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Insecurity won’t stop 2015 polls , says Jonathan

NEWS

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Newspaper of the Year

News Vandals attack policemen in Arepo P60 Sports Two fans die watching UEFA cup P59 Business 40,000 construction jobs gone P26

•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL. 9, NO. 2858 MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

Power firms to begin 100% remmittance Sept

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•www.thenationonlineng.net

By Emeka Ugwuanyi, Asst. Editor

HE power sector privatisation will move to the next stage by September when all electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) are expected to remit 100 per cent of their collections from customers. That is when the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will change from the Interim Market Rules (IMR) to the Transition Electricity Market (TEM). See story on page 25

EKITI 2014

N150.00 KANO LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

Saturday - 17/5/2014 CHAIRMANSHIP: APC - 44 with 2, 370, 889 VOTES PDP - 0 with 200, 687 COUNCILLORSHIP: APC - 484 Seats PDP - 0

•LP thugs unleash terror on APC men in Ikere-Ekiti •PDP candidate accuses Fayemi of threatening Obas •AND MORE •Group seeks Fayose’s disqualification from race ON PAGE 10

Boko Haram kills 24 Insurgents attack market

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Tony Akowe, Kaduna

HERE seems to be no let-up in the extremist Boko Haram’s bloody campaign, with the invasion yesterday of a Borno State village. The sect’s fighters invaded Kamuyya village in Biu Local Government Area, killing no fewer than 24 people. The village’s market was in full swing when the insurgents, carrying sophisticated guns, emerged from the bush and opened fire on defenceless traders and customers. They stromed the village centre and burnt down houses, shops and other landmarks. They also carted away some food items from the market and set fire to those they could not evacuate. They reportedly operated for over five hours, unchallenged.

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WHERE ARE THE CHIBOK GIRLS KIDNAPPED ON APRIL 15?

According to residents, the insurgents visited the village about two months

ago and requested the village head to mobilise his subjects to contribute N250,000 “to execute Allah’s work”. Peasant farmers and petContinued on page 4

•THE D AY AFTER: A view of destroyed vehicles at the site of a car bomb blast where football fans were watching the final of the UEFA Champions DA League match on Saturday night at a viewing centre in Jos…yesterday

•SPORTS P23 •ISSUES P32 •MOTORING P34 •JOBS P37 •POLITICS P45 •FOREIGN P61


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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NEWS

Why Nigeria c •From left: Globacom's Bayelsa State Manager(Recharge) Mr. John Ayim, Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Richard Mofe-Damijo, Glo Business Director(Rivers) Mr. Sam Edoho, Glo Ambassador, Desmond Elliot and Glo State Manager(Bayelsa) Mr Lawrence Krukrubo at the Glo-powered 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards, held at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenagoa at the weekend

•Left to right: Mr. Ray Echebiri, Editor-in-Chief of Business World Newspaper, Mr. Adekunle Yusuf of the The Nation (displaying his plaque for “Best CRS/Industry Reporting 2014) and Kate Henshaw at the Promasider Quill Award at the weekend. See story on Page 6 PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

L-R: Senior Vice President, Operations/Deputy Managing Director, Arik Air, Capt Ado Sanusi, hip hop artiste and Arik Air Ambassador, Tobi Sanni-Daniel (Ice Prince), Senior Vice President, Commercial, Arik Air, Mr. Siva Ramachadran and Director, Consumer Protection, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Alhaji. Adamu Abdullahi, during Arik Air Brazil 2014 promo draw, held at Arik Corporate Headquarters, in Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.

• L-R: Regional Manager, Commercial Operations, Northern & Western Africa, Emirates Airlines, Mr. Hafeez Azeem; Regional Manager, West Africa, Mr. Manoj Nair; Chief Human Resources Manager, Peacock Group, Mr. Aderemi Awolaiye; receiving Best Agency Award prize on behalf of Peacock Travels and Tours from the Director of Maintenance, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Femi Ogunode. With them are Emirates Airlines'flight attendants, at the award dinner held by Emirates Airlines to commemorate its 10th anniversary in Nigeria at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos... at the weekend.

Nigeria suffers from dearth of critical infrastructure needed to develop the economy. Between this year and 2018, it is estimated that an annual N4 trillion funding would be required to turn around the infrastructural deficit . However, despite the Transformation Agenda of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, fears are rife that actualising this feat will remain a mirage, given the consistent poor budgetary allocation to capital projects. Assistant Editor MUYIWA LUCAS writes.

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S a trained welder and iron bender, Kehinde Ojo, an artisan in the Akute neighbourhood of Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, quietly plied his trade for several years, eking out a living. Since his business depends on electricity, and with the epileptic power supply in the country, he had to acquire a generator, with capacity just enough to power his tools. However, following the deregulation of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), known in local parlance as diesel, he abandoned his vocation, realising that the cost of running and maintaining the generator had greatly eroded his profit margin. He has since taken to commercial motorcycling, popularly known as “okada”, shuttling between Akute and Berger. “From riding okada, I am able to feed my family and discharge my responsibilities at home,” Ojo told The Nation. Yet, he has his concerns about his okada business. This has nothing to do with safety rather, it is in relation to the continued sustainability of the trade. He fears that on completion of the six-lane expressway on which work has begun along the AkuteBerger corridor, okada riding would automatically die, even without any law to prohibit such on the road. And when this happens, Ojo’s livelihood would disappear. The plight of Musa Ibrahim, a trader in perishable food items, is more pathetic. He watched, helplessly, as his truck load of tomatoes, on its journey from the North, littered the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Ibrahim recalled that the truck driver ran into a huge crater between the Sagamu and Lagos end of the dilapidated road, leading to the felling of the truck. As he sat by the roadside, beamoning his loss, and the poor state of the road. Across the length and breadth of the country, dearth of critical infrastructure stares the citizens in the face. This is despite initiatives the Federal Government claims it has put in place to address the issue. From the poor power situation, to the poor state of roads, and poor railway system, there is nothing to write home about infrastructural development. In Au-

• Jonathan

gust last year, the Federal Government approved N124 billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads across the country. While government tries to be seen as taking bold steps to address these hydra-headed problems, yet it remains a long walk to fixing the same. The Lagos-Ibadan expressway continues to attract attention. Not only is it the economic artery of the country, it is touted as the busiest road in the entire West Coast region. It was therefore a relief, when last year, the Federal Government awarded the 127.8 kilometre road to Julius Berger and Reynolds Construction Company, RCC, for mobilisation at a cost of N167.8 billion - amounting to over N1 billion per kilometer. This was after years of neglect of the road by successive administrations. While awarding the Lagos-Ibadan road contract last year, government had assured that over the 48-month duration for the job, its funding would be included in the annual budget. Only N5 billion was allocated to the rehabilitation of the Lagos–Sagamu section of the road in this year’s budget. The amount is a drop in the ocean going by the total sum of the project. Other monetary allocations for roads in the 2014 budget include N23 million for Lagos–Ibadan concession project management / consultancy services; N500 million for rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of Benin– Sagamu Expressway (Benin–Ofosu section); N750 million for the reconstruction of the outstanding section of Benin–Ore–Ajebandele–Sagamu Expressway Phase III; N78.15 million for the rehabilitation of Sagamu– Ajebandele–Ore Road section 1: Ajebandele–Ofosu Road in Ondo State. The Lagos-Ibadan road is not the only road that is affected by inadequate funding. The 27.5 km ApapaOshodi Expressway, which serves the Apapa and Tin Can Island seaports in Lagos, is another road that has suffered same fate in the last four years. Despite the award of repair contracts to Julius Berger and Borini Prono in 2010, the work has been stalled due to unavailability of funds, forcing the contractors to abandon work regularly. Obafemi Onashile, Vice President (West), African Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS), while presenting a paper at a Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) workshop recently, disclosed that the


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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ria can’t win infrastructure battle FACTS AND FIGURES $800b $350b $75b $50b Amount for transportion deficit

Amount to fix Amount needed Amount needed road infrastruc- to fix rail infra- to fix aviation structure’s deficit facilities deficit ture deficit

$900b $300b $180b $121b

Amount need- Amount needed Amount needed Amount needed ed to fix energy for ICT infrafor water infra- for agric infrainfrastrucrure structure deficit structure deficit structure deficit deficit •Source: NIQS

We must be able to fix our power sector and the transportation sector as a whole. Our infrastructure level must be dynamic and functional to move goods around and help people create wealth. That is very important

• Works Minister Mike Onolememen

country has fallen well behind international benchmarks in this area. With an estimated total road length of 193,200 kilometers (paved 65,000 km and unpaved 128,200 km) comprising 34,123 km Federal roads, 30,500 km State roads, and 129,577 km Local Government roads, Onashile said that the current cost of neglect of these roads implies a loss of network value of N80 billion per year and additional operating costs of N35 billion per year. He argued that this has affected public transport infrastructure in the country, as a result of the lack of investment and adequate maintenance for many years. Consequently, he noted, there has been a failure of planning to integrate different transport modes. For instance, there are currently no rail connections to the country’s seaports. The railway system now accounts for less than one per cent of land transport in the country. The neglect of the railway has led to over-dependence on road transport with 98 per cent of goods being transported by road. Indeed, the state of the roads is a reflection of the general infrastructural breakdown in the country, in spite of the several national development plans that have been launched in the country since independence, which have suffered poor implementation and execution. N the area of educational infra structure, the country is also be leaguered. According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organisation, UNESCO, at least, 28 per cent of a country’s annual budget should go to the education sector in order to attain quality standard. But with a paltry N373.4 billion or 8.10 per cent of the current year’s budget allocated to the sector, it is no wonder why the sector has remained bastardised. Further assessment of the country’s education sector shows that a lot needs to be done if the country would be ranked among the top 20 economies by 2020. As at 2011, there were 117 universities in Nigeria (36 federal, 36 states and 45 private). Since 2010, not less than 1.2 million candidates seek admission into various universities in the country with placement given to only 200,000 candidates. This suggests that the universities in the county are insufficient to meet admission demands. The outlook for primary and secondary education is also not encouraging. These are reflections of the poor state of education infra-

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structure in the country. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) general households survey shows that in 2007, 10.4 per cent of Nigerians had access to pipe borne water; 26.8 per cent from bore hole; 33.3 per cent from well; 24.4 per cent from streams/ ponds and 4.1 per cent from trucks/ van, i.e. water vendors. This suggests that water and sanitation infrastructure in the country is grossly inadequate. Still, in the area of health, it remains very disheartening that the country has continued to slide. Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2010, a United Nations report released in 2012, says that Nigeria accounts for 14 per cent of the World’s maternal mortality, with 630 deaths for every 100,000 births. Underscoring the inadequacy of health facilities in the country, Onashie’s submission is that there were only three hospital beds for every 10,000 people, and only 45.9 per cent had access to medical facilities in the country in 2006. Also, the Save the Children Organisation, an international non-profit group, disclosed that almost 800,000 Nigerian children die every year before their fifth year; another record that makes the country the highest in infant mortality on the Continent. So bad is the local healthcare system that medical experts say no fewer than 5, 000 Nigerians travel to India annually for medical care. As at September 2013, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, National President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) put the country’s loss to medical tourism at about $800 million or N129 billion annually. This amount of money spent by Nigerians who now go abroad almost on daily basis for medicals, is more than enough to build more than five state-of-the-art, fully equipped hospitals across the country. Such spending, experts say, also constitute a strain on the

economy, especially its foreign exchange. Murtala Aliyu, President, NIQS, revealed at the institute’s recent workshop themed: “Towards a Sustained Growth of Emerging Economies in Africa: The Infrastructure Imperatives” that the country recently had a National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) which highlighted a gap of almost $3 trillion, or N468 trillion (at N156 per dollar). Last August, Shamsudeen Usman, former minister of national planning, speaking at the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Infrastructure Round Table, dropped the bombshell, revealing that N464 trillion is required for infrastructural development in the country over the next 30 years. This translates to N20.3 trillion in the next five years, and an average of N4 trillion per annum from 2014 to 2018. Equally, Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education and former World Bank vice president (Africa), in 2013, sounded a note of warning on the dangers of the poor state of infrastructure in the country, even as she disclosed that over the next 10 years, a sustained annual spending of about $14.2 billion is required to provide new infrastructure and rehabilitate the already dilapidated and decrepit ones. Ezekwesili argued that without adequate provision for infrastructure, and with the continued dearth of essential infrastructure in the country, the cost of doing business will definitely remain very high. “Indirect costs borne by firms to fill infrastructure gap in Nigeria amount to 15 per cent, whereas in China, it is five per cent; India 10 per cent and in Turkey which ranks 19th in the rating for major economies in the world, it is two per cent,” she explained. Little wonder stakeholders refer to infrastructure as the life blood of any

With poor budgetary allocations for critical infrastructure and the seeming lack of political will on the part of government to overcome the challenges, many Nigerians are concerned that the much needed infrastructural transformation of the country may remain elusive for many years to come.

economy considering that no economy can grow and develop without a reasonable stock of critical infrastructure. Therefore, this presupposes that where infrastructure is inadequate or lacking, growth is affected and people’s standard of living is negatively impacted. Admitting as poor state of infrastructure in the country, Mike Onolemene, Minister of Works, said: “The infrastructure deficit is large and affects every sector. Investment in the road sector alone requires at least construction of 14,000 kilometres of new roads annually for the next seven years, apart from maintaining and rehabilitating the existing network as a matter of routine, which will require the average annual expenditure on roads to increase seven fold to nearly N750 billion.” He told a conference on Funding Infrastructure Development in Africa: Nigeria As a Case Study, in Abuja, in September 2013 that investment in physical infrastructure, such as roads, houses, power and water is essential for the growth of the economy. But, with successive governments failure to reinvest in the existing infrastructure, nor-providing new ones, many stakeholders have not relented in lending a voice to the implications of the dearth of infrastructure for the country’s development. Mr. Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, in a recent interview with The Nation, contends that there is need to improve and maintain basic amenities and infrastructure, particularly the road network, to aid distribution and delivery of raw materials and finished products. This, he reckons, is key to enable the country achieve industrial revolution. Gbededo explains, developing the power sector and general infrastructure is key. “We must be able to fix our power sector and the transportation sector as a whole. Our infrastructure level must be dynamic and functional to move goods around and help people create wealth. That is very important,” he submitted. HE Federal Government may have considered several programmes to improve the infrastructural base of the country. Some of these were included in initiatives like the Vision 20 ; 2020, a development plan set by the Federal Government in 2009, which aims to make Nigeria one of the top 20 industrial nations by the year 2020. It was anchored on a projection of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of $900 billion and National per capita income of $4,000 per year by the year 2020. The critical infrastructure target in the plan was for Nigeria to achieve 60,000 Megawatts (MW) of electricity, apart from the other series of reforms planned to be effected before 2020, such as decentralisation of governance, electoral reforms, land use/ property reforms, public services reforms etc. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is also part of the plan. It is an international development plan initiated by the United Nations (UN), following the popular Millennium summit of the UN in the year 2000. All 189 UN member states (including Nigeria) subscribed to help achieve the Millennium Development goals by 2015. The goals include the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achievement of universal primary education; promotion of gender equality and empowering women; reduction of child mortality rate; improvement in maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; to ensure environmental sustainability, and to develop a global partnership for development. Still, government’s NIIMP, a 30-

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year development plan set in 2013, (i.e. NIIMP 2013-2014) to cost about $2.9 trillion (¦ 464 Trillion) and to be funded by the federal and state governments as well as the private sector, is another effort. The plan will be implemented through 5-year operational plans and 10-year strategic plans for the 30 years. Its objective is to harmonise the infrastructure development amongst the different sectors and states for more effective management. It reckoned that an average of $25b (¦ 4 Trillion) investment is required yearly over the next five years (2014-2018) compared to the current $9.0b (¦ 1.44 Trillion). These investments need to be done by the governments either directly or through private sector arrangements. Laudable as this seems, from all indications, infrastructural deficit in the country may not be a thing of the past any time soon. This is because the Federal Government’s allocations to infrastructure in its annual budget is a far cry from the required amount to meet the need. For instance, in the 2014 budget, the total allocation for capital projects stands at 27 per cent, representing N1.1 trillion of the N4.6 trillion proposal. This is a sharp contrast from the position of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala’s promise of increasing allocation to capital expenditure on her assumption of office three years ago. In the 2013 fiscal year, allocation to capital expenditure was 31.34 per cent, and 28.53 per cent in the 2012 budget. Experts maintain that such meagre allocation to capital projects, under which lies infrastructure, yearin-year-out, is an indication of the unseriousness on the part of the federal government to develop the economy and a huge minus for the Transformation Agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration because such paltry allocations cannot drive any development in an economy. It is the belief of experts of developmental economics that except the situation is reversed, socio-economic development will continue to elude the country. They pointed out that a country like China, which spent 15 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on infrastructure at the turn of the millennium, had its economy lifted massively. Onolemenmen, agrees that government alone cannot fund this huge portfolio due to the limited financial resources available and against the backdrop of current global financial tightening and increased competition for available infrastructure funds. To this end, government, he disclosed, is exploring new ways of bridging the infrastructure funding gap, by way of partnering the public-private. Aliyu also agrees that what is required is a huge sum that cannot be borne by government alone, but requiring the partnership of the organised private and other development bodies to be involved, including the National Assembly, which should play a key role in enacting the enabling legislations that are investor friendly. But this option may remain elusive given government’s penchant for disregard agreements with investors and its policy summersault. With poor budgetary allocations for critical infrastructure and the seeming lack of political will on the part of government to overcome the challenges, many Nigerians are concerned that the much needed infrastructural transformation of the country may remain elusive for many years to come. Besides, stakeholders maintain that the biggest problem to the development of infrastructure in Nigeria is the problem of corruption, a cankerworm that has kept the country on its toes.


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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

NEWS

•Pupils of Crescent College, 1004 Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos, in collaboration with Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA) protesting against the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls in Lagos…yesterday.

Sultan to govt: address injustice against Muslims

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HE Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said if the government can address injustice against Muslims, the seemingly intractable security challenges will be surmounted. He said Muslims are not happy, but willing to support the government in its efforts towards peace and stability. He insisted that people must change from their “evil ways”

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

and assist the government to develop the nation. The Sultan spoke yesterday in Abuja during a national prayer session organised by the NSCIA where Islamic scholars gathered to pray for peace and security. Others at the event include Vice President Namadi Sambo, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Acting governor of Taraba State Garba Umar, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Bala

Mohammed, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, NSCIA Secretary General Prof. Ishaq Oloyede and a host of other clerics. The Sultan, who said the gathering was not politically motivated, urged the government to address injustice against Muslims as a starting point for peace in the land. He urged the Vice President to convey the message to President Goodluck Jonathan, saying: “Our hearts are full of pains about what is happening. Mr Vice President, please extend to

the President the plight of Muslims in Nigeria. We are not happy with regard to insecurity, instability and other vices affecting our society. “The Muslims feel rightly so marginalised, the Muslims feel not being treated equally as equals in this country. Therefore, the Muslims want and also demand being treated with equality, justice and fairness and In Sha Allah, things will turn around and be better for our country.” Continued on page 55

Insecurity won’t stop 2015 elections, says Jonathan

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan assured yesterday that the challenges facing the country will not stop the 2015 general elections from holding. He gave the assurance while speaking at the 2014 Democracy Day Interdenominational Church Service in Abuja. According to him, next year’s Democracy Day will witness a new government. He said: “After today, the next democracy day will witness a new government. I remember when I was in my vil-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

lage this morning to collect my permanent voter’s card, and a pressman asked me whether there will be elections in Nigeria, I told him there would be elections in this country.” “This country will continue to move forward in spite of some of the setbacks we are witnessing.” The President also noted that the insecurity in the country spearheaded by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, was meant to bring down his government

if not for God’s interventions. He thanked the congregation for their prayers, noting that without their prayers, Nigeria would have suffered more from its share of the global terror. Stressing that there are two types of forces operating in the country, forces of development and forces of retrogression (evil) - Jonathan was optimistic that Nigeria will overcome the dark forces. He said: “Without your prayers, it would have been worse. With your prayers, our

girls will be seen by our security men.” “All these distractions were planned to bring this government down. Since they failed, terror will also fail. Forces of darkness will never prevail over light. I call on all Nigerians to continue to pray and with God on our side, we shall overcome,” he added. He thanked God for 15 unbroken years of democracy. Stressing that his administration’s transformation policies were not mere campaign Continued on page 55

Boko Haram kills 24 Continued from page 1

ty traders, who populated the village, could only raise N70,000. But the insurgents were angry and threatened to return to collect the balance or the village would face a deadly attack. “Actually, when they issued the threat, we took it lightly. Nobody bothered to make any extra effort to put in the amount they requested. Maybe that was what ignited this bloody attack because we were unable to meet their demand,” said a resident. According to him, they were taken unaware, as the town had not come under such heavy attacks for a long time. He expressed dismay that innocent people were killed freely without the protection of security forces. “Throughout the onslaught, which lasted for over five hours, there was no single security personnel to confront the invaders. They had a field day on us. The invaders snatched several vehicles and loaded them with bags of assorted foodstuff , before fleeing the area,” he added. He also said the attackers burnt almost all the houses,

shops and vehicles and carted away assorted food items. “They destroyed everything we have, carted away our foodstuff and burnt down the remaining ones”, said the resident. Another resident, who declined to be identified, claimed that over 100 houses were burnt after the attackers killed 24 people, leaving many others injured. Also yesterday, controversial Islamic scholar and leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly called the Shiite Muslim group, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, alleged in Kaduna that the leader of the Boko Haram group, Abubakar Shekau, was being shielded by the military. Zakzaky, who spoke at the Movement’s 2014 Martyr day in Zaria, also alleged that the Boko Haram activities were part of covert operation by the West to balkanize Nigeria and plunder its resources. Saying he knew the hideout of the nation’s most wanted man, Zakzaky said: “Abubakar Shekau is being kept safe in a military camp. Let no one be fooled; there is nothing like Continued on page 55

Security agents arrest six Boko Haram suspects in Jos

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ANY questions remained unanswered at the weekend as Jos, the Plateau State capital which was bombed twice last week, was enveloped in fear. “Were there 100 suicide bombers unleashed on the Tin City ready to strike? “Were there 10 bombs already planted around the city by Boko Haram insurgents ready to go off? The Special Task Force (STF) on the Jos crisis said yesterday that three people died from the failed suicide attack on a football viewing centre in the city on Saturday night. Two others were injured. A vehicle driven by the bomber and a block of shops were destroyed, it said in a statement by the STF spokesman Capt. Ikedichi Iweha. More than 100 people were killed in the first attack in Jos last week. A source within the security agencies alleged that over 100 suicide bombers might have been deployed in Jos. The senior security officer said: “Let me tell you, we are in serious trouble in this state. Do you know that since last

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Jonathan can be harmed in Chibok, says Jang

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan got yesterday the support of Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang for his decision not to visit Chibok – the Borno State village where over 200 schoolgirls were abducted from their dormitory on April 15. Anybody who insists Jonathan should visit Chibok wants Jonathan to be harmed, Jang, whose state capital, Jos, was bombed twice last week, said yesterday. He also questioned the intention of the free-Chibok-girls-campaigners. Jang said: “There has been crisis in the country before now but some politicians are making it look like it all started with the present administration. Meanwhile it From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos and Jide Oritunsin, Minna

Tuesday’s explosion more than six members of Boko Haram have been caught and arrested from various places within the city” The source added: “All the tension and rumour you are hearing everywhere in town that some people were caught with bomb here and there in Jos are real. Don’t just call them

quering and will conquer the current challenges. I feel sad when I hear people calling on President Jonathan to visit Chibok, such people are not interested in the life and safety of their president. Some people want the president to be exposed to danger and be harmed so that they will rejoice. “No nation’s security will want to expose its leader to unnecessary danger.” He urged Christians to pray regularly because “the purpose of terrorism is to make you so afraid that you give up on life and may even be tempted to give up on God”. Plateau House of Assembly Speaker Titus Alams said they “will not be distracted by distractors”. liver food to a patient on ad- cation, and that he was not the mission. But a security check only one on such errand, he on the suspect’s car revealed claimed there were at least 100 he was carrying explosives already despatched to the city and was immediately appre- with explosives” hended and the explosive disA man suspected to be spyabled. ing for Boko Haram was apAccording to the source: prehended at Mobile Police “The suspect made a confes- barrack, the MOPOL 8 close to sion that even shocked the Air the Air Force base Jos. The force men interrogating him. state police spokesperson FeHe revealed that he was on er- licia Anslem said “the suspect rand for Boko Haram to deliv- was been arrested and deer explosives at identified lo- tained for trespassing”

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

is fellow Nigerians who are supporting and sponsoring terrorists and criminals coming from outside Nigeria to perpetrate crimes in the country.” On the peaceful protests over the abduction of the Chibok girls, he said: “All these protests here and there over Chibok girls are questionable. Because, before the Chibok incident, children have been killed both in schools and other places in past attacks. All those did not attract protest until now, so this to me amounts to politicising the abduction for cheap political gains. “I spoke with Mr President, and he confirmed to me that the government is con-

rumour; they are real. We have discovered at least six of them since that Tuesday attack” It was learnt that one of the Boko Haram agents apprehended last Friday at the Air Force base in Jos had confessed that there were at least 100 of them deployed in Jos city to detonate explosives at identified points. The suspect reportedly claimed that he was heading for the Airforce Hospital to de-

•Jang

The arrest of the suspect at MOPOL 8, Jos came after letters of threat allegedly authored by Boko Haram were received at government establishments in the state capital. A similar letter of threat was received at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Continued on page 55

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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

NEWS Muslim teens seek girls’ release •MICA: abductors not Muslims

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CORES of teenage Muslims in Lagos have joined the campaign for the release of abducted pupils of the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State. The teenagers carried placards bearing various inscriptions with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign slogan dominating the placards. Others read: “We want everybody to be happy; please, Bring Back Our Girls” and “Boko Haram is Haram”. The peaceful rally was organised yesterday by the Lagos State chapter of the Movement for Islam Culture and Awareness (MICA). About 1,000 teenagers, all dressed in black and red, participated in the peaceful rally. They condemned the March 15 abduction of over the 200 Chibok schoolgirls. The teenagers, comprising male and female, described the Boko Haram abductors as “heartless” and “adamant” for refusing to release the girls to their parents over a month after their abduction. The teenagers marched on the streets of Lagos for hours, despite the scorching sun.

NLC to govt: you’re responsible for insecurity From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

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HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has blamed the failure of governance at all levels for the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, and killing of 173 teachers in the Northeast. NLC Vice President Isa Aremu addressed reporters yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, after attending the eighth day fidau of the Serikinfawa of Ilorin, Alhaji Ahmadu Amosa Tuba. Aremu, who doubles as the Deputy Chairman of the National Conference Committee on Civil Society, Labour, Youth and Sport, said: “I am raising this point because recently, over the #BringBackOurGirls protest, I heard representatives of the President saying this should be directed against the abductors. That shows the misconception on the path of governance. In any case, if the government was on duty, people shouldn’t protest. A protest would not have been necessary because the government should have assured the people that it had found the students. “These are not normal traditional protesters. You can see that Nigeria is in agony. I think this is a danger for governance, if the government does not respond on time. “I want to say that at the end of the day, after Almighty God, the only institutions that are meant to protect the citizens worldwide are their governments. After God, the only protector we possibly have is our government. When I say government, in the case of Nigeria, it is the federal, states and local governments. “So, the challenge of insecurity can only be solved by the government. It is the government we know; we don’t know the killers. But we know those we elected to protect us. It is they who must make sure schools are secured for uninterrupted learning. It is the Federal Government, in collaboration with the states and local governments, that would make sure pupils are secure in schools and teachers are protected...”

By Paul Oluwakoya

They called for the immediate release of the innocent schoolgirls. At the popular 1,004 Estate on Victoria Island, where the rally started, the Muslim children held a special prayer for Allah to strengthen the nation’s security force to enable them restore peace and safety to the country. They noted that children and women were mostly victims of insurgencies and crises across the world. Though tomorrow is Children’s Day, the Muslim children said they were not looking forward to celebrate it with funfair because of the worrying conditions of children in the hands of insurgents. They urged their colleagues across the world to dedicate the day to the Chibok girls. “As Nigeria prepares to mark this year’s Children’s Day, our hearts go out to our 200 sisters abducted in Chibok, Borno State, by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. We want the children to dedicate the day to these girls. We are also worried that the world is fast becoming unsafe for children and women. Children are increasingly falling victims of conflicts about which they know nothing.”

• Emergency response workers walk by a destroyed vehicle at the site of a car bomb blast where football fans were watching the final of the UEFA Champions League match in Jos, Plateau State...on Saturday

APC: Jonathan’s govt has abdicated its responsibility to Nigerians

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HE All Progressives Congress (APC) accused yesterday the Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government of abdicating its responsibility to Nigerians. The party alluded to a statement attributed to Dr Jonathan that those calling for the safe return of the abducted Chibok, Borno State schoolgirls should address their protests to the abductors rather than to the President or the government he leads. In a statement yesterday in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said it was logical to conclude that “there is absolutely no hope for Nigeria and its citizens under this capricious government”. It added: “A government that is unwilling to take any responsibility for anything, and one that is unwilling to recognise that its raison d’etre is to ensure the welfare and security of its citizens has simply abdicated its responsibility. It should not be counted upon to do all that is necessary to rescue the over 200 schoolgirls who were abducted under its watch.” APC said the insurgents, who have inflicted so much pain on the nation, would not have succeeded as much as they have if the government had believed in the first instance - that it had any responsibility to the people, in which case it would have taken its responsibility very seriously instead of engaging in its pastime - blame game! It said: “If the Jonathan-led government is right, then anytime a country suffers from deadly flooding, for example, the people should rather blame the sea or the sea goddess instead of looking up to their government for succour. If the Jonathan-led government is right, then the United States (U.S), Britain, France, China as well as the United Nations (UN), which have all been asking the government to do more to secure the homeland, are wrong and do not understand the concept of governance. Certainly, there is a problem somewhere.” Also, the party said it would neither be browbeaten nor black-

•‘But it can’t silence us’ •President not shirking responsibilities, says aide By Olamilekan Andu

mailed into abdicating its responsibility as a virile opposition party by keeping quiet when the government continues on the dangerous path of running the nation aground. It said: “There seems to be a grand plot by the Jonathan administration to silence all criticisms and sweep all ongoing corruption investigations and government incompetence under the carpet under the guise of uniting to fight terrorism. “This is fraudulent, as President Jonathan is only trying to profit from his own corruption and incompetence. While we are ready to partner the administration and join all Nigerians in the fight against terrorism, especially in efforts to ensure the safe return of the missing girls, we refuse to be cowed or tricked into submission and allow the looting of our resources and the bad governance to continue unchallenged. “A government that is quick to accuse others of failing to sympathise with the victims of the insurgency that it had allowed to fester has no qualms campaigning aggressively for a second term of office for a President who has made a failure of his first term. A government that rushes to the media to condemn even an INEC-sanctioned rally, rather than the illegal rallies it engages in, has no shame

running a daily advert, under the guise of the hitherto unknown Protectors of Nigerian Posterity, thus showing no respect for the mood of the nation. “If the Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) want to be taken seriously, they should ask their campaigners to apply the brakes out of respect for the mood of the nation. They should try to make a success of their yet-unfinished term of office before even seeking another. “President Jonathan and the PDP cannot continue with their campaigns and then continue to blackmail us into keeping quiet. If anyone is exploiting the national tragedy, it is Jonathan and the PDP. If anyone is politicising the insurgency, it is Jonathan and the PDP! Thankfully, Nigerians are aware of this double-standard of this feckless, clueless and incompetent Federal Government.” The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, faulted yesterday the claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that President Goodluck Jonathan has abdicated his responsibility to the masses. The presidential aide said Dr Jonathan had never abdicated his responsibility as a President, adding that he always acknowledged that the primary duty of government is to secure

the life and property of Nigerians and all persons living within the geographical area. He said the intention of APC was to play politics with insurgency. The statement said: “While we admit that the opposition can claim that it is part of its duties to criticise the government of the day, in the case of the APC, many of its spokespersons have made it clear that their duty is to pull down the Jonathan government, and they have not hidden this motive. “Nonetheless, we think that this is a statement that should not have been issued because it sounds irresponsible; it flies in the face of common sense and even the logic behind it makes absolutely no sense. “To start with, when the bombing in Nyanya occurred, followed by the abduction of the girls at Chibok, the President called a special National Security Council meeting which was attended by representatives of the APC. “At that meeting, the governor that spoke on behalf of the APC, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, made it clear that he was coming from a meeting of the party and that they resolved at the meeting that this was an issue that was above partisanship. “He said they resolved that the issue of terrorism requires a bipartisan approach and that

•Jonathan

everyone involved must rise above partisanship, irrespective of political ideology, political affiliation, religion or ethnicity... “It is very clear that the APC is being dishonest. Its intention is to play politics with insurgency and terrorism. I think the question needs to be pointedly asked: What country does the APC belongs to? What country is the APC seeking to preside over?” He queried “As it appears, the APC seems blinded by its own narrow ambition and that is why in recent times, you can find some persons purportedly speaking for the APC making completely illogical and unreasonable statements. “If you look at the statement by Lai Muhammed, he is accusing the government of abdicating its responsibilities. President Jonathan has never at any time abdicated responsibilities. “He has consistently made it clear that the safety of every Nigerian is important to him, that the security of lives and property is central to all the goals and objectives of this administration...”

Jonathan, Army alone can’t bring back Chibok girls, says Maku

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HE Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has said President Goodluck

Jonathan and the Army alone cannot bring back the abducted Chibok, Borno State schoolgirls. The minister also said nobody would drive the President away through bombings. He said it would take the concerted efforts of Nigerians and the communities in the Northeast to fight and win the war against insurgency. Maku spoke yesterday at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

Ministries’ Regional Headquarters in Abuja where he worshipped with his wife, Mary. The minister said the villagers in the Chibok community should support security agencies to rescue the abducted schoolgirls. He said: “The girls have been missing for long. The community should expose the perpetrators; they live among them. There should be no sacred cows.” Maku said Nigeria was going through torments from hell, adding that peace should be re-

defined in the country. He said: “There are too many contentions from the pit of hell in the name of Boko Haram and kidnappers against President Goodluck Jonathan. But a time shall come when all shall varnish.” The minister urged Christians to confront the evils facing the nation through prayer, adding: “Peace can’t be won until the people of God command things to happen through prayers. “Peace in Nigeria is derailing because some people are not doing the will of God. Many Nigeri-

ans are confronting President Jonathan with their pride and ego. They are saying: ‘How can a man from the minority tribe continue to rule Nigeria, a man that cannot even afford to wear shoes while in school?’ Whether the kingdom of hell likes it or not, this nation must move forward. President Jonathan must succeed. “If all Nigerians can worship in truth, crises will cease in Nigeria. We must recover our country from those who continue to take us for granted.”


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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NEWS Dangote endorses SON’s new cement classification, uses

Presidency: Jonathan wasn’t booed From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

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HE President has denied reports that Presi dent Goodluck Jonathan was booed at the weekend in South Africa over his handling of efforts to rescue the over 200 secondary schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State, over a month ago. Speaking on the trip to South Africa, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said the reports were another attempt to discredit the Jonathan administration. According to him, the people of South Africa showed much appreciation of President Jonathan’s presence at the inauguration ceremony and also received great hospitality in South Africa. He said: “Nigeria and South Africa, of course as you know, are two friendly and brotherly countries with very strong bilateral relations in many areas. These include trade and investments, diplomacy, immigration, customs, security issues, power and all of that. “In the last three years, the relationship between both countries has even grown stronger and has also been helped by the personal good relationship between both President Jonathan and President Jacob Zuma.

‘We won’t conceal our findings’

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HE Presidential FactFinding Committee on the Abduction of the Chibok Schoolgirls has said it will not sweep any of its findings under the carpet. A statement yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, by its spokesman, Kingsley Osadolor, said this would enable the committee to produce credible reports at the end of its assignment. Osadolor said the committee held consultations with wide a number of stakeholders during its visit to Maiduguri. The statement said: “Members of the committee arrived in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Sunday, May 18. Over the past eight days, the committee held consultations and interactions with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and credible sources relevant to the committee’s assignment. “Among those with whom the committee interfaced are the Shehu of Borno, military commanders, heads of para-military formations, the Commissioner of Police and state Director of the Department of Security Service. “The committee also had intensive engagement with the Principal, Vice Principals (Administration and Academic) of Government Secondary School, Chibok, where the mass abduction took place; the Matrons of the hostels, the head cook, and security guards on duty on the day of the incident (April 14, 2014). “Others with whom the committee interacted are the Borno State Commissioner for Education, Governor Kashim Shettima and Borno Elders’ Forum.” Osadolor said the committee also interacted with the District Head of Chibok, representatives of the Chibok communities and the local government chairman. He added that the committee found the interactions very useful and had made tremendous progress in its assignment.

By Olamilekan Andu

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• President Goodluck Jonathan collecting his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) permanent voter’s card at Ward 13, Otuoke, Bayelsa State...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

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Minister to National Assembly: you can’t probe me

HE Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani AlisonMadueke, has urged the National Assembly to seek first and obtain the permission of President Goodluck Jonathan before investigating the allegation that she spent about N10 billion for hiring aircraft within two years. The minister said neither the National Assembly nor its various committees could invite her and the agencies under her ministry to produce unpublished documents and other records without a prior consent of the President. She argued that it was not within the powers of the National Assembly to personally conduct investigation into criminal allegations relating to corruption or fraud in public offices.

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From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

According to her, the lawmakers’ frequent invitation to public officers on spurious grounds is distracting them. Alison-Madueke said the lawmakers were only empowered under the constitution to exercise oversight functions over her ministry and agencies under its supervision “with respect to public funds, through their various committees so set up, which oversight is only for the purpose of enabling them to make laws and correct defects in existing laws”. The minister said where, in the course of performing their oversight functions, the lawmakers stumble on suspicious dealings by public officers, “they are constitutionally permitted to ‘direct or cause to be

directed’ the appropriate authority or government agency to carry out the said investigation, and not to personally or physically carry same out as lawmakers”. These are among Mrs Alison-Madueke’s arguments in the fresh suit she filed with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) against the National Assembly to stall the investigation by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives on the allegation that the minister spent about N10 billion on aircraft leases. The Nation obtained copies of the court documents at the weekend. The minister and the NNPC, in a supporting affidavit, argued that they would not honour the invitation sent to them and other officials of

agencies under them by the National Assembly. According to them, the National Assembly has not met the conditions that will make them to honour the invitation and produce the materials the lawmakers requested. “As a condition precedent to the said invitation to investigate the respondents (both chambers of the National Assembly) are constitutionally required to show that they have passed a resolution duly published in their journal or in the official gazette of the Government of the Federation. “The respondents have not, in any or all their invitations to the applicants, shown or displayed any such evidence of prior publication of any such resolution, if there was any...”

The Nation shines at Quill Awards

OUR Newspaper of the Year, The Nation, was the toast of everyone at the weekend during the Promasidor Quill Awards. The event, which held at the Grand Ballroom of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, brought together dignitaries and professionals in the media. Judges showered encomiums on the newspaper’s leadership for ensuring incisive investigation and analyses of issues affecting development and good governance. Multiple award-winning reporter and Head of The Nation Investigation Desk, Adekunle Yusuf, emerged winner in the CSR and Industry Reporting category. Yusuf’s winning entry details the collapse of industries in Kaduna and Kano states. The accolades at the Quills Awards came a week and a day after two of the paper’s reporters - Collins Nweze and Deji Ademigbuji – won the first and second runners-up prizes at the Citi Bank Awards for their incisive business re-

By Wale Ajetunmobi

ports. Ademigbuji is due to receive next month in Paris, France, the Schneider Prize for his report on Electronics Counterfeiting. Yusuf’s winning entry, titled: A Tale of Two Endangered Empires, was selected as the best among the several reports submitted in the category. “A tale of two endangered empires effectively gave a vivid illustration of the current socio-political life in Kano and Kaduna states. In his write-up, Mr. Yusuf stated that despite several initiatives by individuals and governments to arrest the declining economic fortunes of the two states, there is no hope that the lost glory of the once vibrant industrial hub is likely to be restored. “The judges were satisfied with the way the winner professionally examined the issues surrounding the decline in industrial activities in the empires and, therefore, considered his entry in-depth and

outstanding,” the panel said. According to the panel of judges, chaired by Ambassador Patrick Dele Cole, a veteran journalist, Yusuf’s entry gives a vivid illustration of the current socio-political life in Kano and Kaduna states. Yusuf dedicated the award to workers and management of Vintage Press Limited, publisher of The Nation titles. Odimegwu Onwumere of National Pilot was the runnerup in the category with an entry, titled: CRS: Companies’ Fate in Nigeria. Another multiple award winner and Assistant Editor of The Nation Investigation Desk, Sina Fadare, was a runner-up in Best Report on Children category. Kunle Falayi (The Punch) and Isioma Madike (National Mirror) won the award. Fadare’s entry, titled: On the Trail of Oke-Ogun Tobacco Farmers, examined how children ended up as consumers of the dangerous substance after they were corralled into tobacco plantation by farmers. The Punch man, Falayi,

who also won the Education Reporting category, was declared the overall winner. Besides the plaques, he also won a full scholarship to the prestigious Thomson Foundation in the United Kingdom (UK), where he will take a fourweek course in Journalism to boost his reporting skill. Falayi, who started Journalism three years ago, said he was winning award for the first time. The reporter noted that he did not expect that such an honour would come early in his career. Other winners include: Gbenga Salau of The Guardian (Nutrition Reporting); Ayodele Ojo of The Sun (Best Photo Story); Daniel Obi of Business Day (Brand Advocate of the Year) and Obinna Odogwu, a student-writer (Future Award). The chairman of Promasidor Nigeria, Mr Keith Richards, said the Quill Award was borne out of the need to promote excellent reporting and professionalism in Nigerian media.

IGERIA’S leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc, has expressed satisfaction with the recent classification of cement grades and their uses by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). The company promised to abide by the agency’s classification. Dangoted Cement said it had complied with the grading and produced the product to the specifications. The SON, in the wake of the building collapses across the country and the attendant controversies on the quality of cement produced in the country, summoned a meeting of stakeholders in the building and construction industry. The meeting reviewed the quality of standard cement and came up with a classification of cement types and their appropriate uses. This was aimed at stemming the suspected misapplication of the product, which had contributed to frequent building collapse. SON, in the new classification, warned the public to adhere strictly to the application of cement types and save the nation further structure failures. In the fresh review of standard, the agency restricted the use of the 32.5 grade strength to plastering of structures only. It said the 42.5 grade should be for the construction of buildings, beams, load bearing columns, pillars, block moulding and other structures. SON added that the 52.5 grade should be used for the construction of bigger projects. Group Managing Director of the Dangote Cement Plc, Devakumar Edwin, told a group of Kenyan businessmen, who visited the Ibese cement plant of the company at the weekend, that the decision to embark on the high quality grade was to stop building collapse. He hailed SON for the bold move. Edwin said Dangote Cement was ready to support the regulatory body to rid the nation of structure failures. He added: “After 28 days, the 32.5 grade gives a strength of 32.5MPA, whereas the 42.5 grade gives a curing of 42.5MPA, that is, 30 per cent higher in strength.” Edwin, who also spoke in Lagos, explained that depite the high quality grade of Dangote Cement, it had not increased its price for the product. “China, the number one producer of cement in the world, is phasing out the entire 32.5 grade by July. India, the second largest producer of cement, phased out 32.5 grade cement 12 years back,” he said. The company chief, at a public hearing conducted by the House of Representatives on cement quality in Abuja, questioned why other manufacturers were producing high grade cement in their Indian factories but producing low grade in Nigeria.


THE NATION MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

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NEWS

Why I left APC meeting, by Amosun

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GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has debunked a media report that he stormed out of the Abuja meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders last Tuesday. Amosun also said he had done everything possible to carry former Governor Olusegun Osoba along in his administration’s activities without success.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Briefing Ogun APC leaders on the Abuja meeting at the weekend, he said he accords party members great respect and would never walk out on them. Amosun said he took permission from the APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, who pre-

sided over the meeting, before leaving. He said on his arrival at the meeting, he informed members that he would be leaving early to prepare for the Ogun State Investors’ Forum, which began the following day. The state held its second Investors’ Forum last Wednesday and Thursday. Amosun said: “It will be

wrong for anyone or group to say, write or insinuate that I stormed out of the meeting when I actually got the permission of our revered party chairman, Chief Akande. “I did not storm out as was widely reported. Rather, I left the venue after properly getting permission from the chairman and others because of the Investors Forum billed for the following day.”

The governor told the APC stakeholders that he informed the national leadership of the party that he had done everything to carry Osoba along to no avail. Amosun said he urged those present at the Abuja meeting to ask Osoba what he expects of him, adding that Osoba did not say anything before he (Amosun left the meeting.

Release of kidnapped girls is my birthday wish, says Ekiti dep. governor

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KITI State Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu has listed the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls and the peaceful conduct of the June 21 governorship election in the state as her birthday wishes. She spoke shortly after a thanksgiving service at the chapel at the Deputy Governor’s Lodge at the weekend. The service was part of activities marking her 64th birthday. The service, presided over by the Regional Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) Ministry in Ado-Ekiti, Pastor Olumide Adebayo, was the first of a

three programmes marking the celebration. Another service presided over by the Pastor-in-Charge of Ekiti Province I, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ado-Ekiti, Pastor Ola Adejube, was organised in honour of the deputy governor in her office by her staff. Both clerics reiterated the need for Christians to cultivate the attitude of thanksgiving, praise and worship. They said birthday celebration was to renew a covenant with God. Governor Kayode Fayemi; his wife, Bisi; former Governor Adeniyi Adebayo;

House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin; Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Ganiyu Owolabi and the Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s Office, Mr. Babatunde Alokan, eulogised Mrs. Adelabu’s virtues. The celebration, which ended with a reception, was also attended by the Head of Service (HoS), Bunmi Famosaya; Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties Babtunde Odetola and Senator Babafemi Ojudu. Fayemi described his deputy as “spiritual and dedicated”. He said: “She is a beautiful

woman inside out. She is a very spiritual person and is dedicated to her work. I am very proud of her wise counsel in governance. “My wishes for her are that she grows from strength to strength and more in God’s grace and wisdom. I pray she adds more years in good health and blessings and we will all be here to celebrate with her next year.” The governor’s wife described the deputy governor as “an amazing woman”. She said: “She is an amazing woman, a woman of virtue; a wonderful woman; a great mother and an outstanding citizen of this state.

•Mrs. Adelabu

I pray the almighty God will continue to bless her. I encourage every indigene to emulate her.” The SSG described her as a source of inspiration to the younger generation and “humility personified”. Adebayo prayed to God to preserve her life.

Kalu hails Soun at 88 By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

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ORMER Abia State Governor Orji Kalu has congratulated the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, Ajagungbade 111, as he clocks 88 tomorrow. Kalu, who is the Aro of Ogbomosoland, described the monarch as “an outstanding elder statesman”, who has served humanity selflessly. In a goodwill message by his Special Adviser, Oyekunle Oyewumi, who is also the son of Oba Oyewumi, Kalu said Ogbomoso has witnessed tremendous during his reign. He said: “I join your family, friends and well wishers to celebrate your 88th birthday. You remain one of the few monarchs everyone holds in high esteem. Your goodwill is a testimony to your kind heart and philanthropic efforts. It is my prayer that God will continue to uplift you as you steer the affairs of your kingdom.” Kalu acknowledged the business success of Oba Oyewumi before and after ascending the throne, saying his business ventures created jobs for people. He wished the monarch long life and posterity and urged leaders to be selfless.

•Aregbesola (middle, in white); his wife, Serifat (seventh right); Secretary to the State Government Moshood Adeoti (fifth right); Commissioner for Health Temitope Ilori (sixth right); Chief of Staff to the Governor Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola (fourth left) and other members of the State Executive Council ...at the weekend.

I want to improve the people’s lot, says Aregbesola

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SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said he sought office to make life better for the people. He spoke at the weekend at the Third Babatunde Jose Lecture on Media and the Society, where he received the National Infinity magazine’s Nigerian of the Year 2013 Award. The event was held at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding in Osogbo, the state capital. Delivering his address, titled: “The difference leadership can make”, Aregbesola said leadership is a golden opportunity to serve the people and improve their lives. He described leadership as a core pillar upon which a good human society could be built. The governor said when he sought the people’s mandate, he was aware of the implications and prepared for the responsibilities. He said: “The improvement of the people’s lot was a strong motivation for my seeking office and a paramount object of the deployment of my

•Governor bags award From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

talents. Thus, as a leader, I constantly seek ways of bringing about progress in every area of my people’s lives. “In education, everything done under my leadership is meant to improve the standard for the benefit of our children. The building of new schools, recruitment of more teachers, provision of uniforms, distribution of OponImo and provision of free meals, among others, are all aimed at raising the standard of public education in Osun. “This is grounded in my belief that education is one of the greatest legacies we can give to humans. Similarly, the intention behind my administration’s agricultural policy is to transform farming in Osun into a big business.” Aregbesola said his administration’s road projects would enhance trade and commerce. He thanked National Infinity for the award. The Editor-in-Chief of Pre-

mium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, in a lecture titled: “Governance, Deficit and Accountability in the Era of Twitter”, identified four challenges confronting Journalism in Nigeria. They are conflict of interest, invasion of privacy, confidentiality of sources and fabrica-

tion of stories. Olorunyomi also identified the problem confronting investigative journalism, saying it is expensive, dangerous and time-consuming. He said: “For our profession to serve as a real public watchdog and make government accountable and serve the society, there must be an independence of the pocket, which will guarantee independence

of the practice.” President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) Femi Adesina listed truthfulness, accountability, objectivity, impartiality and fairness as vital to ethical journalism. Adesina said financial independence in the journalism business will guarantee independent practice of journalism, adding: “Governance, accountability and integrity go

together in ethical journalism. Despite the availability of the online media, journalists must be wary of throwing away their integrity in investigative journalism.” Editor-in-Chief, National Infinity, Jide Ige said Aregbesola was honoured for his “noticeable transformation” of Osun, noting that the state’s spate of development is startling.

‘Why I worked against Alao-Akala in 2011’

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HE founder of the Word Communication Ministries (WOCOM), Apostle Sunday Popoola, has explained why he campaigned against former Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala in the 2011 governorship election. He spoke at the weekend in Ibadan, the state capital, at the inauguration of a youth movement aimed at “Strategising to Harness Youth Leadership and Development (SHYLD)”. Apostle Popoola said: “The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) frowned at my decision to work against a fel-

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

low Christian, but I stood my ground and worked for a better candidate because Oyo State was underdeveloped during Alao-Akala’s tenure in office. “Alao-Akala did not have any good plan for this state. I was offered bribe to campaign for him, but I rejected his offers because he had no plan for this state and the people are against him. At my Idishin neighbourhood, most residents are elites and do not vote, but because I saw the transformation Governor Abiola Ajimobi would bring to this state if he was

elected, I educated my neighbours on why they should vote and to my amazement, over 7,000 people in my area voted for Ajimobi in the 2011 governorship election. I have no regret for doing that.” He urged youths to be agents of development, adding that Nigeria had natural and human resources, which are yet to be harnessed. The cleric advised youths to model their lives after successful people in the world, like the late Nelson Mandela, who was ready to die to change South Africa for good, and the biblical Joseph, who saved his peo-

ple from famine. He said success was not about material possession but what you have to offer to uplift your nation. Apostle Popoola urged youths to be resilient and work together, irrespective of religious affiliation. Co-ordinator of the youth forum Mr. Sunday Oni said the group’s vision is to build the capacity of youths to be key actors in politics and grassroots development. Oni said it was time for aged politicians to step aside and allow youths to take charge of their destinies.


THE NATION MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

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NEWS

•Wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi (right), educating traders at Oja Egbe-Odo, IjesaIsu, on the voting process when she led All Progressives Congress (APC) women on a campaign to Ikole Local Government... at the weekend.

Ekiti to pay 27.5% teachers’ salary

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HE Ekiti State government has said the payment of the 27.5 per cent Teachers’ Salary Structure (TSS) will begin this month. Commissioner for Finance Dapo Kolawole stated this during a meeting with the bursars of public secondary schools. Reiterating the commitment of the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration to the welfare of teachers, Kolawole said the gesture should not be politicised, as doing so would trivialise the wellbeing of teachers. He urged the bursars to be dedicated, honest and professional in their conduct. Kolawole said the government recruited over 235 accountants to ensure the smooth running of the e-payment system, urging bursars to improve themselves academically and intellectually, assuring those that acquire professional qualifications of proper placement in the state civil service. President of the Conference of Bursars of Secondary Schools Mr. Jide Ogunniyi and the Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union, Mr. Albert Owoso, urged the government to extend the payment of Pecuniary Allowance of, at least, 25 per cent to their members. Permanent Secretary of the Teaching Service Commission Bolu Ogundare advised bursars to be committed to their duties and co-operate with the principals of their schools.

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Teacher held for ‘defiling’ two minors in Ibadan

PRIVATE school teacher, Olayinka Oluwadare Folarin, has been arrested by the police for allegedly raping two minors at Calvary Heritage Kiddies Castle at Oluyole Estate in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The victims, who are primary five pupils, are between ages 10 and 11. It was learnt that Folarin had been abusing them in the school’s toilet on a weekly basis since last year. They are orphans and had been living in a non-governmental charity home, His Heritage Home, since they were two years old. Folarin allegedly threatened to kill them if they tell anyone. It was learnt that the father of four was sacked from his previous school for alleged rape. It was gathered that last Wednesday, some male pupils found one of the victims crying and asked what the problem was. The girl confided in them and the boys were said to have written a letter to the school authority, but Folarin allegedly got hold of the letter before it was sent and beat up the boys. It was learnt that the boys encouraged the girls to open up to their Guardian, Mrs. Temilolu Morounkeji, who

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

runs the orphanage. When the girls did, Mrs. Morounkeji and Pastor Marcus Williams, a member of the Child Protection Network, informed the police and Folarin was arrested. It was gathered that the girls were abused whenever the Head Teacher was not around. Medical examination of the victims at the Adeoyo State Hospital showed that they had been violated. Police spokesperson Olabisi Ilobanafor said the suspect has confessed to the crime and would be charged to court. She said: “It is unfortunate that this was happening in a school and had been happening for months undetected. The teacher had been sleeping with the victims in the school toilet. He had been sleeping with the girls every week since last year. When the matter was reported to us, the police went into the matter and our investigation revealed that he used a gel to lubricate the girls. “The gel has been recovered from where he kept it on the school premises. He has been arrested and he will be charged to court, but he is still assisting us with our investigation. We need to know if there are other girls he had been defiling besides these two.”

APC sues for peace as Aregbesola kicks off campaign tomorrow

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SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola will kick off his reelection campaign tomorrow in Ile-Ife. His Campaign Committee in Ife Zone urged the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, to embrace peace. It said it got information that the PDP was planning to disrupt the campaign through violence and urged the opposition to have a rethink. At a press conference yesterday in Ife, the committee’s Chairman, Mr. Folorunso Bamisayemi, said the Aregbesola administration had done a lot for the people of Ife Zone, adding: “In Ife Municipal, Aregbesola’s administration constructed 15 roads, which are about 30 kilometres long. In Ife South, it constructed 12 roads; nine in Ifetedo and three in Garage Olode. It built 14 roads in Ife North, which consists of Ipetumodu, Yakoyo, EdunAbon and others. “Also, Aregbesola built world class schools for the

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•PDP, APC, disagree on lecturers’ pension From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

people of this zone. He improved our environment significantly. Through Agba Osun, he provided social security for the elderly, which no government before him ever did. The PDP had nothing to show for its sevenand-a half years in power. The party left public schools in shambles.” Bamisayemi said rather than engage in violence, the APC would base its campaign on issues and the achievements of Aregbesola, “which no administration in Osun has matched”. He said they had it on good authority that Omisore plans to unleash terror on the Ife APC chieftains tonight. Bamisayemi said the matter had been reported to the police and expressed hope that the police would maintain law and order during the campaign. The Media Director of Omisore’s Campaign Group, Prince Diran Odeyemi, de-

bunked the allegation, saying: “The series of unfounded allegations against the PDP and Omisore are mere noises from the APC, which has nothing tangible to base its campaign on. “Omisore yesterday, Omisore today, Omisore tomorrow, why? Do all these not negate the APC’s earlier promise to go and sleep, should Omisore become the PDP’s candidate? All these noise and unsubstantiated allegations are signs of a drowning party looking for what to clinch on for survival. “This is the time to talk about programmes and manifesto, not Omisore did this and that. If there is evidence of plan to cause mayhem anywhere, they should inform the police and other security agencies, rather than running to the press.” Also at the weekend, the APC debunked Omisore’s allegations that the state government diverted the Contributory Pension De-

ductions of workers in stateowned tertiary institutions and was insensitive to the four-month strike by lecturers in the schools. In a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, APC said: “Everything Omisore has said about the strike is false. He told similar lies about Osun’s ‘debt’, until the PDP-led Federal Government confirmed that Omisore is not a witness of truth. As he lied about debt, so he is lying about lecturers’ pension. “The plan by the PDP and Omisore to use some elements amongst the lecturers and students to cause violence in the state has failed woefully, so the APC will not bother to engage in any discussion about Omisore’s lies.” Odeyemi said: “It is only an illiterate governor that would allow the closure of the state’s four tertiary institutions for about four months without attending to their agitations.”

Bank gives 65 buses to transporters

HE Infrastructure Bank has recovered 95 per cent of the N10.5 billion loans it granted under the first phase of the Public Mass Transit Revolving Fund (PMTF). Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, the Managing Director, disclosed this at the handingover of 65 mass transit buses worth N800 million to beneficiaries in Lagos at the weekend. He said the recovery of the loans had grown the mass transit revolving loans base to N15 billion. Oyinloye said the bank was already working on ways to recover the remaining five per cent through effective risk management system. He said the bank, as the fund manager of the PMTF

From: Onyedi Ojiabor,

Assistant Editor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Scheme Two, was working in collaboration with Subsidy Re-investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), the financier of the Scheme Two. Oyinloye admonished beneficiaries of the Scheme Two not to regard the buses as “political largess”. He said that the government had to change the five per cent interest rate per annum under the Scheme One to zero per cent interest under Scheme Two. According to him, the bank expects beneficiaries under the Scheme Two to pay on time because of the zero interest rate. The bank chief said that the

buses were to be fully paid for in order to sustain the scheme, which he described as “laudable and people-oriented”. Oyinloye stressed that it was only through prompt repayment that more Nigerian road transporters could benefit, warning that the bank would not tolerate any default by beneficiaries He said that under the Scheme Two, every beneficiary had to collaterise their loans to ensure recovery of the facilities. “There is a risk management framework around the scheme, so every beneficiary has to collaterise what he has taken one way or another. “If we morally persuade them and it does not work on time, we will consider the next step to get our money

back because the money belongs to the Federal Government of Nigeria. “It is meant for the masses because for other beneficiaries to benefit, previous beneficiaries must pay back,” Oyinloye said. He that the aim of PMTF was to enhance national transport services through the Federal Government resources under the SURE-P. “I can tell you that from the offices of LAMATA, Transport Ministry to LAGBUS, everybody is indeed happy with the presence of our buses on the streets. “I want the public to know that this is not the first time Lagos is benefiting from the scheme. Since 2010 when the first scheme started, a lot of our buses ply Lagos roads.”


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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NEWS (SHOWBIZ) NDLEA appoints Ibinabo Fiberesima, others ambassadors

Clarion Chukwurah is AMAA Actress I of the Year

•Chukwura

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OLLYWOOD actress Clarion Chukwurah has emerged the Actress of the Year at the just concluded 2014 edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held at the

By Ovwe Medeme

Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenogoa, Bayelsa State. She won the award for her role in Emem Isong’s movie, Apaye.

The veteran actress emerged the winner in the category, beating the likes of Uche Nnadili( B For Boy), Linda Sokhulu( Felix), Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha( Accident), Joselyn Dumas( Northern Affair) as well as Uche Jombo- Rodriguez, Monalisa Chinda and Daniella Okeke( Lagos Cougars). An elated Clarion, who dedicated the award to Nigeria, said: “I dedicate this award to my country, Nigeria, because the role I played in Apaye was the role of a woman who, despite all odds, became triumphant. So, I dedicate this award to Nigeria.” Other winners include: South Africa’s Mothusi Magano as Best Actor in a Leading Role for the movie, Of Good Report; Nigeria’s Patience Ozokwo as Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the movie, Af-

N a bid to strengthen its operations, the management of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has appointed some celebrities as ambassadors. The new ambassadors, who were sworn in last Thursday, include Ibinabo Fiberesima, president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Grace

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rumoured to be invited as guests at the wedding, with Jay-Z acting as West’s best man. However, the couple was reported to be at Hamptons, instead of Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy, venue of the wedding. According to reports, there was applause when the couple kissed each other and when they were presented to

•Kim and Kanye

the guests on the occasion. Kanye and Kim started dating in 2012 when they appeared together at the Paris Fashion Week. In 2013, Kanye proposed after an elaborate ceremony inside San Francisco’s AT&T Park. This is Kanye’s first marriage, but Kim’s third. Kim told Oprah Winfrey in an interview in 2012 that she

•Beyonce

D’Banj, Phyno, others for Beat FM launch

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OP Nigerian pop singers, including D’banj, Phyno, Tillaman, Kayswitch, Chidinma, D’Banj, Skuki, Ayo Jay, Saeon and the entire Mavin crew, will rock Ibadan, Oyo State, as the official launch of the Beat FM, Ibadan holds on June 13, at

•D’Banj

By Ovwe Medeme

Muave 21 Events Centre, Ibadan. The programmes director, Beat FM, Vicki Alozie, said, the planned concert had long been overdue, given the fact that the station became operational in January

•Chidinma

2013. “We really need to shake up the quiet town of Ibadan. It’s going to be the biggest concert in this part of the country.” According to him, both standup comedians Basketmouth and Gbenga Adeyinka will be the first hosts of the concert.

•Phyno

Amah, Uche Nnaji, Dayo Adeneye, alias D1, among others.

Amaka Igwe to be buried June 13 •Anyiam-Osigwe

ter the Proposal; Lebohang Ntsane as Best Child Actor for the movie, Forgotten Kingdom; Petronella Tshuma, as Best Young/Promising Actor for the movie, Of Good Report; Harrikirishna and Sharvan Anenden as Best Feature Film By A Director with the movie, The Children of Troumaron. Nigerian-born Bob Manuel Udokwu clinched the Special Jury Award.

Beyonce congratulates Kim, Kanye West UPERSTAR singer Beyonce has congratulated sensational Kanye and Kim West, who got married at the weekend. The pop singer posted a photo of the family with the caption: “Wishing you a lifetime of unconditional love. God bless your beautiful family.” Beyonce and Jay-Z had been

•Fiberesima

didn’t know what took them so long to be a couple. In December, 2012, Kim announced via her blog that she was pregnant with West’s child. She was eventually delivered of a baby girl in June, 2013.

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HE late Nollywood filmmaker and CEO of Top Radio, Amaka Igwe, will be buried on Friday, June 13, at Ndiuche Arondizuogu, Imo State. According to information, the funeral will begin with a tribute evening and Lagos service of songs at Haven Gardens G.R.A Ikeja on June 9. This will be followed by a service of songs at the Okpara Square, Enugu on June 12, before she will be finally laid to rest at Ndiuche Arondizuogu, Imo State on June 13. She died of complications from asthma at 51 on Monday, April 28. Amaka, had gone to Enugu for the preproduction of a new Igbo soap with her husband when the incident occurred. She, however, died while she was being rushed to hospi-

•The late Amaka Igwe By Ovwe Medeme

tal. She founded the BoB TV Expo and was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Top Radio 90.9 FM, Amaka Igwe Studios and the newlylaunched Q Entertainment Networks. An accomplished writer, producer, director, entrepreneur and teacher, Amaka is survived by her husband, three children and an aged mother.


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THE NATION MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

NEWS EKITI 2014

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LP ‘thugs’ unleash terror in Ikere-Ekiti •APC chieftain shot, journalists injured •Campaign’s, timber dealers’ offices vandalised

•Ekiti State Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu during a sympathy visit to Mr. Femi Ayodele, one of the victims of alleged Labour Party’s mayhem at the Emergency Ward of the Ekiti State University...yesterday.

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CAMPAIGN rally held by the Labour Party (LP) Governorship candidate, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, last Saturday in Ikere-Ekiti reportedly ended on a bloody note as thugs believed to be working for the party unleashed mayhem on members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area. The thugs reportedly shot an APC chieftain named Otunba Femi Ayodele in the town and vandalised both the party’s office around Wema Bank Area and the Timber Traders Association office adjacent to the Oja’ba Market, while several cars were also damaged. The thugs reportedly used dangerous weapons, including guns, machetes, broken bottles in the attack in which about three APC members allegedly sustained injuries. Also physically assaulted and wounded were three of the crew of Africa Independent Television (AIT), who came to cover the event, transmitted live while three of the TV station’s V-sat cameras were also stolen. One of the stolen cameras was said to have been recovered as at press time. Also, AIT’s Outside Broadcast Van (OB Van) was reportedly damaged during the incident. As at the time The Nation visited the scenes of the incident yesterday, pieces of broken plastic chairs and tables littered the environment of the offices while burnt standing fans and electricity generating machines were laid outside the APC. Speaking on his hospital bed at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) where he was taken after the gunshot attack, Otunba Ayodele said: “I was shot at close range by a man who I have never seen in my life and who emerged from one of the buses brought by the LP”. He clarified that the incident happened around 4:30 pm on Saturday while the LP’s rally was going on. He got reports that his Timber Trader’ office was being vandalised by some of those who came for the LP’s campaign. Said he: “Yesterday, a rally of LP held in Ikere, Ikere Local Government. Fortunately, my younger brother was having his marriage introduction. And so, we all went there since morning. “Around 4:30p.m, news came to me that LP had attacked my office close to the post office where the campaign was being held. After receiving the call, I called the DPO who said he had been transferred. I now called one Sergeant Lawrence and he said I should not worry and that they would move to the place. But because that is where my house also is, I decided to go and see things myself after about 30 minutes. I then left my brother’s marriage venue to see how far the police had gone about protecting my house and the office. “I got there and met the LP thugs. I also met a man who is very tall and massive in frame. He was dark in complexion. Upon seeing me, he broke into a race. We followed him and getting to the junction, he stopped. Few seconds, we saw a bus branded in LP logo and name. A man came down from the bus and started shooting into the air to scare the people away. Soon, another

I was shot at close range by a man who I have never seen in my life and who emerged from one of the buses brought by the LP

, Stories from Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

one came from the bus, collected the gun from the first man and shot straight at me. I shouted for help and I lost consciousness soon after.” Another victim of the attack, Funso Daramola, who is also a son of the APC women leader in Ikere, had his shop vandalised. According to him, he was in his shop when one of the hoodlums identified him as a member of APC, leaving him with no choice but to run for his dear life. He later returned to find his shop vandalised and looted by the hoodlums. Also, one of the women at the Oja’ba market in the town, who craved anonymity, disclosed she saw some of the LP thugs alighting from the bus and saying ‘where are the APC people here, where are the APC people here.’ “We were all here and saw them running after some people. Before those trouble-makers came, there was no problem at the campaign ground”, she said. Condemning the development, the Director-General, Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation (KFCO), Bimbo Daramola, noted that the recurrence of attacks on APC members by LP thugs had been “a depressing and disturbing trend”. Daramola disclosed that he had been personally involved in taking members of his party injured by LP members to hospitals for more than five

•One of the vandalised posters of Dr. Fayemi in Ikere-Ekiti

Rein in your men, Adelabu tells Ekiti candidates EKITI State Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, has urged candidates in the next month’s governorship election in the state to rein in their followers from engaging in acts of violence capable of compromising the integrity of the poll. Adelabu gave the advice during a sympathy visit to Mr. Femi Ayodele, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who allegedly sustained gunshot wounds from unidentified gunmen in Ikere-Ekiti on Saturday. The victim was allegedly shot at by thugs believed to be members of the opposition Labour Party (LP) during a rally organised in the city for the party’s flag-bearer in the June 21 governorship election, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele. Mrs. Adelabu, who was briefed at Ayodele’s bedside by the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ikere Local Council, Mr. Gbenga Omole, at the emergency ward of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti, expressed shock over the tragic turn of electioneering campaigns in the state. She urged politicians against disrupting the peace being enjoyed in the state because of their ambitions. times. “Despite calls on the police for remedial supports and promises by the police that measures would be instituted, they (the police) had never lived up to the billings at all,” Daramola said. “There is a sudden twist and turn of developments regarding how people are pursuing their campaigns. When we started these campaigns, what we did was to align with the modus operandi of the campaign in line with the toga of peace as set out by our candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. We do this as we are the government in power. But what started as sketches

The deputy governor also counselled politicians in the state that power belongs to God and that politics should not be taken as a do-ordie affair. Stressing the need to maintain peaceful coexistence before, during and after the forthcoming election, the deputy governor cautioned youths in the state not to make themselves willing tools in the hands of political money-bags. The deputy governor, who prayed for the quick recovery of the victim, described as unpatriotic the alleged importation of miscreants by the LP from the neighbouring state. Also, the Ikere council chief said the victim was attacked while returning home from a brother’s wedding. He alleged that Ayodele was shot at by an unknown gunman from a vehicle branded in the LP colour. According to him, the hoodlums had earlier attacked the house of their victim and ransacked the party’s secretariat. He accused the opposition parties of scheming to draw out members of the ruling APC and create a state of insecurity to pave the way for an emergency situation.

of outrage has now become a trend. In two days, I have had to take people to hospitals. “Two days ago, one of the aides of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, arrested our member where he was pasting Fayemi’s poster and physically dealt with him. I complained to the police but never has the police arrested anyone”, he said. The Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation has condemned the attack on journalists at the Labour Party campaign rally in Ikere-Ekiti, describing it as the peak of irresponsibility and the height of desperation on the part of the

perpetrators of the attack. Meanwhile, Spokesperson of KFCO, Dimeji Daniels, has condemned the attack on AIT’s crew. The organisation, in a statement yesterday, said under no circumstances should journalists who were carrying out their constitutional responsibility be attacked in the name of politics. The Fayemi campaign organisation, which sympathised with the journalists, said it stood logic on its head for any reasonable person to attack harmless newsmen whose major job is to serve as the voice of the voiceless.

PDP candidate accuses Fayemi of threatening obas •Monarchs explain stance

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HE Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has accused the state governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Kayode Fayemi, of threatening traditional rulers not to receive President Goodluck Jonathan when he comes for the flag-off of the PDP campaign. Fayose alleged that Fayemi sent a text message to the Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Obas and the Onitaji of Itaji-Ekiti, Oba Idowu Adamo Babalola, telling him to make sure that first class obas in the state do not attend the reception scheduled for the palace of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe. According to a statement by the Director-General, Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation, Chief Dipo Anisulowo, “Fayemi sent text message to the Onitaji of Itaji-Ekiti that the obas must not receive President Jonathan.” While describing the APC government as enemy of Ekiti progress, Fayose said: “Meeting with President Jonathan by first class obas in Ekiti State is a rare opportunity for representations on the state developmental demands from the Federal Government to be made by the obas.” But in his reaction, the Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers said: “As far as am concerned, when I got the information from them (PDP), I sent the information round to all obas. but we have the same similar issue during Olusegun Obasanjo Regime and since then, we obas in Ekiti State resolved not to meet any president in any Oba’s palace, except the Chairman Council of Obas’ palace. “I am not a member of any political party. If there is a message from the presidency for all obas, then am to oblige and to obey, but not from any political party at all. “I learnt he is not coming to pay courtesy visit to us. He is coming for a political rally. So, we are not involved”.

‘Ekiti poll ‘ll be hitch-free’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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former Commissioner of Police in Plateau State, Mr. Diipo Ayeni, has assured the people of Ekiti State that next month’s governorship election would be peaceful. Ayeni, who is the special adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Security, said at the weekend that the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate is applying strong political will and constructive mechanism to ensure credible poll in the state. Speaking to The Nation in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the retired police officer said: “Though my appointment was purely on advisory capacity, but the State Police Commissioner, who is also the Chairman of the Security Council, has been holding meetings with relevant political stakeholders.” He said that the move is directed at ensuring a free atmosphere devoid of violence, stressing that there should be level-playing ground for all political gladiators, particularly the candidates.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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THE NATION MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

NEWS EKITI 2014 Fayemi’s wife intensifies campaign for husband’s re-election

Group seeks Fayose’s disqualification

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NON-government forum of Ekiti stakeholders, e-eleven, has approached the Ekiti State High Court, Ado-Ekiti to seek the disqualification of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ayo Fayose, from contesting the June 21 governorship poll. The e-eleven, in the brief filed on its behalf by its chairman, Mr. Femi Ajiniran, is asking the high court to determine among other things, whether Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, as the nominated PDP candidate, has committed the offence of perjury in the filling and submission of affidavit in support of INEC Form CF. 001 as re-

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

quired by the provisions of Section 31 (2), (5), (6) and (8) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended). The group deposed that Fayose specifically denied that he had never been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a judicial commission of inquiry or an administrative panel of inquiry. Joined in the suit are the PDP and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC). In an originating summons filed at the state high court dated May 23, 2014 and brought under Order 3 rule 5 and 6 of the High Court of Ekiti State (Civil procedure Rules 2011),

Sections 177 and 182 (1) (d), (e) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Sections 31 and 87 (10) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) knowing the content to be false and untrue. The e-eleven also asked the Ado Ekiti High Court to determine whether Mr. Fayose is barred from being presented/ sponsored as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP on June 21, 2014 Ekiti State Gubernatorial Election, having been indicted/found guilty for gross misconduct by a validly constituted administrative panel as provided for in Section 188(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). According to the group,

“we want the court to give an order barring Mr. Ayodele Fayose from participating as a candidate in the gubernatorial election having committed an offence of perjury in his filing and submission of affidavit in support of Form CF.001 as required by the provisions of section 31 (2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) knowing the content to be false and untrue.” The e-eleven thereby seeks leave of the court to adjudge the PDP to have committed an electoral offence by knowingly presenting Fayose for the June 21, 2014 Ekiti State gubernatorial election, knowing that he had

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•Fayose

been indicted/found guilty for gross misconduct by a validly constituted Administrative Panel as provided for in Section 188(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

IFE of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has advised the electorate against allowing politicians to brainwash them into selling their voters cards or disclosing their Voter Identification Number (VIN). Erelu Fayemi gave the advice when she led the women wing of the All Progressives Congress on election campaign to Gbonyin, Ekiti East and Ikole Local Governments, at the weekend, to enhance the support base of Governor Kayode Fayemi. The governor is the APC candidate for the forthcoming poll. Meanwhile, the only female governorship aspirant that scaled the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) screening hurdle and who was also a former State Women Leader of the party, Chief Modupe Ogundipe, has swelled the ranks of new defectors to the APC. She was in company of the APC women campaign train, which gave her the opportunity to tell the people why she believed that only Fayemi had the magic wand to take the state to the enviable position among the leading contenders. Besides, it was bumper harvest for traders in select markets in the three councils visited, as Fayemi’s wife also took the APC women campaign to markets where she bought commodities at prices far higher than what obtained before her arrival.

Catholic cleric warns against soldiers’ deployment

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ROM the pulpit came a message yesterday for both the Federal Government and politicians jostling to govern Ekiti State after the June 21 governorship election. The message, which came from Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev Felix Femi Ajakaye, advised the federal authority to drop the idea of deploying military personnel for governorship election purposes in Ekiti and Osun states in June and August respectively. The bishop counselled the Federal Government not to engage soldiers in civil duties, but rather mobilise them to restore peace in the crisis-ridden Northeast, where hundreds of school girls are still being held captive by Boko Haram insurgents. The fiery cleric, who spoke in his sermon at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral Church, Ado-Ekiti, also urged politicians in Ekiti State to make their campaigns issue-based in the run-up to the June 12 governorship poll. Ajakaye gave the sermon at a special thanksgiving service to mark the 52nd anniversary of his birthday. At the service were Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu and wife of the state governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi. He described as saddening that more than a month after the insurgents abducted the girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, their whereabouts remained unknown.


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COMMENTARY EDITORIALS

FROM OTHER LANDS

The secret shame of the death penalty

Boom over?

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•It’s high time government addressed the threat posed by shale oil revolution

F the Federal Government has not begun to re-strategise in the wake of the shale oil revolution in the United States, the recent dramatic move by the country to consider scaling back regulations that effectively ban the export of crude oil has not only made it urgent but compelling. While the chill in crude exports to the US is ominous enough; the decision to ban the export of crude oil obviously throws a new equation into the global energy supply mix which the Nigerian economy can only ignore at grave risk. The prognosis is bad enough as it is. From being the largest buyer of Nigeria’s crude as recently as two years ago, the US has slipped to a distant 10th place among the leading buyers of Nigeria’s crude. Whereas Nigeria’s total export to North America in 2012 was 15.111 million barrels, US alone accounted for 14.279 million barrels or 19.15 percent of

‘Not that we are particularly surprised at the apparent failure to evolve a coherent programme or even a proactive strategy to mitigate the impact of the shale oil challenge though; we can only hope that the nation would not have to pay a huge price for that omission in the near future ‘

Nigeria’s crude export. Thanks to its shale oil, by 2013, the volume fell to 1.438 million barrels. The indication, however, is not just that the trend would continue, but that the US, which traditionally prohibited the export of its crude has, by relaxing the regulations on crude export is at once systematically moving to flood the market with the products from shale oil. This is where oil-revenue dependent countries like Nigeria have every reason to worry. After a decade and half oil windfall, the signs are of an imminence of a burst. It isn’t however that the shale oil revolution has not been long anticipated. The gap, as always, is the Federal Government’s pathetic failure to properly anticipate its potential impact, not only on global patterns of demand for hydrocarbon energy but also on its current and future revenues. Not that we are particularly surprised at the apparent failure to evolve a coherent programme or even a proactive strategy to mitigate the impact of the shale oil challenge though; we can only hope that the nation would not have to pay a huge price for that omission in the near future. Of course, we understand that the shale oil revolution is not necessarily a bad thing. What it does really is to stiffen competition in the two ends of the mix: on the side of investment and on the side of the market, particularly among International Oil Companies (IOCs). For our govern-

ment, the challenge is to put in place measures to attract investments to the oil and gas sector, while also deepening domestic utilisation of ancillary products both for domestic and industrial uses. It comes with the need to further diversify the economy, to make it far less dependent as currently obtains, on oil revenue. Of course, Nigerians have been told that all of these are what the much-touted Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) are meant to address; yet, for inexplicable reasons, both the executive and the legislature continue to stonewall on that important piece of legislation. The need to fast-track its passage cannot be more urgent than now. The same is no less true of the need to kick-start the process to ensure self-sufficiency in refined products. It bears repeating here that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC’s) sixth largest producer of crude has no business expending annually, trillions of naira to import refined petroleum products for its domestic needs. While it is hard to imagine how the nation would be able to sustain the current regime of fuel importation should oil price take a sustained dip, it remains absolutely incomprehensible that the government would continue to maintain a regime which allows a huge chunk of foreign exchange to be frittered needlessly. We can only hope that the new measures by the US would force a new thinking on the matter.

Economic sabotage

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•That oil majors can short-change us is an indictment of our regulatory agencies

HE report that President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the recovery of $7.8 billion allegedly owed in unpaid taxes and rents by Shell, Chevron, Total, Mobil and other oil companies is something of grave concern. If truly these oil companies owe such humongous sum to Nigeria, then we condemn their undue economic exploitation of our country. Also, the report that Total is believed to be fleecing the country through the inflation of contracts in Ofon 2 Oil project, if true, must be deprecated. Such conducts amount to economic sabotage against Nigeria and is also an indictment of our national institutions responsible for protecting our national assets. But President Jonathan must also go beyond starring down the oil majors, for tax evasion and inflation of contracts, if he wants to be taken serious on corruption plaguing the country. He must also be bold to seek the recovery of the over $10 billion dollars which the local oil giant, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is accused of unlawfully withholding from the federation account. The attempt by President Jonathan to use the suspension of the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to deflate that serious indictment of his administration on corrupt practices, falls flat on its face. If he wants the world to see him as waking up to his responsibility as the protector of the Nigerian economic heritage, then he must immediately start to clean the

Augean Stables around him, even as he ensures that institutions that should make international economic saboteurs pay for their actions do their job. President Jonathan must indeed realise that any indictment of the exploitative economic activities of the oil majors is also an indictment of his administration. After all, while the oil companies are expected to exhibit international best practices in their business in Nigeria, we have executive institutions, that owe Nigeria the primary responsibility of protecting her from untoward economic exploitation. Here we refer particularly to the NNPC, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR). Unfortunately, it is public knowledge that the NNPC and DPR have, despite the huge resources at their disposal and their many years of operation failed to develop the required skill to effectively man our oil industry. So, if President Jonathan honestly wants to fight the opacity in the oil industry, then he should read the riot act to the local institutions that he controls. It is a shame that it is the major oil companies that have the capacity to determine what quantity of oil we export, instead of the local regulatory agencies. It is also disreputable that it is the oil majors that have the capacity to determine the cost of hightech contracts that they execute, as the operators of the joint venture agreement in our oil industry. The result of this anomaly is at the root of the disagreement over the taxes owed

or the costs of contracts. Of course but for corruption and self-inflicted lack of capacity, the NNPC, DPR and indeed the FIRS should be the ones demanding outstanding taxes and ensuring value for money for Nigeria. For, as it happens in other climes, if any tax payer defaults, or if any corporate organisation corruptly inflates any contract, the culprit is immediately indicted and made to pay penalties. Indeed, where there is undue delay to pay taxes or actions to criminally fleece the economy, the officials of such corporate organisation risk going to jail. As far as we know, such economic crimes are never an opportunity for a country’s political leader to turn to a tax collector. It is also not something to wring the hands in utter helplessness by state actors.

‘It is a shame that it is the major oil companies that have the capacity to determine what quantity of oil we export, instead of the local regulatory agencies. It is also disreputable that it is the oil majors that have the capacity to determine the cost of hightech contracts that they execute ... The result of this anomaly is at the root of the disagreement over the taxes owed or the costs of contracts’

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OONER or later, someone like Russell Bucklew was going to come along and throw a big wrench into the predictable back-and-forth debate over the constitutionality of executing people by lethal injection. On Wednesday night, just hours before Mr. Bucklew was scheduled to die in Missouri, the Supreme Court granted him a rare stay of execution after medical professionals found that an unusual congenital disorder would likely cause him to suffer on the executioner’s table. Mr. Bucklew, 46, was sentenced to death for killing his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend in 1996, and then abducting, beating and raping her. He challenged the state’s plan to put him to death by lethal injection on the grounds that a condition called cavernous hemangioma — which has led to expanding vascular tumors in his head and neck — would expose him to “unique risks,” including “a substantial likelihood of hemorrhaging, choking, airway obstruction and suffocation.” The justices sent the case back to the lower courts to decide whether to hold further hearings. Lethal injection has already come under increased scrutiny following multiple botched executions, most recently Oklahoma’s appalling 43-minute torture of Clayton Lockett last month. Multiple legal challenges to the procedure have centered on whether states may keep secret the drug protocols they use and the shady compounding pharmacies that make them. But Missouri is now tasked with finding a way to kill Mr. Bucklew that doesn’t hurt too much. At least state officials let him live until the Supreme Court ruled on the case, a courtesy they did not extend to another deathrow inmate, Herbert Smulls, in January. Welcome to the macabre absurdity of the modern American death penalty. Of course, death by lethal injection became the standard method only because earlier methods — from hanging to the firing squad to the electric chair — were deemed too “barbaric,” not because the state was taking a human life, but because the method of execution offended the sensitivities of the public in whose name the killing is carried out. By now, it is clear that lethal injection is no less problematic than all the other methods, and that there is no reason to continue using it. But capital punishment does not operate in the land of reason or logic; it operates in a perpetual state of secrecy and shame. In most cases, it is conducted late at night, behind closed doors, and as antiseptically as possible. Were it to be done otherwise, Americans would recoil in horror, as they did after the debacle in Oklahoma. Mr. Bucklew’s unusual case shows that death-penalty supporters can’t have it both ways. If they want the United States to remain a global outlier by killing its citizens, they must accept that there are no clean executions. – New York Times

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

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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: If the Chinese proverb that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is right, then should pictures not be used more cautiously than words? When are nauseating images of gore and dead bodies’ offensive and when are they necessary? Has the mobile revolution moved death from the taboo closet that the African culture has kept it in for ages to the open? What is the effect of the repeated publication and circulation of graphic images on public consciousness? Is the dead entitled to the right to be treated with dignity? At what point do the dead stop being just mere news item and object of morbid fascination and become human? Perennial photographs of carnages on the famished Nigerian roads, of suspected criminals killed by security agencies in shoot-out, of the victims of the Boko Haram inhumanity and other images of random deaths are now a staple served to the Nigerian public by the mass media, all dished out with munificent goriness. Online images which are products of the mobile revolution and street journalism, is even edgier and explicit than it appears in print. Nigerians without any professional journalism training snap shots of severed limbs and burnt corpses with their phones and cameras and upload them directly online and thousands of Nigerians flock to these sites to view them. It is no longer awkward that at the scene of death, some Nigerians are more concerned with capturing graphic images than with offering aid and respect to the dead and dying. Irrespective of the arguments put forward in favour of the publication of graphic content in the Nige-

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Can we respect the dead?

rian media, it is no doubt a blatant violation of the African culture and runs against the very grain of the African philosophical worldview that considers death and dying an indivisible part of the same cycle of life and a journey into a new phase of existence, so the dead is respected. The exploitation of the images of the dead for political and/or commercial ends violate a sacred constituent of the Nigerian culture. While the dead have minimal or no rights, perhaps except the right to remain silent, undisturbed and unmolested, that right is universally held sacrosanct. The 1949 Geneva Conventions protects the sanc-

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tity of corpses even in the chaos and unpredictability of conflict scenes by explicitly providing for “search for the enemy’s dead and prevent their dead being despoiled”. Furthermore, such publication without the consent of the family of dead impugn their privacy and as well as their rights to peace in the wake of a tragic event and such imageries has a potential to continuously torture the kin of the deceased. The argument that the publication of graphic photographs arouses public conscience to action is not proven and it has been stated by some that such practice in fact deadens and inure us to the horrors that

these images represent. The progressively worsening Boko Haram insurgency in itself invalidates this position, publications after publications of stomach churning scenes of carnages and death wreaked by the group has neither roused the Nigerian state into effective action nor reverse the group’s ascendancy; also vivid and sometimes crass portray of fatality on Nigerian roads has not impelled the government to action nor moved the potential victims of the next butchery to demand change, so of what good is it? Can it be said that the dead was dignified as was the case in the Abuja bombing when the remains

military a dummy? Is this abduction saga a decoy that the Boko – Haram is using to strike at soft targets in the other parts of the country while the world’s attention is focused on just one geo – political zone? We have reasons to be apprehensive for the safety of our lives because no one knows when and where the next bomb may be set to blast. This is where protection of vested interests of certain godfathers and their godsons has landed

us in this nation. Definitely, Nigeria as a nation is waging an offensive spiritual warfare now and the whole world knows it. Greed, avarice and clamour for power at all cost seem to have blurred the spiritual sights of our leaders. Even the priests of God seem to be affected too. They seem to be shying away in declaring God’s total counsel to our political leaders. .’’ As the LORD moves the whole world to beam its searchlight on

While searching for our Chibok girls

IR: While we are still praying and busy searching for our Chibok girls, we should not leave our rear completely exposed and unguarded. This is evidenced in the deadly bomb – attacks that rocked the cities of Kano and Jos respectively within a week when the attention of our security forces and their foreign allies were drawn and focused on the north- eastern Nigerian forests in search of the abducted girls. Or has the Boko – Haram sold our

What a President! What a leader!

IR: Late last week BBC news announced that the President, Goodluck Jonathan would finally visit Chibok, the scene of a colossal and ongoing national heartbreak, before jetting off to Paris for a conference. A few hours later, NBC News in America reported that Jonathan had cancelled the visit. Something was murmured about security fears. Everything became muddled. In the end, Jonathan did what he has always done: he bungled it. As father of the nation, the President’s visit would have had a reas-

of the victims of the bomb blast were heaped into the back of an open truck and the picture splashed over the internet? Doesn’t it violate our collective humanity when the remains of accidents are haphazardly hulled into the backs of security trucks and photographed? At what point in our national life will it become a collective affront to carelessly transport the dead? At what stage will it become a standard practice in Nigeria to transport dead bodies using body bags or covered sterile evidence sheet and ambulances? There is a need for a collective critique of the tone of unnecessary pictures and videos that show very graphic portray of mortality and the misery of hapless Nigerians, this cruelty is neither necessary in helping readers apprehend the multifaceted challenges that the Nigerian states faces nor does it dignify the dead. It is pure sensationalism. • Tosin Osasona, Centre for Public Policy Alternatives, Lagos

suring and calming effect on the people of Chibok – especially those parents whose daughters are missing. A presidential visit would have helped steady the nerves, it would have given everyone a shot in the arm, it would have helped wipe away some of the bitter tears, it would have encouraged people that the government is on their side and that they are not groping aimlessly alone, and it would have directly connected the government to the people in a very personal way. But here we are; over 200 young girls were abducted on the night of April 14, and, more than

a month later, foreign news media are the ones telling us about our President’s indecisive peek-a-boo. What a President! What a leader! Just breaks your heart, doesn’t it? And this is the pattern, I’m afraid. This is what’s been our lot for four years. Nigerians are people of goodwill; we just need an active and dynamic-enough President to unite behind. Unfortunately, and despite a majority fervently wishing him to do well, Jonathan has persistently dropped the ball. Simply bleating ad nauseam about ‘transformation’ is not it. A leader

must let his people feel his passion. A leader has got to let his people know that he’s got their back. Sadly, we don’t feel that with Jonathan. We appear to be lumbered with a Presidency without bite. It is one committee after another. Either that or we get another statement pressed together by brother Abati. That doesn’t do it for us anymore. It only highlights a lack of dynamism, and citizens are forced to wonder whether they are truly on their own. • Michael Egbejumi-David demdem@hotmail.co.uk

the nation with a view to help us out of our socio – economic and political quagmires, so shall God’s glory shine suddenly upon this land. And we shall soon forget our current woes. Our weeping shall soon turn to laughter. No doubt, it is the whole nation of Nigeria that is in captivity and not just these 276 abducted Chibok girls. But God is saying that He will turn again our captivity in Nigeria. And when the LORD will eventually turn again the captivity of Zion, we shall be like them that dream. Our mouth shall be filled with laughter and our tongue with singing. The Lord will surely do great things for us in Nigeria and we shall be glad. The nation is currently sowing in tears and we shall soon reap in joy. The nation- Nigeria is going about weeping (spiritually and physically) as a result of these traumas still bearing precious seed, but we shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing in our sheaves. Succinctly put, something glorious will surely come out of these conflicts / warfare going on in the heavenlies and in the physical on behalf of Nigeria in JESUS name. • Gbemiga Olakunle, JP National Prayer Movement, Lagos


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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

COMMENTS

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Y this day next month, Ekiti people would have voted for whoever they desire to be the governor of the state now labeled as land of honour. To the people, the next term of four years is vital - whether the state must continue to be transformed or imposed to be downgraded. One of those struggling to take power from the incumbent governor who is also interested in returning to office to complete his indubitable labour thus far is former office holder Peter Ayodele Fayose. The name rings bell because of the way he administered Ekiti State in three and a half years before he was impeached What then makes Fayose a known name? Who indeed is he that wants to return to a place where he was yanked out from? Fayose remains a character that must be understood to the fore of being declared as popular. What really were those concepts in him that he now claims have changed? Fayose’s travails began when the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) investigated varied allegations of corruption, money laundering and diversion of local government funds against him. The commission found him prima facie guilty. Apart from being accused of financial misappropriation, he was also attached to murder and probed by a panel of inquiry that found him guilty with recommendation for impeachment. He was later impeached along with his deputy. Some people might have been arguing about the constitutionality of his removal, but the end course of the constitution is to make the people contented. Most Ekiti people were happy about Fayose’s removal as governor. Youths were seen dancing around the state capital in several motorcades without violence. Ahead of his removal from office, Ekiti elite and intelligentsia could not comply with his fashion of leadership. To them, Fayose was a plain ruffian and hooligan responsible for consecutive dismal and depressing misdemeanours. He was consistently connected to crimes committed in the state during his tenure. Till today, the same category of indigenes still arraign his government as contrary to the peaceful and unruffled state experienced under the preceding administration of Otunba Niyi Adebayo and the incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi. There were indeed many instances of tension and chaos under his reign. Factually, there were several allegations of killing attempts and real killings under him. His one-time deputy out of many, Abiodun Aluko, had cause to write to

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F there are no complicating factors, or even despite the possibility that there could be, the campaign to have Akinwunmi Ambode succeed two-term Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola in 2015 may well and truly be on a successful course, which is the inescapable implication of his endorsement by Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the preeminent Lagos monarch who may be considered a reliable source of information on the thinking in the charmed circle of political kingmakers in the state. At 70, and having been on the throne as King of Lagos since 2003, Oba Akiolu could not have been speaking flippantly when he declared, “The elders of Lagos have said that Ambode will be governor.” His May 15 utterance at a book launch at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, undoubtedly provided food for thought in the political sphere in particular and served as a pointer to the fact that the power struggle for the high office had begun in earnest in the All Progressives Congress (APC), even if informally. Beyond the surface, the book presentation had the quality of a finely planned public relations stunt to sell Ambode’s governorship aspiration, if not his canonisation. Two books, Public Sector Accounting by Ambode who will be 51 next month, and his biography, The Art of Selfless Service by Marina Osoba, were the ostensible reason for the gathering of dignitaries, but Oba Akiolu left no one in doubt about the more significant purpose of the occasion. He said: “It is true that we are launching a book, but we know why we are here. Some aspirants have sent delegations to me…You will still meet in your party and take a decision on who will be governor. But in my capacity and in accordance with the wish of God and the elders around, I will make my position clear on this matter.” The king, in a fashion typical of Yoruba elders, resorted to wise sayings to drive his point home. His words: “When you see someone that is dancing upstairs, you should know

‘It is noteworthy that Oba Akiolu was modest enough to suggest that there was a theoretical possibility that his standpoint could be contradicted by party hierarchs and decision makers, especially given the fact that the party primary would be the ultimate deciding factor. However, the reality is that he was probably being diplomatic, for he said in the same breath, “Those of you who are annoyed, you should be patient. He is a Lagosian and he will be governor”’

Who really is Fayose? the then President Olusegun Obasanjo alleging that his life was being threatened in the course of his conflict with his boss. About a dozen students of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti were lost when he Fayose was alleged to be involved in shooting on campuses. The then chairman of Ado Local Government, Taiye Fasubaa escaped death by the whiskers when gunmen stormed his house at the peak of his disagreement with Fayose. Crisis reached its peak on May 28, 2005 at a councillorship byeelection in Ifaki. Voting was going on smoothly when Fayose arrived and PDP supporters allegedly assaulted members of the opposition which led to the death of Tunji Omojola, an inlaw to the National Conscience Party candidate. Correspondingly, notable Dr. Ayo Daramola was murdered in his Ijan town chiefly on the belief that he had indicated intent to wrestle governorship power from Fayose in 2007. Fayose and his gang in Ado disorganized a rally where the Alliance for Democracy was having the inauguration of the party executive. It was alleged that he was seen personally shooting gun into the crowd with his followers vandalizing cars and beating up people. That he had no admiration and respect for the traditional rulers and distinguished citizens of the state was irrefutable. Apart from the report that a chieftain was cased inside car boot, he was unruly to the Ewi of Ado, the Ogoga of Ikere; he detracted peace from the Onijan of Ijan Ekiti. Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) was forced to begin to sweat when his life was no longer safe, alleging some agents sponsored by the Fayose government were threatening to kill him. He had stated that Fayose had no right to deduct funds that ordinarily belonged to local governments without knowing that by that he had hurt him where it pained him most. At a stage, Fayose wanted to transfer part of the state secretariat from the capital to his Afao-Ekiti village under another local government. The Ewi and Ado Progressive Union objected. When Babalola supported his people’s objection, Fayose descended heavily on him and the Ewi claiming they influenced Obasanjo to oppose his move. The same Babalola built and donated an auditorium to the Faculty of Law of the state university. He suggested that since the President was coming, he should commission the building. Fayose was furious at the suggestion and boasted that it was over his dead body that the President would commission the project. After the President’s visit, Fayose made series of media propaganda in which he referred to Babalola as a “useless elder statesman” from Ado-Ekiti living in Ibadan. After his impeachment, he was in Okuku to declare Obasanjo who brought him to power as “father of the bastards.” Many more disrespects! Fayose is now claiming he has become a changed man in maturity. But Ekiti State former Governor Segun Oni who knows who he is uttered that “when you know his sponsors and how he ‘won’ the primaries he claimed to have won, you would know that he, indeed, has changed for the worse.” His

A king’s confident prophecy that some people are beating the drums downstairs for him.” He elaborated, saying, “The elders have been meeting…We review things regularly…The elders have said that Ambode should be the next governor of Lagos. Other aspirants have a right to aspire too.” It is noteworthy that Oba Akiolu was modest enough to suggest that there was a theoretical possibility that his standpoint could be contradicted by party hierarchs and decision makers, especially given the fact that the party primary would be the ultimate deciding factor. However, the reality is that he was probably being diplomatic, for he said in the same breath, “Those of you who are annoyed, you should be patient. He is a Lagosian and he will be governor.” Evidently, not everyone shares Oba Akiolu’s conviction, and this actuality was demonstrated by the subsequent appearance of an organisation, the Lagos Development Advocacy Group (LDAG), which not only opposed Oba Akiolu’s position but also proposed a different individual for the position of governor. According to the group, “As we all have observed in recent times, pundits, commentators and even faithful party members have engaged in several analysis and debates on what should qualify any true breed Lagosian for the exalted seat of Lagos State Governor. Some of the issues that kept coming up are senatorial zoning, religious affiliation and many other sectarian and primordial considerations deliberately orchestrated in favour of some individuals eyeing the seat.” Then it delivered a punch, saying, “After rigorous, conscientious search and consideration amongst the prospective candidates and other public officers, we found Mr. Babatunde Williams Fowler, BWF, as the most qualified in

apology being offered to Babalola and Femi Falana(SAN) today over his crisis with them is seen by many as cosmetic. Indeed, he might now be claiming to be a superman just because he speaks the local dialect and pretends to adore the dilemma of the illiterates. To his fellow hoodlums, Fayose might be one that could be seen, felt and accessed easily. He comes around whenever he needs them, eats and drinks with them at the bukatarias as if that would modify their lives in poverty and deficiency. Tell me how his claim of connection to grassroots can be compared to Governor Fayemi’s creative regular monthly stipends to the hitherto abandoned aged who could have died in hunger and poverty. Ekiti people themselves must douse the political tension in the state by supporting their votes to ensure free election that will guarantee freedom and progress. What the people of knowledge want is a total change of heart, commitment to tolerate opposition and allow them the chance to exist. For Fayose to live a meaningful life, he must not see his current aspiration as the end of his life. Let him know that taking back Ekiti through PDP cannot be sustained by violence against professed opponents that are committed to true transformation of the state that is being currently worked to become a land of honour in deed and in truth. The PDP leadership decided to pick as governorship candidate a failed politician who in his last contest was beaten in a Senatorial election. They couldn’t recollect his pending case with EFCC about his billion naira fraudulent deals with a non-existing Ekiti State poultry. Still unresolved was his claim to obtain Higher National Diploma Certificate without the proof that he was a student of Ibadan Polytechnic and not a danfo driver. The party denounced other contestants who are more civil simply because it wants to wage war, as declared by Vice President Namadi Sambo, against the people of Ekiti. To them, Fayose is the one that can be used to restore upheaval and tension in the state. If a Fayose is being used as candidate in Ekiti, it is not surprising that an Omisore of same worth has been picked to run in the State of Osun. Or why should a Kashamu just be pulled out (as his name means) to lead in Ogun State and mobilize the zone for the party when he dares not travel to United States today where trial is awaiting him as a drug baron? An Obanikoro who is a debunker is being empowered to lead the party in Lagos State to deflate the reformation which is apparent even to the blind. In Oyo State, defamed Akala is also the party’s muscle! In Ekiti of today, it cannot be denied that the one in power is truly transforming the state, doing what he promised to do. So, the re-emergence of that which remains in doubt must be cast away. The state cannot afford to be downgraded to the land of rash again.

this regard and hereby make a clarion call for him to join the race for the exalted position on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, which he belongs to.” It is ludicrous, to say the least, that the group tried to make a case for an apparently unprepared individual, for that is the connotation of asking Fowler to enter the ring when he has not himself overtly indicated interest in the position. Or is this his way of declaring his aspiration, meaning that the group could be fronting for him, contrary to the argument that it is calling on him to participate in politicking? Interestingly, from the look of things, no one is prompting Ambode, in contradistinction to Fowler; rather, he is being promoted, with the important implication that he is already in the race and, therefore, conscious of the demands of such political ambition. It is instructive that Ambode himself reinforced his preparedness, saying, “When you work under the guidance of these two people, there is no room for failure. The letter of commendation by Fashola is my gold medal for public service.” He was, of course, referring to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former governor of the state and acclaimed architect of the continuing transformation of the megacity, and the incumbent helmsman, Fashola, Although Oba Akiolu did not elaborate on the perceived qualities that qualified Ambode for governorship in the eyes of “the elders” he referred to, available details about the aspirant’s public service record are impressive and compel attention. Significantly, he was Accountant- General of Lagos State between 2006 and 2012 when he retired voluntarily to pursue other dreams after spending 27 years in the state’s civil service, including a stint as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, and as Auditor-General for Local Government. This background is striking on account of the fact that it highlights Ambode as probably the most experienced individual in terms of familiarity with the state civil service operations to seek the position of governor since Lagos State was created in 1967. It is notable that, in reaction to Ambode’s ascendancy, some observers have pointed out that Oba Akiolu’s support may not be the same thing as having the backing of the party supremos. However, it is understandable that the powers that be in the party have not been openly declarative, even if they might also have endorsed Ambode by deduction from the king’s declaration. It is part of the beauty of democracy to keep every aspirant’s dream alive until the axe falls on it, which is a probable reason for seeming public neutrality by the kingmakers. Even though it is a possibility, it is unlikely that they are still undecided, given Oba Akiolu’s confident prophecy, which he is perfectly entitled to. “But all things are in the hands of God Almighty”, the king concluded on a philosophical note, with the clear suggestion that left to man the issue was settled.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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COMMENTS

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Y all indications, Nigeria is now home to terrorism. Similarly, its dire manifestations: killings, destruction, shock and awe have come to stay with us. Even with international coalition to fish out and release the abducted Chibok school girls, the terrorists have in the last couple of days, shown beyond unmistakable terms that they will not let go. They appear determined to demonstrate their capacity to strike in any state of their choice especially in the northern part of the country. That ought to be the proper reading of the twin bombs that killed over 120 people in Jos, Plateau state with scores of others inflicted with varying degrees of injury. Before then, there was another successful bomb attack in Kano that wreaked unmitigated havoc in human lives and property. The message which the renewed bombing and killing of innocent citizens is meant to convey is the terrorists’ unlimited capacity to inflict pains on our people beyond Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states where local and international attention is currently focused. Therefore, the target of the terrorists and their sponsors is not just about the abduction that has been accomplished but how to enforce their devious and wired agenda on the rest of the country. Campaigns and demonstrations that seek to focus on the abducted girls may miss the point if a holistic perspective of the phenomenon is not undertaken now. It is even possible that having been put under pressure in the north-east axis, the terrorists will begin to focus on other areas of less attention. There is therefore the compelling imperative to evolve measures to prevent terrorism from spreading to other parts of the country. And because of the very unlikely prospect of the scourge fizzling out very soon, our citizens should brace up for a long drawn battle with terrorists. Matters are not remedied given that we are confronted with an asymmetrical warfare. For a country that is battling with high level poverty, ignorance and disease, the effects of the current war on high defense budgets will leave very little if anything for the pursuit of our development programme. We are thus left with a vicious cycle of poverty and underdevelopment. That is the sad fate those who promote this evil scourge have consigned this country to. Already we have been forced to allow foreign countries into our territory on account of this self-inflicted problem. As desirable as

Emeka OMEIHE 08112662675 email: EmekaOmeihe@yahoo.com

Living with terrorism foreign intervention may be at this point in time, it comes with its own shortcomings. It has its repercussions for a sovereign nation irrespective of the fact that international cooperation has been a major feature of the fight against terrorism due to its peculiar nature. Those who are helping have come with their own terms. The days ahead will witness a massive deployment of resources to fight terrorism. It will involve the acquisition of sophisticated technology such that the foreign countries offer. It will entail a comprehensive security network through out the length and breadth of the country to reduce the relative ease with which terrorists penetrate vulnerable segments of our communities. All these will take a lot from the national purse. The defense industries of the advanced countries will have patronage. Yet, this is a problem this county could have avoided but for greed, self-serving and sectional promptings. And for a society that lacks the basic data on its citizens and foreigners as well, the situation can be that hopeless. With the uncontrolled influx of neighboring African countries, the inability to differentiate some of them from Nigerians, it can only be imagined the difficulty to be encountered keeping a tab on movements and suspicious elements. Our society is at the moment very porous with security counting for little in the daily calculations of the ordinary people. It is therefore to be expected that such a society will harvest plentifully from the evil machinations of these purveyors of terror. The fact that even the most sophisticated and highly advanced countries have not been able to rid themselves of terrorism is a sufficient

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HEN the history of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic is finally written, one man, a public administrator of uncanny acumen, will tower highly on the pages of that account. He will be so specially recognised not on account of his volubility or seeming Spartan lifestyle. Reasonably, Governor Rauf Aregbesola will attract a huge focus in that chronicle because of his sterling performance and consistent delivery of good governance in Osun State, a once economically drab, socially sick, and politically explosive landlocked state. While not neglecting the evident changes taking place in other sectors of the state since the Aregbesola administration began in 2010, I must confess that I have been more dispassionately concerned with what happens in the education sector of the state. From the reforms, the innovative initiatives, to the hefty sum being sunk in the public education system of Osun, there can be no doubt that the interest of the Aregbesola government in the advancement of education as a vital element of enduring human and physical development is not superficial. Specifically, the vastly improved Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, famously regarded as Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O-MEALS) is one of the areas in the education sector of the state that the incandescent light of good governance has been determinedly beamed. The success of this programme brings to mind the indisputable fact that the sector-wide development being witnessed in Osun is a product of the robust resourcefulness, rugged will, uncommon prudence, and practicable vision of the Aregbesola administration. OMEALS has been sustained for two years. It is a stirring testimony to the inspiring ability of the administration to provide invaluably enduring programme. This free school-feeding programme covers some 500,000 pupils enrolled in grades one to four of all government-owned elementary schools. It is firmly founded on the objectives of alleviating hunger and malnutrition among school children; addressing specific micronutrient deficiencies in school-age children for better school performance; motivating parents to enrol their children in school and have them attend regularly; and stimulating job creation, local goods production and to boost

‘The government in Osun understands that nutrients are quite critical for optimal brain development, hence its unwavering commitment to the free-feeding initiative and uncompromising provision of functional education. Those who steer the ship of governance in Osun understand that it is with well-fed, well-groomed, well-bred, and welleducated minds that society attains great heights in development’

indication that we are in for hard times if those who sponsor Boko Haram do not have a change of heart. Since bad habits die hard, it is safer to assume that terrorism has come to stay with us. It will not quickly disappear in the same manner armed robbery, kidnapping and militancy have not. Apart from any comprehensive programme the government may put in place to detect and make terrorism a very risky endeavor, we must begin to prepare our citizens to brace up for the scourge. It is time to commence very aggressive and comprehensive sensitization programme to acquaint our people with the necessary precautions and safety valves against terrorism. The high casualty recorded in the Jos incident would have been avoided had the local population been properly schooled on the right responses when bombs are detonated. For now, such campaigns are not on and not many know what to do in such circumstances. Plateau State commissioner of police Chris Olakpe captured the above scenario very succinctly when he warned the public against rushing to bomb blasts scenes as the possibility of another primed to explode soon after was very high. As it turned out, it was a second explosion that wreaked much of the havoc in the Jos incident. He also gave another tip on what people should do immediately they hear a blast near them. He advised that when such blasts occur, people close by should lie down to avoid being hit by flying objects. Another security expert Dr. Ona Ekhomu has also come out with a piece of advice on

how to detect the making of improvised bombs and the materials that go into them. He said “accumulating gas cylinders or bags of fertilizer are terrorists’ attack pre-incident indicators which could signal the imminence of a bomb attack”. He also spoke on monitoring people who behave in very suspicious and secretive ways as it fits into the characterization of terror agents. These tips are very useful and needful given that terrorism is unlikely to disappear from our shores so soon. We must therefore brace up for the reality it has become, educate and sensitize our people on how to detect the making of bombs so as to aid in apprehending culprits. And since the possibility is there that some of the terrorists will still succeed in their devious endeavors, we must arm the people on the right responses whenever there is a bomb explosion. The Jos experience has shown clearly that the message of keeping off bomb blast scenes is yet to be internalized. It therefore calls for a more comprehensive sensitization approach, deploying modern means of mass communication including the traditional ones to drum these messages into the ears of the ordinary people. These are the measures that will add value to the current fight against terrorism and not endless street demonstrations. We must proceed beyond the current euphoria to institute and internalize measures not only to detect terrorists but reduce the pains associated with their activities due to ignorance on the part of the public.

‘The Jos experience has shown clearly that the message of keeping off bomb blast scenes is yet to be internalized. It therefore calls for a more c o m p r e h e n s i v e sensitization approach, deploying modern means of mass communication including the traditional ones to drum these messages into the ears of the ordinary people’

Appraising Osun’s O-Meals programme By Lanre Oladeji local farmers’ incomes. On every school day, these pupils are fed with highly nutritious meals made up of yam with fish stew and orange; rice and beans with chicken; beans porridge and bread with whole egg and banana; and cocoyam porridge with vegetable soup and beef, with a slice of pawpaw. This initiative, as reports indicate, has seen to the gainful empowerment of over 3000 women who serve as food vendors in all the schools across Osun. The disbursement of about N3 billion annually by the state government to sustain the programme is itself a marker of the power of vision and what only a responsible government can do. The O-MEALS programme is a resoundingly well-restructured idea. And this is no frivolous claim. This assertion can be substantiated by looking at the quality of international supports and acclaims the programme has engendered, its implications on the education of children in the state, and the economic spinoffs. All of these prove that the programme is not a misbegotten idea. With respect to genetic predisposition to intelligence, good nutrition plays an immeasurable role in cognitive development of children. Studies have shown that nutrient deficiency in children often affects the development of their brain, the engine room of the human body. Children who are deficient in nutrients and are poorly fed will not only be sickly and look terrifyingly gaunt; they will equally have weaker brain power coupled with a demeaning lack of confidence. In class, they will do everything but give meaningful attention to learning. They will listen to teachers desultorily. Rather than remember the salient thrusts of their lessons, they have the rumbling worms in their stomachs to remind them of the pang of hunger. This is the hell from which the Aregbesola administration has rescued the school children. With the nutritious meals, provision of modern learning facilities, conducive learning atmosphere, and qualified teachers, there can be no doubt that sound and round education is the lot of these children. The children now look healthier, more robust, and more confident. Their brains are being energised for effective performance on a daily basis. It now matters little, if any at all, that these children attend public schools. The government in Osun understands that nutrients are quite critical for optimal brain development, hence its unwavering commitment to the free-feeding initiative and uncompromising provision of functional education. Those who steer the ship of governance in Osun understand that it is with well-fed, wellgroomed, well-bred, and well-educated minds that society

attains great heights in development. As a full package, the O-MEALS programme has positive impact on the economy and agricultural sector of Osun. Cocoyam farming (aptly tagged ‘Cocoyam Rebirth Farming’) has taken a new dimension and many hands are already being gainfully engaged in that area. Cocoyam, especially the pink species, is said to have higher nutritional value than yam. Its inclusion in the menu of the school meal is a sensible decision. Similarly, poultry, livestock and catfish farming now thrives in the state, improving the quality of life of farmers and reinflating the domestic economy of Osun. It can be safely concluded that the quest of Osun for economic development benefits richly from the active involvement of its people. They not only benefit from government’s programmes, they also play important roles in their execution. That is evidence that people-oriented government is what subsists in Osun in the last three years. It is equally noteworthy that the restructured O-MEALS initiative under the watch of Aregbesola has attracted international attention. The international acclaims and backing from organisations like the Partnership for Child Development (PCD) UK, the World Bank, and the World Food Programme are strong proofs that out there in Osun is a responsive and responsible government. Given that the Osun State government has by action shown it is responsible, serious and prudent in the management of resources, it will be good judgement on the part of these international organisations to further support and help to expand the coverage of the programme to include both Middle and High School students. This will make for a complete programme. This is a programme that will do all of Nigerian children good – not only those in Osun. It is, therefore, a welcome development that the federal government has found the need to copy this programme and make it an essential part of the Universal Basic Education programme. It is even more encouraging that roundtable discussions are being organised on how to get the programme going in all the states of the federation. Nigeria needs the kind of revolution that has reshaped for good the public education system in Osun. Let those in charge rouse themselves to action, demonstrating the right will, translating vision into reality, and providing good governance through prudence and creativity – all of which are the hallmarks of the Aregbesola administration. They should know, as Confucius enlightens, that ‘[n]o nation goes bankrupt educating its people’. Every naira spent to make the Home-Grown School Feeding programme work would be worth it. • Oladeji writes from Ede, Osun State.


BUSINESS

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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

JOBS

ISSUES

Wanted: Visa facilitators for tourists - P. 37 News Briefing 40,000 jobs lost in construction

NO fewer than 40,000 jobs may have been lost in the construction industry in the last one year due to failure by the government to pay for jobs done, the National Union of Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) has said. –Page 26

‘Rebased economy excites Lagos Trade Fair exhibitors’

THE recent rebasing of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which makes Nigeria the largest economy in Africa, has generated increased interest by exhibitors in the Lagos International Trade Fair, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said. –Page 26

World Bank, AfDB: African conflicts may affect investments

We want a SONCAP programme that would serve its purpose; a programme that would be dynamic, where all the identified loopholes would be effectively plugged thereby making it difficult for the plaque of substandard products to continue to dominate the Nigerian business space. -Dr Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON

Why campaign for cement standardisation persists - P. 32

DISCOS begin 100% remittance in Sept

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HE power sector pri vatisation pro gramme will move to the next stage by September when all electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) are expected to remit 100 per cent of their collections from customers. That is when the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will change from the Interim Market Rules (IMR) to the Transition Electricity Market (TEM). When TEM takes off, the Market Operator (MO), which is the commercial counterpart of the generation companies (GENCOs) and DISCOs because it buys power from GENCOs and sells to DISCOs, will relinquish the role to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET). At the moment, the DISCOs operate baseline remittance, where their remittances are determined by revenue gen-

• Baseline remittance increases by 25% By Emeka Ugwuanyi

eration and power received. Based on these criteria, a DISCO has a minimum amount to pay. The baseline has just been increased by 25 per cent, a step to preparing the utility firms for the full remittance. Before the increase, some DISCOs, such as Yola DISCO, that were considered commercially unviable due to issues it had with supply, had zero baseline remittance. With the increase, its baseline remittance is 25 per cent. But some juicy DISCOs, such as Ikeja, Eko, Ibadan, Abuja, Benin and Enugu have baseline remittances that range between 60 per cent to 98 per cent. An operator explained: “We take energy from the

grid and supply to the customers. At the end of the month, the market operator (MO) gives us a bill of all the energy we have taken from the transmission because MO is part of the transmission sector. They (MO) give us bill, which we are supposed to pay 100 per cent but in the interim, it is different percentages for different DISCOs depending on the DISCO’s past record. “Once we pay that baseline remittance, whatever remains, the DISCO keeps for its operation but because we are not having the subsidy, which the government is supposed to reimburse for power consumers in R1 and R2 categories whose consumptions are subsidised, some DISCOs remit less than their stipulated

baseline remittance. “Initially, the baseline remittance was pegged in line with interim market rules (IMR) where some DISCOs had zero to 35 per cent baseline remittance but now that it has been increased by 25 per cent, the DISCOs that had zero per cent before, are supposed to pay 25 per cent while those that had 35 per cent are supposed to pay 60 per cent.” It was learnt that the baseline remittance was increased to enable the MO pay for the power purchased from GENCOs and gas bought from suppliers and others that contribute in the supply value chain. “However, all these disparities will stop after the interim arrangement because when we move to TEM, sometime in September, everyone will be making 100 per cent remittance,” the operator said.

THE spate of bombings in Nigeria and Kenya is sparking concern that investors may begin to shy away from the continent unless the violence eases, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank have said. –Page 29

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

• From left: Former President, Association of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employers, Chief Emmanuel Ukpabi; immediate past Vice President, Mr. Sunil Sawhney; new President, Mr. Paul Gbededo, and Executive Secretary, Mr. Aderemi Adegboyega, at the 35 th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the group in Lagos.

Nigeria, EXIM Bank India, sign $100m energy loan T

HE Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and Nigeria have signed a $100million loan agreement for financing three projects to provide electricity transformers for solar electrification in some rural areas. The deal was signed in Kigali, Rwanda. The Chairman/Managing Director, Exim Bank, Yaduvendra Mathur, said: “Exim Bank is very proud to engage with Nigeria in the area of electricity development. We are looking forward to further corpo-

ration in different sectors.” The $100 million will be spent on the distribution of transformers in 96 communities in three senatorial zones of Enugu State; a substation, including solar mini-grid electrification and solar street lighting in Kaduna State, as well as the construction of two 26 MW gas-based power plants in Cross River State. Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the agreement had been in

negotiations for seven years and that its implementation signifies a great shift in the relationship between Exim Bank and Nigeria. “We are more interested in having a programmatic type of discussion; so that we tell you the areas that we feel we want to work with you. This is a beginning,” she said. Under the new Line of Credit, Exim Bank will reimburse 100 per cent of the

contract value to the Indian exporters upfront upon the shipment of equipment and goods as well as the provision of services. Major export items from India to Nigeria are transport equipment, machinery and instruments, pharmaceuticals, rice and electronic goods. The agreement brings the $10billion the worth of India Exim Bank’s credit, while the number increased to 191, covering 76 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Oceania.

Workers raise alarm over plot to disrupt ports operations By Oluwakemi Dauda

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HE Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has raised the alarm over alleged plans by some individuals to disrupt operations at the seaports. The workers alleged that some individuals are circulating false information and recruiting disengaged dockworkers and “miscreants” to use them to foment trouble. MWUM President, Nted Anthony Emmanuel, said the ‘troublemakers’ alleged that terminal operators had been owing each of the disengaged and dockworkers from 2008 till date N3,639,560 “based on a purported agreement with labour that dockworkers would be paid from N33,000 monthly whether they worked or not with a 10 per cent increment every year.” Nted said last month, these elements recruited miscreants who attempted to prevent registered dockworkers and employees at Apapa ‘bus-in and bus-out’ from going into the ports to work until a combined team of security agencies and labour leaders dislodgee them. He added: “We now have it on good authority that they have been re-grouping and plotting to invade the ports nationwide to cause maximum damage to human lives and terminal operators facilities. “In fact, the plot, according to our findings, is to completely cripple ports operations and kill any one that stands on their way. They have been circulating inciting false information that according to agreement between the terminal operators and MWUN in 2008, the minimum wage for dockworkers is N33,000 with 10 per cent increment every year whether the dockworker works or not. “From their calculation, from June 1, 2008 to May 31, 2009, each dockworker is entitled to N33,000 making N396,000. From June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, minimum wage for a dockworker with 10 per cent increment per year is N39,600, making N435,600.00 for a year. From June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011, minimum wage for a dockworker with 10 per cent increment is N43,560.00 making it N522,720.00. From June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012, the minimum wage for dockworker with 10 per cent, increment is N52,272, making it N627,264.00. From June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, minimum wage for a dockworker with 10 percent increment is N62,726.40, making it N752,716.80.


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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

BUSINESS NEWS

Digital migration: NBC eyes licensing fees from freed spectrum

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By Lucas Ajanaku

HE National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said it is eyeing some funds from the licensing fees that will be paid by people who will buy the broadcast spectrum that will be freed up as a result of the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. It said it is in talks with its regulatory counterpart in the telecoms sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which will take charge of the freed spectrum to get a slice of the cake. Its Director-General, Emeka Mba, who spoke on the sideline of Digital Migration Summit, in Lagos at the weekend, said massive funding and industry collaboration are needed to see to the successful implementation of the programme. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has set next year for member-countries to achieve analogue switch off. Nigeria had set 2012 as terminal date to achieve digital switch over (DSO) but missed the target she set for herself was missed. Mba said DSO requires significant collaboration from everybody, arguing that the impression that it was government or NBC’s project is completely flawed. He said it is a global affair and urging everybody to join hands and make success out of it. He said: “We are talking to the NCC but it is a very intricate thing— you want to sell something you don’t know the price, it is an auction. We are working with them (NCC), they have been magnificent in terms of their cooperation. We are talking with them. We are looking at all the options; all the options are on the table and that is part of the option; looking at how we can get some form of advance payment. These are some of the smart options. These are some of the things that we have done. So we are looking at those options.

Nigeria, US on investment drive • Endorse $480m power deal

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By Toba Agboola

HE Federal Government and the United States have put in place new strategies to boost their bilateral relations. As a result, the US Trade Development Agency (USTDA) has signed a $480million power agreement with three indigenous power firms. Breaking this news after a meeting with United States Secretary of Commerce , Mrs Penny Pritzker, in Lagos, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said the ministry is seeking new avenues of increasing American investors’ interest in thE economy. According to him, about 22 US companies attended the event. He said: “There was a time oil exports where about $34billion, today it has come down for these two reasons. “First, America is trying to be fuel sufficient and, of course, we have had to diversify because the world is changing. “Today, America wants to be energy sufficient. Nigeria today wants to actually stop being a nation that exports raw materials to a nation that actually adds values to its commodities so we are moving from a country that relied entirely on selling crude oil to a country that wants to add value to our crude oil and gas.” He said this is the first time such a visit is taking place in almost 25 years, adding that it shows that the President Obama administration views Nigeria very differently and wants to establish a new stronger and more strategic partnership that will encourage more investors to come to the country.

• From left: Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; former Head of Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan; Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture (BoA), Dr. Mohammed Santuraki; Managing Director, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Mr. Uche Orji and Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr Ladi Balogun, at the Ogun State Investors Forum in Abeokuta.

‘How to tackle insecurity at airports’

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ETWORKING by security agencies at all airports is one way of tackling insecurity in the country, the Manager, Benin Airport, Mr Sunday Ayodele, has said. He said this had become imperative in view of the vulnerability of some of the airports. He said there is adequate measure at the airports to ensure security at the entry point of the terminals. It would be an aberration, he said, if the airport authorities went ahead to arm security personnel at the terminal. Arming security personnel belonging to the Federal Airports

By Kelvin OsaOkunbor

Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), according to him, would violate international rules, he added. He noted that aviation is a gobal sector and that as a result, no country under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) could act in isolation. Ayodele said there is synergy among the security agencies at Benin airport. He praised the government’s remodelling programme at thE airports. “But for the timely remodelling of the Benin Airport,” he said, “we would have faced serious dearth of passengers because

of the Asaba Airport which has started operations. You know, Asaba and Anambra passengers used to patronise us here before the Asaba Airport came into operations. “But now that we have a better airport, we do not really feel the heat to the extent it would have been even those who used to go by road before are now flying because we now have better facilities under the remodelling project.” He said the major challenge being faced by the airport is power supply, stressing that the airport pays over N1.9million for power, and purchases over 7000 litres of diesel monthly for its generators.

‘Implement 10 per cent of Agric Transformation HE Federal Government has source of economic growth. Agenda’ been urged to grow agricul He urged the government to

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ture by at least 10 per cent through the implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Prof. Ayodele Ogunlela of the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), said this would reduce the cost of living. Realising these goals, he maintained, would require the right combination of actions, balancing agriculture-sector growth with sustainability. He said addressing challenges facing the agric sector requires a new vision – one which leverages available resources to deliver economic growth and opportunity, improved food security and nutrition, and environmental sustainability through a renewed agriculture sec-

By Daniel Essiet

tor. Under the policy, Ogunlela said the government should aim at providing uninterrupted supply of electricity to farmers, focus on productivity of allied sectors. Implementing the new vision, he added, requires an approach in which actors in the food system would collaborate to develop new solutions and leverage investments for maximum impact. This, he added, has the potential to deliver increased employment, expanded access to nutritious and affordable food, and sustainable resource use. The result can reinvigorate rural economy, providing sustainable livelihoods for small farmers and a resilient

implement the transformation agenda in such a manner that ensure increased income and profitability for improved livelihood of farmers. In addition, he said the government should focus on ensuring efficient credit and delivery systems, reforms in marketing system and safety net programme under the new policy. More emphasis on processing and value addition, agricultural research and development and empowerment of women,he said should be given. He called on the government to link farmers to markets for increased income; sustainable agriculture and environmental security; high priority for improving the quality of land and soil resources of the state.

Rebased economy excites Lagos Trade Fair exhibitors, HE rebasing of Nigeria’s in place to ensure not only a sucsays LCCI Gross Domestic Product cessful outing but the best fair ever.

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(GDP), which makes the country the largest economy in Africa, has resulted in exhibitors showing more interest in the Lagos International Trade Fair, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said. In a statement, Vice President of the Chamber and Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, organisers of the Fair, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, said LCCI had been receiving requests for participation from both regular and new foreign exhibitors since the rebasing outcome was made public. The rebasing had put the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

$510billion, the highest on the continent. Olawale-Cole stated that the exhibitors expressed the desire to take advantage of the benefits offered by Africa’s biggest economy, adding that they were eager to enter into business relationship with prospective local partners. “This becomes, particularly, germane with the reinforcement of the new status of Nigeria by her classification by Ernst and Young as one of the top three economies in Africa to invest in,” he said. He said everything was being put

It was in furtherance of this that he led a delegation of the Trade Promotion Board officials to China. “The team held discussions with a world-renowned trade exhibition company, CMEC International Exhibition Company, as well as officials of marquee tent manufacturers, Liri Tent in Zhuhai,” the LCCI boss added. Other members of the delegation were the Chairman, Marketing, Publicity and Protocol, Mr. KehindeAmao; Chairman, Technical Committee, Engineer FunmiBanjoko and Director, Membership and Trade Promotion, Mr. Dele Alimi.

Over 40,000 jobs lost in construction

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By Toba Agboola

O fewer than 40,000 jobs may have been lost in the con struction industry in the last one year due to failure by the government to pay for jobs done, the National Union of Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) has said. Its General Secretary, Mr. Babatunde Liadi, warned that if steps were not taken by stakeholders, things might get worse next year. He said: “In the last one year, a lot has happened in the labour movement and, most especially, in my union. The major challenge is the nonpayment of our employers by government for jobs already done. This has been making them to declare our members redundant and putting some of them on redundancy. “We call on the government to do more and pay for the jobs done since development can be seen by the level of construction and infrastructural development going on in the country. We are involved in most of the construction and infrastructure development in the country.’’ He urged the government to pay more attention to the sector, especially by promptly paying for jobs done. He decried the level of insecurity in the country, adding that his members were worst hit as no construction could be done in an atmosphere of insecurity. He lamented: “We have been adversely affected by the insecurity in the country, leading to job losses among others. In fact, insecurity is really serious. If you look at it, you cannot find any meaningful construction work going on in the Northeast (part) of the country. “It is not just construction, but every other facet of human endeavour. Most of the companies have withdrawn their workers and in most cases, these workers are laid off. In our case, both foreign and local employees have been withdrawn,” He said this was a big minus for the economy and also for the workers that were displaced because if the jobs were not there, they would be paid. “In our industry, it is only when the job is there that you are engaged, when the work is not there, you are fired. So, it is a great pain in the neck of our union because as a union we are losing revenue since we do not have members in those states. It is a national problem that must be addressed by all well meaning Nigerians,” he said.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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THE NATION

BUSINESS INSURANCE

NAICOM, insurers to introduce cover for terrorism victims

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HE National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is working with operators to fasttrack the provision of terrorism cover, Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel, has said. Daniel, who made this known at the weekend at a seminar for insurance correspondents in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, said the move was necessary to bring relief to victims of terrorists attacks. At present, terrorism insurance is excluded from coverage in Nigeria. It is considered a difficult product for insurance firms to market as the odds of terrorist attacks are difficult to predict and the potential liability enormous. But Daniel said it was time for operators to expedite action and design ways of providing insurance cover on terrorism. Describing terrorism as the bane of the country, he called on firms to rise to the challenge of providing cover for terrorism to avert loss of businesses in the industry.

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By Nduka Cheijina and Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

He urged the firms to take the initiative on terrorism insurance before an agency is set up to provide for risks on terrorism. He noted that the commission will work with the operators to see that the government supports the initiative as done in other climes. He said the industry has potential for massive growth, adding that the population of the country, if adequately harnessed, will gives an added advantage to the industry to further develop its market. Daniel said considerable progress has been made under the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), which commenced in 2009, adding that between 2009 and 2012, policies written rose sharply from 72,180 to 152,181, a whopping increase of 111 per cent. He said premium written within the period also rose from N14.93 billion to N28.68 billion increase

• From left: Deputy Commissioner Finance and Administration, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), George Onekhena; Daniel and Director Inspectorate, Thompson Barineka, at the seminar.

of 92 per cent. Daniel added that the industry in the last three years has had some geometric projections. He said: “The industry will achieve well over 100 per cent at the time the performance of 2013 is added to the figures available. Despite the inability of the Commission to attain the one trillion

naira mark it planned to achieve through the Market Development Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), in 2009 it has vigorously pursued it across the six-geo-political zones of the country and considerable progress has been made given the above statistics.’’ He added: “The performance so far shows that insurance compa-

nies are voluntarily meeting up to their obligation without the commission getting involved and are also paying claims payment. “Going forward, we will consolidate on the gains made so far and ensure proper implementation of compulsory insurance products to be able to enhance the industry contribution to GDP.”

Transformation of sector key to growth, says Accenture

HE insurance industry will tap into huge revenue only through a transformation and positioning of the sector, Accenture has revealed. The global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, said its survey titled: Consumer innovation survey on insurance demonstrates that customers want relevant, convenient and cost-efficient products that address their buyer values and needs. The survey carried out shows that the predominant insurance product uptake by 1.5 per cent of the population that is insured is motor value insurance. Another survey across various geographies also indicates that 67 per cent of customers would consider buying insurance from organisations other than traditional insurance companies, while indicating that insurers must take the offensive, make some bets and take some calculated risks to attract and acquire new customers and to retain the customers they already have. It said: “The revenue potential for the industry is significant but will only be realised through deliberate transformation and positioning that enhances all channels and experiences. “Companies that transform their technologies as well as underlying business models will be equipped to deliver the experiences that customers will increasingly expect and demand. Only true digital transformation at a strategic level will let customers define their own experiences rather than simply provide products for them to buy.” Accenture recalled that the EFInA Access to Financial Services in the Nigeria 2012 survey confirms that while 28.6 million adult Nigerians are banked, representing a banked population of 32.5 per cent of the adult population, only 1.3 million adults, 1.5 per

Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

cent of the population have personal insurance. As a result of the deliberate collaborative strategy and individual actions by banks to focus on specific un-banked and under-banked groups, the banking sector is well on track to dent the financial exclusion trap and to increase banking inclusion to 80 per cent by

2020. The industry is over-concentrated on intensively competitive, over-sold and narrow-margin corporate underwriting, dominated by brokers while underserving and under developing personal risk underwriting. The same report indicates that the areas where risks are experienced which in turn imply a high need for insurance have ex-

tremely low insurance uptake. Accenture said: “There is an opportunity for the industry to translate the areas of acknowledged need to effective demand for risk cover.” Some of its key finding shows that insurance must be ‘sold’ and the driver for growth in insurance are effective selling predicated on clear customer segmentation and customer-centric strategies. Also,

optimal sales performance insurance is achieved by knowledgebased customer insight, enabled by the combination of distinctive sales methods and supporting sales tools. On youths and insurance, Accenture said: “With the demography of the Nigerian population, clearly a successful digital positioning will be necessary for insurers to realise the opportunities offered by the younger generation.”

Temowo is CIIN President

• Temowo

F

OR the first time, a loss adjuster has been elected president of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN). He is Mr. Bola Temowo. The Chairman, Bola Temowo Presidential Investiture Committee and Chairman Education Committee, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, made this known at a briefing in Lagos. Efekoha, who said the development is good for the industry, noted that the institute belongs to all practitioners. He said more practitioners were showing more interest in joining the council of the institute. He, however, said the quality of leadership would get better because a loss adjuster was coming on board. Temowo was Deputy President and has worked with the outgoing

president, Fatai Lawal. Temowo is the Managing Director of International Loss Adjusters Ltd, a leading loss adjusting firm. Earlier, he worked with Hogg Robinson Nigeria, Crusader Insurance and the defunct ACEN Insurance. An indigene of Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, he was born in 1961 in Lagos State to the family of the late Mr. Amos Temowo and Mrs. Mercy Temowo, insurance professionals. He attended Sacred Heart Private School, Ibadan; St. Patrick’s Grammar School, Ibadan and completed his A’ levels at Igbobi College, Yaba in Lagos in 1979. He studied History at the University of Lagos UNILAG) and graduated in 1982; and bagged Masters of Public Administration (MPA) two years later from the same university. Although he studied History,

Temowo’s ambition was to be like his uncle, Prof. Ade Adefuye, then a lecture in the Department of History at the UNILAG. But fate changed events, when in 1982 the young Bola did his National Youths Service (NYSC) at Hogg Robinson Nigeria, a frontline insurance broking firm. His father had asked him to see Mr. Amos Adeyeye, the helmsman at Hogg Robinson for his national assignment. The one year experience affected in his career. From Hogg Robinson, he moved to Crusader Insurance in 1986 and then felt the urge to become professional by sitting for the Associateship examination of the Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII), London in 1989 and Fellowship of the institute in 1996. From Crusader Insurance, he moved to T. A. Braithwaite Insurance Brokers as a Senior Broker in

1990 and later became an Assistant General Manager (AGM). He left T. A. Braithwaite in 1992. Temowo attributed the experience he garnered to the trust and the freehand given to him by the doyen of insurance, Braithwaite to whom, he also owes much of his career. From T.A. Braithwaite to ACEN Insurance Ltd in 1992, Temowo’s career move a meteor, attaining the position of Deputy General Manager before quiting in 1995 to join International Loss Adjusters Ltd on the death of his father. Temowo’s watchword is integrity, saying it is a quality he imbibed from his late father. Temowo is Vice President, African Region for the International Institute of Loss Adjusters, and a Fellow of the International Federation of Adjusters Association. He is married to Sola. They are have two children - Anjolaoluwa and Oluwatooni.

Guinea partners CIIN on awareness

G

UINEA Insurance Plc (GI) is partnering the Char tered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) on its Fitness Walk insurance sensitisation programme. Divisional Director, Corporate & Legal Services, Guinea Insurance, Isioma Omoshie, who spoke during the pre-walk, said the company

hosted the event to support the industry. She said the aim was also to ensure that the “street presence” exercise was seamless. She said: “Our partnership with the institute is in sync with the repositioning programme of the company. We are poised to support all laudable initiatives that will engen-

der the much needed industry awareness as well as rekindle the true spirit of sportsmanship that would foster unity in the sector.” CIIN Director-General, Kola Ahmed, said the firm’s bid to bring innovation to partner with the institute brought the need for change in venue this year and make it better.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

28

INTERVIEW

Mrs. Bukola Awosanya is Group Head, Agric. Finance, Sterling Bank Plc. In this interview with DANIEL ESSIET, she speaks on reforms and challenges in the agric sector. Excerpts.

Agric is being transformed

A

s a banker involved in agriculture finance, what are your views on the state of the sector in the country Agriculture is an important sector of the economy with high potential for employment generation, food security and poverty reduction.The agricultural sector played a key role in the economic growth of the country before the discovery of oil; however, following the discovery of oil, these potential were largely untapped. This led to the dwindling performance of the agricultural sector both domestically and in the international scene over the years. It was the main source of the country’s foreign exchange earnings at the time. Nigeria was the leading exporter of cocoa, groundnuts, oil palm and cotton to mention a few. Before the recent rebasing of the economy, agriculture was far the largest single contributor to thecountry’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It contributed an average 40 per cent to the GDP and provided 60 per cent employment opportunity in the country. The major problem with the sector came after oil was discovered as various governments shifted their focus from agriculture to oil. This led to the near collapse of the sector. This was the situation with the sector until the present government through the Minister of Agriculture came up with the reforms aimed at repositioning the sector to drive Nigeria’s economy. Through the various items under the agenda, a lot has been done to bring back the lost glory of the sector. One of the main thrust of the current government is reform programme tagged The Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) which to make agriculture a main driver of the economy with adequate support from the government and the private sector. The main challenge is that a lot of people see agriculture as corporate social responsibility. However, l must confess that it is now a business, a big business for that matter which can drive itself and contribute significantly to the economic growth of the country. In addition,value chain approach has been introduced into the business. With this approach, a lot of risks associated with the business have been mitigated. Banks are now willing and more comfortable lending to the sector. Hitherto, most banks were wary of lending to the sector because of the perceived high risk associated with the sector. For instance, most banks now have designated agriculture desk with people with a rich background in agriculture appointed to man the desksand give proper advice on how to deal with the sector. How would you describe the transformation agenda of the government? Is it in the right direction? It is, indeed, a right step in the right direction. The Agricultural Transformation Agenda is to make Nigeria an agriculturally industrialised economy; it is changing the perception of agriculture as a development project and has attracted unprecedented foreign direct investmentto the sector.The programme is laudable and commendable. One major item in the agenda that is key is the deregulation of fertiliser. The introduction of the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) ensures that fertiliser is sold directly to farmers through the agro dealers. This is highly commendable and has eliminated governments’ involvement in the direct sales of fertiliser. It has also eliminated cartels in fertiliser distribution.

Fertiliser previously got to the farmers at exorbitant prices due to the activities of middlemen.We are very happy that the minister dealt with this problem swiftly. Fertiliser is sold to farmers at market price less the fertiliser voucher discount provided by government.This has led to a significant improvement in the sector as farmers now buy fertiliser directly from designated Agro dealers at the subsidised price in their localities. Sterling Bank has been in the forefront of the GES scheme since inception and has been actively involved in financing agro dealers under the scheme. Part of the intervention was the introduction of cassava bread. Do you think that this would work? Cassava production in Nigeria is increasing yearly, but Nigeria continues to importstarch, flour and sweeteners that can be made from cassava. This paradox is due to how cassava isproduced, marketed, and consumed in Nigeria. It is still largely done in subsistence to semicommercialmanner.What the government is trying to do is to change our consumption pattern from import dependent to local dependence. For example, wheat is not grown in Nigeria in commercial quantities and Nigeria is the highest importer of wheat with over $4bn spent annually on wheat importation annually, but we cultivate cassava in large quantities locally, hence the need for substitution with a locally grown crop that could also perform almost the same function. Wheat importation is a major drain on our foreign exchange earnings followed by Rice.The foreign exchange saved through this import substitution strategy could be channeled into development projects. This is where the issue of Cassava bread comes in. We grow cassava in Nigeria in large quantities so cassava bread is sustainable. Moreover, our farmers will be happy because there is a ready market for their produce. But do you see Nigerians going for cassava bread? Maybe not immediately because we are all used to wheat bread. However, on the long run, we would be the better for it. The same initiative is being driven in the area of rice production. Like l said earlier, rice importation takes a large chunk of our foreign exchange earnings after wheat. In order to address this, government is encouraging the mass production of paddy which is processed to produce the finished rice. What are the expected roles of banks in the agriculture sector? The role of the financial institutions generally is to support the economy. Today, agriculture still remains a main stay of the Nigeria Economy as it provides the majority of the populace with employment, income and food. Self-sufficiency in food production must be top priority of any government, but this cannot happen unless there exists proper financing structures. Banks provide finance and advisory services to individuals and companies that need money to finance agriculture and agro allied businesses. We finance all actors along the value chain from production to processing as well as input, transportation and marketing among others. How involved is your bank in agric finance? Sterling Bank is highly involved in the funding of the Agriculture sector. Agricul-

Agriculture has vast potential for boosting the economy of Ogun State. The state’s focus on agriculture as a business has opened up opportunities for foreign and local investments. Besides, Ogun State has a lot of potentials when it comes to agriculture compared to other states due to its proximity to markets like Lagos

• Mrs Awosanya

ture is one of the key sectors of the economy for the bank. We have devoted five per cent of our loan portfolio to the sector. We hope to increase this to about seven per cent by year end.At the moment, we have done 3.5 per cent out of the five per cent. We leverage on the various CBN schemes and our funds for lending to the sector. We are very much involved in the GES of the Federal Government. Sterling Bank is one of the few banks that supported the scheme when it commenced and have remained so till date. Sterling Bank is regarded as a role model toother banks in the GES scheme. What happened was that while other banks were still studying the scheme, we understood it and put in place a unique model. Some of the features of the prototypehas been adopted under the NIRSAL GES Scheme. Itshows that we havea deep knowledge of the market the needs of both the government and the individuals. Sterling Bank prides itself as the 1st Bank to embrace the NIRSAL scheme for commercial Agric lending. Apart from GES, all actors along the value chain are financed by Sterling Bank. For instance, we have financed projects like rice mills and indeed have financed one of the largest in Nigeria at the moment. The plant is due for commissioning towards the end of the year. We have also financed a state of the art soya bean oil milling plant which is due to be commissioned soon. We are financiers of major Agrochemical and Fertiliser firms in the country amongst others. The poultry business is another area where we have been active despite the perceived high risk. We have financed several poultry projects which are all doing well. We also advice poultry farmers on best production performance methodologies. Our projects cut across production (Crop and Animal), processors, input providers, and mechanisation amongst others.You know that Sterling Bank is all about enriching lives; we take delight in finding solutions to the needs of our customers. In the agriculture sector we provide financial and advisory services. We are involved in our customers’ strategy development and advise them on untapped opportunities. We take time to look at their projects and give appropriate advice on how to improve their performance. Do you get support from foreign agencies? Yes we receive technical support from foreign partners, such as the USAID and DFID. We work with them on Production, mechanisation and other best practice approaches. We are also in talks with other DFIs. They have been quite supportive. When did Sterling Bank start Agriculture

Finance? Sterling Bank started agricultural finance from its legacy bank, NAL Bank. However, in response to the CBN requirement that all DMBs should have an Agric Desk three years ago, the bank’s management approved the establishment of this department and we aim to be among the top three banks in the sector. We are already deepening our footprint in the sector. Is there any form of support you think the government should offer to support the sector? There are lots of things that the government should do to support the sector. We talked about funding which is critical. Due to the unique nature of the business, low interest ratesare important to the sector. Yes government has helped by introducing various schemes but there is need for more of such funds. For instance, we have the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme which is a single digit facility. Customers are happy with the scheme because the low interest has impacted positively on their business. We commend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the recent renewal of the scheme and tenor elongation. There are also other intervention schemes like the ACGSF which is targeted at the small holder farmers and small Agro allied enterprise. NIRSAL has also been reviewed and made more attractive to actors along the Agric Value chain. Other areas where government’s intervention is key and needed are in the areas of Infrastructure by provision ofaccessible roads, power, rural electrification, good transport system, support of large and small scale irrigation schemes, land tenure, provision of agricultural latest technology, capacity building through Agric extension officers, and ban importation of certain food / farm produce amongst others. The government should also review the Tax incentive towards the Agricultural sector. Very few projects can meet the current requirements; it should be made more robust. Ogun State just organised an investment forum with focus on agriculture and urban development. What is your take on this programme? This is very commendable in my view. Agriculture has vast potential for boosting the economy of the state. The state’s focus on agriculture as a business has opened up opportunities for foreign and local investments. Besides, Ogun State has a lot of potentials when it comes to agriculture compared to other states due to its proximity to markets like Lagos. The state also has vast arable land which supports farming. This could become a major employment driver besides the hugevalue chain opportunities. Other government policies favour setting up of agro allied industries in the state. The forum will open the state to investment opportunities as foreign investors looking for where they could invest will likely to be in attendance. Sterling Bank would participate actively in the forum.

Agriculture is one of the key sectors of the economy for the bank. We have devoted five per cent of our loan portfolio to the sector. We hope to increase this to about seven per cent by year end. At the moment, we have done 3.5 per cent out of the five per cent


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

29

MONEYLINK

World Bank, AfDB: African conflicts may T cut foreign investments HE SPATE of bombings in Nigeria and Kenya is sparking concern that investors may begin to shy away from the continent unless the violence eases, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank have said. While Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer for Africa, Diana Layfield, said the violence won’t halt the bank’s expansion plans, industries, as tourism are already feeling the impact. Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa Region, said at the African Development Bank’s yearly meeting in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. “Conflicts in Africa are having an impact on investment in some countries, particularly in the tourism sector. These events are slowing down economic growth, with infrastructure being destroyed and people being displaced,” Diop said in an interview during the AfDB meeting, at the weekend. Tourist arrivals in Kenya fell by almost a fifth last year as the country was hit by a series of bombings, including an assault by the Somali militant group al-Shabaab on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed at least 67 people. Tourism is Kenya’s second-biggest source of foreign currency. About 90 people were killed in bombings in Abuja, on April 14 and May 1 that were claimed by Boko Haram, the Islamist group that kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls last month. Nairobi, was rocked by two attacks this month in which at least 15 people died. While retail investors factor in increased political risks, there seems to be no change in appetite from companies with long-term commitments in industries such as infra-

By Collins Nweze

structure, Alastair Herbertson, an investment specialist at Cape Townbased Investec Asset Management, said. Standard Chartered is planning to open 13 new branches in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Zambia this year, Layfield said in an interview.

“Our belief in the medium-term and long-term prospects of those economies isn’t diminished,” she said. “We still remain incredibly focused on growing our presence in both Nigeria and Kenya.” Companies looking to make their first commitments in Africa may be particularly sensitive to the vio-

lence, said Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist of Exotix Partners LLP in London, said on May 21. “For new investors that have never looked at Africa before, this probably just reinforces their prejudices,” Culverhouse said. “I think countries have to work so much harder to keep that international interest alive.”

Lingering tensions and political instability “could affect investors’ willingness to undertake planned projects” in Africa, the AfDB said in its African Economic Outlook released last week. While the security problems in Nigeria and Kenya are still relatively contained, there’s concern they will spread, Andrew Alli, chief executive officer of Africa Finance Corp., said. “It’s extremely worrying, the levels of increasing violence on the continent,” Alli said.

development to achieve the transformation we all desire and work towards. Seeing local African banks finance and structure international deals is a step forward and unimaginable a decade back”. Managing Director GTBank Kenya, Kunle Sonola said “GTBank plc is honoured to win this highly coveted award. The award is a testament to the hard work and commitment of

the Board, Management and Staff of the bank. It is also a challenge and a call to do more to project the global relevance of the African banking industry. He also used the medium to thank the Bank’s customers for their continued trust and support as well as assure them that the Bank would continue to strive to deliver beyond stakeholders’ expectations at all times”

Resource-reliant Ghana and Zambia show how star economic performers can quickly face the heat. Ghana’s cedi and Zambia’s kwacha have hit record lows against the dollar this year as rising spending has strained state finances. “It’s as if we haven’t learnt anything about macroeconomic management,” said Mthuli Ncube, chief economist at the African Development Bank (AfDB), echoing other delegates at the bank’s annual meeting in Rwanda last week. “The macro-policies are out of line, whether you are looking at budget

deficits, current account positions, the debt positions and so forth,” he said. Africa is the fastest-growing continent after Asia but it has a long way to go before its roads, railways, schools or hospitals match infrastructure in other economies. As rapid economic growth cuts donor aid as a proportion of gross domestic product, governments have turned to international markets to finance capital or other spending, but their credibility among investors could quickly crumble if fiscal discipline is not instilled.

GTBank is African Bank of the Year

G

UARANTY Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has been adjudged the African Bank of the Year for the second consecutive time by African Banker Magazine in an announcement made at the awards at Kigali Serena Hotel, Rwanda. The African Banker Awards is one of the biggest yearly events that recognises and celebrates the achievements of the financial services industry in Africa. It recognises individuals and financial institutions contributing to the development and growth of Africa’s banking industry and changing perceptions of the continent’s domestic and international markets. Outlining the rationale for selecting GTBank as the overall winner of the coveted ‘African Bank of the Year’ award, the panel of judges commented that the award recognises financial institutions that are industry leaders, consistently report strong financial performance and significantly contribute to the quality of service offered by the financial services industry within

their country & across the African continent. Publisher of African Banker Magazine, Omar Ben Yedder said “We are here in Kigali where we have witnessed the transformation of a country. Since we have launched the awards we have witnessed the transformation of an industry. There is no room for complacency because there is much room for growth and

African spending spree faces punishment by markets

A

FRICAN economies are securing new funds through resource finds or dollar bonds but many governments face questions over how they use the money and risk being punished by international capital markets. The dash to build infrastructure, and pressure from citizens for swift rewards from oil and gas discoveries, have pushed some governments to loosen policy. That has led to ballooning current account deficits, rising debt and fiscal shortfalls that threaten to take the shine off otherwise positive growth stories.

DATA BANK

FGN BONDS Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year

35m 35m

11.039 12.23

19-05-2014 18-05-2016

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

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33

NIDF

OBB Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 Currency

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m

Rate % 10.96 9.62

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12

Date 28-04-2012 “

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

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

(S/N)

GAINERS AS AT 6-3-14

SYMBOL

O/PRICE

C/PRICE

CHANGE

FO OANDO NPFMCRFBK WEMABANK CONTINSURE CUSTODYINS RTBRISCOE IKEJAHOTEL MAYBAKER TRANSCORP

169.20 18.28 1.03 0.94 1.02 2.67 1.04 0.86 1.60 3.73

186.54 20.00 1.12 0.99 1.07 2.80 1.09 0.90 1.67 3.73

10.25 9.41 8.74 5.32 4.90 4.87 4.81 4.65 4.38 4.29

DISCOUNT WINDOWx Feb. ’11

July ’11

July ’12

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00%

SYMBOL

O/PRICE 7.76 0.63 34.00 103.50 17.07 1.07 1.52 3.25 4.00 4.16

C/PRICE 7.02 0.57 98.33 16.22 1.02 1.45 3.11 3.85 4.03 0.81

CHANGE -9.54 -9.52 -5.00 -5.00 -4.98 -4.67 -4.31 -4.75 -3.13 -3.75

Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8 155.7

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

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX

NSE

6-2-14

28-10-11

% Change

CAP Index

N13.07tr 40,766.16

N6.617tr 20,903.16

-1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH BGL NUBIAN FUND BGL SAPPHIRE FUND CANARY GROWTH FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CORAL INCOME FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND FBN HERITAGET FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FIDELITY NIGFUND INTERCONTINENTAL INTEGRITY FUND KAKAWA GUARANTEED INCOME FUND

Offer Price Bid Price 155.90 156.93 9.17 9.08 1.06 1.04 1.17 1.17 0.72 0.71 1.39 1.33 1,653.82 1,650.89 1,085.87 1,085.38 117.11 115.95 1,085.30 1,087.00 1.67 1.62 1.05 1.03

LEGACY FUND NIGERIA INTER DEBIT FUND PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND STANBIC IBTC ETHICAL FUND • UBA BALANCED FUND • UBA BOND FUND • UBA EQUITY FUND • UBA MONEY MARKET FUND

LOSERS AS AT 6-3-14

CAVERTON COURTVILLE OKOMUOIL SIMCAPVAL BETAGLAS NEIMETH AGLEVENT AFRIPRUD HONYFLOUR UPL

Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m 399.9m

143.11

142.62

0.78 1,944.64 12.72 1.07

0.76 1,936.31 12.40 1.05

1.3191 1.3497 0.9708 1.1764

1.3072 1.3497 0.9527 1.1764

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917

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

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000

8.5000

Movement


30

THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 23-05-14

DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 23-05-14


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

31

EQUITIES

Shareholders approve N3b new equity issue for May & Baker

S

HAREHOLDERS of May & Baker Nigeria Plc have authorised the directors of the healthcare company to raise up to N3 billion in new equity fund with a view to reducing dependence on loans and strengthen the company’s balance sheet. At the annual general meeting in Lagos, shareholders unanimously authorise the board of directors “to raise additional equity capital of an amount up to N3 billion or any fraction thereof either locally and or internationally through any or a combination” of rights issue, private placement and public offer. The meeting also empowered the directors to decide on absorption of excess monies from the new capital issue. The resolution highlighted that the new capital issue would be for

Stories by Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

the “purposes of enhancing the company’s working capital and financing the development of the company’s businesses”. To create headroom for the new capital issue, shareholders also increased the authorised share capital of the company from N1 billion, consisting of 2.0 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, to N1.90 billion, consisting of 3.8 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, by creating additional 1.80 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. May & Baker currently has 980 million issued shares outstanding on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). There are indications that the company may opt for rights issue, giving assurances from sharehold-

ers that they will support the recapitalisation exercise. The company is also favourably disposed to new major investor with technical experience and know-how to optimize its potential. In his address to shareholders, chairman, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), said the recapitalisation is an important measure to reduce the company’s current high debt-toequity ratio and the resultant high financing costs. According to him, it is imperative that shareholders inject more equity to the company to make it stronger and put it in better position to face the challenges in the industry. He outlined that the management of the company has been implementing measures to improve the performance of the company and

deliver returns to shareholders. “These measures include strategies to sustain revenue growth through more aggressive marketing and product development initiatives, better management of working capital and aggressive reduction in overhead costs,” Danjuma said. He noted that the consolidation of all pharmaceutical manufacturing operations of the company at its PharmaCentre in Ota would help to improve operational efficiency and capacity utilisation while curtailing excess overhead costs. Responding to shareholders’ questions and remarks, managing director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, said the company’s fundamentals have shown appreciable improvements as reflected by rising sales and im-

proving cash flow. He assured that the company has a bright future as it has been able to build strong institutions and brands that will ensure sustainable growth irrespective of changes in management and operating environment. According to him, with the expected certification of the company’s products and processes by the World Health Organization (WHO), the company is set to become the first in Nigeria to be certified by the global health organisation, with immense potential for greater global opportunities and increased earnings. He added that the WHO certification would highlight the leading position of May & Baker in the healthcare industry and provide opportunities to grow returns to shareholders.

Q2 Pricing Trend at NSE (All Share Index) 40000 39500 P o i n t s

39000 38500 38000 37500 Tues Wed Thurs Fri Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Mon Tues Wed Thurs Tue Wed Thurs Fri Mon Tues Wed Fri Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Quarter‐to‐Date, April 1‐May 23, 2014. Source: The Nation

S

Dangote Sugar pays N7.2b dividends to shareholders

HAREHOLDERS of Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc at the weekend unanimously approved the distribution of N7.2 billion as cash dividends for the 2013 business year amidst commendations for the board and management of the sugar company. At the annual general meeting in Lagos, shareholders commended the performance of the company in 2013. The gross dividend translates into a dividend per share of 60 kobo. Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association (IBZA), Chief Sola Abodunrin, said the performance of the company was commendable noting the improvements in sales and profit. Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mrs Bisi Bakare, said the board of Dangote Sugar has shown commitment to shareholders’ interest with consistent dividend payment. The shareholders applauded various strategies put in place by the board and management that made the company to overcome the challenging operating environment and deliver improved bottom-line. Chairman, Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc, Aliko Dangote, said the company’s 10-year growth plan would deliver better returns to shareholders and consolidate its position as the largest sugar company in West Africa. According to him, pursuant to the introduction of the federal Government’s National Sugar Master Plan in Nigeria, DSR has begun it own development plan which would lead to phenomenal growth in its capacity over the next five to 10 years. “This plan is targeted at the production by your company of 1.5 million to 2.0 million tonnes of sugar per annum from locallygrown sugar cane within the next five to 10 years. This will further consolidate our position as the largest sugar producer in West African

region,” Dangote said. H e noted that the company has taken great care in the preparation of this sugar development plan with the operations being structures to include an increased focused on the company’s backward integration project. He said the company has a robust growth agenda driven by the backward integration development plans. “As we commence this journey our priority remains to consolidate

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ENTRAL Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc grew its profit by 56 per cent as turnover rose by 34 per cent. Audited report and accounts of CSCS for the year ended December 31, 2013 showed that profit before tax rose from N3.09 billion in 2012 to N4.82 billion in 2013. Total turnover grew by 34 per cent from N5.17 billion in 2012 to N6.89 billion in 2013. The company paid a dividend of 22 kobo per share. Managing director, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc , Mallam Kyari Bukar, said the company achieved good financial results in 2013. “Our operating income for the year stood at N6.9 billion, that is a 34 per cent increase from the previous year’s operating income of N5.2 billion. Profit before tax for the year under review was N4.82 billion as against N3.09 billion from the previous year,” Bukar said. According to him, total revenue grew by 34 per cent during the year while operating expenditure decreased slightly by one per cent due to efficient cost management approach adopted by the company. He noted that the company’s 2013 financial statements was prepared in line with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as prescribed by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Securities & Exchange Commission

our clear leadership of the sugar industry in Nigeria. We will work to ensure ongoing operational efficiency to drive continued growth across our markets,” Dangote said. Group managing director, Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc, Mr. Graham Clark said the sustainability model of the company is targeted at empowering local communities and will be implemented across all project sites, starting with Savannah Sugar Company Limited.

“Our targets are clear and a robust framework supported by key performance deliverables will enable us to deliver the expected results in the next five to 10 years with enhanced benefits to all our stakeholders,” Clark said. He outlined that the company has restructured its sugar operations with greater focus on backward integration project with the targeted selection and acquisition of some 200,000 hectares of land across various states in Nigeria for

the development of sugar cane plantations and construction of modern sugar processing factories has begun. Audited report and accounts of the company for the year ended December 31, 2013 showed that turnover rose to N102.467 billion in 2013 as against N106.868 billion in 2012. However, profit before tax rose from N16.331 billion in 2012 to N20.099 billion in 2013. Profit after tax grew from N10.796 billion to N13.537 billion.

CSCS grows profit by 56% to N4.8b (SEC), having first adopted the IFRS in 2012. CSCS, the clearing, settlement and depository company for the Nigerian stock market, recently listed its shares on the NASD Plc, providing investors with opportunity to trade on their shares. NASD Plc is a registered over-the-

counter (OTC) trading platform for unquoted securities including equities and bonds. CSCS, a subsidiary of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), listed a total of 5.0 billion ordinary shares of N1 each under the financial industry sector. CSCS is the 16th securities and eighth financial indus-

try security to be admitted to trade on the NASD. With the listing of CSCS on the market, operators and investors can expect to see better price discovery and more transparency around transactions. It also makes the security more acceptable to portfolio investors who before now only had an informal reference price.

‘Caverton is testimonial to indigenous capacity’

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HE listing of Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on May 20 is a proof that participation by the nation’s indigenous businesses in the oil and gas sector can be boosted through deliberate government policy interventions. From its simple beginnings, the company has weathered the storms, both metaphorically anad physically, to take the centre stage of the poster child for the local content policy of the Federal Government. Caverton was listed on the NSE by way of introduction. The company introduced seven per cent of its issued share capital in addition to the 13 per cent of its shares previously sold by private placement in order to meet the required 20 per cent minimum float for publicly listed companies.

For the promoters of the company, this is a significant milestone, being the first indigenous oil and gas services company to list on the exchange. “We are proud of our achievements thus far and are humbled to be a reference point in such a tasking sector,’’ chairman Aderemi Makanjuola, said in an interview. The humble beginnings of this group make the event much significant. For a long time, Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, including the support services, has been dominated by foreign firms, quite understandably. First, it is the foreign companies that possessed both the manpower and the financial muscle to enable them operate in a sector that is technology-driven, and by implication, demands a lot of financial capability on the part of operators.

The growth of this company to this point of getting listed on the stock exchange demonstrates clearly that the direction that an economy goes is determined by the policies of the government. Without appropriate policies, entrepreneurs and their organisations end up merely groping in the dark. While the entrepreneurial spirit of the promoters gave birth to the group, government’s actions through the cabotage and local content laws have undoubtedly provided the fertile ground the company needed to blossom. Caverton Marine Limited and Caverton Helicopters were operating for 11 and six years respectively before the passing of the local content bill. They have demonstrated their ability to compete with local and international peers throughout their evolution.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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ISSUES The campaign to standardise the manufacturing and importation of cement is gathering momentum, as experts and stakeholders in the building and construction industry renew the call for the authorities to make the higher 42.5 grade of cement the standard product in Nigeria. Assistant Editor CHIKODI OKEREOCHA reports that the latest agitation is prompted by the recent collapse of a two-storey building in Lagos.

•A collapsed building.

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Why campaign for cement standardisation persists

F an opinion poll is conducted, it is doubtful if any issue would beat the rising spate of building collapse in Nigeria among issues agitating the minds of operators and stakeholders in the building and construction sub-sector. Between 2007 and last year, over 130 buildings collapsed in Lagos State alone, according to a report by a tribunal of inquiry set up by Governor Babatunde Fashola on May 20, last year. The problem is not peculiar to Lagos. Major cities across the country such as Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Warri, have had a fair share of building collapse, and in most of the cases, experts identified poor quality and lower strength cement as one of the causes. Indeed, rising cases of building collapse has been a pain in the neck of estate surveyors and valuers, architects, town planners, quantity surveyors, engineers (structural and civil), building contractors, landlords/ developers, and the regulatory authorities. It could not

have been otherwise. The emotional trauma, which occupants go through when such buildings collapse, is unimaginable. Apart from losing properties and loved ones, families have been displaced, with some yet to find alternative abodes. For instance, two weeks after 10 persons, including teenagers sustained varying degrees of injuries when a two-storey building collapsed in Lagos, they are yet to get over the shock. The victims were reportedly working in the building at 11 San Beach Lane, off Longe Street, Oworonshoki, when it caved in about 11am. The owner of the collapsed building and the contractor in charge took to their heels to evade arrest by the authorities. It took the combined efforts of safety agencies to rescue the affected persons who were trapped in the rubbles. The Nation reported earlier that the rescued teenagers - Monday Ahungbe (12), Jimoh Adebiyi (13), Oba Alafia (14) and • Continued on page 33

The coalition is threatening to lead protests against manufactures and importers of 32.5 grade cement. The coalition even threatened to take its campaign to the National Assembly where it hopes to demand that lawmakers probe manufacturers and importers of cement some of who the group allege, compromise standards in the building and construction sub-sector


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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ISSUES

•Fashola • Continued from page 32

Moses Atokiti (15) were assisting six adult construction workers. They sustained minor injuries and were taken to Folabi Medical Centre, Oworonshoki. Two of the adult victims with major injuries were taken to the Gbagada General Hospital. The incident, the latest in the long list of building collapse in Lagos, as usual, drew the ire of not a few Nigerians and stakeholders, most of who are renewing their agitation for stricter enforcement and complete overhaul of the building and construction regulations. Specifically, they are insisting that relevant authorities should initiate moves to adopt the higher 42.5 grade of cement as the standard product in Nigeria as against the lower grade 32.5 in the market. Leading the renewed campaign for standardisation is a coalition of civil society groups and professional bodies in the construction industry. The coalition is threatening to lead protests against manufacturers and importers of 32.5 grade cement. It threatened to take its campaign to the National Assembly where it hopes to demand that lawmakers probe manufacturers and importers of cement, some of who the group alleged, compromise standards. About three months ago, the coalition kick-started the campaign to enforce standard in cement when it petitioned the Federal Government and threatened to lead a march against cement manufacturers over their possible complicity in the collapse of buildings that had become rampant in the country. The coalition identified poor quality and lower strength cement as one of the causes of failed structures and insisted that the government must force manufacturers to produce and distribute only the highest quality of the product to stem building collapse. In the petition, the coalition noted that nearly all the cement manufacturers and importers in the country were taking advantage of the lax regulation and lack of enforcement to vary their pigmentation in favour of the lower grade cement (32.5), which in most cases, is used in building works, and believed to be partly responsible for building collapse. The group therefore, called on the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure that strict standards are maintained and offenders punished. The coalition did not stop there. They also made a case for urgent enforcement of the National Building Code, arguing that this could go a long way in addressing the lax control by regulatory authorities. The civil society groups also disclosed that they were reaching out to the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) to lend its voice to the unwholesome practice of cement manufacturers which, according of them, is endangering the lives of Nigerians. They vowed to confront the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN) for poor standard of locally produced and imported cement, claiming in their working document that

•Odumodu

•Ogunleye

Why campaign for cement standardisation persists most advanced countries are migrating from the lower 32.5 grade of cement to the higher level 42.5 specification and even 52.5 with a uniform standard set by the government, manufacturers and importers. Ninety-two per cent of Portland cement produced in the United States (U.S) are in 52.5 and 42.5 grades, while other imported cement from China, Japan, Denmark and Paris are all 42.5 Grade. "Over 90 per cent of consumers are not aware of the different types of cement available in Nigeria. Their expectations on the performance of cement are the same regardless of the type. The grade (quality) of concrete to be used may allow 32. 5 grade cement for certain construction work such as pavements, rendering (plastering) and culverts, but would demand 42.5 grade of cement for structures, columns, bridges and multi storey buildings," an expert said. The experts who declined to be mentioned, explained that there are about three types of cement in the Nigerian market, namely, CEM 1 42.5 R, CEM 1 42.5 N, and CEM 32.5 R. However, there are variants of these types of cement with different specifications. CEM I 42.5 R and CEM I 42.5 N cements are produced with clinker and limestone in the ration of 95 per cent and five per cent, respectively. The gypsum that is added during the grounding is for adjustment of the setting period, which is usually obtained at the end of 28 days. Among other applications, this cement is used when good strength concrete is required,especially in concrete productions requiring high strength, or early strength. Also, it is used in the production of thin section reinforced concrete and in highly reinforced concrete buildings, among other uses. CEM II 32.5 is suitable for flooring and wall plastering (rendering). “Prior to Nigeria's attainment of selfsufficiency in cement production, how come that during the import era, we were all compelled by the regulatory authorities to bring in 42.5 grades and now since 2012 when import was banned, the same regulatory authorities condoned the production of 32.5 grades?" the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Dangote Cement Plc, Devakumar Edwin, asked.

The President, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria, Moses Ogunleye, proffers an answer. "SON seems to be overwhelmed; they are monitoring standard in several sectors and so, they may not be aware of the existence of poor quality cement in the market," he said, adding, "let us ask questions from SON." Ogunleye argued that there is no reason why anything sub-standard should be in the Nigerian market in the first instance, much less cement. He also said the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory set up to register and accredit all block moulders as part of the standardisation drive has not yet registered anybody. However, SON has risen in stout defense of its regulatory role in the cement sector. First, the organisation insists that the quality of cement is not responsible for the spate of building collapse in the country. According to the Director-General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, the quality of cement produced in the country is up to international standards. He noted that unethical practices among builders are the major reasons for the incidence of collapsed building. Hear him: "The quality of cement is not responsible for buildings collapse. Our findings show that this often comes from concrete mixing. A bag of cement is meant to produce 30 blocks, but some people often use it to mould 50 blocks." Secondly, Dr Odumodu insists that as a responsible organisation, SON is committed to ensuring that the consumers get the best of quality whether in the construction industry or elsewhere, which was why he said the organisation constituted a technical committee of experts to generally review the problems faced by stakeholders in the construction industry especially in terms of quality of building materials including cement. "The committee, which is made up of wellinformed individuals would take a holistic look on the quality of building materials in the country inclusive of cement. As a responsible standards bureau, SON has never and will never leave the quality of any product to the whims and caprices of any individual or group of operators", he said. Dr. Odumodu explained that the

We have seen a lot of building collapse in the country and we know that most of these have caused avoidable deaths and we cannot allow it to continue

inauguration of the technical committee became necessary because of the technicalities of the issues in contention, which needed to be addressed by experts and stakeholders from various segments of the construction industry and the society. Members of the committee are technical people from professional bodies, the academia, civil society organisations, trade unions, cement manufacturing firms and journalists, among others. The National Association of Block Moulders, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) and the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), among others, are all members of the technical committee. The committee met on March 17 and began the review of cement standardisation in the country. The ultimate objective of the committee is to ensure that only cement that guarantees safety of buildings and human lives is produced and sold in Nigeria. Declaring the technical session open, Odumodu said: "We have seen a lot of building collapse in the country and we know that most of these have caused avoidable deaths and we cannot allow it to continue. So in this meeting, we expect to get expert technical insights on the way forward in standardisation of cement. The media has been awash with varied information about different classes of cement and so to bring succour to Nigerians, we have brought together a critical mass of knowledgeable experts to provide direction on the issue. Continuing, the SON chief said: "Many questions have been asked by Nigerians that need answers. To be sure, there is no substandard cement produced in Nigeria because we have cement standards well elaborated in the country. But there are issues that must be addressed. For example, SON has established that people in the country, who go to the market to purchase cement for one construction activity or the other, do not actually know what they buy from the market." Earlier, Odumodu explained that the technical committee is not chaired by SON. "We just provide a secretariat and it is what the committee arrives at that would be taken to the council of SON and once it is approved, it becomes a standard. Let me also state that a standard is not enforceable except the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment designates it as a mandatory standard," he explained. As Nigerians await the report of the technical committee, a cement importer, who declined to have his name in print, said there was no reason local cement producers should be allowed to produce 32.5 grade when all over the world standard has moved to 42.5 grade. He argued that if cases of collapsed building must be checked, there is urgent need for cement manufacturers to expand their infrastructure to produce the higher 42.5 grade of cement. He said if the government is serious about the backward integration policy in the cement subsector, it is necessary to ensure that the right thing is done from the onset, which is to encourage cement manufacturers to emphasise quality and standard. The 42.5 cement grade, according to construction experts, is stronger and has better qualities. Apart from possessing higher strength capability, the cement grade has a rapid setting quality, which makes it the preferred grade among block makers, builders and construction workers. With quick setting, blocks come out stronger, reducing the number of breakages. For now, only Dangote Cement Plc manufactures 42.5 grade of cement in all its three plants in Obajana, Kogi State; Ibese, Ogun State; and Gboko, Benue State. However, depending on how the technical committee set up by SON votes at the end of the session, other cement manufacturers and importers may soon follow suit and produce 42.5 grade of cement. Although, some people argue that there is no compelling evidence linking poor quality cement to the increasing menace of buildings collapse, the consensus is that making the higher 42.5 grade of cement the standard product in Nigeria would at least, narrow the search for the causes of buildings collapse.


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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

BUSINESS MOTORING

Stallion NMN, authorised Nissan sales company, has taken delivery of the remodelled Nissan Pathfinder, which has been re-launched with new innovations. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO reports.

•Nissan Pathfinder

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NLIKE the past three generation models and the nameplate’s 28-year history, the new Nissan Pathfinder casts aside its truck-like off-road roots for a more sophisticated, comfortable, car-based and family-ready crossover SUV. Better explained, the Pathfinder has traded off its previous Navara-sourced ladder frame underpinnings in favour of a bitumen-bias unibody structure with an ultra-flexible seven-seat cabin. Stallion NMN Managing Director Parvir Singh described it as “Perfect match for families.” Nissan says the new Pathfinder adapts to the needs of consumers by breaking away from its “proper offroader” status to become urbane-friendly SUV with far more refined proposition yet offering a dramatically improved ride quality and fuel economy than its predecessor launched in 2004. The previous Pathfinder was a rugged truck-like adept off-roader with remarkably towing capabilities but Nissan has transformed these characteristics to an SUV with comfortable cabin, improved fuel economy and aesthetically appealing looks. That is why the new Pathfinder is built on a unibody structure shared with the equally new Infiniti JX crossover with a sliding second-row seat that can tilt and fold forward even with a child seat in place, making access to the adult-friendly third row much easier. Targeting existing family favourites such as Toyota Prado, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Mazda CX – 9 amongst others, the new Pathfinder adopts a 260horsepower 3.5-litre V6, matched to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). And justifiably lighter than its predecessor, weighing 500 pounds – one factor in fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg city / 26 mpg highway and 22 combined, the new Pathfinder crossover SUV is currently ranked one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in a class that includes the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. Though the Pathfinder has given up some towing capacity to its forbear, but it can still tow 5000 pounds – an appreciable weight for a midsize, seven-passenger

Nissan unveils new Pathfinder good for 260 hp and 240 pound-feet of torque. A CVT and front-wheel drive are standard. An optional all-wheel-drive system automatically apportions power between the front and rear axles as needed or allows the driver to lock in a 50/50 ratio. According to auto expert, EPA, its fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 19/25/21 with 4WD.

Safety •Nissan Pathfinder interior

crossover whose primary duty, especially in Nigeria, won’t stray from pulling a mere cruise boat.

Body styles The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder R52 crossover SUV is available in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum but only the ‘S’ (base) and ‘SV’ are available in the local market, Stallion NMN, Nigeria authorized Nissan distributor affirmed. Standard equipment on the ‘S’ includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a height adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split secondrow seat (slides, reclines and folds); a tilt-and-telescopic steering and a six-speaker sound system with six-CD changer. The ‘SV’ adds automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch colour multiinformation display, a rear-view camera and an upgraded audio system with a single-CD player with satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.

Performance The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter V6

Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and fulllength side curtain airbags.

Interior design and special features The new Pathfinder’s cabin is elegantly crafted and boasts quality materials as the luxury Infiniti JX brand, given the variety of rich finishes and easy to reach intuitive controls. Coupled with this is the seat comfort up front which is as good as the second row that slides and reclines to optimise comfort for passengers or cargo space. Access to the third row seat is eased by the second row’s tilt and slide feature, which can be used even when a child seat is in place. The third row seat offers enough headroom for 6-foot passengers, and maximum cargo space stands at 79.8 cubic feet.

Engine/Transmission And under the bonnet, the Pathfinder is equipped with the tried-and-tested 190kW/325Nm VQ35 3.5 litre petrol V6 engine across all variants, with a CVT auto as the sole transmission. However, official combined fuel consumption is 9.9L/100km for 2WD models and 10.2 for 4WD.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL

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N the world’s biggest country, railways are still a route to riches. With nearly one billion passengers a year and $42billion in yearly sales, the state company Russian Railways is a giant commercial opportunity. At its head is Vladimir Yakunin, an old friend and long-standing ally of President Vladimir Putin. He oversees a company that strikes international deals, issues bonds to major investors and plans hugely expensive new high-speed lines. By many measures, Russian Railways is a standard corporate colossus. But a Reuters investigation has uncovered another side to the stateowned company: Under Yakunin, it has paid billions of dollars to private

Russian Railways paid billions to secret private firms contractors that disguise their ultimate owners and have little or no presence at their registered headquarters. A Reuters study of tenders held by Russian Railways also identified contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars granted to companies that ostensibly bid as rivals but appear to be closely related. In 43 tender competitions worth $340million from 2010 to last year, for instance, the same two companies

were the only bidders each time. Those two firms, it turns out, were set up on the same day, by the same person acting on behalf of undisclosed owners. The firms opened accounts at the same bank on the same day, and declared an identical number of employees two years in a row. On one occasion, they filed bids for a Russian Railways tender within a minute of each other. And last October, after Reuters first inquired about

the nature of the companies, both registered websites on the same day. Russian investigator Sergei Lesnichiy said Reuters findings appeared to show an attempt to manipulate tenders for state contracts, potentially inflating costs to the detriment of Russian Railways. Lesnichiy, director of the Centre for Financial Investigations, an expert body set up by the Russian state, said such effects, if verified and if insiders at Russian Railways benefited, could

amount to fraud under Russian law. But he also said that under Russian law it is not an offence for related companies to bid in state tenders. A further Reuters analysis of banking transactions between 2007 and 2009 involving one large private contractor to Russian Railways showed patterns of activity that U.S. and Russian financial investigators said were typical warning signs of suspicious banking activity.

‘China’s GDP may fall to five per cent’

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RESEARCHER at an influential think-tank linked to China's state cabinet has predict economic growth could slow to around five percent in the next two to three years, a forecast that contrasts with rosier official estimates. Ren Zeping, the deputy director of the macroeconomic research department at the Development Research Centre, said the economy was shifting gear from high-speed growth to medium-speed expansion. As such, he said growth in the world's second-biggest economy may slow to about 7.2 per cent this year and then to around six per cent in 2015, and eventually to around five per cent in the next two to three years. The government has forecast growth of 7.5 per cent this year, but has said it would be comfortable with a slightly slower rate. Analysts polled by Reuters expect growth to slow to a 24-year low of 7.3 per cent. Ren said inadequate domestic demand had led to a steady deceleration in the economy since 2010, offsetting a recovery in world demand after the 2008/09 global financial crisis. The Development Research Centre is one of many institutions that makes policy recommendations to Chinese leaders. Despite its high standing, its advice is not always taken on board.

Visa, Mastercard to stay in Russia

• From left: Member, United States Congress, Karen Brass; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga; and US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, during a bilateral meeting between Nigeria and the US in Lagos.

European experts score LG front washing machine high L G Electronics' (LG) range of front loading washing machines earned top ratings in Spain and Italy for their superior performance and efficient operation. Influential Spanish consumer title OCU-CompraMaestra and Italian consumer advocacy organisation AltroConsumo gave LG washing machine the highest marks in their latest product rankings. In tests carried out for the March edition of Spain's OCU-Compra Maestro, LG's front-loading washing machine (Model F10B8NDPA) scored 60 points, earning it the "MejordelAnalisis" (Best Product) award. The machines were rated on their ability in 15 categories, including washing, rinsing, drying, energy

efficiency, noise level and convenience. Of the 11 products tested by the publication, LG's was also the only model to receive a "Purchase" recommendation. In particular, LG's washing machine was praised for its superior rinsing performance and for leaving behind the least amount of detergent residue. In Italy, LG's front load washing machine (Model F12A8TDA) secured the top spot in a product comparison conducted by leading non-profit consumer organisation, Altro Consumo. LG's washer was tested against 15 other models available in the Italian market and the LG model took

top place for its superior washing and rinsing performance. AltroConsumo magazine also commended the LG washer for its low noise during the spin-dry cycle and competitive price. “Our washing machines have proven time and time again that they are second to none when it comes to performance and value," said Mr. Hyunwoo Jung, General Manager, Home Appliance Division, LG Electronics, West Africa Operations, "LG's proprietary 6 Motion Direct Drive technology is the magic behind our success and it's the type of innovation that will continue to drive us toward our goal to create value-added solutions which bring greater convenience and efficiency to our consumers' everyday life."

Deutsche Post targets online shopping boom in EUTSCHE Post is aiming to in an interview with Reuters this week, tap an expected surge in emerging markets after presenting a study which sug-

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online shopping in developing countries by offering clients in its main European markets a service that can deal with shipping and red tape, as well as delivering to a customer’s door. Germany’s former postal monopoly is best known internationally for its DHL parcel delivery business, which does the bulk of its work transporting urgent documents and goods from one company to another. But it is keen to win more work from

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the global boom in online shopping and believes it can do this by helping internet companies in Europe to get their goods to markets where everything from shipping and local duties to household deliveries can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. “There are a few countries in the world where the level of delivery service is too low and too poor to build e-commerce business,” Deutsche Post board member Juergen Gerdes said

gested e-commerce could make up as much as 40 per cent of total global retail sales by 2025 from 8 per cent now. “We have a few big customers who are looking for better service quality in terms of parcel delivery,” added Gerdes, who heads the company’s Post/eCommerce/Parcel division. While still focusing on its main European markets, Deutsche Post plans to grow its so-called business-to-consumer business (B2C) in India, and is considering expanding it into China.

capacity,” said Pingfan Hong, Chief of the Global Economic Monitoring Unit for the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). “Compared to pre-crisis trends, we have not sufficiently boosted output, trade and employment to their potential levels,” he added. Global growth has been revised slightly lower from the forecasts presented in the report. Growth of world gross product (WGP) is now projected at 2.8 per cent in the year and 3.2 per cent next year, up from 2.2 per cent in

2013. However, this pace of expansion is still low compared to the growth path before the 2008 global financial crisis. The report warns that risks and uncertainties for the world economy include: international spill-overs from ongoing adjustment in monetary policies by developed economies; vulnerabilities of emerging economies; remaining fragilities in the euro area; long-term unsustainable public finance for many developed countries; and geopolitical tensions.

UN: World economy to strengthen as job growth remains ‘stubborn’

HE global economy is expected to strengthen over the next two years, despite a downgrade of growth prospects for some developing countries and transition economies, and “stubbornly slow” job growth, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects mid-year update launched in New York. “More than five years after the financial crisis, the world continues to struggle with getting the global economic engine back to running at full

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REDIT and debit card companies Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc have pledged to continue to operate in Russia and proposed creating their own Russia-based payment operators. Visa and Mastercard executives met members of the Russian government in St Petersburg to discuss new rules that would oblige foreign card companies to pay a hefty security deposit to the central bank to work in Russia. The companies said the rules – passed by Russia’s parliament after the West imposed sanctions on a number of individuals and companies over the Ukraine crisis – would complicate their Russian operations but had no plans to exit. “In any situation, we will stay in Russia,” Ilya Ryaby, general director of Mastercard in Russia, told journalists at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Andrew Torre, director of Visa in Russia, said: “We are willing to work in Russia and after this meeting we hope that a compromise solution will be found”. After Friday’s meeting, Ryaby said the card companies had discussed what could be done to create a system of cashless transactions and a system of servicing payment cards in Russia.

‘China gas deal’ll affect prices in Europe’

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USSIA’S landmark deal to supply natural gas to China will affect prices in Europe and have an impact on international liquefied natural gas projects, the chief executive of state-run Gazprom said on Friday. Russia and China signed a 30-year gas supply contract on Wednesday worth a total of more than $400-billion (237.5 billion pounds), during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to Shanghai. The EU has named 15 politicians and military leaders that will be subject to asset freezes and travel bans. But as Ivor Bennett reports few expect it to have a significant impact in Russia and Gazprom has warned it could be Europe that ends up suffering. “Literally a day ago a really historical event took place, an epochmaking event. We, Russia and Gazprom, have discovered the Asian gas market for ourselves,” Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller said at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. “It can be assumed that the signing of the contract will affect gas prices on the European market,” he said without giving any details. Miller added that the deal will also have an impact on LNG projects in eastern Africa, Australia and western Canada.

France clamps down on tax evaders

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HE French government plans to ease penalties on firms that come clean on taxable undeclared funds, the Finance Ministry has said, adding that a similar measure is targeting individuals reaps windfall gains. President Francois Hollande's government is clamping down on tax evasion as it seeks to bring its public deficit in line with an European Union (EU)-agreed limit of three per cent of national income by next year, a target economists consider extremely difficult to meet. The new measure for companies would ease interest payments on taxes declared late, according to a Finance Ministry document laying out its strategy against tax fraud. "The penalties would not be the subject of discussions or negotiations," Budget Minister Christian Eckert told journalists. "They will be subject to very clear rules as is the case with individuals' assets.” The government has recovered 764 million euros ($1.04 billion) since it offered last year to cut fines and penalties on individual taxpayers with undeclared assets abroad who come clean. More is expected as other taxpayers come forward. "We can reasonably count on an additional 1 billion euros which can be used in 2014 ... to finance new measures," Finance Minister Michel Sapin said.


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BUSINESS AFRICA S/Africa’s Telkom takes second shot at IT firm BCX, offers $256m

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OUTH African telecoms company Telkom (TKGJ.J) made a second attempt to buy IT infrastructure firm Business Connexion (BCXJ.J) with a 2.7 billion rand ($256 million) offer, seven years after competition concerns scuppered its first bid. Telkom, whose core business is providing fixed and mobile phone lines and data, has already begun diversifying into information and communication technology services in common with many of its counterparts in other countries. Business Connexion (BCX) runs data centres and acquiring it would bulk up Telkom's IT capacity. "This will form part of the (diversification) strategy to improve performance and restore profitability," Telkom Chief Executive Sipho Maseko said in a statement.

• A cross section of delegates at the AfDB meetings in Kigali.

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AfDB: Rwanda a symbol for resilience

WANDA has been named a 'symbol' of resilience by different delegates at a concluded five-day yearly meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The new nickname for Rwanda was picked by high level speakers at the meeting, mainly due to the Country's remarkable transformation and development 20 years after the Genocide. Speaking at one of the sessions, Mauritania President and Chair of the African Union (AU), Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, said that the narrative on "how quickly" Rwanda recovered from what many saw as an irrevocable apocalypse should not

be lost to delegates attending the meetings. He hailed Rwanda for having evolved through a period of economic prosperity and macroeconomic stability in the past decade pushing its groos domestic product to an average of eight per cent yearly which earned the country accolades as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. While delivering his speech at the opening of the annual meeting, AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka said what many describe as the Rwandan miracle should provide at least two lessons that can be very relevant to

many African countries facing challenges of reconstruction. "The first lesson is that no matter how bad a situation is, a determined people can prevail against the most impossible odds. The second lesson is that while there are manuals on how to build complex structures, there is no such toolbox on how to rebuild a destroyed nation," he said. "People have to look to their culture, their history, the nature of the crisis they face and come up with their own solutions. I acknowledging the support from friends far and near in Rwanda's reconstruction." Referring to last month's kid-

napping of nearly 300 school girls in Borno, Northeastern Nigeria, Kaberuka said that, as a developing finance institution, the Bank dearly upholds the right of girls to go to school alongside their brothers. "It is at the heart of the demographic dividend. In the same vein we vehemently condemned the violence and terrorist groups bent on interrupting our economic takeoff, spreading mayhem in Nigeria, in Kenya, the Sahel and the Horn, said Kaberuka. Conflict and fragility are among several themes discussed by participants at the Annual Meeting theme: "The next 50 years: The Africa we want."

AFC’s Andrew Alli is African Banker Icon of the Year

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HE African Banker, a quarterly magazine dedicated to banking and finance in Africa, has named President and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) The African Banker Icon of the Year. In its citation, the awards selection committee highlighted the qualities of Alli that made him the best choice for the award. "The unprecedented expansion of the AFC's portfolio under Andrew Alli's leadership, as well as the positive influence of new business processes and strong governance practice, are key factors in the Corporation's (AFC) success," the committee stated. Individuals or institutions that have contributed outstandingly to business, banking and the finance

fields are usually awarded the 'Icon' category of the awards. AFC's excellence in its area of expertise - Infrastructure financing has not gone unnoticed by the selection committee, who noted that the corporation is helping to change the way the world perceives Africa and is also contributing to the creation of best global practice on the continent. Under Alli's leadership, AFC has managed to make the world aware of infrastructure investment in Africa. The corporation also ended its past financial year well, with shareholders value improving, returns higher. The committee commended Alli's visionary leadership, which they noted has transformed infrastructure investment

IFC 'Umuganda' bond to enhance finance, telecoms access in Rwanda

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HE International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched its inaugural "Umuganda" bond by signing a deal worth over $29 million with AB Bank Rwanda, Urwego Opportunity Bank, and IHS Holding to help increase access to finance and telecommunications in Rwanda. The IFC "Umuganda" bond is targeted at capital market development with supports from the National Bank of Rwanda, the Capital Markets Authority, the Ministry of Finance and domestic investors. IFC invested $2.5 million and $2.4 million in AB Bank Rwanda and Urwego Opportunity Bank respectively to support the expansion of microfinance services in the country and also increase access to finance for farmers, start-up businesses, and women entrepreneurs. The private investment arm of the World Bank also signed a $25 million facility to support IHS Rwanda, a telecommunications infrastructure com-

pany, to expand the reach of Rwanda's existing networks. IHS Rwanda Managing Director, Kunle Iluyemi said the funding will be used to erect more towers in the country to increase mobile phone penetration and enable telecom firms to offer better services. Meanwhile, IFC Vice President for Sub Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Jean Philippe Prosper said the institution's investment in the three entities "will increase access to finance for local entrepreneurs and expand Rwanda's telecommunications network, both of which are essential for economic growth." IFC has been a major investor in the fast-growing East-African economy. In the previous week, it issued a 15 billion Rwandan francdenominated bonds, a first by a non-resident in Rwanda's domestic capital markets.

in Africa and has set a powerful benchmark for excellence in the field. It added that Africa owes its reputation in finance to the achievements of leaders like the AFC chief executive, acknowledging the corporation's continued contribution to Africa's socio-economic development. Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Founder of Dr. Eleni Gabre-Mahdin, Ethiopian Securities Exchange; founder of mobile payment service, Mpesa, Michael Joseph; and AFC's Chairman and Managing Partner Global Infrastructure Partners, Adebayo Ogunlesi are past winners of the prestigious award. "I am both privileged and humbled to accept this award and

in doing so to recognise the contribution, tenacity and commitment of my management team and the entire staff of the Africa Finance Corporation," said Alli, while accepting the award. He attributed the success of AFC, a public-private partnership established in 2007 to the expertise of the corporation's professionals. Alli admits international capital will always be important in bridging the investment divide, but noted that "capital will have nowhere to go if Africa does not focus on the development of bankable, sustainable projects." That is where AFC is comes as it accelerates the number of viable, bankable projects across the continent, creating the market for other forms of capital.

FRASIA Bank Limited (ABL) Chief Executive Officer, James Benoit says the Mauritius-based bank is ready to expand its footprint to other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and the East African region. According to him, the company is looking forward to making its pilot invest in Kenya because it is more developed in logistics, operations, technology and ports are more developed compared to other countries in the region. "The East Africa reminds us much of Southeast Asia there 25 years and we believe it is now well positioned for steady growth, sustainable and long-term, " he said in a Southern Times Africa report. Benoit said company is already in discussion with a number of banks and investment managers in Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and SADC countries that are close trading partners. He explained that the AfrAsia's growing presence in the region

Mauritian bank to expand in Africa

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and the increased volume of trade and investments going into Zimbabwe have increased the company's confidence to tap into other parts of the African region. AfrAsia holds a 35 per cent stake in AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe Holdings after it bought a 30 per cent stake previously held by Kingdom Bank co-founder, Nigel Chanakira for $9.5 million in 2012. Last year, it increased its shareholding in AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Ltd to 54 per cent and now its stake in the company stands at 62.5 per cent. Established in 2007, AfrAsia Bank is owned by the Mauritian conglomerate GML Proparco. The bank offers a wide range of banking products for local and international markets, ranging from retail banking, wealth management, through investment banking and international banking and financing solutions.

Maseko is already driving cost cuts worth a yearly 1 billion rand for the next five years in an attempt to turn the state-controlled operator around. BCX shares had risen 7.4 per cent to 6.40 rand by 1249 GMT, but stayed below Telkom's offer price of 6.60, suggesting investors are sceptical about the bid's chances of success. The competitive landscape had changed significantly since 2007, so the deal was unlikely to be rejected this time round, said Greg Cort, an analyst at asset manager Electus. Telkom, which traded down 1.3 percent at 37.66 rand in a stronger overall market, offered a 20 percent premium over the price that BCX was trading at before the IT company first alerted the market about a possible deal on April 15. BCX would become a Telkom subsidiary and delist from Johannesburg's stock exchange if the deal went through. "It would ... further entrench their (Telkom's) position in the convergence space," Cort said. "Many of the things we were hoping to come through in BCX, like getting the data centres utilisation up, haven't materialised. There has been excess capacity in the South African market, so if this is absorbed down the line it would result in extra value to Telkom shareholders. As things stand, it is a reasonable price."

Actis gets majority stake in SONEL CAMEROON'S government has given emerging markets private equity firm Actis a green light to take a 56 per cent stake in the Central African nation's power utility SONEL, officials said on Friday. The deal, which gives Actis a majority stake in SONEL and two independent power plants, was signed by Cameroon's Energy Minister Basile Atangana Kouna. Actis acquired the stake from AES in November in a $220 million deal that required government approval.

Pretoria Portland Cement to open 600,000 Mpta Plant SOUTH African cement maker, Pretoria Portland Cement Company (PPC), says it will inaugurate its 600, 000 ton-a-year plant in Rwanda by the end of this year while construction in the DR Congo, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia continues. In an indication that the company's African strategy is going full steam ahead in the current financial year, PPC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ketso Gordhan said: "A positive outcome of a detailed feasibility study into establishing cement operations in Algeria would result in the construction of yet another cement factory in a different African country." He made the comments about its African strategy as the cement maker released its results for the six months to end-March this year. During the period under review, PPC posted a two per cent increase in cement sales volumes while group revenue gained nine per cent to R4.1 billion ($395m) on the back of an increase in export volumes and improved cement pricing, among other things. EBITDA, which refers to profit before costs, increased five per cent to R1,1 billion ($106million) during the period under review. Bheki Sibiya, the Chairman of PPC, said the company continued to be well-backed by the debt capital markets with an additional R750 million ($72.2million) corporate bond raised in December last year.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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THE NATION

BUSINESS JOBS

• A tourist centre

Wanted: Visa facilitators for tourists Standing in for those seeking Visas is not the kind of job you would find on the pages of newspapers, or on notice boards, but the truth is, there are many young men making a living by helping people fix visa appointments in many embassies. Besides, there are others who arrange business tours and visits to tourists’sites. They serve as sources of job creation, writes AKINOLA AJIBADE.

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ROM site sighting - mountain climbing, driving in cable cars, sun bathing, entertainment - to networking with people across socio-economic divides, tourism is alluring. Through tourism, people relax their nerves, share experiences and move closer to nature. Across the world, governments and private entities are tapping into opportunities in the tourism industry. In developed economies, such as United States, Britain, Canada, Singapore and South Africa, tourism business is booming. Apart from generating revenues to fund fiscal projects, it contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For exmaple, Singapore is believed to be generating the bulk of its revenue from tourism. Beyond this, job opportunities abound

in the tourism sector. Findings show that there are many areas that people can explore to create jobs in tourism. These include tour guides, site management, hospitality management and visa facilitation. Through visa facilitation, individuals and firms assist tourists to procure visas for a fee. The idea has become one of the major tools of job creation, not only in Europe, but also in Africa. Though travel agents are helping people to obtain visas, they do not only render services to tourists. A report from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said it all. The report, presented at a forum in Bali, Indonesia, stated that visa facilitation would create 2.6 million jobs globally by 2016, adding that $89 billion would be generated by 57 mil-

lion tourists soon. It said countries in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Region, such as China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, would create jobs through this means.The report also said Nigeria would create jobs through visa facilitation. According to the report, the majority of tourists arriving these countries between this year and 2016 will need new visas, adding that they would be facilitated by experts in the industry. Experts said unemployed graduates can earn a living through visa facilitation. They advise graduates to enrol for courses in tourism and related areas, adding that the development would help them a lot. They said travel agents are not helping tourists to procure visas, urging graduates to tap into the

opportunities in the sector. The Secretary, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), Lucky George, said visa facilitation is an area that provides jobs for experts. He said the idea would create jobs for people who know their onions, adding that non-professionals will find it difficult to fit in and provide such services. He said: “Visa facilitation is a specialised area of travel and tour industry. It has the potential to create jobs for people who have the pre-requisite attributes, such as credibility, thoroughness, good knowledge of the industry, and such credentials which are required from visa facilitators. Anybody who fails to provide these attributes cannot operate as a •Continued on page 38


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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

JOBS

Wanted: Visa facilitators for tourists •Continued from page 37

visa facilitator. “Most people you see around Embassies working to help travellers obtain visas are not visa facilitators. They are touts, and cannot be patronised by serious minded people. Their knowledge of the industry is shallow; they do not have credibility and certificates. They can run away with clients’ money. It is dangerous to transact business through touts. Touts are not trained and are bound to commit offence. That is the reason the industry sees visa facilitators as professionals who have acquired skills needed to do the job.” He said visa facilitators interface between the tourists and the Embassies, stressing that they operate in line with the laws guiding the industry. “For instance, if a school is embarking on foreign tour, visa facilitators are required to get the number of students, their documents and liaise with the embassy to get visas for them,” he added. George, also a publisher of African Tourism Magazine, said tourism is not for dropouts because its activities are dynamic and are handled by professionals. He said only 50 out of 2,000 tour operators in Nigeria are certified, advising operators to follow due process for growth. Also, aviation cum-tourism expert, Nkechi Uko, said visa facilitation has the capacity to create jobs for millions globally. He said people living within countries designated as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation region, would get jobs by going into visa facilitation. He said the region boasts of large number of tourists, adding that the process of procuring visa is simplified in that re-

gion. “There are people working as agents to facilitate visas for tourists who wish to visit Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They are based in the country and have provided jobs through this means. However, the benefits of visa facilitation are yet to be realised in Nigeria. The reason is because the Federal Government does not have a platform to do that. At present, visa procurement is mainly the responsibility of embassies in Nigeria. It would take sometime before the idea gains ground in the country,” he added. The former Managing Director, Longman Nigeria Plc, Dr Dan Obidiegwu, said there are limitless opportunities in the country. He said the sector is at the development stage, adding that it can provide huge earnings for the government if the right policies are put in place. He said the establishment and upgrading of centres, such as Obudu Cattle Ranch, Ikogosi Waters Spring, Yankari Game Reserves and Olumo Rock show that there are huge potential in the country.

• Minister of Tourism and Culture, Edem Duke

• Mrs Mbanefo

“Many sites are yet to be discovered in Nigeria. We are blessed with beautiful landscapes among other areas that can be converted into tourist centres for socio-economic growth. Unlike Europe and United States that have thousands of sites that generate income and further assisting in creat-

ing jobs in those climes, it is a different case in Nigeria. With time, thousands of jobs would be created through tourism industry,” he said. The Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mrs Sally Mbanefo, said the potential in the industry have not been fully harnessed. She said the sector is capable of generating millions of jobs, advising governments and private organisations to tap into the opportunities offered by the sector. Mrs Mbanefo said at a forum in Lagos that the government is channelling enormous resources into the sector to fast-track growth. She said people are yet to maximise opportunities in the industry, advising the unemployed to look inward and see what they can do for themselves. The opportunities, she said, are enormous, adding that people must have insights into what they want to do before veering into tourism.

‘Visa facilitation is a specialised area of travel and tour industry. It has the potential to create jobs for people who have the pre-requisite attributes, such as credibility, thoroughness, good knowledge of the industry, and such credentials, which are required from visa facilitators. Anybody who fails to provide these attributes cannot operate as a visa facilitator’

CAREER MANAGEMENT

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ANY job seekers have experienced a feeling of frustration that after many interviews, they are yet to secure an offer of appointment. Many things could be wrong, but there is one area we started to look at last week. What do employers want? You attended interviews, they asked questions, and you provided answers. But are these answered the correct answers? You don’t know. May be nobody knows for sure, except the interviewer. But there are certain qualities and attributes desired by most, if not all employers. We noted however that: • The point of emphasis differ from position to position • The requirement for entry point/low level position differs from that of senior/executive positions. Listed last week as desirable by most, if not all employers are: • Basic competence- ability to do what you are to be employed for; • Communication skills-ability to understand and pass instructions both verbal and in writing; • Interpersonal skills- being able to relate to others, maintain and build relationships; • Adaptability - ability to welcome and manage change; • Willingliness to learn; • Initiative and independence ability to make your decisions and get result with little supervision; • Cooperation and collaborationunderstanding and working well; and • Motivation-inner desire for achievement and enthusiasm. Now, let’s go on to discussion on the others in detail.

What employers are looking for By Olu Oyeniran

Commitment Employers want employees that are reliable and responsible. You are expected to identify closely with the company and her needs, for better for worse. To what extent is the candidate prepared to give committed service to the company? Although the employer does not expect a promise that you will stay for twenty years, he expects a not-too-short stay and sudden exit that will cause disruption in his system. He also expects that you will be committed to doing the job at hand and giving it your best, as long as you are in employment.

Integrity/character Employers want employees that can do things right as well as those that can do the right things. No matter your brilliance, no employer would take you if you cannot be trusted. They do not like people with disruptive, pernicious, unstable, intolerant or any other negative character.

Positive attitude A positive attitude to situation and circumstances is desired in all job situations. Every position has its own content of frustrations, disturbances distractions, but all of these are easily surmountable with the right mental attitude. I will tell you, an individual with “get up and go” attitude is worthy of consideration for appointment, even if he fails to meet some other job attributes/requirements.

Analytical skills To make decisions and properly

evaluate situations, candidates with analytical skills are desired by employers. The ability to make reasonable judgments and assess expected and unexpected situations is of great value on any job. Are you able to look at a given work load, set priorities and find ways to solve the most, most immediate and important problems? Will you panic and fall apart in the face of work related crisis?

Personal presentation Employer consider that job candidates, indeed, all of their employees to be well dressed and groomed. Like they say, at least dress the part i.e. dress in a manner and way that very appropriate for the position you are planning to occupy. Always, be clean and neat.

Healthy body To perform at all, you need to look and feel well. No employer will readily employ a sickly job candidate. It will cause disaffection and disruption of work later. Note that it is your primary responsibility to remain healthy, and functional. The attribute we have been discussing since last week applies mostly to entry to middle level managers, and to some extent the executive positions. However, there are some attributes that most employers desire specifically in respect of senior executives. They include the following: • Experience and know how. Senior manager who wants to move into new positions are expected to bring on the table expertise and practical knowledge. This is critical, as they are not only expected to work with little supervision, but also to provide leadership/coach-

ing for their subordinates. They are expensive, and the major reason they are wanted is that there is nobody within the system with the required experience and knowhow to perform the job. You see incompetent executive represent an enormous waste and risk to the enterprise. • Track record of performance. The position may have because vacant because the previous occupier was eased out for poor performance. Then it is reasonable that the employer will want a replacement with proof of performance. Often history of excellent performance in previous job position(s) give comfort to the employer that if might be better this time. • Leadership. As I said earlier, senior managers are expected to provide leadership not only within then unit, but also across in the organisation. Employer therefore desire good and tested leaders. They want candidates who know how to be a leader, enjoying being a leader and fully appreciate the attendant responsibilities. He is also expected to understand team dynamics and be able to lead and function with team. • Administration and management competence. Aside from technical and departmental responsibilities, employers expect senior executives to be versed in administration, policy development and implementation. They need to understand management processes. • Intrapreneurship. As the organisation becomes large, ownership is somewhat shared, and the chief executive officer may not be in a position to see all the opportunities and threat to the business. He desires managed that would assume “ownership” and look out

for business and growth opportunities. He also depends on them for product people and process improvement that will reduce waste and increased profitability. Now where does all these leave the job hunter? What about these in job hunting? One, jobs are lost and won often times on the basis of these attributes. A lot of times, more than the number of required candidates ties on the level of basic qualifications and experience. In instances like this, candidates may be chosen the basis of which seemed better on one or two of the attributes we have been discussing considered critical to the job position. Two, aside from your educational attainments, these desirables when combined well form your unique selling point. Three, match the key attributes you possess with the specific requirements of the employer for the position. This will work well if you do enough research on the job/company/industry to determine which are the most relevant and critical. Four, and finally, you must communication this. Even when you have the key attributes desired by an employer in a specific situation, you must endeavour to communicate it to the employer. Don’t ever assume that it is so obvious that he ought to see it. Blow your trumpet. Use every opportunity and contact with the employer to communicate the match (and your suitability) - application letters, telephone conversations, resume, interview, etc. Now that you have the syllabus, go win yourself some job.

•Oyeniran is Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Associates. He can be reached on Jobsearchhow.com.ng Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).


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Taxation

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Withholding Tax (WHT) administration

ITHHOLDING Tax (WHT) is an advance payment of income tax. In principle, it is a payment for the ultimate income tax liability of the taxpayer or company. It is not a separate tax and does not confer an exemption from the filing of yearly tax returns by the company which suffered WHT. The tax is deducted at source when a payment is to be made to the beneficiary.

WHT implication on foreign transactions Non-resident companies/enterprises The revenue practice is that non-resident companies are not empowered to deduct any type of WHT. These categories of enterprises are practically outside the regulatory monitoring and control of the FIRS. It will be impracticable for revenue office to inspect the accounting books of these companies to confirm due deduction and remittance of WHT.

Applicable Tax Law Withholding Tax (WHT) is not a distinct tax type and therefore has no legislation of its own. It is only a mechanism for the collection of other taxes. Consequently, its application is provided for in the enabling law of other tax types i.e. Section 81 of Company Income Tax Act, Section 54 of Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Section 73 of Personal Income Tax Act and Section 13 of Value Added Tax (VAT) Act. Tax coverage and income subject to WHT It seeks to collect taxes that may have been lost through evasion and/or avoidance. It is to ensure that taxpayers are correctly taxed but it must be understood that transactions that are ordinarily not liable to tax in Nigeria are also not liable to WHT; thus, contracts and supplies of goods and services performed entirely outside Nigeria by non-resident taxpayers will not be liable to WHT. The residence of the taxpayer is not relevant for determining liability to tax or the application of WHT, but it is important to consider whether the provider/supplier of the goods or services is liable to tax. The rate of tax applicable to the various goods and services is provided in later parts of this paper. The introduction of the WHT regime came about to address the problem of tax evasion although, there is the overriding objective of full disclosure, transparency, predictability and fairness. In the light of these objectives and bearing in mind that the tax is intended as an advance payment of tax, its operation should always be optimised to ensure that taxpayers are not overtaxed and Government does not lose revenue. Rents: This includes rental income on both real and personal property. As a general rule, income on a property (rent, hire or lease payments or rights (royalties) situated in Nigeria is liable to tax in Nigeria, the place of payment notwithstanding. Where a person rents or hires property/services from another, WHT at the rate of 10 per cent will apply. But where a person provides services to another for e.g. air/land transport service, using its own equipment/facilities, the transaction becomes a contract of services rather than rental or hire. Interest: This is income from investments of every kind. WHT is applicable to income from government securities and income from bonds or Treasury bills. Interest on loans paid by a Nigerian company is often not subject to WHT. Dividends:Refer to income from shares. The income is subject to tax whether it is received by a Nigeria company or a nonresident company. The tax imposed is regarded as final tax, but corporate bodies are allowed to recoup WHT deduction where the dividend is to be redistributed as Franked Investment Income (FII). The Petroleum Profit Tax Act (PPTA) however exempts dividends payable by oil producing companies on petroleum operations from WHT imposition. Royalty:Refers to unearned income which accrues to the owner from past endeavors. Permission must be obtained before it can be used. It is payment of any kind as a consideration for the use of or the right to use any patent, trade mark or right/ Consultancy/professional/management/technical servicesThese are specialised services rendered by persons with the required knowledge and skills. The mere fact that services are provided by a company which has consultancy as part of its name does not by itself render such service as consultancy. The real content of the services being provided must be examined and if it amounts to a consultancy service, then the appropriate rate would apply; the same treatment applies to professional/ management services. For instance, if an engineering company is carrying out a construction activity, the proper classification for the services would be ‘‘construction’’ as opposed to professional/technical services; similarly, the use of industrial machinery/equipment to provide a service does not render it to be ‘technical’’ because the industry position requires that only arrangements thatinvolve a transfer of technology should be classified as technical. All types of contracts and arrangements, other than sale and purchase of goods and property. This classification is wide enough to capture every transaction, other than outright purchase/sale of goods and property. The revenue holds the view that majority of the activities carried on in the oil industry are done by way of contractions, and should properly fall under this category. The issue of contracts and transactions, not being conducted in the ordinary course of business has over the years been subjected to series of reviews and amendments, aimed at improving the WHT system to achieve efficiency as well as minimise the cost of doing business. The aim of WHT is not to compound the problems of producers, manufacturers and those engaged in any activity, other than services. The definition of manufacturing activate as contained in the FIRS information circular No. 2002 appears to have further generated more controversy than expected. The following classification will assist in the understanding of circumstances where WHT will apply in relation to any production activity. Where there is a dual relationship between parties in a business transaction An example of this contract is where a manufacturer/producer require raw materials from a supplier for its production. This is dual relationship between both parties and the transaction will not be liable to WHT. E.g., a farmer supplies groundnut to a manufacturer of groundnut oil; a manufacturer of glass supplies bottles to a bottling company or soft drink manufacturer or an oil marking company supplies diesel direct to a user.

Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) Transactions that are ordinarily not liable to tax in Nigeria are not liable to WHT in Nigeria. Thus contracts and supplies of goods and services performed entirely outside Nigeria by nonresident individuals are not liable to WHT. Nigeria has treaty agreements with about eight countries and these countries are granted a reduced rate of WHT deduction, usually at 75 per cent of the generally applicable WHT rate. 7.5 per cent. These countries include UK, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Pakistan and Romania.

• Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed

Mashi

Where there is a tripartite relationship between parties in a transaction In a tripartite contract relationship involving a manufacturer, supplier and agent, there could be either two options, depending on the level of financial arrangement. For example, where manufacturer A, engages agent C to procure or source for raw materials from supplier, B, for his production line, there is a tripartite arrangement here. There is nothing preventing manufacturer, A from dealing directly with supplier B to achieve a dual contract relationship. (a) If agent C is mobilised by manufacturer B with fund to source for materials for its operation, there will be need to segregate the service cost from the entire contraction, and only the service component will be liable to WHT. (b) If the agent, C, finances the sourcing of the raw materials for Manufacturer A, the entire contract value will be liable to WHT at the time of payment. Where a maufacturer delivers its normal products to its distributors and dealers for sale In this situation, the income accruing to the manufacturer will not be liable to WHT as it is regarded as transaction in the ordinary course of business, but the commission earned by the distributors/dealers will be subjected to WHT. Agency transactions and arrangements Agency arrangement implies a contract between a principal and agent. The reward for services by the agent is commission, which is subject to WHT of 10 per cent. However, if the principal is a non-resident, any sales proceeds from the arrangement will attract fie per cent WHT, where any of the conditions in Section 26(1) (b) of CITA holds. The organisations making the payments are required to withhold tax from such payments and pay over the withheld amounts to their respective relevant tax authorities within 30 days of receipt of payment or credit by the person or entity suffering the tax. The relevant tax authorities to receive the WHT tax transactions made by companies is FIRS and for individuals and unincorporated bodies subject to rules of residence is SIRS or FIRS. Person liable to deduct WHT The payer of WHT for any activity under this tax shall include company (corporate or non-corporate), government Ministries and Department, Parastatals, statutory bodies, institutions and other established organisation approved for the operations of Pay As you Earn System (PAYE). Who is taxable? • All persons, companies etc. who’s incomes are liable to income tax, are subject to Withholding Tax. • However, exempt entities, such as educational institutions, Government Ministries, Parastatals and other Agencies of government, are agents for the collection of WHT. They are required to deduct WHT on any payment made to a taxable body and remit same to the relevant tax authority.

The rate of tax applicable to the various goods and services is provided in later parts of this paper. The introduction of the WHT regime came about to address the problem of tax evasion although, there is the overriding objective of full disclosure, transparency, predictability and fairness

Permanent Establishment (PE) principle under Nigeria’s taxation The rules construe a PE where: • The company has a ‘fixed base’ in Nigeria. • The company operates in Nigeria through a dependent agent authorised to conclude contracts or deliver goods on its behalf, • The company is executing a turnkey project in Nigeria, or • The operation between the company and its Nigeria affiliate does not appear to be at arm’s length. • ‘Fixed base’ implies some degree of permanence and will include: • Facilities, such as a factory, office, branch, mine, oil or gas well • Activities, such as building, construction, assembly or installation • Provision of services in connection with the activities listed above. Principles of PE • The rules construe a Permanent Establishment where: • The company has a ‘fixed base’ in Nigeria. • The company operate in Nigeria through a dependent agent authorised to conclude contracts or deliver goods on its behalf, • The company is executing a turnkey project in Nigeria, or • The operation between the company and its Nigeria affiliate does not appear to be at arm’s length. ‘Fixed base’ implies some degree of permanence and will include: Facilities, such as a factory, office, branch, mine, oil or gas well Activities, such as building, construction, assembly or installation, provision of services based on the above-listed activities. Other types of income not liable to WHT • Companies operating within the Free Trade Zones/Export Processing Zones. • Insurance premium. • Turnover/income from dealership or distributive trade • Telephone bills are not subject to WHT. Application of WHT Sections of CITA and PITA that provide for the deduction of withholding tax at the applicable rates below. Types of payment

Applicable rates Companies Dividends, Interest, Rent 10% Directors Fees 10% Royalties 15% Commission, Consultation, 10% Technical, Service Fees Management fees 10% Construction/Building Contracts 5% Contracts, other than outright sales and purchase of goods in the ordinary course of business 5%

Individual 10% 10% 15% 5% 5% 5% 5%

Returns & Remittance Tax Returns are filed monthly with evidence of remittance and a detailed schedule of taxable transactions. Submitted schedule should show the following details: Name of supplier Address Nature of Invoice payment Amount Rate @ Y% Tax Service Date Date • Returns for corporate suppliers should be filed within 21 days from end of month of transactions. • Returns for non –corporate suppliers should be filed within 30 days from end of month of transaction. • In practice, tax returns are filed in the same month they occur. • Tax deducted should be remitted to the revenue in exchange for a receipt of payment. • Tax is payable in the currency of the qualifying transaction. Following payment and filing of returns, the revenue processes credit notes for the suppliers on whose income tax was deducted. • Credit notes can be used in applying for tax credit against current and future tax liabilities (i.e. where it is not final tax) • Remittances are due to either federal or state tax authorities. Remittances due to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS): • Corporate entities, • Nonresident individuals, • Members of the armed forces and police, • Resident of Abuja, • Foreign officers. Remittances due to state internal revenue service (SIRS): • All other individuals / partnerships resident in the state.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

EKITI POLITICS All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders were in Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti State, to flag off the campaigns for the June 21 governorship poll. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU captures the excitement and push for continuity in the Fountain of Knowledge.

Fayemi: For Ekiti, it’s forward ever, backward never

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OR eight hours, Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, stood still for the war scholar and prodemocracy crusader, Governor Kayode Fayemi. It was a special day in the life of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC),and the people of the 130 towns and villages he has served diligently in the last three and half years. The Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, venue of the campaign, was filled to the brim as from sunset by party members and admirers from 16 local governments, singing and dancing. The supporters adorned various customised t-shirts and fez caps, waving brooms, the symbol of the ruling party. In one accord, youths, women, artisans and peasants reiterated their determination to vote for continuity and defend their votes. Party leaders also renewed their calls for credible polls, vowing to resist malpractices. Around 2.45 pm, the APC Interim Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, pronounced Fayemi the party’s candidate at the June 21 poll. That followed his formal endorsement by the APC Governors’ Forum, led by Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha. Akande said the governor is worthy of being the APC flag bearer. “May God bless our aspiration”, intoned the former Osun State governor as he presented the flag to Fayemi. Exuding the confidence of a performer, Fayemi, who was accompanied by his wife, Erelu Bisi, and running mate, Deputy Governor Modupe Adelabu, unfolded his development agenda for second term, pledging to rededicate himself to service delivery. Tagged the “Roadmap to Rapid economic Growth and Development”, the Ekiti agenda is made of the proposed policy thrust of the administration from 2014 to 2018. “Ekiti is moving forward under this administration and the future of the state is assured”, Fayemi declared, urging the people to give him a fresh mandate to intensify the work of development. But, the APC family was in sober reflection on the campaign ground. The funfair that usually characterises mega rallies was reduced, in deference to the mood a nation rocked by bombings and killings by the Boko Haram sect. “We need to tone down a lot of funfair that should normally characterise this type of occasion because of the tragedy that has enveloped our country,” said the APC Interim Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who called for understanding. A moment of silence was observed by the crowd in memory of the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency as party leaders chided the Federal Government for inaction and ineptitude. The Chairman of the JKF Campaign Organisation, Hon. Bimbo Daramola, who welcomed the national leaders, said that the success of the Ekiti poll will prepare Nigerians for greater national challenges. “This is a day of excitement and appraisal. There is bloodletting in our country. But, the essence of the moment is not lost on us. Our country desires a change,” he said. Urging the people to reflect on the challenges, Daramola said a vote for Fayemi in Ekiti and the APC at the general election next year will be a good step in the right direction. Ekiti APC Interim Chairman Chief Jide Awe, explained that Fayemi’s achievements are commendable, adding that they will earn the votes of the people. “On June 21, the APC will emerge victorious at the election. We are up to the task; we will win in 177 wards and 2,121 units. We will defeat our opponents. APC belongs to Ekiti and Ekiti belongs to the APC.” For the APC leaders, Ekiti and Osun polls are very important because they will herald the 2015 general elections. The leaders-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Akande, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Okorocha, his Osun and Edo states counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-said Fayemi deserved a second term because of his impressive performance. Also in Ado were Chief Tom Tkimi, Senator Danjuma Goje, Aremo Segun Osoba, Senator Bukola Saraki, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Chief Timpreye Sylva, Governors Rotimi Amaechi

• Dr Fayemi (right), Buhari (fifth right), Asiwaju Tinubu (fourth right), Prof. Adelabu (first left), Owelle Okorocha, Chief Akande, Hon. Daramola and Erelu Fayemi at the campaign.

(Rivers State), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Abdulfathah Ahmed (Kwara), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Tanko Al-makura (Nasarawa), Abdulazeez Yari (Zamfara), and Abiola Ajomobi (Oyo), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Isaac Kekemeke, Osun State Deputy Governor Laoye Tomori, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Senators Olorunnimbe Mamora, Biyi Durojaye, Babafemi Ojudu, Babajide Omoworare, Bunmi Adetumbi, Mudashiru Hussein, Ibrahim Musa; Hon. James faleke, Samuel Adejare, Lanre Odubote and Lanre Olayinka. The dramatic appearance of former Governor Segun Oni added colour to the rally. He was cheered by the crowd of supporters, who welcomed his decision to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He spoke like a patriot, saying that the future of Ekiti is his main priority. Gen. Buhari, who was the first national leader to address the crowd, said that he was impressed by the mobilisation by the JKF Campaign Organisation and the huge attendance. He congratulated Fayemi for standing stall, owing to his achievements. Peeping at the future, the former military Head of State said: “There must be change in 2015.” Tinubu, who spoke after him, described Fayemi as the best for the job in Ekiti. He urged the people to vote for him. “The APC is the cure of Nigeria’s headache, ineptitude of government, insecurity, poverty and unemployment. The party is the cure and Fayemi is the doctor,” he said, maintaining that the supporters’ presence at the campaign can only be meaningful, if they proceed to vote at the poll without fear. “We Nigerians are the employees of the police and the army. Don’t be afraid. Come and vote. This is the opportunity you have to reject the Poverty Development Party,” Tinubu added. Tinubu reminded the people that it took them three years to liberate themselves from the PDP in the past, admonishing them to keep the party in check. Noting that Fayemi has put his hands on the plough, he said the strides of the administration in agriculture, school rehabilitation, road construction, health care services and security trust for the elderly must be sustained. “On the election day, you must be ready to vote. Power is not served ala carte. You can’t give power to an educated illiterate who will draw you backward,” Tinubu told the cheering crow..

Okorocha, who spoke on behalf of the governors, stressed that there was no candidate better than Fayemi, adding that, as a role model, he is even qualified to be governor in any state of the federation. As he presented the forum’s endorsement to Fayemi, he said: “Your victory has been signed, sealed and delivered. We will come back to celebrate your victory.” The Imo governor reflected on the state of the nation, berating the PDP Federal Government as the nation’s albatross. He charged Nigerians to heed the call for change. “Today, our nation is going through a difficult moment. A nation facing daily bombings and bloodletting must receive wise counsel. The death toll in Jos has risen. This is not the nation of our dream. “Mourning is not enough. Something must be done to effect change. In Ekiti, JKF has a record of excellent performance. That is why the 16 progressive governors endorsed this great son of Ekiti. When the wicked is in power, people mourn. When a good man is in power, people rejoice. My prayer is that a bad man will not rule Ekiti again.” Former Abia State Governor Onu, a party elder, noted that Ekiti had made a good choice by electing Fayemi as governor, advising them to renew his mandate on June 21. “The people of Ekiti have made a great Nigerian their governor. Fayemi is a special Nigerian and great son of Ekiti. We want him to continue as the governor”, he said. The elder statesman spoke on the sanctity of the ballot box, urging the people to vote and defend their votes. “The cries of Nigerians have gone up to the heavens. The APC will solve the problems, bring security, peace, jobs and improved economy,” he added. The APC Interim Women Leader, Mrs. Sharon Ikpeasor from the Southeast, spoke in Yoruba, saying: “APC is good; PDP is in problem”. Aregbesola, whose speech was laced with wise sayings and songs, said: “We don’t want change in Ekiti now; we want change at the federal level.” In his view, Ekiti cannot afford to go back to its past. Urging the people to gird their loins, he added: “Ina month’s time, Ekiti will vote. We will meet ourselves on the field. If each one of us here can mobilise 10 people who have voter’s cards, we have won. You women, vote and go

‘Fayemi has deepened democracy and worked for Ekiti. The whole world is going to observe what will happen on June 21. It must be one man, one vote. Election must not be rigged or manipulated. On your feet, you will fight and win’

home. You young men, vote and protect your votes”. The Osun governor was not indifferent to how the electoral commission bungled the Anambra State poll. He said that, this time around, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must conduct a free and fair election by using the electronic card readers. Oshiomhole also warned against electoral malpractice, saying that the evil will be resisted. “Our message is short, sharp and clear. On June 21, you will have an opportunity to choose between a governor who has worked and failed, was impeached, he left and was charged and Fayemi who has made progress, a governor who has made a lot of differnce. “Fayemi has deepened democracy and worked for Ekiti. The whole world is going to observe what will happen on June 21. It must be one man, one vote. Election must not be rigged or manipulated. On your feet, you will fight and win”, he added. Oni, an engineer, was the cynosure of all eyes as he repudiated the PDP and called on the people to vote for Fayemi in the interest of the future. He reflected on past misunderstanding, saying that it was over. He emphasised that the future is more important than the past. Oni said Ekiti State deserved a new political order designed to guarantee a brighter future, advising the people not to mortage the future of their children for money.He said, if Fayemi is returned to office, he will continue to make a positive impact on the state. Oni called the people, local government by local government, to know who they will vote for on June 21. The response by his Ido-Osi people affirmed his popularity at home. He told the crowd that it is their interest to elect a governor they will be proud of and not a person that will expose the state to ridicule. He said: “We are not here to enthrone mediocrity, but for Ekiti people to have a government that our children will benefit from. Anybody that our children will not see as a role model, I will never endorse such a person. We don’t want a governor who will pass under the barbed wire. We can no longer afford a governor that people will be asking Ekiti people what is wrong with them”. The man of the moment, Fayemi, presented his blue print on development to the crowd. He noted that his administration has lived up to expectation in his first term. But, he said the beat must not stop, hence, his desire to seek a fresh mandate to take the state to a greater height. Apart from fostering good governance, Fayemi said that he has been an initiator and communicator of values.


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THE NATION MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

POLITICS

‘How new Ondo Speaker will emerge’ A member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Akindele Adeniyi (Akure North Constituency), in this interview with DAMISI OJO, explains how a new House Speaker will emerge.

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HE popular thinking is that the ruling Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State has slowed down the pace of development since Governor Olusegun Mimiko won a second term. What is your reaction to this? I don’t think that is true, work is ongoing in all the departments in the state. There is no doubt that the money from the federal allocation has reduced drastically, but that has not prevented government from bringing dividends of democracy to our people. Government has continued to put smiles on the faces of the people, by executing projects that have direct impact on the lives of the people. It is only the opposition parties that will say the governor has slowed down because they cannot see anything good in what the governor is doing. The Governor has good plan for the people of Ondo State and has not relented. In fact, the second term will be better than the first one, in terms of projects execution and manpower development. How is the LP handling the governorship in 2016? Any plan to zone the slot? I am not in the best position to answer that question. It must be directed to the LP chairman or the governor. The governor is in the best position to answer the question, but I am very sure the governor will give the people a capable successor, somebody that will continue with the good work Governor Olusegun Mimiko is doing. Our party will decide at the appropriate time.

•Adeniyi

What have you done for your constituency? I have done quite a lot for the people in my constituency and I will continue to do more. I have carried out many empowerment programmes. The basic thing is that my people know what I have done for them. I still have `lots of things in stock for them. People who know understand that I don’t make noise about what I do. State legislatures are usually appendage of the executive. In what way is the Ondo State House different? We in the House of Assembly are not stooge to the executive arm of government, but we have

good relationship with the executive. He is a listening governor, who has deemed it fit to know the problems of people, and find lasting solutions to them. Although, the Assembly is dominated by the LP lawmakers, we have always challenged the executive where it is necessary. However, we cannot engage the executive in unnecessary argument. We have summoned commissioners to the floor of the House, local government chairmen have been summoned too. So, we are not just in the House, we are carrying out oversight functions by monitoring all the projects being executed by the state government. When we are not satisfied with the quality of work done, we advised government to terminate the contract. Take for instance, the Mobil/Oba- Ile Airport Road, we noticed that the contractor was not doing what he supposed to do, we made our position clear on it and the government terminated the contract. You can now see that the work is going on smoothly. Therefore, there is no need to fight the executive when we discover that it is doing what the people want. Who is going to be the next Speaker of the Assembly? It is a known fact that I cannot become the next Speaker because the seat has been zoned to the Southern Senatorial District. Be that as it may, I am very sure that we are going to have a good replacement for our late Speaker. All the lawmakers from the South are qualified to be the Speaker, but only one of them will emerge at the end of the day.

APC rejects exco reshuffle in Niger

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HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the cabinet reshuffle by Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu as self serving. The party alleged in a statement issued in Minna, the state capital, that the action was aimed at securing the political interest of the governor. APC said: “The recent cabinet reshuffle was mere waste of government time and resources because it was just mere recycling of old hands to serve the governor’s political ambition for 2015 and to give himself safe landing from the years of emperor-like government where hypocrisis, self aggrandizement and greed are synonymous to excellence and qualify one to be appointed into political office.”

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

The statement was signed by the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Comrade Jonathan Vatsa. He challenged the wisdom behind the creation of a new ministry for special duties, alleging that the new ministry was designed to drain the economy of the state. He advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led government to stop deceiving the people with rhetoric and wild elephant ideas that only end on pages of newspapers. Vatsa added: “It is a known fact to all the people of the state that the administration is always out for window dressing

and cosmetics that are usually embellished with gubernatorial rhetoric to deceive people. “This deception must stop. We urged all Nigerlites not to be deceived by the cosmetics of government, which beauty is in the rhetoric of governmental pronouncements with no practical achievement to show for it. “The PDP government under Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu in Niger State has only embarked on selective honesty while tactically encouraging corruption and disorder,” the statement accused. Vatsa advised the electorate to away with the PDP and embrace the APC to salvage the state from further “misrule, financial recklessness and insensitivity to the plight of the common man in the state.”

• Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu (left) presenting the state’s Gross Domestic Product Compilation in Nigeria Project (Niger State) to supervising Minister for National Planning Commission, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, when the minister visite governor in Minna.

APC receives fresh defectors in Kebbi By Khadijat Saidu

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O fewer than 250 supporters of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) in Kebbi State have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Addressing the decampees at a reception organised to welcome them in Birnin-Kebbi, the state capital, the APC interim State Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bunu, said, given the political situation in the state, the coming of the former PDM members would help the APC to win future. He therefore, assured them of the party leadership’s commitment to work with them to fortify the APC before the 2015 general elections. ‘’APC has received prominent people and with the calibre of people now in the party, we have full assurance that they would deliver the state and at the Federal level, our aim is for change,’’ he added. The chairman explained that, as the party congress draws nearer, the sharing of political offices would not be a problem. ‘’Let us join hands together and fight for the masses,’’ he enjoined the new party members. Speaking earlier, the PDM Zonal Vice Chairman (North-West), Alhaji Sani Haruna Zuru, said the aim behind the defection is to fight for the masses and promote the democracy. He explained that the PDM and the APC share the same goal. He therefore, urged his members and supporters from the 21 local governments areas to forgive one another and ensure the success of the party. ‘’Let us play politics without bitterness, selfishness; let’s be honest and transparent for the betterment of our new party,’’ he added.

Why I’m running for governor, by Solomon By Emmanuel Oladesu

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LL Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Lagos State Senator Ganiyu Solomon has said that the party will always uphold internal democracy. The politician, who spoke with reporters at the weekend on his ambition, religion and zoning and the endorsement of an aspirant by the Lagos monarch, Oba Rilwan Akiolu. He said he joined the race because he has a passion for service to Lagosians, adding that he is competent for the job. Solomon stressed: “I know what the problems of the majority or the average Lagosian are and the solutions. I believe I can serve, I believe I have what it takes to govern Lagos; not just to govern so that they call me ‘His Excellency’. It’s not about ‘His Excellency’, it is about impacting on the lives of the people. “We should impact positively on people’s lives, we should develop them. You cannot reduce such investment on people to Naira and Kobo; it is invaluable. So, that, to me, is governance.” The aspirant warned against the danger of allowing religion to shape politics in the Southwest, saying that it is an emotional and sensitive issue. He said: “In this particular region, we don’t discuss religion when it comes to governance. This is the very first time some people are bringing it up. Look at the average family here; you have them Muslims, you have them Christians. I have a cousin who is a reverend; my sister is a deaconess. Go to Methodist Church, Palm Avenue, that is the church my grandparents attended. That is where they had their burial. So, how will I do anything against a Christian community, for instance? It has never been an issue. Solomon also spoke on zoning, saying that it is a weak factor. He said: You can only zone to a senatorial district. Let me tell you, it had never been an issue; people would think it may go this way or that, but it had never been the position of a political party. “Our party has no provision for zoning in its constitution; no provision, whatsoever. In 1998/99, let me give you the candidates: Tawa Williams, she was from the Central; Dapo Durotimi-Etti, he contested for the Senate, from the Central; Wahab Dosumu, he was from the Central. Wahab Dosumu later moved to the West because they said, okay, go to the Senate, the only one available – and that started the fluid movement from one district to another. He was from the central. “Funso William; he was from the Central. The only person that was not from the Central was our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. He registered, he came back, as from the West and he won the primaries, regardless of the fact that all other aspirants were from the Central. Anybody would have concluded that it was zoned to the Central. He emerged because a level playing field was there. “However, in my own case, if they think that would be a deterrent, no. I also have a roof in the East. And, also because they’ve made it possible to move from one senatorial district to another. Whatever I am saying is not new to Lagos politics; there are precedents. It is accepted, it has become a norm, so we do it. The aspirant said that the APC should hold primaries, adding that, if he lose the shadow poll, he would queue behind the winner. However, he emphasised that, if the primaries are not free and fair, he would act accordingly. Solomon reflected on the endorsement of Mr. Akinwumi Ambode for the election, by Oba Akiolu stressing that he has the freedom off expression. He said the party will decide the fate of the aspirants when the time comes. He added: Kabiyesi was expressing his preference. He has also expressed his personal opinion. We’re talking of a party now; I don’t know which part or provision of the constitution of the party says a traditional ruler can endorse. Whatever he says is his personal wish, which is not the same thing as the wish of the generality of the people. At the end of the day, we have a party structure. “Let me also tell you that he made the pronouncement at a time when we had not even concluded putting party structures in place. So, it couldn’t have been in consultation, with who? Is it with the political leadership? Is it with the traditional leadership? We’ve had •Solomon different opinions since then.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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NEWS

Watch your diets, group advises the elderly

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HEY trooped out in tens. And they had one mission at heart: to live healthily, as they age. They are all senior citizens. Venue was FESTAC Town, Lagos. The convener, Project Director Esan Olusola, under the auspices of Charity Organisation for the Welfare of Aged People (COWAP), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), minced no word in telling the senior citizens that two things are important: They should watch their diets and avoid self medication. According to Esan , the participants would be making the organisation proud if they adhere to these simple but highly beneficial advice. “It is part of the mission of the organisation to get the elderly informed about their

By Blessing Olisa

health and wellbeing. We are committed to all activities that empower the elderly and give them the opportunity to be in charge of their life even at old age. “We have observed that wrong choice in diet, poor knowledge of healthy living at old age; elderly neglect by government and the society at large and high poverty rate rank high among the problems facing the elderly in the country. Hence the need for programmes like this which is designed to equip them with information thereby enhancing their health as they age.” A participant cum lecturer, Alhaji Abiodun Afinowi, a 70 year old who had been diabetic for 15

years, shared his experiences living with the condition, while he still ages gracefully. “If you are diabetic, do ensure you take your drugs as prescribed by the doctors; avoid self medication; avoid injuries that could lead to wound and eat moderately.” “I will advise Diabetic patients to avoid walking around bare footed because you could be infected with bacteria”, he said. A physician at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH),Ikeja, Dr Gbenga Durojaiye who spoke at the seminar with the theme: ‘Secrets of healthy living at old age’, discussed the good and bad diets for the elderly; precautionary measures for healthy living at old age; and signs and symptoms of failing health at old

age. Other resource persons at the programme were: Mrs. Sarah Olabisi, a dietician from Lagos University Teaching Hospital ( LUTH); Doctor Nkiru Adibuah from EMEL Hospital, FESTAC Town and the State Chairman, Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN), Alhaji Afinowi. An Octogenarian, Engr Oluwole Aina who is also one of the participants, praised the organisation for its various activities for the elderly in FESTAC Town. He urged government to do more for the elderly and be sincere in its promises regarding elderly care. The programme was organised in partnership with the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area.

•A cross section of the participants

How to prevent kidney failure, by Pfizer chief

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OW can renal failure be prevented? It is by undergoing regular blood pressure checks, says Pfizer NEAR Medical Director Dr Kodjo Soroh. He noted that people with high blood presure are more likely to suffer kidney failure. Dr Soroh spoke at the screening for healthy kidney, in partnership with University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, to mark this year's World Kidney Day. According to Soroh, there are several risk factors that are associated with the condition and these include: smoking, obesity, diabetes, high level of salt intake and high level of alcohol consumption, among others.

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By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha

"Guidelines recommend a blood pressure target of 120/ 80 mmHg for healthy people or 130/80 mmHg for people suffering from diabetes. Kidney disease has become a common problem in our society. If detected early, chronic kidney diseases can be treated, thereby reducing other complications including death and disability associated with the disorder," he said. A Nephrologist with the UCH, Ibadan, Prof Babatunde. L. Salako who gave a health talk on how to prevent kidney failure said, "This year we decided to increase awareness on the

effect of ageing on the kidney and the importance of adequate intake of water. Over 250 patients will be screened and counseled. Prevention through routine medical screening is essential in preventing Kidney disease". Director Corporate Affairs/Health and Value, Pfizer, Mrs. Margaret Olele, said, "We all should learn to imbibe good and healthy lifestyle. Pfizer in the scope of its Corporate Social Responsibility organised disease awareness programme and free medical screening for the general public, to address the growing concern of kidney disease. These screenings which cover health parameters like blood

pressure, glucose and total cholesterol, take place in pharmacies, religious organisations and corporate establishments, in partnership with medical institutions. "As part of Pfizer's commitment to working together for a healthier world, Pfizer partnered with University College Hospital, Ibadan to mark World Kidney day. The World Kidney Day is celebrated globally on March 14 every year. The mission is to raise global awareness on the importance of this vital human organ, kidney, to our overall health and to reduce the frequency, impact and associated health problems of kidney disease.

‘PPP ‘ll boost health care’

XPERTS have called for collaboration between the government and the private sector to develop health care at the grassroots. A former Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr Leke Pitan, said with collaboration between the public and the private sectors, there would be progress and the people would be the better for it. Pitan, who spoke at the inauguration of El-Lab Medical Diagnostic and Research Centre in Lagos, said partnership usually brings about

By Wale Adepoju

increased access to health care. “It will also provide opportunity. For training and development of health workers,” he said. He said India was able to develop her health sector because of collaboration between the government and the private sector. Pitan praised Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area and the Centre for Collaborating, adding: “Other

LGAs and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) should emulate them to attract manufacturers of health care equipment to the country.” He said they should make the environment conducive for investors, stressing this is the way forward for the health sector. Council chairman, Mr Ayodele Adewale, said the centre is important to ensure accurate treatment because doctors cannot treat a patient without clinical diagnosis.

DENTAL TALK with Dr

Samuel Awosolu

08108155239 (SMS Only); email- samawosolu@yahoo.co.uk

Tongue issues Ankyloglossia

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HIS is also known as tongue tie, mainly because it affects the mobility of the main body of the tongue. It is a developmental problem, that is, a defect in the process of development of the tongue, whereby, the frenulum or the cord attaching the tongue to the floor of the mouth is attached too close to the tip of the tongue. It could also lead to speech problems. A nursing mother may first notice this in the child when the tongue seems tied by a thick cord or tissue to the floor of the mouth, hence the descriptive name- Tongue tie. The dentist may be able to offer relief using a pair of scissors or dental incisions to release the tie, a process called frenectomy. Macroglossia/Microglossia The prefix Macro is a descriptive term to represent something large, in this case; larger than normal, glossia is another term for tongue. Macroglossia will therefore describe a large tongue than the average sized tongue found in the population group. There are a lot of causes of macroglossia- it may be developmental or congenital, meaning an individual could be born with the condition or due to a disease state and condition or some conditions like Down’s syndrome, also called trisomy 21 which affects children. There are conditions of excessive production of the human growth hormone by the body (acromegaly) or tumours producing the hormones. In most cases it is compatible with life and may not be treated except where there are functional, aesthetic problems. In which case a maxillofacial surgeon can carry out resection/reduction of the tongue. The tongue may likewise be smaller than usual and that is microglossia. The physical surface of the tongue may present with an appearance of fissures and furrows. These fissures can harbour bacteria and lead to bad breath- Halitosis. It could also become infected and swollen. Hairy tongue is an (a descriptive) appearance, and the cause is unknown. The tongue may also be Hyper-pigmented. If the dentist is consulted, he will offer treatment which may involve scraping the surface of the tongue. De-papilation of the tongue is another condition of the tongue. The tongue is full of papillae and in this situation the papillae are lost. They result from some nutritional deficiencies such as vitamins and other micro nutrients. Sore tongue (Glossodyna) The tongue may become sore atimes and gives a resemblance of burnt surface. Some of the causes of this condition include iron deficiency anaemia, pernicious anaemia, candidasis and vitamin B group deficiencies. The intake of the deficiencies will cause the tongue to go back to its normal condition. Ulcers and other swellings of the tongue. Like every structure in the body the tongue is covered by epithelium, the loss of continuity in the surface of any structure or organ gives rise to an ulcer. Ulcers of the tongue are seen in some conditions like tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhoea infections, viral conditions or trauma from biting the tongue. Generalised lack of oxygen in the tissues of the body can manifest in the tongue, called Cyanosis or blueness. Loss of taste sensation in the tongue can also occur. Nerve damage can occur and part of the tongue supplied by the damaged nerve becomes paralysed. The practise of putting studs, rings, bars or any ornaments, piercings and tattoos on the tongue is to be frowned at, due to the danger of infections, bleeding etc. The tongue needs to be cleaned regularly like other parts of the mouth.

Tooth decay fact file He said council’s health projects aligned with the state’s policy which ensured 24 hours free medical care. This, he added, was not present in other states. Adewale said the LGA would be glad to have more investors come to the area to develop the sector. He said the centre has collaborated with the LGA and it is giving 10 per cent discount of diagnosis to the council which offers different free health programmes.

THE most common oral health problem by a mile is tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the outermost layers of the tooth surface referred to as enamel gets worn down. The culprit is the acid produced as a by product of the action of bacteria which are ordinarily resident in the mouth, which act on food types, basically carbohydrate and sugars taken. There are outer layers of the tooth surface: The visible crown, the dentine layer and the pulp which can be affected by tooth decay. A sticky coat plaque forms on the tooth surface called plaque, which could easily be removed by general oral hygiene measures like tooth brushing, use of dental floss, mouthwash and any oral hygiene aid. •To be continued next week


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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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

150TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING

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

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he Chairman after welcoming members to the 150th Kano State Executive Council meeting acknowledged the presence of the two newly appointed Hon. Commissioners for Agriculture and Natural Resources and Higher Education in the persons of (Dr) Nasiru Yusif Gawuna and Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed Yako respectively.

After the welcoming address, the Kano State Executive Council's 150th sitting dwelt on the successful conduct of the State Local Government elections on May 17, 2014. The Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) has the constitutional responsibilities of organizing, supervising and conducting the polls in the 484 Wards and 44 Local Government Councils. In order to make the election free and fair the Commission invited other State Independent Electoral Commissions under the umbrella of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (FOSIECON) to observe the elections. Twenty-four (24) State Independent Electoral Commissions honored the invitation. They are from Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara States. The delegates from the State Independent Electoral Commissions carried out the observation in five groups and randomly visited a number of Local Government Areas of the State. At the end of the exercise, the delegates concluded: a) That registered political parties participated in the elections in the areas visited such as APC, Labor Party and PDP, b) That there was adequate and timely supply of voting materials to all polling units, c) That there was impressive turnout of voters in all the areas visited; d) That the restriction of vehicular movement was strictly observed in the areas visited; e) That the security arrangement was adequate and security personnel were visibly present and active in the areas visited; and f) That the conduct of the exercise was generally orderly and above all peaceful. In addition to that, fifteen (15) Non-Governmental Organizations observed the elections as independent observers. They are: i) Cathrona Maryam Foundations, Bwari, Abuja, ii) Initiative for Youth Awareness on Patriotism, Court Road, Kano, iii) Good Governance and Peace in Democracy, Abuja, iv) Righteous Life Initiative, Makurdi, Benue State, v) Credible Elections Network, Maitama Abuja, vi) African Initiative for Sustainable and Positive Development, Abuja, vii) Justice and Equity Organization, Garki, Abuja, viii) Global Center for Conscious Living Against Corruption, Enugu, ix) Northern Patriotic Front, Wuse Abuja, x) Patriotic Women Foundation, Suru-lere Lagos, xi) International Male Initiative Club, Nasarawa State, xii) Amnesty and Human Rights Nigeria, Kaduna, xiii) Association for Good Governance and Development, Kano, Kano State, xiv) Citizens Rights and Leadership Awareness, Ikeja, Lagos, and xv) Center for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, Warri. These Independent Observers as the State Independent Electoral Commissions also adjudged the elections as having met international and regional standards for being properly organized, monitored and conducted freely and fairly and are, therefore credible. Their reports agreed on the fundamental fact that the elections were free, fair and peaceful with high voters' turnout. The reports commended the smooth conduct of accreditation and voting proper. We know that the major criteria in determining the success of any elections all over the world are their peaceful conduct. Thus, the May, 17, 2014 Local Government elections in Kano State are credible being the most peaceful in the political history of the country. The results declared that the APC has won the 44 Local Government Chairmanship seats and 484 Councillorship seats with a total vote of 2,370,000 against its closest rival the PDP's 200,430. The results reflected the true aspirations and choice of the state electorates. The results declared confirmed one fact that the electorates are in full support of this administration's giant stride in its efforts to implement meaningful development programmes in the State. The results recorded would have been impossible without the massive support of the state citizens and their interest in having free and fair elections. The performance of this administration clearly endeared itself thereby making the citizens identifying themselves with its progression. Myriad of positive transformation projects, policies and programmes are being implemented that cut across all sectors especially the cardinal ones, which include Education, Infrastructure (development and maintenance), Agriculture, Water Supply, Environment, Empowerment, Health, etc. aimed at transforming the lives of the citizenry in Kano State for the better. The State is now witnessing a period of profound positive change. The citizens are becoming more and more certain of their future and that of their off-spring. Thus, through this, the administration is able to connect with the aspirations of its citizens by satisfying their positive needs. This administration is carrying everybody alone. In fact, no administration in recent memory received the highest approval rating in the State political history than the present government of Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Thus, what happened in Kano State disputed the belief that credible elections are impossible in Nigeria. It disproved scholars, such as Richard Joseph who concluded in his seminal works that electoral process in Nigeria is a 'Hobbesian state of War'. Also, individuals and political commentators that expressed doubt that Local Government elections will be conducted by this administration are also proved wrong. In fact, KANSIEC under the present administration has done the impossible by conducting free and fair elections in a country mired/razed by elections rigging and violence. The elections witnessed no delays in the distribution of election materials, snatching of boxes and election ballot papers, thugs' violence, fake ballot papers, multiple voting, fraudulent declarations of results, etc. However, the gains of May 17, 2014 elections could not have been possible without the immense support of the electorates who were bent on having credible elections and representatives of their choice. The electorates have realized that for them to have a say in the day-to-day running of their Local Governments the elections must be free and fair. After all free and fair elections are fundamental elements of a healthy democracy. But for elections to be free and fair the Press and Opposition parties must be allowed to operate freely. This is what is obtained in the State. The May 17, 2014 elections have fulfilled three fundamental tasks of democracy; allowing, respecting and implementing the 'will of the people'. Thus, 29th May 2014 will witness the inauguration of the representatives of the people who were elected by the people. Based on this Gov Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts at stamping out corruption both within and outside the Government circle, NGOs and private entities so as to ensure entrenchment of democracy With this, Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE faced the business of the day by presiding over the one hundred and fiftieth (150th) sitting of the Kano State Executive Council today Friday 23rd May, 2014 (24th Rajab, 1435 A H) in compensation for the usually scheduled meetings held on Wednesdays (which would have been on 21st May, 2014). The Kano State Executive Council received and deliberated upon forty five (45) memoranda from eight (8) MDAs. Twenty five (25) of them were approved for execution with an expenditure of Four Hundred and Twenty Seven Million, One Hundred Ninety Five Thousand, Four Hundred and Twenty Eight Naira, Eighteen Kobo (N427,195,428.18) covering twenty (20) projects as follows:

1. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT The Secretary to the State Government submitted twenty five (25) memoranda on behalf of the Chairman and some MDAs for deliberations by Council. Thirteen (13) of them were approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Registration Fees in Respect of Ninety Six (96) Kano State Indigenous Candidates Admitted in 2013 into the School of Nursing Kano:Pursuant to the implications of the policy of the provision of education free of charge at all levels, the Secretary to the State Government endorsed and presented the cited request on behalf of the State Ministry of Health for consideration by Council. Details on the financial implications were summarized and presented as follows;

Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso

SN Profile Cost (N) i. Registration fees with the Council of Nursing and Midwifery 10,000.00 x 96 ii. Indexing fee 7,000.00 x 96

Total Cost (N) 960,000.00 672,000.00

Total = N1,632,000.00. Council considered the request as appropriate and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,632,000.00 to the Ministry of Health for the stated commitment. b) Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Return of Sixty (60) Kano State Indigenous Students Sponsored for Studies in Ukraine:The cited request was presented to Council for consideration sequel to the directive issued for the relocation of the students in question. The contents of this memorandum adequately substantiated to Council that, the processes for securing admission for the students in Turkey, Malaysia and India are in progress. Meanwhile, however, the Ukrainian Ministry of Education recommended that all International Students should leave the Country before 20th May, 2014. As such, Council was requested to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N13,200,000.00 to enable payment for one (1) way ticket in respect of the sixty (60) students at the rate of N220,000.00 each for their return home pending their relocation to any of the alternative three (3) Countries forwarded for their relocation. The details presented were favourably acknowledged by Council as approval was granted for the release of the requested sum of N13,200,000.00 to the Secretary to the State Government for the commitment. d) Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Sitting Allowances to the Nine (9) - Member Management Board of the Kano Pillars Football Club:The Secretary to the State Government politely reminded Council, through the contents of this memorandum, of its approval granted on Wednesday 10th April, 2013 for the appointment of the nine (9) Board Members of the Kano Pillars Football Club. The Committee commenced work since April, 2013. The Secretary to the State Government endorsed the summary of the sitting allowances for the nine (9) Board Members for nine (9) months (April - December, 2013) to the tune of N2,610,000.00 and presented it to Council for consideration and granting approval for release. Council considered the Statutory Nature of the request and approved the release of the requested sum of N2,610,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Management of the Kano Pillars Football Club for disbursement to its nine (9) - Member Management Board as sitting allowances for the months of April - December, 2013. e) Presentation of Request for Funds for Strengthening of Human Reproductive and Family Health Service as well as Human Reproductive Health Management System:The cited presentation/request was submitted by the State Ministry of Health but was endorsed and presented to Council for consideration by the Secretary to the State Government. Council was tacitly intimated with the fact that, the Human Reproductive Health Programme is an essential component of Health that enables people to protect their respective reproductive health along with that of their partners/spouses. This is done through the provision, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, counseling on child spacing, prevention of unsafe termination of pregnancy, etc. Further, Council was notified that the programme provides these essential services in more than four hundred (400) health facilities across Kano State and enjoys support from several development partners such as USAID, DELVER Project and UNFPA. The usual support provided by the development partners include; monitoring/supervision; training of service providers; conduct of review meetings; hosting of activities; etc. But closure of some of these organizations (Development Partners) made the programme to dwindle, which necessitated submission of the cited request for the Kano State Government to intervene and salvage it. Details of the requirements amounting to the tune of N8,024,050.00 were presented and requested for release by Council for the continuation of conduct of the stated programme in view of its significance to Reproductive Healthcare Delivery. Council noted, considered and approved as requested. f) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Quarterly Allowances in Respect of Members of the Shura Council:The Kano State Shura Council comprises one hundred and thirty nine (139) bonafide Members (the Chairman and his Vice inclusive). The cited request includes the two (2) drivers attached to the Shura Council. Many plausible reasons instigated the presentation to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N16,032,000.00 to cover for six (6) items. The requirements were considered as statutory by Council as approval was granted as requested. g) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Monthly Overhead to Seven (7) Establishments under the State Ministry of Health that are Oriented to the Provision of Education:The policy to provide education free of charge at all levels in Kano State embarked upon by the present administration instigated the submission of the cited request from the Ministry of Health. The requirements were summarized and presented as follows: S N Institution Overhead (N) i. Office of the Provost (College of Nursing/Midwifery Kano) 200,000.00 ii. School of Nursing, Kano 200,000.00 iii. School of Basic Midwifery, Kano 200,000.00 iv. School of Basic Midwifery, Dambatta 200,000.00 v. School of Health Technology, Kano 200,000.00 vi. School of Health Technology, Bebeji 200,000.00 vii. School of Anesthesia, Murtala Muhammad, Specialist Hospital 100,000.00 Total = 1,300,000.00 Council acknowledged the request as appropriate and approved for the release of the sum of N1,100,000.00 monthly to the Ministry of Health for disbursement to the seven (6) Institutions of learning (excluding School of Health Technology, Bebeji, which is yet to take off) under its supervision to cater for their running costs respectively. h ) Request for Funds to Enable Maintenance of Operational Vehicles and Offices of the Central Working Committee of the Community Development Associations:-


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014 The State Ministry of Rural and Community Development submitted the cited request. Details of the requirements amounting to the tune of N1,400,000.00, which was recommended for release by Council for the stated commitment were presented. Council considered, scaled down the requirements and approved the release of the sum of N1,000,000.00 for the stated commitments. i) Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Employment of Instructors and Kitchen Staff for the Training of Six Hundred (600) Beneficiaries at the Karaye NYSC Camp Annexed to the Kano State Corporate Security Training Institute:The authorities at the Corporate Security Training Institute submitted the cited request which was endorsed and presentation to Council for consideration by the Secretary to the State Government. Specifically, twenty eight (28) staff of two (2) categories were presented to Council for consideration and granting permission for employment and release of the sum of N1,480,000.00 monthly as their monthly allowances. The financial commitment was summarized and presented as follows: SN Category of Staff Allowances(N) i. Fourteen (14) Instructors 1,200,000.00 ii. Fourteen (14) Kitchen Staff 280,000.00 The details presented to Council for consideration were considered as relevant and approval was granted as requested. j) Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Re - Accreditation of Pharmacy Technician Programme at the School of Health Technology, Kano:This presentation/request was presented to Council for consideration by the Secretary to the State Government on behalf of the Ministry of Health. The need for the cited project was adequately substantiated to Council through the contents of this memorandum which were summarized as follows: i. Procurement Office/Laboratory equipment - N2,693,500.00. ii. Re - accreditation fee - N50,000.00. iii. Re - accreditation expenses - N616,000.00. Total = N3,359,500.00. As such, Council was requested to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N3,359,500.00 to enable re - accreditation of the Pharmacy Technician Programme at the School of Health Technology, Kano. Council noted, considered and approved as requested. k ) Memorandum on Kano State Preparedness and Response to Cholera and other Epidemic Prone Diseases and Request for Funds to Sustain the Current Efforts:The Secretary to the State Government endorsed and presented the cited presentation and request on behalf of the Ministry of Health. Details on the financial implications of the seven (7) items required amounting to the tune of N10,751,500.00 were summarized and presented to Council for consideration and granting approval for release. Council acknowledged the presentation and favourably approved the release of the sum of N10,751,500.00 to the Ministry of Health to sustain the current efforts by the Kano State Government on the preparedness and response to cholera and other epidemic prone diseases. l) Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Outstanding Liabilities and Upward Review of the Monthly Overhead for KNARDA:This request was submitted from the State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources but was endorsed and presented to Council for consideration by the Secretary to the State Government. Specifically, two (2) prayers were forwarded to Council for consideration and granting of approval for execution as follows: i. Council to consider and approve the release of the sum of N681,879.39 to enable KNARDA pay its outstanding electricity bills. ii. Council to consider and approve the upward review of the monthly overhead from N500,000.00 to the tune of N1,200,000.00. Council acknowledged the two (2) prayers forwarded, considered and approved the release of N800,000.00 to KNARDA as monthly overhead and the settlement of the electricity bills. m ) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of the Graduation Ceremony for the Third (3rd) Batch of Trainees from Kiru Reformatory Institute:The Secretary to the State Government endorsed the cited request and presented it to Council for consideration on behalf of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. Eight (8) items were specified as required for the stated purpose recommended at the aggregate sum of N1,450,000.00 which was requested for release by Council. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the aggregate sum of N1,450,000.00 to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development for the stated purpose. 2. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE The only memorandum submitted for deliberation by Council from the Office of the Head of Civil Service was approved for execution. Thus: Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Robe Allowance to Judicial Officers in the Kano State Civil Service for the Year 2014:The cited request was submitted from the Kano State Ministry of Justice, endorsed and presented to Council for consideration based on its statutory status by the Head of Civil Service. Specifically, three hundred and one (301) Senior Staff of the four (4) Judicial Bodies are entitled for the annual payment of Robe Allowance. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N9,030,000.00 for the stated statutory commitment. Council noted, considered and approved as requested. 3. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES Two (2) of the three (3) memoranda submitted for deliberations by Council from the Ministry of Water Resources were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of Notification on the Successful Completion of the Construction of Underground Water Storage Tank at Gwaron Dutse Prison Yard:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Water Resources presented the cited notification as substantiated by the contents of a Letter of Appreciation submitted from the Authorities of the Nigeria Prison Service at the Gwaron Dutse Prison Yard.Relevant photographs of the completed project were presented to Council for perusal. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation. b) Request for Funds to Undertake rehabilitation for improved water supply at Wudil Regional Water Supply Scheme:Details on the financial implications of the cited request were presented to Council for consideration along with specifications of the requirements estimated at the aggregate sum of N33,984,500.00, which was requested for release. The details presented on the requirements were considered as appropriate by Council as approval was granted for the release of the requested sum of N33,984,500.00 to the Ministry of Water Resources for the stated purpose. The project will be funded by Dawakin Kudu, Warawa, Wudil and Gaya Local Government Councils. 4. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION The Ministry of Education submitted three (3) memoranda for deliberations by Council. Only one (1) of them was approved for execution. Thus: Submission of Progress Report on the Take - Off of Retraining Exercise for Primary Teachers under SUBEB: The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Education applauded the Kano State Executive Council for granting approval for the conduct of the cited Retraining Exercise. The retraining exercise is aimed at ensuring that teachers serving in our Primary Schools acquire the minimum qualification(s) required to teach competently. Reportedly, progress of the exercise were summarized and presented to Council to note. Thus: i. The programme successfully commenced on 7th April, 2014 at the various Institutions selected for the purpose. ii. 19,074 of the expected 25,864 have registered for the programme. iii. Registration continues at the commencement of the next school vacation period. Council acknowledged the presentation appreciatively. 5.

OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR/HONORABLE COMMISSIONER, MINISTRY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Both memoranda submitted for deliberations by Council from this Office were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of Information Memorandum (IM) on the Round - Table Discussion held on Bunkure Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ):The Deputy Governor/Honourable Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments politely reminded Council of the mandate accorded to him to represent the Kano State Government at the recently concluded (7th - 9th May, 2014) World Economic Forum for Africa (WEFA) held in Abuja. During the cited discussion, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture presented a proposal for discussion with potential Local and Foreign Investors on the establishment of six (6) Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZ) in Nigeria. The Bunkure SCPZ was among them. Details on the twelve (12) salient points discussed were presented to Council for consideration along with one (1) cardinal prayer. Thus:

51 o Based on the outcome of the discussions, Council should consider, approve and direct for the enacting of a Committee (to see to the take off of the SCPZ) to comprise Members from the following: i. Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. ii. Ministry of Rural and Community Development. iii. Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. iv. Ministry for Local Governments. v. Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism. vi. Ministry of Justice. Nevertheless, the proposed Committee should be answerable to the Office of the Deputy Governor/ Honourable Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments. The specified five (5) terms of reference proposed to guide the activities of the Committee were presented to Council for consideration. Council acknowledged the presentation and approved the enacting of the proposed Committee so as to enable the systematic implementation of the Bunkure (Gafan) Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZ) project by both Public and Private Institutions. b) Request for Funds to Enable the General Renovation of Ganduje Primary Health Center:The contents of this memorandum adequately substantiated the need for presenting the cited request as assessed and endorsed by the Kano State Ministry of Health. Details on the requirements to upgrade and revitalize the Ganduje Primary Health Center to a befitting modern status for proper utilization were assessed and estimated at the aggregate sum of N64,399,843.30, which was requested for release to enable the execution of the highly required project. Resolve of the present administration to transform the Health Sector in all ramifications prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N64,399,843.30 under 50% : 50% funding arrangement between the Kano State Government and the Dawakin Tofa Local Government Council to enable execution of the stated project. 6. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT Six (6) of the nine (9) memoranda submitted for deliberations by Council from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport were approved for execution as follows: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Continuation of Model Village Development at Kwankwaso Town in Madobi Local Government Council Area:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport triumphantly notified Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, Phase I ofthe cited development project was successfully completed. Phase II proposed for the construction of additional one hundred (100) units of prototype houses at the total contractual sum of N88,325,370.00 was presented to Council for consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the aggregate sum of N88,325,370.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the construction of additional one hundred (100) units of prototype housing units of size 50 x 75 plots at Kwankwaso Town. 50%:50% funding arrangement between the Kano State Government and the Madobi Local Government Council to be adopted for the project. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of Gate II at the Northwest University, Kano Permanent Site:Council was alerted of the need for the execution of the cited project estimated at the sum of N11,431,579.95, which was requested for release by Council to enable its execution. Details were forwarded on the scope of works required, which Council considered and approved as requested. c) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of New Parking Lots and Landscaping at Kofar Mata Central Eid Ground:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport informed Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, the approved and on - going Garden Interlock Tiling Project at the Kofar Mata Central Eid Ground is in steady progress. Professional execution of the project yielded the suitability of utilizing the ground for dual purpose (i.e. periodic Eid Prayers and Parking Lots). This will certainly decongest and sanitize the vehicular traffic situation in the area. Details on the scope of works required were assessed and estimated at the cost of N29,577,318.75, which was requested for release by Council to enable execution of the project. Congruence of the project/request with the Urban Beautification Policy of the present administration prompted Council to approve the release of the trimmed down sum of N24,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the project on contractual basis. d) Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of Public Conveniences, Perimeter Wall Fence and Shade at the Leather and Tanning Artisans' Center on Airport Road, Kano:The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources was presented to Council as the supervising Ministry for the cited Government owned facility for which the cited project was identified, assessed and estimated at the cost of N20,478,223.12. This was requested for release by Council to enable execution of the project. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N20,478,223.12 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the project but directed for the take - over of the supervision for the facility by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism by processing the documentation properly. e) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Underground Water Sprinkler at the Landscaped Area of the Northwest University, Kano Permanent Site:Provision of serene and tranquil environment conducive to teaching and learning at the permanent site of the Northwest University, Kano was considered paramount by the Kano State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, which submitted the cited request for consideration by Council. The scope of works required were assessed and estimated to the tune of N26,812,800.00, which was requested for release by Council to enable execution of the project on contractual arrangements. The project was considered relevant as Council approved as requested. f) Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of Concrete Drainage/Covered Slab on Drainage from Gidan Malam Aminu Kano - Triumph Publishing Company:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport amply substantiated to Council, through the contents of this memorandum, reasons for identifying the cited project for execution. Details on the scope of works required were assessed and estimated at the cost of N86,613,960.00 if executed on direct labour basis. Council noted, considered and approved for the release of the requested sum of N86,613,960.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable execution of the stated project on direct labour basis by Kano Road Maintenance Agency (KARMA). UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 150TH EXCO SITTING 1. AWARD PRESENTATION TO GOVERNOR ENGR. RABI'U MUSA KWANKWASO, FNSE FROM DENTAL THERAPY ASSOCIATION [ABUJA] The Dental Therapy Association of Nigeria, Abuja presented an Award of recognition to GovernorEngr. Rabi'uMusaKwankwaso, FNSE for his numerous contributions to the positive achievements recorded on Dental Health Care Delivery Services. 2. SIGNING OF KANO STATE ANTI - CATTLE THEFT LAW In an effort to control and protect movement of cattle across the Kano State, GovernorEngr. Rabi'uMusaKwankwaso, FNSE signed the cited Law into effect, with a view to regulating and checkmating incessant cattle theft. 3. GRADUATION CEREMONY OF 150 REHABILITATED YOUTHS FROM KANO REFORMA TORY INSTITUTE KIRU The sole aim of rehabilitating unfortunately drug addicted youths instigated the initiative, which crystallized into the establishment of the Kiru Reformatory Institute to implement the following: i. Identify/select drug addicted youths for rehabilitation. ii. Apply orthodox techniques in the conduct of the exercise generally. Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE triumphantly chaired the third (3rd) Graduation Ceremony of the one hundred and fifty (150) rehabilitated drug addicted youths by the Kiru Reformatory Institute. The inmates are to report to I.T.F. for re-training to enable them acquire employable skills for self-reliance. Since its inception the institute has rehabilitated 197 drug addicted youths. 4. THREE-DAY WORKSHOP CONDUCTED BY THE OFFICE OF THE KANO STATE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE Council acknowledged the successful conduct of the three (3) - Day Capacity Building Workshop for three hundred (300) Junior Staff (Hospital Attendants, Cooks and Matrons in Boarding Schools) by the Office of the Kano State Head of Civil Service. The Workshop was well attended and participants were grateful to Government for building their capacities as well as carrying them all along. 5. LAUNCHING OF THE MATERNAL NEW BORN CHILD HEALTH WEEK AND STATE CHAP TER OF WORLD MALARIA DAY Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE launched the two (2) cited important Health Programmes. The programmes are aimed at providing positive healthcare interventions to mothers and children less than 5 years of age. The programmes provide anti natal care services to pregnant women, vaccines to children, nutrition supplement to malnourished children, worm expellers to de-worm the children, etc.

Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports andCulture www.kn.gov.ng/new


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2015: Jonathan deserves defeat, not repeat •A rejoinder to internal conspiracy against President Goodluck Jonathan by Femi Aribisala

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EMI Aribisala’s piece, referenced in the title of this rejoinder, is very interesting, but missing several pieces. The writer failed to identify what the conspiracy truly is, and who the conspirators are. Well, we know who the conspirators are, we know what the conspiracy is. The conspiracy is by Jonathan against Nigeria. The conspirators are Jonathan himself, of the “America Knows” fame, Dame, with whom we exercise Patience, of the “Dia ris God oo” fame, and a bunch of others who surround and claim to assist them. Or else, how can any other conspiracy work against the Commander-in-Chief who controls DMI, SSS, NIA, NSA and NPF? Not to mention NA, NN and NAF? As a matter of fact, there is no law enforcement agency in Nigeria that is not controlled by conspirator/victim Goodluck Jonathan. Was it a conspiracy against Jonathan that prevented him from showing sensitivity and compassion when children were abducted? Was it conspiracy when right after a deadly bombing in Abuja, he elected to dance and campaign in Kano? Was it a conspiracy when the dictionary decided against him, to define stealing and corruption as dishonest acquisition, when he feebly tried to differentiate? Oxford and Webster must be “northern elements”, or powerful Nigerians who want to end his government! What about the several U.S. officials who have given damning reports, or accounts of him, his government, or Nigeria? Are they conspirators? International media organizations and celebrities who have made scathing criticisms and calls to action? They are all conspirators, saboteurs or northern elements? Or better still, opposition APC members or apologists, janjaweed politicians and ideologists, or even Boko Haram or their supporters. There is a Yoruba proverb that says, “it is those who love you who criticize and hold you accountable most”. Maybe that is the proverb the writer and Jonathanians need to familiarize themselves with most. When everybody starts to say the same thing about you, it may very well be the time for you to truly look at yourself, instead of continuing to accuse everyone of being against you. It is the folly and lack of experience that has characterized the Jonathan administration that leads his supporters to misuse adages. The Yoruba adage about a confessing witch and a dying child reveals this unfortunate simple mindedness in governance. Experienced and serious leaders have learned to protect the child immediately the witch cries, understanding that something sinister could occur. The cry of the witch has become the advance warning proactive leaders need. Their response is usually another African adage that since hunters have learned to shoot without missing, the bird has learned to fly without perching. Regardless, this simple mindedness offers a glimpse into the cockpit of Flight Nigeria, and it turns out the flight is truly on auto-pilot! I suppose it is that witch and child guiding principle that prevented the Jonathan-led federal government from protecting Chibok despite a four-hour advance warning. Once the witch cried, the child could have been protected, and any conspiracy could have failed. But no, Jonathan’s self-inflicted prophesy of failure must become self-fulfilling.

By Lai Mohammed

There is an interesting ideology that Jonathan and his supporters have developed, and are propagating, although it is as baseless as it is senseless. It is the theory that certain elements can make the country ungovernable. They repeatedly mouth this failure of theirs and attribute it to saboteurs. Such disclosure is ill advised because, in reality, it is an admission of failure and lack of what it takes to govern. It suggests that the only way to govern successfully is the absence of opposition, dissent or criticism. Sadly, Jonathanians truly subscribe to this in a democracy. Its unfathomable how this level of simple mindedness could ever become the hallmark of Nigerian leadership, considering the quality of people who address themselves by that nationality. How do people disagreeing with the PDP or Jonathan and actively expressing their ideological differences make the country ungovernable? How does espousing a different political ideology, advocating it and encouraging people to adopt that in resistance to the failed approach of a sinking government translate to an ungovernable country? How is that any different from the experiences of democratic leadership anywhere in the world? How is that different from the budget gridlock that occurs in the U.S. Congress? What about the government shut down, or challenges to ObamaCare? Didn’t, and don’t the Republicans threaten to shut down the government and make it impossible for the President to carry out his duties in furtherance and support of their divergent political ideologies? Our #AmericaWillKnow# President must admit that America is right when it says that the number one Constitutional obligation of the President is to protect citizens and secure the homeland. For Jonathan and his government to continue to blame insurgency on conspirators whom he has failed to apprehend and bring to justice again demonstrates that his descriptions as inept and incompetent are self-inflicted and accurate. His admitted failure to arrest both the menace, and the “elements” or “conspirators” supporting it, are reasons for his impeachment, not to talk of seeking re-election. The State of Emergency declared in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States effectively put the President and Commander-In-Chief as the Chief Executive in those states, yet this President is assiduously looking for someone to blame in the only thing that he and his administration have done best - engage in blame-game. hat is most interesting about this government is the ironic inconsistency that arises in its attitude to taking responsibility. A government that won’t accept responsibility for protecting its people, and would rather blame problems on those opposed to it, a government that instead of accepting the truth and reality about the scourge of corruption in the land would rather define and distinguish the difference between corruption and stealing, and a government that now claims credit for Nigeria’s emergence as the largest economy in Africa. It is mind boggling that what should constitute a sober reflection for the government is what it touts as personal achievement. The world watches this macabre dance, yet the simple-minded people in government do not understand that they are more the subject of ridicule than praise. The reality is that Ni-

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geria emerged the largest economy in Africa IN SPITE OF this government. That is why it is most amazing. It is a testament and recognition if the ingenuity, innovation and resilience of the Nigerian people, not a product of their leadership. This government blames Nigerians for its failures and takes credit for the successes of the same Nigerians it blames. Could it be the unbelievable levels of corruption and rising insecurity in Nigeria that promoted economic growth and expansion? Could it be the failing infrastructure and, especially, the epileptic power supply? Could it be the failing educational standards, incessant strikes by teachers and poor graduating and exam taking statistics that elevated the economy? The factors in part responsible for the rebasing of the economy include telecommunications, higher oil prices and growth of the entertainment industry. Which among these can be attributed to any initiative or effort of Jonathan or his administration? An expanded economy with no jobs, lacking in the required skills in sufficient numbers? What kind of economy is that? What kind of success story is an economy that does not provide jobs? The only responsibility or role that the government could take in the growth process is what is failing - job creation - yet the government wishes to take credit for the expansion or emergence. No, the economy is what it is despite this government. The question must be, how much better, bigger and more efficient our economy can be if we had a serious government, and we were not on auto-pilot. So the World Economic Forum came to Nigeria? The government takes credit for that? The same international community that agreed to come and encourage Nigeria refers to the same Nigerian government as callous, inept, corrupt, lacking credibility, slow, feeble (The New York Times, Economist and Financial Times). What Jonathan and this administration did again is to rob Nigeria and Nigerians, as it has always done. Hosting the WEF is an achievement for the Nigerian business community and the relentless struggle of Nigerians, Losing the power of the statement it could have been is a failure of Jonathan and his administration by failing to protect our girls and our nation, and doing what was required to rescue them. For all the work Nigerians have done, their moment to step out onto the world stage was marred by the callousness, insensitivity, incompetence, lack of compassion and heartlessness of the President, his wife and his government. But a world that recognized what was more important made it about our missing children, when our president, his wife and government didn’t care. The greatest evidence of a misguided government, with a flawed sense of contribution and misplaced priorities, is the President’s logic for Nigeria’s wealth. Something that Femi Aribisala and the President’s other followers and handlers continue to parrot. The President attributes Dangote’s elevation on the Forbes list of billionaires to his government. So the Jonathan administration made a billionaire richer? Isn’t that something? Not only did Dangote make the first Nigerian so high up on the list, Nigeria also become the first country to attribute an individual personal wealth and rank on the Forbes list to its government. Several other countries have citizens on that list, none of

those countries make the ranking a subject of national credit. Jonathan is not bragging about moving any number of Nigerians from poverty, like other nations have done, including his Chinese guest to the WEF. Maybe China is not even as rich as Nigerians, considering that for our mere 170 million people, we have one billionaire on the top 25 list. How many does China have, for its over 1.3 billion people, or India for its 1.2 billion? Surely Nigeria is richer. The World Bank says Nigeria is poor because of the number of people who live on $1.25 per day, President Jonathan disputes this and claims Nigeria is rich because Dangote is 23rd richest billionaire in the world, and there is a vast number of private jets in Nigeria. Little wonder the issue of Nigerian private jets dominated Kenyan gossip for over one week after Nigerian businessmen visited in their jets. This is the height of simple mindedness, and the beacon that supporters such as Aribisala and others are following. We have come to understand the comedy of the blind leading the blind. What has reached a new height with and under Jonathan is the tragedy of the blind leading the “seeing”. ribisala’s tragic thinking and poor excuse for sen sibility is so self effacing when he also falls into the trap of attributing individual personal successes to the government, not the individuals. Or how does he attribute Akinwunmi Adesina’s recognition as African of the Year to Jonathan? How does any educated person make this statement or analogy? I suppose then that Wole Soyinka being a Nobel Laureate was an achievement for Babangida in 1986 when Soyinka won the prize, or perhaps an indication of Nigeria’s educational policy and advancement in literacy and literary work. Nonsense! Adesina’s achievement culminates a career and lifetime of achievement for him, not for his boss, or even the entire country. It is right and apt for us, as Nigerians, to take and share in the pride of the personal achievements of our citizens such as Dangote, Adesina and an incredible number of others, but its folly and simple mindedness to attribute that to government. The corollary of it is to attribute the successful prosecution and conviction of Ibori in London to Jonathan, the Nigerian government, and perhaps the Nigerian people, in which case Mr. Jonathan must admit his own personal avarice and pathology for stealing, (and or) corruption (whichever definition Mr. President prefers) and lying. Jonathan’s great achievement is that “poor” farmers now have cell phones! Did someone hear that? The writer, like his paymasters, furthers the exact problem why farming is not an important profession in Nigeria, including stigmatizing the practice as for the poor, instead of promoting it as a profession. This failed approach is at the bedrock of the failed policies where farmers must feel lucky and blessed to have cell phones, or access to government handouts, otherwise known as fertilizers. It is not something their farming business can afford, neither is it an entitlement, but a handout. Do we wonder why this administration can’t get it right, and why they can’t be the answer Nigeria needs? Another foolish simple minded thought is that the governments of Britain, U.S., France, China, Israel and others are lined up be-

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•Mohammed

hind Jonathan and offering assistance in rescuing the missing school girls. In reality, these governments are lined up against Jonathan in assisting to find the girls. The pledges of assistance have come in a cocktail of direct and, sometimes, indirect language that reveal their frustrations, amazement and sadness that we have a government that is either non existent, or that has failed in its responsibility. In one case, a U.S. senator even suggested that it was a “joke” to expect anything of, or to work with Jonathan, when he said the U.S. President should have initiated rescue efforts immediately without relying on Jonathan to do anything, or trying to seek the consent of “some guy called Goodluck Jonathan”. Aribisala is right, that the 2015 elections is not about Jonathan, but about Nigeria. Indeed, it’s the most major fork in the road our country has experienced in recent history. It is a choice between whether we progress by rejecting Jonathan and the PDP, or regress by accepting Jonathan and PDP. A choice between continuing to be prey to this predator and voting in a serious government that truly believes it owes its allegiance and accountability to the people. Aribisala’s closing is the most nonsensical and illogical postulation ever! He suggests that Jonathan has no choice but to run for election again. Aribisala means that when you have failed in governance, and local and international observers are unanimous in evaluating the government as inept, incompetent, corrupt and directionless, the only choice you have is to seek a second term. Amazing and interesting! Aribisala and the Jonathan choristers appear to mistake governance for an elective course in the University. That is the only place you fail an elective course and then, logically or even mandatorily, repeat. In governance, successful performance and surpassing expectations are the only reasons for repeat. Failure, on the contrary, is the reason to honorably decline re-election or to be dishonorably defeated in elections. Unlike in the University, in governance failure is a reason for defeat, not repeat. There is only so far Goodluck and Patience can go. At some point we run out of Patience and demand more than Goodluck. This is that time. It’s time for Jonathan’s defeat, not repeat! •Mohammed is the Interim National Publicity Secretary for the All Progressives Congress (APC)


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•Ekiti State Deputy Governor Prof Modupe Adelabu (second left) congratulating Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Rev. Felix Femi Ajakaye at a special thanksgiving service to mark the Bishop’s 52nd birthday anniversary at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral Church, Agere, Ado-Ekiti…yesterday. With them are Police Commissioner Felix Uyanna (left) and Governor’s wife, Bisi Fayemi

•From left: Commandant National Defence College, Rear Adm. Patrick Agholor; Chief of Defence Intelligence, Rear Adm. Gabriel Okio; Director, Project Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation, Rear Adm. James Akinwale and representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Adm. Ameen Ikioda, at the Navy Week Interdenominational Church Service in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

•Women waiting to buy kerosene at a filling station in Dutse, Jigawa State …yesterday PHOTO: NAN

•Commandant, Signal Barracks, Mile 2, Col. Onalaja addressing members of the Lagos State House of Assembly - Sultan Adeniji-Adele, representing Amuwo Odofin Local Government (right); President, Festival Town Residents Association (FTRA), Comrade Jola Ogunlusi; Chief Whip, Lagos House of Assembly, Balogun Razaq and Deputy Majority Leader Rotimi Abiru, who were on a fact-finding mission to Amuwo Odofin Local Government. With them is the Chairman of the council Comrade Ayodele Adewale

•Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Modupe Florence Oguntuase (second left) speaking at the Ministerial Press briefing on the third anniversary of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s second term administration at the Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja...yesterday. With her are Permanent Secretary Mrs Folashade Jaji (left); Permanent Secretary, Information and Strategy Mrs. Oluranti Odutola (second right) and Director, Press and Public PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES Relations Mrs. Ronke Osho.

•Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Ganiu Olanrewaju Solomon (left) with the Aladegunsebi of Odorogunshin, Oba Olawale Olagoke Ogunsanya when the senator visited the monarch in Epe, Lagos State...at the weekend

•Marketing Manager, Grand Cereal Limited, Mr Tope Banjo (left) presenting a gift to Best Air Women Jogger, Miss Mary Joseph at the Air Force Annual Jogging in Jos…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN


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Shale oil: US import ban’ll not affect Nigeria’s economy

HE plan by the United States (US) to scale back regulations to ban import of crude oil to the country and further promote shale oil production would not have much impact on Nigeria’s economy, stakeholders have said. Following the discovery of shale oil in the US and other parts of the world, Nigeria’s crude oil export to North America has dropped by 91.31 per cent in one year, according to data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) December 2013 Petroleum Information. But stakeholders, including the Chief Executive Officer, Acorn Petroleum, Doyin Adeyinka, and Marketing Director, Olive Crest, Dr Alex Orewa, said the decision by the US to review its crude im-

By Akinola Ajibade

port to encourage domestic production of shale oil would not affect Nigeria. Adeyinka said the decision by US to ban import of crude oil to encourage domestic production of shale oil, will not affect Nigeria’s economy and earnings from crude oil. He said Nigeria’s crude oil growth depends on the government’s ability to establish itself in the Asian market, especially China. He said: “The fact that US was one of the major buyers of Nigeria’s crude oil has no bearing with the dynamics of the market. China and India appear to have filled the vacuum created by US in the global oil market. We have been selling our oil to the two

countries as well. What we need to do is to consolidate our presence in the two markets. Based on this, there would not be short-term effects as a result of the development. ‘’There may be long-term effects, if Nigeria is unable to put the right mechanisms in place to speed up production and trading of crude oil in the market.’’ Also, Otewa said the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has caused problems in the industry. Otewa said improvement in domestic production of oil and gas is key to economic growth. He said market’s growth depended on the forces of demand and supply, arguing that Nigeria would get buyers once the product is good and meet the requirements of buyers.

Masters Energy opens mega station in Warri To ensure adequate fuel supply to Nigerians, Masters Energy Oil & Gas Limited, has inaugurated a mega filling station in Warri, Delta State. The ultra-modern mega station, according to the company’s spokesman, Emmanuel Iheanacho, is situated on Sapele Road and was opened to boost petroleum products availability to the residents of the ancient town of Warri. Cutting the tape to declare the station open, the Operations Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Jerry Odegbunam, who represented the DPR Director, George Osahon, commended Masters Energy for establishing such a station in Warri, urging the company to ensure compliance with all DPR’s laws in the conduct of its business. “There is no doubt that you have built a mega station that is a beauty to behold; but I want to charge you to ensure that you operate by the rules since DPR frowns at any sharp practice and will not hesitate to met out appropriate punishment for any infringement of its laws.” Odegbunam said, adding that the same punishment applies to any erring marketer. The Head, Retail Business, Masters Energy, Mr. Benjamin Solarin, informed the residents of Warri that the new mega station is an extension of Masters Energy’s desire to make petroleum products available to Nigerians at affordable price. He said: “Masters Energy is a leading player in the downstream sector and has built goodwill and integrity over the years. The company has a pedigree of performance, and provision of quality petroleum products at government’s regulated pump price.” He assured residents of Warri

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

town that they will have value for their money because “the integrity of our pumps is not in doubt and we will deliver excellent customer service that are yet to be witnessed in Warri.” He reminded motorists and residents of the area that Masters Energy has maintained its social pact with communities in which it conducts business. He admonished them to see the station as their own and patronise it at all times. The Head of Retail Operations, Masters Energy, Mr. Fidelis Okafor, also said: “Everything has been put in place to ensure that the new mega station is not starved of products. The new station is very important to us for many reasons. We cannot just open a station of this size and starve it of products. Mechanisms had been put in place to ensure that the station has product at every point in time.” The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Masters Energy, Mr. Vincent Ajala, said the station was located in Warri is in recognition of the town’s importance and great economic potential that are yet untapped. “ The station is an extension of our desire to ensure availability and affordability of petroleum products to Nigerians wherever they reside. We feel obliged to offer services to our people in a very peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. The ambience of the new station is inviting and that is a positive statement for us. “Our station managers know the consequences of selling above government’s official pump price. We take great exception to such practices as it is against our policy and much more criminal,” Ajala said.

‘Environmental tribunal’ll help tackle oil spillage’

•From right: Offor; Managing Director, Addax Petroleum, Mr. Cornelius Zegelaar; and Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, during a working visit to Kaztec Engineering fabrication yard on Snake Island, Lagos.

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Kaztec plans phase two

AZTEC Engineering, a subsidiary of Chrome Group, has completed phase one of its integrated oil and gas project on Snake Island in Lagos and plans to begin phase two next month. The project will have fabrication yard, oil and gas training, pipe mill, pipe coating, and a dry-dock base, as well as a power plant, and will create a lot of jobs and expertise for Nigerians, it was learnt. Chrome Group’s Head Communications and Business Development, Dr Edwin Ndukwe and Consultant to Chrome Group, Dr Njideka Kelley, spoke to The Nation at Kaztec Engineering pavilion at the just held Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, United States. He said: “We are a 100 per cent indigenous engineering, procurement, construction, installation, commission and Management (EPCICM) Company, servicing all onshore, offshore oil and gas services in the country and cross subSahara Africa “We have three contracts ongoing. The snake Island project is being done with Addax Petroleum, We are doing another with Shell. We have extensive experience in the oil gas industry and with the Nigeria Content Law, which is

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

critical to the development of indigenous capacity and capability; we are positioned to create value for Nigerians and the economy. “We have a lot of young people from Nigeria working in the field. Currently, we have 75 engineers, 500 skilled labour on Snake Island project in Lagos and we are looking at 20,000 jobs by 2016. The project is massive, located on 524 hectares of land and we have developed 68 hectares currently, laid foundation for training institute, fabrication yard, pipe mill, pipe coating, a drydock base. We are working toward equipping Nigerians, bringing people back into the workforce, developing and keeping the economy moving forward. We have just completed phase one of the entire process and about to begin phase two. Phase two will involve setting up the facility for pipe mill and pipe coating. “We are developing skill sets within the Nigerian content which is tied to the programme of the Federal Government’s local content. We are equipping welders, riggers, scaffolders, painters and people who work in electrical and electronics segments. We bring

this team of people especially those that don’t have the skill sets, equip and employ them, a development that is critical in the dynamics of Nigerian economy today.” Dr Kelley, said: “Kaztec and the Chrome Group under the leadership of our Chairman, Sir Emeka Offor, have exhibited ingenuity in the oil and gas industry. As a 100 per cent indigenous company with the local content, what we are doing is to ensure that we meet 100 per cent of what that law entails and Kaztec has been able to do that with what we are showcasing at the Snake Island and all the branches within the Group. “With ingenuity, creativity and innovation that is going on within the Group, we will continue to enhance that capability and ensure that Nigerians are first clicks in the job market. With what we have, we have been able to harness and bring in more Nigerians from the Diaspora coming home to tap into what is going in Nigeria.” She said the Local Content Act stipulates a time line for expatriates to transfer technology and expertise to Nigerians and we are meeting that. By the regulation of the Act, the expatriates working with us will hand over to Nigerians within stipulated period.

A NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) has backed calls for the establishment of an ‘Independent National Environmental Tribunal’ in the country, saying it would help to tackle oil spillage. The body said the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) is advocating the establishment of a tribunal to check oil spillage in view of the socio-economic pains the International Oil Companies (IOCs) have inflicted on oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region. An official of the company, Mr. Steven Obodoekwe, said the rampant gas flaring and frequent oil spills have negative effects on communities in the region. He said

By Akinola Ajibade

the affected communities have lost substantially because there was no tribunal to fight their case. Obodoekwe said the PortHarcourt based firm has tried to get compensation to Bodo and other communities affected by oil spillage in Ogoni land, but to no avail. He said the tribunal will make exploration companies accountable for their actions and further bring justice to the affected people. He said tribunal would help in solving cases before it, noting that courts have failed to handle issues relating to oil spillage well. The development, he said, made affected communities to explore the option of looking for foreign courts to get justice.

Conoil’s five-litre pack engine oil for launch CONOIL is set to launch five-litre packs of its lubricant brands of Quatro and Golden Super Motor Oil (GSMO) as part of its strategy to delivering convenience and enriching its lubricant range. The packs would be pocketfriendly to motorists and are tailored to suit the engine oil needs of vehicles with bigger engine capacity thereby reducing, substantially, the cost borne by motorists anytime they service their cars, the company said. Conoil’s lubricants come in one litre and four-litre packs, but with this new initiative, car owners can buy just one pack of lubricant instead of two to service their cars and this would invariably save them money. The company said in a statement that it decided to introduce the five-litre packs to live up to

its bill of being a convenience retailer, making life more comfortable for its customers and keeping them satisfied. “With the current automobiles that come with bigger engines, this will definitely reduce the cost of maintenance on motorists,” it added. In Conoil, lubricants hold a unique position. The company’s award-winning lubricant brands, Quatro and GSMO, are formulated to meet world set standards for automobile and industrial machines’ engines. The Quatro brand, which has won awards for its world-class quality, contains special additives that ensure minimal fuel consumption, retain oil thickness and protect car engine from rust. Its detergent and dispersant properties clean car engines, keep it sludge-free thereby enabling it to run at its best.


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Boko Haram kills 24 Continued from page 4

•PRA YING FOR THE COUNTR Y: Sambo (second right), Tambuwal (second left), Sultan (right), Shehu of Borno El-Kanemi (middle) •PRAYING COUNTRY and Mohammed during national prayer for peace and security at the National Mosque in Abuja…yesterday.

Sultan to govt: address injustice against Muslims Continued from page 4

“We are not happy with the situation in terms of development in this country. We are ready any time to offer concrete advice, purely based on Islamic injunctions and tenets to our leaders. When we do so, we have discharged our responsibility as ordered by Allah. The rest is left for the political leaders to do what is right. “We are gathered here to reflect on the mood of Muslims of this nation, and we are assuring Mr President that we are committed to peace and stability, ready to help him and government at all levels to bring peace. “Whatever we can do as long as it is not against Islam, we are ready to do it 100 percent. With more commitment, if all Muslims, especially our leaders that control the resources of this country, a turnaround in order to have a stable, peaceful and happy country that we can all be proud of. “We have to make it clear to all that the situation in the country is very serious. We are fighting an enemy with no boundaries. Terrorists are everywhere. They are amongst us but we don’t know them. “We are in a situation that is worse than the civil war Nigeria went through. In the civil war, you had perceived opponents whom you were fighting against, but in this case, you don’t know who the enemy is. The person sitting next to you might be a terrorist, you don’t know. “It’s a serious situation and we have to close ranks as Muslims, and close ranks as Nigerians, irrespective of political and ethnic divides and not to play politics with insecurity at all levels. “We are ready to give our support, 100 percent to security agencies who must work extra hard to bring confidence back to Nigerians they are paid to protect. With what is happen now, we still have a long way to go.” Defending Muslims against terrorist activities, the Sultan, however, enjoined Muslims to reflect on their ‘eveil ways’ and corruption if the country must move forward. He also urged them to be ad-

here to the tenets and teachings of Islam, saying: “While we are here to supplicate to Allah to listen to us, I must bring to your attention the need for Muslims to correct our evil ways in the world. “We can not claim to be religious and be Muslims without following the tenets of Islam, without following what the Qur’an says we should do as Muslims, without trying copying to the barest minimum, to the best of our abilities the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Mohammed. “Therefore, we can not claim to be pious in our ways when corruption is bedeviling our country; we can not claim to be praying and hoping that Allah will answer our prayers when we are so corrupt and so morally bankrupt. “For us to be near Allah, we must, in its entirety abolish corruption in our country. Corruption breeds injustice, injustice has no place in Islam. Injustice is a big barrier to good governance and if you don’t have good governance in any society, you don’t have the people.” The Islamic leader regretted that pervasive corruption and injustice were responsible for the crisis of moral decadence in the country, which he advised must be tackled with firmness, fear of God and the support of the populace. He said: “We call on our leaders at all levels to always fear God in what they do and work hard to eradicate corruption from our country. We can not move forward as a nation when our country is facing crisis of moral decadence. “I have said it at various fora, that what is happening is a very serious state of terrorism. Terrorism has no place in Islam. We Muslims have debunked what has been happening, we have refused to be associated with terrorism and we have condemned all acts of terrorism with one voice. “We must try our best as Muslims to ensure that there is peace in communities, to do that, we must fish out those bad elements amongst us. If we know them, we must expose them; if we don’t, their are ways our authorities

would work with us to bring out these culprits”. The Muslim leader said the gathering was not politically motivated, but necessitated by the need to offer prayers to Allah over the crisis the country is going through. He said: “This gathering is about Muslims in Nigeria who believe in the powers of prayers to Allah in terms of emergency, in terms of being good to one another, even in terms of happiness, as Muslims, we always offer supplications to Allah. “This gathering in Abuja is, therefore, unique being the first time as ulama (Islamic scholars) from across the country. “It is important for us to make this point for us to debunk certain rumors that may come up that it is a political jamboree. “This gathering has nothing to do with politics; the politics we have is not about election but uplifting the living standard of Muslims, ensuring that Muslims are and adequately protected and given their rights as citizens of this great country. “The politics we have is that of peace and stability of this great country, that of ensuring equity, Justice and fairness across all boundaries of this country with. “This (yesterday) morning is, therefore, special in the the sense that we have amongst us political and traditional leaders from across the country, political leaders, traditional leaders and religious leaders from across the length and breadth of this country. “Coming together as one big family, as Muslims in Nigeria, is an indication of the need to close ranks and remove all divisions and here we are, in the house of Allah as one family not as Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo or adherent of Dhariqah, Izallah or others sects but as one big family of Muslims in Nigeria”. The Sultan also urged Muslims to be patient with government assuring the government of support of Muslims towards peace and stability. Vice President Namadi Sambo, praising the NSCIA and the Sultan for their efforts at ending the insecurity in the land, the Federal Government was

working hard to rescue the abducted Chibok schoolgirls. In his remarks, Speaker House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal reiterated the determination of the legislature to support the executive in fighting terrorism. According to him, legislative decision to back the executive in extending state of emergency in three Northeastern states, as well as uncensored budgetary appropriation for security were indicative of the legislature’s determination to assist the government. He said: “As the Legislatures of this country, we have been working within our constitutional powers to support the Executive Arm of government in the fight against terrorism, we are expected first to appropriate funds to our security agencies; that much we have been doing. “I believe many of us here and many Nigerians out there can bear me witness that we have never attempted to reduce what is proposed by the executive. “We have passed the amended Anti-Terrorism Law to enable our security agencies function effectively. In the recent past, we have passed the extension of the State of Emergency in states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. “I think we need to understand why we have to stand side-by-side with the executive arm of government in this fight. “When many countries of the world deploy their men to come and support us, here we must not be seen to be divided as this will send a wrong signal to the International community. “I seek on behalf of the National Assembly the understanding of those of us who have reservations for the extension. “I assure you that we are working for the good of the country and particularly when it is time for Ramadan Fast, we shall impress on the executive that the period of restriction should be relaxed so that Muslim faithful would observe their prayers successfully.” Clerics and scholars took turns to pray for the country in their mother tongues.

on information about their mission in Jos” The Archbishop of Jos, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Dr. Benjamin Kwashi, yesterday challenged security agencies in Jos to comb and fish out the remaining bombs planted by members of the Boko Haram sect in the city. He said a member of the sect, arrested at the wake of last week’s twin bombs that rocked

the city confessed that they (Boko Haram) had planted 10 bombs at different locations in the city. The Archbishop who spoke in Minna while delivering a sermon titled “The good Shepherd” at the dedication of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and the presentation of four Archbishops of the church, said: “There were twin bomb ex-

plosions a few days ago in Jos in which many people were killed. Just yesterday when I was about to come to Minna, another bomb exploded in Jos. We are aware that one of the Boko Haram men arrested by the security has confessed that they planted 10 bombs in the city. We are also aware that one of the bombs has been seen and detonated by the police. “But where are the remain-

Boko Haram. It is a covert operation to balkanise Nigeria and steal its resources in the name of search for Boko Haram insurgents. If you can fool others, we cannot be fooled. “They have realised that there is gold in Zamfara and Zaria, Birnin-Gwari, gold and platinum in Sokoto and Borno. They did it in Iraq, as they went in search of weapons of mass destruction which they never found but plunged the country into chaos. “The same thing was experimented in Afghanistan before our eyes. The Western countries are experimenting the second phase of scramble for Africa with great expectations from Nigeria. “The U.S. and Israel see the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as the greatest threat to achieving their sinister objective, hence the constant clampdown attempt and arrest of our members.” While alleging victimisation of its members by the Nigerian authorities, he asked for the immediate release of two of its members Haruna Abbas and Ibrahim Hussain, arrested over a year ago and “unjustifiably” detained without trial. “No law or constitutional provision allows for such a lengthy detention without trial and without visitation by families and friends, especially in a democratic government Nigeria is claiming to operate,” Zakzaky said. Meanwhile, an inter-religious group, Think-Nigeria Christian/Muslim Initiative, wants Nigerians to work hard to expose activities of terrorist groups in the country and ensure religious harmony in the

country. While praising multi-billionaire businessman Alhaji Umaru Abdulmutallab, who reported his son Farouk to the authorities when he became radicalised, the group, in a communiqué at the end of a two-day summit in Kaduna, wants parents to pay more attention to their children and wards to protect them from activities of religious extremists. The Communique, signed by Abdul Ishiaq, said: “Nigeria is currently in trying moments and all efforts must be made by the two religions in support of the government to defeat the insurgency. “Muslims require an exemplary leadership to be able to accentuate the meaning and message of Islam in Nigeria. “The fact that Prophet Muhammed lived and interacted with non-Muslims peacefully should be emulated by Nigeria Muslims while Christians should also imbibe the teachings of Jesus Christ in harmonious and peaceful relationship with others. “Christianity and Islam have their root from Prophet Abraham. Therefore, both Muslims and Christians in Nigeria must engage and embrace one another as brothers and sisters. “The conference saluted Alhaji Umar Mutallab for exposing his radicalised son to the authorities and called on parents across Nigeria to monitor their children and wards for prompt alert on any radical tendencies “Nigerians were called to strive in ensuring success of the 2015 general elections while the government must adhere to the principles of free and fair election.”

Insecurity won’t stop 2015 elections, says Jonathan promises, he said his administration recorded great achievements in rail, roads, airports, agriculture, petroleum, power, industry and housing. Delivering the message yesterday, Pastor Goodheart Ekwueme took the congregation through Phillipians 2: 9, Esther 4: 13, 2 Chronicles 7:14. He noted that the circumstances Nigeria finds herself are similar to the period of Mordecai recorded in Esther 4: 13. Stressing that Nigeria is at a defining moment, he said: “The dark moment we find ourselves now will surely transform to greatness. “It is when the time is darkest that God chooses to reveal His glory. I believe Nigeria will arise. A new Nigeria is about to be born. “Nigeria is simply experiencing child labour that will give way to the birth of a great nation,” he said Pastor Ekwueme urged everyone to be ready to make sacrifice in the midwifery that will result in the birth of a new great Nigeria. But he warned that three

things must be done before the rebirth - genuine repentance, fear of the Almighty God and offer of a united prayer unto the Lord as a church. Senate President David Mark took the Scriptural Reading II from the book of Luke Chapter 10, verses 25 to 37. Intercessory prayers were said for the nation, security, peace and development as well as victims and families of recent bomb blasts. Prayers were also said for successful search and rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls and for the President and his family and the three arms of the government. Among the dignitaries at the church service were the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, the President’s mother, Eunice, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha. Others are Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of State Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Olajumoke Akinjide, members of the diplomatic corps, service chiefs and heads of government agencies.

ing six? The Police must urgently search and recover the hidden bombs to save lives and property”, he pleaded. The clery lamented the insurgency has wrecked havoc on the Church in the troubled areas, citing the killing of three Deacons of the church in Taraba State and the wanton destruction of properties in the affected areas of northeast. “The Bishop in Taraba state

sent me a report that we lost three of our deacons in the state while in Adamawa state, eight members were recently killed. No good shepherd will be happy about such loss of his herds”. Kwashi admonished the Church to remain steadfast in prayers while seeking for divine intervention for the country to overcome present security challenges.

Continued from page 4

Security agents arrest six Boko Haram suspects in Jos

Continued from page 4

Studies (NIPSS), Federal Government College Jos, The Plateau State House of Assembly and other places. A security source said: “These threat cannot be treated as mere threats, since after the twin bomb blast. Others explosive have been intercepted and the suspect already helping the security agencies


THE NATION MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

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NEWS

Kano spends N56m on rehabilitation

Benue professionals back Gemade

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

THE second term bid of Senator Barnabas Gemade received a boost yesterday. A group, Benue Professionals, described Gemade as a lawmaker, who has exhibited “outstanding and quality representation”. It was gathered that Governor Gabriel Suswam, whose tenure ends in 2015, is reportedly interested in the Benue North East senatorial seat. A statement by the group’s leader, Tyokyaa Ioryem, said the senator should, by virtue of his track record and experience, be returned to the Senate to continue with his “unique” brand of service. He said: “As keen followers of politics nationwide, we have observed the activities of these political gladiators and have concluded that in the interest of the senatorial district and Benue politics, and in terms of pedigree, Senator Barnabas Gemade should be returned on May 29, next year. “This is not to discredit Governor Suswam but Gemade has, over the years, through girt and tenacity, proven himself capable of serving his people. “The younger Suswam is not without his achievements, but they pale in comparison to those of the distinguished senator.” "In his almost three years in office, the senator's benevolence has reached the 84 wards in his district. “From boreholes to classroom blocks to fully equipped computer class rooms, to transformers, Gemade has impacted positively on all the seven local governments in the district.”

Free eye surgery for 1,200 From Duku Joel, Damaturu

THE senator representing Yobe South, Alkali Jajere, has paid for eye surgeries for 1,200 patients in four local governments in his constituency. Jajere said: “The only qualification for this operation is the condition itself. “Those who qualified for this treatment and operation were not selected on party lines or tribal affiliations. “If you have cataract, glaucoma and trachoma , you are qualified for the operation or the treatment and you get it free of charge. “I decided to embark on this programme as part of my giving back to the society and the less privileged.” The leader of the doctors’ team, Dr Salmanu Rabiu, said the exercise will last for three days as the screening will be done at various centres and the operations at Potiskum General Hospital.

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•Commissioner for Rural Development Cornelius Ojelabi inaugurating the Ijede Micro Water Scheme... yesterday. With him from left are: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Rural Development, Olatunde Agoro, Special Adviser( Rural Matters) Babatunde Hunpe, Former Chairman, Community Development Advisory Council ,Moshood Dosunmu, Women Leader, Lagos State East Senatorial District Mrs. Fausat Gbadebo, and Chairman Ijede Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Adefarasin Hassan.

Don’t rush to explosion scenes, STF warns T HE Special Task Force (STF) on Jos Crisis, Operation Safe Haven, has warned that it will arrest people who rush to scene of explosions. Its spokesman, Ikedichi Iweha, gave the warning in an updated statement on the Saturday explosion in Jos yesterday. The statement said: “Those who rush to such places to loot and thereby hamper rescue operations will be arrested and treated as accomplices. “Sequel to last Saturday’s explosion, a football viewing centre on Bauchi Road was the presumed target, the Special Task Force (STF) Operation Safe Heaven deems it fit to abreast the people of Plateau State with updates of developments. “Immediately after the blast occurred at about 2104 hours, STF troops cordoned off the area and began providing assistance to the injured along with other emergency help providers. Fortunately, the viewing centre was not affect-

‘Those who rush to such places to loot and thereby hamper rescue operations will be arrested and treated as accomplices’

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

ed. “However, three persons died, two others injured and are receiving treatment in the hospital. “One vehicle and a building consisting of a block of shops were destroyed. “The STF deems it fit to educate the public on immediate actions to be taken in the event of such occurrence. “The first action is to lie down, owing to the fact that fragments mostly of metal and other chemical compo-

nents of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which are usually dispersed by the force of the blast cause the most injuries and burns. “Secondly, leave the scene as soon as possible to a safe area and prevent others from going there. This is to prevent other secondary blasts, which are set off especially when people gather to watch and take pictures of the scene usually resulting in heavy casualty. “It is equally intended to provide space for security agents and emergency help

providers to help victims and to comb the area for other unexploded devices. “Looters who take advantage of the confusion are by this notice warned to desist from such acts as anyone caught vandalising shops, cars and other properties would be treated as accomplices. “Additionally, youths who parade themselves as vigilance group members and take advantage of such incidents to block roads, harass motorists and any other form of reprisal attacks on innocent persons, road users and passers by are equally warned to desist. “The STF views such as a breach of one of its core mandates and will not allow these to persist. “The task force relies on the provision of prompt information to ensure that no group of terrorists will harm the populace. “The STF continues to count on the support and cooperation of the people of Plateau State in the fight against terror and extremist groups.”

Kwara APC to PDP: mind your business

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HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State has berated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for suggesting that government activities be shut down on May 29. The PDP has criticised the government ‘s plans to mark the third year anniversary of the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed-led administration. The APC in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Sulyman Buhari, said the third year anniversary of the administration “is a necessary condition for sustaining our democracy”. The party said the anniversary will afford Ahmed the opportunity to render account of his stewardship to the people. It added: “Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed will also inaugurate five General Hospitals in Offa, Ilorin, OmuAran, Share and Kaiama; Obo-Ayegunle Water Works, the Agunjin Electrification Project, Isanlu-IsinIjara-Isin road, Tsaragi market road in Edu Local Government, Oro-Ijomu-Oro road, among other projects. “The anniversary is not

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

synonymous to the party held in Kano by PDP leaders, few hours after 75 Nigerians were killed in the first Nyanya bombing. “We do not expect the opposition PDP, which has clearly shown dearth of understanding on administration of local governments, to either hail or give a fair assessment of the APC led government in Kwara State. “It is wrong for PDP to chronicle its failures at the

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national level - just to suggest that government activities should be shut down. “It is a grave disservice to Nigeria for the clueless PDP to seek to gain from the abduction of over 200 Chibok girls, when it took the Federal Government 22 days to inaugurate a committee to determine the whereabouts of the missing girls. “The APC has proffered 10 solutions to insecurity to the apparently inept PDP led federal government and advocated a non bi-partisan

approach, improved intelligence gathering, de-radicalisation strategy, peace building process and economic development plan to end the Boko Haram insurgency. “Three years down the line, we salute the visionary and focused leadership of the Ahmed-led administration, its achievements in security, education, employment and empowerment, infrastructural development, just to mention a few, are highly laudable.”

HE Kano State government has spent N56 million to rehabilitate the third batch of drug addicts. Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso spoke yesterday at the passing out of the 150 trainees of the State Reformatory Institute, Kiru, one of the 24 institutes established by his administration. He said: “Three months ago, they were not looking like this, they cannot carry out this parade and I‘m sure they cannot even stand for five minutes but now by the mercy of God they are reformed.” The governor added that the rehabilitated youths would be taken to Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to learn skills to help their reintegration into society. Kwankwaso said 312 youths have been reformed, adding that they are working either as corporate security guards or at the state road management agency, KAROTA. The special guest and wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Amina Sambo, said: "It is good to see that government has not relented in its war against drug abuse. It has indeed making progress as we can see today.”

Truck kills corps member From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

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FUEL laden truck at the weekend allegedly killed a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ilesha-Baruba, Baruten Local Government of Kwara State. An eyewitness said Muibi Abdulrasaq and a colleague were passengers on a commercial motorcycle, which was trying to overtake the tanker. The tanker was said to be coming from Saki in Oyo State to dispense its good at a filling station on the Nigeria-Benin Republic border route. The two corps members were coming from a market in Ilesha-Baruba. The source said as the motorcycle was trying to overtake the tanker, it collided with a wheel barrow. The motorcyclist and the other corps member fell into a nearby gutter. The truck ran over Abdulrasaq. He died on the spot. Police spokesperson Ajayi Okansanmi said the tanker driver was in custody.

‘Northern governors persecuting Christians’

HE Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) President, Rev Jeremiah Gado, has alleged that northern governors are persecuting Christians by restricting their freedom of worship. Speaking in Umuahia when he led a delegation to visit Abia State Governor Theodore Orji, Gado said Christians in the North were being denied their rights to practise their faith. The ECWA president, who

From Ugochukwu UgojiEke, Umuahia

was on pastoral visit to the ECWA district in Umuahia, lamented that the policy of stifling Christians was so entrenched and pervasive in the North that governors refuse to give them certificates of occupancy to build places of worship. He said: “Even when we want to buy land from private individuals they (governors) make them sign undertak-

ings not to sell land to build churches.” The cleric pleaded with Orji, who is also the chairman of Southeast Governors Forum (SEGF) to persuade his northern counterparts to start treating Christians well. Gado praised the governor for the infrastructural development in Abia and for standing by President Goodluck Jonathan, saying the nation must be built on strong values, not on lies and deceptions”.

Orji regretted the security challenges confronting the nation due to the insurgents, saying that “nothing disturbs a leader like when he cannot guarantee the peace and security of the people”. The governor condemned the politicisation of the insurgency in the Northeast, which was why protesters have been venting their anger at the Presidency, when they should be staging protests in the affected states to prompt the governors to action.


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THE NATION MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

NEWS Lawmaker’s dad released From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia , Benin

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HE father of the minority whip of the House of Representatives, Pa. Samson Imarhiagbe Ogbewe, who was kidnapped last Sunday, has been released. His son, Samson Osagie, said: “My father told me that his abductors said I was standing in their way of making money through land speculation and that they were out to ensure my family was traumatised. “The kidnappers confessed they were asked to stop me from getting reelected, giving a political colouration to my dad’s abduction.” The lawmaker thanked security agencies for rising to the challenge.

Niger Delta group backs regional autonomy

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HE Niger Delta delegates to the National Conference should settle for a new constitution premised on required autonomy or confederation, a group, the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS) has said The group, a coalition of civil society and ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta, spoke after a meeting in Abuja, which was presided over by Prof Pat Utomi. The UNDEDSS statement said: “The Niger Delta will begin a restoration agenda that will trigger parallel nonviolent actions to make it clear that all resources belong to it, though it is prepared to pay a tax (maybe up to 50 per cent to the centre). “A restoration agenda that

rejects all obnoxious extant laws, such as the National Inland Waterways and Land Use Acts as they are presently promulgated. “A restoration agenda that will actively resist any attempts to dislodge duly elected authority using illegal, violent or regressive modus operandi. “ A restoration agenda that will not allow the Niger Delta be part of a Nigeria that is not premised on the justice, equity, peace, and progress of regional autonomy.” The group said“it is becoming clearer, observing the National Conference play out by the day that certain forces of feudalism and stagnation are fixated with perpetually entrenching this status quo of corruption, injustice, inequity, regression

and murderousness on the Nigerian people”. “We the leaders and peoples of the Niger Delta hereby declare unequivocally that we will resist any attempt to bring about regime-change by any means outside the extant electoral laws of Nigeria, and will settle for nothing less than the creation of a new constitution for Nigeria, where confederalism/regional autonomy is enthroned,” UNDEDSS said. UNDEDSS’ Secretary Tony Uranta added: “Apparently, some northern leaders, for example, do not believe in the genuineness of purpose on the part of the chief convener of the Conference; rather they have taken the view that it is a ploy by the President “to

confiscate all revenue accruing from oil exploitations” for the Niger Delta without going through the process of constitution amendment; and, the North clearly believes that the present structure of quasi-federalism should remain. In other words, Nigeria should maintain the status quo.” Uranta, who was a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Conference, said: “But the Niger Delta knows that Mr. President has only altruistic objectives regarding the Conference, and, that Nigeria is in dire need of a holistic restructuring; just as the Niger Delta applauds a delegate, Ms. Annkio Briggs’, decision to distance herself from the Devolution Committee report that showed no

Rainstorm pulls down mast From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

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RAINSTORM in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, at the weekend, pulled down a mast belonging to a bank. The mast destroyed some parts of the African Club, which shares a fence with the bank. No one was reported killed or hurt. It, however, raised fear about the safety of masts, most of which are located in densely populated areas. Many residents are counting their losses as the rainstorm, which lasted about four hours, also pulled down houses, trees, blew off roofs and caused flooding.

Attorney-General joins race to succeed Akpabio From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt

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KWA Ibom State Attorney-General Ekpeyong Ntekim at the weekend formally declared his intention to succeed Governor Godswill next year. His declaration followed a campaign by the Oron people to produce the governor next year and heightened speculations that Ntekim was the governor’s chosen candidate. Ntekim said: “Over the past several months, I have been encouraged to give unremitting thought to seeking the mandate to be governor next year. “This has now graduated to a commanding course of action that I am to sedulously pursue. “Therefore, in the days, weeks and months ahead, I verily look forward to consulting with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the people to discuss my thoughts and plans for Akwa Ibom State, if it pleases God, to whom power belongs, to favour me.”

•Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Electricity Sector, Calabar Business Unit, Mr Emmanuel Isong leading other pensioners to protest the non-payment of their pensions...at the weekend. PHOTO: NICHOLAS KALU

Jonathan: abducted girls won’t be swapped

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has again said the Federal Government will not negotiate with the Boko Haram sect for the release of the abducted schoolgirls. The President said the pupils have to be released unconditionally. He reiterated the government’s position at the weekend in Abuja during the Asu Ekiye musical concert and fund raiser at Sheraton Hotel. Jonathan, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Youth and Students Matter, Comrade Jude Imagwe, hailed Nigerians for remaining united, despite the threatening insurgency in the land. The President noted that despite the growing insurgency in parts of the country, Nigerians were winning the fight against terrorism by their resoluteness. He urged Nigerians to

‘No nocturnal meeting’

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HERE was no nocturnal meeting between Senator Effiong Bob and the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government (SSG), Udom Emmanuel, Community Pulse said yesterday. The paper’s Managing Editor, Ifreke Nseowo, in a statement on behalf of the Editorial Board of the Uyo newspaper, expressed regret over the embarrassment caused Governor Godwill Akpabio, the senator, Emmanuel and others, saying the report was a mix-up, which should be disregarded.

•We won’t exchange Chibok girls, says Mark From Bukola Amusan, Abuja and Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

support government’s efforts at rescuing the abducted pupils. Jonathan said terrorists have declared war on the nation, adding that the people should unite to fight back for their country. He said: “We must rise up to tell them that they cannot defeat us. They must release our sisters to us unconditionally. But Nigerians must join hands with the government to encourage our security agencies to find the girls and bring them back to us. The terrorists have declared a war against the citizens of Nigeria and Nigerians must rise up as one people to fight and win back our country. “Our security men are working. Their mission is to ensure that Nigeria is a safe place. What Nigerians should do this time is to pray for them and support them.” Jonathan said Nigerians should stop the blame game. “We have gone beyond blames and counter-blames. We are confronted with the reality and must not allow our emotions, religions or ethnic differences to speak for us. We must protect Nigeria...” Also, Senate President

David Mark has said the Federal Government will not swap the abducted pupils of the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, for Boko Haram members in government custody. Mark was reacting to the major demand of the sect that its members in Federal Government be swapped with the abducted Chibok schoolgirls. The Senate President said the government would not yield to blackmail. Mark spoke at the weekend in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State during an empowerment programme sponsored by Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba. The Senate President said the government would not negotiate with those he called “criminals”. He said: “This government will not negotiate with criminals. And this government will not exchange people for criminals. A criminal will be treated like a criminal and this government, in no distant time, will bring the issue of Boko Haram and insecurity in this country to a logical conclusion. “We will spare no effort at

all in bringing the insecurity situation in the North to a logical conclusion. We will mobilise all our resources. If people declare war on us, we will also declare war on them. The government was ready for peace, but obviously, the Boko Haram people and their supporters were not ready. We are going to deal with them in a manner that people deal with terrorists and insurgents. “It is not by negotiation. If the language they will understand is the language of force, the government has got all the resources to do that.”

progressive thought. “We hereby serve notice that we will reject in its totality any developmental policy or constitutional structure that would attempt to make states/zones/regions develop at the same pace, without due regard to their human, capital and resource attribution or aspirations.”

MEND has no place in Niger Delta history, says Kuku From Dele Anofi, Abuja

HE Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, has said the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) could not have been protecting the interest of the region, if it supports terrorism. Kuku was criticised in a statement by MEND on his comments in an interview on Boko Haram’s insurgency in the Northeast and the role of some individuals in the Niger Delta militancy. The presidential aide however questioned MEND’s intention by interpreting the actual reason behind Boko Haram’s rejection of government’s offer for dialogue to suit its own purpose. He said: “MEND wants to create panic and fan the embers of disunity not only in the Niger Delta but also in the country. Has it now become the mouthpiece of Boko Haram or is it trying to please its paymasters? “Whose interest is the new MEND claiming to serve or has it abdicated its selfappointed role of defending the Niger Delta? “I have no apologies to offer MEND for my comments on Boko Haram and the patriotic role of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, since the Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction saga began. If it angers MEND, then I wonder whose interest it is fighting for. Kuku said MEND was desperate to write a negative and skewed history of the Niger Delta agitation in order to discredit some individuals, particularly President Goodluck Jonathan, Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) and Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. “Some of us who played significant roles in ending the agitation in the Niger Delta cannot be silent when some persons try to foist a skewed history of the crisis on us.”

PUBLIC NOTICE MOUNTAIN TOP WORD CENTRE This is to inform the general public that the above named church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for incorporation under PART “C” of Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990. Board of Trustees: 1. Pastor Precious George Jeremiah General Overseer 2. Mr. Ubong Edward Dan Secretary 3. Mr. Ikoabasi Thompson Ekpro Member 4. Mr. Collins Ifiok Linus Member 5. Pst/Mrs. Christiana Precious George Member 6. Bro Ofumeto Edidiong Effiong Member 7. Rev. Innocent Otuk Member 8. Mr. Ime Etim Etim Member 9. Mr. Nature Micheal Udoh Member Aims/Objectives: 1. To evangelize/preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever we find ourselves. 2. To promote welfare programmes for the less privileged, etc. 3. To engage in provision of qualitative education for the people. 4. And to do such other lawful things as may be considered to be incidental or conducive to attainment of the objectives or any of them. Any objection to the registration shall be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Plot 420, Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama-Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Pastor Precious George Jeremiah


THE NATION MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

58

NEWS

Imo declares ex-council boss, contractor wanted

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MO State government has declared the ex-sole administrator of Onuimo Local Government, Mr. Jeff Imo and the Managing Director of LUFRANZA Construction Services, Mr. Chike Egbojimba, wanted over an alleged failed road contract. But Egbojimba denied the allegation, describing the government’s action as an attempt

Ekiti in Kwara council demand merger with kinsmen

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

to tarnish his image and reputation. Government said in a statement by the Chairman of the Task Force Committee on Rural Roads and the Chief of Staff to the Government House, Sir Jude Ejiogu, that the duo were declared wanted, following their refusal to honour the invitations given them by the committee to explain why they allegedly abandoned a contract awarded to them after collect-

•’Allegation untrue’ ing mobilisation fees. The statement added that the committee has given the contractor and the former council boss 48 hours to appear before the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command or the Director of the State Security Service, urging the public to assist with information that could aid the arrest of the contractors. The committee has also directed the following contractors: A.I.L Construction Company,

Hyfield and Allied Services, Bontex Construction Company and Wons Engineering Company Limited; who were awarded contracts for the building of rural roads in Ikeduru Local Government, to report to it within 48 hours or be declared wanted. The committee chairman said the action became necessary to ensure that contractors, who had been paid, did not abandon projects, adding that

government would not tolerate abandonment of projects after collecting mobilisation fees. Egbosimba said there was no reason for the government to declare him wanted because he never abandoned any contract. He said part of the agreement for the two-kilometre road contract awarded to his firm at the cost of N120million was that he was supposed to be paid N60million per kilometre, but he was not paid, adding that

Controversy mars UNIZIK VC’s selection

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

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KITI people, who occupy two local governments in Kwara State, have demanded merger with their kith and kin in Ekiti State. The people, under the aegis of Kwara Ekiti Indigenes, a socio-cultural and non-political organisation, said in a letter dated May 19, written to the Chairman of the National Conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, a copy of which was made available to The Nation that the people in Oke Ero and Ekiti local governments in Kwara State are demanding reintegration and merging of the areas with their kith and kin in Ekiti State, with whom they are socially and culturally bounded. The people said: “We demand reclassification and reintegration with our kith and kin in Ekiti State through boundary adjustment. We want to be merged with Ekiti State.” The letter was signed by Chief J.O. Daniel, President, Kwara Ekiti Indigenes and Asiwaju of Kwara Ekiti land; Ayo Oluleye, Secretary, Kwara Ekiti Indigenes; and Chief Titus Ashaolu (SAN), Legal Adviser, Kwara Ekiti Indigenes. Other signatories are Chief D.A. Adeseko, Otun Asiwaju of Kwara Ekiti land and Prof. J.S. Omotosho, Osi Asiwaju of Kwara Ekiti land. The organisation said its demand for a merger with Ekiti State was not new, adding that it was an age-long genuine agitation, which was recommended by colonial officials through verification and referendum. It lamented that “the exigencies of the demand for independence in 1960 and the efforts of our detractors thwarted the implementation.

Vehicle owners get ultimatum THE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of abandoned vehicles parked at Morogbo division to come and remove them or lose them to members of the public through auction, two weeks after this publication. The vehicles are peugeout car 504 marked BC86LSD, Mitstbushi Gallant BM909AKD, Mazda 626 AE278FFN and Nissan Sunny HB644KJA.

Baptists meet

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HE monthly Executive Committee meeting of the Itesiwaju Baptist Association holds today at 6:30pm at Araba Baptist Church, Ilasamaja, Lagos. It will be presided over by the moderator, Rev. Gbenga Ojo of Araba Baptist Church and consultant, Rev. Femi Ajayi of Victoryland Baptist Church, Isolo, Lagos. Issues affecting the association and member-churches will be discussed.

he had completed 1.7 kilometre with asphalt, using the little money initially paid to him. The managing director said since he started the contract, he had been receiving the money in bit from the former sole administrator, whom he accused of using his company to allegedly defraud the government. Debunking the allegation that he has gone into hiding, Egbosimba said he has attended the meetings of the committee where he explained his predicament.

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

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•Rear Admiral Alade (second right); Rear Admiral Ayankpele (right), Rev Ajayi, Rear Admiral Ango and Rear Admiral PHOTO: PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU Ofik...yesterday.

How to tackle insecurity in Northeast, by Naval chief

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HE Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin has urged Nigerians not to relent in their prayers for the nation’s peace and unity . Vice Admiral Jibrin spoke at the Interdenominational service to mark the beginning of the 2014 Navy Week at the St. Andrew’s Protestant Church in Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos. It was part of the activities commemorating the force’s 58th anniversary. Vice Admiral Jibrin emphasised the role of security in accomplishing the government’s transformation agenda. Represented by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade, the Naval chief said the current security challenges facing the nation was a common problem for all Nigerians irrespective of age or ethnic group. According to the Naval chief, the insecurity particularly in the Northeast can be surmounted with hard work, dedication and determination, just as he pleaded with Nigerians to unite with the government in confronting the menace. “I strongly believe that your prayers in this church and in other places of worship have continued to strengthen and usher in more blessings for the Navy,” he said. Praising his personnel for their commitment in ensuring the nation’s maritime space were secured, Jibrin said sea crimes have reduced significantly and the impact felt on government’s revenue. “I am aware of the constraints to our operations as well as the myriads of welfare problems facing you in the Navy. In this regard, I am delighted to say unambiguously that improved

By Precious Igbonwelundu

welfare shall remain the cornerstone of my administration. “I will do all in my powers with available resources at my disposal to improve your welfare, notably in the areas of new barracks accommodation, quality training and provision of uniforms, amongst others. “While we strive to address the welfare problems, I urge you to continue collectively and individually to conduct yourselves and discharge your duties with the highest sense of integrity, teamwork and professionalism. “I sincerely appreciate your immense support and look forward to working more closely with you to achieve our shared aspirations for improved security not only in our maritime environment but in other areas in the overall national interest. The officiating priest, Rev BME Ajayi appealed to youths to stop being used as agents of destruction. He noted that insecurity in the country was on the rise as a result of the erosion of moral values, urging parents to live up to the duties. Rev Ajayi expressed the hope that the challenges will be surmounted if youths are actively engaged, just as he noted that the church aside praying, teaches youths in the community how to be self-employed, while awaiting their dream jobs. At the service were the FOC, Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Goddy Ayankpele; Chief Staff Officer (CSO) Western Naval Command (WNC) Rear Admiral E.G. Ofik; Admiral Superintendent, Naval Ordinance Depot, Rear Admiral JKA Ango and Commander, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Ovenseri Uwadiae.

China donates to Nigerian Navy

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S part of efforts to strengthen the ties between China and Nigeria, the Chinese Navy at the weekend disclosed that China has donated a boat to the Nigerian Navy (NN) to assist in its fight against sea criminals. The Commander of the Chinese TaskGroup, Senior Captain Li Pengcheng made the disclosure at the weekend in Lagos during a courtesy visit to the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade. Details of the boat, which is an addition to two others NN ordered from China could not be gotten from Pengcheng, though he stated that it would be at no cost to Nigeria. Pengcheng, who led the TaskGroup comprising three ships and over 1, 000 crew on

•Chinese Task Group arrives in Lagos By Precious Igbonwelundu

a four-day visit to Nigeria, told reporters his men and NN personnel would engage in joint counter-piracy, formation and maneuver as well as search and rescue exercises. “We believe we would learn from each other through these exercises and the outcome will be beneficial for regional peace and security,” said Pengcheng. He added that his team would readily share the experiences learnt at the Gulf of Aden (GOA) and Syria with their Nigeria counterpart, adding that Nigeria’s economic potentials in Africa and the world cannot be underestimated. In his remark, Alade, who commended the Chinese Navy for visiting Nigeria for the first time, said the gesture was evidence that the relationship be-

tween both military forces was going beyond trainings. Alade said adequate plans have been made to ensure that the vessels are properly maintained, adding that NN personnel are in China, where they are being trained to master the vessels’ technology. “The problem with Nigeria and other developing nations in maintenance is mastery of technology or technology transfer. As I speak with you, adequate plans have been made to ensure that the vessels are properly maintained. “Our personnel are in China and some have gone since the keels to the vessels were laid. They are mastering the technology and so, maintenance would not be a problem,” he said.

HE selection of a Vice Chancellor for the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State has ended in a controversy, following the summoning of the Chairman of the Governing Council, Air Vice Marshall (AVM) Larry Koiyan, to Abuja. There was tension in the university at the weekend after the emergence of Prof. Grey Nwakoby, who defeated eight contestants, scoring 89.65 per cent. The Governing Council meeting was about to start at 3pm on Saturday, with members assembling at the Senate chambers, including the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof. Boniface Egboka, when AVM Koiyan said he had been summoned to Abuja. During the interview, Prof. Ben Osisioma scored 79.4 per cent, Prof. Ifeoma Enweani scored 65.5 per cent and Prof. Ikechukwu Oluka scored 66.15 per cent. Prof. Azubike Nwankwo scored 73.9 per cent, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku came second with 80. 65 per cent. Prof. Emeka Nwabueze and Prof. Okechukwu Ikpeze scored 64.4. per cent and 76.3 per cent. Every member of the selection board, including AVM Koiyan, had signed the summary sheet before the chairman’s summoning. The board has AVM Koiyan as the chairman, with Sen. F.C. Okoro, Alhaji Buhari Bala, Prof. Amobi Ilika, Prof. C.C. Egolum, Dr. Nte Mbam, Mrs. E. B. Omotawa and Egah Peter as members.

2015: Ikorodu agitates for power shift By Emmanuel Oladesu

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EADERS of Ikorodu Division, Lagos State reiterated their clamour for power shift at the weekend, saying that the governorship must rotate across the zones in the spirit of fairness and justice. The leader of the “Eminent Persons of Ikorodu Division”, Chief Babatunde Benson (SAN), said that there are competent indigenes of the division who can succeed Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN). The group met at the weekend at the palace of the ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Salau Oyefusi to inaugurate the “search team” saddled with the task of presenting an acceptable candidate to Lagosians. Benson said the onus is on interested candidates from the division to notify the liaison group about their aspiration. He said: “For the purpose of emphasis, this effort is directed towards all registered Political Parties in the State to ensure that an indigene of Ikorodu Division is presented as a governorship candidate for the 2015 governorship election by his political party. “For too long, Ikorodu Division has been at the tail end of political benefits of dividend of democracy.Indigenes and residents of Ikorodu Division should shine their eyes to ensure that the Division wins this race this time around. “All aspirants from all registered political parties who are Ikorodu Division indigenes are implored to heed this clarion call and mobilize support from the grassroots by supporting the activities of the Liaison Group.


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THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

CITYBEATS

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WO supporters of Real Madrid Football Club of Spain have died on Lagos Island after slumping during last Saturday’s UEFA Championship final match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. It was gathered that the incident happened when Real Madrid was yet to equalise the one goal first scored by Atletico Madrid before the full time of 90 minutes. Real Madrid eventually won the march by four goals to Atletico Madrid’s one, but both victims did not live to witness the celebrations. The deceased, Mr Olusoga Ogunbanjo (39), a refrigerator technician at 23A, Smith Street, off Evan Street, Lagos Island, and Mr Bambo Sholeye (42), a Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) worker of 49/51, Apatira Street, off Olushi Street, also on Lagos Island, were die-hard supporters of the team. Ogunbanjo, popularly addressed

Market gets committee “THE promise we made some months ago was to modify Mushin market in order to meet the challenges of a modern city. I am delighted to inaugurate the committee which is saddled with the responsibilities of verifying all the shop owners before the reconstruction of the market with a view to returning them very quickly to their business environment now that a section of the market has been completed.” This statement was made by the Chairman, Mushin Local Government, Hon Olatunde Babatunde Adepitan last Friday at the inauguration of a five-man committee, whose duties are to liaise with the market leaders to verify the genuine traders in the market before the council starts its reconstruction. The committee is chaired by Hon Hakeem Sofela, the Senior Special Adviser on Special Duties. Other members are: Mr. Adio Olalekan, representing the developer; Alhaja Abibat Atoke, the Iya Oja of Mushin Market; Alhaji Azeez Owoyemi Balogun, representing the Baba Oja of Mushin Market and Mr Olajide Akinola. Adepitan charged the committee members to be thorough and fair in the conduct of the affairs of the market

as Soga by friends, went to shave at a saloon on Okepopo Street, off Olushi Street and decided to watch the match there with other fans. The shop’s owner, Danku said: “Soga came to shave and after shaving, he decided to watch the UEFA championship match between Real and Atletico Madrid. When it was 90 minutes and Real Madrid had not levelled up with the one goal deficit, there was tension among fans who feared that Real Madrid had lost the match. “It was a boy sitting beside Soga who saw him slumping who raised the alarm. We quickly rushed him to the Emergency Section of the Lagos General Hospital where he was confirmed dead by doctors on duty.” Sholeye, who watched the match at a nearby shop, had left the place in frustration after regulation time, lamenting the failure of Real Madrid to equalise the lone goal

Soga has left a wife and two children to suffer just because of his love for Real Madrid Football Club, a club that does not know if he exists or not. It is so painful that he died for nothing. I pity his family. He just wasted his life

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scored by Atletico Madrid in the first half of the match. His relatives said angry Sholeye brought out a chair in front of his house to relax and suddenly slumped. Family members and neighbours rushed him to the General Hospital but they were told he had died.

• The late Olusoga

One of his neighbours said: “What manner of life is this? Soga has left a wife and two children to suffer just because of his love for Real Madrid Football Club, a club that does not know if he exists or not. It is so painful that he died for nothing. I pity his family. He just wasted his life.” Their remains were buried yesterday morning at a public burial ground in the area by their relatives and friends.

Helpless boy battles eye cancer

Insurance for local security officials LAGOS State Government has said that it is working on a comprehensive insurance policy for officers of its community security outfit, Neighbourhood Watch. Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr Cornelius Ojelabi, said families of deceased neighbourhood watchers and those who sustained injuries were recently given the sum of N3.7 million to cover burial expenses and treatment of injuries. The commissioner said discussions are ongoing with reputable insurance companies to partner with the state to provide cover for neighbourhood watchers, adding that it has consistently supported families of the watchers who die or get injured in active duty. He said the government had begun the retraining of Neighbourhood Watchers in order to equip them for current security challenges for proper community policing to safeguard the residents.

By Jude Isiguzo

By Dada Aladelokun Assistant Editor

• Toheeb ...on Saturday

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IGHT-year-old Toheeb Atobatele cut a pitiable picture – even to passersby. His bulging left eye was a frightening spectacle - as though waiting to burst. He has long remained a pain in the heart of his family grandmother. Last Saturday morning at 25, Owodunni Street, Onipanu, Lagos. Toheeb jealously held his notebook to his chest with his left hand as he used the right to ward off a troublesome

neighbour, who would not allow him concentrate on his “home work”. As he struggled on the task with his lone eye, his grandmother, Mrs Abosede Paul, a petty trader, who has been taking care of him from birth, shook her head thoughtfully. Her mien bore frustration and utter despondency. Her neighbours – numbering five – who sat outside their bungalow home, shared in her angst. “Iya Toheeb, God will send a helper to this boy at His own time. It’s nothing for you to think about,” one of them consoled the old woman. She was moved into spontaneous tears, recounting how fate had remained hostile to the little boy since he was born. She recalled how Toheeb’s father abandoned him immediately he was born at a clinic in Ikotun, a

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TOMORROW, all roads lead to Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos as over 200 stakeholders will gather for a talk on fire safety, with the theme: “An innovative and sustainable approach to active passive fire safety.” It will be organised by Safety Consultants and Solutions Provider Limited. The Regional Business Development Manager 3M, Middle East and Africa, Kamal Sghair, he said, is the keynote speaker. Guests expected at the seminar include: Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mrs Dominga Odebunmi and the Chairman, Teaching and Education Committee, Fire Production Association of Nigeria, Mr Dominic Aigbon. The Executive Director, Business Management, Olufemi Young, in a statement, said: “The seminar is to enlighten and sensitise consultants, contractors and the public on fire outbreak and insurance because an educated consumer is your best client. In the United States, the fire aspect is designed by fire experts; that is why we are trying to provide safety in our country.

UEFA Cup claims two in Lagos

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Talk on fire holds tomorrow

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Well, may be God can decide to use your medium, may be. We are in a world where our people only take delight in spending money on vanities without regard for their fellowmen. I just hope a God-sent person comes to Toheeb’s rescue

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suburb of the city, on realising his condition – cancerous outgrowths on his upper lip and left eye. “Since there was no help from any quarter, I struggled to give him peace. It was a Good Samaritan that funded a surgery on his affected lip at a private hospital after which I took him to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja. “There was no x-ray that I did not do to get to the root of Toheeb’s problem. In 2009, I was asked to do a scan on the eye; I was at LASUTH several times for it. At a point, we were directed to some Indians some-

where around Anifowoshe in Ikeja. I borrowed money to buy some prescribed drugs that were expected to be used for a surgery on his eye there. At last, we were told that they lacked the equipment that could be used for the operation,” Mrs Paul said. “Since I had no helper except God as his father was nowhere to be found,” she added, “I had to resign to fate, believing that one day, God would show himself in the innocent boy’s plight. His mother, Ebunlomo, has just passed out of school. “He is a very brilliant and promising boy. He is ever ready to read despite his condition. He is doing well in the second class at a Nursery/Primary School where I enrolled him here in Onipanu. But I must confess that each time I see him strain his only eye to read, I shed tears. I feel for him.” Sharing her phone number, 08052965364, with this reporter, Mrs Paul submitted: “Well, may be God can decide to use your medium, may be. We are in a world where our people only take delight in spending money on vanities without regard for their fellowmen. I just hope a God-sent person comes to Toheeb’s rescue.”

Lagos Assembly probes market demolition

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By Eshiet Uyoatta

HE Lagos State House of Assembly will today host stakeholders from Ifelodun Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in a bid to unravel the mystery behind the demolition of the re-developed Amukoko market on May 18. This is the second time in a month that unknown people, who reportedly came in unmarked vehicles, have demolished the market. “Tomorrow (today), the chairman of the council will join other stakeholders that were invited by the House to meet with the appropriate committee with a view

• The protesting traders at the council ... last week

to really find out those behind the act and their motive,” a source told The Nation yesterday.

The intervention of the assembly, it was learnt, followed the protest last week, by traders at

the market, who stormed the council’s secretariat with placards, denuding urgent action.


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014

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CITYBEATS

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

‘My daughter is lost, not dead’

•Ejigbo torture saga takes new turn Following widespread ‘rumour’ that the principal victim of the Ejigbo torture saga, Juliana Agoma, had died at an unknown location, new facts have emerged that she may still be alive and the family may have been economical with the truth. Seun Akioye reports Novo, Benin Republic in April to pay her last respect. In the village, the team was taken to a freshly dug grave where Juliana was presumed to have been buried. But things began to fall apart when on May 14, Odumakin went back to Koanagodo with officers of the International Police (Interpol) and some forensic experts to exhume the body, conduct forensic test on it to determine the extent of her torture. The team met with a brick wall. The family would not allow the body to be exhumed. The next day, the police officers returned to Koanagodo and met with the town’s police authorities who told them Juliana was not dead. She had been seen in one hospital and had even given birth to a child. The news hit the officers like a thunderbolt. On arriving in Nigeria, they summoned all the people involved in the case. That was when Agoma confessed that he lied to Odumakin. According to Agoma, after the torture, Juliana was taken to a hospital in Koanagodo. When she was rejected, she was taken to a herbalist’s home in the town. “She was in the herbalist’s home in our village, but she was suffering; everyday she would be screaming, complaining of stomach pains. I used to send money to the herbalist, although it was irregular. One day, they said she had run away,” Agoma said. “They called me that my child was no more. What does that mean if not dead? My wife said she had been missing for eight months. I went there the next day and we could not find her. I have not seen her till today,” the agonising father said. The father said in cases like that, the family usually performs rituals to make the person return in seven days. We did the ritual, but Juliana did not return. The grave that we

Vandals in military camouflage invade Arepo

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• Agoma and his son, Kehinde...yesterday

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HE look on Freeman Agoma, the father of Juliana, one of the victims of Ejigbo torture, otherwise known as Ejigbo 2 in Lagos, revealed he was ready to say the truth regarding the incident which “claimed” the life of his daughter and when he spoke, he was emphatic. “I wanted to tell Dr. Joe (Odumakin) that Juliana was not dead, but that we have been looking for her for eight months; but the woman who brought me (informant) said I must not say that. She said I must insist that she was dead. But what happened was that she was missing and since we didn’t see her, it was assumed she was dead. Up till now, I have not seen my daughter,” Agoma said. The story, of the Ejigbo torture victims spiraled on social media in November 2013, two women were shown on video being tortured by a group of men for allegedly stealing pepper worth N50 at the Ejigbo market. The violence prompted human rights activists to organise campaigns for justice for the yet unknown victims. Dr. Joe Odumakin, President, Women Arise Initiative Foundation (WAIF), was prominent in that campaign. Through her, the world was reconnected with the victims (except Juliana) and the family and many of the perpetrators caught and who are now being prosecuted. Agoma had told The Nation that Juliana was dead, the police and the public also believed she was dead from her torture. The police prepared the case against her alleged torturers to include charges bordering on murder. But Agoma seemed to have had a change of mind regarding the story on Juliana, saying he is not quite sure if she was dead, that it is a case of missing person. After Agoma’s testimony before reporters, Odumakin followed him to his village, Koanagodo in Porto

I wanted to tell Dr. Joe (Odumakin) that Juliana was not dead, but that we have been looking for her for eight months; but the woman who brought me (informant) said I must not say that. She said I must insist that she was dead. But what happened was that she was missing and since we didn’t see her, it was assumed she was dead. Up till now, I have not seen my daughter

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showed Dr. Joe when she came was my mother’s. What we did was to call the spirit of Juliana and buried it in the grave with my mother’s body,” he said. So, what would have informed the family to lie that Juliana was dead when she was not? Agoma said the informant convinced him to lie and he had wanted to say the truth. What was the motive of the informant simply identified as Iya Sade? According to information available to The Nation, the informant got N500, 000 from the Lagos State House of Assembly as reward Agoma and his wife Ajoke got N250,000 each. So, could it have been the lure of the reward? Agoma does not know. For him, his daughter is still dead because he has not seen her since she disappeared from the herbalist’s home. “ People say they saw her taking a shower; I have said they should help me capture her or take her picture whenever they see her. The police are

•Police: casualties yet unknown

BOUT three policemen may have been killed in the Arepo area of Ogun State after a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which was severely ruptured following a gun duel, exploded. It was gathered that over 360 suspected vandals dressed in military camouflage stormed the area in 12 speed boats. Eyewitness said some policemen from the Anti-Pipeline Task Force had moved to the area following on a security alert that the vandals had struck again. The vandals were said to have attempted to scare off the policemen with gun shots while attempting to make away with some of the stolen products. In the process, bullets hit the pipeline and it exploded. While the casualty number was yet to be ascertained, eyewitnesses claimed the explosion must have injured both the policemen and the vandals as they were still within reach of the pipeline when it erupted. The South-West zonal spokesper-

By Jude Isiguzo

son of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said: “Although we are yet to ascertain what transpired that set off the pipelines, we suspect that the explosion must have been caused by fireballs during the exchange of gun fire. “The police were alerted late Saturday night that vandals had again struck at Arepo. The team set off to investigate, but the vandals tried to pursue them with guns, but the police repelled them. However, due to the ruggedness of the terrain, we have not been able to carry out rescue operations there; so at the moment, we can’t ascertain the casualty number.” Yesterday, Farinloye said four policemen were rescued alive, adding that members of the emergency team were still working tirelessly. Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba told The Nation yesterday that the fire was still raging. He added that he could not yet ascertain the number of policemen allegedly trapped in the inferno. He said investigation was ongoing.

•Scene of the explosion ... yesterday

saying I lied, but since I have not seen her I don’t know what to believe. The ritual should have brought her back,” he said. It was evident Agoma believed in the ritual done to bring his daughter back, but he refused to reveal how it was done. “That is for the elders. I cannot tell you; it is forbidden for me to mention it,” he said, looking frightened. Members of the family is now in a frenzied race to defend the family’s integrity. Kehinde Agoma, Juliana’s younger brother, said it was not the family’s intention to deceive the public. “It’s not our intention to deceive; it was Iya Sade that said we must continue to say she was dead. I didn’t want to say it but she insisted I say so, we didn’t mean to deceive anyone.” “I was in shock; I initially thought it was a conspiracy,” Odumakin said in response to her initial reaction when she received the new informa-

tion. “When we showed him the video clips for the first time, he broke down and when we asked him about the daughter, he said she was dead. I then asked him if she was buried and I made arrangements to visit the grave. I didn’t get the trend of the explanation he gave about her spirit being buried; it was a real shock because what we knew was that she was dead,” Odumakin added. Does this signify the end of investigations? Odumakin disagreed. “In fact, there is need for further painstaking investigation to find her. It will be great to see her again; we need to provide more answers to many questions that we have now.” If Juliana disappeared with her injuries, where did she treat herself? If she had given birth after her ordeal, was she pregnant during the torture or after? Who is responsible and at which hospital was she delivered of the baby? Many of these questions can only be answered in Koanagodo and Agoma has promised to go and investigate her daughter’s disappearance. Is she the kind of child that is capable of desperate actions like this? The Nation asked Agoma. “Why can’t she run away? For one, she may be ashamed of what she went through and not wanting to be seen by people who know her. But also, I believe she could have run away because I didn’t know any of her children; I never gave her out to any husband, and she was just giving birth by herself. So, she can do it,” Agoma said.


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FOREIGN NEWS Influential cleric urges Egyptians to boycott elections

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HE influential Qatarbased Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef alQaradawi yesterday called on Egyptians to boycott presidential elections and shun frontrunner Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, saying the former army chief had “disobeyed God”. The Egyptian-born cleric, who has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood and whose religious shows on Al Jazeera television were watched by millions, has been critical of Egypt’s military-backed government, accusing Sisi of betrayal for ousting Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year. Qaradawi’s outspoken support for the Brotherhood has recently contributed to an unprecedented diplomatic rift between Qatar and its Gulf Arab allies who consider the Islamist group a security threat and supported Mursi’s overthrow. “People of Egypt in the capital and the provinces, cities and villages, sit in your houses and do not burden yourselves with a great sin...,” Qaradawi said in an emailed statement. “It is not permissible for you

to vote for he who has disobeyed God,” he added. Sisi is expected to easily win the May 26-27 presidential election. His only challenger is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in the 2012 vote won by Mursi. Since Mursi was ousted, the new military-backed government has cracked down hard on the Brotherhood, once the country’s best organized force, accusing members of fomenting violence and unrest. Thousands were killed or rounded up by security forces. The Brotherhood accuses Sisi of staging a coup and masterminding the removal of Mursi, who was Egypt’s first freely elected president. “The duty of the nation is to resist the oppressors, restrain their hands and silence their tongues,” said Qaradawi, who has previously said he only supports peaceful resistance in Egypt. “I refuse to participate in the election... do not go to participate in the injustice,” he said. Qaradawi said that Sisi’s victory in the poll would please the “Zionists” and “enemies of the nation” — an apparent reference to Israel.

Malawi court blocks President Banda election annulment

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ALAWI’s High Court has rejected a decision by President Joyce Banda to annul last week’s general election - in which she was a candidate. Ms Banda had earlier said Tuesday’s vote had been marred by rigging, multiple voting and computer-hacking. She said a new vote should be held within 90 days but she would not stand again in any new poll. However, the head of the electoral commission said the president did not have the power to annul the vote. The High Court made its ruling after the commission said that despite problems involving the electronic count the poll remained valid and vote-counting would go on. Malawi’s election was chaot-

ic, with one BBC correspondent reporting people voting two days on from election day because of delays in distributing polling material. Frustrated voters set one polling station alight and smashed election material at another. In some places, voting boxes or lids did not arrive so officials used buckets and plastic wrap. Late on Friday, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) said Joyce Banda’s rival candidate Peter Mutharika had taken a lead of 42%, with 30% of votes counted. Ms Banda was in second place with 23%, the commission said. Tuesday’s vote was chaotic with many polling stations opening hours late “I am nullifying the elections, using the powers invested in me by the Malawi constitution,”

Ms Banda told a news conference. “I want to give Malawians an opportunity to choose a candidate of their choice in a free and fair manner. When elections are to be held again, I will be stepping aside,” she added. Mrs Banda had previously accused a party, which she did not name, of infiltrating and hacking the MEC’s counting system. The MEC’s chairman denied that its system had been hacked. In a previous statement about the elections, Mrs Banda had said that irregularities included • The arrest of presiding officers who were “caught in the act of rigging” • Some people voting up to three times • “Serious anomalies” where

•President Banda

some candidates won more votes than the number of registered voters • Discarded and tampered ballots • Communication devices of some monitors being blocked Around 7.5 million people were eligible to vote in the fifth elections since the end of oneparty rule 20 years ago. This was the first time that Malawi held presidential, parliamentary and local elections on the same day.

Europeans voting to choose new parliament

•Protesters defied a ban on large gatherings to denounce the coup in Bangkok, Thailand ...yesterday.

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ROM Portugal to Finland, voters of 21 nations yesterday were deciding the makeup of the next European Parliament, a sprawling exercise in democracy that will help determine the European Union’s future leaders and course. Opinion polls were predicting that candidates who want to slash the EU’s powers or even abolish it could scoop up as many as a third of the seats — which would be the strongest showing ever of disillusionment with the bloc. When official returns are announced Sunday night, they could herald changes in EU policy in areas ranging from border control and immigration to a new trade and investment agreement being negotiated with the U.S. Europeans in seven other nations have already voted. Unofficial exit polls reported a surge in support for Britain’s anti-EU UKIP party. In the Netherlands, however, the right-wing Euroskeptic Party for Freedom dropped from second to fourth place, the pollsters reported. The 751-seat parliament is the only popularly elected body in the 28-nation European Union. Never before have so many candidates been bent on radically curtailing the EU’s powers, ending their country’s membership or shutting down the union entirely. “We believe the best people to govern Britain are the British people themselves. We believe in running our own country, being proud of our democracy, controlling our borders,” UKIP leader Nigel Farage told The Associated Press in an interview. “We want our country back. It’s been sold out.” However, many Europeans remain attached to the EU, associating it with greater economic opportunity and prosperity. One of them is Spanish grain and olive farmer Fidel del Olmo. “If Europe had not existed, Spanish agriculture would have disappeared,” del Olmo said, citing the EU subsidies he and other farmers receive. “For me, Europe is something of a nation because now we depend on it for almost everything,” said the 57-year-old farmer from central Spain. “This is something people don’t understand. They think the politicians just go there and that’s it.”

Woman among world’s oldest turning 115 years young

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DETROIT-AREA woman, a member of a select group of the living to have been born in the 19th century, is celebrating a birthday on Friday. Her 115th. Jeralean Talley, who was born May 23, 1899, went fishing last year and still gets around on her own with the help of a walker. The Inkster resident plans to celebrate with family and friends at a local church on Sunday. On her actual birthday — Friday — Talley is going to the doctor for a checkup, although she says she doesn’t feel sick. But Talley’s knees occasionally hurt, her right hand shakes, she has a hard time hearing and her memory comes and goes. Her answer as to why she has lived so long hasn’t changed

over the years. “It’s all in the good Lord’s hands,” Talley told the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep. com/1r0fdRL ). “There’s nothing I can do about it.” Talley is the oldest-living American and the second-oldest person in the world, according to a list maintained by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world’s longest-living people. The Gerontology Research Group verified Talley’s age using census data. Japan resident Misao Okawa, 116, tops the list. Talley, whose husband died in 1988, is cared for by a 76-yearold daughter who lives with her. Five generations of the family are living in the area, including a great-great-grandson.

PHOTO: AFP

Thailand coup protests spread

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MALL anti-coup protests have continued in the Thai capital, Bangkok, despite a warning from the country’s new military rulers. Hundreds of demonstrators chanted “Get out” and marched through the streets. Gatherings of more than five people were banned after the army seized power on Thursday. Earlier, 18 newspaper editors were summoned by the military in its latest move to stifle criticism and forestall opposition to its rule. An army spokesman in Bangkok said normal democratic principles could not be applied at the current time. Dozens of people, including prominent academics and activists, have been ordered to report to the military. Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, removed from power by the judiciary earlier this month, has been detained. Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, who now leads a junta known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), dissolved the Senate on Saturday, the final remnant of the pre-coup legislature. Scuffles broke out with soldiers as anti-coup protesters gathered for a third day in defiance of the military’s martial law. “We have to continue protesting to show our opposition to the coup,” one demonstrator told the Associated Press. “We don’t have leaders. We

•U.S. cancels joint military drill are against the coup and we come because we want to.” Deputy army spokesman Winthai Suvaree had asked people not to hold protests and warned against using social media to “incite” unrest. Thailand’s armed forces have staged at least 12 coups since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932. But unlike in previous coups, there have been no promises of a quick return to civilian rule this time around. There has been a power strug-

gle since Ms Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted by the military as PM in 2006. Mr Thaksin and Ms Yingluck have strong support in rural areas but are opposed by many in the middle class and urban elite. The latest unrest began last year, when anti-government protesters embarked on a campaign to oust Ms Yingluck. An election was held in February but was disrupted and later annulled by the judiciary.

Meanwhile the United States has cancelled a joint military drill with Thailand in response to a coup that overthrew the Thai pro-American government on Thursday. The drill, which started on Monday, involved about 700 US Marines and sailors. The pentagon now says is reconsidering cooperation with the country Thailand on training exercises. “We’ve been reviewing our military-to-military assistance including the CARAT exercise,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said.

Obama makes surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan

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RESIDENT Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan yesterday to visit American troops there, landing at Bagram Airfield outside the capital, Kabul, for the first time since a visit in 2012 when he signed a strategic partnership agreement with the government there to bring the war to an end. The trip was unannounced, and Mr. Obama slipped out of the White House secretly on Saturday evening in advance of what White House officials said would be a Memorial Day rally with the troops. Officials said the president is also expected to get an on-site briefing from his military commanders and visit wounded service members. Officials said that Mr. Obama will rally with some of the 32,000 service members who are currently in Afghanistan, many of whom are due to return home at year’s end when the 13-year war is officially brought to an end. Brad Paisley, a country music singer, traveled on Air Force One with Mr. Obama to Afghanistan and will perform at the rally today. The president is expected to use the appearance there to offer thanks to the members of the military, but

is not expected to make any major policy announcements. Instead, Mr. Obama is expected to wait until he returns to the United States to offer his latest foreign policy and national security vision, during a speech that he is scheduled to give at the West Point graduation on Wednesday. In 2009, Mr. Obama used a similar setting at West Point to announce a decision to add more troops to the effort in Afghanistan, pushing the total United States presence there past 100,000, while at the same time saying he intended to draw down the effort there over several years. Mr. Obama has said that all United States combat troops will have left Afghanistan by the end of this year. But American officials had hoped to leave a small contingent of forces beyond that time for training purposes and to conduct anti terrorism operations. President Hamid Karzi of Afghanistan, who is leaving office this year, had negotiated an agreement to allow for such a force to remain, but later refused to sign it. Both candidates in a runoff election to replace Mr. Karzai have indicated that they would likely sign the agreement.


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FOREIGN NEWS Libyan renegade general urges new ‘crisis cabinet’

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RETIRED general waging an armed campaign against Libya’s government has urged the judiciary to appoint a crisis government to oversee new elections. Gen Khalifa Haftar, who has launched recent attacks in Benghazi and Tripoli, said the government had “fostered terrorism” and failed Libyans. Dozens of state bodies have pledged their support for Gen Haftar. But the government called the operation an “attempted coup” and ordered the arrest of those taking part. The campaign, dubbed “Libya’s dignity” by supporters, is seen as the most serious threat yet to Libya’s post-Gaddafi

government. Gen Haftar, a former army chief of staff under Col Muammar Gaddafi, led an assault against militant groups in Benghazi on Friday. On Sunday forces allied to him took control of Libya’s parliament building in the capital Tripoli. He accuses the government of supporting terrorism - a charge denied by authorities. Libya’s parliament chairman pledged to continue in his post until new elections are held in late June. Gen Haftar’s latest comments were made at a news conference in the eastern city of Benghazi, where he is based. Correspondents say it is the clearest indication yet of his plan for Libya.

Poroshenko claims Ukraine presidency

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Ukrainian confectionery tycoon Petro Poroshenko has claimed outright victory in the country's presidential election. Mr Poroshenko, known as the "chocolate king", won more than 55% of the vote in the first round, exit polls suggest. Announcing he had won, the 48-year-old businessman promised to forge closer links with the EU and restore peace in restive eastern regions. Pro-Russian separatists severely disrupted voting there. Some 20 people have died in fighting in recent days. No polling stations were open in Donetsk city, and across the region only seven out of 12 district electoral commissions were operating. The separatists are in

control of large areas of the Donestk and Luhansk regions. Four hours before polls closed, at 16:00 (13:00 GMT), unofficial estimates put the turnout nationwide at 45%. Addressing supporters in Kiev, Mr Poroshenko said he would support a parliamentary election later this year. He also said he would never recognise Russia's "occupation of Crimea", annexed by Moscow in March. Asked about relations with Russia, he said the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Ukraine mattered most to him. Mr Poroshenko is the billionaire owner of the Roshen chocolates group, a TV station and several manufacturing plants. US President Barack Obama

hailed the election as an "important step forward in the efforts of the Ukrainian government to unify the country". Yesterday's poll was called after President Viktor Yanukovych was deposed in February, amid mass protests against his pro-Russian policies. Local elections were also held on Sunday in Ukraine. Former boxer Vitaliy Klitschko - again quoting exit polls - claimed he had been elected mayor of Kiev. Mr Klitschko, a pro-Western politician, withdrew his own presidential bid and announced his support for Mr Poroshenko. On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would respect the outcome of Ukraine's election. Kiev and the West accuse Rus-

sia of stoking separatist sentiment - a claim President Putin denies. Separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence after referendums on 11 May, a move not recognised by Kiev or its Western allies. The two regions took their cue from a disputed referendum in Crimea, which led to Russia's annexation of the southern peninsula. Eighteen candidates were competing in the presidential election, seen as a crucial to unite the country. The exit polls suggest ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko came a distant second. If they are confirmed, there will be no need for a run-off vote next month.

Pope Francis prays at Bethlehem wall

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OPE Francis has prayed at the concrete barrier Israel is building in and around the West Bank during his three-day tour of the Middle East. The unscheduled stop came after he called for an end to the “increasingly unacceptable” Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Speaking in Bethlehem, the Pope invited the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to the Vatican to pray for peace. The tour’s official purpose is to improve ties with the Orthodox Church. It comes just weeks after peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down. Later, the Pope will travel to Tel Aviv and then Jerusalem where he will meet Bartholomew I, the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople. Palestinians have used social media to post pictures of Pope Francis praying at the 8m concrete wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem. The Israelis say the wall and other parts of the separation barrier are vital for the security of their people. But for Palestinians the

•Invites Peres, Abbas to Vatican wall is tangible symbol of what they say is Israel’s intention to grab as much land as possible. Pope Francis waded into the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process upon arriving here yesterday, issuing an extraordinary invitation to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and President Shimon Peres of Israel to join him in his home in the Vatican for “a heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace.” The pope also gave the Palestinians an uncommon boost by openly endorsing “the State of Palestine.” During his Regina Coeli address in Bethlehem’s Manger Square to a crowd of thousands who had come to celebrate the papal Mass, he added, “All of us – especially those placed at the service of their respective peoples – have the duty to become instruments and artisans of peace, especially by our prayers.” The location was highly symbolic: He referred to Bethlehem, the West Bank town where Jesus is said to have been

born, as “the birthplace of the Prince of Peace.” Both sides welcomed the pope’s invitation. Mr. Peres would attend, an Israeli source confirmed. Church and Palestinian officials said that the meeting would be largely symbolic. They also said that since as president, Mr. Peres, a longtime advocate of peace, plays a mainly ceremonial role in the Israeli leadership, it would not involve political negotiations. He talked of the “tragic consequences of the protracted conflict” and the need “to intensify efforts and initiatives” to create a stable peace - based on a two-state solution. The Pope’s arrival was eagerly awaited by local Christians He later held an open-air Mass for 8,000 local Christians by Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. At the end, he said he wished to invite Mr Abbas, together with Israeli President Shimon Peres, to join him at the Vatican “in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace”.

The Pope’s spokesman, Federico Lombardi, told the BBC the move was papal peace initiative and believed to be the first of its kind. Pope Francis has insisted the purpose of his Middle East trip is purely religious. However, the first speech on his arrival in Bethlehem showed that he is also willing to address pressing political issues, says the BBC’s Yolande Knell in Bethlehem. On his way to Manger Square where he held the mass, he stopped to pray at a high concrete wall that is part of the barrier Israel is building in and around the West Bank. The Pope rested his head against the wall on which graffiti read: “Free Palestine.” Israel says the wall is needed for security but the Palestinians see it as a land grab. Palestinian officials have already noted that Pope Francis is the first pontiff to travel directly to the West Bank rather than enter via Israel. Many Palestinians see it as a recognition of their push for full statehood.

•Pope Francis praying at Israel's separation barrier after he made an unscheduled stop at the security wall drawing attention to the towering eight-metre (26-foot) high concrete wall topped by a guard tower...yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

FOREIGN MUSINGS

Thailand: From martial law to coup d’etat

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HE Thailand generals are back in the saddle once again after inching their way from what was supposed to be a martial law arrangement that will usher in a peace construct among the feuding pro-Shinwatra government and the opposition into a full military take-over. Coup détat is nothing new in this nation formerly known as Siam; having witnessed 11 of such in its chequered history. What is different now is that there is no promise of an immediate restoration of democratic rule having suspended the constitution except the parts that deal with the Monarchy. The nation has been in turmoil since last year when anti-government protesters called on then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwantra to step down accusing her of plotting to hand over power to her brother former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinwatra, who was ousted on corruption charges in 2006. Yingluck was eventually ousted by the country’s judiciary last month on corruption charges relating to rice contract mismanagement. With the pro-government and opposition at logger-head, the military under the army chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha wasted no time in converting the martial law into a full military takeover. Meanwhile protesters are not bulging; storming the streets of Bangkok yesterday calling for the military to restore democracy. There have been reactions across the immediate region as well as from members of the international community. The United States of America has condemned the putsch calling off its planned joint military drill with Thailand and suspending multi-million dollar aids package. Old habits die hard. That exactly encapsulates yesterday’s presidential election and a fight for

the soul of Ukraine, a former breakaway republic of the USSR which attained independence about 20 years ago. The country has been embroiled in a bloody crisis since late last year following the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, who rejected the people’s refusal of a referendum which was supposed to align the nation’s economic revival to Russia as against the European Union in particular and the West in general. Events quickly unfolded culminating in Russia’s annexation of the mostly Russian-speaking Crimean peninsula in a referendum and tacit support for the pro-Russian separatists in Donets and Luhansk regions to the south, which also held a referendum for self-determination under Denis Pushilin. President Vladimir Putin of Russia is not opposed to yesterday’s election but calling for respect for the south and eastern Ukraine’s right to self-dete5rmination. In the course of all these, the US, UK and the European Union have slapped a variety of sanctions on Russian individuals as well as corporations for their role in the crisis while not unmindful of the fact that majority of the EU nations depend on Russia for their gas supply. Of note is the fact that Ukraine itself is heavily indebted to Russia which has threatened to cut off gas supply unless all debts are paid. It is against this background that yesterday’s presidential election took place and the winner is billionare pro-European business man Petro Poroshenko, having won 56 percent of the votes cast. The tasks ahead of the new president are daunting. He will have to fix an economy that

Global Focus

is on the brink of abysmal failDAYO FAKUADE, Foreign Editor ure, fight corruption which is endemic in the country and sms 08134230367 work bail out plans on its debts especially to the European daborgu@gmail.com Union. On our own continent, Malawi held a general election last week which President Joyce Banda tried various militia groups with a very weakened unsuccessfully to annul; claiming massive rigcentre.. He is the man who helped Col Gaddafi ging by the opposition. She had tried to conseize power in 1969, and played a key role in duct another election in 90 days offering not to Libya’s military incursion into Chad in the be a candidate in the planned rerun. But the 1980s. He later fell out with Col Gaddafi, and nation’s top court reversed her claiming she fled to the US. does not have the constitutional power to anBased in Benghazi, he has continued to show nul an election. The votes will now be manualhow powerful he still is in the country. Last ly counted and the nation awaits the outcome. week he called on Libya’s judiciary to set up a Also Egyptians will be going to the polls tocrisis cabinet saying that the government has day and tomorrow to elect a president in an failed the people. The move was rejected by election that has been widely conceded to regovernment accusing the general’s call as an tired Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who ‘attempted coup’’. Meanwhile amid all the inhas outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood and stability, the government is attempting to hold clamped all real and imaginary enemies of state elections next month without a clear sense of into detention, long sentences and death penalwhich political party has the heart of war-weaty in sham trials that have drawn popular conry people of Libya. demnations both within and outside the counPope Francis is visiting the Middle East with try. Sisi has said he is more interested in stabilvisits to Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Most notaity than freedom, so Egyptians should be ready ble is his itinerary which makes him the first to shed whatever freedom they think they have pope to travel directly to the West Bank rather now under a Sisi presidency. His only oppothan entering via Israel. He has also endorsed a nent is the leftist politician, Hamdeen Sabahi Palestinian State, while inviting Israel Shimon who has little chance against the former army Peres and Palestinian Mahmud Abbas to the chief. Sisi will thus be following in the footVatican to pray for peace. steps of Egypt’s military chiefs, who shed the Finally, our globe is our heritage. Let’s conarmy toga to contest and rule their nation. tinue to keep her clean in our everyday living. In Libya, General Khalifa Haftar has been Go green, plant a tree in your neighbourhood causing ripples in the country’s fragile military and put a smile on a tight face, by doing an act and political landscape which is controlled by of random kindness. See you next week.


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SPORT EXTRA

Eaglets’ huge win excites Amuneke

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AGLETS' coach Emmanuel Amuneke (MON) has praised the efforts of his experimental side following the 7-0 win over Super Stars of Abuja on Saturday. The former Barcelona star praised the new recruits while commending the overall performance of both the old and new players. “We are impressed with the response of the new players because some of them are not yet used to our style but they did well”, he said. “I'm particularly happy with the way we played though there is always room for improvement”. “The fact that most of the goals were scored by the new players showed that we are making good progress and this would certainly, build their confidence against Egypt” he added.

Bale relishes CL 'dream' victory

•Amuneke

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ARETH Bale said winning the Champions League "will live with me forever" after his goal helped Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 in the final. The former Tottenham forward gave Real the lead in extra time after Sergio Ramos's 93rd-minute goal cancelled out a first-half effort from Diego Godin. Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo sealed a 10th European Cup success for Real. "It is what every footballer dreams of and it doesn't come bigger in club football," said Bale, 24. "The celebration of the crowd meant everything to me, but the most important thing is we worked hard as a team and won the trophy and the 10th title for the club." Wales international Bale joined Real from Spurs for a world-record £85.3m last summer, but insisted the price tag was irrelevant. "I would have come here for a penny if it meant I could win the big titles," he said. Bale missed a hat-trick of chances before heading home Real's vital second goal against the newly crowned Spanish champions at Estadio da Luz. "I have learned from past experiences to keep going, forget the chances you have missed and to keep persevering and a chance will come," he said.

•Bale

Eagles ready for Tartan Army in London

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IGERIA’S national football team, the Super Eagles arrived London Sunday afternoon ahead of their international friendly against the Tartan Army of Scotland on Wednesday night in preparation for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. The team with Head Coach, Stephen Keshi as the head of the delegation, left the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Sunday morning and arrived the Heathrow Airport in London at exactly 2:15pm local time, which is also Nigerian time. On ground to welcome the team was team scribe, Dayo Enebi Achor and NFF friendly games Consultant, Jairo Pacho. Fourteen players made the trip from Abuja to London, while Ukraine based striker, Michael Babatunde was already waiting at the

•Onazi enlivens camp with jokes •Oboabona, Babatunde in high spirits team’s hotel. Among them were nine foreign based stars, while the rest are based in Nigeria. The list includes Ogenyi Onazi, Victor Obinna Nsofor, Ahmed Musa, Michael Uchebo, Godfrey Oboabona, Gariel Reuben, Juwon Oshaniwa, Efe Ambrose and Sunday Mba. As the time of this report, Emmanuel Emenike and Ramon Azeez were the latest to arrive camp. The home based stars are Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Daniel Akpeyi, Kunle Odunlami and Ejike Uzoenyi. All other players were expected to link up with the team by dinner time on Sunday. Camp mood is already gay with Lazio of Italy midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi keeping ribs cracking with

jokes. Turkey based defender, Godfrey Oboabona, also set the business mood in camp alive when he said the World Cup is a place to showcase true skills and he will do everything within his powers to be part of the final 23-man list for the Mundial in Brazil. Babatunde Michael who was the first player to arrive camp, also spoke in a similar vein, assuring that he will give his all to be part of the Nigerian team to the World Cup. The team will have its first training session for the friendly on Monday evening, with all the 30 players invited for the World Cup preparation expected to take part. The team is putting up at the Hilton Cobhams hotel in London.`

2014 WORLD CUP

Brazil deploys 157,000 troops

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EFENCE ministers in Brazil have revealed that over 150,000 troops will be deployed to ensure this summer’s FIFA World Cup runs smoothly without ant hitch. Football returns to its spiritual home for the first time in over 60 years as Brazil prepares to host the sport’s biggest event for the first time since 1950. However, what should be billed as a worldwide party has been somewhat tarnished by fears of potential safety issues. As per BBC News, hostilities in the country made worldwide news last year as violent protests marred what was an otherwise successful Confederations Cup for Brazil. Public aggression has continued throughout the past year, with demonstrations occurring on a frighteningly frequent basis. Many of Brazil’s residents are unhappy with the vast amounts being spent on the tournament, especially at a time of economic crisis. According to the Guardian’s Jonathan Watts, the event has cost Brazil a whopping $11 billion—reportedly three times the amount spent on South Africa’s World Cup four years ago. That overspend, combined with poor worker safety conditions, has been the major factor in fuelling most of the violence. However, Brazilian officials are adamant that they have

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competing at the festival. NAN reports that the 19th edition of the NSF tagged, ``Paradise Games” will hold from Nov. 23 to Dec. 7 in Calabar, Cross River. ``Understanding that the NSF is just at the end of the year, we used the DAWN Games as a platform to assess how far we have gone with our preparations. ``From what we have seen at the DAWN Games, we have really come a long way in terms of competing strongly for medals when the festival begins,’’ Alao said. The commissioner said the state, which finished 9th on the medals table at the Eko 2012 festival, was aiming toward an improved outing

in Calabar. NAN reports that Oyo State won 12 gold, 13 silver and 17 bronze medals at the Eko 2012 fiesta. ``The target of the state is to train and bring out its best athletes to compete beyond our previous performance. ``However, it isn’t all about winning medals. What is also important is the participation and the mindset of our athletes during the competition,’’ he said. According to Alao, Oyo State is prepared for the festival and has been holding state trials in the past five months to gain competitive edge over other states.

•Neymar

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL FALLOUT

I'm very bitter, says Simeone

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IEGO Simeone stressed he was "bitter, but not sad" after Atletico Madrid were defeated 4-1 in the Champions League final by Real Madrid on Saturday. The coach was fuming on the sidelines over the five added minutes in the second half in which Sergio Ramos scored his dramatic equaliser after Diego Godin's opener to send the match into extratime. Having remonstrated with the referee after 105 minutes had been played, Simeone then stormed on to the pitch after becoming riled by Madrid defender Raphael Varane, who seemed to

DAWN Games crucial for NSF— Oyo Commissioner HE Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Farouk Alao, said on Sunday that the recentlyconcluded DAWN Games was crucial to the state’s preparations for the National Sports Festival (NSF). The maiden edition of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Games was held from May 16 to May 24 in Lagos to discover talents from secondary schools in the South-West Zone. Alao told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the Games created a platform for assessing the fitness of some of the state’s athletes that would be

the situation under control. Jay Cortez of Sports World News reported that Brazil has pledged to put aside $856 million toward tournament safety, while defence minister Celso Amorim has vowed that the country is "perfectly prepared" ahead of the month-long event. Brazil open the World Cup on June 12 as they take on Croatia in Sao Paulo—where poor preparations have led to huge delays, as well as worker deaths. The pre-tournament favourites then face Mexico in Fortaleza before completing their Group A campaign against Cameroon in the capital, Brasilia, on June 23. The final takes place in Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium on July 13.

•Simeone

provoke the Atletico bench by kicking a ball into the dugout following Cristiano Ronaldo's late penalty. "I don't feel sad," the Argentine told reporters after the match. "It's bitterness that I feel for not reaching my goal. Now the calmness is stronger and it has overcome this situation. "The match ends when the referee wants, I've nothing else to say on the matter. Hopefully this will provide Varane with experience and he will learn. He's a great player with a great future." Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Ronaldo all scored in extratime to give the Blancos a flattering scoreline considering how long Atletico had led, but Simeone accepted that his team grew weary as the game went on at Estadio da Luz. "Real Madrid were better in the second half of the game" he added. "We were all tired but they got a little better. "I tried to tell my team that they remained competitive throughout the match and I am always proud of my players - they fought until the end with a lot of humility. "We were locked in the middle of the pitch with nowhere to go and that makes things very difficult. Football is marvelous for that. At times, it teaches us that winning is everything and it is the most important. "Losing is not worthy of a tear, we need to keep our heads up and prepare for next season. It is part of the game but obviously you have the two situations. But we gave everything and other people know that Atletico can compete.


TODAY IN THE NATION

MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL 9 NO 2858

‘....when you know his sponsors and how he ‘won’ the primaries he claimed to have won, you would know that he, indeed, has SOJI OMOTUNDE changed for the worse.’

C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA

C

ULTURE entraps a generation. A few men of vision open the cage. It begins with ideas. Ideas illuminate society. Doers take over with courage and they galvanise the people along the lines of the vision. In South Africa, Alan Paton wrote a searing novel, Cry, The Beloved Country, a work that jolted a society driven by caste based on colour. Others also penned, including playwright Athol Fugard and epics like Mazisi Kunene’s on Shaka the Zulu, the first blood of rage against caste. The courage, however, roared from the loins of Nelson Mandela upon whose levers South Africa broke out of the fetters of prejudice. He caught the fire of change and lit the tinder of equality in the land. We saw a short note recently from the governor of example, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, the governor of Lagos. His ruminations on the World Economic Forum hosted by this country in Abuja would make many a columnist’s ink freeze with envy. In short, clinical sentences with sapient punch lines, he gave us his takeaways from the forum. It is Sociology 101 for Nigerians. He noted five highlights. One, that we start our meetings with prayers and end them with prayers as though we run a vast tapestry of mosques and churches, wasting tremendous man hours. Two, in meetings, we interrupt sober sessions by serenading ‘who is who’ when we should go to the business of the day. Three, a knock on journalists whose cameras and torsos shade out the profiles of guests from the eyes of other attendees and even television viewers. Four, the facility and efficiency with which Transcorp Hilton conducted the affairs, a cut away from the routine failures of protocol and order in many of our public events. His take was less, to me, a knock on Hilton but more on the failure of our institutions across the board to rise to occasions. The fifth take focuses on education, and how a foreign personage rallied the corporate world to save a dying need. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown dredged up $10 million to secure 500 schools up north. It was a call to fiscal discipline. These takeaways from the governor of example were a cultural call to arms. It is a commentary on a culture captive to epicurean slothfulness and levity. It shows we are a people who love pleasure more than work, who tolerate chaos, who surrender to fate, who grapple to simultaneously worship God and man, and fail in between. Finally, it shows we love money for its plenty rather than make plenty of our money. His take on prayers reminds me of the investors’ forum Nigeria held in Toronto over a year ago. I was sandwiched in the hall by two Canadians whose faces shone with quiet contempt as our organisers insisted on opening and closing prayers that lasted forever.

RIPPLES INSECURITY: IMMIGRATION REPATRIATES 48 ILLEGAL ALIENS

I bet they’ll all have come back over the WEEKEND

SAM OMATSEYE

IN TOUCH

intouchnation@gmail.com 08054501081(sms only) Twitter: @samomatseye

Fashola’s commonsense

• Fashola The prayers alternated between Muslim and Christian, even though the events opened earlier and closed later than schedule. Our obsession with faith makes the faithful fake and fake faithful. It has crossed over into politics where we must consider the god a man worships to elect him or her as though wealth creation, job creation, good hospitals, schools, discipline and maintenance of prosperity and value depend on whether the candidate gazes at star or moon. A comedy flows from his second take. At every event, we begin with long and winding introductions of chairmen, guests of honour, etc. Some VIPs deliberately attend events late for ego massaging. If the person – a governor, party apparatchik, business mogul, etc – arrives two hours late, the MC

These takeaways from the governor of example were a cultural call to arms. It is a commentary on a culture captive to epicurean slothfulness and levity. It shows we are a people who love pleasure more than work, who tolerate chaos, who surrender to fate, who grapple to simultaneously worship God and man, and fail in between.

interrupts to pay homage to the person. No attention is paid to the fact that he has not shown respect to others there, and even the organisers of the event. They usually do not come alone. Their long and boorish retinue also assume the cocky air of their principal. Such display of supercilious extravagance is worsened, as Fashola notes, when he would have to displace others who respected the event by coming early. It is always an alawada moment in this country and it is made more farcical by the obsequious demeanour of reverence of everyone else in the hall as they wave, bow, clap and sing for the criminal of time. The Transcorp example is typically Nigerian. Usually we do not do the right thing.

HARDBALL

I

T is the eternal lot of the journalist in Nigeria to suffer image problem and poor self esteem. Though we are touted to be of the Fourth Estate of the realm, that claim is either a huge joke or the worst self delusion ever invented for most journalists cannot boast of a tin roof, not to talk of an entire estate. While half of Nigerians would probably vote the press and its practitioners as necessary evil, the other half would surmise it is an unnecessary evil. But evil it is either way. Thus though the press is tolerated, used and even abused, there is a subterranean disdain for the media, especially among the new, cabalistic elite of today. While an erstwhile president of the United States famously said he would rather have the press than the senate, Nigeria's ruling elite of today will gladly abolish the press and go to bed with the senate (no 'offence' intended!). The above rigmarole of an introduction is an attempt to surmise the thinking of the National Conference administrators when they threatened they would withdraw the accreditation granted to a media house for the covering of the talk-shop if it proves to be 'antagonistic' during the course of the confab. This threat is contained under Order

But the hotel has shown us one thing: things will work when we put our minds to them. The failure of hospitals, of election agencies, school boards, tax agencies, power companies, etc, is the failure of discipline. PM Brown’s story tells us that we do not want to run a country based on compassion. Our compassion is often in the wrong place. We are sorry for our aunt, so we steal public funds to fund her son’s naming ceremony, etc. If $10 million can safeguard 500 schools, it means two things. One, we have a business community unmoved by a sense of social engagement. They would rather fund vanity like a TV show on finicky celebrity than an education endowment. I wrote last year, that if we start a programme where the well-heeled adopt a bed, or ward, or equipment, etc, in hospitals across Nigeria, we shall see how easily we can tackle the problem of health care. But the rich spend money either to get power because they did not earn the money, or stash them away so they can have Dubai weddings and Madrid birthdays unmolested by the physiognomy of poverty back home. Fashola’s takeaways are a brutal set of words, subtle in indictment but total in its umbrage. This is a culture unsuited for the 21st century. We can pray, but let us work. We can salute VIPs but not as late comers. We can spend money but on the right things. Let our hotels and hospital work and not wait for the white man to show them the way. In one word, let us abandon the lazy culture of feudal Nigeria and embrace the industry of the internet age. In more sensitive societies, Fashola’s notes would needle us into mass introspection and institutional sobriety. But this is not revolutionary America where one Thomas Paine wrote a short note titled Commonsense. The pamphlet emboldened the nation to action. It told home truths that eventually led Americans to a war that ousted the British. It was the shortest writing that ever roused a people. It was longer than Fashola’s takeaways but no less penetrating in insight. We need such commonsense for our common sense and, ultimately, common wealth.

Uduaghan the seer

T

HE news came last week that the United States may stop importing our oil soon. Reason: Shale technology. That should make us know that our dependence on oil will be our undoing. That informed the prescience of Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, in his Delta Beyond Oil initiative. As a nation, we should not bog ourselves down over derivation, onshore, offshore, etc. Instead we should follow the lead of Dr. Uduaghan and look beyond the transience of crude prosperity.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

'Offend' and be damned 14 - Miscellaneous of the National Conference Procedure rules, 2014. To quote from the rule books, "The Conference may withdraw approval to the representative of any media to attend the sitting of the conference if the medium publishes a report on the proceedings which the Conference considers unfair, offensive and not a true reflection of what transpired." Hardball insists that this is an outright gag and intimidation of the press and asks that this Order 14 must be expunged immediately from the confab's Procedure Rules. It is unacceptable that the media is being singled out here for harangue, intimidation and bating. If the confab could do without the press, well and good, the entire independent press would stay away. Otherwise, the press must be allowed to participate on its own terms, according to its professional dictates and without being limited or shackled. This is neither the first conference nor biggest national event ever to be covered by media houses in Nigeria and never had a special rule of engagement been drawn for

the media. The administrators may also be overreaching itself a little to think that it can bar the press or that it reserves the right to accredit the press to cover the conference. The press, especially Nigerians, need no accreditation whatsoever to report the conference. Let us not forget that the entire junket is being bankrolled by tax payers and that automatically gives us all entry tickets to the confab under the law to play our legitimate roles. Finally, what constitutes an unfair or offensive report? Who determines it? What does the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria admonish in a situation like this? Why do we split hairs about 'unfair' 'untrue' and 'offensive' reports? Is our media law not replete with prescriptions, charges, punishments and even remedies for sloppy, poor and willfully malicious reporting? While we await the confab's rethink of Order 14, let it be noted that should this one too fail, it would not be due to 'offensive' reporting. •This Hardball was first published on March 25, 2014

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May 26, 2014