had been carried out with the aim of dislodging the agitators from the numerous, if not countless, camps that dotted the creeks, it was clear that military operations would never resolve the thorny issue. Expatriates and indigenes were kidnapped at will and huge ransom paid to secure their release. Oil facilities were a constant target with the aim of paralysing the economy and that object was more than 75 per cent achieved. Infrastructural development could not take place as the whole region had become one huge jungle where lawlessness walked on all fours. It was in the midst of this anomie that the late president demonstrated a rare political will by proclaiming the now historic amnesty for the agitators in the zone. The terms of the amnesty, however, included the willingness and readiness of the agitators to unconditionally renounce militancy, surrender their arms on or before October 4, 2009, and then sign an undertaking to this effect. The government promised a fourpronged programme based on disarmament, demobilisation, reha•Continued on Page 40
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
The only thing we could do is to provide employment opportunities for the people since the white collar jobs they are searching for is not even there
HE lawmaker representing Alimosho I constituency at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Bisi Yusuf, has marked his one year in office in grand style, sponsoring 50 people in the area who just completed their training on various skills. He also provided them with tools to set up their small businesses. The event which took place at Ipaja was part of a town hall meeting at which Hon. Yusuf rendered account of his stewardship to his people in the last one year. It was equally an opportunity to hear from them. The 50 graduates of the jobs scheme were trained in fashion designing, cosmetology, tiling, music, catering services, photography, computer and paint-making. And among the items given out by the lawmakers to the graduates were generators, hair-dryers, sewing machines, clippers, grinding machines, make-up kits, gas stoves, coolers and crates of soft drinks, textbooks for two libraries, among others. The textbooks worth millions of naira were donated to the two libraries built by the Agbado-Oke Odo and Ayobo-Ipaja Local Council Development Areas and according to Yusuf, he was fulfilling a promise he made to stock the libraries with books and other educational materials once they were completed. Giving account of his stewardship in the last one year, Yusuf said that the first ever motion to be passed in the House concerning the nefarious activities in Kuramo Beach was initiated by him, adding that since then, he had performed just like he promised not to be a benchwarmer. On why he embarked on the training of his constituents, he said he was aware of the anger in the country, adding that most people are disenchanted and depressed because of the country’s economic situation.
•Hon. Bisi Yusuf (right) and other dignitaries inspecting items given out
Lawmaker trains 50 would-be entrepreneurs By Oziegbe Okoeki
“This can also be seen in the rampant cases of suicide and attempted suicide in the country. “So the only thing we could do is to provide employment opportunities for the people since the white collar jobs they are searching for is not even there,” he said, adding that politicians should see themselves as privileged rather than thinking it is their right to positions of authority.
“If everybody does things like this, the society would be a better place to live in,” he added while disclosing that 50 of his constituents graduated from the vocational programme and were empowered. Yusuf who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Transportaion, Commerce and Industry assured his people that the state government will not ban commercial motorcycle (Okada) but that a law regulating their activities was in the making. Commending Yusuf, Lagos
State Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN), Henry Ajomale said the party is pleased with his activities in the House. Ajomale spoke through a representative, Ademola Sadiq, legal adviser of the party, urging other politicians in Alimosho to emulate him if they were really serious about eradicating poverty in the state and the entire country. The Community Development Committee Chairman in AgbadoOke Odo area of the State,
Adebayo Alaiye commended the lawmaker, adding that it was obvious that the country needed continuity in government to develop. He noted that the lawmaker’s successor and current Chairman of Ayobo-Ipaja LCDA, Shakiru Yusuf, had continued with the programmes of the last administration. He appealed to the people to continue to support him so that they would enjoy more dividends of democracy.
Fed Govt hails Amnesty at third anniversary
•Kuku •Continued from Page 39 bilitation and reintegration of all the ex-agitators. This was met initially met with suspicion and cynicism but in time it caught on. A record 20,192 Niger Delta ex-combatants had marched out of the creeks bearing with them an intimidating cache of arms and ammunitions which they surrendered to the Federal Government and accepted the offer of amnesty. Buoyed by the huge response, the government, pursuant to the letter and spirit of the Amnesty Proclamation, immediately instituted a Disar-
mament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) package for the exagitators who accepted the offer of amnesty on or before the expiration date. A second phase of the programme that extended to November 2010 yielded another 6,166 ex-combatants. With the proclamation of amnesty and the tenacious management of the post-amnesty programme, relative peace and security returned to the oilbearing Niger Delta and expectedly, the nation’s economy has rebounded. Nigeria now produces 2.6 million barrels of crude oil per day. But steering the ship out of the doldrums into a pacific haven was not a mean task. At the close of 2008, it was obvious that militant activities in the Niger Delta had sapped the economy so badly that the investment inflow to the upstream sub-sector of the oil industry had considerably dwindled. It was further aggravated by the realisation of sudden preference of the badly rattled foreign investors to look in the direction of Angola and Ghana as investment destinations over Nigeria. Also, Angola, at that point had surpassed Nigeria as Africa’s highest crude oil producer. More importantly, the dwindling investments in the oil and gas sector hampered Nigeria’s capacity to grow its crude oil reserves as planned. Ni-
geria was targeting 40 billion barrels proven reserves by end of 2010. This target was not met owing to the exodus of operators in the oil and gas sectors out of the then troubled zone. The key objective of the amnesty proclamation was to help create conditions for the stabilisation, consolidation and sustenance of security situation in the Niger Delta as pre-requisite for economic development in the zone, which is the nation’s oil and gas base. This has been reasonably met. The amnesty programme not only contained the violence in the Niger Delta, it lifted the national economy. Nigeria started producing 2.6 million
barrels of crude oil per day as against the abysmally low 700,000 barrels per day at the peak of the Niger Delta crisis in January 2009. The demobilisation exercise which was carried out in two camps: Obubra in Cross River State and Akodo in Lagos State entailed biometric documentation, wellness check, nonviolence transformational training, series of counseling and career classification for the ex-agitators. Under the rehabilitaion programme, some 11,198 have been deployed to local and foreign training centres for various skills acquisition programme and formal education. And 1,058 delegates said to have been
A record 20,192 Niger Delta ex-combatants marched out of the creeks bearing with them an intimidating cache of arms and ammunition which they surrendered to the Federal Government and accepted the offer of amnesty
placed in higher institutions of learning in local and foreign universities and colleges in sundry courses such as Law, Political Science, Business Management, Mass Communication, International Relations, Public Administration, Accountancy, Information and Communications Technology, Medicine, Engineering, Applied Sciences, Radio Electronics, and Building & Construction Technology both local and foreign. Reviewing the Amnesty Programme, however, social critic and public affairs commentator, Yinka Odumakin said the Amnesty Programme suffers credibility problems. He said that apart from the fact that it has helped in bringing the exagitators out of the creeks so as to enable the operations in the oil and gas sector continue unhindered, there is nothing else it has achieved. “The programme has credibility and image problems. Many people see it as an avenue to fleece the country of billions of naira, empower some people so as to give peace a chance who today are said to be buying choice properties all over the place, especially in Abuja. Yes, we hear of trainings here and there but we also hear of the negative reports like some coming from South Africa and the recent crisis in Igbinedion University.
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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
POLITICS THE NATION
Senator Ben Obi is the Special Adviser to the President on Inter Party Affairs. His office organised last week a stakeholders’ workshop on the coming July 14 governorship election in Edo State on ways of achieving a peaceful, free and fair election last week. Thereafter, Obi spoke with to journalists on the workshop. AUGUSTINE AVWODE was there.
Only free, fair elections ‘ll make losers embrace winners, says Senator Obi W
HAT informed this stakeholders’ workshop? Is the PDP was scared or is it something that you think had become important? It is not a question of being scared. You will recall that in 2011 during the campaigns, for the first time, an incumbent President came out to throw a challenge to members of his party and said to them “let nobody rig elections for me, if I lose I go home. He went further to say that the blood of any Nigerian is not worth the waste for any electoral victory. When I sat back and looked at that whole statement, and also noticed the tension that had been mounting in Edo State; I thought it was time for the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Inter Party Affairs to organize a workshop; invite all the political parties that are going to contest election in the July 14 poll and put them in the picture that if a presidential candidate and an incumbent can take the lead and say do not rig for me, why will one of the 36 states of the federation not therefore organise themselves and run a peaceful, free and fair election. When I got convinced in my mind that my office needed to do that, I did a memo to the President where I stated my thinking and that I had discussed with the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who was so excited. In fact, the morning I was discussing this issue with Jega was the same day that Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s Principal Secretary was assassinated. I was with Jega when this news filtered to us and he said there was the need for this stakeholders’ workshop and we agreed that it was something that we must pursue. So, it is not a question of PDP, I spoke and met with the national chairmen of the seven political parties running in this election and all of them agreed that it was a brilliant idea. The bottom line was that they all showed interest and I personally spoke to all the candidates. Quite honestly, the only candidate I did not speak to directly was Governor Oshiomhole. I spoke to his Campaign Director-General who had to put off the governor’s campaign for that day. How would you describe the outcome of the workshop? Are there areas you would want to improve upon? Well, it is not for me now to be the judge of my own case. I did something, I wanted the candidates to come, and they came and participated. The governorship candidate of the PDP came earlier but because they were going actually to the state party chairman’s local government area to campaign they had to leave. They thought the event would start at 9.30 am as scheduled so that they would make one or two comments before the leave but it did not work out so and that was why they had to leave before the programme commenced at about 11am. So, I am not going to be a judge in my own matter. I have done something which fortunately for me I would leave the judgment to the media. Holding a workshop of this nature certainly cannot be bird of roses. When they were drafting the communiqué, they were saying that we should put it free of rancour; I said no, how can an election to the executive office of the governor be free of rancour? You want to grab an office and you say your opponents should not struggle to resist you; it cannot be free of rancour. So, when there was this rising of voices, I saw it as one of the things I had anticipated in the workshop of this nature. But there was a statement by the Governor that beyond this workshop you should also go and sensitise INEC, the Presidency, the military and the Police on the election. Were you comfortable with that? I do not even quarrel with that. By the time we have analysed today’s event, I do believe that certain analyses will come out from people like you (media) to direct my faculty in what next to do. I agree with Governor Adams Oshiomhole. If the Presidency is not inclined to what I am pursuing, my memo would probably have still being lying in his office. If as we go on there is the need to draw the attention of the executive into this, we would do. What we are saying is that for God’s sake, after 52 years of independence, we just have to get things done the right way. For the first time in 2011, we all witnessed a general election which the international
community that had been here to observe our elections in the past, said met international standard. We agree that there is room for improvement and it is that room for improvement that we are pursuing and that is what has led my office into doing this. I think Governor Oshiomhole is right to have raised that observation. We have to discuss with the necessary organisations that will pursue certain things in a holding a workshop. Given the time frame, how is your office going to translate the resolution of the meeting into reality that will make us achieve free and fair contest? Basically, there are two organisations that are critical to having a free and fair election. These are INEC and the security agencies. Like I earlier said, I discussed this matter with Prof. Jega extensively. When the Inspector-
‘Let us face it, all the candidates who spoke were interested in the conduct of a free and fair election and that tells you that if you have a free and fair contest, they will embrace the winner and that is what we must strive to achieve from this workshop. The essence of this workshop is to establish a level playing field. Elections must not be do-ordie affair so that everybody who is involved in it will say I did my best but Mr. A won the contest’
General of Police noticed that it was only his commissioner that was here, he immediately directed the Assistant Inspector-General of the zone to represent him. This is because of the way those key figures are taking the issue of free and fair election. So, what we need to do is to bring these observations to INEC chairman and the IG. Once you have a President who is committed to the rule of law then you have no choice than to go all out and ensure that the right things are done. What is the way forward for our electoral system, given this approach? The way forward in this regard is that if there is a gain from today’s workshop, then it has to be sustained. If there is a minus, then we have to really carry out analyses on why there is this minus. Let us face it, all the candidates who spoke were interested in the conduct of a free and fair election and that tells you that if you have a free and fair contest, they will embrace the winner and that is what we must strive to achieve from this workshop. The essence of this workshop is to establish a level playing field. Elections must not be do-or-die affair so that everybody who is involved in it will say I did my best but Mr. A won the contest. Recall that observations were also made by Governor Oshiomhole on the rationale behind the invitation of the Minister for Works to the event. Were you okay with that comment? I do not agree with that argument because the minister of works is an Edo State man. I invited him as the chieftain of the PDP from the state and a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to come to his state and deliver a goodwill message. When there were rumblings during the meeting over Governor Oshiomhole getting up to speak twice, I said no, you cannot come to a state where he is the governor today and not recognise him as special guest of honour. I am the one organising this thing and I take full responsibility for whatever feelings that come my way. It is in the same vein that I invited the minister. Now, assuming the minister did not read a goodwill message and the candidate of the PDP was not there to speak for himself as it happened, how would I have been able to control the PDP grumblings when it started? I drew the attention of the PDP leader that was around to the fact that some of these things were what we envisaged that was why we brought in the minister to come and deliver a goodwill message in his state and his message was quite clear. I think he said that to work them (PDP) up and the situation did not go out of control. Do you think the workshop had an impact on the stakeholders? Well, the reaction of the stakeholders to me directly, during and after the workshop, was quite encouraging. I do not know what may be working in their minds but what they expressed to me. I met their leaders, one after the other and they were extremely happy that once an opportunity like this was created for them again and again to interact and mingle there will be no need for the kind of friction that they have been encountering in the past. The use of vulgar language during election is one aspect that we have not been able to address. This showed up during the workshop. Do you think that should be an aspect to be looked into in subsequent ones? I have been cracking my brain and thinking about how that can be addressed. The only solution working in my head as I speak is that it seems as if wemay also have to organise a workshop with the media so that there will be widespread condemnation of languages that are not in consonance with moral attitude. The media will say no, this is unacceptable. Someone who wants to govern a state cannot use this kind of language and that becomes an issue for the candidate. There is no amount of enlightenment from candidates that will scare them away from using foul languages but when they wake up one morning to find out that over five news media have condemned it, that candidate will know that he is in trouble because it becomes a big minus. So, I think that is something I will have to work on and fine tune for the media.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
ACN calls for state police
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday de manded the creation of state neighbourhood or state police as a way to address the worsening security challenges afflicting the country. The party also said that the 1999 Constitution should be re-negotiated and new laws enacted to arrest the trend of the country sliding into anarchy. ACN national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande stated this in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, at the ongoing Senate 2012 Retreat with the theme “National Assembly and National Security: Securing the Future for Development.” For the ACN chairman, creation of state police would go a long way in solving the problems of local crimes within every community nationwide, which may graduate to national crimes and sometimes develop into international crimes. Akande also said that government must improve the quality of life and general welfare of Nigerians to ensure security. He said, “At this point I must reiterate a few recommendations on how to improve our security. “Government must improve the quality of life and general welfare of millions of Nigerians. “Embark on a workable decentralization of authority such as creating some form of neighbourhood or state police, because, as it has been enacted, the internal security of each state is the responsibility of the state authorities only to be complemented by the Federal Government. “In the meantime, there may be a need to constitute a National Security Advisory Board with members drawn from diverse religious, political, security and professional background. “This may go a long way in solving the problems of local crimes within every community nationwide, which by and large graduate to national crimes and sometimes of international proportion.” The ACN Chairman insisted that to secure a harmony of happy and developed future, the constitution must be re-negotiated while new laws must be re-enacted to arrest the trend of the country sliding back to pre-Lugard era. He urged the lawmakers to focus attention on creating a federal Nigeria Government that would be more people centred in their security and infrastructural development management. He noted that in any political system, just like birds of same feathers flock together, leaders of like minds congregate together either wittingly or unwittingly, to inflict hardship and misery on society or
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
to provide security and well being that stimulate broad prosperity among the people. He stated that in Nigeria today, the National Assembly of which the senate is a major part, has become the sentinel of democracy, which must stand alert when the goals of prosperity and security become endangered “through mass structural unemployment and sectarian violence as we are presently experiencing throughout our nation.” The ACN chairman reiterated that it is a common knowledge that where there is no peace, there can be no development. “There is no peace in Nigeria because corruption is prevalent, because there is no tolerance for opposition and because the central government to which dominant powers is entrenched in our constitution and to which much more funds are allocated is too aloof and mostly alienated from the culture and development needs of the various nationalities that were amalgamated to form Nigeria.” He added: “As leader of the ACN- a political party within our system, I would like to suggest that more powers and responsibilities be given to the zonal regions, states and local governments to promote and spread development. “And to reduce the attraction of the centre, which has made the struggle for its control a do-or-die affair. “For example, the 1960 Constitution had 44 items on the Exclusive List and 28 on the Concurrent. “The Republican Constitution of 1963 had 45 items on the Exclusive List and 29 on the Concurrent. In 1963, the ratio between federal and regional responsibilities was 3:2, whereas the 1999 Constitution has 68 items on the Exclusive List and 30 on the Concurrent.”
Last week, the Lagos State House of Assembly held a public hearing for Lagosians to contribute to the effort by the National Assembly to amend the 1999 Constitution. OZIEGBE OKOEKI, who covered the event, writes on the outcome of the hearing.
Constitution Amendment: Lagos demands devolution of power
HE latest effort of the Na tional Assembly at constitu tion amendment is in progress. It is in pursuance of this and the desire for all stakeholders to make inputs into the exercise that the Senate on Sunday 6th, May published an advert in a national daily calling for memoranda from the public on certain issues and “any other matters that will promote good governance and improve the Nigeria state, but which requires the amendment to provisions of the 1999 Constitution”. In its desire to present a common position for Lagos State, the House of Assembly responded to the advert by setting up an 8-man Ad-hoc committee to aggregate the views of Lagosians and work on a Lagos memorandum to be presented to the National Assembly on the proposed constitution amendment. This of course has been the tradition of the state whenever exercises like this come up. Other similar attempt to look into the constitution since the inception of the current dispensation have always seen the state presenting a common position which has in many instances influenced the outcome of the exercise at the national level. This was the background to the public hearing that was held last week by the state Assembly at its complex in Alausa, Ikeja to, according to the Chairman of the Ad-hoc committee and Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Ajibayo Adeyeye get Lagosians’ contributions to the process. According to Adeyeye in his welcome address, “previous efforts at constitutional amendment left out serious and fundamental issues like resource control, state policing, special status for Lagos, creation of states and local government, repair and maintenance of federal roads, fiscal federalism, the very lengthy exclusive list and many more”, assuring stakeholders that their contributions at the public hearing “is very important to this process of our national life and it may help to fundamentally reshape and re-position our country for good governance and ultimately make the country a better place to live in”. Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji in his remarks said the public hearing was an opportunity for “us to make our feelings on constitution amendment known and whatever we arrive at today will go a long
• MD/CEO, NDDC, Dr. Christain Oboh and Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Port Harcourt Branch, Mr Denis A.A Dania, MNSE, when the body paid a courtesy call on the MD in his office recently.
way in reshaping the constitution because whatever our opinion is today this House will present it to the National Assembly”. Governor Babatunde Fashola set the ball rolling with what could be termed as the official position of Lagos state government. The governor said although he would have preferred a holistic review of the constitution, he was however limiting himself to the 10 selected areas for review by the National Assembly. “There is no doubt that some progress will be made if these aspects are dealt with in a satisfactory manner now. I believe that the success of this attempt will provoke further thought and action on the fine tuning of our constitution”, the governor said. According to Fashola, the state government has been prepared since 2005 to respond holistically to any issue of constitutional dimension, debate or amendment. This is because “since 2007 when I assumed office as governor, I had convened a periodic forum called the ‘Legislative Parley’. The stakeholders and participants at this parley have been all our elected legislators at state and federal levels, local government chairmen and leaders of our state along with members of the Executive arm”. The positions as stated in the communiqué of all such parleys and harmonization of Lagos report on earlier effort at constitutional amendment as it relates to the areas of constitution amendment listed by the National Assembly formed the presentation of the governor. The ten areas listed are: Devolution of powers; Creation of states; Geo-political zones; Traditional rulers; Local government; Land use Act, NYSC Act and Code of Conduct; Fiscal federalism; Immunity clause; Mayoral status for Abuja and Nigerian police. “My presentation, therefore will be limited to these areas put up for consideration by the Senate, but my presentation is the aggregation of the harmonization of the 2005 and 2009 Lagos reports and position and the relevant parts of the various communiqué we have issued during our legislative parleys”, Fashola said. Devolution of powers According to Fashola, the Exclusive Legislative list is excessively loaded in favour of the federal
government at the expense of the state governments. “We therefore recommend that the items on the exclusive list should be substantially reduced to reflect the principles of appropriateness and state autonomy”. He recommended that state legislatures should have or share jurisdiction on subjects like; police; criminal records; prisons; evidence; establishment of air and seaports; railways; electric power generation and distribution as well as the taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains. After the governor made his presentation, he seemed to have spoken the mind of Lagosians as only three other stakeholders stood up to support his presentation and make one or two observations. These were former Federal Commissioner for Works, Alhaji ‘Femi Okunnu SAN, former Speaker of the state Assembly and two times senator Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora and eminent jurist, Prof. Itse Sagay. Okunnu, said “I don’t think the 1999 constitution is all that bad, it is the way we exercise our powers that is bad.” He however, called for the removal of Sections 3,4,5,6 and 8 of the Constitution. He spoke against creation of more states, saying it weakens the fabric of the federation, and that no law should stop states from evolving its local government system. While presenting his position, Sagay, a constitutional lawyer, noted that there is lot of power that should be taken away from the federal government and handed over to the states government. “The minimum wage for instance is another issue that the federal government should leave for the states. Each state should be the one to determine its minimum wage and federal government should not determine what to be paid,” he added. He stated further that states and not Federal Government should conduct census to help them in developmental plans. “Local Government creation and funding should be out of the constitution; states should create and fund them”, Sagay said. In his contribution, Mamora said “we should be cautious in our calls for the review of the constitution so as not to turn it to village meeting minutes’ book and we should not think the constitution can solve our problems”. According to Mamora, it is not the constitution that determines good governance; it is the character of the operators of the constitution. “Where they violate, manipulate and deliberately undermine the constitution, governance will be in jeopardy. It is the zeal and willingness of practitioners to respect the constitution that determines good governance”, Mamora said. “The National Assembly”, he added, “should put in place an Act to create a Constituent Assembly that will produce a people’s constitution that will be subjected to a referendum, because as presently constituted the National Assembly lacks the power to draw up a new constitution”. For now Lagos has spoken and stated its position clearly, and like Ikuforiji said, the outcome of the presentation at the public hearing will form the memorandum of the state to the National Assembly.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
PFAs rush to beat June 30 ‘Why unethical practices persist’ recapitalisation deadline T DETERMINED to keep their licences, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) are rushing to beat the June 30 deadline for recapitalisation from N150 million to N1 billion. Some firms, it was learnt, have raised their capital; those that could not are contemplating merging. A source at the National Pension Commission (PenCom) said the recapitalisation would end on Saturday, adding that the commission would brief the public at the end of the exercise. Managing Director, AIICO Pension Managers Limited, Eguarekhide Longe, said the company is “standing alone,” adding that it will not merge with any other. Last year, PenCom gave June 30
Stories by Chuks Udo Okonta
deadline to the PFAs to recapitalise to enable them align with trends in pension operations. Pencom’s Director-General, Mr Mohammad Ahmad, said through its oversight function, the commission observed that the paid up share capital of N150 million was no longer adequate to meet the operational expenses of PFAs. He said the increase in the capital requirement would also encourage healthy mergers and acquisitions and promote stability in the industry. Ahmad said: “It is expected that the improved financial conditions of the PFAs after the implementation of the reviewed capital requirement would lead
to improved service delivery and product development, improved capacity building and employment of qualified personnel and development of adequate information technology infrastructure for improved business process.” Ahmad noted that as a measure to strengthen the industry the commission would also push for amendment of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004 to institute protection of contributors’fund. He said Section 69 of PRA 2004 may need to be amended to provide for the establishment of a “Pension Protection Fund”, adding that the fund would, among others, guarantee minimum pension to retirees as well as take care of retiree with low balances in their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) at retirement.
HE large number of insurance operators is responsible for the persistence of unethical practices in the industry, Managing Director, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company, Olutayo Borokini, has said. This, Borokini told The Nation, aids unhealthy competition, which forces down the rate of insurance products. He said since there were no new businesses, operators scramble for the few available ones, which often make some underwriters to pervert the rules. He said South Africa with higher insurance penetration compared to Nigeria has fewer underwriters. Borokini said: “There are supposed to be industry standard but they are not being followed. For now we have too many players for the businesses that are available. For example, South Africa, as big with insurance penetration, of about five per cent, has about 15 insurance companies. “In Nigeria, we have 59 firms. How do you control such a great number of players? If there are about five underwriters on a particular business, and the five reject the risk, the broker still has an opportunity to take other five in the market and can continue until he exhausts the whole. Mind you the companies have been capitalised up to N3billion.”
He called for collaboration among the operators, adding that the level of unethical practices is inimical to the industry’s growth. Commissioner for Insurance Fola Daniel said the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) was committed to developing the industry to have few strong and viable firms. He said the commission was not interested in too many firms, but firms that are big, strong and comparable with those abroad. He noted that the commission would be comfortable with just 10 viable underwriting firms which can compete globally. “As a regulator, I am not interested in the multitude. I do not want 200 insurance companies. If there would be 200 companies, the companies must be big, strong and comparable with what we have in other environment. “But if there are only 10 that are strong and can respond to claims payment promptly, come out with new products that will change the environment, policies that will be environmental friendly and speak to the needs of the people, that is the kind of insurance industry we are looking at. “So, whether they are many or not, I think the primary concern should be are they able to meet obligations as at when due,” he said.
Sovereign Trust pledges to uphold professionalism
• From Left: Company’s Secretary, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc Mr Olumide Adeyinka-Fusika; Chairman Mr Ephrai Faloughi and Mr Onaolapo at the company’s AGM in Lagos.
OVEREIGN Trust Insurance Plc will uphold professionalism and continually develop its human capital resources to boost service delivery, its Managing Director, Wale Onaolapo, has said. He said this at a workshop organised by the company in Lagos, adding that the company will continue to place high premium on human capacity development. Chairman of the company Ephraim Faloughi, lauded the ini-
tiative behind the training, stressing: “The importance of insurance appreciation for non-insurance practitioners, especially stakeholders of the business, cannot be overemphasised considering the everevolving operating standards and principles of the underwriting business in the country at the moment”. He stated that other insurance companies in the country should emulate such initiative in deepening the quality of the human capital at the operational and stakeholders’ level.
‘Consolidated Hallmark makes N271m profit’
• From left: President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Mrs Laide Osijo and Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Fola Daniel, at the Chief Executives’ Retreat of the council in Akure, Ondo State.
HE Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has written the National Assembly, asking it to pass the law that encourages the presentation of marine insurance certificates for goods clearance at the ports, NIA Chairman, Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, has said. He told The Nation that the statutory provision for imported goods to be insured in Nigeria has been in existence a much longer than the Local Content Act. Insurers, he said, found that the law is not being implemented, adding that issue raised about the law is that there is no instrument in place to ensure compliance.
HE Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc made N271 million profit last year, its Chairman, Dr Obi Ekezie, has said. Ekezie, who disclosed this at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, said the company made a gross premium income of N3.8 billion last year as against N2.8 billion in 2010. He noted that the profit after tax stands at N271million as against N211million in 2010. He said insurers’ adoption of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) has raised the bar in financial transparency, adding that the adoption has placed insurers on a platform where they can compete
effectively with their counterpart across the globe. He said the industry has continued to reel under the effects of the credit crunch in the banking sector. He said: “The Nigeria insurance market has continued to reel under the effects of the credit crunch in the banking industry as the second round of reforms in the sector led to the draught in the real sector and the middle class thus, eroding their assets acquisition capabilities.” He noted that as a result of the credit crunch, many companies in the industry have not been able to generate gross revenues up to their operating capital.
NIA seeks National Assembly’s support for marine risks He said: “The laws are there, but enforcement has been the problem. National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) cannot go to the ports to investigate what happens there as it is not its duties. Some time ago, we made contact with the Customs and the officers said it is not their responsibility to inspect marine certificates. “Ordinarily, when people are opening letters of credit and processing things from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), they ought to back it with local marine certifi-
cates. But how many people even take the certificate? People import things without getting genuine certificates. During the oil subsidy probe, we put up a memorandum to the National Assembly to tell them that we did not see the impact of the huge volumes of petroleum products imported or reported to have been imported. “We did not see the impact in our marine insurance premium; that is to say, most of those importations were not insured locally, because if that volume of oil was imported and
they were insured. We would have seen the impact on our marine insurance premium, which we have notified the National Assembly,” Ladipo-Ajayi said. He said the problem of marine insurance is monitoring, adding that one good development is the review of the Customs Act by the National Assembly and there is a specific provision for the Customs to implement laws that have bearing on their operations. He noted that under that pro-
vision, it is the responsibility of custom to ask for marine certificates when they are inspecting goods. Ladipo-Ajayi said Customs in the reviewed Act is also required to liaise with regulatory bodies such as NAICOM, consult with trade associations like NIA, stating that the provision is very good and that NIA has written a memorandum to support it at the National Assembly. He hoped that the law will be passed as it was drafted.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
Benefits of contributory pension scheme U
NTIL 2004, Nigeria had operated particularly in the public sector, a Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme, which was largely unfunded and noncontributory. The system was also referred to as a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) scheme since retirees were to be supported not by their previous contributions but by annual budgetary provisions. Because it was largely unfunded, the DB system led to massive accumulation of pension debt, estimated at over one trillion naira. In response to the effects of this system on the lives of persioners and their families, President Olusegun Obasanjo took measures aimed at reversing the situation by developing a sustainable system with the capacity to achieve the ultimate goal of providing a stable, predictable and adequate source of retirement income for each participant. With the coming into force in July 2004 of the Pension Reform Act 2004, a new pension scheme was established to replace the previous DB scheme. The new scheme, known as the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) which, as the name suggests is contributory in nature, is mandatory for every employee in the Federal Public Service (including employees of the Federal Capital Territory) and employees in all Private Sector organisations. Employers are expected to deduct 7.5 per cent of the employee’s total emolument and also provide a counterpart funding of 7.5% to be remitted into a Retirement Savings Account (RSA), which the employee is expected to open with any Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) of his choice. This translates to minimum of 15 per cent to be paid into the employee’s RSA. However, both the employer and the employee may opt to fund the RSA above the mandatory minimum of 15 per cent. Employers may also opt to bear more than half of the mandatory minimum of 15 per cent. Private Sector organisations with less than five employees are, however, not mandated to adopt the scheme but may elect to do so. This system has a number of features which has made it an increasingly vital component of the pension systems of many countries not only in the Organisation of Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) countries but also amongst the developing countries particularly in Asia and Latin America.
Old scheme vs new scheme Under the old scheme no contributions were made, and projections were required to be made of the pension entitlements of each employee by the employer, with such projections being determined by the employee’s years of service and earnings. Thus, the pension obligations were effectively the debt obligation of the employer, which assumes the risk of insufficient funds to satisfy the contractual obligations to retired employees. In contrast, under the CPS, the employer is responsible only for making specific contributions on behalf of employees. However, the employer does not guarantee any certain amount upon retirement as he is no longer indebted to the employee. Payments to employees upon retirement will depend on age, gender, RSA value and final salary. The new scheme allows for the maintenance of a RSA by each employee, which gives the workers responsibility over their retirement savings. Pensioners are no longer at the mercy of employer,
By Femi Akintunde
and are assured of regular payment of retirement benefits. It is also argued that personal accounts would provide all workers a higher rate of return than can be paid under the DB plan. The new scheme also affords employees an opportunity to pass wealth to survivors in the event of death. In addition, RSAs maintained by millions of workers generate a huge pool of long-term funds, which are available for investment. Owing to economies of scale, the cost of investing such funds tends to be relatively lower than if an individual employee were to undertake the investment on his or her own account. Finally, having a pension scheme that pays out benefits in the form of a life annuity/programmed withdrawal affords workers protection against longevity risk, by pooling mortality risk across others. For both the employer and the employee, the new scheme encourages labour market flexibility. The worker is free to move with his account as he/she moves to another place of employment and/or residence. To the extent that the CPS aids mobility of labour, it is an important tool enabling employees and employers to adapt to changing circumstances, especially in a global environment where change is a constant aspect of social and economic life.
Government and new scheme As a major stakeholder, the government is expected to benefit in a number of ways from the new CPS. The Scheme has stemmed further growth of pension obligations and provided a platform for addressing the existing liability. It has also imposed fiscal discipline in the budgetary process because pension obligations are more accurately determined. Apart from the new scheme’s potential to promote national savings and by implication, economic growth, funded pension schemes have the capacity to promote capital market development as well as general economic reforms. A key area in which the government would benefit from the CPS is through the scheme’s ability to support the overall macroeconomic policies of reform. The last two decades have witnessed a growing support for the idea that enterprises are better run by private individuals and the role of government should be limited to providing a conducive regulatory and institutional framework that would enable the private sector to thrive. Many countries around the world have adopted privatisation as an avenue for reform and have often employed a CPS to support the process. A CPS tends to facilitate such reforms better than a DB scheme. Contributory Pension Schemes have the potential to generate positive economic externalities, including the promotion of deeper, more com-
• PENCOM DG Muhammad Ahmad
petitive, and more liquid financial markets.
Challenges Pension contribution evasion poses a major challenge to the success of the CPS since it influences the adequacy of benefit payments to participants. There are a number of ways in which employers may evade contributions: they might fail to register themselves and some or all of their employees; they might portray their workers as contractors, family members or belonging to other categories that could be considered as nonworkers; they might fail to contribute, or decide to embark on late remittance of contribution. The role of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in enforcing the penalty for defaulting employers as provided in the Act is critical in ensuring compliance with the law and also ensuring the overall success of the scheme. The success of the scheme also depends on the promotion of sound corporate governance practices. External Auditors and Internal Control functions of organisations have an important role to play in the promotion of good corporate governance. Sound corporate governance ensures the release of timely and transparent financial data, which is necessary in monitoring organisational performance
and in providing a basis for policy. Indeed, Section 58 of the Pension Reform Act has provided an important role for External Auditors as the Act requires them to report situations that could lead to imminent financial collapse of a PFA or a Pension Fund Custodian (PFC) and to report any evidence of attempts by any PFA or PFC to provide misleading information to the Commission. The Act also provides for severe sanctions against any Auditor discovered to have supported or condoned actions that contravene the provision of the Act.
The new pension scheme The need for a united effort by all stakeholders to make the system realise its set objective cannot be overemphasised. The Government has a key role to play in strengthening the regulatory and legal environment. Institutional structure is being developed with the establishment of the PenCom, which is the regulatory and oversight body responsible for all issues concerning pensions in Nigeria. PenCom, in fulfillment of its statutory duties, has also licensed Pension Fund Administrators and Pension Fund Custodians, which are private sector institutions charged with the responsibility of management, administration and custody of pension funds. PFAs are
‘Under the old scheme no contributions were made, and projections were required to be made of the pension entitlements of each employee by the employer, with such projections being determined by the employee’s years of service and earnings’
specifically charged with the responsibility of registering employees, managing the pension funds, maintaining records of remittances, providing information on investment strategy, market returns and other performance indicators, calculating and paying benefits to qualifying employees and general customer service. PFCs on the other hand are expected to receive remittances made by employers on behalf of employees and inform the PFA on receipt. They hold pension funds and assets in safe custody on trust for the employees and beneficiaries of the RSA and carry out the investment/administration instructions of the PFA. The capacity of PFAs and PFCs to perform these tasks lie at the heart of perceptions as to their effectiveness and competence. This is as a result of the fact that the pension subsector in Nigeria is barely six years old and therefore evolving, with little or no benchmarks. It becomes imperative that adequate training and exposure to relevant global practices are made available to the operators to ensure development of adequate skills to perform their tasks as institutional capacity building is vital to the success of the scheme. With the ample commitment demonstrated so far by the government and PenCom towards addressing pension issues in general, a world class pension scheme is definitely in the making in Nigeria. A DC scheme depends for its success on the buoyancy of the capital market as well as stable prices. It is encouraging to note that current reforms of the banking system, capital market and insurance sector as well as the overall macroeconomic policies of the government are aimed at strengthening the financial environment, achieving macroeconomic stability and growth.
Femi Akintunde, an analyst, wrote from Abuja
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
‘How entrepreneurship can solve unemployment’
HE teaching of entrepreneurial studies by universities is the panacea to unemployment, a motivational speaker, Abiodun Fijabi, has said. He spoke at the maiden exhibition of the Department of Business Enterprise Management and Entrepreneurial Studies, College of Management Sciences, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB). Fijabi, who was the guest speaker, urged universities to include entrepreneurial courses in their curricula. He said graduates should be employers rather than applicants. Fijabi said in the next five years, what universities are teaching may be irrelevant to the society, unless they add entrepreneurial skills. He called on universities to
Stories by Daniel Essiet
curb unemployment. According to him, conventional subjects give students the skills that they need to survive. He challenged universities to come up with ideas to tackle unemployment. Another speaker, Mr Olajide Osiberu said: “What we need in this country is transformation. So, students should be trained to be self-reliant rather than looking for employment after completing their education.” He commended FUNAAB for introducing entrepreneurial courses in its curricula. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun, who said entrepreneurial courses would be introduced in all departments of the university, lauded the college for its achievements.
•From left: Mrs Funmilayo Oluwalana of Department of Business Enterprise Management and Entrepreneurial Studies, College of Management Sciences of FUNAAB, presenting a plaque to Mr Fijabi at the event.
‘Ethical practice key to SMEs’ success’ Investing in food processing plant DHERENCE to ethical and professional norms is key to the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Managing Director, Washline Laundry and Dry Cleaning Limited, Mrs Adebisi Junaid, has said. She said this in Lagos during the opening of the firm. She said the company will adhere to ethical and professional standard in its approach to business. She said the company is poised to raise the standard of the industry being customer centric.
She said: “Washline is poised to offer superior service delivery. The company intends to adhere to ethical and professional standards in its approach to business. We are prepared to raise the bar in the cleaning industry. It is as a result of this that we have benchmarked ourselves for excellence. “We have a strong focus to differentiate ourselves in the way we do business and our goal is to ensure that we embrace all avenues to remain a formidable force to reckon with
in the industry.” She said the choice of the location of the company is to meet its target customers, adding that it has become imperative for professionals in the industry to focus on customer centric services, as it is the only panacea to engender development. Mrs Adebisi called on stakeholders to collaborate with operators to put the industry on the right pedestal, stressing that the firm has put measures in place to gauge the perception of customers.
Group to help SMEs get finance
HE Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum (NEF) plans to assist Small and Medium Enterprises. (SMEs) get finance. Its President, Dr Sidney Inegbedion, said the association will provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with the muchneeded advice and support on traditional finance options available to them. He said access to finance is one of the biggest challenges facing new comers to the sub-sector. Economic problem is stifling growth and threatening to create a loss of entrepreneurs, he added.
According to him, any support that start-ups can get in raising money is crucial for their success. NEF, he said, is working with the National Economy Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) to provide micro and small-scale enterprises soft loans. Inegbedion said members of the group are assisted to access National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND). He said they can send proposals to NERFUND through their group for funds. To empower its members,
Inegbedion said NEF is launching an Entrepreneurship Development Programme between today and June 29 at Parkview Hotel, Zone1, Wuse, Abuja. He said the forum aims to increase awareness, among entrepreneurs of other new and emerging solutions now available to them. It will also organise events for entrepreneurs to network – finding out more about the options that best suit their needs and discussing their experiences with other entrepreneurs who have successfully raised finance by an alternative means.
Nasarawa barbers, hairdressers raise charges
HE Association of Beauty Artists of Nigeria (ABAN) in Nasarawa State has increased charges for haircuts and other services by between 10 per cent and 50 per cent. Its Chairman, Mr Psalm Joseph, said in Ado, that the move was informed by the irregular supply of electricity. “We find it difficult to make profit because of the irregular supply of electricity as we rely
more on generators to power our operations. “Other problems facing us include high cost of fuel, increase in the prices of working tools and arbitrary increase in rents by shylock landlords,” he said. The Secretary-General of the association, Mr Danladi Adams, said members pay between N3,000 and N7,000 a year, as tax to the government. Mrs Gloria Nwabueze and Mrs
Comfort Ndubuka, beauticians, said their charges were reviewed upward to meet up with the increasing costs of equipment, costumes and rents. She commended thye association for bringing female hair dressers together, adding: “We are trying our best to correct the impression that hair dressers are prostitutes and illiterates, who go about with half naked bodies, gossiping.’’
Microfinance confab to hold in Lagos
HIS year’s micro business and finance conference will hold in Lagos from July 24 to 26. A statement by the organisers said the conference with the theme: Empowering small and medium enterprises for economy development will address the chal-
lenges faced by small and medium businesses in an attempt to grow into successful mid-tier businesses. According to the statement, sessions in this edition’s conference are designed to provide information and assistance to small and medium enterprises,
as well as to those from the government departments who work with them. It said the event will cover topics such as small and medium business finance, technology issues and acquiring and managing the resources needed to succeed.
OOD processing business is a money spinner. Key market drivers are factors, such as strong health consciousness and greater demand for convenience and ready-to-eat foods. Several product categories are selling well, notably, canned/bottled products, bottled water, juices, processed meats, processed seafood, retort packaged products, and frozen foods. Products that contribute to home cooking or ready-to-eat options have experienced growth. These factors indicate that demand for processed food products will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. While the economy has been stagnant, the food processing industry is viewed as a stable and growing industry. Nigeria is blessed with fertile land that yields a variety of food crops. Added to this, demand for processed food such as yam flour, custard powder, Soya bean cake, grinded pepper, melon, etc, is very high. Consumption of processed food is not confined to the local market. There is high demand for processed products in African and Overseas countries. Food processing business provides a great opportunity for investors. Some of the basic raw foodstuffs for the project are – yam tubers, corn, Soya beans, pepper, tomatoes, ogbono, melon, etc. These are cultivated locally in large quantities in different parts of the country. Processing of these commodities can be done using simple home techniques as well as on a large mechanised scale. At a large level, a food processing production plant entails use of machinery/equipment, such as automatic chipping machine, dryer (electric or ovum), grater motorised machine, maize shelling machine, dry grain milling machine, wet grain milling machine, medium-sized grinder and other manually operated grinders; etc. Processing of the products is basically the same, following these procedures: Cleaning: Yam tubers are washed to remove dirt,then packed into the chipping machine. The machine cuts the yam tubers into smaller pieces. The processing of maize is slightly dif-
By Edwin Agbaike (Projects, Financial and Management Consultant)
ferent. It has to be pre-treated to remove dirt. Drying: Pieces of chipped yam, treated maize and other ingredients are put into the dryer to be dried. The electric drum is used for the drying process. Grinding: The dried ingredients are put into the grinding machine to be grounded into powdery form. Direct grinding for clients could be done wet or dry.This depends on the requirements of the client. Clients pay for these services. Testing /Packaging: The finishing products are observed and tested to certify whether they are fit for human consumption. As soon as a clean bill is passed, the products are packaged in containers and arranged in dozen per carton before sending to the market. The kind of food processing operation determines the capital outlay. A small scale food processing operation can cost between N450,000 and N1.5 million to execute. This amount can be scaled down or increased, depending on the financial capacity of the promoter. The bigger the project,the bigger the potentials in terms of turnover and profits. Food processing projects attract funds from any of the commercial banks, backed by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Agricultural Loan Scheme. Individuals or corporate bodies can get about N50 million. A wellpackaged feasibility report is a pre-requisite to securing finance for the project. This can be provided by the consultant on request. For details on how to implement this project or any other, please contact us. We are willing to assist potential investors on any aspect of the project. Prospective investors may get in touch with us at the address stated hereunder. Kris-Ed Brilliant Limited [Brilliant Consulting]. 395, Borno Way, off Harbert Macualy Road, Sabo-Yaba, Lagos State. Tel. 08023381900; 08098525122. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-6-12
Crusader Nigeria loses N287m
RUSADER Nigeria Plc’s fortunes dwindled further in 2011 as the insurance firms, losses inched up from N204.13 million in 2010 to N286.54 million in 2011. Audited report and accounts of Crusader Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2011 showed that the company recorded a loss before tax of N83.72 million as against N50.06 million. The report, made available yesterday, indicated increase in tax provisions from N154.07 million to N202.81 million, which further constrained the bottom-line and pushed net loss per every share to 6.34 kobo in 2011 as against 4.52 kobo in 2010. Gross earnings also dropped marginally from N5.35 billion to N5.37 billion. The worsening performance of the company also reflected on the balance sheet position as net assets fell from N6.99 billion in 2010 to N6.37 billion. Consequently, the board
•Equities slip further By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
of the company has not recommended any dividend. Meanwhile, two deals were struck for 117,573 ordinary shares of Crusader Nigeria valued at N58, 786.50 yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Crusader Nigeria has been stagnant at its nominal all through this year. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities dropped marginally by N3 billion from N6.818 trillion to N6.815 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI) - the benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), for the second consecutive day dropped from 21,357.22 points to 21,347.17 points. With 28 losers to 20 gainers, the bears dominated the market with Flour Mills of Nigeria leading the decliners with a loss of N2 to close at N57. UAC of Ni-
geria followed with a loss of 86 kobo to close at N31.90. Oando placed third with a loss of 72 kobo to close at N13.78. Berger Paints dropped by 44 kobo to close at N8.54. UACN Property Development lost 32 kobo to close at N9.25 while University Press slipped by 20 kobo to close at N4.17 per share. On the other hand, Unilever Nigeria topped the gainers’ list with addition of 30 kobo to close at N30 per share. Dangote Flour Mills gained 17 kobo to close at N5.17. First City Monument Bank and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated added 10 kobo each to close at N3.20 and N10.90 respectively. Custodian and Allied Insurance, Paints and Coatings Manufacturing Company, RT Briscoe and Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 7.0 kobo each to close at N1.57, N1.66, N1.83 and N4 respectively. Total turnover stood at 231.69 million shares valued at N1.72 billion in 3,958 deals. Banking subsector was the most active subgroup with a turnover of 82.34 million shares worth N526.52 million in 2,096 deals. Conglomerates subsector recorded a turnover of 77.65 million shares valued at N106.15 million in 227 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-6-12
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
‘Power projects need local, Int’l investments’ OCAL and international funding are needed to adequately finance projects in the power sector of the economy, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Lagos Branch has said. Speaking yesterday ahead of the CIBN Annual Lagos Bankers’ Nite holding on Wednesday July 18 in Lagos, Bayo Olugbemi, Chairman, said local resources are not sufficient to tackle Nigeria’s energy crises. According to him, there is urgent need for local banks to partner with
Stories by Collins Nweze
offshore financial institutions to generate the needed funds that will effectively address energy crisis in the country. Olugbemi, who is also Managing Director, First Registrars Nigeria Limited, said the institute chose theme: “Developing an Appropriate Framework for Energy Infrastructure Financing in Nigeria” because of the importance it attaches to steady power in the country. “This year’s event provides oppor-
rica Finance Corporation (AFC), Taiwo Adeniji, who will discuss with Nigerian bankers on the best strategy to adopt in effecetively financing infrastructure. He said Nigerian banks are being mobilised to finance power projects because they have so much to gain and nothing to lose. “We are carrying the banks along. Our banks are being mobilized to see opportunities in financing power projects and at the end of this discourse, they will see more reasons to do so,” he said. According to him, the Lagos branch of CIBN was established in 193 as Lagos Centre of the London Institute of Bankers through the initiative of some dedicated and committed bankers with the support of the Bankers Committee which comprises of all the licenced banks in the country and the
tunity for exchange of ideas on contemporary economic, banking and other financial issues. It is also an avenue for banker to interact with one another and network with the Nigerian business community,” he said. According to him, the programme will help stakeholders indentify and address key energy problems in the country. He said the need to bring international dimensions to energy financing prompted the invitation of experts such as Director, Financial Institutions and Advisory Services, Af-
FCMB, MCF partner on debt financing
IRST City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) and Netherlands based Medical Credit Fund (MCF) have signed a partnership agreement to provide affordable loans to Nigerian private primary healthcare providers. The loans provision under the MCF programme are provided on affordable terms and are combined with technical assistance package, which allows the healthcare providers to improve clinical quality of their services whilst strengthening their business models. In a statement from the bank, Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang,
Managing Director of the Fund said: “We are especially proud to have recently been able to launch the MCF program in Nigeria in cooperation with FCMB. To date many clinics have been struggling to meet the debt service requirements on commercial loans and this facility seeks to address that and help bridge the financing gap. It will be encouraging to see how we are now able to start meeting that demand.” FCMB’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Segun Odusanya said: “We at FCMB welcome this valuable addition to our product range, and we see tremendous potential for the
upgrading of healthcare facilities, especially at the lower end of the healthcare market. If this is achieved in tandem with quality improvement, it should not be difficult to predict a major improvement and overhaul of healthcare delivery in the sector.” The partnership according to the statement, is targeting lower tier healthcare suppliers throughout the country. Technical assistance for medical quality and business improvement will be provided through the Hygeia Foundation, the Nigerian implementation partner of the MCF.
dence, the governments at all levels appear inept in actualising the basic tenets of budget implementation. He said non-implementation of budget makes the business environment unattractive to investors, with achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) turning into a mirage. “For example, he noted that a country that seeks to be in the top 20 bracket in about eight years’ time still projects manufacturing to contribute only 4.6 per
INNERS have emerged in the Skye Bank Plc’s Visa London Olympics Games promotion, which began three months ago. The 10 lucky winners are to enjoy an all-expense paid trip to the London Olympics where they will watch some athletic and other sporting events. The winners who emerged through electronic raffle draws conducted in Lagos according to a statement, are amongst the bank’s Visa account holders in Nigeria, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea where it has subsidiaries. The criteria for participation in the raffle draw included opening a new account with a minimum balance of $2,000 during the promo period, spending up to $5,000 by existing customers as well as opening a Visa account with a mini-
cent of the Gross Domestic Product in 2015. The CSJ recently conducted analysis on the 2012 to 2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). Their report reviews the terms of reference of the analysis and the methodology employed. It also places analysis in the context of previous reviews undertaken by CSJ for the enhancement of fiscal governance and the full realisation of the intendments of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m 113m 113m
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
GAINERS AS AT 26-6-12 SYMBOL
JAPAULOIL CUSTODYINS PAINTCOM LIVESTOCK RTBRISCOE WAPIC DANGFLOUR EVANSMED FCMB STERLNBANK
0.63 1.50 1.59 0.99 1.76 0.77 5.00 0.59 3.10 1.06
0.66 1.57 1.66 1.03 1.83 0.80 5.17 0.61 3.20 1.08
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
C/PRICE 2.287 1.33 13.78 8.54 3.15 1.39 2.81 3.03 4.17 0.84
CHANGE 0.12 0.07 0.72 0.44 0.16 0.07 0.14 0.15 0.20 0.04
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
Date 29-2-12 27-2-12 22-2-12
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
LOSERS AS AT 26-6-12
SYMBOL O/PRICE LONGMAN 2.40 GTASSURE 1.40 OANDO 14.50 BERGER 8.98 ETERNA 3.31 AIRSERVICE 1.46 AVONCROWN 2.95 REDSTAREX 3.18 UPL 4.37 AGLEVENT 0.88
Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8 155.7
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
0.03 0.07 0.07 0.04 0.07 0.03 0.17 0.02 0.10 0.02
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate
mum opening balance of $1,000. The names of the winners as Berete Amadou from Guinea, Aladesuyi Nicholas (OAU Ife), Ogunyemi Olanrewaju (Opebi), Aboderin Daramola (Opebi) and Darma Muttagiya Rabe (Garki). Others are Salisu Umar Fago, Bamiduro Olumide, Oludare Olapade and Akon Esu-Nte. Speaking at the draw, the bank’s Executive Director, South South, Mrs. Ibiye Ekong, said the promotion was a way of rewarding the bank’s customers for their loyalty as well as increasing its Visa cardholder base. Ekong said part of the bank’s business strategy was to grow its cardholder base by a significant number and further encourage its customers to embrace electronic payment solutions by using their cards home and abroad.
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The CIBN now has a membership of 80,000, with 70 per cent members of the Lagos branch.
Skye Bank takes customers to Olympics
2012 Budget: ‘Only 10% carpex implemented’ NLY 10 per cent of the 2012 budget on capital expenditure(carpex) has been implemented, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), has said. Speaking yesterday at the Lagos Fiscal Responsibility Forum, Director ,CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, said the worrisome state of infrastructural facilities and lack of basic social amenities in the country are fallout of budget failures. He said that despite claims to fiscal pru-
•Power Minister, Barth Nnaji
ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 124.80 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 101.42 THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.74 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.09 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.95 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,731.88 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 8.95 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 7,470.98 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
9.08 1.00 124.68 100.57 0.72 1.09 0.93 1,722.27 8.51 1.33 1.80 7,275.56 191.08 1.62
OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2011
Current 07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NEWS Third Mainland Bridge‘ll not be closed, says Lagos Commissioner
•General Overseer of the Victorious Army Ministry International, Rev. Joseph Agbli, flanked on the left by Elder Victor Ola and Deacon Onyeka Chukwu Ezechina, at a press conference on the 17th Annual Convention of the church...yesterday. The two-day covention begins on Friday. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLAMS
NDLEA arrests 246 suspects,
HE Anambra and Enugu Commands of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have turned the heat on drug peddlers in the two Southeast states, arresting 246 suspects and seizing 1,084.2 kilogrammes of drugs. At least 166 suspects and 217.633 kilogrammes were arrested and seized by the Anambra command in the last six months. In Enugu, the NDLEA officials arrested 130 suspects, consisting of 120 males and 20 females and seized 866.567 Indian Hemps in the last one year. The agency’s Commander in Anambra,Mr. Timinipre Zikiye said in a remark at this year’s United Nations (UN) International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, that the suspects were
•1,084.2kg drugs seized in Anambra, Enugu From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha and Chris Oji, Enugu
arrested with the substances in different parts of the state. Zikiye said that out of the 166 suspects, 99 were males and the remaining 17 were females. He said the suspects were apprehended during raids by NDLEA officials. Besides, he said 217.633 kilogrammes of illicit substances were seized from the suspects, saying 217.598 kilogrammes were Cannabis Sativa (also known as Indian hemp), 38.3 grams of cocaine and 16.4 grams of heroin. “In the same period under review, the command secured six convictions in the cases prosecuted at the Federal High Court, Awka.
All sentences which were with hard labour, ranged from six months to one year and three months”, he said. Soliciting for public collaboration, Zikiye said: “The agency has never pretended and would not pretend that it can tame the rampaging drug monsters by itself alone. We need the collaboration of the public on furnishing us with information.” Speaking, the Chairmen of the Ogabru Main Market Patent Medicine Dealers Association and the National Illicit Drug Abuse Control Association (NIDACA), Chief Emebo Gilbert and Charles Orji respectively, described the fight against drug trafficking as a collective responsibility. They also lauded the efforts of the agency for the number
of arrests and seizures it made within the shot period under review. The Enugu command said it made a seizure of 866.567 kilogramme of substances, suspect to be Indian hemp and 33.3 grams of substances, suspected to be cocaine. Its Commander Anthony Ohanyere also spoke at the celebration of the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking held at the 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu. The Ibagwa Nike of Enugu, Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu coorganised the event which drew participants from the army, security outfits, federal agencies, youth organisations, road transport unions, post-primary schools and opinion leaders.
MD of Gitto Construction dies
HE Managing Director of Gitto construction company, Mr Domenico Gitto is dead. The Nation learnt that the
Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor
late Gitto died in an Abuja hospital after suffering from heart attack. He was 51.
Gitto was in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital on Monday where he attended the Senate retreat. He was in Uyo because President Goodluck Jonathan was expected to inaugurate one or two projects handled by his firm. He was said to have returned to Abuja yesterday and attended a meeting at the
Federal Ministry of Works till about 6pm. Gitto until his death was the head of Gitto Construction Company in Nigeria, the company that built the Ecumenical Centre in Abuja. The company was recently mentioned in the building of a church in Otuoeke, Bayelsa State.
AGOS State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa has said the Third Mainland Bridge will not be closed during the period of repairs which begins on July 1. Rather, he said traffic will be diverted between 12am to 12 noon when repair work is being carried out. Opeifa broke this news yesterday while speaking with reporters in Alausa, Ikeja. He said over 500 Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials have been deployed to ensure free flow of traffic on alternative routes. He appealed for motorists’ patience and understanding during the time, saying that the alternative routes include Adeniji Adele, Carter Bridge, Muritala Muhammed Way, Ikorodu Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Eko Bridge, Ijora Causeway, Wharf Road, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway among others. Apart from LASTMA officials, Opeifa said military personnel, the police and FRSC officials would be on hand to ensure free flow of traffic. The repair, he said, will be concluded on November 6. According to him, com-
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
muters going to Mainland or Ikeja from Victoria Island before 12 noon could divert at the Adeniji Adele interchange to exit through Carter Bridge and link any of the alternative routes. But, those coming from Ibadan-Ikeja axis to the Island could avoid the Third Mainland Bridge by using Ikorodu Road, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Agege Motor Road, among other routes. Opeifa said:“It is not about closure, it is about diversion of traffic during the time work will be going on, on the bridge. People coming from Victoria Island from 12 midnight to 12 noon will divert at Adeiji Adele to connect Carter Bridge, through Iddo junction to exit to any of the alternative routes.” The commissioner said all designated diversion points would be manned by officials of LASTMA who would ensure that the expected gridlock would be contained effectively without chaos. He said the repair is part of government’s routine maintenance work to ensure that the bridge is always in good shape, adding that there are about eight points to repair.
Musdapher, Anyim, Ajumogobia, others for Aniagolu lecture
HIEF Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Dahiru Musdapher, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Chief Anyim Pius Anyim and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), are among the dignitaries expected at the first memorial anniversary lecture for a former Supreme Court Judge, the late Justice Anthony Aniagolu. The lecture, to be chaired by former Senate President Ken Nnamani, is billed for Enugu tomorrow. A statement from the Aniagolu family stated that Ajumogobia would deliver a special dinner speech entitled: “Leadership, Good Governance and the Imperative of Justice.”
From Chris Oji, Enugu
A memorial lecture tagged: “Democracy, The Rule of Law and National Development” will be delivered by Anyim. The anniversary would also feature the presentation of prizes to the winners of a memorial essay competition organised by the Aniagolu Foundation. The Vice Chancellor of the Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Prof Christian Anieke, who is hosting the event, said: “A year after his death, the legal profession in particular and Nigerians in general are still feeling the loss of this great judicial mind and tributes are continuing to pour in. We are holding this memorial event to remind the world of what a remarkable man Justice Aniagolu was.”
Aftermath of electrocution: Normalcy returns to Ibadan market •Fed Govt investigators yet to conclude probe
OMMERCIAL activities returned gradually to the popular Apata market, in Ibadan South West Local Government Area of Oyo state yesterday after Monday’s electrocution of an expectant mother and four other women. When The Nation visited the market yesterday, few traders, including meat and foodstuff sellers, were seen trading. As a mark of respect for the victims, there were no vegetable sellers in the market yesterday. The market was temporarily shut by the Chairman of Ibadan South West Local Government Area, Taofeek Adeleke. He also declared three days of mourning on Monday after the tragedy.
Ajimobi orders demolition of structures in market OYO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday ordered the demolition of all structures under a high tension cable on the Apata-Bembow Road, where five women were electrocuted on Monday in a market in Apata, Ibadan, the state capital. The governor gave the order during a sympathy visit to the market. He noted that trading under high tension cables endangers the lives of traders and buyers. Represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, the governor urged the traders to vacate the area to avoid another occurrence. Ajimobi directed the Chairman of Ibadan South West Local Government Area, Mr. Taoheed Adeleke, to find another suitable place to relocate the market. The governor also ordered the council to replace the cables connecting the area to the main Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) poles and ensure that electricity is restored. He commiserated with the families of the dead, praying for the repose of their souls. From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
Top officials of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), with
a team of mobile policemen, visited the scene yesterday. At the Agbekoya area of the market, the spot where the women were electrocuted had not been cleared. The electric
cables and some of the vegetables belonging to the deceased were still lying on the ground. The Principal Manager Public Affairs of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company of PHCN, Mr Jide Oyenuga, told The Nation that the cables would be left untouched until investigators from Abuja conclude their findings on the accident. But he did not give a date of the investigation. At the Apata Business Unit of the PHCN, armed policemen were stationed at the main entrance and visitors were quizzed before they were allowed entry. Some youths, including commercial motorcyclists and street urchins, on Monday, attempted to attack the PHCN Apata office. The Divisional Police Office (DPO), Mr Abiodun Agboola, urged the youths to avoid violence.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NEWS Saraki is alive, hale and hearty, say PDP, aide
Police arrest man for wife’s death A
MIDDLE-aged man, David Magaji and a witch doctor are in the police net in Nasarawa State following their alleged involvement in the death of a woman, Cecilia Magaji. She was the wife of the first suspect, David. A source said on June 16, Cecilia attempted to reconcile with her husband by going to her matrimonial home. They had been separated for about 20 years. The source said the deceased’s family became worried when she failed to return after three days. The Nation learnt that the family contacted the deceased’s husband on the
From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia
phone, and he assured them that she would soon return home. The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State Command, Cornelius Ocholi, who confirmed the arrest of the men, said the woman was allegedly invited by her husband for reconciliation, but she did not return home after several days. He said the deceased’s brother, Pastor Emmanuel Ayede, lodged a com-
plaint about the missing woman and the police swung into action. Her body was found some days later in a shallow grave, under a tree, on Tudun Ambassador Road, Lafia with some of the parts missing. He said they suspected ritual killing. Ocholi said the body of the mother of four-two boys and two girls has been deposited at the mortuary of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, and investigation is on to unravel the mystery behind her death.
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
HERE was anxiety yesterday over the health of Dr. Olusola Saraki. But his personal assistant, Lateef Okandeji, has said the former Senate
NDLEA seizes 1.3m kg of drugs •Marks World Drug Day By Kelvin Osa Okunbor, Kolade Adeyemi, Kano, Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos, Isah Idris, Katsina and Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe
T was the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking yesterday. And time for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to count its blessings. They are bountiful: 46,087 suspected drug traffickers arrested and 1,310,860.348kg of hard drugs seized from 2006 to date. Cannabis leads with 1,284,341.896kg. Cocaine is next with 16,746.629kg, Psychotropic substances are 9,128.747kg, while Heroin is 643.076kg. Nine thousand, seven hundred and eighty-two persons were also convicted during the period. Secretary to the Govern-
ment of the Federation (SGF) Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, who was the special guest of honour at the event held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, yesterday, said Nigeria would continue to protect its citizens from the menace of drugs. The SGF was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Research and Development, Mr. Ferdinand Agwu. Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke said government would not relent in bringing the drug problem under control. Adoke was represented by his Special Assistant, Mr. Pious Oteh. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) country representative, Ms Mariam Sissoko, said: “Drug trafficking flows have global dimensions. The flows link regions and continents, sometimes with dra-
matic consequences for the countries they affect. Because of this, UNODC is building integrated regional programmes, as well as promoting inter-regional and interagency responses.” The Chairman/Chief Executive of the agency, Ahmadu Giade, said: “This is one commemoration we are undertaking with a clear sense of hope, rather than the despondence that characterised our past commemorations. Hope because all the efforts, both human and material resources and other forms of sacrifices put into the endeavour of ridding our society of drugs are not only beginning to germinate but are already bearing fruits. On this note, I say Nigeria is winning the drug war.” The theme of this year’s commemoration is, “Global Action for Healthy Communities without Drugs”. Dignitaries at the event included the United States Ambassador, Mr. Terrence McCulley and the Director General, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhi.
Within six months, the Kano State Command of the NDLEA seized 1, 915.39 kg of illicit drugs and arrested 358 suspects. The Commander of the agency, Mr. Sumaila Ethan, spoke yesterday in Kano. The Commander, who lamented the increasing consumption of Indian hemp in Kano, said of the suspects arrested, 93 were convicted, while 273 drug dependent persons were counselled and reintegrated into the society. The Plateau State Commander of the NDLEA, Ralph Igwenagu said the command has arrested 200 suspects and seized 1.7tonnes of drugs in the last six months. The NDLEA Commander in Katsina State, Alhaji Garba Ahmadu, said the command has arrested 155 suspects, convicted 22 and rehabilitated 97. Gombe State Command of the NDLEA confiscated 115.17 kg of cannabis and psychotropic substances between January and June. The Commander of the agency, Mr. Aliyu Adole, said nine drug dealers were arrested during the period.
Kogi verdict: Echocho warns against blackmailing judiciary
HE Jibrin Isah Echocho Campaign Organisation in Kogi State yesterday warned against attempt to blackmail the judiciary and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the June 29 judgment of a Federal High Court on the actual candidate of the PDP for 2011 governorship poll. The court will decide who ought to be the candidate of the PDP between Governor Idris Wada and a banker, Jubril Isah Echocho. But ahead of the verdict, the organisation has cautioned against move to instigate the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Echocho. The organisation gave the warning in a statement in Abuja by its Director, Public Communication and Strategy, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, The statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to series of articles, press statements as well as coordinated campaigns in both elec-
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja
tronic and print media aimed at tarnishing the reputation of our principal, Alhaji Jibrin Isah (Echocho) orchestrated by some desperate politicians who are doomed to fail. “As a responsible organisation, and conscious of the fact that most of the issues being bandied about are before competent courts in the country, we had earlier opted to keep mute, knowing that only fools would continue to hit their heads against the wall even after being told that they have come to the end of the road. “However, it has become necessary for us to speak up, in view of the desperation and brazen impunity with which some of the characters associated with the said agents of our political opponents have carried on with
the mission to “destroy at all cost” the character, person and reputation of Alhaji Jibrin Isah, who remains the governorship candidate of the PDP in Kogi State. “Needless to say that it is impossible to ignore last week’s ignoble plea by Captain Wada to the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur that the latter should rescue him from Alhaji Isah who he claimed was making it impossible for him (Wada) to rule Kogi State. “There is no doubt that the plea to the PDP National Chairman was meant to enrol him into a satanic and illegal project, since it is public knowledge that judgment is to be delivered by a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday. “Counsel to all the parties have already submitted addresses and judgment is due. Perhaps, our opponent and his cohorts seek to smear the integrity of our able Chair-
man, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the NWC who have consistently said the era of impunity and lack of internal party democracy are over with their election. We must not allow these men with less than positive motives have their way. “Most importantly, well meaning Nigerians ought to call these desperados to order as their comments and actions convey a more sinister intention of seeking to blackmail the judiciary by cleverly obfuscating the duty of the judge who by now must be considering issues raised by counsel of both parties and to decide either way, based on his conviction on the points of law. “Is it possible that they have foreseen the curtain drawn on their illegal sojourn by the forthcoming judgment? Does his plea to our chairman not amount to seeking to truncate a process?”
leader is alive, hale and hearty. He said in a statement that “the Kwara political god-father is currently on a visit to the United States of America. Yesterday he spoke with the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kwara State chapter, on the forthcoming House of Assembly election rerun in Oloje and Alanamu wards of Ilorin North-West Constituency.” Okandeji continued: “Senator Saraki, in a telephone interaction with the leaders of the party in the affected wards, noted that the PDP remains the only party in the state that has shown consistency in service delivery and entrenchment of quality leadership.” The Kwara State branch of the PDP also said Dr. Saraki is alive. The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Mas’ud Adebimpe, said: “The attention of the leadership of our great party has been drawn to the mischievous rumour that Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki is dead. “The rumour is not only mischievous and unfounded, but it is an outright falsehood designed to mislead the public on the health status of the Kwara political kingpin. “We wish to say with all
sense of responsibility that Saraki is alive, hale and hearty and has been in touch with the people of the state and the leadership of our party.”
Taraba pays N222.77m gratuity From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
THE Taraba State Local Government Staff Pension Board yesterday paid N222.77million gratuities and pension arrears to its pensioners. Seventy-two living pensioners and 114 deceased pensioners were the beneficiaries. Special Adviser to Governor Danbaba Suntai on Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Bashir Marafa, launched the payment, which took place at the Pension Board Secretariat, Jalingo. He was assisted by the Permanent Secretary of the board, Mr. Simon Istifanus Angyu. Marafa said the social well-being of the indigenes was the priority of the Suntai administration.
PUBLIC NOTICE I L E SAN M I I formerly known and addressed as Miss. Ilesanmi Mobolaji Teresa, now wish to be known and address as Mrs. Mobolaji Theresa Esan. all former documents remain valid. The general public please take note
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OSHODI/ISOLO LOCAL GOVERNMENT LIST OF ABANDONED VEHICLES S/N 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 Owners
PLATE NUMBER MAKE OF VEHICLE COLOUR XF 679 MUS VOLKS WAGON BUS YELLOW XA 110 MUB MISTUBISHI BUS YELLOW AR 562 KSF TOYOTA CELICA GREY NO NUMBER HONDA CIVIC RED BG 982 RSH FORD PROBE BLUE CH 681 GGE NISSAN SUNNY BLUE CU 293 BEN FORD WAGON BLUE CB 184 EKY TOYOTA VENTURE WHITE XV 68 MUS RENAULT BUS YELLOW XV 322 FST VOLKS WAGON BUS YELLOW BU 816 BDG CHEROKEE JEEP BLUE XV 557 AKD TOYOTA HAICE BUS RED XF 482 KSF VOLKS WAGON BUS YELLOW CY 464 JJJ EXPLORER JEEP GREEN XV 734 EKY VOLKS WAGON BUS YELLOW BW 528 KTU BMW CAR BLACK PR 663 KJA HONDA LEGEND BLACK DW 969 EKY HONDA ACCORD BLUE XD 830 KTU FIAT BUS YELLOW XD 828 MUS MISTUBISHI BUS YELLOW AR 197 LSR NISSAN STANZA GREY XA 678 GBR HAICE PICK-UP BLUE XL 634 AKD VOLKS WAGON BUS YELLOW XQ 718 KRD VOLKS WAGON LT BUS YELLOW AA 231 SRA HONDA WAGON ASH DD 777 ABC CHEVROLET BUS ASH JZ 228 KJA DAEWOO SERRA BLUE CV 931 KTU DAEWOO ESPERO WINE BK 146 AGL TOYOTA TACOMA RED CA 645 KJA MITSUBUSHI GALLANT ASH BJ 588 AAA NISSAN CAR BLUE AA 757 NBS HONDA PRELUDE BLACK MD 337 AAA CRYSLER SPACE BUS WINE DB 527 LND FIAT CAR RED XU 18 KSF VOLKS WAGON LT BUS YELLOW XW 01 GGE VOLKS WAGON LT BUS YELLOW XJ 16 BDG VOLKS WAGON LT BUS YELLOW AR 695 KSF PEOGEUT WAGON GREEN AR 191 KJA MERCEDES BENZ 200 GREEN NO NUMBER NISSAN SUNNY BLUE NO NUMBER MITSUBUSHI GALLANT ASH of these vehicles should come and reclaim their vehicles with proof of ownership within 30 days of this publication.
For OILG: DIIT VENTURES
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NEWS 4,000 jobs coming in Rivers
NDDC boss: more jobs on the way
HE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has trained 5,765 youths in the region, it was learnt yesterday. Similarly, 4,025km of roads have been built and 1,261 transformers connected to the National Grid were provided for 400 communities The Chairman, NDDC Governing Board, Dr.Tarilah Tebepah, spoke at the first Niger Delta Youth Investment and Business Development Summit with the theme: After oil, what next? He said 70 per cent of the commission’s budget is spent on infrastructure. The chairman announced plans to initiate programmes that would lead to job creation for youths. “NDDC is working towards providing Technology Parks and small medium enterprise centres in each state of the region; we also think that the time has come for us to objectively monitor job creation activities. “The NDDC plans to create commodity marketing boards that will assist farmers to sell their produce.”
‘We’re being marginalised’ By Kehinde Falode
HE Ndokwa National Union (NNU), a sociocultural organisation of the Ndokwa people in Delta State, has condemned the alleged neglect of its people. The group decried the noninvitation of its youths for the one-day summit on investment and business development organised by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Addressing reporters in Lagos, NNU president Paul Enebeli said only one indigene was invited for the summit. The president added that the group has not benefited from the resources of its land. “We are here to voice our concern as a group against the ill-treatment meted to our people. “We are being marginalised and the noninvitation of our youths to the summit is an indication of this,” he said.
From Shola O’Neil
•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (second left); Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal (left) and Rivers State Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru (right) at a public lecture to mark the first anniversary of the fifth Delta Assembly in Asaba...yesterday
‘Don’t ratify Green Tree Agreement’
HE Cross River State House of Assembly yesterday passed a motion urging the National Assembly not to ratify the Green Tree Agreement, which ceded Bakassi to Cameroon. This is in order not to foreclose the right of the people to appeal the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This was contained in a
seven-point resolution unanimously adopted by the 25 members in a motion by the member representing Boki II, Jacob Otu Enya and seconded by Saviour Nyong of Bakassi Constituency. The House also urged the National Assembly to conduct a public hearing to determine issues surrounding the ceding of Bakassi. It further asked that the Federal Government find a
lasting political solution to all issues regarding the disputed area. It urged the Federal Government to design and implement a realistic compensation welfare package for the displaced people of the area. According to the House, Cross River State and Bakassi Local Government should be compensated for the loss of the ceded area. It called on the state
government to on behalf of the people of Bakassi, appeal against the ICJ judgment in line with United Nations (UN) provision which provides for appeal to any matter 10 years after judgment. The House maintained that a proactive measure be adopted by the Federal Government to arrest any situation of unrest that may arise sequel to the ceding process.
East/West Road not completed, says community
GROUP, the EastWest Road Communities Association (EWRCA), has decried the”seeming” abandonment of the East-West Road. It faulted the recent claims by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, that 60 per cent of the road had been completed. EWRCA, a body of stakeholders, comprising monarchs, youths, opinion leaders and other professionals , yesterday at a news conference in Port Harcourt,
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
the Rivers State capital, said the road is a death trap and has become a den of robbers and kidnappers. The group’s patron, King Robinson O. Robinson, said: “The Federal Government said the road would be completed in 2010, but it is now talking of 2014. “The road may not be completed in 2014. The Federal Government wants the road abandoned, by not releasing funds to the contractor. “We are ashamed that
President Jonathan is from the Niger Delta. He will pass through the road to his village in Otuoke. “Niger Deltans voted for him. He should reciprocate the gesture, by releasing funds and ensuring the speedy completion of the road. “Many persons have been killed on that road, with valuable property destroyed. “Innocent people have been robbed and kidnapped on the road, because of the bad spots.
“Ninety per cent of vehicles of oil companies pass the road to their locations. “Federal Government is constructing roads in other parts of Nigeria. Suicide bombing by Boko Haram is not an excuse to abandon the East-West road. “If President Jonathan does not complete the EastWest road till he leaves office, he would have failed. “Orubebe lied when he said 60 per cent of the road has been completed. He lied for political reason.”
Cross River orders landlords to reduce fences
ANDLORDS and land developers in Cross River State have till December to ensure that the front part of their fences in their premises and plots, conform to existing regulations. According to a statement
From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
by the Commissioner for Land and Housing, Ralph Uche, the regulation stipulates that the height of a front fence should not be more than 1.5 metres finished with iron grilled
metal. Premises where landlords have developed their fences above 1.5 metres, Uche advised that the fence should be reduced to the required height and finished with iron grilled metal before the end of December.
The commissioner stated that the directive on fencing of premises and plots was contained in the state building By-Laws and Regulation in Gazette No 47, Vol 17 of November 8, 1984 as amended in Gazette No 18,Vol 20 of April 30, 1987.
THE Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency has begun discussions with landowners in Etche for the acquisition of over 3,000 hectares of farmland for a public private partnership. RSSDA Executive Director Noble Pepple said the project would create 4,000 jobs. He said the partnership with an Israeli firm would cost $140million (over N20billion) and would be spread across three villages. The government is expected to put in $100million (N1.57billion) while the foreign partner would bankroll the remaining 40 per cent. The project, which will be completed in 24 months, also involves the building of 100 homes in the three villages. Pepple said the RSSDA has three mandate areas, which include human capital development (education), agriculture and job creation. He said the government would diligently execute in partnership with relevant ministries to avoid duplicity of projects.
Deadline for monorail project From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
THE Cross River State Government has fixed 2014 as deadline for completion of the monorail project initiated to provide easy and affordable access from the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar to the Tinapa Business Resort. Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Projects Clement Akwaji who denied that the administration of Governor Liyel Imoke has abandoned the project, said in view of the high number of people, particularly non-indigenes, who come into the state, there is need to complete the project. He assured that the 25.5 km-project, which is one of the 16 projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Special Projects, would serve the transport needs of the people.
FOREIGN Three dead in Mexico shootout
HREE Mexican policemen have been killed in a shootout with two other officers at Mexico City’s main airport. Officials say those shot dead were attempting to arrest the two officers who are suspected of involvement in a cocaine trafficking ring. Passengers dived for cover when the suspected traffickers opened fire, killing two officers immediately and injuring a third who later died. The two suspects escaped and are being sought by the authorities. Officials said they had spent 18 months investigating corrupt federal and local officials who they suspect are part of a drug trafficking ring operating at the airport. The area was sealed off immediately after the incident but flights were reported to be operating normally in and out of the airport. “When the alleged perpetrators were surrounded by the police, shots were fired against the federal agents,” a security ministry statement said. The two officers have been identified, authorities said. Eyewitness Israel Lopez told the Associated Press news agency: “We were in the food court, and some policemen came in and started shooting at another policeman who was on the floor.”
Turkey gives Syria border warning
URKEY says its military rules of engagement have changed after Syria shot down a Turkish plane that strayed into its territory. PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan told parliament that if Syrian troops approached Turkey’s borders, they would be seen as a military threat. Meanwhile, Nato has expressed its condemnation of Syria’s attack as well as strong support for Turkey. Syria insists the F-4 Phantom jet was shot down inside Syrian airspace. The plane crashed into the eastern Mediterranean and its two pilots are missing. Meanwhile, fierce fighting has been reported between the Syrian army and rebel forces in the suburbs of the capital Damascus. Witnesses say it is some of the most intense violence in the area since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began more than a year ago. In other developments on Tuesday: The head of UN peacekeeping operations, Herve Ladsous, said the monitoring mission in Syria would remain suspended because of mounting violence. Russia said its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov would attend an international conference on Syria in Geneva on June 30
Egypt suspends military arrests
N Egyptian court has suspended a government decision allowing military police to arrest civilians, judicial sources say. The administrative court took the decision after reviewing an appeal filed by rights groups against the controversial decree passed on June 13. The Cairo court has also delayed its rulings in two controversial cases, media reports say. One concerns the dissolution of parliament, held off till 7 July. The other involves the constitutionality of the new constituent assembly - a 100-member panel appointed by parliament to draft a new constitution - said to have been delayed till September 1. The ruling military council, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (Scaf), has used court decrees and constitutional declarations to stop Islamists from controlling the country’s executive and legislative branches following last year’s parliamentary elections and the recent presidential elections. The decree on military arrests caused an uproar among activists and politicians, sparking fears that an attempt was being made to reintroduce unpopular emergency laws.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NATION SPORT MTN FOOTBALL SCHOLAR
Passion: Secret for success
HE just ended first phase of the second edition of MTN Football Scholar was a remarkable feat which has been attributed to determination and sheer passion for football. The project which eventually saw 18 budding stars selected for American scholarships, auditioned over 4,000 studentfootballers who received soccer instructions from elite Nigerian and American coaches in stages before the final selection. Speaking ahead of the advanced stage of the project, when the 18 young stars will write SAT exams and interview at the embassy between July and October, Kelvin Orifa, Manager, MTN Youth Segment said teaching football alone without good education and proper mentorship will be like “tea without sugar” According Orifa the project which was opened to students between ages 16-20 for America football and study scholarship also focused on getting the best out of the kids in terms of right attitude, discipline and good conduct
By Paul Oluwakoya stating that the organisers reviewed the regular football academy that abound in the country and filled the vacuum for the best of purpose. “Although the primary objective of the programme was to create an enduring balance between football and education, the first phase of the project has ensured that the youngsters are not only educated, but groomed with right attitude to life, in terms of discipline and of good behavior expected from soccer stars, “MTN Football Scholar is aimed at giving all recipients of the award a secure future. It is not about giving the lucky young stars cash prizes or cars but to know that after football, the boys have something to fall back on. That is why MTN has brought renowned American university soccer coaches and trainers to groom them. The academy has resourcefully balanced football training with academic work, this will go a long way to prepare the boys for the scholarship they will eventually secure to study in highly rated US universities” Orifa stated.
NPL, FEDERATION CUP TITLES:
Rangers will go all the way—Onyema
IGERIA Premier League (NPL) leader, Rangers International Football Club is well positioned to win this year’s league and Federation Cup according to club left back, Ambrose Onyema. Onyema in a chat with NationSport after his side’s 2-1 hard fought victory against a Nation Wide League campaigner, Hajaig Club from Jigawa State in Ibadan on Monday in the ongoing Federation Cup, boasted that his team has resolved to do everything humanly possible to win both the Nigeria Premier League and the Federation Cup. According to him, “it wasn’t easy playing this club from Jigawa because they wanted to prove a point against the Premier League leader but we were able to outwit them through our experience and resilience. They played well and defended well too. Our coach has told us where we didn’t do well which we hope
From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja to correct in our subsequent games”. The former Kaduna United defender said they got their inspiration from God and most especially from all Enugu indigenes that the team is
working tirelessly to win at least a Trophy this year after experiencing Trophy drought for so many years. “It would be a total disappointed, God forbid if we fail to win the Nigeria Premier League as well as the Federation Cup this time around just for the sake of our
darling fans in Enugu and the entire country. We believe with hard work, perseverance, resiliency and determination we will also add the Federation Cup to the league title to make our amiable Governor and the people of Enugu State very happy”, Onyema vowed.
Club Administrators for FIFA training in Abuja A
LL is set for the Premier League FIFA Club Administrators training programme scheduled to hold between Monday 2 nd and Saturday 7th, July, 2012. The training programme organized by the World football governing body, FIFA, through the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will take place at the Nicon Luxury, Area 11 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. According to the acting
Executive Secretary of the NPL, Tunji Babalola, accredited club representatives are expected to arrive for the training programme on Monday, July 2, 2012 while the departure date is Sunday, July 8, 2012. Babalola further stated that arrangements have been concluded for accommodation and feeding, while delegates will be responsible for their transportation to Abuja and back home. Prospective participants
are also reminded that the training is purely an academic exercise, hence, the need for them to come with writing materials. There will be no Premier League matches this weekend because of the ongoing Federation Cup competition which enters the Round of 32 this weekend. Acting Executive Secretary of the NPL, Tunji Babalola who disclosed this said that clubs and other stakeholders would be informed of the new date for the resumption of League matches.
We need to revive school sports—Gov. Chime • As Enugu flags of school sports festival
OVERNOR Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has identified the neglect of Schools sports over the years in Nigeria as the cause of the nation’continual dwindling fortunes in International competitive sports. The Governor who stated this in his address during the flag-off of the 2012 school sports festival in the state at Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium Enugu, noted that it was worrisome that even when reputed as being one of the biggest havens of sporting talents in the world, Nigeria has not been able to exploit these potentials to put itself in the upper echelon of top sporting nations of the world. Chime who was represented by his deputy, Sunday Onyebuchi, said that Enugu State government, after having reviewed the dismal state of affairs in sports sector and the need for the state to reassert itself in the world of sports, decided to revive the school sports system, adding that the result was the kick off of the state sports festival.
He said, “It is our expectation that the talents that would be discovered through the festival would become the leading lights of the country”. The governor thanked the organisers of the festival, especially the Ministry of Youths and Sports for having successfully taken up the challenge of turning the aspirations of the government in the sports sector into reality. Governor Chime pledged his administration’s readiness to ensure that the festival would not only be sustained but would continue to be improved upon until the state achieves the status of a model as far as sports development is concerned. Earlier in his address, the state commissioner for Youths and Sports Hon. Chijioke Agu described sports as a veritable tool for social development, youth empowerment and job creation, commended Governor Sullivan Chime for reviving school sports after 20 years of neglect.
Dolphins, Rising Stars crash out of 2012 Federation Cup • As Lobi, El Kanemi, Plateau United, Spotlite progress
OLPHINS of Port Harcourt and Rising Stars of Ondo were the biggest casualties of the Day Two of the 2012 Federation Cup Round of 60 matches played across the country on Tuesday. Dolphins and Rising Stars who are campaigning in the NPL, bowed out to lesser known opponents just like Wikki Tourists and 3SC did on Monday. Plateau United sent the Port Harcourt side out of the competition with a
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri shocking 1-0 win, while El Kanemi Warriors also showed Rising Stars the exit 6-5 on penalties after the regulation time had ended 2-2 apiece in games played in Katsina Ala and Abuja respectively. Spotlite of Katsina defeated Mgbo Fc of Ebonyi 2-0 with Samuel Agba and Joseph Abaji scoring both goals in the second half of the encounter while Lobi Stars thrashed Flash Flamingoes of Gombe 4-1.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
Gombe United sink Enyimba 3-1
OMBE UNITED has further slowed down Enyimba’s quest to catch up with Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers at the top of the league table after the Peoples Elephant slumped to a surprise 3-1 defeat to the Desert Scorpions at the Pantami Stadium. The rescheduled Week 28 NPL clash that was slated for play last week was postponed over security concerns in Gombe and the hosts showed they were the more anxious for the three points at stake than their visitors from Aba when Sani Sanusi shot his side into the lead in the first half but Enyimba restored parity in the second half through Chinonso Okonkwo before another goal by Sanusi and Austin Ekoma confined the Peoples Elephant to their 11th loss of the season. The win upped Gombe United’s points haul to 46 from 31 matches while despite the loss, Enyimba still remain in third position with 49 points from same number of matches. The scorer of the Desert Scorpions’ two goals, Sanusi who had before the match vowed to break his goal drought now has 11 goals and has risen to joint second with Gambo Mohammed of Kano Pillars and barely three behind leading scorer, Sibi Gwar of Niger Tornadoes. In a brief interview with
From Tunde Liadi,Owerri NationSport, Sanusi expressed his joy at his double strikes which made him to reach a long time target of scoring over 10 goals in a league season. “I am not only happy that my club won the match but
that I have scored 11 goals. It has been a very difficult season for me but I am grateful to God that I have been able to end my inability to score for close to 10 matches the race is still very much open for me to end the season as the highest goals scorer,” Sanusi said.
APFON to offer technical support to Eagles’ coaching crew
HE Association of Professional Footballers of Nigeria (APFON) says it will continue to boost the technical depth of Super Eagles’ coaching crew through intelligence reports and evaluation of its matches. “This is part of our determination to ensure that the Super Eagles win all their remaining World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations matches,’’ the Secretary of the association, Austin Popo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday on Benin. Popo said the association would have some of its selected members to monitor matches and later share its reports with the technical crew of the national team. “We are doing this because we are worried about the declining coaching content and the poor attitude of
players during national team assignments. “We have our own technical team that was in Calabar to watch the last two matches of the national team. So, what happens at the national team teams is also our concern. “Let us be sincere, our performance over the next three matches will be crucial. It is giving us cause for concern, because the further we go, the tougher it becomes. “We believe that some of our players in Europe are still good and relevant for the prosecution of these matches because of their experiences. We cannot do away with their services just yet.’’ Popo said the association was worried about the outcome of matches played by the national teams and how the country could make the most of its foreign-based players.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
NEWS Melaye threatens mass protest over killings HE Executive Secre-
tary of the Anti-Corruption Network, Otunba Dino Melaye yesterday gave President Goodluck Jonathan two weeks to show capacity to deal with the killings in the North or face mass protests by civil society organisations. Melaye, in a joint statement by the Network’s Director of Outreach Services, Timi Frank in Abuja also urged the President to sack the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke over her alleged indictment in the report of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy. The former member of the House of Representatives also said that corruption has contributed in fueling the activities of the Boko Haram
From Tony Akowe,
From Sanni Onogu, Abuja
sect. He urged Nigerians not to rejoice over the sacking of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Minister of Defence until the real issue of corruption is dealt with headlong. Melaye said: “There must be sincerity of purpose, heart and commitment in government’s drive at building a new Nigeria, just and egalitarian society. “Corruption must be seen to be fought with the fear of God. Mr President must demonstrate commitment by sacking the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison Madueke and of course the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Austin Oniwon’’.
Jonathan for Belgium From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
ACF, Yakasai hit Mark over comment
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will today travel to Brussels, Belgium on a one-day official visit, it was learnt last night. Jonathan is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the Summit of the World Customs Organisation in Brussels tomorrow. According to a statement by his spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, the President will jet out after the Federal Executive Council meeting. He will be accompanied by his wife Dame Patience, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, her Trade and Investment counterpart, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Senator Dahiru Kuta and a member of the House of Representatives Chinda Ogundu. Jonathan will also meet with the Nigerian community in Belgium. He is expected back tomorrow evening.
Kaduna From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
ENATE Presdient David Mark came under attack from the North yesterday over his comments on the activities of militant sect Boko Haram. Mark, speaking at the opening session of the Senate retreat in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on Monday urged North leaders to rein in the sect members. He also said the insurgency of the sect
could lead to Nigeria, split, if unchecked But the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), activist Shehu Sani and elder stateman Tanko Yakassai attacked his position. The ACF said North’s leaders are doing their best to stop the sect, wondering why they were being criticised by Mark. National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Mr Anthony Sani, told The Nation in an interview that Northern leaders including former President Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar have all condemned the bombings while appealing to government to do something drastic to bring the situation under control. The ACF spokesman said: “Is David Mark not from the
North? Is he not part of the Northern leaders? Why is he talking like that? If you talk about the country breaking up, in what direction is this going to take? “What are we supposed to do as Northern leaders that we have not done besides condemning the act of bombings? We have asked the government to go and negotiate with these people. Where ever those people are, it is the responsibility of the government to find them and engage them. “They used force on the group in 2009 when Jonathan was not there. They killed their leader and many of their members and that did not solve the problem. We do not think that the use of force will solve the problem now. “The government has the capacity to engage these people, get them where ever they are. I think that is what should
be done at this stage instead of government passing the bulk. Mark is part of the North and is one of the leaders of the North and there is no reason for him to speak that way”. Yakasai called for the resignation of the Senate President, who he said, was inciting the disintegration of Nigeria. Yakasai, who spoke to reporters in Kano yesterday, argued that the statement credited to the Senate President, “means he doesn’t believe in the future of the country and demonstrates that he is not qualified to hold his current position.” Yakassai, argued that out of the 774 local governments in Nigeria, only 18 local governments are affected by the Boko Haram menace, pointing out that the Senate President was ignorant of the security challenges facing the nation in recent times.
Asset declaration: Jonathan didn’t violate PDP manifesto, says Metuh
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday defended President Goodluck Jonathan over his failure to publicly declare his assets, saying his action did not violate the party’s manifesto. A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, described as baseless the reports accusing Jonathan of violating the party’s manifesto, claiming the mani-
From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
festo did not compel the President or any other public official to publicly declare their assets. The statement reads: “The reference to the PDP manifesto is baseless, as provisions compelling elected officials to publicly declare their assets are non-existent
in our approved manifesto or in any of the official documents of the Party. “For the avoidance of doubt, the said document which formed the basis of the report is not an official document of the PDP and cannot therefore be used to mischievously tarnish the well earned reputation of the President of Nigeria. “In order to set the records straight, we wish to
state that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has duly declared his assets in compliance with the provisions of section 140(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “He has completed the relevant documentations and submitted same to the Code of Conduct Bureau. It is important to note that there is no further legal requirements in this regard as it concerns the declaration of assets.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012
TODAY IN THE NATION
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘‘We must heighten security consciousness at home, neighbourhood, school, church and office now that we are all threatened by various types of people lurking around our streets and even our own employees’’ TONY MARINHO
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
OR Chief Ikechi Emenike, Chairman/ Chief Executive of Development Economic Resources Limited (DER Ltd), publishers of The African Economy magazine and of Annual Meetings Daily, the official publications of the World Bank/IMF, the African Development Bank, the African Union and the Commonwealth, May 25 must have come as a depressing anti-climax for a political journey that started over ten years ago; on that day the Supreme Court rejected his appeal to replace Chief Theodore Orji as the governor of his native Abia State. Before his journey to that unhappy day, he’d earned his stripes in journalism as a successful editor of the defunct ‘70s/ ‘80s mustread newsmagazine, Newbreed, under the perfectionist task master, the late Chief Chris Okolie. From Newbreed he’d moved on to head and turn around another publishing company, West Coast Communications Ltd, owned by the late Chief Fred Brume, and publishers of the since rested bilingual Business in ECOWAS. He’d then set up his own successful publishing company, DER Ltd in 1990. Twelve years later, Emenike decided to follow the footsteps of journalists and newspaper publishers like Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe ( first premier, Eastern Nigeria, and first president – albeit ceremonial - of the country) , Chief Obafemi Awolowo (first premier of the West and first opposition leader in the First Republic), Chief Lateef Jakande (first civilian governor of Lagos State), Chief Bisi Onabanjo (first civilian governor of Ogun State) and Aremo Segun Osoba (second civilian governor of Ogun State), who moved on from journalism to politics after they had successfully established themselves in that field. Some of us who knew him as friends and associates thought it was a wrong career move – and told him so. His late father, Chief Barthemeus Emenike Nwagbana, who hated politicians because he believed, not without some justification, they were inveterate liars and two-timers, was simply horrified. Ikechi’s simple answer was that our politics has been such a mess precisely because good people had left it in the hands of political charlatans. And so, in defiance of his old man and of his sceptical friends, he became a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State. He joined it with a strong determination to make a difference in his state which by then had already earned its terrible reputation as the kidnap capital of Nigeria and one of the most badly governed in the country, among other notorieties. To make the difference, he spent his time and considerable resources to build the most formidable grassroots political machine in the state, comprising youths, women and community leaders. In 2002/2003, he contested for the party’s ticket for Abia Central senatorial seat, and won handily against Dr. Chris Adighije. That was when he had his first baptism of fire in the long string of painful baptisms he was to suffer in his political journey, culminating in the May 25 anti-climax I mentioned in the
URING his media chat Sunday night, President Goodluck Jonathan, explained that the need to pursue fresh initiatives in the battle against insecurity necessitated the sacking of his erstwhile National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi (rtd) and former Defence Minister, Haliru Bello. He is not the only one seeking fresh ideas to combat the terrorist threat in northern Nigeria. Arising from their meeting in Abuja at the weekend, governors of the 36 states under the aegis of the Governors Forum, have suggested that another way of tackling the problem might just be to throw more money at it. “State governments are currently overstretched in funding security and call for a special intervention fund from the Federal Government, especially to the states that are most affected,” their statement said. A widely held sentiment at the meeting was that the Federal Government had almost totally abandoned the funding of the Police to governors – situation
People and Politics By MOHAMMED HARUNA email@example.com
The strange (?) political journey of Chief Emenike
opening paragraph of this piece; the cultlike PDP cabal in the state, backed invariably by the party’s headquarters in Abuja, reversed Emenike’s win and gave the ticket to Adighije. Adighije went on to win the seat in the senatorial election. In spite of this impunity, Emenike stayed back in the party, convinced, despite all evidence to the contrary, that it still provided the most credible platform for a successful political career in the state and elsewhere. However, having lost the party’s senatorial ticket in 2003, he decided to raise the political ante in the next general elections in 2007 by gunning for the governorship ticket. He was to be greatly disappointed. His first disappointment, however, was Chief Onyeama Ugochukwu, then Chairman of Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) and a leading PDP chieftain. Well ahead of the general elections in 2007 Emenike approached the older Ugochukwu to confirm the veracity of speculations that he already had his eyes on their state’s governorship seat. He too, he told Ugochukwu, was interested. He was, however, prepared to forgo his ambition and go for the Senate if the rumours were true because he re-
garded his older professional colleague as a role model; like Ugochukwu, Emenike had read Economics, gone into banking initially and had ended up in Journalism. (Ugochukwu was a successful editor of the rested Daily Times and of the rested London based West Africa magazine in its heydays.) Ugochukwu denied the rumours. Consequently, Emenike revved up his political machine for the PDP governorship ticket. However, as the primaries approached it became as clear as daylight that Ugochukwu was indeed interested in the governorship of their state. It was also clear to Emenike that he had no ghost of a chance against Ugochukwu given the total absence of internal democracy in the PDP. Convinced that his political machine was formidable enough to overcome the powerful PDP juggernaught, he left for the rival All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) whose presidential candidate was General Muhammadu Buhari. He contested the party’s governorship ticket against Dr Chukwu Nwachukwu, the pioneer Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), and won. Predictably, Ugochukwu won the PDP ticket. Meantime, the state’s sitting two-term governor, Chief Orji Kalu, who had become estranged from the PDP cabal in Abuja and had preferred Theodore Orji, his chief of staff, to succeed him, had left PDP to form his own party. Again predictably, T. Orji picked the party’s governorship ticket. All of which made the state’s governorship contest in 2007 essentially three-cornered. As we all know, T. Orji won under heavy clouds of suspicions that the results had been cooked even before the elections were over. Both Ugochukwu and Emenike challenged the results in court. They were, however, unsuccessful and in the end Orji served out his first term. Last year’s governorship election would probably have been a repeat of 2007’s. But then Emenike returned to the PDP well ahead of the elections when it seemed ANPP had become a poor clone of PDP due to ANPP’s internal crises that looked suspiciously engineered by the PDP. Then again, along the line, Governor T. Orji became estranged from his erstwhile godfa-
ther, Orji Kalu, and was compelled to go shopping for a new platform to get a second term. He left first for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) but ended in PDP. So in the end, by the mysterious ways in which politics moves in Nigeria, all three rivals in the state’s governorship elections in 2007 on different platforms became rivals for PDP’s governorship ticket in last year’s elections. As the sitting governor, T. Orji became the preferred candidate of the PDP cabal in Abuja. It tried to persuade Ugochukwu and Emenike to step down for him. Ugochukwu caved in. Emenike refused. With the Abuja PDP cabal fully behind him, T. Orji moved to dissolve the party’s state executive council which seemed loyal to Emenike, and installed his own. The dissolved executive council went to court. As a result of this development, there were two parallel PDP primaries in the state. T. Orji won that conducted under the aegis of the new executive council, while Emenike won that of the original executive council. The Abuja cabal backed T. Orji who went on to “win” the governorship election. Almost everywhere he went during his campaign, the governor was booed for poor performance during his first term. Not surprisingly he sought reconciliation with Emenike to tap into the latter’s grassroots support as the election approached. The reconciliation was successfully brokered by some prominent clergy in the state; the two signed a well publicised communiqué to jointly campaign for the success of the PDP “without prejudice to any case pending in court,” a reference to the case Emenike had instituted before the election tribunal, challenging the legitimacy of T. Orji’s membership of the PDP based on the party’s own constitution. However, no sooner was T. Orji back as governor than he renounced the communiqué. Emenike than felt obliged to carry on with his litigation. He lost all the way to the Supreme Court when the court ruled on May 25 in effect that courts have no business inquiring into how political parties conducted their primaries. In the case of Emenike, the Supreme Court ruled that he had no case against T. Orji because he did not participate in the primaries conducted by the PDP national headquarters whose word, the court said, was final. But then in the earlier case of former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State which, as a layman, looked to me like Emenike’s, the same court had said Sylva could not denounce the PDP primaries in which he had lost to the incumbent governor as illegal once he had participated in it. The common factor here seemed to be that both winners enjoyed the support of Abuja. I could, of course, be wrong, but the apparent contradiction between Emenike and Sylva’s losses look like a classic case of heads or tails you lose, so long as you are not in the good books of the country’s movers and shakers in Abuja. •For comments, send SMS to 08054502909
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
On new security initiatives
ists, it should no longer be allowed to stand in the way of a viable initiative that could considerably dent the massive security challenges faced by the nation. It is unrealistic to think that a hulking, inefficient centrally-controlled police force can still effectively secure a country as diverse as Nigeria. Indeed, very few countries anywhere have the kind of police structure operated here. Not even the United Kingdom which bequeathed to us the system we operate still has positions like Inspector-General of Police, or Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) or AssistantInspector General (AIG). In the UK, US and many others local and regional forces are entrusted with the job of policing. These are models that can be copied to address our present challenges. The anxiety about immature politicians abusing state police can be dealt with constitutionally – by putting in place appropriate laws that will not make the state police the governors’ play thing.
they were clearly displeased with. Not too many people will disagree that the police are not very well funded. In many instances, they are outgunned by insurgents who have access to seemingly unlimited cash from illicit local and outside sources. They often lack decent operational vehicles even in urban centers. This parlous picture makes the calls for another intervention fund appealing. However, the disastrous outings with past efforts like the Police Equipment Fund (PEF) would make many wary. Up till now the controversy surrounding the N50 billion PEF has not been resolved satisfactorily. This will need to be cleared up before reasonable people will stick out their necks again to back any such initiative.
Another not so fresh idea that emerged from the meeting was the call for the establishment of state police. Often dismissed by successive federal administrations, it is an idea that has refused to die. If anything, its appeal is growing against the backdrop of the spate of bombings and shooting raids by the terrorist Boko Haram sect, against targets like police stations and churches in northern states. One of the key reasons why many are uncomfortable with the state police idea has to do with the immaturity of our politicians. Those who are worried have good reasons to be. Many governors by their treatment of local governments and the opposition in their states raise the specter that they would abuse state police if such a force were ever put under their control. But while acknowledging that this problem ex-
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