Page 1

Accommodation crisis hits confab Pages 2,3,9

•Ekiti: Fasuan is our choice

Newspaper of the Year

News Police smash ‘baby factory’ P10 Sports Keshi undecided on Osaze P24 Business ‘Govt to remove petrol subsidy’ P53

•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL. 9, NO. 2792 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2014





How Abacha looted $2b, by U.S. report


•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (third left), his deputy, Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire (second left), Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello (middle), his Waterfront Infrastructure Development counterpart Segun Oniru (left), Secretary to the State Government Mrs. Oluranti Adebule (third right), Commissioner for Commerce & Industry Mrs. Olusola Oworu (second right) and her Establishments, Training & Pensions counterpart Mrs. Florence Oguntuase (right) during the opening ceremony of the 6th Climate Change Summit 2014 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos…yesterday.

Yusuf Alli, Abuja

HE United States has opened up on how the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha , his son, Mohammed, a friend of the family, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and others looted about $2.2 billion through security votes fraud. Money was also stolen through the Ajaokuta Steel debt-buy back and extortion of Dumez Group, a company operating in Nigeria. Mohammed Abacha and


Continued on page 4

Immigration jobs deaths: APC seeks criminal probe Party condemns Sanusi’s bullying Alison-Madueke ‘must be removed’

From Yusuf Alli and John Ofikhenua, Abuja


FTER a seven-hour meeting in Abuja, the All Progressives Congress (APC) delivered yesterday a verdict on the state of the nation. The President Goodluck Jonathan administration has lost control of the ship of state, the party said. It also blamed the ruling government for the death of 19 applicants during last Saturday’s Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS) recruitment test. It accused the government of exploiting unemployed youths instead SEE ALSO of creating jobs for them. The party also demand-


Continued on page 4


770,000 N770m 4,556 19

•The number of applicants for NIS jobs •The cash collected from all the applicants •The vacancies the NIS claims to have •Number of the dead, including two expectant women

•MOR O MUST GO: Members of the Movement for Democratic Change and Peoples’ Rights (MDCPR) calling for the removal of Interior Minister •MORO Abba Moro in Lagos...yesterday.

Out of sheer greed, N1,000 each was collected from the over 770,000 unemployed applicants . The Jonathan-led PDP government, therefore, fleeced unemployed youths...of N770m. The vacancies of about 4,500 had already been filled through the back door by over 3,000 candidates of PDP Apparatchik and government officials





Conference a T

•Minister of Power Prof. Chinedu Nebo (second left) discusiing with the Minister of State for Power Muhammad Wakil, at the opening of the Power Forum during the Nigerian Oil and Gas conference in Abuja...yesterday. With them is Chairman, CWC Group, Dr Parra Alirio (left). PHOTO: NAN

•From left: Managing Director/CEO, Joza Global Logistics, Mr.Usiakpor Emmanuel, wife Efe and Sales Director, Nigeria Breweries Plc, Mr. Hubert Eze, during the celebration of Joza’s emergence as overall best NB Plc 2013 Transporter key category award winner in Lagos.

•From left: Manager, Events, Etisalat Nigeria, Ufuoma Dogun, Registrar, Student Affairs, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Dr. (Mrs.) Veronica Okogbaa; Head, Southsouth , Etisalat Nigeria, Enekwachi Aja; winner of Kia Picanto brand new car, Onyekwere Melvinton and Vice-Chancellor, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Prof Rosemond Dienye Green-Osahogulu, during the presentation of brand new Kia Picanto car to the winner in Port Harcourt.

• Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Ibrahim Abdulsalam (left) recieving handing over note from his predecessor, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh d in Lagos...yesterday.

HE National Conference inaugurated on Monday by President Goodluck Jonathan was forced to adjourn yesterday due to lack of accommodation for delegates. Although the 492 delegates were informed that their accommodation, feeding and transportation had been monetised, findings by our correspondents showed that many of the delegates were yet to sort out their accommodation problems. Findings also showed that mostly affected were delegates who do not have property in Abuja. Apart from accommodation, it was also discovered that some basic allowances of the delegates were yet to be paid. Apparently to fast track payment of the allowances, delegates were asked to submit their account details to the conference secretariat. The conference will resume on Monday to adopt its rules of proceeding, Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kitigi (rtd) announced yesterday. Kutigi, who began with an apology for starting proceedings behind schedule, said the purpose of the meeting was for delegates to know themselves as well for principal officers to introduce themselves to the delegates. “Ladies and gentlemen, I suppose you know me; I’m supposed to be the chairman of this conference. My deputy, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, is also here,” Kutigi said. There was outburst of laughter by delegates. When the laughter subsided, Kutigi handed over to the Secretary of the conference, Dr. ValerieJanette Azinge who gave the overview of the Nigeria Judicial Institute (NJI) conference venue. Azinge told delegates that they observed free sitting arrangement but added that “by next sitting seats will be designated and tagged according to delegates.” She also told delegates that the conference would sit for four days, Monday to Thursday, every week while Fridays will be used for administrative purposes. She noted that conference rules of proceeding when adopted would shape the conference operation. Sitting arrangements almost became an issue when a delegate, Mr. Charles Edosomwan from Edo State suggested that the conference should continue to observe free sitting. Edosomwan said instead of tagging seats, delegates should be encouraged to come early to choose where they preferred to sit. He wondered the criteria to be adopted for tagging the seats. Chief Sergeant Awuse (Rivers State) said that the sitting arrangement should be done to enable delegates from a particular state sit together. Awuse argued that such arrangement would enable delegates to confer when it became necessary. Chief Segun Osoba objected. Osoba said that first and foremost delegates should see themselves as Nigerians. The former Ogun State governor suggested that delegates should sit in alphabetical order. He said delegates who wanted to confer on any issue should find alternative place to do so. Osoba was applauded by majority of the delegates for what

•Kutigi From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

a delegate described as “a statesmanly intervention.” Mrs Azinge assured delegates that the conference would be “ as democratic as possible to give delegates the right to challenge any thing.” She also told the delegates that sitting arrangement was contained in the conference rules of proceeding that would be debated and adopted. Delegates, she said, also have the right to challenge the sitting arrangement as contained in the rules. Mrs Azinge, who said that the views of the majority would always be carried, noted that it was obvious when Osoba spoke what delegates wanted. She said deliberations at the conference would begin from the speech of Jonathan after which other issues would be discussed. She told the delegates that they would work for 12 weeks with the first two weeks devoted to general discussions. She said after the first two weeks, issues would be broken and assigned to committees for more in-depth discussion. The committees, she said, would report back to the plenary for resolutions. Senator Florence Ita-Giwa said the conference arose as a result of anger. She noted that since delegates came with major issues in their minds, they should be given ample opportunity to air their views. Pastor Tunde Bakare stressed the issue of punctuality to the conference saying the delegates should avoid carrying the old to the new. He said: “If we say 10 am, let our 10am be 10am. Today we started 45 minutes or thereabout behind schedule.” Bakare also underscored the importance of sacrifice saying that those who came with personal assistants should pay them. He also cautioned about the use of religious prayer as preface before any contribution. According to him, if a Moslem uses religious prayer to preface his contribution, a Christian can also begin his contribution with “let somebody praise the Lord.” Former Dputy Speaker, House of Representatives Chibudum



adjourns over delegates’ accommodation ‘ The conduct of delegates also showed that Nigeria is united, that Nigeria is one is resolved to discuss the salient issues of equity and justice. My own perspective which I will present on the floor is that Nigeria needs to be reworked so that we can function better




Court includes Kutigi, Akinyemi, Azinge in suit against conference


USTICE Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday included former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Idris Kutigi and two others as parties in a suit challenging the legitimacy of the National Conference inaugurated on Monday by President Goodluck Jonathan. The judge’s decision was upon an application by rights activist Tunji Abayomi. Abayomi, who filed the suit, sought the court’s permission to amend his processes to reflect the names of Kutigi (conference chairman), Prof Bolaji Akinyemi (Vice Chairman) and Mrs Valerie Azinge (Secretary) as defendants in the suit on the ground that they were necessary parties.

Nwuche noted that the conference started on a good note. He said: “I can say so far so good. Today plenary was specifically for

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Defendants’ lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) who is also a participant at the conference, did not oppose Abayomi’s application. The judge subsequently included the three as defendants and ordered service of court documents on them. Their inclusion now brings to seven defendants in the suit. Others are Jonathan, the Senate, its President, House of Representatives and its Speaker. Abayomi is by the suit, seeking to stop the national conference on the ground that the President lacked the powers to convoke or convene a national conference without a law

house keeping. Delegates were asking routine questions about the proceedings and the rule of engagement. What was obvious

from the National Assembly empowering him to do so. The activist, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/ 167/204 asked the court to determine whether a national conference can be convened by the President and/or government of Nigeria without a law made by the National Assembly enabling them to do so. In a supporting affidavit, Abayomi stated that the Federal Government has planned to spend billions of public money to fund the conference despite the absence of any law enabling the President to convoke the conference. He added that the Federal Government was bent on spending such amount despite the

today was the enthusiasm of Nigerians, their willingness to dialogue on all the issues. “The conduct of delegates also

limited power invested in the President to use money to execute law. Yesterday, Abayomi withdrew his application for interlocutory injunction, with which he had sought to restrain the Federal Government from going ahead with the conference on the ground that if the government was not restrained, billions of tax payers money will be spent unconstitutionally. With his withdrawal of the application, which the judge consequently struck out, the coast is now clear for the hearing of the substantive suit. Upon the agreement by the two lawyers, Justice Abdulkafarati adjourned to March 31 for mention.

showed that Nigeria is united, that Nigeria is one is resolved to discuss the salient issues of equity and justice. My own perspective which

I will present on the floor is that Nigeria needs to be reworked so that we can function better.”

Oodua Foundation: federating units must thrive on their own


HIS is a letter from the heart to the rulers, leaders, peoples and citizens of Nigeria, from Oodua Foundation, a Yoruba thinktank organisation with members in all parts of the world. We write this letter to Nigeria, the country of our birth, from the depth of our love and hopes, and from our accumulated knowledge and experiences in the countries in which we reside across the face of the earth. Our country, Nigeria, can become a major factor in the world. It has the material and human resources for a very significant role in the affairs of our continent and of our world. Most of the countries in which we live in the wide world are not as richly endowed as our own country, and yet most of them have much comfort and beauty to dispense, occupy important positions in the economic and political life of the world, and are respected by other countries and by the general international community. In contrast, our own country, Nigeria, is little regarded in most parts of the world. In many parts of the world, where many of us have attained prominence and influence as a result of our high education, high qualifications, and qualitative contributions to society, we live in almost constant shame and anxiety from the fact that the news from our own country are almost perpetually of growing decay, growing poverty, unspeakable human suffering, deeprooted and inscrutable corruption,

The Oodua Foundation, Wilmington, United States of America, in a statement by its secretary, Dr. Dejo Ogunwande , chairman, Prof. Adeniran Adeboye and patron, Prof. Banji Akintoye, calls for a restructuring of the country in such a way that the federating units can thrive without relying on the centre. fearful lack of security, horrific bloodletting conflicts, frequent acts of genocide, religious extremism and terrorism, and constant probability of sudden collapse. Quite often, each of us and our children confront situations in which we are painfully compelled to hesitate to say that we are Nigerians. We write this letter to our country in the belief that we Nigerians can change these trends in our country’s life. We write it in the hope that this cry from us from all over the world will move our countrymen, and our country’s rulers and leaders, to stop and consider, and resolve, individually and collectively, to change the direction of our country’s path. We in Oodua Foundation are all products of the Yoruba nationality in Nigeria. Our parents have, since the beginning of the making of a Nigerian federation in about 1950, contributed with all sincerity and dedication, and made outstanding inputs into all worthy areas of Nigeria’s development. Among other things, they laid the foundations of the influence that we their descendants now command in the world. We are proud of the con-

tributions that our Yoruba nation continues to make today in the various spheres of Nigeria’s life. We and the whole world know from the facts of our history that our Yoruba nation, and other Nigerian nationalities, live in undeserved poverty and confusion in Nigeria today – all because of the relentless intensification of corruption in the political and economic management of Nigeria’s affairs since independence in 1960. We the Yoruba nation, and other nationalities of Nigeria, command the cultural assets with which we could easily prosper in today’s world, but being part of Nigeria stultifies and represses the triumph of such assets. We endorse and support, and strongly commit ourselves to, the contributions being made by our Yoruba nation and our Yoruba nation’s leaders at home today towards worthwhile changes in Nigeria, and towards a redirection of the trajectory of Nigeria’s history. After very careful consultations, a delegation of our Yoruba leaders is now in Abuja for the National Conference convened by the President of Nigeria. The hope of our

Yoruba nation is that the National Conference will produce outcomes that will lead to a new and rational Nigerian federation, reasonably empower every federating unit of the Nigerian federation to thrive in its own way and make its own kind of contribution to Nigeria’s overall prosperity, generate harmony among the peoples of Nigeria, establish open and democratic political traditions in Nigeria, earn stability for Nigeria as a country, and start a new surge of hope for all Nigerians. Needless to say, Nigeria’s continued existence as one country depends very much on the achievement of these outcomes. If we Nigerians cannot do Nigeria properly, we might as well let it go. We might as well let other structures emerge that can put substance, joy and hope back into the lives of the 170 millions who now flounder and suffer in Nigeria. We in Oodua Foundation strongly hope that, with this National Conference, we Nigerians will indeed begin to do Nigeria properly. For this reason, we must express serious shock about the statement credited to the Northern Elders Fo-

rum meeting of March 10-11 that: “The planned National Conference has no constitutional basis, or any form of Legitimacy or authority to speak for the people of the North or other Nigerians. Its proceedings, conclusions and recommendations are therefore of no consequence and will not be accepted by the people of the North.” In the interest of all the peoples and citizens of Nigeria, we must urge the Northern Elders to reconsider this very damaging statement of theirs. In the history of the constitutional development of Nigeria, the present National Conference is perfectly in line with all previous Nigerian constitutional conferences, and it is by no means inferior to any in legitimacy. These are no times for irreconcilable stonewalling, or for hard postures designed to intimidate. No Nigerian people can now be intimidated. The way matters stand today, we either all join hands and sort out the colossal mess that Nigeria has become, or we separate. From all over the world, we wish the National Conference success.



NEWS APC seeks criminal probe Continued from page 1

ed a criminal investigation of the incidents which 19 applicants, including expectant

women, died. Besides, the APC condemned what it described as the ferocious and unwarranted attacks against suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for exposing alleged $20billion theft in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The party queried why Sanusi will be under suspension while Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, who superintends NNPC, is still in office. On the orgy of killings nationwide, the APC urged the Federal Government to take steps to address it. It also warned the government against its ongoing plans to impose a total emergency on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to remove democratically elected governments in those states. The party, which gave its verdict on the state of the nation after a seven-hour session of its National Executive Committee (NEC), also fixed May 24 for its National Convention. The convention will be preceded by Ward Congress (April 5); Local Government Congress (April 12) and State Congress

•From left: Asiwaju Tinubu(left) Gen Buhari, Chief Akande, Tumsa and Chief Onu…yesterday

(April 23). Addressing reporters on the NEC communiqué, APC Interim National Publicity Secretary Lai Mohammed, said the party was of the opinion that the pervasive corruption and incompetence of the Jonathan administration led to the death of the 19 applicants. It accused the Jonathan administration of fleecing 770,000 applicants of N770million, using a consultant as a conduit pipe. The communique said: “Following its deliberations, the National Executive Committee of the APC commiserated with the families of the people who died on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 at several venues of the job test by the Nigerian Immigration

Service (NIS). We also extend our sympathy and prayers to those who were injured in the stampede, and wish them a speedy recovery. “The needless deaths of our youth, which resulted from a combination of exploitation, corruption, greed and incompetence of the relevant authorities, represent a needless violation of their right to life and dignity. “Out of sheer greed, N1,000 each was collected from the over 770,000 unemployed applicants shortlisted. “The Jonathan-led PDP government, therefore, fleeced unemployed youths and their parents of Seven hundred and seventy six million naira (N770 million naira) using a consultant as

conduit. “ Even then, the available vacancies of about 4,500 have already been filled through the back door by over 3,000 candidates of PDP Apparatchik and government officials. “The pervasive corruption and incompetence that have become the hallmarks of the Jonathan Administration paved the way for this unprecedented greed in which hapless job seekers were extorted by the same government that has failed to provide jobs for them. “Yet, this government has no social security or any form of safety net for the vulnerable army of the unemployed. It should be made clear that this government encourages and


baby sits corruption, stealing not only from the pension fund of Nigerian citizens, but also from the unemployed and from our collective patrimony, the NNPC.” The APC demanded what it termed a criminal investigation of the job stampede deaths. It added: “That is why we are calling for a criminal investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the deaths of those innocent Nigerians, to find out who authorised the fleecing of job seekers by a government agency, what happened to the money realised from the heist and why the relevant officials did not ensure a better arrangement that could have saved precious lives.

“The job stampede deaths constitute the latest in a series of events that have turned Nigeria into a massive killing field in recent times.” The party faulted the insensitivity of the Jonathan administration to the orgy of killings nationwide. It queried why the PDP-led Federal Government had been pretending as if all is well in the country, climaxing in the President gallivanting from one rally to the other. The party said: “The orgy of killings in the past few weeks have left hundreds dead and many more maimed in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kaduna, KatContinued on page 58

Reps seek automatic employment for families of dead job seekers How Abacha looted $2b, by U.S.


HE House of Representatives also yesterday resolved to investigate the death of job seekers during weekend’s recruitment by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS). It mandated its committees on Labour, Public Service Matters and Justice to conduct a public hearing to determine the remote and immediate causes of the tragedy and report back within four weeks. The lawmakers also condemned unequivocally the handling of the recruitment process and commiserated with the families of applicants who died. They empathized with those who suffered injuries. A minute silence was observed for the dead. The lawmakers also agreed that the Immigration Service should compensate the families


From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

of the victims with automatic employment for at least a member each. The resolutions were sequel to the adoption of the prayers of a motion of urgent national importance by Hon. Karimi Steve Sunday (Kogi PDP). Presenting the motion with the title: “Tragedy at 2014 Immigration recruitment exercise in Nigeria, one million Nigerian youths scramble for 4, 500 job placements,” Sunday said: ”On 15th March 2014, over one million Nigerian youths trooped into all the nation’s state capitals and other major cities to participate in the 2014 Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment exercise, for which the Service had on September 2013 advertised positions into and had obtained N1000 as Application

fee from each of the applicants. “In Lagos alone, about 70,000 Youths showed up at the Stadium for the test. In Ibadan, the Liberty Stadium played host to about 20,000 youths. In Abuja, the 60,000 capacity national stadium was overcrowded with 70,000 youths. In Ilorin, 25,000 candidates showed up like a sea of heads at the llorin Stadium. “In Benin, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, 26,000 Nigerian youths trooped in all in a bid to write the Aptitude Test. The Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano played host to 15,800 Youths, In Benue State 17,800 Youths took part and in Port Harcourt, about 23,000 candidates enrolled for the recruitment exercise. “Despite the crises and insecurity in the Northeast, Gombe and Borno States played host to about 5,000 Applicants each,

while in Sokoto State 10,000 applicants participated in the recruitment exercise. This was the same trend in other state capitals on the said date.” He said only about 20 per cent of the candidates were able to participate in recruitment process as a result of its poor organisation and that a night before the exercise, “an unrecorded number of Nigerians had lost their lives in motor accidents on their way to the test centres.” According to him, “the Nigerian Immigration Service had realised approximately One Billion Naira (N 1,000,000,000.00) from the sales of recruitment forms. The lawmaker further queried “Why could the Service not properly organise a recruitmenttest or programme? Why did the Service not conduct an internet Continued on page 58

Continued from page 1

Bagudu might be imprisoned if they disobey the order freezing their assets. The highlights of how the late Gen. Abacha and others looted the treasury were contained in a March 10, 2014 note

to the Federal Government by the U.S. Department of Justice. The document, which was sourced from the United States, urged the Federal Government to “serve Mohammed Sani Abacha and Abubakar Atiku Bagudu with the record of proceedings under the United King-

dom Civil Jurisdictions and Judgments Act, which is needed to enforce the warrants of arrest in rem issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia”. According to the document, Abacha and others laundered the looted funds through the United States. Sixteen accounts and investment chains were traced to the Abachas in France, the United Kingdom, British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Although the Abachas allegedly asked a former National Continued on page 58

CORRECTION The photograph with the caption CDS, Air Marshal Badeh, on page 26 of yesterday’s edition appeared in error. It is not the photograph of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh. The error is regretted.

Senate probes Immigration job seekers’ death

ENATORS hinted yesterday that the level of unemployment in the country may trigger a revolution of unimaginable consequences, if the government does not urgently address the malaise. This followed a motion on the death of 19 applicants during an aptitude test conducted by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) across the nation for job placements. Over 70 applicants were said to have been injured. The motion titled: “Nigerian Immigration Service nationwide aptitude test and physical examination of March 15th, 2014” was sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi Centra) and Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and nine others. The Senate resolved that its Committee on Interior should organize a public hearing to determine the actual cause of the deaths and report back in one week. The Senate also resolved to observe a minute silence in honour of the dead, condole with

•Revolution likely over unemployment •Rejects motion on minister’s suspension From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

the families of the dead and sympathise with those injured during the unfortunate incident. It urged the Federal Government to come up with a marshal plan on employment. However, the prayer that the Senate condemns the the poor handling of the test and logistic provisions at the test centres was defeated as most senators described it as “judgmental” in view of the impending investigations. Senator Babafemi Ojudu’s prayer that Interior Minister Abba Moro be suspended pending investigation was also rejected by the lawmakers. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu noted that the death of the 19 applicants and the fate of those who suffered varied degree of injuries in the course of seeking employment should be of concern to all Nigerians. He said it was time for the government to increase job opportunities as well as provide

social security cover for the unemployed. Ekweremadu said: “These are people who are supposed to be our future leaders. Therefore, their deaths should be of concern to us. “These people died because they believe in this country. They died because they wanted to work for our country. They would have taken the path of crime, but they wanted meaningful employment and in seeking meaningful employment they lost their lives. “So, I will like to join you in sympathising with the families of those who died and I agree with you entirely that we must do all that needs be done to ensure that we increase the quantity of employment opportunities for our people. “When the 1999 Constitution was drafted, those who did that were mindful of our responsibility to the ordinary people of Nigeria. Section 17 (3) states that ‘the state shall direct its policy towards ensuring that (a) all citizens without discrimina-

tion for any group whatsoever have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment.’ “This is the responsibility of the government and we must ensure that it happens. “I believe a time has come while we are trying to provide employment for our people we must also address the welfare of everybody. In Europe, for instance, the average tax is about 40 per cent. “I believe that even in this country, those who are working should be able to contribute to the welfare of those who are not working so that we will be able to redistribute our income. “There is need for us provide social security network for those who are unemployed and for those who are out of employment so that we can all be our brothers’ keeper.” Bagudu, in his lead debate, urged the Senate to note with grief the tragic nationwide recruitment exercise of the Nige-

rian Immigration Service (NIS) during which 15 applicants died as a result of stampede that occurred at some of the test centres across the country. He said the Head of Service of the Federation had in 2011 granted approval for the recruitment of 4,556 personnel of various cadre, for the Nigerian Immigration Service. According to the lawmaker, the approval comprised 1,343 Assistant Superintendent 1 and 2 (Graduates), 1,680 Assistant Inspector 1 for National Certificate in Education (NCE) and Ordinary National Diploma, 1,531 Immigration Assistant 111 (SSCE). He urged his colleagues to observe that following the Federal Government’s approval, an attempt was made to conduct the recruitment by the former Comptroller-General of NIS, Mrs Rosemary Uzoma, which was cancelled in 2013 because the conduct of the exercise became controversial. He said: “The Senate had in January 2013 debated a motion


on employment irregularities in agencies, including the Nigerian Immigration Service.” He said the cancellation of the Continued on page 58

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Coscharis to launch spare parts line


OSCHARIS Motors Limited will on Thursday launch a new arm of its business. The the new business arm, known as the Certified Parts Wholesale Dealers (CPWD), is targeted at all Ford automobile brand owners and users in the country. This business unit, it was learnt, will properly position Coscharis Motors to partner with some carefully selected wholesale dealers of genuine Ford automobile spare parts across the country to deliver genuine Ford motor parts to the local market. General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Services, Coscharis Group, Mr. Abiona Babarinde, in a chat with The Nation, said the menace of fake parts is a major source of concern tothe company, adding that in partnership with her overseas partners, Ford Motor Company of USA, it is determined to reverse the trend, with tthe new CPWD.

•Vice-President Namadi Sambo ( fourth left),Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumereje (left), Supervising Minister of Education Nyelson Wike (second left), Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Foluso Philip (third left), NESG Director-General Frank Nweke (fourth right) Minister of State for Works Bashir Yuguda (third right), Executive Director , CNBC Africa, Brounwyn Nelson (second right) and Vice-President, Human Development, World Bank, Dr Elizebeth King during the Nigerian Economic Summit at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN.

Immigration tragedy: Outrage grows as NMA, NSCIA, others kick

•APC senators urge Interior Minister to resign


HE outrage over the Immigration tragedy which killed 19 job seekers has not subsided. Many prominent individuals and organisations yesterday called for enquiry into the tragedy. Besides calling for inquiry, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also urged the Federal Government to ensure the return of the N1,000 paid by all the applicants with adequate compensation of all the victims of the tragedy. NMA also suggested that as a short term measures, government should immediately institute unemployment allowance for all able-bodied unemployed Nigerians. According to Dr Osahon Enabulele, President, NMA the Association also called on the federal, state and local governments to act speedily to address the burgeoning rate of unemployment and other socio-economic inequities in Nigeria. This he said could be addressed by opening up more employment opportunities in order to halt the grave consequences of the rising restiveness in Nigeria. The statement reads in part: “ While the NMA supports the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to institute an inquiry into the spine-chilling incidence, the NMA however calls on Mr. President to conduct an open and public probe of the events that transpired during the show of shame, with prompt sanction meted out to all those found culpable. The prompt implementation of the outcome of


From Victor Oluwasegun, Vincent Ikuomola, Bukola Amusan, Abuja, Tajudeen Adebanjo, Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo and Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

the probe will help to rebuild the confidence of Nigerians in the sincerity of Mr. President to address all acts of inefficiency in the Nigerian system. “As short term measures, the NMA calls for the immediate institution of unemployment allowance for all able bodied unemployed Nigerians and the complete overhaul of the recruitment policy of government ministries, departments, agencies and bodies, with the utilisation of ICT technology.” THE All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the Senate, has urged the Minister of Interior Abba Moro to immediately resign from office on account of the Immigration tragedy. The caucus’s spokesperson, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, in a statement in Abuja, said: “The tragedy has further graphically underlined the insensitivity of the President Jonathan administration to the plight of the people. “In other countries, the deaths of these helpless applicants in such a circumstance would be enough for the Minister in charge to tender his resignation. “We are calling on the Minister of the Interior, Hon. Abba Moro to resign his position, because he can’t be absolved from the activities that eventually led to this monumental tragedy. “We are very worried about

Moro: my heart goes out to victims’ families


INISTER of Interior Comrade Abba Moro has said he is saddened by the death of young Nigerians seeking employment during the stampede at the recruitment exercise conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) at the weekend. The minister, in a statement yesterday by his Special Assistant on Media George Udoh, commiserated with the bereaved families and Nigerians. The statement reads: “My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the stampede, the Minister stated The Minister said it was regrettable and heartbreaking that the victims paid the supreme price occasioned by the pulling down of a barricade into the stadium by some of the applicants which claimed seven lives, five males and two females.” the worsening unemployment rate and are, hereby, calling on President Jonathan to tackle the problem sincerely and decisively by declaring an emergency on the unemployment and urgently come out with a marshall plan to tackle the problem. “We would be deceiving ourselves not to admit that joblessness is an indirect effect of the spate of insecurity that is bedeviling the country all over.” The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) said the tragedy was unwarranted. A statement by its Chairman, Media Committee, Alhaji Femi Abbas, said: "It is unbelievably amazing that the same youths who had been compelled to serve their fatherland through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) could be lured to premature death so cheaply in a country where employment ought to be a right rather than a privilege.

The minister promised that a panel of inquiry made up of all stakeholders would be constituted to unearth “the remote and immediate causes of the stampede that led to the death of these young Nigerians and make useful recommendations that when implemented will forestall future occurrences”. He said: “I appeal to the good people of Nigeria to remain calm and show understanding in the present circumstances to help us overcome the present sad development so that we can unravel the remote and immediate causes of this unfortunate incident.” The minister said uninvited persons trooped to the various venues which swelled their populations to unmanageable levels.

"On many occasions in the recent and remote past, the NSCIA had called on the authorities at federal and state levels to work towards elimination of corruption in the land as a way of ventilating security and peace. But rather than this, the evil monster called corruption keeps rearing its ugly head as it spreads its tentacle to the detriment of the nation and the future of our youths through the evil machination of those who should be responsible for its elimination. "The real tragedy in this is not the incident alone but also in the inconsequential lip service that would be emotionally paid to it through the passing of bulk while the families of the victims keep mourning in endless agony. "It is our hope that similar occurrences of such tragedies will be avoided with their causes in future even as the government is expected to live up to its responsibility by ventilating the environment for

massive job creation for the purpose of peace and tranquility in the land," the group said. NSCIA sympathised with the relatives of the victims while joining their relatives spiritually in mourning and in praying the Almighty Allah to grant them the necessary fortitude with which to bear the agony. Senator Gbenga Kaka and House of Representatives member Abiodun AbuduBalogun demanded the immediate removal of Moro, and the Director-General of the NIS, David Shikfu, for their alleged ineptitude. Kaka and Abudu-Balogun, who is the Deputy Chairman, Committee on Internal Security, in separate interviews with reporters, expressed lack of confidence in whatever probe that maybe constituted in respect of the matter, saying it would be a “waste of time and money”. Kaka said: “With the gargantuan of money at our dis-

explained that GM is not scared of setting up an auto plant anywhere, but the process of doing such is not an “overnight” decision as it required exhaustive assessment, and consideration of challenges of stability amongst several others. GM, he said, has built a $30 million spare parts centre in South Africa, which is targeted

at servicing the sub Saharan market. GM, he said, is also set to build a training centre for technicians who will provide high quality after-sales service, in the country. It will also offer test drive as an option for its potential customers. “We want to grow and give Nigerians the best quality vehicles and after sales-

posal in this country, there should be no cause for unemployment and the country to be poor. “Given the enormity of what happened, heads ought to have been rolling. I think Mr. President should show the Minister and the DG the way out. This is not a death caused by the Boko Haram sect. This is unacceptable. We have not placed value on human lives in this country. If we cannot protect the citizens, we should throw in the towel and stop fooling anybody.” Abudu-Balogun said: “We, in the House, saw this as more of a money-making scam. This is fraud. You can imagine what this development have caused.It is pathetic and sad. The Minister must be sacked.” A Group, Nigerian Unemployed Youth Vanguard, yesterday called on the Federal Government to pay adequate compensation to the families of the dead applicants. The group, in a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator and Publicity Secretary, Solomon Adodo and Danesi Momoh, said it would not be wise for people to play politics with the issue or using it to score cheap popularity. The National Conscience Party also wants what it calls “a comprehensive and independent investigation” into the tragedy. Addressing a news conference in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the NCP National Chairman, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, said: “We are told the number of vacancies is less than 4000. Yet the NIS process application for over 1,000,000 inviting them for interviews across the country simultaneously, charging and collecting as much as N1000 from pitiable, jobless Nigerians.”

‘Nigerian auto market not fully explored’

HE President, General Motors (GM) Africa, Mario Spangenberg, in Lagos, has said the firm has concluded plans to offer better services and products to Nigerians. Spangenberg spoke in Lagos yesterday while inaugurating the GM Intermotors showroom in Victoria Island. He said: “We have not fully

By Muyiwa Lucas

explored the opportunities in the Nigerian market and the sub-saharan market; and we are set to do that now with our qualitative range of vehicles. The opening of this showroom in Lagos, which by any standard is the best auto showroom around, is just one of the steps in that direction; Nige-

ria is a very big market waiting to be explored,” he said. This, he said, is achievable as long as used cars, known as “tokunboh” cars, are banned from entering the market. Spangenberg said he would be meeting with government officials to enable him have a thorough understanding of the new automotive policy in the country. He


service at affordable prices,” Spangenberg said.



NEWS ‘Linking Oduah to removal of aviation chiefs mischievous’ By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

THE spokesperson for the aviation parastatal corporations Mr. Yakubu Dati, yesterday debunked claims by critics that the former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has a hand in the removal of the former heads of aviation agencies. He said in Lagos the Federal Government decided to effect changes in the management of the agencies in the public interest. The spokesperson said the former managing directors of FAAN, Mr. George Uriesi; Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Nnamdi Udoh; Rector of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Capt. Chinyere Kalu; and the DirectorGeneral of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, worked with the former minister without any issue. “These gentlemen worked under Princess Oduah when she was the Aviation minister. So if she wanted to remove any of them, she possibly could have done so,” he said.

‘Failure to curb Boko Haram dangerous’

Progressive governors to tackle unemployment T HE commissioners of Budget and Planning in the 16 states governed by the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), are planning policies to tackle unemployment. The commissioners, who converged on Abeokuta, Ogun State, for the PGF’s Policy Design Session on Unemployment, identified lack of accurate data and viable plans as causes of rising of unemployment. Speaking on the causes identified by the participants, Director-General of PGF Dr. Saliu Lukman said

unemployment was the No. 1 problem, to be tackled. He reiterated the commitment of the progressive governors to find a solution to the problem and said the technical session of the meeting would look at the issues and how they manifest, with a view to generating recommendations. Lukman said: “Beyond the theories, which the ses-

sion seeks to look at, we will go down to the states to get the people’s view and balance this with the theories, to form proposals to be presented to the governors. When they are adopted, they become policies for the 16 states controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC).” Delivering the Governance Lecture, the Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba,

said governments must ameliorate the situation, adding that “neglecting this fact will render other policies unworkable.” He frowned at the nonavailability of accurate data outside which he said no meaningful planning could be achieved. “In the absence of an accurate unemployment figure by the government at the centre, any project by organs is speculative. Therefore, we must strive to ensure availability of accurate data to help the states proffer workable policies,” Teriba added.

•From left: Former Lagos State Accountant-General, Akinwunmi Ambode, award recipient, Adeniji Kazeem, former InspectorGeneral of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith and Bolaji Are at the 9th Merit Award of the Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Lagos branch, at the National Theatre, Lagos.

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

THE Chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Foluso Phillips, has decried the rate at which Boko Haram insurgents are killing innocent Nigerians. He said if steps were not taken to stop the group, everybody might pay for the consequences. The NESG chief spoke in Abuja at the 20th Nigeria Economic Summit. He said government should pay attention to the education sector to improve the economy. Phillips said Nigeria was not doing enough to curb corruption, adding: “We are not pursuing and punishing those engaged in corruption. We agree with a school of thought, which emphasises building institutions, systems and processes that provide an enduring and sustainable war against corruption. “But we need to have a collective and an uncompromising approach to dealing with corruption. President Goodluck Jonathan should come down harder on the culprits. We must rely on the power of the rule of law.”

Supreme Court corrects error on earlier ruling


HE Supreme Court yesterday faulted part of its earlier judgment of July 12 last year in which it held that the Eletu Family of Lagos was entitled to 10 hectares of a disputed land on the Lekki Peninsula, as against the 216.758 hectares claimed by the family. After entertaining arguments from counsel representing parties, Justice Walter Onnoghen acknowledged the court’s error. He held that the court was empowered under Order 8 Rule 16 of the Supreme Court Rules to correct such errors,

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

although the court had become functius officio. Justice Onnoghen held that the court’s intention was to award the statutory right of occupancy in 216.758 hectares and not 10 hectares to the Eletu Family. The court upheld the right of the Eletu Family to a piece of land, popularly known as Osapa village, on the Lekki Peninsula in Eti-Osa Local Government. The court erroneously concluded that the land measuring about 10 hectares did not belong to the Ojomu Chief-

taincy Family. Capitalising on the error, the Ojomu Family continued to dispute the right of the Eletu Family to the land, leading to tension within the peninsula. To settle the dispute, the Eletu Family caused their lawyer, Olu Daramola, to apply to the Supreme Court for a review of the judgment. In an application to this effect, Daramola urged the court to do the needful and correct the error. But, the Ojomu Family opposed the application. Their

Ogbulafor’s trial suffers adjournment


HE trial of Vincent Ogbulafor and two others at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court suffered yet another adjournment yesterday, following the absence of Justice Ishaq Bello. Ogbulafor is on trial with Jude Nwokolo and Emeka Ebilah. They were sued by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a 17count of fraud involving N107 million. Ogbulafor’s trial has suffered adjournments. At the resumed hearing, Mr. Salisu Idache, the court

clerk, informed counsel to the ICPC, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), and the defence team that Bello “is still on his national assignment.” He was appointed the chairman of the Anambra Election Petition Tribunal. April 29 has been fixed for counsel to address the court. The ICPC alleged that as minister of state for Special Duties in 2001, Ogbulafor connived with others to establish three fictitious companies with which they perpetrated the alleged fraud. They were said to have used Henrichiko Nig. Ltd., DHL Consultants and Chekwas Industries to obtain

N82.6 million, N11.5 million and N6.2 million in 2001, among others. Ogbulafor was alleged to have, as head of the National Economic Intelligence Committee, passed forged documents as genuine. The ICPC alleged that he relied on the forged documents to certify that the three fake companies executed jobs worth N104million. The offence contravened the Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000. If convicted, they face five years in prison. But the accused pleaded not guilty.

lawyer, Chief Ladi Williams argued that the court had become functius officio and lacked the vires to tamper with the judgment. Justice Onnoghen held that “by the provision of Order 8 Rule 16 of the rules of this court, though the court can not review any judgment once given and delivered, it can vary the judgment or order to give effect to its meaning and intention. “In the instant case, the intention of the court is to grant the applicant/appellant their counter-claim to the 254.558 hectares, less than the 37.8 hectares conceded to the Lagos State government, bringing the entitlement of the applicant to 216.758 hectares. “The above being the case, the consequential order shall now read: the appellants are entitled to the statutory right of occupancy over 216.758 hectares.” The judge held that the court was established to do justice and it would be injustice to allow the error go uncorrected. “It means the appellant has won nothing,” he added. Justice Onnoghen advised the parties to continue to maintain peace and live in harmony.

‘Govt plans to partner against terrorism’ From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE Federal Government is planning an inter-party collaboration on counter-terrorism. The National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, who spoke in Abuja yesterday at a briefing on “Roll Out of Nigeria’s Soft Approach to Countering Terrorism”, stressed the need for the political elite to see counterterrorism as an apolitical campaign. He said the Federal Government had initiated an economic revitalisation programme with the six governors in the Northeast to reverse the economic devastation caused by terrorists’ attacks. According to him, an inter-ministerial committee had been put in place for state-federal partnership in the revitalisation programme on the platform of the Presidential Initiative for the Northeast (PINE). He listed the ministries and agencies as Agriculture, Power, Finance, Works, Water Resources, Health, Education, Transport, Communication, Culture and Tourism and Industry-Trade and Investments. Others are Solid Minerals Development, Science and Technology, Youth Development, Lands and Housing, SMEDAN, Budget Office, National Planning Commission, Development Partners and the Office of the National Security Adviser. The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, said his office had secured about 40 convictions in terror-related cases in two years. He said it had been difficult for the Federal Government to identify the terrorists’ sponsors, a situation which he said, made it impossible to prosecute them.

Fani-Kayode: No formal report made, witness tells court By Precious Igbonwelundu


FEDERAL High Court in Lagos yesterday heard that no formal report was made to any authority on the alleged financial transactions of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode. Prosecution witness Elonna Ezelo told Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia that the accused first maintained an account with First Atlantic Bank Plc, which later transformed from First Inland Bank Plc to Finbank Plc and now First City Monument Bank (FCMB). Fani-Kayode is being tried on an amended 40-count of money laundering. Ezelo, a legal officer with the FCMB, led in evidence by prosecuting Festus Keyamo, told the court that he collated the statements of account of the accused, which showed transactions involving cash, cheques, draft and transfers. Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned the case till March 19.



CITYBEATS Kenyan ‘pilgrim’ caught with heroin T

PUBLIC NOTICE ZUBI I, Mr. Zubi Arugba and Mr. Azubuike Chilewon Arugba refers to one and the same person. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. GTB and general public take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE BAKARE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Bakare Damilola Hannah now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Fatunmise Damilola Hannah. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.


AYANNIYI I, formerly known and addressed as Ayanniyi Oluwaremilekun Ayomipeju now wish to be known and addressed as Odulana Oluwaremilekun Ayomipeju. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE ANOMO I, formerly known and addressed as Hon. AISHA ANOMO. ASIRIBO now wish to be known and addressed as Hon. (Mrs.) AISHA ASIRIBO. BADMUS. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should please take note.


I, Prophet (Dr) Samson Ayodele Oguntope, as the Head and with the resolve and consent of members of the Josiah Samuel Olutade Oguntope Family of Adetoun compound of 26, Agura Road, Gbagura, Abeokuta, Ogun State, wish to make it known to the General Public that the family wishes to be called and addressed as OLUTOPE henceforth. All documents bearing the former family name remain valid. Signed: PROPHET (DR) SAMSON AYODELE OGUNTOPE


HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, has begun investigations into the arrest of a 32-year-old Kenyan, Imeldah Awino Noah, who was caught with a substance suspected to be heroin. The suspect, who was in the country under the pretext of being on pilgrimage, was arrested following the discovery of the substance inside two pairs of female sandals in her luggage. The seizure took place during inward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight from Addis Ababa. It was also gathered that she left Nairobi, Kenya for Bujumbura where she collected the luggage containing the drugs before proceeding to Nigeria through Addis Ababa. Confirming the arrest, NDLEA Airport Commander, Mr Hamza Umar, said: “The drug was found inside the soles of two pairs of female sandals as well as in a false bottom of her luggage. She is cooperating with our investigating team.” Imeldah recounted her journey into the world of crime, saying: “My best friend masterminded my involvement in drug trafficking. I am a diploma holder in Community Health

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Initially, I was reluctant, but my friend persuaded me. They bought my ticket and gave me the bag containing clothes where the heroin was concealed

•Imeldah’s bag ... before the search


By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

and Development at the African Institute of Development Studies in Western Kenyan town of Kisumu, Nyanza Province. After my one-year volunteer service, I searched for employment. My friend introduced me to her Nigerian boyfriend who offered to assist me by sponsoring my trip to Nigeria. Initially, I was reluctant but my friend persuaded me. They bought my ticket and gave me the bag containing clothes where the heroin was concealed. On arrival at the Lagos airport, the drug was detected.” Imeldah also told the investigators that she loved coming to Nigeria to receive blessings from her unnamed spiritual father. NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Ahmadu Giade

•Imeldah ... yesterday

•The opened bag showing its contents •The parcels of heroin and some slippers

urged the public not to be ignorant of the machinations of

drug trafficking syndicates. “Drug barons sometimes

present themselves as philanthropists. They will offer you free tickets and make all travel arrangements but the ultimate objective is to get you to smuggle their drugs from one

point to another. The public should be on the alert and report suspected drug barons to the agency,” Giade said, adding that the suspect would soon be charged to court.



NEWS Ojudu holds seminars for students


ENATOR Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central District) has organised seminars for graduating students of tertiary institutions, where they will be taught the basic skills needed to secure and retain employment. The seminars begin today and will hold in three higher institutions in Ekiti State. They will be facilitated by the Fola Ogunsola Foundation. The first seminar holds today at the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, at noon. Two hours later, the second one will hold at the Afe Babalola

University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD). The third will hold tomorrow at the Crown Polytechnic in Odo, Ado-Ekiti, at 9am. In a statement, Ojudu said one of the mandates of the Initiative of Babafemi Ojudu for Leadership Development (iBOLD) is to mentor youths and groom them to be selfreliant, responsible and competent wherever they find themselves. He urged students of the three institutions to attend the seminars.

‘I didn’t assault corps member’


KITI State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development Kayode Olaosebikan has denied beating up a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Thompson Enobong, in OtunEkiti last Saturday. Enobong was an Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) Registration Officer in Ward 2, Otun Ekiti. At a press conference in AdoEkiti yesterday, Olaosebikan said he had “a minor disagreement” with Enobong but did not beat him up. He said the matter was unduly politicised by the opposition. The commissioner was questioned by the police yesterday on the incident. Olaosebikan urged the NYSC authorities to warn corps members against getting involved in partisan politics. He said: “The corps member was shouting on top of his voice that a lady, who is the

From Sulaiman Salalwudeen, Ado-Ekiti

younger sister to my orderly, should not be registered on that day. The noise was embarrassing and I told him not to be hostile to the people. The boy (Enobong), who did not know I was a commissioner, pushed me and my people wanted to mob him, but I told them to leave him. “I even took him into a car that drove him to where he was supposed to work, as we later discovered that he was attached to another ward in the town. It was during the disagreement that I knew he was not supposed to work in that ward. He was not the presiding officer in that ward. “Later, I read on the social media that I beat him up and that he had been hospitalised, even though nothing of such happened. I owe it a duty to ensure the safety of every youth corps member as the Chairman of the NYSC Board in the state.”


Climate change claims trillions of dollars yearly, says Fashola

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has said the global economy loses trillions of dollars yearly due to climate change. Fashola spoke yesterday at the Sixth Climate Change Summit held at the Eko Hotel, themed: “Exploring Business Opportunities in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Lagos State in Focus’. He said the government would prosecute owners of abandoned vessels on the state’s shorelines and coastal waters, noting that they are major contributors to climate change. Fashola said the state will soon engage professionals, who will identify the owners of the vessels to enable the government claim compensation for ecological damage. He said the government has been mitigating the effects of climate change through tree planting, integrated waste management, efficient energy management, green economy and advocacy pro-

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro and Okwy IroegbuChikezie

grammes in schools. On the impacts of climate change, the governor said there are emerging opportunities across the world for the insurance sector to secure the risk of damage to public and personals assets, adding that the government has developed several initiatives geared to convert the adversity of nature into prosperity. He listed such initiatives to include the Eko Atlantic City project, which he said has created jobs for over 2,000 people; the Groin Construction project; and the Alausa, Lagos and Akute Independent Power Projects (IPPs), which have created 259 jobs. Fashola said sources of alternative energy, such as solar panels, are being manufactured and installed to create new knowledge, new skills and new jobs. He said the IPPs, which pro-

vide steady and gas fired energy, are mitigation strategies that have resulted in the decommissioning of 141 diesel powered electricity generators, thereby reducing carbon emissions. The governor said: “We think that there is more. We dare to be innovative. We see the glass as half full and not half empty. We are looking at new designs for energy conservation in our Lagos Homs. We are looking at piping LPG gas as the preferred cooking fuel into those homes. “Sources of alternative energy, such as solar panels are being manufactured and installed to create new knowledge, new skills and new jobs.” In his lead paper, the President of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, Mr. David Cadman, emphasised the need for leaders at various levels to explore the economic potentials of climate

change. He said two-third of the world is exposed to the devastating consequences of climate change, such as global warming and possible rise in water level. According to Cadman, the world population stands at seven billion. He said it would soon rise to 10 billion, explaining that Europe and America would have a billion more population each while Asia and Africa will share the remaining eight billion in the ratio of five to three. Carman said this means that Africa and Asia will determine the sustainability of the action plan. He suggested a paradigm shift in energy generation from generating sets to biogas, wind, solar and geo-thermal and called for the planting of more trees. Commissioner for Environment Tunji Bello said the summit was an avenue to explore empirical solutions to the economic aspect of climate change.

Police raid Oyo PDP aspirant’s office


HE police raided yesterday the Iwo Road campaign office of a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Mr. Oluseyi Makinde. Twenty eight people were arrested at the office. They were released after interrogation. The raid, which lasted about an hour, caused a stir in the area, as a combination of security men from the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) and the joint security outfit, Operation Burst, blocked the road. Those arrested included women and a pastor. Police spokesperson Olabisi Ilobanafor said the raid was as a result of intelligence reports suggesting that miscreants were perpetrating crime at the building. She said the police went there with a search warrant and searched every part of the building, but found nothing incriminating. Ilobanafor described insinua-

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

tions that the raid was sponsored by politicians as untrue, adding: “The raid was based on a series of information, which did not even come from politicians.” An Ibadan chief, Senator Lekan Balogun, described the raid as a violation of the people’s rights. He said security agents ought to have carried out surveillance on the building before raiding it. Balogun said: “I am disturbed. One would have expected the police to work with the State Security Service (SSS) to know whether or not there were arms in the building. There is a great intellectual content to the work of the police in democracy. “They should not indulge in the arbitrary use of power. Unfortunately for the police, I was an eye witness. A woman whose husband is a pastor called me that her husband was among those rounded up by the police.”

Court fixes May 12 for ruling in suit against Wada, five others


FEDERAL High Court in Abuja yesterday fixed May 12 for judgment in a suit seeking to sack Kogi State Governor Idris Wada. Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati gave the date after listening to arguments from lawyers to the parties in the suit instituted by a chieftain of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kogi State, Mohammed Jamiu Audu. Other defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Jibrin Isa Echocho, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Governor Abubakar Audu and the Attorney- General of the

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Federation. The plaintiff said the process leading to the conduct of the December 3, 2011, Kogi governorship election was allegedly manipulated by INEC. Audu, who queried the legitimacy of INEC's decision to substitute him and Obaje with Abubakar Audu in the election, argued that the process that produced Wada as the PDP's candidate for the election violated the Electoral Act, particularly Section 33. The plaintiff wants the court to, among others, declare that he is the valid and legitimate winner of the election and declare him governor.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle) receiving the report of the committee raised to look into the unrest at the Baptist High School, Iwo, from the Chairman, Chief Morenikeji Adedeji...on Monday. With them is the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori.

Ikuforiji didn’t spend funds illegally, says EFCC


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) admitted yesterday that Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji did not use the funds he received from the Assembly’s accounts department for illegal activities. At the resumed trial before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, an EFCC operative, Adebayo Adeniyi (the first prosecution witness), admitted during cross-examination that the commission’s investigation did not show that the cash Ikuforiji allegedly received through his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, from the accounts department was used for any criminal activity, such as terrorism, kidnapping, insider trading or market manipulation, tax evasion, drug trafficking, hostage taking, robbery, smuggling, sexual exploitation, organisation of criminal group or racketeering. Adeniyi, a Principal Detective Superintendent (PDS), explained how various cash payments were made to Ikuforiji through Atoyebi by the accounts department. He said the funds were withdrawn from the accounts of Lagos Assembly with Wema Bank and Equitorial Trust

By Precious Igbonwelundu

Bank (ETB), which the Assembly’s director of finance and the permanent secretary were signatories to. Adeniyi said the cash was not disbursed through a financial institution. When asked by Ikuforiji’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), whether the received funds were for official use of the Assembly members, Adeniyi said yes. He said: “We asked some lawmakers and they admit-

ted collecting the cash. From our investigation, we discovered that the permanent secretary normally withdraws the cash from the bank on behalf of the Assembly in his name. We were also interested in seeing how these funds were expended and our investigation revealed that the funds were paid to members of the Assembly and their officials, but the cash payments were above the threshold the permanent secretary could transact on.” When Olanipekun attempt-

ed to question the witness on the document made by the permanent secretary, identified as A.T. Olatunji, Adeniyi said he could not remember seeing the document, though it was part of documents presented by the EFCC as evidence. EFCC’s lawyer Godwin Obla (SAN) said the document was not made by the witness and was yet to be admitted as exhibit. The trial was adjourned till April 28.

Ekiti residents protest power outage


OUTHS in Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, protested yesterday three months of power outage in the community. Around 10am, they barricaded the only major road in the town, which links Ikere to Akure in Ondo State, causing a traffic gridlock. Appeals by a commissioner and the town’s Divisional Police Officer to the youths to open the road were ignored. A woman, who did not want to be named, said: “Since January, there has been power outage in Ikere and nobody knows when it will end.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

That is why the youths are protesting.” Mr. Salisu Olusola, said: “The Benin Electricity Distribution Company said the town owed a huge amount as unpaid bills, out of which we paid N15 million, but electricity was not restored.” Another resident, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “The N15 million was paid to the local government council, but the council did not remit it into the account of the Electricity Distribution Company. The company is not wrong to insist that the mon-

ey should be paid before electricity is restored.” Police spokesman Victor Babayemi said: “When we heard about the protest, we deployed our men there to prevent it from getting out of hands. The youths are protesting continuous power outage in the town. We are managing the situation. We are not arresting anyone for this as we believe the youths have a constitutional right to this, as long as they remain non-violent.” It was gathered that Ise-Ekiti and Emure-Ekiti have also had power outage for about three months.




'No religion is against Osun education reforms'


HE committee set up by the Osun State government to probe the uniform crisis at the Baptist High School, Iwo, has said the reclassification of schools is not responsible for the unrest. Presenting its report to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the committee, led by former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General Gbadegesin Adedeji, said no religion was against the re-classification of schools. Adedeji said a rivalry between Christians and Muslims was responsible for the unrest in the school. He said some persons were trying to take advantage of the rivalry between the religions and praised Aregbesola for handling the issue with wisdom. Adedeji said: "The crisis at the Baptist High school in Iwo is an issue that should not be treated with kid gloves. I applaud the state government for setting up this committee. If the case had been allowed to fester, it could have spread

Christians, Muslims, traditionalists hold unity concert


HRISTIANS, Muslims and traditionalists in Iwo, Osun State, held a unity concert yesterday to support Governor Rauf Aregbesola's efforts to promote religious harmony. The concert, tagged: "Peace and Unity Interreligious Concept", was organised by Pax Nigeriana International, a non-governmental organisation. Adherents of the three religions gathered at Iwo Town Hall, singing songs of unity and dancing. Coordinator of the concert Apostle Dipo Okeyomi said Governor Rauf Aregbesola had demonstrated his love for religions and urged the people to support him. Okeyomi said: "The governor is not a religious bigot. As the son of an archbishop, I attended a Muslim school where I interacted with many Muslims who remain my friends From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

across the state. During our assignment, people came out in their hundreds and spoke to us. "From what they told us, we

till today. This is exactly what the governor wants to do by making children of all religions to attend schools together, eat together and live together, thereby promoting harmony." He said the violence in some parts of the North could be traced to the failure of Muslim and Christian children to interact in schools. Okeyomi urged adherents of the three religions to see themselves as partners in progress. The concert, which will be taken round major towns, would be rounded off on Sunday in Osogbo. Iwo Local Government Caretaker Chairman Alhaji Kamorudeen Alao described the huge turn out of people as an indication they were ready to live together in peace. Kamorudeen urged them to re-elect Aregbesola in August.

realised that no religion is against the re-classification policy, but it was the egos of the three dominant religions that was played up." He thanked the governor for the opportunity given to

Pray for leader with compassion, ENATOR Oluremi RCCG General Overseer says Tinubu Pastor Tinubu (Lagos Central) Enoch Adeboye, rep-


has urged Nigerians to pray for a leader with compassion. She said attributes lacking in our leadership are compassion and the fear of God. Mrs. Tinubu said Nigerians should not wait until the country hits a brick wall before going to God in prayers. She spoke at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Harvest House Parish in Jabi at the third edition of the Abuja Success Summit, 2014: "Attainment." Mrs. Tinubu said: "Some of our leaders are competent, but they lack compassion. All over the world, compassion is needed and we have to work on that. "We do not have to go to

From Grace Obike, Abuja

church to have compassion for one another. We need to go on our knees and ask God for mercy, so that in 2015, God will choose for us someone that will give us peace. It is said in his words that God's gift will make a way and not give us sorrow. There is much sorrow in the land now." Other speakers at the summit were former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon; former Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) Dr. Chris Kolade and former Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

resented by the Pastor of the Harvest House, Muyiwa Adebayo, said the success summit was a forum to tell youths that success could not be achieved through deceit but God's backing. He said: "The speakers we invited are men and women of great courage, who have made it in life. We have seen great potentials in them. In all they said, they made us realise that they did not succeed on their own but with the help of God. "We are celebrating today because they know and worship God and recognise him in their success stories. Every one who wants to succeed must seek God's help."

Conference: Ekiti decries Fasuan’s exclusion


HE Ekiti State government has decried the non-inclusion of a state nominee, Chief Oladeji Fasuan, as a delegate to the national conference by the Federal Government. The conference started in Abuja on Monday. In a statement by the governor’s media aide, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, the government said Fasuan’s nomination followed due process. Legal icon Chief Afe Babalola declined his nomination and requested that Fasuan replace him. The statement reads: “It is baffling that the Presidency chose to deny Ekiti a slot in the conference, despite the government’s adherence to due process for the nomination of delegates, which included a formal letter from Governor Kayode Fayemi to the President through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). “Before selecting Ekiti delegates, the government embarked on extensive consultations. Babalola was approached by the state government to take the elder statesman slot, but he turned it down because of other commitments. Babalola suggested Fasuan, another highly respected elder as a replacement.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

“Thereafter, the governor approached Fasuan and he agreed to take the slot. Fasuan’s name was forwarded with others to the Presidency as the state’s delegates, but to our surprise, the Presidency announced Babalola as the nominee for the elder statesman category, which the elder statesman again declined in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan. “It must be noted that Babalola, in the letter to the President, restated his decision not to participate in the conference because it coincided with another assignment and pleaded to be replaced by Fasuan. Babalola also stated that he was earlier nominated by the state government and declined for the same reason. “The Presidency responded by announcing the name of Dr Kunle Olajide, another


nominee from the state (in the ethnic nationality category) as Babalola’s replacement, thereby leaving Ekiti State short of one delegate. “Suffice it to say that without prejudice to the presidential prerogative to decide who represents Ekiti in the elder statesman category, the eventual choice ought not to have resulted in the absence of any Ekiti representative in the ethnic nationality category, especially since Olajide was originally Ekiti’s nominee in the category. This undermines the unity of purpose and the extensive consultations that produced the Ekiti list. “This action, needless to say, constitutes an assault on the spirit of collectivity for which Ekiti people are noted and the Presidency owes the people an explanation for this attempt to shortchange them at the national conference.”

Oyo Assembly approves creation of three ministries

HE Oyo State House of Assembly has passed into law the bills for the establishment of three ministries and for the amendment of the Land Use Charge. The ministries are Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Natural Resources and

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

Ministry of Integrated and Inter-governmental Relations. They were created to reduce the work load of some ministries and enhance service delivery.

the committee to serve the state. Aregbesola said the Yoruba have been living together for millennia, with "a strong distinction on how to approach the divine without

problem." He said with the similarities existing between the two faith, the rancour witnessed in Nigeria was unnecessary. The governor said: "No matter what we profess, the Yoruba will never fight because of religion because it is strange to them. They have lived together with different beliefs for a long time. If love is critical and crucial to all faiths, where do we find the hatred and animosity characterising our relationships as men of faith? Salvation is an individual thing with God. "It is good to hear the committee discovered that it was not the re-classification of schools that fuelled the attitude of some misguided pupils in Iwo, but the rivalry between the two faiths." Aregbesola said the government would look into the report and come out with a White Paper on how to manage such occurrence, adding that the reclassification of schools was designed to bring out the best in pupils.

N274m theft: Court fixes trial for June 18 By Adebisi Onanuga


LAGOS High Court sitting in Ikeja will, on June 18, begin the trial of five former employees of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, charged with N274 million theft. The defendants are Bassey Eyamba, Francis Dajilak, Lazarus Okocha, Barnabas Kolo and Eunice Okafor. They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 20count of conspiracy and stealing. EFCC counsel Mr. Anslem Ozioko alleged that the defendants fraudulently obtained money belonging to their employer by renting and selling some land owned by the complex. The defendants, who allegedly committed the offences between January, 2009 and December, 2011 in Lagos, pleaded "not guilty" to the 20-count. Owing to poor electricity supply, their trial was adjouned till June 18.

Fayemi picks APC nomination form today


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi will today pick the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship nomination form at the party's national secretariat in Abuja. He will be accompanied by Ekiti APC leaders, members of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation and National Assembly members from the state. Fayemi will return to Ado-Ekiti, via the Akure Airport in Ondo State. He will be received at the Akure airport by party faithful, who will lead him to the APC

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

secretariat in Ado-Ekiti, where he will inform the party of his interest in the June 21 governorship poll. On Sunday, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has slated for the start of campaigns, the governor will inaugurate his campaign office in Ado-Ekiti. This will mark the beginning of his re-election campaign. On March 27, Fayemi will hold a campaign rally at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in AdoEkiti.



NEWS NPA donates $20m boats to Navy By Oluwakemi Dauda and Precious Igbonwelundu

THE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) yesterday donated three boats worth $20 million to the Navy to boost its capability at sea. NPA’s Managing Director Habib Abdullahi gave the cost of the boats-a 32metre OCEA and two 17metres MANTA boats- built in South Africa, during the official handing over at the Headquarters, Western Naval Command (WNC), Apapa in Lagos. He said the patrol boats were bought to enhance the navy’s capacity in the surveillance of the nation’s maritime space. Abdullahi said the presentation was a demonstration of NPA’s commitment to collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure security both on and off shore. The OCEA, he said, has been named NNS DORINA (P101), and the MANTA boats NNS TORIE (P258) and NNS EGEDE (P259). With their unique operational features and capacities, Abdullahi said the boats will augment the navy’s search and rescue fleet. “To enhance our commitment and support to the navy’s surveillance of the nation’s territorial waters, the NPA, in collaboration with Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has plans to rehabilitate the navy’s Forward Operation Base (FOB) located at Takwa Bay,” he said. Receiving the vessels, the Chief of Naval Staff, (CNS) Vice Admiral Usman Jibril said the boats came at the appropriate time, considering the prevailing challenges in the nation’s maritime domain. Represented by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) WNC Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade, the CNS reiterated the importance of the maritime space to the nation’s economic growth.

Kidnap suspect arrested By Jude Isiguzo

A KIDNAP suspect has been arrested by the police in Rivers State. Recovered from him were dynamites, detonator and a cordless wire . Ibrahim Aliyu (30), who hails from Ndo in Agbada Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, was arrested at Ndele in Emouha Local Government Area. Police said the suspect confessed to be a member of a kidnapping syndicate in Ogbogoro and member of a robbery syndicate operating in Rivers and Akwa Ibom. Commissioner of Police Tunde Ogunsakin said investigation was on. He said other members of the syndicate, who are on the run, would be arrested. Ogunsakin said: “The command has arrested a kidnap suspect with dynamites. The command is committed to protecting life and property in the state.”


Delta Assembly gets new Speaker

PEAKER of Delta State House of Assembly Victor Ochei, who resigned on Monday, has been replaced by Peter Onwusanyi (Oshimili South). Onwusanyi was unanimously elected. Onwusanyi is the former Deputy Majority Whip. Majority leader Monday Igbuya (Sapele) moved that Ochei’s resignation be accepted for further consideration. He was seconded by Benjamin Essien (Isoko South 1). The Chairman, House

Why I resigned, by Ochei


ORMER Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly Victor Ochei said he resigned to pave the way for a new leadership. In a letter to the Deputy Speaker, Basil Ganagana, Ochei said he hoped the new leadership would take the House to a higher level. He said: “I wish to thank those who made my tour of duty a pleasant affair. To you, I remain From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

Committee on Appropriation, Daniel Mayuku, opposed the manner Igbuya

grateful for the love and camaraderie we shared.” Ochei prayed that God avails his successor and the House of the human sagacity in accentuating the core ideals of the legislature as a partner in governance for a better society. The former Speaker was sworn in on June 6, 2011.

phrased his motion. He said the motion should reflect a debate for acceptance rather than a

debate for further consideration. Johnson Erijo (Isoko South 11) moved the motion that

a new Speaker be elected. He was supported by Sam Obi. Ochei was accused of highhandedness and lack of transparency, especially in the use of funds and execution of projects. It was learnt his woes might not be unconnected with his governorship ambition. The Nation gathered those who clamoured for Ochei’s removal were targeting at whittling his influence, adding the executive was uneasy with his leadership.

•Udoh displaying some of the forged certificates... yesterday

•Some of the expectant girls...yesterday.

Five arrested in Akwa Ibom baby factory


•Seven expectant mothers held • Two held for ‘certificate forgery’

HE police in Akwa Ibom State have arrested five people for their alleged involvement in a baby factory. Seven expectant mothers are being held. Commissioner of Police Umar Gwadabe said the baby factory was located at 19, Nepa Line, Ikot Ekpene. He said: “The discovery came following a tip-off that two women, Ima Akpan (35) and Mma Nurse, now at large, were operating a baby

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

factory where seven expectant mothers were camped. “The expectant mothers were arrested, and on interrogation, two of them– Ikwo Ofuo and Joy John– confessed that they were enticed to the business because of money. “On delivery, a male child will be sold for N400,000. A female child costs N350,000.” One of the teenage expect-

ant mothers said she was impregnated by an unknown man. She said: “I don’t know who impregnated me. I was impregnated while hawking to assist my mother.” The police commissioner said two suspects who allegedly specialise in forging academic certificates were arrested. Gwadabe said Ubong Udoh and Thompson Edet were arrested by detectives from

Ikot Ekpene with degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificates. The police boss said the certificates recovered from the suspects bear different names. He listed them as a degree certificate of Imo State University; five HND certificates of Akwa Ibom Polytechnic,

Cross River launches security trust fund

Rivers Assembly confirms chief judge


HE Rivers State House of Assembly confirmed yesterday Justice Peter Agumagu, former President of the Customary Court of Appeal, as the state’s Chief Judge. Speaker Otelemaba DanAmachree, who asked Agumagu a few questions, later said he had been confirmed as the chief judge. Amachree congratulated him and directed the clerk of the House to convey a letter of the confirmation to Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt nullified the National Judicial Council’s (NJC’s) recommendation that Justice Daisy Okocha be appointed chief judge.

•Court nullifies NJC’s recommendation Justice Lambo Akanbi held that “NJC recommendation is wrong’’, because the council gave no reasons why it preferred Okocha to Justice Peter Agumagu. “The governor is not a rubber stamp. The role of NJC is advisory; the governor has the right to accept or not; he is not a rubber stamp governor,” he said. Akanbi said the Rivers Judicial Council (RJC) and NJC could advise the governor, but the NJC should partner the RJC. He held that RJC was in a position to advise NJC because it knew the candidates better. Akanbi said the defence’s argument that Agumagu was

not in the high court system did not. He gave instances of states, including Oyo, where a chief judge was appointed from outside the high court. Amaechi’s counsel Olusola Dare described it as a “landmark judgment.” Dare said the state judicial council was in a better position to determine the most suitable candidate. Counsel to NJC Ake Udenna said: “We have not seen a copy of the judgment. We will review it, we will study it and our client will have the chance to make a decision.’’ The government appointed Agumagu in acting capacity last July.

Ikot; an NYSC exemption certificate, two official transcripts from Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic and two from Calabar Polytechnic. Udoh said his late father sold forged certificates, and he continued after his death. He said: “I was working in one of the construction companies. My late father has been doing this business. I continued with the business after his death. He died last October.”


From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

HE Cross River State government yesterday launched its Security Trust Fund. This is aimed at sustaining its status as the safest state in the country. Part of the objectives of the trust fund is to provide a platform to galvanise collective effort from all stakeholders, including the private sector and civil populace, towards maintaining security. Governor Liyel Imoke, who spoke at the launching, said the concept of the fund is such that security cannot be left to any particular agency because “everyone should contribute to security”. He said the impact of failure of security could be devastating on the state’s economy of the state as investors are looking for a conducive environment. For this reason, Imoke said it was imperative to remain proactive in tackling security. Security Adviser to the governor Rekpene Bassey said the fund was borne by the desire to have the private sector partner with government in securing lives and property in the state. “Security is everybody’s responsibility, and government, in its wisdom, has created a platform that will encourage public private partnership in pooling resources for effective and efficient management of security,” he said.



NEWS Praises for Osuntokun’s new book By Oluwayemisi Awe

IGNITARIES, who attended the presentation of a new book by Prof Akinjide Osuntokun yesterday, were full of praises for his efforts in documenting Nigeria’s foreign policy history. The book titled: Domestic and Foreign Dimensions of Nigeria’s Politics was presented at a short ceremony held at the Redeemers University (RUN), Mowe, Ogun State where Osuntokun teaches History and International Relations. Chief Presenter, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, was one of those who lauded the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Governing Council, Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, for writing a book that gives a panoramic view of the past, while assessing the present and predicting the future. Mrs Tinubu, who was represented by Mr Yemi Osilaja, urged both academics and students to embrace the book as it makes for delightful reading. She said: “Reading through several pages of the book, I found a few really interesting insights. For instance I note that the author is aware that the economics of our foreign policy has not really been in the best interest of our people; through the 1970s to the 1980s and 1990s, much petrodollars was expended on support for our ‘brothers’ who sometimes see no need to acknowledge our sacrifice. His take on diplomacy as a tool for procuring peace and at times for gaining advantage by actors, is insightful.” Chairman of the event and Vice-Chancellor, RUN, Prof Debo Adeyewa, said with his diplomatic credentials, Osuntokun, who is also a member of the Editorial Board of The Nation, is well qualified to write a book that deals with such issues. He also described the author’s effort as a legacy for the younger generation. “The professor has been an ambassador for several years so he knows what he is saying. What he has written will help many academics and young students to learn,” he said. In a similar vein, EKSU Vice Chancellor, Prof Patrick Aina, who praised the author for finding time to write despite his age, said Osuntokun wrote the book to groom the younger generation. He added that he was happy to work with Osuntokun in EKSU, describing him as a good leader who is helping the university to achieve world class status. The 10-chapter and 255 page book, was reviewed by Dr Shola Omotola, who said it focuses on eight central themes, including showing the link between domestic and foreign policy demonstrating how the domestic environment influences foreign policy; recognition of multiple players in determination of the foreign policy, among others. “If as an emeritus professor of international repute, who has seen it all at the highest level both in the academic and policy circles, Prof Osuntokun is still committed to genuine scholarship, using reputable publishers as a University Press, then we have no excuse whatsoever patronising Olosunta publisher in Mowe or Ibafo with little or no regard for quality control. This is the main challenge for us all,” he said. In his response, Osuntokun thanked the guests, especially his childhood friend and classmate, Mr Femi Orebe, also columnist with The Nation. Reputable academics in attendance included Prof Michael Omolewa, Nigeria’s former Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Prof Bayo Lawal and Prof Yomi Akinyeye, both of the University of Lagos, Prof Olugbenga Aribisala, Deputy Vice Chancellor, EKSU, among others.


•Prof Adeyewa (left); the author, Prof Osuntokun and Vice Chancellor, Ekiti State University, Prof Patrick Oladipo Aina, at the book presentation...yesterday PHOTO:ABIODUN WILLIAMS

Yobe massacre: 200 pupils arrive at FGGC Bauchi T

HE Federal Ministry of Education has transferred over 200 pupils and staff from Federal Government colleges in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Bauchi and Federal Government College, Azare. The closure of the schools followed the massacre of over 58 pupils of the Federal Government College, BuniYadi, Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State. The Nation learnt the first batch of teachers and pupils sent to Bauchi State are from the Federal Government College, Potiskum in Yobe State. Coordinating Officer of Inspectorate Unit, Federal Ministry of Education in Bauchi State Muhammad Abdullahi said: “Parents and pupils have complied with the directives of the Federal

Borno closes 85 schools •100,000 pupils affected


HE Borno State government has ordered the closure of high schools, following fears of attacks by Boko Haram, school officials and teachers have confirmed. Some 100,000 pupils in 85 schools are affected. Officials and teachers spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being fired. They said the schools would have been closed on Friday but were delayed by the extremists attack on the army barracks in Maiduguri. From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

Government in respect of the movement of pupils to FGGC Bauchi and Federal Government College, Azare in Bauchi State.’’ But he refused to comment on whether the pupils sent to Bauchi are those prepar-

ing for the West African School Certificate Examination. Abdullahi said: “At the FGGC Bauchi, over 200 pupils arrived with some teachers and were accommodated.” When our reporter visited FGGC Bauchi, an official said: ‘’The headteacher went

to Abuja for consultation.” The official also confirmed the school received the pupils,’ mostly from FGGC Potiskum in Yobe State. The source said accommodation for teachers and pupils were made before their arrival. “We made contingency plans in respect of classroom and hostel accommodation in anticipation of the transferred pupils.” It was gathered before the coming of the Yobe pupils, there used to be 35 in each class, now it has increased to 40, 45. On the large number of 45 in a class, he said there were schools with over 45 in class, yet they are taught and monitored properly. “This cannot be different, 45 is still adequate and conducive for teaching and learning.”

PDP owns Kwara, Jonathan insists


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday insisted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) owns Kwara State. He said the party would win the governorship election in 2015. Jonathan said the PDP would test its might in the state by winning any elective positions between now and 2015. The President spoke in Abuja when Hajiya Bola Shagaya led members of the Kwara PDP to the Presidential Villa to thank him for his role in the PDP rally in Ilorin. Jonathan said: “We remain grateful and from what we saw that day, I do not think we need a soothsayer to say that Kwara is for the PDP. Kwara is for the PDP. “Just as the principal secretary said, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. In 2015, we will know who owns Kwara. And if God gives us the opportunity, we will test our strength before 2015. “All stolen mandates will return to PDP. And those


•Vows to reclaim state in 2015 From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

who think that they can run away with our mandates should think twice. As a member of the Assembly who refused to defect, you will have nothing to regret. Just celebrate it. “If they think that PDP will allow them to run away with it, they will see it. So let us continue to encourage you and we will continue to work together with your leaders, supporters. Not only will we win the election at the national level, we will also win at the state level.” Continuing, he added: “We must take over the state structures of the party, we must take all, because it is easy to reach the grassroots through the states than the centre. “So any state we are unable to win, party members in that state will continue to live like orphans. So definitely, we are taking Kwara. So I am quite pleased with

‘We must take over the state structures of the party, we must take all, because it is easy to reach the grassroots through the states than the centre’ what you have done today.” The President went on: “Let me join others to express our appreciation for the reception you gave to us when we came for the rally. The rally in Kwara was thicker than some zonal rallies. “It was like that because the government wanted to distract the citizens. They arranged some programmes within Ilorin and those programmes failed. These things do not happen by

Rotary offers free cancer screening, treatment


chance because men and women who are here worked hard to get to that level. Speaking on behalf of the group, a party elder, Laziz Jimoh, promised that the state would back Jonathan in 2015. He told the President that without a sitting PDP governor, they remain orphans. In the delegation were senators Simeon Ajibola, Gbemi Saraki, Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Suleiman Ajadi and Special Adviser to the President on Ethics, Sarah Jibrin.

HE Rotary Club of Festac Central has held a free cancer screening for residents of Festac Town in Lagos. The screening and distribution of drugs which was a help initiative for the community was done in conjunction with Amuwo Odofin Local Government Council. Many of the residents were tested for blood pressure and sugar level as well as the cervical, breasts and prostrate statuses. Speaking at the event, President of Rotary Club of Festac, Mrs Anthonia Agugoesi said the programme was organised to stress the importance of health in the society and to run fundamental health tests. She also said the exercise will avail the people the opportunity to know their statuses and administer medication to those that might need it. “The detection is for early cure and the medication is to get them started and counsel them on the importance of knowing the state of their health and give it the needed attention, since early detection is 90% cure for every sickness,” she said.

By Nneka Nwaneri

The Convener of Cancer Management, Mrs Yetunde Osofisan said the major causes of cancer are stress, unhealthy lifestyle and gene, saying the most common cancer for women is the breast and cervix cancer while in other cases, the colon. Mrs Agugoesi said men from ages 40 to 50 have the tendency of having prostrate cancer. They also have colon cancer due to their eating habits or lifestyle, adding that men who have breast cancer are those who have had intercourse with women who have had the disease. Speaking on preventive measures, the speaker said hygiene eating habits and repeated vaginal infections can lead to cervical cancers, warning that any discharge is a risk urging women not to choke their breasts with bras just because they want to feel appreciated. The residents were also taught techniques for self breast examination to be done monthly, possibly 56days after menstruation.



NEWS Fire at Christ Embassy Church in Lagos

‘Don’t stop Nnamani from returning to PDP’

THE auditorium of the Christ Embassy Church headquarters in Oregun, Lagos, was in flames yesterday. It was gutted by fire which emanated from a power surge from one of the multiple generating sets in the church’s power house. The surge led to multiple explosions before firemen from neighbouring Alausa came on the scene to prevent the fire from spreading further. The spark occurred about 4pm and the fire raged for at least three hours. Gone were 14 generating sets and the auditorium which was badly affected. A fireman was injured during the rescue mission. Lagos State Fire Service Director Rasaq Fadipe, said: “It was a very serious. The •The scene of a fire at the Christ Embassy Church, Oregun, Lagos...yesterday. fire involved the generator house and cables “They have about 14 big generators that were affected as well as the church’s stationary diesel and petrol tanks. NAMBRA State Chief “However, our officials Judge Justice Peter didn’t allow the tanks to Umeadi has said burst. And we also preventthere was no court order ed the fire from spreading stopping him from swearto the air conditioner ing in Governor Willie House. From Nwanosike Onu, state experienced success Obiano and his deputy, Dr. General Manager, Lagos Awka and Odogwu Emeka with the Peter Obi adminNkem Okeke, as being alState Emergency Agency Odogwu, Onitsha istration. leged. Management Authority, She said: “I give God the A statement issued yesswear in the governor– (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Okeglory for answering our terday in Awka, signed by elect and deputy governor- prayers. What happened in Osanyintolu, told reporters Chief R e g i s t r a r elect. that the fire started around the last eight years has nevNkechinyelu Doris Ezeani, “The power and rights 4pm and raged for about said the court saw the re- can only be abridged by er occurred in the history three hours. lief by the plaintiff, but did clear and unequivocal or- of Anambra, as a sitting He said “apart from the governor handed over in a not pronounce on it. ders of court. injured fireman, there was colourful ceremony.” He said the matter was “The publications in the no casualty.” No official of The governorship candiadjourned till March 25. newspapers do not replace date of the Progressives the church was willing to T h e s t a t e m e n t r e a d s : the pronouncement of the speak last night. Peoples Alliance (PPA), “Knowing the chief judge, court. Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, conhe will not evade the serv“The court saw their reice of any court process. He lief no. (d) from a manda- gratulated Obiano. He said: “Anambra is the will allow access even tory injunction to stop the where it is to be served on chief judge from swearing heartbeat of the Igbo, by virtue of the personalities him. THE Pillar of Faith Chrisin the governor-elect and “Even where he is absent deputy governor-elect on from the state. Nothing will tian Centre International and the court process is re- March 17, but did not pro- be hard to achieve if reMinistries, 80, Shylon ceived in his chambers, it nounce on it and instead sources are pulled together. Street, off Ikorodu Road, “The governor should put will come to his notice and adjourned the matter till Palmgrove, Lagos will behind what happened he will abide by the same. March 25. start a three-night produring the campaign and “The publication in Suit gramme tagged: “Moving “From the legal authori- pick the eggheads, who N o F H C / A B J / C S / 1 1 8 / From Shame to Glory”, ties listed in the publica2014 does not show that in- tions, the plaintiff may still will assist him in piloting from March 26 to 28. junction was made against achieve the purport of his the state’s affairs. A spokesman for the “The time has come for the chief judge and none relief if he continues with organisers said great us to join hands with our was served. change awaits those who his suit.” leader and develop our “The chief judge is a attend the programme. Many Igbo at home and nominal party in Suit No. a b r o a d c o n t i n u e t o h a i l state.” Ministration will be The Chairman of OhaFHC/ABJ/CS/118/2014, Obiano’s swearing-in. done by Pastor Anthony naeze Ndigbo in Ekiti State but even at that he has Rotimi Akpata, Prophet The Speaker of the House and President of the group been given the power and of Assembly, Mrs. Chinwe Sunday Adebayo, Bola aka rights pursuant to Section Nwaebili, told The Nation i n t h e S o u t h w e s t , C h i e f Were, Evangelist Dare 185(2) of the 1999 Consti- yesterday in Awka that the Nathaniel Uzoma, said the Melody, Prophet Rotimi peaceful inauguration was tution (as amended) to Amos and others.

LAWMAKER, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, has condemned the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) move to stop former Enugu State Governor Chimaroke Nnamani from returning to the party. Nnaji, in a statement yesterday, said: “I decry Enugu State government’s and PDP’s move to stop Nnamani from returning to the party. His return is a welcome development. “PDP’s umbrella is big enough to accommodate the old, returning and new members. If Nnamani is readmitted, it shows the party is repositioning to continue as the ruling party in the country and Enugu cannot be an exception. “PDP’s door is open for anybody who cares to enter. Nnamani’s re-entry is an asset to the party because as an ex-governor and a former senator, he has much to offer to ensure the party’s success in next year’s elections.”


‘No order stopped Obiano’s swearing-in’


•Smooth transition excites Ndigbo •Obiano retains Obaze as SSG

Church holds programme

a sign of greater things to come. The group’s National Youth Leader, Mr. Alex Ezeobi, urged unity among the Igbo to ensure development in the Southeast. He enjoined youths to be responsive and sensitive to issues affecting their race and be enlightened to present challenges. The Chief Whip, Mr. Ikechukwu Umeh, corroborated the Speaker and others, saying the lawmakers would ensure growth. Speaking on behalf of Anambra in the diaspora, the President of Anambra Indigenes in America (ASA-USA), Mr. Allison Anadi, said the ceremony showed that the state had developed. He said the group would support the government and promote growth. Anambra State Governor Willy Obiano yesterday retained Mr. Oseloka Obaze as secretary to the state government (SSG). He appointed Prof. Joseph Asike as the Chief of Staff and Mr. Willy Nwaokoye as principal secretary to the governor.


The oaths of allegiance and oaths of office were administered by the SolicitorGeneral, Mrs. Emeke Ekwue. The appointments were announced after the first Executive Council meeting. Obiano said they were his first appointments, expressing confidence the appointees are capable hands, who did well and would carry out their duties efficiently. He added: “The task ahead is huge. We need the best hands and I believe they will deliver.” Obaze, on behalf of others, thanked the governor for the honour, saying they would meet his expectations by meeting the challenges of governance.

Woman ‘assaults’ girl for bed-wetting


27-year-old woman has been arrested for allegedly beating and inflicting injuries on a 10-year-old girl for bedwetting. The suspect, Joy Amodu, was paraded yesterday at the Police Command, Oduduwa, Ikeja, Lagos, by its spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). She said the incident occurred on February 29, adding that police operatives had since been on her trail. Braide said Amodu, who claimed to be an employee of a private security company in the state beat up the

By Jude Isiguzo

victim with a stick and inflicted injuries all over her body. She said: “On February. 29, the police at Onikan Division got a tip-off that a little girl was in a critical condition in one hospital. The officers went there and found the victim with her face and hands swollen as a result of beating she received from Amodu. “The victim was later referred to the Military Hospital on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, for better treatment as she had earlier been rejected at other hospitals due to her condition. A non-government, The Hands that

Cares, was also invited into the case by a good Nigerian. The organisation has taken over the case with a view to settling the hospital bills, while calling for prosecution of the suspect. “The State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti-Yaba, has investigated the case and the suspect will be charged to court. The legal department of the SCID would advise us on the offence she will be charge with. We are going to prosecute the case in collaboration with the NGO.” The National Coordinator of the organisation, Mrs Jacinta Nworie, said the sus-

•The victim

pect was a younger sister to the victim’s father, adding that the suspect allegedly took the girl from her Kogi State-based father under the guise that she would train her in Lagos. “The condition we met the girl in the hospital was so bad. The victim told us that the suspect bit her, poured

hot ointment into her private part and flogged her with a stick. We met a man who claimed to be her father, pleading that the suspect should be released because it is a family matter, but we are not so sure he is the father. We will release the girl to him only if he can provide evidence of his re-

•Mrs Amodu

lationship with the girl,” Nworie said. Joy said she did not mean to inflict the injuries on the girl, adding that she was not happy over the fact that she was bed-wetting.








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Peep into making of Soyinka’s Ake film

– Page 16

Port Harcourt set for World Book Capital

– Page 16


'I think of myself as a product of three nations'

Like her father, Prof Kole Omotoso, words have become her stock in trade. Her journey into the world of creative writing is proving to be worthwhile, with her debut novel, Bomboy, making the final in this year’s Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Oshodi on canvas – Page 47




The Midweek Magazine


Peep into making of Soyinka’s Ake film

Port Harcourt set for World Book Capital


Four months to the celebration of Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka’s 80th birthday, the production crew of his Ake film has started rolling out previews.


s the making of Ake plods on, the production crew has finally begun to give out portions of completed parts of the film in series of “sneak previews”. The previews are included as proportional foretastes so that the flavour of the whole film can be appreciated in advance. Filming had been concentrated on the HM’s home and household. Soyinka’s father was the headmaster of the Christian Mission School in Ake, Abeokuta at the period of the writer’s childhood, sometime between 1934 (when he was born) and 1945 when he was admitted into high school and the story wound to a close. Later Mr. S. A. Soyinka became schools’ supervisor in the entire Egba and Ijebu Districts. For production convenience, continuous work has been concentrated on the household in which Soyinka grew up, as narrated in the autobiography. The parents (Wild Christian the mother and Essay, the father) are at the heart of daily bustles of activities: the domestic life, the relationship with the school which shares the same expansive compound with the home. In the scenes featured in the preview, Wole gets into many troubles. First, is because he is fond of stealing hand-scoops of lactogen baby milk belonging to his younger sister Folashade. The wild Christian, who is increasingly concerned about Wole’s deliberate seclusion from the rest of the family and his indulgence in private “study” sets forth the plan to bring Wole “back into the household” by depriving him of the privilege of hanging out alone in his father’s bedroom. “The family life which Soyinka writes about will be very familiar to a whole lot of us,” Dapo Adeniyi who heads the production says. “The pathway to the adult Soyinka is also very visible,” he declared. Ake in production has surmounted many challenges, principally because of the costs of actualising the movie. First of all, as Adeniyi commented, “we are not about to bring out yet another hotch-potch of a screen work and so the production values have to be high. But now that people can begin to see aspects of the work, it is about time we let them judge. “Moreover, we are bringing innovations that are not very usual in contemporary Nigerian movie productions. Because of the periodicity of the production, we delve into set extension and special effects in order to bring some gravitas into the work. “Wole travels to Ibadan to write the entrance examination into Government College, from Lafenwa Station, Abeokuta on a train. The coal train is no longer in existence. Actually, their remnants are in a “graveyard” within the compound of the Nigerian Railway Corporation in

•The building

•Abosede Oladele as Lawanle in Ake

DOCUMENTARY Lagos. So what do we do? We rebuilt the train using CGI. This has gulped a lot of time, beginning with test shootings, storyboarding and so on. All of those represent a very expensive route to making a film. Even so, many tall promises of support for the production at the outset have brought less than desired. Only a few made good their promise and they run far short of what was budgeted. The production company has had to raise facilities to the limit of its abilities. Because the work is still in progress, we have not given up optimism that more support is on the way,” he says. Asked to mention those who have so far supported the project, the producer says,

‘The parsonage compound is a mixture of disparate environments located in Abeokuta, Ibadan and Lagos merged as one in film space. One of the delightsome aspects of the production is the children cast. We were braced up for challenges here because we thought there could be problems of lack of adequate readiness but it turned out to be one of the strongest areas of the production’

it is much better to wait until the film is fully released when the permission of the supporters would have been obtained. A major film equipment leasing company has generously supported the production with most of the production hardware. The Nigerian Railway Corporation headquarters also gave permission to use all of its facilities from Lagos down to Jebba. And there are a handful of others who gave their support to the project. “The truth of the matter is that Ake is big and too important. It must get the best treatment no matter what. We have had to shoot and reshoot. Some scenes are still going to be reshot. Some due to audio problems. The environs in which the majority of the film is being shot seems quiet, but there can be eruptive noise especially from the praying muezzin and motorbikes hooting their horns. Of course they bear very heavily on the production. He continued: “The parsonage compound is a mixture of disparate environments located in Abeokuta, Ibadan and Lagos merged as one in film space. One of the delightsome aspects of the production is the children cast. We braced up for challenges here because we thought there could be problems of lack of adequate readiness but it turned out to be one of the strongest areas of the production. Some of the children were so familiar with their lines that they sometimes prompted some adults! Production camp time were very happy hours and they could not wait to resume work. Except for one minor case, I cant recall anyone falling ill. “There are three Woles with the gradation of time. Ake is as exciting as it is challenging to make into a film” Work on the film is far from over. Many actors and actresses are waiting to get on the set. Some are also participating in an early edition of the Behind the Scenes which incorporates interviews and is set to be released soon. They include popular names such as Madam Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Yinka Davies,Hafiz Oyetoro, Production consultant, Tunji Bamishigbin and DOP Lukman Rahman.

By Evelyn Osagie

LL is set to celebrate Port Harcourt as the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Book Capital for this year. Last year, UNESCO named the Garden City as the World Book Capital for 2014. Bangkok was the World Book Capital for 2013. The Project Director, Port Harcourt World Book Capital, Mrs Koko Kalango, said everything was being done to ensure the success of the objectives of “this global responsibility”. The recognition, she said, presents the nation a unique occasion for positive change. “The congratulation belongs to all of us and the victory is for all of us. It is as a result of the work the writers have put in over the years and the efforts of literary editors. The city of Port Harcourt, significant for its status as the hub of the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria, also has a rich heritage in culture and literature. “This is the opportunity for us to leverage on the achievement and bring about economic growth, especially in the book industry in Port Harcourt and other states. Each year, the city plays host to the Port Harcourt Book Festival (formerly the Garden City Literary Festival) for a week, during which we focus on exciting activities that celebrate books and reading.” April 23 has been chosen as the date Port Harcourt will formally take over from the current World Book Capital, Bangkok, Thailand and be formally known as World Book Capital and is expected to run from April 23, 2014 to April 22, 2015. To commemorate the feat, Kalango said beginning from April 22 to 29, there will be diverse literary and artistic activities that will feature visitors from across the world. The weeklong opening ceremony will include Nigeria’s President, celebrity reading to children, dance drama, entitled: Along came the book”, an international literary exhibition, a launch of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital (PH WBC) theme song, the opening of the Port Harcourt Book Centre (planned as a literary hub for the city), excursions around the city and formal presentation of an anthology by 39 young talented writers from Sub-Saharan Africa, which is the Africa 39 project, among others. Before this time, she said, some pilot programmes promoting literature and reading culture had been put in place, which includes the reading tree, book club and the walking book, saying these among others would form part of the year-long PH WBC programmes promoting reading and writing that would subsequently make Port Harcourt the best World Book Capital ever since inception of the project by the UNESCO in 2001. The feat was as a result efforts of the Rainbow Group, organisers of the yearly Port Harcourt Book Festival and founders of the Rainbow Book Club with the support of the Rivers State government led by Governor Rotimi Amaechi.




The Midweek Magazine


'I think of myself as a product of three nations' Born in Barbados to a Nigerian father and a West Indies mother, Yewande Omotoso's voyage into the world of writing comes from a tradition of scholarship and curiosity. Her debut novel, Bomboy, which tells a gripping story of a lonely young man faced with an identity crisis, is one of the two books that made the final in this year's Etisalat Prize for Literature. With EVELYN OSAGIE, she shares her passion, book experience and more. Growing up



was born in Barbados, Bridgetown in 1980. Within a year my family moved back to Nigeria and we lived in Ile-Ife until 1992 when we moved to CapeTown, South Africa. I've lived in South Africa ever since. Growing up was mostly fun, challenging, creative. I grew up with two intellectually curious parents and, both my parents were big readers. And they raised their children and encouraged that same sense of curiosity. Also I was in a household of artists, my father as a writer, my mother was really talented at drawing. I remember them putting a value on art lessons, music lessons and activities like that. I had access to a lot of books and I was encouraged to read and write my own stories. My parents would read to us in bed. All these things make for a good childhood but also for exposure to the world of "making things". We were encouraged to explore our imaginations, when it comes to writing or making any kind of art that seems paramount. So I consider that lucky. I don't really remember when i started writing. I guess at an appropriate age. In terms of writing stories, I think once I could write, making up stories came next and drawing pictures to go with the stories. Books I enjoy reading I'm very interested in reading as widely as possible. For this reason I read almost anything. The only things I struggle to read are books where I feel the writer is insulting my intelligence, spoon-feeding me, or serving up some kind of cliché, formula or stereotype.

My favourite book/author I don't have any favourite book or author. I have several and find this a difficult question to answer.Authors that inspire me are too many to list. I struggle with this question because almost every book I've ever read has inspired me and my pen. It feels unfair to single anyspecific one out. I am deeply inspired by stories and in fact art forms of all kinds. Dance. Music. I find just observing life and people in general incredibly inspiring.

My thought on Nigeria Nigeria is complex. I think many things about Nigeria including what right I have to speak publicly about what I think about Nigeria. Along with the thoughts are a range of emotions from anger and disgust, to hope and nostalgia as well as a sense of responsibility. While there might be isolated things that need celebrating in the country (there are good people doing good work) it seems that what there is to resuscitate far overwhelms that. This is not the timeto celebrate. Perhaps the energies

and considerable resources the leaders put into this 100 years celebration would have been better placed in addressing the reality: the absolute corruption, debased laws that violate human rights, vast inequality, religious and gender intolerance and poverty to name a few much more pressing matters. I am very privileged, I am middle-class and I live in South Africa so it might be easy to wax lyrical from a distance. That said the same concerns I have about the state of Nigeria, I also have about several other African countries. I'm not the most politically-informed person but I do read and I try and understand what is going on around me. Considering the quality of life the average Nigerian has to lead, I would say there has been much more failure than success. And that is not to be celebrated, it is to be acknowledged, addressed and worked upon. However, there are many things I love about Nigeria, one being iyan and egusi, Another being hearing Yoruba, a language I find very beautiful and speak only a little of, spoken around me. This is where I am from! I need very little excuse to come to Nigeria. Regardless of how many years I've lived in South Africa I think of myself as a product of three nations: Barbados, Nigeria and South Africa. Nigeria forms a very strong part of my sense of myself, my identity.

The Etisalat prize experience It was wonderful to be shortlisted .I didn't win, but the award is an exciting one. Congratulations to NoViolet Bulawayo on winning and Karen Jennings, the other shortlisted author. I think these are exciting times for readers and writers alike.

On my book

My book, Bomboy, is about a young man growing up and grappling with feelings of deep estrangement from society. He is black, adopted by white parents, but more importantly with no real sense of where he comes from. This sense of missing something festers through his childhood and early manhood.

My inspiration I wanted to tell a story about someone on the very edge of society, someone with no real social abilities, but someone also desperate to belong to something. The book is first and foremost character driven versus theme. But in telling the story 'Leke' the protagonist, I suppose deals with what the average person might deal with, just much more intensely: love, loneliness, identity, belonging, living in a foreign land, what to do when you find yourself a stranger at



Choice of subject matter and title As a writer I believe very strongly in my characters. I write because of the characters that visit me not because of themes or big ideas to tell the story of an entire nation. I know there are great writers who do that but for me it never rings authentic. I enter stories through people. So I didn't choose the subject matter. I fell in love with a character I dreamt up and I tasked myself with tracking and telling his story. In the process his life may well reveal certain things about South African realities, and if so, good, that's like a bonus. On my choice of title, you canvas a number of titles and pick what seems the best. In this case my publisher agreed that Bomboy was a title that would spark interest.

Timeline in writing my book I thought a lot about it. I wrote the final drafts of the book while completing my Masters in Creative Writing at University of Cape Town (UCT). Two to three years is a good estimate. I had many drafts before

arriving at this book. Finishing the manuscript I submitted it to UCT for marking. Simultaneously I started searching for a publisher. A friend suggested Modjaji Books. I visited their website and sent a query along with a précis of the book. I received a response saying they were interested and within a few months I received an acceptance letter. I was elated, it's been a big dream to write books and have other people read them. I have completed another manuscript. It's set mainly in Cape Town and it's about two octogenarians who hate each other.

My melancholic storylines You need to ask my therapist! On a more serious note, I don't know, I don'thave an answer. I don't see myself as an unhappy person but I do have a sensitivity (a bent) towards what makes life and situations melancholic.I'm interested in people's psychologies, their situations, yes, but more so the workings of their minds as they go through those situations. And the mind is incredibly complex. I'm interested in exploring more than just"good feelings". Without having a ready reason, I just find this compelling material to work with.

Arrow of God @ 50 celebrations kick off in Ibadan


LL is set for the 50th celebration of the late Prof Chinua Achebe epic novel, Arrow of God, by the Nigerian literati. According to the chairman of the National Organising Committee, Dr Wale Okediran, the Nigerian segment of the global celebrations, tagged: Arrow of God@ 50, will take off at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State on Friday with a symposium. The book’s 50th anniversary, which began in January by the Indian literati, is being commemorated across 70 countries.

By Evelyn Osagie

CELEBRATION He said the book would also be celebrated in Otuoke (Bayelsa State), Lagos, Awka (Anambra), Ogidi (Anambra), Sokoto, Port Harcourt (Rivers) and Abuja between March 29 and April 28. The literary festivities will include symposia, dramatic performances (including a stage adaptation of Arrow of God)

and literary competition among secondary school pupils among others, at each of the eight centres. With the theme: Literature, Leadership and National Unity, the Ibadan’s version will begin with a symposium with Political Scientist and expert on Nigeria from the United States, Prof Darren Kew as keynote speaker along with other paper presenters. The event, which starts by 10am at the Department of Faculty of Arts Lecture Theatre, will bechairedby the Vice Chancellor, Prof

Isaac Adewole; while the Chief Executive Officer, HEB Publishers, Ibadan, Mr Ayo Ojeniyi is expected to be the special guest of honour. The symposium will be followed by the finals of the literary quiz on Arrow of God among pupils from 20 secondary school acrossthestate. There will also be in the eveninga stage adaptation of the novel, entitled: When the Arrow Rebounds by Emeka Nwabueze to be produced by the Department of Theatre Arts. The day’s event will be rounded-up with a cocktail party at the Department of Theatre Arts’ Courtyard.







The danger ahead •The NIS tragedy reflects government’s lackadaisical attitude to job creation


ERHAPS the most touching dimension of the distressing loss of lives during stampedes that marred the March 15 nationwide recruitment drive by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is the fact that even the unborn died, as four pregnant women numbered among the casualties of the tragedy. The expectant mothers, three in Benin, and one in Port Harcourt, were among 520,000 job seekers chasing a disproportionate 4, 556 vacancies, a reality that provided a terrifying signal on the state of unemployment in the country. The death toll, put at 19, which included applicants in the federal capital Abuja, Benin in Edo State, Minna in Niger State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State, showed a spread that betrayed generally abysmal arrangements at the recruitment centres across the country. Deservedly, Interior Minister Abba Moro and NIS Comptroller-General David Parradang have been widely criticised for apparent dereliction of duty, and the usually dilatory President Goodluck Jonathan is reportedly highly disappointed with their performance and may punish them for embarrassing the government. However, whatever the eventual outcome of Jonathan’s reported meeting with the two officials in the wake of the tragedy, the truth is that these deaths and the overall conduct of the exercise indict the central government in the critical area of creation of employment opportunities, especially for the country’s burgeoning youth population. It is disturbing that Moro not only failed to see the obvious Abba Moro, connection between the regrettably avoidable deaths and official irresponsibility; he also tried to shift the blame, rather disingenuously. According to the evidently disconnected government functionary, “The applicants lost their lives due to impatience. They did not follow the laid down procedure spelt out to them before the exercise. Many of them jumped through the fences of the affected centres and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one. This caused the stampede and made the environment unsecured.” However, it is instructive that Moro’s excuse was contradicted by one Samuel Jaja, a NIS applicant and relation of 25-year-old Brown Darlington who lost his life at the Port Harcourt centre. Jaja said the job seekers were made to sit on the floor at the stadium to write the examination. It was the same story at the recruitment venue in Calabar, Cross River State, where the applicants reportedly sat in the Federal Government Girls

College sport field to write the test. Clearly, such primitive organisation, which was incredibly reflected at virtually all the venues, could not have resulted in a smooth exercise, contrary to Moro’s poor reasoning. It is pertinent to question the purpose of the application fees paid by the job seekers in the light of the disgraceful and embarrassingly inept handling of the recruitment. The applicants reportedly paid N1,000 each for online registration, suggesting a racket that is principally about the size of the cash inflow and indifferent to the objective of crisis-free screening. The sad fatalities should prompt the government to ensure a farreaching probe of the recruitment methods of NIS. What compounds the calamity is the remarkable fact that, about six years ago, equally tragic deaths occurred during a July 2008 nationwide recruit-

Interior Minister ment by NIS and Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS). Seventeen lives were lost in similar circumstances, but no lessons were learned by the recruiting organisations, which is the fundamental point about the latest tragedy. It would appear that not only has NIS learnt nothing from history; it also seemed to have forgotten history, with the result that it failed to take proactive measures to forestall a repeat. The country is evidentially facing an unemployment crisis of mammoth magnitude; and the government must, as a matter of urgency, respond crea-

tively and with all seriousness and sense of purpose. Addressing the issue before it well and truly gets out of hand must be at the top of the government’s priorities, for this is obviously a time bomb that will likely have devastating socio-economic consequences. The government must act decisively to prevent the danger ahead. It is lamentable that the country’s leaders continue to fail in productively exploiting its oil-rich status to maximise good governance. For instance, one of the biggest paradoxes of the government’s approach to development is the liberal multiplication of universities without a reasonable concomitant policy on growing jobs for the products of these institutions. It is definitely a sure path to trouble, and the conditions that fuelled the NIS recruitment tragedy may be only the tip of the iceberg as the competition for shrinking vacancies grows in intensity with so many chasing so few jobs. Furthermore, counter-productive official policies continue to effectively limit expansion in the private sector, thereby restricting the job opportunities available outside the public sector and complicating the unemployment problem. Certainly, the country’s deplorable infrastructure is a huge aspect of the crisis. To be specific, the unresolved power problem and the appalling state of the road network, for instance, have a seriously negative implication for employment possibilities; and significant improvement in these areas should be among the government’s key developmental goals, and not just theoretically. What the country needs at this time, and urgently too, is a hands-on style of governance, meaning that the critical governmental figures should spend less time chasing shadows and get down to the important business of working for “the greatest happiness of the greatest number.” We commiserate with relatives of the dead and hope that never again would we witness such avoidable tragedy.

‘What compounds the calamity is the remarkable fact that, about six years ago, equally tragic deaths occurred during a July 2008 nationwide recruitment by NIS and Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS). Seventeen lives were lost in similar circumstances, but no lessons were learned by the recruiting organisations, which is the fundamental point about the latest tragedy’

A Genocide Trial in Paris


T took 20 years for France to bring to justice one of the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide who have taken refuge on its soil. On Friday, a judge in Paris found Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan intelligence chief, guilty of genocide and of complicity in crimes against humanity for his role in the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 people, most of them Tutsis and some moderate Hutus. The court sentenced Mr. Simbikangwa to 25 years in prison, ignoring his claim that he never even saw a dead body during the carnage. In recent years, several Rwandans have been convicted in international courts of crimes related to the 1994 genocide. In February 2013, a Norwegian court sentenced Sadi Bugingo, a Rwandan living in Norway, to 21 years in prison for complicity in the 1994 killings. Last year, Béatrice Munyenyezi, a Rwandan woman who had won political asylum in the United States, was stripped of her American citizenship and sentenced to 10 years in prison after she was convicted of lying about her family’s role in the 1994 killings. Last month, the Church of England opened an investigation into allegations against Jonathan Ruhumuliza, a Rwandan bishop who is now a resident of Britain. Human Rights Watch asserts that when Mr. Ruhumuliza was living in Rwanda in 1994, he acted as a propagandist for the government-waged genocide. Until last week’s conviction, French territory had been a refuge for individuals fleeing prosecution for crimes related to the Rwandan genocide. In 1994, France was a strong ally of the Hutu-dominated Rwandan government. The exact role France played in the genocide, whether by supplying arms or by simply looking away as the killings went on, has never fully been elucidated or publicly debated in France. French courts should move quickly now to try the 27 other suspects awaiting trial on charges related to the Rwandan genocide. Twenty years is too long to wait for justice; it is also too long to wait for a thorough public reckoning of France’s role in the killings in Rwanda. – New York Times

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IR: We woke up in Lagos, Saturday March 15 just like any other day, believing we will have a peaceful day. As early morning joggers moved towards the National Stadium Surulere, they were stunned into disbelief by the sea of heads of Nigerian youths, all in white trooping to the National Stadium. It was an unbelievable sight to behold. They were later to discover that they are job seekers looking for 3,000 jobs from Nigerian Immigration Service, (NIS). In the 33 states of Nigeria, including Abuja and excluding Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, the applicants gathered in their millions. The applicants mostly youths, had certificates ranging from Master’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, HND, OND, NCE and Senior School Certificate. Each applicant paid N1000


Recruitment tragedy and Nigeria’s unending mediocrity processing fee. The greed, inefficiency and weaknesses of NIS and their masters have brought the death of more than 20 Nigerian youths including three pregnant women and more than 100 people injured. Nigeria has gradually entered into the Guinness Book of Records for this show of shame. NIS has through the power of greed and avaricious tendencies exposed Nigeria’s unending mediocrity to

the world. Did you see the sea of heads at our Stadia throughout the 33 states and Abuja? Did you see the sufferings Nigerian leaders exposed their youths too? Did you see our youths writing without desk under the scorching heat of the sun? Did you see the scramble to enter the venues? How many ambulances did you see out there? Were there plans for emergencies? Were the

youths even given a bottle of water from the more than N6 billion naira they extorted from them? Were there provision for nursing mothers and pregnant women? Were there multiple points of ingress and egress at those venues? Was traffic situation considered? Does this so-called recruitment exercise have anything to do with 2015 elections? Is it similar to FERMA’s recruitment of thugs and

Let this not happen again!


IR: Regrettably job seekers in Nigeria died over the weekend trying to secure appointment with the Nigerian Immigration Service. This did not have to happen! Where there are high levels of unemployment it is to be expected that the demand for available vacancies will far outweigh supply of jobs, hence the large turnout for the exercise. As long as we are unable to cater for the teeming graduates seeking work, not to talk of those who are underemployed, we would continue to have a high turnout as witnessed. However this did not have to happen. Technological advancement has brought about solutions to deal with large number of candidates seeking few jobs. It was reported that over 500,000 candidates applied for the exercise. The first step is to short list those candidate who meet the recruitment criteria which would have been pre determined by the recruiting organisation. Apparently all the candidate were invited to attend a form of screen at various centres across Nigeria. A short listing exercise would have been screened out those who fail to meet the criteria. Only those who meet the requirement advance to the next stage of the selection process.

There are competent organisations in Nigeria who could have offered this solution. Each candidate can sit the initial verification exercise at the comfort of their home using their computer or at designated test centres. Where a recruiting organisation has concerns about the authenticity of the candidate responding to the initial verification, there are also solutions available to validate the initial screening, which may further reduce the number of applicants.

At the end of the two stage process described above, the recruiting organisation would have a manageable number and failing that, further assessment could be carried out using Assessment Centres before commencing to the interview stages. Several private sector organisations and multinationals have successfully adopted this approach. A typical recruitment exercise by Shell Nigeria receives no less than half a million responses and they manage the recruitment process effectively using online recruitment

solutions. It is time we take advantage of technology to manage our recruitment and avoid what I call avoidable accidents. It is not rocket science to predict the NIS exercise was an accident waiting to happen. Other government agencies need to take note to avoid a repeat of this incident. It need not happen and we pray it does not happen again. May the souls of the departed rest in peace. • Shola Ajani London

hoodlums in Lagos in the name of employment road managers? Why are PDP and President Jonathan doing all these now? More questions: Why should NIS collect N1000 each from more than six million Nigerians when you know you have only 3,000 vacant positions? Where has the money gone to? Who authorized the collection? Where is the balance after the expenditure? Now if this is not Nigeria, heads would have started rolling at the NIS. Arrests of the men behind this huge scam would have been completed by now. There would have been apologies from the highest seat of power. There would be apologies and regrets from the organizers and executors of this failed exercise. But this is a Nigeria where impunity is a way of life. This is Nigeria where sycophancy is a way of life The horrible pictures of more than six million Nigerian youths seeking for 3,000 jobs have been put in the world scene. The inability of Nigerian leaders to show leadership in hours of need has been exposed to the world. The criminal level of the unemployment situation in Nigeria has been let out of the bag in a country where few leaders pocket $20 billion without caring a hoot. This tragedy has clearly exposed our system’s failure. It has clearly shown the level of the reasoning and thinking of our leaders. This is a national shame! • Joe Igbokwe Lagos

The dilemma of a nation


IR: Nigeria is undoubtedly a country with great promise. On account of her favourable weather conditions and rich supply of natural resources, Nigeria was once described by a good friend of mine as a country situated in the heart of God. However, in the same piece, she was quick to lament the woes of Africa’s second largest economy calling her, among other things, “My sweet country where NOTHING works”. And that’s where the dilemma is. As much as we cannot deny Nigeria’s potential to become one of the most desirable nations to live in, we also cannot shy away from our pervasive challenges.

One problem that has especially bothered me over time is our value system which seems to have little respect for human dignity and the sanctity of human life. Needless loss of lives does not seem to bother us anymore. When we’re not talking about the destruction being wreaked by Boko Haram, we’re discussing the havoc being inflicted by Fulani herdsmen. That is not to mention police brutality, illegal detention, dehumanising condition of our prisons and various acts of subjugation. In November 2013, at least 25 people lost their lives while apparently trying to invoke the beggarly generosity of a politician. Now, some folks

are capitalising on the challenge of unemployment to waste our youths. And the youths themselves are too blind to see. While the Nigerian Immigrations Service has been in the spotlight as a result of the tragedy that attended its ill-advised recruitment test over the weekend, a cursory inspection will reveal that many other government agencies and privately-owned firms are equally culpable. When are we going to develop value for human life in this nation? When are we going to stop treating people with indignity? When are the “masses” going to stop running after every foolish scheme like hun-

gry dogs scrambling for dry bones? When are we going to ditch the lie that we are “the masses” and wake up to the reality of our true identity as plenipotentiaries of the Most High God? We have wallowed in the mud of greed, selfishness and corruption for too long; and this has robbed us of our collective power as a people. As a nation, we have allowed a few bad eggs to spoil our omelette. Now is the time to stop playing the fool and start living out our true identity as the great nation that we are. Change is imminent. A revolution is underway. We cannot avoid it. • Philip Amiola,




Death daily! NESG Summit- Books,& ‘WOW’ factors: Dangote Aquarium, Glo Science Museum!


HY is there such a high and lethal cost to being a Nigerian? Amidst deaths of seven applicants to the immigration service, 114 murdered by ‘suspected’ Fulani herdsmen in Kaduna State and Tony the Lagos boat mishaps, Marinho the Nigerian Economic Summit Group has soul-searching questions. The NESG Summit on education which means ‘eliminating ignorance’ may not know that an NESG member MTN has an ‘MTN Science Centre’ in South Africa. Please Google it. There is no MTN Science Centre in Nigeria. What is advertising, what is CSR? Why do NESG members neglect long-term internationally accepted permanent educational thematic structures either as advert strategies or CSR education policies? MUSON, built by NESG members, serves arts education but the sciences are in a deadly vacuum. NESG members prefer short-term use- abuseand-throw-away bonanza, ‘T-shirt and face cap reality TV/ music/sports’. Billions are wasted on promotional pamphlets thrown away as programmes end. Foreign ‘Weapons of Mass Development’ created permanent Exhibitions/Museums supported by corporates sometimes on land donated by intelligent ‘legacy governments’. Where is Lagos Aquarium or Abuja or Port Harcourt Science Museum? MUSON is a template for NESG to reproduce 500 MUSONs for different themes nationwide on government/private land, bringing the contents of every tertiary institution, department, industry and idea into education, generating new employment and tourism sectors. Abroad, Smithsonian, Welcome, Louvre, Natural History, Science/Tech or Space Exhibitions inspire and educate youth. But ‘Nothing For You’ Nigeria’s youth, Lagbaja says. We waste education opportunities. Even our Gardens and Parks, GAP, are empty of intellectual profit and should have a corporate-supported permanent unique exhibition or museum to fill the ‘GAP’ in the youth brain. Is there a Cadbury or Milo Chocolate or Indomie Food Museum, a Dangote Cement or Lafarge Building Technology Museum? No! Where do Nigerian students go for the ‘WOW’ factor? Dangote


FEW weeks ago, precisely on Wednesday, March 5, under the headline: “Wanted: A war cabinet,” this column wrote: “ …The only way out of this quagmire in which the country has been enmeshed all this while is the urgent need for the President to form a war cabinet… A senior cabinet minister must coordinate the ‘war’. As things are now, it may be impossible for the National Security Adviser, NSA, the only person who probably performs the role of coordinating the military interventions in the North-east, to summon any of the head of the services to a meeting - I mean summoning someone like the Chief of Army Staff or the Chief of Air Staff that are both involved in managing the crisis to a meeting - not to talk of the Chief of Defence Staff. They will just ignore him because the NSA is more or less a Staff Officer to the President. That is why there is the need to quickly put a war cabinet in place.” This story was featured the very day new ministers were sworn in at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja. And of course, among the new ministers was LieutenantGeneral Aliyu Mohammed Gusau (retd), who was designated as Defence Minister. Gusau came in to occupy that position which had remained vacant for some time while the insurgency in the northeast of the country rages like harmattan wild fire. A week before, the Boko Haram terrorists had added a bestial dimension to the orgy of bloodletting and brigandage which they have unleashed on innocent Nigerians by massacring sleeping school children at the Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Yobe State. Not only that. The terrorists literarily went on a killing-spree in the

or Glo Aquarium, Glo Technology Museum, UCH Medical Museum? Not yet built! Why does corporate Nigeria refuse the challenge of grand education designs in iconic buildings? Nigeria deserve better than fine bank buildings. We have 700 km of ocean but no aquarium-the simplest ‘wow’ factor. Have you seen a giant octopus swim? Where are Nigeria’s Dangote, Otedola, Conoil, Glo, MTN, PZ, UAC, Lever Brothers Natural History Museum, First Bank Aquarium, Zenith Zoo,etc? Na so so Event Centre! Greed go kill us! Unfortunately the NESG members and politicians know the value of pictures as they litter Nigeria with millions of posters and the biggest advert posters and structures in the world but paradoxically allow our youth to die in ignorance with no classroom posters. NESG members need education on better use of CSR powerful pocket money! Education is four quarters - primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary- making a circle of intelligence. Quaternary education is out-of-school, co-curricular. Education remains mainly under-funding and corruption. Yes, NESG members support many educational infrastructural, scholarships, academic, sports and cultural and now entrepreneurship activities, under CSR and continuing education programmes including co-curricular sports and targeted ‘Subject Excellence Projects’ like in mathematics, chemistry etc. But more is spent on corporate adverts than on education in Nigeria. NESG members need CSR coordination. Education is not rocket science. Little cheap/per student things make a difference like desks, chairs, books, posters, IT, learning aids, toilets, water, electricity, library, laboratories, good learning environment, black or white board, chalk-white and coloured- and marker pens, Braille stylus for the blind. Tick these to assess schools. Teachers are not always included in solutions. No public school can buy a book or scissors due to over-centralisation. The disaster that is education can be summarised as ‘A picture is worth a 1000 words except in Nigeria where there are no posters, libraries, museums, exhibitions or aids’. Tony Blair’s ‘Education, Education, Education’ was UK’s key to the future. In Nigeria, ‘books, books, books’ are essential! A school without books is not a school. I offer this outline Manifesto/ Communiqué. To accelerate quality education, NESG will: Encourage Federal/state/LGAs to spend 26% on educationUNESCO.

Encourage access to counterpart N102billion in UBEC/ TET Funds with no diversion of education budgets Warn that funding of political parties must not come from government or education budgets Encourage CSR funding of books -text and novels to improve the reading culture, not empty exercise books. Sign up for ‘A CSR 200 book BOX Library Project/school’ and Support ‘A PICTURE IS WORTH 1000 WORDS’ 10 SCHOOL POSTERS/class on different subjects. Some Corporate Calendars are educational but never reach classrooms Encourage one percent of Pre Tax profits as ‘The CSR Gold Standard’ with a higher percent for education Encourage NESG members CSR Awards after ‘CSR Monitoring, Voluntary Registration, Evaluation’ Encourage a wide CSR sign-on to include service companies, legal, accounts, property and advertising firms. Empower teachers with ‘Teacher Packs’ and re-training course content Every student contributes to NESG corporate wealth by eating, drinking, washing, phoning, taking transport so encourage decentralised CSR and Foundations to branches/bank outlet/distributors to reach every school. Girls deserve extra educational support from cosmetic/sanitary companies like PZ, Procter and Gamble etc. NESG should fund first generation youth volunteer NGOs Boy Scouts, Girl Guides. Red Cross as role models. Encourage CSR in Education PPPs Public Private Partnerships with Recognitions, Rewards and Awards. Commit members to some CSR for permanent Exhibitions/ Museums especially if government donates land. Every corporate advert should morally include a small addon educational/health message to keep citizens alive.

‘Every student contributes to NESG corporate wealth by eating, drinking, washing, phoning, taking transport so encourage decentralised CSR and Foundations to branches/bank outlet/ distributors to reach every school’

An avoidable friction three Nigeria’s north-east states of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno that have been under a state of emergency since May 16, 2013. Apart from the attack on FGC, Buni Yadi, where no fewer than 43 students were killed, they moved to Shuwa, in Magadali Local Government Area of Adamawa state, where a Teachers’ College, a secondary school and a Catholic Covenant were attacked. Next, it was the turn of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and epicentre of the terrorists’ attacks, where a twin-bomb explosion tore through the heart of the city, killing more than 50 people. Other adjoining villages, including Mainok, a village about 50 kilometres from Maiduguri, were not spared. More attacks had followed. It was the spate and ferocity of these attacks, which the terrorists carried out with ease as they moved in and out of hamlets unchallenged, leaving sorrow, tears and blood in their trail, that prompted the call for the formation of a war cabinet to help the government in the successful prosecution of the ‘war’ and bring an end to it with limited casualties. Since the publication of the column coincided with the appointment of Gusau as Defence Minister, my thinking was that the government will take a cue from the unsolicited advise the column gave to put things in the right perspective in order to checkmate the festering act of terrorism in that part of the country. But events last week, which allegedly infuriated Gusau, the Defence Minister, did not only confirm my fears about the absence of a centralised and coordinated command and control of the ongoing counterterrorism operation in the North-

‘It is exigent to have somebody in charge because, as it is, it is clear that the ongoing counter-terrorism campaign lacks proper coordination as a result of the absence of a synergy among the security agencies in the country’

east, it has also exposed the lack of appropriate synergy in the whole operation. This is probably why the terrorists appear to be invisible to some extent as they kept on having a semblance of upper hand over the Nigerian security forces that appear to be outgunned, outmanned and overwhelmed. The incident of last week also coincided with the day the terrorists had the audacity to mount an attack on Giwa Amu Barracks, a strategic military outpost in Maiduguri. Though the early morning attack proved costly and fatal for the terrorists, it is indeed a sign of the times. Reports have it that a Shilka Tank, a military artillery weapon that was strategically stationed to ward off attacks on the barracks, actually failed to fire when the terrorists attempted to swoop on the barracks ostensibly to pave way for the release of their comrades-incrime numbering well over 250, who were detained at the military formation. The soldiers were said to have fallen back on other weapons to defend the barracks and subsequently repelled the invaders. Though they were successfully driven back, the terrorists were said to have torched the MRS, the traditional medical facility within the barracks as well as the detention facility but no detainees were freed. The detention facility is believed to be holding some highly placed terrorists’ commanders and therefore, their colleagues will prefer them dead than volunteer useful information to the security agents. Besides, the terrorists’ camp is said to have been seriously depleted by recent military onslaughts on their hideouts and so, they are badly in need of replenishment to boost their dwindling fighting capabilities. The temerity of the terrorists may have been halted for now, but the recent embarrassment suffered by Gusau so soon after assuming duty as well as the unrelenting terrorists’ campaign in the North-east has

again brought into focus the call for the formation of a “war cabinet” to tackle the menace of these terrorists. There must be someone to bring everybody together. The present hierarchical arrangement, in which all the service chiefs have access to the President, is not helping matters. It must be properly structured. It is a good thing that Alex Badeh, an Air Marshal and Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, has quickly made up with Gusau, but the integral roles of the CDS and the service chiefs must be clearly defined to avoid any friction in the future. The Service Chiefs must be responsible to the CDS, while the CDS in turn is responsible to the Defence Minister; and the Defence Minister will then interface with the President and Commander-inChief of the Armed Forces. Unfortunately, what has hitherto been in place is a wrong system whereby the Defence Minister was more or less sidelined in the scheme of things. Also, what had been in place is a figure-head CDS, who was supposed to coordinate the services on paper but nobody reports to him as even the President could summon any of the service chiefs without recourse to the CDS. This is wrong. For instance, the CDS does not know the budget of the defence. The common practice is that individual services – Army, Navy, Air Force – prepares their budgets and go ahead to the National Assembly to defend same without any iota of involvement by the CDS. The proper thing to do is that the CDS should present the budget and then go to the National Assembly to defend it. In other words, the CDS should coordinate the activities of the services and serve as a link between with the Defence Minister. Furthermore, we could achieve a better result if the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, is merged with the Ministry of Defence, with a mixture of soldiers and civilians working together instead of the present

Dele Agekameh situation where only civilians sit in the Defence Ministry and award all manners of contracts which are not even required by the DHQ. I have no doubt whatsoever that the present Defence Minister parades excellent credentials and experience to steer the country through this turbulent period if only the government can do the needful. It is exigent to have somebody in charge because, as it is, it is clear that the ongoing counter-terrorism campaign lacks proper coordination as a result of the absence of a synergy among the security agencies in the country. What easily come to mind are the United States’ Department of Homeland Security and the Counter-terrorism Strategy in the United Kingdom, two agencies that are solely devoted to checkmate terrorism and terrorists’ activities in both countries. In the alternative, the government could appoint somebody in the mould of the coordinating Minister of Finance to coordinate this antiterrorism war. If the government wishes, the person could be called Minister for Counter-terrorism or even Minister for Boko Haram. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



COMMENTS ‘You should know by now that the only time these people disagree is when anyone among them out-steals the other. Make no mistake, the welfare and well-being of the masses of this country are the last thing on their minds and the least of their considerations. When the rich impoverishes the poor that the poor has nothing to eat, then the rich becomes the only thing left on the poor man’s menu list. From Simon Oladapo, Ogbomoso’


For Olatunji Dare The conference is a sham and all Nigerians know it. Many of the delegates are part of the cabal that ruined our nation. Only the African Union or United Nations can organise a true conference for Nigeria or a revolution will convene one very soon. From Sam Abba. Dekina, Kogi Please, give me All Progressives Party (APC)’s slot! Alhaji Lai Mohammed has told the Federal Government to wait till eternity, if it is waiting for APC to fill its slot at the National Conference. This means APC’s slot is going to be permanently vacant, till the end of the conference. Permit me to use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to nominate me, so I can fill APC’s slot. I am making this call as a good and patrotic Nigerian, desirous to serve my fatherland - devoid of partisan interest. Thank you. From Chukwuma Dioka. Owerri, Imo State. The National Conference put together by President Goodluck Jonathan is a way forward for the nation now that leaders with integrity are in place. Yes, many of such have come and gone but this one is an exception. It’s time of sharing great ideas to reshape, restructure and transform Nigeria for the better. My prayer for the president is God’s wisdom to lead the people, and apply all useful ideas contributed for national dialogue. Conference chairman Justice


ldris Kutigi is an elder statesman. With this conference, we are heading for the path of transformation. Support Dr Goodluck Jonathan, support national conferences. Thank you. Livingstõne Awoudu. Bukuma (agum). Re-”Preface to the National Conference.” The objective of this conference, if it has any direction, is to disorganise the system by a president who sees the need for power but lack the intuitiveness and insight on how to seek political authority from the citizens through democratic channel. From Haruna Ibrahim, Benin City. Apart from G.G.Darah, the list of delegates to the National Conference is a grandiloquent canonisation of political exclusivity and oppression calculated to gag the Urhobo nation by Uduaghan, Jonathan and their man Fridays. This dangerous political script must be condemned. So, Urhobo, the fifth largest in Nigeria and largest ethnic nationality in Delta, with qualified traditional rulers and protean professionals and others, couldn’t produce conference delegates? The political castration for 2015 is ongoing and wither goeth Urhobo? We must ‘RISE’ against this political apocalypse. From Bobson Gbinije, Warri. Your concise analysis of the preface to the National Conference captures what the outcome of the waste the president has become known for. My only regret is that the president is from an area that needs real answers to the national questions most. He has forgotten his yesterday and prefers to throw the future of children to the dogs. Anonymous Dare, Iseanjuna Vancouver is in Canada not Australia! Congrats for your column. From Prof.Tam.David West. Does this president know the difference between governance and politics? How will he combine insecurity, corruption, preparing for election and the National Conference. Every

NE of the most disturbing aspects of the just inaugurated National Conference is the very manner in which it was constituted. The selection and composition of delegates to the conference makes one wonder whether there is some truth in the commonly expressed theory that Nigeria is afflicted with a malaise so serious that no amount of wise leadership can bring the nation to its senses. The clamour for a National Conference stems from the realisation that it is about time that the people of this country take control of their own destiny and use the power of democracy to resolve the many pressing problems that afflict their daily lives. The usurpation or denial of people’s rights in Nigeria has gone on for too long. The Independence Constitution was the product of the departing colonial authorities. The 1963 Republic Constitution was decided upon entirely by the Prime Minister and regional premiers of the day who merely amended the 1960 Constitution to make it conform to Republican status. The 1966 coup usurped democracy by replacing it with military rule. The 1979 Constitution was a missed opportunity for the people to adopt a constitution for themselves, when the Obasanjo led Military Government amended several aspects of the elected Constituent Assembly’s deliberations and of course our existing 1999 Constitution came into existence as a result of a Decree enacted by the Federal Military Government. The National Conference is yet another missed opportunity for the Nigerian people to prepare their own Constitution. When a frame of government has been established, and a group of rulers elected to govern under it, the right to change the system under a new order or Constitution remains always with the people, just like the right to choose the rulers. It is an usurpation of powers for any government to assume to exercise that right, without a specific mandate from the people. My argument therefore is that since we already have a system of government in place, it would be unconstitutional for a National Conference to attempt to usurp the Constitution without first receiving a clear mandate from the electorate the source and donor of all political power. If the government and its organs are created by the 1999 Constitution, then it is logical that they can only have the power that is granted to them by the instrument from which they derive their existence. The National Assembly or the President have no specific or inherent power to convene a National Conference in order to change or prepare a new Constitution for the electorate neither can they alter the Constitution without first obtaining the support by resolution of at least 2/3 of the Houses of Assembly of the 36 states of the federation. That being the case, the electorate should have been given the right of direct consultation to convene a National Conference and prepare a new Constitution. A referendum in my view is the only democratic instrument that can give the National Assembly or the Presi-

decision he takes is always about politics instead of governance. From Hamza Ozi Monoh Apapa Lagos. The confab and the jamboree, it is high time our leaders stopped deceiving us because we are not fools as they think. The national confab is a political campaign for the presidency come 2015. I may not be an adult but I know what is going on in this country Nigeria. From Stanley Anyamara, Umuaka, Imo State Re-”Preface to the National Conference.” Whatever the thoughts of people on cohesiveness, coincidences or/and insecurity in some locations are, they can be discussed. Let us give the dialogue a trial since majority favoured its emergence! From Lanre Oseni. For Tunji Adegboyega Re: “United against Nigerians.” Irrespective of Jonathan’s deficiencies in governing Nigerians, I am most disappointed in the APC finance commissioners joining in the fuel subsidy removal coup against the masses they have been selling ‘Change’ to. What is the change? As for the finance commissioners’ comments, Nigerians have answer to that. Nigerians are awaiting the usual pronouncement. Immediately it would be denounced and shall be instantly retracted! I don’t give fuel price hike a five per cent chance of success. No cause for worry. From Lanre Oseni. I feel there is nothing Nigerians can do over the self-centred and never-do-well leadership than to pray to God to give us good leaders in 2015, that would have the fear of God to deliver good governance and have the plight of the citizens at heart. We are the laughing stock in the international community, against the backdrop of how corruption has taken the centre-stage of governance rather than fighting

•Buhari the menace. Who are the people behind the subsidy? From Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia. You should know by now that the only time these people disagree is when anyone among them out-steals the other. Make no mistake, the welfare and well-being of the masses of this country are the last thing on their minds and the least of their considerations. When the rich impoverishes the poor that the poor has nothing to eat, then the rich becomes the only thing left on the poor man’s menu list. From Simon Oladapo, Ogbomoso. Nigerians should not allow this visionless government to put the country on sale. Imagine, Nigeria is on fire and some unscrupulous elements are calling for subsidy removal and the president sits down in Abuja, pretending that all is well. The last fever of subsidy removal has not been cured and he wants to add another pain, again. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos. Dear sir, your worry is not unfounded. If the representatives of governors can undo what Nigerians have resolved to enjoy, then wait and witness the modern battle of Waterloo. I am convinced that the masses shall win. If they dislike democratic tenets, the mass of our people would help them kill democracy. This democracy shall be tested to know if it resides with the people or Judases. From Akin Malaolu.

Referendum, not National Conference By Stephen Kola-Balogun dent the mandate to convene a National Conference to change our existing order or Constitution. It is a mystery that no one has yet sued the federal government for initiating or attempting to initiate a national conference without first receiving a clear mandate from the people. How much we miss the likes of the late legal luminary Chief Gani Fawehinmi. If he were alive, he would have surely taken the federal government on. According to foremost constitutional lawyer Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN) in his book “The Presidential Constitution of Nigeria”, a Constitution is an act of the people if it is made by them either directly in a referendum or through a convention or constituent assembly popularly elected for this purpose, subject or not to formal ratification by the people in a referendum. This definition highlights yet another flaw in the National Conference. Apart from the fact that the delegates were not popularly elected, how can the deliberations of the conference ever be actualised or brought into effect? If for instance the delegates at the conference recommend that our system of government should change from Presidential to Parliamentary or perhaps suggest that we begin to operate on a regional basis, can such fundamental changes ever be brought about by a constitutional amendment? Surely our constitution will have to be jettisoned if such fundamental changes were to be brought about. It is for these reasons that the above issues have been labeled as forbidden areas of debate at the National Conference. The National Assembly may be continually empowered to amend the constitution, but it does not possess the power to dispense with it. In any case, would the National Assembly agree to subject such deliberations to a referendum at the end of the conference when it is quite obvious that if they do so their own position as legislators would be threatened? In any case subjecting the deliberations of the National Conference to a referendum at the end of the exercise would be like asking the electorate to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. After all what would happen if the electorate is dissatisfied with the outcome of the conference in much the same way as they are disillusioned with the 1999 Constitution and our present structure/arrangement? It would mean that the electorate would be left with no choice at all. This is why we ought to have conducted a referendum on this important issue at the beginning. A referendum at the onset would have determined what “We the people of the Fed-

eral Republic of Nigeria” really want. A referendum would have served as a barometer indicative of what various sections of the country want. So far, only perceived leaders of thought (not necessarily representative of the people and the various ethnic groups) have given their views on this issue. Nigeria we know is made up of more than 250 ethnic groups on the average. If we take about 50 of them to deliberate upon issues at a National Conference would this be fair? If you Google the official statistics on the composition of Nigeria you will find that those Nigerians aged between 1–14 make up roughly 43.9% of the population. Those between 15–24 make up 19.3% while those between 25-54 make up a total of roughly 30%. In total Nigerians between the ages of 1-54 make up about 83% of the population yet how many of these Nigerians in the above age brackets will be participating at the National Conference also bearing in mind that the parents of the Nigerian child aged between 1-14 which makes up 43.9% of the population are likely to fall within the 25-54 age bracket. Power must be given back to these people by enabling them to exercise responsibility for their own affairs. A simple question asking whether or not we want to re-write our constitution and/or re-structure our polity would easily have sufficed. Thereafter, if the yes votes carry the day, the National Assembly would have been mandated to pass a bill to constitute a National Conference or organise elections into a Constituent Assembly for this purpose as the case may be. Most importantly a referendum would have done away with the government’s claim to sovereignty if the electorate had voted yes. Referendums as democratic instruments are readily available all over the world and are a common model in most democratic countries. They serve as a form of direct democracy. Countries in the European Union for example are making effective use of these instruments to ratify the E.U. Constitution. Likewise Britain our former colonial rulers will be conducting a referendum later this year to ascertain whether or not Scotland wants to continue to remain part of the United Kingdom. There is no particular reason why Nigeria should be any different in its own endeavors. Bearing in mind that we have a general election next year February, would it not have been far more convenient for us as a nation to place the referendum question next to the Presidential ballot box so that we can vote for both the presidential election and the referendum at the same time? Would it not be a good form of debate leading up to the Presidential election in the country in 2015? •Kola-Balogun, is Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, State of Osun.





E-mail:- Stories by Taofik Salako

Forecasts Niger Insurance Gross Premium - N2.73b Profit after tax - N212.95m Mutual Benefits Gross Premium - N2b Profit - N885.633m Regency Alliance Gross Premium – N812.596m Profit after tax – N256.437m Learn Africa Turnover - N1.06b Profit after tax - N58.336m Total Nigeria Turnover - N46.676 b Profit after tax - N942.1m MRS Oil Nigeria Turnover - N51.20b Profit after tax - N712 m Eterna Turnover - N27.64b Profit after tax - N563.834m Okomu Oil Palm Turnover - N2.667b Profit after tax - N1.044b Stanbic/IBTC Bank Net operating income N16.805b Profit after tax - N2.737b ASL Turnover - N1.084b Profit after tax - N101.355m GT Assurance Gross Premium - N3.892b Profit after tax - N710.62m Cornerstone Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax - N79.868m African Alliance INS Gross Premium - N1.215b Profit after tax - N107.213m Berger Paints Turnover - N976.303m Profit after tax - N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover - N835.0m Profit after tax - N18.200m Dangote Sugar Refinery Turnover - N38.251b Profit after tax - N3.49b Studio Press Nig. Turnover - N3.375b Profit after tax - N20.422m Julius Berger Nig. Turnover - N80.125b Profit after tax - N2.55b Intercontinental Wapic Ins Gross Premium - N1.41b Profit after tax - N250.450m Equity Assurance Gross Premium - N2.45b Profit after tax - N287.283m Standard Alliance Insurance Gross Premium - N2.142b Profit after tax - N475.964m Continental Reinsurance Gross Premium - N6.917b Profit after tax - N805m PRESCO Turnover - N2.60b Profit after tax - N800.9m RT Briscoe Turnover - N4.553b

25 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

CBN mulls tax on FDI dividends, T capital transfers HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may impose tax on Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and other capital transfers to check capital reversals by short-term investors. CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu said the apex bank and other emerging markets are worried over ‘Faustian bargain’ with short-term portfolio investors and, therefore, looking at measures to stem capital outflows in the wake of CBN’s easing programme. Capital transfers involve the acquisition or disposal of an asset, or assets, by at least one of the parties to the transaction and are made in cash or in kind. Moghalu’s position was obtained form a report from Central Banking-Daily Briefing, a journal on Central Bank’s Policy, Regulation, Markets and Institutions. The Deputy Governor told The Nation in an emailed response to enquiries that he was “looking at possible options for emerging market economies, not necessarily what Nigeria will do” to check capital reversals. Moghalu had last year said Africa needed the right skills and education to attract the needed FDI. He said the continent also needed to direct

By Collins Nweze

FDI according to their own priority interest, not that of priority interest of foreign investors. He said African countries will not jump into prosperity until they have developed strong manufacturing base driven with developed information technology. He said it is only through industrilisation that the over 20 per cent unemployed rate in Africa will reduce. According to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), there has been a negative spike in foreign portfolio transactions this year, with more funds moving out than coming in. The NSE’s maiden foreign investment report said total foreign outflow was N50.14 billion in January as against inflow of N39.53 billion during the period, bringing total foreign transactions to N89.67 billion. In January, last year, foreign inflow was higher at N40.96 billion against outflow of N20.50 billion. Also, data from the CBN showed that gross external reserves as at December 31, 2013 stood at $42.85 billion,

representing a decrease of $0.98 billion or 2.23 per cent compared with $43.83 billion at end- December 2012. The reserves have further dropped to $38.79 billion as at March 12 after dropping by $3 billion in one month. The reserves were at $42.77 billion on February 3, but dropped to $39.72 billion on March 3. Analysts said the reserves declined as imports of fuel and foods soared. The CBN noted that the decrease in the reserves level resulted largely from a slowdown in portfolio and FDI flows in fourth quarter of last year resulting in increased funding of the foreign exchange market by the CBN to stabilise the naira. The regulator has expressed concern over the continued depletion of the Excess Crude Account (ECA), which balance stood at less than $2.5 billion during the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on January 17 compared with about $11.5 billion in December 2012. “This absence of fiscal buffers increased our reliance on portfolio flows thus, constituting the principal risk to

exchange rate stability, especially with uncertainties around capital flows and oil price,” the CBN said. Emerging-markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd, Samir Gadio, said there is difference between the depletion in reserves and the sharp slide in late 2008 when oil price collapsed and foreign investors pulled out. He said the difference in the reserves erosion is that oil price has remained robust in recent years and that capital outflows have been somewhat less extreme. “Nevertheless, drastic steps will be required to stop or slow the erosion of foreign reserves and restore confidence in the Nigerian market. In our view, a sharp tightening of monetary and liquidity conditions is urgently required if the CBN still wants to protect current dollar/naira levels,” he said. He said the naira to dollar rate at the interbank exchange rate appears to have found a new level in the N164 to N165 area, but would have probably trended higher without direct CBN dollar sales to the banks. The CBN, he said, has inter-

vened more proactively, and at an earlier stage even on an intra-day basis, especially as it sought to reassure the market after the change of leadership at the apex bank. The CBN has also continued to provide dollar via its Retail Dutch Auction System (RDAS) window and resumed forex exchange forward sales to reduce the immediate pressure on the currency. The key question is obviously how long the CBN can afford to defend the recent level of the exchange rate amid a deteriorating foreign reserves reserve position. With a heavily managed currency regime, an unsustainable downward trend in foreign reserves is the prelude to devaluation, as a qualitative drop in confidence and positioning against the local unit eventually force the central bank to adjust the exchange rate anchor. But Philippe de Pontet, Eurasia Group’s Africa director said despite the upheaval at the central bank, Nigeria’s economic fundamentals remain strong compared to other frontier markets given a relatively low debt-toGross Domestic Product ratio and budget deficit. The economy is forecast to grow around seven per cent this year. • From left: Managing Director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor explains some points to the Vice President Namadi Sambo at the just-concluded National Summit on Universal Health Coverage at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. With them are Minister of Health Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu and Ondo State Governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (right).


NITED States Navy SEALs hascaptured an oil tanker that had loaded crude at a rebel-held port in eastern Libya and escaped to sea, the Pentagon said. The weak Tripoli government's failure to halt the tanker had plunged the country into one of its biggest crises since Moamer Kadhafi was toppled by a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, with parliament ousting Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who fled the country. No one was hurt when US forces, at the request of both

Private sector’s credit rises to N16.5tr - P 26

US seizes Libya oil tanker Libya and Cyprus, "boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans," Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said. The operation was approved by President Barack Obama and was conducted in the early hours of Monday (just after 0200 GMT) in international waters southeast of Cyprus.

The naval commandos operated from the USS Roosevelt, a guided missile destroyer which provided helicopter support, while sailors from another destroyer, the USS Stout, boarded the tanker and prepared to sail it to an unnamed port in Libya, Kirby said in a statement. The Morning Glory last week slipped through a Libyan naval blockade of the eastern port of Al-Sidra -

Why public offer market is down, by SEC

- P28

controlled by rebels seeking autonomy from Tripoli after reportedly being loaded with some 234,000 barrels of crude. Libya's interim government confirmed the takeover of the ship and thanked the United States and Cyprus. It said in a statement the tanker was on its way to Libya and that crew members "will be treated in accordance with national and international laws."

"Oil is the lifeblood of the national economy and any attack on the treasures of the Libyan people is unacceptable and cannot go without a response," it added. Cyprus said its vessels had deployed to monitor the tanker's course as it made its way near the Mediterranean island, remaining in international waters and eventually stopping 18 nautical miles south of the southern port city of Limassol.

Imo to join pension scheme soon

- P38







Private sector’s credit rises to N16.5tr

ANKS’ credit to the private sector rose by 1.4 per cent to N16.5 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. According to the CBN Economic report for the quarter released at the weekend, the figure represents an improvement compared with the 3.7 and 2.7 per cent increase in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2012.

Stories by Collins Nweze

It said the development, relative to the preceding quarter, reflected the 0.9 per cent increase in claims on the core private sector. Also, at N8.5 trillion, banks’ foreign assets (net) of the banking system fell by 4.6 per cent, compared with the decline of 2.6 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter. The CBN said banks’ credit to the domestic economy rose by 8.6 per

cent to N12.2 trillion, when compared with date from the preceding quarter. The development, it said, was attributed largely to the 346.9 per cent increase in claims on the Federal Government. However, CBN’s credit to the banks fell by 1.6 per cent to N229.8 billion, reflecting the decline in overdrafts to banks, while total specified liquid assets of the deposit money banks (DMBs) stood at N6.6 trillion, representing 39.5

• From left: Product Manager Virtual Banking, e-Business Group, FirstBank, Oluseye Olowookere; Head, Media & External Relations, Babatunde Lasaki; Segment Manager, Retail Banking South, Oluwafemi Akinfolarin and Head, Marketing Support (South) Payments & Collections, Mr. Tony Mafeni at the bank’s products fair in Lagos.

February inflation may ease to 7.95%


HE inflation figure for last month would decline marginally to 7.95 per cent from eight per cent in January when the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) releases the inflation data for last month this week, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane has said. He said the expected figure remains a moderation in the headline inflation rate after remaining flat in December and January. “The reduction in price level is partly due to the post-festivities drop in purchasing power of consumers. It is surprising that even after the redemption of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) bonds of N1trillion in December, the transmission effect on prices is relatively mute. Both the food and non-food basket prices are expected to slide,” he said in an

emailed report. Also, FDC’s urban inflation survey in February showed that urban inflation moderated by 0.94 per cent to 8.63 per cent. Both baskets of the food and non-food items moved in the same direction with the food basket declining by 0.87 per cent to 8.12 per cent and the non-food basket by 0.97 per cent to 8.89 per cent. Rewane said the movement in inflation was influenced mainly by seasonality, rather than cost-push or demand-pull effects, adding that the threat to price stability is still potent, especially in view of the potential for exchange rate transmission on imported finished goods. Other risks from the 50 per cent hike in gas prices for power generation and the implementation of the new automotive policy remain. He added that market response to the inflation announcement is likely to be in two phases.

He said: “The initial impact will be neutral and nerve-soothing. He added: “This is because of the belief that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is unlikely to take draconian moves in a declining inflation environment. “The MPC will be more anticipatory and strategic in its deliberations under a care-taker leadership. We expect the MPC to be very aggressive in its mopping up and push the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to the maximum level. This will be complemented by tweaking the private sector CRR from 12 to 15 per cent.” Rewane explained that all other markets will react in line with their interest rate sensitivity or convexity, adding that most bond traders and other fixed income securities holders have already priced in an interest rate increase into their sentiments and portfolios.

per cent of their total current liabilities. Also, the liquidity ratio rose by 1.8 percentage points above the level in the preceding quarter, and was 9.5 percentage points above the stipulated minimum ratio of 30 per cent. The loans-to-deposit ratio stood at 36.3 per cent, and was 2.9 percentage points above the level at the end of the preceding quarter, but was 43.7 percentage points below the prescribed maximum ratio of 80 per cent. The quarterly report also said Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was estimated to have grown by 7.7 per cent, compared with 6.8 per cent in the preceding quarter. The development, it said, was driven largely by the growth in the non-oil sector. Broad money supply (M2) grew by 9.1 per cent, in contrast to the 7.9 per cent decline recorded at the end of the preceding quarter. The CBN said the development reflected largely, the 14.9 per cent increase in domestic credit (net) of banking. Similarly, narrow money supply (M1) rose by 11.4 per cent, in contrast to the 9.3 per cent decline at the end of the preceding quarter.

Western Union, Paga to launch new mobile money


HE Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, on Monday announced the launch of a new mobile money transfer (MMT) service to Nigeria, which increases the reach of Western Union payout options in the country. In a statement, it said the new service to Nigeria integrates directly with Paga, a mobile payment platform with more than 1.2 million users. Paga users have the option of receiving a Western Union Money Transfer transaction directly into their Paga account. “Using Paga’s multi-channel platform, customers can withdraw the money by sending it to a bank account, withdrawing from an Automated Teller Machine or through Paga’s network of over 4,000 agents in Nigeria. Consumers can also choose to pick-up their funds at participating Western Union® Agent locations across the country,” it said. It said international money transfers for mobile pick-up via Paga can be initiated at in more than 20 countries, or participating Western Union Agent loca-

tions worldwide. According to the statement, the new offering complements Western Union services offered through its retail Agent network of more than 500,000 locations around the world, which includes 4,900 locations in Nigeria. “Western Union continues to introduce new service offerings to expand its mobile footprint as part of our omni-channel strategy, which facilitates financial inclusion for consumers who may not have access to traditional banking products,” said Aida Diarra, the Regional Vice President, Africa, Western Union. Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paga, added, Tayo Oviosu: “Paga continues to execute on its strategy of simplifying payments for all Nigerians – whether you are a business or an individual. This relationship extends our services to the world – now anyone across the globe who needs to send money to Nigeria can ‘Just Paga it’ through Western Union. Paga is proud to work with Western Union and we look forward to continuing to deliver innovative money transfer services to Nigerians around the world.”

Keystone Bank supports financial literacy for youths


•Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Citibank Nigeria Limited Mr. Omar Hafeez (standing) during a lecture at Army Day Secondary School, Ikot Ansa, Calabar in commemoration of Global Money Week and Financial Literacy Day.

At the end of December 2012, broad money supply (M2) grew by 1.2 per cent, owing largely to the 18.5 per cent increase in net domestic credit, which more than offset the 26.0 and 5.9 per cent decline in other assets (net) and foreign assets (net) of the banking system. Reserve money (RM) rose at the end of the fourth quarter of last year. Broad money supply, (M2), grew by 9.1 per cent, in contrast to the 7.9 per cent decline recorded at the end of the preceding quarter. The CBN said the development reflected, largely, the 14.9 per cent increase in domestic credit (net) of the banking system. Similarly, narrow money supply, (M1), rose by 11.4 per cent, in contrast to the 9.3 per cent decline at the end of the preceding quarter. Over the level at end-December 2012, broad money supply (M2) grew by 1.2 per cent, owing largely to the 18.5 per cent increase in net domestic credit, which more than offset the 26.0 and 5.9 per cent decline in other assets (net) and foreign assets (net) of the banking system, respectively. Reserve money (RM) rose at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013.

EYSTONE Bank has joined the global community in celebrating the Global Money Week. Its Managing Director, Philip Ikeazor said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown commitment to financial inclusion, adding that the programme, which ends this week, is targeted at raising pupils’awareness on finances. According to Ikeazor, who was represented by Dr. Shehu K. Muhammad, Executive Director, Corporate, Investment and International Banking, financial literacy is an integral part of developing tomorrow’s leaders. “Children can begin to build a culture of saving from an early age,” he said, adding that the bank’s participation in the week was also

“in fulfillment of one of the pillars of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) thrust, geared towards taking education to young Nigerians and encouraging financial literacy amongst the youths.” The Third yearly Global Week is commemorated by over 80 countries. It is set aimed at emphasising financial inclusion and financial literacy among children and the youth to create an opportunity for youngsters to learn about managing money, earn a living, gain employment and become entrepreneurs. According to the CBN, the aim is to empower Nigerians, especially children and youths, with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions that will enhance their welfare.



MONEY The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken measures that will encourage banks to lend and support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). Many banks have keyed into the policy, instituting internal measures and creatively finding ways to woo the SMEs. COLLINS NWEZE reports.

CBN’s policy spurs SMEs’ funding B ANKS product development and risk management units are becoming more creative on how they can fund Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). The banks, which have the backing of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are thinking outside the box on their approaches to SMEs’ financing.

CBN policy on SMEs

The CBN has set up guidelines for the management of the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development (MSME) fund it launched last year to support SMEs’ financing. The CBN said the fund will be managed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) while it will manage the fund, pending the establishment/ appointment of the SPV or Managing Agent (MA). It said many unserved and under-served clients exist in the MSMEs’ sub-sector, stressing that to address the funding requirements of this critical segment of the economy, 80:20 ratio for onlending to micro enterprises and SMEs has been designed. The CBN said women’s access to financial services should increase by 15 per cent yearly to eliminate gender disparity. It also said to achieve this, 60 per cent or N132 billion of the fund, has been earmarked for providing financial services to women. The regulator said in operating the fund, special consideration will be given to institutions that will provide financial services to graduates of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs). Also, 10 per cent of the fund will be earmarked for social and development objectives as grants, N11 billion; Interest Drawback Programme, N6.60 billion; MA’s Operational Expenses N4.4 billion. However, MA is expected to generate income from its operational activities to fund its future expenses on a sustainable basis. It explained that N6.6 billion earmarked for Interest Drawback will be used to settle the rebates to financial institution’s customers under the fund who repay their loans as and when due while the N11.0 billion for grants will fund programmes that are aimed at developing the MSME sub-sector. However, 90 per cent of the fund, amounting to N198 billion, will be utilised for the provision of direct on-lending facilities to participating financial institutions. It said participating financial institutions can only finance agricultural value chain activities, trade and general commerce, cottage Industries, artisans, among others. The banking watchdog said to ensure that productive sectors of the economy continue to attract more financing necessary for employment creation and diversification of the country’s economic base, a maximum of 10 per cent of the commercial component of the fund will be channelled to trading and commerce.

Lenders’ responses

Managing Director, Sterling

Bank Plc, Yemi Adeola said the bank is introducing in an innovative competitions, ideas that will make it possible for young entrepreneurs to think beyond the negative society ills and build strong businesses. The bank, he said, instituted the “Meet the Executive’ programme meant to select three young Nigerian entrepreneurs that will not only get project-based grants, but would be introduced to local and international investors. Speaking during a meeting with participants in the programme, he described entrepreneurs as the backbone of the economy, adding that the programme is driven by the lender’s passion for helping budding entrepreneurs to attain great heights. “We plan to choose three out of the whole people, and work out the modalities or logistics of the fund with them, but it is easy money. The fund will be projectbased,” he said. Adeola said over 700 entries were received from entrepreneurs who also submitted proposals to the bank. “We then pruned the number down. We are about selecting the final list, and by the end of the day, whatever project they are putting on the table, we are going to partner with them, and give them grants in the first instance, to assist them,” he said. Before that, the lender organised a fashion competition for undergraduates of tertiary institutions in Lagos State. It said the exercise was meant to discover and celebrate the creativity of the youth. The competition, which is part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in the education sector, seeks to transform the perception of artistically inclined undergraduates in relation to corporate organisations, their acceptability and the difference they can make given the opportunity and a suitable platform. According to the bank’s Group Head of Strategy and Communications, Shina Atilola, participants are to upload their sketched designs on the bank’s Facebook page. The creators of the top 10 designs will be given some cash to produce their designs. He assured that the lender would continue to empower entrepreneurs to achieve their desired goals. “It is the bank’s desire to see every Nigerian youth gainfully employed and being able to make a living without looking for jobs but starting their own businesses. He said the bank’s partnership with Fate Foundation on lecture series is to ensure that future en-

• Adeola

trepreneurs are well empowered and positioned to attract the right credit,” he said. Atilola said the partnership would promote entrepreneurship and increase the level of SMEs awareness and participation across board. “It reiterates the bank’s commitment to continuous Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative to further promote education in the Country,” he added. Also, the bank said it is poised to become a systemically important commercial bank that impacts on all sectors of business participation in the economy going by feelers from those close enough to the bank’s business strategy. A statement from the bank said the bank desires to be a competitive financial services franchise; fully scaled business model with institutionalised processes. “With business focus being the mid-tier corporate, institutional banking, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), the government and consumer banking; the bank’s vision is to be the financial institution of choice while its mission is to deliver solutions that enhance stakeholders’ value,” it said. In the same direction, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has reiterated its commitment to providing cheap and long-term funding for the subsector. Its Executive Director, Retail Banking South, Mr. Gbenga Shobo said SMEs remain the engine of growth for the economy creating millions of jobs for the population. He, however, reiterated the need to create successful SMEs that would help the economy achieve its full

• Skye Bank CEO, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti

potentials. He said: “Definitely, there is a lot of large buzzword right now as a lot of banks are saying they want to do SMEs finance. But we have been relatively successful in financing SMEs. A recent survey showed that FirstBank, more than double than any other bank, had given SMEs finance in the last three years. So, it won’t resolve everything now, but definitely it would go a long way in reducing it.” He said about 50 per cent of the funds of the lender come from retail banking. “Those funds are from our SMEs, our affluent and our mass market. Retail banking is split into those segments. The CRR itself doesn’t affect retail banking directly because it was meant for public sector funds. But it shows how more important to the banks the funds from retail banking would be because no CRR affects it. So, obviously there is more focus on retail banking funds. So, that is why we are doing more to get more SMEs,” he said. Shobo said SMEs have to grow because that is the only way the economy can grow because the subsector is the key driver of any economy. “So, it must grow and that is why we are doing the national conference and after that, we are going to have regional conferences. After that, we are going to have industry specific conferences to make sure that we take the SMEs to another level,” he said. He continued: “We understand SMEs’needs better than anybody else and clearly that informed the way we approach them. Most

‘We plan to choose three out of the whole people, and work out the modalities or logistics of the fund with them, but it is easy money. The fund will be project-based. Over 700 entries were received from entrepreneurs who also submitted proposals to the bank’

other banks don’t even focus on them. We have relationship managers focused on them.We have products that support SME operators that do not have collateral, which a lot of other banks don’t have. I think what we haven’t done well in the past is the capacity building and that is where we want to focus on now. As I said earlier, we have beaten other banks in terms of support to SMEs.” Skye Bank is also not relenting in improving the fortunes of SMEs in the country. Its General Manager, Retail Banking, Mrs. Arinola Kola-Daisi said reforms in the sector has put higher risk management plans in place to ensure that SMEs get loans and repay them promptly. She said the banking sector is well regulated now than before, making loan approval process stricter as banks no longer experiment with depositors’ funds. She said banks consider more how to improve their customer services and help emerging businesses to grow. She said the economies of the Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons of the highly free and developed Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan owe their rise to economic pre-eminence to an extent, to the existence of well-organised and efficiently run SMEs. She noted that the Tiger Club Economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, follow the same export-driven model of economic development pursued by the four dominant Asian Tigers where SMEs constitute a sizeable vehicle of bringing about development and have remained so till this day. According to her, SMEs remain a tool for employment generation and provide opportunities for entrepreneurial sourcing, training, development and empowerment. Developing nations, such as Nigeria, characterised by low income earners place value on SMEs for various reasons. SMEs have achieved decent levels of productivity, especially of capital and factors taken together while also generating relatively large amount of socio-economic development. The SMEs sector is viewed as being populated by firms most of which have growth potential.





Why public offer market is down, by SEC

ECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) has attributed the lull in the initial public offering (IPO) market to the hangover of the 2008 recession in the capital market and the stringent rules and process for floating of IPO. Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh, said the development was a global phenomenon due to depression in values of quoted equities, which discouraged entrepreneurs from floating IPOs for their firms. According to her, because the promoters have invested a lot of hard work into building their businesses, they will want to get opti-

By Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

mum values for the shares. “So, when valuation was depressed, it would have been difficult for people to come to the market. So, what we are seeing today is that people are starting to look at the market again for valuations and where they feel comfortable enough to come in. The second thing is that the process of an IPO is a very long process and one of the things that makes it different from the past in terms of IPOs is that you have to meet certain requirements like International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). So, if you were a company that was not reporting under IFRS,

you need to go and fix that first and it is very elaborate process to change from Nigerian GAP to IFRS,” Oteh said. She said the regulators were not only concerned about floating of IPOs but the quality of the offers and would ensure that companies come to the market when they are ready. She added that listing requirements which would not enable any company to come to market except the company has been in business for a long time also adversely affected the market noting that the new flexible regulations under the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) will enable emergent companies with good prospects to raise funds from the market.

She expressed optimism that the IPO market would soon pick up noting that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has become much more market-oriented and it is now prospecting for new listing. She blamed the delay in the implementation of electronic IPO on the uncooperative attitudes of market stakeholders pointing out that SEC had identified the issue of e-IPO as a major task but had to step down because of some stakeholders’ attitudes to policy formulation. “The issue about the e-IPO is a very important one, but one of the issues I recognised very quickly when I came to Nigeria is that in Nigeria when you want to do something new, you take time and consult stakeholders. Look at what you are saying about recapitalisation, the


•From left: Executive Council Member, Aishah Ahmad; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Ijeoma Idigbe; Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh; Chairperson, WIMBIZ, Osayi Alile and Guest Moderator, Mr Jimi Disu at the WIMBIZ Annual Lecture Series in Lagos.

Cadbury grows net profit by 80 per cent


ADBURY Nigeria Plc rode on the back of improved cost efficiency to optimise marginal sales increase into about 80 per cent increase in net earnings in 2013. Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of Cadbury Nigeria for the year ended December 31, last year showed that while sales rose by seven per cent, the company flattened cost of sales and operating expenses and reduced financial charges by 52 per cent. These boosted the bottomline, with pre and post tax profits rising by 38 per cent and 80 per cent respectively. Gross turnover rose from N33.55 billion in 2012 to N35.76 billion in 2013. Profit before tax increased from N5.36 billion to N7.42 billion. Profit after tax also leapt from N3.35 billion to N6.02 billion. Earnings per share thus increased from N1.07 in 2012 to N1.92 in 2013. Shareholders’ funds rose from N20.04 billion to N23.99 billion. The board of directors of the company has recommended distribution of N2.4 billion as dividends to shareholders, representing a dividend per share of N1.30. The company had paid a dividend per share of 50 kobo for the 2012 business year. Head, corporate and government affairs, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mr. Bala Yesufu, said the results further reinforced the turnaround of the company noting that the dividend recommendation should encouraged shareholders on the sustainability of the returns outlook of the company. He said the company was able to achieve what he described as fantastic results in 2013 due to cost-cutting strategies and efficiency in all its operations. According to him, the company also benefitted from excellent routeto-market initiative and singular focus of the management on the bottom-line.

•Declares N2.4b dividends “It’s a good one, if you look at where we are coming from. We started paying dividend after the hiatus with the 50 kobo we paid for the 2012 business year, so the current dividend recommendation is a significant increase in demonstration of our commitment to value creation for our shareholders,” Yesufu said. He said the company is in better stead to sustain and surpass the growth momentum in the period ahead adding that the company has the capability in terms of human resources, technologies and research and development to improve on its performance. Managing director, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mr. Emil Moskofian, recently assured that the company has adequate cash flow to sustain continuous investments in its Nigerian operations. He said the company is committed to continuous investment in its Nigerian business noting that the Cadbury Nigeria has demonstrated this commitment over its almost five decades of operations. According to him, Nigerian market, the largest in West Africa, is a very important market to Cadbury and it cherishes its long history and iconic brands. He explained that the decision on the recent capital reduction was taken because the company has surplus capital in excess of the current investment requirement and that should not be misconstrued as lack of appetite for the Nigerian market. He noted that the company has continued to surpass projections and the business is in good shape with good profit such that it can fund additional investments from its ongoing business. “We believe all the investments we want to do between two to five years

we can fund them from our current business, there is no need for us at this point to dip into that surplus cash that we are sitting on, hence the reason we looked at what to do with that cash. We went through a number of options and decided to give the surplus cash back to shareholders. That does not suggest our lack of appetite for investing in this market,” Moskofian pointed out. He added that as part of the Mondelez International, the global snack powerhouse, Cadbury Nigeria has access to many global brands and innovation, which the Nigerian business could tap on to fuel its growth going forward.

stock brokers were involved in the process, after the thing is out, there is an issue. So consultation is a big part of our culture. ‘’Last year, SEC released a statement, saying that we need to have e-dividend. Not for the benefit of the SEC but for the benefit of individual investors. Who were those who complained? It is the individual investors themselves. We were worried that we have unclaimed dividends and peoples dividends were stuck and they were not getting them, but with e-dividend they can get it directly. And the people who were supposed to receive the benefits were the ones complaining. So you take account of your environment before you embark on something,” Oteh said.

Courteville declares N71m dividend

OURTEVILLE Business Solutions Plc would distribute N71 million to shareholders as cash dividends for the 2013 business year. The Board of Directors of Courteville said they have recommended a dividend per share of two kobo to be paid to shareholders in the book of the company as at May 13, this year. The audited report and accounts of Courteville for the year ended December 31, 2013 showed that turnover rose from N1.06 billion in 2012 to N1.29 billion in 2013. Gross profit rose to N602.69 million in 2013 as against N473.69 million in 2012. Operating profit improved from N405.97 million to N445.29 million. Profit before tax closed 2013 at N403.03 million as against N374.20 million while profit after tax rose from N298.32 million to N307.80 million. Reviewing the earnings outlook of the company recently, managing director, Courteville Business Solutions Plc, Mr. Adebola Akindele, said the company is implementing a dynamic growth strategy that will increasingly diversify its business portfolios with less attention on government projects and more attention and focus on the private sector. He said that the company will soon become a major exporter of technology and business solution around the world pointing out that Courteville has the capacity and expertise to provide biometric solutions for the economic and business needs of Nigeria and Africa.

He stressed that policy makers, government institutions and private sector players need to pay attention to the business solutions that indigenous firms like Courteville have to offer the economy as it is by such opportunities that the nation can experience sustainable growth and development. He noted that his company has already applied online solution and technology towards eradicating the bottlenecks that once surrounded motor vehicle administration in Nigeria while it has also successfully exported such technology to other parts of the continent and in the Caribbean. Assuring shareholders of the company on future returns, Akindele underscored the fact that the company has been one of the companies listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) that has consistently paid dividends to its shareholders in the past three to four years consecutively. He said company has developed a marketing platform for all insurance houses to sell genuine insurance policies. According to him, most of the insurance companies in Nigeria now are already partnering with Courteville on its Auto Insure policy, which pays more claim than other third party policies. He noted that Auto Insure has created a marketing platform for insurance companies to market their insurance policies and programmes adding that the product will also automate the process of issuing motor vehicle insurance like the process of issuing motor vehicle licence.

•From left: Global Government Relations Associate Director, Sub Sahara Africa, Mrs. Tope Iluyemi; Managing Director Mr. George Nasser; Group President, CEEMEA, Mr. Laurent Philip; Vice President Namadi Sambo and Yasser Shehto, Agbara Plant Manager, at the inauguration of P&G Ultra-modern Manufacturing Plant in Agbara, Ogun State.

Newspaper of the Year




Who killed this varsity student? INSIDE

The murder of Taiwo Shittu, a 500 Level Fisheries student of the University of Ibadan, in her apartment in Ibadan (UI), three weeks ago has increased concern about security of lives and •Continued on Page 30 property across the country, writes BISI OLADELE

Life back at Abeokuta Golf Club •PAGE 32

From evangelism to bottled water •PAGE 34

Deji’s stool: Six princes, deposed monarch battle for throne •PAGE 36




Who killed this varsity student? W

HEN charming Taiwo Shittu came home early to catch a nap on Wednesday, February 19, after the day’s work, little did she know that it would be her last, as she was hacked to death with a machete in her room by an unknown assailant after being sexually assaulted. The 27-year-old, 500 Level Fisheries & Aquaculture student of the University of Ibadan (UI) lived off the campus with her elder sister around the Bola Ige International Market on New Ife Road, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Taiwo had gone to school in the morning and returned at about 2:00pm on the fateful day to take a rest after a tedious practical session with her colleagues somewhere in the city. But a yet-to-be-apprehended killer went into her room in a tworoom apartment with a cutlass and hit her on the head severally until she died in a pool of her blood one hour later. The police are still working hard to fish out her killers who are thought to have assaulted her sexually before macheting her to death. She was found naked in the room with only her underwear hanging on her thigh with blood all over her body. The cutlass was laid beside her.

Who killed Taiwo? Taiwo’s sister, who rented the tworoom apartment in the building that contains two other mini flats, gave details of the events that preceded Taiwo’s death. The woman, who did not want her name in print, recalled: “Around 7:00am on Tuesday, February 18, I

heard a knock on the gate and I attended to the man. He introduced himself as a gardener engaged by the landlord to weed the compound. So I let him in. He went to the backyard and started preparing to start work. I left home to work at 7:15am and my sister went to school. She returned around 2:00pm. I met her at home when I returned in the evening. “The following day, the gardener returned at the same time. I opened the door again and returned to my room. I went to work again at 7:15am, leaving my sister behind. At about 9:20am, I returned home. By then, Taiwo had gone to school. “Shortly after I entered, the landlord entered the compound and checked all the apartments in the compound. I came out of my apartment and greeted him. He asked if I was the only tenant left in the compound and I answered in the affirmative. I also informed him that information at my disposal suggested that another tenant had paid and would soon move in. “Then he assured me that he would soon install a pumping machine in the well. After saying that, he went out of the gate and later came in with an Aluminum technician, who had worked on the building before. He faced that man and expressed surprise that he earlier told him that another tenant had moved in. But the man said he did not know. Then all of us went out of the gate. “I asked him to give me his phone number before he left so that I can be discussing with him directly. He said he was not leaving yet but still gave me the number. He said he would hold a meeting with the agent at

about 3:00pm or 4:00pm later in the day. He discussed that over a telephone call with somebody. “Then, I withdrew into my apartment. I planned to leave for work around 2:00pm but I left before 2:00pm. I didn’t see any of them while leaving the compound. When I met my colleague at work, she asked why I left my phone at home because my sister picked it when she (my friend) called me at 2:15pm. “On getting home at about 5:30pm, I tried to open the gate but it was difficult. I eventually opened and later also opened my apartment. I thought my sister was sleeping in the room. When I went into the room, I met her naked with her underwear half removed with machete cuts on her head. “Out of fear, I ran outside the gate to the nearest building which is a Cherubim & Seraphim church, adjacent the building and raised the alarm. But they refused to follow me. They told me to invite the police. “Frustrated, I moved to another nearby building. The occupants screamed and all of them followed me into my apartment. Then I went back to work and my bosses followed me to the police station at Adelubi, behind Nigerian Breweries plant. The case was later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CID), based on request by the University of Ibadan (UI).” She described her sister as “very gentle, cool and easy-going.” The bereaved said that the landlord sometimes visits the building. The Oyo State Police Command has since arrested the landlord and the gardener. It was learnt that the cut-

The killing last Thursday of a teenager by men of the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) in Ado-Ekiti has added to allegations of extrajudicial killings by the police in Ekiti State, writes SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN


HEN four armed policemen besieged a building Ilaja, Ojumose in AdoEkiti, the Ekiti State capital, at about 12noon last Thursday, the residents knew there was trouble and before long, they got it in full. Wielding guns and looking menacing, the policemen from the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the State Police Command barged into the house shouting: “Where is he? Where is he?” They moved from one room to another, forcing doors open to see if anyone occupied any of the rooms, a task they were said to have found easy as the doors were made of weak wooden planks. The armed men were closely followed by a man popularly known in the area as Baba White. Fortunately for them, they found a boy, Oluwaseun Awoyemi, reclining on a mat in one of the rooms. Without asking further questions and caring little if he was the one they were seeking, they went for him, held him by his trousers, dragged him out of the room and dealt him blows perhaps, as he had never received in his entire 18-year of existence. The band of four armed men and one unarmed man were not alone. Now, with them were two elderly women, one in her late seventies; the other in her early sixties, and one heavily pregnant young woman who were all pleading with them. But their pleas counted for nothing.

Eye witness accounts maintained that they insisted Seun must follow them to the ‘station’ for a reason they refused to disclose. According to the accounts, the boy was able to wrest himself free from their grips after a while and ran into another room but was followed by one of the two elderly women who, following the refusal of the policemen to listen to their pleas, now turned to him appealing that he should follow them (police) with assurance that they would meet him at the police station. But, before Seun consented to the appeal, guns rang from two sources: one from the entrance to the room and another from the window. The boy, now riddled with bullets, fell, soaked in his own blood; the other woman who was with him was shot in her two hands. She came out shouting ‘they have shot us.’ Where she was coming from now laid the corpse of the boy that would not need to go to the station again: Seun was dead.

How it all started At about 9am earlier that day, according to Seun’s grandmother, Mrs. Abigael Awoyemi, the man called Baba White had come to their house, seeking to know who had beaten his son and after some threats, a boy called Taiye confessed to have done it. “Although, we appealed to him, he still gave that boy some slaps to

satisfy himself,” Mrs. Awoyemi said. She spoke further: “We all thought it had ended there. Surprisingly, about two hours later, he appeared with the police who looked fearful, pointing guns everywhere and forcing doors open. My son just finished eating and lying down in his room there. They went in, held him by his trousers and dragged him out. “We even asked Baba White whether Seun was the one that beat his son, he did not reply me till now. He was watching the whole scene. And I appealed to the boy to follow them (the police). My son refused. Suddenly, he freed himself and ran into another room. I followed him inside the room, begging that he should follow them. Surprisingly, they followed him. My sister was the one who had gone inside with my son into the room earlier, saying he should follow them. “Not long after they were inside, and while my sister was still begging Seun, we heard the gunshots. My sister ran out, showing her hands where they shot her. I rushed inside and met my son, lying in the pool of his blood. I started crying: ‘they have killed my son, they have killed my son.’ “Immediately they shot him, they left. Four of them and just a few minutes later, they came back, this time around, they numbered about six. I was still with him, crying. This was a boy I have been nursing since he was

lass that the gardener was using was the same found beside Taiwo’s corpse. Narrating his ordeal, the landlord, Mr Oyawola Lawrence denied any involvement in the sad incident. The 65-year old retiree said: ”On February 18, I gave the gardener a clearing job in my yard. I have always engaged him for the job. So he is used to the premises. “There is a carpenter I have mobilised to fix the doors with an advance payment of N35,000. That same morning, he went from

home to the site. I told the carpenter I was coming to pay him. The house is managed by an agent. “That 19th, (following day) Taiwo’s sister came out when we were there and we discussed. I promised to buy another pumping machine. She collected my phone number, saying the agent was not treating them well. Then I left with the carpenter after noon. “Later in the evening somebody called me that something happened in my house, adding that the landlords (in the area) had gone to lodge

... And this one and a half years. He never hurt anyone. His father is my first son. When they came back, they carried him away and we later learned he was taken to the State Police Command.” A statement by the police later confirmed that Seun’s corpse had been deposited at the mortuary of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital. The Police Public Relations Officer, Victor Babayemi said investigation was ongoing and no arrest has been made.

Why was Seun killed? Residents of the area, especially neighbours could not adduce any reason why anyone let alone the police would kill Seun. According to some of them, the boy was apparently killed by the police for “no just cause.” •The late Seun One neighbour told The Nation that: “Seun was a model laying. child in this area. He was humble, “Apart from that, there is no job he obedient and hardworking. When he was not doing. See all the Igbo people did not want to school again, he selling on the road, Seun would go stopped and started learning brick- there and help them offload their




SOUTHWEST REPORT Taiwo was a very quiet person, disciplined and principled. She was not a trouble maker. She would come to the class and greet everybody. She was very brilliant. When the lecturer was dictating, it was her note people used to borrow to fill in the gaps

a report at the police station. When policemen came, they could not gain access into the room because the door to the room was locked. They went back and got instruction to force it open. Then we saw the body. “The agent, two landlords and I went to the police station. The police said they learnt that somebody was cutting grass in the house. We made statements. They took the gardener to the house to show them where he kept the cutlass. He showed them but I don’t know the location. When we were leaving that day, policemen

asked me to leave my number and I did. Then, on Saturday, they phoned and asked me to report at their station on Monday, 24th. “I have never met the girl in question. I only met the sister that day. I only said I would meet the agent in the evening to talk about how to buy pumping machine and I didn’t go back there that day.” The gardener, who simply identified himself as Azeez, is an imbecile. The 33-year old accused the landlord of killing Taiwo but his claims were full of contradictions and inco-

herent. While the Police are working on other leads that could help track down Taiwo’s killers, her classmates recalled a dutiful and easy-going friend. One of her closest friends, Dorcas Awosemo, described Taiwo as “cool, calm and easy-going.” She said: “We were very close and we’ve been relating since 100 Level. I don’t even know how to describe her. She was so cool, calm and easy going. I miss everything about her meekness, gentleness - I miss every-

teenager ‘ Seun was a model child in this area. He was humble, obedient and hardworking. There is no job he was not doing. See all the Igbo people selling on the road, Seun would go there and help them offload their goods. Call him any time he was there, easy going

goods. Call him any time he was there, easy going. Tell him to borrow you some money, he would always give you. He would go for bricklaying in the morning and in

the evening when you expect him to rest, he would join other boys to offload trucks out there. That was his life.

Other victims of the development There were other victims of the attack according to one Mr. Peter Olaseinde. He said a 15-year-old boy popularly called Small, who also lived in the area was equally beaten and brutalised, after which they arrested him. “Small was also arrested too. They hit him on the head with the butt of their gun. Blood was coming out of his head. Yet, they arrested him. He is now in police station. They took him to the police headquarters. Another victim was the heavily pregnant Fatima, who was among those who pleaded for mercies from the invading band. The incident left her traumatised leading to her having a miscarriage and lying critically ill at the hospital. She managed to speak with The Nation: “Soon after the ordeal, around 2pm that day, the children started struggling inside and I was rushed to the hospital. When the doctor and the nurses saw that I was dying they forced me to have the children. But one was already dead. Supporting Fatima, a nurse at the hospital confirmed, “If the deliv-

thing about her. I miss her indeed.” She recalled that they went for a practical work at a stream in Ikolaba, area of the city, adding that they planned to meet the following day. “I was in the library. I couldn’t even believe it when Jumoke told me. She received a message. Immediately I saw her shaking, her hand was shaking and I asked her what happened. So she now showed me the message. I think it was a message on Whatsapp. I saw that Taiwo was murdered. I couldn’t believe it. I said it can’t be. I think the day the incident happened we went for a group assignment. So we both departed from Sango and I sent my regards to her sister and we planned to meet on Friday because that was on Wednesday so that we can finalise the practical assignment. Hearing the news on Thursday, that she had been murdered, it was unbelievable. “Taiwo was always available and whatever she found doing, she did. She was very good. She participated in the assignment. She was even the group leader. After the whole assignment when we were going, we were joking, smiling and not knowing that would be the end.” To Dorcas, the most striking qualities Taiwo possessed was dedication and discipline. Another close friend of the de-

ceased, Olajumoke Akanmu recalled that she saw her a day before she was hacked to death. She said: “We had a class and we were given assignment. It was a practical assignment and she was the leader of her group and I was the leader of my group. So we discussed on how we were going to do the assignment. She told her group mates that they would be meeting the following day and that assignment was to look for a river. So I was even telling her they can use the river in Orogun for their own assignment. On that day, she even called me. She called to know if I had the equipment to be used for the assignment. That was my last encounter with her, it was on Wednesday, she called me in the morning. “Taiwo was a very quiet person, disciplined and principled. She was not a trouble maker. She would come to the class and greet everybody. She was very brilliant. When the lecturer was dictating, it was her note people used to borrow to fill in the gaps. “My friend was very caring, very nice. Because we were in the same group for the pro ITP, we went to Niger State together. We used to do things together. We cooked together. We would go to market, lectures and everything like that together. She was ready to assist and help any time.”

would never see the baby. Opeyemi said her husband had suggested that the two of them relocate to Lagos, promising to take care of her. “I saw him last in the night of Wednesday. He said we should be going to Ekon in Kwara State or Lagos. He was from Ekon. I said I won’t go with him as I don’t have any one there. He gave me N170 being the only money on him. I am pregnant for him now. Where is the father, in the mortuary,” Opeyemi said.

all mobile police officers. They fired tear gas into our house and arrested me and my friend, Gbenga Alese. They never took me to court. They also arrested my wife, Busayo. We spent 36 days in the cell. When they liked, they released me.

Tales of similar brutalities by the police

•Mrs Lucia Afolayan, victim ery was not induced, the second child and Fatima would have died as well. Fatima said one of the attackers pushed her.”

Seun’s wife just got pregnant The Nation learnt that Seun, whose wife Oyewole Opeyemi is pregnant had been preparing for the arrival of the baby who he had boasted would be a male. Unfortunately, he

Azeez Alese, who claimed to have been brutalised alongside his wife and a friend said “even those alive don’t get justice let alone the dead. Alese, who lives in the same area recalled that eight mobile police officers came to arrest him with his wife and a friend on October 15, 2013, while he was eating in his room on Sallah Day last year. “I was not around when some boys fought. I came round to eat in the afternoon. They (the police) came numbering eight. They were

The interventions in the case The Nation learnt that the state government has ordered investigation into the incident, insisting that the culprits must be brought to justice. Also, the Legal Aid Council had also reportedly intervened to ensure adequate legal support was given to the family should the case be taken to court. But the father of the slain teenager, Dele Adebayo Awoyemi, had lost all hope of getting justice for his son, saying, “What did they say my son did. Was he caught robbing on the highway? Just last month, I wanted to take him to my farm. But, I thought my mother would need him. He was not even up to two years when she (the mother) took charge of his upkeep. Mama’s efforts have gone to waste. Any possibility that the culprits, in the latest extra-judicial killing, will be caught and made to face justice? Azeez Alese said, “such things do not happen in Nigeria. You will hear that the police have done this, they have done that, but that will be all. Remember, they shot and killed a girl in Orin, in 2011 and in 2012, they killed another boy in Ilupeju. Have you heard of developments in respect of those cases again, impossible?”






•Abeokuta Golf Club


T occupies about 75 hectares of land, hilly and undulated. Luscious greenery. It is tucked inside the serene forest of Oke-Mosan, free of noise from human activities and almost overlooking the new secretariat of the Ogun State government. Birds chirp endlessly on tree branches. At one end of it are patches water, glittering from the blazing sun and which someone familiar with the area identified as an artificial lake. Welcome to the Abeokuta Golf Club, the largely elite resort and sports ground. Life is back at the facility in its full swing as the original owners take control, after many years of being plagued by puzzling controversies. Notable Nigerians, military brass, including Senate President David Mark and General Domkat Bali (rtd), have played golf there. It has hosted also the late foremost nationalist Pa Peter Enahoro. It is the training ground for Nigeria’s number one professional golfer and the first Nigerian to play at the US Golf Open championship, Lasisi Lateef. When in January 1987, it opened its gate to the public for use as a resort of sort and light sporting activity, it was pride of place and article of common heritage, particularly for the residents of the state capital who cherish golfing. At its take-off, the club had the late Col. Agunbiade Lawal as first Captain. Mr Segun Oluwaseye served as the secretary to oversee its affairs. Its annual general meetings, at which new officers were elected, were observed unhindered after Col. Lawal, the late Ayo Obaseki and the late Chief Siji Koku had equally manned the saddle as captains between 1988 and 1990. But soon got mired in contro-

Life back at Abeokuta Golf Club as original owners regain control By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

versy over how to elect a successor when the tenure of Mr Segun Oluwaseye (Captain) and Dr. Boye Okuboye (Secretary) lapsed in 1991. The Nation gathered that since that time, things began to go awry with the club. It began when a Caretaker Committee, headed by the late Apagun Oluwole Olumide, allegedly overstayed its tenure of six months by over 18 months, coupled with moves made to change the name of the club to Abeokuta Golf International Limited(AGIL). The club has had to contend with controversies than harmony, since then resulting from the running of the facility which was largely a oneman affair under late Olumide, who was also believed to have invested his time and some resources into the club. The Nation gathered that at a time, the Certificate of Occupancy of the land hosting the club was equally mired in a controversy. The founding members alleged that the C of O was substantially altered five months after it was signed by Chief Segun Osoba on October 29, 1992, thus rendering it “invalid.” The late Apagun Olumide was even accused of tampering with the original concept of the club house, which resulted in legal battle at the

time, and it was learnt that the late Olumide later began to manage the facility in the name of Golf Resort Plc. Expectedly, some of the founding members who were not happy with the situation elected to stay away with the attendant dwindling of membership strength and patronage of the facility. But in June 2011, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, on his first working day barely 24 hours after being sworn into office, ordered caterpillar into the Abeokuta Golf Club, where it found an ‘unwanted structure’ - a storey building, within the premises and flattened the building in less than an hour. The demolished building touched off another controversy between the then new administration of Amosun and Abeokuta Golf Resort where Olumide, who joined the Abeokuta Golf Club in 1991, was until his death, the chairman. The government had claimed it brought down the building because it was an “illegal structure” as it contravened an order served on the owners since October 24, 2010, during the era of Governor Gbenga Daniel. According to Amosun’s administration, the ‘illegal’ structure was not part of the Golf Course as it was 3,000 metres away from it. Besides, fearing that espionage

activities could possibly be carried out from the controversial building against government’s interest by foes, it further reckoned that ”somebody can stay inside the structure and view the activities inside the secretariat. This ordinarily constitutes a security threat to government and we do not think there is anywhere in the world where government would tolerate a private building standing so close to its headquarters which normally houses the most important government documents.” But before his death, late Olumide said the building was pulled down out of “vendetta” and also a deliberate ploy by the government to spite him and other share holders of the company.

According to him, the building was included in the parcel of land allocated to Abeokuta Golf International in 1992, with a Certificate of Occupancy No. 01825, dated January 1, 1992, and signed by Chief Segun Osoba, the then governor of the state. In Olumide’s reckoning, the administrative procedures leading to obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy began in 1991, by the then Navy Captain O. O. Joseph, who succeeded Chief Osoba’s administration, with a view to repositioning the project into a world class golf resort facility to be promoted and funded by the private sector. But while the controversy over the demolished building was yet to fizzle out, Olumide died one

After much hitches, at the end of it all, the club is returned to the original owners. Golf is a game of the mind and those who love golf now come to this place. And we would continue to improve on what we have to make the facility attractive and enjoyable to golfers

evening. His body was found inside an artificial lake within the Golf Club and at a time no other person was around. His remains were recovered the following day. Although an autopsy was carried out on his body to determine the cause of death, the result has not been made public to enable anxious residents of Abeokuta know what happened. However, the state government has since 2012, retrieved the property/club from the late Olumide and handed it over to the surviving founding members and others to manage in public trust. Today, the 27-year-old club faces a brighter future. Calm and orderliness prevail while monthly internal competitions are observed to enable members’ handicap to be exposed, tested and adjusted. One of the founding members, a business tycoon, Chief Akin Akande, told The Nation that after “much hitches”, which he said are not peculiar to Abeokuta Golf Club, the facility has returned to originals owners to manage. Akande said the last two competitions that took place there in 2012 and 2013, drew players from sister clubs - Ikoyi, Ikeja, Sagamu, Ewekoro, among others, who participated with trophies and other prizes carted away by winners. He said: “After much hitches, at the end of it all, the club is returned

to the original owners. Golf is a game of the mind and those who love golf now come to this place. And we would continue to improve on what we have to make the facility attractive and enjoyable to golfers.” Also, the Vice-Chairman of the Club, Dr. Tayo Apampa, said things are looking up at the facility as well as the membership strength since the state government handed over the place back to them in 2012. Apampa, who is the proprietor of Korede Hospitals, Abeokuta, said aside the fact that a lot of improvements are going on at the club coupled with the series of golf tournaments that took place there recently, kind hearted individuals and corporate organisations have equally expressed interest in sponsoring worthwhile activities at the club. Apampa said: ”The horizon is bright, the government returned the club to the original owners in 2012 and instructed that the Board of Trustees (BoT) should be registered. That has been done. If you check the club’s notice board, you will see the laminated certificate of Board of Trustees and so, we now have a registered Board of Trustees. “The BoT have been working with the Working Committee to organise series of tournaments, a lot of greens have been constructed,

and we have donors who sponsored the greens. Recently too, Otunba Olusola Adekanola, was invited to the club and the club house renamed after him. “He has committed himself to several improvements going on in the club, the enlargement of the greens, improvement of the club house and sponsoring of monthly competition.” The seasoned physician noted that what makes the Abeokuta Golf

Club course stand out among others are the challenges it pose to players as evidence in the gradient and topography of its course. “One of the things people consider about golf course is the challenges it present. We have as members some people that are 82, 75, 70-year old respectively. “They all walk at the 18 Hole Course and when you do that you must be assured of your physical fitness. The gradients of the course

are the challenges, but at Abeokuta Golf Course, the challenges are the topography.” According to him, no fewer than 90 persons are now members of the club, including 82-year old Justice Ademola Bakre (retd), who doubled as its chairman, while Proam (Professional-Amateur) competition are expected to be held at the facility later this year under the sponsorship of Otunba Olusola Adekanola.




•From left: Osun State Director of SON, Engr. Dele Ayeni; Chief Jimoh Buraimoh; Chief Olajide Oyewole; Chief Adebayo Ajagbe and the Diocese Bishop, Rt. Rev. James Popoola at the programme

•The bottle water

From evangelism to bottled water T

HE Diocese of Osun of The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), seems to be doing more than evangelism and winning souls for Christ. It has gone into a commercial venture to oil the throats and stomach of the people so to speak with the production of bottle water named Aquados. The journey to the water business began in January 2010, when the Diocesan board under the leadership of the Bishop, Rt. Rev. James Afolabi Popoola, resolved to invest in some key areas of economy in order to among other things generate more fund for the smooth running of the Diocese. Other reasons adduced for venturing into bottling water for sale include creating job opportunity for some unemployed youths and provision of neat and high quality water products, hygienically

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

produced in a neat environment for members of the public. The water factory located within the Bishop’s Court at Isale-Aro, Osogbo, commenced full operation in November 2010, as a subsidiary of the Osun Diocese Investment Company Limited. It was commissioned by the Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori on October 9, 2010. To make the business run smoothly, a nine member, board of directors was set up to look after the affairs of the factory. The directors, who are successful professionals and business men and members of the Anglican Church in the Diocese include, Chief Jimoh Buraimoh, Chief J. O. Oyayinka, Engr. Seye Adepoju,

Council promises peopleoriented programmes


INDFUL of the need to further enhance both social and health needs of residents of his council area, Chairman, Oriade Local Council Development Area, Hon. Ibrahim Babatunde Sanusi has said the focus of his administration this fiscal year is to ensure that policies and programmes that would touch the lives of the people in more rewarding ways are evolved. He also promised that his administration will complete all ongoing projects both at the riverside and upland areas of the council before the end of the year. Hon. Sanusi made the promises after he and Leader of the council’s Legislative arm, Hon. Akeem Agbelega signed the 2014 budget proposal of N2,290,000,000 into law at the council’s secretariat. He said his administration remains committed to improving the well-being of the people, adding that the council will embark on more people-oriented projects this fiscal year. “Any part of the council that never benefited from our development drives would get one development project or the other,” he said. Expressing his happiness over the successful signing into law the budget proposal, Hon. Sanusi thanked members of the legislative arm for their speedy and critical approach

Mr. Tunji Adeleke, Mr. Ajayi Oladipo, Mr. Pade Odedele and Rev. Moses Badejo, who serves as the General Manager of the factory. Apart from obtaining an ap-

proval of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to validate the quality of its production, the factory’s 75 and 50cl table water have also been certified by the

The investment employs 18 workers who, according to him, are well paid. He said the factory’s products would soon be sold outside Osun State as the management is already discussing with customers in the northern part of the country

Standard Organisation of Nigeria, a development that was celebrated at the Diocese. At a ceremony to present the SON certificate the Bishop, Rt. Rev. Popoola, disclosed that the factory was being patronised by corporate organisations, including hotels, canteens and eateries and Anglican Church members. Presenting the certificate, the Osun State Director of the agency, Engr. Dele Ayeni, said they are satisfied with the company’s standard, operation and products. The General Manager of the factory, Rev. Badejo, disclosed that the investment employs 18 workers who, according to him, are well paid. He said the factory’s products would soon be sold outside Osun State as the management is already discussing with customers in the northern part of the country.

By Duro Babayemi

to the budget proposal by the executive arm, saying it was an indication of their individual and collective commitment to the progress of the council. He said, the budget estimate comprises capital expenditure of 55 per cent and recurrent expenditure of 45 per cent, noting that his administration is committed to completing all ongoing infrastructural projects before the end of this tenure. On implementation of the budget estimate, the council chief noted that the council recorded about 95 per cent success in implementing last year’s budget, even as he promised that his administration intends to surpass that record this fiscal year. He said that as the level of government that is closest to the people, the local government system strives towards improving the well-being of the people. The local government, he said, takes care of the needs of the people at the grassroots by providing the muchneeded necessities of life, emphasising that “all efforts made by the council are geared towards improving the lot of the people.” “We have to provide good and motorable roads, healthcare cen-

Hon. Sanusi (second right) and Hon. Agbelega (in white) during the presentation of the council’s budget. With them are the Secretary to the local government Hon. Kareem Sunmola (right) and Deputy Leader of the Legislative arm, Hon Aregbe Saliu (left). tres, water, rural electricity, schools established such in six out of the mind the yearnings and aspirations and well equipped libraries and seven wards in the council. Before of the people. welfare for the senior and retired we leave office, the seventh one “As their representatives, our citizens. will be established. This adminis- duty is to give them the best which “Our commitment to the health tration will ensure that by May, all has been captured in every aspect of the people, especially those of the primary health centres must be of the budget presented to the legwomen and children, is such that functional,” he said. islative arm by the executive for the council has decided to site priCommenting on the budget esti- scrutiny. I, therefore, advise that mary healthcare centres in each of mate, the Leader of the Legislative the budget estimate should be juthe wards in the council. We are de- arm of the council, Hon. Agbelega diciously implemented so that at termined to achieve this because the thanked the executive arm for pro- the end of our tenure, we will be tenure of this administration is posing a non-cumbersome budget proud to say we have all done our about coming to an end. We have as, he said, the executive had in best for our communities,” he said.



SOUTHWEST REPORT Lawmaker empowers 500 in Ikorodu By Wale Ajetunmobi


HE Ikorodu Town Hall, last weekend, came alive with political activities. Before a large crowd of residents and the All Progressive Congress (APC) leaders, member representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Abike DabiriErewa, donated various items, including cash and equipment to empower hundreds of people in her constituency. Visibly excited by the gesture, the beneficiaries, among who were physically-challenged person, were full of prayers to the lawmaker, praising her for giving them opportunity to be useful in the society. The beneficiaries beamed with smile as they stepped forward to receive the items from the former Lagos Deputy Governor, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, who chaired the occasion. Ogunleye advised the recipients to make good use of the items to justify the lawmaker’s confidence in them. Other dignitaries at the event included the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba S.A Oyefusi, represented by Olori Taibat Oyefusi, Ranodu of Imota, Oba Ajibade Agoro, former Secretary to Lagos State Government, Chief Olorunfunmi Basorun, member representing Ikorodu constituency II in Lagos House of Assembly, Hon Sinai Agunbiade and Iya Kalo Kalo. To the lawmaker, empowerment of constituents should be a continuous programme for elected officers to reduce poverty in the society. Hon. Dabiri-Erewa, who noted that the empowerment programme was the biggest she had held, said: “We were surprised with the kind of assistance people needed when we received requests from people that filled the empowerment forms. We found out that some people just want to sell soft drinks, some want to sell beers, while some just needed wheel barrows to make a living.” She added: “Through my party, the APC, we want to help the people of Ikorodu, especially the women, no matter how small. The idea is just to have a positive impact on the lives of our people here in Ikorodu. And we want you to know that APC is the party that cares about the wellbeing of the people irrespective of race or religion. The lawmaker, who said she could not quantify the amount she spent on the empowerment programme, said the event was about touching the lives of the people she is representing. “I cannot calculate how much we spent to do this empowerment. I don’t even want to bring it down to naira and kobo, but the most important thing is that we must touch the lives of people that voted for us,” she said. Basorun, who described the lawmaker as people’s true representative, said he was gladdened that Ikorodu people supported Hon. Dabiri Erewa to represent them at the National Assembly. He said the lawmaker’s periodic empowerment and her decision not to abandon the people at the time of need was an indication that Ikorodu possessed people who could govern the state. He said: “It gladdens my heart that this empowerment programme is taking place at a time when poverty is wrecking havoc in the society. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has shown to us that elected officials don’t have to run away from the people, who voted them in. We are here today because we want to leave Ikorodu better than we met it. She has performed and carried people along. We are happy that the people’s support for Abike Erewa is not misplaced.”

•One of the markets in Ibadan


HESE are hard times for residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital who have had to go without fish in their diet for some time now due to a sudden sharp increase in the prices of the food item, which serves as their major source of protein. When they first noticed the price increase about four months ago, most residents, especially housewives thought it was temporary, probably caused by unscrupulous traders, who created artificial scarcity to force the price up. But they were wrong, the price hike seems to be here to stay as the prices have continued to soar reaching an all time high A carton of sardine fish that used to sell for between N3,000 to N4,000 few months ago now sells for N9,000, while a packet of mackerel fish sold at N5,000 not too long ago now sells for N8,000. Also, a sizeable mackerel fish that sold for N150 before the hike is now N300, while one sardine fish which was formerly sold at N90 is now N150. The development has left both the sellers and buyers lamenting, wondering what has happened to the only commodity described as the “poor man’s food.” And they are worried that in the absence of fish in their diet, what becomes of the common man, who could not afford beef or goat meat. There were very few traders, who could afford to sell the commodity, while many consumers seeking to buy fish could not buy them because they could not afford the price. At the various markets visited in Ibadan and environs, many consumers could not explain the reasons for the increase in the price. At Dugbe, Oje, Bodija, Apata, Omi-Adio and Mokola, Ibadan markets the situation was the same. Those who have great taste for fish were found groaning and lamenting the situation. In fact, not even some fish depot operators could adduce reasons for the price increase which has caused many fish traders to abandon the once bubbling business. It took them up to one month before they learnt of a government restriction on fish import, which explains the scarcity and the attendant price increase. Initially, there was mass protest in Ibadan among fish sellers against the import restriction. This was later followed by a strike action which lasted for about three weeks, without drawing the sympathy of people in the corridors of power.

Ibadan fish consumers, mongers protest import ban The Federal Government’s restriction on fish imports is causing a lot of hardship for sellers and consumers in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as prices of this main source of essential protein for the people have gone up almost beyond their reach. OSEHEYE OKWUOFU reports.

•Mrs. Serifatu Oladimeji

•Sariyu Bolaji

Noticing that their protests have fallen on deaf ears, the aggrieved traders after some time decided to call off their strike when they could not sustain the action and went back to their shops. Describing the situation as unacceptable, one of the leaders of fish traders in Ibadan, Mrs Serifatu Oladimeji, who has her shop at OmiAdio market said, it took the traders weeks before they were informed that there was restriction on fish importation into the country. “Such uninformed decision by the government was not only wrongly conceived, but the way it was planned was also wrong. I felt we are the stakeholders I mean the traders, the people, the consumers and the depot operators and so on.

“Before implementing such a policy, the government should ensure that all stakeholders were carried along. Besides, before restricting the importation of such an essential commodity, the government should have thought of a possible replacement or an alternative to cushion the effect on the consuming populace. It shows the kind of leaders that we have at the helm of affairs. Are they really responsible to the people, and whose interest are they even protecting?” Mrs Afolabi Abosede, a consumer asked. In her argument, Mrs Sariyu Bolaji, another fish seller at Omi-Adio market described the restriction as antipeople, noting that such a staple diet common among the poor should not be restricted at all no matter what it

takes the government. She said since the crisis in the fish industry, many Nigerians hardly eat food with anything because they cannot afford to buy meat. “You know, our common food here in Yorubaland is Amala (yam powder), Lafun (cassava powder) and Iyan (pounded yam). And we can’t eat this without a good soup cooked with fish because that is what majority can afford. “And when there is fish in the soup our belief is that we have a complete diet and good food. Although, we can add ponmo (cow skin) if we like, but fish is what majority will not do without,” she said. Another fish seller Mrs Sadia Wasiu, appealed to the Federal Government to reverse its decision on the restriction, adding, that Nigeria was not ripe for such an action. Sadia further called for government incentives for local fish producers so that there will be enough local production before placing restriction on fish import. At an interactive session with some stakeholders last week in Abuja, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, defended government’s decision on fish import, stating that Nigeria spends an estimated N125.38billion on fish importation annually. The minister, who promised to reposition the fishery sector with a view to achieving fish sufficiency said that current situation in the sector is totally unacceptable. “Nigeria spends an estimated N125.38 billion importing fish every year,” the minister said. He further explained that total demand for fish in Nigeria is 2.7million MT but Nigeria is producing about 800,000 MT locally with the deficit of 1.9million MT being met by imports.





IX princes of the Osupa ruling house and the deposed Deji of Akure have entered the race to succeed the late paramount ruler of Akure land, Oba Adebiyi Adesida Afunbiowo, who joined his ancestors on December 1, 2013. The battle for the Deji’s stool is, however, causing crisis among the princes and princesses of Osupa ruling house, whose turn it is to ascend the throne. The royal family has broken into two with different set of leaders, each calling for expression of interest from any of their princes to become the next Deji of Akure. Following the passing on of Oba Adebiyi Adesida, his first daughter Princess Adetutu Adesida, has been installed as the regent in accordance with tradition a position she would hold until the next Oba is installed. There are two ruling houses recognised by law that can produce the Deji of Akure - Ojijigogun and Osupa. Late Oba Adebiyi Adesida came from Ojijigogun ruling house, hence the turn of Osupa ruling house to produce the next monarch of Akure land. Although, the Lisa of Akure Kingdom (Prime Minister), High Chief James Olusoga, in a recent chat with The Nation said succession to the Deji’s stool had not fully started, he stressed that it is the ruling house, whose turn it is to produce the next monarch that has the major responsibility of selection, after which the kingmakers will ratify. He pointed out that there is no time limit for the regent to be on the throne, saying if it took five weeks or five years for the ruling house concerned to be ready with the list of the contestants to the throne, the kingmakers would wait for them and will only do all other traditional rites including the consultation of Ifa oracle to pick the best from among the princes presented to them. The Ojijigogun ruling house had dominated the throne for more than 100 years aside the short reign of the deposed Oludare Adesina, between November 2005 to 2010 (five years), who is from the Osupa ruling house. He was accused of assaulting his wife publicly and was dethroned by the state government, though the deposed monarh denied the act. The six princes jostling for the

Deji’s stool: Six princes, deposed monarch battle for throne

•Princess Adetutu Adesida, Akure Regent From Damisi Ojo, Akure

throne for now are Wole Aladetoyinbo (US-based businessman), Kayode Adegbite (Akure businessman), Oluwole Ogunsuyi (Commissioner in Ondo State Judicial Commission), Femi Adejuyigbe (Akure saw miller), retired Air Commodore Leye Alabi (Lagos Businessman) and Kayode Abewajoye (popular television presenter with OSRC). However, the deposed Adesina,

who is presently in United Kingdom (UK), is also fighting hard to return to the throne. Already, he had urged the Appeal Court to restrain Akure Kingmakers and the Ondo State government from filling the vacant stool in the ancient town. Adesina had approached the Court to plead that his case and application for relief which were struck out by an Akure High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi, should be re-listed in the

court list. The respondents in the suit are Governor Olusegun Mimiko, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Akure Chiefs and Late Oba Adebiyi Adesida. Lawyers including Olalekan Ojo, Folorunso Ahmed and Olaniran Oladapo appeared for the Appellant, while F. A. Salami and Kayode Dare appeared for the Respondents. At the recent session, none of the Appellant and Respondents appeared in person before the court. The absence by the respondents was said to have been prompted by the death of the late Oba Adesida. Counsel to the chiefs, Kayode Dare pleaded that four of his clients (kingmakers) are dead and therefore nobody could appear for them until the stools are filled with new chiefs. Earlier, counsel to Adesina had prayed the court to extend the time within which to compile and transmit the record of appeal for proper transmission of the case. In her ruling, the presiding Judge, Denton West, ruled in favour of the deposed monarch, stressing that the counsel to the parties should choose a date and notify the court. According to her, the counsels should let the dead be and those alive should move ahead with the case. She added that the dead could not stop the case from being decided, urging both appellant and respondents to settle with concerned parties in order to restore peace. Justice West observed that if they should continue to pursue the case, it might take longer than expected especially now that no date has been fixed for hearing and the development might affect the processes for the installation of new Deji. In the crisis rocking the Osupa ruling house, the former Dr. Adebimpe Ogunleye and his secretary, Adebanjo Adeleye were reportedly removed at one of the royal house’s general meeting held

on January 26. A member of the House, Toyin Aladetoyinbo, in a statement said a new head of the family and the secretary have been appointed and gave the names of Bishop Aladeyeye Aladegbaye and Michael Adeniyan as the new head of the family and sSecretary respectively. However, it was the sacked Ogunleye’s leadership faction that released the names of the contestants who filled the forms of intent for the vacant stool of Deji of Akure. But Aladetoyinbo has described Ogunleye’s action as null and void, since its leadership had been removed by the Osupa ruling house. According to him, any contestant to the Deji’s stool that obtained forms or wrote letter of intent to Ogunleye leadership was doing so at his own risk. Meanwhile, in an effort to ensure reconciliation within its ranks the ruling house has set up a committee headed by the Olu of Ilu-Abo and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae to settle the dispute within the royal house. Other members of the Committee include former Commissioner for Information in the state, Prince Olu Adegboro, Adeuya Oluwatuyi, Kayode Ajomale, Adebanjo Adeleye and two other personalities. In a chat with the new secretary of Osupa ruling house, Mr. Adeniyan said the leadership of Bishop Aladeyeye has been approved to run the affairs of the ruling house. According to him, the ruling house at its meeting in Akure at the weekend sent a letter to Governor Olusegun Mimiko to give a directive to Aladeleye’s leadership to commence various processes leading to the filing of the vacant Deji’s stool. A source within the Osupa family, who spoke in confidence on the chances of the deposed Adesina returning to the throne he forcefully vacated said this could only be possible if his banishment was lifted by the state government. Meanwhile, the regent, Princess Adetutu is intensifying efforts to ensure peaceful kingdom while her reign lasted.

Budgeting for more development


E has a budget of over N1 billion for the year but beyond the cash, chairman of Ikeja Local Government Area, Lagos, Hon. Wale Odunlami has an iron-cast will to make the Lagos State capital better than ever before. Presenting the expenditure estimates to the legislative arm of the council, the chairman said his sole aim is to provide more infrastructures which will further boost the living standards of the residents. Odunlami also stressed that his administration will transform the education, health, and agriculture sectors, among others. The council leadership has tackled pressing challenges, some of which are roads, health facilities and school infrastructures. For instance, the administration has rehabilitated the Oba Akran Road as well the Otigba Street, Computer Village and contained flooding by constructing drainages and culverts to channel off water in low-lying areas. The health profile of the area has been boosted with the completion of a primary health centre at Obafemi Awolowo Way and Onilekere. Public schools at Ikeja area, classroom furniture including desks and benches have been provided.

By Emmanuel Udodinma

The administration equally moved to enhance sanitation and healthy living by building prototype public toilets facilities. Pupils are regularly assisted with free aids, including power-generating sets, computers and exercise books. Every year, free GCE and JAMB forms are given to candidates. Security is also improved by providing the police with logistics support. The recently inaugurated multistorey building with 300 units of shops at Obafemi Awolowo Way has provided traders better options. So, have the 150 units of stalls at Onipetesi night market. But, Hon. Odunlami said the budget of transformation will be his financial instrument to further improve the living standards of the people in the council, in the 2014 fiscal year. Part of the expenditure estimates, he said, will be devoted to capital bills, overheads, and personnel wages, among others, but the council chairman added that his administration is determined to do more for the people this year. He appreciated the legislative arm of the council for the subsist-

ing support his administration has received from the council lawmakers, which he said has helped driving growth in the council. The budget presentation coincided with a boost in school infrastructure in the council, as the Odunlami administration provided educational and other instructional materials to school pupils. The council handed out exercise books, pens and other writing materials to pupils during the annual Quiz Spelling Bee competition. The gesture was part of the education development project aimed to promoting unity among contestants and schools, identifying career prospects in the pupils, inspiring the young ones to cultivate the habit of healthy competition through intellectual, mental and physical contests. Eight schools participated in the competition which held at the council hall. In a welcome address, the chairperson of the Ikeja Local Government, Mrs Folasade Odunlami, praised the effort of the council leadership to give education, which is one of the prerogatives at the millennium development goal, a priority. She said: ‘‘I want to appeal to our

•Chairman, Hon. Odunlami (left) presenting the budget document to Leader of the House, Hon. Edward Aragbonfoh children to bear in mind that you are future leaders and as such get yourselves prepared for the great task ahead by excelling in your studies. You can only become useful to yourselves and the society at large if you are obedient and well behaved at home and at school and the society at large. You should truly cherish the sacrifices being made by your parents to giving you a Brighter Rewarding Future (BRF). “l, therefore, appeal to the lead-

ership of this great local government to make provision for a befitting library and reading room for better and proactive education development. The competition is all about spelling fast and accurately. A pupil of Agidingbi Nursery and Primary school, Favour Ewuche, won in the Nursery and Primary School category closely followed by Airat Bioku and Femi Ogunyemi of Tokunbo-Alli Primary School and Shogunle Primary School, respectively.




Emerging markets countries to raise $614b in 2014 S

TANDARD & Poor’s Ratings Services projects that the 17 emerging market sovereigns included in the JP Morgan EMBI+ Index will borrow an equivalent of $614 billion from long-term commercial sources in the year. This would be a 0.3 per cent increase in longterm commercial debt issuance compared with 2013. Some 54 per cent or $329 billion of the sovereigns’ gross borrowing will be to refinance maturing longterm debt, resulting in an estimated net borrowing requirement of $285 billion. Standard & Poor’s projected that

the commercial debt stock of the major emerging markets will reach an equivalent of $2.8 trillion by the end of 2014, and that the total commercial and concessional debt stock will reach $3.1 trillion, a year-onyear increase of $176 billion. Theis year’s debt outlook estimated that outstanding short-term commercial debt will reach $191 billion at yearend. According to the report, more than two-thirds of commercial sovereign debt to be issued in 2014 will be by sovereigns with a foreign currency rating in the ‘BBB’ category, with a further one-fifth by ‘BB’ rated sover-

eigns. S & P noted that Hungary and Croatia will face the highest debt rollover ratios-including short-term debt, which will reach 20 per cent and 16 per cent of GDP, respectively. “Brazil is by far the largest emerging markets sovereign issuer in the sample with long-term gross commercial borrowing in 2014 accounting for an estimated 44 per cent of total of JP Morgan EMBI+ constituents. “We expect Brazil’s gross commercial borrowing to slightly decline compared to 2013, both in absolute terms, as well as measured as a share

of the sample total from 46 per cent in 2013. We forecast Turkey and Mexico to borrow comparable amounts equivalent to $83 billion and $71 billion, respectively, together accounting for a quarter of the group of countries covered in this report. We estimate the remaining 14 sovereigns combined will borrow some $186 billion around two-thirds of Brazil’s total. Within that group, the five issuers with the smallest expected commercial borrowing-Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Ukraine, and Croatia, will account for less than $15 billion or 2.4 per cent of the total. Overall, issuers in Latin America will account for 65

per cent of 2014 issuance, Asian sovereigns for just five per cent, with the rest being in EMEA,” S & P stated. The report pointed out that the distribution of the commercial debt stock is a little less skewed. While Brazil, Turkey, and Mexico will account for 70 per cent of commercial gross sovereign borrowing, their share in the stock is only 56 per cent. According to the report, at 19 per cent of the 2013 debt stock, there is possibility of a higher roll-over rate including shortterm debt in 2014 for the three largest emerging market issuers in the sample, compared to 14 per cent for all other sovereigns covered in the sample.

U.S. renews confidence in Nigeria’s economy with P&G’s N5b modern plant


HE United States Government has renewed its confidence in the Nigeria’s economy with the opening of Procter& Gamble (P&G) $300 million (about N4.8 billion) new plant in the country The new plant, which is located in Agbara Industrial Estate, Ogun State sits on 40.2 hectares of land after its Ibadan plant in Oyo State. The Greenfield investment represents American largest investment in Nigeria outside the oil and gas industry. President Goodluck Jonathan congratulated P&G on the opening of the state-of-the-art plant and commended the firm for its dedication towards the country as exemplified by the investment in the new plant. President Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the government would continue to support industries through the removal of investment barriers. He added that the goal of his administration is to ensure efficient coordination of investments by relevant government agencies, a development which made it to embark on a comprehensive tax reform in a bid to eliminate double taxation. P&G Group President for Central& Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), Mr. Laurent Philippe, explained that P&G was proud to be part of Nigeria’s growth for over 20 years and is committed to continue investing in Nigeria in a bid to Touch and improve lives of people in Nigeria. He noted that the company’s dedication to investing in Nigerians closely supports the government’s Transformation Agenda. “We share the same purpose and a partnership between the two is both natural and essential”. “Maintaining strong momentum in markets such as Nigeria is a priority for P&G. We are investing in

marketing spending and also accelerating relevant innovation. With our dedication to grow the business in Nigeria we are pleased to be market leaders in several categories in which our brands belong. “However, there is still a significant opportunity to enlarge our portfolio, to introduce more of our high quality brands and enter into more categories. “To this end, we are strengthening our manufacturing operations in the country with the plant we are inaugurating here. This plant positions Nigeria to be the manufacturing hub for other P&G markets of West Africa and supports the Government’s diversification efforts- being the current largest US investment outside of the oil sector.” With the plant, P&G will be creating thousands of jobs for Nigerians and would be supporting the establishment and expansion of hundreds of SME’s with added development of human capital. Through suppliers, partners and agencies, we will have a broader positive impact on the economy and on further job creation,” Philippe said. P&G’s Plant Manager for the Agbara plant, Mr. Yasser Shehto led the Vice President as well as other delegates on a tour of the new manufacturing plant. The plant features the latest diaper manufacturing technology pampers to better serve more babies and mothers in Nigeria. He also highlighted the plant’s technological advancement in waste management and environmentally friendly manufacturing practices. Operations have already begun on the new site with the manufacturing of Pampers diapers. The facility also has the capacity to accommodate further expansion of manufacturing operations on the same site.

Ogun to partner Chinese investors


HE Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has said his government will continue to welcome investors to enhance socio-economic development, urging the China/Africa Investment Club to present a blueprint for collaboration with the state. Amosun stated this while receiving a delegation of the group, made up of conglomerate of business concerns in China, in his office. He said Ogun is fast becoming the investors haven with the advantage of suitable land, nearness to Lagos, the nation’s commercial capital and the gateway to the West/ African Sub-regional market, among others. “In Ogun State, we have the largest concentration of industries in

the whole of Nigeria and we also have different industrial zones. Since we assumed office, we have been investing heavily in agriculture, particularly in the production of cocoa, cassava, cotton and rice. We have also invested in real estate and this government is creating all the necessary enabling environment for business to thrive’’, Amosun said. Earlier, the leader of the Chinese delegation, Mr William Wang said the team made the state its first port of call in Nigeria because of the outstanding performance of the governor and his team. He assured Amosun that soon, the firms under the China/Africa Investment Club, would partner with the state government in the execution of various projects.

• From left: Regional Executive, Lagos Business Group, Wema Bank, Wole Akinleye; DH, Brand & Service Quality Division, Wema Bank, Akinlolu Ayileka; Managing Director, Segun Oloketuyi and Head Teacher, Maryland Convent Private School, Maryland, Rev. Sis. Gladys Osagie, during the financial literacy event organised by Wema Bank at the school as part of activities marking the Global Money Week.

Leventis Motors unveils Foton trucks


N auto giant Leventis Motors has introduced Foton trucks into the market. They are products of FotonDaimler Joint Venture and have been successful in Foton’s home market China and in other parts of the world. The Sales Manager Mr Ashish Kumar said Foton trucks are accepted globally and their coming to the country offers an optimal solution to the needs of Nigerians. He said with an understanding of the market, Leventis Motors has selected the spare parts, which would be well-suited for the roads and weather, adding that the trucks meet safety standards, including frontal crash and rear wall strength. Some of the parts are fitted with ABS to ensure the safety of the crew and the goods. ‘’All these features

By Joseph Eshanokpe

come with the economy of very good fuel mileage,” he said. Also, the Manager Service Mr Vilas Bhurke said Foton trucks carry a two-year warranty and are backed by comprehensive spare parts and service network across the country. He continued: “We, at Leventis Motors, believe that total customer satisfaction is only achieved, when a good quality vehicle is supported by attentive and responsive customer care and after sales service and support. A vital component of this our commitment to Leventis 3s – Sales, Service and Spares – which are supported by our fully equipped after sales facilities in key locations across Nigeria wth a large spare parts inventory in Lagos and other branches.”

The new trucks include Light Duty Trucks (LDT) AND Medium and Heavy Duty Trucks (M& HDT). While the former have a payload capacity of over 1.5tons, fitted with reliable and efficient engine, tough and heavy transmission and other aggregates, the latter have engine power of over 420 horse power and Cummins engine. Also, the LDTs have adjustable steering wheel(ABS), air conditioned sleeper wheel, among others. For M&HDTs,their unique features include aluminum fuel tank, music sytems, smart design car-like interior for storage space. Leventis Motors is a division of A.G. Leventis (Nigeria). It is a major distributor of Foton Trucks with ISO 90001:2008 certification.

‘Asa channellisation project near completion’


HE Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, Goni Sheikh has said the construction of Asa channellisation project in llorin, Kwara State is 62 per cent completed. He expressed satisfaction that the people of llorin have started reaping the benefits of Federal Government funded multi-billion naira channellisation project. According to a statement in by Head, Press and Public Relations Unit of the Fund, Mr. Tolu Makinde, the Permanent Secretary said dredging and evacua-


From: Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

tion of debris and other refuse on the river and its tributaries have solved the problem of perennial flooding of the area. He explained that the project had paved way for people who had previously abandoned their houses and properties to come back to reclaim them. Mr. Sheikh expressed concerns over dumping of water sachets, food wraps, rags, plastics, bottles, utensils, used- tyres and electronics on the river project. He said: “Dumping of refuse in

the river channel has become a source of worry, as areas already evacuated of debris are being silted with continuous dumping of refuse by the residents.” The permanent secretary called on the Kwara State Government to intensify sanitation drive and environmental safety awareness campaign among the people of the area, as well as enforcement of relevant sanitation laws. The channellisation,which is about 2.30km long, was awarded in 2012 to Ambico (Nigeria) Limited for N1, 233,761,817.20.

ICSAN to hold lecture

HE Institute of Chartered of Secretaries and Administra tors of Nigeria (ICSAN) will hold its yearly public lecture on March 27 at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Lagos. According to its Registrar/

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ‘Dele Togunde, the theme of the conference is, Regulating the power sector: Opportunities, prospects and challenges. The chairman of the event is Monsur Ahmed, who is Group Ex-

ecutive Director, SMCC, Dangote Industries Ltd. The keynote address will be given by Dr Sam Amadi, the Chairman, National Electrcity Regulatory Commission (NERC)





Imo to join new pension scheme soon T

HE Imo State government has set up a committee to work on the modalities of incorporating workers and retirees of the state into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), its Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere has said. Prince Madumere, who spoke with The Nation in Lagos, said the state was expecting the report of the committee soon so that it could kickstart the process of joining the scheme. On the recent protest by the pen-


pension arrears from the previous administrations. He said seven members of the association had died due to lack of finance to access medical treatment, adding that the government constituted a technical team in 2012 to look into the issue. He said: “We will not relent in our agitation for payment of our entitlements until government meet s our demands. We will never stop to protest because the government is not doing anything to solve the problem.”

• Madumere

sion fund did not lose any money. There was a market crisis and none of the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) lost money. “The pension industry is one of the best regulated in the country today, and it is contributing significantly towards economic development in the country,” he said. On whether the contributors are getting good investment returns on their contributions, Rewane said the limitations on investment as provided by the Pension Reform Act is good enough to ensure that the workers and retirees pensions are safe. He said if contributors want higher returns, then they must be

ready to accept higher risk. The PFAs are limited in terms of investments, but they like it because the regulations prevent and protect them from going to take risky bets. You don’t bet with people’s money, he added. The Regulations on Investment of Pension Fund Assets under the PRA Act states that PFAs shall invest pension fund assets with the objectives of ensuring safety and maintenance of fair returns. He continued: “PFAs shall recruit and retain highly skilled personnel in their investment departments, shall not invest Pension Fund Assets in instruments that are subject to any type of prohibitions, or limi-

tations on the sale or purchase of such instrument, except for open, close-end or hybrid funds and specialist investment funds allowed by this Regulation. “PFAs shall not trade on margin accounts with pension fund assets. A PFA shall not engage in borrowing or lending of pension fund assets; shall not trade in financial instruments with pension fund assets at prices that are prejudicial to the pension fund assets.’’ He added: “When investing in eligible bonds or debt instruments issued by state or local governments and corporate entities, pension fund assets shall be invested only in eligible bonds, or debt instruments issued

by states or local governments and corporate entities that have fully implemented the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). “The Commission shall provide periodic lists of compliant state or local governments and corporate entities. PFAs are to ensure that appropriate legal and financial due diligence are undertaken on all prospectus, or offer documents of eligible bonds or debt securities and other allowable instruments prior to investment. “All primary market investments by PFAs in ordinary or preference shares of eligible corporate entities shall only be through public offerings approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

best choice out of the two retirement options available for drawing their pension benefits especially with the problem of de-marketing that was rampant among the PFAs and the insurers in the past. At present, both the PFAs and insurers are trying to find a common ground to be their brother’s keeper by explaining the options to the retirees without bickering. This situation seems to be helping the retirees and pensioners their decisions. They tend to have more understanding especially on the life annuity product. In an interview by The Nation with some Lagos State retirees during the 10th Bond Presentation by the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) on the payment options they intend to choose and how they intend to spend their pension gra-

tuity, many opted for Life Annuity while others picked the Programme Withdrawal. The retirees were excited and ready for life after retirement. A former inspector at the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Isaac Idiogbe, who retired in April 2012, said he was happy to receive his gratuity. He said he was prepared for retirement and had chosen the annuity option. “I have chosen life annuity and this is because when I pass on, the balance of my money will be distributed to members of my family. There are other things I have in mind. I will go into them with my gratuity,” he added. Mr. Hakeem, who worked for 29 years in the Ministry, also choose an-

nuity and wants to invest his gratuity in properties. He said: “I believe annuity is better for me because at the time of death, my money will be paid to my beneficiary.” Mr. Yemi Yusuf retired in 2009 after serving for 15 years in the Lagos State Ministry of Education said: “I am ready for retirement and I think program withdrawal is better for me. I don’t believe in annuity.” The Head of Service, Lagos, Mrs. Oluseyi Williams advised them to be sure of their investment plans before committing their gratuity. She said given the responsibility of the office of the Head of Service through its major role of ensuring that the welfare of active and retired employees was given its pride of place, the office had continued to in-

tensify efforts at ensuring that workers continued to live well in retirement. She said the state had continued to wax stronger and consistently maintained its leadership position in the operation of the CPS, particularly in issuing bond certificates to retirees. She urged the retirees to live within their means and not get involved in any business that could negatively affect their money. The Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, said her ministry had made it a priority to ensure that the retirees’ entitlements were paid promptly. ‘’Our resolve is to ensure that this money you have collected is not only invested wisely, but also enjoyed by you in old age,’’ she said.

sioners of Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) over arrears, he said the state experienced 12 years of bad pension management before the administration of Governor Rochas Okorocha took over. He said the state had met with the IBC pensioners, following their protest last week and was trying to find a solution to the problem, saying the state had been able to exceed what it met on ground and even surpassed it in terms of pen-

Pension most regulated, says Rewane

HE cumulative contribution of N4 trillion pension recorded by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) since its existence nine years ago, is contributing significantly towards the economic development of the country, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismark Rewane, has said. He said the industry is one of the best and most regulated industries in the country, adding that the amount is remarkable. He said: “We have N4trillion as pension funds, and this is remarkable in terms of the growth rate. It is important to note that in spite of the financial crisis in 2008, the pen-


sion payment. Meanwhile, the Pensioners Association of IBC, has given the Government 10-month ultimatum to pay the 40-month pension arrears owed the corporation’s retirees. The retirees, who converged on the premises of the corporation in Owerri, urged the government to pay their arrears in four instalments from March to December. The Chairman of the association, Mr. Chidi Madu, said Governor Okorocha inherited five-month

Stories by OmobolaTolu-Kusimo

ORE retirees are turning the new pension scheme. Under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) governed by the Pension Reform Act 2004, a worker is expected to know what his retirement options are. Retirees are expected to have sufficient knowledge of the two retirement options available, which include Life Annuity and Programme Withdrawal (PW). PW sold by PFAs pays pension over an expected lifespan until the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) balance runs out. Whenever the retiree dies, the beneficiary under a will or Letter of Administration is paid enbloc the balance in the RSA. Life Annuity is sold by authorised life insurance firms. It is a financial contract in form of an insurance product according to which a seller, typically a financial institution such as a life insurance company makes future payments to a buyer, the annuitant in exchange for the immediate payment of a lump sum or regular payments, prior to the onset of the annuity. The payment stream from the seller to the annuitant has an unknown duration based principally upon the date of death of the annuitant. At this point the contract will terminate and the remainder of the fund accumulated is forfeited unless there are other annuitants or beneficiaries in the contract. Thus a life annuity is a form of longevity insurance, where the uncertainty of an individual’s lifespan is transferred from the individual to the insurer, which reduces its own uncertainty by pooling many clients. Annuities can be purchased to provide an income during retirement, or originate from a structured settlement of a personal injury lawsuit. But under the PRA Act, an annuity is purchased to provide an income during retirement for retirees and pensioners in the country. Before now, most retires were usually ignorant about how to make the

More retirees embrace life annuity

Staco Insurance staff member is Miss Insurance


TACO Insurance Plc staff member by Sarah Ogunsola has emerged the Miss Insurance for the year. The beauty queen emerged among other seven contestants from AIICO Insurance Plc; Guinea Insurance Plc; Equity Assurance Plc, African Alliance Plc and Scrib Insurance Brokers Limited during the yearly pageant organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Lagos. The second runner up position went to Miss AdeosunMotoyosi of AIICO Insurance Plc, while Miss Mogaha Joy, still of AIICO Insurance Plc emerged the first runner. Filled with joy after the keenly contested competition, Ogunsola said she was elated to have emerged as the industry’s queen, adding that she was prepared for the task associated with the crown. She said her programme would be released soon.

• Ogunsola receiving a car key from Laoshe while President CIIN Fatai Lawal (2nd left). with them is Managing Director Staco Insurance Plc, Sakiru Oyefeso.

The queen won a brand new Kia Picanto Car, donated by Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc. The Special Guest of Honour at the event, LanreLaoshe, urged the queen to be a good ambassador of the industry, urging her to take insurance literacy campaign to secondary schools across Nigeria.

He promised to support efforts geared towards making insurance part of human existence, stressing that it was high time the industry operators began to do what would make the public give them recognition. The immediate past Miss Insurance, Sefiyat Sadit of Staco Insur-

ance urged the new queen to be determined, humble and be focused in the pursuit of her objectives. She said her tenure was eventful, through the support of operators and her family members. She appreciated all the people who supported her during her reign.




An amazon in stain-removing world Removing stains in household utensils is not easy. It takes more efforts; but the use of a modern detergent makes it easier. An Industrial Chemistry graduate Chioma Odoemenam is capitalising on this to empower herself, reports DANIEL ESSIET. enough to produce 1, 000 from household cleaning to


OR graduates roaming about the streets in search of unavailable jobs, listening to the story of Chioma Odoemenam, a graduate of Industrial Chemistry is a good lesson in self-employment. Long before graduating from the Federal University

of Technology,Owerri (FUTO), Odoemenam had resolved to build a manufacturing business. Armed with N5, 000, which she saved from her stint at a private firm in 2012, Odoemenam, Chief Executive, Louismoore Enterprises, decided to pro-

duce cleaning and stain removing products for homes. That humble beginning has metamorphosed into a big business. Entering into the industry, she recalled, was quite challenging, “especially for a woman.” With a few chemicals

litres, she was able to sell half of this and used the balance as samples. Today, the initiative has paid off. Her products are a popular feature in many homes. Besides, her firm has moved from being a mono-product company to one with various household products, ranging

laundry items, found even in supermarkets. She is planning to own a production facility, packaging and dispatch as well as a shop. Although she may have recouped her investment, for her, developing environmentally friendly products and expanding her business remains her priority.

• Mrs Odoemenam

Opportunities in vulcanising The poor state of the roads has created an avenue for proactive entrepreneurs, who deploy modern technology to push the vulcanising trade, writes DANIEL ESSIET.


•From left: Marketing Manager, Brian Munro Limited, Mr. Abayomi Ajao; Managing Director, Mr. Paul Wilson presenting an award to Mr. Onyenanu as the overall national award winner at at the unveiling in Lagos.

DETOKUNBO Ishola, a young banker, had barely driven his car for seven months when he suddenly realised that the steering wheel was unstable. He was shocked when his mechanic told him that it was due to the uneven surface on his front tyres which he bought new. The mechanic explained to him that such a situation arise when there is a misalignment in tyres, a development that is on the rise in the country, owing to the poor state of the roads. This has created the need for regular wheel alignment and balancing by vehicle owners.

Seven sins of newbie entrepreneurs


OST entrepreneurs are familiar with the ridiculously high percentage of small businesses that will fail in the first couple years. The business owners who survived the odds will tell you that they didn’t achieve success on sheer passion alone. It took hard work, and in most situations, it didn’t happen over night. After spending the last decade running my own business consulting for companies and corporations, I have witnessed it all. Here’s seven of the most common mistakes I’ve seen newbie entrepreneurs make with alarming consistency. • Not setting aside enough cash reserves to support yourself. I believe that one of the reasons why so many small businesses fail within the first few years is NOT because the business model isn’t viable or the entrepreneur isn’t “good enough” to make the business work, but it’s the fact the financial ramp up time is a firm reality. Most entrepreneurs simply run out of money to support the business and/or themselves before the business is profitable enough to sustain itself. • Proactively set up a special fund intended to support yourself during the business startup phase. Be conscious of what you put into this fund as you may want to strive for an amount that can fully support you for a year or two to relieve pressure as you ramp up. • Using assumptions that are overly optimistic during planning. I see so many newbie entrepreneurs fall into this trap. They have a great idea and convinced their friends and family that it’s a no brainer. They jump into the fray only to realise there were a few not-so-little details that they failed to consider or a few areas where their assumptions were overly optimistic and be-

fore they know it, that “nobrainer” business is hanging by a thread. Be honest with yourself. Are you underestimating the time required to get the first client? Are you overestimating the demand for the product? Are you assuming zero risk by not allowing for what could go wrong? • Find three to five completely objective people (not friends or family) and specifically ask them to play devil’s advocate to you to help identify vulnerabilities and then take steps to mitigate those. • Not properly evaluating your business model. Not everyone incorporates a business model into their planning. It’s so easy to get really lathered up around the concept of your business, but it’s quite another thing to put pen to paper to help you objectively evaluate your overall business model and its profit potential. The simple truth is that having a great idea is just a start – it doesn’t necessarily translate into a profitable model. • Consider SCORE or a smallbusiness development center to evaluate the business model and offer expert advice. Their perspective could identify a more viable structure that makes better business sense than what you’ve already established. •Trying to do everything yourself to save money. If you try to do EVERYTHING yourself, you’ll not only run yourself into the ground, your business will suffer, because you don’t bring sufficient expertise in every area. Your time is money. Think about where you must personally invest your energies. Should you be developing and refining your content, products and services, cultivating relationships with key clients and stakeholders, developing credibility within your

industry? No one can do this for you. That said, others can develop your website, handle your public relations, develop templates for your newsletters, make trips to printers and copiers and perform random administrative functions. Utilize them. •The key is identifying what to outsource and what to keep. A good rule of thumb is if it’s not part of the core competency of your specific business, you have little expertise in the area, it’s time consuming and there are many suppliers who can provide the service at a reasonable cost, consider outsourcing. • Not being willing to work like a dog during the early days. I’m amazed how often I run into people who’ve recently launched their businesses, but they seem shocked that they’re not making six figures while working a 25-hour work week. They seem to have this glamorous view of entrepreneurship where they get to start at the top and skip all the hard work. The simple truth is if you want to make it, most startup businesses have to hustle early on. This might mean working another job while you’re starting your business, volunteering or doing some work for free to gain experience and exposure. It also may mean working nights and weekends. • Before jumping into the startup world, really evaluate your current lifestyle and realise you will most likely being given up a huge chunk, if not all, your free time. •. Pricing your product or services too low or high. In my business I often respond to request for proposals. Years ago, I’d been submitting proposal responses annually to a large

governmental agency. After about four years of consistent rejections, I got a tip from a colleague that my pricing was too low to be considered seriously. That year I doubled my pricing on the same classes and was selected for the first time. On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to charge $20,000 a day and expect to get the job. • Do your research to see what others are charging. It’s much smarter to offer value pricing initially, prove your value and then raise prices over time. In many cases asking clients for their budget will not only give you an idea of what to charge, but it could minimize the risk of severely underpricing or over pricing your product or services. You may also consider providing different pricing options to increase the likelihood that you’re offering something within your client’s price range. • Not having a growth strategy. We all know of a restaurant that was great when it first opened but after expanding the food or service went downhill. They then developed a bad reputation and eventually closed. Don’t be that business. While most small businesses think the goal is to win as much business as they can, this isn’t necessarily true. Sometimes, you can attract too much business and then have a completely different challenge that could threaten the longer term viability of the business completely. • Think about how you want to grow and develop a highlevel growth strategy fairly early on (even if it changes as time progress. •Culled from

The problem has also opened up an avenue for some entreprenuers who are catching in on it to make good money, albeit, by deploying sophisticated and modern technology. Alhaji Lukman Garu, Chief Executive Officer, Garutech, admits that the world over, road conditions affect the lifespan of vehicles, especially the tyres noting that it is the only part that has contact with the ground. “Uneven, corrugated, pothole roads, over time, damage suspension, shock absorbers, tyres and wheel alignment. They also have far-reaching effects on the broader economy, on business profitability and on the ultimate cost for goods and services,”Garu added. Indeed, while there is a significant increase in the number of problems caused by deteriorating road conditions, the inconvenience factor for motorists is great as pothole-related accidents not only cause serious injuries and death, but damages to tyres and rims, thus, altering the position of tyre alignment. In essence, it has become a routine for motorists to check their wheel alignment. This is why there is an opening for business in this area. Garu regrets that wheel align-

ment and vulcanising are far unlike in other parts of the world. According to him, motor parks mangers looking for growth may need to be creative, by offering a higher standard of customer service that makes their business stand out. Therefore, he explained, to key into this “money spinning” segment of the automobile maintenance business, small entrepreneurs need to up the ante in vulcanising by offering computerised vulcanising, such as wheel alignment and balancing, tyre rotation and even tyre pumping services. An alignment revolution, he noted, is on its way and those businessmen prepared to invest and offer a higher standard of service will be those that will reap the rewards. And because motorists want a smoother ride and more enjoyable driving, which will, ultimately, lead to cheaper maintenance cost on their vehicles, the return on investment for computerised vulcanising and wheel balancing venture is huge, because, there are very a few standard vuclcanising and wheel alignment outlets nationwide.




The millionaire in you BOOK REVIEW Author: Publisher: Reviewer:



NABILITY to discover and maximise one’s latent potential accounts for why most people have not achieved their purpose in life. This also explains why most people have not attained their desired financial independence because they do not realise that they have the millionaire potential within them. This is why I want us to examine this text titled: “The Millionaire in You” this week. The book is written by Dr. Michael LeBoeuf, a renowned business-management consultant, professional speaker and seminar leader. LeBoeuf says there are only four things you need to know about money. These are: How to make it; how to save it; how to invest it; and how to enjoy it. According to LeBoeuf, only very few people manage to do all four, although almost anyone can. He says the purpose of writing this book is to make you become financially independent and enjoy the same freedom that he enjoys. This book is segmented into three parts. The first part is tagged “See it!” According to LeBoeuf here, anybody today with basic common sense can become a millionaire. All it requires is the ability to see possibilities,

Michael LeBoeuf Crown Business, New York Goke Ilesanmi

and then know how to proceed and follow through. He says four major insights are central to the issue of making money. The first insight is called the “Time and Wealth Grid”. In LeBoeuf’s words: “It’s the scourge of modern-day living that plagues most of us: If you have money, you don’t have the time. If you have lots of time, you’re hurting for money. And most of us could use a whole lot more of both. Welcome to the time/money trap.” According to him, to get out of the time/ money trap, you have to understand how you got there in the first place. We fall into the trap by thinking with a paycheque mentality, says LeBoeuf. He educates that because most of us think with a paycheque mentality, we assume that having more of one requires sacrificing some of the other. LeBoeuf adds that time and money are not one-dimensional trade-offs unless we assume they are and choose to live our lives that way. As regards the second insight, LeBoeuf discusses his law which says you should invest your time actively and your money passively. “Actively investing your time means deciding how your time will be spent rather than spending it according to current circumstances or the dictates of others,” he educates. LeBoeuf says the third insight of wealthcreation is simplicity, and it is the master key. The last insight discussed is higher life expectancy tagged the “Twentieth century’s greatest gift”. He stresses that though marked by financial challenges, the higher life expectancy guarantees the advantage of

having more years to pursue wealth. LeBoeuf therefore suggests that you should resolve to make the most of your longevity bonus; create your own endowment; and realise that delayed gratification is not denied. In the second part of this book summarily christened “Do it!”, the author discusses ten choices for achieving personal and financial freedom. These are that you should live the life you want instead of the life others expect; stack the odds in your favour instead of against you and be a super saver instead of a big spender; increase the market value of your time instead of working long hours. Others are do less better instead of trying

to do it all and capitalise on the unexpected instead of being derailed by it; own the market instead of trying to beat the market; limit your losses instead of letting bad luck ruin you, etc. In the last part, he says you should celebrate and enjoy. “Congratulations! You’ve reached the winner’s circle, where you can enjoy the harvest of your years of learning, working, saving and investing. You now have the freedom to spend your time any legal way you want,” asserts LeBoeuf. He says having abundance of money and time puts you in control of your life, but it is not going to automatically make you happy. LeBoeuf advises that once you reach financial independence, doing the following four things can greatly enhance the quality of your life: Stay financially independent and out of the time/money trap; make it a point to keep physically and mentally active; experience the joy and personal satisfaction of giving back and making the world a better place; and finally, realise that the true joy lies in the journey. On conceptual assessment, there is no denying the fact that this book is a treasury of exceptional financial and career-enhancement-strategy knowledge. As regards the mode of presentation, one thing that always works for LeBoeuf is the simplicity of his language and uniqueness of presentation, which he has also exhibited here. The tips offered in this book are illuminating and motivating. He uses literary/ classical allusions to achieve conceptual amplification and lend credibility to his message. However, some areas seem restated. But the mastery with which he does the restatement makes one believe that it is a deliberate stylistic attempt to create emphasis as well as long memory on the part of the readers. On the whole, this text is a classic. It is highly recommended to those who aspire to achieve permanent financial abundance, freedom and enjoyment.



Organisational crises and effective communication strategy

RISIS and organisational communication Corporate organisations are vulnerable to crises. In short, it is inevitable to be in business without experiencing situations involving lawsuits, sudden changes in company ownership or management, and other volatile situations on which stakeholders often focus. But the good news is that organisations can better cope with crises if they have established sound and longterm relationship with stakeholders, that is, the people and organisations that are at risk from the decisions and actions of such organisations. No organisation has enough resources to engage in the ideal two-way symmetric dialogue with every stakeholder, so management must allocate resources in the order of priority. Stakeholder relationship management should be a priority task of management. Stakeholders can be assessed and prioritised according to organisational impact.

Public liability companies

It is natural that a crisis will have effects on the future financial performance of a company, so crisis communication plans should make full allowance for releasing information to interested parties simultaneously. As regards public liability companies in times of crises, basically such companies are obliged to follow the rules of their local stock exchange in releasing information into the public arena. Kim Harrison, a renowned authority on public relations, says all information relating to the financial performance of such a company has to be announced simultaneously to shareholders through the exchange, analysts, the media and other stakeholders.

Stakeholders’ perception and speed

The stakeholders to a crisis will immediately form their perception about the content of the organisation’s messages in various ways. The first one is the communication speed. First impression is the lasting

By Goke Ilesanmi

impression. The first message received on a subject sets the stage for comparison of all future messages on that subject. The speed with which the first communication is issued can be an indicator to stakeholders and the public as to how prepared the organisation is to respond to the crisis. If stakeholders are not aware of the organisation’s response to the event, then as far as they are concerned, the organisation is not responding. The stakeholders will lose confidence and the organisation will always be attempting to catch up the perception.

Message facts

Another way through which stakeholders to a crisis form their perception about the content of an organisation’s message is through the facts of a message. The stakeholders will be listening for the facts, so the organisation should get the facts right, repeat them consistently and ensure all credible sources share the same facts. Preparation can help to maximise the amount of information that can be assembled and disseminated.


Trust is another way through which stakeholders to a crisis form their perception. As with risk communication, it is vital to establish trust and credibility with your key audiences. There are four basic elements to establishing trust and credibility through crisis communication. People will realise if these elements are faked. All written and verbal messages during a crisis should contain the following elements: Empathy, competence, honesty and dedication.


Empathy. Empathy should be expressed in the first 30 seconds. Being perceived as empathetic and caring provides greater opportunity for the message to be accepted. Competence. Obviously education, position

title and organisational roles are quick ways to indicate expertise. Previous experience and demonstrated abilities in the current situation enhance the perception of competence. Honesty. Convey all the relevant information. If the spokesperson is prevented from passing on certain information then it helps to explain why, e.g. “We don’t have that information at this stage”, etc.

Necessary action

Communication in a crisis should follow the principles of risk communication. Organisations need to be open, accessible and willing to respond as much as possible to those seeking information. Another thing is not to over-reassure. The objective is not to soothe, but to express accurate, calm concern. In fact, it is better to over-estimate the problem and then be able to say that the situation is better than first thought. Acknowledge uncertainty. Tell only what you know. Show your distress and acknowledge your audience’s distress thus: “It must be frustrating to hear that we don’t have the answer to that question right now.…” Organisations in crisis should also emphasise that a process is in place to learn more. Describe that process in simple terms.

Additional tips

Organisations in crisis should be regretful, not defensive. Say, “We are sorry….” when acknowledging problems or failures. Express wishes. Say, “I wish our answers were more definitive.” Prepare messages in advance. A crisis jams up every action into an urgent time frame. There is no enough time to perform actions properly. Therefore it makes sense to do as much preparation in advance as possible. Harrison educates that one of the crucial communication tasks is the preparation of holding statements in the initial stages while waiting for more definitive information to be available. This task can be helped immeasurably by preparing a sizeable proportion

of such statements ahead of time from a standard format. Several versions of a statement can be prepared for adaptation as required. It is surprising how much of a statement can be written, leaving only a few spaces that need to be filled in. The statements must not contain any inaccuracies or speculation.


The statements should just state the known facts and incorporate key messages such as: “We are sorry the event happened, we are extremely concerned, and we are doing everything possible to contain the effects of the crisis”; “Not all the relevant details are available at this time. But investigation is underway. A spokesperson will be available to comment and provide an update later.” This effort shows willingness to provide accurate information openly and regularly. The organisation here makes no comment on the question of legal responsibility for the incident. That is best left to the proper investigation by the authorities. • To be continued PS: For those making inquiries about our Public Speaking, Business Presentation and Professional Writing Skills programme, please visit the website indicated on this page for details. Till we meet on Monday.

•GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/ CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: Website:












Zoning is tearing apart the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southeast and Southsouth states, ahead of the 2015 general elections, reports Deputy Political Editor RAYMOND MORDI.


Southeast, Southsouth PDP: Divided by zoning

PALL of uncertainty is hang-ing over the 2015 governor-ship election in Cross River State. Deputy Governor Effiok Cobham is kicking against the decision of his boss, Governor Liyel Imoke, to seek a successor from the Senatorial District in line with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) zoning arrangement. Political leaders from the district led by Cobham, have disagreed with the governor over his insistence to honour the zoning agreement. Donald Duke, who emerged governor after very stiff competition in 1999 and served for two term, is from the South District, while his successor, Imoke, is from the Central Zone. Thus, the North District has not produced a governor since the creation of the state. Imoke and the leadership of the PDP have publicly declared that the next governor would come from that part of the state. Cobham, who has been perceived as a very loyal deputy until now, surprised many when he moved against the governor. Similarly, Amaechi Udemba, an Asaba-based public affairs analyst believes that the recent resignation of Goddey Orubebe from President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet and his subsequent entry into the governorship race in Delta State, as well as the entry of Kenneth Gbagi into the race, is a signal that there is a serious plot in high places to set aside the zoning deal. Orubebe and Gbagi are from Delta South and Delta Central Districts, which have produced governors before. In spite of its posture in the region, this state of affairs has put the PDP in a tight corner. In Cross River, despite the party’s decision to zone the governorship ticket to the North District, a political ally of Imoke, Chief Gershom Bassey, from the Southern District has joined the race to succeed him in 2015. Although Bassey is yet to formally declare his ambition, his campaign stickers are visible on cars and vehicles of his supporters in Calabar and beyond. His ambition, which is already causing ripples, is seen as a deliberate plan to scuttle the zoning agreement. Bassey was recently reported to have told Imoke that he would seek the nomination of the PDP as the candidate for governor ship. His insistence, it is said, is based on an agreement the trio of Bassey, Duke and Imoke had in 1999 that each of them would be governor of the state for eight years consecutively. His friend and kinsman, Duke, had the first shot, from 19992007; while Imoke, who mounted the saddle in 2007, would complete his tenure in 2015, to pave the way for Bassey to govern the state between 2015 and 2023. As observers of Cross River politics put it, the haples people of the North District may have technically lost the battle because the ‘three wise men’ of Cross River State agreed that they would lead the state for 24 years, so Bassey is not morally wrong to seek to run for governorship of the state. Based on the so-called agreement, such observers believe the leadership of the party may be in tandem with the trio and has merely sold a

• Imoke

• Akpabio

• Uduaghan

dummy to the north by appearing to support them openly, whereas Bassey is their real choice. Cross River and Delta are not the only states in the Southsouth and Southeast where the zoning formula is being threatened. The insistence on zoning is causing ripples in states in the two geo-political zones. In Enugu, for instance, Governor Sullivan Chime has told everyone who cared to listen that it is the turn of the Nsukka Zone to produce the governor in 2015. But this has not discouraged, Ike Ekwere-madu, the Deputy Senate President, from aspiring for the plum job. Ekweremadu is from Enugu West Zone, like incumbent Governor Chime. The scenario in Akwa Ibom is not different. Ahead of 2015, when the incumbent governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, would complete his second and final statutory term, a debate has broken out over where the governorship pendulum would swing; with a growing number of people now clamouring for an open contest. There are two schools of thought on the question of the next occupant of the Uyo Hill Top Mansion. Some politicians and opinion leaders are canvassing that it is the turn of Eket District to produce the next governor based on the zoning formula. The former past governor of the state, Obong Victor Attah, from Uyo District, was in power for eight years. His successor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, from Ikot Ekpene District is doing his second term of eight years. The people of Eket senatorial district expect to have one of their own on the governor seat in 2015. Yet; there are those who argue that no arrangement like that exists in

the state, hence, aspirants from any of the two senatorial districts could vie for the job. Akpabio has not helped matters. He has been accused of exacerbating tension in the state, with his seeming doublespeak on the zoning issue. At one time, he had openly declared that he was not opposed to zoning. But, he later said that he was not a product of zoning and therefore the issue is in God’s hand In River State, the emphasis is on the dichotomy between the upland and the riverine people. Indications are that both the PDP and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), who are currently engaged in a battle of dominance, would try to outwit each other as far as zoning is concerned. The state is made up predominantly of Riverine Ijaws (Kalabari’s, Okrikans, Ibani’s, Andoni’s, etc) and the Upland (Ikwerre’s, Ogoni’s, Ekpeye, Etche, Oyigbo, Ogba’s etc). Since the old Rivers State was created on May 27, 1967, from the defunct Eastern Region and further balkanized into Bayelsa and new Rivers State, in 1996, harmony, brotherhood and cooperation have been sustained through the application and observation of the upland/riverine dichotomy principle in the allocation of socio-political and economic gains accruing to the state. In 1999, when the West District was to produce the governor, the Kalabari, though the largest homogenous ethnic group in the zone, conceded the position to a politician from the upland, (Dr. Peter Odili), for the sake of equity and fairness, considering that the last occupant of the Brick House,

Chief Ada George, was from the riverine area. That was in spite of the fact that his tenure lasted less than two years. The upland Rivers East Zone was also given another chance in 2007, when Sir Celestine Omehia and Governor Chibuike Amaechi, from Ikwerre, took over the mantle of leadership. The general feeling today is that it is the turn of the riverine people. But, contrary to the zoning arrangement, the Ogonis who are predominantly located in the upland region are agitating for the governorship mantle in 2015. The Etches and the Ikwerres are not left out in the quest. Thus, the argument for and against zoning is currently raging in Rivers. It is generally accepted that in a multi-ethnic setting like Rivers State, it is legitimate for various groups to be given a chance to rule. But, for other reasons, some groups are now saying that it is retrogressive to choose leaders solely based on ethnicity. “What we need is not a governor from a particular ethnic bloc, but one (wherever he may come from) that would guarantee us infrastructural development, socio-economic prosperity, political stability, youth empowerment and job security,” one of such observers said. Similar arguments have reverberated in other states facing the zoning challenge. For instance, Udemba said that, for the sake of equity it is only natural to allow the Delta North that had stood aloof for 16 years to take its own turn. He argues: “If we search deeper, it can be confirmed that sometimes in 2006 political groups, including the G.3 and the Delta South Elders Forum had championed the need for power

‘They have cited some constitutional provisions on rotation of power and federal character. But my view is that a governor can come from any part of the state. If the person is able to clearly demonstrate his capacity to empower the youth to create wealth and help themselves, the last thing I will ask of is where he/she comes from’

to shift to the Delta South in line with the zoning policy. The G.3, which comprises the lsoko, Ijaw and ltsekiri politicians of the South, had hinged its clamour for power shift on PDP zoning policy.” Against this background, he is wondering why some persons are now reversing the argument because zoning does not favour them this time around. Delta Central has produced two governors, - Olorogun Felix Ibru and Chief James Onanefe Ibori who ruled for three and eight years respectively. Delta South produced Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, whose eight-year tenure of two terms would elapse in 2015. That leaves Delta North as the only zone that has not produced a governor since the state was created in August 1991. But, in a move, which may signal a stiff opposition to power shift, some chieftains of the PDP are working towards scuttling the zoning arrangement. Following the development in Akwa Ibom State, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) recently cautioned politicians in the state against going against the zoning arrangement. The Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said after touring the state, his group is convinced that there are danger signals concerning the zoning arrangement in Akwa Ibom, which, if not addressed, may lead to crisis. “We are convinced beyond the shadow of doubts that there are ominous signs that some aggrieved politicians within the ruling PDP, who have lost out of the scheme of governance in Akwa Ibom State are gearing for a fight and may precipitate a conflagration of bloody dimension as run up to the 2015 elections begins in Akwa Ibom State,” he said. On the other hand, Jalingo Agba, a civil rights activist, disagrees with Udemba and Onwubiko. Agba, feels that the exercise is a distraction. He said pundits have argued that the North District should produce the next governor of Cross River because it is the only district yet to do that, since the splitting of Akwa Ibom State from Cross River State in 1987. He added: “They have cited some constitutional provisions on rotation of power and federal character. But my view is that a governor can come from any part of the state. If the person is able to clearly demonstrate his capacity to empower the youth to create wealth and help themselves, the last thing I will ask of is where he/she comes from.” He argues further: “But as 2015 draws closer, we must make haste to shift the argument from which part of the state the governor should come from to looking for someone who can really present to us a blue print on how to translate our potentials to prosperity because our state is in dire need of that person who must be an expert in public debt management because the state is the third most-indebted in the country.”




‘Jonathan is unfair to Southwest’ Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Vice Chairman (Southwest) Senator Yinka Omilani speaks with Assistant Editor LEKE SALAUDEEN on the crises rocking the party, the alleged marginalisation of the Southwest by the Jonathan Administration and the proposed national conference.


AS normalcy returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu? The new chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, is a known person. He is an experienced politician, having ruled Bauchi State for eight years. But, politics is not something you can engineer to change the system within a month, particularly in the PDP where the problems are overwhelming. He has tried by going round the states. He had visited some state governors and former Presidents in his quest to find solutions to the party’s problems. He has started well. It will take time before we can measure his success. As the former PDP National Vice Chairman (Southwest), what is responsible for the protracted crises in the party, especially in the Southwest? What we (PDP members) lack in the Southwest is known to everybody. It is unity. There is wise saying that united we stand, divided we fall. Unless we put acts together in the Southwest, we are going nowhere. It will not pay us. We will neither be on the left nor the right of the equation. Several steps have been taken publicly and privately to resolve the crisis, but self-interest had frustrated all efforts. There have been several meetings held at state and zonal levels. Some members were not invited to the Southwest zonal meetings. It makes the efforts of the leaders fruitless. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has decided to step aside

from the PDP activities, citing international engagements. Don’t you think his absence will affect the PDP in 2015 elections? Chief Obasanjo is still a card carrying member of the PDP. If no one listens to his words of wisdom, I think it will be right for him to keep his peace and find something else to occupy himself. He is an international figure. He travels more than a pilot. He travels across the world to serve humanity. A new group of PDP Southwest leaders emerged recently under the leadership of the former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide to challenge what they described as imposition of Prince Kashamu Buruji as the zonal party leader. What is your view? I am not aware of that group. Akinjide has never been a politician even though he was a nominated member of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT). I have met Kashamu before. By my own assessment, Kashamu has never been a politician. Three years back, I met him on the podium when the Ogun PDP governorship candidate, Major Gen. Adetunji Olurin, was campaigning at IjebuOde. That was my first time of meeting Kashamu. The second occasion was in Abuja when we were invited by the PDP headquarters. He represented a faction of the party. Other factional leaders from Ogun State in attendance were former Governor Gbenga Daniel and Chief Jubril Martins Kuye. Kashamu is active now in the Southwest because the erstwhile PDP

• Omilani

Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, installed him as the Chairman of the Mobilisation Committee in the Southwest. Majority of leaders in the Southwest, even in Ogun State, don’t recognise him. Abuja made him and he reports back to them. There is little anybody can do. We are hoping things will change for good. I have not seen any change yet. Even though the new leadership is working for change, it is yet to happen. It is our expectation that justice will be done. People like Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Chief Bode Mustapha and Mr. Olusegun Oni,

who were elected at the congress, but removed from office, are still waiting to be called back. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed August 9 for the Osun State governorship election. How prepared is the PDP? The PDP is working. It is very sure that the PDP will win Osun back from the All Progressives Congress (APC). We have only three aspirants now. If the party meets at the last minute to unite, it will be a straight fight between the APC and the PDP. Yoruba leaders have criticised the Jonathan Administration for marginalising the Southwest. Do you share this view? I share their view. We don’t deserve it at all. Yoruba voted massively for Jonathan. It is a general cake that has to be shared among those who contributed to the baking of the cake. We went to Abuja on this issue. All the PDP governors and leaders were there to confront President Jonathan. He promised to rectify the anomaly after 2015 elections. Apart from the ministerial appointment, which is constitutional, what do we get from Jonathan regime in the Southwest? We have nothing to show for the massive support and solid votes Jonathan got from Southwest in 2011. President Jonathan will convene the national conference next Monday. Are you satisfied with the modalities for the selection of delegates? Nigerians are not happy that many of those that are to represent them

at the conference were hand-picked by the Presidency. The President should have asked each state to nominate people, not him. It is the right of the people to choose those to represent them at such an important gathering that has to do with the future of the country. Those handpicked may not achieve anything and the purpose of the conference may not be achieved, unless the right thing is done. Those hand-picked will be loyal to the Presiden,t instead of the people. What is your reaction to the suspension of Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi by the President? Through whatever means, one climbs up. He would definitely come down through the same process. The President nominated Sanusi and forwarded his name to the Senate for approval as the governor of Central Bank. If anything should happen to him, the Senate that approved his appointment should be involved. The suspension by the President shouldn’t have been done. The executive should have allowed him to complete his tenure, which ends in June. It will definitely backfire on the economy. Already, the naira is falling. Until the truth prevails in Nigeria, we will never have a good government in this country. When is the PDP Southwest congress holding? I have no idea. That is for the national headquarters to decide. Like I said earlier, some members are no longer being invited to the Southwest zonal meeting.

Three aspirants are jostling for the Edo North senatorial ticket on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). OSAGIE OTABOR writes on their strengths, weaknesses and other factors that will shape the poll.


Can Senator Domingo get second term?

ENATOR Obende Domingo represents Edo North Senato rial District in the Senate. His ambition to return to the Upper Chamber in 2015 is being threatened by political heavy weights eyeing his job. The senatorial aspirants include the Secretary to Edo State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, Major Francis Alimekhena and Hon, Abubakar Momoh, who is representing Estako Constituency in the House of Representatives. The three contenders are from the three major tribes-Owan, Etunu and Estako- that make up the district. Estako has three local governments. Owan has two councils and Etunu has one local government. Domingo hails from Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area. He was elected on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in 2011. He had wanted to contest for the seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007, but without success. The PDP leaders opted for Yisa Braimoh, who he later displaced three years ago. What worked for Domingo was the agitation for the seat by the Etunu people, who complained that they had been marginalised by the two major tribes. They said that the seat was rotating between the Owans and Estako. Also, Governor Adams Oshiomhole supportedDomingo against another aspirant, Tunde Lakoju. Ahead of 2015, Domingo is scheming to keep his job. He has debunked the allegation of non-performance. In a pamphlet being circulated in the district, the senator listed the projects he has attracted to the state. They in-

clude solar-powered street lights, distribution of empowerment materials, construction of classroom blocks, community centres and boreholes. His supporters are of the view that he deserves a second term like his predecessors. But, can he beat Ihonvbere at the primaries? Following the declaration of interest by the political scientist, other aspirants have returned to the drawing board. Ihonvbere has made attempts twice to be the governor under the PDP. He served under President Olusegun Obasanjo as Special Adviser on Project Monitoring before returning to Edo to vie for the governorship, which he lost to Senator Oserheimen Osunbor in 2007. In 2011, he was among the aspirants that staged a walk-out during the PDP primaries. He later defected to the defunct ACN. Ihonvbere was appointed as the SSG • Ihonvbere when Oshiomhole was re-elected as • Domingo the governor. by not allowing Braimoh to comnot support any political neophyte. The eminent politician, Momoh, plete two terms. Their position now “The governor will not just support is not a push-over. He was a memis that the position can be contested anybody he cannot trust, someone ber of the House of Representatives by all the ethnic groups. Some who will not perform. Those he between 2003 and 2007. He was reEstako youth have warned their elhelped in the past have disappointed elected in 2011. He started his politiders against conceeding the slot to him by not fullfilling their electoral cal career as a councillor. Later, he other tribes. promises. Some of them have not became the Chairman of Estako East At a meeting convened by the APC reported to their constituency since Local Government. He was elected Interim Deputy Chairman, Chief they were elected”, said an aide. into the House of Assembly in 1999. Usman Shagadi, Estako leaders The zoning formula may also The retired soldier, Alimekhena, adopted a resolution to support their shape the exercise. The zoning agreewas a leader of the PDP before be son for the ticket. The leaders also ment may heat up the primaries. defected to the ACN . He was a senaagreed to sink their political differSenator Kassim Oyofo from Estako torial aspirant in 2011. But, luck did ences. was in the Senate between 1999 and not smile on him. Shagadi told the gathering that it 2007. He was succeeded by Braimoh Observers argue that the goverwould be an injustice for the Etsakos from Owan, who served for four nor is a factor in the senatorial race. to be shut out of the race after concedyears before Domingo from Akokohe is likely to determine who wins ing eight years to other zones in the Edo took over. the ticket. Sources close to spirit of oneness. The Owan people have argued that Oshiomole disclosed that he would He described that the Edo North Domingo truncated the agreement

ticket for 2015 as the birthright of the Etsakos, urging the Owans and Akoko-Edos to reciprocate Etsako’s past gesture. He recalled that Estako conceded the slot to them without bitterness and acrimony in 2007 and 2011. The leaders agreed to field a consensus candidate, promising to communicate the resolution to the governor. Ihonvbere has also been endorsed by Owan, Etsako Central and East leader. But, he is being accused of riding to the Senate on the governor’s back. However, Alimekhena is unperturbed. He said he has a high chance of clinching the ticket because he hails from Estako. The Edo North ticket may slip from Domingo’s hand because he is from a minority ethnic group in the district. His critics have alleged that he has not lived up top expectation. But, his media aide, Balarabe Oshiafi, disagreed. He said: “The relationship among the people of Estako, Owan and Akoko-Edo and Governor Oshiomhole and Senator Domingo is as cordial. Domingo is a humble servant of the people, whose track record is well known and appreciated by the good people of Afemailand. Hence, they have asked him to return to the Senate in 2015”. “It is expected that the enemies of progress will try to distract us, but Senator Domingo will continue to bring manifest development to all corners of Afemailand.” Governor Oshiomhole hails from Estako. He is yet to declare his next political move. Whoever his ‘magic wand’ touches will get the ticket. But, the governor is interested in a performer.



The Midweek Magazine


Oshodi on canvas By Udemma Chukwuma


•From left: Mr Olatunji Adefuye; Mr Marinho; Mrs Oladunjoye; Mrs Daodu and Chief Emmanuel at the school

Schools get multi-purpose centre


HE Bolanle Marinho Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has donated a multimillion naira multi-purpose children activity centre to Hope and Ireti Primary Schools, Ikoyi, Lagos. The centre, commissioned by Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, will be replicated in at least 10 schools in the state, according to a Trustee and Executive Director of the Foundation, Mr Akinola Marinho. The multipurpose centre comprises an Art workshop, Computer room and Music room. The aim, according to him, is to encourage children from lesser privileged backgrounds to experience and appreciate other educational and artistic means of expression that students in the expensive private schools of Ikoyi and elsewhere in Nigeria and the world take for granted. The project was designed by internationally trained Architect Oludolapo James and constructed to exact standards by Projectscope Limited, a foremost indigenous construction company. The site is a single-storey building on a raft foundation and is approximately 130 square metres in area and finished in brilliant white. The building has aluminium windows and an aluminium roof finish. The project is also served by a small generator house which is of a similar construction and is approximately 6 square metres in size. Both buildings are set within a landscaped area which is paved with concrete interlocking tiles which serve as paths for access between both buildings as well as the adjacent school compound. The project is demarcated with a fence. Commending the Foundation, Governor Fashola, represented by Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye said the gesture show that quiet and targeted philanthropy is still active and well in Nigeria as exemplified by the choice of public schools as the beneficiaries of the Foundation. On the choice of beneficiary and rationale for the donation, The Foundation Chairman, Chief Lanre Emmanuel urged the beneficiaries to ensure careful use of the facilities built for them. She thanked Mrs Gbolahan Dawodu, Chairperson of the Lagos State Education Board


‘Its activities will impact positively on the pupils, who take pleasure in the new-found conducive environment for learning. The pupils, staff and parents, according to him, will be eternally grateful to the Foundation for their kind and generous gesture’ and Mr Taiwo Lukmon, Education Secretary of the Eti Osa LCDA for their strong and unwavering support. Headmistress of Hope Primary School, Mrs. Abibu Shakirat Modupe described the foundation as very unique, saying its activities will impact positively on the pupils, who take pleasure in the new-found conducive environment for learning. The pupils, staff and parents, according to him, will be eternally grateful to the Foundation for their kind and generous gesture. He particularly thanked the late Adepeju Marinho who started the project in memory of her late son but was unable to see the project to completion as she died suddenly 18 months ago. The Foundation was set up by the family of Bolanle Marinho, a resident of Ikoyi and an indigene of Lagos State in 2011 shortly after his sudden death in 2010. The aims of the Foundation are to establish Multi-purpose Children Activity Centres for the purposes of helping and educating children through activities to develop their physical, mental and social interactive skills and capabilities

Women rising in literature, music holds in Lagos


RESH women voices in the world of literature and music were celebrated last weekend in Lagos. Former Arts Editor of NEXT, Molara Wood, Indigo, was guest at the literary event, tagged: TheLetters and The Lady. Excerpts from her debut collection of short stories, Indigo along with a variety of prose, poetry, spoken word and song lyrics penned, inspired by, or written for women were read last Saturday at the Wheatbaker, Ikoyi. The 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature winning and shortlisted books - NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names and Yewande Omotoso’s Bom Boy were also read and

shared. In the same vein, fresh women voices in music were also celebrated at an evening of concert last Sunday at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island. , It featured a host of talented local and international female musicians that included: WAJE, Aramide, Diwari, Fatima, Dupe Kachi, and Lala with Pilani Bubu (South Africa) and Sian Thomas (United Kingdom). The performances were flavoured with reading interludes and special guest appearances. Lala Akindoju and Smooth 98.1FM’s Aderonke were the night hostesses.


HERE neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified than the art which is well created and appealing to the sight, representing the aim of art which should be creation and perfection of technical expression.” Expressionistic artist and a lecturer at University of Lagos, Bolaji Ogunwo captured this statement in his solo art exhibition tagged: Visual Cocktail, six years after his last solo show. The exhibition of oil, pastel, acrylic, and water colour paintings treats different subjects in portraits, landscapes, and scenes from everyday life. In the exhibition, Ogunwo relives the old crowded, dirty Oshodi, which used to be a home for hoodlums and a place where people sold their goods on rail tracks and by the roadside. It was titled: Change. The works were supported with quote such as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expect different result is insanity,” Albert Einstein; “Winners don’t do different things; they do things differently,” Shiv Khera, this he used to reflect his inward view about life on canvas. “Armed with these thoughts, I decided not to do different things but to temper my creative license in a different manner,” he said. The bold strokes from his palette knife, a technique he is well known for, added textures to the paintings including luscious shades and appealing colours; which Ogunwo used to buttress his mood and ideology in Visual Cocktail. “My rich texture is not mere flamboyance or extravagance but a laudable feat that has received global recognition hence I have consolidated my rapport with my palette to churn out works that are didactic and enduring.” Ogunwo’s tremendous ability to study his environment and convey it on canvas by manipulating colours, was more profound and obvious in paintings such as: The Chase, Illumination, Celebration, The Over Flow, etc, depicting the theme of the exhibition. “Visual Cocktail is a bid to satisfy the appetites for aesthetics and knowledge through orchestration of colours that are visually edible, coupled with thoughts and world views propagated by the great minds. It’s an attempt to express timeless truth and proven ideologies in a visual language,” the artist stated. Ogunwo’s vigour to produce about 35 paintings for the exhibition and still cope with his work as a lecturer made a renowned artist, Abiodun Olaku and Akinwale Onipede, an Artist and a lecturer at the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, to Ogunwo’s efforts.”Painting for me is a way of life, is a passion, I can’t do without it; that is why I can cope as a painter and as a lecturer.” One of the fascinating works titled, Focus is painting of a little boy who could be 4 or 5 year-old with different postures, the portrait of 3-in-1 set the tone for discussion. “Recently I began to see my works in a different way and I am using my works not as a static but as a statement about this nation Nigeria. From the left side of the canvas is almost the side view of the boy who was partially smiling, the second figure which extended to the next canvas was the side view of the boy while the third image was the front view of the boy which one could tell that he was laughing. “The difference between Nigeria and America is focus, America have had leaders who were focused. Focus means, target and you are vent to meet that target. In Nigeria we have leaders who focus on prosperity of their pocket but leaders over there in America focus on posterity on what they will leave behind, which is their name and legacy. There in America they have infrastructure, men put them there, men that had vision, men that are selfless and focused, I am saying this because they are about to have a national conference and this exhibition is my own way of letting my voice to be heard. Ogunwo siad that Nigeria can become a better place if the right people and the right things are put in place. “This place (pointing at a painting on the wall) titled Change; used to be Oshodi… if Oshodi could be sanitised, a mad place where people used to sell on the railway, where people get killed every day by the train and they still go there the following day to sale and make nonsense of the whole place. This has changed about this place because someone with focus came to Lagos and changed the whole place. That is why I say change is possible because Nigeria is hopeful,” she said. Women elements were also presented in the exhibition. “The female form is interesting because of it elegance, the contours are the things that make painting women interesting, and women are indispensible and they must be celebrated that is why I celebrate their forms in my work.” The viewing was held at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos and renowned artists, such as O l u Ajayi, Geoge Edozie. Ogunwo is currently lecturing at the Depart- • Ijora Olapa by Ogunwo ment of Creative Arts, University of Lagos. He had his first degree from the University of Benin, Edo State and other degrees to his credit.



The Midweek Magazine


Seventy-two years on, Airport Hotel Ikeja, Lagos, which started with a five-room facility, has grown into a hotel of first choice for many. Last month, the hotel embarked on the renovation and upgrading of its facilities to meet the growing needs of its clients, Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME reports.


Floating dream (To the victims of violent rage) By Evelyn Osagie

‘We spent N10million a month on diesel’


HE Managing Director Airport Hotel, Ikeja Lagos, Mr. James Kayode Adenigba has decried the increasing costs of providing

comfortable and affordable services in the nation’s hospitality industry citing huge bills from purchase of diesel for power generation as one of the biggest challenges. He said apart from other overhead costs, the provision of power is enough to make many hotel operators go bankrupt. He described the power problem as one calamity that deserves top priority attention by the authorities. Adenigba who spoke with tourism journalists in Lagos during facility tour at the weekend disclosed that Airport Hotel sometime spent about 10million naira in a month on provision of light to power its facilities. This, he said, forced the hotel last year to acquire a 33kv PHCN transformer to boost its power supply apart from the four generators bought by the hotel. “It is unfortunate that in Nigeria, issues such as electricity and water supply are serious factors hindering effective service delivery in the industry. Notwithstanding these challenges, our charges and rates are pocket

LEISURE friendly,” he said. The Managing Director described the ongoing renovation in the hotel as a deliberate effort at repositioning the hotel to meet the needs of today’s clients noting that as the oldest hotel in the country, its infrastructures needed to be upgraded constantly. He noted that though the hotel is old, but that it is still very relevant in the industry. “It has not been an easy challenge in terms of infrastructure upgrading as the oldest hotel in the country. And we have been trying to update the facilities on ground in order for us to compete with newer hotels. Also, this will ensure turnaround of the entire facilities. Since we came on board the management has renovated the Adebayo Extension that has 60 rooms as well as the main Adebayo Block. The Independence Block is 50 percent completed,” he added. On growing green to preserve the environment, Mr. Adenigba said the hotel is looking forward to partnering some investors on the green environment project. The hotel renovation is however not


limited to rooms and existing infrastructures as a new Gym/Fitness Centre equipped with modern facilities and backed by a medical clinic was recently opened in the hotel for customers. The centre is managed by a seasoned sports and fitness instructor, Mr., Daniel Ukpe. The hotel’s Controller Sales and Marketing Mr. Ayodele Adebayo stressed that the decision to undertake the renovation of the hotel is a function of market research aimed at improving service delivery. He noted that at the completion of the renovation, ‘we should be able to shore up our revenue base while operating at maximum level. For now, we are operating for the medium segment, but after completion, we will catch the top segment. Again, the location advantage of the hotel is there.’ Mr. Adebayo identified age advantage, experience and ability of the hotel to carve niche for itself in African dishes as parts of the hotel’s unique selling points. “Also very unique to us is the provision of security of life and property,” he added.

The stench of death Awakens my bowels Like the boa Spitting out its teeth I spit out my intestines And swallowed my vomit Grey curtains coloured My ruddy eyes Thundering sound awakens My fears Murky waters of red Drown my tears Another bullet Another machete Turns my inside Twisted my fear Traumatised my dream When will this pandemonium end? When…? When will this shaken foundation seize to shake? When…? Another bullet Another machete Turned my reality Into nightmarish day

Boost for breast cancer campaign


O raise fund for breast cancer patients, a group of professional female photographers led by Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko has held a photo exhibition at Goethe-Institut in Lagos. Guests wore long faces on seeing the half nude pictures of breast cancer survivors, who had one of their breasts cut off. The photographers captured and recorded the aftermath of surviving cancer by these women in order to tell other women living with breast cancer that they too can survive. The photographers include Yemi Disu, Koleosho Kikelomo, Damilola Kuku, Bisola Ijalana and Jokotade Oshomowo, who spoke through Ayeni-Babaeko at the event said that they are also using the exhibition to encourage women to go for test: “Because early dictation is one of the ways of fighting breast cancer. The theme of the exhibition is;Battle Scars. “Photographing these women have been a great experience for us, we are using this exhibition to bring you closer to the subject…I believe these pictures have touched each one of you present here today and is to inspire you to help these women,” they said. “All the sales of these works will be taken to breast cancer foundation where the money will be distributed to the patients in order to enable them buy their drugs,” Ayeni-Babaeko stated. To them, stigma is one of the challenges those living with cancer suffer on a daily basis and the fear of death. Breast cancer has claimed the lives of many women because of ignorance. However, the nude images were presented in a stylish way, preventing the audience from seeing the faces of the sub-

•Photographers at the event By Udemma Chukwuma

VISUAL ART jects. One of the photographs had a mirror on the face of subject; reflecting the face of anyone who gets closer to it. Putting the exhibition together costs the photographer two years of hard work just to make the project a reality. Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Centre, a charity foundation, one of the sup-

porters of the exhibition said that Nigeria lacks the adequate equipments needed in battling cancer. The foundation believes that the exhibition will inspire the public to join them in fighting breast cancer. In line with target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration, which is aimed at reducing stigma and dispelling the damaging myths and misconceptions, the foundation shared belief in raising awareness of cancer survivor and reducing stigma associated with cancer in Nigeria.

“With persistence high death rates caused by breast cancer, is it important to create awareness, advocate for better cancer care, raise funds to support cancer treatment and strengthen cancer care institutions.” The fund raised at the exhibition will be donated to 1K4 Cancer project to support cancer patient on Sebeccly waiting list. The exhibition is also supported by The Perspective, Camara Studios and Goethe-Institut. The exhibition is still running and will close on March 29.



The Midweek Magazine


Aesthetic appeals in contemporary Nigerian poetry (2)


•Continued from last week


HE scourge of kidnapping which has become a national monster in Nigeria has placed both security and civilians alike at red alert without much being said about those unholy actions that have sparked off these threatening reactions. Using apostrophe in the whole of the first stanza and both paradox and antithesis in the first and second lines of the second verse, the poem “Kidnapping” addresses the social menace of kidnap by suggesting that certain issues, and tendencies of the exploitative class to constantly keep the exploited class under their strangulating grip is inevitably giving way to the scourge of kidnapping. In other words, the poet is implying that the menace of kidnapping which poses a security challenge today is a natural reaction to the tragic poverty in the mist of plenty. According to her, “my life has tasted from the fire of want” in spite of standing “by the ocean of plenty” (41). In the second section “Fingers of feeling”, the poet’s exploration of the theme of love is quite intriguing. Using twenty five poems in this section, she shows that her conception of love goes beyond the fantasies of romantic orthodoxy to show her love for friends, associates, God, marriage and family members. In the poem “I love you” she echoes the sanctity and sacredness of the dignified expression which has now come to be corrupted by those who feign it, and those who want to hear it said as a proof of love. Thus, she then uses apostrophe in the last verse to give a stern warning to those who “yearn to hear these words” to “believe not all” that they hear. In “Inevitability”, she reminds us of the good and the bad of human existence for which we must give thanks to “Chukwu”, even as the Holy Bible has enjoined us - “giving thanks to God in all things”. By dwelling on the interplay of good and bad as quintessential for



Dancing Mask


Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo


John Uwa


Kraft Books

Pagination: 140

existence, Ezeigbo is implying that life is sweet, but we can never tell how sweet it

Tragedy of a community


LEKWU Night Dance is an addition to the corpus of contemporary Nigerian litera-

ture by the long awaited literary “optimist”, Friday John Abba. The play started with, and sustained a tight engrossing wave of suspense, from the beginning till the end. The play is an archetypical “revenge tragedy”. The propelling force behind the plot string is a singular intention of obtaining revenge. From the unfolding events, we can see the vivid elements of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama laced in the motif of the characters and their thirst for bloody deeds, intrigue and high melodrama. Although the play is contextualised against the backdrop of the Idoma-speaking community of Ol’ano, a fictitious locale, however, reference to the real Idoma community such as Ugbokolo gives the play an element of cultural verisimilitude. One thing that is common among most African cultures is communalism; in this play we are introduced to how a single




Alekwu Night Dance


Friday John Abba


Usho Smith Adawa


Wright Words Consulting



action of a member of community triggered doom in the entire community. The intrigue of Ochai, turns out to be a tragedy of the whole commu-

is, or appreciate such sweetness without the bitter experience of life. We notice a reinforcement of Blake’s postulation -”no contraries no progression”. By implication, all humans progress in time by two contraries - good and bad, up and down, God and devil, life and death, success and failure, light and darkness etc. We must therefore have to experiment with these contraries to find a balance for us to give our existence some meaning. It is thus this experimentation with the essence of existence that formed the canvas for “Haiku connection” (the title of the third section of the collection) where Ezeigbo explored and experimented with the Japanese poetic form which we may want to refer to as minor poetry. She uses this unique form to express beauty, nature and poignant experience. In a typical Japanese style, most of the poems in this section are inspired by nature, beauty and craftsmanship. The last section gives tribute to the fallen, which have exhibited unflinching courage in the pursuit of justice before embarking on a permanent absence from earthly activities. One of such is Odumegwu Ojukwu, the late Biafran leader. However, it is the fourth section which she composed in pidgin that appears most poignant, hilarious and expressive. She avails herself of the poetic licence which is inherent in the linguistic structure of pidgin to bare her mind on burning national issues like insecurity which appears to be tearing the nation apart. In “I no fear boko haram” she paints a panoramic picture of the mortal fear and destruction that the bestial activities of the sect has brought on Nigerians. Not even the boast of those who claim to be unafraid of the insurgents could conceal their fears when it all seems to happen before their very eyes. To Ezeigbo, the want on act of killing the defenceless is akin to the brutal pogrom that precipitated the civil war. In this poem, Ezeigbo creates a strong communion between her poetic voice and her readers by showing awareness that the readers are conversant with the issues she

nity, typical of classical drama. Of particular note in the play is the centrality of a deity— Alekwu, who akin to the Greek or Yoruba cosmology serves as an instrument of checking and balancing the affairs of the mortals. As the tragic effect of the play evolves, wit and bathos becomes the norm, while proverbs and clowning are deployed to provide comic relief. Even when the play seems to be populated with a lot of characters, only about seventeen characters where obviously visible in the main throe of the play; a conscious attempt to fuse the classical and African theatrical aesthetics. Another fascinating feature of the play is its attempt to locate the tragedy of the Idoma-speaking communication within the ambit of the universal tragic tradition. The play can well pass for a nationalistic play, in that, it uphold certain Idoma ethnic values thereby, projecting them as core values for all mankind. In spite of the inherent but negligible flaws in the typesetting of the play and a few stage directorial excesses, the play could be understood against its reconstructive tendency of modelling a society grounded on fairness and justice. Alekwu Night Dance holds the promise of redefining the concept of classical tragedy from a modernist perspective.


raises, and are witnesses to the Boko Haram scourge. She brings the poem to life by her use of exclamation and interjectory remarks. These artistic skills according to Isidore Okpewho are “used to recall analogous instances in heroic narrative of what may be called a sense of moment, by which the narrator highlights the magnitude of a spectacle or the significance of an event” (7). In this particular poem, it can be noticed that Ezeigbo’s deployment of interjectory exclamation is for two reasons; one is to show the contemporary nature of the issue, and the other is to emphasise the point she is trying to make, which is the state of insecurity in the country. To give more life to her poetic renditions is her use of idiophones like- kaaka ... Gbim gbim and Dum Dum Dum ... Gbudum Gbudum (99). The imaginative effect of these idiophones is a paradigmatic canvas for the artistic portrayals of the destructive effect of lethal weapons of warfare and mass destruction. On the overall evaluation of Ezeigbo and this collection, we could see that the poet is a craftsman who is aware of the overall demands of poetry. She thus writes under the influence of her society and artistic medium to balance form and content. She presents a collection in which the themes are suggested by the society and weaved by her artistic skills. Good poetry cannot do without poetic diction, musicality, theme and subject matter, style and technique. Ezeigbo does not only show that she is conversant with, and aware of these poetic elements, she also suggests a broad frame work for the evaluation of poetry through her experiment with pidgin, cultural imports and the Japanese form. In this collection, Ezeigbo reactivates an African evaluative consciousness which seems to be relegated in the evaluation of poetry. Though these achievements alone cannot be the yardstick by which we judge aesthetic appeals, they have however fertilised the ground on which Ezeigbo can lay legitimate claim to fame in the criticism of contemporary Nigerian poetry. •Concluded

Ikeja Lions fetes elders

KEJA Lions Club has hosted members who have spent over 20 years with the association at a Special Elders Night. Over 20 of them, their family members and friends gathered at the event held at Etal Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. President of the club Mark Ebare said the event was aimed at honouring the “dedicated men and women who had laboured to sustain the club’s growth’’, celebrate their achievements and encourage old and would-be members. Chairman, Special Elders Night Committee Valentine Opone said the elders were being celebrated because they had done well for the association, adding: “’another group of persons in Lions we are also honouring are some distinguished Lions who have also served meritoriously in their calls and offices.” Ogunnowo Bolaji said as members ‘’there were many things we enjoyed’’, adding that holding meetings they also socialised, culminating in the building of a club house. Besides, “we also had a lot of projects”. These included visitation to the Lepers’ Colony, construction of an accident rescue centre on theLagos- Ibadan expressway which was donated to the state government and donated of

By Joseph Eshanokpe

cash to the government to take care of accident victims. Ibiyemi Oguntoye, an engineer, said he joined the club when he was abroad through some friends. He said the club had over 120 members. “The spirit of service was there. It was a pride to belong to Ikeja Lions Club. And when we were invited to the international congress, members from other chapters were geared towards us. In a lecture a former District governor Dr Teslim Sanusi urged members to plan for retirement. He said no matter how long they worked,they would retire. He noted that 70per cent of Lions in advanced countries are retirees. Over 16 got awards at the event. They included Wesley Kafidiya, Dr Olufemi Adeyeye, Doherty Akinsami, Tokunbp Alli, Adebimpe Animashaun, Kingsley Essien, Do Regis, Alhaji Lateef Folorunso and Wale Makinde. A recipient Kafidiya said: “I feel highly honoured and relevant to the continual growth and sustainance aof the club in particular and the Lions in general. When people appreciate you, you feel relevant and continue to show appreciation.”





‘I complied with all regulations as CBN governor’ Concluding part of Central Bank of Nigeria’s suspended Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s response to querries on his tenure it should be stated that the said MrAkingbola is a man found by a final judgment of the Courts in England to have been liable for financial improprieties in the management of the affairs of ICB. i. In his self-serving petition, MrAkingbola alleged that the CBN, on my watch, wrote-off a loan in favour of Dr. Bukola Saraki. This is untrue. ii. The CBN was at no time involved in the decision of ICB (or any other bank for that matter) to write-off its loans. The CBN never gave prior approval to the Management and Board of ICB to write-off any particular loan. It is important to state upfront that all the non executive directors on the Board of ICB were appointed by its shareholders while Akingbola was CEO and they were the majority on the Board that approved the write-offs. iii. From the submissions of ICB to the CBN, the said loan write-off, involved over 1000 customers accounts, totalling N49.07 billion – including accounts held by companies related to Dr. BukolaSaraki. iv. It is well known that decisions on loan write-offs in the process of recovering non-performing loans are taken by the management and board of banks in line with their internal credit policies. The outstanding amounts are then written off the books of banks after receiving approval of the CBN. ICB therefore only approached the CBN, after it has completed all its negotiations and agreements with its customers, to seek CBN ‘ No Objection’ approval to write-off the loans. Indeed, after a careful review of the submission by ICB, the CBN initially raised objections to the justifications provided for the write-off of the debts on the accounts related to Dr. BukolaSaraki. See Annexure II. v. In response to these objections, the Management of ICB wrote explaining the rationale for the Board decision. (This is also contained in Annexure II). It is important to note that decisions on loan writeoffs involve significant exercise of judgement by those involved. Usually a number of factors come into play including whether or not the loan is secured, the value of collateral and if the bank is in a legal position to realise same, the general liquidity in the secondary market and the liquidity position of the bank itself which determines if it is negotiating from a position of strength or weakness. Ultimately, while we may debate these issues, the judgement has to be exercised by those actually managing the bank in the best interest of shareholders and the responsibility lies with them. vi. In the case of ICB it is well known that the bank was in a grave situation as a result of years of mismanagement by Akingbola. The loans in question were largely loans secured by shares in the capital market and therefore were vulnerable to what is called Market risk. The collapse of the Nigerian capital market following the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 meant that the collateral for these loans had been totally wiped out. The losses suffered by the bank were therefore a result of very bad credit decisions taken by Mr. Akingbolahimself which led to the bank taking on huge amounts of risk that crystallised. In this situation all that was left for Management was to minimise its losses and recover as much as it could before the situation got worse. vii. With specific reference to the ICB loans to companies related to Dr Saraki, the bank’s Management explained that there were four loans totalling N9.489 billion, of which three were margin loans secured by shares and the fourth was secured by real estate. The value of the collateral underlying the Margin loans had been eroded and the bank was compelled to give waivers to make some recovery while still retaining the shares for sale at a future date. It should also be added that the real estate used to secure the non-margin loan were not perfected by the management under Mr. Akingbola – which is another indication of bad credit policies under Mr. Akingbola.


viii. There was no waiver granted to Dr Saraki on the fourth loan as it was paid in full (plus accumulated interest). Of the N9.4 billion, a total of N4.04 billion was repaid, representing a waiver of 57.42 %. Losses on Margin loans were common at this time in the entire industry. To illustrate this, when AMCON purchased margin loans from Intervened banks on December 30, 2010 it offered a premium of 60% above the average price of the shares in the preceding 60 days. In spiteof these generous terms AMCON paid an average of only 24.27% of the value of margin loans purchased. Without the premium AMCON would have purchased the loans at 15.17% of their book value. This actually would suggest that the Management of ICB did get a reasonably fair deal for the bank in these circumstances. The best construction we can place on Mr Akingbola’s petition is that he is complaining that the Management that succeeded him could have done a better job of cleaning up the mess he created and left behind. ix. As for Akingbola’s allegation of fraud, conspiracy, forgery and stealing against Dr. Saraki in connection with Joy Petroleum Ltd, the Central Bank was in the process of collaborating with law enforcement agents involved in the investigations when we received a copy of a letter written by the Honourable Attorney-General and Minister of Justice declaring that these allegations were unfounded and there was no basis in law for any criminal investigation in respect thereof. See Annexure HH. The Central Bank therefore cannot be held in any manner responsible for this decision as this was a position taken by the nation’s chief law officer. 36. Conclusion i. It is now clear that each of the allegations made by the FRCN in the Briefing Note could easily have been resolved upon a simple request to the CBN for clarification or a little more careful review. There is no doubt that if the CBN had received the Briefing Note, which was prepared in June 2013, all the misconceptions, misrepresentations and erroneous inferencescontained therein would have been cleared, and the misleading of His Excellency would have been avoided. ii. It is now my sincere hope that, having painstakingly provided detailed explanations, backed by verifiable documents, His Excellency, Mr President will find the response satisfactory, and in line with his adherence to fairness and justice, revisit and redress the issue of my suspension. iii. Furthermore, it is my wish that His Excellency, Mr President, will apply the same rationale and rigour to other agencies of the Federal Government that have had serious allegations and queries levied against them, and presume upon them to provide responses and explanations with the same level of clarity and transparency. iv. In closing, I would like to place on record the dogged professionalism and patriotism of the staff of the CBN. They have, over the years, served this country creditably, loyally and diligently. I hereby restate my enduring passion for, and commitment to, our great country Nigeria.







Fed Govt may remove subsidy on petrol, kerosene soon T HE Minister of Petro leum Resources, Mrs Diezani AlisonMadueke has said that the Federal Government may remove subsidy on kerosene and petroleum motor spirit (PMS) soon. Speaking at the on-going Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja yesterday, Mrs Madueke-Alison said the subsidy paid to marketers on imported refined petroleum products cannot be sustained. She said: “Now that reforms in power sector are underway, the next focus should be reforms in the downstream subsector. The continued regulation of the downstream sector has its positive and negative impact on the economy. But the negative effect is more than the positive. The subsidy policy cannot be sustained any longer. This is because the subsidy payment did not benefit the poor it was targeting but rather it is benefiting the rich. The industry needs to move to next level by increasing revenue and curbing oil theft and pipeline vandalism.” The nation has been faced with fuel scarcity in the past two months and there seems to be no end in sight despite assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it always has enough stocks in strategic reserves that will lasts for months. She, however, blamed the current fuel scarcity on sabotage, diversion, hoarding, panic buying and rumours of imminent pump price increase. She listed challenges facing the government to include perennial oil theft, pipeline vandalism and non-passage of the ‘famous’ Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). “The PIB is still with the National Assembly and we hope that it will be passed very soon. However, we have been confronted with the menace of pipeline vandalism for decades and it has become much more prevalent in the last few years. “In 2013 alone, all the major crude oil pipelines were se-

• Nigeria loses $11b to oil theft, pipeline vandalism

From Emeka Ugwuanyi and Akinola Ajibade (in Abuja)

verely damaged and vandalised at different points in time. The Bonny–Escravos line from the refinery was not spared either. Needless to say pipeline vandalism and sabotage created significant losses for the country. This includes direct and indirect costs for the provision of security, crude oil and petroleum products losses, production and environmental degradation and associated remediation cost to that and resulting escalation of project implementation

cost that go along with it,” she said. “A stable 2.3 million barrels per day production of crude oil was achieved in 2013 and with the capacity to boost production to 3million barrels per day. Gas production also increased from 6.3 trillion standard cubic feet per day to 8.1 trillion standard cubic feet per day also in 2013,” she added. Also, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Yakubu Andrew, said the country lost over $11billion worth of oil revenue last year, as a result of

theft and pipeline vandalism. Andrew said Nigeria lost 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) last year, adding that it amounts to $10,950 million. ”Nigeria has faced unprecedented challenges with regards to losses in production occasioned by incessant vandalism of crude oil export pipelines and domestic crude oil and petroleum product pipelines. In 2013, Nigeria suffered severe attacks on its critical export pipeline system leading to the loss and or deferment of about 300,000 bpd. This deferred production or loss is equivalent to the total production of Equatorial Guinea and larger than the entire production of Ghana, Congo Brazzaville, Cameroun and Gabon,” he stated.



HE Central Bank of Ni geria (CBN) has kicked off sensitisation for the take-off of the cashless policy in Plateau State. The policy was introduced last year and is being implemented across the country on zonal bases. It was first introduced in Lagos and it was expected to cover the 36 states by the end of June. Speaking on the occasion yesterday at the Hill Station Hotel, Jos, the CBN Acting Governor, Sarah Alade, who was represented by the CBN Branch Controller, Jos, Mathias Kurah said the programme was holding simultaneously in other states, adding that policy would reposition the financial system and address challenges as well as transform the country into a first world economy. Mrs Alade explained that with the business community’s strong adoption of the policy, the CBN was enlarging financial contact points to include post offices, mo-


• Vice President Namadi Sambo with Group Managing Director (GMD), First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bisi Onasanya at the on-going Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG summit in Abuja. With them is Chairman, NESG, Mr. Folusho Phillips.

By Toba Agboola

stack tyres in containers, you are destroying them, even if they are new. This is why the government banned these tyres because we want to save lives. We cannot sell death to survive,” he said. He said SON no longer only seizes the bad products but also arrests the owners and prosecutes them in the court of law. “We do not make empty threats. The importers said we would go to sleep after some time but we are actually getting stronger. We are no longer only impounding

but we would also look for the importer or marketer responsible for bringing in these products and prosecute them. This is our new full enforcement regime.” “We must do our jobs but we should also be thinking of what happens to the level of investment some poor people are going to lose but at the end of the day we have to do our job. The Federal Government has made policies and we have to carry out those instructions,” he added. He said most of the tyres came in through the ports, adding that this is a big challenge for the agency because

it’s no longer in the ports. He said to tackle this menace, SON has started a sensitisation, to tell people of the dangers in using these products and what kinds of jobs are not accepted in the environment. “Whenever you are not clear about goods that meet quality, come and ask us; do not do things because you want to make money. “The government banned used tyres and that is exactly what we are looking at and any tyre that you see there is over four years old. So, by any standard, that product is not fit for use,” he said.

HE Management of the Nigerian Ports Author ity (NPA) has donated patrol boats worth $20millions to the Nigerian Navy to secure the nation’s maritime domain. Speaking at the handing over in Lagos yesterday, the Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi said the three boats were donated to complement the functions of the Navy. He added that NPA would continue to support and assist the Navy in performing its core duties. The NPA boss also reiterated the Authority’s readiness to partner with the Navy to ensure safe navigation on the country’s territorial waters. He said the donation of the boats was a demonstration of NPA’s determination to collaborate with other relevant government agencies to secure the nation’s waters. “We are optimistic that these patrol boats, consisting of one 32 meters OCEA named NNS DORINA (P101) and two 17meters MANTA boats named NNS TORIE(P258) and NNS EGEDE (P259), with their


tor parks as well as corner shops. She said: “The cash-less policy intends to reduce and not eliminate the use of physical cash payment in Nigeria and other ills associated with a cash centric economy, such as robberies, election rigging, revenue leakage, kidnapping etc. Elaborating on the advantages of the policy to stakeholders in Jos, Aaron Aminu Yadumu from the Shared Service Office said “the use of Point-of-sale (POS) machines had “impressively increased from 5,000 as at 2012 to over 177,000 as at August 2013. So, it is encouraging that adoption is taking place.” Yadumu urged state government officials and residents to embrace the policy, adding that the internal revenues of states, such as Lagos and Ogun had increased geometrically due to their adoption of the cash-less policy.

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

by EU in Abuja, the new commitment demonstrates EU’s continuous support to West Africa’s regional integration, which is the most advanced of the African continent. European Commissioners for Development Policy, Andris Piebalgs and Trade Policy, Karel De Gucht, ap-

plauded the decision which was confirmed by Foreign Affairs Council. Piebalgs said: “EU’s commitment responds to the needs expressed by West Africa and will allow the region to take advantage of all the opportunities of the Economic Partnership Agreement. The implementation of the EPA will be instrumental in creating favourable

conditions to boost trade in the region and stimulate growth and job creation. The development of the region will also contribute to increase peace and stability in West Africa.” In 2010, EU pledged to provide 6.5 billion euro to support the PAPED from 20102014. This pledge was increased and the EU has funded projects worth 8.2 bil-

By Oluwakemi Dauda

unique operational features and capacities, will augment the fleets of the Navy in their search and rescue operations within the nation’s waters fronts,” Abdullahi said. He urged the Navy to make use of the boats. Abdullahi also urged the Navy to consider the amount spent to procure the boats, advising them to take adequate care of them. The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral U.O . Jibrin, who was represented by Rear Admiral S. I. Alade, said he was happy because of the collaboration between NPA and the Navy to keep the nation’s maritime space safe and secure economic activities. He said the donation could not have come at a better time, considering the prevailing security challenges on the waterways. The CNS said the acquisition of the platforms was a positive step in the efforts to secure the ever-busy Lagos waters against pirates, illegal oil bunkers and pipeline vandals.

‘Oduah not responsible for shake-up in aviation’


HE spokesman for the Aviation Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Dati yesterday debunked claims by some critics that the former minister of aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, had a hand in the removal of the former heads of aviation agencies. Dati said the Federal Gov-

EU confirms new 6.5b euro support for trade in West Africa

HE European Union (EU) has announced a new support of about 6.5 billion euro for the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Programme (PAPED) for West Africa for 2014- 2020. The funds are expected to enhance trade and investment in West African countries. According to a statement

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu,

NPA donates $20m patrol boats to Navy

SON seizes 10 trailers of substandard tyres

HE Standards Organi sation of Nigeria (SON) has seized about 10 trailers of substandard tyres worth millions of naira at Ladipo-Mushin market, Lagos. Head of Inspectorate and Compliance Unit, SON, Mr Bede Obayi, told reporters that the organisation’s taskforce made the huge seizure based on intelligence reports. Bede said Nigeria can no longer be buying products that would endanger the lives of the citizens. “We have been told by professionals that when you


CBN kicks off cash-less policy in Plateau

lion euro (through the European instruments, memberstates’ bilateral cooperation and the European Investment Bank). The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council yesterday acknowledged the importance of the PAPED developed by West Africa during the negotiations of the EPA between the 16 states in the region and the EU.

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

ernment had decided to effect changes in the top management of the aviation agencies in the public interest. He said the erstwhile managing directors of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. George Uriesi; the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Nnamdi Udoh; Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Capt. Chinyere Kalu and the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu all worked with the former minister. “These gentlemen worked under Oduah when she was Aviation minister; so if she wanted to remove any of them, she possibly could have done so,” he said.









Nigerian equities drop below four-month low •Losses climb to N641b in 5 days T HE downtrend at the Nigerian stock market worsened yesterday as investors lost additional N197 billion to push total loss within the past five days to N641 billion. The main value-based index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated that the market has reversed below its 20-week position. The bearish overall market situation was orchestrated by increased open-market sale orders from panicky investors. The All Share Index (ASI), the common index that tracks all quoted equities, slipped from its opening index of 37,888.47 points to close at 37,274.04 points. This indicated a reversal below 37,278.34 points recorded on October 38, 2013.

Stories by Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

With a day-on-day decline of 1.62 per cent yesterday, average yearto-date return at the stock market worsened to -9.81 per cent. All the sectoral indices also depreciated, underlining the wide spread of the bearishness. The NSE 30 Index declined by 1.0 per cent, the NSE Banking Index dropped by 2.0 per cent, the NSE Insurance Index lost 1.36 per cent, the NSE Consumer Goods Index slipped by 0.43 per cent, the NSE Oil and Gas Index dropped by 1.0 per cent while the

NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 0.67 per cent. Aggregate market value of all equities dropped to N11.973 trillion as against its opening value of N12.170 trillion, indicating a loss of N197 billion. This brought total loss since the recent streak of bearishness started last Wednesday. Equities had lost N353 billion between Wednesday and Friday and added N91 billion on Monday. With four out of every five price changes ending on the negative, most equities were

either retreating or stagnant. Out of a total of 108 stocks that were traded yesterday, there were 41 losers, 10 gainers and 57 flat stocks. Nestle Nigeria, NSE’s highestpriced stock, topped the losers’ list with a loss of N51.27 to close at N975.08. Dangote Cement, the most capitalised stock, followed with a loss of N5.20 to close at N228.40. Forte Oil placed third with a drop of N4.94 to close at N93.86. Mobil Oil Nigeria lost N3.90 to close at N117. Flour Mills of Nigeria declined by N3.45 to close at N74.50. UAC of Nigeria slipped by N2.50 to close at N62. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria lost N1 to close at N110. Zenith Bank dwindled by 88 kobo to close at N20.50. Oando declined by 76 kobo to close at N14.59 while International Breweries lost 71 kobo to close at N25 per share. Market analysts said investors appeared to be following the herds as many open-market orders substantially undervalued the stocks. According to market pundits, several stocks have become more attractive given their current earnings outlook and potential dividend yield. The momentum of the

downtrend also appeared to increase, with more deals than previous trading session. Total turnover increased to 286.79 million shares valued at N4.54 billion in 4,806 deals, representing 30.5 per cent and 88.4 per cent on turnover volume and value recorded in the previous trading session. Financial services stocks remained the most active with a turnover of 221.86 million shares worth N1.94 billion in 2,750 deals. United Bank for Africa (UBA) was the most active stock with a turnover of 32.54 million shares valued at N224.51 million in 224 deals. Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) followed with a turnover of 28.93 million shares valued at N669.88 million in 344 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc placed third with 23.21 million shares worth N86.65 million in 197 deals. Meanwhile, Seven-Up Bottling Company rallied N1.24 to close higher at N88.01. Guaranty Trust Bank trailed with a gain of N1.12 to close at N23.79. Guinness Nigeria added N1 to close at N170. Total Nigeria rose by 97 kobo to close at N160 while Union Dicon Salt gathered 63 kobo to close at N14.14 per share.

Japan Display hauls $1.6b on listing

W Aso Savings moves to acquire Union Homes A SO Savings and Loans Plc has indicated interest to acquire Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc as part of efforts to consolidate the operations of the two struggling mortgage firms. Impeccable sources in the know of the talks said that Aso Savings has made known its intention to acquire Union Homes, a subsidiary of Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc. Sources confirmed that Aso Savings has filed preliminary notice of intention to notify the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Both Aso Savings and Union Homes are quoted on the NSE. As part of the listing requirements, NSE requires all quoted companies to inform it of any information ahead of its release to the public and before the party takes any

action on it. Managing director, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), Mr Emeka Emuwa, on Monday said the bank would be selling its non-core banking subsidiaries in compliance with Central Bank of Nigeria’s regulation. According to him, the divestment will see the sale of about nine units of the bank before the end of 2014. He said the board considered all options before it opted out of being a Holding company, adding

Four investors stake $900m business travel joint venture


MERICAN Express Company has said that four financial investors have committed a total of $900 million to a business travel joint venture, in what would be the largest single investment ever made in a travel management company. The deal highlights some of the challenges facing the world’s biggest credit card issuer, as tighter corporate budgets weigh on its business travel division, which helps employees of companies with their travel arrangements. Certares LP, the investment firm founded by former JPMorgan Chase & Co dealmaker and private equity veteran Greg O’Hara, will be joined by Qatar Investment Authority, BlackRock Inc and Macquarie Capital in the joint venture. Qatar Investment Authority will have a bigger stake in the joint venture than the other three investors, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to publicly disclose this detail. The deal underscores the sovereign wealth fund’s new appetite for private equitytype direct investments in US-based com-

panies. American Express said in September it was in talks to sell half of its business travel division for up to $1 billion to an investor group led by Certares. The company’s consumer travel business will not be a part of the deal. American Express said an agreement had been reached and revealed the identity of those involved. It will own half of the joint venture, with the four financial investors owning the remainder, according to a statement by the company. Reuters reported that the New York-based company said it expected to use a “substantial portion” of any gain recognized upon a closing of the transaction, expected in the second quarter, to invest in growth initiatives. The travel business unit is the biggest of its kind, serving customers who collectively spend more than $19 billion in corporate travel. It is present in 139 countries and employs over 14,000 people.

that the decision to sell the noncore banking subsidiaries was in the best interest of the organisation. The affected subsidiaries include insurance, property, share registry and trustee businesses. “The restructuring will enable us focus on core banking and do more in our area of competitive advantage, which is commercial banking,” Emuwa said. In line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Regulation 3 on the scope of banking and ancillary matters, and the bank’s plan to focus its resources on core banking functions, Union Bank, in late 2013, commenced the process of divesting its interests in all its subsidiaries and associated companies, with the exception of Union Bank (UK) Limited.

HEN Japan Display Inc lists on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today, it will bring vindication - and $1.6 billion in cash - for a government-backed restructuring effort after other high-stakes attempts to help chipmakers flopped. Cobbled together from loss-making units at Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd, Japan Display has emerged as the world’s biggest producer of screens for smartphones and tablets, marking a rare success for Japan’s industrial policy. But the deal never would have happened if it were not for a group of working-level engineers who came up with the idea, leaving top executives on the sidelines - and at times in the dark - as their plans took shape, people involved in the process said. “When the company was launched, we were told it was a miracle,” said Koichiro Taniyama, an executive managing director at the government-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan , which invested 200 billion yen ($1.97 billion) for a 70 per cent stake when Japan Display was founded two years ago. “And once the company was launched, we were told, can it really make it to a listing. But here, we’ve made it.” Japan Display is listing after sell-

ing more than $3 billion of shares in Japan’s biggest offering in nine months, raising funds to invest in new facilities. The INCJ will reduce its stake to 34.5 percent from 86.7 percent. Industry and government officials have voiced hope the Japan Display model can be followed to revive other areas of the dormant electronics sector, which is feeling the heat from more nimble rivals such as those in South Korea and Taiwan. Doubts about Japan Display’s prospects initially ran deep after failures at chipmakers Elpida Memory and Renesas Electronics Corp, which were also carved out of Japan’s electronics conglomerates over the past decade and a half. Elpida was bought from bankruptcy protection last year by Micron Technology Inc, while Renesas was taken over by the INCJ in a rescue and restructuring after racking up nearly 650 billion yen in net losses during eight years in the red. Elpida and Renesas were hamstrung in part by infighting as executives from the conglomerates formed rival factions and fought for advantage, industry officials say. But the engineers and managers at the display units of Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi, who joined forces with Taniyama and a handful of consultants to push their idea to form Japan Display, managed to avoid such pitfalls.




Senate begins Emefiele’s screening tomorrow


HE Senate would on Thursday begin the formal screening of Mr. Godwin Emefiele as President Goodluck Jonathan’s nominee for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN). This information was part of yesterday Senate’s Notice Paper against Thursday where the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, would formally move the motion for the screening and confirmation of Emefiele.


From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Also yesterday, new amendments were proposed to the CBN Act which among others would remove a sitting CBN governor from being chairman of the CBN Board. The amendment bill seeks to make the CBN governor aswerable to the Board’s chairman. The CBN amendment bill scaled first reading in Senate yesterday.

moved by the Senate Leader as contained in the Senate Notice Paper for Thursday, reads: “That the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President for the confirmation of the following nominees for appointments as Governor of the CBN and Deputy Governor of the CBN respectively, in accordance with section 8(1) and (2) of the CBN Act of 2007.” According to the Senate standing rule, the nominees would be screened by the Senate Committee on Banking and a report presented to the Senate in plenary for adoption or otherwise. However, it was learnt that some Senators are seeking a waiver to the

A provision in the bill empowers the President to appoint any person of high integrity as chairman of the board of CBN subject to the confirmation of the Senate. The Ndoma-Egba’s motion would also pave way for the screening and confirmation of Adelabu Adebayo Adekola as deputy governor of the CBN as nominated by the President. The motion entitled: “Confirmation of nomination”, and billed to be

Western Union, Ecobank partner on ATM services

HE Western Union Company and Ecobank Nigeria Limited yesterday announced that customers can now conduct Western Union Account Based Money Transfer (ABMT) Services using any of the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). In a statement, the bank said the exercise will enable its customers to have access to Western Union’s services using their debit card in addition to the already existing internet portal “”. To access this service, customers are expected to visit Ecobank Nigeria ATMs, insert their debit card, select ‘Western Union’, and follow through the easy steps to complete a transaction. A Western Union customer with an account in Ecobank can now access Western Union’s Money Transfer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Anthony Okpanachi said both firms have leveraged technology to the benefit of their customers. He said the exercise will also encourage the financially excluded to maintain bank accounts with the bank. Regional Vice President Africa, Western Union, Aida Diarra said: “Western Union values its collabora-

By Collins Nweze

tion with Ecobank which is growing consumer-driven solutions through digital applications across the continent. This development further promotes financial inclusion which is in

line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Cashless policy”. She explained that the financial services industry is a major driver of Africa’s economic growth and Ecobank and Western Union play a pivotal role by moving money across the continent in innovative and costeffective ways.

Fidelity Bank canvasses financial literacy among youths


IDELITY Bank Plc has said that financial literacy among Nigerians especially the youths will foster economic growth and development even as the country seeks the attainment of financial inclusion in the economy. The bank’s managing director, Nnamdi Okonkwo said while delivering a lecture to students of Girls’ Secondary School, Awka, Anambra State that financial literacy will help young people gain financial freedom through prudent management of money and clear differentiation of needs and wants. Specifically, the bank chief who spoke on “Inspiring Young People towards Financial Literacy and Freedom,” on the occasion organised by Fidelity Bank in partnership with Junior Achieve-


Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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


OBB Rate Call Rate

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012







22.67 13.51 0.91 0.76 86.77 0.75 159.03 169.00 10.20 11.66

23.79 14.14 0.95 0.79 88.01 0.76 160.00 170.00 10.25 11.70

1.12 0.63 0.04 0.03 1.24 0.01 0.97 1.00 0.05 0.04

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51





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









O/PRICE 3.22 2.40 3.58 98.80 1,026.35 12.49 15.35 2.25 3.28 3.69

C/PRICE 2.91 2.19 3.33 93.86 975.08 11.87 14.59 2.14 3.12 3.51


July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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



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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%



CHANGE -0.31 -0.21 -0.25 -4.94 -51.27 -0.62 -0.76 -0.11 -0.16 -0.18

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m


LOSERS AS AT 18-3-14


and easier. We believe that this will go a long way in helping to bridge the digital divide.” First Bank, in a statement, said that it is committed to creatively meet customers’ needs, and that this collaboration with Intel and Slot is one of its many initiatives to improve quality of lives and meet the personal and business demands of its customers. Adim Isiakpona, Country Marketing and PR Manager, Intel, gave more insights into the scheme. He explained that individuals and corporate entities can purchase quality Intel-powered PC’s by walking into any Slot outlet near them, pick up a pro-forma invoice for the device bundle and visit the nearest First Bank branch for onward processing.


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

By Chikodi Okereocha



Senate rule to allow the nominees to be screened by a Committee of the Whole in the Senate chamber.

FirstBank, others to offer consumer loans

NTEL Nigeria, First Bank, and Slot Limited, have thrown their weight behind an initiative that offers the public the opportunity to purchase personal computers and tablets now and pay later. The scheme, which is open to employees of private and public organizations, entrepreneurs, and cooperative associations and unions, provides a wide range of Lenovo, Asus and Samsung products, which are paid for over a period of one year. Speaking on the initiative, Country Manager, Intel, Olubunmi Ekundayo said: “The scheme is part of the goal of Intel to make technology more accessible to everyone. We have harmonized plans with all the partners to make customers acquisition of PCs and tablets simpler

ment Nigeria to mark this year’s Global Money Week, said one important reason young people must be financially literate is to enable them manage money and be free from poverty and some of the self-made worries that money can solve later in life. The bank chief explained that the initiative is aimed at globally engaging children on aspects of financial education including saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment and entrepreneurship. He said that the programme will make young people make the right financial decision early in life, as they would have become smart enough about how to make money and manage same responsibly as they grow older.




1.2635 1.2893 0.9419 1.1499

Bid Price 155.84 9.08 1.05 1.17 0.68 1.33 1,618.47 1,000.00 115.13 100.00 1.62 1.03 142.62 0.76 1,883.42 1.2521 1.2893 0.9242 1.1499


Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




NEWS Vehicle owners get ultimatum

Insurgency sponsored against Jonathan, says PDP


HE Lagos State Police command has warned owners of abandoned vehicles parked at Isolo-Okota division to remove them or lose them to members of the public two weeks after this publication. The vehicles are LT bus, Lagos State commercial colour XN162 MUS, Mazda GA 365 LND, Nissan Sunny EP 812 AAA, Honda Accord DZ 979 LND and Ford mini bus DZ 999 SMR.

•NSA Dasuki: Shettima’s outburst not political


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has blamed the festering insurgency in the country on “unpatriotic elements” who want to discredit the person, office and administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party said the tactics is to distract the President, constrain the successful delivery of his transformation programme so as to portray him as non-performing and ridicule his score card when time reckons. The party said it was beyond conjecture that the Nigerian version of terrorism is the product of a narrow political persuasion that defies logic and reason. “We accept the reality of terrorism as a global phenomenon. However, the peculiar trend of the Nigerian version which subsists on a welter of

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

nebulous demands and masked identities, hacking down innocent Nigerians - women, children and the elderly - in an awful scorch earth fashion, and in an obstinate ridicule of dialogue, defies all reason and logic and only summarises a well considered agenda of national destabilisation for a purely selfish political cause. We pointedly finger the opposition.” But the National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, holds a different view. At a briefing on terrorism in Abuja yesterday, Dasuki, a retired colonel, urged the political elite not to politicise the Boko Haram insurgency. Dasuki, at the event, clarified the recent emotional outburst by the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima as the governor’s reaction to the spate of terrorist attacks on soft targets in his state.

According to the NSA, Shettima’s statement should not be viewed from a partisan prism. He said: “That statement by the Borno Governor was not a political statement. “He may be a member of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) but that does not necessarily mean he was speaking from partisan perspective”. The PDP said Jonathan is being persecuted on account of his minority origin, arguing that no leader in the history of the country had faced the height of persecution that the President had been subjected to since he assumed office. The statement added: “We recall statements by some politicians, vowing to make the country ungovernable for President Jonathan on the eve of the 2011 general elections and therefore enjoin Nigerians to rise against this brute ideology of violence from which a tiny

‘No banned goods come through Seme border’

•Col Dasuki

clique of the political class intends to benefit ultimately. It is the climax of wickedness only heard of the Lucifer in the distant bosom of hell fire. “Ironically, this is in spite of his humility and his fidelity to the orthodoxy of all democratic norms and values. This is in spite of his proven commitment to the unity and progress of every part of Nigeria irrespective of tribe and religion. Ironically, this is in spite of his proven competence and record delivery of his electoral promises”. The ruling party urged wellmeaning Nigerians to resist those behind the sectarian violence and insurgency in the country and to shore up support for the President in his efforts to “deliver the dividends of democracy to the people”


FORMER Secretary of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Sam Madubuike has massive importation of rice, frozen foods, vegetable oil, used clothes and cars come into Nigeria through the Seme border. He said pictures of banned goods published in an online medium, which had bushes in it, were not taken as the border as it has no such bushes. Madubuike, who is the Chairman/Managing Director of Sam Express Cargo Services Limited, said the report is a figment of the writers imagination designed to give agents at Seme Border a bad name. Conducting reporters around the examination bay at Asipa and the Scanning site, he said inspections are carried out in the open, adding that journalists can investigate the ‘false report’ further to determine if it is true. According to him, over 15 security agencies at the border partake in the physical examination of all goods and trucks that pass through the fixed scanner. Madubuike said sometimes, only two trucks come into Nigeria per day through Seme as many importers use the sea ports to avoid paying dual duties in Cotonou and Nigeria. On the allegation that 2.3 million tonnes of parboiled rice come in through the border, Madubuike said that could not be possible as it amounts to over two ship loads of cargo. He said any agent or importer of banned goods should be named and prosecuted, adding that licensed clearing agents are determined to work with Nigerian Customs Service to rid the country of banned goods. “Seized rice and frozen foods are destroyed daily here. No enlightened man who wants to live long will collect decayed products or unbranded and unhealthy rice from a smuggler to eat”.

Court dismisses $150m application against NNPC

T •L-R: Flag Officer Commanding, NAVTRAC Rear Admiral Goddy Ayankpele; Nigeria Port Authority Managing Director, Habib Abdullahi and FOC, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade onboard the OCEA boat donated by NPA in PHOTO: PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU. Apapa, Lagos...yesterday.

Navy arrests 22 Chinese, four ships for ‘illegal’ entry


HE Nigerian Navy has arrested four ships and 22 persons , suspected to be Chinese, who allegedly entered Nigeria’s territorial waters illegally. The Commander of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Godwin Ochai, a Commodore who announced the arrests, said the vessels were carrying large tonnes of fish. He named the vessels as Liadda Zhong Yu 15177, Liadda Zhong Yu 15178, Liao Zhung Yu 15030, and Liao Zhung Yu 15029. Ochair spoke while handing over the 22 suspected illegal immigrants in Onne, Rivers, State yesterday to the Nigeria Immigration Service and the State Department of Fisheries for investigations. He said the suspects breached international maritime laws and procedure by fishing in Nigeria’s territorial waters without permit. “As part of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice-Adm. Usman Jubrin’s determination to fight maritime crimes, one of our ships, NNS Burutu, arrested four foreign ships on our waters on March 14. “When our troops went on board the alien ships, they dis-

Three alleged impostors held THREE alleged naval impostors were yesterday paraded and handed over to the Police in Lagos by the Nigerian Navy (NN). Abdullahi Salisu with number X51747; Anyanwu Obinna with service number X10120 and Eduntola David number E9840, were paraded by personnel of the NNS WEY and handed over to the Agboju Police Division. The suspects were said to have had Navy identity cards, which they claimed were given to them by a naval personnel. NNS WEY Commander James Iliya urged Nigerians to report anyone suspected to be a fake Naval personnel to the police. He said most of the hostile and aggressive persons in uniforms who enter buses without payment or beat up civilians are usually impostors. Iliya said the incident was lamentable because it is coming at a time when terrorists carry out acts of terror in military uniforms. The Commandore said the three suspects were arrested with military accoutrements and naval uniforms different points within the state.” In recent times, we have had cases of terrorists in military uniforms who carry out their nefarious activities in the guise of being military personnel. covered that the four vessels had no immigration documents, neither did the 22 crew

By Precious Igbonwelundu

“You cannot rule out such cases hence the arrest of suspected impostors whenever we get them. Once investigations are concluded, we hand them over to the police for prosecution.” Illiya said efforts are on to check sales of military accoutrements across mammy markets within military formations in order to help curb the influx of impostors who perpetuate crimes under the guise of the uniform. “We have communicated to the NN headquarters about those who sell military uniforms in military formations and we are waiting for response before we expedite action. “In the interim, we have taken stock and crosschecked it with their books to know their customers. We then cross check this data with the service numbers of the buyers. That way, we eliminate the fake from real personnel,” he said. Admitting to the crime, Anyanwu said he has been impersonating the Navy for over one year. He said he did it in order to be able to enter commercial vehicles free of charge. “My first foray with the maritime sector was after I did a course with the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Victoria Island. When I was done with school, I was jobless and had no means of livelihood”.

members have passports. “Similarly, on probing, we discovered that the suspects did

not have any form of permit to engage in fishing activities in the nation’s territorial waters.

HE High Court of Justice in London has dismissed an application filed against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by IPCO (Nigeria) Ltd. The application was to enforce a $150million arbitration award on the ground among others that NNPC had made out a strong prima facie case that IPCO forged the documents relating to claims at the arbitration. The court therefore directed the parties to Federal High Court in Lagos where the matter is pending, to adjudicate on the suit. In the suit which had been on since 2004, IPCO, a turnkey contractor, claimed $310 million over and above the price in respect of a contract to build an oil terminal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The dispute arose following IPCO’s claim that NNPC should bear the cost of variations, finance charges and delays to the works. NNPC disputed these claims. Following arbitration proceedings in Nigeria, IPCO was awarded US $150 million in 2004, together with annual interest running at 14%. NNPC challenged the award in the Nigerian courts. However, since then IPCO has repeatedly sought to enforce the award in England before the proceedings in Nigeria have been concluded. In the course of IPCO’s previous attempt to enforce the award, NNPC discovered evidence that IPCO had forged documents relating to the claim and the related arbitration in Nigeria, and as a result the parties agreed in 2009 to adjourn the enforcement proceedings and await the outcome of the challenge in Nigeria. However, IPCO again sought to enforce the award in England in 2012. In his judgment, Mr Justice Field concluded that IPCO failed to establish any change of circumstances to justify enforcing the award in whole or part in England, and that it is in Nigeria that the enforceability of the award must be decided. The judgement therefore closes the door on the efforts of IPCO to enforce the judgement in England.



NEWS Immigration jobs deaths: APC seeks criminal probe Continued on page 4

sina and Plateau, just to mention a few. “ Never in the peace time history of our dear country has there been such a high number of needless deaths. “Amid all of this, the PDP-led Federal Government has been carrying on as if all is well. After presiding over a wasteful centenary celebration, President Goodluck Jonathan has been gallivanting around the country, addressing political rallies when he should be commiserating with families of the dead in the affected states, especially Yobe where innocent children were massacred by a cowardly band of terrorists, and Katsina, which he visited a few hours after hundreds of people were killed.” The party, however, warned the Federal Government against what it described as a plot to impose a total state of emergency on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. The communique said: “Also, it has come to our notice that, in pursuant of the Presidency’s stance to label anyone who offers it any advice on how to curtail the terrorists’ attack and boost the morale of our gallant troops, the imposition of a total state of emergency is being considered for Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which is a smokescreen to remove the

democratically-elected governors of these APC states. “We condemn this move unequivocally and urge the President to jettison the idea, if indeed it is being remotely contemplated, because it will not advance the cause of peace in the affected states. “Against the background of the daily orgy of killings, we are compelled to say that the Jonathan Administration has lost total control of events in the country, with the result that Nigerians are now being left to their own devices. “It is clear that the situation in our country today, whether it is in the area of security, job creation, fight against corruption or even growing of the economy, is far beyond the capacity of those at the helm. While faulting attacks on the suspended Governor of Central Bank, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for exposing the $20 billion scandal in NNPC, the party queried why the Petroleum minister, who supervises NNPC, is still in office. It said:”We also note, as a party, the ferocious attacks and blackmail mounted against Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of Central Bank. How someone who publicly disclosed the brazen theft of $20 billion from NNPC became a candidate for character assassination and

blackmail is questionable and condemnable. Sanusi’s suspension is an affront to law and a threat to Nigeria’s institutional stability. “This is also a government of double standard.Why is the Minister of Petroleum Deziani still in office when the major agency she superintendents is under investigation over the missing $20 billion? “Therefore, the only salvation for Nigeria is a purposeful and focused party like the APC. “From the road-map, which we unveiled recently, it is clear that we recognise the enormity of the challenges facing our dear country, hence we made job creation our priority, followed by security and the fight against corruption, among others. “We urge our compatriots not to despair or give up hope, because salvation is in the horizon. “The APC today embodies the hopes and aspirations of our long-suffering people. We have no doubt that this country can and will work again, and we are up to the task of restoring hope to our beleaguered people.” The party released the timetable for election into various offices from the ward to the national levels. The National Convention will hold on May 24. The communique added: “Finally, the party wishes to an-

nounce dates for its Congresses and National Convention. “The Ward Congress will hold on 5th of April, Local Government Congress on the 12th of April. State Congress on the 23rd of April and National Convention on the 24th of May.” Asked if the party has zoned its offices, Mohammed, said: “ No office is zoned to anybody or any part of the country.” On the ongoing National Conference, he said: “ There is nothing to discuss on the conference. We have made our position so clear about why we are not attending and nothing has changed. APC as a political party is not attending.” The meeting was attended by members of the party’s Interim National Executive Committee, led by Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti). Some national leaders of the party at the meetinh are: Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senator Ali Modu Sheriif, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator George Akume and others.

Reps seek automatic employment for families of dead job seekers Continued on page 4

based recruitment tests? Why could the Aptitude Test not have been conducted in conducive educational centres in batches all over the nation? Why was it so poorly co-ordinated that it resulted in the death of innocent and helpless Nigerians? He expressed concern that most Federal Government Youth Empowerment and Employment Creation programmes have not recorded much success in the past, and that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is at a perpetual all-time high. ”Bloomberg estimates Nigeria’s unemployment at 40 per cent and its youth unemployment at 72 per cent. Nigeria colligates with economically weak nations such as Spain, Greece and Zimbabwe in its employment indices. “The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) states that 54 per cent of Nigerian youths is unemployed and puts Nigeria’s total unemployment at 23.9 per cent. However, the last Saturday’s Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment exercise shows that Nigeria is nowhere near a 70 per cent employment rate and therefore, National Bureau of Statistics Figures cannot be said to be reliable.” All the members who spoke supported the motion, They included, Bashir Babale, Nkoyo Toyo ( PDP Cross River), Abike Dabiri- Erewa ( APC

Lagos) Leo Ogor ( PDP Delta), Ahmed Datti ( APC Katsina), Chris Etah (PDP Cross River), Karmil Akinlabi ( APC Oyo), Nkiruka Onyejeocha ( PDP Abia) and Ali Madaki (APC Kano). Majority of the lawmakers questioned the motive behind the exercise, arguing that the consultants in charge of organising it must be unearthed and be punished. Others claim the responsibility for the tragedy must be put squarely at the door of Minister for Interior. Abba Moro. Leo Ogor, Deputy Majority Leader described the current period as “an hour of sober reflection.” He said that it was “embarrassing” that such a huge crowd could respond for a couple of thousand jobs. “We must be prepared as a people to learn a great lesson from this. The hour has come to look at devolution of powers.” Ogor said a situation where the Federal Government controls the mineral resources of states could only increase unemployment. “The hour has come to do the needful; the solution is to look inwards. Power must be given to states and local governments to create opportunities,” he added. Abike Dabiri- Erewa ( APC Lagos) said: “ Where is the money. The money must be refunded to all candidates. The Minister must take responsibility.

Somebody must be punished for this, the money refunded and the families of the children compensated Hon. Kamil Akinlabi ( APC Oyo) noted that MDAs were fond of flouting House resolutions. He recalled that a similar case of recruitment and exploitation has come before the House and urged the House Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure that such resolutions are complied with. Nkiruka Onyejeocha (PDP Abia) said the incident was a wake up call for the country. “The Minister should have resigned. If you’re going to employ 4,500 people, why sell forms for a million people? The people in authority should be held responsible,” she said. Nkoyo Toyo ( PDP Cross River) said she hopes the 2014 budget “ which has been described as that of inclusive growth and job creation” would help sort some of the unemployment problems. She said: “ I support the call for an investigation. We can’t continue to accept this level of unemployment.” Jerry Alagbaso and Bush Alebiosu through amendments sought that the relatives of the victims be identified and given automatic employment. Thiswas accepted by members. Speaker Aminu Tambuwal rendered the motion to the House committees on Labour,


Public Service Matters and Justice for further action. Also yesterday, sequel to a motion brought before it by a member, Hon. Gideon Gwani (kaura Federal Constituency), the House mandated its committee on National Security and Public Safety to investigate the attacks on villages in Kaduna State last weekend that resulted in the death of over 100 victims and report back within two weeks. It also urged the Security agents to intensify efforts to apprehend the insurgents so as to bring them to justice. A minute silence was also held in honour of the victims. Following another motion by Hon. Ganiu Olukolu about the boat mishap in Festac Town, Lagos that claimed 18 lives, the House urged the Federal Government to build a bridge in the area as an alternative to crossing the canal in a canoe. Another minute of silence was observed for the dead.

Nigeria risks revolution over unemployment Continued on page 4

exercise in 2013, the Ministry of Interior engaged consultants (Drexel Technical Global) to provide an online platform for interested persons to apply while charging N1,000 per applicant. Prior to this exercise, Bagudu said, employment into the Nigerian Immigration Service was done in two usual ways. He said NIS had the responsibility for the employment of junior officers while the recruitment of senior officers was handled by the Custom Immigration and Prisons Board (CIPB). “The introduction of consultants and charging of N1,000 is a new innovation,” he added. Bagudu said pursuant to the engagement of the consultant by the by the NIS, 700,772 were said to have applied as against 528,000 the committee was previously told. He added: “At least, about 70,000 applicants were registered for the Abuja test centre.” He said that the exercise was held under the coordination of the Comptrollers of Immigration in the states and the FCT with one representative of the Board in each centre. He regretted that the exercise resulted in the deaths and injuries. “The Committee visited the National Hospital and confirmed seven dead and saw nine of the 11 wounded,” the senator said, adding: “Other casualties recorded in Niger State - two dead; Rivers State - five dead; Edo State - one dead; in addition to several others injured in many locations.” He regretted that that in spite of the accidents, the test and physical fitness exams were conducted, except for Lagos State where it was cancelled. Bagudu denied that members of the National Assembly had been allocated most of the NIS job slots before the exercise. He said efforts of the National Assembly to ensure a transparent recruitment led to the conduct of the aptitude tests nationwide. Most of the senators lamented the deaths and described the unfortunate incident as a pointer that a revolution may be in the offing, if something is not done urgently to arrest the rising unemployment situation. Senator Olusola Adeyeye (Osun Central) lamented that one of the two persons from his constituency who died during the exercise was the first person in his family to go to University. He said he was saddened by the fact that the deaths could have been averted. He said it was his fervent prayers that Nigerians would soon get a government that would address the unemployment imbroglio. Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) said it was high time

Nigerians said enough is enough to unemployment. He called for a special provision to be made in the national budget to tackle unemployment. Senator Odion Ugbesia (Edo Central) noted that it was unfortunate that it took the NIS tragedy for the Senate to realize the enormity of the problems and implications of massive unemployment. Senator Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom North East) said: “We have the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme; there are all sorts of names called YouWin. Where is the record of those who have been employed in these processes. “The unemployment crisis we have in this country is worse than the insurgency we are having. “What we are facing and what is standing against us now is worse than a revolution and I will use a word that there is capable of being a revolution because the army of people that we turn out yearly for the past 10 years from the universities we don’t plan for them.” Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption Chairman Senator Victor Lar said there was need to raise the manpower of the police from less than 400,000 to one million as a first step towards tackling unemployment. Senator Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East) called for a forensic audit of jobs the Minister of Finance claimed o have created in he last three years through the SURE-P and the YOUWIN programmes. He said: “The Minister of Interior has failed. Whether he is going or not is a matter subject to debate. Last year, it was scam galore in Immigration Service. This year, it is death galore. What are we waiting for? I urge him to tender his resignation and go.” Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi urged his colleagues to be mindful of the implications of the NIS incident. He noted that it was the scarcity of bread and the extravagance lifestyle of Queen Anthoniettee that led to the French Revolution. He said: “The tragedy of last Saturday is bringing together a coalition of the oppressed and what they need is the type of leadership that will galvanise them and thereafter we may witness cataclysm of very dangerous proportion.” Senator Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) said although nobody wants the Arab Spring in Nigeria, “but we can only prevent it if we provide jobs for our people”. Other Senators who contributed to the debate include Smart Adeyemi, Adamu Gumba, Heinekien Lokpobri, Kabiru Gaya and Ayogu Eze.

How Abacha looted $2 billion, by U.S. report

Continued on page 4

Security Adviser, Aliyu Ismaila Gwarzo, to request for funds from the government to address “unidentified emergencies” to stabilise the then military administration, the ex-NSA was not indicted for money laundering. There was nothing in the report suggesting that Gwarzo benefited from the loot. Also, the report exposed how a former Minister of Finance, Chief Anthony Ani, was ordered by Gen. Abacha to repurchase some debt instruments worth 973 million Deutche Macs (the defunct German currency). The US Department of Justice

said: “General Sani Abacha was the President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. During his time in office, General Abacha, Mohammed Sani Abacha, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Bagudu) and others embezzled and extorted hundreds of millions of dollars from the Government of Nigeria. Abacha and his associates then transported and laundered the proceeds of those crimes through the United States. “The prosecutor believes Abacha and his associates conducted three fraudulent schemes during his time in office: (1) the “security votes” fraud, through which more than $2 billion was embezzled from the Central

Bank of Nigeria; (2) the Ajaokuta Steel debt buy-back fraud, which defrauded the Nigerian government of more than $200million through overpayment of non-performing debt; and (3) extortion of Dumez Group, a company operating in Nigeria, which was used to invest in Nigerian Par Bonds that were managed and traded in the United States. “Between January 1994 and June 1998, General Abacha, Aliyu Ismaila Gwarzo (Gwarzo) and others prepared letters requesting funds from the Government of Nigeria, based on the false pretence that they were needed to ensure national secu-

rity and the stability of General Abacha’s regime. “In order to execute this scheme, Gwarzo submitted letters to General Abacha in his capacity as National Security Advisor, requesting millions of U.S. dollars, British pounds sterling, and/or Nigerian naira, to address unidentified ‘emergencies’ that threatened Nigeria’s national interest. General Abacha approved these request and disbursed the requested funds. “These funds, however, were not used to ensure national security or stability of the regime. Instead, these funds were diverted to shell companies and per-

sonal accounts created by Mohammed Sani Abacha or Bagudu. “In 1979, the Nigerian Steel Development Authority, an entity owned by the Government of Nigeria, entered into an agreement with TPF, a Russian company, to construct a steel plant in Nigeria for five billion German Deutschmarks (DM). “Under this agreement, the Nigerian steel authority gave TPF promissory notes guaranteeing payment to the company. The Nigerian government later suspended payment on this debt because of a dispute that arose with TPF. As a result, TPF sought to sell off these instru-

•The late Gen. Abacha

ments to recover some of the debt owed to the company.”




HERRERA I’m right in the firing linea M

EXICO coach Miguel Herrera is one person who would no doubt subscribe to the view that football always gives you a second chance. Having suffered as a player the disappointment of being omitted from El Tri’s squad for USA 1994 at the very last minute, it just so happens that he is now the man doing the choosing. Herrera was in charge at America when the Mexican Football Association gave him the brief of getting the national side back on track ahead of the two-legged play-off against New Zealand. The man they call El Piojo (“The Louse”) oversaw a comprehensive aggregate win. Coupled with his impressive record in domestic football, that timely triumph ensured he would finally get the chance to appear at the FIFA World Cup™, albeit in the dugout. Reflecting on that turnaround in his fortunes, Carlos Vela’s decision to opt out of Brazil 2014 and his own unique take on football, he gave an exclusive interview to You’ve been in the Mexico job for six months now. What are the best and the worst things about it? For me it’s the biggest job you can have as a coach. It doesn’t get better than this, no question. The worst thing is that everyone criticises you, everyone thinks they know more than you and says that they’re better than you. But that’s all part and parcel of being in this job. There’s no place where you get more criticism than here. It can’t be easy to handle, especially when you are as single-minded as you are. Yes, I’m very direct and I get straight to the point. I don’t think things over and I just speak my mind, which is one of the reasons why I’ve always been in the eye of the hurricane wherever I’ve gone. Fortunately things have gone well for me on the pitch but I do need to think things through a bit more. I should take a nice deep breath and think about the answers I’m going to give and not just say the first thing that comes into my mind. Those are the kind of things you learn along the way. As a player you just missed out on selection for the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA and yet here you are at the heart of the whole thing. Have you given any thought to that? That’s right. I played the whole of the qualifying campaign and when the last squad was announced they said I was on the list… of players who were staying in Mexico. They

didn’t take me (Miguel Mejia Baron was Mexico’s coach at the time). It hurt a lot. And now here I am, making it to the World Cup at the last minute and I’m delighted with everything I’ve achieved as a coach. But that’s it now. We’ve qualified and we need to go to the World Cup and get some results. And I’m not just thinking about this cycle either. I want to be in on the next one too. Here I am, making it to the World Cup at the last minute and I’m delighted with everything I’ve achieved as a coach. Miguel Herrera on his late appointment as Mexico coach We’d like to talk about Carlos Vela’s decision not to play for El Tri. For people who don’t follow the team’s fortunes closely, how important a player is he for Mexico? In terms of his importance to the national side, who would you compare him to? I couldn’t compare him in those terms. Someone recently compared him to [Lionel] Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but that’s not a very clever thing to say. We don’t have those types of players in Mexico yet. Carlos is a very good player and he’s in fantastic form right now, but he’s got his reasons for not wanting to go. Mexico aren’t going to be any weaker because he’s not there. In fact, they’re going to be even stronger, because the ones who’ll be there will be committed to the cause. Given what happened to you in 1994, is it harder for you to understand his stance?

Very much so. I really suffered when I missed out on the World Cup. I worked my socks off trying to get there and when they made the final cut they left me out. I was stunned, and that’s how I felt when I was with him and he said ‘no, no, no’. His mind’s not in it and he’d be no use to us because he’s not focused on the job, which means the best thing to do is call on someone else. He doesn’t want to go – that much is obvious. Let’s talk about another player, Javier Hernandez. Are you concerned about the lack of opportunities he’s getting at Manchester United? I am worried and I’d like him to be playing more. Unfortunately for us, though, he’s out of favour with the current coach (David Moyes). That’s the reality and we can’t cover it up. It’s there for everyone to see. They’ve had a lot of injuries and suspensions and he still doesn’t get a start. That said, he always responds every time he goes on, whether it’s for ten, 20 or even two minutes. He runs for every ball and gives everything he’s got. We know exactly what he’s like, how he trains and the way he battles for the ball whenever he gets the chance to go on. Obviously he’s in our thoughts and I told him that, but we’ll just have to see how it goes. It’s not that his form’s dropped off or anything. It’s just that other players are going to overtake him unless he gets regular games. Why not choose Brazil as the place to make history, like Brazil once chose Mexico? Herrera recalling Brazil’s triumph

at Mexico 1970, becoming the last side to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy, and his hopes of success at Brazil 2014 There’s a lot of talk in Mexico about the goalkeeping position. Do you know who you are taking to Brazil? I can’t tell you because I don’t know. I’ve got six very good keepers: five in Mexico and Memo (Ochoa) in France. When I name the three, they’ll say that I got it just right, but when they talk about the other three, they’ll say: ‘Why? He’s made a mistake’. At the moment I’ve got four pushing for three places and there are another two whom I know very well. I have a good idea of what they can do. If one of the first four drops away, then those two will come into the reckoning. It’s the position I’m least worried about, though. We’ve got plenty of options in goal. Let’s move on to your objectives in Brazil. We know you don’t like to talk about Mexico’s recent inability to reach the last eight and that you

I couldn’t compare him in those terms. Someone recently compared him to [Lionel] Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but that’s not a very clever thing to say. We don’t have those types of players in Mexico yet. Carlos is a very good player and he’s in fantastic form right now, but he’s got his reasons for not wanting to go. Mexico aren’t going to be any weaker because he’s not there. In fact, they’re going to be even stronger, because the ones who’ll be there will be committed to the cause.


prefer to talk about the Final. Do you think you can entertain real hopes of getting that far? Our record doesn’t exactly back up what we’re saying. What I’ve said is that if I don’t go to the World Cup thinking about winning it, then I might as well just go along as an extra, an outsider. And that’s not for Mexico. We’re entitled to be excited and to aim to become world champions. We’ve got a good infrastructure and good players so why shouldn’t we think that way? With our history, it’s natural that we should think about the quarter-finals, and if we get past that stage then people will be happy no matter what. That’s the standard that the national FA has set for me, though. We’re going to make the last eight and then we’ll see who can stop us. We’ve only done it once in our history [sic: Mexico made the quarters in 1970 and 1986] and we want to do it again. It would be amazing. The tournament starts in fewer than 100 days. How special is it to have Brazil hosting it? It feels intense to be just 100 days away from a World Cup. The time’s going to fly by, especially as we’re hoping for something sensational to happen. And being in the World Cup in Brazil is like travelling back in time: to the Maracana and 1950 and what was an epic tournament. They really celebrate football there and they’ve got some amazingly talented players too. It’s going to be sensational and it’s going to be a different story for Mexico, that’s for sure. Why not choose Brazil as the place to make history, like Brazil once chose Mexico?



FOREIGN NEWS Ukraine officer 'killed in attack on Crimea base'


KRAINE's military says an officer has been killed in an attack on a base in Crimea, the first such death since pro-Russia forces took control in February. It said all its troops at the Simferopol base had been arrested. The attack came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Crimea signed a bill to absorb the peninsula into Russia. Western powers condemned the treaty and a G7 and EU crisis meeting has been called for next week in The Hague. The Ukrainian government said a junior officer who was on duty in a park inside the Simferopol base had been killed and another officer injured. A third serviceman had leg and head injuries after being beaten with iron bars, it said.

Defence ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov told Reuters the attack was by "unknown forces, fully equipped and their faces covered". The Ukrainians had had their IDs, weapons and money confiscated, he said. The government said it had now authorised the use of weapons by its troops in Crimea. Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told an emergency government meeting: "The conflict is shifting from a political to a military stage. "Russian soldiers have started shooting at Ukrainian military servicemen and that is a war crime." Reports from the Crimean news agency, Kryminform, said a pro-Russia defence force member had been shot dead. Neither of the accounts can be independently confirmed or whether they relate to the same incident.

NEWS Media should remain observer of national conference, says Momoh By Medina Kanabe


HE Chairman of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, said yesterday the media should be no more than an observer at the National Conference. He spoke while delivering the fourth Convocation Lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), in Lagos. The lecture titled: “The Media and the National Conference Debate: Observer or Participant,” was delivered on his behalf by the company’s Head of Legal, Mrs Adeola Olumayan. Momoh said the media would not remain objective and may be forced to take sides, if it were to be a participant. He said that the national conference was the hope of Nigerians for a truly lasting solution to the myriad of problems that had plagued the country. “It is my stance and unshaken determination to uphold the ideals of balanced reporting, to remain objective and fair in the coverage of the epoch making event. “The media should also guarantee every side the platform to air its views. “I strongly urge our young graduates to take up the pen whether in print, radio or television or even digitally, to remember that your words today will shape the decisions of tomorrow. “When tomorrow fades into yesterday, and becomes history, you should be able to ask yourselves if you have been part of Nigeria’s glorious history or regret-filled past,” he said. Momoh said that the media sometimes acted as a public representative by holding officials accountable, on behalf of the people. He cited instances of the 2012 fuel subsidy protests where government was forced to reduce the pump price and the public outcry on the state of Police Colleges in the country. Provost of the institution, Dr Elizabeth Ikem, said the NIJ was concerned about the mandate of bringing about a transformation in the quality of graduates being turned out. “We have designed a professional forum where experts are invited to share their experience, knowledge, challenges and expertise with our students on topical issues germane to their overall development on regular basis,” she said.

•Putin (second right) and some Crimean leader the signing the treaty

Putin signs Russia-Crimea treaty


RESIDENT Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Crimea have signed a bill to absorb the peninsula into Russia. Mr Putin told parliament that Crimea, which was taken over by pro-Russian forces in February, had "always been part of Russia". Kiev said it would never accept the treaty and the US has called a G7-EU crisis meeting next week in The Hague. After the signing, Kiev said a Ukrainian serviceman had been killed in an attack on a base in Crimea. The defence ministry said the attack took place in the capital, Simferopol. US Vice-President Joe Biden, speaking earlier in Poland, said Russia's involvement in Crimea was "a brazen military incursion" and its annexation of the territory was "nothing more than a land grab" by Moscow. The Ukrainian foreign ministry said: "We do not recognise and never will recognise the socalled independence or the socalled agreement on Crimea joining the Russian Federation." Ukraine's interim PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the Crimea crisis had moved from the political to the military stage. Germany and France quickly condemned the Russia-Crimea treaty. UK Prime Minister David

Cameron said: "It is completely unacceptable for Russia to use force to change borders on the basis of a sham referendum held at the barrel of a Russian gun." Mr Putin later appeared before crowds in Moscow's Red Square, telling them: "Crimea and Sevastopol are returning to... their home shores, to their home port, to Russia!" He shouted "Glory to Russia" as the crowds chanted "Putin!" The Ukrainian crisis began in November last year after proMoscow President Viktor Yanukovych abandoned an EU deal in favour of stronger ties with Russia. He fled Ukraine on 22 February after deadly protests. Crimean officials say that, in a referendum held in the predominantly ethnic-Russian region on Sunday, 97% of voters backed splitting from Ukraine. The EU and US have declared the vote illegal. Travel bans and asset freezes have been imposed on government officials and other figures in Russia, Crimea and Ukraine, but these have been largely dismissed as ineffectual in Russia. In a televised address in front of both houses of parliament and Crimea's new leaders, Mr Putin said: "In the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia." The referendum had been le-

gal and its results were "more than convincing", he said. "The people of Crimea clearly and convincingly expressed their will - they want to be with Russia," he said, and were no longer prepared to put up with the "historical injustice" of being part of Ukraine. Crimea was transferred from Russia to Ukraine while under Soviet rule in 1954. Mr Putin criticised Ukraine's post-uprising leaders and those behind the unrest, saying they were "extremists" who had brought chaos. He also praised the "courage, bearing and dignity" of Crimeans, and thanked all Russians for their "patriotic feeling". The West, he said, had behaved "irresponsibly" in backing the uprising, and he denied Russia was interested in annexing more territory. "Don't trust those who frighten you with Russia... we do not need a divided Ukraine" he said. Russia "will of course be facing foreign confrontation," he said, adding: "We have to decide for ourselves, are we to protect our national interest or just carry on giving them away forever?" The audience frequently applauded Mr Putin at length during his emotionally charged speech, and gave him a standing ovation. President Putin, Crimea's

LENTEN MESSAGE Theme: The difference in His presence


HE presence of Jesus Christ in a boat is surely not an immunity against the manifestation of storms. From the story in our text, the disciples were probably comfortable with the notion that the presence of Christ Jesus was a preventive cover against storms or life issues but they were disappointed when the storm came and almost took their lives. Consequent upon His presence, the storm was rebuked and made of no effect. Can you close your eyes and imagine what could have happened to them of Jesus Christ was not in that boat with them knowing how terrified they were, or they were now beckoning on Him to come and join their voyage mid-river. Your guess

Text: “..... Master, carest thou not that we perish? Mark 4:38 By The Revd. Henry O. Adelegan

is as good as mine, the storm would have claimed their lives. Beloved of God, can you lay claim that Jesus is sincerely in the boat of your life or outside it? Jesus said; “in the world there shall be tribulation…..”(John 16:33). Solomon buttressed this in Ecclesiastes 11:8 “ if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many.” Prophet Isaiah also asserted in Isaiah

43:1-2 about the certainty of passing through waters, rivers and walking through fire at particular times as part of inevitable life experiences. The good news however is that when Jesus is in the boat of your life, the storms will rage but shall not overcome you. It is will however be a terrible experience if He isn’t in your boat or He used to when the day of evil comes. Are you passing through a storm now and asking “Why me?” or is life difficult for you as a Christian; is your marriage going down and strength is failing you or are you believing God for the fruit of the womb and asking “ Has God forgotten me?” Jesus promised that you should be of good cheer be-

cause He has overcome the world and Isaiah said God will be with you even when you think He is not there, He will ensure that the rivers do not overflow you and the fire does not burn you. Halleluyah! Do you know that because Daniel was a redeemed of the Lord, the lions whose mouths were sealed for his sake broke the bones of his accusers (Daniel 6:18-24), the Red Sea that cooled the sweat of the Israelites was the graveyard of the Egyptians armies ( Exodus 14:26-31) and the fire that destroyed the yokes of the 3 Hebrews such that they were fellowshipping with the Son of God inside the fire, was the sepulchre of the people that cast them inside the fiery furnace?( Daniel 3:19-20).

Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov, the region's Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov and the mayor of Sevastopol, Alexei Chaliy, then signed a treaty on making the Black Sea peninsula a part of Russia. Earlier, Mr Putin had recognised Crimea as a sovereign state and approved a draft bill on its accession to the Russian Federation. The bill must now be approved by the constitutional court and then ratified by parliament. The BBC's Richard Galpin in Moscow says the process is likely to be completed by the end of the week. Western powers have roundly condemned Tuesday's treaty. The UK was suspending "all bilateral military co-operation [with Russia] not subject to treaty obligations", Foreign Secretary William Hague told Parliament. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the referendum, the declaration of independence and Crimea's "absorption into the Russian Federation" were "against international law". French President Francois Hollande called for a "strong and coordinated European response" to the Russian moves.

Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov 'dead'

T •Revd Adelegan

Are you a redeemed of Christ? Is Jesus Christ truly in the boat of your life? This season of Lent is the best time to invite Jesus Christ into your life so that when the storms come, He can speak for you through His word deposited inside you and grant you victory in Jesus’ name. Prayer: Father, come into the boat of my life and never allow the storms of life to capsize my boat in Jesus’ name.

HE leader of the Chechen rebels, Doku Umarov, has died, according to Kavkaz Center, the main website of Russia's Islamist militants. The website said the Caucasus Emirate leader "became a martyr", but no further details were given. There has been no official confirmation from the Russian authorities. The militant group has claimed responsibility for a string of deadly attacks in Russia in the last few years. A spokesman for Russia's national anti-terrorism body was quoted by Russian state news agency RIA as saying he could not confirm Mr Umarov was dead, Reuters reports. The Kavkaz Center website wrote on its Twitter account that Ali Abu-Mukhammad had been chosen as the new emir by the Caucasus Emirate.



NEWS (SHOWBIZ) 2face joins movement


WARD-WINNING artiste, 2Face Idibia, is •2face leading an online campaign tagged #Blackrealvolution movement. It is not clear yet, who the creator of the group is, but the talented artiste, who is regarded as one of Nigeria’s veritable musical exports, said the “#Blackrealvolution movement represents peace, love, unity, and other values” which he has strongly promoted through his songs. “The #Blackrealvolution is about stirring up the spirit of consciousness and good tidings in Nigerians. The movement represents positivity, being our brother’s keeper and forming a united front against negative forces. I preach the message of love, peace and unity through my songs. And I have also written songs advocating for better leadership.” 2face, who is regarded as one of the most successful Nigerian musicians, said Nigeria can compete favorably with developed nations if its vast potentials can be properly harnessed. “I believe in perfection, I believe in excellence. #Blackrealvolution is about being innovative and distinctive in one’s endeavours. It is about being real,” said 2face, while canvassing membership for the group. “I can assure Nigerians that the experience will be one which they won’t forget in a hurry. The memories of the #Blackrealvolution movement will linger in the memories of Nigerians for a long time to come,” he said. The movement, according to the musician, will be formally launched on Friday, March 28.

•Ini Edo


OP Nigerian entertainers from Nollywood and the music industry have extolled Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, for what they described as his achievements in the state. The eulogies are contained in the cover edition of a new journal; Uncommon Transformation, a magazine published by Love Idoko’s

Lekki Wives goes to Manchester


OR top Nollywood actress, producer and director, Blessing EffiomEgbe, last Saturday will remain memorable, as the premiere of her critically acclaimed movie, Lekki Wives, held at the Hilton Ballroom, Manchester, amidst pomp and circumstance. The cast members appeared in gorgeous dresses, designed by notable Nigerian fashion

designer, Zizi Cardow. Nigerian hip-hop artiste, Olamide, thrilled the guests at the event. Lekki Wives, which stars Adaora Ukoh, Kiki Omeili, Katherine Obiang and Keira Hewatch, dwells on the drama, lifestyles and intrigues of married women who live in the highbrow Lekki area of Lagos, Nigeria.

•Cast of Lekki Housewives

By Victor Akande

Dream Pointers. In the glossy edition, Ini Edo, 2face Idibia, Kanayo o. Kanayo, Uti Nwachukwu, and Desmond Eliot were full of praise for the state helmsman, whom they rated high in arts and entertainment, and general development of the state. “He is the best thing to have happened to Akwa-Ibom state. He completely modernized the state and made it at par with what obtains in other parts of the world,” said Ini Edo, whose film, I’ll Take My Chances, premiered amidst pop and circumstance in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on September 24, 2011. According to the actress, who is an indigene of the state, Akpabio “placed Akwa-Ibom in a place of pride and enabled us lift our heads high. In the area of entertainment where I am from, his contribution has been immense; the building of the Tropicana Entertainment Centre, the sponsoring of numer-


ous arts and entertainment events too numerous to mention. His contribution has been awesome. Akwa-Ibom has indeed been uncommonly transformed. Not only has he done great things, but he has also set an example for others to emulate.” In the opinion of celebrated actor, Desmond Elliot, the governor has truly empowered the people: “Though Akwa-Ibom State was created out of the former Cross- River State in September 1987, the potency and beauty of the state was never fully realised until its leadership fell in the hands of Barrister Godswill Obot Akpabio in 2007. As a non Akwa-Ibom indigene, albeit a Nigerian who saw Akwa-Ibom before 2007 and has seen the transformation since, I can evidently say that the leadership tenure of Governor Akpabio has richly empowered the people of the state. As a young person, I am truly inspired and spurred by governor Akpabio’s work

to serve my people and be of better employ in the service of our country. Also speaking, 2face Idibia, whose path had also crossed with the governor’s, having married from the state says “Governor Akpabio is a blessing to AkwaIbom. The next person is going to have a mighty shoe to fill. I have been there several times and the transformation is truly uncommon. He is very humble and hardworking and may God continue to bless him. We need more like him in Nigeria.” For Kanayo O. Kanayo, “Governor Akpabio has demystified governance by providing such uncommon infrastructure that can best be labeled “come and see”. He noted that through the effort of the governor, the state has become a tourist destination with stupendous hospitality. Also speaking, winner of Big Brother Africa, Uti Nwachukwu says the governor has laid solid foundation for a better future for the state, commending the Akpabio-led administration for taking care of pregnant women free of charge. The magazine also covers the near eight-year rule of Akpabio, featuring the governor in an extensive interview. Also published are interviews of the state Commissioner for Information, Hon. Aniekan Umanah, his counterparts in education and health, Prof. Atim Antai and Dr. Ememabasi Bassey. Illustrated with colourful pictures, the magazine also showcases the food and culture of the state and other capital intensive projects.






•Action recorded during Chelsea vs Galatasaray match

Chelsea cruises past Galatasaray to reach quarter-finals


IRST-HALF goals from Samuel Eto’o and Gary Cahill put Chelsea within sight of the Champions League quarter-finals. Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba was given a predictably warm reception on his return to Stamford Bridge, where the hosts went ahead only four minutes into what has so far been a one-sided second leg. Oscar linked up well with Eden Hazard to create the opening for Eto’o and the

striker’s shot crept under keeper Fernando Muslera, who perhaps should have done better. After more nice interplay involving Hazard and Oscar, Frank Lampard sent an effort over the bar. And John Terry went close with a thumping volley from Lampard’s free-kick just after the half-hour mark. Terry and Lampard were both involved in the second goal four minutes before the break. The captain’s header from

Lampard’s right-wing corner was parried by Muslera and Cahill was on hand to belt the loose ball into the roof of the net. Lampard has been outstanding in midfield and one of his trademark bursts towards the box created a shooting chance for Willian early in the second half, but the Brazilian’s 25-yarder was well held by Muslera. Oscar then fired wide of the near post as Chelsea continued to dominate

EAL MADRID maintained their momentum in the Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Schalke, securing easy progress to the quarterfinals of the competition via a 9-2 aggregate win. It was to be a particularly memorable night for Cristiano Ronaldo, whose double saw him match the goalscoring record of the great Ferenc Puskas, while Alvaro Morata was also on target for the hosts. Tim Hoogland scored the Germans’ consolation, but the one real

black spot on the night was potentially serious injury to Jese Rodriguez that saw him withdrawn after just a couple of minutes. Rodriguez sustained suspected knee ligament damage in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League clash with Schalke. The Spain Under-21 forward was withdrawn after just three minutes and early tests in the dressing room at the Santiago Bernabeu have revealed a

possible cruciate knee ligament injury. Further examinations will be carried out tonight or tomorrow depending on the level of inflammation surrounding the problem area, and these will determine the full severity of the damage. The news comes as a huge blow to the 21-year-old following his emergence as a key part of Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season, scoring five goals in 18 La Liga games.

Ronaldo makes history as Madrid thumps Schalke 3-1 R

Keshi: Eagles ready for Messi


EAD coach of the Nigeria national team, Stephen Keshi is not worried about the prospect of masterminding an upset over Argentina at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. Nigeria’s Super Eagles will face the Albiceleste on June 25 at the Estádio BeiraRio, Porto Alegre in a Group F game. Argentina will expectedly be relying on the brilliance of FC Barcelona’s superstar, Lionel Messi to strike a dagger into Nigerian hearts but Keshi is relishing the prospect of stopping the little magician in his tracks.

“Messi is probably the best footballer in the world but we cannot lose sleep about him because there will be 10 others on the pitch that day,” Keshi told Nigeria will be meeting Argentina for the fourth time in the World Cup group stages following earlier encounters in 1994, 2002 and 2010. The Super Eagles lost all three previous encounters against the South Americans and Keshi is keen to end the trend. “I didn’t feel bad about the fact that we will play against Argentina in the group stages because even if we

didn’t draw them, we would have met teams like, Spain, Germany, Brazil or England. “We have been drawn against Argentina. There’s nothing we can do about that. We just have to get ourselves ready,” he said. Nigeria will open its World Cup campaign against Iran at the Arena da Baixada, Curitiba on June 16. Five days later, the African champions will take on Bosnia-Herzegovina in their second game at the Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá befre rounding off their preliminary campaign against the two-time World champions, Argentina.


We won’t underrate Colombia —Bala Nikyu


EAD Coach Bala Nikyu has stated that the Flamingoes will not underrate their next Group D opponents, Colombia in their second game at the 2014 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup after Monday morning’s victory over Asian counterparts, China 21. The Flamingoes will at the Alejandra Morera Soto stadium on Thursday morning face Colombia and Nikyu said that the National Under-17 Women’s team

will approach the game against the South Americans in a professional way. “There is no and won’t be any easy game at this tournament a and we are not going to underrate Colombia because we beat China 2-1 and that they lost 0-4 to Mexico,” he said. The Flamingoes’ coach, while promising Nigerians that they will take the match very crucial as he expects a better performance from his ladies, stressed the team’s aim is to win the tournament.

“We are going to approach the match against Colombia with the more seriousness and improved performance than we had against China because our objective is to win the first title for Nigeria.” “We are looking forward to the next game against Colombia knowing well that all the teams at this championship are here based on merit,” he added. Nigeria will play the second group D match against Colombia by 3am Thursday morning.


TODAY IN THE NATION ‘‘It is exigent to have somebody in charge because, as it is, it is clear that the ongoing counter-terrorism campaign lacks proper coordination as a result of the absence of a synergy among the security agencies in the country’ VOL.9 NO.2,792



LITTLE known event occurred in Maiduguri last year which suggests that the allegation against the authorities of the neglect of the welfare, safety and security of staff was probably truer of the army than of the police. This was an incident in which a senior officer reportedly slapped a regimental sergeant major (RSM) for asking too many awkward questions about the welfare of his troops. He again reportedly slapped a junior officer for remonstrating on the RSM’s behalf. The soldiers apparently could not stand this anymore and took matters into their own hands, resulting into the officer being admitted into the National Hospital for weeks. Fortunately, the affair did not degenerate into a far more serious breakdown of discipline. At the time of the incident the offending officer was shortly due for retirement. It is not certain whether he has since been retired or not. What is certain is that no one was ever court marshalled over the incident as they should have been because in the military one of the worst offenses a soldier can commit is to assault a fellow soldier, no matter the provocation. However even more telling about the poor morale of our troops in coping with the Boko Haram insurgency than this incidence and The Guardian’s story of November 21 last year which I referred to last week, was an online media report last April about how both then Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, and then Chief of Army Staff, Lt.General Azubuike Ihejirika, separately threatened their civilian bosses for what the CDS described as a “pile of mess” he said the civilians had created in recent times in running the affairs of the Ministry of Defence. This was on the day they variously received Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila as then new permanent secretary of the ministry. Both military chiefs said they had lost patience with the way the procurement of arms and equipment were being presided over by civilians in the ministry without reference to the relevant service chiefs. Lt-General Ihejirika reportedly added that the Nigerian Army lacked adequate operations vehicles, accommodation, arms and ammunitions, amongst others, because of the existing bureaucratic bottlenecks. It is doubtful that those bottlenecks have been removed, given the legendary corruption and snail speed that has characterised our bureaucracy, both civilian and military. However, long before Admiral Ibrahim and Lt-Gen Ihejirika read their riot acts to their civilian bosses in April 2012, Ihejirika’s better regarded previous army chief, Lt-General Victor Malu, had complained bitterly in an interview in the Sunday Sun (July 31, 2005) that under him the army never procured even a pin as far as arms and equipment were concerned. “We did not,” he said in the interview, “procure anything...I served the army for 22 months as Chief of Army Staff. I did not get a kobo from the government for any project.” Malu had been fired in March 2002 for, among other things, his outspokenness against the decision by President Olusegun Obasanjo to embed American military officers and men in our barracks - a decision which was probably unprecedented anywhere in the world - ostensibly to train our troops for peacekeeping.



..and would you lead LAGOSIANS to trek from MARINA to EGBEDA?

People and Politics By


Why Governor Shettima was right (II)


Between Malu’s sack in 2002 and the appointment of Ihejirika as army chief, a special investigation panel of the army had, according to the report of the panel published on the Sahara reporters website several years ago, established that there had been a massive theft of arms and ammunition from the army’s armoury in Kaduna at the time one of Malu’s successors as army chief, the late Lt-General Andrew Owoye Azazi, was the General Officer Commanding of the 1st Division headquartered in Kaduna. Those arms and ammunition were reportedly sold to militants in the Niger Delta in a deal allegedly financed by some leading politicians from the region. It is doubtful if the gap created by that treasonable arms deal was ever sufficiently plugged in spite of the huge annual budgets for the military since 2006, given the fact alone that, consistent with our national budgets in the last 15 years or so, the ratio of the military’s recurrent expenditure to the capital has been in the region of 70 to 30 per cent. It would be grossly unfair and demoralising, even unpatriotic, to accuse our soldiers of not doing their best to end the Boko Haram insurgency when there is only so much a soldier can do in the face of the superior numbers and arms of the enemy, a superiority which is inexplicable in the face of the hundreds of billions of Naira voted annually for our country’s security and territorial integrity. As the late legendary Afrobeat musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, sang


T was an eye-opening lesson on how to go about rewriting history when Princess Stella Oduah, the former Minister of Aviation who left office in undignified circumstances, lectured a gathering of stakeholders in the country’s aviation industry, including civil servants and pilots, at a valedictory ceremony held at the Protea Hotel, Asokoro in Abuja. It was a moment when reality, or objective truth, got reinterpreted, perhaps to the discomfiture of the audience. Oduah, whose dramatic exit followed a long-drawn-out controversy over her involvement in the scandalous purchase of two bulletproof cars for N255 million, kept a straight face as she pronounced herself blameless, which was not altogether surprising, given the known tendency of the blameworthy to insist on innocence. In a move that spoke volumes about her provocative perspective, she reportedly shunned a prepared speech by her media aide, ostensibly to speak from the heart. It proved to be socially useful by revealing the mindset of a former public servant who stands condemned by public opinion. “And without being immodest, I think we did the right thing,” she said of her stormy

in one of his more memorable numbers, “uniform na cloth na tailor de sow am.” In other words, military uniform alone does not make its wearer any more special or superhuman than someone wearing mufti. Clearly, Governor Shettima’s frustration at the wanton killings in his state was not with the soldiers as such but with the fact that they appeared helpless to stop or contain the killings because they lacked sufficient arms and equipment and enough motivation to do so even though trillions of Naira have been spent in the fight against Boko Haram terror. Nothing better illustrates the lack of correlation between the huge spending on the military and its effectiveness than the fact that the immediate past army chief whose over three-year extended tenure was unprecedented, spent a lot more in building the most modern, expensive and expansive army barracks in the country for an arm of its language school which he hived off from its headquarters in Ilorin, Kwara State, to his native village of Ovim, Isuikwuato Local Government Area in Abia State, than he did in procuring arms and equipment for his troops fighting Boko Haram. In the process of building the barracks which is big enough to accommodate a battalion, he built himself one of the most grandiose country homes – one shocked colleague of his reportedly described it as “madness” - by any public officer anywhere in the country. It is also noteworthy that he wilfully abandoned the expansion of the country’s premier military hospital in Kaduna started by his predecessor, Lt-General Lawal Dambazau, which would’ve transformed it into a world class hospital for the treatment of our troops wounded in battles at home and abroad. Not least of all, it was under the erstwhile service chiefs that the military changed its policy of using relatively modest locally assembled Peugeot 407 saloons as official vehicles for its very senior officers to the use of imported top of the line BMWs and Toyota and Range Rover jeeps. The symbolism of


such immodesty among senior army officers for the troops’ morale could hardly have been lost on its rank and file. In his assessment of the military operation against Boko Haram in The Guardian of London on January 3, 2013, Gwynne Dyer, the well regarded London-based independent journalist, said our military has been “corrupt, incompetent and brutal” in its conduct as a result of which, he said, the military had turned itself into Boko Haram’s “best recruiting sergeants”. You do not have to share this view to agree with him that in spite of the existence of some honest men and women among our civilian and military leaders, as a group, they have been “spectacularly cynical and self-serving” in their handling of their public trusts. In taking over the Ministry of Defence from Mr Labaran Maku as the supervising minister, its new boss, Lt-General Aliyu Mohammed, himself a former army chief and the longest serving intelligence czar in the country, said he will do his best to return the country to its more secure and stable past. “With the help of the Almighty Allah and our collective resolve and determination,” he said, “we will get to the destination that will give Nigerians the confidence that the country is a safe place for everyone.” Those cautious remarks, in sharp contrast to the past bombast of some of the erstwhile military chiefs, show his appreciation of the fact that relying on force alone, as has largely been the case so far, will never work. However, even the more judicious mix of sticks and carrots the minister’s caution suggests, will work only if it is accompanied by a determination of the new defence minister to end the cynicism and self-aggrandisement that has so far characterised our war against Boko Haram, and for that matter, against all other forms of terrorism, criminality and venality in the country. More specifically, his hope will only be realised if the military refrains from its past scorched earth response to Boko Haram attacks which has all too often resulted in more innocent civilians being killed than Boko Haram terrorists. Hopefully, President Jonathan will have a rethink of his view of Shettima’s lamentation and give his new defence minister all the support he needs to change the popular perception that the war on Boko Haram has been determined more by politics than by any concern for public safety and for the unity and territorial integrity of the country. On his part, the new army chief should know that if, along with the National Security Adviser to the president, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, a scion of the Sokoto Caliphate, he cannot solve the, admittedly complex, riddle of Boko Haram which has done so much damage to Nigeria generally but more specifically to the North and to Muslims and to the image of their religion, then the Muslim North will have no one else to blame but its leaders, both secular and religious. •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Stella’s happy ending

means…” To go by her dubious accomplishment in office, it shouldn’t be any wonder that her own definition and comprehension of the word “needful” may not be quite popular, as she brilliantly pointed out. It is noteworthy that before President Goodluck Jonathan eventually showed her the door, doing so with irritating hesitancy and undeserved courtesy, Oduah had a reputation as one of the very few sacred cows, largely female, who enjoyed unshakable presidential protection. Others who stand out in this charmed circle are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, and Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum. All it took to reinforce this image of invincibility was for Jonathan to cunningly ensure a soft landing for Oduah under the guise of a cabinet reshuffle in February; and for the avoidance of doubt, he denied any linkage with the armoured automobiles affair, which the Presidency has since left behind after an unproductive cosmetic probe, despite an indicting investigation by the legislature. Consequently, Oduah can look back at the scandal as just a bad day at work, and lift her head high as she did at the farewell event. All is well that ends well, isn’t it?

tenure, conveniently forgetting that it was the business of the people to judge her performance, and not for her to play the role. Remarkably, her choice of words on the occasion was unwittingly revealing. Three instances will suffice. First, she said, “I really don’t have anything to say but to say that what we did, we did it collectively.” This can be interpreted to mean that she actually has no defence in the matter of alleged abuse of office concerning the overpriced cars. Second, she told the audience, “It was Einstein that said I am strong as I am because you allowed me to stand on your shoulders, and all of you here allowed me to stand on your shoulders and so I want to say thank you.” Considering the unresolved accusation that preceded her removal from office, it was more like she stood on their heads. Third, she added, “Therefore, the next coming person, I believe with your support will do the needful. Most people don’t understand what the needful

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:08099365644, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation Mar 19, 2014  
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