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TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
VOL. 7, NO. 2135 THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
•The bunkering vessel, MV Tamuno-Ibi, captured and set ablaze by the Joint Task Force (JTF) off the shores of Akassa Island in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa...on Tuesday. Story on page 59 PHOTO: NAN
Knocks for Jonathan over Salami’s fate
HERE was more outrage yesterday over Appeal Court President Isa Ayo Salami’s fate. Justice Minister and Attorney-General Mohammed Bello Adoke said the Presi-
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja and Joseph Jibueze
dent has not approved Justice Salami’s reinstatement because doing so will be subjudice. But rights activist Femi Fala-
na said yesterday that President Goddluck Jonathan lacks the power to reject the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), which Continued on page 4
Justice Salami’s case was pending in court when the NJC exercised its power to suspend him. Before it took the decision to recall Justice Salami, a fresh case had already been filed...but the NJC, in its wisdom, decided that we need to put this matter behind us; and that is the end of the matter —Falana
Jonathan administration lacks honourable character...the President has decided to sacrifice honour on the platform of political expediency. It is part of a wider plan to cow the judiciary and silence upright judges —ACN SEE ALSOPAGE 8
Obasanjo under attack for calling lawmakers robbers Senate to ex-President: name rogue legislators
ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo was under attack yesterday over his comment that “there are more rogues and armed robbers in the State Assemblies and the National Assembly”. Obasanjo spoke on Tuesday at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Academy for Entrepreneur Studies Nigeria (AES) at the Nigerian Insti-
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Sanni Onogu, Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
tute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos. Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon and former Interim National Government (ING) head Ernest Shonekan also spoke at the conference.
The Senate requested Obasanjo to name the rogues in the National Assembly. The House of Representatives mandated its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the statement. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, at a news conference, challenged
Obasanjo to name the rogues and criminals - in the spirit of transparency and openness. Obasanjo, according to media reports, descended on the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Police, describing them as corrupt. Obasanjo was quoted as saying: Continued on page 4
•CITY BEATS P6 •SPORTS P23 •EDUCATION P25•POLITICS P43 •E-BUSINESS P48
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Ibori: Bribe Were the Scotland Yard detectives who investigated former Governor James Ibori ‘extorting’ money from him? An enquiry has been launched to establish the truth
A • Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon (left) and Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the 2012 Oyo Education summit in Ibadan...yesterday. With them is Deputy Governor Moses Alake Adeyemo. PHOTO: FEM I ILESANMI.
•Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda inaugurating the Gamawa-Alagarno-Sabon Gari Road...yesterday. With him (from left) are: Senator Babayo Gamawa, Deputy Governor Sagir Saleh and Commissioner for Rural Development Ubati Muhammad
SCOTLAND Yard anti-corruption detective and three ex-officers from the Met were arrested yesterday amid claims serving police were pocketing bribes worth up to £20,000 from private investigators. Officers are accused of taking money for information about an inquiry into a politician who defrauded a Nigerian state of more than £150million. The 45-year-old detective constable is being questioned on suspicion of providing information about Nigerian fraudster James Ibori in return for cash. Two private investigators, aged 53 and 58, and another man are being held in connection with providing the money after raids at the London offices of Risc Management Ltd. The Metropolitan Police confirmed yesterday the firm has previously worked with the force. A lawyer told MPs at a Parliamentary inquiry yesterday into the work of private investigators that he had
evidence of substantial cash payments made over nine months. Mike Schwarz said invoices from a law firm reveal an undetected case of ‘apparent corruption right at the heart of Scotland Yard.’ He accused a handful of senior officers responsible for orchestrating the inquiry of also leaking information for cash. If true, the incendiary allegations would ignite a fresh scandal at the London force which remains embroiled in a damaging race row. And they would raise serious questions about links between police and private investigators who want to obtain information to undermine the criminal justice system. The claims centre on a wide-ranging and complex inquiry into the James Ibori, the former governor of Nigeria’s Delta State. He was jailed for 13 years last month after admitting he embezzled huge sums to fund a lavish international lifestyle for his family. Keith Vaz MP has said there is
Who wants Tobacco Control Bill dead? In one week, it will be exactly one year since the National Assembly passed the National Tobacco Control Bill. But as the world awaits another No Tobacco Day, many are worried that President Goodluck Jonathan is yet to sign the Bill into law, reports OLUKOREDE YISHAU
M •From left: the Acting Executive Director, Editorial Matters, News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) Segun Aribike, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Julius Okojie and NAN’s Managing Director Mrs. Oluremi Oyo during Prof. Okojie’s visit to NAN’s headquarters in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO: NAN
•From left: Guinness Nigeria Plc’s Corporate Relations Director Sesan Sobowale, Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc Babatunde Savage, Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga and Head Pubilc Policy Guinness Nigeria Michael Onuoha during the company’s management’s visit to the minister.
INISTER of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu appeared serious on Monday while addressing the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. The minister said Nigeria was dedicated to domesticating the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a World Health Organisation (WHO) treaty, which the country ratified several years back. Chukwu’s claim angered many tobacco control advocates. As far as they were concerned, the minister was not being sincere. Their reason: almost one year after the National Assembly passed the National Tobacco Control Bill, which is meant to domesticate the FCTC, President Goodluck Jonathan has not signed it into law. So, they believe only through the signing into law of the Bill which in can the country claim dedication to the FCTC. Following the minister’s statement in Geneva, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) urged him to ensure the Bill is signed into law. The group said the Bill, when it becomes an Act, will prevent an imminent tobacco epidemic. ERA/FoEN, in a letter to the minister, said the failure of the President to assent the Bill would not only reverse efforts to wean the youth off
smoking, but also threaten the country’s leadership position in global tobacco control efforts. The group said Nigeria having signed and ratified the FCTC is bound to domesticate it through the Bill. The tobacco bill, sponsored by Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, was passed by the Senate on March 15, 2011 and concurred by the House of Representatives on May 31, last year. The signature of the President is required to make the bill law. ERA/FoEN, in a statement by its Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey, said: “Our plea for the minister to intervene at this crucial time is a patriotic call to save Nigerians from the tobacco industry’s commitment to advocating weak legislation that will ensure they continue business as usual thereby worsening our health burden. “After the overwhelming support the bill received in the Senate and House of Representatives, it is sad that till date, it has not been signed by the President. The intervention of the Health Minister is a singular action that generations of Nigerians will not forget. Giving Nigerians this gift as we mark the 2012 World No Tobacco Day will be remarkable.” Bassey reminded the minister of his promise during last year’s World No Tobacco Day to ensure
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
scandal rocks Scotland Yard ‘ growing concern that some private investigators are operating in ‘the shadows’ of the law Documents passed to the Commons home affairs committee, and seen by the Daily Mail, appear to show payments were made in return for police information. They include a series of detailed invoices from a London law firm and leading private investigation company RISC Management, which is run by former Scotland Yard detective Keith Hunter. The paperwork indicates that both companies were hired to work for Ibori in 2007 after he discovered he was being investigated for fraud. Yesterday, Mr Schwarz, who represents one of Ibori’s co-defendants, said the invoices document payments to ‘sources’, presumably police officers close to the inquiry. He added: ‘The records show about half a dozen payments totalling about £20,000 over a period of eight or nine months... it appears to be inappropriate if not corrupt.’ One invoice includes a charge for £5,000 with the note: ‘Engaged with source in eliciting information re: forthcoming interview strategy to [be] deployed by police.’ Mr Schwarz said he has also seen emails which confirmed contact had been made between the private investigators and detectives. The allegations have been circulating since last year but only surfaced in public yesterday after Mr
The records show about half a dozen payments totalling about £20,000 over a period of eight or nine months... it appears to be inappropriate if not corrupt
Schwarz used Parliamentary privilege to make them. His client is Bhadresh Gohil, a London-based solicitor jailed for orchestrating Ibori’s vast moneylaundering operation. The Met has briefed reporters that there is evidence that casts doubt on the credibility of the evidence against the officers. But following the intervention of
Mr Schwarz sources said an investigation into them is being taken more seriously. Keith Vaz, who chairs the home affairs committee, has said there is growing concern that some private investigators are operating in ‘the shadows’ of the law. The latest inquiry comes in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal and is scrutinising links between pri-
FACTSHEET •More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. •Smoking causes an estimated 90 per cent of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80 per cent of all lung cancer deaths in women. •An estimated 90 per cent of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking. • The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States. •Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Smoking causes many diseases and reduces the health of smokers in general. •Dr. Jonathan
•BATN MD Spencer-Obatoyinbo
Source: Centre for Disease Prevention
the Bill gets presidential assent speedily.
National Tobacco Control Committee as provided for in the bill. Recently, there were talks of meeting between the Health Minister and his Trade counterpart, to iron out issues of concern on the bill, but the meeting didn’t hold. Our position is that if there is anything to be done on the bill, it can always go for amendments. That is what the National committee is there for. The SON also is in disagreement with some of the oversight functions it was allotted in the bill. Now, the SON wanted to be the chief implementation agency for the bill. We believe that the tobacco industry may be using all of these issues against the bill.” ERA’s Director, Corporate Accountability, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, said the big tobacco companies are working against the Bill. Oluwafemi said: “The big tobaccoare doing their best to ensure regulations are not enforced in line with the FCTC by using tactics hid-
den under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to hoodwink people in government into toeing their way at the risk of the people’s health. These tactics include: partnership agreements between government and industry; industry-run programmes claiming to prevent youth smoking; and training for farmers.” Really, the Bill, when it becomes law, has the potential to reduce the population of smokers and thus decimate the profits of the tobacco giants. This, said a source, is enough reason for them to frustrate it. Some of the potentially ‘damaging’ parts include: creating smoke free public places, banning of all forms of advertisement, promotion, marketing and sponsorship of tobacco products, restricting the sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of 18, compelling the tobacco industry to disclose the level of nicotine in cigarettes, inscribing health warnings on every pack of cigarettes in accordance with FCTC require-
Does anyone want the Bill dead? Tobacco Control advocates believe that tobacco giants such as the British American Tobacco (BAT) and Phillip Morris (Altria), which partially acquired the International Tobacco Company (ITC) based in Ilorin, Kwara State, do not want the Bill to become law. A source said: “There are speculations that the British American Tobacco Nigeria has also gotten in touch with some key government people especially in the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the Ministry of Trade. The tobacco industry is said to be in disagreement with two important sections of the bill, which they want expunged. One of the sections is the non inclusion of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in the membership of the
vate investigators, who include retired police officers, and former colleagues. RISC Management denied all the allegations about the company. Mr Hunter said:” We pride ourselves on our ability to provide positive solutions and accurate information legitimately. A Met spokesman said: “The Met is investigating an allegation that il-
legal payments were made to police officers for information by a private investigation agency. ‘The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in October 2011 which agreed to supervise a DPS investigation into the allegations.”
ment of 50 per cent total display area and ban on sale of single sticks cigarettes and the ban on sale of cigarettes less than 20 pieces in a single pack.
from 8.9 per cent to 10 per cent, and prevalence of heavy smoking which rose to 16.3 per cent. It also shows that two persons die in the state daily from tobacco related diseases. Using the conservative estimates of Lagos State, it means each state in Nigeria has spent at least N2,847,000,000 ($ 18,058,992) to treat smokers in hospitals. Multiply that amount by the 37 states in Nigeria, it also means that Nigeria lost N105,339,000,000 ($668,182,708) in one year. If this figure is justifiable, it clearly makes nonsense of the 10 billion naira ($6,343,165) per year, tax paid by BATN.” The latest edition of the Tobacco Atlas shows that two per cent of men’s deaths in the country are linked to tobacco use. It says the country loses $591 million annually to tobacco use in terms of health care and related expenses. About 17 million sticks of cigarettes are smoked in the country annually. No wonder the President of the Washington DC-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK), Matt Myers, said the country is losing a lot by not domesticating the FCTC. Myers, who spoke with this reporter at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore, said: “If I meet President Goodluck Jonathan, I will tell him that one thing he needs to do quickly that will save the lives of many Nigerians is to sign the Tobacco Control Bill and guarantee that the country will implement it right away. If the Tobacco Bill is signed and implemented, it will save literally over the course of time millions of Nigerians from death. Most importantly, it will protect Nigerian young people from lifetime tobacco addiction and premature deaths.” Senate President David Mark, during deliberations on the Bill, said the damage tobacco use does to the country is enough for health to take precedence over any other considerations.
Loud silence from BATN? Attempt by The Nation to get BATN’s reactions to its ‘grouses’ with the Bill as passed by the National Assembly and the allegation that it was stalling the signing of the Bill yielded no result. Its spokesman, Aliyu Lawal, acknowledged receipt of questions sent to him on Monday and promised to get back the following day. As at the time of going to press yesterday, he shifted the goalpost again by saying the ‘clean copy’ of the responses would be ready today. The terms of BAT’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BAT allow the company to build a $150 million cigarette manufacturing factory in Ibadan. The factory, which was commissioned on June 17, 2003, was seen by the government as a huge Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country. BATN also sees it as such, a fact attested to by its Managing Director, Beverly Spencer-Obatoyinbo in a paper she presented last March at a breakfast meeting organised by the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce. Prior to BATN’s formal entry into the Nigerian market, it acquired the shares of the moribund Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) in 2000. The deal granted the company access to the infrastructure and manpower of the NTC. It also included the takeover of the thousands of tobacco farmers. BATN also upgraded its Zaria factory with a new GDX1 machine capable of producing 7,200 sticks per minute.
Losses to cigarette smoking But as BATN smiles to the bank, Akinsola Owoeye, a tobacco control advocate with the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA), said many are frowning either to the graves or hospitals. Owoeye said: ”Despite the promises made by the government and tobacco industry, death toll began to rise in Nigeria after BATN came in. A survey in Lagos State showed an increase in smoking prevalence
Source: Daily Mail of UK
Will Jonathan play ball? Will Jonathan heed the call of the tobacco control advocates, the WHO and others to sign the Bill into law or will he, as alleged, dance to the tune of the tobacco giants--- which appear unhappy with some of its provisions? It is a matter of time.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
NEWS Obasanjo under attack for calling lawmakers robbers Continued from page 1
•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the midst of Technical Trainers at the State Research for Agriculture, Training and Practical Demonstration Centre, Ministry of Agriculture, State of Saxony Anhalt, Germany...yesterday. Story on page 61
Knocks for Jonathan over Salami Continued from page 1
has asked suspended Justice Salami to be reinstated, on the recall of a Judge. He said the President is overreaching himself by his continuous refusal to approve Justice Isa Ayo Salami’s reinstatement. According to him, there is nowhere in the Constitution where the President or a governor is empowered to exercise disciplinary control over a Judge. Such power, the lawyer said, is vested in the NJC. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) condemned the President for declining to approve the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to reinstate Justice Salami. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN said the “Jonathan administration lacks honourable character. “The President has decided to sacrifice honour on the platform of political expediency. “It is part of a wider plan to cow the judiciary and silence upright judges “. Falana, who spoke in Abuja yesterday at the end of a court session, said: “When there is a recommendation for removal of a judge, that is when the President or governor comes in because they are the appointing authorities. But with respect to investigation, it is the responsibility of the NJC to
suspend and return a Judge if no indictment is established. “With respect to the case in court, Justice Salami’s case was pending in court when the NJC exercised its power to suspend him. Before it took the decision to recall Justice Salami, a fresh case had already been filed at the Federal High Court but the NJC, in its wisdom, decided suomotu that we need to put this matter behind us; and that is the end of the matter. “I have challenged any lawyer in Nigeria to show the provision of the Constitution that empowers the President to interfere or intervene in the investigation of a judge. There has not been a single instance where the President or the governor endorses suspension... “If you look at the powers of the NJC; the NJC is empowered to investigate judges and exercise disciplinary control over them. But when it comes to removal or dismissal, it is the appointing authorities that can do that. It is like the Civil Service, if you are being investigated, you are interdicted and once the investigation is completed and nothing is found against you, that is the end of the matter. If he had been indicted, then the President would have been asked to remove him. It is the sole responsibility of the NJC and that is why I’m saying it has never happened in the history of Nigeria. “The NJC has done its own
work; it has investigated and has decided to exonerate him; it is not a presidential matter. And I want to appeal to all political interests to allow this matter to be resolved by the judiciary. This business of giving the impression that it is a political matter is not helping the cause of justice in Nigeria and it is embarrassing the judiciary. Once the matter has been resolved, that is the end of the matter,” Falana added A right group, Access to Justice (AJ) said President Jonathan’s refusal to reinstate Justice Salami is “hollow and self-serving”. It said the President will need to explain how some lawsuits matter more than others and the criteria for “cherry picking” issues that are sub judice. A statement by AJ’s Director, Mr Joseph Otteh, said: “President Jonathan’s decision not to reinstate “suspended” President of the Court of Appeal Hon. Justice Ayo Salami on the grounds that there are subsisting court actions on the matter is a hollow and self-serving justification. “It is important to remember that it was the NJC that sought the President’s authority to remove Justice Salami from office in August 2011, even in spite of a pending lawsuit against the council. “The President partly accepted to ‘remove’ Hon. Justice Salami by asking that he re-
main on suspension pending the determination of his lawsuit, again, in spite of a lawsuit seeking to stop him from accepting the recommendation of the NJC or acting on it anyhow. “It is somewhat late in the day and will appear opportunistic now to use the subsistence of lawsuits as a reason to refuse reinstating Justice Salami. “Otherwise, the President will need to explain how some lawsuits matter, and others do not and what the criteria is for cherry picking what litigations have these consequences and which ones do not. “The Hon. Attorney General of the Federation says that the Judiciary should put its house in order. This is exactly what the Judiciary is trying to do with the recommendation to recall Hon. Justice Salami. “
“Integrity is necessary for systems and institutions to be strong. Today, rogues, armed robbers are in the State Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly. What sort of laws will they make? “The judiciary is also corrupt. During my tenure, many of the corrupt judges were removed, some are still there. “If the judiciary becomes corrupt, where is the hope for the nation? Justice, no doubt, will go to the highest bidder. The judiciary did not see anything wrong with a former governor but the same set of evidence was used to sentence him in the United Kingdom. “The police are even worse. Well, I will not lament. I will only say let us understand our problems and emphasise the good ones.” Abaribe said the Senate had been inundated with inquiries over the statement credited to Obasanjo. He noted that the National Assembly has great respect for the former President and “the National Assembly can never engage in any talk back to the President.” He said: “But we actually feel that the former President would help the National Assembly and, indeed, also help Nigeria in the new spirit of transparency and openness by assisting the National Assembly to name those he knows in the National Assembly as either rogues or criminals. “That would help us to be able to sanitise the polity and we sincerely thank him for his role in Nigeria, someone who cares very deeply about the Nigerian state and how it is at the moment.” Abaribe said the appeal also goes not just to Obasanjo, but to other Nigerians who are concerned about the country. He said: “We also urge other Nigerians who are concerned about Nigeria to also in the spirit of transparency, let us know whatever information that they have so that
we could use it to check ourselves and to make Nigeria a better place.” The House of Representatives ordered an investigation into the Obasanjo statement after Speaker Aminu Tambuwal stopped what would have turned a hot debate on the issue. He referred the matter to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges because members agreed that their privilege had been infringed upon. Deputy Minority Leader Suleiman Kawu Sumaila moved a motion under order of privilege. He said Obasanjo should be called to order over his comment Tambuwal ruled against the motion. Kawu, moving the motion, said the former President had infringed upon his image and privilege. According to the lawmaker, the Obasanjo statement could bring disrepute to him (Kawu) as a member of the National Assembly. “Enough is enough,” Kawu said in an emotional voice. The lawmaker added: “I am raising this point of Order under matters of personal privilege because the former president called us rogues and armed robbers, but I am not an armed robber. Neither I’m I a rogue. “His greatest grouse against us is that we refused him third term in office and since then, we have become his enemies. “But Obasanjo does not have the credibility in Nigeria.” Many members who were eager to speak on the issue raised their hands for recognition. But Tambuwal intervened, believing the debate on the issue might go out of hand. He said the matter should not be further debated. “I believe this is not a matter that should be debated. It will be referred to the House Committee on Ethics and Privilege for investigation. We cannot go into the foray and begin to discuss this matter. The matter is hereby referred to the Committee on ethics and Privileges for investigation,” Tambuwal said.
Trial of banks’ chiefs: EFCC disturbed over lawyers poor commitment to cases
TRONG indications emerged yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is disturbed over alleged poor commitment to the trial of former Chief Executive Officers of nine distressed banks by its counsel. The commission may be forced to withdraw the service of such counsel from its brief, it was gathered. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the EFCC Review Team had uncovered alleged poor handling of the trial of 13 former bank executives. It was learnt that although the EFCC had investigated and arraigned the suspects in court, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is overseeing the payment of the legal fees. But it was gathered that the EFCC is unhappy that some counsel have been paying lip service to the trial of these bank chiefs. A source said: “A study of
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
the cases by our Review Team has shown that some of the reversal of fortunes being suffered in court had to do with mishandling of cases against ex-bank chiefs on trial by counsel. “No one in the management of the EFCC is happy about this development where cases are thrown out on avoidable technical grounds. “Yet, it has been difficult for the EFCC to call some of these lawyers, including a few Senior Advocates to order because the anti-graft agency is not paying their bills. “But the EFCC is getting the backlash for setbacks recorded in court as if the commission is compromising or deliberately frustrating the trial of these former bank chiefs.” The source added: “We have reached out to some of the counsel to sit up or else we may be forced to withdraw their service.
“We may resort to drastic action if apathy towards the trial of these ex-bank chiefs continues.” Asked why the CBN is footing EFCC’s legal bill, the source said: “The trial of these former bank chiefs was a consequence of CBN reform and it offered to bear the cost. “The issue is really not about legal fees because the CBN has never defaulted but it has to do with lack of diligent prosecution by some counsel. “We are certainly worried as a commission because some issues raised by the court to reject some applications by some of our counsel revealed untidiness. “But the EFCC is made the scapegoat for these lapses. Also, public opinion weighs heavily against the commission.” Even a judge of the Federal High Court flayed the EFCC lawyers for failing to dutifully prosecute a case.
The CBN had in August 2009 sacked some bank Executives following Audit the Records of the affected banks. The audit exercise had indicted the banks of allegedly accumulating margin loans of N500 billion which had gone bad and eroded shareholders’ funds. The CBN said the decision was taken to safeguard the financial sector from systemic collapse. But barely two and a half years after the removal of the bank chiefs, only one has been convicted through plea bargaining. Yesterday, EFCC chair Ibrahim Lamorde condemned the high rate of connivance between some professionals and fraudsters in the country to commit economic crimes Lamorde spoke while receiving a delegation of Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) led its President Segun
Ajanlekoko, in Abuja. He said: “Most of the corrupt cases we encounter are aided by one professional or another. In money laundering for example, bankers and accountants are involved, in estate and property- related crimes, quantity surveyors are also involved,” he said. “You should identify bad eggs in your fold and sanction such people. It is not in all cases that people steal raw cash but in some instances rely on professionals to doctor documents that will aid them in perpetrating corrupt acts.” He reassured the association of the Commission’s willingness to collaborate with it especially on some of its investigations that require professional input. Lamorde urged Nigerians to resist the temptation of adopting what he called ‘I don’t care attitude’ whereby they feel corruption is either the fight of anti-graft agencies or is too big a problem to be
tackled by an individual. “The crusade should not be limited to stolen monies but to other corruptive practices. It should equally cover policies which are endemic and even more dangerous,” he said. He said the Association, which is made up of twentysix (26) professional bodies that are chartered and recognised by Acts of Parliament, would help EFCC in its fight against corruption. He urged the management of EFCC to avail its staff of management training programmes and to support the APBN Foundation which is aimed at promoting best practices, good corporate governance and capacity building among corporate and educational entities. Ajanlekoko was accompanied on the visit by Ramatu Aliyu, Chairman, Abuja Chapter; Mrs. Beatrice Oji, Treasurer, Abuja Chapter and Adebayo B.A., National Secretary, among others.
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THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
NEWS Mark shakes up Senate Committees From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
•From left: Alhaji Rafi'u Babatunde Tinubu, Alhaji Yahaya Yusuf, Dr Hamidu Mohammed, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed and Alhaji Garba Bwai during PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN. the swearing-in of new Federal Civil Service Commissioners at the State House in Abuja... yesterday.
Nigerian teenager buried under garden shed in London A NIGERIAN teenager living in London was stabbed, beaten unconscious and had concrete poured inside his hoodie before being buried in a shallow grave under a shed the Old Bailey has heard. It is alleged that Stephen Ojerinola, 18, was dumped in a makeshift grave in the back garden of one of the attackers following the brutal attack in Kidbrooke, South East London. Jurors were told that William Regan and Lee Davies, who are accused of murder, then erected a flatpack Homebase shed on top of the teenager’s burial site. The court also heard that after arranging the ‘undignified and unlawful burial’, Regan phoned the victim’s girlfriend to ask whether she had seen him. Mr Ojerinola’s body was not uncovered until seven months after he disappeared during a police visit to Regan’s home. Regan and Davies, both 36, are said to have attacked Mr Ojerinola at some point on April 11 or 12 last year but it was not until November 20 that police unearthed his remains. His body - encased in concrete was discovered by a trained sniffer dog following more than a day of excavation in Regan’s garden, said prosecutor Max Hill. He added: ‘He was several feet down. Buried, therefore, beneath the shed, gravel, a tarpaulin, wooden boards, mixed rubble, loose soil and then the concrete. ‘As the team dug down, first his trainer shoe emerged from the earth and concrete.
‘Then a body, curled into a foetal position. His arms were in fact around a ball of concrete, hardened after it had been poured inside his hooded top. ‘He had been placed in that grave to rot. ‘The levels above him demonstrate, the prosecution say, the planning and effort put into concealing him and the callous disregard shown for this 18-year-old young man. There was even, in fact, a Twix wrapper, discarded in one of the levels of his unlawful grave - discarded perhaps by one of those who worked so hard to ensure Stephen Ojerinola would never be seen by anyone again.’ Mr Ojerinola was lured to Regan’s home on the pretext of selling his attacker drugs, the court heard. But instead, said Mr Hill: “He found himself in the company of two men, both twice his age with a tendency to explode into violence and a predisposition to use weapons to inflict injury on others.” Regan had a criminal record including several burglaries - including one in which £10,000 or more was stolen just days before the killing. He and Davies attacked Mr Ojerinola by stabbing him in the chest, inflicting a wound three inches deep, and knocking him unconscious with a hammer, jurors were told. Five further stab wounds were also found on his neck, along with defensive wounds to his hands. “There may have been even more injuries than we know about,’ said
Mr Hill. ‘His entombment underground for seven months, together with the action of concrete on exposed skin, means that areas of his face and body were badly decomposed and damaged leading to loss of skin and therefore possible loss of evidence of further injuries.’ In the days that followed, concrete cladding and the flatpack garden shed were purchased at a nearby Homebase store, with shingle and wooden wallboards delivered from a branch of Wickes, the court heard. A new sofa bed was also bought on April 13, said Mr Hill. “Neighbours started to notice unusual activity including the delivery of a shed, flat-packed on the roof of a car, and nighttime digging in the rear garden that went on into the early hours of the following morning. “Something was going on, carefully planned and carefully executed over those days in the middle of April.” A few days later, Regan is said to have attended Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, claiming he had cut his head and arm and broken a bone in his hand after falling out of a tree. When police raided his home on November 20, much of the downstairs area had been freshly painted and the carpets removed, the court heard. But a thorough forensic search by police revealed traces of Mr Ojerinola’s blood on the letterbox, walls and on a hammer and baseball bat found in Regan’s bedroom, it
was said. When he was arrested Davies claimed he had only been enlisted by Regan to help put up the shed and had been paid with half an ounce of cannabis. Regan said the victim had come at him with a knife and will claim he was trying to steal the spoils of one of his burglaries, the court was told. Mr Hill said: “This case is not about the shock and panic of innocent men, forced to kill in self-defence. “This case concerns the violent murder of a young man half the age of these defendants, who then calmly set about covering their tracks. “This was not the reaction of innocents but cold-blooded calculation of the guilty.” Regan and Davies, of Chiswell Square, Kidbrooke, have admitted preventing a lawful burial but deny murder. The trial continues. Source: Daily Mail of UK
Court warns Turkur, others against fresh congress in Ogun
FEDERAL High Court in Lagos has warned the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) against taking any steps to organise a fresh congress in Ogun State without first obeying the order made on April 27, voiding the last South west zonal congress of the party. Justice Okon Efreti Abang yesterday said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the order made on the 27th of April still subsists. It is in the interest of of the respondents to comply with the said order. The court will not hesitate to invoke its disciplinary powers against any body who flouts the order of the court. “This the court will do provided the process for initiating committal proceedings is adhered to,” the judge held. The judge’s position was in-
• Contempt proceedings against party leaders begin May 31 By Eric Ikhilae
formed by complaints by lawyer to the applicants, Ajibola Oluyede that the national leadership of the PDP, led by Bamaga Tukur was planning a fresh congress for the party in Ogun State. Applicants in the suit filed by members of the harmonised Executive of the PDP in Ogun State include Dayo Soremi, Engr Bayo Dayo and Hon Taiwo Abisekan. Named as defendants are PDP, former Acting National Chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Tajudeen Oladipo, Uche Secondus, Olusola Oke and Prof Rufia Alkali. Despite denial from the defendants’ lead lawyer, Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN) that he was unaware of any
plan fro a fresh congress, and contention that their applications, challenging the competence of the applicants’ suit be heard first, Justice Abang elected to first hear the applicants’ motion for committal proceedings. The judge, relying on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Ebhodaghe vs Okoye 2004 18 NWLR part 905 at 495, held that a court must first consider an application that seeks the enforcement of its order before conducting any further business. Justice Abang held that by so doing the court will be protecting its majesty and integrity and preventing its dignity from being brought into ridicule. The judge further held that it was the law the court must
first protect its dignity by ensuring that its orders are complied with. The judge elected to hear the applicants’ motion for committal proceedings along with another application filed by Kalejaiye, challenging the competence of the said motion by the applicants or seeking its transfer to another judge. He adjourned to May 31 for hearing of both applications, following which the court will consider all other pending applications. The court, in its said April 27 ruling, voided the congress the produced former Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni, as the party’s National Vice Chairman (South-West) on the ground that it was held in violation of a subsisting order of court.
SENATE President Senator David Mark yesterday reshuffled the standing Committees of the Senate. The development saw Senator Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna North) emerge Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance. He replaced Senator Bassey Otu (Cross River South), who was moved to Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions. Makarfi was Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance in the sixth Senate but was not assigned any committee portfolio because of the lengthy legal battle he went through to reclaim his seat in the Upper Chamber. When the legal tussle was over and Makarfi was reinstated by the court, the Senate had concluded the composition of members of standing committees. Observers said Makarfi may have been reappointed Senate Finance Committee boss because he was “superlative as Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance in the sixth Senate” Senator Ayo Adeseun (Oyo Central) who was Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions was moved to the Committee on Capital Market as Chairman. Senator Abdu Yandoma ( Katsina State ) who was Chairman, Committee on Capital Market was removed from the Senate by the court. Senator Abubakar Sadiq Yar’Adua was named Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism while Senator Attai Aidoko (Kogi East) was appointed Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Navy. Senator Hadi Abubakar Sirika (Katsina North) was appointed Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Firm showcases new products NIGERIA’S leading learning resource company, Learn Africa Plc (formerly Longman Nigeria Plc) has launched new products at the 2012 edition of the Nigeria International Book Fair holding in the multipurpose hall of the University of Lagos, Akoka. The new books are: Concise Grammar, a handy companion that helps learners master the principles of English Grammar, New Concept Mathematics for Secondary Schools, a new series that uses simple language and a step-by-step approach to make the teaching and learning of Mathematics interesting and accessible and New Concept English for Secondary Schools, a new series that helps learners develop competence in the key language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. A statement by the company reads: “In addition, the company is exhibiting the Echo series, a collection of creative writing masterpieces and the LearnAfrica dictionaries, a set of world-class dictionaries that promises to help users get ahead by making them confident with words.” The company’s head of marketing, Allwell Nwankwo, said: “For the first time, Learn Africa Plc is participating in the Nigeria International Book Fair as a wholly-owned Nigerian company. We are delighted to be here. As the nation’s foremost learning resource company, we will always be in the forefront in providing innovative products and content that serve the learning needs of the nation’s teeming population. Although we are showcasing a lot of books at this exhibition, we currently do much more than publishing. We also provide an array of services that support the educational sector.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
CITYBEATS Pastor accuses wife A of using charms A PASTOR, Jimoh Ajose, yesterday, urged a Badagry Customary Court to dissolve his six year-old marriage, accusing his wife, Abosede, of using charms on him. The pastor, who lives on Gboko Street, Igborosun, Badagry, also accused his wife of being quarrelsome, adding that he no longer loves her. “I am seeking the dissolution of this marriage because we no longer love each other. She fights with church members and she once broke the head of a member on mere suspicion that I was befriending her," he said. According to him, he has locked her out of the house, because of her incessant quarrels. He said her attitude if unchecked, can break his church. Abosede denied the allegations. She said she never used charms on her husband. Rather, she accused her husband of sleeping with wives of church members. "I did not use charms, the only soap he saw with me was meant to promote my ailing trade," she said. Mr Olanrewaju Dasilva, who stood in for the President of the court, Mr A.B. Kudaisi, asked the couple to go home and resolve the matter amicably. “The two of you must remain peaceful," he said. The case was adjourned to June 6.
08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- email@example.com
28 YEAR-OLD woman, Janet Uduak, has been dragged to a customary court in Lagos by her husband, Kolawole Richard, for using a kitchen knife to slice his manhood when he attempted to sleep with her. Janet, a mother of one, allegedly carried out the act because her husband demanded for sex against her wish. The incident, which happened at 19, Jagun Street, Okokomaiko, on the outskirts of Lagos, got Richard seriously injured, causing him to lose his ability to have erection. Richard is asking the Ijanikin Customary Court to dissolve his
Woman cuts husband's manhood for demanding too much sex marriage with Janet. He alleged that Janet was violent and does not perform her matrimonial obligations, which include allowing him to have sex with her. He told the court that he paid N50,000 bride price on Janet at her her village in Akwa Ibom State. He said despite marrying her legally, Janet never allows any sexual intimacy between them.
“There is usually trouble in the bedroom anytime I wanted to sleep with her,” he said. Richard, a teacher, from Ondo State, told the court that he is no longer in love with her. He tendered a photograph of his severed manhood before the court. He also asked the court to grant him the custody of their only daughter. But the remorseful woman begged for forgiveness, promis-
Tackle Festac Town’s rot, council chief urges FHA By Jeremiah Oke
Macmillan to promote core values By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)
WORRIED by the growing youth unemployment and its attendant violence in some parts of the country, Macmillan, a publishing outfit, is embarking on the promotion of core values such as honesty, courage, respect for self and others, integrity, dignity and hard work among school children, using stage performances. Speaking in Lagos, the Chairman, Macmillan Literary Event Committee, Mrs Francesca Yetunde Emmanuel, disclosed that the Macmillan Youth Cultural Day, billed for Thursday, May 31, at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos was initiated to find solutions to social malaise by applying the traditional cultural beliefs and practices, which enhances the physical, mental and spiritual development of man. She said such values are indices of cultural standard without, which any individual, group, society or institution could make meaningful progress. She noted that these sterling qualities unfortunately, have disappeared among youth of today. The theme of the event, which will feature 73 schools from Lagos State, is Break It, removing impediments to youth unemployment through the promotion of cultural values. Mrs Emmanuel explained that 10 out of the 73 schools would explore various sub-themes and use their presentations to illustrate the barriers to youth employment, which must be broken.
ing that she will fulfil her obligations as a wife including allowing him to have sex any time he wanted. But Richard insisted that the marriage should be dissolved. The President of the court, Mr. S. K. Hussain, noted that the relationship has completely broken down. He consequently dissolved the marriage and ordered Richard to pay Janet N26,000 as alimony.
• From left: Permanent Secretary/Accountant-General Treasury Office, Lagos State, Mr Akin Anbode; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Oluseyi Williams, and Finance Commissioner, Mr Tokunbo Abiru, during a news conference at Alausa, Ikeja … yesterday
Govt never signed CONMESS agreement with doctors, says HOS •Soyinka, traditional rulers urged to intervene in face-off
HE Lagos State Government has said it did not sign any agreement on the commencement of payment of the purported Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) with the sacked doctors. The Head of Service (HOS), Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, told reporters yesterday in Alausa that all it signed with the doctors was a salary adjustment structure. He faulted those carpeting the government for reneging on its agreement with the doctors saying no such agreement existed. He said: "There was any agreement between the striking doctors and the state government to the best of my knowledge. "We had commenced the payment of the new salary structure for the doctors since January 2011, which commensurated with the Federal Government salary structure and they began their strike, none was owed any salary by the state government". On the fate of the sacked doc-
By Miriam Ndikanwu
tors, Ogunlewe said some of the doctors have appealed and responded to the query issued to them for embarking on what he termed as ‘illegal strike’ and have consequently been warned against participating in such in the future. He said those dismissed got th e boot for disregarding the Public Service Rules and Regulations, which they swore to uphold when they accepted their employment. Ogunlewe said: "In the civil service rules and regulations, if you violate the regulation, disciplinary action has to be taken, as we have in the case of the doctors." Ogunlewe, however, did not rule out the reinstatement of the doctors as he revealed that the Lagos State Health Service Commission and the Lagos State University Teaching Board have commenced hearing of appeals filed by some of the erring doctors to reconsider their dismissal. Meanwhile, a group, Doctors
for Human Rights in Nigeria, has appealed to the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and traditional rulers to intervene in the lingering crisis between the Lagos State government and sacked doctors. President of the group, Dr. Tuyi Mebawondu, said yesterday in Lagos, that the intervention was necessary considering the untold hardship the crisis has subjected the poor masses to, in the last few weeks. Mebawondu said: "It is a sad development that the relationship has degenerated to this level. It is even more challenging when lots of patients are dying. The effect of this is felt mainly by the patients. "The strike could have been avoided; what we are witnessing now could have been averted. The strike is condemnable. Embarking on indefinite strike is a selfish act in the sense that the effect of this is not totally being considered while it causes pains to the patients.”
LAGOS EMERGENCY LINES STATE AGENCIES 1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-33235890; 080-23321770; 080-56374036. 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 2. Federal Road Safety Corps 01-4703325; 01-7743026 080-75005411; 080-60152462 (FRSC) 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) 080-23111742; 080-29728371 Lagos Zonal Command Phone Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 080-23909364; 080-77551000 No:080-33706639; 01-7742771 070-35068242 01-7904983 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-79279349; 080-63299264 080-34346168; 01-2881304
070-55462708; 080-65154338 767 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org •
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.
HE Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area Chairman, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, has called on Governor Babatunde Fasola and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), to rescue the Festac Town from total rot. Speaking with reporters after a tour of the town, Adewale said the deplorable condition of the estate is worrisome. Ayodele urged Fasola to apply the same measure adopted in tackling the Apapa malfeasance to Festac Town. He said people now sees Festac Town as a hide out for hoodlums, contrary to the laudable idea behind its establishment. He said: "We have more than 5,000 people living in Festac right now, contrary to the 600 it was meant to accomodate. He said the facilities are being overstreched, leading to incessant breaking of the walk ways, which have water pipes and water channels underneath. “We told them that such attitude endangers people's life and cost millions of naira to rebiuld, but they refused to heed,” he said. Another problem that needed to be tackled Adewale observed, is the menance of the road side mechanics. He said: “One can wake up to see that mechanics have converted your house frontage into a workshop. Our agreement with FHA is for the authority to relocate them to a permanent site, but they have refused to yield to government's directive. "The residents also took the state government and FHA to court claiming they can't afford the service charge and land use tax, because that they are all retirees. "We advised them that what the state government is trying to do is right, because, the taxes are for the renewal of the state's infrastructure. Eventually, they withdrew the case from court and promised to pay, but no one has made any payment in the past three years.” The vice-chairman of the mechanic association in the area, Mr Fatai Alabi, said his members have refused to move to the new site allocated to them because of the terrible condition of the area. He said the mechanics are ready to relocate as soon as they find a more suitable place. The president of the Festac Community Development Association (CDA), Comrade Jola Ogunlusi, said the association is working round the clock to ensure that hoodlums are chased away from the town and the whole estate is made safe for all inhabitant.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- email@example.com
Five bank officials held for alleged robbery By Jude Isiguzo
SENIOR marketing executive and four other officials of a bank were among 11 suspected armed robbers arrested in Lagos yesterday. The bank officials allegedly collaborated with others to rob his bank’s customer of over N120million.
It was gathered that the five officials were attached to the Gbagada branch of the bank. They are being interrogated by detectives at the State's Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja. Police sources said the senior marketing executive, who allegedly planned the robbery, was to have collaborated with two of the bank’s security guards and two other members of the staff. The bank officials, it was gathered, allegedly invited a man named Sadiq, who is believed by the police to be a notorious armed robber, who in turn invited six other members of his gang.
The gang was said to have procured guns in Lagos and ordered for some more from Benin City, Edo State capital. Trouble, however, started when the police got wind of the plan to rob the bank. Plain clothes policemen in anticipation of the robbery, stormed the bank on the day of the operation. One of the suspects, a member of the bank’s staff had informed the police that some weapons, including two pistols, were already concealed in a Computer Processing Unit (CPU), dumped in the bank premises for use on the day of operation. The robbers, who pretended to be customers, were dressed in suits, Sadiq
wore a kaftan. Unknown to the robbers, plain-clothed policemen led by a Superintendent of Police had cordoned off the bank. Some other policemen were in the banking hall. According to the source, "the suspected robbers were swiftly rounded up and whisked to the police headquarters in GRA, Ikeja." The source said one of the suspects confessed that they had ordered for more arms and ammunition from their syndicate in Benin City, to withstand any resistance during their operation. The suspects confessed that the bank official gave them money to procure the arms and ammunition.
Commissioner of Police Umar Manko, who confirmed the arrests, said the command was investigating the matter. Manko said 11 suspects including senior members of the bank’s staff. "We have arrested 11 of the suspects including five members of staff of the bank. If my men had not intervened early, the suspects would have hatched their plan. We are still investigating the matter; we shall prosecute them as soon as investigation is concluded. Let me use this opportunity to sound a note of warning to criminals in the state that we are watching them wherever they are. They cannot hide for too long," Manko said.
Lagos to get N31.4bn World Bank loan
HE Lagos State government plans to access N31.4 billion ($200m) loan from the World Bank to enable it execute key projects in this year. Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Adetokunbo Abiru,broke the news at a briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja to intimidate the public with the activities of the ministry in the last one year. Abiru said the funds would be use to execute government policies in key areas such as budget execution; investment; climate improvement and revenue generation enhancement. He explained that it was a budget support grant by the bank for three years to the government. According to him, "the loan comes at concessionary terms and very apt for development projects. "Interest rate is about one per cent and tenor of 40 years (inclusive of 10 years moratorium). Hopefully, this fund will be accessed before the end of the year," he said. The commissioner noted that total revenue for the state has grown in the last three years from N18 billion in 2008, to N25 billion in 2011, of which Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) accounted for 65 per cent. He explained that the N275 billion bonds issued in 2009 and 2010 was in compliance with the prospectus to the programme, adding that the state government set up a Sinking Fund for the redemption of the bond at maturity. "Fifteen per cent of monthly IGR collections are deposited into a dedicated Consolidated Debt Service Account (CDSA) in line with our financial prudence," he said,
By Miriam Ndikanwu
adding that, "the account today has a standing balance of over 50 per cent. "This further affirms the debt sustainability and capacity of the state in meeting its obligation as and when due", he said. Abiru said that the state's Public Private Partnership (PPP) strategy has continued to yield results and attracted investments in the state's infrastructural development, include the Lekki Epe Expressway Toll Gate; Akute Power Project; Island Power Project and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). In the year under review, Abiru said the state government paid insurance claims to the tune of N192 million to dependants of 249 staff in consonance with the state Global Life Policy to all its workers in the State Civil Service. "The policy," he said, "is a welfare package that ensures that all staff are insured against accidents, temporary and permanent disabilities as well as death while in active service."
• Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwan Osuolale Akiolu (middle), receiving an O-Gas cylinder from the Chief Executive Officer, Oando Marketing, Mr Yomi Awobokun (left). With them is the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Taofik Tijani, in commemoration of Oba's ninth year coronation anniversary in Lagos. PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI
By Miriam Ndikanwu
tained as an African model megacity. Ibirogba said the state, which has become a benchmark for development in the country, will use the occasion to bring together the patriarchs who had contributed immensely to the development of the state. He said a special Jumat at the Secretariat Central Mosque, Alausa, will hold
tomorrow and a thanks giving service on Sunday at the Chapel of Christ the Light, at Alausa, to thank God for the peace and development witnessed in the state. The commissioner said the ceremony will be rounded-off with a colloquium themed: "From Colony to Megacity," which would be anchored by a renowned historian, Professor Nurudeen Danmole.
Lagos dedicates sanitation to drainage cleaning
AGOS residents have been urged to carry out comprehensive cleaning of drainage channels in their neighbourhood on Saturday, ahead of the anticipated heavy rainfall. This is the second time the state government would be dedicating the mandatory monthly exercise to cleaning of drain channels around the state ahead of the heavy rainfall predicted by the National Institute for Meteorological Servic-
es (NIMET). Last month, the government dedicated the exercise solely to drainage cleaning. The Commissioner for the Environment Mr Tunji Bello, urged residents to troop out in their numbers to clean their drain networks. He said the decision to dedicate the May edition of the exercise to drainage clearing further underscores government's commitment to curtailing the ef-
The blind to raise funds By Adeola Ogunlade
A NONGOVERNMENTAL Organisation, The Nigeria Society for the Blind (NSB), would on Saturday be holding its yearly May Ball dinner/dance at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos. Its Chairman, Mrs. Abiola Agbaje, at a PreAnnual General Meeting of the Nigeria Society for the Blind in Oshodi, Lagos, yesterday said the event will hold by 6: pm. According to her, the dinner/dance is set to appreciate sponsors of the society, relief the stress of the blind people and showcase their strength, hope and aspiration to well meaning Nigerians. She said: "We are providing a platform where a class of people who through unfortunately circumstances go blind later in life and need support and rehabilitation from corporate organisation and religious bodies so they could lead a better life." Agbaje noted that the funds realised from the dinner/dance would be used to help in the training and giving hope to visually handicapped adolescents and adults in Nigeria.
D’banj gears up for label
Lagos holds photo exhibition to commence 45th anniversary HE Lagos State Government yesterday, rolled out a photo exhibition detailing the history of the state from a colony to a model megacity to commemorate its 45th anniversary. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, told reporters in Alausa that the government decided to mark the anniversary because of the feat it has at-
fect of the predicted heavy rainfall this year. Bello said: "To be forewarned is to be forearmed." The government wish to urge that all hands must be on deck to reduce the incidence of flooding to the barest.” The commissioner admonished Lagosians to join hands with the government to ensure a flood-free Lagos, adding that his ministry has begun its mid-rain cleaning programme.
Bello assured that all the major drainage channels have been cleaned and dredged in anticipation of the rains. He, therefore, urged residents against panicking whenever it rains. He, however, advised residents to relate effectively with the respective resident engineers and drainage maintenance officers, who have been deployed to all the 57 council areas.
FOLLOWING the breakup of one of Africa’s most celebrated record labels, Mo’hits Records, a former member of the group Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly called D’banj, 32, is about to unveil his music label. “My new record label is being structured. What I can tell you right now, is that my new record label when it finally came on stream, would have worldwide distribution agreement with Universal Music Group,” D’banj disclosed.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
NEWS Jonathan approves 12 new judges for Fed High Court
Nigeria, South Africa sign MoU to improve relations
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved 12 new judges for the Federal High Court. This followed the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC). A statement by NJC’s Deputy Director (Information) said Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Dahiru Musdapher will swear them in on Monday. The new judges are: Suleiman A. Aliyu, SolicitorGeneral and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Kebbi State; Mrs. Oluremi Omowumi Oguntoyinbo; Mrs. Ayua Pheobe Msuean, Secretary, National Judicial Institute, Abuja; Nganjiwa Hyeladzira Ajiya; Musa Haruna Kurya, Deputy Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice, Gombe State; and Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Sokoto State, among others.
Corps members’ April allowance ready, says NYSC From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
FOLLOWING the clarification on the delay in the payment of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members’ allowance by the former Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the NYSC yesterday said it has paid the corps members’ April allowance. It said the payment was done through e-payment on the receipt of funds from the Office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation. A statement in Abuja by the Director of Public Relations, Mrs Abosede Aderibigbe, urged corps members to check with their banks and lodge complaints with their NYSC state secretariats, where such payments have not been cleared.
ASCON DG re-appointed By Adegunle Olugbamila
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the reappointment of Mr. Ajibade Peters as the Director-General of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) for another four years. The approval was conveyed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali. The re-appointment takes effect from June 20. A statement by Danladi S. Hashim of the school’s Information Unit said Peters was first appointed in June 2008 as the college’s sixth Director-General. The statement said Alhaji Sali urged Peters and his team to work hard to transform ASCON to meet the challenges of Human Resource Management in the 21st century and ensure that the school attains the highest possible competitive edge as a first choice Management Development Institute (MDI) not only in the West African sub-region but also in Africa. Peters thanked the workers for their support during his first tenure and called for more to enable him perform optimally.
•Cooperation key to Africa’s development, says Sambo From Vincent Ikuomola, Cape Town, South Africa
• Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (second left); Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Segun Odubela (left); Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona (second right) and Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenla, at the foundation-laying ceremony of the state’s Model Secondary School in Ilaro...on Monday
‘Adoke’s statement on Salami shows Jonathan’s govt lacks honour’ •Southwest, Lagos ACN, others call for jurist’s reinstatement
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday said the statement by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), that the reinstatement of the President of the Appeal Court, Justice Ayo Salami, as recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC), would be sub judice, is an indication that the Goodluck Jonathan administration lacks honourable character. The Southwest and Lagos chapters of the party as well as a rights group, Access to Justice (AJ), have criticised the Jonathan administration for delaying the reinstatement of the Appeal Court President. In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ACN noted that Adoke’s statement confirmed the widelyheld belief that the Presidency orchestrated Salami’s suspension in the first instance, as part of a wider plan to cow the judiciary and silence upright judges. The statement reads: “In the end, this is all about the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) losing Ekiti and Osun states, which the party appropriated to itself through a most shameful and egregious electoral heist, rather than the consequences of the disagreement between the nation’s two top judicial officers over the Sokoto State election. “Adoke’s shocking and disingenuous statement has also
By Olamilekan Andu and Joseph Jibueze
exposed the reason behind the temerity of Segun Oni and Olagunsoye Oyinlola (ousted governors of Ekiti and Osun states) to continue to assault the judiciary and anyone who had anything to do with the cases in Ekiti and Osun states. After all, they know they have the backing of the Attorney-General and the Presidency... “In our earlier statement, we said we are willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt over speculations that the presidency is the one orchestrating the litigation against the reversal of Salami’s suspension. However, it is now clear that the morally-challenged administration is actually the unseen hand behind such frivolous lawsuits, which have now been latched on to by the same presidency as the reason why Justice Salami cannot be reinstated. “By his statement, the AGF has also confirmed that the Executive is the one fomenting the crisis in the Judiciary simply to serve political ends, a very dangerous game in an emerging democracy. “As the AGF plays the ostrich, he forgets that Nigerians cannot be hoodwinked by such untenable explanation of the reason for the Presidency’s refusal to reinstate Justice Salami. He forgets that Justice Salami had already instituted a lawsuit against the National Judicial Council (NJC) before he was suspended. He forgets that the
NJC, which is a defendant in the case, knew what it was doing when it recommended the reinstatement. And he forgets that part of the overall resolution of the crisis is the request by the NJC that all cases pertaining to it should be withdrawn,” the party said. ACN added: “In the end, the President has opted to sacrifice honour on the platform of political expediency; He has chosen to take what he considers the ‘safe’ way out on an issue that calls for courageous leadership; He has failed to rise to the occasion at a crucial moment. President Jonathan may yet rue the decision to ignore the recommendation of the NJC on the reinstatement of Justice Salami.” In a statement by its spokesman, Mr Ayo Afolabi, the Southwest ACN noted that President Jonathan’s refusal to reinstate Justice Salami is another upper cut to democracy and rule law by the nation’s first citizen. The statement reads: “In an uncharacteristic manner, President Jonathan acted with dispatch, even during a weekend, to remove and replace Justice Salami when the NJC recommended his removal. But now that the same NJC has recommended his reinstatement, Dr Jonathan has suddenly become clay-footed in taking the appropriate step because some PDP loud mouths have objected to the reinstatement of a principled and incorruptible jurist...” The Lagos State ACN noted that Jonathan’s further delay in
recalling Justice Salami “has proved, beyond all doubts, the level the Jonathan government and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) can go in rubbishing critical institutions to satisfy their selfish interests”. A statement by its Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, reads: “…We recall that Justice Salami became a target of the cult of election riggers and power mongers in the PDP when he delivered well commended judgments in the Osun and Ekiti states’ governorship contests, which freed the PDP of the stolen mandates it had been welding in those states. “We remember that he has become the target of shameless buccaneers in both states; those who easily mobilised the hierarchy of the PDP as well as an easily impressionable and malleable Presidency to take up a partisan fight against Justice Salami...” Access to Justice (AJ) said Jonathan’s refusal to reinstate Justice Salami is “hollow and self-serving.” It said the President would need to explain how some lawsuits matter more than others and the criteria for “cherry picking” issues that are sub judice. A statement by its Director, Mr Joseph Otteh, said: “President Jonathan’s decision not to reinstate Justice Salami on the grounds that there are subsisting court actions on the matter is a hollow and self-serving justification...”
IGERIA and South Africa yesterday moved to resolve issues that have caused some rifts between them. The occasion was the 8th session of Nigeria-South Africa BiNational Commission. Both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and an agreement on immigration regulations and other impediments that have existed between them. These are matters that have denied Nigerians opportunities of doing business in South Africa. Vice-President Namadi Sambo led Nigeria’s delegation to the bilateral talks and his South Africa counterpart, Kgalema Motlanthe, led his country’s. Rivers and Kebbi State Governors Rotimi Ameachi and Seidu Dakingari were in the Federal Government delegation. Others from Nigeria are Ministers of Defence Haliru Bello Mohammed; Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru; Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga; and Solid Minerals Development, Musa Sada. The meeting was the first between both countries since a standoff began between them. The 8th Nigeria-South Africa Bi—National meeting was meant to resolve all contentious matters that have led to the frosty relations between both countries and explore new grounds for a better understanding. At a joint media briefing, Sambo and Motlanthe said both countries could have avoided what led to the present frosty relationship between them. Sambo urged South Africa to reciprocate Nigeria’s gesture to its businessmen and remove trade barriers that have hindered Nigerians from doing business in South Africa. He said: “As we move forward in our joint effort towards enhancing our bilateral relations, there is still room for improvement. We can explore new and deepen existing areas of cooperation to include collaboration in the fight against emerging security challenges, such as international terrorism, cyber crime and even human trafficking. “We cannot afford to relent, considering the fast pace at which the world is moving. There is high hopes and aspirations of other African countries in Nigeria and South Africa, as catalysts for growth and sustainable development of the continent.
How to rebuild education, leadership in Nigeria, by Gowon •Oyo Education Summit begins From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
ORMER Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), yesterday said the creation of a level-playing
ground and the inculcation of the right values in the youths would uplift the education sector and ensure true leadership in Nigeria. Gowon spoke at the opening of the Oyo State Education Summit at Premier Hotel, Ibadan, the state capital. The former Nigerian leader urged policy makers to think more about the future when they formulate policies on education and the economy, adding that the future of the
country lies with the youths. He said: “It is generally said that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. But the truth of the matter is that not all can be leaders. However, we owe it a duty to humanity, as leaders, to create a level-playing ground for every child so that those who will become leaders will be well grounded for the responsibilities of leadership. “In like manner, those to be led also need to be well equipped to appreciate their roles in the society to make
room for the necessary equilibrium needed for all round development in the country.” Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi described the summit as historic. The governor noted that the state was a shadow of itself, before his administration came on board, adding that the summit was among his administration’s approaches to rebuilding education. He said: “Oyo is now living as a shadow of its past. We were the pace setters then, but not so any more. How come our children receded to the 34th posi-
tion out of 36 position? “We cannot continue abetting treachery and failure. Our students are unemployable. This is a summit of restoration and restructuring. It is high time we threw overboard the practices that brought us to the state where we are. It is time for change. “We face crises that are capable of undermining the quality of our educational system. The system is producing learners that are incapable of facing the present challenges. The learners live in the past and are incapable of coping with the presents.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
BUSINESS THE NATION
The inevitability of taxation as a tool for economic transformation cannot be over emphasised, most especially when resources needed to carry out development projects are scarce and inadequate to cover all the areas requires attention. - President Goodluck Jonatahn
GDP growth rate drops to 6.1% in Q1
Council stops ICAN’s AGM
From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
HE global economic depression is impacting on the country. The economy has started to show potential decline in its growth rate as its Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on an aggregate basis, grew by 6.17 per cent in the first quarter of the year as against 7.13 per cent in the corresponding period of 2011. The dip in the GDP growth rate, which averaged about 0.96 per cent, was attributed to decreases in the performances of both the oil and non-oil sectors of the economy. The report on the economy’s performance for the quarter under review published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday, however, surpassed government’s earlier growth of 5.34 per cent forecast for the quarter, a development which reflected still the resilience of the domestic economy to the depressive spill-over effects of the current debt and other economic crisis plaguing the Asian and European economies. According to the NBS, despite the dip in the Q1, 2012 GDP performance, the economic fundamentals still portend improved growth rate for the economy in the second quarter of 2012 as a result of recent sectoral policies in the non-oil sector. The NBS stated: “The 0.96 percentage point decrease in real GDP growth recorded in the first quarter of 2012 was as a result of decrease in both oil and non oil sectors (manufacturing, wholesale and retail, telecommunication, among others).
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 JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£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 EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL
0.2958 206.9 245 156.4 1.9179 241 40.472
•From left: Benue State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Omadachi Oklobia; Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; Director, Strategic Programme Department, Debt Management Office, Ms. Funmi Ilamah and Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance Mr Albert Bassey, during the Federation Account Allocation Committee in Abuja PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
‘CBN’s autonomy vital to economy’
EPUTY Governor Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Dr. Sarah Omotunde Alade yesterday appealed to the National Assembly not to tamper with the autonomy of the CBN in the interest of the country’s economy. She noted that any attempt to tamper or water down the autonomy of the CBN would put the country’s economy in jeopardy. She stated this yesterday when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Insti-
From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
tution for screening for reappointment. The National Assembly is considering a Bill to compel the CBN, like other statutory institutions in the country, to submit its yearly budget for scrutiny and approval. Alade noted that the autonomy of the CBN is recognised and respected worldwide. She said: “Once the autonomy of the CBN is tampered with, then it becomes incapacitated. It be-
comes easy for the government to wake up and ask the bank to print more money to meet certain expenditure and the economy will collapse.” On the $6.9 billion external borrowing being sought by the Federal Government, she said: “We don’t want the debt to be too much because of the capacity to service it. It is not the loan but what it is used for. “As long as the government is sure that the loan will be used to create employment and pay itself, when we take a loan, the burden should not come
back to the government. The quantum of the loan is also an issue”. She said the failure of any bank should not be blamed on consolidation because the exercise put the bank in a position to withstand financial crisis caused by the global meltdown. “The reason they had problem was because they channelled their money into capital market instead of productive sector”. Alade noted that there is the need for concerted effort so that money advanced as credit by banks does not find its way to capital market.
AGF recovers N14b police pension funds from banks
HE Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla has recovered a total of N14.07 billion illegally deposited in various commercial banks by the Task Team on Pensions. The money is being kept with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Otunla disclosed this when he appeared before the Joint Senate Committee on Establishment,Public Service, States and Local Government Administration, headed by Senator Aloysius Etok. The committee at its sitting on March 18, directed the AGF to open a special account
From Nduka Chiejina Assistant Editor
where the money recovered by the Pension Reform Task Team would be kept. He told members of the committee that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) started the intervention on May 30 and was able to get the pensioners’ money in the commercial banks back to the CBN. He also disclosed that his office has paid the pensions of 17,000 Police pensioners for March and April and released the April salaries of the Police pension staff, adding that he has mandated the Police
Pension Office to open and operate their overhead accounts to allow them maintain their offices. He gave the details of the mopped up funds and the commercial banks involved as follows: UBA Plc, N3 billion; Unity Bank Plc, N2.01 billion; GTBank PLC, N1.01 billion; Ecobank Plc, N1 billion, Fidelity Plc, N8.5 billion. At the end of the exercise, pension funds in UBA, GTBank and Fidelity banks were withdrawn, while, only N1,050billion was left in Unity Bank account; N1.3 billion in Ecobank and N15.5 billion in Firstbank as at May 14.
However, Firstbank did not transfer the pension funds in its possession to the CBN but instead transferred N1 billion to Ecobank. According to AGF at the Senate briefing, the police pension accounts in UBA and Fidelity banks were illegal because approval for the accounts were granted two months after opening of the accounts. In the case of Firstbank, two approved accounts in Lagos were closed by the Task team without the AGF’s approval whereas a new account was opened in Abuja also by the Task Team without the AGF’s approval.
Lafarge WAPCO to increase local input
AFARGE WAPCO Nigeria Plc has agreed to consider the increment in its local materials in the production of cement in the country. This confirmation came at the company’s Annual General Meeting held yesterday in Lagos. According to its Chairman, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, the company will look out
By Tonia Osundolire and Toba Agboola
for the getting more local input. “We will look out for where we can get materials locally to further reduce cost of production,” he said. This response came on the heels of having the company spending more in importing production materials of cement, which at the end trans-
lates into higher cost of production. However,shareholders commended the 200 per cent increase in dividend payout of 75 kobo per share from the 25 kobo the company gave in the 2010 financial yearend. Also, shareholders urge the board to consider a higher dividend for them in the next financial year at the same time request for the govern-
ment to ensure the refineries work which at the end of the day will translate into reduction of cement price. Still on the workability of having a more reduced cement price, the chairman said the company is doing its best to contain the cost of cement but that the external challenges such as infrastructure is what they are contending with.
HE Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has stopped the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) from holding its Annual General Meeting scheduled for tomorrow. The Executive Secretary of FRC, Mr Jim Obazee, told reporters in Lagos yesterday that the directive to ICAN to postpone the meeting arose from issues of corporate governance and financial reporting. He alleged that FRC discovered that the 2011 financial statements of ICAN, on which the AGM would be based, had not been approved by the council of ICAN. Obazee said the 2011 annual report of ICAN, which had already been published, was still subject to ratification of the council of ICAN. “This means that the said financial statements have not been ratified by the Council of the institute,” he said. The FRC boss said the management of ICAN had been directed to postpone and hold the meeting 21 days after the 2011 financial statements must have been ratified by its council. He said the ICAN management had been asked to explain the reasons its external auditors reported on the 2011 financial statements that were not ratified by its council. “This is a material irregularity and is unacceptable. “Their actions confront legal requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act CAP C20 LFN 2004 and the Financial reporting Council of Nigeria Act No. 6, 2011,” he said. Obazee also alleged that ICAN management had breached some provisions of the ICAN Act which provided that the Minister of Education should nominate five persons to the ICAN Council. “We are duly informed that the council has rejected her nominees because ICAN President has sworn in some persons to fill the positions pre- arranged for the ministers nominees. “The result of this has been the forestalling of ICAN activities which include their inability to hold council meeting since January 19, 2012,” he said. Obazee also alleged some irregularities in the payment for allotted shares during the hybrid offering of Forte Oil in 2008 and for which majority of the proceeds were received in 2009. “The proceeds for 102 million ordinary shares allotted to certain shareholders of the group amounting to N24.7 billion have not been received by the company as at the date of this report. “Dividends amounting to N530 million were released for payment to the registrar in respect of these unpaid shares as part of the dividend declared for the year ended Dec. 31 2008,” he alleged.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.
LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15
LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
ing N1, you will be getting N1 value.” Amadi said the existing tariff in Nigeria is the lowest in the world, except in Zambia, adding that having a cost reflective tariff was only a step towards a broader reform to put the Nigeria economy on the path of development. The NERC’s boss said for many years, investments have been wasted. Those issues should not be overlooked. He explained that tariff doesn’t solve the problems of the sector, it only presents an opportunity for investors to come. He said those investing in the sector should be allowed time to recover the cost of their investment, stressing that the tariff will not fix corruption, but it is the beginning of sanitising the system. The ques-
tion is: “Are we going to bring in good governance to the sector?” Amadi also explained that the N50 billion subsidy would only be applied to customers who consume less than 50 kilowatt hour per month irrespective of their places of residence. “It is not an urban/ rural divide,” he added. He appealed to Nigerians that, “this is not the fuel subsidy crisis. This is a process that has been wellcalibrated. This tariff is cost efficient because people pay a lot in corruption in bribing PHCN officials. “Even if the price for power is N1 per kilowatt hour, you end up paying N500 trying to get simple service. That is why we seek your (Nigerians’) support to fight those cabals; those inside and outside so that we can change this sector and give people value.”
12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20
LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
IGERIAN Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Chairman Dr Sam Amadi yesterday warned that the power sector will collapse except the new tariff is allowed. He agreed that the proposed hike in electricity tariff by 11 per cent, which takes effect on June 1, will not fix the power sector, unless additional steps are taken to have good corporate governance. Amadi spoke in Abuja at a civil society roundtable on power sector reform. He said: “The truth is that the sector is going to collapse if we don’t get this tariff, and if we get this tariff and do not do more, it will still collapse. That is the message I want to give to the civil society. They shouldn’t think about opposing it, but work on how to sanitise the system so that when you are pay-
08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
By Uyoatta Eshiet
08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40
LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik
Wema Bank ‘Power sector will targets youths collapse without new tariff’ W N
LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30
EMA Bank Plc has launched two new accounts targeted at children and young adults. They are the Royal Kiddies Account (RKA) and the Purple Account. The event held at the bank’s Head Office in Lagos. Executive Director and Head, Lagos and Southsouth banking, Ademola Adebise, said the accounts were borne out of feedback from customers and years of collaboration with various stakeholders in and outside the bank, to develop a niche product that could serve the yearnings and needs of the young while also providing an assured foundation for their future. He added that Wema Bank is committed to re-inventing itself and its services to meet the fast pace across the world while also providing best value for all stakeholders. The General Manager/Head, Retail Banking Division, Akinlolu Ayileka, said: ”The Royal Kiddies and Purple Accounts have been specially designed to meet the specific needs of children and young adults whilst also providing a sound financial platform for their parents and guardians”. On the Purple Accounts, he said Wema ‘s presence in over 20 tertiary institutions across the nation has provided opportunities for interactions with young adults and the account. He added that Wema Bank is willing to provide necessary support to account holders to help them maximise the benefits of the accounts and also prepare them adequately for the future as professionals or entrepreneurs.
We’re still in business, says ZoomMobile •From left: Executive Director, Bank of Agriculture, Mr Waziri Ahmadu; Chairman of the occasion, Dr Samuel Negedu and National President, National Association of Microfinance Banks, Mr Jethro Akun, at a stakeholders’ preparatory meeting for the forthcoming International Investor’s conference in abuja ... on Wednesday.
‘We bought N18b shares of Finbank on instruction’
HE General Manager of Springboard Trust Board and Investment Limited, Mr Joe Aba yesterday told a Lagos High Court in Ikeja that his company bought about two billion units of shares of Finbank Plc valued about N18 billion with the instruction of the management. He told the court that the shares were bought for seven companies in several transactions between 2006 and 2007. Aba, who is also the Asset Manager of the bank, stated this while giving evidence in the suit instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former managing di-
By Adebisi Onanuga
rector of the bank Mr Okey Nwosu and three former directors. Nwosu is standing trial along with Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike on a 26-count charge of alleged stealing and illegal conversion of the sum of N16.2 billion belonging to FinBank. Aba, who is the second prosecution witness, while being led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs told the court, presided over by Justice Lateefa Okunnu, that the mandate for the purchase of the shares was from Finbank.
He also said the transactions made by Springboard were to the bank and not to any individual from the companies who are the beneficiaries. “We had several transactions between 2006 and 2007 but all our transactions were with Finbank because we didn’t know any individual from any company. Our mandate is mainly from the bank as a corporate body”, he said. He told the court that the mandate given his company came from the bank through a letter issued by a staff member named Akpan Okon. He said the shares are with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
Fed Govt contributes $5m to Lake Chad Basin Commission
HE Minister of Water Resources Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe has said the Federal Government has contributed $5 million out of the $6 million required to carry out feasibility study of Inter Basin Water transfer from Ubangi to Lake Chad. She disclosed this during the Lake Chad Day Celebration with the theme, Let us strive to save the Lake Chad in Abuja, stating that Nigeria also supported the hosting of the experts to validate the reports of the
From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
studies carried out by the Canadian consultant. She said: “President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the government to continue the support of LCBC activities with a view to improving the living standard of the population of the basin who are mostly Nigerians. “Nigerians should put their efforts together to save Lake Chad, which is a precondition for the preserva-
tion of its ecosystems against the over exploitation of its natural resources and ameliorate against climate change negative impacts. “The government will continue to contribute in a robust manner to all initiatives towards improving the water management of the Lake Chad basin within our borders. “It is pertinent to note that the Lake Chad surface area has gradually shifted since the 60s from 25,000 square km to less than 2,000 square km as at today.”
By Adline Atili
OOM Mobile, a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Telco, said it is still in business, contrary to speculations that it has closed shop. In a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Edwin Momife, the company said as part of the restructuring, discussions were at advanced stage with some prospective local and international investors. He described the recent lay-offs by the company as a “medium term step to reduce operational costs as it restructures its business.” He said the affected staff, who were still available for employment, would be recalled and re-absorbed as soon as the process is completed. He said: “The company requires adequate capital, which will enable it to compete effectively in the lucrative telecoms market in Nigeria. “The realisation of this goal requires that the company takes appropriate medium term steps to reduce operational costs as it restructures its business. This means that a number of existing staff members have been disengaged until the process is complete.” He assured subscribers of interrupted telecoms service as well as customer care support through the company’s operational centre in Lagos. “The management of the company will continue to maintain discussions with the regulator, other government agencies and creditors towards the resolution of outstanding issues. “The company is confident that the capital restructuring effort, which is at a very advanced stage, will be concluded shortly. This will enable the company to deliver on its new robust data and applications-driven business model,” he added.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Preposterous! •It was an abuse of innocence to have incited school children to protest rape trial of a monarch
S if the entire incident is not as shameful and sordid enough as it were, the ongoing trial for rape before an Osogbo High Court of an Osun monarch, the Alowa of Ilowa, Adebukola Alli, recently took a preposterous turn as some secondary school students stormed the court premises in protest against the trial. In an episode that seems stranger than fiction, at least 35 students of Ifelodun Grammar School, Kiloru, a town near Ilowa, abandoned their studies during school hours to participate in the demonstration. The affected students were all reportedly indigenes of Ilowa and had obviously been mobilised to take this despicable action by misguided elements that do not see the alleged unfortunate occurrence as a serious dent on the image and reputation of the community.
‘Those who encouraged and mobilised the students to take this action ought to be investigated and brought to book for violating the Child’s Rights Law of the state. It is also critical that the students be properly enlightened to understand why what they did was wrong and unethical. We urge the state government to remain resolute in pursuing the rape case to its logical conclusion’
Of course, in accordance with our law, the monarch is presumed innocent until proven guilty through due judicial process. However, the orchestrated protest by the students was clearly an attempt to pervert the course of justice and prevent the monarch from proving his innocence beyond reasonable doubt. Those behind the protest are clearly more interested in seeing that the monarch goes scot free at all cost, even if he is truly guilty of the alleged crime. To instigate young people of impressionable age to protest in favour of a man facing such a weighty charge, even when his innocence has not been established, is insensitive and unconscionable, to say the least. The sordid details of the alleged rape case made headline news both within and outside Nigeria, with negative implications for the country’s image. A former member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) had accused Adebukola Alli of tricking her to his Osogbo residence and forcibly violating her sexually in March, last year. To compound matters, the monarch allegedly did not use a condom and the veracity of his claim that the act was consensual is yet to be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the court. We commend the Osun State authorities for acting decisively to discipline the erring students and check what amounts to the moral contamination of vulnerable minds. The officials of the state ministry of women affairs, who visited the school to investigate the incident, immediately placed the students on suspension until
they were ready to admit their involvement in the protest. The students compounded an already condemnable act of indiscipline by denying their participation in the protest, despite their inexplicable absence from school on the day in question, as well as the presentation of photographic evidence that implicated them. It was therefore quite in order for the authorities to demand that the suspended students report with their parents before being given clearance to resume. We cannot over-emphasise the importance of inculcating the right moral values in our youths if they are to grow up to become responsible citizens capable of contributing optimally to the realisation of our national objectives. A situation whereby such youths are misled to believe that there is nothing condemnable about the serious allegation levelled against the monarch until he clears his name through due process is unacceptable. Those who encouraged and mobilised the students to take this action ought to be investigated and brought to book for violating the Child’s Rights Law of the state. It is also critical that the students be properly enlightened to understand why what they did was wrong and unethical. We urge the state government to remain resolute in pursuing the rape case to its logical conclusion, in line with its responsibility as the chief custodian of law and order within its area of jurisdiction. Justice must be done in the matter.
Lead by example • Auditor-General’s report on National Assembly accounts is bad for the legislature
F the report of the Auditor-General of the Federation is anything to go by, it would seem that some members of the National Assembly have been working at variance with the dictum: ‘he who goes to equity must go with clean hands’. Sundry financial infractions cited in the report indicated that the lawmakers themselves have been breaking certain extant rules and regulations on public expenditures. In all, they are to account for about N24.8bilion they collected but which they did not retire. About N19.9billion of the amount was collected as personal advances by 313 House of Representatives members while 62 senators have questions to answer on N4.8billion that they too did not account for. The report, the latest edition from the auditor-general’s office, covered JanuaryDecember, 2009. Coming more than two years after the monies were disbursed,
‘The discrepancy between physical and ledger balances amounts to about N27,055,472.00. This is not good enough for an important arm of government that is to act as checks and balances to others. Since no one should be above the law, any member of the National Assembly found to have illegally spent funds or did not follow extant rules should face the penalty’
the report came a bit late. And if this is the general trend in the country’s auditing system, then something has to be done to fast-track the process. Auditing is a way of checking financial recklessness and fraud by ensuring that monies disbursed are spent for the purposes for which they were meant. Where this is not the case, the auditors are expected to blow the whistle and a machinery set in motion immediately to recoup whatever has to be recouped. A situation where such monies are left unaccounted for and for too long gives room for sharp practices. In the particular instance of the lawmakers, many of those who collected the advances would have since left the system. And we know that given our peculiar environment, it will be difficult to get many of those outside of the National Assembly to pay up whatever is outstanding against their names after necessary reconciliation would have been done. But more important is the fact that senators and representatives are supposed to make laws for good governance in the country. They are also expected to carry out oversight on government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). In both cases, integrity is key. By virtue of these responsibilities, the lawmakers ought to be an epitome of probity and discipline. They should lead by example. But if lawmakers would spend such colossal public funds without retiring them or making refunds where necessary, what moral right do they have calling to order people on whom they carry oversight functions, if they engage in such abuses? And this has told even in the way
financial records generally in the National Assembly are being kept. For instance, the audit, which also indicted the management of the National Assembly on certain counts alleged that “A total of 156 payment vouchers for amounts totalling N127, 549,686.37 paid under the recurrent expenditure and entered into the cash book between January-December, 2009 were not produced for examination. “Similarly, 20 payment vouchers for amounts totalling N125, 549,681.27, which was disbursed under the capital expenditure between May and December, 2009 were still outstanding. Even the store of the National Assembly appears to be in a shambles. According to the auditor-general, about 904 store items valued at N27, 055,472.00 were not seen. The discrepancy between physical and ledger balances amounts to about N27,055,472.00. This is not good enough for an important arm of government that is to act as checks and balances to others. Since no one should be above the law, any member of the National Assembly found to have illegally spent funds or did not follow extant rules should face the penalty. What the financial regulations provide for is prompt retirement of advances on conclusion of the purpose for which the advances were granted. Even where the lawmakers are no longer in the National Assembly, they should be invited to either retire the amount or make necessary refunds. No one should have the liberty to spend public funds without properly accounting for them.
President Obama wants it both ways on private equity
RESIDENT OBAMA isn’t backing down from his campaign ad attacking Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital. Actually, “attack” may be too weak a description for a video that likens Bain to “a vampire” and depicts Mr. Romney as a plutocrat who callously destroyed hundreds of steel jobs for his own enrichment. Several prominent members of Mr. Obama’s own party thought the commercial was a bit over the top. (Not to mention highly derivative of previous ones financed by backers of Mr. Romney’s Republican primary rivals.) Still, politics ain’t beanbag, and, if he’s going to tout it as a qualification for the White House, Mr. Romney’s business record is indeed fair game. The more pertinent question is what to make of Mr. Obama’s defense of the ad, which he offered at a news conference Monday. Mr. Obama suggested that he never meant to condemn the private equity business as a whole. “I think there are folks who do good work in that area and there are times where they identify the capacity for the economy to create new jobs or new industries,” he noted. Instead, he added, he meant simply to point out that a career in private equity is not appropriate preparation for the White House. There’s a big difference between what it takes to “maximize profits,” a perfectly legitimate goal in the business world, and what it takes to “figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot,” which is the job of a president, he said. On one level, it’s reassuring to learn that the president has a nuanced view of private equity, a business that has been rightly praised for revitalizing many a struggling enterprise — and rightly criticized for loading up many rescued firms with debt to pay off investors. Of course, those investors include public employee unions’ pension funds, which had entrusted $220 billion to private equity as of fall 2011, according to Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service. The president accepted $3.5 million in campaign donations from private equity executives in 2008, and additional dollars this time around, so it would have been awkward for him not to concede that private equity does “good work.” As for the ad’s depiction of job destruction, economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research found that firms restructured by private equity suffered net job losses over five years only 1 percent greater than other comparable companies. Yet the minute Mr. Obama conceded those complications — admitted, in effect, that the private equity business, like most endeavors, involves tradeoffs, and that its benefits might be shared among more than a handful of fat cats — he undercut his distinction between “maximizing profit” and the common good. He also undercut his case against Mr. Romney, since Bain had its share of success stories on the former Massachusetts governor’s watch. What we’re left with is a president who seems content to present an even-handed view of private equity at his news conferences while propounding a much more tendentious one in his campaign advertising. Pointing out that a business career hasn’t fully prepared Mr. Romney to be president, in other words, is a long way from suggesting that he’s a vampire. – Washinton Post
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile
• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu
•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon
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•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor
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•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
IR: Disconcerting developments in forms of grandstands, vituperations and bribery allegations being exhibited by most of the key market stakeholders invited by the House of Representatives’ ad-Hoc committee on the Near-Collapse of the Nigerian Capital Market, headed by Hon. Ibrahim El-Sudi, could further aggravate the already sagging investor confidence in the nation’s all-important stock market. One recalls clearly that during the much-publicised boom period between 2007 and 2008, the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) soared to about N15.64 trillion with 319 listed securities. Then the market snapped following the worldwide financial meltdown. Several market analysts and
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Stop the fireworks at capital market probe stakeholders have attributed the disruptions in market operations to observable weaknesses in corporate governance, poor risk management, internal control, greed and insufficient oversight of brokerage firms and listed companies. Other financial pundits have linked the disturbing drop in the market activities to issues of low integrity quotient, defective ethical backgrounds, managerial incompetence by the regulatory
agencies as well as existence of too many but dysfunctional regulators. Instead of washing their dirty linens in public by engaging in needless grandstanding, brickbats and vituperations against one another, a situation which could further exacerbate the misfortune of the dying market, the likes of former NSE Director-General OkerekeOnyiuke and SEC’s DG Oteh, ought to have been seen proffering measures towards reviving the much-
needed investor confidence and fortune of the stock market. Ms. Oteh, in particular, needs show leadership by making earnest efforts at reconnecting to her management team at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). An embarrassing scenario that played out right at the probe panel where all SEC commissioners in attendance pointedly denied their leader’s assumed corrective measures and roadmaps to the capital
Governor Amosun’s unfulfilled promises to OOU students
IR: Less than seven days from now, Governor Ibikunle Amosun will clock a year in office as executive governor of Ogun state,who was massively voted for as a result the masses’ hunger for change. However, he is yet to fulfill his mind-blowing promises on the reduction of Olabisi Onabanjo’s astronomic school fees. The Governor during his electoineering campaign, promised to reduce the school fees if voted. His word “I am aware of the situation in OOU, especially the astronomic increase of school fees, it is unacceptable to us in ACN”.
We are yet to witness the manifestation of that promises by the Governor as our daily transportation challenges increase day by day, our library is fast becoming relaxation centre, among others. We appeal to Governor Amosun to as a matter of urgency expedite
actions on his promise to transform the state’s prestigious citadel of knowledge. The Governor should not allow the labour of late Chief Bisi Onabanjo and the good brains behind establishment of OOU to be
destroyed before fire-brigade rescue mission. • Longe Omolaja, Dept of Mass Communications, student, • Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye
My MTN headache
Of what use is the raid growth in telecommunications services if subscribers, instead of getting value for their money are being short-changed? National Communications Commission (NCC), please tell MTN to
refund my N1,500 – a transfer I made on 08135891319 on Tuesday May 8. I have been having sleepless nights dialling 180 but no solution. Who will fight my cause? I now have pains in my ears, constant
headaches and flat batteries consequent upon the various fruitless calls to MTN. • Mrs Ojebode, Ademulegun Road, Ondo State.
market recovery is unacceptable. As a prime regulatory body of the Nigerian market, such a development only indicates that there is a fundamental disconnect in the management of the commission. The government needs to create an enabling environment for more Nigerian businesses, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to get listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in order to access relatively cheap funds for growth and expansion. The current practice of high dependence on foreign institutional investors, who incidentally make up about 70 per cent of daily market activities and reportedly take profits at 5-20 per cent marginal gains, should be discouraged. As part of the confidence-rebuilding endeavour, market regulators, operators, makers and movers need to resume public enlightenment programmes on market fundamentals, dynamics, and differences between value investing and share trading for investors and shareholders’ associations, and intimate them with realistic measures being taken to revitalise the market. This is crucial, as many who had lost their lives’ savings to share investment, and subsequently got their fingers burnt on the NSE, have since stayed away. Leading stakeholders need to intensify efforts at addressing the biting insufficient liquidity challenge affecting the stock market. The capital market still remains a veritable barometer with which to measure the health or otherwise of the Nigerian economy. • Gbenga Kayode, Lagos
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Adetokunbo Sofoluwe: A tribute
WILL never forget the pain and anguish I felt on that Saturday, May 12, when somebody called me aside to sympathise with me about what she said happened in the University of Lagos. On my inquiry about what she was talking about, she blurted out the news of the death of Tokunbo Sofoluwe and when I said it could not be true, she told me that I should phone to ask in case she was mistaken. This provided a glimmer of hope, but on calling a Professor colleague of mine in the University of Lagos, I was told that indeed the ViceChancellor had passed on that morning. “Oh my God” was all I could say and then I headed for the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge where there were already hundreds of colleagues talking about the demise of the Vice- Chancellor. Since the founding of the University of Lagos, the following Scholars have held the post of Vice-Chancellor namely Eni Njoku, Saburi Biobaku, J. F. Ade-Ajayi, Kwaku Adadevoh, Akin Adesola, Nurudeen Alao, Jelili Omotola, Ibidapo Obe, Tolu Odugbemi and finally Adetokunbo Sofoluwe. As a biographer, I would like to describe in a few words my impressions of these former Vice-Chancellors. I did not know Eni Njoku very well, but people who knew him at the University of Ibadan said he was a serious and introverted scholar. His bald head probably confirms this. Saburi Biobaku came to the University of Lagos during a period of crisis. He was a fine scholar and a top administrator. Having served as Secretary to the Government in the Old Western region, he was politically connected and a humanist to the core. J.F. Ade-Ajayi is a serious scholar and the doyen, after Kenneth Onwuka Dike, of African historians. He was the one who built the University of Lagos and gave it academic content. He was a deep, introverted and distant Vice-Chancellor and administrator. Kwaku Adadevoh did not last long and his regime was marred by controversies. He was nevertheless a famous Chemical Pathologist and a grandson of Herbert Macaulay. Akin Adesola was a quiet gentle man and a suave and skilful surgeon who appeared weighed down by tragic family circumstances. He was nevertheless a fine man. Nurudeen Alao belongs to my generation. He was a profound and deep scholar, transparent, simple and honest and almost saw the position of Vice-Chancellor as a burden which he reluctantly carried. He was an extremely religious man who at a point, as I was told, wanted to be the grand Imam of Abuja. Jelili Omotola was the opposite of Alao. He was Machiavellian and materialistic. He however helped build the internally generated revenue of the University to a level which made the university financially almost self-sustaining. Ibidapo Obe is a much younger person who brought Cartesian logic and scientific and almost sterile administrative method into the university. Tolu Odugbemi followed in the footsteps of Ibidapo Obe, but as a medical person, he brought more understanding to the problems of dealing with human beings within the Ivory Tower. I can claim that I know Ibidapo Obe and Tolu Odugbemi very intimately. Nurudeen
N other climes, it will be too early to start talking about an election which is three or four years away from now because those at the helm will be busy with governance. But in our country, it is not so. Preparations for the next election begin immediately after the conduct of the last one. This is why the country has been abuzz with talks about 2015 when President Goodluck Jonathan and other elected officers have not even spent one year in office. Their first anniversary is next Tuesday. Talks about 2015 may have begun this early by those who wish to draw the president out. What do I mean? These people want to know where he stands on the issue and the only way they think they can do that is to get him to talk. They want Jonathan to commit himself as he did before the last elections when he said he would only serve for one term. As a politician, he can reverse himself and I want him to do so. What does a national leader’s word amount to? It amounts to nothing because his word can only be taken at its face value. So, why do we want to crucify the president over his word. At least, he never like IBB, told us that his word is his bond. Babangida, who said so, reneged on his words, not once, not twice, but on many occasions. So, Jonathan is in good company. Why this noise over whether Jonathan should contest in 2015 or not? Those against him say he cannot contest because he has taken the oath of office twice. First, when he took over after the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua and second, when he was elected last year. What those in this group seem to forget is that Jonathan's first oath did not derive from an election in which he stood as presidential candidate. He was vice president before mother
Alao is within my age bracket and we were in the same Faculty of Arts before he became Vice-Chancellor. Professor J.F. Ade-Ajayi was my teacher and mentor and of course I have tremendous respect for him. I knew Saburi Biobaku by reputation. Like Sabiru Biobaku, Adetokunbo Sofoluwe comes from Abeokuta. His father I believe at a time came close to the principalship of Abeokuta Grammar School. Tokunbo by training was a Mathematician turned Computer Scientist. Before I met him, I knew his older brothers Sodehinde and Soyemi. Sodehinde was a year ahead of me in Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti and Soyemi was a year my junior. Sodehinde retired as a Federal Civil Servant in the Ministry of Health while Soyemi retired as a Brigadier-General in the Nigerian Army. So on meeting Tokunbo Sofoluwe their youngest brother, it was as if I had known him all my life and he had obviously heard about me from his brothers and I felt a filial affection for him even though we are separated by academic discipline and by age. He always called me ‘egbon’, that is, brother and he always teased me by asking what new book I was working on. When I went to his office to give him an invitation card for my 70th birthday, he characteristically asked what book I would be launching on that day. As Vice-Chancellor, he had no airs about him. He completely demystified the office of the Vice-Chancellor by going about his duties unaccompanied by obtrusive security and even by the way he dressed in simple Buba and Shoro, joking with colleagues both junior and senior wherever he went. Professor Ajayi as Vice-Chancellor was the one who built the University of Lagos Guest House and Staff Club, but it was Tokunbo Sofoluwe who ate and fellowshipped with colleagues in the Staff Club. Whenever he was there, he most of the time paid for friends and colleagues. I had retired before he became Vice-Chancellor and when he was running for the job, I told him that I felt like praying with him and he said ‘why not. So I went to pray with him and when he became Vice-Chancellor, I also did the same and jokingly told him that I knew that as Vice-Chancellor it would be difficult to easily see him again. His answer was that it would depend on if I wanted to see him because he would always be available. I remember once when my pension for some strange reasons was not being paid. I went to him and he immediately called the Bursar to his office and impressed on him that he would sometime retire and he was sure that he too would need his pension paid as at when due. He always insisted that all pensioners must be paid along with salaries of incumbent staff. He was unusual in many ways, absolutely respectful to others and particularly older colleagues. Two examples would suffice about Tokunbo’s qualities. Five young graduates who were undertaking a Postgraduate Diploma course and who I had not met before came to interview me about the Key to Success using me as an example. I told the young people that they should go and interview the Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos after interviewing me. They then retorted that they would never be allowed to see the Vice-Chancellor. I immediately phoned Tokunbo that I would bring five young people to his office the following day for a short interview. He said even though he was busy, he would see us
for thirty minutes. When we got there, I told him the mission of the young people. I said that they were told by their Course Supervisor to interview important people. The first thing Tokunbo said was that he didn’t know he was an important person. I had to persuade him before he jokingly yielded to be interviewed as an important person. That’s the kind of person Tokunbo was, absolutely self-effacing and self-abnegating. The last time I saw him alive was when I gave him Jide an invitation to my birthOsuntokun day party holding on April 26, which unfortunately he did not attend because he was holding a critical meeting and he was effusive with apologies for not being there. I had promised to phone him shortly before he died to tell him how unhappy I was that he was not at my birthday even though he had apologised. Tokunbo was such a wonderful person that it is very difficult for me to write about him in the past. I did not know that I would be able to write this tribute, but I just had to do it to get this weight, this burden and this unhappiness off my chest. A day before my birthday, Tokunbo called me that if I’m available, he would like me to be part of a reception that he was giving to us who were celebrating one birthday or the other or were retiring from the university. Those of us gathered in the Cold Room of the Staff Club were about 20 of his close friends. People brought some drinks to this reception and I think he also brought some drinks but he did not drink and said he had gone off drinking. He asked me where I was going to sleep that night and I told him ‘Lekki’. He immediately called the Guest House Manager that she should make one of the newly refurbished suites available to me for that night because he said I should not be driving across the city for the service in the Chapel of Christ our Light the following morning. This shows the kind of considerate man that Tokunbo was. He would be sorely missed by all. I would miss him greatly and I would never forget him. When I was condoling his brother Sodehinde, He remarked that “Jide, I know that you have experienced this sudden loss a couple of times” which is true, but this makes the loss of Tokunbo very hard for me. I feel so sorry for his entire family, particularly Funmi, his wife who was a junior “sister” to my wife when they were in St. Anne’s School, Ibadan. Adieu Tokunbo. May God grant your soul eternal rest and be with the family you left behind and grant us healing from the trauma of your sudden transition.
2015: Run, Jonathan, run luck thrust him to the presidential seat. Since we are talking law here, my argument may not hold water. But in law, how do we place the oath taken by a deputy on assumption of office of president on the death of his principal? Can we regard it as his first oath, that is, if he later contests and wins election in his own right as a presidential candidate and takes a fresh oath before assuming office? To the president's opponents, he has already taken two oaths and as the Constitution says, such a person can no longer aspire to be president. I say fa fa fa foul. Doesn't that show that he has gathered enough experience on the job. With a cumulative total of five years experience on the job, who else is more qualified than our beloved Jona to do the job in 2015. No matter what people say, Jonathan is the best man for the job. Tell me, who else can do it? With the wonderful transformation going on in every segment of society, why do some spoilsports want to truncate the life of a government the like of which we have never seen since independence? Why do we like playing politics with everything, including a God ordained government like this? Jonathan is doing well because Nigeria is working. His opponents are just trying to ''distract'' him with their noise over 2015. Even if the man wants to rule for life, I am behind him. Why won't I support such a hardworking, selfless and committed president, who thinks Nigeria 24 hours of the day that he hardly sleeps? Look around you and see what Jonathan has done. Can't you hear the loud applause from the citi-
‘Jonathan is doing well because Nigeria is working. His opponents are just trying to ''distract'' him with their noise over 2015. Even if the man wants to rule for life, I am behind him’
zenry over his removal of fuel subsidy on January 1? Can't you see that the indigent have been buying kerosine with ease at N140 per litre? In two short years, yes short years, he has fixed Sagamu-Ore-Benin road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Oshodi-Apapa road, East-West road, Onitsha-Enugu road, Aba- Port Harcourt road and Abuja-Lokoja road, among others, without the help of Mr Fix It under whose watch the roads went from bad to worse for four years despite the billions of naira at his disposal. My people, Jonathan is godsent, we should, to borrow the motor park lingo, allow him to carry go. Ta zarce, Mr President. Only the blind won't see the wonders you have perfomed in the areas of power supply, security and industrial growth. Right before our eyes, firms that left the country because of epileptic power supply are returning in droves. The textile industry, especially, is booming again. Jobs are everywhere, with graduate unemployment becoming a thing of the past. We now experience regular power supply . No wonder, you plan to increase electricity tariff from June 1. The increase will no doubt ginger the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to do more. That is, enhance its efficiency in irregular electricity supply! Our industrial estates are bubbling again. Whenever I pass through Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, I marvel at what you have done in so short a time to ensure the return of Nigerian Textile Mills, Specomill and other moribund firms, which are now springing back to life. I know that before you complete your first term in 2015, you would have turned Nigeria into an eldorado. It is those who don't see what some of us are seeing in you that are making noise over your eligibilty to contest in 2015, when you have not even indicated your
interest to run. Whether they like it or not, run you must because without you, there may be no hope for Nigeria. I may even go into exile if you refuse to run, just as Gen. T. Y Danjuma threatened to go on exile in 1999 if Obasanjo did not run for president. Obasanjo eventually became president and saved Danjuma from going into exile. I hope you will save me from going into exile too. I beg you don't chicken out of the 2015 race. Let them shout themselves hoarse, you have been anointed by God to rule us in 2015. Isn't your name Goodluck and has luck not always dogged your steps? Just continue the good work sir and very soon every Nigerian will come to the same conclusion with me that you are our best bet for 2015. You already have my vote; so, I will be disappointed if you don't run in 2015. Don't allow the ''mob'', to borrow the word of your Attorney-General, Mohammed Adoke, to intimidate you, my dear candidate. Your best is yet to come. Greatest injustice of the Nigerian century UBLIC officers are supposed to P be the people's servants. This is why they are also called public servants. Many of them, however, don't see themselves as our servants even though we pay their bills. They see themselves as our masters and as such treat us as their servants. Our ministers are more guilty of this. Some of them don't know how to talk despite being ''learned''. The Justice Ayo Isa Salami saga is showing the worst in some of them. Their partisanship has beclouded their sense of justice and fairness. Instead of exercising caution and restraint, they have jumped headlong into the fray unmindful of the high office they hold in government. No other person than the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN),
Lawal Ogienagbon email@example.com
should know best that the Salami matter must be handled with care. Rather than do that, he is leading the battle against Justice Salami's return to his job as President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) as recommended by the National Judicial Council(NJC). When NJC made the recommendation a few weeks ago, Adoke was not in the country. But, of course, he was abreast of developments back home. On his return, he declared unequivocally that he won't allow the ''mob'' to stampede him over the matter. What he seems not to appreciate is that this ''mob'' has a social conscience unlike those in power who have refused to do the right thing and that is reinstate Justice Salami without further ado. Now, Adoke has said Justice Salami cannot be reinstated because the issue is sub judice. Is Adoke just realising that the matter is in court? Was it not in court when Justice Salami was suspended last August? Adoke should spare us his legal mumbo-jumbo because we know where he is coming from. It is rather unfortunate that a minister of justice is perpetrating injustice. ''Which kind injustice be this?'' to paraphrase the late legendary musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. What a sad development? SMS ONLY: 08099400204
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
F what happens in 2011should happen in 2015, by the grace of God the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’ – Buhari. I said on this page three weeks ago that Buhari is a messiah in waiting but that he needs to be tamed because he is ill-trained to manage society. His last three outings confirmed that demonstrated patriotic zeal is not enough to win an election in a participatory democracy where public opinion often plays a vital role. And of course a leader needs more than inflammatory statement to successfully manage a multi cultural and heterogeneous society like ours. Unfortunately Buhari knows no other language than language of violence. But with friends like those who have been prodding him on since his inflammatory statement, he doesn’t need an enemy. PDP was able to link the violence that erupted after the first set of 2011 elections to Buhari’s unguarded statement and demonized him as a Taliban among Christian voting population in the north. We have advanced specious arguments such as ‘PDP is the problem of our democracy’; ‘PDP has for 13 years engaged in election rigging and brigandage’ and that ‘PDP has visited more violence on Nigeria’ even long after Owoye Aziza their National Security Adviser, had confirmed PDP was behind Boko Haram. We even romantised with Kennedy’s 1962 warning about those who make violent revolution inevitable decades after the socialist and communist world, the targets of Kennedy’s warning have devised modern method to supplant revolutionary upheavals for evolutionary social change. Above all, we conveniently pretended to forget Buhari was addressing mostly, impoverished, poor, hungry and angry zealots who are miracle seekers and not democrats. Those who should tame Buhari but chose to queue up behind him after his inflammatory statement are in my view not his friends. For instance Former President- General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife says “it is important that we evaluate the message rather than kill the messenger’. But the truth of the matter is that those who are not merely playing politics know that in this case, the messenger is more important than the message. If Buhari’s statement had been credited to Khedive, he would have been dismissed as attention seeking ethnic irredentist. That is if anyone cared to pay attention.
POWERFUL nation is not only powerful in terms of population and landmass. Power in the objective sense of it transcends number or sheer numerical strength and landmass, or else no nation would be as powerful as the Peoples Republic of China or India, owing to their massive population of over a billion each. The most powerful nations today are nations that can feed themselves however densely or sparsely populated there may be. As the world stands today, the agenda for the next decade is undoubtedly food security. A nation lacking in its capacity to feed its people is indeed a potential disaster waiting to explode in the face of the world. In all this, the pertinent question is: where is Nigeria? What safety measures has the Federal Government put in place or is putting in place to make sure that this country is not vulnerable to the looming rampaging wind of hunger raging across the globe?We have seen the cases of Sudan, Somalia and the entire Horn of Africa, now in dire need of millions of tons of food aids to combat famine currently ravaging that black African subcontinent. With population of about 150 million, it portends a great catastrophe for the Nigerian nation if we put our food security in the hand of the western world as is currently the case. This is where future plan will help a lot. But that is for the entire country. Individual state too ought to have its own food security agenda or else it becomes an appendage state among comity of states within the nation. To avoid this heavy reliance on other states, the government of the State of Osun has woken up to the reality and the future threat of ‘food war.’ To this end, the discovery of food threat and its probable negative corollaries has gingered the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to redouble its efforts in the area of agriculture not only for food production, but also for export purpose. Already, part of the administration’s sixpoint programme are eradication of hunger and poverty and these can only be done by revolutionizing the agricultural sector of the state to cater for the food needs of its citizens
Buhari’s real enemies I also think, Balarabe Musa argument to the effect that what Buhari said ‘only attracted attention because he is a former Head of state merely parroting what other Nigerians have been saying’ only reinforces the fact that Buhari is by far more important than his message. It may be true that President Jonathan had, in the past, made statements with far greater security implication but Jonathan is not Buhari. The former might have once enjoyed overwhelming goodwill of Nigerians before showing he is a PDP president, but Jonathan definitely has no zealots or miracle seekers as followers. His warring Ijaw elders and their militants are being paid to maintain peace in the midst of grinding poverty of the majority of their people. It is not helpful either to compare Buhari’s statement with Obasanjo’s own language of violence- ‘do or die election’. Was that not why most Nigerian believe Obasanjo is bereft of honour for the rigged 2007 election? ACN policy of my friend’s enemy is my enemy is not helpful. Bola Tinubu, unarguably a tough and rough fighter and PDP nemesis in the Yoruba nation, jettisoned the tools for expressing discontent employed by his fathers almost 50 years ago. He instead employed different strategy and deployed more lethal arsenal to dislodge parasitic ‘mainstreamers’ from the old ‘wild wild west’. ACN cannot be seen as supporting Buhari’s advocacy of use of obsolete tools for expressing discontent. Inflammatory statement will amount to playing into the hands of Buhari’s political enemies. For instance, former President General of Ijaw National Congress (INC) Prof. Kimse Okoko, talking from both sides of the
mouth, now says ‘Nigeria will not be ruled by anybody who is calling for bloodshed’ because “already, there is too much bloodshed in the land”. It doesn’t matter anymore that his Ijaw elders and their militants have been threatening apocalypse, should anything untoward befalls ‘their son, our president” (apology to Olusegun Adeniyi) What Buhari needs is help. Otherwise he will continue to put off even fair minded people like Dr Frederick Fasehun who has accused him of having ‘continually carried himself as if he is above the laws’ citing his refusal to honour the invitation of the Oputa Panel in addition to his ‘utterances’ that in his view ‘tend to teach Nigerians how to disintegrate’. We don’t need a soothsayer to know that PDP will try to rig the 2015 election. There is too much at stake for a party in power without responsibility. With the documented role President Jonathan and PDP leading lights played in the Ekiti electoral rerun fiasco, PDP manipulation of the Uwais’ report, and the president’s open partisan role in the ongoing justice Isa Salami’s case, I think the opposition needs a more coherent strategy besides language of fear and violence to stop PDP rigging machine in 2015. Perhaps we need to remind Buhari and his new friends that blood has been flowing since the outcome of the 2011 election which CPC disputed. But it is the blood of innocent Nigerians. Travails of dismissed Lagos doctors In an insightful piece in his last Saturday column, Segun Ayobolu, one of the resourceful young professionals that worked closely with former governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos
Osun and the food security challenge By Kunle Owolabi as well as people within the South-west region, at least in the immediate foreseeable future. How does the government go about this? First is the incentives given to farmers in the state to offer them opportunity to step up their production capacity thereby moving up from the traditional subsistence farming prevalent in these areas. For instance, during last year planting season, a total sum of N135.6 million cash with N44.5 million worth of input, which included tractorization, chemicals and fertilizers, were distributed to farmers so as to boost production. This year, government replicated the gesture when it disbursed N500 million guaranteed credit facilities to about 5, 000 farmers for the 2012 planting season. There is also another facility in the offing. This time, government is packaging the facility in conjunction with Bank of Agriculture, which will be interest free and which is also geared towards strengthening food security in the state. According to Osun State Agriculture Development Corporation (OSSADEC), these credit facilities are part of the efforts of the state government to ensure sufficient food production. Secondly, government is also assisting in procuring mechanized agricultural implementation to ease farming system as well as increase production rate. Farmers now have unhindered assess to mechanized farming equipment, which help in multiplying and expanding their production capability. Then, there is the issue of market. If the farmers produce, the ultimate for them is to exchange their products for money. Govern-
ment know this very well having learnt from improper planning of the immediate past administration in creating market for farm produce after directing farmers to increase their productivity. The current government went extra miles to find market for the products before they are even produced as well as put in place plans to transport the products from farms to markets. As follow up to this, government discovered the hardship facing farmers in these rural areas in transporting their harvested products from their various farm to market centres. During this transitory period, larger percentage of their merchandise, particularly food crops which are perishable get spoilt in the tortuous transportation process. This leads to loss of not only energy but also raw material and huge resources. Thus, after identifying this transportation impediment, government swung into action by penciling down strategic roads around these producing areas and awarded constructions of same so as to facilitative easy and direct movement of goods from farms to the capital .The state approached the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with it to facilitate the haulage of agricultural produce form the state to Lagos market. Here, government deviced a win-win situation for both the farmers and end users of the commodities in such a way that the cost of commodities in Lagos State will be the same as that of Osun. The secret behind this is that government seems to have introduced a kind of subsidy in transportation that it will help farmers transport their goods from
has told us that “the Lagos State government, since the commencement of this dispensation in 1999 has maintained a policy of free health care for children under 12, the aged above 60 and free ante-natal care for women. This also includes free treatment for malaria, tuberculosis and leprosy…….. “. He also said “Among its other accomplishments in the health sector, the Tinubu administration expanded and rehabilitated old General Hospitals in Lagos, Gbagada, Epe, Isolo, Ikorodu, and Badagry; built new General Hospitals at Mushin, Shomolu, Ibeju-Lekki and IsheriOba and upgraded existing health centres to full-fledged hospitals at Ijede, Ketu and Agbowa among others. Improving on this record, the Fashola administration has provided Maternal and Child Centres (MCC) at Ikorodu, Ifako- Ijaiye, Isolo, Gbaja-Surulere, Ajeromi, Alimosho, Amuwo-Odofin and Ibeju-Lekki” With the picture painted above, it is a miracle, how 788 doctors have been able to meet the challenges of free health services program of Lagos state The doctors had a good case. They bungled it because doctors are ill-equipped to fight their own wars. They are trained only to tend to the sick. Doctors therefore need our sympathy. They are overused and underpaid not just by Lagos State. The stress, the worries, and the unholy hours for medical doctors, it is a life of endless fretting over the lives of others. It is bad enough they are underpaid, it is worse that they hardly have lives of their own. This perhaps explains why many offspring of doctors are seldom enthusiastic about following the footstep of their parents. Medicine is a calling for only a few. Prince Ogunlewe, secretary to Lagos State government and his governor have been telling us that the solution lies with the employers of the doctors- the Health Services Commission and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Board. A check will also show both bodies are manned by medical doctors who are ill equipped for industrial crisis management. It might be necessary to remind the governor that while it is true the masses voted the government into power, it is the elite that sustain government in power. The doctors, the lawyers, the teachers, journalists are the salt of the earth. They and they alone determine the success or failure of any government.
Osogbo to Lagos free of charge through the railway system. Similarly, finished products such food items, beverages, building materials and other necessities manufacture in Lagos, which also be transported to Osogbo free of charge via the same system. The economic implication of this and which happens to be the fulcrum upon which government undertakes to open up the state to outside markets and vice versa, hinges on the assumption that whatever product is available for sale in Lagos at a given price should also be available in Osogbo at the same rate regardless of the distance. To ensure smooth implementation of the above plans, Osun state has also leased dozens of warehouses, first, for the safe preservation of transported products around Iddo Terminus in Lagos, and second, for onward movement to the market. The belief of Osun State government is that Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of the South-west. For it to play this role effectively, its teeming population needs food, which it cannot provide because it has no land for agriculture. It follows that other five states must assume responsibility of farming for Lagos. The state Governor puts it succinctly recently at the 6th Lagos Economic Summit tagged Ehingbeti 2012, when he averred that Lagos must make sure that other South-west states are helped to develop along with it (Lagos) and that the only way this can come to reality is for these other states to supply Lagos with amount of agricultural produce it needs to feed its population. Certainly, the state has set in motion a revolution in agriculture, which in the not too distant future will mature for all to see. It is advisable for the Federal Government to also wake from up to the challenges of food security or else the Horn of Africa experience may be a child’s play. • Owolabi is of the Bureau of Communications and Strategy, office of the Governor of the State of Osun.
EDUCATION Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com
THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Attacks: Christian students caution against retaliation
The matter should have ended with the Supreme Court verdict about three years ago. But it didn’t. The UNILORIN 49 are back in court, accusing the institution of denying them the fruits of their successful litigation. ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA and ADEKUNLE JIMOH (Ilorin) report.
As the level of attacks on educational institutions escalates across the country, the Christian Association of Nigerian Students (CANS) has cautioned youths against retaliation. The group, however, admonished Christian students to show love and pray for the repentance of the perpetrators. -Page 27
Man, 91, is Britain’s oldest masters graduate
Britain's oldest student has graduated from university aged 91- and is still planning to go on and do a PhD. -Page 37
CAMPUS LIFE •An eight-page section on campus news, people etc
Workshop with a difference AS usual, they came in large numbers. Many were the regulars, others were new faces. Whether old or new, they interacted easily and had fun during the three-day CAMPUSLIFE Correspondents Workshop. It was the ninth edition and it was as usual sponsored by Coca-Cola and the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited. -Page 29
• Welcome to UNILORIN. Inset: Prof Oloyede(left) and Dr Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, UNILORIN ASUU Chairman during the crisis
UNILORIN 49 in battle to enforce Supreme Court’s verdict •Varsity: we’ve paid all their entitlements
HE University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) 49 are in the news again. Three years after the Supreme Court ordered their reinstatement, they have yet to get their jobs back. To ensure that UNILORIN complies with the verdict, they have returned to court to enforce it. The embattled teachers are praying the Federal High Court in Ilorin, Kwara State to compel the university to re-absorb them. They are demanding that the arrears of their allowances, sabbaticals and entitlements denied them between 2001 and 2009 be paid in full, including the restoration of all other rights, entitlements and perquisites. The lecturers accused the university of perverting justice despite the Federal Government’s compliance with the Supreme Court’s verdict by releasing money for the payment of their entitlements.
The lecturers are also demanding the imprisonment of the UNILORIN Vice-Chancellor Prof Ishaq Oloyede, and three others for allegedly not complying with the judgment delivered on December 11, 2009. In a motion on notice filed at the high court, they are also seeking that the judgment debtors/respondents be "detained in custody until they obey the judgment in all things that ought to have been granted to the judgment creditors according to the judgment." The applicants' application is based on these grounds, among others: "The Supreme Court delivered its judgment in this case on appeal on 11/12/2009 wherein it restored the judgment of the High Court thereby granting them all their reliefs. "The judgment debtors have refused to grant the judgment creditors their accumulated annual leaves
and sabbaticals for the period they were unlawfully dismissed. "The judgment debtors have refused to grant the judgment creditors their annual promotions for the period they were unlawfully dismissed. "Forms 48 and 49 have been served on the judgment debtors, and they still persist in their disobedience. The motion signed by their counsel, Toyin Oladipo, will be heard tomorrow. But UNILORIN is accusing the lecturers of “engaging in unnecessary propaganda to distract the attention of the university's laudable academic progress and rapid infrastructural development." The university also described as “unfounded” the lecturers' allegation that they have been denied their accumulated annual and sabbatical leaves and promotions.
The university sacked the lecturers in May 2001 for alleged misconduct. But the lecturers are claiming their appointments were terminated because they participated in a national strike then called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The lecturers took the matter to the Federal High Court, alleging that they were denied fair hearing before they were sacked. The Federal High Court ordered their reinstatement but the Court of Appeal upturned the verdict. In December 2009, the Supreme Court, in upholding the high court judgment, ordered the lecturers’ reinstatement with the “full payment” of their salary arrears and other entitlements till date. On assumption of office, the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua initially agreed to a out-of-court settlement. He later allowed the judicial process that had begun to • Continued on page 26
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
EDUCATION BABCOCK FILES
Varsity to inaugurate medical college BABCOCK University, IlisanRemo, Ogun State will on Friday, June 1, inaugurate its Benjamin S Carson Sir School of Medicine. The event will mark the climax of the institution's quest for world class health care in the country and indeed, the continent, Senior VicePresident/Provost of the college Prof Iheanyi Okoro has said. He said this accounts for the choice of the naming of the school after the renowned American paediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson Snr who will be the guest speaker at the inauguration. The high profile event will attract top leaders, captains of industries, international researchers and professionals within and outside the country. The 140-bed teaching hospital with the Anatomy and Pathology laboratories are ready at the moment, noting that the Radio Diagnostic laboratory with the MRI- CT Scanner will be on ground before the inauguration.
‘Poor funding stunts educational
ORMER Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Prof Oladipo Akinkugbe, has said poor and insufficient funding accounted for Africa's low educational development. He said this situation has further contributed to poor and low ranking of African universities. Akinkugbe advocated a partnership with interested private organisations to change performance of the institutions. Delivering the Second distinguished Afe Babalola Lecture at the Afe Babalola University, AfoEkiti (ABUAD), Akinkugbe identified menace of brain drain, moral laxity and corruption as having permeated the ivory towers in Africa, which he stated, further impedes their growth. The don, an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Ibadan, noted that the low ranking of African universities, owed partly to poor policy implementation and a penchant to reduce its
development’ From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
implementation to mere political expediency. In the lecture entitled: Saving the African university from itself, he observed that policy inconsistencies of political leaders called into question and challenged the purpose, which learning and knowledge was meant to serve. He noted that African leaders should put in place programmes and policies that would attract private investors into participating in the funding of universities for the much needed development. The don regretted that no university on the continent run finances and budgetary portfolio anywhere near that of any notable foreign university, saying the alternative of private funding of universities became imperative as
governments is fast abdicating its responsibilities in public schools. He bemoaned the fate of education on the continent, saying, "none of the African universities was ranked among the best 1,000 in the world", wondering, "when there are universities life-spans of which have exceeded 1,000 years in Africa." He urged leaders across the continent to refocus interests, redirect energies and stop reducing dire imperatives of educational growth to expediencies of politics and "allow trained and competent professionals run the universities for quality service delivery," Akinkugbe warned. The Professor of Medicine commended the Proprietor of ABUAD, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN) for setting a new pace by setting up a university that is not only concerned about learning, but places premium on moral integrity. Akinkugbe said: "Afe Babalola University is a good example of
conventional university where learning is combined with moral integrity. It is unfortunate that some of the African Universities are only grounds for learning and research without adequate priority on what the trainees will become after graduation. "But this university (ABUAD) has blazed the trail as a university that has passion for academic excellence and thorough moral integrity," he said.
... holds 12th convocation THE university will hold its 12th convocation on Sunday, June 3. This is the first time the School of Postgraduate Studies, which began in 2010, will be presenting candidates (60) for the award of Masters and 20 others for the Doctor of Philosophy along with the 1,476 first degree graduates. According to college’s Provost Prof Iheanyi Okoro, the event will also serve as a platform to introduce the pioneer set of medical students. Other activities are lined up to make the weeklong celebration memorable. The ceremony will begin on Wednesday, May 30, with a Health programme entitled: Walking the talk, followed by an interactive session with the alumni members to prepare them for the career market and provide an avenue for the administration to brief them of the opportunities available to them as Babcock University alumni.
Open varsity VC bags award THE Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Prof Vincent Tenebe has been conferred with the Socratesi International award for his contributions to intellectual development of the society. The award was presented to him at the Europe Business Assembly place (EBA), Montreux, Switzerland. The ceremony rewards the achievements and excellence of individuals in business, education and the communities in which they live and work. It is for a long-term promotion of the world elite, who, through their hard work and exceptional business sense, support an exchange of ideas and experiences amongst the international community in areas such as economic, politics, education and culture.
'Sofoluwe was a statesman' THE Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Dr Kudirat Ladipo, has described the late Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, (UNILAG) Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, as a statesman with sterling qualities. Sofoluwe died in the early hours of Saturday, April 12. He was 62. The Rector, while commiserating with the family and the institution during a visit, said Sofoluwe related with the community with a rare and natural spirit of comradeship, humility and friendship.
•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi cutting the tape to open the bridge linking Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) Farm to the institution. With him are (from right) Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sidi Osho; Proprietor, Chief Afe Babalola and his wife, Yeye Modupe and Prof Israel Orubuloye (left) who represented the university’s Board of Trustees.
UNILORIN 49 in battle to enforce Supreme Court’s verdict • Continue from page 25
end. Hence, it became inevitable for the Supreme Court to determine the issue. The National Assembly also intervened, recommending that the teachers apologise to the institution. This, however, did not go down well with their counsel, John Bayeshea (SAN), who described the recommendations of the Senate Committee on Education as “ridiculous.” Bayeshea said: "I don't know how somebody who has been wronged will apologise instead of the person who wronged him offering the apology. Apologise for what? For people who have been unjustly treated, and fundamentally wronged?” The lecturers' legal action became the last option after talks broke down between them and the university. The Nation gathered that Mr Bayeshea had been meeting with the management on the need for the university to implement the Supreme Court verdict. In a May 10, 2011 letter to the university, Bayeshea said only a “full implementation” of the orders of the court would be acceptable. Why is there no resolution in sight even when the government has reportedly released money for the teachers’ payment? The lecturers alleged that despite the provision of funds by the government, the university refused to pay in full those who secured employment elsewhere after the termination of their appointment. The university acknowledged that it made such deductions, claiming that they were done furtherance
of a rule that civil servants should not collect two salaries at the same time. The lecturers countered that the non-payment of their salaries led to their service being broken contrary to the order of the Supreme Court. The university is not folding its arms.In a statement entitled: UNILORIN 49 out to retard the university’s progress, the institution’s Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji, accused the lecturers of a calculated attempt to drag the university into another needless controversy. Adedimeji said as a law-abiding corporate body, the university complied with the Supreme Court judgment by re-absorbing the lecturers, adding that they have also been paid close to N500 million up to date. "But despite this, they(lecturers) are still not satisfied and they have succeeded in getting a Federal High Court to give an order preventing the university from accessing about N300 million of its statutory funds in a move that smacks of a ploy to cripple the activities of the university," Adedimeji said. Adedimeji added: "The University of Ilorin is paying the affected staff double salary including the one arising from the court order that the university pays them the money they would have taken while on sabbatical.” "On the issue of sabbaticals, everyone in the university knows the procedure, which includes completing forms and attaching all necessary
documents. And the only one of the lecturers who complied with this procedure is currently on sabbatical at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State. "Also, the lecturers are well aware that in the university system, promotions are granted based on establishment pyramidal structure and applications from qualified personnel. In the extant case, two of the lecturers applied for promo-
tion and one of them was successful. The other one who was not successful knew why he failed to make it and he acknowledged the transparency of the process. In the same vein, one of the lecturers is a head of department right now and by implication a member of the management. He was appointed by the Vice-Chancellor as part of the healing process."
“First, our varsities must be among the national Top Ten ... of priorities!”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Attacks: Christian students caution against retaliation
S the level of attacks on educational institutions escalates across the country, the Christian Association of Nigerian Students (CANS) has cautioned youths against retaliation. The group, however, admonished Christian students to show love and pray for the repentance of the perpetrators. Its Chairman, Nyoritie
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
Akaninyewe, who spoke with reporters in Abuja on the state of the nation, said students should be conscious of the effect of violence on the economy of the nation. He advised them to avoid any act that may jeopardise the peace of the nation.
There have been attacks in tertiary institutions in recent times, the latest being the bombing at the Bayero University, Kano old campus during a Christian fellowship. The attack for which the Islamic sect Boko Haram had claimed responsibility, left three professors dead including students, while several others sustained injuries.
"As students and citizens of this country, we do not need to remind ourselves of the need to synergise in a time like this and realise how important unity has been to build our country. We will work and pray for the restoration of our land" "There have been sustained attacks and violence in our country by the Boko Haram whose major targets and
victims, among others, are Christians and churches. This is a sad development, their acts of terrorism have evolved into persecution of Christians, " he said. The group also disclosed plans of holding a memorial service for the students who lost their lives in the Bayero University bomb attack last month at a date to be fixed later.
Usmanu Danfodiyo Varsity gets Registrar From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
NEW Registrar has been appointed for the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. He is Mallam Muhammad Kakale. A statement signed by the university's Public Relations Officer,Mallam Muhammad Samaila Yauri, said Kakale replaces Mallam Umar U. Bunza, whose tenure has expired. His appointment, which took effect from Tuesday last week, according to the statement, is to run for five years in the first instance. Kakale was the Deputy Registrar, Establishment. He holds Bachelor's and Masters in History of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. He also has a Postgraduate Diploma (Public Administration).
• Members of the Senate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) observing a moment of silence for their Vice-Chancellor Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe at the Senate Chamber during a sitting with the delegation from the Ministry of Education led by the Minister Prof Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i... on Friday. Prof Sofoluwe passed on Saturday, May 12 at the age of 62. PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA
Rector condemns preference for varsity degrees against poly certificates
HE Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Oko Prof Godwin Onu has described as unhealthy and inimical the preference for university degrees against the polytechnics' Higher National Diploma certificates by government institutions and private organisations. Onu, who stated this while answering questions from reporters during the 12th convocation of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Ebonyi State, noted that no country
could develop technologically and industrially without an efficient technical and vocational education, which is the one of the hallmarks of polytechnics. He advocated that polytechnics be allowed to award degrees as obtained in other countries. "We train people in the polytechnic and at the end of the day, they acquire a PhD and leave the polytechnic and join the university system because he cannot be a professor here and that is why we are advocating that polytechnics,
as they are should all be made polytechnic universities as they are in other countries of the world. "I think that's solution to it. The proper solution if they can be realistic is to allow the polytechnics to start awarding degrees, allow upward mobility of the staff, provide them with the facilities without losing site of technical and vocational content of the polytechnic education. “It is there in Korea. It is there in India and other countries that value technical and vocational education.
They call them polytechnic universities. They still offer all the programmes that polytechnics offer, still technically-oriented but they award degrees; that can now help to bridge the gap and the disparity will go," he said. On the possibilities of matching students' population and available facilities in the polytechnics, Prof. Onu said such feat is difficult to achieve even among premier universities in Nigeria, noting that infrastructural development in the higher institutions is continuous.
The Rector, however, expressed satisfaction with the level of infrastructural development at Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic by his counterpart, Prof. Francis Otunta, saying it was amazing. "It is very fantastic; in fact, I was amazed. I was even asking myself questions on how he was able to get to the heights he has achieved. It has been product of dedication, result of good financial management and discipline and result of strategic commitment to set goals.”
Councillor donates books to pupils
•Popular TV celebrity and presenter MTN’s Who wants to be a millionaire Frank Edoho(left), pupils and Head of Meadow Hall, Lekki, Lagos Mr Ola Opesan when the school hosted the Fourth Association of International School Educators of Nigeria (AISEN) debate competition.
COUNCILLOR representing Ward J in Mushin Local Government of Lagos State Edibo Fesisayo Modupe has donated exercise books valued at N200,000 to pupils of some select schools in the area. Making the donation at the Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Secretariat last week, she said the gesture was to "appreciate God's love for my family and ease the burden of education of children from poor homes”. She said the package included over 5,000 big exercise books. The beneficiary primary schools are: St Thomas Aquinas; Ayelabowo, St Joseph's; Aina Sogunro; Holy Rosary and Our Lady's. The secondary schools are Atunrase Junior /Senior Secondary School; Birch Freeman Junior/Senior Secondary School; St Joseph's Junior /Senior Secondary School; Idi-Araba Junior/Senior Secondary School and Mushin Community School. Each primary school presented 10 pupils for the gifts, while the secondary schools presented 20. Modupe advised the pupils: "Obey and listen attentively to your parents, teachers; be punctual at school.
By Joseph Eshanokpe
Do your home work. Study ahead for your exams. D not join bad peers in school or at home. Make sure you educate yourself very well. Have a clear dream, focus, determination, perseverance, endurance, commitment and total belief in God. Finally, pupils develop a personal relationship with God your maker and moulder. Then you will excel." She also advised parents. "Train up your children in the way they should go and always pray for children. I pray you shall live long to eat the fruits of your labour,” she said. The Executive Secretary of the LGEA, Aremo Yusuf Olokodana, commended Modupe for the gesture. He said Modupe's work was worthy of celebration and would complement that of the local government chairman and the Action Congress of Nigeria. A benefiaciary, Emeka Anyanwu, a JSS One pupil of Atunrase Junior Secondary School, said: "I feel great. I say thank you to Mushin Local Government Area. God will bless them for what they have done. "I say thank you to the councillor. I pray that God will bless the vision she is pursuing."
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Southwest COEASU rejects interim managers at EACOED HE last may not have been heard on the crisis rocking the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education in Oyo, Oyo State. The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Unions, Southwest zone (COEASU) have rejected the composition of stand-in management team for the college. They described it as an aberration in the academic community, and one lacking in transparency, openness, accountability, and good administration. In his address, the Southwest Zonal Co-ordinator/National Public Relations Officer of COEASU, Comrade Femi Keshinro, lamented that governments at all levels have relegated teacher education and its welfare to the background. "State governments are worse of it. A visit to some state colleges of education reveals inadequate and dilapidated infrastructure, in government teacher/students ration, poor renumeraiton of teachers, and incessant strike as a trademark. Strikes always evolve as a result of insensitivity of the government to the teachers' welfare. Keshinro, who also expressed dismay at the state of insecurity in the country, and lately attacks on medial houses and tertiary institutions, urged President Goodluck Jonathan, to be more proactive in tackling the acts of terrorism. He commended the hitch-free aca-
By Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
demic programmes of the institution, despite of certain challenges of working environment. A former National President and an ex-officio of COEASU, Comrade Remi Makinde, described the tax policy in the state as killing and too astronomical. He said: "For lecturers to be paying between N70,000 and N80,000 monthly as tax deducted from their salaries left much to be desired and could create room for extortion and reduction in commitment.” The state, he said, would lose more than it is gaining if the tax policy was not reviewed, adding that Oyo remains the only state where taxes paid by workers are alarming. The former president, who stressed the need for the fourth estate to have two colleges of education, called on the state government to urgently address the brain drain in the college, as it is fast losing its seasoned and experienced academics. "This becomes imperative because the glory for which the college is noted for as centre of excellence in teacher education is losing out. And the time is now to go into action and address the disturbing trend holistically". Earlier, Chairman of the EACOED Chapter, Dr. Olugbenga Ayena, noted that the major challenges facing the college include killer tax,
standing-in type of leadership and refusal to give the deputy provost elect his letter of appointment. "The Deputy Provost issue has been there since September 2011. Elections were held as usual, a winner declared, but the winner is yet to be given a letter of appointment till date. Besides, many lecturers have no offices, while some have offices but no tables and chairs. Many of our requests are either not granted, or granted unsatisfactorily." Ayena commended the governor, Abiola Ajimobi, for his concerted efforts to revamp the battered state of education in the state. Reacting to some of the complaints, Chairman of the college’s Governing council, Prof Afolabi Okewole, said the idea of standing in leadership was mooted by the council, in order not to create vacuum in administration. He said: "When we resume work after being sworn-in, the college management were not in place. As government has placed them on suspension. It became difficult to do any work. So, we evolved the idea of putting in place most senior workers to stand in, to pave the way for day to day administration. We knew nobody here. We are awaiting the White Paper on the visitation panel's recommendation, before the appropriate action is taken. We didn't do it to hurt any body's feelings."
BCIE fair holds May 29 NO fewer than 2,000 students are being expected at the forthcoming British-Canadian International Education Limited (BCIE) fair billed for May 29 and 30 at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja and Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Isalnd, Lagos. BCIE Key Client Manager Mrs Dupe Owoeye disclosed this at a briefing at its office at Oregun, Lagos. She said the fair is aimed at recruiting students for studies in the United Kingdom (UK), Australia,Canada and United States. She said prospective students who participate in this year's EDUFAIR will get the opportunity
By Ramat Musa
to interact with representatives from participating universities from the UK. At the event, they would have the rare opportunity to apply for admissions for September 2012 and January 2013 academic session free, and obtain on the spot-admissions, scholarship and clearing advice, and help them to secure student visa. She listed some of the participating institutions at the fair to include Anglia Ruskin University, Birmingham City University, Bournemouth University, Brunel University, and LIBT, Cambridge, and Ruskin International College, among others.
Okorocha bags Turkish award on free education
HE free education programme of the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has received an international endorsement as one of the oldest universities in Turkey honoured the governor with the prestigious Diamond Life-Time Achievement Award for championing free education of the less-privileged in Nigeria. The award by the 101-year-old Yidiz Yeknik University, Istanbul, makes Okorocha the first Nigerian to be honoured by the institution. The institution also disclosed plans to enter into an exchange programme with the state to train some youths from Imo in several engineering fields, as well as explore possibility of setting up a campus in the state. The management of the institution stated that Gov. Okorocha was selected based on his outstanding contribution in promoting education and religious tolerance. Okorocha, however, dedicated the award to the poor and the less privileged. He also called for closer co-operation between Nigeria and Turkey. "I am very impressed with the rate of development of Turkey. Just 10 years
• Okorocha From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri
ago, this country didn't have much but quality education has transformed it into a regional power and we have a lot to learn from you," Okorocha said. Rector of the institution, Prof. Ismail Yuksek, praised Gov. Okorocha's achievements in one year in office. He charged him to continue his quest for rapid human and infrastructural development of Imo state.
Consultants give tips on CHARITY Luba Consultancy has foreign studies cautioned prospective students in-
•Former HOD Early Childhood Education, Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, Mrs Roseline Chijioke (left); Managing Consultant Early Years Africa Mrs Funsho Chikezie and High Scope-endorsed trainer Mrs Oyinda Sonola at the Early Years Education Summit in Lagos PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU
Senate urges TETfund to offer scholarship to indigents
HE Senate Committee on Education has urged the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) to initiate scholarship and students'loan schemes for indigent students. Speaking during a visit to TETfund’s headquarters in Abuja, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, said the cost of education in some public tertiary institutions is beyond the reach of indigent students. Chukwumerije, who led other members of the committee to TETfund, harped on the need for the fund, to initiate other sustainable projects such as scholarship and students' loan schemes to assist the poor students besides its other statutory functions. He said reactions from some institutions and the public are point-
From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
ers to the fact that the Fund could do more beyond its primary objective. He said: "From the murmurs of some institutions and the public, it seems that the TETfund can do more than it is doing with resources available to it. “The Senate Education Committee will appreciate a clearer picture of TETfund level of funds distribution to the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education." He requested the Fund to furnish the committee with its profile of Internally-Generated Revenue, having established Zonal Central Research and Teaching Laboratory and the Academic Publishing Centre. "What is the proportion of funds spent and direct commitment of
TETfund and on what project. As an intervention agency, it has initiated some projects which should be revenue earners such as the Zonal Central Research and Teaching Laboratory and the Academic Publishing Centre. “The committee is, therefore, interested in your Internally-Generated Revenue profile," he said. The Executive Secretary, TETfund, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, noted that provision of learning, teaching and research infrastructure at tertiary institutions remains the priority of the fund, adding that the demand for infrastructure for learning and research is enormous. He disclosed that increasing number of public universities which stands as 73, vis-avis increasing number of students, is a major challenge to the organisation.
terested in studying abroad to take some steps to ensure that they do not have challenges. In a statement the group admonished students to ensure that their passports are valid at least for six months after they returned. It said: "If not, apply for renewal. If you still don't have passport, then apply for it. Also, prepare other documents that may help you to get visa as soon as possible. It admonished students to avail themselves of the opportunity to study abroad.” It listed good education environment, high degree value, unavailability of interest, high social status, future job opportunities, increasing horizon, and earning
By Medinat Kanabe
money, among others as reasons students are attracted to higher education abroad. It said: "Students know they'll find good studying environment in developed countries, so to secure their future and to get good education, they want to go abroad for studying. When students obtain degree from well renowned universities from abroad, they'll have plus points everywhere from jobs to the society. Many students are forced to go abroad for study because no course that suits their desire is available in their home country. So, they have to go abroad for study.”
School hosts AISEN competition
THE Meadow Hall, Lekki, Lagos has hosted the Fourth Association of International School Educators of Nigeria (AISEN) debate competition. The event, which took place at the school’s auditorium had nine schools from Lagos, Abeokuta and Ile-Ife in participation, as well as pupils, teachers including the anchor TV celebrity MTN’s Who wants to be a millionaire Frank Edoho. At the event, Edoho took time to highlighted the importance of the competition. The Head of school, Meadow
Hall, Mr Ola Opesan, said pupils stand to gain skills if they were able to present their arguments persuasively, an asset, which Opesan stressed, could make them become eloquent in public speaking. He called on schools to organise more debate competitions however big or small, adding that the key thing is to get the kids speaking and give them the confidence to stand and deliver in front of their peers or an unfamiliar audience.
Soccer on their legal minds
Controversy trails community project Page 36
*CAMPUSES *NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS
CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: firstname.lastname@example.org THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
It was a weekend to remember for no fewer than 50 members of the CAMPUSLIFE Correspondents Club who gathered in Lagos for their yearly workshop. The ninth in the series, the workshop is sponsored by Coca-Cola Nigeria and Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC). NURUDEEN YUSUF (Law, LASU), OLADELE OGE (Mass Comm. UNN Nsukka), TUNJI AWE (Political Science EKSU) and WILBERFORCE AREVORE (OAU, Ile-Ife) capture the major highlights here.
•The participants in a group picture with Coca-Cola and NBC officials after the workshop
Workshop with a difference
S usual, they came in large numbers. Many were the regulars, others were new faces. Whether old or new, they interacted easily and had fun during the threeday CAMPUSLIFE Correspondents Workshop. It was the ninth edition and it was as usual sponsored by Coca-Cola and the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited. The workshop took a different shape from the previous editions. For those who were coming for at least the second time, it was a different experience. The programme started on May 18, and ended on May 20, with over 50 students in attendance from the six geo-political zones. As always, the usually few number of girls was fewer. The bus conveying the students moved from the corporate office of The Nation on at Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos Mainland, where they had gathered, to the popular Bar Beach. Before leaving The Nation, the students were conducted round and shown the intricacies of producing the paper. They asked questions and not a few were excited at the revealing excursion. On the bus, they were given lunch packs of jollof rice and coleslaw which they relished.
For some of the students who had never been to Lagos or to a beach, the Bar Beach was a new experience as they appreciated nature and posed for pictures. Since the event had always been held at the Mainland Hotel, Oyingbo, some of the second and third time participants started wondered how the new venue, Citilodge Hotel, Lekki, would look like. Faith Olaniran of the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State, said: “I want to believe that the change is going to be a positive one because I trust The Nation , Coca-Cola and NBC to always provide the best for us.” The first timers were busy enjoying nature. About 4pm, the students left the beach and headed for the hotel. They checked in and mingled till 6pm when they headed for Shoprite to watch a movie.They all agreed they had a swell time at Shoprite. Afterwards, they retired to the hotel for the welcome dinner, buffet style. The next day, Saturday, was a mixture of education and fun. The students were up before 7am for workouts at the gym; some even had time to use the hotel’s swimming pool.
After that, they showered and went in for breakfast, before filing into the conference hall to listen to several speakers who have been carefully selected for the event. First to speak was their Editor, Mrs. Ngozi Agbo. After welcoming them, she took the students on the rudiments of reporting. She encouraged them to endeavour to spell words in full as well as use full names, not nicknames of newsmakers in their reports. She was praised by the students who refer to her as “Aunty”. Thereafter, the Public Affairs and Communication Manager of NBC, Miss Yomi Onakoya, explained is how Coca-Cola started operations, having been mixed and introduced by John Pemberton, and how it was brought to Nigeria in 1951 by A.G Leventis. She gave a small exercise after her session. Participants were requested to write on a piece of paper their first time of attending the workshop as well as the distance – in hours - from their institution to Lagos. Silas Edet, from the Federal University of Technology Yola (now MAUTECH), Adamawa State, who was attending for the third time, clinched the prize. •Continued on page 32-33
•Varsity prays for progress, peace- P31•OAU presents anniversary logo to Ooni - P34
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Leaders of the new media
HE CAMPUSLIFE Correspondents’ Workshop, the ninth in the series, held last weekend. It is our flagship training event for our committed reporters from campuses across the nation. Since inception in April, 2008, the workshop has been jointly sponsored by the Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited. Our theme, this time, was “The New Media: Responsibilities, Opportunities and Challenges for the Campus Journalist”. Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, Online Editor of this paper, and Mrs. Boma Ozobia, President of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association (CLA), were our main speakers. And they did great justice to the subject. While Otufodunrin spoke on the concept, opportunities and challenges of the new media (also called online journalism), Ozobia brought out the legal implications for every user thereof. Apart from the participants’ testimony of the revealing sessions, I, with my close to 10years sojourn as a journalist, scribbled excitedly at new knowledge and opportunities I wasn’t even aware of before now. Thus, it was time well spent. By now, all the excitement has died down. The 50 students who came are all back on their campuses. However, I am under no illusion that each of them will sit down, go through their notes carefully and, as the Bible exhorts in the book of Joshua “observe to do according to all that is written on it”. Sadly, humans do not always do what is right for them. It really baffles me
son who can read, discuss with himself and others, then write coherently is the person you can trust to hold his own anywhere. I agree with the man. I go further to add that the “exact man” is the person you want to be with; he is the person you want to converse with; with he is the person you want to follow. In other words, the “exact man” is a leader. After getting disillusioned with 08054503104 reporting the shenanigans of politi(SMS only) cians as a political correspondent, especially the ignominious use they •email@example.com put undergraduates and other youths •firstname.lastname@example.org to, just to win elections, I was consumed with the idea of doing something to as to why that is so; this is because it is by counter that. I decided it would be good to doing the right thing that each of us can try, in whatever little way I can, to raise an“make (his) way prosperous, and have good other set of undergraduates who are “exact success”. men” – leaders. These ones will be mainly When I set out with the CAMPUSLIFE reporters. But to be able to report, they have dream – a platform for undergraduates from to be concerned about events around them, across the country to have their news and they have to read to know what happens elseopinions published, for them and for the where which will enable them to realise that larger society outside the campuses – I also there could be better alternatives, and they birthed the idea of a quarterly training ses- have to be observant enough to pen down sion for them. The objectives of the training developments coherently. include: to bring the students together and This thinking led me to scout for first, a forge a network that will last all their lives newspaper that would buy into my vision. (another way to foster unity in the land); to The Nation, through Gbenga Omotoso, my inculcate winning life values in them; to raise Editor, did. We made our debut on August 2, a set of young elites who will help to shape a 2007. Almost immediately after, I started writNigeria we all can be proud of; and to raise ing to corporate bodies, looking for sponsors up star leaders out of the currently distressed for the training sessions. By February of the generation. next year, after having dropped over 75 letters To bring it nearer home, one can say I (more than once in some places, especially wanted – and still want – to raise leaders. when I realised that the designation of the relOne of my most favourite quotes is this, from evant official was different from what I wrote Francis Bacon (15th century English essayist earlier, or that where I dropped it was not and philosopher): “Reading maketh a full where the relevant department had its office), man, conference a ready man, and writing Coca-Cola requested for a meeting with me. I an exact man”. I was introduced to this quote met with Mr. Clem Ugorji, the Communicaby Dr. Nzebunachi Oji, my Grammar lecturer tions Manager. By the next meeting, he at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), brought in his colleague from NBC Plc, as it in 1997. In his explanation of the sentence, then was, Miss Lola Oke. The rest, as they say, Oji believed that the “exact man” was the is history. epitome of a well bred individual. The per-
‘Consistency and hardwork pay’ Alpha Vyapbong has just graduated from the NTA TV College Jos, Plateau State. He is the brain behind Legacy Awards Festival, an annual event that celebrates students’ work in television production. He spoke to JOHNPAUL NNAMDI (400-Level TV Journalism)
Christopher Ejiogu, a 300-Level Industrial Chemistry student at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), has carved a niche for himself in music. He is already in the studio to record his debut album. He spoke with FRANCIS EGWUATU (300-Level Mechanical Engineering).
‘Your passion will bring you wealth’
HAT is Legacy Festival Awards all about? The idea of the festival is to create an avenue to honour students who are outstanding, celebrate creativity and excellence and bring a festival experience to students who do not have the opportunity to attend national or international festivals. What prompted you to create such an event? I am always in support of rewarding hardwork because it is a nice thing and I think it is going to make students get involved in the motion picture industry when they leave school. I am proud to have started it and left a mark in people’s mind. What have been your challenges? The festival has had many challenges, but the prominent challenges are getting finance to organise the events and searching for sponsorship. How would you rate the response of students to the festival? The response and turnout of students have not been encouraging, so that could also be called a challenge. It is as if they do not really care anyway. But they need to, as it is a way of ensuring that they are not in school just to be called graduates. Several methods have been employed to make them participate, but they are not that forthcoming yet. But I will say it has been fair since every year we have something to celebrate and students are being honoured. However, students need to do better. What is the prospect of the Legacy Awards Festival? For now it is particularly for stu-
dents. We are hoping to reach out to more students. Hopefully, with time it will be successful, have greater coverage and involve students from schools across the nation. How would you achieve this? We will be consistent in what we do, work harder and make sure we publicise the festival every year so that we would have the partnership of corporate bodies. Consistency will get us there. What impact do you see the Legacy Awards Festival making in the motion picture industry. I think It will make people appreciate those who are driven by creativity and also create a standard of sorts for the practice in the industry. It will also give young media practitioners the urge to produce standard and reasonable media contents.
I tell my students, over 250 of them when I add those who have graduated from school and even the NYSC programme, that their lives are the barometer with which I gauge my failure or success in the last four years, I mean just that. I tell them that because they are young people, we tried to incorporate some fun and unwinding into our three-day workshops. But that is just to fulfill the “all work and no play ….” rule. Beyond that, the essence of the workshop should not be lost on them. This is why our themes are not just to fulfill all righteousness; they are the products of deep thought. A good number of my students – and other undergraduates – are bloggers. That is nice. But that is just an insignificant part of the new media. It should not necessarily be so. In some blogs I have visited, I have been able to glean really useful information. But many of such blogs are owned by people in other climes. Apart from some five or so good ones by Nigerian youths, most of our blogs contain little or nothing in terms of tangible content. It is as if it has become a status thing – like most great ideas when we bring them here – just to be able to say “I have a blog”. We have to get away from that error. Next to blogging, I urge these “stars in a distressed generation” to take full advantage of the expository lecture of Mr. Otufodunrin. The internet is a minefield of information, of wealth and of power. It is not a place to go to only when you need to “copy and paste” for some assignment or project. It is not just for social networking; it is not just for shopping; and definitely, it is not for fraud. For close to six weeks now, I have run a series on leadership. It has been more of drawing up the portrait of the type of people we will vote for in subsequent elections, starting from the coming ones in Edo and Ondo states. But, as I have titled this piece, I am eager to see young Nigerians who will become leaders of the new media – especially from among the group that attended the May 18 – 20 workshop. Ciao
HEN did you start musical production and singing? I started playing musical instrument in my second year in the junior secondary school (JSS2) then I started production in my final year in the senior secondary school (SSS3) at Regis Studio, where I met Mr. Regis, El Chiby and Easy Riders who taught me a lot about the art of music production. I had always admired musicians but it never occurred to me that I would be one until my first year in the university where I sang my first song, Banana, which I produced. It got me my stage name, C-Box. What prompted you to start this act? It is mainly the desire to make people relax and enjoy life. Secondly, it gives me joy whenever I am producing or singing. Thirdly, I have always wanted to be financially independent. And as I know it is a talent, I don’t want to waste it. How has this passion benefited you? In all ways, I’d say. Today, I am a better person intellectually, financially, and the fame that comes with
HE results of the 2010/2011 exams conducted for the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Distance Learning Institute (DLI) students have been released. The results were released last Monday by the Directorate of the institute. The students were
it. I have met with a lot of top and upcoming artistes whom I would never have met otherwise and I have learnt from them. It also serves as a source of income because for every production I do I smile to the bank. It simply means when you follow your passion closely it will bring you satisfaction and wealth. Does this music career affect your studies? (Laughs) To be frank, it affects a little bit but it is a challenge that I am living up to and you know you don’t put all your eggs into one basket. I am determined to balance them and by the mercies of God, I am okay academically. What plans do you have for the future? There are a lot of plans for the future. I am so inspired that I see myself impacting lives positively with my music and be a household name. How would you describe your style of music? Unique! I don’t have to be extravagant. I produce and sing secular Nigerian music, R&B, highlife, and hip hop, depending on my mood. What are you working on at
present? I am working on my tracks and God willing at the end of this year, I would be releasing my first album. How do you cope with female admirers? (Laughs) I see women as an integral part of the music business. Some of the ladies are after a career in music and need my skills to produce for them. Though, I don’t have much female admirers but I have more female clients who would love to work with me. Business before pleasure, that is my motto. I give them a lot of respect but I don’t allow them to distract me. Any message for your fans? I encourage them to live beyond their expectations and be strong in their drives. They should keep their talents alive and don’t let anyone kill their dreams. There is enough space for all to attain success in life and never forget the God-factor, because He is the reason you exist. There is nothing impossible when you make God your source. Finally, keep listening to good music.
Results released From Idris Akinpelu UNILAG
notified of the release through text messages. The message reads: “2010/2011
result is out but still loading online. Grades but CGPA not ready yet. To check your result go to www.dli.unilag.edu.ng click on the portal login, supply your account details, then click on myResult.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE For one week, Law students at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) battled for supremacy on the football pitch. The 400-Level class won the contest. PETER OBENKPAKYUN (400-Level Law).
Soccer on their legal minds
HE second edition of the Annual Dean’s Cup competition of the Faculty of Law, Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) was, arguably, the greatest thus far. The pre-tournament feeling which gripped the wouldbe spectators and would-be lawyers turned footballers clearly showed the desire by all to be winners. Arguments within and outside the Faculty by various teams and fans became pronounced and visible as the date of the kick off approached. Teams started preparing in earnest. The football tournament was to be played amongst various classes in a league format with the teams with the two highest points to play as finalists. Finally came April 29, a day marked for the opening ceremony of this round leather game. The 400-Level class who are the defending champions were to play the 300-Level class. The players waited anxiously for the match officials to tilt the cat out of its bag. It became clear that the match was going to be a great one as it envisaged not just superiority clash but also the two teams knocked it out in a fierce contest in last year’s finals thus setting an el-classico atmosphere. The competition was later declared open by Mr Ibrahim Bai who represented the Dean of the Faculty, Associate Prof Maxwell M. Gidado. In his opening remarks, he said the true intent of sports in academic environments was recreational which is aimed at fostering friendship as well as building the spirit of sportsmanship amongst students. He added that the competition was to expound the ideals of sportsmanship, discipline, interactions among staff and students of the Faculty, which remain the hallmark of the legal profession. He urged a fair game as FIFA will
•The 400 level Football Club with their Coach Mango Ganaka Bitrus
advise and wished the terms luck and injury free competition. A moment of silence was observed in loving memory of Mr Timothy Balewa, a staff who passed away last December 18. The hour which everyone was finally waiting for came. At the blast of the whistle, there came into effect a display of tough game by the two sides. The defending champions exhibited their traditional 4-5-1A formation which made it seemingly difficult for their opponents. Alas! The match was won by the 400-Level team 21. Other fixtures and results ended thus: 500Level 1-2 200Level; 300Level 0-3 200Level; 400Level 20 500Level; 400Level 1-3 200Level; 500Level 4-1 300Level. As the tournament continued, some matched emerged as “eminent matches”. The aforementioned results laid a suitable ground for a final clash between the 200-Level team who emerged top of the group with nine points (8 goals) and the 400-Level team who came second with six points (5 goals). The final’s day being May 4 was one that would not be forgotten in a hurry. The event was not just
ing for him to perform a magical twist to the event. Indeed, the experienced full goalie had the joker of the game. He stopped the third kick and for those who were there, they knew that marked the end of the journey for the younger 200Level lads. In their celebration, the winners pulled off their jerseys and there contained an inscription which read “RIP UnclE T” at the front and “Get well soon IG” at the back. This was done in honour of Balewa and a sick course mate respectively. Then, it was time for the presentation of certificates, prizes and the trophy. The prize for highest goal scorer was given to Safiyanu Mamman, while participation prizes were given to all teams. It was done by Dr Isaac Essien, Barr. Isa Yakubu, Mr Reuben Ogbole, the Deputy Registrar who represented the university community and the Vice-Chancellor. The trophy was presented by the Dean. He congratulated all who participated and wished the sportsmanship exhibited be maintained. He then handed over the trophy to the skipper of the win-
ing team, Christopher Jatau, and declared the event closed thereafter. In describing the tournament, Jerry Ombugadu, a 500-Level student who is the Chairman of the Sports Committee and Chief Organiser, said: “It was a fulfilling and successful second edition. The level of excitement and competition was higher; and once more, it achieved its purpose of revealing capable stars for the Faculty team. The experience is indeed a relishing one”. Also commenting on the competition, Adudu Ayuba who is the President of the Law Students’ Association (LAWSA) NSUK Chapter said:“I express unreserved felicitations to the 400-Level class for emerging victorious and to all the participants for making the event a colourful one. We hope the bar has been raised for future events. I wish to specially thank and appreciate the Dean under whom the competition was organised and the requisite support he granted. Indeed the teams displayed extreme football artistry and a high level of maturity.”
•The congregation of Muslim student and staff reciting Qur'an in the school mosque
•The Christian students during their prayer
TAFF and students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), have sought divine intervention to the problems of the institution. They prayed for forgiveness, progress and hitch-free academic session at a programme tagged: OOU prays: God take control.” It was coordinated by Dr S.A. Ajayi, a lecturer from the French department. Christian students held an interdenominational prayers in a hall on the campus, while their Muslim counterparts converged at the school mosque to offer prayer during the Jumat service for the
colourful but was also “glorious”. The two best teams were dressed in their jerseys. At a distant sight of them, one would find it hard to believe that they were the same Law students known for “jacking” and always wearing serious and book-like looks. The most astonishing thing that precipitated this day was that these two teams have met twice. The first was during last year’s tournament where the 200Level were beaten helplessly 7-2 by the 400-Level class. In a brief address, Prof Gidado, the Dean, emphasised that the competition was to lay credence to the cliché that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. The kick off followed. As lovers of the game will always say, “finals will always be finals”. The game was full of suspense, skills, tactics, experience and above all entertainment. The score line was 1-1 at the expiration of 90minutes being the full time. The match went into a penalty shootout. Brilliant kicks were taken as envisaged but with the 400 Level shot stopper Samuel John who doubles as the school goal keeper, most fans were wait-
Varsity prays for progress, peace Muritala Omikunle OOU
progress of the school. The Muslim prayer was graced by teaching staff of the university, including Prof Kamordeen Balogun, Dr. Abdul-Akeem Akanni both from Islamic and Religious Studies, Dr Dele Balogun, Philosophy department, Dr A. Olubomehim, Mr O. Okewole, Accounting department, Alhaji Abdul Rahmon Adewole, Non-Academic
Staff Union (NASU) chairman, Mrs. Toyin Ajibola, Mr Lanre Akinola and Mrs O. Oladehinde from Mass Communication among others. Dr Ajayi said: “We were convinced that the school is highly suffering from God’s neglect due to some misdeed. We sold the idea of the heavy prayer to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) leadership who set up a committee that later decided that it should be an event that would involve everyone on the campuses. And as
you can see now, everybody is here submitting to the will of God which we know will help us to progress.” It will be recalled that OOU has been facing challenges, which range from inability to meet up with academic calendar, inadequate teaching staff, arbitrary sack, internal strikes among others. Dr Akanni said: “Everybody oppresses in his own capacity. Lecturers maybe inconsiderate and deny students their rights some-
times. And at times, they engage in unforgivable acts before they can attend to them. All these actions are oppressive and can never take the school to any reasonable land unless we change.” Prof Kamardeen Balogun, the Chief Imam of the university mosque, said it was high time the stakeholders embraced change. “Students, lecturers, governing council, government and visitors must change their ways to enable the citadel of learning return to its pride of place.” Alhaji Adewole enjoined staff and students to change their bad attitude so that the school can develop.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
•From left: Mr Ugorji; Miss Onakoya; Mr Otufodunrin; Miss Ifeoma Okoye and Mr Omoike
•Mr Emeka Mba
•Mr Otunfodunrin delivering his lecture as students listen
•Excited Seyi Oluwalade (NYSC Akure); Dayo Ojerinde (Mass Comm. AAUA) and Tunji Awe (Political Science EKSU) applauding Mrs Ozobia after her lecture
•Mrs Ozobia delivering a lecture
•Miss Onakoya during her address
•From left: Islamiat Daranijo (NYSC Lagos); Wale Ajetunmobi and Tunmise Oladipo (NYSC Ibadan) at the Bar Beach
•Students playing hand ball at Marwa beach, Lekki, Lagos
Workshop with a difference
•Continued from page 29
•Richard Ilesanmi (Mass Comm. RUGIPO); Mabel Opara; David Osu (Urban and Regional Planning FUT MINNA); Sikiru Akinola (Political Science OAU) and Johnpaul Nnamdi (TV Journalism NTA TV College Jos) during the coffee break
The Manager, Packaging, Sales and Marketing Equipment (SME), Coca-Cola Nigeria &West Africa Franchise Limited, Mr Ehis Omoike spoke extensively on the misconceptions surrounding the contents – especially the sugar content in a bottle of Coke. He said the sugar in a bottle of CocaCola cannot be compared to that in “a bowl of eba”. He educated them on the strict hygienic processes Coca-Cola products go through. Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, Online Editor of The Nation Newspaper, was the first theme speaker of the event. He spoke on The new media: opportunities,responsibilities and challenges for the campus journalist. He underlined the importance of new media practice, which borders on new applications and gadgets, e.g. desktops, laptops, palmtops, among others. According to him, they enhance research work for background and additional information available on search engines and digital storage facilities. He added that one advantage of the new media is that news can be reported 24/7 as they unfold and also allows for citizen journalism. He cited the opportunities of the new media as publication or broadcasting to a global audience at relatively low cost, owning a media platform, e.g. blog, Facebook, Twitter etc, emergence of new media jobs including online writers, Internet researchers, bloggers, social network staff, website editors and masters, earning local and foreign currencies for online work either as freelance or full time staff.
After about 45minutes, the students were swept off their feet as they gave him rounds of applause. Otufodunrin showed the benefits that await them in the new media as it is fast taking over from and even redefining the traditional media. At the end of his lecture, the students adopted the slogan: “If I could write for free, why won’t I write for $10". This was a line he used while sharing his experience on the bouquet of opportunities that awaits them in the new media. After him came Mrs. Boma Ozobia, the first black and female President of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association (CLA). She spoke on the legal implications in the new media. Participants were made to understand the meaning as well as what constitutes libel and defamation of character under the law. She also explained how they could benefit from the Freedom Of Information (FoI) Act. According to her, the new media is the link connecting the world. According to her, it is influential, and also a link that is fast changing our society. She urged journalists to make proper research and findings in fishing out information from the Internet, and also get permission from the law to publish such stories. On the issue of freedom and fundamental human rights, Mrs. Ozobia cautioned against violating people’s rights to avoid unpalatable results. On defamation, she pointed that truth is the only defense against it. “You did it, I reported it. What is your problem?” According to her, the legal issues involved in the new media are violation of funda-
mental human rights and freedoms, defamation, libel, sedition, obscene publication, sources of material. Since the pen is mightier than the sword, she implored the student-journalists to portray the country’s image well to the international community because life is not a bed of roses for those countries we look up to, she said, journalism is influential to national development. She advised that seditious reports should be avoided as they could pose threats to national security. Questions were entertained in all segments of the workshop. After the intensive training, Dayo Ojerinde of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, a second-time participant, said: “This is the most educative workshop I have ever attended”. Idris Abubakar, from Bayero University, Kano, said: “These are well-thought out sessions”. Giving the vote of thanks, the Communication Manager of Coca-Cola, Mr Clem Ugorji, urged the participants to put what they have learnt to good use, so as not to end up like others who go about only with the certificate as evidence of having gone to school. He lamented that many of such people are unable to defend the certificates. According to him, they should use this question: “what do I want to make of myself at the end of my undergraduate days?” as a determinant for measuring their decisions and actions. He added that it is how well they do these that will encourage Coca-Cola to put in more in
its bid to assist its host community. The students, thereafter, went for lunch and recess. The CitiLodge Hotel management upped the ante by taking them to the Elegushi Beach. They played volley ball, beach soccer, danced and drank beverages with the sponsors and some staff of the hotel. After about two hours at the beach, they were returned to the hotel. Expectedly, the UEFA finals between Bayern Munich of Germany and Chelsea FC of England became the topic of discussion as they all sat at the hotels bar. The girls and some of the guys were busy with dinner while all this was going on. After 125minutes, the hotel and other guests felt the presence of the students when the Chelsea fans and well wishers ran round the premises and swimming pool chanting songs of victory. Many of the students stayed up till the early hours of Sunday. Sunday finally came, and everyone had to depart, after a sumptuous breakfast. With their transport allowance, certificates and souvenirs in their bags, the students boarded their air-conditioned bus which conveyed them to a park in the Lagos mainland where they found their way home. There was exchange of numbers, emails and user name in social networks. It was a passionate parting of way as some of them wished they could stay together but “whatever has a beginning must always have an end” as was aptly put by Habeeb Whyte, a 400-Level Law student from the University of Ilorin.
•Idris Abubakar (Mass Comm. BUK)...during PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO the question time
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE Kegites get new chief
HE University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) chapter of Kegites Club International, Iliyadu Afonja, has inaugurated its new chiefo, in an event held last week. He is Sola Abayomi, a 400-Level student in the faculty of Education. The coronation had in attendance leaders of the association from various institutions which included Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), College of Education (COE), Ilesha, Kwara State College of Education, Kwara State Polytechnic (KWARA POLY), Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY), Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA), Lagos State University (LASU), Emmanuel Alayande College of Education and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY). Starting the coronation was a prayamus (prayer) by a kongo (living soul). Opeyemi Adesola, who said the prayer, prayed that “all souls present at this coronation shall never meet anything called Agbako (evils).” Thereafter, the leader of OFFA POLY Kegite club blessed the prayer with the saying: “May our buccal cavity never stop working.” After the coronation was declared
•Prof Omole sitting beside the Ooni of Ife during the visit
Wale Bakare OAU
opened, the Kegites anthem was recited, after which the recognition of chiefesis (leaders) was done. The members of the club present were later thrown into “gyration” that lasted for three hours with different songs. The World Chief then called a procession of chiefesis for the insulation of Egungun. Three calabashes containing salt, alligator pepper and honey were placed before the incoming chief, whose face was covered with white cloth and leaves. He was instructed to choose one the calabashes. In the tradition of the club, the calabash chosen by the incoming chiefo will determine whether he will have a free reign. Salt means a fair administration, alligator pepper means a bad administration, while honey means good administration. At the end of the test, the new Egunugun picked a honey calabash. After the rituals, the new chiefo was adorned with an Agbada (flowing robe) and beads. He was also handed the staff of office, which was horsetail.
OAU presents anniversary logo to Ooni
HE Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof Bamitale Omole, has presented the institution’s 50th anniversary logo to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade Okunade, Olubuse II. In his address, Prof Omole appreciated the “immeasurable contributions” of Oba Sijuwade to the development of the university. The VC reeled out the activities lined up for the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the institution. He used the opportunity to inform the royal father of the plan by the varsity to host the 2012 edition of the National Uni-
From Sikiru Akinola and Kemi Busari OAU
versities Games Association (NUGA). Responding, Oba Sijuwade commended Prof Omole for his “spectacular achievements” in less than a year in office, adding that the VC was a man of history because “providence made him the ViceChancellor when Obafemi Awolowo University was celebrating a landmark of golden anniversary.” Oba Sijuwade, who went down memory lane on how late Chief
Obafemi Awolowo and the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi founded the then University of Ife on a vast expanse of land donated by his forebears, also explained how Sijuwade Estate was built to provide accommodation to pioneer lecturers of the institution. Oba Sijuwade praised the OAU management and staff for providing the needed curricula for the generations of students who had passed through the school. The royal father thereafter prayed for a successful 50th anniversary celebration and a hitch-free NUGA tournament.
Youth Corps members threaten strike
ATIONAL Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members are agitating for the payment of their allowances. They have threatened to go on strike, if they are not paid. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the 2012 Batch ‘A’ corps members are the most affected. They were paid only the March allowance, which was disbursed towards the end of their three weeks orientation course. President Goodluck Jonathan promised that the money would be released last Friday, but no corps member has been paid as at the time of filing this report. The reason for the delay was said to be verification exercise the Federal Government is carrying out to fish out ghost workers. However, the corps members who were calmed by the president’s statement last week have begun to complain when
From Michael Adebayo, 200 Level Computer Science, University of Ilorin UNICAL
they did not get the allowance last Friday as promised by the president. A member who is serving in a tertiary institution in Ekiti State told CAMPUSLIFE: “I went to check my account balance using my ATM card but I was disappointed when I saw N0.00. Daily, I spend about N300 on transport and now I am tempted to tell my supervisor that I may not come regularly to work because I don’t have money for transport and feeding.” Gbenga Ogunla, serving in a secondary school in Eket, Cross River State said: “It is not easy because I am in a strange part of the country which, if not for service, I don’t think I can be. I don’t even know who to turn to if I have finished spending the last penny
on me. I am ashamed to seek financial support from home as they believe I am being paid enough money to cater for my need.” A corps member serving in Kwara State Polytechnic (KWARA POLY), who simply identified himself as Larry, said: “My parents gave me a car to ease transport while coming for service but I have parked it at home since I can no longer buy fuel. The government should not punish us by delaying payment. They should not undermine our patience and loyalty. We can go on protest too.” Jamiu Fafure, who is serving in Owerri, pleaded: “Government should have mercy on us. A Good Samaritan accommodated me in this land for the meantime because I do not have money to pay for my accommodation. The verification exercise is okay but they can speed up that of corps members.”
VC commiserates with Sofoluwe’s family HE Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife Prof Bamitale Omole, has commiserated with the Governing Council, staff, and students of UNILAG over the death of Prof Sofoluwe. According to a release by the OAU Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, Prof Omole, who was in Lagos to condole with Sofoluwe’s family, said he was shocked by the death. He described the late Prof Sofoluwe as a gentle but firm administrator, a reputable scholar of international standing and a good mixer with a high degree of human relations. Describing death as a necessary
•Students hold service of songs From Idris Akinpelu and Sikiru Akinola UNILAG AND OAU
end for all mortals, Prof Omole urged the family and the university community to take solace in God who “knows the beginning and end of all men.” The students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Distance Learning Institute (DLI) will tomorrow hold a service song for the late Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Babatunde Sofoluwe. The service will hold at the DLI
building. The officials of the DLI Student Association (DLISA) said the association plans to distribute free shirts to students that will attend the programme. Prof Sofoluwe slumped after a meeting with members of the university governing council. He was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, where he gave up the ghost penultimate Saturday. The Acting Vice Chancellor has since assumed office to steer the affairs of the institution. He is Prof Rahman Bello.
•The Ilyasis from different institutions during the coronation
VC advises freshers
HE management of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has held an orientation programme for the new students . The exercise, which was full of fun, was designed to educate the students of the conduct in tandem with school rules. The programme was held in the auditorium at the faculty of Art. The occasion was graced by principal officers of the university, led by the Vice -Chancellor, Prof James Epoke. In his remarks, Prof Epoke congratulated the fresh students for being among the lucky candidates offered admission into various programmes in the university. He said thousands struggled for admission but said management could not go beyond its quota. He enjoined the freshmen to cultivate the habit of punctuality. “You must know the aims, objectives and the modus operandi of any society you choose to belong. This is because it has been reported that there exists on campus, secret cults whose members do not only perform nocturnal, nefarious and clandestine activities but seek for fresh-
From Isaac Mensah, Davidson Maduagwu and Joanna Okori UNICAL
men like you to initiate. Do not attend any party you do not have details about,” Prof Epoke warned the students. In his lecture entitled: “University administration: Channel of communication and student welfares”, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof James Utsalo, urged the students to communicate their challenges to the appropriate quarters before it becomes too late. He noted that most students always keep quiet when they are faced with academic problems. But he advised such students to learn to disclose their problems to the authorities in the school for immediate action. The Dean, Student Affairs, Prof Eyong Eyong, advised the newly admitted students to maintain good behaviour as they strive for excellence. One of the fresh students, John Marcus expressed happiness. He said: “I thank God for granting me admission this time into the university. Also, I want to thank the school management for the lessons and lectures. I learned new things and I believe this programme will help many students not to run foul of the school regulation.”
•Cross-section of freshers during the orientation programme
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
ROF Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe, the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) “danced” joyously to join his ancestors’ penultimate Saturday. Sadly, quite a large number of staff and students of the university are yet to fully accept the reality that the erudite scholar has gone to rest. I belong to this group. The preparation for the golden jubilee ceremony of UNILAG began last December when Sofoluwe inaugurated the committee. Satisfied that everything was set, the late VC addressed the world press conference to kick start the 50th anniversary celebration of the university, five days before the sad incidence. From his speech, it was evident that he had great plans for the university, from where he graduated in 1973. Since that humble beginning, it was evident he made up his mind to devote his life to the progress of the university. And he died working in the university he loved! As VC, he never abandoned his responsibilities as a lecturer. May be he has gone to office to complete marking of scripts or to attend to matters that cannot be delegated. But it was his last. He died a hero. In his honour, the university Senate declared three-day mourning capped with a candle light service. It
URING the heady days of the Second Republic politics, a candidate of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in one of the Southwestern states took on a fellow gubernatorial prospect from the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in a television debate just a few weeks to the poll. When the discussion got to the issue of education, the NPN politician suggested to his Awoist opponent that Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s politics in the Old Western Region were only a mentally and physically dehydrating menu of the Action Group (AG) in the 50s and 60s. He claimed they fed the people in the name of free education and did Awo’s progeny of the late 70s and early 80s wanted to continue dishing out a diet that would also lead to the creation of more anaemic and mentally retarded citizens by asking to be voted into power? The UPN man, well-known for a bottomless stock of caustic wit, turned the joke on the NPN politician, himself of no low repute and intelligence. In measured delivery, the Awoist asked his opponent to please tell the whole world who among his (the NPN man’s) relatives became dehydrated and mad as a result of Awo’s popular free education policy, since every Yoruba man in the then sprawling western region including the NPN man and his kinsmen were beneficiaries of the great old man’s programme. The NPN man was nearly speech-
Sofoluwe: A tribute was an honour well deserved. I understand the reasons the university community remained inconsolable. Sofoluwe was more than a VC; he was a father. For him, any policy or programme that will advance life and living on campus must be given thorough consideration. A fact his critics cannot deny. Earlier in February 2010, he rolled out his digitalisation of UNILAG programme commonly called ‘laptop for all’. Even when he addressed his first convocation as the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, the guest at the programme, Prof Rukayat Rufai, in her capacity as the Education Minister startled at the blue print of Sofoluwe’s administration. He made it known that his mission was to empower staff and students. And true to his words, hundreds of students and scores of staff enjoyed Lapi Sofo, words we used to qualify laptops given to staff and students on installment. Students who thought they would never have their own personal laptops to carry out their final year projects and assignments were all surprised. On Monday, February 28, 2011,
Sofoluwe had no premonition of what would happen in the day. However, procession of students from Idi Araba to the Akoka campus of the institution was on the way. Within hour, students stormed the main campus. They were dressed in white laboratory coats, armed with placards with different inscriptions and marched on the Senate building. The protesters came to complain of poor standard of living. Contrary to expectation of many, VC Sofoluwe hurriedly stepped out and stood in the midst of the protesting students without his orderlies, listening intently to their complaints and addressed the students. Sofoluwe admitted that medical students work very hard by studying and living in Idi-Araba. But when he addressed the students, his words were convincing and assuring. The President, College of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science Students Association (COMPSSA), UNILAG, Basit Ogunbona, who had threatened brimstone melted. He was a smart negotiator and a man of his word. Sofoluwe will be remembered for the scholarship he gave to best students every session. He reduced the
hostel fees for students on the Dean’s list. Little wonder the number of first class students has been on the increase. I believe the students will greatly missed his listening ear and fatherly supports. By all standards, his departure has cast shadow on the entire university community for months if not years. He was unique in his own way. Perhaps, Sofoluwe’s only regret is that he could not say goodbye to friends, especially Prof H. O. D. Longe, immediate past Dean, Student Affairs, his students and members of staff. But he has every reason to be happy. He enjoyed working late to reduce the workload next day. To the students, he was the most humble VC ever. On several occasion, he would join the queue at the senate elevator acted usher persuading everyone on the queue to go before him. In the elevator, he would crack jokes and have shook hand with everyone on his way to his 11th floor office. Death is a cruel leveler. ‘Mr. Death’ should not think he has won in any way. Sofoluwe lives on. The people
State of education in Osun By Theo Ayinde
less and the TV debate terminated at that point. And the rest, as the cliché goes, became history! I have lately been reminded of this old story after a considerable study of what has been going on in the education sector in the State of Osun. On one hand, I see a vibrant resurgence of the Awo education template complete with a substructure and an adumbration of a superstructure to follow. On the other hand, however, I perceive a long tortuous process which, I fear would not be comprehended by those whose preoccupation is only about today. There are also concerns about the politicisation of issues, such as we saw in the NPN/UPN scenario painted above, which would lead to revisionism of history by later generations. Yet governance with its administrative structure and politics is about catering both for today and for tomorrow. Good leaders who seek an entry in the right place in the history books put one firm foot in the present and place another firmly in the future. He is a bad leader who gives scant value for what tomorrow has in store for him over his actions today. What, therefore, we are witnessing in the education sector in Osun State best exemplifies what critical observ-
ers are referring to as today’s revolution with an eye focusing on the future! In other words, it is designed to outlive its architects, the same way Awoism outlasted its progenitor. In fact, owing to its gargantuan ambition, the reform in Osun State has been described as “unattainable” in some quarters. History has taught us that bold initiatives are always greeted with disdain. And so most of our compatriots are wondering if the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola would meet its objectives in, for example, the O’Meals scheme for the children in its public schools, on account of the rich menu he is offering. On Mondays and Thursdays, the kids will eat chicken with food rich in vegetable and fruit. Tuesdays will give them beef while on Wednesdays they have fish to accompany their meals. Eggs take their turn in the children’s food every Friday. The programme is estimated at N1.56 billion a year. By the government’s reckoning, this is a pittance, given the incurable ripple effect it would have on the society. These highly nutritious meals will raise a citizenry of healthy students poised for competition with the best anywhere in the world. That is what the Romans meant when they came up with the saying Mens sana in corpore sana (a sound mind in a sound
body). Another effect: more children will be attracted to school. This will reduce illiteracy and ignorance and make governance and general running of the society easy. A society is amenable to democratic ideals when it is free from the evils of poverty and superstition brought on by illiteracy and ignorance. Most Nigerian leaders are aware of this but exploit it to impoverish the society, the easier to enslave us. The government through O’meals is broadening the employment base of society as it offers jobs to thousands of women to handle the cooking of food every day. They were trained and kitted at government expense for this business of seeing to the welfare of tomorrow’s leaders. It’s a laudable venture of investing present resources to ensure a future whose shape you can already fathom today. Osun’s education revolution has also given jobs to tailors in all the local governments following the decision of the government that primary and secondary wards wear standard adire uniform. One hundred tailors have been picked from each local government of Osun to handle the production of the attire, which reflects Yoruba culture. This is costing the authorities close to N2b. Needless to say this aspect of the
By Ayodeji Adesina
on whose lives he left an indelible imprint will not forget him. UNILAG will not forget him. And as John Donnie concluded in his classic poem, one day, death, itself shall die! Good night good man. Ayodeji is a corps member, NYSC Onitsha policy on education will encourage the fabric industry and its allied weaving and tie-dye enterprise in Osun. This will revive interest in our dying culture. The social and economic add-on from this can’t be quantified. No one needs an IMF or World Bank scholar to tell us the implication of this for our society. The government is also exposing the secondary school scholars to information technology at an early age hoping to give each student what it calls Opon Imo, an iPad-like facility with in-built subjects including Yoruba History, civic education, entrepreneurship tutorials and all the books and past questions and answers of WAEC , NECO and JAMB. There is also a drive towards the infrastructural development of the school system in Osun. The landscape is changing; the rickety structures are gradually giving way, pulled down for the erection of model mega schools to accommodate the rest the well-fed kid in adire brandishing his/ her iPad as the tool and symbol of the new face of education in Osun. What, therefore, we are witnessing in Osun is of interest both for today and for tomorrow. The government there is being faithful to its cardinal responsibility: lay irreversible foundation upon which tomorrow will rest and be unshakable despite the vagaries of change. Theo, a media analyst, wrote from Abeokuta
A scourge begging for attention
By Iniobong Iwok
T was about 9am on campus. A woman in gown barely in her 40s looking very fragile and managing to walk with one hand supporting one side of her breast and the other gesticulating towards students she approached for financial help. As she walked towards me, it was obvious she was in great pain and needed help. And based on my previous encounter and experience with
breast cancer patient, I instantly recognised her predicament. But the irony of it was that most of the student she approached could not comprehend what was wrong with her and the magnitude of her pain. They saw her as any other beggar. This is the picture of how breast cancer is silently tormenting the lives of thousands of Nigerian women. Once a disease of the western world, and the affluent among us, now breast cancer is everywhere and any woman can be affected. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), breast cancer has overtaken cervical cancer as the number one form of cancer that afflicts women in African societies presently. According to the largest breast cancer foundation in the world, the Komen Foundation, 70 per cent of breast cancer cases by the year 2020 will be in developing countries. Imagine Nigeria’s population among the developing
nations. As a student and freelance broadcaster, I recently took the challenge to produce a radio feature on breast cancer to educate women. And I realised that misconception and ignorance about the disease among women in our society was a big issue. I recalled one woman telling me “breast cancer is either a curse or affliction I can never have it”. About 95 per cent of female callers said they had not heard the word mammogram, which simply mean breast examination. The nub of this is the popular belief that breast cancer can be cured by traditional medicine or in herbal home. I recall a female patient at University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) teaching hospital telling me “before I came here I have visited several traditional healing homes” but without solution to her ailment. She was grateful to be alive and still receiving treatment.
This is one out of few who are aware of the disease and can come out to access Medicare. What happens to women in the rural villages? They sit helplessly and wait for death! Few NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs) which claim to be working on breast cancer are inaccessible and some of them only exist by name. I had called the co-ordinator of one of the biggest NGO’s in town and asked if he was working on breast cancer, the reply was “no unfortunately because I have just lost a close relative to the disease”. I was advised I may not find an NGO in neighbouring states except by going to Lagos or Abuja. Presently, to do a mammogram is unpopular and that is because women don’t see the need. Even the machine is available in only few federal hospitals in the country and the test costs N2,000. To an average woman, the amount may be much, but a survivor sharing an experience told me that she spent
close to N500,000 for her treatment. Luckily for her, she survived but lost a portion of her breast. According to Dr Kayode Adeniji, an Oncologist at UNILORIN Teaching Hospital, there is the need for women, especially from the age of 35 years upward to be careful with their diet now. They must exercise regularly and check their breast often to verify if traces of lump or pain. Ladies in their 20s are advised to do a regular breast check up. Early detection, according to Adeniji, is vital and often helped the whole process and survivor. There is the urgent need for stakeholders in the health sector to rise up to the challenge and stop this scourge before it kills all our women. The lip services must stop. No one knows the next victim. Much hype has been given to HIV/ AIDS and it is time for breast cancer to occupy the front burner. Our mothers are precious to us. Iniobong, 300-Level Sociology, UNILORIN
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE The best of intentions can atimes be misconstrued. This is what is happening in Babanla community in Kwara State, where a sensitisation project undertaken by some Youth Corps members has been twisted. NGOZI EMMANUEL reports.
•Obom Boyce, presenting a talk on premarital sex after the drama
WARA is a state which serves as home to the Yoruba, the Nupe, the Baruba and the Hausa. The people call it a state of harmony and indeed it is a very peaceful state. Year after year, young Nigerian graduates are posted here to serve their fatherland. These youths are usually divided into batches and spend the usually three weeks’ orientation period at Yikpata village. With a handful of crippling challenges in some of the remote villages in the area, the corps members are faced with the task of leaving the state better than they met it. So, they are divided into smaller productive groups in a popular scheme called Community Development Service (CDS). It is one of such CDSs, located in the Oke-Ode axis of the Ifelodun Local Council that recently undertook a sensitisation programme for secondary school students at the Government Secondary School, Babanla. However, this gesture has been twisted at the rumour mill with allegations and counter-allegations making the rounds on the Internet. None of the pages on the website gave facts and the various captions were even scary. Headlines such as “Corps member impregnates 13-year-old” “Corper impregnates village girl in his class” “Corper impregnates young student” still bathe most of the entries. One of the corps members serving at the local government, obviously angry, had retorted to one of the online stories: “What nonsense is this? How did they ascertain the girl’s age is 13 if this were even possible?
•The Corps members presenting the drama at the Government Secondary School, Babanla,OkeOde, Kwara State
Controversy trails community project This is a great shame and very defamatory to not just corps members in this state but corps members all over Nigeria and it’s a cheap mockery to the objective of the NYSC scheme.” In a bid to get to the root of the controversy, CAMPUSLIFE spoke to some of the corps members in Babanla. It was learnt that they had intended to undertake a project that would transform the life of the average secondary school student at Babanla and OkeOde communities. The day for the programme was a Thursday. That morning, after a short meeting at the CDS, the corps members, all dressed in their khaki uniform, came outside by the Oke- Ode road to board a bus to Babanla, some 45 minutes drive away. The CDS group discussed the highlights of their visit to the school which were to talk about HIV/AIDS, premarital sex, general hygiene and reading culture. They talked about the drama that they had developed to help the young people better understand their message. When finally a bus arrived, they excitedly clustered in and continued with their programme plan on the project. They discussed the drama again whose title was “Shattered Dreams”.
In the drama, Jamiu, played by corps member Boyce Obom, was an unserious student who wanted to someday become a lecturer and Tawa, played by corps member Olubunmi Adeyemi, was a fellow student and Jamiu’s girlfriend. Jamiu later impregnated Tawa in their trial of premarital sex which forced both to drop out of school, Jamiu becoming a roadside mechanic and Tawa, an unwanted burden at her parents’ home. Later, it was discovered that Tawa and Jamiu too have the HIV virus and this was the shattered dreams. After the drama, various talks were given by the corps members on the other subjects. All these were done to a resounding round of applause from the teenagers who were not only excited at the drama but at the corps members’ visit to their school. The Principal, Alhaji A. Suleiman, was elated when he said: “I want to thank the corpers for this prompt rescue mission like I will want to call it, because this is exactly the right time for this. Thank you so much, I also pledge to support you in every other possible way”. After the drama, the corps members shared few NYSC customised notebooks to the students and went back to their place of primary assignment fulfilled at the project’s
outcome. Reacting to the Internet stories about the project, the CDS President, Desmond Egesi said: “I first heard this from a friend in Lagos and later had to Google it our on my own and there it was. They posted out picture and wrote defamatory articles underneath. Though it was without basis, it is still so shameful that some people will just sit in the comfort of their rooms and cook up stories about people and an event they don’t even know about. Whatever persons put this across have belittled and made mockery of the goals of the NYSC.” Speaking also, Atinuke Agunbiade who acted as Jamiu’s mother in the play said: “It’s really shocking! I just visited a corps member friend in Ogun State and I saw the picture on his Blackberry. We then Googled it and there it was all over the internet, ‘Corper impregnates 13-year-old student.’” Olubunmi, who played Tawa, was so dumbfounded she didn’t know what to say. “It’s embarrassing and very defamatory to the entire body of corps members. It’s really shameful. Those rumour mongers should be fetched and made to apologise for the damage they have done.” Boyce Obom, whose name is peddled round in the Internet reports as having impregnated a 13-year-old because he played Jamiu, said it was a tug of war trying to explain to his family that nothing happened. The corps members have, therefore, urged the general public to disregard any story relating to a corps member impregnating a 13-year-old girl as “it is nothing but mere rumour”.
On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600
•Students of Obafemi Awolowo University demonstrating against the hike of the price of sachet water on the campus
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Man, 91, is Britain’s oldest masters graduate B RITAIN'S oldest student has graduated from university aged 91- and is still planning to go on and do a PHD. Bertie Gladwin, 91, said he had "a lot of laughs" with students less than a third of his age. Image- Maso …Bertie Gladwin left school aged 14 with no interest in academia, later going on to have an extensive career in MI6. Now the former civil servant is celebrating gaining a distinction in Masters in Intelligence History from the University of Buckingham - despite being more than 60 years older than his course mates. Rather than studying at home, Bertie packed his bag and headed into lectures and seminars with the rest of the post-grad students, who were all in their early 20s.Like any other student, the OAP turned up late for his first lecture and got lost in the maze of corridors at university. The World War Two veteran was also left baffled by computers, which he had never used before he retired in 1987, and regularly deleted whole essays by mistake.
But while he struggled with some aspects of modern learning, the senior student had no problem getting to grips with his degree- having previously worked through two decades of intelligence history he studied. Bertie rose from his first job as a grocery delivery boy to become a radio communications engineer with the Foreign Office and secret service. As soon as he spotted the degree, Bertie - who still sends Morse code messages to friends across the world - knew it was perfect for him. "Most of what we handled isn't secret anymore, in fact I had to study some of it for my Masters," Bertie said. "It was a strange feeling to be reading about history in a textbook that you lived through yourself. When I started I was worried about being up to the challenge but once I got there I realised I could have been the most qualified person ever to do that course." Bertie, a resident of Milton Keynes, Bucks, admitted that he was a "late
bloomer" and said that he is considering attempting a PHD. "On the first day I couldn't find the class so I was around 20 minutes late and had to creep in the back of the room," he added. "You are never too old to learn, it's a pleasure to be able to carry on learning through your life and makes the experience all the more enjoyable. I found that my humour hadn't changed that much, even if I did seem a bit old fashioned compared to my friends we had a lot of laughs. "Going to university changed my whole attitude towards young people and I hope maybe I have shown them old people aren't too bad either.” Bertie Gladwin worked as a radio communications engineer with the Foreign Office and secret service. Image- Ma. Bertie graduated in March this year - just before his birthday, aged 90 - and was proudly watched by his wife Wendy, 79, who encouraged him to try university despite not even having A-levels. Bertie completed his first degree, a BA in psychology from the Open
AUN FILE Kukah, others honoured
University, in his mid-60s and followed it up with a BSc in Molecular biology which he finished in just two years, as he turned 70. Impressively, Bertie's masters is his third degree since retiring 25 years ago, after he completed a BA in Psychology and a BSc in Microbiology through the Open University. He took the British record for senior studying from the previous 89-yearold title holder. The current world record is currently held by a 96-year-old philosophy graduate from China. Culled from Yahoo.com
Auchi Poly alumni to build lecture theatre
HE National President, Auchi Polytechinc Alumni Association Chief Lance Momodu has announced plans by the association to erect a N200 million lecture theatre for the institution. In statement in Lagos, Momodu said the launching of an appeal fund for the lecture theatre project would take place in the institution on Saturday, June 2. He said the alumni body hopes to complete the project in two years. A statement signed by Momodu said the project ``all things being equal,'' the project would be completed. According to him, it is a project of four blocks with each having a130 capacity each, bringing the total sitting capacity to 520. He added that the school had earmarked a site for the construction of the project, while the architectural design of the model ready. The alumni said based on the
OVER 303 persons, including three dignitaries, were conferred with the American University of Nigeria's (AUN) Yola degrees at the forth commencement ceremony witnessed by more than 3,000 spectators. The occasion took place in the new Aliyu Musdafa Graduation hall on the main campus. Dignitaries include the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah; the Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Musdafa, and a founding board member, Dr. Robert Alan Pastor of the American University, Washington, DC. All three were conferred with the honorary doctorate. Other recipients were graduates of AUN's three schools - Arts & Sciences, Business & Entrepreneurship and Information Technology & Communications. Speaking at the event, the AUN President Margee Ensign, charged them to be good ambassadors of and to live up to the expectations of the wider society.
• From left: Vice-Chancellor Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Ago-Iwoye Prof Wale Are Olaitan; Pro-Chancellor/ Chairman Governing Council Dr Segun Oshin, two members of the Council Tope Popoola and Olalekan Adeyinka and the Registrar Femi Oyewole, during an interactive meeting with the members of the university community at the OOU premises
institution's academic profile, it is ripe to be upgraded to a degreeawarding institution. ``Our primary source of funding is our members and it would be the joy of all members of the alumni when that school becomes a degreeawarding institution.
``Each alumni member should pay a minimum of N50, 000 toward the project spread over six months,'' the statement added. It, however, appealed to all members of the alumni at home and in the diaspora to identify with the project. Momodu recalled that the alumni
association started a Drawing Studio block for the School of Engineering and Environmental Design, which was later abandoned. He, however, said the association intends to complete this project before moving on to the proposed lecture theatre.
School gets recognition
• Prof Vincent Tenebe National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) ViceChancellor and John W. A. Netting, Director-General Europe Business Assembly after receiving his award.
OREGOS Private Academy, Ipaja, Lagos, has demonstrated the stuff its pupils are made of. The school returned from an international competition in Houston-Texas in the United States, where her contingent which represented Nigeria made the country proud. The trio of Daniel Agu, Oluwatoyin Abass and Victor Adenuga, represented Nigeria in the science competition - International Sustainable World Project Olympiad Energy Engineering and environment) (I-Sweep). The event, which also had another Nigerian contingent from Omat Comprehensive High School, Ikorodu, saw the single and double projects submitted by Agu and Abass, as well as Adenuga all in the SSS 3 coming tops and being acknowledged recognition among the 455 of the 2,143 projects shortlisted at the competition. In the twin project, energy category, Agu and Abass, 14, constructed and designed a thermo solar refrigerator, while Adenuga won in the single category in the engineering aspect, designed Do not forget your key, a security device capable of reminding the house owner when he forgets his keys in the house. Describing the refrigerator at the school premises on Friday, Agu and
By Adegunle Olugbamila
Abass described their project as an environmental-friendly food preservatives device, which aside that it can preserve perishables permanently, its materials are also cheap. "It's a sola-panel device. The cost of the project is very attractive, especially to peasant farmers. Buying ammonia and the iron coils needed to construct the back of the refrigerator is also cheap. Overall, the refrigerator will minimise food wastage. Adenuga, 15, likened his do not forget your key, which comprises a transmitter and a receiver project will be most useful, especailly in this part of the world where people are often impatient. He said: “Like Lagos for example, people leave their home owing to usual chaotic traffic. The receiver is attached to the belt or bag in the case of women while the transmitter is attached to the key itself. Once you are seven meteres away from your home, the transmitter beeps, and never stops until one's hand touches the key wherever one left it." The project Co-ordinator, Lawal Olaode, who thanked the management for its support towards the project, said the achievements were worth the while owing to efforts and teamwork put into it over time.
THE graduating class of 2012 has expressed appreciation to the university faculty for the lasting values of honesty, integrity and punctuality inculcated in them in the course of their four-year study. These values, some of which they were forced to imbibe or remember, were generated during interaction with many lecturers, the students said. Mr Daniel Denis, the Class Speaker and representative, said though many of them disliked, even hated some lecturers or even called them names at the beginning, they soon learnt to conform to faculty and university expectations, thereby improving on performance and assimilation. "Today," he said, "all we can feel towards you is appreciation for your insistence, discipline and hard work.”
Varsity names hall after Lamido THE AUN has named its biggest multipurpose hall after the late Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Aliyu Musdafa. Musdafa, who died in 2010 was the longest-reigning monarch in Nigeria's emirate history. He was also was a benefactor of AUN, donating several hectares of land to the university. The 60-meter-long edifice, was opened by Musdafa's son and successor on the throne, Lamido Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa. He was accompanied to the cutting-of-tape ceremony by the AUN founder and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar and President Margee Ensign.
Founder unveils monument THE community has joined the AUN founder and Nigeria's former Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the First Circle after the main campus gate to unveil what can be best described as his monument of transition from humble beginnings to global dreams. The monument, a pillar of marble and stones, stands at about half a meter tall. It describes the university's origins and tells about AUN's goals for the future. The monument also identifies with the person of Alhaji Abubakar. Presenting the monument before the founder and members of the AUN, head of the AUN Plumbing Unit Mr. Dahiru Adamu, who supervised the project, said it was conceived to tell "the story of a Alhaji Abubakar, who worked through the rocky paths of life."
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
FEDPOFFA FILE Experts proffer solution to security THE Rector of the Polytechnic Dr. Mufutau Olatunde Olatinwo has urged experts to examine the need for the nation to encourage scientists and engineers to specialise in areas essential for the nation's security. Olatinwo spoke at the Third Engineering Conference of the Polytechnic entitled: Technological enhancement towards national security: The engineering intervention. He said:c"It is obvious now that we need to demonstrate advanced capabilities in intelligence gathering. This very vital security area requires competencies in systems engineering, Information technology and security, communications and networking as well as signal processing among others. "The need for appropriate technology has been supported by international agencies and professional groups as needed by developing countries such as Nigeria. The engineers, without Borders in United States (EWB-USA) after conducting a field study, asserted that there is an urgent need for appropriate technologies specific to the developing world.”
Poly to hold workshop THE institution has been picked by Students in Free Enterprises (SIFE) Nigeria to host the first edition of the Business Smart Competition on Monday, June 14. It is being organised in collaboration with FirstBank Plc The programme is in two parts: online business plan competition; and on-campus workshop on how to identify business opportunities. It would feature writing an effective business plan. First prize winner will go home with N10,000, while the second and the third prize winners will go home with N5,000 each.
APPROACHING DEADLINES IDB Scholarships for Muslims in Africa and Asia Islamic Development Bank Bachelors (BS) Degree Deadline: Rolling Study in: any Country Course starts 2012/2013 Brief description: The Scholarship Programme for Muslim Communities in Non-Member Countries was launched in 1404H (1983G) with the objective to provide educational opportunities for the academically meritorious and financially needy young Muslim students from Muslim communities in non-member countries to pursue undergraduate or first-degree study in a university and to train them in specific fields in order to improve their socio-economic conditions, preserve their cultural and religious identities and make a meaningful contribution to the development of their communities and countries. Host Institution(s): The Scholarship is tenable at recognised government or private universities in the students' own countries. Students may also be sent to IDB member countries which provide places for IDB students in their universities. Fields of study: At present, the Programme focuses on medicine, engineering, agriculture and other related fields such as dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary science, nursing, nutrition study, computer science, forestry and fishery. Only for the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries with their special needs has the IDB approved the inclusion of additional areas of study such as administration, management, marketing, finance, banking and accountancy.
Important Note: The scholarship is given as an interest-free-loan (qard hasana) to the students and as a grant to the Muslim communities to which they belong. Under the Programme, the students are required to repay the loan after graduation and gainful employment, in easy installments, to a Waqf (Trust) set up by the IDB in each non-member country benefiting from the Programme. Eligibility: The Scholarship Programme is intended to be for academically meritorious but financially needy Muslim students with strong desire to engage in social services and community development. They must also be able to meet the following eligibility criteria: •Maximum of 24 years; •Completed senior secondary education (or the equivalent of approximately 12 years of education) with good grades in major science subjects •Secured admission in one of the disciplines covered under the Programme at a recognized college or university in their own countries; and •Not in receipt of any other scholarship at the time of application and during studies. •Recommended by the local community leaders or Muslim Organisations through the IDB Selection Procedures. Application instructions: The Application Form must be properly completed and submitted to the Counterpart Organisations in the country, accompanied by all the required documents, as follows: attested copies of birth certificate, diploma, transcript, and proof of admission. It is important to visit the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.
TRCN warns against quacks recruitment
O clear teaching of quacks, the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Lagos State chapter, has warned employers including state governments to desist from employing quacks or graduates without teaching qualification. A statement signed by the Lagos State Co-ordinator of the Council, Mr Enilolobo Gbolahan, stated that henceforth, the Council will no longer tolerate culprits either in the public or private sector. Gbolahan said as an agency of
By Musa Ramat
the Federal Ministry of Education, TRCN has the statutory power to regulate teaching. It said: "The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria is an agency of the Federal Ministry of Education, established as a professional body for teaching by Act 31 of 1993. Since inception, the Council has been doing everything to rid the teaching profession of quacks." It further said any prospective teacher as well as serving ones have
been mandated to obtain professional certificates and licences from the council as a condition for either being employed or retained as a qualified and professional teacher. "Similarly, employers are also urged to co-operate and support the Council on the professionalisation exercise by making TRCN certificate and license compulsory in education policy and halt the recruitment of non-educational graduates into the system for the betterment of the profession,” it added.
•TRCN Registrar/ Chief Executive, Prof Addison Nwokocha
Fed Govt boosts education for girl-child
Lagos hailed on teachers capacity building LAGOS State Government has been hailed for championing capacity building for teachers. The former National Chairman of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the association, Dr. Tunde Owolabi Lawal, said this at a training organised for physics teachers at the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC), Ikeja, Lagos. He said the aim of the workshop was to enrich teachers' knowledge in modern trends in physics so they could impart what they have learnt to pupils. He described the state as a pace setter, adding: "This is why the state is known as the Centre of Excellence." He urged other states to emulate Lagos in education and other sectors. STAN National Chairman, Physics Panel, Chief Clement Udoh, said: "We want to train physics teachers in modern teaching methods so that the subject will be attractive to pupils in secondary schools." "There is no doubt that pupils in public schools run away from science subjects, especially physics. We want them to find the subject interesting. This is why we are training physics teachers in current trends in imparting knowledge to pupils so that they will find the subject attractive and develop interest in it," Udoh added.
Number of Awards: Not specified Target group: The scholarships are for Muslims from the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, China, Congo, Cote d Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia. D R of Congo (Zaire), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, India, Kenya, Kosovo, Kibris (Northern Cyprus), Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vanuatu (The Pacific), Vietnam, Zambia, Zanzibar (Tanzania), and Zimbabwe. Scholarship value/inclusions: The IDB Scholarship Programme covers the following items: •tuition-fee(*) and other related academic expenses, such as examination fees, laboratory fees, etc., payable to the universities directly; • monthly stipend commensurate with the cost of living in the country of study; •books/clothing allowance, the equivalent of three months monthly stipends, once a year; • cost of medical treatment (either at the university or local state hospital); and •cost of one pair of eye-glasses, once during the entire period of study(if needed). (*) Not applicable to all benefiting students. For the students who are selected to study outside of their own countries, the IDB also provides them with economy class tickets to and from the countries of study (once at the beginning and at the end of study.
• Wike and UBEC officials during an inspection of projects in Kwandara, Nasarawa State
HE Federal Government is determined to ensure that the girl-child has access to quality education so that they could contribute meaningfully to national development. As a result, it is building schools for them. These schools are being constructed through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). They are being superved by
the Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike. The schools, when completed, will have state-of-the-art facilities for the education of the less-privileged girls. Facilities in these schools will include hostels, library, staff quarters, and modern classrooms for the girls to learn. Wike has started monitoring the construction of these schools spread
in 16 states. Work in the two states has reached 70 per cent completion and the contractors are expected to hand the projects over to the Federal Government in three months. At the Yola South site in Adamawa State, Wike expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of work, stressing that the contractor and the consultant to the project must double their efforts or face sanction.
The minister noted that the contractors handling the projects have no reason to delay because the Federal Government has never defaulted on the release of funds for the execution of the jobs. Wike said: "There is no excuse for any contractor handling the construction of the girl-child schools to delay the job. We will not tolerate any form of requests for variation in the future if contractors fail to deliver on approved timelines because the Federal Government is meeting up on its financial obligations to the contractors." In Nasarawa State, Wike promised that the Federal Government would work towards empowering the girlchild through quality education. Speaking in Kwandara, Nasarawa State, after inspecting another project, Wike said President Jonathan's administration is determined to ensure that no section of the society is denied access to quality education. He said the population of girls that are out of school in different parts of the country necessitated the need to construct schools dedicated to addressing their educational needs. At the school site in Kwandara, the minister expressed happiness with the quality of work. He, however, asked the contractor to pull down the roof of the hostel and effect correction. He was accompanied on the inspection by the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr Ahmed Modibo Mohammed and officials of the Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Lagos Edu. District rewards staff
AGOS State Model College, Badore has won six awards at the Sixth Merit Award and Send off of its Education District Three. The school clinched awards in different categories. They inlude Best Principal; the Best Vice-Principal; Best Teacher; and, Best Non-Teaching Staff all in the junior category. It also won the Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology Week Exhibition, and the Best Junior School awards. The recipients are Mr Fatai Adio Lawal, Mrs Margaret Kolawole, Mr Olumide Fatoki, and Mr W. A. Adelodun. A total of 24 schools were at the ceremony with each winning one or two awards. This was in addition to a send off for about 23 officers of the district who wre mostly between levels 16 and 17. Speaking at the event, the district's Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary, Mrs Muyinat idris, said it is an honour to celebrate people that strive for excellence in their assignments and have impacted significantly on the administration of education in the district. She said: "It is with pride that I present to you an elite corps of our staff. They have distinguished themselves in their various assignments." In her own speech, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs
•From right: Mr Fatai, Mrs Ibrahim Mopelola, Mrs Idris, Mr Yishawu, Mrs Oladunjoye and other recipients at the event. By Medinat Kanabe
Olayinka Oladunjoye, commended the teachers for doing a great job. She also reminded parents of their duty to take care of the children. She said: "Many don't have them (children) and would do anything to have them.They are our pride and tomorrow." She advised pupils, too, warning that though they can become rich without acquiring formal education, that would leave a big gap in their lives. The Chairman of the event, Gbolahan Yishawu of the Lagos
State House of Assembly, said the most important thing one can give to a workers is to bring out the best in them is motivation. He congratulated the awardees and advised them not to relent on their effort. Odo-Obara Senior High School, Epe, represented by Kareem Samson, received award for coming first in the Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology, Camp Science Competition. Adeleye Oyinlomo from Aunty Ayo Comprehensive Girls Senior Secondary school, also got the Best
Well Behaved Pupil; Wahab Falawiyo Senior High School, Ikoyi was awarded for coming third in the Lagos Carnival. Oyebanji Abdullahi, Fausat Yinus and Ramat Omotosho, both from the Epetedo Senior High School, Lagos Island, were awarded for coming third and second in the 800m, 4×400m in the National School Sports festival, in Calabar. Olowu Rilwan and Anslem Chinenye of the King Ado Senior High School, Lagos Island and Akande Dahunsi Memorial Senior High School, Ikoyi both came sec-
ond in the 4×400 and High Jump at the National School Sports festival, in Calabar. Adepeju Kaosara and Yunusa Sodiq of the Eko Aketee Junior Grammar School came first in the BRF Quiz Competition Final; while her counterpart, Miss Grace Adeniyi of the Lafiaji Senior High School, Lagos Island and came second at the Art and Culture Quiz competition. Aside, special recognitions were also given to communities and private bodies that have contributed to the development of the schools.
Corona holds Vocation Day By Adegunle Olugbamila
• From left: Proprietor Restoration for Abused People (RAP) Nigeria, Mrs. Akeji Ajibola; a facilitator in engineering Ibrahim Aderemi; Administrator Glowing Brain School, Patrick Oyinkar; Project Manager, RAP, Prince Christian Adigwe, Deputy Director Guidance and Counselling Unit, Education District Maryland, Mrs. Theresa Ifeanyi-Akaeze and Divisional Crime Officer, Nigerian Police Force, Igbogbo, Ikorodu Division; ASP Abdulfatai Adigun, at a workshop on career counselling at Homat Basic School, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos. PHOTO: DAVID ADEJO
Alumni donate N32m classrooms to alma mater
T was joy galore for pupils and teachers at the African Church Grammar School, Ita - Eko, Abeokuta as the old students of the college donated a block of eight classrooms worth N32million to their alma mater. The structure, which can accommodate 400 pupils conveniently at a time, was a project initiated and executed by the school's Old Students Association with the assistance of the Nigerian Breweries Plc. The Ogun State Governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun is an alumnus of the school. The National President of African Church Grammar School Old Stu-
From Mariam Sanni, Abeokuta
dents Association (ACGSOSA),Mr Clement Oke, who addressed reporters during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association, at the school, said they were driven by the desire to improve upon the learning and teaching environment of their alma mater. Oke said the foundation of what most members of ACGSOSA have attained in the society was rooted in the school; hence the need to give back to make it up to the school for the discipline they acquired as pupils. He reckoned that the recurrent
mass failure in public exams could be attributed partly to the congestion often experienced in the classrooms, adding that the facility would reduce the congestion and enhance conducive and sustainable learning environment. "If pupils are not learning under a conducive environment, their potential cannot be fully realised. Even if the best teachers are acquired, there will not be any form of assimilation," he said. He, however, deplored the increasing acts of exam malpractices among pupils in secondary schools, blaming parents who sometimes encourage the act.
He attributed the development to moral decadence, which he stressed, could destroy the potential of the pupils. He called for a re-orientation of parents and their wards to take the part of honour, dignity and honest achievement to curtail the vice. The association’s helmsman also lamented the involvement of secondary school pupils in cultism and other related matters, warning those indulging in the act to desist from it as that would not augur well for them as future leaders. He admonished school administrators and parents to pay more attention to the children in their care.
HE Lagos State Model College, Kankan in Badagry has emerged first in a quiz competition, which was part of the activities marking Corona Secondary School Technical and Vocational Day. The contest focused more science, mathematics, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as general studies. The college won with 44 points to beat other three invited schools - AOCOED International School Otto/Ijanikin; Adie-Owe Grammar School, Adie-Owe Ogun State and Augusta International School, Ijanikin with 34, 30 and 25 points. But beyond the competition were an array of technical and vocational works displayed by the participants at an exhibition. The open field of the school became colourful as pupils, guests and teachers shopped and bought goods ranging from textile, beads, oil, electronics inverters, bangles, artworks, mostly made and displayed by the pupils. The guest speaker Mr Joshua Ojon an engineer charged the participants to develop a vision to guide them in achieving their goals in life. "What you do not see, you cannot achieve. Whatever you decided to become comes from your vision. He listed focus, discipline motivation and drive as values participants must imbibe to get to the top. Ojo an engineer noted that the imperativeness of learning a vocation alongside one's education, noting that even today, the Federal Government has realised vocation and technical education is the only key the nation needs to unlock her potential and become an industrially and economically advanced. Ojo further admonished participants to associate with like minds' who share their dreams vis-a-vis cultivating both realistic and dependable goals in their lives' careers.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
EDUCATION NUC condoles with UNILAG
Why Nigeria varsities cannot be among first 10 in Africa, by don
ICE-CHANCELLOR, Wesley University of Science and Technology, Ondo State, Prof. Tola Badejo, has said Nigerian universities cannot be among the 10 best in Africa in the next five years, except certain structures were put in place. Badejo stated this during the Biennial lecture of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe Alumni Association, Ekpoma Branch in Edo State. He said: "I don't foresee any university in Nigeria coming top in Africa in the next five or 10 years unless things are done right now". He said they can only excel if adequate funding and quality management are committed to them. Speaking on Hurdles to cross by Nigerian universities on the tortuous road to world class status, Badejo
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
urged universities irrespective of proprietorship to seek excellence in and ensure intellectual freedom as well as operate on a high level and make honesty their watchword. Badejo faulted the criteria used in the ranking of universities, saying they were not in favour of the universities. He listed the criteria for assessing university status to include the number of Nobel Laureates produced by such university, which results from quality of education, quality of faculty, research output in form of articles, which must be published in nature and science journals and size of the institution. "The best university in Nigeria
in 2010 (University of Ilorin) came 55th in Africa and 5,484th in the world. This university will have to beat more than 5,000 universities in the world to be among the first 10 in Africa," he said. He, however, urged vice-chancellors to set up committees that would look into educational policies in South Africa, Europe and United States to advise the government on the improvment of some policies. He stated that the panacea for improvement in world ranking included excellent learning facilities for instruction and training in variety of branches of knowledge, adequate funding, improved quality of management and enabling political environment must be provided for the universities to attain world class status.
HE Executive Secretary National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof Julius Okojie has commiserated with the University of Lagos (UNILAG) over the death of its Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe. Okojie, who paid a condolence visit to the university on Monday,
said Sofoluwe's passing is a great loss, not only to his immediate family, UNILAG and Nigeria, but also to the academic community,within and outside the country. He described the late Professor of Computer Science as a distinguished alumnus of UNILAG, who had made great contributions to his field of expertise. He prayed God to grant his family and the university community the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Okojie who lamented that Sofoluwe death at 62, came at a significant time in the history of UNILAG which was planning to roll out drums for her 50th anniversary. The NUC helmsman therefore prayed that God grants the management and family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss.
Redeemed Church sponsors youths ICT training
•From left: Co-initiator, L4L Club, Mr Tunde Arogunmati; Vice-Patron, Nigerian-Britain Association, Mr Phil Hall; Mrs. Maricyn Drennan and Chief Marketing Officer, Golden Penny, Mr Clive Cottrell, at the opening of Golden Penny L4L computer centre, at Kuramo Primary School, Victoria Island, Lagos.
HE Redeemed Christian Church of God (Rehoboth Parish), Ikosi-Ketu, Lagos has trained 120 youths drawn from from different parts of the country on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The youth acquired free training in web design and computing. This initiative was to make the trainees good citizens and capable of contributing their share to the nation's development, the provincial head of the church, Pastor Brown Onyinso, said. He said the church took the initiative to participate in youth empowerment to make them economically active, and reduce the number of the unemployed. He said the gesture was the idea of the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who charged parishes to contribute to their environment. On the modalities for the training, the Deputy Provincial Pastor/ Head of the CSR Department, Pastor Sola Agunbiade, said the youth
OOU Pro-Chancellor seeks co-operation among workers
HE new Pro-chancellor/ Chairman Olabisi Onabanjo University Dr Segun Oshin has called for a harmonious relationship in the university. He urged stakeholders in the university to team up to ensure that the lost glory of the university is restored. Oshin spoke during a meeting with the members of the university at its main campus. In a statement the institution's Public Relations Officer, Mr Sam Oyeleye, said the Pro-Chancellor pleaded for understanding on cases of injustice, which he lamented, had negatively impacted on the system. He assured that workers' benefits and privileges would not be denied them. He also assured that those due for promotions would get it, adding that prompt payment of salaries, students/staff welfare and other quality assistance for improved academic standard would be addressed. Describing incessant strikes and union restiveness during its trying times as factors, which had given the university a bad name, Oshin urged members to see dialogue as a viable alternative in resolving crisis. He apologised to lecturers, especially professors and seasoned administrators,who disengaged from the university during its trying times. In a related development, the
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Wale Olaitan, has said the major problem affecting the institution is the backlog of results. He said: "I am happy to report, however, that with the support of our staff members, we have been able to produce a substantial number of these outstanding results. Just a few days ago, the Senate met
at an emergency session, just as it has had to do in the past two years, to consider all outstanding results for the 2009/2010 session. “I am told that we still have a few cases of results for the 2009/ 2010 session that could not be considered at that Senate meeting, but these are such that would not detract from the success of what we
have been able to achieve for the session. The Senate has followed this up with the resolution to go ahead with the same fervor to consider the results for the 2010/2011 session with the proviso that no department would be allowed to present results for the 2010/2011 session without clearing all the 2009/2010 results.”
By Ajose Sehindemi
were drawn from different parts of the country through online application where 150 participants were chosen, but at the end, only 120 persons qualified. Agunbiade said the training was a three-month programme, where youths were taught web designing and other applications free. He added that the church ruled out religious or ethnic affiliation in its choice of the applicants. "It may interest you to know that most of the graduands were not members of the church but came from different religious backgrounds as there were Muslims among them. On sustenance of the programme, the Pastor of the parish, Abimbola Olanrewaju, said the church has concluded arrangements to go into other areas of development where the impact would be felt more by the people. Olanrewaju said apart from the free IT training, provision and maintainace of street lights will also be looked into by the parish. On the benefits of the programme to the graduands, the trainer and Head of Web Hero Professionals (WEBHPRO), Mr Taiwo Miller, said the ICT sector is yet to be fully developed, noting that the sector being a fertile ground, still presents opportunities to the graduands. Miller urged them not to abandon the knowledge from the training, adding that their expansion and pursuit of it will make them economically active, as they will grow, develop the economy and the nation at large.
•Founder, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Prince Bola Ajibola (4th right), and donor, Mr Haroon Adekilekun (5th from left) with principal officers of the university at the presentation of computers to the university.
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THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
POLITICS THE NATION
The Niger State House of Assembly has impeached five Speakers in the last five years. The development has brought instability in the operations of the legislative arm. JIDE ORINTUNSIN examines the trend and efforts to restore sanity.
House battles impeachment of Speakers I
T was once adjudged the most peaceful legislative house in the country. Between 1999 and 2007, the Niger State House of Assembly enjoyed a stable leadership. Even when a first-timer in politics, the late Alhassan Jikantoro, was in the saddle in 1999, he successfully steered the affairs of the house. But for his untimely death late 2006, Jikantoro would have been the only Speaker under the eight-year administration of former Governor Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure. But in the last five years, peace has eluded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dominated Assembly. No fewer than six speakers have been elected to lead the 27-man legislative House. All but one were impeached. Between 2007 and 2011, the House had three Speakers. Mohammed Alkali, who was first elected, was given the boot after two years in office. The dramatic emergence of Saidu Idris in 2009 also foreclosed the fact that he would remain in office much longer as he left unceremoniously. The emergence of Idris did not go down well with the executive arm; overnight, the report of a commission of inquiry that indicted him hit the public domain and before the House reconvened at the dawn of the day, the Speaker threw in the towel and quietly stepped aside. He led the House for only three days. This development paved the way for the emergence of the third Speaker, Umar Ma’ali, who successfully completed the remaining two years of the term. With the end of the four-year-term, political watchers and the electorate thought the end has come to the crisis-ridden legislative house. But the 7th Legislative Assembly in its first year, has elected three speakers, with two of them within a week. Despite the continued dominance of the ruling party in the Assembly, concerned stakeholders are at a loss that three Speakers have sat on the same chair within a year. Unlike the previous impeachments that enjoyed opposition lawmakers’ backing, the leadership crisis rocking the Assembly is limited to members of the ruling PDP. So far, the three Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) lawmakers in the hallowed chamber, have kept their distance from the impeachment saga. The crack in the House was first noticed last month when the leadership of the PDP in the state intervened in the impending impeachment move by 20 of its 24 lawmakers. Former Speaker Mohammed Gamunu was accused among other things, of incompetence, unholy alliance with the executive arm of government, refusal to call for plenary session since April 17 and failure to listen to useful and wise counsel from colleagues. So, by May 15, the G20 in the House made good their threat and Gamunu’s era as Speaker became history. Evidence of the disaffection of members for Gamunu’s leadership first manifested at Mashegu, headquarters of Mashegu Local Government, where he was abandoned for more than an hour unattended to at the commissioning of constituency projects of the former Chief Whip, Saidatu Kolo. Though the message was clear to Gamunu, but he latched on to the backing of the executive arm and the party leadership. He expected bothcooleagues against rocking the boat. But it was a costly mistake as in the penultimate weekend, when members of the G20 quietly sneaked out of the state capital to a remote village in Katcha, in Katcha Local Government Area of the state, where an agreement was reached on how to remove Gamunu and three other principalwho are party members. The secret meeting also determined who gets what. The Katcha meeting sealed the fate of Gamunu and three other principal officers including deputy speaker, majority leader and the chief whip. Justifying the action of the members, House Committee chairman on Information, Bashiru Mohammed Lokogoma, said: “Gamunu was not relating well with members, even on is-
sues of legislative duties. He took the House as if it was his personal property and he knew that the odds were against him. Even when we advised him, he failed to learn. So, we wanted him to know that the State Assembly is not all about Gamunu.” The leadership of Isah Kawu, who was verwhelmingly endorsed to repalce Gamunu, was arallying point for PDP and opposition lassemblymen. The euphoria that greeted the emergence of Kawu cut across the party lines. Major opposition political parties in the state took turn to laud and commend him. Youths in several towns and villages rolled out the drums to celebrate the man they all described as “forthright, disciplined and focused.” The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) took the lead to congratulate the new Speaker and the whole House and other parties took their turns. The party, through its state chairman, Malam Umar Shuaibu, described the election of Kawu as a victory for democracy. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) hailed the courage of the House for electing Kawu. The All Nigeria of Peoples Party (ANPP), through Mr David Umaru in a letter, said the emergence of Kawu was a testimony of his track record in the legislative arm. His consistent refusal to compromise his principled stance for probity and accountability as against corruption and allied tendencies showed he is of good character. However, it was alleged that the emergence of Kawu did not go well with the executive arm of government and a section of the ruling party. As a person of high integrity, who is believed to be highly principled, uncompromising and independent, they saw him as a hard nut to crack. Embittered by their removal, Gamunu and three other sacked principal officers, headed for the court to quash Kawu’s emergence on May 15. The party leader at the zonal and state levels held series of meetings to convince the lawmakers to revert to the status quo. By the weekend, speculations over alleged N10 million bribe by the state government, to each member of the G20 to remove Kawu had spread. But the Commissioner for Information Malam Danladi Abdulhamid denied government’s involvement in the drama.
Overtures made by the ruling party and some agents of government to Kawu to resign failed. Unlike Idris whose removal was effected by the government based on a White Paper report on the recommendation of the Mayaki panel of inquiry in 2009, there was no formal allegation or indictment against the Bida born politician. He told those who cared to hear that he will never resign. R rather, he advised his colleagues to follow the same path that led to his election to get him out of office. The political development defied all solutions and tensions continued to heighten. The security agencies in the state were immediately mobilised to take over strategic points in the state capital, especially the ‘Alhassan Jikantoro House of Assembly’. Taking advantage of the wekend holiday, the poweres that be moved and monouvred their ways. In the wee hours of Monday, it was so glaring that the stage was set to show Kawu the way out. The uncomfortable development
‘It is sad that the peace and stability for which the House was reputed, have taken a flight. Our House is now Niger House of commotion’
and for fear that their son (Kawu) may lose the exalted office, forced his kinsmen, under the aegis of ‘Servant Leadership Group’ to storm Minna from Bida to show their support and solidarity. They threatened to resist any attempt by the executive arm to remove Kawu from office. The iImpeachment fever was palpable when the House reconvened on Tuesday as the premises had been taken over by armed policemen and State Security Service (SSS) officials. Only the lawmakers and some support emploees were allowed to drive in their cars to the Assembly. The roads leading to the Assembly and their quarters were condoned off by fierce-looking armed military men. By the time the business of the House began, Mr. Andrew Doma of Shiroro Constituency, set the tone for impeachment when he moved a motion under matter of urgent public importance. He moved a vote of no confidence on Kawu. Though, he failed to articulate the sins of Kawu, he only said he moved the motion because members have lost confidence in the leadership of the House. The motion was supported by Abbas Waziri, representing Magama Constituency. But before the motion was put to vote, the Minority Leader, Mohammed Nurudeen countered the motion, demanding for specific reasons why Kawu should be removed. Nurudeen’s counter motion suffered an over whelming ‘Nay’ voice vote, as the “ayes” had their way. When put to vote on the orders of Kawu, who presided over the session, 21 lawmakers voted for his removal while, three CPC members voted for his retention. Thus, Kawu became the fifth Speaker of the Assembly to be impeached within the last five years. He, however, bowed out of the office with his head above his shoulders. In less than 10 minutes, the new and the third Speaker within one legislative year, Adamu Usman had been sworn in by the Clerk of the House. The new Speaker, Usman, a one-time Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, is seen in many quarters as the government’s choice. He rejected the notion that his emegence was influenced by the government. The new speaker will want people to see his coming on board as divine and by the internal arragement of the law-making chamber. He said: “What happened today (Tuesday) was purely an internal matter of the legislative arm; there was no pressure or influence from any quarter. “We met last week and changed our leaders and today, the House has decided to effect another change. It was an internal thing that has no external influence.” Promising to collaborate with other arms of government and ensure the progress of the state, Usman refuted speculations that the executive arm induced members with money to get his predecessor removed. “Decision to remove former Speaker was a collective one,” he said, ‘nobody has collected N10 million or whatever amount as being peddled. “As far as I am concerned, nobody collected money. There was no inducement for us to arrive at today’s decision.” But Adamu Aliyu, the Director-General of David Umaru campaign organisation punctured the Usman’s claim. He said: “Even a baby can see the voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau in the whole episode at the Assembly. “Members of the public were happy when Kawu emerged. Our hope for a functional Assembly was rekindled, but it is a pity with what happened on the floor of the House on Tuesday. “The House has lost its fame and honour and our lawmakers have murdered sleep in that House. I foresee more impeachments ahead. “It is sad that the peace and stability for which the House was reputed, have taken a flight. Our House is now Niger House of commotion.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Expert harps on benefits of coffee
ONTRARY to popular belief, coffee contains some antioxidants which help the body against stress, a nutritionist with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Dr. Bartholomew Brai, has said. He stated this at the annual conference of medical doctors in Abuja. According to him, it is high time medical doctors desisted from spreading the myth that coffee is dangerous to health. Brai, who is a member of the Ignite Scientific Group, said every day people are exposed to many sources of oxidation stress such as inflammation, pollution, cigarette smoke and other free radicals, and these initiate chain reactions that can damage DNA, protein and lipids. But with the antioxidants provided by food and coffee, the body is immuned
against stress. The nutritionist also said from research it was discovered that coffee helps in enhancing mental and physical performance, lowers the risk of ailments such as Type 2-diabetes, Colon cancer, Hepatic diseases, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, among others. He said coffee contains bioactives such as caffeine, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins which implies that it does not only contribute to the daily recommended needs of the body, but also plays a major role in reducing the risk of contracting some diseases. He said recent studies have indicated that a lower risk of coronary heart disease among moderate coffee drinkers is connected to the presence of antioxidants found in coffee. “Caffeine, which is always be-
ing used to condemn coffee, is the most widely consumed pharmacologically active substance in the world. It is also found in tea, cocoa, chocolate products, soft and energy drinks and a variety of both the prescription and over the counter drugs”, he stated. He regretted that health care practitioners are not excluded in the spread of the negative myth on coffee and health. He explained that it is the identified gap in knowledge that motivated the programme. “The Ignite programme seeks to educate Nigerians on the health benefits of coffee by providing adequate and accurate information. It seeks to raise awareness on coffee benefits, dispel some misconceptions and fears about coffee and enhance favourable disposition to coffee and health campaign by the medical and scientific community in Nigeria,” he said.
•A cup of coffee
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Benabiotic, from staph to enlarged prostate • I would like to represent BENABIOTICS
he last time I did this was about 10 years ago, when this Nigerian herbal remedy against staphylococcus aureus made its entry into the Lagos market. I remember being involved in trials to probe its efficacy. Hardly anyone I recommended to Health Forever Products Ltd for free treatment came back without a cure. Later, Benabiotics was found useful in the treatment of gonorrhea and some other veneral diseases. I am re-presenting this product for prostate enlargement, an epidemic of which would appear to be in town. Until a few years ago, prostate enlargement, which could be benign, that is not so dangerous or cancerous, was an old man's disease, affecting senior citizens in the 60-70 age bracket. Now, it is common to find sufferers in their 40s and 50s. The prostate gland surrounds the neck of the bladder. Among its various functions, it produces secretions which enhance male sexual vitality and fertility. From the bladder, a tube passes through it to deliver urine to the penile shaft for voiding. An enlarged prostate narrows this tube, completely blocking or reducing urine flow. The consequences may include bladder and kidney infections and poisoning; weakening and damage. Sufferers void little quantities of urine at a time, and have to use the bathroom several times in a short period. Night sleep is often disturbed by this. Congestions in the bladder may cause waist and lower back pain as warning signals. The urine doesn't project like a missile but dribbles. Many causes have been suggested for enlarged prostate. This include deficiency of zinc which causes 5-Alpha Reductive, an enzyme, to stimulate overgrowth of prostrate tissue by promoting conversion of testosterone, the male hormone, to dihydrotestosterone, a dangerous hormone. Colon congestion or constipation is also named. A leaking colon allows poisonous fecal matter to seep on the prostrate thereby enlarging it through the inflammation induced by infection. Candida and other micro-organisms may be having a field day. Sitting for long periods of time and taking a long time to answer the call of nature are also said to increase pelvic pressure and cause enlargement. Otunba Olajuwon Okubena, Chief Executive of Health Forever Products Limited, producers of Jobelyn, the star Nigerian herbal antioxidant blood formula, had given Benabiotics for
years to many prostate enlargement sufferers before he thought of documenting clinical effects of this product. That was after he returned from a holiday in the United States where he underwent medical check-ups which found his prostate was enlarged. A normal prostate measures between 0 and four counts on a Prostate Sensitive Antigen (PSA) measurement in the blood. At 9.8, his PSA was more than double the permissible level for disease free prostate. The doctors wanted to surgically take a sample of the prostrate tissue for analysis to be sure it wasn't cancerous. Biopsies such as this had so aggravated silence prostrate cancers in America that it is now left alone, since it became known that many men with prostate cancer were not dying from it per se but from other causes. Mr Okubena returned home and treated himself with BENABIOTICS. The American check, at Washington Village, was on June 22, 2010, about two years ago. Over the next four months, the carried out checks at Echo-Scan Services Limited in Opebi, Ikeja, La-
gos. The five months results, including the original one in America, are • June 22, 2010………9.8ng/ml • July 24, 2010………..6.2ng/ml • August 28, 2010…….5.6ng/ml • October 2, 2010……..4.9ng/ml • November 5, 2010…..1.8ng/ml Mr Okubena, 68, thereafter kept records of men with prostate enlargement he gave BENABIOTIC in 2011.The daughter of one of them is a senior medical consultant in the United States. He was 74 and his records, with Echo Scan Services Limited were • April 14, 2011……18 • May 2011…………..7.5 • June 11, 2011……..10 • July 13, 2011………..5.7 This was later to drop to 2.0, a safe limit. On April 1, 2011 another the man whose son was a senior medical director in the United States with lab no. 6061 and a PSA of 65. reported to him. ON April 30 (lab no. 6230) the PSA crashed from 65 to 54 and on June 3, from 54 to 31.3. The crashes continued in July (lab no. 6692) from 31.3 to 26. By September (lab no. 7131) the PSA crash hit 1.0. Yet another 2011 case history (lab no. 5773) began with 7.6 on February 7, rising (lab no.6168) to 7.8 in April before crashing (lab no. 6645) to 3.7 in June. Except for Mr Okubena who was 68, the other men were on their 70s. The reports did not indicate if the conditions were cancerous. Even if they were just cases of Benign Prostrate Hyperplasia, which deserves concern as well, it has been proven, I believe, that BENABIOTICS can hold down this condition which menaces many men, young and old. And if the old men, theoretically with dwindling immunity can reverse this condition using BENEBIOTICS, it should, in my new, help younger men in double quick time if, biologically, their calendrically younger bodies are not older than of those old men:
These older men Closing this presentation of BENABIOTICS, I look forward to another frontier breakthrough for this stablemate of the well known JOBELYN.
Sex, as an elixir and a poison
HAT is sex? This is a million dollar question so easy to answer because any fool can pull the strings and play the music. Yet, for the serious minded person who experiences life not at the surface of events, this simple question can be mind bogging. Sex has caused wars among nations. It has ruined the lives of men and women trapped in the fires it makes. It has broken otherwise sweet marriages and ruined promising and great corporate organisations in which the knees of chief executive weaken and buckle before lack luster women in whose briefs their brains appear tucked. What doesn’t sex do? I have the privilege of having lunch with a group of Big Boys recently when this evergreen question erupted again. If you heard them talk about the Big V.D., and you were uninitiated, you’d think researchers had discovered a super venereal disease or something like that. NO. The big V.D. is, simply, Vaginal Dryness, from which many women suffer today, making them uncompetitive in the gudgeoning sex market. We may come to this later. I am more interested, meanwhile, in these serious questions raised by these big boys, henceforth called BBs. As many of them were married but gave marriage boundaries scant respect, the question of ADULTERY naturally arose. Is adultery committed when a man goes after the wife of another and vice versa? Is it not possible for a man and a wife validly married in church or by the statue to commit adultery with each other? What is Sex, anyway? I woke up from fellow feelings. For me, sex is a natural requirement, like food, air, water and exercise, of a healthy human body. With this notion, I had always countermined my cousin who, at family meetings to resolve sex questions with her husband, always asked if sex was food. However, a frigid woman like her would have a point if the demand of the husband wasn’t natural. Remember that, for sex to be rated like food or water like natural requirement of the human body, that demanding body must be HEALTHY. The bodies of many men and women are anything but healthy. Their nerves are overwrought or overcharged and merely seeking for an external agent to calm them. A man who has heard so much sex talk during the day, seen so many seminude women as an accompaniment, and whose sex instinct has been sharpened several folds by red meat is so worked up that he hardly cares how he dissipates excess energy. Women, too, don’t help matters. As boys, we dared not speak any how to women, from fear of being dealt “dirty” slaps on the face. Today’s woman laughs approvingly when cast in “dirty” words! We cannot define sex by the standard of this cesspool. There are many serious minded people, men and women, who are not happy in their marriages and are seeking happiness outside the in marriage frontier. We mustn’t forget that man is on earth to find happiness in the wonderful Creation of his God. Creation is not an accident. There is a reason the Creator brought it about. Thus, there is a reason for everything. Man is on earth for such self-development, spiritually, which makes him qualified to return to, and to live in the spiritual World, PARADISE. Everything he does, whether employment or marriage, is meant to give him an opportunity to accomplish this master goal. In marriage, there is abundant op-
portunity to love another soul. God is Love. And, as his is his creatures, we must love and be loved. When, in or out of marriage, play given the sexual instincts procreates, still more opportunities abound to love ... in the love of the offspring.This love glows through about basic parental four responsibilities. • Physical protection of the infant and child • Education of the intellect to afford skills for eking a living as an adult. • Mind development, to properly situate the young one on earth, and • Connection of the young soul with the Creator. But since marriage, like procreation, is not the prime purpose of earthly existence, we must wonder why the sexual instinct is afforded the man or woman who is interested in neither. This will lead us to the separation of the essence of man into the genders, male and female. Such contemplation must conflict with the Creation stories of many religion. If, as an example, Adam and Eve were the two first humans, and they gave rise to Cain and Abel, and Cain killed Abel, where did Cain find a wife to populate the world? Religious scholars have tried to fill the gap that Adam and Eve had other children, some of them daughters. The gap-filling will suggest that Cain committed incest which religion says is a sin. Some scholars have tried to say incest wasn’t a sin in the days of Adam and Eve. Such arguments tend to forget that the Creator and His Will were perfect from the beginning of Time, that Perfection from a beginning implies no possibility of changes through Eternity, otherwise that which improves was not perfect. To start with, isn’t that why we say of Him ... the same yesterday, today and forever? So, if the gap-filling cannot explain how Cain came by a wife, what about another poser for us from his murder of Abel? Afraid for his own life, he was reported to have asked that God place a mark on his forehead so people in the next town would not kill him! How did the town come about? For the alert, living spirit, such questions take nothing from our belief of Creation and the majesty of the Creator. They suggest to me, for example, that we take too literally events rendered to us in picture language, because the spirit absorbs more in pictures. Isn’t that why children begin their education pictorially.? “Be like children”, Christ once admonished! The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is, therefore, a pictorial rendering of great events. The Garden is Paradise, the Spiritual World, not anywhere on this earth. When at Creation human spirit germs trooped out of Paradise, to be sown in material soil for their development, far, far, far below Paradise, like seeds of corn we immerse in earthly soil, to arise someday, flowering and fruiting and return home, they had to choose fields of activities in which, eternally, they would function as privileged upbuilders of Creation. In Creation, two complementary forces are evident…POSITIVE and NEGATIVE, the negative not derogatory but the storehouse of power. I’ve seen this expressed as an upright pole crossed by a vertical one even on the ceremonial garments of different religious leaders. For humans, the positive stands for masculine activity, the negative, feminine. These forces must work together for harmony, beauty and progress to occur. Woman is the stronger of the genders, the
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deciding factor. Man, sorry to say, implements her will. And that’s why the hand which rocks the cradle rules the world! It is not surprising, therefore, that societies in which women are suppressed or malfunction are backward ones. Each human gender, therefore, is a split part, which must seek the other for fuller value of existence. Even in electrolysis, doesn’t positive and negative poles attract and similar poles repel? This, in a way, explains why, like food, air or exercise, sex is a natural requirement of the healthy human body. Sex in this regard, offers the possibility for an exchange of RADIATIONS. Everything emits raps of energy or radiates. So do we humans. The feminine radiations you discarded long ago to become a man you obtain from a woman once in a while, during the sexual act. The same applies to women. But one may absorb the wrong radiations from the wrong sexual party. In this matter also, the Law of Attraction of Homogenous Species is indispensable and that is why, I believe, we are admonished that sex takes place between two complementary souls who have attained spiritual harmony and are yearning to unite in marriage, in which case sexual intercourse is merely a physical crowning of a spiritual or inward process. This is not how many men and women see sex today. A refired director in a public service told me sometimes last year his health deteriorated after he resumed sexual relationships with an old girlfriend he hadn’t seen for over 10 years. As a young trainee journalist in the 1970s, I worked with an editor whose wife was sickly. He thought their flat was haunted and moved houses. But his wife condition continued to worsen. He would send her to the village somewhere in the present Edo State and she would radiate vibrant health only to break down again within one week of rejoining her husband. Wasn’t it possible that his radiations were overwhelming hers? Such a health situation may be likened to a healthy computer picking up virus from a virus ridden flash drive. The Exchange of Radiations during the sexual act may have far more implications than we can imagine. Can it not pollute as It can build or heal? I believe women are right in a way when they say sex with them is blood covenant with them. How many “Blood Covenants” will a man or woman of today enter into? If only our ethereal eyes will open, as did those of Peter at the Transfiguration of the three wise men on Holy Night, or of Joseph on his death bed as Jesus stood before him, we’d see how many thought forms, phantoms and demons we drag along with the threads we’d spun and which hang on us as their authors. Thus, sex can be punitive or destructive when it isn’t experienced in the sense in which Creation offers it through the sexual instinct. It does not matter if all the priests in the world attended a wedding or officiated there. Once the spiritual foundation on which the marriage is instituted no longer prevails, that is where spiritual harmony no longer subsists, and the parties have become spiritual strangers, sexual relationships between them become illicit, spiritually speaking. Conversely, extraneous parties may offer platform for spiritual harmony, in which case, for purposes of decency, it is advisable to round up a failed marriage before boarding another. But just how many people have the nerves to jump out of a sinking boat? Wasn’t Prince Charles castigated over Camillas?
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THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
e-Business Of what use is the country code Top Level Domain name, .ng to the economy? It can boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP), drive broadband growth and stimulate economic development, say experts, ADLINE ATILI reports
ITH commercial activities on the Internet on the rise, domain names such as .com, .ng, .uk, .za, .gh, among others, have become part of the standard communications and marketing tools used by businesses to identify themselves, products and activities. Besides boosting the presence of businesses on the Web, experts say domain names, such as the nation’s .ng, have the potential to boost the economy as well as ensure rapid uptake of broadband Internet. An Internet domain name is the address on the Internet. According to the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the body charged with the management of the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), .ng is the two-character country code reserved for, and used by Nigeria in consonance with the unique identities upon which a global Internet is predicated. This is, otherwise, referred to as Nigeria’s ccTLD. A ccTLD, NIRA said, is used or reserved for specific countries, sovereign states or independent territories in the Domain Name System. .ng, like our currency, the naira and the +234 country code, is the official Internet Council for Assigned names and Numbers (ICANN)-approved ccTLD for Nigeria, the body stated. An Information Technology (IT) expert and Managing Partner of TransitIT, an IT consultancy firm, Mr Femi Akinyemi, said domain names were developed to make it easy for people to find things on the Internet. He said the importance of website domain name and its identity is as important as the identity of a human being. He said: “In the Web world, there are millions of websites. You can imagine how much difficult it would be for the Internet user to find a site without an appropriate name or information. But a domain name makes it all very easy. Basically, each website has a unique IP address which is very difficult to remember; therefore it is replaced by a domain name to easily remember and find by people. This is the name you type in the address bar of the Internet browser such as Internet Explorer.” Akinyemi noted that in the world of electronic commerce (e-commerce), having a domain name, especially a local one, will often give the buyer more confidence when making a purchase as they consider the site to be local, therefore governed under the same laws as the buyer. This makes it easier to follow up on sales and make complaints if any problems occur during the purchase of the product. It also helps to settle any nerves if the buyer is able to see a street address that they recognise, rather than a foreign address. He said that a local domain name would also enable a business owner identify potential and existing customers in any part of the country, their needs and culture. In addition to improving e-commerce, experts say local top level domain names can stimulate economic development in all sectors of the economy. Chief Executive Officer of One Network, Mr Shola Bickersteth, said adoption of the nation’s ccTLD name has far-reaching economic and societal benefits for the nation, in addition to significantly lowering costs for Internet users. He berated organisations and individuals who use domain names such as .co.uk, .com, .za, in their websites and email addresses, saying there was no comparison between Nigeria and countries that have discovered the inherent benefits of keeping Internet traffic local. He said: “Most countries now relate their development in terms of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to the number of domain names and impact of such on their GDP. Tokelau is a small island with population of about 1,500 but with a GDP that has risen higher than Nigeria’s because of investment in ICT. The country is among the world’s top 20 domain names with correspondingly high GDP. “The United Kingdom has about 11million domain names; this means one in every five citizens use the country’s domain name; South Africa is 1:100. The same cannot be said of Nigeria which has only 40,000 registered domain names that is ratio 1:12,000. In Nigeria, for us to hit the global average, we need at least 800,000 registered domain names and for ratio 1:5 to be achiev-
Using Nigeria’s domain name for economic growth
able, we need 30million.” He criticised organisations and government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who host critical company and government information at servers located abroad, saying aside revenue repatriated to offshore organisations who own the servers and datacentres, security of critical information and database was at stake. “A lot of government agencies, banks and other organisations host sensitive information in servers located abroad. This poses serious security risks not only to the organisations but to the nation at large. If those servers are infiltrated, there would be serious problems,” he said. To address this, he called on the Federal Government to make it mandatory for government officials to use only .ng domain name in websites and email addresses and deny individuals without such, critical government services such as National ID registration, international passport and company registration. He said in developed countries such as Germany and some parts of the United Kingdom, by law, citizens cannot use any other website except the country’s domain name (.ge in the case of Germany). On how Internet users can access some websites blocked due to cybercrime issues, Bickersteth called on Google, Yahoo, telecommunications services providers and Internet Service Providers to host their servers and datacentres in the country so that traffic can be routed within the country and be recognised by Internet Protocol addresses of the parent organisations abroad. Meanwhile, NIRA is putting a lot of effort into boosting the economy by N250million annually, through adoption of the .ng domain name. NIRA said it would spend N11million on infrastructure upgrade as part of measures to achieve its target of registering 250,000 .ng ccTLD domain names by 2013.
Chief Operating Officer of NIRA, Mr Ope Odusan, said the upgrade was critical to facilitating growth of the nation’s domain name, “which is Nigeria’s unique identifier or signature on the World Wide Web, as approved by the ICANN,” adding that this would contribute N250million annually to the economy. According to him, “With a vision to benchmark the .ng registry with world-class registries and maximise efforts to increase the uptake of the .ng domains to 250,000 within a short period, it has become paramount to make the technical infrastructure of the registry more robust.” He said plans have reached an advanced stage to invest N11million in equipment upgrade for the achievement of the target, adding that such infrastructure investment would focus on network subsystem and server upgrade, power systems upgrade, redundant bandwidth provisioning and customer support system. Highlighting NIRA’s business goals for the year, Odusan said the Internet body would increase .ng domains by 50 per cent; ensure stability and security of .ng ccTLD; organise the ‘Swhichto.ng Campaign’ in five more geopolitical zones in the country, as well as organise Internet awards by the fourth quarter of 2012. He said: “With the Switchto .ng campaign, our target is to have 250,000 registered domain names in the .ng registry for government MDAs, businesses, educational institutions, and individuals who use the Internet daily. This would contribute N250million annually to the economy.” According to him, “Rather than registering our emails, websites and other Internet presence in foreign domain names, and hosting our Internet presence abroad, where our information could be tampered with, it would be more beneficial to us as individuals, businesses and as a nation to adopt the .ng domain name.”
‘The “bad image” war will be won on local and international fronts when institutions of government; credible, real and legal persons and entities in Nigeria, adopt the use of the .ng, not just from a consumerism perspective, but by generating Nigerian content on the Internet’
He stressed that to achieve its business goals, NIRA would review and update relevant policies concerning the registry, registrants and registrars; strengthen industry engagement; improve complaints and dispute resolution mechanisms, as well as develop a Memorandum of Understanding for registry operators. On how the .ng domain name would drive broadband growth, Odusan said government services under the .ng domain like electronic payment of salaries and application forms for government services will encourage faster adoption of broadband Internet services. Speaking in the same vein, President of NIRA, Mrs Mary Uduma, said if more Nigerians on the .ng domain name integrate the Internet, broadband services, computers and various mobile telephony devices into their daily lives, the country would witness an information revolution that would impact positively on all segments of the economy. She added that adoption of .ng could rake in huge foreign exchange earnings for the economy and make possible 50 per cent growth rate in Internet usage over the next decade. She said: “With enabling regulatory policies, it is possible to achieve an average of 50 per cent growth rate in Internet usage over the next decade. This would translate to more Nigerian content on the World Wide Web, thereby counteracting the pervasiveness of 419 scammers; .ng could attract 50 per cent of this figure. The advantage of the sheer size of our population makes the figure enormous.” She enjoined corporate Nigerians to tow the path of being identified by the truly Nigerian brand on the World Wide Web with pride. According to her, the usage of .ng by credible Nigerians and corporate citizens will facilitate the needful change of the current battered image of the country on the Internet. Mrs Uduma opined that a wide adoption of .ng by Nigerians shall constitute a good tool in the effort to project the good people of Nigeria and the nation, noting that, “Our collective adoption of the .ng will be a strong tool in reversing the adverse publicity projected by foreign media. She noted that: “The ‘bad image’ war will be won on local and international fronts when institutions of government; credible, real and legal persons and entities in Nigeria, adopt the use of the .ng, not just from a consumerism perspective, but by generating Nigerian content on the Internet.” She urged the National Assembly to enact policies that would enforce the adoption of the .ng domain name and emails for government-togovernment, government-to-business and government-to-citizen transactions, to engender economic growth and vitality. “Our prayer to the government is to put in place a legislative mandate that would compel the adoption of a government policy to recognise only .ng domain name and emails for government-to-government, government-to-business and government-to-citizen transactions.” She listed the challenges of the .ng domain name to include: the dent on Nigeria’s image due to the activities of scammers, ignorance and lack of awareness, perceived instability of the system, dearth of funding and inadequate government mandate, saying a holistic approach was needed to explore the .ng ‘goldmine.’ “Our objective is to engender the deployment of the Internet to bring immense economic growth and vitality to the nation. Also, that the .ng be integrated into the re-branding project of the Ministry of Information and that there should be an enforcement unit for the use of .ng domain and emails,” she said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
e-Business TARCOMMS PLC, in partnership with DexterTech, a universal Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, has introduced a free roaming service for its subscribers, enabling roaming in more than 50 countries and 100 networks across the world, via a new Starcomms service, DexterSIM. Chief Executive Officer, Starcomms, Mr Logan Pather, while introducing the service in Lagos, said it roams on more than 580 networks, with free roaming on more than 100 networks across the world. The service comes with a Nigerian, UK and optional US line bundled on a single SIM, with exceptional call quality and reliability, he said. The Starcomms boss said the service will allow cheap local and international calls directly from subscribers’ mobile phones, reduce international business mobile phone charges by up to 80 per cent. Additionally, Pather said subscribers can make calls
Subscribers push for compensa- S tion after N1.17b fine
he National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has proposed that the N1.17billion fine imposed on telecommunications operators by the regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for poor service, be paid to subscribers of the networks. President of the association, Mr Deolu Ogunbanjo, in a statement, while praising the NCC for living up to its responsibility of ensuring quality telecommunications services for subscribers by penalising operators who fell short of its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), said the fine should not be paid to the Federal Government, but to subscribers who were
Stories by Adline Atili direct victims of poor service. He said: “We give kudos to NCC for the regular monitoring of service quality rendered by the telecoms operators for the overall benefit of subscribers. However, the N1.17billion fine should not be paid to the Federal Government, but to subscribers who are the direct sufferers of poor quality service. “Why should NCC raise money in form of fine for the Federal Government at the expense of subscribers who actually suffered monumental loss as a result of poor quality service rendered by the operators? “The fine should not be
used to enrich the Federal Government; rather, it should be shared among the subscribers who have actually paid for services that were either not rendered or haphazardly rendered. Moreover, it is the subscriber that will still pay the fine directly or indirectly.” He recalled that in 2007 when NCC penalised MTN and Celtel (now Airtel) for rendering poor services to subscribers, each of the subscribers got N175 airtime as compensation. He appealed to the NCC to give succour to subscribers by compensating them through “sharing the fine in form of airtime. This will make the Nigerian telecoms subscriber feel a sense of satisfaction and the consumer, feel like a king.”
A fortnight ago, the Global System for Mobile Communications system (GSM) operators in the country including MTN, Etisalat, Airtel and Globacom—were asked by the NCC to pay a total sum of N1.17billion as penalty for persistent drop in quality of service to subscribers between March and April 2012. According to NCC, their action contravened Section 104 (a) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 as well as the Quality of Service Regulations 2012. The NCC in separate letters to the operators fined MTN and Etisalat N360million each; Airtel N270million, while Globacom got away with N180million.
Starcomms introduces free roaming service while travelling at a cheaper rate since DexterSIM works in more than 80 per cent of the world’s most popular destinations with more countries being added all the time. Chief Executive Officer of DexterTech, Mr Adekoyejo Odunaiya, noted that with the service, Nigerian subscribers would for the first time, be able to take their Nigerian number abroad and roam absolutely for free. He said: “Global Web, talk and text have been bundled on a single SIM, to ensure that the savvy customer can choose to remain ubiquitous despite regardless of where they are on the planet. Most importantly, they are charged local fees, even when abroad.
HP, Intel launch next generation server
•From left: Managing Director, Intermarc Consulting, Mr Adeyemi Adeyinka; Mrs Funmi Fagbulu of SecureID and Country Manager for West Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, Mrs Omokehinde Ojomuyide, at a press conference on the 12th Card, ATM and Mobile Expo Africa 2012 in Lagos. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
Fed Govt urged to develop ICT literacy policy
HE Federal Government has been urged to make digital literacy the cornerstone of its national digital economy strategy. In specific terms, the government must consider the creation and support of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) digital literacy policy that will promote digital literacy as a basic skill required of all citizens, encourage institutional support of ICT digital literacy strategies in education, as well as enhance digital literacy opportunities in technological innovation and workforce readiness. Addressing journalists in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer, Commit Technology and Consult, an ICT services provider, Dr Niran Oyekale, said a policy that addresses digital literacy needs will assist in capturing the full opportunity for Nigeria and its citizens to competitively participate in a 21st century global economy with equal access to and use of advanced technologies.
Digital literacy and ICT education, Oyekale said, were critical to building of ICT capabilities and capacities for Nigerians; providing frameworks and strategies for socioeconomic development and for moving the country towards the realisation of Vision 20:2020. He said: “Despite government’s investments in the education sector, unemployment exists due to lack of requisite technology skills to match education with job market needs. Employers complain that
graduates’ skills are irrelevant to the demands of current jobs.” Speaking in the same vein, Vice President, Sales at Certiport, a US-based ICT standardisation firm and partner to Commit Technology, Mr Jan Day, said digital literacy eliminates unnecessary time and money wasted through incompetence and enhances an employee’s efficiency, productivity, confidence and job satisfaction. He said the firm, in partnership with Commit Technology, has introduced training
programmes, one of which is the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3), a fundamental tool for measuring proficiency in the latest key technologies for study, work and life; globally recognised as the test for digital literacy. Project Manager at Commit, Mr Peter Anokwu, said IC3 is expected to produce a standardised digital literacy curriculum that will provide Nigerians basic set of skills that will enhance their personal and professional lives.
CWG wins ICT provider award
NFORMATION and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions firm, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), has won the ICT Solutions Provider of the Year award at the Beacon of ICT award, organised by the Nigeria CommunicationsWeek. The annual awards honour deserving talents, who show commitment towards the growth and development of ICT in Ni-
geria. “Since the ICT revolution in Nigeria, there have been changes in Nigeria’s economic and social development. The changes would not have been possible without the diligence and commitment of an organisation such as Computer Warehouse Group,” the citation on CWG read. While receiving the award, General Manager of Computer Warehouse Lim-
ited (CWL), the hardware arm of CWG, Mr Adedayo Abegunde, restated the company’s commitment to further growth of ICT in the country. He said: “At Computer Warehouse Group, we shall continue to deliver ICT solutions that will add value to our customers’ operations, meet and exceed our their expectations and we shall always deliver on demand.”
ECHNOLOGY giants Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Intel have launched a next generation server, the HP ProLiant Generation 8 (Gen8), as part of initiatives to improve datacentre efficiency in server lifecycle. While HP designed the hardware, Intel designed the chips used for the hardware. The new Generation 8 systems with Intel Zion Processor are the product of Project Voyager, an initiative which aims to add more intelligence, automation and consideration for optimising power utilisation, system configuration in management and providing more efficient performance. Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos, Regional Manager, HP, Mr Chukwuma Okpaka, said the architecture offers powerful new capabilities that automate and simplify systems provisioning; troubleshooting and software updates which empower Information Technology (IT) resources to eliminate as much as 50 per cent of daily maintenance tasks, reallocating this time to innovation
for business. “The demand for data intensive and transactional workloads such as data warehousing, real-time analytics and virtualised environments is expanding dramatically, necessitating a fundamental change in the way computer and storage services integrate,” he said. Also speaking Market Development Manager for West Africa, Intel, Olufemi Babajide, said the growth of cloud computing and connected devices is transforming the way businesses benefit from IT products and services, adding that for businesses to capitalise on these innovations, the industry must address unprecedented demand for efficient, secure and high-performing data centre infrastructure. He said: “The new processors significantly increase overall performance, energy efficiency, and security over the previous generation. For the first time, security technologies are now built into the processor to better protect against attack and accelerate encryption to protect data while at rest and in transit.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 23-5-12
Equities turn negative with 0.12% loss •Transcorp grows Q1 net profit by 62%
HE Nigerian stock market relapsed to the negative yesterday, continuing a highly uncertain market direction that has seen the equity market wavering between intermittent gains and losses. While the stock market recovered with a gain of 0.15 per cent earlier, the benchmark return index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped to the negative yesterday after investors pilled pressures on multinationals and mid-cap stocks. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities dropped from N7.125 trillion to N7.116 trillion, representing a loss of N9 billion. The benchmark All Share Index (ASI)-which tracks prices of all quoted equities, slipped from 22,342.13 points to 22,314.67 points, indicating a marginal decline of 0.12 per cent. With 25 losers to 15 gainers, the negative overall market situation was further orchestrated by losses suffered by leading stocks such as Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria, Unilever Nigeria, Oando, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and Dangote Flour Mills among others. Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N2.22 to close at N44.56. Unilever Nigeria followed with a loss of N1 to
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
close at N29. Oando declined by 78 kobo to N14.99. Presco dropped by 32 kobo to N13.47. Dangote Flour Mills lost 31 kobo to close at N5.96. National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCON) dropped by 26 kobo to N5.06. PZ Cussons Nigeria lost 20 kobo to close at N23. ETI dwindled by 19 kobo to N11.50, while Union Bank of Nigeria and First City Monument Bank lost 17 kobo and 11 kobo to close at N3.53 and N4.38 respectively. On the upside, Julius Berger Nigeria rallied N1.63 to close at N34.24. Guinness Nigeria gained N1 to close at N224.25. First Bank of Nigeria rose by 39 kobo to close at N11.29. University Press Plc chalked up 17 kobo to close at N3.75, while Eterna added 14 kobo to close at N3.22 per share. Total turnover stood at 342.72 million shares worth N3.29 billion in 4,647 deals. Banking subsector was the most active subgroup with a turnover of 237.68 million shares valued at N2.39 billion in 2,995 deals. Meanwhile, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) witnessed appreciable improvements in sales and profitability in the first quarter as the conglomerate increased net profit by 62 per cent.
Interim report for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 showed that total income increased from N664million in 2011 to N857million in 2012, representing an increase of 29 per cent. The report showed that administrative costs fell by 26.4 per cent from N200million in 2011 to N147million in 2012, reflecting disciplined cost optimisation initiatives of the management. With this, profit before tax increased from N399 million in the first quarter of 2011 to N610 million in comparable period of 2012, representing an increase of 52.9 per cent. Profit after tax rose by 62 per cent to N518 million as against N319 million in 2012. The company achieved the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in line with statutory regulation. President and Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp, Obinna Ufudo, said management was excited by this early and positive indication that its turnaround and transformation initiatives are already taking root and yielding results. “We will continue to sustain the trust of our key stakeholders by delivering sound financial returns, diversifying our portfolio mix in the energy, agri-business and hospitality sectors and adhering to best corporate governance practices. In the coming months we will accelerate the pace of execution of our corporate strategy towards even stronger results for the rest of the year,” Ufudo said.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 23-5-12
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Replenishing reserves tops govt’s priority, says Sanusi
IGERIA must focus on rebuilding its reserves and stabilising the exchange rate to protect against further fallout from global economic uncertainties, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has said. Speaking to the Oxford Business Group (OBG), a global publishing/ research and consultancy firm, Sanusi acknowledged that a drive to replenish the country’s Excess Crude Account, which remains depleted following the 2009 drop in oil prices, would require political will. He explained that the country’s economic development would benefit from greater private sector involvement.
By Collins Nweze
“The global economic outlook is still uncertain and it is vital that we resume our savings so that we are prepared for the worst in case the situation deteriorates. Doing so will depend on an agreement among all political stakeholders involved. Structural adjustment is also of key concern. We need to get to a point where we have an infrastructure, whereby the balance sheet of the government is not the major driver of investment,” a statement from OBG said. Sanusi said he is confident that steps taken to recapitalise Nigeria’s banks and put their balance sheets in order, meant they are now well placed to play their part in boost-
ing lending. “The question now lies with the counterparties. Vital elements, like infrastructure, energy and agricultural transformation are what will bring about bankable companies and projects. The ball now lies in the government’s court,” he stated. He said the ‘Cash-less banking ’ programme, which forms a key component in Nigeria’s efforts to reduce the volume of cash in circulation, was scheduled to be rolled out across the country at the beginning of 2013, following its introduction this year in Lagos. “The roll-out over 2012 has been focused on Lagos, given its proximity to the landing points of fibre-optic cables, it is ideally positioned for its technological adop-
tion,” he said. “Instant electronic transfers have been enabled, interconnectivity between ATMs is ensured and mobile banking licences have been issued,” he said Sanusi expressed confidence that Nigeria’s move towards a cashless society, together with other developments already under way in the banking sector, such as the outsourcing of cash management and transit, shared data centres, should lead to cheaper lending. “Aside from the immediate financial gains this entails, human capital is being made available for rev-
CBN, banks not doing enough on money laundering
Second Quarter: Analysts foresee improved outings for banks
NALYSTS have said banks would record better results in the second and third quarter of the year, if the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) maintains its monetary policy rate (MPR) of 12.75 per cent. The Chief Executive, Anchoria Investment and Securities Limited, Dr Olusola Dada, said banks would increase their profitability if the anchor interest is not change. Dada said banks have reduced their non-performing loans substantially, adding that their concern now is to improve on their balance sheets. He said MPR determines all interest charged by banks, adding that banks would leverage on 12.75 per cent MPR to
By Akinola Ajibade
coast home good results. He said: “If CBN maintains the tempo of reforms and does not change its policy rates, banks would make more money. Banks derive their profits from interest they charge customers. The more the interest, the bigger the profits and the balance sheets of banks. I think the outlook for banks in the second and subsequent quarters of the year looks more cheering, in view of the reforms package of CBN.” He said efforts to stabilise the exchange rate would translate to the growth of the financial markets as well as the economy. “If the exchange rate is stabilised
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Board of Directors of banks have been chided for not proffering solutions to the lingering money laundering problems in the country. The Managing Director, Citigroup/Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Compliance, Simon Kingsbury, said this during a stakeholders forum on combating money laundering in Lagos. Kingsbury, while delivering a paper titled: “The Importance of an AntiMoney Laundering Programme,” accused CBN and the Board of Directors of Banks of being unable to proffer solutions to the malaise. Kinsbury said the apex bank and the boards should be blamed for the persistent money laundering problems, adding that the two bodies have not been able to put in place necessary anti-money laundering frameworks in place.
within the corridor of N157 - N160 per dollarm band, the financial market would benefit greatly. The capital market and money market operators would benefit in the long run. When the inflow into these markets increase, the economy would definitely improve”. Also, a financial analyst with Profound Securities Limited, Chijoke Obiagwu, said activities in the bonds’ market have improved in recent times. Obiagwu said financial instruments such as bonds and Treasury Bills (TBs) have helped in strengthening the market. He said banks, and capital market operators would enjoy an appreciable capital gains, if the trend continues.
FGN BONDS Amount N
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 Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
GAINERS AS AT 23-5-12 SYMBOL
J BERGER UPL ETERNAOIL CONTINSURE TRANSCORP IKEJAHOTEL FIRSTBANK CCNN FIDSON IBTC
32.61 3.58 3.08 0.73 0.79 1.11 10.90 5.00 0.81 5.95
34.24 3.75 3.22 0.76 0.82 1.15 11.29 5.10 0.82 6.00
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
O/PRICE 44.56 15.77 6.27 5.32 3.70 1.09 1.35 0.54 0.60 30.00
C/PRICE 42.34 14.99 5.96 5.06 3.53 1.04 1.29 0.52 0.58 29.00
CHANGE 2.22 0.78 0.31 0.26 0.17 0.05 0.06 0.02 0.02 1.00
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
LOSERS AS AT 23-5-12
SYMBOL WAPCO OANDO DANGFLOUR NASCON UBN LIVESTOCK MAYBAKER WAPIC NEIMETH UNILEVER
Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
1.63 0.17 0.14 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.39 0.10 0.01 0.05
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate
He said it is wrong to accuse the chief compliance officers of money laundering issues, adding that they are confronted with certain challenges. He said: “Once the compliance culture is weak in an organisation, the development would affect the chief compliance officers in no small measures. This implies that they cannot do much to tackle the problem.” He said the issue of money laundering is challenging, arguing that it requires the combined efforts of all the relevant stakeholders in the financial chains. He said the banking watchdog, and the boards of banks are more important in the fight against money laundering. He advised chief compliance officers to submit reports on money laundering to the banks on periodic basis, stressing that the idea would help in checking money laundering.
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido
enue-generating services, such as debt recovery and client acquisition,” he added.
ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 123.90 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 105.00 THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.75 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.08 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.89 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,710.94 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 9.42 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 7,883.04 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
9.08 1.00 123.77 104.34 0.73 1.08 0.88 1,703.76 8.96 1.33 1.80 7,672.11 191.08 1.62
OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011
Current 07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
NEWS Oyo to establish technical varsity •Holds education summit
YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday said his administration would establish a technical university to complement the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso (LAUTECH). The governor spoke at the opening of the state’s Education Summit in Ibadan. The theme of the summit is: “Developing a sustainable transformation plan for education in Oyo State.” Ajimobi said the university would accommodate more youths seeking tertiary education. He said: “Last year, we reduced the tuition fee in our tertiary institutions to keep our teeming youths in school. Although we jointly own LAUTECH with Osun State, we will establish a technical university to provide more spaces for youths in search of tertiary education.
Osun citizens advised on will administration From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
OSUN State AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice Wale Afolabi has advised citizens of the state to contact the Ministry of Justice for advice on the sharing of the property of their deceased relations. He said the ministry would help them share the property of those who died with or without a will fairly. Speaking with reporters yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, the commissioner said many families have been engulfed in crises over disputes arising from the sharing of the property of deceased persons. He said the ministry’s Department of Administration and Public Trustees has been given the responsibility, under the law, to resolve disputes arising from the sharing of pension, gratuity, cash, shares and other property of deceased persons to ensure justice and equity.
Snake found aboard moving bus THE discovery of a snake in a moving commercial bus yesterday in Lagos left passengers scampering for safety. Eyewitnesses said the Nissan bus, marked AJ 802 AKD, was heading for Okokomaiko, a Lagos suburb. They said the bus suddenly pulled to a halt and passengers rushed it. A female passenger, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “I was sitting in the back and noticed something moving around my feet. I looked down and saw a snake.” Some passengers and passersby attempted to kill the Snake, but only succeeded in chopping off its tail before it escaped in a compartment inside the bus.
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
“We are also working on building vocational and skill acquisition centres in the three senatorial zones. This summit is a wake-up call on all stakeholders. We cannot continue to abet failure. “Our public schools are peopled with children who are unprepared for any type of post-secondary academic work and do not possess the necessary skills and knowledge to become productive citizens. “This summit is not the answer to all the problems in the education sector. Rather, it is a meeting of minds to tackle this critical challenge. “This must be a summit of restoration. We must ensure that we have well-funded schools with the right curriculum structure, develop the right incentives and motivation for teachers, train the trainers and ensure that we boost our capacity to train our children in an atmosphere where innovation and productivity thrives.”
•From left: Head, Glo Business Solutions, Folu Aderibigbe; Publisher of Interiors Magazine Titi Ogufere; and former Cross River State Governor Dr. Donald Duke; at the launch of the Coffee Table Book at Luxury Hotels in Nigeria , written by Ogufere and sponsored by Globacom, at the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Lagos.
Why I defended Mimiko at the tribunal, by Akeredolu F
ORMER President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) yesterday explained why he represented Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko at the 2007 Governorship Election Tribunal. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship aspirant spoke at his Aketi Campaign Office in Akure, the state capital. He said Mimiko got his support because he thought the governor was on his way to the progressive party. Akeredolu said: “When
From Leke Akeredolu, Akure
Mimiko left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a minister in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, People believed he had realised his mistake and was on his way to the ACN. “That was why he had the support of the masses. The people believed he had been cheated and did not want the oppressors to take away their rights. He got my support and that of some other stakeholders
and won the battle. “But, when he got his mandate, his attitude was not different from that of a PDP governor. That is why I believe the Labour Party (LP) and PDP are siblings. I was not surprised when we learnt that he his on his way to PDP. “You cannot be a progressive without being a member of the ACN. ACN remains the only progressive party because of its policies. You cannot compare the programmes going on in Osun and Lagos
states with those in PDP states. “ACN has always been on the side of the masses. That is why during the fuel subsidy removal protests, only ACN governors supported the masses. “Now, the party is pushing for economic and political integration in the Southwest to facilitate rapid growth, which PDP failed to achieve in its eight-year tenure. “ACN is the only party championing the legacies
Gowon urges Nigerians to be patient with Fed Govt on Boko Haram
ORMER Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), yesterday urged Nigerians to be patient with the Federal Government over the activities of the Boko Haram sect. Gowon addressed reporters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the opening of the state’s Education Summit. He advised Nigerians to pray against the violent sect, saying there is no problem God cannot solve. The former Nigerian Head of State, who is the National Coordinator of Nigeria Prays, a group of “prayer warriors”, noted that only two options are available for
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
the sect: dialogue or violent battle with security operatives. But he urged the group to embrace dialogue in the interest of peace and development of the country. Gowon said: “The alternatives open to Boko Haram is to either embrace dialogue or make it fire for fire. But I urge Nigerians to engage in prayers to solve the problem, because there is no problem that cannot be solved by prayers.” The former leader decried the impression that the Federal Government is helpless or not doing enough to
‘When you look at act of terrorism across the world, it is never an ad-hoc issue because of the issues involved. That is why we should not assume that the government is not doing enough. The government is really working’ tackle the sect. According to him, the government is working hard to curtail the activities of the sect and needs more time and
patience to handle the situation. He said: “When you look at act of terrorism across the world, it is never an ad-hoc issue because of the issues involved. That is why we should not assume that the government is not doing enough. The government is really working.” Gowon advised security agencies to be more proactive in handling insecurity across the land, saying: “this is the time to put into practice our intelligence unit. The menace cannot be allowed to go on unabated. The security has a lot to do in that regard.”
Two alleged killers of five in Ife get bail
N Osun State High Court, sitting in Osogbo, the state capital, yesterday affirmed the bail earlier granted one of the two alleged killers of five persons in Ile-Ife on the eve of the last National Assembly election. Justice Oyejide Falola ordered that Adedotun Adebowale, a.k.a. Meere Osha, an aide to Senator Iyiola Omisore, should
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
continue to enjoy the bail granted him by a judge of the High Court before it was later revoked. The judge also granted bail to Niyi Francis Eluyera, alias Artillery, in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum. He said the sureties should be landlords in the state. On May 31, 2011, Justice
Yinka Aderibigbe of the State High Court granted Adebowale bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum. The judge said the sureties must be house owners in the state and must submit the title deeds of their properties with the court registrar. Justice Aderibigbe ordered the accused to deposit his international passport with the Commissioner of Police until the final determination
of the case. He told the accused to report to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Osogbo, once every fortnight until the case is determined. Falola declared that Adebowale should continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted him and should no longer report to the police. He adjourned the case till June 6 and 8 for final hearing.
of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The party wants the best for the masses.” On the party’s candidate for the October 20 election, the lawyer said the selection process has begun. Akeredolu said: “Over 50 ACN leaders in Ondo, led by former Secretary to the State Government Chief Wunmi Adegbonmire, are working on the selection of a credible candidate. “The number of the aspirants in the ACN shows that the party is acceptable to the masses. It is only in an unpopular party that you will find only one aspirant. We are ready to take over the state.”
UI inducts 55 doctors, dentists From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
HE College of Medicine of the University of Ibadan (UI)
has inducted 39 doctors and 16 dentists. The ceremony was held at the Paul Hendrickse Lecture Theatre, Ibadan. The Provost of the College of Medicine, Prof. Olusegun Akinyinka, advised by the inductees not to see the ceremony as the end of their academic and professional life, but take it as the beginning of their professional journey. He urged them to be hard working and dedicated to the service of humanity. Akinyinka advised them to always be friendly with their patients. The Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge, cautioned the inductees about traveling abroad to seek greener pastures. He said the majority of Nigerian professionals overseas have been rendered irrelevant in their fields owing to racial discrimination. The CMD appealed to the government to fund and equipped hospitals across the country.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
NEWS Bomb scare in Kaduna
ESIDENTS of the Kaduna metropolis yesterday ran for safety following the discovery of a black polythene bag suspected to contain explosives. The bag was placed near the water chambers of the First Baptist Church on Ahmadu Bello Way. It was discovered when the pupils of Baptist Nursery/ Primary School, located on the church premises, were in the classrooms. When parents heard about the incident, they rushed to the school to pick their children. Eyewitnesses told The Nation that traders near the church, commuters and passersby heading for the Sheik Abubakar Gumi Central Market, ran for safety on hearing about the discovery of the polythene bag. An eyewitness said: “When the traders heard about the suspected bombs, they abandoned their wares and ran. Motorists and hawkers also ran for safety. There was confusion around the Ahmadu Way where the Sheik Abubakar Gumi Central Market is located. “We saw people running and motorists speeding. People said a bomb was planted in the school compound. But it was later discovered that the item was a black polythene bag containing loaves of bread said to have been forgotten by an unknown person.” Security guards in the school were said to have raised the alarm of the bomb scare when they spotted the black polythene bag. But they were not bold enough to check the contents of the bag. They later called men of the anti-bomb squad.
Gaidam revokes N2.4b road contract
O V E R N O R Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has revoked the 60-kilometre Machina/Nguru road contract, which was awarded in 2007 to AK Construction. The N2.4 billion contract was awarded by the administration of former Governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim. Gaidam made the revocation at the project site during his inspection of road ongoing projects in the state. Gaidam directed his Works Commissioner, Lawan Shettima Ali, to liaise with the contractor and begin the process of reconciling the balance. He decried the poor quality of job and the slow level
From Duku Joel, Damaturu
of performance, despite the huge resources committed to it. “Despite the review and determination to ensure completion, the contractor continues to be slow and even inactive. More so, the quality of work leaves much to be desired,” the governor said. The commissioner for told the governor that the contractor has not been forthcoming despited the efforst made to make him return to site. He said the 40-kiolmetre township roads in Nguru, Potiskum and Gashua have been completed and handed over to the ministry.
ACN urges probe of fraud allegations against Kwara Speaker
HE Kwara State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged anti-graft agencies to probe the allegations of fraud against House of Assembly Speaker Razak Atunwa. It said the funds involved belonged to the state, adding, “anything short of this amounts to testing the will of our people.” A member of the House representing Ipaiye/ Malete/Oloru Constituency, Iliasu Ibrahim, had accused the Speaker of highhanded conduct and fraud. The ACN Chairman in the state, Kayode Olawepo, said in a statement that “the party is disturbed about the happenings in our dear state, especially the dance of shame in the House of Assembly, the overbearing attitude of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which now determines how the
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
House is run, and the inhuman treatment meted out to Ibrahim just for speaking out against what he deemed to be the corrupt tendencies of Speaker Atunwa.” He said: “Firstly, we reject the outcome of the Kangaroo committee which dismissed the petitions written against Speaker Atunwa. The haste with which the committee concluded its assignment raised genuine concerns about possible hijack by the PDP leadership. “The allegations levelled against Atunwa were made against him as the speaker, not as a PDP member. Therefore, its investigation must involve members of the opposition party in the House to show that it was not treated as a purely PDP affair. That did not take place. “The outcome of the inves-
tigation was that all the allegations were baseless. It should be noted that the allegations include the fact that since the inception of the House in June 2011, no account of the monthly expenditure of the House has been published and made available to members and that the Speaker keeps the information exclusively to himself. If this allegation is baseless, where are the accounts? “The only acceptable answer to that allegation is to point to the accounts to show that they do exist. This has not been done and cannot be done because none exists and the allegation was correct. “The suspension of Iliasu, the whistleblower, hours after the committee submitted its report and the sack of the House leadership, save for Atunwa and his deputy, just on the strength of a letter from the PDP lead-
ership in the state are enough testament to the impunity and corruption of the PDP. “That Atunwa was bold enough to read such a letter on the floor of the House attests to the shamelessness of the PDP as a whole. How can the House leadership of a two-party parliament be sacked at the promptings of a particular political party?” Reacting to the development, PDP Director of Publicity in the state, Alhaji Ma’sud Adebimpe, said: “As a party, we will continue to do what is right for the greater majority of our people irrespective of the attempt to mislead the people by those whose existence has no meaning to the people. “PDP is not surprised by the mischievous position canvassed by the ACN. PDP is the only legal political party in the state.”
Toyota RAV4 car belonging to Mr. Charles Igwe has been stolen. It was stolen at gunpoint on May 14. At the time of the theft, its registration number was RG815AAA and it was painted in silver colour. If found, please contact the police.
Youths honour ex- HOS GROUP under the aegis of Youth and Cultural Renaissance of Nigeria last weekend honoured the former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof Dapo Afolabi and seven other eminent Nigerians for distinguishing themselves in their various callings. The award took place in Ile-Ife during a special lecture series by scholars on the state of the nation and the need for the youths to be in the vanguard of a better future for the country. Those honoured along with Prof Afolabi include Prof Kayo Alao of the faculty of Education at the Obafemi Awolowo University,
Ile-Ife, Osun State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Afolabi and the Director General of Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, Dele Oyebamiji, an engineer. Others are Alhaji Masu’d Elelu, Rector of Kwara State Polytechnic, Mr. Isaac Oluyi, Ayodeji Orisalaye and Pastor Tunji Olowo of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Osun Province 4. A financial expert, Mr. Yinka Anjous who delivered a lecture on the topic: “Maximizing Our Natural Resources in Forming A New Nigeria” expressed the need to inculcate entrepreneurship in the youths.
ICPC begins trial of ex-Orthopaedic Hospital boss
HE Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has begun the trial of former Chief Medical Director of the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Dr Gbolahan Adebule for alleged corruption. Four witnesses testified at the trial yesterday before Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere.
•The late Johnson
University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Yaba.
By Joseph Jibueze
Adebule was arraigned on two counts of “using position to confer unfair advantage upon another public officer.” The commission said the defendant in November 2005 or thereabouts, while being a public officer, used his position as Chief Medical Director of the National Orthopedic Hospital to award a catering contract to an unregis-
tered firm. It alleged Adebule awarded a contract worth N2, 240,000 for the opening ceremony of the 60th anniversary of hospital to Tysfad Catering Services. The firm, ICPC said, is an “un-incorporated business outfit belonging to Mrs Funlayo Adegbule who was at the material time a serving nurse in the services of the Lagos State University, Lagos.”
ICPC’s prosecutor, Ayobami Adepoju, said the alleged offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. Adebule had pleaded not guilty at arraignment and was granted bail in the sum of N500,000. Justice Oluwayemi adjourned till June 4 for further hearing.
800 families apply to adopt children, says Ogun Commissioner O fewer than 800 applications from individuals and couples seeking children for adoption have been received by the Ogun State government in the last 11 months, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development Mrs Elizabeth Sonubi said yesterday. She added that during the period under review, 11 abandoned babies, accommodated at the Stella Obasanjo Children’s Home (SOCH) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, had been adopted by families who
Funeral for cleric HE Johnson family in Lagos has announced the death of its patriarch, Rev. Felix Olushola Johnson. He died on April 7. He was 71. A devout christian, the cleric is survived by wife, Deaconess Victoria Olufunmilayo and many children. They included: Mrs. Bukky Adeyemi, the proprietress of Cradles and Kickers Pre-School, Omole Phase I, Ikeja, Lagos. He will be buried tomorrow after a funeral service at the Chapel of Christ Our Light,
•From right: Vice President Namadi Sambo; Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru; Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi; and Kebbi State Governor Seidu Dakingari, at a bilaterial talk with the South African Government in Cape Town, South Africa... yesterday. See story on page 8.
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
were screened and found capable of taking care of them. The commissioner told reporters in Abeokuta that her ministry is working in concert with the eight privatelyowned orphanages operating in the state to ensure that deserving couples or families have the opportunity to adopt children upon observance of due process. According to her, four new orphanages are also in the process of completing their registration formalities with the ministry.
She disclosed that the government through her ministry is collaborating with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to curb child labour in the Gateway State. According to her, an intervention unit christened, Child Protection Network (CPN) has been established in her ministry to help reduce all forms of child abuse across the state. The commissioner noted that the ministry is also working with ILO and other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)
to combat the menace, assuring that she would not relent in her effort to improve the welfare of children regardless of their status. On gender empowerment, she said the government has inaugurated a Gender Desk units in all the MDAs as a veritable step to address gender-related issues in the workplace environment and the society at large. Mrs Sonubi noted that capacity building workshops on the concepts of gender would be organised regularly to sensitise the people about gender issues.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
NEWS Church Synod opens today THE Diocese of Lagos Mainland of the Anglican Communion will discuss the essence of peace to mankind as they open their four-day Synod with a holy communion service today at the Cathedral of St. Jude, Freeman Street, Ebute Meta, Lagos. It is the third session of their second Synod, which has as its theme: The Peace of God, taken from Philippians 4: 7. The four-day annual event will hold at two venues - the Cathedral of St. Jude and All Saints’ Church, Yaba. Whilst the opening and closing services on May 24 and 27 will hold at Ebute Meta, the opening ceremony tomorrow, and the business session on Saturday are at Yaba. Highlights of the synod will include the presentation of the Benevolent Partner Award to former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan, on Thursday, the State of the Church and Nation address on Friday morning by the diocesan bishop, Rt. Rev Adebayo Akinde, the issuance of a communiqué on Saturday afternoon, and the conferment of other awards on other eminent Christians who have served the Diocese and nation well. They include retired Supreme Court Justice Adesola Oguntade, CON and Chief Olusola Dada, MFR, former president of the Institute of Directors and the NigeriaAmerica Chamber of Commerce on Sunday.
PDP’s shadow exco a fraud, says Ekiti EKITI State Government has re-stated its commitment to transparency and accountability, stressing that the Freedom of Information law, which it domesticated last year, was put in place to subject its activities to public scrutiny and encourage citizens’ participation in governance. It however criticised what it described as fraudulent composition of a shadow executive council by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying that the inability of the PDP leadership to name members of the executive council is not only fraudulent, it is a reflection of the in-house confusion in the factionalised PDP. The Chairman of PDP, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, had announced the formation of a shadow exco with curious names such as “Mrs. Cowrie”, “Mr. Caterpillar”,” Mr. Paparazi” and “Mr. Farm”, as manning the shadow ministries of Finance, Works, Information and Agriculture respectively. They are reportedly mandated to monitor activities of the Dr Kayode Fayemiled administration in seven critical ministries.
Court lashes police as Saraki’s case is dismissed
N Abuja Federal High Court yesterday struck out an application for the enforcement of fundamental rights filed by former Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki. Justice Gladys Olotu struck out the application after it was withdrawn amid protest by Saraki’s counsel, Lawal Rabana (SAN). She said the suit seeking to stop the police from arresting, investigating and prosecuting Saraki over his alleged role in a controversial N21 billion loan to Joy Petroleum Ltd had been overtaken by events. Rabana accused the police of taking steps inimical to his client’s relief.
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
He said his client was arrested and interrogated by the police, though he came to the court for protection against harassment. Trying to justify the action, the police counsel, Mr Femi Falana, said the warrant for the arrest of Saraki was issued by a Lagos Federal High Court when he refused to honour the invitations extended to him. Justice Olotu said the police undermined the authority of the court when it issued a warrant for Saraki’s arrest and also declared him wanted after they (the police) had submitted to the jurisdiction of the
court. Lamenting that the bench warrant foisted a fait accompli on the court, the judge rejected the arguments by Falana that the court did not have the power to stop the police from carrying out their constitutional duties. She noted that the police admitted that they obtained a warrant while the case was pending and also executed the warrant in the public domain, instead of serving it on the plaintiff. According to her, once a party has submitted a dispute to the court and the other party has been served, the proper thing to do is to allow the court determine the dispute.
“I’m of the view that the plaintiff has unfettered right to come to court. “The police’s excuse is not tenable. It would have been wise to await the decision of this court. They undermined this court and should have come to this court if they became aware that the plaintiff planned to run. “It was this court that should have issued the warrant. It was this court that should have declared him wanted. “This is because the police’s power to do anything has been technically suspended. “The sanctity of the rule of law must be protected at all costs and at all times,” she added.
In the originating summons, Saraki asked the court to determine, among others, •whether it is not a violation of the plaintiff’s right under Section 34 (a) and Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) for the defendant to invite the plaintiff to appear before the police without any allegations and or accusations specifically made against him; and •whether the letter of 3rd April 2012 written by the agent of the defendant to the plaintiff can be complied with by the plaintiff in the absence of any specific allegations made against the plaintiff.
Reps reject unhealthy cassava bread From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (middle), his Chief of Staff, Mr. Yemi Adaramodu (second right) and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Internal Security), Mr. Deji Adesokan, during an on-the-spot assessment of demolition of illegal structures on Okeyinmi, Ado-Ekiti... yesterday.
ACN condemns threat to new Lagos doctors
HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has decried the threats and intimidations allegedly being dished out by the disengaged striking Lagos doctors to their recruited colleagues. In a statement by its spokesman Joe Igbokwe, the party described the threats as uncivilised and a desperate way to worsen the health crisis in the Centre of Excellence following the declaration of industrial dispute by doctors against their employer. The party advised the sacked doctors to embrace olive branch being offered by the state government and return to the dialogue table. It said: “The Lagos State said it is still ready to listen to the sacked doctors and stop thinking they can be allowed to cripple the health sector.
“It is sad that doctors that should have been reticent in their actions have thrown caution to the winds and are now issuing threats to colleagues as a way of worsening the health conditions of Lagosians. “We see the threat messages to the newly recruited doctors as a condemnable act that aims to completely paralyse the health delivery in Lagos in the wake
of the intransigence of the sacked doctors who decided to abandon their professional calling for personal comfort and other trivial benefits. “We see this unprofessional conduct as demeaning of the status of doctors who should not be associated with anything that constitutes threat to lives and we condemn those behind this effort to scare away the
newly recruited doctors from taking up the responsibilities the sacked doctors abandoned. “While we condemn this resort to uncivilised self help by the sacked doctors, we urge them to go back to the negotiation table with the state government, which has declared that its doors are still open for further engagement with the sacked doctors.
Bishop berates political class, seeks change
OR the Archbishop of Ibadan Province, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Joseph Akinfenwa, something urgent must be done has to stem the socio-political decadence being witnessed in the country. Akinfenw, who bared his mind yesterday during the
dedication of the Emmanuel Anglican Church, in AbaOtun town of Akinmoorin, Osun State, said the political class has failed Nigerians in the delivery of dividends of democrac. The cleric lamented the level of corruption among the political class. He said: “The long and short of it is that we are ripe
for a change. The people should arise and take their rightful position. We need a change.” Condemning corruption, the cleric said it was cheering that justice caught up with a former Nigerian governor, Chief James Ibori, who escaped abroad after looting the public treasury at home.
EMEBRS of the House of Representatives yesterday rejected a bill seeking to make cassava a mandatory part of the flour for making bread in Nigeria. All the lawmakers rejected the bill, as no single voice was raised in its favour when Deputy Speaker Ike Ihedioha called for the voice vote after a debate on the matter. Entitled: A bill for an act to provide for the mandatory inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour in Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith, the bill failed to pass second reading. The Executive had proposed the bill to the House, asking it to make it a law. If the lawmakers had allowed the bill to scale through, it would have made it compulsory for bakers to include cassava in baking bread. It would have been a big boost for President Goodluck Jonathan’s initiative on cassava bread. The Minister of Agriculture had projected that the cassava flour initiative would have saved the country over N250 billion in foreign exchange. The money is spent yearly on importation of wheat and wheat flour. The President had presented the commercialised cassava sample bread at the State House in Abuja at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) earlier in the year. According to him, the government was putting in place measures that would stimulate the production of large scale cassava plants in the country to the tune of 1.3 metric tons of cassava flour.
UNILORIN pays N493.2m to 49 lecturers
HE University of Ilorin yesterday said it has so far paid N493.2million to the reinstated 49 lecturers and denied flouting the judgement of the Supreme Court. The varsity also claimed that it is not trampling on the rights of the hitherto sacked lecturers in any manner. The position of the institution was contained in a brief filed before a Federal High Court, Ilorin following a fresh suit filed by 44 out of the reinstated 49 lecturers.
•Denies flouting Supreme Court verdict From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
The 44 lecturers had filed an application for contempt proceeding against the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede for allegedly not implementing the 2009 judgement of the apex court. The Federal High Court will hear the contempt proceeding today. The 44 lecturers, through
their counsel, Mr. John Bayeshea(SAN) alleged that the university management had refused to approve their annual promotion, leave allowances and sabbatical entitlements. The university, through its counsel, Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali(SAN) has however filed a counter-motion that it has kept to the terms of the judgement of the Supreme Court.
In an affidavit in support of its motion, sworn to by the Registrar of the University of Ilorin , Mrs. Olufolake Oyeyemi, the institution said it has done its best to protect the rights of the hitherto sacked 49 lecturers, including the 44 in court. In one of the exhibits before the court, the university confirmed that it had paid N493,298,694.04 million to the 49 lecturers with a breakdown of what each got. The affidavit reads in part:
“The Vice-Chancellor, on their reinstatement, briefed the Senate at an emergency meeting held on 22nd December, 2009 where he urged all staff to make the return of the reinstated staff as smooth and seamless as possible. He additionally issued a Press Release stating the University’s preparedness to fully comply with the verdict of the apex Court. In furtherance of this, Administration set up a Committee to implement the judgement of the Court.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
NEWS Ekiti begins demolition for Abuja Varsity crisis: Jonathan intra-town dual carriage way orders sack of ‘political’ students T •Swears in minister, first woman chair of FCSC, others From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday ordered the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayatu Rufa’i, the Senate of the University of Abuja as well as the Executive Secretary of the National Universities (NUC) to ‘sack’ all students without basic qualification. He said they may have been admitted as a result of pressures from politicians. Jonathan, who referred to such students as “political students”, blamed them for cultism as well as other crimes that are unbecoming of students. The President insisted such students should be sent back to their political backers. Jonathan gave the order after swearing in a new cabi-
From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
net member, Inuwa Abdulkadir from Sokoto State. Abdulkadir replaces Yusuf Suleiman, who left to contest an election. He is now Minister of Youth Affairs. Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who acted as Sports Minister, has been confirmed in substantive capacity. Also sworn in were the chairperson and members of the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC). Mrs. Olatoyese Ayo (Oyo) is the first woman to head the commission. She got a standing ovation from the women ministers. The members are Ibrahim
Mohammed (Sokoto), Gamba Buwai (Zamfara), Yahaya Yusuf (Bauchi), Mohhammed Hamidu Babaanka (Taraba) and Rafiu Babatunde Tinubu (Lagos ). The President said: “Only yesterday, we had a meeting with the Minister of Education we were looking into the situation at the University of Abuja because of the crises. “The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) revealed that one thing about the UNIABUJA’s case is that there are students there who do not even have the basic qualification to be admitted. And I said that they must be “political” students”. “They must be students who we politicians pushed in and I
told the minister that they must set up a committee to send these students back to us. “We cannot allow the universities to be taken over by “political” students who create confusion, join cults, because they cannot cope with the academic challenges. “So to be relevant, they have to misbehave.” He urged the apointees to bring discharge their duties honourably. “For the chairman and members of the FCSC, we thank you for accepting to serve. “We believe that you will work extra hard to bring back the glory of the Service in conjunction with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.”
HE demolition of houses to facilitate the upgrade of Ojumoshe-Old Garage Road to a dual carriage way by the Ekiti State government began yesterday. Owners of the affected structures were paid compensation earlier in the year by the state government. Last year, structures lying within 13 metres from the main road were considered to obstruct the planned town renewal and were marked as illegal. The demolition of structures ahead of the start of the urban renewal project was carried out on major highways in the capital from Ajilosun area to Basiri. Explaining the heavy presence of security during the demolition, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Internal Security Deji Adesokan said the personnel were invited to “forestall a breakdown of law and order.” He said the affected individuals bore no grudge against the government, “since the state government had already paid compensation for the demolished property.” A statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Yinka Oyebode confirmed that compensation had been paid. The Commissioner for Urban, Physical and Regional Planning, Ebun Awoyemi, said the demolistion is being carried out to change the face of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
One arrested as traffic officials beat man to death in Ogun From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
FFICIALS of the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), numbering about 15 allegedly beat a security man, Mr Samuel Adoke, to death yesterday in Sokori area of Abeokuta. The deceased allegedly flouted traffic regulation. Adoke, was identified as a guard at a first generation bank. He slumped and died following severe beating from the TRACE officials.
NMA warns ‘casual’ doctors
HE Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has ordered the new doctors employed by Lagos State Government not to accept the offer. In a statement by its Lagos State Branch Chairman, Dr Edamisan Temiye and Secretary, Dr Olusola Olowoselu, the body said NMA has initiated the process of sending a sworn affidavit to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Investigation conduct. •Jonathan (right) congratulating Abdulkadir after he was sworn-in at the State House, Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN.
JTF arrests 25 suspected bunkerers in Bayelsa
PERATIVES of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) have arrested 25 suspected bunkerers in Bayelsa State. JTF spokesman Lt.Col. Onyema Nwachukwu said the suspects were arrested at Brass Creek. Seventeen were arrested at Akassa and the rest at Elekpa. He said a vessel, MV Tamuno Ibi, which loaded 600,000 litres of illegally refined diesel was impounded and burnt on the Akassa Sea. Two barges and one tug boat with illegal products were also seized at Elekpa. The suspects have been taken to the JTF Headquarters and State Security Service (SSS) in Yenagoa. Nwachukwu said the captain of the vessel, Edwin David, tendered a Navy per-
Navy acquires patrol boats Rear Adm. James Oladimeji, the Navy Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), said yesterday that the Navy had acquired new patrol boats to complement the existing ones. Oladimeji said this in Abuja on the activities lined up for the celebration of the 56th anniversary of the Navy. He said the boats were acquired to police the nation’s waterways and enhance naval presence. Oladimeji listed boats as Manta, Shaldag and OCEA boats from France. According to the COPP, President Goodluck Jonathan has also given approval for the Navy to purchase two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). “The vessels are 1800 tonnes OPVs with long bridge, twin rudders and twin controllable pitch propellers powered by two diesel engines. “The vessels cost about N24 billion and are to be delivered in three years. They are mainly to be used for maritime surveillance, patrol and response. From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
mit , but the JTF has not been able to ascertain the source of the permit. Nwachukwu said: “We will
destroy any vessel, canoe, ship found with illegal products. “Without mincing words, this is to send a signal to those involved in illegal oil bun-
kering to desist because the JTF will not spare any individual or group of persons involved in this illicit activity. “We have interrogated the captain of the vessel and he confessed that he was to actually load at the Brass terminal. “However, his boss directed him to the creeks where he allegedly siphoned crude oil up to about 600,000 litres.” David claimed he was directed by his boss ,Dagogo Eli, to load illegally refined products at Akassa Creek, rather than going to the Brass Terminal. David alleged that the owner of the product was Douglas of PWS Integrated Services, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. “ This is my first time of loading illegal products,” he said.
Move to reduce new plate number, driver’s licence prices fail
HE report of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs which recommended a reduction in the price of the new drivers’ licences and plate numbers suffered a setback yesterday. The committee, headed by Senator Dahiru Kuta (Niger East), was mandated to with-
From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
draw the report because of some discrepancies contained in it. Most Senators who spoke during the consideration of the report were of the opinion that it was not the duty of the Senate to fix prices. The committee recom-
mended that the price of the new number plate be reduced from N15,000 to N8400 while driver’s licence should be reduced from N6,000 to N4,000. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Majority Leader, Ahmed Abdul Ningi and Senators Nenadi Usman, James Manager, Ayogu Eze and Barnabas Gemade
spoke against the attempt of the committee to fix prices for new vehicle plate numbers and drivers’ licences. Though Senate President David Mark lauded the work of the committee, he asked the Committee to take the report back and reduce the recommendations to a manageable number.
By Wale Adepoju
The Medical Guild has accused the Lagos State Government of prolonging the impasse. In a letter by the Chairman,Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote and Secretary, Dr I. Durojaiye, it said the proceeding at National Industrial Court (NIC) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)-mediation committee meeting last Tuesday have were pointers to the government’s antics to prolong the crisis.
Four arraigned for alleged theft
OUR persons have been arraigned separately at Magistrate’s Courts in Afuze and Ubiaja, Edo State, for alleged electoral offences. They were alleged to have conspired in the procurement and dealing in Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) voter’s cards contrary to Section 124(5) and punishable under Section 120 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. Three of them- Richard Usikhifo (61), Segun Omoarebu (40) and Ajayi Ohikhuemi (30) were charged before Magistrate W. I Aziegbevbin at the Afuze Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday. The last person, Felicia Enegbeta (62) and others at large were arraigned before the Ubiaja Magistrate’s Court.
‘Dissolution of Edo councils legal’
N Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain in Edo State, E. A Inwalomhe, yesterday said the dissolution of local governments by Governor Adams Oshiomole two years ago was legal. He rejected a court ruling, which said the dissolution conflicted with the 1999 Constitution.
By Emmanuel Oladesu
Donald said in a statement that the law passed by the House of Assembly empowers the governor to dissolve the councils based on certain guidelines. He said the judge apparently failed to bear in mind that when the governor dissolved the councils, the House backed the move with a resolution.
More setback for Edo PDP From Osagie Otabor, Benin
HE fortunes of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State dwindled further in Estako East Local Government as its senatorial leader and former senatorial aspirant, Maj Francis Alimikhena, joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Alimikhena was among thousands of PDP members who joined the ACN at the campaign rally of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. The former PDP senatorial leader promised to deliver 100 per cent votes for the ACN in the locality during the July 14 governorship election. Oshiomhole said he was not worried about plans by opposition political parties to rig the election. He said: “With our bare hands, they couldn’t rig us out. We will remain focus on our issues of development. You must wait till the results area announced and let us see how they change the results.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
NEWS Osun West ACN congratulates Aregbesola At 55
German institute to train Osun youths in agric
GERMAN-BASED institute for farm settlement has offered to train Osun State youths in different areas of agricultural specialties. The training is expected to enable the state make inroads into the development of biogas for electricity generation and enhance cooperatives for comprehensive agricultural development. Governor Rauf Aregbesola is leading a delegation of the state to Germany during a fiveday tour. The delegation held bilateral talks with the German state of Saxony Anhalt yesterday as the tour entered its third day. A statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the Osun State delegation was on the invitation of the State Agricultural Minister, Dr. Hermann Onko Aikens, and has been in the German state for talks on bilateral relations between the two states. The statement said the del-
•State to develop biogas, others from training From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
egation, on Monday, toured an agricultural cooperative society in a village called Rottmersleben, in Saxony Anhalt. It reads: “On Tuesday, the delegation visited the State Research for Agricultural Training and Practical Demonstration Centre for Animal Preparation in Iden, a village in Saxony Anhalt, Germany. “The team was received by the Director of the Institute, Dr. Gerd Heckenberg, who gave Aregbesola and his delegation the opportunity to visit various units of the institute, ranging from, milk product, modern piggery, wild game breeding antelopes, gestating cows of different age calves and new born, bio-energy production unit, farm simulation laboratory and the technical education workshop on agricultural machinery units. “In the institute, the course
duration for students is three years. The structure of the curriculum is a combination of training and real life working experience. “There are 2000 students enrolled. The school was established in 1722 as a private farm settlements and run as a private farm as such until the Second World War, before it was taken over by the Russians whilst under communist control of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). “It was later turned into active center of excellence for farm training. The center is located on a 1200 Hectares of land of which 500 is devoted as foliage.” He further said that the highlights of the farm visited included a membership of the cooperative of 25 farmers with addition of eight paid hands on a farm size of 2000 hectares; raising of 1,400 herd for beef bulls from which the cooperative also generates 500 KVA
electricity per day. “Also, the farm has a bio-gas plant, which was erected at the cost of 1.8 Million Euro and from which 500 KVA of electricity is generated daily with an average income of 3,000 Euro monthly for cooperative members with government support of 300 Euro subsidies per hectares yearly. “At the end of the tour of the farm, the Mayor of the village informed the delegates that it was the first time an African governor was visiting Germany to explore the vast experience in agriculture.” Those on the delegation with the governor include the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Wale Adedoyin; Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs. Folake Adegboyega; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Rural Development, Mr. Kunle Ige; and the Coordinator of the Quick Impact Intervention Programme, Mr. Dele Ogundipe.
HE Osun West Senatorial District of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has congratulated Osun State Governor Ruaf Aregbesola on his 55th birthday. The party said the governor’s contributions to the restoration of democracy, after a years of military rule and the struggle for the enthronement of true federalism in Nigeria, are clear to Nigerians. In a congratulatory message in Osogbo, the state capital, by Chief Ishola Oyewumi and Mr Akintola Omolaoye, the Chairman and Secretary of the party, on behalf of party members in the district, ACN described Aregbesola as a focused, trustworthy and reliable leader.
Suspected LP thugs attack Ondo ACN chieftain
•Ademoyegun on hospital bed...yesterday
CHIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, Mr Samuel Ademoyegun, was yesterday reportedly attacked by hoodlums suspected to be supporters of the ruling Labour Party (LP). He was said to have narrowly escaped being killed. Ademoyegun is the Chairman of Orita-Obele miniward in Ward II, Akure, and a retired police officer. The Nation learnt that he was attacked about 7.30pm after he left his home at Oke-Odu, on the outskirts of Akure, the state capital. He was reportedly trailed by about 10 suspected thugs, who were said to be armed. The thugs, who allegedly used some government vehicles, ambushed the politician at Arakale in Akure. It was learnt that Ademoyegun was macheted till he became unconscious.
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
An eyewitness said the ACN chieftain lost a finger during the attack and was rushed to a nearby police clinic at the police officers’ mess in Akure, for treatment. The Ondo Central Senatorial District Chairman of the ACN, Dr. Bayo Ademodi, alleged that the attack was the new method adopted by the LP to silence opposition members, particularly those in the ACN. He said: “LP members have been attacking our loyalists with impunity. They believe they are in government and have all necessary weapons to tackle us, but I want them to know that nobody has the monopoly of violence.” Ademoti urged security agencies to curtail the excesses of LP members to prevent bloodshed in the state. Two ACN officials, Ade Adetimehin and Rotimi Agbede, wondered why the
suspected LP hoodlums unleash violence in the state without being cautioned by security agents. They noted that the state needs peace, especially in the buil-up to the October 20 governorship election and after. According to them, the political violence in Ondo State during the Second Republic should have taught LP members a lesson. Though the victim was responding to treatment as at press time, he was not fit to comment on the attack. A police source, who spoke in confidence, confirmed the incident. The source said nobody has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Other party leaders in the zone, including Senator Mudasiru Hussein, a member of the National Assembly, Najeem Salaam, Colonel Bankole Laoye(rtd), Jimoh Olayemi and Amobi Akintola, ProfMojeed Alabi, Alhaji Gbadebo Ajao, Gbadegesin Adedeji, also congratulated the governor. The party recalled the “uncommon courage and perseverance” the governor displayed while waiting to reclaim his mandate during the three and a half years the Olagunsoye Oyinlola government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). ACN described Aregbesola as a genuine democrat, dogged fighter, grassroots mobiliser, potent strategist, loyal leader, lover of democracy, icon of the time and an embodiment of good governance. The party described the Aregbesola administration as “an unusual government that has made tremendous impact” within its short period in office on the lives of the residents. It hailed the government for employing 20,000 youths within its 100 days in office, saying this is a feat no other government had attained in Nigeria since Independence in 1960. ACN urged Osun indigenes - at home and abroad - to support the Aregbesola administration to enable it deliver dividends of democracy to all. The party noted that the landmark achievements the governor has recorded within the 18 months testify to his capability to take the State of Osun to the greater heights. It urged the governor to continue his untiring development of the state in the footsteps of the late Western Region Premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo; former Ondo State Governor Adekunle Ajasin; former Bendel State Governor Ambrose Alli; former governors of Osun State, Chiefs Bola Ige and Bisi Akande.
PUBLIC NOTICE OPOBO BOAT CLUB The general public is hereby informed that the above named organisation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004. BOARD OF TRUSTEES: 1) Mr. Igoni Park 2) Honourable Dakuku Peterside 3) Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam 4) Mr. Kalada Apiafi 5) Mr. Nelson Jaja 6) Mr. Osa Cookey 7) Mr. Ubani Nkangineme 8) Mr. Iboroma Akpana 9) Mr. Emmanuel Georgewill AIMS & OBJECTIVES: • To promote the sport of boating, to promote, support and encourage participation in boat racing • To encourage the building and sailing of boats in Rivers State particularly in Opobo Town , • To provide and maintain facilities for the storage of boats and maintain a club house for members of the Club; • To provide a friendly and recreational environment through which the knowledge and contribution in yachting, sailing, boat racing and general seamanship may be fostered; Any objections should be forwarded to: The Registrar General Corporate Affairs Commission Wuse Zone 5, Abuja Within 28days of this publication. Signed: Secretary
PUBLIC NOTICE GLOBAL INTERCESSORY PRAYER HOUSE MINISTRY The general public is hereby notified that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission to be registered under part “C” of the companies and Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: a) Rev. Daniel Bitrus c) Pastor Mrs. Joyce Ezekiel Washarpoh e) Mrs. Mary Ishaya g) Barr. Habila Pekes
b) Dr. Luka Thamo Fomson d) Rev. Joseph Maren f) Pastor Nengak Suwa
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To glorify God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 2) To touch the Globe through intercessory prayers 3) To reach out to the unreached with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4) To carry out charitable work among the under-privileged e.g the widows, orphans, new Christian Converts, etc. 5) To counsel individual, families, schools, students, and the general public on the values and importance of intercessory prayers. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, maitama Abuja within 28(days) of this publication. S I G N E D: N. I. Darong Esq Mentor Chambers, 6TB Museum Road, Jos.
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Lagos Island dominates athletics event at Ibile Games
ITH 13 gold medals won out of the 44 events at stake, Lagos Island Local Council is leading in the athletics event of the ongoing Lagos State Sports Festival tagged Ibile Games. Table topper, Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), trails the Island team in the event, but yesterday, national distance runner sensation, Aminat Olowora proved her worth in the 1500metre when she
claimed gold medal in the event. Olowora, whose form in recent times has made her a national champion in the 3000metre with the season best of 10.03seconds, believes her feat yesterday would help to prepare her for the national championship holding in Calabar in July. In all the events concluded in athletics the Lagos Island team swept most of the gold medals to improve the team medals count on the table.
Bolaji Abdullahi: NFF hails Jonathan
HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday applauded President Goodluck Jonathan’s to deploy Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi to take full charge of the National Sports Commission (NSC). In Budapest, Hungary for this year’s FIFA Congress that commences on Thursday, NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari said President Jonathan’s move was the best thing that had happened to Nigerian sports in a very long while. “Mr. President has taken a wonderful step. It shows clearly that His Excellency has been following events in the sports sector, and the excellent role that Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has been playing in ensuring peace and then, progress. Without peace, there can be no progress or growth.
“The NFF is very happy with Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi being fully committed to the National Sports Commission. In such a short time as Supervising Minister, and even with the distractions/challenges of having another full Ministry to take charge of, he has done so much to put things right,” said Maigari. Maigari commended Mallam Abdullahi’s dispassionate handling of matters and personal commitment to bringing to an end, needless crises and conflicts that had hampered the development of the Nigeria game for almost two years. He added: “I am delighted. The NFF has been working very well with Mallam Abdullahi and we will continue to work wonderfully well with him to lift Nigeria football to higher heights.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
TOMORROW IN THE NATION
‘True, the retired General is a worthy candidate, perhaps the best president Nigeria can have now but he has to do better than goading innocent people to die on the streets’ VOL. 7, NO.2,135
COMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
HE general elections, including the presidential, are not due until 2015, three years away. But the political campaign has already started, somewhat prematurely, on a disagreeable and acrimonious note. Last week, the first disturbing salvo for the elections was fired by retired General Muhammadu Buhari, a former military head of state and leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). He was reported by the media as dismissing the ruling party, the PDP, and the Jonathan government as ‘the biggest Boko Haram,” the Islamic terrorist sect, and warning that any attempt by the Jonathan PDP government to rig the elections in 2015 would lead to widespread resistance and violence in the country. Obviously, the inference to be drawn here is that someone intends to sponsor this threatened violence. It will have to be the loser, or losers, and this will add to Nigeria’s security problems. Tony Momoh, the chairman of the CPC, was also reported as calling the PDP ‘evil’. The CPC is right to call for a clean, free and fair election in 2015. That is what the electorate wants and deserves. But the leader of the CPC should have refrained from issuing threats of violence for an election that is three years away. In effect, by its outburst, the CPC is seeking to preempt the results of the elections. It has served notice that if its leader General Buhari decides to run, he will not accept a possible defeat by his opponent, principally President Jonathan. This will lead many people to consider him a bad loser. In response, President Jonathan’s media adviser, Reuben Abati, a normally restrained and decent writer, issued a vitriolic statement in which he dismissed General Buhari as ‘a serial loser and a sectional leader’ unfit to rule the country. I think his response went too far. The current use of media advisers by virtually every politician in the country is becoming counter-productive. The independence leaders, Chief Awolowo, the Sardauna, and Dr. Azikiwe, never employed or used media advisers. If they had anything important to say to the public, they did so directly. Now, our political leaders consider it demeaning to have to speak directly to their own people and leave the task to their media advisers. Instead of offering useful clarifications on important state matters, the so-called media advisers tend to complicate matters by hurling abuses on perceived critics of their sponsors. When President Obasanjo was in power, his spokesmen, particularly Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode and Dr. Doyin Okupe, tended to throw any caution to the winds in the manner they hurled vulgar personal abuse on Obasanjo’s perceived opponents, no matter how well meaning his critics were. In their distasteful defence of Obasanjo, they failed to make any favourable impression on the public. Instead, many more people were turned off and became alienated from Obasanjo’s government as a result of the unguarded and unrestrained language employed by his boys in attacking their bosses’
FROM THE SUMMIT firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan, Buhari and 2015
opponents or critics. This offensive practice, now a permanent feature of Nigerian politics, is subversive of the democratic process which should encourage fierce and free debates on matters of public interest. The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) should seriously consider issuing guidelines to its members to curb the resort to vile language by the media advisers, most of whom are its members. In politics one can expect some banter among opposing camps. That is the essence of a free society and the democratic process. But the use of unrestrained and unguarded language should be considered unacceptable and intolerable. For most of last week, other political leaders, commentators, and the media joined the political fray kicked off by General Buhari. To add to the confusion, it was reported that at their meeting during the week, the Forum of Northern Governors, declared that it will not support a candidate from the South for the presidential elections, adding that it was the turn of the North to produce the next president in 2015. It is significant that most of the Northern governors are from the PDP, but may not support President Jonathan if he decides to run for office again in 2015. This means that ethnicity, rather than ideas, will determine the way the 2015 elections go. This will increase the bitterness, acrimony, and
RIPPLES JONATHAN GOES TOUGH ON FOOD STUFF IMPORTERS–News
Tough on IMPORTERS, SOFT on BOKO HARAM
violence in the run up to the elections in which many more lives will be lost. The political assassinations have already started in Edo State where an aide of Governor Oshiomole was gunned down in his house. His killers have not yet been found. Although both President Jonathan and General Buhari say they have not yet made up their minds about running for office in 2015, the probability that they will run has been reinforced by the personal and vicious attacks they have started hurling at each other. These attacks are intended to define the grounds and terms on which the presidential elections will be fought in 2015. As usual the elections will be fought on ethnic grounds that will pitch the North against the South. As always, the stakes involved in the elections to high public office in Nigeria are very high. President Obasanjo declared flatly before the 2003 presidential elections that politics in Nigeria was a ‘do or die’ affair.The stakes involved include access to power, privilege, instant material wealth, and ethnic domination, still the bane of Nigerian politics. This makes elections in Nigeria very violent. Many observers are worried that the campaign for the 2015 general elections is starting so early, three years ahead of time, and that this will divert the attention of the government from attacking the grave challenges currently facing Nigeria. President Jonathan has already complained that his attention is being diverted by this premature politicking by his opponents. But his achievements in office after nearly two years are not so obvious. He inherited some problems but has since added some of his own. Much valuable time will be wasted on the political husting, instead of all the contending parties engaging themselves in the search for solutions to the country’s deepening economic and political problems which will worsen as a result of the economic depression in Europe and the financial crisis in the Euro Zone. Oil exports from Nigeria and oil price will fall unless there is growth in the European economy. But even more disturbing is the vicious and unacceptable language now being employed by spokesmen of the various parties. This will increase the cynicism of the public and the
IVEN the enthusiasm and volubility with which he pontificated at the fourth annual conference of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies on Tuesday, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo must crave invitations to important occasions to save him from the humdrum of being put out to pasture on the scorched earths of ex-presidents. Obasanjo is reputed to act more than he talks – unlike Dr Goodluck Jonathan who is noted for his impulsive boyishness – but to hear him joyously assail the three branches of government two days ago from his detached homiletical mountaintop triggers suspicion about his new mannerisms. His long discourse on governance confirms what we always knew about him, but even by our common standard of cynicism, he broke all barriers. He was unsparing on the executive, for of course in a manner evocative of his books, especially My Command, he was Nigeria’s undisputed leader among presidents and heads of state. He took the legislature to the cleaners, even likening them to armed robbers and
electorate about the commitment of our political leaders to a true and genuine democracy in which elections are decided by ideas and not by personal abuse. Our politicians are no longer held in high esteem by the public. Instead they are being increasingly thought of as political bandits that are unfit to govern this country. Most of the violence in the country is the result of the bitter rivalry and competition for power among the politicians of the various parties. In most cases, innocent civilians who are not directly involved in active politics are the victims of this violence that is undermining the security of the nation and the safety of its citizens. Our leaders must be made to understand that what the country expects from them is exemplary leadership, including good performance in tackling the many problems facing the nation, and not threats of unleashing another level of violence on our country that has already suffered enough from the state of general insecurity in the nation. The electorate wants to know how the various political parties intend to address these problems. We want to see the manifestoes and programmes of all the parties contesting the election and how they intend to tackle such long standing and deep seated problems as mass and deepening poverty, mass corruption, the rot in the oil and financial sectors, energy deficiencies, poor funding of education, mass unemployment, and a declining health delivery service in our nation. These are the issues that should dominate the campaign for the 2015 general elections, and not personal attacks on one another by the leaders of the various political parties, which show that they are really bereft of positive and productive ideas in moving the nation forward. With the possible exception of the ACN which has a clear party manifesto and political programme, none of the other political parties have published their programme, or the policies they intend to adopt if voted into office. Part of the problem is that most of these so-called parties rely on the use of brute force and money to win elections. All the parties fund their election campaign with money stolen from the state coffers. Subscription from their members is insignificant and is grossly inadequate to fund the activities of the parties. We must evolve an electoral system in which expenditure by the parties on their political campaigns is monitored by the electoral commission and severely limited. If the parties find that they do not have the financial means to fund the hiring of political thugs, then our politics will be cleaner and saner. We cannot continue with this democratic façade when it is clear that elections in Nigeria are not won by the number of votes cast for candidates, but by strong arm methods and the resort to force and violence, reminiscent of Hitler’s S.S. storm troopers. This is the reason that many decent people in Nigeria avoid politics like the plague. • For comments, send SMS to 08054503031
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Obasanjo’s sanctimonious pontification rogues, and it was as if when he was president he never undermined them or seduced them in ways that were we as finicky as he wanted us to be he would long have been lawfully and rightfully deprived of the freedom he had long taken for granted. And then he dug at the judiciary so sanctimoniously that we suppose had our eminent judges anticipated his lack of graciousness to them, they would have railroaded him to jail under one constructive corollary or the other of official corruption or electoral malfeasance. Finally, with sheer gusto, and a hearty, unmistakeable smirk, Obasanjo skewered the police so mercilessly that it was hard to believe he ever presided over the affairs of Nigeria and had the same police wholly answerable to him. And then, after many harsh putdowns of everybody except himself, this memorable peroration: “Well, I will not lament, I will only say let us understand our
problems and emphasise the good ones…I believe we will get there, but all Nigerians must play their roles.” If all he said about everybody did not amount to lamentation, pray, what did he do? And as much as he tried to disguise his narcissism, what one good thing did this pontiff of African correctness see in anyone, person or institution? Obasanjo counselled everyone to play his or her part, without pausing to recollect that of all he deigned to do for the country he governed so ruthlessly for eight years, the thought of playing his own part never crossed his mind for a day. Instead, he played our parts remorselessly, though he was not suited to it, and he left his own part severely alone, mercifully. For if he had combined our parts, which he chafed we left undone, with his own part, which he declined to do, we could not tell whether the ensuing confusion he would create could be remedied in a century.
Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: email@example.com Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO