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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Doctor found guilty of killing Michael Jackson


•Jury convicts Conrad Murray of manslaughter

VOL. 7, NO. 1938 TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2011



Boko Haram: Nine held over bloody attacks Nigeria rejects US, Canada alert More bodies are being recovered, says CAN Security agents probe invasion


ECURITY agents are holding nine suspects over weekend’s bombings in Yobe State. The Joint Task Force (JTF) arrested the suspects last night at a secret location in Gujba in the state. The names of seven of those arrested are: Mohammed Musa

•A soldier searching a vehicle at the Millennium Park’s gate following a threat of attack by Boko Haram in Abuja ... yesterday From Yusuf Alli, Augustine Ehikioya and Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

Kafinta; Abbana Madu Melle; Babakura Madu Melle; Ba’ana Barbadus; Madu Melle; Suleiman Umar and Mohammed Ali Waziri. The names of the remaining two could not be confirmed last night.

The suspects were moved to Damaturu, the state capital, for “documentation”. The JTF may release their identities to the public in Damaturu today. According to a source, the suspects were picked up at their secret base after about 72 hours of

manhunt. The source said: “I can conveniently tell you that the manhunt in the last 72 hours by the JTF (comprising the Army, the Police, the State Security Services and other intelligence agencies) has led to the arrest of nine suspects. “These suspected Boko Haram


members were holed up at a secret base in Gujba where they were arrested at about 8.30pm on Monday. “The JTF’s preliminary interrogation of the men revealed that they were among those who executed the bombings in Damaturu and Continued on page 4

BA gets one week to comply with directive


RITISH Airways (BA) got yesterday a one week deadline to cut its London Heathrow – Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos flights from seven to three weekly. The extension, according to the Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah- Ogiemwonyi, was a result of the intervention by the British Government in resolving the impasse between the government and British Airways. Speaking through his Special Assistant (Media), Mr Joe Obi, the minister explained that the Federal Government decided to grant an additional week, following persistent appeals.

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

The minister’s statement reads:“Following discussions between the British and Nigerian authorities on the reduction of British Airways’ slots into the Murtala Muhammed International Aiport (MMIA), Lagos, and appeals by the British government, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze OduahOgiemwonyi, has graciously granted the foreign airline an extension of one week. “By this development, BA can continue to utilise its full slots into MMI Lagos up till Tuesday, November 15, 2011. This extension is Continued on page 4

TING NIGERIA: The well-patronised pavilion of the Nigerian Tourism Development •CELEBRA CELEBRATING Corporation(NTDC) at the ongoing World Travel Market (WTM) in London ... yesterday.





Development partners score Recent reports by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show that Nigeria lives below its status as the world’s fifth largest producer, especially with its lower ranking on the Human Development Index, writes Assistant Editor (News) OLUKOREDE YISHAU


NTIL last Wednesday, an average Nigerian was not expected to live beyond 48 years and some months. Many have died on attaining this age or even before they get to 48. Some of them died because they could not access the best health care they required. Many others were so poor they resorted to self-medication or sought comfort in churches and spiritual homes. A development expert, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, said: “The fact is that children die every day in Nigeria. The rate is only second to China’s and it is unacceptable.” But for reasons which centre on slight improvements in the health sector, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said the average Nigerian can now live for 51 years and some months. The annual Human Development Index, however, painted a grim picture of the prospects for millions of people in some of the world’s poorest nations, including Nigeria, despite its status as the fifth largest oil producer in the world. The UNDP, in the report published last Wednesday, argued that global development will be stalled, unless countries, such as Nigeria, make bold moves to battle inequality and environmental threats. It observed that deforestation, soil erosion and rising food prices have hit poor populations across the world, widening the gap between developed and underdeveloped countries. The UNDP Director, Helen Clark, said: “Many disadvantaged people carry a double burden of deprivation. They are more vulnerable to the wider effects of environmental degradation, because of more severe stresses and fewer coping tools. They must also deal with threats to their immediate environment from indoor air pollution, dirty water and unimproved sanitation. Forecasts suggest that continuing failure to reduce the grave environmental

TOP FOUR ON THE HDI Norway Australia Netherlands United States LAST 10 ON THE HDI Guinea Central African Republic Sierra Leone Burkina Faso Liberia Chad Mozambique Burundi Niger Democratic Republic of Congo risks and deepening social inequalities threatens to slow decades of sustained progress by the world’s poor majority—and even to reverse the global convergence in human development. “We have a collective responsibility towards the least privileged among us today and in the future around the world—and a moral imperative to ensure that the present is not the enemy of the future.” Of the 187 countries monitored in the report, Nigeria placed 156 on the UN quality of life index. Last year, Nigeria was placed 142 of 169. The 2011 report, entitled: “Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All’’, puts Nigeria’s life expectancy at 51.9, below that of Libya 74, Mauritus 73.4, Gabon 62.7 and South Africa 52.8. The life expectancy is calculated by the number of years a newborn infant could expect to live if the prevailing pattern of age specific mortality rates at the time of birth stay the same throughout the infant’s life. On education, the index on Nigeria shows that the average number of years of schooling received by people from 25 and older is 5.0. The report puts the high-

est possible years of schooling for a child in the country at 8.9, if the prevailing pattern of age-specific enrolment rates persist throughout the child’s life. With a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of $2,069, Nigeria lags behind countries, such as Equatorial Guinea, which has its GNI at $17,608, Botswana, with $13,049 and Gabon, with $12,249. The report, however, has some good news. It shows that extreme poverty has declined in the country, noting that these advances are attributable to improvements in water, sanitation, health and other living standards. Recent reports on the country have been anything but flattering. The New York-based Centre for Reproductive Rights recently published a report, entitled Broken Promises: Human Rights Accountability and Maternal Deaths. The report said Nigeria has done little to address maternal deaths. The country also did not fare well in the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report (WDR) on Gender and Equality. The report was released on September 17. Co-Director WDR Mr Sudhir Shetty said: “In the case of Nigeria, what is observed is that the maternal mortality is still quite high, which is also a big issue in almost all parts of Africa. There is a need for necessary improvement in health care delivery.” He added: “The second issue is that female farmers have lower yields than their male counterparts and this calls for discussion on the need to improve women’s access to resources through window mechanisms, window access to productive resources, improved technology and education.” Another World Bank report said the chances of Nigeria meeting the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are slim. The report released at the recently An-

•Pupils: What hope for tomorrow?

What the HDI report said last year


HE United Nations Human Development Report 2010 offered scary details which made experts rule out the possibility of the country being able to combat diseases effectively and reducing maternal mortality. The report put Nigeria’s life expectancy at birth at 48.4 years, a little rise from the 47.7 years recorded for 2009. The 2010 report put the country’s Human Development Index (HDI) at 0.423; this makes the country 142nd of 169 countries with comparable data. Nigeria was not within the High Human Development rank; neither did it make the high Human Development rating. It was not also ranked among the countries that made it to the Medium Human Development strata. Rather, it was in the lowest ranking nations in the Low Human Development category. It was in the 27th position, counting from the rump. The report put under-five mortality at 186 of every 1,000 live births. In the report, about 10 countries accounted for about two-thirds of the world’s maternal mortality, with India contributing 22 per cent or 117,000 deaths. Nigeria accounted for 10 per cent, with 59,000 maternal deaths. This translates to one death of 13 live births. nual Meeting of the bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) said only four African countries are likely to attain the goals. The report reads: “Four countries: Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Gha-

na, and Malawi will likely achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 or soon thereafter. Despite this success, serious development challenges remain in Africa.”

Christian youths urge emergency rule in Yobe, Borno


HRISTIAN youths have advised that emergency rule be proclaimed in Borno and Yobe states, where no fewer than 150 people have been killed by Boko Haram. The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in the states. National President of the body Patriot Dolly spoke to reporters in Abuja. He said the governors of the states should be held responsible for the destruction. YOWICAN called for justice for affected Christians. Also, the National President of Tarraya Ekklisiyoyi Kristi A Nigeria (TEKAN), Rev. Emmanuel Dziggau, yesterday said the violence was becoming unbearable. Dziggau, in a statement, said the violence was capable of breaking

Senators seek end to attacks


ENATORS Babalola Akin Odunsi and Adegbenga Shefiu Kaka yesterday urged the Federal Government to end the killing of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram. In their Sallah messages, the senators said the situation was worsening. “It is time we, as leaders at all levels in this country, sat down and realise the fact that we came into this world without anything and so we are returning to give account of our existence, especially our relationship and dealings with our fellowmen. This is why we must use this season to reflect on it and do the Godly thing. With our policies and actions in our various offices, we must fear God and think only about the welfare of the less-privileged From Tony Akowe and Bukola Amusan, Abuja

the country. The statement reads: “The Tar-

Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

among us,”Kaka said, adding: “It is horrifying to know the number of human beings that have been callously wasted in this country, owing to one grievance by a sect or the other. God can’t be comfortable with all this; this is why the government must see the situation as demanding emergency attention for the sake of peace and the progress of humanity.” Odunsi lamented the worsening plight of Nigerians in the midst of stupendous natural endowments. He said: “We have no excuse as leaders not to make the generality of our people happy and comfortable. We must be alive to the fact that one day, we will go back and tell our creator how we have used the opportunity He gave us.”

raya Ekklisiyoyi Kristi A Nigeria; (Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria- TEKAN) has observed with deep concern the devillish ac-

tivities of the dreaded Islamic sect, called “Boko Haram”, whose activities are gearing towards the total elimination of Christians and

Christianity in the northern part of this country being reason for incessant attack and killings of innocent law abiding Christians in the North, particularly Christians of TEKAN family. “Therefore, the TEKAN wishes to condemn the continued killings of our members and other Christians in the North, especially the Northeast region. TEKAN may no longer accept the smooth talkshow by both the respective states and Federal Government without any measurable political will to treat this evil virus that’s capable of tearing this country apart. “TEKAN is calling on well meaning Nigerians ahead of 2014 when Nigeria will be 100 years of her amalgamation to decide the possibility of our remaining together in the face of the Boko Haram activities that are no longer acceptable to many peace-loving Nigerians.”




Nigeria low on growth indices

•Fagbenro-Byron •World Bank chief Robert Zoellick


Development experts believe the country has a lot to do to increase the life expectancy and other indices of development. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi said: “We must redouble

efforts to improve the human development indices. We must collectively remove poverty, hunger and diseases from the society and thus unleash all potential available for growth and development to achieve the MDGs in Nigeria generally and in our region in particular.’’ For the Senior Special Assistant on MDGs, Hajia Amina Az-Zubair, the answer lies in ensuring that the MDGs are met. She said: “The Millennium Development Goals in Africa hold the promise of saving millions of lives; empowering women, addressing the scourge of illiteracy, hunger and malnutrition; and ensuring that Africa’s children have access to education of good quality and good health care to lead productive lives.” Her position is shared by the Southwest Regional Coordinator for the Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Sina Fagbenro-Byron, who said: “The year 2015 is our time frame and we have a pretty vivid idea


•IMF boss Christine Lagarde

about the state of welfare of our people. We need to ensure that we begin now to concentrate on real impact that is meaningful and has a transitional effect on our people, especially the poor and vulnerable. We need to be sure that we are counting and measuring the right things, particularly realising that mere budget appropriated, released or in fact budget spent does not automatically translate to improving lives. Our focus should rather be on how our budgeting and spending is affecting robust and meaningful indicators and baselines to help monitor, capture, and report quality results.” A development expert in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ibadan, Bolatito Lanre-Abass, said poverty has to be defeated for the country’s development indices to appreciate. She said: “Poverty is also a major cause of maternal mortality, as it prevents many women from getting proper and adequate medical attention due to their inabili-

ty to afford good antenatal care.” President of an anti-maternal mortality organisation, Oops I’m Pregnant (OIP), Mrs. Osaze Ebinda , said: “The possibility that something could go wrong makes pregnancy less appealing for many. There is need for government to show greater willingness and enthusiasm to have communication and collaboration with ad hoc health service providers and strive to provide government machinery to reach and serve relatively more deprived areas and people.” The President, Society of Perinatal Medicine of Nigeria (SOPMON), Prof Godwin Ajayi, said the country is still at the lower rung of the ladder in the attainment of MDGs, particular in prevention of deaths of mother and child during childbirth. He said a lot of women and children are dying from preventable diseases, adding that the country needs to build capacity and improve on infrastructure to address this problem. Nigeria’s expenditure on public

health, which was put at 1.7 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is also considered as a major problem by experts. This reflects on the quality of health care available, a situation which has made many Nigerians seek medical attention overseas. A former Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Dr Leke Pitan, condemns the development. He said: “It has become a shame to start sending the sick abroad. There is no health care abroad that is a miracle. Things should be done properly to get result. There are Nigerian experts who are super qualified, but the working environment must be conducive for them to work. If the country wants them back and contribute to the health care delivery system, it should put in place infrastructure. Inadequate infrastructure, adversely affect the sector’s growth.” For now, the indices are not looking up. Will they at any time soon? May be. May be not.

‘There is need for summit on Boko Haram’ From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

•Dr Jonathan


UNIVERSITY of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) don, Dr. Sunny Mbazie,

has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to convene a stakeholders’ summit to address the menace of Boko Haram in the North. He said the summit would bring together security agents, government officials, experts in psychology, sociology, economics and development communication, as well as community leaders. Mbazie spoke with reporters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital yesterday. He said the forum would provide a session on how to approach crime control, prevention and detection, reiterating that security is not about arms, ammunition and operatives alone. He said if this was done and

the decisions implemented the nation would be on top in crime control. The don attributed the high level of unemployment of youths as responsible for the spate of insecurity in Nigeria. He said: “The present statistics which puts the population of Nigeria at 167 million and unemployed youths at 28 million, without welfare allowance, is dangerous. “Governments at all levels must show their score cards in creating employment opportunities. “The management of information is a crucial factor that has affected effective policing. Members of the public should volunteer information to law enforcement agents, particular-

ly at this era of mobile phones and other ICT devices. “A situation where confidential information, given at the risk of the informants’ lives was mismanaged by security operatives, is uncalled for.” Mbazie also stated that the informants could give information anonymously, stressing that the information was important and not the persons volunteering it. He enjoined the law enforcement agents to be proactive, wondering why forensic investigation, advanced fingerprint detection, ballistic examination and crime data bank were either non-existent or not properly put into use in Nigeria. The don also called for social impact assessment of the coun-

try’s developmental activities. He said it was wrong for the nation to develop, without panacea to the consequences, stressing that developed countries took serious considerations to the security of lifs and property, making their streets to be mounted with cameras and other security devices. The development communication expert equally urged the law enforcement agents to always be ahead of the criminals, as against the present situation where the criminals are ahead of the security operatives, who end up being on the defensive. Mbazie added that effective policing was the responsibility of every citizen, while the people must be carried along, thereby attracting foreign investments.



NEWS Boko Haram’s activities: Barbaric


•MOSOP President, Ledum Mitee (second right) and other Ogoni during a protest in Port Harcourt, Rivers State ... yesterday. Story on page 10. PHOTO: BISI OLANIYI

Boko Haram: Nine held over bloody attacks Continued from page 1

Potiskum at the weekend. “From the JTF records, the suspects were on the wanted list of security agencies over the series of bombings in the Northeast.” Responding to a question, the source added: “We had to quickly move the suspects away from Gujba at night to avoid reprisals from their colleagues who are still on the run. “We will soon release their identities to the public after documentation and interrogation. This is certainly a breakthrough. Security agencies are working on the clue that Boko Haram men who attacked Yobe State at the weekend may have had external support, The Nation learnt yesterday. No fewer than 150 people are believed to have died from the co-ordinated attacks on Yobe State capital Damaturu and the second city of Potiskum. The Boko Haram men attacked security posts with guns and bombs, fleeing thereafter. A security source said yesterday: “The clues are most probable overnight invasion of Yobe State from a base outside the state; reprisals from fleeing Boko Haram members whose hideouts have been uncovered in Kano and Maiduguri; and the likelihood of external backing for the terror strikes.” He added: “We have launched a manhunt for the bombers who wreaked havoc on Yobe State. The bombers operated like fleeing suspects pouncing on anything in sight. “If you know the topography of Damaturu, it is easier to identify who is who. The truth is that the attacks on Damaturu amounted to an invasion from a base outside the state. That is the strongest clue we are working on. “Recent security reports confirmed that the Joint Task Force (JTF) has gained farreaching mileage in restoring peace to Borno State and the Northeast. “There is also a suspicion of external collaboration. It seems Boko Haram is now operating from some of the neighbouring countries which have always had links with al-Qaeda. “It is too early to talk about

More bodies are being recovered, says CAN


ORE bodies are still being recovered from the bush in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, that was under the Boko Haram siege at the weekend. About 150 people were declared dead following the spate of gun attacks and bombings which extended to Potiskum and Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Yobe State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chairman Rev. Idi Garba, spoke to reporters yesterday after being denied the opportunity to see Emir of Damaturu Alhaji Shehu Hashimi Ibn Elkanem to register his protest over inadequate security in the city. “More dead bodies are still being recovered around the bush especially around Jerusalem area. Every day we keep discovering dead bodies in the bush and it is so pathetic. We are left at the mercy of God and something urgent has to be done”, the Yobe CAN boss said. preliminary investigation, but the security agencies have a marching order to uncover the bombers.” Yesterday, the federal government dismissed the United States warning of the likelihood of Boko Haram strike at major hotels in Abuja as “no news”. In an emergency message to its citizens at the weekend, the US Embassy in Nigeria issued a travel warning and specifically said Transcorp Hilton, Sheraton and Nicon Luxury hotels in Abuja may be attacked by Boko Haram during the Sallah break. It said the hotels are patronised by diplomats, politicians and the business elite. Canada also followed with advice to its citizens to avoid the Abuja hotels. But, in a statement signed by National Security Adviser ((NSA) Gen. Owoye Azazi in Abuja, and read by the Director of Policy and Strategy in the Office of the NSA, Ambassador Clement Laseinde, accompanied by the spokesperson of the State Security Service (SSS), Ms Marilyn Ogar and Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Under Secretary, Regions and International Organisation, Akin Fayomi, the Federal Government said that the threat on the three hotels is not new. The Statement reads: “The attention of the Federal Government has been drawn to a publication making the rounds in the media of planned attacks on three major hotels in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Expectedly, the publication is

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

“We are calling on all Christians in the state to be calm but we are greatly concerned with the security situation in the state especially in Jerusalem area. There is no enough security even in the areas where the churches were burnt. “As you can see, we came to see the emir because we believe that security needs to be strengthened. People are leaving the state because they no longer have faith in the security arrangement. We are calling on the Federal Government and the state government to provide more security in the state. We are really not happy and something urgent should be done”, Rev. Garba said. Though the security situation on the streets of Damaturu was calm yesterday, people are still scared indoors. Travelers in and out of the city are subjected to security checks.

eliciting unhealthy public anxiety and generating avoidable tension.” “The current threat of attack on the three hotels in Abuja is not news, and for over three months, the security services have taken proactive measures to protect the designated critical facilities and others.” “The Federal Government wants to advise members of the public that it would continue to ensure the security of lives and property under its jurisdiction despite the unfortunate events in Maiduguri and Yobe over the weekend.” SSS spokesperson Ms Ogar said the situation is not above what the security agencies can handle. She said: “We have internal security challenges and it is nothing new. And if you ask where did this information about likely attack on the hotels come from, it is basically from the internet, which subsequently somebody sent as an e-mail and we thought that had been addressed. I don’t see any problem that is beyond the Nigerian security agencies. Of course, we have deployed men and beefed up security everywhere. “We said that on 26th or 27th of October, we had text messages making their rounds that some targets were going to be bombed in Abuja. In my subsequent press statement on November 2, we did say that we traced those that sent the message to a secondary school in Kagara in Niger State, students of 18 and 17 years and of course may be out of mischief, because they

said there was an advert in a national daily that said if anybody had information concerning Boko Haram should send the information to a particular number. “Maybe because they were idle, they decided to play pranks with it. So, you find out that Nigerians always use our various security challenges as instrument may be to frighten or create unnecessary fear and panic within the society. There is nothing that is above the security agencies,” she stated. On America and Canada’s messages to their citizens, she said: “If America sent out that message, it is nothing too strange. It is not because our country is disintegrating. If Canada has followed suit, there is nothing new to it. We have had a wonderful Sallah though with some pockets of crises here and there, but they are not issues that we have not been able to contain.” Pointing out that there is no nation without its security challenges, she said: “Even the US has security challenges and I don’t think they will say it is beyond their security agencies. It is not right to pass judgment.” She also said the security situations in Yobe and Borno states are under control, just as she pleaded with Nigerians to come forward with information. Checks around the three hotels yesterday showed that security was beefed up in Nicon Luxury Hotel while the other two hotels witness similar measures already put in place in the past months.

HE indiscriminate slaughter of over 100 innocent people on Friday in the northern Nigerian town of Damaturu by a group claiming to be Muslims is barbaric.The group that has claimed responsibility, Boko Haram, appears intent on becoming the new al-Qaeda. It stands for a total rejection of the West in any form and is becoming both increasingly ambitious in its objectives and successful in its targets. It has already carried out many atrocities including the Aug. 26 suicide attack at the UN offices in the capital Abuja which killed 24. It is now said by the US Embassy in Nigeria to be planning to attack hotels in the city. Boko Haram means, “Western education is haram.” But the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Go in search on knowledge, even to China.” That means anywhere and everywhere. Boko Haram’s philosophy is fundamentally at odds with the Prophet’s teachings and therefore with Islam. The West is part of the world. Where there is knowledge to be gained from it (and from anywhere else), it must be grasped with enthusiasm. Muslims are proud of the role the world of Islam has played in the development of mankind’s knowledge and science. But where would we be today without all the inventions that have come from the West in the last hundred years — cars, aircraft, television, radio, computers, the Internet, agricultural technology, medical advances and so much more? It is, moreover noticeable that those who so adamantly reject the West do not reject its inventions and ideas. That is hypocrisy. They forget too that in the West, and in

Western education, Muslims play a growing role. We could, then, respond to the repulsive actions of Boko Haram by fulminating against its ignorance of Islam and of reality. It is easy to point out errors, easy to condemn, especially from afar. The far more important issue is this: Why are there people so alienated in northern Nigeria that they are prepared to attack police stations and kill their neighbours? In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban are held responsible for the murderous militancy that has resulted in suicide bombings and attacks that have killed thousands of people. But the Taliban are primarily a vehicle that channels local and tribal resentment of the presence of Western troops and a central government aligned w i t h them. Is it t h e same in northern Nigeria? There is certainly alienation and militancy in the oil fields of the main Christian Niger delta region in the south over the lack of jobs and investment. If alienation in the north has been hijacked by militants preaching a warped version of Islam, that can be rectified in part by sound teaching. But that will not deal with the fundamental issues of economic deprivation. There is already reason to believe it is at the root of Nigeria’s bloody rivalries between Muslims and Christians. The Nigerian government says it intends to crack down on Boko Haram. It will have to — so far it has totally failed to face up to the threat from the movement. But doing so is unlikely to end the discontent in the far north without also doing something to improve the lives of the people there. •Arab editorial

BA gets one week to comply with directive Continued from page 1

to give way for further discussions on the issues under consideration. The Ministry of Aviation, however, assures that Nigeria’s national interest will strongly be protected in the on-going negotiations.” Last Wednesday,the Federal Government slashed British Airways flight slots into Nigeria from 14 to 10. While the daily flight frequency between Abuja and London remains unchanged, the seven flights between Lagos and London were reduced from seven to thrice weekly. The row over air pact between Nigeria and British Airways came on the heels of the petition sent to the National

Assembly and the Presidency by the Chairman of Arik Air, Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, over the alleged denial of slots to his airline on the Abuja- London, by British authorities under a skewed slot allocation arrangement, which has forced Arik to suspend its Abuja-London flight. Arumemi-Ikhide had protested the lopsidedness in the bilateral air services agreement signed between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, which allows British carriers to enjoy 21 weekly frequencies in and out of Nigeria. Arik Air only enjoys 12 weekly flight frequencies out of the Abuja and Lagos airports, leaving Nigeria with a deficiency of nine frequencies for other Nigerian carriers.

US alert a negative image, says Niger governor


HE Boko Haram attacks and the subsequent United States warning of likely bombings of Abuja hotels is negative on Nigeria’s image, Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu said yesterday. Disturbed by the diplomatic advisory, Aliyu, the chairman of the Northern

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Governors Forum said the Boko Haram menace calls for concern of all. He said the image of the country cannot be allowed to be dragged in the mud by the activities of the radical group. Continued on page 9

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Nigerian, Britons in trouble over immigration scam


NIGERIAN, Samuel Shoyeju, who is a Clearance Officer in the UK Border Agency, has run into stormy waters over alleged immigration scams. The Head of the agency, Brodie Clark, and two other senior officials, Graeme Kyle, director of Operations at Heathrow, and Carole Upshall, director of the Border Force South and European Operation, are also on suspension for relaxing checks at the entry points and thus not guiding against terrorists and criminals entering the UK. Shoyeju, who is also a British citizen, it emerged on Sunday, was arrested after it was discovered he allegedly accepted bribes to allow Nigerians to enter Britain illegally. Last month, Benjamin Orororo, another agency official, was jailed after admitting that he had taken £50,000 in bribes for letting asylum seekers stay indefinitely in Britain. Orororo is believed to be a British citizen of Nigerian descent. Shoyeju was arrested while working at the Immigration service’s head office in Croydon, south London. He is due to appear at Basildon Crown Court in Essex this week.

Samuel Shoyeju, who is a Clearance Officer in the UK Border Agency, has run into stormy waters over alleged immigration scams. Last month, Benjamin Orororo, another agency official, was jailed after admitting that he had taken £50,000 in bribes for letting asylum seekers stay indefinitely in Britain. Orororo is believed to be a British citizen of Nigerian descent It is thought he will be accused of breaches of the immigration law for allegedly falsely issuing entry visas and misconduct in a public office. He is also accused of possessing false Nigerian passports and concealing substantial cash payments in a bank account in his name, probably suspecting they were the proceeds of criminal conduct, reported The Sunday Times. The arrest comes just days after Clark was suspended over a major fiasco that may have left Britain open to terrorists and criminals. If the claims are true, he is facing the sack without a penny in compensation. The 60-year-old former prison

governor was ordered out of the Home Office after claims that over the summer, Immigration officers were told secretly not to bother checking biometric chips on the passports of hundreds of thousands of citizens from outside the EU. Staff were also instructed not to check their fingerprints or other personal details against a Warnings Index containing the names of terror suspects and illegal immigrants who are denied entry into Britain because they could put the public at risk. The parliament yesterday also began querying why the Home Secretary ordered a relaxation of checks at entry points. It is believed that Clark was re-

ported to the authorities by junior passport control staff who complained after being told to implement the ‘discretionary’ checking policy, according to the Sunday Times. In July, Home Secretary Theresa May and fellow Home Office ministers agreed to a pilot scheme allowing border officials to operate a ‘risk-based approach’ to a limited number of EU passenger checks. It meant that EU nationals could have their biometric passports checked ‘upon the discretion of a UK Border Agency official’ instead of automatically’. In addition, European school children travelling with their fami-

•THE TOUR OF OBAJANA Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi discussing with the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote during a facility tour of Dangote Obajana Cement. Since Dangote acquired the company, it has gone through a lot of changes in terms of production capacity and staff welfare. With the upgrade of the plant, Dangote plans to emerge the biggest cement manufacturing firm in the country and the sub-region.

Baba Suwe yet to return home


OLLYWOOD actor Mr. Babatunde Omidina, also known as Baba Suwe , is yet to arrive home four days after his release from the detention of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on the orders of a Lagos High Court Judge, Justice Yetunde Idowu. Family sources told The Nation at his Reverend Oluwatimiro Avenue, Ewu-Elepe, Ikorodu residence, that Omidina was recuperating at an undisclosed location in Lagos where he was said to have celebrated the Sallah. Another source said he is in Kano. Omidina, according to a family source, needed to recover from the gruesome experience he had during the 24 days that he spent in the custody of the NDLEA on the suspicion that he ingested substances believed to be narcotic. The ace comedian was, however, said to have been in contact with his family on phone since his release last Friday. Baba Suwe’s younger brother’s wife Mrs. Bukola Omidina confirmed to The Nation that the senior Omidina has been calling his family on phone from the location he

Jonathan, Sambo, Gowon for book launch


By Adebisi Onanuga and Mercy Michael

was driven to from the court since he was freed last week. However, Mrs. Omidina would not confirm when Babatunde Omidina would rejoin his children. The palatial residence of Omidina was almost deserted when The Nation visited, except for the few children who were playing, his younger brother‘s wife and another woman, who sat on the balcony. There were two cars parked in the premises. A neighbour, simply identified as Mr Samson, said the landlords in the area thanked God for the release of the ace comedian from the detention of the NDLEA. He said landlords in the area were praying for him when they heard of his arrest in the media. Samson, who lived two houses away from Omidina, said they still wonder why the NDLEA linked him with drug trafficking. He described him as a humble, respectable and responsible person, who participate in all activities of his community, despite his fame. Other residents on Reverend Oluwatimiro Street, Ewu-Elepe,

lies or in groups would not automatically be checked against the Warnings Index, which is used to alert the agency about people who may be of interest. But it appears that Clark may have extended the relaxation of the checks way beyond the policy laid down by ministers. Mrs May is said to have reacted with ‘incredulity and fury’ when informed of the unauthorised blunder and has ordered an independent enquiry to be conducted by the Chief Inspector of Immigration, John Vine. A senior source said it was clear ministers had ‘no idea’ until last week that the passport controls had been axed to such an extent. ‘’It’s a bit of a mess, but it does look as if any pleas that will be made on Mr Clark’s behalf will be in mitigation and that he will lose his job,’’ the source added. Initially, the Border Agency offered Clark the chance to retire. But Home Office officials intervened and refused to allow him to go to prevent him from winning a discretionary payout. Clark was suspended pending results of two investigations. Dave Wood, head of the Enforcement and Crime Group at the UKBA, is carrying out a two-week enquiry aimed at discovering to what extent checks were scaled down and what the security implications might have been. A second probe by ex-MI6 official Mike Anderson, director-general of the strategy, immigration and international group at the Home Office, will investigate wider issues relating to the performance of the agency, which one Home Office source labelled a ‘massive problem’. The scandal is the latest in a string of controversies to hit the agency, which was set up three years ago to take control of immigration. Last year, Vine found “serious failings”. The agency in May sacked two of its officials over immigration scams. Before his arrest, Shoyeju was in May linked with the visa scams in the agency. In January last year, it was revealed that the agency, which was supposed to be screening out illegal immigrants, had employed 11 illegal immigrants. Ten of them were Nigerians and one Ghanaian.


who wanted anonymity, also described him as a gentleman, a good neighbour and a nice person. Leader of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), to which Omidina belongs, Jide Kosoko, could not confirm his whereabouts. He said: “I don’t know where he is at the moment. But I know that he definitely needs to rest after being held for such a long time. I have spoken to him and confirmed he’s fine but I cannot say for sure where he is. “And you know a lot of people will want to see him at the same time, so it is possible he’s in town but choose not to see anyone.”

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is expected as the chief guest of honour at the public presentation of the book, “Lifting the Peril”, a new work authored by Patrick Ekpotu, former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State. The public presentation, which will be chaired by former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), is slated for Thursday at the ThisDay Dome, Central Business District, Abuja. A statement by the chairman, Media/Publicity Sub-Committee, Edward Dibiana said the book was published by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru. Dibiana said Lifting the Peril is an incisive work on the crises in the Niger Delta. Vice-President Namadi Sambo is expected as special guest of honour. Sir Gabriel Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, is the chief presenter. Acting Director-General of NIPSS Prof Tijjani MuhammadBande is the chief host, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom are hosts. Other co-


hosts are: Prof Ruquayyatu Ahmed Rufai and Senator Bala Abdulkadir, ministers of Education and FCT. The Father of the Day is King Alfred Diette-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass. Chairman of the Central Planning Committee Prof Olu Obafemi said “the event is historic, as it is the crowning glory of the first ever collaboration between NIPPS and an individual in the area of publishing a research work that deals with finding a solution to one of our national malaise.”




ICC report on Jos crises ready next month T HE International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it would publish in December a report on its “preliminary examinations” over allegations of crimes against humanity in Jos, the Plateau State capital. The ICC Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the report would be ready during the 10th session of the Assembly of States’ Parties of the global court at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, United States. The examination of the Jos crises followed a petition by a human rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), to the court in January, last year. In the petition sent to Moreno-Ocampo last month by SERAP Solicitor, Femi Falana, the group urged him “to make progress and bring your analysis and investiga-

By Joseph Jibueze

tion of allegations of crimes against humanity in Jos to a quick and satisfactory completion”. Falana said: “It is now close to one year since the ICC launched an analysis on the Jos situation; and many victims are continuing to ask us for the outcome of the intervention by the ICC. “The continuing delay by the ICC to complete its examination of the Jos situation is fuelling and contributing to a vicious cycle of violence and impunity, leaving victims without justice and an effective remedy.” Moreno-Ocampo explained why the ICC expedited action on the petition, saying: “Normally, it is an internal process, but because of the interest on the issue, a

report should be expected before the end of the year. “I have three duties to represent the victims in trial: to carry out investigations; and before that, to conduct preliminary examinations; to establish if a situation should be presented to the court or not.” In a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP said the release of the ICC report is a major step towards justice for victims. It said: “The ICC prosecutor has taken a critical step towards ensuring that those who committed extreme human rights violations in Jos are held accountable. “We are very confident in the system of international justice, and have no doubt that the report will support the numerous victims of the

Jos crimes who have nowhere else to turn. “The assurance by Ocampo that the report on the Jos crimes will be ready in a few weeks’ time is fantastic news for the many victims of the crimes against humanity committed in Jos, especially those who are denied access to justice in Nigeria, as the government has shown itself to be unwilling or unable to punish suspected perpetrators. “The release of the report is also a wake up call to perpetrators that there will be no impunity for international crimes, no matter how long it takes. “We urge the Nigerian government to fully cooperate with the ICC on the matter in the overall interest of justice, and remain consistent with its international commitment under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.” The ICC intervention in

•Dr Murray after the verdict... yesterday PHOTO:AP

Jury finds Murray guilty of killing Michael Jackson


ICHAEL Jackson’s personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, has been found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of the star by a jury in Los Angeles. A panel of seven men and five women took two days of deliberation to reach a verdict after a six-week trial. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol. He was 50. Murray, 58, could now receive a maximum prison term of four years and lose his licence to practise medicine. Dr Murray’s lawyers argued that Jackson self-administered a lethal dose of the drug while he was out of the room. The judgment was read out at the county court in Los Angeles, United States. He pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Murray had been hired to care for Jackson as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts at the O2 Arena in London. A judge said the doctor, convicted of involuntary manslaughter, will be held without bail until he is sentenced on November 29. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said Murray would be taken into custody until he is sentenced. Murray was charged in February, last year, and has remained free on bail.

ASUU urges Fed Govt to implement 2009 pact


• From left: Senator Babajide Omoworare, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committe on Federal Character; Senator Dahiru Kuta, the Chairman; Ms Arunma Oteh, Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and Senator Gbenga Asafa, committe member; during the committee’s visit to SEC as part of its oversight functions.

Bombings: PDP chair condemns attacks, calls for peace T

HE Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has condemned the bombings in Damaturu and Maiduguri, the Yobe and Borno states’ capitals, where over 100 were killed at the weekend. In a goodwill message to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, Baraje urged Nigerians to ensure the peace and unity of the nation regardless of the differences in tribes, religions and political affiliations. The PDP chairman appealed to the elite to resolve the crises facing the nation’s destiny. He noted that the violence in Borno and Yobe states marked another sour point in the nation’s history. Baraje said: “No meaningful growth and development can be achieved in an atmosphere of strife and serial threats to the security and the general wellbeing of the nation. “The latest bombings in Damaturu and Maiduguri were most bizarre, tragic and unfortunate. They liter-

•ANPP berates Fed Govt over Boko Haram attacks

From Gbade Ogunwale (Assistant Editor) and Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

ally broke the peace, sacrifice and solemnity, which the Eid-el-Kabir signifies.” He condoled with the families of the victims and prayed for the fortitude for them to bear the losses. The party chair expressed confidence in the Goodluck Jonathan administration to tackle insecurity. Baraje said: “I am fully convinced that our Creator, the Almighty Allah, the Merciful, means well for this nation. He brought us together in this large entity called Nigeria with diverse cultures, tribes, tongues, religions, and traditions. “Let us all turn to God by eschewing this orgy of violence and tolerate one another. In the indelible words of our great leader and mentor, Sir Ahmadu Bello, let us seek to recognise and respect our differ-

ences at all times.” He urged Muslims and other Nigerians to pray for sustained peace, unity, harmony and progress of the nation. Baraje added that violence has never resolved conflicts or differences. The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday condemned the bombings in Yobe and Borno states, in which scores of people died and property worth millions of naira destroyed. The leading opposition party said the incident has raised issues on deteriorating security challenges “which we observe, the Federal Government is yet to fully address”. In a statement, the ANPP said: “We fail to see how sustainable development can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity. In the past six months, virtually no day passes without disturbing news of bombings and kill-

ings in different parts of our beloved country. Yesterday, it was Maiduguri, Bauchi or Jos, Today, it is Damaturu. Nobody is even sure of where it will be the day after tomorrow. Yet, we have a Federal Government whose primary responsibility, as clearly stated in the Constitution, is to protect life and property.” It urged the Federal Government to remain resolute in avoiding a recurrence. The statement by ANPP National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu reads: “As a political party, we are worried about the safety of Nigerians and friends of Nigeria residing in our country. So far, our fellow citizens are living in fear which has adversely affected their pursuit for a better life and eroded their confidence in Government. This unfortunate trend must stop and the time is now! “We call on the Federal Government to urgently explore and implement a visionary and holistic security strategy that will address the remote and immediate cause of this rather unfortunate state of affairs.”

HE Abuja Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to begin implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement to avoid the disruption of academic activities in universities. It urged the ASUU-NEC to reconvene after November 22 to review the extent of government’s fulfillment of her promises and take decisive action. Addressing reporters at the end of its two-day meeting at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi(UAM),the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Dr Abu Mallam, said since the agreement was signed, its major aspects remained unimplemented. He noted that after ASUU had embarked on a two-

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

week warning strike, there were appeals from well-meaning Nigerians for an amicable solution to the face-off. According to Mallam, the components of the agreement that are yet to be implemented include funding and earned academic allowance; 70 as the retirement age for academic staff from professors cadre downwards; and the amendment of pension, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) laws. The ASUU Abuja Zone frowned at the arbitrary dissolution of the governing councils of federal universities, saying it supported the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (post-UTME) by the universities as part of quality control for admission.

‘Violence against women must stop’


SUN State Deputy Governor Mrs Titilayo LaoyeTomori has said Nigeria must end violence against women if it wants to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She spoke in Osogbo, the state capital, at a workshop organised by the Ministry for Women Affairs, in collaboration with British Department for International Development (DFID). Represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. M. Adegboyega, the deputy governor noted that one of five women faces some form of violence in her lifetime. She said the violence sometimes leads to serious injury or death. Mrs Laoye-Tomori said Nigeria cannot develop when half of its population faces unchecked abuse. In a goodwill message, Sina Fagbenro-Byron of the Department for International Development (DFID) said there was a connection between MDGs and violence against women, especially Goals 3 of MDGs, which is to promote gender equality and empower women.




Mother, wife of detained Muslim youth petition Jonathan, AGF T HE aged mother of one of the Muslim youths arrested in Lagos on suspicion of being members of the Boko Haram sect, Mrs. Sherifat Babatunde, and wife Nosirat, have appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to prevail on the State Security Service (SSS) to release Mr. Lookman Babatunde. Mrs. Babatunde told The Nation yesterday that the SSS was keeping her son in detention, 39 days after Justice O.E. Abang of a Federal High Court, Lagos, ordered his release. She said she doesn’t know why her son was being held, adding that the SSS had not charged him to court for any offence.

By Adebisi Onanuga

Lookman, a civil servant and father of two, Khalid (2) and Khalilullah (four months), has been in the detention of the SSS since August 25, when he responded to the invitation of the agency in the company of his erstwhile lawyers, who were assigned to him by the Office of the Lagos State Public Defender, and has been inaccessible to his family since then. On September 29, Justice Abang ruled on a Motion on Notice filed by Lookman’s counsel, Mr. Babatunde Olubando. He released the applicant on bail in the sum of

N500,000 with one surety in like sum. But the family said the SSS failed to comply with the judgment. In a petition titled: “Refusal of the SSS to obey the Judgment of the Court in the Matter of the Enforcement of the Fundamental Rights of Lookman Babatunde,” dated October 24 and addressed to the AGF, Olubando said it was absurd that the SSS arrested his client and detained him for over two months without charging him to court. The SSS Director-General in Abuja was also petitioned. Olubando said it was unbelievable that 12 years after mili-

tary rule, the rights of citizens are still abused. He said: “It is a known fact that members of the Boko Haran Sect, who are known to be subversive elements, are arraigned before a court, while our client, who has nothing in common with this sect, is held incommunicado for nearly two months without trial and in blatant and reckless violation of his fundamental rights to freedom of movement and personal liberty as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.” Olubando prayed for the intervention of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation in the matter to ensure the release

of his client or arraignment before a competent court as ordered by Justice Abang in his judgment of September 29, 2011. Lookman‘s wife, Nosirat told The Nation that life has been horrible for the family since the detention of her husband by the SSS over two months ago. Insisting that her husband is not a religious extremist, she said: "I wake up everyday thinking my husband will walk in, but the day always ends on a sad note when I don't see him. My son, Khalid, always asks where his daddy is and I don`t know what answer to give him." Nosirat said her husband was a quiet and peace loving person. .

Ekiti deputy governor advises intending Christian pilgrims From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


KITI State Deputy Governor Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka has urged 230 Christians preparing for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to be good ambassadors of the state. Mrs. Olayinka, who represented Governor Kayode Fayemi at a departure service organised by the Christian Pilgrims Board, also urged them to pray for peace and progress in the state and Nigeria. She advised them to be security conscious, obey the laws of the holy land and comply with the instructions of officials of the State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board. Chairman, State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Chief Aaron Akomolafe thanked Fayemi for his support. Akomolafe said the intending pilgrims were thoroughly screened and only those with genuine intentions were approved for the pilgrimage.


From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan


HE Oyo State House of Assembly will soon look into the law granting the state government soleownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso. Speaker Monsurat Sunmonu spoke with reporters yesterday at Durbar Stadium, while hosting 500 pupils of public primary schools in her Oyo East/ West Constituency. The former House enacted the law granting sole ownership of the institution to the state during the twilight of the Adebayo Alao-Akala-led administration. But Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, returned to the joint ownership structure that was put in place in 1991, when Osun State was created. They have adopted the hospital in Ogbomoso as the second teaching hospital for medical students and agreed to continue to co-fund the institution on a six-month rotational basis.

Kaunda seeks support for children


ORMER Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda has urged the Lagos State Government to support his new initiative, the Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa project. He also praised the developmental efforts of the government, saying the state has progressed tremendously in the past few years. Kaunda spoke during a visit to Governor Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Adejoke-Orelope Adefulire.

•Mrs. Olayinka (right) bidding the intending pilgrims farewell…yesterday

Ladoja gives PDP tough conditions for his return ORMER Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja has given stringent conditions to the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for his return to the party. Ladoja said he has observed that the PDP hates Oyo State, despite its contributions to the success and growth of the party. He spoke with reporters on Sunday at his Bodija home in Ibadan, the state capital, during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration. The former governor said he would not return to PDP until certain steps are taken to redress past actions, which had affected the state negatively. Ladoja left PDP for Accord following disagreementover the running of the party’s affairs. He contested the April 2011 governorship election, but lost to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). However, the Accord won four Houe of Representatives seats and seven in the 32-member House of Assembly. Ladoja said the denial of Chief Sunday Awoniyi from becoming the PDP’s National Chairman in 1999 paved the way for former Presi-

Oyo Assembly to revisit law on LAUTECH

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

dent Olusegun Obasanjo to trample upon members of the party. He accused Obasanjo of removing successive national chairmen and installing his stooges, and throwing away the ideals of the party, which made it the toast of all in 1998. He said: “They have sent emissaries and I am still receiving emissaries from them. They want me back in the party, but this would give me the opportunity of reviewing the relationship between PDP and Oyo State during the time PDP was in power. Today, in the Southwest, PDP has only six members, all of which come from Oyo State; a senator and five House of Representatives members.” Ladoja regretted that Oyo was denied the Speakership of the House of Representatives, adding that federal appointments also did not favour the state. He said: “What do you expect? You would expect that to whom much is given, much is expected. You would expect that of the seven ministers in the Southwest, Oyo should be given

a substantive minister and not a minister of state. But instead of that, we got the smallest of all the ministers, the minister of state for the Federal Capital Territory. “This is not acceptable to me, especially when the biggest ministries went to Ogun State. Foreign Affairs and Agriculture are some of the biggest ministries; could their allocations have been coincidental? Some may even be tempted to ask whether the former president is still in power, because he is the one in charge. “Historically, it has always been like that. Former Minister of State for Finance Remi Babalola for instance, resigned when he was posted to the Ministry of Special Duties, because he considered it an insult. “We were the only ones that delivered, yet, they gave us minister of state. When I looked at it, I started to believe that PDP hates Oyo State. “I have told them to convince me on why I should return to PDP, a party that does not appear to like my state. I am still waiting for that conviction.” Ladoja said his “illegal impeachment,” allegedly sponsored by Obasanjo, is another indication of the

PDP’s hatred for Oyo State. He said: “This was my position when Chief Dejo Raimi came to meet me and he said I had a point. I cannot be in a party where I would not enjoy the dividends of my work. There are fine gentlemen in the PDP. It is blessed with people with dignity, but where did it derail? The party derailed when we it did not elect Awoniyi as chairman, because Awoniyi would not have allowed himself to be used by Obasanjo. “Obasanjo then got Chief Banabas Gemade in and later replaced him with Ahmadu Alli and so on. We have to find a way of redressing that trend and that is what I stand for.”

Fashola’s agenda film for premiere



MOVIE centred on the effort of the Lagos State Government to improve public schools, Ile Iwe Ijoba, is scheduled for premiere on Thursday. It is an account of the Governor Babatunde Fashola-led

administration’s commitment to the provision of basic amenities and quality education in public schools. The premiere, scheduled to hold at De Hall on Awolowo Way, Ikeja, will enjoy the collaboration of the Lagos State Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information and Strategy. The movie seeks to change the society’s impression about public schools. The film, produced by Total Films Productions, features artists, such as Jibola Darbor, Kanran, Doris Simeon, Funsho Adeolu, Femi Oriyomi, Lola Alao, Pa Suara and Ojoge, among others. Fashola is the special guest of honour.

Top UK varsities woo Nigerian students


IGERIAN students, who attended an Education Fair organised by the United Kingdom Education Advisory Service (UKEAS) at its Opebi, Lagos office, last Saturday, had some financial burden lifted off their shoulders. Not only did they not pay admission fees into the venue, they also learnt that UKEAS, which featured 14 top-ranking universities and colleges at the fair, offers counselling to applicants on school and course choices, monitors the application process, provides visa counseling services and other services –

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

all for free. Institutions present at the fair included Universities of Surrey, Lancaster, Queen Mary (University of London), Birmingham, Kent, Leeds, Essex, Bristol, Liverpool John Moores, City, Exeter and Bellerbys College. The Director, Mr. John Smith, said UKEAS, which opened in Nigeria last month, also offers partial scholarships, organises pre-departure briefings for students offered admission, helps them to secure accommodation and has a UK office that monitors their progress in their studies.



NEWS Why Nigerian borders are porous, by Minister

Bible seminary holds convention THE 2011 annual convention of the Pentecostal International Bible Seminary (PIBS), which began yesterday, is scheduled to end on November 10. It is holding at 10/12, Lateef Salami, Alao Estate, off International Airport Road, Lagos. The three-day event with the theme: “Women as Vessel of Honour”, according to Chinyere Nnah, Women Leader for the convention, is aimed at raising women as God’s vessels of honour for the transformation of families, churches and nations. She said: “God does not discriminate between men and women, when seeking for usable vessels. Besides our role as helpers for our men, God has used women before to play distinctive roles in causing His will to be done.” She, therefore, urged women to keep and open eye, as well as remain focused as He will make them vessels of honour. Guest speakers at the event include Pastors Chinyere Ernest and Susan Ibeaka both female clerics.

Ajuonuma bags NIPR fellowship By Eric Ikhilae

THE Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has named the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Levi Ajuonuma among those to be awarded its fellowship this year. Before his appointment by NNPC in November 2003, Ajuonuma was a broadcaster and public relations consultant. He presented some programmes on a private radio and national television stations. Ajuonuma started his working career in 1977 as an announcer/newscaster with the Imo Broadcasting Service (IBS) in Owerri, the Imo State capital. He left IBS in 1979 for the United States for further studies at Huntington College, Indiana, where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. He later got a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota in 1983 and 1987. The NNPC spokesman also procured a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Plymouth State College of the University System of New Hampshire in 1989. He had a stint in the academia as Assistant Professor at the Department of Journalism, Keene State College of the University System of the State of New Hampshire, USA, before returning to Nigeria. A statement by some of his friends under the aegis of Levi Ajuonuma Committee of Friends, quoted some individuals as hailing the NIPR’s decision to honour Ajuonuma with its fellowship.


•Managing Director, Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Mr Bob Steetskamp (right) and the company’s Human Resources Manager, Mr. Robert Madueke at the closing ceremony of MD’s Cup competition in the weekend PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI

HE Minister of Interior, Abba Moro has identified lack of security as the cause of the nation’s porous borders. He spoke with reporters yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on his arrival from the United States and Canada where he went to assess border control system. He also witnessed an exhibition on surveillance and intelligence gathering. The minister said his findings will be used to tackle the nation’s internal security challenge. Moro advised the Federal Government to emulate the border control put in place by

Way out of petroleum subsidy removal crisis, by ACN T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has rejected the Federal Government’s plan to remove petroleum subsidy, calling it (the plan) the handiwork of those propelled by the philosophy of the ‘Washington Consensus’ of rolling back the frontiers of the state. As a way out of the subsidy conundrum, the party proposed the establishment of modular refineries with a total of 280,000 barrels per day refining capacity in nine cities - Gusau, Enugu, Ibadan, Kano, Makurdi, Maiduguri, Lagos, Auchi and Gombe, in addition to reviving the existing ones. In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also condemned the reduction of the subsidy removal debate to a purely fiscal issue, without considering the responsibility of the government to improve the


lives of the people through prudent management of state resources. The statement reads: ‘’Primarily, the basic objective of any fiscal policy is to improve the living conditions of the people through poverty reduction and the provision of welfare services. The removal of subsidy must therefore go beyond the cheap argument of improving the solvency of the government. ‘’To reduce the responsibility of the government to its citizen to Naira and Kobo tokenism is tantamount to abdicating responsibility, and this has far reaching consequences not only on the sustainability of our democracy but the continued existence of the nation as a unified entity.’’ ACN said the government’s argument that the

subsidy benefits some members of a faceless cartel will begin to have meaning only if and when the government names the beneficiaries and tells Nigerians why they cannot be stopped from fleecing the state. The party also said the only reason the issue of fuel subsidy has continued to recur is because Nigeria imports petroleum products for domestic consumption, warning that so long as importation continues, the problem that the government sets out to confront would continue like a recurring decimal. It said the template being used by the government, which puts the pump price per litre of petrol at N144.70 instead of the current price of N65, is fraught with inaccuracies and amounts to making the ordinary Nige-

rian to pay for the inefficiency of relevant government agencies. ‘’In any case, why should Nigeria, with huge crude oil deposits, have to import refined products? Why should Nigerians pay for the resources so bestowed on them by God through their noses? “Why is the price of products, even among importer/exporter nations higher in Nigeria? The answer lies in the crude, prebendal, corruption-ridden state system that we run in this country. ‘’For example, the pump price of petrol in Iran is N58.40, N30.66k in Kuwait, N32.12k in Qatar, and N17.52k in Saudi Arabia while it is a meager N5.84k in Venezuela. In Egypt pump price of petrol is N46.72k, while it is N39.42k in Bahrain. It is N135 in the USA for high premium inclusive of all state and federal taxes,’’ ACN said.

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

the Americans, adding that: “We should access what is possible and you know in life everything is possible. If we have the means to do the same here, our borders will be save. “I went on a trip to attend a conference in Canada. It was an annual conference and an exhibition of the latest in technology in terms of surveillance and intelligence gathering essentially with internal security. “We do not have any border protection in Nigeria. I took time off to assess the border control of the USA. Our borders are literarily open if you compare Nigerian border with that of the USA. In those places they have border control, border plazas and border post. They have sufficient personnel and they have border protection agency that is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that only legitimate persons cross into the USA territory. The system is technology-driven. Their equipment is segmented. There are machines for narcotics, there are machines to detect arms and armunition. “The exposure will be of use to the Ministry of Interior especially as we tackle internal security in Nigeria. In the US I attended a meeting on fire services. I have realised that there is a gap in the fire delivery system in Nigeria. What I have been doing since I assume office is to look at the facilities that are available in the ministry, especially those that have to do with internal security. So, the discovery that I had is that the fire delivery system in Nigeria has not been up to date. So, we have been talking with some organisations and companies to partner with the Ministry of Interior so that we can have a very effective fire response system in the country.”

Two Nigerians held in India for fake credit card racket

WO Nigerians were arrested at the weekend in India for illegally staying in the country and running an international credit card racket in major cities including Hyderabad. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Task Force) Ch Ramchander, Kasope Sangodipe Adeyemo

(also known as) Lloyd Abraham Philip and Abolaji Mohammed (also known as) Maroof, both from Lagos had purchased ‘7 lakh worth of goods from different shops by using 17 fake credit cards of ICICI, Axis and other banks. Two others, Suleman alias Sule and Vincent Ezurika alias Godwin,

have absconded. Police said Kasope came to the country on a business visa in 2007 and was staying in Arjun Nagar in New Delhi. He was earlier arrested by Delhi police for supplying narcotics and sent to prison for six months. Mohammed came on a three month visit visa in February.

Police said the accused used to purchase the fake credit cards through known persons in Nigeria and in India. “They are using them to buy electronic goods, clothes and shoes. Some purchased goods are exported to their country while others are sold online. Most credit cards be-

long to American citizens,” the police said. Ramchander said. Since October 10, the accused made 10 transactions in the city and purchased laptops, digital camera, several costly mobile phones, furniture and even liquor worth more than ‘26,000 from a shop in Begumpet.

•Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole (second left) addressing a rally where 12 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders from Fugar, Etsakor Central Local Government defected to Action Congress of Nigeria (AC N)…at the weekend. With him are some of the defectors - Mr John Umoru (left), former Special Adviser to former House Speaker Dimeji Bankole, Mr Musa Ebhomhiana and Chief Stephen Alao



NEWS Boko Haram: US alert a negative image, says Niger governor Continued from page 4 Aliyu spoke in Minna while hosting the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Farouk Bahago, who paid him Sallah homage at the Government House. He lamented that such warnings by foreign embassies will make a mess of the gains of “rebranding”, as Nigeria’s image continues to be tainted. The NGF chairman said the country must resolve to stop the wanton killings and destruction by the radical group. He also urged all citizens to be vigilant and report suspicious activities to the appropriate authority. Aliyu said traditional rulers have vital role to play in the war against terrorism. This, he said, the royal fathers can do by maintaining peace in their domain. He said as fathers, they are closer to the people and are in a better position to assist the government to fish out people of questionable characters in their domain. The governor told the Emir and his chiefs that the state would focus on agriculture to boost food production. He directed the Ministry of Agriculture to work out modalities to assist farmers in the local government areas. The Emir advised aggrieved groups to embrace peace. He said only a peaceful nation will attract investors because, according to him, “investors will feel uneasy to invest in a country that is not secured and marred with continued violence”.

Ajibola advises Muslims


Amaechi, Obi, Akume call for unity


IVERS State Governor and Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Amaechi has urged Muslims to continue to promote peace, unity and oneness in the nation. He advised them to use the opportunity of the Eid el Kabir festival to reflect on the ideals and virtues of Prophet Ibrahim. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Iy-

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka and Clarice Azuatalum, Port Harcourt ofor, the governor appealed to Muslims to reflect on ways to strengthen the bond among us while promoting brotherly love and and religious tolerance. “As Nigerians, we must exhibit oneness to be able to stand strong together through diverse difficulties and

achieve our goals as a nation. This is partly why we celebrate together.” Anambra State Governor Peter Obi urged Nigerians to shun divisive tendencies to promote the nation’s corporate existence. He spoke yesterday at the Government Lodge at Amawbia, when a delegation of the Muslim Council visited him. Obi enjoined them to maintain harmonious co-existence

irrespective of tribe or religion and to highlight areas of common interest. The governor hailed the peaceful relationship and understanding among residents of the state. Obi urged them to continue to support government policies and programmes. Senate Minority Leader George Akume urged Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the vision of making the

Ondo LP preaches love


•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle) and his wife Sherifat at the Eid-el Kabir children’s party at the Government House, Osogbo…yesterday

FORMER Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Prince Bola Ajibola has enjoined Muslims to pursue peace and peaceful resolution of all crises facing the nation. In his goodwill message, Ajibola advised Muslims to emulate the virtues of Prophet Muhammad and Ibrahim as preached in Islam. He said Islam is a religion of peace and submission to the will of Allah. He rejoiced with Muslims, both at home and on hajj, for witnessing another celebration despite huge challenges being faced politically and economically. Ajibola also called on leaders in government to use the festive occasion to find more ways of pursuing the good welfare of the downtrodden, adding that the lawlessness that is gradually enveloping •Deputy Chief Missioner, (NASFAT) Alhaji Azeez Onike leading Alhaji Muniru Bola Oyebanji (left), Alhaji Biyi Bamgbose the country should be arrested , Alhaji Lateef Lawal and others at the GRA Praying Ground, Ikeja, the weekend PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE by the government.

Community hails Oshiomhole THE Muslim Community in Edo State has praised the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole for its excellent performance. The community, led by the Chief Imam of Benin, Alhaji Abdul-Fattah Enabulele, visited the governor yesterday. They said: “In recent time, Edo State has a leader who is truly the people’s choice. Your leadership inspires the people and has restored the dignity and self-respect of the Edo people.”

nation a model of peace. In his message, Akume said: "We should seek for peace in our country through our prayers and actions. "Without peace, there can be no stability and progress. “I call on all those who have taken up arms to fight for political, religious or ethnic causes to lay them down their and seek to solve such problems through dialogue."

School slaughters 1,000 cows for charity


S SERVICE to Allah and to commemorate the Sallah celebration, the Nigerian Turkish International Schools, under the UFUK Dialogue Foundation, yesterday has slaughtered 1,000 cows for charity. President of the Foundation, Tamar Copuroglu said in Abuja that the gesture was a yearly ritual performed by the schools with contributions from Turkish business men as well as Turkish college parents to provide meat

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

for the handicap, orphans and the indigent people. Copuroglu said the cows were slaughtered in the 17 Turkish colleges in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Ogun, Yobe states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for distribution to villages and satellite towns within the states. He advised able Muslims and those who are affluent to take up the challenge and reach out to the underprivi-

leged as an act of worship to Allah or as a duty to the society The president said last year 800 cows were slaughtered. Copuroglu said NTIS established the UFUK Dialogue Foundation, with a view to fostering interfaith and intercultural dialogue as well as stimulating thinking and exchange of ideas on supporting and fostering democracy. The Turkish Ambassador, Ali Rifat Koksal advised Ni-

geria to give priority to human capital development through education as a means to achieving the Vision 20:2020. “This nation must invest in human beings better because increasing the living standards of the nation depends on education. “That is why we have the Nigerian Turkish schools here, to increase the living standards of the people; an educated Nigeria in future will be very strong.”

HE Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State has advised Nigerians to demonstrate love towards their neighbours irrespective of their faith and political inclination. The party, in a statement by its Director of Publicity and Research, Prince Koye Odogiyan in Akure, the state capital at the weekend, said love is the hallmark of any religion. Odogiyan said: “Muslims must always show love to their fellow human beings. That is the essence of the religion, just like any other religion. This is the time for Muslims to rededicate themselves to the act of extending love to their neighbours. “The Quran and Hadith are very clear on the need for all mortals to love themselves and make sacrifice as measures necessary to curry favours from Allah (SWT).” Odogiyan also urged Muslims to learn from the lessons of the festival, which according to him impressed it on Muslim faithful to show selflessness in their activities in order to have no inhibition on their way to Aljannah, the final resting place.

Akiolu, Chief Imam urge peace


BA of Lagos Riliwan Akiolu and the state’s Chief Imam, Ibrahim Garuba Akinola, yesterday appealed to Muslims to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and love as learnt from Eid El Kabir. Akinola condemned the spate of killings in the North, saying such acts of terrorism were not in line with Islamic teaching. He urged members of Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for the blasts, to dialogue with the Federal Government “instead of wasting innocent life and property.” Speaking with reporters at the Obalende Praying Ground after the Eid prayer, Akinola said through rare display of love and understanding among Nigerians irrespective of gender, race and religion, the country can develop. The Chief Imam urged religious faithful to act according to the teaching of the Holy Quaran, adding that “if all the adherents of the religion of peace could comply with the instruction, our country would be accorded a rightful place in the comity of nations.



NEWS Five killed in Bayelsa bar From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

IVE persons have been killed in a bar in Okutukutu, a suburb of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, by suspected hoodlums. The Sunday night killings occurred at about 8pm when unknown gun men stormed the Phil Collins Bar, in a black Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and shot indiscriminately. When they left, five persons lay dead. The gunmen took one of the bodies suspected to be their target and left for an unknown destination. The remaining bodies were later taken to the mortuary by the police. However, the body taken away by the assailants was later discovered on Igbogene Road. The Commissioner of Police, Hilary Okpara, confirmed the incident.


2,000 join Edo ACN


HE membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Fugar, Etsako Central Local Government of Edo State decreased at the weekend. Twelve leaders of the party and over 2,000 of their supporters joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Fugar is the hometown of the Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mike Oghiadomhe and the PDP factional Chairman, Dan Orbih. The defectors include

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

Stephen Alao; Yerima Fugar; Daniel Ikoh; John Do; Secretary of Fugar Unionr Musa Ebhjomiana, Alao, who spoke on behalf of the others, hailed the achievements of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, saying the road being constructed in Ekperi is one of the most expensive road projects in the state. Oshiomhole reassured the people that the ACN has the capacity to bring progress and development to the 18 local governments .

Ogoni protest non-implementation of UNEP’s report T

HOUSANDS of Ogoni people, under the aegis of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, protested the nonimplementation of the recommendations in the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) report. The protesters, led by the MOSOP President, Ledum Mitee, took over the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway and Azikiwe Road, from the popular GRA Junction to the Brick House (Government House), Port Harcourt.

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Armed with banners and placards bearing various inscriptions, the people urged President Goodluck Jonathan to take urgent action on the UNEP report as promised. They decried that three months after it was submitted to the Presidency in Abuja, nothing has been done. The protest is part of activities to mark the 16th anniversary of the hanging of the renowned environmen-

talist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and other Ogoni martyrs. Saro-Wiwa and eight others were hanged on November 10, 1995, during the regime of late General Sani Abacha. Some of the placards and banners read: “Ogoni people want clean environment, not army camp”; “Our non-violence is not weakness”; “Ogoni atmosphere is highly contaminated”; “Save Ogoni lives, implement UNEP report now”; “Restore Ogoni environment now” and

“Clean up the Niger Delta.” The protesters were received at the Government House by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who assured them that their letter to President Jonathan, which was handed over to him by Mitee, would be sent to Abuja. Amaechi praised them for the non-violent approach. Copies of the letter were also sent to the United Nation’s (UN’s) Secretary-General; Senate President; Speaker of the House of Representatives; Chairman, Senate Committee of Environment; Chairman, House Committee on Environment and Senator Magnus Abe.

Bayelsa aspirant declares intention


GOVERNORSHIP aspirant in Bayelsa State, Dickson Seriake, says he would run a transparent administration, if given the chance to rule the state. Seriake, who formally declared his intention to contest under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the edu-

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

cational sector would be reformed. He said modern functional health centres will be built in all the local government head quarters. “I would establish an economic advisory council to develop a blue print for a modern economy.” • Seriake at the flag-off ...yesterday

Musicians storm Benin for Oshiomhole


OP music stars will storm Benin, Edo State, on Saturday, as part of activities to mark the third anniversary of the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Also, an International football match between the Super Eagles and Botswana will hold same day at the Ogbe Stadium. In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Simon Imeukemhe, the activities will start on Thursday with an Interdenominational Service at the Idia College Hall, Benin from 11am. A Town Hall meeting will hold the next day at the same venue, followed by a Jumat service at the Central Mosque, Igun Street, Benin City. A thanksgiving service will hold on Sunday at the St Paul Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin City, from 9am, followed by noon.

Tribunal orders rerun in Delta

We’ll win next year, says Sylva


AYELSA State Governor Timipre Sylva has urged the citizens to remain calm as victory was sure next year. He said the expected victory was not for him but for all Bayelsans. He spoke at an event organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) tagged “Special Prayer Rally for the Peace of Nigeria and Bayelsa.” Sylva told the people he saw several signs of victory including the heavy down pour and wind that blew

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

during the prayer session. “When I came here I saw signs that the Lord has answered our prayers. “I saw the wind from the West coming to sweep all the dirt away, the Lord has said this is a gathering of men and women of peace. “I had another sign, as the prayers for peace started, it started raining. “This programme came at a time Bayelsans need it. This administration has continued to survive because of prayers.”

The governor said when he came on board insecurity pervaded all over the state. He said every peace loving Bayelsan would not like to go back to the days of no peace. Sylva said: “For Bayelsans to have danced for peace shows that they are peace loving people”. “When I saw some people fasting for peace, then I knew we are ready for peace. I am not a prophet but peace has come to stay.”, he added .. “I want to tell you that everything is okay. Don’t be

daunted, by the grace of God We Will Win (WWW). The victory is not for me but Bayelsans.” He assured that he is still a member of the PDP and will never leave the party. In an exclusive phone interview on the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) posters pasted in some parts of Yenagoa with his picture, Sylva denied knowledge of the posters, saying: “ They are the handiwork of desperate politicians. “I am a member of PDP and I will continue to be a member,” Sylva said.

Akpabio appeals to Labour over minimum wage


HAIRMAN of the Delta Election Petition Tribunal Justice Yakubu Dakwak at the weekend ordered a rerun into the Oshimili North Constituency of the House of Assembly. The tribunal nullified the election of Patrick Mozea of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It ordered Mozea to vacate the seat and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a re-run in some units of Oshimili North within 90 days. Delivering judgment in the petition brought by Mrs. Pat Ajudua of Accord, Justice Dakwak held that the election was inconclusive in the affected units, adding that the results of those units substantially affected the final outcome of the election. It also nullified the election of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) member Oboro Preyor of Bomadi constituency. The tribunal held that Preyor was not qualified to contest the election as he failed to resign his appointment with the Delta State Civil Service as at the time of the election on April 26. Moro Dombraye of the PDP had approached the tribunal seeking the nullification of Preyor’s return as winner of the election on the ground that the respondent was ab-initio not qualified to contest the election.

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo


AKWA IBOM State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday appealed to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embrace meaningful and reasonable dialogue in resolving the minimum wage agreement. Akpabio advised the union to be reasonable in re-


solving all labour matters rather than threatening the government. The governor made the appeal at the Ibom International Airport, when he arrived from foreign trips. Akpabio’s appeal may not be unconnected with an ultimatum issued by the leadership of NLC to embark on a strike in the next two weeks if the government fails to address certain grey areas in the new salary structure table. The state Chairman of NLC, Unyime Usoro, told reporters that the strike has been suspended for 14 days to see if the government

would address and correct what he termed a “Defective” Salary Structure table. Usoro said Labour is also calling for proper implementation of the new minimum wage and the implementation of sectoral wage increases as it affects CONHESS, CONJUSS, CONTEDISS and CONPCASS. But Akpabio urged labour to be reasonable so that the government would not use all its resources to pay salaries. He said there is the need to invest in infrastructure and education. His words: “I will implore

the leadership of the workers to do their best to continue to dialogue with government and let us look at what is meaningful and reasonable in this issue; warning, giving ultimatum and declaration of strikes are totally unnecessary now. “I am aware that there may have been slight differences in terms of their calculations (labour), but not only did we meet the minimum wage payment, but ensure that every worker in the state had an increase of 65 per cent in his salary and that has more or less tripled the monthly payroll of government.





FirstRand’s CEO is S’Africa’s best-paid


IRSTRAND Ltd’s Sizwe Nxasana was South Africa’s highest-paid bank chief executive officer after the nation’s second-largest financial-services company more than doubled its full-year profit following the sale of assets. According to Bloomber news, for this fiscal year, Nxasana, 54, received a total of 38 million rand ($4.8 million), which included a salary and bonus package of 15.1 million rand, a deferred bonus of 4.5 million rand and a gain from a share trust of 18.4 million rand, according to the Johannesburg-based company’s annual report, published on November 3. Nxasana’s share-trust payment stems from his original appointment grant, said Sam Moss, the lender’s spokeswoman, adding Nxasana was awarded another 892,066 shares last year, a third of which will vest next year. At today’s price those 892,066 shares are potentially worth another 17.3 million rand to Nxasana, bringing the total value of his awards in fiscal 2011 to 55.3 million rand. Nxasana, chief executive officer since January last yaer, having joined the group in 2006, was awarded a package valued at 45 million rand last year. His compensation topped that of Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank Group Ltd., which increased the pay of CEO Jacko Maree 9.7 per cent in 2010 to 6.53 million rand. Nedbank Group Ltd. (NED) raised CEO Mike Brown’s total compensation by 63 per cent in 2010 to 12.46 million rand and Absa Group Ltd. (ASA) more than doubled CEO Maria Ramos’s pay and incentives to 27.5 million rand after the lender’s profit rose 19 per cent.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$115.3/barrel Cocoa -$2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber -¢146.37pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.747 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.3% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -16.8% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $32.8b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL


0.296 208 245.00 150.3 1.191 237.6 40.57

For a very long time, we had de-emphasised science and technology to our disadvantage and we have realised that now. So definitely, the 2012 budget must adequately address the requirements of science and technology. -David Mark, Senate President

Total discovers offshore oil in Nigeria

Insurance firms to shrink to 15, says NAICOM T F

HE number of compa nies in the insurance industry may reduce to at least 15, after its consolidation, the Commissioner for Insurance Mr Fola Daniel has said. Daniel told The Nation that currently about six out of the 57 life and general companies are engaged in mergers and acquisition talks. He said the reduction in the size of companies would strengthen the industry’s operations as there are enormous untapped insurance potential in the country. The commissioner also noted that the amended In-

By Chuks Udo Okonta

surance Act when operational will empower NAICOM to check most of the misdeeds being perpetuated by operators, adding that the Commission is poised to reposition the industry. He expressed misgivings over insurers’dependence on government businesses, noting that no insurance industry across the globe developed through dependence on

government business alone. Daniel called on shareholders of insurance firms to always question the performance of their companies, adding that most firms management expenses often exceed 40 per cent their total expenditure, which he said remains the highest across the globe. He urged operators to streamline their expenses to enable them meet investors’ expectations. He said: “If a company in-

vests N3billion and at the end of the year writes N1.7 billion, the board and shareholders should ask it questions. We believe the industry can do more for we have enormous untapped insurance opportunities. “At the moment, four companies are yet to submit their 2009 financial reports. We hope that they would do so before the end of the years. That is why we are waiting for the new industry law, which would really stall most of the excesses of the operators especially submission of financial reports on or before March 31,” Daniel said.

• From left: Mr Tonye Cole, member, Mr George Etomi, Secretary, Mr Atedo Peterside, Chairman Organising Committee and Mr Tein George, member at the briefing on the Rivers State Investors Forum.

Euro crises: ‘Nigeria’s $73.7b export at risk’


HE crises in the Euro pean Union (EU) will cost Nigeria 23.5 per cent of its total annual export to the region estimated to be worth $73.7 billion, the Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited, Bismarck Rewane, said. Noting that the EU is one of Nigeria’s most strategic trading partners, he said about 6.6 per cent of Nigerian exports went to Spain. Rewane, who disclosed this in the FDC Monthly report for November, observed that of the total imports of $53.5 billion in 2010, 30.8 per cent was from the EU. “The Netherlands alone accounted for 9.7 per cent of

By Collins Nweze

Nigeria’s imports, while France was responsible for 4.8 per cent of imported goods into Nigeria,” he said. Consequently, he said any economic and financial crisis or adjustment in the EU cannot be ignored by Nigeria. “Apart from trade, the bulk of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock in Nigeria is held by EU investors. The stock of FDI is estimated at $75.7 billion in 2011.The FDI inflow in 2011 is estimated at $6.29 billion representing 2.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he added. The FDC boss said as the Greek crisis turns into

drama, anxiety is rising as to what is likely to follow and most countries, including Nigeria, are evaluating the potential impact on their economies. “The financial crisis has become political turmoil and, specifically for Nigeria, the direct exposure to Greece is not as important as the impact of the European Union,” Rewane said. He, however, said investors are becoming more optimistic as Europe steps up to limit damage of debt crisis, adding that debt relief focus will shift from Brussels as EU seeks solace from emerging markets like China, Brazil during G20 meeting.

Besides, Rewane said Nigerian refineries will never produce or will always produce at a loss, even as the nation considers the possibility of removing fuel subsidy that will save about N1.2 trillion yearly. According to him, the policy will provide substantial savings for the federation account and that Nigerians already feel the impact of the subsidy removal as diesel is not subsidised. This, he said, is more pronounced in the transportation of goods and food items by diesel powered trucks, adding that subsidy removal would have both short and long term implications.

NNPC denies withholding N450b


HE Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Austen Oniwon, has said the corporation has remained diligent in its monthly remittances of oil proceeds to the Federation Account. Oniwon stated this during the public hearing by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Finance, Petroleum Upstream, Petroleum Downstream and Gas Resources on the alleged NNPC’s N450 debt to the

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

Federation Account at the National Assembly complex Abuja. According to a statement, which the corporation made available yesterday, it stated that it has remained faithful in remitting oil revenues to the Federation Account and was, therefore, not aware of funds allegedly not being remitted into the Federation Account by the NNPC. “With regards to the request on details of funds not remitted

to the Federation Account, the NNPC is not aware of funds not being remitted by it into the Federation Account from inception to date, because crude oil and gas buyers do not pay into NNPC account, but into the Oil and Gas Proceed Account managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” Oniwon added. On the N450 billion supposedly owed by the NNPC to the Federation Account, prior to November 2003, he said domestic crude was sold to the corporation at a discount both in terms of price and exchange rate

• Oniwon

saying that petroleum products were also sold at highly subsidised rates.

By Daniel Essient

RENCH oil major Total said it has made a new oil discovery in its offshore oil mining lease 102 in the country. This is the second discovery in the lease, increasing the feasibility of a new development hub, Total said. In the statement, the company confirmed that its subsidiary Total E&P Nigeria Ltd. (TEPNG) struck black gold about 40 miles (65km) of the coast of the oil-rich Niger Delta. The company said one of the reservoirs tested at about 8,500 barrels of oil a day. “With the exploration being undertaken in Nigeria, Total intends to strengthen its growth strategy,” commented Marc Blaizot, Total’s Senior Vice-President, Exploration in response to the discovery. “This strategy is focused on two priorities. On one hand, to strengthen exploration near our production hubs in the conventional offshore to maintain our production levels. On the other hand, amplify deep offshore exploration on riskier prospects of large size around the Akpo and Usan field to grow our reserves.” According to the statement, TEPNG holds a 40 per cent stake in the company, while its Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) partners hold the remaining 60 per cent. Total has been in Nigeria for over 50 years, and according its equity production, averaged 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily last year. Deepwater developments are one of Total’s main growth avenues in Africa, particularly Nigeria, where the Group operates the Akpo field in OML 130. Total is preparing to develop the Egina field in the same lease.

Vitol to buy Nigeria crude


NDEPENDENT energy trader Vitol has entered into a long-term purchase agreement with Sterling Oil Trading and Sterling Oil Exploration for their new Nigerian Okwuibome crude oil production, the company said yesterday. The deal, according to Reuters news, includes a prepayment and long-term purchase agreement with Sterling Oil Trading and Sterling Oil Exploration, part of Sterling Global Oil Resources. Vitol said the deal is estimated at 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) and is expected to grow to 25,000 (bpd) by the end of 2012. The company has a licence to explore and produce crude oil from four onshore blocks with a total acreage of almost 2,000 square kilometres in Nigeria. Sterling Global Oil Resources is part of the Sandesara Group, a diversified company with interests in oil and gas and oil trading, among others.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

Commission advocates renewable energy fund



HE establishment of a renewable fund by the government to support the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects is crucial to development, a presidential aide, Prof Abubalkar Sambo, has said. Sambo, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Energy, said this in the keynote speech he delivered at the 21st Annual General Meeting/ Conference of the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) in Benin City, the Edo State capital. Sambo, who is also the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, was represented by Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, the Director, National Centre for Energy at the University of Benin(UNIBEN). He disclosed that the energy policy framework to drive the renewable energy market in Nigeria for sustainable development was already in place. According to Sambo, environmental sustainability exists when human activities (socio-economic) only uses nature’s resources at the rate at which they can be replenished naturally. He noted that Nigeria had renewable energy resources in abundance, which should be harnessed to provide adequate energy supply required for sustainable development. He stressed the need to deploy renewable energy technologies in the fight against environmental problems at the local and global levels. According to him, what is of utmost importance is the need to pass the national energy policy and the national energy master plan into law. Meanwhile, the World Bank has offered a multi-billion-dollar support to the country to drive its energy and climate change development efforts. President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed this at the conference, where he was represented by the Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafia.

‘Skill acquisition crucial to local content policy success’


NDIGENOUS companies op erating in the oil and gas sec tor have been asked to pay serious attention to the training and retraining of Nigerians to enable them to take advantage of the skills crisis in the industry. The Group Managing Director of ARCO Petrochemical Engineering Company Limited, Mr Alfred Okoigun, said this at a farewell for four senior members of ARCO Marine who were on their way to Fremantle, Western Australia for training on general vessel and crew familiarisation. He added that building expertise of Nigerians is crucial to the success of the Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 ,otherwise known as local content policy. He said there are opportunities for improving the talent challenge in the industry attributed to ageing workforce, need for specialised skills, increasing workload and escalating costs. Okoigun emphasised that oil and gas organisations take proactive measures to manage their capability and this enables them enjoy a significant advantage in the industry.

• From left: Former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Don Etiebet; Chairman, Intercontinental Bank’s Board, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede; Chairman of the occasion, Chief Molade Okoya Thomas and Managing Director/Chief Executive, Intercontinental Bank, Victor Etuokwu, at the grand finale of I-Save, I-Win Promo/Customers’ Forum of the bank in Lagos ... yesterday.

Dangote injects N50b into Gboko cement plant D

ANGOTE Cement Plc has pumped a fresh N50billion into its Gboko plant, while creating almost 1,000 new permanent jobs, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Shree Junnarkar said. Mr Junnarkar, who spoke at the weekend at the factory, added that the company has raised its annual production to 3.5million tons, and plans to hit four million tons next year. With four million tons in Gboko, about 10 million in Obajana, six million in Ibese, the Dangote cement production is expected to hit about 20 million tons next year. “We are expanding the company and aiming at four million tons capacity. The ongoing project would be completed by the first quarter of next year,” Mr Junnarkar said. He said since the company was acquired by the Dangote industries, it has introduced modern and sophisticated technology in the running of its factories.The 1,000 staff would add up to the over 25,000 workforce on the pay roll of the West Africa’s gi-

•Employs 1,000 more

ant conglomerate-The Dangote Group. The group had taken delivery of 5,000 trucks in its bid to crash cement prices in Nigeria, an exercise that created 15,000 additional jobs.The group’s Savannah Sugar Company Limited (SSCL), with staff of almost 7,000, is the second largest employer of labour in Adamawa State. The Dangote’s Obajana cement factory also has about 2,500 permanent staff. Speaking also, General Manager, Human Capital Management of the Gboko factory Mr Marcus Jeremiah, said of the 1,000 permanent staff employed, 780 are Nigerians and the remaining are expatriates.He said of the 30 management staff, 22 are from the local community of Gboko. He said 74 per cent of the total staff working

in Gboko plant are from Benue State and 56 per cent of this figure are from the Gboko community. Mr Jeremiah said the company has also boosted its Corporate Social responsibilities around the local communities. He said the Gboko plant has spent a whooping N140million in the electrification of communities around the factory. According to him, the company also gives an annual education scholarship of over N10million to students from the community. The company, he said, has also provided over 23 boreholes to the communities. Other social responsibility efforts include a monthly N1.8million security fee paid to the community, construction of 14 blocks of classrooms, as well as the construction of dam, among others.

‘China-Nigeria trade to hit $10b’


RADE volume between Nige ria and China will hit $10bil lion by the end of this year, the Chinese government has said. China’s Deputy-Minister for Commerce, Mr Chen Jian, disclosed this yesterday during a meeting with the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, in Beijing. A statement from the ministry said Jian stated that Chinese firms had invested a total of $8.3billion in Nigeria. He noted that the firms were also involved in engineering projects worth $28.1billion in the country. Jian said the Chinese government would encourage Chinese companies to continue to invest in Nigeria if the government could pay more attention to improving the business environment, pursue consistent policies and provide security for foreign investors. He said: “This year marks the 40th

• ‘Chinese firms invest $8.3b in Nigeria’ By Daniel Essiet

year of bilateral relationship between Nigeria and China. By the end of this year, trade volume between China and Nigeria will be US$10billion. This will be record high. Chinese companies also have actual investments worth US$8.3billion in Nigeria. “We will encourage our companies to step up their investments in your country if the Nigerian government can make the business environment more friendly, ensure consistent policies and provide adequate security for foreign investors.” He noted that the decision to have a ministry to oversee investment issues in Nigeria, however, showed that the government was committed to attracting Foreign Direct In-

vestment into the country, adding that China’s Ministry of Commerce would co-operate with the Ministry of Trade and Investment in capacity building for government officials. According to the deputy minister, the two countries should focus on further developing bilateral trade and further increasing the quality of trade between them. He added that China was willing to take measures to increase the import of oil and non-oil products from Nigeria to boost trade. On his part, Aganga noted that Nigeria regards China as a strategic partner, assuring the Chinese government that the investment reform of the government would provide the right environment for China to further invest in critical areas, such as infrastructure.

Inflation takes toll on bakers


HE rising price of ingredients, low government subsidy and shift from indigenous technology to modern machinery are pushing the cost of producing bakery products. Speaking with The Nation, a consultant to African Development Bank,(AfDB), Prof Biyi Daramola, said the prices of ingredients, such as sugar, ghee, and yeast have increased. He said the removal of fuel sub-

By Daniel Essiet

sidy is going to put the bakery on inflationa as the cost of bakery and ingredients will shoot up. This, Daramola noted, will make the manufacturers to revise prices. Daramola said consumers would have to face the brunt of price escalation as the producers will have no option, but to raise prices. He said fuel cost have impact on

other manufacturing input for bread, such as labour cost, packaging, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses. Daramola, also of the Department of Agric Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure said the removal will affect the industry. Once, the subsidy is removed, said bakery products are going to be costlier and the industry will forced to pass on the cost to the consumers, he argued.

LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30






Why FAAN is making a loss at airports, by experts • ‘N25b yearly profit is paltry’


HE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is not making much profit at the airports because they lack the status of a regional hub in Africa, experts have said. According to them, the N25 billion FAAN makes annually from the airports is paltry considering the country’s status in the continent. They expressed concern over what they called the government’s failure to position the aviation industry as a catalyst for socio-economic development. Nigeria, they said, is losing revenue running into billions of naira to other African countries yearly because the government’s failure to develop the major international airports either in Lagos or Abuja into a major transport hub. Mr Chris Aligbe, the Managing Director of Belujane Konsults and Mr Gbenga Olowo, President of Sabre Travel Network, lamented the government’s failure of the government to position the sector for the expected benefits to the economy. The experts, who spoke in separate interviews, explained that if a delibrate policy is put in place to fast-track the development of the

Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

aviation industry in Nigeria, other African countries will continue to tap into the opportunities that closeness offers their aviation sectors. For instance, they noted that Ghana, Egypt and South Africa, which have either become regional hubs or being positioned for the status, are gradually taking over the premium passenger market from Nigeria. According to them, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, should have been major hubs in Africa by now, if not for lack of planning. Official statistics reveal that the MMIA is the seventh busiest airport in Africa, with approximately 6.3 million annual passengers. This, they said, is a shame given the fact that Nigeria is a major economy in Africa, with over 150 million population. Aligbe, lamented that while major countries in Africa such as Egypt, South Africa and Ghana were creating thousands of employment for their citizens through their hub status, Nigeria was battling with unemployment in the

midst of opportunities. He said it would take a deliberate attempt by the government, through a major policy thrust, to make the MMIA a hub on the continent. He said: “The MMIA has outlived its usefulness. We need to build a befitting airport that can serve as a major hub in the region. I have said the government does not have the quantum of money needed to build our airports. It will take private sector investment to build our airports to acceptable international standards. Rather than wasting money on upgrading them, they should be put on concession. This is the trend globally. “Lagos cannot be an air transport hub except the government introduces a policy to make it so. For Lagos to become a hub, we need to build a sizeable transit lounge where passengers coming from Europe and other parts of the world can transit to other parts of West Africa and Africa.” “We need to deliberately bring down our aeronautical charges such as aircraft parking and landing charges. This will attract foreign airlines to the country. When the airlines come, it will boost nonaeronautical activities, which will

NCAA opens bid for Abuja geodetic survey THE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has opened bids for the development of Geodetic Aerial Maps and Imagery data of obstacles and obstructions at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport. NCAA Deputy General Manager, Procurement, Alhaji Diyajo Yahaya Ahmed, said under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), “what these consultants are bidding for is the latest ICAO safety requirement and Nigeria is ready to implement it for the safety of our airspace and flights in and across the country.” He said funds for the execution of the project have been made available by the government and warned that any consultant that wins the bid to execute the contract must be ready to deliver according to specific standards. Ahmed said while the NCAA was under obligation to comply fully with due process in the award of the contract, the agency will do everything possible to ensure that the projects was executed within the specified period of time and according to standard. The NCAA, he further disclosed, would set up a committee that wiould evaluate all the bids submitted before short listing qualified consultants for the job while a pre-technical proposal meeting would soon be arranged for the qualified consultants.

Security: African states to intensify cooperation STATES from across Africa have agreed in Dakar, Senegal, to work with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to improve aviation security. The President of the Regional Conference, Dr. Harold Demuren, of Nigeria, described the development as an important step in enhancing aviation security in Africa and across the world. “Africa’s recognition of the need for action to address the terrorist threat, whatever form it may take, is truly inspiring because it contributes to a global solution to the global problem,” Demuren said. Representatives from 35 African states agreed on a joint statement calling the ICAO Declaration* a comprehensive global policy framework for strengthening aviation security through international cooperation. The states pledged to implement all of the Declaration’s elements, while taking into account the regional Abuja Declaration and its Roadmap on Aviation Security adopted by African states in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2010. The Representatives called on ICAO to work with the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) to further develop the African Roadmap in light of the Assembly Declaration. In this regard, they recognised the need to focus on enhancing aviation security through intensified, cooperative efforts to address security deficiencies and strengthen security systems, notably, through sharing of information and best practices. In addition to national civil aviation authorities, a number of regional organisations participated in the Dakar meeting, including AFCAC, the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

Qatar Airways retains award

• From left: Chairman/National Co-ordinator, Nigerian Meteorology (NIMET) Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCCSTRS), Comrade Oyebade Dayo; Head of Department, Industrial Relations, Comrade Goefery Ibeawuchi and Acting General Secretary, Comrade Philip Agbonkonkon, at a press conference in Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.

QATAR Airways has continued its award-winning streak. It retained the Best Airline award in the Middle East and Africa at the 2011 Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards. Voted by readers of the prestigious monthly magazine targeting frequent travellers, Qatar beat stiff competition to pick up the coveted award for the second year running at a ceremony in Hong Kong attended by leading figures from across the hospitality industry. Recently named Airline of the Year by industry audit Skytrax, Qatar won the Business Traveller award for the first time last year. The award further recognises Qatar Airways’ strong commitment to travel excellence as voted by the people who regularly ply the skies on business travel trips – frequent flyers. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said retaining the award reflected the company’s high standards of service and commitment to the travelling public. “We operate in one of the most competitive and dynamic markets. Winning this award among the tremendous amount of competition out there is an honourable achievement and continues to highlight the importance of continuing to invest in products and services to ensure travellers have an experience to remember.

Turkish Airlines begins daily flight to Lagos

• From left: Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr Nnamdi Udoh; Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Captain Chinyere Kalu and Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr Sam Oduselu, at a meeting in Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.

TURKISH Airlines has begun daily flights to Nigeria, raising its frequencies from three weekly flights, according to the Managing Director, Mr Ali Bulut. He said in Lagos: “With the growth of Turkish Airlines in Nigeria, coupled with the encouraging patronage, we are upgrading our frequencies to daily fights to better serve our customers between Lagos and Istanbul. “We are increasing our frequencies to daily flights because our load factor has been encouraging and this will enable us to serve our customers better and more adequately by connecting them to their various destinations with ease.” He disclosed that the airline is deploying a brand new aircraft, the Boeing 737-900-ER on the Istanbul – Lagos route which will replace the A330. “We are changing the aircraft to B737-900-ER from the A330. This is to make our passengers more comfortable as this new machine has more leg room. This type of aircraft is going to be introduced to other African routes as well,” he stated. Turkish Airlines has announced its order of 20 Boeing 737-800s and 15 Boeing 737-900ERs all featuring the innovative Sky Interior, bringing a new level of design and comfort to passengers. The interiors feature light-emitting diodes that create soft blue overhead illumination as well as new cove lighting. The sidewall panels have been sculpted in a new curving pattern that draws the eye to the window and the views outside.

FIFA letter: NFF chiefs Eucharia reapplies to sue for defamation for Falcons’ post

Nation Tuesday, November 8, 2011

• Keshi

• Eucharia








FIFA letter: NFF chiefs Aneke to to sue for defamation replace osaze • Want Police to unravel mystery


REMIER League highest goalscorer Jude Aneke of Plateau United is the likely replacement for Osaze Odemnwigie who has dropped out of the Eagles friendlies against Botswana and Zambia due to injury. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee spokesperson, Paul Bassey made this revelation on Thursday. Bassey said: “Coach Keshi is interested in seeing why the young man is the highest goalscorer in the country, and given the limited time available to him, will most likely extend an invitation to Jude.”


XECUTIVE Committee members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), have reacted angrily to news making the rounds that they forged a FIFA letter and should therefore be committed to prison for the offence. Sources close to the NFF President, Aminu Maigari and Technical Committee boss, Chris Green, who were both invited last week by the police following the allegations, say that they have been able to secure another letter from FIFA, confirming the fact that the original letter was from FIFA. Green, who is a trained lawyer, was particularly bitter, declaring that it was unimaginable that he could forge a letter of a body as globally recognised as FIFA. He called on the Police high command to get to the root of the matter and if there was no forgery, those who made the allegations should be charged for character defamation and false allegation. “We’re shocked at such allegations


Egbedi signs for Aarhus GF


IGERIAN striker, Edafe Egbedi has completed a threeand-a-half-year deal with Danish side, Aarhus GF. Football agent, Hasan Egilmez, disclosed to on Sunday that the deal between Egbedi and the club was completed last week. “Edafe has signed the contract with Aarhus GF of Denmark. The deal will be for three and a half years,” he revealed. But the financial details of the deal were not revealed. Egilmez said Egbedi, who was part of the Nigerian Under 20 side to the FIFA World Cup in Colombia this year, is regarded as “one of the biggest talents in Nigerian football.” “Edafe is very happy to sign for this fantastic team and is ready to play for his new team, and break into the first team. This is one big step for the development of his career in Europe, as he will definitely be part of the future national team in Nigeria. “He is one of the biggest talents in Nigerian football right now and he is working very hard so that he can play for Super Eagles as soon as possible. I am proud and impressed not only by his talent but also his character and his efforts to achieve the best for his career. “The team in Denmark is a very professional club and managed by football experts like the legendary Brian Steen Nielsen. I am sure Edafe will get the best treatment for a young boy and will be taught well ahead of bigger challenges in his career,” said Egilmez. Egbedi’s contract at the former Danish champions will run out in 2015, has been informed.

Uchebo joins Stoke in January


TOKE City are close to signing 21-year-old VVV Venlo striker Michael Uchebo. The chairman of VVV Venlo, Hai Berden, has confirmed that Stoke are set to complete a deal for the 6ft 5in front man this coming January. “In regards to the transfer of Uchebo to Stoke City, we are at an advanced stage,’ Berden told De Telegraaf. It is unclear whether the deal will be permanent or not but with Uchebo’s contract in Holland out at the end of the season then it is likely the club would want a fee for the Nigerian.

but we have visited the police to clear our names and they have indeed seen reason with us but those who made the allegations, no matter how highly-placed and who is sponsoring them must not be allowed to go scotfree, because they have impugned our character and that of the NFF. If at the end of the day, the Police fail to sue them for false allegations we might be forced to handle the case ourselves, because it was a well-publicised matter.” FIFA had through a November 4 letter addressed to the NFF Ag. Scribe, Barrister Musa Amadu, with reference number SG/tre/nst, signed by FIFA Scribe Jerome Valcke, confirmed that it wrote two letters dated September 1 and September 14, to the Sports Minister and the NFF President, insisting on the peaceful resolution of any crisis that may have arisen in Nigerian football. The letters were the reasons for which NFF chiefs were accused of forging FIFA letters and were invited by the police for questioning last week.


Lukman urges mates to influence club release


REAM Team V captain Lukman Haruna has charged his foreign-based colleagues invited for the CAF U-23 championship, which serves as the final qualification for the London 2012 Olympics to follow up on the efforts of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in the interest of the country. Lukman, who frowned at the unavailability of Inter Milan’s Joel Obi, VV Venlo’s Ahmed Musa and PSV Eindhoven’s Rabiu Ibrahim, noted that

• Lukman

it is now the responsibility of invited players to explain the importance of the Olympic ticket to their coaches. “The coach has visited and solicited for our release. The Federation has followed with the invitation letters. It’s now up to me and my colleagues to explain to our coaches what this qualification means to us and our country,” Haruna declared. “Even the team secretary has copied the invitations to our email boxes, so if the club claims not to see the official invitation; we can print ours and take to the coach,” he added. On his possible arrival to camp, the former PSG of France midfielder stated that” I cannot say what date I will arrive but I am confident I will be in Accra before the weekend”. The 16 invited foreign-based players are expected to report to camp on or before midnight of 12th of November. According to Dream Team V media officer, Arafat Aliu, Atletico Madrid striker Olaitun Otubanjo is expected to hit camp on Thursday while the likes of Nosa Igbiebor, Ekigho Ehiosun and Nnamdi Oduamadi will join the squad after their outing with the Super Eagles. The Olympic Eagles are presently in Ghana for the final phase of camping ahead of the CAF U-23 championship which kicks off in a little over a fortnight in Morocco.


Keshi to join Dream Team V N

EW Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is to be part of the country’s Olympic team as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) put all hands on deck to ensure qualification for London 2012. A top official informed that Keshi will reunite on the bench with his former international teammate and Dream Team V coach Austin Eguavoen after the friendly matches against Botswana and Zambia. “Keshi will be part of the technical crew for the final Olympic qualifiers in Morocco,” the official disclosed. Nigeria are pitched against host nation Morocco, Senegal and Algeria. They open the tournament against Morocco on November 26 in Tangiers. Like sacked Samson Siasia, Keshi’s contract gives him oversight responsibility for the country’s other teams. Keshi has already maintained that he plans to get all the country’s teams playing the same style and formation. “Keshi said that by so doing, there

will be a lot smoother transition for the players from one national team to the next,” a source informed. In the meantime, the Olympic team arrived in Accra, Ghana, Saturday night with a 35-man contingent for their final phase of camping ahead of the final Olympic qualifiers in Morocco. The contingent, led by the first assistant coach Stanley Eguma, comprised 26 players and nine officials. Head coach Eguavoen, who formed an advance party to inspect the Lizzy Sports Complex, was expected to join the rest of the squad yesterday. Meanwhile, Keshi has picked former Eagles defender Sylvanus Okpala as his assistant, along with Ike Shorunmu as goalkeeper trainer. ‘Quick Silver’ Okpala, 50, was an allaction fullback, who featured for Enugu Rangers and also played professionally in Portugal. He was a member of the 1980 Africa Nations Cup-winning squad and was an international between 1979 and

• Eucharia of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) meet this week to shortlist the candidates.

AFCON miss: Apam blames Eagles stars


EFENDER Apam Onyekachi is angry that Nigeria’s Super Eagles will not take part in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The Stade Rennes man’s unhappiness stems from his teammates’ failure to beat Guinea in October in a 2012 AFCON qualification in Abuja. Nigeria under Samson Siasia

played out a 2-2 draw with Guinea. Apam told that the blame for Nigeria’s failure rests with the players. “It’s sad because if we can’t qualify for the Nations Cup then we are not serious with our careers as footballers. We, the players, should be held responsible for this (AFCON miss),” said Apam. The former Enugu Rangers’ man also lifted the lid on the behaviour of some footballers in Nigeria’s national team. “The truth is when you see the manner of some of our players (outside of the pitch) you will realise why we didn’t qualify for the Nations Cup,” said the defender to Apam, 24, has been out of competitive football for a while following an injury. But he returned to the Rennes side in a recent French Ligue 1 game and expressed happiness with the development. “I’m happy that I’m back playing football again. For any player that’s the most important thing. With time I will get back to my best,” he said. The former OGC Nice defender has made seven appearances for the Nigerian seniors.

ULHAM midfielder Dickson Etuhu has refused to accept referee Peter Walton’s apology after he missed a handball in the area from Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, which could have led to his side gaining a point in the sides’ clash on Sunday. The Cottagers ended up losing the London derby 3-1 despite having 26 attempts on goal, compared to Tottenham Hotspur’s eight. The decision to not award the penalty came with the scoreline at 2-1 and amongst a flurry of chances for Fulham. Then, deep into injury time, Jermain Defoe sealed the victory for Spurs. The Nigerian told The Sun: “It was handball. I was right there and he handled it. “The ref knows. I had a word with him and he said ‘Listen, I didn’t see it and if it was a handball then I’m sorry’. “And I said to him ‘Sorry isn’t good enough’. “It was the defining moment. If we had got a penalty, we’d probably have got the goal and it would have been tight at the end. “The way it ended, we got punished with a third goal as we had to go for it. It’s hard to take. “We deserved to win the game the way we played. We were the better team. We did the right things and we are heading in the right direction. I’m sure we’ll start moving up the table soon.” With manager Harry Redknapp recovering from heart surgery, standin boss Joe Jordan joined assistant manager Kevin Bond in leading the

side and denied that it should have been a penalty. He said: “I don’t think it was a penalty. There were a number of other areas you could look at when they had chances and didn’t take them. They’ll be disappointed.”

• Etuhu

Ameobi too old for Eagles —Peterside F

ORMER Nigeria goalkeeper, Idah Peterside has advised Super Eagles’ head coach, Stephen Keshi not to invite Newcastle United striker, Shola Ameobi to the national team. Ameobi was cleared by FIFA last week, alongside Wigan Athletic’s Victor Moses, to play for Nigeria having represented England at Under 20 level. The development did not please Idah who was quick to identify the age of the attacker as the main reason for his cynicism. “The man (Ameobi) is 30 years old so I don’t see how this will be of any

gain to us,” Idah said. The television analyst said integrating the Geordie into the national set up would defeat the purpose of setting up age-grade national teams in Nigeria. “What will happen to our youngsters? Why do we have age-grade teams if we are using 30-year-olds in the national team? We don’t need Ameobi in the team,” Idah said. The former Sharks FC shot stopper also shared his sentiments about the new Super Eagles’ coach, Keshi. “He has this aura about him that is unbelievable. People respect him and people fear him. “People say Siasia is a coach that is so disciplined…wait till Keshi starts work and you will see what discipline really means,” Idah said.

• As Keshi relishes homecoming • Edo FA ready where he once held sway as the


Zurich. Uche scored in the 25th minute before he scored from the penalty spot on the stroke of full time. He has now scored five goals in Switzerland since his surprise switch from relegated Almeria of Spain. Xamax won 3-1 and are now fifth on the table with 22 points from 15 matches.

• Ideye

UCHARIA Uche has re-applied to lead Nigeria women’s team, the Super Falcons. “Eucharia has re-applied for her job,” a top official simply told Uche did not have a contract by the time she failed to qualify the team to next year’s Olympics in London. It is the first time that Nigeria will fail to feature at the Olympics since 2000. She also failed to qualify the Nigeria women to the football event of the All Africa Games in Mozambique. The former international striker made history when she led the team to win the African Women’s Championship in South Africa last November in South Africa. Several ex-internationals have thrown their hat into the ring to lead the Falcons as the technical committee

Oshiomhole awaits Eagles’ anniversary gift

Ideye hits goal No.8 N IGERIA striker Brown Ideye posted a man-of-the-match performance to net his eighth goal in the Ukrainian league as Dynamo Kiev beat hosts Metalist Kharkiv 2-1 to go top of the table. The 23-year-old Ideye scored a firsthalf brace, in the eighth and 35th minutes of a match that also had compatriot Yusuf Ayila on the winning side. The former Ocean Boys star, who fired 15 goals for Sochaux in the French Ligue 1 last season, has scored eight goals in 14 matches. Dynamo are now a point ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk going into the international break. In Switzerland, fellow Nigeria international Kalu Uche also grabbed a double for Neuchatel Xamax against FC

1988. He has been very much involved in the Nigeria Premier League as a scout and also handled his former team Enugu Rangers as well as Enyimba. “There has been a lot of lobbying by coaches to work with Keshi, but he has finally settled for Okpala with Ike Shorunmu as goalkeeper trainer. His other assistant is Daniel Amokachi,” a top source informed Interestingly, Amokachi had previously declared after last year’s World Cup in South Africa that he was fed up being an assistant coach. “This is a good camping facility, the environment is excellent and with over six training pitches and flood lights; we will be able to try out a lot of techniques in the next 10 days,” stated Eguma on the team’s arrival to the sports complex, which is owned by former France international star Marcel Desailly. The U-23s observed Sunday as rest day and field work began on yesterday morning.

Eucharia reapplies Withheld penalty: Etuhu rejects ref’s apology for Falcons’ post F E

• Dream Team V players celebrate after scoring a goal

DO State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole is relishing Saturday’s International friendly between Nigeria and Botswana, which also falls on the day he was inaugurated as Governor of the state. Speaking through a close aide of his, Oshiomhole, said he was proud to be part of the people that will not only rediscover the lost glory of Nigerian football but also the return home to one of Nigeria’s original football cities; Benin City. There are already elaborate plans for the governor’s swearing in anniversary, but the sports-loving chief executive, whose state came third at the last National Sports Festival, has already made a firm promise that he would be at the stadium to cheer the Eagles to victory against Botswana on Saturday. Similarly, newly-appointed Super Eagles Head Coach, Steve Keshi is relishing his return to Benin City,

skipper of the first Nigerian clubside to win the then elusive West African Football Union, WAFU Cup, with New Nigeria Bank. “It’s a delightful homecoming for me, with all the nostalgia that Benin City holds for some of us. I could not have asked for a better place to start my career as the national team coach of Nigeria.” Meanwhile, Edo State Football Association, has said it was working closely with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), to ensure a hitch-free encounter on Saturday. FA Vice Chairman, Frank Ilaboya, who spoke on behalf of the Chairman, Chief Abel Ehigie, said all committees of the FA have swung into action to ensure that there are no issues during Saturday’s friendly. “We’re quite aware that this is not the U23 side but the real national team and we’ll prove once again that we have the capacity and ability to play host to the big games,” he said.

• Ameobi




Concession driving port business, say maritme operators T

HE concession of the ports is driving business into the country, stakehold ers have said. According to them, investors are scrambling to do business in Nigeria on realising that the ports are large and deep enough to take huge vessels. The investors were convinced about Nigeria’s ability after a huge submersive Oil Rig berthed at the Lagos port. The rig’s berthing followed the dredging of the port and shipwreck removal. According to the Executive Chairman, Sunlight Shipping and Trade Mr Joseph Abraham, the investors were thinking of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, before they changed their mind and opted for Nigeria. He was speaking at a maritime logistics conference in Lagos. The majority of investors, who initially banked on Malabo for the service of the oil rig, he said, are warming up to come to the country based on the efforts targeted on channel management and wrecks removal. Over 300 Nigerians, he said, are engaged in the service of the rig. ‘‘Some foreign investors in the oil rig business have reportedly cancelled an oil rig construction, which was earlier planned for Equatorial Guinea and brought it into Lagos, on the premise that business prospect in the country with developed and deepened channels would be better than in Malabo.” Abraham said the arrival of the giant oil rig would not have been possible, but for the ongoing dredging and removal of the critical wrecks which dotted the Lagos channels. He said the arrival of the rig has sent positive message to the international community that the Lagos seaports were ripe for the hub status, with its positive implication on youth employment, skill development and revenue boost for both the Federal Government and the business community. “NPA has consistently been taking the right decisions in the dredging of channels and wrecks’ removal. But the truth is that the Federal Government took the right decision when it embarked on port reforms,’’ Abraham said. Adequate surveys, he further suggested, should be carried out by the NPA on the channels to ascertain the level of risks and dangers posed to navigation by wrecks and derelicts in the waters. The Managing Director, Crown Shipping Venture, Mr Sesan Olowoporoku, said he was happy that the efforts of the Federal Government and NPA in dredging and maintaining the Lagos channels and removing

By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

debris in waters to attract bigger vessels are yielding positive results. Olowoporoku said their efforts have begun to bear fruits, resulting in Lagos channel being able to accommodate newly-built large container vessels, with capacity to carry 4,500 containers of the 20-foot size at once. The channel management efforts, which spanned over three years, with positive impact on international trade facilitation, he added, have resulted in prompting few months ago, a foreign shipping giant, the Maersk Line, to name one of its 22 new built West African Max (WAFMAX) container vessels after a city, Calabar, in the country. The ship, Olowoporoku said, is 250 metres long with a draught of 13.5 metres, the maximum size allowable in West African ports. The shipping expert recalled that the concession, vessels that called at the nation’s ports could not carry more than 1, 000 TEUS of containers because of limited draught of the channels. But with the constant dredging of the channels and removal of the critical wrecks by NPA, he said in July, for the first time in the history of the nation’s maritime history, Maersk Line brought into the country, a vessel with 4,500 containers (TEUS) based on the support given to NPA by President Jonathan in dredging the channels. This feat, he added, was possible because the NPA has dredged the channels to a draught of over 13.5 meters to enable bigger vessels sail into the Lagos seaports. ‘‘The berthing of the vessel at Apapa a few months ago was an evidence of the successful implementation of the port reform which took place recently in the nation’s maritime industry. She also bears testimonies of fruitful partnership and business relationships between NPA and its channel management partners,’’ he said. The government, he added, should continue to assist NPA so that it would not fail in its core responsibility of ensuring safe

• President Jonathan

• Managing Director, NPA Suleiman

navigation to local and foreign port users. A motor vehicle importer, Mr Yinka Elias, said it is normal that you find out that wrecks that are close to the port entrance area become an impediment for ships to berth. When they are not removed, they become problem for navigation, and cause problems to other vessels apart from the fact that it can cause accident. “Therefore, such a bold attempt by the government to remove the wrecks on its territorial waters is welcome and highly commendable,’’ Elias said. The Managing Director of NPA, Omar Suleiman, said the concessioning of the Nigerian ports by the Federal Government has led to a boost in the nation’s economy. President Jonathan, he noted, is repositioning the ports for greater efficiency to attract private sector participation in the maritime industry. Port concession, Suleiman said, was aimed at meeting the demand of shipping traffic in the 21st Century, ensure harmonised integrated development and address challenges that could hamper trade facilitation at the ports. The thrust of President Jonathan’s administration, he said, is to make the ports the leader in Africa. NPA, he said, has embarked on proper

management of the channels via special purpose vehicle and joint venture companies. NPA’s statutory powers, span wreck survey and wrecks removal, he said. This is in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) requirements for Ports and Harbours Authorities under Chapter V of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. Suleiman emphasised that it is only an effective channel safety management system that will bring about the desired increase in port capacity, efficiency and patronage in the country and in the region. The Managing Director, Bolus Ventures, Mr Peter Gabriel, said since NPA has ensured increase in ship traffic, improvement in cargo throughput and decrease in the turnaround time of vessels in most of the terminals, the government, he said, needs to support the authority on PCS programme. “Available statistics show that the number of Ocean going vessels stood at 4,962 reflecting a 79 per cent increase over the total figure of 4,832 in 2009. “The total gross tonnage of the ocean going vessels stood at 108,621,872, which showed a 20.1 per cent increase over the 2009 figure of 97,796,560. “Coastal vessels that called at the ports in 2010 stood at 21,950, a reflection of 26.1 per cent increase over the 2009 figure of 17,403 while the gross tonnage of the coastal vessels in 2010 was 6,818,827, a growth of 18.6 per cent over 2009 figure of 5,747,640,” he said Other port users urged the NPA not to relent in its efforts in ensuring safety of navigation on the nation’s territorial waters. The Managing Director, Blue Sea Investment, Mr Clement Adams, said the NPA needs government’s support to enable it to prosecute some of its projects.

‘But with the constant dredging of the channels and removal of the critical wrecks by NPA, he said in July, for the first time in the history of the nation’s maritime history, Maersk Line brought into the country, a vessel with 4,500 containers (TEUS) based on the support given to NPA by President Jonathan in dredging the channels’

Review Cabotage Act now, stakeholders urge govt


TAKEHOLDERS have sug gested ways to revive the al most-dormant Cabotage Act passed into law seven years ago. The law empowers Nigerians to participate fully in the maritime business to enhance national security; lift oil and gas and participate in international trade. It is also to ensure national development and create employment for thousands of Nigerians, among others. Seven years after the Act, stakeholders are not happy that the scheme is almost dead. Foreign ships have continued to dominate the international as well domestic trade in Nigeria, despite the Act, which reserves the carriage of goods in the domestic territorial waters for indigenous ships. Mr Alex Peters, an engineer, said for the cabotage regime to succeed, waivers have to be addressed appropriately. He said: “The business of waiver has to be looked into very seriously so that we don’t have waivers flying all over the place. Incidentally, NIMASA is doing some-

By Uyoatta Eshiet

thing about it in preparation for the review in the sense that they have conducted an audit of what is available in the maritime industry for the indigenous operators to know the capability of individual indigenous expertise.

So, if anybody is asking for waivers, they will have to go to NIMASA, which will in turn go to their data bank and see if there is the capability among Nigerians before they can advise the minister on what waiver to give and what to refuse.” The other area of the law that needs to be enforce according to

Peters, a marine engineer, is where it says the vessel must be built in Nigeria. We should do something about having actual ship building yards in Nigeria. The third area still have to do with the waiver, the penalty for breaking the law should be stiffer, Peters said. “I don’t see why there should not

be a 100 per cent crewing for Nigerians in the Cabotage area. My advise is that they should look at the Cabotage Act; this should make provision for acquiring the appropriate technology in the country. It is the technology that drives the economy. We have no shipyards and we have not got the technology to repair ships.

‘How 48-hour cargo clearance can be realised’


HE directive by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, on speedy cargo clearance at the ports, has been commended by the Port Harcourt Area 1 Controller, Comptroller Jamo Ahmadu Mamman. Speaking in an interview with The Nation last week, Mamman said the cargo clearance target could be met if the business community at the ports complied with the Federal Government’s guideline on importation. He urged importers and their clearing agents to make proper

By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

declarations and correct payments for their imports so that the initiative would become visible. “There is the need to encourage importers andtheir clearing agents to operate at the ports during the weekends. This will surely reduce the delay in cargo clearance and reduce port congestions. The agents should also have the ability to make self-assessments of their goods, which will

make the verification easier for Customs officers and eliminate delay in the release of cargoes so transparently declared.’’ The Customs chief added that the shipping companies have an important role to play in the 48 hours cargo clearance. He urged the shipping companies to provide connectivity with clearing agents, importers and other relevant agencies. Shipping companies, he said, should also provide a time for container positioning at the terminals examination bays for selected cargoes.

“The shipping companies should display the actual location of containers and inter-terminal transfer for display so that the time wasted on locating the cargo is reduced and the 48 hours cargo clearance would be achieved. That is, electronic tracking of container should be employed to assist the initiative. The shipping companies’ charges per container should also be reduced to meet the maritime standards the world over so as to eliminate delay in cargo clearance and reduce the diversion of cargo to other countries.”




Halt manual Customs port operations, I govt urged NDUSTRY players have enjoined the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) and other government agencies at the ports and land borders to enforce the ban on lethal goods and items. Such items, operators said, include explosives, arms and armmunition, expired rice, frozen foods, used computers, used refrigerators and televisions. The operators urged officials of the NCS to ensure that the agencies do not connive with importers or smugglers to bring in these goods during the ‘ember’ months. They also want officials of the Ministries of Finance and Transport to remove obstacles causing delay in cargo clearance at the port, urging them to provide formula and policies for further improvement in cargo clearance. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, the Managing Director, Service and Logistics, Mr Sunday Ogoegbunam, said it was time for the automation of Customs’operations at the ports, adding that the local Trade Release Study (TRS) initiative must be in tandem with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) efforts. He also advised Customs officers to be alive to their responsibilities on efficient and effective service delivery for operators and port users. He said there was the need for the Service to identify areas of delay, which go

By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

beyond their jobs, and proffer solutions to problems in the cargo clearance system. Ogoegbunam enjoined stakeholders to be transparent in their dealings with Customs and perform their duties in the movement of cargoes at the ports. “As the year is fast coming to an end, we want a situation where goods are cleared timely without any bureaucratic delay. We want efficiency in our ports. And we want Customs officials to allow importers and Customs agents to do their business within the time limit as it is done in our neighbouring countries. “The government must accord equal recognition to maritime as it does to other sector. All the sectors are very iessential. They are very important to the development of the nation’s economy. What one lacks the other has. Though aviation has the advantage of fast delivery, no one should compare what maritime can carry with that of aviation,” he said. Another operator, Mr Bolaji Adedayo, enjoined the Federal Government not to neglect the maritime sector, particularly shipping, stressing that only countries, which were able to optimise

their ocean endowments become great. The maritime sector, he said, is as important as other sectors of the economy, and should, therefore, not be underrated by the authorities, if the nation actually has the genuine intention of actualising its Vision 20:2020. The expert also called for the scrapping of punitive trade barriers in terms of excessive tariffs and levies to facilitate trade. This, he said, should be supported by government agencies in the interest of the economy and reduce the many challenges facing the maritime industry. Similarly, a maritime lawyer, Mr Dipo Alaka, called on the Fede r a l G o v e r n ment to make available a special grant to the Customs to boost its operations and increase its potential to generate revenue. The grant, Alaka said, would enable the Service to complete its abandoned projects and improve the capacity of its human resources to perform its duty. On training of Nigerian seafarers, he charged the Federal Government to levy shipping companies to fund the training of cadets, if the country is not to lag behind, among the comity of mari-

time nations. The university lecturer stressed the need for training to also adhere strictly to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and national requirement to guarantee that Nigerians remain universally employable. He observed that the government was yet to emphasise the importance of standards in the production of seafarers, especially those coming out of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State. He said maximising shore leave opportunities will go a long way towards improving seafarers’ job satisfaction and retention. “For example, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, ratified by 92 countries, including the United States (US), contains in Section 3.44, a modern codification of mariners’ right to shore leave, stating that: “Foreign crew members shall be allowed ashore by the public authorities while the ship on which they arrive is in port, provided that the formalities on arrival of the ship have been fulfilled and the public authorities have no reason to refuse permission to come ashore for reasons of public health, public safety or public order,” he said.

Maritime Watch NIMASA campaigns for IMO seat By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has intensified her campaign for re-election into the Category C Council seat of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The Director-General of the agency, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, made this known in Lagos. He said the country deserves to retain her seat because of her longstanding experience in the works of the IMO Council, having served as a member of the council for 14 successive terms. The NIMASA boss said in the last 14 years, the country has maintained consistent participation in the work of the organisation both at the committee and the sub-committee levels. He added that seeking re-election into the council will help the country to continue playing her big brother role in the sub-region. Nigeria has in the recent past organised several regional seminars and workshops with the IMO on the organisation’s related matters, such as Regional Workshop on Ballast Water Management Convention, Regional Workshop on Familiarisation with the 210 Manila Amendments to the Standard of Training Certification and Watch keeping (STCW) Convention and Code, among others.

Armed patrol boats for Navy THE Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Alhaji Omar Suleiman, is set to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Navy by providing them armed patrol boats. This, he said, became necessary to combat the challenges of piracy, ports crimes, stowaways water front patrol, and maintenance of adequate security at the nation seaports. The Head of Security of NPA, Lt.-Col. J. M. Tahir (Rtd.), disclosed this while addressing heads of security department from various ports locations at their quarterly security meeting in Lagos. Tahir said security is crucial because despite the presence of other security agencies at the port, lapses are always blamed on NPA. According to him, the managing director has provided three patrol boats for water front security at the Western Ports, adding that similar number of boats will also be provided for Eastern Ports. He described NPA chief as a man who has an eye and ear for security issues. He also said that 20 patrol vehicles will soon be provided for all port locations. He commended officers and men of the security department for their dedication to duty in the ports, pointing out that despite the security situation in Nigeria in recent times, particularly with terrorist activities none has been identified to have come in through any of the ports. Referring to the management’s commitment to development of deep seaport at Lekki in Lagos and recent announcement by the Federal Government on the expansion of Onne Port Complex, Tahir said the Security department is ever ready to brace up for the challenges such expansion will pose as arrangement on adequate training and capacity building are being put in place by the management.

Firm woos foreign partners

• Finance Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA. Chief Michael Ajayi, during her visit to NPA office in Lagos.

THE Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) base, an indigenous organisation, has started talks with foreign investors on the takeoff of its proposed $300 million multipurpose facility – the Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platform. Speaking with reporters at the West Africa Logistics Conference in Lagos last week, LADOL Managing Director Mr Ladi Jadesimi described the FPSO as a massive investment that would create 5,000 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs. He said the facility, which would be completed in 36 months as the LADOL Phase II, is in fulfillment of government’s desire to attract the volume of oil and gas projects that were hitherto carried outside Africa. Jadesimi noted that the development at LADOL will further encourage fabrication, taking advantage of the ensuing technology transfer and skill acquisition since most of the massive fabrications that would be needed at the FPSO platform would be carried out within the Niger Delta region of Warri, Port Hacourt and Yenagoa, where they will be shipped to the base in Lagos..

Firm trains Customs team

Maersk to invest $120m in new terminal


ANISH shipping and ports group AP Møller-Maersk is to expand its terminal capacity in Lagos to meet growing import volumes. APM Terminals (APMT) is reportedly proposing to spend $120 million to develop the land at its Apapa facility that could eventually handle more than one million TEU a year. A final decision from its corporate headquarters in Copenhagen is being expected by the end of the

By Uyoatta Eshiet

year, but local APMT executives in Nigeria are confident that the plan to enlarge the container stacking yard, invest in new equipment and improve the customs area will get the needed nod. The investment would be part of a much larger commitment by AP MøllerMaersk to the West Africa trades, with the group already spending $2.5 billion on 22 ships purpose-built for

this market, plus container equipment. “We are not here to make a fast profit. We are here for the long-run,” said Maersk Nigeria MD David Skov during a media visit to Lagos. With half a dozen of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies in sub-Sahara Africa, Maersk has targeted the region as one of its key markets of the future. So far, six of the first 11 “wafmax” ships have been delivered, with the second

series of 11 due in 2013. Two of the vessels will carry the name of sister company Safmarine, which also has a 30 per cent allocation on all the new ships. These are both the first containerships designed specifically for West African ports, where the water depths are relatively shallow, and also the largest in the trade. They are replacing ships of around 2,500teu previously on Maersk Line’s FEWA2 loop between Asia and West Africa.

DESTINATION Inspection service provider, SGS Scanning Nigeria Limited, will start the training of a transition team constituted mainly by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officers as part of the smooth transfer of the company’s services under the Destination Inspection scheme, including the hi-tech cargo scanning machines to NCS by the end of 2012. This is in line with the contract signed with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Its Managing Director, Mr Nigel Balchin, said since 2006 when the DI scheme was introduced, the firm has been training Customs officers and officials of other government agencies involved in international trade. “We will be concluding the on-the-job training programme this year and in the new year we will focus on the transition team selected from the best among those already trained, including those trained on the operation and maintenance of the cargo scanning machines,” he said. The SGS chief urged the officers to make good use of all they have learnt during the eight-week programme. He enjoined them to be worthy ambassadors of NCS.





Alms from China

NNPC’s secret accounts RMAFC, other stakeholders should use all legal means to halt the trend


HE potpourri of accounts operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) must stop. Over the years, many of those accounts have been treated as personal funds for the Federal Government and probably some of its top officials. Since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999, Nigerian commentators and even the international community have hoped that the opacity that pervaded the institution during the military era will give way to transparency. Unfortunately, what we have had are mere half measures on accountability; and it must be noted that most of the present crises we are facing in the oil industry are the result of the deep-seated corruption in the NNPC. The recent disagreement among the corporation, the Revenue Mobilisation

‘Since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999, Nigerian commentators and even the international community have hoped that the opacity that pervaded the institution during the military era will give way to transparency. Unfortunately, what we have had are mere half measures on accountability ...’

Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance at the House of Representative’s investigation over the non-remittance of N450 billion into the federation account by the NNPC should worry all stakeholders. It is sad that regardless of our country’s return to a constitutional government, the corporation continues to show its distaste for accountability and constitutionalism. Such behaviour erodes our integrity as a nation. Also, the current disagreement between the Federal Government and the states over the sharing of the resources from the federation account for September is as a result of the reckless spending by the corporation. Acting as if oblivious of the constitutional provision in section 80 of the 1999 constitution creating the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation under the control of the National Assembly, the corporation continually picks and chooses what funds to pay into the federation account and what funds it would spend. It consistently acts in complete disregard of the provision of the law, as it spends resources accruing to it as agent of the Federal Government, as if it has the constitutional authority over appropriation. It usually expends those monies under various guises, which in recent times include the so-called subsidy on petroleum products. Acting as a law unto itself, the NNPC receives and expends

resources belonging to the federation, in some cases with the connivance of the Federal Government, as if the latter constitutes the entire federation. For the avoidance of doubt, any direct expenditure by the corporation, of monies accruing to it, outside monies appropriated to it by the legislature under the appropriation act is illegal. Also, the operation of accounts whose monies are hidden from other institutional authorities and whose content are treated as private resources of the corporation constitutes criminal conducts for which appropriate sanctions should be made. The NNPC is an agent of the federation, and not the Federal Government; as such it must always treat and deal with monies in its custody as resources belonging to the federation. In the same vein, there should be an Auditor-General of the Federation whose responsibility should be to watch over the resources of the federation. The current system where the holder of the office acts as an agent of the Federal Government is a negation of our federal system of government. Moreover, the RMAFC must always rise up to its constitutional responsibilities and ensure that monies belonging to the federation are treated as such. It must always clearly state the correct position of things for the benefit of Nigerians and when necessary, use constitutional means to challenge any unconstitutional act of the Federal Government.

Wise counsel •FG must take heed of UN’s counsel on diversification and human development EIZING the opportunity of the celebration of the symbolic ‘seven billionth’ baby on October 31, the United Nations called on the Federal Government to exploit the abundant human and material resources in the country, and to diversify the nation’s economy. The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Daouda Toure, said with the projection that Nigeria’s population would be doubling in less than 20 years and oil depletion in another 30 years, the country has no choice than to diversify its economic base to prepare for the challenges. Toure spoke in Abuja, at the launch of the “State of the World Population 2011,” organised by the National Population Commission and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This year’s celebration came about 12 years after the world’s sixth billionth child was born precisely on October 12, 1999. The UN’s reminder is a timely one for a country that does not appreciate its resources, particularly the human element. And, as if to underscore the levity with which the country treats its citizens, there was nothing to show that Nigeria is a member of the international community on the symbolic day, which some countries marked in a variety of ways. Russia for instance, showered gifts on newborns; even Papua New Guinea handed out special ‘goody bags’ to new mothers. Of course it should not be surprising that the day was like any other day in Nigeria because the government is too busy working hard in the wrong direction. It should not have been different in a country where human beings are seen


as mere statistics. That partly explains why Nigeria has remained potentially great more than five decades after independence, while some other countries that were with her on the back bench of development have since overtaken her. But for the country’s misfortune of not having the right people in government over the years, we need no one to advise us to exploit the abundant resources in the country, or even to diversify the economy. These should be done as routine government policies. Nonetheless, if it must take some external institutions to remind us to do the needful, the most important thing is to act on the advice rather than start looking for excuses as our government functionaries are wont to do. Nigeria is blessed with resources, human and material. Indeed, she is a country literally flowing with milk and honey. As a major producer of crude oil, this should tell on the lives of the people. Unfortunately, it does not. Yet, there is nothing inherently wrong in the Nigerian character as has been proved by many Nigerians who are doing fine outside the country and are helping other people to develop their countries simply because their own country lacks the conducive environment for them to flourish. The government must invest substantially in developing the human resources, particularly the youth. It should start with those at home. This is the first step because without substantial investment in this regard, there will be nothing to exploit from it. When those outside see that the home front has changed for the bet-

ter, they will possibly rethink their stay abroad. In the same vein, Nigeria must diversify the country’s economic base. It is unwise for us to put all our eggs in one basket. This is especially important in view of the vagaries in the world oil market. Secondly, oil will not last forever; it is projected that it may dry up in about 30 years’ time. Even if it does not, alternatives are being found to it and we should not be caught unawares by the consequences of these efforts. Also, we need to pay more attention to agriculture and agro-allied industries. Above all, we have to check corruption because whatever the government does will amount to naught if the present level of corruption persists.

‘The UN’s reminder is a timely one for a country that does not appreciate its natural endowments, particularly its human resource. And, as if to underscore the levity with which the country treats its citizens, there was nothing to show that Nigeria is a member of the international community on the symbolic day, which some countries marked in a variety of ways. Russia for instance, showered gifts on newborns; even Papua New Guinea handed out special ‘goody bags’ to new mothers’


S soon as European leaders agreed on yet another plan to stabilize their finances, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France was on the phone to his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, to persuade him to invest in the rescue. Klaus Regling, head of the new financial bailout fund for the euro zone, went to Asia to drum up support. China has $3 trillion-plus in foreign exchange reserves, about a quarter invested in European bonds. But it is not only unseemly for wealthy Europeans to be looking for alms from China, it is bad policy. Beijing would undoubtedly try to use its financial leverage to silence European criticism of its cheap currency or its abysmal human rights record. That is too high of a price to pay. What makes this particularly misguided is that the European Union does not need the money. The main roadblock to fixing its mess is a lack of political will to use the resources it has. At $1.4 trillion, its entire bailout fund would amount to just over 10 percent of the euro area’s G.D.P. Rich European countries — Germany notably — have ample access to finance. German 10-year bonds are yielding less than 2 percent. Money doesn’t get any cheaper than that. China, with hundreds of millions of people who earn less than $2 a day, should be spending a lot more at home to build a much needed social safety net. And it should remove the financial distortions — like artificially low interest rates — that encourage ordinary Chinese to save too much and spend too little. China’s predatory trade policies — subsidizing exports through an artificially cheap currency and credit; appropriating foreign intellectual property; placing illegal export bans on raw materials to give domestic companies unfair advantage — are all of the world’s economic problems. Europe and the United States should be pressing Beijing to change its ways, not giving it more power to resist. It is true that rescuing Europe will be costly, weighing on European budgets and diverting resources from other priorities. But allowing China to pay for Europe’s bailout would prove even costlier. New York Times

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“Welcome to our MORTUARY ... sorry, I mean HOSPITAL”.


IR: Please help pass this timely message to Aso Rock. The seemingly unending and disturbing metropolitan irritations and troubles in form of bombing, flooding, kidnapping, arson, and other mounting anti- social activities blackening Nigeria ’s bright reputations have now spurred me to send the message. On Saturday, June 4, this year, I saw in a dream President Goodluck Jonathan leading Nigerians in a prayer for the nation. He led us to pray for rain. I had wondered if we needed rain; it had been raining. Later, we prayed among others that there be rain of peace. While the prayer was still on, it started raining. Recent revelations coming from eminent religious leaders that God


Time for a national prayer summit told them we should go into a day of fasting nationwide and pray for peace lends credence to the need for a national prayer summit as revealed in the said dream. The rule for the prayer summit to basically address any form of deadlock in the country is that it should be presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan himself and not

by any superlative clergyman. All to congregate must be of one mind, believing that earnestly and wholeheartedly offering prayer to God on behalf of Nigeria, will stamp out root, branch stem and twig, the deep-rooted socio-political problems besetting the country. The prayer should primarily focus on God; that in his infinite mercy, he would cause the rain of peace top

rain upon our land, while addressing the situations presently shaking Nigeria, noisily and violently. Where is security? People being carried away by floods even in their abodes; Police Headquarters and United Nations’ building being being torched despite the huge security infrastructure? It ought to be clear by now that security is not on land, in the air, under the ground,

on the sea or even beneath the sea but in the name of God. I believe, strongly in the Sovereign National Conference, blue prints on security formations and other efforts tapered towards allround comfort for all in Nigeria. I however submit that all efforts geared towards civic rest in Nigeria are mechanics that needs this suggested national prayer summit as dynamics to be effective. In other words, this suggested national prayer summit will be a demonstration of faith that all efforts on “birthing new Nigeria” will now start to work and be greeted with acceptance and calmness. • Davids Thomas Davids Lagos.

NHIS: another dream aborted


IR: In the early 1990s, authorities in Dubai determined to turn their country to one of the world’s exclusive holiday destinations by building one of the most incredible buildings on earth. Popularly called the Arabian Tower (Burj Al Arab), the edifice is meant to be the answer to Dubai’s future economic survival. The vision was pursued with vigour and determination and the result is one of the living building masterpieces the world has seen, a 7-star hotel. However, Nigeria our beloved country is beset with a plethora of policy failures rooted in the insincerity of individuals whose bellies are their god. It is a shame that at this state of our national existence we are still entangled with people who see every policy as opportunities to do business and who are alien to how to transform good intentions to actions to run programmes that are meant to add value to living. Our corrupt mindsets have conceived and produced corruptions in measures that have left even the devil gobsmacked. Attempts to improve on our healthcare delivery system has been a mirage of sorts, not because there had not been policies, but because of poor implementation. In implementations, policies in Nigeria are buried in some kind of huge crater comparable to the settled caldera from the erupted vol-

cano, whose only evidences are revealed in the after-billows and smouldering smoke. This disdainful attitude reflects in the misleading actions of people who carry out instructions that are primarily meant to take us to nowhere by those who appoint them. This has become some kind of culture and almost a definition of our socialcultural lifestyle, a national identity. Instead of genuine purposes giving birth to visions, we have been caught up the reverse, actions reflecting our mindsets. The National Health Insurance

Scheme (NHIS) was conceived by the visioneers to reduce the mortality rate as reflected in the average life expectancy of the Nigerian. The World Health Organisation (WHO), puts our average life expectancy at 47years which is almost half of the Japanese of 90. The NHIS which was established to improve the healthcare delivery system has failed the purpose it was set up to achieve because those saddled with the responsibility of running the scheme have either lost their visions or are playing to the gallery to entertain their spectators who are beneficiaries of failed systems.

The call for an investigation of the NHIS orchestrated through the motion recently moved by Hon. Rasaq Bello-Osagie on the floor of the House of Representative is a welcome development. It is meant to address the anomalies hidden in the programme designed to hoodwink us to believing all was well with the scheme. We may have lost confidence in the scheme and have no reason to trust it any more. However, the situation might be redeemable if the necessary answers are found to the raging questionms on the scheme in the final report. Having failed to ap-

ply to the spirit of those who are passionate about effecting changes like the Dubai example, we must not fail to investigate those who are passionate about running things the wrong way. Hon. Bello-Osagie’s unanimously adopted motion might just be the panacea to saving us from the impending catastrophe lurking in the dark waiting to pounce and wipe us in installments from the face of the earth. • Smart Osazuwa Osagiede, Benin City.

Olanipekun’s feats at University of Ibadan IR: RECENTLY, President Goodluck Jonathan announced the dissolution of boards of all government’s establishments and parastatals, explaining that the dissolution was a normal routine to re-position government for more effectiveness and not necessarily because the sacked “appointees have not done well”. The Governing Council of the University of Ibadan (UI) which was constituted in February 2009 by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, is one of those badly hit by this recent dissolution. Since his appointment as the representative of the Visitor to the university, Chief Olanipekun has left the university better than how


he met it, in terms of quality leadership; he has also created a record of value addition that is indelibly etched in the memories of all stakeholders. Shortly after he was appointed, Olanipekun went to President Yar’Adua to plead for the release of fund to open up the phase two of the university development as the main campus is already choked up. It is on record that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria facilitated the release of a whooping N1.3 billion with which Ajibode project was kick started. Right from day one of his appointment, he refused to take sitting allowance; rather he directed that the money be kept in a special

account which he later on July 19, used to launch a scholarship scheme for undergraduate students. When on August 26, rain wreaked havoc in the institution, destroying property valued at close to N10 billion, he made a personal donation of N10 million to repair some of the damaged property. He also introduced what he called “an early appointment model” in which Principal Officers of the university are appointed six months before the tenure expiration of the incumbent. This has since been copied by many other universities in the country. The model saw to the appointment of the current Vice-Chancellor,

Prof. Isaac Folorunsho Adewole, without anybody going to court. The same is true of the appointment of the Librarian without anybody complaining of foul play. Now, with the dissolution of Council, President Jonathan has created a cliff-hanger. Will the president bring back this selfless achiever to continue his good work? We in UI, humbly beg the President to re-appoint this humane lawyer to continue with his good job. He has just spent two years out of five. His reputation for scrupulousness is no hype. • Sunday Saanu, University of Ibadan Ibadan, Oyo State






HE tortoise in the cosmos of Yoruba folktale is the eternal likeable rascal that gallops from one prank to the other, having a good laugh at other people’s discomfiture. In one of his endless gambits, the greedy tortoise had told a lie that a delicacy was his faeces, so that Olakunle he could wolf it down all alone. Abimbola That initially worked, as those, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) with him gave the fare a wide berth, repulsed at the crazy idea of anyone eating tortoise’s faeces. But as the tortoise wolfed down his delicious paste, he aroused the suswas granted bail to go picion of one of them, who just essayed a taste and found out home and “enjoy Sallah it was the sweetest thing in living memory. with your family and take No sooner had he broadcast his find than the rest of the good care of yourself,” multitude seized and bound the tortoise, ordering him to Oyagbe ti! Oyagbe ti! [literexcrete more from where that sweet paste came from. ally Yoruba for he won’t just “Su didun! [Yoruba for excrete more sweet faeces]” they excrete what they want] screamed at him ferociously, even as the distressed tortoise rented the air. A new iconic obeyed their enraged command, but only to excrete smelly urban joke was born – and shit, as bitter as gall! possibly a new raging Now, the tortoise had turned full circle. Whereas it was theme in the Yoruba subhe who laughed to his heart’s content at other people’s disgenre of Nollywood. But comfort, it was others who now laughed their heads off, it is doubtful if Baba Suwe, while he groaned in excruciating pains! the ironic comic, finds all The odyssey of Hollywood’s comical Baba Suwe, in real the fuss funny at all! life Babatunde Omidiran, in the hands of the National Drug For Baba Suwe, things Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), over an alleged ingeswere especially horrifying tion of hard drug, is one of those uncanny occasions when in the last 24 hours before life mimics art, with devastating consequences. his release, since the For 24 days, Baba Suwe was in NDLEA captivity; and like NDLEA, in a last minute the tortoise of old, the anti-drug czars screamed at him with bid, appeared desperate to fury: “Su didun!” But poor Baba Suwe! The one who made land incriminating eviother people’s ribs crack with laughter had become the obdence to justify his detenject of a horrid joke he did not find funny! tion. The NDLEA reportAnd when he appeared in court, first on November 1 when edly took the Yoruba actor he secured conditional bail, and on November 5 when he into a hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos, between 9am and 9pm on November 2, to conduct a test aimed at flushing out whatever drugs he was suspected to •NDLEA: Baba Suwe, su didun! have ingested. •Fans: Oyagbe ti! “All his systems were flushed, other than his lungs and intestines, but nothing was found,” Bamidele Aturu, his lawyer had told a Lagos High Court, with Justice Yetunde Idowu presiding, where Baba Suwe had sued to enforce his fundamental human rights. Baba Suwe himself told Justice Idowu: “On Wednesday, they

came and said we were going to the hospital. When we got there, they inserted something in my mouth and pumped water inside. Another thing was inserted in my anus and water was also pumped inside. I then began to stool. I visited the toilet six times that day. Since then, I have been visiting toilet frequently.” The Baba Suwe case was a classic confrontation between the state imperative to investigate and punish alleged crime; and the citizen’s right to presumption of innocence until found culpable and guilty. Though fellow citizens are bound to, at first frown at whoever is apprehended for alleged crime, the pendulum soon swings from disapproval to sympathy, if the state is tardy in proving its allegations. Along the delicate continuum of allegation and proof is the notoriety of media trials, particularly if the suspect has a modicum of fame. The state, having reasonable reasons to believe it has nabbed a big fish, announces its catch with funfair. It is its way of saying its war against crime is alive and well. The media, duty bound to report events, latches on to the story with glee. Though it on the surface reports the matter “objectively”, since it mirrors society, it manifests all the society’s anti-crime bias and disapproval. If you add the pristine instinct to think the state cannot just arrest citizens without concrete reasons, then the suspect is as good as docked and tried on the pages of the proverbial newspaper. And so it was with Baba Suwe. So, what went wrong with the Baba Suwe case, between his arrest on October 14 before an abortive trip to France and his court-ordered release on November 4? Did the NDLEA scanners go spectacularly wrong? Or was it NDLEA intelligence that goofed so spectacularly that the scanner, like the devil who takes the blame for every human wrong simply because it cannot defend itself, became the ready scapegoat? Did someone try to set Baba Suwe up? Or did some NDLEA elements sabotage their own agency? Endless questions! But whatever is the truth, the Baba Suwe case showed the danger of media lynching of suspects. Somebody apparently rushed to the media on the Baba Suwe story, hoping that confirmation and proof was only routine. Well, that has turned otherwise! It also showed the disturbing long-running battle between celebrity and drug control. In 1974, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s Expensive Sheet album was the iconoclastic Fela’s scornful dismissal of the anti-drug department of the Police back then to pin a drug rap on him. It was Baba Suwe’s Oyagbe ti experience foretold 37 years earlier! So, like Fela, will Baba Suwe go film the mother of all home video comedies to denigrate NDLEA to record his odyssey for posterity?


rians had better pay attention to what is going on in Greece not only because it is a familiar path but more what is turning to be the forgotten the lessons from the nation’s celebrated exit in 2005/6 from the clutches of the debtor cartel of London and Paris clubs. Put side by side with Greece’s public debt of 142.8 percent of the GDP, Nigeria with its public debt at 13.4 percent of its GDP is evidently in good standing in comparative terms. But that is as far as it goes. The Greek economy is by far more diversified; Nigeria’s GDP per capita of $2,400 comes nowhere close to Greece’s $29,500. Of course, in the last decade, Nigeria’s economy had held remarkably steady in growth terms, thanks chiefly to its ability to pump crude as well as the good fortunes from high crude prices. But then, the difference between the SAPinducing environment of the 1980s and the present is simply the difference between the price of crude then and now. As far as the fundamentals of the economy are concerned, nothing can be said to have changed in any appreciable way. Our capacity to earn foreign exchange remains a factor of how much crude is pumped, which explains why much of the discussions on our public finances – whether it is the revenue sharing formula or even the so-called Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) – are inextricably linked to oil. Again, just like in the 1970s when the nation failed to utilise the bumper earnings from oil to lay the foundations for a truly diversified economy, the soar-away earnings of the last 12 years have largely been frittered on non-regenerative projects. The nation’s infrastructure, still belong in the Stone Age. It is hard to imagine what would happen to us in the future should we fail to fundamentally alter the current economic base. I guess it alright to gloat at the fate that has befallen Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain as if the same attitudes of fiscal indiscipline are alien to us. Soon enough, we would again re-learn the lessons of the 1980s; which is the folly of raising our expectations on a commodity whose prices have never been anything other than volatile. Finally, I shudder to imagine what would happen should oil prices fall to something around the $50 a barrel mark. To imagine that this is not possible is to live in fool’s paradise. I like to remind my friends that our oil – the same sweet crude, once sold for less than $10 a barrel. That wasn’t even nearly a quarter of a century ago. God forbid that crude prices suddenly take a plunge to say - $30 a barrel, the effects would be sheer catastrophe; not even the thought that our reserves would cover 10 months of imports would suffice to moderate the panic. Should it happen, we wouldn’t even be talking of some externally-induced conditionalities; we would be praying for the mountains to fall upon us all! God forbid.

epublican ipples

Baba Suwe, su didun!

The Baba Suwe case showed the ‘danger of media lynching of suspects. Somebody apparently rushed to the media on the Baba Suwe story, hoping that confirmation and proof was only routine. Well, that has turned otherwise!

MBATTLED Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou may have acted the tragic anti-hero for the better part of the past week, he seems to have done more to remind the world – as indeed the global financial bullies breathing down the neck of his poor debt-ridden country – of how easy it is for the rich to quake even from a minor stirring by the poor. No doubt, the adrenalin levels, which shot up in the aftermath of the Greek PM’s threat to subject the October 27 Brussels bailout package to a referendum may have gone down; there is however no missing the point that while the voice of the weak may appear muted in the on-going lopsided process to rework the global financial architecture, it is unlikely to remain so for long. Check out the amorphous movement christened the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) now railing against the delinquent club of the global lenders and you get the sense that a third factor may have begun to emerge on the scene. Admittedly, any further discussion of what would have happened to Greece and indeed the entire Eurozone in the event that the Greek PM made good his threat is now at best academic. While it would have been interesting to watch Greek leaders stand up to the lenders and watch the threatened Armageddon come down, the fact is that the world would have to wait for another day for that to happen. Of course, by daring to raise his voice against the orthodoxies of the EU/IMF imposed solutions, Papandreou –

I like to remind my friends ‘that our oil – the same sweet crude, once sold for less than $10 a barrel. That wasn’t even nearly a quarter of a century ago. God forbid that crude prices suddenly take a plunge to say - $30 a barrel, the effects would be sheer catastrophe

Policy Sanya Oni 08051101841

Just before our Greek moment simply offered himself as guinea pig to the byzantine forces of international finance capital. Howbeit, the act itself has raised the spectre of new possibilities on the management of sovereign debts in an unequal world. Never mind the back-slapping which followed the Pyrrhic victory following Papandreou’s dramatic U-turn, the nightmare of the victors may have only just begun. The issues, clearly would not go away so long as the current unequal order endures and so long as the economic problems persist. The global financial system that has barely recovered from the aftershocks of the 2008 turmoil may have been saved the tense, anxious moment of seeing another sovereign, financial basket case pull down the roofs over everyone’s’ heads; it is a far cry from saying that the rage in the Main Street is about to peter out anytime soon. Let’s look at what they have done to Greece. A country that has been on a main staple of austerity since 2009 is expected to further ramp up the austerity course. With unemployment soaring on daily basis – youth unemployment is put at 25 percent – government, under the deal, is expected to cut spending, which means gutting more of the available jobs to keep its finances on an even keel. For these, the Greeks get a new E100 billion in the New Year with lenders forced to accept 50 percent slash in the country’s debts. To say that the Greeks face an even more uncertain future – both economically and politically – is to put things mildly. While Europe’s leaders may have acted to save their beloved Euro, it remains to be seen how the job-gutting, growth-killing EU/IMF prescription would help a nation whose public debt by last year’s end stood at 142.8 percent of its GDP. Does the Greek story sound familiar? It should be. Nige-





REAT minds have purpose; others have wishes” says Washington Irving. When the tenure of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was about to end in 2007, several qualified persons presented themselves for the position of Governor of Lagos State. The former governor in his wisdom, and to the consternation of political heavy-weights in his party aspiring for the position, did not only back the candidature of a relatively unknown technocrat, but also sold it to Lagosians. After intense campaigns, Lagosians decided to keep faith with Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). He would later endear himself to the people of the State nay Nigerians through the passion and commitment with which he does his job. He convinced Lagosians that his ideas can work in and for Lagos State. The people believed him. Today, Fashola has taken Lagos State to a new level just as the state has become a model in the Nigerian federation. According to Warren Beniss, “The new leader is one who commits people to action, who converts followers into leaders, and who converts leaders into agents of change”. Today, in Lagos State, BRF has set standards for future Lagos State governors and most of the Nigerian political class. He has demonstrated eloquently that there is nothing as good as a leader writing his name in gold in the heart of his people by keeping faith with them. The best form of propaganda is performance. The last 1600 days of the administration is proof enough. The foregoing explains why the appreciative people of Lagos State revalidated his mandate with over 1,500,000 votes in the 2011 Governorship Election and the 100 percent return of all elective seats in the state to the Action Congress of Nigeria. To state that the aforementioned verdict of the people in the last election which gave Fashola a second chance spurred him to do more for Lagosians is merely stating the obvious. The Fashola administration has made progress in diverse areas of life. In education, he has improved on the infrastructure in the state university and completed the University Staff School. The university auditorium and Law library are now being equipped, while construction of the School of Transportation building is progressing. Out of the 27 courses submitted for accreditation, the

1,600 days of Fashola’s purposeful leadership By Lanre Aminu administration obtained full accreditation for 23 courses while four courses received interim accreditation and none was denied. Contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 197 class rooms at the Secondary and Primary school levels were awarded. In the sphere of environment, despite the inclement and severe rainfall, the state remained a model of environmental commitment and standards, with ongoing cleaning and construction of drainages in Agege, Babs Animashaun, Somolu, Lekki, Ijora and Ilasamaja.. It continues to commit to the annual tree planting to maintain eco-system balance. The recent hosting of the African Mayors Conference on Climate Change, whose recommendations will form a critical input to the COP 17 Climate Change Conference of World leaders in South Africa at the end of the year, places Lagos at the fore-front of the crusade against climate change in Nigeria. The state government recently added 100 new compactors trucks to the fleet of PSP Waste collectors to improve its capacity to manage and collect solid waste. The Oshodi Transfer Loading Station which incorporated the first purpose built medical waste auto-clave plant in West Africa was also commissioned. In the area of transportation, the administration’s commitment to safety and global competitiveness is no less visible. Many parts of Lagos roads are being adorned with street signs, traffic lights and especially thermoplastic lane marking and zebra crossings to assist motorists and pedestrians and manage traffic. In the area of road infrastructure, the Fashola administration also commenced the implementation of its promise to improve the quality of neighborhood and inner city roads, by awarding new contracts for rehabilitation

of eight roads in Aguda; funding the continuation of the rehabilitation of 16 ageing roads in Mushin, and three roads in Ogudu. The design of Mile12-Ikorodu Road expected to cost us over N30 Billion has also been completed. Iju road has been completed while substantial progress has been made on Ibeshe Road in Ikorodu, while the link road in Amuwo-Odofin, between Apapa- Oshodi Expressway and Festac Link Bridge is now open to traffic. The state government is also working on the design of numerous roads across Lagosfrom Agege to Ifako-Ijaiye and Somolu, such as Igi Olugbin and Pedro roads. The ramp on Falomo to ease traffic on Ozumba Mbadiwe has also been opened. The construction and expansion of Eti-Osa Lekki -Epe Expressway by the Concessionaire and the Lagos-Badagry Express way by direct government funding is also making progress and so is the rail project as the stations in Orile, Mile 2 and Coker are nearing completion with the preferred Concession partner already committing money to take over the operation of the 200 coaches to be brought in from Canada. On water transportation, the state government has concluded the dredging and signalization of the 32 km water route from Badore to Ijede, while the Badore and Ikorodu terminals have virtually been completed except for minor finishing works preparatory to opening. From one operation route in 2007, the state is currently running water transportation on 12 routes (Ikorodu-Marina/CMS; Marina-Mile 2; Ikorodu-Addax/Falomo; Ikorodu-Ebute Ero; Marina-Ijegun Egba-Ebute-Ojo; Mile 2Marina/CMS-Mekwen-Falomo; Badore- Ijede; Badore-Five Cowries; Marina-Oworonshoki; Ebute Ojo-Ijegun Egba; Oworonshoki-Five Cowries and Baiyeku-Langbasa) under the

supervision of Lagos State Waterways Authority. Passenger traffic has gone to over one million passengers per month and it is increasing. With the launch of the LagosHoms website, the Lagos Housing Arbitration Rules, the completion of Sir Michael Otedola Housing Estate, the Olaitan Mustapha and Adetoun Mustapha Estates, the Ikota Housing Estate and the continuing construction works in Sangotedo, Lekki, Ajara and with many more housing schemes to come, the state is making giant strides in affordable housing. In the area of security, the Fashola administration recently added 60 power patrol bikes. Six new patrol boats for the safety of the waterways have also been deployed. Five new area commands to decentralize policing and administration have been approved by the Inspector General of Police for Lagos. The state government has approved a new street lightning infrastructure for Ikorodu road from Fadeyi to Mile 12, while the Mile 12 to Ikorodu town portion has already been incorporated into the road design. The above listed achievements of Fashola administration in 1,600 days speak volumes about what a focused and determined leadership can achieve if given the chance and the necessary support by the followership. The good people of Lagos state must bear it in mind that for any well-meaning leader to succeed, the led too have a critical role to play. Only a cynic will not concede that the realities of the new dawn in the State of Excellence are evident to all and sundry. The people of the State knew where they were prior to the coming on board of Governor Fashola in 2007 and where they are now. Most importantly, it is crucial to discern where they want to be in the coming years. However, that ought not to be a problem because BRF has already shown the direction to go. To achieve the desired results, good leadership should beget good followership. What is required of Lagosians to move Lagos state forward in the coming years is to be responsible citizens by paying their taxes regularly and obey the laws of the state. • Aminu is the National coordinator, Oodua Youth For Good Governance.


Ajimobi: silent revolutionary on course


N October 29, the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi clocked five months. Events in the last five months have shown that the governor means business and that he is not just around to toy with the lives of the people of Oyo State and throw the resources of the state to the dogs as was the practice in the previous years. The first step taken by the governor on assumption of office was to restore the peace which had for long eluded the state, owing to the violent activities of the state branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). This feat has attracted accolades from far and near, as the people of Oyo State have now been sleeping with their two eyes closed as against the palpable fear in which they were hitherto living. Besides, the city of Ibadan, the state capital, had before now been identified as one of the dirtiest cities in Nigeria. The situation is also the same with other major towns and cities across the state. To Sen. Ajimobi, this is unacceptable and must be addressed with the seriousness it deserves. Hence the launching of weekly environmental sanitation exercise during which residents of the state are expected to clean their environment between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. every Thursday. The programme has since been a huge success, with Ibadan now gradually shedding the toga of filthiness and dirt. Before the emergence of the Ajimobi administration, most of the roads in Oyo State were, to say the least, horrible and needed urgent attention to change the face of the state and jump-start its economy. The first step the governor took was the rehabilitation of 16 roads under the first phase of the massive road rehabilitation exercise programme of his administration, while the second phase, covering another set of 24 roads spread across Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomosho, Saki and Ibarapa zones has kicked off. One of the things that characterized the immediate past administration was incessant public protests by pensioners over the non-payment of the arrears of their 142 per

By Muhideen Alabede cent increase. Now Governor Ajimobi has approved the payment of the arrears. In fact, their joy knew no bounds on October 27, when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the government and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Oyo State chapter, on the payment of the money. Gov. Ajimobi also inaugurated the state Socio-Economic Management Team (OSSEMAT), with a promise to ensure a focused process of restoration and transformation, with a view to repositioning the state. At the inauguration ceremony in his office, the governor had noted,“my experience so far as the governor has convinced me of the need to significantly transform the framework for administering the state, and in particular, enhance purposefulness in its fiscal operations, which leave room for much improvement’’. The 11-member committee, headed by the governor himself, was charged with the responsibility of developing strategies to fasttrack the articulation and implementation of economic policies and programmes in the state, in order to ensure the growth of the state’s strategic sectors and its overall economy. It was also expected to harmonize the agenda of each sector and agency to achieve the required synergy in government policies and operations and articulate policies and strategies to stimulate substantial local and foreign investment and trade flows in priority sectors of the state’s economy. The team was also to entrench the culture of inclusive economic governance in order to ensure demand-driven economic policies and programmes that would be guided by the revealed preferences and hence, meeting the real needs of the populace and facilitate the adoption of a framework for effective monitoring of programme implementation, and an objective evaluation of their policy and welfare impact. Aside having the governor as chairman,

the team also has a renowned economist, Prof. Ademola Ariyo of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan as vice-chair and coordinating consultant, while the state commissioner for finance is to serve as the coordinating commissioner. Gov. Ajimobi’s commitment to the development of free trade zones in the state also led to the signing of MoU between the state government and the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga on the take-off of Okerete International Border Market. The project, which is one of several others by the state government, aimed at boosting the economy of the state, is expected to create over one million jobs, when completed. The Okerete International Border Market near Saki is a pilot scheme of the Federal Government’s six border markets and Oyo State was chosen chiefly because of the state government’s extension of a hand of fellowship to the federal ministry for partnership. The signing of the MoU was consequent upon Sen.Ajimobi’s visit on August 16 to the minister in Abuja where he solicited the support of the Federal Government to make the Oluyole Free Trade Zone and the Okerete International Border Market realities. As part of efforts towards attracting foreign investments to Oyo State, the governor has also succeeded in securing the attention of German Intervention Development Partners to the state. While receiving a delegation of German investors led by the Country Representative, Mr. Carl Bruining, in his office, he noted that partnering with the Germans would contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of the state, stressing that his administration’s decision to invite the investors was part of his commitment to enhancing the development of the state, in line with his restoration agenda. What is more? The governor has also moved a step further by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an automobile firm, DAG Motorcycle Industries Nigeria Limited, for the procurement and distribution of 1,000 units of tricycles for the people of the state while efforts are being

made to acquire at least 300 mini buses for onward distribution to commercial drivers so as to change the face of the transport sector of the state. There is no gainsaying the fact that Sen. Ajimobi has carved a niche for himself as a governor with a large heart, given the fact that his administration is an all-inclusive one which accommodates all shades of opinion. As a matter of fact, two members of the rival Accord Party (AP) were recently swornin as members of the state executive council while other parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also have their representatives in the administration. The consensus of opinion within the political circle and among the ordinary folk is that Gov. Ajimobi does not relent in his avowed resolve to salvage the Oyo State and restore its pacesetting status. • Alabede, a retired broadcaster, writes from Ibadan.

‘The team was also to entrench the culture of inclusive economic governance in order to ensure demand-driven economic policies and programmes that would be guided by the revealed preferences and hence, meeting the real needs of the populace and facilitate the adoption of a framework for effective monitoring of programme implementation, and an objective evaluation of their policy and welfare impact’





Nnaji explains reintroduction of rural T electrification

HE Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, has explained reasons the Federal Government wants to bring back the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), two years after the agency was scrapped. Speaking to a delegation from Ihiala Local Government Area in Anambra State, who visited him in his office in Abuja, the minister said the “condition which made the creation of REA inevitable is still largely there.” He said about 2,000 communities across the country “have yet to be provided with electricity.” The minister described the situation as unacceptable, saying the President Goodluck Jonathan administration regards electricity as a basic right of the Nigerians. “This belief explains the ongoing power sector reform, which has since it was launched last year, enjoyed the support of our people and the international community.” The late Umaru Yar’Adua administration attempted to abolish the REA in the wake of the discovery of a fraud involving some Na-

• Says contractors owe N3.4b By Emeka Ugwuanyi

tional Assembly members and some top bureaucrats in the Ministry of Power accused of stealing the agency’s N5.2 billion. Nnaji also noted that 1,946 projects being carried out by the REA are at different levels of completion and, therefore, should not be abandoned, adding that rural electrification contractors are still owed N3.4 billion. “It is painful to listen to or read accounts of rural electrification contractors, who have sold their houses or died as a result of this huge debt owed over a long period. “I should think it is understandable why we have increased the vote for the Rural Electrification Agency in our budgetary proposal for the 2012 financial year,” he

said. The leader of the Ihiala delegation, Hon. Fort Dike who is a member of the House of Representatives, implored the minister to improve power supply n his constituency, which he called the largest local government area in Nigeria. Dike said: “My constituency is the location of the biggest starch producing factory in West Africa, yet we receive electricity for only about two hours in two weeks.” Nnaji promised to start addressing the long-standing electricity challenge of the local government before the end of the year. The REA was established by an Act of the National Assembly to see that electricity installation and supply are not only concentrated in the urban and metropolitan areas of the country but also extended to rural dwellers and for rural develop-

ment. However, following the misappropriation of N5.2 billion meant for the agency, in which the former Chairman, House Committee on Power, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and some members of the committee as well as some members of the management of the agency were accused of involvement, the Ministry of Power scrapped the agency in 2009. When the N5.2 billion scam broke out and indicted Elumelu and the Managing Director of the agency, Mr Sam Gekpe, the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Isa Bello Sali, issued a memo stating that the agency has been scrapped with effect from September 15, 2009. The scrapping coincided with the period the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua forwarded a bill to the National Assembly, which sought to repeal the REA and transfer its functions and liabilities to the Ministry of Power. The bill had only gone through the first reading in the Senate when the financial scam broke

• Nnaji

out and the agency was subsequently scrapped. Although the power ministry scrapped agency, the Act establishing it was not tampered with and it is on the strength of this and other advantages that the agency would be resuscitated, it was gathered.

‘How wrong policy affects power sector’


DON, Prof Ayo Ogunlela, said the government’s wrong policy to increase power generation in the past years has left the sector in a bad shape. Ogunlela, the Head of Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering, University of Ilorin(UNILORIN), said in an interview that the failure of the government to put in place a pragmatic policy is the reason successive leadership in the power sector are undertaking quick projects as an emergency measure to increase power generation. He spoke against fire brigade approach in awarding contracts for political consideration, adding that this has not helped the government to bring in long term power projects . Ogunlela, however, commended the government for measures taken to move the industry forward . He said the nation needs an energy policy which should include security of supply, environmental impact, national competitiveness and social concerns. According to him, the security of energy supply must take priority over everything else and that it meets the existing gap with an overarching long-term vision that will ensure security of supply, protect the environment, and at the same time, be deemed feasible by the engineers, financiers and utility managers who will have to implement it. The policy, he stressed, should heighten awareness of the growing energy gap. Ogunlela called on the government to pursue energy-saving programmes and that the trend should be towards individual responsibility for energy saving. Improvement in energy infrastructure, such as power stations, he continued, represents some of the largest single investments in the sector and urged the government to provide the enabling market with the right investment framework and incentives to contemplate long-term projects.

By Daniel Essiet

Ogunlela said the nation is facing an unprecedented energy crisis and that a combination of sources of generation is necessary is reduce dependence on under-performing power stations, which have seriously threaten the economy, security and social well-being of Nigerians. He said the nation’s major source of power is hydro, adding that any major interruption to supply could adversely affect electricity generation. Ogunlela called on the government to develop ability to provide emergency capacity quickly, to cope with any unexpected plant outages. He said the industry should deliver more gas-fired stations, saying that they are cheaper. Ogunlela said there is a large potential for the government to consider generating electricity from other water sources.

• From left: Director, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL), Dr. Diran Fawibe; Executive Secreatary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Earnest Nwapa and Managing Director, LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, at the Logistics West Africa Conference at Eko Hotel, Lagos.

‘Govt faces challenges over energy supply’


NERGY expert, Prof Adeola Adenikinju, said the govern ment is facing a crisis of generating affordable power supply for Nigerians. Adenikinju, who is the President,Nigerian Association for Energy Economists, said in an interview that there was growing demand for power and high production costs has become so high for the government to generate in a cheap manner that will be adequate to meet the nation’s needs. He said energy demands are growing on the back of its burgeoning economy, industrial growth and housing sector boom. He said the government is faced with increasing capacity and servicing its existing transmission and distribution network. And, conscious of public sensitivity to utility rates, Adenikinju said it must do so despite being unable to increase consumer electricity tariffs.

He said power blackouts happen because power infrastructure is poorly maintained, prone to collapse and unable to keep up with surging demand. Adenikinju, of the Department of Economics,University of Ibadan, said the situation required massive capital investment, both local and foreign and that the government alone cannot come up with the necessary funding on its own. He said private capital is needed, but that the concern is that even if electricity works at the flick of a switch, consumers and businesses may not be able to afford services at a rate viable enough for profitdriven companies to recoup full costs. At present, he said electricity supply has deteriorated due to increasing demand, aging electricity supply infrastructure, and political commitments, adding that the government is faced with the great chal-

lenge of addressing the situation, both in terms of overall system design and structure, and specific electricity generating technologies. According to him, the challenge is that Nigerians want electricity at low rates, adding that this has not been possible because of little investment in utilities . The situation has been worsened by increasing demand, driven by growing population, especially in urban settlements. To meet this growth, he noted that the government must not only maintain current capacity, but expand supply rapidly if she wants to avoid holding back economic growth. Adenikinju explained that expanding power production will not be cheap. He said balancing supply against the demand for electricity has remained a largely unresolved matter,adding that the nation faces a significant chal-

lenge in revamping its network for the supply of electricity. He said enough funding is required to expand existing national infrastructure and increase power transmission capacity. He said the private sector will not invest in power if the energy tariffs are so low that there is no chance of cost recovery and profitmaking. Adenikinju said the government may need to increase energy tariff to make the power sector attractive to private investors. He said recommendation was needed on what would be the appropriate mix of electricity supply sources to satisfy the expected demand, taking into account conservation targets and new sources of energy. He said the government has to work towards the right energy mix based on the reality on ground.



ENERGY Ending of November has been targeted for the relocation of the headquarters of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to Port Harcourt. BISI OLANIYI reports that this appears to be a good business decision

Implications of NLNG’s relocation


HE excitement was visible on the face of the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, while receiving the team from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, led by the company’s Chairman, Chief O. R. LongJohn, on October 10. The delegation included the Managing Director, Mr. Chima Ibeneche and other senior officials of the company. They came to inform the governor of their decision to relocate the company’s head office from Lagos to Port Harcourt before the end of this month. NLNG’s plants are in coastal Bonny, headquarters of Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers state, which also hosts the crude oil loading terminal of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). The company is moving its headquarters’ operations with about 400 staff. NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989, to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids for export. The Owners It is jointly owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49 per cent), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6 per cent), Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15 per cent) and Eni International, the parent body of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (10.4 per cent). The NLNG operates six liquefaction units (trains) in Bonny, and produces 22 million metric tonnes of LNG per annum, about 10 per cent of world’s consumption. The relocation was tried in 2006, but could not materialise because of militancy in the Niger Delta, which involved kidnapping of oil workers, sea piracy, crude theft and pipeline vandalism, among others. The development has significantly abated following the Federal Government’s amnesty programme, which started in 2009. Amaechi, while receiving the NLNG’s team, lauded the decision to relocate the company’s Head Office to Port Harcourt. The governor described Rivers State as rich in crude oil and gas and safe for business, investments and commercial activities. He stated that his administration is committed to sustaining the peaceful atmosphere and admonished other intending investors to come to the state. The governor assured that his administration would continue to improve the environment, the infrastructure base and other facilities that would aid the growth of businesses in the state. He said: “We will be ready to support you (NLNG) to make your stay in Rivers State peaceful and productive. We will do everything possible to ensure that every business is secured and the peaceful business atmosphere is sustained.” Long-John in his remarks, said

the visit was to formally inform Amaechi of the company’s relocation to Port Harcourt and solicited his administration’s support. Benefits The Managing Director, Chima Ibeneche, stated that the relocation became necessary due to its social and economic benefits. “We are really happy that this time, we are on our way and we will arrive soon. We have seen that Rivers State is ready for business and we want to be part of the progress,” he said. While lauding Amaechi for the huge success recorded by his administration in security and provision of infrastructure, he noted that the peace in the state would provide the elixir for many businesses to thrive. Ibeneche reiterated that before the end of November, the company would fully relocate to Port Harcourt, stressing that efforts were being made to provide residential accommodation and office for the staff. Implications At NLNG’s board meeting in late September in Dubai, the members were divided over the sudden relocation, but the Presidency was in support of the movement. The relocation was initially planned to be effected in phases and would have been concluded in 2013, but the board members later decided that the movement to Port Harcourt must be done immediately. The relocation, according to the company, is part of cost-saving measures designed to ensure greater efficiency, by being close to the NLNG plants. But some of the company’s members of staff in Lagos are not happy with the relocation. They complained that it would disrupt the families, while others are jittery that their career prospects may be adversely affected, especially concerning job alignment between employees holding parallel positions in Port Harcourt and Lagos. Some of the members of staff of NLNG, who have been in Lagos for many years and feel the relocation would amount to an inconvenience, are considering resigning en masse or seeking legal redress. Besides, the relocation may affect the economy of Lagos State, especially in the payment of taxes and levies. The firm’s corporate taxes to the Lagos run into millions of naira. However, the losses to the administration of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola will be gains to the Amaechi’s government, with the Rivers State’s economy receiving a boost. The NLNG, in recent years, was trailed by controversy of over $180 million bribe, allegedly paid to some officials of the Federal Government of Nigeria by the TSKJ, a consortium of engineering companies between 1994 and 2004, to obtain contracts worth more than $6 billion, for the construction of the

• NLNG facility

LNG’s facilities. The members of the Rivers House of Assembly have been mounting pressure on the various oil companies and multinationals operating in the state, to move their headquarters to Port Harcourt, to be alive to their responsibilities and pay taxes to the state government. Leadership of the Rivers House of Assembly had also met with top officials of the multinationals on many occasions. The relocation was, therefore, seen by the lawmakers as a step in the right direction. Amaechi is also happy with the decision of the Rivers legislators, as he expressed displeasure at a recent stakeholders’ forum at the Brick House, Port Harcourt, over the attitude of the directors and management of most of oil companies, who have their headquarters outside the state. The planned relocation of NLNG was also described by Niger Delta youth as a welcome development. Speaking on behalf of the youths, the President of the National Delta Youth Leaders Council (NDYLC), Japhet Ogbueri, said the relocation would be a boost to the local content policy of the Federal Government. Ogbueri noted that having the NLNG’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, very close to its Bonny Island plants would go a long way in providing employment opportunities for the teeming qualified youths. He stated that the relocation would also boost the economy of Rivers State through the payment of taxes and levies, with a lot of indigenes, especially the contractors, expected to be adequately empowered. He stressed that the relocation would also contribute to ending militancy, kidnapping, sea piracy, cultism and other vices. He urged the board and management of NLNG not to take seriously, some of its members of staff who are not comfortable with the relocation, referring to them as enemies of progress. He added that relocating the headquarters would make the firm to be more responsible, thereby showing commitment to its corporate social responsibility (CSR). Aggrieved Community’s Protest The NLNG’s planned relocation is coming at a time when aggrieved people of the Niger

• Amaechi

• MD, NLNG, Chima Ibeneche

Delta are concluding arrangements to protest naked at Aso Villa, Abuja, to show their displeasure over the lack of commensurate development in the crude oil and gas rich region. The protest is being coordinated by the Watchdog of Niger Delta (WDND) and the Niger Delta Peace Movement (NDPM). The President of WDND, Amachree Oprite, and his counterpart in the NDPM, John Walter, accused the Federal Government of insincerity in developing the Niger Delta. The groups said: “We are tired of living with persistent anomalies against our region and people. If the Presidency fails to heed to making our region move forward at the expiration of this week, we shall protest naked in thousands, at the door of cozy environment of Aso Rock, Abuja. “The system has made us to be nothing, with many as walking corpses. We urge President Goodluck Jonathan to authorise that the Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs. Osato Areyenka, to be given the mandate to implement projects and enhance payments to develop the Niger Delta or put a new board of the commission in place. “Mr. President, we wish to remind you that the Ministry of

Niger Delta Affairs resides within your domain, but without any meaningful impact in the region and people. The construction of East-West road, which the ministry performs supervisory role, especially the Port Harcourt axis, is depleted and not motorable. “With the pace of work on the East-West road, there is no doubt that Mr President is likely to ride on the same depleted road, after the expiration of his tenure, unless a drastic action is taken.” The groups said it is evident that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs has failed to deliver on his mandate and should be sacked and replaced with a patriot. “It is obvious that the people of the Niger Delta, especially the youths, who are qualified and competent, desire adequate empowerment and employment opportunities, as well as the development of the region, while the oil and gas companies can play major roles. With various stakeholders lauding the decision of the NLNG to Port Harcourt not minding the protests from some of its employees, other oil and gas firms should also emulate the bold step, which will go a long way in dousing the tension in the hitherto volatile Niger Delta.”

‘We are really happy that this time, we are on our way and we will arrive soon. We have seen that Rivers State is ready for business and we want to be part of the progress’



Tuesday, November 8, 2011


* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes *Real Estate


Danger! Community under gorge’s threat •Residents may lose billions of naira property

•The gorge eating into some houses


When the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) approved the construction of the Iju Water Works road, little did it know that it would spell doom for some residents of of Agege, Lagos, whose houses are being threathened by a gorge. To the residents, it is all the fault of the contractor who they accused of poor workmanship faith in the •Experts advocate rent-to-ownership concept and for bad stable polity execution of the project that has left a dangerous gorge, diverting water from Fagba, Iju and environs to the open collector drain in the community. OKWY IROEGBU reports. •CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

•Engineers seek new roles for FRSC

- PAGE 26

•Environmental agency seeks • Reps move to amend mobile courts for offenders FMBN Act - PAGE 39

- PAGE 40




Engineers seek new roles for FRSC ARTICIPANTS have called on the Federal Government to ex pand the scope of of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to eliminate duplication of agencies and ensure better safety delivery. This is contained in a communiqué issued after an international workshop on integrated importation system planning and management by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in Abuja. The engineers said the FRSC is supposed to have licenced traffic engineers to report on accidents. “In this regard, the workshop saw the need to properly utilise the FRSC, FRSC checks the driver and vehicles, but does not have control over the condition of the road. It is our view that this should be corrected,” it said. “Owner-agencies of the road should be made to pay compensation to victims of an accident which occurs as a result of lack of maintenance and proper signage which are the responsibility of the agency. “There was the need to develop a high integrity traffic data which is unavailable in the country. It is such data that would indicate the viability of Private-Public Partnership (PPP) or similar arrangements.” On the revitalisation of the rail system in the country, the engineers emphasised the need for the


From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to at least fabricate the coaches locally. Speaking, the President of the NSE, Mr Olumuyiwa Alade Ajibola, said Nigeria must develop appropriate models, mode and mix of transportation that would boost economic activities and mobility in the country towards the realisation of Vision 20:2020. Speaking at the opening of the workshop, the NSE chief observed that Nigeria needed effective and efficient transportation system to move goods and services. Maintaining that such an effective transportation system must integrate transportation modes and media in a way that would take into account the strength and limitations of each mode to meet the needs, he said: “An integrated transportation system brings all the transportation modes (highway/vehicles, railway/rail, water/ship, air/ craft, etc) in connection for efficient interplay and will engender the application of transportation planning and management to the entire loop of interrelated activities of the integrated system. For him, Nigeria must spend time to plan and engage

•FRSC chief Osita Chidoka and Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam at an event.

‘There was the need to develop a high integrity traffic data which is unavailable in the country. It is such data that would indicate the viability of Private-Public Partnership (PPP) or similar arrangements’ in constructive system analysis to identify the social and cultural perspective to transportation

use. NSE also said it has chosen to closely examine transportation

subsector professionally and critically to offer genuine advice aimed at moving the subsector forward to meet national transformation goals, adding that the workshop was only a foretaste of a larger international conference on transportation which the NSE would be holding with its yearly general meeting.

Danger! Community under gorge’s threat •Continued from Page 25


HERE is disquiet in some parts of Agege, a suburb of Lagos, as residents have raised the alarm over the danger posed by a gorge and open collector-drain, a fallout of an uncompleted job by a Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) contractor. The contractor allegedly diverted the water from Fagba area, Iju Water Works Road and the surrounding areas to the drain and gorge in the community of about 6,000 persons, and it is threatening their existence. Some houses have caved in. Flooding has become frequent with the heavy rains made worse by the gorge that has been deprived of its protective shrubs and trees as a result of the activities of land speculators. This has left the fate of residents of Harmony Estate, Alex Keyinde Street, Bucknor Eestate, Nelson Cole Avenue, Alade Close 1 and 2 in Ifako-Ijaye Local Council Development Authority (LCDA), Agege hanging delicately in the balance. A spokesman for the LCDA, Chief Ebenezer Alao Odeyemi, told The Nation that he moved into the street 14 years ago without any premonition that they would be in such a precarious situation. He said: “Fourteen years ago, the gorge was covered with lush green shrubs that one hardly noticed it as it acted as a buffer of sort; nobody built near it. But, recently, some people started selling parts of this buffer zone to members of the public who built up a large percentage of this natural habitat, exposing us to the vagaries of nature, especially heavy flooding. “The situation became worse when a LAMATA contractor, constructing Iju Water Works Road, diverted water from different directions to us. During heavy downpour, residents stand the risk of being washed away by the angry floods due to the huge open drain constructed by this particular con-

‘It is now very clear that an embankment should be constructed urgently to avoid destruction of lives and properties in the area. Members of the community are becoming increasingly apprehensive as evident by the current state of our community’ •Harmony Estate, Agege, under the gorge’s threat

tractor.” Odeyemi recounted how the CDA had, on various occasions, made representations to LAMATA and its contractor, Messrs Laralek Ultimate Limited, without much success, but only a promissory note from LAMATA that it would order the contractor back to site to ensure that an embankment is constructed to ensure the safety of lives and property. In a letter, dated July 14, 2011, addressed to the Managing Director of LAMATA, titled Re: Drainage Construction at Alade Close, Ifako by Laralek Ultimate Venture Limited, and made available to The Nation, the CDA expressed fears that, with the heavy rains, the area surrounding the outlet of the drainage is collapsing because of the high volume of water flowing in from other parts of Iju road.

The letter reads in part: “It is now very clear that an embankment should be constructed urgently to avoid destruction of lives and properties in the area. Members of the community are becoming increasingly apprehensive as evident by the current state of our community. “The terminal point at which the drainage discharges water into the gorge has been left uncompleted and this can lead to dangerous erosion into nearby buildings in the future, so the need for embankment that can prevent such erosion cannot be over emphasised. “ In addition, the collector drainage needs to be covered to prevent hazards, since this is a fully residential area, where children play around from time to time.” The community leaders also complained that they had repeat-

edly drawn the attention of the site engineers to the problems without success as the problem was still unattended, thereby exposing the over 6,000 residents to untold danger. They appealed to the LAMATA boss to visit to the site to confirm their complaints with a view to compelling the contractors to do their job in such a way that the Yaya-Abatan situation will not repeat itself in their community. At Yaya-Abatan, an unattended gorge almost swallowed a community until urgent repair works were carried out to remedy the situation. The residents harped on the urgency of the appeal to forestall any unpleasant consequence as their properties, representing years of their toil, are at the risk of being washed away. In a swift reaction, the Managing

Director/ CEO of LAMATA, Dr. Dayo Mobereola, in a letter to the CDA, dated August 3, 2011, informed them that the contractor, Messrs Laralek Ultimate Limited, has been instructed to immediately stone-pitch the eroded embankment from the outlet of the collector drain to the foot. He, however, urged them to cooperate with the contractor to see to the successful implementation of the final phase of the project. But, a source in LAMATA told The Nation that contrary to the widely-held opinion, the contract was actually awarded by Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and supervised by LAMATA. He said the matter is already receiving attention at the State House of Assembly and that as soon as they come up with their recommendations, LAMATA would have no other choice than to abide by them.




The International Bar Association (IBA) conference has ended in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The conference witnessed a large turnout of Nigerian lawyers. Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Joseph Daudu (SAN) complained about how the country’s lawyers are treated by the IBA. Describing the conference as disappointing, he spoke on how Nigeria can earn respect at the IBA, why the country cannot host the conference, and why the number of Nigerian lawyers attending the conference must be pruned. He spoke with reporters in Dubai. JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU was there.


HY are Nigerian delegates in the first three most populous nations at this conference? The population of Nigerian lawyers at International Bar Association (IBA) conferences has been on the yearly increase in the past 10 years. Consistently we have ranked third but I think we came second this year. Is it a good thing? Is it because UAE has relaxed visa regulations? Your guess is as good as mine. But one thing is certain; the heavy population of Nigerian lawyers has no impact on the stature that the Nigerian delegation ought to enjoy. Nigerian speakers or resource persons are few and far between, not proportionate to the population that we contribute to the IBA. Why is this so? It is indeed a matter of great disenchantment to every Nigerian that Africa and Nigeria are treated with the greatest disdain by the IBA. We have raised this conscious neglect over and over with the IBA and their standard answer is to say that Nigerians don’t participate in committee meetings and that committees are the basis of participation in the IBA. In other words, the Nigerian population is surplus to IBA requirements so long as they do not participate in committee activities. Is their claim a fact? Now, these committees hold their meet-


‘IBA should democratise committee system’ •NBA President Joseph Daudu takes stock of Dubai meeting ings in Europe at participant’s expenses. How is the Nigerian volunteer expected to attend committee meetings in diverse European or other foreign cities when even the annual conference he attends is more like an annual pilgrimage? The IBA knows that as long as participation is structured in this form that Nigerian lawyers cannot make any impact on the international plane. What do you think is the solution? The solution is two pronged; (a) IBA has a duty after collecting registration fees and dues ranging from N250, 000 – N400, 000 for the annual conference to develop

course curricular relevant to Nigerian law that has appeal to the international legal community so that more members that attend from Nigeria can have some recognition and a basis for participation by integration. (b) IBA has a duty and indeed responsibility to democratise the committee system on which it places so much premium. By proportional representation and adequate publicity about the activities of these committees, Nigerians can play the role deserving of them in the international legal community. Is there any other thing Nigerian lawyers can do to earn more respect at the IBA

The only option to this recurring contempt shown by the IBA to the Nigerian delegation is to stay away from IBA functions for some time. At the moment attendance by Nigerian lawyers is dominated by lawyers from government departments, those in the corporate world and private legal practitioners. Eighty per cent of these lawyers do not participate in Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) activities, yet they troop out in large number to be ridiculed in IBA setting. Indeed, we are a laughing stock and ridiculed by other par•Continued on page 29

•Mixed reactions trail Dubai conference - P.28 •Misconceptions about fuel subsidy - P.32



LAW COVER CONT’D The 2011 International Bar Association (IBA) was held in Dubai last week. While some lawyers hailed the organisation, others said the programmes did not take developing countries into account. JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, who was at the conference, reports.

Dubai 2011: Mixed reactions trail conference I

T was a gathering of over 5,000 lawyers from around the world, a meeting of diverse cultures and languages. Nigerian lawyers, who participated in this year’s annual general conference of the International Bar Association (IBA) scored it high in organisation and attendance. They, however, faulted the programme content, saying that it did not meet the developmental needs of developing countries such as Nigeria. The conference was held at the International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last weekend. It witnessed over 180 sessions and several sessions went on simultaneously. Topical issues and matters germane to the advancement of international legal community were the focus of the debates in the conference. For instance, the showcase session of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute examined the implications of human rights in the context of political changes in the Middle East, how the new media is affecting government control of information, the issue of legal privilege with a particular focus on the recent decision handed down in the Akzo Nobel case by the European Court of Justice. Other issues, such as the independence of the judiciary, financial growth at the expense of the rule of law and democracy and the unequal status of women were discussed. Nigeria had one of the highest number of participants at the IBA conferences in the last few years, with over 1,000 lawyers attending the conference this year. It is the IBA’s first annual conference held in the Middle East. It offered insights into the fast-changing and growing Middle East and Gulf Countries and opportunities to enhance friendly and professional networking with the legal profession and the people in the region and the wider world. IBA President, Akira Kawamura said the conference came in a year of disasters and hardships in many places in the world. “We had the big earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant accident in Japan. We still have an ongoing big water flood in Thailand and the large earthquake in Turkey. The aftermath of the global financial crisis is still ongoing in Europe. Political conflicts remain unsettled in some parts of the North Africa and Middle East. “Despite of all those hardships, over 5000 delegates have come to Dubai to join this IBA Annual Conference – the largest gathering of lawyers in the world and the highest attendance record in the IBA’s history. “I am proud that the legal profession around the world is so strongly determined to join efforts in order to help the people who are fighting the crisis and the current hardships. Dubai presents a terrific location for the IBA, with its phenomenal development into an international trading hub in the past 40 years. “There is much to enjoy here from view-

ing this amazing city from the heights of the Burj Kahlifa to enjoying a stroll around the Bastakia quarter. The old and the new come together in a wonderful way in Dubai, and without a doubt, you will return home with many gifts from the fantastic souks!This is the city of the Arabian Night miracles! “Our programme this week features sessions that tackle head on a number of issues that confront us every day from topics such as ‘recapitalising financial markets’ and the ‘legal fallout of nuclear disasters’ to the social media like Twitter and Wikileaks. “Some of the key priorities for my term of office as President were; the Presidential Task Force on the Global Financial Crisis, the Globalisation of the Legal Profession and the gender, and human rights issues. I wish to encourage my colleagues to discuss these issues this time to bring about the peace and well-being of people around the world through the law. “I believe that the International Bar Association must be the global forum to foster the transformation of the legal profession into a global profession capable of delivering the most advanced legal services to people around the world. I am proud that all of you, through your committees, are working hard to achieve this mission.” In his keynote address at the opening ceremony, the guest speaker, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, called for serious dialogue based on respect and universal values to help resolve the continuing turbulence in the Middle East. Dr. ElBaradei said with increased globalisation (financial imbalance, energy, climate change, arms control, violence, communicable diseases) there is increasing lack of adequate governance mechanism, with the result of structural inequity and insecurity. According to him, there are three billion people with less than $ 2.5 a day; one billion go to bed hungry; one per cent own 40 per cent of global assets – 50 per cent own one per cent. “Rule of law goes beyond corporate law and is key to governance, peace and stability. If the principles underline the rule of law (fairness, equity, justice) are not sustained everywhere, the roof will fall on our heads. A particular region, the Middle East, is going through radical change in governance. “In many countries lack of good governance is a general characteristic. Lack of good governance means absence of rule of law, corruption, lack of political participation, and often repression and in quite a few countries, poverty, lack of basic need for many people, absence of economic opportunity and obscene gap between rich and poor. This environment leads to loss of hope, marginalisation, radicalisation, violence, civil wars. “While in some countries this has taken place through peaceful uprising (Egypt and Tunisia) in others, it was through violence

•From left: Mrs Habibat, her husband Ajibola Basiru, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Ade Ipaye and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Oyo State, Adebayo Ojo at the just concluded International Bar Association conference in Dubai,United Arab Emirates

and bloodshed (Lybia). Yet, in others (Syria, Yemen) violence is still raging while the international community is wringing its hands, while many innocent civilians are losing their lives. “Failure to manage change could lead to a major setback in the region. Address regional conflicts; engage in a serious dialogue based on respect and universal values to build trust (Palestinian conflict, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iran and the West), better cooperation and integration between countries of the Middle East as well as with rest of the world. “There is a unique opportunity to finally establish a Middle East at peace with itself and with the world. This is a geopolitical and economic necessity at our increasingly interconnected world. “Change in every aspect of our live is inevitable and there is no going back. The key challenge is to ensure that it is orderly and peaceful. Dialogue and meaningful engagement remains our best hope. We need a change of mindset – one human family.” On how this has affected the quality of legal services delivery in the country, the President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN), said: “This is just a wasted resources that we are putting into IBA. “If every IBA conference costs a minimum of N500,000 per participant to attend, check other costs attached to it, this gives you about N750,000 to N1million per participant and when you multiply this by about 1, 200 lawyers from Nigeria coming to attend the conference, that means they have invested over N1 billion into the economy of the IBA and the economy of the foreign country they are going to. “When we ask them to attend NBA conference, they are not willing to pay anything above four or N5,000. Compare this with the N400,000 which they pay here. “Now I hope you have seen the brochure of the IBA, it doesn’t contain any topic relevant to Nigerian law. The programme content is very unfriendly to Nigerians.” Okey Wali (SAN) said: “IBA has very high standards which I think that we should key into. It is also very important that bar leaders attend such conferences. Then we will pick up things like the way is done here.” He added: “In keeping with the efforts to get to the international standards, IBA conference is okay, but if you ask me, I enjoy IBA, but I enjoy Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) conference more because CLA is a Commonwealth thing and you have people from the same background, mostly African and Commonwealth countries generally. “So, when you attend a CLA programme, you will find out that it is more in touch with what is happening back at home, such as issues of corruption, issues of development and the rest of them. You see the perspective from

other countries in the Commonwealth and coming from the same root, the Commonwealth both the legal system and all that, it is easier for you to follow up what happens in the CLA. “I was in Hyderaberg, India in February for the last Commonwealth conference and it was fantastic. I always look forward to the IBA conference, but I always look forward more for the CLA conferences. That is my judgment.” Dr. Bankole Sodipo said an international meeting, such as the IBA conference is driven by committee members, which not many Nigerians are part of. “How many of them participate actively in the committees? To be a committee member, you need to attend the IBA committee meetings and one or two regional meetings. These are too expensive. “So many of us don’t participate and it is at those places that decisions are made about the content of the programme. So, if you are complaining that the content does not suit you, it is like you have no basis. I spoke on some aspect of intellectual property. It was the IBA committee that set it up that said look, we need an African to talk to, so they went round and finally, they contacted me. “So, if we want them to discuss issues concerning us, we have to get more involved and push for it.” For Paul Erokoro (SAN), there was a lot to benefit from. “If many of the attendees participated actively, they would learn international best practices, see how things are done elsewhere and hopefully bring back home the good examples that they find.” Resident Electoral Commissioner for Cross River State, Mike Igini, said: “We have been able to learn from other jurisdictions some of the things they have been doing to help justice delivery, particularly when you go to the Ethics Section. Back home, I am not happy. I am one of those not happy with the Bar and the Bench in our country. “The essence of law and the duty of lawyers, the Bar and the Bench is to use the law as an instrument truly of social engineering to deal with the seemingly intractable problems of the society. For us as a country, as I have noted on a question I asked at the human rights session, one key challenge that we are grappling with is democracy and the rule of law and how that will help the country to meet our aspiration of a truly, prosperous, independent and a just society. “On this call and matter of democracy, particularly of elections, as it relates to ethics, that a lawyer must use his legal services for the service of his people, I am not too sure now at home. “This is because the judiciary, the Bar and the Bench ought to be the bodies that should stand tall and mighty in the defence of democracy. But as it is today, the Bar and the Bench appear to constitute the weakest link in defense of democracy.”

•From left: National legal Adviser of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Olusola Oke, his wife Nkem and Mrs. Nnenna Ukachukwu, at the just-concluded International Bar Association conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates




‘IBA should democratise committee system’ •Continued from page 27

ticipants because our delegation do not even appreciate the snide disrespectful remarks made about our huge number and its meaningless impact to the IBA. The remedy is for Government parastatals and other sponsors to put a moratorium on sponsorship to IBA conferences until Nigerians can evolve a concise strategy and re-evaluate their participation and consequential impact which is now conspicuously missing in the international legal setting. What is your general view about the Dubai conference in terms of organisation, topic contents, and participation by your members and lesson for us in Nigeria? The topics chosen by the IBA for this year’s conference were by and large disappointing. The themes were tepid and usually not as robust as it should be. The IBA on this occasion was a pale shadow of itself. But the organisers tried to redeem their tarnished reputation by attributing the lacklustre agenda to the threatened cancellation of the Conference by the UAE authorities ostensibly on account of the presence of events and topics which were perceived as insensitive in the face of the ongoing happenings in the Arab world. How do you think future conferences can be improved on? The IBA has to undergo a thorough restructuring so as to position it for the challenges to come. At the moment, its administrative structure is anachronistic, insensitive and disdainful of minority interests. As I said earlier concerning participation by Nigerian lawyers, there is an urgent need in view of what I said above to bring about an end to this disgraceful show of shame that the mass exodus of Nigerian lawyers to the IBA annual conference brings to Nigerians without any intellectual benefit or return to the participants. We would do well to develop home grown alternatives to this offshoot of globalisation which is being scorned by the creators themselves. Do you think Nigeria should bid for the hosting of 2014 IBA Conference when it comes to African zone? No. Nigeria lacks the infrastructural basis to host any modern conference of international standards. I will tell you the constraints. (i) There is no modern mega conference centre such as you have in business conscious cities in the world and I will name a few like (a) Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg (all in South Africa). (b) Every major city in America has an event centre, so no point in naming them. (c) Several in UK and virtually all European cities – Singapore, Dubai and indeed every major Asian city etc. How about the International Conference Centre in Abuja? The International Conference Centre in Abuja finds it difficult to cope with the activity of a section of the NBA once the population of attendees exceeds 2000. Tinapa in Calabar has been frustrated, as it could have been a probable conference destination. Lagos and Ibadan are out for obvious reasons. No road networks, no water way economy, no serious recreational activity, insufficient five-star hotels, etc. No gateway such as modern airports. Our airports are an eyesore and a disgrace. To host any major event in Nigeria or indeed position Nigeria as a serious investor or tourist destination, the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Kaduna airports must be pulled down and rebuilt. We do not have the security and law enforcement platform to host any major international event. Is that all? How do you want international visitors to view us when confronted by people at checkpoints collecting money from road users, when confronted with similar scenes at the airports, hotels etc? How do you want them to react to news or information of what goes on in our police stations, courts etc? What happens to their citizens should they suddenly fall ill and have to be sub-

jected to our medical institutions? Will their credit and debit cards work? Is there enough point of sale terminals to avoid carrying cash about? What is the orientation of Nigerian service providers that they will deal with such as taxi drivers, okada riders, pepper soup joints, etc What have we got to show off to our visitors when they arrive, is it the lack of respect and obedience for road traffic rules by virtually all those who drive on Nigerian roads? Do we have enough five or even four-star hotels? Can a tourist walk peacefully without molestation through streets and alleys in major cities in Nigeria? Are the roads in good condition or can a tourist or group of tourists just decide to drive to Ibadan from Lagos for sightseeing? And what is your answer? The answer to these questions must be NO on each occasion, only the uncanny sense of adventurism, economic or otherwise, that brings tourists and investors to visit Nigerians. Living here is only tolerated because this is our country and we have nowhere to go and in any event we are trying to change things for the better. But for now the efforts are either unnoticeable, insufficient or misdirected, whichever it is, we are a long way from creating an environment for the hosting of such an event or even generally the doing of good consistent business in Nigeria. That is why India and Egypt are the medical destinations for millions of Nigerians and Britain, America and Ghana the educational destinations for our own citizens. Do you see light at the end of the tunnel? Until government and the people of Nigerian go back to the drawing board and redesign a process to change the orientation of Nigerians, eliminate corruption, ensure that the systems work from the local, state to the Federal Government, beef up our law enforcement capabilities and generally breed honest and law abiding Nigerians, we cannot and indeed ought not bid for any international event unless our objective is to showcase the world and the other corrupt nations that this is what they will look like if they follow the Nigerian political and economic model. To answer your question directly, any attempt to host such a conference is a pipe dream and will certainly end in national disgrace. We will have to learn to walk before we run. Do you agree that IBA is an imperialist organisation? It depends on what you mean by an imperialist organisation. Those terminologies are no longer fashionable in the face of globalisation and cross-border, multi-jurisdictional relationship. But to appreciate the issue you must understand that the IBA is the major vehicle for the globalisation of legal services. What does it mean? Globalised economy could be defined as one in which neither distance nor national borders impede economic transactions. This would be a world where the costs of transport and communication would be zero and the barriers created by differing national jurisdictions had vanished. How do lawyers benefit from globalisation? Globalisation seeks to achieve the liberalisation of legal services where there will be free movement of legal services and products and ultimately a lawyer can practice his specialised field of law in any jurisdiction preferably in a developing country like Nigeria without let or hindrance, thereby putting the local lawyers on the unemployment line. Globalisation in my humble view is a journey to utopia, a lotus-eater kind of world far away from reality. But the danger is that it is taken seriously by the people who control the resources of the world. How do you mean? These people were the same people who got together to set up the IBA, their economic interests and law are subsumed in the charter of the IBA, which is the legal think-tank of the powers that perfected the strategy for the take-over of the world’s

•Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher

•Attorney-General of the Mohammed Adoke (SAN)


•IBA President, Akira Kawamura

•Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim

economy on a global basis. IBA is a piece (albeit a strategic one) in the jigsaw puzzle of the take-over of all economies big or small by the interest groups that make up the global powers. To that extent, the domestic interests of Nigeria is of no concern to the IBA as long as it is not conceived and conceptualised along perimeters acceptable to the organisation. That is legitimate as they are only proceeding along the lines they were structured to exist on. Why do you think this is so? Every country or organisation exists to protect its own interests. Although there are internationally laid down standards, the strategy of each nation in achieving such milestone is regulated solely by the interest of its citizens and local institutions, in this situation by the NBA (the Chinese and Asian Tigers are a good example). Consequently, we will not expect the IBA to carry on their activities to suit our objectives and interests. We must, therefore, tailor our participation backed up by our heavy numbers in such a way as to force on the IBA our own legal thinking and eco-

nomic interests. That is the only way we can ensure our survival and relevance in the international legal community. Dublin, Ireland will host the IBA Conference in 2012. With the consular problems experienced during the 2010 Canada conference, what measures will your administration adopt to assist would-be delegates?. From all that has been said above, we should not be enthusiastic about the Dublin Conference. We are in reality not part of the IBA equation and, honestly, I think they see us as a nuisance. We must, on our own, regulate our participation in the IBA, encouraging quality as against numbers, majority of who only go to shop and engage in extra-curricular activities. The IBA despite the constitutional principle of freedom of association is not an all-comers affair. You must have the requisite technical experience to engage the system. I will recommend that the population of Nigerian lawyers that would go to Dublin does not exceed 400. We shall deal with these issues at the NBA level.

‘The only option to this recurring contempt shown by the IBA to the Nigerian delegation is to stay away from IBA functions for some time. At the moment attendance by Nigerian lawyers is dominated by lawyers from government departments, those in the corporate world and private legal practitioners’




Court grants ‘transferred’ workers leave to enforce judgment


HE National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Lagos has granted leave to “transferred” workers of the Lagos Building Investment Company Limited (LBICL) to enforce its April 2, 2009 judgment. In a Motion on Notice dated June 24, 2011, the workers sought an order that all salaries and allowances due them from February 2006 to May 2011 be paid until fully paid up, as well as 10 per cent interest on all money due them from April 2, 2009. They are: Mrs Olufunmilayo Fadairo, Kabiru Adewale Yusuf, Adedapo Deko, Mrs A. Modupe Adegunde, Adegoke Olusola, Alfred Oguntuase, Lateef Akilo, Isola Oyedeji, Ayodele Raufu, Johnson Oke and Timothy Akinremi. Their lawyer, Prince Ademola Adewale, moved the motion on September 26. It was supported by a written address, in which the issue of whether the court could enforce its judgment was raised. In an affidavit in support of the motion, Yusuf said LBICL “has adopted all sort of measures and tactics at avoiding settlement of the judgment-debt and deprived the judgment-creditors the fruit of the judgment. “Since the judgment-debtor has refused to obey the judgment of this Honourable Court since April 2, 2009, the judgment-creditors have no alternative than to bring this application to give effect to the judgment.” But counsel to LBICL, Odeh Abah, opposed the application and sought an adjournment, which Adewale opposed. However, the presiding judge, Justice Benedict Kanyip denied the request for adjournment. “Judgment is entered accordingly,” he said. The judge added: “Both counsel and the judgment-debtor were served the judgment-creditors’ motion for enforcement. Instead of reacting to it, counsel came to court applying for an adjournment. We view this application for adjournment as a ploy to evade compliance with valid and subsisting orders of this court made on April 2, 2009. “The respondent indicated it will appeal against the judgment of this court. Section 47 of the NIC Act 2006 is very clear in providing that an appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of this court shall not operate as a stay of execution.

By Joseph Jibueze

“There is no process from the judgment-debtor challenging or controverting the motion of the judgmentcreditor and the supporting affidavit. In the circumstance, we are in agreement with all the submissions of the judgment-creditors. There is merit in the application for enforcement.” The applicants’ case is that they were directly employed by the LBICL, a limited liability company, and therefore, their services cannot lawfully be transferred to the Lagos State Civil Service, a different employer, in compliance with a directive referred to in the respondent’s internal memo, dated February 20, 2006. They sought a declaration that their purported verbal transfer/redeployment to the mainstream of Lagos State Civil Service is unlawful, ineffective, of no effect and null and void. They urged the court to hold that they are still in the employment of the Lagos Building Investment Company Limited and are, therefore, entitled to their salaries and allowances “till date and beyond.” According to them, their appointment is governed by their respective contracts of service, and that their transfer to the mainstream Lagos civil service in 2006 was not in consonance with their terms of employment. They said some of them had put in over 20 years in LBICL, and were asked to begin at lower cadres in the civil service. The applicants sought an order directing the respondent to reinstate them to their respective posts in LBICL immediately, without loss of status, or in the alternative, pay them their due statutory compensation and benefits in normal retirement. But the respondent said the transfer was in accordance with the law. It said upon the issuance of the internal memo which announced the transfer of 37 members of staff to the Lagos State Civil Service, the applicants ceased to be on their payroll LBICL further argued that after the

transfer, the issue of their salaries, allowances and terminal benefits should be directed to the Lagos State Civil Service and not it, as the applicants ceased to be its staff with effect from February 2006. Delivering the judgment on April 2, 2009, Justice Kanyip, who presided over a panel comprising Justice V. N. Okoli, Justice F.I Kola-Olalere, Justice O.A Obaseki-Osaghae and Justice J.T Agbadu-Fishim, said the applicants’ case had merit. He said: “The position of the law is clear that no employee can be transferred from one employer to another without his consent. It does not appear to us that the applicants have been given a choice. “Their views were not sought, neither was their consent obtained. They were not even given individual letters of transfer. The respondent seems to be trying to force the applicants to transfer their services to another employer, the Lagos State Civil Service. “We hold that in the absence of any letter of determination of the services of the applicants, all the applicants are still employees of the respondent company. “We make the following orders: An order directing the respondent company to pay the applicants all their salaries, allowances and other benefits from February 2006 to date; (and) and order directing the respondent company to immediately recall the applicants without loss of status.” The company said it would appeal the judgment. It filed an application at the Court of Appeal, which was struck out, with N10,000. It filed a new application at the Industrial Court seeking to halt the enforcement of the judgment. It will be heard on November 16.

‘There is no process from the judgmentdebtor challenging or controverting the motion of the judgment-creditor and the supporting affidavit. In the circumstance, we are in agreement with all the submissions of the judgmentcreditors. There is merit in the application for enforcement’

•From left: Dorothy Ufot (SAN), Chief Sena Anthony, Grace Egbagbe, Senator Daisy Danjuma, Justice Bola OkikioluIghile and Idowu Alakija, at the IBA conference in Dubai.


with gabriel AMALU

Sovereignty and sovereign wealth


PROFLIGATE Federal Republic of Nigeria has finally decided to save for the rainy day; but as usual with its ways, the means chosen to actualise this objective is already enmeshed in controversy. Nigeria is called a tottering giant because its economy is run like its politics and its bad politics is foisted on its economics. This problem has been with us for long, and I guess it is not about to go away; unless of course a miracle takes place. It explains why our constitution is loaded with rigorous control of the economy by an obtuse federal authority and rigged against the states. Unfortunately, those always at the corridor of power find it difficult to know when to vie off the political expressway when dealing with the economy. With their blurred vision the result is that our economy is perpetually in distress. Two most recent manifestations is the quagmire called oil subsidy and the so called sovereign wealth fund. While there are plausible arguments against the profligacy called petroleum subsidy, who will pretend that the Nigerian political elite can be trusted to manage the resources from an increase in cost of petroleum products. Experience has shown that when there is a substantial increase in wealth available for the country, the only noticeable improvement is in the life style of those at the corridors of power and the characters they prop up, pretending to be economic giants. A successful businessman is most times the wheeler and dealer in government patronage, who merely peddles the gained influence to bleed the system. So, people become very rich in our country without expending any ingenuity or adding any value to the economy. So, we have a national economic bubble and burst which is also no different from the individual economic bubble and burst. When a solution to any existing problem is found, it is always turned into an opportunity to create a new set of leeches. The cycle of wealthy indolent is unending and so the cycle of doom. While billionaires where created through patronage, progressively it has become easy to create billionaires through political philandering. Those previously thought to be excluded by the nature of where they are working have discovered that appropriating whatever they can from resources put in their custody could bring so much pleasure and little worry. So, from private sectors leaders like bankers to people working in government establishments as clerks, the game in town is to grab as much as you can; as quickly as you can. Then suddenly the leading profligate, the Federal Government says it wants to save, under the nebulous sovereign wealth fund. My wish is that such a new saving culture could be possible; in the earnest belief that the elite in power may become more inclined to live within their legitimate means. But there is a catch. Those who drafted the 1999 Constitution abinitio had legislated that Nigeria must live as if tomorrow will not come. It must live such as an Epicurean. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow may never come. Section 162(1) says that “the federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the federation account” into which shall be paid ALL REVENUES collected by the Government of the Federation ….” In subsection 3, it provides as if under a spell that, “any amount standing to the credit of federation account shall be distributed among the federal and state governments and the local government council in each state ….” The implication is that when a kobo accrues into the federation account, it should be shared in accordance with the measure already put in place for sharing. To ensure that there would always be enough to share, the makers of the constitution went ahead to rig the provisions in favour of the federation account. They listed 68 items under the exclusive legislative competence of the Federal Government. Under the concurrent legislative list we have 30 items for legislative activities of the Federal Government and the states. But of course under the doctrine of covering the field, the legislative power of the federation would in most cases enable it to legislate to stultify the legislation by the states. Also section 5(3) of the Constitution also gives an omnibus restrain on the states not to impede the powers, authorities and influence of the federal government in the exercise of executive powers. To protect and enforce these enormous powers, a single police authority is put in place. The judicial system is also skewed in favour of a strong federal authority, with appeal ultimately going to federal courts whether called Appeal Courts or Supreme Courts, on any issue; as against matters arising from the exercise of federal executive authorities or the interpretation of rights arising from federal laws and enactments. So the Federal Government exercises so much power and influence on politics and economy; hence they are impatient when they are restrained from acting as the federation, with states as constitutional irritants. So, we have an enormously powerful federal authority mistaken and confusing in terms as to what it constitutes. There is thus a blur between the federation and Federal Government. One is mistaken for the other and the Federal Government most times acts as if it is synonymous with the federation. With states suffocating from their disproportionate partner in power and influence, most states merely live on handouts. Thus every month, the states line up the stall way to Abuja seeking their very survival, otherwise called the meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee or whatever they are called. So, we have a nation, constitutionally empowered not to save as a nation. And our politicians are the happier for it.




Honour for Justice Ogunlesi-Adio •Foundation awards scholarship L AST Saturday friends, associates and family members of the late Justice Omobusola Ogunlesi-Adio lavished encomiums on her was as they gathered at Sagamu, Ogun State, in her honour. The gathering was in commemoration of her transition, which occurred 10 years ago. It held in the form of a church service at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Sagamu, followed by a reception and launch of a foundation initiated by her children and named after her. She was married to former Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Mashood Olayiwola Adio. The late Justice Ogunlesi-Adio became a judge in 1991 and served as the Presiding Judge in Otta Judicial Division, subsequently at the Ijebu-Ode and Shagamu Judicial Divisions of the Ogun State Judiciary. She was called to the English Bar at the Gray’s Inn of Court in 1964 and the Nigerian Bar in 1965. She earlier served as Chief Legal Officer at the Lagos State Property and Development Corporation (LSDPC), Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ijebu Branch (between July 1988 and October 1990), Chairman of the Local Government Election Tribunal in Ijebu-Ode from December 1990 to May 1991. A highly religious personality, she was a member of St. Paul’s Church, Sagamu from her youth days and belonged to several societies in the church, which later became known as the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Anglican Communion, Remo Diocese. Among those at the event were the Akarigbo of Remo Land, Oba Micheal Sonariwo, Chief Justice of Ogun State, Justice Olatokunbo Olopade, former judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN); Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN) and Justice Ayotunde

By Eric Ikhilae

Phillips of the Lagos High Court. Others include distinguished pharmacist and publisher, Otunba Olayinka LawalSiolarin, former Chairman, Eterna Oil & Gas Plc, Otunba Tunji Lawal-Solarin, former Group Managing Director, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Sir Remi Omotoso, his wife, Ebun and former Director-General of the Voice Of Nigeria (VON), Chief Taiwo Alimi. To all the speakers, the deceased was an epitome of morality; a philanthropist, who lived diligently and was committed to God’s work. Right Reverend Olusina Olusina Fape, the Diocesan Bishop of Remo Diocese opened the floodgate of encomiums while speaking during the church service. He recalled the late Justice Ogunlesi-Adio’s many contributions to the church and its members. He described her as a loving person, who was committed to the work of God end recalled how her assistance and contributions helped the growth of the church’s choir, to which she belonged for many years. At the reception and foundation launch, Oba Sonariwo described the family as that with a long history of philanthropy. He said his first contact with the family was with their grand mother, Tanimowo, who he described as a great philanthropist like the late Justice Ogunlesi-Adio. He praised the deceased’s children for setting up the foundation, noting that it would serve to further sustain the ideals for which Justice Ogunlesi-Adio lived. Justice Olopade, who served under the deceased at the LSDPC, described her as a great person and one of those who contributed to

ensuring her career was successful. She urged all to support the foundation to enable it achieve its goals. Lawal-Solari, who acted as the chief launcher, equally eulogised the deceased, recalling the memorable encounters he had with her and her family. He praised the family for establishing a foundation in her honour. One of the deceased’s children, Seni Adio, while speaking at the church, relived fond memories of their late mother, describing her as a caring mother and a disciplinarian, who lived a virtuous life. He cited an instance when, even on the sick bed and few days to her death, frowned at a dress worn by one of his siblings and insisted that she must change it. “Apart from the spiritual aspect of mum, she was very generous, hospitable and loving”, he said. Olufemi Awotesu, a member of the foundation’s board of trustees, who spoke for other members, explained what the foundation seeks to achieve. He added that the foundation was intended to honour God by assisting humanity. The Honourable Justice Busola Atinuke Ogunlesi-Adio Foundation, which intends to promote the growth of legal education and ecumenical choir, two areas which the deceased was passionate while alive, gave out five scholarship awards valued at about N400, 000. Three members of the choir of Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Sagamu and two female Law graduates, who graduated with First Class from the Nigerian Law School got the inaugural scholarship awards. The awardees include Motunrayo Opebiyi

•Justice Ogunlesi-Adio

and Opeyemi Dada (the two Law graduates); Adefolake Adesanya, Ayomide Ademowo, Oyewole Oyediran (members of the church’s choir). The foundation hopes to award three scholarships in subsequent years. One scholarship will go to a female law student of Ogun State origin, for the furtherance of her professional aspirations, while two choral scholarships will be awarded - one to a junior member and the other to an adult member of the choir of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.

•Chief Sofola (SAN) and Prince Ajibola (SAN)

•From right: Seni Adio, his wife, Solape and Mrs Kehinde Jibodu

•From left: Oba Sonariwo, Chief Alimi and Justice Olopade

• Justice Phillips

•Awardees: Miss Opebiyi and Miss Dada •PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA



LEGAL OPINION Activist-lawyer Femi Falana argues that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has usurped the powers of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), which has the statutory duty to “regulate the supply and distribution of petroleum products”. He analyses the limits of NNPC’s powers and warns that removing fuel subsidy will “provoke” Nigerians.

Misconceptions about fuel subsidy I T is common knowledge that Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of crude oil in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). But ours is the only country in the OPEC that depends on imported petroleum products to meet her domestic requirements. As the four refineries owned by the Federal Government have not been properly maintained they are unable to operate at their total refining capacity of 445,000 barrels per day. Since the fourth refinery, the Port Harcourt refinery was built in 1981, successive governments in Nigeria have, for some inexplicable reasons, failed to construct new refineries. Those who were given refinery licences under the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration have refused to invest in refineries as it is more lucrative to engage in the importation of petroleum products. In the last two years a barrel of crude oil which is extracted for less than $10 has been sold in the international market for prices ranging from $100 to $180. Since the cost of production is by far less that the price of the commodity, the issue of subsidy does not arise. It is, however, conceded that the Federal Government has been subsidising corruption and inefficiency arising from official negligence to maintain the existing refineries and build new ones to meet domestic needs and generate substantial revenue from exporting petroleum products. No doubt, the government can no longer justify the huge expenditure on fuel import. But instead of confronting the fuel cartel and some unpatriotic public officials duping the country through fraudulent claims, round tripping and smuggling of subsidised petroleum products to neighbouring countries Government has decided to inflict more excruciating economic pains on hapless Nigerians by withdrawing subsidy from PMS. It is pertinent to note that the government has since withdrawn subsidy from diesel. The claim that kerosene is still subsidised ought to be investigated as the product is sold in the market for between N95 and N200 per litre instead of the official rate of N50. Since the local refineries produce the bulk of kerosene supplied to consumers to what extent is the product subsidised? Why has the NNPC refused to colour kerosene to prevent the product from being sold to commercial airlines and the masses at the same rate in the market?

Budgeting for fuel imports In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Federal Government spent N261 billion, N278 billion, N630 billion, N421 billion and N673 billion on the importation of petroleum products. In 2011, N240 billion was appropriated for fuel susidy by the National Assembly. But in contravention of the Appropriation Act 2011 the NNPC caused with the Federal

Ministry Finance to release N1.3 trillion for the importation of fuel products by August 31, 2011.Thus, from 2006-2011 Nigeria spent a total of N3.6 trillion on fuel import! A cursory glance at the above figures shows monumental fraud which cannot be justified. For instance, N673 billion was spent in 2010 but the figure has risen to N1.3 trillion in 2011. From the information at my disposal the the PPPRA has colluded with NNPC to settle vouchers for arrears of petroleum products purportedly supplied in 2009! It is such fraudulent claims which have balloned the 2011 fuel subsidy. The NNPC and PPPRA, Central Bank and the Federal Ministry of Finance should justify these figures. This has become necessary as the auditors engaged by the Government have failed to detect fraud with respect to the over N3.6 trillion wasted on fuel imports in the last five years. Yet, the auditors have been collecting billions of Naira annually for failing to verify and detect the monumental fraud perpetrated by the “oil cartel”. By virtue of Section 7 of the Petoleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the PPPRA is empowered to “prevent collusion and restrictive trade practices harmful to the sector” and “regulate the supply and distribution of petroleum products” but the NNPC has usurped the powers of the PPPRA. Specifically, with the illegal directive of the NNPC, the PPPRA is made to honour unverified vouchers from importers of petroleum products. Right now, a huge sum of money is being paid in 2011 for petroleum products purportedly imported to the country over two years ago! As if that is not enough a large quantity of the fuel subsidised by the Federal Government is smuggled to neighbouring countries by the so-called “oil cartel” with the connivance of security personnel.

The limit of NNPC’s powers The controversy surrounding the planned removal of fuel subsidy has drawn attention to the illegal management of the Federation Account and the usurpation of the powers of the PPPRA by the NNPC to the detriment of the Nigerian people. As an agency of the Federal Government, the NNPC cannot interfere with the management of the funds belonging to federal, states and local governments without appropriation by the National Assembly. Whereas all revenues collected by the Federal Government shall be paid to the Federation Account pursuant to section 162 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the NNPC has been operating the Federation Account illegally. For instance, the NNPC has admitted that state and local governments have been shortchanged to the tune of N420 billion. It has announced its plan to pay the ‘debt’ without any reference to the National Assembly or the Federal Executive Council!


•Prince Akinruntan

With respect to fuel subsidy the NNPC operates the Petroleum Support Fund which is funded through imposition of monthly levy of 50 per cent on the Federal Government, 25 per cent on state governments and 25 per cent on local governments. Such deductions are made from source by the NNPC without appropriation or approval of any tier of Government. Last year, the NNPC shocked the nation when it demanded re-inbursement from the Federal Ministry of Finance for the sum of N1.5 trillion withdrawn from the Federation Account and distributed to various unnamed persons in the last one decade on the illegal directives of two former Heads of State. Although the disclosure was made to the National Assembly it was, as usual, swept under the carpet. Such economic crime should be investigated no matter whose ox is gored. No doubt, Section 7 of the Petroleum Act empowers the NNPC to defray all expenses incurred from “such monies as may be received by the Corporation in the course of its operations” this cannot be a justification for the illegal operation of the Federation Account. The National Assembly should pluck up the courage, this time around, to subject the operations of the NNPC to scrutiny. More so, that its accounts have not been submitted for verification for the past 12 years!

The way out The reasons adduced for the decision of the Government to stop fuel subsidy with effect from January 2012 are jejune and dishonest. How can the Federal Government admit its inability to deal with the so called ‘oil cartel’ responsible for the fraud that has characterised the importation of petroleum products? Will the National Assembly allow the Government to inflict more economic punishment on Nigerians for the criminal activities of the “oil cartel” and a few public officers? For several years, I have suggested effective maintenance of the four refineries and the construction of new ones. I have also requested the NNPC to build mega stations in neighbouring countries such as Benin, Togo and Niger to discourage smuggling and generate revenue for the Government. Venezuela has over 2,000 gas stations in the United States. Instead of importing petroleum products from Europe at a colossal cost the Government should refine crude oil in neighbouring countries whose refineries are functioning and producing below capacity. Senegal has a well maintained 47-year old refinery. Chad and Niger have just built new refineries. Like citizens of other oil producing countries Nigerians are entitled to derive maximum benefit from crude oil. Contrary to official claim the prices of petroleum products in Nigeria are the highest among the major-


ity of OPEC members. The investigation recently conducted by a Nigerian newspaper revealed that ‘petrol sells for the equivalent of N58.40k in Iran, N30.55 in Kuwait, N32.12 in Qatar; N17.52 in Saudi Arabia, N54 in the United Arab Emirates, N15.95 in Libya, N39.42 in Bahrain, N5.84 in Venezuela etc (PILOT newspaper, August 15, 2010). Each of the aforementioned countries has functional refineries. For instance, Venezuela has 18 refineries most of which are dedicated to the exportation of refined petroleum products. In Nigeria, our four refineries currently produce below 10 per cent of their capacity. Why has the government failed to invite the companies which built them to maintain instead of giving turn around maintenance contracts to incompetent party loyalists? Given the political will the country’s four refineries can be fixed in six months while four new ones can be built by the Federal Government in the next one year. To fund the project the Government should draw from the foreign reserves which are currently withdrawn regularly to pay for the importation of non essential goods to the country. The Government may also offer some incentives to the oil majors operating in the country to invest in refineries. In the interim, the PPPRA should be reconstituted with patriotic Nigerians while the NNPC should be restrained from further preventing the PPPRA from carrying out its statutory duties with respect to the importation, marketing and ditribution of petroleum products. The NNPC has no power under the law to import and sell petroleum products. Finally, should the National Assembly endorse the withdrawal of fuel subsidy the implication is that the pump price of petrol will jump to N144.70. Based on the nature of the neo-colonial economy of the country the plan will immediately aggravate the economic crisis as the cost of goods and services will hit the roof. If the unpopular policy is imposed, the government should be prepared to face the anger of Nigerians. Those who believe that Nigerians have been cowed to submission can go ahead and provoke them. They will live to regret their action!

FirstBank, Obat, two others in court over alleged N2.4b debt

IRST Bank of Nigeria Plc has sued one of its customers, Obat Nigeria Limited, the company’s Chairman, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan and its Managing Director, Prince Akinfemiwa Akinruntan, alleging N2.4billion indebtedness. In the suit pending before Justice Benedict Molokwu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, the bank claimed that the purported indebtedness arose from several loan facilities it granted the company some years back. An employee of the bank, Ngozi Ignatius stated, in a supporting affidavit, that Obat got the said facilities for the advancement of its business, which is predominantly petroleum related. The company allegedly utilised all the facilities. The facilities were said to have been secured with mortgage debenture over Obat’s tank farm at Ibafon, estimated at N3 billion; a tripartite legal mortgage over a property at Bodija, valued at N50 million and another

By Eric Ikhilae

tripartite legal mortgage over a property on Ibadan-Ife road, estimated at N50 million. The bank accused the defendants of failing to repay the loans when it made several demand on them. It accused the defendants of refusing to comply with agreements reached at meetings held by parties. The plaintiff stated that the defendants’ alleged refusal to repay the loan has forced it to resort to clause five of the deed of mortgage debenture entered by parties. The bank, who said the defendants owes it about N2.4 billion, is praying the court to among others, an interim order restraining the defendants and their agents from tampering with the company’s assets and funds pending the determination of the case.

Already, the court has granted the bank’s request for the appointment of Kunle Ogunba (SAN) as a receiver /manager over the company. However, in an application filed by Ogunba, the defendants were accused of frustrating attempt by the receiver/ manager to assume duty at the company on September 19. The defendants have denied the bank’s claim. In their notice of preliminary objection, the defendants denied being indebted to the bank. They accused the bank of owing them.The defendants urged the court to dismiss the suit for being incompetent. They stated that a dispute over the bank’s alleged indebtedness to them informed a suit instituted before the Lagos High Court. In the said suit, the defendants are claiming about N731, 964,350.31 against the bank. Hearing in the case was stalled on November 2 owing to the failure of the court to sit. It has been adjourned to November 24.




•Chief Ferdinand Orbib and Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN)

•Prof Lanre Fagbohun and Akoji Abutu

•Samuel Ugwuegbulam and Etam Ebebo

•Aniedi Etukudo and Patrick Ekpo

•Sharon Eddie and Marshal-Umukoro Onome

•Ofonime Jackson and Temitope Ogunmuyiwa

•Chime Victor-Chijioke and Falima Abubakar

•Rahmatu Liman and Abdul-Ghaniu Bello

•Enenmo Ferdinand and Anyatulu Chuks

•Valerian Ifetu and Emmanuel Afolabi PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO




•From left: Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; NBA President, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN); Yusuf Ali (SAN) and National Legal Adviser, Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), Dr. Muiz Banire.

•From left: Sylva Ogwemoh, Lagos State Governor, Raji Fashola (SAN) and Jibrin S. Okutepa (SAN). Okey Nwousu,General Secretary NBA, Olumuyiwa Akinboro Ganiyu Ajape

•From left: Ganiu Ajape; NBA General-Secretary, Olumuyiwa Akinboro and Okechukwu Ajunwa

•From left:Dele Adesina (SAN); former President, NBA OCJ Okocha (SAN) and Chief S. Awomolo (SAN)


left: Senator Babajide Omoworare (Osun East), Femi Falana and his wife, Funmi (middle)

From left:Chief Solomon Awomolo (SAN); Mrs Ranti Daudu; Mrs Victoria Awomolo and former President NBA, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN).

•From left: Former General Secretary, NBA, Rafiu Lawal-Rabana (SAN),Editor, ThisDay Law, Funke Aboyade and Mrs Nella Andem Rabana (SAN).

•Funke Adekoya (SAN) and Secretary, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS)

•From left: Mac Enahme, former NBA President, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Welfare Officer, NBA, Sule Usman.

•From left: Nkechi Ezeako, President, Commonwealth Lawyers Association ( CLA), Boma Ozobia, Mrs Chioma Ohakim and Mrs Mary Victoria Mbu. PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU




•From left: Steve Emelieze, former General Secretary NBA, Ibrahim Mark and Kashim Ibrahim

•Executive Secretary, Land Use Allocation Committee, Lagos State, A.O. Salami and his wife Bukky

•From left: Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN), Udochi Iheanacho and Sternford Moyo

•Paul Erokoro (SAN) and Hannibal Uwaifo

•From left: Okey Wali (SAN), Tess Morris Okeke and Ifedayo Adedipe(SAN)

•From left: Justice B.B. Kanyip, Director of Research, NIALS, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye and his wife Olufunso

•A.B. Mahmoud (SAN) (left) and Chief John Ochoga

•Chairman NBA Lagos, Taiwo Taiwo and Director of Administration, NBA, Osita Okoro

•From left:Ricky Tarfa (SAN), Emeka Ngige (SAN) and Emeka Okafor

•Mrs Augusta Ogawku and Emma Dike





When election petition shall be validly filed IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CALABAR JUDICIAL DIVISION) ON THURSDAY, THE 21ST DAY OF JULY, 2011 SUIT NO: CA/C/NAEA/144/2011 BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS KUMAI BAYANGAKAAHS ....... Justice, Court of Appeal IA’AFARU MIKAILU ....... Justice, Court of Appeal ISAIAH OLUFEMI AKEJU ....... Justice, Court of Appeal BETWEEN PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY





HERE is no doubt that time is of the essence in the handling of election petitions. This probably in-

formed the decision by the National Assembly in deleting Section 134 of the Electoral Act 2010 and amending Section 29 of the First Alteration Act and Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. The erstwhile Section 134 of the Electoral Act, 2010 which was deleted by Section 32 of Electoral (Amendment) Act No. 10 of 2010 stipulated as follows: “134 - (1) An election petition shall be filed within 21 days after the date of the declaration of results of the elections. 2. An election tribunal shall deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition. 3. An appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or court shall be heard and disposed of within 90 days from the date of the delivery of judgment of the tribunal. 4. The court in all appeals from election tribunals may adopt the practice of first giving its decision and reserving the reasons thereto for the decision to a later date.” By deleting this provision and amending Section 285 of the Constitution, whatever lingering doubts anybody had about the importance the National Assembly placed on the prompt disposal of election petitions, was removed, Even the period for the hearing and disposal of appeals was reduced. Section 9 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Second Alteration) Act No .2 of 2010 substituted Sections 29 of the First Alteration Act and Section 285 of the Constitution and provides in Subsections (5) - (8) as follows: “(5) An election petition shall be filed within 21 days after the date of the declaration of result of the elections; (6) An election tribunal shall deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition; (7) An appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or Court of Appeal in an election matter shall be heard and disposed of within 50 days from the date of the delivery of judgment of the tribunal or Court of Appeal. (8) The court in all final appeals from an election tribunal or court may adopt the practice of first giving its decision and reserving the reasons therefore to a later date.” Since Section 134 of the Electoral Act has been deleted and a specific provision is made under Section 285 of the Constitution (as amended), the enlargement of time envisaged under paragraph 45 of the 1st schedule to the Electoral Act is no longer feasible. The effect of the failure to file the Respondent’s Reply within 14 days of service on him of the Petition as stipulated under paragraph 12(1) of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act is tantamount to a breach of Section 285 of the Constitution and cannot be waived or overlooked.”Per AKAAH, J.C.A.(Pp. 8-10, paras. F-F) - read in context KUMAI BAYANG AKAAH, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): At the election into the House of Representatives for Calabar Municipality and Odukpani Federal Constituency held on 9th day of April, 2011 the Petitioner (now 1st Respondent\ Eyo Nsa Ekpo stood election with Nkoyo Esu Toyo along with five other candidates, namely Grace Ekpoanwan, Nelson Eyamba Co-co Bassey, Eyo Janet Onofiok, Joseph Bassey Eno

and Baron Nsa Eyo. While the Petitioner who was sponsored by the Action Congress of Nigeria scored 7,213 votes, the 1st Respondent (now the 2nd Respondent) to this appeal was sponsored by the 4th Respondent (PDP) and credited with 23,295 votes. He was subsequently declared the winner and returned as the duly elected candidate at the election. The Petitioner felt aggrieved and filed his petition on. 29th April, 2011. In he said petition No. EPT/CR/NA/3/2011, the 1st Respondent was the candidate who was declared winner by the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Cross River State, who was made 2nd Respondent. The Independent National Electoral Commission conducted the election and was joined as 3rd Respondent while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was joined as 4th Respondent. The Petition was served on the 4th Respondent on 3rd May, 2011 who promptly entered appearance through Messrs Lexgiobal Partners on 6th May, 2011. The 4th Respondent had 14 days from 6th May, 2011 to file its Reply but was unable to file the Reply until the time expired on 21st May, 2011. On 8th June, 2011 an application was filed on behalf of the 4th Respondent asking for extension of time to file its Reply. The Tribunal in its Ruling delivered on 9th June, 2011 refused to extend time and allow the 4th Respondent to file its Reply. Aggrieved with this decision the 4th Respondent appealed in its Notice dated 29th June, 2011 containing two grounds of appeal from which the Appellant distilled the following issue for determination: Whether from the circumstances of this case, the materials before the Tribunal and the need to do substantial justice and uphold the principle of fair hearing as enshrined in the Constitution the Appellant’s right to fair hearing was not breached by the lower Tribunal’s dismissal of the application for extension of time to file its Reply.

The Petitioner (now 1st Respondent) also formulated the following lone issue for determination: Whether having regards to the special nature of election petitions and timeliness constitutionally provided, the trial Tribunal was right when it dismissed the Appellant’s Motion for Extension of time dated 8th June, 2011. The 4th Respondent to the Petition will hereafter referred to as the Appellant while the Petitioner will be the 1st Respondent in the petition will be referred to as the 2nd Respondent in the appeal. In the Appellant’s brief and oral argument of Mrs. Andem Ewa, SAN, learned Senior Counsel emphasized that the refusal by the Tribunal to allow the Appellant’s application for extension of time to file its Reply to the Petition amounted to denial of the Appellant’s right to fair hearing, moreso since the application was not being opposed by any of the respondents and further that 5 days after the refusal of the Appellant’s application, the Members of the Tribunal granted an application which had the effect of adding to the Petition without affording the Appellant an opportunity of consequential response. She argued forcefully that having filed a motion for extension of time to file its Reply simultaneously with a Reply dated 8th day of June, 2011, even though the Appellant was out of time to file the Reply by 18 days the need to do substantial justice should have been uppermost in the mind of the Tribunal in exercising its discretion to grant the extension. In the brief filed on behalf of the 1st Respondent and in oral argument, Mr. Balfantyne, learned counsel argued that petitions are sui generis and consequently the latitude allowed the Tribunal in exercise of its discretion in favour of parties to a petition is greatly curtailed. He analyzed Section 285(6) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and submitted that time is of essence in election petitions. He contended that contrary to the contention of the Appellant, the Right of fair hearing of the Appellant was not breached in any manner whatsoever because on its own election, the Appellant failed to avail itself of the 14 days granted by the Electoral Act, 2010 to file the Respondent’s Reply. The Ruling of the Tribunal dismissing the application for extension of time to file the Reply to the petition is contained at pages 202 - 203 of the Records. At page 203 the Tribunal stated:“The proceedings in election petitions are essentially governed by time which ought to be judiciously utilised by the parties and the court. The reason given for failure to file the reply within the prescribed time is that the 4th Respondent was too busy to pay timely attention to the matter before this Tribunal. This court cannot be seen to be aiding the 4th Respondent in his non-challance towards the petition. And we do not have the time to waste on account of the indolence of any party.” In the affidavit in support of the motion for extension of time to file the 4th

Respondent’s Reply out of time, Mr. Francis Ugochukwu Okoli deposed to the following facts in paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6:“3. That upon receiving instructions from the 4th Respondent, the firm of Messrs Lexglobal partners entered appearance on the 6th day of May, 2011. 4. That still on the same date, we, counsel for the 4th Respondent filed a motion for inspection of documents in the custody of the 3rd Respondent. 5. That due to the heavy activities in the Secretariat of the 4th Respondent arising from the many petitions filed against it, we could not obtain the documents and facts with which the 4th Respondent could file his Reply. 6. That we have now obtained sufficient facts with which to file the 4th Respondent’s Reply.” The reasons given for the delay in filing the 4th Respondent’s Reply do not sound quite convincing and as the Tribunal rightly pointed out in its Ruling, the proposed Reply to the Petition was not attached to enable the Tribunal have enough materials upon which to exercise its discretion in favour of granting the extension of time to file the Reply. lf one may ask where did the 1st Respondent (now 2nd respondent) get documents and facts with which he filed his Reply within time or in what way would the Reply by the Appellant differ from that of the 2nd Respondent whose election was sponsored by the Appellant? There is no doubt that time is of the essence in the handling of election petitions. This probably informed the decision by the National Assembly in deleting Section 134 of the Electoral Act 2010 and amending Section 29 of the First Alteration Act and Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. The erstwhile Section 134 of the Electoral Act, 2010 which was deleted by Section 32 of Electoral (Amendment) Act No. 10 of 2010 stipulated as follows: “134 - (1) An election petition shall be filed within 21 days after the date of the declaration of results of the elections. 2. An election tribunal shall deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition. 3. An appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or court shall be heard and disposed of within 90 days from the date of the delivery of judgment of the tribunal. 4. The court in all appeals from election tribunals may adopt the practice of first giving its decision and reserving the reasons thereto for the decision to a later date.” By deleting this provision and amending Section 285 of the Constitution, whatever lingering doubts anybody had about the importance the National Assembly placed on the prompt disposal of election petitions, was removed, Even the period for the hearing and disposal of appeals was reduced. Section 9 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Second Alteration) Act No .2 of 2010 substituted Sections 29 of the First Alteration Act and Section 285 of the Constitution and provides in Subsections (5) - (8) as follows:

•From left: M. E. Egbadon, Shomuyiwa Gbade, Funke Aboyade and Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello at the IBA Conference in Dubai





Yuguda… Yet another gaffe

Nyako, Marwa, Gundir battle for Adamawa

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi



HE scene is tension soaked. It is a tale of three men, three political parties, one seat. It is reminiscent of the cold war days when the United States of America and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were at war, yet shots were not fired. In Adawama, Vice-Admiral Murtala Nyako is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa is flying the flag of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Marcus Gundir is contesting the January 2012. Adamawa governorship election on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). So far, many people have indicated their intention to wrest power from Nyako who has occupied the seat since May 29, 2007. Verbal war has been launched by those who think he has not done well, but his government has responded ferociously to such attacks with the show of credentials of its “magnificent achievements” to show the World what it described as the “Nyako revolution.” According to his opponents, “Nyako has under-developed Adamawa State.” Politicians who want to succeed the governor are angered by the judgment that gave another year to Governor Nyako from May 29, 2011 to May 14, 2012. Sen Jibril Aminu who represented Adamawa Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly for eight is Governor Murtala Nyako’s number one opponent. Aminu has assembled a group to deliberate on how to stop Nyako by all means. Aminu has lent his support to Nyako’s fiercest critic in the PDP, Dr. Umar Ardo, who contested the PDP gubernatorial ticket with Nyako at the Lamido Cinema but was defeated. Ardo is Sen Jibril Aminu’s right hand man who has vowed to fight Nyako until he gets the chance to clinch the PDP ticket. In a recent interview, Ardo enumerated what he described as Nyako’s sins, ranging from the criminal aspects to corruption. “They have been able to put in place irresponsible Government that has squandered the state resources in fact over N244b has gone down the drain since Nyako came on board, we are going to fight these abnormalities.’ Imagine the Governor saying he awarded road construction for N500m for a little stretch of road when in the Southsouth where you have to fell trees and dredge sand from the ocean to fill before you construct road they award it at N120 million per kilometer to Julius Berger while PW, the type you have, here gets it at N86 million per kilometer, yet Nyako is awarding road construction to PW for N500m per stretch, it is unacceptable.” He said ‘Secondly they have never had open bidding for contracts in the state, when I confronted the Commissioner for Works, he said that they always do close

• Nyako

• Marwa By Barnabas Manyam

biding, what is close biding for goodness sake? This is cheating. The state will never pay what is due to the people so long as we have such a rapacious government in place’’. Ardo is Sen. Aminu’s godson. It is not surprising that the former Senator has also launched a diatribe. He lambasted the Nyako administration for denying the people fundamental rights to freedom of association and free speech. He said” we have looked at the economic aspect in Adamawa State and wonder why Nyako does not want to pay salaries, even during Ramadan days. It can only be attribute to poor management of our collective funds, violation of human rights by Nyako and this is why the people now desire change.” On the forthcoming election, Aminu said: “This is a good opportunity for the people to unite and chase away Governor Nyako; that was why I agreed to chair the stakeholders meeting and the governor used the security to bar us by barricading all the roads leading to the venue of the meeting.” However, Nyako appears to have the upper hand at the moment. He has succeeded in enlisting the support of Dr. Bamanga Tukur, President of the Africa Business Roundtable ABR and VicePresident Atiku Abubakar. While Nyako

‘However, Nyako appears to have the upper hand at the moment. He has succeeded in enlisting the support of Dr. Bamanga Tukur, President of the Africa Business Roundtable ABR and Vice- President Atiku Abubakar. While Nyako sees unity in the PDP as a major step in stepping back into office, Aminu has adopted a new strategy. He is looking outside the party for a rainbow coalition’

sees unity in the PDP as a major step in stepping back into office, Aminu has adopted a new strategy. He is looking outside the party for a rainbow coalition to defeat the governor in January. The list of opponents includes Aminu, Gundiri, Ardo, Dr. Idi Hong, the immediate past minister of state for foreign Affairs, Marwa, Hon John Eddy Manassa, the CPC deputy gubernatorial candidate, Alh. Salau Gidaddo, Alh. Faruk Jauro, Hon M.C. Tahir, Chief Timawus Mathias, Alh. Kassim Njidda. There is an ugly side to the battle as thuggery has been introduced in the race, Dr. Ardo who was defeated during the primaries has alleged that Governor Nyako sent 5000 thugs to him during the primary. Dr. Ardo has also alleged that Nyako is using the State Urban Planning and Development Board to destroy his billboards. In the week preceeding the primaries he cried loud that his life was in danger. Marwa too is not claiming that agents of the governor have attacked his team by removing his posters. Marwa had to contact the Inspector General of Police IGP on the score. Marwa has hidden his dislike for the Governor since the first delegate congress elections were canceled by the PDP last year after he had allegedly won the primaries. That move made him to ditch the PDP for the CPC. Last week, after clinching the CPC primaries ticket, Marwa again fired another salvo by attacking the government for what he termed under development of Adamawa State. Gundiri has, contrary to expectations, made impressive progress in the battle for the 2012 race. He has largely retrained from joining the verbal war but his people have been releasing press write-ups attacking the government and trading words with the ruling party. The ACN publicity Secretary Mr. Yohanna Mathias, is the general in this battle. For now, there is little more than verbal warfare; perhaps some skirmishes in the form of tearing posters and pulling down billboards. But, these have heated up the polity. Anything could trigger a real battle if nothing is done to ensure that the combatants respect the rules of the game.

FTER a series of previous scathing criticisms, the 14th governor of Bauchi State, Mallam Isa Yuguda is yet into another round. Previously, Yuguda was hailed with brickbats over the death of 10 National Youth Service Corps members killed in the state during the post-presidential election violence of April. Also, his comments on the dreaded Boko Haram was said to have placed him on the group’s wanted list. He had to tender an unconditional public apology. And now, there is a face off with members of the 6th Bauchi State House of Assembly (BAHA) whose session ended on June 9. The 31-member Assembly has dragged the state government before Justice Ibrahim Zango of Bauchi State High Court.Zango is the state Chief Judge and had presided over the eightman Judicial Commission of Enquiry that probed the accounts of the Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu eight-year administration. In an originating summons, the aggrieved former lawmakers are asking the court to compel the state government to pay them N125,595,147:50 as Severance Gratuity.The breakdown of the gratuity shows that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are entitled to N4,919,625,and N4,337,947:50 respectively, while each of the 29 members wants N4,011,675. The legal action is coming 5 months after the tenure of the 6th Assembly and in spite of several unsuccessful personal appeals and correspondences to both Gov.Isa Yuguda and Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mr Ahmed Ibrahim Dan-Dija. The correspondences include two letters by their counsel to the Executive Governor of Bauchi State on August15th and September 23rd 2011 in demand for the gratuity. And a reply by the SSG on September 20, 2011, in which the SSG said ’’His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State has already approved the payment of severance gratuity to the Hon.members of the 6th Assembly about two months ago and necessary arrangements are being made to effect payment, accordingly.’’ The lawmakers alleged that they have suffered serious hardship by the refusal of the Government to pay our gratuity thereby making “their lives meaningless. They claimed “the government has resources and means to pay the said amount and it will not be prejudiced if the Court grants their prayer. In addition the court is asked to order the government to pay N1, 000,000 to each member as general damages, 10 % monthly interest of the total sums claimed from the date of judgment is given until full final payment. And N7, 000,000 as cost of litigation. The matter is listed for November 8 as necessary court processes have been duly served on the government. An affected member, Hon. Harsanu Yunusa Guyaba, who represented Kirfi constituency for eight years, told The Nation that’’we would not have gone to court, if the Governor had either told us that Bauchi state is bankrupt or our gratuity is unconstitutional. But that’s not the case. In fact as I talk to you, Governor Isa Yuguda, his former Deputy, now Senator Babayo Garba Gamawa, the SSG, Ahmed Ibrahim Dan-Dija have collected their severance gratuity almost three months ago, so why can’t he pay us our dues?’’ But, Danjuma Garba who had replied counsel to the ex-Assembly members on behalf of the SSG, declined to respond to our inquiry on whether the SSG had collected his severance gratuity. However, Mr. Ishola Adeyemi, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Gov. said: ’’The Assembly Service Commission is responsible for the payment of the lawmakers’ severance gratuity and not the Governor.’’ At the House of Assembly, the Director of Information, Lamaran Chinade, said ‘’the State Assembly Service Commission is responsible for the payment of the State Assembly employees only, and not the lawmakers.’’ And since the Commission was dissolved over five months ago, you may not have anybody to answer your inquiry.’’



POLITICS Kwara Election Petition Tribunal will give its verdict on the governorship tussle between Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate Dele Belgore (SAN) tomorrow. Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU captures the anxieties on both sides.

Anxiety in Kwara as PDP, ACN await judgment T

OMORROW is judgment day. Before noon, the governorship election tribunal chaired by Justice Ngozi Emehelu will clear the air on the disputed governorship poll held in April in Kwara State. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed has claimed that he won the election based on the lawful votes cast by the people. But the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate Dele Belgore (SAN) rejected the results in Kwara. Legal luminary Ebun Sofunde (SAN) leads the legal team of ACN. Yusuf Ali (SAN) stands in for Ahmed. Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) represents the PDP and Olajide Ayodele (SAN) defends the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The ACN and PDP had got the tribunal’s order to inspect, print, make copies and do forensic analysis of all the official documents used in the April 26 governorship election in their bid to prove their respective cases. At the trial, the petitioners tendered the certified true copies of all the documents, including ballot papers, except those that the party claims INEC refused to give out, such as Form EC40A, which is a statement of account of how ballot papers were distributed). The PDP tendered none. At the trial, Belgore called a total of 65 witnesses, including three expert witnesses, and its counsel used scores of the INEC documents to cross examine the respondents’ witnesses, particularly to counter claims that the election was not flawed. At least 33 witnesses of the respondents made claims, which ACN said clearly contradicted the INEC documents on non-accreditation, conflict between votes cast and voters on the queue, variation between voters entered as having been accredited on Form EC8A and the number of voters ticked as having been accredited on the voter’s register. The six witnesses the INEC called said elections held in accordance with the law, but they were also confronted with the commission’s documents which contradicted such claims. Mutuah Joshua, the INEC Supervisory Officer (SPO) for Lafiagi Ward 3 in Edu Local Government, was confronted with a voter’s register from the ward and another from a particular ward in Asa Local Government where nobody was ticked as having been accredited and yet votes were recorded from the same ward. Joshua had confirmed that voting would

be invalid where there was no accreditation of voters. Ibrahim Abdullahi Dikko, a PDP witness, claimed both in his statement on oath and during cross examination that he was duly accredited and had therefore, voted at about 1.20p.m. on April 26 at the Central Office polling station of Patigi Ward 1. But when confronted with the voter’s register for the polling unit under consideration, Dikko’s name was nonexistent. Among other such contradictions, Form EC8A for Somaso polling unit 001 of Lafiagi Ward 1 showed that the result sheet for the unit was signed and dated April 2nd, 2011, exactly 24 days before the election was held. Ishola Raheem, a PDP ward supervisor for Pakumo Ward 2 of Moro Local Government, claimed in his statement on oath and during cross examination by ACN counsel that he signed the result sheet for the ward, but entries on the CTC of Form EC8B exposed the claim to be false because neither Raheem nor any other party agent signed the result. Mahmoud Bolanle Sulayman, another witness who claimed to be PDP ward supervisor for Lanwa Ward in Ilorin East local council, said everything went smoothly and in accordance to the Electoral Act and told the tribunal that the PDP collation agent and others signed the result sheet in his presence at the ward collation centre. ACN said there was no accreditation in 645 polling units out of the 895 polling units the party is challenging. Kwara has a total of 1,972 polling units. The party said the affected 645 units cut across all the five councils and 28 wards being challenged. Also, the party said there was misuse of ballot papers across 360 polling units, another electoral offence. ACN therefore, wants the election results in five local councils and 28 wards nullified on account of alleged widespread irregularities such as inflation of votes, non-accreditation and other “substantial” non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, with the tribunal declaring Belgore winner of the highest number of lawful votes in the April 26. Ahmed, PDP and INEC would have none of that. Ahmed and his deputy called 52 witnesses. PDP called 18, while INEC presented six. All the witnesses told the tribunal the election complied with the law. None of the respondents tendered any INEC document. They said the

• Ahmed


electoral documents ACN tendered have helped to prove that election was held in substantial compliance with the law. Citing several legal authorities, counsel to all the respondents pray the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lack of merit. Accusing the petitioners of dumping documents on the court without showing their purports, they contend that the petitioners have not proven their case beyond reasonable doubt as demanded by the law. The respondents also raised some preliminary objections saying, among other things, that the petition failed the test of proper filing, that it contains vague and general averments which are not allowed in law. Ali told the tribunal that ACN made several criminal allegations, including ballot snatching, violence and disenfranchisement of voters, which, he argued, were not proven beyond reasonable doubt. He was notably quiet on civil allegations of irregularities and non compliance with the Electoral Act, which ACN insists abound and require only proof of substantial non-compliance based on balance of probability. Ali added that the experts called by ACN woefully failed the legal definition of experts, and that in any case they were incompetent in law to give evidence in respect of documents they did not author. Citing legal authorities, Ali said anybody who is not INEC staff cannot give evidence in respect of its documents. He said those documents ought to have been tendered by INEC itself. Finally, he urged the tribunal not to look at the documents “dumped” before it because judges are not investigators who retire to their chambers to sieve through documents. PDP’s counsel Adelodun agrees with Ali. Olajide, the INEC’s counsel, said ACN has applied to the tribunal to nullify PDP’s votes in the areas being challenged and to declare Belgore. He however wondered what becomes of the votes Belgore recorded in the same ar-

eas. He also said ACN did not establish any link between the crime allegedly committed and Ahmed to warrant nullification of the latter’s votes. In turn, Sofunde quoted authorities including Supreme Court judgments which he said render the respondents’ challenge a non-issue. He produced rulings, including of Supreme Court, which settled the question of who is an expert and insisted that the experts called by ACN, having participated in similar exercise over the years, passed this test. Sofunde said the charge of dumping documents was untrue as the petitioners made ample use of the documents during the trial to establish the irregularities in the poll. He also cited Supreme Court decisions which said the court has a duty to look at the documents tendered in a case. He said this is particularly truer of statutory documents like the EC8As. He went on to cite the Appeal Court decision in Terab v Lawan (1992) in which Aikawa JCA held as follows: “But one has to bear in mind the nature of Forms EC8A and EC8B as exposed in Decree. 50 of 1991. The two forms show the polling station, the code number, the ward and the local government area they relate to. They are statutory forms and when tendered give full and conclusive information needed for a polling unit. A petitioner who tendered them in proceedings has by so tendering them given all the necessary evidence, which is discoverable from the forms….” Besides, Sofunde said it would have been impossible for the petitioners to go through the thousands of documents one after another in view of the time limit of just 180 days. In his response to claims by the respondents that Form EC40E (election result sheet for governorship) enjoys legal presumption of correctness, Sofunde drew the court’s attention to the physical count of the ballot papers used for the election. Sofunde reminded the tribunal that a discrepancy of 21,192 exists between the number of votes INEC claimed to have recorded in the disputed areas and the number of ballot papers actually used in the said area. The physical count of the ballot papers revealed that a total 213,011 ballot papers were used in the areas ACN is challenging, as against the 234,203 votes INEC said it recorded from there. Sofunde said this discrepancy rubbishes the so-called presumption of correctness of the entries on Form EC40E. The recount ordered by the tribunal, its secretary Mrs Uju Mesiobi-Emeto said in the open court, also confirmed that a discrepancy of 21,192 exists. ACN’s written address tackles the poser raised by the INEC’s counsel. The party actually canvasses the cancelation of votes awarded to the two parties in the disputed areas. Sofunde also spoke on the issue of general averments which Adelodun said included the use of generic words such as ‘in many polling units and several wards’. Adelodun had cited the Appeal Court decision in Olawepo V Saraki which threw out the former’s petition for such general pleadings. Sofunde said, among other arguments, that the decision in Olawepo V Saraki cannot be a good law in view of the Supreme Court position in Abubakar V Yar’Adua. Sofunde said the apex court had held that a party which complains of vague or general averment may request for better particulars, and where such party fails to do so he loses the right to stop the petitioners from leading evidence on the so-called vague averments. Besides, Sofunde said the timing of the objection was wrong – a position Adelodun said is not true. Where will the pendulum swing? Only the tribunal can decide. This is why tommorrow is decisive for Kwara politics.

•From left: Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Local Government Chairman, Apapa, Iganmu, Alhaji Mourufu Ojora; Chairman, Apapa Iganmu LCDA Dr. Samuel Adedayo; Vice-Chairman Mr Funmilayo Mohammed and Council Manager Mr Olanrewaju Adebajo, during inauguration of the Third Legislative Council in Lagos. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI




How to buy a second home


•Lekki Free Trade Zone Gate in Lagos.


Environmental agency seeks mobile courts for offenders


O facilitate the trial of environmental offenders, stakeholders are pushing for the establishment of mobile courts to handle National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) cases. This is contained in a communiqué issued in Abuja at the end of the Fifth National Stakeholders’ Forum on the new institutional mechanism for environmental protection and sustainable development in Nigeria. The stakeholders harped on the need for timely disposal of environmental crime cases as the NESREA, Director-General, Dr. Ngeri Benebo, maintained that the delay in the trials have adversely affected the operations of the agency over the years. Prof. Konyan of the University of Port Harcourt, who read the communique, stated: “NESREA should facilitate the establishment of special mobile courts for the timely dispensation of environmental crime cases, and promotion of environmental governance.” The stakeholders forum also resolved that NESREA, in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, should step up advocacy and create greater awareness on environment governance at all levels of society, through mass advocacy programmes.

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

“NESREA should design and implement programmes conductive for good environmental governance, and particularly in compliance with monitoring and enforcement. The government should initiate regular review of development policies and action plans to ensure adequate and effective mainstreaming of environmental governance, and to institutionalise the review of these policies to address emerging issues.” “Industry and business should

‘Industry and business should encourage the appropriate application of the concept of five Rs namely, Reuse, Recover, Reduce, Repair and Recycle as one of the corporate hallmark policies for going green nationall’

encourage the appropriate application of the concept of fives, namely, Reuse, Recover, Reduce, Repair and Recycle as one of the corporate hallmark policies for going green nationally.” She added: “Industry and business should be aware of their corporate social responsibility and the need to adopt and implement the extended producer responsibility programme (including take-back or buy-back programmes) as a key step to promote good environmental governance.” The stakeholders also urged the Federal Government to endeavour to ratify and domesticate the relevant environmental conventions to which Nigeria is signatory and also encourage and promote capacity building, including research and human resources development in environmental issues through training and re-training including the provision of facilities for environmental monitoring and assessment. The government was also urged to encourage the regulated community in compliant efforts by the use of economic instruments, such as tariff reduction and other incentives including concessionary cedi for procurement of environmental protection/mitigation/control equipment, and stable rate over a period of time.

By Okwy Iroegbu, UYING a second home Asst Editor shows a measure of suc maintenance issues and offer less cess in one’s life. It really privacy. does not come cheap because Find a registered real esowning a house is a desire that tate agent; you don’t want to fall most people don’t meet in their into the hands of cheats who will life time, no matter how hard they advertise phony houses. When try. you deal with a real professional First home usually come with you are rest assured that he has a some challenges and mistakes bename to protect and will play cause the buyer is usually so exfunny with you. cited about the whole idea that A second home buyer must some details are left out. know that doing his own legBut in most cases as soon as work may be desirable and essenthe euphoria of owning a home tial too, but hiring an experienced fizzles out, the reality sets in with professional can make the search some regrets here and there. easier. Therefore, if the owner ever had An agent who specialises in another chance he will try and home purchases will make the make good, putting into considtime you spend house-hunting eration those things he thought much more efficient and pleasurdidn’t matter. able as he will make available In any case, people are known more options and house types to to buy a second home for many chose from. reasons, this might have stenmed from finding that Love everything perfect spot for the about the second ‘An agent who home you buy. It's current status of the family, a famimportant to specialises in ily vacation, inchoose a location, vesting in a rental home purchases type of home and property, and will make the lifestyle that you looking to the fucan personally enture for retirement. time you spend joy for years to Whatever your come. Even if your house-hunting motivation, here second home is inare some tips that much more effi- tended as an inwill help you make cient and pleasvestment property, the purchase the keep in mind marurable as he right fit for you ket fluctuations with little stress will make avail- and the fact that and possible zero you may have this able more op- home if no one else regret after the purchase. tions and house wants to rent it or The first instrucbuy it. types to chose tion is to be thorIssues relating to ough and detailed climate change from’ enough by compilhave also presented ing a list of potena challenge in terms of flooding tial locations, and then invests and other natural disasters. it is your time and not necessarily also advisable also to learn from your money at the onset. It helps the experiences of residents or to start with places you have landlords in this vicinity if they dreamt of living. have such challenges that are exFrom there you can move up to acerbated by the weather. visiting locations that interest When choosing a location, you, spend a couple of days or consider your hobbies. Whether weeks there, preferably in a home you enjoy the sun, warm rather than a hotel, to really ex- weather, a cold climate, sporting perience the lifestyle. You can activities or just relaxing will play also try and be more adventur- a huge part in selecting the geoous by taking out time to go out graphical location of your second at night to experience the night home. life if you are such a person that Additionally, you have to also hangs out at night. consider the size of your family Research or study the area. in the present and the future, your This can be done in a couple of acquired taste, nearness to place ways beginning with the locals. of worship, recreation, school, Ask around to find out why they clinic, mall etc. live there and what makes the loAbove all take into account the cation worth its while. time, distance and mode of transConsider the type of second portation you're willing to enhome you would like to buy. Now dure to get to your second house. you need to decide the lifestyle Remember that it will be foolyou desire. Real estate is not just hardy to make the same mistake about location, it's also about in- the second time. Usually when vesting in that lifestyle. Single- people buy their first home it is family homes require more main- usually a reaction from where tenance but offer more privacy, they are coming from. So think while condominiums take care of well and get it right!

‘Remember that it will be foolhardy to make the same mistake the second time. Usually when people buy their first home it is usually a reaction from where they are coming from. So think well and get it right’ •Sagamu-Ore Expressway

•Contributions, questions? e-mail:




•CBN building

Reps move to amend FMBN Act


EMBERS of the House of Repre sentatives have begun moves to amend the Federal Mortgage Bank Act. The law for low income earners. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Act, 1993 established the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria ("FMBN"), to among other things, provide long-term credit facilities to Mortgage Institutions in Nigeria and also encourage and promote the development of Mortgage Institutions. Hon. Ali Ahmed from Kwara State, who led the debate on the amendment of the existing Federal Mortgage Bank Act, said FMBN has become obsolete and that there is the need to make it relevant and functional in line with realities. Hon. Ahmed,

By Okwy Iroegbu Asst. Editor

who described the Bill as a "Pro-Poor Bill", revealed that FMBN has a share capital of N5 billion, which can be put into use to finance affordable housing. In his contribution, another legislator, Hon. Paul Dike, disclosed that Nigeria has a housing deficit of about 16 million houses. He urged his colleagues to address issues relating to it to make it available to the majority of people without much stress. Dike regretted that people go through hurdles to have roofs over their heads while in other countries, mortgages are available to enable people own houses. Supporting the bill, Hon. Shehu Garba regretted that FMBN has not made any appreciable impact since its es-

tablishment due to lack of long term financing. Quoting sources, he said statistics indicated that only 37 per cent of Nigerians own houses. He, therefore, canvassed the transfer of funds from the National Housing Fund (NHF), into providing affordable houses for Nigerians. FMBN was established to provide long-term credit facilities to other mortgage institutions in the country at such rates and on such terms as may be determined by the Board of the FMBN in accordance with the policy directives of the Federal Government. 1 The rates and terms for the long-term credit facilities were by statute designed to enable secondary mortgage institutions to grant comparable mortgage facilities to Nigerians desiring to acquire houses of their own.

Kwara earmarks N17b for roads, health, others T HE Kwara state gov ernment has okayed N17.2billion for road rehabilitation and hospital upgrading in the state. The money will also be spent on the provision of electricity in some communities across the state. At a joint press conference with the Commissioners for Health and Works, Alhaji Kayode Issa and Dr Abubakar Kannike, the Senior Special Assistant to the state Governor on Media, Dr Muideen Akorede, said the approval for the projects was granted at last week state Executive Council meeting. Dr Akorede announced that the state government approved N1.6billion for rural electrification projects in the state. He said the projects were carefully selected to aid government’s programmes in

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the core areas of health, agriculture and economic developments. Giving a breakdown of the roads earmarked for reconstruction, Works Commissioner, Dr Kannike said the roads numbering over 60, were in 16 local government areas of the state. He named the ever-busy Sango-Oyun-Univeristy of Ilorin (UITH) road, Mubo Street, Olaolu-Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) quarters, Osaro in GRA, Pakata/Sooto roads and Oko bridge. The commissioner said the decision of the government to approve N13.3billion for road reconstruction alone between October 2011 and December 2012 was part of ef-

forts of the Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed-led government to improve the economic activities of Kwarans. In his contribution, the commissioner for health, Alhaji Issa said N100million each was approved for the upgrading of three specialist hospitals located in Ilorin, Jebba and Oke-Ode, adding that a total of 14 general hospitals would be renovated and equipped. He added that ‘wonder approval’ was also granted for the complete overhauling of the old site of UITH in the Lagos road in the state capital to a modern general hospital. He disclosed that 46 health care centres in the three senatorial districts of the state would be upgraded and equipped.

UN-HABITAT gets $3m from Booyoung group


N-HABITAT said it has signed an agreement with the Booyoung Group of the Republic of Korea whereby the constructioncentered corporation will provide the agency with USD 3 million over the next decade to promote urban development and habitat improvement in Africa. The agreement was signed in Seoul by UN-HABITAT Execu-

tive Director Dr. Joan Clos, and Dr. Joong-keun Lee, Chairman of Booyoung Co. Ltd. Dr. Clos expressed gratitude for Booyoung's generous contribution, saying the funding would be used to improve the situation of rapid and unplanned urbanisation in Africa, as well as promote comprehensive sustainable urban development.

The Booyoung Group chairman he hoped the agreement would raise the stature of the Republic of Korea in the world community. As part of its corporate social responsibility efforts, Booyoung said it has built education and welfare facilities in Korea, and more than 600 primary schools in 14 other countries including Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.


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150 160 90 140 600 450

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ENERGY Sambo to open NAPE conference next week ICE President Namadi Sambo will declare open the 29th annual conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), next week. In a statement signed by the President, Mr Jide Ojo and the Publicity Secretary, Olusola Bakare, the association said Sambo will be the Special Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony of the event, which will hold in Abuja on November 14 while the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison- Madueke, will be the Guest of Honour. The conference, which will hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja from November 13 to 17, is entitled: Perspectives on growing hydrocarbon reserves in the next decade. The event will also feature technical oral and poster sessions, a management session and a lunch for managing directors of some

of Nigeria’s blue chip companies. According to NAPE, the escalating global demand for energy has made the need to find new hydrocarbon reserves imperative. Forecast from various recognised organisations and institutions have indicated that global demand for energy will continue to rise into the next decade and beyond. There is, therefore, ever increasing pressure on discovering new oil and gas reserves. NAPE will address some of the issues affecting a broad spectrum of stakeholders at the conference, the statement added. As a prelude to the conference, the association held a pre-conference workshop on October 25, entitled Developing the Nigerian gas market, commercializing existing discoveries and encouraging exploration, held in Lagos. The communiqué from the pre-conference workshop will be delivered to the Special Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony, the statement added.

NLPGA to hold conference

BOI partners UNDP on $30,000 energy fund


By Bidemi Bakare


HE Nigeria Liquefied Petro leum Gas Association (NLPGA) is organising a conference to promote the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). A statement by the Executive Secretary of the association, Miss Damilola Ani, said the conference would serve as a forum for stakeholders in the sector to deliberate on how to boost the usage of LPG. The statement said the forum will demonstrate the benefits of LPG as a clean gas that should be adopted by households. The conference with theme, Exceptional Energy:The Role and importance of LPG in Nigeria’s economy will hold on Thursday at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

IEA draft outlook sees $212 oil in 2035


HE jump in oil prices in the past year is adding to con cern about the economy, according to a draft of the International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook,which also raised its view of long-run prices. The draft dated July 2011, assumes nominal oil prices of $114 a barrel in 2015 and $212 in 2035. Last year’s report assumed prices of $104 and $204 by those dates. Brent oil prices hit a 2011 high of $127 a barrel in April as the conflict in Libya shut down its supplies. The IEA, which represents 28 industrialised countries, has repeatedly said this year oil prices pose a threat to growth. “The dramatic rise in oil prices since September 2010 has added to doubts about near-term economic prospects,” the draft report said. Brent was trading at $82 a barrel at the end of September 2010. The IEA is scheduled to release this year’s report, its flagship publication, in London Wednesday. Prices are expected to go up over the long run as rising demand requires the development of more costly sources of supply. The price assumed by the IEA refers to the average crude import cost to IEA members — a proxy for international prices. The draft report also said unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, or the Arab Spring, added additional risk to the global economy as it has pushed oil prices higher. “The risk remains that if the unrest worsens or spreads to major exporting countries in the region, it could lead to a surge in energy prices that could tip the global economy back into recession,” the report said.


HE Bank of Industry (BOI) is partnering the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on a $30,000 energy access challenge facility. The fund is meant for entrepreneurs with best alternative energy business solutions. Speaking at a one-day stakeholders awareness forum on renewable energy options and access challenge facility for entrepreneurs in Lagos, the Renewable Energy Manager for BOI/UNDP Access to Renewable Energy Project (AtRE), Lawal Gada said the facility provides small financial support for outstanding business proposals on alternative energy business solu-

•Yemi Esan, Aline Besson Hurlimann, Mr Olafioye Akinrinlola and Mr Fidelis Agbomedharo, all members of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), at the association’s technical meeting in Lagos

By Bidemi Bakare

tions. He said projects given preference are those with the potential to promote socio-economic development through job creation and environmental renewal. Gada stressed that the project must not only be innovative in terms of providing renewable energy products, services or business models but must also be designed for the Nigerian market. He said the projects must be commercially viable either because it is self sustaining or have the potential of becoming financially sustainable. On how it will be disbursed to the

beneficiaries, Gada said it would be given after they have fulfilled all the conditions. According to him, the grant will be issued in two tranches-40 per cent upon notification and 60 per cent upon takeoff of the project. To be eligible for subsequent installments, he said the beneficiary must achieve agreed targets and submit final business proposal that will be showcased during an investor’s forum. He stated that 10 states including Anambra, Delta, Niger, Ondo, Rivers, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna, Benue and Lagos and the FCT have been selected for the challenge. Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources,Taofiq

Tijani, said the state was proud to support the challenge as it will aid industrial development The selection of Lagos, he noted, didn’t come as a surprise as the state has been playing a pioneering role in the promotion of energy initiatives. He said Lagos provides the largest market for renewable energy products. AtRE is an intervention project aimed at expanding renewable energy services for rural and suburban Micro, Small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and facilitating investment in renewable energy options and linkages for enterprise development.

Expert makes case for employment of Nigerians in oil well servicing


MEMBER of the reconsti tuted Presidential Task force on Customs Reforms, Mr Lucky Amiwero, has made a case for recruitment of Nigerians to handle oil well servicing. Speaking with The Nation, Amiwero said it is time oil majors engage Nigerians to carry out oil well servicing jobs. He said local capacity in this area is well developed and increasing indigenous access is key to building the nation’s position in key areas in the oil and gas sector. Amiwero said there are Nigerians with experience with big oil finds, and knowledge of infrastructure, and that the pool of suitable,

By Daniel Essiet

qualified candidates has increased. According to him, oil majors still need to employ more Nigerians at drilling sites. As the number of well sites continues to increase ,he noted that the government has to ensure that local residents are trained to meet demand for skills. Amiwero said the oil sands operations have provided new employment opportunities, while conventional oil and gas activity has increased and called for a working relationship between the regulators, the executive branch and the legislators to develop rea-

sonable regulations that provide certainty for employment of Nigerians in the industry. The expert said opening new opportunities for Nigerians in the industry is key to development, as well as strengthen efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. He said the oil industry is facing inherent problems as regards enforcement of local content adding that the multinationals are carrying recruitment without recourse to the local content law. Amiwero said employers need to sign contracts with the government, agreeing to hire local work-

ers . He said the government needs to take the recruitment of Nigerians seriously by regulating employment in the drilling process. Amiwero said supporting the local content law will help indigenes improve their livelihoods. He said there are more crude oil and natural gas development and that Nigeria has great petroleum potential. He said there are new investment in oil and gas producing properties which raise hope for job creation. Amiwero was excited not only about the development of the natural gas reserves but also the downstream potential as well.

Shell cries out over activities of vandals at Imo River asset


HE Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has expressed concern over the increasing activities of vandals as well as acts of sabotage at its Imo River facility. The number of vandals who steal crude have increased substantially and also the number of illegal refineries within the area have multiplied resulting in undue environmental devastation. The untrained and unskilled refiners only utilize below 20 percent of the derivatives from crude as a result of the primitive and local refining equipment they use, and pour the remaining substance into the environment. An aircraft overflying the area showed the illegal refineries scattered within the areas, while the vandals were at work siphoning oil. According to Shell, there have been 10 additional oil bunkering incidents in the Eastern Niger Delta since the company shut down production from Imo River on of August 28, following an upsurge of sabotage

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

activities, which have severely impacted the environment. Shell said some of the latest incidents include those at the Okordia – Rumuekpe trunk line, Imo River – Ogale trunk line and Buguma – Alakiri trunk line. Four separate incidents were reported on sections of the Obigbo North delivery line at Komkom and Ogale, it added. Another recent overfly showed unknown persons had drilled holes and installed valves to transfer crude to waiting barges and trucks and in the process, polluting farm lands and water bodies. “We are very disappointed that oil thieves are still at work,” said Tony Attah, Vice-President, Health, Safety, Environment (HSE) and Corporate Affairs, Shell Sub-Saharan Africa. He said: “This is why we are calling for concerted efforts to help stop this criminal activity which not only puts the lives of the perpetrators and the public at risk but causes severe environmental impact and impacts

the communities in the area. It also wastes badly needed revenue to finance development even in the same areas in which the activities are taking place.” Some 16 oil theft points were discovered in Imo River field in September alone. The unprecedented scale of crude theft in the area forced SPDC to shut the field, resulting in deferment of about 25,000 barrels of oil per day. Production will remain suspended until the crude theft and refining activities have stopped, Shell said. The company also noted that more than 75 per cent of all oil spill incidents and more than 70 per cent of all oil spilled from SPDC facilities in the delta between 2006 and 2010 were caused by sabotage, theft and illegal refining. Since January 1st this year, SPDC has published data on every spill on the web to further demonstrate the robustness of its oil spill response process. The website ( spills) is updated weekly with joint investigation reports and photo-

graphic evidence of both operational and sabotage spills, the company added Shell is also examining ways to bring third party verification to the oil spill investigation process, bringing further transparency to the assessment of causes and volumes. Attah added: “Nobody else operating in the Niger Delta comes close to this level of transparency. But regardless of how well we run our operations until sabotage and crude theft spills are stopped or curbed, the vast majority of oil spills will continue to blight large swathes of land and pollute rivers and farm lands.” Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Gas Limited, Dr. Phillip Mshelbila and Tony Okonedo, Manager, Corporate Media Relations, SPDC, corroborated Attah. Okonedo said multi-stakeholders approach led by the Federal Government should be put in place to address crude theft and bunkering.



Business/INTERNATIONAL Anglo American to take over De Beers


LOBAL miner Anglo American is set to take control of diamond giant De Beers, buying out South Africa’s Oppenheimer family in a $5.1-billion (US) deal that ends the dynasty’s direct links to the diamond business after almost a century. Anglo has long been eying a deal to increase its 45 percent stake in unlisted De Beers, which vies with Russia’s Alrosa for the title of the world’s largest diamond producer, but Friday’s announcement caught the market by surprise and sent the miner’s shares up almost four per cent. The Oppenheimers have resisted Anglo’s approaches for years and held on to their 40-per-cent stake even through the aftermath of the 2008 crisis which left shareholders forced to inject cash into De Beers as the luxury market tumbled. It was unclear what prompted the family to change its mind, but the Oppenheimers indicated the decision to agree to Anglo’s latest overture had taken into account a number of factors, including the need to diversify their investments. James Teeger, managing director of E. Oppenheimer & Son – the family holding company – said the decision had been “momentous” and hinged on an agreement on price, which had long been a point of difference between Anglo and the South African family. “After a long deliberation, which took many factors into account – one of which obviously is diversification – the family decided to unanimously accept the offer,” he said. Anglo’s motivation is a bigger share of De Beers in a booming market, as China

and India turn to diamond jewellery even in the face of an uncertain economic outlook. A 10-year supply deal with Botswana in September proved a key catalyst, prompting chairman John Parker to again approach the Oppenheimer family. Sources familiar with the negotiations said the talks had been “difficult” for the Oppenheimers, but the time was felt to be right. “They are tied up in one asset and we are currently in a very volatile environment,” said one of the sources. “Anglo, of course, will look to the longer term.” Nicky Oppenheimer, grandson of the dynasty’s founder, is currently De Beers chairman, and will remain in place at least until the deal closes in the second half of 2012. The family also owns a direct stake of just over two per cent in Anglo and has no plans to sell, Mr. Teeger said. The family has yet to decide how it will redeploy the cash, but a “substantial” portion will be invested in Africa. Anglo chief executive Cynthia Carroll, who said the company had been working on the acquisition “for years,” said the long-term fundamentals for the diamond industry had prompted the deal, along with security of supply underlined by the agreement with Botswana signed in September. By 2015, China, India and the Gulf could overtake the United States as top diamond consumers, opening a huge market, and one increasingly suited to corporations, instead of the families and individuals whose links once dominated diamond trade.

IMF puts Italy under ‘surveillance’


HE International Mon etary Fund is stepping into Italy’s escalating financial crisis, pushing the embattled nation to take swift action on its crushing debt load before it swamps Europe’s financial system. In an unusual move that highlights the urgency to fix Italy’s deteriorating finances, the IMF announced it will send a delegation to Rome on a “verification and surveillance” mission to ensure the country doesn’t stray from broad promises made at the European Union summit last week to reform its perennially underachieving economy and bring its soaring debts under control. The IMF, along with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, insisted that Italy invited the international lender to monitor the country’s progress on economic reforms and austerity measures aimed at cutting government spending sharply. But delegates and observers at the G20 summit this week said it’s more likely that global leaders, eager for Italy to move faster and stick to its commitments, ordered Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to open the door to IMF leader Christine Lagarde. Mr. Berlusconi, fighting for his political life at home, said Italy refused an offer of financial support from the IMF, according to some reports.

But Ms. Lagarde denied that she had offered to write a cheque, insisting that the IMF’s mission is to oversee Italy’s progress quarterly. Mr. Berlusconi is facing growing political pressure to step down as Italy’s leader, but shows no signs of giving in. As the country’s economic crisis intensifies, he is losing support among parliamentarians and his coalition government is at risk of falling. The IMF’s imminent arrival in Rome failed to soothe investors’ nerves. Yields on 10-year Italian bonds on Friday climbed to a new high of 6.4 per cent – essentially a crisis level – before retreating modestly, and shares of Italy’s biggest banks fell by about 5 per cent. Italy’s bond yields have surged in recent weeks, reflecting the greater perceived risk that the country will be able to manage its finances, and pushing up its borrowing costs. The IMF’s supervision of Italy marks a rare step by the international lender to oversee the government of an advanced economy. Normally, the IMF, which often acts as a lender of last resort in times of crisis, only holds sway over a country that has already accepted an emergency loan. The IMF bailed out Britain in 1976, the only contemporary example of the fund taking a substantial role in the affairs of one

of its major stakeholders. The G20 summit, meanwhile, failed to produce specific new measures to stop Europe’s crisis, a sentiment that was reflected in the slumping markets Friday afternoon after the release of the final communiqué. One of the biggest disappointments was the lack of specific measures to boost the firepower of the IMF, which remains the prime crisis-fighting weapon as long as Europe’s enhanced bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), remains a work in progress. Ms. Lagarde, however, insisted that the IMF had the full backing of the G20 countries. “I go away from Cannes with an unlimited, no cap, no floor plan on resources ... so that the IMF is fully equipped in cases of crisis,” she said. Several reports said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had confirmed that few countries had offered to inject more funds into the IMF. Several heavyweight countries, among them the United States and Canada, were reluctant to write big cheques, partly out of fear that a vastly expanded IMF could do as much damage as good by taking the pressure off highly indebted countries to rein in their debts. The G20 statement said the group reaffirmed its com-

mitment to “reinvigorate economic growth, create jobs [and] ensure financial stability.” The chief accomplishment of the meeting was to convince Greece’s Prime Minister, George Papandreou, to scrap next month’s referendum on the country’s ongoing membership in the euro zone by threatening to withhold bailout funds, a move that would have triggered imminent sovereign insolvency. Without fresh loans, Greece is expected to run out of cash in a matter of weeks. While many economists and observers were largely dismissive of the summit’s accomplishments, some said its value was thrusting the euro zone crisis back onto the world stage. “We should not underestimate the sense of panic that has ruled here over the last couple of days,” said Dries Lesage, a G20 analyst with Belgium’s Ghent University. “That sense of panic has forced leaders into a quite informal way of deliberating and convening here, and that was not at all true in the past.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper was more optimistic that the G20 summit had paved over the worst of Europe’s crisis and set the path for growth, as long as Europe’s leaders follow through on the bailout plan they unveiled at last week’s EU summit in Brussels.

Europe's crisis threatens US economy


ITH the Greek gov ernment on the verge of collapse, Italy facing doubts about its massive debt, the leaders of the industrialized world met in France to try to stop the financial crisis playing out there from spreading around the globe. Their options are extremely limited. If the crisis isn't contained, the shocks will be felt more painfully in the US. "The European debt crisis is the single biggest threat to the US recovery and the global recovery," said IHS Global Insight chief economist Nariman Behravesh. "The situation in Europe could spin out of control, as we've certainly seen in the last couple of days. And that could take the US down with it." Nearly two years after the it began,the crisis is already forcing Europe's economy back into recession, according to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. “What we are observing now is slow growth, heading towards a mild recession by year end,” he told reporters in Frankfurt Thursday, on the first day of his new job. The fate of the European and US economies are linked through multiple ties. The

trade relationship is "the largest and most complex in the world," amounting to about $3.8 billion day and generating more than seven million jobs, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. Slowing consumer and business spending in Europe means slowing demand for US products and services. The impact of a deeper European recession would be quickly felt on large U.S. companies that have been reporting strong profits overseas despite a sluggish recovery at home. That could force renewed belt-tightening, prompt layoffs and send the unemployment rate higher. To blunt the impact of that downturn, the ECB cut interest rates Thursday - by a quarter point to 1.25 per cent - as the crisis widened. Greek officials Thursday scrambled to head off a proposed referendum that could force a withdrawal from the Euro and threaten the viability of the common currency. Deep budget cuts and a mass layoff of government workers have sent the Greek economy sharply in reverse. Though France and Germany are demanding further cuts before extending aid to Athens, Greek leaders counter that further cuts are politically untenable.

• Ambassador of Uruguay to Belgium, Walter Cancela,World Customs Organisation; Deputy Secretary General, Sergio Mujica, Deputy Director of Tariff and Trade Affairs, Craig Clark and Chairperson, Technical Committee on Customs Valuation, Guzmán Mañes when Uruguay becomes the 141st Contracting Party to the WCO Harmonised System Convention in Brussel.

Commerzbank restricts flow of loans


ERMANY’s secondlargest lender Commerzbank AG will refuse loans which don’t help Germany or Poland, as the euro zone crisis makes European banks more protectionist in choosing between writing new business and meeting stringent capital requirements. “We are not doing business which is not to the benefit of Germany or Poland,” chief financial officer Eric Strutz told analysts on a conference call discussing thirdquarter earnings on Friday. “We have to focus on supporting the German economy as other banks pull out.” Greek PM backs down on r e f e r e n d u m Commerzbank’s retrenchment to its home turf shows that even Europe’s largest

economy, which has been relatively sheltered from the euro zone crisis, is feeling the heat. Survey data on Friday showed that private sector activity in the euro zone shrank at the fastest pace in 28 months. Commerzbank, which is 25 per cent owned by the state, is accelerating the pullback from euro zone nations and cutting risky assets to avoid another state bailout after a •798-million ($1.10-billion U.S.) impairment on Greek assets pushed it to a thirdquarter operating loss. Having cut exposure to indebted euro zone countries by more than 20 per cent to •13-billion, including a 52 per cent haircut on Greek debt, the Frankfurt-based lender said it would continue reducing its public sector debt in Portugal, Italy, Spain, Ireland and

Greece, mirroring a similar move made by French rival BNP Paribas SA. “When resources are tight you shrink back to your strongest footprint. Other banks face similar choices,” said Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Matthew Clark. On Friday it emerged that Royal Bank of Scotland reduced the number of noncore real estate loans by £2.3billion ($3.7-billion) during the third quarter. Euro zone banks have shed risky assets to avoid underpinning their loan books with more capital as demanded by the European Banking Authority. European banks must raise •243-billion to achieve a core Tier One capital ratio of 9 per cent using a more stringent definition of capital, JPMorgan analysts said

in an Oct. 19 note. Commerzbank said it had a core Tier One ratio of 9.4 per cent at the end of September and needs to raise •2.9-billion to meet tougher capital requirements set out by the European bank regulators. “We can meet the required capital ratio by, for example, reducing risk assets in noncore areas, selling non-strategic assets or by means of retained earnings and we do not intend to tap new state funds,” Commerzbank said. Commerzbank will keep its Eastern European BRE Bank unit and its online arm comdirect but may sell other units as it seeks to cut risky assets by a further •30-billion. Its property financing unit Eurohypo will also stop taking new business, the bank said.





177,000 kids die of pneumonia in Nigeria yearly, says WHO N

O fewer than 177,00 children under the age of five die of pneumonia yearly in Nigeria, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 2008 report. This means that 20 children die from pneumonia hourly making it the highest figure in Africa and second highest in the world. The Paediatrics Association of Nigeria (PAN) which made this known during this year’s World Pneumonia Day, said an estimated 56 million lung infections occur among children yearly. It released the figures at its yearly conference which has as theme I am the face of Pneumonia Its National President, Dr Dorothy Esangbedo said theassociation focussed on the disease, because it is the world’s leading killer of children. It kills one child every 20 seconds – more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined and is responsible for nearly 20 per cent of deaths in young children. “Pneumonia kills more children around the world than any other disease despite the fact that existing vaccines, medicines and treatments could save millions of children’s lives. “Pneumonia takes a devastating toll in the developing world. An estimated 98 per cent of children, who die of pneumonia, live in developing countries. For every one child that dies of pneumonia in a developed country, more than 2,000 children die of pneumonia in developing countries,” she stated. The president explained further:

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

“From the foregoing it is clear that pneumonia causes needless suffering and stress on families through illness and hospitalisation. Pneumonia is an economic burden for families and communities. The financial costs of pneumonia include hospital stays and medications, transportation to health centres, and the caretakers’ inability to work or take care of other family members while they are caring for a sick child. “Families often must take out loans or sell property to pay for care of their seriously ill child, which may further drag them into deep poverty. These costs further contribute to the cycle of poverty for many families,” she added. In response to the need to raise awareness about pneumonia, Dr Esangbedo said the PAN is producing a documentary highlighting the challenges of pneumonia on a Nigerian family. “It will also show how to recognise, treat and prevent pneumonia. The documentary will be aired to the public on television to create awareness and educate the populace about pneumonia. Pneumonia is among the most solvable problems in global health, yet it remains the leading infectious killer of young children on the planet,” she stated. Explaining how the condition can

‘Pneumonia is the world’s leading killer of children. And it kills one child every 20 seconds – more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined - and is responsible for nearly 20 per cent of deaths in young children’

•Mrs Esangbedo be handled, the National Secretary of the association, Dr Ekanem Ekure, added: “We have the tools to protect and prevent children from catching pneumonia and to treat those suffering with this illness. Children can be protected from pneumonia by mothers exclusively breastfeeding babies during the first six months of life. Other strategies are good nutrition for older children, hand-washing, and reducing

Fed Govt reduces cancer screening costs


HE Federal Government has ordered its hospitals to reduce the cost of cancer screening. The Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu gave this directive in Abuja during the 17th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Urological Surgeons (NAUS). According to him, the late diagnoses of the diseases have resulted in high mortality rate. While expressing worries that most men find it difficult to go for prostate cancer screening, he revealed that 100,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed in Nigeria annually. The Minister, who was represented on the occasion by the Director of Special Duties, Dr. Folake Ademola-Majekodunmi, said: “I have increased access to this service by directing that all federal hospitals should provide breast, cervical, prostate and colon cancer screening services at an affordable price so that the diseases can be detected early. In addition, I recently fully equipped the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, the Federal Medical Centre, Gusau and Vesico

•Says 100,000 cases diagnosed annually sound, loop electrosurgical excision procedure and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay mac hines to be used as

•Prof. Chukwu From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Virginal Fistula (VVF) Centre Abakaliki with Mammography machines, cryoprobes, video culposcopes, ultra-

referral centres for those who screen positive for pre-malignant lesions.” Stressing that breast and cervical cancer is common in women and prostate and colon cancer in men, he said: “An estimated 10,000 men are diagnosed yearly, many of who present late in the hospitals accounting for the high mortality.” Speaking earlier, the President of NAUS, Prof Alex Nwofor, said the ratio of urologists to the population is less than one to a million. “This is grossly inadequate to cater for the urological needs of our people. Most areas of the country do not have the privilege of our specialised services. C ancer of

the prostate has received serious attention in recent times all over the world as it is the commonest cause of cancer death in men,” he added.

‘I have increased access to this service by directing that all federal hospitals should provide breast, cervical, prostate and colon cancer screening services at an affordable price so that the diseases can be detected early’

indoor air pollution from cooking stoves and tobacco smoke. “Children can also be prevented from having pneumonia with vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) and pneumococcus. Measles and pertussis (whooping cough), infections can result in pneumonia complications, so vaccinating against these childhood diseases can prevent some pneumonia cases. Pneumonia can also be treated effectively with antibiotics.

“Preventing pneumonia before it occurs is key. Vaccines are a safe and effective tool for preventing pneumonia before it occurs. Vaccines against two of the main causes of life-threatening pneumonia –pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae) and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae b) are used throughout the developed world. In Africa, as many as 10 countries, namely Rwanda, Gambia, South Africa, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Mali, Central African Republic, Benin Republic, Cameroon and Burundi are already using these vaccines. “We know that our government is aware of pneumonia, but we hope to draw their attention to the seriousness of the problem and emphasise that the children cannot wait for a long time since they continue to die daily. We, therefore, ask the government to do everything possible to ensure a roll out of these new vaccines to the children while improving effort to ensure availability and regularity of the vaccines in our immunisation programme. An earlier roll out of these programmes may have made the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal Four (MDG 4) feasible, but the next best time to do it remains now,” she stated.

Six mission hospitals get N1b lifeline


HE Ebonyi State Government has disbursed N1billion to six mission hospitals in the state to boost its health care delivery. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Sunday Nwangele, said in Abakaliki that the government is concerned with transforming its health system. Nwangele said this year’s disbursement is the 10th tranche of the programme, adding that the grant of N100 million each tranche to the rural based mission hospitals has helped in the reduction in the number of deaths during child delivery in its rural communities. According to him, “This brings to N1billion the funds disbursed to the six hospitals under the programme since 2008. We are determined to ensure the reduction of morbidity and mortality rates in the state. The disbursement has helped tremendously and the state governor is determined to the sustain the programme. “The intervention, which is a public-private partnership in line with the rural health care programme of Governor Martin Elechi was aimed at increasing access to free medical services to the people, especially women and children in the rural communities,” he stated. Nwangele said the grants had

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki reduced maternal mortality in the state to 219 per one 100,000 live-births and extended free health care services to the rural poor. According to Dr Nwangele, “the full implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) by the state government was a demonstration of its resolve to improve the health care system in the state and expressed satisfaction over the achievements so far recorded by the programme. “ In a remark, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Hyacinth Ote, assured that the government would sustain the scheme and urged the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the grants. Two of the beneficiaries, Dr Johnson Diara of Sudan United Mission Hospitals and Mrs Chinaeme Ruraka of Mile Four Hospital, Abakaliki, said the grants had assisted them to expand their services and engage skilled manpower. They commended the government for the gesture. Each of the hospitals had received between N150 million and N170 million.

DO YOU KNO W THA T: KNOW THAT Decongestants are the drugs of choice for a stuffy, congested nose. Decongestants act by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose, leading to decreased blood flow in the nasal tissues and reduced

leakage of fluid from the nose. Decongestants can either be taken orally or applied locally (topically) in the form of nasal sprays or drops. -




‘How to handle deformed children’


NCLUSIVE education has been recommended for chil-

dren with hydrocephalus (excessive water in the brain) and spinal bifida (neural tube defect). According to the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF), Ambassador Olusegun Olusola, the inclusive education will ensure their integration into the society. Olusola spoke at the Fourth anniversary awareness walk/ lecture of the foundation in Lagos, with the theme Crossing borders; and sub-theme: Inclusive education for children with special needs. He enjoined Nigerians to raise awareness on the conditions to reduce the stigma and marginalisation associated with them. Olusola said it is the duty of everybody to enlighten the public that children living with these conditions are not beasts as they perceive, but people with

By Wale Adepoju

special needs. He urged Nigerians to ensure properly integration of the children into the society. “The parents cannot do it alone, hence the need for medical experts, teachers and social workers among others to come in and support them,” he added. A Consultant Neurosurgeon, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Dr Femi Bankole, said taking folic acid before pregnancy could prevent expectant mothers from having babies with the conditions. Another resource person, Principal Medical Social Medical Worker, LUTH, Miss Titi Tade, urged mainstream schools to accept children with special needs. “The conditions do not only affect the children academically, but also socially and physically” she stated. Tade thanked the Lagos State Government for introducing inclusive Education for children

•From left: Ambassador Olusola, representative of the wife of Osun State Governor, Mrs Emiola Boluwaduro and FFF Founder, Mr Afolabi Fajemilo, at the event

born with disabilities, adding that schools admitting children with the conditions are limited and their curriculum capital intensive.

She lamented the unavailability of skilled and equipped teachers to deal with such children in schools as she cited example: “When the children

Lab gets kidney machine


NOTHER lithotripsy machine has been installed at a private laboratory in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, bringing to two the number of such machines in the country. Only the National Hospital, Abuja hitherto had the machine. The machine imported by Two Tees X-ray Centre, Yemetu, Ibadan provides an alternative to surgery on the treatment of kidney stone. According to the lab Managing Director, Dr Tunde Adepoju, the equipment can break stones in the kidney without undergoing surgery. He explained the machine takes the patient through a painless 45 minutes using the force of short waves to overcome the tensile of the stone. The process is called fragmentation. Although understood, fragmentation is thought to occur through a combination of meth-

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

ods including comprehensive and tensile forces, erosion, shearing, spalling and cavitation. Dr Adepoju further explained that stones grow in the kidney when one fails to drink enough water. According to him, small particles are formed and these later become stones in the kidney. When they grow, they block effective operation of the kidney and hinder it from giving out normal urine. “Then the kidney will begin to swell and become non-function. That is what is called kidney failure. This machine is a new technology in Nigeria. It is an alternative to removing kidney stones through surgery. With the lithotripsy machine, there is no anesthesia or surgical pains,” he said. Dr Adepoju said: ”The patent

just stretches on the table that comes with the machine and the location of the stone is identified through the help of a close circuit television connected to it. “After locating the stone, we then centre the equipment on it and send spark waves to the stone through the body of the patient. Painless breaking occurs as we send the spark. Thereafter, we will do another X-ray and if it confirms that the stone has been fully broken, we ask the patent to drink plenty of water to flush out the fragments from the system. There is no admission or complications of surgery.” With the presence of the machine in Ibadan, patents in south will no longer need to travel abroad or go as far as Abuja for treatment of kidney stones, he advised.

can’t answer a question or two, their conventional teachers shout at them which is rather bad,” she added.

NHIS seeks public support From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos.

• NHIS Executive Secretary, Waziri Dogo-Muhammed


HE National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has appealed to Nigerians to support the scheme. This appeal came when the scheme sensitised stakeholders at the North Central Enrolees’ forum in Jos. The Zonal Co-ordinator, Mr Attahiru Ibrahim, represented by Mr Ahmed Zubairu, said it is necessary to sensitise enrolees regularly for them to take advantage of the scheme.

He said: “Regular workshops are necessary due to the numerous complaints which are attributed to ignorance, moral hazards and sometimes misinformation that we receive on daily basis. We need to give our enrolees update on the operations of the scheme, though we have technical challenges.” He stated that the problems encountered will not be adequately solved without the support of all stakeholders especially the enrolees who are the beneficiaries of the services. There were papers presentations on operational modalities of the scheme, “The National Health Insurance Scheme: Removing the financial barrier to health care” and observed challenges in the management of NHIS enrolees under the formal sector programme. Mr Chimezie Ezenabike and Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf presented papers at the event.

Ondo to build N2b trauma centre


•Media and Public Relations Manager, Pfizer, Specialities Nigeria, Miss Henrietta Oliko presenting drugs to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Fatima Bamidele. With them is the National Coordinator, National Eye Health Programme, Mr Ben Nwaobi during the World Sight Day in Abuja.

O improve the health sector in Ondo State, the state government at the weekend said it will be spending over N2billion to construct a trauma centre. The centre, which is located at the Gani Fawehinmi Diagnostic Centre in Ondo town, will have the stateof-the-art emergency care equipment that will reduce deaths arising from road traffic accident. Already, the Labour Party (LP) led-administration has organised a three-day training workshop for the health personnel that will be working at the centre. The state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who disclosed this while declaring open the award and dinner night of Ondo State Radio Corporation (OSRC) Press Week, said his government was determined to reduce the rate of death associated with road accident.

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

The governor, who was represented his Chief of Staff, Dr. Kola Ademujimi said the state government deemed it wise to train health personnel that would handle accident victims at the centre. He emphasised the importance of prompt intervention in cases of road accident on major roads across the state. According to him, the Accident and Emergency Medical Services in structure comprises the trauma centre complex and highway communication response component. The Chief Director of University Teaching Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge who is a trauma expert, commended the state government initiative. Alonge said the state government gesture would reduce death caused by trauma on the highways.




Health Tourism With Dr Dheeraj Bojwani e-mail:

Conditions for kidney transplant in India


•From left: Director, Enforcement, McDonald Garuba; Director, Ports Directorate, Mr Segiru Momodu; Special Assistant to Director-General, NAFDAC, Miss Aisha Okpa, at a press conference in Lagos. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAM

‘Bone porosity in women is preventable’


OMEN have been encouraged to pay more attention to their health, especially the state of their bones to avoid osteoporosis. As osteoporotic fracture is estimated to occur every three seconds a vertebral fracture every 22 seconds. It affects 200 million women worldwide, approximately one-10th of women aged 60, one-fifth of women aged 70, two-fifths of women aged 80 and two-thirds of women aged 90. The call came from an orthopaedic, Dr. Stephen Onachukwu of the University Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, during an interview with The Nation. Dr Onachukwu said osteoporosis means ‘porous bone’, and it is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. “As the bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. The loss of bone occurs “silently” and progressively. Often there are no symptoms until the first fracture occurs. The most common fractures associated with osteoporosis occur at the hip, spine and wrist. The incidence of these fractures, particularly at the hip and spine, increases with age in both women and men. “Of notable concern are vertebral (spinal) and hip fractures. Vertebral fractures can result in serious consequences, including loss of height, intense back pain and deformity. A hip fracture often requires surgery and may result in loss of independent living. The good news is that osteoporosis is now a largely treatable condition and, with a combination of lifestyle changes and appropriate medical treatment, many fractures can be avoided,” he stated. He said there are two types of the condition. The primary and Secondary. “The primary ones could be cited in five mediums, this is females with high history of the illness in their family. This is more common among descendant of the Caucasians and the Asians. The second is as a loss of oestrogen protection, these are patients who have had removal of their ovaries, late menarch; first menstrual cycle, and early menopause.” He identified bad lifestyles, such as excessive smoking, alcohol consumption and inactivity as some of the causes of primary bone fragility and also the deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D

By Sulaiman Gbenga Idowu

“Osteoporosis is common in women who are or near their menopause. It does not manifest early until when it leads to fragility fractures” in diets are a threat to healthy bones. And the secondary osteoporosis is found in chronic liver and kidney disease and more habitual drugs consumers. Onachukwu further said, “We can also speak of types of Osteoporosis. Type one is high turnover affecting mainly spongy interior bone tissue; cancellousbones at the time of menopause leading to fracture of the vertebral bodies and fracture of the forearm (i.e distal radius) and Type II osteoporosis is the agerelated senile osteoporosis. It affects both shaft portions of a person’s long bones; cortical and cancellous bones as well. They occur 10 to 15 years later than type 1.” “Osteoporosis is common in women who are or near their menopause. It does not manifest early until when it leads to fragility fractures,” he said. “Most

•Stages of osteoporosis

patients with the above listed risk factors may complain of back pain and increased hunchback; thoracic kyphosis with diminished height, the first clinical event is a low energy fracture of the distal radius and the hip”. He also said osteoporosis could be categorised into primary and secondary risk factors. To prevent or treat osteoporosis, Onachukwu advised patients suffering from it to stop cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intake. “People should adopt more active lifestyles and indulge in healthy diets. Supplemental calcium and vitamin D have shown evidence to suggest a modest protective effect especially against type II osteoporosis. Considering its large effect on women, I encourage post-menopausal women to wear hip protector” he said. On proper identification and assement of the condition, the Orthopadic said: “Bone densitometry can be used to identify women who are at higher risk of suffering a fracture at menopause. Prophylactic treatment can be commenced accordingly for such person. Treatment of the condition is best carried out in the clinical setting by various professionals such as the orthopaedic surgeon, endocrinologist, laboratory scientist and physiotherapist.”

IDNEY failure occurs when function falls to 15 to 20 per cent of its capacity. End-stage renal disease is the name for kidney failure so advanced that it cannot be reversed. End-stage renal disease cannot be treated with conventional medical treatments such as drugs. Only two treatments allow the patient to continue living when the kidney stops functioning: dialysis and kidney transplant. • Dialysis is the term for several different methods of artificially filtering the blood. People who require dialysis are kept alive but might have to give up some degree of their freedom because of their dialysis schedule, fragile health, or both. • Kidney transplant means replacement of the failed kidney with a working kidney from another person, called a donor. There are two types of kidney transplants: those that come from living donors and those that come from unrelated donors who have died (non-living donors). A living donor may be someone in the immediate or extended family or spouse or close friend, and in some cases a stranger who wished to donate a kidney to anyone in need of a transplant. In both cases, the key to success is having the closest possible blood and tissue matches. A family member is not always the best match. Many patients assume they are too old for transplant, but if you are otherwise healthy, age is not a factor in determining transplant eligibility. There are however some other factors that prevent patients from getting a kidney transplant, such as: • Life expectancy of less than five years • Recent cancer (other than most skin cancers) • Uncorrectable heart disease • Untreatable psychiatric illness • Missing dialysis appointments or signing off the machine early • Active substance abuse (alcohol or drugs) The patient and his transplant doctor would have to discuss eligibility during the transplant evaluation process. Blood Type The first test establishes blood type. There are four blood types A, B, AB and O. Everyone fits into one of these inherited groups. The recipient and donor must have either the same blood type or compatible ones. The list below shows compatible types. •If your blood type is A - Donor blood type must be A or O •If your blood type is B - Donor blood type must be B or O • If your blood type is AB (universal recipient) - Donor blood type must be A, B, AB or O •If your blood type is O (uni-

versal donor) - Donor blood type must be O The AB blood type, called the universal recipient, is the easiest to match because the individual accepts all blood types. Blood type O, called the universal donor, is the hardest to match. Although people with blood type O can donate to all types, they can only receive kidneys from blood type O donors. For example, if a patient with blood type O were transplanted with a kidney from an A donor, the body would recognize the donor kidney as foreign and destroy it. The Rh type (+, -) is not a factor in donor matching. Kidney problems in Nigerians Kidney as an amazing organ plays a crucial role in keeping us alive and well. People of all ages, races and both sexes may develop kidney failure. However, some groups are at much greater risk than others. Renal diseases caused by systemic infection are relatively uncommon in developed countries (with a few significant exceptions), but in developing countries, such as Nigeria most cases of renal disease result from infection. There are also a number of physicians who believe that the black people are predisposed to developing kidney disease. Genetics and environment are key causes of why Blacks suffer from kidney disease more than any other racial group. For instance, Nigerians are at particularly high risk for renal failure and have four times the number of kidney failure cases as whites. They also experience kidney failure at a younger age, with an onset at about age 56 compared to an onset at age 62 for the whites. Kidney transplant programme in India Transplantation is referred to as the “Gift of Life” because it saves lives and restores the quality of life for those who have been sick for a long time. For years, India has been known as one of the largest centers for kidney transplants in the world, offering low costs and almost immediate availability. More than 12,000 kidney transplants are performed each year in India. In the last 35 years, this area of medicine has seen amazing advances. India offers world-class healthcare that costs substantially less than those in developed countries, using the same technology delivered by competent specialists attaining similar success rates. The total cost of the kidney transplant would be between $ 13,000 and $ 30,000 approximately, depending on the ward category, extent of treatment, complications, etc. The cost includes all hospital costs from the time of admission of the patient and the donor till the time of their discharge after the transplant. Hospital stay would be about eight days for the donor and 15 days for the patient.

Dr. Bojwani is the Chief Executive of Forerunners Healthcare Consultants Pvt Ltd, India’s Pioneer Medical tourism organisation.



NATION SPORT ETHERLANDS legend Marco van Basten has urged Robin van Persie to stay with Arsenal. "Robin must not leave Arsenal. You can’t compare my situation at Ajax. The big difference is that Robin is -already at a big club," he said, according to The Sunday Mirror. "Robin has been in London for six years [sic]. He can’t help it that -Arsenal have won -nothing in that time." The 28-year-old striker has been sensational for the Gunners this season, scoring 11 goals and creating four more in 11 appearances in the Premier League. However, there has been some speculation surrounding his future, as his contract is set to expire in 2013, and discussions concerning a new deal are thought to have been put off until the summer. Now Van Basten insists that it would be in the striker's best interests to continue plying his trade for the north London club, and maintains that Van Persie's situation is unlike his



Redknapp could miss five weeks

van Basten urges van Persie to remain at Arsenal T

own case when he left Ajax for AC Milan in 1987. "So much has changed in those six years in the Premier League," he continued. "Chelsea have become a big club and have massive -financial resources. Manchester City have -become a big force and are

richer than any other club. "Manchester United and -Liverpool have American owners. The amount of money which is flowing to these clubs for transfers is unbelievable. Arsenal operates differently. I admire that. And I still think Arsenal are the most beautiful club in

-England. At Man City and Chelsea, they will never have that class and style. "Arsenal have the most -amazing stadium, they have a style of play, they have a -beautiful shirt – in every way I consider Arsenal as the -ultimate football club. It is the club where Robin belongs."





Villas –Boas’ praise for Lampard

Jagielka: Pressure is on to win matches HIL Jagielka believes Everton will be under pressure to get back to winning ways after the international break. The Toffees have lost five of their last six Premier League matches, but following the last international break of the calendar year the Blues have a run of games that are winnable. Speaking after the defeat to Newcastle yesterday, Jagielka insisted that he and his team mates can turn their form around amid growing concern from Evertonians. Jagielka told evertontv: “We are a little low on confidence and morale is not quite there with the league position and the points we have got. “But it is only us that can turn it round. It is a long season and hopefully we can pick ourselves up and look to the Wolves game and pick up some points. “I don’t necessarily think it will get easier as I think there will be pressure on us now. In the games we have lost there was not that expectation on us to get points but, and rightly so, we will be expected to get points from our next four or five games and start climbing the table. This is where we need to put our foot down and start scoring goals and keeping clean sheets.”

OTTENHAM Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp could face a four- or five-week layoff after undergoing minor heart surgery, he said on Sunday. The Premier League club had initially said the 64-yearold, favourite to take over as England manager from Fabio Capello next July, would be set to return to work in two weeks following Wednesday's operation. "(The doctor's) telling me I shouldn't even think about (returning) for at least four to five weeks. I hope to be back before then," Redknapp told Britain's Sky Sports News.

• van Persie

Emotional Ferguson looks beyond 25years


IR Alex Ferguson celebrated his 25th anniversary as manager of Manchester United with a 1-0 victory over Sunderland before admitting that he had been moved by the club's decision to name a stand in his honour. The North Stand, the largest of the four at Old Trafford, is now titled "The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand," while United chief executive David Gill also confirmed that a statue of the veteran Scottish manager will be unveiled there before the start of next season. "I was really emotional. I couldn't believe and I didn't expect that," said Ferguson who was clearly moved when Gill revealed the tribute on the pitch before kick-off. "I have to thank the club for that because it is fantastic of them to do that. I am really proud of this moment. "I never knew a thing about

it. (Assistant manager) Mike Phelan knew about it and he never told me, so he's sacked. But I had absolutely no idea and neither had my family. I don't think they did anyway. "I am glad it's all over, though. We can kick on now." United needed an own goal from their former defender Wes Brown deep in first-half injury-time to be sure of the three points and, while they recorded a fourth consecutive clean sheet since the humiliation of the 6-1 home loss to Manchester City, it was hardly a vintage United display. "I'd have been quite happy to blow the whistle when we went 1-0 up and finish the game," said Ferguson. "It was an anxious day for the players and I think they showed that today. They improved in the second-half, but the last 15 minutes was torture. "Possibly, yes, the occasion

got to the players. The players wanted to do well for me, I think that was obvious, but these occasions can be a bit like that. "I remember when we commemorated the 50th anniversary of Munich against City and that certainly got through to the players that day, no question. Maybe a little bit today."


RANK Lampard has been given the biggest indication yet that he remains central to the plans of Chelsea manager Andre VillasBoas after his 50th-minute header got the Blues back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at Blackburn. Lampard's Stamford Bridge future was seriously questioned when he suffered the indignity of being dropped earlier this season but the 33-year-old regained his place and was hailed by Villas-Boas at Ewood Park. Lampard's sixth goal of the season was worth its weight in gold to Villas-Boas, whose own long-term future had been the subject of speculation after a pair of calamitous defeats to QPR and Arsenal. But Villas-Boas said: "It was a good goal by Frank and he has found his timing to arrive in the box like the old days. He is scoring a lot this season and the cross from [Branislav] Ivanovic was inch-perfect." Villas-Boas conceded the win, rather than the manner of it, was all-important as his team sought to rectify their recent slide, and there were signs late on that Chelsea's wobbling defence still needs some work. Ayegbeni Yakubu and substitute Grant Hanley both saw late chances denied by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech - who played much of the game with a broken nose after an early clash - while Branislav Ivanovic headed a late corner against his own bar. Lampard himself believes both himself and his side are heading in the right direction. He told BBC Radio Five Live: "I'm very pleased we got the three points, albeit not at our best. We had to address the manner we lost the Arsenal game." Lampard, who scored 15 goals for the club last season, added: "Being out of the team spurred me on. "The minute you're taken out of the team people talk. I've trained hard and I've won my place back in the team." The result heaped more pressure on Rovers boss Steve Kean, who claimed not to have noticed a small plane which buzzed over Ewood Park during the first half trailing a banner reading: 'Steve Kean Out'. Fans also protested at the end of a game which had failed to

spring into life in a tepid first half notable only for Cech's long period of treatment, and a first-minute effort which Daniel Sturridge lifted tamely into Paul Robinson's arms. Lampard's low headed goal from Ivanovic's cross sparked the game into life, Ramires having a shot blocked in the box then Lampard coming close to a second from long range which was tipped over by Robinson. But Rovers also pressed forward with renewed vigour, Yakubu and Hanley seeing shots well saved by Cech before Mauro Formica beat the keeper with a curling shot which was booted clear by Ramires. After Ivanovic headed a Morten Gamst Pedersen corner against the underside of his own bar, Chelsea should have wrapped it up when substitute Fernando Torres somehow contrived to spoon the simplest of point-blank chances over the bar. As he has done for much of this season, Kean chose to remain defiant and look to the future, admitting the slew of fixtures following the international break will probably make or break his future. Swansea, West Brom and Bolton are the next three visitors to Ewood Park and Kean insisted: "We are very confident that we are going to go on an unbeaten run very soon. "I'm not being disrespectful to any other clubs but we always looked at the fixtures knowing we had a very tough run of games, then there were games we could target. It is certainly a good run of games and we look forward to them."






ORLD boxing champion Manny Pacquiao says he is ready to face American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr in a winner-takes-all match. The Filipino fighter made his statement during his prefight tradition of guesting on an American late-night talk show last week. During the show, host Jimmy Kimmel proposed that Pacquiao and Mayweather will face off in a boxing match where the winner will get all the money. “Rather than any issue on financial considerations on who gets what, winner takes all, winner gets all the money. Would you sign up for a deal like that?" Kimmel said, before Pacquiao answered in the affirmative. However Pacquiao also claimed he did not believe Mayweather will agree. Pacquiao was also asked about his relationship with Mexican boxer Jose Manual Marquez, who has already won their first two matches. “I’m not angry, but I always ask myself… what I need to do to prove that I won the fight," Pacquaio said. Pacquiao is scheduled to face off with Marquez for the third time on November 13 (Manila time) in Las Vegas for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) welterweight belt. An article on has also quoted Mayweather’s adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, as saying that Mayweather is planning a fight with Pacquiao in May next year.

Pacquiao desperate for Mayweather showdown

Williams admits Raikkonen talks 2012 season


ILLIAMS have admitted for the first time they are in negotiations with Kimi Raikkonen and also revealed they are interested in Jules Bianchi. The Grove squad kept mum for several weeks over speculation that they are chasing the former world champion's signature for the 2012 season, but shareholder Toto Wolff has finally broken the silence. Wolff confirmed to Austria's Kronen Zeitung daily newspaper that they are in discussions with the Finn and insisted it's not a publicity stunt. "Yes, it's true," Wolff said. "The story is not for show, we are negotiating seriously, but he is only one of several options. There will be a strategic decision." In addition to Raikkonen, Williams are also believed to have held talks with Force India driver Adrian Sutil as an alternative while Pastor Maldonado remains the top candidate for the second seat. There has been no word so far on the future of current driver Rubens Barrichello. Wolff also revealed that they are also looking at Bianchi, current Ferrari test and reserve driver, while Valtteri Bottas, Williams' current reserve driver, is could get a look-in at Friday practice. "But there is another aggressive option with the boy Jules Bianchi, and Valtteri Bottas is worthy of consideration at least for Friday's practice," he said.

Ivanovic celebrates birthday with Bali tournament win


NA Ivanovic celebrated her 24th birthday in Bali by defending the Tournament of Champions title besting Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-3, 6-0. “I felt like I didn’t do much wrong,” said the Serbian Ivanovic. “It was a great match for me. Anabel and I practiced together all week, so it was nice we got a chance to play each other on the last day of the tournament.” “I’m super relaxed here, and that helps. I come here to compete, but I also spend lots

of time on the beach and in the spa, and the people are so friendly – I’ve made many new friends. It’s just so enjoyable here.” Ivanovic clocked 20 winners

during the 61-minute final, and lost a mere seven points in the second set. “She was playing so well, I couldn’t do anything today,” noted Medina Garrigues.

“She has been No.1 in the world and she’s a very good player. I’m really happy with my week, but she was too good on the court today.” This was Ivanovic’s first

tournament win of the year, 11th overall WTA title. Next year’s Tournament of Champions will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria. Sofia will host the tournament from 2012-14.

UK promises records if London wins 2017 bid


HE 2012 Olympic Stadium in London Ed Warner says the Olympic Stadium provides ideal conditions for world records UK Athletics boss Ed Warner has promised record-breaking conditions and big crowds if

London hosts the 2017 World Athletics Championships. London goes head-to-head with Qatari capital Doha on Friday in an International Association of Athletics Federations vote in Monaco. Warner said: "We are putting

in place conditions which will be ideal for athletes to break records in London. "The Olympic Stadium is going to be full - morning and evening sessions." Warner believes London has an overwhelming case to win

Andersen hopes to be in team car at Tour de France


IM Andersen knows that he is not the one who will decide how to help Andy Schleck win the Tour de France next year. “Of course now it's Johan (Bruyneel),” he said. “It's up to him to make the plans for Andy. That's how it will be.” Bruyneel will be the leading sports director at the new RadioShackNissan-Trek team, and Andersen, after having had that lead role at Leopard Trek, will just be one of six assistants. Andersen will continue

his personal work with Andy and Fränk Schleck and Jakob Fuglsang. “I will still do the same thing about the daily training and daily contact with Andy, Fränk and Jakob,” he told But whether he will sit in the team car at the Tour is not yet know. “I still don't know which races I will do. There is no set sports director for each race yet. But I think I will help with the Tour. At least I would like to.” Nor has it yet been decided whether he will be at the

Giro d'Italia, where Fuglsang will be the team captain. “I really don't know if I will race the Giro with Jakob. There are six sporting directors, all of whom must have some races, and in principle I have no specific experience with the race.” Andersen was, however, excited about the prospects for the coming year. “It's a fantastic collection of riders. It cost nothing to form the merger, but when I look at the riders gathered at the new team, I have no doubt that it can be really good.”

the bid. He told BBC Radio 5 live: "[Our] fans understand athletics and are passionate about it. "There will be fans from nations all around the world. London is a multi-cultural diverse city. Every athlete will have a home set of supporters there. "We have got a very strong commercial bid. If we win, we will be bringing the World Championships back to western Europe - the bread basket of the sport. "It's absolutely critical for the health of global athletics that we nurture the audience in the core western European market." Warner did concede the opposing bid has its positives and added: "The Doha bid will be technically excellent and they have a very powerful argument of taking the sport into virgin territories. "However, when I look at the commercial appeal of London, it stands head and shoulders above any other city."




Schmeichel,Cantona,Ronaldo,Ferguson's best-ever signings at Old Trafford P

ETER Schmeichel (signed from Brondby, 1991) Widely regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history, the Dane's heroic efforts provided clean sheets aplenty and the security at the back which was so key to United's success throughout the 1990s. Great Dane: Peter Schmeichel is regarded as one of Manchester United's best goalkeepers of all time Schmeichel, recruited for around £500,000, knew how to intimidate opposition strikers by making optimum use of his frame and at times appeared just as fearful for his defenders, who would frequently receive a rollicking from him. Capped eight glorious years with the club by skippering United - in the absence of the suspended Roy Keane - in the 1999 Champions League final as Ferguson's men secured the treble. Eric Cantona (signed from Leeds, 1992) Cantona's five-year spell at United will never be forgotten. The Frenchman, who cost Ferguson just over £1million, gave the club's fans many a moment to savour on the pitch with his dazzling skills, which helped the Red Devils to a haul of four Premier League titles and two FA Cups. King Eric: Cantona was idolised by supporters during his time at Old Trafford But what perhaps cemented his iconic status was the way he played the part of the tortured genius. The most infamous instance of his short temper was the kung-fu kick he aimed at a Crystal Palace supporter and he made philosophical comments afterwards about seagulls following a trawler. It was somewhat appropriate that he exited early leaving the crowd wanting more, retiring aged 30 in 1997. Roy Keane (signed from Nottingham Forest, 1993) The £3.75million Ferguson paid Forest for Keane was a British transfer record at the time, but there is little question that he got value for money.


In 12 years of service, the Irish midfielder was United's engine room and driving force as they dominated English football through the 1990s and into the next decade. He also led them to the 1999 Champions League final, only to miss the game through suspension. Midfield general: Roy Keane is remembered by Manchester United fans for his influential displays Midfield general: Roy Keane is remembered by Manchester United fans for his influential displays Keane succeeded Cantona as captain and was just as combustible a character, if not more so. But it was that edge on the field that so endeared him to United fans and made him the player everyone else wanted in their team. Cristiano Ronaldo (signed from Sporting Lisbon, 2003) Ferguson signed a teenage Ronaldo for £12.24million and it looked as if he may have paid over the odds for little more than a showboater in the early days of the Portuguese forward's United career. He soon showed his game was not just about stepovers, though, developing into one of the world's most potent players. Ronaldo scored an incredible total of 42 goals for the club in the 2007-08 season as the Red Devils won the Champions League. Although his exit to Real Madrid a year later was a blow, the £80million fee he commanded softened it considerably. Edwin van der Sar (signed from Fulham, 2005) Van der Sar was 34 when he arrived at Old Trafford for an undisclosed fee, but the Dutch goalkeeper was in no way a fading force. It soon became apparent that Ferguson had finally found the solution in a position which had been a problem for United since Schmeichel's departure, as Van der Sar's reliable hands helped the team achieve a new period of success. He broke a multitude of records with his clean sheets in the 2008-09 season and finally retired from football in 2011, having won four Premier League titles and the Champions League with the Red Devils. Reach out: Edwin van der Sar helped Manchester United reach three Champions League finals, playing his last in the defeat to Barcelona at Wembley earlier this year Reach out: Edwin van der Sar helped Manchester United reach three Champions League finals, playing his last in the defeat to Barcelona at Wembley earlier this year

As Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates his 25th anniversary as Manchester United manager, Sportsmail selects five of his best-ever signings at Old Trafford since he took charge in 1986.

•Ferguson and Sven-Goran Eriksson











Market capitalisation drops N101b



HE Nigerian Stock Ex change (NSE) re corded a cumulative drop of N101 billion or 1.53 per cent at the close of business last week. The banking sector was skewed to the sell side, as brief relief mid-week was insufficient to curb the slide recorded by most companies in the sector. First Bank, GT Bank, Skye Bank and FCMB however, closed the week with cumulative gains of 3.3 per cent, 2.5 per cent, 2.0 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively. On the other hand, Zenith Bank lost 1.2 per cent, while Access Bank and Stanbic IBTC shed 9.9 per cent and 13.0 per cent respectively. In the building materials sector, Dangote Cement lost 3.7 per cent. However, a dearth of offers in the market is likely to lead to a re-

By Tonia Osundolire

versal this week. Lafarge Wapco also suffered 8.3 per cent loss last week, while Ashaka Cement recorded a 2.0 per cent mark-up. Specifically, sustained demand in the just concluded week led to cumulative gains of 4.0 per cent for Guinness. Though demand for Nigerian Breweries was steady during the week, it only inched up marginally, appearing to have hit a current peak. The NSE All-Share Index was relatively flat last Friday, moving up marginally by 0.05 points. This had sustained last Thursday’s gain after two days of consecutive drop on Tuesday and Wednesday. Many stocks in the banking sector hovered around current levels, with mar-

ginal gains recorded by First Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Skye Bank. GTBank and UBA recorded no price change and, with fairly matched offers and bids, this trend is likely to continue in coming sessions. The food and beverages sector was skewed to the sell side, in line with the market trend. Last minute trades firmed up the price of Nascon, inching up with a 2.8 per cent markup; a dearth of offers in coming sessions could lead to further appreciation in the stock. Nestle and Dangote Flour also recorded marginal gains. Fringe players were the top picks last Friday; NCR, Ikeja Hotels and Custodian & Allied all recorded gains in excess of 4.0 per cent.





CBN pegs ATM transaction at N100 •Device must accept VISA, MasterCard, Verve cards


HE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has rolled out new guidelines for the deployment of offsite Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), by banks and Independent ATM Deployers, (IAD). This gives banks and other ATM deployers the authority to charge customers a maximum of N100 per transaction on their ATMs. Gaius Emokpae, who is in charge of the Banking and Payments System Department at the CBN, announced this in a circular to all banks, IADs, Cash-in-Transit companies and Switches. He said the guideline is in line with its cashless policy objectives and in view of the critical role ATM deployment and availability play in ensuring the success of the policy. According to him, the transaction fees will remain at a maximum of N100 per transaction for all ATMs. According to the new guidelines, banks and IADs will be allowed to acquire and deploy off-site ATMs and also be free to brand the offsite ATMs they acquire, and process their transactions accordingly. “All ATMs (off-site and on-site) shall have a minimum up time of 95 per cent going forward. For the avoidance of doubt, ATM up time refers to ATM availability from the customers’ perspective including but not limited to network availability, and availability of cash. “This shall be monitored routinely, with strict sanctions applied in the case of non-compliance. All ATMs shall have cameras and other security measures deployed to deter and prevent fraud. All ATMs shall accept at the minimum the following cards: Visa, MasterCard and Verve. “All ATMs shall present the same set of services (Menu Options) to all the cards they accept. There shall be no discrimination of card with regard to service offering allowed on any ATM deployed.

By Collins Nweze

“The provisions of this circular shall take precedence, in the event of any conflict between it and previous guidelines regarding ATM operations/ deployment." he said. The CBN targets to deploy 150,000 PoS machines by the end of December 2012, which would be scaled up to 375,000 PoS machines by the end of 2015. It also plans to attain a benchmark for PoS penetration of 2,200 PoS per 100,000 adults.

Currently, the penetration is 13 PoS per 100,000 adults. The apex bank is using Brazil as a benchmark and hopes that by 2015, it should be able to get to the Brazilian standard of 2200 PoS machine per 100,000. Also, 40,000 PoS will be deployed in Lagos before December 31, to make Cashless Lagos a reality. Besides, the CBN has said that Non-acceptance of cards over PoS due to interoperability impediments by service providers has been out-ruled with strict compliance.

It said that the e-payment policy has had positive impact on efficiency in the provision of financial services as payments infrastructure has undergone enhancement and Nigerians are more comfortable with e-payments options. “The Nigerian Banking Industry is resolute on its decision to transform the National Payments System to drive efficient banking and payments services at a reduced cost to Nigerians, banks and the economy,” it said.

Firm advocates empowerment for entrepreneurs


HE managing director, SPNS Consulting, Debo Adebayo has advised state governments desirous of promoting entrepreneurship in their states to also empower them through training. He said that the state can also use pension fund contributions of their workforce as security for securing Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) loans from banks. Speaking yesterday at media briefing in Lagos, Adebayo said that staff that want to exit the public service to start their own businesses can be assisted to secure soft loans from banks, using their pensions as guarantee. He said that since many state

ment may also relief staff not fully utilised of their duties to enable them find alternative means of livelihood. “In many government agencies, role duplication and correcting this will help government cut down on its spending by blocking the loopholes in its finances. He said that making such options open will even make some staff nearing retirement age to opt for the loan. He however, said that the government should provide entrepreneurship training to help the staff adapt well in the course of the business. He said different states have to improve on their IGR using areas of strength. He said IGR can also be

governments may not be able to pay the N18, 000 minimum wage approved by government, the best option is to prune down their workforce, but not without a loan guaranteed with pension contributions to enable disengaged staff assume a new life. The states are expected to plan the modalities for the exercise with pension fund administrators who are now custodians of contributions from workers. He said that in many states of the federation, the internally generated revenue (IGR) and monthly federal allocations are not sufficient to pay the minimum wages. He suggested that govern-


TANBIC IBTC Bank has reiter ated its commitment to financial inclusion in Nigeria by making banking easier and more accessible to operators in the informal sector through its E.susu product and services. The E.susu is an easy to use transaction and savings account product which forms part of the bank's longterm strategy to build a "bank for the people". Commenting on the forum organ-

ditional mode of savings to a new level by deploying the very best processes and systems. The product allows the activation of various personal finance pockets for those who want to save to meet specific future needs whilst giving customers the freedom to choose how much and when they want to save,” she explained. The bank CEO said the services on the E.susu banking platform are extended to everyone who can use them, including people at the lower rungs

ised to reward E.susu Agents from the Lagos and Ibadan regions of the bank, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank said that the product and supporting agent network enables individuals and businesses in the informal market segment to make financial transactions conveniently and at low cost. “W e provide our customers with products and services that they can trust and embrace without fear of losing their money. E.susu takes the tra-

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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


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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 8.05 2.27 2.78 0.51 0.58 11.95 1.26 4.28 10.00 0.51

C/PRICE 8.45 2.38 2.91 0.53 0.60 12.35 1.30 4.40 10.25 0.52

CHANGE 0.40 0.11 0.13 0.02 0.02 0.40 0.04 0.12 0.25 0.01


O/PRICE 1.00 6.19 1.47 0.89 0.75 16.56 0.61 4.34 1.40 5.15

C/PRICE 0.95 5.89 1.40 0.85 0.72 15.95 0.59 4.20 1.36 5.02


Offered ($) Demanded ($)


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

of the economic pyramid, traders and rural dwellers. A unique blend of traditional banking practice and modern information technology, Stanbic IBTC’s Agent Network provides a channel for accessing alternative financial services by a diverse range of people who are currently underserved by formal banking, breaking down the walls that currently separate the unbanked from the much broader world of financial systems.



OBB Rate Call Rate

improved on by blocking leakages in the system. He said that in many cases, pension contributions are deducted from sources, making it difficult for employees of government and other private companies not to pay. In many other cases especially in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), contributions are also deducted from sources by the Budget Office of the Federation. In other words, the core personnel costs of the MDAs, the budget office would deduct what is specified from the personnel cost and also add the employers’ contribution among other procedures.

Stanbic IBTC reiterates need for savings



•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

Aug ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 118.85 100.28 0.77 1.03 0.89 1,639.36 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,251.90 193.00

9.08 1.00 118.69 99.71 0.74 1.03 0.88 1,634.12 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08


CHANGE 0.05 0.30 0.37 0.04 0.03 0.61 0.02 0.14 0.04 0.13


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011










NEWS Suswam, lawmakers disagree over choice of Speaker

Audu’s wife set to battle others for Kogi governorship seat

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


ENUE State Governor Gabriel Suswam and members of the House of Assembly have disagreed over the choice of the Speaker. This followed the removal of former Speaker, Tarzor Terhemen, by the Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, the state capital. The court upheld the verdict of the National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, which annulled the election of Terhemen. The tribunal had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Terhemen and issue same to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for the Makurdi North State Constituency, Avine Agbom. Following the judgment, a fierce battle began between Suswam and the lawmakers. The governor and some lawmakers have reportedly endorsed the lawmaker representing Guma State Constituency, David Iorhemba, as the next Speaker, but some aggrieved members, led by Godwin Akaan (Logo) and Paul Biam, are said to favour a first-timer, Kenneth Iyo, representing Gwer West. The division has pitched the governor against the lawmakers.

51 vehicles for Kano vigilance group HE Kano State Gov-


ernment has presented 51 new vehicles to the state branch of Vigilance Group of Nigeria to improve security. Governor Musa Kwankwaso, who donated the vehicles at the Government House, Kano, said his administration attached priority to security. The governor described the occasion as a milestone in the maintenance of security, adding that the vehicles

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

would help the vigilance group to complement the efforts of the police and other security agencies. Kwankwaso said each of the 44 local government commands of the vigilance group would get a vehicle; the zonal command offices would get five; and the state headquarters would get two vehicles.

Governor to flag off Ilorin-Lagos passenger train today


WARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed will, today, flag off a passenger train, which is expected to convey over 3,000 passengers from Ilorin to Lagos. The train, which is scheduled to depart Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, this morning, will carry those it took to Ilorin on its maiden trip from Lagos last week for the Eid-el Kabir festival. A statement by the Nigerian Railway Corporation


HE governorship candidate of the Justice Party (JP) in Kogi State, Mrs. Aisha Audu, yesterday said nobody can intimidate her over the forthcoming election. Mrs. Audu declared that she has set machinery in motion to ensure she wins the governorship election on December 3. Addressing reporters on her readiness for the top job, the wife of former Governor Abubakar Audu, said she would make her government accountable to the masses, if elected. She said: “Our over-dependence on federal allocations must stop. We need to diversify through innovation and technology and human capacity development to create new, im-

By Eric Ikhilae

(NRC) quoted the corporation’s Managing Director, Adeseyi Sijuwade, as saying that the train, on its return trip, would pick up passengers at the NRC stations in Offa, Ikirun, Oshogbo, Iwo, Ibadan and Abeokuta. It said elated passengers, on its maiden trip, praised the corporation’s management and the government for resuscitating rail transport system and prayed for its sustenance.


•‘I can’t be intimidated’ From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

proved and abundant wealth through alternative green solutions. I intend to make my government one of accountability, transparency and productivity. “Kogi State is presently the second poorest state in Nigeria. This image must change and this is my burden for running as governor of Kogi State. I will work in partnership with our men and vibrant youths and women on merit to achieve this important mandate, while continually building the capacity of others. “Not long ago, the British Council published a report whereby it stated that

Nigeria’s booming population of young people may be a great boom for the country’s economy in the coming decades. But if the Nigerian government does not take steps to engage young people, the country could face ‘a demographic disaster’. “To be candid, we are now in a baby boom era. It is a known fact that 60 per cent of the nation’s population is youthful, and by 2020, Nigeria’s population will cross 200 million and by 2050, the country would be the fifth most populous country in the world. “According to the British Council report, ‘if the country takes full advantage of the baby boom, the average Nigerian’s income could

triple during the next two decades. On the December deadline for gas flaring, Mrs. Audu said: “It is high time the nation strengthened its resolve to stick to the December 2012 deadline for gas flaring because it is a threat to a sustainable environment. It is sad that Nigeria is the second worst gas flaring nation in the world, after Russia, and we have shifted our deadline to end gas flaring more than three times. “The first deadline was that of 1969, given by the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon. Gas flaring contributes significantly to global emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, two of the green house gases (GHG), which contribute to climate change.”

NDLEA arrests two suspected drug traffickers in Lagos

HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it has arrested some drug couriers who planned to import narcotics into Nigeria on Sallah day. Two suspects, who were arrested at the Lagos Airport, are said to be members of a cartel and the substances allegedly found on them tested positive to cocaine. The suspects were reportedly arrested during a search on passengers from Brazil aboard Qatar Airline flights at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos. A consignment of 5.300 kilogrammes of cocaine was reportedly hidden inside ladies’ handbags and intercepted at 2pm. Another seizure of 1.090kilogrammes of cocaine was last week detected, through scanning machines, in the belly of a passenger.

•Seizes 6.390kg of cocaine on Nigeria-Brazil route By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

The seizures are believed to have been masterminded by members of an international drug cartel who smuggle cocaine from Brazil to West Africa and from West Africa to Europe and America. The NDLEA said it has arrested some suspects in connection with the cocaine seizures with an estimated street value of over N51 million. NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Hamza Umar gave the names of the suspects as: Olalekan Idris Bamidele, 39, who allegedly checked in a luggage containing 5.300kilogrammes into a Qatar Airline flight at Sao Paulo. Bamidele was arrested on

arrival at the Lagos airport last Sunday. Nnana Kenneth Chukwuma, 39, was arrested at the MMIA for allegedly carrying drugs, which he had swallowed in Brazil. During observation, Nnana allegedly excreted the ingested drug that tested positive for cocaine. It weighed 1.090kilogrammes. Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA Ahmadu Giade expressed delight over the arrests. He said: “Though drug barons are wise in exploring ways of smuggling drugs, we are wiser in detecting the drugs and arresting them. This arrest is a warning that we are always on the alert to scuttle their

next plan. We shall continue to expose their devices until they quit the criminal trade.” Bamidele, who hails from Odogbolu in Ogun State, is said to be married and has three children. He said he had lived in Libya and Malaysia. In September, he reportedly travelled to Brazil in search of a job. The suspect’s wife and children are said to reside in Ikorodu, Lagos State. The suspect said he attended St. Paul’s Primary School, Odogbolu, and had his secondary education at Odogbolu Grammar School. Bamidele reportedly told NDLEA investigators that he was asked to deliver the bag containing the drug in Lagos. Chukwuma reportedly travelled to Brazil, also in search of a job, in August. He tested positive for drug ingestion and was arrested at the Lagos airport.



NEWS Disengaged Enugu indigenes cry for help From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia


From left: National President, Islamic Affairs, Abia State chapter, Eze Ali Musa Emeh; Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji; Abia State Deputy Governor, Chief Emeka Ananaba; and Minister for Labour, Emeka Wogu, during the traditional Sallah homage to the governor by the Moslem community in Umuahia...yesterday.

Two dead as police, robbers clash in Anambra T

WO persons were reportedly killed yesterday at the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State,as the police engaged robbers in a shoot-out. Seven others sustained gunshot wounds. One of those killed is a member of the four-man robbery gang. A vigilance group member suspected to be a member of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) was also killed. The robbers reportedly attacked a telecommunications company. According to a reliable source, policemen from the

From Adimike George, Onitsha

Patrol and Guard Office at the Central Police Station Onitsha were alerted. Led by the Divisional Crime Officer, Kabir Umar Farouk, the police swooped on the robbers at the scene of the incident at 20 Ifejika Street. In the ensuing gun duel, it was gathered that two of the robbers escaped through Bida Road using a motorbike which they snatched from a cyclist. One of them with severe gun wounds allegedly mixed up with the crowd.

The owner of the shop, Benjamin Ngene, said the armed robbers held the workers and customers of the telecommunications outfit hostage for about 10 minutes before the arrival of the police. He said the gunmen stole about N4 million from his office. The victim added that the robbers beat up his workers and customers. The police said on sighting the patrol van, the robbers opened fire on them. One of the robbers was shot dead on the spot.Others es-

caped with gunshot wounds. The vigilance group member shot by the robbers was simply identified as Uba. Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations D.C Makama and the Onitsha Police Area Commander Larry Osita confirmed the incident. The police chiefs hailed the gallantry of their men and urged the public to volunteer information to the police. Two AK47 rifles, four magazines and 66 rounds of ammunition were recovered at the scene of the robbery. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka also confirmed the incident and assured that the police would arrest the fleeing robbers.

NLC, ANPP seek reinstatement of UBEB chair


HE Organised Labour in Ebonyi State has called for the reinstatement of the sacked Chairman of the state Universal Basic Education Board, Chief Thomas Eze. Eze was sacked by the state government for allegedly flouting government’s directive on no- work- no- pay. Rising from a joint meeting of the State Executive Councils of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Abakaliki, the unions condemned Eze’s dismissal for paying September salaries to workers. NLC Caretaker Committee Secretary Comrade Macs Nnaji described Eze’s dismissal as unacceptable, saying the UBEB chair was merely doing his job. The union said: “Our attention has been drawn to the victimisation of workers, who allegedly participated in the industrial action declared by the Organised Labour to press home their demand for the implementation of the minimum wage. The development is highly condemnable. “This is in view of the selective measure of the payment of September salaries of workers in the state. The unfortunate disengagement of the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Board Thomas Eze by the state gover-

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

nor on the flimsy excuse that he paid September salaries to workers is unacceptable to the Organised Labour as he was merely discharging his responsibility. “The Organised Labour therefore hailed Thomas Eze for leaving above board. In the same vein, the Organised Labour urges the Ebonyi State government to reinstate Thomas Eze to his position.” Nnaji said the agitation by Labour for the implementation of the N18, 000 national

minimum wage across board has no political undertone. The labour leader described as strange the alleged serial victimisation of workers, who participated in the strike. All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate in the state Senator Julius Ali Ucha has also called for the reinstatement of the UBEB chair. The ANNP chieftain described the recent clamp down on labour leaders by Governor Martin Elechi over his failure to implement the

national minimum wage as unfortunate. “The sack of the UBEB Chairman by the state government is unfortunate and condemnable. “He should not blame anybody for his failure to provide basic amenities for Ebonyians, who have been suffering under his administration. A government who blames itself of failure should resign, instead of victimising the people,” he said. Elechi’s Chief Press Secretary Onyekachi Eni said the decision to sack Eze was taken to ensure good governance.

NUGU state indigenes recently disengaged from Abia State Civil Service have called on Governor Sullivan Chime to reabsorb them in the state Civil Service. In a letter signed by Igwe Onyia on behalf of others, the affected workers said they have sent an SOS to Chime to reabsorb them. “Most of the civil servants are widows and even those whose husbands are still alive, due to the state government’s clamp down on traders in Aba, their businesses have been grounded and the burden of taking care of their families rests squarely them,” he said. Onyia regretted that having spent their youthful years serving Abia State, they were sacked unceremoniously. “Most of us have spent as much as 30 years in the Abia State public service and now we are supposed to reap from our years of hard work, we’ve been asked to go. What do they want us to do now?” They urged Chime to save them from frustration. The embattled workers regretted that on several occasions they made representations to the Enugu state government on the vexed issue, nothing came out of it. “On three occasions, we went to the Government House in Enugu over this and were not given any attention. It was only on the last visit that we were asked to compile the names of the affected workers. But till now, we have not heard from anybody. “Chime should, as a matter of urgency, reabsorb us in the Enugu State public service”.

Jonathan calls for peaceful coexistence From Tony Akowe, Kaduna


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has called for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians. Speaking at the National Annual Solemn Assembly of the Chapel of Grace (Living Faith Foundation) at the Alhari camp on the Kaduna/Abuja road, the President said the Church has a great role to play in the transformation agenda of the current administration. The President, who was accompanied by Senator Barnabas Gemade, Joshua Dariye and Governor Patrick Yakowa, urged the church to pray for peaceful coexistence in the country. President Jonathan, who arrived the Alhari camp prayer ground aboard a Nigerian Airforce Helicopper with registration number NAF 540, the Church’s Bible Training Institute with a promise that his administration was committed to the development of the country. Yakowa called for support for the present administration.

Imo to rehabilitate roads From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri


HE Imo State government is to begin an aggressive road rehabilitation in the 27 local governments. Governor Rochas Okorocha spoke yesterday at a civic reception organised for his Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Chief Gerry Okolie by Ihioma community in Orlu. The governor said 15km roads would be built in Orlu while the erosion devastating the area would be tackled. Represented by his Chief of Staff, Prince Eze Madumere, the governor explained that the Imo Rescue Mission agenda of his administration would expedite the development of the state. He solicited the support of the community to his administration and assured of fairness to all. Okoile hailed the governor for appointing him into his cabinet and pledged the support of the community to the state government.

Obi calls for peace From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Technology Development Park for Abia


BIA State Government is to establish a Technology Development Park in Aba to tap into the numerous technology potential that abound in the state. Addressing reporters in Umuahia, Commissioner for Science and Technology Charles Nwator said the state would partner investors from Ireland to build the park and convert waste to alternative power sources. Nwator said Governor Theodore Orji would ensure steady power supply and sustenance of the peoples’ technology. The commissioner stated that the foreign partners have expressed determination to turn the waste potential in the state into power generation. Nwator maintained that power generation remains the high point of the present administration, adding that it is one of the ways the technological ingenuity of the people in Aba could be exposed to the outside world. “In view of the commercial viability of

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

Aba, the establishment of the Technology Park would create jobs for the unemployed youths. “When the Technology Park is established, it would provide tools and manufacturing facilities to the industrial sector in Aba. It will also take care of the laboratory needs of secondary and tertiary institutions in Abia and neighbouring states,” he said. The commissioner explained that his Ministry would host an inventors’ Summit which would harness the potentials of young inventors and allow them to showcase their talents in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector. He described ICT as a vital tool to the development of the state and pledged that his ministry would ensure that all workers in the state own computers. Nwator urged the youths to engage in meaningful skill acquisition that would keep them off crime and other social vices.



GOVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra State has urged the muslim community to maintain the peace. He spoke yesterday at the

Government Lodge when the Anambra State Muslim Council visited him. Obi expressed satisfaction with the peaceful relationship and understanding existing among residents of the state. He urged them to continue to support government policies and programmes. The member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives,Chris Azubogu urged the Muslim faithful to uphold the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. Leader of the delegation Alhaji Iliyasu Yushau extolled Obi’s leadership virtues and called for the speedy development of the state.



FOREIGN NEWS Italy’s borrowing rates hit record


•Liberian opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party supporters protesing in Monrovia... yesterdayv PHOTO: AFP

One killed as riot breaks out in Liberia V IOLENCE broke out at the headquarters of the country’s opposition party and at least one person was killed yesterday, less than 24 hours before Liberia’s presidential runoff that is being viewed as a test of the country’s fragile peace after a devastating civil war. Monrovia has been tense ever since Winston Tubman, the leader of the opposition Congress for the Democratic Change party, called for supporters to boycott today’s vote. International observers have rejected his allegation that the electoral process is rigged in the incumbent’s favor, and analysts say Tubman

is pulling out of the vote because he knows the CDC will lose. Inside the opposition headquarters was a scene of chaos: The body of a man in his 20s lay in a pool of blood. Nearby another four people were screaming in pain with what appeared to be bullet wounds. Thousands of others were standing and shouting. Tubman and his running mate, former soccer star George Weah, were trying to calm down angry fans. It was not immediately clear what

set off the violence, but it appeared to have degenerated when security forces opened fire on demonstrators. The protesters had gathered to rally support for the boycott. At least 100 Liberian security forces and United Nations peacekeepers had fanned out across the neighborhood, setting up roadblocks and securing the perimeter. United Nations peacekeepers drove tanks to the area and helicopters flew overhead. The soldiers continued to fire tear gas at the agitated mass in-

side the CDC building. Tubman trailed incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by a more than 10-point margin in the first round of voting in October, finishing with around 30 percent of the vote to Sirleaf’s more than 40 percent. Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated economist who was just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, has since been endorsed by the third-place finisher and it appeared likely that she would win the Nov. 8 runoff. Tubman’s boycott will not stop Sirleaf from winning, but it could damage the credibility of the election and undercut her victory since she will be running unopposed.

Tanzania detains Congolese soldiers


ORE than 20 Congolese soldiers have been detained in Tanzania for illegally entering the north-west of the country, Tanzania’s army has said. They said they were pursuing rebels from the Democratic Republic of Congo seeking medical treatment in Tanza-

nia, Lt Col Emmanuel Mcheri said. The heavily armed men were arrested after docking next to a police vessel at Kigoma port on Lake Tanganyika. DR Congo’s mineral-rich eastern region is plagued by rebel groups. Lt Col Mcheri said the soldiers, who are still being ques-

tioned, were carrying 17 submachine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, pistols, hand grenades and three surface-toair missiles used for shooting down planes. “We might as well regard this as an invasion... They travelled all the way from the border to Kigoma Port without notifying us. We are detaining them until we get further information and directives from above,” he told Tanzania’s Citizen newspaper. Local officials refused to

comment on the matter. Despite a peace deal in DR Congo in 2002, ending a brutal five-year civil war, there is still violence in the the east of the country. United Nations peacekeeping troops have been backing efforts to defeat some militias operating in eastern DR Congo and to integrate other groups into the army. Some 42,000 Congolese refugees are currently in Tanzania, having fled fighting in eastern DR Congo, according to the UN refugee agency.

Russia warns against Iran’s attack


ILITARY action against Iran would be a “very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences”, Russia’s foreign minister has warned. Sergei Lavrov said diplomacy, not missile strikes, was the only way to solve the Iranian nuclear problem. His comments come after Israeli President Shimon Peres said an attack on Iran was becoming more likely. The United Nation’s atomic watchdog is expected to say this week that Iran is secretly developing a nuclear arms capability. Diplomats say the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, due for release today or tomorrow, will produce compelling evidence that Iran will find hard to dispute. Iran has always insisted that

its nuclear programme is exclusively to generate power for civilian purposes. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said the alleged evidence is a fabrication and part of a multipronged US smear campaign against his country.

HE Italian government’s borrowing cost has risen as fears grow over political uncertainty in Rome. The yield on Italian 10-year bonds rose from 6.37% to a euro-era high of 6.64%, before retreating to 6.5%. It is feared that Italy, the eurozone’s third biggest economy, could become the next victim of the debt crisis. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faces a crunch vote on public finance today. Mr Berlusconi denied on Facebook reports that he was about to resign. Stock markets across Europe bounced up on the chance of the Italian premier’s departure but returned to negative territory at Monday’s close. The FTSE-100 index of top companies down 0.3%, France’s CAC-40 fell 0.64%, and in Frankfurt the DAX 30 fell 0.6%. Concerns over Italy are

overshadowing developments in Greece, where Prime Minister George Papandreou has agreed to stand down. Mr Papandreou sealed a deal with the opposition to form a new coalition government to approve an EU-IMF bailout package. Once the vote has been passed, it will open the way for Greece to receive the next 8bn euro tranche of bailout loans. The deal was welcomed by investors, with the main Athens bourse up 1.4%, lifted by the banking sector. Shares in Alpha Bank were up 6.8% while Hellenic Postbank rose 8.9%. The markets are viewing Italy’s ability to repay its debt as increasingly doubtful. The spread between Italian and German 10-year government bond yields had widened to 488 basis points in early trading, its widest level since 1995.

Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega heads for presidential win


ICARAGUAN President Daniel Ortega is set to secure a controversial third term with a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election. Mr Ortega won more than 60% of the vote, with his closest rival, Fabio Gadea, on 25%, early results showed. Supporters of Mr Ortega’s Sandinista Party celebrated, but the opposition said there had been electoral fraud. Mr Ortega was allowed to run after the Sandinista-controlled Supreme Court overturned a ban on consecutive terms. As vote-counting continued, Mr Ortega’s supporters took to the streets of the capital, Managua, to celebrate. “This is the victory of Christianity, socialism and solidarity,” said Mr Ortega’s wife and spokeswoman, Rosario Murillo. Mr Ortega has overseen a raft of welfare projects in recent years But the opposition highlighted what it said was widespread manipulation of the vote by the president’s party. Liberal Independent Party (PLI) representatives said their parallel counting suggested an even race “before taking into account the rural vote”, where they believe their candidate, Mr Gadea, will perform well. Several independent electoral observers who were not accredited by the Nicaraguan authorities pointed to reports of fraud.

Carlos the Jackal faces new French bomb attack trial


ELF-STYLED international revolutionary Carlos the Jackal has gone on trial in Paris over four bomb attacks in the early 1980s that killed 11 people. Carlos, a Venezuelan whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, will appear before a panel of magistrates for a trial expected to last six weeks. The 62-year-old is already serving a life sentence in France for the murder of two policemen in 1975. He was captured by French special forces in Sudan in 1994. By the time of his capture, he had earned global notoriety as a mastermind of fatal bomb attacks, assassinations and hostage-takings. His most infamous act was leading a raid in Vienna in

1975, when his group took 11 ministers of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) hostage. Ramirez looked relaxed in jeans and a blue jacket for the first day of his trial, with dozens of journalists and a motley collection of well-wishers filling the packed courtroom, the French news agency AFP reports. Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, said he was ‘’fighting spirit’’ while victims’ lawyer Frances Szpiner, said that justice should be done “I’m a professional revolutionary,” he told judge Olivier Leurent as the proceedings got under way. The new charges relate to four deadly attacks in France in 1982 and 1983, which killed 11 people and wounded another 100.

Somali pirates overwhelmed by Taiwan fishing crew


THE crew of a Taiwanese fishing vessel of the boat, but were defeated when the crew have overwhelmed a group of Somali fought back. According to Taiwan’s Fisheries pirates who hijacked their boat last Agency, three sailors were injured, while the week. pirates fell into the sea. Their fate is not known. The 28-member crew of the Chin Yi Wen were The fishing crew later sought the assistance taken hostage while sailing off the East African of the United Kingdom Maritime Trade coast and disappeared from radio contact on 4 Operations (UKMTO), an international antiNovember. piracy task force which patrols the area under The six pirates were later attacked and the supervision of the UK. overwhelmed by the sailors. The International Maritime Bureau has said Several hundred people and dozens of vessels that better policing and improved security have are currently held captive by Somali gunmen. reduced successful hijackings by Somali pirates The Chin Yi Wen disappeared from radio this year. Nevertheless, attacks linked to contact while several hundred kilometres off Somalia made up more than half the piracy the coast of Somalia last week. incidents reported worldwide. A group of armed pirates initally took control





Arteta — Gunners on a roll

Aguero: Tevez’s problems at City a ‘shame’


ANCHESTER City striker Sergio Aguero feels sorry that teammate Carlos Tevez has been unable to settle his differences with manager Roberto Mancini. “Unfortunately, the club and Carlitos (Tevez) haven’t reached an agreement and it pains me, as an Argentine and a teammate, it makes me sad,” said Aguero, who is in the Argentina squad for World Cup qualifying matches against Bolivia and Colombia. Tevez, left out of the Argentina squad, provoked a scandal in September when Mancini believed he refused to come on as a substitute during City’s 2-0 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich. Tevez has insisted he was misunderstood and never refused to play. “I can’t get involved in defending Carlos or the club because I don’t know what happened,” Aguero said, “Only they know. It’s a shame for everyone.”

Mancini says he is willing to forgive the striker if he says he’s sorry, but Tevez has not yet apologized and hasn’t played for City since the incident. Aguero was in the starting lineup for City’s 3-2 win against Queen’s Park Rangers on Saturday, with Tevez again absent. As well as being sidelined by City, Tevez’s last match for Argentina was during the 2011 Copa America in July, when he missed a penalty in the 5-4 shootout loss to Uruguay. Argentina opened World Cup qualifying with a 4-1 home win against Chile, but lost 1-0 at Venezuela in its second match. Bolivia will visit Buenos Aires on Friday, with Argentina traveling to play Colombia four days later. Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella has added Boca Juniors duo Agustin Orion and Clemente Rodriguez and Estudiantes pair Rodrgio Brana and Leandro Desabato to the squad for the two matches.


RSENAL midfielder Mikel Arteta insists the Gunners are hitting their best form following a woeful start to the campaign. The north Londoners have quickly climbed the table following their appalling start and are now just three points off fourth-placed Chelsea following a fifth win in six league games against West Brom on Saturday. The Gunners were slow out of the blocks and were crushed 8-2 by Manchester United at Old Trafford earlier this season, whilst they are also the only





were not the only Premier League club interested in the Belgian youth international with a Brazilian background, he said. Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool were also in the market to sign the player, who is considered one of the biggest talents of his generation, but despite some hesitation Pereira preferred to join United. “PSV knew that I was talking with some clubs and they respected my choice. I had some doubts but at the end Manchester United is my dream team to play for,” he added. Pereira has spoken with United boss Alex Ferguson already and will join the Under-19 side when he moves to Manchester in January.

Pardew happy to let Newcastle fans dream of CL LAN Pardew is happy for Newcastle fans to dream of Champions League qualification following the club’s good start to the season. The Magpies are currently third in the Premier League, and remain unbeaten after 11 games following their 2-1 victory over Everton at St James’ Park. The club have conceded just eight goals, the fewest in the league, and Pardew can understand the increasing excitement among fans. "I don't want to dampen expectations. I am not here for


Redknapp told to rest for five weeks


ELGIAN teenager A n d r e a s

Hoelgebaum Pereira will sign a three-and-a-half-year deal with Manchester United on January 1 when he turns 16, he said in an interview with the Dutch daily De Telegraaf on Monday. The 15-year-old playmaker is at PSV Eindhoven, where he has been part of the youth academy since he was nine. Pereira started playing football at KVSK Lommel in Belgium before moving to PSV. “I am an offensive midfielder, a real 10. Setting up my team mates, scoring and a good shot are my qualities,” the youngster was quoted as saying. The English champions

being investigated by the English FA and the police. Terry was called up by manager Fabio Capello when he named his squad on Sunday for England's friendlies against Spain and Sweden later this month.

O T T E N H A M Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp could be away from the club for five weeks after his heart surgery. The 64-year-old initially said he aimed to be back on the touchline in two weeks after the minor procedure to unblock coronary arteries. But he told Sky News: "[The doctor is] telling me I shouldn't even think about [returning] for at least four to five weeks. I hope to be back before then." The manager was released from hospital on Thursday. He had two stents inserted, while the treatment is known as a coronary angioplasty and is classed as a routine procedure. Redknapp initially predicted he would return for his side's match against Fulham, but later said he would try to remain calm while watching the game on television. He did not travel with Tottenham to Russia for their midweek Europa League tie with Rubin Kazan - and firstteam duties in his absence have been taken up by assistant manager Kevin Bond and coach Joe Jordan. He is not the only top-flight manager to have undergone coronary angioplasty. West Ham boss Sam


United to sign Belgian teenager

Police probe death threat to Ferdinand RITISH police are investigating a threatening letter sent to Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand who is involved in a race row with Chelsea and England soccer captain John Terry. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers were called after the letter, which reportedly contained a death threat, was hand-delivered to the west London club's Loftus Road ground on Friday. The Sun newspaper said the contents of the letter were so graphic that QPR officials decided not to show the letter to the player, who is involved in a row involving Terry. "We can confirm that officers are investigating an allegation of malicious communication," a Scotland Yard spokesman said. Ferdinand, 26, was the victim of an alleged racist comment made by Terry during a Premier League match two weeks ago. Terry has denied he made any racist remarks but the case is

team Blackburn have beaten in Premier League action this term. Ex-Everton man Arteta found the back of the net in Saturday's triumph over the Baggies and the Spaniard is hoping to win every match from now on in a bid to catch up with the leading pack.

Allardyce had the procedure after chest "discomfort" at the end of 2009 but returned to work with Blackburn soon afterwards, while former

Liverpool boss Graeme Souness had heart surgery in 1992 but led the team out in the FA Cup final days after leaving hospital.

that," Pardew told Sky Sports. "I want fans to enjoy this and if they are dreaming of the Champions League, let them dream, it is fantastic, good luck to them." Newcastle faces a difficult run of fixtures, facing both Manchester clubs away before entertaining Chelsea at home, and the Toon manager is not getting carried away. "In the dressing room we have to be a little more conservative about our approach,” he continued. "We are a new team, we have done terrifically well and we go to the next game, that's it."

Mata looking forward to playing at Wembley



HELSEA attacker Juan Mata is looking forward to playing at Wembley Stadium with Spain when the world champions face England in a friendly on Saturday. The 23-year-old revealed that he has already been joking about the match with his club team-mates John Terry and Frank Lampard, after settling in well since joining from Valencia in the summer. "I have already joked about the game with Lampard and Terry and we’ll do it more often as the game gets closer," Mata said on his official YouTube channel. "For them it’s quite an incentive to play against the

world champions and for us to play against England in their home. "I have not been to the old or new Wembley. The new one is really nice and a game against England on the mythical pitch, I’m sure it will be a great clash." Mata is also hoping to be part of the Spain squad selected for the European Championships next summer, though he is wary about the possible group stage opponents. "We could have a complicated group stage with rivals like England among other strong teams, but that’s the European Championships; every team is strong."




Di Maria has torn thigh muscle T

ESTS have confirmed that Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria damaged a thigh muscle in Sunday's 7-1 win at home to Osasuna, the La Liga leaders said on Monday. The Argentina international set up the first three goals at the Bernabeu, taking his tally of assists in the league to nine

for the season, before being carried off at the start of the second half. Real did not say how long he will be sidelined but local media reported it would likely be three to four weeks. That would mean he will miss Argentina's World Cup 2014 qualifiers at home to Bolivia on Friday and in Colombia four days later.


C Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has revealed the club will sign at least one player during the January transfer window and sees Catania's Maxi Lopez as an alternative for Antonio Cassano. Galliani's message comes just 24 hours after Catania chief Pietro Lo Monaco said the Argentine striker would "do well" at Milan. The Serie A champions are looking for reinforcements in attack following the news Cassano will likely miss six months after undergoing heart surgery recently. Lopez came off the bench for Catania in Sunday's 4-0 loss to Milan and Galliani said he was impressed by

newspaper. "It was an accident. I did not see him as I was running backwards and I wanted to leap for the ball. I hope that he gets back onto the field as soon as possible." The clash happened in the 42nd minute and, although Subotic carried on, it was soon clear when the teams entered the dressing room at the interval that the Serbia international needed help. "Neven's face swelled up brutally in a matter of seconds," reported Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp. "It looked truly awful."

with defeat of Nice


•Maxi Lopez

the striker. "Lopez is an excellent player. He would fit in nicely at Milan," Galliani told reporters. "I am certain that we will sign a player in January. It will be a loan deal with the right to make it permanent." During the summer Lopez was linked with Lazio, Juventus and Fiorentina.

Guardiola takes pride in battling Barca


EP Guardiola has expressed his pride after Barcelona claimed a late point against a "beast" of an Athletic

Bayern to miss Schweini vs Dortmund



O L F S B U R G defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos has apologised for the clash with Neven Subotic which led to the Borussia Dortmund defender needing facial surgery on Saturday night. Subotic had three metal plates inserted in his face in an operation at a Bochum clinic after being caught by Kyrgiakos' elbow during an aerial challenge. Subotic will miss up to six weeks due to the multiple fractures. "I am deeply saddened by the serious injury," Krygiakos is quoted as saying by the Bild

Galliani:Lopez would fit in at AC Milan Marseille impresses

•Angel Di Maria

AYERN Munich captain Philipp Lahm has admitted his side misses injury-victim Bastian Schweinsteiger as the German league leaders prepare for their showdown with Bundesliga champions Dortmund. Bayern struggled to a 2-1 victory at Augsburg on Sunday as Austria teenager David Alaba struggled in the key midfield role Schweinsteiger had filled with confidence until he broke his collarbone last Wednesday. After this weekend's international break, Bayern's German league campaign resumes on November 19 with the visit of second-placed Borussia Dortmund and Munich hold a five-point lead at the top of the table. Dortmund hammered Wolfsburg 5-1 last Saturday with the sort of form which saw them win last season's league title by seven points, but Bayern expect to win in Munich. "We have to beat Dortmund to increase our lead and set an example," said director of sport Christian Nerlinger. Schweinsteiger will be out for six weeks and Bayern missed his composure as they allowed Augsburg, who are bottom of the German league,

Kyrgiakos sorry about Subotic’s injury

back into the game having established a 2-0 lead. "Bastian is very valuable to us. You can't just replace him like for like, we've seen that," admitted Lahm. Alaba partnered Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, who was sent off in added time for a reckless foul, but Bayern's midfield creaked without Schweinsteiger's calm

authority and Alaba admitted he struggled in the second half. "We have lost our domination," admitted Nerlinger after the narrow win. Bayern have some big games ahead with the visit of Villarreal in the Champions League coming three days after the Dortmund match.

Galatasaray target Berbatov


ALATASARAY president Unal Aysal has revealed the Istanbul club are considering a January swoop for Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov. Berbatov's future at Old Trafford has been the subject of speculation with the Bulgarian struggling to establish himself


in Sir Alex Ferguson's plans this term. The 30-year-old has slipped to fourth choice in Ferguson's pecking order with Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck all ahead of the talented front man. Turkish giants Gala are keen to bolster their attacking options when the transfer window reopens in January and Berbatov is on their list of targets. "We're not just looking at Berbatov; we're interested in a number of players," Unal told Hurriyet. "Yes, we're thinking of forwards, but now is far too early. "We can only get in contact and decide at the end of December, when the time comes. We have four or five players in mind. "But we can't say that we want to buy any one player because we have not decided yet."

Bilbao side. At a rain soaked San Mames, Barcelona had to rely on an injury-time goal from Lionel Messi as they salvaged a 2-2 draw against an impressive Bilbao team. The result leaves Barca three points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid, who were 7-1 victors at the weekend, but Guardiola was keen to highlight the positives of the display. He told reporters after the game in quotes carried by the club's official website: "How can I not be happy with the spectacular show that the 22 players put on for us? Everyone enjoyed this marvellous game thanks to these very good players. This was an ode to football. "There are few days where I can be prouder of my players. They completely understood the requirements of the match ... It means a lot to come here and have the opposing team only reach your area three times." Guardiola made a point of congratulating his Athletic counterpart Marcelo Bielsa at the final whistle. He said: "I told him that (his players) are beasts. I had never played against a team so intense and aggressive." Argentine coach Bielsa added: "It wouldn't have been fair for us to win. The draw corresponds with what I saw on the pitch."

LYMPIQUE de Marseille’s resurgent play continued as they defeated Nice 2-0 at Stade Vélodrome in week thirteen of Ligue 1, marking their third successive victory. With the result l’OM moves to eighth in the table before a critical encounter with Montpellier upon returning from the international break. Manager Didier Deschamps was pleased to see his line-up returning to optimal condition as he made four changes to his starting eleven that defeated Dijon last week as he deployed a 4-4-2 with André-Pierre Gignac, Mathieu Valbuena, Alou Diarra and César Azpilicueta entering for Rod Fanni, Charles Kaboré, Morgan Amalfitano and Jordan Ayew. Starting ambitiously the Marseillais narrowly missed taking the lead at the sixth minute as Mathieu Valbuena nodded Jérémy Morel’s well placed cross over the bar. l’OM was showing a passion for the hunt with André-Pierre Gignac forcing visiting ‘keeper David Ospina into a fine stop on the quarter-hour. l’OM’s Côte d’Azur neighbours quickly with Eric Mouloungui carving open the defenders before playing the ball to Fabrice Abriel whose volley set the woodwork shaking. Fortune continued to be on the side of l’OM goalkeeper Steve Mandanda as on the half-hour Eric Mouloungui nodded a

piercing cross off the bar before scoring chances dried up through the break. Largely quiet until the fiftyeighth minute when Steve Mandanda denied Eric Mouloungui, M. Deschamps decided change was in order three minutes later as Jordan Ayew and Lucho González entered for André-Pierre Gignac and Mathieu Valbuena. The fresh legs seemed to turn the wheel for l’OM as ten minutes later they took the lead they would not relinquish as Loïc Rémy helped drive the dagger through his old team with a cross that Jordan Ayew headed into the net. With the one-goal advantage, the l’OM tactician quickly shifted his line-up as he added Djimi Traoré for Jérémy Morel with a quarterhour remaining. Les Olympiens narrowly missed squandered the lead with seven minutes remaining in regulation time as Dja Djédjé was played through on the right but he saw his effort stopped by Steve Mandanda with sublime foot save. In the fourth minute of added-time, André Ayew raced into the area on the left but in being felled by Drissa Diakité a penalty was awarded. Loïc Rémy stepped up to the spot with confidence but after seeing his initial effort chalked off with encroachment, sent a deft chip into the right side of the net to seal l’OM’s 2-0 victory.

•Didier Deschamps




Woods down to 58th in the world T

IGER Woods returns to action in the Australian Open this week down at 58th in the world - just one year after losing the number one spot to Lee Westwood. The event in Sydney brings together Woods and his former caddie Steve Williams, who admitted that remarks he made about the American on Friday night "could be construed as racist". New Zealander Williams has since issued an apology, but the controversy is bound to dominate the build-up to this week and next week's Presidents Cup in Melbourne. Further up the order, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy replaces Westwood in second place, while England's Luke Donald retains top spot.

Granollers beats Monaco to claim third career win



ARCEL Granollers defeated Juan Monaco 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (3) in the Valencia Open final on Sunday for his third career win. "This is the biggest win of my career considering all the good players that were here," Granollers said. "In the last two years here I have played the best tennis of my life." The 25-year-old Granollers dominated the first set between the two unseeded players with his serve-andvolley game. Monaco found his baseline stroke and rallied to win the second set before saving three championship points in the decider to force a tiebreaker. Granollers claimed his second title of the year when the Argentine hit wide to end the three-hour final. "It was a great final that came down to a pair of shots," Monaco said. "At the start, I was a little uncomfortable with his game. Then until 3-1 in the third set I was in control, but he was able to turn the match around coming to the net and making some incredible drop shots." Granollers, ranked 34th, had already beaten sixth-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro in the semi-finals and third-seeded Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals. Last year, Granollers beat Monaco on his way to an allSpanish final where he lost to David Ferrer.


Buckland withdraws from Super-featherweight fight


withdraw from his British super-featherweight title defence against Paul Truscott in


or 4 years at this level. I turned professional really late and I still feel fresh and I’m really motivated. I like this life. “I tried with BMC but they

ARY Buckland has suffered a muscle injury and been forced to

Newport on Saturday November 26. In light of the injury, Hatton

Rasch's future in limbo ABRIEL Rasch believes he can race at WorldTour level for another four years. The 35year-old Norwegian is currently without a team for 2012 but told Cyclingnews that he is in negotiations with a number of teams to extend his time in the pro ranks. Rasch turned professional in 2008 with Credit Agricole and rode as a domestique for Thor Hushovd. He followed his compatriot to Cervelo TestTeam and then to Garmin-Cervelo but with Hushovd signing for BMC for 2012, there wasn’t a space for Rasch in the American team. “The spring was good but the rest of the year wasn’t great. I had some crashes at the Tour of Denmark and then at the Eneco Tour and I never really recovered.” Rasch told Cyclingnews. “I’m still waiting for some answers from some teams. I hope it will be okay and that I’ll ride WorldTour next year but at the moment I don’t know. I think I can another 3

didn’t want to sign me so that’s not a possibility. I also thought about Garmin but they thought I was going with Thor and when I asked about staying it was already too late.”

Promotions have cancelled the entire card but plan to return to Newport when Buckland is fit enough to fight again, hopefully in early 2012. Hatton Promotions head Ricky Hatton: "It is a real shame, but we had no option but to scrap the card once we realised Gary's would be side-lined. "I am sorry for all those fans that were looking forward to his first defence, but we will be back in the New Year. "There will be plenty of Hatton Promotions cards in South Wales in 2012 as we look to build a fan base for Gary and other upcoming fighters in the area. "I just look forward to seeing

Gary back in the ring defending his domestic title before moving on to European and world honours. "We are still planning to stage a show on November 26 in another British town and hopefully that will be confirmed in the coming days." Fans that had already purchased tickets for the Newport card can get a full refund from the point of purchase. Middlesbrough's Truscott will now box on Hatton Promotions card at Oldham Leisure Centre on Saturday (Nov 12) when he boxes Dezzie Higginson over eight rounds.

Mutai breaks New York marathon record

G •Rasch

EOFFREY Mutai shattered the course record in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, which was no surprise after he ran the fastest marathon ever earlier this year. The Kenyan has turned in two eye-popping performances in seven months in races without pace-setters and figures to be the favourite at next summer's London Games

— if he can make the Olympic team in a country so deep in the sport. In the women's race, Firehiwot Dado wasn't expected to win and trailed with a few miles left. But the Ethiopian made a stunning comeback for her first major marathon title. Mutai finished in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 6 seconds, crushing the previous mark of 2:07:43 set by Tesfaye Jifar of Ethiopia a decade earlier.





I’m disappointed in Siasia, E says Ikpeba X-INTERNATIONAL, Victor Ikpeba has described as disappointing the action of erstwhile head Coach of the Super Eagles, Samson Siasia to sue the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the sum of one billion naira. Speaking last night as a guest analyst on Monday Night Football, a programme on satelite TV station SuperSport, the former Monaco of France striker said Siasia’s suit against the NFF for breach of contract is akin to biting the fingers that fed him, because the football body had been instrumental in making the former coach what he is today. “I think Siasia is being ill advised,” Ikpeba began. “I don’t think suing the NFF is the right option for him. Sacking him or losing his job

• As Amokachi relishes Eagles role By Innocent Amomoh

as Eagles coach should not mean the end of his coaching career,” he reasoned. Ikpeba, who is a member of the Technical Committee of the NFF, said Siasia

should learn to accept his fate as failure does not mean the end of one’s life, especially as a coach. Meanwhile, former Super Eagles Assistant Coach, Daniel Amokachi, has said

that being considered as one of the coaches for the Super Eagles in the new dispensation is an honour. Amokachi said the development is another opportunity to serve the country, which he won’t take for granted. The former Eagles forward said the new coach, Stephen Keshi has the pedigree to pilot the team to greater heights, and called on Nigerians to rally round the former Eagles captain.

Eagles call thrills Aneke

J • Siasia • Ikpeba


Garba, Amuneke, Ugbade meet NFF Thursday


HILE the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will meet on Thursday to deliberate on coaches for the Falcons, U20 and other national teams, it will first of all empower the recently-appointed coaches of the U-17 national team. Spokesperson of the Committee, Paul Bassey, said: “On Thursday, we will deliberate with the U-17 coaches on their emoluments and contracts with a view to getting them to start work immediately. “Whereas we had decided to take another look at all the national team coaches, we are satisfied with our choices of the U-17 technical crew and on Thursday we will empower them so that they can start work immediately.”

•May begin work immediately Bassey said another reason why they will be set in motion is because by December, they will be required to submit their list of players to CAF in preparation for the 10th Africa U-17 Championship to be hosted by Morroco in 2013, and the preliminaries will start in April next year. “The last campaign hosted


ORMER Super Falcons goalkeeper, Judith Chima has indicated interest to become the head

King's college emerges winner


By Nwanosike Onu, Awka

talents discovered in the course of the event to compete in the national soccer league in the country in due course. Ogene said:”There is need to produce more Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okochas, Segun Odegbamis, Kanu Nwankwos, Daniel Amokachis, Tarila Okorowantas, Humphrey Edobors, Stephen Keshis, and Christian Chukwus among others. “And I feel the time is now and there is no other better way to give back to your people than this. Instead of these children engaging themselves in all sorts of crimes, it is better to engage themselves in meaningful things like these.” “It is capital-intensive but I do not care about that, there is also room for improvement in due course; we have multi-talented boys and girls in this area, so let them go and distinguish themselves even in their different schools,” Ogene concluded.

Randle Senior Secondary, School, Lagos. Randle won 17 games, lost 7 games out of the 24 played to finish second and St Michael Anglican School placed third. Prizes and awards will be presented to winners today (Friday) at a Gala Nite, organised by the sponsor, Fryda Nigeria Limited inside the LTV premises Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.

in Rwanda was a complete disaster as we failed to qualify for the first time in our history even as World Cup defending champions, and this also meant that we were absent in the FIFA event in Mexico. This time we are ready to assume our leadership position in Africa and the sooner we start working, the better, since we have no team in place

UTH FC have dismissed rumours that they have pre-arranged to lose to

relegation-threatened Shooting Stars on Wednesday in continuation of the Nigeria Premier League. Shooting Stars are locked in a relegation dog fight with JUTH’s city rivals Plateau United. They are 15th on the table with 44 points, while Plateau are two spots below on 41 points. JUTH are rooted at the bottom of the standings with 29 points and already demoted to the lower league. In a statement signed by JUTH media officer Olusola Alao, the Jos club promised to play their normal game to beat 3SC in the week 37 match in Jos. “JUTH management said there is no iota of truth in

rumours making the rounds that we have agreed to allow 3SCget the maximum points,” read the statement in part. Alao said JUTH have a pedigree and credibility and would not do anything underhand. “People could say what they like but it is not true that we have arranged to give away our match to 3SC,we are a team with principles,” further said Alao. “If we couldn’t do that with our neighbours Plateau United, no team will benefit from that, we have never been involved in such and won’t start now. 3SC will be beaten as we have vowed to give our best in the last two games of the season even though we have been relegated. “We lost to Plateau United because the referee decided to be biased in the later part of the match.”

Ex-international, Chime joins race for Falcons’ Job

LAGOS SCRABBLE CHAMPIONSHIP ING'S College,Lagos has emerged the winner of the second edition of Scrabbulympics Tournament, concluded at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on Thursday. The Champions won 18 games and lost 6 out of 24 played in the round of 8 combined teams games, dethroning the defending Champions,


HE House of Representatives member, for Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Hon. Victor Afam Ogene is to sponsor the trials of talented footballers abroad on an annual basis. The players, according to him, will be those discovered during the Afam Ogene Soccer Competition which has been christened Inter-Community Soccer Fiesta. Already, the 24 participating teams have received different jerseys, footballs and boots among other incentives. According to the lawmaker, who spoke with NationSport yesterday in Awka, the winner of the competition each year will receive the sum of five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000). Ogene said he believed that the competition would foster unity in the constituency and help in reducing crime in the area. Furthermore, he revealed that his aim was to raise a team from the bunch of

JUTH dismiss match-fixing rumours


EADING scorer in the NPL Jude Aneke has said he is thrilled to replace injured Osaze Odemwingie in the Eagles squad for matches against Botswana and Zambia. Last week, Kaduna United striker Aneke set a new alltime record in the NPL of 20 goals in a season. “It’s a surprise for me but I believe I deserve it just like Ahmed Musa scored 18 goals last season and was rewarded with a call-up to the Super Eagles,” Aneke said. “It’s been great for me to be where I am within two years of playing non-league football. The credit must go to my coach Maurice Cooreman. “My next target is to make a good impression with the Eagles, if I get to play.” The 21-year-old is also set to join Belgian club Gent soon. Osaze has been ruled out of the Eagles matches because of a knee injury he suffered in training. The Eagles host Botswana in Benin City on Saturday and three days later they tackle Zambia in another friendly in Kaduna under new coach Stephen Keshi. Nigeria will line up a formidable team as they begin again under a new head coach soon after the short reign of sacked coach Samson Siasia.

Lawmaker to sponsor players’ trials abroad

• Chime

By Innocent Amomoh coach of the Nigeria women’s senior football national team, NationSport can report. Chime, who made her intentions known yesterday in a chat from her base in the United States, said in order to show her level of seriousness, she had already applied for the job. “I have already submitted my resume to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to indicate my interest in the job. I believe that that is the only way to make my intentions known. “I have played for that team before, and having trained as a coach in the United States, I know I can proffer the needed solution to the problems plaguing the team. “What really motivated me is the realisation that the

Falcons will not be featuring in the Olympics, and for the fact that we got eliminated by a team that was no threat in the past. “What that team needs is someone that is skilled in the management of the girls to produce the needed result,” she declared. She also said that for women football in Nigeria to return to its glory days, only dedicated players, who understand what it means to be chosen to represent the country out of millions of other Nigerians, will be given the opportunity to feature in the team. The towering former goalkeeper, who claimed to have a state license to coach, with experience in the United States, charged the NFF to throw the position open to all qualified Nigerians, especially former internationals that

have garnered vast experience in the past years both as players and coaches. “What I am telling the NFF is that I know what it takes to play for the country. And like l earlier said, it does not stop at just ensuring that the players wear the greenwhite-green colours of Nigeria, but making them understand that the ultimate is to bring honour and glory to their fatherland. “We are blessed with a lot of talents. All we need is to return to the old ways, doing what is right to achieve success. Having passed through sound coaches both home and abroad I think I have what it takes to make the team succeed,” Chime said. The first degree holder from one of the Universities in the United States said her main goal was to return the Super Falcons to its heyday.





VOL. 7


‘I will implore the leadership of the workers to do their best to continue to dialogue with government and let us look at what is meaningful and reasonable in this issue; warning, giving ultimatum and declaration of strikes are totally GODSWILL AKPABIO unnecessary now’



N the Legislative Branch, a most unlikely protagonist of the drive to lift a so-called subsidy on petrol, the existence of which is not proven, has emerged in the person of the freshman PDP senator Dr Bukola Saraki, scion of the Saraki political dynasty and most recently governor of Kwara . There he was the other day rattling off, as he has been doing since he first took the floor of the Senate, rattling off a stream of data – nothing really insightful, just the same dubious figures they have been peddling all these years — to justify the government’s plan to end the alleged subsidy. Just six or seven persons have been profiting from the subsidy, and it was time to terminate the pernicious arrangement, Saraki said; the health of the economy required nothing less. As everyone knows, the Sarakis made their fame and fortune by always keeping their eyes on the main chance. So, you have to ask, as indeed many Nigerians have indeed been asking: What is in it for Bukola Saraki, and by extension, the Saraki dynasty? Was Bukola Saraki’s on-going crusade the latest in a long string of political contracts that have redounded so bounteously to the family’s fortune? Could it be that it is his way of getting even with some of the six or seven persons he says have been reaping for themselves and themselves only the benefits of the alleged subsidy, or, as has been alleged, getting them to settle him? To be fair to Dr Saraki, his crusade could well be rooted in his patriotic concern not merely for the health of the economy, but also for the well-being of future generations. If this is indeed the case, Dr Saraki deserves to be congratulated on his conversion. For in the more than three decades that the Saraki dynasty has held Kwara State in thrall, concern for the health of the economy and the well-being of future generations has rarely figured in their political agenda. The dynasty lived on patronage and thrived through patronage, which is subsidy by another name. There is hardly any need here to dwell on the claim of the patriarch of the family, Himself the Oloye, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, that he had since 1979 singularly produced all the elected governors of Kwara except the current one who was installed by his son in a fit of filial defiance. It is no idle claim. What he did not mention was that he exacted a hefty price for the favour. And it was not just a once-and-forall recompense; his dividend was a recurrent expenditure on the unofficial budgets of the governors he installed. Lesser office folders who owed him their appointments also had

RIPPLES Minister approves 50% pay rise for PHCN workers

Would this bring LIGHT to our HOMES?



A senator and the oil ‘subsidy’


to pony up. The Saraki dynasty was an early beneficiary of the Babangida-era scheme that turned banking into a subsidised racket. Banking licences were allocated to the well-connected, without the least regard to the “market forces” that Bukola Saraki is now trumpeting. The family established the Société Général Bank. Like other banks, Société Général bought U.S dollars from the Central Bank at a discount ranging from two to four naira per dollar and sold it to desperate customers for whatever it could make them pay. After years of enjoying this subsidy, the bank collapsed, run aground by Bukola Saraki,

physician turned banker. Depositors’ funds running into tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of Naira remain trapped in the bank, irretrievably, many of them fear. The signs of insolvency were already palpable when, on being elected governor in 2003, Saraki, with scant regard for propriety, moved the Kwara State Government accounts from the state-owned Trade Bank, said to be in distress, to the Saraki family bank, with the obvious intent of making the state government subsidise it. Public outcry forced him to reverse course. Many commentators were shocked that it took a public outcry to make him recognise that he had committed a flagrant conflict of interest. For most of the period he was in office, Saraki spent a huge chunk of Kwara’s resources subsidising fugitive farmers from Zimbabwe, providing them vast tracts of prime farmland and the most modern tools and assets that money can buy, all this in a deal that has remained closed to inspection. It may well be that the resulting output — which only Saraki and his privileged associates and publicists have vouched for — has more than justified the subsidies past, present and on-going. But why was the subsidy good only for expatriate farmers and not local farmers organized into co-operatives? And why is Saraki not urging his handpicked successor to end the subsidies even as they continue to strain the state’s resources and breed deep resentment among the local farmers, many of whom have been forced to become farm hands for the expatriates? Still as governor, Saraki was reported to



NDER former President Olusegun Obasanjo, probing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was as difficult as a camel passing through the eye of a needle. A probe was resisted with all the braggadocio the former president could muster, even as he remained Minister of Petroleum for a long time. But, finally, after much dillydallying, something fairly describable as a probe into an aspect of NNPC operations began late October. It is spearheaded by the House of Representatives, with the Senate looking in, but both legislative bodies meeting as much stonewalling as all interested parties could summon. The trigger for the probe in the Reps is of course the refusal by governors to allow the sharing of September allocations from the Federation Account. They had complained that the NNPC unlawfully withdrew N250bn from the September allocations apparently to finance oil subsidy. It was then quickly established that in fact the NNPC owed the Federation Account N450bn, not even the N250bn that triggered the disagreement, and that it also used an exchange rate below that of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). But once the probe got underway, a federal agency, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), told the Reps joint committee probe that NNPC’s shortfall in remittances between 2004 and2008 was about N842bn, and that there were audit reports to prove it. While the Reps were still chafing that NNPC made the alleged withdrawals without

Probing NNPC’s warrens authorisation, it also emerged in the Senate that the government had spent about N1.5 trillion on subsidy between January and September 2011 against the budget provision of N240bn. As if the maze was not convoluted enough, and the amounts spent staggering, the NNPC said it agreed to a shortfall of N450bn in its payments to the Federation Account and had in fact so far paid back about N15.2bn of the acknowledged debt. So while the Reps are pressing ahead acrimoniously in their probe, senators have also invited government officials to furnish explanations on the allegations of withdrawals, shortfalls and overpayments. Officials are not too eager to honour the invitations, either because they themselves are confused as the rest of us, or because they fear a can of worms is opening. The Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has told the Reps that capitalintensive NNPC is special and can neither run nor be funded like any other government agency, hence some of its spending cannot be covered by appropriation. Let the Reps and Senate make sense of that. From all indications, the 2008-2009 Ndudi Elumelu power probe that came to grief during the late Umaru Yar’Adua government

have told retired state employees to regard their gratuities, the lump-sum compensations on which a most of them had pinned their hopes of a modicum of financial security, as their contributions to the development of the state. Yet, when he was leaving Government House after eight years, he moved the State Assembly to rubberstamp severance benefits that virtually indentured the state exchequer to himself for as long as he lives. The state government is obliged to build him a house befitting his exalted status in Ilorin, and another in Abuja, to purchase two cars for him every four years, to pay all expenses – first class air travel only, please — for his annual vacation in any place of his choosing, to underwrite his medical expenses, and to assume responsibility for the salaries and benefits of his domestic staff. In short, the Kwara State Government is obliged to subsidise Saraki for the rest of his life, despite his present cushy perch as a senator, and despite his substantial personal wealth, which reportedly includes luxury homes in the most exclusive neighbourhoods of London. This has got to be the ultimate subsidy. But there is more. Recently, he was reported to be living in an official government house, pending completion of the palace he corralled the state into building for him as part of his severance package. There is no noblesse oblige here, only an unbridled sense of entitlement. To be fair, Saraki is not the only person of high net worth pushing for ending the alleged oil subsidy. The business mogul Aliko Dangote has also entered the fray, declaring that subsidies are bad for the economy, and that he has never profited from them anyway. Really? What of the import licences he was allocated to import scarce goods, the tariff and import waivers he has been granted over the years, plus other preferences that have virtually turned his business empire into an oligopoly? If an oil subsidy actually exists, a case can perhaps be made for ending it. Dangote is in no position to articulate it. As for Senator Bukola Saraki, whether he is merely executing a political contract, whether he is acting from convenience or even from conviction, he simply does not have the moral credibility or the force of personal example to make a case for ending the alleged subsidy. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above is a piece of cake compared with the ongoing probe of both NNPC and the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Authority (PPPRA). Will the ministry and agency respond to ordinary audit tools? If they do and the National Assembly makes sense of which warrens NNPC and PPPRA routinely push their account files and sieve their spending, then it would be a miracle. Will they even respond to forensic auditing and probe? The fear in some quarters is that both ministry and agency are like a living dead on which a forensic expert is not sure what tools to apply. Might they, then, require something more drastic and more novel, something like a laparotomy to discover what ailed them or excited them into extraordinary expenditures? We’ll have to wait and see. In its campaign to railroad subsidy removal through the legislative processes and convince Nigerians the economic measure was in their best interest, the government accused ‘fat cats’ of being the only beneficiaries of subsidy retention. From what has been revealed so far in the probes, it is curiously beginning to look like the fat cats are not anywhere else but in government warrens. However, let us wait for officials to say all they know before we judge them. But if the Petroleum minister’s explanation of her ministry not been subject in large parts to National Assembly appropriation is anything to go by, we are in for spectacularly entertaining times.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation Nov. 8 , 2011  

The Nation Nov. 8 , 2011

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