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Senate, Reps pass Budget 2012

‘Reps chair asked me for N44m’ NEWS

NEWS – Page 4

Page 58

•N888b voted for fuel subsidy

•‘It’s a ploy to distract us’

www.thenationonlineng.net

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

VOL. 7, NO. 2066 FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

N150.00

•The scene of an accident involving a fuel tanker and a car on Ikorodu Road, Lagos ... yesterday. The accident caused a massive traffic jam on the ever-busy road. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

Govt spends N8.4b on sitting allowances

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HY do politicians struggle to get on the boards of commissions and agencies? The desire to serve? Not likely, in many cases. Money? Most likely, con-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

sidering the cash guzzled by 71 chairmen and members of boards – N8.4b sitting allowances – in four years. The boards were dissolved recently.

They were paid the lump sum for sitting either four or eight times in a year. The bogus cash was outside other benefits, such as contracts, accommodation, out of station travel expenses, furniture, vehicles

and medicals. The huge expenditure is believed to have accounted for why the government has remained adamant on the merger of parastatals and agencies. A committee, headed by a

former Head of Service, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, is working on the merger of some of the commissions. According to a document obtained by our correspondent, N8.4billion was spent Continued on page 4

•Mr Oronsaye

North warns panel not to extend Jonathan’s tenure By Our Reporter

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•Dr Jonathan

HE new pressure group, the Coalition of Northern Leaders, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, yesterday warned the Justice Alfa Belgore Committee on Constitution Amendment against what it called any plot to elongate President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure. The coalition claimed to have discovered that the Belgore Committee is pursuing a “sinister third term agenda” for Jonathan with a single seven-year tenure proposal. But the President replied swiftly, telling the group not to distract him from his work. The group also demanded immediate review of the nation’s revenue allocation formula. Besides, it accused Jonathan’s ad-

President: no distraction please THE ISSUES

Jonathan’s tenure present formula is “obnoxious” and must be reviewed for Revenue allocation •The being ‘lopsided’ and ‘unfair’ Oil blocks •Allocation to “Generals, cronies of parties or persons in power and fraudsters” of the Status of Abuja, whose original owners “got no Status of Abuja •Discussion compensation” •Constitution amendment Committee is accused of planning to extend the President’s tenure beyond May 29, 2015

ministration of awarding oil blocks to Generals, party leaders and cronies. The coalition gave the warning in

a statement by its convener, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, after a session of its committee chairmen in Asokoro, Abuja.

The Coalition has 10 standing committees to pursue the interests of the North. Continued on page 4

•GODWIN DABO PASSES ON P57 •OGUN TACKLES BANKERS P56


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

2

NEWS BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY

Nigeria, Kenya, A report by the Associated Press (AP) shows that bomb attacks in Nigeria, Somalia and Kenya, where groups with links to Al-Qaeda operate, are becoming deadlier

B • Vice-President Namadi Sambo (middle), exchanging pleasantries with the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Ali-Madani (left) during the IDB-Nigeria Business Forum in Abuja... yesterday. With them is the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama.

•From left: Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, former Military Administrator, Brig.Gen Leo Ajiborisa (rtd) and Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University/Chairman of the ocassion, Prof Bantale Omole, at the State Stakeholders’ Roundtable at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Osogbo, Osun State ... yesterday

OMB attacks in Nigeria, Kenya and Somalia rose in 2011 as al-Qaida-affiliated terror groups used more sophisticated devices to kill more people with each explosion, the Pentagon’s anti-IED unit said. Nigeria saw a nearly fourfold jump in the number of improvised explosive device incidents last year, while Kenya saw an 86 percent increase, according to the unit. Underscoring the threat, both nations saw deadly blasts last weekend: A car bomb attack on a church during Mass in Nigeria and grenades thrown at Kenyans as they waited at a crowded bus stop. Militants last year began using a deadlier type of bomb known as a shaped charge for the first time in both Somalia and Nigeria, John Myrick, a U.S. military bomb expert told The Associated Press. Advanced bomb-makers use shaped charges to increase the force of a bomb so that it can penetrate armor. Such deadly explosives were used repeatedly by militants at the height of the Iraq war, and to a

lesser extent in Afghanistan. The migration of the deadlier bombs to Africa is evidence that more sophisticated al-Qaida-linked groups are advising and training African militants. While Somalia saw only a small increase in attacks, the newer technology lead to greater casualties and deeper impact on Africa Union forces, Myrick said. On Wednesday, a suicide bomb attack aimed at the main government compound in Mogadishu killed at least three people, said the spokesman for the African Union force known as AMISOM. Bombs in Somalia “are definitely more sophisticated and they’re definitely more effective against AMISOM armored vehicles, which represents an advance in the capabilities of the insurgents,” said Myrick, the chief of the global missions task force for the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization. Myrick said that the more effective bombs and attacks “indicate an increase in logistical support from some of the more sophisticated groups on the continent, and

Boko Haram: North’s most visible challenge, says Abdulsalami • IBB, Atiku, Belgore meet on sect From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

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•From left: Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole; Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) President Joseph Daudu and Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour at the NBA Conference on the Review of the Performances of Election Tribunals...yesterday

•Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. John Enoh(left), Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media, Hon. Victor Ogene and the Special Assisant to the Speaker, House of Representatives on Media, Mallam Imam Imam , at a briefing on the passage of the 2012 Budget by the National Assembly in Abuja... yesterday PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

ORMER military Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar yesterday identified the insurgence of Boko Haram as the most visible security challenge confronting the North. He spoke in Minna, the Niger State capital at the opening of a peace meeting which attracted elders of Northern extraction under the auspices of Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies (AAIPSDS). The meeting was attended by former military President Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Alhaji Yayale Ahmed and former deputy governor of Plateau, Mrs. Pauline Tallen. It was chaired by Alhaji Adamu Chiroma. Other elders at the meeting which lasted about three hours were the former President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop John Onayiekan, Sheik Ahmed Lemu, Prof Bawa Salka, Colonel Halilu Akilu, Senator Jubril Aminu and Alhaji Isa Funtua. Abubakar said: ‘’The most visible security challenge today is of course the Boko Haram insurgency. “At a period when other parts of the nation are articulating positions which should improve their interests in the manner the nation should be structured, the North is being torn by conflicts, violence and deep mistrust among its communities. “In Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano and Plateau states, just to mention a few places, we have killed and are killing ourselves needlessly in thousands on grounds of ethnic and religious differences. We have become our worst and bitterest enemies”. He said the forum would be taken to other parts of the country with a view to finding a lasting and effective solution to the various challenges facing the country. According to him, the forum had to start from the North, because, “charity begins at home.” He added: “We have started from the North because once there is peace in the North; it will rub off on the South. We extend the meeting to the South, but let’s get the home front sorted out first. You will bear with me that bombing and killings are very minimal in the South.” Babangida said the meeting of the elders was their own contribution towards finding lasting solution to the various security challenges facing the country. “This generation, I mean, my own generation, knows what this country means to us; so anytime we see little problems that can aggravate situations, we try to come around and find solutions and the way forward to these problems.” Ciroma said the forum will forward its recommendations to the government. He said: “Most of these problems require the instrumentality of the government, we only discuss and make recommendations to the government for implementation.”


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

3

NEWS BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY

ya, Somalia, bombings deadlier in 2011 Some attacks by Boko Haram • In January 2004, it attacked a town in Yobe State before being forced to withdraw by security forces. •In July 2009, Boko Haram staged attacks in the northeastern city of Bauchi after the arrest of some of its members, and clashed with police and the army in Maiduguri. About 800 people were killed in five days of fighting in the two cities. Later that month, sect leader Mohammed Yusuf was captured by Nigerian security forces and shot dead in police detention hours later. • In early July 2010, Abubakar Shekau, a former deputy leader of the sect who was thought to have been killed by police in 2009, appeared in a video and claimed leadership. • On Aug. 26, 2011 a suicide bomber struck the U.N. building in Abuja. At least 23 people were killed and 76 wounded. Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Aug. 29, demanding the release of prisoners and an end to a security crackdown aimed at preventing more also an increase in training.” Specifically, the anti-IED unit says al-Qaida’s North African branch is increasing support to Nigerian militants, and another affiliate, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is supporting Somali militant groups. Nigeria saw 196 bomb incidents in 2011, compared with 52 incidents in 2010, U.S. military numbers show. An incident is when a bomb detonates or is discovered before detonation. The Pentagon’s antiIED unit expects Nigeria to see a slight increase in bomb incidents this year, before attack numbers plateau because militants will have reached their capacity to produce

bombings. It was the first known suicide bombing in Nigeria. • An attack on St. Theresa’s Catholic church in Madalla on Abuja’s outskirts during a packed Christmas mass, was the deadliest of a series of Christmas attacks on Nigerian churches and other targets by the sect. At least 37 people were killed. • On January 20, 2012 coordinated bomb and gun attacks on security forces in the northern city of Kano killed at least 186 people people - the group’s most deadly attack. •On February 26 a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a church in Jos, killing two people. Reprisals soon followed and Christian youths killed at least 10 people in Jos days later. Sources: Reuters/Janes World Insurgency and Terrorism, 2011 Courtesy: Reuters

them, Myrick said. The Joint IED Defeat Organization says militants are increasingly targeting events that will produce mass casualties. A Christmas Day blast that struck St. Theresa Catholic Church near Nigeria’s capital killed 44 people. Nigeria Police Commissioner Ambrose Aisabor, who oversees the Nigeria Police Force’s antibomb squad, blamed the increase on a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language of Nigeria’s north. “Since the past two years, the activities of Boko Haram have been

on the increase,” he told AP. “A lot of IEDs are being detonated in the northeastern part of the country.” Officers with the anti-bomb squad recently returned from a U.S. training session on explosives organized by the U.S. Embassy and the FBI. The FBI already has an agent working with Nigerian authorities on improvised explosives and how to conduct investigations after a bombing, U.S. Ambassador Terence P. McCulley has told AP. Still, the police force remains mired by ineffective training inside the country, poor equipment and a corrupt system that drives officers to seek bribes on a regular basis. The poor training was apparent

Feb. 14, when a bomb squad officer approached a suspicious plastic bag in the city of Kaduna, where other explosives had detonated that day. Video by the state-run Nigerian Television Authority showed the officer, wearing no protective gear, look inside the bag. The explosives detonated, killing him instantly. State-run TV aired the video throughout the day, intensifying fears of a public already overwhelmed by Boko Haram violence. Across Africa, the U.S. military said the number of IED incidents rose from 547 in 2010 to 626 last year, a 14 percent increase. Algeria saw the number of bomb incidents drop from 251 to 137. Somalia saw a slight rise — from 182 to 191 — while incidents in neighboring Kenya jumped from 14 to 26. Many of Kenya’s bomb attacks were near the Somali border and appeared to have been planted by Somali militants alShabab. Kenya also suffered several grenade attacks in its capital. AlShabab denied it was behind last weekend’s grenade blasts, which killed nine people. The research firm Eurasia Group said if alShabab didn’t carry out the blasts the attacks show that Kenya faces threats from potentially several terror groups. Col. Cyrus Oguna, the officer in charge of the Kenyan military forces that moved into Somalia in October, said his troops encountered many IEDs at the beginning of its operation and lost “a couple”

soldiers. But he said his forces have since implemented counter-IED strategies, reducing the bomb’s frequency and effectiveness. The commander of AMISOM troops in Somalia said his forces are seeing “improved technology” in IEDs. “We see a lot in common with what happened and is still happening in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that for us confirms that the operations of al-Qaida and al-Shabab are the same,” Maj. Gen. Fred Mugisha said. “We have not started seeing this today. We have seen this for some time.” Al-Shabab announced a merger with al-Qaida earlier this year. Myrick said the alliance won’t necessarily net al-Shabab more bombmaking experts, but he said it could open a new funding stream to purchase bomb-making materials. IEDs are the weapon of choice for terrorists and insurgents the world over because of how easy they are to make. As Myrick said: “An 8-yearold can put together an IED if they try.” In addition, IED blasts garner more attention. “People in the press in general tend to take a more active view of things that go boom instead of things that go bang. Shooting up a refugee camp, while newsworthy, would not get the amount of coverage as an IED in a refugee camp,” he said. “We’ll see this problem for decades. JIEDDO’s view is that the IED is going to remain the weapon of choice for insurgents and terrorists for at least the next 40 years.”

Nigeria takes responsibility for hostages’ killing, says Jonathan

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•Mrs. Kachollom Pam and her son...yesterday

‘Our breadwinner is no more’

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EMBERS of the St. Finbarr’s Church, Rayfield, Jos, the Plateau State capital, which was bombed on Sunday, are still mourning. They buried another victim yesterday. The Parish Priest, the Very Rev. Fr. Peter Umoren, urged government to compensate the families of the victims. Speaking before the burial mass for the late Mr. Monday Pam who was one of those that manned the church’s gate at the time of the incident, Fr. Umoren lamented that the church has been burying members since Sunday, adding that many are still on hospital beds. A two-year-old son and a pregnant wife survive the late Pam.The deceased’s wife, Kachollom, said she

• Says widow of Jos bombing victim at burial From Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

is sad and confused “because our breadwinner is no more.” She appealed to the government to tighten security and compensate the families of the victims. Rev. Umoren said: “This awful experience has made my heart to bleed. But we are not deterred as our faith is challenged and we have to rise and defend our belief because God did not give us the spirit of timidity but courage. “The latest victim is the eighth person we have buried since Sunday. We buried three on that day,

two on Monday; one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, one today. Some people want to destroy the church, but it cannot be destroyed.” He said five of the victims were members of the Boys’ Scout, adding that they were manning the gate when the incident occurred. The priest added: “This sad incident will make us stronger as the deceased were heroes who sacrificed their lives for us. They prevented the suicide bombers from crashing into the church. Some of them died, some lost belongings. Government should compensate the families of the victims.”

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday accepted responsibility for a failed hostage rescue attempt in which an Italian and a Briton died. Kidnappers identified as Boko Haram members killed Franco Lamolinara and Chris McManus last week while a raid to free them was under way. Jonathan’s acceptance’s in an interview with CNN came as talks between the Federal Government and the sect got underway. Jonathan said Nigerian authorities had worked with the British and other international intelligence agencies. Jonathan said his country took its share of the blame for the operation’s failure. “We worked with the international intelligence system. If there was success, there would have been a collective glory. Since we did not quite succeed, well, we all take responsibility. So, I cannot say I will not take part of that responsibility: yes, I do. I’m the president of the country.” Britain said it had not been possible to inform Italy of the operation until it was under way because of the fast moving situation on the ground and the “imminent and growing danger” to the hostages’ lives. Jonathan said the raid was launched after conversations between the captors were intercepted. The hostages had been moved several times and there were fears they would be taken out of Nigeria, he said. The escape of one of the alleged kidnappers during an arrest the day before the failed rescue attempt also raised fears McManus and Lamolinara would be killed, the president said. Jonathan said he was not aware of any demand for a ransom, or of

any ransom payment having been made. “In this particular case, no family member informed security agencies that they (the captors) had reached out to them for ransom,” the president told CNN. An autopsy conducted on Lamolinara’s body on its return to Rome revealed he had been shot four times, according to Italian media reports. Two people close to Boko Haram have been carrying messages back and forth between the sect’s selfproclaimed leader Abubakar Shekau and government officials, political and diplomatic sources said yesterday. It was not clear whether any mediators met with President Goodluck Jonathan himself. A presidency spokesman said he could not immediately comment. “BH (Boko Haram) has mentioned a conditional ceasefire but it wants all its members released from prison. The government sees this as unacceptable but is willing to release foot soldiers,” a traditional leader and civil rights activist involved in the talks told Reuters, pleading not to be named. “It is the first time a ceasefire has been mentioned, so it is a massive positive, but given the lack of trust a resolution is still a way off,” he added. Jonathan’s National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Andrew Azazi, told Reuters in January that Nigeria was considering making contact with moderate members of the shadowy Boko Haram via “back channels”. A source at the presidency confirmed that efforts are being made to reach out to the sect’s negotiators, but that direct talks had not yet begun. A well-respected Islamic cleric has been contacted to reach out to them, he said.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

NEWS

Govt spends N8.4b on sitting allowances Continued from page 1

•President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor And Leader of Federal Government Delegation to the 2011 Christian Pilgrimage to Isreal, the Vatican and Greece, presenting the report to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja … yesterday

North warns panel Jonathan: don’t distract my work

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan last night asked Northern leaders not to distract his administration’s agenda with its politics of 2015 succession. He also said he is spending his first term in office and could not have been pursuing a Third Term Agenda. The President fired back at the Northern leaders through his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati. Abati said: “The President is focusing on governance and he remains committed to the transformation agenda. And he refuses to be distracted by those who are already playing the politics of succession. “It is not in any evidence, in any way, that the Belgore Committee, which the President set up to look at the outcomes of previous political conferences’ recommendations, has submitted any report, any where. “I am not aware of any report that has been submitted any where making any recommendations. We would expect that people, who claim to be major stakeholders in the Nigerian project, when they make contributions, their contributions will show commonsense and decency. “To comment on the report of the Belgore committee that has not been Continued from page 1

Some of its committee chairmen are: Senator John Wash Pam (Inter-Faith Dialogues); Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed (Security) ; Prof. Nur Alkali (Education); Mallam Mohammed Haruna (Media); Dr. Sanusi Abubakar (Economics, Policy Frameworks, Strategic Investments and Infrastructure); Dr. Shettima Mustapha (Agriculture, Water Resources and Mineral Investments); Prof. Awalu Yadudu (Constitutional Amendments, Revenue and

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

concluded and a report that has not yet been submitted, will amount to witchcraft or if you like sorcery, and it is therefore curious and entirely mischievous. As far as I know, the Belgore committee has not concluded its work. “It also appears strange to me that a group of people, who otherwise would be described as distinguished Nigerians, would claim that the President is looking for a third term. “Every intelligent man in this country knows that President Jonathan is in his first term in office. So, how have they suddenly jump from first term to third term. From the point of view of arithmetic, even their claim cannot stand. So, that claim is weak, it is unacceptable. “If their concern is about the sevenyear term tenure, President Jonathan has made it clear that his proposal is out of patriotic concern about the amount of wastefulness, greed, tension, conflict and the obsession that go into the search for second term. “It is borne out of patriotic concern that elected officials at all levels should dedicate themselves and concentrate their efforts during a specific period. This proposal is not original to the President.” Fiscal Systems, Structure of Nigerian Federalism); and Dr. Sule Bello (Youths, Policy Strategies and Contacts). It could not be immediately ascertained if all the chairmen were at the session. But the statement of the Coalition, which was signed by its convener, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said the North will resist any attempt to extend Jonathan’s tenure beyond May 29, 2015. Continued on page 61

Lawmakers pass Budget 2012 •N888b voted for fuel subsidy

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HERE is room for the Federal Government to spend more this year, with the Senate approving N4.877 billion expenditure, jerking up President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposal by N228 billion. The House of Representatives, increased the Presidential expenditure profile by N180 billion. Both chambers approved N888 billion for fuel subsidy for this year and in arrears for last year. The lawmakers also kicked against the refusal of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to present its expenditure for legislative appropriation. The highlights of the budget are: •Total Expenditure: N4.88tr (increased from N4.65tr) • Oil benchmark: $72 per barrel •2.48m barrels of oil per day production •Exchange rate: N155 to $1 •GDP growth of 7.2 per cent

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

At the Senate, the Appropriation Bill was read for the third time and passed. Committee on Appropriation chairman Senator Ahmad Maccido, who presented the budget report to the Senate, said of the amount, N372,593,095,601 is for statutory transfers; N559,580,000,000 is for debt servicing. The recurrent expenditure is N2,425,049,954,640. The capital expenditure is N1,519,986,106,691. The committee chair said the estimate included N180billion for the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) and N888billion for fuel subsidy. He said raising the oil benchmark from $70 to $72 has helped to reduce the provision for deficit budget of N1.162billion by N98billion. Continued on page 58

in four years on the sitting allowances of 3,731 board chairmen and members. Going by the directive of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, each of the 71 boards was either expected to sit four times in a year or eight times. The document states: “The figures are based on rates approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission circular on 10th June 2010. “The estimates are for sitting allowances only of board chairmen and members for the maximum of eight meetings per annum approved by the above-cited circular. ‘The two columns capture the estimated figures per annum and for four years, respectively. “Members of some commissions and boards enjoy other allowances covering such benefits as accommodation, out of station travel expenses, furniture, vehicles, medical.” According to the circular, the al-

lowances per sitting were graduated as follows: Special category (Chairman - N150,000, member N120,000); Category A (Chairman - N100,000, member-N75,000); Category B (Chairman - N85,000, member N65,000); Category C (Chairman N75,000, member - N55,000); Unclassified Category D (ChairmanN50,00, member - N40,000). A breakdown of the payment is as follows: Federal Universities Council, with 660 members(N1,372, 800,000); National Population Commission, 37 members-(N142, 080,000); Federal Polytechnic Councils, 420 members (N873,600,000); Federal Colleges of Education, 420 members (N873,600,000); University Teaching Hospitals Boards, 380 members - (N790,400,000); Federal Specialist Hospitals, 260 (N540,800,000); River Basin Authorities Boards, 84 members(N174,720,000); INEC, 13 (N49,920,000); Federal Character Commission, 36 members (N138, 240,000); Revenue Mobilisation Allo-

cation and Fiscal Commission, 38 members (N145,920,000); PPPRA, 35 members (N134,400,000); and NNPC, 11 members (N42,240,000), among others. A government source said the allowances were paid outside the jostle for contracts, accommodation, out of station travel expenses, furniture, vehicles and medical. He said: “What they got in terms of contracts was scandalous. Chairmen and board members usually breathe down on chief executives of parastatals. So, N8.4billion could be regarded as a surface cost. “With the state of the economy, the government cannot continue to pay this bill. This is why the Federal Government is out to merge parastatals. “The Oronsaye Panel has gone far and it will soon submit its report to President Goodluck Jonathan.”

Name

Total Board Members

Board Category

Total sitting Allowances payable

•National Boundary Commission •Federal Character Commission •Smedan •Standard Organisation of Nigeria •Consumer Protection Council •National Agency for the Control of Aids •National Film Video Censors Board •Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria •Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria •Nigerian Television Authority •ICRC •National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission •Revenue Mobilisation Allocation & Fiscal Commission •National Gallery of Arts •National Institute for Cultural Orientation •National Orientation Agency •Nigerian Inevstment Promotion Council •Federal Civil Service Commission •National Population Commission •Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation •Central Bank ofNigeria •National Emergency Management Agency •Nigerian Communications Commission •Nigerian Broadcasting Commission •News Agency of Nigeria •Nigerian Railway Corporation •Federal Road Maintenance Agency •Fiscal Responsibility Commission •PPPRA •National Economic Intelligence Committee •WAEC •EFCC •Debt Management Office •National Lottery Trust Fund •NECO •Local Content Monitoring Board •NIACOM •National Productivity Centre •NIPPS •NITDA •Industrial Training Fund •NIMASA •Nigerian Shippers Council •Citizen and Leadership Training Centre •National Centre for Women Development •Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency •Code of Conduct Tribunal •Commission for Refugees •Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Agency •NEITI •Federal Universities Council •Universities of Agriculture Council •Universities of Technology Council •Federal Polytechnics Council • Federal Colleges of Education Council • Federal Colleges of Agriculture Council • University Teaching Hospitals Board • Federal Specialist Hospitals • Federal Road Safety Commission • INEC • National Lottery Regulatory Commission • Pharmacist Council of Nigeria • Nigerian Press Council • Voice of Nigeria • National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons Nigerian Intergrated Water Resources Management • Commission • National Sugar Development Council • Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority • National Automotive Council • Petroluem Training Institute • River Basin Authorities Boards •Estimated sitting allowance payable for 4 years •Estimated amount opayable for sitting allowances per annum

18 36 18 19 41 21 54 21 11 17 12 21 38 12 10 16 17 16 37 11 11 14 7 11 9 20 14 11 35 14 35 21 7 12 9 10 11 11 10 11 13 11 8 21 17 5 10 6 13 15 660 60 80 420 420 320 380 260 12 13 11 69 19 9 8

Special Special B A C B C B A A Special Special Special C C B A Special Special Special Special Special A A A A A A Special Special A Special Special A A A A A C B B A A C B C Special C Special Special B B B B B B B B A Special A B A A B

69,120,000 138,240,000 37,440,000 45,600,000 72,160,000 43,680,000 95,040,000 43,680,000 26,400,000 40,800,000 46,080,000 80,640,000 145,920,000 21,120,000 17,600,000 33,280,000 40,800,000 61,440,000 142,080,000 42,240,000 43,240,000 53,760,000 16,800,000 26,400,000 21,600,000 48,000,000 33,600,000 26,400,000 134,400,000 53,760,000 84,000,000 80,640,000 26,880,000 28,800,000 21,600,000 24,000,000 26,400,000 26,400,000 17,600,000 22,880,000 27,040,000 26,400,000 19,200,000 26,960,000 35,360,000 8,800,000 38,400,000 10,560,000 49,920,000 57,600,000 1,372,800,000 124,800,000 166,400,000 873,600,000 873,600,000 665,600,000 790,400,000 540,800,000 28,800,000 49,920,000 26,400,000 143,520,000 45,600,000 21,600,000 16,640,000

16 10 12 10 10 84

C A A B B B

28,160,000 24,000,000 28,800,000 20,800,000 20,800,000 174,720,000 8,407,520,000 2.101,880,000

•The above figures are only for 71 bodies. Assuming there are almost 500 bodies, then we can extrapolate what the figures would be.

CORRECTION The front page headline on the Boko Haram suspects should have read: “SSS parades suspected killers of Briton, Italian”.

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

5

NEWS

•Minister of Defence Haliru Mohammed (fifth left), Minister of Communication Technology Mrs. Omobola Johnson (sixth left), with other participants at a ICT Framework in Abuja…yesterday

Forum on Intergrated Defence PHOTO: NAN

World conference on tobacco holds in Singapore

Fayemi, Yakowa, Amosun, Ahmed: Haruna’s, others’ death a big tragedy T

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ORE governors yesterday mourned Deputy Inspector-General of Police (IGP) John Haruna and three others, who died in a chopper crash in Jos, the Plateau State capital. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi described the death of the DIG and others as a “big tragedy of monumental proportion.” The governor, in a condolence message , said the officers’ death in the course of a national assignment has robbed the police and the nation of committed, dedicated and loyal officers. Fayemi urged the police and other security agencies not to allow the tragedy discourage them in the effort to ensure that peace returns to the city of Jos and other trouble spots in the country.He also lamented the fact that Haruna died just twenty days after his promotion to the rank of DIG, describing him as one of the finest operations officers. The governor also called on the Federal Government and the Police to immortalise the victims of the crash and ensure that the ideals for which they lived are kept alive to motivate their colleagues still serving in the Force. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun described the late Haruna as a competent police officer, a devoted public servant and a patriot who made a positive difference in all the police formations he served. Amosun said the late DIG and his colleagues died on active service to their nation and that their untimely departure should provide a good example to other policemen on the need for them to distinguish themselves in the service to their fatherland. He prayed that God should grant the soul of the late police officers eternal rest and give the families of the deceased persons, the Acting Inspector General and the entire Nigeria Police the fortitude to bear the loss. Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa said the Police should be inspired by the dedication to duty of the late DIG. In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Reuben Buhari, Yakowa said the

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna and Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

death of the police officers was a great loss to the nation. The statement reads “His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, has received with sadness the news of the tragic death of some senior police officers while on routine aerial patrol of Jos, Plateau State. “His Excellency, while describing the tragic accident as most unfortunate and untimely, added that the nation has been robbed of professional officers that were contributing to the current efforts at addressing the country’s security challenges. “His Excellency condoles with the Inspector General of Police, colleagues of the departed officers and the families they left behind. He asked them to take solace in the fact that the departed officers lost their lives while on active national assignment. “His Excellency is particularly sad with the death of DIG John Haruna, who was briefly on a special assignment to Kaduna State during the 2011 April general elections. His Excellency hopes that his death will inspire other police officers to continue putting in their best at all times. “His dedication and selfless service while in Kaduna State during his short stint, was something that many others could

•The late Haruna

only hope to attain and all who knew him regard him with respect and admiration. He contributed to the improvement of security situation in Kaduna State during his short stay and his efforts and contributions will never be forgotten. “It is the prayers and hope of His Excellency and the entire people of Kaduna State, that God in His infinite mercy grant the families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss”.

Kwara State Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed described the crash as unfortunate. The governor, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba, described the incident as a national tragedy. Ahmed added that the crash has denied Nigeria the opportunity of benefiting from the administrative acumen of the police officers at a time Nigeria needs peace and stability. “We are indeed saddened,” he said. He urged Nigerians to use the solemn moment occasioned by the incident to work for peace and harmony. Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko said: "I commiserate with the family of DIG John Haruna, the Inspector General of Police and the Nigeria Police Force over the unfortunate event which led to the death of the committed and dedicated DIG and some other police officers on Wednesday. The death of DIG John Haruna is a colossal loss to the Nigeria Police Force and to Nigeria. "He died at a moment this nation needed him most, but his contributions to the Nigeria Police Force and to the development of this nation cannot be easily forgotten. God, we pray, will give his family, the IG and the Nigeria Police Force the fortitude to bear the loss. May his soul rest in perfect peace."

Haruna was exceptional, says ACN •Minister: Nigeria lost an energetic officer

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condoled with the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, over the death in a helicopter crash of Deputy Inspector-General of Police Haruna John, and three other police officers. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it received the news of the crash and the death of the officers with shock and a sense of loss. It described the late Haruna John as an exceptionally brilliant and intrepid officer, and a policeman’s police officer who contributed immensely to the uplifting of the force in his lifetime. ACN described his death as a huge loss not only to his family, but to the Nigerian Police Force and the entire country. The party called on the authorities to thoroughly

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

investigate the crash, with a view to unearthing the cause and at the same time preventing a recurrence. It prayed that God will give the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss, and grant eternal rest to the departed. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed, has commiserated with the Police Force and the family of the late DIG. The FCT Minister, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Hazat Sule, recalled the eventful tenure of Haruna as the FCT Police Commissioner, noting that the nation has lost a brilliant and energetic police officer. While describing his death as sad and painful, Mohammed said late DIG Haruna John was one of the finest police officers the nation has produced.

By Olukorede Yishau

HE 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) will hold in Singapore next

week. The conference, which will start on Monday, will witness events such as a workshop for reporters from over 20 countries of the world. The conference billed for the Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre will also witness the presentation of the Distinguished 2012 Luther L. Terry Awards to nine tobacco control experts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, South Africa, and the United Kingdom for exemplary leadership. A statement by the American Cancer Society (ACS) said: “The awards recognise outstanding global achievement in the field of tobacco control in six categories: outstanding individual leadership, outstanding organisation, outstanding research contribution, exemplary leadership by a government ministry, distinguished career, and outstanding community service. “Australia’s Professor Michael Daube, will receive the Distinguished Career award; the Department of Health and Ageing of the Government of Australia will receive the award for Exemplary Leadership by a Government Ministry; Martin Raw, Ph.D., from the United Kingdom/Brazil and Yussuf Saloojee, Ph.D., from South Africa will receive awards for Outstanding Individual Leadership; the United Kingdom’s Action on Smoking and Health will receive the Outstanding Organization award; Canada’s Prabhat Jha, M.D., D.Phil., and Melanie Wakefield, Ph.D., of Australia will receive awards for Outstanding Research Contribution; and Mira Aghi, Ph.D., from India and Stan Shatenstein from Canada will receive awards for Outstanding Community Service.” ACS’s Chief Executive Officer John Seffrin said: “We are pleased to recognise these exemplary individuals who carry on the noble and incredibly important work of ending the deadly spread of tobacco around the globe. “The existence of a global tobacco treaty – the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control–covering 90 percent of the world’s population would have been unthinkable in 1964, and would have not become reality had it not been for the outstanding leadership of exceptional individuals and organisations like those receiving this distinguished award.” The awards are named for the late United States Surgeon General . He identified tobacco use as a cause of lung cancer and other illnesses.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

6

NEWS Mark, Senators for Tinubu’s 60th birthday From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

SENATE President David Mark and other Senators have been invited to grace the 60th birthday of former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The letter of invitation written by his wife Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) was read by Mark at plenary yesterday. Senator Tinubu underscored the contributions of Tinubu to the development of democracy in the country. Mrs Tinubu, who is Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity prayed the Senate to join the family to felicitate with a man who has been a blessing to her and the entire family. The invitation letter reads in part: “I am delighted to inform you that on March 29, 2012, our family would be celebrating six decades of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s productive and exemplary life. “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was elected to represent the Lagos West Senatorial District on the platform of the now-defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992 and he was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Finance Appropriation and Currency. “Following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu joined hands with other Nigerians across the country and in the Diaspora, in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in our great country. “As a founding member of the famous pro-democracy group, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) who withstood numerous harassment and threats to his personal safety before fleeing abroad to continue the agitation for a restoration of democratic governance. He has consistently identified with the ideals of democracy. “He was twice elected as governor of Lagos State on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy, the political forerunner of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). “Till date, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jargaban of Borgu Emirate and a firm believer in the immense progressive possibilities of Nigeria, has continued to work with Nigerian democrats from all works of life. “It is with great joy and gratitude to God for His divine blessings that I, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, write to intimate you of arrangements for the 60th birthday of my dear husband. “The milestone celebration will begin with a session of prayers and tributes at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos. “We shall be most delighted to enjoy the pleasure of your company as you join us in felicitating with a man who has been a blessing to me and our entire family. “Your Excellency, we look forward to your presence and that of all distinguished members of the Senate.”

ACN ‘ll liberate our people, says former LP Rep

Jos crash site: The day after From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

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•Ondo lawmaker, supporters get party cards

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T a colourful rally, the Ondo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday received the lawmaker representing Akure North/ South at the House of Representatives, Ifedayo Abegunde, and thousands of his supporters into its fold. The reception was witnessed by ACN chieftains, governorship aspirants and broom-waving party supporters from within and outside the state. Abegunde, who defected from the ruling Labour Party (LP) to ACN on February 1 on the floor of the House of Representatives said his decision to dump his former party was informed by the need to join the progressives’ train to develop the state. He said: “ACN is a progressive party that can bring the desired transformation to the state. We are conversant with the performance of our past leaders like the late Chiefs Obafemi Awolowo, Adekunle Ajasin, Adebayo Adefarati. They all made their marks. “Now that all other states in the Southwest, except Ondo, are being governed by ACN, we want to liberate our people by joining their counterparts in other states.” Abegunde, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, lamented the marginalisation of his constituency comprising of Akure North and South. His words: “In the distribution of political offices, Akure community has no stake. In Ondo town, where Mimiko hails from, nine indigenes are holding key offices in various boards’ parastatals apart from having three commissioners. “Mimiko has been ruling like an emperor. He engages his family members and friends at the expense of other citizenry.”

From Damisi Ojo and Leke Akeredolu, Akure

The lawmaker lamented that the governor did not allow democracy to thrive at the grassroots, stressing that since he came to power in 2009, there has been no chairmen in the local governments. Abegunde expressed optimism that ACN will unseat the incumbent administration to liberate the citizenry. Secretary of the party Adedipe Adegboyega, who presented the lawmaker with the ACN membership card, said Abegunde has moved out of “darkness to light”. Adegboyega said the defection of Abegunde is another great success to ACN, stressing that it was another assurance that the party will control the state next year. He urged the supporters of the federal lawmaker to continue to sensitise the people on why the ACN remains their best option in the state. A governorship aspirant, Chief Jamiu Ekungba, described the crowd at the event as an assurance that the people have accepted the ACN as the only progressive party in the country. He said: “Though we were being tempted by the present administration and its machinery not to use the Akure Township Hall, thinking that would disrupt the success of our rally, but they would be ashamed that despite their threat, the citizenry, both civil servants, artisans, and traders, came out en masse to welcome our lawmaker to the progressive party. “ACN must rule Ondo State because progressivism started in this state and it will be unfair if we are still in the hands of those who wear progressives cap but loot our

•Abegunde...yesterday

treasury.” The Chairman of the United Kingdom (UK) chapter of the ACN, Mr. Tunde Doherty, praised Abegunde for his courage to dump the LP for the ACN which, he described as the foremost progressive party. He said his members are poised to support any aspirant that emerged as candidate morally and financially to ensure victory for the party during next election. Members of the party’s state executive committee, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Chief Segun Ojo, House of Representatives lawmaker from Lagos, Jide Jakande, Dr. Olu Agunloye, Ondo ACN House of Representatives candidates, Adegboyega Adefarati and Femi Adekanmbi, ACN Woman Leader Erelu Johnson, Ade Adetimehin, and Prince Olu Adegboro were all at the reception.

OMMUNITIES of Kabong Village in Jos North Local Government of Plateau State have been receiving sympathisers who are streaming to the site of the Police Helicopter crash which on Wednesday killed Police Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) John Haruna and three others. Among visitors to the scene yesterday was a team of Police officers who came in a Police Pick up van with the label “Abuja Crime Control”. Another team of Police men from the Plateau State command stood and watch over the engine of the helicopter, yet to be evacuated from the scene. Apart from the engine, the parts of the helicopter which litter the site after the crash have been taken to the police headquarters in Jos. There were also men of ‘Accident Investigation Bureau’ from the Ministry of Aviation. The investigators also combed the four residential houses affected and took inventory of the household property in the houses and names of owners and occupants. One of the owners of the destroyed houses Dauda Sunday, confirmed that no one was injured or killed in the crash apart from those on board.

Court grants Salami’s motion against NJC •Refers case to Appeal Court From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

•Justice Salami

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N Abuja Federal High Court yesterday granted suspended President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Isa Ayo Salami’s request to refer some questions arising from his suit, against the National Judicial Council (NJC) and 10 others to the Court of Appeal for determination. Others are former Chief Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, the incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of NJC, Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher as well as members of the NJC’s Fact-Finding Committee which include Justice Umaru Abdullahi, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, Justice Dominic Edozie, Justice Michael Akpiroroh and Mrs. Rakia Sarki Ibrahim. Also sued are Hon. Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta, Hon. Justice Kate Abiri and Hon. Justice Peter Umeadi, who are members of the NJC Review Committee. Granting the motion brought pursuant to Section 295(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended by Justice Salami, Justice Donatus Okorowo also granted motion for stay in the suit pending the decision of the Court of Appeal. The issue granted for referral to the Court of Appeal is: •Whether having regard to the provisions of Sections

6(6)(b), 36, 251(q) and (r) and 254(c)(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, it is the Federal High Court or the National Industrial Court that has jurisdiction to entertain this suit in which the Plaintiff is seeking a determination of issues questioning the Constitutionality and vires of the Investigation Committee chaired by the 4th Defendant and the Administrative panel chaired by the ninth defendant, both set up by the National Judicial Council in respect of petitions written against the Plaintiff concerning the exercise of his judicial powers”. Justice Okorowo, however, said it is premature to refer other issues raised by Salami’s counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN) to the Appeal Court when the issue of jurisdiction has not been determined. He emphasised that the court must first assume jurisdiction before it can make any pronouncement on them because they border on the substantive matter. The issues not referred are:•Whether having regard to Section 238, 318 and paragraphs 13 and 21 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, the Plaintiff, who was appointed to a judicial office as President of the Court of Appeal under extant Constitutional arrangements designed to secure the independence of the holder of a judicial office is subject of employeremployee relationship with the first defendant. •Whether having regard to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, the setting up and the proceedings of the Investiga-

tion Panel and the Administrative Panel are not a nullity in view of the fact that the second defendant presided over the meeting of the first defendant at which the Investigation Panel was set up, appeared as a witness against the Plaintiff before the Investigation Panel and also presided over the meeting of the first defendant on 27th July, 2010 when the report of the Investigation Committee was received by the first Defendant and the Administrative Panel was set up. •Whether having regard to the provisions of Sections 6(1)(5) and (6)(a) and (b) and 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the said Investigation Committee and the Administrative Panel, not being one of the Courts established for the Federation can exercise any judicial power vested in such courts, in particular to pronounce on the veracity or otherwise of facts or statements contained in an oath. •Whether by the combined effect of Section 36, 154, 159 and paragraph 20 of part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution as amended, the first defendant was properly constituted on the 9th of August, 2011 when it sat and received the report of the said Administrative Panel having regard to the fact that the first defendant had no validly appointed Acting Chairman. Justice Salami, who is challenging his suspension by the NJC filed the motion following a preliminary objection by the Council, where it is challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit. Counsel to the NJC, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) had contested that it is the National Industrial Court (NIC) that has the jurisdiction to entertain

the matter, urged the court to give priority to his objection. According to him, Justice Salami’s contention is “relating to or is connected with labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations and matters arising from work place, the conditions of service including health, safety and welfare of labour employees, workers and matters incidental thereto or connected therewith, over which only the National Industrial Court has exclusive jurisdiction by virtue of Section 254 c(1) of the Constitution. “The claims of the plaintiff are caught by the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court conferred by Section 254 c(1)(a), (j), (vii) and ii of the Constitution as amended……”, he stated. The court had on Wednesday struck out both the counter affidavit and the written address of the respondents after they were withdrawn. Urging the Court to note that none of the respondents opposed the referral, Olujinmi had argued that such is a vital point which the court must consider before grantingor rejecting the application. He added that the dispute relate to the interpretation and/ or application of various sections which “are novel and there are no precedents of the higher courts on them”. Although he objected to any response by the Respondents to the application, the court overruled him. The former Attorney General and Minister of Justice contended that Order 25 Rule 6 of the rules of the Federal High Court prescribed the procedure to adopt by a party in opposing to an application. Having withdrawn their oppositions to the application, he submitted that the respondents

are not entitled to reply on points of law. Citing Section 36 (1) of the Constitution which guarantees parties the right to fair hearing, Ozekhome contended that the withdrawal of his opposition to Salami’s application for referral did not translate to the withdrawal of his rights to reply on points of law. Justice Donatus Okorowo upheld the submission of the Respondents. The NJC contended that the issues which Justice Salami seeks for referral border on the substantive matter which requires evidence to be taken, adding that the court cannot be called upon to transfer such questions to the Court of Appeal without first considering and determining such. He argued that it is the decision of the trial court that can then be challenged at the appellate court. In the affidavit in support of the application, Fasanmi Ibukun averred that Salami’s appointment “enjoys security of tenure under the Constitution and his appointment is devoid of the usual incidents of employer-employee relationship. “The salary paid to him and to other judicial officers is governed by an Act of the National Assembly. “The constitutional arrangements governing appointment of judicial officers is to secure the independence of the judiciary which is the third arm of government. “I further verily believe that a decision on the questions by the Court of Appeal will remove any confusion of thoughts on the questions and promote an early determination of this case as this Court will have to dispose of the case according to the decisions of the Court of Appeal.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

NEWS Oyo inaugurates Rent Courts From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

UMMARY dismissal awaits any member of the Rent Courts found wanting in Oyo State, the government warned yesterday after inaugurating the chairmen and members of 11 tribunals. The courts, in Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Ibarapa, Saki, Oyo, Iseyin and Okeho have 44 members drawn from the legal profession, journalism and other fields. Inaugurating the courts in his office, state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr. Adebayo Ojo called on the members to maintain their integrity and dispense justice without bias. Adebayo said the Governor Abiola Ajimobi plans to make the Rent Courts reference points and models in the country. He urged them to shun corruption, indolence and mediocrity in the discharge of their duties.

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•The protesters...on Wednesday

Farmers march on Ondo Govt House •Protest poor condition of living H

UNDREDS of farmers from the Ore Farm City, in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State have protested their neglect and eviction from the farm premises. Armed with their luggage and chanting anti-government slogans, the farmers – mainly youths, – took their protest to the Alagbaka Governor’s Office, Akure, on Wednesday. The settlement, reactivated by the state government, is being managed by the Wealth Creation Agency (WECA), which served the farmers a quit notice, accusing them of being redundant. But the farmers alleged that the government has not kept its own side of the bargain and that the eviction was to punish them for reminding the

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

government of the unfulfilled promises. They claimed some security men guarding the farm were using guns to chase them out of their quarters, alleging that many of them got injured while fleeing. One of them, Mr. Olufemi Ajayi, told The Nation, that all efforts made by the farmers to discuss the development on the farm were in futility. According to Ajayi, the farmers have been kept in the dark by the management on how the farm was being run. He said: “The government has been deceiving the citizenry on the farm settlement, claiming that it has in-

vested a lot of funds in the growth of agriculture. “Though it promised to remove unemployed youths from the streets by creating jobs for them, we have been put in a bush where there are no social amenities as claimed by the governor. “The government promised to empower us after six months in the bush but we have been spending over a year in the Ore Farm City and we were only given just N150, 000 after making frantic efforts. “The programme is planned in such a way that the government will make a financial input into the three sections of poultry, arable and fishery and we are expected to make profit through sales.

“But, this particular project has been neglected. The government abandoned us. For instance, in the fishery section where we have over 2000 fishes, you can’t believe that those fishes will not be fed for a month. “We know that there is prospect in agricultures. If due process is followed. Because of this belief, we have sent 16 representatives to the governor, who met with him and he promised to subsidise the farm produce but till now, we are yet to witness the fulfillment of that promise. “Our governor has been receiving several awards on this particular project, claiming that over 1,087 graduates were employed, whereas, we are just 286 young graduates and

the information we got and which we have the fact is that the state government budgeted N3 billion for the four farm settlements last year and N4.4 billion for this year. I think the governor should explain these particular votes as passed by the House of Assembly. “Our plans in the farm have been unachievable because it is just like keeping talents in the bush and our family members are expecting much from us, but we have not been able to contribute to the growth of our various families with the government stipend which is N9, 800 monthly for graduates”. WECA’s Manager Prince Bisi Adegoke could not be reached to react to the allegations as he did not pick his telephone calls.

Oyo proposes ring road around Ibadan to ease traffic

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N enduring solution is underway to the nagging traffic situation of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Governor Abiola Ajimobi said yesterday. He spoke of his administration’s plan to partners an Indian construction firm, to build a 108-kilometre ring road around the ancient city. The project is to be implemented in three phases. Ajimobi dropped the hint yesterday while receiving the management of DSC Limited, led by its Chairman, Mr. H. S. Narula, who visited him at Agodi State Secretariat. The governor, who said the

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

project would be constructed under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, promised it will be completed within the next 18 months. According to the design, the first phase will take-off from Akilapa on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and link Egbeda on the Ibadan-Ife Expressway, while the second phase will run from Egbeda to Akinyele Onimalu. The third phase will run from Akinyele Onimalu through Apata and terminate at Akilapa. When completed, the ring road will stimulate economic

activities on the suburbs; reduce pressure on intra-city roads and ease the traffic pains of travellers passing through Ibadan to other states. Ajimobi said a committee would soon be constituted to liaise with the company to develop a roadmap for the implememntation of the project. He, however, explained the state decided to build the road in phases because of its length and the financial resources that will be committed to it. According to the governor, the PPP arrangement has become necessary for massive development of infrastructural facilities. While commending the

company for its preparedness to partner with his administration, he said that a firm with the required international exposure and capital base, will be of immense benefit to the state. Mr. Narula said that his company has been involved in project implementation in various parts of Africa, pledging the preparedness of the firm to collaborate with the state in the area of infrastructural development. He specifically informed of the company’s involvement in the construction of a similar circular road in India, which according to him, has become a money spinner for

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From Damisi Ojo, Akure

A statement by ABCO’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Segun Odidi reads: “It has come to our notice that the Labour Party (LP) administration has concluded arrangement to be disrupting ACN rallies. “We hereby call on all the security apparatus to ensure the maintenance of peace in the state, especially with the coming governorship election in the state.” Odidi urged the LP and its leaders to refrain from heating up the polity because of their desperation to to hold on to power.

The group bemoaned the perpetration of violence in the state, urging the leadership of the ACN to be wary of the antics of the LP in order to protect the life of its citizenry. Three buses, belonging to Dr. Olu Agunloye, another ACN governorship aspirant, were recently vandalised by thugs suspected to be sponsored by LP loyalists near Owo. The ACN supporters, who were said to be travelling to Uso for a political meeting were attacked by the hoodlums. Boroffice has promised to implement ACN’s policy on the revitalisation of agriculture, if voted into power.

He assured farmers of adequate protection, as well as local and international seminars to expose them to modern farming technology. He spoke at a parley with members of the Coalition of Farmers in Akure, the state capital. According to Boroffice, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, agriculture and the establishment of industry will be the hallmark of his administration. Noting the state’s potentials in agriculture, he berated the neglect of the critical sector by the present administration. Responding, the chairman

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HE Ekiti State Government has inaugurated a customised indigenous standard measure (known as Kongo in local parlance), for use by foodstuff sellers in all markets across the state. The move is aimed at standardising the measures being used in the sixteen local government areas of the state, and to check sharp practices among food vendors. Inaugurating the measure, wife of the state governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, stressed that the step was also in conformity to the policy and guidelines of the National Council of Commerce and Industry. As part of efforts to ensure the availability of the new measure across the state, the governor’s wife said her pet programme - the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), will buy 5000 pieces which be distributed free to the traders.

Aregbesola’s wife stresses girl-child education •Ajimobi

the government. Narula said DSC Limited has the required capital base to handle the project.

Boroffice campaign group flays disruption of ACN rallies ISTURBED by the series of attacks and disruptions of rallies organised by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, the Asiwaju Boroffice Campaign Organisation (ABCO) yesterday called on security agencies to stop the trend. ABCO, a political group within the ACN, condemned the reported disruption of a rally organised in honour of Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, a governorship aspirant, on Wednesday at Ikare-Akoko. Boroffice, a Senator representing Ondo North, was billed to receive over 1000 defectors to the party.

Ekiti launches standard measure

of the coalition, Agbomoniyi Michael, said his members were not comfortable with the present situation in the state. He described as regrettable that Ondo, which was a leading producer of cassava under the administration of Dr. Olusegun Agagu, had been relegated to the background. Agbomoniyi lamented that no farmer could benefit from the N1 billion credit facilities made available by the Federal Government to farmers across the country. Pledging the famers’ support for ACN and Boroffice, he said the coalition would vote massively for the party for the desired change in the state.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

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HE of the Osun State Governor, Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola, has urged parents to massively enroll their female children in schools. She identified the education of the girl-child as panacea to the issue of gender disparity. In her keynote address at this year’s International Women’s Day anniversary, organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in Osogbo, the state capital, Mrs. Aregbesola said the best way to liberate the girl-child’s mind is to ensure that she is adequately equipped with qualitative education to withstand future challenges. She lamented the society at large contributed immensely to the problem of the girlchild and must be part of the solution to it by creating an enabling environment for her to excel educationally, socially and economically.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

8

CITYBEATS

E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

•Some of the displaced residents under the Eko Bridge

•A bulldozer at work

PHOTOS: PAUL OLUWAKOYA

Agony, pains as bulldozers demolish slum T HE world of residents of Otumara and Ilaje settlements in Ebute-Metta, Lagos Mainland, practically crashed on Wednesday. From nowhere, and without any warning, the residents woke to the stark reality of their helplessness as what used to be their homes gave way to the mauling metals of bulldozing caterpillars. Withing minutes the sprawling slum that is home to over 2, 000 Lagosians have been laid bare. Leaving in its wake tear, pains, agonies and regrets. And when CityBeats, got the village yesterday, most residents were still bewildered at the turn of events. The homeless residents were seen taking shelter under the Eko bridge. A number of women were seen salvaging their goods and other property from the debris

Fashola urged to support new CP By Jude Isiguzo

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SECURITY expert, Mr Folorunsho Attah, has urged the Lagos State Governor Mr Babatunde Fashola not to relent in his crime fighting efforts. Attah who spoke in his office, urged the governor to continue to support the police all areas, including finance, welfare and logistics. He noted that his support was instrumental to the success of the crime prevention strategies of the immediate past police commissioner,Alhaji Yakubu Alkali. Attah said the government must give the police chief Umaru Manko, the same support received by his predescessors. He said Manko who has worked in the state before is used to the Lagos terrain. He said Manko will improve on the performance of his predecessor, if given the needed support. Atta noted that when compared to other states, violent crime have been redeuced to the barest in the state. Manko had servered as Divisional Police Officer for Isokoko, Alausa and Ojo police stations in the state.

By Paul Oluwakoya

of what was once their homes. Most wore long faces that could barely hide their misery and loss. The teenagers, women, men, old and young are united in a common bond of loss. For them, the unspoken question is: Where do we go from here? For over five minutes, the local Chief of the village, (Baale), Chief Oladipupo Arowojolu was speechless. His visage carried the burden of the pain his people are currently going through. When heeventually found his voice, Arowojolu described the government's action as a devastating blow to his people. Arowoju said the demolition which started on Tuesday, was effected by contractors who were allegedly working for the state government; without giving residents of the village any prior notice. "What was done here was wrong. Can you imagine that these people came here and without any notice whatsoever started demolishing houses. As I speak to you more than 5,000 residents of this village have been rendered homeless and as at this afternoon, they don't have a

place to sleep. That is why they pack their belongings and stack them at any available space under the Bridge. "We don' even know the nature of the project. As the Baale I'm supposed to know, but sincerely, I didn't know anything. I have no idea what they are planning for this place. I like my subjects have been relying on hearsay. Some people said the government plans to construct a road here, while some say it is drainage. But I think whatever the project is, it would bring some development to the village. Nevertheless I think I should have been duly informed, so that we would be able to reliably inform my subjects. The Public Relation Officer of the Igbo residents at the village Mr Isreal Ikegwu, who noted that 90 percent of residents in the area are Igbo said: "We should have been given at least a month notice to save us from the plight of sleeping under the bridge. Our lives are being endangered as we are open to attacks from hoodlums and other undesirable elements. Throwing everyone out and turning all of us into refugees in just one fell swoop is not the only way to address the issue of development that has long

eluded this area." He continued: "We want government to make alternative accommodation for the affected people if they wanted us to believe they are committed to our welfare. We are law abiding citizens and residents in Lagos. The local government comes here to collect all manner of rates and market dues which we are always oblige to pay. As I speak and as you can see, there is no home, no market and most of our property have been lost. "The only notification we could recall was that last year, we got information that the government wanted to expand the drainage between the Eko Bridge and the national theatre. We are surprised over the sudden change as we now gathered that the government is now considering constructing a link road between the village and Costain. Even to the extent of jumping to the residential area in the village. Mrs. Blessing Okoro, who was met breast-feeding her six-day old baby boy under the Eko Bridge lamented she has lost all her baby's properties and other household utensils and property. She said all her neighbours were not around during the demolition to salvage her property. She emphasized government should have given them adequate notice before carrying out the demolition.

The residents call on government to stop the demolition as a continuation will totally wipe away the 80 years village; stating that the village is one of the historic place in Lagos State. "The Crown land ownership title of this land which was passed to my ancestors by the British colony is with me," the Baale said. We want government to at least start the project from the other side of Costain that is not as densely populated, he said.

Kidnap: Family alleges cover-up By Jude Isiguzo

• Emmanuel Okuju

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HE family of a 17-year-old girl, who was forcefully abducted by a police corporal on February 10, has accused the Lagos State police command of

shielding the suspect from prosecution. Patience Isabor,, was kidnapped from her Bariga home. Her elder sister, Blessing received several gunshots in the process. While Patience and the suspect, one corporal Emmanel Okuju are nowhere to be found, Blessing is lying critically ill at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Ikeja, awaiting assistance from well-meaning Nigerians to enable her undergo a facial reconstruction surgery. When the incident occurred about

a month ago, the police assured the family that they would do everything possible to arrest the suspect and rescue their daughter; but up till now, nothing has been done. Blessing's jaw and fingers were shattered when corporal Okuju attached to the Ifako police station attacked her and kidnapped her sister. Mrs. Doris Isabor, mother of the victims said her tragedy is double with the kidnap of her younger daughter and the attempted murder on the elder one by a police man who is supposed to protect them.

LAGOS EMERGENCY LINES STATE AGENCIES 4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 01-4703325; 01-7743026 080-75005411; 080-60152462 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) 080-23111742; 080-29728371 Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 080-23909364; 080-77551000 070-35068242 01-7904983 080-79279349; 080-63299264

1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 080-33235890; 080-23321770; 080-56374036. 2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Zonal Command Phone No:080-33706639; 01-7742771 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-34346168; 01-2881304

•Mrs Okoro with her baby

070-55462708; 080-65154338 767 or email: rapidresponsesquad@yahoo.com 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.

She also laments the lackadiscial attitude of the police in their effort to find corporal Okuju, who she said should have been declared wanted for attempted murder and kidnap. "I am a widow and these two children are all I have in this world and for the past one month that Corporal Emmanuel had shot my daughter, Blessing and kidnapped her sister, Patience, the police have not been able to locate him. We gathered that the DPO of the Ifako Police Station is in constant contact with Corporal Emmanuel, so why have they not arrested him so that they can free Patience from the bondage" Mrs. Isabor said. Mrs Isabor said she is appealing to the acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and the government to urgently arrest the erring corporal and free her daughter. "The government have not shown any concern. It is as if we are not citizens of this country, my immediate family and neighbours have been the ones catering for Blessing's medical bills and feeding,


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

9

CITYBEATS

E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

Media, group to partner

Subsidy protest victim: Govt seeks N200m compensation

By Nneka Nwaneri

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HE last may not have been heard of the dastard killing of Ademola Abe, killied on January 9, by a trigger happy police chief. The Lagos State Government on Tuesday slammed a N200 million suit on the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubarkar, and the trigger happy Segun Fabunmi, who allegedly killed the 26-year old youth. Also joined as a respondent in the suit was the Attorney General of the Federation Mohammed Adoke (SAN). Ademola, a tailor and commercial okada driver, was killed at Yaya Abatan Street, Ogba, in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, where he had gone to play football, on day one of the strike called by the coalition of Nigeria Labour Congress and ivil Society groups in protest of the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government. The suit filed by the Office of Public Defender (OPD), at the Lagos High Court on Tuesday has however not been assigned to any judge. But the applicant's counsel and Director of the agency, Mrs Omotola Rotimi, said the suit was to seek to enfoce the fundamental human right of Ademola, who was killed in his prime and to draw out a compensation for those he left behind. Mrs Rotimi’s suit was supported by Nurudeen Ogbara, Yinka Farounbi, and M.A. Ogunleye, of the Ikorodu branch, Ikeja branch and Lagos branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), respectively. The suit is also demanding for an unreserved apology from the police which must be published in at least two national newspapers and electronic media. The suit is requesting for the sum of N200 million from the police as compensation for the violation of the deceased's fundamental human right to life. The OPD chief said Fabunmi who at the time of the incident was serving as the Divisional Police Officer, (DPO), of Pen Cinema we have spent a lot of money and we have not started yet. Right now the doctors are just cleaning and treating her wound, because we cannot afford the money for her surgery yet, my brothers are running about to get money for us to feed but it has not been easy. “We are calling on Nigerians to assist us," Mrs Isabor said. Steven Isabor, an uncle of the victims said the family wants justice. "Blessing's face will never be the same again even after the surgery. The family has been footing her bills and we still do not know where Patience is. “The police do not seem to be taking this matter seriously; we do not want Corporal Emmanuel to kill Patience or starve her to death. We are desperately appealing to the government, human rights groups, the IGP and the Lagos State government, the ministry of Women Affairs and well meaning Nigerians to come to our rescue before it is too late,Patience and Blessing' lives are in grave danger and we need the help of well meaning Nigerians to help us foot the medical bill for the facial plastic surgery and to locate Patience and rescue her from corporal Okuju’s hideout" Mr. Isabor said.

• Ifako-Ijaiye Council Chairman, Oke (right) with other youths at the unveiling of Ademola’s bust By Yinka Aderibigbe and Paul Oluwakoya

Police Station, was on patrol when he saw Ademola and a group of other youths playing football on the Yaya Abatan road. He reportedly shot directly at them, and his shot led to the death of the deceased, while four others were critically wounded. In a separate suit, the agency is also demanding N100 million as compensation to each of the four youths wounded by Fabunmi. Those wounded are: Chizoba Odoh, Egbujor Samuel, Alimi Abubarkar and Joy Monday.

Besides the monetary compensation, the agency is compelling the court to compel the respondents to issue unreserved apologies to the applicants for the violation of their human rights. The apologies are to be published in two national newspapers and electronic media. Meanwhile, Ademola, received a hero's burial on Wednesday. And despite the fact that he died about three months ago, there was an outpouring of emotions and wailings from neighbours, friends, associates, and familymembers when his remains arrived Yaya

Abatan in a white casket for the lying-in state. The large college of mourners were led by the Chairman of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area, Apostle Oloruntoba Oke, who led other officials of the council to the ceremony. At an interdeminational service held in his honour, Ademola was described as a humble young man who was destined for greatness but was killed by agents who should have otherwise protect him. He was later taken to the Yaba Vaults, at the Yaba Cemetary where his remains were interred.

Job seekers leave fair with high hopes

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HE first edition of Surulere Job Fair organised by the Femi Gbajabiamila Foundation ended on Wednesday, with several jobless youths sealing new appointments with participating companies. The event which took place inside the National Art Theatre Iganmu, Lagos, saw a teeming crowd of job seekers meeting with over 500 hundred companies that came in search of employable youths. The two-day event was declared opened by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila. The lawmaker also offer tips to job seekers on how to emerge successful in any job interview. The vibrant member of the green chamber said: ''I have to thank all applicants who defied the heat last Friday and Saturday to attend the screening for the fair. I salute their resilience and belief in the job fair and in the Femi Gbajabiamila Foundation, it is so humbling. To the companies that participated, I say a big thank you. To companies who went ahead to employ during the fair, you will enjoy the tax rebates in no time.” Some of the companies that partook in the Fair include; Terra Kulture, Jobberman, FIRS, Saint Nicholas Hospitals, ARM, Custodian Insurance, Dealfish, TFC, Mutual Benefit Insurance, Ozone Cinemas, Somotex, Property Mart, Aquilla Global Travels and Tours, Midaspace Consulting, Academy of Traumatology and Medical Science, Apex Laurel, Garmet Care, Sunflag, Nigcomsat, Bluesea, among others. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a young job seeker who failed to secure a job through the fair thanked The Femi Gbajabiamila Foundation. He hoped that more companies would identify with subsequent editions of the fair. "it was a great experience, though none

By Mercy Michael

of the companies present needed my services but I am glad I learnt a lot. I am so optimistic that, by the time the second edition is coming, I will be out of the labor market because I have learnt a lot on how to get myself ready and attend a job interview.” Another applicant, Mr. Oluwasegun, praised the Fair. ''I came here by 9am and I saw a very packed hall. So far the organisation has been very orderly. I actually studied abroad and just returned late last year, apparently I am here because I need a job and I hope to get a good offer through this platform,'' he said. A company representative from

• The job seekers

Garment Care hailed the initiative and explained why they took part in the exercise. "This is what governance is all about-the people. This gathering has helped us (companies) reach out to our host community and the lawmaker has also affected our business lives through the tax rebate." The project coordinator, Ozioma Chinezie, said the fair has made a bold statement among job applicants. ''Many job applicants got to know about the job fair through all sorts of media and from our findings, it has been impactful. They believed in it, that's why the attendance was so impressive. We intend doing this next year and for many years to come.”

THE State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI), organised by the Department for International Development (DFID), yesterday held a meeting, deliberating on media voice and accountability issues in Lagos. The meeting was attended by different representatives of media organisations. Among other issues raised were; how the citizens could be enlightened on how the best way to constructively engage the government. As a partnership in development, it charged journalists to be more innovative in exploring other social networks and the new media to expose the vices and negative schemes of the government. Issues were raised on the role of the media and how they impact on the lives of the people. SAVI's unit head, Mr Damilare Babalola noted that the government of the day is broken to a large extent and there is the need for citizenry to build collaboration and cooperation with the government rather than confrontation.

‘Separate medical and domestic waste’ AN environmentalist, Mr Akin Malaolu, has called for the separation of medical waste from domestic waste in the management of waste in the country. Malaolu said this is the way to go in order to safeguard people’s health. Speaking at a session with waste managers, Malaolu, Chief Executive of Famal Aesthetics, said: "Separating medical waste from domestic waste would help reduce infections that could create drug addictions." He added: "There is the need to store such potentially dangerous waste in sealed proof containers. Using the incineration for such waste is the best method to contain epidemic."

• Gbajabiamila


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

10

NEWS Akpabio blames insecurity on ignorance

‘Akingbola guaranteed loans to own companies’

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

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KWA IBOM State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday said the insurgence of terrorist groups in the country could be blamed on the perpetrators’ igno-

rance. Decrying the level of insecurity in the country, Akpabio lamented that God put over 250 ethnic groups together for a purpose. The governor spoke when the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Enugu, Maj-Gen Oluwasegun Oshinowo, visited him at the Governor’s Lodge, Uyo. Akpabio said: “Nigeria is paying the price of ignorance. If we can educate our youths, 50 per cent of crimes would be reduced. In Akwa Ibom, for instance, we offer free and compulsory education. With education, you can fight crimes. “We must do our best to recognise that this country belongs to us by loving one another without discrimination and ethnicity. “We cannot develop the country if we don’t love ourselves. Development cannot come to our state if we don’t love and co-operate with one another. I will like to hear that there is peace in Jos and Borno, among others. We cannot make progress in the midst of insecurity.” He hailed the army for its diligence to duty and urged it to co-operate with President Goodluck Jonathan in bringing peace and unity to the country.

By Adebisi Onanuga

•Akingbola

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HE former Managing Director of former Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola, acted as personal guarantor to all the loans made to his companies. An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and second prosecution witness, Ms. Nkechi Ibekaku, told the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, yesterday. She was testifying in the case of theft preferred against

the former boss of the bank. The witness, who was led in evidence by EFCC counsel Emmanuel Ukala, said the loans were transferred illegally to his companies. Akingbola and an associate, Bayo Dada, are facing a 29count of stealing billions of naira belonging to the bank. The EFCC had alleged that the accused conspired to steal over N47.1 billion belonging to the bank between March 2009 and January 2010. Ms. Ipekaku said Akingbola had transferred the loans to some companies in which he and his wife, Anthonia, had interest. Giving a breakdown of the

money, the EFCC operative said Akingbola allegedly transferred N11 billion into accounts belonging to Tropics Finance Limited, Tropics Securities Limited and Tropics Property Limited. She said: “The first defendant acted as a personal guarantor to the loan of N3.5billion made to Tropics. “He also acted as a personal guarantor to loan of N3billion and N4.5billion. “The documents used for the various transactions were inspected by the bank and some government agencies. “They show that the first defendant and his wife are directors and shareholders of the companies the loans were made to.”

Ms. Ibekaku also told the court that Akingbola transferred billions of naira from the bank’s nostro accounts without a corresponding credit in his personal accounts. She said £8.5 million was transferred from the bank’s pound sterling Nostro Account into an account belonging to Fulgers Solicitors of England. “In his statement of account, we observed that at the time of transaction, the balance in the statement of account was always below the amount transferred,” she said. The witness said during investigation, Akingbola confirmed authorising the Head of Foreign Operations to carry out the transactions.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

11

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Naira falls as banks increase demand

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HE naira weakened for the first time in three days as lenders increased their demand for dollars after the government issued petrol import permits for the second quarter. The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer depreciated 0.2 per cent to N158.05 per dollar on the interbank market in Lagos, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Federal Government approved a tender for 3.57 million metric tons of gasoline imports for the second quarter on March 12. Fortytwo fuel retailers including the stated-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Conoil Plc (CONOIL) and Oando Plc (OANDO) were issued permits, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said. The Nigeria imports 70 percent of its fuel due to a lack of refining capacity. The naira fell as banks demanded dollars following “strong request by petroleum marketing companies placing fuel import orders for the second quarter,” Gregory Kronsten, head of macroeconomic research at FBN Capital Ltd., wrote in a note to clients yesterday. “Another key factor influencing foreign exchange demand is the country’s hearty consumption of imported food products.” Yields on Nigeria’s $500 million of dollar bonds due 2021 fell for the third day, dropping 1 basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 5.597. Borrowing costs of domestic bonds due 2015 increased 1 basis point to 15.85 percent, according to prices on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$123.6/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound

MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N6.503 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 245 $ 156.4 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 241 RIYAL 40.472

We emphatically want to state that the choice of the 12 airports currently under going remodelling and face-lift was not influenced by any political considerations. -Mrs Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation

NSE gets more time in ruling against Dangote

Senate summons Okonjo-Iweala, Aganga over export grants T T

HE Senate Committee on Investments yester day invited the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Trade and Investments Minister, Mr. Olusegun Aganga over export expansion grants in the agricultural sector. Chairman of the committee, Senator Nenadi Esther Usman issued the summon at an interactive session with members of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria. Also at the meeting were representative of the Comptroller General of the Nige-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor

ria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Inde Dikko in the National Assembly. Senator Usman said Okonjo-Iweala and Aganga were invited to assist the Senate to resolve issues regarding utilisation of export expansion grants, which are meant to boost investment opportunities in the country’s agricultural sector. Members of the Cotton Association of Nigeria petitioned the committee over several charges they were

made to pay in respect to export of their commodities by the NCS. Usman observed that if Nigeria is to create more jobs and expand the agriculture sector of the economy, “there’s need to rationalise in favour of not just the association but several other stakeholders in the agricultural sector. “The need to revitalise the cotton industry is equally important. I remember in those days in Kaduna State where the textile industry alone employed about 350, 000 Ni-

gerians from all walks of life but today, they can only employ barely 20, 000 due largely to the neglect of cotton farmers and the collapse of the textile industry itself.” Usman also presented to the Senate a petition by Mr. Michael Oduniyi, who claimed that he was unfairly laid off by the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) in September 2005. Oduniyi prayed the Senate to look into the issue, asking for possible reinstatement.

• From left: Representative of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Amagwu Ibeawuchi; representative of Enugu State government, Mrs Ifeoma Nwobodo, and Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, Dr Demola Sogunle, inaugurating Stanbic IBTC regional office in Enugu...yesterday.

Debts won’t bankrupt states, says DMO

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HE Debt Management Office (DMO) has faulted suggestions by the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Elias Mbam, that some states would soon go bankrupt as a result of their domestic debts overhang. Speaking while receiving computers from the Honeywell Group in Abuja, yesterday, the Director-General of DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, insisted that “no state in Nigeria will go bankrupt.” He said economies are strong and they have enough resource bases that are deep and adequate. He cautioned that Nigerians “should not be simplistic or segmented,” stressing that no state lacks the ability to produce three agricultural commodities to export levels. “He said everybody should explore and exploit the resources they have so that each state will be buoyant. He added that “every state has what it takes to survive economically and to be prosper-

From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor

ous. Nwankwo, implored Nigerians and all stakeholders to help states develop their debt management departments towards building enduring institutions. He revealed that 28 out of the 36 states have reached very matured stages of having their debts reconstructed, while 18 have their debt data already reconstructed. As a result of this development, Dr. Nwankwo said: By the end of 2012, all 36 states would have reached matured stages of debt reconstruction,” adding that before the year runs out, the DMO plans to give the exact details of all states’ public debts profile. He maintained that the states’ public debts were healthy, but admitted that there are challenges determining the actual public/domestic debts of states. He said the DMO and the states’ Debt Management Departments (DMD) have made

some progress to computerise the exact amount of public debts owed by the states by building the capacity of the respective officials to compute their domestic debts for fiscal planning. The categories of domestic debts identified across states include: contractors’ arrears; arrears on pensions and gratuities; arrears on salaries and other staff claims; commercial bank debts; state bonds; and other liabilities including judgment debts. Dr Nwankwo, said data on debt sustainability of states are more accurate today than they were four or five years ago. Already, Nigeria has accurate external and domestic debt data for the federal government as well as for the external debts of states. He however, said both the DMO and state DMDs were in the process of doing same for the domestic debt profile of states. Nwankwo also admitted that “there are challenges, but states do not have to depend on government solely.” One of the challenges confronting states in managing their do-

mestic debts is the inability of states to provide data online to DMO for accurate computation of their domestic debt profile. Some states he said are not ready with their IT equipment but in order to support the states, DMO approached patriotic organisations with high corporate citizenship such as Honeywell group and Chams for computers, printers etc to help reconstruct the debt data of states to ensure fiscal prudence and responsibility across the country. Yesterday, Honeywell Group led its Head of Special projects and corporate communication, Ebunoluwa Bolodeoku donated 32 computers units and UPS to be made available to 10 states. The states are Ondo, Benue, Ekiti, Gombe, Yobe, Niger, Anambra, Edo, Abia and Enugu. Bolodeoku said, Honeywell was committed to supporting DMO achieve its strategic goals and government’s transformation agenda.

By Eric Ikhilae

HE Court of Appeal in Lagos has extended the time within which the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) could appeal against the 2010 ruling of a Federal High Court, nullifying the election of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, as President of the NSE. The court’s decision yesterday was upon a motion on notice by the NSE for extension of time to appeal against the August 4, 2010 ruling of Justice Lambo Akanbi of the Federal High Court, Lagos. The appellate court presided over by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa refused NSE’s second prayer asking the court to deem as properly filed its notice of appeal. NSE’s lawyer, Uwensuyi Edosomwan (SAN) told the court that the lower court’s ruling greatly hampered the operation of the NSE’s Board and made it difficult for the institution to take vital decision, a development, he said accounted for why the appeal was not promptly filed. He said his client held farreaching consultations with its members and some other stakeholders before the decision was taken to file the appeal. Edosomwan said when his client eventually decided on the appeal, the time prescribed for the filing of an interlocutory appeal had elapsed. The lower court had voided Dangote’s election as the NSE president on the ground that the election was held in defiance of a subsisting order of court directing parties to maintain status quo. The lower court’s ruling was upon an application filed by some shareholders of the African Petroleum (AP) PLC, challenging the propriety of the election held after the court had on August 4, last year, directed parties to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of some pending applications.

‘Liquidators yet to value NITEL, Mtel’ From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

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liquidator has not been appointed for the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and Mtel, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said yesterday. BPE spokesman, Mr. Nwokoh Chukwuma made this known in a statement. The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its first meeting in 2012, which was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, February 27, 2012 mandated its two committeesthe Technical Committee (TC) and Legal Committee (LC), to determine the modalities for handling Nitel/ Mtel’s guided liquidation.


12

THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

BUSINESS NEWS

FCMB warns of loss in 2011

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IRST City Monument Bank (FCMB) yesterday warned it expected to report a net loss of N9 billion for last year operations even as its underlying performance remained healthy. In a note to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), FCMB said: “The Bank has taken advantage of its large capital cushion and loan sales to further sanitise its balance sheet following observed deterioration in restructured loans and legacy investments. Consequently the bank has made additional net provisions and write-offs between Q3 2011 and December 2011. “This will result in an after tax loss of around N9billion.” A breakdown of the provisions, according to FCMB, which recently completed a buy-out of rescued lender Finbank, include impairments to equity underwritings (N4.9 billion); losses recorded on the sale of systemically significant and other loans (N11.6 billion), primarily in the oil trading sector; and other loan losses and write-offs (N13.0 billion). According to information by FCMB, which is expected to complete its integration with Finbank by July 1, has projected post-tax profit of

• Targets N8b half year profit By Ayodele Aminu, Group Business Editor

N8bllion for the first half of this year. FCMB, which now has a very clean balance sheet, explained that 99 per cent of the assets sold to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and written off in 2011 were as a result of restructured loans or underwritings initiated prior to 2009. Since 2009 the lender said “it has taken actions to strengthen its risk management systems, and affirms that its loan portfolio is in a far better position, paving the way for a strong rebound following the recent acquisition.” Noting that underlying performance indicators are very healthy, FCMB said the results to be announced next week will show that operating income (prior to these non-recurring charges) grew by 115 per cent. Capital adequacy it added, remains high at 25per cent after the acquisition of FinBank Plc. “In addition, liquidity and efficiency ratios have continued to improve in quarter four 2011 and have been

further enhanced by the recent acquisition,” the statement said. The management of FCMB said it expects that the first two quarters of 2012 will see continued improvements and is likely to exceed its released forecasts for half year 2012. “The second half of the 2012 financial year will see acceleration in earnings with the benefit of the synergy gains from the merger of FinBank Plc. Target earnings per share are in the region of N1.10 for 2012, with a modest accretion of 10 per cent from the merger, rising to 33% accretion solely from the merger in 2013. “The results will be announced in detail on Monday March 19 th 2012, followed by a conference call o n T u e s d a y M a r c h 2 0 th 2012,” the lender said. United Bank for Africa Plc, which also had writedowns of non-performing loans was the first lender to issue a profit warning last month for its 2011 full year results.

• From left: Chairman, Alaba International Market, Mr Celestine Ezeani, first Vice Chairman, Mr Onyejelem Emmanuel and Manager, Strategy Planning Department, Global Business Group, Sharp, Mr Kinji Iwata at the World Consumer Rights day and Anti Conterfeiting Awareness forum held at Alaba International Market, Lagos. PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

IMF: High oil prices, reforms improve OOMING oil prices Nigeria’s prospects and an ambitious re

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form agenda have placed Nigeria well to ride the worst effects of the global economic downturn, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. In its regular assessment of Nigeria’s economy, the Fund said that there is room for the authorities to further

strengthen management of the economy and reach development goals. The IMF review notes that the government has launched an economic programme that aims to sustain the robust growth of the economy but also ensure substantial employment creation and pov-

erty reduction. For this, IMF economists urge more effective spending on infrastructure and the expansion of more labour-intensive sectors. Nigeria’s macroeconomic performance has been generally positive in recent years, the IMF review said.

Islamic Bank to support govt with $98m

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HE Islamic Develop ment Bank Group (IDB) belingual education programme will support the Nigerian government policy with $98million to integrate and modernise Almajiri and Tsangaya schools. This was disclosed yesterday by the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali. Dr. Mohamed spoke at the opening ceremony of the Nigeria- IDB Business Forum in Abuja. He said the programme is designed to bridge the gap between the two education systems, Madrassas and Formal schools. He said: “It is to promote unity, cohesion, encourage peace and harmony, mutual

From Nduka Chiejina and Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

respect and cultural tolerance and understanding, with a positive impact on Millennium Development Goal education goals, and inclusive and value based education. “It will get the Almajaris out of the street and give them an equal opportunity to compete for jobs and earn a decent living. “In the agricultural sector, Nigeria is regarded as one of the countries with the highest untapped agricultural potentials in the world. The IDB Group is prepared to support the development in this sector and help attract foreign investment from other countries in order to enhance food

security in the sub-region. “In this regard, through the IDB Group’s flagship initiative of reverse linkages, aimed at proactively enhancing South-South coorperation among member countries, the Bank has made arrangements with the Indonesian government to provide training for a group of Nigerian experts and technicians in the field of water resources management, small scale dams, small hydro power plants and irrigation networks to learn from that countries experience success stories. “This is an opportunity for Nigerians involved in agriculture, food security and water resources management to benefit from technology adaptation and diffusion.


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POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

•Gaidam

•Jang

•Aliyu

•Shettima

•Lawan

Emergency rule: The groans, pangs in 15 local govts Three months after the declaration of emergency rule in 15 local government areas worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, leaders and representatives of the people have cried out on the adverse effect that non release of statutory allocation is having on the people. Assistant Editor ONYEDI OJIABOR, who covered the Senate deliberation of the development and Correspondents JOEL DUKU and YUSUFU IDEGU, who spoke with government officials, report the implications.

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MOTIONS flowed freely as pas sion was excited on Tuesday when Senator Ahmed Lawan brought the plight of the 15 local councils on which emergency rule was imposed last December. Lawan lamented the effect on the families of the councils’ staff and sorely needed projects. The motion he moved had no problem getting support from 14 others who said they could not connect with the decision of the President to retain democratic structures in the councils and the refusal to release funds to them. The Federal Government imposed emergency rule in the affected local governments on December 31, 2011 following increasing violent activities by the Boko Haram insurgents in the affected areas. Senator Lawan (Yobe North) brought the suffering of the affected council areas to the Senate through a motion of urgent public importance. The motion entitled: “Non-disbursement of Federal statutory funds to local government areas under the state of emergency” drew the ire of some Senators who condemned the withholding of the statutory allocation of the affected council areas. He described the denial of fund as counter productive as it has rather impacted negatively nn the security situation of the council areas. Lawan, who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts recounted in his lead debate listed the affected local government areas as Maiduguri Metropolitan, Gamboru-Ngala, Bama, Biu and Jere in Borno State; Suleja in Niger State; Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom in Plateau State, Damaturu, Geidam, Potiskum, Gujba and Bade in Yobe State. He told the Senate that “Section 2 of the Proclamation provides that notwithstanding the provisions of this proclamation, a chairman of any of the local government areas listed in the second column of the schedule to this Proclamation shall continue to administer his respective local government area subject to any order, instruction or regulation as may, from time to time, be issued by me (President Jonathan)” The Yobe State born lawmaker wondered how the affected council officials would administer them without release of funds. He was

miffed that no explanation was given for the action.. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and InterGovernmental Affairs Committee, Senator Dahiru Kuta whose constituency, Suleja Local Government, Niger State is affected promptly supported the motion. Kuta said if urgent steps were not taken to force the Federal Government to release the withheld funds, the affected local government council would grind to a halt. Kuta, fondly referred to as a “comrade” by his colleagues, pleaded with President Jonathan to release the funds. He said, “The motion is a timely one as it contains most of the problems we are now facing especially in Suleja. “Since January 1, Suleja has been operating without a kobo from anywhere. Social services have deteriorated. Crime is on the increase because most of the council workers can longer meet their responsibilities. We cannot allow this unfortunate situation to continue. The Senate should do something urgently to address the suffering of the affected council areas. “The local government is now grinding to a halt with staff deserting their offices looking for succour everywhere. It is important that the statutory allocation should be released immediately.” Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume ( Borno State) whose constituency is also affected seconded the motion. He prayed that Senate to use its good offices to ensure that the funds were released to the affected council areas to minimize their suffering. Ndume argued that nowhere in the request of the Federal for Senate approval of emergency rule was it stated that the statutory allocation of the affected council areas would be withheld for any reason whatsoever. He noted that his constituents had been thrown into untold hardship due to withholding of the allocation to council areas.

Senator Olusola Adeyeye (Osun Central) said that his findings showed that his own local government, which was not affected by the proclamation, had not received its statutory allocation since January. Adeyeye added that he further found out that the Federal and State Governments were contesting the way and means to release funds to the local governments. Adeyeye whose views are respected by his colleagues said that timely release of funds to all tiers of government is an issue that should be adequately addressed by the Parliament. Senators Domingo Obende, and Olubunmi Adetunmbi also supported that motion. They drew the attention of the Senate to the action of the Federal Government which they noted had adversely affected the smooth running of the councils in terms of providing essential services and security. The Senate through voice vote approved the only prayer of the motion which urged President Jonathan to “direct the release of all withheld federal statutory funds for the affected local government areas with effect from December, 2011 to date.”

Plateau House petitions President The Plateau State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr. Paul Wai, confirmed that the four local governments in the state affected by the state of emergency have not received their monthly allocations since January. The four, Jos North, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi respectively have cried out that they have been unable to pay workers’ salaries since the imposition of the emergency rule, Wai said: “They are in serious financial stress; we don’t have any other way to source funds for

them, and we hope the emergency does not last.” Visit to the four local councils confirmed the commissioner’s lamentation as workers had deserted their offices. An official of Jos South council told The Nation that it is difficult for the councils to enforce discipline. “Workers resume offices at their own convenience and also close any time they choose”, he said Even the council chairmen seldom go to their offices to avoid the frustration of lack of fund for running cost and administrative convenience since most of them hardly generate internal revenue. Daniel Ajang of the Works Department of Jos North LGA said, most of the council’s official vehicles are parked at the workshop “because they require some fund for maintenance and there is no fund.” He further explained that “many of the staff are dying of hunger, many have no transport to come to office, their children could not resume schools since January”. The state government is also complaining since it operates a joint account with the councils. At the moment the state government is looking for funds to conduct local government elections. Last week, the House of Assembly deliberated on the pangs occasioned by the withheld funds. The Majority Leader, Hon. Gyang Fulani representing Barkin Ladi constituency, moved a motion asking the House to investigate the matter to ascertain whether the withheld funds are been rechanneled or kept for the councils. The House called on President Goodluck Jonathan to wade into the matter as he did not dissolve democratic structures in the affected councils. The House resolved to petition the President to offer explanations on why the allocations were being withheld.

‘The local government is now grinding to a halt with staff deserting their offices looking for succour everywhere. It is important that the statutory allocation should be released immediately’

Yobe not worried However, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Yobe State Bukar Dauda has said the with-holding of allocation to five of its local government councils by the federal government cannot adversely affect the state. According to him, the state has enough in his coffers to pay the salaries of the affected local government and even execute capital projects. Dauda said: “We cannot be affected by the decision of the federal government on the affected local governments. We have enough money to pay the salaries. Any time they are ready, they can release the allocation, but we don’t have any financial crisis at the local government at the moment. He added that, “I watched the debate yesterday at the Senate with the motion moved by Senator Ahmed Lawan. I think it’s good that the Senate has risen up to that challenge. But our account here is solid”. The chairman of Gaidam, one of the affected local government area, Alhaji Kaumi Mala Gaidam declined to speak on the matter, rather directing the correspondent to the state government.. His counterpart in Damaturu Local Government, Gudama Bukar, however said it had affected the programmes and activities of his administration. He disclosed, too, that staff salaries had not been paid for three months. “What the Federal Government has done by with-holding our allocation is very wrong. We could not pay workers salaries for the past three months and we cannot do so unless we have to borrow. But I must commend the efforts of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam who has made sure that workers are not owned in the local government.” He noted that the money meant for execution of projects was being released by the ministry of local government through the approval of His Excellency Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam, adding that he is working on another list to be forwarded for approval for more people- oriented projects in the state Governor Gaidam recently at the •Continued on page 14


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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POLITICS The bid by Mr. James Dugo to lead the Bayelsa State branch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) received a boost following the victory of his associate, Mr. Seriake Dickson, as governor at the March 11 governorship election. In this interview with Correspondent ISAAC OMBE, he addresses the state of the party in the state.

Shake-up imminent in Cross River

Bayelsa PDP needs new T lease of life, says Dugo O

N the crisis in the party. The PDP was not frag mented in Bayelsa, there is no crisis in Bayelsa PDP. The Party, if you look at it very well, right from my emergence as the chairman, if you look at the Composition of the Party in the state at that time, the Deputy Chairman happens to be Sylva’s junior cousin, the treasurer of the Party is Sylva’s brother too, the auditor of the party is a relation to Sylva who was Sylva’s school mate. So he put in his relations as the Party’s executives in the state, and so the party was not really functioning well .Now, what are the functions of a party, as a Party you advise Government on its manifesto, you advise government on issues of development, you advise government on the dos and don’ts, but in that executive committee, we don’t have such opportunities to even discuss with our Principal then, not even to talk about having frequent meetings with him, even if you go to Government House they block you as a Party man. So that was how the Party was, it was like a family business, the Party was dead, the Party in Bayelsa State was dead not until my emergence as the party chairman. With my emergence as the Chairman on the other way, normally you don’t expect the brothers to leave him, they will not leave. So there was no serious problem but it was just because it was a family arrangement .Now the reality has down on everybody. On fruitless efforts to reconcile members of the party When the Acting Governor and acting Speaker took over last month, as the chairman of the party, we formed a synergy, and said let these People come over .One thing that was also holding us was the small ‘pepper soup’ (allowances to the party), but despite the fact that it was denied some of us, we don’t hold anybody for that but let us chart a new course forward even the then SA Political Amb. Emmanuel Otiotio, the Acting Governor and the acting Speaker were all in the know of these reconciliatory moves but the brothers were not ready. I can’t be the one to pull the former governor down, for any reason; they were the People that don’t want. Even now, the new governor is eager to reconcile everybody. He asked every member of exco to attend the NWC meeting in Abuja but they refused to come. But if you look at it, they are Party members, Sylva does not own the party, the Party is supreme, look at the delegates elections, they refused to come out, may be because Sylva asked them not to come. The governorship primaries, they refused to come out, may be because he ordered them not to come. So it is not that anybody is antagonising any one. Let them come, they are still our members”. On how prepared he is to carry all members of the party along as chairman. I will not suspend any one, i am a peace loving person, we want to move forward. So, on my own part, there is no crisis in the Party, it’s just because of their actions, nobody is driving anybody. My Principal needs peace because without peace there can’t be development in the state. The way forward now is peace, and PDP is not divided, and if any one says PDP in Bayelsa State is divided let him come and say why it is divided. If no crisis situation in the party why were People leaving the party

• Dickson

to join other political parties? There is no crisis, may be the only crisis situation was when PDP under Sylva was not sincere with Party People, and that led to inter party migration which led to People leaving PDP for Labour Party. If that is the crisis you are talking about then that is it. But with my emergence now let everybody come back to the Party. If we had gone into election at that time, PDP would have lost Bayelsa state. So, the crisis situation then was the handy work of the former Governor Sylva, it is not Seriake’s emergence or my becoming the Chairman. If we say we should practice what we are preaching then at the tail end of it we begin to do abracadabra that now led to the removal of the Kolokuma/ Opokuma LGA Chairman. So, Sylva was the engine room of fomenting troubles in the state PDP, and not my emergence as Chairman. My emergence is to ensure that every one is taken along in the scheme of things, to ensure that Peace reigns in Bayelsa PDP. What are your plans for PDP if re-

elected as chairman? When come on board, i will ensure transparency, consultation, and would want the Party organs right from the Ward level to LGA and to the state level to be very firm and to be recognised. I want to ensure that every member of the Party, no matter how small you are is recognised in the scheme of things, there won’t be discrimination. What we had in the past was this: Commissioners, House of Assembly members, they all come from different Constituencies and Wards, but now, you imagine a Commissioner coming to be a Commissioner and you don’t even know your Ward Chairman. So when i come back as a substantive Chairman, if my Principal wants to make an appointment, the Commissioner and other People need to assist my Principal to know the Party members from the Wards so that the work will be easy for the Principal up there, whereas a Commissioner does not even know his ward Chairman, so this method does not work. So we want to go back to the 1979 era when the Party is Supreme, the Constitution of the Party is saying that the Party is Supreme. How a Party can be Supreme when appointments are being made without such persons not knowing their ward Chairmen. If for instance, am your ward Chairman you want to be a Commissioner, they will now say go and identify with your ward Chairman definatly when you were there you most know that you are coming from a Party and when you see your Party Official you must give them that desired recognition. That is the way the new Party will look like in Bayelsa state. On other contestants for the chairmanship position? I am not an ambitious man but i want to serve Bayelsan in the light of truth. Many People may be afraid to come out to contest because they will say can they be able to withstand this man who has done a lot within this short period. However i have been consulting and others are consulting too. Once i consult and get the right support, i will come out with my posters, may be others will follow suit.

HE rancour and acrimony that trailed the ward con gresses in Cross River State penultimate Saturday were absent in the congresses that produced 18 local government chapter officers last Saturday. Some members of the party who were averse to the consensus method of picking ward officers adopted by the party protested and leaders in council wards will now meet to produce a consensus list of party executives at that level. Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Abu Eyo, explained that the consensus method was adopted because the register the party used in the past was not dependable. But some party stalwarts in the state were alarmed that this is just a plan by a cabal within the party to handpick ward officers, without adhering to the rules of the party concerning conduct of party congresses. It appears the issues at stake with the congresses in the state are geared towards the 2015 governorship elections, and given that the present administration

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

would like to play a strong role in whoever succeeds it, it is widely believed that its unseen hands are likely behind most of the officials that emerged at the ward and local government levels and that would also emerge this Saturday. Hence it is believed that those who emerged as officials are loyalists of the governor who are not likely to pull surprises when it is time to select delegates for primary elections. With the state congresses slated for this Saturday, no member has so far declared any intention to come aboard the state executive council. The present state executive committee which came on board in December 2007 seems set to be returned on Saturday. Although nobody has come up to fight for any position within the state executive council, a shakeup appears imminent. A source within the party said, “it is not likely that the entire exco would be returned, but the chairman, Mr. Ekpo Okon, seems likely to return.”

Congress spurs crisis in Benue

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HE local government con gress of the Peoples Demo cratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has deepened the crisis rocking the party. In Gwer Local Government Area, the residence of the Chairman of Mr Dennis Aernyi, was razed down by angry PDP members protesting diversion of election materials. In Okpokwu, the tense security situation in the area led to the suspension of congress and stakeholders were urgently summoned to a meeting chaired by the Deputy-Governor, Chief Steven Lawani, in an attempt to douse tension. The Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Morro and state chairman of the party, Dr Agbo Emmanuel are hails from the area. In Makurdi the congress held under peaceful atmosphere as Hon Terwase Aondokaa was coverwhelming elected as the

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

Chairman. Hon Terwase, a seasoned politician defeated his opponent, an incumbent, with a wide margin. In Makurdi local government, the lawmaker representing Makurdi\Guma Federal Constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Jime was beaten and stripped naked at the Aper Aku Stadium, venue of the congress. Hon. Jime who is the Chairman House Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), drew the ire of some PDP youths when he insisted that the incumbent PDP chairman in the local government be reelected against the popular decision to remove him from office. In Buruku Local Government Area, no congress was held due to disagrement between the two factions of the party.

Emergency rule elicits emotions in Senate •Continued from page 13

WAWA Hall of the government House at a meeting with elders from the 17 LGAs announced that the state government had over N10 billion in the Local Governments, State Joint Account. He also directed all local government caretaker committee chairmen to submit proposals from the tune of N200 to N300 million for development projects in their areas. He however warned that approval would be based on the performance of the last allocations. On a visit, our correspondent observed that work was still going on for the renovation of the Damaturu local government secretariat.

Activities gounded in Suleja local govt In Niger state the non-release of statutory allocation to Suleja Local government following the declaration of state of emergency by

President Goodluck Jonathan on the council along with others in Bauchi, Yobe, Plateau and Borno states has started taking tolls on the activities of the council. Investigations at the headquarters of Suleja Local Government, Suleja revealed that activities in the council have been grounded since January, while maintenance of the council headquarters and some public facilities have also suffered neglect. It was also discovered that the salaries of the local government personnel were last paid in January, while the workers have been left at the mercy of their relations since last month. A staff of the council, who gave his name simply as Shauibu reacted to the biting effect of the non-release of the allocation to the council. “It has not been easy for all the workers of the council. We have not been paid our February salary. Many of us are living at the mercy of our wives and relations, because the Chairman has no means of paying our salaries. “Despite the hardship we are fac-

ing generally in the country, federal government’s decision not to release our allocation has also affected developmental projects in the council. The council cannot continue with ongoing projects, while new ones are stalled on the drawing boards,” Shuaibu disclosed. Though some of the workers were seen at the council headquarters when our correspondent visited on Thursday, Shuaibu admitted that the number of staff was just a fraction of the entire staff, noting that the morale of workers have gone down with the non-payment of the February salary. When asked what the council officials are using revenue accruing to the council from markets and motor parks within the area, Shuaibu said, “how much are you talking about? In the face of the security problems facing the local government area, the paltry sum from the revenue department cannot meet the salary, projects and other activities of the council.” In his own reaction, the Chairman of the council, Alhaji Yunusa Adamu, refuted the allegation that the federal government was withholding the al-

locations of the council since the December 31 declaration; rather, he said, the council was only owed February allocation. “It is not true that our statutory allocations from December to date are being held by the federal government. The fact is that we had that of December and January; we are only being owed that of February and this explains why we also are yet to pay February salary,” Adamu Expressing concern over the development, the council chairman said that the non-release of the statutory allocation to his local government had grossly affected the activities of the council. “We are greatly stressed up. Discharging our electioneering promises has been hampered greatly. What can you do without funds? We are seriously handicapped,” the chairman stated. On whether the state government had come to the aid of the council, the chairman said, “that we are still functioning today as a result of the support we are receiving from the state government,” but he refused to give details of the support.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012


POLUTION

Community demands compensation Abia

N25m microfinance loan for women

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Rivers

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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HE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has sounded the alarm that urbanisation is alienating hundreds of millions of children in towns and cities from their cultural roots. The global organisation expressed the fear that in a few years, majority of children will grow up in towns or cities rather than in rural areas, adding that children born in cities already account for 60 per cent increase in urban population. In a report tagged The State of

JOBS

FACILITY

Institute graduates trainees Lagos

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Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

UNICEF laments state of children From Bukola Amosun, Abuja

Excluding these children in slums not only robs them of the chance to reach their full potential; it robs their societies of the economic benefits of having a well educated, healthy urban population

the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake noted that “when we think of poverty, the image that traditionally comes to mind is that of a child in a rural village. “But today, an increasing number of children living in slums and shantytowns are among the most disadvantaged

and vulnerable in the world, deprived of the most basic services and denied the right to thrive. “Excluding these children in

slums not only robs them of the chance to reach their full potential; it robs their societies of the economic benefits of having a

well educated, healthy urban population.” Continuing, Lake said that though cities offer many children the advantages of urban schools, clinics and playgrounds, yet the same cities the world over are also the settings for some of the greatest disparities in children’s health, education and opportunities. “Infrastructure and services •Continued on Page 45

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OOD things are coming to Nnewi, the ancestral home of Chief Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu who was laid to rest there last month. Anambra State Governor Mr Peter Obi has flagged off the construction of roads in the industrial town, bringing cheer to its residents. One of the roads is the Akwaihedi–OsumenyiAmichi-Azigbo-Ichida Road, with a spur to Unnubi Road. With the Unnubi spur, it stretches for 25 kilometres. The state government is expending N2.5b on the road which is another major gateway into Anambra State through Imo State. All the traditional rulers in Nnewi South Local government Area and the Presidents-General of communities in the area attended the flag-off. They were the chairman of the traditional rulers, Igwe C. C. Umeadiba, Igwe Dr Felix Onyimadu of Ukpor; Igwe Dr Emmanuel Ilomuanya of Utuh, Igwe Francis Umennajiego of Unnubi, and Igwe George Umeanadu of Ekwulumili, among others. Unnubi Road was not part of the initial contract but the current Chairman, Transition Committee of Nnewi South Local Government area, Mr Kingsley Umenwa, a lawyer, brought it into the project, to the joy of Unnubi people. While presenting his address to the governor, he knelt before him and pleaded with him to extend the road to Unnubi. His request was granted. That attitude was not common with youths of today, hence it drew applause from the people. Umenwa, who is also the chairman of legal advisers of the All Nigeria People’s Party (APGA), was smart as he first enumerated some of the projects Obi’s government had done in the 10 communities in NnewiSouth, thereby reviving the local government after long decades of neglect by pre-

•Obi declaring the road project open

Obi builds roads in Ojukwu’s hometown Residents hail projects From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

vious administrations. “We therefore express our inestimable gratitude for your positive transformation of the entire council area. With your ANIDS ideology, Nnewi South Local Government Area has achieved

so much in areas of empowerment, road constructions, health and other construction works including renovation of Afube Primary School, Amichi; ongoing six classroom block at Ogbodi, Amichi. Also included in these projects are Lassel-Afor-Ukpor Road; Ofufe Nza Ozubulu/Ukpor

Bridge ; asphalting of Afor Ukpor Local Government Road; ongoing two cell box culvert at Nkwukwo gully erosion site Unnubi; renovation and construction of Ekwulumili health centre and staff quarters; Azigbo health centre and staff quarters. “Others are Akwaihedi health centre and staff quarters; Ezinifite health centre; construction of the magnificent administration block at the local government secretariat and the ongoing

revenue block in the local government, among others. Azigbo town union through their President-General and the traditional ruler, said the road project, when completed, would serve as another gateway into Anambra State as it shares borders with Orlu, Orsu and Ideato North Local Government Areas of Imo State. “The road you have come to flag off today has the great potential to become one of the most strategic roads in this state. Going straight across the Ulasi River, this road finally empties on the Ihiala-Orlu Road, a mere stone’s throw from the Orlu Main Market. “If eventually both lengths of •Continued on Page 45


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Abia community demands compensation T

HE Azumini community in Abia State has expressed concern over the possibility of contracting water- borne disease due to the pollution of the ‘Blue River’, their only source of potable water by a construction firm. Azumini community is one of the major oil bearing communities in the state, located in Ukwa East Local Government Area of the state. There is no pipe borne water in Azumini and most residents depend on the river for their domestic needs. Mrs Virginia Onyeche, the Vice-President of the ‘Oganihu Azumini Women Cooperative Society’, told newsmen in Azumini that the only source of potable water in the area had been polluted by the CCECC, a Chinese construction firm. “We have been experiencing acute water problem in Azumini in the last two weeks because our river which is the only source of water for domestic needs has been polluted. •Governor Orji

Tension over youths’ death in Delta

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HERE is heightened tension in Irri Community, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State following threats of violence by youths demanding compensation to families of some youths killed in the areas in 2008. No fewer than 28 bodies lie in the mortuary since 2008 including the headless body of the son of the king of the community after a communal violence gripped the community The youths are seeking the development of the community and empowerment of its indigenes by Agip Oil Company and the state government.Over 20 youths were arrested and are still in prison custody. The National President of Isoko National Youth Development, Olori GodsTime Okorobia, decried the neglect of Isoko nation by oil exploration companies and urged the state government to prevail on them to take their corporate social responsibility seriously. According to him, “the only way peace can return is for the governor to call Agip Oil to order. The bodies of youths who died in that

Delta From Okungbowa Aiwerie,Asaba

crisis are still in the mortuary. If they are not buried, peace cannot return because their family members and friends are still aggrieved. They should be buried and compensation paid to their families while those still in prison as a result of that crisis should be released.” Chairman of Irri Community, Rev. John Mark Odhigbo who blamed both government and Agip Oil for the crisis, said apart from the neglect that must be addressed, Agip Oil should empower their sons and daughters economically through employment and skill acquisition. But the state Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr. Ebifa Ijomah at a town hall meeting with the youths, assured them that the government was poised to develop the entire state.

N25m loans for Rivers women

Abia

“The pollution is from the activities of CCECC, a Chinese construction firm undertaking the Obehie/Azumini Road dual carriage way project.’’ A visit to the river side showed that trips of sand tipped by the construction firm had obstructed the flow of the water while miscreants were compounding the problem. Onyeche expressed fear of a possible outbreak of water-borne disease in the community, observing that most indigent people still fetch water for their domestic needs from the polluted water. “Despite the fact that the firm had used earth moving machines to excavate the water, most of our people still fetch water for their domestic need from Azumini River. “The concern of women in our community is to prevent imminent outbreak of waterborne disease in Azumini and to call on Abia Government, the NDDC and CCECC to save us from this imminent danger.” Onyeche expressed regret that the firm also destroyed fish ponds constructed by the society and demanded N50 million compensation to the women, to cover the cost of constructing the ponds and the revenue accruing from it.

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ORMER Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princwill, has instituted a N25 million micro finance fund for rural women in the state. Part of the fund would be subjected to a partnership arrangement with the Rivers State Micro Finance Agency (RIMA) to provide micro finance ofN1 million per local government area in the state amounting to the sum of N23 million The balance of N2.8 million was offered to the women caucus for procurement of equipment for skills

•Governor Amaechi

Enugu residents decry power outage

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ESIDENTS of Uwani area in Enugu State have appealed to the PHCN to restore electricity to the area to save their means of livelihood. Some of the residents, who spoke with journalists in Enugu, said that the area had been

Monarch gets staff of office

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HE Olu ofAgege, in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State , Oba Kamila Oyedeji Isiba, has received his staff of office.The event which took place amidst pomp and ceremony attracted many sons and daughters of the community. The stool of Olu of Agege became vacant following the transition of the erstwhile Oba Lateef Atanda Adeyemi Adams who joined his ancestors on July 23 last year. Governor Batunde Fashola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ademorin Kuye, charged the new monarch to take security and cooperation among ethnic groups serious. He said: “The vital issues of security in our state should be our collective concern that requires the cooperation of all including the traditional rulers”. The governor added “we are all aware of the spate of security challenges and breach in some part of the country in recent

By Paul Oluwakoya and Adejo David

past. It is no gain saying therefore that we all must be vigilant and cooperate with the government in its effort to ensure that lives and properties are protected in the state”. The governor who attributed his administration’s achievement to the cooperation of traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders, said their effort has been central to promoting peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationship among the diverse people residing within the borders of Lagos State. “I am happy that the residents of Agege now sleep with their two eyes closed without fear from the terror of the men of the underworld”. The governor, however, rejoiced with the new monarch and charged Agege residents to be loyal to the king. “I congratulate our dear king and wish him God’s guidance, divine wisdom, continued good health and long life on the throne”.

•The Olu of Ikeja, Oba Rauf Adeniyi Amore, discussing with the Chairman, Ikeja Local Govt, Hon. Wale Odunlami, during the consultative stakeholders meeting on the year’s budget preparation in the council .

Briefly

Church opens new branch

• From left : Chairman, Agege Local Government Area, Hon. Jubril AbdulKareem H.R.M. Oba Kamila Oyedeji Isiba, Hon. Commissioner for local government andChieftaincy Affairs, Ademorin Kuye, Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa and the younger brother of the Oba at the event

THE official chartering of Foursquare Gospel Church, Alamo-Magboro, aka Dayspring Tabernacle (along the Chinese Industrial Complex), located at Obafemi –Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State comes up at 2pm on Sunday March 25, at the church premises. The chartering ceremony will be coordinated by the National Secretary of Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Rev.Ikechukwu Ugbaja, supported by other ministers of God. The Foursquare Church,is a movement with a mission to evangelise the world through propagation of the word of God in consonance with the last commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Dayspring Tabernacle is committed to further serving the cause of the Foursquare Movement with its activities geared towards winning souls for Christ.

Enugu without electricity for up to three months. Mr Nnaemeka Eze, the Manager of Enfcon Business Centre, said he had been running the centre with power generating set and this had eaten into his income. He said that the amount he spent daily in fueling the generating set was above what he earned a day. Mr Bobo Mba, a printer on Isuochi Street, appealed to PHCN to urgently restore electricity to the area. Mba said that with the outage, it seemed the area had been cut off from the rest of the world because only those who could generate power knew what was happening within and outside the area. He said that many business owners had closed shops because they could not generate power privately. Mr Jude Nwokedi, a cold room owner on Peter Okoye Street, suggested that the federal Government should install solar energy to augment the hydro and gaspowered stations. Nwokedi said that long-term power outage was capable of collapsing a business outfit. Mr Eseme Udoh, Public Relations Officer of PHCN in Enugu Distribution Area, said that the management was aware of the problem and had invited engineers to correct the fault. “Our engineers are working tirelessly to restore electricity to the affected area,’’ he said. Udoh called on the residents to bear with PHCN as electricity would soon be restored.

Lawmaker urges support for Ajimobi

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HE Chief Whip of the Oyo State House of Assembly Hon Adigun-Hammed Abiodun has urged the residents of the state to give their total support to the governor of the state, Sen Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi. He made the call during a courtesy visit to his constituency in Kajola area of Akinyele Local Government Area recently. Hon Abiodun,before his visit, had repaired the only community borehole that has been damaged

•Adigun-Hammed

for long and promised m o r e dividends of democracy for the people. According to him: “I know you will never r e g r e t voting for t h e governor by the time the programmes at hand are f i n a l l y

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Rivers From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

acquisition programme. Princewill who stated this Port Harcourt, noted that the beneficiaries would be subjected to the criteria laid down by the agency as they would have the final say on who is eligible. Princewill who joined the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the 2011 election, said the intention was to empower women in the rural area and commended the women for all their efforts since 2006 when they started working together with him. He also assured the women that RIMA under the present management, would be good partners for progress and execution of the loan. He also presented a cheque of N2.8 million to the women caucus for the procurement of equipment for the commencement of Princewill Political Associate ( PPA) Women Skills Acquisition programme which is to be cited at the PPA secretariat on Aba Expressway, Port Harcourt. In addition, he nominated Mrs. Edith Wele-Amadi as one of his representatives to the Rivers State Government to serve as a Special Adviser.

•Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Prince Clem Agba, Commissioner for Environment inspecting ongoing underground drainage work on the Airport Road, Benin City.

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‘Be the best you can’

HE wife of Executive Chairman of Ifelodun Local Council Development Area, Lagos, Alhaja Falilatu Ajidagba, has charged winners of the Spelling Bee competition in the council area not to rest on their oars. Speaking during the presentation of prizes to winners at the event, Ajidagba said the council deserve to win the competition at the state level,

•Alhaja Ajidagba presenting prizes to the winner

Council chief seeks support of revenue contractors

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HE Chairman of Mushin Local Government Hon. Olatunde Adepitan has appealed to revenue contractors to remit the agreeable revenue to the local government.

The chairman said this at the budget retreat which comprised the supervisors, councillors and top council officials. There are some revenue points which were contracted out to politicians, such as the

By Jeremiah Oke implemented. For your information, the governor knows your entire plight and he is always ready to assist. As some of us may notice, many projects are on-going in the town and his committed “. Hon Abiodun who also used the medium to highlight some of his agenda for the people of Akinyele, said construction of a block of three classrooms and staff office at Shasha Grammar School, three classrooms at AtanAjobo in Ijaye Primary School, digging of bore-hole at Akobo market and five other places which have commenced work in Akinyele area. Others are Murphy Foundation/ Ajumose Loan Scheme for the Market Woman and Men in the Akinyele Local Governmnet Area. While reacting the traditional leader of the Ewe-Ina Kajola , Chief Olubayo Adeniyi appreciated the lawmaker’s quick response to the plight of the community and urged him not to relent in his effort in making life comfortable for his people. He added that his unbeatable performance in Akinyele local government during his first tenure was what made the people to vote for him again and the Action Congress of Nigeria in the area.

urging the winners to ensure victory for the council area. “This year’s competition like the previous ones would be challenging and exciting. Therefore, I want to implore all the winners to proceed to the state level to become the overall winner because our council area deserve to produce a “One day Governor”. By achieving this, you would have made us all proud and put your name in history.” She promised that the council would continue to provide necessary assistance toward the educational upliftment of students. “I want to reiterate that our council administration will not relent at ensuring that our education sector continues to receive the desired attention; we will continue to develop and uplift the sector. All necessary assistance and support from schools within our council area will be given adequate priority. The competition witnessed the emergence of winners in both primary and secondary school categories. A pupil of Jimoh Ojora Nursery and Primary School, Barakat Adeshina, emerged winners in the elementary category closely followed by Waliu Oseni of Zumratul Islamiya Primary School and Ibrahim Yusuf of Ajegunle Primary School. Master Salako Quadri, an Senior Secondary (SS)3 student of Gaskiya Secondary School emerged winner in the secondary school category while Tajudeen Abdulsalam,a Junior Secondary School(JSS)3 student of Cardoso Junior High School and Kareem Kafayat of Cardoso Senior Secondary School were runners up.

collection of Okada tolls, motor parks, and others. Adepitan also charged the companies operating in Mushin Local Government Area to ensure that they fumigate their premises He said the council, through its environmental sanitation unit, must issue certificate indicating that the directive has been carried out. Adepitan said the priority of his administration is to ensure that major roads in Mushin are made motorable. The opportunities of the retreat afforded that council authorities to exchange ideas on how best to improve the Internally Generated Revenue profile of the council.

Prayer conference

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• From left: The Council Treasurer, Mr Benson Olanipekun, council manager ,Sunday Oduwale, Hon. Adepitan, the Supervisor for Market Development Hon. Oriyomi at the event

HE Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria holds interdenominational prayer and f a s t i n g p r o g r a m m e t o d a y . The programme, whose theme is Arise, Let Us Pray holds in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Speaking during a press conference, in Lagos, the National Secretary of the church, Pastor Wale Adefarasin said Christians must come together to pray so that the issue of insecurity could be addressed spiritually . He said with Christians coming together to pray, the mind of God will be touched on those issues that bother Nigerians and divine answers will come.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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EDITORIAL/OPINION Comments

EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

Valiant hearts

Vanity fair • The ostentation of first lady’s visit to Oyo State is out of sync with poverty and violence in the country

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T was a veritable vanity fair; a grand carnival of sorts, when the first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, paid what was described as a ‘peace advocacy’ and ‘thank you’ visit to Oyo State on Tuesday. First Ladies from Ondo and Ogun states joined their counterpart in Oyo, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, to receive the visitor. Hundreds of school pupils temporarily abandoned their studies as they were made to line the streets in honour of Dame Jonathan. Thousands of citizens, who would otherwise have most likely been pursuing more productive activities, were mobilised to the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, to give Mrs. Jonathan a rousing welcome. So intense was the urge to be part of the historic occasion that many prominent citizens of Oyo State, including the state chief judge, Justice Bolajoko Adeniji, Speaker, House of Assembly, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu and several commissioners had a hectic time gaining entry to the venue of the event. Ever mindful of the security of their Very Important Personality, the security agents even prevented many reporters from carrying out their professional duties. They probably had cause to believe that the pens, notebooks, cameras and recorders of the journalists could pose serious threats to the safety of the First Lady. We indeed appreciate the sense of gratitude that motivated Mrs. Jonathan travel all the way from Abuja to thank the people of Oyo State for voting for her husband in the April, 2011, election.

However, we believe that a much better and productive way for the First Lady to show her appreciation to Nigerians in this regard will be to cut down, if not totally do away, with the kind of ostentatious and flamboyant official visit just witnessed in Oyo State. The resources saved from such wasteful trips, no matter how meagre, will make some impact in mitigating the abject poverty in which most Nigerians are trapped. Indeed, it is the kind of carnival atmosphere that attended Mrs. Jonathan’s state visit to Oyo that gives the impression that Nigerians are quite content with their misery amidst abundance and thus rank among the ‘happiest people in the world’. Oyo is one state that suffered indescribably under the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) misrule for eight years between 2003 and 2011. The state’s infrastructure is decrepit. Business is comatose. Unemployment is rife. Violent crime and destructive social vices are also rife. It is only now that the Senator Abiola Ajimobi administration is trying to rebuild and rejuvenate a state that once set the pace for socio-economic and infrastructural transformation in Nigeria and indeed Africa. The best way for the Jonathan administration to appreciate the votes of the electorate in the last election is to shun frivolities and maximally utilise scarce resources to achieve the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. We somewhat commend Mrs. Jonathan’s ‘peace advocacy’ campaign.

Surely, at no time since the civil war, has the harmony and stability of the country been threatened as is the case today. Even though it is fast waning in strength as the security agencies are grappling better with the challenges of terrorism, Boko Haram remains a national menace. If her mission is to help stem the current violence and promote peace, however, Oyo State should not be Mrs. Jonathan’s priority. Her soothing presence will certainly be more urgently needed in such hotbeds of combustion as Borno, Kano, Plateau or Niger states, to cite a few examples. It is not impossible that some dazzling flashes of First Lady smiles in these places may be just what is needed to soften the hearts of murderous terrorists.

‘If her mission is to help stem the current violence and promote peace, however, Oyo State should not be Mrs. Jonathan’s priority. Her soothing presence will certainly be more urgently needed in such hotbeds of combustion as Borno, Kano, Plateau or Niger states, to cite a few examples. It is not impossible that some dazzling flashes of First Lady smiles in these places may be just what is needed to soften the hearts of murderous terrorists’

With hate from India • Nigerians going to that country for medical care must ascertain the state of specific hospital they are going to

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NDIA could well be a first port of call for not-too-affluent Nigerians seeking quality medical care at pocketfriendly costs. For the superrich, they turn to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and other advanced countries in search of treatment for their ailments. That explained the deaths, in recent times, of some prominent Nigerians, including the late Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Prof Sam Adepoju Aluko, Chief M.T, Mbu, to mention a few, in various hospitals abroad. The summary is that if our hospitals had been elevated from the status of ‘mere consulting clinics’ that the soldiers who seized power from the Shagari government on New Year’s Eve in 1983 said they were, some of these people and many others who troop abroad for medical

‘Perhaps as a stop-gap measure, Nigerians who feel they must travel to that country for medical assistance have to do proper research and be sure of the state and standard of the hospital they are checking into. The fact that India is fast becoming a Mecca for people seeking good medical attention does not mean that all hospitals there are well manned and equipped’

assistance would have stayed at home and still get the best of medical attention. Many doctors would readily agree that they can only try and that ‘God heals’, in line with the motto of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos. Indeed, experience has shown that doctors too, as human beings are not infallible; and this is irrespective of whether they are in developing or developed countries. We have on record many instances of surgery items forgotten in the stomachs of patients after surgical operations in some of the best hospitals abroad. These notwithstanding, those with the means still prefer to go abroad for the slightest of ailments because they have more confidence in those hospitals unlike our own hospitals that are not only ill-equipped but the standards have also drastically fallen. It was in search of this better medical care at affordable cost that a 50-year-old Nigerian, Patience Uvaise, left Nigeria for India in April last year. Specifically, she had gone to that country for treatment of cervical spondylosis. Her first port of treatment was the privately run Hiranandani Hospital in Navi Mumbai, where she ended up paralysed after three surgeries. Uvaise, who choked with emotion, put it better, “A year ago, when I arrived in India, I could walk comfortably. Now, I will have to return home paralysed”. It is so sad and touching. The thought of returning home worse than she left, and as she put it, due to negligence on the part of the doctors at the private hospital made her to file a

case at Bombay High Court which referred her case to JJ Hospital for investigation and to see whether her case was reversible. The hospital sealed all hopes of this happening, saying she is a quadriplegic, having lost sensation below the hip and in the limbs. Now, the hospital has said it was not negligent and Uvaise has refused to leave the hospital, following her discharge. We leave the rest to the court to sort out. But her plight cannot but remind us of the parlous state of our hospitals and the need to make them work again. We are worried not only because we are losing hard-earned foreign exchange that we could have spent on the provision of more beneficial infrastructure in the country but also because some of these trips abroad, particularly to India, are beginning to turn awry, if not counterproductive. Perhaps as a stop-gap measure, Nigerians who feel they must travel to that country for medical assistance have to do proper research and be sure of the state and standard of the hospital they are checking into. The fact that India is fast becoming a Mecca for people seeking good medical attention does not mean that all hospitals there are well manned and equipped. Ultimately, Nigerians have to start looking inwards. For this to happen, however, our governments must start now to rebuild our hospitals that are mostly shadows of their former state. As things are, many of them can no longer stand the test of ‘consulting clinics’ that they were called in 1983.

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N Tuesday, six British soldiers rolled out on to the dusty roads of Helmand province in a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle

and did not return. They knew this might happen, and went all the same. Such bravery can only be belittled by the journalistic attempt to define it is in cold print. The British toll in Afghanistan, since operations began in 2001, now stands at 404. Each died for a reason. In the House of Commons yesterday, David Cameron described these sacrifices as ‘the human cost paid by our Armed Forces to keep our country safe”. This was no patriotic hyperbole. British forces – along with their Isaf and Nato allies – were deployed to Afghanistan in the wake of 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York to deny al-Qaeda a safe haven from which to plan further assaults in Britain and elsewhere. This, they have done. Al-Qaeda still exists, but the organisation is no longer what it was. Fragmented, incoherent and with a vast decreased influence, it fights now mainly for survival. Nato estimates that fewer than 100 foreign militants remain in the country. Like a handful of others across the Pakistani border, they exist at the mercy of local tribes, and are harried into inaction by frequent drone strikes. If there is another 9/11, it will not be planned from here. This is a success, but not a self-perpetuating one. The last 2014. Their role, until then, is as important as it has ever been. The Taleban is a resurgent power in Afghanistan, albeit one too weak to have much chance of controlling the whole country, even once Western forces have gone. The government in Kabul, meanwhile, is hopelessly corrupt and, as yet, incapable of existing without extensive foreign support. Control of much of the country has already been handed over to the Afghan Army, but this remains a force both smaller than it must be, and too often of questionable loyalty. A faction of the Taleban is probably responsible for Tuesday’s attack. As long as it remains operative and British troops remain in Afghanistan, that faction will be an enemy force. But the broader Taleban is too deeply rooted to define in purely military terms. Its adherents range from active militants driven by a vile and perverted ideology to Pashtun nationalists much more interested in stability than Sharia. A political settlement which embraces at least part of the Taleban is vital for Afghanistan’s future. Our troops have fought and died not to make that country pleasant, but to make it stable. This has always been in our national interest. In chaos, al-Qaeda will return. Afghanistan today is not chaos. Drone strikes, military action and the co-operation – albeit limited – of the Pakistani and Afghan governments mean that it provides a safe haven for nobody. Even the Taleban have learnt to keep their aspirations local. They know that relations with al-Qaeda carry many dangers and no benefits and ISAF and Nato troops are vital to this equilibrium. Neither David Cameron nor President Obama has yet explained how they can be confident that equilibrium will endure after the 2014 withdrawal. Nor has Mr Cameron set out clearly enough the advantages of staying in Afghanistan after deciding to leave and announcing the date of the departure. It is time to do so, and the explanation must go beyond pledges to train yet more Afghan soldiers. There will be more deaths before Britain’s troops withdraw. Between now and then, built on their sacrifice, is a window of opportunity for the political leadership of Isaf nations to create a settlement in Afghanistan which will keep our country and others safe in the future. This is an opportunity hard-won, and not to be wasted. – The London Times

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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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EDITORIAL/OPINION

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IR: In over five decades of independence, Nigeria has battled several developments that tend to abort the existence of the country; the unity of the country has been threatened and the integration of different ethnic groups in the country is not better than a dream. Nigeria has survived a nationthreatening civil war that lasted for about 30 months. Various ethnic groups have surfaced fighting for the cause of their people, example of such is the Niger Delta fighting for improvement of their lives; several minority ethnic groups have accused the government of neglecting them, and berated the majority groups for overriding them. Just some years back came the Boko Haram sect that are canvassing for total islamisation of Nigeria; the activities of this dreaded sect has wrecked unquantifiable damages in the country as many lives have been lost and properties worth trillions of naira destroyed. There have been many breakdowns of laws and order in the country that has rendered it

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Call for new amalgamation almost ungovernable. The above scenarios didn’t just begin to manifest; they are product of foundational miscalculation of some people close to a century ago. In 1914, the British colonial masters in their quest to ensure proper administration of the country and to be able to successfully implement their indirect rule policy forcefully amalgamated the northern and southern protectorate without taking cognizance of individual values of each ethnic group. By this amalgamation, about 250 ethnic groups were merged together without consideration of the individual values, customs and beliefs of each ethnic group. Thus, people from different political, cultural, and historical

background were welded together without giving them orientation on unity and togetherness. This made the people to see people from other tribes as enemies that are trying to dominate them. The amalgamation was made without prior consultation of the people so as to know their views; the interest of the people was surmounted thereby making the formed country an imposition on the people. Little wonder, Nigeria could not even stay for a decade after independence before the outbreak of the civil war. Each ethnic group sees itself as a separate entity that should not be controlled by other ethnic groups. This ethnic orientation is also evident in the formation of political parties right from the first republic

to the present; contemporary political parties claim to be national, but in reality, ethnicity is prevalent on all sides. In the religious aspect, it is not gainsaying that majority of the northerners are Muslims, while the southerners are predominantly Christians. This religious dichotomy is one of the major causes of the problem of National integration in Nigeria today. Recently, many Nigerians have called for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), a programme designed to foster the unity of the country. This is due to the loss of lives of many corps members posted to the northern part of the country. Thus, Nigeria is just an abstract country since there is no sense of belonging among the citizens.

Adieu, Gbenga Agbana

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IR: How do you say goodbye to a jolly friend who suddenly departs without even a word? Shock! Disbelief! Anger! That was the trauma we didn’t bargain for when the news hit town early Wednesday, March 7, of the sudden death of Gbenga Agbana, president of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) and one of the finest financial journalists the nation has ever produced. Grief tore through my heart as I engaged the harbinger of the sad news thus: “Was he sick? Or was it an accident?” “No! I learnt he died in his sleep in the wee hours of Wednesday after complaining of a chest pain. Even he went to work on Tuesday.” “G-O-D!” I yelled. A deathly hush fell on the conversation. God!

Another green tree has fallen where deadwood is standing aloft! Throughout that day, I was benumbed by an eerie void that won’t cease flashing images of colleagues recently felled by death. Their apparitions kept tossing up and down in my brain: Ben Ukwuoma, 50, the acting News Editor of The Guardian. He died in February. Lanre Oloyi, 51, former colleague of Agbana at The Guardian who later moved to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Head of Media. He was also a victim of sudden death on September 3, 2011. Bukola Ore, Capital Market correspondent of TV Continental who succumbed to the cold hands of death in June 2011. Emma Okenyi, the Capital Market correspondent of The Observer newspapers and member of CAMCAN executive.

He was killed in an accident on December 2, 2010 – the day he clocked 40. His death was particularly painful because he, alongside his younger brother, was burnt beyond recognition after a petrol tanker rammed onto their bus and exploded into a huge ball of flame at Fin Niger Bus Stop, in between Iyana Iba and Mile 2 area of Lagos. And now Agbana, 45. O death! How many more people wilt thou kill before thy end? A cold shiver ran down my spine as I bowed in grief. Paying tribute to the life of Gbenga Agbana, Mrs Bimbo Oyetunde, Vice Chairman of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) described him as the man who made us laugh. “He always looked at how he could turn every situation into humour so as to make us laugh,” she said. To Mr.

Kehinde Adeaga, the Secretary of CAMCAN, Gbenga paid the supreme sacrifice for what I comprehended as the stress of the journalism. It is a fact. Come rain, come sunshine, journalism is stressful: deadline must be met; your page must come out. I know of a senior colleague who had to come to office to produce his page the day he lost his 12-year old son. Oh! What a job! As for him, he had to spend several hours every day crawling in a never-ending Ikorodu ‘goslow’, to and from work. Wasn’t that stressful? Maybe we would not have lost this humour merchant to sudden death if routine check-up has been part of our lives. Only God knows. Adieu Gbenga Agbana. • Omodele Adigun Lagos

Since the old amalgamation done on structural ground has failed, Nigerians should engineer a new amalgamation that will spring forth from emotion, consensus, and desire for unity; so as to realize the desire for national integration and togetherness. As Nigeria is preparing to celebrate the 100 years of the amalgamation in two years time, Nigerians should come together for a social contract concerning the country, giving rooms for the views and opinions of each ethnic group. This will make the country a collectively built structure thereby creating the desire to ensure its sustainability in the people. Nigerians should see the need for unity and strive towards achieving it. • Simon Godwin. University of Lagos

The drains on Apapa-Oshodi expressway

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IR: Kudos to Honourable Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememem on the on-going reconstruction of Apapa – Oshodi Expressway partly being undertaken by Messrs Julius Berger. The work so far executed appears excellent. However it is noticed that the drains are not covered. Already the open drains have been filled with refuse and used tyres. In fact some irresponsible people have turned the open drains to public toilets! Unless these drains are covered they will soon be clogged up, dangerous and become unsightly. The Honourable Minister’s attention is therefore drawn to this omission to enable him direct that the drains be covered to ensure that they remain fully functional and hopefully protect the road from severe flooding whenever it rains. • Dr MA Buhari Lagos


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012 16

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EDITORIAL/OPINION

Reality Bites S

Olatunji Ololade

OMEDAY, people will begin to stray from their “daddies” and return to God. But today, everybody loves their “daddies.” And they have begun to love their “mummies” in equal measure. A diehard faithful will call this “respect for holiness” but I will call it inanities of the Nigerian faithful. For it is only the inane or mentallychallenged that would leave his or her dear old parents at home to worship at the feet of any nimrod with a heavenly plan – calling them daddy and mummy delightfully, as their vanities dictate. The infantilism of their deference and flagrant desperation to be lorded over and “blessed” evokes pitifulness reminiscent of hapless guinea-pigs caught in the most sinister vortex of mind control. Mindless penitents that they are unconscionably desert their parents, conveniently abandoning the poor folk in the villages or negligible parts of the city often in deplorable states while they scurry to their worship houses to sow seeds osten-

‘The infantilism of their deference and flagrant desperation to be lorded over and “blessed” evokes pitifulness reminiscent of hapless guinea-pigs caught in the most sinister vortex of mind control’

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tatiously, usually with money that would best serve providing the needs of their impoverished parents. Welcome to the world of the Nigerian faithful; where the pastor’s words becomes law; where every faithful, no matter his or her I.Q. becomes a manipulable nincompoop in the designs of every conman working the pulpit. In the world of the Nigerian faithful, a blundering pastor may get away with murder, rape, embezzlement of funds, evangelism of hate and pedophilia among other vices, as long as he is classifiable as a high and mighty “daddy.” And to anyone who dares question the excesses of any such “daddy,” blind lovers and worshippers of such “daddy” admonish: “Be careful what you say about a man of God.” Who is a “daddy?” (A holy daddy to be precise). A “daddy” is he who has perfected the art of deception for the sole purpose of perverting the gospel and hoodwinking pathetically gullible and foolhardy worshippers into committing and perpetuating various acts of perversion and selfdeceit. A “daddy” is he who by hook or crook amasses stupendous wealth deployable in various schemes and “testimonies” of deceit emblematic of the proverbial bait used to reel in unassuming marks to be conned. A “daddy” is the most exceptional personality created and developed by the Nigerian faithful. He is a “leader,” a “politician,” “an orator,” a “boss,” an “intriguer” and an “idealist.” The combination of certain adroitness with deep-seated earnestness, of tact with consummate ability, gives him his preeminence, and

HE stage is now set between the Labour Party (LP) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the final political battle of the latter for the soul of the southwest geopolitical region with the recent public pronouncement of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State that his goal is not only to win the next governorship election but to win convincingly. It will take the astuteness of political scientists and pundits to help decipher the real reasons for the quick degeneration of the relationship between these two political parties whose ideological inclinations are somehow similar. At the governor’s inauguration three years ago, you would have been forgiven if you had thought that Ondo State effectively belonged to ACN judging by the presence of party heavyweights that graced the occasion, including Asiwaju, Bola Ahmed Tinubu the National Leader of the party. One is even more perplexed to see how Governor Mimiko’s huge political capital dissipated almost immediately after his assumption of office. First to go in less than a year through resignation was his Commissioner for Finance. As if that was not bad enough, the state chairman of the Labour Party also threw in the towel. He has been relentless in his criticism of the governor and his programmes ever since. The civil service, a relatively lethargic arm of the state, was also up in arms against the governor. Other ‘field commanders’ either resigned or jumped into the ACN ship without warning, forcing some apolitical watchers to be empathetic that the governor is unfairly being left in the middle of the Atlantic by these people when he needed them most. Unless these seemingly unprecedented defections are just another decoy in the arsenal of a governor whose Machiavellian political maneuverings are what legends are made of, it is difficult to see how Governor Mimiko can prevent an upset in the November 2012 poll. Otherwise, there just must be something terribly wrong with the governor’s leadership style (with all due respect) for his ‘field officers’ to be deserting him in drove in spite of his accomplishments, which, in all fairness, are well above average. The subtle, behind the curtain push and pull between Governor Mimiko and ACN finally

Who’s your daddy? (1) (Inanities of the Nigerian faithful) helps him maintain it. A “daddy” is he who is adept at glamorizing material wealth as the major indicator of spirituality and “God’s grace.” He is proficient at brainwashing daily, his oft acquiescent and psychicallyhandicapped “fishes” or flock, turning them into unfortunate preys in their pursuit of material wealth and paralysis of the gospel. In simple terms, the Nigerian pastor and “daddy” passionately rejects the abstinent view that acquisitiveness and lust for wealth should be shunned as preached by Jesus. He wholly disputes Baxter’s principle that the care for worldly riches should only lie on the shoulders of the saint like a light cloak, to be thrown aside at any moment. Rather he swathes himself in that rapacious cloak even as it evolves into an iron cage from which he mesmerizes his habitually gullible followers, leading them on by a leash, into his iron cage. A “daddy” is he who is gifted with motivational speaking as well as the most brazen and subtlest antics of mind control. But if lyricism and depth are enough to determine a “man of God” and guarantee his admission into 21st century faithful league of extraordinary daddies, then the late Tupac Amar Shakur should be canonized simply because he wrote “Keeep Ya Head Up,” “Changes,” et al. Then Jonathan Swift should be declared a Saint for the timelessness of “If.” Lest I forget Jude Abaga a.k.a. M.I. whose undeniable intensity in “Imperfect Me” and “Epic” imbues him with wisdom inaccessible by not a few Nigerian “daddies.” However, this is an argument for a different day, a different epoch. Now back to the “daddy.” Religion makes fools of us all; clergymen, penitents et al. But some are simply more foolish than others. Any fool may

quote the scriptures in whatever format but it takes a gifted one to wave it around like a magic wand to bind and cast unquestioning penitents into habitual chumps. Indeed, it takes a supernatural being to perpetuate true humanity, according to the scriptures. Although, the Nigerian faithful desperately lay claims to that, the hackneyed supernaturalism they lust after inches continuously out of their purview. And the reason is not far-fetched: It is difficult for them to reconcile clearly their innate yearnings as enabled with their daddies’ gospel of mammon with the orderly, inescapable realities of the universe. Eventually, the Nigerian faithful realizes that truth outlives the prosperity and grace of their daddies; that truth hardly manifests from the lips of every character who can recite the Bible from Genesis to Revelation with incredible theatrics, thunder and spunk. Living as everyone else does in close contact with a certain unforgivable reality, his wantonness and selfdelusion is in time, tamed by inescapable rewards and retributions for their civil, political, and economic strivings as guaranteed by the slow, steady order of the universe which presents an intractable problem to them, particularly in their twilight. But rather than follow the slow, steady path of honesty to the attainment of “His grace” and self-actualisation, they endeavour to lose their souls to the darkness they profess to “banish. With this comes too, peculiar problems of their personal lives: of their status in the society, the maintenance of their homes, the training of their children, the accumulation of wealth and the perpetuation of it (i.e. wealth) and the attainment of their intimate fantasies.

The battle for Ondo guber By Femi Odere came into the fore probably with the governor’s declaration a while back that he could not see himself subsuming his antecedents in the realm of politics and his political future into the expansive political wings of Asiwaju Tinubu. This declaration, it seems to me, would probably go down as the governor’s greatest mistake because of his failure to realize that history, in its own volition, and the circumstances of the times in which we live threw up Asiwaju. It is frightening to even think of where the Southwest would be today without this man. The governor’s declaration could even be insulting to the likes of Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Segun Osoba, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, Ayo Opadokun who are godfathers of politics in their own rights before Asiwaju emerged in the nation’s political landscape but has unconditionally accepted his leadership. On the other hand, the governor’s statement may not be entirely surprising as it typifies the seemingly unrestrained pride of the ethnic stock from whence the governor comes, which others may find unwarranted, over the top, if not annoying. Although His Excellency may have advanced a more plausible argument that he can be counted on to advance the economic well-being and the general interests of the people of Ondo State by partnering with his colleagues in the region without necessarily collapsing his Labour Party into the Action Congress of Nigeria. But the governor may have inadvertently punctured this argument by his refusal to make his presence felt at the recently concluded legislative summit on regional economic integration. He would have taken the moral and political high road if he had been present, notwithstanding the fact that ACN wanted his job. The South-west regional economic integration agenda has become all too important that it’s increasingly difficult to trust Governor Mimiko as long as he remains in LP. It’s even problematic to go to bat for the governor by well-meaning indigenes of

the state knowing that he still cavorts with the conservative Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Obasanjo’s public assessment of the governor, though mischievous, during the first anniversary of the Deji of Akure that Governor Mimiko is a Labour Party in flesh but a PDP man in spirit, which he has not officially denied, further weakened the governor’s economic integration argument among the naturally progressive people of the state who simply wanted to travel the same progressive path with the rest of their siblings. Barring the politics of ego, ACN has stronger, almost iron-clad, argument in its bid for the political control of Ondo State not only because of the clear and present danger that Governor Mimiko’s romance with the PDP poses to the party’s health, but also to the party’s regional economic integration agenda. The regional economic integration agenda has become the one-size-fits-all (and justifiably so), for the quick economic emancipation of the people of the Southwest. It is so important, it seems to me, that this agenda should be quickly elevated into an article of faith between the party and the South-west people, in which its violation by any chief of state in the region should be enough ground for impeachment by the House of Assembly whose members are equally bound by this article. The regional economic integration agenda is very critical in these times because of a nation state that, after more than 50 years, is still very much confused with her identity and also unable to decide which socio-economic and political path she wants to travel. The question, therefore, is not whether Ondo State should be under the same ideological umbrella with her siblings in the South-west so that the party can practice what it preaches efficiently and effectively. How this political feat can be achieved without the state being plunged into another political upheaval should be the concern. Ordinarily, the

All these present blatant contradictions to the beaming brightness of good and spiritual asceticism preached by Jesus thus thrusting them into a maze of intense moral ferment, religious heart-numbing, intellectual crippling and perversion of spirit. From the dishonest life that they lead arises a more excruciating self-consciousness, an almost morbid sense of personality and a moral hesitancy which is fatal to their faith and selfconfidence. This fosters upon them, a peculiar wrenching of the soul, a nagging sense of doubt and bewilderment. Such a dishonest life fraught by dishonest thoughts, perverted spirituality and social striving, gives rise to double words and double ideals, tempting the mind to pretence or revolt, to hypocrisy or radicalism, to idolatry or demonism. What path is taken is however, subject to the discretion of the average faithful. The passion of the Nigerian faithful is likable to that plaintive spiritual melody, with its pitiful minor cadences, which, despite its promise of hope eventually yields to seduction of itinerant daddies’ gospel of prosperity and defilement which ultimately becomes the essence of religion. And what is religion? Religion is that illusion that derives its strength from the faithful’s often base and instinctual desires as does the everdandy “daddies” forever finding their meal tickets in the covetousness and idiocy of their self-deluding adherents. The adherents think their pastors’ their “daddies.” Their “daddies” however, know their true daddy. And it is neither Jehovah nor over-exploited Christ. Makes me wonder…who’s your daddy? • To be continued… For SMS only 08038551123

governor’s accomplishments should be enough evidence for asking the voters for a second term. But in a relatively primitive political environment like Nigeria, other factors, such as rigging, are bound to play a central role in the November poll, Attahiru Jega notwithstanding. While ACN should be comfortable with its prospects chiefly because of the defections of who’s who in the state’s political landscape, it also needs to be wary of these new flocks because their grazing presently in ACN pasture is not necessarily hinged on their belief in the party’s core political values and ideology. It’s rather out of political expediency which may change anytime they think that the grass may be turning brownish for whatever reason. This fluidity of the political class is an embodiment of the morass in the polity. You don’t identify with a political party until you’re acutely aware, comfortable with and being sure that your core values are in consonant with that of the party, just as you should have first identified your spirituality after which you now look for a religion that fits that spirituality. More importantly, even though the PDP would rather have its flag hoisted in Ondo State or any of the South-west states for that matter, PDP would prefer to have Governor Mimiko, whom they can do business with, holding the fort in the state than ACN. The gathering political cloud in the state gives me this eerie feeling of 1983 and the signs are not very good. • Odere, an Ondo State indigene, is a media practitioner.

‘The question, therefore, is not whether Ondo State should be under the same ideological umbrella with her siblings in the Southwest so that the party can practice what it preaches efficiently and effectively’


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘The proletarian class is the only social class that can bring about equality in the society because in liberating itself, it cannot but liberate other social classes.’—Karl Marx

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OMETIMES, there is the need to reflect on the state of the nation and to also ponder over whether the country in the nearest future might get to the Promised Land. This was my state of mind for several hours last Tuesday night. Within the confines of my bed room, I cogitated over the state of the nation. My mood was not just unexpected as it was a consequence of severe pressures from members of my family and friends that believe, though erroneously, that one can get anything done. That night, I was trying to tidy my reading table when I stumbled on this file containing resumes given to me at one time or the other by family and friends whose wards or sometimes themselves, are looking for jobs. And at the end of the day, I was able to count 141 of such CVs in the well kept file. Though, I can recollect that at one point or the other, one has been able to fix very negligible few of those with employment requests in the past but those were the lucky ones. Apart from these employment requests, there are those who would send text messages or call to seek monetary assistance. And if one refuses to reply the text messages or pick the calls, they could go as far as using unknown numbers to call one’s line, believing that one was trying to evade them. The fact of the matter is that yours sincerely is just a struggling lawyer/columnist trying to sustain his family with a meagre salary. But to those who know and also read me every week, they believe that appearing on the pages of newspaper is tantamount to having mega bucks and getting acquainted with the big names in the country. This assumption is very far from reality as one, like most others in my shoes, is still struggling to be somebody in life. My predicament that led to the piece of today applies to most middle level income earning Nigerians that are daily striving to cope with societal requests from people that on the periphery, just believe that there must be something to share with them. Worst hit in this category are the elected people in power whose followers look up to them to feed, shelter and sometimes ridiculously, pay for the hospital bills of their wives that just

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T happened again Friday March 2nd, 2012 along the now notoriously hellish LagosIbadan Expressway. A trailer had littered the way with huge metal pipes during the night and by dawn, a carnage had ensued with body count ranging between 10 to 15. The injuries were in like number. Same day, along the Mile 2 Orile-Iganmu highway, a tanker had virtually squashed a passenger laden coaster bus into a gory paste. On the early hours of Saturday, February 19, 2012, a loaded petrol tanker had tripped around the Mile 2 overhead bridge upended and set off a dawn bonfire that charred the entire park, vehicles and all. On Monday, March 5, 14 people were burnt to death when two mini buses collided head on at Iwaraja junction, near Ilesa, osun State. Our tales from hell are numerous. Nigeria must boast of the most infernal roads that can be found anywhere on earth and her road users must be the most unenlightened and agitated people to ever go behind the steering wheels. I will place a bet that not half of the accidents and fatalities on our roads are recorded and documented lest the rest of the world bar us from getting behind the wheels. Highways across the country are among the most dangerous and unfriendly motorways and most of our interstate expressways are in various stages of failure having long expired and requiring complete reconstruction. While our highway infrastructure may be decayed and not user-friendly, the chief culprits in the heavy accident rates are the road users. Drivers’ license are often acquired by proxy here with nary an examination or proficiency test. It is possible for anybody to just get behind the wheel in less than one

‘There is too much blood bath; too many fatalities on a daily basis. The FRSC must return to the basics and embark on massive enlightenment campaigns for a start’

Is Nigeria’s greatness on the way?

• Jonathan delivered. The situation is that bad. The scenario above is caused by rampant poverty, unemployment and more importantly corruption in official, unofficial and business places in the country. Rather than look up to the state to build institutions and develop manpower base of the country, the people on their own look for money to dig wells so as to provide water that they drink, buy generators and fuel to generate light to power their gadgets. The people pay for private schools so that their wards can get good education that is absent in public schools; the rat race to buy cars is on the increase because the government has failed woefully in its

promise to provide effective means of public transportation. Nigerians are government onto themselves because those in power see the positions they occupy as an avenue to enrich their pockets and few of their very close friends, family members and associates. Without mincing word, this culture can not breed patriots in the people. In the present day Nigeria, the government is so insensitive to the plight of the masses and it is not showing remorse or responsiveness at all. The people are in a helpless situation and that is why because the state has failed to perform its social contract with the people, the few average income earners in a family and amongst numerous out of job or underemployed friends will always be under pressure to provide for them beyond their means. Unfortunately, the situation is not improving as students graduate from private and public institutions of higher learning, sometimes with very good grades, with no jobs to do. There are thousands of others with graduate degrees that are still roaming around the streets of states across the federation. To get jobs in Nigeria today depends on who one knows or the political party one affiliates with. There is almost no such thing as merit in employment generation again in the country. The question to ask at this juncture is; when will the nation return to the good old days when opportunities abound everywhere? When will the nation recreate the good old values of the past? The realisation of these goals might for a

EXPRESSO STEVE OSUJI

SMS O8181624757, email:steve_osuji@yahoo.com

Highways to hell week of driving lessons and get on the highway. In fact many Nigerians often boast about how they learnt to drive in two days. In the first place, there is hardly any driving school worthy of that name across the country. Driving school business here is as haphazard as the act of driving. For most, to drive is to rev up the engine and get in the front of the guy in front of you. It is as if the sole aim of driving here is to speed up and not really to move from point A to B. Have you ever traveled on our highways to see how people move their vehicle like maniacs racing to hell. Take an especial note of the mini bus driver on inter city shuttle (say Lagos to Benin or Aba to Owerri). The daredevil he is, he believes he is the master of the wheels and the potholesridden roads; he often travels at about 140 kilometres per hour on roads he ought to be doing a cautious 80kph. He virtually dares accident to happen and almost daily, bodies are harvested on our highways out of sheer recklessness. Everyone seems to be in a dead hurry or deathly haste if you prefer. You would notice Nigerians galloping away like wild horses in their four wheel drives as if they were race cars. Some others would forget they are riding in contraptions that are over 30 years old and they would put the rickety chugger to test at over 120kph. It is on our roads that you would see a long trailer rattling down our dilapidated highways at 100kph and daring any ‘fry’ not to scamper off the way. In the cities and urban areas, road users are yoked

with commercial bus drivers who, always in so much haste, would wish to drive right through the vehicle in front them. Often under influence and seemingly crazed, they seem to put equal pressure on the accelerator and brake pedals at once making them drive in jerks and spurts like one in a spasm of a violent orgasm. Of course they are not trained and hardly know any traffic rule or road etiquette. In a city like Lagos, if you mix this with the two and three wheelers (okada and keke), the horde of hawkers and teeming pedestrians dashing across the roads, you have ingredients for chaos on our city roads. In all of this, the road and traffic managers have become overwhelmed and distracted by their illicit perks. The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) is the chief offender. In fact it has almost become the federal road seatbelt commission until they recently got engrossed in number plates business. Instead of taking to the highways to curb excessive speeding and commuter recklessness, FRSC officials now lurk around street corners ambushing drivers for minor seatbelt and vehicle documents offences. The FRSC has almost totally forgotten its raison d’etre. There is need to reclaim our roads from the current path to hell. There is too much blood bath; too many fatalities on a daily basis. The FRSC must return to the basics and embark on massive enlightenment campaigns for a start. Readers’ reactions Re: Ibori and the monkey colony Your piece of 9th March is soul redeeming.

long time remain a mirage because those that should lead by examples are currently leading by precepts. From the family level where the parents do not have time for their wards, to the churches/mosques where the Pastors/ Imams are adept cheats and deceivers, the future of the country’s greatness remain bleak. Those who mismanage/pilfer this country run at any hint of a problem to Pastors and Imams for prayers against evils even when followers in such religious houses are suffering from the inimical policies and loose fingers of such men of power: The men of God without fear of God still shield them with spiritual armour against the people’s wrath. The traditional rulers in the federation have turned their palaces in to havens for honouring men of shady characters in public and private sectors of the nation. The Kings are no longer the true custodians of the highly cherished values and traditions of their people because they are mostly found desecrating them. What is the way forward for Nigeria? How can the values of old be restored? Can the nation attain greatness under President Goodluck Jonathan or will he end the way others before him ended? Well informed readers’ contributions of not more than 1,000 words will be published in this space on the way forward for the country.

‘To get jobs in Nigeria today depends on who one knows or the political party one affiliates with. There is almost no such thing as merit in employment generation again in the country. The question to ask at this juncture is; when will the nation return to the good old days when opportunities abound everywhere? When will the nation recreate the good old values of the past?’ Keep it up. S.E. Bassey (08032391041) Now that Ibori has pleaded guilty, I suggest that if the judge that tried him is still in service, he should be dismissed and arraigned. As you rightly said, very many of such judges are in the system but God will definitely expose them as he did in Ibori’s case. Sengev Godwin, Makurdi (08085872611) We are a monkey colony indeed; the Briton is right. If people like Ibori are still being elected as our leaders, then we are really doomed. The Ibori saga is a national disgrace. (08037865255) Steve, the two High court judges of Abuja and Asaba that discharged Ibori should be given National honours and promoted for a job well done. Harris, (08052317147) Thanks Mr Steve Osuji for your column today. Sam Asowata, Abuja (08031661713) Re: My encounter with Ojukwu Your write up on one of the greatest Igbo men that ever lived thus far, the indefatigable enigma called Emeka Ojukwu couldn’t have been more apt as the ten (10) point manual succinctly encapsulated his entire being. To affirm some of the postulations you made on the man, I had a chance encounter with this great Nigerian sometime in 2006 on the invitation of Senator Mike Ajaegbo who happened to have had an appointment with Ojukwu with whom I met on the same flight to Enugu enroute Onitsha to break a campaign on some radio and television stations in the commercial city. On our whistle stop over at Ojukwu’s haven in the GRA at Enugu, my experience of the man is still very green and would remain in my subconscious for a very long time if not forever. The ten minutes or thereabout with this great Nigerian was awesome as Ojukwu displayed great level of erudition, guts, and candour. His knowledge of Nigeria was legendary. The Ikemba towers above most of his contemporaries in many respect. Indeed, Ojukwu was a great legend of our time. Adieu, the deliverer of the Igbos from oppression. From Taiwo Osunsanya, Lagos.


Brazil to earn $1.5m for Eagles clash Pg. 41

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SportsMinister, NFFconveypeace resolutiontoFIFA Pg. 24

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evaluates derby with

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Falconets avenge 7-1 defeat

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NATIONSPORT FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

NATION SPORT

NATION SPORT

Players boycott looms as Women League resumes

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HERE are palpable fears that players of major clubsides in the country like FCT Queens, Ogueche Babes, Nito Queens and Standards Babes may boycott the start of the Nigeria’s Women League scheduled to start this weekend across the nation. Checks revealed that the reason might not be far fetched from the fact that monies owed the players have not been paid and what is currently paid to the players is too meager to cater for the players welfare. Those directly in charge of the

clubs are Dilichukwu Onyedinma, of FCT Queens, who incidentally is the Women’s League Chairperson, Peter Ogueche, Adeoye Adebowale and Edith Nwakire. It was gathered that the players get an average of N10,000 (ten thousand naira), monthly, but have not been paid for several months, leading to discontent among the players whom it was gathered are bread winners of their various families. “Apart from clubs in the South South area of the federation, who have been able to meet up their

financial obligations, to their player other clubs have not been forthcoming and that is why we have fears that the Women’s League may not start as scheduled”, a women’s league official revealed on Thursday. NFF officials have already been informed of the development and there are indications that they will step in, especially at the highest since a member of the board who is supposed to maintain very high standards in the league is involved in the fiasco.

Dedevbo counselsFlamingoesonhardwork T

HE reward for success is hard work” This are the words of Coach Peter Dedevbo and his assistants as they take Flamingoes through series of training as the team prepares for their upcoming match against She-polopolo next weekend. It is the last leg qualifier for a chance to represent Africa at the FIFA U-17 world cup in Azerbaijan later this year. All the twenty four players in camp have responded positively to all forms of training from the technical crew including conditioning used to test the fitness level of the girls. The coaches used the conditioning exercise to help the girls have proper balance in their upper body and muscles. “Conditioning is a good form of training as it helps the players tone up their muscles, heart and upper body. Every player must undergo conditioning if she wants to withstand physical play from the opponent” coach Christopher said . After Thursday’s training, Flamingoes players and officials were on hand to watch national under 20 women’s team Falconent engage a boys team in a friendly match. The essence of watching the friendly match according to the technical crew is for the girls to see first hand how a player in their playing position plays and be able to correct and improve herself. Training continues here in Abuja before the team departs next week to Abeokuta for the match.It would be recalled that Flamingoes have a 2-1 goal lead from the first leg played in Lusaka, a forthnight ago. The players in camp:Andy Gift Lucky,Amos I h e o m a Goodluck,Aidel omon Victoria •Dedevbo Ikawo,Ayinde H a l i m a t u Ibrahim,Idike Jiroro,Ofoegbu Oluchi Perpetua,Nnodim Sarah,Edeji Chidinma,Biahwo Tessy Kesiena,Okaeme Patience,Bokiri Joy Ebineneme,Onyebuchi Ihuoma Goodness,Alimba Chioma, Effiom

Mabel Micheal, Okoye Ebere Deborah, Chichi Sandra Nguyum, Ajuyah Jennifer, Ijeh Eluemunor Desire, Onuegbu I h u o m a , A b d u l l a h i H a u w a , A d e b o y e j o Yetunde,Obeni Rita,Ugochi Emenayo, Uchenna Kanu.

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YEAR ago Barcelona's Eric Abidal had to undergo an operation to remove a tumour from his liver, the treatment had been thought to be successful and the player has been appearing for the team, his last game was on February 26th and he made 7 appearances in February. However, today Barcelona announced that Abidal will need a liver transplant in the coming weeks and as such is obviously unavailable for selection for the forseeable future, whether and when he plans to return to football once he has recovered is unknown. Abidal, much liked throughout the club and a close friend of manager Pep Guardiola, informed them this morning that the transplant was necessary. Barcelona released the following which Marca have published: "In the coming weeks, the player will undergo a liver transplant. Transplantation was an option as indicated from the start of treatment a year ago. At the express wish of the player, the Club requested maximum respect for the right to privacy and confidentiality." Everyone in the sport will obviously wish him the best with his treatment and recovery.

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President Blatter, General Secretary Jerome Valcke, Director of National Associations Thierry Regenaff, Manager of National Associations Primo Corvaro and Oliver Bert from the FIFA Media Office. T h e P e r m a n e n t Representative/Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Office at Geneva, His Excellency Umunna H. Orjiako was with Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and Barrister Musa Amadu. There was much to smile about as Blatter was informed that the intervention of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON and the over-riding national interest had helped fashion a way out of the logjam. It would be recalled that on Tuesday, peace returned to Nigeria football

following a reconciliatory meeting championed by the SGF and Minister Abdullahi, who eventually brokered the peace terms and signed as one of the parties to the agreement, alongside the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Chief (Dr) Patrick Ekeji, NFF President Aminu Maigari, scribe Musa Amadu and the two principal personalities involved in lawsuits, Barrister Ray Nnaji and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja. All parties agreed to terminate all court processes and not to enforce a recent court judgement obtained by Dr. Jaja, while the NFF would accommodate the eminent persons in ways stated in the resolutions. The Nigerian delegation will return to the country tomorrow evening.

•Bola Abdullahi

E D E R A T I O N International Football Association (FIFA) Security Officer in Nigeria and Super Eagles Chief Security Officer, ACP Gideon Akinsola, has said there was urgent need for Nigerian club sides to hold preseason security seminars if the image of the game was not to suffer unnecessary breach of the peace. Speaking from Abuja, where he is putting finishing touches to the report of the Police Sports Reforms Committee, of which he is chairman, Akinsola said he and other sports security personnel were embarrassed by reports that match officials were attacked after the Heartland of Owerri versus Enyimba of Aba Premier Leaguer game top game played in Enugu last weekend. Akinsola said he has made several attempts in the past to

YOBO

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•Abidal

The girls had lost to the same side 7-1 last Saturday at the training pitch which is close to the mainbowl of the National Stadium. But yesterday, the girls handled by Coach Edwin Okon took the battle to their opponents from the blast of the whistle to the delight of the

•ACP Gideon Akinsola

a natural grass pitch. This will be the second friendly between Nigeria and Brazil in Abuja. The Samba Stars thrashed their hosts 3-0 in June 2003. Last year, Nigeria hosted Argentina in another high-profile friendly in Abuja, winning 4-1. A rematch was staged in Bangladesh months later with the South Americans avenging that defe at with a 3-1 win.

ted o n playing on

Arokoyo in Cyprus with Mjallby AIF

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•Yobo

Falconets avenge 7-1 defeat HE UNDER-20 Women National Team on Thursday morning secured their pound of flesh against an U-15 boys side from the WACO Academy with a 5-1 victory in a friendly played at the artificial turf of the FIFA Goal Project Centre, Abuja.

form of recreation but we need to ensure that they are well secured that is why I am making this suggestions and I must say I have the full support of the Inspector General of Police, Mallam Mohammed Abubakar.”

IVE-TIME world champions Brazil will earn $1.5 million as appearance fee for a September friendly against Nigeria in Abuja, officials have disclosed. Marketing director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Idris Adama, said the sponsors for the high-profile game have agreed to pay the 2014 World Cup hosts. “Brazil will be paid $1.5 million as match fee and will fly in and out of Nigeria on business class,” Adama said. The match, which will be played within the September 7-11 window for international friendly matches, will be played in the Nigeria capital city of Abuja. The match sponsors proposed for the game to be played in the country’s commercial capital of Lagos, but this was jettisoned because Brazil insis

GALATASARAY Yobo. Yobo, who has suited 29 times in the league for the Yellow Canaries, believes the supporters can be their 12th man on Saturday. He said: ''The support is great. So far the greatest strength are the fans who support us tremendously. Galatasaray have not won here in 11 league matches. They come here to prove something. We must not give them that chance. It has much more meaning for us, It is a classic derby match.'’

ensure that clubs hold pre-season security seminars but was always ignored, declaring that it was now imperative the seminar holds if the Nigerian league which has been variously rated as one of the best in Africa is not to be put into disrepute. The top police officer also called on all club sides in the country to appoint security heads, who will liaise with the police and other security agencies to help grow the Nigerian league. The appointed officials, he said will be directly held responsible for security issues of the club sides when the need arises. “We are addicted to the English Premier League because security is near perfect in that clime, the same thing apply in all the top leagues in the world and as Africa’s most populated country we must encourage our people to come out and watch our games, particularly those of football as a

Brazil to earn $1.5m for Eagles clash

evaluates derby with HEAD of the biggest match in the Turkish Super Lig this weekend between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray , Nigeria skipper Joseph Yobo answering questions from fans on FBTV has evaluated the derby. ''We must not give them a chance. Preparations continue in order for us to get three points. Everything is perfect in terms of the atmosphere. It is a very important match as the opponents are nine points ahead. ''The names of the Galatasaray strikers are not alien to me. We've played against a majority of them, they know us and we know them. We must concentrate very well,'' says

Nigeria wins 7 medals Meanwhile, Nigerian athletes broke world records at the Fazaa International Athletics completion which took place in Dubai from March 11-13, 2012. Miss Patricia Ndidi Nnaji now holds the world record in the Shotput (F54) with a throw of 7.47m. Another Nigerian, Yakubu Adesokan broke the existing world record of 175kg in ParaPowerlifting with 177kg in the 48kg weight category. These records are in Para Sports.

H E H o n o u r a b l e Minister/Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, NFF President, Aminu Maigari, NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative/Ambassador to the United Nations Office at Geneva had useful deliberations with the top hierarchy of FIFA on Thursday morning. At the meeting which took place at FIFA’s Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi simply conveyed to FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his officials the peace resolutions adopted by all parties involved in the Nigeria football crisis on Tuesday, saying that the matter has been amicably resolved by the maturity of all and deference to national interest. On the FIFA side of the table were

Abidal needs liver transplant

AFRICA SENIOR WRESTING CHAMPIONSHIP HE Nigerian contingent to the Africa Senior Wrestling Championship in Morocco won three (3) gold, three (3) silver and one (1) bronze medal in the competition which ended on Wednesday 14th March, 2012. The championship will be followed by the 2012 Olympic qualifiers in wrestling which begins on the 16th of March, 2012 in the same venue. Nigeria will feature in nine (9) weight categories in the female and male wrestling events.

Akinsola canvasses preSports Minister, NFF convey season security seminars peace resolution to FIFA …Wants clubs to appoint Security Officials F T

spectators who kept cheering them headlong. Goals from Esther Sunday, Lola Phillips and Azeezat Osuola ended scores at 3-0 in the first half while Mercy Nku and Chisom Henry got the fourth and fifth goals respectively in the second half to compound their opponents

woes. The boys got their consolation in the second half. 'I am happy with the girls for braving the odds today (yesterday). It shows that they are responding to instructiions after Saturday's defeat," said Okon.

ORMER Nigerian junior international, Gbenga Arokoyo, is in Cyprus with his Swedish side, Mjallby AIF, for pre-season training. Arokoyo and his teammates arrived Nicosia, on Friday, March 9. The Swedish League called Allsvenskan begins on April 1, so clubs are still engaged in pre-season training ahead of the kick-off. SuperSport.com learnt that the

Nigerian has already b e e n handed jersey 33 this term. "I'm gradually adapting to the system here. We will play a team from Sweden as part of the preseason preparation on Thursday. I play in the right side of the central defence," he told SuperSport.com on Wednesday. Arokoyo is the first Nigerian to play for the team. The season in Sweden runs from April through October. Mjallby was founded on April 1, 1939 (72 years ago).


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

25

PEOPLE THE NATION

AN FIVE-PAGE SECTION ON SOCIETY

Amid tight security, the Consul General of the American Embassy, Joe Stafford, last Friday co-hosted the annual dinner dance of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC). It was a funfilled night, reports TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

•From right: Stafford watches keenly as Mazi Ohuabunwa presents a plaque to Mr Sample

In pursuit of a common interest

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HE security at the gate was watertight. As guests arrived, they were frisked and their cards checked before being allowed in. But that did not guarantee their access to the main house. They still had other hurdles to scale. This was the scene at the Ikoyi, Lagos home of the Consul General of the American Embassy, Mr Joe Stafford, when he co-hosted the annual dinner dance of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), last Friday. It was the first time the event would be hosted by the Consul General. NACC leadership had unsuccessfully tried to stage last year’s dinner at the house. So, when it got the nod to stage this year’s edition there, NACC pooled resources to ensure a successful outing. From the entrance, one could sense the nature of the event. There were security details who scrutinised invitation cards. However, the cards didn’t guarantee entry into the house except the guest’s name was on the long list of invitees. After that hurdle, guests passed through a screening machine for security purpose. After the security checks, guests were received by damsels, who ushered them on a red carpet to where Stafford and NACC Deputy President Chief Bintan Famutimi stood before the Nigerian and American flags to receive them. A big banner with logos of various corporate organisations that supported the event was also behind them. The expansive compound glowed with smooth green grass. On it were white chairs with silky red table overlays. A light music by the Akin Tofowohan-led Akin and Shuga band, played in the background, entertaining the guests. It was a night of entertainment and fun as the

band and Comedian Gbenga Adeyinka, who emceed the event, ensured there was no dull moment. On the roll call were Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, represented by Ambassador Ade Ayodele; Britain Deputy High Commissioner Peter West and wife Juliet; former University of Lagos Vice Chancellor Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe; an essayist, Prof Adebayo Williams; Chairman, Nigerian Bottling Company Ambassador Segun Akpata; Mr Segun Okusanya; Director, Deepwater Assets, Chevron Nigeria Limited Mr Ken Sample; Dr Duro Soleye; Chief Sola Dada; Alhaji Mumuni Alao; Mr Tunde Adewale; Mr Laolu Akinkugbe; Mr Ehi Braimoh; Dr Jack Mboho; Mr Joseph Olatunji; George Onyegbuna; Mr Ajibola Edward; Dr Olusola Ajala; and Akin Adeoya, among others. The event was well planned for members and guests to have a memorable evening. Aside the networking opportunity, the dinner also presented a platform for members to renew their commitment and foster a buy-in culture for the programmes of the Chamber. The event, which began with a cocktail featured recitation of Nigerian and American national Anthem, goodwill messages, toasts, presentation of awards and raffle draw. Stafford expressed delight at co-sponsoring the event. He said he was proud of the relationship among NACC members “whom we consider vital partners in our common effort to promote trade and investment between the United States and Nigeria.” The Chamber, he said, has played a prominent role in advancing US-Nigeria trade and investment. “Our two great countries have many important interests to pursue together, and the continued development of our economic links is high on the list of priorities.

“Those links are already solid, as Nigeria is the leading trading partner of the United States in Africa, and Nigeria currently ranks as the fifth largest supplier of oil to the US,” he said. The Consul General said members of NACC embody entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to change, and global outlook that characterise both nations’ business communities. Stafford pledged his commitment to fostering an ever-stronger relationship with the NACC. NACC President Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa thanked Adeyinka for the bundle of jokes. Ohuabunwa, who came from Abuja that same evening, praised God for the safe trip and the opportunity to be at the event. He thanked the Consul General for embracing NACC with open arms. NACC, he recalled, was born in 1960, the year of Nigeria’s independence. He said the association started as a luncheon club before graduating to a chamber of commerce. He said the past year was a mixed blessing for NACC with more positive results. Ohuabunwa said NACC’s goal was to create a good environment for growth of the economy. Ambassador Ayodele congratulated NACC for the successful hosting of the event. He described the chamber’s 52 years as worthwhile. The Federal Government, he said, is committed to re-engineering the economy through its transformation agenda. He reiterated the government’s willingness to continue collaborating with NACC. While Chief Akpata proposed a toast to America, Mrs Rebecca Arnold did to Nigeria. Mrs Arnold expressed pleasure working with NACC. “Being in this country is the most fabulous challenges I have encountered in my career. Nigeria is the most entrepreneurial nation with people of great entrepreneurial spirit,” she said.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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SOCIETY •Continued from page 25

•Chief Famutimi

•Prof Williams

•From left: Mr West, his wife Juliet and wife of Consul General Mrs Cathrine Stafford

•Prof Ibidapo-Obe (left) and Dr Soleye

•Mr Tunde Adewale (left) and Mr Akinkugbe

•Dr Ajala (left) and Mr Adeoya

•From left: Mr Luke; Rev Jack Mboho and Joseph Olatunji

•Mr George Onyegbuna (left) and Mr Ajibola Edward

•Mr and Mrs Braimoh

PHOTOS: DAYO ADEWUNMI


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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SOCIETY

‘Our mother, our life’ •Children celebrate mum at 80 Eminent personalities converged on Surulere,Lagos Mainland to felicitate with a textile merchant, Alhaja Idiat Alobo-Bakare, as she celebrated her 80th birthday. KUNLE AKINRINADE was •The celebrator, Alhaja Alobo-Bakare there.

•Children of the celebrator Hakeem (left) and Abiodun

•Mr Toyin Kasumu (left) and Chief Awe •From left: Senator Seriki; Mr Jojo Daodu and Mr Prem Naidoo

HE weather was friendly on March 6, when textile merchant Alhaja Idiat AloboBakare marked her 80th birthday. Although the ceremony was billed to start at 2pm, guests began arriving as early as 11am. The event, held at the celebrator’s residence on Allen Road, Surulere, witnessed the convergence of family members, friends and associates. The ceremony, began at 2.30pm amid clinking of glasses and exchange of banters among guests seated under beautiful canopies. Guests wriggled on their seats as music of Fuji maestro, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal aka K1, wafted from the speakers. Throughout the event, the celebrator ensured that everyone was taken care of as she beckoned on her ‘aides’ to attend to the guests who came in, in large numbers.

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The guests had more than enough to eat.They also went home with customised gifts. The ‘stylish’ octogenarian who spotted a blue lace with a matching head gear was sandwiched by children and guests while cutting her cake. She thanked God for sparing her life and was full of praises for the guests who spared time to come. “What more can I ask from God than to continue to thank Him for His protection amid the tempestuous journey of life. I am extremely happy and I shall continue to thank my Creator for the abundant grace that I enjoy as a living soul,” she said. “I cannot but thank those who came to celebrate with me, today, including my friends and relatives because I cherish their presence. My prayer is that they too shall live long with good things of life to show for their existence,” she added.

Society woman Olori Adetokunbo Eko described the celebrator as wonderful. “Mama,” Olori Eko said, “is truly a mother who cares not just for her children but others. I am proud to say that she is like a mother to me. Apart from that, that she is still glowing at 80 is a reflection of how she has carried herself as a young woman to date." Another guest Alhaja Shakirat Balogun described the celebrator as God-fearing and benevolent. Alhaja Balogun said: "She is a Godfearing woman with the milk of kindness and those that know her can attest to this. She would do anything to make you happy within her limited resources; whether you are her child or not. This accounts for the large turnout of people today.” The celebrator’s eldest son, Hakeem Alobo-Bakare, a stalwart of

AWARD

the Island Club, described his mother as a woman of rare courage with a caring heart not only for her children but also for other people. “I grew up to know her as a textile merchant at Gutter Market, Lagos Island; and she was very enterprising. She was deeply committed to her children and others around her. That is why you could see that, despite the fact that today is not a weekend, people still took time off their engagements and busy schedule to honour her on this occasion,” he said. He recounted her mother’s pain of bearing the family burden alone after his father ‘s death 35 years ago. “How can I forget the fact that when our father died in December, 1977, she did not embrace despondency but endured so much to ensure that we did not lack and she also ensured that we received the best education through an unflinching commitment to our growth,” he said. Another son Biodun also had kind

words for his mother who he described as “rare and priceless.” “She was more than a mother to me. She would ensure our needs are met through self denials and endurance when there was no one to run to. “Although she traded in textile fabrics with fairly impressive success but you know that once the patriarch of the family is gone there is usually a vacuum that could mar the well-being of the household because of paucity of funds. But in our own case our mother did not allow us to suffer for one day; she was always there for us and I make bold to say that she is such a priceless mother,” he said Those in attendance included the former Minister of State for Defence Senator Demola Seriki; former Chairman of Surulere Local Government Area Hon Hakeem Dickson and Chairman of Island Club Chief Gbolahan Awe.

MARTIAL BLISS •Former miss Munirat Inuwa and her husband Basheer Ibrahim during their wedding at Wunty Multi purpose hall, Bauchi State

•Senator Anthony Adefuye presenting a gift to Mrs Fadeke Diya during the 5th annual convention of the United Africa Methodist Evangelical Church, Lagos


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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Two doctors were joined in holy matrimony in Lagos on February 26. The bride, Dr Maryam, is the daughter of Lagos State University (LASU) Registrar Alhaji Lateef Animashaun, TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO writes.

‘He’s handsome, caring’

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T was a wedding that brought together the creme de la creme. It brought together the Town and the Gown. The event, which became the talk of the town, was held on February 26 at the Murhi International Television (MITV) Ground, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. It was the day two medical doctors got married. Dr Maryam Taiwo, daughter of Lagos State University (LASU) Registrar, Alhaji Lateef Animashaun, and Dr Abdul Rasheed Olalekan Lawal consumated their union before a crowd of well-wishers. The Islamic ceremony, Nikah, was attended by the top echelon of the state, including principal officers and members of staff of LASU. Among the guests were Governor, Babatunde Fashola represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mrs Oluranti Adebule; Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga; LASU Chancellor Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas; LASU Vice-Chancellor Prof John Obafunwa; Lagos State University College Of Medicine (LASUCOM) Provost Prof Bandele Osinusi; Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Registrar Are Femi Oyewole; Nigeria French Language Village Registrar Fatuanwase Remi; and Mrs Funmi Amodu. The highpoint of the event that featured recitation of the Holy Quran, admonition, prayers, cutting of cake and pieces of advice was the solemnisation of the couple. The officiating scholar Alhaji AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef conducted the wedding according to Islamic rites. AbdulLateef, the Chief Imam of Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board congratulated the couple. Quoting from the Quran, the cleric urged the couple to tailor their ways of life according to the tenets of Islam. “Remember Almighty Allah's warning that whosoever lives outside the commandment of Allah will live a life of turbulence. You should live in accordance with His dictates,” he said. AbdulLateef urged the couple to respect for each other. He warned parents to avoid meddling in the couple’s life. He prayed that Allah bless their marriage with good sons and daughters. After the parents’ approval, Abdulhaheem joined the couple together. Amid ribcracking jokes, the chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area Hon Jide Jimoh supervised the cutting of the cake. A joyful AbdurRasheed was full of smiles. Clad in black suit, shirt, waist coat, tie and shoes, the groom described his wife as beautiful, calm and religious. He thanked his wife’s parents for bringing up their daughter in the right way. An elated Maryam shone in stunning wedding gown with a hijab. She described her husband as

•Chief Okoya-Thomas

•The couple Rasheed and Maryam

•From left; Mrs Adebule with bride’s parents Mr Lateef Animashaun and his wife Alhaja Sabitiu

•Groom’s parents Mr and Mrs Lawal

• Head of Department of Journalism at LASU Adebola Adegunwa School of Communication Mr Jimi Kayode (left) and Mr Dauda Otiti

•Alhaji AbdulLateef (left) and LASU senior lecturer Dr Abdulkabir Paramole

•Prof Obafunwa (left) and Hon Olukoga

handsome and caring. The bride's dad urged the couple to always remember the children of whom they are. “They should love each other,

respect each other's views and avoid reporting their internal disagreement to third parties,” he said.

•Isiaka Wahab (left) and Hon Jimoh

•More pictures on page 37


29 FRIDAY, MACRH 16, 2012

Vol 3 No. 143

Ini-Obong Akpabio is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the largest indigenous hotels group in the country Nanet Hotels. He has a Master’s in International Hotel Management from the University of Surrey, England in 1985. He later got an MBA from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. With an asset base running into billions of naira, Nanet has about a dozen big hotels under its umbrella. But despite its giant strides in the hospitality sub-sector, Nanet had a humble beginning. It started as a restaurant over 30 years ago. Its founder is a nurse-turned-caterer, Mrs. Nancy Akpabio. The hotel has been turned into a success story by her eldest son, Ini-Obong. Akpabio whose vision is to hoist the firm’s flag in the 36 states of the country, shares his vision, ideals and experience in business with WALE ALABI. Excerpts:

We look at customers’ expectations

Motel where all our GMs, executive directors and hotel managers made some policy decisions. There, we took two major policy decisions. Now, in the Nanet Group, we have a 365-day painting approach. We used this as a focal point for our regular maintenance culture. We also have a 365-day training approach whereby we emphasise regular training and retraining schemes all year round for our staff and management team. These are ways we’re using to imbibe the culture of training and maintenance. Lastly, we have this approach to management which has been quite successful. The approach is that we’re customer-friendly. If you go to any hotel run by Nanet, you’ll find out that our check out time is customer-friendly. We’re about the hotels group that I know that has a check out time of 2p.m. Also, when you enter any hotel in the Nanet Group by one minute past midnight, we would bill you for only one day, while in reality you’re spending almost two nights in the hotel. We’re also one of the hotels group that has 24-hour laundry, 24-hour restaurant, 24-hour bar, etc. Whereas in some of the so-called five star hotels they hardly run some of these services for 24 hours. As part of our policy, we inculcate entertainment. We’ve hosted a number of popular artistes in our hotels. In the past we’ve hosted Daddy Showkey, Tony Tetuila, Paul I. K. Dairo, Eedris Abdulkareem and even Femi Kuti. So, we create an environment where our local artistes blend with the international ones for performance in our hotels to the benefit of the customers and the residents of the immediate environment where our hotels are based. These are some of the ways I can explain my management approach.

Background

M

Y name is Ini Akpabio. I’m the Managing Director, Nanet Hotels Group. I am a hotelier, having acquired educational and working experience in that field. I hold a first degree in Business Administration and a second degree in International Hotel and Catering Management and an MBA. I have been in this business for more than 20 years and I’d describe myself as a seasoned hotelier. I have both national and international exposure in the hospitality sector. I am a Fellow of the Catering, Hotel and Recreational Management Association. That’s the largest single association that embraces professionals in the hospital industry. International awards have come to us from Spain, France and Geneva. And within the country we’ve had awards from tourism and hospitality organisations. Our organisation, Nanet, is also the largest private indigenous hotels management company in the country. If you judge us by the number of hotels, we run the largest hotels groups. We feel very happy to be in this position and, hopefully, we’ll improve tremendously on that. We started business in Kaduna and we’ve expanded to different parts of the federation. Right now, we have about 1,000 workers on our pay roll. Some of the staff are expatriates while the majority are Nigerians.

Customers’ privilege card

The source Nanet Hotel group started in 1970 in Kaduna. It was a humble beginning. We started primarily as a restaurant. I’m happy to say that we set the pace for restaurant business in the north at that time. And being located in Kaduna, which strategically was the capital of the north then, helped us to spread and reach out to other parts of the north. With this our reputation grew. Later on, we went into fast food business. And eventually, we decided to cover the whole aspect of hospitality, which is general hotels management. Hotel management is the umbrella of all other operations in hospitality business. While we still have our headquarters in Kaduna, we’ve spread to other northern and southern towns. And now, the All Seasons Hotel opening soon in Owerri, Imo State is our first business in the southeast.

In the Nanet network Members managed by our group include Jalingo Motel in Jalingo, Taraba State, Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi, Nigerian Air Force Club, Kaduna, Nigerian Air Force Club, Calabar, Russel Suites, Abuja, Mammilla Hotel, Abuja, Lake Chad Guest Palace Hotel, Abuja, Atlantic Hotel, Uyo, Budget Master Hotel, Kaduna and Mountains Green Hotel, Jos. And the latest in our group is All Seasons Hotel in Owerri, Imo State. Very soon too, we’re inaugurating another in Port Harcourt. Besides, we’ve interacted and ran consultancy for several privately-owned and government-owned hotels. On the list are Abia Hotels, Kebbi Guest House, Benue Hotel, Sokoto Hotels and Confluence Beach Hotel. All these are owned by the governments.

Inspiration Nanet has reached such a stage in the business that we’ve had to say no to a lot of people who wanted us to take over the management of their hotels. The first thing we do when we want to run or manage a hotel is this: we inspect the hotel and find out if it is minimally viable for Nanet to be involved in. And that’s what we did for All Seasons Hotel. The hotel has really scored very well. It is well-located. As you may realise, in the hotel industry, there are: Number one, location; number two location and number three location. Once you get this wrong, you’re in trouble.

Marketing and management From experience over the years, we’ve discovered in terms of clients that in hotel business, we have different market segments. The hotel industry is one of the world’s most excellent industries. I’m saying this in the sense that the industry is very important to livelihood. It’s part of life. And our management places emphasis on quality, on people that would deliver innovation, people that are motivated by change and dynamism in the way things are done. So, that’s our peculiar stratification in managing our hotels. We embrace total quality management in our hotels.

•Akpabio Essentially, we look at customers’ expectation. That has been our management approach. We have a crop of staff that have the requisite educational background, the requisite experience. This reminds me of an encounter when I was going outside the country to pick up my Master’s in International Hotel Management. At the check out point in the country, some of our immigration officers asked me what I was going to do in London. And I told them I was going to study. They said, ‘very good. You’re going to do engineering, law, medicine?’ But when I told them I was going to study hotel management, they said, ‘ah, no. you don’t need to go out to study hotel management. Even I can manage a hotel!’ We, at Nanet, have decided to go beyond the point of saying anybody can manage a hotel. We get the best hands in terms of experience and education. After getting those best hands, we then have a pragmatic approach to management. I’ll give another example. I used to tell people that one of my jobs is to keep toilets clean. And I’ve made it an issue. For example, if you go outside the country, one of the things that attract you is how beautiful their airports look. The cleanliness of their toilets, for example, at Heathrow Airport would amaze you. Most of the time, you will think that they just opened those premises a day before your arrival. The newness and neatness of the premises would simply overwhelm you. So, one of the pragmatic approaches we bring into our management style is to ensure that starting from such a mundane thing as the toilet, they are sparkling. They are clean. So, we go beyond what’s happening in Nigeria. We approach it in a very practical manner. We keep the toilets clean. We pay particular importance to cleanliness because as Africans, we have to consciously be clean. But, unfortunately, due to the part of the world we come from, cleanliness is not taken as a matter of force. That’s one of the things we have successfully brought into our management approach. We also have a very strong maintenance culture. You’ll agree with me that a lot of hotels have broken down in this country. They broke down, because they’ve not been properly maintained. We pay very close attention to maintenance. This has set us apart. We’ve run some of the hotels for eight years or more, yet when you get to the premises of the hotels, you still see the hotels as if they’ve just been opened. And, at times, when the owners of the hotels come visiting, they often commend us for our maintenance culture. That’s the joy of Nanet. Recently, we had a retreat at Jalingo

‘One of the problems affecting the hotel industry is electricity. Most of our hotels are run on generators. This eats into our profits. So, you can imagine the cost of running two big generators in each hotel round the clock’

At Nanet, we’ve introduced what we call a customers’ privilege card. It’s an exceptional marketing tool. When we take over hotels, it’s one of the key points, selling points. The card identifies the customer as a friend of the Nanet Group of hotels. Once you carry it, you’ll be treaed like a king in some of our hotels. The use of the card is that once you have it, you will be able to lodge at any hotel run by the Nanet Group at a subsidised rate. We have different categories of the cards. We have the gold card that gives you a 25 per cent discount on lodging in any hotel in the group. It also gives you other benefits such as priority booking, serving, checking in and we’ll also give you a drink free. We send you gifts during your birthday. You have this special package as a gold card holder. The second category, the silver card, entitles you to 20 per cent on accommodation and also has other goodies attached to it, while the third category, the bronze entitles you to 15 per cent discount. It also has other goodies attached to it. We do this to show appreciation to our customers for their loyalty and patronage of our hotels. Family life It is interesting. The hotel business has been an integral part of my life for several years. It’s like I was born into it. The Nanet Hotels group actually started form an older generation of mine. That makes a difference. It’s like a music dynasty. Look at the Anikulapo-Kuti family. See what Fela’s children, Femi Kuti and his siblings, are doing. This is what hotel business is to me. It’s been easier working in the industry for me because of this background. But these days, it is affecting me. Because of our expansion, I travel a lot within the country. I think I’m one of the most traveled personalities in the country. Regularly, I go round the country several times in a year. We are expanding to different states in the country, trying to establish physical presence in the states. However, I’m lucky my wife is also involved in the business. There’s understanding from her. The expansion gives both of us the opportunity to travel together both nationally and internationally. Within the last three months we have been to six or seven states together. And when there’s opportunity, we travel outside the country. When it’s possible, we travel with the children.

Profitability Hotel business is a long term business. You don’t expect immediate returns. You plough the expected profit back into the business. For you to succeed in the business you have to invest massively. And it would take sometime for you to recoup your investment. But it’s a consistent and convenient business in terms of profits making. It’s a durable investment. First, you are investing on building, property. Property appreciates.

Problem One of the problems affecting the hotel industry is electricity. Most of our hotels are run on generators. This eats into our profits. So, you can imagine the cost of running two big generators in each hotel round the clock.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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Brandnews

Coca-Cola produces new millionaires

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OCA-COLA’S ‘Open & Win’ Promo is delivering on its promise to reward one consumer with a million Naira each day for 70 days. The first three lucky winners in the promo, which is creating excitement across the country, were celebrated at a grand reception at the Coca-Cola offices in Ikoyi, Lagos. The event was attended by senior officials of the company and Nigeria’s favourite R&B star, Banky W, the Open & Win promo ambassador. Hundreds of other consumers have continued to receive various amounts of mobile phone airtime daily since the promo opened on February 28. The ecstatic winners are Ifeanyi Onedibia, a 24-year-old male hotel employee from Lagos; Ifeoma Anekwe, a 25-year-old mother in Anambra and Valentine Nwafor, a 28-year-old businessman, from Ebonyi State. They could not hide their excitement as they received the cheques that marked their first entry into the coveted millionaires club. Speaking at the cheque presentation, Austin Ufomba, Marketing

Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria, restated the brand’s commitment to refresh consumers and inspire moments of optimism and happiness through its beverages and through initiatives like the promo that connect with the needs and passion points of consumers. He emphasised that consumers have been and will always remain the crux of Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited’s business. “For us at Coca-Cola, it is about putting smiles on the faces of our consumers. As our business model depends on daily interaction with consumers, a smile on their faces is priceless to us. That is the motivation for this promo, and it is as real as can be,” Ufomba said. Ifeanyi Onedibia, who was overjoyed at his unexpected good fortune, praised Coca-Cola for the promotion. “I never expected such a gift to land in my laps. I didn’t want to believe it, but when they called me and said my cheque was ready, my life changed immediately. Thank you, Coca-Cola! And I want Nigerians to know that this is real because I am a living witness,” Onedibia said.

•From left: Toyin Nnodi, Senior Brand Manager, Flavours, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited; Austin Ufomba, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited; Ifeoma Annekwe of the Ministry of Land and Survey, Anambra State, a lucky winner of N1 million; Kelvin Balogun, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited; Bayo Omole, Marketing Director, Sparkling, Nigeria Bottling Company; and Banky W, Promo Ambassador; at the CocaCola ‘Open & Win’ Promotion cheque presentation, at Coca-Cola Office, Pemberton House, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Ifeoma Anekwe said it took just one text message informing her about the promo for her to send the codes that won the prize. “I feel blessed because I sent codes from only three crowns and forgot about it. But my God didn’t forget and one of them was picked. I’m a proud winner of a million naira,” she enthused. Valentine Nwafor, who sent 16 codes, said he was determined to

La Casera rewards customers

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N what seems like the biggest reward scheme for trade partners by any firm in Nigeria, The La Casera Company Limited, makers of La Casera Apple drink , has dazzled its trade partners by rewarding them with over 300 prizes worth several millions of Naira for their performance last year. Tagged the ‘Gathering of Champions’, the occasion was attended by more than 400 partners from all over country. The guests converged on the Oriental Hotel, Lagos for the event. One of Nigeria’s top comedians, Tunde Adewale ( known as ‘Tee A’) anchored the event and thrilled the audience to no bounds with his humorous anecdotes and nuances. The electrified atmosphere at the event was further heightened by the musical performance of the renowned ‘Sugar Band’. The highpoint of the event was the announcement and presentation of the prizes which include 129 vehicles made up of a 2012 Toyota Foreunner SUV Jeep,

Toyota Corolla cars, Nissan Sony cars and Tata Trucks, 1.4 KVA inverters while some partners got N225, 000 worth of recharge cards. Others were given either N300, 000 worth of fuel cards or trycylces. The visibly elated recipients could not hide their emotions as they applauded winners as they were being called to the podium to receive their share of the company‘s largesse. The hall went into wild jubilation with the announcement of the grand prize of the 2012 Toyota Fortunner SUV jeep for the best performing Trade Partner for last year, Mr Sanusi Yahaya, the Managing Director of AYI Ventures, Kaduna. Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief Operating Officer, The La Casera Company Limited, Mr Prahlad Gangadharan, lauded the trade partners for their commitment to the achievements of the company’s set objectives for last year, which was to “Break Limit” and exceed all expectations. Prahlad noted that last year was a very eventful for the company

with lot of marketing and milestones including the 10th anniversary of La Casera in Nigeria, the launch of the new ‘Ice Feel’ bottle, the acquisition of the new state-ofthe-art bottling line and repositioning of the company from Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited to (CBNL) to The La Casera Company Limited, among others. He also noted that the company’s performance through the efforts and resilience of its trade partners last year was very remarkable as the company grew in volume and beat industry growth rate in a year that the industry was generally inactive. He recounted that the trade partners were charged at the conference to “Break Limits” and exceed all expectations. “Last year at the 2011 Partners’ Conference, we all agreed with the theme ‘Breaking Limits’ to surpass our expectations and projections and today, I am proud to say that as a team, we have achieved beyond our expectations. “We broke limits and for us. The sky is no longer the limit but the starting point”, he said.

win the N1 million because he had been a winner in previous CocaCola promoS. “I just know that Coca-Cola doesn’t do fake things, so I sent all the codes I had. That phone brought me to Lagos, even though my friends were laughing at me, saying it is not true. I’m here to tell them that it is true because my cheque is now in my hands,” he said.

The promo is set to produce one millionaire daily and a total of 70 millionaires when it closes on May 10. Consumers can enter as many times as they wish but each time with a new code found under the special white crowns of 35cl and 50cl bottles of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and the 29cl bottles of Schweppes brands of soft drinks.

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Nigerian Breweries rewards distributors

IGERIAN Breweries Plc has held its Customer Awards in Lagos. The event entitled: ‘Winning together’, saw awardees going home with various prizes such as brand new Iveco BB Truck, Mitsubishi Canters, Mitsubishi L200, Forklifts, generating sets, cash rewards and several cartons of Nigerian Breweries drinks. The event, which brought together distributors, customers and trade partners from places like Benin, Ibadan, Jos, Enugu, Owerri, Asaba, Lagos, Abuja, Onitsha, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Aba, Warri, among others, was a unique celebration of partnership between them and the brewery giant. The overall winner and National Volume Champion award went to Magulf Global Enterprises, from Mid-West Business Unit of Warri, Delta State. The company went home with a brand new Iveco BB Truck and a Crystal trophy. The first and second runners-up prizes went to Ifeoma Chukwura Nig. Ltd of the South Business Unit, Port Harcourt and CN Anyoha & Sons Ltd from Onitsha of the East Business Unit. Both companies clinched the Gold trophies of brand new Mitsubishi Canters and several other awards. Other lucky winners went home with Mitsubishi L200, Forklifts, generating sets, millions of cash re-

wards and several cartons of drinks. Managing Director/CHief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Nicolaas Vervelde, said 2011 was a great year for the company. ‘’We recorded an outstanding performance, but we couldn’t have done it alone without the active support of all you, our distinguished partners. I salute your abiding faith and effort in moving the highest sales volume of all times in the history of our great company.” Mr Hubert Eze, Sales Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, said the event was aimed at rewarding outstanding distributors, customers and trade partners of the company across the Nigeria. Other awards won included: Regional Volume Champion, District Champion, Brand Champion, Growth Awards, Distributor Demand Commission, Best Credit Rating, Cash Millionaires and Drinks Awards categories.

PRCAN Masters Series coming

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•ASCA Company Limited demonstrates use of emulsion-based bitumen in Enugu.

HE Public Relations Consultant Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), in continuation of its policy on capacity building to improve on the delivery of its member agencies and the public relations business in the country, has concluded plans for the Series 2 entitled: “All you need to know about Social media”. Social media experts in Nigeria and the top executives of the PRCAN member agencies have been put together as faculty for this capacity building program. They include Dr. Seyi Taylor, founder Noah69 Company. He is an international online campaign planner, design and technology specialist, online

and social media strategist. Seyi Taylor is the British Council Entrepreneur in 2007. Oyinade Olajiga is a brand management specialist with expertise on new media for fast-moving consumer goods and telecoms brands. She is a social media and digital marketing planner for one of the top three biggest advertisers in Africa. Others include Ambassador Stephen Oguntoyinbo, an international youth consultant, media trainer, online TV owner and futurist. He is the host of the largest youth media summit and head of a social media training institute that streams over 2,000 events.


SHOPPING

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THE NATION

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

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

e-mail: janicenkoli@yahoo.com 08033349992 sms only

email:- shopping@thenationonlineng.net

One-stop security gadgets’ shop These times demand that the public be security conscious. To this end, an international fire and security exhibition and conference (IFSEC West Africa) has been held at the Expo Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. State-of-the-art security gadgets were on display. Shoppers and exhibitors had a good deal, reports JANICE NKOLI IFEME.

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EOPLE came from all over the globe for the exhibition, even though it was not one of those merry making social events where gaily dressed men and women mingle. It was a show for the business-minded, adventurous and security conscious. Their common interest was in security and safety.

School uniform now big business

Page 32

Booths were erected by companies exhibiting various hitech security solutions. It was a one-stop shop for security, gadgets, featuring next generation Close Circuit Television (CCTV) and surveillance theatre, security management theatre, access control, counter terror, fire solutions, intruder alarms and IP/Network security.

The exhibition was part of the protection and management series, uniting security and fire with facilities and safety professionals. Some of the gadgets on display were fire alarm systems, • Continued on Page 32

War among tech giants Finding the right shredder Page 33

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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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SHOPPING • Continued from Page 31

PABX system, radio, surveillance cameras, fire protection, detection and suppression systems and fire fighting systems. There were also, crime detectors, security doors and swing motorised gates. The event, tagged IFSEC West Africa, attracted 90 exhibitors and 2,214 visitors during its maiden edition last year. Participants and visitors came from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, India and the United Kingdom. A joint venture between UBM Live and Montgomery Worldwide, it is the first of its kind to meet the needs of the security market. The IFSEC brand is recognised globally because of the success of its yeraly security event, IFSEC UK as well as sister events IFSEC South Africa Securex and IFSEC India. The Commercial Events Director, Mr Ross Cullingworth, said: “It has become clear to us as event organisers that there is an increasing demand for a show that brings the security supply chain together in West Africa. Add to this the fact that the Nigerian government allocated $5.5 billion to safety and security; it becomes clear why West Africa is the next big thing in the security industry.” He added: “In the continuously evolving security landscape, it is important to keep abreast of the latest security trends and here you will find a rich showcase of the best products from around the globe.” Mr Simon Parker of UBM Montgomery said: “Rapidly becoming a major global player, Nigeria is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. IFSEC is a strong, well-known brand in West Africa and the largest trade delegation to attend IFSEC in • From left: Chief Operating Officer at Onesource, Mr Seni George; Project Manager IFSEC West Africa, Mr Baytir Samba; MD/CEO Surveillant the UK were from Nigeria. IFSEC West Af- Fire Ltd, Mr Jumade Adejola; CEO, Halogen Security, Mr Wale Olaoye; Commissioner for Home Affairs Lagos State, Mr Oyinlomo Danmole, rica provides suppliers of security products Representing the Lagos State Governor and Managing Director Servtrack Ltd Mr Oise Ihonde at the event. and services with a practical route into this highly profitable emerging market.” Mr Chris Pinder, the Southern Regional General Manager and Export Manager, said: “West Africa offers huge potential for suppliers looking to enter this market. Exhibiting at the show offers suppliers the opportunity to enter this market in a conducive and events such as the Nigerian Security Semi- across the world. Participants received latest effective way.” nar with focus on Homeland Security, Criti- information about the techniques being used The show also offered participants the op- cal National Infrastructure and Creating Safer in the field related to security and protection portunity to extend their network of contacts Cities. It hosted many high level speakers forums. It is the only forum for West African in the industry and establish relationships on relevant topics to a wide range of senior security professionals looking to source the with top-tier industry experts who could as- management and security decision latest security suppliers, products and techsist them with all their security queries. makers.The aim was to provide security prac- nologies to prevent crime and protect their Alongside the exhibition were interactive titioners and government representatives organisations. There was great awareness on with unique insights to help weigh up the the products, techniques, equipments and pros and cons of various security strategies services linked to the security and protecto help them make informed decision about tion industry. budget spending. It provided a forum for specialists in the ‘In the continuously evolv- security The Safer Cities segment of the seminar field of Security and Protection industry to ing security landscape, it is took a broad look at the various ways in which interact. Shoppers and importers of the prodsystems offer African cities the op- uct and services of the industry made up the important to keep abreast security portunity to enhance their security measures, visitors’ list. Also, the key decision makers • Cullingworth of the latest security trends. creating a safe and secure environment to of some renowned companies were on hand and work. Also, the role of CCTV and its to see what type of competition there is. witness the event and I tell you, it is highly Here you will find a rich live potential, not only for deterring criminal beVisitors attested to filling their bucket of rewarding. showcase of the best prod- haviour, but also how it can assist authori- knowledge regarding the techniques. Corroborating, Mr Akin Mustaphs of Kontz ties in apprehending criminals. An exhibitor, Mr Matthew Okafor of New Engineering Services said it was time for the ucts worldwide’ The event’s basic objective was to spread Matcom Limited, said: “This is a very impor- country to take advantage of the security awareness among people regarding security tant show for us because we have great secu- products available to secure lives and propand protection in order to prevent crime rity needs as a nation. I flew in from Abuja to erty.

One-stop security gadgets’ shop

Every school has a uniform, which is its distinctive feature. These days, many of them prefer to sew uniforms and make money from it. TONIA ‘DIYAN writes.

School uniform now big business

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VERY pupil is required to have a school uniform. A uniform distinguishes one school from the other. Most schools like to profit from uniforms by sewing them for pupils. The schools insist on providing the uniforms to ensure what they call consistency in colour, design and quality. Proprietors either open a student division and make the clothes themselves or the uniform is contracted out. The Nation Shopping spoke with the proprietor of Earnal International School, Lagos, Mrs Funke Adeoye, who said she contracts uniforms out and gets a percentage on each. “My dear, we all are trying to make ends meet. We cannot just depend solely on school and extra lessons fees, because some parents do not pay, neither do those who pay do so on time. So, the uniform aspect is a major

• Continued on Page 33

• Indomie fan club kids in their school uniform.

PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

SHOPPING One of the equipment needed in an office is the paper shredder. TONIA ‘DIYAN lists the features of a durable shredder.

Finding the right shredder

Go for vintage, pristine items

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PAPER shredder is a device that can be used for self protection. It is useful either at home or the office. Destroying confidential document is a requirement in any business. Those protecting sensitive information prefer to shred the documents to ensure confidentiality. These are mainly large offices or companies that must destroy a lot of papers always. It also helps in saving space and there are many types available for various uses. There are the commercial, home and office shredding machines. Modes of operating them are two-manual and automatic.The size also varies depending on its use and shredding needs. But when buying an office shredding machine, you should choose the highest quality such as the medium-duty or the industrial paper shredder as it is larger and used frequently. It also has the capability to shred other materials, such as plastic, cardboard and many others. But to ensure the security of documents the confetti-cut or the cross-cut paper shredder is best as it determines the shredding style. It is also important that the shredding capacity is known so you can be sure of how much paper you should place in it, as well as its operating speed. The size and storage of the shredding machine should be determined by the available storage space you have, as such, lack of space to keep the machine should call for a small type. But most office shredders are compact and take up very small space. Most paper shredder that is for the office is easily adjusted to the environment of the office and maintenance is easy to perform. It

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• Modern paper shredder

only requires oiling and taking care of the cutting blades at regular basis. Great sensitive documents, such as financial statements, trade secrets, security numbers, disbursement records, sale receipts, business letters, customers’ information, personnel records and computer print out, require the smallest types of shedder. Above all, be guaranteed of its durability, quality and performance. Go for a cheap but reliable one.

School uniform is big business • Continued from Page 32

area of generating more money for the school,” she said. “I do not know how to sew. I should be making all the uniforms myself. It pays more. That is what most of my colleagues do to help themselves and make their schools the very big ones they have become today.” The Proprietor of Unique Laurel Montessori School, Lagos whose wife, Mrs Ruth Ogbei, is a tailor makes all the uniforms with the help of her staff. “The money comes to me directly; my wife has been very helpful. I don’t have to give contract to anyone else. Yes! She is God sent,” said Mr Godspower Ogbei. Whether schools should build in service fees or handling charges as part of the cost of pupils’uniforms, or not, should depend on how the production cost is structured. Some uniforms are attractive; they just catch your attention and make you wish you were a pupil again. On the other hand, some are dull and give the impression of old school fashion. But the smart and attractive ones are a delight to wear and behold. Children are always excited about going to school when they wear a well-designed uniform. Some reasons account for the differences in uniforms - quality of the material, colour combination and the style or design of the uniform. In addition to the daily uniforms, boarding schools usually have a house uniform that the students wear after school hours. Usually, the design on these is the same, but the colours between different houses of the boarding school differ, so it is easy to recognise which house the students belong to. There is also the physical health education uniform (PHE) worn once weekly, especially in elementary schools, which are compulsory. The school cardigan, which has a particular colour and design, is also made compulsory for every child to enhance uniformity, said the head teacher, Atlas Schools, Lagos, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim. “You need to see the pupils while on the assembly ground; very colourful. It shows togetherness and love among them. They look very beautiful in their uniforms. Of course, we make money from these, but what we imbibe in these children via these uniforms is paramount, so everyone is benefit-

Shopping Right with

ing after all,” he said. “The important thing for parents is that uniforms should be of high quality so they last longer, thereby guaranteeing they spend less in the long-term. “They should also be worth the material from which they are sewn and pupils should be able to wear them with pride.” Mrs Folake Oyemade is the Managing Director, Sam & Sara, located in GRA, Ikeja, a manufacturer of high quality uniforms, who has a vision to grow one of the few and wellknown indigenous uniform manufacturing outfits. She delved into the mass production of school uniforms, shoes and bags, a largely untapped and unexplored area for organisations and individuals with a large work force. The eight-year-old business as well as organisations and private individuals would always import uniforms because that area was largely left to local tailors who do not have the capacity to do large scale production of high quality uniforms. But today, the economy is big and organised enough to accommodate big organisations that can supply well tailored, quality uniforms that would compete with international standards. Making quality uniform with the least affordable price, makes a uniform store outstanding. A parent, Mrs Joy Omonoh, said she could not help but exclaim, haba! Too much of everything is bad. I hope to own a school, be a proprietress and then make lots of money from the school uniform like they are doing today. I have three kids in the school and every session N500 is added to the uniform fee. You know the worse part of it. I will not be allowed to take the sample to the market, purchase the materials and sew, because of their selfish interest. Sometime ago, they introduced stocking for sale, indicating the days it should be worn, but we, the parents, during a PTA meeting disagreed when we were convinced that it would cost just a token.” “We all know that these materials are very cheap in our local markets and to sew them does not cost much. So, why do we have to be cheated in the name of unique quality and style? I want the schools to look into this and make some adjustments to favour parents.”

INDING that perfect vintage piece to make a unique fashion statement requires sifting through clothing racks in stores. For many vintage shoppers, the hunt that takes place at boutiques across town may be part of the appeal. Here, fashion is all about reinvention and recycling. After all, it was first vintage before it became trendy. If you doubt it, think of those wedge shoes your mum had and the bowler hat your dad had, which you desire, but could never find. Vintage is often a step above many designer clothings. It is a designer clothing that not any fashion fad with a big bank account can get. Vintage implies rarity. And in a JANICE NKOLI IFEME world of international mass market, where designer wears are copied, a rare gem is worth paying for. There is a reason: it is old relegated to a bargain bin long ago by someand still pristine. Now, it equals prestige. one to whom it was worthless. It’s a value There are vintage designer wears from the universal in the world of vintage, used and 80s onwards given marketing spin the kind derelict objects. of stuff some people still have in their wardVintage shopping is hardly a trade rerobes. These only appeal to shoppers who served for reclusive crate-diggers, though – cannot really remember the 80s on first fashion is by nature cyclical, and elements of thought. retro looks are always reworked and re-enThen, there is the real vintage - clothing ter fashion, if only subtly at first. This seafrom a pre-brand era that requires a grasp son, stores like H&M and Topshop have both of fashion history to appreciate and a decommandeered and contemporised the exgree of patience to find, not to mention a otic bohemian look taste for supreme found on spring workmanship and ‘Vintage is often a step above runway shows, a fad the fetish for utter of sevfashion expression. many designer clothing. It is de- reminiscent enties hippie chic, For this category of signer clothing that not any fash- peppered with a shoppers, vintage is dash of another kind of ion fad with a big bank account modern multiculturalism. must-have brand. can get. Vintage implies rarity. Many high fashion In the world of shoppers, it takes a And in a world of international magazine stylists to vintage vintage shopper to mass market, where even de- turn shops in order to know one. Unlike with other addicsigner wears are copied, a rare accessorise and the tions, vintage shopgem is worth paying for. There complement couture fashion ping is a solitary is a reason it is old and still pris- spreads contained in sport, as any junky the pages of their worth pair of antine. Now, it equals prestige’ glossy monthlies. tique Zodiac boots It gives outfits a will tell you – shopmore individualised ping companions are for the roving market, and will only slow appeal. And that, in essence, is what vintage you down. An entire obsessive subculture shopping is about – it provides the opportusurrounds vintage and antique shopping, nity to create a style that isn’t a mere facand although there is no initiation, memsimile of a tailor’s dummy, and one which bership is implicit, and vintage shoppers tend requires imagination and adventure rather to view one another with more wariness than simply a zone one tube pass and plenty than camaraderie. of cash. The appeal of vintage over the mass marI know a vintage fan who said: “I want ket is distinct but somewhat difficult to arvintage furniture for my office furniture, and ticulate, but it can be explained partially in I will make this work no matter what”. He the fact that, unlike the mass-manufactured, went the whole hog, getting vintage furnibrand-new spoils of high-street fashion, ture for his office and home. And indeed, which peddle more of an image than simply whenever you step in, you would see that a garment, vintage finds are weathered and vintage is priceless. mired in history. With high street chain fashThe component of the appeal of vintage ion and even couture fashion houses, alshopping that is probably most puzzling to though a piece is generally new and trendy, outsiders, is the act itself, which is often less it also almost assuredly has thousands of dushopping as it is sorting through piles of plicates, and, particularly with the most what are quite often just dirty, old objects – popular chains, you are guaranteed to see but this search is unhampered by dry spells an exact replica on the street. With vintage that can endure for weeks or months. It’s pieces, however, a look can be cobbled toequally unhampered by the magnitude of gether with several that, although not necthe putative ‘junk’ to sort through – the hope essarily unique, are self-contained enigmas. of the ultimate find that may be in the next Vintage pieces offer a past that prompts cushelf or in the next box is sufficient motivariosity about their origins and previous tion to spend hours pillaging unique shops owners, about all the hands they traveled and it often worth the time necessary to look through that were oblivious to their value, at them all. a value now redeemed by you. They are rare, because they are generally It’s a strangely gratifying feeling to find dependent on the ignorance of the seller, as something dog-eared and bedraggled, to the value of the item. weighted with accumulative layers of time,

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: janicenkoli@yahoo.com SMS - 08033349992


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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

SHOPPING

• From left: The late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Larry Page and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Competition heats up as Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon battle for the future of the innovation economy. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes. Additional reports from Google.com.

War among tech giants

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MAZON, Apple, Facebook, and Google do not recognise any borders; they feel no qualms about marching beyond the walls of tech into retailing, advertising, publishing, movies, TV, communications, and even finance. Across the economy, these four companies are increasingly setting the agenda. The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Larry Page and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, look at the business world and justifiably imagine all of it funneling through their servers. Why not go for everything? And in their competition, each combatant is getting stronger, separating the quartet further from the rest of the pack. Nobody knew it at the time, but the Cupertino City Council meeting on June 7, 2011, was Apple founder, Mr Steve Jobs’s last public appearance before his resignation as Apple’s CEO in late August (and his passing in early October). What a fitting way to go out. While ushering Jobs to the podium on that fateful occasion, Gilbert Wong, the mayor of Cupertino, California said: “”As you know, Cupertino is very famous for Apple Computer, and we’re very honoured to have Mr. Steve Jobs come here tonight to give a special presentation,” “Mr. Jobs?” And there he was, in his black turtleneck and jeans, shuffling to the podium to the kind of uproarious applause absent from most city council meetings. It was shocking to many seeing him there on ground level, a thin man amid other citizens, rather than on stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center with a largerthan-life projection screen behind him. He seemed out of place, like a lion ambling through the mall. Then he began, his voice quiet and sometimes shaky: “Apple is growing like a weed and would like to build a gargantuan new campus on a 150-acre parcel of land acquired from Hewlett-Packard in 2010. The company has commissioned architects-some of the best in the world-to design something extraordinary, a single building that will house 12,000 Apple employees”. An amazing building, he unveiled images of the futuristic edifice on the screen. The stunning glass-and-concrete circle looks “a little like a spaceship landed,” he opined. When completed in 2015, Apple’s new campus will have a footprint slightly smaller than that of the Pentagon; its diameter will exceed the height of the Empire State Build-

ing. It will include its own natural-gas power plant and will use the grid only for backup power. This isn’t just a new corporate campus but a statement: Apple—which now jockeys daily with ExxonMobil for the title of the world’s most valuable company-plans to become a galactic force for the eons. “Our development is guided by the idea that every year, the amount that people want to add, share and express is increasing,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We can look into the future—and it’s going to be really, really good.” To state this as clearly as possible: The four American companies that have come to define 21st-century information technology and entertainment are on the verge of war. Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking, and more. This competition will be intense. Each of the four has shown competitive excellence, strategic genius, and superb execution that

‘Our development is guided by the idea that every year, the amount that people want to add, share and express is increasing. We can look into the future—and it’s going to be really, really good’

have left the rest of the world in the dust. HP, for example, tried to take a run at Apple head-on, with its TouchPad, the product of its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm. HP bailed out after an embarrassingly short 49-day run, and it cost CEO Léo Apotheker his job. Microsoft’s every move must be viewed as a reaction to the initiatives of these smarter, nimbler, and now, in the case of Apple, richer companies. When a company like Hulu goes on the block, these four companies are immediately seen as possible acquirers, and why not? They have the best weapons—weapons that will now be turned on one another as they seek more room to grow. There was a time, not long ago, when you could sum up each company quite neatly: Apple made consumer electronics, Google

ran a search engine, Amazon was a web store, and Facebook was a social network. How quaint that assessment seems today. Jeff Bezos, who was ahead of the curve in creating a cloud data service, is pushing Amazon into digital media, book publishing, and, with his highly buzzed-about new line of Kindle tablets, including the $199 Fire, a direct assault on the iPad. Amazon almost doubled in size from 2008 to 2010, when it hit $34 billion in annual revenue; analysts expect it to reach $100 billion in annual revenue by 2015, faster than any company ever. Remember when Google’s goal was to catalog all the world’s information? Guess that task was too tiny. In just a few months at the helm, CEO Larry Page has launched a social network (Google+) to challenge Facebook, and acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, in part to compete more ferociously against Apple. Google’s YouTube video service is courting producers to make original programming. Page can afford these big swings (and others) in the years ahead, given the way his advertising business just keeps growing. It’s on pace to bring in more than $30 billion this year, almost double 2007’s revenue. The iPhone, iPad, and iEverything else will keep it merrily rolling along. Facebook, meanwhile, is now more than just the world’s biggest social network; it is the world’s most expansive enabler of human communication. It has changed the ways in which we interact (witness its new Timeline interface); it has redefined the way we share—personal info, pictures (more than 250 million a day), and now news, music, TV, and movies. With access to the “Likes” of more than 800 million people, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has an unequaled trove of data on individual consumer behavior that he can use to personalise both media and advertising. Almost everyone using the Internet is a customer of Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google and most probably count on all four. This passion for the Fab Four of business is reflected in the blogosphere’s panting coverage of their every move. ExxonMobil may sometimes be the world’s most valuable company, but can you name its CEO? Do you scour the Internet for rumours about its next product? As the four companies encroach further and further into one another’s space, consumers look forward to cooler and cooler products. The coming years will be fascinating to watch because this is a competition that might reinvent our daily lives even more than the four have changed our habits in the past decade. “Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

‘The four American companies that have come to define 21st-century information technology and entertainment are on the verge of war. Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking, and more’

do not talk about their plans. Coca-Cola would tweet its secret formula before any of them would even hint at what’s next. “That is a part of the magic of Apple,” says new CEO Tim Cook. That secrecy only fuels the zeal of those bent on sussing out their next moves. And it is certainly possible to decode the Fab Four’s big-picture strategic ambitions: Over the next few years, each will infiltrate, digitise, and revolutionise every corner of your life, taking a slice out of each transaction that results. This is a vision shared by all four, and it hinges on three interrelated ideas. First, each company has embraced what Jobs has branded the “post-PC world”—a vision of daily life that is enabled by, and comes to depend on, smart phones, tablets and other small, mobile, easy-to-use computers. Each of these companies has already benefited more than others from this proliferation of mobile, a shift that underlies their extraordinary gains in revenue, cash reserves and market cap.

‘Over the next few years, each will infiltrate, digitise, and revolutionise every corner of your life, taking a slice out of each transaction that results’


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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Brandnews

Cannes Lions unveils jury chiefs C

ANNES Lions 2012 edition has announced the presidents for the Design, Film Craft and Radio categories at the International Festival of Creativity. The jury presidents will come to Cannes to preside over their juries for the 2012 Festival, taking place from June 17-23. Bruce, Creative Director, Turner Duckworth, UK, will lead this year’s Design Lions Jury. After working as a designer at Michael Peters, Minale Tattersfield and Lewis Moberly, Bruce started the brand design agency Turner Duckworth in 1992 with his friend and fellow designer David Turner. With agencies based in San Francisco and

London, Bruce runs the London office and is jointly responsible for Turner Duckworth’s creative output with David. Both studios work on all projects, which gives a unique design viewpoint. He has won over 200 design awards including D&AD, DBA Design Effectiveness, Design Week and a Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Coca-Cola. His work has been published in many design books and magazines all over the world and he is an in demand speaker for design and marketing conferences as well as design education. “It’s a massive honour to be asked to lead the Design Lions Jury. I can’t wait to see the

design entries, meet the other judges and immerse myself in the process of selecting the very best work,” commented Bruce Duckworth. Heading the Film Craft Lions Jury is Ivan Zacharias, Director, Stink, UK. Ivan began directing commercials while still a student and quickly developed a reputation as the most interesting and innovative director of his generation to emerge from Eastern Europe. His most notable work includes ‘Impossible Dream’ for Honda, ‘Born Free’ for Land Rover, ‘Smile’ for VW Beetle and ‘Doctor’ for Stella Artois which

swept the boards at awards. He has also directed Hollywood actors Gael Garcia Bernal in one of two Levi’s commercials for BBH NY as well as Harvey Keitel and Jude Law in pieces for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. He is one of the most awarded commercials directors in the world with over 100 awards including seven Gold Lions. About his role, Ivan Zacharias said: “At this stage in my career, I’m more carefully able to select how I divide my time, and with that freedom I’m delighted at the chance to judge the work of my contemporaries.”

Guinness acquires Ethiopian Breweries

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UINNESS Nigeria’s parent company, Diageo Plc, has completed the acquisition of the Meta Abo Brewery Share Company SC (‘Meta Brewery’), a leading beer company in Ethiopia, for USD225 million The acquisition concludes a competitive tender held by the Privatisation and Public Enterprises Supervising Authority for Ethiopia. Nick Blazquez, Vice Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc and President, Diageo Africa, said: “I am delighted that we are able to announce the completion of this acquisition which represents a key milestone in achieving our strategy of participating at scale in beer and spirits in growth markets in Africa, as we continue to do in Nigeria. Over the past five years, Diageo has invested more than £1 billion in building its businesses in Africa, and we will continue to look at opportunities to expand our footprint, grow our brands and secure strong routes to market.” Early last year, Diageo, reaffirmed its commitment to the Nigerian economy through the recent £225million investment in capacity expansion of Guinness Nigeria Plc.

Meanwhile, Diageo has announced the appointment of Francis Agbonlahor as Managing Director for the Meta business. Prior to taking up this role, Francis was Supply Chain Director at Guinness Nigeria and a member of the Africa Supply Leadership team, a position he held for three years, having previously managed the company’s Benin Brewery. He takes up the role with immediate effect. Meta Brewery is the second largest beer company in Ethiopia with a volume share of approximately 15 per cent. From its brewery near the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, it produces and distributes its flagship national lager brands - Meta and Meta Premium. Ekwunife Okoli, Managing Director, Africa Regional Markets, added: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Francis Agbonlahor as Managing Director of our new business. Francis brings significant experience from Guinness Nigeria Plc, one of Africa’s biggest beer markets, and his knowledge of leading supply operations will add huge value to the business. I know Francis looks forward to working closely with the Senior Management Team at Meta to lead the future of the Meta business.”

P&G is advertiser of the year

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& G has won this year’s Dubai Lynx Advertiser of the Year

award. It is presented to advertisers in the MENA region, who have distinguished themselves for inspiring innovative marketing of their products and who embrace and encourage the creative work produced by their agencies. The trophy was presented to Al Rajwani, Vice President & General Manager of P&G Arabian Peninsula & Pakistan, during the Dubai Lynx Awards at The Madinat Arena, Dubai. On the award, Al Rajwani said: “We are honoured with

the Dubai Lynx Advertiser of the Year award, recognising P&G brands’ innovative communications and the creative work produced by our partner agencies. “Dubai International Advertising Festival provides the opportunity for us to learn from innovative creative ideas from all around the region. Big ideas is an essential element for brand building, and requires a new level of creativity, depth, relevance, and authenticity driven by consumer insights. “Our purpose focuses us on the consumers we serve and inspires us to under-

stand them, leading to insights that inspire life-improving innovations.” P&G, a global brand that values the cultural nuances of the MENA region, has so far won, since the launch of the Dubai International Advertising Festival, a total of 39 Dubai Lynx awards across different disciplines: two Grands Prix - the Outdoor Grand Prix in 2008 for Koleston Naturals, entitled ‘Natural Colours Change’ and the Print Grand Prix in 2007 for Olay, entitled ‘Undo’ - as well as three Gold, 21 Silver and 13 Bronze Dubai Lynx awards between 2007 and 2011.

•From left: Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegn Aganga, Minister of State, Chief Samuel Ortom and the Head of Indian Delegation, Mr Rama Kalidindi, during the visit of the Indian delegation to the Ministry in Abuja.

Standard Chartered berths in Cote d’Ivoire

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TANDARD Chartered Bank has launched securities services in Cote d’Ivoire, expanding the bank’s existing regional securities capabilities to include the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) region. Cote d’Ivoire is the four new markets in which Standard Chartered has launched services, following the bank’s acquisition of Barclays Africa securities business in 2010. This expansion aligns with Standard Chartered’s ambition to be the preferred provider for Investors and Intermediaries across Africa. Serge Philippe Bailly, chief executive officer for Standard Chartered Côte d’Ivoire, said: “By offering securities services in Cote d’Ivoire and across the West African Monetary Union (WAMU), Standard Chartered is enhancing the range of financial solutions and capabilities we provide to support the growth and expansion of new and existing clients. Cote d’Ivoire, and more broadly West Africa, demonstrates immense growth and investment potential – Standard Chartered is committed to facilitating the growth of the region’s financial sector and realising our brand promise of being Here for good.” With Cote d’Ivoire, the bank will now offer securities services in 10 African markets (Bot-

swana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire) with indirect capabilities in a further more markets in Egypt, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia and Rwanda through an integrated network of agent banks. Chris Wooldridge, Regional Head, Investors & intermediaries Africa for Standard Chartered added: “We are witnessing an increased demand from both international and regional clients to invest and participate in West Africa’s economic potential – securities services enable corporate clients to proactively and efficiently track their investments into African equity, bond and money markets. By providing the structure, products and service for this valuable channel of investment, the Bank facilitates the growth and development of the region’s various upand-coming stock exchanges to meet the world’s increasing investor appetite.” The acquisition and expansion of the securities business in Africa demonstrates Standard Chartered’s commitment to investing in the continent’s growth and development potential, entrenching its ranking as an increasingly attractive investment destination. Standard Chartered has a presence in 16 African markets, 14 of those in sub-Sahara, with a regional history of more than 148 years.

Ethiopian wins gold in African Airline of the Year Awards

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•General Manager, External Relations, NLNG, Sienne Allwell Brown, being received by Senate President David Mark, during the NLNG executives’ visit to the Senate President in Abuja. With them are NLNG’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr Basheer Koko 9left) and Managing Director, Mr Babas Omotawa.

THIOPIAN Airlines has received the gold in the African Airline of the Year Awards. The airline emerged ahead of the pack collecting the highest number of the votes by the readers and followers of African aviation. Readers voted in an online poll set up at the African aviation’s website as well as in the various industry meetings and airline congress events. Following the award announcement, Ato Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines, said: “It gives an immense pleasure to the Ethiopian team to receive a vote of confidence for its services as the continent’s leading airline. The award underscores the continuous efforts and hard work of Ethiopian employees who are striving day and night to surpass

customers’ expectations. Ethiopian is also grateful to its loyal customers for their continued feedback and support which, in turn, assisted us in enhancing the airline’s service excellence.” In 2011, Ethiopian Airlines received African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Award for being consistently profitable over the years and recording strong financial results. Ethiopian was also named as Africa’s most profitable airline by Air Transport World (ATW) in 2010. Ethiopian also received the 2010 ‘’Silver Boeing Performance Excellence Award’’ for its outstanding performance at the Wire Kits Harness Manufacturing Plant and the 2010 Annual Airline Reliability Performance Award from the Bombardier Aerospace in the overall Q-400 product category for the Middle East and Africa region.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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Positioning: Kwara as case study To position and revamp Kwara State, Governor Fatai Ahmed has unveiled the ‘Shared Prosperity’, a programme for the benefit of stakeholders in the state and beyond.

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O let the world know that Kwara State is blessed with untapped resources, the administration of former Governor Bukola Saraki, attracted foreign investment into the state’s agricultural sector during his tenure. However, on assumption of office last year, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, was said to have told his close aides that he would use his tenure in office to guide jealously the known treasures of the state and at the same time promote other economic potential that were unknown to the public. Thus as he settled in office, the governor borrowed a leaf from the latest global trend, which is tailored towards rebranding and rolled out the state’s rebranding process. While some states have rebranded, the Federal government had tried twice to change perception about Nigeria. While other states tended to play on colours and logos to influence Kwara went a bit further in trying to use the concept as a platform for economic transformation. According to the Senior Special Assistant (Media and Communications), to the governor, Dr. Muyideen ‘Femi Akorede,” It was a follow up to the policy retreat hosted by Governor Ahmed in Lagos few months after he got to office. The campaign fine-tuned the key policy thrusts, strategies and indices for the then new administration. He also stated that the rebranding campaign was designed to position Kwara as a conducive environment to foreign and local direct investment. Governor Ahmed, explained that the campaign was motivated by the need to leverage Kwara’s huge natural resources, peaceful atmosphere and strides in commercial agriculture, education and commerce for enhanced local and foreign private investment. Ahmed said that while past administration’s facilitation of the Shonga Farm project put Kwara State on the global trade map, he was determined to highlight the state’s other huge potentials through a targeted global marketing campaign, adding that the series of public-private partnership ventures currently running in the state recommend Kwara for more of such initiatives. “Our intention is to sell Kwara through a composite approach that reignites our people’s sense of pride in their state while at the same time emphasizing our key strengths in terms of our innovative trade, industrial, solid minerals, and tourism and investment policies. Furthermore, considering our peaceful atmosphere, efficiency of government business and an evolving regime of solid social and physical infrastructure, Kwara is today one of the most favorable to private investment in Nigeria. We intend to sell that attribute to the world through our branding campaign”, the statement quoted the governor as said. He also stated that while the foreign and national phases of the campaign were important, it was vital that the Kwarans had a buy-in into the branding campaign as major stakeholders and primary audience for the campaign hence the decision to blend the state’s cultural identity with its unique trade and investment strengths in the entire project. To give it a professional touch, Akorede stated in Ilorin last week that a reputable Nigerian branding company was engaged to create a brand identity and manage the campaign based on the brief received from the state governor shortly after he resumed office in May Last year. In July 2011, the administration came out with a Medium Term Sector Strategy which contains the key policies, strategies and action plans for each of the ministries, departments and agencies in the state. The

document which was a product of a retreat held in Lagos and attended by Governor Ahmed, other top government official and resource persons from the private and international sector, also contains a road map and key performance indicators for the government for the next four years. Following the retreat, Governor Ahmed, was said to have directed all political office holders and civil servants in the state to imbibe and internalise the MTSS to ensure effective implementation. Having set the ball rolling and signalled a wake-up call to members of his cabinet last year, in January, the governor went a bit further by approving a programme of Shared Prosperity as a marketing platform to ensure that all key stakeholders within and outside the state understand and internalise the key policies contained in the MTSS. Knowing well that advertising was key to successful marketing, the administration went full blast in the media in the last one month to sell ‘the shared prosperity programme’. A source in the government has also indicated that other marketing platforms like outdoor, online and mobile communications would be deplored to reach the people and friends of the state within and outside Nigeria. In a recent ad placed in some national newspapers, the programme was simplified and broke down the MTSS to direct core policies that could be easily marketed to the people. While some observers have claimed that it is much like the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda, it is believed in many quarters that it goes beyond it to capture how individuals on the street could contribute their quotas into the economic transformation of Kwara. In an interview with the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Tunji Morohunfolu, said the government adopted the strategy having realised that that everyone in any given society aspires towards prosperity. “The objective, therefore, is to create a platform for all stakeholders to partake in Kwara’s Economic and social prosperity. Economic prosperity for the state will translate into the people’s well-being, increased revenue for development projects, profits for private entrepreneurs and investors, employment generation, enhanced infrastructure and others. According to him, the campaign also aimed at positioning the Abdulfatah administration as a high-performing and purposeful one, through the marketing of the innovative programmes.

War against cash

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AR has positives. War has negatives. It depends where you stand. If you were around during the Nigerian civil war that consumed many lives, and left some families devastated over 40 years after, you would readily say war connotes a bad omen. On the other hand, if you were on the other side, you would look in the mirror and smile at the man in the mirror because the war in question has helped to keep some different tribes and tongues together. However, aside the civil war, which left a sour taste in the mouth, the regimes of some long gone military rulers fought a different kind of war in their effort to sanitise the country and keep things in their proper places. What did the strong rulers do? They thought (in their wisdom) that the problem with Nigerians and Nigeria was indiscipline, as such; Nigerians should be “disciplined”. Therefore, they reasoned, the best way to go about it was to “force” Nigerians to behave in an orderly manner by “intimidating” them to form a long queue at the various bus stops, grocery stores, banking halls, on university campuses, everywhere, while soldiers lurked around to “discipline” any bloody civilian who contravenes the law. Suddenly, the queue culture caught on. The news at nine on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), the nation’s TV station, was incomplete without the queue culture commercial being aired. The social scene also caught the queue bug as Fuji and Juju musicians sang about it. Popular sitcom, New Masquerade, dramatized it. “Andrew” voiced it. Students cracked jokes about it. “The queue culture is working”, the military rulers thought, without paying particular attention to the endemic corruption in the guise of kickback, contract inflation, abandoned projects, vandalization and arson, and other corrupt practices that characterised the democratically elected civilian regime which that military junta toppled. Then, that military regime thought “force” was the name of the game, thinking that it could cudgel Nigerians into participating in its war against indiscipline (WAI). It thought with WAI, Nigeria would become a better and disciplined nation. That military regime was wrong. Why? What happened next would explain. While that military ruler was basking in its triumph and settling down to act out its next script, a coup, cooked by an insider, put an end to WAI, WAI brigades and the proponents of WAI. What is the lesson? That is not the story for today. The focus is on another war being fought by another governor. The war today is against cash. Several scholars and monetary “experts” have pontificated on the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Some said it is a policy whose time has come. Other said its time has not come. Yet, another set said for Nigeria to compete favourably with the other economies of the world in either Europe, USA or Africa, Nigeria need to transit from cash-based to cash-

less transactions. The cashless initiative is aimed at encouraging more electronic-based transactions and reducing the amount of physical cash in circulation. To make its argument logical, the CBN said that the direct cost of cash management to the banking industry in 2009 was N114.5billion with an estimated cost of N192 billion by 2012. According to the CBN, the spiralling cash management cost, most of which is passed to customers in the form of bank charges and lending rates, is as a result of the country’s cash dominant economy. Therefore, the apex bank articulated its case; “the cashless policy would boost our economy as more money would be channelled through electronic process”. Like the WAI experiment that failed to work from the inside out, the cashless policy is toeing the same route. The CBN has expended huge budget on the campaign in order to propagate the cashless policy, but it has not done it the way it would yield the desired result. There are still several grounds to cover. There are still several miles to go. There are still several stones left unturned. And it seems the CBN is in a hurry to achieve its objectives of making Nigeria a cashless country. To show that the CBN has not put its acts together, it has come out recently to change the theme from cashless to cashlite, saying that it does not intend to foster a cashless environment but it would promote an environment where the use of cash is light. To ensure this cashlite push, it has imposed sanction and limitations on banking public and corporate organisations, which is akin to “forcing” Nigerians to form a “queue at every bus stop” without first working assiduously at changing the attitude, the culture, the belief of Nigerians about carrying cash. Until Nigerians change their attitude and belief about carrying cash, the cashless policy is doomed. However, once the CBN can put machinery in place and begin to engage the different stakeholders that would assist it to achieve behavioural change at the grassroots level, then it can begin to expect a semblance of success. War against cash cannot be won in the boardroom with long oak table and sartorial suits and bow ties, no. War against cash would be won on the streets. Nigeria would remain a mixed economy of cash and card, not solely card. Cash is stubborn. Cash is attractive. In Europe cash is still in vogue, maybe not as obscenely common as in Nigeria. But in 2011 cash made up 56 per cent of all UK payments which comes to about £262bn. You like cash. He likes cash. She likes cash. We all like cash. Why? It makes things easy. It is fast. Its value is clear. It is accepted by everybody. Banks, however, don’t like cash because it is expensive to handle and move around. But get this: war against cash cannot be won by formulating monetary policy. Anyway, there are technologies that can reduce the cost of dispensing cash. The CBN and banks should invest in such technologies and stop fighting against cash because the CBN’s war against cash is not positive.

Brandwise with Bob Gas

Unlocking your potential

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• Gas

OU may have several different gifts, but you must discover your core gift and build your life around it. David sensed that he was more than a shepherd; he was a king-in-the-making. Killing Goliath just gave him a chance to demonstrate it. Had he failed to realize that, he’d have gone back to tending sheep. What blinds us to our core gift? 1) Focusing on our flaws. Instead of focusing on our strengths we listen to our critics and rehearse the qualities that discourage us most. Be careful; the company you keep will either lift you or lower you. That’s especially true of those who resent your success, because it reminds them of their own lack of it. 2) Envying the gift of others. It’s okay to appreciate other as long as you don’t try to duplicate them. Instead

of living in somebody’s shadows, stand on their shoulder s and glean from their wisdom. Be an Elisha; ask God for twice as much as your mentor. Uncommon people are just common people who recognize their core gift and put it to work. Paul speaks of seven different gifts: ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach, if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully’ (w. 6-8 NIV). What’s your core gift? Discover it, develop it, and then dedicate it to God’s highest service!

*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: korede2000@gmail.com © All rights reserved.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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SOCIETY WHAT AND WHERE?

‘HE’S HANDSOME, CARING’

Funeral

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OMORROW, the remains of Reverend Waribo Iweala, a relation of Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala will be interred at his home Umuda Isingwu, Umuahia, Abia State. The celebration of life service will take place at Methodist Church Umuda Isingwu, Umuahia. •Prof. Bandele Osinusa

•Prof Julius Eso

•Dr Okonjo-Iweala

Reverend was 92.

Installation

•Head of Animashaun family Alhaji Saif Animasaun and wife Safirah

HE Rotract Club of Mushin will tomorrow install Esther Ogunshola as the 24th president. The ceremony will be chaired by Dr Bayo Wondapo. The guest speaker is Mrs Titilayo Akintan while Mr Dare Oloyele is the special guest of honour.

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Engagement

•Prof Segun Matanmi

•Mr Femi Oyerola

•Azezat Salaudeen and Medina Idris PHOTOS: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

FUNERAL

•Alhaji Oyetola

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LL roads will lead to Oyetola Residence, GRA Iragbiji in Osun State tomorrow as

the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola will be receiving his in-laws for an engagement. Alhaji Oyetola’s daughter Rasheedat Oluyemisi and her beau Shamsudeen Agbolade, son of Alhaji Musa Saliu-Alubankudi are set to exchange marital vows. Expected at the event are A-list personalities within and outside the state.

Book presentation

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•From right: Mr Yomi Kuku and wife Kemi; Dr Tope Kuku and wife and the Olotu Ifoore, Chief Adeolu Osinnukan during the funeral of Pa Modiyu Ayoola Kuku at Ilese-Ijebu, Ogun State

WEDDING

ODAY, the Minister of finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor (CBN) Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and their counterparts across Africa are expected at the launch of a book Troubled Asset Resolution. The book is written by a legal luminary, Chief Olaniwun Ajayi. The occasion will witness discussions on Knowledge Exchange and roundtable on Global Trends in Financial Stability. It will discuss the roles of institutions in the recent global financial crisis. Sanusi is expected to speak on CBN’S intervention in preventing systemic risk in the banking sector and the establishment of the Asset Manage-

•Sanusi

ment Corporation (AMCON). The book will be presented by the Executive Director of the World Bank, Dr Mansur Muktar. Other discussants are Assistant Governor, Central Bank of Malaysia, Donald Jaganathan; Director of Financial Markets, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Dolika Banda and Senior Partner, Clifford Chance LLP, United Kingdom Malcom Sweeting.

Engagement

T •Former miss Obehi Lovelyn Okoegwa and her husband Mr Efe Paul Eigbadon, during their wedding at Christ Apostolic Church, District Headquarters, Lagos

HE families of Alhaji Gazali Adeyemi, a royal clan from Osogbo and Adeagbo family of Iseyin will tomorrow hold the engagement ceremony for their children, Azeezat Adeyemi and Opeyemi Adeagbo at the Gazal Holiday Inn, Osogbo, Osun State. Guest on the occasion includes business tycoons and government officials.

Birthday

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OMORROW, Deaconess Idowu Abimbiola, wife of Pastor Olugbenga Oyebode will turn 40. The birthday celebration will take place at the Sam Shonibare Recreational Centre, Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos. Among the guests expected at the event is Lagos

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•Mrs Oyebode

State Deputy Governor Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.

Anniversary

HE Nigerian Law Schoiol, Augustine Nnamani Campus, will hold its 10th year anniversary tomorrow at the Augustine Nnamani Auditorium Agbani, Enugu State. The chief host is the Director General, Nigerian Law School, Dr Tahir Mamman and the host is the Deputy Director General and Head of Campus, Prof Ernest Ojukwu. •Compiled by Amidu Arije


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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COMMENTARY

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ISTORY is an invisible object with two wings flying across generations in time and space. One wing is positive, the other is negative. With history, the present becomes the heritage of the past even as the future awaits the baton of continuity from the present. No living nation or tribe or even individual can dream of a realisable future without a viable present based on the experience of the past. The web of life is like a magnet which no iron element can bypass on its way to ornamental glory. Against what ought to be her heritage, Nigeria is, today, passing through a fabric of uncertainty as she rolls back the fibres of the future into those of the present and weaves both into the vestiges of the past. Such is a sign of a dead nation waiting to be buried. What war is not ravaging Nigeria today in spite of Allah’s abundant bounties? The forces of the present seem to have connived with those of the past to wrestle the future aground thereby depriving the generations yet unborn of any hope of existence. From all indications, Nigerians live in a country that is evidently enslaved to her rulers. For decades, Nigeria had been forced by her so-called rulers to fight wars ranging from political to economic to social and to ethnic without winning any. Now, a religious war is being added. Like a billow vigorously storming around at the instance of an invisible tempest, a melee of religious hullabaloo engendered by a vicious political Pandora has virtually turned Nigeria into a land of curses. To avoid the scourge of such a melee or prevent its spread and intensity in the Southwest of Nigeria, some foresighted Nigerian youth (Muslims and Christians) of Yoruba descent are bravely taking the bull by the horn. Those youths, led by a versatile journalist, Adewale Adeoye (a Christian) and a brilliant lawyer, Shenge Abdur-Rahman (a Muslim) who recently formed an organisation named ‘Yoruba Muslim-Christian Dialogue Group’ organised an interfaith summit in Lagos on February 23, 2012. The core objective of the new group is to foster a stronger peaceful co-existence between the Muslims and the Christians in the Southwest of Nigeria with a view to precluding the likelihood of Boko Haram vandalism in that region. The summit which was supposed to be co-chaired by the Secretary General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Lateef Adegbite and the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye attracted a number of Muslim and Christian religious organisations as well as some prominent individuals in the region. Although neither Dr. Adegbite nor Pastor Adeboye was personally present, both were ably represented even as the gathering was expressly meaningful. Yours sincerely was one of the guest speakers invited to that occasion. And below is an excerpt from the speech I delivered: “....By its design and intent, religion is supposed to be not only a panacea for all human psychological ailments but also a soothing balm for any spiritual ache. Ironically, however, it has been turned into a poison in our society which seemingly has no provision for an antidote. And through our attitudes, we seem to be bent on swallowing the pill of that poison without minding its consequences. The factors that culminated in what we now variously call religious militancy, extremism, fanaticism and terrorism emanated only from the yoke of ignorance which bad governance has come to aid. And could anything have influenced bad governance as much as ignorance? Yet ignorance would not have had a role to play in our religious or political lives if we had demonstrated the will to genuinely follow the tenets of our religions and learn from the lessons of history without banking on mere assumption and rumour. History as a teacher always has a lesson to teach those who are ready to learn. But unfortunately, most human beings especially Nigerians refuse to learn any lesson from history and the price is what we are paying today. In 1962, Nigeria’s Governor General, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (who later became Nigeria’s first President), paid a three day official courtesy visit to the Premier of Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello in Kaduna. He was accompanied by his wife, Flora. The host Premier mobilised all the paraphernalia of office in honour of his guests whom he gave an unprecedented, flamboyant hospitality. The visit enabled their

FEMI ABBAS ON Femabbas@yahoo.com 08122697498

The price of ignorance wives to become so familiar with each other that Flora also invited the Bellos to the East on a similar visit. By the end of the visit, Dr. Azikiwe had become so much impressed that at the point of departure he held Ahmadu Bello’s hands and gently told him to “Let us forget our differences”. In response to that emotional but infatuating gesture, Sir Ahmadu Bello said in an equally gentle but emotional baritone voice: “No sir! Rather than forgetting our differences, let us understand them. I am a Muslim and a Northerner. You are a Christian and a Southerner. It is only by identifying and understanding those differences that our friendliness can truly endure”. There and then, Dr. Azikiwe nodded in agreement with his host’s logic accepting the fact that one could not forget what has not been identified. The lesson to learn from this experience is that of mutual understanding without pretentiously sweeping anything under the carpet. That is the principle upon which the marriage of political strange fellows who find themselves in the same political party is often based in Nigeria. It is also the principle upon which the partnership of many Nigerian businessmen and women is based despite their cultural incompatibility. For thousands of years, peoples of all races and tribes across the world thrived vaingloriously on cultural ignorance attributing their calamities to mysterious forces and blaming such mysteries on what they called witchcraft. Here in Yoruba land, millions of children were forced to die in infancy by their own parents out of sheer ignorance while the same parents turned round to blame what they called ‘ABIKU’ for the mass infanticide. With time, however, education and knowledge of science brought about the invention of various vaccines with which children are now immunised against all diseases thereby giving them the opportunity to survive. And this has enabled us to know today that the mystery once called ‘ABIKU’ is a euphemism for ignorance in Yoruba mythology of those days. Now that the days of cultural ignorance seem to be over, Nigerians have devised another means of restiveness by shifting to religious ignorance which enables them to replace the infanticide of the yore with modern day genocide and this in the name of religion. It is hoped that one day,knowledge will also help us to overcome the spectre of religious ignorance by the grace of Allah. If it had pleased the Almighty Allah to make all human beings one single race with one colour, one tongue and one religion, He would have done so without receiving any query from anybody. But as the Omnipresent and Omnipotent, His decision to diversify His creatures cannot be faulted as it is from that diversity that all creatures have consistently derived benefits. In the world today, there are different races and tribes of human beings with different colours, languages and cultures each functioning as predestined and yet they all interact positively with one another to the benefit of all and sundry. This is in accordance with the words of Allah in Chapter 49 verse 13 of the Qur’an thus: “Oh mankind! We have created you from a male and a female and classified you into races and tribes that you may interact with one another (and thereby draw from the advantages therein). Verily, the most honourable of you before Allah is the most pious among you. Allah is Allknower and most acquainted with all things”. What is true of human beings here is equally true of other creatures. For instance we can all see that on a single arable plot of land, a variety of plants may grow to form an orchard but each with different foliages and fruits. Some of those

fruits may be sweet, some may be bitter and some may be sour. Some may be fruitful, some may be fruitless. Some may be trees of gargantuan posture while others may be ordinary legumes. Yet they are all fed by the same soil, watered by the same rain and photosynthesised by the same sun. Their different foliages, sizes, heights and tastes notwithstanding, they all function effectively and advantageously according to the purpose for which they are created. In the ecosystem, no tree in an orchard will ever accuse another of bearing fruits different from its own and no animal will blame another for carrying a different feature or wearing a different colour. Neither will a whale denigrate even a fingerling in the ocean for sharing the same water with it. Ditto the world of birds and that of insects. Even as plants, animals, aquatics, birds and insects they know that for everything Allah does He has a purpose which may not be known to them as creatures. It is only among human beings that discrimination and segregation exist based on ignorance. We can also compare the above analogy to a situation inside a football stadium where there is a variety of sections such as State Box for the upper class, State Box Extension for the Middle Class and popular side for the lower class. At the entrance of the stadium, each person obtains a ticket according to his or her financial ability. And that qualifies him for a seat in any of those sections according to the status of the ticket obtained. Without prejudice to the categories of the tickets they obtain, all the spectators in the stadium are authorised to watch the match for which they have paid. If at the end of the match however, a spectator who was privileged to sit in the State Box turns round to say that another who sat at the popular side of the stadium did not watch the match others around them will sarcastically conclude that something might have gone wrong with the psyche of the accuser. The positions from which those spectators watched the match might be different but the fact remains that they all watched the same match. That is the parable of religion in the lives of individual human beings. A famous German dramatist and critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) once made a related axiomatic statement thus:”There are good men in every land. The tree of life has many branches and roots. Let not the topmost twig presume to think that it alone has sprung from the mother earth....We did not choose our races by ourselves. Jews, Muslims, Christians-all alike are men. Let me hope I have found in you a man”. In Islam, revealed religions are like an embassy established by a nation in another nation to strengthen her relationship with the host country. The ambassadors appointed to manage such embassy, may be changed from time to time just like the foreign policy which guides those ambassadors but the embassy remains intact barring any unforeseen circumstances. So is the case with the Prophets of Allah. They might have come at different times and from different lands and tribes. They might have brought different books and spoken different languages but their mission was one and the same. Muslims believe that all the Prophets and Messengers who have come into the world to guide mankind were from one and the same God who created the universe. Thus, Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael) Ishaq (Isaac), Musa (Moses), Daud (David), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad (SAW) as well as others who preceded them or came in-between them brought the same message of monotheism through which mankind was counselled to worship one God and be upright in conduct. In Qur’an Chapter 2 verse 285, Allah

admonishes Muslims against discriminating among His Apostles thus: “The Apostle of Allah, Muhammad, (SAW) believes in what has been revealed to him by his Lord, and so do the (Muslim) faithful. They all believe in Allah and His Angels, His Books as well as His Apostles. We do not discriminate against any of His Apostles. They say ‘We hear and obey. Grant us your forgiveness oh Lord! To you we shall all return”. As a Muslim, you cannot believe one of those Apostles and disbelieve others. Neither can you believe in one of the revealed Books while disbelieving in others. That is why no true adherent of Islam will ever express foul language against the person of Jesus. Though the modalities for worship may differ from faith to faith and from sanctuary to sanctuary this does not change the course of their faith in only one God. Thus, the rivalry between Muslims and Christians especially in Nigeria over who is spiritually right or wrong is a product of ignorance. As taught by Christianity and Islam through their respective revealed Books, the areas of life that need our cooperation are by far more comprehensive than those in which we differ. For instance, both the Bible and the Qur’an counsel humanity to worship one God. They preach good deeds to neighbours and other fellow human beings in public and in private irrespective of religious lineage. They advocate good care of our parents, our children, the aged ones amongst us and the handicapped. They urge kindness to our wives and leniency with our adversaries. They admonish us against cheating and any form of corruption. They forbid theft, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism and above all the killing of fellow human beings extrajudicially for whatever reason. They also warn us against provocation, aggression, exploitation and advertent or inadvertent transgression even as they emphasize the ephemerality of this world and the eventuality of the hereafter. In all these, we have a common affinity to jointly guard. The few areas in which we differ are abstract and quite personal. They are not areas in which human beings are given the power to pass judgment. Only the Almighty God can judge on them. Such are the areas which we believe will pave our ways into Paradise. But since paradise is for individuals and not for religious blocks why are we fighting each other? After all, the journey to Paradise or Hell is a matter of choice for every individual. And no one can tell with precision who will go to Paradise or go to Hell. Such is the prerogative of God which He has not assigned to any human being and which no human being can and should arrogate to himself or herself except one who wants to play God. As an adherent of a religion, you can only perceive your God according to your faith and that should not cause any rancour between you and adherents of any other religion. As Nigerians, we dwell in the same country, eat the same foods, drink the same water, wear similar dresses trade in the same markets and spend the same money. Our children attend the same schools, write the same examinations and obtain the same certificates. We intermarry across tribes and ethnicities as well as religions. All these form a stronger bond that ought to unite us much more than the abstract ones which often threatens to separate us. In a situation where the factors of life that unite us grossly surpass those that divide us will it not be stupid to sacrifice unity and cooperation? With the formation of this interfaith group (Yoruba Muslim-Christian Youth Dialogue Group), I am beginning to see a future of harmony in Nigeria not only in the sphere of religion but also in the social and political spheres as well. This is the time for change. We cannot wait any longer. Let the Christians amongst you engage in Crusade and the Muslims in Jihad against all vices in the society which the two revealed Books (Bible and Qur’an) abhor. Let all of you jointly cooperate in upholding the values of life as contained in the Bible and the Qur’an. And with this, in the very near future, we shall find ourselves in a new world of peace and harmony.This is what Daniel Webster meant when he coined his famous poem which goes thus: “If we work marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and instil in them just principles; we are then engraving that upon tablets which no time can efface but will brighten to all eternity”. Thank you all and God bless.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

AGRO-BUSINESS Fadama III registers groups

Expert predicts rise in food stock A

CONSULTANT to African Development Bank (AfDB), Prof Biyi Daramola, has predicted a rise in food stock because of favourable rainfall. The stock, he said,would rise in the next few months when the rains start. Daramola told The Nation that the government’s efforts to boost agriculture would lead to good harvest. He said the government is making efforts to boost cultivation of major crops such as maize, rice, millet, sorghum, potatoes. The massive harvest of these produce expected in the coming months will bring down their prices and make them affordable, Daramola added. His fear, however, was that the proposed increase in energy tax and increased transportation costs will have negative impact on the national food production efforts. Commenting further on the issue, Daramola said transportation is key issue in successful food production management. He explained that where the cost transport is high inflation will go up. This, Daramola said, will contribute to higher food prices. Daramola added that higher energy prices will erode the

By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

purchasing power of households and undermine gains from the agricultural transformation agenda. On the whole, he said the most comprehensive way to deal with high food prices, hunger and poverty is to invest in agriculture and raise food production. Meanwhile, high cost of feeds, rising market taxation rates by local authorities are affecting the poultry industry. A significant rise in animal feed ingredient prices, particularly corn and soy has pushed the poultry industry to call on the government to declare a state of emergency in the country’s agriculture sector. Escalating fuel prices have also had a negative impact since farmers are spending more on chick warming and hatchery. According to state Chairman of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter , Dr. Femi Faniyi, diesel has gone up 25 per cent, groundnut cake 40 per cent, soybean 55 per cent and maize 36 per cent. “It is important that food must be made available cheaply,” said Faniyi. “But the biggest challenge we are having is that prices of feed materials

•Daramola

keep going up and thus affecting the price of egg.”The prices of eggs and poultry are rising to combat costs, but, according to the industry watchers, the prices are growing beyond consumers’ abilities to pay. He said fortunes were fast waning. The price of corn and other staple crops has almost doubled over the past year, resulting in an increase in the cost of animal feed. As feed is responsible for the majority of costs involved in poultry, the rise has had a significant effect on commercial poultry farmers. Poultry farmers said they are losing money, and could to quit the business if they do not get a better price from the market. Farmers say the situation is worse,when food inflation eroded their profits.

A TOTAL of 74 Fadama Community Associations (FCAs) and 912 Fadama Users Groups (FUGs) have been formed and registered in Kwara State.The state Fadama Co-ordinator, Malam Usman Akanbi, disclosed this at a sensitisation workshop organised for reporters in Ilorin.Akanbi said the local government had registered seven FCAs namely, Irepodun, OkeEro, Ifelodun had six FCAs; Asa, Kaiama, Moro and Offa with five each while Baruteen, Ilorin West, Ilorin East Ilorin South and Patigi registered four each.According to him, Oyun, Isin and Ekiti local governments registered three FCAs each.Akanbi said so far, about 32 Local Development Plans had been executed in the state at the cost of N73 million. “In compliance with the World Bank guidelines on procurement, the state Fadama has put in place the necessary structures, standard and practice to ensure transparency, cost effectiveness and dueprocess”.`` The project has positively impacted so much on the lives of the rural people across the 16 localgovernment areas of the state”. The Technical Training Officer of the programme, Mr Yusuf Agbabiaka, identified provision of adequate training and capacity building as one of the laudable achievements of Fadama III in the area. He said staff of the programme had benefitted from different capacity building and training activities, to improve their efficiency and prepare them for possible future challenges.

Farmer calls for law on agric A FARMER in Ode-Irele in Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State, Chief Adeyemi Akinde, has called on the National and State Houses of Lagos Assemblies to a enact legislation that will boost agriculture in the country. Akinde said in Ode-Irele that the legislation should also address the plights of farmers and enhance better performance, welfare and improve their status. The farmer, who is the Co-ordinator of Agbekoye Farmers Association in the state, said such a legislation would afford them the opportunity to perform better and improve the economy. ‘‘So, let our legislators come up with laws that will pave way for more fund allocation and opportunities that will facilitate our growth and improved production.’’ He noted that farmers in the country had not been accorded their rightful positions, recognition and respect by the governments at the federal, states and local government levels. “It is unfortunate that farmers in this country have not been getting their right benefits and allocations as being presented by the government. “Our governments’ uncaring attitudes to agricultural practice have not been helping us to develop like other nations in farming and it is high time we all changed our attitude.’’ He observed that almost all the states were short funding the agricultural sector, adding that some governors should be sanctioned by the appropriate government agencies. “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should investigate this allegations and prosecute erring government officials that are found guilty of appropriating funds allocated to agriculture in particula,’’he added. Akinde, who is the Basorun of Ode-Irele, however, noted that the Ondo Government was making a positive impact in the lives of farmers and the agriculture sector with the establishment of farm settlements.

Farmers cultivate 1,700 hectares

•From left: (in the background) Siasia,General Manager Ms Akunna Nwamuo; Project Director Jack Williams; Ahmed; Senior Special Assistant on Investment to the Governor, Yomi Ogunshola, examining the complex plan.

Kwara to build $150m agro-processing complex T HE Kwara State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mosila Group Limited (MGL) for the establishment of a 600-tonne Agro Processing Complex in Share in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state. The firm is to take advantage of the state’s huge potential in cassava farming by adding value to cassava derivatives. MGL Chairman Mr Moses Siasia, who signed on behalf of the company, said the complex would be built in three phases. He said an 18-month period has been earmarked for the completion of the first phase of the project at a cost of $150million. He explained that the state was chosen for the project because of

its tremendous achievements in agriculture and investments. Speaking on the occasion, the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the Agro Processing Complex will change the status of Nigeria as the largest producer of cassava in the world without added value. “Our purpose is to move agriculture from the farms to the industries through well coordinated commercial and industry-based agricultural practices,”Ahmed said. He added that the complex will be a big boost for the realisation of the values of the cassava reformation agenda of the state and

Federal governments. According to Ahmed, the choice of Kwara for the agro processing complex was apt as the state produces 40 tonnes of cassava per hectare which would be ready made raw material for the complex. The governor added that the state had well-co-ordinated policies in agriculture which included the establishment of agricultural hubs in parts of the State with special focus on certain farm products. Ahmed, who described agriculture as the future of Nigeria, said Kwara State, through various policies and partnership with the private sector, was emerging as the change agent in agricultural practice in the country.

MORE than 1, 700 hectares are being cultivated by farmers at the Jibia Irrigation facility in Katsina State, the Project Manager, Alhaji Wada Yakubu, has said.Yakubu said in Jibia that efforts were on to cover all the 3, 500 hectares at the site by October, when work on the installation of new facilities was completed. He, however, said that the installation had cut the number of farmers engaged at the site from 7, 200 farmers during the last irrigation season to less than 2,000 farmers in the current season. The manager also attributed the reduction in the number of participating farmers to epileptic power supply and high cost of diesel, which limited the capacity to pump needed water to all the canals. He said that the project, established 20 years ago, had created job opportunities, reduced the rate of poverty among the rural dwellers and prevented rural-urban drift.On portable water supply, the manager disclosed that the dam had more than 266 million cubic liters of water that could provide drinking water to Jibia and neighbouring communities. Yakubu commended the Federal, state and local governments for their support to the project and urged them not to relent, so as to boost food production. Some of the farmers interviewed commended the efforts of the federal and state governments in maintaining the site, but sought for extension services and supply of improved seeds, chemicals and fertiliser. They also urged the government to open up markets for their products to minimise post harvest loses and to gain maximally from their efforts.One of the farmers, Samaila Umar, called for the education of farmers on new farming methods and other related issues to enable them match in step with modern methods and standards.

Fed Govt invests in aqua-culture THE Federal Government has formulated policies and programmes to guarantee profitable investment in aqua-culture and boost agricultural sector in the country. The Director of Fisheries, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Fredrick Adeyemi, disclosed this at a workshop in Enugu. Adeyemi, who described aqua-culture as the best way of producing fish in sufficient quantity, assured potential investors that with the new policy, they would produce enough fish to meet the local demand.He added that the policies would transform the nation into the status of the largest exporter of fish in West Africa. He explained that the nation’s continuous dependence on importation of fish was not sustainable because foreign exchange was becoming scarce daily.According to him, under the agriculture transformation agenda of the government, conscious effort is being made to ensure that aqua-culture is sustained for Nigeria to achieve sufficiency in fish production. “The target is for every local production to be able to reach 250,000 kilogrammes of fish annually.”


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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

AGRO-BUSINESS STATE FOCUS

Boosting food production in Cross River

•International Fund for Agricultural Development President, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, addressing the press at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Cameroon Station. With him is Dr. Rachid Hanna, IITA Cameroon Country Representative.

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Fed Govt to focus on rural development

HE Federal Government is to focus on rural development to actualise the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), the Ministry of Agriculture has said. The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ezekiel Oyemomi, said the National Integrated Policy on Rural development (NIPRD) would be reviewed to meet the objective. He spoke at a working on the review of NIPRD in Lokoja, Kogi State. He said before the country can witness genuine transformation in the agricultural sector, it must consider rural

From Olugbenga Adanikin and Adebowale Adenike, Abuja

development. Oyemomi, represented by the Director of Planning Mr Zacheus Atteh, said the workshop was convened to enable participants to contribute to the new policy to support ATA’s realisation. He said the policy review became imperative following the input and infrastructural needs of rural dwellers. Oyemomi said: “The envis-

aged goals and output in the implementation of the transformation agenda cannot be fully realised without adequate rural infrastructure and virile rural institutions. “For decades, Nigeria’s rural development sub-sector has been neglected arising from urban-biased approach to national development adopted over the years. The status of rural area has been described as devoid of water supply and sanitation, energy and communication. “An estimated 85 per cent of the extremely poor in Ni-

geria lives in rural area. These reasons the underscore the importance of a NIPRD to review in line with the agricultural transformation agenda.” The Director of Rural Development, FMARD, Mr Daniel Daudu, said the motive was to improve the rural-urban food security and general livelihood of the people. The Kogi State Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Joseph Laniyi, said the policy would support the state in achieving its goal of supporting the rural farmers and attaining food sufficiency.

‘Use research knowledge to ensure food security’

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HE Federal Government has been urged to utilise research knowledge to boost food supplies and agriculture. The Chairman of Talon Nigeria Limited, an agriculture research firm, Dr. Sam Talabi, made the appeal in a keynote address at the Bells University of Technology ‘s college day. Talabi said agricultural researchers have made good findings that can address threats to commercial agriculture and improve the local farming system to combat climatic changes. He said climate variability was threatening agriculture production and food security, reducing productivity and arable land

for crop production. The ultimate results, he observed, are high post-harvest losses and death of animals, destruction of agricultural infrastructure and loss of livelihoods of those dependent on agriculture. He said poor infrastructure, especially for transportation and irrigation, posed a significant challenge to agriculture, hindering efforts to ensure food security. Talabi said improved infrastructure would enhance the capacity of communities whose livelihoods depend on agriculture as well as improve food security. With renewed interest in revamping the agricultural sector, he said policies and

research should promote commercial varieties of crops and intensive agriculture. Talabi noted that all attempts should be made to enhance productivity and the survival of poor farmers. Agricultural productivity, he noted, is driven by the ability of the government to provide necessary inputs, such as seeds, fertiliser and pesticides, to the farmers at affordable prices. If the nation is to attain food security, Talabi said the government must improve the management of agriculture and agro-industries’ resource base. He stressed that research knowledge, crops and resource management are an essential element of local

adaptive capacity, adding that utilising them will lead to a more self-reliant and sustainable farming system. He said more tolerant crop varieties have been developed, particularly for drought, flood and pest prone areas. Talabi said new varieties could improve adaptation and enhance productivity. He called on the government to provide the leverage for small farmers to participate in economic growth. Talabi appealed to fresh graduates and students to go into agriculture. He said agric produce have ready markets urging young unemployed graduates to venture into the business.

Firm set to boost national production of tomatoes

A

N indigenous agro business firm, Vegefresh Nigeria Limited, is partnering with the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) ,Ibadan to produce high yielding varieties of tomatoes to boost farmers income. The company said it is promoting new varieties that can boost production rate significantly, by producing enough tomato that can be processed, packaged and stored for both local con-

sumption and export. The firm said it is in partnership with NIHORT to conduct field trials and seed multiplication of existing varieties and ensure the introduction of new ones. The company said it is determined to increase national yield from 25 tonnes to 100 tonnes per hectare; adding that this will increase national annual yield capacity by 300 per cent impacting largely on the economic lives of famers and rural communities and also

enhancing the provision of raw materials for the country’s ailing tomato paste industry .Recently, Vegefresh alongside its partners introduced nine varieties of high yield tomato lines which are currently undergoing field trials in various locations across the country. Under the programme, the firm supports research and educational institutions making available to them its facilities nationwide such as green houses, improved varieties, irrigation equip-

ments and logistics vehicles.Through its National Tomato Development Programme, Vegefresh make its farms in Bauchi, Benue, Ekiti, Ogun, Kano, Gombe and Oyo States incubation centers to train agric entrepreneurs. The firm said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with with the Federal University of Agriculture,Abeokuta (FUNAAB) to collaborate and help make the institute a knowledge hub for farmers.

AGRICULTURE is the leading sector in Cross River State. It employs about 80 per cent of the state’s labour force, and contributes about 40 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The most important cash crops are cocoa, coffee, cotton, bananas, rubber, palm oil and kernels, and peanuts. The main food crops are plantain, cassava, corn, millet, and sugarcane. Palm oil production has shown signs of growth. The state has modern agricultural estates and several smallholder farms in the local government areas. Cross River State has great potential. The climate allows growing a wide variety of crops. Export crops are the focus of agricultural production and research. Livestock, fishing and forestry are pillars of the economy. The government wants to modernise agriculture such that subsistence farmers are brought within the scope of national and international markets. The state’s food security thrust are: “ensuring production of adequate food supplies; maximising stability in the flow of supplies; and securing access to available supplies by those who need them. Cross River is promoting food security by raising agricultural productivity. There is an ongoing campaign to assist livestock farmers all-year-round on farm feed production and farm management to reduce the high livestock mortality rate. The state must increas farmers’ yields and total output to keep pace with increasing population. Its government recognises that hunger and the cycle of poverty are two development challenges that the world faces today. To this end, its agricultural activities are focused on reducing hunger, combating rural poverty, promoting economic growth and protecting the environment. For the state government, raising agricultural productivity is essential to reduce rural poverty, enhance food security, and stimulate broad-based economic growth. While raising agricultural productivity acrossthe-board is essential for reducing rural poverty and stimulating economic growth, focusing on food supply is one of the state government’s measures of combating hunger. The government is nurturing the cocoa industry to improve the lot of farmers and make them effective partners in building the state economy. Cross River is collaborating with the Export Council to address access to foreign markets by local farmers. The state government is seeking investors to develop the sector. Major investments in large-scale farming are needed to expand cocoa farming. The government want investors in food processing. The produce is largely exported unproc-

essed, despite the benefits of value addition. Any investment in this sub-sector attracts pioneer status: tax holidays, tariff concessions, financing and export support. Cross River’s export promotion zones, port, and accessibility to Lagos and Abuja provide easy links to large markets, faster clearance of goods, and an opportunity to develop the capital city, Calabar, into a central location for food processing. To stimulate investment in agricultural activities, the following incentives are provided: companies in agroallied business do not have their capital allowance restricted. It is granted in ful. Payment of minimum tax by companies that make small or no profits does not apply to agro-allied businesses. Agro-allied plants and equipment enjoy enhanced capital allowances of up to 50 per cent. Processing of agricultural produce is a pioneer industry, consequently, there is 100 per cent five-year tax-free period. All agricultural and agro-industrial machines and equipment enjoy one per cent duty. The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF), administered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), guarantees up to 75 per cent of all loans granted by commercial banks for agricultural production and processing. The Interest Drawback Programme Fund provides 60 per cent repayment of interest paid by those who borrow from banks under the ACGS, for cassava production and processing. Its Governor, Liyel Imoke has restated his commitment to providing an enabling environment for investors to develop the agricultural sector to compete in the international market. The state government is seeking private investors to establish citrus and oil palm processing companies to arrest post-harvest losses. It is also searching for investors to partner with the government to support farmers and fishermen for optimum production. The state wants the private sector to support its efforts at diversifying the economy to ensure sustainable growth.

•Gov Imoke


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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DISCOURSE •Being an address to the newly appointed ambassadors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja on March 13 •Continued from yesterday

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UT, even then, at independence in 1960, Nigeria opened trade offices in its diplomatic missions in London, Washington, and later in Brussels. The latter mission was opened after the recognition of the importance to Nigeria of the European market, the second largest export market and source of investment for Nigeria. Trade officers from the Federal Ministry of Trade were routinely sent to Nigerian missions to man the economic desks in the missions and look for trade and investment opportunities for Nigeria abroad. These trade officers who were mostly administrative officers attended routinely to trade and investment enquiries at the missions. But it is doubtful that these trade desks in Nigerian missions abroad achieved much beyond providing information about Nigerian agricultural products. Manufactures accounted at the time for less than 4 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP. The scope for manufactured exports was severely limited by our industrial strategy with its emphasis on import substitution, which involved production for the local market, rather than for exports. We were not in a position to look for foreign markets in a world in which manufactures were dominated by the highly industrialized countries of Europe and the United States. Nigeria was not an industrialized country looking for foreign markets for its manufactures. There was an Economic Division, later Department, in the Ministry of External Affairs. But it was one of the smallest divisions and was generally not regarded as one of the more important departments in the Ministry of External Affairs. Its duties consisted mainly of passing routine information from our missions abroad to the federal ministries of finance, and trade and commerce. In most cases, similar information would have gone from the trade desks in our foreign missions direct to those ministries. Nigeria also maintained an economic desk at our Washington Embassy to liaise with both the World Bank and the IMF. In fact, when he served as our Ambassador in Washington, in the early 60s, Ambassador John Garba was appointed a Director of the World Bank, in which capacity he represented all African countries. So, in the early years of Nigeria’s foreign policy and diplomacy there was no compelling need to give the economic factor any prominence in the conduct of our foreign relations. There was no felt need for it to enjoy any primacy in our diplomacy. Nigeria was not under undue pressure to look for new markets for its oil as the existing markets in the United States and Western Europe were readily available and met our export needs.

Changes in our International Economic Relations. Today, the situation is totally different. A number of important economic changes abroad have made it compulsory for Nigeria to begin to pay greater attention to the importance of the economic factor in its diplomacy. At the political level, the views of our economic planners were profoundly affected by the international involvement in our civil war when oil exports, steadily increasing, suddenly emerged as a major factor in the conflict. First, the war itself was fought over control of Nigeria’s oil resources, and the need to protect its oil exports. Many here may remember the dispute between Shell and the federal government as to who should be paid the oil royalties, with both parties to the dispute claiming that the oil royalties be paid to them. The Nigerian Navy was able to blockade the ports. This enabled the federal government to persuade Shell to pay it the royalties in question. Suddenly, the Nigerian authorities discovered that we live in a dangerous world in which the economic factor in its foreign policy and diplomacy could not be ignored. These oil royalties were used by the FG to prosecute the war. This dispute led to a greater awareness in Nigeria of the importance of economic factor in diplomacy. Had the oil royalties been paid to the secessionists, the outcome of the war might have been different. Another major global economic development that made economic diplomacy increasingly important to

DAPO FAFOWORA

FROM THE SUMMIT dapo.fafowora@thenationonlineng.net

Nigeria’s Economic Diplomacy economic organization, Communaute Economic de l’Afrique de l’ouest (CEAO), of its former colonies to compete with ECOWAS for sub-regional economic influence. It is generally agreed that Nigeria’s objective in forging greater economic integration in the sub-region has faced very serious challenges. Most of the francophone countries in the region are still largely integrated into the French economy. Africa’s foreign trade is still predominantly vertical, with strong links to the European markets. Even the new markets that Nigeria had hoped for in the region have not really materialized. This is due to the noncomplementarity of the sub-regional economies which rely mainly on •Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru agricultural exports. Nigerian traders are to be found increasingly all over the subNigeria was Britain’s sudden decision, soon region. But most of the products they sell after Nigeria’s independence in 1960, to seek are not Nigerian. They are mostly imported entry into the European Union. Britain was from Europe. In fact, Nigeria may be losing Nigeria’s largest trading partner, accounting valuable foreign exchange because of this for over 80 per cent of its foreign trade. pattern of trade in the sub-region in which British entry into the European Economic products paid for and imported for the Community (EEC) would mean the loss by Nigerian market find their way to other Nigeria of the free entry of its exports to the markets in the sub-region. Much more UK market, its largest export market. importantly, the informal trade net works Nigeria was obliged to seek an alternative and cross border trade in ECOWAS, in export market in Europe. In concert with which Nigerian citizens, play a leading role other underdeveloped countries in Africa, is beginning to create tension and hostility the Caribbean, and the Pacific, Nigeria to Nigeria in the region. Its economic decided to enter into separate negotiations benefits to Nigeria are not so obvious. with the European Economic Community In recognition of this negative trend in (EEC) to seek special treatment for exports ECOWAS, Nigeria turned its attention from those countries to the EEC. increasingly to the prospects of African Ambassador Olu Sanu was appointed economic integration. In 1980, during the Nigeria’s Ambassador to Belgium and the tenure of President Shagari, Nigeria hosted EEC to lead the negotiations with the EEC the OAU’s first ever economic summit in on behalf of the ACP countries. After long Lagos. The summit agreed on the Lagos Plan and difficult negotiations, an agreement was of Action, which called for increased selfreached with the EEC in 1975 under which reliance in agriculture and industry, limited exports from the ACP countries were expansion of infrastructure, support for subgiven free entry into the EEC. But over the regional economic groups, and the creation years, the introduction by the EEC, now the of an African Common Market by 2000. This European Union (EU), of qualitative and objective was not realized and has since been quantitative restriction on exports from the extended to 2025. Nigeria’s economic ACP has eroded the efficacy of the tariff diplomacy in this period reflected its agreement with the ACP countries. continued efforts to promote Africa’s The third major development that economic integration and to be a leading compelled Nigeria to take the economic spokesman for Africa on global economic factor in its diplomacy more seriously, in issues. In 1985, a second OAU economic the aftermath of its civil war, was the summit was held, at which General Buhari political and economic situation in its own called on international financial institutions region of West Africa. During the civil war to show a greater understanding for Africa’s between 1967 and 1970, French diplomatic economic problems. Most states in Africa, support for the secessionists led to the Ivory including Nigeria, had fallen into the debt Coast and Gabon recognizing the trap. In 1982, Nigeria had also participated secessionist regime, under the prodding of actively at the Cancun summit on the new France which had a political and economic world economic order. But very little was stranglehold on its former colonies in West achieved at this summit due to the Africa. Nigerian leaders believed France to intransigence and unwillingness of the be working for the breakup of Nigeria. This major industrial powers to make any situation was considered detrimental to serious economic or trade concessions to Nigeria’s long term political and economic the poor countries. interests in the West Africa region where French political and economic interests Nigeria’s financial crisis and where quite extensive. Under the military regime of General the SAP. Gowon, Nigeria pursued a more activist and By the time the military overthrew the assertive foreign policy in the region that Shagari government in 1984, Nigeria’s culminated in the formation of the Economic financial and economic conditions had Community of West African States deteriorated very sharply. Due to a fall in (ECOWAS) in 1975. This was complemented its oil exports and income and the by the indigenization decree of 1975 which inelasticity of its non-oil exports, there was transferred ownership of foreign owned a massive disequilibrium in its balance of businesses to Nigerians. By 1974, Nigeria’s trade and payments. Its foreign debt of GDP had increased to $US 20 billion, bigger nearly $33 billion had become than the combined GDP of other states in unsustainable. It could no longer pay for its the region. Nigeria sponsored and imports. Industrial production which promoted ECOWAS as a foreign policy accounted for a mere 8 per cent of its GDP strategy to pursue a leadership role in the fell sharply and was grinding slowly to a region, buy itself security, and expand its complete stop. Industrial capacity markets in West Africa, while at the same utilization had fallen from 70 per cent to time using ECOWAS to reduce the below 40 per cent. A complete restructuring dependence of its francophone neighbours of the domestic economy had become on France. imperative to save the economy from total But while Nigeria succeeded in increasing collapse. It was in these circumstances that its political influence in the West Africa in July, 1986, the new Babangida military region, ECOWAS has failed to achieve its regime introduced a radical structural economic goal of creating a common adjustment programme (SAP) to shore up regional market. France sponsored a rival the economy. The naira was devalued in a

bid to boost non-oil exports and diversify Nigeria’s economic structure away from its dependence on oil exports. Initially, the economy recovered under SAP. But due to domestic pressure, it was virtually abandoned by Babangida after only three years. It was in this context that in 1987, Babangida’s foreign minister, General Ike Wachuku, first called for economic diplomacy to boost non-oil exports, trade and investment. For the first time, Nigerian diplomats were being asked directly to promote Nigeria’s foreign trade, particularly exports, abroad. Nigerian businessmen were also asked by General Wachuku to invest abroad. But there were gaps in the new policy. The programme lacked specificity and the conditions needed for an export boost were simply not there. On the whole, regardless of its merit, the newly espoused ‘economic diplomacy’ achieved very little in terms of export promotion and trade expansion. When General Abacha came to power the entire programme received less impetus and was quietly abandoned due to intense domestic political tension and conflict. The point has to be made that at the multilateral level, particularly at the United Nations, Nigeria has always ensured that it is ably represented and that its diplomats participate actively in all issues relating to needed changes in the global economy. It has always participated actively in the work of such multilateral trade agencies as the UNDP, the WTO, the ECA, and the financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. It was, for many years, also the largest subscriber to the ADB fund. In fact, the 1975 report of the Adedeji Committee on the review of Nigeria’s foreign policy had strongly recommended that greater attention be paid in Nigeria’s foreign policy and diplomacy on these major global and regional trade and financial institutions to promote economic growth in Nigeria. But very little was achieved in this regard due to bureaucratic lethargy and the inherent weakness and import-dependent structure of our domestic economy. In 1982, when I was elected the chairman of the UN Economic Committee, I discovered how hopelessly African delegates laboured at the global level to gain some practical economic advantages for their countries. Many of them found it very tedious with little immediate rewards. But even if they had the skills and technical expertise required in these complex negotiations, they were often let down by their countries’ relatively weak economic situation in the global economy. Africa’s share of world trade is not much more than 1 per cent, less than that of Belgium, one of the smallest European countries.

Global Changes It was not only in the domestic sphere that significant economic changes were taking place. Significant global changes were also taking place across the world which became increasingly integrated at both the political and economic levels. The Communist model of economic development collapsed under its own weight. Capitalism, with its cyclical ‘boom and burst’ faced a profound crisis of international loss of confidence with the bail out of many industrial countries and banks. Such newly industrialised countries as Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the so-called BRIC countries, had emerged in the global market with an increasing share in world trade, largely from the export of capital goods. Chinese entry and increasingly significant role in the African market, with its huge trade surpluses in Africa, is a major development that is attracting attention in major world capitals. It has captured most of the textile imports in Africa with adverse effect on the textile industry in Africa. Textile trade concessions offered by the US to Africa, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), are being used instead by the Chinese, who simply export their textiles to the US through African ports. To these BRIC countries should be added countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, and the Philippines that had also emerged as big players in the global economy. This phenomenon, later called globalization, put the developing economies, such as Nigeria, on the spot and under greater pressure to undertake a major transformation of their economies so as to take advantage of the process of globalisation, including increased global trade. •To be continued


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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

UNICEF laments state of children •Continued from Page 17

are not keeping up with urban growth in many regions and children’s basic needs are not being met. Families living in poverty often pay more for substandard services. Water, for instance, can cost 50 times more in poor neighbourhoods where residents have to buy it from private vendors than it costs in wealthier neighbourhoods where households are connected directly to water mains. “The deprivations endured by children in poor urban communities are often obscured by broad statistical averages that lump together all city dwellers – rich and poor alike. When averages such as these are used in making urban policy and allocating resources, the needs of the poorest can be overlooked. Suggesting making cities fit for children, UNICEF said a focus on equity is crucial – one in which priority is given to the most disadvantaged children wherever they live. In the circumstances, therefore, UNICEF urges governments to put children at the heart of urban planning and to extend and improve services for all. To start, more focused, accurate data are needed to help identify disparities among children in urban areas and how to bridge them. The shortage of such data is evidence of the neglect of these issues. While it noted that governments at all levels can do more, it opined that community-based action is also a key to success. The report calls for greater recognition of community-based ef-

•Children

forts to tackle urban poverty and gives examples of effective partnerships with the urban poor, including children and adolescents. These partnerships, it said, yield tangible results, such as better public infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil; higher literacy rates in Cotacachi, Ecuador; and stronger disaster

preparedness in Manila, Philippines. In Nairobi, Kenya, adolescents mapped their slum community to provide information to urban planners. Oportunidades, an initiative that began in Mexico and helped pioneer cash transfers that increased the ability of the poorest families to send their children to school and pay for healthcare services, has

been taken to scale in both rural and urban areas and provided valuable experience for countries that followed Mexico’s example. At the global level, UNICEF and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) have worked together for 15 years on the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative building partner-

Obi builds roads in Nnewi •Continued from Page 17

this road in Anambra and Imo states are developed, the road will become the shortest distance between Orlu and Onitsha. All the vehicular traffic from Mbano, Isu and Orlu will flow on this road and empty at Amichi on the OkigweNnewi Federal Highway. We pray for your Excellency to kindly incorporate this dream into your ANIDS in partnership with your fellow progressive Governor of Imo State. “We strongly believe that the heavens are now in favour of this dream. The economic potential is simply immense.” Responding, Governor Peter Obi said the three kilometres spur to Unnubi has been included and would be tarred alongside the initial contract. Obi said: “I am not from Azigbo, neither is my wife but I want Azigbo to be opened up. The Unnubi Road will be included making it N2.5b we are spending on this 25 kilometres of road. “My administration has spent over N8b on roads in Nnewi South. This is one of the longest roads a

•Bago-Stowe (left) presents a copy of the budget to Adetona

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HAIRMAN of Somolu Local Government Area, Lagos Gbolahan Bago-Stowe has said his administration will concentrate on capital projects this year in order to enhance the constituents’ wellbeing. The chairman made this clear as he presented a N1.8b budget to the Legislative Arm of the council. Bago-Stowe called it a budget of continuity, aiming not just to consolidate on the achievements of last year, but also to step up on his programme.

Council prioritises infrastructure By Emmanuel Udodinma

He said the budget was designed to “improve the living standard of the people and provide more infrastructural facilities.” The council chief said much of the budget would be devoted to infrastructure, adding that the council will concentrate on building rural roads, upgrading schools, providing health facilities, among other

projects. Bago-Stowe also urged residents of the council to play their part in this developmental programme by paying their taxes and other levies promptly. He said this will provide the administration with the capital to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. Leader of the council’s legislative arm, Adebola Adetona, promised a quick passage of the budget.

ships to put children at the centre of the urban agenda and to provide services and create protected areas so that children can have the safer and healthier childhoods they deserve. “Urbanisation is a fact of life and we must invest more in cities, focusing greater attention on providing services to the children in greatest need,” Lake said.

state government is embarking on in Nigeria. We do not owe the contractor and therefore he has no reason to delay the job. We are not popular because we are not sharing money but we must continue to do the proper thing.” Managing Director of Grand Star Limited, Chief Leo Ike Okoye said he would complete and handover the project by February next year. “The drainage is 44 kilometres but we have done 40 kilometres. Only 4 kilometres is what remains to be done. Therefore, it could be said we have done over 50 per cent of the work. I thank the governor for considering us in this work and I want to say it here that the government of Mr Peter Obi does not owe us a kobo. My tender did not exceed 10 days and I was paid.” The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Chief Maja Umeh described the road project as the gateway to Anambra State. He thanked the people of Nnewi South Local Government Area for their support to the Obi administration. Various cultural dances added colour to the ceremony as they all eulogised the governor for his remarkable achievements in the area.


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•The complex TO-AWORI Local Council Development Area, Lagos has built and inaugurated a spacious ultra-modern office complex to replace the old one in which its staff were crammed. Deputy Governor Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Olufulire cut the inauguration tape to declare the building open for use. The event attracted a huge number of people from within and outside the council. The locals started singing and dancing as early as 9am, hailing the council chairman Mr Kayode Bolaji Robert for his developmental programme. “Today marks a high point in the history of this council,” the chairman said. “Dignitaries from all walks of life have gathered here to witness the historic inauguration of our own ultra-modern office complex; it is a dream that has become reality.” Robert himself hailed the vision

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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

•Adefulire-Orelope (middle) inaugurates the office complex. With her is council chairman, Robert (right) “I was very impressed when I got there,” she told reporters, adding that the council chairman “has fulfilled the expectations of Otoplex met the best civil engineer- order to provide the administra- Awori LCDA. I’m short of words ing requirements. tion with the funds to execute more seeing this beautiful building with He added that the council did not people-friendly projects in the elevator. I advise other local govborrow any money to build the council. ernments to emulate this gesture.” secretariat, a development which In his closing remarks, the SecSecretary to Lagos Government, was hailed by many, explaining Mrs. Oluranti Adebule prayed God retary to the Local Government that the elevator in the complex to guide and inspire Robert and his and chairman of the inauguration will be powered by two genera- team to do more for the apprecia- committee, Hon. Bode Makinde extors. pressed delight at the commissiontive people. Robert seized the opportunity to In her speech, Adefulire who con- ing of the office complex. The also inform the council constitu- gratulated Robert on his re-elec- Chairman of Community Develents that his administration has ex- tion, described him as a depend- opment Committee (CDC) Mr. ecuted several projects such as con- able ally. She urged him to con- Adelaja West commended Robert, struction of drainages and cul- tinue to provide more describing him as a tested politiverts, and upgrade of schools and infrastructural facilities, saying the cian who knows what his people health facilities. He added that se- chairman was on course. She prom- want and delivers them. The Ajogbo and Akasa tradicurity has also been boosted in the ised to recommend the council for council, just as youths and other more attention from the state gov- tional dancers in the council were on hand to entertain the audience. members of the council have been ernment. National Legal Adviser of the trained on skills to empower them. As she cut the tape, the people ACN, Muiz Banire, alongside sevThe chairman appealed to resi- resumed their chorus. The Deputy dents of the council to pay their Governor joined them in a dance eral other officers of the party were also there. Royal fathers also graced taxes, levies and rates promptly in on the stage. the occasion.

Council builds office complex By Emmanuel Udodinma

and inspiration of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and also the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola. The council chairman praised the governor for his “exemplary leadership” which he said has inspired the council authorities. He said the council faced office accommodation challenges, with staff crammed into small spaces while executive and legislative members shared offices. The chairman hailed the unity existing in Oto-Awori council, explaining that his administration is succeeding because of the cooperation and commitment in his team and also among the council workforce. He said the office com-

Succour for storm R victims

ESIDENTS of parts of Lagos which were devastated a rainstorm on February 13, are still trying to come to terms with the disaster. By the time the rain stopped, roofs of various buildings were blown off, electric poles and trees uprooted, telecommunication masts and bill boards brought down and left some roads in a chaotic state. Most local governments were affected. One of the local government areas that were seriously affected is ItireIkate Local Council Development Area which was carved out of Surulere Local Government Area. Its chairman, Hon Hakeem Bamgbola went for on-the-spot assessment of the destruction caused by the storm. He was shocked at the level of devastation. In the circumstances, Bamgbola promised to cushion the suffering of the victims. To bring this to effect, he quickly set up a relief committee headed by the council’s secretary, Hon Olugbenga Oyebode. The Oyebode-led committee came up, after a very short period, with a long list of people and institutions to be compensated by the council. So, on penultimate Thursday, Bamgbola invited the victims to the council secretariat for distribution of the relief package. Fair enough, it was the first council that carried out such gesture. Before the commencement of the event, many of the victims had thronged the council secretariat. Bamgbola, who handed over cheques between N30, 000 and N100,

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

000 to the beneficiaries described the incident as unfortunate. He thanked God that no life was lost in the incident, even as he consoled those who lost their loved ones in other parts of the state, praying that God should strengthen them. He said though the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) promised to assist the victims “we, as a responsible and responsive government that actually feel the effect on the people came up with some measures to cushion the effects of the financial losses suffered by the people. “In doing this, we have categorised the losses into three – severe, moderate and minor. No fewer than 156 people will benefit from the package,” he added. The council boss reminded the people of the need to always take necessary precautionary measures to avert another disaster during the rainy season. “Experts have predicted heavy rain this year. Let us stop the habit of dumping waste into the canal and ensure that we keep our environment clean,” he said. Government, he stated, on its part has commenced clearing of drains and canals for easy flow of water to reduce the effect of flood during the rainy season.

•Hon Bamgbola (left) presenting cheque to one of the beneficiaries Aside individuals, presentations were also made to police stations, mosques and churches which were affected by the storm. One of the beneficiaries, Augustine Nwanugu who was displaced by the storm thanked the council chief for his generosity. Nwanugu, who resides at Agboola Street, Ijeshatedo could not hide his feelings when he received a cheque for N100, 000. The council was literally turned to a prayer ground as the beneficiaries offered prayers for the council management.


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FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

If we can have one Chief Adeusi in each of the five wards in Egbe-Idimu LCDA empowering 12 youths in one year, then imagine how many would have been empowered in one year

Institute graduates trainess

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HE future has brightened for 12 youths after completing a four-month training programme on skills in Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area, Lagos. The youths were trained free of charge on computer operations as well as bead-making and hairdressing at Maxima Computer Training Institute. Six of them were trained on computer applications while the other six received tutelage on beadmaking and hairstyling. Chairman of the council has offered to provide the trainee graduates with seed money to set up their own businesses and lead productive, independent lives. Also, two of the youth who performed excellently and were ranked first and second in the programme have been offered scholarship by the training institute to advance to 3D graphics, a more intensive stage of computer operations. Founder and proprietor of the institute Chief Adeniyi Adeusi told Newsextra that he offered the free training in order to reduce criminality among youths, and enhance their earning power. “I started Maxima in 1996 when I discovered that most of the armed robbers, when interviewed, claimed to be idle and frustrated,

•Mrs Taiwo Adeusi (standing) and her trainees By Ogochukwu Ikeje

hence they took to crime,” he said. “So I said if I take some of the youths from the street and empower them, they will not go into

I started Maxima in 1996 when I discovered that most of the armed robbers, when interviewed, claimed to be idle and frustrated, hence they took to crime

criminality. That was why I decided to organise a free empowerment programme.” Since then, the institute has been training youths on skills but the number of trainees has been low. Late last year, however, the number shot up to 12. Adeusi, a zonal chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), said he took the idea to his ward and to the council chairman who approved it. At the graduation of the 12 trainees, Arida community where the institute is located received an unusual crowd of dignitaries. The Southwest Youth Leader of the ACN,

Alhaji Abdullahi Enilolobo, sent a strong delegation. Council chairman Waheed Bello, who was at Osun State with National Leader of the party, Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu, sent his deputy, Kunle Olowopeju. Community Development Association (CDA) chairmen in the council, parents and a huge crowd of residents were at the graduation ceremony. On the day, the trainees were given an opportunity to demonstrate what they learnt, and they were said to have acquitted themselves well. One drew a quart of Lucozade Boost using CorelDraw graphics.

Council chief rallies team for development

Distinguished servants of the people, let us not take the electorate for granted. We have to strive harder to ensure that we deliver the dividends of democracy

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HAIRMAN of Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State, Hon. Israel Adekunle has set the pace of work in the council. Chairing the first Budget Retreat since he won a second term in office, he urged executive and management staff of the council, including political heads, to give their best in the service of the people. The Budget Retreat is an annual event at which officers of the council analyse and defend the budget before it is presented before the Legislative Arm. Adekunle stressed that no member of his team must let the people down or take them for granted. “Permit me,” he said, “to quickly emphasise that all participants in this retreat should make judicious use of the golden opportunity this session avails…It is expected that every one of us should actively contribute our respective quota to lift

He was applauded. Mrs Taiwo Adeusi, who anchors the beadmaking and hairdressing arm of the institute, drew the logo of the ACN, and everybody, including the council vice chairman, exclaimed. Impressed with the institute’s achievement, Chairman Bello said: “If we can have one Chief Adeusi in each of the five wards in EgbeIdimu LCDA empowering 12 youths in one year, then imagine how many would have been empowered in one year.” Next month, the institute will take in about 20 more youths for another round of free training, Adeusi said.

•The retreat in session By Emmanuel Udodinma

the image of our noble LG to an enviable standard especially in Lagos State.” The chairman quoted Niccolo Machiavelli, saying “All wellgoverned states and wise politi-

cians have taken care not to reduce the nobility to despair or the people to discontent”. He continued: “Distinguished servants of the people, let us not take the electorate for granted. We have to strive harder to ensure that we deliver the dividends of democracy …to justify the man-

date given to us. Please remember that the ballot is deadlier than the bullet.” The chairman said his administration would spend 60% of the council’s budget on capital projects while the rest would service overhead costs. Adekunle also reviewed the

performance of his administration in the previous year, saying it did creditably well. “Numerous projects,” he said, “were budgeted for, executed and commissioned in various departments like Works and Housing, Education, Health, Waste and Sanitation Management.” He pledged to wipe out underdevelopment and poverty in the council, but added that it is when the sum budgeted for is realised that the council leadership can deliver on its promises.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF LAGOS STATE OF NIGERIA PROBATE REGISTRY, LAGOS DIVISION WHEREAS the person whose names are set-out in the first Column under died intestate on the date and place stated in the said Column. AND WHEREAS the person or persons whose names and addresses and relationship (if any) to the deceased are set out in the second Column here have applied to the High Court of Lagos State for a Grant of Letter of Administration of the Real and Personal Properties of the deceased. NOTICE IS HEREBY given that Letters of Administration will be granted to such persons unless a NOTICE TO PROHIBIT THE GRANT is filed in the registry within (14) days from the date hereof. S/N 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78.

NAMES OF THE DECEASED PERSON:

S/N

NOAH OLUMIDE OGUNSE LATE OF INEC OFFICE IBADAN WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 31ST DEC., 2006 AT IBADAN, OYO STATE. NATHANIEL EDHE KNOWN AS EDHE NATHANIEL LATE OF 27, ODUDUWA ST., AJEGUNLE APAPA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 23RD DAY OF SEPT., 2008 AT OFAGBE, DELTA STATE. MRS IFEOMA PATIENCE APEH KNOWN AS IFEOMA APEH LATE OF BLK. 95, AGEGE LOW COST HOUSING ESTATE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 23RD DAY OF JUNE, 2010 AT ORE. MR RAYMOND IKENNA IHEANACHO KNOWN AS RAYMOND IHEANACHO LATE OF 5, DORISHAMU CLOSE, IRE-AKARI, ISOLO, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 12TH DAY OF APRIL, 2009 AT LAGOS. MR AMOS AREMU LATE OF 9, AKALI LANE, OFF OLAYINKA AJEGUNLE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 10TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2011 AT LAGOS. MR ISREAL APUGO OGAZIE LATE OF 49, SACRED HEART AV. ROCKER PARK ESTATE, OJO, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 12TH DAY OF FEB., 2011 AT LAGOS. MATHEW ODUYEMI ODUSANYA KNOWN AS ODUSANYA MATHEW ODUYEMI LATE OF 7, EBUN CLOSE, ABULE IJESHA, YABA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON THE 22ND DAY OF MAY, 2007 AT SAGAMU, OGUN STATE. BUCKNOR ABIODUN ABEKE KNOWN AS BUCKNOR ABIODUN LATE OF 19, MOSHALASHI ST., OBALENDE LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 10TH DAY OF MAY, 2009 AT LAGOS. OLATUNDE AGBOOLA VINCENT LATE OF 15, OKE-ARIN ST., LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON THE 15TH DAY OF JUNE, 2000 AT LAGOS. MRS IYABO ADIJAT BELLO KNOWN AS BELLO IYABO ADIJAT LATE OF 2, AGBO BELLO PAKO NEW OSHO LAYOUT LANGBASA ETI-OSA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 28TH DAY OF APRIL, 2011 AT LAGOS. UMORU YUSUF SULE KNOWN AS UMORU YUSUF LATE OF 16, YEMI ARIYO ST., EWU-ELESIN, IKORODU WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 9TH DAY OF FEB., 2008 AT IKORODU, LAGOS. MRS. AIRAT BELLO KNOWN AS ALHAJA BELLO ADENIKE ADEYANJU OR BELLO (ALHAJA) ADEYANJU ANIKE OR BELLO AIRAT ADEYANJU ANIKE AND ADEYANJU ANIKE BELLO LATE OF 5, CLINIC CLOSE, APAPA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 13TH DAY OF JAN., 2011 AT IKEJA. IDRIS ADEKUNLE BISHI LATE OF 27, BINUYO ST., LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 31ST DAY OF OCT., 2007 AT LONDON. ESEUGBE HYCINH AIGBOKHAEVBO LATE OF NO.12, BABATUNDE ST. OLODI APAPA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 7TH DAY OF FEB., 2010 AT LAGOS. TAIBAT EBUNOLUWA KUSORO LATE OF 11, OLAIYA ST., PAPA ASHAFA AGEGE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE O N 19TH DAY OF NOV., 2004 AT LAGOS. OJIKUTU MUTIU KNOWN AS OLATUNJI MUTIU OJIKUTU LATE OF 22, IDUMAGBO AV., LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 23RD DAY OF SEPT., 2010 AT LAGOS. KALU AGWU LATE OF BLK.12, FLAT 11, FALOMO POLICE BARRACK, LAGOS WHIO DIED INTESTATE ON THE 12TH DAY OF FEB., 2011 AT OHAFIA L.G.A. ABIA STATE. DARE ABIODUN MICHAEL KOWN AS MICHAEL DARE LATE OF 7, OLADIMEJI ST., AGUDA WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 11TH DAY OF NOV., 2011 AT YOLA, ADAMAWA STATE. MOSHOOD HASSAN LATE OF 5, MOSHOOD HASSAN ST., LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 18TH DAY OF JUNE, 2011 AT CHICAGO. SYLVIA OLUSHOLA AJOKE DOSUNMU KNOWN AS SYLVIA OLUSHOLA AJOKE DOSUNMU VANMIDO (MRS). LATE OF 23, CONGERS HOUSE, BRONZE ST., BELFORD, LONDON WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 27TH DAY OF OCT., 2011 AT SYDENHAM. NATHANIEL EBENEZER DAVIES LATE OF 65A, BROWBOBURY VILA, LONDON WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 21ST DAY OF JAN., 2010 AT U.K. OLUTUNDE AMOS AKANMU ADESHINA LATE OF 3, BAMBO ST., ONIPANU, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 24TH DAY OF FEB., 2009 AT LAGOS. ADENIRAN ADEBAYO LATE OF 5, BAYO ADENIRAN CLOSE, OWODE ELEDE, IKORODU WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 28TH DAY OF DEC., 2010 AT LAGOS. MRS ROSE NZERIBE LATE OF 17, ALHAJI TAKA ST., ALAKA SUULERE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 9TH DAY OF NOV., 2011 AT AGBARA, OGUN STATE. MAJ. GEN PETER M. HARUNA LATE OF HOUSE NO.50, NIGER BARRACK ASOKORO, ABUJA WHO DIED INTESTASTE ON 17TH DAY OF SEPT., 2006 AT VANDEKIA. MR. AKINOLA BENJAMIN KNOWN AS BENJAMIN AKINOLA LATE OF 3, ADEYEMI ST., EBUTE METTA, LAGOS WHO DIED ON 16TH DAY OF APRIL, 2009 AT LAGOS. SAMUEL DADA JOHNSON KNOWN AS JOHNSON SAMUEL DADA LATE OF 25, OLUBIYI ST., UNITY ESTATE, IBA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 12TH DAY OF JULY, 2011 AT LAGOS. ALHAJA WAJURAT ROTIMI OGUNDIMU KNOWN AS FOLAKE YAYA ABDUL AND OGUNDIMU WAJURAT ROTIMI LATE OF BLK. 13, FLAT 6, COCONUT ROAD, M.K.O. GARDENS, IKEJA WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 17TH DAY OF JUNE, 2009 AT LAGOS. EBIOWEI OKOLOBA LATE OF 7, OJO RD., AJEGUNLE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 5TH DAY OF FEB., 2011 AT LAGOS VICTORIA JOSEPH KNOWN AS JOSEPH VICTORIA LATE OF NO.8B, REEVE RD., IKOYI, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 11TH DAY OF JUNE, 2008 AT JOS. WAHAB LASISI KNOWN AS LASISI WAHEEB LATE OF 24, OMONIYI ST., OPE-ILU AGBADO, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 12TH DAY OF JAN., 2011 AT LAGOS. MR TAIWO OGUNBANWO LATE OF 19, BAWALA ST., PEDRO GBAGADA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 17TH DAY OF FEB., 2011 AT LAGOS. DANIEL OPRITSEGBEYIWA OGBE LATE OF 18B, SOULTHER ST., NORTHAN FORESHORE ESTATE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 1ST DAY OF NOV., 2011 AT LONDON. MR FESTUS OMOGIADE ILEGBODU LATE OF 1616, OUTH CUWN AV., LOS ANGELES, CA90010 WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 20TH DAY OF MARCH, 2009 AT CALIFONIA. AYA HORSTALL LATE OF 17, OLUFEMI SHOKAN ST., AGUDA, SURULERE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 3RD DAY OF SEPT., 2011 AT LAGOS. PROF.(MRS) NNENA JOYCE ENWERE LATE OF 64, CEMETRY ST., EBUTE METTA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 24TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2011 AT TEXAS, U.S.A. JOHN ALAO SOLANKE KNOWN AS SOLANKE JOHN ALAO LATE OF BLK. 11, FLAT 3, L.S.D.P.C. HOUSING ESTATE, OJOKORO, AGEGE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 19TH DAY OF JULY, 2011 AT ABUJA. MR EDET OKOKI ESU KNOWN AS MR ESU EDET LATE OF 2, HOLY MARY CLOSE, EJIGBO, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 26th day of NOV., 2010 AT LAGOS. DADA SADIKU LATE OF BLK.1, FLAT 1, SAGAMU RD., POLICE BARRACK, IKORODU WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 25TH DAY OF JULY, 2011 AT LAGOS. ALHAJA MUTIAT OLUWASHOLABOMI LAWAL KNOWN AS MRS SHOLA LAWAL LATE OF 30, OGUN MOLA CLOSE, SURULERE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTTE ON 3RD DAY OF JULY, 2007 AT SANGO-OTA. MR ARIBA CHIDI LATE OF NDIUCHE UMUNNA ARENDIGUOGU L.G.A. OKIGWE, IMO STATE WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 28TH DAY OF APRIL, 2011 AT OKIGWE, IMO STATE. MUHAMMED SHAFIU AROMIRE KNOWN AS AROMIRE KAZEEM LATE OF 36, AROBADEDE ST., BARIGA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 13TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2009 AT LAGOS. MR IDOWU SAVAGE KNOWN AS MR SAVAGE IDOWU LATE OF 402 RD., B CLOSE .BLK. 2, FESTAC TOWN, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 13TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2005 AT LAGOS. UDOH FRANKLIN OKON KNOWN AS FRANKLIN UDOH LATE OF 13, ODUBAKIN ST., IPAJA, LAGOS WHIO DIED INTESTATE ON 30TH DAY OF DEC., 2009 AT LAGOS. ALFA KAZEEM ABDULAZEEZ LATE OF 113, GEORGE ST., APONGBON, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 11TH DAY OF FEB., 2011 AT LAGOS. MR OSHIOGBHELE DENNIS LATE OF 56C, MOSHALASHI ST., SARI-IGANMU, ORILE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 26TH DAY OF JUNE, 2011 AT LAGOS. JULIUS AKACHA ASHIA KNOWN AS ASHIA JULIUS LATE OF 139/1, AKINTOLA ST., N.R.C. COMP. E/METTA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON THE 6TH DAY OF JAN., 2008 AT LAGOS. MR JOSEPH OHAZURUIKE KNOWN AS MR OHAZURUIKE JOSEPH LATE OF 10, OKITO ST., AJEGUNLE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 6TH DAY OF NOV., 2008 AT MBAISE. AKPATI CHRISTOPHER LATE OF FLAT 8, LIPEDE ST., SATELLITE TOWN, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 25TH DAY OF MAY, 2008 AT LAGOS. DR. WILFRED WURUNKEM IZUNAGBARA LATE OF 8, BANJOKO CRECENT BEACH RD., IKORODU WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 13TH DAY OF AUGUST,, 2010 AT OWERRI, IMO STATE. NOAH FESOKE OLUYEBA LATE OF 7, ILESANMI AJAYI, OK8UTA ELERINKE, AKURE WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 23RD DAY OF NOV., 2008 AT OWO. MRS. CHRISTIANA OYEDOLAPO FALODE KNOWN AS FALODE CHRISTIANAH OYEDOLAPO AND MRS C. O. FALODE LATE OF 15, EGUNGBAYE ST., MUSHIN WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 11TH DAY OF APARIL, 1977 AT LAGOS. AMB. MAHMUD BELLO LATE OF 9, AHMADU BELLO WAY, JEMETA/YOLA WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 22ND DAY OF MARCH, 2010 AT ADAMAWA STATE. MR PHILLIPS BANKOLE KNOWN AS MR JONATHAN BANKOLE PHILLIPS LATE OF 54,OYADIRAN ST., SABO YABA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 13TH DAY OF MARCH, 2003 AT LAGOS. MRS ABIGAIL SOMOYE LATE OF 3, MOSORO ST., ABULE OJA, YABA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 12TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2000 AT LAGOS. MRS ADESOJI TINUKE TOLA LATE OF 24, OLUKUNLE SOLESI CRESCENT, AJAH ESTATE, ISOLO, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 27TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2009 AT AKURE. MR FEMI MOSES AKINADE KNOWN AS MR,. AKINADE FEMI MOSES LATE OF 24, DEJO ADELEYE ST., EJIGBO, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 5TH DAY OF JUNE, 2010 AT LAGOS. MR UZOMA EMMANUEL ABAMAJI KNOWN AS ABAMAJI UZOMA EMMANUEL LATE OF 25B, ADEKANBI ST., MILE 2, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 26TH DAY OF JAN., 2009 AT BENIN CITY. GENTY FUNMILAYO MORIFAT KNOWN AS GENTY FUNMILAYO LATE OF BLK.C, FLAT 4, LASU STAFF QUARTERS IBA ESTATE, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 20TH DAY OF JUNE, 2009 AT LAGOS. MRS AFE BEATRICE OYINLOLA KNOWN AS MRS BEATRICE OYINLOLA AFE LATE OF BLK. 94, FLAT 5, AMUWO ODOFIN MILE 2, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 17TH DAY OF MAY, 2010 AT LAGOS. AKINBOYE BABATUNDE DAUDU KNOWN AS AKINBOYE BABATUNDE LATE OF 5, OLOLADE DADA ST., IKORODU WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 28TH DAY OF JUNE, 2009 AT LAGOS. CHIEF MUSENDIKU A. AKESODE LATE OF 102, OSHODI RD., ORILE OSHODI WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 13TH DAY OF JANUARY, 2011 AT LAGOS. MR. BENJAMIN OBELEOKEKE EZEIRU KNOWN AS EZEIRU BENJAMIN OBELEOKEKE AND BENJAMIN O. EZEIRU LATE OF 5, EDY AKANNI ST., ATELLITE TOWN, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 12TH DAY OF JULY, 2010 AT LAGOS. SIR OSIOGBE ABDULAI IKIODA KNOWN AS ABDULAHI IKIODA LATE OF 18/20, SAVIOUR ST., ODAN-ISASHI WHO DIED INTESTATE ON22ND DAY OF JUNE, 2010 AT LAGOS. MR SAKA ADIO BALOGUN LATE OF 17, GODWIN GEORGE ST., AJANGBADI, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 14TH DAY OF MARCH, 2008 AT LAGOS. MR QUADRI HAMED LATE OF 58, ARIOLOYE ST., LAGOS WHOP DIED INTESTATE ON 22ND DAY OF FEB., 2011 AT LAGOS. SAULA OLATUNJI UMAR LATE OF 14, ODUDUWA ST., OWOROSHOKI, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 19TH DAY OF JULY, 2010 AT LAGOS. OSHIBA LATEEF LATE OF 120, DEMURIN ST., ALAPERE KETU, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 6TH DAY OF JULY, 2010 AT LAGOS. MR LAZARUS OMENAZU ONUKWUO KNOWN AS ONUKWUO OMENAZU LAZARUS LATE OF 7, MOGAJI ST., OLODI APAPA, LAGOS WHO DIED ON 27TH DAY OF DEC., 2008 AT MBACHUKWO. MONYEI JOSEPH OKOLUGBO KNOWN AS MONYEI JOE OKOLUGBO LATE OF 4, MICHAEL IDOWU TAIWO ST., BARUWA, IPAJA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 25TH DAY OF MAY, 2011 AT LAGOS. OGUECHUBA CHRISTOPHER DURU LATE OF NO.8, OGUNDERO ST., BARIGA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 17TH DAY OF DEC., 2008 AT LAGOS. PHANUEL NGYAMBULO KNOWN AS PHANUEL BABALE NGYAMBULO LATE OF 10, COTELNA ENGINEERING CLOSE, V/ISLAND, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 25TH DAY OF SEPT., 2008 AT LAGOS. ONWUMERE FELIX LATE OF ONWUMERE COMPOUND AMAJU AMAIGHO, IMO STATE WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 22ND DAY OF APRIL, 2001 AT AMAIGBO. GODFREY OKOLIE OHAI KNOWN AS OHAI GODFREY OKOLIE LATE OF 4, OLANREWAJU ST., AGO OKOTA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 10TH DAY OF OCT., 2011 AT LAGOS. LAWRENCE OLANIYI SHADIYA KNOWN AS SHADIYA OLANIYI LATE OF 22, INUFELE MUSENDIKU AV., IKOTUN, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 5TH DAY OF OCT., 2011 AT LAGOS. MR THEOPHILUS JAMES OLADUNJOYE LAMBO LATE OF 35A, BECKFIELD ST., EBUTE METTA, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 8TH DAY OF FEB., 1999 AT LAGOS. ODIGWE FELIX AZIKE KNOWN AS AZIKE FELIX ODIGWE AND AZIKE FELIX O. LATE OF 27, OLUWOLE LAWON ST., IJEGUN IKOTUN, LAGOS WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 22ND DAY OF JANUARY, 2007 AT LAGOS. SUNDAY CHUKS OGOSI KNOWN AS OGOSI CHUKWUNWIKE SUNDAY AND OGOSI SUNDAY CHUKS LATE OF 10, OGO-OLUWA ESTATE, OFF AKIN OGUNLERE CRESCENT, IGBOGBO IKORODU WHO DIED INTESTATE ON 17TH DAY OF APRIL, 2010 AT IKORODU, LAGOS.

NAMES OF APPLICANT APPLYING FOR THE GRANT

1. MRS IBIYEMISI OGUN AND M KAYODE ABAYOMI OGUNSE BOTH OF STOP 31, IKORODU CRESCENT DOLPHIN ESTATE, IKOYI, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 2. MRS PAULINA EDHE AND AZIAKPONO LOUIS EDHE BOTH OF 27, ODUDUWA ST., AJEGUNLE APAPA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 3. DANIEL O. APEH AND JOY APEH BOTH OF BLK.95, IJAIYE LOW COST HOUSING ESTATE AGEGE, LAGOS THE WIDOWER AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 4. MRS ONYINYE NNENNA IHEANACHO OF DORISHAMU CLOSE, IRE-AKARI ISOLO, LAGOS THE WIDOW OF THE SAID DECEASED. 5. OLUBUNMI AREMU, OLUWAFEMI EMMANUEL AREMU AND KAYODE BABATUNDE OF 9, AKALI LANE OFF OLAYINKA AJEGUNLE AND 19, TEJUMOLA ST., ALAFIA AMUKOKO, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN AND BROTHER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 6. PRINCESS CHINENYE OGAZIE AND MERCY MARACHI OGAZIE BOTH OF 49, SACROL AV. ROCKER PARK ESTATE, OJO, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 7. MRS OLUFUNMILOLA OSUSANYA A. AND OLUSEUN A. ODUSANYA BOTH OF 7, EBUN CLOSE, ABULE IJESHA, YABA, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 8. MRS TITILOLA EUBA AND MRS ARONKE OLAJUMOKE OSHUNKOYA OF 2, OGUN ST., OSBORNE ESTATE, PHASE I, IKOYI AND 260A, ETIM INYANG CRESCENT, V/ISLAND, LAGOS THE FIRST COUSINS OF THE SAID DECEASED. 9. OLAJIDE VINCENT AND OMOBOLAJI VINCENT BOTH OF 3, JIDE ST., IDIMU, LAGOS THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 10.MR BELLO TIAMIYU ABIODUN AND BELLO OLAJUMOKE AMINAT BOTH OF 2, AGBO BELLO PAKO, NEW OSHO LAYOUT, LANGBASA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 11.MRS MARGARET A. UMORU AND SARAH OFUMEN UMORU BOTH OF 10, YEMI ARIYO ST., EWU-ELESIN, IKORODU, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND DAUGHTER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 12.MRS JOKE AKINYELE AND MRS OLUBUNMI OPAYEMI OF 8C, REEVE ROAD, TOWER, IKOYI AND 3, MICHAEL CLOSE, KUDEYINBU ESTATE, IJEGUN, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 13.ALHAJI SODIQ BISHI AND MRS MODUPE BISHI BOTH OF 27, BINUYO ST., LGOS THE FATHER AND MOTHER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 14.AIGBOKHAEVBO ESTHER, IGHODALO EMILY AND AIGBOKHAEVBO EHI JANE ALL OF 12, BABATUNDE ST., OLODI APAPA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND TWO OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 15.MRS FAUSAT O. ABIOLA, MS ABIOLA KUSORO AND MRS ABIODUN OWOLABI ALL OF 11, OLAIYA ST., PAPA ASHAFA, AGEGE, LAGOS THE THREE OF THE SAID DECEASED. 16.OLAGBENGA OJIKUTU AND OLALUBI OJIKUTU BOTH OF 22, UDUMAGBO AV., LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 17.JOY KALU AND PRINCEWILL KALU BOTH OF BLK. 12, FLAT 11, FALOMO POLICE BARRACKS LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 18.DARE GABRIEL OLUDAYO AND DARE TEMITOPE DANIEL BOTH OF 7, OLADIMEJI ST., AGUDA, LAGOS THE BROTHERS OF THE SAID DECEASED. 19.ADEMOLA M. HASSAN, ABIOLA M. HASSAN AND MOYOSORE F. HASSAN ALL OF BLOCK 3, MOSHOOD HASSAN ST., LAGOS THE THREE OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 20.ALHAJI RASHEED OLUWOLE DOSUNMU AND JUMOKE FALETI MRS. OF BLK. 2, FLAT 4, L.S.D.P.C. HOUSING ESTATE ISOLO AND BLK. 16, FLAT 13, RABIATU THOMPSON SURULERE, LAGOS THE BROTHER AND NIECE RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 21.CARMELA MORENIKEJI DAVIES OF 3, WOODLANDS COURT 67, WRENTLAN AV., LONDON NW103NF.THE SIBLBING OF THE SAID DECEASED. 22. MRS . OLUWATOYIN ADESHINA, MRS ELIZABETH ADEOLA OFFOR, ADEWUNMI ADESHINA AND MR ADEBAYO ADESHINA ALL OF 3, BAMBE ST., ONIPANU, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND THREE RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 23.MRS ESTHER OLUWAFUNMILAYO ADENIRAN AND RUTH ADEDOYIN ADENIRAN BOTH OF 5, BAYO ADENIRAN CLOSE, OWODE ELEDE, PHASE 4, IKORODU, LAGOS STHE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 24.MR FRANCIS NZERIBE AND MISS ROSEMARY NZERIBE BOTH OF 17, ALHAJI TAKA ST., ALAKA ESTATE, SURULERE, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 25.JUNNAI FRANCIS HARUNA AND EMILY HARUNA BOTH OF HOUSE 50, NIGER BARRACKS ASOKORO, ABUJA THE DAUGHTERS OF THE SAID DECEASED. 26.MRS TOYIN AKINOLA, MR NATHANIEL OMOTAYO AKINOLA AND M/S ESTHER OLUWASEUN AKINOLA ALL OF 3, ADEYEMI ST., EBUTE METTA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND TWO OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 27.MRS JOSEPHINE OLUSOLA JOHNSON AND OLALEKAN MICHAEL JOHNSON BOTH OF 25, OLUBIYI ST., UNITY ESTATE IBA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 28. ABDUL AZEEZ AROLADE, ABDUL MORIAM WURAOLA AND ABDUL LATEEF OLASUBOMI ALL OF 6, ADDO ROAD, BADORE ETI-OSA THE THREE OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 29. MRS ESTHER OKOLOBA AND MR SCOTT OKOLOBA BOTH OF 7, OJO RD., AJEGUNLE, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND SON RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 30. COMFORT I. JOSEPH AND CHRISTIAN F. JOSEPH BOTH OF 8B, REEVE RD., IKOYI, LAGOS THE YOUNGER SISTERS OF THE SAID DECEASED. 31. MRS SIMBIATU LASISI AND FATIMOTA LASISI BOTH 24, OMONIYI ST., OPE-ILU, AGBADO, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 32. MRS MUINAT ADERONKE OGUNBANWO AND OLUGBENGA ADEBOGUN OGUNBANWO BOTH OF 10, AYINKE ST., AKOKA BARIGA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 33. MRS OLUYEMI DAN-OGBE AND PROMESSA DAN-OGBE BOTH OF 18A, SOURTHER NORTHERN FDORESHORE ESTATE, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED 34. DR. VICTOR AHATESO ILEGBODU AND MRS DEBORAH ILEGBODU UWADIAHE BOTH OF OFURI MARKET ROAD, EDO STATE THE SIBLING OF THE SAID DECEASED. 35. RAPHAEL KONJI CHARLES AWOYESUKU OF 17, OLUFEMI SHOKAN ST., AGUDA, SURULERE, LAGOS THE ONLY SON OF THE SAID DECEASED. 36. MR ONYEKWERE EDMUND EMWERE AND MISS CHINOSO O. ENWERE BOTH OF 64, CEMETRY ST.., EBUTE METTA, LAGOS THE WIDOWER AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 37.ABIODUN AYODOTUN SOL,ANKE AND MRS. CATROLINE ABIMBOLA SOLANKE BOTH OF 4, PORTHCOURT CRESCENT, AGBARA THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THJE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 38. LOVIET SIMIDELE ALADEJANMA (NEE EDET ESU) AND MR BASSEY EDET ESU BOTH OF HOLY MARY CLOSE, EJIGBO, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 39. MRS DADA SIKIRAT AND DADA BILIKISU BOTH OF BLK.1, FLAT 1, SAGAMU RAD, POLICE BARRACKS, IKORODU THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEAED. 40. KAFAYAT OLUWATOSIN LAWAL AND TOIB OLABODE LAWAL BOTH OF 30, OGUNMOLA CLOSE, SURULERE, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 41.MRS TESSY NGOZI ARIBA AND MRS NKIRU NNAMANNI BOTH OF 46, OWODE ST., IKATE, SURULERE AND 28, OKE-ONA ST., IKATE, SURULERE, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND SISTER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 42. MRS AFUSATU AROMIRE, SERIFA AROMIRE AND AZEEZ AROMIRE ALL OF 36, AROBADADE ST., BARIGA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND TWO OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 43. MR. ABDULWAHEED SAVAGE AND MS ABDULFATAI SAVAGE OF 7, FALANA ST., AMORE MEIRAN LAGOS AND 8, SEUN ST., OREMEJI MERAN, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 44. UDOH EKAH FRANKLIN AND OFONIME UFOT JOHN BOTH OF 13, ODUBAKIN ST., IPAJA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND STEPSON RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 45. OMOWUNMI ABDULAZEEZ AND LATIFAT SAMBO BOTH OF 1/3, GEORGE ST., APONGBON, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND SISTER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 46. CHRISTOPHER OMOZUAPO AND MRS ROSE DENNIS OSHIAGBHELE BOTH OF 56C, MOSHALASHI ST., SARI IGANMU ORILE, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND NEPHEW RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 47. THERESA ASHIA AND SUNDAY UGBAKA BOTH OF 139, AKINTOLA ST., NRC COMPOUND, LAGOS. THE WIDOW AND NEPHEW RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 48. MISS CHINMA OHAZURUIKE AND MRS ESTHER OHAZURUIKE BOTH OF 10, OKITO ST., AJEGUNLE, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND DAUGHTER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 49. MRS QUEEN AKPATI AND MR CLEMENT AKPATI BOTH OF FLAT 8, LIPEDE ST., SATELLITE TOWN, LAGOS THE WDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 50. MR EVARISTUS IZUNAGBARA AND MR FIDELIS OBIANOZIE BOTH OF 8, BANJOKO CRESCENT BEACH ROAD, IKORODU THE ONE OF THE CHILDREN AND BROTHER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 51. MRS FLORENCE OLUFUNKE OLUYEBA AND KEHINDE OLUSEGUN OLUYEBA BOTH OF 7, ILESANMI AJAYI OKUITA, ELERINLA, AKURE THE WIDOW AND SON RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 52. MR BENJAMIN O. FALODE, CHIEF OLUTAYO O. FALODE, MR BABARINU A, FALODE AND MRS EMIOLA E. AKINWUNMI ALL OF 3, ATIBA LINK RD., NEW BADEJO, IBADAN, OYO STATE THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 53. ABDULLAHI BELLO OF NO.9, AHMADU BELLO WAY, JEMETU YOLA THE SON OF THE SAID DECEASED. 54. MRS BILIKISU ADEROJU PHILLIPS AND SAMUEL B. BOTH OF 54, OYADIRAN ST., SABO, YABA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND SON RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 55. MS. GBEMI SOMOYE AND MRS COMFORT OWOLESI BOTH OF 3, MOSORO ST., ABULE OJA, YABA THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 56.ADESOJI GBANGA BABASOLA ADESOJI AND ADESOJI TOMILAYO BUKOLA BOTH OF 24, OLAKUNLE SOLESI CRESCENT, AJAH ESTATE ISOLO, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 57. MR FUNMILAYO A. AKINADE AND KUNLE AKINADE BOTH OF 24, DEJO ADELEYE ST., EJIGBO, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND BROTHER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 58. MR CYRIL ABAMAJI AND CHINONSO ABAMAJI BOTH OF 609, IKORODU RD., MILE 12, LAGOS THE BROTHERS OF THE SAID DECEASED. 59. OJIKUTU M. REMILEKUN AND OJIKUTU A. IBRAHEEM BOTH OF 2, YAYA OJIKUTU ST., IKOTUN, LAGOS THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 60. MRS ALAGBE FUNMILAYO, MRS OGUNGBEMILA OLUFUNKE AND MR AFE TOBA ALL OF BLK. 125, JAKANDE ESTATE,ISOLO, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 61. MRS KIKELOMO AKINBOYE AND MRS BOLAJI IDOWU SODIQ BOTH OF 5, OLOLADE DADA ST., IKORODU, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND SISTER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 62. SAKI AKESODE, ALHAJA SILIFAT AKESODE OSHOBA AND SUNDIKA A. AKESODE OF 102, OSHODI RD., ORILE OSHODI, LAGOS AND 39, OLADUNJOYE ST., ABULE EGBA THE WIDOW AND TWO OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 63. UCHECHUKWU S. EZEIRU AND CHUKWUEMEKA EZEIRU BOTH OF EDY AKANNI ST., SATELLITE TOWN, LAGOS THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 64. LADY LUCKY O. IKIODA, MISS FAITH OBIKWEME IKIODE AND MASTER EMMANUEL INABOYA IKIODA BOTH OF 18/20, SAVIOUR ST., ODO, ISASHI. THE WIDOW AND CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 65. MR TAJUDEEN BALOGUN, MISS LATEEFAT BALOGUN, MR MURITALA BALOGUN AND MISS BASIRAT BALOGUN ALL OF 17, GODWIN GEORGE ST., AJANGBADI, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND THREE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 66. MR RASHEED QUADRI AND MRS BUKOLA YUSUF QUADRI BOTH OF 58, AROLOYA ST., LAGOS THE FATHER AND SISTER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 67. MRS SAULA SUWEBAT, MRS FEMI OGUNBANWO, MRS MODUPE SUKURAT BASTUS AND MR SAULA OLAMIDE OLORUNWA ALL OF 14, ODUDUWA ST., OWOROSHOKI, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 68. TAWAS OSHIBA AND RASHIDAT OSHIBA BOTH OF 120, DEMURIN ST., ALAPERE KETU, LAGOS THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 69. LAZARUS OMENAZU ONUKWUO (Jnr.), LAZARUS CHINENYEREN STEPHEN, LAZARUS IFEOMA GLORY AND LAZARUS CHINMELA DAVID ALL OF 17, MOGAJI ST., OLODI APAPA, LAGOS THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 70. MRS. GRACE IFEOMA MONYEI, MONYEL PETER VICTOR CHUKWUDI AND MONYEI JOSEPH IFEANYICHUKWU ALL OF 4, MICHAEL IDOWU TAIWO ST., BARUWA IPAJA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND TWO OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 71. MRS. SUSANA OGUCHUBA AND MR CHRISTIAN OGUECHUBA BOTH OF 8, OGUNDERO ST., BARIGA, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND SON RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 72. MRS. BETTY PHANUEL AND MR TWAKUSEM BOTH AT 10, COTELNA ENGINEERING CLOSE, V/ISLAND, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND SON RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 73. MRS ONWUMERE N. FLORENCE, MISS LINDA I. ONWUMERE AND MR HENRY U. ONWUMERE ALL OF ONWUMERE COMPOUND AMAJU AMAIGBO, IMO STATE THE WIDOW AND TWO OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 74. PAUL OHAI AND MRS DEBORAH U. ADEYEMI BOTH OF 4, OLANREWAJU ST., AGO-OKOTA, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 75. MRS ARIKE SHADIYA, MR OLUWOLE SHADIYA AND MR OLASUPO SHADIYA OF 22, INUFELE MOSENDIKU AV., IKOTUN, LAGOS THE WIDOW, ONE OF THE CHILDREN AND BROTHER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 76. MRS. ADEBOLA LANRE PHILLIPS AND MR OPLUFEMI LAMBO OF ADEOLA ADELEYE ST., ILUPEJU, LAGOS AND 25, ABAYOMI ST., OKI VILLAGE,IYANA IPAJA, LAGOS THE TWO OF THE CHILDREN OF THE SAID DECEASED. 77.MRS JUSTINA EGO AZIKE AND MRS THERESA NWAOSE BOTH OF 27, OLUWOLE LAWSON ST., IJEGUN, IKOTUN, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND SISTER RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED. 78. MRS NKECHI J. OGOSI AND MR CHIKE AZUKA OGASI BOTH OF 10, OGO-OLUWA ESTATE, OFF AKIN-OGUNLERE CRESCENT, IGBOGBO, IKORODU, LAGOS THE WIDOW AND ONE OF THE CHILDREN RESPECTIVELY OF THE SAID DECEASED.

G.A SAFARI (ESQ.) PROBATE REGISTRAR


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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 15-3-12

Investors lose N131b as Dangote stumbles

T

he bearishness at the Nigerian stock market worsened yesterday as losses suffered by highly capitalised stocks exacerbated the downtrend, shaving off N131 billion from market value of equities. The worsening downtrend came as the public hearing by House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market to identify the causes of meltdown and proffer solutions continued amidst revelations of alleged malpractices by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and counter accusation by the Commission. The executive commissioner, legal and enforcement department of SEC Charles Udora yesterday confirmed that it was illegal for the director general of the commission to stay in hotel beyond 56 days. Director General of SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh, had allegedly stayed in highbrow hotel for eight months accumulating some N30 million bills. It was revealed that SEC bought three Toyota Hilux vehicles for N32 million without due process. It was also revealed that SEC had paid N62 million as rent for a five-bedroom apartment for the Ms Arunma Oteh in spite of the monetisation policy of the government. Total market capitalisation of all quoted companies

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

however, dropped from N6.650 trillion to N6.519 trillion, representing a decline of 1.97 per cent. Dangote Cement alone accounted for N72.4 billion out of the N131 billion recorded yesterday. The All Share Index (ASI), which tracks all equities, also dwindled by 1.97 per cent from 21,072.93 points to 20,658.28 points. The decline yesterday turned the yearto-date average return at the stock market to negative at 0.35 per cent. Total Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N8.57 to close at N162.91. Dangote Cement followed with a loss of N4.67 to close at N111.33. Flour Mills of Nigeria lost N2.90 to close at N55.10. First Bank of Nigeria slipped by 40 kobo to close at N10.10. Access Bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Union Bank of Nigeria and Zenith Bank lost 24 kobo each to close at N6.22, N11, N4.71 and N12.91 respectively. National Salt Company of Nigeria and Portland Paints and Products dropped 21 kobo each to close at N4.04 and N4.18 respectively. Meanwhile, Guinness Nigeria topped the gainers’ list with a gain of N3.02 to close

at N228.02. Julius Berger Nigeria followed with a gain of N1.38 to close at N30.22. UAC of Nigeria added 50 kobo to close at N28.50. Cadbury Nigeria gathered 30 kobo to close at N10.80 while Dangote Flour Mills rose by 19 kobo to close at N4.99. Total turnover stood at 406.77 million shares worth N2.84 billion in 3,555 deals. Meanwhile, Arunma Oteh said the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market has been unfair to her alleging that the committee has ulterior motive. Oteh alleged that the Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market Hon. Herman Hembe demanded for bribes through proxy. Hembe subsequently took note of all the allegations and called on the Economic and financial Crimes Commission to probe him and the committee to abcertain the veracity of the claims. But the committee reiterated that it will not be cowed by baseless allegations from continuing with the public hearing pointing out that, it was part of the constitutional responsibilities of the legislators. Oteh decried the manner through which the committee got its documents, alleging that the chairman of the committee used “collaborators and co- conspirators to steal and smuggle these documents out of the commission.” She did not however, deny the authenticity of some of the documents.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 15-3-12


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

55

MONEY LINK

CIBN: Acquisition of Practice Licence optional

T

HE Chartered Institute Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has said that securing its Practice Licence remains optional for members of the institute. The body had stipulated a five-year limit for members applying for its Practice License. Chairman of Council, CIBN, Joseph Jaiyeola explained to The Nation that such applicants would have worked for five years postAssociate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB) qualification, passed the qualifying professional examinations and fulfilled other procedures set by the agency. He said that although securing the licence is not compulsory, but certified members will reap the benefits of such licence. A statement by the Chairman, CIBN Practice Licence Board, Segun Aina, had said the banking industry offers variety and unique career patterns that provide opportunities, advancements and challenging assignments for practitioners. He explained that the licencing aligns with the CIBN Act No.5 of 2007, which gives the Institute mandate to, among others; determine the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the profession. Section 16 of the Act also stipulates that a person other than a corporate member shall be deemed to practice as a member of the banking profession if, he engages himself in the practice of banking or holds himself out to the public as a member of the banking profession. But to be admitted into profession, the member must render

Stories by Collins Nweze

professional services or assistance relating to banking procedures or any other services designated as constituting practice as a member of the banking profession. Besides, part of the general practice regulation is that no individual/non corporate member shall practice unless he/she has applied for and has been granted

a License to practice by the Governing Council. Such license, from time to time, shall be conspicuously displayed at the principal place of business of the member. “In the exercise of the powers conferred on it by Sections 6 and 17 of the Act and pursuant to Section 16 of the Act, the Governing Council also resolved “no individual either practicing alone or in partnership with

other members shall practice as a member of banking profession in Nigeria, except if he holds a valid Practice License issued by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria,” he said. The CIBN Act also requires members to maintain high standards of professional practice and conduct. This was meant to regulate the level of discipline of members practicing banking.

Nigerian, Gambian banks to fund $1b power well with financial close expected N undisclosed Nigerian in IMF approves projects to be reached this year. The vestment bank will partner Luapula projects have a comZambia’s largest distribu$36.7b facility bined capacity of 800 MW and this tor of power to mines in the fiTarney was speaking after the year we are doing feasibility studnancing and development of six signing of an agreement for the ies but I think we should be startfor Greece new hydroelectric power stations joint development of power ing construction maybe 2013 to worth over $1 billion in Zambia, projects by CEC and the Nigerian • Jaiyeola

A

an industry official told Reuters. Michael Tarney, the managing director for corporate development at Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), said the six projects had a total capacity of more than 800 megawatts (MW).

2014,” he said. Analysts said the relationship with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) should boost CEC’s chances of winning the bid for units of a Nigerian state power company lined up for privatisation, Tarney said.

company. “We are immediately looking at the $150 million Kabompo gorge hydro power project in north-western Zambia and the five Luapula river projects estimated to cost $1 billion. The Kabompo project was moving

African currencies ease on declining dollar supply

T

RADERS have projected that the naira and Ugandan Shil lings will ease next week while the Kenyan shilling will firm against the dollar. Analysts predict that high demand for the dollar from fuel importers and declining dollar supply is expected to put the naira under pressure next week with possible depreciation above the N158 to the dollar mark. The naira was trading at N158 to the dollar on the interbank market on yesterday, weaker than the N157.70 closed on Wednesday. Reuters said the Kenyan shilling is

sury bill auction on next Wednesday could lend some support. Bank of Uganda (BoU) is due to auction Treasury bills worth 110 billion shillings ($44.7 million) of 91-, 182-, and 364day tenors, with yields expected to fall, echoing the central bank’s new cycle of monetary policy easing. Analysts predicted that Ghana’s cedi will remain under pressure after a string of losses on rising corporate dollar demand for imports and the settlement of outstanding trade bills. The dollar-cedi rates crossed the resistant 1.73 barrier at the end of trading on Wednesday.

expected to strengthen and break the 82 level, supported by tight liquidity, compounded by high yielding government papers seen drawing offshore investors. Traders said banks were trimming their long dollar positions to fund shillings due to the liquidity squeeze. The average weighted yield Kenya’s on 182-day Treasury bill fell to 18.112 per cent in an oversubscribed auction on Wednesday from 18.377 per cent last week. The Ugandan shilling is forecast to weaken, undermined by corporate demand although traders say a Trea-

FGN BONDS

DATA BANK

Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

OBB Rate Call Rate

7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011

JBERGER OKOMUOIL NAHCO PAINTCOM UAC-PROP DANGFLOUR FIDSON ETI OANDO STERLINBANK

Current Before

O/PRICE

C/PRICE

CHANGE

27.47 20.92 6.95 0.63 10.45 4.68 0.87 11.00 22.51 1.15

28.84 21.96 7.29 0.66 10.90 4.80 0.89 11.24 23.00 1.17

1.37 1.04 0.34 0.03 0.45 0.12 0.02 0.24 0.49 0.02

O/PRICE

MAYBAKER NESTLE UBN PORTPAINT IKEJAHOTEL IBTC ETERNAOIL HONYFLOUR CUSTODYINS LIVESTOCK

2.40 486.70 5.21 4.62 1.42 7.58 3.94 2.31 1.71 1.10

C/PRICE

2.28 462.37 4.95 4.39 1.35 7.21 3.75 2.20 1.63 1.05

150m

150m

150m

155.8

29-2-12

138m 113m

138m 113m

155.8 155.7

27-2-12 22-2-12

147.6000

149.7100

150.7100

-2.11

NGN GBP

239.4810

244.0123

245.6422

-2.57

NGN EUR

212.4997

207.9023

209.2910

-1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

(S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

NSE CAP Index

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N)

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

153.0000

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

Dec ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 1,177.37 99.76 0.76 1.04 0.88 1,666.70 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,137.57 193.00 1.67

9.08 1.00 1,160.06 99.49 0.73 1.04 0.87 1,663.73 7.84 1.33 1.80 6,953.84 191.08 1.62

ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND FIDELITY NIGFUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE

CHANGE

0.12 24.33 0.26 0.23 0.07 0.37 0.19 0.11 0.08 0.05

Date

138m 113m

LOSERS AS AT 14-3-12 SYMBOL

Rate (N)

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD

Parallel Market SYMBOL

Exchange

Sold ($)

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

(S/N)

GAINERS AS AT 14-3-12

Amount

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES

Amount

Offered ($) Demanded ($)

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

T

HE Executive Board of the In ternational Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday, approved a four-year $36.7 billion (•28 billion) arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Greece. The fund was in support of the authorities’ economic adjustment programme. The approval allows for an immediate disbursement of $2.2 billion, and entails exceptional access to IMF resources, amounting to 2,159 per cent of Greece’s quota. The Executive Board also cancelled the three-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with Greece, which had been approved in May 2010. The IMF had approved •30 billion in support of the authorities’ economic adjustment and transformation programme. The fund commended the Greek government for committing to an historic course of action that will give this proud nation a chance of rising above its current troubles and securing a better future for the Greek people.

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

• AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

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

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK Previous

Current

04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011

Bank

8.5000

8.5000

P/Court

8.0833

8.0833

Movement


56

THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

NEWS JTF arrests 17 kidnap suspects in Imo

T

HE Joint Security Task Force, comprising the Police, Army and the State Security Services (SSS), in Imo State yesterday paraded 17 kidnap suspects. The Task Force freed 27 victims when it clamped down on the suspects. Those freed include Chief Anthony Elebolisa, Mr. Anthony Mgberekpe and the wife of a former House of Assembly member, Mrs. Nzekwe. Items recovered from the suspects include a rocket launcher, four AK 47 rifles, live bullets, a Toyota Camry numbered CH 92 FKJ and a 4 Runner Jeep marked Abuja HV 431 ABC.

•Frees 27 hostages From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Brigade Commander of 34 Brigade Modebo Alkali said one of the suspects was killed and another injured while trying to escape. He said three members of the gang escaped. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ASP), Operations, Celestine Okoye said the task force is determined to ensure security in the state. SSS Director Kalama Samuel called for a collaboration between security agencies and the media.

Fed Govt awards N1.7b erosion control contract in Abia From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

T

HE Federal Government has awarded contracts worth N1.7 billion to check erosion in Abia State. The erosion sites to be worked on are Ururuala in Isiala Ngwa; Ubakala in Umuahia South and Pepples Road in Aba. Commissioner for Environment Solomon Ogunji told reporters in Umuahia, the state capital, that the state partnered the Federal Government to check erosion. He said the state would pay a counterpart fund of N30 million. Ogunji said the World Bank would assist through the introduction of the National Erosion and Water-Shed programme. He said: “Funds from the World Bank programme would be spent on other erosion sites, such as the five prominent erosion sites in the state and the 77 newly identified sites. Work is on-going at all these sites.” Ogunji thanked Governor Theodore Orji for the prompt payment of Abia’s counterpart funds, adding that “it is the reason erosion is under control in the state.” On refuse disposal, he urged residents to make use of the refuse receptacles placed at various points across the state. The commissioner said proper refuse disposal would lead to clean drains, which would prevent flooding and erosion.

Accord pleads with Ladoja: don’t return to PDP

F

ORMER governor of Oyo State and leader of the Accord in the

Southwest, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, continued yesterday to maintain his status as a beautiful bride to major parties. The leadership of the AP in the Southwest visited the former governor and begged him not to return to the Peoples Democratic Party

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

(PDP). Ladoja, according to a source, hosted about 15 leaders of the AP in the Southwest. Led by the National ViceChairman (South West), Chief Kayode Ojo, the party leaders stormed the Ondo Street, Bodija home of Ladoja to plead with him to stay back in the party he laboured hard to form and nuture.

•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (middle) inaugurating the Nkisi Water Works Erosion Control Project in Onitsha. With him are Commissioner For Environment Michael Egbebike (right); the member representing Onitsha North 1 Constituency in the House of Assembly, Mr Chigbo Enwenzor (left); and others...on Wednesday.

Stop this blackmail, Ogun tells bankers

T

HE Ogun State Government yesterday took exception to a statement credited to the Chairman of the Ijebu chapter of the Bankers’ Forum, Mr. Funmi Olusoga that banks in Ijebu will not open for customers in protest against robbery attacks on some of them. In his statement, Mr. Olusoga was quoted to have used reckless and intemperate language to describe the state government. But a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, said the bankers’ action could portray the state in bad light.

The statement reads: “We view the statement as a calculated attempt to portray our government as insensitive and unresponsive, particularly since we have always provided periodic information to the Bankers Forum on the sustained efforts to provide necessary equipment for security agencies in the state. “The threat by the Bankers’ Forum to deny customers access to banking services on account of security complaint is gradually turning to blackmail. “For the avoidance of doubt, we need to put it on record that in the nine months that this administra-

tion has spent in office, we have invested almost N3.7 billion to provide security for our people. “Last December, we ordered 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to complement the two we met on ground. Even at that, only one of the two was working. We quickly repaired the other. These were measures aimed at tackling the immediate security challenge. “We equally purchased 125 patrol vans equipped with communication gadgets for the use of the anti-crime joint military-police task force that we established, ‘Operation Mesa’, the Quick Response Squad (QRS) and

the other security agencies. Some of the patrol vans had been deployed. The others will soon be allocated. “We also got the police high command to approve the special deployment of 262 additional mobile policemen from MOPOL 20 based in Lagos to complement the activities of the “Operation Mesa” and other security agencies. “While the bankers believe that only the presence of APCs can give them necessary assurances to operate unimpeded, it should be noted that APCs are not like cars that can be purchased off the shelve.

Aregbesola approves workers’ promotion

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SUN State Governor Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has approved the 2011 promotion for all eligible officers in the state civil service. The approval came in the wake of the conclusion of arrangements by the Civil Service Commission for the conduct of the promotion examinations and interviews. According to a statement signed by the Permanent

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Secretary in the Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Moji Oladipo, the written examination for eligible senior civil servants for the promotion and the candidates who scored below 50 per cent in the 2009 promotion examination has been scheduled to hold on April 14. According to the statement, the examination will

hold at Ataoja School of Science, Osogbo for senior officers, Osogbo Grammar School for middle-cadre officers while confidential secretaries and secretarial assistants will write their examination at the Unity School, Osogbo. The use of English, general papers, public service rules, financial regulations and specific job-related questions are parts of the courses

included in the examination. The statement further said that all agencies of government should conduct promotion examination for junior officers on Grade levels 01 - 06 with the total marks which must be 40 while the results of the examinations should be submitted in triplicate to the state Civil Service Commission not later than April 20.

Suspected cultists attack protesting Labour leaders over strike

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HE gulf between the management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago - Iwoye and the three unions in the institution deepened yesterday with the unions declaring Vice Chancellor Prof. Wale Olaitan, a "Persona non Grata" on the campus. They alleged the vice chan-

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

cellor sent proxies to violently disrupt their peaceful protest. The three unions - Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic (NASU) and Na-

tional Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), accused Prof Olaitan of unleashing people suspected to be cultists on a peaceful rally. The suspected cultists allegedly beat up the protesters including the NASU Chairman, Mr. Rahman

Adewole. The unions were protesting the non-payment of the arrears of their salaries for three months since 2010 as well as the alleged "selective staff recruitment and promotion" by the management without recourse to due process.

13 soldiers survive as truck driver dies in Ogun road accident

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O fewer than 13 soldiers survived a road crash in Ogun State when their bus collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction on the Dega stretch of the Abeokuta -Kobape - Sagamu dual carriage road. While the military officers sustained serious injuries, the driver of the truck marked Ogun XB 170 ABG, died on the spot. An eyewitness told The Nation the accident occurred when a white Toyota Hiace bus, marked Lagos CG 415FKJ, conveying the soldiers veered off its lane after one of its tyres burst. The truck driver, simply identified as ‘Nasco,’ was said to be returning from Abeokuta on his way to Ibiade in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the state. The officers, who were said to be returning to Abeokuta

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi-Aba, Abeokuta for attention. Officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), the Police and sympathisers, battled for hours to evacuate the body of the truck driver from behind the wheels where he was trapped. A man, who identified himself as the motor assistant to the deceased, said they were transporting medical supplies from Abeokuta when the bus suddenly crashed into their truck. The FMC Public Relations Officer, Mr. Segun Orisajo, who confirmed the accident, said: “Some soldiers were brought in this afternoon and they are being given treatment.”


57

THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

NEWS

Aliyu, Gaidam sign Appropriation Bill into law

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OVERNOR Babangida Aliyu of Niger State yesterday signed the 2012 Appropriation Bill passed by the House of Assembly into law. The Bill, presented to the House earlier in the year, is four billion more than the initially proposed N91.3 billion. Aliyu also signed the Ward Development Project Amendment Bills into law. He urged ministries and departments to ensure implementation of the bills. The governor advised them to be cautious in the expenditure and coverage of funds to be released, stressing that each arm of the government has been funded. Aliyu lamented the high rate of ghost workers. “We still have many ghost workers and children on our nominal roll. There is need for us to remove their names if the state is to move forward,” he

•Niger to spend N95.3b •Yobe budgets N78.5b

•Aliyu From Jide Orintunsin, Minna And Duku Joel, Damaturu

said. The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Mohammed Tsowa Gamunu, said the legislature resisted pressures to increase the allocation of some ministries and departments.

•Gaidam

He said the law would address the challenges of providing services to the people. Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State also yesterday signed into law, the 2012 Appropriation Bill passed by the House of Assembly. The governor had, in January, presented a budget proposal of N77.55 billion to the

House of Assembly. The Assembly increased the Appropriation by N1 billion, making it N78.55 billion. Gaidam told the Ministries, Departments and Government Agencies (MDAs) to abide by the budgetary allocations and expenditures without flouting financial rules and regulations. He said total recurrent expenditures are N30.405 billion, while capital expenditures stand at N48.144 billion. Gaidam said: “The full implementation of this budget will be in accordance with our set out budgetary priorities and in compliance with the financial rules and regulations of the Ministries, Departments and Government Agencies (MDAs). He said they should comply “with this year’s budgetary provisions and spend funds

Jonathan urges religious bodies to partner govts on security P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to religious bodies on the need to partner government on security. He said they must educate and sensitise Nigerians on building bridges of harmony and unity. The President spoke when he received the report of the Federal Government’s delegation to the 2011 Christian Pilgrimage to Israel, Rome

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

and Greece. The 11-man delegation was led by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. Jonathan said: “In the light of the recent security challenges in parts of our coun-

try, I believe that our religious organisations have an obligation to function as proactive partners as we try to entrench peace, unity, security, stability, progress and prosperity in our nation. “They must be involved in the process of educating and sensitising Nigerians on the imperative of collective commitment to building bridges

of harmony and unity. “My advice to our religious leaders also goes to the political class. I always said our nation can only maintain the lofty height which Almighty God has destined for us as a people if the political leadership is guided by the ideals of justice, equity, selflessness and fear of God.” Oritsejafor said 17,543 pilgrims participated in the pilgrimage.

Kwankwaso inaugurates committee to develop Kano

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ANO State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has inaugurated a 19-man Governance Technical Reform Advisory Committee as part of efforts to develop the state. Kwankwaso, who spoke after the inauguration, said the committee is to formulate policies and implement strategies

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

in line with the government’s strategic development plan. He said the committee would generate and initiate policy framework that could lead to the achievement of the government’s mission and serve as a centre for processing and developing new ideas

as well as policy initiative that would move the state forward. “The committee is also mandated to work in partnership with development partners as the engine room for institutional reform programmes for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as institutionalise and monitor performance management in

Godwin Dabo passes on

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R. Godwin Adzuana Dabo is dead. He died yesterday morning at the Garki General Hospital, Abuja. In a statement, the National Secretary, Move Nigeria Project, Kemi Babalola, said the family would soon announce the funeral programmes. The statement reads: “With heavy heart but total submission to the will of the Almighty, Move Nigeria Project announces the passing on of our chairman, Dr. Godwin Adzuana Dabo on Thursday, March 15. Funeral programmes will be an-

•Jonathan, Mark mourn him From John Ofikhenua and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

nounced by the family.” President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan expressed shock over the death of the Benue State - born politician. He described Daboh as a very active man who was not afraid to stand firmly for the principles he believed. President Jonathan, who noted Daboh’s vigorous campaign and adroitness in mobilising grassroots support during the last presidential election, also commended his positive contribu-

tions. Senate President David Mark also described the death of Dabo as a huge loss to the nation. Mark, in a condolence message to the government and people of Benue State, noted that he was a political strategist and goal-getter. “We shall miss his political engineering, wit and humour even in the face of adversity. He was daring, fearless and courageous. He never shifted grounds once he believed in a cause,” Mark said.

Twenty-four health care professionals trained

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WENTY-four professionals have been trained to strengthen the country’s health system at the community/state level. The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, who made this known, said the training has empowered professionals with leadership, management and technical skills to be efficient in the health sector. He spoke at the closing ceremony of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Re-

By Wale Adepoju

lief (PEPFAR) Health Professionals Fellowship Programme at the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State. It was organised by the Management Science for Health (MSH) and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Mohammed said the sixweek programme would enhance their ability to overcome the challenges encountered in the country’s health

care delivery system. The FCT Minister, represented by the Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services, Dr. Ademola Onakomaiya, thanked MSH for making the programme available to professionals in Abuja. “We appreciate MSH for partnering government agencies to provide this sort of technical, managerial and leadership skills geared towards the provision of quality health care in the country,” he added.

them,” he said. Kwankwaso added that it would establish a mechanism that would enhance human capital development through attracting competent Kano indigenes and Nigerians in the diaspora to public services, apart from identifying and developing local professionals by incorporating them in the public service projects. The chairman of the committee, Mansur Ahmad, who is also the Director–General, Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, described the task as a challenge, promising to work hard toward achieving the goals set by the Kwankwaso administration.

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LOSS OF DOCUMENT I, MR CASMIR MADU of House 13 Plot 991 Maitama Abuja lost my Document Power of Attorney Regd. as 58/58/1481 of Lands Registry Enugu.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT I, CHUKWUMA IKE of Plot 181 Ind. /Layout Enugu lost my Building Lease Reg. as 55/55/1017 and B.C. of O. Reg. as 78/78/1438 at Lands Enugu.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT I, Francis Offodile of No 28 Umuchi St . Idaw River L/out Enugu lost my Document Reg. as 85/85/637 at Lands Enugu.

PUBLIC NOTICE I formerly known and addressed as MISS ADIDO OMOBOLA now wish to be called and addressed as MRS OTUBOGUN OMOBOLA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

consistent with the legal appropriation for each expenditure item.” According to him, the measures are to ensure accountability, efficiency, probity and transparency in governance

and award of contracts. Speaker Adamu Dala Dogo said: “There is an upward review of the budget by N1 billion to ensure the provision of more dividends of democracy to the people.”


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

58

NEWS Abductors free Lagos banker nine days after

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AGOS banker Mrs Olajumoke Oyegbola abducted at gun point on March 6 has been freed by her abductors and reunited with her family. The family said in a statement yesterday that she was freed on Wednesday. The statement by Moruff Adenekan on behalf of the family said: “The Family of Mrs. Olajumoke Oyegbola, who was abducted at gun point on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, wishes to inform members of the public that she reunited with her family on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at about 10.30pm after spending nine (9) days in the custody of her abductors. “Her husband, Mr. Olanrewaju Oyegbola, in particular and the entire family express deep gratitude to God for moving on their behalf. They also sincerely thank Nigerians from all walks of life for their empathy and demonstration of affection during the unfortunate incident. “God spoke to Jumoke’s Pharaoh last night (Wednesday). She was released and has reunited with her immediate family. We are deeply grateful for your support, prayers and words of encouragement and pray that God will reward you all for your labour of love”, Mr. Oyegbola said. Mrs. Oyegbola was abducted at gun point near the Channels Television office on her way home after the day’s work. Eye witnesses and residents of the area told the husband that she was abducted shortly after she finished shopping at a supermarket. She had barely sat down in her car when her abductors, who shot sporadically into the air to scare other people around, pounced on her and forcibly took her away. The kidnappers left her car and all her things untouched.

Reps to Fed Govt: release local govt funds From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

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HE House Representatives yesterday urged the Federal Government to release the funds meant for the 15 local governments under emergency rule. This followed the adoption of a motion brought by a member, Bitrus Kaze. The funds for the 15 local councils for December 2011, January and February 2012 are yet to be received as the Ministry of Finance is yet to remit their allocations for the period. The lawmaker, while presenting his motion noted that in a bid to confront the unrelenting wave of terrorism in the country and in exercise of powers conferred on the President by Section 305 (1) (c of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), President Goodluck Jonathan proclaimed a state of emergency in the affected councils. “Contrary to Section 162 (3) and (5) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) the Federal Ministry of Finance has withheld the statutory allocations for the months of December 2011, January and February 2012 respectively standing to the credit and payable to the local government councils where the state of emergency was declared.”

Reps panel chair demanded N44m, says SEC DG

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IRECTOR-GENERAL of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ms Arunma Oteh yesterday accused the Chairman of the House of Representatives capital Market Committee of demanding for money from her. She alleged that Hon. Herman Hembe demanded for N44 million from her. Ms Oteh’s revelation yesterday brought the matter to a new twist after she was accused of allegedly spending N30million on hotel bills in eight months following her appointment in 2010. She was also accused of staying in the hotel for eight months instead of 28 days as stipulated. The accusations and counter-accusations were made at the public hearing by the House Committee on Capital Market into the activities of SEC. Ms Oteh alleged that Hembe requested N44 million from her to finance the investigation of the failure of the capital market. She said the second request of N5 million from the lawmaker came barely a week before the commencement of the public hearing having earlier requested for N39 million. Oteh said the requests were turned down, saying that might have accounted for the

•’It’s a ploy to distract us’ From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

committee’s hostile attitude towards her. She also alleged that Hembe requested from her organisation some money and a Business Class ticket to travel to the Dominican Republic for a conference. She said it was later discovered that the lawmaker did not attend the conference. “He did not travel and never returned the money,” she said. To forestall loss of focus by the committee, the House leadership sent House Majority Whip, Isiaka Bawa, to intervene and restore normalcy. Bawa said: “The House leadership is very aware of the ugly development in the proceedings of the public hearing. So, they asked me to come and see how both parties can be appealed to in order to ensure a peaceful conduct of the public hearing. We should all put aside our personal differences and look at Nigeria.” The SEC boss said the investigative hearing was a disappointment, adding that Hembe was not fit to preside over the investigation because he nursed some biases against SEC. She said: “This has been a

Kangaroo court. Not even in Idi Amin’s Uganda did we have this type of public hearing. You implied that as a regulator, that by having people on secondment from the private sector, it could undermine the capacity of the regulatory functions of the commission. “In asking the SEC to contribute N39 million for this public hearing, don’t you think that you are undermining your capacity to carry out your duties? “You think that if Hon Emeka Ihedioha, the Deputy Speaker of this House, being the nephew to Prof. NdiOkereke Onyuike, and having his wife work in the Abuja office of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, do you think he will be compromising his capacity to carry out his duties? “I do not think that it is appropriate for you to have gathered information from the SEC and without even asking us to verify that information, to respond to that issue and that you already made the judgment that you made yesterday; we are trying to build a democracy”. Hembe requested officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) present at the hearing to take note of the allegations which he described as “weighty”.

“The public is also watching. If what I am doing is because of the fact that I have collected money from SEC to go on overseas trip to study and I didn’t go which is why I am doing what I am doing, the public will take note. “But if it is the wish of members of the committee that I respond to the issues, I will go ahead and respond to the issues. I will respond to the issues as much as I can”. Hembe expressed concerns that the turn of event might be a ploy to distract the investigation, saying, “I hope this is not a ploy to distract us from achieving the main objectives of this public hearing. Please let this not be a ploy to distract us from achieving the main objective of this hearing. I believe that we have the representatives of the ICPC and the EFCC with us. “The issue of corruption or no corruption should be put aside. They are here and they will write their report. I think we should concentrate on the major issue here. Let’s see how we can forge ahead with the hearing and achieve something before the end of the day. “I want to say something as the Chairman of this Committee. I will Chair this committee to the end of this public hearing. I want to say firmly, in support of what you

Lawmakers pass Budget 2012

•Speaker Tambuwal Continued from page 4

He said the budget deficit is less than N1billion. Other parameters for the 2012 budget, according to him, include Crude Oil Production at 2.48mbpd; Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate at 7.2 per cent: Inflation rate at 9.5 per cent and exchange rate at N155. He said there was no significant alteration of the budget since the provisions were for ongoing projects, which the executive is eager to complete. Maccido said: “It is important that in preparing the details of this bill, the committee adopted a benchmark price of $72 per barrel of crude oil recommended by the Committee on Finance. “The Committee also adopted the executive proposal of crude oil production of 2.48 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N155 to US$1.” The committee observed that the laying of the budget by the executive should be done before the end of the fiscal year to enable passage within the on-going fiscal year. “It would be proper if a gap of three months is given between the time of laying and the end of the previous fiscal year. This is in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007,” Maccido said. The 2012 Appropriation Bill

passed by the Senate reads: “A Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the sum of N4,877,209, 156,933 only of which N372,593,095,601 only is for Statutory Transfers, N559,580,000,000 only is for Debt Service, N2,425,049,954,640 only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure, while the balance of N1,519,986,106,691 only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on 31st day of December, 2012.” The Chairman of Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, confirmed the Senate’s plan to sue Sanusi to compel the apex bank to submit its budgetary proposals to the National Assembly for consideration and approval. He said such an anomaly was clearly in breach of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. He added that it is a legal issue the Senate has resolved to take up with the executive. Abaribe said: “Under the CBN Act, there is a provision there that the Board of the CBN takes care of its budget. “But under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, all agencies of government and every other agency is supposed to bring their budget for scrutiny to the National Assembly. “Unfortunately, the CBN governor is hiding under the CBN Act to refuse to provide the budget of the CBN to the National Assembly and that is a legal matter we will take up with the executive.” The House of Representatives declared as illegal, spending by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the approval of the Board. Relevant House Committees have been mandated to enforce it through their

oversight functions. The Representatives explained why the passed budget was higher than what was initially presented to lawmakers at a joint session by President Jonathan. The chairman of the House Joint Committee, John Enoh corroborated Speaker Aminu Tambuwal’s assertion during the consideration and passage of the budget that what the two chambers did was a milestone and in line with the commitment of the lawmakers to give Nigerians a credible budget with integrity. He also explained why the budget was jerked up by N180b. He said: “In passing the 2012 budget, what the two chambers have done is the oneness of the National Assembly, having adopted the same report. The passage of the budget only reaffirms the commitment of the House to timely passage of the budget and increasing the integrity and credibility of the budget by the National Assembly. “For the first time in many years, the difference between the aggregate expenditure figures that have been passed by the National Assembly is just about N48.3b. The difference is very important against the backdrop of other years’ budgets where the difference will normally be between N100b and N300b, which was always a source of disagreement between the National Assembly and the Executive.” On the difference between the budget proposal presented by President Jonathan to the joint session of the National Assembly and the budget passed, Enoh explained that the Executive brought an additional request for its fuel subsidy programme. ”We took the budget step by step to capture the N180b that came as Subsidy Re-invest-

ment Programme (SURE). We took the aggregate expenditure without it and it gave us N4.64trillion and the aggregate expenditure became N4.69trilion, so we are still able to keep the aggregate expenditure below N4.7trillion but after we added N180b, the submission became N4.82trilion and what we passed became N4.87trilion. “So, in addition to the N4.64trillion, there was an addition of N180b that we put together because it did not make sense to pass the SURE programme of N180b separately because it came within the normal period of budget consideration.” On the increased benchmark, Enoch said unlike before, the gains from the increase in benchmark where all the money was eaten up by increase in expenditure by the same amount, the House took a different approach. “For every dollar increase in benchmark, based on daily production gives the Federal Government about N49b because State, Local Government and other agencies share from it, so the dollar increase takes the Federal share to N98.3b. “About N50b of this money was deliberately used to reduce deficit; so, the difference in aggregate expenditure passed today is that difference of what was left after ploughing back that N50b to reduce deficit of N48.36b”. “In doing what we did with increasing the benchmark, we also succeed in reducing the level of deficit, which is critical. The budget came with a primary deficit of about N1.186trillion. “What we passed today was a primary deficit of N1.136trilion and by that the deficit to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio also fell by - 2.97 percent to - 2.285 percent.”

•Ms Oteh

have said, that it’s on the issues of bias or corruption that the Committee invited the EFCC and the ICPC. “Strong issues of corruption have been made against me. Strong issues of corruption have been made against the committee. So, it is our hope that you will investigate me deeply and investigate the committee too. I give the permission for that and that is my ruling. We will proceed with the business of the committee”.

South Africa rules out compensation for deportees From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

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HE government of South Africa yesterday ruled out compensation for 125 Nigerians deported about two weeks ago over allegation of carrying fake yellow card. Its Minister for Correctional Services Mrs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said her country had apologised and that should be enough. Mrs Mapisa-Nqakula spoke at the State House, Abuja. She was head of President Jacob Zuma’s Special Envoy. Mrs. Mapisa-Nqakula said: ”The issue of compensation is out of the question. We don’t understand why South Africa will have to compensate. We believe that it is enough that we have come out and apologised, it is enough that we have demonstrated our goodwill to the government of Nigeria, it is enough that the President has sent a special Envoy to reiterate his commitment to the bi-national with Nigeria and to improve working relationship with Nigeria”. She also denied government involvement in the deportation, insisting that it was not a cabinet decision. She added that Xenophobia is not the policy of government in South Africa and there was no deliberate attack on the integrity of the people of Nigeria. Mrs. Mapisa-Nqakula said: “On behalf of the people of South Africa, on behalf of our Government and on behalf of our President, it is important to reassure the people of Nigeria that there was no decision of Cabinet to deport big numbers of people from Nigeria. There was no deliberate and Xenophobia is not the policy of government in South Africa and there was no deliberate attack on the integrity of Nigerians. In fact, we have about two million Nigerians living in South Africa. We co-exist and some of them work very closely with us.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

59

NEWS

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Court to rule April 12 on dissolution of Edo councils

FEDERAL High Court sitting in Abuja, will on April 12, deliver judgment in a suit challenging the dissolution of local government councils by Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole on October 25, 2010. Following the dissolution, the governor replaced them with caretaker committees to run the affairs of the 18 local governments. Justice Donatus Okorowo fixed the date after parties adopted their written addresses. The Change Advocacy Party (CAP) and its chairmanship candidate for Esan West Local Government Council, Johnbull Adaghe, are asking the court to declare the dissolution unlawful, illegal, null, void and of no effect. The defendants are Oshiomhole, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Commission (RMAFC), Federal Ministry of Finance and the National Assembly. The plaintiffs are contending that the continued appropriation, allocation and disbursement of fund from the Federation Account by the defendants to Esan West Local Government and others is unlawful, illegal, null and void. They are seeking an order compelling the ministry to withhold the monthly allocation due to the 18 local governments, until elections are conducted. But the defendants have challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit. Besides, they posited that the plaintiffs lacked the requisite locus standi to bring and sustain the action. They urged the court to dismiss the suit.

Rivers gets new police chief From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

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NEW Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Indabawa, yesterday assumed duties in Rivers State. He takes over from Suleiman Abba, who has been promoted Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG). Indabawa vowed to deal with errant Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), Area Commanders and other policemen. Security has been strengthened at the police headquarters. Indabawa, who was transferred from Nasarawa State, promised to continue from where Abba stopped. Abba said the three police gunboats and two Federal Inland Waterways Authority’s (FIWA’s) damaged boats would be repaired. He said owners of the ship, which damaged the boats, would replace and repair them, saying the command has a fleet of gunboats to make the state’s waterways safe. Abba said the police corporal, who committed suicide at TransAmadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt last week, after shooting an inspector, refused treatment, biting doctors and nurses, until he died.

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi receiving a brochure from the Chairman of DSC Limited, H. S. Narula, at his office in Ibadan…yesterday . With them is the Contact Manager, DSC Limited, Mrs. Bisi Idaomi.

Oshiomhole: review revenue formula •’Punish electoral offenders’ •NBA seeks political conference

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DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday called for a review of the revenue allocation formula which will allow states control their resources. This, he said, would reduce poverty by 71 per cent. He spoke in Benin City at the opening of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Conference on the Review of the Performances of Election Tribunals. Oshiomhole called for an

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

amendment of electoral laws to meet with modern standards. The NBA insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan “must support and promote the discussion of a genuine political arrangement for Nigeria”. It said the President must apply urgent measures to arrest the decline and slide into anarchy, following the upsurge of terrorism, crimes, religious intolerance, leadership failure and system failure. NBA President Joseph Daudu said there should be a will to implement the outcome of the discussion, which, he stressed, must not be labelled. He said the NBA conference would engage in deep introspection and overview of the existing legislation and rules of courts that are meant to facilitate electoral justice. Advising stakeholders to fashion out a political arrangement that promotes justice, Daudu said: “ It will be a great tragedy as a people for us, willingly or unwillingly, to preside over the disintegration of Nigeria.” Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Attahiru

Jega said the commission will improve on the successes recorded in the general elections. Jega lamented that the applicability of Section 31 and Section 87 of the Electoral Act (as amended) has created a dilemma for the commission. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), who was represented by Deji Adekunle, promised to support NBA in its quest to probe alleged cases of corrupt judicial officials. Adoke advised politicians to accept defeat, noting that this would translate to huge saving of resources and manpower. Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko said lack of financial autonomy for INEC was a great disservice to Nigeria’s electoral process and democracy. Oshiomhole urged the NBA to prevail on its members to imbibe ethical conduct . He faulted a system where those found to have perpetrated electoral fraud go unpunished and urged the NBA to rise up to the occasion to amend the law and ensure justice.

Oshiomhole said INEC must be overhauled to ensure credible elections, pointing out that the elite must play their part in ensuring that INEC conducts its affairs responsibly. His words: “We have seen the difference in the last election when you compare it to the previous one. “Everybody agrees that INEC under Maurice Iwu was more of a fraud and international observers, local observers and the world said so. “The starting point is that this country has no business allowing people who have been established as fraudulent to remain in INEC. ”How can we explain that just three weeks ago, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) card-carrying member from Edo State and a relation of a PDP leader was reappointed into INEC. What is the NBA’s view on that? “Why do we allow them to make wrong decisions and come back to shed crocodile tears?” Oshiomhole said the agitation for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) was unnecessary and capable of over-heating the polity.

I inherited empty treasury, says Dickson

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AYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson yesterday said his administration inherited an empty treasury. He, however, did not disclose the state’s debt profile. Dickson said his administration would step on toes and take painful decisions for the good of all. The governor spoke at a briefing attended by his special advisers, permanent secretaries and directors. His words: “It is no longer news that we inherited an empty state account with a huge debt profile that seemed to have mortgaged the future of the state. “We have set up a committee to ascertain the actual level of indebtedness which shall be made public as soon as the committee concludes its work. “I have directed the opening of two special accounts. The first is the Bayelsa State Strategic Development Project account with UBA domicilled in Yenagoa with Account Number 1016076344. “This account is dedicated to funding strategic investments in infrastructural development, agriculture, tourism, education, health

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

and security. “The second account is the Bayelsa State Strategic Reserve & Savings Account with FCMB domicilled in Yenagoa, with Account Number: 0281206040. “We are not violent people; we are peace-loving. The peace you have lost will be returned to you soon. “We promised to deliver on our restoration agenda, which is firmly rooted in probity, transparency, accountability, and value re-orientation. “We are moving forward, but we have to forget the past. By voting for me, the state has voted for a revolution. Our plans for education are real and this informed the large number of special advisers appointed to take care of the sector. “As a man of honour serving with other persons of integrity, we will not let you down.” He said he would make public the state's accounts every month. Dickson warned civil servants who take double salaries to desist. “I will step on toes to make the state move forward,” the governor said.


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NEWS North warns panel not to extend Jonathan’s tenure Continued from page 4

The statement said: “The Committee Chairmen also noted with concern and regret the goings-on in the constitutional amendment committee set up by the Federal Government under a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, where it has become clear that both the Villa and the Chairman are relentlessly pursuing sinister third term agenda/renewed tenure elongation for the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. “The main effort by Belgore and other hirelings of the Villa has been to create a so-called NEW Constitution that paves the way for Jonathan to again contest the presidential election in 2015 for a single term of seven years, that is, in addition to his current four years to the nearly two years he had served of the Yar’Adua Presidency. “Belgore has nothing but contempt for issues in which the North feels cheated, such as Abuja and revenue allocation, and his dangerous antics have divided the committee, leading to acrimonious debates and near fist-fights, with Belgore feigning helplessness while surreptitiously helping his own side. “The whole country, with the North as its head, will rise to oppose this mischief.” On the nation’s revenue allocation, the Coalition said the North is demanding its immediate review. It claimed that the allocation formula is unfair, lopsided and detrimental to the interest of Nigerians. The statement added: “The North rejects the current obnoxious revenue allocation law and calls for its immediate review, in view of its being lopsided, unfair and detrimental to the interest of all Nigerians, including the real people of the oil-producing states it appears to favour superficially. “Oil producing states are equally victims because the revenue accruing to their states on the basis of obnoxious derivation over-weighted formula is far beyond their executive capacity to manage. “As a consequence, it encourages corruption and hyper-inflation in those states,

their neighbours and the country at large. “The law, as it exists is a violation of a subsisting judgment by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, a fact openly admitted to by the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in his clandestine and indecent corruption of the National Assembly to have the law passed at that time (2002). “This revenue allocation law also stands in violation of the international law with particular reference to the International Law of Sea Convention (LOSC). “The LOSC treaty, which has since come into force (1982), is the principal governing law for all maritime resource issues. The LOSC is one of the most comprehensive treaties in international law and clearly stipulates in its various parts and annexes that oil and all forms of wealth found on the continental shelf or the international sea bed must belong to the countries and not just to administrative/political units (littoral states) adjoining the physical sea. “The revenue allocation law as it stands is a violation of a subsisting Supreme Court judgment viz: A-G of the Federation versus A.G Abia State and 36 others (2002) reported in 6 NWLR part 765 on pages 542-905. “The law is an encouragement to the political class to ignore the ecological devastation as a consequence of oilrelated activities while financing and encouraging terrorist agitation and criminality in that pat of Nigeria for political blackmail, extortion and ransom.” The coalition also frowned at the alleged racketeering in the oil sector under the administration of Jonathan. It said: “The meeting condemned the practice by governments in awarding oil blocks and crude oil lifting to top Generals, cronies of parties or persons in power and fraudsters, who give our country a very bad name overseas. “We strongly recommend the revocations of all those oil blocks and oil lifting contracts and urge a comprehensive review of all manner of refined

Delta commissioner’s wife abducted From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

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IFE of the Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare has been kidnapped Mrs Stella Muoboghare was kidnapped yesterday at Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area Delta Police spokesman Charles Muka said a suspect has been arrested in connection with the crime. Muoboghare, who was in Abuja on an official engagement, said he was alerted of the abduction through a family member. A former member of the House of Assembly, Mr. Gabriel Okpunor was earlier kidnapped in Asaba, the state capital. Also, two children of a contractor to Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, were kidnapped last Sunday in the oil city of Warri. Their abductors have placed a ransom of N10 million. Two directors in the Delta State civil service were abducted in Onitsha, Anambra State recently. He recounted that that the armed band of kidnappers stormed his house inside the campus of the state owned Delta State University, Abraka (DELSU) just as his wife who works in the institution was getting set to go to work. He said his wife was ordered her into a waiting car which immediately zoomed off to an unknown destination. Asked whether the abductors placed a call through to make their demands known, Muoboghare, a former Chairman of the DELSU Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said that he got some mysterious phone calls in Abuja which he ignored, until he got home. Four days after the abduction of the former lawmaker, there is no news yet of his freedom.

products import contracts. “Meanwhile, all Generals and dishonest businessmen, local chiefs and war-lords involved in criminal bunkering must be identified, arrested and effectively prosecuted. “The Committee Chairmen also discussed the current status of Abuja as the Federal Capital Territory, whereby land belonging to identifiable peoples and communities is forcibly taken away to make way for a so-called federal capital development with virtually no compensation. The communities and peoples alienated from their lands are rendered internally displaced persons (IDPs), but lacking all the rights and privileges accorded them by UN Conventions. “It is worth noting that from colonial era administration after unification in 1914 and the declaration of Lagos as the Nigeria’s capital, to the creation of Ibadan, Kaduna and Enugu as regional capitals, on to the creation of the old midwest with Benin City as capital in 1963, nowhere were the original inhabitants/owners comprehensively, pitilessly and insensitively dispossessed as in Abuja. “The fiction of a so-called virgin land sold to the late General Murtala Mohammed was just that; a fictional and shameless invention by an obscure geographer from the South-West, to justify the heist of a peoples’ land. No land can be declared a virgin when it is occupied for several generations by peoples and communities. “What is sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander. What has been the birth-right of Lagosians, their land, as well as Binis, Ibadans and the Wawas of Enugu, must be applicable with full force to the peoples/communities of Abuja forthwith. “The whole country must be put on notice that in any future constitutional amendment exercise, the North will demand that the future status of Abuja must be at the heart of that discussion. The paid agitators of a Sovereign National Conference should get prepared.”

‘How to stop problems facing Nigeria’ PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been advised to seek divine intervention as a way of stopping the facing the nation. The National Publicity Secretary of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Dr. Olu Arijesudade who gave the charge said God directed him to tell the President to listen to the voice of God rather than following the voice of man. Speaking with reporters in Osogbo, Osun State, Arijesudade stated that God directed it is only divine intervention that could bring peace to the country. Arijesudade said the message came from God during a special vigil at CACSA camp, an evangelistic arm of CAC where the congregation fasted and prayed fervently for Nigeria.


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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OYO STATE HOSPITALS MANAGEMENT BOARD, IBADAN

VACANCIES FOR SENIOR AND JUNIOR POSITIONS Applications are hereby invited for suitably qualified and interested candidates to fill the following positions in the service of Oyo State Government: A. Medical and Dental Consultants (a) Surgery (b) Obstetrics and Gynaecology (c) Paediatrics (d) ENT (e) Pathology (f) Anesthesia (g) Radiology (h) Internal Medicine (i) Ophthalmology (j) Orthopedics (k) Dentistry B (a) Medical and Dental Officers (b) Pharmacists (c) Physiotherapists (d) Medical Laboratory Scientists (e) Medical Laboratory Technicians (f) Nutritionists (g) Nurses (h) Pharmacy Technicians (i) Dental Technologists, Dental Therapists, Dental Surgery Technicians (j) Radiographers (k) Darkroom Technician/Assistant C. Junior Staff (l) Clerical Officers (m) Craftsmen (n) Ward Orderly (o) Security Men (p) Gardeners D. QUALIFICATION • Applicants for Category A must possess a Fellowship in relevant fields • Applicants for Category B (a-d) must possess evidence of Internship, NYSC certificate and registration with appropriate Regulatory Councils • Applicants for Category B (g) must possess qualification in Nursing and be registered with Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. • Others in Categories B and C must possess qualifications in the relevant fields. E. All interested applicants are to obtain the application form from Oyo State Hospitals Management Board Room 12 through payment of a sum of One Thousand Naira (N1,000) only into: Zenith Bank, Bodija Revenue Code 402/078, Account No. 1130007475 F. SALARIES: The salaries of Medical and Health Staff are in line with the existing State approved CONMESS and CONHESS respectively. Signed:

Alhaji Olayide Abas Chairman, Oyo State Hospitals Management Board


THE NATION FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

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39TH KANO EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING The Kano State Executive Council held its thirty nineth sitting today the 14th March, 2012 (21st R/ Thani 1433AH) during which various submissions aimed at improving the standard of life and well being of State citizens were presented by different MDAs and received the deliberation and blessing of the Council as follows:Today, 14 March 2012, is the 39th sitting of the Kano State Executive Council and as in the other previous meetings, where Council deliberated on a number of policies and programs that will impact positively on the lives of our citizenry. It is on record that since inception of the present Administration various projects were pursued in the area of agricultural production, water supply, better healthcare delivery and the provision of infrastructural development across the State. Government is assuring the citizens that the promises made during our campaign and at the inauguration of H.E. Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso would be our guiding principle, which has been the yearning of our teeming population. This administration is poised to good leadership, prudent utilization of resources and transparency. Cognizance ofnthe fact that eduction as a bedrock for development had over the years suffered a serious setback, the Administration of Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso is therefore giving a holistic approach to this issue by improving qualitative and quantitative aspects of our education system through the provision of infrastructure, teaching materials and equipment for better standard. You are living witnesses that since inception this Administration has expended over Six Billion N6 billion in the provision of classrooms, staff quarters and teaching equipment to our schools. We are now witnessing great improvement in teachers and students’ performances. On a general note, this Administration has approved expenditure of over forty five billion (N45 Billion) for the construction and rehabilitation of roads, health facilities, and water supply in the State. In fact, at the 38th sitting, the Council has approved the sum of N2,030,988,676.96 for the upgrading/ reconstruction of Challawa Road, N2,302,448,106.57 for the expansion of Hadejia Road, N5,168,535,902.92 for the expansion of Zaria Road, and N3,039,996,086.69 for the dualization of Gwarzo Road. In the same sitting a landmark decision was taken where approval for the construction of trailer/motor park, car city, mechanic village, warehousing and several other related facilities at Dawanau and Gundutse at the sum of over N18 billion was approved. This project is first of its kind in the Northern part of this country and is meant to decongest the inner metropolitan area and enhance smooth vehicular traffic movement and prolong the lifespan of the road. In light of the foregoing, Council at today’s sitting deliberated on the following: 1. Ministry of Rural and Community Development The esteemed people of Kano State are aware of the present Administration’s tireless efforts towards rendering better projects and services that have positive impact on the life of citizens through utilisation of limited resources the State receives from Federation allocation and internally generated revenue. The Administration resolves to judiciously expend the State monies in meaningful purposes and is by extension attributable to its policy of salvaging the State out of any debt in whatever form. In light of this, today the Council deliberated on the sum of Thirteen Million Eighty Two Thousand Two Naira Thirty Kobo (N13,082,002.30) Rural Electricity Board owing the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) during the period of 2001 to 2006 and formed a Committee to look into the possibility for the settlement of the actual principal tax liabilities. It further directed the Committee to assess and streamline the lingering controversy/claims of tax on direct labour projects, penalty and interest by the FIRS. 2. Ministry of Planning and Budget You are aware that one of the cardinal policy thrust of this Administration is to raise agricultural productivity and increase income generating activities and employment opportunities in the State as envisaged in the establishment of 18 skill acquisition institutions, recruitment of 500 Traffic Assistants, conducting first and second capacity building training of health professionals under Lafiya Jari Scheme, Animal Traction Workshops and the ongoing recruitment of 1002 unemployed youth into the State service. The aforementioned programmes of recruitment and training of public servants would be continued throughout the lifespan of this Administration. It is in the same direction that today the Council received a submission for the establishment of proposed 44 units of Micro Finance Banks in all the 44 Local Governments Council of the State whose importance include, among others, bridging the service gap of conventional Banks to provide loans to our teeming small scale farmers, artisan and entrepreneurs. Council having noted the enormous benefits of the scheme formed a Committee to comprehensively articulate the proposal and submit for Council consideration. The Council then deliberated on a submission on the operation of contra entry organizations in the State and approved that the Ministry of Justice should look into the relevant laws governing their operations with a view of making them more effective and efficient. A Committee was also formed to discuss with the organizations, such as Hospital Management Board, ARTV, Radio Kano, KSIP, Water Board, Dala Building Society and WRECA and to proffer agreed suitable recommendations to Council for considerations. 3. Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport Council approved the sum of Three Hundred and Fourty Six Million Nine Hundred and Seventy Thousand Four Hundred and Ninety Naira Fifty Two Kobo (N346,970,490.52) for the construction of MedileGuringawa-Bypass road. You may recall that the road is one of the abandoned projects left by last Administration. However, due to the present Administration’s mindfulness over the welfare of citizens of the area and the State at large the Council considered and directed the contractor to mobilize to site to complete the project. You may recall that during its 31st sitting, the Council due to its concern over the beautification and security of the State had approved the sum of Twenty Three Million Thirteen Thousand and Three Hundred Naira (N23,013,300.00) for the Installation of Streetlights at Shehu Kazaure Road and Kiyashi Avenue off Maiduguri Road in the State. In another development, the Council approved the release of the sum of Fifty Seven Million Nine Hundred and Fourty Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Fourteen Naira Fourty Kobo (N57,947,214.40) for the installation of streetlights at Sabo Bakin Zuwo Road (Former Wudil Road). Today, the Council having noted the tremendous effort of the Taskforce on streetlights has approved the total sum of Two Hundred and Fourty Five Million One Hundred and Sixty One Thousand Three Hundred Naira (N245,161,300.00) for settlement of expenses incurred by the Taskforce on the supply of Generator Sets, repairs/reactivation of many street lights/traffic signals including the purchase of cables and other accessories to replace obsolete ones. 4. Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism Today the Council noted a trip made by the Hon. Commissioner to UNIDO Headquarters in Abuja on Common Facility Centre, which is a joint programme between the State, NEPC and UNIDO. Also the Council noted the meeting held between the State Government delegation lead by the Deputy Governor and the Commissioner to Ministry of Aviation to discuss on KLM and Kano Airport where a technical Committee was set up and is expected to sit next week in Abuja. 5. Office of the Deputy Governor The Council made extensive deliberation on a submission forwarded by one of the famous Muslim organization, Jama’atul Izalatul Bidi’a wa Ikamatussunnah on various issues affecting the lives of the State citizens, such as non-conformity with State quota in terms of staffing by most private organizations

operating in the State; School fees especially the tuition fees chargeable by tertiary institutions in the State; occupying Government properties under the aegis of Pilgrims’ Welfare Board. The Council noted the submission and directed the Ministry for Higher Education to revisit tuition fees chargeable at higher institutions of the State. It then directed Guidance and Counseling Board to take up the matter of operating private institutions in the State not complying with the employment structure vis-a-vis indigene quota in their organizations. It further directed Pilgrims Welfare Board to census all Government Properties under their supervision and submit recommendations for Government consideration.

Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso

6. Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs Youth, Sport & Culture The Esteemed members of the Council have today approved financial assistance to Kano Turf Club to enable it facilitate the conduct of the prestigious house racing competition in the State. The approval for the assistance will go along way with the present Administration’s effort of developing sport activities in the state. You may recall that, several approvals have been granted in previous sittings such as the sum of Two Million Naira (N2,000,0000.00) to facilitate State’s participation in 2012 West African Inter-team soccer Championship at Lome- Togo. Also the sum of One hundred and ninety five million thirty one thousand eight hundred and eighty three naira twenty four kobo (N 195,031,883.24) was approval for the development of the Sport Complex at NAMA SITE K/Na’isa. And, the sum of (N3,189,000.00) was approved to sponsor the State team to participate at the National Competition Under 21 Mobisel Hockey Championship in Bayelsa. 7. Ministry of Education In its effort to promote qualitative education in the state, the Council considered the need to establish Girl’s day Junior Secondary School in Kwankwaso town. The need for establishing this School is due to the increased number of qualified primary 6 students, seeking JSS 1 admission. In view of the development a total sum of Fifty Two Million Ten Thousand Six Hundred And Nineteen Naira Thirty Seven Kobo (N52,010,619.37) is approved for that purpose for the construction of a storey block of 12 classrooms and provision of 252 sets of 3-seater students’ furniture and 42 sets of teachers furniture. In a related development, the Council approved the general repairs and renovation of GTC Kano at the sum of Nineteen Million Five Hundred and Ninety Nine Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifty One Naira Fifteen Kobo (N19,599,951.15) and the conversion and upgrading of the Vocational Training Center, Gani, Sumaila Local Government to full pledged Government Technical College, Gani at the sum of Seventeen Million One Hundred and Fourty Thousand Six Hundred and Fourty Eight Naira Thirty Six Kobo (N17,140,648.36). 8. Office of the Secretary to the State Government Council received a report from Bagauda Fisheries Institute on the progress so far made on rehabilitation of existing structures and other related works at the Institute. Council noted the report and approved payment of the Committee members’ allowances. Progress Report: Malaria Control Booster Project Deliberating on the Malaria Control Booster Project conducted by the States, Council noted a report on the programme by the Hon. Commissioner for Health and established a State Committee to peruse the bulk report and submit its findings to the Council for consideration. State Reforms Showcase The State has witnessed a forum organized by DFID to showcase various reforms implemented by States across the federation. Kano State having advanced in that direction won second position in the event after Kaduna State. School of Nursing The Council noted and is delighted of the impressive performance of students in School of Nursing where 91% of the students passed their final examinations. Council noted the problem of electricity transformer facing the institution and directed the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to immediately install a new transformer at the School. New Chairman of Self Help Group Council congratulates the new chairman of self-help group and urged the general public to accord him maximum cooperation and supports to enable him succeed in this herculean assignment. Hostel Construction at Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto Received by Council today is information from the State Ministry for Higher Education that the contract awarded for the construction of a hostel at Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto has recorded an appreciable progress as the contractor has already mobilized to the site. The Council reiterated its desire to continue monitoring the progress of the work and similar ones within and outside the State. Conduct of Prayer Session The esteem Council acknowledged the effort of State Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Development for the conduct of an organized peaceful prayer session by Women and Children in the State. It then called on the general public to continue praying for the State and urged all Civil Servants to double their effort in that direction and to particularly observe special prayer on Friday, 16 March, 2012. Braking Bridge at Panshekara Noted by Council today is the collapsed bridge along Panshekara road and directed Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to seal it so that vehicles and motorcycles should not use it. It further warned tipper loaders to avoid digging the side of the bridge to avoid threatening the bridge. Special Workshop organized for NYSC The Council noted the conduct of workshop for NYSC deployed to the State with a view to sensitizing them on teaching principles to enable them adjust to their new roles as teachers. You may recall that the State as a result of massive expansion in its educational sector which translates into the constructions of more classrooms and the establishment of new schools required more teachers. At the previous sitting the Council approved that all Corp Members posted to the State will be posted to schools to teach with the exception of those with specialized discipline like health professionals. Procurement of Buses and Taxis Approved by Council today is the procurement of 1000No. Golf 3 cars and 500No. buses for commercial transportation in the State. The motive is to ease the transportation problems faced by public in the State as well as to improve the security situation in the State. Signed: Hon. Commissioner for Information, Internal Affairs, Youth and Sports


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TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 7,

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S the terror of Boko Haram rages, ravaging innocent lives, and destroying properties across the North, the urgency of a dialogue over the terms of our association continues to be reiterated by opinion makers and political leaders throughout the land. When it is finally convened, one item on the agenda of such a dialogue has to be the place of institutional religion in a secular state that Nigeria is, for the simple reason that the avowed reason for the anger of the sect is its demand for the complete islamisation of the entire North in particular, with the propagation and enforcement of Sharia law. Granted that the publicised grievance of the sect may diverge from its unspoken gripe against the state; it is fair and reasonable to assume that religion is central to its raison d’etre and it is the source of its angst. In the circumstance, it’s unclear how a secular state can oblige the sect without undermining its secularity. This may explain why the focus of the reaction of concerned citizens has been the poverty index and the impact this has had on the psychological and material wellbeing of the people. The idea here seems to be that a hungry man is an angry man and the resentment emanating from a state of acute poverty can find an exit in any number of outlets, including a pseudo-religious one. Treat the disease of hunger and all will be well. Religion, then, is a camouflage for the underlying effect of poverty. If poverty is the foundation and religion is only the superstructure, one can keep hope alive that the cause of peace and stability is not beyond the nation’s reach provided that the political will is summoned to combat poverty.We can get at poverty and expect desirable results in due course. But is it, really? It is instructive to compare the case of MEND in the Niger Delta. The militant group does not hide behind a phantom religiosity or phony theology to demand an end to the injustice it perceives against Niger Deltans. Indeed, external agencies and human right organisations had for decades identified inexplicable federal neglect of the welfare of the people of Niger Delta, the major source of the country’s oil wealth. MEND emerged as the voice of the voiceless and was straight in its demands. On the other hand, Boko Haram too has been unequivocal in its demands. It sees western education, and by extension all institutions and agencies that represent it as evil to be excised from the North. That is as specific as one can get. Now we may conjecture on behalf of the group and reason that since this is an unreasonable demand, we think that the source of the anger of the group

Okay...CHARITY BEGINS ABROAD

NO. 2066

C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA

SEGUN GBADEGESIN gbadegesin@thenationonlineng.net

Secularism matters

But in all seriousness it is unlikely that Boko Haram members are innocently ignorant of western education as the direct or indirect source of some of the resources at their disposal, considering the educational attainment and social status of those who have been alleged as their sponsors is poverty. And we may be right. But we may also be wrong. First,it is not essential to have familiarity with the educational background of the membership of the group, to safely assume that not all of them are complete outliers with regard to western education. Furthermore, I am almost sure that even if most of them are out of the box of western education, the leadership of the group isn’t. Still further, I would like to assume that in view of the resources that they have access to in the conduct of their deadly campaigns they must have a close affinity with those whose educational attainment give access to comfortable living and giving. With all these assumptions, I hypothesise that the group is benefitting from Western education which it has roundly condemned and rejected as sin. Of course, one may benefit from something that one truly finds to be evil and sinful, not necessarily by being a hypocrite; it may just as well be out of ignorance, as in not knowing that the said benefit is from a sinful or

RIPPLES Fed Govt to new envoys: PROTECT NIGERIANS ABROAD

‘It will be a great tragedy as a people for us, willingly or unwillingly, to preside over the disintegration of Nigeria ’

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

WHO SAID WHAT

evil source. But in all seriousness it is unlikely that Boko Haram members are innocently ignorant of western education as the direct or indirect source of some of the resources at their disposal, considering the educational attainment and social status of those who have been alleged as their sponsors. Second, the sect has not been vague about its targets which have included churches and security agents and agencies; the latter presumably because they are the instruments of the state campaign against it. With respect to churches, the message does not get clearer. The sect perceives churches as evil and worshippers as demons. Is this perception poverty-driven? Perhaps the suicide bombers who attack churches during Sunday worship hours are paid handsome compensations to carry out their mission in addition to the promised reward of a paradise of blissful lives ever-after. No doubt the compensation, if it is true, adds another level of motivation, but this doesn’t detract from the religio-spiritual persuasion without which material com-

HARDBALL

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R Elias Mbam, boss of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), on Wednesday stunned the Senate joint committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Finance, Appropriation and States and Local Governments with alarming figures of states’ external and domestic debts. He made his presentation at a public hearing conducted by the Senate in Abuja. The debts are unhealthy, Mbam says, and they are indefensible. Many of the states, he continues, have debts that are structured in such a way that there is simply no way they can achieve the kind of developmental landmarks they dream of or promised during electioneering. In his view, the debts and the constant battle to pay workers, remain solvent, and have something left for capital projects probably spurred states into campaigning for review of revenue allocation formula. And though he didn’t quite say it, everyone knows that this financial entanglement led the states into wholeheartedly supporting the removal of what the federal government described as fuel subsidy. It was also this politics of financial desperation, Mbam says, that is at the root of the battle between states and local

JOSEPH DAUDA

pensation is meaningless. We cannot ignore this. To do so is to fall into the same mistake of explaining ethnicity as essentially a symptom of the disease of poverty. Here then is my point. Just as there is the disease of poverty, for which an adequate cure is required and which a capable state would effectively deal with; there is also the disease of extreme and radical religiosity which the state cannot afford to accommodate because its fury is limitless and is capable of consuming the state. A policy of non-accommodation of radical religiosity is the normative ground for affirming the secularity of the state, especially in a multi-religious state where people of different faiths are inextricably welded together. Paradoxically, it is the educational achievement levels of its members that facilitate, though without guaranteeing, the affirmation of secularity, and the rationale for a secular polity in a pluralistic society. Educational levels enhance the probability of individuals understanding that freedom of religion, that is, the liberty to make choices of religious doctrines and affiliations is essential because spirituality cannot be forced even in monolithic societies since each person must account for him or herself on the judgment day. If education enhances this understanding, it is not a surprise that religious fanatics and spiritual radicals would find it evil and sinful. This is why Boko Haram is against western education. If education is loathed and therefore prevented from performing its task of opening the eyes and clearing the mind of its idols, what is the recourse of a state focused on peaceful coexistence among peoples of different faiths? There is a silver lining amidst the cloud of despair that envelops our sky. Politicians and political leaders of different faiths are primarily moderates in the matter of faith. This is not to deny that there are opportunists who would always take advantage of a crisis. But by and large, the private interests of individual politicians can be counted upon in a collective endeavor to prevent a religious war. One sure way to prevent a religious war, however, is to uphold the secularity of the state; guarantee the freedom of religious affiliation anywhere and everywhere in the country, and make radicals and fanatics that stand in the way pariahs to be removed from the body politic.At a time such as this, the hope of a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Nigerian nation depends solely on the collective will of our political leaders and their religious and traditional counterparts. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Thirty-six state lepers and debt siege governments over the use of LG allocations. The picture painted by the RMAFC boss is both graphic and disturbing. The states borrow from external sources, from banks, from the capital market, and apparently would borrow from any willing lender. They are so steeped in borrowing, he says, that their capacity to repay is consequently and progressively weakened. Worried by the near hopeless financial situation the states have found themselves, the Senate claims the public hearing will help the upper chamber aggregate views on how best to tackle the menace and save states from themselves. It is not certain how states will respond to the Senate initiative, or how soon, but the problem is expected to continue for much longer than anticipated. The principle of state creation in the 1960s and the decades after may have its salutary side, but in the light of the financial servitude the states have found themselves, it is tempting to do a little political arithmetic by comparing the

strides achieved by Nigeria’s three or four regions in the 1950s and 1960s. These achievements came at a modest cost. The regions were run fairly cheaply, and their bureaucracies were neither as tedious and ponderous as the bureaucracies of the present 36 near-leprous states, nor even as expensive. Where, then, did we get the folly of hankering after additional states? This column has consistently argued that suggesting that state creation adds velocity to development is both ludicrous and fallacious. The presentation of the RMAFC boss at the Senate public hearing makes it all the more compelling to ignore state creation campaign and to recommend those behind the idea for proper counselling. It must be reiterated that what Nigeria needs now is not more of the foolish same, that is, additional states, but a different approach; restructuring, not tinkering with a defective federal arrangement. State creation will worsen Nigeria’s developmental crisis, not ameliorate it. The RMAFC presentation deserves thoughtful attention.

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The Nation March 16, 2012