Page 1

Obasanjo, Tinubu mourn Akunyili NEWS Page 6

•Tributes for ex-minister

Newspaper of the Year

Protesters seek privacy for Chibok girls

TS SPORTS •Eagles demand cash SPOR Page 24 •Loss to U.S. shocks Moses •Akpoborie questions Eche jiele’s replacement •We’re set, says Maigari

NEWS Page 5

•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL. 9, NO. 2872 MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014




Clampdown on media enters day three


HE Federal Government’s onslaught against The Nation and other newspapers continued for the third straight day yesterday. In several places, vendors rejected the newspapers for fear of being arrested or beaten up by soldiers. In some parts of Lagos,

From Shola O’neil, Bolaji Ogundele, Warri; Aiwerie Okungbowa, Asaba; Mike Odiegwu, Yenegoa; Joseph Jibueze, Wale Adepoju, Lagos; Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

soldiers beat up vendors who displayed copies of The Nation and confiscated them. In Warri, Delta State, plain-clothe security agents, suspected to be men of the Department of State Security (DSS) or Directorate of

Military Intelligence (DMI), replaced soldiers at the newspaper depot at Airport Junction on the Warri/ Sapele Road, Warri. Six heavily armed soldiers were sighted at the Jakpa Junction entry point into the city.

EKITI 2014

They were on the lookout for vehicles heading towards Airport junction conveying newspapers. The Nation’s Sales Manager Mr Olaribigbe Bello said the vehicle conveying The Nation to Jos, the Plateau State capital, was delayed for about five hours and was later released after being Continued on page 4

•Fayemi’s convoy attacked•APC man dead in violence •Aluko absent as Sambo meets aggrieved PDP aspirants •Court orders service on Fayose •AND MORE ON PAGE 7

Lamido Sanusi realises ambition as Emir of Kano SEE ALSO PAGES 2&3

Woman suicide bomber hits military barracks

Ex-CBN governor succeeds Bayero Governors, Islamic leaders hail choice Police stop protest


•Cameroon kills Boko Haram men


From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

IS ambition is to be Emir of Kano, a job for which he is ready to forgo his calling as a banker. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, realised his ambition yesterday. He was named the 57th Emir of Kano at 4.50pm at the Government House, Kano. Secretary to the State Government Dr. Rabiu Suleiman Birchi made the announcement in the presence of the kingmakers. Sanusi, 52, succeeds Alhaji Abdullahi Ado Bayero, who died on Friday after 50 years on the throne. Before his appointment, Sanusi was Dan Maje Kano. The Kano Emirate has been in existence for about 1,000 years since 999CE. Sanusi, whose grandfather Mohammed Sanusi reigned between 1954 and 1963, was


picked from a list of three princes submitted by the kingmakers. The others are Lamido Sanusi Ado Bayero (first WHERE ARE son of the last emir) and THE CHIBOK Yaleyo Inuwa Abbas – son of the late emir MuhamGIRLS KIDNAPPED madu Inuwa MuhamON APRIL 15? Continued on page 4


WO persons, including a suspected female suicide bomber in Hijab and a soldier, were blown up yesterday in front of a military barracks in Gombe, the Gombe State capital. Another soldier was injured. But, sources said no fewer than three soldiers died, when the time bomb went off as the woman approached the Quarter Guard area of the 301 Artillery Regiment, pretending that she wanted to lodge a complaint. She was said to have bombed herself and the three soldiers interrogating her at the entrance. There were doubts about the suicide bomber’s sex following speculations that she was probably a man disguised as a woman in order to enter the barracks. Last Thursday, the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) in front of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo’s residence blew up, killing two security men and injuring six others. According to a military source, the bomber was on a mission to attack the barracks around 11am. The source said when the bomber got to the gate, she met a long queue of vehicles being

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja and Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

checked. The source said: “The insurgents are becoming desperate, they are trying to use female bombers thinking that because of the strict Islamic culture in the North, soldiers would not conduct thorough checks on women. “When this female bomber in full veil (Hijab) got to the queue at the barracks, the soldiers on guard insisted on no waiver for any female motorist entering the barracks. It was in the process that the Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) exploded. She got killed instantly. “Apart from mopping up Continued on page 4

•CDS Marshal Alex Badeh





Sanusi...The man who knows what he wants No, I don’t (want to be president). I have ambitions to be the emir of Kano-- Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in a 2009 interview with Financial Times.


IS swagger, his princely assertiveness, his busy schedule, the privileges and his prestige of power were celebrated as gone by his enemies. He was derided as using his intelligence and talent for the wrong cause. A businessman caught on the wrong side of his decisions even said he would be Emir of Kano in jail. But yesterday Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, immediate past Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor emerged Emir of Kano. He succeeds Alhaji Ado Bayero. An orator, he captivates his audience when he talks and has won many laurels on account of his performance. His emergence also means things just got tighter for President Goodluck Jonathan, who hounded him out of office. Kano is strategic to the 2015 presidential election in which Jonathan is expected to run. The state’s 5.1 million registered voters is second only to Lagos’ 6.2 million. This can make a significant contribution to the overall score of a presidential candidate. Lagos is firmly in the grip of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and thus out of the reach of Jonathan. Kano is also an APC state, but with some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sentiment. Now that Sanusi is Emir of Kano and given the way the Jonathan administration treated him, Kano has further become an uphill task for the president. Many believe there is little minister-in-waiting and former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau can do for him. Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, under whose domain the emirate falls, yesterday, is a sworn opponent of Jonathan and was one of the five governors who left the PDP for the APC last November. Sanusi’s rise to global prominence began when the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua named him as governor of the CBN on June 1, 2009. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on June 2, 2009. That was in the middle of a global financial crisis. Sanusi succeeded Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the CBN governor. His tenure, which recorded stability in the financial system, also witnessed some controversies. Sanusi, born July 31, 1961, was suspended from office by Jonathan on February 20, over alleged financial recklessness. But his tenure ended on June 2 and Godwin Emefiele, his successor, assumed office on June 3. He is still in court to challenge his suspension. But many said it was Sanusi’s exposure of a $20 billion alleged unremitted fund in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) currently under investigation, that led to his removal. That Sanusi is a man who knows what he wanted was evident in one of his earliest interviews after assuming office as CBN governor. “No, I don’t (want to be president). I have ambitions to be the emir of Kano,” said Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in a 2009 interview with Financial Times. He also made it clear that he needed no second term as CBN chief. According to him, he intimated

By Olukorede Yishau and Collins Nweze

Jonathan way back in 2011 that he would not be interested in seeking a second term in office. “I informed the president going back to 2011 that I would not be interested in serving for two terms’,’ he told Bloomberg, adding that ``the job has been done, largely’’. Sanusi, a career banker, is equally a respected Islamic scholar. The global financial intelligence magazine, The Banker, published by the Financial Times, gave Sanusi two awards, the global award for Central Bank Governor of the Year, as well as for Central Bank Governor of the Year for Africa. The TIME magazine equally listed him in its TIMES 100 list of most influential people of 2011. In 1985, Sanusi worked at Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers), a subsidiary of Morgan Guaranty Trust Bank of New York, and Baring Brothers of London. He also worked at the United Bank for Africa (UBA) in 1997 in the Credit and Risk Management Division, from where he rose to the position of a General Manager. It was in September 2005, that he joined the Board of First Bank of Nigeria as an Executive Director, Risk and Management Control, and was appointed Group Managing Director (CEO) in January 2009. He also served as the Chairman, Kakawa Discount House and was a Board member of FBN Bank (UK) Limited.

His reforms After taking the banks to the cleaners in what is seen as one of the most radical reforms in the banking sector, Sanusi was applauded by both local and international stakeholders for bringing sanity to the hitherto troubled sector. Aside sacking the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of eight rescued banks in 2009, Sanusi injected about $3.9 billion into the banks to keep them in business. Sanusi mandated bank CEOs and auditors that had worked in the banks for more than 10 years to resign. He reduced non-performing loans from over 35 per cent to less than five per cent in most banks. In all the steps taken by Sanusi, no bank has failed, no depositor lost money with the entire process executed with minimal cost. Capital adequacy ratios averaged more than 20 per cent. Banks moved from buying government bonds and funding bluechip companies to focusing on the middle part of the economy, where growth happens and jobs are created. The agricultural and industrial sectors of the economy, long neglected by banks are now receiving higher rates of credit. The CBN has also been able to achieve low inflation rate as Nigeria recorded a 7.9 per cent rate as at end of April. There has also been a stable financial system, macroeconomic stability by maintaining zerotolerance for infractions in regulatory requirements on data or information reporting.

After 2007 elections, I had come out to say that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had rigged elections. I wrote articles supporting General Mohamadu Buhari. I did not see how I was going to find myself working with a government that I had so openly criticised. I got a few phone calls asking: ‘I heard you were appointed CBN Governor’, and you were saying ‘No. Don’t you make that mistake? If they offered, you have to accept’

During Sanusi’s nearly five-year tenure, the bank and all stakeholders became conscious of the institutional relationships and market interactions among the various sub-sectors in the financial sector. The CBN also supported women entrepreneurs, who were underrepresented in secure wage employment, through implementation of gender sensitive policies as well as making them relevant in the CBN. The CBN under Sanusi introduced cashless policy in order to change the cash-driven economy and reduced operational costs usually passed on to customers through other means. The policy is expected to go nationwide come July 1. The cashless policy was designed to promote financial intermediation, financial inclusion, minimise revenue leakages, eliminate incidence of robbery and also to reduce the amount of cash payment and encourage electronic payment. It was also under Sanusi that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was established to takeover non-performing loans from banks and free the lenders’ balance sheets for lending. Sanusi hasn’t shied away from controversy. In December 2010, lawmakers demanded he apologise for saying a quarter of the government’s spending on overheads went to parliament and that was damaging for the economy. He refused, saying his estimates were correct. In 2012, lawmakers attempted to curtail the bank’s powers by proposing an amendment to the CBN Act that would strip Sanusi of his position as chairman of the bank’s board. They also pushed to include more external members on the board and have parliament approve the bank’s budget. More recently, he criticised China’s role in Africa, saying it was contributing to “deindustrialisation and underdevelopment” in the world’s poorest continent. Africa must shake off its “romantic view of China” and see it as a competitor that’s “capable of the same forms of exploitation as the west,” Sanusi wrote in the Lon-

don-based Financial Times on March 11. On sustainability of the CBN policy, he said the policies he put in place were sustainable because top management of the CBN and bank CEOs were carried along, a trend, he said was enough to create continuity. He said his decision to do only one term was mainly to get the final test of walking away and watching the system continue from there. “Maybe I want to walk away. I spent the last one year trying to create sustainability on what we have been doing. I think it is going to work,” he said. Sanusi, speaking at the Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie (Barristers and Solicitors) 30th Anniversary Lecture in Lagos, said some people had forgotten in a hurry, the bad old days. “Today, people have forgotten how bad things were before the new CBN regime. If you want to get somewhere, you need to annoy some other people so that they can help you,” he said. The CBN boss said it was difficult to have stability in banking system, if bank CEOs or bank management were allowed to treat depositors funds like personal property. Sanusi said he found it difficult to accept the CBN job because he had after the 2007 elections criticised government. “After 2007 elections, I had come out to say that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had rigged elections. I wrote articles supporting General Mohamadu Buhari. I did not see how I was going to find myself working with a government that I had so openly criticised. I got a few phone calls asking: ‘I heard you were appointed CBN Governor’, and you were saying ‘No. Don’t you make that mistake? If they offered, you have to accept’. Anyway it came,” he said.

His education, his life Sanusi holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University and a B.A. degree (1st Class Honours) in Shariah and Islamic Studies from the Internation-

• Kwankwaso and Sanusi (right)

al University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan. He is one of Nigeria’s leading public intellectuals with dozens of papers and articles delivered at seminars and conferences, locally and internationally and published in newspapers, books and journals. He is not one to shy away from debates, no matter its dimension. In an article in the Weekly Trust in September 2000, he said the problem of reconciling "belief in the universal and eternal applicability of the Shariah with the need for a wholesale adoption of its historically specific interpretation to meet the requirements of a particular milieu. Even a cursory student of Islamic history knows that all the trappings of gender inequality present in the Muslim society have socio-economic and cultural, as opposed to religious roots." Speaking at a conference the same year in Kaduna in a lecture on 'Institutional Framework of Zakat: Dimension and Implications', he said although the collection of zakat was the responsibility of the state, it might be the responsibility of the Nigerian government rather than the emirs in Northern Nigeria. In July 2003, he presented a paper titled 'The Shari'a Debate and the Construction of a 'Muslim' Identity in Northern Nigeria: A Critical Perspective' at a seminar at the University of Bayreuth. In August 2003, he presented 'Democracy, Rights and Islam: Theory, Epistemology and the Quest for Synthesis' at an international conference on Shari'ah Penal and Family Law in Nigeria and in the Muslim World in Abuja. As controversial as the subsidy debate was, Sanusi did not shy awy from it. Sanusi said the subsidy was heavily biased in favour of the small






middle and upper class. He has also been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the University of Jos, Bayero University Kano, the University of Benin, and Benue State University, Makurdi. Sanusi is recognised for his contribution towards developing a risk management culture in Nigerian


banking and the fact that no depositor lost money in any of the banks throughout the global financial crises. Now Sanusi’s lifelong dream has been realised. He has succeeded his father-in-law. He is married to one of the late Bayero’s daughters. The late Bayero conferred on him the traditional title of Dan Majen Kano in

2012. The new Emir of Kano’s grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi, was emir of Kano from 1953 to 1963. He was the eldest brother of the late Ado Bayero. The late Sanusi was deposed in 1963 after falling out with his distant cousin, the Sardauna of Sokoto, the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, then premier of the old northern region.

Is SLS’s battles over?

ITH his emergence yesterday as the Emir of Kano, what becomes of the case Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi instituted against the Federal Government? Will the Department of State Security (DSS) still prevent him from travelling abroad as it did early last month? What also becomes of the investigation being conducted by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) on his tenure as Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor? Not many knew of the existence of the FRC until it released a report accusing Sanusi of abuse of office, an allegation the ex-CBN governor denied. He also said the Council never queried him before making public the report, the basis on which President Goodluck Jonathan suspended him. The DSS also based its moves against him on the report. Early last month, despite being shown a court order, security men prevented Sanusi from traveling abroad. Will they still do the same now to a revered leader in the heart of the North? A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had described as illegal and unconstitutional Sanusi’s arrest at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, after he was

By Olukorede Yishau

suspended from office by President Goodluck Jonathan. It ordered the return of his passport, which the security again seized last month. It is not clear if his passport has been released to him. He was stopped at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, in Kano on his way to France enroute Mecca, Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser Hajj. The men said they were acting on instructions. Former FCT Minister Nasir ElRufai criticised the Federal Government for the seizure. He said he was angry, helpless and ashamed of the government’s “sheer brainlessness”. He said: “My brother Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS) has just been stopped at Kano Airport and prevented from travelling to Saudi Arabia for Lesser Hajj, violating his freedom of movement, religion and conscience. “These Jonathanians have no respect for the laws of the country and court judgment, yet they expect citizens to respect them and take them seriously. “They have failed to provide basic security. They dance and party when citizens are being bombed to death and our daughters being abducted

by Boko Haram. They then insult our sensibilities by questioning whether over 200 girls have ever been kidnapped from Chibok, and then form a committee in search of someone to blame. “They are cowards who run into hiding with the hint of the slightest danger to their bodies or bank accounts. They block public roads they did not build to protect themselves and care less about the safety of the Nigerian citizen, but are quick to violate the rights of unarmed and law abiding citizens like SLS because he exposed them. “We hope that SLS’ lawyers will go back to the High Court and procure the arrest of those behind this latest violation of the ruling of the court.” Now with Sanusi’s status as a first class traditional ruler of repute, it remains to be seen what becomes of the investigation against him and his case against the government. Will Jonathan, for instance, shun his inauguration as the late Ado Bayero’s successor? Will he also visit Kano and refuse to pay homage to the Emir? And how will former Kano State Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, now an ally of Jonathan, relate with the new emir? Interesting times sure lie ahead.

Islamic scholars hail Emir

EVERED Islamic scholars, leaders of various Islamic organisations and eminent personalities have reacted to the appointment of the immediate past governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as the new Emir of Kano. Member, House of Representatives Hon Lasun Yussuff said Sanusi qualifies for the task and possesses the experience and influence to weather the storm. Hon Yussuff said Sanusi’s connection worldwide will help improve on the late emir’s achievements. “The Northerners especially, the Fulanis are like Yoruba race – very progressive-minded. North knows how to grow leader and I believe Sanusi was deliberately nurtured right from tutelage to become a great leader. He will bring more progress to Knao and North as a whole,” he said. The lawmaker urged the Presidency to learn from Sanusi’s appointment that power is ephemeral. Yussuff equally enjoined Sanusi not to use the position to antagonise the presidency. Secretary to the Lagos State Government Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule described the appointment as “clearly an honour from his creator and I congratulate him and his family members, indeed there are lessons in this for us all to learnt from.” Given his antecedents, Dr Adebule expressed confidence that Sanusi will add value by providing quality leadership and promote unity and peace amongst the people within the Emirate and the State in general. She urged him to continue to play the stabilizing roles which the former Emir was noted for during his life time. National Amir (President), The Muslim Congress (TMC) Alhaji Luqman AbdurRaheem described Sanusi’s appointment as a perfect match for the late Emir Ado Bayero. AbdurRaheem said Sanusi possesses the good quality to continue the good work of the late emir. “The late Ado Bayero has left a big shoe and Allah has guided the Kano emirate to choose someone with great intellectual and professional capacity to fill the vacuum. Sanusi is well learned both in Islamic and western education. His ascendancy to the throne will definitely reduce the growing insecurity in the North,” AbdurRaheem said. According to him, Allah has vindicated him over the way and manner Federal Government treated him as CBN governor. “The people at the Federal Government thought they could disgrace him out of office but look at how Allah has elevated him beyond CBN position. CBN job is tenured but emirship is till his demise. Sanusi’s successful story is for those who are patient, persevere and hold on to Allah in whatever circumstances they found themselves. His patient has been rewarded,” he said. The TMC Amir urged him to work closely with the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), to bring about an end to insurgency in the North and build a united northern and Nigeria as a whole. The Mufti enjoined him to build on the legacy of the late Ado Bayero and must bring into fore his exposure and experience to unite the country. While urging him to remember the Day of Reckoning, Sheikh Shafi’I said he should always seek forgiveness for his past misdeeds and prayer for guidance in his new position. National Amir (President) of The Companion, Association of Muslim men in business and profession, Alhaji Musibau Oyefeso, described Sanusi’s appointment as a welcome development. Oyefeso, the former Lagos State Independent Electoral Commissioner, hoped that Sanusi’s royal assignment will not confine his utility to the nation He said his brilliance and bluntness have helped shaping the nation’s economy in positive ways. Coordinator, Al-Mu’minaat Social Advocacy project (SAP) Mrs Sherifah Yusuf-Ajibade prayed that Sanusi’s reign bring the much desired peace and unity in the country. “Nigeria, Mrs Yusuf-Ajibade said, witnessed a significant sanity and progress in the banking sector during his tenure as the CBN governor, we hope and pray that his reign as the head of the traditional institutions of the Kano State emirate will bring further development to Kano State and the Nigerian nation as a whole.” She urged the new Emir to forget whatever friction transpired between him and the Presidency and work together with the government for the development of the north and Nigeria. She enjoined media to verify information before releasing it to the public. “The earlier newsflash on the electronic media earlier today that Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero had been chosen is quite unfortunate. That may actually be the reason for the skirmishes of protests around Kano city after the Kingmakers and the State government made the genuine announcement,” she said. Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) Lagos State Amirah Dr Sariyu Sanusi said Sanusi’s disciplinary nature and professionalism will help reduce tension in the north. “It is a welcome development; we congratulate him. He is a go-getter and his appointment will bring progress to the nation, Dr Sanusi said. Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit Amir Mallam Kamil Kalejaiye said Sanusi’s appointment will further bridge the gap between the North and the South. “He has travel wide, has friends across the world and with age on his side, he will help the nation evolve policies that would eradicate poverty in the North and stem the insurgency,” Kalejaiye said.



NEWS Clampdown on media enters Day 3 Continued from page 1

•A CCEPT OUR CONDOLENCE: (From right) APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Senator Bukola •ACCEPT Saraki and Senator Shaaba Lafiagi during a condolence visit to the Kano State Government House...yesterday

Woman suicide bomber hits military barracks Continued from page 1

the area, the military is already investigating the botched suicide mission.” Director of Defence Information, Maj-Gen Chris Olukolade confirmed the attack. Gen. Olukolade told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that one soldier died while another was wounded in the explosion. He said normal activities had resumed at the barracks in Gombe. “Intelligence deduced from credible information earlier received on this plot confirms the vigilance of some members of the public,’’ Gen. Olukolade said. He said in a statement: “Troops mounting a security check point at a Barrack entrance in Gombe this morning (yesterday) intercepted a lady suicide bomber while she was attempting to gain entry into the barracks. “The lady suicide bomber who had primed herself with Improvised Explosive Devices


Cameroon kills two Boko Haram men

WO suspected Boko Haram militants have been killed in a botched attack on a town in Cameroon’s far north. They were killed by local security forces, who repelled the Boko Haram attack on Saturday. Nigeria had accused Cameroon of not doing enough to tackle Boko Haram, which grabbed global attention in April following the abduction of more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok, Borno State. The sect has also killed hundreds in the northeast since then. Cameroon recently deployed 1 000 troops to far north and the attack in the Mayo Tsanaga Division in the Far North Region is the latest in a series of clashes between its security forces and Boko Haram. The Cameroon government’s spokesperson, (IED) concealed under her Hijab was intercepted when troops acting on intelligence report indicating that a terrorist group was plotting to attack barracks around Gombe using female suicide bombers, halted her and as she was being searched the bomb detonated, killing the lady. “Unfortunately one of the troops conducting the search

Issa Tchiroma Bakary, said a raid was carried out early on Saturday morning by 50 wellarmed gunmen believed to be members of Boko Haram. “Our defence and security forces fought back immediately. [They] killed two of the assailants, seized one of their vehicles and a Kalashnikov war weapon, forcing them to run back crossing the border into the Nigerian territory,” he said. He did not say if any government troops were killed or wounded in the fighting. Nigeria’s head of counter-terrorism said last month that Cameroon was the weakest link in the regional fight against the group. Cameroon security forces killed 40 militants in fighting a week ago, shortly after reinforcements were sent to the far north.

also died while another was wounded in the explosion. “Normal activities have since resumed in the barracks.” Immediately the explosion occurred, soldiers cordoned off the road leading to the barracks. Also, shops and other business centres were hurriedly shut when the blast occurred as passers-by ran helter-skel-

ter. A resident, who did not want his name mentioned, told NAN he was in his house around 11.20 a.m. when he heard the blast. He said he also heard soldiers shooting into the air, apparently to scare people. The source said he saw some injured persons being conContinued on page 59

searched. In Oyo, a vendor, Jimoh Afeez, was beaten up for displaying The Nation. Another vendor is said to have been in military custody since Friday. After the newspapers had been distributed, the soldiers attacked and beat up the vendors, and sought to know how the The Nation got to the market. In Makurdi, after the papers had been distributed, the some uniformed men went to the distribution centre to look for the sales representative. The same intimidatory tactic was adopted in Ibadan, where plain-clothes men stood at The Nation office, waiting to arrest the sales representative. In Benin, Edo State, vendors were ordered not to display The Nation. In some parts of Benin, newspapers were seized and were later released after about four hours. In Lagos, soldiers beat up vendors for displaying the newspaper, and seized all the copies, especially in Abule Egba area. The Nation’s General Manager Southsouth Mr Olatunde Olasogba, said soldiers

were at the distribution centres in Bayelsa and Benin. Vendors, he said, were generally afraid to collect and display the newspaper for fear of being beaten up or arrested. Soldiers confiscated all copies of The Nation and Sporting Life in a distribution van heading for Bayelsa, Delta and Edo states. The vehicle was arrested at Ahoada enroute Bayela. Another vehicle going to Enugu via Owerri and Onitsha was arrested at Elele, detained for several hours and released at about 3pm. “We couldn’t circulate in Enugu, Owerri, Awka and Asaba. Our sales are almost zero. The soldiers have forced our sales to crash. We could not reach most Southeast states which fundamentally affected our sales,” Olasogba said. In what appeared like a movie scene, armed soldiers attached to the Oyo State security outfit, Operation Burst, beat up and arrested a vendor at Durbar in Oyo town for selling The Nation to customers. All other newspapers found on the vendor’s counter whose name was givContinued on page 59

Jonathan can’t win battle against media , says APC


Y clamping down on the media, President Goodluck Jonathan has started a battle he cannot win, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday. For the third day yesterday, the military continued to prevent newspapers from circulating across the country. The military claims it is searching for bombs or “materials with grave security implication”, but the search have not yielded anything. Newspaper houses especially The Nation, Leadership and Daily Trust, which are hardest hit, have lost millions of naira. In a statement by its Inter-

im National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC said the President has failed to learn from history that the Nigerian media could neither be intimidated nor suppressed by anyone, adding that those who tried to do so in the past lived to regret their actions. It wondered why a government that is being asked to diligently prosecute the war on terror is instead vehemently waging a war on the media and using the security agencies to interfere with democracy. ‘’Had the government pursued the insurgents who are killing and maiming Nigerians with the same vigour Continued on page 59

Governors, Islamic leaders, others hail choice of banker


SLAMIC and political leaders yesterday hailed Sanusi’s choice. Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Wahab Oba, described Sanusi’s emergence as a positive development for the traditional institution. Ahmed was optimistic that Sanusi would bring his wealth of experience to bear on sustaining Kano’s eminence in commerce and other sectors in Nigeria and West Africa. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun said Sanusi would bring his wealth of experience to bear on the appointment. In statement by his spokesperson, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Wakama, Amosun urged the emir to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor by bringing further development to the emirate and the state. “As an accomplished technocrat, I believe the new Emir will use his influence to foster peace and attract more development to the emirate and indeed the State,” the governor said. He expressed happiness at Sanusi’s choice, praying Allah

Sanusi realises ambition as Emir of Kano Continued from page 1

madu, who spent six months on the throne and was succeeded by the late Emir Ado Bayero. Dr. Birchi said as it is customary, the Emirate Council met and sent three names to the government. Some governors and Islamic leaders hailed Sanusi’s appointment, describing it as “well deserved”. Lagos State Governor Babatunde By Tajudeen Adebanjo and Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

to grant him the wisdom and understanding to discharge the functions of the office. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola wished the former CBN governor a long and fruitful reign . He hoped Sanusi’s emergence would further cement the long-standing bond between the people of Kano and their brothers and sisters in Lagos and across the country with whom, he said, they have been living in peace and harmony. Fashola said Sanusi was deserving of his elevation, adding that the former CBN governor endeared himself to the

Fashola, his Kwara and Ogun counterparts Abdulfatah Ahmed and Ibikunle Amosun said he would bring his experience to bear on the job. The announcement of Sanusi’s choice was greeted by jubilation and protest. The protesters, carrying leaves, sticks and some dangerous weapons, chanted songs, as they stormed the Government House. They also

public with his brilliance, courage, professionalism and tact. Sanusi’s tenure as CBN governor, Fashola said, was eventful and useful in moving the country forward. Praying that Sanusi’s reign would bring lasting peace and progress to the country, the governor wished him long life and congratulated the people of the ancient city; Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, the people of Kano and Nigerians generally for making the right choice. The Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola Alao, also congratulated Sanusi, describing his emergence as Allah’s

stormed the Emir’s palace. The protest, which started at the Kofar Kudu area, near the Emir’s palace, was contained by the security. The protesters set tyres on fire and mounted road blocks as. They threw stones at vehicles, a situation which was brought under control with the quick arrival of a detachment of policemen, Civil Defence personnel and the state Hisbah.

wish. He said: “The appointment of the new Emir is the wish of the Almighty Allah who gives power to whom He pleases”, making reference to the Holy Quran: Surah 3:26. Arisekola prayed that “the Almighty God will guide, protect and always lead Sanusi in all his undertakings” adding: ‘’May the Almighty God also always assist him, with all powerful help and grant him the wisdom to lead his people on the right path to greater peace and progress’’. The Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), Prof Dawud Noibi, advised

Sanusi to be accountable to God and uphold the truth always. The revered scholar said Sanusi’s appointment confirms that Allah determines the end of everything. He said: “He should maintain the spirit of accountability to God and adhere to the truth no matter how difficult the circumstances may be. I also advise that the new Emir should demonstrate the spirit of forgiveness which is one of the central teachings of Islam. He should use his new position in bringing about reconciliation with those who may have been regarded as his opponents. He should also try to


cooperate with the leadership of the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria with particular reference to the Sultan of Sokoto, who is the President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the two deputy presidents general in persons of the Shehu of Borno and Alhaji AbdulAzeez ArisekolaAlao in a manner that brings peace and progress to the country.” Director, Muslim Rights Continued on page 59

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NEWS Chibok: protesters seek abducted girls’ privacy


From Grace Obike, Abuja

ROTESTERS of the over 200 abducted schoolgirls of the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, have said the privacy of the escaped girls and their parents should be respected. The protesters condemned the reports that the girls were continually violated by their abductors. They said their privacy should be respected to avoid stigmatisation. The Abuja Coordinator of #BringBackOurGirls group, Hadiza Usman, spoke yesterday at the Fountain Point rendezvous of the protesters. She said the group would advise the parents and community on how to speak to people on the girls’ traumatic experience. Ms Usman said: “For us in our group, we are insisting on the issue of privacy, ensuring that no information is given that will provide any challenge or stigmatisation for them because these are vulnerable girls in a vulnerable community. “These non-government organisations (NGOs), which are trying to help, should ensure that all is done in a very protective manner, because the children and their families need to be protected. They are vulnerable at this stage. It is important that all these details of whatever trauma they have undergone be kept private as much as possible. “We are going to advise because our role is to advise the community and community leaders to ensure that these girls are protected. This is because their vulnerability is at the highest now. We have to be very cautious. “While we appreciate some of the intensions, we need to implement the good intentions of respecting other people’s privacy. Our role is advising and counselling. Let the community leaders be aware of the implication of such revelations.”

Senate mulls Local Content Bill for aviation •Govt trains 127 pilots, aircraft engineers


HE National Assembly is considering a revolutionary local content regulation for Nigeria’s aviation industry. When passed into law, the bill will make it mandatory for domestic and foreign airlines operating in the country to employ a certain number of indigenous pilots and engineers. The proposed bill, according to Senate President David Mark, is part of efforts to deepen local participation in the Aviation sector, where there is an influx of expatriates as pilots, aircraft engineers and other professionals. Mark spoke in Lagos at the weekend at the unveiling of 127 pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers. They were trained by the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, which oversees the Presidential Amnesty Programme for former agitators in the Niger Delta. The pilots and aircraft engineers were trained at the Afrika Union Aviation Academy, Mafikeng, and Flight Training Services, Midrand, both in South Africa; Lufthansa Flight Training Network, Germany; Fujairah Aviation Academy, United Arab Emirates; Jetstream


By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

Aviation Academy, Greece and Royal Jordanian Air Academy, Amman, Jordan. The Senate President, who was represented by Senate Deputy Leader Abdul Ningi, said the National Assembly would always support the Presidential Amnesty Programme to train youths and close the gaps in the manpower needs in the Aviation industry. He said the proposed bill would create an avenue for Nigerian aviation professionals to get jobs easily, instead of the currently situation where expatriates dominate the sector. Mark said: “The amnesty programme is working. It is one of the programmes initiated by the government that is adding value. The National Assembly will continue to support it. It is for this reason the National Assembly is going to create legislation for local content regulation in the Aviation sector. The legislation would make it mandatory for airlines, whether local or foreign, to employ a certain number of Nigerian professionals as pilots and aircraft engineers. This, we will pursue, as long as it does not conflict with international regulations.”

Dangote gets Group Chief Strategy Officer

AN African conglomerate, Dangote Group, has appointed a new Group Chief Strategist, Dr. Abdu Mukhtar. He is expected to deploy his rich experience to provide management oversight for all the functions within the the newly created Corporate Strategy Department. Mukhtar will assist the group’s President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to provide strategic direction for the conglomerate. He will also develop short, medium- and long-term plans

to achieve the group’s strategic objectives and vision. Dr. Mukhtar has acquired extensive experience in the private and public sectors in Africa, Asia, North America and the Middle East. His areas of competence cover privatisation, publicprivate partnerships, private equity, management consulting and entrepreneurship development. Until recently, he was the Group Managing Director/ CEO of Abuja Investments Company and chaired the board’s subsidiary companies.

President Goodluck Jonathan (right) receiving a gift from the outgoing Ambassador of Ukraine to Nigeria, Ambassador Valery Vasylier, during a farewell visit to the President at the State House, Abuja... at the weekend PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN


APC: Jonathan goofed by blaming insecurity on governors

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Goodluck Jonathan goofed badly by taking a partisan stand on the insurgency in the country, instead of seeing it properly a national problem. In a statement yesterday in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said President Jonathan’s attempt to blame APC governors for the insurgency “amounts to an unfortunate politicisation and trivialisation of a serious national problem”. The party noted that this explained why the President had been exhibiting sheer cluelessness and total incompetence in tackling the crisis. It said the comments credited to the President also showed that he had little or no appreciation of his role as the father of the nation, who should regard the entire country as his constituency, rather than exulting in being a chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “President Jonathan did not speak with facts when he gave the impression that insecurity in the country is restricted to states controlled

By Olamilekan Andu

by our party. Had he allowed himself to be guided by facts rather than fiction, he would have realised that Plateau State, which has witnessed perhaps the highest quantum of killing of innocent people in any single state in recent times, is not an APC state; neither is Benue, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom or Enugu, where separatists recently attempted to forcefully take over a radio station. ‘’Talking of Akwa Ibom, President Jonathan has either forgotten the content of his government’s White Paper on the ‘’Report of the Federal Government Investigation Panel on the 2011 Election Violence and Disturbances”, which fingered the PDP-controlled state as the source of the sophisticated weapons used in the unrest, or he decided to deliberately distort the facts just to smear the opposition,’’ APC said. Quoting from the White Paper, the party said: ‘’The panel also observed that some memoranda received from Akwa Ibom State alleged that there is a large scale arms running going on in the state... The panel rec-

ommends that government should conduct an in-depth investigation into the allegations of large scale arms running in Akwa Ibom State to stem the tide of illegal arms flow into the country and ensure proper monitoring and licensing of local manufacturers of firearms and dealers.’’ It urged Jonathan to stop embarrassing himself and the nation by making indiscreet comments that do not accentuate his position as the leader of Africa’s most populous nation. ‘’Can anyone imagine U.S President Barack Obama publicly blaming governors elected under the aegis of the Republican Party for cases of deadly shooting in schools in his country? “Can anyone imagine the U.S President giving a partisan coloration to the 1993 raid on the religious sect, Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, for violating federal law? ‘’President Jonathan must always resist the temptation to act in an unpresidential manner, to say things that will embarrass his nation and her people, to act more like a party chairman than a President, to make com-

ments that can easily be debunked and to say things that divide his people along religious and ethnic lines. ‘’The truth is that President Jonathan, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, controls the nation’s entire security apparatus. “Therefore, he bears the ultimate responsibility for the security of all Nigerians, whether they are members of the APC, PDP, Labour Party or any party whatsoever. Insecurity in Adamawa, Borno, Benue, Plateau or Enugu state is a failure of the President, not that of the governors of those states,’’ APC said. The party said the reason the Boko Haram insurgency had festered was that President Jonathan, instead of showing leadership in tackling it, has engaged in finger pointing and apportioning blames. ‘’Mr. President, we have said this before and we will repeat it: the buck stops at your desk. You must learn to take responsibility instead of constantly dodging it. After all, it was Winston Churchill who said: ‘The price of greatness is responsibility’,’’ it said.

Minister, NNPC must appear before National Assembly, says Abe


HE Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Magnus Abe, has said the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani AlisonMadueke, and authorities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), should appear before National Assembly committees to clarify issues against them. Abe, who addressed reporters at the weekend, insisted that any minister who disregards National Assembly’s invitation is doing so at his or her peril. On the statement allegedly credited to Mrs AlisonMadueke that she would not honour further summons by the National Assembly except the President gives her the green light, Abe stressed

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

that nobody in Nigeria can evade the invitation of the Legislature. He said: The constitutional powers and responsibilities are clear: anybody in the Federal Republic of Nigeria required to answer questions with the National Assembly will appear.” The senator said any court order that violates the constitution would be resisted. Abe added: “If, on the contrary, the court gives an order to that respect, we will not disobey the court order but would be vigorously contested by the National Assembly. “Any minister, who at this

point, begins to use the name of the President to challenge the powers of the National Assembly is not doing the President any favour. This is because the President needs the National Assembly more than he needs the minister. “So, if it becomes a choice between any minister and the National Assembly, no President will choose a minister above the National Assembly. It is not something that we need to contest in court. “We can contest it politically, but the minister will still appear. Anybody who is aware of how politics runs in the world would know that any minister doing that is clearly naive. He or she is

unaware of how a country functions. “So, I think maybe somebody’s lawyers may have advised them to do that kind of thing. But when political reality begins to hit the ground, you will see both the minister and the lawyers will run away from that brief.” On the invitation to the NNPC management, Abe said the lawmakers were dealing with the matter at the committee level. He said: “We have informed the Senate leadership and they have taken a stand that anybody we have invited must come. But we are also dealing with the issue of the Petroleum Industry Bill and we have tried to slate everything down to when we can take the two issues together.




Nigerians mourn ex-Minister Akunyili By Our Correspondents

Governors, ministers, former governors, party chieftains, agency chiefs and activists, among others, have paid tributes to the late Information Minister, Prof Dora Akunyili. The former minister, who died on Saturday in India, was 59. The frontline Nigerians mourn the passage of the Amazon, a sound academic and award-winning former DirectorGeneral of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Obasanjo: her death is big loss to Nigeria


From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has regretted the death of former Information Minister, Prof Dora Akunyili, in an Indian hospital. He described her death as a “passage of one of the jewels” of his administration. Obasanjo noted that Akunyili’s death “is a great loss to Nigeria”, which needs men and women of high integrity, industry, patriotism and honesty to make it great again. The former President noted that such virtues enabled the late minister to make a change in the nation’s Health sector. According to him, Akunyili’s death from cancer in India is “traumatic and a transfiguration of once active and vibrant personality”. Obasanjo recalled that Akunyili’s courageous and successful crusade against fake drugs, when she was the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), saved Nigerians from sundry dangers associated with adulterated drugs and foods. The former President, who spoke on phone with reporters, added that the former Information Minister and Director of NAFDAC’s war against fake drugs saw her traversing the length and breadth of the world, preventing the circulation of unwholesome substances that could have proved fatal to unwary Nigerians. Obasanjo said: “Her death is shocking. She was one of the jewels in the glamour of my administration. I am shocked, because she could not survive the traumatic and transfiguration of a once active and vibrant person. “Her death has left a vacuum to be filled and the country has to search and motivate such person to achieve the standard she left behind. There are two things involved: One is to search for the person. Men and women of such standing abound. “Secondly, after the search, we have to tap them, motivate them and ensure that they are well directed. Akunyili was a workaholic member of my administration. I sincerely appreciated her service. Her life made a great change in one specific area - the fake drug. She was there, everywhere, to fight the fake drug war, which could have been fatal if she had not taken the bull by the horn. “I commiserate with Nigerians, particularly the people of Anambra State, for the loss of this great icon of this country. She threw everything she had to the service of her fatherland. May her soul rest in peace.”

Uduaghan condoles with Akunyili family, Anambra


ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has said the late Prof Dora Akunyili was a woman with uncommon courage. In a statement yesterday in Asaba, the state capital, by Mr Felix Ofou, his Press Secretary, the governor also described the late Akunyili as a “dogged fighter” who battled fake drugs to a standstill. Uduaghan recalled the glorious days of the woman, who was fondly called “Dora”, at NAFDAC, where she was its Director-General. He said: “Prof Akunyili was a thorn in the flesh of fake drug barons and fought fearlessly to exterminate fake drug syndrome from the society while ensuring that the country was not made a dumping ground by criminals engaged in nefarious activities.” The governor hailed the former NAFDAC chief for serving as a minister and, until her death, as a delegate to the National Conference in Abuja. He noted that her service in various capacities was a reflection of the patriotism in her. Uduaghan condoled with her husband, children and people of Anambra State. The governor prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the painful loss.

Orhii shocked by ex-minister’s death


HE Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii, has said the death of his predecessor, Prof Dora Akunyili, is shocking. In a statement, Orhii said the agency received the news of her passing away with great sadness. He described the late Akunyili as “a woman who loved Nigeria deeply and dedicated her entire life up till the very last minute to its service”. The NAFDAC chief said Nigeria had lost a great patriot and woman of great virtue. “At NAFDAC, she left indelible footprint and rich legacy of meritorious and selfless service that must be sustained,” he said. Orhii noted though the agency mourned her death, it would also celebrate her exemplary life. The NAFDAC chief prayed God to grant her soul eternal rest in peace and her family and her loved ones the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Tinubu shocked


ORMER Lagos State governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has mourned the death of the former Minister of Information and Communication, Prof Dora Akunyili. In a statement yesterday in Lagos by his Media Office, Tinubu said: “The sad news of the death of Mrs. Dora Akunyili, former Minister of Information and Communication, came to me as a great shock. Her sudden death after a spirited battle to fight to stay alive and regain full health is both sorrowful and painful. She was full of life, always in great spirit and one of the most patriotic Nigerians I have ever known. Her patriotism knew no bounds and was well demonstrated in her leadership of NAFDAC and her service to the country in various capacities. She raised the bar of public ser-

vice to a new level and we must appreciate her for that. “For us during this season, it is one death too many, and Mrs. Akunyili’s death reminds us all of our mortality. She would never be forgotten, because she was one woman who affected her generation for good and won recognition for Nigeria. “Among Nigerian women, she blazed a trail that was unequalled. She was an Amazon. Because she dared, many women can now aspire to lead and offer themselves for key leadership positions. “May God Almighty have mercy on her soul and may He grant the husband, children, family and relatives the comfort they need to bear the pain. “On behalf of my family and I, please accept our heartfelt condolences.”

I’m sad, says Etiaba


AME Virgy Etiaba, a former Governor of Anambra State, has expressed sadness over the death of former Information Minister, Prof Dora Akunyili. In a statement yesterday, the former governor said: “It is with sadness that I pay this tribute to a great Amazon, who has now gone to join the Saints Triumphant. “Dora was a great Nigerian patriot, who never shied away from difficult national issues and always exhibited uncommon and unparalleled courage in contributing her voice whenever it mattered most. She so much wanted a better Nigeria for all of us that only a few weeks ago we •The late Prof Akunyili were all together as delegates at the National Conference. “She had a hugely successful and unblemished career and a huge difference wherever she found herself, giving FCT minister: she was fearless Amazon made many Nigerian women a strong voice to be proud of. Dora From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja opened the eyes of our women in fighting gender HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator discrimination and injustice and for this; our women folk in Bala Mohammed, has said the former Minister of In- particular will miss her greatly. formation and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, Nigeria has lost a patriot, says Mimiko was a relentless and fearless Amazon. From Damisi Ojo, Akure The minister extolled her virtues for raising the bar for better women participation in public service through her NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has said the death contributions to national development. of former Minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyili, In his condolence message, Mohammed said Prof. has robbed Nigeria of an illustrious and patriotic citiAkunyili’s death was a huge loss to Nigeria. zen. He said: “She was fiercely committed to service of the The governor noted that the death of the former Directornation in all the capacities that she served. She would be General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Adminisdearly missed by Nigeria and Nigerians. Her exit is not only tration and Control (NAFDAC) was shocking. a loss to her family but to the entire country.” In a statement in Akure, the state capital, by his Chief Press In a statement in Abuja by his Special Assistance Media, Secretary, Eni Akinsola, the governor noted that until her Nosike Ogbuenyi, said the FCT minister recalled the contri- death, Akunyili lived an exemplary and selfless life of service butions of the late Akunyili as a delegate to the National to the nation. Conference. Mimiko said: “In her service as the Director-General of He described her as an accomplished administrator and NAFDAC, Akunyili distinguished herself as a diligent, dediintellectual who remained courageous and determined till cated and dogged public servant, restored sanity into the system she drew her last breathe. and set a new standard in food and drug administration and According to him, the late Akunyili first earned respect control, such that has been difficult for her successors to surpass. and national recognition for her great achievements as the “In her capacity as Information Minister, Prof Akunyili Director-General of NAFDAC and later as the Minister of also proved her outstanding prowess to the world as a true Information and Communication. patriot and an outstanding image maker of the nation. Mohammed said the late Prof Akunyili set a worthy example in selfless service when she took the war against counterfeit drugs to Onitsha, the commercial nerve centre of her FORMER governorship candidate in Anambra State, home state, Anambra, against all odds. Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, has expressed shock over the He added: “During her lifetime, through her steadfastdeath of former Information Minister, Prof Dora ness, transparency and vision, she inspired several women to stand tall and aspire for greater opportunities in the poli- Akunyili. In a condolence message yesterday, Ubah said: “The tics, public service and governance of their fatherland. She death of Prof Akunyili was a huge shock. She was a model was indeed a worthy ambassador of the womenfolk.” in integrity, focus and hard work. She was a pride to Ndi Anambra, Ndi Igbo and Nigeria. “She was a valued friend and a caring patriot whose From Sanni Onogu, Abuja demise is a painful loss to all who know her. HE Senate yesterday expressed grief over the death of “Kindly accept my deepest condolences...” a former Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili. Her death is colossal loss, says Anyanwu In a statement in Abuja by the Chairman of the Senate From Sanni Onogu, Abuja Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, HE Chairman of the Senate Committee on Navy, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate expressed sadness over Prof. Mrs Chris Anyanwu, yesterday described the death Akunyili’s death. of Prof. Dora Akunyili as a rude shock. Abaribe said her death has robbed Nigeria of a quintessential persona, who was patriotically avowed in defending In a statement in Abuja by his Special Assistant, Emmanuel Onuoha, the senator said: “Here was a brilliant woman, the country’s integrity in the international arena. The committee, according to Abaribe, recalls Prof. full of life and vigour and ever ready to go. She appeared Akunyili’s defence of Nigeria as the nation’s chief image as a thunderbolt in the Nigerian public service scene in maker, when she brought the country to the global reckon- 2001 when she was appointed the Director-General of NAFDAC, which hitherto was grossly ineffective and aling with her campaign of ‘Great Nigeria, Great people’. “Hers was a firebrand and consummate effort to position most moribund. “But Dora Akunyili changed all that. She brought life the country as an investment haven after leading an unprecinto the agency. edented campaign to clean the country of fake drugs during “As a woman of purpose, character and great courage, her time as the Director-General of NAFDAC. “To us in the committee, such effort is the essence of good which she turned out to be, she redirected NAFDAC positively and positioned it properly to perform its statupublic relation for our dear fatherland. “The committee, and by extension the Senate, will miss tory role of regulating and sanitising the Drugs and Food sector of the society, which had been massively comproher,” Abaribe said. mised.




Senate: she defended Nigeria’s integrity



Ifeanyi Ubah: it’s shocking




Party supporter killed in APC, PDP clash •Fayemi’s convoy attacked •Commissioner brutalised, arrested • Police deny complicity


COMMERCIAL motorcyclist was yesterdaykilled in a clash in Ado-Ekiti,the Ekiti State capital. Both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) claimed he was their supporter. Eye-witnesses’ accounts indicated that trouble started at about 8a.m. when some APC members trooped out to the city centre with brooms to conduct a “cleaning” following Saturday’s PDP rally for its candidate in the June 21 governorship election, Ayo Fayose. The APC members were said to have been stopped midway by a combined team of security agents who were said to be keeping vigil in the state capital. The party members, who allegedly resisted the directive to halt the cleaning, were later dispersed with tear gas by mobile policemen led by a senior officer. The APC accused the police of supporting the PDP. Scores of party members were in jured in the incident. They were conveyed to hospitals. Senator Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central), Oyetunde Ojo of the House of Representatives and APC Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, were also attacked during the incident. Ojudu said: “We were holding a peaceful rally and before we knew what was happening, policemen started throwing tear gas. They attacked us; they beat me up and destroyed our vehicles. Four of

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

our buses have been damaged by them. They even killed one of our members. We will not accept this. We are going to resist it. How can you, for God sake, tear gas our governor and you say you are protecting us?” Soon after the cessation of hostilities, Governor Kayode Fayemi appeared on the scene, a move which immediately attracted firing of another round of tear gas canisters by policemen. An apparently angry Fayemi came down from a black Sports Utility Vehicle marked ‘Governor,’ asking the police officers who approached him why the “Mopol shot and killed the victim,” who was an APC member. The victim’s name could not be ascertained as at press time . The governor told the mobile policemen that he could no longer understand the neutrality of the state police. But they looked on without offering a reply. The arrival of Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Felix Uyanna, to the scene gave the MOPOL chief the boldness to threaten to arrest the governor. Fayemi then lamented to the CP, saying: “Whose interest are you protecting? CP, I cannot believe this. If I leave

Aluko absent asPDP leaders meet aggrieved aspirants


ICE-President Namadi Sambo and the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday met with some aggrieved governorship aspirants in Ekiti State. The meeting was held at the Pathfinder Hotel in AdoEkiti, the state capital, under tight security. It was reportedly organised to promote unity and reconcile the aggrieved aspirants and their supporters to work for the party’s governorship candidate, Mr. Ayo Fayose. The aspirants last week demanded a refund of the N11 million nomination fee each of them paid before the party’s primaries. The aspirants earlier expressed anger that they were made to pay a non-refundable fee of N11 million each to the party despite alleged schemes to pick Fayose as the candidate. In a May 31 communiqué given to reporters last Friday in the state capital, they de-

•Dr. Fayemi (right) speaking with police chief Uyanna at the scene of the attack.

•One of the damaged APC vehicles...yesterday

cried the non-chalant attitude of the party’s national leadership on the issue. They warned that their group would not attend the rally held on Saturday, to express their displeasure. The chairman of the aggrieved aspirants, Senator Gbenga Aluko, did not attend the peace meeting. But PDP Chairman, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe claimed that Aluko called him to say he was out of the state capital. Ogundipe insisted that Aluko’s absent was not intentional. Aluko is rumoured to be preparing to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Meanwhile, Sambo told those at the meeting that he was happy for the crowd of party’s supporters at the flag presentation to Fayose. He urged the members to work in unity to ensure victory for PDP at the election.

here, who will protect these people? They will come back and attack them again. I said you beat Government House policemen. One of your people arrested them. They (referring to the MOPOL) even took the rifle of one of my policemen from him.” The governor asked the Commissioner of Police if policemen were to protect the people or harm them. The mobile police chief, who had ordered some of his officers to dislodge the governor’s security aides, told the CP: “Who? I mean what governor? Who is governor when the VP is in town? I don’t know any governor. I have order from above. That is all”. Hoodlums believed to be sympathetic to the PDP were seen attacking APC members in the presence of the police. They also vandalised about four branded buses belonging to APC. The police commissioner, who was short of words, simply urged the governor to leave the scene. He promised that efforts would be made to restore peace. The Commissioner for Integration and Civic Orientation, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, was also brutalised and dragged on the floor for trying to challenge the police officers for killing the APC mem-

•One of Fayemi's aides hit in the hand by a tear-gas canister.

ber. He was allegedly slapped before being dragged into a waiting van and driven away. Afuye’s whereabouts remained unknown at the time of going to press. The governor later addressed APC members, saying the alleged killing “is a rehearsal of what the PDP and the police intend doing during the June 21 governorship election”. Fayemi urged the party supporters to continue to be lawabiding, saying no harm could touch them. He added that the electorate would not allow anybody to return the state “to slavery and the era of terror”. Meanwhile, Awe, who briefed the journalists on what he called “police brutality”, accused the police of compromise. He called for immediate transfer of the Police Commissioner and Mopol Commander, Selekere, noting the two had been compromised. He added: “We no longer have confi-

dence in them”. Awe said: “We were just holding a peaceful procession at about 8a.m this morning as part of our sensitisation programmes, the Mopol Commander molibised his men and came with two Armoured Personnel Carriers bought with Ekiti money and accosted us at Ijigbo. “He asked us to stop, we tried to plead with him, but he insisted that he was acting on the order of President Goodluck Jonathan that no rally should hold in Ekiti. “They started firing teargas canisters and shot straight at our people and one of our members was killed in the process. Even a serving Commissioner, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye was arrested and detained. The Caretaker Chairman of Ado Local Government , Tope Olanipekun, sustained injuries and many others. But contrary to claims by the APC, Ekiti State PDP Chairman, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, said it was the APC members, who were on parade in the town, that “provoked the violence by attacking an Okada rider who was carrying a passenger that wore a T-shirt with Ayo Fayose inscription”. Though his claim could not be verified, Ogundipe said immediately the commercial

Court orders service of petition on Fayose through newspapers


N Ado-Ekiti High Court has ordered that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ayodele Fayose be served a petition through the newspapers. The petition, which compelled Fayose to offer explanations regarding his 2006 impeachment as governor, was brought by e-Eleven, an Ekitibased socio-political group, which approached the court, seeking to stop Fayose from contesting the June 21 election. e-Eleven had contended in the petition that Fayose had failed to disclose to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through form CFO1, vital information regarding the grounds of his impeachment from office in 2006 as state governor. The group had noted that the substance of the impeachment had since not been overruled by any court of relevant jurisdiction and that same still subsists, adding that by the fact of his supplying false information to INEC, the court was empowered to disqualify him. The claimants through

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

their counsel, Rafiu Balogun, had brought three applications, praying the court to compel the first defendant, Fayose, to receive the petition through ‘substituted service’, specifically a newspaper publication, having been unable to deliver same to him physically at his known addresses. According to Balogun, efforts by the court to serve him the petition since May 23 had been fruitless, noting that both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the second and third defendants in the case, had been served since that date. The lawyer equally prayed the court to grant the suit accelerated hearing as the first defendant in the case, Fayose, was a party candidate for the June 21 election, saying the essence of the matter would be defeated if same was heard after the election. Balogun had said: “PDP and

INEC were served on 23 May, the 14 days which they have to respond to the petition had lapsed today (Friday).” The counsel maintained that although the law had granted allowance of either seven or 14 days for the respondents to cause a reply to the petition, the court should peg the response time of the first respondent (Fayose) to only seven, given the urgency demanded of the case. He noted that both the PDP and INEC had failed to offer any response as their own time lapsed on Friday, which was the last. Granting all the reliefs, Justice I.O. Ogunyemi noted that Fayose must file a written address within seven days and another three days for the claimants to reply to their written addresses if they so desired. Justice Ogunyemi consequently adjourned next hearing to June 16 to accommodate both the written response of the defendants and the possible reply by the claimants.

motorcyclist passenger was killed, his killers removed the Ayo Fayose T-shirt on him and replaced same with the vest of the APC to suggest it was one of their members that was killed by PDP. Also, the police commissioner, in a statement, denied the killing, saying the victim was attacked by members of APC and PDP, who clashed during the rally. Uyanna said: “The APC was holding a rally today in Ado Ekiti with intention to sweep off the footprints of the PDP without the permission of the police. “They had an encounter with the PDP rival political party members at Ijigbo roundabout where dangerous weapons like axes, cudgels, machetes and other weapons were freely used. A yet to be identified man was inflicted with multiple injuries on the head and was rushed to the hospital on the order of the police Commissioner. “The CP and the Director of SSS, Mr. Samuel Tamuno had to mobilise to the point. We heard that the governor wanted to visit the scene and we advised him against that which he did not heed. So, the police should not be held liable for this.”

Group: vote wisely By Musa Odoshimokhe

GROUP, Ekiti Abroad by Marriage, has urged the electorate to vote wisely in the June 21 election. A statement by the group’s coordinators, Chief Benson Okodua and Alhaji Mohammed Yusuf, noted that the emergence of politicians with questionable records over mismanagement of resources was unfortunate. The group, which is based in the United States of America (USA), expressed confidence that the people would vote wisely in the coming election, stressing that Ekiti indigenes’ level of education is sophisticated and would not be manipulated by politicians. The group noted that a vote for someone who has criminal cases of mismanagement of scare resources entrusted to him would do worse if he wins. It advised Ekiti indigenes not to turn themselves into a huge joke, not only in Southwest, but in Nigeria and the world.





Fashola inspects Lagos HOMS, roads


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola inspected yesterday ongoing housing projects under the State Home Ownership and Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS). The projects are 60 units of one, three and four-bedroom flats at Olu-Aina in Mushin, which is over 60 per cent completed, and an estate on Dibor Way in Isolo. Fashola also inspected the Isolo Road in Mushin and the Ago Palace Way in Okota. He said the “seeming delay” in the completion of the Ago Place Way was because a lot of engineering work and urban planning was needed to design a proper transport solution in the area, adding that the road is situated in a densely populated area. The governor said: “That was why it was important to first build the Okota Link Bridge, so that we could reconnect about seven local governments, which needed to go through the MushinIsolo Way. That was how difficult it was to commute then. There was virtually no road in this part of Lagos when I was elected governor in 2007.” He said a lot of planning went into designing the road, expressing joy that the planning stage was over. Fashola said: “The Okota Link Bridge is finished; Ibe Road was finished many


•Seeks residents’ support on project years ago. It was a pain before, now it is a pleasure to drive through.” He said his administration undertook the construction of the road without pressure from anyone or group, lamenting that the government ran into difficulties along the line because people did not want to give up their properties when there was need to expand the road. Fashola said: “They wanted a road, but nobody wanted it to pass through his house. So who is going to sacrifice for the public? “There were court cases, but eventually, almost four kilometres have been completed. The last phase , which is about 3.4 kilometres, will give us a total of about seven kilometres of dual carriage way, which in effect is about 14 kilometres road construction really in the most densely populated part of town.” Praising the contractor and the government team, the governor said: “We are constructing while people are travelling, going to work and trading. This is really a nightmare in urban redevelopment, but we are achieving it because we planned; because we are committed and focused”. He urged residents to be

‘If people take us to court we will stop. That is the deal and that is why I have come here to appeal to you. People have to sacrifice in order to get a better life.’ ready to give up their properties so that the road can be expanded, adding that the contractor was on site and had promised to finish the road before the year ends. Fashola said: “The contractor is on site to finish the last phase. He says they can finish it before the end of the year, but the people of the community will decide whether or not they want him to finish the work on time. There are structures that need to give way in order to expand the road. “If people take us to court we will stop. That is the deal and that is why I have come here to appeal to you. People have to sacrifice in order to

Police recover vehicle, suspect’s body

N anti-robbery team attached to the Mowe Divisional Police Headquarters has recovered the body of one of the fleeing robbery suspects who engaged it in a gun battle on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The robbers engaged the police in a gun battle last Saturday after snatching a Toyota Sienna Bus numbered Lagos LSD 339 CH at gun point near the Redemption Camp.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the suspects, who sustained bullet wounds, were overpowered by the police. He said they abandoned the vehicle and fled into the bush. The owner of the bus, who was also injured, was taken to the hospital by the police. It was gathered that the body of one of the suspects was discovered yesterday

when the police combed the area around the scene of the shoot out. Adejobi ascribed the success in foiling the robbery to proactive measures put in place by the command and the commitment of officers. He said the Commander of Sagamu Area Command, Lanre Bankole, would liaise with Divisional Police Officers in charge of Sagamu, Mowe and Ibafo on how to apprehend the fleeing robbers.

‘Aregbesola is a committed leader’


get a better life. There is need to expand the width of the road to accommodate the anticipated volume of vehicular traffic.” He said the minute the first three phases of about four kilometres were finished, people started parking on the road “which, they refused to allow us to expand”. Fashola said: “Now, nobody is complaining about this anymore. I can see placards now reading “God Bless you BRF”, but things were different when I came here last year. “I hope that our critics and opponents will see the elites we serve. Our elites are in Okota, Mushin and Isolo, and work continues. We will meet them at the elections.” The governor was accompanied by the Chief of Staff, Lanre Babalola; Commissioner for Housing Bosun Jeje; Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure Ganiyu Johnson; his New Towns Development Authority and Housing counterparts, Mrs. Felicia Awofisayo and Jimoh Ajao; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins and his Housing counterpart, Olatunji Olusoga Odunlami.

•Osun people urged to protect their votes

ECRETARY to the Osun State Government (SSG) Moshood Adeoti has urged the people of Iwo Federal Constituency to vote for Governor Rauf Aregbesola and “protect their votes from electoral fraudsters” on August 9. Adeoti, who hails from Iwo, spoke at the kick-off of Aregbesola’s re-election campaign in Iwo Federal Constituency, which comprises Iwo, Ola Oluwa and Ayedire local government areas. He said the people were well-informed about the choice that will benefit them, adding: “The people of Osun are ready for election. We have told them not only to troop out to vote but also to stay at the polling booths and ensure that their votes are properly counted, recorded and announced. “This time round, there won’t be any chance for anyone to rig or stuff the ballot boxes. Our people are ready

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

to vote. They know the leader who loves them and are ready to support him. The people will come out en masse to vote and protect their votes. “Our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), abhors violence. Osun people are peace-loving and will continue to conduct themselves peacefully.” Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, MSemiu Okanlawon, who is also from Iwo, said Aregbesola’s achievements in the past three-and-a-half years speak for him, adding: “The past three to four years have been eventful for this state and the people. It is evident that Aregbesola’s administration has transformed the state positively beyond the people’s imagination. “Our people can bear testimony to the fact that the government is working assiduously to take the state to an enviable height. It is,

therefore, expected that our people will vote for the continuity of these good work.” Commissioner for Women Affairs Mrs. Folake Adegboyega warned residents against selling their voter cards, explaining that this would amount to mortgaging their future. A member of the House of Assembly from the area, Mr. Bola Akinloye, said: “The experience of lawmakers in the last three-and-a-half years has shown that when you have a focused executive, the legislature will have no choice but to back good policies with laws. Aregbesola is a committed leader whose main objective is the happiness of the people.” Also at the rally were representative of Iwo Federal Constituency Mr. Ghafar Amere; Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Rafiu Isamotu; Assistant Chief of Staff Mudathir Toogun and House of Assembly member Bola Akinloye, among others.”

Ikuforiji informs Assembly workers of governorship ambition


AGOS State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji has informed Assembly workers of his intention to contest next year’s governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Addressing the workers at the week end at the “Quarterly Interactive Session”, Ikuforiji said God had given him the go ahead to contest the election. The announcement was greeted with applause from the workers, who shouted: “Ikuforiji o, Epe lo kan o (Ikuforiji o, it is Epe’s turn to rule Lagos State). Ikuforiji said he consulted widely with stakeholders, including opinion leaders and his colleagues in the Assembly, adding: “I have called on God concerning my ambition and He has given me the approval to go ahead.” A few weeks ago, the Speaker hosted his colleagues in the Assembly at his Ikeja home and notified them of his intention to contest the governorship election. He said he had successfully established a virile legislature, pledging to build a

By Oziegbe Okoeki

state “where people will be happy”. Ikuforiji said: “I have not come here to formally declare my ambition to be governor of Lagos State. What I am doing is inform you of my intention. When the time comes, I will do so and the whole of Lagos will know I did so.” Praising the Assembly’s management and staff for their professionalism, the Speaker thanked them for their contribution to the legislature’s development. He urged them to work harder to make the Assembly an excellent example in the world.


Mimiko opens road tomorrow


NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko will tomorrow open the 10 kilometres Igbotu-OboroInikoragha-Ojuala-Ipoke road in Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency. In a statement yesterday, Commissioner for Information Kayode Akinmade said the asphalt overlay of the road was done by the State Asphalt Company (OSAC).






•From right: Seriki; Senator Tinubu; Olusi; Eshinlokun and Edun at Rehoboth House,Yaba Lagos.

2015: Vote wisely, Tinubu urges Nigerians


ENATOR Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) reflected yesterday on the state of the nation, urging Nigerians to vote wisely in next year’s general elections. She lamented the rot in the polity, the collapse of social infrastructure, graduate unemployment, growing insecurity and other challenges, which she said, had overwhelmed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government. Mrs. Tinubu said: “Nigerians will see changes, if the All Progressives Congress (APC) wins the 2015 elections and forms the government at the centre.” Briefing reporters at her con-

stituency office, the Rehoboth House,Yaba, Lagos Mainland, on

her activities in the Senate in the last three years, she said the National Assembly would have impacted more positively on the country, if it was dominated by the APC. Lagos Central APC leader Prince Oluyole Olusi; Lagos APC Secretary Eshinlokun Sanni; former Minister of State for Defence Chief Demola Seriki; one-time Finance Commissioner Wale Edun; Alhaji Mutiu Are and Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Chairman Jide Jimoh were at the media parley. Before the briefing began, Mrs. Tinubu requested that a minute of silence be observed in memory of former Information Minister Prof. Dora Akinyuli; the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero; and victims of the immigration recruitment disaster. In her report, titled: “Making a mark: Three years of people-focused representation”, Mrs. Tinubu said she sponsored three bills and co-sponsored two motions affecting her constituency. The bills include the National

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor

Social Security Agency Bill, 2011; a Bill for an Act to Amend the Labour Act, 2004, and for other matters; and the Lagos State Special Economic Assistance Bill, 2013, which has passed through the first reading. Senator Tinubu said she sponsored the “Motion on Flood Disaster in Lagos” and the motion on the urgent need to investigate the imminent collapse of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos. She listed Lagos Central Constituency projects captured in the budget to include the on-going construction of a N222.3 million Drug Rehabilitation and Counselling Centre at Gedegede, Eti– Osa; the construction of N223 million ultra-modern market in Oke–Ira, Eti-Osa and a N220 million model primary school at Takwa Bay in Iru/Victoria Island Council. Mrs. Tinubu said as a member of the Senate Committee on Education, she secured intervention funds through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for tertiary institutions in Lagos State. These include N160 million for the construction of a 1,200-seater auditorium at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin; N109 million intervention for Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Noforija, Epe; and N108 million for the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo. She said: “Also, through the Senate Committee on Education, additional resources were secured to rehabilitate some schools and provide three classroom blocks with toilet facilities. These are Jibowu Junior High School, Yaba (N21 million); Banjo Primary School, Otumara–Ilogbo, Ebutte–Metta (N20 million); Christ Cathedral Church Primary School, CMS, La-

•Senator renders account ‘Nigerians will see changes, if the All Progressives Congress (APC) wins the 2015 elections and forms the government at the centre’ gos Island (15 million); Teslim Elias Primary School, Oja–Oba, Lagos Island (N15 million); Ansarud-deen Primary School, Okepopo, Lagos Island (N15 million); and Ire Akari Primary School in Orile, Apapa Iganmu (N15 million). “Through the Universal Service Provision Fund, Aje Comprehensive High School in Yaba was supplied with 100 computers, one server, two laptops and 110 charging points. In 2014, projects worth N61.5 million were proposed. Projects expected under the 2014 federal budget are the provision of three classroom blocks with VIP toilets and the supply of five sets of computers, UPS and printers to each of the following schools: Iponri Primary School, Iponri; St. Clementina Primary School, Mosalasi Bus Stop, Surulere; State Nursery/Primary School, Arakan Barracks, Apapa; and Union Baptist Primary School, Oja–Oba, Isale Eko.” Senator Tinubu reflected on the “Lagos Constituency Development and Empowerment Initiative” sponsored by her in the last three years, saying she had ploughed back to the constituency.

She said: “Since the Post-Secondary School Scholarship Scheme (PSSS) was launched, 26 beneficiaries of four-year scholarships receive a N100,000 annually to support their education. The selection was made from 650 candidates. The remaining 624 applicants were given a one off N10,000 each to buy books. “Before the commencement of each academic year, I meet the 26 students in an interactive mentoring session. They also attend leadership training at the New Era Youth Camp (NEYOCA) in Kayetoro, Ibeju Lekki. “We launched the Petty Traders Empowerment Capital Scheme (PETECS) and 650 beneficiaries were given N20,000 each to enhance their trades or businesses. The sponsorship of Senator Muniru Muse Under–12 boys and Under–15 girls was in continuation of a tournament introduced by my predecessor. We have hosted and sponsored three tournaments since I assumed office as a senator. “Since the Elderly Citizens’ Assistance Scheme (ECAS) was launched, it has been a yearly event. This was inspired by the Elderly Citizens’ Assistance Bill I initiated. A total of 1,300 beneficiaries drawn from the 13 LGAs/ LCDAs in Lagos Central Senatorial District receive N10, 000 each with various gift items. In the 2013 edition, we introduced free health screening. “The Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Scheme (YESAS) was initiated, under which 164 youths were trained in various vocational skills by experienced instructors (during three days and five days training programmes). A start-up kit worth N10,000 was given to each of them and N40, 000 was also given to them in two

installments. “Also, free GCE forms were distributed to 220 candidates during our Seventh Town Hall meeting on June 14, 2013, to enable them make up their results and fulfill their dreams of going to tertiary institutions. Another 220 candidates will be given GCE forms for 2014 at our next Town Hall meeting on June 11. “Under the Good Boys and Good Girls Empowerment Scheme (GBGES), N100,000 start–up capital was provided for 80 beneficiaries drawn from various parts of the state. This programme was introduced to give a second chance to unemployed and idle youths. Due to more pressure from those from my Senatorial District, another set of 11 beneficiaries were added to the list.” Mrs. Tinubu said the quarterly Town Hall meetings allow her to receive feedback on her programmes, adding: “Most of the programmes we implemented were conceived at Town Hall meetings, which we rotated across five LGAs/LCDAs – Lagos Island, Yaba, Surulere, Apapa and Eti– Osa. In total, we have hosted 10 Town Hall meetings and the 11th will be hosted on Friday, June 11, at Eko Club, Surulere.”

Oyo APC inaugurates exco tomorrow From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


HE newly elected State Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State will be inaugurated tomorrow. According to a statement by APC Publicity Secretary Mr. Dauda Kolawole, the ceremony will hold at the party’s Southwest Zonal Secretariat in Alakia, Ibadan.




CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Kidney failure threatens man’s life

•Family can’t raise N8m for treatment


38-year-old man, who is down with kidney problem, is looking for N8million to treat himself. Bernard Owoicho’s trouble began on December 10, last year, after he took an analgesic drug for his headache. He left for work after taking the drug, but 10 days later, his condition worsened. He experienced stomach pains and started stooling blood. Thinking it was pile, Owoicho administered some drugs, to no avail. Suspecting poisoning, his relations advised him to take native herbs; he did, but his trouble would not go. Unknown to him, his kidney had failed. “Initially, I thought it was pile and some close relations

By Jude Isiguzo

advised me to take some herbs which I did, but I didn’t get any result. I later went to a hospital where I was given some drugs which doctors said would stop the stool; yet, it did not work,” he said. Owoicho, 38, a father of two from Otukpa in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State, was moved from one hospital to the other in Lagos by his wife and relations in desperate bid to find out what the problem was, but all their efforts failed. Family members in Abuja took him there for better medical attention. He spent a month at the Abuja University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, and later, the National Hospital, Central

Edun pacifies tricyclists


EMBERS of the Tricycle Owners and O p e r a t o r s Association of Nigeria (TROAN) in the Ikoyi Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State have been urged to maintain peace A onetime Commissioner for Finance in the state, who doubles as Central Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area, Mr Olawale Edun, promised to look into a “ban on their activities.” Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa had announced a ban on tricyclists plying major routes such as Obalende to Keffi and Obalende to Golden Gate, all within Ikoyi. The Branch Chairman of TROAN, Abdulateef Kolawole Adeshokan, who


By Innocent Amomoh led his colleagues on a protest to the inaugural meeting of APC in the area, which was held at the St. Georges College, Falomo, at the weekend, decried the ban. “We are all members of APC who are law-abiding citizens of the LCDA. We were so surprised that the Commissioner for Transport is trying to take away our source of livelihood by banning us from the only viable routes that we operate with no genuine reason only that he just wants to see us off the road and replace us with taxi operators. “He had been using the Vehicle Inspection Officers, LASTMA and KAI officers to impound our tricycles and we believe it is high time we cried out to the leadership of APC in our area, especially our Senatorial Leader, Mr. Wale Edun, to help us out.” Edun, who was at the meeting, said: “I assure you that we will speak with the powers that be. We expect them to see reason and rescind the decision. I’m happy that as APC members, you did not take the law in to your hands; you organised yourselves in a peaceful manner. We’ll get across to the commissioner to see how we can solve the problem amicably.”

Cleric preaches Godliness


HE General Evangelist of the Christ Apostolic Mission Church (CAMC) a.k.a Oke Igbala, Ilupeju, Lagos State, Remi Adebayo, yesterday admonished Nigerians and their leaders to shun materialism and live for God. His admonition came on the heels of the death of a former Minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyili, last Saturday, and the demise of a devout member of the church, Deaconess Obadare, on June 1. “Whenever a person dies, his or her time is up; it is God’s will and there is nothing anybody can do about it since no mortal can query Him. He is our Creator and He reserve the licence to call us whenever He so wishes. What we need

By Basirat Braimah do is to prepare for it with our day-to-day activities. “Look at all the accomplishments of the woman (Akunyili). Look at her contributions to national development. Look at the passion of Deaconess Obadare for the work of God. Both never knew they would not know today. One lesson we must learn when people like that die is the fact that we must live every second as if it is our last. We must fine-tune our relationships with God through the way we relate with our fellow human beings. We must behave like the true images of God in piety. Once we can internalise the fact that God can call us anytime, any day, we will walk in His ways for His glory.”

‘I need to go for kidney transplant in India. The trip, including the transplant, according to a medical advice, would cost N8 million. I believe God will use my fellow countrymen to make it happen’ Area, Abuja, where he was told that his two kidneys had failed. He has since been undergoing dialysis and other treatments at the hospital. Owoicho, who is a chorister at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Ojota, lived with his wife and two children at 80, Alhaja Amoo Street be-

fore his illness started. He also worked at the Nigerian BallPoint Pen Industries Plc, Ikeja. Owoicho is appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to come to his aid for him to live well again. “I don’t know how to say this, but I beg goodspirited Nigerians not to allow me die. I do not know how I got to this point, but only God can heal. I have spent over N800, 000 already and still spending,” he said, sobbing at the hospital on Tuesday. “I need to go for kidney transplant in India. The trip, including the transplant, according to a medical advice, would cost N8 million. I believe God will use my fellow countrymen to make it happen,” he added. Owoicho gave his bank ac-

• Owoicho ... at the hospital counts’ details as: Access Bank; account number, 0065186699

and First Bank, with account number, 2021113439.











US to establish $6million Arewa Tv in Nigeria

HE State Department is financing a new 24-hour satellite television channel in the turbulent northern region of Nigeria that American officials say is crucial to countering the extremism of radical groups such as Boko Haram. The move signals a ramping up of American counterinsurgency efforts to directly challenge the terrorist group, which abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls in April. State Department officials acknowledged that setting up an American-supported channel could prove challenging in a region where massacres, bombings and shootings by Boko Haram are common, and where the American government and Western educational programs are far from popular. The group has been known to attack media organ-

National discourse holds on Wednesday


HE Coalition for a Better Nigeria will on Wednesday hold the fourth edition of its two-day national discourse on the theme: electoral offences and administration of justice in Nigeria. It will hold at the Adetiloye Hall, Fountain Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State by 11am and will be chaired by former Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) Speakers include Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and activistlawyer Mr Festus Keyamo. Other topics to be discussed are: Curbing electoral rigging, violence and political assassination: The role of Nigerian Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Inspector-General of Police Muhammed Abubakar and INEC chairman Prof Attahiru Jega are expected to speak. Prof Ben Nwabueze (SAN) will be the father of the day, Ekiti governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, is the chief host. The coalition is an alliance of the Pro-Democracy Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Communitybased Organisations (CBOs), National Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). The group, in a statement by the Chairman, Organising Committee Comrade Awa Bamiji and Secretary Comrade Ibrahim Musa, said: “We are so much concerned about the security situation, irregularities in our electoral process, seemingly inordinate level of corruption, alarming unemployment rate, infrastructural decay and other aspects of bad Governance in our dear nation. “In line with our vision for a better Nigeria, we have been criticising various government policies and actions constructively for over two decades. “As part of our resolutions, we decided to form a Vanguard with the mass media through which we could monitor the subsequent elections in Nigeria under this body, right from the toter’s registration exercise because it forms a foundation for a poor or bad electoral process.”

izations in Nigeria. The new television channel, to be called Arewa24 — arewa means north in the Hausa language — is financed by the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, and it is expected to cost about $6 million. State Department officials would discuss the programme only on the condition of anonymity, and offered sparse information about it. But details have emerged in publicly available contracting documents and in interviews with people familiar with the effort. The project was started last year and is run in Nigeria by Equal Access International, a San Francisco-based government contractor that has managed media programs sponsored by the State Department in Yemen and Pakistan that encourage youth participation

in politics, in addition to countering Islamist extremism. Work on the project is nearing completion, but broadcasts have not yet begun. State Department officials insisted that the Nigerian government was aware of the television project, and that it had not planned to hide American support for the program, which has not been previously disclosed. “However, U.S. sponsorship will not be advertised or promoted,” a State Department official said. The goal of the channel is to provide original content, including comedies and children’s programs that will be created, developed and produced by Nigerians. State Department officials said they hoped to provide an alternative to the violent propaganda and recruitment efforts of Boko

Haram. Many foreign policy experts, while applauding State Department programs to counter the efforts of Boko Haram and other extremist groups, said the new satellite project faced several challenges in a region with low levels of infrastructure, public services, literacy and security. Documents show that the television channel is to target youths, “either subtly or explicitly,” with Hausa-language programs that deliver “themes that reject political violence and violent extremism,” but do not include “news or political reporting.” The State Department is expected to finance the channel for two years. Details about the program have come to light in the wake of attempts by the State Department and the Unit-

ed States Agency for International Development to create Twitter-like social media programs in countries such as Cuba and Pakistan. The Cuba effort was widely criticized after The Associated Press reported that it was set up to encourage political dissent on the island. Officials said the effort was part of American public diplomacy programs to encourage political discussions, not a covert program to overthrow the government. But unlike the social media programs, the satellite television channel is part of an overall counterterrorism effort designed to delegitimize extremist ideology through the use of social media tools like Facebook and YouTube, as well as blogs, radio programs and online video games. State Department counter-

terrorism officials also engage with terrorist groups in online forums and in the comment sections on media websites. The effort is intended to reach what one State Department official called the “middlegrounders — the fence-sitters, the sympathizers and passive supporters.” The United States has long had a media presence in northern Nigeria. The Voice of America offers general Hausalanguage news programs in the region, but State Department officials said the new project would go beyond simply providing information. In addition to the broadcasts, officials said the project would provide training to journalists in the region, including women, who would then be able to produce their own video content.








Evelle is Nigerian Idol 2014

Miss Sisi-Oge: Similola Banjo’s treasured moment



T was the height of emotions for Zibili Evelyn, aka Evelle, who was declared winner of this year’s edition of Nigerian Idol, after defeating her closest rival, Odugbemi Idowu Sarah, aka Eye-D, during a spectacular grand finale at the weekend. Evelle, by this feat, became the proud owner of a Hyundai Four Wheel Drive Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), in addition to N7.5 million, an Android tablet phone, an ipod and a recording deal with Universal Music Group. Her joy knew no bounds, as she was handed the dummy cheque and car keys by the Director of Consumer Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Oluwole Rawa, at the Dreams Studios, Bamako, Ogba, venue of the show.

By Victor Akande

A part-time singer at the Eko Hotel and Radisson Blu Hotels, Evelle, amidst tears, dedicated the award to her mother, who is currently in hospital, having been involved in an auto crash two weeks ago on her way to Lagos to witness her daughter’s performance. “…God first, then, my mum; it has to be my mum. I know this will make her feel much better than she is feeling right now,” she said. Evelle’s victory came as a surprise to many, especially because she had fewer votes, a week to the grand finale, from the public compared to the number of votes received by Eye-D. “To actually get more people to vote for me, I went into my closet when I was praying and said to God: ‘I

don’t know how this is going to happen; I am going to give it my best shot and I want you to help me in such a way that, even those who have been voting for my opponent will vote for me this time. That was my prayer, and I am sure that was what happened,” she added. Though she came second, Eye-D did not betray her emotions. She promised to spend her prize money to boost her farming business, while also continuing in music. “After today, I am going to take one week of sleep. I have so many songs that I have written. I will start releasing them one at a time; and I know my efforts will be crowned by the grace of God,” said the singer, who hopes to be as popular as

Omawumi of West African Idol. “Yes, Omawumi because she shone more than the first. But in the mean time, let the will of God be done.” For coming second place, Eye-D also got a car, a Hyundai i10, one similar to the size of a Picanto. “I’m definitely going to use it; it’s pretty and cute,” she said, when asked what she would do with the car. Her prizes also included N1.5 million, an Android tablet, a phone and an ipod. Elvis Jay, who came third place, also got N1m, an Android Tablet, a phone, and an ipod. Each of the contestants from the 4th to 10th place received a cash prize of N100, 000, a Galaxy Tab, a Blackberry and an iPod.

IMILOLA Banjo, a 400-level student of Industrial Relations, Lagos State University, (LASU), Ojo has emerged the winner of the 2014 Miss Sisi-Oge beauty pageant. She beat four other runners-up, including Abigail Udu, Ure Ndukwo, Oyindamola Ogunbekun and Konyinsola Okafor, at the well- attended event held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The other 10 contestants include: Hannah Ogundare, Sandra Williams, Abazie Rosemary, Jay Subair, Abiola Lasisi, Oladokun Eniola, Olalere Shade, Shadamola Damilola, Sophia Okarafor and Sandra Peters. The new Miss Sisi-Oge said she would use her office to promote the cause of the less privileged, while also campaigning against child abuse. The first and second runners up went home with consolation prizes. This year’s event was organised as part of the activities to mark the birthday celebrations of Chief (Mrs.) Nike Okundaye, who turned 63. Apart from the usual catwalking, the contestants were tested on their knowledge of current affairs and culture, especially as it affects dressing. Oba Aderemi Adedapo, the Oludo of Ido Osun, praised the organisers and gave a distinguished award to Queen Ahneva for her contributions to the fash-

Davido wins big at MTV Africa Music Awards


•As Clarence Peters, Tiwa Savage, Flavour shine

OR Nigerian sensational pop singers, Davido, Flavour, Tiwa Savage and ace music video director, Clarence Peters, it was a wonderful moment at the weekend as they won a total of six coveted awards at the just concluded MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) held at the International Conference Centre, Durban, amidst pomp and circumstance. Davido’s profile got a boost as he clinched both the Best Male and Artiste of the Year awards. Also, Clarence Peter’s ingenuity as a music video director was recognized with Transform Today by Absolut and Best Video of the Year awards for directing the video of Burna Boy’s song, Run My Race. Marvin Records’ First Lady, Tiwa Savage, won the Best Female Artiste of the Year’, while Afro-pop act, Flavour, went home with the Best Live Act award. One of the highlights of the evening anchored by legendary stand-up comic, film and television sensation, Marlon Wayans, was a touching acoustic guitar tribute to the late Nelson Mandela by Afro-Soul star, Simphiwe Dana, who performed in front of a giant time lapse video artwork by street artist, Rasty.

Also, Ladysmith Black Mambazo did a mash up Acappello and Y-tjukutja. But the most exciting moment was when all the artistes came to the stage for a medley of French Montana’s songs, including Pop That, Freaks and Ain’t Worried About Nothin! The MAMA trophies were presented to the winners by a number of celebrity guests, including French Montana, D’Banj, Nomzamo Mbatha, Goldfish, DJ Fresh, John Vlismas, Kajal Bagwandeen, Emmanuel Adebayo, DJ Edu, Minnie Dlamini, Sizwe Dhlomo, Dorcas Shola Fapson, DJ C’ndo, Efya and Riaad Moosa. The Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks, Alex Okosi, (VIMN) Africa, said: “Tonight’s MAMA 2014 was truly spectacular and a true testament to the passion, commitment and creativity of contemporary music, youth culture and achievement on the African continent.” In his view, Desmond Golding, Head of Department of Economic Development & Tourism, KZN Province, said: “The MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZuluNatal has fulfilled all its

great promise, in terms of spectacle, star power and bringing the eyes of the world onto our great province. We congratulate the winners, nominees and performers on a truly spectacular evening of entertainment. Through cultural events of this magnitude, we underline the stature of KwaZulu-Natal as a leading destination for tourism, economic development and cultural experiences.” Davido, who was overjoyed at the ceremony, said: “I am only 21 years old and I am living my dream.’’ The Omo Baba Olowo crooner also thanked his producer, Shizzi, and everyone who voted for him and dedicated the award to Nigeria. For Clarence Peters, who dedicated his awards to God and Nigeria, it was a moment to, once again, appreciate his mother, actress Clarion Chukwura, and Manager, Tobechukwu Ejiofor (Ill Bliss). Flavour expressed gratitude to his band for making the live performance possible, while Tiwa Savage, who danced onstage with her husband, Tee Bills, thanked her fans and Don Jazzy, her producer, for the awards. Though the awards show has come and gone, the memory will linger on for a

long time, particularly because of the scintillating performances by Fally Ipupa, Michael Lowman, Don Jazzy, DJ Clock, Beatenberg, DJ Kent, Big Nuz, Toofan, D’Banj, DJ Vigi, DJ Tira, DJ Buckz, Burna Boy, Sauti Sol, Ice Prince, Sarkodie, The Arrows, Khuli Chana, Dr Sid, French Montana, Miguel, Trey Songz, Davido, Uhuru, Mafikizolo, Oskido, Professor, Tiwa Savage, Flavour, Diamond, Phyno and Yuri da Cunha. List of winners at the 2014 MAMAs: Best Male: Davido (Nigeria) Best Female: Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) Best Group: Mafikizolo (South Africa) Best New Act: Stanley Enow (Cameroon) Best Live Act: Flavour (Nigeria) Best Collaboration: “Ytjukutja” – Uhuru Ft. Oskido, DJ Bucks, Professor and Yuri Da Cunha (South Africa/ Angola) Best Hip Hop: Sarkodie (Ghana) Best Alternative: Gangs of Ballet (South Africa) Best Francophone: Toofan (Togo) Best Lusophone: Anselmo Ralph (Angola) Artist of the Year: Davido (Nigeria)

Song of the Year: “Khona” – Mafikizolo ft Uhuru (South Africa) Best Video: Clarence Peters (Nigeria) Best Pop: Goldfish (South Africa) Best International: Pharrell Personality of the Year: Lupita Nyong’o (Kenya) MTV Base Leadership Award: Ashish J. Thakkar (Tanzania) Transform Today Award by Absolut: Clarence Peters (Nigeria).

ion industry. Others who got awards include Mr. Olajide Bright and Uche Ajaere, Managing Director, Lordwin Gate property. Anchored by Egbele Ben, a popular Lagos-based curator, the panel of judges comprised eminent penalties in the fashion and culture industries. The Sisi Oge event revealed high-level of professional input on the part of the organisers headed by Idris Aregbe and Prince Kehinde Bakare. Some of the dignitaries who graced the event include: His Royal Majesty, Oba Aderemi Adedapo, the Oludo of Ido Osun; Senator Florence Ita Giwa; Michael Bonner, Bene Uche; Queen Anheva and Mrs. Yemisi Shyllon, among others.

New Masquerade’s Natty is dead


HE Nigerian entertainment industry at the weekend lost one of its shinning stars, Romanus Uchenna Amuta, aka Natty, eight years after he was laid up with a stroke. Since the news broke, his family, colleagues and fans have been in deep mourning. The late Nollywood actor, who gained fame as one of the cast of the now rested NTA’s New Masquerade, reportedly died of stroke. In 2006, he suffered a stroke and was bedridden for some years. Though he recovered miraculously four years after, he could only limp, as the right side of his body had been paralysed. At the height of his battle with the debilitating ailment, he was quoted to have said: “I have reached out to my friends, but it appears they have abandoned me to die. My people have tried, but they can’t kill themselves. My children have also done their best for me. I believe that if government comes to help me, my problems will be over. But the more they delay in coming, the more my body dies; and soon, the entire Natty will just die and leave you people. If they (government) can send me to any of the best hospitals in the world, I will surely get better and bounce back to life.” Before his death, other cast members of the television soap, who have passed on, include: James Iroha (Giringory Akabuogu), Christy Essien-Igbokwe (Apena) and Claude Eke (Jegede Shokoya). Since he passed on in the early hours of Saturday, the prayer of many concerned movie buffs is that Davis Offor, alias Clarus, will not be left to his fate. Clarus, also a cast member of the rested New Masquerade, has reportedly lost his sight.





As Emefiele assumes duty ...


•His proposals are largely commendable but execution is the issue

N June 4, Godwin Emefiele formally assumed office as the 10th Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). His coming brings closure to the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi era at the apex bank. For a man who did so much to bring some sanity and stability to the domestic financial market, an individual who could claim to have fought inflation to a standstill, it is unfortunate that Sanusi’s tenure is now defined by issues largely unrelated to his remit as the chief steward of the apex bank. The controversies, which would also spawn allegations of serial infractions aside culminating in his forced exit, have also eventuated in the re-opening of the old debate about the limits of the apex bank’s independence. Of course, Nigerians know better than to swallow the Federal Government’s yarn that the exit of Sanusi was for anything other than his trenchant criticisms

‘No matter how lofty the goals set by his leadership are, the question of whether the number one banker could still claim to retain the ambience of operational independence and integrity to undertake any bold measures after the ‘Sanusi treatment’ is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

of the government’s management of the oil receipts, particularly his allegation that a whopping $20 billion was not remitted into the federation account. It is perhaps just as well that the allegation came at a time of mounting concerns about Sanusi’s volubility – a vice ordinarily deemed incompatible with the demands of the traditionally conservative office. Even at that, we are aware that many have argued that Sanusi has done a patriotic duty of raising the alarm, at least to the extent that the issues raised by him are now the subject of a forensic audit. Pertinent here is whether the sin can constitute the ground for removing a CBN governor from office. We consider this background important if only to underscore the immediate challenge facing Emefiele as he settles down. This is because, no matter how lofty the goals set by his leadership are, the question of whether the number one banker could still claim to retain the ambience of operational independence and integrity to undertake any bold measures after the ‘Sanusi treatment’ is unlikely to go away anytime soon. This takes us to his vision for the apex bank. At the risk of appearing dismissive, we think that the problems of the financial services sector, like the overall economy in which it is a part, have been largely over-dissected. Under Charles Soludo, it was ‘consolidation’, which saw a total of 89 banks collapsed into 25. Sanusi would come later with his ‘sanitisation’, with its massive purge and further shrinking of the same sector. Unfortunately, none of these has brought the financial services sector anywhere near the larger goal of deepening access to financial services to any appreciable degree.

Access to credit remains difficult just as costs have also remained prohibitively high. While the paradox of excessive liquidity side-by-side critical shortages in credit to the real sector has endured, a stuttering economy – with soar away unemployment – continues to record superlative growth said to be among the highest in the world. However, that is not where the paradox ends; no thanks to the industrial scale oil theft and the opaque accounting system of the oil sector, a nation which claims to sell its crude way above the annual benchmark price continues to suffer decline in fiscal buffers. Yes, we welcome Emefiele with his new vision to turn the tide around. If anything, he needs it to run with. Given his core banking background, he seems an unlikely individual to rock the boat – which by the way is neither a virtue nor a vice. We share in his goal of a gradual reduction in interest rates. His point about treasury bills rates creating “a perverse incentive for commercial banks to simply buy virtually risk-free government bonds rather than lend to the real sector” could not have been better made. So are his proposals to abolish charges on deposits, and his foreclosure on the devaluation of the naira, and of course, his desire to tighten bank supervision; all of these are well-intended. Same is the proposal on Secured Transaction and National Collateral Registry to improve access to information on borrowers and to assist lenders to make good credit decisions; it is long overdue. However, after nearly 10 years of financial reforms, the nation is wiser than to judge by grand statements of intentions. All said, his performance is what matters most.

Physician, heal thyself •Pot calls the kettle black as Okonjo-Iweala accuses states of financial recklessness


INANCE minister and coordinating minister for the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, left the log in the eye of the Federal Government that she is serving and instead, chose to see the speck in the eye of the state governments when she accused the latter of misusing the monthly allocation they get from the federation account. Speaking in a lecture with the theme: “Transforming Nigeria’s Economy: Opportunities and Challenges,” at the 12 th convocation of Babcock University, Ilisan Remo, Ogun State, the minister told us what we already know. According to her, 10 states received the highest revenue monthly in 2013. The states and their allocations are Akwa Ibom, N260 billion; Rivers, N230 billion; Delta, N209 billion; Bayelsa, N173 billion; Lagos, N168 billion; Kano, N140 billion; Katsina, N103 billion; Oyo, N100 billion; Kaduna, N 97billion and Borno, N94 billion. She then wondered why Nigerians continue to blame President Goodluck Jonathan’s government for the poor state of basic public services like education, health and agriculture, all of which fall under the concurrent list, despite the humongous amounts the states receive. Okonjo-Iweala says countries like Liberia, The Gambia and the Republic of Benin are not as richly blessed as these states. “So you see that our top 10 states receive more money than these countries and, therefore, you should be asking what is this money being used for?”, she said. We are grateful to the finance minister for drawing our attention to this fact that

we often forget. It is true many of us hardly remember the state governments, and particularly the local governments when talking about financial impropriety and transparency in governance. Yet there is as much stench in these tiers of government as there is at the federal level. But what Dr Okonjo-Iweala conveniently forgot to add is the fact that the state governments have only taken a cue from what is happening at the centre when it comes to reckless management of funds and lack of transparency and accountability in government. A few examples, starting with the minister, will suffice: Dr Okonjo-Iweala would remember that she once told Nigerians that she had granted import waivers to the tune of N171billion between 2011 and 2013 whereas the Customs Department said the total amount of same granted by the minister within the period was N1.4trillion. What we have between the two claims is not just a difference but a gulf, and the minister is yet to clear the air on it. What of the bullet-proof cars scandal that cost the former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah her job? Also, the petroleum ministry is bleeding with all manner of allegations of financial recklessness. The president’s response is that the minister has been invited more than 200 times by the House of Representatives to shed light on some of these issues, suggesting that the minister is being victimised. Right now, a simple invitation to the minister by the House has become a subject of litigation. The examples are too numerous to mention. We congratulate the finance minister

for the award of Doctor of Science in Global Economic Development (Honoris Causa) that the university bestowed on her, even as we have noted her admonition that we should demand improved standard of living from the state governments. However, we cannot swallow the addendum that we should stop accusing the Federal Government of insensitivity. And the reason is simple: it is the Federal Government that gets the lion’s share of the monthly allocation (52.68 percent) while the states get 26.72 percent and the 774 local governments share 20.6 percent. In essence, Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s allegation is akin to the pot calling the kettle black. If she wants to be honest with herself, she should first heal the centre government that she is serving of financial recklessness before attempting to heal the state governments. Indeed, the latter would take a cue when they see the former lead by example.

‘Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s allegation is akin to the pot calling the kettle black. If she wants to be honest with herself, she should first heal the centre government that she is serving of financial recklessness before attempting to heal the state governments. Indeed, the latter would take a cue when they see the former lead by example’

The Bergdahl blowback: Did he deserve to be rescued?

– Was Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl ‘worthy’ of rescue? The chairman of the Joint Chiefs thinks so It’s possible to defend the deal that secured Bergdahl’s release without portraying him as a hero.


HE deal that won the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was immediately criticized on several grounds: that the five Taliban detainees who were swapped for Bergdahl were too dangerous to release, that the deal granted political legitimacy to the Taliban, and that the Obama administration violated a law requiring notice to Congress 30 days before a prisoner is transferred from Guantanamo. These criticisms were discussed (and mostly discounted) in a June 4 Times editorial posted online. The questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover any U.S. service member in enemy captivity. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff But in recent days the criticism has shifted to a different argument: that the 28-year-old soldier, who left his post in Afghanistan in 2009 under circumstances that are still unclear, wasn’t worthy of being rescued. President Obama has ruled that question out of order. When he announced the agreement on Saturday, he insisted that “the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.” On Thursday, he said he would “make absolutely no apologies for making sure that we get back a young man to his parents.” The president characterized criticism of the deal as an example of the “controversies that are whipped up in Washington.” It’s true that questions about Bergdahl’s conduct five years ago have been shamelessly exploited by Republicans, some of whom earlier had called on the administration to secure his release or initially had welcomed the news that he would be freed. But not all of the criticism has been political. Former comrades have come forth to accuse Bergdahl of desertion, and to complain bitterly that the search for him cost the lives of several of his fellow soldiers (a claim that hasn’t been conclusively established). We agree with Obama that men and women who serve their country in uniform and fall into the hands of the enemy are entitled to special consideration. We wouldn’t extend that presumption to a soldier who clearly has defected to the enemy and taken up arms against his own country. But that isn’t an accurate description of Bergdahl. (Nor, of course, is national security advisor Susan Rice’s gratuitous comment that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction.” It’s possible to defend the deal that secured Bergdahl’s release without portraying him as a hero.) The last word on whether Bergdahl was “worthy” of rescue should go to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who wrote that “the questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover any U.S. service member in enemy captivity. This was likely the last, best opportunity to free him. As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we’ll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty.” – Los Angeles Times

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

• Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

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IR: Despite initial misgivings concerning the real intentions of the promoters of on-going National Conference, it has since kicked off with some very interesting issues already on its front burner. One of such issues is the one that deals with subjecting religious bodies to taxation. Some have argued that since some religious institutions make more money than most corporate organisations, they should be brought into the tax net. Others are of the view that the extreme flambouyant lifestyle of some religious leaders in the country is indicative of the excessive wealth at their disposal and as such the organisations which they preside over, which generate such excessive fund in the first place, must be subjected to taxation. Others have equally argued that the business ventures of most of these religious bodies should be subjected to taxation since they are strictly profit making undertakings. Those who are against the move have argued that since the income of religious bodies are largely made up of voluntary gifts, donations, offerings and contributions from willing members, who have already paid taxes on their income, taxing them would only amount to double taxation. Another argument that has been put forward by those opposed to taxation of religious bodies is that what they bring to the table in terms of providing spiritual coverage for the country is invaluable. Consequently, subjecting them to taxation would be considered an act of ingratitude by the government. For one, the current debate on taxation of religious bodies should be seen as a wake- up call by religious leaders in the country, a reflection of the mood of some Nigerians in respect of the ungodly activities of some of them . It is generally believed that some of the religious organisations in the country have become business empires of their leaders who have become cult



Religious bodies and taxation

–figures being worshipped as gods by their followers. Some of them have been accused of subjecting their followers to lives of penury and distress while they continue to live in unbelievable opulence and extravagance. The call for taxation of religious bodies should, therefore, be seen as a manifestation of current thinking in the land that some of them are mere business conglomerates established to oil the insatiable thirst of their leaders for material acquisi-


tion. It is, indeed, paradoxical that some religious leaders, who preach the transient nature of the world to their followers, now go to any length to acquire worldly opulence. Years ago, calling for religious bodies and their leaders to be taxed, would have been regarded by many as a blasphemous move. However, current trend within our religious organizations has shown that lots of them have sacrificed piety on the altar of mundane pursuit. It is, for instance, immoral and

unjustifiable for religious bodies to establish institutions of learning that charge fees that are beyond the reach of majority of their members. In the pre-colonial and colonial periods, when European missionaries introduced western education into the country, what they offered was fee education. Their ultimate goal was to massively educate the people. Indeed, most modern day religious leaders benefited from the free education programme of the early missionaries. It is, thus, ironic

nor gets a mansion, the deputy gets an accommodation allowance of 300 per cent of his/her annual basic salary, among other bogus provisions. The excuse given by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sam Ikon that “the bill seeks ways to motivate the governors and deputy governors to stay focused and not loot public funds, bearing in mind that a provision has been made for them to still access a comfortable life after many years of selfless service” is unconvincing. No matter how rich a person is, he/ she could still be corrupt if he/she chooses to, because those accused of graft cannot be said to be poor. Approving such unjustifiable and colossal sums of money for a few persons from the public purse is not only unfair but a destructive path to depleting the state’s finances. I am sure that if the legislators had subjected the Pension Bill to a thorough debate during the public hear-

ing process, it would have been logically dissected and most likely, dumped. This was never allowed. Over the years, the astronomical increase in the remunerations of political office holders has been a subject of concern with the loud call for a drastic cut in such jumbo package amid the country’s fragile economy. Apart from fat salaries, all sorts of allowances are packaged for the political class under the guise of severance allowance. It is this lucrative nature of Nigerian politics that encourages the door-die mentality. ThAs rich as the United States of America coupled with the fact that its constitution makes room for its President to enjoy life pension, Americans are beginning to complain of the huge cost of implementing such welfare provision in the midst of many, pressing national demands. For us, we do not seem to be too keen in copying what is good from other

that same people could preside over organisations that are taking education beyond the reach of the ordinary folks. By and large, the lesson to take away from the controversial issue of taxation of religious organisations is that religious bodies and their leaders should focus more on rebuilding the collapse spiritual fabric of the society. It is ethically wrong for some of our religious leaders to display extreme affluence in the face of so much poverty, hunger, frustration and impoverishment in the society. Instead of encouraging pointless display of materialism, they need to work hard to ensure the regeneration of waning divine principles such as contentment, selflessness, discipline, integrity and love within their organisations, and the society at large. • Tayo Ogunbiyi , Alausa-Ikeja, Lagos

Lawmakers and good governance

IR: After much pressure and criticisms from virtually all quarters, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio has finally sent a bill to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, requesting that the controversial Pension Act revert to status quo ante. The uturn by the governor is nothing but a serious indictment on the legislators and the legislature as an institution. The bill, which was initially sent to the state House of Assembly, was hurriedly and unprofessionally passed despite public outcry that greeted it. Titled: “Akwa Ibom State Governors and Deputy Governors Pension Act, 2014”, it provides that the governor and his wife should access annual medical services at a sum not exceeding N100 million or an equivalent of $600,000 and for the deputy governor and his/her spouse N30 million or an equivalent of $200,000. While the gover-

nations like America that we fashioned our federal constitution after. We should collectively appreciate that the essence of democracy would be defeated if our law makers continue to act like lawbreakers. As the arm of government that defines democratic rule, intense searchlights - which are mostly beamed on the executive, and occasionally on the judiciary - should be redirected at the legislature. It is due to these unpleasant complaints that have spurred the renewed call that the country should adopt part-time and unicameral legislature. Our parliament should sit-up and really be the hallowed chamber that is truly independent of the tempting, overbearing and manipulative influence of the executive. • Adewale Kupoluyi Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta




Still mocking MKO’s memory?


HO knows that without June 12, 1993, Chief M.K.O Abiola would still have been alive today? It was an unarguable day when Nigeria experienced the fre-

est and fairest national election. Abiola contested and when he was to be declared winner as President of the federation, the devil stormed in to use vessels of darkness to extirpate the desire of the people. Eventually, MKO gave his life and everything in him for the sake of all and peace in this country. The day of his victory is not being honoured. Rather, it is May 29, 1999 when the military went back to the barracks that is today being tasked as democracy day. Last year when the pathetic episode struck 20 years, President Goodluck Jonathan admitted that MKO won the election and declared appreciation on June 12 as a unique day that has changed the political history of this country in one way or the other. He described the day in which a presidential election, widely adjudged as the pre-eminent in Nigeria’s chronicles, was annulled, as an outstanding day in the nation’s history that should be acknowledged. As his pronouncement made good sense, the president attempted to honour MKO with renaming the University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University. Many saw that as a mere token to a winner who was accepted across the country. It was regarded as a premeditation to mock the memories of MKO as the name of the institution was changed to his name without changing the law. Perhaps, this is why that token – re-naming UNILAG to MAULAG - which did not even go through due process, squandered like a cube of sugar in an ocean. Today, UNILAG has not become MAULAG and Mr. President no longer says anything about it. That means, MKO has remained denied of honour under successive political administrations. While some appreciative states, in considering the actual concept of true democracy, had declared June 12 as a public holiday to celebrate the remarkable electoral event, the cen-

‘We need leaders who have integrity and are selfless in service. It is then that Nigeria will ascend and never plunge again, and will manifest admissibility on the world map’

tral authority seems failing to recognise it as the real democracy day when election was carried out inimitably the way it should. To avert doubt, the June 12 1993 presidential elections were emblematic in many ways. Apart from being the most peaceful, freest and fairest elections ever held in Nigeria since independence, the man who won and his running mate were both Muslims unlike how religion is being used to politicize the nation today. It was an event celebrated and adorned by local, national and international observers as it discarded both ethnic and primal sentiments to elect a leader of choice. It remains on record that there was no witness of violence, intimidation, snatching of ballot boxes, multiple voting, rigging as we are being scared to enforce in elections these days. Indeed, there was no protest from any part of the country until IBB and his cronies started wielding ethnic tags to impede the unvoiced insurrection. Yet, whether it is acknowledged or not, June 12, 1993 was a watershed in the history of Nigeria. The day the voting happened still remains fresh in the reminiscences of those who witnessed it or were informed. Nigerians experienced robust election campaigns and mobilization of the electorate to participate in the process. But at the same moment, Senator Arthur Nzeribe-led Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) started doing the bidding of IBB administration key figures to mobilise against the transition to civil rule. The association went to court to seek the stoppage of the June 12 election. But a Lagos High Court had to declare at the last moment that ABN was not even properly registered. Notwithstanding, the elections took place. Abiola beat Bashir Tofa in his electoral ward to prove his level of acceptability across the nation. No sooner had National Electoral Commission began a state-by-state announcement of election results, that General Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) announced the annulment of the election. IBB who might have thought it ‘wise’ to annul the elections that were so free and fair and in which MKO evidently won in the home state of his opponent must by now in his heart be seeing the inanity of the unworthy step he took. He gained nothing from denying MKO of the will of the people. Thinking he was stepping aside for a while, he never dreamt of Sani Abacha’s tyrannical rule that eventually took over to plunk the glory of the nation. Invalidation of the June 12 election trembled the nation, and since then, we have been witnessing many changes - more for worse. The crises that emanated from the annulment brought to the fore the fundamental political cracks in Nigeria’s polity. As once stated by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, “when Abiola won the June 12, 1993 election, we thought we had put electoral fraud behind us; many years after, we are still grappling with it.” According to him, “INEC has not witnessed any serious structural change, but vast results of fraud that forced progressives to go to court. The court exposed the fraud and

gave back the people their mandate, especially in the Southwest and Edo State. Elections in the 21st century are made to reflect the technology of today.” Although IBB is still alive, he is surely not whom he thought he should be today. He is barely more than an ordinary citizen, not esteemed and privileged the way he should be as a leader. The same with other leaders who took the wrong steps. Last week, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Castello, daughter of MKO and Kudirat said her father is greater than former President Olusegun Obasanjo. She was responding to a recent acknowledgment by Obasanjo, and declared that her father never needed OBJ’s recognition, because “MKO was a greater man” through his dedication to the cause of the common man and a better Nigeria. Talking at a rally, Hafsat said: “If he (Obasanjo) wants to recognise MKO Abiola now it is good for him, but MKO was always the greater man and you cannot recognise somebody that is more than you. MKO Abiola did not require President Obasanjo to recognise him. He required Nigerians to see his heart and they did. That was why they rewarded him with the June 12 election, an election that was so free and fair that no Nigerian leader can claim that kind of mandate till today.” Beyond the declaration of June 12 as public holiday as being done in states in the South-west and the naming of monuments after the acclaimed MKO, analysts believe that our leaders need to take a cue from MKO’s life of sacrifice. Many of today’s politicians rose to power on the fall of him who paid the supreme price for democracy. Instead of being a democracy day, May 29 is self-esteem. Meanwhile, June 12 is a panNigerian mandate as it is not about MKO or Yoruba race. It is more about the communal yearning of Nigerians from various walks of life and political divides to say no to martial domineering and absolute rule, and yes to egalitarianism and social equality. June 12 is noteworthy because it was a match changer and an exemplar shift that ruined the mould clearly and decisively on such a scale that it became necessary to modify conjectures and pigeonholes about the electorate. It was a day when all Nigerians came together, forgot about sentiments, be it ethnic or religious, and came mutually to proceed as one. If only this, the Federal Government must be overwhelmed to make June 12 celebration a national event. For an administration truly desiring to transform this country, it is time to learn from June 12 and imbibe all the ideals of it. What are these ideals? They include ballot integrity; freedom of choice; farewell to poverty and standing for justice. Fairness and equity have eluded Nigerians, which is why there is now insecurity of lives and property in quantum. The people of this nation can only unite under an umbrella of righteousness, fairness and equity. We need leaders who have integrity and are selfless in service. It is then that Nigeria will ascend and never plunge again, and will manifest admissibility on the world map.

Fani-Kayode’s freedom of bondage

the party are made up of almost exclusively Muslims is unacceptable to me.” It is unclear which “substantive positions” he was referring to, given the fact that the party convention to fill such positions was still ahead at the time he made his claim. He also alleged that “a number of leading people” in the party “question the secularity of the state”, which is clearly far-fetched and probably designed to reinforce his allegation of “sympathies for Boko Haram.” For a self-characterised “servant of truth”, he has evidently been unfaithful to fact in these accusations, which gives him away as not only desperate to create a basis for disconnection but also anxious for acceptance. His resort to apparent untruths in order to advance his political career does not deserve compliments, just as his adoption of aggressive tactics which continues to distinguish him whenever he takes sides politically. Has the PDP forgotten so soon, in the euphoria of the moment, just how caustic and devastatingly pugilistic he could be? The party perhaps needs to be reminded of the ferocity of oppositional bashing that he gave Jonathan while he was outside. Or maybe that does not matter anymore; it must be a relief to have him back on their side. Interestingly, he provided proof of his self-description as “a lover of poetry” by his coinage of “Haramites” to refer to those who supposedly have a Boko Haram mentality. He declared, “I am not prepared to stay and fight from within because the presence of any closet Haramites on the same political platform as me is something that I find utterly repugnant.” Still on self-definition from his Twitter account where he also calls himself “a believer in God”, it is difficult to associate the divine with the opposite of truth, reliability and integrity; and the latest performance by Fani-Kayode certainly fell short of these values.


EFORE the crucifixion of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Aviation Minister, ex-partisan of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and returnee devotee of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by observers who may consider his latest flip-flop as perhaps a reflection of his instability and crass opportunism, it is important to point out that he is entitled to his freedoms. To start with, he has freedom of thought, also known as the freedom of conscience or ideas, meaning that he can hold an independent viewpoint. In addition, he has freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion or belief, among others. However, paradoxically, it is possible to be in bondage even while exercising freedom, on account of the fact that the thought could be thoughtless, the conscience could be confused, the association could be awry, and the religion could be religiosity. With the 2015 general elections in view and the escalation of rivalry between the country’s principal parties, it is logical to think that Fani-Kayode probably has his eyes on an attraction that he possibly reasoned was beyond his reach if he remained in the APC. So his apparent wander-lust can be appreciated in the context of personal ambition, and he unquestionably has a right to aspire to the ceiling of his dreams. But it is possible to question his subservience to the ladder. To preceptive minds, the evidence of incompatibility was ever-present and only required time to attain maturity and full manifestation. His sensational April visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, about two months after formally joining the APC was a pointer that he might be rethinking his political association. Indeed, on the occasion he seemed to have been preparing people’s hearts and minds for a certain eventuality, which happened on June 2 with his publicised return to the PDP. At the time, in answer to curious reporters, he said: “The step I will take will be made known to Nigerians at the right time.” There is no doubt that the timing of his defection was well-calculated and strategic, coming a few days to the first APC National Convention, scheduled for June 13, where a substantive national leadership is expected to emerge and take the place of the Interim National Executive Committee that has managed the party’s affairs since last year following a multi-party merger. He said, in a loaded valedictory statement, “I was not only a member of the APC but I was also a leader of that party and a foundational member.” He then followed with a declaration that was not exactly a sucker punch: “I have left the APC and gone back to the PDP. I wish the APC well in all their endeavours, but as at today, we have parted ways forever and my spirit has left them.” It is enlightening that he sounded convinced about the irreversibility of his move; and it is apt to wonder whether his spirit was ever with the party, or even in the party. It may be premature to conclusively determine the damage his exit possibly inflicted on the party, but there is

realistically likely to be a cost implication. Not surprisingly, the PDP is gloating, and has taken opportunistic advantage of the development, claiming that Fani-Kayode’s reasons for dissociation support its position that the APC is “averse to the unity of the country.” According to its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, “We have now been vindicated. The truth may be hidden for sometime but it has a way of expressing itself. The world can now see that we do not speak for nothing.” Fani-Kayode’s disturbingly damning allegations certainly deserve contemplation, particularly because they were made by an individual who reasonably could be expected to have an insight into the management of the party. “I cannot remain in a party where a handful of people that have sympathies for Boko Haram and that have a clear Islamic agenda are playing a leading role,” he said, with alarming conviction. It is on record that he expressed opposition to an alleged plan by the party to present a Muslim/Muslim combination for next year’s presidential election. Even if this was true, and there is nothing fundamentally evil about the idea, it is a puzzle how such arrangement translates into having a soft spot for the Islamist militia that has terrorised the country since 2009. His reasoning betrayed a self-serving perspective that suggested he was possibly unhappy about his ranking in the party but employed the sentimental argument of religious discrimination to cover the bitterness of personal disappointment. According to him, “ I believe that religion ought to play no part in politics but a situation where members of the Christian faith are not treated as equals and where all substantive positions of the national executive of

‘His resort to apparent untruths in order to advance his political career does not deserve compliments, just as his adoption of aggressive tactics which continues to distinguish him whenever he takes sides politically. Has the PDP forgotten so soon, in the euphoria of the moment, just how caustic and devastatingly pugilistic he could be? The party perhaps needs to be reminded of the ferocity of oppositional bashing that he gave Jonathan while he was outside. Or maybe that does not matter anymore; it must be a relief to have him back on their side’





F one finds himself commenting fairly regularly on events surrounding the raging insecurity in this country, it is dictated by the current mood of the nation. Hardly does a day pass by without fresh dimensions to the terrorism scourge that has held this country on the throat in the past couple of years now. With heightened local and international attention and efforts to facilitate the release of the abducted Chibok girls and possibly end the reign of terror, it is not out of place that other issues of our national being seem to have taken the back seat. Even the wheel of government has been considerably slowed down by the development. The situation is likely to remain so until substantial progress has been made on these daunting tasks. That largely accounted for the resentment that greeted the purported banning of the free the Chibok girls’ protests in the Federal Capital Territory FCT by the commissioner of police Mr. Joseph Mbu. Mbu had at a press conference announced the banning of all forms of demonstrations on the Chibok girls in and around the FCT on account of the current insecurity. He rationalized the order on the fear that such demonstrations were loaded with the frightening prospects of hijack by terrorists and other evil minded people to wreak havoc by detonating bombs within the FCT. As should be expected, the ban generated wide criticisms because it infringed on the constitutional rights of the citizenry to freedom of association and expression as amply guaranteed in a democracy. Apparently sensing the contradiction in the ban especially with the serious interest the Chibok girls’ abduction had garnered, the Inspector- General of Police IGP, Muhammed Abubakar came out the next day to clarify that such a ban was not in force. He said the statement

‘The right thing to do is to build a formidable partnership with the relevant civil society groups and other bodies in the states very prone to insurgency to denounce the evil which terrorism is’


Emeka OMEIHE 08112662675 email:

Of Chibok girls’ protests’ ban by Mbu was an advisory notice enjoining citizens to apply caution in the said rallies particularly in the FCT and its environs. The IGP made references to the same intelligence reports on the possibility of the protests being hijacked and advised citizens against protests and rallies until existing threats are neutralized. The intervention by Abubakar has been interpreted variously. There are those who see it as a vote of no confidence on Mbu and have therefore called for his sack. Others view the clarification as soft landing for an errant police commissioner who issued an order without the authority of his superiors. Yet there are some others who find it difficult to discern any fundamental difference between Mbu’s order and the clarification from the IGP, except the latter avoided the word ban. This is because, the IGP, apart from reaffirming extant order that such demonstrations will have to be under police permission, did not leave anyone with any shred of doubt on the risk which such protesters face. That is the purport of the warning that those planning such rallies should seek proper guidance and advice from the police ‘to avoid unpleasant circumstances’. They also did not vary from Mbu’s reasons for limiting such rallies. The same fear of possible infiltration and hijack by terrorist elements featured in their clarification. It would therefore seem that Mbu was not actually on his own when he issued the initial statement.

ONDERS shall never end in Nigeria. Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, recently signed into law an outrageous Amended Pension Bill, that would have been effective June 1, but for public uproar. It is not as if this law is new. We were told it was made in 2001 and amended in 2006 with the third amendment now signed into law before Akpabio’s decision to reverse himself. The breakdown of this new pension package is as follows: N100m annual medical bill to be paid to former governors, and N50m to their deputies, for life! Even though some are known to have acquired mansions with public funds in juicy cities in Nigeria and abroad, former governors would still be provided with “a befitting house” not below a five-bedroom maisonette in Abuja or the state, furnished with an allowance of 300% of annual basic salary in every four years. For mobility, the ex-governor gets a new official car and a utility vehicle also in every four years. Because he should not spend a kobo of his own on fuelling and maintenance of the two vehicles, he gets a yearly allowance of 300% of his annual basic salary. He is also entitled to entertain his friends and well wishers with 100% of his annual basic salary. Because he is leaving power and opulence behind, he is awarded a severance gratuity of 300% of his annual basic salary. Included are also provisions of funds to employ a cook, chauffeurs and security guards at a sum of N5m per annum and N2m for their deputies. The bill is not done yet. Even after the death of the governor, the allowances continue. Widows of ex-governors would receive a minimum of N1 million a year for medical expenses, while those of ex-deputy governors would receive N500,000, for life! Because his death is special like no other, the state shall bear full cost of his burial and pay a “condolence allowance” (whatever that means) equivalent of his annual basic salary to his nextof-kin. While we focus on the governor of Akwa Ibom State and the legislators for their extreme greed, naïve and insensitive pension scheme, the fact of the matter is that the same scheme is replicated in other states of the federation and, indeed, the presidency. Imagine how much of public funds would be wasted on a former governor if he lives for 25 years or more on these outrageous allowances after the end of his tenure! Why should a retiree who had worked for 35 years be subjected to excruciating verification exercises for a paltry sum of pension that

He could not have possibly been. What played out was that the police authorities ran into the contradiction of having to ban rallies in a democracy and moved quickly to save the situation. It is also not unlikely they must have come under intense pressure from their foreign partners in the Chibok girls’ release engagement. Even then, Mbu had in his initial outing raised issues on the propriety of the persisting protests by the release the Chibok girls group. Hear him, when you continue to do it (protests) persistently, it becomes a nuisance to the government. People have been protesting for over a month now. It is the issue of terrorism it is not solved in one day” That is the moot point that must come into focus in any assessment of the continued desirability of the protests. Yes, the importance of keeping the predicament of the poor girls within the public domain cannot be discountenanced. By drawing government attention to the dangers inherent in the continued incarceration of the girls and their possible abuse in the hands of their abductors, the protests would ensure that the government gives the matter the right attention it deserves. This was especially the case within the first few weeks of the abduction when there were doubts regarding the responses of the government to the matter. But that is not the situation now. Having amassed a formidable coalition of super

powers to secure the release of the girls and tame the scourge of terrorism, the response of the government is no longer in doubt. Its commitment to that objective is a matter of public knowledge. It is then curious what persistent protests can achieve at this point in time. If it is to raise the consciousness of the authorities to the matter and the concomitant imperative for quick action, that objective has already been achieved. If the objective is to get the girls released with great speed and at all costs, one is afraid this option has been flawed by the peculiar nature of the engagement. The military high command has told who cares to hear that they have an idea of where the girls are. They have also said they are constrained in applying full force because they fear their abductors will harm the girls in the event of such a confrontation. We have also heard of backdoor negotiations and other efforts. These are matters of public knowledge. The leader of the protesting group, Oby Ezekwesili seemed to have come to terms with this reality when she modified their slogan to ‘Bring Back Our Girls Now and Alive’. The need for the girls to come back alive does not permit the mob action which the persisting demonstrations seem to suggest. With the formidable coalition that has been put in place, sitting out at one corner in Abuja in the name of protests may not add much in the current efforts by the military. The predicament of the Chibok girls though devastating and chilling is not all there is to the current insurgency in the country. Since that unfortunate incident, hundreds of people including soldiers have lost their lives to the festering terrorism. The lives of these people are as equally important as those of the young girls who are still hopefully alive. These are the issues to contend with and they are not unconnected with the position of the police on the matter. The right thing to do is to build a formidable partnership with the relevant civil society groups and other bodies in the states very prone to insurgency to denounce the evil which terrorism is. We must fight terrorism with all the resources available. Even if we succeed in securing the release of the Chibok girls today, a new set of girls may become victims tomorrow. That is the dilemma in singling out the girls’ fate as if it is all there is to the debilitating insurgency. The demonstrators need a more holistic perspective to their campaigns.

Akpabio pension law By Moses Akinola Makinde cannot even take care of his medical bills, feeding and transportation for him and his family while a former governor who served for only four or eight years goes scot free with all the scandalous medical and other pension allowances awarded to himself? It is simply abominable. That we have this kind of situation in Nigeria is not surprising. Although we say that democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people, we cannot say that our democracy follows this noble path for, at best, our own brand of democracy has been twisted to mean a government of the people hijacked by roguish elites, and for the roguish elites! This, in essence, shows that the problem we face in Nigeria is that of democracy. Surely, if we have a true democracy, there can be no way a governor like Akpabio would act like a monarch, and the president like an emperor. While we appreciate the positive contribution of Akpabio to the development of his state, we say emphatically that whatever contribution he has made to the state should not be a license for him to empty the treasury in order to take care of himself and his family for life, after leaving office. This makes Nigeria different from the rest of the world as a country where people take up elective or appointive positions for no other reason than to amass wealth. The allowances in the governor’s pension package are obscene and sinful when you consider them along with the general poverty in the country, the massive youth unemployment, the agonising cries of workers and pensioners whose meagre salaries are usually not paid in time or, in the case of pensioners, sometimes not paid at all. Yet this is a governor who does not lack anything in life, and can take care of himself and his family, for the rest of his life and for his next generations. His case and those of others who may be planning to follow suit are that of pathological greed, and a sin against the poor citizens of the state. The governor is however not the only person who has sinned against the people who elected him to serve, and not to cheat them. In this connection, we strongly condemn the indecent haste with which the Akwa Ibom leg-

islators passed the outrageous executive bill. With such an act like that of the governor and the legislators, we can see that the expectations of such rewards in politics explain why politicians kill themselves by making elections a do-or-die business, like going to war. Above all, it is an unpardonable sin against humanity and especially the good people of Akwa Ibom State. And when all is said, Governor Akpabio’s pension scheme for ex-governors and their deputies shows clearly PDP’s warped conception of democratic governance. It is welcome news that the governor is reported to have taken steps to repeal it. Kudos to the people of the state and Nigerians in general whose vociferous criticism of the law forced the governor to promise to repeal it. But it was a law that ought not to have been made in the first place. • Prof Makinde, FNAL is DG/CEO Awolowo Centre for Philosophy, Ideology and Good Governance, Osogbo, Osun State.

‘The governor is however not the only person who has sinned against the people who elected him to serve... In this connection, we strongly condemn the indecent haste with which the Akwa Ibom legislators passed the outrageous executive bill. With such an act like that of the governor and the legislators, we can see that the expectations of such rewards in politics explain why politicians kill themselves by making elections a do-ordie business, like going to war’















Fed Govt’s ports policies hurting economy - P. 37 News Briefing Stock Exchange begins enforcement of online disclosures July 5 THE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will on July 5 start effective enforcement of new rules and regulations that impose additional sanctions on quoted companies for any inaccurate, misleading, false or deceptive information made available to the investing public through the NSE’s portal. –Page 26

‘Why housing for all remains dream’ THE gap between the cost of owning a house and the income of the intended beneficiary has been identified as a major constraint in the drive to provide housing for all. –Page 26

African regulators seek uniform guidelines on e-insurance

NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga

‘The odd is against local textile mills’ - P. 27

Investments in Nigerdock’s SIIFZ hit $1b J AGAL Group has so far invested over $1 billion on the development of the Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ) owned by Nigerdock, its subsidiary. Chairman, Jagal Group, Anwar Jarmakani, disclosed this on the sideline when the Minister of Trade and Investments, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, paid a working visit to SIIFZ. Jarmakani who spoke to The Nation during the visit said over the last three years, SIIFZ has attracted direct investment to the tune of over $230 million, adding that the totality of investment in the zone today is in the region of $1 billion. “We are not talking about what we will invest but about what we have invested so far,” he said. According to him, the investments were made on infrastructure, technology and

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

manpower development, among others. He said: “The area of infrastructure development is essential to the advancement of SIIFZ. Significant capital investment has been made in the provision of infrastructure in the key areas of the zone. As a result, SIIFZ has developed jetties, quay sides, roadways, electrical power plant and power distribution, state-of-the-art telecommunications, fibre-optic installations throughout the zone, water treatment and sewage management facilities, 24/7 emergency fire and medical response services, including a fully fitted medical clinic along with International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) certified security apparatus of more than

200 operatives. “Several warehouses and purpose built facilities have been added throughout the zone, including more than 300,000 square metre (m2) of warehousing, laid down areas, quay sides, docks and other purpose built manufacturing facilities. There has been significant expansion on staff, housing and canteen facilities throughout the zone resulting in more than 500 per cent growth in these areas.” The Jagal chief also said significant private investment has been made by both the zone promoter and other enterprises with a view to improving the operational capabilities in support of ongoing activities. The current population of cranes and specialised lifting equipment at SIIFZ is un-

matched in terms of its number and capacity. He also said the company has developed the largest specialised training school with the highest level of certification in the industry providing training courses to NNPC, Mobil, Shell and others adding that all of their training is to world class standards, in an effort to build much needed capacity in the country. He said that the company has trained to certification not less than 1,460 Nigerians and generated well over 5,000 employment opportunities for Nigerians, which he said is verifiable. This is aside from those who have gained hands on experience as a result of being exposed to the latest state of the art technologies in the ordinary course of their employment within the free zone, he added. He said: “The company has

THE 41 st General Assembly and Conference of African Insurance Organisation (AIO) has issued a nine-points communiqué tasking African insurance regulators to formulate and articulate appropriate regulatory framework. –Page 34

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8% Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $45b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

• From left: Non executive director, Mr. Jonathan Ogungbola; managing director, Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi and company secretary, Mrs. Olutosin Aarinola, all of Propertygate Development and Investment Plc during the company’s 5th Annual General meeting in Lagos


Rwandan president urges insurance prioritisation for financial inclusion From Omobola Tolu-Kusimo, in Rwanda


HE role of insurance in financial inclusion is still too often, an after thought for most governments in Africa and must change, Rwandan President, Paul Kagame has said. Kagame who spoke at the just concluded 41st African Insurance Organisation (AIO) Conference and General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda attended by insurers across the continent, said African government must take insurance seriously in the next decade. He noted that without insurance, government across the continent cannot drive care, provide infrastructure and allay the fears of the people. He added that the penetration of insurance in Africa is a challenge but an opportunity the insurers need to harness. According to the president, the untapped potential is huge. He said: “Everyone from the farmer seeking to produce with technology to the entrepreneur dreaming to build his business to parents who want to protect their family and many more can only be protected through insurance. The government cannot provide care for the people without keying into insurance themselves. “Underneath the spreadsheets and financials, insurance is about the people, their business and their fears. A person can lose everything but with insurance, life is less scary. “Without insurance, we cannot drive the economy has we should as a government.” He urged insurers to continue to add their input and set agenda the people.

Nigeria gets EU, UNIDO’s N2.5b for standardisation

HE European Union (EU), through the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO), has made available 12 million euros (about N2.5billion) for the establishment of National Accreditation System in Nigeria, Country and West Africa Director, UNIDO, Dr. Patrick Kormawa has said. Kormawa said the private sector has identified some problems and has shown its willingness to work with UNIDO, the EU and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment so as to increase the competitiveness of locally made products at the international market place.

By Toba Agboola

He said the organisation has agreed to use five mechanisms which will build the capacity of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) so that it can create awareness for the consumer to ask for quality products. He said: “It is one thing to produce a quality product but if the consumers do not know the difference between high quality and low quality products, they will not demand for it. The consultation with the OPS (organised private sector) within the national quality infrastructure project is an EU-funded project but implemented by UNIDO with the support of the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and

Investment. “The project has the objective of improving the quality of products made in Nigeria so that they can be sold internally and in international market.” “The timeframe for this project is four years and we have already started; we are now half a year into the programme and a lot of consultations have been taking place both within the public and private sector. You cannot improve on your GDP )gross domestic product) if you do not produce products in Nigeria and sell them in the international market. We also will not provide the needed jobs in this country if we are not able to manufacture products here and trade them in the interna-

tional or regional market.” Kormawa said it is hoped were that the initiative will produce legislation that will contain a national quality policy, establish an internationally recognised National Accreditation Body that will vet the activities of regulatory agencies such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC). He said it will help develop a National Metrology Institute to ensure that instruments are of international standards, improve the capacity of the OPS to conform to standards as well as establish conformity assess-

ment bodies. It will also enhance the powers of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and other consumer organisations to sensitise consumers on quality standards as well as ensure improved consumer protection. “But for us to be able to trade, we need to at least meet basic quality requirements; most of the products that are made in this country are rejected because they do not meet certain basic quality requirements,” Kormawa said. National Accreditation System is a body that is competent to carry out specific tasks in terms of the accreditation for conformity assessment, calibration and good laboratory practice.





Stock Exchange begins enforcement of online disclosures July 5

HE Nigerian Stock Ex change (NSE) will on July 5 start effective enforcement of new rules and regulations that impose additional sanctions on quoted companies for any inaccurate, misleading, false or deceptive information made available to the investing public through the NSE’s portal. In a notification obtained at the weekend by The Nation, Head, Legal and Regulation Department, NSE, Tinuade Awe, stated that the Exchange would begin effective enforcement of the provisions of the rules on online disclosures, otherwise known as Rules Governing

By Taofik Salako

the Use of Issuers’ Portal, on July 5 this year. According to her, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had approved the new rules and the rules became effective in January 2014, the NSE has decided to begin enforcement of the new rules next month. She however noted that the enforcement of two provisions of the rules will be delayed till January 1, 2015. Under the two provisions in section 9, subsection A and B

of the rules, companies which violate main rules governing the informationdisclosure portal of the NSE would be liable to a fine of 50 per cent of their annual listing fees. The new rules require companies to indemnify the NSE for all damages or loss it may suffer as a result of any inaccurate, misleading, false or deceptive statement contained in the information they submit to it through the issuers’ portal. According to the rules, i t ’ s c o m p u l s o r y f o r al l

quoted companies to use the issuers’ portal for submission of information to the Exchange in compliance with the listings rules, unless such information falls within an excluded category as the Exchange may in its sole discretion prescribe from time to time. The new rules designate the issuers’ portal as the single gateway for filing all periodic and structured and continuous disclosures. The rules described periodic and structured disclosures to include audited and unaudited financial statements,

earnings forecast and corporate actions. Continuous disclosures were described as notifications of material information including notice of annual general meeting, notice of board meeting, notice of change of auditors, notice of change of company secretary, notice of change of name and registered address, notice of change of registrars, notice of completion board meeting, notice of court ordered meeting, notice of directors dealings, notice of extra-ordinary general meeting and notice of resignation and appointment of directors.

• From left: Head, Human Resources, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), Mrs. Ibiene Okeleke; its Managing Director, Abiodun Ajifowobaje; Community Development Chairman, Chief Gbadamosi Olugbemiga; and Head, Commercial, IKEDC, Ms Bukky Ojurongbe during the customer forum held by IKEDC in Lagos.


Why housing for all remains dream, by expert

HE gap between the cost of owning a house and the income of the intended beneficiary has been identified as a major constraint in the drive to provide housing for all. Brigadier-General,Tunde Reis (rtd) said this is besides the high cost of obtaining titles to properties and the stress an intending property owner goes through to acquire same. Reis who is President, First World Communities Limited said in view of this, government needs to find creative ways like instituting shared equity, a system that allows a citizen to pay 40 per cent of a property value,

By Muyiwa Lucas

while government pays up the remaining 60 per cent, to bridge the gap so that as the economy of the individual improves, he can gradually buy out government equity on the house. Reis said delivering affordable houses can be made much easier on the part of developers and individuals if government can be more proactive in creating an enabling environment, especially by tackling the bureaucratic process in the issuance of property titles. If this is done he said there will be stimulation for large scale delivery of affordable

housing. “It is not just about mortgages, government needs to ensure that those mortgages are affordable. Without funding, either through policy or by direct government intervention, it is going to be quite challenging for people to buy houses,” he said. He explained that one of the major reasons the nation has found herself in the predicament of over 17 million housing units deficit bothers on government’s inability to modernise the housing delivery system. This he said has not been addressed through direct government policy and intervention over

the years. He listed rapid urbanisation as another factor which being daily compounded as a result of increasing population. Reis said it is estimated that more than 50 per cent of the country’s population now reside in urban locations, and this in a way, pushes the demand for housing higher. Unfortunately, he said, government has not responded at the same pace to provide housing for the population. Though he is in support of vertical housing development, he however said the technical ability and financial muscle to execute such is huge.

“Before you can start thinking of building horizontally or vertically, you have to take care of a number of things. First, building vertically is expensive and requires superior technology. You have to ensure that you have the right kind of builders to achieve that and also have the required funding to do that. Where you don’t have an effective housing finance system, it is difficult to do vertical development. “People do horizontal housing development because it can be done incrementally; that is, as money becomes available, you build a little bit. But you cannot do that when you are doing vertical development.”

Broadband will spur economic development, says NCC chief


EGULATOR of the telecoms sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the provision of affordable, reliable and ubiquitous broadband across the country will spur economic growth and significantly grow the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Its Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Eugene Juwah said broadband deployment will redefine everything, ranging from education, health, agriculture and even entertainment. He said: “The catalytic role and contribution of broadband services to an economy is well documented. The economic impact of broadband is positive as shown from studies of the

By Lucas Ajanaku

World Bank which showed that every 10 per cent points increase in broadband penetration leads to a 1.38 per cent growth in GDP. The impact of broadband penetration on national development is immense. Some of the positive economic impact of broadband can be seen in entertainment, agriculture, commerce, education and energy management.” According to him, Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry has been ranked third in size only behind the United States (US) Hollywood and India’s Bollywood, adding that the largest consumer demands for bandwidth are coming from music, movies, videos, TV shows and radio content downloads. “The demand to download

video content, such as a movie or TV show, within a short timeframe requires significant bandwidth. With the availability of broadband access, another means for entertainment businesses to distribute their content and provide access to users becomes possible. This greatly expands the reach for entertainment businesses and broadcasters to reach their target audiences anywhere in the world,” Juwah said during the inauguration of Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) in Lagos. According to the EVC, broadband access provides agriculture businesses the means to get relevant and timely information on weather updates, since the quality of crops and other tasks depend in large part on weather. He said the proper timing of planting activities in

line with favourable weather conditions often promotes high yield while fast online access to websites that share best practices makes it possible for farmers to learn about farming management practices. He said: “The potential market for the produce from agric based businesses increases dramatically with access to broadband access, where different content depicting the produce available in these businesses can be marketed online. Also, information on the availability of livestock and seed crops can be assessed on-line. Also farmers who use broadband to access pricing information online are likely to gain bargaining power and make more educated marketing or purchasing decisions.” He said the growing levels of internet access and continued

rollout of broadband infrastructure are driving the growth of e-commerce and m-commerce. Broadband is the information super highway of the 21st century that is accelerating global commerce at a rate never imagined before. He said: “An online presence increases the ability for businesses to be found, regardless of their physical location; and enables commerce to occur without having to physically visit the business premises. This enables businesses to be seen in different parts of the world without having to be physically present in the different locations. This saves businesses costs for space rental, maintenance of infrastructures etc at the physical locations it would have had to operate from without broadband and internet presence.”

Govt pledges support for FTZs By Akinola Ajibade


HE Federal govern ment will continue to support Free Trade Zones (FTZs) operations in order to maximise job creation potentials, facilitate trade and attract foreign direct investments (FDI), the Minister of Tradeand Investments, Dr Olusegun Aganga has said Aganga who spoke during a tour of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) base in Apapa over the weekend, said the development became imperative to improve the growth of the economy. He said operators of the FTZs were not satisfied with the level of government patronage, hence the need to fully implement the laws guiding the operations of the zones to further promote economic growth. He said: “Operations of Free Zones in Nigeria are guided by the NEPZA Act as well as the Nigerian Content Act 2010. The NEPZA Act setting them up has already guaranteed them all the necessary governments’ encouragements to make them operate optimally. “The whole idea is to be able to attract investors to these one-stop-shops and create jobs. So what we need to do as government is to make sure that all those things in paper are fully implemented.” Managing Director of LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi lauded the continued encouragement and supports being offered by government in sustaining the free zones.

Don advocates measures to reduce post-harvest losses By Daniel Essiet


CONSULTANT to the World Bank, Prof Abel Ogunwale said post–harvest losses continue to be a major contributing factor to the overall food insecurity. The causes of post-harvest losses, include: harvesting at an incorrect stage of produce maturity, excessive exposure to rain, drought or extremes of temperature, contamination by micro-organisms and physical damage that reduces the value of the product. Ogunwale, a lecturer in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso said food losses contribute to high food prices by removing part of the supply from the market. Many of the losses, which can be significantly reduced if there is adequate training, occur because of erroneous transport and packing practices. Ogunwale, said more than 45 per cent of local farming production is lost every year due to inadequate post-harvest management and household storage. According to him, a large number of food commodities are damaged or spoiled during harvest, processing, storage and transporting. Fortunately, there are many solutions available. He urged the government to established improved storage infrastructure to reduce food loss and increase food availability.




‘The odd is against local textile mills’ Despite the Federal Government’s N100 billion intervention fund, the textile industry remains prostrate. The stimulus fund, Mr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), tells OKWY IROEGBUCHIKEZIE, in this interview has not not solved any problem because there are “many forces” against the sector.


HERE are many fake and substandard products in the market, why is it so? It is due to the low level of compliance in the country. Most substandard products, especially the imported ones, come in with fake documentation, incorrect specification of document concealing the true properties of the products, particularly, the physical and chemical properties. The presence of substandard products in our markets depicts the decline in the value system of the country. Our system is easily compromised; there are many unscrupulous business people who specifically request for substandard products so that they can make a lot of profit. People indulge in this to cut corners. Unfortunately, the punishment for such offence is not rigid and fully implemented, therefore, the offenders get away with it. In other climes, if you commit such atrocities as importing or producing fake products, once you are caught, you pay dearly for it because there are consequences for infractions. But here, there are insufficient consequences, which is the reason the importation of substandard products, including cables and other life-threatening products, go on unhindered. If our system is such that adequately penalises those who commit crimes, there will be a reduction of such infractions. People easily bribe their ways through several channels, and that is why there is a preponderance of fake and substandard goods. All these portend a danger to the economy, especially safety issues. For instance, if you use substandard cables in your house, you run the risk of losing your life and savings. How can local manufacturers overcome the challenges of their products being faked? The local manufacturers can assist the regulatory agencies with intelligence because they have their own distributors in the markets, and it’s easier to get from them information such as who the importers are and the warehouse those goods are kept. It is only when the regulatory agencies have intelligence report that they will be able to make impact in terms of monitoring importation of substandard goods. Secondly, we need to also change our orientation because, sometimes, especially in the distributive trade sector, it’s like a jungle where you have survival of the fittest. People do all sort of things to ensure that they stay afloat. In the process, they compromise

• Yusuf

Profile Institutions attended

University of Ilorin; University of Lagos, (UNILAG).


First and Second Degrees in Economics

Previous positions

Deputy Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Present position

Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry.


21 years

standards, safety and basic values. There is too much of cutting corners because people want to make it big. I think it’s an orientation and culture issue that needs to be addressed by the government and the people, too. Severally, many businessmen go abroad to ask manufacturers to produce something that is of lower standard, not minding the consequences. Our system should have deterrent laws that penalise offenders because their absence has created chaos, which make those doing genuine business lose money while

those engaged in shady deals rake huge profit. People complain of poor quality of locallymade goods, but players in the cable sector say locally-made cables are the best? Locally-made cables are the best because they are under the watchful eyes of regulatory bodies, such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), unlike the fake and substandard ones that come in through irregular routes and channels. The regulatory agencies visit the factories of local manufacturers and insist on adherence to quality standards during the manu-

facturing process. Generally, Nigerian cables have that reputation though they may be a bit expensive than the imported ones. This also has its own challenge because some unscrupulous people import substandard cables and re-label them as Nigerian-made ones. But, unfortunately, we have not seen any convictions. Our justice system needs to help bring sanity to the manufacturing sector. If these economic saboteurs have been apprehended, convicted and publicised, others will sit up and do the right thing. But the kind of unwinding legal issues and system that we have, makes it almost impossible to ensure that fraudsters are convicted. Substandard toothpastes, toiletries and other household goods are on the increase. Some Nigerians now buy their toothpastes abroad for fear of injuring their health with substandard ones, what is your take on this? There are still some local top brands such as Maclean and Close-up. Generally, the bigger challenge is the multitude of brands that are coming in. There are some terrible ones you see and wonder how they were allowed to •Continued on page 28




‘The odd is against local textile mills’ •Continued from page 27

come in. Again, it boils down to how the economy is managed. Some people have the responsibility to ensure that not just anything is allowed in; that the correct import duties are paid and standards ensured. But due to the weakness of our institutions, unscrupulous people are not called to order. This should be addressed urgently not to kill the local industries. Jusst as we have fake and substandard toothpaste and pharmaceuticals, we also have all sorts of fake drugs and textiles. Almost every thing are allowed entry into the country. The fact is that we have weak institutions and people are not prosecuted. That is the reason we are faced with these problems. Would you say that SON is doing enough? Toothpastes and drugs are the work of NAFDAC, l believe they are doing their best but the problem facing them is gargantuan. The size of our borders is huge and, apparently, difficult to police, Besides, our borders are too porous. Look at our borders in the northern, southern and even the eastern parts of the country. What is the staff strength of our regulatory bodies compared to the enormity of work they are expected to do? The government should do well to strengthen their capacity to cope with the challenges confronting them. What does the nation stand to gain from the recently held World Economic Forum? It called global attention to our nation’s economy. I was reading in the papers that the Chinese Premier and head of government, led a delegation of over a 100 businessmen. The rebasing of our economy has generated renewed interest in the country and more investors would be interested in doing business here. Investors will want to come here to see what advantage they can take due to the size of the market. It presented opportunities for the world to come close to us and for strategic investors to come closer to us and to our policy makers in order to further explore opportunities for investment. It was an opportunity for us to showcase what we have to foreign investors. What benefits are there for the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs)? The World Economic Forum brand is a brand for the big players. I am not sure they are interested in the SMEs. It’s for the big players especially the multinationals. Even the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) had no invitation upon all our efforts to get an invite to the event. That is the way they have chosen to structure it. In any case, it is a private sector initiative. It is through investment in infrastructure that we can have vibrant SMEs that would create jobs and reduce poverty, in that way the income inequality will reduce. Has the N100 billion textile intervention fund been successful, considering that some companies in the sector are on receivership? I am aware that some of the textile companies accessed the fund and shortly afterwards went back to business as they were revived. But the problem of the textile industry is not just money though it is part of it but there are other issues they are grappling with. It’s not the kind of problem you throw money at unless you have an industry that is sustainable. If you throw in money into the sector, it can only push it to a point before the reality of competition and productivity will set in and you will be back to square one. Those in my view are the issues confronting the sector. The textile industry is faced with issues of technology, because many of the machines are obsolete. What are the challenges of the textile sector? They have issues with technology, massive importation of textile into the country from Asian countries and Turkey, which are relatively cheaper. Weak local patronage, smuggling, and unfortunately government awards contracts for fabrics that can be manufactured locally in our textile firms to contractors who prefer to import them from overseas especially the uniforms of military men. Besides, government doesn’t insist that they buy them locally. Our nation also has weak capacity to ensure discipline and enforce rules and this allows fraudulent importers to evade payment

• Yusuf

‘They have issues with technology, massive importation of textile into the country from Asian countries and Turkey, which are relatively cheaper. Weak local patronage, smuggling, and unfortunately government awards contracts for fabrics that can be manufactured locally in our textile firms to contractors who prefer to import them from overseas especially the uniforms of military men’

• Yusuf

of duties and other taxes making importation cheaper and more lucrative. Many of the known local brands are faked and smuggled into the country at half of the price and they use it to destroy the local manufacturer. You increase tariff and some people successfully avoid it, so the odd is against the local textile manufacturer. This practice is very high and government needs to do something about it. This is one of the reasons why the textile sector cannot function at the optimum. We should enforce our laws and regulations. What you see is that they say a product is banned and you see the same product in the market. How do they come in and what is the government doing about it?

Why are our policies not enforced? It is because the regulatory environment is weak and many that are supposed to enforce it are compromised leaving the indigenous manufacturer to his fate. The rebasing of the gross domestic product (GDP) made us the biggest economy in Africa but, still, we can’t compare our infrastructure with those of African countries. What is there for us in this project? The size of the GDP, no doubt matters, in development. Most of the advanced economies that we know today have high GDP. United States of America (USA) has a GDP of over $16 trillion; it is the largest economy in the world. And if you check out their devel-

opment standards, it is the most developed economy with high standard of living. China is the second largest economy in the world but their standard of living is not high because of their huge population. The wealth of the country is spread over a larger number of people; they are about 1.3 billion people. Japan is the 3rd largest economy with a high standard of living. So to a large extent there is a correlation between the GDP and development that we experience. But there are some cases where there is a disconnect between the size of the GDP and the development that we experience. We have a huge GDP and the citizens are not feeling it that is the more reason why we should engage those who are in charge of governance. It’s an indicator that there is governance ineffectiveness. There is high inequality in the system. Government has failed in its capacity to redistribute income because the capacity to redistribute income is to ensure that the wealth of the country is distributed equitably. There is a way the government can craft its policy to ensure that the benefits of growth and high economy trickles down to the people. That is one of the purposes of governance. For instance, in taxation, the government is supposed to ensure that we have a mechanism where the rich is taxed more to support the poor. We should ask ourselves how many rich people are paying tax that is commensurate to their income. In USA and other advanced economies, it is a very serious offence to evade tax but here apart from salary earners, it’s very difficult to find those who are faithfully paying taxes commensurate to their income. That is why the benefits of the economy are not trickling down. If you have an economy where some are extremely rich and others extremely poor, you need to put policy in place to bridge the gap and one sure way to do it is to tax the rich to provide essential service for the poor. The structure of government spending is also the reason why we don’t have trickledown effect, for instance, 76 per cent of the Federal Government’s budget is on recurrent spending mainly to service operations of government such as travels and emoluments. In such a case, you can’t experience a trickledown effect. The benefits of the budget will be more for the generality of the people if the capital expenditure is higher. If we spend more on infrastructure and the right kind of institutions, the benefits will be higher to the people. If you spend more on education, those on the bottom of the ladder will come up, the rich have no difficulty sending their children and wards abroad to the best of schools. The only way to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich is through education. If you have a situation where a parent spends almost half of his income to pay school fees that is not fair, also not good for the economy and the income redistribution that we canvass for. We have a situation because some people are poor they can’t get good medical attention as the entire health sector is dominated by the private sector, it does not make room for income redistribution. The citizens are not feeling the impact of the GDP because resources are not spent the way it should be used to benefit the majority of the people. Should fuel subsidy be removed? We need to remove fuel subsidy project because it is the biggest platform for corruption. There is so much poverty in the midst of plenty where we spend so much in subsidy almost N1.5 trillion, which is tantamount to giving money to corruption. When you say the citizens are not feeling the impact of the wealth of this nation, it’s because the money is not spent the way it should be spent as some of our resources have been lost to corruption. The money we spend on subsidy payment can be better utilised to develop our infrastructure for the good of the majority of the people. The money can be used to improve blighted areas across the country and provide good health care, road, housing and educational services to those who may not easily afford it. Rather than put the money into subsidy and it is stolen and those who stole it are not apprehended or brought to justice. They are still walking around. Government should do serious thinking and deploy the subsidy money to target the needs of the poor. Most of those who get benefit of fuel subsidy are those who drive fleet of cars and not the typical Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) members, who will readily call out their members for demonstration if government removes fuel subsidy. Although they commute on buses or tricycle with nothing to lose if the subsidy is removed, we don’t have any business subsidising the rich.




ABCON: Cash deposit charges stoppage good for economy T HE Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), has said the removal of three percent charge on cash deposits above N500, 000 for individuals and N3 million for corporate customers will boost depositors’ confidence in the banking sector. ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe said the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele did the right thing by abolishing the charges during the unveiling of his agenda at the world press conference held last week. “The cancelation of the charges is good for the economy, will boost customers’ confidence and also enhance the achievement of the objectives of the cashless policy,” Gwadabe said.

Stories by Collins Nweze

Under the cashless policy, the CBN imposed three percent charge on cash deposits above N500, 000 for individuals and cash deposit above N3 million for corporate customers. However, Governor Emefiele on Thursday ordered the stoppage of the charges. “We have become aware of complaints by customers particularly regarding the charges being imposed for cash deposits. This has resulted in customers devising various means to avoid the charges through opening of multiplicity of accounts and other disingenuous

exchange rates to their customers. The group also praised Emefiele’s decision to sustain stability of the exchange rate by defending the naira. This according to Gwadabe, would engender increased confidence in the country especially foreign investors, and lead to increased inflow of foreign exchange supply into the country and boost external reserves. He said: “ABCON is committed to exchange rate stability and have always supported CBN’s policy in this regard. This is reflected in the Association’s zero tolerance on non-compliance with regulatory requirement. We would continue to support the apex bank under Governor Emefiele towards achievement of the goal of exchange rate stability in the economy,” he said.

behaviour, all aimed at undermining the objective of this policy. Given these outcomes and to better reflect our goal of having more cash under our control, all charges on deposits are hereby stopped with immediate effect”, Emefiele said. The ABCON President said that the cancellation of the charges would also reduce the amount of bank charges paid by BDCs and thus reduce their operating expenses. This, he said, will in turn increase profitability and taxes paid to the government. Gwadabe said the reduced operating expenses, would encourage BDCs to offer attractive

• Emefiele

Skye Bank partners Lagos FCMB shareholders approve N5.94b dividend councils on levy collection S


KYE Bank Plc has launched a new solution to help local councils in the country improve their internally generated revenue. The solution was unveiled at the weekend at the Ojokoro Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, where the product has already been adopted for revenue collection. The bank’s Group Head, Revenue Collection and Franchise, Mrs. Bola Allison, said the product will check leakages and corruption in the collection process. She said the product known as Point of Payment (PoP) solution, ensures that the citizens pay their taxes, levies and

other statutory payments through customized point of sales terminals which are administered by the council staff. Allison said the solution would make payment convenient as eligible tax and levy payers would not have to leave their shops or go to the banks to effect payment. She said tax payer would be protected as the PoP system generates receipts as evidence of payment. The Executive Chairman of Ojokoro Local Council Area, Mr. Benjamin Olabinjo, urged the people to embrace the product given the immense benefits to the development of the economy.

HAREHOLDERS of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Group Plc unanimously approved the payment of a cash dividend of 30 kobo per ordinary share, for the year ended December 31, 2013. This translates to a total amount of N5.94 billion. The approval came at the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of FCMB Group Plc held in Lagos on Friday. Group Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, commended the board and management of FCMB Group Plc for improving its profitability over 2012, despite the particularly challenging operating environment for banks in 2013. He added that ‘’the resumption of good dividend payment is proof



Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year

35m 35m

11.039 12.23

19-05-2014 18-05-2016

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33


OBB Rate

Price Loss 2754.67


Amount 30m 46.7m

Rate % 10.96 9.62

Date 28-04-2012 “


O/PRICE 4.15 19.00 8.10 3.08 4.52 2.58 4.28 2.40 0.53 2.80

C/PRICE 4.39 19.98 8.50 3.23 4.74 2.68 4.48 2.50 0.55 2.90


Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51












EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


CHANGE 5.78 5.16 4.94 4.87 4.87 4.69 4.67 4.17 3.77 3.57


July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00%


O/PRICE 28.95 22.01 4.64 2.43 13.79 1.29 123.71 34.50 5.00 1.08

C/PRICE 27.36 20.91 4.41 2.31 13.11 1.23 118.00 33.00 4.80 1.04

CHANGE -5.49 -5.00 -4.96 -4.96 -4.93 -4.65 -4.62 -4.35 -4.00 -3.70

Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m 399.9m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8 155.7

Date 2-5-14 2-3-14 1-29-14





% Change

CAP Index

N13.07tr 40,766.16

N6.617tr 20,903.16

-1.44% -1.44%


Offer Price Bid Price 157.99 157.07 9.17 9.08 1.09 1.08 1.18 1.18 0.68 0.68 1.39 1.33 1,664.78 1,661.81 1,087.24 1,086.78 119.02 118.19 1,087.30 1,087.00 1.67 1.62 1.05 1.03




Stockbrokers Limited, ‘’has recovered strongly over the past two years and in 2013 made sufficiently strong progress’’. He attributed this to the implementation of initiatives that have improved efficiency and the successful integration of FinBank, which has boosted FCMB in retail banking. Long added that, ‘’the intention to pay dividend signifies the desire of the board to reward its shareholders for their continued commitment and support. The Managing Director of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Peter Obaseki, noted that “the Group is on track to deliver on its promise to its various shareholders’’. He continued by explaining that the Financial Holding Company structure, ‘’enables us deliver more consistently and sustainably.”

that FCMB’s management team is successfully executing its strategy and leveraging the recent transformation into a financial holding entity, to drive significant value creation for shareholders’’. Also, National Chairman of Shareholders’ Trustees Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Mukhtar Mukhtar, expressed delight on the payment of dividend. He urged the management and board to continue to improve customer experience at every customer interface and invest in key sectors of the economy, as these will improve profitability and ability to pay even more dividends next year. The Chairman of FCMB Group, Dr. Jonathan Long, stated that the Group, which comprises First City Monument Bank Limited, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL



0.78 1,944.64 13.62 1.07

0.76 1,936.31 13.28 1.05

1.3191 1.3497 0.9708 1.1764

1.3072 1.3497 0.9527 1.1764

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917

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




Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012











Equities still has better prospects, says Rewane N IGERIAN stock market will continue a slow but steady recovery in the weeks ahead with second quarter earnings expected to quicken investors’ appetite and stimulate the rally. Managing director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, who outlined the outlook for the equities market in his latest review, said the modest market recovery, which has seen the market opening today with a year-to-date return of 0.48 per cent, would continue through the remaining weeks of second quarter. According to him, equities would record further gains in the third quarter as positive results from companies highlight potential for returns to investors.

Stories by Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

He also noted that the banking sector, which dominates transactions at the stock market, could receive a possible “Emefiele boost”, referencing the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godiwn Emefiele, who was until his appointment managing director of Zenith Bank. Rewane however cautioned that there could be possible correction in subsequent quarters as banks oscillate between policy changes and market conditions. He added that with no new listings expected in the immediate months, increased allocation from the growing pension assets could inflate equities’ prices at the stock market.

He said the listing of SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company and Caverton Offshore Support Group may stimulate appetite for listing in the oil and gas industry, pointing out that possible listings in the years ahead could include Nestoil, Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Company (NLNG) and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Quoted equities had recorded its first positive month-on-month in May with a gain of N1.02 trillion. With a last-day bullish rally that added N392 billion, quoted equities strode through May with their best performance so far this year, displacing the bears that had left the average year-to-date return negative in the past four months. While the market had closed

April with a four-month average loss of -6.88 per cent, the average gain of 7.77 per cent recorded in May turned the average year-todate return positive at 0.35 per cent. Though modest, the five-month average gain of 0.35 per cent represents a significant breakeven for the equities market. It also underlined the overtly bullish overall market situation during the month. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities closed May at N13.695 trillion as against its opening value of N12.672 trillion, indicating a whooping gain of N1.02 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the main value-based index that tracks prices of all quoted equities, also rallied by 7.77 per cent to close May at a high of 41,474.40 points compared with its index-on-board

of 38,485.48 points. The market had seen strong rally last week with the ASI recording a week-on-week gain of 4.12 per cent. However, over the five-month period, investors netted N469 billion in capital gains. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities had opened 2014 at N13.226 trillion. Quoted equities had wriggled all through the past four months with negative month-on-month return. The stock market recorded a negative return of -0.68 per cent in April, building on the bearish trend that had characterized the stock market in the first quarter. In January, February and March, the market consistently recorded losses of 1.8 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively.

25‐Day Pricing Trend at NSE 42000 P 40000 o i 38000 n 36000 t s














Timeline: May 2‐June 6, 2014. Source: The Nation. Index: All Share Index (ASI)

FBN Holdings launches 1.87b shares takeover bid for Oasis Insurance


BN Holdings Plc has finalized arrangements for a takeover bid to acquire minority shareholdings in Oasis Insurance Plc, in a transaction that may see the insurance firm emerging as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the group. FBN Holdings is making the takeover bid through FBN Life Assurance Limited, an insurance subsidiary of FBN Holdings. Details of the transactions obtained at the weekend indicated that FBN Assurance will be making a mandatory takeover of 1.87 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo of Oasis Insurance currently held by minority shareholders. The takeover will apply to shareholders in the book of Oasis Insurance as at the close of business on June 20, 2014 while FBN Assurance will open application list or the takeover on June 23, 2014 and close same on July 14, 2014. Although the price for the takeover was not indicated, Oasis Insurance’s share price at the stock market has been around its nominal value. It opens today at 54 kobo per share. FBN Holdings, through FBN Assurance, had acquired the majority equity stake in Oasis Insurance. It had acquired about 4.63 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of Oasis Insurance from the previous core investors-Oasis Group Limited and MetroWest Investments Limited. The sale transferred the majority 71.2 per cent equity stake in Oasis Insurance to FBN Life Assurance. The acquisition was effected through the execution of a share sale and purchase agreement between the parties following receipt of the requisite regulatory approvals from the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and

the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Oasis is quoted on the NSE. With the acquisition of 71.2 per cent, FBN Life was required to make a mandatory take-over bid to the remaining shareholders of Oasis insurance in line with section 131 of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) and Rule 445 of SEC’s Rules and Regulations. The acquisition would enable the FBN Holdings to deepen its insurance business as FBN Life seeks to harness Oasis Insurance’s relative strengths, thereby creating synergies for the development of the insurance business. Oasis Insurance is expected to leverage FBN Holdings’ wide network, including the international spread of its flagship-First Bank of Nigeria Limited, to expand its coverage of the Nigerian general insurance market through cross-selling of products on First Bank’s network. In a review of the outlook of the

group, chief executive officer, FBN Holdings, Mallam Bello Maccido, said the group would leverage on its acquisitions to consolidate its performance. According to him, outlooks for each of the group’s businesses remained positive with increased contributions from the businesses expected to cumulate into better returns for the group. He said the group has increased investments across its business lines with a view to strengthening its leadership positions pointing out that the recent acquisitions of ICB banks across four West African countries, the acquisition of Oasis Insurance and ongoing efforts to strengthen the investment banking and asset management business through the acquisition of a merchant banking licence would help to enhance benefits to all stakeholders, especially the shareholders. “As we steadily progress in our

journey under the holding company arrangement, we expect to drive growth in each of our business lines, in a way that will enhance the aggregate performance of the group. This will be complemented by reinforcing the pre-eminence of our commercial banking franchise, while driving the level of contribution from each of the non-banking subsidiaries,” Maccido said. FBN Holdings recently launched a new short-term strategic growth plan that will enhance the leadership position of the holding company and ensure better returns to shareholders over the next few years. Group chairman, FBN Holdings Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko, said the new strategic plan covers between 2014 and 2016 and would build on the successes of the previous plan that covered 2011 to 2013. According to him, the high-level aspirations and specific actions in the short-term growth plan will be

building blocks that will not only sustain the company’s momentum but raise its leadership position in the evolving market place. He said the company has made significant progress integrating its business planning process and harmonising its investment decisions in a way that allowed the entire group to take full advantage of opportunities in non-banking spaces. “As we continue to diversify our profit base through this process, we will remain focused on containing costs and ramping up operational efficiency through targeted centralisation of all functions that lend themselves group-wide,” Otudeko said. He said the experience of the company with the holding company structure has helped to hone its business focus, deepen centralisation and skill sets across the group and increase prospects of profitability.

Our new growth plan will bring better returns, says Learn Africa


EARN Africa Plc has devised an aggressive sales and marketing plan that would increase the acceptability of the company’s books across the country and ensure that increased sales trickle down into better returns to shareholders. At the annual general meeting of the company in Abeokuta, chairman, Learn Africa Plc, Mr. Emeke Iwerebon, assured shareholders that ongoing initiatives would lead to increased sales and better returns to shareholders. According to him, the acceptance of the company’s products by Federal and State governments and other relevant agencies as well as its performance in the open mar-

ket sales are all adding up to enhance a bright future for the company. “The future of Learn Africa is great. We know how central and important customers are to us and to our business. We are developing new ways of managing our relationships with our customers, and ultimately, meeting their peculiar needs. This way, our products will readily sell and bring good returns to our dedicated shareholders,” Iwerebon said. He outlined that the company had earlier undertaken critical appraisal of its products and growth and evolved strategies which will ensure that it sells its books on cash and carry basis, in spite of the com-

petition in the publishing industry. He however lamented the adverse effect of piracy on the printing and publishing industry noting that piracy has taken international dimension as pirated copies are now being printed abroad. “The pirated books are often difficult to distinguish from the legitimate ones; particularly as such pirated books are now printed overseas. This is why we are determined to further work closely with all agencies saddled with anti-piracy operations, as we are determined to seek every means possible to defend our intellectual property rights, and those of our authors,” Iwerebon said. He reiterated the commitment to

promotion of excellence and mental competitiveness in Nigerian schools pointing out that the company, under its Learn Africa Education Development Foundation, has instituted awards for students and teachers. Audited report and accounts of the company for the year ended December 31, 2013 showed that turnover stood at N2.28 billion while pre and post tax profits stood at N125.7 million and N100.13 million. The shareholders approved distribution of N92.57 million as dividends for the year, representing a dividend per share of 12 kobo. Total assets rose from N4.61 billion to N4.63 billion.









African regulators seek uniform guidelines on e-insurance T

HE 41st General Assembly and Conference of African Insurance Organisation (AIO) has issued a nine-points communiqué tasking African insurance regulators to formulate and articulate appropriate regulatory framework. The framework will set out modalities and guidelines for the operation of e-insurance on the continent. This, according to the insurers, is in realisation of the far reaching implications of adopting einsurance and the need to ensure its proper implementation across the continent. The conference was held in Kigali, Rwanda and was attended by 670 top key regulators and executives of insurance companies across the continent.The communiqué was signed by AIO Secretary General, Ms Prisca Soares. The communique also stated that the conference agreed that food security is Africa’s most daunting challenge and that increasing farmers productivity is key to combat the challenge. “It is therefore imperative for African insurance industry to adopt the use of technology in crop insurance using satellite images with a view to reducing the processes in claims management and settlement.


Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

“The conference however identifies the need for collaborative efforts in addressing Africa’s food security challenge and the indus-

try must therefore ensure that we partner agencies such as local banks, microfinance institutions, agricultural processors and buyers, government institutions and non-

‘Let’s resist foreign invasion’

ROUP Managing Director, Custodian &Allied Insurance, Wole Oshin has urged local players in the insurance industry to go back to the drawing board and re-strategise on how to prevent the invasion of the industry by foreign players. Oshin who spoke on the sideline of the just concluded African Insurance Organisation (AIO) in Kigali, Rwanda said it is good that foreign players have come to buy some insurance companies, warning that they should not be allowed to overrun local operators in the sector. He urged his counterparts to strive to build big brands such as FirstBank, Gurantee Trust Bank, Zenith Bank and others, which he said have become too big for any foreign player swallow. Oshin said the sector needs at least 10 big local champions. He said: “I’m very optimistic that the market will get stronger. We need to be more strategic because there are foreign players coming in. “There is no doubt that if you sit on the strategy table and ask yourself very fundamental questions, you will agree that we can’t ignore the foreign players.


•From left: Managing Director LASACO Assurance Plc, Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi; Ms Soares; Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Fola Daniel and Chairman, Niger Insurance, Bala Zakariya’u at the conference.

“It is for us the local players to go back to the drawing board and restrategise. My prayer is that we should have sufficient local champions. The banking industry foresaw it coming and they positioned themselves. Now no foreign player can buy Zenith Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, FirstBank and others because they are too big. “The challenge we face now is to ward off foreign incursions. It is good that they come but we must not be swept away just like that. We as the local players must begin to look inwards and re-strategise” Oshin is however optimistic that in the next five years, a stronger insurance market will emerge. He said he foresees a market that will undergo further consolidation, a market that will have a voice in Nigeria and put it in its right place. he said: “Custodian vision has been very clear. We have always wanted to set standards in the industry. We always wanted to grow organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Moving forward, we can’t rule out mergers and acquisitions but we will also be looking at growing from inside outwards. “We intend to go into micro in-

surance. We recognise there are challenges with micro insurance but we are looking at the challenges as opportunities. Also, micro insurance is a platform to give back to society. We have always operated as a corporate top-end insurance organisation but micro insurance will enable us have that interaction with the lower end of the market. “We don’t expect to make profit from it immediately because we don’t think it is an immediate profit making venture. But we are willing to deploy capital so that insurance can penetrate further to the grassroots and Nigerians can know the value of insurance in economic stability.” He said regulation is a global issue and it is a natural cause for development. “It is for all of us in the sector to increase and step up our structure to be able to handle it. Regulation is for good at the end of the day but good things do not come easy,” he said. He said though the enforcement of regulation by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) may look tough, it is good for the development of the sector.

Confab to explore insurance contributions underway

HE 2014 International Education Conference of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) will explore insurance sectors’ contributions to the economy and provoke thoughts of participants about the effects of gross domestic product (GDP) rebasing, its President, Fatai Lawal has said. The conference which will, among others, show the real contribution of the insurance sector to the nation’s GDP is slated for

between 17th and 19th June at the External Ballroom, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. The theme of the conference is, “Re-dimensioning the Insurance Industry Contributions to the National Economy”. Described as the flagship of the CIIN educational programmes, the annual confab is the gathering of the top practitioners and key operatives that hold the reins in their respective

organisations. Lawal who spoke at a press briefing said the theme could not have been more apt, stating that the conference will be attended by participants who are key practitioners in the sector. He said the low contribution of the sector to national productivity has always been as a result of low insurance penetration index in the country which operators now have ample opportunities of reversing.

governmental organistions, working together and harmonising our efforts with the view to providing the most needed finance to support agricultural development in Africa. It added that “In order to harness

the huge potential of its largely untapped informal economic sector and to draw from the success of pivotal efforts of M-PESA in mobile money operation, the conference agreed that the African insurance industry should leverage on technology, especially telecommunications and mobile telephony in promoting financial inclusions among the rural populace. This will make its products and services accessible and affordable for the people in rural areas which will go a long way in breaking the cycle of poverty plaguing the continent.” The communique noted that “in appreciation of the importance and potentials of technology in reaching out to much larger number, the conference recognises the need for the African insurance industry to embrace technology to drive its product development and deepen insurance penetration through deliberate collaborative effort with partner organisations. “Appreciating the huge potentials of Information Technology in insurance marketing and in particular the adoption of e-insurance in the insurance value chain, the conference underscores the need for effective regulatory coordination between the various stakeholders which include telecommunication regulators, banking regulators and the industry regulators,” it read.

STI emerges oil & energy committee member


OVEREIGN Trust Insurance Plc has been appointed into the nine-member committee to steer the affairs of the oil & energy pool in Africa. The appointment of the firm was announced at the 51st Management Board and 27th Annual General Assembly of African Underwriters in Oil & Energy Insurance at the just concluded African Insurance Organisation’s Conference (AIO), held in Kigali, Rwanda. Its Managing Director, Wale Onaolapo said with the recent development, STI alongside two other insurance companies in the country and some African insurance companies, namely, Misr Insurance Company from Egypt, Chanas Assurances S.A, Cameroun, Compagnie Centrale

De Reassurance, Algeria, Zeb Re, Kenya, Tunis Re, Tunisia and Cica Re, Togo will administer the Oil and Energy Pool for the next two years. Onaolapo said the appointment is in recognition of the company’s expertise over the years in underwriting oil & gas risks in Nigeria and other parts of the African continent. He further said the underwriting firm will not relent in providing world-class insurance services in the oil and energy sector and other allied areas. He added that the firm considers the energy sector very crucial to the economic development of the country and will continue to exploit the market to maximise every opportunity embedded therein.

Alake urges brokers to initiate creative products


HE Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo has urged insurance practitioners to create innovative products that will meet the changing insurance needs of the customers. He gave the advice at the 2014 Chief Executive Officers’ retreat of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) held in Abeokuta, Ogun State. According to him, insurance brokers are the connecting link between insurance providers and the customers noting that the anticipated success of the industry depended greatly on them. He however charged the brokers to live up to the challenge. Alake enjoined members of the public to always utilise the services of insurance brokers in order to maximise their insurances.

NCRIB President, Ayodapo Shoderu said the retreat was a yearly forum for interaction among top insurance broking practitioners to enhance productivity and bolster the value of insurance broking in the value chain. Shoderu said the Council has continued to extend the frontiers of its international relationship with insurance professional bodies all over the world, adding that the initiative has recently earned it an affiliate status of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA). A paper delivered on “Winning Corporate Bids” by Mrs Moji Odanye-Odusoga, at the event apprised insurance brokers with details and technicalities of packaging corporate bids. She urged them to always be diligent and meticulous in prospecting for corporate businesses.



BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL UK trade deficit widens more than U.S. recoups jobs lost in expected in April recession as economy picks up T


NITED STATES employers kept up a solid pace of hiring in May, returning employment to its pre-recession level and offering confirmation the economy has snapped back from a winter slump. Nonfarm payrolls increased 217,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, in line with market expectations. Data for March and April was revised to show 6,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. “That suggests the first quarter was an anomaly in terms of what the economy was and we are back to a decent pace of job creation. Overall it’s a pretty solid report,” said John Canally, an economist at LPL Financial in Boston. May marked a fourth straight month of job gains above 200,000 even though there were fewer gains than the 282,000 seen in April when hiring was still bouncing back from a winter lull. The nation finally recouped the 8.7 million jobs lost during the recession, with 8.8 million more people in work now than at the trough in February 2010. The working age population has risen 10.6 million since then though and 12.8 million people have left the labor force. “The trajectory of this recovery is still slower than all other ones,” said Sam Bullard, senior economist at

Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina. “That’s not going to change and it’s not fast enough to bring back a lot of the workers who stopped looking anytime soon.” U.S. stock prices opened up modestly, while yields on U.S. Treasury debt were little changed. U.S. dollar was also steady against the yen and euro. The pace of hiring adds to data ranging from automobile sales to services and factory sector activity that have suggested economic growth this quarter will top a 3.0 percent annual pace. The economy contracted at a 1.0 percent rate in the first quarter, dragged down by unusually harsh winter weather and a slow pace of inventory building by businesses. The unemployment rate held steady at a 5-1/2 year low of 6.3 percent in May even as some Americans who had given up the search for work resumed the hunt. A measure of underemployment that includes people who want a job but who have given up searching and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time jobs fell to 12.2 percent, the lowest since October 2008. Economists expect more previously discouraged workers to re-enter the labor force over the course of the year. While that would be a sign of confidence in the labor market, it

could slow the decline in the jobless rate. The report also showed the number of long-term unemployed fell. The average jobless American had been looking for work for 14.6 weeks in May, the shortest stretch in five years and a sharp drop from the prior month. The return of discouraged job seekers and drop in long-term unemployment will be welcomed by the Federal Reserve, which has cited low labor force participation as one of the reasons for maintaining an extraordinarily easy monetary policy. The labor force increased by 192,000 people after declining sharply in April. That left the labor force participation rate, or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, at 62.8 percent. Average hourly earnings, which are being closely watched for signs of how fast the slack in the labor market is being taken up, rose five cents last month. In the 12 months through April, earnings were up a tepid 2.1 percent, holding in a range that suggests little build-up in wage inflation. May employment gains were broad-based. Manufacturing employment increased by 10,000, expanding for the 10th straight month. Further increases are expected as auto sales outpace inventories.

•Job seekers wait to meet with employers at a career fair in New York City.

IMF warns Osborne over housing bubble risk


HE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned George Osborne that accelerating house prices and low productivity pose the greatest threat to the UK’s economic recovery. It said rising property values could leave households more vulnerable to income and interest rate shocks. It also called on the Bank of England to enact policy measures “early and gradually” to avoid a housing bubble. In April, the IMF said the UK economy would grow by 2.9% in 2014. The Fund’s annual health check of the UK economy found it has “rebounded strongly and growth is becoming more balanced” adding economic growth would “remain strong this year.” It is a significant turnaround from last year when the IMF’s chief economist Oliver Blanchard appeared to have a public falling out with the chancellor after he criticised the government’s austerity policies.

This year IMF managing director Christine Lagarde admitted the Fund “got it wrong” in its assessment adding that while the UK’s economic recovery began with consumer spending, it was now rebalancing towards an “investment-led recovery”. The chancellor said the IMF was “right to warn the government that risks still remain” to the UK’s economic recovery. Ms Lagarde called on financial regulators to consider imposing limits on the number of low-deposit mortgages a bank or building society can advance to borrowers, highlighting fears that some people may be at risk of overstretching their finances. The IMF said: “Macroprudential policies should be the first line of defence against financial risks from the housing market.” It added that raising mortgage lenders’ capital requirements “would build additional buffers against increased exposures to the housing sector”. The Bank of England’s Financial

Policy Committee (FPC) is due to meet later in June and could announce measures to control mortgage lending. In May, 25% taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group said it would limit its mortgage lending to four times a borrower’s income on loans above £500,000. On Tuesday, Royal Bank of Scotland - which remains 80% taxpayerowned - said it would also restrict the amount it advanced to mortgage borrowers. Bank of England governor Mark Carney The IMF has warned the Bank of England against raising interest rates too soon The IMF added the government should consider modifying or even pulling the plug on its flagship mortgage guarantee scheme - known as Help to Buy 2 - if house prices showed signs of overheating. Recent figures from the Treasury showed 7,000 homes were bought through the Help to Buy scheme between its launch in October and March.

HE UK’s trade deficit with the rest of the world widened by more than expected in April, because of weaker manufacturing exports, official data showed on Friday. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the UK’s goods trade deficit grew to an estimated £9.6bn, from £8.3bn in March. But that was offset by a £7.1bn trade surplus in the UK’s dominant services sector. That left an overall deficit of £2.5bn. The ONS said its figures were an estimate due to an omission in its original calculations, which overlooked around £700m of oil exports to the European Union. The ONS said the omission was not spotted in time by tax officials to be included in a detailed breakdown of the trade figures. The UK’s trade deficit has got much worse in April. Or did it? According to the latest figures, in April we imported £2.5bn worth more of goods and services than we managed to export, a huge leap in the deficit. Except for the fact that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (the taxman to you and me) seems to have missed £700m of oil exports to the EU. The mistake was spotted too late

to include in these figures and we will have to wait another month to get the correct picture. Without this “omission”, the trade deficit would have been £1.8bn, still much higher than the £1.1bn deficit in March, as exports have dropped and imports increased. Had those oil exports been included, the goods trade deficit would have been £8.9bn. But the deficit was still larger than expected. Economists had forecast a deficit of £8.6bn in April. Goods exports in April fell by 1.5 % to £24.1bn, when the oil omission was taken into account. while imports rose 0.8% to just over £33bn. Weak demand in the eurozone the UK’s largest trading partner - has hampered the government’s efforts to rebalance the economy to support greater manufacturing and more exports. At present, the services sector contributes nearly 80% to overall economic growth. Exports to the European Union (EU) as a whole rose 1.3% to £12.4bn, but the deficit with the bloc widened to £5.1bn, from £4.8bn a month earlier. The goods trade deficit with nonEU countries grew to £3.7bn in April from £3.4bn in March, against forecasts for a gap of £3.1bn.

Deutshe Bank eyes $11.6b fresh capital


EUTSCHE Bank AG, seek ing to raise $11.6 billion of capital, braced investors for a deepening trading slump and potential damage to its business from international probes of currency rigging and hiring practices. A “challenging market environment” means the investment-bank division may post a larger yearover-year drop in revenue this quarter than in the first three months, when it fell 10 percent, the Frankfurt-based firm wrote in documents released yesterday for the stock sale. The foreign-exchange inquiries have potential to result in “significant financial penalties and other consequences,” it said. Deutsche Bank, Europe’s biggest investment bank by revenue, is looking to strengthen its finances as clients hold off on trades and capital is siphoned by mounting costs from inquiries, lawsuits and tighter regulation. The firm yesterday said it’s offering investors 6.75 billion euros ($9.2 billion) of new shares, the main part of a package to raise 8.5 billion euros. The stock sale “should bring some calm to the constant concern the bank is weakly capitalized as it deals with its litigation bills,” said

Ingo Frommen, an analyst at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg who raised his recommendation for the stock to buy from hold. “The share sale will be successful unless there’s some kind of extreme negative macroeconomic event.” Deutsche Bank led European investment banks lower yesterday after releasing the documents, sliding 3.8 percent in its biggest drop since January. Barclays Plc (BARC), the region’s second-biggest investment bank, fell 1.1 percent in London. The European Central Bank yesterday cut its deposit rate to minus 0.1 percent, potentially lowering revenue from bond trading. Deutsche Bank offered to sell its new shares for 22.50 euros apiece, a 24 percent discount to the closing price on June 4. Deutsche Bank rose as much as 2.3 percent in Frankfurt trading today, and was up 1.6 percent to 27.66 euros by 11:02 a.m. Barclays gained 0.9 percent to 242.40 pounds ($407.45). Deutsche Bank raised 1.75 billion euros last month selling stock to an investment vehicle of former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani.

Royal Bank of Scotland in new push on government stake sale


FTER six years and a myriad of rows and mis-steps, RBS is to make a fresh push for a return of the bank to private ownership. Senior figures within the bank have told me that the government body responsible for the public’s 80% stake, UK Financial Investments, has been approached about exploring a series of small stake sales to kick start the process. The bank believes that the government should sell an initial tranche of shares worth about £5bn to test the market. Although the sale would be at a loss on the amount the government originally paid to bail out the bank, it would automatically boost the share price - RBS believes - as institutional investors would take the prospect of future sales more seriously. Senior figures insist that the core bank, which is profitable, is attractive to the market. They point out that the initial sale of the government’s then 40% stake in Lloyds Banking Group in 2013

led to a spike in the share price. Over the year, Lloyd’s share price rose by 65%. The sale also had the not unwelcome effect of raising £3.2bn for the Treasury’s coffers. The government bailed out RBS in 2008 at around 500p a share. That price dropped to an average 407p over subsequent weeks - a price the Treasury could argue is “break even”. RBS also paid billions of pounds in fees to the government for a continuing insurance facility. Today, RBS shares are trading around 340p, a figure little changed from six months ago. I asked one senior figure intimately involved in the discussions when RBS would like to see the stake sale commence and he answered, only half in jest: “Tomorrow.” The source said that UKFI was very sympathetic to a sale, as it understood that a bank outside direct political control was likely to perform more strongly. “Shareholders dislike the present arrangement, clients dislike it and I’m sure ultimately the government dislikes it,” the source said.




China swaps Gusto for Rigor as it learns from Africa


HINA’s gung-ho foray into Africa is waning. As trade with the continent surpasses an annual $160 billion, its companies are avoiding risk by taking smaller stakes in projects close to making money. Cowed by capricious commodity prices, political instability and a string of lost investments, Chinese financiers aren’t as gutsy as when state-owned giants used their heaps of cash to propel the nation’s “Go Out” drive and whip up business abroad 15 years ago. “There was a lot of enthusiasm and momentum,” said Clement Kwong, whose Beijing-based Long March Capital Ltd. clubbed together with other investors last year to take over a South African gold company. “That momentum is definitely reined in by a new level of risk aversion and caution.” China surpassed the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009. Trade volumes soared 11-fold in the decade through 2013, according to data from the Geneva-based International Trade Centre. The quest for profit now trumps the wider aim of creating a Chinese footprint abroad. Smaller private companies are taking the lead from the state-owned giants that prepared the ground. After many African leaders doubled back on the initial fervor for China, the new players are less conspicuous and score quicker returns. China’s enthusiasm for the megadeals of the past, such as the landmark $2 billion oil-forinfrastructure accord with Angola in 2004, is tempered by failures. Gabon scrapped China Machinery Engineering Corp.’s $3.5 billion project to develop the Belinga ironore deposit in 2012, while a Chinese copper-cobalt mine in Democratic

Republic of Congo has been delayed as the companies await legislation guaranteeing tax exemptions. Jinchuan Group Co. Ltd.’s search for nickel and copper in Tanzania failed in 2011, when the world’s fourth-biggest nickel producer realized it wouldn’t get a license to dig up a nature reserve. Project leader Jianke Gao was sent to build a South African mine as Chief Executive Officer of Wesizwe Platinum Ltd. (WEZ) Jinchuan had bought a 45 percent stake. “Before coming to buy a project here, Chinese companies will now do more research before making a decision,” Gao said in an interview. “When Chinese investors come to other countries to invest, there are lots of examples of failure.” Libya gave China its biggest wakeup call, when the 2011 civil war forced Chinese construction companies to abandon billions of dollars worth of equipment and business, and 30,000 Chinese workers were evacuated. “We need to price in things like regime change and the cost of operating in a somewhat less than transparent environment,” Kwong, 47, said wearing a checked shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers and sipping iced coffee on the terrace of his Johannesburg hotel. South Africa’s business hub is Kwong’s base from which he looks for other African acquisitions. Examples of the new pattern abound. China National Offshore Oil Corp. is partnering with Tullow Oil Plc and Total SA to develop Uganda’s oilfields, which they estimate hold 3.5 billion barrels of crude. Beijing Haohua Energy Resource Co. Ltd. last year bought a 24 percent stake in South Africa’s Coal of Africa Ltd. for $100 million.

• Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, shakes hands with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairob.

China National Petroleum Corp. last year bought a fifth of an off-shore Mozambican gas field for $4.2 billion. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. purchased a 10th of an Angolan oil and gas field for $1.5 billion. In Sierra Leone, China Railway Materials, Shandong Iron and Steel Group and Tianjin Materials and Equipment Corp. between them invested $1.8 billion in London-listed African Minerals Ltd. (AMI)’s Tonkili mine, Africa’s second-largest ironore producer, including in rail and port infrastructure. With growth in developed economies sluggish, Chinese appetite for Africa is undiminished. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on a visit to Africa last month that the government will boost its line of credit to African nations by half to $30 billion. He repeated a pledge to almost double capital in the ChinaAfrica Development Fund, which gives financing to Chinese companies for private equity deals including Long March Capital’s, to $5 billion. Chinese capital growth has been “frighteningly explosive” and has

Glencore to cut 124 jobs at Namibia zinc, lead mine


LOBAL mining and commodity trading company Glencore (GLEN.L) said it was cutting 124 jobs, or about 20 percent of the staff, at its Rosh Pinah zinc and lead mine in Namibia to control costs. Glencore bought an 80.1 percent stake in Rosh Pinah zinc and lead mine, in southwestern Namibia, 800 kilometers south of the capital Windhoek, in 2011 from South Africa’s Exxaro (EXXJ.J) and other shareholders, and has been reviewing the operation.

“The management of Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation has announced changes that aim to address significant economic pressures,” Glencore said in a statement. “We sympathise and understand that this may be a difficult time for some of our employees and their families. As a result, we have engaged the Chamber of Mines to coordinate the possible appointment (of the staffers losing their jobs) at

other mines within Namibia.” The underground Rosh Pinah mine produced about 114,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 20,550 tonnes of lead concentrate in 2013, up 20 percent and 17.5 percent respectively compared to 2012, according to the Chamber of Mines of Namibia. The Namibian company has 600 permanent employees and about 138 temporary employees and contractors and had a turnover of about 834 million Namibian dollars ($78.1 million) in 2013, according to the Chamber of Mines.

cost efficient,” he said. According to Mr Nanterme, the “big opportunity” for Africa is to harness a digital environment across business and in government, without “having to go through the pain” of converting legacy products and mind-sets. Accenture South Africa CEO William Mzimba said the firm wanted to accelerate growth and provide insights that could “solve very important problems” for businesses, consumers and the government. He said the company was, for example, discussing starting a pilot project with the police force in South Africa to help create safer cities. This follows a successful launch of an Accenture application in Singapore last year to root out crime by using technology to give cameras on the streets the “brains” to know when a crime is being committed. The same type of technology could be used to improve water

quality, or alert someone as fires or gas leaks occur. Of relevance to South Africa, the company is also working on ways to optimise electricity usage to reduce pressure during peak times, and even to help manage airlines on a realtime basis. “We want to contribute to the productivity of a country and drive the agenda in relevant markets. Digital technology is the right response for Africa, but it is about what you do with it,” said Mr Nanterme. He said while infra-structure improvements were visible on the continent, the biggest concern for businesses remained “political fragmentation”, as so many different regulatory systems were encountered. This was a “huge barrier” from a business standpoint. “More unified regulatory environment would help business and significantly increase investment,” he said.

Accenture eager to grasp African opportunities


CCENTURE Chief Executive Officer, Pierre Nanterme has said the firm will continue to explore opportunities as it sees the African continent as a longterm commitment. The firm is a $28.6 billion management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company that already operates in 30 African countries. He was in South Africa with members of his global management committee to discuss how the company could be “even more relevant” on the continent, and to explain how recent global restructuring moves will unfold for its stable of clients in more than 120 countries. In January, it set up a division focused on growth markets such as Africa and Latin America. It established offices in Kenya and Mozambique last year. “There is no question Africa is a good opportunity. The type of services we deliver should be different, and we need to be agile and extra

spread to private groups, or “nouveau capital,” which need to invest abroad to make greater returns, according to Kwong. “The more de-risked a project, the easier it is to get funded today, so something without even a prefeasibility report is a little difficult to swallow,” Kwong said, before flying to Zimbabwe to look at another possible project. “But if it is near production, but requires a substantial amount of capex to take it into production in order to unlock value, that is probably our favorite type of profile.” China Investment Corp., the country’s $575 billion sovereign wealth fund, has entered the fray,

joining Huawei Technologies Co. (002502) to diversify from oil, minerals and infrastructure to include telecommunications and finance. “Africa is by far and for sure the single most important and most welcoming destination,” Changhui Zhao, the chief country risk analyst at China Exim Bank, said in an interview from Beijing. “For many outsiders these countries may seem risky, because of the order disturbances, ethnic tensions or even foreign incursions. If you understand the place you are in, then you will see how much premium you will be awarded.”

‘Cyberpower inverter is first with AVR, UPS’


RAGMATIC Technologies, exclusive dealer for Cyberpower Inverter in Nigeria has said its range of products are the best in the country, warning its numerous customers to beware of new comers that are making spurious claims. The firm in a statement over the weekend insisted that it blazed the trail for inverters manufacturing in the country for others to follow. Reacting to a newspaper advert placement by a firm it described as a “new comer” in the industry insinuating that its inverter is the first in the region to have integrated Automated Voltage Regulator (AVR) and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), Cyberpower warned its customers not to be misled by such information, adding that it pioneered the innovation in the country. “Incidentally, these features have been part of the selling points of Cyberpower Inverter since it hit the market in Nigeria more than five years ago. The other firm has been

around for years but better associated with stabilizers. It is a new entrant into the power-backup industry in Nigeria. Even then, Pragmatic Technologies has taken power stabilising in Nigeria to the next level by providing a central stabilising unit for entire buildings and housing units in the last few years. “So the claim of the stabilizer company about being pioneers of inverters integrated AVR and UPS false and misleading. Rather, CyberPower is the first Inverter in Nigeria to have AVR and UPS; Cyberpower has been in the market for the past five years and is a leading inverter brand chosen by discerning users.” “Cyberpower is Nigeria’s number one inverter in terms of features, quality and after sales services and we are committed to maintaining our premier position.” “We find it necessary to set the records straight and ensure that the public is not misinformed,” the statement stated.

Ivanhoe gets mining rights for S/African platinum project


VANHOE Mines Ltd., (IVN) the mining developer founded by billionaire Robert Friedland, said it received state approval to start building a platinum mine in South Africa. The Department of Mineral Resources notified Ivanhoe on May 30 that the right for its Platreef project was granted, the Vancouverbased company said in a statement on its website today. “The mining right, when executed, will be for an initial period of up to 30 years and will be renewable for an unlimited number of consecutive periods,” the company said. Ivanhoe plans to develop the mine in three phases, with the first two taking production to at least 785,000 ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold a year. The asset

is alongside Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS)’s Mogalakwena, the biggest and most profitable mine of the world’s largest producer. Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Lonmin Plc estimate they have so far lost 20.6 billion rand ($1.9 billion) in revenue in a strike by more than 70,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union that started January. 23 The country accounts for more than two-thirds of global mined supply of platinum, used for jewelery and to reduce emissions from vehicles. Ivanhoe plans to start development of project’s main production shaft in the first quarter of next year, according to its website.



ISSUES Stakeholders say Federal Government’s policies at the nation's seaports in recent times are becoming unpopular. While terminal operators, importers and clearing agents were still battling to come to terms with the 110 per cent duty imposed on rice importation, car dealers and would-be car owners were shocked when officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) suddenly commenced the implementation of the 70 per cent tariff imposed on fairly-used vehicles. OLUWAKEMI DAUDA reports that these policies have taken its toll on the economy.

• Containers

Fed Govt’s ports policies bleeding economy A NEW duty regime on imported fairly used vehicles (known in local parlance as Tokunbo) will formally come into force at the end of this month. Under the new scheme, automobile importers who hitherto paid 20 per cent duty on used vehicles will now pay 70 per cent as duty. The new tariff is a product of the new government’s automotive policy which states that fully built cars (ready to drive) will henceforth attract 35 per cent duty plus another 35 per cent levy. This brings the total payable tariff by importers to 70 per cent. It also pegs the age ceiling of 10 and 15 for private and commercial vehicles respectively. The policy has caused disquiet among clearing agents. It is also bad news for intending car owners whose hope of ever owning a car have been dashed by the new policy. Importers are worried that the imposition of such duties will affect their businesses and hike vehicle prices by at least 300 per cent.

Cost of Made-in-Nigeria cars

The Federal Government says Made-inNigeria vehicles would sell for between

N1.2million and N1.5million. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said it was part of measures to develop local capcity in the automotive industry. He said: "The importation of Tokunbo vehicles will not be a major threat to the automotive development plan. The tariff for the importation of cars has been reviewed upward and will be announced soon." Aganga also said the ministry had commenced the implementation of the Automotive Industrial Policy Development Plan, whih is expected to place the country in

the club of auto-producing countries. He said with the new measures, the automotive industry will create significant, good quality employment and a wide range of technologically advanced manufacturing opportunities. Aganga added that this will enable the country to acquire the requisite technologies of mass production and quality control. He said arrangements have been made to manufacture new cars that will be sold for between N1.2million and N1.5million.

Clearing costs rise

Determined to test the waters, the Federal Government suddenly began the

"We increased the tariff to110 per cent, and it encouraged some people to go and grow rice and we grew 1.1 million metric tons of the product. But it also encouraged smuggling by neighbouring countries because they immediately dropped their own tariffs to 10 per cent. For rice, we see that it is not working

implementation of the policy on March 1. As expected, importers and clearing agents revolted as the cost of clearing cars and commercial vehicles shot up to between 300 and 450 per cent respectively. A similar government policy on rice had resulted into massive smuggling of the staple food and attendant loss of revenue to the government. The agents did not only stopped work, they also blocked all ports' entrance and exit gates, especially at the Tin Can Island Port (TICP), Apapa, the country's only Roll-On Roll-Off (RoRo) facility. No movement was allowed in and out of the ports throughout the day. This forced the government to revert to the status quo a day after the showdown. The government has concluded plans to relaunch the policy at the end of this month. Stakeholders say if the government worked its talks, importers will have no choice but resort to smuggling the vehicles into the country through her numerous porous borders.

Cargo diversion imminent

The effects of the hike in duty on used vehicles and rice and the total ban on other goods is telling negatively on the revenue earnings of the NCS. Stakeholders say the government did not realise that the country’s neighbours are always praying that it made unpopular policies the advantage of which they take to boost their trans-border business. For instance, any time Nigeria government hikes payable duty on any commodity or bans its importation outrightly, the reaction of neighbouring countries is usually a reduction • Continued on page 38



ISSUES • Continued from page 37

of the tariff of such goods in their country. Findings show that ahead the implementation of the auto policy, Nigerian importers have started diverting their consignments to those countries from where they will be moved, through approved and unapproved routes, into the local markets. More than 70 per cent of such goods find their way into the country through smuggling.

Stakeholders to resist policy implementation The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) said it will resist the implementation of the new tariff by the NCS. Its President, Comrade Anthony Nted, said as long as the local automotive industry is yet to stand on its feet, the union will not allow its implementation. He expressed anger that despite the outcry of Nigerians and efforts by maritime stakeholders to get the government to rescind its unpopular rice and vehicle tariff policies, men of the NCS have commenced its implementation ahead the July 1 implementation date. He said: "We heard that the implementation is going to take place by July but we heard that Customs has started the implementation. I don't know how it works. We will find out if that is true, the MWUN will do everything it can to resist the policy. The best thing we can do to draw the attention of the government to these policies that are inimical to the existence of the Nigerian people is for us to call our workers out of service after every other options have failed." National Coordinator, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalition (SNIFFIEC), Osita Chukwu said the policy is completely anti-masses and should be resisted. He said the new policy, aside hurting the masses, will push a lot people out of the cargo broking job. He said: "We cannot accept the 70 per cent tariff hike. It's going to kill the masses. How many people will be able to buy used vehicles now? How many people can afford new ones as well? We totally reject this. “We are going to shut down the ports if the government doesn't rescind its decision on this matter. By the time over three million importers, exporters and other stakeholders withdraw their services from the ports, you can only imagine the implication of that action on the economy."

Customs’ revenues dip

In the first quarter report declared by the NCS, revenue earnings between January and March this year, was a meagre N77.9 billion out of the projected figure of N400 billion representing a 19.5 per cent or a N322.1 billion loss. The amount collected was also less than half of the N191.3 billion collected by the NCS during the corresponding period under review. According to figures from NCS Headquarters in Abuja, N27.4 billion was collected in January, N23.8 billion in February and N26.7 billion in March. The NCS said out of the revenue collected in the period under review, N41.7 billion was remitted to the Federation Account and N36.2 billion paid to the non-federation account. According to the record, revenue collected came from duties, fees and levies, N7.2 billion was collected on port levy; N1.4 billion from levy on sugar; N7.2 billion from wheat grain levy and N1.0 million from flour levy. Again, N41.7 billion of the revenue figure was realised from five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) while N131.8 million was from the National Export Supervision Scheme (NESS). Other special levies which provided revenue during the period, according to the NCS, were Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS )Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), which accounted for N10.5 billion and N6.3 billion respectively. A further breakdown of the revenue figure showed that N2.6 billion was generated from 100 per cent levy on rice, N79.2 million from brown rice levy and N112.5 million from steel levy. It added that textile levy accounted for N24.1 million, N4.8 million from wine, cement levy, N274.9 million and N135 million from cigarette levy. A Lagos based car dealer, Mr Daniel Joseph said the new tariff will fuel smuggling if it becomes the last option. "With the new tariffs, it means cars of 2003 are no longer to be allowed into the country. That's bad. Nigeria currently makes about N30 billion yearly from used vehicle importation. It will lose that revenue with the new policy because only very few importers can afford to pay all the legitimate duties and levies. When you pay that, how much will you now sell the

•Dr Okonjo-Iweala


Ports’ policies hurting economy vehicles? Over 300 per cent increase. A car of N400,000 will jump to over a million naira. Do you know the implication of that? People will resort to smuggling because they want to evade taxes and duties. When this starts, it will be another headache for the government and its agencies at the borders," he said.

Losses from rice

Stakeholders blamed the 110 per cent hike in the payable duty on rice for the dip in Customs’ revenue collection. In 2012, import duty on rice was 50 per cent and 10 per cent levy totaling 60 per cent. But during 2013 fiscal year, it was shot up to 110 per cent shooting up the cost of importation and the market price. Based on the astronomical increase on the duty, many importers had diverted their cargoes to Cotonou, Benin Republic, where the duty was slashed to as low as 10 per cent. This inevitably made smuggling of the staple food attractive an inevitable. The ENL Consortium Terminal, Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, where over 60 per cent of rice imported into the country is discharged, recorded near-zero import of the commodity last year. The Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, said the total revenue loss to duty hike on rice last year was N300 billion. In the first quarter of this year, she said N80 billion was lost as over 150 shiploads or 600,000 metric tons of rice were diverted to the neighbouring ports of Benin Republic, Cameroon, Ghana and Togo. Haastrup said: "This is becoming rather unfortunate. Our economy is bleeding seriously because of this policy. The loss to other countries, as a result of the high tariff on rice was over N300 billion last year while in the first quarter of this year alone, both government and private operators have lost a least N80 billion. "Even the Federal Government through the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, admitted the shortcoming of this policy. The truth is that the policy has done more harm than good to our economy and government should waste no further time before reversing it." Haastrup, who is also the Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium Limited, said the 110 per cent duty imposed on rice affected the revenue of the NCS, terminal operators, dockworkers and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). The STOAN chair said: "The fact of the matter

is that the policy cannot work. Even if you place heavily armed Customs officers in every corner of our borders, it won't stop smuggling. It is a fact that local production cannot match local demand which creates a recipe for smuggling. “There is a lot of pressure on Customs because the quantity of rice produced locally can only satisfy 30 per cent of local demand. It is easy to point fingers but I believe Customs officers are giving their best. "And don't forget that our neighbouring countries are profiting from the policy by dropping their own tariffs on rice and because they are benefitting, they give tacit support to these smugglers." Haastrup said the 110 per cent policy would not encourage local production but rather stifle it due to the high rate of smuggling.

High import prohibition list

Stakeholders said the country has the longest import prohibition list (IPL) in the world. While other nations use tariff to discourage the importion of some goods into their countries, the country uses outright ban to achieve same goal. Stakeholders said the practice is at variance with modern day international trade. Response from the government is that the policies were introduced to protect the country from being turned into a dumping ground by other nations and invariably to protect local industries that are too weak to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world.

Policy somersault

At the Centenary Award held in Abuja, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, said the Federal Government was contemplating a downward review of tariff on imported rice. According to her, a reduction in tariff will reduce smuggling of the commodity into the country, lamenting that the existing 110 per cent duty was an incentive to smugglers. "We increased the tariff to110 per cent, and it encouraged some people to go and grow rice and we grew 1.1 million metric tons of the product. But it also encouraged smuggling by neighbouring countries because they immediately dropped their own tariffs to 10 per cent. For rice, we see that it is not working," she said.

Furniture import ban reversal

For over a decade, furniture has remained in the country's IPL with its consequent huge revenue loss. Even with the ban in place, foreign furniture continued to flood the country, finding their ways into the homes of the elites. Apparently realising the losses, the Federal Government recently unbanned the

Our economy is bleeding seriously because of this policy. The loss to other countries, as a result of the high tariff on rice was over N300 billion last year while in the first quarter of this year alone, both government and private operators have lost a least N80 billion.

•Customs Comptroller-General, Abdullahi Dikko

item through a circular Ref. No. BD.12237/ S.403/T1/221 dated 23rd January, 2014. The document conveyed to all relevant agencies, the extension of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) 2008 - 2012 until 31st December 2014 and 2014 Fiscal Policy Measures. Rather than an outright ban, a duty rate of 35 per cent has been slammed on the item, which as at the time of this report may not have been officially gazetted for capture in Customs’ procedures for import duty collection purposes. In the circular, furniture was listed as numbers 195 and 196 under HS Code 9401.3000.00-9401.8000.00 and 9403.1000.009403.6000.00 respectively. It was titled, "Extension of ECOWAS Common External Tariff 2008 - 2012 and the Fiscal Policy Measures 2014" and signed by Okonjo-Iweala. The Customs in Circular No.005/2014 dated March 4, 2014, directed all concerned including Deputy Comptrollers General, Zonal Coordintors, Customs Area Controllers (CACs) and heads of units, to comply with the minister's directive. The Customs' circular was signed by Adesina Odunmbaku, the Assistant Comptroller General in charge of Trade and Tariff (T&T), for the Comptroller General of Customs.

Policy obnoxious, anti-people

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), joined other Nigerians in condemning the 70 per cent hike in import tariff on Tokunbo vehicles. Its spokesman, Osita Okechukwu, said the hike was obnoxious, anti-people and capable of inducing smuggling, which would further impoverish Nigerians. "The Automotive Industry Policy Development Plan is defective and utopian, as you cannot build nothing out of nothing. How can you reduce import dependency on automobiles when there is electricity supply deficit, iron manufacturing deficit, rail transport deficit, high cost of finance and absence of motor vehicle manufacturing plants? "It is a trite economic law that you can only protect existing factories, not futuristic factories; we must develop and address the supply side," the CNPP said. It called on President Goodluck Jonathan to cancel the Tokunbo vehicle import tariff. The National President of the Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, however, said based on the interaction between the group and Federal Government representatives, the automotive policy will be reviewed. He said: He said: "The contentious automotive policy is to be revisited with a view to reversing the policy in favour of a phased increase in the tariff regime over a period of 10 years."

Auto policy promises more jobs

The Director-General, National Automotive Council (NAC), Mr. Aminu Jalal, said many international automotive manufacturers in particular, Toyota, Nissan, Renault and General Motors, have indicated interest in investing in the country following the evolution of the automotive development plan. He said: "Nissan, Toyota and others are now conducting a feasibility study on vehicle assembly in Nigeria. "At full capacity, the Nigerian automotive industry has the potential to create 70,000 skilled and semi-skilled jobs along with 210,000 indirect jobs in the Small and Mediumscale Enterprises (SMEs) sector that will supply the assembly plants." Jalal said 490,000 other jobs would also be created in the raw materials supply industries.




Storm smashes 4,500 new cars The hail storm that hit Blair, Nebraska, United States last Tuesday was a whopper, with tennis-ball-sized chunks of ice pounding the town for 15 minutes. Some 27 people were injured, hundreds of homes and buildings damaged and scores of windows broken. And the biggest hit landed at the local mega car dealer, which estimates nearly 4,500 new cars and trucks suffered some $10 million in damage. The Woodhouse Auto Family dealership chain has its flagship Ford and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep stores in Blair, with $152 million in new-vehicle inventory — all of which was parked outside when the storm blew in. In one video recorded by employees and posted to the dealership’s Facebook page, the hail sounds like a storm of buckshot hitting the roof. The dealership says it is still counting up the damage to the vehicles on its lots, but that the traditional post-hailstorm sale will be sizable. Normal-size hail can inflict thousands of dollars of dents and broken glass; several of the cars shown at the Woodhouse dealership look near-totaled, considering they might need entirely new roofs, hoods and fenders.

Honda Accord wins Car of the Year


HE panel of judges of Nigeria Auto Awards’ has voted D-Segment Honda Accord the ‘Executive car of the year.’ Honda accord outpaced rival mid-size family sedans including Toyota Camry, Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata, to win the coveted plaque at the 9th edition of the awards. The award, which held amid fanfare at the Eko Hotels and Suites Lagos attracted substantial number of automobile stakeholders and government officials. Honda’s win was not a big surprise as the Accord boasted the highest attributes among the brand watch factors, including affordability, “cool” factor, driving comfort, driving performance, durability/reliability, exterior styling, fuel efficiency, interior layout, prestige/sophistication, reputation, ruggedness and safety. The jurors said strong consumer

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

perception also helped Honda Accord to earn top honour among rival brands. The judges added that responses from numerous new car and truck owners as well as stakeholders facilitated their opinions about various brands that were categorised into 33 groups including tyres, workshops and logistics. The Honda Place Head, Sales and Marketing, Deepak Daryanani, in a post award said: “A brand is really built over the long haul through consumers’ experiences with its products, and Honda is committed to delivering classleading vehicles that provide lasting enjoyment and value to our customers.” He said the 2014 Honda Accord stuck to its super-sensible reputation with accessible safety technology, great fuel economy, and un-

paralleled composure. “Safety is Accord’s strength with high scores in toughest crash tests, it offers some breakthrough safety items that you might not expect to see in an affordable model,” he said. Honda has consistently improved the Accord not only to outperform competitors, but to reintegrate the sporty driving dynamics of much earlier Accords. Daryanani said the Accord is detailed with premium accessory such as LED head lamps, earth dream technology, a start/stop button and paddle shift gear to give the car a deserving character. Currently one of the most aggressive models in the Honda lineup, the Accord, wields significant improvement over its predecessor when viewed against the backdrop of innovations like class leading cabin space, excellent fuel economy and almost a cubic foot

more cargo volume. Other attractive innovations are the car’s new electric power steering with non-contact torque sensor for linear steering feel and world’s first steel and aluminum bonded front surface. The Accord is offered in standard LX and EXL 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine with 173 bhp, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission (A/T) in Nigeria. “The Accord is one of the few new ‘IIHS Top Safety Pick+’ vehicles; and it achieves a top five-star overall score (albeit four stars for frontal impact). Forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control systems are all available on the Accord, and a cool new lane-watch blind spot display provides a wide view of the passenger side of the vehicle on the Multi-Information Display (i-MID) screen the moment you flick the turn signal,” Daryanani said.

Saudis change tires on motion


OR some folks, changing just one tire on the side of the road can be a daunting task. Many have never changed a tire before, and even for the folks who have changed hundreds of tires, having to swap out wheels on the curb is no fun. It is likely because its always been done wrong. While one may think that changing a tire requires a vehicle to come to a complete stop, a group of Saudis have proven that such a task cannot only be done while the vehicle is in motion, but in spectacular form. As this Toyota FJ goes up on two wheels, the daring team goes to work, there is a pair for the front and a pair for the rear wheels. Two tire irons are used at first and then the bolts are loosened by hand. Props to the driver of the FJ, who must have been constantly compensating for changing weight as the team moved about the SUV. The most stressful moment for the driver has to be dropping back down to four wheels, and trusting your team to have tightened all the bolts properly. Either way, they can be my pit team any day!

•Saudis change tires on the motion

SAFE DRIVING •Continue from lastweek


CCORDING to the 2011 report by the Federal Road Safety Commission, there were 4,765 (four thousand, seven hundred and sixty five) recorded road accident cases. It is obvious that there will be several unreported and unrecorded cases of road crashes and fatalities particularly in the rural communities. Between December 19, 2013 and January 3, 2014, 480 (four hundred and eighty) accidents were recorded. Nigeria was recently ranked as having the second highest road traffic accident and fatalities among the 193 countries in the world. This ranking was also affirmed by Nigeria’s Health Minister (Nigeria records 162 deaths per 100,000). It was further affirmed that if no serious attention is paid to stem down this pandemic of road crashes and fatalities, the rate

Road safety and election manifesto will increase by 65 percent by 2015 – 2020. I was moved to commence this advocacy when I sat down to analyze the short and long term consequence of road crashes and fatalities coupled with a recent statement by a Senior Officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission that the Agency is worried about the rising rate of road traffic accidents and fatalities in Nigeria. When a Defender is getting worried, the Defended should quickly embark on an alternative escape route. I use this forum to plead with the readers of this column to ponder on the following consequences of road accidents and fatalities so that together, we can advocate for more intensive and proactive approach to Road Safety Management in Nigeria.

Basic facts from the figures Whenever an accident claims the life of a Person; the following are some of the effects. (a) The population of Nigeria is reduced (b) A Breadwinner (present or potential) is lost thus fueling poverty in that family. (c) A Leader is lost (d) More Orphans are created (e) Reduction in Human Capital (f) A valuable Customer is gone forever. Think about the following Analogy: i. Banking – A bank customer is lost forever. ii. Telecommunication – A customer of telephone Lines, recharge cards, mobile or fixed wireless telephone and other accessories is reduced by one.

iii. Education – If the person is a Student, the school population has reduced by one person, no more school fees from that person. If the person is an adult, he or she cannot bear children that will enroll in school again. He cannot buy books again nor patronize other educational services again. iv. Religion – The population of the religious Organizations is reduced by one. No more Tithes, Offerings and other contributions from that person again. v. Textile – A customer of textile materials, shoes, bags, etc is gone forever. vi. Automobile – A customer for vehicles, tyres, batteries, repairs, etc is gone forever. vii. Food – A customer for food items, eateries, condiments, etc is no more. viii. Service – If the person is a

Jide Owatunmise Registrar / Chief Executive, Professional Driving and Safety Academy

service provider in any form, a gap has been created. Imagine what could have happened to computer software and philanthropy if Bill Gates died in a road accident 30 years ago.

SAVED in MAC 44 in MOTORING pages FOLDER/Motoring 09-06-14

•To be continued nextweek




What constitutes ‘trade’ for tax purposes: Guidelines for the general public


HIS article clarifies the FIRS’ position on what constitutes ‘trade’ or business for tax purposes. In accordance with the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), and the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), any trade is subject to tax under CITA and PITA, even if that trade is carried out by friendly societies, co-operative societies, charitable and ecclesiastical organizations, or trade unions. . CITA states that “any trade or business for whatever period of time such trade or business may have been carried on” shall be subject to Companies Income Tax (Sec 9(1)(a)). The profits of certain institutions are exempt from tax under CITA, but only in so far as such profits are not derived from ‘trade or business’ (Sec. 19(1) (a, b, c, e)). This means that the profits of any organization that are derived from ‘trade’ shall be subject to Companies Income Tax. This raises the question, what exactly constitutes ‘trade’? A definition of the word ‘trade’ cannot be found in Nigerian tax legislation although an attempt was made in PITA. The interpretation Section of the Fifth Schedule of PITA defines “trade or business” to mean “trade or business or that part of a trade or business the profits of which are assessable under this Act”. However, the issue has been addressed in several legal cases, the rulings of which provide some legal certainty regarding how the courts interpret the word (see Section 2). In line with these rulings, ‘trade’ can be regarded as “the business of buying and selling or bartering goods or services”. Furthermore, the one-off nature of an activity in no way invalidates that activity as constituting trade. This interpretation matches the approach in other jurisdictions, namely the UK and USA (see Section 3).

Case Law in Nigeria Although no explicit definition of ‘trade’ exists in the law, the issue has been addressed in several legal cases, the rulings of which provide some legal certainty regarding how the courts interpret the word. The most important case is that of Arbico Ltd v. FBIR, {1996} 2 All NLR 303. The plaintiff in the dispute, Arbico, had acquired a plot of land, erected a building, and sold the property at a profit. The company was subsequently assessed for tax on the proceeds of the sale of property The Company objected to the assessment on the basis that the transaction was a one-off and therefore did not constitute ‘trade’. The case was ultimately settled in the Supreme Court. In the ruling the Court laid down two important axioms: • Firstly, that the word ‘trade’ should be interpreted in its widest sense, in accordance with its common everyday meaning; • Secondly, that an isolated one-off transaction can still constitute a “trade”. In line with the ruling of the Supreme Court, the following definition seems to capture the common meaning of the word ‘trade’. Trade is “the business of buying and selling or barter in goods or services”(taken from Black’s Law Dictionary, Eighth Ed. (2004)).

Treatment in Other Tax Jurisdictions In considering what constitutes ‘trade’ for tax purposes it is useful to consider how the issue is addressed in other jurisdictions. In the UK, as in Nigeria, there is no statutory definition of the word ‘trade’. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) relies on case law to formulate a working definition. HMRC states that “Usually, trading involves the provision of goods or services to customers on a commercial basis”. As in Nigerian case law, “Simply because

a venture is a one-off or occasional does not mean that it will not be treated as trading for tax purposes”. It is interesting to note that although the HMRC definition employs the notion of ‘commercial basis’, HMRC explicitly states that whether or not the profits of an activity are ultimately used for charitable purposes is not relevant for the determination of whether or not that activity constitutes a trade. In the USA, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employs a similar approach to HMRC. IRS regards ‘trade’ as including “any activity carried on for the production of income from selling goods or performing services”. It is interesting to note how IRS treats the trading activities of an organisation that also carries out tax exempt activities. IRS states that “an activity does not lose its identity as a trade or business merely because it is carried on within a larger group of similar activities that may, or may not, be related to the exempt purposes of the organizations. In other words, a single organisation can undertake both exempt activities and trading activities. This implies that an organisation cannot argue that none of its activities constitute ‘trade’ just because it undertakes some exempt activities.

Badges of Trade In 1955 in England, the Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income in reaction to whether a statutory definition of trade was necessary, said that “each case must be decided to its own circumstance (1955 Cmnd.9474 para.116) and suggested badges of trade” which they considered to be the major relevant considerations that will facilitate in determining whether any profit is a taxable trading profit or not. Badges of trade refer to certain indicators that may be used in determining the factual question as whether an activity is trade or not. Case law has expanded it to 9. The badges of trade are: • Profit seeking motive. An intention to make a profit supports trading, but by itself is not conclusive. • The number of transaction. Systematic and repeated transactions will support ‘trade’. An isolated transaction may also constitute a trade. • Existence of similar trading transactions or interests. Transactions that are similar to those of an existing trade may themselves be trading. • Changes to the asset. Was the asset repaired, modified or improved to make it more easily saleable or saleable at a greater profit? • The way the sale was carried out. Was the asset sold in a way that was typical of trading organizations? Alternatively, did it have to be sold to raise cash for an emergency? • The source of finance. Was money borrowed to buy the asset? Could the funds only be repaid by selling the asset? • Interval of time between purchase and sale. Assets that are the subject of trade will normally, but not always, be sold quickly. Therefore, an intention to resell an asset shortly after purchase will support trading. However, an asset, which is to be held indefinitely, is much less likely to be a subject of trade. • Method of acquisition. An asset that is acquired by inheritance, or as gift, is less likely to be the subject of trade. These ‘badges’ will not be present in every case and of those that are, some may point one way and some the other. The presence or absence of a particular badge is unlikely, by itself, to provide a conclusive answer to the question of whether or not there is a trade. The weight to be attached to each badge will depend on the precise circumstances.

• Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed


FIRS Position A definition of the word ‘trade’ cannot be found in Nigerian tax law. However, the issue has been addressed in several legal cases, the rulings of which provide some legal certainty regarding how the courts interpret the word. In line with these rulings, ‘trade’ can be regarded as “the business of buying and selling or bartering goods or services”. Where one or more of the criteria on the badges of trade apply, FIRS will treat such transaction as trade. Furthermore, the one-off nature of an activity in no way invalidates that activity as constituting a trade. This interpretation matches the approach in other jurisdictions, namely the UK and USA. The following decided cases are relevant in this regard: i In the case of Marlin Vs Lowry (1955)3 All ER 48; 11 TC 297), a person without previous knowledge of linen trade bought a surplus stock of aeroplane linen from government which he sold to the public in small lots. He engaged employees for the re-packaging and embarked on sales” promotion through extensive adverts and campaigns. It was held that he was trading. ii In Murray Vs I.R. Comrs (1951, 32 TC 238), where a timber merchant who bought standing timbers in two plantations and could not cut them due to labour cost, sold the rights to cut the timbers to meet his indebtedness. He was assessed to tax on the profit from the transaction. He contended that the sale was a capital transaction since it was not in the normal course of his business but it was held that the transaction was part of his normal trading as a timber merchant. iii In Burge Vs Pyne (1969, All ER 467), a club proprietor providing facilities for bar, dancing, cabaret, fruit machines and gambling, appealed against the inclusion of his winnings in his assessment. The appeal was dismissed on the ground that the winnings formed part of his regular income from the trade of running the club. From the foregoing and in accordance with the provisions of CITA, any friendly society, cooperative societies, charitable and ecclesiastical organizations or trade unions that carry out trade as defined and described above would be liable to tax on income derived from such trade.

BUSINESS Dangote Flour sells packaging subsidiary to Dangote Industries


ANGOTE Flour Mills (DFM) Plc has sold its entire equity stake in its packaging subsidiary-Dangote Agrosacks Limited to Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) as the flour-milling company seeks to realign its business operations.In a regulatory filing obtained at the weekend, Dangote Flour Mills stated that it has divested its 99 per cent equity stake in Dangote Agrosacks to Dangote Industries Limited. Both DFM and DIL are chaired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote. According to the report, the sale was in line with a strategic review of DFM’s portfolio of businesses, which aimed at aligning the company’s core business areas with that of its core shareholder, Tiger Brand Limited, which focuses on food-related businesses.The Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SSPA) with DIL involved the sale of DFM’s 84.150 million ordinary shares of N1 each in Dangote Agrosacks, representing 99 per cent of the total issued ordinary share capital of Dangote Agrosacks.

The share sale has been approved by board and shareholders of DFM as well as the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).According to the report, the divestment was in furtherance of DFM’s group-wide business optimisation initiative, aimed at ensuring that the company is efficiently structured to maximise shareholder value and sustain its market leadership position in the Nigerian food and beverages sector.Dangote Agrosacks was incorporated as private limited liability company on 25th August, 1998 and commenced business in May, 1999. It is involved in the manufacture and sale of polypropylene sacks, majorly for the companies within the Dangote Group, as well as other users.Dangote Agrosacks’s products include cement bags, flour bags, sugar bags, salt bags and market bags production lines and 6 regular lines across three plant locations in Nigeria. Dangote Flour had lost about N4.7 billion in the first quar-

ter. Interim report and accounts of DFM for the three-month period ended March 31, 2014 showed declines in sales and profitability. Turnover dropped to N18.58 billion in first quarter 2014 as against N19.13 billion recorded in the comparable period of 2013. Loss before tax stood at N4.74 billion in 2014 compared with N3.29 billion in 2013 while loss after tax more than doubled from N1.84 billion in 2013 to N4.14 billion in 2014.Tiger Brands Limited, South Africa’s largest food company, recently said it would write off about half of its investment in Dangote Flour Mills Plc, less than two years after buying a majority stake in the Nigeria-based producer.Tiger, which makes Jungle Oats and All Gold tomato sauce, will impair Dangote Flour’s value by 849 million rand, about $82 million, because of “underperformance” and “excess milling capacity that continues to increase in the Nigerian flour market,” the Johannesburg-based company said.












•Ogbeni Aregbesola (third left) Dr Fayemi (first left), Chief Akande (right), Adeleke, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola and Adebiyi at the rally.

Former Osun State Governor Isiaka Adeleke has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). ADESOJI ADENIYI and MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE examine the shift in alliance and its implications for the August 9 governorship election

Adeleke: PDP’s loss, APC’s gain B

ROOMS filled the air at the Nelson Mandele Freedom Park, Osogbo, the state capital. The venue was filled to the brim. Party supporters shunned unruly behaviour. Party leaders and followers were in one accord. It was a day set apart by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to enlarge its coast. Thousands of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members tored their membership cards as they joined the APC. It was a carnival-like rally. The defection was not beyond expectation. There was a rancorous governorship primaries in the Osun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Former Governor Isiaka Adeleke, an aspirant, was molested. His supporters were threatened. When he cried wolf, the party leadership turned a deaf ear. The troubled chapter proposed a reconciliation between the flag bearer, Senator Iyiola Omisore, and Adeleke, who was his colleague in the National Assembly between 2007 and 2011. But, it paled into window dressing and cosmetic parley. It was a turn of events for the charismatic politician, who had seized the state by the storm in the Third Republic, when he became the governor. Adeleke was a progressive politician. His father, the late Senator Adeleke, was a veteran union leader and associate of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. When he was excluded from the primaries, reality dawned on him that his time was up in the conservative camp. He therefore, retraced his steps. Few

weeks ago, he returned to the progressive fold, his natural habitat. At a historic rally, the Ede-born politician defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was a reunion of sorts. Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who received him, was a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on which platform he rode to power in Osun State in 1991. The APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, was a colleague of Adeleke’s father in the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the old Oyo State. For the APC, Adeleke is a big catch. Observers contend that he will add value to the progressive camp because he is a grasssroots actor. Hailing his defection, the Osun State Interim APC Chairman, Elder Lowo Adebiyi, described it as the return of the natives. He urged other progressives in the conservative camp to return to base to salvage the country. As the August 9 governorship poll draws near, political activities are becoming interesting. There is the re-alignment of forces. The defections are altering the geo-political calculations, ahead of the contest. Adeleke’s defection trailed the defection of other notable politicians from the PDP to the APC

and the Labour Party (LP). Few months ago, former Secretary to Government (SSG), Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, called it quits with the PDP). He is now a governorship aspirant in the Labour Party (LP). Also, Elder Sunday Laoye, Deputy Governor Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori’s cousin, went back to the PDP. Explaining his defection, Laoye said he jumped ship because the governor did not fulfil the promise to appoint him as the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission. He said he was irked by the appointment of Mr. Peter Babalola, a defector from the PDP to the APC. Babalola was the Chief of Staff in Oyinlola Administration. However, Adeleke’ defection has generated much interest. His supporters in the Osun West Senatorial District defected along with him. Traditional rulers, clerics, community leaders, women, youths and students hailed the move. His home town, Ede, was aglow with festivities. Before his defection, there was no bone of contention between him and Aregbesola and other APC leaders. Despite the political differences, there has been mutual respect betwen him and the APC stakeholders. Akande congratulated him for dumping the sinking ship. He

assured his supporters of equal treatment in the APC. He advised him to use his experience and clout to mobilise for Aregbesola’s victory at the poll. Few days before Adeleke left the PDP, the party’s flag bearer, Omisore, picked the former House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Adejare Bello, who is from Ede , as his running mate. The move, analysts said, was to checkmate Adeleke, who is the political leader of Ede North and South, Egbedore and Ejigbo councils. But, a federal legislator, Muftau Ayinde, said that it was a miscalculation. He said that Bello cannot be an obstacle to the former governor, who is held in high esteem in the area. “The former Speaker cannot not match Adeleke’s popularity in the area. Bello was one of Adeleke’s boys.” Adeleke was a happy man at the ceremony. He waved his broom, and the crowd jubilated. He reflected on his ordeal in the PDP, saying that he was edged out of the intra-party electoral process. He said he left the party because of the violent characters of its leadership. Adeleke said that his life was in danger in the PDP, recalling that he was physically assaulted by top party leaders and their thugs who threw deco-

‘Adeleke has said that, on August 9, he would deliver 95 percent of votes from Ede area to the APC. Thos who know him said that it is not an empty boast’

rum in the wind. The former governor said that, to his consternation, his complaints about the assault were ignored by the party leadership. “After the incident, I never felt safe within the PDP. Two days ago, Omisore and his men came to apolise, but they were turned back at the gate by my security details, ” he said. Adeleke said that his popularity in his native Ede was not in doubt. Describing himself as the man of the people, he said that, since he entered politics in 19990, he has been defending and promoting the interest of the ancient town. However, Omisore’s media aide, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said that Adeleke had made a big mistake for walking out on the PDP. But, the former governor fired back, saying that “any attempt to stay longer in the PDP would mean assisting criminal to get into power in Osun State.” Observers believe that Adeleke’s defection has upset the PDP . Also, prominent members of the party have lost faith in the party, following Omisore’s emergence as the candidate. For example, sources said that Lere Oyewumi, who was eyeing the PDP’s deputy governorship slot, felt betrayed when Bello was picked. “Before the poll, many PDP chieftains will still defect to the APC because of injustice”, said a source. Adeleke has said that, on August 9, he would deliver 95 percent of votes from Ede area to the APC. Thos who know him said that it is not an empty boast.



POLITICS Abdullahi Bego is the Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information to Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam. He spoke with reporters in Damaturu, the state capital, on what the government is doing to restore peace and security and curtail the Boko Haram insurgency. He also described as shocking and unfortunate comments credited to retired General Bamaiyi on the emergency rule. Managing Editor, Northern Operation, YUSUF ALLI, reports.

Bamaiyi’s comment on emergency rule shocking’


INCE the latest extension of emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, the Boko Haram attacks have intensified in the affected states. What’s your take on this? Well, we have opposed the latest extension of emergency rule after having supported it the very first time it was declared back in May 2013. Instead, we had asked for a change in strategy with special emphasis on three planks: Robust equipment and technology support for the military, improved intelligence gathering and capability to penetrate digital communications of insurgents and terrorists and a more robust engagement with the civilian populations of the affected states to further mobilize them on behalf of peace and security. It is sad that as we speak the hard working military troops and other security agents on the ground in the affected states do not have all the requisite kits and gear they need to subdue the insurgents. Remember that ours is a military which has done wonders in many troubled spots around the world; and they helped to restore peace in places like Liberia and Sierra Leone. They could do even better here at home. I agree that what we face here in the country is an asymmetric warfare. The insurgents do not have known addresses. Still, there were plenty of missed opportunities when we could have routed and defeated them and brought their senseless violence to an end. I know you guys in the press have followed all the key happenings here in our region. Since the time when the civilian population in Damaturu and our other major towns started to use their mobile phones to report to the security agents about the presence of any suspected criminals or insurgents in town, almost all of the insurgents and criminals left town to the bushes fearing the people would expose them. The same thing happened in Borno State with the emergence of ‘civilian JTF’. That was when we started hearing that the insurgents have moved to and are operating from Sambisa Forest. Now, that’s a known address! Sambisa Forest is a known address. I am not a security expert but I believe strongly that as asymmetric as the current war with Boko Haram is, the very fact that they have been narrowed to a location – Sambisa Forest – where the civilian population close by is not

nearly as concentrated means that we have plenty of opportunity to devise • Bego more effective strategies to deal with them. I still hope our security forces can Well, for emphasis, I want to state deal decisively with them going forward. But, as we have seen, Boko Haram that our governors have not failed. In has continued to undertake their ruth- fact, under the circumstances they are less and senseless campaign of violence. going over and beyond the call of duty Very recently, about 24 of our security to do their part to support the security forces were sadly killed in Buni Yadi in forces and the quest for peace. And they have always done so. an encounter with terrorists. For instance, in Yobe State, GoverSo, the emergency rule extension has got to be better. This time, it should be nor Ibrahim Gaidam has used every different and more substantive. The fed- available platform to remind and call eral government should do everything on people to support security agents it takes to provide any and every piece and to remain vigilant in their localiof hardware and support to the security ties and to pray in mosques and forces which would help bring this churches and homes for Almighty Allah to help restore peace. madness to an end. He has also provided thousands of Some people believe have said that the declaration of the emergency our youth and women with direct meant that government has failed.. employment and employment opporLet’s talk about the role of the affected tunities to help channel their energies state governments. What are you do- to productive use. And the Yobe State ing to support and advance the quest Government continues to spend for peace because recently, a retired heavily to provide for the security Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya forces on the ground. It is the same with the governors of Bamaiyi, said he declaration of the state of emergency meant that governors of Borno and Adamawa States. They are also doing their part and their best the affected states have failed… I have read Bamaiyi’s interview and I and it is my considered opinion that am particularly piqued by his rather anyone who truly knows the issues uninformed views about emergency should commend and not disparage rule. They are shocking and unfortu- these governors. What are your main challenges in nate. First, our constitution has never contemplated the appointment of sole the state now? You said you are spendadministrators simply because an emer- ing so much on security and yet you gency rule is declared. So, his statement have to provide social services for the of question to the affected governors people… That’s very true. We have to provide “what am I doing there?” as governor of a state where emergency rule is de- social services and we are providing clared does not hold water. The gover- to our people and we will continue to nors have to be there because they were provide going forward. For example, we have made remarkdemocratically elected by their people able progress linking our communijust as the president. Bamaiyi’s reference to the time of ties with roads. We have drilled thouformer President Obasanjo is also ill- sands of boreholes and sunk thouinformed not just on the questionable sands of wells to provide clean and legal basis of Obasanjo’s action but also potable drinking water. We have imbecause the situations in Ekiti and Pla- proved on the conditions in our teau States at the time and Borno, Yobe schools and are doing more. We have and Adamawa states now are com- improved on healthcare and took steps pletely different. To say that emergency to attract more medical personnel inrule was declared because the gover- cluding doctors. And we have taken nors of the northeast states have failed all-of-the-above strategy to make life is to suggest that the control of the armed a little easier for our people. Our major challenge is that we conforces and police and other security and intelligence agencies is in the hands of tinue to divert funds we could have the governors and not the president or used to do more for our people to supthe federal government. It is amazing port security. But we are not regretthat a retired army general would ting. Security is the number one reequate emergency rule declaration in sponsibility of government. So, we our three states with failure of the af- will stay the course and hope that it will not be long before peace returns fected governors. to our states and country as a whole.

•From right: Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (right), Senator Babafemi Ojudu (left) and Chairman, ‘eEleven’, Mr. Femi Ajiniran, when the governor received an award from the group in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

‘No reconciliation in Osun PDP’


UPPORTERS of former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Osun State Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi have criticised the chapter for the slow pace of reconciliation, following the controversial April 5 governorship primaries. The senator, who addressed his supporters in Osogbo, the state capital, expressed dissatisfaction with indifference of the leadership to reconciliation. He maintained that the ward congresses that preceded the primaries were severely flawed. At the meeting, Akinlabi’s supporters complained about marginalisation anmd exclusion from party activities. In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the Akinlabi Campaign Group said the party may proceed into the governorship poll as a divided house, unless urgent steps are taken to reconcile the blocs in the chapter. The communique was signed gy its Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Ayo Aluko-Olokun. The group also warned that the party may not succeed at the poll, unless there is peace in the chapter. However, the members said that they had no intention of defecting from the party. According to the group, there are outstanding issues that must be resolved, if the PDP is desirous of victory. The statement added: “We wish to restate our commitment to the PDP while pursuing the quests for justice, fairness and internal democracy within the Party. “The reconciliation of all the governorship aspirants and their supporters with the party should have taken place before the unveiling of the governorship candidate, if truly the party was sincere with its vouched reconciliation move. “We wish to observe that the impression being created inadvertently is that, with or without the other governorship aspirants and their supporters. • Akinlabi

Ex-police commissioner seeks peaceful poll in Ekiti From Damisi Ojo, Akure


FORMER Commissioner of Police in Plateau State, Mr Dipo Ayeni, has called for a peaceful poll in Ekiti State on June 21. Ayeni, who is the Special Adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Security, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate is dedicated to the cause of transparent and credible poll. The retired police commissioner, who spoke in Akure, Ondo State capital, said efforts are being made to make the state conducive for a freee and fair elections, urging the stakeholders to cooperate with security agencies. He also urged the youths to shun violence, saying that it is an illwind that does not blow anybody any good. Ayemi said that a level playing ground would be provided for the candidates. He warned against any act of violence and brigande, vowing to hand over culprits to security agents. Ayeni lamented that Ekiti, which has been peaceful in the last three and half years, is being heated up by ”do-or-die politicians.” He said: ”Throughout the campaign tours of Fayemi across the state,I never witnessed any violence. But, we know those who wanted the election to be acrimonious and we are appealing to all security apparatus to curtail their excesses. Fayemi is a peaceful person. He has been preaching peace. His campaigns have been issue-based, particularly on how to further provide dividends of democracy to the people.” The former police chief pointed out that sovereignity belongs to the people and not by a fierce battle for power by all means and at all costs. he said that on June 21, electoral manipulation will be resisted in Ekiti State. Ayeni urged the stakeholders to fight fraudulent election processes in the interest of democracy. He highlighted the achievements of Governor Fayemi, pointing out that he has made impact in the areas of infrastructural development, social security, qualitative education and and healthcare. Ayeni, who congratulated Ekiti State for having an intellectual in power, described Fayemi as a highly cerebral and passionate leader who has passion for development. He said: ”I don’t use to praise sing. I am not playing to the gallery. It is what I have seen. Fayemi has encouraged democratic governance and provided excellent, purposeful and focused leadership.” Urging the people to vote for Fayemi to guarantee the continuity of good governance, he said that, inspite of Ekiti’s ranking as the 35th state, in terms of the allocation from the Federation Account, the governor successfully imple-mented his eight-point agenda. He added: “Fayemi deserves to be re-elected for continuity in prudence, decent and responsive governance”.





(Office of the Registrar)


Hammer on the media


IGERIA moved 15 years backward at the weekend. In the postmilitary era, soldiers were on the prowl on the highways, seizing consignments of newspapers and tampering with the freedom of information. This kind of torture on the media was not even witnessed under the power loaded President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who loomed large on the beleaguered country for eight years. Following the crackdown on selected media houses, the fate of a supposedly free society hung in the balance. As the Federal Government targeted the newspapers for liquidation in a military style, ahead of the next year general elections, suspicion grew about the real motive of the security agencies. Many believed that it was a deliberate attempt to gag the Fourth Estate of the Realm and curtail the freedom of expression. It is note-worthy that some of the affected newspapers are not government’s praise singers. The siege on the newspapers distribution was carefully planned. Media circulation vans were ambushed. The consignments were forcefully seized. The vans were impounded. The drivers were molested, harassed and arrested. Vendors, who waited in vain for the confiscated newspapers in major towns and cities across the federation, cried foul over the disruption of their daily work. Nigerians who eagerly waited for daily supply of newspapers were denied access to information. In the evening, the soldiers on rampage reluctantly released the consignment at a time the newspapers were no more marketable. In Nigeria, the cost of producing a newspaper edition is high. Thus, the affected media houses incurred huge losses. Defensively, the Defense Headquarters offered a feeble and spurious explanation. The Director of Defense Information, Gen. Chris Olukolade, alleged that media vans were moving materials with grave security implications. Yet, when the vans were searched, nothing incriminating was found. More worrisome was that the consignments that had already been delivered at distribution centres were also taken away by soldiers. In some Southwest and Southeast states, security men laid siege on outstation offices. They pounced on some reporters under the guise of searching for elusive bombs. The onslaught was sudden. It provoked outrage among media executives, lawyers, politicians and leaders of civil society. Angry stakeholders berated the soldiers for acting without thinking. Some said that, if the soldiers, who were obviously disturbed by their lack of success in the war against the dreadful Boko Haram sect, have now decided to vent their frustration on the media, it was a misplaced aggression. As the renewed emasculation of the media continues to generate controversy, the weekend brutality will elicit a fury of criticisms this week from the parliament, opposition governments and concerned statesmen. However, the siege is not over. The soldiers, who opened a new chapter in media oppression, suppression and travesty of democracy, continued the condemnable assault yesterday. More consignments were

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor

seized. Now, van drivers whose distribution schedules are night-bound, are complaining that their lives are in danger. The last time a curious war was waged against the media was during the military regime. Then, the tension between the sit-tight military rulers and the progressive media was sustained by the fight for popular rule. Although some reporters and few media houses have suffered skeletal bruises under this administration, they paled into insignificance in the face of the massive onslaught, including the closure of media houses, unjust arrest, detention and imprisonment of journalists, which characterised the military era. Observers contend that the Federal Government may have not learned from the lessons of history. There was never a time any government succeeded in its vituperation and virulent attack on the media, especially at a time practitioners are committed to the pursuit of an egalitarian society. It is also likely that those in power do not understand that the media is not for or against any government. Emphasising the legitimate role of the media in the nurturing of a democratic society, the doyen of the profession, the late Alhaji Babatunde Jose, pointed out that, in the final analysis, the media is for the people of Nigeria. Efforts by past governments to trample on the press and frustrate its devotion to the pursuit of truth, the rule of law and justice were futile. The gulf between the pro-people media and dictatorial regimes can be attributed to the rejection of the notion that the press, as the most popular and durable agency of the oppressed society, is willing to always play its role as partner in progress in the effort to genuinely find lasting solutions to the crises of nation-building and challenges of development. However, whenever the media seeks to carry out this exclusive patriotic assignment without let and hindrance, its position may rattle or unsettle the unpatriotic elements in high places. The press has two options. One is to forge an alliance with the government without reservations. The other is to play its role as the watchdog as requested by the people. With a benefit of hindsight, society can only become a better place, when the media decides to take the latter route. When the media is aloof to economic stagnation, political deterioration, theft and graft in high places, cluelessness of government in the face of mounting challenges and lack of courage to take firm and decisive steps that can move the trembling nation forward, then, it has become an accomplice and a major contributor to the rot. Thus, it can be argued that the greatest national asset is the uncompromising media that is eternally dedicated to cause of the society, and invariably, the welfare of the common man, through the practice of journalism with a sense of balance, proportion and truth. Instead of pouring venom on the media and censoring the media, government can do better by perceiving the press as the mirror and link between it and the people that conferred the democratic mandate


through their votes. In the collective search for the way forward, it is counter-productive for the government to uncritically brand a section of the media as a foe, or dismiss it as the pervasive symbol of partisanship, when its focus and the summary of its exposition is the solution to the national question in the national interest. Truth will always bail the press out in a moment of trial and predicament. The dark period will always be short-lived. Historically, the colonial masters charged many nationalistjournalists, including Dr. Nnamidi Azikiwe, Ernest Ikoli and Anthony Enahoro, with sedition. But, the move did not cripple the struggle for independence. Also, in the post-independence period, the media had survived the tyranny of lords of manor, including the over-zealous military governor, who shaved the hair of reporters with knife and broken bottle, military Heads of State who rolled anti-democratic decrees under which journalists were hounded into detention and jailed, and the ebullient military propagandist and fork-tongued minister of information, who shut five media houses under Babangida and Abacha regimes. The media survived their atrocities. Freedom of the press is an essential elements of democracy. Once it is annulled, the country may regress into civilian dictatorship. No government wages war against the press and still expects to remain popular. Also, no responsible media will mobilise public opinion to support an inept administration in a democratically conscious polity. It is also against the libertarian philosophy of journalism for the media to engage in selfcensorship and condone the increasing laxity of government. It must also be noted that it is very difficult for any government that cannot permit full press freedom to guarantee other fundamental rights. When troops are deployed to intimidate reporters, it is an abuse of the military establishment by the Commander-In-Chief. Fifteen years of uninterrupted civil rule is enough to douse the acrimony between the government and media. But, since many past military apologists and collaborators still form the bulk of top government functionaries, it appears that the role of the media in democracy is still beyond the ken and comprehension of old military lackeys in the civilian dispensation. What the recent seizure of newspapers by soldiers portends for the polity is that a conducive atmosphere may not be guaranteed for journalists to perform their traditional roles, especially as the polity prepares for the crucial 2015 general elections. However, the greatest implication of the sledge hammer on the media, 15 years after, is that Nigeria has only achieved civil rule. Democracy is still far.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Musbau Adewumi Akanji, FNSBMB, on behalf of Council, Senate, Staff and Students of Federal University of Technology, Minna cordially invite Graduands and the General Public to the combined 21st, 22nd and 23rd Convocation Ceremonies of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, for the conferment of First Degree, Higher Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and the award of prizes. Programme of Events is as follows: Day One (1) Vice-Chancellor’s Press Briefing Date: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 Venue: Senate Chamber, Main Campus, Gidan Kwano, Minna Time: 11:00am Day Two (2) Friday, June 20, 2014 1. Convocation Lecture Topic: “Energy and Power Development in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges” Guest Speaker: Prof. (Engr) Eli Jidere Bala Director General, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Abuja Time: 10:00am Venue: University Auditorium, Main Campus, Gidan Kwano, Along Bida Road, Minna 2. Commissioning of some Capital Projects Time: 3:30pm Venue: Main Campus, Gidan Kwano, Along Bida Road, Minna Day Three (3) Saturday, June 21, 2014 1. Conferment of First Degree, Higher Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Award of Prizes Time: 10:00am Venue: Suleiman Kumo Convocation Square, Main Campus, Gidan Kwano, Along Bida Road, Minna Requirements/Conditions (i) Hiring of Academic Gowns— N1,000.00 (ii) Alumni Registration—N2,000.00 (iii) Collection of Certificate—N3,500.00 (iv) Scroll - N 250.00 (v) Order of Proceedings—N1,500.00 (vi) All payment should be made in cash into the University Account with Union Bank Plc, Minna. The Account number is 0025597607 (vii) Physical presence of graduands at the ceremony to receive their Certificates and Prizes as the case may be (viii) Graduands are expected to fulfill the following conditions to enable them collect their Certificates on the spot: a. The original Statement of Results earlier issued to them by the University b. Final year clearance form duly signed by all concerned c. Final year Identity Card or letter of Identification from Student Affairs Division d. The above listed items (a - c) need to be processed not later than two days to the date of the occasion. (ix) Issuance of Academic gowns will be on first come first served basis. (x) Issued Academic gowns must be returned to the Academic office immediately after the Ceremony before the collection of original Certificates. (xi) There will be a surcharge for any damaged Academic gown Note a. The Convocation Ceremonies covers the following sets: 2010/2011, 2011/ 2012 and 2012/2013 sessions. b. The Original Certificates of all convocating students will be ready for collection during the occasion. c. Invitation cards will be issued to the graduating students at the office of the Dean of Students Affairs. d. Graduands will be responsible for the transportation, accommodation and feeding of their guests. While hoping for a successful and memorable event, we wish you journey mercies throughout the ceremonies. Signed: Victoria N. Kolo (Mrs.) Registrar/Secretary to Council




•Standing (Fourth from left) is the Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) and Chairman, African Conference of Commandants, Air Vice Marshall, John Chris Ifemeje during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Conference of Commandants in Bucharest, Romania


APCON’s directives threatens NBL’s multi-million World Cup campaign

NDICATIONS emerged at the weekend that Nigeria Breweries (NB)Plc may have incurred the wrath of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) over what industry watchers called ‘infringement of advertising codes’. An industry source revealed that the regulatory body, APCON may sanction Nigeria Breweries Plc over the violation of its guidelines and standards. Under chapter Three (special provisions) in the APCON al-

coholic beverages regulations, Article 32 (b) 33(b) 34(b) 35(b) clearly states that “children, sportsmen/women and pregnant women shall not be used as models” in advertising alcoholic beverages.” Nigeria Breweries is said to have violated the above rule by using its popular brand, Star to endorse ex-super Eagles Internationals as its sport brand ambassadors, thereby showcasing advertising communications with these models. This advertisement is said to have been carried out without

any agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which is the property owner of the Super Eagles legends by virtue of their status as ex-super Eagles players. Earlier, a letter to Nigeria Breweries Plc, the NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, decried the fact that Nigeria Breweries had “launched communication materials across Nigeria featuring ex-players of the Super Eagles, giving the impression that you are an official sponsor of the team.” The NFF added that it

was only Guinness Nigeria Plc that has such right since it was its official sponsors. Amadu added: “We have equally noticed other outdoor materials with un-named faces in green and white jerseys all in an attempt to associate with the Super Eagles’ participation at the forthcoming FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, and gain undue advantage”. “We declare that this is nothing but blatant market ambushing and this is not only uncalled –for, but highly unprofessional.”

The Federation went ahead to issue Nigerian Breweries Plc a seven-day ultimatum within which to remove the said materials on billboards and other outdoor creatives, “failing which the NFF and Guinness will take legal action against NB PLC and seek appropriate damages.” Less than a year ago, there was an outcry on the seemingly double standards in regulatory approval in the alcoholic beverage industry involving the two brewing giants. Analysts have queried why

Nigeria Breweries was allowed to advertise its premium lager beer on UEFA Champions League matches broadcast before 8.p.m while Guinness Nigeria was sanctioned on the same and instructed to withdraw the advertisement its brand during English Premiership League. It is also understood that some materials exposed during UEFA & La Liga matches before 10:00pm also have bottle packs of their products Star & Heineken, which hitherto was not acceptable.




















‘God can make me governor’ From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


INISTER of State for Industry, Trade and Investment Samuel Ortom said yesterday that God, who lifted him from being a tout at the Gboko Park, is also capable of making him a governor. Ortom, who also supervises the Aviation Ministry, spoke at the New Word of Life Church at Agedam in Gboko, a popular town in Benue State. Governor Gabriel Suswam’s elder brother Terkula at a rally in Logo Local Government dismissed Ortom’s ambition to rule the state, saying Abuja cannot impose him on the people. The minister said God was capable of turning even those who were opposed to his ambition into his supporters when it mattered most. He appealed to his supporters not to be antagonistic to those opposed to his ambition, pointing out that power belongs to God and He gives it to whosoever He pleases. The minister pledged to govern with the fear of God which he said implied transparency, justice, accountability, fairness, humility, forgiveness and reconciliation which he maintained would usher in peace unity and progress.

Kaduna to release White Paper on crisis From Tony Akowe, Kaduna


HE Kaduna State Government will soon release the White Paper on the 2011 post presidential election crisis, Deputy Governor Nuhu Audu Bajoga has said. He spoke at the 19th Synod of the Kaduna Diocese of the Anglican Communion. Bajoga said the government was working on the recommendations of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee set up by the previous administration. His words: “Very soon, the government will release a White Paper. But before a White Paper is issued, the executive council has to approve and pass a decision after which government can begin to implement the suggestions of the committee. “There are many suggestions in the report of the committee but very soon government will take decision that will ensure peace and reconciliation in the state.”


Olofa: Ruling house petitions Kwara AG


HE Olugbense ruling house of Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State has accused the deposed Olofa of Offa, Alhaji Mohammed Mufutau Gbadamosi of disobeying an Appeal Court order by parading himself as the Olofa. Last July, the appellate court declared the installation of Gbadamosi, who is of the Anilelerin ruling house, as illegal. Olugbense and Anilelerin are the two ruling houses in the ancient town. The Olugbense ruling house has petitioned the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to desist from further encouraging the deposed monarch to parade

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

himself as the Olofa. The petition is titled: “Re: Olofa stool: Aiding and abetting disobedience of the judgment/order of the Court of Appeal in Appeal No. CAL/ 71/2012 by Alhaji Mufutau Gbadamosi.” It reads: “I hereby bring to your attention the act of disobedience by the above mentioned judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on July 9, last year. “It is a matter of great regret that since the judgment was delivered July last year and Alhaji Mufutau Gbadamosi was dethroned by the Court of Appeal and re-

strained from parading himself as the Olofa of Offa, he has refused to comply with the judgment and the state has aided and abetted him to do so. “It is on record that soon after the judgment, the government took out paid adverts in some newspapers to greet him on his 50th birthday, describing him as the Olofa of Offa. This complaint was laid before the Court of Appeal and same is now at the Supreme Court. “The latest in this provocative, contemptible and condemnable act was on May 29, when Gbadamosi came to Ilorin as Olofa of Offa (purportedly to visit the

governor on democracy day). “Then on June 2, the governor visited Offa to inaugurate some projects. The event was attended by Gbadamosi who paraded himself as Olofa of Offa in full regalia and paraphernalia of office, and to the biggest surprise of all and sundry, received recognition of the governor as such. “Tongues have not stopped wagging ever since on why the government would permit and, indeed, encourage Gbadamosi to flout with impunity the direct and positive judgment of the Appeal Court. “The case is now at the Supreme Court at Gbadamosi’s

Sokoto loses Perm Sec From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

A PERMANENT Secretary in the Sokoto State Pilgrims Welfare Agency (PWA), Salihu Gatawa, is dead. Gatawa died yesterday in Kaduna after a brief illness. He was 51. A statement by the Special Assistant to Governor Aliyu Wamakko said the late Permanent Secretary had been buried at his home town, Gatawa in Sabon-Birni Local Government. The statement said the funeral prayer was attended by Wamakko and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, among others. The deceased is survived by two wives and 12 children.

Ex-governors mourn Bayero •Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (left), Ambassador Ibrahim Maisule and Abdullahi Nyako at the wedding fatiha of Maisule’s son, Muhammad, in Abuja... at the weekend.

Taraba victims can return home, says Speaker


ARABA State House of Assembly Speaker Josiah Sabo Kente yesterday urged victims of violence in some local governments to return home. Kente, who spoke with The Nation, said the government has provided adequate security for the people. He said: “I want to assure my brothers and sisters who fled their homes in the Southern zone to return now, because the government has provided adequate security to contain any situation that may arise. “It is very interesting to note that some of the attackers who were hired from other states to come and carry out these attacks have fled because of the steps taken by the government and some communities to crack down on them. “Their leaders also confessed that they hired mercenaries from other parts of the country


Seven killed in Taraba crisis

O fewer than seven persons have been killed in the Fulani/Tiv crisis in Taraba State. Police spokesman Joseph Kwaji told The Nation that four Tiv were yesterday killed by Fulani militants in a reprisal attack at Ananum village in Donga Local Government Area. “The Fulani attack was in retaliation of the killing of three of their men (Fulani) in Mararraba village of Donga by Tiv the previous day.” Kwaji added that two other Tiv were also injured. From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

to come and assist them in the crisis, but the insurgents have left to where they came from. “Places that were under attacks have relative peace as I speak to you. The government has taken adequate measures, especially in the procurement

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

Eyewitnesses said no home was torched, unlike in the previous attacks where many houses were set ablaze. “But for the swift intervention of the monarch of Donga, Stephen Danjuma Bayonga, the crisis would have been something else,” a source said. Police said they have taken control of the affected areas to maintain law and order. Kwaji said “the situation is being closely investigated”.

of operational vehicles for security operatives. “About 79 vehicles were distributed to the security agencies recently. The vehicles were provided to assist security agencies in patrolling the troubled areas to maintain law and order, by keeping watch and ensuring that no attacks are carried out again. A peace

deal has been signed among the Tiv, Fulani and Jukun people.” Dozens of residents, particularly Tiv and Jukun farmers, have been killed, hundreds wounded, while thousands have fled their homes when crises erupted in Ibi, Wukari, Takum, Gassol, Donga and Bali local governments.

Kwara to PDP: you lied on Saraki’s allowances

HE Kwara State Government has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of distorting facts in the name of politics. The PDP accused the government of building a house for former Governor Bukola Saraki in Ilorin, the state capital. In a statement, the Secretary to the State Government, Isiaka Ishola Gold, said: “The Kwara State Government does not pay and has not paid Saraki any utility or domestic

instance. Though that court has not made any pronouncement one way or the other, the judgment of the Court of Appeal dethroning him still stands; by the above mentioned contemptuous acts, the judiciary is being ridiculed as powerless and impotent. “As the number one legal officer of the state and key member of the profession, you ought not to keep silent. “Please be informed that we shall take our complaint herein further to the Supreme Court for record purposes.”

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

allowance. “Till date, neither Senator Saraki nor any of his family has claimed any medical expenses and the government has never built any house for Saraki.” Gold said despite the former governor’s entitlements as contained in the law, he has not requested for any provision for domestic staff.

“So to say that it was because of Saraki’s pension package that the state could not pay salaries is false and yet again an act of desperation by PDP to raise false alarm. “We make bold to say that Kwara State pays salaries on the 25th of every month or earlier if that date falls on the weekend. “For the avoidance of doubt and to set the record straight, the former governor does not

enjoy anything more than retired civil servants, especially permanent secretaries who receive their last gross salaries as pension. “What he enjoys from the state is his last salary, which is N1,262,626. Before 2012, the figure was only N826,848 monthly as is the norm in most climes, hence there is no basis for comparison between Saraki and the Akwa Ibom saga.” . The SSG said though Saraki

might be the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in the state, he ceased to be governor three years ago. “The law was not meant for him, but past governors. However, it is within democratic practice, for any individual or group to initiate bills or amendment of bills in the legislature. “The PDP, or any group or individual is not denied such right,” the government said.

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

FORMER Kano State Governor and Senator representing Kano South Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya has described the death of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, as a loss. Gaya, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said in a statement that news of the monarch’s death came to him as a shock. The senator said he would miss the reception the late emir always accorded him each time he visited him. He said: "In his last words to me, he said, 'Let me say to you that every Nigerian particularly northerners should ensure that security challenges in the North is put to rest as Nigeria is not a terrorist nation’." Former Edo State Governor Lucky Igbinedion described the late monarch as “a symbol of peace and unity”. Igbinedion, in a statement, said the late emir was “a distinguished nationalist, a bridge builder, a detribalised Nigerian and a father to all irrespective of background and religious affiliations”. The Northern Senators Forum has described the death as a loss to Kano State. A condolence letter by its Secretary, Senator Abubakar Girei, said Nigeria has lost an icon whose contributions to nation building cannot be forgotten soon. The Forum said the late emir died when his experience as an elder statesman was most needed.



NEWS ‘They want to set Akpabio against me’

25 arrested for illegal tax collection From Osagie Otabor, Benin

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

THE Director of Legal Services at the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Patrick Udomfang, has accused some aides of Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio of pitching the governor against him. Udomfang, a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, was reacting to what he described as a fictitious report in an online portal quoting him as endorsing Umana Okon Umana for the 2015 governorship election. Akpabio is against Umana’s ambition on the grounds that the governorship slot has been zoned to Eket Senatorial District. Umana hails from Uyo Senatorial District. The report said Udomfang vowed to use his position to ensure that Umana gets the governorship ticket. But in a chat with reporters in Abuja, the PDP chieftain said the report was an attempt to create divisions between him and Akpabio. Udomfang said: “I will never commit political suicide by taking a position different from that of my governor and major stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State. “So I can’t understand why the sponsors of the online portal would want to link me with Umana’s ambition, even when I did not speak with any of their reporters.”

Imoke suspends monarchs From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

CROSS River State Governor Liyel Imoke has suspended and decertified the clan and village heads in Mbarakom clans of Akamkpa Local Government Area. They were accused of failing to keep the peace in their communities. They are Ntufam Joseh Iyaha (clan head); Okon B Duke (Ibonda village head); Cyril E. E. E. Itakpa (Ofutop village head); Sirinus Itasima (Egoi Ntufam village head). Others are Dominic Okon Ajom (Igogim village head); Felix Okon Itakpa (Osung village head) and Peter E. Erom (Ejosen village head). A statement by Imoke’s Special Adviser on Chieftaincy Affairs John Eyikwaje said government was sad by their inability to maintain peace in their communities, which has resulted in destruction of property and unrest, despite efforts in bringing peace and reconciliation to the continual chieftaincy tussle of the Nyakasang community of Mbarakom clan.


•Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Kingsley Kuku greeting Amnesty Programme-trained pilots during the showcasing of Giant Strides in Aviation Training by the Office of the Special Adviser in Lagos.

Bribe: Court jails poly official for 33 years


DELTA State High Court (Warri Division) has jailed the Chief Security Officer of the State Polytechnic, Peter Obonyamo for 33 years for demanding N150,000 bribe. Obonyamo will spend seven years in jail because the terms are to run concurrently. The convict, who was arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), collected N100,000 of the bribe sum


From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

before he was arrested. A statement by ICPC’s Resident Media Consultant Folu Olamiti said the commission “sued Obonyamo for demanding N150,000 gratification from a contractor.” The statement said: “He was also charged with actually receiving N100,000 from the contractor. “His arrest came through a sting operation by ICPC

operatives as he was collecting N100,000 marked money “Delivering judgment, Justice Briki-Okolosi held that the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt in counts 1,3,4,6 and 11 of the charge while he struck out counts 2 and 5 for duplicity. “The court held that counts 8,9 and 10 were not proven beyond reasonable doubt. “However, the court sentenced Obonyamo to seven

years imprisonment on each of counts 1,3,4 and 6 with an option of N20, 000 fine on each count. “The court also sentenced the convict to five years imprisonment without an option of fine on count 11. “Obonyamo was sentenced to a total of 33 years imprisonment but would only spend seven years in prison, as the terms are to run concurrently. “After the judgment, the convict was conveyed to Warri Prison.”

Edo APC chair blasts defectors

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman in Edo State, Anslem Ojezua, took a swipe yesterday at defectors, asking “what is new in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)?” Speaking to reporters in Abuja, Ojezua said: “What worries me more is not that they left, but their destination. “Because they are going to PDP where they came from. Now my question to them is now what has left PDP now that was not there when they left that they are

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

now going back to. Can a man really swallow his own vomit? I think these are pertinent questions that only they can answer. “But for me I think it was very unwise and I expect that sooner than later some of them may find out that they have made mistakes and they can correct them. “For us, APC is a party that is open to old and new members. We will continue with our membership drive as a permanent aspect

of our political development.” “Conversely, when some politicians complain about a governor and the people are happy, then you can draw your conclusions. “The truth is that money or resources that are meant for development cannot also be used to patronise politicians. “And it is time for us to know that a party that professes change must also do change.” He promised that inaugurated officials of the party would provide effective

and proactive leadership to build a functional party. “We are building an organised party that will prepare for mobilisation, particularly as it pertains to elections.” According to him, the Edo APC under his watch, will be able to sustain the acceptance of the party in the state and ensure that there is no distraction from any source, including the opposition. He vowed that the party will ensure that the people get the best in terms of dividends of democracy.

Ijaw youths looted our shops, say Igbo traders


GBO traders in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, alleged yesterday that Ijaw youths, celebrating the reburial of Major Isaac Adaka Boro, looted their shops. The traders, who complained to the police, said over 1,000 of them were assaulted by the youths. They insisted that their goods and other valuables worth N100million were either looted or damaged by


From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

the youths. Boro, an Ijaw icon and martyr, was reburied at the Heroes Park amidst fanfare in Yenagoa on June 1. His remains were brought to the state on May 31 from Lagos through the Port Harcourt Airport. In a procession to receive his body, the Ijaw youths were said to have attacked traders, looting, destroying

their goods and injuring them. The youths were said to be angry that the traders ignored the stay-at-home order the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) issued to all traders as a mark of honour to their hero. The victims also claimed that they were not adequately informed about the directive. Some of the victims said they were surprised when

the youths swooped on them. Some of the victims were reportedly taken to undisclosed hospitals. The IYC President, Udengs Eradiri, said a notice was given on radio for all shops to be closed in honour of the Ijaw hero. The President of the state chapter of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, Chinedu Ugwa, said they were making efforts to resolve the matter.

Police arrest three herdsmen for raping, killing woman

HE police in Edo State have confirmed the arrest of three herdsmen suspected to have been involved in the raping and killing of a middle-aged woman. The victim was said to have been attacked alongside her 18-year-old son on her way

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

from a farm at Odighi village in Ovia North East Local Government. The victim’s identity was yet to be ascertained as at press time. The son was said to have

escaped. Policemen from Ekiadolor Divisional Headquarters recovered the victim’s body after complaints by the villagers. Police spokesman Noble Uwoh said three suspects have been arrested.

He gave the names of the three suspects as Mohammed, Isah and Yusuf. “The woman and 18-yearold son were accosted while returning from farm. The son managed to escape. While the woman was raped to death by the suspects,” he said.

HE Edo State Government said it has prosecuted 25 persons for illegal tax collection. It said the persons were arrested for posing as tax officials and demanding cash from business premises owners. Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Services (EIRS) Oseni Elamah said the move was to curb incessant cases of alleged double taxation. Elamah, at a briefing at the weekend, said the case instituted against some officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has been withdrawn because the officials promised to remit PAYE tax deducted from workers’ salaries. “A lot of Federal Government agencies still owe Edo State what is due to the state in terms of PAYE. We have gotten a court order on the Federal Accountant-General to pay whatever is due under the law. This has become a debt to be paid.” “From our records, we have recorded close to over N800million that should be remitted monthly but what we get is between N500million and N530million.” He said the government had begun implementation of the Consumer Tax and Land Use Charge to shore up the state’s revenue profile, which he put at an average of N1.5billion.

Students shun admission in MAUTECH From Barnabas Manyam, Yola


HE insurgency in the Northeast has put off many prospective students at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH). The university, which used to have 4,500 students per session, is grappling with less than 2,000 because most of the prospective students are seeking admission into other universities. The outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof Bashir Haruna Usman, said during his valedictory press briefing that the institution had advertised several time for students but only a negligible number responded. Prof Usman said he even met with the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar to direct students to his university to achieve the requirement of 4,500. “We usually have about 4,500 students per session but now we have less than 2,000. I said let us advertise in the papers and bring more students but that too has not yielded much so we went to the JAMB Registrar, who is also finding it difficult to help us.” On his achievements, he said: “30 associate professors were promoted to full professors; 24 senior lecturers were promoted to associates professors and this has increased the number of professors to 53.” “We completed new physical structures, which include the multi-billion Usman Bayero Nafada Center for Food Security complex, the permanent site of the School of Agriculture and Technology.”




•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (fifth right front row); Chairman, Aregbesola Re-election Campaign Committee Senator Sola Adeyeye (fouth left); Secretary of the Committee, Professor John Ayoade (second left); Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (fourth right); Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) Osun State, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi (third left); Members of the Committee; — Senator Bayo Salami (third right); Alhaji Sule Alao (second right) Mr. Bosun Oyintiloye (left) and others, during the inauguration of Governor Aregbesola’s 20-Member Campaign Committee for his Re-election at Government House Banquet Hall, Osogbo…at the weekend

Jonathan can’t win battle against media , says APC Continued from page 4

with which it had descended on the media, the war against terror would have been long over,’’ APC said, wondering what kind of weapons the small newspaper distribution vans could ferry that cannot be conveyed by other, bigger vehicles that move around the country undisturbed. The party described as disingenuous and ridiculous, the explanation that an intelligence alert was responsible for the “shameful and unacceptable clampdown on the media”, dismissing what it called the platitude that the Jonathan Administration holds the media in high esteem. ‘’Even if one believes the administration’s babble that President Jonathan holds the media in high esteem, how can that be justified by the indignities being meted out to the media under his watch? How does the so-called intelligence report justify the arrest of media workers, deten-

tion of distribution vans and the impounding of newspapers? How does it justify the restriction of newspaper circulation? How does it justify an administration’s efforts to tamper with fundamental rights guaranteed by the nation’s Constitution? ‘’With the clampdown on the media, the Jonathan administration has opened a new but dangerous flank in its war against Nigerians. First. It was an attempt to stifle the freedom of assembly and the freedom of speech when a yeoman Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, tried but failed to ban peaceful protests in Abuja. The outcry against the obviously-orchestrated ban on peaceful protests had barely died down when the government moved to stifle press freedom. But it is a lost battle,’’ APC said. The party said a government that has failed to provide security for its citizens, 12,000 of whom have died in the hands of Boko Haram since

2009, and a government that has pauperised its citizens rather than empower them is suddenly acting like someone pumped with steroids and wasting its artificial energy on tackling the media, simply because it does not like its fierce independence and highly professional disposition. ‘’President Jonathan gave a hint of what’s to come when he blamed the media for overreporting Boko Haram, forgetting that the media is only a mirror of the society. Our advice to the President is to immediately call a halt to the war on the media which his administration has launched because it is one battle he cannot and will not win,’’ it said. NewsDirect Newspaper, whose office was invaded by soldiers has petitioned the President. Its Publisher and Editor-inChief, Samuel Ibiyemi, signed the petition which states: “This is to raise the alarm about the invasion of Nigerian NewsDirect by 15 Army Officers of 192 Battalion led by

2ns Lieutenant Long John on the grounds of information available to them that newspaper houses are using their vehicles to convey explosives and arms for Boko Haram. “Offices located at 34, Aromobi Str., Blessing Estate, Gasline, Sango-Ota in Ogun State were searched and they promised to come back and monitor the circulation of our weekly newspaper. “We are not sure the form of what the fresh operation will entail on return. Customers and staff were shocked with the activities of the armed officers. “Mr. President, we are using this medium to demand for explanation since we are unarmed and do not have anything to do with the deadly Boko Haram sect. We used our newspaper to criticize the activities of the sect in the past. We are patriotic and will not engage in anything that will affect the security of the nation. “This is for the information of the general public.”

Clampdown on media enters day three

Continued from page 4

en as Afees were confiscated, as he was whisked away by the battle-ready soldiers. Afees was said to be attending to one of his customers who came to collect the day’s supply of the newspapers, including The Nation when the incident occurred. Unknown to the unsuspecting vendor, a plain clothe military man who was on surveillance and has been standing beside him disguised as a customer and demanded for a copy of The Nation. As Afees was bringing out


HE President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN), yesterday condemned the clampdown of newspapers. Wali described it as “strange to democracy”. He faulted the explanation given by Defence spokesman Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade. “Clampdown on newspaper distribution is not and cannot be a language in a democracy and we do not understand

a copy secretly tucked inside the hand bag, the military man identified himself and ordered for remaining copies of the newspaper. A few minutes later, armed soldiers from the state security oufit arrived, beat up the vendor, confiscated all the newspapers before whisking him away to an unknown destination. The development elicited uproar from onlookers and readers around who expressed strong indignation over the siege on the media. Since last Saturday, armed soldiers had been laying ambush in Oyo, Ogbomoso,

Iseyin and Kishi towns As early as 5:30am, the battle-ready soldiers in an army colour vehicle were on the major streets mounted road blocks and searched vehicles suspected to be carrying copies of The Nation for distribution. The soldiers usually demanded copies of The Nation from the vendors, after which they search other newspapers on them to actually know if they did not have The Nation. A newspaper vendor at Ikpoba Hill in Benin said some soldiers collected copies of The Nation from him; they

wanted to know how he got them. Some vendors interviewed said they were not harassed but lamented poor sales because of late arrival of the newspaper. The vendors who pleaded anonymity said ardent readers of The Nation were disappointed at the absence of the paper from the streets. A vendor at a public motor park in Warri metropolis told our reporter that a military team accosted him and demanded to know why he was selling The Nation. “I didn’t mind them and they left shortly,” he added.

Governors, others hail Sanusi Continued from page 4

Concern (MURIC) Prof Ishaq Lakin Akintola, expressed happiness that the kingmakers in Kano upheld the truth. “We are glad that those who wanted to ridicule him has seen the naked truth. Those who want to ridicule Sanusi by abusing power have failed woefully. We hope Sanusi will continue to stand by the truth,” he said. According to Akintola, Nigerian leaders should know that power is transient and it is like football. If it falls on your side now, it will roll to another person later. “Those who oppress while in power should know that Allah’s power is the only permanent one. Man’s power could vanish at anytime but Allah’s power is eternity. Those who wanted to disgrace Sanusi by removing him unduly in office should have a lesson or more to learn from this new development. What Allah wants to give somebody, no human can withhold it and what Allah wants or does not want to give to somebody, no one can give it…. “Those who claim to be power brokers are lying. It is only Allah that can give or take away power,” Akintola said. National Missioner, Ansar-

ud-Deen Society of Nigeria Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad, said Sanusi’s appointment had shown that it is Allah alone that enthrones and dethrones. Sheikh Ahmad enjoined Sanusi to bring his knowledge and vast experience to bear on the stool and particularly in restoring the glory of the metropolitan city. He prayed Allah to grant Sanusi the charisma, saintly wisdom and measured courage the institution required. Leader, Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi’i, urged him to forgive all those who tried to humiliate him out of office because Allah has vindicated him. Sheikh Shafi’i, who said Sanusi remains the best among the contenders for the stool, said the former CBN chief had now assumed a position higher and different from his former office. “This new position is different from the CBN job, the new emir should realize that he will be dealing with human beings of various characters and tribes unlike his dealings with currencies of different kinds while at CBN. This is a great responsibility. He should not forget history of past Islamic leaders in dealing justly with followers,” he said.

Woman suicide bomber hits barracks veyed in vehicles from the scene, while soldiers blocked the road and stopped people from going there. Troops had a bloody encounter with insurgents in Pitta, a boundary town between Adamawa and Borno states on Saturday night, leaving 30 insurgents dead. The encounter led to the recovery of 25 machine guns, Rocket Propeller Guns (RPGs)

and more than 50 motorcycles from the insurgents. According to Gen. Olukolade, the insurgents wanted to attack some villages along Pitta axis on Saturday, but troops acted on intelligence report and foiled it. He said: “The troops successfully repelled the insurgents who suffered heavy casualties. “We have beefed up security in the area to protect all the villages and avert reprisals.”

back again to dark years in Nigeria. “President Goodluck Jonathan should recall that the democracy we enjoy today, we fought for it. The media played major role in the democracy which he himself is now a sole beneficiary. He should not be the one that will truncate our hard-earned democracy because he signed the Act. “Those who are trying to take our freedom of expression

should warn themselves. He should not allow some charlatans in his government to tell us buffoon stories on why government is clamping down on the media. “If the government continues, I want to call on those in the human rights crusade to prepare; we would be going to the trenches once more, to fight for our rights, no government can take the rights of the people which the constitution has guaranteed,” he said

Continued from page 4

NBA, Opadokun condemn clampdown on newspapers By Musa Odoshimokhe

what the defence spokesman and the Presidency are saying. We expect clarification from the government. This, they must do as soon as possible. We are waiting,” he said. The Convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform (CODER) Mr. Ayo Opadokun, urged all rights activists to rise and defend press freedom. He told The Nation that if gov-

ernment continued clamp down on the media, the society would disintegrate into anarchy. He said: “The political operators at the national level think they are doing us any good, they think they are being kind by passing the Freedom of Information Act. It is our fundamental human right, and nobody can take this away from us.” Opadokun said: “Some of us

lost our lives in the struggle against forces of darkness in Nigeria. If a government is not comfortable in the area of reportage in any matter, it should go to court and seek redress. “They can file action against such media house. That is the constitutional and legitimate thing to do. They should stop the shenanigan and with all sense of responsibilities, we will not allow them to continue with all these acts that will take us



NEWS Govt establishes aviation college By Kelvin Osa Okunbor


HE Federal Government has established an aviation college at Ogbaru in Anambra State. A government official said it is part of efforts to boost manpower development in the aviation sector. The college brings to three the number of aviation training colleges in the country. The acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mr. Benedict Adeyileka, said the college would be affiliated to the Federal Polytechnic, Oko also in Anambra State. He said it would offer classroom and practical training for aviation professionals, who would be awarded degrees.

•Dr Olunloyo (middle) Senator Okurounmu (left) and Mr Wale Babalakin (SAN) ...yesterday. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

Ihedioha slams Okorocha for suspending monarchs From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

National Conference report may disappoint Nigerians, says T

HE expectations of Nigerians that the outcome of the National Conference will effect radical changes in the polity may not be fulfiled, the Presidential Advisory Committee Chairman Dr Femi Okurounmu has said. Okurounmu said so far, all indications are that the progressives may not have the kind of far-reaching changes that they hoped for but there is still some hope that we may have some departures from the status quo. He spoke during a lecture at the 2014 Luncheon of the Government College, Ibadan, Old Boys Association held in Lagos yesterday. Okurounmu spoke on The theme: “After the Conference, Whither the Nation?”. The Chairman of the occasion, former Governor of old Oyo State, Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo shared Okurounmu’s view by saying emphatically that the National Conference will fail. He said the Federal Government got it wrong from the beginning.

By Leke Salaudeen

Olunloyo said government rejected the Okurounmu panel recommendation that some of the delegates should be elected by the people but went ahead to appoint all of them. He said the government is recycling the same group of people to run down the country. Okurounmu noted that very early in the conference, three categories of delegates emerged. The first category consisting of delegates from the Southwest and to a lesser extent the Southeast, were eagerly anticipating fundamental changes in the status quo, such as a return to regionalism, parliamentary system of government and devolution of powers to the regions or zones. “Thus, the Middle Belt opposed to regionalism, fearing they may once again come under the domination of the ethnic nationalities

from which state creation had freed them. They in fact want more states created for ethnic minorities still entrapped in core northern states with Hausa-Fulani dominant ethnic majorities. “The third category consisted of delegates from the core north. They came with a very straight forward agenda, which is to block any change and ensure the sustenance of the status quo. “So, the Conference has mostly been a clash of the Southwest against the core north. While the Southwest pushed forcefully for the realisation of all elements of their agenda, they found themselves almost in every case pitted against the core north, enjoying only lukewarm support from the Southeast and a near total indifference from the rest of the country. “The totality of the north’s position is that while they may ac-

cept some inconsequential amendments to the 1999 Constitution, they are doggedly opposed to the writing of a new one . Not even with the President’s green light as expressed in his conference inaugural address that a new constitution could be recommended if the conference found it desirable”. However, the committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government has recommended the retention of the states as the federating units although allowing for the possibility of contiguous states setting up a joint zonal commission to pursue their common economic development, welfare and security as well as to merge, if they wish, provided they meet certain stipulated conditions, he stated. Okurounmu said the committee also recommended a modified presidential system of government with a unicameral legislature and with most government ministers including the vice president, expected to come from among the elected legislators.

Oputa family denies rift with Imo govt


HE family of the late eminent jurist, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, described yesterday as untrue, the allegation that it has shut Imo State government out of his funeral plan. Speaking with The Nation on behalf of the family, Mr. Nkem Oputa, a lawyer, said they did not through any of their actions suggest unwillingness to liaise with the government as insinuated in the media, adding that

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

the late Oputa was a national and an international figure, who should be accorded a befitting funeral. He said: “The family did not shut out the Imo State government as reported in the media. In fact, we appreciate government’s support from the beginning and we are still working together to give the late justice a befitting funeral. “The Attorney-General has

presented a cheque to the family on behalf of the government and the Ministry of Works is repairing the road leading to Oputa’s home in preparation for the funeral. We are liaising with the government, contrary to media reports.” The government accused the Oputa family of playing politics with the funeral of the late jurist by concluding funeral arrangements without input from it.

Southeast governors commiserate with Kano govt From Ugochukwu Ugoji-eke, Umuahia

S •The late Oputa

AG okays bill to upgrade Army resettlement centre


Bill to transform the Nigeria Armed Force Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) into a National Resettlement Institute has been approved by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke. The bill is expected to facilitate smooth transition of soldiers into retirement. When operational, civilian would be trained alongside military counterparts in the centre, which has turned out more than 40,000 military retirees since inception. The Institute’s Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan, spoke at a news conference on the June 13, graduation of another batch of 404 retirees drawn from the Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Air Force (NAF)

By Precious Igbonwelundu

and the Nigerian Navy (NN). Morgan said: “The mandate of NAFRC is to equip retiring personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces with relevant trade and vocational skills to enable them integrate into civil society and enjoy a productive and fulfilling life in retirement. “Recently, a bill to transform the centre into a National Resettlement Institute has been approved by the AGF and the NAFRC governing board. The bill will be forwarded to the National Assembly as an executive bill. “When passed into law, this will allow NAFRC to train not only the other rank cadre (ratings) but also officers in (pre-retirement) management and entrepreneurial skills.

“Additionally, personnel of other para-military and security agencies as well as deserving civilians will have the training opportunity at the centre.” Morgan added that in line with the centre’s vision to ensure a fulfilling retirement for its personnel, the leadership of the centre is desirous of transforming it to a world class training institute that would favourably compete with similar institutes elsewhere. He said: “NAFRC is developing a framework to enter into public partnership with a number of reputable companies in a wide range of areas that will upgrade all the training workshops. “We are in the process of executing memorandum of understanding that will define the parameters of the relationship. The

private sector partners are expected to assist NAFRC upgrade and modernise its training workshops to meet international standards.” Although the goals for the centre are still evolving, Morgan said over 300 officers have so far benefitted from the managerial and entrepreneurial training programmes carried out in collaboration with the Entrepreneurship and Managerial Training (EMPRETEC). Similarly, he said the Pan Atlantic University of the Lagos Business School has also been providing managerial entrepreneurship skills to the Armed Forces under the NAFRC Training Scheme, adding that all hands are on deck to expand the scope of the scheme to ensure a greater number of officers benefit from the opportunity.

NFF tackles corporate bodies over infringement on World Cup rights


HEAD of Thursday FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)hasreiterateditsearlierwarning tocorporateorganisationsagainstany formofinfringementaroundtheSuper Eagles. The NFF added that the fresh

directive became necessary given the factthatNigeriaBreweriesPlchasbeen queried over what it called ‘deliberate infringement on the rights of its sponsors to the Nigeria Super Eagles, GuinnessNigeriaPlc. It added that on Monday it wrote to the leading brewer through its

General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu,decryingthefactthatthesaid firm “had launched communication materials across Nigeria featuring explayers of the Super Eagles giving the impression that it was an official sponsor of the team”. TheNFF’slettertothebrewerread:


OUSE of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha has condemned the withdrawal of the Certificates of Recognition and Staff of Office of two monarchs, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya and Eze Cosmas Onyeneke. He described it as an impediment to peaceful coexistence. The lawmaker, in a statement by his media assistant, Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu, said although he did not comment on the manner Governor Rochas Okorocha ran the state, “it has become clear that he has engaged in actions anathema to good governance, peaceful coexistence, rule of law and due process.” He described the action as a “disregard for the rule of law, due process and an affront to the custom and heritage of the people.” Said Ihedioha: “It is noteworthy that extant and relevant statutes stipulate the procedures and conditions precedent for the withdrawal of the Certificate of Recognition of Traditional Rulers in Imo State. Sadly, none of the conditions, including fair hearing, which is a basic foundation of jurisprudence, has been met. “The case involving Eze Ilomuanya, the substantive chairman of the Imo State Traditional Rulers Council and chairman of the Southeast Traditional Rulers Council, and that of another respected traditional ruler in Mbaise Land, Eze Cosmas Onyeneke, is a matter under litigation. “The purported illegal de-recognition, therefore, portrays the governor as engaging in a reckless exercise of naked power and disdainful of our culture, custom and traditional institutions. “Governor Okorocha has lost the litigation against the removal of the traditional ruler from office as the substantive chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council of Imo State before the expiration of his tenure. “In its judgment, the Court of Appeal issued an injunction restraining the governor, his agents and privies from taking any step to truncate the subsisting tenure of Eze Cletus Ilomuanya. The case of Eze Cosmas Onyeneke is also subjudice with a subsisting Order of Interlocutory Injunction against the Imo State government. “In view of these valid judicial decisions, Governor Okorocha is only expected to comply with the law and stop making our state a laughing stock of civilised societies.”

“we have equally noticed other outdoor materials with un-named faces in green and white jerseys all in an attempt to associate with the Super Eagles’ participation at the forthcoming FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, and gain undue advantage.

OUTHEAST Governors’ Forum has commiserated with the Kano State government on the death of Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who died last Friday at 83. Abia State Governor Theodore Orji described the incident as shocking. Orji, the forum’s chairman, said in a statement that they received the news with shock and disbelief. The governors, who also sympathised with the deceased’s family, described the late Emir as a revered monarch, who built bridges of love, peace and unity during his life. The forum, which said the death had cost the country the services of a revered leader, added that the leadership qualities of Alhaji Bayero would be missed.

Vehicle owners warned


HE Ogun State Police Command wishes to inform the general public especially who lost their vehicles/ motorcycles to thieves or left abandoned to report at Obalende/Ago-Iwoye/Mowe Divisions for possible identification and claims. Vehicles/motorcycles not claimed within two weeks of this notice would be sold in public auctions. The vehicles are: Volkswagen Bus CF192AAA; Toyota Hiace Bus XS516 BEN; Sienna Bus XY 939 AGL; Ford Bus XV 811 APP; BMW S/Car LM 881 KJA; Mitsubishi Truck XR 347 JJJ; Toyota Carina Car AE 614 ABG; Volvo Car DF 444LND; others are Toyota Corolla car EV 764 LSR Mitsubishi Space Wagon XV796FKJ; Kia Saloon Car KM28AA; Toyota Hiace XN 515 EPE; Mazda Bus XJ 110 MUS; Nissan Maxima Saloon Car FS 325 KJA; Mazda Car KV 626 KJA; Bajaj QS 879 AKD; Jincheng unregistered; Jincheng QN 912 FST; Bajaj QV 845 MUS; and 11 others.

Expert urges govt to utilise assistance From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


N education expert, Mrs. Modupe Adeleke, has urged the Federal Government to take advantage of foreign assistance to secure the release of the Chibok girls. She said security operatives should cooperate with the international communities to ensure the girls’ release. Mrs. Adeleke, who is also the proprietress of Nickdel Schools, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, spoke yesterday during a rally organised by the school to call for the release of the Chibok girls.







OR the Nigerian Army, it was forward march to the past on Friday and Saturday, when soldiers seized parcels of The Nation newspapers and some other newspapers across the country. The other newspapers are The Punch, Vanguard, Leadership, Daily Trust, Business Day, National Mirror, Newswatch and Complete Sports. These are unfortunate developments that should sufficiently embarrass the Goodluck Jonathan presidency; that is if it is capable of seeing the import of the soldiers’ actions. The soldiers claimed to be in possession of “intelligence report(s) indicating movement of materials with grave security implications across the country, using the channel of newsprint-related consignments”. No one can deny the military authorities the right to do their job if they found the country’s security under threat, especially in view of its current security challenges. So, it would not be out of place for them to stop and search newspaper vehicles, if they had confidence in the ‘intelligence report (s)’ that prompted their assault on the media. But, to ambush circulation vans on the highways in several places, including Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Sokoto, Benue, Bauchi and Nasarawa states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), seize newspaper consignments and arrest the drivers, in some cases for hours without food, seizing their mobile phones and money in the process, even when nothing incriminating was found on them, suggests there is more to the intelligence report(s) than meets the eye. Although the Defence Headquarters was later to deny muzzling the press, it has not supplied an appropriate name for the soldiers’ actions. To lend credence to this is the fact that even in places where newspapers had reached their destinations, as in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, vendors were threatened not to display them. Now, if, as Major-General Chris Olukolade, the director of defence information said, the army was not out to gag the press, why seize and destroy copies of newspapers? Why hold the drivers for hours? Was burning or confiscation of the newspapers a way of defusing the bombs that the newspaper vans were suspected to be carrying? Come off it! The army is not known for trying to amend the truth as it has done in this instance; even though some security agents tell such lies that stand logic on their head. Without doubt, a country



Going back to Egypt By Tunji Adegboyega

cannot grow beyond the level envisaged by its leadership. And when a country is sinking, as Nigeria is, almost all, if not all of its segments, are likely to embrace the low standards of the leadership. One can only hope this is not what is happening to the Nigerian Army. It is not surprising that w e l l - m e a n i n g organisations and Nigerians have condemned this throw-back to the military era. The Nigerian media have seen worse times than what happened last week; the only surprise is that it is coming now under a civilian dispensation. The soldiers’ action is unjustifiable and barbaric; there is no place for such in a democracy. Those who authorised the crackdown, be they soldiers or civilians, must have lost their sense of history of the Nigerian media and its robust resistance to any form of gagging, ever since the colonial era. Journalists had been harassed, detained, imprisoned as in the Buhari/Idiagbon regime under the obnoxious Decree Four; at least in one instance, a journalist had been shaved with broken bottles, not for peddling rumours but for carrying reports that the state authority found distasteful (as in the Amakiri case); newspapers had been proscribed by the Babangida and Abacha regimes, in at least one instance for about 15 months. And some journalists had been blown up by bombs suspected to have come from the government in the military era. The point being made is that it is futile for anyone to think that it can suppress free speech in Nigeria in the 21st century. The Jonathan presidency will do it, whether directly or by proxy, at grave risks to its own existence. Its explanation, which borders on justifying the soldiers’ action, is unacceptable. According to Doyin Okupe, the senior special assistant to the president on public affairs, “We live in very trying times which may necessitate that some sections or sectors of the society might experience some temporary discomfort in the overall interest of ensuring that the ideals of freedom, peace and security which we all hold dear will not be compromised by a few unscrupulous elements in our midst”. Okupe launched into the media being highly respected by the president and pleaded for understanding from the affected media houses. Above all, he said the soldiers’ action runs counter to his principal’s political belief. But Nigerians are

perceptive enough to know that President Jonathan is not only the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces. So, soldiers cannot crack down on the country’s critical media without his knowledge. For both the Nigerian Army and the presidency, there might have been a convergence of grievances necessitating the assault on the media. It is not unlikely the soldiers are unhappy with media reports of the activities of Boko Haram, particularly the military’s inability to subdue the insurgents despite threats that some military chiefs made to annihilate the sect within months; threats they have been unable to carry out. The government on its part has to find a fall guy for its own ineptitude and serial bunglings, especially as general elections draw near. The media are not responsible for any of these problems; they only report events, they don’t create them. So, why would soldiers (about 150 in Ibadan alone) who should be busy elsewhere in places where not just potential but real threats are hibernating be keeping vigil in newspaper distribution centres in search of some non-existent ‘materials with grave security implications’ in newsprints? For sure, what we are witnessing is a foretaste of what to come, especially as the 2015 elections draw near, the presidency’s denial of muzzling the press notwithstanding. And it can only get worse, with a non-performing president bent, not only on returning to power, but also foisting rejects on the people, particularly in the south-west region. If the military said they had to confiscate newspapers and drivers because they were looking for security items, what would be the excuse of the B r o a d c a s t i n g Organisation of Nigeria (BON) in asking broadcast stations across the country not to air any live programme without clearance 48 hours before broadcast? What is this supposed to mean? As this paper rightly asked in its editorial yesterday, would same apply to the Presidential Media Chat? The point is that Nigeria has passed this ‘Egypt’ and President Jonathan cannot return us there. It can only be hoped that the Nigerian military would not make itself available to be messed up by a government that is as incompetent and corrupt as it can be; a government distrusted at home and mocked abroad. To do otherwise would be tragic, not only for the military, but for the country at large.

•A destroyed vehicle at the site of the blasts.

Explosions kill 18 near Baghdad


WO bomb blasts have killed 18 people and injured dozens more in Iraq as the country suffers its worst violence in years. The first explosion took place when a car bomb was detonated near the office of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s PUK party in Jalawla, north of Baghdad. A suicide bomber detonated a second bomb as emergency workers arrived at the scene. At least 18 people died in the blasts, and another 67 were wounded. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the explosions. Cars are damaged at the site of a car bomb attack in the town of Jalawla Damaged cars in the street

after the twin explosions Attacks are running at their highest levels in Iraq since 2006 and 2007, when tens of thousands died in clashes between Iraq’s Shiite majority and Sunni Arab minority. Some 900 people were killed in Iraq last month alone. Security forces have also battled militants in heavy clashes around the northern city of Mosul in recent days. On Sunday, eight people died and three others were wounded when they were hit by shelling in the city. Members of the Kurdish security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in the town of Jalawla Kurdish security forces inspect the scene of the attacks

In Sargaran, near the city of Kirkuk, three roadside bombs also killed a civilian and wounded three soldiers. Sunday’s violence followed a series of major operations by jihadists in recent days that have killed dozens of people. Militants took hundreds of hostages at Anbar University in Ramadi on Saturday. A series of blasts in Baghdad on Saturday night also killed at least 25 people. Officials blame external factors for the rising bloodshed in Iraq, particularly the civil war in neighbouring Syria. Analysts say widespread Sunni Arab anger with the Shiite-led government has also been a major factor.

Al-Sisi sworn in as Egypt’s president


GYPT’s former Army chief, Abdel Fattah AlSisi, has been sworn in as president for a four-year term. The inauguration comes less than a year after the Army ousted Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist who was the country’s first freely-elected leader. Al- Sisi, 59, took his oath live on television at the headquarters of the Supreme Constitutional Court in a suburb south of Cairo. Police stood guard outside

MH370 families offer Whistleblower reward


ELATIVES of the 239 people on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet are hoping a $5m reward will tempt someone to reveal ‘the truth’. Many of the families believe there has been a cover up and they are hoping the money will tempt someone to come forward, for example an insider from the world of commercial aviation or the military. The money will be collected from donations through the fundraising website Indiegogo. Part of it will also go to funding private investigators to follow up on any leads. The Malaysia Airlines jet lost contact on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard - about two-thirds of them Chinese.

the court as helicopters dropped posters of al Sisi on his supporters. Sunday has been declared a national holiday, but tight security is in place across the Egyptian capital, with scores of police and soldiers keeping watch. Al- Sisi said: “I swear by almighty God to preserve the republican system, and to respect the constitution and the law and to care for the interests of the people; and to preserve the independence of the nation and its territorial integrity.” Security was tight in case of any protest.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Arab royals and African leaders are among the guests at a reception being held at Cairo’s presidential palace. Al-Sisi was named president after a landslide election victory at the end of May when he won 96.9 per cent of the vote. However, turnout was low with many boycotting the poll. Voters present papers at a polling station in the El Sayda Zeinab area on the third day of voting in the Egyptian presidential elections in Cairo. Al- Sissi swept to victory in elections last month.



VOL 9 NO 2874

‘We need leaders who have integrity and are selfless in service. It is then that Nigeria will ascend and never plunge again, and will manifest admissibility on the world map’ SOJI OMOTUNDE



SAAC Adaka Boro is not lying in state. He is haunting a state of lies. When his folks in the Niger Delta exhumed and re-interred him, they only performed a ritual that mocked reality. Adaka Boro, a name that rhymes in poems, fulminates in books and essays, chimes in songs and rollicks on dance floors, has never passed away. Boro has burrowed our lives and unearthed all our hypocrisies as a nation. Nigeria’s best musician ever, Rex Lawson, paid tributes to his vision and valour. But the recent account of him came from the masterpiece of that carnage, written by General Alabi Isama. He told the story about how he was killed in the uniform, ironically not of Biafra but of Nigeria. In the damp and ominous atmosphere of the Niger Delta, Boro was searching a building for Biafran stragglers. But he did not know that an Igbo soldier stalked in the shadows, positioned himself and blasted the Ijaw hero to death. No one has contradicted Isama’s account. In the book, The Tragedy of Victory, Isama portrayed Boro as one of the valuable hands of the Third Marine Commander, under the feisty zeal and predatory cunning of the diminutive Adekunle. Isama was the chief of staff. Boro represented a contradiction. He fought to excise his people out of Nigeria. Eventually, he exerted his soldiery in cementing the survival of that same entity he despised. A soldier from Biafra that tried to fulfil his subversive fantasy gunned him down. He became the distorted vision of sacrifice but not the sacrifice of his own vision. The contradiction was typically Nigerian. It is the soul of Nigeria, a rabid show of togetherness only exhibited by a zest to undermine that togetherness. We call one Nigeria, but we worship tribe and disdain Nigeria. The American poet of democracy wrote, “Do I contradict myself? Yes I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman was emphasising the American obsession with itself, its self-renewing energy, its desire to melt together its various peoples and races in spite of its yawning differences. We can see the United States confront its turbulent divergences, its compulsion to morph from a mosaic to a melting pot. It is an imperfect attempt. It has shed blood, ruined families, but wrought a Michael Jordan, a Tiger Woods, and hoisted a Barack Obama. Boro died in flesh that day the Biafran soldier extinguished him. But he regenerated



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The state of Boro

He came alive, and he became Ojukwu and his generals who gave the federal soldiers and Yakubu Gowon blood for every blood, flesh for every flesh, bone for every bone •The late Boro

powerfully. He abandoned the dust of nothingness. He came alive, and he became Ojukwu and his generals who gave the federal soldiers and Yakubu Gowon blood for every blood, flesh for every flesh, bone for every bone. For 30 months, the spirit of Boro hewed down the Nigerian tree. When the war ended, we thought we were done. The ghost gave a reprieve, but he walked the night of Nigeria and allowed a honeymoon of illusion. We cannot, however, forget that Orkar and his fellow coupist plotted with Boro when they wanted to slice off Arewa in a fumbling fiasco. Boro also wanted it to fail, so the nation could look at itself and ponder its tragic hypocrisies. We tagged along shamelessly. So, today, we know he was not killed that hapless noon of the civil war. He said to Nigeria, “I was he that was alive, and was dead. Behold I am alive till the end of time.


That’s true, they have graduated from death traps to BURIAL GROUNDS

T is safe to say that enfant terrible Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) is back where he truly belongs, in the fold of the ravenous Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. When he was sighted like a strange object a few weeks back in Aso-Rock Presidential Villa, it was obvious that he was desperate to get back on the gravy train. Hardball thinks there is absolutely nothing wrong with that except that he lied, no, he fobbed about it. “Aso Rock belongs to all of us”, he quibbled when reporters confronted him. I will let you know if I want to decamp from my party, he said further about his political status. None would be surprised at FFK’s flagellation; it has become his stock-in-trade to return to his sputum. And among serious circles, none would take him serious because he has no real political value or enduring character quality. He is only rich in nuisance value which unfortunately, is what sells in today’s Nigerian politics. What rankles, however, is FFK trying to put a credible veneer to his jump to PDP. He ought to know that it does not matter anymore; Nigerians already know him for

I hold the keys to Nigeria’s hell and death.” So we see it today. Why is it that we did not see the Niger Delta folks perform a ceremony of reburial in the past? Why today? It is because it is now that he cannot be buried. Today he is more alive. He is telling us he is alive and well and portentously so. He is alive in the Enugu State House. He growled with the subversives of Biafran dreams who attacked the government house. He chanted with them when they disdained Nigeria and brandished Biafra. They want back not just Biafra, but the shimmering beard of the Ikemba, his glistening pate and also the glittering dame, the svelte Bianca. He is with Boko Haram, the young and virulent bigots who slit throats, burn down houses, waylay emirs, despise books and western education, kidnap Chibok girls, and loft high a leader online who celebrates his barbarities. He abides the contradiction of a body that despises books but uses the

same literacy to propagate its sovereignty. He spoke inelegantly with the Adamawa fellow in the sham of a national confab, who threatened to go away with northern Nigeria to join his neighbours. Boro took him seriously because he appeared to him in his dream. Did we not see Boro when Yar’Adua was sick? Boro thwacked and flared all over Abuja and ignited the nation to give the top seat to an Ijaw son. Once he got there, he made sure the Ijaw son would not be a tower of grace. Rather he planted a seed like Boko Haram to germinate and sprout into a monstrous bower. Under the same son, we know that it is not about differing tongues alone that we bicker but also over differing gods. One God is better than the other, and it does not matter the humanity, the wisdom of their worshippers. But then, we have seen Boro in the land of Oduduwa. They now call for regionalism. They want to be their own law and their own grace. Boro is holding sway. His is arming Boko Haram as he armed the militants of Niger Delta and the OPC and the MASSOB. No one should wonder how the arms get into the country. They come in spirit. Boro may be no one’s hero. He did not walk his talk. But he is us, groveling in self-deceit today. We abide the lies. That is why he is not lying in state. He is flying in our face and instructing us. He is like the ghost in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, who says, “I am thy father’s spirit, Doomed for a certain term to walk the night, And for the day confined to fast in fires, Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature, Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid, To tell the secrets of my prison house, I could a tale unfold whose lightest word, Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood…” Boro’s prison house is us, and we must shed ourselves of the hypocrisy before we can fly out of the cage. Then he can truly be buried and forgotten.

Violence in Ekiti


FTER a Fayose rally in Ado-Ekiti that featured a buy-me-a-crowd enthusiasm, some APC folks followed a gestural tradition of sweeping the debris of their campaign out of town. But the folks were turned into targets of violence, aiming at injuries and death. They even attacked the governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi. The Ekiti election is not only important for Ekiti but for 2015 and Nigeria. The news is rife that the PDP, in spite of President Jonathan’s claim for a fair poll, is plotting to turn the election into a referendum of violence rather than popularity. We want peace, but they should realise in the upper echelons of the PDP that the people of Ekiti will not accept any rigging, for the sake of all. They should not take the people for granted.


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Now that Fani is back home

leaders are more interested in playing politics with the whole Chibok issue and hurling bricks at our military for not doing a better job. I cannot be in a party in which the role of one of its governors is not clear on the Chibok issue.” A few questions here: was FFK in APC in the real sense of it; did he have any weight? FFK must tell us who are these people in APC who have sympathies for Boko Haram. Who is this governor he indicts so brazenly? When did a Muslim/Muslim ticket become a grave offence in Nigeria’s politics to force a man to quit his party? Lastly, FFK is now the defender and spokesman for the Nigerian military that we must never criticise because he says so. Gee, we thought FFK’s trajectory was rough and dirty but it seems we ain’t seen ‘nuthing’. Now that he is back in familiar trenches he portends to be more dangerous than ever; he is going to spray muck like never before. Hardball would suggest that APC does well to ignore him and nevers respond to his tantrums. FFK is like a blank slate that must be filled every morning. Why help him fill it?

what he is, a hollow gong that makes strident noise seeking notice. Making up some phoney excuses for his ‘great’ jump has only diminished his gung-ho, swashbuckling qualities. One would have expected him to simply hold out his chest and announce to the world that: I am out of here; I am going back to my people. It is cheap and very low for FFK to add blackmail to his devious peregrinations. Hear him on why he is dumping APC for PDP: “I cannot remain in a party where a handful of people that have sympathies for Boko Haram and that have a clear Islamic agenda are playing a leading role. This is made all the more untenable when some of those people are working hard silently and behind the scenes to impose a Muslim/Muslim ticket on the party for the presidential election next year. “I cannot be in a party where a few of its

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June 9, 2014  

June 9, 2014 publication of The Nation Newspaper

June 9, 2014  

June 9, 2014 publication of The Nation Newspaper