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Police stop Ibadan forest demolition From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

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ALLS came crashing down and roofing sheets got crumpling as bulldozer rumbled in the Ibadan “forest of horror” yesterday. But the police moved in to stop the demolition of structures at the Soka, forest where victims of ritualists and human parts were discovered last Saturday. Governor Abiola Ajimobi revoked the certificate of occupancy of the land and reclaimed it for the government. However, as the demolition got underway, Police Commissioner Mohammed Idabawa halted it, saying the police forensic team needed more time to comb the forest for evidence that would enable it determine those behind the activities at the evil forest. Oluyole Local Government Chairman, Ayodele Abass-Aleshinloye, who received the call from Indabawa, said he pleaded that Continued on page 68

•A bulldozer demolishing part of the ‘forest of horror’…yesterday

PHOTO: NAN

Conference runs into crisis as North threatens walkout

Outrage over Adamawa emir’s call Sultan leads protest team to Jonathan

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IGNS of a huge crack in the on-going National Conference emerged yesterday, with the North’s delegates threatening a walkout over the unresolved mode of voting. The Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, dropped the

If something happens and the country disintegrates - God forbid - many of those who are shouting their heads off will have nowhere to go. I and the people of Adamawa - and many others - have somewhere to go —Emir From Onyedi Ojiabor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

bombshell immediately the delegates settled for the

day’s business. Dr. Mustapha was nominated for the conference on the platform of the National

Defecting PDP lawmakers accuse party of preempting court’s decision

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HE 79 legislators, who sued the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and leaders of the National Assembly over threats to declare their seats vacant, accused the party yesterday of exhibiting foreknowledge of the outcome of the case. They frowned at the utterances of the party’s lawyer, Joe Gadzama (SAN), which, they argued, betrayed the possibility that the party was already aware that the court would decide the case against them.

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

The lawmakers’ lawyer, Mahmoud Magaji (SAN), expressed the fear when the case came up yesterday at the Federal High Court, Abuja that statements by Gadzama (SAN), lawyer to the PDP and its former Chairman Bamanga Tukur, were “conclusive and preemptive of the outcome of the court’s decision in the case”.

I am disappointed that he was not able to hold his anger and I am sure he would regret it now. I also don’t believe that he is saying in effect that he is Cameroonian —Nwachukwu Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria. Although conference Chairman Justice Idris Kuti-

gi called for comments on whether the conference would call for memoranda from the public on its assign-

ment, Dr. Mustapha sidetracked the issue to deliver what some delegates described as “an attempt to frighten the South”. Dr. Mustapha’s comment, a delegate said, “may have been rehearsed at a meeting of a group of northern delegates last night”. Continued on page 2

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (right) presenting a Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) to Mrs. Folakemi Akomolafe, one of the beneficiaries of the Homeowners’ Charter programme at the Governor’s Office, OkeMosan, Abeokuta …yesterday.

Magaji told the court that Gadzama’s

Continued on page 2

•$8B CRUDE OIL SWAP DEAL: REPS SUMMON ALISON-MADUEKE, OTHERS P12


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

NEWS Govt to repatriate $550m Abacha loot, says Justice Minister

Defecting PDP lawmakers accuse party of pre-empting court’s decision Continued from page 1

statement “is making his clients uncomfortable because the outcome of the case is being preempted by the counsel on the other side”. Magaji’s position was informed by Gadzama’s response to his submission that the court should stay further action on the case and await the outcome of his application to the Court of Appeal after seeing its interpretation of Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution. The section formed the kernel of the suit, where the plaintiffs argued that, in view of the proviso to Section 68 (1) (g) of the Constitution the leadership of the National Assembly cannot declare vacant the seats of any of the plaintiffs or others members of the PDP who joined or who may desire to become members of another political party, in view of the crisis that created factions/divisions in the party. The plaintiffs’ lawyer said he

decided to refer that aspect of the case to the Court of Appeal in view of the defendants’ contention that there was no faction in the party and that the crisis in the PDP did not imply fictionalisation or division as envisaged under Section 68(1)(g). Magaji said his action was supported by the provision of Section 295 of the Constitution, which affords him the right to make such referral. But Gadzama submitted that it was wrong for the plaintiff to have referred any part of the case to the Court of Appeal for determination, when the trial court was yet to decide the case. He argued that it was the prerogative of the trial court to refer any part of a case before it to the appellate court for interpretation. He contended that the plaintiffs should have waited for the court’s judgment before heading for the Court of Appeal - a position Magaji objected to. Magaji argued that Gadza-

ma’s submission “that we should have waited for the court to decide the case before going before the Court of Appeal created an impression that the defendants have an inkling of the outcome of the decision and that we are not willing to let the case go on. What he said is suggestive. It is conclusive and preemptive of the case.” Justice Ahmed Mohammed faulted Gadzama, cautioning him, noting that such statement was bad for practice, bad for the judicial process and the litigants. The fresh application by the plaintiffs stalled the scheduled judgment in the case yesterday Magaji had, at the resumption of proceedings, told the court that his application filed on March 21, 2014 “is seeking adjournment of this court sine die (indefinitely), pending the outcome of the referral application at the Court of Appeal. “All the defendants have been duly served and we have also received counter affidavits

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•Mark

of 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants. Even though we were served this morning with their counter affidavit, we will be asking for a short adjournment to enable us reply on points of law,” Magaji said. Replying, Gadzama informed the court that the case was fixed for judgment over a month and half ago. He said: “My Lord, this matContinued on page 68

HE Federal Government will seek for the repatriation of over $550million and £95,910 in 10 accounts and six investment portfolios linked to the Abachas in France, Britain, British Virgin Islands and the United States, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, said yesterday. He said the government is in support of the forfeiture proceedings initiated by the United States Department of Justice against the property related to the corrupt conduct of the late General Sani Abacha, a former Head of State. Adoke in a statement in Abuja, against the backdrop of the forfeiture proceedings against the Abachas and their cronies. Following the freezing of over $550m looted funds by the late Gen. Abacha, the United States wrote the Federal Government for assistance to serve forfeiture notice on the son of the former dictator, Mohammed Abacha, an associate of the ex-ruler,

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and Dumez Nigeria Plc. The AGF’s statement said the government would use the repatriated loot to fund projects for the benefit of the people, in accordance with the dictates of Chapter IV of the United Nations Convention against corruption (UNCAC). The statement added: “The Federal Government of Nigeria welcomes the forfeiture proceedings initiated by the United States Department of Justice against the property related to the corrupt conduct of the late General Sani Abacha, a former Head of State of Nigeria, and his associates and the subsequent laundering of corruption proceeds. “The proceedings will make it possible for the defendants to forfeit over $550million and £95,910 in 10 accounts and six investment portfolios linked to the Abachas in France, the Great Britain, British Virgin Islands Continued on page 68

Outrage over walk out threat

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•President Goodluck Jonathan (second right) with Vice President Namadi Sambo (second left), Sultan of Sokoto Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar lll (right) and the Shehu of Borno Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Barbai during the visit of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to the Presidential Villa Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN

he Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Mustapha threatened to walk out of the on-going National conference if pushed to the wall. The statement did not go down well with some of the delegates. Sir Olaniwun Ajayi said he was not surprised by the threat. Mr. Ayo Opadokun reminded the monarch that his territory was in Nigeria on the magnanimity of the Nigerian people in the first place. Former Governor of Borno State Mohammed Goni believed that the traditional ruler could not have meant the statement the way it was perceived, Mrs. Daisy Danjuma urged Nigerians to be patient and await the outcome the of the conference. Sir Ajayi, an elder statesman, who is representing the Southwest geo-political zone on the platform of socio-political/ cultural and ethnic nationality

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

groups, said he was not surprised by the pronouncement of the monarch. He said: “I am not particularly surprised because since 1947, until our independence, the northern leaders have always been threatening secession or walking out and the British people always begged them and giving them what they want. “For instance, the first general conference held in Ibadan in 1950, the North came with four demands and if not granted they would walk our. “The demands were parity of the membership of the House of Representatives with the South; that is, whatever bill they brought to the House they will win because the North controls the House. “Secondly, they want the Continued on page 68

Conference runs into crisis as North threatens walkout Continued from page 1

The royal father warned that the North should not be pushed to the wall. He threatened that if pushed to the wall, they would simply walkout of the conference.

To underscore the point he was making, Dr. Mustapha declared that when they walk out there would be great consequences for the country. Some delegates attempted to shout him down, but he was not deterred. Even when the shout of “no, no, no” persisted, Dr. Mustapha was not dissuaded. At first, Justice Kutigi attempted to call him to order; he later urged him to continue. The royal father made it clear that he was sounding a “note of warning” before it is too late. He noted that it was obvious that if the country broke up many of those shouting him down would have no place to run to. And for all he cared, the people of Adamawa and a lot more people he did not specify will be accommodated in Cameroon. His kingdom, he said, extends to the Republic of Cameroon, especially the place called Adamawa State in Cameroon. He said: “I just want to sound a note of warning and that is why I requested to be given time to speak before the start of business today,

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Sultan leads protest team to Jonathan

VEN outside the massive air conditioned hall where its session take place, the National Conference keeps living up to its billing as a contentious enterprises. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III, led some Muslim leaders to President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday at the Presidential Villa to protest the conference’s composition. The Sultan declined to speak to reporters at the end of the closed door meeting with the President, the Secretary General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said the President assured them that there was no deliberate move to marginalise Muslims. Speaking with State House correspondents, Oloyede said: “We are happy we consulted with him, and he has given us reasons to re-assure the Muslims that Muslims in Nigeria are not deliberately marginalised and he has asked us to convey the feelings of the government, the genuineness of the government, the fairness of the government to the entire populace.” “That if there are issues that are not as they ought to be, they were not definitely deliberate and we want to believe that Mr. President told us his mind, but we also want to believe that it is proper to protest; it is also “The note of warning I want to sound is that we should not take a cue from the so-called civilised people of western countries because they are always after their own interest and they can use anything - coercion, force and other means to protect their interest. “Listening to the debates and the behaviour of some delegates here, it really beats my

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

proper to assume that a leader will always be just, even if there are mistakes thereafter.” He went on: “We just felt that we must convey the feelings of the Muslims in Nigeria to Mr. President and he has given us his word to re-assure the Muslims community that he is a genuine and committed Christian who will not be unjust to others even ...” Oloyede, however, declined to give details about the feelings of the Muslims the group conveyed to the President. “Those feelings; may be because you are not a Muslim. If you are a Muslim, you will know the feelings of the Muslims presently about the composition of the National Conference,” he said. With the Sultan were Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Garbai, former Head of Service of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed and former Chief Justice of Nigeria Mohammad Uwais. The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has opposed the composition of the National Conference, claiming that Muslims are being marginalised as the number of Christians at the conference is more than the number of Muslims. Stressing that the selection of delegates

imagination how a gathering of people like us will behave like the way we are behaving. “Mr. President delivered his address here and he laid down what we are supposed to discuss, but many people here, sorry to say, especially some elder statesmen who claimed to be strong loyalists of Mr. President…” There was shout of “point of

to the national conference was not handled in a free and fair manner, Secretary General Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said at a news conference in Kaduna that Muslim were cheated in spite of “having the largest population”. He said: “Although democracy is a game of numbers, this has not been respected. For instance, while Muslims constitute the majority in the country, Christians, who by all acceptable records, are not more than 40 per cent of the country’s population, ironically constitute 62 per cent of the total delegates.” “We find it as disrespect to the conscience of the Muslims that of the 20 delegates of the Federal Government, only six are Muslims. No Muslim is deemed fit to make the list of delegates from the Nigerian Economic Summit. In fact, in the representation of the security agencies, Muslims have been so unimaginably short-changed, with only one Muslim out of the six retired military and security personnel, one out of six retired security and NIA officers, and two out of delegates of the Association of Retired Police Officers. This means, of the 18 security experts belonging to these three groups, only four (22.2 per cent) are Muslims. The question is, why is this serious short-changing of Muslims in these very sensitive groups?”

order” from those who felt belittled by what Dr. Mustapha was saying. Justice Kutigi said: “Mr. speaker, the issue is whether you want the public to be invited to serve memoranda here.” Dr. Mustapha responded: “Mr. Chairman,that is not my request.” There was more shout of “no, no, no”

Justice Kutigi interjected and said “Order, order; Mr. speaker, please continue”. Dr. Mustapha went on: “But, unfortunately, these people are in the forefront to contradict what Mr. President said. At the rate we are going, in the long run, this conference may not achieve its purpose.” There was another bout of “no, no, Mr. Chairman, no”.

Justice Kutigi asked the delegates to allow Dr. Mustapha to conclude his speech. “Let him land; let him land; allow the speaker to land,” the chairman said. Dr. Mustapha continued: “In the long run, if we are not careful, this conference will flop God forbid. And if it flops, the resultant effect can not be predicted by anyone of us here. “If something happens and the country disintegrates - God forbid - many of those who are shouting their heads off will have nowhere to go. “I and the people of Adamawa - and many others - have somewhere to go. I am the Lamido of Adamawa and my kingdom transcends Nigeria and Cameroon. “A large part of my kingdom is in the Republic of Cameroon, apart from my kingdom in Adamawa. Justice Kutigi interjected again: “Speaker, please answer the question on memoranda and stop wasting our time. Carry on.” Continued on page 68

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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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NEWS NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Conference... N T •From left: Former Health Minister Eyitayo Lambo, CEO, Bufferzone Ltd., Mr. Akin Fadeyi, Chief Medical Officer, LUTH, Prof. Akin Osibogun and Comedian Gbenga Adeyinka during the NTA Talk Show recording in Ikeja, Lagos. ..yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.

• Lagos State Commissioner for Education Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye cutting the tape during the presentation of furniture and learning materials by MTN Foundation to Oreyo Grammar School, Igbogbo at Ikorodu....yesterday. With her are from left: •Innitiator, ProjectManager, Smile,Dr. Amy Traore Shumbusho speaking at the Principal, media launch Project Smile in Lagos ... at Mr. the Education Portfolio MTN Foundation, Mr. Victor Orie-Ononogbu, Oriwuof Junior Model College, Ikorodu, weekend. With herPermanent are BrandSecretary/Tutor Communiocation Manager Oral B,Tomiwa (left) and Brand and IntegraBisiriyu Muideen; General, Education District 2,Ajewole Mrs. Titilayo Solarin; andOperations Principal, Oreyo Senior PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU tions Manager Oral B,OjoIkorodu, Folarin. Mr. Afolabi Amusa. Grammar School, Igbogbo,

•From left: Director, Air Transport Regulation, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Justus Wariya , Managing •From left: Head,Human Resources,Nutricima Bose Director,Nutricima limited, Director Bytol Travel and Tours, Mrs. Biyi TunjiLimited, Olugbodi andOgundipe,Managing Commercial Manager Gambia Bird West Africa,Suneel Sodieri Vasudevan,Category MarketingofManager,Nutricima Limited,Rapheal Osei - Bonsu at the unveiling GAMBIA BIRD Airline in Lagos. Agbaje and Sales director,Nutricima Limited at the second E-raffle draw in the Nutricima Mega cash Promo in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO BOLA OMILABU

•From left: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Nike Animashaun; Cosulate-General of the Republic of Singapore, Dr. Yehoshua Shuki Gleitma; Business Mentor, Yoram Halevy; World Bank Private Sector Development Specialist, Feyi Boroffice and International Economics, Dr. Shlomi Parizat at the Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology seminar on '' Engaging the private sector in Nigerian innovation'' in Lagos. PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL

HE meeting of a select group of National Conference delegates convoked to resolve the contentious issue of voting pattern ended in stalemate yesterday. Though Chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, announced to anxious delegates that the select group, referred to as “Super delegates” had gone long way in resolving issues at stake, an insider told our correspondent that “nothing much was achieved.” The select group, which included delegates from different geo-political zones, states and interest groups, met for about five hours with no resolution. The insider said: “The coast is still not clear. Northern delegates insisted that issues we failed to reach consensus should be decided by three-quarters majority. “Southern delegates were resolute that two-thirds majority vote should be the deciding factor in cases we •Yinka Ajani(left), Nduka Obiagbena and Mallam failed to achieve consensus.” Kasshim Imam after the session... yesterday. He added that some northern delegates also said that issues should be From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant decided only by consensus. Editor and Dele Anofi, Abuja The Abia State delegate noted that “three quarter majority and consensus are roads to no where because a to call for submission of memosingle dissenting voice means that randa from the public and for how long?'' there is no consensus.” Most of the delegates answered: Senator Anietie Okon, Akwa Ibom ``Yes, for two weeks". State delegate described clamour for However, there were few dissentthree quarter majority as “clearly an ing voices, who said calling for abnormally.” He said that even the rule book memoranda would be a waste of given to delegates stated clearly that time. Miss Mosumola Umoru, a youth to amend the rule to accommodate three quarters, should be by two- delegate, said that memoranda would ensure that the voice of mathirds majority vote. Okon noted that two-thirds major- jority of Nigerians were heard, ity vote is repeated in several sections pointing out that some segments of of the rule book and therefore should the country were under-reprebe adopted as the guiding principle sented at the conference. ``The youths, which have a popufor voting. He said that the conference should lation of about 80 million of Nigerinot bring from the sky “strange for- ans, are represented with only 18 mula for resolving voting arrange- delegates at this conference. ``We have set up a group via twitment.” Before Kutigi adjourned proceed- ter and other social media to collate ings till Monday, he told delegates the views and recommendations of that the ‘Super’ delegates held a meet- the youth population with regards ing and suspended deliberations at to direction at this conference. ``If we call for memoranda, it will lunch time. He informed delegates that “we increase the contribution of Nigerihave gone a long way but there are ans toward the process of developing a new nation,'' she said. still issues to discuss.” Dr Adeze Uwuzor, a delegate The chairman said the general delegate meeting could not continue be- representing Ebonyi, also supcause the select group meeting would ported the idea of memoranda from the public. continue after adjournment. ``Let it not look as if we are selfPart of what the group discussed, ish here. Memoranda are necessary he said, concerned the conduct of but the secretariat can summarise delegates at the conference. Kutigi decried what transpired in them so that all Nigerians can be the chamber on Tuesday saying it was heard." Dr Dozie Ikedife, a delegate repembarrassing to the entire delegates. While avoiding mentioning the is- resenting the South East, said: ``The sue of three quarters or two-thirds conference owes it a duty to ensure majority vote as the bone of conten- that everybody makes an input. ``This is democracy, we should tion, the chairman noted that any delinvite the public to make input," she egate who watched the conduct of some delegates on Tuesday must said. Mrs Felicia Sanni, a delegate rephave been thoroughly embarrassed. He said efforts were in motion to resenting the market women, also ensure that such despicable conduct supported memoranda, saying that the opinion of 492 delegates could did not reoccur in the chamber. He told the delegates that the se- not cover the whole country In her contribution, Chief lect group would brief them and give a comprehensive report of the behind- Josephine Anenih, an elder stateswoman, however, said that the-door meeting. Kutigi also noted that the list of the there ``is no need for memoranda select group is not final saying “when considering the available time for the need arises, more names will be the conference.'' She advised the delegates to conincluded. Delegates to the National Confer- sult with the people they were repence yesterday agreed that the sec- resenting from Friday to Sunday, retariat should call for memoranda when the plenary would be on adfrom the public on issues to be de- journment. ``We should be mindful of the liberated upon. The Chairman threw the sugges- timeframe that we have; we have tion to the delegates at the resumed spent almost two weeks and if we start calling for memoranda, it will plenary. “Do you authorise the secretariat take up our time.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

5

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

... No consensus yet on voting method THE ‘SUPER’ DELEGATES

•Dr Tokunbo Dosumu Awolowo (left), Chief Olu Falae and Sehinde Arogbofa after the session in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTOS: ABAYOMI FAYESE

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This conference is the cheapest ever, says Adefuye

HE National Conference is the cheapest in the history of the country, a delegate, Senator Anthony Adefuye, has said. Adefuye spoke yesterday in Lagos, at a book presentation by a former member of the House of Representatives, Moshood Salvador. Adefuye said the noise about how much to be paid to each delegate is uncalled for as the amount in question has been exaggerated. "I think there has been a lot of exaggeration about the pay. The pay is far less than what is being reported. It is not up to N2million at all. It is slightly less than N1.5 million per two weeks," he said. He continued: "But let me say to you, for instance, I stay in a hotel where I pay N67,000.000 per day. I have a car hire, which takes me tom and fro. Then I dry clean my dress almost every day, which costs me about N5,000. So, it is not that jumbo as some people erroneously think. If it were that I reside in Abuja it would not have cost me much. For people who do not reside in Abuja but come all the way to pay for accommodation, transport and food, I think this is the cheapest conference they have attended." On the call for allowances by some delegates for the aides, Adefuye said it was misconstrued.

``I do not think it is necessary; we came from several zones and interest groups and we sit here from Monday to Thursday.'' Dr Bello Mohammed, a delegate representing Kebbi, however, noted that the Presidential Advisory

•Minister to delegates: support gender mainstreaming By Seyi Odewale and Bukola Amusan, Abuja

"That was misconstrued. What we said was that they should give our aides tags to access the conference. Some of us are old and we are asking them to give us tags for them. You cannot access the conference without the tags on you. Somebody said we were asking for allowances for aides, no. Nobody ever asked for allowances for his or her aide," he said. Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, has called on delegates to the national conference to support agenda on women and girls during the conference. Mrs Maina, who made this call yesterday in Abuja at an interactive with female delegates to the conference, said women and girls were strategic in the development of any nation. ``Our country cannot become great without the active contribution its women folk. I therefore urge the leadership and delegates to the conference to support initiatives that will mainstream issues of women and girls. ``I would particularly want them to align with

Council on the conference had already gone round the country to collate memoranda. ``Nigerians indicated issues they will like the conference to address in these memoranda and advised the secretariat to get the memoranda

the national gender policy and its outcomes as a strategy for addressing some of the challenges that affect women and girls in Nigeria. ``The national conference, we hope, will provide the enabling framework for the mainstreaming of gender into all sectors of the economy as well as create the opportunity to engage with Nigerian men on issues of women and other vulnerable groups. ``I therefore request that the delegates push for the entrenchment of affirmative action of 35 per cent, universal access to fundamental human rights as well as zero tolerance to violence and discrimination against women and girls.'' The minister also urged the delegates to push for the entrenchment of affirmative action to ensure the integration of women into development processes. According to her, efforts are on to sensitise all female delegates to the need to push the gender agenda forward, saying development without women was incomplete. Mrs Maina said it was the desire of the ministry to ensure that at the end of the conference gender issues received deserved attention.

so as to save time,'' he said. Dr Kunle Olajide, an elder statesman, said the memoranda that were submitted to the advisory council were specifically to state the form which the ongoing conference should assume.

``The memoranda that were submitted to the advisory council were specifically for the modality of organising this conference and they have specific titles to which they were supposed to address. ``As we speak here today, all Ni-

• Gen. Ike Nwachukwu • Chief Mike Ahamba • Chief Olu Falae • Dr. Kunle Olajide • Chief Peter Odili • Chief Edwin Clark • Prof. Jubril Aminu • Prof. Ibrihim Gambari • Prof Jerry Gana • Alhaji Adamu Bashir • Mallam Tanko Yakassai • Sen. Ibrahim Mantu • Gen. A B Mamman • Chief Albert Horsfall • Chief Josephine Anenih • Mr Isa Aremu • Ms. Hauwa Evelyn Shekarau • Hajia Bola Shagaya • Dr Olisa Agbakoba • Amb Vincent Okobe • Prof Lawrence Ekpebu • Sen. Femi Okurounmu • Dr Joe Nwaogu • Hon Mohammed Umara Kumalia • Prof. Awwalu Yadudu • Prof Iyorcha Ayu • Obong Victor Attah • Sen Khairat Gwadabe • Hon Ghali Na’aba • Adamu Aliero • Atedo Peterside • Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife • Prof Isa Mohammed • Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim Imam • Sen Florence Ita Giwa • Sen. Ken Nnamani •Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu • Alhaji Sule Yahaya Bama • Dr Abubakar Sadiq Muhammed • Chief Olusola Akanmode • Justice Hassan Gumi • Mr Ledum Mitee • Mr Fola Adeola • Sen. Mimifarya Ayange • Hon Anayo Nnebe • Chief Raymond Dokpesi • Benjamin Elue • Gen. Alani Akinrinade • Chief Nduka Obaigbena gerians want to know what goes on here and it will be right and proper if we advertise for memoranda. ``Let them (Nigerians) send in their views because now, we are discussing issues that pertain to relaunching Nigeria," he said.

This conference must be different, says Ofeimun

P

OET, social critic and former private secretary to the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Odia Ofeimun, has expressed support for the National Conference, saying it is very expedient for the progress of the country. The literary icon believes if properly handled it will be a defining moment for Nigeria. He said: “The conference will provide defining moments beyond all the shenanigans of the past; it will buttress ideas that were injudiciously outlawed from previous conferences; and it will enlarge the room for creativity beyond and above what was possible before. “The conference may not provide what we want but it should provide the basics for the next step; and is giving us an opportunity to decide that this is how we want our children’s future to be like – “work

By Evelyn Osagie

for it!” And to be honest, I believe that it is possible for Nigeria to have 50 states and there will be nothing like economic problems in any of the states.” He advised the conference participants to go beyond ethnic, political and social sentiments to what is best for the country, saying “else the exercise would be a waste of time”. He said: “One of the worrisome problems about current discussions on representation is that those who want to be represented are not saying what they want the constitution to do for them. Why are ethnic nationalities not open to what they want Nigeria to do for them? Of course they do not want to do so because there’s no way you can discuss one ethnic group without

another. Anyone who is interested in Nigeria should look at it from the standpoint of not what my people will get but what is good for all of us, otherwise, you would be wasting your time.” Ofeimun, who marked his 64 th birthday with the presentation of three books, entitled: This Conference Must be Different; Taking Nigeria Seriously and When Does a Civil War Come to an End, said it was a deliberate move because they highlight the issues that are being discussed at the conference, adding that as his contributions towards the success of the conference he would make sure This Conference Must be Different gets to all the delegates and beyond. “Unlike some people who believe that Nigeria will breakup. Even if we manage at the conference to have people who are using knives to cut

the country into pieces, the future that will be left for all of us, will be a shared future. It is not as if when they eventually slaughter this country, they will suddenly find an elixir that will make things change. Take any ethnic group in this country or state for instance, there’s none that does not have all the problems that Nigeria as a country has. Go to your local government, you’d discover that it is about redesigning yourself without fear. “It is possible for us to change Nigeria instead of expecting a possible disintegration…if vital issues affecting the country are addressed, Nigeria can change. It is laudable enough that the existing government has accepted its inability to change things and has asked the rest of the country to join hands, so, this conference must be different,” he said.

•Ofeimun


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NEWS ‘Furore over Nnamani’s return to PDP unnecessary’ A HUMAN rights activist, Frank Ene, has said former Enugu State Governor Chimaroke Nnamani reserves the right to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He said the furore generated in political circles in Enugu State by the former governor’s decision to return to PDP was unwarranted. “Whether it is for realisation of political ambition or in acceptance of the olive branch being extended by the national chairman of the party is immaterial,” Ene said. According him, the alleged plot to stop Nnamani from returning to the party should be condemned. “I equally learnt that there were series of organised moves to stop him. Nnamani has been described as a liability to the party and that his planned return would not be feasible. “Yet another report had it that Nnamani had actually returned having been issued with a valid membership card in his ward. “Subsequently, the state government allegedly directed through the party hierarchy for the suspension of the ward chairman, Monday Ngene, who reregistered Nnamani,” the activist said. Ene said those trying to stop Nnamani’s return fear it would affect the electoral fortunes of Chief of Staff to Governor Sullivan Chime, Ifeoma Nwobodo who allegedly seeks to represent Enugu East Senatorial District in the Senate 2015.

THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

remains Court declares imposition of new Fowler LIRS Chairman number plate illegal T T •Stops FRSC from arresting motorists with old number plates HE plan by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to impound vehicles without the new number plates from October 1 crashed yesterday at a Federal High Court in Lagos. The court declared the commission’s move unconstitutional. Delivering judgment in a suit filed by a lawyer, Emmanuel Ofoegbu, against the FRSC, Justice James Tsoho held that the commission had no right to impose new number plates on motorists without an existing law to that effect. Justice Tsoho said: “The issue of redesigning new

By Precious Igbonwelundu, Staff Correspondent

number plates by the respondent is not covered under the provisions of any law in Nigeria. “The respondent cannot force Nigerians to acquire new number plates by impounding cars, without the backing of any legislation to that effect. “I hold that the act of the respondent amounts to an arbitrary use of power, and is

therefore illegal and unconstitutional. “Judgment is therefore entered in favour of the plaintiff and all the reliefs sought are hereby granted.” Ofoegbu filed the suit on September 30, last year through an activist, Ogedi Ogu. The plaintiff sought a declaration that the threat by the respondents to impound vehicles of motorists who fail to acquire the new number plates, was invalid

and unconstitutional. He claimed that the old number plates were issued under the provisions of the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR), 2004, which is a subsidiary legislation made under the FRSC Act, 2004. Ofoegbu argued that the NRTR 2012, in Regulations 230(2), provides that the revocation of the 2004 Regulations, shall not affect anything done, or purported to be done pursuant to that Regulation.

Fed Govt to check anti-trade practices From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

•From left: A Commissioner at Law Reform Commission, Mr. Akeem Bello, Lagos State Commissioner for Justice Mr Ade Ipaye, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, Dr Dayo Ayoade of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the Executive Secretary, Law Reform Commission, Mrs Ade Adeyemo, at a forum on reform of Selected Business Laws of Lagos State in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

National Assembly may relax conditions for new states

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N spite of the insolvency of many states, there is fresh pressure on members of the National Assembly Committee on Constitution Review to create new states. It was learnt that some forces in the Presidency and influential members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are pushing for it as a joker to win elections in 2015. A few others are making a strong case for the split of Borno and Yobe states where Boko Haram insurgency is pronounced as a result of landmass. There were indications last night that the National Assembly may relax conditions for creation of new states in the 1999 Constitution as part of the ongoing review of the constitution. There are 36 states in the country with 19 in the North and 17 in the South. A breakdown of states in the North is as follows: North-Westseven; North-East-six; and North-Central-six. In the South, the picture of states on geopolitical basis reads: South-West -six, SouthEast-five; and South-South-six. There are 57 requests for state creation at the National Assembly. According to investigation by our correspondent, some forces in the presidency, National Assembly and PDP had recently launched ‘covert’ lobbying of members of the committees on constitution amendment in the Senate and the House of Representatives. It was also learnt that some principal officers of the National Assembly are involved in the new agitation for the creation of new states. It was gathered that the thrust of the renewed drive for new states borders on the need to amend Section 8 (1) (a and b) of the 1999 Constitution to relax the

HE Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue and Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has not resigned his appointment. In a statement yesterday, the LIRS said Fowler remains in his position. The statement reads: “The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service has in the past few days been inundated with enquiries on the purported resignation of the executive chairman of the LIRS Mr. Babatunde Fowler. This, we believe is based on several false publications especially in the social media. The LIRS wishes to place on record that this is not correct. “He remains in office and continues to serve the people of Lagos state in his designated position.”

THE PROPOSED STATES • South-South: Ahoada (Rivers); ToruEbe (Delta, Edo, Ondo); Ogoja (Cross River); Urhobo (Delta); Minji-Se (Rivers); Ado (Delta); Confluence (Edo, Kogi, Nasarawa); Bori (Rivers); Anioma (Delta); Oil Rivers (Akwa Ibom, Rivers) Warri (Delta) New Delta (Delta) and Ethiope (Delta). • South-West: New Oyo (Oyo); RemoIjebu (Ogun), Ijesha (Osun); Oduduwa (Osun); Ijebu (Ogun); Ibadan (Oyo) Yewa (Ogun); Ose (Ondo); Lagoon (Lagos ) and Oluwa (Ondo). • South-East: Aba (Abia); Adada (Enu-

gu), Orashi (Imo, Anambra); Ugwuaku (Imo, Abia, Anambra); Etiti (Imo, Abia, Anambra); Equity (Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi); Njaba (Imo) and Orimili (Anambra, Imo, Delta). • North-West: Karaduwa (Katsina); Gurara ( Kaduna ), New Kaduna ( Kaduna ), Tiga ( Kano ); Ghari and Bayajida (Katsina). • North-Central: Apa(Benue); Kainji ( Niger ), Edu/ Ndaduma ( Niger, Kwara); Okura (Kogi) Borgu and Okun (Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, Kwara, Kogi). • North-East: Katagum (Bauchi), Amana (Adamawa) and New Borno (Borno).

•57 requests before National Assembly From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

conditions for creating states. The section says: “An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of creating a new State shall only be passed if “A request, supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in each of the following, namely; the Senate and the House of Representatives, the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and the local government councils in respect of the area, is received by the National Assembly; “A proposal for the creation of the State is thereafter approved in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of the people of the area where the demand for creation of the State originated. “The result of the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of all the States of the Federation supported by a simple majority of members of the Houses of Assembly; and “The proposal is approved by a resolution passed by two-

thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly.” A source, who is involved in Constitution Review, said: “We are under pressure to relax the conditions for state creation so that some new ones can emerge before the end of the first tenure of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. “Initially, we thought it was only a desperate bid by the presidency for political exigencies but we have realized that some principal officers of the National Assembly are neck-deep in it. “So, these agitators want us to remove some impediments to state creation, especially the concurrence of a simple majority of all states in the Federation. “They believe that in a Federal Structure like ours, a state should have no business in determining the fate of another.” Another member of the National Assembly said: “The desire for new states has been revived but at a session last week, some of us said the decision of the National Conference should guide us. “Some are making a case for six new states at the rate of one

from each of the nation’s geopolitical zones. “If this is what Nigerians want, we will do it irrespective of any minority view.” A high-ranking member of the National Assembly said: “We are already addressing how to fund the new states whenever they are created. “The logistics is very simple. If you are creating a new state from Akwa Ibom State, it means if the monthly allocation of the state is about N42billion per month, the two states will share the funds. “We will create states without any extra cost to the nation. But we will use it to accelerate developments nationwide. The essence is to bring government closer to the masses. “I am aware that we may streamline the constitutional criteria for state creation. This is already on the card.” As at press time, there 57 requests for state creation before the National Assembly. Some of the proposed states are as follows: • South-South: Ahoada (Rivers); Toru-Ebe (Delta, Edo, Ondo); Ogoja (Cross River);

Urhobo (Delta); Minji-Se (Rivers); Ado (Delta); Confluence (Edo, Kogi, Nasarawa); Bori (Rivers); Anioma (Delta); Oil Rivers (Akwa Ibom, Rivers) Warri (Delta) New Delta (Delta) and Ethiope (Delta). • South-West: New Oyo (Oyo); Remo-Ijebu (Ogun), Ijesha (Osun); Oduduwa (Osun); Ijebu (Ogun); Ibadan (Oyo) Yewa (Ogun); Ose (Ondo); Lagoon (Lagos ) and Oluwa (Ondo). • South-East: Aba (Abia); Adada (Enugu), Orashi (Imo, Anambra); Ugwuaku (Imo, Abia, Anambra); Etiti (Imo, Abia, Anambra); Equity (Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi); Njaba (Imo) and Orimili (Anambra, Imo, Delta). • North-West: Karaduwa (Katsina); Gurara ( Kaduna ), New Kaduna ( Kaduna ), Tiga ( Kano ); Ghari and Bayajida (Katsina). •North-Central: Apa(Benue); Kainji ( Niger ), Edu/ Ndaduma ( Niger, Kwara); Okura (Kogi) Borgu and Okun (Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, Kwara, Kogi). • North-East: Katagum (Bauchi), Amana (Adamawa) and New Borno (Borno). Senate President David Mark, had while receiving the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Paulinus Igwe in Otukpo, said: “The argument of those opposing state creation is based on whether existing states are viable or not. “But they forget that a state might be unviable just because the administrator is not ingenious with internal revenue generation or the people are not united and the administrator has to spend the available resources on achieving peace. “I am for the creation of Apa State and any other state that may fit the conditions. I have never shied from my agitation for creation of additional states.”

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O boost private sector participation and provide level playing ground in the various sectors of the economy, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is fine-tunning two bills for passage to the National Assembly. The two reform bills presented by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Council yesterday are the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2014 and the Nigeria Postal Commission Bill. Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting which lasted for about 40 minutes and presided over by Jonathan, Information Minister Labaran Maku said the bills were necessary to support the administration’s achievements. The bills, he said, would prevent anti-trade and monopolistic practices in the economy. He disclosed that a committee headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo has been set up to further look at the bills before final copies are sent to the National Assembly for consideration. He said the country does not have any agency that deals with abuse of trade practices, anti-trust and monopolies, adding that such agency must be in place in every open economy, if competition is to thrive towards developing the economy. On the Nigeria Postal Commission Bill, he also noted that the sector had been dominated by the government over the years and there is now need to reform the postal sector to allow the private sector to come in.


THE NATION THURSDAY MARCH 27, 2014

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NEWS

Senate okays Emefiele as CBN governor

Immigration tragedy: Reps’ motion fails

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

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MOTION seeking the reversal of President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive to cancel the recruitment by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), and the constitution of a special committee to hold a fresh recruitment, failed to pass on the floor yesterday. The motion, sponsored by Ahmed Idris, prayed the House to “bring to the attention of the executive arm of government the existence of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prison Service Board (CDFIPB) Act.” Ahmed said based on the Act, the President’s action contravened the provisions of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPB). Following the recruitment tragedy, President Jonathan, after the Federal Executive Council meeting of March 19, cancelled the exercise and constituted a special committee, headed by the chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, to conduct a fresh recruitment. The lawmaker said the action was akin to a disregard of law for the executive arm when there was an existing law, which gave such powers to the CDFIPB.

•Emefiele

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HE Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, was yesterday confirmed by the Senate as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He will assume duty on June 3 when the five-year tenure of the suspended Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, ends. This followed a request for his confirmation by President Goodluck Jonathan. Emefiele said he would probe the alleged N262 billion deficit in the expenditure of the CBN, pledging not to contravene the law.

There was a mild drama before Emefiele was allowed into the chambers. Senator Kabiru Gaya, citing an order of the Senate, said Sanusi was still in court and thus it would be unwise to screen a successor. Gaya said: “Sanusi went to court, now in the event the court rules he should return, what will happen? Why don’t we wait until the case is over?” Senate President David Mark ruled Gaya out of order, saying the Senate would take responsibility for the action. Mark said: “Distinguished senator, you have done your best and you have been seen to have done your best. “Unfortunately, your best is not going to carry the day here. So let me and all of us, including you, take responsibility for what we are going to do. “Unfortunately, the matter before the court has nothing to do with what we are going to do now. So I rule you out of order.” Emefiele lamented the

penchant by Nigerians to spend dollars instead of the naira. He said the development could ruin the economy, if not checked. Emefiele said he would probe the expenditure components of the CBN to know how the alleged N262 billion deficit became inevitable. Said he: “I will look into the budget expenditure components in the CBN, but I am aware we have what is called the operational expenditure profile as well as administrative expenditure profile. “I think and I imagine, I suspect more of the deficit would have come from areas pertaining to operational expenditure and if it is about operational expenditure, it means we cannot do anything about it. “This is because those were expenditures incurred in the course of open market operation, which is needed to ensure that we maintain a strong currency and have a good country.” Emefiele noted that the core mandate of the CBN

was to achieve monetary and price stability, as well as ensure a strong foreign reserve. He added: “We are also expected to ensure we have a strong financial system. “On the back of this mandate, we will work hard to ensure we achieve macroeconomic stability where inflation rate shall be seen to continue to come down and where we will continue to maintain a strong exchange rate for the country and build a strong foreign reserve. “We will ensure that if approved, whatever monetary policy decision taken would be those to improve the level of employment. “Because we know employment is important. We know today we have an employment emergency. “We must ensure whatever decisions we take at the CBN in the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would be those leading to improvement in the level of employment. “We would ensure we work with the manufacturing companies to ensure we improve on their level of

Afenifere chief Oshun turns 64 By Leke Salaudeen

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HE Chairman of the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Olawale Oshun, turned 64 yesterday. Oshun, a national conference delegate, is in Abuja. His family, political associates, friends and admirers converged on the National Library Auditorium, Yaba, Lagos, to mark the event. A group of young writers, under the aegis of the Pen Society, organised a programme to entertain guests. It featured drama, dance, poetry, talk and music. Oshun, who addressed the gathering through his wife, Anthonia, said he would have come, but for the conference. He said: “I tried my best to be available for today’s event marking my 64 th birthday. I thank the Almighty God for keeping me alive, healthy and lucky enough to be one of those nominated to participate in the conference. It is that luck that in a way kept me away from this programme.” Reflecting on the state of the nation, the ARG leader said: “Our country is in a dilemma. Every year adds to the agony of Nigerians and you our children bear the largest burden. It has affected the quality of education and other social services, such as health and security that your governments have had to provide for you.” Oshun absolved the youths of any blame in the situation in the country.

Mrs. Oshun (fourth left) with the teachers and pupils of Canon James Pearse Anglican College, Iwaya, Lagos at the PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID birthday...yesterday.

production and by extension ensure we improve and achieve economic growth.” Emefiele said: “The Central Bank is the monitoring authority, whereas the Ministry of Finance is the fiscal authority. It is important that in their relationship they must work in one direction. “They must push in one direction. If we push in opposite directions, what you will find is that we are not going to achieve economic growth and development we are talking about. “It is important that both the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank move in one direction. “If the decision is that we should pursue a conventional policy, both the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance should be seen to move in one direction. “So, we expect that there should be a collaborative relationship where they will work together for the good of Nigerians.” He said he would ensure the naira is respected. “I think one of the core mandates of the Central Bank is to ensure we maintain a legal tender and they respect it and ensure whatever is done our naira has to be used as a legal tender. “I will take it as a primary responsibility to ensure the attempt to dollarize the Nigerian economy is discouraged. We should not allow it because it will create problem for the economy.” Emefiele said the CBN would not support devaluation because of its devastating effects on the economy. He said: “It is true we have seen the reserve dropping, it is as a result of speculative attack on the naira because I think there will be devaluation as a result of what is happening in the world today. “There is no need to worry about devaluation because it is a devastating action to be taken in the country, particularly because we are import-dependent.”

Appeal Court’s new president decries poor funding of Judiciary

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HE Senate yesterday confirmed the nomination of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as the president of the Court of Appeal. Justice Bulkachuwa, who answered questions pertaining to the dispensation of justice before she was confirmed, said it was necessary to further amend the Electoral Act to prevent delays in election cases. She decried the condition of justices, saying they lived in sordid environment due to poor funding, saying the Judiciary was poorly funded. The judge blamed the delay in deciding election petitions on the electoral law, lawyers and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Justice Bulkachuwa said: “Our problem is that the time it takes to file a petition and relevant documents pertaining to an election petition is long. “Before a case comes to the Court of Appeal, its time

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

would have been taken, that is the 180 days would been concluded at the tribunal and when the case comes to the Court of Appeal, it takes another time. “You find that we have just about one month within which to hear and determine these appeals. We have made some contributions. “I made some submissions to the National Assembly when they asked for our input in the amendment of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, because the last time the Electoral Act and the Constitution were amended, our input was not taken into account. “We are the court, we decide what happens where we are the final court in the National Assembly and the State Assembly elections. We hear governorship elections on appeal and we are the first instance court on presidential election. “So we think before the

amendment of the constitution or before the amendment of the Electoral Act, our input should have been sought and should form part of the amendments. “Last time we were not asked. We believe this time we will be asked so we can make our input. We will try our best within the time limit we have. Sometimes, we hear an electoral appeal within seven days. “We have just seven days within which to hear and determine an appeal and then the matter will go to the Supreme Court on appeal. We don’t have sufficient time. “We are suggesting that the time within which an appeal should be filed from the tribunal to the Court of Appeal should be after an appeal is filed. “An appeal usually should be filed within 30 days when the matter is determined. “So that gives us an extra 30 days. And then we blame the counsel most of the time because when you take a peti-

tion before the tribunal, it takes much time. “The respondents will not want the matter to be heard and determined so he will play as many delay tactics as he can so by the time the matter is determined, the 180 days are gone and then the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal would have been taken because we can’t send back the case to the tribunal for retrial. “So the delay is not that of the court, I am sure it is more or less that of lawyers and then the parties. Maybe there should be another rethink of the election processes. “We are also blaming INEC because when a petition is filed, it takes them time to give election documents to a petitioner. As of right he is supposed to get those documents within seven days. This is not done. Sometimes, the court will make an order but it will be ignored by INEC.” She blamed the incidence of conflicting judgments on lack of funds to make the Informa-

tion and Communication Technology (ICT) of the court functional. “We do have conflicting judgments, I believe, but we are trying as much as possible. We are aware of any judgment that is delivered in any Court of Appeal or in any division of the Court of Appeal within the shortest time. But this also brings us back to funding of the judiciary. “We love to have an ideal situation where our ICT section will be working, but we don’t have sufficient funds. We are trying as much as we can. “On the funding of the judiciary, this is a serious issue. We are the biggest court in the country. We have 90 justices as at now. We have 16 divisions of the Court of Appeal. “But our budget this year is N10.1 billion. The justices have their salaries, allowances, which should be charged on the consolidated revenue fund. So if you take that out of the N10.1 billion, what are you left with?


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

NEWS EKITI 2014

I won’t seek second term, if elected, says Bamidele

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HE governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Ekiti State, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, has said he will not seek another term in office, if elected in the June 21 poll. He said he would grant local government councils financial autonomy, if elected. Bamidele spoke with reporters yesterday at his Iyin-Ekiti country home in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government. The House of Representatives’ member said: “This is part of the sacrifices I have to make to restore stability in the already tensed political atmosphere of the state.” When asked which part of the state he would want his successor to come from, if he becomes governor, he said: “Where a leader would come from should not bring enmity among the people. I will do everything possible to unite the state and stem division. The situation in Ekiti now calls for sacrifices because part of what destabilises a state most is when the incumbent is seeking re-election or trying to implement a programme the people do not believe in. “I am capable of assembling a solid team that will turn the state’s fortunes around within four years. With my experience as a public servant, I will hit the ground running. “For Ekiti to be united; there

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

is need for the political class to realign forces and make sacrifices for us to remain one. After my tenure, I would not want people fighting over which senatorial district should produce the governor. The decision to go for a single term is personal and not the position of my party.” All Progressives Congress (APC) Spokesman Mr. Segun Dipe said: “Bamidele will not have a first term as governor and would, therefore, not need to seek another term.” Dipe said Fayemi is seeking a second term for reasons obvious to those who care to see them. He said: “Governance is not frivolity. It is not flippant talk. Seeking a second term is constitutional and legitimate. For two years after the good work of the Fayemi administration started manifesting, various groups, associations and individuals have been urging the governor to seek another term in office. “We were all there on the day the governor officially accepted to seek re-election and saw the applause that followed it. Bamidele does not know what it takes to govern a state. He has never been a governor and he may never be. Ekiti people know what it means for Fayemi to seek their votes again.”

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PDP upholds Fayose’s candidacy

HE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has upheld the candidature of former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose as the party’s flag bearer for the June 21 governorship election. Fayose’s endorsement followed the adoption of the result presented to the party’s leadership by the PDP’s Ekiti Governorship Primary Electoral Committee, headed by former Rivers State Governor Peter Odili. No fewer than 13 of the party’s 16 aspirants are kicking against Fayose’s emergence. They alleged that the process was manipulated and the delegates’ list changed. In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP urged its supporters and other aspirants to support Fayose at the poll. The statement reads: “The National Working Committee (NWC) has received the report of the Ekiti State Governorship Primary Electoral Committee. After thorough consideration of the report, the NWC approved the result and upheld the nomination of Fayose as the candidate of the PDP for the June, 2014, governorship election in Ekiti State. “The NWC commends the committee for the conduct of a peaceful and transparent ex-

A

‘Why we oppose ex-governor’

SOCIO-political and cultural group in Ekiti State, tagged E-11, has urged the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to present another candidate for the June 21 governorship election. It said the emergence of former Governor Ayo Fayose as the PDP’s flag bearer was “against” the interests of the party and Ekiti people. Speaking with reporters yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the group’s Chairman, Mr. Femi Ajiniran, said: “Among the 15 eminent individuals who expressed interest in the election, the choice of Fayose beats every rational imagination. “The time has come for every segment of the populace to be more than mere voters during elections and be concerned about the candidates of parties. The emergence of Fayose is enough to bring us to the streets in protest against a blunt assault on our heritage, unity and the progress attained in the last three-and-a-half years. “We have given our life, time and resources to ensure that this state remains on the path of decency, peace and progress. E-11 was founded in response to the former governor’s legacies of errors during his reign. Allowing Fayose to run for governorship will be gambling taken too far. From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

ercise and urges all PDP members in Ekiti, including other aspirants, to support Fayose to ensure a successful outing at the election.” Fayose thanked the PDP leadership for providing a level play ground for all aspirants and for upholding his

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

“What we are saying here should be clear to all. The PDP has every legitimate right to propose a candidate for election, but Fayose is an illegitimate candidate for a basically legitimate aspiration. The PDP has other aspirants. The party should set its house in order and go for any one of them.” On rumours that the party’s national leadership masterminded Fayose’s emergence, the E-11 said: “We will write the Presidency appealing for a change. This is Ekiti State which we understand very well. Mr. President will have to hear our call, as he is an honourable man who would not want violence in the state. “The 15 PDP aspirants who oppose Fayose cannot be wrong. The President will have to listen to them. Although they belong to the same party, their calls for Fayose’s replacement are not wrong. They are speaking for Ekiti people. “We urge Ekiti people, young and old, men and women of genuine concern for the progress of Ekiti, to reject Fayose this time. While it is right for the PDP to have a candidate to contest the coming election, the candidacy of Fayose is a big blow on our collective dignity, decency and humanity.”

I appeal to those who lost to put the primary behind them and let’s work together for the party’s victory. “The PDP umbrella is wide and accommodating. I assure them that nobody will lose and I will not victimise anybody. The interest of the party is far above any personal interest.”

nomination. In an electronic mail yesterday by his media aide, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose urged other PDP aspirants to support him. He said: “I thank the PDP leadership and Mr. President for giving aspirants a level play ground. I thank the party leadership for upholding my nomination. I promise to deliver Ekiti State to the PDP.

Ekiti condemns destruction of billboards

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•LP: we have no hand in it

HE Ekiti State government has accused the opposition of destroying billboards displaying the achievements of the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration. It said the action indicates “schemes for violence” as the June 21 governorship election draws near. Speaking with reporters yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation Tayo Ekundayo, said “such a move was no longer fashionable”. Ekundayo said the destruction of the billboards would not affect the rating of the administration, adding: “As much as we do not want to preempt the police investigation, we state that preliminary reports as well as patent forensic evidence at our disposal indicate that the unfortunate incident was perpetrated by members of the opposition.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

“Nobody should go into war because of this election. It is not in our character to foment violence because we are fighting over power. We warn that we will not tolerate acts of lawlessness and open brigandage that is capable of bringing the state into anarchy.” Ekundayo described the post-primary crisis rocking an opposition party as “preparations for naked violence”, adding: “You will recall that a rancorous primary of one the parties last weekend equally produced an equally controversial candidate who has an antecedent for violence in which cudgels, guns and machetes were freely used. He urged parents to counsel their children not to allow themselves to be used as thugs by “desperate politicians”. Labour Party governorship

•A vandalised billboard belonging to Fayemi at Ojumose in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday.

flag bearer Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele has denied involvement in the destruction, saying: “Everybody in the state knows that such act cannot be traceable to me. I do not have

such tendency and I cannot promote such, having suffered similar fate in the past.” Bamidele urged the police to investigate the incident and other acts of violence in the

Ibadan kidnap victims respond to treatment

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HE eight kidnap victims rescued from the “forest of horror” in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, are responding to treatment. The victims, who were too weak to eat on Saturday, voraciously devoured large portions of food yesterday. When our correspondent visited the State Hospital, Yemetu, yesterday, the victims looked better than the previous days. However, abnormal behaviour by some of them suggests that they may be mentally ill. A reliable source at the hospital said a psychiatrist had examined them. The source said: “They are much better now. They are looking more

•72-year-old woman missing From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

radiant as you can see and are also now eating voraciously because their appetite has been restored. You know they were starved for a long time. Now that they are in a good environment with medical attention, they are eating very well. Their appetite improved on Tuesday. So, what the hospital does is to make provision for extra food, even for the night.” The source said those with psychiatric problems would be transferred to appropriate centres for treatment. Fewer people were at the hospital

yesterday, as many satisfied their curiosity earlier in the week. One of the victims, Mrs. Cecilia Obaikhena (72), who disappeared shortly after they were rescued on Saturday, is still missing. Her children, who came looking for her from Lagos after seeing her picture in The Nation, are still searching for her. Mrs. Obaikhena strayed away after the rescue operation. She was sighted by passers-by. It is believed that the old woman is roaming the city. Her son, Victor (48), said his mother was kidnapped in Edo State in 2008.

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state “before things get out of hands”. Police spokesman Victor Babayemi, said the development would be investigated,

OME youths in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday mobbed two men, accusing them of being ritualists. One of the men was burnt to death, but the other was rescued by the police. The incidents occurred at two locations. At Oke-Ado, a man suspected to be mentally-ill was set ablaze. When The Nation visited the scene, ashes littered the floor. It was learnt that man’s body was taken away by anti-riot policemen. One of the youths was arrested. A source, who pleaded for anonymity, said the man was roaming around the market when some youths stopped and searched him. He said a pistol, foreign currencies and ATM cards were found on the man. Traders hastily locked their shops and ran away when policemen returned to the area some minutes after the man’s remains were taken away.

adding: “The culprits would be brought to book. Those tearing posters and pulling down billboards will be arrested and prosecuted soon.”

Man burnt to death in Ibadan From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

Eight people were arrested in connection with the incident. A suspected kidnapper was mobbed at Queens Cinema area. He was almost set ablaze, but for the quick intervention of the police, who dispersed the mob and took him away. Confirming the incidents, police spokesperson Olabisi Ilobanafor said three Identity Cards with different names, N11,600 and 42 SIM cards were found on the man rescued at Queens Cinema. She warned the public against taking the laws into their hands, urging them to report suspects to security agents.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

9

NEWS

States should emulate Osun feeding scheme, says Amaechi •Aregbesola: varsities should resolve societal problems

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IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has said other states should emulate the Osun school feeding programme, tagged: “OMEAL.” He said it would reduce the number of children who drop out of school. Amaechi spoke yesterday at the main campus of the Osun State University, Osogbo, at a lecture, titled: “Higher education and good governance in Nigeria: The way forward.” The chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said he was amazed by the projects executed by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration. He said good governance was not limited to roads, but includes education.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Amaechi said: “Every serious governor should emphasise on education. It is common for governors to want to concentrate on roads because people will praise them, but that alone is not enough. That is not the case with your governor. His achievements in other aspects of development, including quality education, is commendable. “His school feeding programme deserves applause. Other states must emulate this programme because it will reduce the number of out-of-school children and Nigeria ranks among nations with the greater number of out-of-school children.”

Aregbesola said despite dwindling allocation from the federation account, his administration continued to execute projects. He said N5.4 billion had been used to augment salary since last July when the allocation from the Federal Government dropped from N4.6 billion to N2.8 billion. Aregbesola said he would carry on with his Six-Point Integral Action Plan. On his commitment to education, he said: “Basic education is not negotiable. That is why we’re doing what we’re doing, considering the neglect the sector suffered. It is our concern to give it its quality.” Aregbesola said a university was not only established for knowledge, but for the

generation of knowledge to impact positively on the society. He said: “I think UNIOSUN is sensitive to this responsibility, which is getting its due attention. ‘’It is my view that a university, among other considerations, is a unique device invented by the human society as part of its tools to solve its problems. “What this means is that helping society to confront and overcome its challenges is part of the founding mission of the university. It is a mission in which it cannot afford to fail. I do hope UNIOSUN will sustain this tradition of academic excellence tailored towards social relevance.”

‘Police ready for Ondo by-election’

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HE Ondo State Police Command is ready to ensure a peaceful byelection in Ilaje/Ese-Odo on April 5, Commissioner of Police Isaac Eke said yesterday. He said arrangements had been made to achieve this. Eke urged politicians to play by the rules; warning that any body caught perpetrating crime would be prosecuted. He said his tenure would not condone crime, adding: “We want the citizenry to carry out their lawful businesses as the criminals are being flushed out of the state. ‘’My mission is to execute the transformation agenda of the Inspector-General of Po-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

lice, Mohammed Abubakar, which is to flush criminal elements from Ondo State. ‘’To fulfill this mission, the police will abide by the rule of law and respect the fundamental human rights of citizens.” Warning criminals to stay away from the state, Eke said flash points would be protected through “intensive visibile policing, aggressive patrols and raids of criminal hideouts.” He said the command “will create a robust symbiotic relationship with the public, corporate bodies and the media through an open-door policy.”

African Church to establish university

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HE African Church has said it will establish a university. Chairman, Governing Council of the African Church College of Education Mr. B.A Odufuwa confirmed this at the college’s convocation in Lagos. Odufunwa said education was an instrument of freedom, which is capable of freeing people from slavery, oppression and suppression. He lamented the state of the education sector, saying: “It is in a sorry state of disarray and abysmal hollowness. Nigerians have experienced physical and spiritual frustration. They have lived with deferred dreams and annulled hopes.” According to Odufuwa, the curriculum of tertiary institutions cannot generate employment because many graduates are unemployable. He advised that the curriculum be reviewed and to focus on research and development. Eighty-one students of four sets, 2010 to 2013, graduated at the maiden convocation.

Ekiti community demands council

I •Amaechi (second right); Aregbesola (second left); his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori (left) and Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Osun State University Council, Prof. Gabriel Olawoyin... yesterday.

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Oyo, IITA to hold economic summit

HE Oyo State government and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) will hold an economic summit on April 14 and 15. The summit will educate potential investors on investment opportunities in the state. The aim is to attract investors to the state and boost the economy. Commissioner for Trade, Investments and Cooperatives Mrs. Oyefunke Oworu told reporters yesterday in Ibadan that the summit would focus on agriculture and other sectors, where the state has comparative advantage. According to her, Oyo State has a good weather, fertile land, good people and strategic location and is safe.

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

The theme for the summit is: “Oyo State: Right for Business”. Mrs. Oworu said the outcome of the summit would be transformed into policies that will attract investors and create job opportunities.

IITA Deputy Director, Partnership and Capacity Development, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, who was accompanied by the Regional Administrator for West Africa, Sylvia Oyinlola, said the state has a special advantage in agriculture be-

cause its land can produce all crops grown in Nigeria. He said the institute would exhibit the best crops developed for people interested in agro-business, adding that the summit would stimulate interest in agriculture in youths.

Ogun urges cooperative societies to go digital

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HE Ogun State government has urged cooperative societies to computerise their operations. It said it was not happy with cooperative societies that are yet to do so. Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperative Societies Samuel Aiyedogbon spoke in Abeokuta, the state capital, at the opening of a seminar organised by his ministry for cooperative societies. The theme of the seminar was “Standardisation of cooperative accounting reports for members’ understanding”. Aiyedogbon said: “The introduction of soft

ware packages have digitalised the world socially and economically, simplifying the operations of many organisations, thus making processing of data and retrieval of information possible in speed time. Cooperative societies in our dear state should not be left behind in the digital world, as attainment of sustainable economic prosperity by societies and union does not come by accident.” President, Ogun State Cooperative Federation Limited (OGSCOFED), Abdulrazaaq Ola Balogun, said the seminar was apt, adding that there must be uniformity in the preparation and reporting of cooperative accounts.

Ondo Broadcasting workers protest poor working conditions

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ORKERS of the Ondo State-owned media outfit, the Ondo State Radio-vision Corporation (OSRC), yesterday called for the removal of the corporation’s Director-General, Mr. Ladi AkeredoluAle, for alleged maladministration. They also called for the dissolution of the corporation’s board. The workers, who complained of poor working conditions, blocked the main entrance of the corporation, situated at Orita-Obele in Akure, singing anti-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Akeredolu-Ale songs. The former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), OSBC Chapel, Taiwo Ibitoye deplored the poor state of infrastructure in the corporation and urged the government to intervene. He said the corporation was living in past glory, adding that its infrastructure, which were put in place by the administration of the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin over 20 years ago, has become an eye sore. Ibitoye said nearly all

roofs in the corporation were leaking. When he conducted reporters round the corporation’s premises, it was an ugly sight. Most of the offices lack good furniture. The floor and windows were dilapidated. Ibitoye said: “We have appealed to the management, led by Akeredolu-Ale, to provide better infrastructure and improve workers’ welfare, but our appeals fell into deaf ears.” He said it was sad that the corporation, which generates over N3 million

monthly, could not renovate its office. The workers accused the management of misappropriating the corporation’s revenue. As at press time, stern looking mobile policemen and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) were stationed at OSBC’s gate. No management staff was around to comment on the development. However, the station is still transmitting, as the workers said they would not deny the people their rights to information.

GBARA-Odo community in Ekiti State has hailed Governor Kayode Fayemi for programmes embarked upon by his administration, especially the creation of more local government areas. In a statement yesterday in Ibadan, the community’s leaders - Chief Gbenga Akosile, Chief Banji Olowofela and Chief Oluwole Ariyo - described Fayemi as a visionary leader, who is committed to the transformation of the state and emancipation of its people. They said the creation of more councils would bring the government closer to the people and give them a

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

deeper sense of belonging. The community leaders said: “Apart from this, the creation of additional councils will give more room for good governance and enhance development.” They called for the creation of Igbara-Odo local government, with the headquarters at Igbara-Odo. The leaders said Igbara Odo was qualified to have its own council, adding: “Igbara Odo has the largest ward in Nigeria and one of the highest number of polling units in a ward. ‘’Indices have shown that Igbara Odo will be viable, as the town is the economic nerve of its council.”

Osun indigenes in Akure back Aregbesola

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From Damisi Ojo, Akure

NDIGENES of Ilobu, Irepodun Local Government Area of Osun State living in Akure, Ondo State, yesterday pledged their support to Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the August 9 governorship poll. The indigenes, under the aegis of Ilobu Development Union (IDU), hailed Aregbesola for extending the 10 kilometre road project to Ilobu. In a statement by two of their leaders, Kasali Akande and Yisau Kareem, they said the road, which connects Ilobu with neighbouring communities in Oyo and Kwara states, would boost the state’s economy. IDU urged the government to site a tertiary institution in Ilobu and repair other roads linking the community to neighbouring states.

Four die on Lagos/Ogun road

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From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

OUR persons died yesterday in an accident on the LagosAbeokuta expressway. Eighteen others were critically injured. The accident occurred around 3pm at the railway-crossing in Ifo. It was learnt that an 18-seater Mazda bus, marked LAGOS KTU 554 XH, ran into a DAF trailer, numbered LAGOS AAA 932 XC. Four people died on the spot. The Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Itori Command, Fatai Bakare, told The Nation that “four persons died and 18 others are on the danger list”. He said the injured were taken to the State Hospital, Ifo, Ogun State.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

10

CITYBEATS

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Sanitation holds in Lagos Saturday

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•The protesting workers ... yesterday

No surrender, striking LASUTH workers vow

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OR about four hours yesterday, activities at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, were paralysed as irate workers staged a peaceful protest for improved welfare. Displaying placards with various inscriptions, the striking workers, stormed the premises of the hospital under the aegis of LASUTH Workers Forum. They vowed not to give up until government meets their them. The forum’s chairman, Mr Rasheed Bamishe, said the workers would remain on strike until the government

By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha, Wale Adepoju and Basirat Braimah

implements the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS). He said the payment of step arrears to some affected workers must be effected without any discrimination and further delay. Bamishe said the workers had been paying to access health-care facilities in the hospital, saying: “There should free health services for all workers in accordance with the civil service policy.” He said pool officers who

hitherto received shift allowances should continue to enjoy the benefit. Deputy President, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Mr Olufemi Tonade, said there were allocations in the 2012 and 2013 budgets for workers’ uniforms, but regretted that “no uniform was eventually made available to workers.” He said the institution’s management should sit at a round-table with workers to work out plans on how to monitise the uniforms so that the staff can procure them on their own.

Tonade said only doctors currently receive the yearly one-month pay bonus known as “the 13th month salary.” He stressed that same should be extended to other workers in the system since they too are partners in the progress of the system and the country. None of the hospital’s management staff was around to address the workers as they were in a management meeting. However, the workers threatened to march on the state Secretariat, Alausa in Ikeja early tomorrow should the management failed to address the issues on ground.

HE Lagos State monthly environmental sanitation will be observed between 7.00am and 10am on Saturday, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, said yesterday. Human and vehicular movement will be restricted during the period to ensure “full participation of residents for a cleaner Lagos.” Bello said: “Our efforts are now concentrated in our goal towards attaining a flood-free Lagos during the coming rainy season, while not relenting in our core environmental management functions. Our goal is to sustain the achievements of last year as well as try to surpass them. We shall sustain our all-year cleaning, which includes pre-rain, mid-rain and post-rain massive cleaning, maintenance and drainage dredging channels across the state.” He reminded Lagosians that global climatic weather conditions had become so unpredictable that the flood ravaging some parts of the United Kingdom, despite their advanced drainage network, can also happen in Lagos, hence people must be prepared. “We must ensure that our drains and channels are freeflowing, and we must properly dispose of our waste through the authorised institutions as dumping of waste into canals impedes the flow

•Bello By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

of storm water in our drainage channels,” he added. The commissioner warned residents who still patronise cart pushers to desist from the illegal act. But he advised Lagosians to complement government’s effort towards ensuring that canals and channels are cleaned at all times by desisting from dumping waste into them in order to attain a flood-free Lagos. To ensure full participation and total compliance with the restriction order, Bello warned inter-state bus operators, and the state Transport Owners and Road Transport Workers’ Association to comply with the restriction order as any vehicle caught violating the order would be dealt with appropriately, while passengers in such vehicles would also be prosecuted according to the state Sanitation Laws.

NEWS (SHOWBIZ)

Dickson seeks support for AMAA

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OVERNOR of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, has urged the private sector to support the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) scheduled to hold on Saturday, April 26. While addressing captains of industry at the AMAA sponsors’ dinner last Saturday at the Civic Centre, Lagos, he said his administration was determined to develop the economy of the state. “Bayelsa is gradually becoming the entertainment headquarters of Nigeria. Investment in AMAA is an investment in the future of Nigeria. We are committed to promoting Nigerian talents in movies, music and fashion. Bayelsa is building a film city, where filmmakers from all over the world can come and shoot their films. We are also developing our tourism infrastructure to make Bayelsa the leisure capital of Nigeria. I appeal to the leaders of the private sector to support AMAA and support our efforts in Bayelsa to enhance the capacity of our youths in the creative industry,” he said. In her remark, the Chief Executive Officer of AMAA, Ms. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, recalled the history of AMAA with Bayelsa State government since 2005 and thanked former governor, Diepriye Alamyesigha and President Goodluck Jonathan for their support since inception. According to her, “I want to appeal to the corporate

By Victor Akande

Nigeria to support us in the creative industry. Nigerian young men and women should be supported to grow. Nollywood and our music are great cultural exports that the world has embraced and respected. Three presidents, who came for the Nigerian centenary event a few days ago in Abuja, said Nollywood and our music are popular around the world and in their coun-

tries. There is money to be made in this sector with the right support and investment. By sponsoring AMAA and other events in the industry, you will get returns on your investment. “AMAA, in conjunction with our media partners, has developed multi-channel media platforms that will give your brands the right exposure, globally.’’ Some of the dignitaries in attendance were Mr. Ladi Balo-

gun, chairman of the sponsors’ dinner, Tunde Ayeni, chairman of Skye Bank Plc., Albert Okumagba, managing director of BGL, Timi Alaibe, ex-managing director of NDDC, George Anyiam-Osigwe, group executive director of Anyiam Osigwe Group and King A.J Turner, among others. Arik Air, Cool FM and Ebony Life TV also pledged to sponsor AMAA, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

•Osigwe

Why negotiation on music tariff is slow, by Okoroji

•Okoroji

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HE ongoing broadcast industry joint committee on the review of copyright royalty tariffs has left members of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) wondering if their leaders won’t compromise their stand. The committee, which includes broadcast agencies such as the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Nigerian Copyright Com-

mission (NCC), Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (IBAN), was inaugurated, following complain by BON and IBAN, that royalties charged by COSON do not meet prevailing standards. There are indications that BON and IBAN do not see the justification to pay royalty to COSON, as they have asked broadcast stations to boycott music belonging to members of the latter, who constitute a huge chunk of artistes in the Nigerian music industry. But the blacklisting was stalled by the NBC’s requirement of 80 percent local content broadcasting by any station. Since its inauguration on February 24, members of the committee are yet to come out with a resolution, necessitating a meeting of COSON’s

management, last Monday. Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, at the meeting, allayed fears of members, saying the committee will not sacrifice the interest of music owners for the broadcasters. “We understand the historic nature of the ongoing negotiations. In the interest of the country, we are willing to bend backwards where it is necessary, and compromise where we consider it appropriate, but we will not under any circumstance sacrifice the interest of members of COSON or the right owners in the various countries around the globe who have mandated COSON to manage their rights.” According to Okoroji who seems to be under pressure to accept some terms, “we refuse to accept that the music industry in Nigeria must subsidise the broadcast industry,” not-

ing that Nigeria is the largest country in Africa, yet, less populated countries collect more royalties for music from their broadcast stations. “Our GDP is set to outstrip that of South Africa in a few years. Our music is heavily in demand across the world more than that of any nation in Africa. No one has yet given me any reason why in tiny countries, such as Zimbabwe, Botwana, Malawi, etc, they are collecting far more royalties for music from broadcasting stations than Nigeria. No one has told me why South Africa has to collect over one hundred times more royalties for music from broadcasting stations than Nigeria. The royalties paid in Nigeria must be reasonable and in accordance with prevailing standards. This is about the future of our children who are investing their talent, time and resources to create the great

music that is shaking the world. They have my assurance that regardless of the provocation, intimidation or threat, we will fully defend their interest.” On why negotiation seems to be slow, the COSON boss said the issue is a sensitive one, and it requires patience: “This can never be a never-ending process. The NBC pronouncement is clear as to when this process comes to an end. We are being very patient and professional. We have refused to be provoked so that no one seizes it as a reason to do that which is contrary to the interest of the music industry. We are bringing a lot of incontrovertible facts to the table and my hope is that at the end of this process, the music industry would have taken a major leap forward.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

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

IoD partners govt

Traders decry failure to meet 10 % Maputo benchmark

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

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HE Institute of Direc tors (IoD) is seeking partnership with government with a view to improving the operating business environment. Its President, Mrs. Eniola Fadayomi, while inauguration the first Port Harcourt interim executive in Port Harcourt Presidential Hotel, Rivers State, said her dream for the association is to capture Port Harcourt business environment. Mrs Fadayomi said with the IoD in the state capital, it will be easy to ensure close relationship between the directors and the government. She said the inauguration will enable the association to discuss national issues that border on business and economy in the interest of the society. She noted that the Port Harcourt branch will help the association to identify and to solve the challenges confronting directors in the state capital and the entire Niger Delta region. She said: “For years now, our dreams have been how to bring regulators and operators of different sectors of the economy together for the smooth running of business environment in Port Harcourt. We are happy today to make a bold step for the actualisation of this dream. “For those who are yet to join the institute, we are the last bus-stop of business leaders worldwide, IoD is indeed a great place of honour and prestige to belong. Our coming to Port Harcourt is to reposition the directors and penetrate the business environment.”

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

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

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• From left: Admin Manager, Ammasco oil International Limited, Abdurrazaq Sambo, Deputy, National General Secretary, Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Comr. Musa Yahaya and National President (NATA),Comr. Michael Ajayi Omonayin, during the formal signing of the MoU between NATA and Ammasco oil International Limited, in Abuja.

Akingbola declines presentation at FRC hearing T HE Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN’s) investigations into the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) financial years ended December 31, 2011 and 2012, began yesterday in Lagos. Security at the FRC Ikeja office, venue of the hearing, was tight. The hearing took place behind closed doors. There was heavy Police presence while other security officers scrutinsed visitors to the Elephant House, venue of the hearing. Although members of the public were disallowed from the venue, it was learnt that the first day of the two-day hearing ended in a mild drama as the Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Dr. Erastus Akingbola could not make his presentation. Akingbola, after the introduction of the Parties and their counsel, Akingbola informed the Panel that he was constrained because his petition is pending before a court. He said based on the

• No life, records lost in CBN fire, says Alade

By Collins Nweze

advice of his lawyers, it would be wrong for him to comment on the same issues before the panel. Also, the presentation by the former Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede and his successor, Herbert Wigwe could not go on, as their Councel, Paul Usoro (SAN), asked for time to study the documents relating to the accusations, which he got only yesterday. They were given seven days to make to file their defense. The management of Nigerian Security and Minting Company, also got five days to make its presentation. The hearing session continues with Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the sus-

pended Governor of the CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, former Deputy Governor (Operations), CBN, Ms. Evelyn Oputu, Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BOI), the acting Governor of the CBN, Dr. Sarah Alade, Deputy Governors of the CBN, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu and Alhaji Suleiman Barau and others scheduled to appear before the investigation panel today. In a related development, industry sources said one of Erastus Akingbola’s properties located at 19 Embassy Court, London NW8 9SX was sold yesterday for £5.7 million pursuant to the Judgement of Mr. Justice Burton of the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London ordering him to refund the sum of N165 billion to Interconti-

nental Bank now a part of Access Bank Plc. Also yesterday, the Acting Governor of the CBN, Dr. Sarah Alade was in Lagos to see the extent of damage by the fire at the bank’s Lagos branch office on Monday. Mrs Alade said no life nor were records were lost to the incident. She said the fire affected the first floor of the over 50-year old building which houses the Branch Support Office and one or two administrative rooms. She added that though few files were lost, the bank had effective backups under its disaster recovery system where the documents are safely stored. Dispelling rumours that the office of the Governor was located on the affected floor, Mrs Alade said the Governor’s office was located in the 22-storey new building of the bank and that the branch office was for the service of CBN’s stakeholders in Lagos and its environs. She said forex trading at the affected floor will resume after engineers had declared it safe.

Reps begin probe of N1b weekly rice imports’ loss

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HE probe into a weekly loss of about N1 billion revenue on rice arising from the new duty regime initiated by the Federal Government begins today. The Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Customs, Kingsley Chinda, said the investigative public hearing is part of efforts to stop the loss due to the diversion of imported rice to neighbouring countries. Chinda said there is need for the Federal Government to review various concessions and waivers in order to address the problem. The lawmaker, who spoke with reporters during the House of Representatives

From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

Press Corps’ interview series “ Hot Seat,” expressed concern over the inability of Customs to meet the projected revenue for 2013 fiscal year, He said his committee is determined to plug various leakages in order to improve the projected income for year 2014. Chinda said in spite of the new rice regime by the Federal Government, the importers of various brands of rice diverted the rice to neighbouring countries, while Nigeria loses about N1 billion weekly to the ban on rice.

His words: “Clearly it will be better in 2014, because we are also trying to block some loopholes that we have observed in the system. There are also some government policies that have affected the revenue profile of the Nigeria Customs. “In as much as we do know that these policies are in the interest of Nigerians but again it affects our projected revenue. One of such policies has to do with the rice policy where the federal government with the good intention of trying to encourage local producers, now decided to scale up the duty on rice and what is happening today, people now divert rice to

Cotonou and the same rice that is landed at Cotonou still find their ways into the Nigerian market through smuggling or any other means. “We have observed this and a motion was taken on the floor. We are holding a public hearing on that issue on Thursday this week ( today). “We can’t just arrive overnight, we take it step by step and let the increase (in duty) be gradual so that we can continue to pick gradually. I can tell you that we lose so much. From our projection, close to a billion weekly and yet the same quantity of rice is being found in this country,” he added.

HE National Associa tion of Nigerian Trad ers (NANTS) yesterday said the failure by the Federal Government to attain the 10 per cent agricultural budget benchmark of the Maputo Declaration has brought negative implications for food security in the country. It has also brought hard times for small scale farmers who produce over 90 per cent of Nigeria food supply. Its President, Ken Ukuoha made this known at the Maputo Declaration dialogue in Abuja, adding that this explains why many youths are roaming the streets while insecurity is on the rise. He said: “You will recall that about 600,000 unemployed youths filled many stadium and other venues across the country a few days ago in search of less than 5000 job opportunity in the Nigeria Immigration Service. “The hopes, aspirations and lives of this future Nigerians were abruptly terminated while some ended up in hospitals across the country. If agriculture was well funded and made attractive by government, many of these abled body youths could have been gainfully employed in agriculture and would have been employers of labour.

NEPC, NOC to promote trade, tourism From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

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LANS are underway to ensure that Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and locally made goods are showcased at the forthcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games billed to hold in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23. The Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, made this known while receiving the President of Nigerian Olympic (NOC) Committee (NOC), Sani Ndanusa, in Abuja. He said: “The sporting event offers a veritable platform for Nigerian manufacturers and entrepreneurs to showcase the export potentials of Nigeria to the European Union and Commonwealth member countries. “NEPC is ready to partner NOC in promoting Nigeria goods by establishing Product Display Centre at the Nigerian House situated within the games village.” Speaking, Ndanusa said Nigeria is not only participating in the games to win laurels but also to attract foreign investors who may want to use the opportunity to meet Nigerian businessmen and women at the Nigerian House, as well as visit the Nigerian pavilion to have a feel of made-in-Nigeria goods.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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BUSINESS NEWS

$8b crude oil swap deal: Reps summon Alison-Madueke, others M INISTER of Petro leum Resources Diezani AlisonMadueke has been summoned by the joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Upstream) and Judiciary over the alleged diversion of $8 billion meant for the Federal Government’s coffers. The $8 billion represents the under- declared amount in the crude oil swap deal. The joint committees have written the minister over the alleged diversion of multibillion dollars on importation of petroleum products. Also summoned is the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). Sequel to allegation by a Swiss- based non governmental and advocacy organisation, Berne Declaration, that two Swiss oil trading companies – Vitol and Trafigura – in connivance with the Nigerian National petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have ripped the country off about $6.8 billion in two years, the House mandated the joint committees to investigate the matter. Also fingered in the scam include Ontario, Aiteco, Vitol, PPPRA, Mercuria Energy and Eterna Oil and Gas. The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) also accused some oil traders of underdelivering 500,075,239.3 litres of products worth $8 billion in year 2011. NEITI, in its report submitted to the House, gave their names as: Trafigura (173,786,600 litres); Vitol (654,440.7 litres); Taleveras

• CBN, NEITI disagree over exchange rates used for deal From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

(152,308,878 litres); Aiteo Nigeria Limited (193,046,590 litres) and Ontario Oil and Gas (180,278,732 litres). Speaking at the resumed hearing on “the alleged connivance by NNPC with Swiss oil dealers to rob Nigeria of billions of dollars”, Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Muraina Ajibola, said there was need to hear from the Minister of Petroleum Resources. “I have not heard anything from her (Minister). We will give her a date to appear before us and that will be the last,” he warned. However, MD/CEO, Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, Mrs Ada Ugo-Ngadi, who made submissions before the committee, derided the allegations of the Swiss-based organisation. She said:”The publication is a figment of the writers’ imagination, seeking to distract Nigerians and cause distrust of indigenous oil companies. It is baseless, faulty and deserves no serious attention.” Mrs Ugo-Ngadi said the selection of buyers of Nigerian crude was done on transparent and competitive basis, adding that her company’s business dealings with the NNPC was above board. “Ontario’s SWAP arrange-

ment with NNPC/PPMC is in line with international standard, transparent and complies with all audit requirements. It is transparent and conducted in line with global best practice,” she said. She, however admitted that she had been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The committee expressed dissatisfaction over Mrs UgoNgadi’s presentation, particularly as she could not justify the quantity of crude oil lifted against the refined products supplied during the period under review. She was, therefore, requested to submit documents on the volume of crude oil lifted, contract agreements signed with other partners, date and cost of products lifted and the vessels involved and list of the agencies, which authorised the transaction and the terminals the products berthed. AITEO Energy Resources Limited, which also appeared before the committee, said it lifted 10,231,122 barrels of crude oil valued at $1.170,732,027.62 and supplied refined products worth $1,111,972,698.18.18 in 2011. Mr. Nnamadi, who represented the company, said the value of the demurrage incurred by Aiteco Energy Resources Ltd from 2011 to June

2013 and reimbursement by PPMC was $60.269 million. “At the last reconciliation exercise with PPMC, Duke Oil/Aiteco Energy Resources Ltd had lifted 26,425,738 barrels of crude oil from 2011; valued at $3,010,308,113.08 and supplied refined products valued at $2,976,663,203.01 as at June 2013,” he said. Nnamadi said there was no attempt to defraud NNPC or Nigeria as the company, being wholly Nigerian owned, has no operations in Switzerland as the Swiss report alleged. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it could not vouchsafe the exchange rate quoted by NEITI in its report to the committee. “CBN cannot confirm the exchange rate used by the NEITI Audit as CBN Average Exchange Rate, since CBN uses the spot rate for the receipts and not an average. Also, CBN cannot ascertain how NEITI derived these average rates,” the apex bank said. The CBN’s position, which came via a letter dated March 24, and signed by Kingsley Moghalu, Deputy Director (Operations), added that “the NNPC’s liftings of crude oil are normally received by the CBN into NNPC’s account three months after the liftings.

Dangote Cement records N190b profit, pays N7 dividend

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EADING cement manu facturer, Dangote Ce ment Plc has declared its 2013 financials, recording an upsurge in its Nigerian sales volume to 13.3million tonnes, resulting in a 40.6 per cent increase in profit before tax over the previous year. The company declared a profit before tax of N190.8 billion for the year. The audited results of the company announced in Lagos indicated that the pre-tax profit is 40.6 per cent higher than that of the previous year while consolidated revenue grew up to N386.2billon, representing an increase of 29.4 per cent. While the results celebrated the increase in the company’s sales volume, it showed further that total Nigerian cement market grew by 15.6 per cent to nearly 21.2 million tonnes. The firm attributed the increased sales volume to its direct-to-customer deliveries strategy and described it as proving highly successful accounting for more than 50 per cent of sales, with its Obajana plant sales volumes up 37.2 per cent and Ibese up by 40.4 per cent. Consequently, the company recommended a dividend increase of N7.0 per ordinary share as against N3 paid out in 2012 an increase of 133 per cent. Dangote Cement’s Group Chief Executive, Devakumar Edwin expressed satisfaction

with the performance of the company saying the impressive run was as a result of strategies deployed to the management of the prevailing economic situation. He said: “Dangote Cement made excellent progress in 2013. As the Nigerian cement market grew by a strong 15.6 per cent we managed even better growth of 28.2 per cent, with our revenues increasing by 29.4 per cent to N386.2billion. Our direct-delivery strategy is proving very popular with customers and I am pleased to report that direct-to-customer deliveries now account for more than half of our sales. “We increased our margins despite continuing disruption to our gas supply and believe that the gas distribution infrastructure will be more robust in 2014, enabling us to improve our margins even further. At the same time, we are looking at ways to diversify our fuel supplies to mitigate the impact of any future disruption and reduce the cost of using alternative fuels to gas. “Our financial strength has allowed us to increase our dividend by 133 per cent to ?7.0 per share and the coming year will see our new factories opening across Africa as we begin to deliver on our promise to become Africa’s leading cement producer, generating strong and sustainable returns for our shareholders.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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LABOUR

Unemployment a time bomb, says ASSBIFI

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HE Senior Staff Association of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) has warned about the dangers of rising youth unemployment. Its President, Comrade Sunday Olusoji Salako, described the situation as worrisome, just as he urged the Federal Government to tackle the menace. “We are worried that the teeming population of our youths in the country are unemployed and we, therefore, urge the government to redefine the current economic policy to create job opportunities. The scary reality of the high rate of unemployment is a ticking time bomb, which, if we fail to defuse as quickly as possible, may erode whatever semblance of social harmony and stability that is left of

Stories by Toba Agboola

our polity.” Salako called on indigenous investors in the manufacturing sector to make room for investment potentials in agriculture that would expand their businesses beyond the continent to the BRICS countries. He said: “It is high time our investors look beyond oil and look deep into agriculture as a sector that could be utilised to expand their businesses beyond the continent to the BRICS countries.” BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The grouping was originally known as “BRIC” before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS members are all developing or

newly industrialised countries, but they are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies. According to Salako, Nigerian investors need partnerships with investors from other African countries to go beyond the continent to the BRICS nations “This is because a new crop of Nigerian entrepreneurs are emerging who have ambitions to go beyond the continent. They should be investing in the BRICS countries in the same way that BRICS are investing in Africa. This relationship needs to go both ways,” he said. Salako emphasised that specific measures and initiatives must be embarked upon to increase business, trade, manufacturing, and investment ties between Nigeria, other African countries and the

BRICS countries. He highlighted the need to improve infrastructure on the continent. He said businesses could only grow if the infrastructure gap was addressed. “There is urgent need for investment in soft infrastructure starting with broadband technology that would have a transformative effect similar to mobile technology in Africa,” he said. He, however, noted that the critical things any investor looks for, regardless of where the investment is located, are the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, security of property and transparency of markets. Salako called on the Federal Government to review the multiple regulatory agencies in the country. He said: “There is an urgent need

• Salako

for the government to consider strengthening all government regulatory agencies with a view to stemming the tide of smuggling in Nigeria because smuggling has been a burden to its members nationwide.”

‘ECS scheme will address workers’ welfare’

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• From left: Factory Manager, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr Akinloye Oyegunju; Operations Director; Mr Abiola Adebayo; Group Quality Manager, Mr Olayinka Amoo and Lead Consultant, Mr More Rangnath at the media facility tour of the new Fidson Healthcare Plc’s Biotech Plant at Sango-Ota, Ogun State

NLC seeks end to ASUP, COEASU strikes

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HE Federal Government has been urged to end the protracted strikes embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) by acceding to the demands of the unions. Condemning the recent breakdown of talks between the Minister of Education and the leadership of ASUP over the full implementation of the 2009 Agreement, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said the strikes in the polytechnics, which started since October last year, and Colleges of Education since December last year, have brought further suffering on the students. According to the NLC President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, the breakdown can be attributed to the irresponsibility of the minister who took a hard-line position and refused to move any inch in the negotiations to allow for mutual consensus. He noted that the same arrogance and insensitivity has also characterised the minister’s negotiations with COEASU whose demands are also

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based on not honouring agreement by the Federal Government. “Congress is concerned that the prolonged strike action has led to the disruption of the academic calendar, truancy and vices among students as well as threatened the health of the education sector,”Omar stated. Stressing that those negative attitudes are bad for the quality of the nation’s education or the image of the country, he added that government’s serial breach of agreements with the unions, especially in the education sector, has had a telling effect on the well-being of the economy generally and education in particular. He said: “It is saddening that government is fast acquiring for itself a reputation of a partner that cannot be trusted to keep agreements it voluntarily entered into. “Yet, government cannot afford an image which inspires no confidence in the citizenry or the unions.” The labour leader insisted that all normal societies are governed by sets of laws and agreements and

HE Managing Director, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mr. Munir Abubakar, has said the Employees’Compensation Scheme (ECS) would address all issues relating to workplace security, safety and anxiety in the country. This, he said, is part of efforts to ensure that administrative cost of managing the ECS does not fall short of International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) benchmark for social insurance schemes. Speaking in Abuja, Abubakar, said the primary objective of the scheme was the protection of citizens against problems associated with disruptions. The scheme, he added, also protects against changes in their income situation which could expose them to poverty, suffering and indignity. While reviewing the ongoing NSITF and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) safe workplace intervention project as well as an interactive session with participating employers on the implementation of the ECS in the country, he also assured that more employers are embracing the scheme voluntarily. The management, he noted, will continue to explore the option of ‘moral suasion’ for the

Union laments underfunding of judiciary

• Omar

Nigeria should not be an exception. “In the light of the above, government should get its priority right by speedily responding to the demands of COEASU and ASUP for the sake of our children, our parents, our teachers, education system and the nation at large,” he said. Among the demands of ASUP are: the non-release of a White Paper on the Visitation Panel to Federal Polytechnics; non-release of funds for the implementation of CONTISS 15 migration and its arrears; the continued discrimination against polytechnic graduates in public service and during job search.

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HE Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has expressed concern at what it termed deliberate plot by the executive to cage the judiciary. Its President, Comrade Marwan Mustapha, in a press statement, said the cut of about N91 billion in the 2014 Appropriation Bill of the judiciary, compared to that of last year is a plot to starve the judiciary of funds, thereby making it a toothless bulldog in its quest for improved justice system in Nigeria. Marwan said underfunding the judiciary as the 2015 general elections approaches, poses a great danger to the administration of

Lagos NDE plans graduate coaching scheme

HE National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has said it plans to implement the Graduate Coaching Scheme (GCS) under the Special Public Works (SPW) department in Lagos State. According to a statement by As-

sistant Director, Information and Public Relations Unit, NDE, Lagos State, Mrs. Roli Olowu, the Coordinator of the directorate, Joseph Modey, said the scheme lasted for more than three months. Modey said the scheme was initiated by the NDE to assist candidates

time being, rather than sanction. He said: “As part of our efforts at ensuring accountability and transparency in the operation of the ECS as well as at ensuring that administrative cost of managing the ECS does not exceed the ILO’s benchmark for Social Insurance Scheme, we inaugurated the Independence Investment Committee as provided by Sections 62 and 63 of the Employees’ Compensation Act (ECA 2010). “The Committee which is being headed by the Director-General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo has its functions to include carrying out investment surveys in the economy and drawing up a list of safe investments; it will also initiate or carry out independent assessment of the investment activities of the board.” Abubakar who emphaised that regular investment in accident management infrastructure in companies with high susceptibility to workplace accident should be put in place, said action started with NSITF/NECA’s programme of annual awards to employers would measure up to standard required in Occupational Safety Health (OSH) and donation of OSH tools/equipment to others adjudged deficient in OSH standards.

preparing to take or retake examinations such as the University Matriculation Examinations (UME), the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) and the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). He said instructors to coach

people in preparation for the examinations would be sourced among unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions, adding that the scheme will provide transient employment for graduates with bias for education and reduce longterm unemployment.

justice in the country. “We commend the National Assembly, specifically the Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters led by Senator Umar Dahiru for their efforts in seeing that the judiciary gets financial independence. “JUSUN calls on Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Nkonjo-Iweala and the DirectorGeneral, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu to listen to the voice of reason by addressing the monumental reduction in the budget of the judiciary from N159.8 billion to N68billion. “We also want to state that the continued non-compliance with the recent court order of the Federal High Court, Abuja as delivered on 13th January 2014 regarding sections 81(3), 121(3) and 162(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), by the relevant institutions, will spell doom and the union would not be held responsible for any industrial disharmony in the sector,” he said.


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COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS

EDITORIALS

Curbing ATM fraud •We take CBN’s promise seriously, and so should the CBN

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HE seeming irrefutable fraud cases perpetrated through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in banks across the federation have gladly attracted the attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The apex bank has promised to curb the avoidable act by sanctioning banks that feign helplessness in nipping the crime in the bud. The CBN, in a circular to banks, signed by Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking and Payment System Department and titled: ‘Need to install anti-skimming device at all ATM terminals’ bemoaned the “… upward increase in the number of ATMsrelated fraud in the banking system.’ It equally admonished banks to take ‘urgent steps to curb the abuse’ and also pointed out the need for banks to adhere to ‘existing guidelines on card related frauds…’ The number one bank observed that from now ‘…and in order to guard against card skimming at ATM channels across the country, all deposit money banks (DMBs) are mandated to comply with the provisions of section 3.2 ‘ATM Operations’ and 3.4 ‘ATM security’ of the Standards and Guidelines on ATM Operations in Nigeria and also install risk mitigating devices on their ATM terminals on or before June 1st, 2014.’ The CBN concluded the circular with a stern threat to banks to ‘invoke appropriate sanctions for non-compliance with this circular.’ We acknowledge that the use of ATMs has considerably led to expansion of banking networks. The ATM, also known as Cash Machine, is a computerised telecommunications device that provides

the clients of financial institutions with access to financial transactions in a public space without the help/presence of a cashier. The customer is identified by inserting a plastic ATM card with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). Authentication is provided by the customer entering a personal identification number (PIN). Through ATM, customers can access their bank accounts in order to make cash withdrawals, check their account balances, among others. But this commendable initiative has come with its own surmountable challenges that the CBN is seeking to address. The adoption of e-payment method is a good development and we are elated that Nigerians are increasingly embracing the machine payment option despite all odds. The CBN’s annual report for 2012 reportedly shows that there were 4,527 cases of fraud and forgery at the end of December, 2011. However, the statistics increased in the industry in 2012 while a considerable chunk of these criminal acts came from ATM frauds. The increasing fraud on ATMs constitutes a potent danger to this technological device and we consider the apex bank’s move to give this ugly trend the necessary attention a good one. All banks within the country should take the CBN challenge of eliminating increasing incidence of ATM fraud very seriously. ATMs deployment has proved to be one of the worthy instruments in

the chain of bank e-payment processes. The technology has reduced unnecessary queues in banks, especially among customers collecting less than a specified amount, thereby reducing time and costs of transactions and also the provision of reliable audit trails when necessary. The country, at this contemporary age, needs to develop an effective global banking management system and one of the means of achieving this is through the use of modern technology such as automated teller machines. If the technology works in other climes, we see no reason why it should not work here if we intend to be competitively at par and to be taken serious in the broad and symbiotic global financial market.

‘All banks within the country should take the CBN challenge of eliminating increasing incidence of ATM fraud very seriously. ... If the technology works in other climes, we see no reason why it should not work here if we intend to be competitively at par and to be taken serious in the broad and symbiotic global financial market’

Beating about the bush •President Jonathan’s new approach to terror indicates philosophical confusion

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ITH just one month left of the sixmonth emergency-rule extension in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, the hotbed of terrorist activities by the inflexible Islamist militia known as Boko Haram, and uncertainty about further elongation, it is predictable that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration must be exploring a range of counter-terror possibilities to achieve a resolution of the destructive five-year-old rebellion which has so far proved elusive. Nevertheless, the latest, and perhaps unexpected, angle to the government’s campaign unveiled by an unlikely source, Col. (rtd) Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser (NSA), is a mystifying nonmilitary approach to what is essentially a martial challenge, thereby suggesting that the administration may have reached a disappointing conclusion that this is a situation in which it cannot prevail militarily. If, indeed, the move constitutes an admission of insurmountable handi-

‘So, in the end, there can be no short cut to addressing the questionable faith position that fuels the group’s dissidence. By its latest move, the administration is merely beating about the bush whereas the main point is achieving a decisive victory against the insurgents’

cap, then not only would it mean that the country’s armed forces have been defeated by a mere internal militia; it would also indicate the country’s vulnerability and reinforce social insecurity. Dasuki’s startling “Roll out of Nigeria’s Soft Approach to Counter Terrorism”, whatever its theoretical merits, represents an ill-defined all-inclusive method. According to him, “The soft approach provides us with a frame-work that identifies the roles and responsibilities of every segment of our society: the governors, local council chairmen, national and state assembly members, political parties, trade unions, the private sector, traditional institutions, ministers and other government officials, academics, in fact, a ‘whole-of-society’ approach that involves everyone vertically and horizontally to confront violent extremism.” This exaggerated perspective, however, glosses over the fundamental point, which is that, ultimately, confronting and crushing terrorism is basically a military affair. Playing down the martial dimension as evident from Dasuki’s definition can be interpreted as an abdication of responsibility. Furthermore, the new thinking displayed a shaky attribution of the rebellion to economic causes while ignoring the group’s declared religious motive and, perhaps, more potent driving force. It is no secret after all that the rebels advocate an Islamic theocracy. The NSA said, “Based on our understanding of the economic root causes of terrorism and global best practices in addressing them, we are working with the governors of the six north eastern states to design an economic revitalisation programme targeted toward

the states most impacted by terrorism. Working with various stakeholders, we are currently designing a regional economic revitalisation plan.” Although the idea of regional economic renaissance sounds agreeable, it sadly mirrors an inexcusable failure of governance in the states under focus. What is more, it is highly unrealistic to present the planned revitalisation as a kind of magic bullet that will arrest the rebellion, without fail. In other words, even if the proposed ambitious programme actually resolves the economic issues, what about the religious undercurrent? So, in the end, there can be no short cut to addressing the questionable faith position that fuels the group’s dissidence. By its latest move, the administration is merely beating about the bush whereas the main point is achieving a decisive victory against the insurgents. More to the point, for instance, is the country’s security-related cooperation with France, Cameroun, Republic of Benin, Chad and Niger toward tackling the insurgency in the North-east, particularly the agreement to raise the scale of coordination and exchange of intelligence. It is noteworthy that a Joint Multinational Task Force was among the recommendations by the directors-general of external intelligence services of the six countries, following a meeting in Abuja. If the so-called “Soft Approach” is a new phase or face of the government’s campaign, it is deficient in thoroughness, and Dasuki’s presentation appeared to call into question the specification of his role as national security adviser. He seemed to have abandoned his turf.

Malaysia’s airliner response exposes a ruling malaise

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F YOU are perplexed by Monday’s announcement on the missing Malaysian airliner, no wonder. Prime Minister Najib Razak declared that the flight “ended” in the southern Indian Ocean, and the state-owned airline said that “we have to assume beyond a reasonable doubt” that the plane went down in the ocean, far off its course to Beijing. Both announcements were vague; neither said much about why or how. From the moment the plane went missing, the Malaysian government has been ham-handed in its dealings with grieving families and the global glare of attention. It delayed for hours saying anything after the plane first vanished, and over the next few weeks much of the information it disseminated was conflicting, wrong or misleading. Such a bizarre disaster would be difficult for any government to deal with, and a fair amount of uncertainty and confusion is expected. But the Malaysian government has shown signs of a deeper malaise that comes from a half century of rule without challenge or transparency. When the prime minister was about to make a statement recently, his spokesperson told reporters there would be no questions. According to Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations, writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, when reporters pressed for more access, the reply came back: “Go watch a movie.” When China, no champion of transparency, complains — as it did recently, asking for “more thorough and accurate information” from Malaysia — you know the depth of the problem. Malaysia, ruled by the same governing coalition since independence, has enjoyed strong economic growth, and we had hopes before last year’s election that, if the vote was free and fair, the country would be on a path toward a more competitive democracy. Mr. Najib has taken steps toward modernization and reform, but the election fell short. Mr. Najib’s coalition won a majority of seats in Parliament largely through gerrymandered districts, while the opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim won a popular majority and disputed the outcome. Clearly there is rising popular discontent with corruption, authoritarianism and ethnic favoritism of the ruling powers. It is especially disturbing that the government has renewed its politically motivated prosecution of Mr. Anwar on dubious charges of sodomy in order to sideline him from politics. On March 7, he was sentenced to five years in prison by a court, overturning a 2012 acquittal. The move had the effect of removing him from eligibility to run in an important by-election. The use of the sodomy charge is shameful and archaic, but as Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch pointed out this month in Foreign Policy, if upheld, it could effectively remove Mr. Anwar from politics for 10 years. Malaysia should not tolerate this brazen manipulation. It is entirely premature to say what happened to the airplane. But it is not too early for Malaysia’s rulers to draw lessons from their unsteady performance of recent weeks and commit themselves to transparency and openness. Their alternative is not working. – Washington Post

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

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

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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: The disdain that some of our politicians have for the people exhibited in anti-people policies like fuel scarcity in the midst of abundant crude oil, suffocating economic policies, lack of consideration for people’s plight in policy formulation, total disregard for people’s right in execution of government policies etc, stem from their realization that Nigerians are easy to manipulate either by ethnoreligious sentiments or crisps of naira notes. If not, petroleum scarcity or illegal increase of petroleum pump price would not persist without official reaction from government, few months to general elections. My position is that illiteracy, poverty and docility of Nigerians have contributed immensely to the pitiable state of our nation today and the hell which living has be-

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EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 1000 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.com

Thoughts on 2015 elections come for majority in Nigeria. Invariably, in advanced nations of the world, where level of literacy is high, people are conscious of their fundamental human rights including the right to vote and be voted for. Election is taken serious and the elected are conscious of the power wielded by the electorate hence the interest of the voters and the nation are taken into consideration in policy formulation, execution or implementation. The

absence of the aforesaid is responsible for the underdevelopment in our clime. The coming elections bring another opportunity on the doorsteps of Nigerians to determine the fate of our present political office holders from national to the local level. It is a rare privilege to determine their fate whether to continue to wallop in abject poverty or have a new lease of life. This is a wake up call on Nigerians to make use of

the opportunity either to make or mar their livelihood. Consequently, reflections by every Nigerian on the state of the nation and state of individual are imperative at this juncture. I agree not every one could do this, but those who could do should assist those who could not. Reflections should be on the quality of life they live in the last three years as well as before that period. They should reflect on their repre-

cial farmers is expected to replace about 15 per cent of the total milled rice imported into the country. It is not only in the production of rice that the transformation agenda of the current administration has paid off. A peep into what the transformation has done to cassava production in the country is worth commenting on. It is on record that Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world with a total production of 40 million metric tons.

To raise production further to meet competing needs for cassava, 24 million stems of improved cassava varieties were distributed to farmers which were cultivated on 8,000 hectares of land. Additionally, through research and collaboration, 40 per cent substitution of cassava flour for wheat flour in bread was achieved in partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi, Lagos.

Clearly, these commendable strides in the agricultural sector by the Jonathan administration have the potential to considerably reduce the number of unemployed youths in the country. Gone are the days when agriculture was not attractive to young people. Now young people are going into agriculture because of the enabling environment created by the current administration. • Johnson Momodu Benin City

trolled the House of Representative with so much charisma, efficiency and eloquence. We have also had youths who became top political office holders and mismanaged the affairs been given to them. The fact is youths are the future! I have been hearing that same phrase for almost 30 years of my existence that youths are the future of tomorrow. The question is, are youths truly the future of our tomorrow? In Nigeria, the youth has been so marginalised that when you try to contribute intellectually, elders who are probably scared of their immense intellect or who are just plain ignorant would say, what do they know? The elders have been talking for

how many decades now, and all we have been doing is listening without contributing even an atom of idea to what is being shaped of our future. Since 1960 all we have had in Nigeria is the vicious circle of the same leaders ruling us all over and over again. Yes, elders are there to be consulted for advice, but it is totally wrong for the youths not to have an atom of contribution to any policy that affects their future. The National Conference currently taking place in Abuja aimed at discussing and ironing out issues of the state economy does not have a considerable number of youths present. We live in a country where the minister for youth is a grandfather and possi-

Jonathan’s agriculture testimonial

IR: All across the country, a revolution in agriculture is taking place. Under the Jonathan administration, agriculture has seen a new day. In Kogi State, over 7,000 hectares of rice have been cultivated in the dry season, the first ever in the history of the state. The success story of rice production has given room for the upsurge of integrated rice mills. 14 private sector rice mills have sprung up with a total capacity of 240,000 MT. Moreover, the reform that government initiated brought about an increase in the tariff on imported rice, thereby boosting the economic strength of local rice producers in the country. The capital flight witnessed because of the importation of rice into the country has reduced considerably. Today, consumer demand and preference for local rice has risen due to better quality, taste and price when compared with imported rice. Some of the international grade local rice that has hit the market include Ashi rice, Mikap rice, Umza rice, Ebony rice and several others. A major foreign investor, Dominion Rice, is investing $40 million on a 30,000-hectare commercial rice farm with international grade rice mill in Taraba. The Dominion rice farm which is linked to out-growers of young commer-

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sentatives at all tiers of government, are they representing them or themselves? Is the development witnessed in their communities impacting on their lives or mere cosmetics? Those in the rural areas, are they feeling the impact of government? When last did the governor, local government chairman, honourable member of the state house of assembly visit them to identify with their plights in order to cushion them? Can you enter the residence of your representative to discuss the plight of the community without dogs barking at you or fierce looking security men or thugs chasing you with horsewhip? Reflections on these would help Nigerians to know whether their government is for them or against them. The implication is to be able to decide either to vote for continuity as they say or a new beginning. This is what 2015 elections offer Nigerians, and unless the offers are judiciously used, the suffering would continue notwithstanding the few crisp of naira notes, okada gifts, bale of ankara, even tokunbo cars dolled out as empowerment or dividend of democracy out of billion of naira stacked in foreign and local banks • Adewuyi Adegbite Apake, Ogbomoso.

When will youth marginalisation stop?

IR: Nigeria is a country of 170 million people, with large range of youths between the ages of 16 – 35. It is worrisome that youths are not taken into consideration in any policy making or institutional affairs in the country. Youths are looked down on and the elders fail to realise that this is a vibrant and young generation which has all the potential and resources to drive the nation forward. The just concluded Immigration recruitment exercise was a litmus test on how large the youth population is in Nigeria. Yes we have had few youths in government who have showed remarkable leadership like Dimeji Bankole who con-

bly great grandfather. How can you govern over youths when you are not a youth yourself? Nigeria as a nation needs to recognise the place of youths in the development of the nation. This is where we need to give credit to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State. He is one of the governors to have adequately brought youths into the affairs of the state hence the remarkable transformation the state is witnessing. Nigeria as a whole should give youths a chance because the rise and fall of a nation is at the hands of the youths. • Folawiyo Kareem Olajoku, Osogbo, Osun State


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Electricity, journey without end

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YEAR ago, President Goodluck Jonathan in a rather expansive mood told the nation that by December 2013 many of us with generators would be begging people to take them away from us because by that time electric power supply will be abundant and regular. It is now clear that the prophecy of the President has not come true and our hopes have consequently been dashed. I was Ibadan for about a week at the middle of March and throughout almost seven days there was no light in my high-brow neighbourhood of new Bodija extension. In this precinct, we have an agreement to shut down our generators by 11 O’clock at night so as to allow people without generators to sleep. Secondly, this was also necessary to avoid being targeted as a rich person because only rich people can afford the cost of generators, their maintenance, and the cost of diesel or petrol. And thirdly, our community security guards prefer to operate in the dark and therefore prefer absence of light which is the normal thing in civilised countries. The period under discussion is also the period when we did not have petroleum products in Nigeria so even if one wanted to put on generators, there was no fuel to fire the engines. I also need power to pump water from my well into the over head tanks for water supply since I have to operate like a local government supplying all my municipal needs. In the absence of power and in the circumstance of terrible heat then prevailing all over Nigeria I was reduced to a miserable life of stinking village peasant. This was the condition in our well regarded neighbourhood and one was therefore prepared to buy petrol or diesel at any price in order to have a reasonably tolerable life. I am going into all these detail to show that electricity supply is not only a key to industrial development but also a necessity of modern living. In 1999, when President Obasanjo took over power, we were told that the installed capacity of electricity in Nigeria was 6,000 megawatts and that only 2,400 megawatts were available for distribution. The country was then told that with the massive investment in building generating power plants, Nigeria by 2003 would have available 6,000 megawatts available power and at least 10,000 megawatts installed capacity. It is now 14 years since and the available power last week was 2,4000 megawatts. This is after several billions of dollars have been spent, several new generating plants built and commissioned, the old ones supposedly revamped at the cost of billions of dollars and yet we are back to square one. The minister in charge of power, Professor Nebo says the reason for this collapse is due to vandalisation of gas pipelines by militants in the Niger Delta. I do not believe this simplistic explanation. Sometimes in the past, we were told about drop in the water level in the dams, snakes hanging around electric transmission lines, thieves cutting transmission lines and other imaginative excuses. The upshot of all these is that a country of 170 million people that requires at

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N our characteristic manner, we have almost forgotten the tragedy that hit the nation when 19 youngsters died in their search for job on March 15. Since the tragedy, we have moved on as if nothing happened. Those who know us as a nation know that it is in our character to forget so soon things that should engage our mind. It has been 12 days since the tragedy, yet its import seems lost on the government. Besides remembering the dead at august ceremonies, such as the inauguration of the National Conference on January 17 and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on March 20, the government has generally treated the job seekers' death as one of those things that will soon blow away like others before it. The fault is not that of the government but ours because we tend to also treat such issues with levity. We are not bothered collectively to the extent of rising to challenge the government. All we are good at is to make noise and after that it is to thy tent oh Israel. We leave the bereaved to bury their dead and move on to other things. The government knows that things will not be different with the March 15 Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment test in which the job seekers died. The initial outrage over the tragedy seems to have petered out. We are no longer talking about the incident because as usual other topical issues have cropped up which we consider more important than

least 100,000 megawatts of electricity is getting less than 3,000. The hopelessness of our situation becomes glaring when compared with the situation in South Africa where a country of less than 40 million people is generating about 50,000 megawatts. We have tried everything under the sun and even under the moon without a solution. Then we were told that privatisation is the answer. We have now privatised and the situation has gotten worse. The reason for this worsening situation must lie in the fact of either those who bought into the electricity sector are the wrong people with no technical knowhow or required people or resources to manage a critical sector of our national life. We are therefore in a quandary as a nation and it seems to me that the policy makers are throwing up their hands and resigning themselves to this present condition of absolute failure. The collapse of the electricity sector is manifestly the result of bad governance and poor leadership. A visit to our sister country of Ghana proves this point completely. In all my visits to Ghana and staying in hotels, I have never heard the sound of generators. There is a feeling that this present government is overwhelmed by the myriad of problems facing the country. The federal highways have collapsed, goods cannot be easily cleared at the ports, the roads leading to the ports are dilapidated, there is general insecurity all over the country, the recent tragedy of a million young people looking for 4,000 immigration jobs and some of them dying in the process is a signal if one is needed of a failed state. Let us hope that the jamboree going on in Abuja would come up with a new constitutional architecture for running this benighted country and this new architecture must device new structures for running this plural country instead of the over centralised system that we currently have. It should be possible for individuals of means to set up electricity generating companies in cities and villages and distribute and sell power to whoever wants it. The success of the Redeemed Christian Church of God camp in this regard should be a pointer to the future. Power is available 24/7 for a community close to 20,000 people because they have their own gas fired turbine and distribution network totally independent of government and the national grid. If this can be replicated all over the country this will put an end to our suffering and miserable lives. Legal institutions should be put in place and the banking sector should be encouraged to facilitate the replication of the success of the RCCG camp all over the country. For those who are old enough, this was the situation in Jos in the 60s and early 70s when a private company was generating and distributing power on the Jos Plateau. This was also the case with most big cities that had independent power generating plants. There is therefore a need to go backward to the future in this regard. We need to explore all possibilities to come out of this rot and without power, our country will not develop and the hopelessness of unemployment will continue to afflict our youths with con-

sequent insecurity nationwide. The need for regular supply of electricity in a world that is increasingly driven by knowledge industries does not need any emphasis. If we are to join the rest of the world in the application of computers, in teaching and learning, in administration and planning, in distribution of resources, and in running our lives generally regular supply of power is an absolute Jide necessity. Any visit to Osuntokun our so-called teaching hospitals in Nigeria will show how far back we are in the global race for excellence. Sometimes, sick patients have to be carried on the backs of their relatives upstairs in hospitals when the lifts will not work as a result of lack of electricity. Even the administration of drugs in regular doses cannot be done when the equipments fail. This is just an example and this can be multiplied several times over in several sectors of our lives. The fact that our streets are pitch-dark at night is an invitation to insecurity. A visit to New York a city that does not sleep puts most of our cities back in the Dark Middle Ages where we belong. It is even sad for me to be writing about electricity and water problems in 21st Century Nigeria which are taken for granted in most countries of the world including countries of the Third World. Many people outside Nigeria would find it pedestrian to discuss the issue of water and electricity supply. But of course in our country, we seem to be at the first stage of development in all areas of human life. This unfortunately is the sad reality of our life in this country. Sometimes you have the impression that our leaders may not realise this especially when they foolishly compare our country with the United States of America when they are demanding for unearned salaries and allowances. As a public commentator and public intellectual, one is like the voice of one crying in the wilderness without anybody listening.

‘Many people outside Nigeria would find it pedestrian to discuss the issue of water and electricity supply. But of course in our country, we seem to be at the first stage of development in all areas of human life’

Three jobs for one life the death of these promising 19 youngsters who went in search of bread, but never returned home. I do not understand why we are not angry enough as a people to want to fight for our right and what is just. We like to complain in the dark recesses of our houses where nobody will hear us. We are afraid of playing on the large stage of the streets where our voices will be heard. This is where we are different from people in other parts of the world, say like the North and South Africans. As the late ace Afro-beat musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, sang years ago, our fear stems from the fact that we do not want to die. But when will we not die? Whether we rise to fight for our right or not, we will die? So, why don't we die fighting on our feet instead of being passive where we should be proactive. This is not an incitement, but a wake up call on Nigerians not to allow themselves to be taken for a ride by those in power. Twelve days after the Immigration jobs tragedy, the Minister of Interior, Patrick Abba Moro, who oversees the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is still talking down at us. He even has the temerity to blame others for something he should take responsibility for. From what we have seen so far, there is no way Moro can absolve himself of the tragedy that befell the nation on March 15.

‘Moro's excuses for the March 15 Immigration jobs tragedy are untenable. The incident, to borrow his words, cannot be 'glossed over' by providing each family that lost people three slots in the civil service’

It is only in this part of the world that public officers find excuses for their actions and inactions. Moro cannot be allowed to get away with the tame excuses he has been given for the cause of the tragedy. First, it was that the job seekers did not follow procedure. Next, it was that doctors, nurses, bankers, teachers and others thronged the recruitment centres in large number. Really? What does he expect in a society where there is no job security? Won't people look for where their employment can be guaranteed? Moro's excuses are not tenable; they do not hold water. He has questions to answer and the earlier he prepares his mind to answer these questions when he appears before the Senate and the House of Representatives the better. This is a man who stopped the NIS recruitment in 2012 because the former Comptroller-General, Mrs Rose Uzoma, did not follow due process. If he could do that just about 15 months ago, why should he fall into the same morass now? There is no way he can defend the March 15 exercise, which the Board of Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, Prisons and Fire Service has said it knows nothing about. Yet, the Board is charged with the recruitment, promotion and retirement of officers. here is the moral justifi cation for Moro's action in conducting the March 15 botched exercise if he could cancel the one of 2012 conducted by Uzoma for not following due process. Defending his action in an interview with Sunday Trust on March 13, last year, he said : ''We had these allegations of recruitment racketeering. We had these allega-

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tions of lack of transparency in the recruitment process...and I believe that it is only responsible that as a minister, if there are allegations that Nigerians expect to know about, especially if it is for the integrity of the person involved and the integrity of the Service and good governance, it is only fair that we should set up a machinery to ascertain the veracity of these allegations. ''It is only fair for us to know if things are wrong and to properly situate things so that the morale of the staff and the integrity of the Service are not impugned by these allegations. If we continue to gloss over these things and pretend that nothing is happening, there is the possibility that Nigerians will go to town with the conclusion that certain things are wrong. Where things are wrong, we should have the courage to go ahead to sanitise the situation. Where nothing is wrong, we will show that nothing is wrong''. Good talk, honourable minister, Nigerians are waiting for you to walk the talk in respect of what happened on March 15. It cannot, to borrow your words, be ''glossed over'' by providing each family that lost people in the tragedy three slots in the civil service. What a way to remember the dead!

Re :lmmigration death point

Who says our leaders have not been putting on their thinking cap? That is what the president and his council members did which enabled them to come up with the infantile decision to give slots to families of the dead. Help us, oh God! Anonymous.

Lawal Ogienagbon

lawal.ogienagbon@thenationonlineng.net

SMS ONLY: 08099400204, 08112661612

The Minister of Interior and the Comptroller-General of Immigration must carry the can. For once, some persons must be sanctioned for this great lapse in organisation and administration. The buck passing must stop. From Chukwuma Dioka, Owerri, Imo State.

Re: Honour and the looter

The late Gen Abacha was indecent, brutal, wicked and beastly. What President Goodluck Jonathan tried to achieve by giving the late Abacha, a common thief, an award is yet to be understood. From Uche Okereke, Umuahia, Abia State, If you say the late Abacha did not deserve that award, what will you say of Babangida. Let the dead man rest and talk about the living 'evil' general. Anonymous. His decision to honour the late Abacha shows clearly that President Jonathan is a zoologist. Help us beg him to forward a supplementary list to the National Assembly to honour Oyenusi, Anini, Clifford Orji and even Judas Iscariot posthumously, then we shall applaud him as the president. From Jemiluyi Peters


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AST week, all grieving parents had expected from a government that has for several months been on the defensive for its inability to protect from violent death, children in their schools and now, young graduates seeking employment was for the government to establish its relevance by making example of an unfeeling and insolent minister. Similarly, opinion leaders around the country were not just calling for the sack of the minister of internal affairs but his prosecution for criminal negligence following avoidable deaths of young Nigerian job seekers. But the response was typical President Jonathan. This was conveyed through the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who, with his characteristic zest which is often at variance with the mood of the moment, reeled out the content a new government policy ostensibly designed to assuage the raw feelings of aggrieved parents Maku first informed us that as a demonstration of the president’s displeasure with the March 15 tragedy, he has ordered the cancellation of the bungled recruitment exercise which most informed Nigerians already knew was nothing but a swindle organized by PDP swindlers who feed on the blood and sweat of the weak. Maku also revealed that the president who always avoids hard decisions that may impact negatively on any of his trusted party men and women has set up a committee headed by the chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Deaconess Joan Ayo. Other members include the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), David Paradang, who was excluded in the March 15 PDP deal, representatives of the Inspector-General of Police, Comptroller of the Nigeria Prison Service, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the CommandantGeneral of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. The committee is to conduct a new recruitment to fill the NIS vacancies. Such mandate in itself was an indirect

‘And who, if one may ask, are the family members of those diseased pregnant women? Their parents or their spouses? If the latter, will the husband be allowed to present his own brothers and sister?’

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Death as precondition for appointment admission of government’s loss of confidence in its own bureaucracy and by inference in itself. Government after all is only as good as its bureaucracy which controls the water we drink, the roads we pass, the air we breathe, the education of our children, preservation of our culture and our dreams and aspirations as a nation. When it decays, society decays. And finally, the minister delivered government’s message of hope to grieving parents; “three young members of the deceased families, one of which must be a female, are to be given automatic employment, so are all the injured currently receiving treatment in hospitals across the country���. To be sure of those who are qualified under the last category, we still have to wait for government definition of what constitutes an ‘injury’ since applicants experienced varying degree of injuries ranging from possible loss of limbs, of pregnancies, fractures, bruises and even psychological traumas. For the survivors of the March 15 organized chaos and deaths who still eye NIS jobs, the gates have not been permanently closed, the competition has only become fiercer and their chances slimmer. But it is bad news for the hungry, the weak and the psychologically traumatized applicants who have roamed the streets in search of job for years and appear physically healthy only in appearance. Remember in 2008, when such people were subjected to physical exercise as parts of similar recruitment process, 43 of a little less than 200,000 that participated that year collapsed with 17 ending up in the mortuary. But if this ‘death as a precondition for employment’ policy was conceived by gov-

F revenue from cocoa farming prudently managed by a discerning government under Chief Obafemi Awolowo was responsible for the yet unequalled accomplishments of the whole Western Region of Nigeria in the 50s and 60s of the past century which had endured up to the present era, then I do not see how tourism and an agrarian economy such as Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo is envisaging can not do the same now. Pundits believe that Nigerian governments truly interested in freeing the country from the vicious grip of an economy based on the vagaries of oil controlled by imperialist forces and their agents should take a cue from Ajimobi who has decided to turn to tourism to generate money and reduce unemployment. He is working on a project, Agodi Gardens, the state capital with the potential to put not less than half a billion naira into the till of the government annually. He says the project will be kitted with Water Park, slides and swimming pool, restaurant, events hall, open areas for picnicking, a nine-hole golf course, health farm and a boat ride facility among other recreational gadgets. It will be the choice of the citizen especially during festivities. The project is going to sit on an expansive 62-hectare land. It is not likely that Ajimobi would make this attractive venture an Ibadan affair only. Analysts say for the enterprise to be meaningful and make a lasting impact economically, he would need to duplicate it in other major towns of the state, even if on a smaller scale. This, they believe, would reap more revenue for the state. It is also so that he can stem the rural-urban drift and keep the rural area populated for his agrarian policy. It would also reduce the needless population explosion in Ibadan metropolis. Oyo State will not be the only state where tourism rakes in good money for massive development and employment opportunity. A United Nations body which

ernment as a problem-solving activity involving choosing between many alternatives at minimal cost, it is dead on arrival. It will likely turn out to be a piece of bad policy that cannot be implemented. First, one is not even sure if a government already overwhelmed by daily harvests of deaths from mindless killings by Boko Haram and some suspected Fulani herdsmen have had time to take inventory of the victims of March 15 disaster. Probably for that reason, the government is yet to release to the public the names of the dead and the injured scattered all over the country. Until such an exercise, we may not know if some of the victims are the only siblings of their parents. Even if they are not, in a society where a parents strive to train a child hoping he would after graduation take over the training of his junior ones, how are we sure some of the diseased siblings are qualified to be absorbed either into the highly coveted NIS or into the bureaucracy? And who, if one may ask, are the family members of those diseased pregnant women? Their parents or their spouses? If the latter, will the husband be allowed to present his own brothers and sister? And if that happens, will that not defeat this government ‘creative’ policy of compensating the dead through offer of job to her siblings? And in such circumstances, can we foreclose the possibility of the parents of the dead pregnant job seeker suing government and their son in-law? But beyond litigation, an attempt to deprive a diseased pregnant job seeker of her own compensation will be a betrayal of Dr Patience Jonathan advocacy for equality of men and women in the sharing of dividends of de-

mocracy. That, in my view, is one war the president can ill afford as the preparation for 2015 gathers momentum And still more questions. In the case of the diseased without female sibling, will her family lose out or be allowed to sell its quota? And it cannot get any messier if the diseased is from a polygamous home where the wives had just had an altercation before the tragedy of one of the family members? Don’t forget in Africa, the belief that the ‘witch cried last night, the child dies in the morning, who does not know the witch killed the child’, still holds. Obviously this is one piece of policy that is not implementable. And as usual, the voice is behind it is that of the same PDP dealers and wheelers who in attempt to cover up the theft of 1.7 trillion mandated the president to tell Nigerians that the economy would collapse without the removal of fuel subsidy. It is the same voice of PDP men who often reap where they did not sow who were behind the president’s miscalculated attempt to change the name of University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University. And in recent times, voice of PDP parasites behind the president’s illadvised decision to fritter away public funds on welcoming entertainers into PDP fold in Ilorin, Sokoto and Katsina while the nation was on fire. Except those PDP dealers and wheelers manipulating the president, everyone knows the president would have secured more mileage by arranging a meeting with bereaved families of slain school pupils or survivors of bombed markets. But as argued on this pages these past three years of PDP’s self serving policies, greed, lawlessness and irresponsibility, as recently demonstrated in NIS and has been the practice in NNPC, PPPRA, the aviation sector as well as other government ministries and parastatals, are indicative of absence of governance following President Jonathan abdication of government to PDP dealers and wheelers. Our ‘grievous mistake’ as our inimitable Solana Olumhense pointed out in The Guardian last Sunday is the wrong assumption that we have a government. What we have, he says is a “pretence-performance, like children playing in the sand”. It is just as well this grim verdict is coming from one of Nigeria’s most respected independent minded journalist and not from Pa Bisi Akande, the opposition APC interim chairman who not too long ago likened President Jonathan government to that which operates at a kindergarten level.

Ajimobi: Developing without oil By Franklin Adeboye compiled the list of non-oil producing and tourismdependent states rates Switzerland among 25 of such nations. Its population (eight million) is only slightly higher than that of Oyo’s 7.5 million. Its per capita income is $80,276, the fourth highest in the world compared to Nigeria’s poor $1,640 at 134th in the world. It has no domestic oil production as we have in Nigeria. So it does not export it for petrodollars to fund its project or take care of the welfare of its people. But tourism is listed among its main industries that makes it rank higher than the United States in some economic indices. It is the same with Hong Kong. The world’s ninth biggest trading economy; it has a population which is less than that of Oyo. It draws enormous wealth from tourism, which makes its dollar the eighth most traded currency in the world. Its skyscrapers outclass New York’s in the United States of America. These verifiable facts about non-oil Switzerland and Hong Kong scaling the peak in the world economy through such local industry as tourism offer hope that Nigeria can do without oil if we have the right leader to push throughforward looking ideas. Awo did it with cocoa in the sprawling Western Region some decades ago. He achieved much that can still be seen today long after his departure. It is proof therefore that what Ajimobi is attempting with Agodi Gardens is also capable of giving fillip to our wilting economy without the aid of petro-naira. All that he needs to do is fine-tune the idea and couple it with an aggressive agricultural perspective and let them have a life of their own. Indeed he can use proceeds from these

sectors to erect other money-spinning superstructures. That was how Pa Awo did it. He got a lot from the money cocoa brought. Then with administrative and political adroitness, he pumped cocoa cash into the development of the education sector, the fulcrum of all human existence. All other things followed: a well educated citizenry to man the bureaucracy, to operate the industries, to attend to government business, to set up complex entrepreneurships, to teach in schools, to run the economy (formal and informal etc). When we talk of today’s South-west being the leader in the professions and in political and bureaucratic exploits, we must look back to the man who laid the foundation and built on it without oil money. By the way his impact then reached as far as Ughelli in the present Delta State, where a hospital he built still stands in its stately condition! Let’s do it all over again now through tourism. • Adeboye is a retired civil servant in Iseyin, Oyo State.

‘When we talk of today’s Southwest being the leader in the professions and in political and bureaucratic exploits, we must look back to the man who laid the foundation and built on it without oil money’


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S the National Conference is now taking off in Abuja, I consider it appropriate to repeat some things that I recently wrote in this column. Nigeria could soon break up – if anybody thinks otherwise, as things stand today, he is deceiving himself. Anybody who is conversant with the strong feelings of most Nigerian peoples can easily see it. But I believe that Nigeria can be saved – that Nigeria can survive, and go on from there to prosper in the world. The country called India offers us a very useful lesson. If we learn that lesson and use it, we can save our country. This is the historic task facing the National Conference as it sits in Abuja. India was, like Nigeria, created by the British. It was the largest British protectorate in Asia – in the same way that Nigeria was the largest British protectorate in Africa. Both Nigeria and India contain very many nationalities (otherwise known as “linguistic nations” in India) – Nigeria contains nearly 300 nationalities, India about 2000. At the independence of India in 1947, India was a “federation” designed by the British overlords. The British had created the Indian Federation merely for “administrative convenience”; the states or federating units of the federation were arbitrary blocks of territories based on administrative convenience – without any deference to the nationalities. The nationalities were grouped or split irrationally. Like the India of 1947, the Nigeria of 1960 (at independence) was also a federation designed by the British for administrative convenience – without deference to the nationalities. The nationalities were grouped arbitrarily into three regions, and some nationalities were split up along the boundaries of the three regions. When many nationalities cried out against this irrational treatment, the British rulers answered that they were not willing to change anything – and that Nigerians themselves could tackle the problem after independence. Since independence in 1960, the Nigerians (civilian politicians and military dictators) who have controlled the powers of the federal government, have just followed the example of the British – by creating states for administrative and ulterior political considerations, and by irrationally grouping and splitting our nationalities. Therefore, the Nigerian federation

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NE of the top developmental challenges in sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the shortage of infrastructure. Public sources alone cannot meet the funding needs and African countries are seeking strategies to increase private sector investment in infrastructure. Inadequate physical infrastructure covering transportation, power and communication is inhibiting growth and productivity while inadequate social infrastructure including water supply, sanitation, sewage disposal, education and health are adversely affecting the quality of life. Energy, water, transport, information technology services and other infrastructure require extensive renewal or installation in order to support the projected growth over the coming years. In a report issued in 2010, the World Bank found that the poor state of infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa reduced national economic growth by two percentage points every year and cut business productivity by as much as 40%. The growth in infrastructure needs to be transformational in order to have an impact. African development institutions and African governments have recognised that adequate infrastructure is critical to achieving the growth levels expected and required. According to the World Bank Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (2009), the infrastructure needs of sub-Saharan Africa exceed US $93 billion annually over the next 10 years. It is reported by the African Development Bank that less than half of this amount is being provided which leaves a financing gap of more than US $50 billion per annum to fill. It is widely recognised that the funding required to develop the required infrastructure cannot be met from public sources alone. African governments are implementing initiatives that are designed to increase the participation of private sector investors in infrastructure. The challenge is to speed up the process of reforms so as to hasten the availability of the much needed private sector investment. Public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements have emerged as one of the major avenues for channelling the participation of private capital and expertise in delivering infrastructure projects in recent years. A description of a PPP arrangement as

National Conference: Use this lesson and save Nigeria of 2014 is, unfortunately, still almost exactly like the Indian federation of 1947. Worse still, as Nigerian rulers have created smaller, weaker and poorer states, they have reasoned that these states are too weak to hold much power or responsibility, and they have consequently grabbed all power, all resources, and all resource control in our country, and heaped everything in the hands of the federal government. The federal government has therefore become a sick and unrestrained monster, mud-swimming insanely in limitless power and money, barging into everything and anything according to its whims and caprices, dragging all efficiency down, generating corruption, distorting electoral and judicial processes all over our country, and breeding hideous poverty. With the poverty grew crimes, insecurity, various species of conflicts, and now, terrorism. Today, most Nigerians have had enough – and Nigeria is about to implode. Parts of India (the far northern provinces which became Pakistan and Bangladesh) broke away soon after 1947. After that, the rest of India continued to shake; many nationalities wanted to break away. Today, Nigeria is shaking, and many nationalities want to break away. But Indians took action and saved their country. We Nigerians can save Nigeria too – simply by doing what the Indians did. Here is what the Indians did. Many Indians began to advocate that their federation should be restructured in such a way as to show respect to the nationalities, and make the nationalities happy to be members of the Indian federation. Most of the biggest politicians opposed this, claiming that it would only lead to the breaking up of the country. The Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, threatened that if it was adopted he would resign. But the proposal grew more and more popular, more and more intense. Finally, by 1953, the country accepted it. Nehru and other powerful politicians hum-

bly bowed to the will of the majority. A National Commission was set up to look into the matter and to advise the country. The Commission recommended the following: First, that the nationalities and their different cultures should be respected, and that no nationality should be split by any boundary in the federation. Secondly that the larger nationalities should each form a state. Third, that the small and contiguous nationalities in various parts of India should negotiate among them and form states (no nationality was to be pushed into any state; the nationalities that agreed to form a state would negotiate the constitution of their state). Fourth, that a lot of powers should be devolved to the states from the federal government, to make the states strong, and that, in revenue allocation, the states should receive much more than the federal government. The process of devolution resulted in the following list of powers for the states: public order; police; education; local government; roads and transport; agriculture; land and land revenue; forests; fisheries; industry and trade; state public service commissions; and courts (except the Supreme Court of India). It also laid down another list on which the states and the centre would both have power to make laws – namely, criminal laws and their administration; economic and social planning; commercial and industrial monopolies; shipping and navigation on the inland waterways; drugs; ports; courts and civil procedures. The federal (or union) government was given powers over such subjects as defence, foreign policy, inter-state commerce, the Supreme Court, etc. In revenue allocation, the states were given a percentage much larger than that of the Federal Government. Today, it is 85% for the states and 15% for the federal government. An Indian scholar and statesman, Dr. S.D. Muni, has described the effects of this careful restructuring as follows: “The elaborate struc-

Gbogun gboro ture of power devolution has combined with the linguistic basis of federal unity to facilitate the management of cultural diversity in India and to help mitigate pulls towards separatism and disintegration”. Muni adds that both at the federal and state levels, Indians are dedicated to “a consciously followed approach to preserve and promote the cultural specificities of diverse groups”, and that that “has helped such groups identify with the national mainstream”. Finally, the health of the whole structure has been greatly helped by the fact that Indians have consciously remained loyal to the integrity of their democratic institutions and to democratic politics. That is it. Surely we Nigerians are able to take these same steps and save our country. The National Conferenceshould restructure our federation along the same lines. We should also establish effective measures for upholding democratic politics in our country, the integrity of our elections and courts, and the handling of our public accounts. These steps will surely benefit our country, our states, our nationalities, our institutions, and all of us Nigerians. They cannot conceivably hurt any Nigerian nationality or group. Therefore, hopefully, no Nigerian nationality or group will, at the National Conference, put up a resistance to them. I fear that if any nationality or group resists these measures at the National Conference, Nigeria might quickly evaporate on the spot. We must all join hands to prevent that.

Taking African infrastructure to the future By Elizabeth Uwaifo captured in an OECD definition is: ... an agreement between the government and one or more private partners (which may include the operators and the financers) according to which the private partners deliver the service in such a manner that the service delivery objectives of the government are aligned with the profit objectives of the private partners and where the effectiveness of the alignment depends on a sufficient transfer of risk to the private partners. PPPs have been hailed in many countries for providing the public sector with access to much needed private sector capital or construction expertise and efficiency. Is PPP the way for Africa? PPP arrangements could generate much needed funding for infrastructure projects that are appropriate for private investment. Some projects may be socially desirable but not economically viable as an investment by the private sector. PPP arrangements could be used to provide funding for projects that are bankable while allowing the government to apply public funds on non-bankable but socially desirable infrastructure projects. The Canadian and UK PPP models provide examples of PPP frameworks that ought to be considered in devising a unique model for an African country. Several other countries including Australia, France and Korea have PPP models that have produced infrastructure projects on schedule. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages. The Canadian model has been much celebrated due to the high level of standardisation in the procurement process thereby making the procurement process more efficient and cost-effective for bidders, reducing the period to financial close and increasing the number of pipeline projects. There may be lessons to learn from the Canadian experience. However, without diminishing the attractiveness of the Canadian example, the Canadian context must be borne in mind. Canada follows the ‘negotiated’ PPP path and does not have to, for example, follow the “competitive dialogue” procedure which all

countries in Europe have to follow in compliance with a directive of the European Union. In Canada, bidders are given a design on which to give a price. The “competitive dialogue” procedure is meant to allow a public entity which knows what outcome it wants to achieve in awarding a public contract but does not know how best to achieve it to discuss, in confidence, possible solutions in the dialogue phase of the tender process with short-listed bidders before calling for final bids. This can be expensive but may be appropriate in the case of complex and high value infrastructure projects. Some may question whether the absence of a dialogue among the private and public participants as to the optimum design for a project (which obtains in the Canadian model) may result in the public getting less value for money from the project. Prospects for private sector investment in African infrastructure Investing in African infrastructure is challenging and the challenges are varied given that Africa is a continent with 55 countries of which sub-Saharan Africa has 48, each with a separate legal and regulatory system and all at different stages of development. The typical risks for investors are no different from those that would be experienced in other emerging markets. Notwithstanding the current challenges for private investment, there are investment opportunities at present for private investors in infrastructure. McKinsey reported in 2010 that African infrastructure will be worth US $200 billion in annual revenue to the private companies by 2020 and PEI (2011) “Infrastructure Investor Africa - An Intelligence Report” noted that that African independent power projects have earned investors internal rates of return of up to 25 percent, compared with 15 percent in Latin America and 12 percent in Eastern Europe. Investors wishing to take advantage of the current investment opportunities may be able to employ structured solutions to mitigate risks and ease the adoption of investment opportunities. The structured finance markets have a history of designing structured

solutions to address the funding, credit and risk management challenges of western financial institutions and structured products that balance the needs of the originator against the risk appetite of the target investor. Examples of solutions that could be employed in Africa include: •Credit risk mitigation techniques (such as financial guarantees or partial guarantees from institutions better able to manage the credit risk) may be employed to deal with insufficient credit history and enable more entities to access the markets; •Structured finance techniques could be used to isolate risk into more manageable forms; •Derivatives and other hedging techniques may be used to better manage default, currency, market and other risks; and •Credit derivatives techniques (including risk sharing arrangements) may be used to align the interests of investors with other stakeholders and mitigate credit and other risks. The techniques mentioned above have been used in the more mature western markets to better manage a variety of risks. Such techniques can be adapted to the African context to devise creative solutions that address the unique concerns of the relevant transaction. The way forward It is critical that African governments double efforts to provide a policy and regulatory environment that promotes investor confidence and facilitates the growth of the debt capital markets and alternative investment markets. In addition, international financial institutions should be engaged to facilitate private sector participation and investors and other transaction participants should consider employing structured solutions to enhance investment opportunities. There is no “one size fits all” solution, and the road map to sustainable infrastructure development must be unique for each African country. Uwaifo is a Director, Africa Agribusiness Knowledge Centres Inc.


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NATIONSPORT THURSDAY, MARCH 27,2014


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THE NATION

EDUCATION

THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

Graduating students of Technology Education at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University in Anambra State have been asked to start afresh in other departments because of the institution’s failure to get their course accredited. But, the students prefer to be transferred to another university to finish up. ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU reports.

• Entrance to the university.

Graduating students in dilemma

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•Non-accreditation of course aborts dream •Varsity proposes fresh beginning

OR some students of the Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu in Anambra State, these are not the best of times. Due to no fault of theirs, they cannot graduate after completing a fouryear programme in Technology Education. The course is not accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC). Others studying the course may suffer the same fate if it is not accredited before they complete the programme. Despite the accreditation challenge, the university still admitted students into the programme during the 2012/2013 academic year. It stopped admitting

students Technology Education in the 2013/2014 academic session. Those admitted for the course were directed to change to Science Education or other courses during clearance. The students are wondering why the programme has not been accredited despite the N5 billion Governor

Peter Obi gave the university to secure accreditation for its courses. The Course Representative of the troubled class, Chisom Obialo, was crying with other members when this reporter met them following a peaceful protest to draw the management’s attention to their plight.

They had earlier said we should go and tell our parents but we rejected the offer because they know how much time it would take. Whereas we had earlier pleaded to change course when we were still in Year One, they refused, hoping to gain accreditation INSIDE

‘Admission seekers can try Occupational Therapy’

-Page 45

Obialo said: "Our department has a problem with resource verification and the two times the school did it, it failed to get accreditation due to lack of good books in the library and inadequate teaching staff, among other things, that could be sorted out. ''The school management appears disposed to shutting down the de-

Woman truck driver’s son wins Spelling Bee -Page 47

CAMPUS LIFE

partment rather than fixing the complaints that made denied it accreditation. And we did a peaceful protest and after that we were asked to change to Science Education or Engineering or any other department of our choice without considering the cost implications. The protest made it possible for us to have audience with the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Fidelis Okafor. ''We checked what is involved and discovered that it would take us a minimum of two years if not more in Engineering and minimum of three years in an Engineering course. • Continued on Page 26

•A 10-page section on campus news, people etc

National Conference splits NANS -Page 29


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

26

EDUCATION AOCOED FILE

Committee on razed Theatre Arts

THE Provost, Adeniran Ogunsanaya College of Education Otto/Ijanikin, Mr. Bashorun Olalekan Wasiu, last Thursday, constituted an eight member fact finding committee to investigate the fire that completely gutted the Theatre Arts Department building in the wee hours of the same day. The committee is empowered to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the fire, determine the extent of damages, as well as the probability of sabotage, and proffer solution to forestall a reoccurrence. Further, the committee through its secretary, Mr. Olumiyiwa Coker, has sent out a letter to the college community calling for information that might assist the committee.

Registry lecture makes its debut THE Registry Department is inviting the public to its maiden annual registry lecture series scheduled for Thursday next week by 10.00am. Former Registrar of the College Mr. Owolabi Amisu is the guest speaker. Owolabi will speak on: Change for real: A case for organisation renewal in colleges of education in Nigeria.

LASU VC optimistic about new projects

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ITH new facilities springing up at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, its Vice Chancellor, Prof John Obafunwa is optimistic they would greatly add value to teaching and learning. He spoke when the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, and his Information counterpart, Mr Lateef Ibirogba toured the projects of the Lagos State government in the Ojo campus of the university last Wednesday. The projects including the Senate building, central library, LASU Radio, Faculty of Education, School of Transport, Faculty of Law and the Students Arcade are all being handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC). Obafunwa said the facilities would contribute to practical learning in a conducive atmosphere. He added that apart from the ongoing projects, many other facilities have

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

been rehabilitated or are under construction. "There is no doubt that by the time all these are completed students will be able to learn in a conducive environment. With the laboratories being constructed, we have enough lab space to train students practically," he said. The VC also announced that the university's School of Communication will be relocated from the Surulere Campus to Ojo, where it will be housed next to the LASU Radio, which will be completed in April. "LASU Radio will partly be used for training Mass Communication students. The adjoining space to the Radio will be used to put up a building for the Mass Communication Department which will move from Surulere soon," he said. Beyond the buildings being of top quality Dr Hamzat said that the construction has provided oppor-

tunity for engineering and building students to learn about practical work in their fields. He said this sometimes may delay the completion of the project but was worth it. "These buildings are designed to last 200-300 years. We did piling work for the library to ensure the building lasts a long time. The piling work will give opportunity for students to see and understand how it is designed. I was in the University of Ibadan and I did not see concrete until I was in my fourth year. It is important for us to delay the work when necessary so students can learn how it is done," he said. On his part, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Ibirogba said the ultimate aim of the investment in LASU is to improve the quality of education given to students so the certificate is prized worldwide. "It is for us to bring LASU to the level that all over the world where the certificate is presented, it will be accepted," he said.

School excels

PUPILS of AOCOED International School and AOCOED Staff School participated in this year’s David Shepherd Wild Life Foundation competition on Arts and Poetry. In the secondary school category, AIS Folaranmi Precious, Ona Efenure and Elumelu Ugo got the top three prices in the 11-13 years category in poetry; while ASS Obanla Babajide, Akintola Roland and Ajose Oreoluwa emerged winners in the junior category. All the winners are to attend an award ceremony in the United Kingdom next month. • Continued from Page 25

And aside that, we would be attending lectures of Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 before we graduate and you know how tasking that would be." Obialo said things would not have degenerated if the university had acceded to the students’ request to change their course when they suspected the issues may not be resolved. He said: "They had earlier said we should go and tell our parents but we rejected the offer because they know how much time it would take. Whereas we had earlier pleaded to change course when we were still in Year One, they refused, hoping to gain accreditation. Now that it did not materialise they want us to tell our parents who went through hell to train us to continue afresh. "Now we have finished our degree examinations and written our projects only that they have not arranged for us to come for defence. The good thing they can do for us is to transfer us to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka where the institution could arrange for a mop-up examination to enable us graduate. That is the most viable option for us rather than to spend another two to three years in another course which we may not understand the basics. ''They have not thought out what to do to those still behind us now that we are having this challenge. If we wait for another resource verification, we don't know when it will take place. The agony is that there was a meeting we had with the Registrar and he said that people in our department do not exist? “The glory of the encounter was that we had an agreement with the Vice Chancellor to take us to other universities like the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, to be aligned with them and do the needful to graduate with them after special tutorial sessions and examina-

• Resource Persons at the second International Workshop on Sustainable Industrial Production held at Bells University of Technology, Ota. From left: Mr Andy Ukah (representative of Environment Health Officers Registration Council of Nig), Prof Ifeoluwa Adewumi of GEMS; Ms Christine Kalui of Eco Mark Africa(Kenya) and Prof Labode Popoola, Director, Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan.

Graduating students in dilemma tions if need be. But since then we have not heard from him.” When contacted, Head, Technology Education Department S. A. Akaneme, directed this reporter to the Vice-Chancellor or the Registrar. On why she did not guide the students well, the Academic Adviser, Dr Nkiru Achebe, said she had not seen them for over two weeks to know how far they have gone in their agitation. Dr Achebe said: “This is a long story. I do not know what to advise again; they must have told you. Anything you want to ask me ask the students; they would answer on my behalf. I don’t want to be provoked but if you don’t mind come next Wednesday if you want to know what I had advised.” The Dean, Faculty of Education, Prof Benedict Ezeliora, said she was on the road when our reporter called her. The Registrar, Mr O.R.A Okechukwu, promised to discuss the issue later but all efforts to get him failed. The Public Relations Officer, Lady Chinwe Nnedum, confirmed the precarious situation what the students are going through. Lady Chinwe said: “The students have been asked to go to any department of their choice because accreditation of the department did not go

through.” On the number of years they would lose if they go to other departments she said: “What I am not sure is how many years or how long it would take them but I do not want to be categorical on that, but they would surely lose something. So rather than continue in futile waiting till the next accreditation, they were advised to go to any department of their choice." On the students’ request to be taken to other universities where the course is being studied like the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, she said: “I don’t know about their earlier request to be changed to other universities but I would find out from the Vice Chancellor because what I don't know I don't know.'' Secretary-General of the Students Union Government (SUG) Chidozie Ilora the issue would be sorted out. The VC, Prof Okafor, was said to have met with the students to discuss the way out. The students have petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and other human rights groups for intervention. They have also petitioned Governor Willie Obiano, the Chief Judge and the Speaker of the House of Assembly. The petition, which was copied the VC reads: ''In line with solving the current problem, we have considered

and x-rayed the option of changing to other departments and we found out that if we change to Science Education (Computer Education option) which is the most related and has the least number of courses, we will write about 42 fresh courses which will take us a minimum of two years or four semesters . We will also have to carry 27 credit load per semester and attend lectures of more than one level at a time (i.e. attend lectures of Year 1, 2 and some of Year 3 in a particular semester). ''If we change to Engineering, Mechanical Engineering will require a minimum of three years of six semesters to write about 66 courses, excluding the StudentsIndustrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and project, 165 credit load. We will also have to attend lectures of more than one level at a time in all to complete the programme in the said time frame. “If we change to Civil Engineering, we will write about 63 courses , 143-credit load excluding SIWES and project. This will also require a minimum of three years. “If we change to Electrical and Electronics Engineering, we will write about 49 courses, 148-credit load which will also require a minimum of three (3) years or six (6) semesters. “Sequel to our agreement with you

‘The good thing they can do for us is to transfer us to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka where the institution could arrange for a mop-up examination to enable us graduate. That is the most viable option for us rather than to spend another two to three years in another course which we may not understand the basics’

Amosun directs OOU to pay arrears

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GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has ordered the management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, to effect the immediate payment of the outstanding one month salary arrears owed lecturers of the institution. Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa in a statement issued in Abeokuta also said the governor has promised that all other outstanding arrears would be paid without delay. He stated that Amosun-led government inherited a backlog of arrears from the immediate past administration, many of which have been cleared. Adeoluwa said despite the significant infrastructural development initiatives going on across the state, the government does not owe salaries and was one of the first to show commitment to the new minimum wage in 2011. The SSG added that since its assumption, the Government had committed N1 billion to clear part of the accrued allowances, saying there was also an agreement with all the unions to commit a further N500 million towards the payment of related allowances. "In the 32 months of our administration, we not only had cleared between nine and 11 months of wages arrears left by the last government, the staffers of Olabisi Onabanjo University, and workers everywhere in Ogun State got their salaries. In OOU, some of the backlog of unpaid allowances (as distinct from monthly salary) that is now touted as the reason for the Monday protest action dated back to six to seven years. "Since we came on board, government had committed N1 billion to clear part of the accrued allowances. In addition, there is agreement with all the unions to commit a further N500 million this financial year towards the payment of related allowances,” Adeoluwa said. on 4th February, 2014 to merge us with our set at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (UNIZIK), we have made possible efforts to realise this objective. “We were able to reach the Dean, Faculty of Education , UNIZIK, the following day being 5th February 2014 on the same issue and he told us that UNIZIK has been accepting students on transfer but stopped at a time due to cultism issues but our case is quite different. He went further to say that it is a matter of our school (ANSU) administration reaching out to UNIZIK and having an agreement and also having an understanding. If there are necessary adjustments that needed to be done, he the Dean, is an ever willing and obedient servant to carry out directives from the authorities. He said it was not within his office to tell us whether this particular merger would work or not; that it depends on the school authorities and the card our school ANSU places on the table which we understand to mean how our school presents the matter to them." The students said they were shocked to hear something different from their school. They said: “We were shocked to learn from our Dean in a meeting on 17th February, 2014 that the Registrar informed them at a meeting held on 12th February 2014 that he has gone to UNIZIK and found out that transferring us to UNIZIK will take up to two years and about N2 million to lobby the Senate of UNIZIK and that as a matter of fact, UNIZIK has never accepted students on transfer. However we discovered later that there was no such information from UNIZIK management according to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Admin) of UNIZIK. “We are still waiting to assist the school in any way we can to see that this matter is resolved urgently, to avoid our future being put in jeopardy.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

EDUCATION

U.S Agency offers support for new degree programme

Commissioners worry about Northeast From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

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OMMISSIONERS for Education from the various states in the country have expressed worry over the fate of education in the northeastern part of the country following incessant attacks by the Boko Haram sect. In a communiqué at the end of the Commissioners for Education Forum signed by its chairman and Cross River State commissioner, Prof Offiong Offiong, they particularly condemned the gruesome murder of about 59 pupils and teachers of the Federal Government College, Buni, Yadi, Yobe State. The commissioner urged all stakeholders in Nigeria to rise and protect education in the country particularly the northeast in the face of the Boko Haram insurgency. They expressed worry that the situation is likely to escalate the rate of out-of-school children in the geo-political zone that already has the highest number so far as many parents have withdrawn their children from schools due to insecurity. They further took a look at the current face-off between the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Colleges of Education Academic Union (COEASU) and the Federal Government and appealed to stakeholders to resolve the impasse amicably so academic activities can resume in polytechnics and colleges of education. They acknowledged the collaboration between states and federal ministries of education which has placed the sector in a consistent path of recovery.

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USAID-funded agency has promised to help universities mount degree programme in Health Information Management System. Samson Bamidele, Country Leader of Measure Evaluation, a USAID funded intervention agency in the Nigeria's health sector, told The Nation that beyond helping the Federal Government to review the curriculum for Health Information Management system in its training institutions, it can assist in mounting BSc programmes, which does not currently exist in Nigeria in the field. He noted that there was so much happening in Health Information

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

Management, yet the nation lacks adequate professionals in the area. Bamidele, who was in Zaria for regional workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation of Public Health programmes, praised the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for collaborating to raise professionals in the field. Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Prof. Mohammed Khalid, said that the nation is making progress in the health sector today because of the attention paid to public health issues in the country. While pledging the continued sup-

port of the tertiary hospital, Khalid said that people are able to live together in the country today because of sustained efforts at disease control, pointing out that this will not be possible if there is no improvement in public health. Head of Department of Community Medicine, Dr Mohammed Sambo, said that the the Monitoring and Evaluation training which is the fifth in the series is comparable to the best in the world. He disclosed that for the first time since the training started, there was an international participant coming from Ghana. About 150 people have so far been trained.

•From left: Ketiku Christopher, Odubii Adekunle, Mrs Deborah Akinseye, Egbaiyelo Francis, Neji Peter, Prof Antonios georgious (lead consultant), Dr Zenon Adamek (Principal), Ibitola Idowu, Akinseye Martins - all participants at the Effective Human Resources Techniques Course at Peacock College, United Kingdom.

By Oluwayemisi Awe

to show the light. "This will be our commitment to the society by assisting people of our society who are visually impaired. We believe in saving and serving mankind as an expression of love for God. By helping the needy, we dedicate our small efforts towards repaying a fraction of what we are getting from the society," he said. Thanking the association for its support, President of the centre, Sola Ogunsiji represented by the

Librarian, Clement Obasoro said since its establishment in 1956 the centre has trained over 2,000 blind men and women to acquire skills in Braille writing and reading, typewriting, handicrafts, telephone switchboard operation, computer operation, mobility skills, tie and dye and various crafts to enable them get jobs or be self-employed. He, however, lamented that the path for people with special needs is still lined with thorns and hardship as not much support comes from the government.

"Apart from support of philanthropists, corporate organisations like yours, religious bodies, we have no subvention of any kind from either state or Federal Government," he said. Some of the students also expressed their gratitude to the association, emphasising that they need the help of everyone to be fully integrated into the society at the end of their training. They appealed for more initiatives that will further enhance the revenue of the school so as to meet the needs of the students.

Foundation donates school to church

THE Governing Council, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has bade farewell to the pioneer University Librarian, Dr. Taofiq Salisu, who retired after 22 years of meritorious service. Speaking at the occasion, the ProChancellor and Chairman of Council, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, congratulated the retiree and members of his family for finishing the race well. "Not everyone that commences a career ends up being alive," he said. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olusola Oyewole, praised Salisu for being a man of wisdom, who also fears God. He added that the former university librarian had a good sense of humour. "No matter how disturbed you are, when you get to him, all your worries would disappear as he would crack one joke to ease it out", he said. The National President of the Ijebu-Imusin College Old Students Association, Alhaji Korede Lawal, added that Salisu came out as an outstanding student of Liberal Arts; while the University Librarian, Dr Mulikat Salaam, thanked the Council and Management for putting a befitting programme for her boss. She described the pioneer librarian as a transparent person, whose qualities of punctuality and cleanliness was a model any day.

THE National Association of University Women (NAUW), FUNAAB Branch, recently celebrated this year's International Women's Day with the theme, Women Inspiring Change, amidst pomp and pageantry. The President of NAUW, Dr Comfort Onifade, disclosed that the United Nations (UN), had set aside the day to honour women and appreciate their contributions to the development of the society. Speaking at the occasion, Mrs. Iquo Ukoh, Director of Marketing, Nestle Foods Plc, noted that although a reasonable number of women were at the helm of affairs in their various organisations, the percentage was still very insignificant. She, however, stated that things are better today for women, in terms of opportunities just like their male counterparts, than before.

Wike counsels on TETFund

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HE Samuel Igbayilola Foundation, established by the late renowned banker and lawyer, Samuel Adegbite, has donated a newly built school to the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The foundation handed over the school to the Bishop of Ibadan North Diocese of the church, Most Rev. Segun Okubadejo, in Ibadan last Monday. The family of the late Adegbite, who was a philanthropist, gathered at the premises of the 12-classroom school located at Orunsogo area of the city where they handed over to the church. His son and chairman of the foundation's Board of Trustees, Wale, said the school was built in Adegbite's memory and as a project to reflect and sustain the deceased's core values. The school's dedication was part of activities to mark the first memorial of Adegbite's death. Dedicating the modern school, Bishop Okubadejo described Adegbite as a complete man who

Pioneer librarian retires

Women enjoy centre stage

Madonna varsity alumni support the blind

HANKS to the Lagos State chapter of the Madonna University Alumni Association (MUAALAG), students of the Vocational Training Centre for the Blind in Oshodi, Lagos have a new supply of vital materials for their learning. The association donated guide sticks, writing frames and stylus, midget, packs of Braille paper to further empower the students during a charity visit to the centre. Its President, Gerald Obakhume, noted that the visit aligned with the motto of the association, which is

FUNAAB FILE

• Bishop Okubadejo leading the family in prayers at the new school From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

lived in Christ and worked hard to help the less privileges to enjoy physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing. He said: "We thank God that he died but lives on. When he was alive, he always identified with God. This is another project adding

to what makes his memory alive every day. They just handed over a cottage hospital on Saturday." He thereafter prayed for the school and the family. The M-shaped school has 14 classrooms for nursery and primary classes, reception, general office for non-academic staff, staff room, li-

brary, kitchen, staff lounge, sick bay and two activity rooms. It stands on a 1,800 square meters piece of land. Wale Adegbite disclosed that the foundation stone was laid six months ago. He pointed out that the school was donated to the church to enable it revive eroded values.

HEADS of Federal Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria have been advised to utilise their Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention grants judiciously and for the purposes the money was released. Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Ezenwo Nyeson Wike, who gave the advice at the Stakeholders' Town Hall Meeting on TETFund interventions in Tertiary Institutions in the Southwest held at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, debunked the claim that the Federal Government was not interested in education. Wike said the Federal Government has demonstrated its committed to education with the allocation of N1.3tr for infrastructural development in universities for a period of five years. He, therefore, called on institutions to access the N27b intervention fund with TETFund. Acting Executive Secretary of TETFund, Mallam Aliyu Na'iya, said the agency discourages delays in execution of projects, which is why intervention funds were released to the implementing institutions in three batches: 1st Tranche - 50 per cent, 2nd Tranche 35 and final Tranche - 15, a system that gives no room for abandoned project.


28

THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

EDUCATION

Join cult, get dismissed, VC warns students

F

RESH students of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE) Port Harcourt, have been warned to stay away from indecent dressing, cultism and other immoral attitude that could terminate their education halfway. Speaking in Port Harcourt during the 2013/2014 matriculation ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof.

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

Rosemund Green-Osahogulu, said any students involved in any anti social practices would be dismissed. She said only 1,396 new students secured admission. She therefore implored them to utilise the opportunity for the good of their families and the society.

Prof. Rosemund said: "The university authority is glad that you made the right choice, because you have chosen a recognised and very highly reputable public university with all programmes accredited by National Universities Commission (NUC). "You have already been warned against involvement in cult activities on campus, and indeed, any-

where else. This university will also not tolerate indecent dressing; if you ever violate this warning, you will be running the risk of losing your admission. She however, advised the students to use the opportunity given to them to identify and develop themselves; saying it will prepare them for gainful self-employment after graduation.

…As AOCOED Provost urges students to renounce cultism

P

ROVOST, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, AOCOED, Bashorun Olalekan, has called on students who are members of cult societies to renounce it. He spoke at the matriculation of 1,600 students of the School of PartTime Studies. He said: "Do not take up membership of any secret cult, illegal/ unregistered society throughout your studentship. If you are already a member of any cult, go and renounce it. "It is also fundamental that you do not engage in conduct that could im-

By Adegunle Olugbamila

plicate you in examination malpractices. You are not being asked to do what is impossible. Thousands of students before you have been given this same charge, they have obeyed and today are better off it. "Such former students have built on the solid professional, moral and professional disciplines received in the college and are today successful academics, leading technocrats, eminent politicians, outstanding entrepreneurs, in fact a former deputy governor of Lagos State.” He said the matriculation is an op-

portunity for the institution to appraise its activities, reiterate common vision and indicate directions for collective growth and development in the years ahead. He said the institution's major challenge is funding. "Education is capital intensive, however, education is still very cheap when put side by side ignorance. I appeal to our proprietor and other proprietors in tertiary institutions in the country to provide the funds needed to run these institutions. The return on investment on education is forever. With good education, we can be sure that those ma-

triculating today would be assured of a worthy future," he said. He said the college is currently working things out with the Lagos State Pensions Commission to ensure that the latter discharges its obligations to retiring staff as at when due. "We are working with our staff unions who have been most reasonable and constructive in recent times as well as with the Lagos State government to ensure payment of the balance of 18 months arrears. College would also make good its promise to pay its own part shortly.

Teens shine at competition

T

HE duo of Temitope Kolawole and Anthony Okoliko, both of the Odogbolu Grammar School, Odogbolu, Ogun State made their school proud last week. The Senior Secondary School III pupils emerged winner in this year’s essay/quiz/and debate competitions of the Mace Club of Nigeria, clinching the trophy and other prizes. Their school and five others Iganmode Grammar School, Ota; Mayflower School, Ikenne; Omolaja Sodipo Memorial Anglican Schools, Abeokuta; and Abeokuta Grammar School, Abeokuta, all in Ogun State participated in the grand finale of competition at the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta. Aside quiz that tested their awareness of the surrounding and current affairs, the participating schools slugged it out in a debate on the topic: Malaria or HIV/AIDS, which one is deadlier? The competition began in January with preliminary essay writing at the African Church Gram-

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

mar School, Abeokuta featuring 38 participants across the state. Temitope and Anthony, both in the science class, told The Nation that they would not be contented as winners alone, but also aspire to address epileptic power supply and recurrent fuel scarcity- two nagging national problems. While Temitope is aspiring to become an electrical engineer in future, Anthony said he will study Petroleum Engineering. In his address at the event, President of Mace Club, Bayo Ajibode, said the programme is designed to "revive the almost dead reading culture, positive interactions and exchange of great ideas among students." Ajibode explained that the debate topic was also chosen to draw attention to the twin health challenges of HIV/AIDS and Malaria and what could be done to prevent them. He said since Mace was established three decades ago, it has awarded scholarship to many in-

• Temitope and Anthony

digent students up to the university level, made donations to special schools, among others. Also, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Segun Odubela, lauded the Mace

Club for the topic of the competition, saying the participating "students will at the end of the contest, improve their knowledge on what to do to prevent Malaria/HIV disease.”

School wins Maths contest

By Amidu Arije

T

HE spate of infrastructural development in the education sector in Lagos State has been described as the right step towards better and qualitative education in the state. The Project Coordinator of the Academic Excellence Initiative (AEI), Mushin/Oshodi Zone, Mr Wasiu Balogun, stated this during the grand finale of quiz competition in Oshodi Lagos. The competition according to Balogun, is meant to help government improve the standard of education in the state and the country at large. "Part of our own humble contribution to the development of scholarship in the state is this competition that we are organising today among other efforts," he said. "The essence of this competition is to strengthen the spirit of academic competition among secondary students; redirect their enthusiasm and energy towards the pursuance of academic excellence and instill in them the belief and conviction that academic excellence pays.” The quiz competition was keenly contested among 45 secondary schools cutting across Surulere, Isolo, Mushin and Oshodi. Only 12 schools qualified for the final stage. Among the 12 finalists, Isolo Comprehensive Senior High School came first while Ansarudeen Senior High School came second and Oshodi Comprehensive Senior High School came third. Teacher in charge of Isolo Comprehensive Senior High School, Miss Nwakaudu Nkeiruka said the group through the competition has set the pace for improving learning in schools. Miss Olusola Jinadu from the Education District IV urged the group to continue in helping government to improve the standard of education in the state.

College gets N100m hostel From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

T

A

REA Community Junior Secondary School in Yewa Ogun State has topped other schools at the second edition of 'Mathematics is simple' contest. Miss Akapo Faith who represented Area Community Junior Secondary School clinched 36 points to beat Durojaiye Bukola from Royal Eagle Model College to second position with 33 points. Omninyi Blessing from Atlantic Academy was third with 29.3 points, while Oladokun Ayomide and Fawoye Cynthia from The Gem International School and Great Grace Senior Science School scored fourth and fifth positions with 25 and 19.5 points respectively. The grand finale of the competition was held penultimate week at Able God International School, Owode Yewa, Ogun State. Schools that participated were rewarded with Mathematics textbooks. The best Mathematics teacher, Mr. Abolore Olarenwaju Noah from Great Grace whose school also emerged the best school was also awarded cash donation. The first three positions were presented medals, gifts, cash prizes plus Mathematics textbooks.

Group hails Fashola on improved infrastructure

• From left: Faith, Omninyi, Ayomide and Fawoye displaying their trophies. By Adegunle Olugbamila

Initiated by an NGO-'Our Generation Foundation', the contest put the contestants to test without the use of calculator. The initiators Seun Odumusi and his wife Mrs Gbonjubola said the contest began in February 1 with 91 students across 11 schools in Owode environ. The third edition,

the duo said will ran between May 24 to June 21, with over 35 schools across Yewa and Ipokia local governments in the senior category only. Mrs Odumusi who is the project coordinator said: "The need that students must pass Mathematics in their entrance examination was also emphasised to the students in the course of the contest. The fi-

nalists were made to recite five different multiplication tables under 60seconds. "Mathematics which is also an unavoidable subject has brought out the best out of the participating students. Though some students might not have won prizes; yet understand that they have been motivated for hardwork irrespective of the prize," she concluded.

HIRTY-FIVE years after its establishment, the Niger State College of Education, Minna is to have its first male hall of residence. To this effect state government has approved the sum of N100 million for the construction of the 200 bedspace hostel at the College premises. The institution has only one block of female hostel which accommodates 200 students. The Provost of the College, Prof Abdulrasheed Haruna disclosed this in Minna during the orientation and matriculation of 4,500 students of the college. He said the College has entered into partnership with a developer for construction of hostel accommodation for the students. Haruna cautioned the freshers that their matriculation was not just a ceremony for photographs and merry making but a serious business and stressed the college's zero tolerance to academic laziness, examination malpractices, truancy, indiscipline and cultism. He assured the students that the institution will continue to vigorously pursue its mandate to impart knowledge and build their characters. He told the students that the College was able to admit 4500 students for the academic year due to massive infrastructural transformation going on in the institution.


29

Rapists run riot at health college

*CAMPUSES

A new dawn at ABU

*NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS

Page 31

*GRANTS

Page 42

CAMPUS LIFE

THE NATION

0805-450-3104 email: campusbeat@yahoo.com THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.net

email:- campuslife@thenationonlineng.net

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is split over its delegates to the National Conference who some claim do not reflect the members’ wish. NANS President Yinka Gbadebo and its Zone D co-ordinator, Sunday Asefon, were said to have disagreed over the choice of delegates. GODWIN SIMON (400-Level Mass Communication, University of Lagos) writes.

National Conference splits NANS •Zone D co-ordinator assaulted •He was rude, says NANS President

S

TUDENT leaders have disagreed over the choice of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) delegates to the ongoing National Conference. Some students believe that the delegates do not reflect the members’ wish. It was gathered that some student-leaders were beaten up at the meeting held to select the delegates. The Federal Government gave students six slots at the conference. Co-ordinators of NANS four zones expected the president, Yinka Gbadebo, to give each zone the freedom to select its representatives. The selection of delegates led to a clash between Gbadebo and Zone D (Southwest) coordinator Sunday Asefon, a student of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), during a meeting in Abuja. Asefon told CAMPUSLIFE that he tried severally to reach Gbadebo on phone to know his plans on the issue, but his phone was switched off. He said he later organised a stakeholders’ meeting with his counterparts from other zones to take an unanimous stand on the matter. He said the NANS’ national secretary, who was at the meeting, was asked to inform Gbadebo that he should organise a “larger stakeholders’ meeting” to pick the students’ representatives. Asefon said: “I later got a call inviting me to a meeting in Abuja of zonal co-ordinators, the NANS president and Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Students’ Matters Mr Jude Imagwe. I honoured the invitation”. At the meeting, Asefon said Gbadebo asked him where he (Asefon) got the effrontery to convene a meeting in his zone without NANS’ approval.

•Gbadebo

Asefon said: “I thought Gbadebo was joking because he knows that NANS constitution allows me to hold meetings within my zone without seeking approval from the national leadership. But I sensed trouble when Gbadebo was threatening me. His threats became real when he and his boys started throwing punches at me. Everything happened in the office of the Special Assistant to the president.” Imagwe moved to resolve the matter. Subsequently, the Zone D leadership met to declare Gbadebo a persona non grata in the zone, where he hails from. The decision was contained in a statement jointly signed by Asefon and Bidemi Abanobi, the zonal secretary. The statement reads:“Following the molestation and sordid dehumanising attack on the Zone D co-ordinator of NANS, Comrade Sunday Asefon by Yinka Gbadebo, the ‘outgoing’ national president, the leadership of Zone D met and resolved that NANS is a democratic assemblage of the entire students in the coun-

•Asefon

try; a platform which ought to serve and protect the interests of its members by enhancing maximum welfare of same in loyalty. “Consequently, whoever will represent NANS at the confab cannot be unilaterally decided by Yinka Gbadebo with respect to the six slots allotted to it. All the four zones are expected to be duly and rightfully represented upon the recommendation of the coordinators of each zone subject to the approval of the zone’s legislative leadership. “Arising from the attack on Asefon, which has further damaged the image of NANS and ridiculed our zone, we thus inform the entire students that Gbadebo has ceased to be recognised as the president of NANS by every student from our zone. He is hereby advised to stay away from the zone pending when this matter is resolved amicably.” In a telephone interview, Gbadebo said the fracas was caused by Asefon’s desire to force his way to the confab. He said he was opposed to Asefon’s selection, because, according to him, Asefon is not qualified.

He said: “When I told him he won’t be part of student-delegates to the confab, Asefon threatened to ensure I would be disallowed from entering the zone and that he was going to deal with me violently.” On the assault of Asefon, Gbadebo said: “It is a natural thing that happens in NANS. Whenever a subordinate behaves rudely to his boss, people around will take him up. That was what happened.” Explaining why he said Asefon is not qualified to be a delegate, the NANS president said: “We need people who possess intellectual capacity and can make clearcut presentations on behalf of NANS at the confab. Those are the qualities I have not found in him. Besides, NANS Constitution does not even recognise zonal coordinators in some administrative decisions. So, why should a person who is not constitutionally recognised challenge my authority? He was the one that caused the whole thing, and I have no apology for what happened.”

•Pharmacy student writes book on drug abuse-P32• Muslim students seek religious tolerance-P41


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

30

CAMPUS LIFE ASUP: ‘And the beat goes on’

I

N January, I wrote two articles on the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) strike, (ASUP: The forgotten strike; January 23, 2014 and Not yet Uhuru for our polytechnics, January 30, 2014). In both articles, I highlighted the need to end the strike, which is in its ninth month now, and the need to revisit the BSc/HND dichotomy. Despite these articles, the story has remained the same. It appears the issue is not on the government’s priority list. So it was not surprising that in a bid to draw attention to their plight, polytechnic students, last Monday in Lagos, grounded traffic on the popular Ikorodu Road for hours. They came out to protest their continued and unproductive stay at home as a result of the strike action. Note also that the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) is also on strike – theirs is into its third month now. Despite protests by the unions in various parts of the country, the government appears not ready to accede to their demands. Recall that ASUP went on strike in June, 2014, about a month before the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike which was suspended last December. I still recollect that in the thick of the suspended ASUU strike, the Joint Committees on Education of the Senate and House of Representatives intervened and ASUP suspended its strike to pave way for dialogue only for it to go back to the trenches and resume the strike in November when the Federal Government allegedly failed to implement its agreement with the unions. The way things stand now, we are at a stalemate. To my understanding, the polytechnic lecturers went on strike to drive home a 12point demand which was however scaled down to four critical demands after negotiations with the government. The four major demands include: constituting a needs assessment committee for polytechnic education, just like was done for the varsities; government should inject N20.8billion – as an initial stop gap - into polytechnic education; government should make concerted efforts at bridging the gap between university graduates and those from the polytechnics; and to address the poor state of state-owned polytechnics.

Pushing Out with

Agbo Agbo 08116759750 (SMS only)

•aagboa@gmail.com

A meeting called by the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike to resolve issues with the union in January ended in the exchange of words where the minister accused officials of not relaying the true nature of things to their constituent and the public. About three meetings have been held after that meeting and the status quo has remained. In an interview with this newspaper last week, the ASUP National President, Dr. Chibuzor Asomugha, said it is an open secret that the government is favouring universities over other tertiary institutions. Hear him: “That is a forgone issue. There is no point discussing it. It is clear that the government has a clear disdain for polytechnics and other tertiary institutions.” He stressed what we already knew that the strike had not ended because four of the 13 demands the Federal Government agreed to implement since last October have not been met. Some of the issues include: the establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission; review of the Polytechnic Acts; reconstitution of governing councils for polytechnics; the worrisome state of state-owned polytechnics; appointment of unqualified persons as rectors of federal polytechnics; release of the white paper of visitation panels to federal polytechnics, among others. At one of the meetings held in December 2013, the Federal Government, in principle agreed to implement four of the demands for starters. They include the migration of lower cadre from Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS) 16 to 17; release of the white paper of visitation panels; constitution of governing councils and the release of a scheme of service. But I gathered that the gov-

ESSAY CONTEST FOR UNDERGRADS THE Nation CAMPUSLIFE, in collaboration with AfricanLiberty.org and Network for a Free Society, is calling for entries into an essay competition. Details are as follows: Question: Freedom creates prosperity. It unleashes human talent, invention and innovation, creating wealth where none existed before. Discuss. Eligibility: All African Students in any tertiary institutions (university, polytechnic, college of education and technical schools) in Africa. The format of the text should be in Microsoft word and not more than 1,500 words. Interested students can visit www.africanliberty.org for background materials. Note that plagiarism is not allowed; any text or sentences copied from other people works must be indicated in quotation marks and credit must be given at the bottom of the paper to the author. Any entry that contains plagiarised work will be disqualified. On the first page of the completed essay, please write your full names, department, level of study and name of institution. Also include your email address and mobile phone number. Send your entries to adedayo.thomas@gmail.com Entries will be received between March 6 and June 6, 2014. Late entries will not be accepted. Winners will be announced on July 3 , 2014. All entries will get a free book titled Why Liberty by Tom G. Palmer OR Foundation of a Free Society by Eamonn Butler. Please be sure you include your postal address if different from your school address. Prizes: 1st - George Ayittey (Platinum Prize): $1,000 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa, from August 14-17, 2014 2nd - Anthony Fisher (Gold Prize): $700 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa, from August 14- 17, 2014 3rd - Derenle Edun (Silver Prize): $500 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at University of Cape Town Business School. South Africa, from August 14- 17, 2014 4th – The Nation CAMPUSLIFE Media Prize (Bronze): $300 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa, from August 14- 17, 2014. We also have eight consolation prizes of $50 each.

ernment is about mid-way in addressing this. I find it quite instructive that immediately after its demands were met, the ASUU has remained silent about the plight of our polytechnics and colleges of education. Sometimes I ask myself; Is it that polytechnic lecturers and students are not forceful enough? Are they the cause of their own misery? I have lost count of the number of articles I wrote on the suspended ASUU strike. Almost on a daily basis, I received calls, emails, documents and text messages from lecturers and students drawing attention to the strike. These documents assisted me in arriving at a balanced conclusion in all my write ups. Undergraduates were also not resting on their oars as their voices were “heard” load and clear on social media platforms. It was therefore not a coincidence that the hashtag #ASUU trended consistently on twitter while the strike lasted. What are polytechnic students doing on social media beyond blocking a major highway in Lagos? Beyond lecturing, it appears ASUU members knew where to take their grievances to and how to rein in their members. I’m afraid I’m not seeing that with the ongoing ASUP strike. While ASUU remained resolute and focused on its demands being met, the same cannot be said of ASUP as some polytechnics have already jumped ship and continued with their activities. It was therefore not surprising that the supervising minister can invite students to sit in at a meeting where negotiations that bother on policy issues were discussed. Would he have done that with ASUU? I leave readers to answer that question. I believe we would all be on the same page if we say to understand the dilemma polytechnics and colleges of education face is to understand the psyche of those in government, and Nigerians generally. For instance, in a 2012 interview with Vanguard newspaper, Professor Onu Godwin, Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, said that experience in the sector had taught him that more youths prefer gaining admission into universities than polytechnics or colleges of education. “Only very few choose polytechnics as their first choice because of some particular courses and this can be attributed to societal values on varsity/polytechnic education. I’m not saying that the university is better than polytechnics or colleges of education, but I think if polytech-

nics are converted to polytechnic universities, it would solve most of these problems,” he said. Prof. Olu Akeusola, Provost, Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Epe, Lagos State, also echoed this line recently when he said, “Nigerians will put education institutes in crisis if the discrimination against polytechnics and colleges of education continues…” So how do we begin to get our acts together and save polytechnic education in Nigeria? In answering this question we have to provide answers to why lecturers in polytechnics and colleges of education cannot go beyond senior lecturers while only in the universities can senior lecturers move to Readers/Associate Professors and finally to Professors. On this important issue, some questions need to be raised and answered. Do the differences in qualities and standards, the mode of appointments and promotion suggest the difference in the qualities of academic staff in the universities and polytechnics and the award of university degrees and polytechnic diplomas?” We also need to erase the stereotype and assumption that polytechnics only cater for mechanics and the hospitality industry. In reality, media, arts, design, business, fine arts, film, engineering, and journalism are all available at polytechnics. Many parents, teachers, career advisors, and even students do not really understand what polytechnics and independent training do and what they offer. It is almost considered general knowledge that university is on “a higher level” than polytechnics. But universities are not as “appropriate” for creative fields as society has led everyone to believe. Universities focus primarily upon research; but creative subjects are fundamentally practical. For instance, if you want to learn how to watch a movie go to university, but if you want to make a movie, polytechnics are better suited to your needs. To help bridge this stereotype, the FG should not be seen to be partial in the drafting and implementation of educational policies. The way things stand; it appears most polytechnics would prefer the transformation of all Polytechnics in Nigeria into Universities and University campuses. This development - according to this line of reasoning - is considered necessary to correct the anomalies that have been bedeviling the successful implementation of Technical Education. The government should be magnanimous enough to resolve this embarrassing strike for it has put the future of thousands of our youth in jeopardy.

Blessing Akangbuan is known by her stage name, Beeqwin, at the University of Benin. The 300-Level International Studies and Diplomacy student is popular on campus because of her hip-hop music. She tells RICHARD ENAKE (100-Level International Studies and Diplomacy) how she discovered her talent.

H

OW did you discover your talent? I began as a chorister in my church. Before then, I had been singing since I was eight years old. I never knew I would be so committed to music as to make it a career. At 16, I joined a dancers’ group. We also sang in the group. But the church, in a way, provided me a platform to hone my talent and meet people who share similar interest. The feelers I got from people were quite encouraging and this made me to pursue a career in music. I told my family of my decision; that is how it all began. Who are your role models? I like every artiste that knows his onions. As for me, what counts is the quality of music. I have special affection for Beyoncé Knowles. She is amazingly talented and she delivers good music every time she sings. How do you combine music and academics? Combining music and academics is challenging. But what I have learnt overtime is proper planning. If you manage your time well, you won’t be

T

‘Music is not for illiterates’

•Blessing

at a disadvantage in anyway. But I understand, too, that this is not always easy. I don’t play with my studies; I take my classes and assignments seriously. If anybody must get to the top, he or she must be educated; not just by obtaining a certificate from an in-

stitution but by drinking from the fountain of knowledge. Music is not for the indolent or illiterate. What does the future hold for the music industry in Nigeria? The future is bright for Nigerian music. Gone are the days when artistes were referred to as misfits in the society. We now have artistes with Bachelor and Master’s degrees. The music industry has the capacity to generate sufficient revenue to drive the economy. America has shown the world what music can do. And I feel it is high time we started taking advantage of the opportunities and prospects of our music industry. But laws must be made to protect intellectual property. Piracy must be reduced to the barest minimum or completely stopped. That way, more artistes would be motivated to make quality music. Again, music can be used to tackle unemployment. Artistes and dancers can become the highest paid professionals in the nearest future.

Ibadan students mark Amala Day

HE Federation of Ibadan Students’Union (FIBSU), University of Ibadan, has celebrated the annual Ibadan Day. The programme was held at the Dome of Sultan Bello Hall. The event which showcased the rich cultural heritage of Ibadan, also saw the inauguration of new

From Hammed Hamzat UI

executive. The association made award presentation to Dr K.O Olosho of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Mr Olatunji Oladejo from the Directorate of Public Com-

munication. The President, Aare Sulaimon Oladejo, thanked all indigene of Ibadan for their support during his administration. He urged the new executive to protect the interest of Ibadan students on campus at all times.


THE NATION THURSDAY,MARCH 27, 2014

31

CAMPUS LIFE Female students of the Kwara State College of Health Technology in Offa now live in fear. Some of them were allegedly raped by boys said to be their fellow students. But the college is denying that the suspected rapists are students. JENNIFER UMEH (Federal Polytechnic, Offa) reports.

Rapists run riot at health college •Police accuse students •School: ’They are not our students’

T

HEY are friends, but one did the other in. Last week, 18year-old Mary, a student of Kwara State College of Health Technology in Offa, told the police, how she lured her best friend to the place where she was gang-raped by five cult members. She described the rapists as students of the college, a claim which the management denied. Mary, who claims to be a victim of the gang, said the cultists threatened to kill her if she did not join the group. She said she lured her friend to be raped because of the boys’ threat. At the Kwara State Police Headquarters, where she was paraded before reporters, she said she gained nothing from joining the group. “I did not gain anything from being a member of the cult group. I also regret my actions,” she said, sobbing. This is one of the many gang-rape cases at the college. Female students are living in fear because several of them are victims. Irked by the development, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ambrose Aisabor, said he would recommend the closure of the college because of the alarming rape cases. He said: “I don’t know what is wrong with that school. If I had my way, I would close down the school.

And I am going to recommend to the state government to close down the school.” Aisabor said the police arrested a suspected rapist in Rondo, Offa, where he and his friends gangraped a student. In the last four weeks, he said, the police have arrested six students for alleged rape. The police, Aisabor said, are on the trail of three suspects, who committed the same offence. The police boss said a suspect, Temidayo Olorunshola, a 22-yearold student living in Lamodi, Offa, was arraigned along with others before the Ilorin Magistrate’s Court for alleged rape. The others are Ayodele Ikuologun, Tolulope Popoola and Tunde (surname not given). The First Information Report (FIR), detailing the charge against the accused said around 6pm, Temidayo (first accused) took the victim to a birthday party of Femi Akeredolu in Lamodi, where he (Temidayo) gave the victim a mixture of palm wine and Ponche liquor. “The first accused, after discovering that his female colleague was heavily intoxicated, took her to his room and had carnal knowledge of her twice without her consent before calling the other three accused (all at large), who also had carnal knowledge of her without her con-

•The suspects paraded by the police

sent,” the charge read. The victim was said to have screamed for help as she struggled with the suspected rapists. Her shout attracted the landlord, who rescued her and took her to the General Hospital, Offa. She was subsequently referred to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) in Ilorin. The charge added that the first accused used the privilege of being a Man ‘O’ War instructor to lure his victim to where she was allegedly raped. Barely two weeks after the arraignment of Temidayo and his friends, the police paraded Mary and Oluwaseun Akinsola a similar offence. Another student, Opeyemi Aluko, 23, is telling the Ilorin Magistrate’s Court why she allegedly uploaded photographs of a gang-raped student on the internet. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that Opeyemi was asked to look after the victim during treatment but she allegedly took her pictures

and uploaded them on social media. Reacting to the rampant rape cases, the Provost, Mallam Sheu Ajide, said there was no proof that students of the institution were involved. Ajide said: “The Commissioner of Police wrote a letter to us, which we have since replied that the suspected rapists could not be our students. We maintain high standard of discipline in the college and we will continue to do that. I wish to use this medium to stress that those paraded by the police are not our students. We have not got any case of rape in our college’s hostels. Students caught in any act of indiscipline get expelled immediately. Obviously, all these cases of gang-rape are not committed within the college but outside the college.” But, investigation by CAMPUSLIFE showed that there were cases of gang-rape of the college’s students by members of cult groups. Female students, who spoke to our correspondent on

condition of anonymity, confirmed that there had been cases of gang-rape of students at offcampus hostels in Bintinlaiye and Rondo. Some students said the rape cases were not reported by the victims because of fear of being attacked by cult members. A male student said the rape might have been as a result of indecent dressing by girls. It was gathered that the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Alhaji Aliyu Opakunle, has visited the college. In an interview, Opakunle said: “The Provost explained that the culprits are not his students and that the incidents did not happen in the school campus.” The Commissioner said he instructed the Provost to map out strategies to prevent such incidents in the school. Opakunle said the government would provide more hostels in the school to enable all students live on the campus.

The Awolowo Hall at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, erupted in excitement when a 100-Level student, Michael Onyemalu, consumed six sachets of Hungry Man-size noodles. KEMI BUSARI (400-Level Political Science) reports.

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T all started like a joke among roommates in Block 7, Room 221 last Thursday morning. Then, it went viral among students when they returned from lectures. Michael Onyemalu, a 100-Level Foreign Languages student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in IleIfe, Osun State, told his roommates that he could finish five Hungry Man Noodles packs. Nobody believed him. But Onyemalu shocked his colleagues when he increased the number to six. The drama began in the evening when students living in Awolowo Hall learnt of the argument. Occupants, who did not believe Onyemalu could consume six packs of the noodles, placed their bet against the claim. One hungry man size noodles weighs 210 grammes. Its strip of pasta is bulky and longer, compared to the Super Pack, which weighs 120 grammes. A packet or two of the Hungry Man Size Noodles is enough to satisfy an extremely hungry man. At 4:30pm, students gathered in an open space within the hostel to watch the entertainment. They contributed money to buy the noodles and cooked them on the field in a large pot. When the cooking was done, Onyemalu allowed the food to cool down before he started to eat. He feigned saturation at a point. Some, who doubted his ability, started ju-

•Michael being crowned as ‘Indomie King’ by his colleagues

All hail ‘Indomie king’ •Student eats six Hungry Man-size noodles bilating, but he surprised them all when he continued to eat. He finished the food and raised the pot to show that there was nothing left. The wild jubilation that followed attracted students in other hostels to the scene. Michael stood up and began to run around after taking the big meal. Students, who came to challenge him, were scared when

Onyemalu was eating the noodles. “Oh my God! This boy is a spirit. He finished six packets of Hungry Man Size noodles in one swoop,” a student screamed. He was taken round the hostels by his colleagues to announce the “feat”. The students decided to crown him as “Indomie Ambassador” and fixed 6pm for Iwuye (coronation). Stu-

•Michael eating the six packs the noodles

dents in other hostels, who did not know what was happening, learnt about the development when Onyemalu was being taken round. They trooped to the walkway between Blocks 7 and 8, venue of the coronation. In a short Iwuye service, students chanted various Aro (comic) songs in praise of the “new king”. With a ‘crown’ made from the noodle wrappers tied around his head, Onyemalu, who hails from Anambra State, was pronounced the “New Indomie King”. Several chieftaincy titles, such as

Master of Indomie Consumption (MIC), Igwe 1 of Indomisation and Omo la bere, Indomie l’abi (we requested for a child from God but He gave us Indomie), were given to him. Damilare Oyebode, a 300-Level Dramatic Arts student and Onyemalu’s roommate, expressed surprise and described him as a strong man. He said he doubted his ability to eat the six packs because another roommate, whom he simply referred as AY, had boasted he could finish five packs but could not eat more than three. •Continued on page 44


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CAMPUS LIFE

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Pharmacy student writes book on drug abuse

IRIMA Dornubari, a 600-Level Pharmacy student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) has written a book titled: The concept, consequences and control of drug abuse. The book was unveiled at an event tagged: “Stakeholders’ summit on drug abuse”, which was organised by the committee on drug abuse of the parliament of the Students’ Union Government. Having studied the pattern of drug abuse among students, Firima decided to take steps that would discourage the prevalence of the menace by writing the book. “This robust lecture will encourage collaborative approach to this fight. We are blessed to have Prof Oshodin Osayuki who is an authority in the field of drug abuse,” he said. In a lecture titled: Drug free youth and a healthy society: whose duty? Prof Hope Obianwu, Director, Nigeria Training Course on Drug Abuse, said the society was responsible for drug abuse. He examined the causes and effect of drug abuse on the body, identifying the family, school, religious organisations, government, individuals, community and non-governmental organisation as key factors in combating the menace of drug abuse.

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O fewer than 1500 members of the 2014 Batch “A” of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Cross River State, have held their orientation. The ceremony took place recently at the NYSC permanent orientation camp in Obubra. Speaking at the event, Governor Liyel Imoke, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths And Sports Development, Mr Egwu Egeh, congratulated the corps members, saying the scheme was at promoting inter-cultural integration. He noted that the NYSC had been an integral part of

•Prof Okojie (right) with Firima after the book launch

From Ezekiel Efeobhokhan UNIBEN Prof Obianwu said: “As part of the role of the mass media, both print and electronic media should take steps that will discourage drug abuse by putting up adverts and programmes that are aimed at re-

minding the public of the consequences of drug abuse and its dependence. Such adverts and programmes should however, be continuous throughout the year but intensified during festive periods when indulgences are relatively high.” The event was attended by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Osayuki

Oshodin, who was represented by his deputy on Academics, Prof Obehi Okojie; Commissioner for Health, Edo State, Dr Aihanuwa Eregie; Edo State House Committee Chairman on Health, Hon Oloruntoba Simon Bamidele and representatives of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). Others were Prof V E Omozuwa, Dean of Students; Favor Osasere, President, SUG UNIBEN and members of the union’s parliament. A 300-Level student of Anatomy, Isaiah Nwokocha, commended the author for putting together the book which, according to him, would encourage others to join hands in the fight against drug abuse. He said the books should be distributed to freshers for them to inculcate the right moral principles early. The 70-page book, which was edited by Prof Oshodin, examined substances of abuse, diagnostic criteria for substance abuse, dependence, addiction and tolerance. Ferima gave a detailed control strategy, pharmacological as well as non-pharmacological approaches to tackling drug abuse. He thanked everyone who supported him during the programme.

Corps members urged to acquire skill From Cyril Iboro NYSC CALABAR the Nigerian success story. Imoke charged the corps members to disciplined, honest and selfless. The Chief Judge of the State, Justice Okoi Itam, who administered the oath on the corps members, graced the ocassion with a team of eight Judges and other members of the state’s judiciary Speaking during the ceremony, the NYSC State Coordinator, Engr

Nkereke Ibangha, described the corps members as ‘centenary corps members,’ stating that the scheme had adopted a more proactive role towards complimenting government’s drive to create selfreliant youths instead of job seekers through its skill acquisition and entrepreneurial programmes. Ibangha gave insight into the three weeks orientation course which included lectures on security, culture and traditions of its host

communities as well as leadership training and social activities. He added that the activities were aimed at preparing the corps members both physically and mentally for post service life. Chairman, NYSC Governing Board Cross River State , Mr Patrick Ugbe, who was represented by the Director of Youth Development , Ministry of Youth and Sports Development , Mr John Kejim, encouraged corps members to distinguish themselves during the service year .

UNN holds 40th matriculation

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HE Nigerian Universities Education Students’ Association (NUESA), University of Ibadan (UI) chapter, has elected new leaders to steer the affairs of the association for the new academic session. The election was conducted through an e-voting system. The office of president was keenly contested by three aspirants from Department of Teacher Education, Department of Kinetic and Health Education and Department of Special Education.

From Faith Olaniran AKURE

THE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone “A” axis has decried the poor security situation in the Northeast of the country, condemning the murder of school children by members of the Boko Haram sect. In a statement by Mohammed Yusuf, Communiqué Drafting Committee Chairman, the group described the killing as barbaric. “It is equally glaring that the Federal Government does not care about the safety of school children and Nigerian students going by recent events,” NANS stated. They added that the ongoing national conference was not in the interest of the masses, saying “in times like this, we ought to find lasting solutions to the perennial problems facing the nation. The national conference is aimed at creating more political division, religious instability and hatred amongst Nigerians.”

OOU students elect union leaders

•Olusegun

From Sanya Boluwatife OOU

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RESHERS have been formally admitted into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN). The Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof Bartholomew Okolo, said: “Today’s ceremony marks your admission into the university and into the family of lions and lionesses, the endearing name for students and alumni of this great university.” The event was held in nine different centres according to the number of Faculties in the school. At the New Arts Theatre Hall was the Faculty of Arts, where the VC was represented by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof Uchenna Anyanwu. Prof Okolo reminded them that out of the over 40, 000 candidates that applied to the university, less than 7, 000 of them were given the opportunity. He charged them to stay away from unwholesome practices, saying they must take their studies serious. “Remember what Abraham

NANS condemns students killings, rejects national conference

•Cross section of freshers taking the matriculation oath

From Innocent Emmanuel and Kelechukwu Iruoma UNN Lincoln said that it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat. Always remember our philosophy; to seek the truth, to teach truth; and to preserve truth and remember too that only the test

of fire makes fine steel,” the VC added. Nnenna Akor of Combine Arts Department said: “Today is the happiest day of my life. I am very excited because it is a dream come true. I give God thanks.” At the Convocation Arena, where students of the Faculty of Social sciences were gathered, Chinwuba

Chibuike of Public Administration said: “I feel happy because it is not a right to be here in this university. It is a privilege.” Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences, Prof C.M. Okoye said the matriculation was an event where the students are expected to pledge their allegiance to the school.

Education students elect leaders by e-voting From Hammed Hamzat and Adio Badru NYSC CALABAR Olalekan Oladiran, 300-Level student of Special Education, polled a total 273 votes to emerge as president. Other were Vice-President, Halimat Agboluaje; General Secretary, Saheed Jimoh; Assistant Gen-

eral Secretary, Idoharia Eruag; Financial Secretary, Christopher Iseo; Treasurer, Tolulope Fagbeja; Social Director, Oyeleye Oyedayo; Sports Director, Yusuf Ibraheem; Public Relations Officer, Samuel Oluwatosin and Oluwaseun Amoo, Academic and Welfare Director. The President, Nigerian Association of Computer Science Students

(NACOSS), UI Chapter, Faruk Salami, who coordinated the e-voting exercise, said the software was designed by former executives of the association. Salami identified unstable power supply and poor internet facility as major hindrances that faced the e-voting software, calling on government to improve the nation’s power sector.

STUDENTS of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ogun State, have elected new officers of the Students’ Union Government. Before the election, the Electoral Committee led by Bamidele Olushola had organised a leadership seminar for the candidates. This was preceded by the manifesto night. The election, which was held amidst heavy security, saw Ifade Olusegun emerge as president. Speaking with CAMPUSLIFE, Olusegun said: “I appreciate the dogged students of this institution for coming out en mass despite the challenges of transportation due to scarcity of fuel, using their own resources and energy to get to the polling unit to cast their vote for me. I know quite well that the best way to appreciate you is to implement the social contract between you and I.”

‘I appreciate the dogged students of this institution for coming out en mass despite the challenges of transportation due to scarcity of fuel, using their own resources and energy to get to the polling unit to cast their vote for me’


Newspaper of the Year

AN 8-PAGE PULLOUT ON SOUTHEAST STATES THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

Women fight unsafe abortion

Igbo marriage: colourful, communal

•PAGE 34

PAGE 33

When a General returned home •PAGE 38

•PAGE 34

•Rainbownet offices

See what Nnamani may forfeit in plea bargain

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BOUT N21 billion properties and investments allegedly belonging to former governor of Enugu State, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, may be traded off through plea bargain. Nnamani, who is facing multiple-count charges of corruptly enriching himself while in office, is said to be considering the option with a view to securing his freedom from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The former governor is already dusting his political shoes in readiness for the senatorial contest of Enugu East senatorial zone, which he represented from 2007 to 2011. He recently made attempts to re-

From Chris Oji, Enugu

join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pursue his senatorial ambition but met a stumbling block in the state hierarchy of the party. EFCC sources hinted the reporter that these were apart from undisclosed cash to be retrieved from some foreign accounts he allegedly operated. The assets are currently being administered by a Lagos-based firm, Diya Fatimulehin and company, through a fiat issued by a Federal High Court, Lagos. Some of the businesses have already closed shop while others are on the verge of folding up.

Some of the properties and investments the former governor was said to have agreed to forfeit are Rainbownet Limited, Enugu, an integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) firm, said to be the largest such outfit east of the Niger, whose net assets are valued excess of N6 billion. Rainbownet with registration number 385700 had Nnamani’s elder sister Mrs. Chinero Nwaigwe as Managing Director and principal shareholder. Although, the ownership was once shifted to an Enugu-based lawyer and property •Continued from page 40

‘The companies and schools finding themselves in a bad shape means that those holding them in trust are bad managers...As soon as the case is disposed and the true owners of the assets determined, you will see that the situation will be turned around’


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THE SOUTHEAST REPORT

•The Umuada at the Amesi community

Women fight unsafe abortion

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NOUGH is enough! That was the battle cry of some Southeast women as they went from one community to another urging their local counterparts to desist from any act that may hurt their reproductive health or take their lives entirely. The campaigning women were alarmed that so many women die from unsafe abortions. The women, led by Dr Kate Ezeofor, mounted the campaign on the platform of Umuada Igbo. The Umuada, comprising the home-based and those from the Diaspora, have been going round communities especially in Anambra State to sensitise rural women on how they can reduce abortion-induced hazards. Umuada Igbo have previously visited communities such as Amawbia, Umunnachi and Ihiala, among oth-

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

ers, to preach the gospel of safe abortion. Recently, they went to Amesi in their numbers in Aguata Local Government Area under the guidance and supervision of IPAS-Nigeria. While speaking to the rural women Ezeofor, who is the President General of Umuada Igbo Nigeria and in the Diaspora said that 34,000 women and girls die in Nigeria every year as a result of complications from abortion. She said that a recent study had showed that for every one girl that dies as a result of abortion, 20 others are maimed for life. This, according to her, is as a result of attempts to terminate unwanted pregnancies using what she

described as quack doctors. Ezeofor was represented by Mrs. Philomena Nnamani during the sensitisation exercise whose theme was Women’s Reproductive Health, Rights and Safe Family Planning methods”. She said that when a woman dies, the mortality rate of the under-five children rises very sharply. The Umuada president said the group’s seminars and workshops in Igbo-speaking states are to ensure that families practice family planning and space their children to attain a healthy and better family. However, she advocated natural family planning methods for the rural women who she said could not meet the sophistication of the artificial methods. Also speaking, Prof Brian Adinma urged the women to play safe by

always ensuring that they space their children. Adinma, a one-time commissioner for health in Anambra State, spoke on the topic, “Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights. He said it would give them good health and allow them to space to take good care of the child before another one. In her lecture, another resource person, a lawyer, Nkem Anyaogu, while teaching the women their rights in law, said that the women had the right to say how many children they want to have without their husband forcing them to have more. Furthermore, she told the rural women that Umuada Igbo in collaboration with IPAS-Nigeria would offer free legal services to the women who according to her, were

going through one trauma or the other in their homes. Again, Anyaogu urged them to always report cases of rape to the group as a way of exposing the perpetrators of such acts. Before the sensitisation exercise, the Umuada group had paid a courtesy call on the vice President General of Amesi community, Mr. A. K. N Azodo, where they said that their aim was not to teach the women to disobey their husbands but to enhance the happiness of families through enlightenment. Ipas, an international organization which had been in the fore front for women enlightenment and liberation had supported Umuada Igbo to achieve their aims and objectives. Ezeofor therefore thanked the organisation for assisting the Umuada.

Igbo marriage: colourful, communal

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T may take an Igbo man a little while before he gets married. But when he does, it is far from a private affair. There are mountains to climb and rivers to cross. And, for all you care, almost everyone in the community is involved. And everyone is happy. Marriage rites (Igba nkwu) in Igbo land is a relatively expensive and colourful tradition that must be fulfilled before a bride and groom could be proclaimed husband and wife. Without the fulfilment of this rite, all children gotten in such relationship belong to the family of the woman. Apart from this, the children in their father’s home will not be accorded their rights in the congregation of umunna (kinsmen) because they will not be regarded as bonafide members of the community. This explains the belated marriages among Igbo men. Most men, in order to legitimise their marriage, engage in mass weddings, evening weddings and Easter weddings to enable them fulfill this age-long tradition. In the primordial periods, it was requisite that girls or maidens in Igbo land should be chaste until they are married. This is so because their purity determines the honour their husbands accord them when they are married. A bride who was discovered to be a virgin on the first night of sleeping with the husband moments after their wedding is honoured and a source of pride both to her parents and husband. In most cases, the opinions of the intending bride and groom are not sought by their parents who can initiate marriage proposals on behalf of their children. The young-wouldbe-couple are regarded by their parents as being ignorant of family history and trends and so cannot make viable and right choices. Not only this, it is also the tradi-

•The groom, Commissioner for Lands and Urban Planning, Mr Uche Nwosu drinks from a gourd at his traditional marriage to Governor Rochas Okorocha’s daughter Uloma (left) From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

tional obligation of a father to source for wives from responsible families for his male children, especially his first male child and sole heir. Most times parents would betroth their kid male child to a kid female child immediately the mother has given birth to her. This is done by putting a stone into a water-laden pot. This ensures that no other person marries her when she grows into adulthood. For instance, in most communities

in Imo State, when a grown-up man usually between the ages of 30 and 35, identifies a girl of his choice, who is normally far younger in age, he conveys his intentions to his parents who will secretly conduct an investigation on the background of the girl’s family and the outcome of such investigation will determine the fate of the marriage. The family of the bride will also initiate their own secret inquiry to find out the kind of family the groom comes from and his handiwork to ensure that the life and future of their

child will be secured. After these mandatory investigations and both families are satisfied with their findings, a day will be fixed for the bride price negotiations, which is known as Ike Akirika. This ceremony is essentially for men and titled men (Ndichie). And the actual bride price is determined by the level of training a girl is given by her parents, such that those who acquired educational training attract higher prices than those without any formal training. Usually, the investigations are into

the lineage of the girls’ family; whether they are Osu, Ume (outcasts), thieves, liars or people of good character. After these secret investigations and the girl and her family are found worthy, the family members (Umunna) will approach the family through a middle man called onye ebe. He will act as a guide and middleman throughout the period of consultations, marriage rites and after the bride and groom have wedded in the court, traditionally or in the church. If there is any problem in the course of the marriage, he will be the one to either mediate or collect the bride price and other items which the groom spent in the course of the marriage rites from the parents of the groom for the groom’s family. When the groom’s family is satisfied with the outcome of their investigations, a date is scheduled for the groom’s family to visit the family of the bride. During the first visit, kegs of palm wine and a variety of gifts are presented to the girl’s family. This is known as wine for enquiry (mmai ajuju). After this, the second stage will be completion of kegs of wine known in Igbo as mmpazu mmai. After the mmpazu mmai ceremony, the groom and his family will take a date for the bride’s father’s rites. This is supposedly the greatest of the marital rites when the groom’s family will buy gift items for the bride’s father. This is called in Igbo Nna nwa. The items include palm wine, schnapps drink, kola nuts, yams, George wrappers, snuff; special traditional wear known as isi agu, walking stick and caps, among others. After the father’s rites, that of the mother follows which is called Nne nwa. Items for the bride’s mother include pairs of shoes, different kinds •Continued on page 38


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THE SOUTHEAST REPORT

Igbo marriage: Colourful, communal •Continued from page 35 of wrapper, head-gear, umbrella, powder, soaps, necklace, wrist watch, cartons of soft drink and bangles, among other items. Apart from these, there are other rites that are performed, especially that of the youth known as Ihe Umuibe. At the onset, their intensions may not be clearly defined as deliberations are often in parables. On the fixed day, selected men from both families will assemble at the bride’s home and are treated to variety of sumptuous meal like pounded yam with bitter leaf soup prepared with stock fish and dried bush meat, after which sweet and rich foamy palm wine is savored. The negotiation proper starts with the eldest member from the bride’s family presenting a bundle of broomstick to their guests. Each of these broom sticks represents an earlier agreed amount of money. The guests, after protracted consultations among themselves, will reduce from the bundle and pass it back to their hosts, who, after exchanging opinions will add more sticks to the bundle and return to their host once more. This haggling continues until a compromise is reached on the exact amount to be paid. After this, the date for the traditional marriage (Igba Nkwu) is fixed. This ceremony is the grand finale of marriage rites in Igbo land and no expense is spared to make it memorable. Friends and extended family members are invited from far and near, as this marks the day a girl is formally handed over to her husband and consequently ceases to be a member of her father’s family. On that day, there would be a lot to

•Igba nkwu

eat and drink and local musicians are invited to entertain the audience, who troop out in their thousands to bid farewell to their daughter. The bride, who is often shy, will be invited to formally identify her husband among thousands of men who gathered. One of the major features of Igbo traditional marriage is the public search for the prospective husband by the bride. With the palm wine in a native cup which her father gave her, the bride and her retinue of maids, walk round the event venue in search of the groom who purposely sits in a secret corner. After going round the venue, she will finally see her husband-to-be and would eventually kneel down before him and hands over the cup to him. This will attract a loud ovation from the large crowd and the new bride will lead her husband to her parents, and both will be blessed and declared husband and wife. The significance of accepting and

‘After these mandatory investigations and both families are satisfied with their findings, a day will be fixed for the bride price negotiations, which is known as Ike Akirika. This ceremony is essentially for men and titled men (Ndichie)’ sipping from the cup of wine is a public witness and bond between the bride and groom agreeing to live together until death separates them. Having found, given the cup to the groom and he having sipped from the cup of wine, they dance together to where the bride’s parents sit to present her soon-to-be husband to them. The couple then kneels down for parental blessing. Thereafter, the girl will be escorted

to her husband’s house by her peers, who are expected to stay back with her for about four market days, during which she is not allowed to engage in any chore that is taxing. However colourful this ceremony may be, most Southeast states have moved to reduce the high cost of marriage which has been identified as the reason behind late marriages in the zone. Chief Vincent Anolum described

See what Nnamani may forfeit in plea bargain •Continued from page 33 developer, a very close friend of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the company has since closed its doors to business. Another is Mea Mater Elizabeth High School, in his hometown, Agbani – an ultra-modern coeducational high school worth about N5 billion, also with Mrs. Chinero Nwaigwe as chairperson of governing board. Yet another is the state-of-the-art Renaissance University, also in Agbani, a private university which is reputed to have gulped over N10 billion. It also used to have Mrs. Chinero Nwaigwe as the chairman of the governing council until a Bishop of one of the first generation churches in Enugu took over from her. The two institutions are still in session. There is also Renaissance University Teaching Hospital, Enugu. It is situated on an expansive 20-acre stretch covering parts of Rangers Avenue and Independence Layout. On that stretch of land did the legendary Michael Okpara build three ministers’ quarters which were allegedly demolished by Nnamani and converted to private use. Work was stopped at the site in the heat of the EFCC investigations in the state and nearly N3 billion including the cost of the demolished buildings have been sunk into the project. Others assets include the Cosmo 105.5 FM digital radio station in Enugu worth N400 million, and Marble Castle situated at Forest Crescent, GRA, Enugu worth N1 billion, as well as some choice estates scattered across Enugu, among other offshore estates. The Cosmo

FM which took Enugu by storm and was becoming the most popular radio station in the Southeast, has been off the air for close to five years. At the Capital City Motors, the situation is like that of a cemetery, as workers in the company were said to have stopped coming to work for over five years. However, there was a snag in the negotiations as some legal authorities have explained to the EFCC that it has no powers to enter into plea bargain with corrupt officials and that it was only the court that can carry out such exercise. A Federal High Court in Lagos earlier granted an order for the seizure of all identified alleged ill-gotten properties of former Governor Nnamani. It was not clear whether the court will revoke its decision over the properties with regards to the latest plea-bargain going on between Nnamani and EFCC. Speaking on the development, one of Nnamani’s former commissioners, who pleaded anonymity, said the dwindling fortunes of the assets and investments is temporary as the case regarding them was still in court. He was of the view that the companies and schools finding themselves in a bad shape means that those holding them in trust are bad managers. “As soon as the case is disposed and the true owners of the assets determined, you will see that the situation will be turned around,” he assured. He, however, could not confirm whether there was an ongoing plea bargain or not.

T •Cosmo Fm

•Abandoned Renaissance University Teaching Hospital

the payment of bride price in Igbo land as a compulsory rite which he said must be done before a man and woman will begin to live together as husband and wife. According to him, it is a thing of honour for a woman to be married according to the rites and tradition of our people. It is far more important than the white wedding. Any woman that leaves her parent’s house to live with a man without the payment of the bride price, she is regarded as a “disgrace” to her family. He added that the payment of bride price is equally another way to measure the ability of the man to take care of a woman. “If a man is not able to raise the money needed to pay the bride price of his intended wife, how can he fend for the woman and his children? In Igbo land, marriage is not for children but for adults who are prepared,” he said.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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THE SOUTHEAST REPORT

Foundation provides water for community

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HE days of Guinea worm and water-born diseases appear over in Ebonyi State. How? Organisations such as Carter Foundation are sinking boreholes across the state to keep people from sourcing unhealthy water from ponds and streams. Carter Foundation is one of the orgnisations leading the fight against Guinea worm and other diseases, simply by sinking boreholes in Ebonyi communities. Another is the Chinedu Ogah Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO). This has resulted in the reduction and even eradication of the disease, as the state has not witnessed fresh outbreak of the disease for years now. The eradication of the disease being a welcome development, yet still, there is a snag. Many communities in the state still do not have clean source of drinking water. To complement government’s effort in providing potable water for the people, the Chinedu Ogah Foundation has sunk two boreholes in Oriuzor and Nkomoro, two communities in Ezza North Local Government Area of the State. Speaking during the inauguration and handing over ceremony at Oriuzor, the founder of the foundation, Comrade Chinedu Ogah commended the people of the community for being law-abiding. He urged them to continue their support of policies and programmes of Governor Martin Elechi-led administration. Ogah, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Chiboy Group Limited, promised to assist eligible youths of the community get employment in the state civil service. He also advised members of the community to liaise with the local government chairman and the community leader in the area to estimate the cost of their electricity project and forward same to him for quick completion.The chairman of Oriuzor Ward, Hon Cyprian Abaji thanked

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‘If you go to the streams now, you will discover that they have all dried up. So, we are happy that we shall not lack potable water again in the community… Do not allow politicians to deceive you. If they give you guns and other weapons to fight for them, tell them to bring their sons and daughters to join you to carry the guns’ From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

the foundation for providing the borehole for the people which he said will alleviate the plight of the people. He said: “At the Nkumoro Market where Comrade Ogah also inaugurated another borehole, he urged the youth to be law-abiding, avoid thuggery and violence, especially during the forthcoming elections.He said: “Do not allow politicians to deceive you. If they give you guns and other weapons to fight for them, tell them to bring their sons and daughters to join you to carry the guns.” He also donated some amount of money to women and youths as part of his poverty alleviation programmes.The traditional ruler of the community, Ezeogo David Nworie expressed his gratitude to the foundation for carrying out the project for the community.

T home, honour came from the very top. As the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Gen Azubike Onyeabor Ihejirika, was retired from service, the government of his home state, Abia, organised a befitting reception for their illustrious kinsman. It was on a Friday, a day many will not forget soon. The general served 39 years in the Nigerian Army. The people of Abia State rolled out the drums to celebrate the man they called the ”people’s general” for meritorious service to his fatherland and also for bringing honour to his home state. It was a day the retired army general saw his savoured the company of friends and people from his home town Isuikwuato who came out in their numbers to give him a resounding reception. He said that he never left them when the state was nearly overtaken by violent crimes and kidnapping. The people said that the army general never hesitated to obey the direct order from the presidency to send troops to the state when the state governor, Chief Theodore begged Mr President to come to the aid of the state in order to contain the violent crimes raging in the state. Suddenly, the long abandoned army barracks at Ohafia in Arochukwu Local Government Area of the state was reopened. The reception held for the retired general culminated in his being given a chieftaincy title of Dike Abia (the great warrior of Abia) by the council of traditional rulers led by its chair-

•Comrade Ogah drinks from a borehole at its inauguration

When a General return man, Eze Eberechi Dick. Most of the speakers who spoke at the ceremony extolled the former chief of army staff, describing him as a man of history, being the first man of Igbo extraction to head the Nigerian Army after the civil war and retired honourably after a meritorious service in addition to gathering several awards and honours while in service. Governor Orji said that Gen Ihejirika deserved to be honoured having proved himself as a patriotic Nigerian, “a man of integrity, a well disciplined soldier, change agent, a man who when he was in charge of the army never thought of overthrowing the government he was mandated to protect and served the nation with the highest commitment, honour and integrity”. Orji commended President Goodluck Jonathan for appointing Gen. Ihejirika as COAS saying that his appointment symbolised the end of marginalisation of Ndigbo since the end of the civil war. The governor added that while he was in office that he performed his duties creditably well to the envy and satisfaction of all. The governor said, “He has broken the jinx. I don’t know when next a COAS would emerge from Abia”. He noted with deep appreciation the contribution of the former COAS in restoring peace to Abia by deploying

troops to chase out kidnappers and other criminal elements from the state, adding that he also did well in tackling security challenges in other parts of the country. Responding after receiving the chieftaincy title, Gen Ihejirika expressed surprise at the honour given to him, adding that by the gesture, Governor Orji has set an indelible example which other governors should emulate by honouring deserving people. He dedicated his chieftaincy title to his field commanders and soldiers who showed loyalty in the midst of daunting security challenges. The retired general acknowledged the role that the army played in restoring peace to Abia, describing it as one of his outstanding achievements. According to him, it was through the synergy between Abia state government and the army that security was restored to Abia, adding that governments at every level must always work with security agencies to maintain peace at all levels in any part of the country. Ihejirika’s successor, Lt. Gen Kenneth Tobiah Minimah, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division Enugu, Major General Shehu Yusuf, said that the army was proud of the former COAS for contributing to national security in many parts of the country.


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THE SOUTHEAST REPORT Chief U.S.A. Igwesi, former Leader of Enugu State House of Assembly and House of Representatives member representing Nkanu East and West federal Constituency, in this interview with CHRIS OJI assesed Governor Sullivan Chime’s performance in ofice, among other issues in the state. Excerpts:

‘Repair federal roads in Abia’

A ‘It’s Enugu North’s turn to produce governor’ S IX years under Chime in Enugu, how will you rate his administration? Excellent, wonderful and unprecedented. Enugu State has been transformed and re-engineered to embrace the big brother role it used to play to the states in the Southeast. The government has constructed and reconstructed almost all the roads in Enugu metropolis. His administration has been able to bring sanity in the streets of Enugu. Night life that had eluded Enugu for several years has been brought back. All the roads in the city have been reactivated with street lighting and resounding roads signs for easy movements. Now Enugu is working. The most interesting thing is that all these were achieved with minimal noise and publicity. My prayer is that whoever is going to be his successor should take a cue from his style of administration. I have a dream of a successor who will play less politics but who will open up infrastructural development in the state. A successor who will not only enrich government institutions but promote peace and unity in the state. State caucus of the party, under the watchful eyes of Governor Chime, insisted that members of the National Assembly who have done two terms will not go back, and the direction seems not to have gone down well with members. What is your take on that? Every organisation has a leader, and a good follower should always obey the leader, so that when it is time for him or her to lead, others will obey him or her. The present members of NASS from the state were not elected because they were our First Eleven or our best but because members of the party who had the same political interest were compelled by an understanding to give them chance to go, through this kind of directives. I definitely expected them to be good party men by listening to the voice of wisdom. Personally, I was deprived of sec-

The most interesting thing is that all these were achieved with minimal noise and publicity. My prayer is that whoever is going to be his successor should take a cue from his style of administration. I have a dream of a successor who will play less politics but who will open up infrastructural development in the state

•Chief Igwesi

ond tenure in National Assembly in spite of my striking, performance while , because there was an instruction similar to this that was handed over to me. I had no choice but to back out. That is party discipline and decency in human interaction and socialisation. How do you see the recent attack by some unknown men on the Enugu State Government House? First and foremost, I condemn that incident. It is sheer madness for any group of people under whatever guise to march to Enugu seat of power at such ungodly hour. I wish to call on the police to embark on a full-scale investigation aimed at unravelling the deadly act. The aim, motive and objective of the

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•Governor Theodore Orji (middle); his wife Lady Mercy (right); Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika and his wife Gift at the reception in Umuahia

group should be ascertained because such incident is alien and new to our people, and as a stakeholder in the state, I deserve to know what is happening in my state, whether negative or positive. What is your reaction to the zoning of 2015 governorship slot to Enugu North Senatorial Zone and what manner of person do you recommend for the office from the zone? That is the best political decision in that direction. Because Enugu is tripodal in her political engineering, and that has been working for them for decades. As I said Enugu is seating on a tripod that is Enugu East, Enugu West and Enugu North. Enugu East has taken her own share

of the slot; Enugu West is presently occupying the position and the next zone is Enugu North. So you can see the equity, fairness and political balancing in this decision. So, this is the best political decision to assuage marginalisation and almost all the stakeholders in the State were at home with this arrangement. Those who claims is not written any where are just deceiving themselves, because it has been working for us and is like a bond or convention. You have since relocated to Abuja, what is your political ambition? For now, I think I don’t have anything in mind. At the appropriate time, Almighty God will direct me aright. As a party member and a foundation member of the party who have never left the party to any other party. I wish to support those chosen by the party at any level, that is the hallmark of a good party man. And to correct you, I have not relocated to Abuja, I’m in constant touch with my ward, local government and indeed the state.

Women protest imposition of taxes

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Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

ORE than 100 women from various markets in Aba, the commercial haven of Abia State, have protested what they called the imposition of taxes on them. The women complained that the state government revenue contractors and agents in different markets were exacting unfair taxes from them, a development they said was not in the interest of the traders. The women, who marched through the major streets in the commercial hub of the state, were chanting anti-taxation songs bearing placards with different inscriptions expressing their dissatisfaction over the alleged taxes. The protesting women on their way to Ogbor Hill premises of the Nigerian Television Authority, Channel 6, Aba, were, however, restrained by a combined team of regular and mobile policemen who dispersed them and prevented them from continuing with the protest. Sources said that the women after being dispersed by the police later converged around Aba South Local Government headquarters, where they were later said to have been addressed by a man identified as Mr. Nwagbara, said to be working under Aba South Council revenue unit. Nwagbara, The Nation learnt, promised to channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters for consideration. Some of the women who spoke to our reporter before they were dispersed, said they were paying all manner of taxes and levies in the market that cannot be justified by the contractors, market authorities or the government. “As we speak to you, there are several taxes and levies in the market which traders have been subjected to pay. From where do we get the money to pay when roads are bad and business dropped so low because our customers no longer come to buy from us? Some of them are now going to Onitsha to buy what they were supposed to come to buy from us in Aba as a result of our deplorable roads. All we want from government is to help us fix our roads before asking us to pay taxes. And that is why women in the city have come out to say that enough should be enough”, they stated. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna said he was yet to be informed about the protest, but stated that police could not have allowed the protest to be hijacked by touts. Ogbonna blamed the women for not obtaining police permit before embarking on such protest, stressing that the police would have given them security to ensure that hoodlums did not cease the opportunity to cause mayhem.

BIA State government has called on the Federal government to immediately commence work on the reconstruction of all federal roads in the state, especially the Aba/Ikot Ekpene, Port Harcourt roads, all in the commercial city of Aba. Speaking with reporters in Umuahia, the state Commissioner for Works, Emeka Longman Nwachukwu, said the call became necessary because of the deplorable condition of the roads which are affecting commercial activities in the state. Nwachukwu said the deplorable condition of the federal roads in the state which serve as link to other neighbouring states, are causing embarrassments to the state government, adding that the huge sum of money expended by the state government on maintaining the roads are yet to be reimbursed. He pleaded with the authorities at the Federal Ministry of Works to pay the outstanding money. He said: “When the money is repaid, the state government would be able to use it to do other things for the people.” He added that 51 roads are undergoing reconstruction across the state, stressing that each of the 17 local government areas is getting about three roads, including bridges. Nwachukwu said the state has become one huge construction site with the amount of construction going on in different parts of the state. “The quantity of construction work going on with limited resources at the disposal of the governor is a thing to wonder about.” He said all the contractors working in all sites have all gone back to site as Governor Orji has mobilised them with the necessary fund, adding that they do not have any reason not to work. The commissioner warned the contractors that government would not tolerate any form of delay, stressing that if any of them is found trying to play any form of pranks, he will be dealt with accordingly. He praised the Governor Orji for allowing all the contractors handling the works in the state to have local content. “This means that most of the contractors are locally based and have no need to disappear since they will easily be found in any corner of the state.” Nwachukwu said a lot of road construction is going on in the commercial city of Aba, adding that in the next few weeks, the governor will commence the process of road inauguration in all parts of the state. He warned residents of Aba to stop the habit of building on drainage system and blocking the drains, adding that government will soon commence the process of demolishing such structures built on such places.

‘The deplorable condition of the federal roads in the state which serve as link to other neighbouring states, are causing embarrassments to the state government’


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THE SOUTHEAST REPORT

Monthly allowance for Imo pupils

•The pupils

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HINGS are looking up for Imo State pupils. The state government is expanding its free education policy with the payment of a monthly stipend to secondary school students and pupils in all the public schools across the state. Secondary school students are to receive N500 monthly, while their primary school counterparts in all the government-owned institutions will get N300 each. Flagging off the payment and the distribution of educational material at the Owerri City School, the state governor, Rochas Okorocha, said that the Rescue Mission introduced payment of stipends to pupils and students to appreciate Imo children and give them a sense of ownership and participation in the affairs of the state and its resources. He said that the gesture would inculcate the culture of financial prudence in the pupils at their early stage in life and give them a sense of pride as stakeholders in the affairs of the state. “It is a way of saying thank you to our children for doing the right thing and this will encourage them and others to go to school,” he said. “And since the state is yet to commence the feeding programme in the schools, the payment of stipends will continue to be sustained as an alternative”. Aside from the stipend and distribution of school sandals, uniforms and other educational materials, the governor also launched the Parent Teachers Child Assessment Programme (PTCAP) and Mentoring Programme Okorocha explained that the PTCAP and Mentoring Programme

•Gov Okorocha addressing the students From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

were fashioned to create a platform for collaboration between the teacher, parents and the child to have a continuous assessment on the welfare of the child, with the view to ensuring proper upbringing of every child. While the mentorship programme is made of credible and accomplished individuals who have who have volunteered to provide moral and financial support to pupils and students and regularly visit the schools to discuss their common problems. The Imo governor appealed to teachers, principals and other heads of schools in the state to keep a communication line with the parents and the students in order to know the position of the child at any given time. He further warned them not to sell

‘The gesture would inculcate the culture of financial prudence in the pupils at their early stage in life and give them a sense of pride as stakeholders in the affairs of the state’ the materials provided by government but ensure that every child gets the school sandals, canvas, stockings and other materials. The Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere who is also the Mentor of Owerri City School commended the Governor for his special interest in education and welfare of the Imo child, assuring that he will pay regular visits to the schools and

equally provide necessary assistance. On his part, the Secretary to the State Government and the Mentor of the State Primary Schools, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, enjoined the pupils to go through their school with resolve and determination to overcome every challenge of life. He assured them that with determination and hard-work, they will

achieve success in their life endeavors. The wife of the State Governor, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha expressed joy that Imo children are being positioned to be future leaders by the present administration and commended the pupils and students for their good conduct. She said that government provided school uniforms, sandals, stockings and canvas to make the Imo child proud and appealed to parents and teachers to collaborate with government in ensuring a better welfare of the Imo child. Responding on behalf of the students of Owerri City School, Miss Blessing Nwele thanked the State government for the love shown to pupils and students by providing free education, school uniforms, desks and payment of monthly stipends.

Police arrest robbery suspect in Aba

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From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

TEAM of police personnel from Aba Area Command has arrested an unnamed middle-aged man in Aba suspected to be a member of a robbery gang that has been terrorizing residents of the commercial city and its environs. The Nation gathered that the suspect in the company of his friends stormed Oboh Street along Obohia Road in Aba South Local Government Area where they went to rob the residents of their belongings. It was learnt that while the gang was terrorising the residents of a building in the area, one of their neighbours raised the alarm and a distress call was put across to the Ndiegoro Police Division. Promptly, police turned up. The robbers took to their heels, with the police in hot pursuit. One of the suspects, now helping the police in their investigation, was arrested with a locally-made pistol when the police conducted a search on him. Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffery Ogbonna could not be reached for comments, but a senior police officer who pleaded anonymity confirmed the incident. According to him, at about 4:00 am, a distress call came in that a group of boys was operating around Obohia. “We quickly dispatched our patrol team to the area leading to the arrest of the suspect. A locally-made pistol was also recovered from him,” he said.

•From right, the V.C., University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Bartho Okolo; the DVC, Enugu Campus, Prof. Ifeoma PHOTO: OBI CLETUS Enemo, and DVC Academics, Prof. Polycarp Chigbu at the institution’s convocation.


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CAMPUS LIFE Ogbaru students visit National Assembly

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•Freshers at the programme. Inset: Dr Saibu

Economics dept welcomes freshers

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HE Nigerian Economics Students Association (NESA) at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has held an orientation programme for fresh students admitted into the department. The event tagged: Pathway to excellence was anchored by Lateef Sanni, the Assistant General Secretary of the association. The Lecture Room IIA of the Faculty of Social Sciences, where the programme held was filled to capacity. Lecturers of the department including Dr B.W. Adeoye; Mr. S.A. Adedokun; Dr Femi Saibu and Dr. Ayo Omojolaibi graced the event. Dr Adeoye, who spoke on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty, urged the students to take their studies serious, stressing that the school frowned at vices such as examination malpractice and cultism. He advised the freshers to be disciplined both in words and action. Adedokun analysed the academic

From Modiu Olaguro and Adeyemi Olalemi UNILAG life on campus, saying university was another life that must be taken serious. He taught them how to calculate their Grade Point Average (GPA) and the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). He said: “You must to take elective courses seriously because from personal experiences, laxity of students in elective courses has detrimental effect on their CGPA.” Dr Saibu, an associate professor of Economics, who is also the staff adviser of the association, assured them that the management would provide an enabling environment to make them excel in their academic pursuits. He suggested six ways on how students could achieve good academic grade. He said: “You have to study hard to make good grades. You must be versatile to understand the courses;

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HE National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) has urged the Federal Government to fund polytechnics to enable the country to achieve sustainable industrial transformation. The call was made by the association’s Acting National President, Ibraheem Mumeen while speaking with CAMPUS LIFE urged the Federal Government to take immediate

Kogi varsity starts exam

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TUDENT of Kogi State University (KSU) are burning the midnight candle in preparation for second semester examination which begins on Monday. According to the examination time table released by the management, the examination is to hold simultaneously in the different department across the campus. When CAMPUSLIFE visited the school, students were seen carrying books, material and text books to classrooms to read till day break, what students popularly call (TDB). Our correspondent also noticed

From Oluchukwu Igwe UNICAL nications Technology (ICT) projects that Ogene attracted to the Federal Polytechnic, (OKO POLY) Oko, Anambra State University, Uli and Ogbaru High School, Ogbakuba. Others included the Okpoko Community Town Hall, cottage industries in Mputu, Ogwu Ikpele and Amiyi; boreholes erected in several communities, skill acquisition programme and rural electrification projects. They presented an award to the lawmaker. Ogene thanked the group and urged them to always conduct themselves responsibly, adding that such appreciation of his efforts would continue to fuel his passion for the development of Ogbaruland. Other members of the delegation included Maureen Ada Onyia (Vice President); Chinedu Uzordi (Public Relations Officer); Emmanuel Ogbonnia and Christian Osadebe. From Nelson Edogbo and Ramat Jibrin KSU some group of students playing around. According to Grace Akubo, a 500 level law student, things have not been easy as there is examination tension especially now that she is in her final year. She advised fellow students to work very hard and shun every form of examination malpractice because “there is no alternative to success”. Since the release of the time table, social activities have declined; football viewing centers around the campus have been deserted. After the examination, the school is expected to go on break for two weeks.

•Muslim students at the event

•Sheikh Uthman (standing) during his lecture

ORRIED by the spate of religious crises in the Central Africa Republic (CAR), the Muslims Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), University of Calabar (UNICAL) chapter, has held a public lecture to sensitise the public on the need for faithful of all religions to live in peace and promote tolerance. The lecture with the theme: Misconceptions about Islam, was held at the Malabor Square. The public lecture started with Holy Qu’ran recitation and translation. In his paper entitled: Christians and muslims: children of the same father, why conflict? Any meeting Point?, Sheikh Shehu Uthman from Kebbi State University said the conflict between Christianity and Islam was needless, noting that Christians

cultivate the habit of networking to learn new methods, participate in association’s activities, develop communication skills and take professional examinations to add to your courses.” Dr Omojolaibi spoke on the need for the students to obey rules and regulations guiding registration. He promised to devote time to monitoring the progress of each student in line with the department’s vision to produce First Class 50 graduates. The events also featured talks by scholars in the department, who told the students how they maintained their CGPA since their first year on campus. The leaders of the association were also introduced to the freshers. Some of the students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, described the event as an eye-opener, saying it would guide them towards achieving their academic desire.

EMBERS of the Federated Ogbaru Students Association (FOSA), at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, (UNIZIK) Awka, Anambra State, have visited the office of Hon Victor Afam Ogene, member representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in Abuja. The students observed the plenary session of the House, after being granted approval by the National Assembly to be admitted into the chambers under the students’ excursion programme of the Assembly. President of the group, Charles Oluchukwu Igwe, said the visit was aimed at expressing appreciation over the achievements of the lawmaker in the constituency. They listed several bills, motions and projects that the lawmaker had sponsored, adding that they were very impressed with the multi-million naira Information and Commu-

Muslim students seek religious tolerance From Isaac Mensah UNICAL and Muslims were children of the same father. He urged adherents of the two religions to tolerate one other. Since Muslims believe in Jesus Christ, he said, there was no need for conflict. “Jesus was mentioned many times in the Qu’ran than Muhammed,” he noted. He said: “Nobody is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus Christ. Muslims even honour Jesus much more than Christians do with due apology.” While calling for mutual understanding and religious tolerance be-

tween both religions, Shehu faulted the notion that Boko Haram activities were religiously motivated adding that “one’s religion should not be judged based on the activities of its followers but by its teachings and tenets.” President of the group, Mochi Abdugadir Jimoh, said the programme was part of measures aimed at correcting the misconceptions distorting the original teaching of Islam such as terrorism, violence and killing. He said Islam was against all forms of vices as it encouraged harmony and peaceful coexistence. A member of the Brotherhood of

the Cross and Star (BCS), Bishop Dike, noted that Isaac and Ishmael bore the same genetic code of Abraham in their blood stream, adding that conflict should never be allowed between the two religions. He said: “ By blood we are children of one father, our blood group bears the same genetic code so we should come together to build a common front since we come from the same source”. The event also witnessed the presentation of awards to deserving persons. They included the Vice Chancellor, Prof James Epoke, Prof Bassey Okon, Deputy VC (Administration),

NAPS seeks improved funding for polytechnics From Adeolu AbdulKareem IREE POLY step to resolve the challenges confronting polytechnics in the country. He said: “Nigeria’s quest for technological advancement cannot be achieved without a sound polytech-

nic education and it should be treated with urgency. Most polytechnics in Nigeria are like secondary schools due to lack of adequate funding by both the Federal and State Governments. Nigeria polytechnics are synonymous with

structural decay and neglect.” Mumeen said the government should bridge the gap bewteen funding of universities and polytechnics, saying it should set up the Nigeria Polytechnic Commission(NPC) for effective monitoring and supervision of poly-

Sheikh Bature Abd’qadir (Chief Imam UNICAL Mosque), Hassan Jubril, Chief Pharmacist (UNICAL Medical Centre) and Bassey Eka (UNICAL SUG president). Others were Gen Ibrahim Attahiru (Brigade Commander, 13BDE, Akim Navy Barracks), Alhaji Mustapha Hassan (State Security Service, Cross River State), Alhaji Mudi Ibrahim, Alhaji Mustapha Sani, Dr B.A.S Lawal, Adamu Isah amongst others. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, John Okon said: “Considering the current situation in the country, there’s need for peaceful co-existence. The topic is apt for the season.”

technics in Nigeria. He also appealled to members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), to put its acts together and form a common front to promote rigorous scholarship, saying polytechnics should be encouraged to run post graduate diplomas and masters degree programmes in their areas of specialisation as practised in developed countries.


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CAMPUS LIFE

A new dawn at ABU The president and other executive members of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria, Kaduna State, have been inaugurated. Many students witnessed the ceremony, ABDULRAHAMAN ZAKARIYAU (400Level Mass Communication) reports.

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HE scorching sun could not stop students of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria, Kaduna State, from attending the inauguration of the new students Union executive. They abandoned lectures and other academic engagements to converge on the Students’ Union complex before proceeding to the Chamber for the ceremony. Led by the former Students’ Union Government (SUG), Abubakar Aliyu Rafindadi, no fewer than 1,000 students

•The student-leaders taking the oath

•Abdulmalik presenting the union’s budget to Prof Shehu

marched to the expansive chamber. The incoming president, Abdulmalik Attahiru Alfa, waved to the crowd intermittently to acknowledge cheers from students, who chanted various Aluta songs. There was traffic jam as the crowd of students advanced to the chamber. A drama ensued at the venue when riot policemen guarding the chamber

ordered them to stop singing. Students disobeyed, saying it was a tradition to welcome their leaders with Aluta songs. It took the intervention of the Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Prof Mohammed Sani Shehu, and some administrative staff before the students were allowed into the chamber. By 3:50pm, the event started with the arrival of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof

Abdullahi Mustapha, who was accompanied by other principal officers. In his opening remark, Prof Shehu explained that the SUG officials being sworn in had good academic grade. He added that the outgone union leaders performed beyond students’ expectation. He said the Rafindadi-led SUG had raised the bar of excellence, a challenge the incoming executive must surmount.

Prof Shehu said the new executive could achieve success by maintaining cordial relationship with the management. The oath of office was administered on the union leaders by the university legal officer. In his speech, Abdulmalik promised a smooth administration, saying the union would make efforts to promote the VC’s vision for the school. The SUG president, however, decried the inability of some students in accessing internet, urging the management to do all within its power to ensure that students enjoy Internet on the campus. Abdulmalik in showing that this task has just began, presented the union’s N40 million budget to the Vice Chancellor for approval. The students’ leader promised that he would be transparent and accountable to students in his administration. Rafindadi gave account of his stewardship; he was given a resounding applause. Prof Mustapha said the tenure of the outgone leaders ended gloriously. He explained that the university was showing direction in creating conducive atmosphere for cordial relationship between the management and the students’ body, a reason he said, responsible for the achievement of the outgone leaders. The VC said the Rafindadi-led SUG had set the standard for the incoming students’ leaders with its achievement. Awards were presented to the institution’s Chief Security Officer, Colonel Abubakar Oguche (rtd), Deputy Dean Students’ Affairs and others for their efforts to uplift the welfare of the students and to the development of the university. At 5pm, the ceremony ended, but not without drama. After pictures with the VC and body of principal officers, students, filed into several lines, marched out of the chamber. The march was led by the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) Vice President, Ahmadu Jibril.

Four years after students’ unionism was banned at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), the campus came alive with political activities, penultimate week, as students went to the poll to elect their leaders. KINGSLEY AMATANWEZE (500-Level Metallurgical and Materials Engineering) reports.

•Students campaigning on the campus before the election

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T was a sight to behold. Aspirants sat atop moving vehicles covered with posters. Music blared from loud speakers placed on the vehicles. Their supporters trailed the vehicles, distributing flyers to passersby. They moved from one hostel to the other, selling themselves to the students. That was the scene penultimate week at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) when the management lifted ban on students’ unionism. The management proscribed the Students’ Union four years ago, following a violent protest led by its officials over fee increment. The violence led to the destruction of school property. Last January, the authorities announced its plan to restore the union. In fulfilling the promise, the management released a timetable for the conduct of elections and set guidelines for the aspirants. One of such is the pegging of the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of the aspirants to 3.50. Majority of the students that picked the free nomination forms were disqualified because of their failure to meet the

•An aspirant with his suppoters during the campaign

SUG returns to UNN academic benchmark. Some, who passed, were cleared. After the clearance, some positions such as Welfare Director, Transport Officer and Director of Socials had unopposed candidates. No student qualified for the office of the Director of Information. The presidency was a contest between Christian Agu, a 300Level Education Economics student, and Pius Orunwa, 300-Level Political Science and Psychology student. General Secretary position was contested by two female aspirants and a male. Scores vied for legislative seats. A few days before the election, Nigerian Students Leadership Forum (NSLF), a non-governmental organisation, held a debate for the aspirants. The event, which was held in the auditorium of the Public Administration Department, was described as a gathering of intellectuals. Students listened to the programmes of the aspirants, who were given two minutes each

to tell why they should be voted for. The two presidential aspirants engaged themselves in battle of wits during the debate. While Orunwa promised to tackle transportation and accommodation challenges, Agu made a pledge to address fee increment, cultism and internet challenges. Both of them also answered questions from the audience. Uchenna Elem Obiahu, a 400-Level Sociology and Anthropology student, said the debate would help the contestants to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan for the welfare of the students. “It could be seen that most of the contestants saw the loopholes in their programmes through the debate. From what they have heard from their opponents, they would pick up points and go back to the drawing board. It is a good thing, he said”. Dr Christian Ezeibe of the Department of Political Science welcomed the debate as a good development. He said.

“From what we just listened to, I can say that the aspirants have capacity and competence. But I cannot talk about their character. Character is also key here. The debate is a welcome development. It will also boost the students’ public speaking quality. You can see that some of them have ideas, but they experienced difficulty in passing these ideas to the people.” The campus came alive as the election drew closer. The school was covered with posters of aspirants. It has been four years students witnessed such a thing on the campus. At the manifesto, which held at Ekpo Convocation Arena, the candidates reiterated their plans for the union. On the Election day, the campus was agog with last-minute campaign. candidates supporters continued canvassing for votes, although in a subtle manner to avoid being disqualified. The verification of voters last for four hours, which made the voting process to start behind schedule. At 3:30pm, the voting started. After the exercise, votes from the Faculties were counted in the presence of students, after which results were de-

clared. Agu polled a total of 786 votes to beat his opponent, Orunwa who had 772 votes. Stanley Eze beat Joy Nebo by 16 votes to clinch the General Secretary position. Others elected included Valentine Ugwuago, Assistant General Secretary and Peter Sochima Financial Secretary. Other posts were unopposed. A student Chikezie Mbegbu, 300Level Geography, described the election as fair and transparent. “The voting process and counting were conducted transparently,” he said. Another student Ecclesiastes Chikere, 500-Level Civil Engineering, said the process was credible and free. “The election is free and fair. The results were also counted before everybody. I am impressed,” he said. Christain could not hide his joy when he was declared the winner. He said: “I am very happy now. The journey to the SUG presidency was not an easy one but with God on my side, I was victorious.” The president-elect promised to improve the condition of students in the areas of internet service, school fees and accommodation.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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CAMPUS LIFE

Immigration jobs tragedy: Time to work

By Msonter Anzaa

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E all saw them in the morning. All of them decked in white t-shirts and shorts with pairs of sneakers. After being swindled of their fortunes, they matched to the centres where Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment tests were being held. By the time the exercise came to an end, no fewer than 18 job seekers lost their lives in stampede that greeted the recruitment exercise across the states. At least, 70 applicants were admitted at the National Hospital in Abuja for treatment of various degrees of injuries. I marvel at the sheer size of that crowd. I think that, even if the “re-

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HEN the Nigerian centenary award list was unveiled a few weeks ago, one personality that caught my attention was the late Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa (1903-1963). He made the list with some internationally-acclaimed artists, literary giants and journalists. At a tender age, I was immersed in the world of Yoruba literature, courtesy of Fagunwa’s Taiwo ati Kehinde - a six-series primary school reader he co-authored with John Lewis. Being a twin myself, the book became my everyday companion, aside being obsessed with the captivating stories. Sometimes later, while ransacking my uncle’s library, I stumbled on his first literary work and the first novel in Yoruba language titled Ogboju ode ninu igbo irunmale (The brave hunter in a forest of demons) and one other Yoruba play, Abiku sloogun deke. I digested the contents within a few days, although I was in primary six then. Since that time, Fagunwa left an indelible imprint that intensified my love for Yoruba literature. Brian Aldiss, the English science fiction writer, once said: “There are two kinds of writers: Those that make you think and those that make you wonder.” From that vantage position of today, one can

cruitment exercise” was not “conducted” in any other state and held only at the National Stadium in Abuja alone, the available space would still not serve all the applicants. But as we know, similar-sized crowds were witnessed across the states where the exercise was held. No matter how large the NIS is, it cannot recruit all the applicants, who struggled to participate in the exercise, except if it were to just sew uniforms, throw them at the crowd and ask everyone to start marching to the Nigerian border. With such an intimidating population of hungry applicants, Nigeria is preparing itself for another security challenge of Boko Haramic proportions. Unemployment is no longer the theoretical economics we read in secondary school; it is fast becoming an issue of national security. I want to observe with all respect that, what happened across the country penultimate Saturday was nothing near a recruitment exercise. It was a test to ascertain whether desperation, frustration and potential trouble exist in this country. And as we saw it, the results were all positive. Why are there so many unemployed youth in Nigeria? The sum-

mary of the answer is failure, not only of government, but the whole society. We know that our education is still not on its feet. We are often told by the experts how well our economy is doing, but we know we are not doing well as a people. We are in a state of national crisis. Since all these applicants possess all kinds of certificates, isn’t it an indictment on our education system that they are not able to survive without government work? Avoiding the Abuja shame begins when a child starts in kindergarten. Any educational system has sufficient time to convert a child either to a disillusioned job seeker or a fulfilled job provider. Let us once and for all, give our education the attention it needs. In addition to the provision of infrastructure, we need to restructure our curriculum, with the aim to produce graduates with skills to meet immediate national manpower and technical needs. Let us task our universities to go into research and generate innovative ideas that focus on solving our problems. We may not be able to go into the space as the West did we don’t need that in any case - but we can try to produce what we

consume. At the moment, our markets are filled with all kinds of rechargeable lamps imported from other countries. The patronage of such lamps is quite huge. This is an embarrassment to us as a people. Why are we importing these lamps? Why are we not encouraging our electrical and electronics engineering graduates to produce them instead of rushing out to take immigration jobs? Let us consider the number of jobs we would generate if we produce those lamps in this country. Different people would be engaged in sourcing the raw materials, transporting, processing, and assemblage; and then selling the lamps to users. It is not as if such technical knowledge does not already exist. Even where it exists, there is the problem of financing. A number of innovations have been hatched by the youths, but where are funds to promote such projects? We should create a National Youths Innovation Fund to which government, the private sector and our development partners will contribute. Any individual who develops an idea that can solve our prob-

lems and create jobs should apply for assistance from the body. The body would evaluate the idea to determine its viability, assist with further organisation where necessary and provide the needed loan for commercialisation of the project. We also need to plan adequately for our youths. How many children are born annually? How many are of school age per year? What are we teaching them in school? Given what they are studying, where will they fit in the economy when they graduate? Do such opportunities really exist? How can we create them? This will save us the embarrassment of throwing our palms open and simply lamenting that “these people are too many” as if they are not our citizens. There is no excuse whatsoever if we must prevent what happened penultimate Saturday to repeat itself in larger magnitude. We have for too long shied away from our duty to this nation. The developed countries that we admire did not achieve the feat through good luck; they did by taking conscious decisions that paid off in the long run. This is time to work. Msonter, 300-Level Medicine, BSU

In honour of D.O. Fagunwa safely say that Fagunwa was a fusion of these two possibilities. His consummate gift of storytelling, mastery of language with stylistic embellishments and powerful imagination provoke deep reflection, holding the reader spellbound. At the mention of the name, Fagunwa resonates in the coven of early Yoruba scholars and elite. They have read his works. Roughly from the 1950s to the 80s, primary and secondary schools in the Southwest were flooded with his books. The didactic approach with which his narratives were told with colourful splendor seemed appealing to readers in pre-millennium Nigeria. Thus, he was revered. To the new breed of scholars, Fagunwa “used to be” a Yoruba writer, if at all they have heard about him. However, one is compelled to wonder why these generations of students seldom know who Fagunwa was and his contribution vis-à-vis his influence in contemporary Yoruba literature. Aside being honoured with the posthumous centenary award, the pertinent million dollar question worth asking is: how did Fagunwa’s novel

mysteriously ebb away from our classrooms the way the Malaysian MH370 Jet disappeared from the radar? As a matter of fact, Fagunwa occupied a foremost place in the field of Yoruba literature. He could rightly be described as a pioneer in the stratosphere of creative writing in Yoruba. As a fictional author, Fagunwa presented his reader with stories of adventure and survival woven around folktales. His plot takes the form of a character making journey, usually a perilous journey, and the story then unfolds itself through the numerous incidents that happen in the course of the odyssey. Through the characters of Itanforiti in Ireke Onibudo, BabaOnirungbon-Yeuke, Iragbeje, Fagunwa infused folktales that spew pleasure and instruction. The moral intention that runs through his novels is perhaps the most important single element in them. Of course, I cannot forget the story of Ajantala, Ologbo-Ijakadi, the lion and the fox, the proud king, the enchanted fishes and lots more. While we glory in the anglicised account of adventure stories and folktales, their Yoruba rendition has

been rendered otiose. In the English literature, we recommend William Golding’s Lord of the flies, Jonathan Swift’s Gullivers travel, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales at the expense of Fagunwa’s masterpieces in Yoruba literature. The biting reality that Fagunwa’s books have been consigned to oblivion distinctly reflects in the behavioural attitude of youngsters nowadays. The myriad of jaundiced Yoruba textbooks they read evince more or less intellectual traumatism. These books do not instill the wisdom and traditional ethos the young readers need to survive. Our youngsters must be aware that there are Oke Langbodo and Oke Hilahilo, the treacherous mountains of life. Just like Akara Ogun, Olowo Aiye and Ireke onibudo, Fagunwa’s heroes, they need to know that there are obstacles and stumbling blocks in the journey of life. They should not see suicide as escapism to the challenges of life. The heroes’ encounters with spirits, trolls, fairies, gnomes, ghommids, sirens, genies and other supernatural elements in their journeys depicts life’s soaring challenges

By Taiwo Adebulu and the need to overcome them. In retrospection, those who really benefitted from Yoruba literature were those who read the likes of J.F Odunjo’s Alawiye and made to recite off hand the poem Ise Ni Ogun’se (Work is the potent remedy for poverty). The impact of this poem is immeasurable and so were those pioneering masterworks of Fagunwa, Amos Tutuola, Afolabi Olabimtan, Akinwunmi Isola and their contemporaries. By all accounts, Fagunwa etched his name in gold. His legacy should not be confined to a post-humous award alone. It could serve as a remedial tool to cure the behavioural imbalance among youths.

Where are the youths in national conference?

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OR many years in Nigeria, the youths are secluded in decision making and barred from making any input in law or policy that concerns their future. At least, they have not been participating in the process of actualising the dreams of that future. Elders believe youths are irrelevant, and perhaps do not possess that wisdom to participate in governance. This kind of mentality has robbed Nigeria of its much potential and left it at the junkyard of history. When Britain colonial administrators lowered the Union Jack in Lagos on October 1, 1960, Nigeria was Africa’s greatest hope. Its pool of talents, chunk of fertile land and oil discovery gave Africans faint of hope in economic transformation, which could make the continent to be part of the emerging global market. Fifty-four years down the line and

despite the vast wealth, the nation has continued to struggle to provide basic necessities for the citizens. Hobbled by lack of foresight and non-involvement of younger people in decision making process, successive governments dabbled into office and launch different agenda on development without carrying the youth along. This ‘new regime, new agenda’ is premised on the long-held ideology of leaders not having the future of the youths in view in their policy making. And when they do, there are no clearcut actions to sustain the vision. The consequence of this is that, youths cannot locate their future in the big picture of this nation. This gives rise to youngsters having a sense of irrelevance, which made some of them resort to violence. One of the iniquities against the young men and women in Nigeria re-

veals itself in list of National Conference delegates. Ninety per cent of the delegates that are to play key role are elderly, an indication that Nigeria has not learned from history. We are still recycling our failures and errors. If the essence of the conference is to chart a new course for the future, why does the government keep the “future owners” at the back bench? Why has Nigeria raised its bar so high that the younger generation cannot attain it? Here is a list where only a handful of the youths are represented. It is the big moms and dads that will decide the future where they will not be part of. It is high time government stopped treating the youths as strangers in the terrain of their own future. We are the leaders of tomorrow and we have the right to decide how our future should be charted. I hereby advocate an effective involvement of a considerable number of youth

in the confab. I advocate this because the fact that it is our future that is being decided; playing key role in the confab will give us a sense of responsibility to actively shape that future we desire. We have tremendous role to play towards national development and I dare say that policy of the government that does not involve active participation of youths will see the light of the day. Even if it does, it may not give desired results. While I am not in any way shifting the responsibilities of youths on the government, the responsibility of the government should make efforts to involve youths into the process of national development. The youths, not crude oil, will be Nigeria’s most valuable resource in this 21st century and it is only when youths are positioned into the process of national planning that the future can be secured.

By Taiwo Isola The plea, therefore, is that the government should make the youths to play active role in the National Conference in order to make the confab dead on arrival. Taiwo, 300-Level Human Anatomy, UNIMAID


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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CAMPUS LIFE Student presents Economics textbook

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N advocate of good governance, Mr Oladayo Ogunbowale, has urged undergraduates be productive. It would be good for the country’s economy, he said. Ogunbowale spoke at the launch of a book titled: Economics Made Simple. The book was written by Yusuf Olowu, a graduating student of Secretariat Studies of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED). The programme, which was held at Excel ICAN Centre, Oyo State, attracted undergraduates from tertiary institutions across the Southwest. Yusuf said the book was a dream come true, adding that focus and determination were factors that helped him to achieve the feat. He advised youths to get involved in profitable ventures that would benefit the public.

From Eddy Uwoghiren UNIBEN “During my preparations for UTME, I could not find a book that was concise in Economics. I took up the challenge to correct the deficit by writing this book to help those preparing for the exam, revise and get the basis of the subject as fast as possible. The six months strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) also gave me enough time to work on the book,” he said. Highpoint of the event was the launch of the book by Mr Olayinka Quadir, pastor to the author. Guests at the event who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, commended the author for his work. They said it was exciting to see a young Nigerian doing great things and working towards being self-employed rather than seeking white collar jobs.

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CDS gets ‘Council of Elder’

HIRTY-TWO corps members have been inducted into Council of Community Development Service (CDS) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ekiti State. The inductees were told to be committed to service of the group. The corps members also referred to as “Council of Elders,” represented the sixteen NYSC CDS groups in Ado-Ekiti zone. The Zonal Co-ordinator and chairman of the event, Elder J. Oni, charged the new leaders to exhibit the virtues of the NYSC scheme at all times. Oni said the zone had been noted for corps members with little or no impact to the zone. He added that the recent financial contribution of the

From Esther Mark NYSC ADO EKITI various CD groups towards the purchase of brand new public address system to facilitate communication at general CD meetings, was a laudable. The Zonal Inspector encouraged the leaders to strive to be followers rather than leaders, saying the true worth of leadership thrived on the spirit of followership. The immediate past Corps Liaison Officer, Olamide Awoleke, urged them to be transparent and be accountable throughout their tenure. The new executive included

•Abdulmalik presenting the union’s budget to Prof Shehu

Samuel Opusunju as Editorial CD; Ale Emmanuel, PET; Ajide Oluwafemi MDGs; Chijioke Mmuo, Medical; Imeobong Udosen, Gender Vanguard; Nwawulo Akama, Environmental; Uzoma Ebubenna, Road Safety; Udoh Anthony, Service Delivery; Azumara Chisom, Games and Sports; OgboruAbori Philip, Agro-Allied; Ajayi Ernest, Band; Wahab Wasiu, Charity and Ogunjobi Temitope, Anti-Corruption. Highpoint of the event was the presentation of plaques to the outgoing presidents in recognition of their services.

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

•Part-time students waiting to write exam

Rector monitors part-time exam

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•Students ask govt to settle ASUP

ART Time students of the Yaba College of Technology, (YABATECH), Lagos, have started their examination. The Director of Public Relations, Dr Oni, who spoke on behalf of the Rector, Dr M.K. Ladipo, warned that the college would not tolerate examination malpractice, adding that any student caught cheating would be punished. Dr Oni stressed that Students’ Union Government (SUG), schools and various departments in the college had organised orientation for the part time students where they were informed on the rules and regulations guiding academic programmes in the school. The Dean of Students’ Affairs, Mr O.T. Raheem, said the College was committed to excellence and had made adequate plans for the smooth conduct of the examination. A special training session was held for invigilators on how to manage

From Mark Orgu

YABATECH the students during the examinations. Dr Ladipo had been moving from one school to the other as a means of her commitment towards achieving the set goal of the college during the examination. The Dean debunked the rumours making that rounds that there is no space for students to sit for the examination, saying the College’s new theatre building could accommodate no fewer than 2000 students and the many buildings within the school. Some of the students who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE said the examination was going well. They said the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) strike was worrisome, urging government to meet the demands of the union to avoid collapse in the sector.

All hail ‘Indomie king’ •Continued from page 31

“I never believed that I could finish the noodles; the last pack of noodles was the most difficult for me,”revealed when he spoke to CAMPUSLIFE. “It was too much in the pot. I looked at the huge meal in front of me and I was anxious. But I had no choice because the bet was sealed already and I have never lost a bet,” he added The crowd took Michael from Block 7 to all parts of the hostel, chanting “MIC” (Master of Indomie Consumption). Michael said: “I have never participated in eating competition but I grew up eating. I am an Igbo man and I eat very well.”

Asked if he could repeat the feat, Michael said he was ready to do it again if anybody challenged him. CAMPSULIFE gathered that he won N6,000 from the bet. A similar scenario happened in Fajuyi Hall before the take off of the Nigeria University Games (NUGA) hosted by the university recently. A student was named as Indomie King when he took six packs of the Indomie Super Pack, which are 120 grammes each. The former king, when contacted, said he had no comment on Michael’s feat. But students interpreted this to mean that the ‘former king’ may be preparing to challenge Michael in food contest.

‘It was too much in the pot. I looked at the huge meal in front of me and I was anxious. But I had no choice because the bet was sealed already and I have never lost a bet’


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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CAMPUS LIFE UNILAG FILE

Alo reappointed DVC

•Dr Lawal (fourth from right), Mrs Balogun (fifth right), Mr Akeredolu (sixth right) with other officials and graduands at the event. PHOTO: OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA

‘Admission seekers can try Occupational Therapy’

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OR youths who are yet to secure placements in the nation's tertiary institutions, years after completing their secondary education, the Medical Director, Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr Rahman Lawal, says they should try Occupational Therapy. Speaking at the graduation of 29 students from the Federal School of Occupational Therapy held at the hospital's annex, Cappa, Oshodi, Lagos, Lawal spoke of the career opportunities for occupational therapists whom he said are needed in the society. With their skills, he said they can re-integrate people living with disabilities into the society after getting treatment. He said: "There are some people who are sick who have the problem of rehabilitation and who find it hard getting back to their work, or do something vocationally. In Psychiatry, there are some people who lack vocational skill, when they are sick they come for treatment and when they are going back into the society they need to be functional, so one need to teach them vocations. And these Occupational Therapists are the professionals that will assess the person to know which vocation they are

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

best suited for. The professionals go ahead to teach such the vocation and the skill required." Lawal said the profession was in danger of extinction until the Federal Government established the school 12 years ago. To date, the school has trained 200 occupational therapists with National Diploma. He said graduates can go ahead to earn degrees within and outside Nigeria as the certificates are recognised internationally. He added that the school has signed pacts with universities in India to train its graduates up to degree level. "Before the establishment of this school, the professionals that trained in England were ageing and were going into retirement. Passing through this training school is an added advantage. This is because there are highly competent professionals taking them in different aspects of the course; besides, students enjoy uninterrupted academic calendar. "Our certificates are recognised at home and abroad. There are some institutions in India that have partnered with us to award a degree in occupational therapy. When some

of our students got there, they found the courses very interesting because of the solid background training they had here. Some foreign health institutions have indicated interest to employ some of our products. Nobody can play down the relevance of this course in any society. At their levels of Diploma, the students can perform amazingly well in any hospital setting. A university degree would only assist them to do much better." The Registrar, Mr Peter Akeredolu said there is a demand for more Occupational Therapists in Nigeria, and urged the Federal Government to improve funding to enable the institution produce more. "Each time we turn out students, it is a great achievement for us because about 10 years ago the profession was almost into extinction. Now the school has graduated about 200 since inception in 2002. Even now with that we do not have enough Occupational Therapist in Nigeria. "Most of the institutions of higher learning that did not have lecturers to teach Occupational Therapy now have some of our graduands employed to handle such. This is because some of our graduands who

travelled overseas to acquire more knowledge are back now. To enable the profession improve on its glory, the Federal Government should release fund, teaching equipment and institute further trainings for the graduands so they can get to PhD level," said Akeredolu. Acting Principal of the school, Mrs Mobolaji Balogun, said to be admitted into the institute, candidates must possess at least five O-Level credits in Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology at not more than two sittings. "There is no need for JAMB; just look out for the announcement of the admission forms. We have our admission processes involving both written and oral examinations to obtain the National Diploma (ND), which is a three year course. For a degree, the only university in the country is Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, in Osun State. We have affiliation with two universities in India, so for those desirous of foreign qualification the opportunities are there," she said. Balogun said Occupational Therapy is quite different from Physiotherapy, as the former help people live and work as normally as possible after accidents.

UNIPORT alumni remove national president

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HE University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) alumni association has impeached its national president, Ike Chinwo, alleging high handedness and intention to drag the association into partisan politics against the rules establishing the body. The impeachment order, which was instituted during a meeting of the assocation's council held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, was contained in a statement signed by the national Public Relations Officer [PRO] of the association, Christopher Okorie Orji and made available to journalists. The statement reads in part: "The university of Port Harcourt alumni association has impeached its former national president, Ike Chinwo which took place during its meeting held on Saturday March 8, 2014. "The meeting, which was presided over by the acting president, Chief Edward Ngene from Ebonyi State chapter. Mr John Okonkwo a lawyer of Anambra State chapter moved the motion for his impeachment. “The motion was seconded by Pastor Abiodun Dada of Ondo State chapter and there was no counter motion which made the first vice president Chief Ngene to assume the position of acting national president of the association.” Orjin said after the impeachment the national executive committee of the association sat at the national secretariat of the association and passed a vote of no confidence in Chinwo,

From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

alleging that he exhibits “deep interest in partisan politics to the detriment of the association.” They also alleged that Chinwo had been handling the affairs of the association as if it were his personal estate, adding that his behaviour got many of its members disenchanted. "Chinwo tore the minute’s book of the association over a minor argument with some other officials during a meeting and we think that this is the height of indiscipline," said Orji. He added dragging the union into partisan politics would destroy the association’s aims and objectives. "Dragging our association into partisan politics will not be to our favour and will not give us the room to critise any government in power whenever they are going in the wrong direction,”Orji submitted.

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J.P. Clark centre completed THE J.P. Clark Centre, designated to showcase the artworks of celebrated poet, Prof John Pepple Clark, has been completed and handed over to the authorities of the University of Lagos. The building was endowed by the Delta State Government for use by the university's Faculty of Arts. In a brief remark during the ceremony, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Rahamon Bello, counseled the Dean of Faculty of Arts, Prof Yomi Akinyeye, to charge a token fee for the purpose of maintaining the structure and ensure that the building is used for its designated purpose. He expressed his satisfaction with the construction and praised all the internal and external engineers who supervised the project for good finishing. The handing over was witnessed by other principal officers of the university including; the Prof Alo; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof Duro Oni; Registrar, Dr Taiwo Ipaye; Provost of the College of Medicine, Prof Folashade Ogunsola; Bursar, Mr Lateef Odekunle and the University Librarian, Dr Oluwakemi Fadehan.

Firm rewards six students

•From left: Ajibola, Olukoga and another member, Mr Adewale Adeogun opening the new cafeteria

Parents donate cafeteria to Crescent varsity

HE Parents’ Forum of Crescent University, Abeokuta has donated an ultra-modern cafeteria to the institution as part of the activities marking the 80th birthday of its proprietor former Attorney General of the Federation and World Court, Judge Bola Ajibola. The new cafeteria will complement the existing ones on campus. Lauding the gesture, Ajibola praised parents for their various contributions. He recalled that the chairman of the forum, Otunba Fatai

PROFESSOR Babajide Ibitayo Alo, has been re-appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & Research) of the University of Lagos for another two years with effect from, Monday, March 3, 2014. He was nominated and elected for the position by the university Senate on February 26. Alo was born on October 6, 1951. He attended St. Michael's Primary School, Kaduna (1956-1963) and Ibadan Christ Apostolic Grammar School, Oniyere, Ibadan (1964-1968) where he obtained his West African School Certificate in Division One with six distinctions. He was at the Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo (1969-1970) for his Higher School Certificate (HSC). He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry (Second Class Upper) from the University of Ibadan in 1974 and a doctorate degree in Chemistry from the same University in 1979, after a pre-doctoral intercalating year at the University of Bristol, UK, in 1977.

Olukoga had earlier donated an xray building for the university clinic; while the parents had donated 20 sets of computers. Handing over the cafeteria building plan to the management, Olukoga, who serves as the Special Adviser to Lagos State government on education, expressed his appreciation on behalf of Crescent University Parents' Forum (CUPAF) for the opportunity given the executive members to contribute their quota for further development in the uni-

versity. Olukoga added that 60 Lagos State indigenes of Crescent University had been approved for bursary awards while some were being considered for scholarship. Olukoga also praised efforts and knowledge of Gbadebo, an academic member of staff of the university, for successfully installing a bore-hole donated by the workers on campus after many failed attempts of contractors over the years owing to the topography of the campus.

SIX Students from the Department of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos have received scholarship worth N250,000 each from FUGRO Nigeria Limited, for their outstanding academic performance. They are: Azeez, Sodiq Kayode (200-Level), Owoeye, Tomiwa Eunice (200-L), Okewusi, Oluwapelumi Comfort (300-L), Salami, Tosin Julius (300-L), Osisefo, Mowaninuoluwa Ibrahim (400-L), Akanbi, Saheed Omotoyosi (400-L). Speaking during the awards presentation Prof Alo, expressed appreciation toFUGRO Nigeria Limited, and charged management to expand their support to the university beyond Engineering. The Managing Director of the company, Prof Godwill Ofunre, said the firm seeks a good relationship with the university that will ensure the supply of Surveying and Geo-Informatics scholars to work with the company in their quest to maintain standard. Similarly, the Acting Head of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Dr. O. T. Badejo, who led the recipients to the Vice-Chancellor, affirmed that a partnership exists between the company and his department.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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CAMPUS LIFE SCHOLARSHIPS

EKSU FILE

Don to speak on oil theft A PROFESSOR of Political Science in Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, Kunle Ajayi, is to attend an international symposium on Governance and Security in Africa scheduled to hold in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia between April 28 and 30. Ajayi's invitation was premised on the selection of his paper tiled: 'Piracy and oil theft in the Gulf of Guinea: The global maritime security options and responses.' Ajayi is an expert in Peace, Conflict and Governance.

Advancement Board inaugurated The EKSU Governing Council has inaugurated members of the newly-established Advancement Centre. Speaking at the inauguration, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Emeritus Professor Akinjide Osuntokun, said the board members are to generate philanthropic support for EKSU by strengthening and deepening engagement with stakeholdeholders to realise the university's strategic vision and mission. Osuntokun added that the members will operate independently and with freedom to harness their own resources and enlist others to attract financial and material support to the university's various development projects. The EKSU Vice Chancellor, Prof Patrick Oladipo Aina expressed confidence in the board's ability to change the fortunes of the university.

APPROACHING DEADLINES Call for Application: Graduate Research Program on Climate Change and Agriculture 2. Student Eligibility The entry requirements into the program are the following: •Candidates must be from the WASCAL countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo); •Candidates must not be more than 40 years; •Candidates must have a Master's Degree, or its equivalent in Soil Science, Crop Science, Agro-forestry, Forestry, Animal Science, IPM or other relevant disciplines, with at least an average of 60 % (Second Upper Class, Assez Bien); •Experience with modeling routines or GIS would be an advantage but not a prerequisite; •Candidates must submit the fol-

lowing documents: 1) completed application form; 2) birth certificate; 3) certificate of nationality; 4) two recent passport photos; 5) MSc official transcript or equivalent; 6) transcript of grades for the obtainment of MSc or equivalent; 7) abstract of the MSc (or equivalent) Dissertation; 8) transcripts of previous university degrees; 9) transcript of grades for the obtainment of university degrees; 10) detailed CV; 11) letter of motivation (personal statement should include the student's academic and personal qualities as well as his/her interests in research in the area of Climate Change and Agriculture: why applying for the scholarship in the respective GRP & Agric); 12) a concept note (3 to 5 pages) outlining the justification, objectives, methodology and expected outcomes of a research idea. This concept note will be finetuned under the guidance of supervisors, if admitted; 13) support letter from employer (if employed) granting study

leave, in case of success; 14) names and contact details of 3 referees, one of whom must be his/her Master's supervisor. Female candidates are encouraged to apply. Maximum Intake: The program will admit a maximum of 10 students per batch. There shall be equitable distribution of students across the WASCAL countries (one student per country). 3. Language requirements CC&Agric is an English-speaking graduate program. The following are the language requirements: •Basic Certificate in English Language; •Functional Certificate in English Language; •A three-month intensive English language proficiency course will be offered at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana, for the selected francophone students before the beginning of the program. •At the end of this English language

College PT lecturers lament non-confirmation of appointment

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ART-TIME lecturers of the Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology (RIVCOHSTECH), Port Harcourt are not happy over nonconfirmantion of their appointment by the Rivers State Civil Service Commission. The teachers, 16 in all, have taken their grieviances through a petition to the Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) to look into their grievances. In their petition dated March 5,

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

2014 and addressed to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the lecturers lamented that some of them had been teaching for over 10 years withough appointment letters. They said within this period, government had approved several employments of full time lecturers for RIVCOHSTECH. They however alleged the state civil service commission of nepotism, smuggling in their friends or relatives

into the system. The teachers said before the ongoing employment exercise was advertised, the new Provost of the college, Dr Charles Amadi carried out a re-screening/interview of all part time lecturers of the college in August 2013. The teachers said most of them scaled through the interview and were subsequently given appointment letters as PT lecturers, thus reconfirming their competence. Since then, the teachers said they

New SU leaders take oath STUDENTS’ unionism has finally resumed in EKSU after about four years of lull. The newly-elected Students Union Central Executive Council (CEC) took the oath of office in a colourful ceremony held at the Oodua auditorium of the institution. The ceremony had in attendance management, academic and nonteaching staff as well as students. The EKSU SU president, Victor Babatope Ibitola, said he was poised to provide responsible leadership, as well as champion student-management relationship that will involve dialogue, maturity and responsiveness. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aina, said his administration believes in a duly-elected Students Union that will work closely with management to achieve her vision of becoming a 21st Century world class university.

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• From left: Kakashak, Dr Adejoumoh, Gen. Useni, Mrs Adejoumoh, Prof Matur, Alhaji Dambata Kabir from the Federal Ministry of Works and Mrs Agbai at the event

course, students will have to pass an English language proficiency test e.g. TOEFL (550 or above). •French language courses will also be offered to English speaking students while at IPR/IFRA. 4. Scholarship and Research Support The scholarship and research support will normally be provided based on the criteria below: •After admission, students will be required to maintain a graduate level Grade Point Average (GPA) of B or a minimum of B from the course; •During the course curriculum phase, students will be required to develop a detailed research project, including budget; •During the project/research stage, students are expected to present their progress reports regularly and be evaluated accordingly. •Continued on next edition have continuually carried out their duties diligently despite the N400 stipend per hour amounting to N12,000 per semester which they are being paid by management. This they also stated was "the case in Rivers State College of Arts and Science which recently converted all her part time lecturers to full time during their 2012/2013 Staff Recruitment Exercise." The lecturers recalled that in 2013 the civil service advertised for recruitment of academic staff for the college, upon which they applied but to their utter disappointment, none of them was invited to the interview which they said is still on-going at the civil service commission at the time of this report. They claimed in the petition that they approached Amadi who told them the civil service commission is in charge of the employment exercise and not RIVCOHSTECH managemet and that they might not yet be converted "because most of us are yet to have our master's degree." The teachers allege that the civil service commssion always advertise "for minimum of master's degree only but in the end have always employed Bachelors (B.SC) degree holders leaving us behind. "If a B.SC degree holder without experience in lecturing can be employed as a full time lecturer, how much more we that have acquired 2-10 years of experience in the college and have contributed in producing several graduates from the college," the teachers wondered. After listening to their grievances brought to the floor of the House during the last sitting, the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan-Amachree set up a five-member committee headed by Gift Wokocha who read the petition to look into the siiue and report back to the House in twoweeks time.

Timtally, Benin varsities to sign MoU on programmes

LANS are underway for Timtally University Langtang, Plateau State and the Complex Scolaire Et Universitaire dela Cite (CSC-EPS) Cotonou, Republic of Benin to have a Memorandum of Understanding in entrepreneurship programmes. Talks have reached an advanced stage between the two institutions which have agreed to visit each other for facility inspection before finalising modalities for the proposed MoU. At the weekend, delegates from Timtally University led by its Founder/Chairman, General Jeremiah Useni were guests at the formal inauguration of CSC-EPS' entrepreneurship programme which held at Palais Congre (Congres Palace) Cotonou, featuring representatives from its two key partners-the Canadian Society for Molecular Sciences (CSMB) and the University of Massachusetts

By Adegunle Olugbamila

(UMASS) Boston. Others in the Timtally team include: the Vice Chancellor, Prof Bernard Matur Malau, Pro-Chancellor, Prof Ola Makinwa, Acting Registrar, Mrs Agbai Carolyn and the Minister Political/Education in Benin Nigerian Embassy Dankano Kakashak The Founder CSC-EPS, Dr Raufu Adedjouman hopes the proposed marriage would be beneficial particularly to CSC-EPS which he said draws an average of 1,500 students from her Nigeria neigbour yearly. He said the CSC-EPS which draws a pool of its studentship from across the West African sub-region has a key objective of liberating the African child from seeking white collar jobs after graduation or going cap in hand to the West for alms. However, what is peculiar about CSC-EPS entrepreneurship initiative, Dr Adedjouman explained, is the

university's establishment of a Conscious Entrepreneurship Bank (CEC) at Vankan in Contonou to support the initiative through an interestfree loan to only graduates with preference for one vocation or the other after their studies. "We also realised that some of our graduates who want to set up one vocation or the other have problems of capital. Therefore we set up CEC to offer soft interest-free loans to them. "The loan is determined by the size or scope of the enterprise in question and it has to be repaid over a given period of time. We not only offer loans but we further assist our graduates to draw up a business plan, teach them how to manage and sustain their businesses so they can pay back the loan at a specified period for others to enjoy same privileges. In his address, Gen Useni who was also the chairman of the occasion said he is particularly interested in CSC-

EPS entrepreneurship programme, describing it as model other tertiary institutions in Africa can adapt. Though Africa is still far behind in entrepreneurship, Gen Useni is however hopeful that with much commitment, she can get her army youths off the streets to becoming self reliant. He said: "The importance of entrepreneurship in Africa today cannot be over-emphasised when compared with the development of the Western countries that are far ahead of us. Though, it is almost late for us to begin but it is better to be late than never. By this programme we are invited to witness, it is obvious that Africa is starting, and if this takes off successfully, I assure you that the benefits of entrepreneurship will be huge in Africa in terms of getting our youths out of unemployment, improving our productivity and economic buoyancy, making us self-

reliant and becoming a dependable continent, rather than depending on others." Useni therefore called on stakeholders in Republic of Benin to support CSC-EPS so it can live up to its mandate. Prof Makinwa urged Africa to return to real entrepreneurship which used to be the norm before Western education. He lamented that Western education has made many African too 'bookish' with preference for white collar jobs rather than vocations. Makinwa said today, science and technology seems to dictate almost all facets of African life, yet there is the need to go back to the basics. The Founder's wife Mrs Mulikat Adedjouman who coordinates CSCEPS, said the entrepreneurship programmes, offers vocations such as nursing, farming, ICT, fashion designing, music and painting among others.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

47

EDUCATION

Woman truck driver’s son wins Spelling Bee

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S a 15-year-old lad, if you were asked to spell the word 'Cookaleekie' would you have succeeded? Obviously many would not; and this was the scenario at the grand finale of the Spelling Bee competition organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Education Wednesday last week. Fifteen year-old Olabanji Edun, a pupil of Army Children Senior Secondary School, Onigbongbo, broke the jinx to emerge the 2014 'One Day Governor'. Miss Blessing Azeez of Keme Balogun Senior College, Ibeshe and Master Elijah Macaulay of Ojota Senior Secondary School, Kosofe emerged second and third respectively. Interestingly, Olabanji is the son of a truck driver mother with the Lagos State Waste Management, Mrs Blessing Edun, and a cabinet maker father, Mr Olasukanmi Edun. Ebun got a N250, 000 cheque; Blessing took away N150, 000 while Balogun went home with N100, 000 in addition to an all-expense-paid trip to Finland on exchange programme courtesy of the Lagos State government. Excitement gripped the Adeyemi

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

Bero hall in Alausa, Ikeja, venue of the evfent, as the often palpitating students, one after the other, stood from their seats at one corner of the podium, walked up to the microphone and spelt a word that either saw them move further in the contest, or sent them packing. Some of the words that evicted other participants include: toupee, ottoman, pachyderm, Styx, tagliatelle, inchoate, lycee, asseveration, tessitura, blitzkrieg, plagiarise, lollapalooza, haemorrhoidectomy, nyctophobia, phylloquinone, millennial and bamboozle. Ahead of the four finalists that eventually bowed to Edun, the thorny words had earlier sent 52 participants that had prepared vigorously for the contest off the podium. Olabanji's triumph, he told our reporter, was a result of a tutor he sought to drill him in spelling for 18 months ahead of the competition. His belief in divine intervention, he further explained, made him attend the contest fasting. He recalled that as the competition progressed, the words became

• From left: Secretary to the State Government, Dr Oluranti Adebule, Mrs. Oladunjoye, Master Edun and the Wife of the the State Commissioner for Mineral Resources who represented the Wife of the Governor at the occasion, Mrs. Azeezat Tijani. Behind them (in grey cloth) is Hon Alawiye-King, Chairman, Lagos State House Committee on Education

a harder nut for him to crack, and he feared going home empty handed. "I had to relax and reconstruct the words again just like my coach taught me before I could get it right. Another thing is that, I had only 15 seconds to spell each word given, so I was scared" he said. Speaking to The Nation on phone, Mrs Edun described Olabanji as a

hard worker at home and school. "He helps me with the house work when I come back and then goes on to read his book from 9pm to 11pm everyday. He sleeps and wakes up to read from 3am to 5am." Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye noted that the competition which started in 2001, aims to inculcate healthy reading habits in children propel them to greater

heights and encourage keen competition which has been the hallmark of the competition. "The overall goals of the competition are to help students improve their spelling skills, increase their vocabulary and develop correct English usage; creating good reading habits that will lead to better academic performance; and boosting the confidence of participants with a view to preparing them for future endeavours," she said.

Union Bank trains students on financial literacy

• Mr. Emuwa, addressing the pupils

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Praises for Lagos vision project

ARENTS have praised the ongoing eye care project of the Lagos State government which has provided a platform for pupils to be diagnosed of eye problems in school and treated free of charge in general hospitals. Their wards are already benefiting from the 185 vision corridors that have been installed in public primary schools which are used to screen pupils of eye defects. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola formally launched the state's Expanded School Eye Health Programme (ESEHP) project at the Olusosun Primary School, Ojota penultimate week and announced plans to install vision corridors in all 1001 state-owned primary schools. Thanks to the vision corridor in her son's school, Mrs Esther Komolafe said he was screened and recommended for treatment. "My son had bad eye sight. But since they gave him eye glasses and drugs, he now sees better," she said. Another parent simply called Mrs Nwobi said her daughter, Favour, had problems reading prior to her eyes being screened at school. "My daughter no dey see well well; so she no dey read well well or write well well because of her eyes. But when dem check her eye for school, she go hospital and now

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

she dey see and read well well," she said in Pidgin English. Fashola counseled parents to do their part by ensuring their wards are well fed, and the home rid of dangerous objects that could affect the eyes. "The job does not stop here. School children have told us nutrition is vital so parents should note that. They should keep away sharp objects from the home. It is a partnership between the school and the home. As experts have told us, 80 per cent of learning at that stage is visual. So if the children cannot see, they are 80 per cent deficient in their learning," he said. Commissioner for Health Dr Jide Idris said the ministry has trained 2002 teachers in all public schools to screen pupils using the vision corridors. He added that all 1001 schools have been equipped with the Vision Screening Kits while 91,266 pupils have been screened by the teachers with no fewer than 166 given glasses and another 9,089 referred to secondary eye units so far. On her part, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, described ESEHP as one of government's initiatives to pre-empt any health difficulty that may affect the academic perfor-

mance of the pupils. She implored teachers and pupils to take advantage of the programme which is being carried out by professionals who would normally had charged a lot of money for the treatment.

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NION Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has chosen St. Mary Private School, Lagos, to promote its financial literacy project in the country. The development ensures that the bank provides a long-term financial literacy support to the school. The initiative would help in curbing financial recklessness among students. It would also prepare students for the future and teach them how to imbibe certain values, culture and behaviours, said Emeka Emuwa, Union Bank's Group Managing Director and Chairman, Financial Literacy and Public Enlightenment Sub-Committee. Emuwa, during a visit to the school, said students would be better off with the training when given at a younger age. He said: “We are engaging them on savings, culture, entrepreneurship, financial habit and other aspects of financial education. This, we believe, will empower our young's ones to make sound financial decisions in future thereby achieving our aspiration of financial inclusion in Nigeria. We at

By Oluwayemisi Awe

Union Bank see opportunities as this, where we are part of the process of educating our children and equipping them for the future, as a privilege.'' Emuwa said educating children means enlightening the society, adding that children are good at passing information to people of various cadres. ''Based on this, a great number of people would be financially literate. Also, the financial inclusion strategy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would achieve its objective of making millions of people access financial services, 'he added The School Supervisor, Rev. Sister Patricia Okwegba, commended the bank for choosing the school as one of the institutions through which it would promote financial literacy. Okwegba, who hoped the school is now better informed on financial inclusion, added that the training would help students to be financially prudent.

• Pupils of Primewill School, Idimu, on an excursion to the headquarters of The Nation


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

48

EDUCATION EDUTALK

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A plea for Anambra varsity students

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• Chairman of the event, Hon Idowu Obasa, presenting the winning trophy to the captain of Lapiz House

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Colour at Mind Builders' sports meet

HE 6th Biennial Inter-House Sports Competition of Mind Builders School last Friday was more than just a sports meet. The march past, proprietors' race, parents' race, catching the bus, stacking cake, Lego building, ready for school, scrabble word fixing, catching the train, and some local and international cultural dances created a lot of excitement and spiced the traditional sports games. While for the young ones representing the four houses - Lapis (Blue), Peridot (Green), Diamond (Grey) and Citrine (Yellow) ran with the aim of winning one of the three coveted medals, gold, silver or bronze, the proprietors and parents ran for gifts, which they all got, notwithstanding their positions in the race. The proprietors' race was not actually a race. They (numbering over 20) just danced 25 metres away from the finish line where petite bags of gifts waited for all of them to pick. The mothers' race involved some running. They were given various colours of saucers which they had to match with the colour of the gifts waiting at the finish line. At the end of the day, those mummies who did

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

not get bags with matching colours of gifts simply exchanged with others who had the colours they were looking for and spectators had a good laugh. The daddies were not as lucky as the first two groups. Only bottles of soft drinks waited at the finish line. And they had to first open the bottles with particularly difficult-to-operate bottle openers. Only the top three got other gifts. The preschoolers also created a lot of excitement with the Lego building and count and stacking games which exposed their reasoning and gross and fine motor skills; while the scrabble writing and catching the train events for the primary pupils demonstrated their speed, in addition to spelling and dressing skills. The cultural dances by the four houses added a unique flavour to the sporting event. Diamond House presented the Swange dance of the Tiv people of Benue State, Citrine performed a mixed grill of various Yoruba dance styles, Peridot House choreographed the Hawaii dance, while Lapiz presented the dance of the Scottish people.

When it came to the medals for the sporting event, it was Lapiz that carried the day with 15 gold , 12 silver, and 10 bronze medals. Diamond followed in the second position with 11 gold, 14 silver and six bronze medals. Peridot came third with 11 gold, nine silver and 20 bronze medals, while Citrine came fourth with eight gold, 10 silver and nine bronze medals. In her speech, Education Director, Mrs Bola Falore underscored the contribution of sports to academic performance. "The importance of sports and games play vital roles in the pupils/ students physical and mental growth. They keep them healthy and fit. Medical experts through their numerous studies highlight that the physical well being of a learner is directly related to his/her performance. By engaging in sporting activities, nutritionists and physical education specialists believe that diseases are prevented, mental alertness is maintained, selfesteem and confidence is built, cooperation, teamwork and sportsmanship are enhanced. It is an all round development," she said.

• From left: Soyinka, Ambali Ishola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and the Provost, Tai Solarin College of Education, Dr. Abiodun Ojo at the event

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Amosun assures OSCOHTECH of support

HE Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has assured the students and management of the Ogun State College of Health Technology (OSCOTECH), Ilese-Ijebu of government support in its quest to blaze the trail in the training of middle-level manpower for the country's health sector. The governor, who made the promise at the first convocation of the college penultimate week, added that the college has a vital role to play in the state's agenda on healthcare. Amosun, who was represented

by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Olaokun Soyinka and his counterpart in Education, Mr Segun Odubela, reiterated his administration's commitment to the provision of holistic healthcare services in the entire state. Soyinka said: "OSCOTECH has become central to the Senator Ibikunle Amosun's initiative on health. We need to work on the health pipeline to ensure that it gushes out the right contents to ensure the three Ps of healthcare is taken care of. The future looks bright for the college."

Speaking earlier, the Provost of the College, Dr. Tunji Dawodu listed some of its achievements including the accreditation of all but one of its programmes and execution of several projects on the 38year old school which he said has suffered administrative challenges. He appealed to government to increase its subvention to the school so it can fund infrastructural development, and construct roads. Amosun was conferred with a fellowship of the college along with Sir Kessington Adebutu and Dr Hassan of The Eye Foundation.

Y now, a petition by the graduating students of Technology Education at Kofoworola the Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu Anambra State University, Uli, should have reached the Kofosagie@yahoo.com university's vice chancellor, 08054503077 (SMS only) Prof Fidelis Okafor, Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, and other groups who they believe can solve the problems stalling their graduation. I hope those that receive the petition will expedite action on it so that these young ones will not spend more years than necessary in school for no fault of theirs. The university failed to secure accreditation for the course yet allowed them to spend four years studying it. Now, the authorities have asked them to change to other courses. If they do, it means they will have to spend between two-three years more in school completing the new programmes. They do not want that. Like they rightly argue, who will bear the cost? Is the university ready to fully sponsor the rest of their stay in the school? When I mean full sponsorship, the university must be ready to pay for their tuition, books, accommodation, feeding and upkeep - after all this problem was not caused by the students. What about the extra time they have to spend? The university will do well to explore the students' preferred option of transferring to a university that has accreditation in the programme so they can complete it and move on with their lives. They cannot afford to waste time on this issue. There are no readily available jobs out there and employers are good at screening out candidates on the basis of being "over-aged." Dear Mr Vice Chancellor, Governor, and others who can do something, please act fast to save this unfortunate situation.

Belo-Osagie

Chance meetings

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ANY years ago as a cub reporter, I met Mabel Segun at the inauguration of a library in an orphanage in Ota. I loved the way she read the books to some young children that day. I asked her for an interview and she invited me to her home in Surulere. There she educated me on how to arrange a library for different users. She told me adults do not like to search for books on lower shelves because they do not like to bend for long; while children's libraries should be arranged so they can easily reach the books. She also talked about how librarians can serve big organisations like banks, law firms, oil comapmies and others. She described the librarian as the knowledge and information power house of an organisation - someone who can help a researcher to harvest relevant information in his field. I left that meeting thinking very highly of the job of a librarian. I met Mabel Segun not knowing her antecedents in literary circles. She also did not toot her horn in the course of the interview. Now I am grateful she welcomed me, inexperienced as I was. And I sympathise with her on the loss of her son, Femi, who I met at an event on October 29 last year. It was the inauguration of the first block of classrooms at Igbobi College, which was restored by the Nigerian Breweries Plc, in partnership with the Igbobi College Old Boys' Association (ICOBA). He was the Master of Ceremony, and a seasoned one at that. That day I did not feel too well so after the event, I sat on a slab by the side of a building opposite the venue waiting for some colleagues I wanted to leave with. A black power bike was parked near where I was seated. It looked so imposing and beautiful that it soon became the subject of conversation between I and some men. One of them told us the bike was worth up to N13 million. We were incredulously surprised. Another, who knew the owner, said he rode it regularly with his friends. When Femi came, we asked him about the bike and he said it cost almost as much (I think N10million). He chatted with us as he dressed in the biker's garb. He said he would have been late for the programme but for the bike. "It was already time for the event and I was still in Lekki. I made it on time because of the bike." He offered me a ride but I declined. I was not that adventurous and did not look forward to a dare devil ride. By this time, he had attracted a small crowd of pupils who watched his every move with excitement. He wore the gloves, shin guard, body suit and other paraphernalia used by power bikers to protect themselves. He then carried his back pack and donned a shiny black helmet. Then the bike roared to live - so loud that the pupils screamed with delight. He moved a few metres and stopped to chat with a fellow old boy. His young admirers followed him still. When he was done, he revved the bike once more and rode out of the school premises, a cloud of dust following him behind. I left the school thinking that the bike incident would register more with the pupils than the inauguration itself. With the 'actor' in that short 'movie' now dead, the encounter becomes even more memorable. So sad that he died riding the same bike he loved so much. Like I noted earlier, I did not know Femi before that day. It is only now, after his death, that I learnt he was a broadcaster and Mabel Segun's son. I think what struck me is the whole coincidence of experience. At this difficult time, I would humbly like to condole with his family. I also sympathise with the Igbobi College Old Boys' Association, particularly his set for the loss.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

50

DISCOURSE CENTENARY FLASHPOINTS

(Continued from yesterday)

On his way however, at Ogbeogonogo village, near Mr. Ndah’s house, another group of federal troops met him and opened fire. He was hit several times on the chest. He fell there and died instandly. Luckily for him as it were, some women saw him and dug a shallow grave and buried him near the front of the house where he was shot dead. The word “luckily” has been used here because most people who were slaughtered at Ogbeosowa village by the Federal troops were buried in mass graves. In droves, the civilians deserted the town after the Ogbeosowa massacre. At the end of the Nigeria Civil War in January 1970, his children came home and were shown the shallow grave their father was buried. The body was then exhumed and reburied in the Onianwa compound in Umuagu Quarters, Asaba. Obi Onianwa was a man who believed in educating all his children, because of his early exposure to education and western civilization. He had been the O/C (officer in charge) of Telegrams at the Post & Telegraphs (P&T) Training School at Oshodi, Lagos. Many of the top management of the NIPOST before and after he the war had been his students at Oshodi. He was the Chairman of Asaba Urban Council and also was a member of the Asaba Customary Court. A community leader and member of the Asagba’s council, his mindless killing, despite his age, were symbolic of the bloodspilling mission of the authors of the genocide in Asaba. Leonard, Walter, Amechi Nwannukwus – the Sorrows of two planets When I met Chief Nwannukwu in the mid 1980’s, he was the oldest man in his village. In his more than 80 years sojourn on earth, he had already witnessed far too many deaths that he rarely cried any more. Indeed he seldom partook any longer in burial ceremonies. When the photographs of his two

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Obituary portraits

•Victims of Asaba Civil War genocide deceased sons were requested, he retorted. ‘I prefer not to have anything remind me of my two sons. That war, as I see it, was a war waged against me, personally. Otherwise, why should I lose bright boys of that tender age when I was not in the military and they were too young to be enlisted into any army? I shall mourn the deaths of my sons all the days of my life and when I die the sorrows of their passage will follow me to the next world”. It was one of those exceptional tragedies. In fact, Leonard and Walter had already made it safely to their father’s farmland, away from the flying bullets that announced the Federal thrust into Asaba. Then on the 6th of October, some Asaba indigenes arrived at the bush hide out and announced that a reception was being prepared for the victorious federal army. The boys thus returned home with their mother. It was the next day, the 7th during the house to house operations mounted by the soldiers, that the troops came upon the boys. Leonard and Walter were mercilessly shot in front of their mother. The killing of her children drained everything from Mrs Ego Nwannkuwu. Her last energy was employed in burying them, right in front of the family house. She no longer comes near that house. Like her estranged husband, she has nothing to remind her of those kids. The sorrows of two planets, Walter and Leonard…. Michael Ugoh – I have planted money Jay-jay Okocha, the international acclaimed whiz-kid entertainer of Nigerian and European soccer leagues learnt a lot from his uncle. His uncle on the other hand, had been a close friend of Michael. “In those days when money was in few hands”, recalled the elder Okocha, “Ugoh

had plenty of it. Without discrimination he attracted most of the young men to join his business empire. For our people from Agbor to Asaba, Ugoh was a silent leader in Lagos. We enjoyed his money”. A self-made man who started life as a protégé of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ugoh by 1966 become one of the richest Africans with expertise in the Import Export business in Lagos. In fact, he owned the first indigenous forwarding and clearing company in Nigeria. His octopus transport ventures, “IKE CHUKWU KA” preceded the famed Ojukwu and Ekene Dili Chukwu lines. According to his sister, Ngozi Onyia, Mr. Ugoh never exceeded 11.00am closing time. Curiously, she had asked him one time he came home, “Diokpa, why are you returning from work when others are yet to settle down for the day’s job?” “Look at my bag, Ada,” was his reply. “It is very heavy; I have planted money which my family can never finish. Money can be planted and when it is planted well with good nourishment, it will start harvesting itself, at that point, you don’t have to work. What I do is every morning I go to collect money and that is my work from 7.00 to 11.00am, picking my harvests”. That was the immortal philosophy of Michael Ugoh. That money and his immense wealth, most of the time were used in helping out his folks. Those were his unmatchable legacy. Before the government thought about it, it was Ugoh who took care of the young men trooping into Lagos for the first time by providing for them until they got a place under the sun. He offered shelter for those who had no housing. He had estates in Yaba and Ebube Metta areas to keep these young men starting life in a

very strange city. For those who had no clothes, he commissioned tailors to provide for their clothing needs. Finally, he fed all the unemployed youths until they were able to secure jobs. One evidence of Ugoh’s towering stature across board is the living testimony of Jideuche Oniya. Jideuche was a driver with the Nzimiros of Oguta before attending his brother’s wedding to Ngozi Ugoh. He was asked by the big man to consider Lagos for a job and the following conversation ensured. “Where do you want to work?” United African Company”, was Jideuche’s reply “Would you like to start tomorrow?” Jideuche was stunned. Is this man the President, or was he playing around? How can one apply for a job and start on the same day of application. Of all places, the white man’s controlled UAC of those days? “If you are interested, get ready at 8.0’clock in the morning and I will take you to the management, was Ugoh’s conclusion. The following morning, Judeuche on introduction to the white manager, started on the spot as a trainee manager. He would continue with UAC – and retire in 1983 as a manager with that huge conglomerate company. Before his death, Ugoh had organized the Western Ibos into a homogenous cultural outfit, financing their appetizing dancing appearances in the Lagos areas. He was selfless enough to avoid the egocentric titles and mannerisms of our later-day champions of community development. Therefore in total appreciation the Ibusa community decided to offer him free of charge, large acres of their Itakpo land to find the missing strand. They were able to release a

record of Ugoh’s achievements advising the men of means to emulate Michael Ugoh. The lyrics went like this, “Onye weli Ugo ya mea ka Ugoh”. (if you have glory behave like Ugoh);” Characteristically, Michael Ugoh in accepting the land told his audience, “I will not use the land for myself or for my family needs. I will rather build on those lands the best hospital ever seen in Africa. “I shall develop this hospital in such a way as to attract the best teaching hospital around. Finally, women who go there will never pay for child delivery”. That was the last public statement of perhaps Nigeria’s pioneer student of the welfare state. On October 7, he had as usual stuffed his house with enough money and foodstuffs and decided because of the emergency in town, to visit his friend Leo Okogwu for a meeting. It was at Okogwu’s house that they were ordered to march to Ogbeosowa. On his way, he informed his sister to check his familiar bag in the house. “There is enough there for you and the rest of the family. I have to go now. If we come back it is alright, if we don’t it is equally alright…” At Ogbeosowa, Michael Ugoh was hit and his kneecaps were shattered He was very much alive. But this handsome proud giant was not the type that would live the life of a cripple “Mmu bu Ugo Nwa ogwa..!” he swore. (I, Ugo the son of Ogwa to hop about on one leg?) with that cry, he beckoned on the Federal soldiers to finish their job. He was hit again at close range in the chest. “I say this categorically because I was one who collected my brother and Mr. Okogwu in our truck. I took them back for burial. I saw the bullet holes in the knee and the second one in his chest. I buried him with bloodsoaked bundles of pounds planted in his trouser pockets”. The ‘money planter’, the community facilitator, the Iroko tree, has fallen, and gone with him were the dreams, the empire and the Ibusa Specialist Hospital. (Concluded)

Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers

don’t know if my wife and I are meant to be together. She does not respond to me when I touch her and I cannot satisfy her. Sex with my previous girlfriends was okay back in the day before I finally got married, so the problem is not me. I think that I made a mistake marrying her. Now I ejaculate too early when we manage to have sex and she doesn’t care. If we don’t have sex for five years, she wouldn’t notice - Elijah Elijah if both of you once had a genuinely satisfying sexual relationship, then there is hope. There are all sorts of possible causes here. If there are other problems in your marriage, it can definitely affect your sex life. That is number one. In this case, to solve the sexual problem, you need to first sort out the other issues in your marriage. The second possibility is that her libido levels have dropped. Sometimes in life, libido levels drop unexpectedly and when they do, sexual interest almost disappears. But a healthy libido can be revived through the use of aphrodisiacs like Max Desire and Spanish Fly Mints. Some of these supplements are best taken daily to prepare her for whatever advances you may make during the day. The other possibility is that you married a lesbian. It happens. If that is not the case, then helping her relax through massage will be a good start. By nature, women find it hard to relax because they obsess over small things, all of which can prevent them from being sexual when they need to. So a good massage with the Kamasutra Pleasure Garden Massage Oil can help relax her and put her in the mood for what may come after. If she is responding, nipple and clitoral massage can closely follow the general body massage. For this, you will need the Nipplicious Nipple Arousal Gel, one of our new novelties, or the 69 Nipple and Clit Arousal gel. They are both edible for oral adventures. And for you, I think the whole situation is making you anxious which has brought about premature ejaculation, especially since you didn’t have that problem with past lovers. In any case, a premature

ejaculation gel can help you. Use the Noches Latinas Duramas Prolonging Spray or the LS Male Desensitizing Spray. Both products are new and perfect for controlling premature ejaculation – Uche Hello Zee, I have good news. I came home last week and my wife told me that she is pregnant! After six years of trying, we are finally pregnant. I don’t know if you remember but I spoke with you in October 2013, after which I started taking the Fertil Aid supplement you suggested. It must be working because I have not tried anything else and we are pregnant. I am speechless. Thank you – Hassan That is wonderful news Hassan. Infertility can be hard to overcome because the causes are many but sometimes, these supplements can help and I am glad Fertil Aid worked for you. Big congratulations. The next move is to take your wife to the hospital and register for antenatal care. Good luck – Uche I am 59 and my erections are no longer what they used to be. Sometimes I get it and at other times, nothing – EngrBulus This is normal at your age but you can get help. Use Stiff 4 Hours or Exploding Thunder supplement and you will be back to normal performance – Uche I have been using the Potent Penis Enlargement Pump for over a year now and I am 8 inches long when erect. Can I stop now? – Justin Yes you can stop now. That is a huge result already – Uche That’s it for today. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08171912551 or 08027901621 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


POLITICS

THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State spoke with ADEOLA OLADELEFAYEHUN in Washington D.C, United States of America on his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Jonathan Administration, national insecurity and how to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency.

‘2015 is terminal year for PDP govt’ W HY are you in Washington at this time? We are here to attend a symposium, which was organised by the US Institute for Peace. And I am happy to say we started very well, and a lot has been achieved, and we are quite happy. Why did you leave the PDP? I believe I left the PDP because I so much love my country Nigeria, and, if I have to do any justice to it, the best way was to leave the party because I believe the leadership that we have today is not the best for the country, and I wouldn’t want to stay in the party and support it. I didn’t want to stay in the party and do anti-party activities on the other hand. So, the only option for me and other colleagues was to leave the party, team up with progressives across the country and bring the positive change that the country needs at this particular time. There has been a lot of pressure on you to return to the PDP. Would you go back, if your conditions are met? I am not the sort of politician that jumps from one point to another. I have so many supporters and jumping from one end to another would not help in maintaining the followership. I am sure you must be aware that recently, we had the APC registration in Nigeria. In Kano alone, by the time we stopped after two weeks, we were able to register over 2.3 million members. We’re not talking of registered members by the INEC; we’re talking of card-carrying members of the APC. By that, we can say, we have so many people who believe in us, and who believe in our ideology. And the ideology is simple; it is to support the weak, the poor, the sick, the women, and the very old. Certainly, that is the philosophy of our defunct party and I am happy to say that we have achieved a lot in the last two and half years in Kano, particularly using that ideology. So, to answer your question about going back to the PDP, my answer is nothing has changed in the PDP to warrant such movement. Are you going to be a candidate in 2015 or not? For those of us who are in politics and who are thinking positively, we don’t go into any party for any particular position. We go into a party to support the party to win elections, based on certain concrete ideology, the ideology that can support the people, the ideology that can discourage corruption, the ideology that can work for the betterment of our people. I am not in theAPC to contest for any particular position or to get any appointment. If that happens, it’s just like a bonus. That is my position. I believe at an appropriate time after going through all the processes of congresses for the party and the convention, time will come when leaders of our party would sit down and look around to get the best candidate for our party and, by extension, for our country.

So, if you’re nominated, you will definitely go for it… Well, I believe we should wait for that time to come. We should wait to be at the shores of the river before we cross it. But, to me, whatever comes, whether appointment or election to any position, I would certainly see it as a challenge, just like so many other things in the past. I am happy to say that, in the last 22 years or so, I contested 12 elections and lost one, in primary elections and general elections. I lost the general election of 2003 to go back as the governor of Kano. I’m happy that I have gone through the system and have succeeded in many ways in my chosen career. Do you mind sharing your succession plan with us? Well, we had a situation in Kano where an outgoing governor was crying profusely because he was leaving the seat. That was why I told the good people of Kano State that anytime Kwankwaso is leaving that seat, the good people of Kano unfortunately, would cry because they would realise that they are missing good leadership. People are always talking about who is coming to maintain the tempo of our projects and programmes in the state. People are even advocating that we should take the matter to the Supreme Court for interpretation, whether a governor who has been in government for four years and left office for eight years and he came back after that can be re-elected again. My answers to them has always been we have so many supporters, so many good people, young men and women who have worked so much for us, and who I believe can also do their best when they are given the opportunity. Life is very dynamic; you don’t have to stay in one place for too long. That is why even the constitution is talking about eight years. That is why we’re even telling the Abuja people that we’re aware that this President has been Vice President for two years, he has been President for another two years, and now, he is in his third year. Now, by 2015, he would have been in power for six years as the President of Nigeria. People are surprised that he is still talking about contesting again. To me, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m a politician who would be very happy to take him to public court, because the constitution kept on talking about eight years. By the time the pPesident reaches his second term by 2015, I wonder, if he is still eleigible to contest the next elec-

• Kwankwaso

tion. You see, it shouldn’t be him talking about contesting again; he should listen to people and this lack of listening is what is really creating a lot of problems for the PDP. That is part of the reason why we left, and of course, it’s creating a lot of problem for the country because now, his attention is almost 99 per cent on how he would be elected again in 2015. Not only does he want to do four years, he’s interested in extending that term to six years. In other words, he would have spent six years by 2015 and he wants to take another six years to make it 12. Well, that is not what the constitution is saying, as far as we’re concerned. I think this is the time for him to reflect and see what is happening on the ground. People, not only in the North, but even in the South, if you go to the Southsouth, we have all sorts of problems there, including kidnapping. I was surprised recently, that his own relation was kidnaped. If you go to the East, it is the same story of kidnaping. Now, coming to the North, our main problem now is the issue of killings; killings in the market, killings in the villages, in the cities and towns, in the churches and mosques. I remember that he was in Katsina recently, where over 100 people were slaughtered, and I am not sure, if he even sent anybody to go and console them or to show his concern, even though he was in the state. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. A President of a country who is more interested in his chair, rather than the lives and welfare of his people. Compared to places like this United States of America and other countries of the world, the contradiction is too much. I’m happy that we’re here. We had the opportunity to discuss about the security, about the leadership, about the issues that would help us, to unite the Northern Nigeria, and by extension ,the country, and the issue of having a responsible leadership by 2015. How do you assess the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan?

By any standard, the administration has not performed. It’s performance is very much below average. Any government anywhere in the world is in power first and foremost to protect lives and property, because without peace, you cannot develop. Now, there is no peace. Northwest, Northeast, Northcentral, South-East, South-South, Southwest, the problem may be different in nature, but you find that in all these places, people are not happy. There’s poverty everywhere. Of course, we have more poverty in the North than in the South, but I believe the poor in the South are in the same situation as the poor in the North. People are not getting what they should under the circumstance. You come to the US and so many other countries, people are making progress, but we are not making progress in Nigeria. There’s no way we can make progress under this circumstance. The government should come out and do the right thing. I think that is the only way we can make progress in our country. That is why we support democracy, it’s different from the military regime, it’s different from traditional rulership. Democracy has what we call term limit. Whether you’re good or bad, when the time comes, you have to get out, and I believe 2015 is the time for this President to get out. What is your view on the agitation for power shift to the North? That has to do with parties, and for parties that are interested in wining the election, they should do the right thing, even if it’s not written in the constitution or it is not in the party’s constitution. I am happy that some parties have decided to support candidates from the North under the circumstance and I believe that would go a long way in ensuring the success of that party, especially our party, the APC. It is very important that we have change and I think change, by the grace of God, would come in 2015 Are you handling over to your

‘We are not making progress in Nigeria. There’s no way we can make progress under this circumstance. The government should come out and do the right thing. I think that is the only way we can make progress in our country. That is why we support democracy, it’s different from the military regime, it’s different from traditional rulership. Democracy has what we call term limit. Whether you’re good or bad, when the time comes, you have to get out, and I believe 2015 is the time for this President to get out’

deputy in 2015? I think it’s better we wait until we get to the river first. Only God knows, if we’ll see 2015. A lot of things can happen between now and 2015. But, the good thing is that I have so many competent hands in our party, in our government, that are capable of leading the state to prosperity. How is Kano surviving and coping with the declining allocation from the Federation Account? In the circumstance, we have to live within our means. We are not in the best books of Abuja. So, we are not likely to get anything extra. I think that made us to sit tight. I remember that, recently, the Federal Government gave N2 billion each to all the non-APC states. We have all the papers; I can send them to you, if you want to see them. We have documents to prove that. Recently, I mentioned it and somebody was trying to mix it up with the issue of 19 and 16 votes for the Chairman of Governor’s Forum, but what I said was that all the non-APC governors were given N2 billion naira each in the name of ecology. Now, ecology has nothing to do with the APC or the PDP. It cuts across the country. Every state has reasons to say that I want some money to tackle the issue of ecology. In our own state, we’re talking of desert encroachment. In other states, they’re talking about erosion. Some are talking about oil spillage, and so on. All these are part of ecology. This is probably just the beginning. Maybe, in the near future, especially when the elections come, he would take the whole money and give them to defeat the APC. There is no justification and it’s not fair. It’s not correct. I believe it is even against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take the money that belongs to all of us and give it to other people. You don’t select people you give money because of their party affiliation. So, I think the earlier some people begin to think positively the better because this sort of injustice cannot help anybody in the country. Governor Jang accused you of treachery. He said that you abandoned him after nominating him for Chairman of the Governors’ Forum. What is your comment on that? Ordinarily, I have to say that Jang is my friend. He has spent a lot of his time in Kano and we’ve been relating very well with each other. But unfortunately for Jang, he went and joined what I can call a wrong team. The issue of nominating him; it’s true. But, you see, I don’t know whether he’s saying that because he was angry. But actually, it was like two football teams; their own team had a lot of rehearsal. They had a lot of meetings in the villa. They invited governors to sign and counter sign. They did everything possible under the sun to win the game. But, our team also went and worked so hard, practiced as much as we could to make sure that our friend, our brother, the Governor of Rivers, Rotimi Amaechi, won that election. Now, when we came to the field, the goalkeeper from the other team complained that, when we came to score the goal, we pretended that we were pushing it to him to catch and at the end of the day, we scored the goal. That’s how I see it. We went there. There was nothing they did not do under the sun to win that election. And we did all what we could to win that election too and we won. Naturally, we’re very happy and they’re very angry. So, whatever he says, I would not be surprised because he was operating from the wrong side of the politics. I want to appeal to him, my brother, my friend, to come and join the progressives. And that is where he belongs, not where he is today.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

NATURAL HEALTH THE NATION

E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

Epilepsy is a serious neurological disorder. Homeopathy could complement conventional medicine in the treatment of the disease, writes OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA

Going the alternative medicine route to tackle epilepsy

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PILEPSY is a chronic disease which relapses periodically, if not adequately treated. According to the Medical Director of Cyrillic Holistic Health Clinic, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Dr Cyril Omisande, epilepsy is one health challenge that homeopathic medicines have treated successfully. Dr Omisande said: “Homeopathy is a branch of Alternative Medicine, which seeks to cure rather than merely treat the symptoms of an illness. Its basic philosophy is that what causes the symptoms of a disease may also cure it (Like cures like). It is a concept made popular by the German Physician, Samuel Hahnemann in the 19 century. It is made from only natural occurring, non-toxic substances derived from mineral plant and animal, these are made into tinctures and dilutions that stimulate the body natural defenses against the disease. It restores not just one aspect of person’s health, but also a holistic state of physical, emotional and mental well being. To this end, homeopaths take into consideration the person both as a whole and a unique individual.” The homeopath said: “Scientists do not know why the brain sometimes ‘misfires’ or why certain people are more prone to seizures than others. And not everything that twitches is epilepsy; but tongue biting is very suggestive of epilepsy. “So once a person with such condition falls and the fall is accompanied with foaming in the mouth and tongue biting and or twitching, people will conclude it is epilepsy. The most common symptom or sign of epilepsy is recurrent seizures or convulsions. Seizures are involuntary movements, like jerking or thrashing, or experiencing unusual feelings or sensations, which can be associated with loss of consciousness or being

unaware of things happening around.” Explaining signs and symptoms of epilepsy, he said, it all happens because the transmission of the electrical activity between the brain cells pauses for a while manifesting as seizures. “Seizures could be of various forms; but for a given patient they tend to be stereotyped. Generally seizures can also be caused because of the decrease in sodium salts from the body, or due to high fever or even due to hypoxia (low concentrations of oxygen in the body or body part). The diagnosis could be stigmatising and has implications for employment, insurance and driving.” Dr Omisande said one may experience and describe seizures in various ways, as it is often a subjective experience. “The patient experiences episodes of convulsive body movements medically termed as seizures. The seizures are typically described and observed as spasmodic, irregular body movements, affecting various muscle groups of body. It may present with varying intensities and durations, and different groups of muscles in different individuals, at different times. Typically, epilepsy or seizures occur due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain which is reflected on different groups of muscles. “Before appearance of seizure may be hours or days ago, person can notice various changes in his behaviour or mood. The relevant history can be obtained from friend or patient himself. The patient can also experience aura before the seizure attack, something like “déjà vu” phenomenon in which the patient feels that he has seen this before or lived this before or can smell strange things or see flashes of lights. After a partial seizure there may be temporary weakness of the affected limb. After

generalised seizure the patient may feel awful with headache, myalgia (muscle pain), confusion, and a sore tongue.” Dr Omisande said: “There are several possible causes of epilepsy. They may be grouped as- Physical causes such as trauma; space occupying lesion; stroke; extremely highblood pressure and tuberous sclerosis. Metabolic causes could be Hypoglycemia (low sugar level); Hyperglycemia (high sugar level); Hypoxia (low oxygen level); Uremia (toxic effects of abnormally high concentrations of nitrogenous substances in the blood as a result of the kidney’s failure to expel these waste products); Hyponatraemia (low sodium level); Hypernatraemia (high sodium level); Hypocalcaemia (lowered levels of calcium in the blood); Liver diseases; Alcohol withdrawal and drugs such as phenothiazines,cocaine or benzodiazepines. Infections such as HIV, Encephalitis, Syphilis or Cysticercosis could be responsible as well.’ The Southwest Chairman of National Complimentary and Alternative Medical Association (NACAMA) said hoemeopathy treatment for epilepsy is individual, specific because, “remedies can be used as single or bio combined. For example, Ignatius is used when seizures is triggered due to humiliation, grief, fear and disappointment. Silicia is used if attacks occur mostly during sleep. Calcarea suits fat patients with the condition. Causticum is applied when headache and tension in chest and abdomen precedes attacks with involuntary urination. Argentum is for attacks due to too much smoking or abuse of drug by the patient while Sepia is done when attack occurs once a week or once in two or three weeks mostly in the morning.”

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•Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda (middle) and Health Minister Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu (right) when the minister visited Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) centre in Ningi, Bauchi State.

How to check sleep defect

O you find it difficult to sleep? Then, you must address sleep apnea, a disorder which creates an obstruction to the upper respiratory tract. According to a neurologist, Dr Njideka Okubadejo, apnea reduces the quality of sleep and the amount of oxygen in the blood. This, she noted, could be dangerous to health, “as it puts a heavy constraint on the heart, thereby hindering a sound or quality sleep.” Dr Okubadejo said a restful sleep, leads to a healthy life. "For every hour of sleep you lose, you need one day to recover, so thinking you can pick up sleep later in the week may leave you more deprived than you think" She spoke on an enlightening programme, a live radio interview which was streamed live on Twitter (@Mouka_Lifestyle), initiated by Mouka as part of activities to mark the World Sleep Day in Lagos. Mrs Okubadejo said "good, restorative sleep is continuous and

uninterrupted, deep, and of adequate length. If you achieve all of these, you should feel rested and alert throughout the day." Encouraging Nigerians to get quality sleep, the Managing Director, Mouka Limited, Mrs Peju Adebajo, said: "we are not just part of this year's celebration, it has become our culture. We are most delighted to educate Nigerians on the best way to lead lives and make the best of it. We chose therefore to enlighten the public during our various live radio interviews on taking good sleep to enhance chances of long life. She also stressed the fact that every Nigeria deserves to sleep well. " She harped that "being well rested can make one more alert , while lack of sleep can leave you feeling lethargic and too tired to function properly. Studies have shown that lack of sleep for just a few days disrupts hormone and metabolism levels, resulting in increased appetite and calorie intake."


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

NATURAL HEALTH

Breast nipple discharge and allied problems F

ROM their baby cots to their graves, the female breast has held prisoner a growing number of Nigerian men. While as babies such men sucked milk from their mothers' breasts for food and nurture, as adults they suck the breasts of their spouses for sexual pleasure. But while this may make them feel good because it may help their brains to produce more "happy juice", a hormone called dopamine, which makes us feel good and not moody, it may stimulate the breast to produce and discharge milk outside pregnancy or lactation, according to some research findings. Medically, not all breast discharges are dangerous and worth skipping a heart beat over or keeping sleepless nights for. But some may portend serious troubles, such as a bening tumour or cancer in the brain or in the breast. About three weeks ago, I saw a young woman who bled from both nipples. She was lucky because the bleeding cleared up when, as she was advised, she cleaned them with colloidal silver, a broad spectrum anti-viral and antibiotic. Her tongue was heavily coated with oral thrush, indicating Candida activity, and she responded positively to thumb acupressure of the spot on the back of both palms (see diagram)which corresponded to the breasts in reflex zone therapy. Positive response may indicate negative events in the breasts. I suggested she see her gynecologist for expert breast examination, to rule out the possibility of a far more serious problem. Dr. Devendora Vora, the Indian author of HEALTH IN YOUR HANDS, which sells in Nigeria, says in the book that he has employed test to detect and treat many early and late stages of breast cancer. So soon after, I saw another woman whose nipples had been discharging clear milk substance for months. To prevent her brassaire from getting so soaked that it may wet her dress, she packs the nipple with absorbent paper which she changes many times a day. She related the onset of this problem to a pharmaceutical drug her doctor gave her. She was advised to take a herbal tea known to dry up breast milk in women who have still births and, so, have a lot of unwanted breast milk. This situation may congest the breast, create pressure and pain, and encourage infection(s). I have heard from many other women who are not pregnant, who actually wish to get pregnant but are finding it difficult to, that when they press their nipples, a discharge occurs. Often, this is why they cannot get pregnant. For the discharge may be caused by an abnormally high level of a hormone called prolactin in her bloodstream. High prolactin is often a co-traveler with high estrogen - to progesterone ratio both of which may have been signaling their occurrences in period pains or premenstrual blooting or tenderness of the breast which may exhibit pain on touch. High estrogen and high prolactin levels have been implicated in breast cancer! A woman's breasts fascinate men and women alike. Some women employ them for coquetry and seduction. Women at play can sometimes be seen teasing one another and pumping the ones with loud breasts. Women with small breasts do all they can to improve breast size. In the boarding house open bathrooms, girls with small breasts literally have to hide themselves. It should be good news to such girls that an Egyptian study published in Rex Adams' book, MIRACLE MEDICINE FOODS, found that the intake of Zinc as a nutritional supplement may support breast development. In that study, boys and girls with genitalia underdeveloped for their ages were given zinc food supplements for three months. At the end of the study, many boys reported increased growth in their organs and they grew taller, besides. Even the girls became more feminine with more bussom breasts to the bargain. But, surprisingly, many women know next to nothing about the structure of their breasts, how they function and how they can be well looked after to keep them healthy and perhaps, from "falling" too early or, as today's young women would say, to make them "reign" for much longer than her mother's.

Structure The breasts originate from chest tissue, are suspended by femoral muscles and connected to the armpit for the purpose of lymphatic system drainage. This connection to the armpit is easily evident in women with breast cancer whose cases are growing worse. The lympth, which we can call the white component of the blood, bathes all cells, giving them food and oxygen and removing their toxic waste products. It is actually the blood. For the red of the blood is the colouring of the lympth by red blood cells. The red blood cells do not deliver their oxygen cargo directly to the cells. The oxygen is extracted from them and deposited in the lymph. The lymph has its own circulation network it separate from the main circulation in the blood vessels. This is known as the lymphatic vessels. Along the lymphatic highway are lymph nodes in strategic locations, including the groin, neck and armpits. The nodes filter poisons from the lymph and inactivates them before the lymph rejoins the main (red) blood circulation network. If a breast cancer is getting worse, lymph flow is blocked and a congestion occurs in the upper arm which may spread to the rest of the arm, causing immobility and pain. This breast link to the armpit is a major reason women should be careful about the type of roll-on they use to prevent perspiration in that region of the body. For many anti-perspirants contain aluminum, a poisonous metal, which may easily find its way from the armpit to the breast because of this connection. Aluminum is not the only culprit in roll-ons. Mrs. Sola Sowemimo told me a few months ago that, for a similar reason, she had stopped using chemicalised hair relaxers and other hair treatment substances. During a holiday abroad recently, she met a group of women who had begun to use natural hair treatment products which made their hair grow longer nd more sturdy with better sheen than the chemicals - embalmed ones. These chemical have been found to find their ways into the breasts!

Lobes and lobules Ask an adult, educated Nigerian woman what these are and you would be surprised she hasn't heard about them! Yet these are the

emotional stress, as we may soon see, can cause prolactin levels to rise abnormally. Medically, abnormally, high prolac level is called hyperprolactinemia. In prolactinemia, the nipple discharge is milky. It may not be a cause for worry except that the milk glands may be stressed.

Hyperprolactinemia Without much ado, this condition causes infertility and impotency, lowers sex drive and breast milk production and discharge in non-pregnant women and men. This condition is called Galactorrhea, that is, production of breast milk unrelated to pregnancy or child birth. Another symptoms are absence of the menstrual cycle (amenorrhea), hormonal imbalance or irregular menstrual cycle. Yet another is annulations (not ovulating).

The role of Dopamine

or form and protection.

starting - points of the breasts hanging from her chest. Well, an adult woman has between 10 and 20 lobes in each breast. Each lobe houses between 20 to 40 lobules. These are the milk - producing sites in the breast. They send their production into a network of vessels which link up to form about 10 milk ducts in each breast. These 10 or more ducts finally connect to the nipple. The structure is hung by muscles, held together in the interior by connective tissue, insulated or padded by fat tissue to give it shape

Hormones The breasts are affected by hormones, especially estrogen, progesterone and prolactin and by a neurotransmitter (brain chemical substance) named dopamine. For the breast to be healthy and be at peace with itself, these hormones must exist in the blood in certain ratios. A deficiency of one or a surplus of another spells harm. This relationship should remind us of the Law of Balance, that Law of Nature which together with other natural laws, upholds the gigantic Universe as well as the microscopic or diminutive atom. For your car to sit well on the rood, the wheels and the tyres must balance. Architects and civil engineers balance out the forces of structures in a building, to avoid collapse. We try to balance out the colours of our clothes to avoid a riot of colours. If there is no balance in the relationships of the component units of a nation, wars may erupt to settle scores. Even among the hormones which keep keeping the breasts alive, there must be harmony in their fractions. For example, Estrogen, the dominant female hormone, must be in balance with progesterone. Estrogen itself has about three fractions or components (Estriol, Estradiol and Estrone), all of which must co-exist in certain ratios for estrogen to be stable or balanced. Thus, while trying to balance the estrogen/progesterone ratios, ratios of the estrogen fractions must also be balanced. Mother Nature keeps affecting this balance in a woman's body, without her knowing that such a thing is going on. It is when the mechanism fails or if, for example, the materials for this work are not supplied in the diet, and the breast begins to "misbehave" that the women knows something has gone wrong with her body.

Prolactin The moment a sperm cell fertilises the egg in the fallopian tube, the pituitary gland, situated in the brain, causes the level of prolactin to rise in the blood. As a hormone, prolactin is a chemical messenger. Its job is to tell the breasts that a baby is on the way, so, as to start producing for the coming infant. And when the infant arrives and sucks the breast, the sucking promotes release of prolactin and prolactin, in turn, floods the breast with milk. From this natural process, it is reasonable to project that when men suck the nipple of a woman who is not pregnant, nerves in the black area round the nipple send messages to the milk glands and the brain, prolactin is released and the milk glands produce and release milk into the milk ducts. Such milk then naturally discharges from the nipple when the nipple is squeezed. High levels of prolactin have been found to improve sexual satisfaction. But when prolactin level becomes too high, it can suppress normal ovarian cycle, blocking the release of egg(s) by the ovaries. This process is natural. For if a woman is pregnant, and prolactin levels increase to stimulate the breast to prepare to make milk but does not block egg release of egg by the ovaries, a new pregnancy can occur alongside the existing pregnancy. This, with high prolactin level, a woman who is not pregnant is unlikely to become pregnant for prolactin suppresses egg release. Even in men, too much prolactin can lower sperm count and cause erectile dysfunction (ED). Hypothyroidism and

Dopamine is a brain chemical substance which helps communication among brain cells and supports their stability. Happiness promotes output of healthy dopamine levels. Sadness depresses it. When dopamine levels are low, prolactin levels are high and high prolactin levels suppress amounts of two hormones crucial for a woman's fertility. These hormones are Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinising Hormone (LH). Disturbance of these hormones cause menstrual dysfunction and ovulation disturbance. With these two hormones knocked out of range by low dopamine level and high prolactin level, the follicles cannot mature and egg(s) cannot be released, so fertility and conception are difficult.

Estrogen and Progesterone Both hormones also come in a healthy ratio. Excess estrogen is common among women and some men because of the consumption of diary milk, poultry egg and foods wrapped with cellophane or soft plastic poultry. Chickens are fed estrogen in their diet to make them lay egg everyday, against the run of Nature. Cows, too, are fed estrogen to make them produce milk everyday. Since high estrogen promote high prolactin, the egg and the milk should be suffused with high estrogen and high prolactin. People who consume them are, therefore, prone to elevated estrogen and prolactin levels in their bloodstream. I have seen hormonal test results of some men which shows they have less testosterone for a man and more estrogen than is normal for even a woman. High estrogen (estrogenation or estrogen dominance) revels itself in low progesterone (this cannot maintain pregnancy), period pains, premenstrual syndrome, bloated, some and painful breasts before the period and, in extreme causes, breast cancer.

Colour of the discharge Colour of the discharge may help to suggest the nature of the discharge and the degree of seriousness. Hyperprolactinemia produces milk-colour discharge. Some discharges are greenish, while some others are brownish-red or bloody. In serious cases, earliest forms of breast cancer cells appear, multiply and grow in the milk ducts. In some cases injuries occur in the breast tissue which lead to abscess which produces swelling, pain and foulsmelling discharge. Candida, mold, viruses, bacteria and other gems, including worms, may take advantage of this situation.

Dietary solutions Food as a solution to this problem is not limited to the suggestions below, suggested by leading authorities in this field. First, the breast is a fatty organ which should be maintained with essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins (A and E) among many others. Massage with essential oils is also suggested as advised in the book ANNOINT YOURSELF WITH OIL. Almonds are well recommended as are oat meal, soya bean, wheat germ oil, protein rich foods such as Spirulina; follate-rich foods such as Broccoli and Cauliflower; fruits high in amino acids (proteins) e.g banana. Banana is reported to help Dopamine level.

Herbal Solution Again, the list of helpful herbs is far longer than the suggestions offered here. For many years, I have seen men and women on Zinc supplement improve their prolactin situation to normal. Tyrosine, for the thyroid gland, helps the hypothyroidic patient improve his or her metabolic rate. Sea kelp does the same. So does Spirulina is rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, B2, and B3, chlorophyll, phycocyorin, calcium, linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid), iron and zinc among many nutrients. For the woman who wishes to lose weight, spirulina powder taken three times a day offers tremendous help. We cannot forget Sage, known for and preventing stroke, preventing paralysis, resolving night sweats, cramps, glandular disorders and trembling of the limbs, liver complains and for removing phlegm, is good also for drying unwanted secretions of the breast. Quercitin is an anti-inflamatory and helpful in fibrocystic breast disease. Oregano oil is a good antibiotic. Ginkgo biloba will promote blood circulation to the breast. From the pain free stable are herbs which have proven useful in breast care, especially for eliminating microorganism and improving immunity in their ranks are Guakatonga, Molaka, Cats Claw, Anamu, Pace d'Arco, ferdaguso, chankra de grado (stops bleeding) and surma. Women who give their breast to men to suck, either to please them or for their own sexual pleasure, and who have come to see the mammary gland as their 'feeding bottle' can save themselves the trauma of looking after a sick breast by not giving this organ a job, Nature didn't assign it. The breast is designed to provide food for an infant who cannot take solid food. It is not meant to be employed in the seduction of men, nor is it consigned to men for the sexual arousal of women.

e-mail: femi.kusa@yahoo.com or olufemikusa@yahoo.com Tel: 08116759749, 08034004247, 07025077303


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THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

THE NATION

BUSINESS e-Business

e-mail: e-business@thenationonlineng.net

Rep explains delay in passage of ICT bills

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HE House of Representatives’ Communication Committee has blamed lack of lobby by stakeholders in the information communication technology (ICT) sector for the delays in getting its bills passed into law. A member of the Committee, Hon Abiodun Awoleye representing Ibadan North Federal Constituency, Oyo State, said the practice in advanced countries is that stakeholders lobby legislators to get bills passed into law, adding that the reverse seems to be the case in the country. Hon Awoleye, who spoke in Lagos on the sideline during a public forum, said members of the National Assembly were also busy with many bills pending before it. He said stakeholders, whose interests are to be protected by the bills, need to lobby to get them

Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

passed into law. He said: “The bill to classify telecoms infrastructure as critical national infrastructure is on. It has passed through the Second Reading. “You know legislation is a process, beginning with First Reading, through Committee Stage, public hearing finally to Presidential Assent. “In this country, stakeholders don’t know how to lobby when it comes to their sector. That is why we have another bill lobby the lobby. When there’s a particular bill affecting the industry, the stakeholders must ensure that such a bill see the light of day as soon as possible. That is the trend all over the world but you discover that stakeholders in this country are usually not bothered. If stakeholders have followed their

Samsung launches smart camera

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AMSUNG Electronics has expanded its camera range with the introduction of its camera NX30, a high-performance device featuring wireless network connectivity and compatibility with a broad range of devices. According to Samsung, the award-winning NX30 embodies style and functionality, and raises the bar for compact system cameras all over the world. In a statement, the firm said the NX30 is an update on the ‘mirrorless’ Galaxy NX20 Camera released in 2013 and features many of the elements desired by

professional photographers while being housed in an ultracompact body. The camera boasts outstanding imaging performance, with its 20.3 megapixel sensor, which is capable of capturing high-definition images with sharp, lifelike colours that are clear in all lighting conditions. The threeinch super AMOLED swivel and touch display and unique Tiltable Electronic Viewfinder featured on the device are optimised to provide users with flexible capture angles that are great for ‘self shooting’ and shooting from awkward positions.

bills up, I am sure that the bills must have been passed and sent to the president for his assent. But stakeholders are always dragging their feet. There are so many of such bills being addressed at the National Assembly but stakeholders must ensure that their bills come out on time. “Members of the National Assembly are doing their best. We have so many things to do; making laws for the country; do committee works; do oversight functions. So, as stakeholders, you have to ensure that your bill is passed into law.”

He lamented that the operators have also failed to complain about the pains they undergo while doing business, adding that the legislators cannot act in a vacuum. He added that they have not complained of the extortions, adding that this has made discussions on them almost impossible. He said: “The operators have not brought the issues of harassment, extortion and others to the attention of the National Assembly. Everybody has been complaining without a presentation to the House. “When there is no communication

•Awoyele

from the investors concerned, on what will the House act?”

InfraCos’ licensing: Ericsson urges data on fibre

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Global elecoms equipment manufacturer Ericsson, has urged the Federal Government to undertake a study of available optic fibre cables available in the country. Its Nigeria Country Manager, Kamar Abass, said though the idea of licensing infrastructure firms is laudable because the provision of infrastructure is expensive, there is need to know the level of fibre availability in the country for proper planning. Under what it christened open access model broadband provisioning, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it will licence seven InfraCos one to operate in each of the six geo-political zones of the country while one will serve Lagos.

Government also promised to provide financial incentives to the firms to deploy infrastructure. But Abass said in the area of providing wholesale services to mobile operators to transmit traffic from their base transmission stations (BTS) to various locations, there is a good market, adding however that there is paucity of information on available fibre on ground. He said: “If there are more infrastructure companies out there, that is a good thing. But infrastructure is really expensive. To lay fibre costs between $70 and $120 per metre. So it is serious investment. There is the opportunity to sell high speed data services to businesses, sell things like video conferencing, and deliver TV over cable. Nigeria is a big country

filled with enormous potential but I am not sure that every household can afford this service. “In relation to providing wholesale services to mobile operators to transmit traffic from their base stations to various locations and to data centres, yes there is an active market for that. “It is not clear how much fibre there is on the ground and so the decision whether to add is one that has to be considered very carefully because everybody says they have got 10 to 15 kilometres of fibre. It is not definitely clear exactly where fibre is to know where there are bottlenecks. A study has to be made and maybe the government can help by publish a data base on where there is fibre, how much there is and how much demand there is.”

Cisco expands virtualisation

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ISCO has announced the expansion of its virtualisation offerings for service providers with the introduction of the Cisco Evolved Services Platform (ESP), a key element of the company’s Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy, which works with the infrastructure layer of the architecture. According to the firm, also highlighted were two Cisco virtual service modules – in the areas of video, and mobility – along with four new and simplified ways for service providers to acquire and deploy them. Leading service providers around the globe are transform-

ing their networks with various aspects of the Cisco ESP to optimise network value, increase business agility and enable greater operational efficiencies. With a rapidly increasing number of people, devices, machines and sensors coming online across the Internet of Everything (IoE), service providers require new capabilities to lead in the delivery of value-added, cloudbased services and applications. Open, elastic and extensible, the Cisco ESP is result of several years of engineering development oriented around the three main tenets of the Cisco service prov2aider virtualisation strategy.

MainOne opens Abuja office

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IGERIA’s leading provider of innovative telecoms services and network solutions for businesses in West Africa, MainOne, has opened its branch office for business in Abuja, the firm has announced in a statement. Speaking during its formal opening, its Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Folu Aderibigbe said the opening of its Abuja office is part of the company’s long-term plan to provide cost-effective broadband solutions for Nigerians and in particular, the seat of government in Abuja. He noted that the Abuja office has opened for business to ensure improved, effective and speedy customer service delivery of the firm’s services to its customers in Nigeria’s capital city. Mr. Aderibigbe further said the

MainOne is poised to deliver its world-class solutions and unique broadband services to the city of Abuja for improved e-governance, productivity and profits. He said: “Our competitive solutions offer Abuja customers a reliability advantage, as well as, the opportunity to obtain enhanced value added solutions.” The firm has transitioned from a telecommunications cable company to the leading provider of innovative telecom services and network solutions for businesses in West Africa. The Abuja office is an addition to its growing presence in the country and West Africa. The firm, with headquarters in Victoria Island also has presence in Alausa, Ikeja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Accra, Abidjan and the United Kingdom.

•From left: Director, Special Projects, Funmi Akiyode; Director, Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa, Director, Spectrum Administration, Nwaulume Augustine and Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau , Mrs. Maryam Bayi all of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) during the capcity workshop for ICT journalists in Lagos.

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NigComSat, CBN tackle capital flight

IGERIAN Communications Satellite ( NigComSat Limited) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are working to block revenue leakages and discourage capital flight arising from the patronage of foreign satellite firms in the country, its Acting Managing Director, Ms Abimbola Alale has said. She said NigComSat has abundant satellite bandwidth capacity to deploy for the services of government ministries and agencies (MDAs) and corporate oragnisations in the country to lower the cost of doing business and save the nation the huge capital that occasions taking capacity from foreign firms. According to her, NigComSat 1R has the best satellite coverage over Nigeria “as the satellite was specifi-

cally designed to provide bandwidth for services within Nigeria and several other African nations.” She expressed displeasure that despite the availability of this critical national infrastructure, the predilection in government institutions and the private sector is to look outside the shores of the country for satellite bandwidth requirements. She explained that the CBN may no longer honour requests for foreign exchange for bandwidth procurement from foreign companies. “Where the capacity on NigComSat1R is unavailable, or coverage on another satellite is required due to the specific nature of the business, NigComSat shall rely on agreements with foreign satellite operators to provide bandwidth in such in-

stances,” she was quoted to have said in a statement by Head, Corporate Communications, Sonny Aragba-Akpore. It is worrisome that in spite of the abundant satellite capacity available in the country, the trend in “government institutions and the private sector is sourcing for their satellite bandwidth requirements from foreign satellite operators at the expense of the indigenous operator NigComSat,’’ she said. She added that NigComSat as a national operator is mandated to meet the bandwidth requirements of the nation, stressing that the “policy initiative is aimed in part at reducing the capital flight caused by patronage of foreign satellite operators.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

57

THE NATION

BUSINESS INDUSTRY

Odu’a unveils industrial plan for Southwest

Agency warns business operators By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

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ARD times await operators and service providers who rip off their customers by collecting money for undelivered or unsatisfactory services, the Director- General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Dupe Atoki, has warned. She spoke in Lagos while responding to questions on the activities of the agency and the need for consumers to seek redress for poor services charged for and substandard product bought. She accused manufacturers and service providers of taking consumers for granted, citing poor infrastructure provision as an excuse. She added that CPC’s mandate is to seek redress for consumers for products and services purchased in bad condition or products that perform below specification. Mrs Atoki said the agency was intervening in the food and beverage sector where its hammer fell on a major beverage manufacturer for breach of food safety and standards. She insisted that NAFDAC has no business probing consumer complaints as that function falls under CPC. She, therefore, said NAFDAC should focus on its mandate. The CPC, according to Mrs Atoki, also intervened in the telecoms sector. Recently, she called a meeting with all chief executives of the telecoms firms, which was repudiated as they resorted to sending managers that cannot make policy decisions. She warned that the chief executives risk five years jail term if they fail to honour the invitation the third time. The CPC boss blamed the telecoms firms for poor quality services, such as drop calls, slow Internet speed, unsolicited text messages, irregular billing, and bogus sales promotions. She insisted that it was wrong for operators to take consumers for granted by refusing to offer them services advertised or charging for packages or services not rendered. The CPC chief also disclosed that the agency was working on letting airline passengers to get redress for flight delays and cancellations. According to her, flight delays for between two and four hours entitles the passenger to lunch and more while cancellations entitles the passenger to a refund in addition to 25 per cent surcharge. She regretted that many airlines have got away with such breaches without fines, warning that it would no longer be business as usual.

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industry@thenationaonlineng.net

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor or the chambers of commerce. Until we all come together to proffer and agree on solutions to this malignant national challenge, the end in sight is economic doom and dependency of our region on grants from donors.” While insisting that the national challenge of availability of energy for eco•Iyalode Lawson nomic production processes is grave and seem to have defiled effort by all HE Odu’a Chamber of Com- governments to overcome, Lawson merce, Industry, Mines and Ag- however, disclosed that riculture (ODUA’ ACCIMA) is ODU’ACCIMA is set to explore the to push the industrialisation of the prospects of using solar, biomass, Southwest by replicating in other states biodiesel and ethanol, which are alterin the geopolitical zone the same native sources of energy in the ecofriendly business climate in Lagos. nomic production process with south One of the drive planks of the west as the focus. industrialisation is power supply. It is She expressed optimism that the reexploring other sources of energy for gion is capable of growing steadily to production processes, as it is done un- become the global economic giant of der the administration of Lagos State repute, having been adjudged as the Governor Babatunde Fashola and fastest growing economic hub in the other states in the region. country. President, ODU’A ACCIMA, Iyalode The ODU’ACCIMA boss said the Alaba Lawson, told The Nation that it perennial power challenge has was high time lovers of the region who grounded the economic production desire to see it take its place among process of the country at large and the those making global economic impact, regions in particular, including the rose to the occasion. Southwest hence, the chamber is deShe said: “Energy, which is one of termined to turn things around. She the critical factors in global economic said, for instance, that the poor power advancement has become a national supply situation made it impossible for challenge, and the government can- the cottage and small scale industries not do it alone; neither can members to survive. of the organised private sector (OPS) The blue chip firms are not spared of

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Energy, which is one of the critical factors in global economic advancement, has become a national challenge, and the government cannot do it alone; neither can members of the organised private sector (OPS) or the chambers of commerce

the effects of poor power supply either, as most of them have had to grapple with rising operational cost due to the use of alternative power supply. She regreted that industries experience epileptic performance occasioned by the high cost of production, while consumers bear the burden of high cost of goods and services. Mrs Lawson argued that it is impossible for any country powered by fossil fuel to experience the desired economic growth and development because of its high cost. “Fossil fuels, such as petrol and diesel, apart from their exorbitant cost, are globally becoming unpopular and their use is discouraged because of their destructive effects on the environment. The use of fossil fuels is hazardous to human lives and agriculture, which is the bedrock and main stay of any true economy,” she said, adding that this was why the chamber is driving the use

•From left: Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf; Paulette Van Trier of the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce; LCCI President Remi Bello and Belgium Ambassador to Nigeria Dirk Verheyen during the envoy’s visit to the Chamber.

of alternative sources of energy by partnering a number of banks such as Diamond Bank, Sterling bank, Ecobank, and Bank of Industry (Bol), among others. Indeed, experts say that there is a direct correlation between energy consumption and GDP generation, which perhaps, explains why the current trend globally is for nations to inject a significant percentage of renewable energy into their energy mix rather than totally depending on fossil fuels as energy sources. This realisation must have hit business operators in the Southwest region, who, riding on the back of ODU’ACCIMA, are making frantic efforts to explore alternative energy sources. The other plank is the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) sector, which the chamber is riding on to further give the region an edge. Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State perhaps, articulated the region’s efforts in this direction when, at the Third southwest regional integration forum with the theme: “MicroSMEs as Solution to unemployment and economic development” held at the Fountain Hotel, AdoEkiti, Ekiti State, he said strong and vibrant SMEs are at the core of economic development and prosperity of any nation. “This programme is a step in the right direction in setting our region back on the path to economic development. If we don’t tackle the scourge of unemployment by growing the SMEs, we will all be consumed by it even in our air-conditioned offices. We must therefore, look for creative and innovative ways to tackle this problem, which is what this forum is aimed at achieving,” he added. Fayemi said the idea of regional integration of Western Nigeria was initiated in 2012 by the governors of Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti states and the vision is to aggressively work together to “rebuild Western Nigeria into a first world status in terms of its economy, infrastructure and standard of living of our people.” Besides, the Southwest regional integration programme, he said, strives to put in place institutions charged with formulating policies and implementating development policies that would prepare the region for global competition through the establishment of the developmental agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN). The Chairman at the forum, Aare Afe Babalola, Chancellor of Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUA), lauded the initiative saying: “It is clear that the governors, who have put this together are good visionaries. I believe they have what it takes to diffuse unemployment and provide a bedrock for economic development.”

‘Africa’s industrial policies must align with its integration’

HE industrialisation policies of African countries must be in tandem with their integration to ensure growth in the region, the Director, Economic Affairs, African Union Commission, Dr Rene Kouassi, has said. He spoke at a workshop to start the seventh AU- ECA Joint Annual Meeting in Abuja. He said: “Africa in the last 10 years has witnessed economic growth which has not transformed the region because we are yet to industrialise. “This is because many countries in Africa make industrialisation

policy without considering how it will affect their neighbouring countries. “Any industrialisation policy of any African country must align to integration process of the continent so that we can achieve positive growth.” According to him, Nigeria’s industrialisation policy must take advantage of Economic Community West African States (ECOWAS) region to enable products from Nigeria get into markets in Mali, Ghana and other African markets. He said inter-country trade would bring about competition

among other development factors. Kouassi said it was unfortunate that countries in Africa dumped the African Union industrialisation policy adopted in Kingshasha in 1996. “The first AU industrialisation policy was in the 1980s and the second in 1990s, why are they not adopted? “Africa has remained the least industrialised continent in the world. And if we continue like the way we are going, we cannot achieve inclusive growth. “We need to be industrialised to create inclusive growth, if we are

not industrialised, we can never be an emerging continent,” he said. Mr Hopestone Chavula of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said effort must be made for better planning process that would bring inclusive growth in the continent. He said the summit would focus on ways to ensure better economic growth for the continent to reduce poverty rate. He called for transformation in the agricultural sector as well as productive and service sectors. These sectors, he said would bring about jobs and help to impact

on the lives of many citizens of various countries. “African countries are yet to deploy finances to areas of higher productivity, Asia moved its finances from lower production sectors to higher production sectors and they transformed tremendously. “Africa has not done that, our resources are moved to areas that are not able to move the continent,” he said. He called for active collaboration between the government and the private sector to drive economic growth in the continent.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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INDUSTRY With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ammasco International Limited and Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association (NATA),which gives Ammasco the right to produce customised oil lubricants, Asst. Editor CHIKODI OKEREOCHA reports that the deal is not only a shot in the arm of indigenous producers, who have been losing sleep over the deluge of cheap and sub-standard lubricants in the market, but also a boost for the backward integration policy of the Federal Government.

Lifeline for lubricants

•Muhammad

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UBRICANTS Producers Associa tion of Nigeria (LUPAN), an as sociation with over 32 membercompanies, has petitioned Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, for what it perceived as the impending collapse of the lubricants sub-sector. In the petition, the body raised the alarm that investment estimated at over N680 billion may soon go down the drain because of the upsurge in the importation of sub-standard lubricants into the country. LUPAN said over 300,000 jobs were at risk unless the Federal Government curbs the menace. In the petition signed by its Chairman, Mr. Anthony Enukeme, and Executive Secretary, Mr. Obidike Emeka, LUPAN lamented the high tariff on base oil, which it puts at 10 per cent. The association said: “At present, imported lubricants and base oil, the chief raw materials in the production of lubricants, are housed under the same H.S CODE ‘2710.1939’ and accordingly, both attract the same tariff of 10 per cent. This situation sets the lubricant manufacturers at a disadvantage in the sense that after the payment of the 10 per cent tariff, importers of finished lubricants sell their products directly to the consumers without extra costs. The licensed blenders through the process of blending incur further expenses adding value to the base oil by introduction of additives and the employment of labour, high cost of energy consumed while running their respective blending plants and the high rate of interest accruing from loans from local financial institutions.

This in turn raises the cost of the locally blended lubricants thereby making same unattractive to end-users.” The association noted that Nigeria remained a large importer of lubricants since the fire incident of 1995 at the Kaduna refinery’s base oil plant. The country, it noted, has since been 100 per cent dependent on the import of base oil, which constitutes about 90 per cent of finished lubricants. LUPAN, however, explained that substandard and adulterated finished lubricants from Dubai, Turkey and other countries have been on the rise, stressing that laboratory analysis report of most of such imported lubes revealed non-compliance to specifications and standards, both local and international. It described the lubricants as outright recycled oil with little or no additives in them. It further alleged that the lubricants imported with undervalued invoicing, deluge the markets and are sold at a cheaper rate than genuine locally produced ones thereby creating unfavourable conditions for the locally produced lubricants. This is despite the fact that the locally produced genuine lubricants go through further process of manufacture; consequently, selling at a higher cost than their foreign counterparts. “At present, the total demand for lubricants in the market stands at 582, 000 metric tons, MT per annum. However, the total installed capacity of the indigenous plants if fully utilised stands at over 965, 000 MT per annum,” LUPAN lamented. However, while the local producers await the minister’s intervention, they are not leaving anything to chance in their quest to reverse the trend. Consequently, AMMASCO International Limited, one of West Africa’s leading oil lubricant companies, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) to produce local and customised oil lubricants. The deal, which has raised hopes of recovery of the already troubled lubricant sub-sector, would boost the local production of the products, thereby promoting the backward integration policy of the Federal Government. This, in turn, would drive the country’s industrial revolution.

Such hopes and expectations are not without some basis. Experts said the introduction of the backward integration policy in other critical sectors of the economy where the nation depends on heavy importation to boost local production and create more jobs, is that the success of the policy that worked magic in the cement industry, for instance, would be replicated in the lubricant sub-sector. “There are opportunities if we can push through the backward integration policy in other sectors. It opens up the space for local investors to come in,” President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said, in reference to moves by the Group to key into the backward integration policy in the sugar sector. The policy, which sits well with the country’s dream of industrial revolution, has since helped it to produce cement to meet domestic consumption and also export. The hope is that this would be replicated in the lubricant sub-sector. As the Chairman of Ammasco International Limited, Alhaji Mustapha Muhammad, pointed out, “We are endowed with highly motivated and enthusiastic professionals driven by vision to excel in the production of quality products and services. We also aspire to achieve the position of a leading major oil company in West Africa, manufacturing high quality lubricants and allied products; servicing automotive lubricants, industrial lubricants, marine lubricants, as well as grease and specialties,” he said, assuring that the firm would do everything possible to ensure that NATA and the consumers derive adequate satisfaction from the customised products. Continuing, Muhammad said: “Our business is to do for NATA what we know how to do best. In Ammasco, we always aspire to get it right and we always work to churn out the best from our stable. I want to say that the signing of this MoU is a step in the right direction. We will not renege on our part as we are ready to make the best out of this deal. We appreciate the leadership of NATA for believing in us and in return, we will not fail on our own part.” President, NATA, Michael Omonayin, explained that the choice of Ammasco for the deal was born out of its track record in the production of quality lubricants that have continued to

dominate the market. According to him, a critical market survey also put Ammasco on the leading position, adding that responses from various customers, many of who are members of the association, attested that Ammasco products remain the best in the market. Omonayin also described the deal as ‘a win-win for Ammasco and NATA.’ He said: “What has happened today is a step forward for both organisations. The benefits are mutual and I believe that this is just a start to the many projects we can carry out together. Ammasco was not chosen by accident, but after a painstaking survey and considerations, we came to the conclusion that Ammasco has all it takes to give us what we need. We pray and hope that this MoU will bear more fruits than expected.” NATA is a national professional body of micro, small and medium scale auto-repairers in the informal economy numbering over 2, 000, 000 members from all over the federation. Members include artisans without formal schooling and technicians with average formal education and belong to such sub-trade groups like vulcanising, auto-electrical repairing, panel fixing, auto-body building, motor engine repairing and servicing,

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welding and iron bending, auto-spraying and other auto related works. Members constitute over 75 per cent of all automobile technicians in Nigeria. Already, NATA’s deal with AMMASCO has received the nod of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), which issued an International Standards Organisation (ISO) Certificate to Ammasco, recognising it as one of the leading oil lubricant firms in West Africa. The ISO’s endorsement is seen as a shot in the arm of Ammasco, providing it with a strategic tool to ensure increased, quality productivity in its stable. It also positioned the firm to access new markets, with greater opportunities to penetrate other African countries as it aspires to compete in free and fair global trade. SON’s Director-General, Dr. Joseph Odumodu said: “We are, indeed, impressed with the facilities we have seen on ground today. This attests to the fact that Ammasco has got ISO certificate basically on merit. The company has proven its worth in terms of upholding standards and professionalism and we expect other indigenous companies to learn from what Ammasco is doing. We are really impressed and we urge Ammasco to keep it up.”

Nigeria-China Business Council to host investors

HE Nigeria-China Business Council (NCBC) is to host a trade delegation of investors from Honk Kong, China to strengthen business ties between both countries. NCBC’s spokesperson, Ms Bisola Lawal, said the event is scheduled for between March 30 and April 5 in Lagos. It is being organised by the NCBC and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). She said the delegates would target businessmen who import consumer products/household goods, toys, home appliances and fashion items. Ms Lawal said the visit would feature networking programmes, semi-

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor nars, market visits and meetings. He said the visit is aimed at creating a platform for the Hong Kong delegates to have a business meeting with their Nigerian counterparts. Ms Lawal added that 11 Hong Kong firms, which specialise in electrical home appliances, consumer electronics, diapers and external analgesic products will participate in the expo. Others are specialists in clothing, building materials, hair care and other household products.

Nigeria Machine Tools excites at exhibition

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By Chikodi Okereocha

IGERIA Machine Tools (NMT), the first producer of oil industry branded stud bolts and nuts in West Africa, generated excitement among stakeholders in the oil and gas industry when it participated at the yearly Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference tagged ‘NOG 2014’. The event, which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, attracted stakeholders in the oil and gas industry as well as service providers from across the world who came to showcase their products and services at the four-day event. Visitors to NMT’s stand were pleased to know that the highly sought after Flanges, stud bolts and nuts are produced locally. According to one of the visitors who is also a registered vendor with the international oil companies (IOCs), “we, the suppliers to the IOCs, are always on the look sout for better channels to source products for our clients and quality comes first before cost in this industry. One thing I can tell you is that if what I see here is what is obtainable from these people (NMT), then why will I have to go all the way to Asia or America to purchase the

same products that I can easily get in Osogbo at the same spec and standard with what the foreign companies sell to us? I am happy Nigeria is gradually getting there.” Other visitors to NMT’s exhibition stand included top officials of the IOCs, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), oil servicing companies (OSCs), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ministry of Power, and PTDF, who came back to either inspect the products on display or to discuss with the company’s representatives. NMT’s Business Development Manager, Mr. Ikemefula Chikwendu, said: “The outing was good for us. We came to gain visibility and I believe we achieved that. The NOG happens to be the premier oil and gas annual gathering in sub-Saharan Africa and we have every reason to be here as we stand to benefit from the participation.” He added that “we had several visits from the IOC’s, OEMs, OSCs as well as the contractors who have been asking technical and commercial questions in relation to our products. The interest is very visible, this is a wonderful exposure for us and we shall be here next year.”

•From right: Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria Machine Tools, Norbert Chukwumah; Projects Head, Ikemefula Chikwendu; Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Ugo Nwanze; and Chief Operating Officer, Nigeria Machine Tools, Ray Regan, discussing at the NMT’s stand at the NOG 2014 in Abuja.


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MONEYLINK

ANAN seeks International Accounting Standards’ domestication

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HE President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Sakirudeen Labode is seeking the application of International Accounting Standards for transparency of financial statements. He spoke after a two-day workshop on International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) held in Nassarawa State University, Keffi. The workshop is jointly organised by ANAN and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPAI). “If we truly desire to drop the toga of a developing country and join the league of developed nations, our reporting system must swing

Stories by Collins Nweze

along the lines of the credible path. ‘That will lead to transparent presentation of financial positions through application of international standards,’’ Labode said. He said that the workshop would also make ANAN members more competent and efficient on the convergence of financial information based on Generally-Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) with the international public sector accounting standards. According to him, that is very important to the extent that almost all the countries in the world had

adopted it (IPSAS) wholesale or by blending to suit their peculiar financial environment. “Many governments introduced IPSAS because it is considered to be good and transparent. “While some adopt the standards wholesale, some adopt and modify the system, the bottom line , however, is its universality,’’ Labode said. The ANAN president, however, said that in Nigeria, we had opted to transit to cash basis in 2014 and to accrual basis in 2016 full blast. He added, ‘’ the use of IPSAS is steadily becoming more widely spread and increasingly relevant in public sector accounting around

the worlds.’’ Labode mentioned that accountants in public sector were, however, faced with the daunting task of having to learn and apply what seemed a completely new set of Financial Reporting Standards. According to him, even, though, the task is daunting, this is necessary to make our impact felt and the consequential output of our efforts relevant, understandable and comparable. “ Being associate member of IFAC places enormous responsibility of training on both members and staff upon our shoulders on which we must not waiver no matter how intimating the challenges might be,’’ the ANAN president said. The Coordinator of the workshop and the Assistant Registrar, Technical of ANAN, Dr Micheal Ayeni said that the connotation of the international accounting standard was meant to ensure credibility of financial statement.

Fidelity SME Forum advises entrepreneurs

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ASSION has been identified as a key critical success factor for aspiring business people. Lady Kehinde Kamson, founder of Sweet Sensation made the disclosure while sharing her success secret in a highly competitive industry on the Fidelity SME Forum, a weekly radio programme organised by Fidelity Bank Plc as a deliberate attempt to resuscitate the Small and Medium – scale Enterprises (SMEs) and create a new generation of entrepreneurs with the “I can do” spirit in Nigeria. Kamson said that she had always had the passion for cooking, baking and food service generally. “I like to try out recipes and I had a mother who taught me same and she was a good example. So, the business had to be food because that was what I had a passion for and that’s another

point I would like to share with aspiring business people. It’s good to look out for money, but it’s also good to satisfy your passion.” On why it took long to open an outlet of Sweet Sensation, she said that every good thing has to start with some degree of experience, stressing that one must necessarily struggle because if one does not struggle, then he or she can’t understand the business effectively and success may be short lived. “There is a learning process that you cannot compromise and it comes with every territory and if you then patiently struggle through the process, then you will come out victorious.” Kamson maintained that there is no right time to go into business rather it depends on the type of maturity the business choice re-

Ayeni said that this could not be achieved without a thorough understanding of its benchmark. “One of the beacons of these benchmarks used as a pathfinder to a credible financial statement is the international public sector accounting standard (IPSAS), which we are about to demystify today,’’ he said. The Accountant said the principal objective of the workshop was to equip participants with the tool kits and acumen that would make them become versatile in the art of converting fro financial statement based on the Generally Accepted Accounting Principle (GAAP) to the modern global standard known as IPSAS. He said that this would enable ANAN members to be on the same page with international stakeholders who would like to assess the worth of their investments in Nigeria using international accepted principles

Eti-Osa Council presents annual budget

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HE Eti-Osa East Local Council Development area (LCDA) has presented this year’s proposed budget to legislators. The year 2014 tagged “Budget of Consolidation” is prepared to accommodate the infrastructural needs of the people of the local council this year. The event was attended by dignitaries from all works of life among whom were party leaders, Community Development Associations (CDA), CDC Chairman Alhaji Ariwaja, APC chairman Alhaji Apampa Bashorun to mention but few. In the Executive chairman’s ad-

•Fidelity Bank CEO Nnamdi Okonkwo

quires. Some business, she says, may require extreme maturity which one cannot really cope with except they are able to learn from a skill acquisition centre. “Businesses require different skills and temperament. While one is young, it’s true that making children comes in the way in the case of mothers, but with determination, you can truly succeed,” she added.

dress, he appreciated members of his administration, Management and staff and the entire populace of Eti-Osa East LCDA for their support in seeing to the smooth running of this administration. The leader of the legislative council, Eti-Osa East LCDA Hon. Kabir Sulaiman in his speech applauded the efforts of the administration in the past year and promised to critically look into the year 2014 proposed budget. He also enjoins the administration to ensure complete implementation of the year 2014 budget.

DATA BANK Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year

35m 35m

11.039 12.23

19-05-2014 18-05-2016

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

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33

NIDF

Price Loss 2754.67

Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m 399.9m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8 155.7

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

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency OBB Rate

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m

Rate % 10.96 9.62

Date 28-04-2012 “

GAINERS AS AT 26-3-14

SYMBOL CCNN ASHAKACEM STERLNBANK INTBREW UPL BETAGLAS LEARNAFRCA NEM CONTINSURE CUTIX

O/PRICE 8.75 14.90 2.24 23.14 3.50 17.35 1.57 0.70 0.95 1.99

C/PRICE 9.45 15.80 2.36 24.29 3.67 18.15 1.64 0.73 0.99 2.07

Year Start Offer

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N)

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

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

DISCOUNT WINDOWx Feb. ’11

July ’11

July ’12

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00%

LOSERS AS AT 26-3-14

SYMBOL TRANSEXPR MOBIL WEMABANK AIICO UTC OASISINS PRESTIGE FCMB PRESCO LIVESTOCK

O/PRICE 2.49 123.00 1.00 0.80 0.56 0.56 0.57 3.38 41.00 3.34

C/PRICE 2.37 118.01 0.96 0.77 0.54 0.54 0.55 3.28 40.10 3.27

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days

28-10-11

% Change

CAP Index

N13.07tr 40,766.16

N6.617tr 20,903.16

-1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917

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

Offer Price

AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 155.16 ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.03 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.17 CANARY GROWTH FUND 0.68 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CORAL INCOME FUND 1,618.91 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,090.40 FBN HERITAGE FUND 114.02 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 1,087.30 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 INTERCONTINENTAL INTEGRITY FUND 1.05 KAKAWA GUARANTE ED INCOME FUND 143.11 LEGACY FUND 0.78 NIGERIA INTER DEBIT FUND 1,894.68 • • • •

CHANGE -0.12 -4.99 -0.04 -0.03 -0.02 -0.02 -0.02 -0.10 -0.90 -0.07

6-2-14

Name

CHANGE 0.70 0.90 0.12 1.15 0.17 0.80 0.07 0.03 0.04 0.08

NSE

UBA UBA UBA UBA

Movement

BALANCED FUND BOND FUND EQUITY FUND MONEY MARKET FUND

1.2557 1.2916 0.9156 1.1552

Bid Price 1548.58 9.08 1.02 1.17 0.67 1.33 1,616.04 1,090.11 113.22 1,087.00 1.62 1.03 142.62 0.76 1,894.36 1.2446 1.2916 0.8987 1.1552

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000

8.5000

Movement


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-3-14

DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-2-14


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EQUITIES

New masterplan to push Nigerian market beyond N100tr in 10 years

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NEW comprehensive masterplan for the Nigerian capital market will push the market capitalisation to more than N100 trillion over the next 10 years as Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) leads efforts to make Nigerian stock market one of the top 20 global markets. The masterplan, being developed under the auspices of the Capital Market Committee (CMC), seeks to aggregate collective inputs of all stakeholders in the capital market into a development blueprint that will guide policies, regulations and implementation over the next 10 years. Addressing a press briefing yesterday at the end of the CMC’s meeting for this quarter, director general, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, said the underlining aim of the masterplan is to raise Nigerian capital market capitalisation from the current position of 27 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to more than 100 per cent of the GDP in the next 10 years. Nigeria’s GDP is currently about $263 billion. The rebasing of the GDP, which is expected over the next few weeks, is expected to push the GDP to $405 billion. Nigeria’s economy is projected to grow by an average of five per cent over the next years. The official Naira-Dollar exchange rate is N156 to $1. Nigerian market capitalisation is about N12 trillion. Oteh said the masterplan would also see Nigerian capital market emerging as one of the top 20 markets in the world. According to her, the commission will undertake comprehensive review of the various segments of the market including the regulatory framework, transaction costs, market size, listing and products. She said SEC has engaged experts to review

Stories by Taofik Salako, Capital Market Editor

transaction costs in the Nigerian market and benchmark these with other Exchanges of the world. She said the transaction cost analysis would be concluded very soon and there would be more flexibility noting that reduced costs will boost the market. “What we say to the market is that if the costs are down, the volume will go up. So, I think it is an evolutionary process and sometimes I think liquidity is what really reflects in our market. With the introduction of market making, we have a 20 per cent increase in terms of daily trading volume, but it is nothing compared to where it should be,” Oteh said. She outlined that the CMC is looking at boosting the market’s efficiency in such a way that allows seamless transactions on the Nigerian market and other global markets. “We have to look at our market to see that dual listing can be done anywhere in the world, you can list a company today and also list in other countries. We are also looking at creating other products because we cannot achieve our target without creating new products that would deepen the market and enhance diversification of portfolio,” Oteh said. She however noted the need for stakeholders’ supports for the evolution of the market to mirror the depth and diversity of the Nigerian economy noting that Nigerians wants to participate in the wealth creation in the power, telecommunications and oil and gas sectors. According to her, the market must reflect the economy and the companies must understand the importance of the capital market.

Sterling Bank declares N5.4b dividend as profit rises to N9.3b

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HE board of Sterling Bank Plc yesterday recommended distribution of N5.4 billion as cash dividends t shareholders as the bank continued to consolidate its growth and profitability. Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of Sterling Bank for the year ended December 31, 2013 released yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed considerable growths in gross earnings and profitability while the bank’s balance sheet was stronger. The report indicated that gross earnings rose by 33.1 per cent while pre and post tax profits grew by 24.1 per cent and 19 per cent. Basic earnings per share rose by 18.2 per cent from 52 kobo t0 44 kobo. A breakdown of the dividend recommendation indicates that shareholders would receive a dividend per share of 25 kobo, 25 per cent above 20 kobo distributed in the previous year. Gross earnings rode on the back of a 24 per cent and 31 per cent growth in noninterest income and interest income respectively to N91.6 billion in 2013 as against 68.86 billion in 2012. Non-interest income, which rose to N21.7 billion as against N15.3 billion in 2012 was largely due to a 139 per cent increase in trading income in addition to a 46 per cent increase in fees and commission; while Interest income rose to N70.0billion compared with N53.5 billion in 2012, driven by a 39 per cent increase in gross loans and advances to N328.7 billion.

Profit before tax rose from N7.50 billion in 2012 to N9.31 billion in 2013 while profit after tax increased from N6.95 billion to N8.27 billion. As a demonstration of confidence in the bank, customer deposits rose 23 per cent to N570.5 billion as against N466.8 billion. This, according to the Bank, also reflects progress in the execution of its retail strategy Sterling Bank’s total assets including contingent liabilities increased by 28 per cent to N909.4 billion compared with N708.2 billion in 2012, while Shareholders’ funds grew by 36.1 per cent to N63.5 billion as against N46.6billion due to profit accretion and net proceeds of N12.1 billion from the rights Issue. The report also showed improvement in the asset quality of the bank as the proportion of gross loans to non-performing loan dropped to 2.1per cent in 2013 as against 3.8 per cent in 2012, notwithstanding a 40 per cent growth in loans and advances. Commenting on the results, managing director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Yemi Adeola, said the performance in 2013 highlighted the underlying institutional strength citing the top-line and bottom-line growths. According to him, the results underlined the steadiness of the bank against the macroeconomic and regulatory challenges. He assured that the bank has been positioned to sustain the performance in the years ahead.

SCHOOL OF APPLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 9TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SCHOOL OF APPLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES THE FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC BIDA, NIGER STATE HELD BETWEEN 2ND - 6TH DECEMBER, 2013 ON THE THEME NATIONAL PEACE AND TRANFORMATION AGENDA: THE PLACE OF APPLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES Preamble National peace is sacrosanct to any meaningful development. It is within this framework that it is imperative to acknowledge the fact that precluding National Transformation is the issue of prevalence of peace in all its ramifications. Thus, the theme of the Conference: “National Peace and Transformation Agenda: The Place of Applied Arts and Sciences” was picked and appropriately discussed with the aim of adding value to this all important programme of the current government in Nigeria. Presentations at the Conference: The Conference attracted scholars from the disciplines of Applied Arts and Sciences; who presented and discussed various research papers on the theme and subthemes of the Conference. The lead paper presentation by Prof. Olu Obafemi, FNAL, on the topic: “Creative and Cultural Industries in Retooling Nigeria Development and Transformation Project”; acted as the catalyst for further presentations and discussions on the need to adopt abundant resources from the Applied Arts and Sciences as the Nation garners all resources for relative peace and guaranteed transformation in Nigeria. A total of 127 technical papers were presented at the Conference. The submissions there from highlighted salient issues germane to prevalence of national peace for purposes of realizing the much desired and deserved National Transformation in Nigeria. Observations: At the end of the Conference, the following observations were made. That: I. there abound in Nigeria a number of unmitigated threats to national peace (corruption, unemployment, insecurity e.t.c; II. governments at all levels have failed to provide adequate basic socio-economic services to the populace; III. the consistent and laudable Transformation Agenda Policy of the Federal Government is imperative to our national development; IV. over dependence on oil as the main source of the Nation’s revenue generation is hampering development of other sectors (Agriculture, Technology and Entrepreneurial Skills); V. sustenance of peace and good governance remain incontrovertible preconditions for National Transformation. Recommendations: The following recommendations were suggested for national growth and development. That: I. (a) government, her machineries and the good people of Nigeria should abhor all divisive tendencies that have continued to endanger our peaceful existence as a corporate nation; (b) corruption in all its ramifications must be outlawed with extant laws and practical applications to serve as deterrent to others; (c) government should pay proper attention to the provision and sustenance of security at all levels; (d) unemployment should be reduced by concerted efforts through Applied Arts and Sciences to engage the teeming populace in productive ventures; (e) institutions of higher learning as well as research and development centers should be involved in commercialization and marketing of developed technologies, improved theatre, electronic and social media; (f) government; particularly the security agencies, should rely on biometric based applications to resolve threatening national insecurity issues; II. government at the three tiers of governance should be re-focused and committed to guaranteed provision of the basic needs of the people in an all encompassing manner; III. (a) government should re-awaken her Transformation Agenda Policy with the sole aim of impacting positively on identified areas and translating them to concrete development models for the Nation; (b) government and the people should demand from all; unfettered peace while ensuring that the basic dividends of democracy are not denied anyone; IV. (a) agricultural industry and services should be encouraged to play more significant roles in Nigerian economy; (b) the arts and crafts industry as well as cultural industries should be harnessed for purposes of national socio-economic development; (c) our cultural industries as viable tourist attractions that are capable of guaranteed and continued attraction of tourists for purposes of increased foreign exchange earnings should be revitalized; V. government should ensure that relative peace is guaranteed, maintained and sustained throughout the Nation. Conclusion: The Conference concluded that Nigeria and indeed; Nigerians have no business being poor. All we desire and deserve is national peace and good governance to enable us harness the abundant resources and potentials that are anxiously waiting to be tapped. When this is done, the Country will realize National Transformation and remove herself from the bondage of socio-political and economic challenges that have continued to deny her; her rightful position amongst the committee of developed Nations. Daniel, P.K. Dr. Chairman, CDC

SIGNED (Mrs.) Ajari, O.I. Chairman, NOC

Dr. Sunday Ogala Dean, SAAS


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NEWS Oyo warns farmers, Fulani herdsmen against revenge From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

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HE government of Oyo State yesterday warned farmers and herdsmen in Oke-Ogun against taking the laws into their hands. This followed incessant clashes between the parties. In cases of any grievances from any of the two parties, the state government urged them to report such to their local government area authorities and law enforcement agents. This warning was given by the Special Adviser (SA) to the governor on Security, Mr Segun Abolarinwa as contained in an eight points communique issued at the end of stakeholders meeting between farmers and fulani herdsmen in the state, held yesterday at the Western Hall Parliamentary Building, Secretariat, Ibadan. The communique which, was jointly signed by Abolarinwa, Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Chief Akintola and Chairman, Cattle Breeders Associations of Nigeria (CBAN), Alhaji Myetti Allah, also called for the regulation of fulani cattle rearers and their cattle for proper identification. According to him, it is disheartening that when we noticed the clashes, we called for a stakeholders meeting on the 24th of September last year and had a resolution at the end of the meeting but the resolutions were not implemented.

Church honours members

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ORTY members of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Bendel Province, are to be hon-

PUBLIC NOTICE GEORGE

I, formerly known and addressed as George Daniel Cletus now wish to be known and addressed George Cletus. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE ADESIYAN

I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Oyeyemi Olubunmi Adesiyan, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Oyeyemi Olubunmi Bademosi. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note.

oured for their contribution to the growth of the church. In a statement by the province’s spokesman, Rufus O. Isaac, the ceremony will take place on April 5 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Ekpoma at 10 a.m. Chairman of the Planning Committee Rev P.I. Onekpe, who is the Bishop of Ika Diocese, Agbor, Delta State, said this would be the second provincial award ceremony since 2009. Onekpe said recipients must be communicants, who are morally upright and nominated by the bishop of his diocese. “She/he must have a good record of selfless contribution to the church and must have one spouse.”

Policeman defiles four-year-old

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MOBILE police officer attached to the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos Crisis has allegedly defiled a four-year-old girl in Kassa, Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau State. The minor was lured by the police officer on the pretence that he wanted to send her on an errand shortly after she returned from school. The suspect, whose rank and name could not be confirmed, is said to hail from Adamawa State. He was posted from Makurdi, Benue State and resumed duty at the village barely two weeks ago.

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

An eyewitness, Mary Dung, said: “After defiling her, the girl returned home and hid herself because she was afraid to report the incident to her parents. “She lay on her mother’s bed, pretending she was sleeping, but her mother suspected all was not well because she hardly sleeps during the day. “Her mother examined her closely and was shocked to discover she was bleeding. When asked, she broke down in tears and narrated

how the officer raped her. “The parents reported the incident to the divisional police station in Barkin Ladi, but other members of the task force resisted their colleague’s arrest.” The sector commander of Sector 7, Barkin Ladi Local Government, promised to arrest the suspect and take him to the STF headquarters in Jos. The council Chairman, Emmanuel Loman, said the suspect had been arrested. Loman warned families in the area not to allow their children near the STF officers.

The chairman pleaded with the STF commander, MajGen David Enetie, to ensure justice is served. The doctor at Barkin Ladi General Hospital, where the victim was admitted, Dr. Bapigang William Audu, said examination conducted on her confirmed there was forceful penetration, which caused her injury leading to bleeding. Audu said: “The girl has lost much blood as a result of the bleeding associated with defilement. “We are also conducting examinations on her to ascertain whether she was infected with any disease.”

Kaduna police parade chief, ex-solider for ‘vandalism’

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HE police in Kaduna State yesterday paraded the village head of Soko in Makarfi Local Government Area and an ex-soldier for alleged vandalism and robbery. Parading the suspects, the Commissioner of Police, Umaru Shehu, said the village head, Musa Abdullahi, reportedly led his gang to vandalise rail tracks at Gimi. Shehu said the act was painful and shameful because “Abdullahi works for the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC)”. “On March 24, a patrol team attached to Makarfi Police Station in Gimi intercepted a truck conveying 27 pieces of rail tracks, two gas cylinders, some breaking implements and 43 persons. “During investigation, it was discovered four of the suspects are workers of the Railway

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

Corporation in Zaria. “Their conspirators, Nuhu Ibrahim and Mukhtar Rabiu of Panteka market, are also in police custody.” The commissioner said an exsoldier, Babangida Ibrahim (27) and Umar Musa, who allegedly steal vehicles, were also arrested. Seven cars were recov-

ered from them. Ibrahim told reporters that after serving in the army for six years, he was dismissed after being court marshalled for defiling his boss’ wife. He claimed his mother gave him charms to hypnotise people before dispossessing them of their property. Ibrahim said after he was dismissed from the army, he went

into car snatching. Other robbery suspects include Adamu Malam (20), Samaila Abubakar (25) and Addo Bello. Shehu said a locally made revolver pistol, a police barrette pistol, a cutlass, six live cartridges, a 9mm live ammunition, one mask and some charms and two motorcycles were recovered from them.

Aregbesola, Kwankwaso, Okorocha, Uduaghan, Adeyemi, 13 others to get awards

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SOCIO-cultural lifestyle magazine in Abuja, Ariseigala magazine, will on Saturday hold its maiden awards and recognition of excellence in leadership, outstanding entrepreneurial skills, educational, agriculture, human capacity and infrastructural development. The event, which will start from 5pm, will take place at the Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja.

Twenty-two distinguished Nigerians will receive awards. They include Osun State Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola,(Ariseigala leadership award for agricultural and education development); Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso,(youth empowerment & capacity building); Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, (infrastructure development& peace initiative); Imo State Governor

Rochas Okorocha, (institutional reconstruction, empowerment & capacity building); Senator Smart Adeyemi,(representative leadership). Others include High Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi (enterprise, unity & cultural advancement); Alhaji Yahaya Bello, (transport sector development & job creation); Senator Amodu Ada Ali; Prince Abubakar Audu; Prof. Frances

Jonathan off to Cote D’Ivoire

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will today leave Abuja for Yamoussoukro, Cote D’Ivoire to participate in the 44th Ordinary Session of the Conference of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government. The meeting is holding tomorrow and Saturday. A statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the conference will consider several reports from the ECOWAS Commission, Council of Ministers and ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council . The meeting will also be addressed by the Special Representative of the Secre-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

tary General of the United Nations to ECOWAS and the President of the African Union Commission. “During the session on the current situation in Mali, the summit will discuss presentations by President Jonathan and the President of Burkina-Faso, Mr. Blaise Compaore, who are both mediators on the Mali crisis,” the statement said.

Jonathan will be accompanied by the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga; Minister of State II, Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed; Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Nwanze Okidigbe and Director-General, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogwu. The President is expected back in Nigeria on Saturday.

Police warn vehicle owners

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HE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of vehicles parked at Area ‘G’ Ogba to remove them on lose them to members of the public through auction, two weeks after this publication. They are BMW Car unregistered and Toyota Camry CU 518 KTU.

Edo, EU sign MOU on water HE Edo State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union’s Niger Delta Support Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation. Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who signed for the state, said one of the challenges facing urban and rural areas is lack of good water supply. He said: “Increasingly, we are seeing the challenge of sanitation across the state. Our people still have a lot to learn with regards to basic sanitary habits.

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“I am convinced that we need to step up efforts in educating our people and enforcing laws as appropriate.” Lanre Opanobi of the National Planning Commission said the programme would assist states in developing their water policies to ensure safer drinking water for the people. He said: “We have heard much about your activities and your effort to make sure water is available. We have heard about the dams you are building. We believe with the state water law, it

•Oshiomhole

will give direction and meaning to what we have been doing.’’


THE NATION THURSDAY MARCH 27, 2014

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NEWS Police explain gunshots in Gusau

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HE police in Zamfara State yesterday said gunshots heard in the capital, Gusau, on Monday night were fired by hoodlums, who robbed a businessman at Birnin-Ruwa Quarters. Police spokesman Lawal Abdullahi said the police were still investigating the matter. He called on the people to go about their lawful businesses and advised them to avoid rumours “which heats up the environment unnecessarily.’’ Abdullahi told the people to be vigilant. “The police are doing their best to ensure the protection of lives and property, the public should also assist us in this collective responsibility,’’ Abdullahi said. He said although the state had continued to enjoy relative peace due to the alertness of security operatives and reliable information from the public, “but we cannot fold our arms and say all is well.’’ He condemned two recent murders in Zurmi and Gusau local governments, warning that the command would not tolerate such criminal activities.

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola flanked by Commissioner for Education Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye (right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Education Fatai Olukoya at a one-day training and sensitasation on teachers competency framework at Alausa, Ikeja…yesterday. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI

One-month old baby burnt to death

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ONE month-old baby girl, Mirabel, was burnt to death at YelwaRafin Zurfib in Bauchi State. It was gathered the baby’s mother left her with her aunty, whose name was given as Suzan, and went to church. Speaking with our reporter, Edmond Chukwu, the baby’s father, said there was a fire at his home and while rescuing his children, the neighbours did not know Mirabel was in

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

the room Sources said the fire started at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at Chukwu’s bedroom, where three of his children were playing with a candle. “Suzan was outside cooking, she didn’t know the children were playing with a candle. She called one of them and he left the younger ones not knowing he had knocked the

candle from its stand unto the pillow. This caused the fire. “We rescued three children and nobody told us there was a baby in the room. It was a painful discovery because we would have brought her out alive. “I brought out two children and one woman assisted to bring the third child out. It was sad to note a baby was inside. We did not know.” Chukwu said his wife had

been inconsolable. A co-tenant, who pleaded for anonymity, said Mirabel’s mother was negligent. “How could a mother leave a one month-old baby? To me it is gross negligence and she needs to be arrested. “There is much information we are not getting on this drama. We understand she left the baby with her sister and travelled to look for a job. So there is something fishy.”

Bauchi to generate 2,000mw by 2017

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AUCHI State Governor Isa Yuguda said yesterday the state would generate 1,000 - 2,000 megawatts in the next three years. He spoke in Abuja when he received a licence for the state-owned Yankari Power Company Limited to generate 35 megwatts from the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The governor said the 35megawatt project would be completion in the next three months. Asked about funding, the governor said the state was a beneficiary in the $1.6 billion loan the Federal Government secured from the China-Exim Bank. He said the state would get $200 million from the China-Exim Bank facility to

•Gets licence for 35mw from NERC From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

generate 120 megawatts, adding the state would also access a loan from the Bank of Industry (BOI). “I am happy to announce that the Federal Government has graciously accommodated this project in its funding arrangements with the China Exim Bank. “We are one of the beneficiaries of the $1.6billion facility from the bank. This will be for 35 years. “We are also looking for the counterpart funding from the Bank of Industry for the electricity intervention fund provided by Mr. President. Sovereign Guarantee has been provided.

‘I am happy to announce that the Federal Government has graciously accommodated this project in its funding arrangements with the China Exim Bank’ “With the equity that the Bauchi State government has already provided, it is sufficient for the beginning to the end of the first phase of the power plant. “On the issue of gas, this power plant will not run on only gas, it can run on crude oil, it can run on LPFO. So,

we have other options. If gas cannot fix it, LPFO can fix it, if LPFO cannot fix it, crude oil can fix it. “And we have so many sources. I want to also add that we have gas in Yankari Basin extending to Gombe. There is a well with 30 billion cubic feet of gas.” The plant is located at Gundu Industrial Layout, Bauchi. The power generated from the plant is to be evacuated into the distribution network operated by the Jos Electricity Distribution Company. The parties have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, which provides the framework for the collaboration between the parties for the connection of the IPP to the distribution network.

How cleric took minor for abortion, by doctor

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DOCTOR, Felix Ogunlade, yesterday told a High Court in Abuja how a 14-year-old rape victim was brought to his clinic for an abortion by an accused, Apostle Basil Princewill. Princewill, of Mountain Mover Fire Ministry Church, Nyanya, Abuja, was arraigned on five counts of rape and defiling a minor. Other charges are criminal impersonation, criminal intimidation and assault. Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Simon Lough, the witness, who owns Fantanu Head Medical Centre, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, said the victim was brought for an abortion by her ‘father.’ “The victim was brought to my clinic by the accused, who claimed to be her father.

“He told me she was his daughter and was raped by their senior pastor’s son. “He said his daughter was two months pregnant and noticed that she had been trying to abort it.” The doctor told the court he tried to question the victim but the accused was always answering on her behalf. He said: “I examined the victim and confirmed she was pregnant.

“I discovered there was an active bleeding in the vagina and the mouth of the womb was opened with about three cm in diametre.” The doctor said he told the accused about his findings and he (accused) replied that he did not want his daughter to die. The witness said he also told the accused the only way to stop the bleeding was to carry out an evacuation. He said the accused agreed

he should carry out the evacuation, which he did. The witness said he suggested to the accused to file a criminal charge against the pastor’s son, but he refused. “My lord, after that the accused paid me N2,000 for scanning and N20,000 for the evacuation,” he said. The doctor’s report was admitted as evidence. Justice Hussien BabaYusuf adjourned the case till May 9 for further hearing.

LASU gives deadline for fees payment

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HE Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, has fixed today as the deadline for the payment of school fees by its fresh students. A statement by its Public Relations Officer, Kayode Sutton, said the deadline would not be extended. The institution warned that only students who paid the school fees would be issued matriculation numbers.

It urged the new students to make all necessary payments on or before the deadline in readiness for their matriculation tomorrow. LASU said adherence to instructions would enable it to ensure a hitch-free academic calendar. It urged all its students to be of good behaviour and abide by the school’s rules and regulations.

Lamido signs appropriation bill

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IGAWA State Governor Sule Lamido yesterday praised members of the House of Assembly for its “commitment toward uplifting the socio-economic status of residents.” The governor spoke when he signed the Appropriation Bill of N114.7 billion into law. Signing the bill at the Government House, Dutse, Lamido said the House demonstrated its care and concern in developing the state. “The legislature’s hardwork, support and un-

From Ahmed Rufa’I, Dutse

derstanding are the bedrock of moving Jigawa to the next level. “The people also deserve commendation for their support and cooperation in the last seven years,” he said. The governor said the state had recorded 85 per cent budget implementation since he assumed office in 2007, and pledged to ensure same this year. He said the evidence of his complete implementation of annual budgets was visible in the projects his administration had been executing.

Jang gets three awards in London

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LATEAU State Governor Jonah Jang has received three awards for exemplary and quality leadership. A statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, James Mannok said the awards were presented to Jang in London. “Plateau State Governor Jonah David Jang has received three awards from GLEEHD Foundation, Commonwealth Democratic Institute (CDI) and Nigeria International Merit Award (NIRMA) in the United Kingdom. “The awards are: Medal of distinction in Public Administration (GLEEHD) Exceptional Life in Public

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

Service (CDI) and Lifelong Achievement in Governance and Public Service (NIMRMA).”

•Jang

Kwara APC, PDP bicker over firm

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HE All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State are bickering over the status of the state-owned transportation corporation, Kwara Express. PDP alleged that APC was planning to incapacitate the corporation and acquire the land for private use. APC’s spokesperson Sulayman Buhari said: ”We reject the PDP’s claims as desperate, callous and an insensitive attempt to incite the public against the APC-led government through disinformation and misrepresentation. “Coming at a time Kwara Express has returned to profitability, the PDP’s claims are mischievous, anti-progress, and calculated to impede the government’s turnaround of the company. “There is no truth to the claim that government is trying to incapacitate Kwara Express by selling off its property. Only a mis-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

guided party as the PDP will expect government to incapacitate a successful company. ‘’It is equally untrue that Harmony Holdings, Kwara Express’ supervisory company, is owned by any individual. “It is typical of the PDP’s intellectual laziness to make such outlandish and false claims when a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission will have revealed that the government owns the company. “We warn the PDP to abstain from this campaign of calumny and focus on how to stem its dwindling fortunes.” PDP’s spokesman Mohammed Alhassan said: “It is, however, surprising that the Kwara APC is embarking on unclean and dubious policies of transferring the ownership of the land. “It is also saddening to note that the Corporation had between September 2012 and February generated over N 511million while it still find it very difficult to pay the salaries of its workers.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY MARCH 27, 2014

NEWS Elechi mourns senator From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

Ebonyi State Governor Martin Elechi has mourned the state’s second Military Administrator, AIG Simeon Oduoye (rtd), describing his death as shocking. Elechi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Dr. Onyekachi Eni, said the death of Oduoye was a loss not only to Osun, his home state, Ebonyi and Niger states where he was a military administrator, but also to the nation.

‘I submitted Obidigbo’s name to INEC’

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HE Anambra State Elections Petitions Tribunal heard yesterday Dr. Chike Obidigbo’s name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in last year’s election. A witness, Col. Geoffery Onbyejegbu (rtd), said he gave a letter containing this information signed by Chief Maxi Okwu as APGA’s na-

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

tional chairman and Dr. Sagil Maidoya as national secretary, to INEC. Onbyejegbu said he submitted forms CF-00l and 002 to INEC last November. When Obidigbo’s counsel, Maduabuchi Oba, wanted to tender the acknowledgment form from INEC, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, leading other senior lawyers - Ken Mozie and A.C. Anaenugwu opposed the

document. Ikpeazu, counsel to Governor Willie Obiano, said a document submitted to INEC must take custody before it becomes a public document. He said it was only a certified true copy that could be admitted based on the pleadings of the petitioners. Ikpeazu said the document did not qualify because it was a photocopy. INEC’s counsel Ayotunde Ogunleye aligned himself

with the submissions of Obiano’s lawyers. But Oba urged the tribunal to disregard the respondent’s application, saying the document was a true copy obtained from INEC. The tribunal, however, admitted the document and tendered it as Exhibit E-001. The sitting was adjourned till tomorrow to allow Obidigbo’s counsel to file a motion on notice to include Form C-001, which was earlier omitted.

Calypso hosts youths with corps members THE new set of corps members posted to Osun and Imo states were given a warm and intriguing reception party on the platform of the Calypso Coconut Liqueur brand at their ongoing orientation camps. Calypso, a premium brand from the stable of Grand Oak Limited has a long standing tradition of going round the country hosting the corps members to parties at the beginning of their service year to help them settle into their respective states of posting in a fun and happy mood. The company’s Brand Manager, Afolabi Kasomo explained that the Calypso brand is specially packaged for fun lovers and the welcome party serves as a platform to connect with its core target. “We are aware that our core target connect and relate on social media in recent times. At Grand Oak, we are always striving to connect with the core passion of our consumers.”

‘Aspirant a man of peace’ From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Alhaji Rasheed Adebisi Olopoenia, has described one of the party’s governorship aspirants, Seyi Makinde, as a peace-loving man. Olopoenia, speaking to reporters yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State, described the allegation by the Interim Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Dauda Kolawole, about Makinde, when the police raided his campaign office, as untrue.

Madam Koya buried MADAM Christiana Abiodun Olabisi Koya, who died January 25, has been buried. She was interred at the Atan Cemetery, Yaba, Lagos on February 28, after a funeral service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Divine Visitation Parish, Ota, Ogun State. Madam Koya was born on Christmas Day in 1938, and attended St. Jude’s Primary School, Ebute Metta, Lagos and Ideal Girls Secondary School, Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos. She sold soft drinks, fruit juice and assorted wines. Madam Koya is survived by three children’; Ademola, Adenike and Adeyemi.

•From left: Head, Mid and Downstream Content Department, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Mrs Bella KayHambolu; General Manager, Content Department, Mr Olawale Fasanya; and Executive Secretary, Dr Oluwole Oluleye, at the launch of Module B Welders Training Programme in Port Harcourt...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Protest over demolition of 200 houses in Abuja

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ESPITE a pending suit, about 60 soldiers and 40 riot Policemen were yesterday deployed in the Saraha City Estate, Gwarinpa Abuja to demolish about 200 houses in the estate. Some owners of the houses are journalists, bankers, businessmen and political office holders who are on mortgage. But a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) came to the rescue of the owners of the houses by prevailing on the Development Control Department of the Federal Capital Development Authority to defer to the court. According to some of the residents, the demolition squad invaded the estate after most owners and residents had gone to work.

•Falana rescues journalists, other residents From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

The squad, which came in a convoy of Hiace buses, was directed by one D.O Odetomi. Odetomi said the team was ordered by the Development Control Department following complaints from an estate company, Winning Clause Limited. The invasion led to stampede and confrontation between the demolition squad and some residents. Some owners, who rushed back to their houses from offices, also had scuffle with the demolition squad. Despite the confrontation, some duplexes were pulled down and some had their pil-

lars removed. Apart from injuring some residents, the debris from the demolished duplexes also destroyed some cars in the estate. A resident, Mr. Joseph Mbang, said: “They invaded the estate with impunity. We quickly mobilised owners and other residents to resist the demolition squad. “We also alerted our counsel, Mr. Femi Falana(SAN) who came to the estate to prevail on the demolition team to avoid sub judicial action. “Were it nit for the timely intervention of Falana, they would have leveled the entire estate. “Falana got in touch with

Okorocha orders contractors’ arrest

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MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday ordered the arrest of contractors, who diverted the mobilisation fees paid to them for rural road projects. Okorocha, who was at a town hall meeting at Isu in Njaba Local Government, said his Rescue Mission Agenda would bring change and development. He warned that the era of taking public funds without executing contracts was over. The governor said the project verification tour of the 27 local governments was to ascertain the level of completion of contracts.

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

Okorocha urged the people to partner the government to ensure the contractors justified the over N28 billion paid for rural roads. He listed the achievements of his administration in local governments as free education up to the tertiary level, building of 305 primary schools, 27 modern general hospitals and Community Government Council (CGC) to boost agriculture and wealth creation. The governor thanked the people for their support and enjoined them to resist politicians, who loot the treasury. Transition Committee

•Okorocha

Chairman Chief Val Osuala said Okorocha’s achievements was unprecedented, saying about 9.6 kilometres of rural roads had been covered with asphalt. He appealed to the governor to intervene in the gully erosion at Ekwe and approve a magistrate’s court and a police station.

the Development Control and it decided to defer to the court because of a pending suit on some issues on the estate. Some members of the squad however threatened that they would soon be back to the estate.” The Chairman of the Residents Association, Mr. Iyobosa Uwugiaren, who is a Divisional Director with Leadership Newspaper, told newsmen that the residents were caught unawares. He said: “We were taken aback because we had gone to work only to be called that a demolition squad was in our estate. There was nothing to indicate this because we have no issue with Development control. “What happened was that after we had bought and developed plots in the estate between 2008 and 2009, when we had dealings with Saraha Homes but another developer named Winning Clause came up in 2012 to lay claim. The two claimants later settled out of court in 2013 and the court said any subscriber who has outstanding balance should pay to Winning Clause. “We held a meeting with them and decided to embark on Due diligence since as they say once beaten twice shy. “What they did was illegal because the Development control appeared to have been instigated by Winning Clause because they have personal disagreements with some residents.”

NSCDC apprehends illegal refinery ‘operators’ •Expectant mothers rescued from ‘baby factory’ From Ugochukwu Ugoji-eke, Umuahia

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HE Abia State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said it had apprehended three suspected operators of illegal refineries. It also said it nabbed three fraudsters. The command said the suspected illegal refinery operators were arrested at Amavo Nkwo-Ogu in Osisioma Local Government, on March 21. They are Ugochukwu Ubani, 32, Nchetachi Ubani, 22 and John Kalu, 20. The suspects are being detained, pending the completion of investigation. He said they were nabbed during a routine patrol by NSCDC operatives along a petroleum pipeline route at Amavo Nkwo-Ogu. Items recovered include drums containing substances suspected to be adulterated diesel, gas cylinders, welding equipment and a Mercedes Benz 190E. NSCDC gave the names of the suspected fraudsters as Sunday Maduabuchi, 33, Christian David Ogbu, 30 and Chinemere Uche Alozie, 25. The command’s spokesman Victor Ogbonnaya said in Umuahia they were rescued from angry youths, who attempted to lynch them at Amakama in Umuahia South Local Government, on March 16. He said the bandits were operating in Lagos and Abuja before relocating to Abia, adding that they hypnotised their victims before robbing them. The command said it arrested David Nwachukwu from Osisiokpo in Aba North for operating an illegal orphanage, where illegal sale of babies was carried out. Ogbonnaya said expectant women were caught, among them Favour Egida, Joy Ibeziemako and Onyinyechi Ogbonna.

Young Leaders Congress April 9

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HE Secondary School Outreach (S.S.O), an Arm of Christ The Redeemer’s Ministries is set to organise Young Leaders Congress 2014. The programme which has “Higher Ground as its theme, is billed for Youth Centre: The Redemption Camp on Lagos - Ibadan Expressway, Mowe, Ogun State between April 9 to 12. The spokesman, Pastor Taiwo OlaAyo Oluwa said this year’s CRM is for Admin/Evangelism as the arm of RCCG worldwide under secondary schools outreach unit, adding that it is set apart for Youth Assembly for Children at Teen age, junior schools, senior secondary schools. It is also for empowering youth in education community. Special features include; Talks, Seminar, and skills empowerment groups are, photography, cooking, electrical/electronics, hat making, creative writing, liquid soap and air freshener, wood carving and design, clothing accessories (shoes & purse), Bead making (belt, flower vase & key holder), video editing among others.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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NEWS

Illegal universities: ICPC files 14 charges against don

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HE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it has arraigned Prof David Iornem before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for allegedly operating two illegal universities. Joined alongside Iornem in the suit are Island Open University and CommonWealth University Inc. According to a statement last night by the Resident Consultant. (Media and Events), Mr. Folu Olamiti, the fresh charges were filed by the commission on Monday. The ICPC had in August last year arraigned Iornem before the same court. But at the resumed sitting of the trial on Monday, a fresh 14-count charge was slammed on the accused for allegedly operating illegal universities. The statement said: “In the charge, the ICPC counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle alleged that the accused conspired with one Bruce Duncan and other persons at large to obtain money by advertising on the Internet

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HE Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) has rejected the two per cent tax imposed on the value of printing machines by the Federal Government through the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC). It said the government

From: Yusuf Alli, Abuja

seeking for Consultant/Academic Adviser for admissions into Commonwealth University Belize when he knew that no such university existed contrary to and punishable under Section 8(a) and Section 1(a) of the Advance Fee fraud and other fraud Related Offences act 2006. “Prof. Iornem was accused of attempting to induce one Prof. Ishag Oloyede to pay $11,550. For the award of an academic doctorate degree for a non-existing university contrary to and punishable under Section 8(b) and (1) (1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006. “The accused person was also accused of obtaining the sum of $5000 from one Akinkuotu Albert Oluwatoyin “under the false presence that he had been offered admission to pursue a degree of doctor of Philosophy in Management in a non- existing University (Commonwealth University), contrary to and punishable

under section 1 (1) (a), and section 1 (3) of the advance fee fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006. “He was accused of defrauding Jamilu Rabiu Sani of $800 “as application form fee and good faith deposit for admission into Commonwealth University Belize” which is neither accredited nor authorised to operate as a University in Belize. “Prof. Iornem also collected the sum of N1million from one Festus Uwakhemen Asikha; $6,800 from one Chief Victor Ekpo Effiom for admission onto the Commonwealth University Belize, “which is in fact a fake and un accredited University, owned and illegally operated by him, contrary to and punishable under section 8(b) and 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud related Offences Act, 2006. “Several other charges were read to him which on matters which were punishable under Section 15(1) (a) (ii) and section 15 (1) (b) of the Money Laun-

Group to Fed Govt: don’t increase fuel price

T •ICPC chair Ekpo Ntia dering Prohibition Act 2011. “When all the 14 Court Charges were read to the accused person, he pleaded not guilty and his Counsel Chris Anlashi appealed to the Court to grant his client Bail. “ Justice A.R. Mohammed granted the accused bail on N100,000 surety in like sum. The Judge said that the surety should be a civil servant of not lower than Grade level 8 and the surety must swear to an affidavit of means and must submit his passport photograph. The case was adjourned till May 14 for hearing. The Judge directed that the accused should be taken to Kuje Prisons pending the fulfillment of bail conditions.”

Printers reject two per cent tax on machines should rather create a special fund for printers as employers of labour; patronise Nigerian printers rather than taking printing jobs abroad; reduce interest rates for them, and discourage importation of paper and books by imposing higher taxes on their importation.

CIPPON, through its President/Chairman-in-Council Mr Wahab Aderemi Lawal, said the institute was not consulted before the tax was imposed. At a news conference in Lagos, Lawal said the additional tax would add a burden to printers who are already

battling with a tough economy where businesses are struggling to survive. “The government claimed that stakeholders have been informed, and that we’re satisfied with the increase. We were not informed, and we can never be satisfied with such imposition.

FOREIGN NEWS World leaders to prevent nuclear terrorism

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IFTY eight world leaders, who participated at the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) 2014 in The Hague, have agreed to prevent nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists. This is contained in a com-

munique reached by the leaders in the two-day event to seek ways to boost nuclear security around the globe. This is the third such event after the first NSS was held in Washington in 2010 and the second one held in Seoul

in 2012. Addressing the closing ceremony together with U.S. President Barack Obama, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, “we have taken a big step in making the world safer by preventing nuclear terrorism.’’

Obama hailed the progress that had been made in The Hague summit. “It was not about commitment but about concrete steps to make sure nuclear material does not fall into the hands of terrorists. That’s what we have done’’, he said.

LENTEN MESSAGE

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HERE are lots of halfbaked theologies that are bandied all over the place, perhaps because of increasing laziness to" study to be approved unto God as a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." ( 2 Timothy 2:15), desire of believers to look out for and take the seemingly shortest route to success (Proverbs 16:25) and ignorance of God's ways and His words (Isaiah 55:8-9; Hosea 4:6). One of these errors is the wrong and misleading claim that mountains shall be lifted with fasting and prayers. From our text, Jesus Christ never said that mountains shall be moved through fasting and prayers, what He said was that it is faith that will move mountains. However, the act of faith must be complimented with fasting and prayers. It is therefore apt to say that fasting and prayers without faith has limited power. It is Faith that gives validity to fasting and prayers! Jesus Christ said "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" ( Matthew 21:22). Faith is of utmost importance as it is the basis of moving God's

By Adebisi Onanuga

HE Movement for Nigeria’s Total Transformation (MNTT) yesterday advised the Federal Government against increasing the pump price of fuel. In a statement by its Chairman and Coordinator, Chief Areoye Oyebola, the group said that any increment in the price of fuel now would provoke anger amongst Nigerians. Describing Nigerian leaders as “oppressive, callous and insensitive”, the group said there was no justification for a new pump price of fuel being contemplated by the Federal Government as the price of the product in Nigeria remains the highest when compared to other OPEC member countries. To buttress its argument, the MNTT gave details of petrol price per litre in OPEC member countries as of this month. Quoting current figures obtained through the internet, the MNTT gave the pump price per litre of fuel in Venezuela as N8.21k; Libya as N24.62; Saudi Arabia as N31.8k; Kuwait as N34.54k; Qatar as 34.54; United Arab emirate as N54.40k; Iran as N57.44k compared to Nigeria’s N97.00m per litre of the product. “it should be noted that from the above stated figures, Nigeria at the former N65 per litre was charging the highest price of all OPEC member countries. Now that Nigeria charges N97 price per litre, its price is higher by two to 10 times the prices charged by OPEC member countries”, it stated.`` The group also did a comparison of the minimum wage in OPEC member countries to buttress its position against increment of pump price of fuel per litre. The MNTT, in addition gave the minimum wage in other OPEC member countries as N217,362 in United Arab Emorate; N161,461 in Kuwait; N101,250 in Qatar; N99,237 in Saudi Arabia; N95,839 in Venezuela and N86,585 in Iran compared to Nigeria’s N18,000. In view of these comparisons of the situation in OPEC member countries, the group said it would amount to “great absurdity and gross unfairness” to Nigerians for government to effect any further increase in the pump price of per litre of fuel.

Theme: Fasting alone is not enough Text: "... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove....this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." Matthew 17:20-21 By The Revd. Henry O. Adelegan

hand to work (Hebrew 11:6). Faith, according to the New Life version of the Bible is " being sure we will get what we hope for. It is being sure of what we cannot see". (Hebrews 11:1). Faith brings what is far close and makes what eyes have not seen, ears heard and what has not come to the imagination of men to visibility and reality. Beloved, there is no mountain in your life that is assured of eternal existence. There is no problem that is insurmountable. The mountains are still there because you have not exercised your divine authority, which can only be actualized with fasting and prayers with faith. What is the mountain in your

life? What is that problem of long standing years; is it a problem that had been there even before you were born; is it a sickness that has defied medication, are you living hopelessly or there is none to lift you up from where you are to where you desire like the sick man by the pool of Bethsesda (John 5:1-9). Have you tried all you know about a successful business outfit and have nothing to show for it, have you tried everything in the books for your marriage to succeed to no avail or are you having problems with one of your children who is not doing well? Do you know that a mountain can be a person blocking your way, either physically or spiritually ( Zech. 4:6); a mountain can be a life of wilderness, where a journey of 40 days is

•Revd Adelegan

taking 40years; a mountain can be a stunted life growth, a life of lack, inexplicable losses and delay, no progress, no promotion, weariness, sickness, indebtedness, barrenness etc. The good news during this time of Lent is that as long as you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, the Almighty God will remove every mountain from your path. Where you have failed prior to this time, you shall begin to succeed and great things shall start to manifest in your life, business and family in Jesus' name. Prayer: Father, I believe that with you all things are possible. During this time of Lent, hear me as I cry to you and remove every mountain making my life miserable in the name of Jesus.

“In a news report, the government claimed the levy would reduce book piracy. We’re saying it will not reduce piracy. It will rather legalise it. We want the government to remove this two per cent tax on printing machines. Rather, imported books should attract enormous duty,

because those books can be printed here. “We also want reduction on duty on some of our major raw materials, such as paper. The government should encourage employers of labour, most especially the printing industry, where investment is capital intensive”, Lawal said.

Planes, ships chase new leads in search of Malaysian jet

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EW satellite images have revealed more than 100 objects in the southern Indian Ocean that could be debris from a Malaysian jetliner missing for 18 days, while planes scouring the frigid seas on Wednesday also reported seeing potential wreckage. Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysian Acting Transport Minister, said at news conference on Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, that the latest sightings came as searchers stepped up efforts to find some trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. He said it was imperative to link the debris to MH370, as there were four separate

satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris. “The latest images were captured by France-based Airbus Defence & Space on Monday and showed 122 potential objects in a 400-sq-km (155-sqmile) area of ocean and the objects varied in size from one metre to 23 metres (75 ft) in length,’’ he said. Hishammuddin said the Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, and investigators believe someone on the flight might have shut off the plane’s communications systems.

US, EU plan deeper sanctions against Russia

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S President Barack Obama said “energy is obviously a central focus of our efforts”, acknowledging it “will have some impact on the global economy”. He was speaking after talks in Brussels with EU leaders Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy. At a news conference the three men spoke of the special relationship between the transatlantic partners. Mr Obama said: “The world is safer and more just when Europe and America stand as one”. Mr Van Rompuy, European Council president, called it a “crucial” relationship. Their talks at the headquar-

ters of the 28-nation EU bloc also covered plans to finalise a transatlantic trade partnership, as well as efforts to tackle Iran’s nuclear programme and Syria’s chemical weapons. Mr Obama praised the EU for the steps it had already taken - along with the US - to penalise Russia. These have included visa bans and asset freezes against a number of Russian officials. He said those actions were taken after Russian forces moved in to annex Crimea, and they now must consider “the potential for additional, deeper sanctions” should Moscow attempt to do the same in other parts of Ukraine.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

NEWS Defecting PDP lawmakers accuse party of pre-empting court’s decision Continued from page 2

ter was slated over a month and half ago for judgment. It is a matter of urgent national importance. All sections of the country, particularly politicians, are anxiously waiting for the judgement because it has to do with tenure of office that is time bound.” Gadzama later applied to withdraw his counter affidavit and opted to reply orally on points of law. Senate President, David Mark’s lawyer Ken Ikonne, equally withdrew his counter affidavit. House of Representatives’ Speaker Aminu Tambuwal (the 3rd defendant) Alex Marama said he had no intention to file a counter, but was to reply on points of law. Another defence lawyer, Ibrahim Bawa, representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said he did not file any document in the suit in line with the commission’s decision to remain neutral in the matter. Justice Mohammed consequently struck out Gadzama and Ikonne’s counter affidavits, paving the way for Magaji to

move his application for indefinite adjournment. He submitted that his application was anchored on his pending referral application at the Court of Appeal. He argued that it was trite that when an application is pending before a higher court, the lower court should wait for its outcome. Responding, Gadzama argued that only the trial court has the right to refer an issue to the Court of Appeal for interpretation. He contended that in the eyes of the law, there was no application for referral before the court. “This court has no jurisdiction to entertain the application. It is a first class example of an abuse of court process,” he said. He argued that Magaji ought to have directed his application for referral to the trial court, adding that the document the plaintiffs filed at the Court of Appeal was not certified and therefore should not be admitted. Gadzama urged the court to dismiss the application and deliver its judgment. Ikonne and Marama associated themselves with Gazadma’s position.

Replying on points of law, Magaji contended that his application was “timely and tenuously made”. He said: “Assuming without conceding that our referral application is defective, it is not for this court to determine. The court is bound to hear an application whether bad, incompetent or weak.” Magaji frowned at the comments by Gadzama that the court should not grant him room for appeal, a statement he said might make his clients feel that Gadzama knows the judgment would favour the defendants. At that point, Justice Mohammed intervened and cautioned Gadzama, following which Magaji urged the court to discountenance the submissions of lawyers to the defendants and grant his application. The judge adjourned till March 28 for ruling on whether to await the outcome of the plaintiff’s application before the Court of Appeal or proceed to deliver his judgment. Defendants in the suit include Tukur, Mark, Tambuwal, the PDP and INEC. The plaintiffs made up of 22

Outrage over walk out threat Continued from page 2

•Tambuwal

PDP Senators and 57 House of Representatives members - including those who have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) - are contending that Mark and Tambuwal cannot declare their seats vacant because of their defection. They are also contending that Mark and Tambuwal cannot rely on the provisions of sections 68(1)(g) and 68(2) of the Constitutions in declaring their seats vacant because there is division in the PDP, and that a faction of the party had merged with other parties. It is also their argument that the two conditions precedent for lawful defection, according to the Constitution - division and merger - had occurred to warrant their defection.

Conference runs into crisis as North threatens walkout Continued from page 2

Dr. Mustapha continued: “Part of that kingdom in Cameroon is called Adamawa State, in Cameroon. So, you see, if I run to that place, I can easily assimilate but I want to plead with us to adhere to laid down rules by Mr. President in his address, which include issue of voting. “Unless you want to disobey the President, then you can do whatever you want and if we are pushed to the wall, we will easily walk out of this conference. “Jingoism is not a preclusive of anyone; everyone here is a potential jingoist.’ When Dr. Mustapha said “if we are pushed to the wall, we

will easily walkout of this conference”, there was a sustained “no, no, no”, which apparently forced him to sit down. The conference adjourned plenary to tackle the controversial mode of voting. Deputy Chairman Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi announced a long list of delegates who had been selected to resolve the problem. The list, Akinyemi said, was the product of painstaking selection that lasted till the early hours of yesterday. The list contained mostly names of leaders of delegation and elder statesmen from various states, geo-political zones and groups. On the 49-member list are

Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, Chief Edwin Clark, Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Awwulu Yadudu, Olu Falae, Justice Hassan Gummi, Iyorcha Ayu, Senator Ita Giwa, Atedo Peterside, Nduka Obaigbena, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Mallam Tanko Yakassai, Chief Mike Ahamba, Prof Jibril Aminu, Prof. Jerry Gana among others. It was, however, apparent that some delegates were not comfortable with the list. A delegate simply said: “We are waiting and watching how the issue will be resolved.” Before adjournment on Tuesday, the delegates mandated the chairman to consult with leaders of delegations to reach a consensus on the thorny question of whether the confer-

ence would decide issues by three-quarters majority or twothirds majority, if consensus on an issue fails. For two days, the conference could not agree on the issue. The controversy threw up a North/South divide. Northern delegates are rooting for three-quarters majority. Southern delegates want twothirds majority as the mode of voting. As at the time of filing this report, the behind-the-door meeting to resolve the voting pattern was still on. Shortly after the announcement by Akinyemi, Justice Kutigi adjourned the session and announced that delegates were to resume by 4pm.

‘Govt to repatriate $550m Abacha loot’ Continued from page 2

and the United States. “We applaud the efforts of the United States to recover the proceeds of corruption for the benefit of the people of Nigeria. “As the Central Authority for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, my office has received requests for Mutual Legal Assistance for the Central Authority of the United States and we are cooperating with the United States in line with the obligations we assumed under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. “The overall objective of these efforts is to ensure that Nigeria as the Victim State is able to have the forfeited assets (money) repatriated to Nigeria to fund development projects for the benefit of the people in accordance with the dictates of

Chapter IV of the United Nations Convention against corruption (UNCAC). “Let me assure you that Nigeria as State Party to UNCAC will do all that is required to realise this objective. The US Department of Justice letter had contained a breakdown of some of the accounts and investment firms/ banks where the looted funds were stashed abroad. The highlights are as follows: Doraville Properties Corporation - $287 million in Account Number 80020796 located at Deutsche Bank International Limited in the Bailiwick of Jersey; HSBC Fund Administration (Jersey) – $12 million in account number S104460 in the Bailiwick of Jersey; and Rayville International, S. A - $1 million in account number 223405880IUSD at Banque SBA

in Paris, France. Others are Standard Alliance Financial Services Limited - $144 million in account 223406510PUSD at Banque SBA in Paris; Mecosta Securities $21.7 million in accounts 10030688 and 100138409 at Standard Bank in the United Kingdom; and HSBC Bank Plc - $1.6 million in account number 38175076;. Also in the list are Blue Holding (1) Pte Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited - £6,806,900; Blue Holding (2) Pte. Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited - £21,846,983; Blue Holding (1) Pte. Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited £10,293,343.58; Blue Holding (2) Pte. Ltd/Ridley Group Limited - £56,962,996.26 In the letter to the Federal Government by the Associate Director, Criminal Division of the Office of International

Affairs of the US Department of Justice, Jeffrey M. Olson, the US government said it sought the help of Nigeria in line with January 14, 2003 Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the two nations.

They said the land was owned by the 11 local government areas in Ibadan but was leased to Costain Nigeria Limited during the channelisation of the Ogunpa River. They explained that the land had been abandoned for 10 years which gave room for people to commit crimes. “We are going to clear everything so as to uncover everything including the alleged underground or

dungeon,” Aleshinloye said. He threatened owners of undeveloped property that the C of O of undeveloped property in the city would be revoked. Abass-Aleshinloye and Adeleke said efforts were being made to ensure that the speculation in some quarters of a possible dungeon in the forest was properly investigated and the site cordoned off. Special Adviser on Media to

the governor, Dr Festus Adedayo, said in a statement that the police boss reasoned that should the demolition be allowed to go on as earlier planned, concrete evidence that would help the police in their investigations would have been destroyed. He said the demolition and the clearing of the bush would resume on Friday as the forensic experts were expected to have completed their investigations today.

•The late Gen. Abacha

Police stop Ibadan forest demolition Continued from page 1

forensic experts from Abuja needed more time for their investigations. Abass Aleshinloye and his Ibadan South West Local Government Area counterpart Taoreed Bolaji Adeleke, were on hand to witness the demolition before it was stopped. They said the governor approved the stoppage. The demolition is to resume tomorrow.

revenue of the country to be shared on per capital basis, because they have been given the impression that they were more in number than the people of the South put together. “Three, they said the boundary between the North and the South should not be adjusted, that is Ilorin, Kabba and other towns, on that axis would continue to be part of the North. “Lastly, they want Lagos to cease to be part of Nigeria. Little, by little the North got all they demanded for, which became, the undoing of Nigeria because that was what led to the first military coup. “The reality is that, and which is very worrrisome, is the statement and then the attitude of the chairman, who failed to stop him making comments on a subject that was not on the table. “He was supposed to have ruled him out of order. “I think this as probably an agenda that could have been the result of series of meetings overnight or since we got here, otherwise. What he was saying and what he was allowed to say were not good, considering what we are here for. “I am highly disappointed by this, coming from a reputable former Chief Justice of Nigeria to have allowed the monarch to say what he said.” Opadokun said the statement was uncalled for, as Adamawa is in Nigeria on the magnanimity of the people of Nigerians. He said: “It’s an unfortunate statement because we should be talking about issues that bring us together and not the ones that separate us. “It’s even more unfortunate because his comment was not on what was on the debate as at that time. Even when the Chairman called him to order, he continued to make that damaging statement. “Saying that he has a place to go should the country disintegrate, he must be reminded that his living in Nigeria was at the instance of the good people of Nigeria, spearheaded by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who fought Cameroon to the United Nations. “I believe this conference is going to achieve the desired result for this country, but not at the expense of our rights to be happy staying together. In other words, we would not allow anyone to impose conditions on us. “We can persuade people, persuade ourselves because there is a lot of joy living together. But, if your coming together will cause some injustice, people will resist.” Goni believed Lamido could not have meant the statement the way it was perceived. According to him, the threat could be a reaction to the helplessness experienced by his subjects over security challenges and the seeming inability of Federal and state governments to stem the insurgencies. He also doubted that the threat would be carried out because to convince others would be impossible. His words: “I don’t think it is strongly meant because, in his view, he knew it can not be binding on other people. I want to believe that the statement was made as a result of pressure of the lingering security challenges being faced by the people of his area. “You know, this is a place where killings occur almost on daily basis and the frustration of seeing that government efforts have not been able to stop the killings. “In other words, I see it as just a statement made on the spur of the moment. I don’t think he meant it. Moreover, we have

been together in this country and since the Constitution Conference of 1979, which I attended and subsequent ones, it has always been made clear that the unity of this country can not be compromised. “Moreover, even if he wants to stage a walkout, it won’t succeed because a consensus must be reached by the political leaders and others in his area of influence for that to be carried out. “In other words, the traditional ruler would have to convince political leaders and other state actors from the local government level in his area to the top and I don’t think that is easy. “That statement was just the voicing out of frustration of the challenges his community is facing and the seeming hopelessness of the situation.” To Mrs Danjuma, the statement is of no importance and should not be taken seriously. She said the statement was not binding on the conference and that rather than let tempers flare, people should wait for the outcome of the conference. “At the end of the day, we will come to a compromise, that is after everybody might have expressed their fears,” Mrs Danjuma said. Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, leader of Southeast delegation: “In the end, we have a united country that has decided not to break up, one that supports the structure of governance that support progress, fairness and justice. “That outburst, I will rather compartmentalise it to the Lamido and Adamawa State. First, I am disappointed that he was not able to hold his anger and I am sure he would regret it now. “I also don’t believe that he is saying in effect that he is Cameroonian, warning that if things really go bad, he has a place to run to”. On the 49-member committee to deliberate on the stalemate voting method. “Yes. I would rather put it this way that most of us here are those who ran the country to where we are today and it’s best for those people who ran the country aground, so to say, to correct themselves and ensure that we have a better country. “I have a strong believe, that at the end of the day, we will have a stronger and better country”. Femi Falana: “There are 492 delegates here, brought here from all walks of life and you must expect all manners of contributions. Including not so bright contributions. “The only unfortunate thing from the proceeding so far, is the tendency of the secretariat to recycle those who brought Nigeria to her knees considering the composition of the 49- member committee that has just been drawn up. “The same people of expired ideas, who have fixations about Nigeria. It’s not about the Nigerian youth or women, one can just imagine a committee of 49 people with only three women and no youth. “Anyway, as they are consulting, we are also consulting, so that we do not allow those whose ideas led Nigeria to her kneels to dictate the pace here. Enough is enough. “We are ready to listen to them. What are the criteria for picking them. You can’t pick people with regional ideas while people with pan Nigerian mandate are there. Many people are here to maintain and sustain the dangerous status quo but the majority of the committed delegates are anxious to have a new Nigeria on the basis of progressive ideas. “How do you ask those who led to the collapse to come and reorganise it. I expect people to be remorseful and when called to speak, decline and say let others talk but that is when someone can say his territory extends to Cameroon”.


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014 USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking on – 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888.

141ST KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING

PREPARED BY COUNCIL AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT HOUSE, KANO.

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overnor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE presided over the one hundred and forty-one (141st) sitting of the Kano State Executive Council today Sunday 23rd March, 2014 (22nd Jumada Ula, 1435 A H) to compensate for the usual meeting held on Wednesday which was supposed to be held on the 17th March, 2014 due to the unavoidable absence of the Chairman who was away on official duty in the United States of America. At the meeting, eleven (11) MDAs submitted an impressive number of seventy-six (76) memoranda for deliberation by Council of which forty-five (45) were approved for execution with an expenditure of Two Billion, Seven Hundred and SeventySix Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty-six Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-one Naira, Twenty-nine Kobo (N2,776,966,831.29) covering forty-four (44) projects. Thus: 1. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Both memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Health were approved for execution as follows: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Execution of Additional Renovation Works and Provision of Equipment/Instructional Materials at the Schools of Nursing Madobi and Post - Basic Midwifery Gezawa:The Honourable Commissioner for Health notified Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, an Advisory Team from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Abuja was on official/inspection visit to Kano State on 12th - 15th December, 2013. The recently established Schools of Nursing, Madobi and Post Basic Midwifery, Gezawa were the main targets of the Visitation Team. The Team commended the efforts of the present administration in Kano State for establishing the two (2) Schools in addition to the already existing ones so as to produce more of the required professional Health Personnel to work in Hospitals for efficient healthcare delivery services. Reportedly, the Visiting Team observed/identified certain correctable deficiencies that require prompt Government intervention for the smooth running of the two (2) Schools pending proper accreditation. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with appreciation and acknowledgement for the effort by the Kano State Government for sponsoring fifty (50) Nurses/ Midwives to undergo BSc. Nursing Education Training in Egypt in order to properly qualify as instructors/teachers at the Health Institutions in the State. Details on the requirements for the procurement of equipment and renovation of some structures were presented to Council for consideration along with the financial implications to the tune of N11,842,005.81, which was requested for immediate release in addition to the granting of approval for the release of the aggregate sum of N400,000.00 to the two (2) Schools monthly (disaggregated to N200,000.00 each). Council acknowledged the request and approved the execution of the following: i. Release of the aggregate sum of N8,602,005.81 for renovation works and provision of equipment and instructional materials at the two (2) Schools. ii. Release of the sum of N3,240,000.00 for accreditation expenses. iii. Granting of standing approval for the release of N400,000.00 monthly to the two (2) Schools for sustenance of operations. As such, approval was granted by Council for the immediate release of the sum of N11,842,005.81 to the Ministry of Health for items (i. and ii) and subsequent release of N400,000.00 monthly for item (iii.). b) Request for Funds to Enable Monitoring and Evaluation/Human Resource for Health Programme (M & E/HRH) Activities in Kano State:Health is wealth. No serious person plays with it talk less of the present administration under which many laudable programmes targeted toward complete positive transformation of the Health Sector were implemented. Follow up and keeping track of the performance of such programmes were considered worthwhile by the Honourable Commissioner for Health so as to facilitate for adjustments where and when necessary and accord due commendation to areas of good performance towards the envisaged goal(s). Details on the cited request were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N2,000,000.00 as the required expenditure for the stated purpose(s). Need for correct information on the performance of health related programmes implemented by the present administration prompted Council to approve the release of the sum of N2,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Health to enable the flag - off of the stated activities. 2. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted thirty-three (33) memoranda for deliberation by Council of which twenty (18) were approved for execution as follows: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Support to the Bereaved Family of Late Alhaji Datti Isa Wudilawa (Chairman, Pension Fund Trustees):The Almighty Allah had taken Alhaji Datti Isa Wudilawa on the 31st day of January, 2014. The Kano State Executive Council commiserates with his bereaved family and prayed for the Mercy of the Almighty Allah in granting the deceased eternal bliss in Jannatul fir - Dausi. Council solemnly approved the following in token support to the bereaved family: i. Release of the sum of N4,011,057.00 as Severance Gratuity in favour of the deceased (Alhaji Datti Isa Wudilawa). ii. Release of the sum N2,000,000.00 as refund for medical expenses incurred in the medical trip undertaken to Egypt by the deceased (Alhaji Datti Isa Wudilawa). iii. Directed the Secretary to the State Government to submit names/list of the Children of the deceased enrolled in Schools for sponsorship of their education. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Grassroots Consultations/Meetings with Elder Statesmen, Well - Meaning Nigerians, Community/Opinion/Religious Leaders Across the Northern Enclave:The present political disposition of Nigeria compels the Northern enclave of the Country to speak with one voice in all matters of interest that affect the socio - economic and political development of the region. Regarding this, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government considered it appropriate to coordinate the conduct of such consultations and meetings amongst the Northern States so as to evolve practicable measures to ensure success of the initiative. Twenty (20) Teams of relevant Government Officials were projected for engagement in conducting the exercise intended to cover the entire nineteen (19) Northern States. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N20,000,000.00 for the purpose. Council acknowledged the request, considered and approved the release of the trimmed down sum of N17,000,000.00 to cover for the following: i. Fueling of vehicles and logistics N2,000,000.00 ii. Hiring of venue/accommodation N6,300,000.00 iii. Refreshing during meetings N3,500,000.00 iv. Honoraria to Members N4,200,000.00 v. Secretariat expenses N1,000,000.00 Total = N17,000,000.00 c) Request for Funds to Enable the Publication of Enlightenment on the Policy of Free Education Adopted by the Present Administration:It is currently a "Home Truth" that, the Kano State Government has adopted the policy of free Education at all levels in the State. This attracted commendations and general applause locally and internationally. Nevertheless, people are still skeptical on the modalities for the implementation of the policy, which necessitated submission of the cited request. Major features of the policy and its implementation are to be comprehensively publicized using print and electronic media outlets and other relevant MDAs facilities. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N31,000,000.00 for the purpose. The request was approved. d) Request for Funds for the Provision of Financial Assistance to the Kano State Secretariat of the NYSC:The contents of this memorandum alerted Council of the fact that 2,700 Batch "A" members of the NYSC were posted to Kano for their National Service in the year 2014. As such, the NYSC Orientation Programme will commence with the Batch "A" (1st April, 2014) for which the Kano State NYSC Secretariat submitted request for financial support to the tune of N15,005,000.00. Council acknowledged, considered and approved the release of the trimmed down sum of N6,800,000.00 to the Kano State NYSC Secretariat as financial assistance from the Kano State Government for the commencement of the NYSC Orientation Programme for the year 2014. e) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Training for Micro - Finance Banks Managers/Credit/Marketing Officers Free of Charge:Thirty-Seven (37) Micro - Finance Banks were established across the 44 LGCAs of Kano State by this administration to bring banking closer to the rural dwellers and to support small scale enterprises. The International Center for Excellence for Rural Finance and Entrepreneurship, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria submitted a proposal for the conduct of the cited training. The Kano State Government was only requested for assistance in the provision of venue and logistics to the tune of N800,000.00. The proposed training was considered relevant and in line with the policy of the empowerment policy of the present administration as Council approved the release of the sum of N800,000.00 to the Ministry of Planning and Budget for the stated purpose. This was to actualize the envisaged goal of building the capacity of the relevant personnel to manage the affairs of the Micro - Finance Banks across the State for efficient service delivery. f) Request for Funds to Enable the State Films Censorship Board Rent and Furnish an Office for use by the Islamic Lyrics Sensitization Committee:The Islamic Lyrics Sensitization Committee operating under the auspices of the Kano State Films Censorship Board is saddled with the responsibilities of reviewing/sensitization of all Hausa Songs/Lyrics/Films before such products are released for public consumption. Deservedly, the Secretary to the State Government endorsed the cited request and presented the details for consideration by Council for the release of the discrete sum of N759,000.00 to the Board for the renting and furnishing of office complex for the Committee. Council approved the request. g) Presentation of Letter of Appreciation and Commendation to Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE from the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Kano State Council:-

"Primus Inter Pares" was the title written in gold and accorded to Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE by the Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Kano State Council, for his commendable performance in the execution of tangible projects/programmes/ schemes across all sectors. Details on the plausible reasons that warranted for the cited presentation were emphatically stated which Council acknowledged appreciatively. h) Request for Funds to Enable the Production of the Kano State Government Monthly News Magazine(s) ("Kano State Today" and "Jihar Kano A Yau") for the Months of January - June, 2014:The Secretary to the State Government endorsed and presented the cited request on behalf of the State Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture. Production of the two (2) versions of the same magazine was presented as a monthly routine of the Ministry. Council was requested to approve the release of the sum of N10,152,000.00 for the production of the two (2) versions of the magazine(s) for six (6) months (January - June, 2014). Council apRabi’u Musa Kwankawaso praised the details presented and approved the release of the sum of N5,120,000.00 for the production of the two (2) versions of the magazines for four (4) months (March, April, May and June, 2014). i) Presentation and Request for Funds to Organize/Conduct the 2014 Community Development Competition:The Community Development Competition was presented to Council as an event annually organized/conducted under the auspices of the State Ministry of Rural and Community Development. The details submitted were considered as relevant by Council, which approved the release of the requested sum of N5,500,000.00 to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable the conduct of the 2014 Community Development Competition. j) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of a Trip to Boarstal Training Institute, Kaduna:Remand Homes and other Correctional Institutions are the preserve/jurisdiction of the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. Nevertheless, the cited trip was undertaken with the purpose of streamlining the activities of Prison Reforms and decongestion of Remand Homes and other Correctional Institutions for children. As such, the trip involved the following: i. The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development/Officials from her Ministry; Senior Magistrates 1 &2/other Court Officials; provision of token assistance to twenty seven (27) Kano State indigenous inmates at the Boarstal Training Institute = N191,000.00. ii. Procurement of some essential materials for the inmates = N89,500.00. Total = N280,000.00. Council was requested to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N280,000.00 to enable the proposed trip. Council approved the request. k) Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement and Allocation to the State Ministry of Education of Three (3) 18 - Seater Toyota Hiace Buses:The Kano State Ministry of Education submitted the cited request for the procurement of three (3) 18 - Seater Toyota Hiace Buses to be used as follows: " One (1) each of the three (3) buses to be allocated to the two (2) newly established Girls Secondary Schools (i.e. First Lady's College and GGSS Janbaki). " One (1) of the three (3) buses to be used in replacement of the condemn bus resulting from a fatal accident that cost the life of a Principal. The request was acknowledged and Council approved the release of the aggregate sum of N15,000,000.00 to the Secretary to the State Government to process the procurement and allocation of the two (2) 18 - Seater Toyota Hiace Buses to the Ministry of Education at the unit cost of N7,500,000.00 for use of Jambaki Girls Secondary School and the replacement of the accident one. l) Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of One (1) Standard Bio - Metric DDC Machine and Two (2) Electricity Generators for use at the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (Cabinet Office Complex):Proper storage for easy retrieval of vital information (Data) transcends the traditional filing in cardboard folders stored in metal or otherwise filing cabinets. Various electronic facilities/machines currently and efficiently are replacing the traditional filing system. The Bio - Metric Direct Data Capture (DDC) Machine was introduced to Council as most suitable for use at the Cabinet Office Complex. Details were presented for consideration by Council along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N11,000,000.00 for the following: " Procurement of one (1) Unit DDC Machine N10,000,000.00. " Procurement of two (2) electricity generators N1,000,000.00. Total = N11,000,000.00. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N11,000,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for the stated purpose. m) Request for Funds to Enable Kano State Contingent Participate at the 1st Centenary Trade Fair (20th March - 2nd April, 2014) in Abuja:The cited request was submitted from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism. The State Contingent comprises representatives from MDAs such as KNARDA; Tourism Board; Muhammad Abubakar Rimi Market; Science and Technical Schools Board; the twenty three (23) Newly Established Institutes; Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development along with participants from thirty-seven (37) selected LGCAs. Further, details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N9,910,000.00 for the purpose. Council appraised the request and approved the release of the trimmed down sum of N7,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism to enable the participation of Kano State Contingent at the 1st Centenary Trade Fair. n) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Fire Extinguishers; Power Point (Projector); Additional Number of Walkie Talkies and Metal Detectors at the State Corporate Security Institute, Zakirai Gabasawa LGCA:This request was presented earlier for consideration by Council, which was deliberated upon after which a directive was issued for its re -submission along with cost implications. The directive was complied with as the contents of this memorandum re - submitted the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N5,598,000.00 to cover for eleven (11) items VAT and Tax inclusive. The eleven (11) items presented were scrutinized by which one (1) (fire extinguisher) was excluded to scale down the total cost to the tune of N5,478,000.00 VAT and Tax Inclusive, which was approved for release to the authorities at the Institute for the stated purpose(s). o) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Additional Number of Forty (40) Computers, 100 Beds, Mattresses and Pillows at the Corporate Security Institute Zakirai, Gabasawa LGCA:The Secretary to the State Government endorsed the cited request from the authorities at the Corporate Security Institute and presented its contents for consideration by Council. The request was necessitated due to the envisaged increase in the number of trainees for the fourth (4th) Batch. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N11,500,000.00 for the stated purpose(s). Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested aggregate sum of N11,500,000.00 to the Secretary to the State Government to enable the execution of the stated project. p) Request for Funds to Enable Facilitation of Empowerment Programmes for Some Identified/Screened Physically Challenged Persons Engaged in Street Begging:The Kano State Government has resolved to rid the State of the disheartening proliferation of Street Begging especially by the physically challenged and aged persons. Cognizant to this, the Special Adviser on Disabled People Affairs submitted the cited request which was endorsed and presented to Council by the Secretary to the State Government for consideration. Essentially, 233 physically challenged persons were screened for the envisaged empowerment programme. 53 of them were referred to their 15 identified respective LGCAs of origin for the provision of the monthly sustenance stipend earmarked for their inability to engage in any self-sustaining business activities. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N10,550,000.00 to enable execution of the stated purpose. Congruence of the request with the laudable empowerment policy of the present administration prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N10,550,000.00 to the Secretary to the State Government to enable the Special Adviser on Disabled People Affairs execute the stated empowerment programme. q) Request for Funds to Enable the Participation of Kano State in the 2013/2014 All Nigeria Secondary Schools Football Championship "Shell Cup":Optimistic of the commendable performances of Kano State Contingent sponsored by the State Government to participate in similar competitions, the Kano State Ministry of Education submitted the cited request, which was endorsed by the Secretary to the State Government and presented to Council for consideration. The details presented were considered as Council approved the release of the requested sum of N2,265,000.00 to the Ministry of Education to enable the participation of Kano State at the 2013/2014 All Nigeria Secondary Schools Football Championship tag - named "Shell Cup". r) Presentation of Request for Funds to Sponsor Fourteen (14) Kano State Indigenous Candidates for Studies in Malaysia under the 502 Postgraduate Scheme:Fourteen (14) more Kano State Indigenous Candidates have secured admission for Postgraduate Studies in two (2) Universities in Malaysia. As such, the State Ministry of Higher Education submitted the cited request to Council for consideration. Details


THE NATION THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014 were presented in respect of the fourteen (14) Candidates along with the request for the release of the sum of $341,810.00 for their sponsorship. The request was acknowledged as appropriate and in line with an already approved project. Council approved the release of requested sum of $341,810.00 to the Ministry of Higher Education to enable the State Scholarship Board facilitate the payment of the followings: " Tuition fees " Accommodation " Visa fees " Flight tickets " Upkeep, etc. 3. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING Three (3) of the nine (9) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning were approved for execution. Thus: a) Presentation of Revised Estimated Total Cost (RETC) and Request for Funds for the Dualization of Dan' Agundi - Sharada - Sani Abacha Youths Center Road:This project is amongst the projects abandoned by the previous administration, which like the others, was revalidated by this government. The contract was awarded to Messrs SKY Technical and Construction Co. Ltd at the total cost of N5,324,138,488.40. After the inception of this administration, a Committee was set up to re-negotiate with the Contractor prior to the revalidation of the contract. The contractor offered a 5% discount on the contract sum and the contract was re-awarded to the contractor at the sum of N5,057,931,563.98. However, due to the redesign of the project vital works that have not been captured in the original BEME and now considered desirable for execution, such as the demolition of culvert and affected structures, construction of crash barrier and ring culverts amounting to the sum of N425,241,687.10 were incorporated. Thus, as a result of the above a new RETC of the sum of N5,937,297,234.27 was prepared for the execution of the project to completion. Therefore, after applying the 5% discount on items of the old scope, the RETC reduced to N5,712,820,922.59. The contents of this memorandum presented adequate details on the history of the cited project for consideration by Council, which culminated to the forwarding of the following two (2) prayers for consideration by Council: i. Council to consider and approve the RETC of N5,712,820,922.59 for the cited project. ii. Council to consider and approve the release of the sum of N1,767,728,232.16 (certificate No. 2) inclusive for the completion of the project. Agreement of the project with the policy of infrastructural provision of the present administration prompted Council to approve the execution of the two (2) prayers forwarded on the stated project. b) Request for funds for the Continuation of the Interlocking Works within Kano This administration's drive towards the beautification of metropolitan roads and urban centers of the State by the provision of interlock tiles on walkways and medians has transformed the city into a modern urban centre thereby ensuring the safety of pedestrians walking from one area to another, eliminating hawking and road encroachment. Since the beginning of this project, the sum of N950, 056,090.71 was expended on the provision of interlock tiling and repairs of failed roads within the metropolis. The laying of interlock tiles has now covered eighty (80) metropolitan roads at the contractual sum of N1,055,676,558.39. This indicated that the sum of N115,321,033.26 is needed to settle the entire permanent works executed. Most major roads, such as Ahmadu Bello Way, Audu Bako Way, Airport Road, Alu Avenue, Bompai, Iyaka Road, Sani Marshal Raod, Emir Palace Road, Commissioner Road, etc were tiled. This memorandum sought the release of the sum of N170 million for the payment of the sum of N115,321,033.26 to the contractors engaged in the execution of the projects and the continuation of interlock tilling of other roads not covered. Council deliberated on the significance of continuation of the project and approved the request for the release of the sum of N170 million. c) Request for the Revalidation of Contract for the Construction of Kwanar Madugu to Western Bypass This project was amongst those awarded by the previous administration but abandoned. This administration has inherited projects worth billions of Naira that were abandoned or awarded at the tail-end of the previous administration. This administration has revalidated and executed most of them at lower costs thereby saving the State over a billion Naira. Kwanar Madugu to Western Bypass was awarded at the sum of N587,533,095.78 on 9th July 2009 but was later reviewed downward to the sum of N538,434,558.50. Out of the contract sum the Contractor was paid the sum of N176,259,928.75 representing 30% advance payment. In addition, the Contractor was also paid the sum of N198,443,089.75 through interim payment Certificate No. 2. With the inception of this administration, the Contractor was asked for a discount of 8% of the Contract Sum. This has been the tradition as negotiation for discounts were discussed with all Contractors whose projects were abandoned by the previous administration. Council studied the submission vis-a-vis the discount made by the Contractor and revalidated the contract. 4. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES The four (4) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from this Ministry were approved for execution as follows: a) Notification on Redemption of Pledge Made on Cash Donations to 660 Graduates at The Fisheries Training Institute Bagauda:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources reminded Council, through the contents of this memorandum, of the pledge made on additional cash donation of N10,000.00 to each of the 400 third (3rd) Batch Graduates of the Fisheries Institute indigenous to Kano State along with 140 Graduates from other Northern States as well as 120 Trained Youths of Magaga Fisheries Skills Acquisition Institute. The pledge was magnanimously made by Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE during the graduation ceremonies for the third (3rd) Batch trainees of the Fisheries Training Institute Bagauda. Council was respectfully alerted of the need to redeem the pledge by approving the release of the aggregate sum of N6,600,000.00 for disbursement to the 660 jubilantly expectant beneficiaries. Acknowledging the notification appreciatively, Council concertedly approved the release of the sum of N6,600,000.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources for disbursement to the three (3) categories of beneficiaries accordingly. b) Notification of Return of the State Owned Combined Harvester Machine (OA5182) from Nassarawa State:Council was notified of the return of the combined Harvester Machine (OA5182) from Nassarawa State where it had been for long time. Though returned, the machine requires general reactivation and overhaul estimated at the aggregate sum of N1,039,500.00, which was requested for release by Council. Resolve of the present administration in Kano State to provide for the Agricultural Sector, prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N1,039,500.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the stated purpose in view of its significance to the teeming farmers. c) Request for Funds to Enable the Reimbursement of Stock and Presentation of Certificates to Cooperative Societies:The contents of this memorandum adequately substantiated the expenditure incurred in executing empowerment support programme to women fold endeavor by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The sum of N2,020,000.00 was expended and Council was requested to grant approval of its release so as to enable reimbursement to the source. Council favorably acknowledged the presentation and approved the release of the requested sum of N2,020,000.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the stated purpose. d) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of the Tenth (10) Batch Training at Kano Poultry Training Institute Tukwui, Makoda LGCA:The Poultry Training Institute Tukwui is among the twenty three (23) skills acquisitions Institutes established in Kano State by this administration. From its inception the Institute had already graduated nine (9) sets of trainees for the lucrative skills associated with Poultry production. Three thousand four hundred (3,400) youths and women benefitted the endeavour. The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources submitted the cited request, with details including the financial implications to the tune of N64,928,000.00, which was requested for release by Council for the stated purpose. The project/request agreed with the empowerment policy of the present administration. As such, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N64,928,000.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to enable conduct of the tenth (10) Batch Training at Kano Poultry Training Institute Tukwui, Makoda LGCA. 5. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT Eight (8) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. Seven (7) of them were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Engagement of Facility Manager for the Two (2) OTIS 8 - Passenger Elevators at Gidan Murtala Complex/Secretariat:The vitally required services performed by the cited elevators cannot be over emphasized. Yet, the machines are only rudimentarily attended to for efficient performance. As such, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport forwarded a timely proposal submitted by Messrs. Yomod Global Resources Nigeria Ltd. as the only exclusive Agent of OTIS Elevators in Nigeria. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the vetted sum of N1,877,137.50 to enable the engagement of the Company as facility Manager for the two (2) Elevators at Gidan Murtala. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,877,137.50 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for the stated purpose. b) Request for Funds for the Purchase of One (1) Unit of 200 KVA Sound Proof Electricity Generator; Construction of 10,000 Litres Overhead Water Tank and Connection of 33KV Electricity Power Line at New Water Board Headquarters (Gidan Rijiya), Kano:The cited request was initially submitted for consideration by Council from the Ministry of Water Resources through the Cabinet Office. The request was for the release of the sum of N16,324,720.00 to enable the execution of the stated project through direct labour. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport reappraised the request as instructed and came up with a new Contractual Estimate of N17,137,457.32, which was requested for release to enable the execution of the project. Council acknowledged the variation and approved award of the contract for the project at the sum of N17,137,457.32. c) Presentation of Request for Funds for the Revalidation of Contract for the Installation of Solar - Powered Streetlights along Olusegun Obasanjo Road:The cited project was initially awarded at the contract sum of N13,005,975.60 for the installation of twenty-three (23) units of Streetlights along Olusegun Obasanjo Road. The project was executed to 100% level of completion by the contractor but yet to be paid. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N13,005,975.60 to the contractor. Council approved the prayers. d) Request for Funds for the General Renovation of Nine (9) Intermediate and Two (2) Junior Staff Quarters at the Kano State Institute for Livestock Training Bagauda:Need to accommodate the Staff at the cited Institute was considered paramount by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, which inspected and identified nine (9) intermediate and two (2) Junior Staff Quarters at the site that requires general renovation. The aggregate sum of N36,901,926.13 was estimated for the project and requested for release. Relevance of the project prompted Council to grant approval for the release of the requested sum of N36,901,926.13 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable execution of the stated project in view of its significance. e) Provision and Installation of New 350KVA Generating Set at Abubakar Rimi Television House, Hotoro, Kano This administration is aware of the significant role media houses play in the dissemination of information to the public. However, most media outlets require constant supply of electricity to perform their obligatory functions of educating, entertaining and informing the citizenry of the happenings within and outside the State. The failure of PHCN to supply constant electricity necessitated the submission of this memorandum. This memorandum was submitted by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport on behalf of Abubakar Rimi Television Station. The station has not been able to function effectively due to lack of reliable source of electricity. Most of the electric generators supplying the station with electricity are unserviceable or weak to supply the required voltage. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport sent a team of Engineers to assess the situation and after feasibility studies recommended the procurement and installation of a new 350KVA and the repairs of one of the two serviceable generators as a backup. The sum of N9,870,000.00 was submitted for the expenditure. Council deliberated and approved the request for the supply of the new generating set and the repairs of an existing one at the sum of N9,870,000.00. f) Request for funds for the renovation of Perimeter Wall Fence at Bayero University Kano (BUK) Old Site The deplorable condition of the wall fence at BUK old site and the desire to rehabilitate it with a view to enhance security and

71 general beautification of the area led to the reason for the submission of this memorandum from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport at the contractual sum of N11,584,537.54. The renovation of the University wall is considered as part of this administration's urban beautification policy. The University is expected to shoulder the responsibility of landscaping the front view of the perimeter fence to achieve the desired result and objective. Council approved the request. g) Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Execution of Laterite Filling, Construction of Drainage and Renovation of Offices at the New Kano Line Motor Park, Na'ibawa:This request was submitted for consideration by Council earlier from the State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. Council deliberated upon the request and instructed the Honourable Commissioner, Projects Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate to study the contents of memorandum, on the request and report back on findings for consideration by Council. Reportedly, the request was proven as genuine according to the details submitted for consideration by Council. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N27,827,508.69 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable KARMA execute the cited project. 6. MINISTRY OF RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Three (3) of the five (5) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from this Ministry were approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Improvement of Water Supply at First Lady's College, Kano:The First Lady's College (former Magwan Water Restaurant) is completely/squarely located on base complex, which is rocky in nature and difficult to drill for the required water borehole at the site along with provision of other required accessories. Nevertheless, RUWASA assessed the scope of works required to the tune of N11,553,465.00, which was requested for release to enable the execution of the cited project. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N4,500,000.00 to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable the drilling of a borehole for the supply of adequate water at First Lady's College. b) Request for Approval and Release of Funds to undertake the Relocation/Replacement of PHCN Electric Poles along Katsina Road from Airport Roundabout - Ungogo Junction to Dawanau Roundabout:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Rural and Community Development reminded Council, through the contents of this memorandum, of its approval granted for the relocation of PHCN facilities along major roads in the State that were affected by the various road construction projects initiated by the present administration. In this vein, the State Rural Electricity Board (REB) identified the cited location and assessed the scope of works required to the tune of N23,984,632.00, which was requested for release to enable the execution of the stated project. Appraisal of the request informed Council to approve the release of the trimmed down sum of N20,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable REB execute the stated project. c) Request for Approval and Release of Funds to undertake Relocation/Replacement of PHCN Electric Poles and Replacement of Wooden Poles and Cross - Arm at Abbale Street Fagge and Aminu Kano Road Kofar Ruwa Respectively:The cited request was a result of the execution of the laudable road construction projects executed by this administration. The Kano State Rural Electrification Board (REB) assessed the scope of works required to the tune of N7,465,951.00, which was requested for release to enable the execution of the project. Council appraised the request and approved the release of N7 million for the project. 7. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT Two (2) of the three (3) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Environment were approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Funds for the Procurement of Specialized Vehicles (Gully Emptier) and Equipment for Sewage Disposal:Cognizant of the resolve by the present administration to improve the living standards of the citizenry in Kano by ensuring the provision of healthy environment and sanitary discipline, the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment submitted the cited request for consideration by Council. Specifically, the sum of N43,869,500.00 was requested for release by Council to enable the procurement of the 2 vehicle and its accessories for the stated purpose. Council appraised the request and approved the release of the sum of N21,500,000.00 to the Ministry of Environment for the procurement of only one (1) SINOTRUCK HOWO Model Sewer Scwanger Vehicle of capacity 12M3 hp engine, single axle. b) Request for the Release of N20 million for 2 million seedlings production Trees are essential to our environment being an integral part of human existence. They provide foods, shelter, timber, conservation, control erosion and improve air quality. Thus, this is the basis for the submission of this memorandum by the Ministry of Environment for the production of 2million seedlings for planting within the State. Production of enough seeds for planting within the State becomes necessary for their role in the control of desertification and usage in landscaping. The Ministry of Environment requested the release of N20 million for the production of 2miilion seedlings before the beginning of the rainy season. Council understood the significance of such a project and approved the request. 8. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Four (4) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Education were approved for execution as follows: a) Request for funds for the execution of additional works at Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso Bilingual College, Niamey This institute was established by this administration and has already admitted 201 students as its first intake, comprising Kano State indigenous students and those of Niger Republic. This institute was set up to improve relationship between Kano State and Niger Republic through education. However, the memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Education on this College informed Council that during the construction of the College, variations and additional works were identified and executed because of the nature of the soil and the building regulations governing public building in Niger Republic. This led to the redesign and the reenforcement of the foundations of the whole building and replacement of timber trusses to steel trusses in roofing the structure. In addition, the need for the supply of a 100KVA generating set to ease electricity supply was found to be necessary for the comfort of the students and staff. The sum of N21,409,760.12 was requested for the provision of reinforcing the foundations, construction of roof, constructing interlocking tiles and procurement of generating set. Council deliberated on the requests and approved the expenditure for the smooth running of the College. b) Request for funds for Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso's Bilingual College Niamey students Medical Treatment, Purchase of School Uniforms, Cover Shoes, etc Council recalled the recent official visit to the Bilingual College, Niamey, by the Governor Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on 11th February 2014 to assess and monitor the welfare and academic performance of the students. During the visit, the Governor directed the procurement and supply of hearing aid to a student having ear defect, two sets of school uniforms and shoes for the 201 students and two bulls at the sum of N1,729,550.00. Council acknowledged the request and the administrative approval for the expenditure. c) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment for Concessional Candidates WAEC and NBAIS Registration; Accreditation Fees for WAEC, NECO, TAHFEEZ/TAJWEED (NBAIS) and Females/Sons of the Physically Challenged Internal Examination Fees:The contents of this memorandum recounted the commendable efforts by the present administration in Kano State toward the transformation of the education sector generally especially the issue specified in this memorandum. Examinations (especially externally conducted) are the main yardsticks used in measuring the performance of any educational arrangement. This administration contributes immensely especially for the respective categories of indigenous Kano State Students cited to enable them write the stated examinations. Reminiscent details of the previous year (2013) were presented to Council for perusal alongside those for the current year (2014). The specific statistics were emphasized and presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N109,960,600.00 disaggregated thus: i. Payment to WAEC, NECO and NBAIS = N56,318,500.00. ii. Payment to KERD and AIED for the conduct of BECE and QE (May/June, 2014) = N53,460,600.00. Total = N109,960,600.00. Congruence of the request with the empowerment policy of the present administration in Kano State prompted Council to grant approval for the release of the requested sum of N109,960,600.00 to the Ministry of Education. This was to enable payment for Concessional Candidates WAEC and NBAIS Registration, Accreditation Fees for WAEC, NECO, TAHFEEZ/TAJWEED (NBAIS) and Females/Sons of the physically challenged internal examination fees. d) Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Completion of Renovation of Abandoned Structures at Government Science and Technical College (GSTC) Dadin Kowa, Doguwa:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Education notified Council of five (5) salient issues related to GSTC Dadin Kowa. Thus: " The school was among the Vocational Centers converted to fully functional Technical Colleges. " The existing structures were abandoned. " The multi - purpose block was damaged by the vagaries of nature. " The school is currently temporarily accommodated at GSS Dadin Kowa. " That Honourable Alhassan Ado Doguwa Member representing Doguwa Constituency in the Federal House of Assembly supplemented the effort of the present administration by providing two (2) blocks of five (5) classes of MDG projects one (1) block of toilet facility inclusive at the permanent site of the school. Specifically, Council was requested to approve the release of the sum of N16,730,873.98 to enable the completion of renovation of the abandoned structures at GSTC Dadin Kowa for the students to be properly accommodated. Details were presented to Council for consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N16,730,873.98 to the Ministry of Education for the stated purpose. 10. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE Two (2) of the three (3) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Office of the Head of Civil Service were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Civil Service Examination in Collaboration with Kaduna Polytechnic:The Head of Civil Service substantiated to Council, through the contents of this memorandum the significance of the routine conduct of the cited examination annually for certain cadres of the Civil Service. Reportedly, the second (2nd) Batch of examinations for the year 2013 was successfully undertaken in November, 2013 during which an unutilized sum of N80,000.00 was realized and had since been returned to the Government Treasury. Relevance of this examination instigated issuance of a circular to all MDAs in Kano State inviting eligible Staff to present themselves for registration for the first (1st) Batch for the year 2014 scheduled for 25th - 27th March, 2014. Two Hundred (200) eligible Staffs were anticipated for sponsorship. Details on logistics and financial implications of the endeavor were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N1,360,000.00 for the purpose. Council acknowledged the presentation and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,360,000.00 to enable the conduct of the Civil Service Examination First (1st) Batch for the year 2014 for the following cadres of two hundred (200) Staff; Senior Cadre = 30; P. A. General 70; P. A. Accounts = 20; P. A. Library = 7; P. A. Stores = 15; P. A. Tax = 7; P. A. Social Welfare = 10; P. A. Community = 8; Con Sect = 20and Typist = 10. Total = 200. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Allowances to Medical Doctors on Bond with the State Government:The Association of Resident Doctors and the Management of the Kano State Hospital Management Board jointly communicated with the Office of the Head of Civil Service recommending sixty-three (63) Doctors to undergo various residency courses for the year 2014. Sponsorship for the training in respect of the sixty three (63) Supernumerary was recommended to Council as expedient so as to ensure their return to the services of the State Government better equipped. Further, Council was notified that the laudable policy of bonding the Doctors was introduced under this administration. Such was commended as details on the names, specialty/Institution and allowances for the sixty-three (63) recommended Doctors were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N23,436,000.00 to cater for their training at the rate of N132,000.00 per a participant. The amount is to cover for their tuition, revision, books, examination/ registration, learning/society and transportation. Council approved the prayers.

Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports andCulture


www.thenationonlineng.net

THURSDAY, MARCH 27 2014 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

TOMORROW IN THE NATION

‘Many people outside Nigeria would find it pedestrian to discuss the issue of water and electricity supply. But of course in our country, we seem to be at the first stage of development in all areas of human life’ VOL. 9, NO. 2,800

C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA

T

HERE is growing and justified local and international concern about public corruption in Nigeria. But how deep is corruption in the country? Most Nigerians, including public officials who are at the centre of corruption in the country, know it is pervasive and that, to a large extent, it is directly responsible for poor service delivery and mass poverty in Nigeria. Public corruption polarizes the state and constrains economic growth. But President Jonathan pretends it is not all that bad. While addressing the Nigerian community recently in far away Namibia, he said media reports about corruption in Nigeria were exaggerated, and that his government was tackling it. The Nigerian community in Namibia will not believe him. It has easy access to the internet and is well informed. Most of our nationals President Jonathan met in Namibia left Nigeria in the first place to escape the crushing poverty at home, brought about by mass corruption in Nigeria. In fact, President Jonathan's rebuttal of the full extent of public corruption in Nigeria was in direct response to the damning comments by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe the week before about widespread corruption in Nigeria. The Nigerian public too will find President Jonathan's denial of the full extent of corruption in Nigeria bemusing, if not downright irritating. Internationally, Nigeria is notorious for its massive corruption. The global anticorruption organization, Transparency International has, in its annual reports, consistently ranked Nigeria among the lowest in the global country league of transparency. It is estimated by respected financial experts that corruption accounts for over 40 per cent of public expenditure in Nigeria. Vital public projects cannot be completed because of official corruption. All branches of the government are hugely corrupt. Of three high court judges recently sacked one, a female, owned over 20 properties and other assets. If it were not for its vast oil resources, very few foreign investors will seek to do business in Nigeria where, because of public corruption, the cost of doing business is one of the highest in the world. As Mr. Yakubu, head of the NNPC confirmed last week, even the international oil majors, the biggest investors in Nigeria, are getting less enthusiastic about making further investments in the Nigerian oil sector. They see Angola, which is less corrupt, as a better investment destination than Nigeria. The fact is that, on a daily basis, Nigerians are made to live with horrendous massive corruption in all facets of their lives, ranging from the corrupt police, the pensions scam, to the petty and corrupt local and states government officials. Issuance of official licenses, permits, approvals for land and property development require the payment of bribes to public officials. Houses and markets built by the state for the poor are corruptly snatched from them and sold to the rich. President Jonathan cannot pretend not to know this. The Grandmaster of this cesspool of corruption is the federal government, the biggest spender and controller of the largest financial resources in the country. It is at the centre that corruption takes place on a scale that cannot even be imagined by the Nigerian public. Public corruption in Nigeria was rife before President Jonathan came to power. But it has since grown worse during his tenure as President. It is now systemic, and

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DAPO FAFOWORA

FROM THE SUMMIT dapo.fafowora@thenationonlineng.net

How really bad is corruption in Nigeria?

•Jonathan

the President appears unwilling, or unable, for reasons of political expediency, to tackle it effectively. Recently, the Minister for Finance, Ngozi Okonji-Iweala, was reported as saying that Nigeria's vast oil resources had become a curse to the nation. She was badly misunderstood and sharply criticized for her comments. But she was right. If we did not have so much oil, we would be compelled to manage our resources better, like other African countries such as Botswana that are not so richly endowed with natural resources. Nigeria would be less corrupt. The truth is that our oil wealth has fuelled corruption in the country. It has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. It has polarized our nation. A few days after President Jonathan downplayed the extent of corruption in Nigeria there was a stampede in Abuja and other cities in Nigeria over recruitment by the Immigration Services. Nineteen people died in the stampede. But as it turned out the recruitment exercise was unauthorized by the Board of the Immigration Services. The candidates, over 700, 000 of them, were made to pay N5,000 each as so-called 'processing fees' for 4,000 jobs that did not exist or, if they existed, had al-

ready been filled by the same authorities that advertised those jobs, and stood to make N3.5 billion, or more, from the fatal recruitment exercise. The collection of N5, 000 as 'processing fees' by a consulting firm was plainly illegal and fraudulent. Application for recruitment into the civil service is free. The Minister of Internal Affairs, Alhaji Abba Moro, who masterminded the massive and fatal fraud of which he would have been a beneficiary, was aware of this. But he has neither resigned as Minister, nor has he been fired by President Jonathan. He was not even remorseful over the loss of 19 innocent lives during the Immigration recruitment exercise which he blamed on the victims. How callous can Nigerian officials be? It is the impunity with which public officials are treated that accounts for their brazen corruption. As I write this, the riddle over the missing $20 billion oil revenue, which is more than the annual budgets of most African countries, remains unresolved, with both the federal ministry of finance and the NNPC blaming each other and trying desperately to cover up the massive financial leakage and fraud involved. It will probably be swept under the carpet by the authorities in the end, after a perfunctory and inconclusive investigation. Instead of fully probing the allegation the whistleblower, Lamido Sanusi, the loquacious former Governor of the CBN, has been effectively fired by the President. Sanusi has since claimed that the charge of 'financial recklessness and mismanagement' made against him by the Financial Reporting Council regarding the intervention funds was baseless, as the President himself had often requested for such interventions by the CBN and had approved them. The President has not denied this and was aware of it as far back as March last year when he first received the FRCN report indicting the Governor of the CBN for 'financial recklessness'. He waited nearly a whole year before acting on such a scathing report about the sleuth and sleaze in the CBN. Some of the so-called beneficiaries of the intervention funds, a veritable source of massive corruption, have denied receiving from the CBN the funds allegedly donated to them. So, the CBN, the major financial

HARDBALL

W

HEN a newspaper pens an editorial, it is expected to carry with it the dignity of integrity. But perhaps the greatest attribute of such writing in any newspaper or journal of repute is its fidelity to facts. As elementary students of journalism hear often to the point of flagellation, facts are sacred and opinions are free. The existential possibility of this assertion can lead to nunaced modification of the socalled aphorism. But all in journalism know that facts are indispensable to any newspaper report or comment. And that accounts for why Hardball frowns at a recent editorial of a newspaper of shrunken influence calling for the removal of Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Ambassador Oloruntoyin Akeju. It is baffling that that piece of journalism might have undergone the traditional rigour of debate from a suite of cerebral minds who are supposed to reside in the editorial board. The essay in question was a travesty of law, of arithmetic and of the rudiments of the English language. So they discuss a matter that has already been heard in court, not once, not twice

JIDE OSUNTOKUN

institution in the country, the so-called 'bank of last resort', has proved to be a major source of corruption as well. In effect, all major public institutions in Nigeria, including the major financial institutions, are corrupt. The fact of the matter is that very few, if any, public institutions and agencies in Nigeria can stand a vigorous audit of their financial operations. Many of them have not been audited for years. Nigeria loses about 20 percent of its oil production and exports to massive oil bunkering and theft. President Jonathan is fully aware of this, but he appears unwilling or helpless in tackling the problem in spite of the massive loss of revenue involved. The NNPC is known to be a cesspool of massive corruption, but the president is under some inexplicable constraint that makes it difficult for him to tackle the problem headlong. It is as if he is simply overwhelmed by the vast scale of public corruption in the country. How about the Abacha loot, the allegations regarding the private jet of the Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Allison Madueke, and the prevarications in sacking the former Minister of Aviation, Ms Oduah? How about the fraud and scam discovered in the oil subsidy in which companies that did not even import oil received in 2012 subsidies, unbudgeted for, totaling N1.3 tr. from the federal government, or the NNPC? How about the issue of unresolved discrepancies in the funds of the SURE-P which the government has simply swept under the carpet? These are only a few of the reported scams that President Jonathan has refused to tackle expeditiously. In the circumstances, how can he be taken seriously, either here, or abroad, when he says media reports on corruption in Nigeria are exaggerated and that he is fighting it? Where is the evidence that he is doing so, when he has been hesitant to move against public officials facing charges of corruption? Instead, the President has become increasingly hostile to public criticism, threatening that Governors of states that criticize him on corruption should not expect federal projects in their states. But he is president of the whole country. Now there is talk in official circles of removing the so-called oil subsidy. The federal government says it is not sustainable. But the high cost of imported refined oil is also due to the massive fraud in the oil sector. Public resistance to the proposed removal of the oil subsidy is justified in the circumstances. But whatever one's reservations might be about the oil subsidy, it is better to remove it, once and for all, as it has for long, been another veritable source of massive corruption in the country. It was not the public that was benefiting from the oil subsidy, but the fraudulent oil importers, and the fat cats in the Ministry of Finance and the NNPC. Let us close this window of massive fraud and scam in the Nigerian oil sector. So, Mr. President, public corruption is alive and well in Nigeria. It is, in fact, becoming increasingly acceptable socially. Denial by the president of this fact, known locally and internationally, will not do him or our country any good at all, as it will dent both the image and credibility of our president and the entire country. • For comments, send SMS to 08054503031

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

That editorial on Osun REC but at least three times. In law, it is called subjudice. Newspaper editors know enough of this not to show defiance over a matter whose ins and outs are undergoing scrutiny in the court of law. Whether they don’t’ understand the difference between 25 and 11 or between 25 and one, is yet to be clear to Hardball when the editorial claimed that 25 parties in Osun State opposition walked out of a meeting in protest against Akeju’s continued appointment as the state REC. If APC is one of the 25 parties in the state, where is the phantom 25th in the opposition? That party in power cannot be an opposition entity, a point the editorial writer should understand as routine. But then if 11 parties dissociated themselves from the so-called walkout, how then could an editorial board still number the walkout at 25. The failure of law and the failure of arithmetic are appalling for a newspaper, even if it has abysmally lost its elite status in the com-

pany of Nigerian newspapers. Add to it the devastating stumble in the English language. It wrote that the “INEC Chairman averred that he could not be changing his officials based on the petitions against them.” For those who did not follow the statement of the electoral body’s head, it would seem the newspaper knew what he said. But in its collision against the facts, it lacked an understanding of the English language. What the professor said was that he could not change his officials based on allegations not proven. This three-legged flaw of law, arithmetic and English language falls short of a standard editorial. Or shall we say that If you lack these three, the editorial fails in logic. Apart from all of these flaws of failure of English, arithmetic, law and logic, it was a great editorial. This is bad for a paper whose original owner is a metaphor for rigour, development and character. That editorial is a classroom example of how not to write one.

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, Mila 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: info@thenationonlineng.net ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO


Mar 27, 2014