Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Fed Govt cuts MDAs’ votes
More candidates pass NECO Nov/Dec exam
•54.7% credit passes recorded
•‘Revenue target is N11.3tr’
VOL. 8, NO. 2422 FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Tinubu knocks Federal Govt’s economic policies By Eric Ikhilae and Mariam Ekene-Okoro
CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday faulted the Federal Government’s economic policies, saying they are incapable of stimulating the real sector growth needed by the country. He criticised the government’s decision to grow external reserve in a country lacking basic infrastructure and advised that Nigeria depends less on foreign investments and economic policies. It should seek local solution to its economic challenges, he advised. Tinubu suggested that the government’s policies must ensure that the nation’s wealth is deployed for the development of the real sector to stimulate production and manufacturing and, by extension, help solve insecurity, hunger, unemployment and poverty. The former Lagos governor spoke in Lagos at an event where five governors, a former Finance Minister, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu and former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chairman Nuhu Ribadu advised the Federal Government to review the Continued on page 4
•Business mogul Alhaji Aliko Dangote (second right) receiving a copy of the book from Tinubu at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos...yesterday. With them are: Chief Akande and Senator Oluremi Tinubu. SEE ALSO PAGES 8&9 PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA
Buhari: disband INEC
PIB for second reading at Senate
From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
LL was quiet yesterday at the Senate as the inflamable Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) smoothly scaled the second reading. The seamless passage of the bill to the committee stage surprised many in the gallery. Apparently because of the revelation on Wednesday that northerners own more than 83 per cent of oil blocks, the Senate gallery was filled up. Continued on page 59
HE former presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said the 2015 election may not be free and fair – unless the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is disbanded. Besides, said Gen. Buhari, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – Federal Government has emasculated the Judiciary
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
since 2003 to the extent that the court cannot protect the ballot. He blamed the international community for turning a blind eye to electoral fraud in Nigeria since 2003. Gen. Buhari, who spoke at the Africa Diaspora Conference in London , said the Judiciary had lost its reputation to protect the sanctity of the ballot. He said tackling corruption
was beyond the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. His words: “All the present indications are that INEC as it is presently constituted would be unable to deliver any meaningful elections in 2015. I have gone to some lengths earlier in my talk to describe INEC’s conduct in the last decade. The electoral body has develContinued on page 4
Boko Haram: No amnesty for ghosts, says Jonathan P
ROPONENTS of amnesty for Boko Haram members got a piece of bad news yesterday. President Goodluck Jonathan said the government would not give amnesty to “ghosts”. The issue cannot be discussed, for now, he said emphatically. Dr. Jonathan spoke in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, on the first leg of his visit to the twin states of Borno and Yobe - epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency. The government, he said, cannot grant amnesty to “ghosts”, adding that
What I am saying is that in the Niger Delta, if you call them, they will come and tell you their grievances...But the Boko Haram, you don’t see anybody who says he is a Boko Haram (member)...You cannot declare amnesty for people that are operating under a veil From Duku Joel, Damaturu
there is no parallel between the Boko Harma insurgency and the militancy in the Niger Delta, which was tack-
led with amnesty programme by the Yar’Adua administration when he was vice president. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad
Abubakar, and a committee of the North’s elders set up by the Northern Governors have urged the President to grant amnesty to the sect’s members to end the insurgency and killings being carried out by the sect. No fewer than 1,000 people are be-
lieved to have been killed by the sect, in addition to paralysing the economies of the two states. The President denied that he had deliberately refused to visit Yobe and Borno states. He met with stakeholders in a Town Continued on page 4
•SPORTS P23 •SOCIETY P25 •BRANDS P29 •POLITICS P43 •AGRIC P51
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS 2013 BUDGET
Fed Govt C
• N11.3trn revenue target set
HE first victims of the signing of the 2013 Budget by President Goodluck Jonathan will be Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with overlapping functions. The Federal Government has started implementing the Steve Oronsaye Report, which proposed the scrapping • Former President Olusegun Obasanjo( middle), Commissioner representing Ogun in Public Complaints Commission (PCC) or merging of such MDAs. To this end, Wale Banjo( left) and PCC’s Director of Investigation in Ogun, Mr Ademola Aderemi during their visit to the former Presi- in the 2013 Budget, the Federal Govdent in Abeokuta....yesterday. ernment has reduced allocations to agencies with duplicate functions. The expected result of this budgetary slash for the affected MDAs will be a saving of about N100 billion in 2013, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister for Finance Dr. •Bayelsa State Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said yesterday Governor Seriake at the 2013 Budget briefing in Abuja. Dickson (left) Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said: "We are explaining a continuing the roll-out of Integrated point to the Personnel Payment Information SysChairman of tem (IPPIS)across all MDAs which the Senate will result in savings in personnel Committee on costs. In the spirit of the Oronsaye Education, Report, we have started trimming Senator Uche Chukwumerije down allocations to agencies with during a visit to duplicate functions. For the 2013 Budthe Governget, this resulted in about N100 billion ment House in of savings, and we hope to have even Yenagoa...yesterday. greater savings in 2014." However, since some of these agencies with duplicate functions were established legally, the minister said the executive "will require the support of the National Assembly in reviewing the relevant legislations before we implement the rationalisation exercises". Giving a breakdown of the assumptions of the 2013 Budget, the minister said: "The gross federally collectible revenue is projected at N11.34 trillion, of which the total revenue available for the Federal Government's Budget is forecast at N4.1 trillion, representing an increase of 15 per cent over the estimate for 2012." Some key allocations in the controversial budget are: critical infrastructure (including power, works, transport, aviation, gas pipelines, and Federal Capital Territory) - N497 billion; human capital development(i.e. Education and Health) - N705 billion; and Agriculture/Water Resources - N175 billion. The minister said there was no tinkering with the over N950 billion allocated for national security purposes, comprising of: N320 billion for the Police, N364 billion for the Armed Forces, N115 billion for the Office of • From left: Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Obateru Akinruntan , Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, Ooni of Ife,Oba the National Security Adviser, and Okunade Sijuwade and Soun Of Ogbomoso , Oba Jimoh Ajagungbade at a meeting of Yoruba Obas in Ibadan...yesterday. N154 billion for the Ministry of the Interior. For 2013, the minister said the "SURE-P programme has a projected allocation of N180 billion, augmented by the 2012 unspent balances of N93.5 billion. This amount will be used to make further progress in the provision of social safety net schemes, maternal and child healthcare, youth development and vocational training for Nigerians." In the budget, fiscal deficit is projected to improve to about 1.85% of GDP compared to 2.85% in 2012. This, Okonjo-Iweala, said "is well within the threshold stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and clearly highlights our commitment to fiscal prudence." While non-oil revenue is projected to sustain its growth in 2013, the Federal Government appears not to be happy with the performance of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which it said only "worked hard to • Minister of Agriculture Akin Adesina (middle), Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Felix Awanbor achieve a 20 percent growth rate in (second left), Business consultant Akin Sawyerr (left), Business Manager of Adelantex Food Cargo Handlers, Frank Van non-oil tax revenues between 2007 and Geider and Sub-Saharan Commercial Manager of DHL Aviation, Loic Gindre (right)at the end of strategic meeting on developing Nigerian horticultural business, held at Brussels, Belgium. 2012."
•Dr. OkonjoIweala (left), DirectorGeneral, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo and DirectorGeneral, Budget Office of the Federation, Dr Bright Okogu (right) at the briefing in Abuja... yesterday.
From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja
Though the minister commended the FIRS for this effort, she said she believed "that the gap between non-oil tax revenues currently collected and the full potential revenue remains significant." Therefore, government, she said, "will support FIRS this year to embark on further reforms such as improving auditing checks, increasing controls on exemptions, and enforcing repayment of arrears. Similarly, we will also pay greater attention to increasing internally generated revenues, and work with government entities to increase their remittances to the treasury." On debt management, Mrs. OkonjoIweala said the Federal Government is "committed to the implementation of a strong strategy for managing domestic debt which progressively scales down both the stock and flow of our domestic debts." To this end, she disclosed that the Federal Government "recently paid down N75 billion of maturing debt obligations last week, and have also set aside N25 billion in a sinking fund to be used for retirement of maturing debt obligations in the future." She added that "government has further reduced annual domestic borrowing to finance the budget deficit from N852 billion in 2011, to N744 in 2012, and now to N577 billion in 2013." In addition, the government is "making concerted efforts to defray the debts of our foreign missions, by making provision of N13 billion in the 2013 Budget to help clear accumulated debts as at the cut-off date of June 2012." Government has also established a committee under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, which will work out a system to better manage the assets of foreign missions, the finance minister said. Government's strategy in 2013 towards addressing the nation's crippling infrastructure is to prioritise infrastructure investments in the budget, and also to leverage additional external financing for
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS 2013 BUDGET
slashes MDAs’ allocations
Fed Govt bows to National Assembly on $79 benchmark From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja
T •A man with homemade Obama mask asking people to vote in peace
Priorities of the budget • Reduce cost of governance • Restructuring the budget in favour of capital expenditure • Extension of IPPIS to more MDAs • Commence implementation of the Oronsaye re port while we await “White Paper” • Debt management /sinking fund – retiring maturing obligations
• Focus on infrastructure , especially ongoing capital projects • Job creation through (a) reducing infrastructure challenges, (b) YouWin, SURE-P, etc. • Fiscal measures to promote domestic industry and create employment • Supporting gender programmes and sporting activities
Growth promoting initiatives • Machinery and equipment for solid minerals sector to attract 0% duty and 0% VAT • All commercial aircraft and spares for use in Nigeria to now attract 0% duty and 0% VAT • Machinery and spares to now attract 0% duty • 5-Year tax holiday for ‘sugarcane to sugar’ investors
• Import duty & levy on raw sugar to 10% & 50% resp. • Refined sugar to attract 20% duty & 60% levy • Brown rice and polished rice to 10% duty and 100% • Duty on CKD of these buses now 0% down from 5%
Challenges facing budget • The wage bill doubled from about N800bn in 2009 to N1.69tr in 2013
infrastructure investments in the country. As a result, Budget 2013 has some important infrastructure projects in the transportation sector, such as the second Niger Bridge. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said government plans "to augment our domestic resources with a proposed $1 billion EuroBond as well as a Nigeria Diaspora Bond which will harness savings from Nigerians abroad". These additional financial resources will be invested in various infrastructure projects such as building the country's gas to power infrastructure. The government also plans "to use Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) aggressively, working with the Sovereign Wealth Fund which will at-
• Share of personnel cost as a percentage of ag gregate expenditure increased from 27% in 2005 to 35% in 2013
tract co-investors from home and abroad such as pensions funds, institutional investors and so on." To energise the construction sector, the minister stated that the Federal Government has decided to develop "a private sector led Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company to help provide long-term mortgages to help kick-start our housing and construction sectors." On the performance of the 2012 Budget, the minister disclosed that her ministry "succeeded in releasing N1,017 billion for the implementation of various capital projects, and successfully cash-backed N739 billion. By the end of 2012, MDAs had utiliSed
N686 billion or 92.8 per cent of the total amount cash-backed." The reason for this performance, she said, was because "the 2012 Budget was approved late, and so implementation occurred over a compressed time schedule." The budget, she said, has buffers against external shocks, such as the Excess Crude Account rising on the back of prudent oil revenue management and currently stands at about US$9 billion; and an external buffer for foreign reserves, which increased by $12 billion since 2011 and is now at about US$47.56 billion as at 4 March, 2013, the highest level for almost 3 years.
HE Federal Government has bowed to pressure from the National Assembly to accept the $79 benchmark for the 2013 Budget, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister for Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at the 2013 Budget briefing in Abuja yesterday. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said: "We feel that for the purpose of moving both this budget and Nigerians forward 'we said ok, we will live with this benchmark' and then next year we would have another, hopefully, more in a more collaborative way of setting a benchmark that will work for all of Nigerians. So, we have accepted it, we will try to mitigate the risks, as we said, you know, by looking at how to strengthen our buffers both ourselves and the Central Bank should see the risks going down and then next year, we will look better. "Prudence is what a country that is so dependent on one commodity economy must exercise at all times, you know we need to build a buffer, we have said it all but at the end of the day we have a collaborative process and in that process, we thought that well, the biggest challenges we face in the budget have now appeared and the National Assembly is willing to constructively work on that." She said Nigeria may "need to move to the model used by Chile where you have an independent group, not the Executive, nor the Parliament, setting it (benchmark) in a professional way. That is what Chile does for copper because the big product that they export there is copper. We are not the only commodity-dependent economy in the world. There are so many and people have evolved different ways of setting/dealing with this benchmark." The minister added that "eight years ago we didn't have a benchmark, we didn't even have a view of this benchmark that we are now focusing on. People have forgotten. We were just going like a yo-yo, our economy was moving up one year, crash the next, up one year, crash the next and we showed that lapse many times and that was why our economy was growing at 2.4 per cent, because we couldn't control the volatility in our economy." She said other countries whose economy are dependent on single products, such as Ghana and Chile have developed measures of fixing benchmarks for their budgets outside the control and manipulations of the political class. On the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the minister said: "The SEC clause and the SEC Budget will not prevent us from moving forward on implementation of this budget. This is the budget of a country and we cannot allow one issue to derail it. So we have been having these discussions and we will continue to talk to look at that but we have all decided to move forward on the issue of the budget implementation." Commenting on the contentious issues in the budget, which caused the delay of the president's assent, Okonjo-Iweala said: "We are asking for some amendments to restore salaries where they were moved around, most of these have already been done by the National Assembly. There are some amendment on the composition of projects and we are asking for some projects to be either restored if they were moved or amounts that were moved around be restored to such major projects. So within the composition of the projects themselves we are hoping to effect some amendments and these have been agreed." She said an amendment to the 2013 Budget has been sent to the National Assembly to incorporate the contentious issues, such as the SURE-P Programme. The minister said "taking account of the three month of this quarter, we are starting a bit late but not as late as last year. So each year hopefully we will improve. We are working on this things and it is also a learning experience for everybody on how to do better to get the budget ready earlier". She added that they "have to try and make up for the time as much as possible but there is no denying that a month or two has gone. We will soon be releasing capital for the first quarter next week as soon as they finish the Federal Account Allocation Committee meeting, we will release first quarter capital." She said the first quarter allocation would be released next week to meet debt payment and payment for the privatisation cost of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8 , 2013
NEWS ‘Govt policies can’t stimulate growth’ Continued from page 1
nation’s economic policies to
•President Jonathan (right) being received on arrival in Maiduguri by Governor Kashim Shettima...yesterday
Boko Haram: No amnesty for ghosts, says Jonathan Continued from page 1
Hall Meeting at the Wawa Hall of the Government House in Damaturu, saying he does not discriminate against any section of the country. He said: “Even the media said the President was going to Yobe to declare amnesty… you cannot declare amnesty for ghosts. Boko Haram is still operating as ghosts. You don’t see the person. I am from the Niger Delta and I know the amnesty issue of the Niger Delta. Some of these names you hear- Asari Dokubo, Tom Ateke - I never knew them before, until when I was a deputy governor and went to Abuja for a meeting with President Olusegun Obasanjo at the villa. I never knew them, even though I’m from Bayelsa State, the hotbed of the militancy at the time. “What I am saying is that in the Niger Delta, if you call them, they will come and tell you their grievances, whether rightly or wrongly, but they will be there to tell you that this is what we want and this is why we are doing this. “But the Boko Haram, you don’t see anybody who says he is a Boko Haram (member). As such, you cannot declare amnesty. For you to declare amnesty, you have to be communicating
with people. You cannot declare amnesty for people that are operating under a veil, so we cannot even discuss the issue of amnesty. “Let them come, let us discuss how we solve the problem. If amnesty will solve the problem, no problem about it. We can define what the amnesty is. I say so because even the Niger Delta amnesty was poorly managed with a lot of challenges. If I were not from the Niger Delta, the whole thing would have been disastrous by now because of the way it was poorly managed,” the President said. Explaining his inability to visit Yobe until yesterday the President said: “I would have visited Yobe State long ago and even Borno State much much earlier. You can ask Col. Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser (NSA) even before he took over, I said ‘look, we must go to these states’. When he (the NSA) took over, I had no time and he had to rush on a visit not quite one week after he assumed office. “My visit is to re-assure the people of Yobe that there is no difference between the Federal Government and any other part of the country. There are some kinds of insinuations that President doesn’t want to go to the
northeast. “Following the crisis of Boko Haram, I visited two states outside those incidents that happened in Abuja. When the police headquarters was bombed, I had to go there. When the United Nations (UN) building was bombed, I visited and, of course, the first major attack on a religious centre was when the Catholic Church was bombed in Niger State and the kind of signals I had could have provoked actions. I had to rush down and declare that emergency. And, of course, when there was one major attack in Kano, I also visited. “But somehow I have not visited Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe states I have not and sometimes people are insinuating that the president doesn’t like these states, no. “My coming is to reassure the people of Yobe State that I don’t discriminate between the sections of the country. I took an oath of office to treat Nigeria as one and what affects Yobe State affects the rest of the country. “The issues of terror, if you listen to my public statement, even outside Nigeria, I normally emphasise that when there is a terrorist situation in any part of the world, it affects the whole world because the victims may not nec-
essary come from that part of the world. If one state or one community is under a terrorist attack, it affects the rest. Look at what happened in Bauchi State where some expatriate workers of Setraco were kidnapped. I get calls from the presidents of the countries where these people come from. “There is no way a president, whether he is Jonathan or anybody, will say he will not care about what happens in any part of the federation. We must care; it has nothing to do with politics. I really want to use this opportunity to reassure my brothers and sister in Yobe State that because I had not visited Yobe does not mean that I am less concerned. I am happy today that we are interacting,” he said. President Jonathan met with Governor Ibrahim Gaidam and they discussed how to resolve the crisis in the state. The President also met privately with the Emirs and other traditional rulers. Dr. Jonathan inaugurated the 300 housing units and a library at the Yobe State University named after him. He donated N200million to the school. The President left Yobe for Borno where he was received by Governor Kashim Shettima.
ensure the nation’s wealth benefits the people. Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) attended the event, which was the presentation of a book: “Financialism: Water from an empty well”, co-authored by Tinubu and former United States Consul General in Nigeria Mr. Brian Browne. Tinubu observed that the nation’s economic policy was drifting towards financialism, where emphasis is on amassing financial wealth, as against capitalism that encourages investment, production and employment. “In Nigeria today, with our lack of vital infrastructure, the absence of a concrete industrial policy and with the paucity of long-term funding to fuel the real sector, we ask the economy to do the impossible. It is like attempting to draw water from an empty well,” the former governor said. He contended that the Federal Government’s policy of funds accumulation is a misplaced objective. To the ACN leader, the government should be concerned with how to channel idle human and material capacities into productive streams that create jobs and produce tangible goods with a view to improving the conditions of every citizen. Tinubu, an accountant and former treasurer of Mobil Producing, said: “Just a few weeks or months ago, the Federal Government said we have $46billion in foreign reserve, earning about one or two per-cent in interest. $46 b of Nigerian money is held in foreign reserve, earning two per-cent and they have $42b in domestic debt, which government is paying 16 per cent interest on. These are facts. You have $46 b in foreign reserve, you are earning two per-cent and you borrow from these foreign investors, tagged domestic borrowing and you are paying 16 per cent. This is voodoo economics. They don’t know it. Get rid of them. “It makes no sense. It is choking the private sector, which wants the same money. You want industrial revolution, you want to create jobs, and you want to create employment. And they are going to be borrowing in the same market. Where your loan is attracting 16 per cent as a government, the manufacturers would be made to pay 20/25 per cent. “So, if they go bankrupt to-
2015: Buhari canvasses disbandment of INEC for free polls Continued from page 1
oped a very cozy relationship with the Executive and Judicial arms of government that its impartiality is totally lost.
“In the run-up to the last elections, INEC requested (and received with indecent haste) in excess of N80 billion (about £340m), a hefty sum by any standards, so that it could conduct the elections, including organising bio-metric voters data specifically for the 2011 elections. “But when opposition parties challenged the patently dishonest figures it announced and subpoenaed the bio-metric data in court, INEC refused to divulge them on the laughable excuse of “National Security”. “INEC’s top echelon is immersed deep in corruption and only wholesale changes at the top could begin to cure its malaise. What is required is a group of independent-minded people, patriotic, incorruptible but with the capacity to handle such a strenuous assignment of conducting elections in Nigeria. “It is not difficult to find such people, but whether the Govern-
ment and the National Assembly have the inclination to do so, I am not so sure. The only way I and many more experienced politicians than myself expect the 2015 elections to be remotely free and fair is for the opposition to be so strong that they can effectively prevent INEC from rigging. “I would like, here, Mr. Chairman, to repeat what I have said time and time again at home in Nigeria with regards to the election aftermath. Some commentators and public figures have wrongly pointed accusing fingers at me for inciting post-election violence. Nothing could be farther from the truth. “I have been a public servant all my adult life: a soldier, a federal minister, a state governor and the head of state. My duty is to Nigeria first and foremost. Post-election violence was triggered by the grossest injustice of election rigging and accompanying state high-handedness.” Gen. Buhari expressed regrets that elections had not been free and fair since 2003 in Nigeria with the connivance of the Judiciary.
He said: “Central and critical to democracy is adherence to the rule of law. That is to say, no individual, institution, not even government itself can act outside the confines of the law without facing sanctions. Executive arbitrariness can only be checked where there is respect for the law. “Other desirable conditions of democracy, such as freedom of speech and association, can only flourish in an atmosphere where the law allows a level playing field. In the absence of the rule of law, free and fair elections and an independent judiciary cannot exist. “As a result of the virtual absence of the rule of law, elections in Nigeria since 2003 have not been free and fair. As a participant, I can relate to this audience my experiences during the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections. Hundreds of candidates have similar experiences in state, federal legislature and gubernatorial elections. “Under Nigerian law, these elections are governed by the 1999 constitution, the Electoral Law and the Independent Na-
tional Electoral Commission (INEC) Acts of 2002, 2006 and 2010. Ordinarily, an election is an occasion where contestants will join the electorate in celebration of freedom, because the will of the majority has prevailed. Winners and losers alike come together to work in the interest of their country. But this happens only if the elections were deemed free and fair. “In 2003, INEC tabled results in court which were plainly dishonest. We challenged them to produce evidence for the figures. They refused. The judges supported them by saying, in effect, failure to produce the result does not negate the elections! “In a show of unprecedented dishonesty and un-professionalism, the President of the Court of Appeal read out INEC’s figures (which they refused to come to court to prove or defend) as the result accepted by the court. The Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, said this was okay. “In 2007, the violations of electoral rules were so numerous that most lawyers connected with the case firmly believed
that the elections would be nullified. I will refer to just two such violations. The Electoral Act of 2006 stipulated that ballot papers SHALL be serially numbered and voters result sheets must also be tallied on serially numbered papers. INEC produced ballot papers with NO serial numbers and also used blank sheets, thereby making it well near impossible to have an audit trail. “At all events, at the final collation centre, the chief electoral officer, after 11 (eleven) states (out of 36) were tallied excused himself from the room – apparently on a toilet break – and announced the ‘final results’ to waiting journalists. He had the ‘results’ in his pocket. At the time, several states had not completed transmission of their tallies. “As in 2003, the courts rubberstamped this gross transgression of the rules. Some election returns confirmed by INEC stamps included, 28th April, two (2) days before the election, 29th April, a day before the election and astonishingly, 31st April a Continued on page 59
morrow, just get it, you are not helping the economy. We have to change. Get rid of them. We must shun the philosophy that says ‘better to save money and spend the people’. I say better spend the money and save the people. “I believe in the national government saving money, if saving is for the purpose other than itself. For government that prints its own currency, to save that currency merely for saving’s sake is to accumulate worthless paper. Instead, our money must catalyse development, enriching the broadest spectrum of people. To say we are saving money for a rainy day while everyone is already drenched and wading through flood waters makes little sense to me. “We must reform our economy. To do this, we must first reform our philosophy of economic development. What I advocate is not starry-eyed socialism. I seek clear-eyed, yet, progressive capitalism. “Making money, not tangible goods that improves our standard of living has become the overriding economic objective. Funds should be used to fuel industrial production and generate employment, leading to broad shared prosperity. “Instead, funds are increasingly recycled within the financial sector, creating huge nominal profits for a select few. The great nominal wealth is unconnected to economic fundamentals and has little bearing on the welfare of the average person. “The more attractive this nominal wealth, the more money flows to and remains within the financial sector which produced this entrapping mirage. The mirage of nominal wealth thus expands and deceives more of us while the real economy staggers about like a starving man who searches for crumbs on the floor of an empty banquet hall.” Tinubu said the challenge before the government should be how to ensure that most of Nigerians make reasonable return and boost agriculture. He added that “instead of stealing from our children and stealing the pension fund of the retired, this Continued on page 59
CLARIFICATION Sanusi Lamido of Seplat/ Platform Petroleum, named as owner of an oil block by Senator Ita Enang, in yesterday’s edition is not the same as Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi —Editor
•INEC Chair Jega
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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS Corruption, looting destroyed UNIABUJA, says Iyayi From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
UNIVERSITY don and author, Prof. Festus Iyayi yesterday said that a substantial part of resources available to the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) was misapplied and looted by the officials. Iyayi noted that the institution’s governance structure did not demonstrate any sense of responsibility even in the most elementary areas such as providing the right ambience for learning. He said the university as a community of reason, needed to build true governance culture and “take the university back from barbarians,” noting that the institution could rise from the current ashes to provide the best model of university education in the country. Iyayi spoke at a lecture titled: “25 years of education at the University of Abuja : Achievements, challenges and prospects”. The event was to mark the 25th anniversary of UNIABUJA. It was organised by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (UNIABUJA) branch. Quoting from the report of the 2012 visitation panel to UNIABUJA, Iyayi described the school as a failed university because it could not maintain integrity in its admissions, examinations, graduations, appointments and promotions. The professor, who lectures at the Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Benin (UNIBEN), said UNIABUJA received about N35 billion between 1988 and 2012, but work done with the fund was grossly substandard, of questionable quality and value.
CORRECTION THE appointment of a Comptroller General of Immigration ‘is not in the purview of the Minister of Interior’ and not of the ministry as errorneously reported yesterday. Also, there is a Board in the ministry which is saddled with the responsibility of recommendation for appointments.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Jonathan vows to break gender barriers
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday reassured women that his administration will continue to take significant steps to fulfill his promise of affirmative action towards empowering them. Jonathan, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, felicitated with all Nigerian women as they join others across the world in celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day. According to him, his administration will continue to build on its achievements and do all within its powers to curb violence against women. The statement reads: “In keeping with the theme – ‘A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women’, chosen by the United Nations for International Women’s Day this year, President Jonathan wishes to reassure Nigerian women that having already taken very significant steps to fulfill his promise of affirmative action to further empower Nigerian women, his administration will continue to build on its achievements in this regard and do all within its powers to curb violence against women. “The President also seizes the opportunity of the occasion to pledge the Federal Government’s full support for ‘COMMIT’– the new United Nations (UN) initiative which calls on leaders worldwide to take a stand to end violence against women and girls. “President Jonathan fully believes that Nigerian women can be equal partners with men in the implementation of his administration’s Agenda for National Transformation and will therefore carry on doing everything possible to ensure that they are politically and economically empowered to contribute even more positively to the national development effort. “Having already broken gender barriers by appointing women to key positions in government including the first female Chief Justice of the Federation and female ministers for very important ministries such as Finance, Petroleum, Communications Technology, Education, Water Resources, Housing, Environment, Power, Defence, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and authorising the admission of women to the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and their commissioning as combatants in the Armed Forces, the President assures Nigerian women that he is determined to take their empowerment a step forward by working to ensure that they also get better representation in elective offices in future. “As International Women’s Day 2013 is marked, President Jonathan also reaffirms his personal commitment to the accelerated reduction of maternal and infant mortality in the country and assures women that the Government will continue to work for its attainment through the Federal Ministry of Health and its
•Oshiomhole, Osotimehin, Falana’s wife, UNAIDS make case for women empowerment From Augustine Ehikioya, Adebowale Nike, Abuja, Precious Igbonwelundu and Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha, Lagos
agencies, as well as international organisations such as the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children which he co-chairs.” Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday said that women across the world are marginalised, stressing that it has affected their acquisition of leadership experience. He called for greater representation for women in politics and government in the spirit of fairness and equity. Oshiomhole spoke at this year’s annual lecture of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), held at the Muson Centre, Lagos. He promised to look into the case of a man sentenced to five years imprisonment in Edo State for stealing roasted rabbit. At the event were Information Communication Technology (ICT) Minister, Mrs Mobola Johnson, Chairperson, WIMBIZ, Mrs Adeola Azeez, Chairman, Edo State Economic Team, Godwin Obaseki, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs, Risikatu Akiode, former Edo State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ngozi Osanyenye, member, WIMBIZ board of directors, Yewande Zaccheaus and Director, Edo State ICT, Yemi Keri. The governor, who noted that Nigeria’s situation was more compelling, attributed the challenges women face to hostile socio-cultural, legal and political environment. He urged women to stand up and kick against the indigenisation law which denies women the right to vie for certain offices in their husbands states. Oshiomhole noted that only 20.4 per cent of political positions are held by women worldwide, just as he maintained that women have proven to be more courageous and goal-driven. “There is need for special attention to women issues; re-order the environment so that women can have equal opportunities because no nation can adequately attain the desired developmental level or pursue policies that will confine poverty to history if men and women do not have equal opportunities. In her opening remark, Mrs Azeez said that WIMBIZ was interested in creating a platform for women to realise their full potentials, just as she noted that there was need for more women doing more. She said:“There are wonderful gifts and talents that God has deposited in every woman. What we need is an enabling environment, the support from our spouses as well as retrain ourselves, be courageous, articulate and smart. “WIMBIZ is creating the platform to
EFCC deepens ties with Ghana’s FIC
engage women, to get into their consciousness and let them know they do not need to fold their alms and watch. We anger them, provoke them, inspire them and impact on them to stop sitting in their comfort zones and start impacting on their society. “We are also breaking some of those cultural barriers especially in the North to make more of the northern women come out of their shell. As a matter of fact, we have appointed a northern woman on our board and we shall disclose her identity later. “We cannot sit back and not take part in politics and governance. We cannot sit and criticise Nigeria for not getting to where we expect it. Women must come out and effect that change. WIMBIZ has partnered with an organisation ahead of the 2015 election to talk to women and ensure that those who have merit and credibility are positioned for certain positions. Foreign Secretary in the British High Commission, Abuja, William Hague, called for greater international action to tackle sexual violence in conflict. Hague is billed to mark the day with a vow to redouble efforts to tackle the culture of impunity surrounding sexual violence in conflict and ensure survivors’ voices can be heard. The Foreign Secretary’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), a key foreign affairs priority for the UK’s G8 Presidency this year, aims to increase the number of perpetrators facing justice, push for greater international action and help countries improve their efforts to tackle these crimes and support survivors. The Foreign Secretary said: “International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate women’s achievements, but also to highlight where more work needs to be done. “Sexual violence as a weapon of war is not just a crime against women. But the majority of attacks are against women and girls, with hundreds of thousands suffering appalling sexual crimes in conflict zones. It is a sad truth that too often the perpetrators go unpunished. “My pledge during the UK’s G8 Presidency year and beyond is to work to end the culture of impunity that exists around these crimes and to galvanise the international community to greater action. Also, the Under-Secretary-General and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehin, has renewed the commitment of UNFPA, to strengthen and intensify efforts to an end gender-based violence. He said, the global statistics given on female violence are unacceptable, as up to 50 per cent of sexual assaults are committed against girls age below 16. Globally, 603 million women live in
countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime and up to 70 per cent of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime, while 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18. Osotimehin said in the face of such unacceptable figures, gender-based violence remained a major health and human rights concern and that no human development can be achieved as long as women and girls continue to suffer from violence or live in fear of it. UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said that ending violence against women is not only an urgent human rights need—it is critical to ending AIDS. Sidibé’s remark was contained in a statement yesterday by UNAIDS on the international women’s day. It reads: “Studies carried out by UNAIDS has shown that majority of the people living with Human Immune Virus (HIV) are women. This is due to the fact that every minute a young woman is infected with HIV.” Sidibe said that an equal world is one where all women and men have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. It is one where women and men can equally protect themselves from HIV. The Director also advised that husbands and partners, brothers and sons, must all be part of the solution to build a world where women and men are equal. Her words: “Only when we value a girl’s health and welfare as highly as a boy’s, only when we listen and act equally to women’s voices—then can we have a chance at ending this epidemic.” She urged everyone to stand together as caring communities in other to reach for shared dignity, mutual respect and a renewed commitment to end violence against women and girls. Mrs Funmi Falana, a lawyer, lamented that Nigeria has not provided the right atmosphere for equal participation for women in public offices as contained in Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 7 of the Convention of Eliminates of All Forum Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). According to her, the number of women in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is a proof that women are still being marginalised. Her words: ‘Regrettably’ under the present political dispensation, out of 42 ministers, only 11 are women. In the 36 states, no state has up to five women in its executive council and of the 36 Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) nominated in 2011, only three are women. The struggle for gender equality is far from being won”. She urged the National Assembly to use the opportunity of the ongoing Constitution review to eliminate all discriminatory laws and practices against women.
•Prosecutes Fernandez for ‘N44.9m scam’
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and Ghana’s Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) yesterday resolved to deepen the level of cooperation between the two agencies. The agencies agreed to collaborate when FIC’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Samuel Thompson Essel, the agency’s Head of International Cooperation Edward Mussey visited EFCC’s chairman Ibrahim Lamorde, in Abuja . A statement by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said Lamorde called for synergy among antigraft agencies in West Africa . The statement said: “While acknowledging the rich history of cooperation between Ghana and Nigeria, and the trans-national dimension to organised criminal activities in the subregion, Lamorde stressed the need for law enforcement organisations in West Africa to
From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
build a synergy of lasting cooperation. “He expressed the willingness of the EFCC to assist the FIC in building its capacity through training and intelligence sharing, adding that joint training and frequent interface by officers of the two agencies should be encouraged to forge understanding and good relationships. “Essel thanked Lamorde for the warm reception and briefed him on measure already taken by FIC to enhance the fight against organised crime and money laundering in Ghana. He noted that his agency has faced challenges in compliance by Designated Non-Financial Institutions with Anti-Money Laundering Regulation especially as it affects the rendition of Suspicious Transaction Reports, STR. “He, however, acknowledged the fact that training received at the Nigerian Financial Intelli-
gence Unit, NFIU, by some of his analysts has been a catalyst for his organisation, Essel appealed to Lamorde to encourage his staff to visit the FIC, while also extending invitation to him to visit Ghana. “The FIC officials were guests of their Nigerian counterpart, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). Also yesterday, the EFCC arraigned one Patrick Fernandez, 50, before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on a five-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretences and issuance of dud cheques worth N44.9million contrary to Section 1(1) of the Dishonoured Cheques Act Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004. “In his ruling, Justice Onigbanjo granted the defendant bail in the sum of N2million and two sureties in like sum “He adjourned the matter till April 17 and 19 September, 2013 for commencement of trial.
•From left: Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, National President,Jama’atu Ta’Awunil Muslimeen, Sheikh Daood Imran Molaasan and Asst. Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Mudasiru Togun at the laying of the foundation stone of Al-Ummah College of Education (UMCOED) at Iwo.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
Police killed our son, family alleges •Police spokesman: we're still investigating the incident
HO killed seyi Fasere, the part-time 400-level Business Administration student of Ekiti State University (EKSU)? He was killed last Thursday on his way to school. The police, the bereaved family alleged yesterday, killed him. In tears, his parents, Mr and Mrs Joseph Fasere told reporters in their Ilupeju-Ekiti home that they don’t believe the police story linking their son to a bank robbery. They said the late Fasere was returning to school in Ado-Ekiti, capital of the state in the evening that fateful Thursday, when he was killed. According to them, they got wind of a robbery late that Thursday through a neighbour, Mrs. Victoria Bobola Adewuyi, who said she boarded the same bus from Ilupeju with the deceased before the vehicle ran into a gang of robbers somewhere close to Oye. Since it was late, Mrs Fasere said, they could not establish contact with the deceased until the next day when they traced
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
him to the police station in Oye where, they found his dead body. The mother said: "When we got to the station, we saw and identified the corpse with his hands tied behind him. I told them (the police) that the boy was my son. I was surprised when they (the police) told me that he (Fasere) was among the gang of robbers who attacked a bank in Oye. "We opposed their claim and told them that my son just left home where he came to collect his school fees as his second semester examination would be starting next week. He left home with about N100,000." At that point, she said: "They (police) then descended on me and his father with blows and all manners off objects, saying that we were the ones who sent the boy to be throwing grenades at them." "Thereafter, we were thrown behind the counter where we were kept until about 6pm when they released us to go home and ordered to come back following
Okorocha to Ladipo traders: obey govt
•Mr and Mrs Fasere
day." Mrs. Fasere said a policeman popularly called, 'Akobi-Esu' (devil's first child), had told them that he killed Seyi with “a single shot” after being established as a member of the robbery gang. She said: "My son was killed at the police station on Friday morning and taken to the bush to make people believe that he was a robber.
"It is sad for the police to have caught Seyi where he was hiding, tied his hands and detained him from Thursday till Friday before shooting him just to create the impression that they had caught a robber. They even spread the news in town that he was a member of a robbery gang. But the second day, a heavy rain fell and one of the robbers, who sustained injury during the raid was washed out of the cul-
vert where he was hiding, almost dying. "When interrogated by the police in the presence of the people, the man confessed to being a member of the gang and that Seyi was not among them. Mrs Adewuyi, 72, said when the robbers shot at the bus, all the passengers alighted and ran into the bush. "When I returned to Ilupeju later in the day, I asked if Seyi had also come
•Imo governor, Fashola visit troubled market
O facilitate the re-opening of Ladipo market, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, was in Lagos yesterday. With his host, Governor Babatunde Fashola, he visited the market and urged the traders to comply with the directive for reoopeining the place. Okorocha, who assured Fashola of the traders’ willingness to comply with extant rules, appealed to his colleague to upgrade the facilities in the market. The Imo governor said: "The governor is asking you to make your place better for your own good, but Your Excellency, I will request again; the road is good on one side, but the other side is not too good, knowing that you are a performing governor, I know you will tar this place very soon and I know you will do it as a friend and once you (traders) clean up this place, you will make it as other places in Lagos".
By Miriam Ekene-Okoro
He praised the traders for their understanding, saying environmental cleanliness and orderliness cannot be sacrificed on the altar of business "I want to appeal to you for your understanding. Igbo are clean people; we are the cleanest people in the world and you cannot let us look like we are not clean anymore. I have come to appeal to him, because when I heard that you were losing revenue and you were no more making money and trading, I became concerned. I have seen the work being done and the place is looking better. I even asked what we can do to improve the lives of the people and the governor said anything he could do to make the Igbo happy, that he would do it and part of it is to make sure that this place is clean," he said, warning the traders to shun hooliganism and fight-
•L-R: President Ladipo Market, Mr Ike Animalu; Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello; Governor Fashola, and his Imo counterpart, Okorocha, during their visit to the market, yesterday. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN ing in the market, lamps. It is the easiest thing to do and "You have to stop all these, ev- market; you need to cooperate. it will follow soon," Fashola said. eryone cannot be the head of the Why you are here is to find what He added: "We have no problem to eat and sustain yourself, not fighting. If you bring this attitude with the traders. The government and home, we will chase you back. the traders have work to do in the Please, cooperate with him and I market. And as soon as we are through will come back here with him to with it, we will get back to our daily located on Agowande Street, launch the new Ladipo with elec- commercial activities. We will do it in Igbona, Osogbo, for further tricity, network of roads, and other a way that is sustainable for both the amenities you need, but keep the traders and the landlords. The factory medical care." owners and the residents must be able A police source said there was place clean," Okorocha added. Fashola said the government had to access their homes and offices witha twist to the matter on March 6 when Ibrahim discovered that his also moved to upgrade the market, out any hindrance. “This is the way that all of you will child had been exchanged for a adding that it would be reopened as soon as the clean-up was com- generate the revenue that I need to fix baby girl. the road in the market. Before this The nurses are being interro- pleted. "I think that the state develop- week is over, we should be through gated, while the doctor on duty mental effort in Mushin has on the day of the incident is said stopped because the contractor with the exercise and we should get back to work." to be on the run. couldn't access this place. Now, if The Mayor of Ladipo and Eze The Osun State Police Com- you are tax-paying citizens, how Ndigbo of Mushin land, Dr. John mand spokesperson, Folasade can the state government develop Nwosu, has urged the traders to reOdoro, confirmed the incident, other parts of the state and leave main peaceful. He praised them for but assured that the suspects, af- Ladipo behind? So, what you have abiding by the state government's diter conclusion of investigations, asked for is the upgrade of the rectives to demolish illegal structures would be charged to court. road, and restoration of the street that constitute dirt in the market.
Two nurses held for swapping babies
WO nurses of a private clinic in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, have been arrested by the police for allegedly exchanging a new baby boy for a girl. The suspects who are in the custody of the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Osun State Police Command, were said to have exchanged Semia Nurudeen's baby boy for a baby girl belonging to another woman. The children were born in the clinic. It was gathered that Semia gave birth to a set of premature twins in the private hospital on old
Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo.
Ikirun Road, Osogbo, but one of the babies, who were confirmed to be boys, died; the other survived. The surviving baby was referred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where the suspects work. The father of the twins, Ibrahim, said: "My wife was rushed to the hospital in Testing Ground area and she gave birth to a set of twins prematurely. "One of the babies - both boys died immediately and the other, because of his situation, was referred to the ICU of the hospital
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
C ITYBEATS Another student feared killed in cult clash
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
‘It is sad for the police to have caught Seyi where he was hiding, tied his hands and detained him from Thursday till Friday before shooting him just to create the impression that they had caught a robber. They even spread the news into town that he was a member of a robbery gang’
ANOTHER student fell under cultists’ bullets yesterday, one week after the killing of Damino Damoche, a popstar and final-year student of Lagos State University (LASU). The late Karim Abiodun, who was a second-year Economics Education undergraduate of Lagos State College of Education (LASCOED), Ijanikin, close to LASU in Ojo, was killed by suspected student cultists in front of the school gate. Damoche was killed in front of the LASU gate last Thursday. Sources said he was a member of Buccaneer confraternity, whose members were said to be at war with members of their Eiye confraternity counterpart. It was gathered that the cultists invaded the late Abiodun's home on Afolabi Street around PPL in Okokomaiko early yesterday.
because he was not among the team that attacked the station. But he confessed to being part of the team who attacked the bank." "He also disclosed that their gang leader recruited them separately. So, we do not know if Seyi was one of the robbers or he was caught in the crossfire. But we are still investigating",
Olu-Babayemi said. The robbers, who attacked second-generation bank made away with an undisclosed sum of money. They were said to have own the bank's entrance with a dynamite. It was, however, not confirmed if there were casualties in the attack.
Slain distributor’s remains buried • Family thanks Fashola for waiving embalmment fee
VER one year after his death in police custody, the remains of Ademola Adedeji, were interred yesterday. The death of Adedeji, who was a major distributor of Rites Food products, is still a subject of coroner’s inquest. He was arrested in February 9, last year, in the company's premises, where he had gone to buy products, for allegedly “refusing” to pay his debts. He was a destributor with the firm for four years before his death last year. He was the firm’s “distributor of the year in 2010”. The late Adedeji had earlier denied owing the company and requested that an independent external auditor be invited to look into the claim. The company rejected his request and got him arrested. He reportedly died in custody that night, barely two hours after his wife left him "in good health" at the Ikeja Police Station. While testifying before the coroner, Magistrate Tajudeen Elias, the widow, Cecilia, had said: "We tried all we could to secure his bail but the police told us to bring N1million. His friend wanted to even deposit a brand new car; they refused. When I called the security officer of Rites Food, he said I should either comply with police demands or leave my husband in custody. It took three months before I was allowed to see my husband's corpse." At the funeral, Cecilia was too distraught to speak. Other family members thanked Governor Babatunde Fashola for waiving the accumulated mortuary fee of N434,000 incurred since Adedeji’s body was allegedly deposited by the Investigating Police Officer(IPO), David Egbon, "without informing the family".
By Jude Isiguzo
The deceased was said to have managed to escape through one of his windows, but was chased to Peoples BusStop around Ajagbandi and was shot dead. His death came after that of a student identified simply as Kabiru. The Police, as gathered, arrested a member of a vigilance group in the area. The suspect, whose identity could not be immediately
ascertained, reportedly admitted to have witnessed when the late Abiodun was being chased. He was also said to have identified one of the assailants. Students of other institutions living around PPL have fled their homes in fear. Most of them who fled their homes when the news of Abiodun was broken returned later in the day to pick their belongings. Residents are appealing to state government and the police to increase security patrol in the area. However, the Lagos Command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), denied knowledge of the incident. She explained that she had contacted the Divisional Police Officer` (DPO) covering the area, who said nothing of such happened.
Protests, as herbalist 'kills' patient
•The late Seyi
back. They said he had not," the septuagenarian said. The Police Public Relations Officer of the state, Mr Victor Olu-Babayemi said Seyi's body was discovered in the bush the following day, when his men combed the robbery scene. He said: "One of the robbers who was shot and arrested said he could not identify Seyi
‘The deceased was said to have managed to escape through one of his windows, but was chased to Peoples Bus-Stop around Ajagbandi and was shot dead’
By Segun Balogun
"We thank God and the Lagos State Government for the help rendered in getting the corpse. When we got burial warrant last December and we got to the mortuary, we were told our bill was N434,000. We appealed to the government and it came to our rescue," said the late Adedeji's uncle, Adewale Ajayi. The family's lawyer, Clement Eko, said: "The bill should have been more, but because Governor Fashola had waived it, we were not charged anything." The Public Advice Centre (PAC) took interest in the inquest based on The Nation's report and referred the case to the Office of Public Defender (OPD). During proceedings before the coroner, it was confirmed that Adedeji died of suffocation following intake of irritant gas. The pathologist, Dr. Francis Fadeyile, during a cross examination, said Adedeji was brought in dead,
against police claim that he died in hospital, where he was reportedly rushed after developing complications in custody. Fadeyile said his findings "revealed marked fluidity of blood in Adedeji's body even after three days in the refrigerator, which is unusual since the blood should have clot." Eko said the late Adedeji's family had been finding things difficult since "Ademola was the sole breadwinner." "The wife is not working because her husband wanted it so. Now, things are difficult. She has already withdrawn a child from school," he said. Ajayi sought help for the late Adedeji's children, saying: "He was a pillar in our family. Our mother died on March 3, last year, three days after we told her of Ademola's death." The late Adedeji was born in Ilesha, Osun State. He moved to Lagos after his secondary education and started trading.
Potential award of excellence
HE second edition of an award of excellence, tagged Potential Awards 2012, will hold on April 4 at the Eko Multipurpose Hall, Agidingbi, Alausa in Ikeja. The award celebrates uncommon achievements by selected people in the public and private sectors. The publisher of Facts and Potentials Magazine, organiser of the awards, Deacon Taiye Akindein, said award categories include: Man of the Year, Senator of the Year, Distinguished Personality of the Year, and Outstanding Local
Government Chairman of the Year among others. The event will be chaired by Chairman, Independence Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria Sir. Sunny Ndubisi Nwosu while Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun is guest of honour. Ekiti State Governor’s wife, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, is the mother of the day. Guest speakers are Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, the Elegushi of Ikate and Mr. Dele Elumoye, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Chapter.
HUNDREDS of youths and commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada yesterday took the streets in Ilesa, Osun State, to protesting the alleged killing of a man, by an herbalist. It took the quick intervention of policemen attached to the Osun State Police Command, 'B' Division, Ilesa, to prevent a breakdown of law and order in Oke-Opo, where the incident occurred. The deceased, Femi, a resident of Idasa was said to have been 'butchered' by the herbalist, Isaac Olakunle, who is known
Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo.
as a native psychiatric doctor. It was gathered that the late Femi was a patients of the herbalist. His mutilated body was said to have been found inside a sack at the local psychiatric clinic. It took the police several
hours to stop the irate mob from lynching the herbalist. The late Femi's body has been deposited at the morgue of the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa. The police spokesperson in the state, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, said investigation had begun on the care.
Plank market on fire in Lagos THE plank market in ketu, Lagos went up in flames last night. Property worth millions of naira were lost in the fire. Fire service men were
battling to put it out as 10:30pm. Lagos State Police Spokeperson Ngozi Braide said policemen had secured the market to prevent looting.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS AT THE PRESENTATION OF FINANCIALISM-WATER FROM AN EMPTY WELL IN LAGOS
‘I seek clear-eyed, yet progressive capitalism’
To say we are saving money for a rainy day while everyone is already drenched and wading through flood waters makes little sense to me. We must shun the philosophy that says better to save money and spend the people. I say better to spend money and save people.
Text of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s speech at the public presentation of a book he co-authored with former Consul-General of the United States (US) in Nigeria, Mr. Brian Browne
STAND before you today not as the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) or a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC). I am not here as Asiwaju, a former Senator, or a former governor. Today, I rest these titles. Thus, I stand before you simply as Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Nigerian, who has dedicated most of his adult life to the progress of this nation. For this, I offer no apology. Come hell, come high water, I am a Nigerian. Come torrential rain or sunshine; drought or flood; increase or decrease; help or hindrance; I shall remain what I am; a Nigerian. Because of this, you are my people. Whether from North, Southeast or West; we are all branches of the same tree. Whether in the same or different political parties, we are members of the same national family. Whether from the same or a different religion, you are of me and I am of you. For the love for Nigeria, for the love of Africa and for the best future of our nation, I co-authored this book with our African-American brother, Brian Browne. Now permit me to tell you a bit about this intellectual journey upon which we embarked. The most significant economic event of the past seventy years was the 2008 financial downturn. Assessing the vast wreckage caused by this Great Recession, we concluded the downslide was not the normal churning of the business cycle. Something more sinister that posed a grave danger to Nigeria’s political economy was afoot. If we allow things to continue as they are, that political economy will become a distorted, topheavy edifice incapable of maintaining its balance. Increasingly, few elite will grow wealthy and powerful beyond decent measure. The middle class will atrophy into non-existence while the vast pool of our citizens will be shackled to a lifetime of misery and sour destitution. Gone will be the chance of broad prosperity and economic justice. Fleeing with it will be the hope of political democracy. As long as I live, I will not walk silently beside her as Nigeria steers this bleak path. I will talk, shout, and even set myself down to write a book or a library of books if that is what it takes to awaken our people to the economic dangers that we have so assumed mindlessly. The global economy had become unbalanced and it has unbalanced our national economic architecture. We are told that we live in an age of capitalism. If only that were true, things would not be so bad. We live in a time where capitalism has been consumed by a more virulent ideology. That ideology we deem as “Financialism.” Certainly, capitalism has many blemishes. Its historic imperfections have caused misery and pain across the globe. An inadequately regulated free market has on too many occasions, ground poor and weak individuals as well as nations into dust. Without appropriate government intervention, capitalism can
become a predator devouring those it purports to enrich. Yet, capitalism must be credited as a medium that produced unprecedented, albeit unequal, levels of global wealth and prosperity. The task before us should be how to make the positive reality overcome the more negative aspects of this complex system. However, the current challenge is far more acute and dramatic. We are compelled to do more than brighten capitalism’s image. We are left to save it from the intent of its offspring- financialism to burying it. What is now practiced is not capitalism. It is something meaner but less productive; something that widens the gap between the rich and the poor. This is a worldwide phenomenon. Even in Britain, inequality has reverted to the level of 1920 before the advent of the welfare state. The situation must even be more precarious in Nigeria. Capitalism is now something that unduly rewards those who earn their keep through the shuffling of financial papers yet unduly punishes those who make their way through the sweat and travails of true and honest labour. No, this is not capitalism. It is a cannibalistic offspring ever-ready and willing to devour its parents. Under capitalism, the financial sector was adjunct to the real sector. The financial sector served as the circulatory system, efficiently allocating funds to the most productive agents within the real or manufacturing sector in order to keep that sector vibrant. Such vibrancy generates employment for the bulk of the people. High levels of employment lead to stability and make the standard of living more conducive to democratic aspirations. This complementary scenario no longer exists. The financial sector is no longer satisfied with being the branch. To a large extent, it has assumed the role of the tree and its trunk. The financial sector no longer complements the real sector. It has grown too large in comparison. Its appetite is ceaseless and grows with each meal. Instead of funding the real sector, it now chokes it, leaving many hitherto productive people and companies struggling to draw water from an empty well. Under capitalism, the financial sector invested in production of tangible goods. Today, the financial sector specialises in financial investment. Having become insatiable, it rather invests in itself and not in other sectors of the economy so that other sectors prosper with it. Financial speculation used to be the province of a small set of risk takers. Today, it is the fad. Cautious and prudent bankers were once sentinels of the financial sector. Things are different under financialism. Caution has been tossed to the four winds as the economy was tossed to the wolves. The banker who keeps his wits to function in the best traditions of banking is the exception. I salute those men and women who honour their professional tenets while others turned esteemed financial houses into lax casinos. However, their demonstrations of
individual propriety proved insufficient to halt the systemic distortion that occurred. Today, we have a big problem. Making money not tangible goods that improve our standard of living has become the overriding economic objective. Funds should be used to fuel industrial production and generate employment, thus leading to shared prosperity. Instead, funds are incessantly recycled within the financial sector, creating huge nominal profits for a select few. The great nominal wealth is unconnected to economic fundamentals and has little bearing on the welfare of the average person. The more attractive this nominal wealth, the more money flows to and remains within the financial sector which has produced this entrapping mirage. The mirage of nominal wealth thus expands and deceives many of us while the real economy staggers about like a hungry man searching for crumbs on the floor of an empty banquet hall. In Nigeria today, with our lack of vital infrastructure, the absence of a concrete industrial policy and with the paucity of long-term funding to fuel the real sector, we ask the economy to do the impossible. It is like attempting to draw water from an empty well. These points are not just topics of abstract observation. They are our real world problems. Financialism has crippled the developed economies so much that they remain deep in serial financial crises. If a financialist modeling of the economy turns developed economies into hollow images of themselves, what shall it wrought in our economy that has never been developed or industrialised? As such, this book is an honest warning against the impending dangers of the encroaching financialism. Yet, the book does more than warn. We sought to identify a few safety exits from the burning building. It offers important recommendations on how to reclaim our economic destiny. For instance, the accumulation of money by the Federal Government is a misplaced objective for these times. We have about $46 billion in foreign reserves earning about one or two per cent while we have about $42 billion in domestic debt on which the government is paying up to 16 per cent. This makes no sense and it crowds out the private sector borrowers and investors. Our driving purpose must be to channel idle human and material capacity into productive streams that furnish jobs and manufacture tangible goods bettering the living conditions of every citizen. I believe in the national government saving money if it is for a purpose more than saving sake. For a government that prints its own currency, to save that currency for merely for saving’s sake is to accu-
mulate worthless paper. Instead, our money must jumpstart development to enrich the broadest spectrum of the people. To say we are saving money for a rainy day while everyone is already drenched and wading through flood waters makes little sense to me. We must shun the philosophy that says “better to save money and spend the people.” I say better to spend money and save people. We must reform our economy. To do this, we must first reform our philosophy about the economic development. What I advocate is not starry-eyed socialism. I seek clear-eyed, yet, progressive capitalism. Here are just a handful of key things we must do. They include: •that we must reform the financial sector so that it becomes an effective artery that sends funds to the heart of the real sector once again; •that the Federal Government must formulate a national industrial policy focusing on developing labour intensive industries. This is not textbook capitalism because we do not live in a textbook. This is how the United States (US) developed under Alexander Hamilton’s “American System” and how modern China reached spectacular growth; •that we must restructure our educational system to prepare our youth for the present challenges of this economy and not educate them in a manner more appropriate for another land; •that we need to overhaul our agricultural system and put in place a price support mechanism so that those who till the land to feed us do not go continuously poorer the more they toil; •that we must establish commodity exchange boards exclusively for farmers. This will go a long way to support them and provide agricultural pricing support mechanisms and consequently enhance food security; The challenge before our nation today is how to protect millions who till the land and how to ensure they make reasonable returns and boost agricultural production. Instead of stealing from our children and stealing the pension fund of the retiree, this government must answer the moral call of providing one meal per day for our school children up to high school level. Feeding our children will improve nutritional intake and work better for their educational development. Ultimately, it will
‘In Nigeria today, with our lack of vital infrastructure, the absence of a concrete industrial policy and with the paucity of long-term funding to fuel the real sector, we ask the economy to do the impossible. It is like attempting to draw water from an empty well’
eliminate child abuse and take the children off our streets. The demand for farm products to feed the pupils will be a catalyst to generate demand, create wealth, promote production of agricultural goods and fuel associated industrial growth. The establishment of these activity and small scale agroindustries will generate significant employment in our rural areas; and •that we need to provide primary healthcare by taking it upon ourselves to fight malaria so that our children can develop properly and our labour force becomes more productive as it grows healthier. In the final analysis, our development rests with us. Foreign investment is welcome but will not lead us to prosperity. Foreign investment may repair a room or two, but it can never build the mansion we seek. We cannot blindly follow the advice of others. In thoughtless adherence to their own economic myths, the developed economies have led themselves astray in some instances. Their present counsel can do no better for us than it has done for them. Should we continue to listen to their false counsel, we will gain nothing of it because it would nothing more than attempting to draw water from the empty well. We have the ability and knowledge to forge our own way. We must base our approach on empirical fact not subjective theory. We must examine what has worked in other places then adjust these truths to the situation at hand. We needn’t reinvent the wheel but we must be mindful not to be fooled when a stranger tells us that a round stone is the wheel we need. Let us give our productive sector drive, purpose and vitality so that it puts the vast army of idle people and material assets to work. In this way, we safeguard internal security because a prosperous nation is no longer a danger unto itself. In this way, we safeguard democracy because a productive workforce and strong middle-class are better guarantors of democracy than any military can ever be. On the other hand, a poor and idle population is a factory of inequality. In the throes of such inequality, despotism finds ample harvest. In this manner, we give to every Nigerian whether from North or South; whether the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP0 or APC; progressive or conservative, a chance for a better life. In this way, I can stand before you or anywhere else on this planet as a Nigerian without recourse to my title or position. Yet, stand duly proud of what we have achieved and of the life we have forged for ourselves. For this solemn reason, I helped in writing this book. For this solemn reason, I urge that you take it upon yourselves to read it.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS AT THE PRESENTATION OF FINANCIALISM-WATER FROM AN EMPTY WELL IN LAGOS •Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and Prof Osaghae Eghosa
PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA
•(L-R) Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Brian Browne, coauthor of the book.
•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left) and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III.
•Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole (left), Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun and wife, Olufunso.
•Alhaji Lateef Jakande and wife, Abimbola.
•(L-R) Sen. Ganiyu Solomon, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, Mrs Dele Fatusin and Mr Dele Alake.
•Prof Adebayo Williams flanked by Chief Pius Akinyelure and Mrs. Kemi Nelson at the launch of Financialism: Water from an Empty Well.
•(L-R) Mrs Aba Folawiyo, Alhaja Bintu Tinubu and Mrs Ireti Asemota.
•Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha
•Chief Audu Ogbe and former Kaduna State Governor Balarabe Musa.
•Dr. Amos Akingba (left), Prof Abisogun Leigh (middle) and Sen. Olabiyi Durojaye.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS GLO special SIMs for Oyo traders
IGERIA’s Second National Carrier, Globacom, has inaugurateed a unique, low-tariff calling platform, tagged, Oloja, to give Oyo State traders access to telephony at affordable rates. Oloja is a variant of the network’s Infinito Tariff platform, which allows traders to call free-ofcharge on the Closed User Group (CUG) and at low rates outside the CUG. Globacom Business Director, Oyo State 1, Mr Lawrence Okpako, who represented the Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are offering you more value for your money. We are out to ensure quality service delivery and a slice of the prosperity promised by Globacom to its subscribers in Nigeria and across Africa.” Globacom Head of Activations Mr. Henry Okpe said the company chose to tap into the huge informal sector of the economy by partnering market associations in Oyo State to develop a new platform deriving from the Infinito product, but with more and cheaper offerings. President of the Oyo State Market Men and Women Association Alhaji Dauda Oladapo thanked Globacom and pledged to ensure that all members of the association enjoy the product. The Iyaloja of the association, Alhaja Wuraola Daisi, described Globacom as a friend of the masses, saying it has brought comfort to Nigerians with its innovative offerings that revolutionised the telecoms sector.
Oyo pensioners urge EFCC to take over fraud probe
ENSIONERS in Oyo state yesterday urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take over the trial of the 10 suspects allegedly involved in the N1.6 billion pension fraud. The suspects are being held at Agodi Prisons. The pensioners want EFCC to determine the exact amount that was misappropriated.
From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
They said they do not understand how an alleged fraud of N2.6 billion and later N5.5 billion, according to the Auditor-General’s report, could be reduced to “a mere” N1.6 billion. Their spokesman, Comrade Tunji Ogunwale, whose pension and gratuity were allegedly stolen, spoke with
reporters in Ibadan, the state capital. He said the amount the suspects are being tried for is a far cry from what is missing, adding that pensioners have facts and figures to back the claim. Ogunwale and the Chairman of the pensioners, Com-
•From left: The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu; Onigbenko of Igbenko Oba Babatunde Lawali; former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Onilado of Ilado Oba Mobadenle Oyekan; Aremo Kolawole Oyekan and others during a special prayer marking the 10th memorial anniversary of the late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan at Oba Akinolu’s palace in Lagos...yesterday.
Alao-Akala dares Ajimobi to conduct council poll F ORMER Oyo State Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala yesterday challenged the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration to conduct council poll to test its popularity. Alao-Akala spoke at a meeting of the Ibadan Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Forum, which was held at Jogor Events Centre in Ibadan, the state capital. He said PDP would win, at least, two-third of the councils, if the poll is conducted. Alao-Akala said: “The Ajimobi administration has refused to conduct local government poll two years into its term. If they are bold, they should conduct the council
poll to test their popularity. I am very sure that the PDP will win, at least, two-third of the councils.” He said PDP has started preparing for the 2015 election, adding that disputes in the party would be resolved before the next meeting. Former ministers Taoheed Adedoja and Wole Oyelese and former PDP National Deputy Chairman Alhaji Yekini Adeojo urged members to unite for the party’s growth. Oyelese advocated a level playing field for members. Oyo PDP Chairman Yinka
Taiwo urged members to disregard the factional meeting held at Yemetu in Ibadan, adding that there is no faction in Oyo PDP. Taiwo said: “Those who organised the factional meeting are our brothers and sisters. There is only one PDP and here it is. We have been reaching out to them and all will be resolved very soon.” Former Secretary to the State Government Chief Olayiwola Olakojo attributed the conflict in the PDP to members’ enlightenment on their rights. The forum was also at-
tended by Chief Nureni Akanbi; Chief Moses Fagbohun and Dr. Saka Balogun, among others.
Islamic group sets up college in Osun
N Islamic group in Osun State, Jama’tu Ta’wunil Muslimeen Society of Nigeria, has established a College of Education, A-Hummah College of Education (UMCOED), in Iwo. Laying the foundation stone of the college in Oguro, Governor Rauf Aregbesola urged Muslims to develop a good character. He said faith without good character is nothing in Islam. The governor said: “If God needs only faith, he would not have created human beings, because angels have more faith than humans.” He said: “I advise Muslims
rade Remi Babatunde, said 10 of their members died waiting for their entitlements. Ogunwale said: “The National Assembly did a wonderful job by exposing those who stole the police pension fund in Abuja, but here, the police have reduced N5.7 billion stolen from the Local
Government Pension Board to a mere N1.6 billion. What an irony? “The Oyo State House of Assembly should wake up from its slumber and rescue helpless pensioners from the clutches of these fraudsters, who are spraying musicians with our money.” The pensioners urged the Oyo State Attorney-General to ensure that justice is done.
to stop building mosques because there are enough mosques in the country. We should repair and maintain the existing ones. “To preach Islam, Muslims need to build a house of knowledge, as Islam compels every Muslim to seek knowledge at all cost. “Islam is knowledge. What differentiates human beings from animals is knowledge.” Aregbesola urged Muslims to support the project. He urged the proprietor and the Implementation Committee of the college to establish an Institute of Bilingual Studies, where short-term training
on Arabic and English languages would be offered before the project is completed. The Chairman of the Implementation Committee, Prof. Alagbe Gbolagade, said the establishment of the institution is to improve education. He said: “The proposed College of Education will be for the benefit of the Muslim Ummah, in particular and all Nigerians in general. The mission of the college is to produce morally upright teachers and increase the number of Islamic and Arabic teachers in government schools. “The vision is to serve as a centre where knowledge
would be developed for development. The college will have five schools - Arts, Languages, Sciences, Social Sciences, Business Education and Vocational Studies. “However, we would like to start with two productive schools that will involve entrepreneurship studies.” The National President of the group, Sheikh Daood Imarn Molaasan, urged the government, individuals and organisations to support the project. He hailed the governor on the state’s logo and anthem, saying they would promote the Yoruba culture.
KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has approved the disbursement of N263 million as scholarship to 1,393 students of Ekiti State origin in tertiary institutions across Nigeria and abroad. Commissioner for Education Kehinde Ojo yesterday said the amount was meant to redeem outstanding payments. He said the essence of the bursary and scholarship award is to assist students and their parents with the financial burden of tertiary education. Ojo said the Fayemi administration is determined to put the state in its pride of place in the education sector.
N263m scholarship for Ekiti students From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
Director of the State’s Scholarship Board Gabriel Ojo said 9,606 of the 10,255 students who applied for scholarship scaled through the screening. He said two engineering students are on full postgraduate scholarship in China, four medical students are in Egypt and two in Brazil, and four physically-challenged students are at the University of Jos.
CNPP hails Amosun on crisis resolution
HE Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in Ogun State has hailed Governor Ibikunle Amosun for promptly resolving the factional crisis that engulfed the House of Assembly on Tuesday. In a statement by its Chairman, Otunba Odebudo, CNPP praised the maturity and statesmanship displayed by Amosun in resolving the dispute. Odebudo said the governor’s action portrays him as a true patriot and non-partisan politician, who has the interest of his people at heart. He urged the lawmakers to be tolerant of one another in the discharge of their legislative duties.
Activist urges Fed Govt on security
IGHTS’ activist Morakinyo Ogele has urged the Federal Government to address the country’s security problem decisively. In a statement yesterday, he said it was clear that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government was not doing enough to tackle the problem.
By Musa Odoshimokhe
Ogele said: “The increase in cases of killings, robbery and kidnapping is evidence that Nigeria is a failed state. Nobody is free in Nigeria any more. If a Commissioner of Police could be killed, then Nigerians are in trouble.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
BUSINESS THE NATION
Risk management could entail avoiding the risk completely reducing the negative impact of the risk through risk mitigation actions, transfering or sharing the risks with other parties and retaining the risk; ie, accepting some or all the consequences of the risk and budgeting for it. - Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor
N32b lost to rice smugglers
Caverton orders three helicopters
IGERIA lost N32 mil lion to rice smug glers last year, the Rice Importers &Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN) has said. Its President Mr Tunned Owoeye spoke yesterday in Abuja at the presentation of 150 vehicles worth N600million the group donated to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). He explained that the assistance is to complement the efforts of the service at combating the menace and to help in patrolling and monitoring of the country’s borders. He added: “We feel that the time to roll out that Federal Government willpower against smugglers is now, before they cause greater damage to the Federal Government’s economic plans, and the livelihood of millions of other Nigerians. “Our call is for the Federal Government to strengthen its mechanisms for policing the land borders, especially the Seme Border, flank as well as other related areas, where much of these acts are being perpetrated. Countries located with this kind of challenges just go all out to increase land borders’ monitoring so as to curb the activities of smugglers.” The Comptroller-General of the Service, Abdullahi Dikko, appealed to the group members to extend their partnership to offer relevant information. He added: “I promise , we shall make good use of information provided.”
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES
Inflation -11.7% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $43.5b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472
• From left: Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Mahesh Sachdev; Director-General, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii and his Pharmexcil counterpart, Dr. P. V. Appaji, at the Indian Pharma Exhibition at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
David-West blames IBB for imbalance in award of oil blocks
ORMER Petroleum Re sources Minister, Prof. Tam David-West, yesterday blamed former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd) for the lopsidedness in the award of oil blocks in favour of Northerners. David-West, who spoke to The Nation in Ibadan on the heels of the revelations that 83 per cent of oil blocks are owned by Northerners, described the situation as “unacceptable and politically explosive.” He recalled that as minister under Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, no oil block was awarded without following due process. He also emphasised that none of the highlighted oil blocks was awarded during Buhari’s tenure.
• This is ‘unacceptable and politically explosive’ From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
The professor of Virology said strict rules were set aside during Babangida’s regime in awarding the blocks, adding that his successor in office, Prof. Jubril Aminu, even awarded an oil bloc without reference to Babangida who was the Head of State then. He challenged Aminu to deny his claim, stressing that he has documents to back his allegation. David-West said: “None of those oil blocks was awarded during General Buhari’s regime. All these terrible management of oil
started during the tenure of Babangida when most of the strict rules were set aside. “It is very unacceptable and politically explosive to have a situation where 83 per cent of oil blocs belong to people from a particular section of the country, especially when oil is the main stay of the country’s economy.” He was shocked one of the oil blocks belongs to Rilwan Lukman, a former Minister of Petroleum. “It is very unfortunate and terrible for an oil minister to own an oil block. It is corruption. During Buhari’s tenure, we kept strictly to the rules - due process. A situation where an oil
minister owns oil block or petrol stations is the height of corruption,” he said. David-West urged the government to get to the root of the revelation, saying the allegations must not be brushed aside. He said: “When I was a minister, I didn’t have an oil block or petrol station. Owning an oil block is like owning diamond mine. It translates to billions of dollars. It is the height of indiscipline and corruption. To show how reckless the management of oil was under Babangida, Prof. Jubril Aminu as oil minister personally awarded oil blocks to people without reference to President Babangida. I have the documents. I challenge him to dispute my claim.”
$45b reserves: Fed Govt avoiding debate, says Ezekwesili F ORMER Vice President of the World Bank Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili yesterday faulted the Federal Government for allegedly evading debate on the controversial $45billion in the nation’s foreign reserve. She said Nigerians should ask the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan why the foreign reserve is starting to grow back to the same size it was in 2009 after such hefty earnings in the last four years. She also accused the government of distorting her recent presentation at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Ezekwesili, who made the submissions in a statement from South Africa, said the admission of fiscal leakages by the government has vindicated her. She asked the government to tell Nigerians the
• Ex-minister alleges fiscal leakages From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
extent of fiscal leakages in the system. Ezekwesili urged the administration of Jonathan to embrace the opportunity of an open debate on foreign reserve in the interest of the country. She said: “Why won’t the FG agree to the public hearing called by National Assembly? It was scheduled for the 5th and when invited, I had to painfully cancel my trips abroad for long scheduled commitments only to be told that the Executive was not “ready”? They were not and still not ready for a public discussion of the issues, but they seize every
opportunity to make “side comments” on such a serious issue. “This serious issue is not about me at all, but about Nigeria and how the political class abuses it with impunity. I have no personal gain in standing on my now over two and a half decade conviction that good governance is the foundation of any decent society that has ever been built to greatness all over the world. “The key FACT is that even by the time of that crisis when Soludo had to defend the Naira with our foreign reserve, he spent about $15 billion of it and still left behind about $45billion when he departed as Cen-
tral Bank Governor in 2009!!! “Now imagine that since that time oil prices have averaged between $95 and $100 per barrel and we export an average of 750 million barrels per annum. “How then can the foreign reserve only now be starting to grow back to the same size it was in 2009 after such hefty earnings of the last four years? The FG numbers do not add up at all and we need to know why! “The citizens need an explanation and that’s why I called for accountability. It is simply a patriotic call, which should not result in the name calling by officials of government. The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria , Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has obviously misread the point of my speech. He needs to read that speech again.”
N indigenous civil helicopter company, Caverton Helicopters, has signed a contract with AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, for an additional three AW139 helicopters to support new clients in the West African sub-region. Caverton according to a statement, operates six AW139s performing offshore transport missions in support of the oil and gas industry. It is the largest operator of the type in the region. The Managing Director Business of AgustaWestland, Geoff Hoon, said at the signing: “I am delighted Caverton Helicopters have ordered the AW139 to meet their requirements for a long range helicopter to serve deepwater oil and gas rigs. This contract highlights the continued success of the AW139 in West Africa and grows our successful partnership with Caverton Helicopters, who are not only the largest operator of the type in the region but are also our authorised service centre.” The Executive Vice-Chairman of Caverton, Adeniyi Makanjuola, said the signing represented another major milestone for his company as it broadens its client base and continue to increase its capacity in Africa.
Firm sues CPC, others for ‘raid’ From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
FIRM, El- Salem Ni geria Ltd, has sued the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and eight others, claiming N1 billion for the ‘unlawful raid’ and confiscation of its files an equipment by the council. It filed the action at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court. In a statement signed by Dr. Michael Onyebuchi, Executive Director, El-Salem Nigeria Ltd, the firm: “It is the argument of El -Salem Nigeria Ltd that it was wrong for the CPC to intimidate and harass its staff and customers at gun point without any previous notice or warning of the raid. “The Managing Director cooperated fully with the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in its investigations. It was illegal for the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to carry out a raid on the company without following due process. “CPC carried out the raid out of malice and that the raid was an abuse of office because the aggrieved customers whom the CPC pretended to be protecting are either staff or spouses of staff of the CPC.” The case of El-Salem was filed on its behalf by the law firm of Prof. Yemi AkinseyeGeorge, SAN & Partners. No date has been fixed for the hearing of the case.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
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NEWS •L-R: Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi greeting a member of the IBM Corporate Service Corps Team, Mr. Bouke Van der Voet after their final presentation in Ado-Ekiti... on Wednesday. With them is Country General Manager (West Africa) Mr. Taiwo Otiti. •Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (left) being assisted by his Aide-De-Camp, Ajasa Hakeem (right) to decorate the governor’s Escort Commander Ayodele Suleiman, with his new rank –– Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) at the Government House, Osogbo... on Wednesday
•Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, in one of the classes during his visit to DSC Technical College, Orhuwhorun, Udu LGA, Delta State... on Wednesday.
•Managing Director, Intercontinental Homes Saving and Loans Plc, Niyi Akinlusi (middle) with Company Secretary, Mark Okoye (left) and outgoing Director, Victor Etuokwu at the bank’s fourth Yearly General Meeting in Lagos. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA
•Bauchi State Deputy Governor Sagir Saleh (left), displaying Strategic Framework Documents during dissemination of National Strategic Frame Work for Elimination of Fistula in the Northeast in Bauchi... on Wednesday. With him is Commissioner for Health, Dr Sani Malami.
•R-L: Dr. Iroufagha James, General Overseer, Glory Christian Ministries (GCM), Minister Mike Oyegun and Pastor Joseph Osim, both of GCM and Simeon Afolabi, Pastor, First Love Assembly at the opening of the 21st Anniversary of Glory Christian Ministry Church summit at Odo Olowu, Apapa/Oshodi Expressway, Lagos.
•Managing Director, DAARSAT , Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki (left); Managing Director , DAAR Education Services , Chief Raymond Dokpesi (jnr) , and the Senior Manager , Sales / Marketing , Mr. Afegboha Jude , at the DAARSAT re-launch newa conference in Abuja... on Wednesday. PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE
L-R: Bishop of Idoani, Rt. Rt. Ezekiel Dahunsi, Bishop, Diocese of Lagos West, Rt. Revd Peter Adebiyi, Bishop of Owo Rt. Revd. Adedayo Oladunjoye, Retired Bishop of Kabba, Rt. Revd. Samuel Olayanju, the Registrar of Owo Diocese, Mrs Dupe Olomolehin and Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Lagos West, Rt. Revd. James Odedeji at the thanksgiving service of the 30th anniversary of Owo Diocese, held at The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, Imola Owo
•Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Wale Raji addressing participants at a training on informal sector reform survey for field officers at the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Alausa, Ikeja. With him are Director in the Ministry, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji (left); Coordinator, Lagos State/Institute of Liberty and Democracy (ILD) Mr. Jafar Sanuth and ILD’s Senior Economic Researcher Mr. Carlos Calienas. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
•Wife of the late Assistant Political Editor of The Guardian (Mr. John Abba Ogbodo), Veronica and children and other members of their family at the Service of Songs organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abuja... on Wednesday. PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE
Ajimobi hailed on workers’ insurance policy
Elechi builds 60 classroom blocks
Nestle grooms teachers
FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Ogun to preserve polio vaccines
GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has assured that his administration will construct satellite cold chain stores across the 20 local government areas to protect the potency of immunisation vaccines. Amosun made the assurance in Ijebu-Ode at the flag-off of the second round of this year’s National Immunisation Plus Days, saying that absolute temperature of immunisation vaccines needed to be maintained for safety and effectiveness. He said: “We are investing to have the cold chain stores in all the 20 local government areas of the
state to protect the potency of immunisation vaccines we give to our children.” He maintained that his administration’s commitment to provide an efficient health- care delivery service remained unwavering, even as he affirmed that all necessary steps would be taken to eradicate polio and prevent its resurgence in the state. “Polio virus endangers the health of our children, especially those between the ages of zero to five years and it required two drops of immunisation vaccines to protect our children from being infected with the virus,” Amosun
said. The governor called for concerted efforts among traditional rulers, community leaders, partners and other stakeholders on health to eradicate the dreadful polio virus. Contributing, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka urged all hands to be on deck to remove Nigeria’s name from the list of countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan that are still battling with the virus, stating that the state had been polio-free in the last three years. He assured that this not withstanding; the government would be unrelenting in keeping the state polio-
free, saying that this became necessary because of its proximity to Lagos where the virus weredetected in some dustbins recently. Soyinka recalled that a total of two million children in the state were immunised during the last round of exercise. He also promised that those that the vaccine could not be administered on would be adequately covered during this round. The commissioner therefore implore mothers and caregivers to make their children and wards who are between the ages of 0 and 5 years available during the houseto house immunisation scheduled to commence throughout the 20 local government areas of the state soon.
OR 50 years, the inhabitants of Eseko Community, Creek Town in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State had been without water. Their experience was reminiscent of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lamentation in his The Rime of the Ancient Mariner written in 1797 and published in 1798. Worried by the situation in which he and his crew found themselves, Coleridge exclaimed: “Water, water, everywhere and all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” Lack of water experienced by the community surrounded by massive body of waters is akin to Coleridge’s experience when he had parched throat in the midst of large body of waters which he could not drink. Though not sounding poetic as Coleridge, little Eyo; a primary school pupil in Eseko Community, expressed his happiness that the era of waking up very early and trekking a very long distance in search of water was over. Hear the little boy: “I thank God I would not be waking up very early in the morning to go to that far stream to fetch water every morning before going to school.” Eyo, like many other children of his age, had to be up as early as 3:00 a.m. to trek several kilometres to a stream in Ifako and other neighbouring communities to be able to get water clean enough for domestic use in their various households. What made it even more strenuous is that they had to do it every morning. However, respite came for the children and the entire community with the sinking of a borehole in the community by the Imah Nsa Adegoke Foundation (TINAF), a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Its founder, Mrs. Imah Nsa
•Mrs Adegoke drinks water from the tap after the inauguration
Cross River community gets water, 50 years after From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
Foundation sinks borehole Residents appreciative of gesture
Adegoke, who was the governorship candidate on the platform of the Labour Party in Cross River State during the 2011 general elections said she was moved by the people’s plight to
embark on the project, adding that she realised water was what the people needed during her gubernatorial campaigns. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the project, which in-
cluded three pumps, two overhead tanks and electricity generating set, she said it was important to make positive impacts on •Continued on Page 45
•Chief Eyo Essien Ekpe Mbukpa
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Ebonyi builds 60 classroom blocks
Council to provide water in communities
HAIRMAN Of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government in Rivers State , Mr Bethel Uranta, has said his administration was providing potable water in some communities in the area. Uranta made the disclosure in Opobo town while speaking with newsmen, saying the council aimed at providing developmental amenities to its people. He, however, said unavailability of funds was the biggest problem militating against achieving adequate development for the rural communities in the area.
Private firm to manage Imo hospitals
HE Imo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Obi-Njoku, said a private firm would manage 27 new hospitals in the state for 15 years. Obi-Njoku made this known in an interview with journalists in Owerri. He said the state government would not sell the hospitals as being speculated in certain quarters of the state. According to him, after the period of concession, the hospitals will be handed over to the state government. The commissioner said the hospitals were being constructed under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement involving the state government and a British firm, Lantec Health Management Consortium. Obi-Njoku said the state government had embarked on the project to provide affordable and efficient healthcare services to the Imo people. “When we came in, we were dismayed with what we found on ground, in fact we summarised the whole thing and said there was no hospital in Imo. “A hospital should be so attractive to people to
Imo seek care and cure. So, if a hospital is in such a state that a patient is afraid to visit, you can no longer call it a hospital,” he said. He said that under the arrangement, the hospitals would be equipped with modern health facilities and run by professionals to ensure efficiency and profitability. The commissioner said the state government was providing 25 per cent of the investment, while the partner would pay 75 per cent. He said the aim of the project was to make Imo a health tourist destination and discourage capital flights. “Our purpose is to make Imo the healthcare destination to Nigeria. So, we will not go back to those old and dilapidated structure. “Our proposal attracted investors from almost everywhere in the world.” On affordability of services, he said the state government was designing a comprehensive health insurance scheme to cater for the residents of the state.
Rivers The council chairman said funds had hampered the distribution of the water project his administration had already provided. “My administration has provided welltreated water to some communities but we have not been able to distribute the water due to the huge sum of money involved and the technicalities too,“ Uranta said. He also said his administration had begun the construction of modern toilets with environmentally-friendly sewage in its effort to phase out the hazardous pit latrines. Uranta called on the state government, World Health Organisation (WHO), philanthropists and non-governmental organisations to assist the council in providing water and sanitation facilities for the people. “The council is prepared to provide an enabling environment for development by partnering with investors who have genuine interest in facilitating programmes and projects for the people,’’ he said. The council chairman, however, commended a team of evaluators from World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministries of Water Resources and Local Government Affairs who visited the area recently. Uranta said the team came on a mission to assess water, sanitation and health facilities in the area.
•From left: Chairman, Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, Hon Benjamin Olabinjo with his Vice, Hon Fausat Hassan-Olajokun addressing members of the Revenue Committee during the inauguration at the council secretariat, Ijaiye.
Obi gives N100m to three mission schools
NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has granted N100 million to three mission secondary schools in the state for the upgrade of their infrastructure to enhance learning. The schools are the Father Joseph Secondary School, Aguleri; Girls’ High School, Umueri
Chairman challenges parents on education
HE Chairman of Ikoyi Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Hon. Adewale Adeniji has called on parents to give priority attention to the education of their wards advising them not to leave it with teachers alone. Speaking during the Spelling Bee competition held at the council secretariat, the chairman who was represented by his deputy Hon. Olanrewaju Lapejo stressed the need for parents to be committed to the education of wards by ensuring they cultivate the right attitude. Adeniji explained that in view of the importance of education the council had distributed free JAMB and GCE forms to pupils in the areas. “Couple of weeks ago, we distributed JAMB and GCE forms to our indigent students and just last year all the primary schools were given instructional materials to enable the children learn properly.” He stated that some of the students who could not acquire the minimum five credits to enable them proceed to higher institutions had to be re-enrolled. “We had to do this because we are aware of the cost on parents but as a responsible government and given the importance of education to our party’s programme, we decided to assist them.” While commending the pupils who took
By Musa Odoshimokhe
part in the Spelling Bee competition, he urged them to take their studies seriously and called on parents not to relent in the development of their wards. He said: “You cannot leave everything to the teachers alone, as parents, the bulk lies at your desk. That is the reason you have to monitor them, you must pay attention to what they are doing at every point in time, so that they become asset to you.” The chairman praised the initiator of the Spelling Bee programme, Senator Oluremi Tinubu because of the impact it was making on the society, citing the Ikoyi/Obalande as one of such beneficiaries. “Let me thank our mother and Senator for this noble programme, it has discovered many gifted children who ordinarily would have rotten away because they could not express themselves, but who through the competition, have secured scholarship.” The winners of the competition were Master Mezuma Gift of Dodan Barracks Primary School, Bolaji Kadijat, Girls Secondary School, Ikoyi and Ewudiwa Elizabeth, Falomo Senior School.
• From left: 2012 Lagos State one- day Governor in office and a product of Spelling Bee, Lilian Ogbuefi, Hon. Bamgbose and the wife of the Chairman Mrs. Olubukola Bamgbose during the presentation of gift to one of the winners of the competition at the council secretariat in Badagry.
Council vows to retain one-day governor
HE BADAGRY West Local Council Development Area of Lagos State (LCDA) is positioned to be the leading light in education and other socio-economic sectors in the state and Nigeria. The Chairman, Hon. Joseph Bamgbose, made this known at the 2013 edition of Spelling Bee Competition where a representative was chosen to by tge council’s flag at the state level. He said the council has demonstrated this in many ways in recent times by producing the 2012 one-day governor in Lagos State, Lilian Ogbuefi. Bamgbose maintained that his administration was doing its best to ensure that the students in the LCDA are educated knowing full well that education is the only tool to
By Jeremiah Oke
fight poverty and ignorance. The council boss said his administration has carried out various educational projects that have stimulated and encouraged children to learn. The chairman, who confirmed that no council had won the competition twice consecutively, said that he is hopeful that with the emergence of Ojepeju Oluwafemi of the Lagos State Junior Model College out of eight secondary and three primary schools in the council, the LCDA will bring back the glory to the council. Bamgbose, therefore, advised the students to see education as their future, read their books, mastering the spelling of what they
Chevron battles malaria in Bayelsa
C • From L-R Hon. Igbokwe Philips, Mrs Sakirat Barry, Hon. Lanrewaju Lapejo and Mrs Patience Oseh at the Spelling Bee competition.
HEVRON Nigeria Limited has launched the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) to curtail malaria scourge in Koluoma and Sagana communities in Bayelsa. The Chevron’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Mr Deji Haastrup, made this known in Yenagoa on Tuesday. Haastrup, who spoke at the launch of the initiative, said that it was aimed at curtailing malaria in its host communities. Represented by Mr Kunle Okegbemiro, the
Community Relations and National Project, Chevron, Haastrup said that Nigeria had high malaria prevalence rate. He said that though the disease was expensive to cure, it is preventable and could be treated and eradicated. “The RBM programme we are launching today will begin with the conduct of a baseline survey on the spread of malaria disease, enlightenment programme in Brass and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas and training of health workers,’’ he said.
BONYI State government has built 60 others classroom blocks and renovated another 60.This was disclosed by the state Commissioner for Education Mr Ndubuisi Chibueze-Agbo, in Abakaliki. Chibueze-Agbo gave the figures while briefing newsmen on efforts by the government to improve the infrastructural base of public primary and secondary schools in the state. According to him, the projects, spread across the three senatorial districts of the state, were aimed at providing adequate accommodation for the pupils and students in public schools. He said the spread of the projects was to ensure that no districts was left out and also to guarantee equity and fairness. The commissioner noted the determination of Governor Martin Elechi to improve infrastructural facilities in the public schools and to provide a conducive environment for teaching and learning. He said the government had between 2010 and 2012 embarked on schools renovation aimed at rehabilitating dilapidated structures in the schools. “The learning environment, to a great extent, affects a child’s ability to learn and the government is aware of this. “It is, therefore, one of the government’s top priorities to ensure that infrastructural facilities in our schools are improved for bet-
Ebonyi ter teaching and learning,’’ he said. The commissioner observed that the 60 new classroom blocks and the renovated ones had helped to decongest classrooms in the schools. He said the Ebonyi school system would always comply with UNESCO requirements of having not more than 40 pupils or students in a classroom. “The UNESCO recommends not more than 40 pupils or students per classroom and we are in compliance with this standard. “It is our desire to ensure that pupils and students in our schools are not crowded in their classrooms by providing enough classroom blocks,’’ he added. Chibueze-Agbo appealed to public-spirited individuals to assist the government in sus-
Senator inaugurates borehole
S part of the efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals before 2015, the lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, has inaugurated the MDGs projects he facilitated to the district. The lawmaker in his keynote address during the commissioning of the motorized bore-
Anambra and Holy Rosary Girls College, OgwariNsugbe. Presenting the cheques to Archbishop Valerian Okeke, the Archbishop of Onitsha Catholic Arch-Diocese in Ogwari-Nsugbe, Obi said he was impressed with the changes in Anambra schools since they were returned to the missions. He restated the commitment of his administration to restore the glory of the schools and promote learning by encouraging the mission schools. Replying, Okeke thanked God for giving the state a dedicated governor who had remained committed to rebuilding the state. Okeke said that Obi had effectively tackled the damage done to education after the civil war. “Returning schools to the church is promoting positive character formation, academic excellence and healthy competition. “This will help to build a good society and a better country as well as discourage the culture of recklessness, violence and impunity. “Our governor has continued to demonstrate commitment in building a better future for the children and the society,’’ he said. In a related development, the governor said the state executive council had approved the handover of the state health facility at Nmiata in Anambra East to a congregation of reverend sisters. Governor Obi said the council took the decision after seeing the positive fruits from the state partnership with the church.
Church marks 45th anniversary THE MELOTOTAH Church of Zion is marking its 45th anniversary on Sunday, March 10. Activities preceding the ceremony begin on March 8. The venue is 18/20 Ikale Street Papa-Ajao, Mushin. Highlights of the event include prayer session, seminar, symposium, counselling and revival service. Speaking on the event, the chairman of the Anniversary Committee, Most Sup. Snr. Apostle Gabriel Dahunsi said the event represents the most fulfilling aspect of the life of the church as it ushers the fold into a period of higher faith. As we thank God for His mercy, this period offers us another opportunity for higher commitment and dedication to His work. We believe He will do more for us. We thank Him profusely.”
• Mr. Baruwa Jamiu Adewale, Director Establishments, Local Government Establishments, Training and Pensions Office (middle); Mr. Ashimi Jamiu Adewale, Permanent Secretary, Local Government Establishments, Training and Pensions Office. Mrs. Samiat Omolara Mumuni,during a meeting with treasurers of local governments in Lagos State
HE Chairman, Association of Secondary Aluminium Producers of Nigeria, Adebanjo Adeyanju has raised an alarm on moves by some major players in the industry to stifle and monopolise the market. He has therefore alerted the Federal Government and the Nigerian public to prevail on them against what he called dangerous consequences of their actions. He also disclosed that the clandestine move is being championed by the Coil Coaters Association of Nigeria (CCAN).
Community gets new executive
LOR Development Union (ADU) Lagos branch in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, has elected new officers. The electoral committee led by Ichie Godwin Nwoye, saw the emergence of Chief Emmanuel Ojukwu as new Chairman for the next three years. Others elected include Chief Chijioke Uzokwe as Vice Chairman, Mr Ndidi Ngige Secretary General ,Mr Ifeanyi Enendu Assistant Secretary ,Mr Nwafeenna Chibuike Nwoye Financial Sectary, Mr Chigozie Obiora Assistant Fin-Secretary ,Chief Mallinson Ukatu Treasure, Mr Emmanuel Udodinma Publicity Sec/Social Secretary,Mr Obiora Ezeadili Asstancy Publicity Sec/Social Secretray,Mr Obum Buma Onunkwo Chief Provost ,Mr Azubogu Igwe and Norbert Ngige Provost. The officials were inaugurated in a ceremony held at the Alor Community Christian Centre, Alafia Lagos .The event was attended by Chief Nnaemeka Ngige SAN, Chief Uzoma Igbonwa ,Eze Samuel Udoh Eze Udo of Idumu, amongst others. The Outgoing Chairman Chief John Obiekwe thanked the members for the support during his tenure. He also appreciated members of the union.
•Governor Elechi taining the current efforts to enhance infrastructure development in schools in their communities.
hole and accessories at Bariga LCDA, said “It could be recalled that the UN has spelt out eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved before 2015, the number seven on the list is to ensure sustainability of environment. This is what led to the commissioning of this borehole we are witnessing today. “We all know the significant of water in our society, there is nothing one does in life without using water, the aim of facilitating this project to my district, is to provide a sustainable access to safe drinking water for the people that elected me to the Senate,” he said. The lawmaker enjoined the community to use the borehole to their benefit and promised to always maintain it periodically. Also, the Chairman of Bariga LCDA, Hon Akeem Sulaiman, who was represented by the Supervisor for Works of the council, Hon Adefuwa, thanked the lawmaker for the gesture. In his speech, the chairman applauded the initiative as not only timely but also needed in the district. “On behalf of the executive chairman, the whole of Bariga LCDA highly appreciate this gesture and we pray that God Almighty will give you the strength to do more to the senatorial district” he said Other dignitaies in Bariga LCDA such as Alhaji Seik Banire, the LGA party chairman, Alhaji Dengel Anifowose, the chairman Lagos State Assembly Service Commission, Chief Wale Mogaji, CDA Chairman, Hon Oriyomi Odubonojo, Woman Leader, Madam Adenike Akhidenor, Bale of Owode Bariga, Alhaji Chief Ademola Alabi, Bale of Obanikoro, Chief Kabiru Buraimoh gave kudos to the initiative and requested for more.
Association seeks govt’s intervention Speaking at a news conference in Lagos, the chairman said members of CCAN had been involved in writing petitions against his members, even as he advised government to evolve policies and programmes in the aluminium industry that will be favourable only o their members. Adeyoju said: “CCAN, many of who are foreign-owned companies, exploited the Nigerian market by charging exorbitantly prices for aluminium roofing products thereby rendering government’s policy on affordable housing impracticable. Due to the significant competition
created by our members in the sector, prices of aluminium products have reduced and steps are being taken by our members to deepen the technical expertise of Nigerians in the production of aluminium products.” The chairman, therefore called for a level playing field where one association will not have an edge over the other. He said that “the Federal Government should evolve policies and programmes that are broad-based and structured towards retaining the current surge in the local participation of Nigerians in the aluminium industry.”
• Mr Adeyanju (right) speaking during the event
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
FROM OTHER LANDS
A misguided U.S. strategy for Venezuela
Kalu’s degree • If this was improperly awarded, then its revocation is in order
EGREES are supposed to be earned. But the integrity of the degree will be in question if it is issued in a manner that suggests it was picked on the shelf, or obtained through the back door. It is in the light of this that we see the revocation of the degree awarded the former Governor of Abia State, Mr Orji Uzor Kalu, by the Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu, while Kalu was a sitting governor. The university’s senate cancelled the degree in line with the recommendation of a panel it said investigated allegations of breach of the extant academic regulations of the university, in the former governor’s matter. According to ABSU, the former governor’s violation of the regulations on admission-by-transfer rendered his offer irregular ab initio. It was alleged that the transcript which Kalu sent to ABSU from
‘Those impugning political vendetta into the cancellation of the former governor’s degree by the university are only embarking on academic aerobics. Whilst this may not be completely ruled out, the germane point is whether former Governor Kalu’s admission process was flawed and whether he met the criteria for the award of the degree’
the University of Maiduguri where he had dropped out did not bear the letterhead of that institution. Secondly, it was alleged that Kalu did not matriculate, in spite of the fact that this is mandatory for all fresh ABSU students. It was also alleged that the former governor spent only two semesters in the university instead of six (i.e. three academic years of study). If these were so, then, the university acted rightly by withdrawing the former governor’s degree. Its senate has a responsibility to ensure that only people who meet the criteria for admission and award of its degrees obtain such. Perhaps the next question is whether the senate was not aware of all these irregularities at the time the governor was awarded the bachelor’s degree. But this is not a question over which anyone should split hairs. Apparently, what would seem to have transpired was that Kalu either used his influence as governor at the time; or the university lacked the courage to ask him to fulfill all righteousness then. And that is the point this paper has always stressed – the need to strengthen institutions. If this had been done, the university would have insisted that the governor followed the due process, either while seeking admission or when it was obvious he would not meet the requirement of the number of semesters to get his degree. Thus, he would not have been able to violate academic freedom the way the university authority has suggested he did. Under no circumstance should any individual be more powerful than an institution. Degrees are supposed to be awarded not just for academic excellence but also only
to people found worthy in character. Unfortunately, there are many sitting governors who had bagged awards from universities either owned by their state governments or others; this is wrong. In other climes, such can only be possible after the completion of their terms in office. We keep complaining of falling standard of education, this is inevitable, especially in a situation where governors who should be role models violate the sanctity of the academic industry. It is this same spirit that encircles our academic system whereby people get certificates without labouring for them. Those impugning political vendetta into the cancellation of the former governor’s degree by the university are only embarking on academic aerobics. Whilst this may not be completely ruled out, the germane point is whether former Governor Kalu’s admission process was flawed and whether he met the criteria for the award of the degree. In the same vein, those who think it is late in the day to cancel the degree obviously do not know how the university system operates. It is sad that people cannot see the immorality, abuse of executive power and electoral mandate in a sitting governor seeking admission into the same university where he was Visitor. How would he have combined his duties as governor with those of a full-time student? Perhaps the only point in issue is whether the university gave Kalu fair hearing before taking its decision. Even on this score, we are sure that the former governor knows what to do if he thinks he has been unfairly treated by ABSU.
NDLEA’s ghost convicts • It is incredible that such people could be in any other place other than the prison
HE sundry abuses of our country’s criminal justice system need to be confronted by all stakeholders. Unfortunately, governments at the federal and state levels are the chief culprits because of their lackadaisical attitudes to the responsibilities of the state in the process. Matters are not helped by some officials in the criminal justice system who collude with criminals to ridicule the system. These include investigators, prosecutors and custodians of accused persons and convicts. Recently, rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN, raised an incredulous alarm that 197 persons convicted for drug trafficking offences, are not serving their prison terms. But, as unbelievable as the report seemed, the allegation was substantiated by a committee set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, headed by Justice Gilbert Obayan, in 2006. According to the committee, ‘out of 143 drug convicts for the year 2006, 96 of them were never brought to prison. Similarly, another 101 drug convicts for the year 2005 were never brought to the prison, bringing the total convict evading jail to 197 within this period’. The learned Senior Advocate has asked the NDLEA to supply him information on the allegation, relying on the Freedom of Information Act, to make the demand. He threatened to bring civil and criminal proceedings against the NDLEA chairman
and his agency, if after seven days the information is not given to him. We join the activist to ask the NDLEA, where are the convicts? If indeed the convicts have been unlawfully released from prison, there is the urgent need to bring the gang responsible for this scandalous conduct across the agencies to immediate justice. It is disheartening that the Federal Ministry of Justice will stand idly by, while this kind of treacherous impunity against our national interest is allowed to fester. We demand the immediate implementation of the findings of the Justice Gilbert Obayan’s (rtd) committee. Any further delay must be interpreted as a clear connivance of the Ministry of Justice with the criminals who use their positions to undermine our criminal justice system, to the nation’s detriment. We urge the various agencies to put in place safeguards to forestall this type of embarrassment. Indeed, any of the convicts re-apprehended should be subjected to a fresh trial for jailbreak, and the officials concerned treated as accomplices to the crime. The disease plaguing the NDLEA is also the lot of other agencies in our criminal justice system. It is commonly believed that many of the high profile detainees and convicts usually spend their detention in the comfort of their homes. There is a more bizarre allegation that those convicted to die are substituted by sundry criminals, who are killed in their place. Another
common strategy used to help convicts and detainees avoid confinement in prisons and detention camps is to pretend that they are ill, and are receiving medical attention, when actually they are not. Many of the heads of the agencies, while hosting the high profile detainees shamelessly turn to their drivers and aides, instead of treating them as persons in custody. We urge other activists and the civil society to join in the crusade to sanitise our criminal justice system, in the country’s interest. A system that does not genuinely punish infractions of its law is an open invitation to chaos and a national embarrassment.
‘The disease plaguing the NDLEA is also the lot of other agencies in our criminal justice system. It is commonly believed that many of the high profile detainees and convicts usually spend their detention in the comfort of their homes. There is a more bizarre allegation that those convicted to die are substituted by sundry criminals, who are killed in their place’
NTICIPATING THE death of Hugo Chavez, the Obama administration began reaching out months ago to his designated successor, Nicolas Maduro, in the hope of bettering U.S.-Venezuelan relations. On Tuesday, that strategy absorbed a body blow: Hours before revealing that Mr. Chavez had died of cancer, Mr. Maduro tried to blame the United States for his illness, and he expelled two U.S. military attaches on charges of “proposing destabilizing plans” to the armed forces. So much for the “reset” with Caracas. The ludicrous and crude propaganda launched by Mr. Maduro was a sign that Mr. Chavez’s successors will be more thuggish and less politically adept than he was — and, if anything, more inclined to scapegoat the United States and Venezuela’s democratic opposition for the horrendous problems the caudillo leaves behind. Those troubles, it should be clear, are staggering, even more so when it is considered that Venezuela, a country of less than 30 million people, collected more than $1 trillion in oil revenue during Mr. Chavez’s 14 years of increasingly autocratic rule. Its inflation is among the highest in the world, power outages are routine and consumers are plagued with shortages of basic goods. The murder rate has more than tripled, making Caracas a more dangerous city than Baghdad. Official corruption is rampant, as is drug trafficking: Seven present or former officials have been designated as narcotics kingpins by the U.S. Treasury. Perhaps most dangerous of all for the motley crew that inherits this legacy, Venezuelans have been grossly and cynically deceived. Mr. Chavez assured them he was healthy when he campaigned for reelection last year, even though he surely knew his illness was terminal. As recently as this month, polls showed that the regime’s propaganda had led a majority of Venezuelans to believe that he would soon resume his duties. The government can no more explain Mr. Chavez’s seemingly sudden demise than it can deliver on the extravagant promises he made in his last months, including a mass giveaway of apartments and appliances. It’s little wonder the United States is being blamed. Since his youth, Mr. Maduro has been a client of the Castro regime in Cuba, which depends on Venezuela for 60 percent of its energy. The Venezuelan transition has been orchestrated from Havana, where Mr. Chavez was secluded from December until two weeks ago; anti-American hysteria is the Castros’ oldest wheeze. The only mystery here is why the Obama administration is focusing its diplomacy on courting Mr. Maduro and his cronies. Venezuela’s constitution says a new presidential election must take place within 30 days, and Mr. Maduro will face a challenge from opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who has twice defeated Chavez lieutenants in gubernatorial elections, most recently in December. Nor is it clear that Mr. Chavez’s followers will unite behind Cuba’s favorite; the Venezuelan military and politicians close to it are said to be resistant to Havana’s tutelage. A sensible U.S. policy in these circumstances would start with insistence on a fair, democratic vote to determine Mr. Chavez’s successor and with the defense of peaceful political actors, such as the Venezuelan students whose protest campground was attacked and burned in the hours after Mr. Chavez’s death. Further wooing of Mr. Maduro should wait until he survives the scrum in his own party, wins a free vote and demonstrates that he is more than a Castro puppet. - Washington Post
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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: It is almost 14 years since Nigeria transited from military rule to civilian rule. Democracy we say we are adopting or practising but the features of democracy are lacking in our ruling system. PDP has triumphed over every other party since 1999 up to the present even though people said they often rig. Ever then, Nigerians are still struggling to enjoy a bit of the dividends of democracy. Democracy in its strongest sense encompasses many things. It cuts across voting in an election day. It requires us to take an active role in helping to solve public problems, which requires us to cogitate critically about what goes on in our country and the world around us. Nigeria is on the brink of collapse because of the leadership style and the clueless, selfish and wicked ambition of the so called PDP. The party has failed in several years in its quest and has not lived up to its responsibilities. The responsibilities of any reasonable government is to make life worthwhile for its people through the utilization of its resources to provide basic things that can make life enjoyable and important. Also, is to provide security of lives and properties of its citizenry. Any government who failed in this course however, is an irresponsible government. Over the years, the only evident achievement of the PDP-led government is the promotion of corruption. However, I still wonder why they have not introduced corruption as a course in our universities. The stewardship of the PDP is still failing. The scandals and atrocities committed by them since 1999 to the present are enough to cripple the
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APC can rescue Nigeria country beyond recovery. Nigeria is Africa’s leading oil producer and has myriad potentials and resources for economic development but ironically, its majority population is living in abject poverty. There is no certainty for better tomorrow; killings, bombings, kidnappings, armed robberies and other social and political vices have
found their ways into our normal daily activities and consequently, exposed us to untimely death. Nigeria has become an abode for terrorists. We can no longer sleep with our two eyes closed because of the fear of attack either from the so called Boko Haram or unidentified gunmen as the media normally report.
2015 is drawing near and we have heard the National Chairman of PDP, Bamanga Tukur likening PDP to Barcelona and world best player Lionel Messi. His statement of course means that no party can outdo them. But he should be reminded that Lionel Messi was present when Chelsea defeated Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final in
Taming the unemployment scourge
IR: Successive federal governments patently never had foresight to anticipate the exponential population growth that Nigeria had over these years or those that did regretfully failed to put in place concrete and well-articulated measures that will create jobs for the teeming youths of this country. Were Tafawa Balewa/Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kaduna Nzeogwu, Aguiyi Ironsi, Ernest Shonekan and Murtala Muhammed alive, they probably might request to be excused for having very short tenures that made it virtually impossible or impracticable to initiate longlasting, history-making policies or programmes. However,General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida, late General Sani Abacha, General Abdul Salam Abubakar, late
Umaru Musa Yar’adua and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan are very much culpable. Their regimes cannot be exculpated from the generally execrable situation which Nigeria has found herself economically and consequently the seeming hydra-headed unemployment malady. Apart from the Babangida administration that established the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), it is difficult to recollect any other conscious attempt at getting Nigerians employed. Even then, the Directorate did not live up to its name. In those days, jobs were there for the asking. Even school certificate holders got jobs easily. From the benefit of hindsight, it was my senior brother who disallowed my humble self from taking an offer of employment with a bank after school certificate because it might constitute a hin-
drance to my proceeding for further education. Today, virtually local industries in sectors known for massive employment are either comatose or dead; sectors such as textiles, manufacturing and production. The unemployment problem is now so big that we have associations for unemployed youths in states and nationally. Members of these associations are those who still have a glimmer of hope that governments will one day wake up to their expected responsibilities of providing employment opportunities. Millions do not have such faith or patience; they have designed other means. Some have taken to armed robbery, smuggling, assassinations, and other vices. It is a pity that young boys and girls in their droves look up to weekly winnings from pools, lotto and football result predictions as ma-
Memo to Okonjo-Iweala and Erelu Olusola Obada
IR: I am writing this open memo to the two of you because of the unpaid arrears of pensioners. For the past three years, pensioners have been waiting for the 53 percent increase that is due to them. Needless to say, this entitlement is long-overdue. In view of the intimations of mortality which is the special lot of pensioners, many of these senior citizens have since passed on. In respect of Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, you may wish to recall that at the King’s College Old Boys’ lun-
2012 despite the advantages given to them by the referee. This is the right and the best time for Nigerians to wake up from slumber and face the reality. The reality is that, we have waited patiently enough for 14 years and endured enough harsh policy of the PDP-led administration. It is in this regard, that the four main opposition parties resolved and merged to form APC, All Progressive Congress. I will like to implore patriotic Nigerians who mean good for the country to rise and stand firm to support the new born baby, APC wholeheartedly irrespective of religion, ethnicity, tribe and race to enable us save our dear country from imminent collapse. •Waziri Mohammed IBB University Lapai. Niger State.
cheon where you were the guest speaker, I raised this issue with you in the context of a question and answer session. You promised then that as soon as an audit has been carried out these elderly citizens will be paid. More importantly perhaps, you averred that paying the pensioners is one of those features that will swell the recurrent expenditure of the Federal Govenment. Madam, you may wish to know here that some of these pensioners earn below three thousand naira a month! I repeat-three
thousand naira a month. I therefore leave it to you to do the calculation of what the increase of 53 percent will amount to. On your own part, Madam Erelu Olusola Obada, in your capacity as Minister of State ,Navy, for Defence, you promised retired military personnel that as soon as the 2013 budget has been passed, the retired soldiers will be paid. Since the 2013 budget has now been passed, I can only hope that the retired soldiers and other pensioners will be paid the long over-
due 53 percent. At the risk of sounding alarmist, permit me to point out here that when retired soldiers are denied what is due to them, then we have on our hands another source of insecurity. All told, the worth of any nation can easily be measured by the way its most vulnerable citizens are treated. So please pay the pensioners now. They are a dying breed! • Professor Kayode Soremekun Covenant University,Ota Ogun State.
jor sources of revenue for them. To compound the problem of our teeming graduates churned out yearly by the numerous higher institutions, after serving their fatherland, they come out green into the unemployment market only to meet employers asking for years of experience before being employed. Pray, how do you acquire experience if you are not given the opportunity to work? These days you do not even get to see job vacancies’advertisements again as employments are surreptitiously done. Where advertisements are made , they are mere formality to legitimize recruitments already done. With all these huddles being placed before our youths, can we honestly describe our youths as ‘leaders of tomorrow’? Our youths are not being prepared for tomorrow and it is quite disheartening. Let this administration tackle the energy problem confronting this country to put back on stream our comatose industries. Nigerians are hardworking and industrious people; they would take immediate advantage to create jobs. The Federal and other state governments can take a cue from Osun State where jobs are being consciously created through the‘O YES’ and ‘YES O’ programmes. Unless and until we give our youths a sound today, guaranteeing a future for them will remain a mirage. And a country that does not take care of its young, able-bodied citizens will definitely know no peace. • Laitan Akinwwunmi Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, Lagos.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013 16
Cowards’ anthem (4)
HE night has murder in the eye, and the day, murder in the heart; every promising dawn drips with blood. One ill begets another, and our successive maladies, a great deal more. The solstices of sanity have sagged; we have become indiscriminate pawns in the theatre of the absurd. Thus today, we find“virtue” in the insanity of the rampaging hordes of Maiduguri and Jos. If you look closely enough, you will discover the politics that excite the madness they incite. Perhaps you would get to understand why peace-loving neighbours become blood-thirsty brutes and the average human becomes subhuman. And now that we have found honour in the novelty of explosives, Nigeria has awakened to the reality of the situation…our situation. It doesn’t matter whose loved ones died in the last bomb blast neither does it matter what towering hopes we extinguish by undesirable detonations, we too have found bombs, and we shall use it whichever way pleases us. We shall exterminate whoever we deem fit. And these too are “simple measures” to be had, “survival strategies – to be precise,” if you can learn to analyse the matter from the perspective that pleases. The wars we make are only the beginning of something else: mass murders, famine, rape, interminable hate and sorrow everlasting. Today, fear’s moon flower spreads across our clans. We ought to fear tomorrow but we don’t.
If we leave today as we have made it, tomorrow, our children shall smart diarrheic, with distended tummies and skeletal limbs until their final gasp in our theatre of death and genocide. Our toddlers shall lust for dried egg yolk and cornmeal, even when stale; it shall become the staple diet to die for, and kill for. We shall learn to grovel and die and kill for measly fruits and rations, even if rotten. Our neighbourhoods shall be bloodied by carcasses of friends and family we have learnt to love but would betray whenever providence displeases our dark, desperate desire for survival. Those child soldiers whose stories offer amusement on the watch of international news media shall become the source of our greatest worries. The cherubs for whom we shed sweat everyday shall become little angels of death at the behest of heinous godfathers and warmongers. Our children shall man our streets armed with AK-47s, fishing harpoons, machetes, kitchen knives, and hand grenades. They shall take turns to decapitate you and me if we are unfortunate to belong to the divide that displeases. Our mothers shall become comfort women, our daughters too. Our sisters shall become vessels of wanton delight to occupation forces and militia of various shades and honour; and we shall support the decadence painfully, and wholeheartedly. The chastity we love to protect shall become the staple by which we quell our dark, dark desires; the
N the words of Dan Rather, a famous American author, ‘every dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs, pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth’. The emphasis here is on teachers. Teachers are dream moulders. They have the power to make or mar an individual’s dream. Greek Legend, Alexander the Great understood the power of a teacher when he quipped: ‘I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well’. Indeed, parents can give a child life, but it is the teacher who makes the child’s life meaningful through quality education. All over the world today, it is almost impossible to find successful people who will not make reference to certain teacher(s) who impacted their lives. Like the father of the Great Alexander, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State, certainly understands the powers of a teacher. He knows that the power to build the kind of future we desire rests with teachers in whose care we entrust our children. Hence, he invests massively in teacher’s welfare with a mindset that a well motivated teacher will ultimately lead to a great
currency by which our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters purchase and repossess everyday, their right to life, at the mercy of the elements of the order that be. And this is just a glimpse of the meltdown; the revolution that you seek would bring greater bloodshed than you think. The secession that you seek would hardly profit you, and me. Forget the folly of the misguided newspaper; it is not enough to propagate disunity in the interest of deep pockets. It is not enough to moot murder or “necessary sacrifice” or whatever you choose to call it, selectively. It is not enough to dispense death daringly to the households of those we deem fit. At whose behest do we exterminate those that we deem expendable? Who decides the lives to be extinguished, the futures to be snuffed out like candle-light in the course of a tempest? What politics, what philosophy excites the madness to which we play native? Is this the revolution that we dream? Is this the prologue to the order of our sweetest fantasies? I see nothing but death, sorrow, and death. And we are in the thick of it. Carcasses of friends we had known, relatives we had loved and neighbours we shared with, shall line our streets and sidewalks with unparalleled stench and dire breadth. And we shall all be held accountable; you, with your AK-47, fresh-
filed dagger, sword; me, with my in-depth analyses, riotous pen and wit. Together we play puppet to the designs and fantasies of despicable hate emissaries and war-mongers. Tell me, these tragedies that we incite, at whose doorsteps are the black flags hoisted? Who gets to be on the receiving end? Kindly show me a Governor’s child, Senator’s wife, Minister’s sibling among the mangled and decomposing corpses in mass graves we dug in Ife-Modakeke, Borno, Bauchi, Kaduna, Jos, to mention a few. Show me the corpses of the ruling class and all those that we hold answerable for the tragedies our lives have become. I wish no evil on our incumbent leadership but their corpses are nowhere in the scenes of genocide; it’s the ordinary citizen that gets to die – defenceless folk like you and me. Yet we blame the ruling class, curse the times and kill each other; tell me, what madness commands our wanton sprees? What platitudes, what tokens incite our hearts to such bestiality and senseless murder? It’s our neighbours, family and friends that we decapitate in the thick of night and break of daylight. How can that be the uprising that we dream? Tell me, who would enjoy the fruits of our mindless bloodbath after we exterminate neighbours, friends and family in
‘If you take the pains to see through our scholarly rhetoric and sensational headlines, you will see that nobody can resolve the tragedies that persist in our motherland until we rid our government houses of the minority holding the majority hostage’
whose interests we claim to make the revolutionary cry? The ruling class is on to our game. That is why they use us against each other. Painstakingly, they master the art of misdirection by experimenting on you and me. The noise has quietened on familiar monstrosities that betide our land; we have got more pressing issues to deal with. Now, we dream of secession. Let us begin to secede if in the new order, leadership we currently endure shall be kept miles from our corridors of power. Let us begin to secede if our women shall suffer no abuse and peace shall remain to blossom undisturbed in our front yards and backyards. Let us begin to secede if our broken parts shall exist without racism and discord. Let us begin to secede if we shan’t re-enact tragedies we invoked by Federal might and Biafra. Let us begin to secede if evils that incited our clamour to separate shall disappear in the new lands of our dreams. If you take the pains to see through our scholarly rhetoric and sensational headlines, you will see that nobody can resolve the tragedies that persist in our motherland until we rid our government houses of the minority holding the majority hostage. Hopefully we shall get to understand that sophistry we propagate about the futility of further coexistence shall come in handy still, in the orders of our dreams, for we who fail to tread the path of wisdom now shall persist in folly even when left to our ‘separate’ devices. A grown up thing has happened and it requires that we respond as adults but even adulthood confounds us. Thus we respond the easiest way we deem, as cowards. • To be continued.
Uduaghan: Rewarding teachers on earth By Christopher Ogbodo future. Although Dr. Uduaghan keeps getting accolades from home and abroad for his achievements in health, economy, transportation and other sectors, what he has done for teachers in Delta State in rarely mentioned. It was therefore a delight to see him honoured last week in the ancient city of Abeokuta when the 18 th Annual Thisday Awards held under the auspices of a former President of the United States, Mr. Bill Clinton. The governor was duly rewarded for his investments in teachers, especially those in the nursery, primary and secondary sectors. Beyond the glitz and excitements of the award, what Uduaghan has done for teachers in Delta State deserves commendations not just from the organisers of the Thisday Awards but from everyone who knows and appreciates the work of a teacher. As Thisday publisher, Nduka Obaigbena noted during the presenta-
‘Right from his first tenure in office, Uduaghan has shown an unwavering commitment towards improving education and human capital development. Under his watch, derelict schools have been revamped, laboratories have been built, teachers have been sponsored to trainings and scholarships worth millions of Naira have been doled out to deserving students at all levels’
tion, ‘teachers in Delta State are handsomely paid’ that is why they are committed to creating a good future for the pupils in their care. They are inspired to give their best because the government led by Uduaghan, leaves no stone unturned in giving them the best financially and morally. Those who know what used to be before Uduaghan came on board will readily attest that he deserves all the commendations has gets when he comes to teacher’s welfare. Unlike those who say a teacher’s reward is in heaven, Uduaghan ensures that teachers enjoy the fruit of their toil here on earth. He doesn’t just pay them promptly and handsomely, he creates a standard environment for work and productivity. Delta State is one of the few states in Nigeria where infrastructures in public schools can compete favourably with those in privately owned schools. It is also one of the few states where teachers rarely drop tools over unpaid wages and allowances thereby depriving innocent pupils of the education they deserve. It is only in Delta State that pupils from government owned primary schools blaze the trail in National Common Entrance and other external examination. Right from his first tenure in office, Uduaghan has shown an unwavering commitment towards improving education and human capital development. Under his watch, derelict schools have been revamped, laboratories have been built, teachers have been sponsored to trainings and scholarships worth millions of Naira have been doled out to deserving students at all levels.
Aside from these, the Governor is also spearheading partnership initiatives with private organisations aimed at improving teachers and students in the state. Earlier this year, he signed an agreement with DAAR Communication to promote academic excellence in the state through direct broadcast of educational programmes on radio and television stations across the state. Uduaghan also began an initiative to decongest classrooms to a minimum of 40 students in a class. This initiative gave birth to an avalanche of infrastructural projects in all the primary and secondary schools across the state. In every school in Delta State, new class rooms have either been built or presently under construction. Judging by these worthy investments in human and material resources, it was not a surprise that Chief Dibie Ossai, a teacher from Delta State was one of the 15 teachers honoured with the prestigious Thisday award from a pool of teachers nationwide. Like other teachers in the State, Chief Dibie epitomises the success that can be achieved when government creates an enabling environment that inspires teachers to work. The most impressive thing about Governor Uduaghan love for teachers is that it does not end with those in primary and secondary schools alone, lecturers in tertiary institutions also benefit. Delta is one of the few states in Nigeria where state university lecturers earn as much as their counterparts in federal schools. With all that Uduaghan has done for teacher in Delta State and the result it is yielding, one cannot but agree that a teacher’s reward is here on earth.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
COMMENTS ‘Try not to become a man of success but rather, try to become a man of value.’ — Albert Einstein ENERAL Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo is perhaps one of God’s beloved on planet earth. For reasons beyond human comprehension, the Almighty has been very generous to this former military Head of State and a two-term president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But for the National Assembly and most importantly, God that foiled his self-perpetuation bid in power, that is euphemistically called Third Term Agenda, Obasanjo would probably still be the country’s president today. So far, no other Nigerian, living or dead, has recorded the same feat as Obasanjo at the topmost echelon of governance in the country. As a soldier, he received the instrument of surrender from Biafra’s second-in-command, Phillip Effiong. He became Head of State when General Murtala Mohammed was killed by coupist Buka Suka Dimka in 1976. The apogee of Obasanjo’s military career came when he voluntarily relinquished power as military Head of State to a civilian administration headed by President Shehu Usman Shagari in 1979. He was globally celebrated as a champion of sorts in African continent where sit-tight syndrome had become the hallmark. Obasanjo became the toast of global countries/institutions. For 20 years, Obasanjo bestrode the nation’s political terrain like a colossus, sounding most times as the moral voice of the country. He lampooned Shagari administration’s profligacy; damned the charade called political transition by Ibrahim Babangida, even though his voice was neither here nor there, on the annulled June12, 1993 Presidential election results won by his Egba kinsman, Aare MKO Abiola. Obasanjo later ended up to be that mandate annulment’s ultimate beneficiary in 1999. He tried his dubious antics of playing the questionable mouth-piece of the nation against the late Sani Abacha, but the rest is history today. What Obasanjo pretended to be and which the public presumed him to be (an epitome of incorruptibility and selflessness) was different from what he was and still is. This came to the fore when he served as president between 1999 and 2007 before he was disgraced upon the demise of his tenure elongation agenda. Obasanjo, as president, epitomised everything bad that he condemned in Shagari, Babangida and Abacha combined. To aggravate his case, he came
OBODY is going to radically restructure that putrid enclave called the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. Not under this government, not with the subterranean political structure prevalent today. Therefore, there is not one chance in one hundred that we, the ineffectual hub of armchair critics (as they call us) will have the salubrious opportunity to write glowing articles about vast refineries and petrochemical complexes rising in majesty and piercing the Nigerian horizon. The type of silvery steel -and- pipes leviathans we see in post cards from Singapore, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. We will never see (or write about) such wonders of the modern world that have become composites of nearly all great crude oil producing nations. All we see around here, all we are made to write about are grim, sad stories of scams, of crude oil spills and damaged environment; of pipeline breaches and hellish petrol fires lapping up entire communities. NNPC, the national petroleum corruption symbolizes for us Nigerians, graft, anguish, darkness… a sad, sad story that seems to run forever. We, the denizens are left prostrate at the foot of a bastard behemoth inured to criminality. NNPC is a story of numerous sad stories and here is yet another one. Do you remember the fuel subsidy crisis/protests of January last year? Do you remember the probe panels, counter probe panel and heaps of committees? Of course you do remember the high garbage of sleaze swept out from under the carpets of the NNPC? All the billions of naira NNPC gave away to their partners-in-crime which they pretend to be prosecuting now? Well if you thought that was such a big scandal then you must be a learner in the ways of the NNPC. It has now come out that the difficult- to-quantify billions stolen in the guise of subsidizing our petrol price is only a child’s play. It has come out that there is a foreign leg to the local fuel subsidy scam. Not long ago, a foreign wire service carried the news that our dear NNPC had drawn a N1.5 billion loan from foreign creditors. When Nigerians picked the news, they set upon making their usual noises. The House of Representatives seeing what seems like yet another opportunity rather than a challenge, quickly set up a Joint committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream)/ Aids, Loan and Debt Management/Justice, to investigate the report.
Celebrating Obasanjo at 76
Obasanjo out as a pretentious and greedy power monger with unrivalled malicious disposition. He believes nobody is superior to him and that he must be the head of whichever group he belongs. He used Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural group to sustain his political career in the South-west and dumped it subsequently. For no just reason, Obasanjo hates the late Yoruba leader, Obafemi Awolowo with egregious passion; he loathes Nnamdi Azikiwe, even in death, by ensuring that the mausoleum of the Great Zik of Africa was not completed during his tenure. Obasanjo made sure that no posthumous national honour was accorded MKO Abiola when he was in power. The National Assembly called on him to name the National Stadium, Abuja after him; he looked the other way. In all his so-called presidential speeches during his tenure, he avoided mentioning Abiola’s name like a plague.
Obasanjo feels uncomfortable when compared with genuine achievers in Nigeria. He hates being reminded that someone is about to or indeed has surpassed his ‘achievements’. He is an embodiment of deceits. The Alliance for Democracy (AD) governors that were booted out of power in the South-west in 2003 could perfectly attest to this fact. He has no permanent good friends. When he calls somebody his friend, there must be something injurious to the society that binds that person to him. Anyone that is loved by the people or is meaningfully supporting the populace is Obasanjo’s natural enemy. Institution-wise, Obasanjo never moved the nation further than he met it in 1999. He deliberately bastardised political parties in the country. He inflicted worse tyranny on the nation; he foisted worse greed and corruption on the land; he benefited from democracy even while he did everything within his power to destroy democratic institutions; he ruled the nation with malice and vengeance. Yes, it could be said that Obasanjo was elected twice as president but the elections that were organised in 2003 and 2007 under his tutelage were the worst ever in the annals of the country. Even if the evidence to buttress this might have been destroyed, there is one that Obasanjo’s presidential might cannot destroy. In 2005, the election to fill the traditional stool of Owu kingdom in Abeokuta where Obasanjo hails from was conducted. The first time the election held, this former president, then a sitting president, stopped the process even when a communiqué on the winner had been issued by the kingmakers. He ordered a re-run through a kangaroo injection of warrant kingmakers appointed by his initially surrogate but later
EXPRESSO STEVE OSUJI
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NNPC’s $1.5b caper: it’s a loan; no, it’s a gift LEGACY OF LIABILITIES, LEGACY OF LIES: Standing before this House Committee, the Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke swore that what the NNPC took is not called by the name, loan as reported but that what it has is called by the name, ‘forward sales agreement’. Let’s hear it from her: “the NNPC neither took a loan of N1.56 billion nor was planning to do so. What the corporation did was to enter into a forward sales agreement with its international creditors that supplied products to the country in order to settle outstanding liabilities dating several years back.” She continues, “The NNPC has a legacy of liabilities and this has resulted in cash flow challenges. The Board of Directors approved this transaction; it was not a loan. There was no $1.5 billion loan taken by the NNPC; but there is an internally accepted forward sales agreement to enable it offset fuel subsidy debts.” She made it known that the Ministry of Finance also approved the deal which by extension, means that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is in the know and by a little further stretch, the Presidency must have authorized the deal. Mrs. Alison-Madueke elaborated further: under the forward sales agreement deal, (which we understand had been concluded, and money exchanged hands), NNPC will supply the creditors about 15,000 barrels of crude oil per day for a period of five years to liquidate the debt. Mr. Andrew Yakubu, the group managing director of NNPC also testifying before the House
Committee weighed in with more detail: “the forward sale structure has the following features: to enable NNPC to immediately forward sale 15,000 barrels of crude oil and raise the sum of $1.5 billion to liquidate outstanding trade bills. The arrangement is based on a forward sale which allows a future sale of agreed quantities of 15,000bpd of crude oil to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for a period of up to five years in consideration of the sum of $1.5 billion paid by the SPV to NNPC. The $1.5 billion will be used to offset part of the petroleum imports bills. Yakubu also made it known to the House Committee that the total outstanding indebtedness of the NNPC is $3.5 billion noting that $1.5 billion only covered the first phase of the repayment agreement with a balance of $2 billion still to be paid. BETWEEN LOAN AND BARTER: NNPC in its usual manner, takes Nigerians on a winded trail in a matter that is so simple and straight forward. Of course this has been its trademark over the years. It simply lapses into shadow boxing and stealth decoys when it has been caught out in its usual atrocious fare. Whether that deal is a loan, barter, backward or forward transaction is immaterial, money has changed hands in exchange for crude oil. NNPC had consummated a whopping $1.56 billion deal in a shady, less-than transparent and unaccountable manner. For such a very big deal, the National Assembly and the people of Nigeria would never have known about it were
nemesis government in Ogun State at that period. The appointed warrant kingmakers happened to be his cronies. After the second election, Obasanjo’s candidate surprisingly lost out after the ballots were counted. He grabbed the ballot papers in annoyance from the presiding officer and tore them into pieces before flinging them away. He stormed out of the Owu Palace venue of the election for the Naval Secondary School where a chopper was waiting to take him to Abuja. He sent his aides to try and retrieve the torn ballots but they could not locate them again. But yours sincerely, also from Owu, has the privilege of seeing those original torn ballots signed by Obasanjo and the other warrant kingmakers and they are well kept somewhere today. The man that never won the traditional stool election is unfortunately the Oba of Owu-Abeokuta today - courtesy of Obasanjo’s tyranny and whimsical abuse of power. The above depicts how Obasanjo ruled Nigeria for eight years. Whatever the wishes of the people at election time, Obasanjo had his way by imposing his cronies on them. He foisted ailing Umaru YarÁdua on People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and rigged him and the current inept President Goodluck Jonathan into power during the presidential election of 2007. Both ran on the same ticket. Albert Einstein, the 1921 winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century who at one time commented: ‘Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.’ Einstein added value to the world and in the process became a man of success. Unfortunately in Obasanjo’s case, he became a man of ‘success’ that is of no lasting value to his immediate world. The questions are: Could such a man be described as a great leader? Could he be classified as a true statesman? What would a good student of history have to say/write about Obasanjo? Like his hateful description of Zik, Obasanjo has descended from the global international man of repute in 1979 to the unreliable cantankerous Balogun of OwuAbeokuta in 2013. More posers: Were those that gathered in Obasanjo’s Abeokuta Presidential Library last recently really celebrating or mocking him? Even at 76, does Obasanjo, despite all the atrocities he had committed against Nigerians, deserve to be celebrated? The answer for these questions would be left for genuine historians to decide. Anyway, happy 76th birthday (which he clocked on March 5) to the man his loyal PDP supporters prefer to call Baba! it not for foreign news media. The crude oil being fast-forwarded and fast-tracked is surely not part of the estate of Yakubu or Alison-Madueke, it still belongs to Nigerians and they ought to know. It is funny, if not childish when the NNPC people make a simple transaction look like high finance. NNPC simply got cash from some people abroad and sign off our crude oil for a period of five years. So whether we call it a loan, a barter, an exchange, cash-forcrude swap, whatever; it’s just one more shady deal now on a grand scale to sate the thirst of a cash-crazed presidency. Who are the creditors, when was the debt incurred, why is the payment with crude an equivalent of thrice the debt? And we even have $2 billion of this so called debt left. A phantom debt as it stands because NNPC has hidden the detail from the people. This is one probe the House must not sweep under its dingy carpets. We are watching. LAST MUG: (1) Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu sans B.Sc. Now that the erstwhile governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu has been stripped of his ill-gotten first degree certificate from Abia State University, (ABSU), EXPRESSO has this small advice for him. He should proceed on an education exile, enroll properly in a university, abroad for a sixyear programme that will probably earn him a masters or doctoral degree. He should adopt a total immersion technique which will help him absorb the learning, culture, character and the ambience of the academic environment. This is the crucial missing link in his eventful life; this will safe him from the crushing unraveling he seems bound for now. This will also give his successor some space to breathe and do his bit, and Abia state and her people will be the beneficiaries. (2) ABC Transport: 20 years of pace-making: Mr. Frank Nneji and his ABC Transport Company must be one of the best things that happened to Nigeria in the last two decades. The 20-year-old long-distance bus company is an ode to vision, entrepreneurial spirit and steadfastness. Frank and his ABC are a Nigerian model story that will be told well someday. For now, EXPRESSO, an ABC regular felicitates with a pacesetter on its 20th. The road is still far ahead.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
PEOPLE THE NATION
A SEVEN-PAGE SECTION ON SOCIETY
Literary giant Prof Wole Soyinka drew eminent personalities to the Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos where he received the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership Award on Wednesday. MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE reports.
•Prof Soyinka flanked by Vice-President Sambo and Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu to cut the cake. With them are (from right) Chief Akande; Governors Aliyu; Aregbesola; Amosun; Fayemi and Mimiko PHOTOS: RAHMAN SANUSI
•Awolowo Leadership Prize for Nobel Laureate
E is no stranger to awards. But this seems special to the literary giant Prof Wole Soyinka, who won the maiden edition of the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership Award. The Nobel Laureate drew eminent personalities to the occasion. Harbour Point on Victoria Island, Lagos too often hosts big events but this one stood out. To say it was colourful is an understatement. Some of the guests responded to the old tunes produced by a live band. The camera footage showed the life and times of the late Chief Awolowo, reflecting some of his selected speeches that drew applauses from the guests. The daughter of the sage, Mrs Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu played the perfect host. Few minutes after the arrival of Vice President Namadi Sambo, who stood for President Goodluck Jonathan, the event started with the National Anthem. As everyone took their seats, Dr. Awolowo read her welcome address explaining the purpose for the awards.
Kongi’s moment of joy
Let me say that Chief Obafemi Awolowo to who this award is instituted after was a foremost nationalist and great patriot of this country. Prof Soyinka who has emerged the first winner of the prize is not only a literary icon and global phenomenon but blessed with immense leadership qualities
She said the award is another step to actualising the mandate articulated in the founding philosophy including the aspiration to ensure Chief Awolowo's deep concern for the nation. She said the late sage was a leader whose major concern was the growth and development of the people. "His actions even now inspired others to dream more, learn more, do more and without doubt, he has passed the final test of leadership because he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on," she said. Soyinka, Awolowo-Dosunmu said, has demonstrated over the years rare courage, doggedness and commitment to the best interest of the people on whose behalf he continues to advocate. Shortly after, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who chaired the Selection Committee, extolled the virtues of Prof. Soyinka and listed the qualities that made him win the inaugural prize. President Goodluck Jonathan hailed Prof. Soyinka. He said the honour was well deserved. The President, who was represented by the Vice- President, Namadi Sambo, said the award came at a time the Federal Government was mid-wifing its transformation programme. He said: "Let me say that Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who this award is instituted after, was a foremost nationalist and great patriot. Prof. Soyinka, who has emerged the first winner of the prize, is not only a literary icon and global phenomenon, but also bless-
ed with immense leadership qualities. "The inauguration of the leadership prize at this time in the history of our nation is very timely. The objectives of the prize tallies with my administration's emphasis on quality leadership under our transformation agenda." He said Chief Awolowo worked tirelessly for the development of the country. According to him, succeeding generations have continued to benefit from this. Jonathan congratulated the Selection Committee for making the best choice by selecting the literary giant as the winner of the award. He said Prof Soyinka is an epitome of all that Awolowo stood for in his life. "Throughout his life, he was committed to the greatness of the country and did not renege on those principles he held dearly to. This stood him out among his contemporaries," he noted. "As a political party leader, leaders of the opposition in the federal parliament and vicechairman of the federal executive council, he demonstrated uncommon leadership. He served faithfully and today many politicians endear themselves to the philosophy he lived for by laying claims to his political philosophy," he added. The chairman on the occasion, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, described Prof. Soyinka as a worthy son of Africa who has demonstrated over time the quality for which he was honoured. Citing the qualities that stood him out, he said like Chief Awolowo, who was in his cabinet during the period of national emer-
gency, the literary icon has been on the side of the people in moments of great national challenges and has not let the people down. "Like Awolowo, who was there during the civil war and ensured government did not borrow money to execute it, our literary icon has ensured that Nigerian masses are given what they desire by putting the authorities on its toes to wake up to its responsibilities," Gowon said. Prof. Soyinka wore Aso-Ofi top and trousers. He looked resplendent throughout the event. Sambo presented the plaque to him before Anyaoku and Awolowo-Dosunmu also presented gifts to the literary giant. There was a drama afterwards - some of the dignitaries struggled to take photographs with him, which evoked laughter from the gathering. Soyinka said the event might make a Christian out of him. "I was a beneficiary of the liberal educational policy - at the tertiary level - of the man whose memory we are here to honour, and now, today, I find myself a recipient of yet another largesse, an inestimable honour in the hands - albeit posthumously - of that same sage. As a small return therefore, in tribute to some of those qualities which, in varying degrees, many of us admired in him, such as the principle of forthrightness…," he said. Other dignitaries at the event included former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governors Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo). Others were Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Prof Adebayo Williams, Prof. Itse Sagay, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Mrs. Nike Akande, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, Chief Olabiyi Durojaiye, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, Odia Ofeimun, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Supo Sonibare, Prof. IbidapoObe, former Cross State Governor Donald Duke, among others. •More pictures on page 26 & 27
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
SOCIETY AWOLOWO LEADERSHIP PRIZE AWARD
•From left: Gen Alani Akinrinade chatting with Asiwaju Tinubu and Oroje of Okpe Felix King
•From left: Graham Doughlas; Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Demola Seriki
•Senator Jubril Aminu
•From left: Representative of Emir of Kano, Alhaji Tijani Abubakar; Obi of Onitsha Prof Chinua Achebe and King Jaja of Opobo King Dandeson Douglas
•From left: Erelu Abiola Dosunmu; Mrs Oyefunke Oworu and Dr Doyin Abiola •Senator Gbenga Kaka (left) and Senator Anthony Adefuye
•Alhaji Moshood Tijani (A.k.a Tijaco)
•Aare Taiwo Alimi
•Chief Ebenezer Babatope (left) and Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
SOCIETY AWOLOWO LEADERSHIP PRIZE AWARD
•Pastor Tunde Bakare (left) and Mr Segun Awolowo
•Prof Olu Akinkugbe and Mrs Nike Akande
•Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu and Alhaji Musiliu Smith
•Senator Daisy Danjum and Dr Ayo Ighodalo
•Hon Olawale Oshun (left) and Dr Wale Okediran
•Mr Yinka Odumakin
•Alhaji Shetima Yerima (left) and Otunba Gani Adams
•Senator Sola Adeyeye (left) and Odia Ofeimun
•Prof Adebayo Williams
PHOTOS: RAHMAN SANUSI
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Anambra State indigenes gathered at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, the state capital, for a grand rally in honour of the late Ezeigbo, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU was there.
KEMBA Nnewi Dim Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu, died on November 26, 2011. He was buried on March 2, last year. One year after he was laid to rest, indigenes of Anambra State gathered last Saturday to celebrate him. Ojukwu led Easterners to a Civil War in 1963. The young, the old, rich and poor, business moguls and politicians converged on the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka to honour the late Ojukwu. In a colourful ceremony tagged mother of all rallies, groups under the banner of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) wore special clothes to make them unique. There were different Ankara fabrics bearing the late Ojukwu’s portrait. Others carried the portraits of Governor Peter Obi and the late Ojukwu. As early as 8am, hawkers had started thronging the rally ground. APGA members came in motorcades. Before noon, the stipulated time for the event, all the canopies and the over 25,000 capacity square was filled to capacity. The mammoth crowd stretched as far as the eyes can see. Every available space was filled with all sorts of vehicles. Motorcycles, bicycles and tricycles also found space in the parking lot. Dignitaries walked up majestically to the podium. Security officials prevented the surging crowd from assessing the podium; Many stood at the edge of the podium watching. Ojukwu's widow, Bianca, the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain spoke in Igbo language. She said: "Today marks one year that my husband and our National Leader was bid farewell. I thank all of you that made today possible. This rally is a wonderful one. ”Nobody can remove our flag from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Don't allow this party to die and don't allow this party to be put to shame.” Bianca condemned the destruction of Ojukwu's Library at Owerre by unknown persons. Governor Obi, the National Deputy Leader of APGA read some resolutions by the party members. The date for the rally was chosen, according to Obi, to coincide with the first anniversary of Ojukwu’s passage. He said it was an opportunity to celebrate Ojukwu for what he was to the Igbo people and to invoke his spirit to continue to guide APGA. In attendance were: Anambra State Deputy Governor Emeka
Fond memories of a warlord
•Governor Obi (holding microphone) flanked right by Sibeudu (red cap); and other APGA leaders
•From left: Hon Orizu; Mrs Nwebili and wife of the Deputy Governor Mrs Chinwe Sibeudu
Sibeudu; Speaker, House of Assembly, Chinwe Nwebili; Deputy Speaker Chukwudi Orizu; Dr. Tim Menakaya; former Minister of Information Prof. Dora Akunyili; Ambassador Odi Nwosu; Mr Obinna Obiegue; Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba; Hon Chuma Nzeribe; Chief Chris Uche; Alhaji Garba Barne; Evengelist Chinyere Okeke; Bernad Akoma; Sunday Obaslam; Chief Dickson Osu; Tondo Joseph; Ella Nwabueze; Ferguson Okpara; Hon. E.A Shonubi; Dr. Gbenga Afeni; Abubakar Adamu; Dr. Sagir Auwal Maidigu; Lawal Barma; Alfred Nwosu; Dr. Isa Jiga; Mrs Victoria Oyeng; Ambassador Frank Ogwuewu; Chief Reagan Ofomba; Hon. Okey Udeh and Chief Okey Ezeibe.
•Amb Ojukwu (right) and Mrs Obi
•APGA State Women's leader Mrs Edith Nwokedi
•Chief Ferdinand Nwankwo achnowldging cheers
WHAT AND WHERE Wedding
HE mother of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Adeyemi Banire, Alhaji Sarat Banire will be celebrating her 85th birthday tomorrow. The event will feature the Walimotul Quran of Banire’s son, AbdulMalik at The Haven beside Arch Bishop Vining Memorial Church, Ikeja, Lagos. Waka Queen Alhaja Salawa Abeni will thrill dignitaries at the ceremony. Among the guests expected at the event include leadership of ACN at national and state levels, present and past governors, state executives, members of the national and states’ assemblies, members of
Conference of 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (CONFERENCE 57) in Lagos, captains of industry, business tycoons and associates.
HE remains of Chief Seth Ayodele Oshatoba will be laid to rest today at 3rd E.C.W.A Church, Odo-Ere, Kogi State. A Christian wake keep was held yesterday at his residence.
HE Holy solemnisation between Oluwabusola Onaopemipo and Peters Ogenekaro children of Ambassador Kola Felix Isiaka and the late Deacon Geoffrey Emmanuel Odhura will hold tomorrow at the Foursquare Gospel Church, Akute. Reception follows immediately at the Fourgate Lounge and Resorts on Akute Alagbole Road, Akute, Lagos.
Funeral T. James Anglican Church
Nanka Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State will today host the family of Prof J.O.C Ezeilo to a funeral services in his honour. The interment will follow immediately after the church service in his compound. Guests will also be entertained at same venue.
PROGRAMME entitled ‘Preserving the future’ by The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Lagos province 35 will be held tomorrow at the church’s headquarters, Oworonsoki, Lagos.
SYMPOSIUM on gender equality will be organised by the United Nations Information Centre in Lagos in collaboration with Treasureland Health Builders to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day today at Christ 1st Entertainment Centre, Lagos.
HE 2nd convocation ceremony of Caleb University will take place tomorrow at Imota, Lagos.
ON Moshood Mustapha will on Monday be joined by family members and friends to celebrate his 50th birthday at Roemichs Event Centre, Ilorin, Kwara State. The juju music maestro King Sunny Ade will be on stage to entertain guests. COMPILED BY OCHUKO ETABE
29 FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Vol 4. No. 1792
You name it. Shoprite, KFC, Game, Spar; all these retail giants and more have landed in the country and are doing good business. These global brands have become stores of first choice for many consumers. In this report, Associated Press (AP) examines these brands’ contributions to their host country’s economy.
The coming of global brands I
NSIDE this 1950s-style American diner, waitresses softly sing along to Aretha Franklin as they sling hamburgers and whip up milkshakes. The jukebox belts out Ritchie Valens as a customer wearing a Muslim prayer cap and flowing blue robes ambles in. This isn’t the US, where the kitsch restaurant chain Johnny Rockets has several hundred locations, but Nigeria, where foreign companies have hesitated to invest because of logistical challenges, poor electricity and government corruption. Now, however, as Nigeria’s middle class grows along with the appetite for foreign brands in Africa’s most populous nation, more foreign restaurants and lifestyle companies are entering the country. And the draw on Nigerians’ new discretionary spending has also put new expectations on providing quality service in a nation where many have grown accustomed to expecting very little. “It really is impressive to go out to places and see places filled with everybody from all different walks of life,” said Christopher Nahman, the Managing Director at the Johnny Rockets in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos. “Nigerians are a very inspirational society also. Even somebody who it might be really kind of a burden on them financially, they will still do it to just have that experience. “It’s very encouraging moving forward because that’s what you need to sustain an economy. ... There’s no going back.” The majority of those who live in Nigeria, home to more than 160 million people, live in poverty. Just more than 60 per cent of Nigerians earn the equivalent of less than $1 a day, according to a 2012 study published by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. For decades, only tiny sliver of the population either involved in the country’s oil industry or its government roundly criticized for corruption had access to wealth. The end of military rule in 1999 saw the country’s economy slowly open up, with new professional jobs being added in banks and the rapidly growing mobile phone market. That gave birth to Niger-
ia’s rapidly growing middle class, whose members earn between $480 and $645 a month and represent nearly a quarter of the country’s population, according to a September 2011 study by investment firm Renaissance Capital. Over time, those figures started to attract businesses who previously hadn’t been working in Nigeria. In retail, South African firms have flocked into Nigeria, finding places in the new malls being opened around Lagos. MassMart Holdings Ltd., of which Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, Arkansas, owns a controlling stake, has its Game department there. Supermarket chain Shoprite Holdings Ltd., considered a budget grocer at home in South Africa, draws a moreupscale crowd in Nigeria, where most still shop for food in openair markets.
The market has drawn U.S. restaurant chains as well. KFC, owned by Louisville, Kentuckybased Yum Brands Inc., has seen a rapid expansion across Nigeria, with 17 restaurants opening across Southwest Nigeria. Domino’s Pizza Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently had a franchisee open two locations in Lagos as well. Even ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery of Scottsdale, Arizona, has opened to offer scoops and waffle cones to take the edge off of Nigeria’s sweltering heat. At Johnny Rockets, which sits on Lagos’ swanky business-hub Victoria Island across the street from a major hotel frequented by foreigners and dignitaries, the restaurant has a velvet-roped waiting area in the parking lot. Inside, the stainless steel kitchen gleams and customers watch, often with openmouth fascination, as workers
dance each hour to “Hippy Hippy Shake” or another classic song. The menu of burgers, fries and onion rings has the Nigerian addition of jollof rice, a spicy staple of tables throughout the country. Others coming in have followed — including Domino’s, which puts it atop a specialty pizza for the Nigerian market. However, most come for a taste of something different. That luxury does come at a steep price. A double bacon cheeseburger sells for N3,500, the equivalent of about $22. A vanilla milkshake is N1,800, or $11.25. Yet the service does come with a smile, a song and a bit of spectacle often missing in Nigeria, where customer service can quickly degenerate into exasperated shouts and curses at blankeyed employees. “This, obviously, is not an eve-
‘Nigerians are a very inspirational society also. Even somebody who it might be really kind of a burden on them financially, they will still do it to just have that experience’
ryday place,” said Mimi AdeOdiachi, a landscape and garden designer dining there recently with a friend. “It’s a once in a while place, I want to celebrate something small in my life.” Despite the possible profits, challenges still remain for these companies. Stores must rely on diesel generators for electricity, as Nigeria’s state-run power remains epileptic at best and blackouts can last days. Having adequate supply chains also can prove to be a challenge, as some Nigerian suppliers don’t immediately meet Western standards and backlogs at the country’s major port in Lagos can be weeks at a time. Corruption also remains rampant as government and regulatory agencies, analysts and private businesses acknowledge, making operating legally with proper accreditation even more difficult. Still, there’s money to be made now and perhaps even more in the future if Nigeria’s economy continues to grow along with a burgeoning middle class looking for an escape from the grind of life in the country. “People don’t feel like they’re in Nigeria when they come,” said Andrew Nahman, a director at Johnny Rockets. “Not necessarily that they have to get away from Nigeria, but it’s a different experience all together.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
VER the years, brands and their parent companies have succeeded in building the economy of their countries and foreign hosts. This is possible because of the profits the brands make, employment opportunities they generate for citizens and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), including provision of electricity, roads, pipe-borne water and manufacturing plants. Such is the value they add to natural economy that the companies are really supported by the host countries in period of economic adversity. Between 1998 and 2007, Nokia contributed a quarter of Finnish growth rate and in the early part of the 21st century it employed more than 24,000 people. In a country where only natural resources are its vast forests, Nokia succeeded in putting Finland on the world map. It is the first phone manufacturer to own a care centre in Nigeria. The company also partnered with the Lagos State government to implement the house-numbering project. That is why Nokia users have access to a detailed offline map of Lagos State. They connect with their consumers, sell more with the new improved application that provides detailed offline map. Yet, Nokia has no manufacturing or even assembly plant in Nigeria. Among many Chinese companies, Huawei has distinguished itself as a telecommunications’ equipment manufacturer. Today, it is the largest telecoms equipment manufacturer. In 2010, the company announced a net profit of over $3 billion. In
How firms grow the economy Over the years, manufacturing companies have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. RAJI ROTIMI SOLOMON writes on some of these contributions. addition, Huawei runs a training facility in Abuja, where people are being trained. This facility is the first of its kind in West Africa. Samsung Group, which has about 80 subsidiaries with Samsung Electronics as its main firm, is responsible for 20 per cent of South Korea’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Samsung has a care centre in Nigeria for the servicing, repair and maintenance of its products. In partnership with the Lagos State government, the company also owns a Technical School in Ikeja, Lagos. After training, however, beneficiaries still have to go hunting for jobs. In effect, its impact on alleviating unemployment in the country is minimal. If Samsung had a manufacturing plant, the students would have qualified to work there since they already have the technical-knowhow. For instance, Nestlé—the consumer-goods company—contributed 15 per cent of Switzerland’s GDP in 2012. It has a vibrant Nigerian subsidiary with a functional manufacturing plant that employs many Nigerians. It has just opened a multibillion centre in Agbara, Ogun State. Guinness storehouse, the home of Guinness, welcomed over one million visitors last year and served as Ireland’s major international major
tourist attraction. Guinness Nigeria owns a manufacturing plant in the country and undertakes many CSR projects in the community. Coca-Cola has over 90,000 employees across more than 200 countries; it contributes immensely to the economy through the employment of many peopl e and execution of projects spread across communities. With Toyota as its spearhead, Japan’s automobile industry contributed 10.5 per cent growth to that country’s economy in 2009. It has more than 300,000 employees with the majority being Japanese. Toyota has no manufacturing or assembling plant in Nigeria, yet it is the top selling automobile in the country. Same goes for Germany’s Mercedes Benz. Every year, Nigeria churns out graduates in their thousands from different universities with no assurance of employment. Yet, different foreign brands have turned the country into a cash cow. It is projected that the sales of smartphones in Nigeria would hit N900 billion by 2015, yet unemployment is at its all-time high, crime in increasing and government is complacent in tackling the malaise. These companies have defended their corporate actions. They are
Ikeja City Mall rewards customers Connecting with customers goes beyond the sales-point-care many brands and organisations offer. Imagine a shopping experience that earns you a candlelit dinner for two. That’s what it was for 10 people who won a romantic dinner in this year’s Ikeja City Mall shopaholic promo. TONIA ‘DIYAN reports
HE Ikeja City Mall Valentine promo, a consumer-led promotion ran from February 11 to 27 with the simplest of participatory mechanics. In three steps, a winner emerged. First, customers had to make purchases from any store in the mall, and then write their names and numbers behind the receipt before dropping them into drop off boxes, strategically positioned in the mall.
Through a draw, the winners were selected. The promo was keenly contested as consumers were encouraged to drop as many entries as they wanted to stand a better chance of winning. Held in the presence of the management, staff and some media personalities, the selection of the winners was transparently drawn through a lucky dip
last Friday. The winners were contacted via phone calls as soon they were picked to inform them of their selection and confirm availability for the reward. The dinner, which took place two days ago, at Rhapsody’s a real cozy outlet in the ICM. The Ikeja City Mall for some time now has proven to be a first-class shopping mall,
shortage of electricity as a crippling factor. The cumulative effect of the staggering cost of generating power in Nigeria is a substantial increase in the cost of production, which means that the goods produced are more expensive than expected. Setting up manufacturing and assembly plants should serve to help cut costs for manufacturers since it would mean a reduction in overhead costs such as transportation. But when weighed against the astronomical cost of generating power in Nigeria, locating plants outside the country seems a more logical and cost effective choice. The recent spate of insecurity in the country, has served as a further encumbrance as far as this goal is concerned. Would Nigeria continue to be a dump site for these brands? Who is to blame for this misfortune – the government or the companies? A Professor of Economics, Makinwa Olusegun, said: “A nation that would grow must first of all grow its manufacturing sector, en-
courage foreign investors to build their manufacturing plants in the country. Countries such as India grew like that. If we continue to be consumers and not producers, we would end up being stagnant and may not be able to cope with the level of unemployment that would hit the country in another 10 years. “The government should first of all create an enabling environment for local brands to grow, and also for foreign brands and investors; make importation almost impossible and make foreign companies see the cost effectiveness of stabling their either manufacturing or assembly plant in the country. “For example, many companies are running to Ghana to produce and then come to Nigeria to sell. They sell 90 per cent of what they produce in Ghana here, that fact is quite unnerving. This would surely continue if it does not get worse if the government doesn’t do anything about it on time to salvage the crisis,” he said.
Firm wins NB award
N line with its commitment to continuously reward productivity and business partnership, Nigerian Breweries Plc made good its age old promise by rewarding outstanding distributors and transporters that excelled in 2012. Magulf Enterprise Limited, having sold the required cases of Nigerian Breweries products emerged best distributor for the year 2012. The company grabbed the coveted award and a brand new Mercedes Benz truck to further enhance their business. The company won the award at an elaborate ceremony tagged: “Our Bond, Our Success,” held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. Ifeoma Chukwuma Nigeria Limited and GN Anyoha and Sons Limited went home with second and third place prizes respectively. The brewing giant gave out 116 awards in various categories which include: National Volume Champion and Region Volume Champions, Regional Volume Champions who attained minimum of two million cases, Regional Volume Champion who attained less than two million cases, District Champions who achieved minimum of two million cases, District Champions who achieved one million – two million cases, District Champions who achieved one million cases, Millionaire Club (SKDs who achieved above one million cases) among others.
Chi kicks off Capri-Sonne school offer
HI Nigeria Limited, makers of Capri-Sonne natural fruit juice has unveiled a reward campaign for kids tagged: “Capri-Sonne School Surprises Offer”. The offer comes with several free gifts. The gifts are wrist watches, flash lights, pouches, colour pencil cases and many more packed inside every carton. The campaign also has an extra bonanza option, where customers submit Capri-Sonne flaps to stand the chance to getting a free jumbo crayons and water colour boxes. The campaign will be supported with a television campaign, outdoors and an activation program where the Capri-Sonne team visit schools across Nigeria. A statement from the company said: “The campaign is expected to be a big success with a win win situation for our target audience as well as for us. This campaign will help in inducing trials and thus getting new consumers into our consumer set and of course, kids are going to love the exciting gifts that will come with Capri-Sonne. From a Marketing perspective, this campaign will be supported with a 360 degree push and will definitely help in re-enforcing market leadership position as a kids juice brand.”
Consumer’s right violation debate
• A staff during the draw
THE Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Advertising Practi-tioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Advertisers Associa-tion of Ni-geria (ADVAN), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), among others will address consumer’s right violation at a colloquium in Lagos. Others are National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), Nigerian Communication Commission, (NCC) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) through its Consumer Protection Unit, (CPU). The director generals of these reputable agencies have confirmed their participation at the event. The event comes up on March 15 at Eko Hotel Victoria Island, with the theme: “Consumer Right in Nigeria, the Most Violated? The Role of the Regulators.”
SHOPPING THE NATION
FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Packaged food takes over
With the ever-increasing sophistication of shoppers, the packaged food market is winning more converts, reports TONIA ‘DIYAN. •STORY ON PAGE 32 MY SHOPPING
Appliances that make life tick Page 33
‘Bringing innovations into the mall system’ Page 34
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NDEED, the story has changed for processed and packaged food, thereby further entrenching the changed shopping style of an average Nigerian. So, to them, it appears a final bye to the ‘conventional’ mode of food preparation. To shoppers, the new packaged food shopping era is coming on the heels of improvement in products’ quality, the growing awareness among Nigerian consumers, increasing disposable income, especially among middle-class consumers. Advertising and marketing strategies of firms, they also believe, have remained major contributory factors. According to findings, the average Nigerian spends 72.97 per cent of his or her earnings on food and with her population, Nigeria provides a large and attractive retail food sector. However, changing demographics and lifestyles are resulting in increasing consumer preference for wide range of convenience in food shopping - processed and packaged as well as nutritious foods. In Nigeria, the growth of the packaged food market has remained strong and steady, a development that is easily attributable to the country’s large population which translates to growing demand for the products. Medium income earners now patronise grocery stores which hitherto seemed to be the exclusive preserve of the higher-income class. “The increasing sophistication of Nigerian consumers and improved product quality are growth drivers in this market. As a result, an average Nigerian spends more on packaged foods, especially on items previously regarded as luxuries. Mr. Norman Sander, Centre Manager, Ikeja City Mall said he also believes that food items that are fast and convenient, such as pasta and noodles, will continue to experience dynamic growth in Nigeria. He added that the Nigerian retail market would experience more growth due to several other factors, including political stability, economic recovery, and higher disposable incomes as well as increasing company advertising. According to him, packaged food is one of the most dynamic markets in Nigeria, with many new entrants and products each year, by both domestic and foreign companies. This view is supported by the number of retail firms coming into the country to do business. Uche Nzeka, Agricultural Marketing Specialist with the Global Agricultural Information Network, also observes that the increasing demand in the market has spurred more
Packaged food takes over importation of packaged products. Some of the outstanding players in this market include Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, UAC Foods, De-United Foods Industries, Dangote Industries Ltd etc, while there are other international companies that formed alliances with Nigerian companies to repackage and/or market their products in the country. The food industry is indispensable anywhere in the world. Its contribution to the economic growth of a country is unrivaled and unbeatable. However in a rapidly developing country like Nigeria, the variety of food brands has increased, which could give birth to either mass excellent quality control and assurance, food safety and hygiene, excellent services, strict adherence to regulatory laws and standards, or otherwise. It would be sad if standards and ethical behaviours fail and business surpass passion. The attraction for packaged food varies for shoppers like Mrs Shoetan Usman, who prefers packaged food because of its neatness.” They keep my kitchen clean. I don’t have to slice vegetables, buy tomatoes and pepper from the market and so on. Everything seems to be sealed in cans. With the packed Pando yam, I can’t remember the last time I pounded yam,” she said. For Mr. Waheed Badmus, the attraction is convienience and affordability “ as a bachelor packed food makes eating and cooking convenient. I also spend little amount of money to purchase these items. Packed food, such as tin tomatoes, sardine, pepper and onion sauce in sachet are my usuals for making a delicious noodles meal. And what more can be better than the packed three-in-one
Nescafe which contains milk, sugar and coffee for breakfast?” he asked. Some say packed food are the most affordable, as they come in various prices and sizes to suit a person’s pocket per time. They are available in retail stores and markets across the country. They are also available in neighbourhood shops and kiosks. Anything edible, from liquid to cereal, to pasta and so on comes in packaged form. They can either be cooked or eaten the way they are bought, depending on the type. For instance, sardin, geisha, corn beef can be eaten with cooking, preferably with bread. While for Mr. Thomas Abolo, who works with one of the new generation banks, eating on the go is what makes him prefer packaged food. “It is an exciting experience, it makes my meal fast and it doesn’t taste differently,” he said. The quality and safety of food is a major benchmark of the economic development and people’s living conditions. Freshness and taste of the edible items completely depend upon the well developed packaging. Packed foods are everywhere hence there is competition to capture the large shares of packed food market. To survive in this throat cut competition as well as improve the safety and appeal of these products, most appropriate food packaging is of great importance. For instance, in biscuit manufacturing companies, to keep the biscuits crispy, crunchy and tasty for long, flawless biscuits packaging plays a pivotal role. Being extremely soft in quality, biscuits need proper packaging, which could protect them from humidity and any kind of damage. Moisture proof, durable and appealing edible packaging is the key to
The food industry is indispensable anywhere in the world. Its contribution to the economic growth of a country is unrivaled and unbeatable. However in a rapidly developing country like Nigeria, the variety of food brands has increased, which could give birth to either mass excellent quality control and assurance, food safety and hygiene, excellent services, strict adherence to regulatory laws and standards, or otherwise. It would be sad if standards and ethical behaviours fail and business surpass passion.
enhance the shelf life, brand image and marketability of edible products. Generally, consumers buy things which are more convenient to use as compared to inconvenience and hard labour for example in those days, utensils of clay were in use later utensils made up of bronze became familiar but when stainless steel was introduced it has easily taken over the place. In food industries consumers prefer those products which can easily be used and can be stored in a small place. For instance, all products designed for children such as chocolates, cookies and jellies are packed in the manner in which children can easily open. Products are not made heavy as such they can be transported easily. They are rather designed in comfortable ways that an individual may easily carry them wherever he wants. The convenience of usage, freshness and improved shelf life, sustainable and environment-friendly and as a tool to positioning and promoting a brand are the trend. More packaged food products are moving into retail and household stores and there is a spread of products, offering consumers vast choice. “Good packaging draws and holds consumer’s attention towards specific brand, increases its likeness,it manipulates consumer’s perceptions to purchase the product. Package brings uniqueness of product in notice of consumer.” Said Mr Sander. Categories of package foods are; baby food; bakery products; canned/preserved food; chilled processed food; confectionery; dairy products; dried processed food; frozen processed food; ice cream; meal replacement products; noodles; oils and fats; pasta; ready meals; sauces; dressings and condiments; snack bars; soup; spreads; sweet and savoury snacks. Packaged food achieved remarkably strong value growth over the review period, as a result of several factors such as improved product quality, the increased sophistication of Nigerian consumers, more frequent advertising and improved economic conditions, which boosted disposable incomes. The strong growth of packaged food has resulted in the introduction of numerous new players and products. There is also an increasing number of traditional food items packaged and sold. They appeal mainly to consumers who reside in cities and those who travel abroad.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
The rise of sausage rolls Sausage rolls have gained consumers confidence as a hunger stopper. The industry is becoming more competitive but consumers appear confused over which to choose. TONIA ‘DIYAN reports.
ONVENIENCE foods such as gala, Super bite, Meaty, Rite, Hotty, Chopsy have gained consumers confidence. People tend to eat them to suppress hunger and sometimes they are eaten in between meals. Remarkably, some of these sausages have demonstrated commitment to Nigeria’s fast food consumers for some time now.Gala sausage roll, a brand on the stable of UAC, was the earliest competitor into the industry in
Nigeria. But at the moment, there are different brands of sausage rolls competing for their market shares. They are packaged by manufacturing giants like UAC, UTC and Leventis as well as the latest competitor, Cway, Chi and Rite Foods. While other sausage roll brands like Beefie, Chopsy and UTC sausage rolls come in transparent white polythene cover with their brand name in different colours, Gala’s clos-
est rival, Meaty Sausage Roll and Hotty Savoury Pie come in flamboyant colour packages of red and yellow respectively. To keep a brand alive and meet consumers’ needs and expectations, a brand leader must strive to keep close to consumers to know what they want in terms of taste, feel and appearance. The basic ingredient for a sausage roll is generally a sheet of puff pastry sliced into two and wrapped into tubes around a filling based on sausage meat. They are eaten any time of the day as a snack or meal but are most popular at breakfast or lunch time. According to consumers who spoke to The Nation Shopping, initially, some of these sausage roles were adjudged by consumers as pleasurably soft with a lot of beef in them , though, some others are salty as against some that was moderately salted but tough and with insufficient beef. While the colourful brand attire of Meaty and Hotty attracted new customers who must have been repelled by the old-school outlook of others who has refused to rebrand. Subsequently after meaty was introduced, chicky sausage roll came into existence. Meanwhile, Gala yielded to consumers’ demand which completely stated that brand consistency should be supported with innovation if it must remain alive in the minds of consumers by rebranding. Cway Group also introduced Chicky Sausage roll, which reportedly has a six-month shelf life span. The product is available in international markets and departmental stores as well as major outlets in the Nigerian market.
The latest competitor, Rite, is no doubt struggling for its market share, giving the giants UAC, UTC and Leventis, a good fight, since it is gradually gaining consumers’ acceptance with its promise of more beef. Some of the traffic peddlers who spoke to The Nation Shopping disclosed that apart from the run Meaty and other sausage roll brands have been giving Gala, Rite is also sharing close shelf presence and thereby running down its market share. “There are varieties to pick from, people simply go for their choice, therefore, I can’t say I sell one more than the other, said a sausage sell, Mr Thomson Akunhan. Other sellers, especially the cart pushers of yoghurt drinks and ice cream who form the bulk of sausage roll peddlers polled around Ikeja, Ojota, Maryland, and Ojuelegba suggest that some sausage are facing severe competitions. A regular sausage roll customer, Miss Hannah Akirewu testified to the fact that some sausage rolls are better than the others. “I have tasted them all, some are sure better. I prefer the super bite taste, it is unique. I can only eat other brands if I don’t find it” Competition is considered good in marketing when it keeps prominent and leading players on their toes in terms of constantly adding value and satisfying consumers. But any form of laxity in the face of stiff competition is a sure way for a leading brand to rob itself of a remarkable share of the market and leave it as a second best. Though many consumers still use the generic name of UAC’s sausage roll, Gala, for all the sausage rolls in the market.
Most people believe that the only place to shop for home and kitchen appliances are malls or online. Writes TAIBAT IDOWU.
LECTRICAL appliances are central to daily living. Man is definitely dependent on different types of home and kitchen appliances like air conditioners, LCD TVs, vacuum cleaners, coolers, toasters, corded kettle, iron, cookers, hot plates, health griller, watching matching, Tube light, mixer grinder, etc. All these gadgets are known to lessen our burden and make life easier. The hectic lifestyle today reduces our energy levels and thereby increases our dependence on these gadgets. Today millions of people across the world depend on various kinds of electrical appliances. Getting these appliances is nothing to worry about; they are usually sold everywhere in the market most especially at various shopping malls. According to Mrs. Omolara Aluko ’’I get my electrical appliances from malls because they are cheaper than other shops out there. For an instance I got my essential twin solid hot plate at the rate of N4,999 at Adeniran Ogunsanya shopping mall. Apart from the lesser price, I still have the assurance of what ever get there because they are more reputable.’’ Mrs. Seyi Orelope attested to the easy life derive from washing machines. She said: ‘’I use washing machine to wash at home because of my tight schedule. I only have Sundays to relax from the hustle bustle of the week. So, for this reason my husband bought it so that it will free me from stress.’’ Tube light, one of the most commonly and widely used electrical appliances, is available in different sizes and varieties. The CFL lights, fluorescent lights, LED lights are some of the most important varieties of lights. The CFL tube light is used in homes as
Appliances that make life tick well as commercial buildings and is quite popular for its unique qualities. There are different types of CFL lights available in the markets. These lights are compact in size yet powerful which makes it distinctive. The Dulux bulbs, the Triple Biax CFL, the quad tube CFL, and the spiral CFL are some of the known varieties of CFL tube light. The spiral CFL is widely used in homes and offices in fixtures. Circular CFL is another variety which is also used in reading lamps. Fluorescent lights are quite common these days. It is usually used in commercial areas.
Since it is energy efficient, it is used in places where bright light is required for a longer period. Compared to the incandescent bulbs, this variety of tube light is much better and durable. Another variety of tube light is the LED lights which are long lasting and efficient. It is used for a number of applications including LED rope lights. These lights are used for decorations during weddings and festivals as it requires less energy. It is also used in street lamps. A variety of mixer grinder is also avail-
able in online stores; they are used for grinding coconut, spices, making vegetable and fruit juices. Apart from essential appliances like tube light and grinders, there are many more electrical appliances that are considered vital for any home. Appliances like iron holders, emergency lights, bread toaster, hot and cold water dispenser, mini fridge, electrical stove, microwave oven and so forth. All these equipments and appliances are available in retail stores at reasonable prices.
THE NAT ION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
SHOPPING MY SHOPPING
‘Bringing innovations into the mall system’ Norman Sander, Centre Manager, Ikeja City Mall W ITH price as a consumer’s main driver, how do you intend to keep customers? Pricing is the sole job of the retailer. They need to know the market and the right competitive price; otherwise, they would not be selling. Certainly, I think some of the merchandise might be a bit high in terms of price. The retailers are ready to make a margin, and to encourage people visit the mall again and again. If shoppers know they can get something cheaper at the mall, they decide to make a trip. What advantage do you have over other malls? The advantage of shopping at The ikeja city mall is that people do not only come to do one thing, but they come to do a variety of things. They come on shopping trips and stay up to two, three hours. They can have a meal, go to see movies, window shop, do cloth shopping or use our Wi-Fi to do online shopping. How has online shopping being a competition? Internationally, people are worried about online shopping . It has not actually being bad for shopping malls at all. What one needs to do is just make sure that people walk into the mall and get all that they want. Secondly, service delivery is key. There are certain things we go to the mall to buy. For instance I wont buy a cloth online because I want to touch, feel and see what I am buying. Why do you charge for car park? It’s simple; we don’t want people parking all day here for nothing. If we don’t charge for parking, people would take undue advantage to leave their vehicles here and go to their offices or go somewhere else. If customers can drive to Victoria Island to buy some goods, and pay about N200 as toll gate fee, they should be able to do the same here. People are only worried about something everybody worries about when a new shopping centre comes up. In South Africa, it was same thing twenty, thirty years ago, people kicked against car park fees, now they pay because they realize the importance. If they can get their shopping done within an hour and pay just N100. It shouldn’t be an issue, people are now getting used to it. They make up for it with the prices they get at the mall at the end of the day. If a person has to go to Victoria Island to do what they come to do at Ikeja city mall, it may cost him/her half of the day in traffic. How are you helping the cashless policy grow?
By Tonia ‘Diyan
We have been asked by the authorities to support cashless policy. There are now lots of people that don’t like to carry cash around shopping in the mall. We encourage the stores to make use of the point of sale. We have also provided many ATM machines to make shopping stress free. How are you meeting consumer’s satisfaction? Our tenants are doing pretty well, they store merchandise of varieties and mix of customers want. If a retailer stores insufficient merchandise, then they won’t meet up to the standard here.We did a demographic research before we opened the shopping center. We asked the people what kind of goods they want to see. If the people occupying an area where a mall is about to be introduced say they want branded merchandise goods from Italy, that’s what you have to give them, because that’s what they would choose to buy. Everything is chosen according to the merchandise requirement of the market place. If we consult the people and they say we are only going to consume Nigerian products, we
We are presently rewarding customers. We are building the brand and giving out lots of things. We have realized that Nigerian like to get something for nothing. Therefore, we will continue the act of rewarding shoppers. We have given away meals, cash prizes, cars and so on for shopping in the mall. Next year we will be focusing on marketing. From time to time, we look at what we can improve; we look at what we should change and look at what we can add. A business like this is a dynamic business. We are planning to do more
cannot give anything else. Where do you see Ikeja city mall in the next two or three years? I see the regular London shopper staying and doing all their shopping in Nigeria. We will encourage them to stay here and buy all that they need. It might take a long time to achieve that. But once the people know they can get the same quality stuffs here, Nigerians would stop going overseas to shop. I also see the growing middle class holding a royalty towards Ikeja city mall where they could come for their shopping most of the time and get whatever they want. Are you facing challenges? Not at all, the mall has grown about 25 percent since last year, which is a good indication. People stay longer in the mall. More people visit the mall on a daily basis, a lot more cars come in too. Retailers are doing better depending on how much marketing and advertising they can do for themselves. What is the role of franchise in boosting the economy? Franchise is not a bad thing because you get a brand which is known and a business expertise of the people involved in the brand in the first place and that helps you a lot with marketing. But the important thing for the Nigerian business man to know and remember is that they got to maintain the consistency and the objectivity of the brand. What you do for that brand in Lagos, is what you must do to the brand in Rwandan or Johannesburg or London. It’s got to be exactly the same. Nigerians can become successful entrepreneurs. With the big population in Nigeria, there are lots of retail businesses that can still be boosted in terms of shopping malls. Because there are lots of people out there earning stable incomes and they want to go shopping. Franchise in a developmental stage built towards the next 15 to 20 years, you would see people starting their own businesses and maybe in my lifetime, we would see a lot of Nigerian brands going international. The big wealth creator especially in America started with about 14 people working for them. That’s what should be happening in Nigeria. There is an opportunity here to become an exporter or a manufacturer. We need developmental facilities and fund-
ing skills. Nothing stops Nigeria from growing. The people have to be entrepreneurial about it. The banks have got to be a party and help in terms of loans. How affordable is the rent? Retail shopping is about convenience, comfort, security and doing all under one roof. Rent here is a function of turnover. If you can’t turnover, you can’t do business here and meet up with rent. We offer unique experiences in the sense that we are more like a community centre with a large variety of business merchandise. What new Innovations are you bringing into the mall? We are presently rewarding customers. We are building the brand and giving out lots of things. We have realized that Nigerian like to get something for nothing. Therefore, we will continue the act of rewarding shoppers. We have given away meals, cash prizes, cars and so on for shopping in the mall. Next year we will be focusing on marketing. From time to time, we look at what we can improve; we look at what we should change and look at what we can add. A business like this is a dynamic business. We are planning to do more.
•MAC matte red lipstick
•Different colours of lipstick
Want a lipstick? Consider your skin Lipstick comes in different colours, choosing the right tone of lipstick might be a difficult task. When buying a lipstick, considering your skin tone is basically appropriate, writes MOJISOLA OKUNEYE.
EARING lipstick should last from four to six hours. Lipsticks are produced in different brands such as Sleek, House of Tara, MAC, Jacklyn, Victoria’s secret etc. They are in different colours like red, pink, orange, purple, and brown Lipstick brands can be bought at the malls and cosmetic stores. They come in different prices as they vary in quality and form. The MAC Matte lipstick is sold for N2,800. Miss Adedoyin Adejumoke, a beautician and cosmetologist recommends MAC matte lipstick. According to her, it is a cool orange based red and very matte as it matches any kind of skin tone. The sleek lipstick is sold for N3,000. The Victoria’s secret lipstick is sold for N1,500.
When selecting a lipstick, choosing the right type is as important as choosing the most flattering colour. If you tend to have dry lips, you may want to choose a moisturizing lipstick. This may need to be re-applied more often than others. The moisturising lipstick gives your lips a wet look. Satin and sheer lipsticks are also good choices for dry lips. Cream lipstick contains more wax than other varieties which helps protect lips but may cause them to feel dry. The finish is not as shiny as the other types of lipstick. Matte lipsticks are known for good colour, the colour is flat instead of shiny. It also tends to dry the lips. To find out the best lipstick for your skin tone, you have to first determine your skin tone. Skin
tone comes in two types which are warm and cool. The cool is the lighter skin, while the warm is the dark ones. If you have a cool skin tone, you will look great in red, blue, and purple undertones, rich raspberries and plums. If you have a warm skin tone, autumnal, fall colours look nice. Think of red hints of orange, brown and gold. You can apply this in buying any type of lipstick. Miss Funmilayo Dairo, a student says she prefers the No 7 perfect lipstick in cherry. She says it is quite deep red, a little bit moist when applied but dries down to a matte feel, suitable for any occasion and matches any kind of dress. Other kinds of lipstick are the Revlon Lustrous lipstick and the Chanel Rogue lipstick. The Revlon su-
per lustrous lipstick has been around for decades and it’s still one of the best out there. It is infused with mega moisturizers to seal in colour and softness. The Chanel rogue is a perfect wear. It is creamy, long lasting and absolutely gorgeous. Just as in choosing red outfits for your wardrobe, you should give selecting red lip colour the same type of consideration. There is a variation in red tones that everyone can wear a red lipstick. It is simply a case of finding the one that matches your skin tone. Choose the right shade of red and it can lighten up your face, making it come alive and making tour eyes sparkle. Choosing and picking the right one is not an easy job, you have to consider your skin tone like it has been earlier said.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
T the just concluded Mobile World Congress, Global phone manufac turer, Nokia, announced plans to extend high-end innovations to more people in more markets with the introduction of four new devices which brings innovation to new price points. These devices include Lumia 720, Lumia 520, Nokia 105 and Nokia 301. The phone manufacturer also announced that Nokia’s HERE, a new brand of location suite will be made available for non-Nokia phones in the Windows Phone ecosystem. In addition to the launch Nokia also announced new developer partnerships that use Nokia expertise in imaging, location and entertainment to deliver exclusive application experiences. Finally, Nokia and Microsoft are combining their strength in the enterprise sector to bring more business customers to Windows Phone. While speaking at the world event which saw the participation of more than 72,000 visitors from over 200 countries, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia, Stephen Elop said “The momentum behind Nokia is gathering pace. The launch of these devices reflects our commitment to broadening our devices and services portfolio to meet the demands of people and businesses around the globe. By offering better experiences at a more affordable price we are reinventing the battle for affordable mobile devices, and Nokia has to the building blocks to win”. The Nokia Lumia 720 will be sold at an estimated starting price of EUR 249, while the Lumia 520 is sell starting with an estimated price of EUR 139, the Nokia 105 which would be available in black and cyan will be sold for a recommended price of EUR 15 and Nokia 301 will be sold at a recommended price of EUR 65. Nokia Lumia 720 and Nokia Lumia 520 expand Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 portfolio The Nokia Lumia 720 delivers a high end camera performance at a mid-range price point. A large f/1.9 aperture and exclusive Carl Zeiss optics are designed to deliver bright, clear pictures day and night, while the HDquality, wide-angle front-facing camera makes taking pictures with friends and video calling more enjoyable. The sleek and stylish smartphone comes with the latest high-end Nokia Lumia experiences, including Nokia Music, the HERE location suite, and the option to add wireless charging with a snap-on wireless charging cover. The Nokia Lumia 720 comes in five colors, with an estimated starting price of EUR 249 before taxes and subsidies. Rollout is planned to start in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore in Q1 2013, before continuing into broader markets in Q2, including China as well as key markets in Europe, Asia, Africa and India. The Nokia Lumia 520 is Nokia’s most affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone, delivering experiences normally only found in highend smartphones, such as the same digital camera lenses found on the flagship Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Music for free music out of the box and even offline, and the HERE location suite. A four inch super sensitive touchscreen makes for a more responsive and immersive content experience than can usually be found at this price. The Nokia Lumia 520 comes in five colors, with an estimated starting price of EUR 139, before taxes and subsidies. Roll-out is planned to begin in Q1 2013 in Hong Kong and Vietnam, before expanding broadly in Q2 to markets in Europe, Asia – including China and India – Latin America and Africa. The Nokia Lumia 520 is also planned to roll out in the United States with T-Mobile. Nokia also announced that following the launch of the Nokia Lumia 920T by China Mobile last year, the world’s biggest mobile operator would bring the Nokia Lumia 720 and the Nokia Lumia 520 to China. Further details on exact availability will be announced in due course. Nokia 105 and the Nokia 301 add aspirational Lumia experiences to mobile phones
Nokia takes high-end innovation to new audiences at mobile world congress Nokia also unveiled the Nokia 105, its most affordable phone to date, and the Nokia 301, for more affordable Internet and email access, and camera experiences inspired by Nokia Lumia smartphones. The Nokia 105 is the ideal device for the firsttime phone buyer, featuring a bright color screen with clear menus and essentials like FM radio, multiple alarm clocks, speaking clock, a dust and splash-proof, pillowed key pad, and a flashlight. Its durability and up to 35-day battery life also make it ideal for people seeking a back-up device. The Nokia 105 is available in black and cyan for a recommended price of EUR 15. It is planned to start rolling out in Q1 2013 and is expected to be gradually expanded to in China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, Vietnam and other markets in Africa, Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe. The colorful Nokia 301 delivers elegant design and a bold color palette, with a fast, 3.5G Internet connection and Nokia Xpress Browser preloaded for up to 90 percent more data efficiency. It is the most affordable Nokia device to offer video streaming and also comes with new smart camera features, inspired by the digital camera lenses on the Nokia Lumia smartphones. The Nokia 301 is available in cyan, black, magenta, yellow and white for a recommended price of EUR 65. It is planned to start rolling out in Q2 2013 and is expected to be available in more than 120 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Middle East and Latin America. Nokia Conversations has more on the Nokia 105 and Nokia 301. HERE expands its reach Nokia also announced that while HERE, its new brand for location experiences, will continue to offer first and best experiences on Lumia, HERE Maps, HERE Drive and HERE Transit would become available for non-Nokia Windows Phone smartphones in selected markets. The new HERE Maps comes with the integration of LiveSight™, Nokia’s set of augmented-reality technologies. LiveSight™ uses “sight” as a fundamentally new way to discover and navigate the world, recognizing what people see through their phone’s camera and layering that view with relevant, place-based information. LiveSight™ also powers Place Tag, a new digital lens introduced for Lumia today. Combining Nokia’s unique capabilities in location and imaging, Place Tag adds location stamps to photos with relevant information about pictured places. Nokia Conversations has more on the HERE news. Developers gain access to exclusive Nokia technology Nokia announced that with more than 130 000 applications now available on Windows Phone, it is opening up its APIs in imaging, location and music to encourage developers to build unique and innovative application experiences for Lumia. New apps from Burton, GoPro and FourSquare are already taking advantage of these opportunities, while Nokia announced a new cooperation with Dreamworks Animations SKG. The partnership will see Dreamworks developers use Nokia APIs to deliver rich, interactive entertainment experiences, exclusively for Nokia devices, starting from the second half 2013. Nokia and Microsoft sharpen focus on business customers Finally, Nokia and Microsoft are sharpening their focus on bringing business customers from competitor platforms to Windows Phone using the combined strength of Windows Phone 8 and the popular appeal of Nokia Lumia smartphones. In addition to announcing recent business wins, Nokia confirmed operators including Everything Everywhere, Elisa, Orange, Telstra and Vodafone are ranging Nokia Lumia smartphones as their business hero devices.
Let’s play ball
HAT is your favourite sport? Is it baseball, handball, basketball, softball or football? Whatever it is, there are about 152 million local football coaches in Nigeria; but some of them have never stepped on a football pitch. With a population of 152 million, every Nigerian is a coach. Every Nigerian knows which player is right for the national football team. That fact was on display recently when the national football team coach, Stephen Keshi left some established international football stars out of the team that competed and won Afcon 2013 in South Africa. Several football aficionados wanted to know why Osaze Odemwingie, Taye Taiwo, Obafemi Martins, et al were not part of the party. They would not understand why Keshi picked local talents ahead of international stars. ‘Osaze plays and scores for his week in week out’. ‘Martins has rediscovered his form’. They chorused. They were technical in their excuses. They were also vociferous in their queries. However, when the local talents shined like diamonds at the tournament, every armchair critic and untested football coach was silent. Rather, they turned new leaves. They sang the praises of Keshi. “Our football messiah has finally arrived’. ‘Our own Guardiola has come’. They sang. Nigerians are so passionate about football. They are also unforgiving. Had Keshi dropped the ball in South Africa, his head would have been chopped off. However, Keshi kept the ball. The team won. That is why GEJ has suddenly become the number supporter of the Super Eagles. He showed this recently when he spoke with the players, one on one, via Skype before the match involving Ivory Coast which Super Eagles won by 2-1. Since Nigerians love football that much, so let us play football. You are welcome to the final of the tournament. The score line is still goalless. Now, Victor Ikpeba passes the ball to Kanu Nwankwo. Kanu passes to Austin Okocha. Okocha dribbles his opponent with finesse. His pass locates Kanu. He controls the ball nicely. He looks for his man, dribbles onrushing Cameroonian player and gives a through pass to the number 9 shirt. The opponent defence clear the ball into touch. A throwin for the Super Eagles. Oh, tick-tock, the time is ticking away. Any time now, the centre referee would blow the final whistle and the two teams would settle for the penalty shootout. Having played both halves and failed to find the back of the net, the teams are now in the injury time of the second half of the extra time. After this, we would be in for a tense moment. That is it. The referee has blown the final whistle. In a short while, we would see which country would lift the Afcon 2000. Would it be Nigeria or Cameroun? The outcome of this penalty shootout would determine that. Meanwhile, the teams have selected the five players who would take the spot kicks. The referee picks up the ball. He is ready. He approaches the goalpost. What is he doing? He checks his time. He walks to the goalpost, checks the net by pulling it to ensure there is no loophole, satisfied; he returns to the 16-yard box and places the ball on the penalty spot. Goal keep Vincent Enyeama is in goal for Nigeria. The skipper of the Cameroonian is also ready to take the first kick. Would he score the first penalty kick? Would Enyeama save the day? Aaah, it is a goal. He scores. It is said that the skipper of the Cameroonian has never missed a penalty kick. He is such a brilliant football. Now, the score line is 4-3. Having missed one penalty apiece, if Nigeria scores now, the penalty kicks would be continued until a team misses. Now, it is Nigeria’s turn. Who would take the kick for Nigeria? It is Victor Ikpeba. Give us this day! Give us this day! The spectator sings. Will he heed their call? His name is Victor. Would he give Nigeria victory today? Would be a true victor? What does he do? He steps forward. He is so sure of his kick. He has terrorised the defense line of the Cameroonians. Would he give Nigeria this day? He goes for the ball. He measures his
angle. The Cameroonian goalkeeper has no answer for the shot. Oh, his shot hits the crossbar. The Nigerian supporters are stunned. The Super Eagles is in disarray. There is no one to console the team. Meanwhile, the Indomitable Lion of Cameroon are running about the field, happy, elated. This is a tale of two countries. One is mourning a loss; the other is celebrating a victory. Oh! What a day! What a story! What a night! Nigeria has lost again. Super Eagles has let the country down again. How can victory be so close, yet so far? How can you had victory in your grasp this moment, and the next it is gone? How a man’s action can bring so much pain and anguish to a nation? Ikpeba watches in disbelieve: He is close to tears. He cannot believe his luck. In agony, he places his hands on his head. He has let Nigerians down. He has missed his kick. He missed his kick when it mattered most. When Ikpeba’s kick hits the cross bar and bounces on the goal line, did it cross the goal line or not? No one is sure. The referee is not sure. The linesman is not sure. Even Ikpeba is not sure. Millions of Nigerians and other nationals watching on television are not sure. However, one thing is sure; Nigeria has lost the final of Afcon 2000 to Cameroon. The Cameroonians have won the cup by 4-3. Nigeria was beaten finalists in 1984, 1988, 1990 and in 2000. This is the fourth consecutive time Nigeria would be coming second in the Afcon tournaments. However, Ikpeba took that spot kick in 2000. In 2013, thirteen years afterwards, no one is still sure if that ball actually crossed the goal line. Was it a goal? No one is certain. To put an end to this guesswork and uncertainty, remove ugly incident like that, which could drag the beautiful game of football into disrepute, Federation of International Football Association [Fifa] did successfully implement GLT at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December 2012. GLT would also come to the party at the Confederations Cup and World Cup. Both competitions would occur in Brazil in 2013 and 2014 respectively. It is instructive to note that it is not because of Ikpeba’s ‘goal’ that led to Fifa’s acceptance of GLT technology. It was that and several similar incident, which included a clear goal by England’s Frank Lampard at the 2010 World Cup against Germany. The Lampard incident pushed Fifa to experiment with the technology. Before reaching this stage, however, several test matches had been played to ascertain the practicability of GLT. What this means is that GLT would have influence on the outcome of a football match. The match officials would accept the readings of GLT in a match situation. The GLT, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, have both gone through rigorous laboratory and field tests in extreme heat, cold, humidity and heavy rain. Each system can send an immediate message to a watch worn by match officials within a second of the ball crossing the goal line. Both firms have also taken out insurance on the instruction of Fifa to ensure the governing body will not face costly lawsuits if a goal is not spotted or if players are injured should they collide with the equipment. The English Premier League is pressing ahead with its £6 million drive towards the full installation of GLT for the start of next season. The companies that have developed the HawkEye and GoalRef systems granted licenses by Fifa to install them worldwide, and the Premier League is eager to introduce the technology for the 2013-14 campaign. It is believed to cost around £300,000 per ground to install a system and all 20 Premier League clubs will have to have the facility operational by August. It is hoped that by the time the broadcast right is signed and sealed, fans would be able to see the replays of the decisions that GLT passes to the match officials. This is a unique way technology is adding beauty to the game of football. With the use of GLT, the ghosts of Ikpeba’s and Lampard’s goals would finally find rest, as their spirits would not be invoked again with similar action or story-telling. That way, three things would happen: GLT would focus on its goal, you would enjoy the beautiful game, while the players would play ball.
*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Brandz Republic Consulting and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, e-mail: email@example.com © All rights reserved.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NSTINCT is the main cursor of vision. It is the indicator of where today’s ship will anchor tomorrow. A man without instinct can be likened to a blind bull struggling to pass through the hole of a needle. Without instinct there can be neither projection nor premonition. All visionary prophesies are based on instinct. It was only by instinct that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was able to prophesy the signs of the last days when he said: “One of the signs of the last days is for the sun to rise in the West and set in the East….” This prophecy is pregnant with meanings. Which sun was the Prophet talking about? Was it the physical or the hypothetical? Only a few people of other religions in history were able to comprehend that prophecy as much as the celebrated (Christian) Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw (18561950). Based on his understanding of the contents of the Prophecy, Shaw decided to study Islam through deep researches. And consequently, he concluded as follows: “The Medieval Ecclesiastics, either through ignorance or bigotry, painted Mohammedanism (Islam) in the darkest colours. In fact, they were trained both to hate the man Muhammad and his religion. To them he was anti-Christ… I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing face of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him, the wonderful man, and in my opinion, far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the saviour of humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness. I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today…” America was just emerging as a champion of the modern world when Bernard Shaw made his famous prediction quoted above. Western civilisation was then restricted to Europe and Shaw had taken any emerging civilisation from America as an extension of that of Europe. He had thought that whatever would be acceptable to Europe ought to be automatically acceptable to the emerging power of the New World, the former being an offshoot of the latter. He was right. Although, Islam had reached America long before Christopher Columbus arrived in what was then perceived as a New World, very little was known about the Muslims in that country until 1886 when one Noble Drew Ali of North Carolina started to spread Islamic faith to the black masses in the new world. However, that Noble D. Ali’s jihad became prominent with the growth of media influence in the United States did not necessarily make him the first American Muslim preacher. It is on record that the famous Arab geographer Al-Idrisi (1100-66) wrote about Muslim sailors who ventured from Lisbon to the Caribbean and were met on arrival by native people who could speak Arabic. Those natives were already preaching the divine religion through their culture and traditional lifestyle. Al-Idrisi, (according to Encarta Encyclopaedia) was an Arab geographer, scientist, and author of one of the greatest geographic works of the medieval world. He travelled widely throughout the Mediterranean region, and joined the court of Roger II of Sicily in about 1145 where he worked in Palermo for the rest of his life. His major works include a ‘silver plan sphere’ showing a world map, a sectional map of the world, and a geography text (the Book of Roger) that contains information from his own travels and reports from persons sent from Sicily to obtain new information. (See Encarta Premium 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation). Since inception, Islam has not only been spreading its tentacle across the geo-political arena of the world while playing a pivotal role in reshaping the
FEMI ABBAS ON Femabbas@yahoo.com 08122697498
Islam’s future in America world economic order it has also been living up to its reputation as the fastest growing religion in the world. The evidence of this is vivid in the United States where the growth of Muslim community is on an average of 350,000 per annum. Today, Bernard Shaw’s prediction of the early 20th century is no longer a mere dream. It has rather become a reality with geometric acceleration. Today, there are about 2,106 mosques and 300 Islamic schools in the US. These, added to about 750 Muslim associations, the community is in control of over 330,000 businesses as well as 210 regular publications. All of these are not only providing jobs for the residents. They are also enhancing America’s social security. The top five states with the highest number of mosques are: New York: 257; California: 246 3; Texas: 166: Florida: 118; Illinois: 109 and New Jersey: 109. Muslim population in America increased dramatically with a large influx of Muslim immigrants following the liberalisation of US immigration policies in the 1960s. According to a 1993 report by the American Muslim Council, there were between 5 and 6 million Muslims in the US in 1999. The ethnic percentages of this population were then put as follows: African American: 42%; Indian/Pakistani/ Bangladeshi: 24%; Arabs 12.4%; Africans: 5.2%; Iranians: 3.6%; Turkish: 2.4%; Southeast Asia: 2%; White Americans: 1.6% and others: 6.4% excluding 5,000 Hispanic Muslims. Among these, women accounted for over 75% of European American Muslims. And about 70% of Muslims in the US lived in 10 states. These were: California , New York , Illinois , New Jersey , Indiana , Michigan , Virginia , Texas , Ohio and Maryland . As far back as 1910, African Muslims had exceeded a population of 100,000 in the South American country of Brazil. And long before then the West had taken vivid interest in Islam and the lands it dominated all over the world. But despite over 60,000 publications by the Western Orientalists between 1800 and 1950 disparaging that divine religion and denigrating the personality of prophet Muhammad (SAW), Islam continued to wax stronger even as it displayed dynamic tendencies on a regular basis. Today, with a global population of about 1.7 billion adherents in the world and with certain mundane ideologies and philosophies crumbling like a pack of cards, Islam has remained an unstoppable religion, the implacable hostility of the West to it notwithstanding. Islam made its first physical appearance on American soil in the sixteenth century when Muslims were brought as slaves from Africa but were forced to convert to Christianity. These Muslims were followed by a new wave of immigrants who came in the late nineteenth century as labourers from Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. In the second half of the twentieth century, a large number of Muslims came from virtually every country of the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia who were more sophisticated than their predecessors. As those immigrants settled in large cities and small towns, they built mosques, Islamic cultural centres, and schools. Although African-American Islam emerged in the early twentieth century, it was not until the sixties and seventies that
Islam through them became visible, but yet a religion of immigrants, in the American society. Today, Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and the third largest religion after Christianity and Judaism. Given this fact and taking into consideration the new wave of American Muslims (i.e., first generation children of immigrants, Americans converting to Islam, and the growing African American Muslim community), Islam has finally emerged as an American religion. American Muslims, who have grown in number to about well over million, have succeeded in transforming Islam into an American religion, but these Muslims seem to be more concerned about their survival as a religious minority in a largely un-Islamic society. American Muslims have so far resisted adaptation and change in a JudeoChristian society based upon secular values. Today, American Muslims live as a minority “in a dominant culture often ignorant of or hostile to Islam . . . and are challenged by an America which, despite separation of church and state, retains a Judeo-Christian ethos.” The question now is this: will Islam survive in America? But the real root of Islam in the US can actually be traced to 1790 when the South Carolina legislative body granted special social status to a community of Moroccans which gave that community the freedom to practise its religion. And in 1797, President John Adams signed a policy declaring that United States had no “character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musulmen (Muslims)”. Then, in his autobiography, published in 1791, President Benjamin Franklin stated that he “did not disapprove” of a meeting place in Pennsylvania designed to accommodate preachers of all religions and concluded that: “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service. Thomas Jefferson on his own defended religious freedom in America including those of Muslims and explicitly mentioned Muslims when writing about the movement for religious freedom in Virginia. And in his autobiography also, Jefferson wrote: “When the Virginia bill for establishing religious freedom which was finally passed,... a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’ The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometans (Muhammadans), the Hindus and the infidels of every denomination.” As a confirmation of that policy, President Jefferson also joined the Tunisian Ambassador for an Iftar (Ramadan fast breaking) in 1809. Also, in 1888, the American Ambassador in Philippines, Alexander Russell Webb surprisingly embraced Islam and became the first prominent AngloAmerican Muslim in history. And in 1893 he was the only person representing Islam from the US at the first Parliament for the World’s Religions.
Subsequently, the coming into the American Muslim fold of people like Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Muhammad Ali, Abdul Kareem AbdulJabbar and a host of others in the mid 20th century came to boost the image of Islamic religion tremendously in the US thereby attracting many adherents. Given the above historical antecedent, it is only normal to expect that some inquisitive people outside Islam might raise inquisitive questions. One of such questions was raised by John L. Esposito the author of ‘Islam: The Straight Path’ (published by Oxford University Press in 2005, pp216). His question went thus: How possible is it to be fully American in a society often characterised as JudeoChristian or secular and at the same time retain Muslim faith and identity? If majority of Americans need to realize that Muslims are indeed ‘us,’ many Muslims must also struggle with the nature of their identity, to reconcile the relationship of faith with that of national identity. Are they Muslims in America or American Muslims? For American Muslims, as for American Jews, how to simultaneously retain one’s distinctive religious identity and values and also become part of the majority culture, part of the fabric of the society is a major challenge in the ‘American melting pot”. Esposito closed the question as follows: “Should American Muslims attempt to integrate into American society or would they be better off remaining alienated from society in order to preserve their Islamic Identity?” In other words, Esposito wanted to know which will eventually prevail: Americanisation of Islam or Islamization of America. That question can be best answered by the Americans. At least wherever they too go or settle, they hardly allow themselves to be culturally assimilated. Americans are generally known to live in isolation anywhere they go and no one has ever queried their policy of isolationism. It will therefore amount to discrimination to expect Muslims in America or people of other religions, for that matter, to get assimilated into American culture at the expense of their faith. In an article once published in the New York Times, titled: ‘Muslim Schools in the U.S.: A Voice for Identity’, Susan Sachs wrote on the rising demands for Islamic schools in the U.S. saying that “across the country, Islamic schools…that offer religion and Arabic classes…are expanding and flourishing, with many becoming oversubscribed so quickly that principals are scrambling for money to build more. Thus, the surge in the number of Islamic schools may be attributed to the success and determination of a Muslim community that strives “to define itself as a cohesive religious minority in the secular American society”. Earlier, ‘The World Street Journal’ in its August 7, 1987 edition reported thus: “At a time when Marxism is so debilitated and is being shored up by capitalism; when Christianity lacks much of the missionary fire that once drove it; when Maoism is all but entombed with its founder and when democracy sounds only a muted appeal to much of the world, Islamic fundamentalism stands out as the movement on the march”. By and large today, not only is Islam formally recognised as the second religion after Christianity in the US, it has also become a tradition for the President and his cabinet to host Muslim leaders in that country to Iftar during the month of Ramadan. Today, with technology virtually reaching its climax, and backed up by over 60% of the world’s oil reserve in the Islamic world, the rising of the sun from the West as prophesied by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is becoming undeniably vivid. Were George Bernard Shaw alive today he would have been delighted to see his prediction come true even as Islam remains undaunted in the face of unbridled persecution in the West. Despite the malfeasance of some vagabonds going about killing innocent people and pillaging the society in the name of Islam, Allah’s divine religion remains like a pure spring incessantly watering the plants and animals around it. The refusal of some animals to drink from its water does not stop it from bringing forth the enlivening water. Rather, it is the rebellious animals that will die of thirst.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
In appreciation of his service to their state, the Igbimo Ure Ekiti, a non-partisan social group of eminent indigenes, has hosted Governor Kayode Fayemi to a dinner in Lagos. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO and AMIDU ARIJE were there.
An evening with Fayemi F
OR over two years, he has been running the state, giving it his all. To run a state of intellectuals like Ekiti is not a mean task, but Governor John Kayode Fayemi has shown that he has what it takes to lead the Fountain of Knowledge. Fayemi is only doing the job he was elected to do, but some people somewhere were taking note of his efforts. To show appreciation for this “hardworking “governor, the Igbimo Ure Ekiti comprising prominent Ekiti indigenes celebrated him in Lagos last Thursday at an event tagged: An Evening with Governor Kayode Fayemi. The event was held at the Harbour Point, Victoria Island, and the organisers did everything to make it memorable. There was light music as the night began with a cocktail. Guests alighted from choice cars and were ushered into the hall by a bevy of beautiful women. The guests, many of whom wore African traditional attires, turned the night into a re-union of sorts. They exchanged pleasantries and chit-chatted as they headed for their seats. Some conversed in Ekiti dialect. The hall designer did a good job. Beautiful clothes were used to cover the chairs, colourful table overlays and flowers dangling inside big glasses. Behind the stage was a banner portrait of Fayemi with details of the event. The Ekiti State cultural troupe added spice to the event. Clad in traditional outfit, the troupe dazzled the audience with scintillating dance steps. Shortly after their performance, a documentary on the achievements of Governor Fayemi was shown. His master plan, encapsulated in an eight-point agenda, was hinged on changing the face of Ekiti through good governance. Fayemi was applauded at the end of the documentary for a job well done. IUE President Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi said Fayemi has implemented policies and programmes contained in his eightpoint agenda. Adelusi-Adeluyi, former Secretary of Health, said the development of infrastructure in the last two years of the administration is worthy of commendation as motorists now enjoy good, motorable road network. Fayemi, he noted, is restoring the values of equity, fairness and integrity which IUE stands for, stressing that the state has not witnessed any “invasion” by any anti-graft agency since the governor assumed office in 2010. Akin Osuntokun praised Fayemi, saying the governor has a comprehensive understanding of what governance is. “The governor has proved that he is well prepared for the job. Fayemi has marketed the state well by wooing foreign and indigenous investors to the state; this is a step in the right direction,” Osuntokun said. Fayemi thanked the gathering for the honour, saying his administration has been able to lay a solid foundation for a better future for the state. Fayemi said his achievements came through planning, prudence
•Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi (left) watches as Governor Fayemi (second left) receives a gift from Mr Oyebode assisted by his wife, Aishat (middle) and Mrs Juliana Adelusi
•From left: Otunba Yomi Ashiru ; Otunba Adebayo and Mrs OrelopeAdefulire
•Gen Adebayo (left) and Gen Olurin
•From left: Col Bawa; Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin and Chief Olusola Dada
•Arc Olayinka (left) and Dr Odubu
•Hon Omirin (left) and Dr Owolabi
•Deacon Dele Adesina (SAN) (left) and Hon Orisalade
and sincerity of purpose. His administration, he said, is working on an urban renewal project to make Ado Ekiti a befitting state capital, adding that this will be complemented by empowerment programmes for the people. The governor called on Ekiti indigenes who are interested in helping the state to revive the moribund industries or set up new ones to come home and invest. Laws, he said, have been enacted to ensure a conducive
environment for businesses, adding that investment in the state is safe. In attendance were former Military Governor of the defunct Western State, Gen Adeyinka Adebayo; his son cum first civilian Governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; pioneer military administrator of the state, Colonel Inuwa Bawa and the first sole administrator of the state, Gen Adetunji Idowu Olurin. Others are Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-
Adefulire, her Edo State counterpart, Dr Pius Odubu; husband of the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Arc. Lanre Olayinka, Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin; Managing Director, Access Bank, Aig Imoukhuede; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin; Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi; Head of Service, Mr Bunmi Famosaya; Chairman of Access Bank, Mr Gbenga Oyebode; former
Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Princess Bisi Ogunleye; Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Tunde Ogunsakin; renowned lawyers, Femi Falana and Dele Adesina, and former UACN boss, Chief Ayo Ajayi. They also included commissioners and members of the state house of assembly and renowned musician Dr Victor Olaiya. •More pictures on page 30
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
S OCIETY AN EVENING WITH FAYEMI
•Hon Ayo Fatunbi (left) and Senator Femi Ojudu
•Mr Falana (SAN) and wife Funmi
•Prof Adelabu and Mr Ayo
•Aig Imoukhuede (left) and Mr Chris Okeke
A book: Vision and Purpose for Life Success written by Ayodeji Olusoji Bandipo has been launched in Lagos, reports ABIKE ADEGBULEHIN.
Vision for success
T was a day of joy for Ayodeji Olusoji Bandipo when his book: Vision and Purpose for Life Success was presented in Lagos. Gaily dressed guests, arrived early for the event held at the Redeemed Christain Chruch of God (RCCG) Covenant Chapel, Adeniyi Jones Street, Ikeja, Lagos. The master of the ceremony was Emmanuel Agbakobo. Host Pastor Akin Laoye said the opening prayer which was followed by his welcome address. Ayo Sax entertained guests with melodious tunes from his saxophone. A special prayer for the author was led by Pastor
•From left: Dr Moses Oladele; Pastor Raphael Omolade; the celebrator Mr Olusoji; his wife Bosede; Deaconess Charity Ekwubiri; authour’s mother Madam Foyake-Bandipo; Deaconess Forster Ekwubiri; Pastor Yinka Subair and Pastor Yemisi Ezekiel
Raphael Omalade. The chairman of the occasion Dr Bola Olaosebikan, in an address, congratulated the author on the great achievement he has attained. “Ayodeji has been a zealous and hardworking man since I have known him when he worked with me when I was Commissioner of Health in Kwara State. He is a man with vision and purpose; he is an activist and I know he has gathered the
materials for this book not to make money but to touch lives. I also recommend this book for everyone here because it will help you and others you would buy it for and I pray that this good work Ayo has begun would not stop half way and more blessings would come upon him,” he said. The author thanked all for making his day. He said though he faced a lot of challenges, the book
is a landmark. The 85-page book with Seven chapters was reviewed by Mrs Funmi Akingbegboun, who recommended the book for everybody aspiring to succeed. She referred to the book as timely, inspiring and loaded with insight for an individual to discover God’s vision and purpose. The guest speaker, Pastor Olumide Emmanuel spoke on The Five Irrefutable facts of life.
UNION OF LOVEBIRD
•Former Miss Rosemary Akhawere and her beau Samuel Akhigbe during their wedding at Four Square Gospel Church, Somolu, Lagos. With them is Rev Mike Oluwadipe
•Head of Media/Communications, Mobil Producing (Nigeria), Mr. Nigel Cookey Gam (left) presenting a gift to Hon. Ibrahim Lawal and wife Hajia Sekinah of National Mirror newspaper during the Couples' Game lunchoen organised for media practitioners and their spouses by Mobil in Lagos.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
COMMUNICATE YOUR IDEAS
A former Acting Management Accountant of The Nation, Oyedele John Owolabi and his beau, Opemipo Modurodoluwa, a Customer Service Representative at Mansard Insurance, have been joined in holy matrimony. NNEKA NWANERI and DAVID ADEJO write.
So You are Scared of Public Speaking? Good… So am I!
A conjugal bliss •The couple, Oyedele and Opemipo
HEY first met at a party at Eleko Beach in Lagos two years ago. That day, they got talking and exchanged addresses. Last Saturday, their courtship ended in marriage. Oyedele John Owolabi, a former worker of The Nation, now Project Accountant at Makon Engineering, has every reason to thank God. He walked down the aisle with Opemipo Modurodoluwa Akintajuwa, a Customer Service Representative at Mansard Insurance (formerly GTAssurance) Their Traditional marriage was held two days earlier. Colourfully regaled in peach and green attires, the couple showcased the rich Yoruba culture. With the necessary rites done, the bride wore her beau a green cap made from AsoOke material, which symbolised their union. The solemnisation was held at Gospel Faith Mission International (Mercy Assembly), Ikorodu, Lagos. With her father leading the way, Opemipo clutched to him with her right hand. She held a flower bouquet with the left hand. Her ball wedding gown was dazzling white. The upper part was made of lace and shiny stones. She was a beauty, even without accessories, just her dangling earrings. It was her happiest day and she beamed with joy. There on the altar, the groom, decked in an ash colour suit and patterned inner waist coat over a white shirt, waited for her. The officiating priest was Pastor Olorunfemi. Preaching from John 15:4, the cleric admonished the couple to enrich themselves in the word of God which is the Christian compass. “You should abide in our Lord Jesus as he is the true vine so you can be the branch with these, you can bear much fruits. Love one another as Jesus loved the church”. The reception was held at the Ikorodu Town Hall on the outskirts of Lagos. The two thousand capacity hall was filled with well-wishers, friends and family members who came in their numbers. It was tastefully decorated in purple and pink colour linen cloth. White was the dominant colour. It gave guests a homely feel and added glamour to the venue. Lightening decorations were lined across the decorations.
•Groom’s parents, Peter Owolabi and his wife, Elizabeth
•Bride’s parents, Pastor Olatunde Akintajuwa and his wife Deaconess Simisola PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO
A couple of minutes after 1pm, the lovebirds arrived in a metallic brown Lincoln navigator. Their train followed suit in exotic cars. They came in an entourage. Dele and Ope, as they are fondly called by their parents and friends danced all the way to the white seat made especially for them at the front of the hall. Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Michael Ola-Ajala congratulated the couple. Ola-Ajala said: “You should learn from each other and be pa-
tient with yourselves, live as one, and share issues; communicate between yourselves and do not let any third party into your affairs lest they give you wrong advices.” The couple cut their purple and white polka dotted four layered cake, and there after performed their first assignment in style. To the admiration of all the guests, the bride knelt, fed her beau with some cake and water to drink. Soon after the couple took to the dance floor, many posed for photograph with the couple.
FTER a few years of teaching, one of the things I learnt fast, and which has become a personal rule, is not to begin a class with a question. I realised that any time I began with, “What is …?” the next thing that followed was silence. Usually, it would take a longer session of motivation to get someone to speak, which wasted a lot of time. Well, the scenario might be different once in a while if a particularly active student decided to attempt the answer. There might have been several reasons responsible for that, but chief among them was the fear to stand and speak. Immediately I asked that question, one could imagine a few thoughts run through their minds: “What if I’m wrong?” “What if I don’t say what the teacher has in mind?” “My friends may make fun of me.” “My classmates will think I’m too forward or that I want to display my knowledge.” “I know the answer, but I don’t know if I will be able to explain it effectively.” The summary of the whole thought process is, “I think I’ld rather sit quietly.” Several times in life, we opt to sit quietly instead of speaking confidently. This may unfortunately lead to timidity. Someone once said to me, “You mean I should speak to that crowd? I will just die!” That may sound funny, but it was exactly how the individual felt at that moment. If you had ever found yourself in a situation in which you needed to face a crowd, you might have shared the same sentiment. Now, is the fear of public speaking peculiar to you? The answer is “No!” Several people fear public speaking, perhaps more than you do! In 2005, someone posted a question on a website named Speaking Channel claiming to harbour extreme fear for public speaking and seeking to know if the site could be of help in dealing with it. In response to the query, the following information was posted on the site: “Fear of public speaking and overcoming fear of public speaking are together a major issue in today’s marketplace. Those who fear speaking in public suffer untold white knuckle terrors with their public speaking phobia, and statistics show that around 70% of people rank giving a public speech as their greatest fear!” If 70% of people really “dread” public speaking, why do you think you are alone in it? But this is not an excuse for you to relax in your phobia. When most of us listen to a particularly charismatic speaker, we wish we can speak that way; however, we quickly remind ourselves that we are not made for something like that. But then, is it that we really believe public speaking is not our gifting or that we simply dread the possibility of having people listen to us? There are two important facts you should know about the fear of public speaking:
AMODU LANRE OLAOLU (Ph.D) firstname.lastname@example.org. 07034737394
•Fear can be helpful: some level of fear can help you. Fear is a natural instinct planted in us to make us conscious of things that can potentially harm us. When we are afraid of something, we tend to take precaution. When you are about to make a presentation, it is natural to be a little scared, but this is meant to help you take precaution rather than make you give up. If you have to write an examination and you are a little scared, what do you do? Do you go to sleep and expect it to go away? No! You prepare extra hard to ensure success. The same thing applies to public speaking. Your fear should motivate you to be well prepared. If you ever lose that little fear, you may get over confident. Pleased note that there is an extreme level of fear that practically leaves its victims paralysed- that is not the fear I am talking about. That kind of fear is harmful. •Most professionals still experience some degree of fear: it may amaze you to know that most professional public speakers still feel scared before each presentation. Dale Carnagie, arguably the most famous public speaking trainer who ever lived, said, “Many professional speakers have assured me that they never completely lose all stage fright. It is almost always present just before they speak, and it may persist through the first few sentences of their talk.” “Why?” You may ask. Well, I’ll tell you why! It is because you never meet the same audience twice! Whenever I am going for my classes, I take into consideration that, though I will be teaching the same set of students I taught last week, or even yesterday, they may not be the same at all. They may have had a long day and are very tired; they may have had a boring class before mine and are already bored before I even begin; they may just not be in the mood; they may have had a particularly exciting class that I will have to match (or surpass) unless I want an anticlimax effect, etc. All these and many more will affect the outcome of my classes. You may wonder why I care. When communication is your intention and you know that you have not succeeded until your audiences know what you want them to know, you will care. If one has to be that conscious about the attitude of the people one interacts with everyday, how much more the “strangers” one is just confronting? So, it is usual to entertain a little stage fright, but it must not grow on you.
Dr. Amodu lectures at the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Christians in politics:The Challenge of Transformative Public Engagement Text of the paper presented by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, at the Annual Partners Dinner of the Apostles in the Marketplace (AIMP) on February 21. Protocols ET me start by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to the board of directors, central working committee and members of the Apostles in the Marketplace (AIMP), for inviting me to share my thoughts with you on a topic that is central to the very objectives that informed the founding of your organization. Looking through the organizational structure of the AIMP, I was impressed to see a number of individuals, some of whom I have the privilege of knowing personally, whose weight in integrity, passion for service and patriotism has been a bulwark of inspiration to me through the trajectory of my life. I am glad to contribute to this discourse which I have been intimated is part of a robust framework being developed by your organization, aimed at inspiring more Christians, particularly the youth, to consider active involvement in politics. All stakeholders, particularly those of us on the ‘inside’ have to work collaboratively to figure out how we can sell politics to young Christians in Nigeria as service and sacrifice core Christian values; and to follow-up with concrete platforms for hand-holding - for those interested - through a terrain that has been avoided by our society’s finest for too long. I am also happy to publicly declare, that as one with a strong Christian upbringing and whose faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, has been the basis of my passion, courage and resilience in the course of my activism in and out of public office; that I have no other source of ‘power’. In these days that some go to great lengths, delving into the diabolical to get ‘supernatural’ help from insidious spiritual mediums; it is necessary to reassure my listeners, many of whom might be wondering how I survived the dark military era as an active participant in the pro-democracy struggle at the risk of my life. Some have asked the source of my strength as I faced treachery and injustice for the 3 ½ years that I was denied a mandate freely given to me by my people; ladies and gentlemen, I make bold to say that my faith is built on nothing but the grace and mercy of God.
The paradox of religion in Nigeria Ours is a very religious society. This is a reality that we can all affirm anecdotally but which is absolutely empirically verifiable. Consider some facts and figures. There are more Anglicans in Nigeria than there are in England, the church’s mother country, or anywhere else in the world. The Anglican Church in Nigeria boasts some 18 million members and is the world’s largest Anglican congregation. The largest Roman Catholic seminary in the world is the Bigard Memorial in Enugu which has about one thousand students – five times the number enrolled in the largest U.S. Catholic seminary. No other seminary matches this prodigious intake. Vast cathedrals and mega-churches with tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of thousands in membership dot our major urban centres. The Living Faith Church (also known as Winners’ Chapel) possesses the largest church auditorium in the world, the 50,400-seat Faith Tabernacle in Lagos. The Deeper Life Bible Church’s headquarters congregation in Lagos had 150,000 members as at 2004 and had planted more than 6,000 branches across Nigeria. In Nigeria alone, the Redeemed Christian Church of God claims 14,000 branches with 5 million members. But these figures are just a prelude. Nigeria is at the centre of one of the most fascinating role reversals in history. She has become a missionary-exporting nation and now sends hundreds of pastors to the West, carrying with them a unique brand of spirituality. Some of these pastors lead the largest churches in Europe and Africa. Christianity as we know it on our shores is no longer the bequest of foreign missionaries but has become a genuinely Nigerian brand of religion. Indeed, some scholars now argue that the epicenter of global Christianity is no longer in the West, but has moved to the southern hemisphere, and that Nigeria is its new hub. To back up this assertion, they cite the proliferation of churches and professing Christians at a time that western Christianity is in steep decline. Christianity has become one of Nigeria’s main cultural exports. Huge church conventions held at the end of every year draw pilgrims, academ-
ics, reporters and tourists from the world over who want to observe and participate in the festivals of spiritual recrudescence. At first glance, Nigeria is enjoying a glorious springtime of the Christian faith. There are, however, other aspects of our social, economic and political realities that provide a sobering portrait against the backdrop of this spiritual boom. Even as we exult in our country’s potential emergence as global Christianity’s centre of gravity, we must also acknowledge other less salutary facts. We are beset by a host of plagues: hunger, chronic conflict, terrorism, disease, corruption and various portents of weak statehood. Official graft is particularly endemic. Conservative estimates indicate that between $4 billion and $8 billion is stolen from public coffers annually. 70 percent of our population lives in poverty. The landscape of our country is pockmarked by institutional dysfunction and infrastructural dilapidation. All of us here bear the burdens of working and producing without basic infrastructure such as power supply or of securing our families given the weakness of the formal security apparatus. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 32.5 million Nigerians are unemployed. The economy is growing but not fast enough to absorb the jobseekers emerging from our schools each year. The axiom that an “idle mind is the Devil’s workshop” goes back to the 14th century and it shows that societies have always recognized a link between unemployment and social chaos. In our case, that link is certainly obvious, considering the now chronic incidents of conflict, insecurity and terrorism. However dreary the statistics are, we find the more worrisome omens in the intangible sociopsychological trends that cannot be readily measured. Almost every day, the news headlines scream with reports of some terrorist outrage or yet more news of fraud or theft in the government, deepening a rampant collective pessimism about our society’s prospects. There is a pervasive sense of uncertainty, anxiety and near-hopelessness about our common future. Most dangerously, a lot of people no longer see a clear, scrupulous path to a decent and fulfilling life. Many of our young people are entranced by the possibilities of upward mobility inherent in fraud and a variety of get-rich-quick schemes that reflect our societal bias for instant gratification. Others have been initiated into terrorism and political violence. It is not just high-level graft that ails us. We must reckon with the various instances of lowlevel corruption that are everyday experiences. From the almost customary example of uniformed men soliciting bribes to other episodes ranging from genial requests for “help” or “assistance” to outright extortion that characterize our contacts with bureaucracy and with each
other, oddly enough with people who are avowedly religious. These instances in which we are often compelled to negotiate compromises with our consciences are so frequent that it is no understatement to say that corruption is assuming cultural proportions in our society. Just from commuting on our roads, there is evidence that our society is contemptuous of rules and order, and that as a people we no longer have any regard for the norms of civility and mutual respect. All that matters seems to be the individual’s quest to get ahead at any cost. All these suggest that the defining contradiction of Nigerian life at present is the coincidence of increasing religiosity and declining public morality. We are witnessing a universalization of religious syntax and symbolism across various domains of society, ranging from politics to the popular culture, at a time when our ethical capital is being depleted. Churches are proliferating in the midst of social and moral squalor. Nigerian Christians live in a bipolar reality. On one hand, as Nigerians we share in a common social experience marked by decadence, while on the other hand, we function as believers in the controlled environments provided in our churches. In effect, the values and virtues imparted by our faith are hermetically sealed off from social reality. Consequently, the society persists in its ethical freefall despite what appears to be an ongoing religious revival. The theology of disengagement What is responsible for this profound dissonance between our extravagant religiosity and our alarming deficit of public virtue? Regarding the phenomenon of high church growth and nose-diving public morality, we can agree with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who once warned, “We must not be tempted to confuse spiritual power and large numbers …An increase in quantity does not automatically bring an increase in quality. A larger membership does not necessarily represent a correspondingly increased commitment to Christ.” To a large extent, the flagrant contradiction between our religious and social conduct is the result of the dominant strand of theology over the past three decades. Widespread pessimism about the prospects of the Nigerian project has found expression in a theology of non-engagement. It has roots in the wave of ‘Holiness’ churches that emerged during the mid-1970s. Preaching an austere spirituality that prioritized personal moral rectitude and spartan discipline as the hallmarks of righteousness, these churches depicted the world as a field of profanity. Entanglement in secular affairs posed the risk of subverting one’s salvation. The only legitimate sphere of social engagement was the fellowship within the church itself. The larger society was a lost cause. All efforts were to be directed at fulfilling the level of righteousness required to qualify for heaven. This dichotomy between the sacred and the secular is essential to understanding the bipolar approach to business, politics and public life. Beginning from the early 1980s, the austere ‘Holiness’ movement was displaced by a more buoyant Christian movement that advertized God’s relationship with individuals in more material terms. According to this new theological narrative, God is committed to blessing the individual in the here and now and not just in the afterlife. This commitment is expressed in miracles, healing, financial advancement and the guaranteed general wellbeing of the Christian. This brand of spirituality became more salient from the mid-1980s following the end of the oil boom, the implementation of the Structural Adjustment Programme and the consequent near extinction of the middle class. In a climate of recession and economic uncertainty, a theology that cast salvation as a route to divinely underwritten upward mobility resonated and it fuelled a proliferation of churches across the country. The increasing popular resort to faith was accentuated by the political instability and repression occasioned by a succession of military dictatorships right up till the
‘The landscape of our country is pockmarked by institutional dysfunction and infrastructural dilapidation. All of us here bear the burdens of working and producing without basic infrastructure such as power supply or of securing our families given the weakness of the formal security apparatus. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 32.5 million Nigerians are unemployed. The economy is growing but not fast enough to absorb the jobseekers emerging from our schools each year’
late 1990s. The essential dichotomy of the secular and sacred remained. The new churches that emerged from this movement are largely not conceived as centres for projecting the gospel’s redemptive properties into their communities but rather as cities of refuge where beleaguered citizens flee from the depredations of a dysfunctional state. The theology of this movement which is loosely described as the ‘Prosperity’ movement interprets salvation in overwhelmingly personal terms. It has little conception of society or the common good. Rather, the individual is spiritually primed to achieve material success in spite of the society. Indeed, the subtext of this theology is that events in the society are inconsequential to the fortunes of the individual believer. The individual in a very specific and personal sense is at the centre of God’s love, grace and redemptive plan. It is not surprising that what has emerged is a highly compartmentalized religiosity; one that perceives no moral obligation in the public space and in which the happiness of the individual is paramount. This is a broad brush description of the Christian scene in Nigeria. It does not apply to all churches but it is a fairly accurate portrait of the general complexion of Christianity in Nigeria. Between God and Caesar Historically, Nigerian Christians (like our contemporaries worldwide) have had to debate the extent of their social and political engagement in the context of the biblical admonition to render unto Caesar the things that belong to Caesar. The axiom comes from the incident in the New Testament when Jesus was asked whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. He replied by asking for a coin and questioning his interrogators as to whose image and inscription the coin bore. “Caesar’s,” they replied. Well, Jesus said, since the coin bore Caesar’s imprint then it was lawful for those who lived in Caesar’s domain to render back to him his rightful taxes and to render to God what belonged to God. Traditionalists construe this dictum as an injunction against Christian involvement in politics. Indeed, it has been seized upon by opponents of Christians’ active participation in public life, to argue that religion and politics do not mix. It has become the kernel of a theology of non-engagement. On the other hand, advocates of Christian public engagement offer a richer and more nuanced understanding of this principle. Since Caesar himself was made in the image of God, it follows that his humanity, his empire and taxes, and therefore the politics of running the empire and administering the taxes, must be submitted to God who wields ultimate sovereignty over creation. This is supported by scripture that expressly declares that “… the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men…” One of the ways the Almighty demonstrates His sovereignty in the affairs of men is through the activities of regenerated men and women in public life – men and women who fear God and submit to Him as vessels through which His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. The conundrum for Christians who desire to engage constructively in the workings of their society and are yet wary of confusing the domains of Caesar and God can be summarized thus: are holiness and social responsibility mutually exclusive or complementary? Can we live out both ideals or does one have to nullify the other? Is it possible to be holy and be socially engaged? Is it possible to be deeply committed to the faith and to be an active citizen? I believe that this synthesis of civic and spiritual tasks is not only possible but absolutely necessary. As John Wesley said, “There is no holiness but social holiness.” Every Christian has two responsibilities. The first is to put on the mind of Christ; the second is to carry that mind into the public square – into whatever is public, whether that means the media, the marketplace, the academia, the trade union or parliament. My view on this issue has been forged over the course of a lifetime spanning my upbringing and my lifelong reflection on the place of values in shaping society. I was born into the Catholic Church in which the belief that the church must be an active agent of social justice and political transformation was rife. This belief found expression in the social activism of Catholics in various nations and in the liberation theology movement in Latin America. The defining principle of my moral upbringing is that emulating Jesus Christ is not just a spiritual endeavour but a revolutionary posture that expands the frontiers of justice in society. It is about serving a higher purpose in the public square and locating the right vocational channels through which to actualize one’s spiritual commitment. This understanding of the faith has guided me through my years at the frontlines of pro-democracy activism in exile and my service in public office. • To be concluded
FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
POLITICS THE NATION
Chief Audu Ogbeh is a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). In this interview with Assistant Editor AUGUSTINE AVWODE, he canvases life imprisonment for election riggers. He also insists that to avoid the tyranny of the majority, zoning should be entrenched in the constitution.
‘Zoning will forestall tyranny of majority’
HE politics of succession is heating up the polity. Would you subscribe to a single term tenure as panacea to the power struggle? This is happening because most people who are in these public offices really didn’t win elections to get there. So, the office becomes a gigantic picnic because they don’t have serious programmes. If you have serious programmes and you are implementing those programmes and people are watching you, it should not be difficult for you to retain your seat. But if you are there doing nothing and you insist on remaining there just because of pride and ego, then, you go to any extent to remain in office. We copied this system from the United States and Brazil. The people in those countries are doing well because they are driven by the dreams they brought into office and the work they have to do. So, whether you make it one term or two terms, some of the issues which have compromised integrity and performance will still be very much there because it is the man or woman in office who hasn’t any commitment to the service of society that will always treat being in office as a matter of life and death. Talking about election, should we adopt a staggered system of election? It will be useful because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will have less of a burden at a given time. We would be able to concentrate more on a particular election at a particular time. But, I want to emphasise that the problem is not only with the INEC. We blame the INEC a lot because it is its responsibility. But the criminal damage done to the national elections in Nigeria is more by politicians than the INEC. It is the politicians who corrupt the INEC officials; politicians are the ones who, through corruption, are destroying the judicial system in the country. The bribes are getting too large and too tempting to be resisted. Today, we hear of serious cases of abuse of court processes and miscarriages of justice by many judges, which the National Judicial Council (NJC) is now
probing. Therefore, there more be, first and foremost, severe penalty for election malpractices. I suggest imprisonment without an option of fine. For anyone who manipulates elections, if he is found guilty, should go to prison. Once that begins, in fact, let me say this that in some parts of India, election malpractices almost earned a life imprisonment. It was what sanitised the system there; otherwise, India would have been impossible to manage as a democracy. We need to introduce those penalties here. And that should cover judges who tamper with justice and politicians who benefit from rigged elections. The review of the 1999 Constitution is on. If you were to suggest three things to be included, what would they be? First, I think they should look into this arrangement that guarantees some forms of equity at the federal and state levels. Equity? How do you mean? When we talk about the rotation of the Presidency, people think it is undemocratic and yet, there are serious sensitivities in Nigeria. There is the danger of one part of the country seizing power and dominating it eternally. Then, in some states, there are some majority ethnic groups, which believe that minorities should never exist. One of the weaknesses of democracy is the tyranny of the majority. And, it is as dangerous as any military dictatorship, even if it is a democracy because it is the cause of tension and disaffection in the polity. For instance, there is no reason why the governorship in any state shouldn’t go through the three senatorial districts.Since there are three zones in every state, let it move around so that nobody feels marginalised. I am an Idoma man and I don’t like the situation in my state where the Tiv majority feels that I should never have the chance to be governor. And it is so in some states like Kogi, Cross River, Anambra, Delta, Abia. These are is-
EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur was in Lagos State at the weekend to resolve the crisis rocking the chapter.
‘There was the story that I was sent out at gun point. It is not true. But there were indications that violence might be deployed, if I refuse to quit. There was even a comment by a leading member of the party that I was going to be given the Bola Ige treatment, if I fail to quit’ majority while we gullibly hang on to it in the name of no alternative. We still have the highest interest rate among most countries in the world. So, it is impossible to borrow to invest to produce resources in agriculture. We can’t feed ourselves. We have to import everything from everywhere in the world including China. We import tooth picks, paste, Irish potatoes and so on. Unless and until the interest rate regime is set, such that people can borrow and invest, all the noise we are making about progress, will never happen. And our youths are going to be getting angrier and angrier. You left the PDP in 2005. Many other chieftains of the party also left before the 2007 general elections. But almost everybody has gone back. Why have you not gone back to the PDP? People have gone back out of per-
sonal choice. I have not gone back because the issues that made me to leave the party have not changed at all. So, I have decided that I am more comfortable where I am now. Though I am still friendly with those of them in the PDP, I don’t think we share the same basic principles on a large number of issues. That is why I have not gone back. Hasn’t there been pressure from many quarters all this while? There has been and, of course, I made my position known to them. You recently said you weren’t prepared to be the cook of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Does this mean that the in-thing was for the President to always want to lord it over the party chairman? At that time, yes, it was the inthing. If you remember, Chief Solomon Lar left, and so was Chief •Continued on page 44
Tukur to Lagos PDP: Put your house in order By Emmanuel Oladesu
sues that create real tension in these states. As long as we still have the tyranny of the majority, that can’t be guarantee peace. Number two, the lawmakers should give serious attention to the issue of women. The abuse of women; the denial of women and other weaker people like children and the disabled of some privileges in society is unacceptable. Issues like rape and other things that women are subjected to should be dealt with very seriously under justiciable right. And third, the post of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the State Attorney Generals (SAG) should be contested for as it is done in many states of the United States of America. Instead of being appointive, it should be contested for and allow the electorate to vote for whoever they want. It is at that level that we can expect equity and justice. First, it insulates the man from being a stooge of the person who is supposed to appoint him, be he the President or the governor. And once he owes his allegiance to the people and not the President or Governor, the better for this country. Insecurity in the country has assumed a dangerous dimension. What is the way out? My approach to the issue of security is that real security is to be found in the contentment of the largest majority of the society. It can’t be procured by guns, tanks and machetes. The economy is the biggest victim of insecurity in Nigeria today. And unless we can create jobs and provide for the well being of the majority of society we will never have an army large enough or the police force efficient enough to suppress tendencies which are caused by hunger and disaffection. So let us create the jobs in agriculture, in housing, in industrial growth, and let’s give up this nonsense we inherited from the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which has continued to cause pain in this society and impoverished the
Party sources said that it was a morale-boosting emergency visit aimed at affirming the leadership of Captain Tunji Shelle (rtd), who emerged as the state chairman at the last year’s party congress. The National Chairman lamented the defection of key chieftains from the party to the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), urging party chieftains to put their house in order. He spoke on the need for unity in the chapter, stressing that cohesion, solidarity and mutual goodwill are critical to the party’s 2015 calculations. Tukur, who arrived Lagos in the evening, was received by the Southwest PDP Caretaker Chairman, Chief Isola Filani, the party chairman, Captain Shelle and other
members of the state executive committee. The meeting took place at the Dominion Lounge, Muritala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja. The national chairman held closed door meeting with the party stakeholders on how to move the chapter forward and position it strategically for the next general elections. Former Works Minister Prince Adeseye Ogunlewe, who has been a critic of the Bode George leadership, attended the meeting. Tukur pacified the aggrieved party leaders who complained about their exclusion from party activities, especially the composition of the current executive committee led by Shelle. He explained that he was not in Lagos to dissolve the executive committee, pointing out that the Lagos PDP problem is not similar to that of the Ogun State chapter.
The national chairman charged the state executive committee to appeal to those who defected from the party to return to the fold, adding that Shelle should assure them of equal treatment and sense of belonging. There have been alleged factional interests in the Lagos State PDP, prompting appeals to the National Working Committee (NWC) for the dissolution of the Shelle executive. But the Publicity Secretary, Mr. Gani Taofeek, told reporters after the meeting that Tukur met a PDP that was intact in Lagos State, adding that the party is prepared for the 2015 polls. Shelle acknowledged the NWC’s plan to win Lagos in the next election, assuring Tukur that all hands would be on desk to achieve the noble task. He charged party mem-
bers to forgive and forget the past in the collective interest of the platform. The state chairman also thanked Tukur for the confidence reposed in his leadership, assuring that he would not fail the national leadership. Taofeek said: “We left the meeting with a greater resolve to work as a family so as not to disappoint the people of Lagos who are agitating for a change of government. We will to reassure our teeming members that the PDP is determined more than before to take over power in 2015 and ensure grassroots development in the state. We appeal to our black sliding members to come back home. We welcome people from other parties willing to join us and we assure that all members, new and old, will be treated with the love and fairness”.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
POLITICS House of Representatives member Moruf Akinderu-Fatai is the Chairman, House Committee on Legislative Compliance. He spoke with JEREMIAH OKE on the constitution review and prospects of the All Progressives Party.
PDP will lose popularity after 2015, says critic
‘APC is credible alternative’ A Y
OU are the Chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Compliance. What are the challenges facing the committee? The House has discovered that many of its resolutions were not respected by the executive. The idea behind the committee is to interface between the legislature and the executive on various motions and bills that the House had passed. Many of them were ignored by the executive and that is why we ordered the executive to create the compliance departments in their various ministries and agencies. But up till now, the executive has not really done it. This has led to communication gap between the legislature and the executive. What that means is that the executive is not respecting the National Assembly. Also in most cases, most of this agencies and ministries, especially NNPC, FRSC are engaging in process es that violate the law. People are sacked without following the due process and they come to the National Assembly to protest. Sometimes, they agree that they have done something wrong when they appear before our committee. How do you intend to solve these challenges? The last time we took a drastic step to correct it, the leadership of the House asked us to come down. If the executive does not take us seriously, the committee has agreed, with the support of the leadership of the House, that any organisation that refuses to comply with the National Assembly’s decisions without a cogent reason will be punished as the House will have nothing to do with the budget of such a ministry or agency. What is the latest on the constitution review? Our role at the National Assembly is to go to our various constituencies and deliberate on what our people want to be done on the constitution. We handed it over to the leaders in the constituency as directed by the House and they conducted the meeting themselves. Those who attended the meetings included the traditional leaders, community leaders, landlord association leaders and other major stake holders in the community. The template was given to those representatives and they agreed on what they want in the constitution. We have submitted the request of our people to the committee and as I am speaking with you, the committee has collated the whole template and they have reached us individually to confirm. Meanwhile, you know we cannot change the constitution, if we don’t have the two-third. That is what we are doing now to ensure that we provide a working constitution that will reflect the true wishes of our people. I want to tell you that the House is taking the issue of the con-
stitution seriously and, by the time we finish the review, Nigerians will see that it is their true wish. They should be expecting a good result from us. Can APC sucessfully confront PDP, the largest party in Africa, which also enjoys the power of incumbency? APC is out to correct the bad deeds of the PDP. Although people have the final say on elections, I want to tell you they are tired of the PDP and its corruption. These parties know that the only way they can dislodge PDP is by coming together and let their people know the reasons why they should to give a red card to the PDP in 2015. If the PDP, which has been ruling us since 1999, is still talking about 4,000 mega watts of electricity, you can see that they need to leave that place for those who can do it. That means they cannot do it. They are not serious about doing anything. If between 1999 and today they cannot produce stable electricity, fix 100 kilometer road and yet, they are saying they want to come back in 2015, you can see that people need to come together and uproot them from the centre. With the APC, it will be difficult for PDP to use the rigging weapon, which they always adopt during elections. APC’s agent will be at alert in every part of the country. By the grace of God, couple with the meticulous ways and manners our leaders are working hard to ensure that APC is set up in the nooks and crannies of the country, we are confidence that the PDP will not remain in the central in 2015. The leaders are making serious sacrifices to ensure that APC dislodges PDP in 2015 so that Nigerians can have an alternative. By the time APC emerges in 2015, I have no doubt that our people will go back to work because the artisans will have electricity to work in their shops, the foreign companies will come to Nigeria, and our cre-
ativity will come to play because we are going to have a working system. I believe strongly that APC will be the answer to our problems in Nigeria. Is President Jonathan really fighting corruption in the country? I think Jonathan Administration is the most corrupt government Nigeria ever produced. I am not surprised because, if you look at the process of his emergence, it was not the wish of the masses. That is why corruption is the genesis of subsidy problem Nigeria is having today. Many people forged invoice for the petroleum they did not supply and that was why they said the subsidy fund jumped from 250 billion before election and raised to trillion after elections. Under his watch, we have many deficits and we have many ministers who are not performing and when the problem comes, they run to President Jonathan for cover. What is responsible for the delay in the passage of 2013 budget? The House insisted that we don’t need to borrow bond again when the oil money is more than what we have on the budget. Apart from that, we are talking about the inclusion of the constituency projects in the budget. But when I read through the budget from the page one to the end, I cannot see a single item that affects my constituency directly, when I expected that something must come to my people and you expect me to compromise. I will not compromise on that because my people must also have their share in the budget. Most of our projects that are not up to N50 million are pending. You are not going to give me the money directly on behalf of the constituency, but you do the project through your ministry. So, why are you delaying it? I don’t know how much they are doing those things, but all I want is to ensure that the work is done. If I request for street light on my road, they should do it. So, they are trying to cover up their weakness. PDP is threatening to win southwest states in particular Lagos state in 2015 general elections. Do you think ACN will be able to withstand this? People will decide. Our people who will determine who will govern them. On a serious note, I do not see the people of Lagos State voting PDP because they have seen the good work of the ACN in the region. They will not vote anybody who will come and disrupt the peace of the state. Look at what is happening in Lagos State. All other governors are coming to the Southwest, especially Lagos, to learn about good governance. The situation is so bad that you cannot even pinpoint to the things the PDP have done when theywere in the government in the Southwest.
•Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (middle), greeting Sarkin Hausawan of Lagos, Alhaji Aminu Yaro (left) after a meeting with leaders of the Hausa Community in Lagos. With them is Alhaji Mohammed Bambado (right).
From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba
SOCIAL critic, Mr. Okechukwu Okereke, has said that the popularity of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will wane after the 2015 general elections. He said the new party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), will definitely dislodge the ruling party because it has failed Nigerians. Okereke, who spoke with our correspondent in Aba, Abia State, expressed the optimism that the birth of APC will end the one-party system, promote good governance and halt dictatorship in the country. He said: “The emergence of the APC as a strong political party in Nigeria is a great leap for democracy. It is now clear that PDP cannot hold the country to ransom. It is a positive development that progressive parties are forming an alliance, ahead of 2015. In a any country where you do not have, at least, two political parties with the same strength, such a country in in trouble. “In a situation where only one party has the chance of winning general elections and forming the central government, the consequence is that the party leaders that control the government will rule with complacency. There will be no accountability and democracy will suffer”. Okereke lauded the APC leaders for setting up a party that has a national outlook, adding that the party will attract votes from the six geopolitical zones. He urged them to do away with ego and the pursuit of personal interest at this critical time. Okereke added: “You will discover that there is that spread, due to the diverse strongholds of the parties in the merger. The ACN is from the West, the Congress for Progressive Change is a northern party, the All Nigeria Peoples party is still northrn party and the All Progressive Grand Alliance has Igbo structure. If the leaders will sacrifice their ego, they will succeed”.
Senator seeks amenities for Kogi Central
HE Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has appealed to the federal government to provide social amenities for the people of the Kogi Central Dis-
trict. He also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to show more commitment towards the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO) and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe, Kogi State. The senator representing Kogi Central Senatorial District said in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Michael Jegede, that the district is marginalised in the distribution of social infrastructure. Abatemi-Usman was reacting to the recent protest at the National Assembly by youths from Kogi State led by Alhaji Mohammed Bashir Sani-Omolori. The protesters requested the Federal Government to revatalise the two companies. He urged the President to fulfill his promise to revive the Ajaokuta Steel during his presidential campaign in Lokoja, the state capital. Abatemi-Usman added: “I call on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to honour his words. The President came to Lokoja in February 2011 and said that no nation seeking to industrialise her base can go anywhere without steel, and for that reason, he would ensure the completion and activation of the Ajaokuta Steel. I call on Mr. President tomatch his words with action. We will continue to remind the President of his words on that day in Lokoja” The lawmaker wondered why the President should allow the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is believed to be working with external bodies, to truncate government effort towards the actualisation of the project, which is capable of creating jobs for over two million Nigerians and generating revenue that can rival proceeds from the oil sector. “Ever since we took the oath of office, all I have done is to try to bring this issue to the attention of the powers that be. It is preposterous for any minister; I am talking about the Coordinating Minister of the Economy to seek or attempt to tell Nigerians that Ajaokuta Steel project should be scrapped”.
‘Zoning will forestall tyranny of majority’
•Continued from page 43
Barnabas Gemade. There was the tendency not to give the party chairman sufficient respect and regard. Some party members, who bowed to the pressure or law of sycophancy, began to appoint the President and governors as leaders of the party. There is no such provision in our constitution; it is not in the guidelines of INEC or the constitution of the party that made the President the leader of the party or the governor the leader of the party in the state. The President is the leader of the country and the governor is the leader of the state. You can’t give them the responsibility of leading the party because that is where all the imposition and distortions set in. There is no more party supremacy; internal democracy is destroyed once people hang on the neck of the executive leaders the responsibility of leading the party at the same time. And therefore, there was the tendency to treat the party chairman purely as some low-level administrative officer. At our time, I earned no salary as chairman of PDP. There was no salary all I had was a sitting allowance of N30,000. That is the truth. Now, I hear they pay N2million in a month as salary to the chairman of PDP. And the sitting allowance is N150,000. Things have changed. It wasn’t so in the time of Lar, Gemade, or myself or Ogbulafor or Nwodo or even Ali. Do you regret ever being in the PDP? No. We founded the party at the beginning. And we intended it to be a strong democratic party. I was part of the initial writing of the constitution with people like Jemibewon and others. But the party got disfigured because there were too many aggressive incursions into it by the intruders. I played my role, stood by what my conscience told me to do and when it was no longer feasible, I made my views known in writing. And when party members thought I was a heretic, I left. The circumstances under which you left has been a subject of controversy. Can you tell us something about it? Yes. There was the story that I was sent out at gun point. It is not true. But there were indications that violence might be deployed, if I refuse to quit. There was even a comment by a leading member of the party that I was going to be given the Bola Ige treatment, if I fail to quit.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Community gets water, 50 years after •Continued from Page 17
people’s lives whenever a need is identified. Village Head of Eseko Community, Chief Eyo Essien Ekpe Mbukpa, expressed his gratitude to Mrs. Adegoke for providing water for his community which he said has been lacking the essential amenity for the past 50 years. The 54-year-old Village Head said: “This is a great thing that has happened in this community. We are extremely grateful and we would show our appreciation by taking good care of this project. Words cannot express how happy we feel today. Our children would not be suffering to get water from far away streams again. We were all really suffering before now and this has taken great load off our shoulders.” Mrs. Maria Effiong, a mother of four was full of joy as she said: “For a long time, we have been suffering because of water problems. Now that we have water,
we will be able to serve neighbouring communities. We are so happy. Before now, our children trekked several kilometres to get water. Most times they had to get up as early as 3:00 a.m. to get water from the stream. “Most times, they would miss school because of the uncomplimentary situation. We have been waiting for this kind of thing for a long time and the availability of water in this community is such a big relief to us. The facility would really go a long way in helping us during this dry season.” Expressing his joy and appreciation to Mrs Adegoke for providing his community with water, Mr. Etim Nyong, a youth leader in the community said: “We are glad that the days of suffering in this community are behind us. Before now, children trekked up to five kilometres to Ifako to get water from the stream. That is over now. We would put this borehole to best use and also do our best to ensure that it is maintained.”
•Some members of the community
Adegoke was also grateful to the community for appreciating the project, saying everything was made possible by God. She advised that politics
should be devoid of attitude of “winner takes all” She said that every single member of the community should feel the impact of good governance despite his or
her political affiliation. “Everyone should be carried along. Whether they voted for you or not, it is your responsibility to cater for them,” she said.
Council chief promises more development
ESIDENTS of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Lagos State have praised the Chairman of the council, Kehinde Bamigbetan for fulfilling his promise of rehabilitating major roads in the area. They made the commendation during his visits to various Community Development Associations (CDAs) in the council area. The tour began with a visit to Fadu Lafenwa and Bashorun-Orole CDAs. The council chief and members of his executive embarked on the tour to enable them to interact with residents. It also afforded them the opportunity to inform the residents the level of success recorded so far by the administration Chairman of Fadu-Lafenwa
By Duro Babayemi
CDA, Sakirudeen Edagbeja commended the council chief for rehabilitating and constructing roads in the area. He said: “There is no doubt that the people are happy with the council chairman. This is because everywhere you go, you see one road project or the other. This is what the people want.” Chairman of Bashorun-Orole CDA, Chief Alani Rabiu expressed his appreciation to the council chief for the ongoing building of Nurudeen-Obe Road. He said: “I am happy that you have proved those who were skeptical about your ability wrong by working on this road. Many expressed the fear that the
flag-off was just a deception. But with the extent of work done on the road, everybody is convinced that the council means business.” Other CDAs that the council chief visited were Dauda-Illo, Ejigbo Central, Ageke, Ageke West, Isokan, Oboye-Pipeline, Anuoluwapo and AraromiOlorunsogo. Residents of these areas acknowledged that they have felt the impact of Bamigbetan’s administration. They, however, appealed to the chairman to do something about the poor electricity supply to their areas despite supply of transformers to them by the Lagos State government. The council chair informed residents that the ongoing road
projects in the local government are evidence of his administration’s determination to fulfill the promise made to the people during his electioneering campaigns. He said: “Through the effort of our government, the Federal Government has completed work on the NNPC-Jakande Estate Gate Road. The Lagos State government is currently constructing Oke-Afa-Ajao Link Bridge and from the project, four major roads have been constructed for the people. These are Adejumo Tennis Club, Kudirat Adenekan, Taiwo Akinsanya and Bedford roads. All these roads would serve as links to access the bridge.” He explained that his administration has secured a N220m bank loan to construct four major roads. The four roads, he said, are Jubril Olabisi in Aigbaka Ward, Nurudeen-Obe in Fadu Ward, Double Star in Oke-Afa Ward and Rainbow Avenue in Ailegun Ward. He added that another N100m fund received by the council as its
•Hon Bamigbetan own share of excess crude money given to Oshodi-Isolo Local Government by the Federal Government last year was invested on the construction of Kayode-Double Powerline Road and the first jetty in Ejigbo LCDA. He said his administration has demonstrated commitment to better the lives of the people, even as he appealed to them to reciprocate the gesture by paying their rates and levies promptly.
The ongoing road projects in the local government are evidence of his administration’s determination to fulfill the promise made to the people during his electioneering campaigns
•Chairman, Oto-Awori Local Council Development Area, Mr. Bolaji Kayode Robert during the immunisation of children against poliomyelitis in the council premises
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Ajimobi praised on workers’ insurance policy From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
HE Chairman Western Area Committee of the Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Pastor Ayo Oladokun has praised the Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi over the group life policy
insurance scheme recently approved for all civil servants in the state. He noted that the policy will ensure that the well-being of workers is protected, even as it will make the workers become more committed in their job. The NCRIB boss spoke at the Council’s Annual General Meeting/Brokers Day celebration held at the Recreation Club Sabo, Ibadan. According to him, the Insurance policy approved by Governor Ajimobi will cover life insurance in case of death, personal accident insurance in case of temporary or permanent disability of any of the beneficiaries, saying that it was a right decision that will make the workers to be more proactive to
their duty. “The practice where government’s properties were destroyed with impunity without any corresponding liability on the culprit would be a thing of the past. This is so because the current administration in Oyo State takes interests in its workforce and property. With this, their future is protected. “For instance, if any civil servant
dies in active service, the Oyo State government’s insurance company will be able to compensate the next of kin of the deceased. This is a perfect departure from what obtains in the past when a staff of the Oyo State civil service dies and there would be no compensation which his relatives could benefit from,” he said. Earlier in her welcome address,
The National Insurance Commission has come to Oyo State to flag off the five compulsory insurances. We are happy that the government has embraced this effective risk transfer mechanism. We urge them to employ the services of registered insurance brokers to provide professional services to them
the President of NCRIB, Laide Osijo said the aim of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is to ensure that all insurance brokers from the Western Area Committee act in unity in order to overcome all the challenges that are confronting the operations of the insurance brokers. She appealed to the Oyo State government for patronage of their registered members, promising that they will arrange and package the Group Life Scheme for the government in a professional manner at no cost. “The National Insurance Commission has come to Oyo State to flag off the five compulsory insurances. We are happy that the government has embraced this effective risk transfer mechanism. We urge them to employ the services of registered insurance brokers to provide professional services to them,” Osijo said
HE member representing Amuwo-Odofin State Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Ramotalai Akinlola-Hassan has praised the chairman of Oriade Local Council Development Area Hon. Ibrahim Babatunde Sanusi for his commitment to the welfare of the people. Hon. Akinlola-Hassan, who made the commendation while inaugurating some projects completed by the council, said that the various people-oriented projects which the council chairman executed demonstrate deep dedication to the well-being of the people. She urged the council chief not to relent in his efforts to bring development to all the nook and cranny of the council area, even as she advised the residents to reciprocate government’s keenness to better their lives by paying their taxes and levies promptly. This, she said, would enable the council to provide more amenities for them. She also advised them to protect the facilities so far provided for their well-being because, she said, if the amenities located in their areas are allowed to be vandalised, it would make life miserable for them. Some of the projects she inaugurated were the Abija Road constructed with interlocking stones, borehole at Police Barracks Satellite Town, Ibaasa Jetty, and presentation of official cars to some council functionaries, among other projects. In his speech earlier, Hon. Sanusi had said that the focus of his administration is to evolve policies and programmes that would touch the lives of the people in a more rewarding way, even as he promised that the council will carry out more development projects in all the nook and cranny of the council. He said: “Since the inception of this administration, we have painstakingly targeted and rolled out those projects that we believe would impact most posi-
•Hon Akinlola-Hassan inaugurating some of the projects. With her are Hon Sanusi (right), Oba Babatunde Lawal (left) and Secretary to the Local Government, Hon Kareem Sunmola (second right)
Council inaugurates projects By Chinaka Okoro
tively on the lives of the people. “We are committed to ensuring that our people’s well-being is paramount in our conception and execution of projects.” While pleading with the people for their continued supports to government’s policies and programmes, the council chief said: “The benefiting communi-
It is a fact that government alone cannot provide all our infrastructural needs. We therefore appeal to the private sector to partner with government in providing the much-needed amenities to our people. We also urge the private sector to be alive to their corporate social responsibilities
ties of these projects should regard them as their personal belongings by protecting them jealously. The council will roll out more life-touching projects.” Hon. Sanusi appealed to the private sector to help the council in its drive to develop the area. He noted: “It is a fact that government alone cannot provide all our infrastructural needs. We therefore appeal to the private sector to partner with government in providing the muchneeded amenities to our people. We also urge the private sector to be alive to their corporate social responsibilities.” Judged by the numerous development projects which the council had completed and inaugurated recently, stakeholders have unanimously agreed that the council chairman has shown sufficient commitment to fulfilling his promises to the people. At the inauguration of Abija Road, Hon. Sanusi expressed his
happiness for the opening ceremony which he said was a manifestation of the enduring commitment of his administration to serve the people in a more rewarding manner. He recalled that Abija Road was in a deplorable condition, even as he said that the plight of the people compelled him to construct the road. Sanusi said: “In view of the
over-riding need to assuage the plight of the people, we embarked on the construction of the road whose opening ceremony we are witnessing here today. The very poor soil and sub-soil condition of the terrain informed our use of the expensive interlocking stone paving.” While declaring the facility open, Hon. Akinlola-Hassan expressed her satisfaction with the level of development in the area, which she attributed to Hon. Sanusi’s uncompromising commitment to making life bearable for the people.
FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
This programme is a powerful tool that ensures that children understand the value of nutrition and physical exercises. It helps them to imbibe such values for healthy living throughout their lifetime
•Some of the participants at the seminar
N pursuit of its commitment to inculcate the importance of healthy lifestyle in school children, Nestlé has organised a workshop for teachers in Lagos and Abeokuta. The workshop was facilitated by the Centre for Health Education, Population and Nutrition (CHEPON), a worldwide organisation. The group, which was launched in Nigeria in 2011, aims at improving the nutrition, health and well-being of children aged six to 12 years old by promoting nutrition education, balanced diet, better physical activity and healthy lifestyle. During the workshop, teachers were equipped with useful insights
Nestle grooms teachers By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
and learning tools that will enable them to promote nutrition, health and well-being of students. The teachers were trained in nutrition education; use of teachers’ manual, children’s manual and some innovative ways in using food models, rhymes, poems and songs in the classroom setting. This aims at enhancing learning and promotion of healthy eating habits.
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Nigeria, Samuel Adenekan said: “One of the objectives of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Teachers’ Workshop is to ensure that teachers deploy new nutritional education techniques. This is because classroom teachers often need more innovative teaching techniques than content.” He added that the workshop would focus on giving teachers the needed skills, non-lecture and active learn-
ing methods. With support from the Centre for Health, Population and Nutrition (CHEPON) in Nigeria, the initiative also received backing from Lagos State and Ogun State governments. Speaking at the workshop in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Segun Odubela commended Nestlé Nigeria Plc for its contributions to the advancement of education through the Healthy Kids Programme.
Mr. Odubela said: “This programme is a powerful tool that ensures that children understand the value of nutrition and physical exercises. It also helps them to imbibe such values for healthy living throughout their lifetime.” Speaking at the event, a lecturer in the Department of Sports and Exercise Science at the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode Ogun State Prince Folusho Onagoruwa said regular physical exercises could help the process of digestion, blood flow, emission of waste products, development of brain power, coordination of various body parts as well as encourage fair play in sports.
ACN leaders, members hold public session
OLITICAL office holders in Osun State have been urged to be responsive to the yearnings of the people. They have also been advised to present their score cards to the electorate who put them in position of authority. The advice was given during an interactive session between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leaders and members of the public. The stakeholders met with their representative in the National Assembly Hon. Nathaniel Agunbiade of Ijesa North Federal Constituency.
The session was organised by the Assistant Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy (Community Forum), Office of the Governor, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye at Aregbesola’s Campaign Office in Ibokun. In attendance were the Obokun party chairman, 18 traditional rulers, party leaders, farmers, artisans, youths and women wings in the community, ward chairmen and the state Commissioner for Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Muyiwa Ige. How to bridge the communication gap between the electorate and elected or appointed office holders and how they could impact positively on the lives of the citizens dominated the discussion. The move, according to participants, would further complement the six-point agenda of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration. They also said it would give the people a sense of belonging when they see their elected and nonelected representatives in government regularly. While expressing dissatisfaction at the attitude of some political office holders who do not give enough support to party structures in their areas, they commended
some political office holders who interact with their people with the view of strengthening and reawaking the party members to strategise ahead of next election. Prince Poju Adejorin, chairman Ward One in Obokun Local Government Area who led other ward chairmen to the meeting disabused people’s mind on the establishment of campaign office as party secretariat; saying the party secretariat is a distinct arm on its own. Owa Oye of Imesi-Ile who is the chairman of Obokun Traditional Council Oba Enoch Adeyemi commended the initiative of OYES programme as a means of reducing poverty among the people. He said this wil create wealth among the populace. He challenged other political office holders to evolve
policies and programmes that will reduce poverty and unemployment in their various communities. This, he said, would boost the effort of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration. Former member who represented Obokun State Constituency in the administration of the late Chief Bola Ige, Hon. Bode Adewusi and Asiwaju of Otan-Ile Alhaji Nasiru Komolafe advised political office holders to always present their score cards to the electorate. Contributing, Oyintiloye enjoined the people to be patient, saying that the dividends of democracy will come to them in phases. He cited the abandoned EreIlahun-Ibokun Road which is almost completed by the present administration, rural electrification at Ilahun and Itiya among other
Party members should always support political office holders, even as they should remind them on areas they have not done well... This will give the political office holders the opportunity to have a rethink and make amendments where necessary
projects as some of the good things that the people are enjoying. He further said that party members should always support political office holders, even as they should remind them on areas they have not done well. This, according to him, will give the political office holders the opportunity to have a rethink and make amendments where necessary. Responding, Agunbiade said that though he has not met his targets, he has been able to carry out some developmental projects in the constituency from his salary. He also said that he has been able to facilitate job creation for some youths in the constituency, adding that he had facilitated educational empowerment programmes through which scholarships and learning materials were given to some indigent students. The lawmaker also said he has executed development projects in 12 out of the 22 wards in the area. He promised that within his first four years, he would ensure that one development project or the other would be sited in all the wards in his constituency. He noted that as part of his programmes, the next on his agenda is empowerment of women and farmers.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Hard times hit exporters over rising shipping rates
ARD times have hit exporters of agric commodites following rising shipping costs. Freight rates were said to have risen following a hike in the prices of agricultural products. Chief Operating Officer, Centre for Cocoa Development Initiative( CCDI), Akure, Ondo State, Oghenerobo Adhuze, said increases in freight prices would only threaten food exporters’ profits and affect local farmers.
Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent
The increase, he said, would force many to stop exporting agric produce. According to him, the increase will impact heavily on agri-food and fish exporters, who use these shipping lines for exports and add to their export costs. To industry watchers, the punctuality of shipping is the main factor, which is extremely important to maintain the quality of the commodity.
After witnessing an extremely volatile year, he said this year will be comparatively stable, with supplies of most agricultural commodities at a comfortable level to meet export demand. He noted however, that the overall performance of the agric export sector will depend on the government policies on export regulations, especially for essential commodities. To this end, he said there was a need for the government to assist exporters to move their
cargoes smoothly in order to encourage export of agric commodities. Adhuze said producers face a whole range of financial, social and environmental pressures beyond the freight issue. According to him, 70 per cent of the problems are temperature related, having to do with issues such as loading delays, offloads and missed connections. Spiralling shipping costs for commodities have threatened to drive food inflation even higher
as nations from Asia to the Middle East and Africa scramble for supplies, stung by grain prices that have risen. Global food prices, measured by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, hit record highs , a problem that will worsen as freight costs feed into the prices people pay for bread and meat in supermarkets. The gains in freight costs, s will add to growing inflationary concerns that have spread, mainly due to red-hot food prices.
Expert seeks improved infrastructure to boost agric
•Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akin Adesina and Director of Safe Food in The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), Christophe Schiffers, after a strategic meeting on Nigerian horticultural market development in Comité de Liaison Europe-Afrique- Caraïbes-Pacifique. (COLEACP) office, Brussels, Belgium,
Communities get N48m for projects
HE International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Assisted Community Based Agricultural and Rural Development Programme (IFADCBARDP) has disbursed N48 million to 36 communities in Katsina State for the completion of some development projects. Disbursing the funds to the participating communities in Katsina, National Coordinator, IFAD-CBARD, Alhaji Abu Kankia said the funds were for the completion of all IFAD-approved projects for October last year to March 2013. He urged the benefiting communities to ensure judicious use of the funds for the purposes
intended. The coordinator, while commending the Katsina State Government for its support to IFAD programmes in the state, however, urged the government to totally adopt the programme like Sokoto and Jigawa states Managing Director, Katsina State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KTARDA), Alhaji Abashe Saidu,said that the N48 million would be utilised for various projects to empower rural dwellers in the state. He listed some of the projects to include the provision of hybrid seeds for 60 farmers, procurement of groundnut grinding machines for 100 women and construction of 12
boreholes for some of the communities. Others include, provision of oxploughs and bulls to 120 farmers, assisting 180 traditional birth attendants with N10,000 each and the construction of toilets in some health centres. Responding on behalf of the participating communities, Alhaji Musa Shehu, commended IFAD and the state government for the support. He assured that the money would be used for the execution of IFADapproved projects. In November 2012, IFAD disbursed N52 million for the execution of similar projects in the state.
ITH the growing demand for fresh and frozen food worldwide, an industry chieftain, Dr Hyde Ochia, has called for improved infrastructure to boost global food trade. Ochia, the Chairman, SouthSouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry, described the perishables trade as a solid and stable business, with many challenges. He urged the government to create multimodal logistics centres to up exports of perishable products coming from the hinterland. With this, he said the government would be able to have a “logistics distribution system with a controlled environment, allowing products to arrive at their point of sale in perfect condition. “ Ochia noted that the food market does not have adequate infrastructure for perishable foods in line with the best international standards.
He said technical as well as sanitary controls for food and food products that typically require freezing temperatures for preservation and alteration must be extended to the operations of the entire supply chain so that from the origin to the final time of consumption, the product can keep its inherent qualities. Ochai said concerted efforts are needed to tackle high perishable supply chain costs. He said the spirit of logistical innovation lay in the passion for detail, combining a unique creative approach with practical awareness of challenges in inland terminals across the entire perishable supply chain from producer to retail shelf. He said Nigeria needs to compete in global markets and seize the opportunities offered by the agriculture sector. In order to develop more effective supply chain for perishables, Ochia said transport infrastructure needs to be improved and become more reliable.
ITF partners Plateau poultry farmers
HE Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has pledged to partner with the Plateau chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) to boost farmers productivity through its Productivity and Efficiency Improvement Training (PEIT). ITF’s Assistant Director, Mr Emeka Okafor, said this at the poultry farmers’ monthly congress in Jos, the Plateau State capital, that the partnership was necessary for the sustenance of poultry business. Okafor said that the programme tagged “Poultry cluster and networking scheme” was designed to enable the ITF achieve its mandate of training, empowering and strengthening small and medium scale enterprises. “Plateau farmers are known for
their quality poultry products nationwide, but the sustainability of the business is under threat as farmers continued to run into huge losses, forcing others to close down. “This is because standard practise in poultry business is not maintained and marketing strategy is very poor; this scheme was designed to, among other things, solve these problems. “The training will enable farmers get the right knowledge, acquire the right skills and adopt the right attitude to improve productivity and remain in business.” The director disclosed that the farmers would be trained in a cluster of 20 farmers at the cost of N200,000.
AGRO BUSINESS TIPS
HE chain saw is one of the most efficient, productive and dangerous portable power tools used in any industry. If you learn to operate it properly and maintain the saw in good working condition, you will avoid injury as well as be more productive. Before starting the saw • Check controls, chain tension and all bolts and handles to ensure they are functioning properly and adjusted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. • Fuel the saw at least 10 feet from sources of ignition. • Start the saw at least 10 feet from the fueling area, with the chain brake engaged, and with the chain saw on the ground or otherwise firmly supported. • Check the fuel container for the following requirements:
Operate your chain saw safely • Must be metal or plastic • Must not exceed a 5-gallon capacity • Must be approved by the Department of Transportation or other nationally recognised testing laboratory. While running the saw • Keep hands on the handles and maintain secure footing while operating the chain saw. • Clear the area of obstacles that might interfere with cutting the tree or using the retreat path. • Do not cut directly overhead. • Shut the saw off or release the throttle prior to retreating. • Shut the saw off or engage the chain brake whenever the saw is carried more than 50 feet, or on hazardous terrain. Make sure that the chain is always
sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full. Never drop-start a chain saw. Do not smoke while fueling, and never try to fuel a running or hot saw. Use a funnel or flexible hose when pouring fuel into the saw. Clear away dirt, debris, small tree limbs and rocks from the saw’s chain path. Look for nails, spikes or other metal in the tree before cutting. Proper personal protective equipment must be worn when operating the saw. Do not wear loosefitting clothing. Be careful that the trunk or tree limbs will not bind against the saw. Watch for branches under tension, as they may spring out when cut. Gasoline-powered chain saws must be equipped with a protective device that minimizes chain
•A farmer with chain saw
saw kickback. Be cautious of saw kickback; to avoid it, do not saw with the tip. If your saw is equipped
with a tip guard, keep it in place. •Culled from Farming Magazine - January, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
AGRO-BUSINESS Snail farmers seek financial aid
•Apex Chairman, National Programme on Food Security, Iseyin, Samson Adeoti; a member, National Programme on Food Security, Iseyin site, Balogun Ayangbade;Treasurer, Prince Adekunle Lateef and Acting Director of Agric, Iseyin LGA Irekeola Yakub,during the inauguration of the one-stop-shop agro-input centre at Iseyin,Oyo State.
Lack of cold-chain infrastructure hinders poultry business
ROCESSED poultry production is not expanding at the same rate as the livebird market due to cold-chain capacity issues, The Nation has learnt. Chairman,Lagos State Chapter, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Mr Adedotun Agbojo, told this newspaper that limited cold storage capacity prevents significant stocks from being stored. Besides, most consumers still consider live poultry to be disease-free, fresher and more hygienic than processed chicken. This is attributed to consumers’ lack of confidence in handling procedures in the local cold -chain. Consequently, the majority of poultry is sold live and most slaughter and processing are done manually at the retail level. He said lack of cold chain infrastructure is a constraint in maintaining stocks for fresh and frozen meat. Given these developments, Agbojo said processed poultry production is small and growing at a significantly slower rate than the live-bird/broiler market, with the majority of its output being
Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent
consumed by the hotel, restaurant, and institutional (HRI) sector. Thus, as overall poultry production increases, the processed poultry market’s total share continues to shrink. Another challenge, he said, the industry is facing is that of feed costs, which constitute approximately 70 percent of the cost of production. The situation is aggravated by price fluctuations of the feed components. Presently, the poultry industry faced fluctuations in corn price. There is a general sentiment that poultry feed supplies are not sufficient as the industry continues to expand. Food safety expert, Prof Stephen Fapohunda stressed the need for the government to address issues related to production of hygienic, safe and wholesome meat and meat products. He urged government agencies to enforce sanitary maintenance and controls at all stages of production. Fapohunda stressed the importance of food safety in terms
of inspection and quarantine for meat products. He said lack of inspection and quarantine facilities had long been hampering declaration efficiency, and thus affects food production. For watchers, there are enough opportunities in cold storage sector for private investors. There is enormous room for further investment and business opportunities, with the spurt in output of horticulture products and growing export of processed foods and frozen items. Inadequate storage is resulting in wastages. The biggest flaw in this chain is the obsolete technology that a bulk of the cold storages are using. Another weak link is lack of sufficient temperature-controlled vehicles that are vital to keep the cold chain intact. Huge opportunities await investors in this sector with the increasing demand for such vehicles from the retail and food services sector, especially frozen food. Beefing up the cold chain industry will not only reduce wastage it will also ensure steady availability of food throughout .
Why rice project failed, by Commissioner
HE Enugu State Government has said theAdani Farm in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area could not produce rice because of the absence of irrigation and dam facilities. The Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof Martin Anikwe, said the Federal Government had undertaken to repair the irrigation facilities at the farm to make it functional. He said: “Actually the position of Enugu State Government is very clear on the Ada-rice project. The Federal Government undertook to repair the dam and bring back the irrigation system there. “You can see that it has not happened and that is why we are losing a lot; more than 50,000 tonnes of rice, which we are supposed to be producing there is not being produced because the irrigation system is not just working.“So, we use also this medium to implore the federal government to expedite action to make sure that that dam and irrigation system of Ada-rice is repaired and that is the stepping stone for revitalisation of the whole programme.” On the state government’s
Songhai agricultural programme, Anikwe said the government was conducting financial and management audit on the programme with a view to making it work better. The commissioner said after the audit, government would bring out another plan to enhance the programme.He said that the state government had embarked on public enlightenment and advocacy on measures to mitigate the devastating effects of flood on farmland, especially for communities in flood-prone areas.He said that during last year’s flood disaster, the state government had provided relief materials to the victims and encouraged dry season farming in addition to free distribution of fertiliser and seeds to the affected farmers to cushion the effect of the disaster. (NAN) Plateau poultry farmers plans poultry day to boost productivity The Plateau chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has designated March 19 to celebrate Poultry Day as part of efforts to boost the sector’s productivity. the Vice Chairman of the association, Mr Na’anmiap Hyacienth,said this at the monthly
congress in Jos. Hyacienth said the aim of the celebration was to appreciate, support and encourage farmers to improve their productivity. According to him, the celebration is a national annual event designed for stakeholders in poultry business to share ideas and experiences on how to make better returns and move the industry forward. “ It will also boost the morale of farmers for better performance and serve as an avenue for the industry to showcase its business potential to the general public. “We will invite all the stakeholders in the industry, the hatcheries, feed millers, drug manufacturers, technicians and marketers, among others, both from Plateau and beyond to participate in this year’s event.“This is because we see ourselves as one body, with one central goal which is ensuring the well-being of the industry.” According to him, it will be the first time the association will join other poultry farmers across the nation to celebrate such an event in the state.“We celebrated the world egg day in October 2012 for the first time in Plateau.
OMEN snail farmers have asked the Federal Government for financial assistance to make their business attractive to the young. A snail farmer in Ayobo, a Lagos suburb, Mrs Amina Taofeek, said women should consider snail farming a vehicle to increase self-dependency. “The Federal Ministry of Agriculture should diversify its focus especially to sectors that do not enjoy publicity. “Snail farming is very easy, cheap and less demanding for young women; they need very little awareness because it is a livestock sector,” she said. Another snail farmer, Mrs Tola Aderanti, who said snails could easily be picked from the forest, urged women to be involved in snail farming because it is convenient. “Snail farming is a simple business and it does not cost much to start up. All you need is a small demarcated land area. “I would encourage women that are not working, even those working, to go into snail farming. It does not consume much of your time, it generally takes very little out of you,”she said. She said specific soil texture was
needed for snail farming, “which must not be dry but sandy-loamy soil but acidic soil is not suitable.” She noted that snail feeds are cheap as they feed on green leaves and fruits. Samuel urged women to startup their small snail farming in the forests for effective rearing. Meanwhile,the Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Bwari Chapter in the FCT, Alhaji Musa Ijakoro, said farmers in the area need 100 tractors for mechanised farming this year. Ijakoro said: “We need up to 100 tractors to engage in mechanised farming in Bwari.” She appealed to the FCT Administration and the Council to assist in the supply of the 100 tractors to enable farmers in the area to have good yield. He said there is a vast land for farming in the area that could not easily be ploughed without the aid of tractors. The chairman appealed for prompt supply of fertiliser to farmers to boost agricultural production in the FCT. He lamented that the inability of farmers to get fertiliser and at affordable prices, and promptly, has slowed farming. He expressed optimism that his colleagues would make bumper harvest in the year.
Sellers urge farmers to plant O reduce the amount of foreign fruits foreign exchange spent on
fruits importation, a seller has canvassed for investment in the planting of foreign fruits. Mallam Yusuf Isa, a fruit seller at the Maitama Farmers’ Market, Abuja, said that fruits such as apple, plum and grapes, among others, were hardly planted in the country. According to him, some organic materials can help the fruits germinate since the country does not have the soil texture to plant some of these fruits.He noted that some of these foreign fruits had a lot of industrial value that could boost the economy of the country and also create jobs for the unemployed. Isa added that these fruits could be eaten raw or used in making wine, jam, juice, jelly, seed extract, raisins, vinegar and seed oil.“There is nothing exceptional in these fruits and I do not see why our rich farmers cannot plant them. “If these fruits are being planted here; they will be cheaper and they will be found at any fruits market. These fruits are good for our health but how can the poor afford a fruit of about N1,500 per kilo? “But planting it here can make it more accessible for traders like
us,” Isa said. Another fruit seller, Malam Haruna Abdulazeez, observed that though the patronage for the foreign fruits was not high, it should not stop farmers in the country from planting it. “In this Farmers’ Market, we sell both foreign and local varieties of fruits and we have realised that a lot of customers prefer to buy the local varieties. “Our customers prefer the local varieties because they trust the source.So these same set of people will accept the foreign fruits if it is being planted here. “For example, we sell the locally planted strawberry and also the imported one; but most customers prefer the local varieties to the imported ones.” He said that even if the country would import these fruits, it should have their local varieties. Meanwhile, Mrs Abimbola Kalejaiye, a consumer, urged farmers in the country to task themselves to plant foreign fruits. “Sometimes, I really cannot figure out the difference between the smallholder farmers and the commercial farmers because they all think the same way.’’
Institute to reduce post-harvest losses
HE Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) has developed storage facilities to reduce post-harvest farm losses, the Executive Director of the institute, Dr Oluropo Williams, has said. He said storage was a challenge in the agricultural sector and that the institute was addressing it. He said the institute had produced affordable storage facilities and drying equipment that could work with solar, air or kerosene. According to him, the institute is doing this to encourage youths to go into farming to reduce the level of unemployment. He said the institute was also doing this to increase Nigerian agricultural post-harvest level. He said: “We found out that storage and transportation are the major challenges our farmers are facing and we have developed a number of facilities to address these. “We have developed ventilated lorry, solar tent, multipurpose dryer, hybrid dryer, inert atmos-
phere storage structure, diffuselight structure, smoking kiln, and plastic crates.” He explained that the hybrid dryer worked with solar and kerosene stoves.“When there is no sun, the blue flame of the stove continues the drying and when there is sun the stove will not work, the solar will take over,” he said. He said there was a small size hybrid dryer that could be used by households, adding that there was the big size for industrial use. Williams said the diffuse light structure, which was developed in collaboration with Root Crop Research Institute, was a storage facility that could store fresh potatoes for nine months. He said: “It works with circulation of air and has been adopted in Plateau and in Zaria, Kaduna State. ”The director explained that the inert atmosphere storage structure for grains was developed to reduce and possibly eradicate chemical preservation of grains.
THE NATION FRIDAY MARCH 8, 2013
House serves Imo deputy governor T I impeachment notice
MO State Deputy Governor Jude Agbaso was yesterday served an impeachment notice by the House of Assembly. This followed the consideration of the report of the ad hoc committee set up to investigate allegations of contract scam against him. The report submitted by Committee Chairman
From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri
Simeon Iwunze indicted the deputy governor in the N458million contract scam. Majority Leader Adaku Iheoma moved the motion for impeachment, which
was unanimously endorsed by the House. The report of the proceedings was sent to Governor Rochas Okorocha. There were unconfirmed reports that Agbaso had resigned to stave off his re-
moval by the House. Officials in the Governor’s Office said they were not aware of the incident. The deputy governor could not be reached for comments.
Firms, Ojukwu’s brothers in court over 19 Lagos property By Joseph Jibueze
•The late Odumegwu-Ojugwu
High Court, Igbosere, in Lagos State will on May 30 hear a suit filed by three persons against the late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjugwu and five others for the management of about 19 property in Lagos. The suit, which is before Justice Grace Onyabo, is different from that filed by Ojukwu’s children through their mother, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu. The claimants in the suit are Ogbonna Ojukwu and Associates (“a firm of solicitors and consultants”), Chief Debe OdumegwuOjukwu (Managing Partner of the “firm”) and Silver Convention (Nig.) Limited.
They sued Ojukwu Transport Limited, Prof Joseph Ojukwu, the late Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Emmanuel N. Ojukwu and Massey Udegbe (of Massey Udegbe & Co). The property in dispute are 2A, Park Close, Apapa; 2B Park Close, Apapa; 4A Park Close, Apapa; 4B Park Close, Apapa; 1-3 Creek Road (Nnewi Building), Apapa; 58, Ibadan Street (West) Ebute-Metta and 38A Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba. Others are 38B, Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba; 32A Commercial Avenue, Yaba; 120 Agege Motor Road, Mushin; 15, Oshodi Street, Lagos; 196 Igbosere Road, Lagos; 14, Probyn Road, Lagos; and 4, McPherson Avenue, Ikoyi. The rest are 30, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi; 19, Mekunwen Road, Ikoyi; 29, Queens Drive, Ikoyi;
13, Hawksworth Road, Ikoyi and Petrol Kiosk at Sabo, Yaba. The claimants sought a declaration that by virtue of a Management Agreement and a subsequent investment in the property through an Estate Development Agreement dated January 22, 1996, they have a vested and equitable interest in them, which is still subsisting. They urged the court to hold that regardless of the purported termination of the management agreement by “effluxion of time”, the claimants’ investment in the property remain intact and undischarged. The claimants prayed the court to direct the defendants to pay or reimburse them the aggregate amount of N500million being commissions, dues, claims and reimbursements the first claimant is entitled to in line with the management agreement.
Measles’ outbreak in Anambra
HERE is measles’ outbreak in four local governments- Awka South, Onitsha North, Ayamelum and Ihiala- in Anambra State. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lawrence Ikeakor, said health workers have been deployed in the 21 local governments. Ikeakor, who spoke to reporters yesterday in Awka, said 2,587,674 people are to be immunised. The commissioner said: “It is not only peculiar to our state. Maybe, it is weather-driven.
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
“Our surveillance team has been deployed to the areas and beyond. “There has not been any reported case of casualty but we believe with the number of health workers deployed, we will be able to overcome it.” The immunisation will be declared open tomorrow by Governor Peter Obi at Umunachi in Dunukofia Local Government.
MASSOB declares June 8 sit-at-home
HE Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has declared June 8 a sit-at-home day for all Igbo, both in Nigeria and the Diaspora. The group, in a statement yesterday in Onitsha, by the National Director of information, Uchenna Madu, said all banks, markets, shops, schools, motor parks in the Southeast would remain closed. Also, there will be no vehicular movement from 6am to 4pm on that day. The reason, according to MASSOB, is to commemorate the death of the Apo Six killed on June 8, 2005 in Abuja. “It is therefore imperative, that the international community knows the security challenges Ndigbo faces in Nigeria. “It is on this premise that MASSOB requests Ndigbo all over the world, to sit-athome on June 8 to reflect on the continued and unprovoked, massacre of our people in Nigeria.
• Markets, Banks, Schools to be shut. From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
“As a mark of respect and honour, all public/ private schools, markets/shops, banks, businesses, motor parks shall be closed from 6am to 4pm. “There shall be no movements of vehicles, commer-
cial cyclists (Okada) and tricycles (Keke Napep).” “Within the period of the sit– at-home, Nidigbo all over the world are required to fast and pray to God for their emancipation. This exercise is also anchored on the principle of non-violence.”
Police, community differ on bodies
From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri
HE Imo State Police Command yesterday denied reports about 10 bodies dumped in Mgbirichi River in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area. The community raised the alarm over 10 bodies found in the river, which is its source of drinking water. The Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Katsina, in a statement by the spokesman, Joy Elemoko, denied the report . Katsina said: “Only two bodies were found in a gully in the village and they are at an advanced stage of decomposition and not in a river as alleged by the villagers.” The commissioner said the homicide section of the Criminal Investigation Department has been assigned to investigate the case and identify the bodies. He said pathologist reports showed that the bodies, which were at their skeletal stages, had been there for over six months. But a village chief insisted that the police were being economical with the truth. “They are lying. There were 10 ‘fresh’ bodies and we discovered them floating on the river.”
But the defendants denied the claimants’ assertions. They alleged that Debe (the second claimant) had been renting out the property and appropriating the proceeds as if they were his own. The defendants filed a counterclaim, demanding the sum they said the claimant owes them, as well as N500million as general damages, among others. When the case came up before Justice Onyeabor for hearing, counsel for the claimants, Dr A.I Layonu (SAN) asked for a short adjournment. He said his junior, who prepared the case lost his father. Besides, he said since the third defendant is dead and he would need to amend their statement of claim. Counsel to the defendants, Chief O. Ugolo (SAN) and Ifeanyi Okumah did not object to the application for adjournment. Justice Onyeabor adjourned till May 30 for hearing.
Oko Poly to be shut From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
HE Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, Prof. Godwin Onu, has announced that the institution will be shut later this month for the masquerade festival of its host community. The youth of the community and the students clashed last year at the festival, resulting in the closure of the polytechnic for some months. Onu said the closure would ensure that the last year’s clash does not happen again. “The last crisis is still fresh in our memory. We don’t want another, no matter the level of provocation.”
BOUT seven years after he was first arraigned for allegedly laundering N5.5billion belonging to his state, the trial of former Enugu State Governor Chimaroke Nnamani began yesterday before a Federal High Court in Lagos. Nnmani was fisrt arraigned in 2007. He was re-arraigned yesterday before Justice Nasir Yunusa on a 105-count charge brought against him, his aide, Sunday Anyaogwu and some companies allegedly owned by him. The companies named in the amended charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), include Rainbownet Nig Ltd, Hillgate Nig Ltd, Cosmos FM,
By Eric Ikhilae
Capital City Automobile Nig Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School. The accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them yesterday. Their re-arraignment was informed by the transfer and eventual retirement of the former judge, Justice Charles Archibong. Shortly after they were arraigned yesterday, their lawyer, Riky Tarfa (SAN) urged the court to allow the accused persons continue on the bail earlier granted them by the initial judge, Justice Tijani Abubakar, which Archibong adopted.
Internship Centre berths in Nigeria HE Niger Delta University (NDU) has launched Nigeria’s first Internship Centre at a seminar, entitled: “Blending Academic Pursuits with Career, Entrepreneurship and Workplace Development”. The Centre, based at the University’s Entrepreneurship facility, will provide on-campus internship to all final-year students in entrepreneurship and vocational skills. The Ag. Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Humphrey Ogoni, said the goal of the Centre was to ensure that students graduate with two certificates; one in the chosen field of study and the other in entrepreneurship.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 7-3-13
Equities bounce back with N14b gain
IGERIAN equities yesterday snapped the three-day downtrend that had dominated the market since Monday as petroleummarketing companies and fast moving consumer goods companies rallied to a gain of 0.13 per cent. Investors appeared to be taking positions ahead of earnings reports of banks with United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and FBN Holdings, the holding company for First Bank of Nigeria, emerging the most active stocks. Aggregate market value of all equities, which had fallen consistently from its opening value of N10.618 trillion on Monday to N10.473 trillion on Wednesday, inched up by N14 billion to close yesterday at N10.488 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the main index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), also rallied 0.13 per cent to close at 32,772.72 points as against its opening index of 21,731.08 points. The modest bullish rally nudged average year-to-date re-
By Taofik Salako
turn at the stock market to 16.72 per cent. With 33 advancers to 22 decliners, the market was overtly bullish. The market was however, motivated by gains recorded by highly capitalised petroleummarketing stocks and manufacturers. Total Nigeria Plc led the advancers with a gain of N3.11 to close at N148.11. UAC of Nigeria trailed with addition of N2.52 to close at N53.02. Unilever Nigeria added N2.14 to close at N52.14. Oando rose by N1.50 to close at N16.90. Dangote Cement rallied N1.49 to close at N142.49. PZ Cussons Nigeria chalked up 27 kobo to close at N38.02. Zenith Bank and Airline & Logistics Services gained 10 kobo each to close at N21.60 and N4.75 respectively. On the other hand, Nestle Nigeria topped the declinersâ€™ list with a drop of N29 to close at N849. Cadbury Nigeria followed with a loss of N1.61 to close at
N32. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company and Eterna lost 19 kobo each to close at N7.71 and N3.64 respectively. Union Bank of Nigeria dropped by 16 kobo to close at N10.04. Sterling Bank lost 12 kobo to close at N2.62 while, John Holt and Guaranty Trust Bank slipped by 10 kobo each to close at N1.90 and N24.80 respectively. Total turnover stood at 350.29 million shares valued at N3.66 billion through 5,910 deals. The banking subsector topped the activity chart with a turnover of 204.67 million shares valued at N2.05 billion in 2,169 deals. Insurance subsector staged a distant second with a turnover of 39.33 million shares worth N29.07 million in 292 deals. Other financial institutions sector rode on the crest of strong demand for FBN Holdings to place third with a turnover of 34.68 million shares worth N578.84 million in 1,044 deals. On stock by stock basis, UBA was the most active stock with a turnover of 70.78 million shares worth N569.70 million in 285 deals. FBN Holdings trailed with a turnover of 27.89 million shares valued at N557.63 million in 460 deals. Both UBA and FBN Holdings closed with price gains of 0.25 per cent and 0.15 per cent respectively.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 7-3-13
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
MONEY LINK ‘Nigeria spends only $100m on infrastructure’
RenCap benchmarks GTBank’s, Zenith’s, GDRs government’s power-sector initiatives beginning to gather pace, Zenith is well placed to play a leading role in lending to the sector, given its large and well-capitalised balance sheet. It views the GDR listing positively, and sees it as a step in the right direction for transparency and corporate governance. It also noted the establishment of a GDR programme potentially increases the range of Zenith’s investors, as some institutional investors cannot trade local shares. It could also enhance price discovery, given the potential for arbitrage opportunities between both markets. It placed a buy rating on GTBank’s shares with target price of N28.7/share; hold rating on Diamond Bank with target price of N5.6/share from current price of N7.2/share. Both lenders have listed GDRs on the LSE.
• Frets over Diamond’s liquidity status
ENAISSANCE Capital (RenCap) has analysed the Global Depository Receipts (GDR) of Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank and Diamond Bank, giving varying positions on their performances. RenCap, an investment and research firm, also expressed its position on the shares of other Nigerian lenders, GDRs listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). It said that GTBank’s GDR’s trades at similar pattern of Zenith Bank’s given that both
Stories by Collins Nweze
stocks have similar market capitalisations; share similar GDRs structure, adding that their daily value traded on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) is around the same level. RenCap however, expressed worry over Diamond Bank’s GDR liquidity status. It said in an emailed report that the bank’s paper is “relatively illiquid and has struggled to trade since 2009”. It said that GTB’s GDR is equivalent to 50 common
shares, while Diamond’s GDR is equivalent to 100 common shares. GTB’s, on the other hand, is more liquid and, according to 2012 broker estimates, trades an average of $300,000 per day. This compares with the $3 million average daily value traded this year on the NSE for local GTB shares. It said that GTB’s cost base is managed almost to perfection, but there are still more efficiencies that can be extracted from Zenith. It insisted that with the
Unity Bank is Kaduna Fair overall winner
NITY Bank Plc has emerged the overall winner among dozens of exhibitors that participated in the just concluded 34th Kaduna International Trade Fair. In a staament, the lender said it was also adjudged the most functional among banks that participated in the 10-day International Trade Fair. It was also voted as the second most courteous bank. President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), Abdul-Alimi Bello disclosed before the award presentation that Unity Bank was voted overall
winner because of product quality, creativity, innovation, crowd pulling, consistency, reception, planning and promotion. He said the bank provided excellent services to participants during the Fair especially in account opening and cash withdrawals. “We urge the bank to sustain the momentum at all times,” Alimi added. The bank’s Managing Director, Ado Y. Wanka said the lender is rolling out e- products designed to make banking transaction safer, easier and accessible from the comfort of
customers’ home and offices. Wanka, who was represented by the Executive Director, North West, Isma’il Abdullahi Galadanchi, explained that with the world going cashless, Unity Bank will continue to leverage on the latest technology to roll out products suited for the customers’ needs. He explained that the products, such as Unity Mobile and Unity Pocketmoni, will allow customers to complete their banking transactions on their mobile devices using any of the major telecoms networks.
Savings and Loans Plc has been given approval by the bank’s shareholders to change the bank’s name to City Trust Mortgage Bank Plc The name change which emanated from the bank’s 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos on yesterday. is meant to reflect the new ownership of the bank. The new owners had ac-
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 7-3-13
SYMBOL OANDO UACN WAPIC UNILEVER LIVESTOCK UTC CORNERST RTBRISCOE ABCTRANS UNITYBNK
O/PRICE 15.40 50.50 1.14 50.00 2.21 0.74 0.52 2.12 0.55 0.83
C/PRICE 16.90 53.02 1.19 52.14 2.30 0.77 0.54 2.20 0.57 0.86
CHANGE 1.50 2.52 0.05 2.14 0.09 0.03 0.02 0.08 0.02 0.03
PRESTIGE JOHNHOLT CUTIX ETERNA FTNCOCOA CADBURY UBCAP STERLNBANK AIICO ROYALEX
O/PRICE 0.85 2.00 1.81 3.83 0.61 33.61 1.54 2.74 0.95 0.76
C/PRICE 0.80 1.90 1.72 3.64 0.58 32.00 1.47 2.62 0.91 0.73
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N)
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
CHANGE 0.05 0.10 0.09 0.19 0.03 1.61 0.07 0.12 0.04 0.03
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
LOSERS AS AT 7-3-13
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
quired Intercontinental Homes from Access Bank which inherited it from the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc. Access Bank Plc had divested its interest from the mortgage institution in obeisance to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s recent directive that
Also, Three new directors, Mr. Etigwe Uwa (SAN), Mr. Uduma Okoro Kalu and Mr. Tamuno Atekebo were also elected at the AGM. Following Access Bank’s divestment from Intercontinental Homes, the four directors representing the bank on the mortgage institution’s board had resigned and a new board was constituted last January 28.
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
OBB Rate Call Rate
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor
By Akinola Ajibade
Oyinlola said Nigeria’s infrastructural gap has hit an all time high of $100billiion with the country needing a minimum annual investment of $10billion in the next 10 years to bridge the deficit. He said the bank is addressing the deficit through a National Integrated Infrastructure Development Master Plan. According to him, the 30 -year development plan was approved by the Federal Executive Council in September 2012 to solve myriad of problems besetting the country. He said the plan has helped in dissecting the infrastructural needs of the country for the next 30 years, and arriving at a comprehensive strategy for coordinating public and private investments programmes. The Bank’s chief said the National Infrastructure Finance Policy is another strategy adopted to address infrastructural needs of Nigeria.
Intercontinental Homes now City Trust HE Board of Directors of Mortgage Bank banks quit non-core banking businesses. Intercontinental Homes
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
IGERIA spends a meager $100million for infrastructural financing annually, the Chief Executive officer, Infrastructural Bank Plc, Mr Adekunle Oyinlola has said. He made this known while delivering a paper titled: “A Roadmap for The Transformation of Nigerian Infrastructure for Enhanced Productivity, during the Business Club of Ikeja(BCI) monthly forum in Lagos yesterday. Oyinlola said the figure represents four per cent of the nation’s annual Gross Domestic Product(GDP) of $250billion. He said: “ What we are presenting is that $100million is too small, given the huge infrastructural challenges facing the country. When compared with China, which has been spending an average of 12 per cent of its GDP of about $7.3 trillion ($870billion), the money is meager. Citing Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)’s report,
ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 137.30 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 147.01 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.80 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.13 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.02 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,756.93 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 14.66 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 10,616.45 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
9.08 1.00 136.89 146.64 0.78 1.13 1.00 100.00 1,000.00 1,753.94 13.95 1.33 1.80 10,305.95
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Current 07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS Woman pours hot oil on teenager From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt
HIRTEEN-year–old Rose Wona is lying in pains at a hospital in Port Harcourt after being bathed with hot oil by her 40-year-old neigbour. The incident occured on Wednesday in Omudiaga community, Emohua Local Government of Rivers State. The Nation learnt that the suspect, Madam Juliet Wosu, poured the oil on the victim after her return from school. A neighbour, who pleaded anonymity, said Madam Juliet and Wona’s mother had a quarrel that morning and she vowed to punish the victim for always assisting her mother to fight her regularly. Miss Peace Wona, the victim’s elder sister, said her family never thought the suspect could carry out such an evil plan. Peace said: “On Wednesday when my sister came back from school, nobody was at home. My mother was in the market and the attacker waited till my sister was pulling off her school uniform and she poured the hot oil on her. “The only thing she could remember was when the woman said ‘I will kill you today’ and that was all until neigbours who heard her shout started calling us on phone.” “Most of the problems between us and the suspect could be settled, if she wanted peace. But she has never opted for peace. She would rather fighteveryone.” A source from the suspect’s family told The Nation that the suspect is regretting her action and has gone into hiding.
‘Nigeria needs more varsities’ THE Secretary, Board of Fountain University, Osogbo, Mr Yinka Yahaya, has called for the establishment of more universities in Nigeria. Yahaya spoke in Ilorin on Wednesday. He said the establishment of more universities would ease the difficulty Nigerian students faced in seeking admission for higher education. According to him, more universities will enhance the development of human capital and accelerate national development and technological breakthroughs. He added that it would solve admission problems thousands of Nigerian youths faced yearly. The board secretary stated that unemployment would be drastically reduced if Nigerian youths were given skilled education which would make them self-reliant. Yahaya, however, expressed concern over candidates’ poor performance in both the Universities Matriculation Examination (UME) and West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) examinations. He urged government and stakeholders to improve on teachers’ education, provision of infrastructure, laboratory equipment and teaching aids to rectify the problem. Yahaya commended the Kwara Government for introducing human capital development into its school curriculum. He urged other state governments to emulate Kwara to make young school leavers less dependent on white-collar jobs.
A Corps member who collapsed during the swearing-in ceremony for 2013 Batch ‘A’ corps members in Bauchi, being taken to a health care centre...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
‘APC governors’ visit to Borno a wake-up call’
Killings in North sign of failing state, says Suswam
•Belgore: Boko Haram sponsored by foreigners
ENUE State Governor Gabriel Suswam has said the killings in the North are indications that Nigeria is heading towards becoming a failed state. Suswam spoke yesterday in Kaduna. A former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Alpha Belgore, said with the kind of weapons being used by members of the Boko Haram , it was evident that they were being sponsored from outside the country. The governor accused the country’s leaders of selfishness, unlike the founding fathers. Delivering a lecture entitled “Our diversity, our strength” at the third Kaduna Town Hall Lecture, Suswam said: “The mindless killings going on in the North clearly indicate that Nigeria is heading towards a failed society. This is because all the indices are there. In a country where life becomes valueless, it means that that country is heading towards a failed society. “In the North, where dignity was the order of the day, unfortunately today, we are mindlessly killing people. Everyday, you wake up you hear stories of 10 people have been
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
killed here and there. “It is as if we are slaughtering goats and cows, killing children and women because some people feel that our diversity should be used for mischief purpose. I feel that we must collectively as a people, especially those of us from the North, take the issue very seriously because the economic repercussion 10 years down the road is better imagined.” The governor said politicians often put themselves forward for elective offices using the cultural and religious diversity of the nation as their campaign weapon, adding that “when it is convenient for those of us who are practising politicians to work together, we will say that we want one Nigeria.” He added: “ People use religion for political reasons; they use their position for different reasons and I believe that these are people who want to create mischief when it is convenient for them. “What are our differences? Do we even understand what these differences are? Sometimes, we are beclouded by sentiment. If we understand what our differences are, we
will be able to sort ourselves out. But because we are not taking time to understand those things that makes us different from each others, we are fighting ourselves unnecessarily.” He said the leaders of independence Nigeria were self-less. “Our leaders that have been mentioned here, Sir Ahmadu Bello and others, were leaders that had no bias in them and believe in humanity and so, they treated their citizens and followers as human beings. “I don’t think that we can say the same thing about us the present leadership,” he said. The governor said the late Ahmadu Bello showed exemplary leadership. He said: “He never had issues with that (being a Christian or Muslim). The first sets of Generals in Benue were people selected by Ahmadu Bello inspite of the seemingly misunderstanding that he had with the then Middle Belt leadr, JS Tarka.” Belgore said those fighting in the Northeastern part of the country were trained outside the country and are being sponsored to destabilise the country.
He said: “They were trained in neigbhbouring countries by those people who were saying we are not going to exist by 2015. What they don’t know is that God has united this country, not language, not religion because in a family there is Muslim, there is Christian, even atheist.” Kaduna State Governor Mukthar Ramalan Yero said: “We have allowed issues of differences in creed to drag us down.” He said many Nigerians see themselves first as members of an ethnic group before being indigenes of their states and even more importantly as citizens of Nigeria, adding that “there is no doubt that if we had utilised our diversity positively, we will not have faced most of the challenges that we presently struggle to contain.”
EFCC arraigns bank manager for N245m scam
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a former Oceanic Bank Plc’s branch manager, Usman Salifu, before Justice Dije Aboki of the Kano State High Court, Kano on a 12-count charge of theft and misappropriation of about N245 million. According to a statement by the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the manager of Oceanic Bank Plc (now EcoBank Plc) allegedly forged signatures and withdrew N245million from the fixed deposit account of a customer, Yusuf Saleh Dunari. Some of the charges read: “That you Usman Salifu on or about December 29, 2009 in Kano within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Justice Kano State while being an officer of Oceanic Bank Plc (now Eco Bank plc) committed theft by stealing the sum of N30 million from the Oceanic Bank fixed deposit account of Yusuf Saleh Dunari and that you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 289 of the Penal Code. “That you Usman Salifu on or about December 9, 2010 in Kano within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Justice Kano State with intent to defraud, forged a signature of Hadiza Abdullahi on Oceanic Bank Plc (now Eco Bank plc) fixed deposit investment certificate dated December 4, 2010 for the sum of
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
N40m and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 362 and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code.” The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecuting counsel, Ibrahim Ahmed, requested for a date for trial. The EFCC also arraigned Emmanuel Akabueze before Justice Fatu Riman of the Federal High Court, Kano on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence. The commission said: “Akabueze, who is serving a jail term, having been convicted in another matter investigated by the EFCC, arrived at the court from prison to take his plea on the fresh charge. “The accused, who is also known as ‘Temple Obiora Nnaemeka’, alongside his accomplice, Tony Momoh (now at large) allegedly defrauded a certain Moses Gana of the sum of N410,000 over a phony business proposal to supply ‘Solar 15A’ equipment, to some foreign partners.” Akabueze pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecuting counsel, Salihu Sani, asked for a date for the hearing of the case. The case was been adjourned to March 25 for continuation of trial and the accused remanded in prison custody.
HE Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has said the recent visit by the “progressive governors to Maiduguri is a morale booster to the people of the state. The CNPP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Osita Okechukwu, made the remark in a statement made available to reporters yesterday in Abuja. “We commend the initiative, courage, fortitude and sagacity of the progressive governors for their visit has boosted the morale of our embattled and traumatised compatriots in the axis of conflict,” he said. According to Okechukwu, the visit of the governors had rekindled the people’s hope, reassured them and instilled a feeling that the rest of the nation identified with them in their hour of need. The CNPP‘s spokesman said there is need for the Federal Government to complement the efforts of the All Progressive Congress (APC) governors in restoring hope to the people.Okechukwu applauded the progressive governors for the visit, which according to him was a wake-up call to the Presidency.
Nigerian gets award
He founder and president of African Children Talent Discovery Foundation, Mr. Nuhu Dallaji, has won this year’s African Achievers’ Award. The annual award is bestowed on individuals and organisations, who have distinguished themselves in their contributions to the growth and development of the continent. Past recipients include: Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Malawian President Joyce Banda, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Thokhozani Khupe and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola. At an elaborate award’s presentation in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, recently, Dallaji was declared winner of the award with other reputable recipients, including the wife of Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, Yemisi.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
Police arrest 10 robbery suspects T T
We’ve not discovered oil in Kuje, says DPR
Ahmed visits CP’s widow
HE Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday told the residents of Kuje in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that oil has not been discovered in the community. The organisation yesterday began an enlightenment campaign against the dangers of hydro-carbon spills in the country. The campaign, which kicked off at the Kuje Local Government in the FCT, was organised to educate the citizenry on the implications of mishandling hydro-carbon substances and oil spills. Speaking at the event, a representative of DPR Zonal Operations Controller, Mr. Samuel Waplang, said the awareness has become im-
•Kwara CAN, group mourn
Court rules on Goje’s plea April 12
HE Plateau State Police Command has arrested 10 armed robbery suspects and recovered 10 vehicles, which they (robbers) allegedly snatched at gunpoint from their owners in Jos. Police Commissioner Chris Olakpe broke the news yesterday when parading the suspects and the recovered vehicles at the police headquarters in Jos.
From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
He said: “The command, in response to the reports of car snatching by residents, sent its men and officers to fish out the criminals. “Working on our intelligence gathering, we deployed the anti-robbery squad and other special squads to identify black spots in the state. We trailed some of the suspects and stolen vehicles to
neighbouring states. “We have arrested 10 of these criminals and recovered 10 vehicles. We are still on the trail of others. “We recovered from the suspects, many weapons, including facial masks, toy guns, locally-made pistols, knives, cutlasses, ammunition, mobile telephones, charms and so on. “I assure the indigenes that
we will not relax until we have ridden the state of criminals.” The police boss read out the Force’s telephone hotlines to the public and advised them to make use of the lines when reporting crimes in their vicinity. Some of the lines are: 08126375938, 08038907662 and 08050375280. He said people could also contact the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) on 08038400225.
WARA State Government is to play a role in the funeral of the late Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Chinweike Asadu. Governor AbdulFattah Ahmed said this yesterday when he visited the widow of the deceased, Francesca, at their Amorji Nike, Enugu home. He said: “Kwara State Government, among other things, wants to participate in the funeral ceremonies of the late CP Asadu. This is why I am visiting his family and the Enugu State Government to discuss with them.” The governor wrote in the condolence register: “You indeed lived a fulfilled life. You have left an indelible mark of sweetness in the hearts of all. We love you, but God loves you most. May God in his infinite mercy, grant you eternal peace. May He strengthen the family to bear the loss.” After the visit, Governor Ahmed left for the Enugu State Government House to discuss with Governor Sullivan Chime. The Kwara State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cursed the murderers of CP Asadu. It described the death of the police boss as shocking, noting that “God gives life and will not allow those that
T •Ahmed (left), uncle of late Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ejike Asadu and widow, Mrs Asadu when the governor visited the family in Enugu ... yesterday From Chris Oji, Enugu and Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
take it violently go unpunished.” The state Secretary of CAN, Rev. Cornelius Fawenu, through an SMS, said: “Our sincere condolences to his family and the Nigeria Police.” A body, the Muslim Media Watch Group (MMWG), has praised the Enugu State Government for its efforts in tracking down the assailants of the late police commissioner. The group placed on record government’s offering of N10 million reward to anyone, who could volunteer information that could lead to the arrest of Asadu’s killers. It said: “Asadu’s killing has confirmed that we are yet to succeed in curbing crimes and insecurity that have crippled the socio-economic development of the country.”
The MMWG in a statement signed by its coordinator, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, commiserated with the Kwara State Government on Asadu’s death. It added: “We pray Allah to expose those behind the dastardly act so that they can face the law. “We appeal to Nigerians to embrace peace and settle disagreements through dialogue, instead of taking lives. “The two main religions we practise condemn murder for whatever reason and the worst sin in the sight of Allah is killing of innocent persons and idol worship. “Patriotic Nigerians are advised to be more security conscious and report suspicious moves to security chiefs. “Police and other security agents should look inward in tackling security challenges in view of reports that some bad eggs within collude with criminals to perpetrate crimes.”
Judiciary workers on strike over allowances
HE Bauchi State chapter of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) is in a face-off with the Bauchi State Government over the suspension of the workers’ allowances approved under executive fiat. But the government said the suspended allowances are those approved by Governor Isa Yuguda under his executive fiat, which has led to the suspension and withdrawal of their salary structure approved by the Federal Government and is being implemented nationwide. In a signed statement by
From Austine Tsenzughul Bauchi
the JUSUN Chairman Musa Abubakar three days ago, it asked its members to embark on an indefinite strike, which they have complied with. Abubakar also directed the newly-employed judicial workers, whose salaries have been put on hold by the government, to be patient, as the union is working to ensure they are paid. But in defence of the government, Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Damina, told the workers to suspend their strike and dia-
logue with the government to resolve the matter. He said: “Government has suspended the payment of judicial workers’ allowances under the executive fiat because of the dwindling resources of the state and it affects civil servants in the state. Government did it in the interest of the state. When our economy improves, the allowances will be restored.” Besides the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) that embarked on a strike over the suspension of the payment of allowances under executive fiat on Feb-
2,300 corps members posted to Kano
WO thousand three hundred corps members have been posted to Kano State for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The NYSC state coordinator, Alhaji Bashir Salisu Yakasai, who said this at the swearing in of the 2013 Batch A corps members orientation course, added that the figure is impressive despite the security challenges. Yakasai said the three weeks orientation would build the corps members towards achieving the aims of
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
the scheme, which is to foster unity, encourage self reliance and improve human development in their domains. He appealed to the corps members to respect the culture of the land and support NYSC activities in their places of primary assignment to promote unity irrespective of religion, culture or social background. Kano State Government has assured that it would create a peaceful atmosphere for the corps members to boost
the economy in the public and private sectors. Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, represented by his deputy, Dr. Abdulahi Umar Ganduje, said this when he declared open the three weeks orientation course at the NYSC orientation camp, Kussalla Dan karaye. Ganduje said the society is facing development challenges ranging from youth unemployment to growing crime rate and depreciation in the living condition.
Baptists’ first quarterly assembly
HE first quarterly assembly of the Itesiwaju Baptist Association in 2013 holds tomorrow at the City of Glory Baptist Church, 49, Adigun Street, Itire, Lagos from
9am. It will be presided over by the Moderator, Rev. Gbenga Ojo of Araba Baptist Church, Ilasamaja Lagos and Consultant, Rev. Femi Ajayi of Victoryland Baptist Church, Isolo, Lagos.
ruary 6, JASUN is the only union that has embarked on a strike despite government’s threat to sack the striking workers if they refuse to call off the over one month strike.
HE Federal High Court sitting in Gombe has set aside April 12 to rule on the application filed before it for stay of proceedings in the money laundering case against the former Gombe State governor, Senator Danjuma Goje. Justice Babatunde Qadri took the decision after considering the arguments of the defence and prosecuting counsel. The defence counsel led by Adeniyi Akintola had filed a motion urging the court to stay proceedings in the substantive trial, pending an appeal filed by them at the
From: John Ofikhenua and Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
perative following the misconception of the discovery of oil in the area. Said he: “Incidence of contaminated well water at Gade in Kuje was reported by several newspapers. The erroneous impression created is that crude oil has been discovered in Kuje. But for the intervention of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Police and men of the vigilance group, we would have experienced a bad situation.”
By Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe
Court of Appeal, Jos, on the decision of the court to continue to entertain the case in Gombe. He argued that the accused had to appeal because they had earlier requested that the hearing venue be shifted from Gombe to any part of the country for reasons bordering on security. However, EFCC counsel, Wahab Shittu, drew the attention of the court to sections 122, 123 and 124 of the Evidence Act 2007, arguing that “you cannot use such right to stay proceedings.”
Kwara orders colleges to offset debts From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
WARA State Government has restricted its three colleges of education in Ilorin, Oro and Lafiagi to only courses approved by the institutions. It also directed the management of the colleges to pay outstanding debts before the end of the year and streamline their accounts to two banks instead of the multiplicity of bank accounts. The Commissioner for Finance, Ademola Banu and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede, told reporters yesterday in Ilorin after the executive council meeting. The council directed the three colleges of education to stop recruitment of workers and procurement of loans without recourse to the government and councils. Banu, an engineer, announced the establishment of a Public-Private-Partnership Office (PPP), adding that it is part of efforts to encourage investors, boost internally-generated revenue and promote job creation.
THE NATION FRIDAY MARCH 8, 2013
•Amaechi (middle) with members of the group in Port Harcourt
Rivers Assembly passes vote-of-confidence in Amaechi
HE Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday passed a vote-of-confidence in Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The motion was signed by 26 of the 36 members, who were at plenary. It was presented by House Leader, Chidi Lloyd, who held that the lawmakers’ stance became imperative, following the perceived recent antagonism targeted at the governor. The House voted in favour of a special session to be held with Amaechi to enable lawmakers express the confidence vote. Several lawmakers, who signed the motion, affirmed that the governor has done
From Precious Dikewoha,
well in the governance and development of the state. Amaechi has also been praised by the leadership of a group, Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, for his sterling leadership and enormous achievements in the state. Its President-General, Prof. Augustine Onyeozu, spoke when the group visited the governor in Port Harcourt. He said: “The fact is that your performance and achievements are superlative and
Oshiomhole urged to ignore blackmailers OME youths have pro-
tested the alleged plot to drop their preferred choice for the chairmanship position of Etsako West Local Government Area, in the April 20 council elections in Edo State. The protesters accused those they tagged “feather weight” politicians of labeling their choice contender as an anointed candidate of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. They urged the governor to ignore those attempting to blackmail him for their failure to emerge the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate. The protesters insisted that the zoning principle must be applied in picking, who represents the party. Their words: “We have always known the governor to be an unbiased umpire. “We also know that those wanting the governor to PUBLIC NOTICE AFOLABI
I formerly known and addressed as Miss Afolabi, Maryam Olaitan, now wish to be known as Mrs. Sangodele Afolabi Maryam Olaitan. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public please take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE CONFIRMATION OF AGE I, IGWILO HENRY A. State that my date of birth was wrongly Computed as February 3, 1988 on my WAEC certificate for June 2011 instead of September 27, 1987. UNIPORT and general public please take note
PUBLIC NOTICE I, Mr. Lateef Nicholas Babatunde, and Mr. Lateef Isiaka Babatunde refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known as Mr. Lateef Nicholas Babatunde. All former documents remain valid, general public please take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE This is to notify the general public that documents in respect of a property registered at No 9 at page 19 in volume 2007v dated 25th day of May,2007 at Lagos State Lands registry now belonging to Mr Jaiyesimi Owolabi by a deed of assignment between Mr Ekundayo Rotimi Olukoshi and Mr Jaiyesimi Owolabi got lost,For enquiry pls call 08024001956
bend the rules through undemocratic means and threatening to go court would fail because, the governor believes in popular participation. “The primaries have been concluded. Those sponsoring faceless groups as election observers should desist because the responsibility of local government elections is not that of Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) as claimed by those bent on discrediting the image of the governor.”
Brothers battle for throne From Osagie Otabor, Benin
WO children of the late clan head of Ekpeshi-Egbigele, Momodu Odamah, are in court over who sits on the throne. Momodu died on September 14, 2011 and the throne has been vacant ever since. The suit was filed by Jafaru Odamah, Buhari Odamah and Luckman Odamah. The defendants are Agbonogah Odamah, Nichola Odamah, Charles Aigbokhai, Zacheaus Ali, Akoko-Edo Traditional Council, Edo State Governor and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice. Among the declarations sought by the claimants are that the selection and traditional installation of the third claimant was consistent with the EkpeshiEgbigele customary law of succession. The claimants are seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining Agbonogah from putting himself for selection as the Zeiki of Ekpeshi-Egbigele clan by any person or group of persons.
excellent. “You have brought pride and honour to us. We are indeed very proud of you. “We will further urge you to ensure that in all your conduct and activities in government you give every ethnic group a sense of belonging.” The group urged the governor to disregard negative comments from people who misinterpret his policies. It urged him to remain focused, courageous and objective to deliver on his mandate.
“Your Excellency, in recent times, we have observed the misinterpretations being given to some of your actions. “As your parents, we know you keep your words and that you mean what you say. “In our clime unfortunately, not many appreciate being told the truth and very many prefer those who deceive them. “Remain focused, courageous and objective in all your undertakings. “We want to assure you that Ikwerre people will stand by you in any and all actions you may take to uphold the spirit and letters of the oath of office you swore to.”
UNIPORT in darkness since Jan, says VC T
HE Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof. Joseph Ajienka, has called on the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to restore power supply to the institution. The school has been in darkness since January. Ajienka said the institution was up-to-date in the payment of its electricity bills to the company. “The PHCN has thrown the university into darkness; this is grinding academic and administrative activities. “ It portends grave security implications that can-
•Appeals to PHCN From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
not be quantified. “Staff and students are no longer able to function in their offices or conduct any meaningful academic work in the laboratories and classrooms. “Efforts to get PHCN to install pre-paid meters in residential and administrative areas have so far been inexplicably frustrated by the company.
“There is no correlation between the huge bills paid by the university and electricity supply by the PHCN. “The university is now compelled to source for electricity exclusively from its own power generating sets. “This means a large chunk of the resources meant for other services and critical infrastructural development is used to buy diesel.
“The situation has become totally unbearable, to the extent that it is now affecting our capacity to carry out our core mandate of teaching, research and community service.” Ajienka pleaded with PHCN to return UNIPORT to the old airport line, from where it was transferred to the Ahoada grid. The VC added that he has contacted stakeholders to sensitise them on the grave electricity situation on the campus. He urged the PHCN to take urgent steps to improve the power supply, to enable UNIPORT return to normal activities.
Court reinstates removed council vice-chairman
HE Cross River State High Court sitting in Calabar has voided the February 28, last year, removal of the Vice-Chairman of Boki Local Government, Krees Ojonde Ojong. Ojong was removed by the Boki legislative council in Kakwagom Customary Court. The Vice-Chairman was alleged to have committed seven impeachable offences,
From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
including the diversion of N40,000 revenue to his personal account and refusal to honour invitations by the House. A panel found him guilty in three of the seven offences and consequently, he was removed. But Ojong sued the Boki Legislative Council, its leader, Isaac Kekung and
deputy leader, James A. Asu. After over a year of litigation the judgment by Justice Obojor Ogar ordered the setting aside of all the procedural steps taken by the first and second defendants (Boki Legislative Council and its leader, Isaac Kekung) leading to the removal of the claimant (Ojong). According to the judg-
ment, the steps taken violated the mandatory provisions of Section 12 (4) and (5) of the Local Government Law 2001. After hearing the submission of the counsel to the claimant, Utum Eteng and counsel to the first and second defendants E. O. E. Ekong and P. O. Arikpo for the third defendant (Asu), judgment was entered in favour of the claimant and against the defendants
Chevron signs GMoU with Itsekiri communities
N oil firm, Chevron Nigeria Limited and 23 Itsekiri host communities in Warri, Delta State, have signed a multibillion naira Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) for the development of the Itsekiri oil bearing communities. Chevron General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs Deji Haastrup signed on behalf of the oil giant. He said Chevron had com-
mitted over N5billon to the Itsekiri Regional Development Committee (IRDC), which has been executing development programmes in the Itsekiri communities for the past seven years. Haastrup said the signing was sequel to a similar agreement first signed collectively in 2006. “I am very happy to be here today for the renewal of our commitment to the GMoU, which we first signed collectively in 2006. “Today’s event under-
‘Today’s event underscores the advancement we are making to reinforce our commitment to the ideals and objectives of the GMoU’ scores the advancement we are making to reinforce our commitment to the ideals and objectives of the GMoU despite the challenges we
may face. “You will recall that at the time the GMoU was introduced in 2005, there were some doubts about its workability. “We however, believe that with your partnership, the GMoU would work. “That it would help build partnership for sustainable development and improve the quality of life in communities around our areas of operations. “I am proud to say that the vision is being realised.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS 2015: Buhari canvasses disbandment of INEC Continued from page 4
date which does not exist on the calendar, illustrating the farcical nature of the election. The Supreme Court split 4-3 in favour of the Government. “In 2011, all pretences at legality and propriety were cast aside. In the South-South and South-Eastern States , turn-out of voters was recorded by INEC at between 85% - 95% even though in the morning of the election, the media reported sparse attendance at polling booths. “The rest of the country where opposition parties were able to guard and monitor the conduct of the Presidential election turnout averaged about 46%. In many constituencies in the South-South and South-East, votes cast far exceeded registered figures. “Which brings us to the need for an impartial judiciary in a democratic setting. The judicial arm of the government, properly speaking, should be the interpreter and arbiter of executive and legislative actions, but the Nigerian government, since 1999, has successfully emasculated the judiciary and turned it into a yes-man. “An independent and impartial judiciary would have overturned all the presidential elections since 2003. In addition, hundreds of cases of judicial misconduct have marred elec-
tions to Local Government, State and Federal Legislatures. The judiciary has run its reputation down completely since 2003.” Gen. Buhari blamed the international community for turning blind eye to electoral malpractice in Nigeria. He said: “Here, I would like to say a few words about the international observers. In 1999, the greatly revered former US President, Jimmy Carter, walked off in a huff at the conduct of that year’s presidential election. But, compared to what took place afterwards, the 1999 election was a model of propriety. “I am sure many Nigerians like me feel gratitude to the international community, notably the Catholic Secretariat which deployed over 1,000 observers in 2003 and the National Democratic Institute in Washington for their work in Nigeria. “In 2003 and 2007, all the international observer teams, along with domestic observers concluded that those two elections fell far short of acceptable standards. The Nigerian government, along with the international community, ignored those critical reports. “Some members of this audience may recall the trenchant criticisms by the UK and US governments on the Zimbabwean elections held about the same time as Nigeria’s. Now the Zimbabwean elections were very
much better conducted than the Nigerian elections as the opposition party in Zimbabwe actually was declared to have won the parliamentary elections. “Yet, Western Governments turned a blind eye to Nigerian elections and an eagle eye on Zimbabwe’s and its supposed shortcomings. No better illustration of double-standards can be cited. Accordingly, in 2011, the international observers, having seen their painstaking work in earlier years completely ignored, took the line of least resistance and concluded after cursory examinations that the elections were okay. Gen. Buhari accused the Federal Government of allegedly frittering away the Execss Crude Account (ECA). “Instead of using the so-called excess crude account which in other countries goes by the name of Sovereign Wealth Fund to develop major domestic infrastructure, such as power, railways, road development, the account has been frittered away and applied to current consumption. “There is no magic, no shortcut to economic development. We must start from first principles – by developing agriculture and industries.” On corruption, the politician said it had “shot through all facets of government and economic life” in Nigeria.
He added: “Until serious efforts are made to tackle corruption, which is beyond the capacity of this government, economic growth and stability will elude us. On corruption, don’t just take my word for it. “The Chairman of one of the bodies charged with the task of fighting corruption in Nigeria, Mr. Ekpo Nta of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), was quoted by the Daily Trust newspaper of 14th February, 2013, as saying that there was no political will to fight corruption in Nigeria .” On administrative structure for the country, Gen. Buhari expressed regrets that state, had become dysfunctional. He said: “We have tried regions and this was deemed lopsided and a trap to minorities. We tried 12, 19 and now 36 states and there is clamour for more. “I firmly believe that state creation has now become dysfunctional, as disproportionate amounts of our meager resources go to over-heads at the expense of basic social services and infrastructural development. “Moreover, I also believe that Nigeria ’s problem is not so much the structure but the process. Nevertheless, I believe a careful and civil conversation should be held to look closely at the structure.”
•Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole receiving a plaque after theWomen in Business and Management (WIMBIZ) annual lecture in Lagos…yesterday. With him from left: WIMBIZ Executive member Mrs Osaye Alele-Oruene; Former Managing-Director, Standard Chartered Bank, Mrs Bola Adesola; Independent Director, Diamond Bank Plc, Mrs Ifueko Okauru and Deputy Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Nigeria, Mrs Adeola Azeez
PIB for second reading at Senate Continued from page 1
Those at the gallery who expected a stormy session left disappointed when nothing of such took place. Senate President David Mark, who summed up contributions by senators, declared that the PIB is not North versus South affair. He noted it was obvious that what is good for the North is also good for the South and what is bad for the South is bad for the North. He said that the bill, like most Senators pointed out, is the lifewire of the country. The bill, he added, has national interest as well as international interest. He said: “We are very united on the fact that so much power is given to the Minister, particularly where the minister can grant lease unconditionally; you can also revoke lease unconditionally. “We also all agreed that the frontier exploration services should be properly funded and independent and the time within which it will complete and start prospecting for oil in all parts of the country. “Those who spoke very strongly for South-South or Niger Delta also emphasised this, and this was an area where people expressed fear. “The fact of the matter is that we all need to be on the same wave-length. “I must emphasise that the bill is not North versus South; far from that, because what is good for the North is also good for the South and what is bad for the South, is bad for the North. He said that the PIB will go for second reading and public hearing and “by the time it comes back, their will be amendments, additions and subtractions.” For those who think that the draft bill is final, Mark made it clear that “the draft bill that has been given to us is not sacrosanct”. Mark said: “So I want to say that the bill is a worthy bill. The important thing is whether the bill guarantees the transparency we want in the petroleum sector, because that is a key issue because there is no transparency at the moment. “Does the bill ensure that more revenue accrue to the government and by extension to the people and more importantly does the bill ensure the independence of the new companies that will come out from the unbundled Nigeria
Federal Govt policies can’t stimulate growth, says Tinubu Continued from page 4
government must answer the moral call of providing one meal per day for our school children up to high school level.” Tinubu urged the Federal Government to formulate an industrial policy that focuses on the development of labour intensive industries and the urgent restructuring of the education sector to arm the youths with the capacity to confront the country’s challenges. The ACN leaders also suggested an overhaul of the agricultural sector to be complemented with a price support mechanism “so that those who toil the land and who feed us do not go continuously poorer the more they toil”. Tinubu, who said the book is intended to help the nation avert an impending economic doom, argued that the solution to Nigeria’s underdevelopment resides with its populace. He said though foreign investment is welcome, it is incapable of leading the country to prosperity. “We cannot blindly follow the advice of others. In thoughtless adherence to their own economic myths, the developed economies have led themselves astray in some instances.
“Their present counsel can do no better for us than it has done for them. Should we continue to listen to their false counsel, we will gain nothing of it, because it would yield nothing more than attempting to draw water from the empty well. “We have the ability and knowledge to forge our own way. We must base our approach on empirical fact, not subjective theory,” he said. Also at the event were businessman Aliko Dangote, former Managing Director, Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia (who was the book’s chief launcher), former governors of Lagos and Kaduna states, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and Balarabe Musa; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Audu Ogbeh.There was also the ACN National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, Senators Gbenga Kaka (ACN, Ogun State), Gbenga Ashafa (ACN, Lagos), Ganiyu Solomon (ACN, Lagos) and Annie Okonkwo (APGA, Imo State) and Prof. Pat Utomi of the Pan African University, Lagos. Others include members of the Hoouse of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Abike Dabiri-Erewa. Alhaji Kashim
Imam (who represented governors of Borno, Yobe, Zamfara and Nasarawa states), Funminiyi Afuye (who represented Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly Adeyemi Ikuforiji, rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), former Minister of State for Defence, Demola Seriki and Prof. Adebayo Williams. Kalu noted that Nigeria, having in the past wasted its growth opportunity, its leaders and the people must now resolve to work out ways of ensuring that its potentials are effectively harnessed for development.He praised the book’s authors and argued that what the country requires for growth include hard work, proper leadership and leaders who are law abiding. Aregbesola argued that the country remains poor because no government has helped to articulate policies that could aid the nation’s growth. He warned that the nation was doomed, should it continue with “the stupid culture of amassing wealth without putting them into productive uses”. Oshiomhole argued that the pervasive poverty in the country was a result of bad leadership and the inability to use its re-
sources well. He observed that the country was replete with contradictions, noting that while government’s statisticians proclaim growth in the economic and bandy around figures, the nation’s population is becoming poorer in the real sense.Okorocha sought change in the attitude of the nation’s leaders, arguing that the country was not poor, but lacks good managers. Ribadu praised Tinubu’s leadership qualities and his passion for the nation’s growth. He noted that the development being recorded in Lagos today were initiated by him. Fashola observed that the major problem with the country today was realizing appropriate application of the nation’s funds and devising a workable economic policy capable of propelling the nation to development. Ajimobi said the book challenges the unorthodox economic views of the world, adding that it recommends a paradigm shift to focus on long-term planning to create wealth for the people. “The book is a great paradigm shift from the way the world used to think about the economy and governance. Like every revolutionary and unorthodox view, it will attract reactions from
scholars.” Amosun said the book provokes a new thinking of changing the strategy to respond to the yearnings of the masses. “Financialism, more than in any other nation, is still very pronounced in Nigeria because unlike other nations where a movement of one or two basic points will create problems, but here we see double digit increase in interest and nobody says anything,” the governor said. Browne argued that the policy of a central government was imperative for the growth of any nation’s economy, noting that a national government’s monetary sovereignty and fiscal authority are prime catalysts to moving a flagging economy towards robust growth. The former diplomat, who lamented the plight of the Nigerian poor, said growth in any economy should not be in the abstract sense, but must be real and impact on the people. He also faulted overreliance on foreign concepts in modeling the nation’s economy.”Let our people walk in the light of a dynamic political economy that allows them to write the story of their own destiny instead of us always following the dictates of others,” Browne said.
National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and, finally, does the bill encourage investment? “Does it provide an enabling environment for investors to come and invest in Nigeria? “We are all conscious of the fact that almost all African countries are nearly oil producing countries, so the competition is stiff more than what it used to be before. “There is also the issue of host community fund; that is the one that is most contentious. But the background to it is that the monies accruing to the Niger Delta have not been properly utilised. That is the fear that is the underlining fear of everybody. “Everybody that spoke here agrees that the host community needs to benefit; it is how they benefit that has been a problem. “The fear is whether the 10 per cent for the host community will be another pipeline where a few characters would hijack it at the expense of the host community.” Mark rejected the suggestion that an ad-hoc committee to consider the bill at the committee and public hearing levels. To Mark, there are provisions in the bill that seem impracticable “There is the issue of pipeline passing through communities. He said: “There are so many things in this bill that are impracticable. “I think in theory they may sound nice but if a pipeline and the current pipeline from Kaduna passes through my local government and through about three, four local governments. “How are each of the local governments going to quantify for the money that would be given to us? “Is it by the length of the pipe that goes through or by the volume of products that is pumped through? “It is not just a practicable thing. “To me it is just an avenue where a handful of people will come together and manipulate government and then siphon money.” Mark also underscored the need for a regulatory agency to control the industry. The bill, he said, must ensure that there is transparency in the industry “because very few people know what is happening. “I do not know what is happening in that industry and I have tried to (know) but it looks like a Mafia world where nobody is willing to tell you anything. “So the bill must ensure that the industry is opened up and there is transparency.” Mark said that the drafters of the bill have tried to make it an exceptional bill. He wondered how it could be suggested that the bill should be exempted from the procurement act? He described the situation as “scandalous”. Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North) said his position on the bill is largely that of regulation because there are basic principles for legislating for regulatory authorities. He said: “For every commercial sector of the economy in Nigeria , there is a distinct regulatory authority that is established by the Act of Parliament. We have the Central Bank of Nigeria that is regulating financial services. You have Civil Aviation Authority that is regulating the aviation sector. You have PenCom for Pensions and you have NIACOM for Insurance. “The question is, what is the regulatory agency for the petroleum sector?” The bill was passed over to the joint committee of Petroleum (Upstream), Petroleum (Downstream), and Justice and Human Rights. The joint committee was given six weeks to work on the bill and conduct public hearing before returning it to the committee of the whole for clause-by-clause consideration.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
NEWS Britain to remove last troops from Germany in 2019
Apartheid hit squad leader dies in South Africa A South African hospital says a former commander of an apartheid-era police unit that killed black activists has died of kidney failure. Dirk Coetzee died Wednesday, said Ineke Jonker, spokeswoman for the Life Wilgers Hospital in Pretoria. He was 57. Coetzee fled South Africa and switched his allegiance to the antiapartheid African National Congress in 1989 after confessing he had belonged to a covert group known as Vlakplaas that murdered ANC members. He returned in 1993 and was a witness at the trial of former police Col. Eugene de Kock, the highestranking police official convicted of crimes during the white minority rule that ended with democratic elections in 1994. Coetzee was granted amnesty in 1997 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a panel that heard testimony about human rights violations under apartheid.
Chavez: Oyebola berates Nigeria’s ruling class THE Chairman Movement for Nigeria’s Total Transformation (MNTT), Chief Areoye Oyebola has berated Nigeria’ leadership class over its mismanagement of the country’s natural resources. In a release on the passing away of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, the prolific writer and ace journalist said the death and unparallel heroism of Hugo Chavez the populist, Venezuelan leader who had totally enriched the lives of all his countrymen and women, should be a lesson to Nigeria’s excessively greedy and unpatriotic misrules. It is a tragedy too deep for tears that while the late President Chavez who will be rated as one of history’s magnificent heroes, Nigeria’s excessively greedy and unpatriotic misrulesrs, who constitute 95% of the country’s leadership, will be dumped as total failures in the rotting garbage of history. While Nigeria leaders raised price per liter of petro from N65 (which was then the highest price per liter of all OPEC member countries) to N97, Hugo Chavez sold petrol for N9 per liter in his country. Further more. Venezuela allocates 10 per cent of its refined petroleum product to the poor at a reduced price per liter. Interestingly too, Venezuela provides free education up to university level for all its citizens, while the provision of other wonderful social amenities was paramount to the Government of Hugo Chavez. Finally, in Nigeria the flower must shed its petals for the rebirth of the plant. Our people need a completely new situation. But time is running out for this country.
•Children of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stand next to his coffin during a wake at the military academy in PHOTO: REUTERS Caracas...on Wednesday.
Kenya poll: Odinga camp cries foul
HE ballot count in Kenya’s presidential elections has been rigged, says the running mate of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is trailing behind his rival, Uhuru Kenyatta. “We have evidence the results we have received have been doctored,” said Mr Odinga’s running mate Kalonzo Musyoka. He said counting Monday’s votes should be stopped but added that his comments were not a call for protest. The election chief rejected the claims, as has Mr Kenyatta’s party. “There is no room to doctor results whatsoever,” said
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan. Earlier, the IEBC’s Liliane Mahiri Zaja, told the BBC that no written complaint had so far been received about the way the votes were being counted. Counting has been severely delayed after the electronic system crashed. Mr Musyoka said the failure of the electronic results system earlier this week had allowed the vote to be rigged. “We as a coalition take the position the national votetallying process lacks integrity and has to be stopped and re-started using primary documents from the polling stations,” he said on Thurs-
day. Latest election results: Uhuru Kenyatta: 2,791,325 votes (55%), Raila Odinga: 2,023,470 votes (40%),Votes cast: 5,095,294 Rejected votes: 42,924 (Based on votes counted from 116 constituencies at 13:00GMT (16:00 Nairobi time) on yesterday. But Mr Musyoka also called on Kenyans to remain calm, saying, “We are committed as a coalition to the principle of the rule of law.” Meanwhile, senior members of Mr Odinga’s coalition have given the BBC further details about their allegations, saying that the number of ballots counted exceeded that of votes cast at some poll-
North Korea furious over sanctions
HE United Nation Security Council has voted unanimously for tough new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, a move that sparked a furious Pyongyang to threaten a nuclear strike against the United States. The vote Thursday by the U.N.’s most powerful body on a resolution drafted by North Korea’s closest ally, China, and the United States sends a powerful message to North Korea that the international community condemns its ballistic missile and nuclear tests - and its repeated violation of Security Council resolutions, The Associated Press is reporting. The new sanctions are aimed at making it more difficult for North Korea to finance and obtain material for its weapons programs. North Korea vowed on Thursday to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States, amplifying its threatening rhetoric as U.N. diplomats voted on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test. An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry said the North will exercise its right for “a preemp-
tive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors” because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North. Such inflammatory rhetoric is common from North Korea, and especially so in recent days. North Korea is angry over the possible sanctions and over upcoming U.S.South Korean military drills. At a mass rally in Pyongyang on Thursday, tens of thousands of North Koreans protested the U.S.-South Korean war drills and sanctions. Army Gen. Kang Pyo Yong told the crowd that North Korea is ready to fire long-range nuclear-armed missiles at
Washington. The success of a new round of sanctions could depend on enforcement by China, where most of the companies and banks that North Korea is believed to work with are based. The United States and other nations worry that North Korea’s third nuclear test pushed it closer to its goal of gaining nuclear missiles that can reach the U.S. The international community has condemned the regime’s nuclear and missile efforts as threats to regional security and a drain on the resources that could go to North Korea’s largely destitute.
Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law captured OSAMA Bin Laden’s son-in-law, who acted as a spokesman for al-Qaida, has been captured in Jordan, Rep. Peter King (RN.Y.) announced on Thursday. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is being flown to New York City where he is expected to face terror-related charges, NBC 4 of New York reported, citing unnamed officials. “I commend our CIA and FBI, our allies in Jordan, and President Obama for their capture of al-Qaida spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith,” said King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee. King is also chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. U.S. officials confirmed the report and said that Ghaith was in U.S. custody, but would not say exactly where he was being held.
ing stations. Mr Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition has rejected the accusations. However, until they see comprehensive evidence, many Kenyans will remain skeptical, our correspondent says.
NE of Britain’s enduring legacies of the cold war will end a year earlier than expected when the last British troops leave German soil in 2019. The government this week announced a speeding up of Britain’s withdrawal from Germany together with a reorganizing of domestic Army bases to deal with a changing military landscape. Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said all of Britain’s 20,000 troops will be gone by 2019 instead of 2020, while 70 percent will return by the end of 2015 compared to the previous plan of half. Around 4,000 soldiers and their families have already returned to UK bases in a project that will cost £1.8 billion ($2.7 billion) but save a projected £240 million ($361 million) a year at a time of continued cost-cutting in the UK. Initially the force served to shore up western Europe’s defenses during the cold war from the threat of Soviet expansion. After the Soviet collapse, the deployment became a useful training mission for the British and a reassurance to western Europe at a time when shaky governments in the east were still finding their footing.
LENTEN TALK Rev. Henry O. Adelegan
God will remember you! Text: Isaiah 49:15-16
T is not news that not every blessing and privilege that are the rights of people have come to the rightful beneficiaries. Some are forgotten to be given, some are denied outrightly by powers that be while some are given to other people for personal reasons. It is equally not out of place for people placed in privileged positions to forget the people they ought to recommend for recognition and elevation. One of the inalienable rights of a suckling child from his mother is compassion as to ensure the baby is breastfed. The Bible however confirms that a mother can even deny her baby this right. He however promised that He will never forget His children. Joseph was a man who interpreted the dream of the Chief butler and just as he said, the man gained his freedom from prison and was restored to the King’s palace. Before he was released, Joseph pleaded with him to show kindness to him and mention him to Pharaoh after he had been set free. When the Chief butler was restored to his position from the prison however, he did not remember him- in fact, he forgot ! ( Genesis 40:14, 21-23). Two years later, God remembered him, He orchestrated a frightening dream that was devoid of clarity and needed only the spiritual expertise of Joseph to unravel. At that stage, the Chief butler remembered Joseph and he was promoted from the prison to the highest position in the land (Genesis 41:8-10,38-40). When David too remembered the household of Jonathan and decided to honor anyone left of that family, the story of the lame Mephibosheth changed. He was promoted from the pathway of a dead dog life to the highway of eating at the King’s table (2Samuel 9). That human beings have forgotten you is not the end of life because when God remembers you, man does not have a choice. When He remembered Hannah, the problem of long years of barrenness was solved immediately and she became the mother of children ( 1 Samuel 1:1920,2:21) During this season of lent, God who remembered Hannah at Shiloh will remember you, all your privileges and blessings shall be restored to you, yoke of barrenness shall be destroyed, garments of reproach shall be destroyed and you shall be promoted beyond your imagination in Jesus’ name. Prayers: Father, remember me during this season of lent and put an end to my shame, lack, fear, regrets and disgrace in Jesus’ name.
THE NATION FRIDAY MARCH 8, 2013
NECO records improvement in NOV/DEC SSCE results
XTERNAL candidates, who sat for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) in November/December last year, recorded a significant improvement in the examination. The results released in Minna yesterday by the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of NECO, Prof. Promise Okpala, showed that 54.7 per cent credit passes were recorded in Mathematics, compared to the 44.7 per cent recorded in 2011. 33.89 per cent of the candidates, who sat for the examination, recorded credit passes in English language. Only 10 per cent passed the subject at the credit level in 2011. A breakdown of the result showed that 75,623 of the 83,755 candidates that regis-
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
tered for the examination, sat for it. Okpala said of this number, 25,630 or 33.89 per cent passed English language at the credit level and 41,228 candidates, (54.79 per cent) passed Mathematics at the credit level. In Commerce, candidates recorded 51.85 per cent credit passes, as against 40.35 per cent recorded last year. 16.16 per cent had credit passes in Government compared to 0.35 per cent in 2011, while in Economics, 33.57 per cent of the candidates had credit passes as against 30.26 per cent in 2011. Other subjects also recorded improvement in credit passes. A comparative analysis of the November/December SSCE results in the past three
years showed that the 2012 result has a remarkable rise in credit passes. In 2010, the credit pass in English language was 4.67 per cent. In 2011, it was 10.03 per cent, while in 2012, it was 33.89 per cent. Mathematics also recorded an improvement from the 19.44 per cent credit pass in 2010 to 44.74 per cent in 2011 and 54.79 per cent in 2012. On examination malpractices, Okpala said 21,274 cases were recorded nationwide, with Taraba State topping the list with 18.82 per cent cases. Osun State had the least cases of malpractices. He said there were no leakages during the 2012 November/December SSCE examination, as measures that ensured appropriate standard and excellence before, during and after the examination were put in place.
Senator condemns CP’s killing
HE Chairman, Senate Committee on Communication Senator Gilbert Nnaji has condemned the killing of the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr, Chinweike Asadu. Nnaji, in a statement presented to the Senate, said: “I wish to formally bring to the attention of this distinguished Senate, the brutal assassination of the
Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Chinweike Asadu, at his home in Amorji Nike, within my senatorial district. “The murder, which occurred on March 3, has thrown my senatorial district and the whole of Enugu into a state of shock and panic. “It is feared that if such high-profile security personnel could be killed just like
that, how safe are the ordinary citizens. “It is my prayer that the Senate, in its usual manner, would rise to condemn this dastardly act. I commiserate with the Nigeria Police and the family of the fallen officer. “I urge the InspectorGeneral of Police to speedily apprehend the perpetrators of this act and prosecute them.”
Yakowa, Azazi: Investigators rule out sabotage in crashed Navy helicopter
NVESTIGATORS have ruled out sabotage in the Nigerian Navy Agusta helicopter, which crashed in Bayelsa State on December 15 last year. Former Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa and ex-National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, died in the crash. A statement by the Nigerian Navy spokesman Navy Commander Kabiru Aliyu yesterday said the cause of the crash could either be human error or material failure, or a combination of both. Aliyu quoted from an investigation report compiled
From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
by the Accident Investigation Board (AIB), constituted by the Nigeria Air Force at the instance of the Nigerian Navy. The statement reads: “The investigation, which was conducted by aviation experts in collaboration with the manufacturers, Agusta Westland, has stated that the cause of the crash could either be human error or material failure or a combination of both. “However, to determine the actual cause of the crash, there would be the need to tear down the engine of the
helicopter to carry out detailed forensic analysis. This aspect of the investigation will be carried out by Turbomeca, the manufacturers of the engine. “It is important to emphasise that an independent police report has equally ruled out sabotage as a possible cause of the crash. Further information on the investigation would be made public when available.” The statement added that the investigation was conducted by aviation experts in collaboration with the manufacturers of the helicopter, Agusta Westland.
Reps move for tighter control of small arms, light weapons
HE House of Representatives is advocating the establishm ent of a commission to track and monitor the movement of small arms and light weapons in the country. The lawmakers yesterday supported the second reading of a bill for an Act for the establishment of a commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapon. The lawmakers noted that security, being a primary responsibility of government, requires a more proactive approach to addressing it, going by the rates of violence and criminal activities across
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
the country. Sponsor of the bill, Nnenna Ukeje (PDP, Abia), who said the bill was designed to address the challenges caused by the proliferation of small arms and light weapon in the country, revealed that out of about 10 million small arms and light weapons in Sub-Sahara Africa, 7.5 million are domiciled in Nigeria. To emphasise the dangers inherent in proliferation of small arms in the country, Ukeje said more than 90 nations currently produce various types of small arms, light weapons
and their ammunition. Besides, she noted that more than 857 million small arms are in circulation today besides over 16 billion of rounds of ammunition produced annually. She regretted that outbreaks of conflicts in parts of North Africa and the West African sub-region have aided the proliferation of small arms and light weapons into the Nigeria and consequently sustaining conflicts in parts of the country. “With over 7.5 million small arms and light weapons already making their ways into Nigeria, that is a figure that paints a very scary picture,” she added.
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
TODAY IN THE NATION
FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
COMMISSIONER of Police was gunned down just yards from his home. A rising artist was the victim of cult rivalry. Kidnappers are having a field day in all regions of the land. And while Boko Haram still beheads and maims, we are seeking amnesty for the yet unrepentant sect. Even when there are genuinely uplifting stories such as the one that was the subject of this column last week, the disgusting nature of the sad ones can overwhelm. They are the ones that catch the attention of outsiders, including those that we need for investment. Thus Nigeria has again made the United States “travel advisory list” countries. So, while foreign students flock to Ghana on Summer Study Abroad programmes, they would have nothing to do with Nigeria. Thomas Hobbes’s social contract theory characterises the state of nature as the hellish situation that motivates the creation of the political state. For him, a political state is morally justified to impose obligations on members because, given the egoistic, calculating, acquisitive and possessive character of human nature, life without such a state would be nasty, brutish, and short. It is in recognition of this tragic reality in the state of nature without political authority that rational human beings would agree to combine their resources to establish a political state with authority. A standard textbook critique of Hobbes is that since philosophy is a reflection on experience, and since the only experience that Hobbes had was with his native 17th century England, his theory must be limited in its applicability. And in this part of the world, our first generation political leaders used to remind the Western world of the paradise on earth that was traditional Africa. Leopold Senghor and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere are only two of the most outspoken defenders of an African heaven on earth that was disturbed by the marauding forces of imperialism. They presented the West as the bedrock of individualistic dog-eat-dog mentality. Two questions arise: First, how much difference is there between African and Western value systems? Second, are African societies exempt from the state of nature account? With regard to the first question, I contend that a genuine comparison of Western and African value systems must take place at the same level: traditional values with traditional values and “modern” values with “modern” values. The traditional is an endangered species in both contexts. Therefore all we have for genuine comparison is the modern version of our value systems. In this, it’s clear
‘The questions are: Could such a man be described as a great leader? Could he be classified as a true statesman? What would a good student of history have to say/write about Obasanjo?’ VOL.8 NO.2,422
C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
SEGUN GBADEGESIN email@example.com
An institutionalised assault on human dignity
that there is no difference in kind between the values that motivate an American in New York and what enervates a Nigerian in Lagos. The difference is in the constraint in the way of each. The New Yorker wants what Michael Jordan has. He knows if he tries to ambush MJ to rob him of his property, the law will quickly catch up with him. So he refrains from that option and tries to work hard at improving his basketball skills. Otherwise, he’d just have to limit his ambition. Of course, there are daredevils who would try an ambush and risk going to jail. That’s
what prisons are for and there are plenty of them, including the maximum securities. On the Nigerian side, while the values are not different, the contexts cannot be more diametrically opposed. The opportunities that exist for the New Yorker are hardly there for the majority of Nigerians. So with similar ambitions, the opportunities are quite dissimilar. In such a circumstance, there is a need for even a greater focus on constraints. Make crime so unrewarding that people without opportunities would not be lured into a life of crime. Unfortunately, however, no state in Nigeria has what any of its US counterparts has. In addition to, or perhaps because of the opportunities that are made available for those who care to take advantage, the security system is effective in the US. In Nigeria, however, a state is not in charge and cannot effectively secure itself. Therefore there is little or no check on a would-be criminal in a world without opportunities. This is what the state of nature account depicts: where human nature is as described, and there is no effective authority to constrain individuals, it would be a war of all against all. My second question pertains to the applicability of the state of nature account to Nigeria and other African countries. To be sure, Hobbes is not the only contract theorist with an account of the state of nature as its basis. John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau provide their own accounts. But while Locke’s state of nature is not as dire as Hobbes, Rousseau’s is the most idyllic. For Rousseau, the state of nature is a state of peace and innocence; what is missing there is the moral virtue of citizenship. For Locke, the state of nature is a state of peace, where anyone can punish violators of the laws of nature. What is missing is the impartiality of an independ-
ent magistrate. Hobbes is the most realistic of the three. Hobbes’s realism is in recognising, even as our traditional thinkers do, that no one is beyond criminality if they think they can get away with it. That’s why humans are not saints. This is why, wherever human life is valued, and human dignity is respected, it is protected against abuse by a code of laws that is systematically enforced. Cultism is alive and well in Nigeria. We even idolise the cultists and we are not ashamed of the implications for the country’s profile of sharing horrific images of their decapitation in the hands of rivals on the front pages of our national newspapers. A state governor made a succinct observation early this week on the pattern. Two days later a national paper featured another grisly image of the shattered face of a human being. We may pretend as we want; but there is no denying the fact that our present situation is that of a genuine state of nature unlike any that the philosophers imagined. In another pathetic narrative, a woman who lost three children to Boko Haram gunmen who also forced her into widowhood overnight recently brought tears to the faces of prominent men and women. They wondered what kind of a people we are and what kind of nation would allow the dignity of humans to be so sullied. We have resources to squander but not enough to provide security for citizens. This is contrary to reason. But reason assumes we value human life; the truth is that we don’t. Which brings me to the question: What values do we really espouse? Does it make sense for us to continue to demean Western individualistic values when we don’t even approximate the value Westerners place on human lives? We do not make provisions for bringing our children to their God-given potentials. We neglect the aged and the homeless; and we make no provision for widows while those without children are on their own. Poverty eradication programmes for the poor have become wealth enhancing programmes for the rich. Our religions place premium on the poor. But our clerics now preach the gospel of wealth; and so, armed bandits and assassins prowl for their own share, without restraint. Who will save us from our home-grown inhumanity and devastating assault on human dignity? Who will offer the Change that we desperately need? •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080
AFCON 2013: I WAS NOT GOOD –Ahmed Musa
PDP needs prayers? Why not try truth and justice
...in fact, you were ‘SHORT-ONE’
HIEF Tony Anenih is not known to be flippant. When he responds to reporters’ questions, he is seldom expansive, preferring instead to be straightfaced and laconic. On Wednesday, when cheeky reporters asked him what role he expected the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) to play in resolving the multifaceted crises afflicting the party, he spoke and behaved true to type. “Prayers, prayers, prayers,” he intoned. “This is what we need.” He wasn’t, of course, saying the BoT would do the praying, nor was he suggesting that our self-satisfied rulers lumbering about in the corridors of power knew how to pray. All he was telling reporters shortly after emerging from a meeting with the party chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, was that in the general sense those who knew how to pray should feel free to render that service copiously to the party. If we didn’t know better, we would think that in the PDP, whether under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo or under any other leader, politics and prayer were compatible. But just as Anenih was advocating prayer to resolve self-inflicted tragedies – a typical indulgence in these parts – his party was also busy enacting bigger and more pernicious unfairness and parochialism. First, President Goodluck Jonathan, exercising the powers conferred on him by the party’s constitution,
directed that six governors be inducted into the party caucus. The six, grumbled some PDP governors, were the arrowheads of the president’s campaign to fracture the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). And two of the six, the grumblers moaned further, came from the president’s geopolitical zone, almost as if he had forgotten how to be president of Nigeria or even leader of the entire PDP. Second, other grumblers chafed at the president for causing three ministers to be invited into the same caucus without any consideration of spread or federal character, with the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, top on the list of their complaints. (She was listed among the three ministers, thereby bringing the number of those admitted into the caucus from the president’s zone to three in one fell swoop). Surely, the grumblers wailed, there must be a better and less offensive way of stacking the cards against the enemies within. However, Jonathan’s caucus manoeuvres are simply a manifestation of the president’s and his party’s inattentiveness to details and to the cause of fairness. The party has an unenviable history of bitter infighting, oppression of the weak, and promotion of injustice at regional and national levels. These vices are what Anenih quaintly believes prayers could help exterminate. Alas, someday, we will understand what
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
naïve doctrines and philosophies motivate the BoT chairman. But for now, it is unnecessary to analyse his theology or to question the beliefs of members of the BoT. We already know that prayer represents for them a charming perfunctoriness. They will advocate it half-asleep or half-awake, notwithstanding the severity of the unfairness they are meting out to their victims. But if the PDP and Anenih can manage to view God less as a commercial device for the satisfaction of party ambition and more as an avenger of injustice and unfairness, perhaps they would be more guarded in their actions and more balanced in their worldview. Perhaps, too, they would run a more efficient party bureaucracy and offer the country the visionary leadership Nigerians desire, but which the ruling party lacks the discipline and ethical soundness to actualise. We cannot tell whether sometime in the future the PDP will embrace prayer more reverentially and move God into hearing them. But for now, let the party try embracing truth and justice in order to restore peace within its fold. This latter option is even less costly, less demanding, and does not addle the wit of the party’s Brahmins nor tax their knowledge of God as much as the complicated theology of prayer.
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