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Why we ‘ve not cleared Sylva, others, by PDP chair Enyeama, Etuhu, Moses get Eagles’ invitation Aregbesola seeks efficiency as Osun, Rail sign MoU

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VOL. 7, NO. 1934 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

•Widow of one of the victims, Mrs Hauwa Mustapher

•Theresa Anyanwu, whose daughter, Agnes Onyinyechi, died

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•A mother of one of the victims

PHOTOS: NAN, ABAYOMI FAYESE

Day of tears at INEC Compensation for families of slain NYSC members

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•Prof. Jega

IX months after the April general elections, echoes of the violence that rocked some areas are yet to die. A ceremony to hand families of Youth Corps members killed in the violence some compensation was held yesterday in Abuja. But, it was emotionally charged, with women crying endlessly. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials were busy consoling them. Youth Corps members serving as adhoc INEC staff were on April 8 at the INEC office in Suleja, Niger State to check their postings for election

We do not like what happened, but it has happened. And as true believers in God, we just have to accept it as the will of God. As we prepared for the election, the Independent National Electoral Commission took an insurance policy for ad-hoc and permanent staff of INEC. By Our Reporter

duties the following day. Suddenly, there was a blast, which killed 11 people instantly and injured no fewer than 28 others.

In Bauchi, many Youth Corps members were attacked by hoodlums in riots that followed the April 16 presidential election. In the Bauchi incidents, 10 Youth Corps members were killed.

They are: Adewunmi Paul (from Ekiti State), Okeome Okechukwu Chibudon (Imo), Ukazeone Amsalem (Imo), Anyanwu Agnes (Imo), Okpokiri Obina (Imo), Olawale Tosin (Kogi), Akonye Ibrahim Sule (Kogi), Gbenga Ebenezer Ayotunde (Osun), Adeniyi Kehinde Jelili (Osun) and Adohe Elliot (Bayelsa). President Goodluck Jonathan gave each of the families of the slain in Bauchi N5 million at an event at Aso Villa on May 10. Continued on page 4

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THE NATION FRIDAY,NOVEMBER 4, 2011


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

NEWS

Day of tears as INEC compensates families of slain workers Continued from page 1

•Osun State Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola discussing with his deputy, Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori (left), during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and the state on freight services at the Governor’s Office, Osogbo ... yesterday. Signing the paper is the Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Works and Transportation, Mr. Sabitu Amudah. Watching are NRC Managing Director, Prince Adeseyi Sijuwade and Secretary Mrs. Ifeoma Onyeabor and Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (behind the governor).

He promised that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. They are yet to. Yesterday, INEC gave out a N27.5 million compensation to the families of 42 dead Youth Corps members, most of them in the Suleja and Bauchi incidents. INEC gave each of them N655,000 as insurance compensation. A man simply identified as Mr Isidahome, who lost his sister in Suleja, demanded to know what the Federal Government was doing concerning the dead. He reminded

Why we have not cleared Sylva, others, by PDP

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AYELSA State Governor Timipre Sylva’s political future remained hazy yesterday. He will not be cleared to take part in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary until complaints lodged against him by some party members have been investigated and disposed of, PDP National Chairman Abukakar Kawu Baraje has said. Baraje spoke to reporters at the party’s national secretariat. He clarified the party’s position on the status of the governor, saying Sylva has not been dropped from the race. “We have not sacked Sylva as some people have insinuated. We received complaints about some of the aspirants

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

and they were all invited here on Sunday to respond to the various allegations and they all came,” Baraje said. He went on: “Some of these complaints cannot be overlooked. So, we contacted people in order to establish the genuineness of these complaints. As I am talking to you, we are still awaiting feedback from our sources and we will treat every case strictly on merit.” Baraje, who did not specify the nature of the complaints, said the party leadership was doing its job to ensure that it presents a good and electable candidate, stressing that the PDP will not clear any of the aspirants in a hurry.

The chairman said 11 aspirants bought the nomination forms to contest the primary and that it was during screening that the complaints started coming in. Asked if the complaints came in form of petitions, he retorted: “You call it petition, but we call it complaints.” Only four of the aspirants have been cleared: They are: Orufa Justine Boloubo, Henry Seriake Dickson, Enai Christopher Fullpower and Kalango Muchael Youppele. Baraje said there would always be complaints in every political situation where much is at stake. Bayelsa’s case is not different from what the party experienced in the cases of Kogi and Adamawa states where governorship primaries also took

place, he said. According to him, the party amicably resolved similar differences in Kogi and Adamawa states. He said Bayelsa will not be different, Baraje promised. Baraje assured that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party will act appropriately on pending cases as soon as responses are received from the various sources involved in the investigations. He dismissed reports by some online publications that the party leaders received N500 million gratifications from Sylva as “reckless” and “mischievous”, saying similar frivolous allegations were made against the party chiefs over Kogi State.

•Sylva

the government of the job opportunities promised their family members and dependants. Mrs Hauwa Mustapha, who lost her husband also the Suleja INEC bomb blast, urged the government to treat victims equally and fairly. INEC chair Prof. Attahiru Jega told the families of the victims: “We do not like what happened, but it has happened. And as true believers in God, we just have to accept it as the will of God. As we prepared for the election, the Independent National Electoral Commission took an insurance policy for ad-hoc and permanent staff of INEC. “The premium was based on the assumption that the Youth Corps members are on the equivalent of grade level 08 in the civil service. All claims have been processed based on the loss of lives and injury,” he said. Jega added that INEC will pay an undisclosed “token” to the deceased relatives in addition to the cheques. While appealing to the government to bring those responsible for their death to justice, Jega said INEC and the leadership of NYSC are working together to improve the security of corps members on election duty to prevent a re-occurrence. Jega was joined by the Director General of the NYSC Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi OkorieAffia to give the cheques to the families.

Federation Account nets N34tr in 10 years, says Minister of State Finance

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BOUT N34 trillion has been paid into the Federation Account in the last 10 years, Minister of State for Finance Alhaji Yerima Lawan Ngama said yesterday. The amount is made up of the cash remitted by major income generating agencies of the Federal Government – the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). The Federation Account is the common purse that holds the cash the federal, states and local governments share every month. Ngama broke down the revenue intake over 10 years (2001-2011) as follows: Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) remitted N15,395,166, 845,158.30; NNPC N11,946, 038,969, 638.70; DPR N3,879, 154,581,457.37 and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) N2,627,915,823,622.32. He said this was after the deduction of joint venture cash calls (JVCs); subsidy and transfer to excess crude accounts. The minister of State spoke during the sitting of the joint committees of the House of Representatives, investigating the NNPC’s N450b debt to the Federation Account. The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industry

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Zainab Ahmed insisted that authority was not given for the N842 billion deductions made by NNPC for subsidy. Her words: “To reconcile the report of the government and the NNPC, the essence of our audit report is to look at the authority and check if the process is followed. That authority was not given and that is why we reported as not given. The N842b deductions made by NNPC were through invoice lifting not paid and invoices underpaid. Lifting not paid means specific lifting that were done that the audit process could not trace the payments for. Underpayment means the specific invoice is taken and partly paid. What we have in the report is the difference not yet paid.” She added: “As against the NNPC report of N450b, what I want to say is that NEITI report has the details of the N842b.” But the Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) drew the attention of the Minister of State to the provision of Section 21 (sub 3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, saying that all monies realised by NNPC ought to have been remitted to the Federation Account.

Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Diezani AlisonMadueke said the NNPC did not make any deduction, noting that NEITI was wrong in its evaluation. She said as mandated by the government, the NNPC has begun payment of the debt staggered in 32 instalments of N7.5b per month. She explained that the N450b debt came about in 2003 when the government mandated the NNPC to pay for the difference of oil price at the international market while the product is sold at the existing price. She said, the controversy began when NNPC presented its request for payment of the accumulated differentials, which the Federal Government said it could not pay but that it should be converted to loan for NNPC. She said: “Subsidy payment grew from about N261.1b in 2006 to approximately N1.35 trillion in September 2011. This is due mainly to the settlement of outstanding payment on household kerosene subsidies and increase in crude prices internationally and the rise in volume of product deliveries as well. “It is, of course, clear that the NEITI report is a misrepresentation of the facts because on pages 15 and 16, under domestic crude sales debt, that recognised balance

of N389.5b was due to credit periods granted for payment. “This was in NEITI’s own brief this morning (yesterday) and if we subtract those balances, which are due to the credit period from the overall balances, then we get the N450b. “We need to be careful when we make projections, particularly when it concerns accounting and auditing balances”. The minister said if proper auditing methods are employed and the two agencies had earlier deliberated on grey areas, the event of the day would not have s and that while NEITI audit stopped in 2008, NNPC audit was up-to-date. She also countered the NEITI boss’ assertion that the exchange rate used by NNPC could not be ascertained. She said the NNPC uses Central Bank’s rate. When asked if NNPC should be appropriated by the National Assembly, the Minister said though NNPC is an agency of government but autonomous and not subject to the Consolidated Account because it is being run as a commercial entity. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said of the sum of N3,613,628,377,549.65 subsidy under recovery, N2,115,977,448,734.12 (59 per cent) was paid by NNPC between 2006 and August 2011

and N1,497,650,928,815.52 (or 41 per cent) was paid by other marketers between 2006 and October 2011. The PPPRA said the under recovery is calculated as the difference between landing cost and the government approved ex-depot in respect of volume imported. The volume is determined based on quantity discharged as witnessed by relevant agencies (PPPRA, DPR, Customs, Navy, Independent cargo inspector and government approved auditors.) The Governors Forum was not present, the 24-hour grace given by the joint committee yesterday. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was represented by Deputy Governor Tunde Lemo. Also absent was Minister of Finance Mrs. Ngozi OkonjoIweala. The Association of State Commissioners for Finance was also absent. However, the proceedings on the last day were almost brought to an abrupt end by hot exchange of words among members of the committee. Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mrs Zainab Ahmed, ignited the fireworks with her presentation. She made recommendations on how the Federal Government should handle funds accruing to it

from the NNPC. The session became rowdy when one of the co-chairmen, Muraina Ajibola of Petroleum Resources (Downstream), questioned the rationale behind NEITI’s insistence that NNPC should produce the authority backing the controversial deductions. “Was the budget not enough that deductions were made in respect of subsidy that you are still asking for the authority?” Ajibola queried. This comment did not go down well with Ifedayo Abegunde, a member of the committee, who said Ajibola’s question was out of place and that he should not have attacked the NEITI boss in that manner. Abegunde said Ajibola’s question was misdirected, adding that those who could answer the question he was putting to NEITI were seated in the hall. “This line of action is wrong. Why should the Honourable be asking the Executive Secretary that kind of question? It is wrong. She has made her presentation; those that are concerned should answer that question?” Ajibola angrily responded: “When I speak, it is on behalf of my constituency and on a cause I believe in. For the purpose of history, those who know me know that I speak on my convictions. I don’t play anybody’s game; I don’t do anybody’s bid,” he said.

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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 2011

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NEWS

Judgment day draws near in Jackson’s death trial A FTER 23 days of arguments and counter arguments, the prosecution and defence in the trial of Dr. Conrad Munray for the death of Michael Jackson had their closing remarks. It’s now left for the jurors and the judge to determine whether or not he was guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not worthy of his practice licence. He also risks jail term. On Tuesday, Dr. Munray told a judge he would not testify. Minutes later, the defence rested its case and the prosecution, after presenting brief rebuttal testimony, closed its presentation of evidence in the six-week trial. Dr. Murray’s announcement came while jurors were out of the room and he was not asked to repeat it for them. Spectators, including Jackson’s mother, father, brother Randy and sister Latoya, seemed to hold their breath before Murray answered one of the biggest questions of his trial, saying he would stay away from the witness stand. The doctor held his hands together over his mouth in a prayerful pose before Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor asked the cardiologist whether he intended to take the stand. The judge lectured Murray as he had before on how the decision to testify was his alone and that he also had the right to remain silent. “Have you made up your mind?” Pastor asked. Murray paused, looked at all his lawyers, seemed to sigh and said “my decision is I will not testify in this matter.” The judge asked lead attorney Ed Chernoff if he had conferred with Murray about his rights and Chernoff said yes. “The court finds the defendant has knowingly, freely and explicitly waived his right to testify,” the judge said. “I certainly will respect that decision.” Murray had left open the possibility of testifying on Monday, when he told the judge that he had not made a decision. The judge had warned him that testifying brought with it the prospect of a tough cross-examination by the prosecution. That may have swayed him with the fact that the jury already had a chance to hear him tell his story on a recording of a police interview. When jurors returned to the courtroom, Chernoff announced that the defence had no further witnesses after calling 16 people to testify. A total of 49 witnesses testified for both sides in 22 days of trial. Prosecutors contend Murray gave Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol in the bedroom of the singer’s mansion. Defence

•Pro and anti-Dr. Munray’s protesters outside the court during one of the sessions PHOTO: AFP

attorneys claim Jackson self-administered the dose when Murray left the room. The last witness was propofol expert Dr. Steven Shafer, who was re-called by prosecutors as a rebuttal witness to address a few points raised by his former colleague, Dr. Paul White. In the final moments of testimony by White, he was asked by defence attorney J. Michael Flanagan to differentiate between the “standard of care” and the “standard of practice” by physicians. Prosecution expert witnesses have said Murray’s treatment of Jackson was an extreme deviation from the accepted standard of care. “The standard of care is the ideal,” White said. “It is what we would look for every patient.” But he suggested there are unique situations in which the standard must be adjusted to circumstances and may not reach the highest level. White testified for the defence that Jackson caused his own death. But White also said he would not have followed the same procedures that Murray did. Addressing the standard of care issue, Shafer said in special cases, such as that of Jackson where a patient is treated in a remote location, the precautions should be above the standard of care, not below. Noting that Jackson was given the drug propofol in his bedroom, he said “if there was such a thing

The case in numbers

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16

25

The number of people who testified for the defence

The mg of propofol Dr. Murray admitted giving Jackson

49

192

100

The number of witnesses that have testified for both sides

The number of the California code on which the closing arguments were made

The amount of empty bottles of propofol found in Jackson’s room

The number of days the trial has lasted so far

as bedroom-based anesthesia, the standard guidelines would be a minimum. There’s no tolerance for error because you have no backup.” Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009. He could face up to four years behind bars and the loss of his medical licence, if convicted The closing arguments revolved around California Penal Code 192 (b). It defines involuntary manslaughter as “an unlawful killing that takes place during the commission of a lawful act which involves a high risk of death or great bodily harm that is committed without due caution or circumspection.” According to the California-

based Shouse law group, a company specialising in criminal defence cases, “the phrase ‘without due caution and circumspection’ is basically synonymous with California’s legal definition of ‘criminal negligence.’” The company’s definition reads: “Criminal negligence means that the death was not the result of inattention, mistaken judgment or misadventure. But rather it was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of… aggravated, reckless or negligent conduct.” According to LA criminal defence attorney Dana Cole, there are two scenarios under which the jury could possibly convict Murray, and both depend on the jury agreeing that a doctor in his position could “reasonably foresee a high risk of death.”

The first is that the panel believes, beyond reasonable doubt, that Murray physically administered the final fatal dose of propofol to Jackson. Criminal defence attorney Dana Cole said: “Remember it is not beyond all doubt, or beyond any doubt, it is beyond reasonable doubt.” He explained that the prosecution will hope witness testimony that Murray failed to tell paramedics and doctors he had given Jackson propofol, and that there was an empty 100ml bottle of the drug in an IV bag in the singer’s room, will push the decision in their favour. Cole said: “The idea was to show to the jury that he has not told the truth to the doctors and so on, and there was this empty bottle… so why should they believe that he only gave 25mg of propofol?” The prosecution will also hope that their star medical doctor, Dr Steven Shafer, will have influenced the jury. Dr Shafer told the court the idea Jackson self-administered propofol was a “crazy scenario”, and the only plausible explanation for the levels of propofol in Jackson’s body was that his doctor had set up an IV drip of the drug and allowed it to flow into his body without supervising him. In response, the defence team could argue strongly that the prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Murray administered a final fatal dose of propofol. The defence’s star witness, Dr Paul White, has said he believes it is much more likely Jackson died after injecting himself too quickly with a syringe of propofol. The second scenario is if the jury decides that even though it is not convinced Murray administered the propofol himself, merely putting Jackson in a room with access to the drug and leaving him unsupervised constitutes an act which any doctor in the same situation could reasonably foresee would constitute a high risk of death. In response to this, the defence may argue Jackson was a grown man with responsibility for his own actions, and Murray could not have reasonably foreseen that his patient was going to self-administer the propofol and risk his own death. Cole explained the defence team may say their client is guilty of providing care that was “improper… even negligent, but not grossly or criminally negligent”. That difference, Cole explained, is the hair the defence team will hope to split to get Dr. Murray acquitted.

Comedian Baba Suwe may be freed today

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OLLYWOOD actor Babatunde Omidina may finally bid farewell to his cell at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) today, if no narcotic substance was found in his excreta. Justice Yetunde Idowu of a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, who granted the Nollywood actor, also known as Baba Suwe, bail last Tuesday had said that the ace comedian would be allowed to go home today if he did not digest any narcotic substance in the last two days. Omidina is, however, expected to meet the bail conditions, which was granted him in the sum of N500,000, the provision of one surety in like sum while his international passport in the custo-

By Adebisi Onanuga

dy of the NDLEA would be handed over to the Chief Registrar of the Lagos High Court to prevent him from travelling out of the country. Justice Yetunde Idowu, while ruling on the exparte application filed by Omidina‘s counsel, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, said the liberty of a citizen is paramount in the matter. Justice Idowu had said she would have ordered the unconditional release of Omidina last Tuesday but for the Federal High Court’s order which permitted the agency to detain him for another 15 days to determine whether or not the alleged narcotic substance would be digested. She had directed NDLEA’s

counsel Mr. Femi Oloruntoba to notify the court of any contrary development, especially if Omidina digested the suspected narcotic substance before the expiration of the Federal High Court order which would lapsed today. She noted that Omidina, despite having spent 21 days in detention, did not excrete the narcotic substance he was suspected to have ingested. “I am very concerned about the liberty of a citizen. God forbids if anything should happen to him in NDLEA custody. His life is important,” she said, adding that Omidina had overstayed in detention. “If it takes a person 21 days to excrete something and up till now he has not, will it be fair to keep him forever?” she asked, pointing

out that it would have been sensible to continue to hold Omidina in detention if the medical reports backing the alleged hard drug ingestion that the agency was relying on gave indication as to how long it would take to excrete them. In a fundamental rights enforcement application, the actor sought a declaration that his arrest and detention since October 12 by the NDLEA on suspicion of drug trafficking is in gross violation of his rights. He had demanded the payment of N100 million as damages for wrongful detention and an apology to be published in two national newspapers from the agency. However, NDLEA’s Director of Legal Services Mr. Femi Olorun-

toba had opposed Omidina’s application, saying he was not entitled to any of the reliefs sought. He argued that the agency has jurisdiction not only to arrest a person on suspicion of drug trafficking and prevention of the commission of further drug related offences. Oloruntoba had argued that the body scans to which Omidina was subjected to showed positive results that he ingested banned substances, adding that the agency obtained the Federal High Court’s order to have enough time for the suspected substance to be digested before proceeding to court. “Or how do you take a suspect to court when he has not defecated the substances?” Oloruntoba asked.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

NEWS Gbajabiamila rejects national honour From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

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ONVINCED that he has not done enough to be awarded the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) medal, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (AC N) caucus, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday rejected his nomination for the national honour. According to the opposition leader in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, the honours list usually contains names of people with questionable character. In a memo addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan, Gbajabiamila, who based his rejection on principle, said he might be so deserving of such award in the near future. He said: “Whilst I believe with all modesty that I have done my best as a legislator and diligently carried out my responsibilities as the leader of the opposition in the legislative arm of government, I do not believe my best for now is sufficient or enough to have earned or otherwise made me deserving of a national honour as required under the enabling law or international best practices. Perhaps God willing, I may be so deserving in the near future. The letter, entitled: “Nomination as recipient of National Honours 2011, the lawmaker said the honours list has had many “rotten eggs” on it every other year and this has “reduced what otherwise was a well intended and noble idea to a national joke.” The letter reads in part: “I wish to thank you very sincerely for finding me worthy of the nomination for national honours (OFR). I am truly touched by the recognition which came to me as a surprise. “Unfortunately Mr President Sir, it is with every sense of responsibility and what I believe is in the best interest of our great country and the coming generation that I politely and respectfully must decline the nomination. My reasons are as follows: “As you are probably aware, about two years ago, I authored and sponsored a Bill (The National Honours Amendment Bill) in the House of Representatives. The Bill generated a lot of controversy both in the House and public. By the Bill I sought amongst other things to reform the process by which national honours are awarded. I believed then as I do now that the process had been abused and the award was no longer what was intended by the National Honours Act of 1964. The Bill was eventually passed by the House but there was insufficient time to pass through the Senate before the end of the 6th Assembly. I intend to re introduce the same Bill in this 7th Assembly. The lawmaker noted that National Honours anywhere in the world are reserved exclusively for those who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of endeavour and that such distinction have stood them apart and head and shoulders above their peers in contributing to the political, economic or social development of the country.

Subsidy: Falana asks National Assembly to restrain NNPC from usurping PPPRA’s functions

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IGHTS activist Mr Femi Falana has called for the reconstitution of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), for allegedly failing in its statutory duties. Urging the National Assembly not to endorse the withdrawal of fuel subsidy, he said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC should be restrained from preventing the PPPRA from carrying out its legal obligations regarding importation, marketing and distribution of petroleum products. “The NNPC has no power under the law to import and sell petroleum products,” Falana said in a statement yesterday. He said the implication of fuel subsidy removal is that the pump price of petrol will jump to N144.70k, and will aggravate 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,” Falana said. According to him, the reasons adduced by government to stop fuel subsidy with effect from January 2012 are immature and dishonest. He wondered why the authorities cannot 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?” he asked. To him, the NNPC cannot interfere with the management of the funds belonging to federal, states and local governments without appropriation by the National Assembly. He urged the lawmakers to “pluck up” the courage this time around to subject the operations of the NNPC to scrutiny, since its accounts have allegedly not been submitted for verification for the past 12 years. Falana said: “With respect to fuel subsidy, the NNPC operates the Petroleum Support Fund which, is funded through imposition of monthly levy of

PDP: planned removal is surest way to economic prosperity

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HE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products as the surest way to economic prosperity. Led by its Acting Chairman, Abubakar Baraje, the party yesterday called for the support and cooperation of Nigerians to put the economy on a sound footing amid declining global economic fortunes. According to Baraje, removal of fuel subsidy would make enough resources available for infrastructure development, employment opportunities and the restoration of the middle class which has disappeared as a result of inequitable distribution of resources. He said the planned removal was in the best interest of the masses, arguing that it would bridge the inequality gap between the rich and the poor. Baraje said: “The truth of the matter is that Nigerians are well aware that the Federal Government is deeply committed to tackling decaying infrastructure, provision of jobs to our teeming youths, stimulation of investments in critical sectors and provision of security. Unfortunately, Nigeria depends on oil export earnings to run the economy. “In effect, Nigerians are more concerned with the improvement of infrastructure. They want their roads safe and motorable; they want quality education for their children; they want to see affordable and efficient health care delivery systems; they want security of lives and

By Joseph Jibueze, Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor, Sanni Onogu, Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

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 N1.5 trillion withdrawn from the Federation Account and distributed to various unnamed persons in the last 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 Ac-

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistnat Editor, Abuja

property; they also want a guaranteed supply of petroleum products at affordable cost “To accelerate this process, there must be closer collaboration between the public and the private sector in harnessing the vast potentials in the refining and the distribution of petroleum products. “It has therefore become imperative to consummate the process of deregulation which was started long time ago. The reality is that, without the de-regulation of the downstream sector of petroleum industry, the private sector is unlikely to invest in this vital sector and thereby bring more value added to the Nigerian economy” The party chairman described counter arguments advanced by those opposed to the removal of subsidy as “unrealistic and warped”, saying that they were taking advantage of government’s liberal approach to the issue to launch a campaign of calumny aimed at discrediting the government. “The PDP fully supports the patriotic determination of the Federal Government to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. We are also encouraged by Mr. President’s decision to constitute a committee of reputable Nigerians to advise on the management of the income that will accrue from the removal of subsidy for the overall benefit of all Nigerians.

count,” Falana said. The former West African Bar Association (WABA) President said in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Federal Government spent N261 billion, N278 billion, N630 billion, N421 billion and N673 billion respectively for the importation of petroleum products. He added that the National Assembly appropriated N240 billion for fuel subsidy this year. “But in contravention of the Appropriation Act 2011, the NNPC caused the Federal Ministry of Finance to release N1.3 trillion for the importation of fuel products by August 31, 2011. “Thus, from 2006-2011, Nigeria spent a total sum of N3.6 trillion on fuel import,” Falana said. The way out, he said, are effective maintenance of the four refineries and the construction of new ones, as well as building NNPC mega stations in neighbouring countries such as Benin, Togo and Niger to discourage smuggling and generate revenue for the government. For instance, Venezuela has over 2,000 gas stations in the

United States, he said. Instead of importing petroleum products from Europe at a colossal cost, Falana said the government should refine crude oil in neighbouring countries whose refineries are functioning and producing below capacity. “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 majority of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members. “It is common knowledge that Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of crude oil in the OPEC. But ours is the only country in the organisation 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,” Falana said. The absence of officials of the NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Ni-

•Permanent secretaries in Ekiti State Civil Service after their inauguration in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday

geria Ports Authority (NPA) stalled the probe of the management of the fuel subsidy by the Senate yesterday. Other agencies that also failed to honour the invitation by the Senate Joint Committee on the investigation of the management of fuel subsidy included PPPRA, Nigeria Customs Service and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Sa’ad Ibrahim. Only the Minister of Finance, Mrs.NgoziOkonjo-Iweala, honoured the invitation. The Senate had mandated its Joint Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Appropriation and Finance to investigate the use and management of fuel subsidy. The mandate followed a motion by Senator Bukola Saraki, who raised issues of shaddy deals and alleged mismanagement of fuel subsidy by those entrusted with it. Chairman of the Joint Investigative Panel, Senator Magnus Abe, said agencies that could not honour it’s invitation wrote to explain that they were attending another session in the House of Representatives. He, however, warned that those who fail to appear will incur the wrath of the Senate. Also yesterday, the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) denied being pressured by the Presidency to drop the proposed national stakeholders forum on the planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products. The forum, where former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Olisa Agbakoba, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese Rev. Mathew Kukah, Falana and Mrs Okonjo-Iweala were expected to participate was initially scheduled for yesterday and today at the National Assembly. Chairman of the committee, Dakuru Peterside, at a briefing said the forum was an independent platform for the antagonists and those in favour to air their views on the controversial issue. He also said the postponement would neither affect the presentation of next year’s budget to the House nor its debate. According to him, the shift in date was necessitated by the absence of key participants due to their participation in the on-going International Bar conference in the United Arab Emirate (UAE).


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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NEWS

Boko Haram threat: IGP orders 24-hour surveillance during Sallah A HEAD of the Eid-elKabir celebrations and fears that the Boko Haram Islamic sect might carry out bomb attacks, the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, has directed 24-hour patrols, increased surveillance and vigilance on key and vulnerable points across the country. He has mandated Zonal Assistant Inspector-Generals and Police Commissioners to deploy men of the Anti-Terrorist and Anti-Bomb squads in black spots. In a statement by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Yemi Ajayi, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Ringim directed the officers to carry out stopand-search and be on a 24hour red alert at locations identified as possible targets by terrorists and other criminals. The statement reads: “IGP Ringim has assured Nigerians and non-Nigerians of tight security during and after upcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebration. “One of the major responsibilities of the police is to ensure safety of life and

NSCDC deploys 35,000 for Eid-el-Kabir HE Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ade Abolurin, has ordered the deployment of 35,000 officers and men of the corps to ensure the safety of life and property during the Eidel-Kabir celebration. In a statement yesterday by NSCDC spokesman, Emmanuel Okeh, Abolurin rejoiced with President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice-President Namadi Sambo, and Muslim faithful on the Sallah festivities. He urged them to imbibe the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. Abolurin said state commandants have been instructed to deploy personnel in different parts of the country, including the Federal Capital Teritory (FCT) Command and the National Headquarters, to checkmate criminals who may breach the peace during the celebration.

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property of all and sundry at all times. This assurance is highly important as larger percentage of Nigerians and non-Nigerians will be moving from one part of the country to the other.

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

He warned criminals to desist from any act that might breach the peace as the Corps personnel are on the watch to deal resolutely with culprits. Abolurin said: “It should be noted by all, that the Corps has put in place machinery to curb the wave of crime and ensure that anyone caught engaging in criminal activities will face the full wrath of the law. Everyone should be security-conscious by giving useful information about any suspicious act or movement in and around their environment.” He reiterated that merry-makers and fun seekers should do everything in moderation to avert any form of disaster, noting that criminals and other nefarious individuals usually take advantage of this period to perpetrate evil. The NSCDC boss called all hands to be on

“The IGP has, therefore, directed 24-hour patrols, increased surveillance and vigilance on all key and vulnerable points across the country. The zonal AIGs and commissioners of police have

been mandated to effectively deploy men of the Anti-Terrorist and Anti-Bomb squads, particularly to the areas that have been identified as black spots.

“The Nigeria Police is using this medium to call on members of the public to always report all suspicious persons, movements and objects to the law enforcement agencies closest to them, as men of the Force have been ordered to be on red alert and to immediately respond to distress calls nationwide. “ In a goodwill message to mark the Sallah celebrations, Ringim urged Muslims to emulate and reflect the teachings and life of Prophet Mohammed in their dealings and conducts. He described Eid-el-Kabir as a period when the fear of Allah must be given utmost priority in the lives of believers. Saluting officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force for their tireless, courageous and selfless services to the nation, he assured them that the Force was unwavering to revive and restore the Force’s principles of industry, efficiency and dedication to duty. Ringim directed zonal AIGs and commissioners of police to be firm in ensuring that criminals do not have breathing space during and after the celebration.

Hajj: 19 Nigerian pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia

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INETEEN Nigerian pilgrims currently on pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, have died. Five other Nigerian women on pilgrimage had miscarriages from the rigours of the Hajj exercise, while a 75-year-old man was reported to have fallen from a high rise. Expectant mothers are disqualified from performing Hajj but many women have been found to have compromised the rules. Over 88,000 Nigerians are currently in Saudi Arabia to perform the Islamic spiritual injunction, according to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). A source said the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia confirmed that 19 pilgrims have died since the Hajj began two weeks ago, saying some of the pilgrims died in road accidents. The Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ibraheem Minci, was quoted as saying, on Wednesday, during the pre-Arafat meeting, that some of the deaths among the women were caused by still births. Condoling with the families, Minci prayed God to grant the deceased a smooth passage to heaven. He said the Hajj, this year, has been successful, praying it would continue like that during the pilgrims’ movement to Muna, Arafat and back to the country. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, called for investigation into the fall of a 75-year-old man from a high rise in Mecca. He urged the pilgrims to maintain disci-

By Miriam Ndikanwu

pline throughout the period of the pilgrimage. The Sultan urged the pilgrims to pray for the continued peace and unity in Nigeria. NAHCON Chairman Alhaji Musa Bello blamed logistics for the failure of some Nigerian pilgrims to make it to Saudi Arabia. He said NAHCON arrived Saudi Arabia before the closure of the Jeddah Airport. The Lagos State Hajj Tribunal has said none of the state’s pilgrims has been sanctioned in Saudi Arabia. The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Kafeel Dawodu, who spoke in Makkah, attributed the development to discipline and brotherhood exhibited by the pilgrims. He said the tribunal has curbed lawlessness among pilgrims, adding that they often resolve disputes among themselves whenever such occur. Dawodu said the tribunal educated pilgrims on the need to maintain peace and be good ambassadors of Nigeria in the holy land. According to him, complaint sheets are made available to the pilgrims to file their cases before the tribunal, adding that the committee intervenes when notified of any incident.

1.3m to vote in Kogi, says INEC

HE Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, yesterday said 1,322,572 of the 1,363,844 registered voters would vote in the December 3 governorship election in Kogi State. Jega said 41,272 voters, who registered during the national registration, have been disqualified for multiple registration in the state. Jega, who spoke through the National Supervising Commissioner in charge of Kogi, Nasarawa and Plateau states, Dr. Abdulkadri

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From Mohammed basher, Lokoja

Oniyangi, at the presentation of the updated voters register, noted that INEC is set to conduct a free, fair and credible election in Kogi State on December 3. He said anyone, whose name is not found in the updated register, would not be allowed to vote, adding that Kogi is a test case in the renewed determination of the commission to conduct an election that meets the yearnings of Nigerians and international standard. Praising security agencies on their role during the last

elections, Jega said they must redouble their efforts as Nigerians expect more from them. The new Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Ahmad Makama, promised to provide a levelplaying field for all political parties in the state. He urged the residents to cooperate with INEC to make the exercise a success. He said INEC has taken the first step by publishing the voters register and making it available to the electorate and other stakeholders in the state. He urged the parties to sensitise their supporters on the need for a hitch-free election.

• A masked robbery suspect paraded with a locally made pistol in Lafia, Nasarawa State...yesterday

FRSC moves to check accidents during Sallah •Arrests 2,536 traffic offenders in FCT From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

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O reduce road crashes during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has begun a nationwide special patrol, tagged: Operation Safer Roads, Happy Sallah, from November 3 to 10. A statement yesterday by the Corps Public Education Officer, Nseobong Akpabio, said the operation is part of measures to ensure sanity on the highways during this year’s Eid-el-Kabri celebrations. He said the operation is an all-inclusive exercise which will witness intensive patrols, prompt rescue services, strict enforcement of traffic rules and robust public enlightenment campaigns across the nation. The details of the objectives of the special exercise, he said, include the removal of obstructions from the highways, traffic control/decongestion, public enlightenment campaigns through the distribution of safety handbills and other forms of awareness campaign in addition to strict enforcement of road traffic regulation infractions such as non-use of seat belt, use of cell phone while driving, overloading, excessive smoke emission, speed violation, dangerous driving/ overtaking, light sign violation and other road vices, would be strictly monitored. He said: “As usual, the FRSC has embarked on a massive deployment of personnel, patrol vehicles, motor bikes, tow trucks and ambulances in designated corridors and black spots such as Yangoji, Lokoja, Lagos, Benin, Ore, Jos, Potiskum, Bauchi, Lafia, Makurdi, 9th Mile and Kano, besides the establishment of mobile courts at specific locations for quick dispensation with road traffic offences. “Against this backdrop, motorists are hereby warned to ensure strictcompliance with all traffic rules and regulations and proper maintenance of vehicles which ply the highways as there will be no waiver for any infractions by motorists.”

Doctors seek ban of counter sales of antibiotics HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday called for enforcement of laws banning over-the-counter sale of antibiotics. Addressing reporters in Abuja at the 2011 Physician’s Week, its Chairman, Dr. Nicholas Baamlong, said drug resistance has resulted in the death of many Nigerians, especially tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS sufferers. He blamed pharmacists and quacks for the abuse of antibiotics in Nigeria. Baamlong said: “There is urgent need to enforce laws banning over-the-counter sale of antibiotics and Nigeria should have a national antibiotic policy which hospitals can

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From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

incorporate into their facility drug guidelines. “In Nigeria today, failure to keep substandard products off the market and ensure that antimicrobials are dispensed only by licensed prescribers are some of the factors responsible for development of anti-microbial drug resistance. “For some diseases, such as malaria, early signals of artemisinin resistance have already been detected. The incidence of multi-drug resistance tuberculosis is also on the increase and so many are now dying of TB and HIV/ AIDS due to such drug resistance.”


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

NEWS ACN advises Lagos PDP to go to court

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Lagos State has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to seek redress in court, if it doubts the credibility of last month’s local government poll. In a statement, ACN Publicity Secretary Mr. Joe Igbokwe warned the PDP against heating up the polity. The statement reads: “When PDP stole our mandates in Ekiti, Osun and Edo states, we did not resort to violence; we did not harass

anyone or threaten fire and brimstone. We went from one court to the other to seek redress and it took us three years to get justice. “PDP can learn from these examples. If PDP has sufficient evidence to prove that it won any council seat in Lagos, it should gather its lawyers and facts, and head for the Election Petition Tribunal prove its cases beyond reasonable doubt. But if Lagos PDP cannot do this, we advise its members to hold their peace.”

Award for David Mark tomorrow

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ENATE President David Mark will be honoured tomorrow at the annual Utako Day celebration in Igbotako, Ondo State. Chairman of the event’s organising committee Mr. Tayo Ayodele said Mark and some others would be honoured for their contribution to the development of Ikale and the society. The event would feature a beauty contest, among other side attractions. The Jagunmolu of Ikale, Prince Olu Bajowa (OFR), said: “The primary aim of this year’s Utako Day is to celebrate the late Minister for Communications, Olu Akinfesile, by building a hall in his memory, as one of our heroes past.” This year’s celebration will begin today with a gala night.

Attempted murder: Actress arraigned

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YORUBA actress, Bimbo Akinsanya (34), has been arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court in Ikeja, Lagos, for allegedly sending a boy to kill a woman, Rev. Pat Dennah, and shooting her in the shoulder. Police prosecutor Barth Nwokedi said the incident occurred on October 28 at No. 20, Samuel Street, Egbe-

By Joseph Jibueze

da, at about 8.30pm. Nwokedi said Akinsanya conspired with others at large to commit the alleged offence. Akinsanya pleaded not guilty. Magistrate A. Isaac granted her bail for N100,000 with two sureties and adjourned till November 30.

Dabiri-Erewa for lecture today From Olorunleke Akeredolu Akure

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MEMBER of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, will, today, deliver a lecture at the Press Week of the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC). The theme of the lecture, tagged Ayo Duyile Memorial Lecture, is: “The press and democracy in Nigeria: The place of the Freedom of Information Act.” It will be chaired by the head teacher of Kings College, Lagos State, Otunba Dele Olapeju.

Two suspected robbers held in Ondo

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HE Police in Ondo State have arrested two suspected bank robbers, Muktar Aliu (23) and Oni Audu (24). Commissioner for Police Sanni Mogagi said they are members of a gang that robbed a bank in Owo on Wednesday. Mogaji said: “A gang of armed robbers invaded a bank in Owo, blew off the security doors with dynamites and stole an unspecified amount of money.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

“A team of policemen immediately mobilised to the scene and engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel.” He said the hoodlums fled into the bush on Epinmi/ Eporo road, but two of them were apprehended. A Toyota Avalon car numbered Lagos BH 473 EKY, one AK 49 rifle, 12 empty magazines, N59,050 and five AK 47 rifles wee recovered from the suspects.

Dipo Dina’s murder: Court begins hearing Jan 12

•Adviser, National Association of Local Government (NASLOGOS), Mr. Fatai Olasupo Adviser; Guest Lecturer Dr. Joe OkeiOdumakin and Chairman of Occasion Alh. Fatai Kolawole at a public lecture in Lagos.

Aregbesola advocates efficient rail system

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SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said a vibrant rail system is needed to boost Nigeria’s economy. Aregbesola spoke yesterday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC). He said no nation in the world depends solely on road transportation. Aregbesola said: “Sole reliance on road transportation

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From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

has affected the nation’s economy adversely. It is high time the Federal Government improved our air and waterways for efficient transportation. Anywhere in the world, a combination of transportation systems makes a nation. “We have overused our roads and need the alternative of a viable rail system. It is, therefore, necessary for government to develop other

means of transportation.” He said food products from the state would be exchanged for finished products from Lagos State at a market in Dagbolu, a small community in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state, through rail. NRC’s Managing Director Adeseyi Sijuwade said the corporation, in collaboration with the Osun State Government, would boost the state’s economy through freight services.

Sijuwade said the NRC has dedicated wagons to service the state. He said: “When the NRC completes ongoing rehabilitation of its facilities, we shall collaborate with other state governments, organisations and any person that requires our services. “This is a development that is in conformity with our home grown strategy to public private partnership, aimed at delivering quality rail transport services to Nigerians.”

Osogbo protest over sleepy firms enters second day

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NDIGENES of Osogbo, the Osun State capital, yesterday continued Wednesday’s protest over the lack of activities at two privatised companies in the town, since 2006. The companies are Integrated Steel Company, owned by Kura Holdings, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, and Nigerian Machine Tools,

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

owned by Bronwen Energy Limited. Former President of the Osogbo Progressives Union Alhaji Ajadi Badmus, who led the protesters, faulted a comment credited to the Managing Director of Integrated Steel Company, Mr. Bharat

Lal, that the protest was sponsored by disgruntled contractors. Badmus challenged Lal to mention the names of such contractors. He said: “We have nothing against anyone, but our stake is the future of Osogbo and the young people living here. We cannot afford to watch such edifices, with ca-

pacity for multiple economic turn over, lie fallow and keep quiet.” The protesters called on the Bureau of Private Enterprise (BPE) to review its contract with the two companies, if they are not ready to begin operations. Lal said the company would begin operation next month.

PDP can’t win election again in Ondo, says ACN

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot win the coming governorship election in the state. In a statement yesterday, ACN’s Publicity Director Gbenga Akinmoyo said PDP had lost its credibility. The statement reads: “PDP has mismanaged its success. It was fortunate to have a number of dedicated and politically astute members, but failed to manage its success. It has lost many talented individuals since 2006.

•PDP: no party can match us From Damisi Ojo, Akure

“It is no wonder that PDP lost out in the battle for the Government House, following the 2007 election. “PDP had an opportunity to reaffirm its position during several by-elections conducted between 2009 & 2010, but they lost all of them to the Labour Party (LP). “PDP also suffered several defections in the Federal and State Assemblies, leading to a loss of its majority hold. The

final blow came in the April general elections, where PDP showed that it was no longer a force to reckon with in the politics of Ondo State. “Also, members are leaving the LP for the ACN on a daily basis, and their main complaint is that Governor Olusegun Mimiko is running a unilateral military-style government, as well as controlling the LP. “As LP chieftains, such as Dr. Olaiya Oni, Mr. Omololu Meroyi, Mr. Saka Lawal, Mr. Dapo Fashesin, Alhaji Abdul

Fayemi swears in nine permanent secretaries

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

MAGISTRATE’S Court in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, has slated January 12, next year for the hearing of a case involving Kposou Kiki (30), who allegedly killed the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in the April 2007 elections, Otunba Dipo Dina, after robbing him of his Toyota Camry car at gun point. Dina was killed on January 25, last year, on Ota-Idiroko road. Kiki was arraigned on Monday and remanded in prison custody. The Magistrate, Mrs. O. Stanley, denied him bail. She ordered the police to duplicate and forward the case file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.

•Osun signs MoU with NRC

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KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday swore in nine permanent secretaries. They are Mr. Olusola Dada, Dr. Eunice Dada, Mr. Ayodeji Ajayi, Mr. Adedeji Adebayo, Mr. Tayo Aluko, Mr. Abe Kayode, Mr. Gbenga Faseluka, Mrs. Funmilayo Ajayi and Mr. OgundareBoluwaji. The event took place at Adetiloye Hall in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Fayemi urged them to shun partisan politics in the discharge of

their duties. He said: “You were not appointed permanent secretaries because of your closeness to ACN or any other party, but because you have proved to be capable, having emerged from a competitive process. So, this is not the time for you to join politics.” The governor said the civil service needs to be transformed, because its “top echelon had been abused and politicised.” He urged the new appoin-

and Mr. Abiodun Jerome, to mention a few, continue to resign and join the ACN, it is apparent in which direction the balance of power is shifting.” PDP’s Publicity Director Mr. Ayo Fadaka said the party is determined to win the next governorship election. Fadaka said: “PDP remains a party to beat. We have put machinery in place to take over the state.” He said PDP had been tested and its performance while in governance cannot be equalled in the state.

Sallah: LAGBUS offers free ride By Miriam Ndikanwu

•Dr. Fayemi

tees to reinvigorate the civil service, which he described as “the engine room of government.”

THE Lagos State Bus Service (LAGBUS) will offer free rides to Lagosians between 7am and 10pm on Eid-el-Kabir Day. The free service will cover all its routes. LAGBUS Managing Director Mr. Tunde Disu urged residents to take advantage of the service.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

NEWS Woman acquitted of six-year old boy’s murder By Joseph Jibueze

A WOMAN accused of murdering a six year-old boy was yesterday acquitted by a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, because the prosecution failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. Mrs Kehinde Folami was charged in May last year with one count of killing Wasiu Afolabi in Ikorodu, Lagos State on May 25, 2008. Afolabi’s mother said she sent his only son to Folami’s shop at about 6.30pm to buy a candle, but he never returned. The family and neighbours searched everywhere but could not find him. The police said the deceased’s remains were found the next day in a cooler in Folami’s shop. Justice Habib Abiru said the prosecution failed “woefully” to prove the circumstantial evidence they relied on. “For circumstantial evidence to earn conviction, it must be complete, unequivocal and compelling. It must not give room for reasonable doubt,” the judge said. A pathologist, Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa, who conducted the autopsy, had testified that the boy’s body was not mutilated, so the cause of death was not known. He said the post-mortem was done on June 11, 2008, when the body was already decomposing because it was not properly embalmed. . The prosecution claimed that since Folami was the last to see Afolabi, with his corpse found on her, she must have killed and hid him, but Justice Abiru held that “the doctrine of last seen” could only apply where the cause of death was known.

Group seeks improved politics THE Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum (YRLF) has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to lead the way by encouraging internal democracy within the party. In a statement yesterday, the group refers to the Bayelsa PDP primary in which Governor Timipre Sylva is battling to save his political career. The group’s SecretaryGeneral Mr Akin Malaolu said: “Aside the ongoing agitations against removal of petroleum subsidy, two major incidents are happening simultaneously that could destroy party politics in Bayelsa and Ondo states if knowledgeable and sensible people remain unconcerned. “The hierarchy of the PDP may be gambling with the fortunes of their party in the two states to the consternation of its members in the forthcoming governorship elections. In Ondo State for instance, the PDP national executive with the connivance of the powers that-be are in deep romance with another party in the state thereby putting the state PDP at a disadvantage. “We believe that this is injurious to party politics and should be corrected immediately by President Goodluck Jonathan, so that the political space can be more democratic.”

Police quiz man over daughter’s murder

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ETECTIVES at the Homicide Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) are grilling one Mr Jonah Odubada, who allegedly tortured his daughter to death in Badagry, a Lagos suburb. The victim, 19-year-old Kehinde, was until her death, a petty trader and lived with her husband in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. Odubada was said to have been uncomfortable with the choice of his daughter’s husband, which had widened the gulf between the duo, according to an eye witness’s account. The Nation gathered that Odubada, a farmer,who lived in Idosiju Quarters, Imeke Badagry, was said to have invited the deceased

By Adegunle Olugbamila

home on October 7, via a distress call. The suspect reportedly beat up his daughter, and thereafter tied her to a stake before another accomplice, a spiritualist who also lived in the area, was invited to apply incisions on the deceased’s body. It was in the process that Kehinde reportedly died. The father then hid the body in his house until the following evening (Sunday), and with the assistance of two neigbours- Ganiyu Amusa and Emmanuel Odubada buried Kehinde secretly on a land bequeathed to the deceased by her late mother”, an eyewitness who pleaded anonymity claimed. Residents, who were disturbed by Kehinde’s cry of

‘She had lived here for many years before she got married and we all knew she was not a mad woman”, said a resident who pleaded anonymity’ anguish became suspicious the following day and confronted Odubada, who confessed to the crime.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Badagry Police Station where the case was initially reported, told The Nation on phone that Odubada claimed her late daughter was mentally challenged, becoming uncontrollably wild, noting that he had no choice than invite a spiritualist to administer incisions on her. But many of Odubada’s neighbours disputed his claims, saying the deceased was hale, hearty and of sound mind. “She had lived here for many years before she got married and we all knew she was not a mad woman”, said a resident who pleaded anonymity. Another resident said: “We have both Christian and Muslim burial grounds

in this community. If Odubada was not up to some game, why did he bury her daughter at midnight when everybody was asleep and why bury her in the bush when we have two burial grounds?” Other residents said Kehinde who was once married to a native of the community, and had an issue for him about four years ago, before her second marriage was mentally okay for as long as her first marriage lasted. The Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Samuel Jinadu, confirmed the incident and the arrest of Odubada and Ibileru. “The case has since been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department Panti for investigation,” he told our reporter.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

NEWS Alleged murder: Council DG declared wanted •Six arrested From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

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HE Benue State Police Command has declared wanted the Director-General (Service and Administration) of Gwer Local Government Area, Salem Atsehe, for the alleged murder of a Gboko businessman, Thaddeus Ayabam. The police issued an arrest warrant on Atsehe following a search on his home by men of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Six people were arrested in the home with arms and ammunition. Police spokesman Ejike Alaribe, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the killing of Ayabam, saying the police have arrested six suspects in connection with the incident. He said the police have launched a manhunt for Atsehe. Following the killing, a Makurdi lawyer, Oscar Aorabee, on behalf of the Ayabam family, petitioned the Commissioner of Police, accusing Atsehe of complicity.

Boko Haram kills soldier in Borno JTF recovers 5,000 arms, ammunition

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SOLDIER attached to the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri was yesterday shot dead by a suspected member of Boko Haram The soldier was deploy to be guarding a market before his was fatally killed. A military spokesman says

Maduguri

a radical Muslim sect in Nigeria’s northeast has shot and killed an on-duty soldier charged with guarding a market. Lt. Col. Hassan Mohammed said a Boko Haram member shot the soldier. According to him the sol-

dier was fatally shot after he walked away from his post late on Wednesday night to talk to civilians nearby. Co. Mohammed said a suspected member of the Boko Haram sect pulled a Kalashnikov rifle from his robes and opened fire, hitting the soldier in his chest and head.

No arrest had been made, he said. in the killing Thursday. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a string of assassinations and bombings in northern Nigeria in its campaign to implement strict Shariah law in Africa’s most populous nation.

Crises have eroded peace in North, says ACF

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HE Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday said the crises in the northern region have assumed a dangerous dimension and require input from governors, traditional rulers and lawmakers. The forum urged the Federal Government, the 19 northern governors, lawmakers and monarchs to find a lasting solution to the problems in the region. The Chairman of ACF Peace and Planning Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Gusau, spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, when he visited Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. He urged monarchs and representatives of the peo-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

ple of the North to fight the threat to peace of the region. Gusau lamented that the crises have eroded the peace the northerners were known for, adding that an average northerner used to be known to be peaceful, accommodating and his brothers’ keepers without bias for location, tribe or religion. The former Sokoto State deputy governor urged Nigerians to support the North’s peace initiatives, noting that to realise Vision 20:2020, “one leg of the country should not be in crises”. Ahmed attributed the in-

‘We have the problem of leadership. Our leaders have slept off. Our leaders, who should have been committed to the common goal of developing the region, have become self-centred’ cessant crises in the North to the inability of its leaders to discharge their responsibilities well. He lamented that the crises in the region contradict the principle of brotherhood

entrenched by the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, and other leaders of the old Northern region. Ahmed said: “We have the problem of leadership. Our leaders have slept off. Our leaders, who should have been committed to the common goal of developing the region, have become selfcentred. This affects the political stability, economy and education.” Instead of fighting the people of Southsouth over resource control, Ahmed urged northerners to focus attention on agriculture, saying the sector gave the region so much income in the past.

Tribunal upholds Aliyu’s election From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Fidau for ex-textile supervisor A FORMER Supervisor at the Finishing Department of United Nigeria Textile Limited (UNTL), Kaduna, Mallam Ibrahim Folorunsho Mamud is dead. He was 65. A prayer will be held tomorrow at his home in Isale Apata area of Kaduna and a fidau will also be held for him at Customs Quarters, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, on Sunday at 10am. He is survived by a wife, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and inlaws, including Mr Olamilekan Andu of The Nation, Lagos.

From Abiodun Williams,

•Aliyu

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HE Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Minna, the Niger State capital, yesterday upheld the victory of Governor Babangida Aliyu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 26 election. Dismissing the petition of

the Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) and its governorship candidate, Alhaji Ibrahim Bako Shettima, tribunal Chairman Justice Pascal Nnadi held that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations beyond reasonable doubt. He noted that the petitioners failed to prove allegations of corrupt practices and bribery during the election. According to him, the evidence presented was classified as hearsay, adding that this is not admissible in law. Justice Nnadi said though it was evident that there were irregularities during the election in 19 local governments, as alleged in the petition, the depth of the ir-

regularities did not affect the valid votes cast. He said of the 3,185 polling units in the state, the petitioners proved cases of irregularities in 398 units, hence the tribunal voided the results from three polling units, one each in Chanchaga, Mashegu and Suleja local government areas. It declared some votes recorded by both candidates as invalid. The tribunal chairman said 170,988 votes of the PDP candidate were rejected while the petitioner also lost 61,697 votes from the earlier votes declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the April 26 governorship election. Having deducted the invalid and unlawful votes,

the tribunal reaffirmed the election of Aliyu with 372,217 votes against the 163,071 votes polled by his challenger. The tribunal also ruled that the PDP candidate fulfilled the majority clause and the spread of two-thirds of the votes cast in the state as required by the law. Justice Nnadi said: “There is nothing showing the figure in terms of votes that the second petitioner scored the highest number of votes or have more than one-quarter votes in each of the 25 local government areas in the state. With the difference of 209,136 votes, the second respondent have the majority of lawful valid votes and won more than one-quarter in each of the 25 local government in the state.

Police parade ASP ‘impostor’, robbery suspects in Nasarawa From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

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DISMISSED police officer, Moses Ejiga, was yesterday paraded in Lafia, Nasarawa State, for impersonating an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and defrauding unsuspecting persons, including a pastor. Ejiga was paraded with 10 others who were said to be suspected armed robbers. Police Commissioner Musa Daura told reporters that Ejiga allegedly defrauded a pastor of The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Movement in Lafia, Emeka Joseph, while wearing an ASP uniform. Ejiga is said to hail from Ogbadigbo Local Government Area of Benue State and has been dismissed from the Police Force. The suspect was reportedly dismissed from the Police on June 17, this year. He was said to have confessed to the crime. Ejiga claimed that he bought the uniform in Benue State to enable him have access to authorities who would push for his reinstatement. Parading the other 10 robbery suspects, Daura said his men smashed a gang of robbers on Keffi/Gitata road last month while they were robbing motorists. The command, he also said, arrested the leader of a robbery gang in his hideout at Keana, headquarters of Keana Local Government Area. Daura said a military team, code-named Operation Flush, intercepted a Volkswagen Golf car with registration number (Kano) BJ574NSR. Following a search on the vehicle, after its occupant had fled into the bush, the police chief said five AK-47 rifles were found concealed in the bonnet. Daura said further investigation led to the arrest of the driver, Abdullahi Lawal, which also led to the arrest of the suspected gang leader, Abubakar Muhammed. He gave the names of the other suspects as Mohammed Ibrahim, Abdullahi Adamu, Abdullahi Yusuf and Abdullahi Lawal, saying they would be charged to court.

Securityoperatives in Jos meet over Sallah T HE Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crises, code-named Operation Safe Haven, has held security meetings with religious leaders and other stakeholders in Jos, the Plateau State capital, over security measures for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration on Sunday. Though the STF encompasses all security agencies in the state, the Muslim community expressed reservations over the outcome of the meeting. The task force reportedly held a separate meeting with the police command and the Director of State Security Service (SSS). The Islamic group is expected to issue a statement at the end of its meeting on the conditions given by security agencies regarding places its members could worship. An earlier statement by the STF restricted the areas of worship for Muslims and warned them to avoid Rukuba Road and Polo field. The STF said: “To have a hitch-free Sallah celebration devoid of violence, the STF and other security agencies wish to intimate the public, especially the Muslim ummah, with the decisions of stakeholders at a security meeting held on October 31 at the Police

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

Officers’ Mess in Jos. “The stakeholders’ security meeting resolved that the two eid prayer grounds of Polo Club and Rukuba Road should not be used for this year’s Sallah prayers. The suspension of the two prayer grounds is temporary as the issue will be revisited in due course. “It is the wish of the STF and the people of Plateau State that this Sallah be celebrated without violence.” But the Muslim ummah said it was not comfortable with the STF suspension of prayers in the two sites. They have held another meeting with the police command and the SSS. Out of the seven eid prayer grounds in Jos, the two sites suspended are the largest. Majority of the Muslims in Jos gather there annually for their eid prayers. In the last Sallah prayers held about months ago at the Rukuba Road prayer ground, there was a bloody clash when the Izala Islamic group defied security advice and held its prayers at the site. The violence led to several deaths and destruction of property.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

11

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Naira to ease ahead of trading band review

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LL eyes are likely to be on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) next week to see whether it is going to allow the mid-point of its naira trading band to weaken. Reuters News said the naira is likely to depreciate next week because of uncertainty over a CBN review of its target band for the currency. The banking watchdog has been trying to keep the naira in a +/- 3 per cent band around N150 to the dollar, but the CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi told Reuters on Monday the bank would review that framework in the next few days. Depending on where the exchange rate settled, it may move the midpoint to N155/ 156 to the dollar, he said. Traders said sentiment favoured further depreciation in view of the new thinking in the apex bank. “There is a lot of uncertainty in the market considering the new thinking by the central bank on reviewing the present target band upward,” one trader said. The currency was trading at N157.80 to the dollar on the interbank market yesterday, level with Wednesday’s close. “The market is currently stable as a result of large dollar sales by some energy companies on Wednesday, but could open next week weaker as the market is expecting the central bank’s new direction on the naira,” another dealer said. Traders said the naira closed weaker at the biweekly auction on Wednesday as the regulator sold only $180 million at N150.73 to the dollar, short of the $262.96 million demanded, and $200 million at N150.25 to the dollar on Monday.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$112/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 -9.3% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.82% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -10.23% Time Deposit -7% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $30.8b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL

-

0.281 213.2 245.00 156.91 1.5652 245.8 40.57

At SEC, we are building a world class capital market that is deep, dynamic, effectively enforced and is able to adapt and evolve with global economic developments. -Dr Arunma Oteh, DG SEC

Fed Govt to re-introduce toll gates next year Y

EARS after they were scrapped, tollgates would be back on the highways across the country next year, the Federal Government said yesterday. According to Works Minister Mike Onolememen, the introduction of the facilities was aimed at generating revenue for the repair and rehabilitation of deplorable federal roads. The scrapping and dismantling of tollgates across the country was ordered by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004. Obasanjo accused managers of the tollgates of using them as an avenue to perpetuate corruption. The Minister unfolded plan of the re-introduction of the money spinning tollgates system at an interac-

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

tive session with the Senate Committee on works. He said the decision to abrogate toll plazas across the country was a disservice to road maintenance. The abrogation of toll plazas, he said, had completely robbed the road sector of the critical income that should have been used to maintain and rehabilitate roads. The minister also hinted that his ministry planned to set up a road fund. According to him, the ministry was working towards getting a draft policy on reinventing tollgate collection

that would be made available to the Works Committee before the end of the year. He said: “We are going to raise a Bill to introduce a policy that will gradually lead to the rehabilitation of our roads by re-introducing tollgates across the country. “This is because it is one of the ways that can guarantee sustainable development of our road network. We realise that our road sector needs a major reformation effort. From 2012, we are going to reintroduce the tolling policy as we set about rehabilitating our roads. “We have set in motion all necessary machineries that

will lead to the maintenance and rehabilitation of Federal Government roads through the formulation of road maintenance policy.” Onolememen said that his ministry has taken an inspection tour of the six geopolitical zones to ascertain the state of the roads, assuring that repair works would start soon. The Federal Government, he added, will introduce other fines for the violation of traffic on the highways. He said the idea was aimed at mopping up revenue for the maintenance and rehabilitation of roads. The minister informed that work was ongoing on the Second Niger Bridge even as he insisted that the Federal Government has not abandoned the project.

• Asst. Comptroller General of Customs, Iya Abubakar and Coordinating Director, Corporate Development Group, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Osy Chuke, at the unveiling of the new Importer’s Taxpayer Identification Number, held in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA.

$420m Alaoji power project begins

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ICE President Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo has announced the commencement of the $420 million pipeline project to Alaoji Power Plant. The project, which is expected to be completed within 18 months would provide gas for the Alaoji power project. The vice president spoke when he received the Chief Executive Officer of Total Exploration and Production, Louis Darricarrere, who paid him a courtesy visit.

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

He also reinstated the government’s determination to support the private sector to take its place as the driver of the economy. Sambo explained to Darricarrere the security measures put in place by the Federal Government to arrest oil pollution and bunkering in the Niger Delta region and efforts geared towards addressing the general security situation of the country. He assured the company of

the readiness of government to address such encumbrances that could pose a problem to their future investment especially in the area of power, which he noted, is government’s first priority. The vice president advised the company to put in writing issues militating against their progress so that the government will address them. He also noted with delight Total (Int) Plc’s investment in Nigeria, which is above

$20 billion in the oil and gas sectors of the economy. Earlier, the CEO of Total Explorations and Productions Upstream Sector, Louis Darricarrere, had expressed total confidence in doing business in Nigeria and stated that some of their shareholders had accused them of over-investing in Nigeria. He noted the ever friendly investment climate provided by Nigeria and stated that Total had no regrets for the decision.

BA Stakeholders seek protection for domestic airlines

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TAKEHOLDERS in the aviation industry yesterday called on the Federal Government to initiate protectionist policies that will position indigenous carriers to compete favourably with mega carriers. The federal government had last Wednesday reduced the frequency of British Airways (BA) flights from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport into London, Heathrow. from the seven times a week to three. This was al-

By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

leged to be a retaliatory given that Arik Air had last week said that the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) signed between Nigeria and Britain was only beneficial to BA. Speaking with The Nation yesterday, the President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies ( NANTA), Mr Adetayo Adeola, faulted the flight reduction by the government. He said the government should have evolved

a national aviation policy that will protect indigenous carriers, which fly out of Nigeria into different routes. This he said would help in developing the Nigerian aviation industry. Adeola said : “What has happened between British Airways, Arik Air and the Federal Government is a matter of commercial decision by the parties involved. If Arik Air is denied landing rights in London, it is a commercial decision on the part of the parties involved. Why the Federal Government

should be allowing British Airways to be landing twice daily in Nigeria when Nigerian carriers do not enjoy such favours into the United Kingdom?”. Also speaking, Chris Aligbe , an aviation consultant advocated the engagement of foreign carriers by the Nigerian government on the terms of engagement that will give an edge to the local operators. He also called for the review of all existing air pact , which is lopsided against Nigerian carriers.

Globacom launches services in Ghana By Adline Atili

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HANAIANS are set to witness a revolution that will change the telecommunications landscape of the country, as Globacom, Nigeria’s Second National Carrier launches telecommunications services in Ghana. Globacom acquired a licence to operate telecom services in the country in 2008 and has since then, pursued a rigorous programme of developing a world-class telecommunications network to provide extensive 3G coverage in Ghana. The company’s Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO), Mr. Mohamed Jameel in a statement said: “Ghanaians are set to experience world-class telecommunications service with the launch on 17th November, of Globacom services in Ghana. “Since acquiring licence in 2008, we have pursued a rigorous programme of developing a world-class telecommunications network to provide extensive Third Generation (3G) coverage in Ghana. Our suite of high quality and reliable voice and data services at very competitive rates will change the face of telecom services in that country.” According to Jameel, the Glo Mobile Ghana network will be supported by the Glo 1 submarine cable, inaugurated 2009 in Ghana, to provide superior voice and highspeed Internet services to subscribers in the country.

L&Z is best integrated farm

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&Z Ltd has won the first prize as Nigeria’s best Integrated Farm during the 2011 National Agricultural Show in Keffi, Nasarawa State. L & Z farms, which is based in Kano was presented with the award penultimate week at the end of the week long Agric Show. In a statement, the company’s Chairman, Alhaji M.D Abubakar, expressed his determination to take dairy farming in the country to the next level. He said his company proudly emerged tops due to its outstanding performance in the production of healthy yoghurt and milk as well as its safe improvement of animals through crossbreeding of the local and foreign breeds of cows. Abubakar disclosed his company’s readiness to help in building capacity nationally in the area of modern methods of dairy farming that will guarantee the production of healthy dairy produce through world class crossbreeding methods. Fielding questions from journalists, he said the crossbreeding process involves the “natural mating of exotic breeds with local breeds,” adding that its highly prized award was a result of its unique milk processing into various forms suck as yoghurt, pasteurised fresh milk and ice cream.


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THE NATION FRIDAY,NOVEMBER 4, 2011


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

AGRO-BUSINESS

Don seeks food waste audit T

HE Federal Government has been urged to embark on an audit to assess the quantum of food wasted in the country. The President, Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS), Prof Tola Atinmo, said the economic impact of food waste is enormous, including, loss of potential improvements in soil health and food production. He said considerable amount of food was being wasted in a country with a starving and malnourished population. Atinmo, of the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan (UI), said conducting a waste audit is important in planning food management, adding that the survey, could be a torchbearer for the

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

government to introduce stringent rules to control food wastage. The survey will cover social gatherings where food is served including marriage halls, party centres, hotels and other private events to see the quantity of food served but not consumed and leftovers in the plates. He said surveys on food wastage will enable the government to consider methods to prevent wastage. Atinmo said the cost of food wasted from commercial and retail food service operations was high, noting that some per cent of food purchased is discarded as waste before reaching a customer’s plate.

According to him, food loss and waste amount to a major squandering of resources. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – gets lost or wasted, according to its commissioned study. The document, Global Food Losses and Food Waste, was commissioned by FAO. Other key findings include: industrialised and developing countries dissipate roughly the same quantities of food – respectively 670 and 630 million tonnes. Every year, consumers in rich

countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of subSaharan Africa (230 million tonnes). Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food. The amount of food lost or wasted every year is equivalent to more than half of the world’s annual cereals crop (2.3 billion tonnes in 2009/2010). The report distinguishes between food loss and food waste. Food losses – occurring at the production, harvest, post-harvest and processing phases – are most important in developing countries, due to poor infrastructure, low levels of technology and low investment in the food production systems.

• Atinmo

Farmers anticipate higher yields

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• From left: Mr Anil Kumar; Dr Bura Anand; Dr Muppala Kumaraswamy; Mr Gannamanem Sekaar and Dr Chanarasekharan Douriswani, at the opening of the Poultry Association of Nigeria’s Southwest Poultry Show in Abeokuta, Ogun State. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES.

5,700 benefit from weather seminars

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IGERIA and 14 other countries have benefited from a project to train farmers on how to access and use weather and climate information to maximise yields and minimise risks. The others include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d´Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The project, known as METAGRI, organised 146 roving seminars to increase the interaction between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and farmers whose livelihoods depend on the weather. So far, the four-year pilot project has trained 5,700 subsistence farmers – including 1,000 rural women. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said the seminars increased the self-reliance of rural farmers by raising their awareness about effective weather and climate risk management and the sustainable use of weather and climate information and services for agricultural production. They also provided crucial feedback from the rural agricultural community to the NMHSs. In a region, which is susceptible to both extremes of droughts and floods, NMHSs involved in the project, also distributed just over 3,000 rain gauges to 2,838 villages,

providing farmers with a simple but invaluable crop management and planning tool which is taken for granted in many parts of the world but remains here a scarce luxury for poor communities. “The experience of this pilot project in West Africa will serve as important guidance for the development of the Global Framework for Climate Services, which is meant to increase the availability and relevance of climate information needed by people to plan ahead in a changing and increasingly variable climate,” said World Meteorological Organisation’s SecretaryGeneral Michel Jarraud. “Agriculture is one of the top priorities of the Global Framework, which envisages a user-interface platform to link the providers of weather and climate information with the users. The roving seminars have clearly demonstrated that this interaction can foster better communication between the weather/ climate and agricultural communities and help farmers improve food security and reduce risks,” he said. WMO has also provided technical help in the organisation of similar roving seminars in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, and Sri Lanka. The state Agency for Meteorology in Spain (AEMET) funded the project and WMO provided technical co-ordination as part of a wider

initiative to strengthen West African NMHSs, including through programmes on climate and health and marine meteorology and management. The concept of pilot projects on weather and climate with farmers in West Africa was developed by the National Meteorological Service of Mali 25 years ago and the aim of the METAGRI project was to spread the experience and improve agriculture and food security in all West African countries. Mali enjoys effective collaboration between government agencies, research institutions, media, extension services, and farmers. Farmers taking management decisions using agrometeorological information have enjoyed significant gains in yields and income. For instance, studies showed that the effective use of this information has reduced the re-sowing rate by 35 per cent and increased crop yields average by 20 per cent to 25 per cent, compared to “non-agromet” farms. The following West African countries were involved in the METAGRI project: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d´Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, GuineaBissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. Roving seminars were held in all countries except Côte d´Ivoire and Liberia, which will organise seminars later this year.

ARMERS participating in field trials of staple food crops in Kwara State are hopeful of increasing their yield this season. Their hope is buoyed by an envisaged bumper harvest. The farmers are working with researchers from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The trials, which began in July are part of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB)-funded Community-Based Agriculture and Rural Development Project, which is targeting four key crops – maize, cassava, soybean and yam. A farmer, Joseph Ayeni, said the maize plants under the trials have better ears and the soybean has more pods. “We expect more yield from this participatory trials because the crops are performing better,” he explains. Typically, most farmers use local planting materials, a situation that predisposes them to low yields. They also lack farming expertise and in some cases inputs are scarce and not available. The AfDB-CBARDP project is mitigating these constraints to production by assisting farmers with improved seeds backed with training. A farmer, Kehinde Adeyemi, said the trainings were very helpful because they introduced farmers to new ways of farming and getting better results. “For instance, we were trained on the use of recommended plant spacing which is often neglected… and because we adopted the right spacing, we are seeing better results,” he says. Scientists introduced high yield-

ing and extra-early maturing maize varieties and other varieties that are tolerant of pest and diseases such as Striga and stemborer. The same approach was used for the other crops – soybean, cassava and yams. The Kwara State’s success story is part of the bigger project which also covers Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kaduna. Researchers implementing the project are from IITA, Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) and National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) both of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), the National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI) and University of Ilorin. A consultant, Dr. Sam Ajala, said the essence of the project is to contribute to house-level food security and enhance income by exposing farmers to better varieties and agronomic practices that increase productivity. Managing Director, Kwara State Agricultural Development Project, Sunday Atanda described the project as good and interesting. “Our farmers are happy over the results we are seeing,” he says. According to him, from the plethora of varieties planted, farmers visiting the trials were already making their choices for the varieties to grow in next planting season. While lauding the partnership between ADP and IITA, Atanda says the project is looking at the whole value chain of the key crops including marketing. Harvest of the trials will be done later this year in an event that will attract more farmers and spark more adoption.

Herdsmen task govt on animal health

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IVESTOCK farmers in Kankara and Malumfashi Local Government areas of Katsina State have appealed to the government to show more commitment in the vaccination of animals. A herdsman, Mallam Garba Kado, said in Kankara, Katsina State, that showing more commitment would improve the health of domestic animals. Kado said nomads had been mobilised to submit their animals for vaccination. He said the herdsmen recognised the importance of vaccines and were trooping to the vaccination centres to protect the health of their cows. The herdsman also called on the government to establish more veterinary clinics and grazing areas for herdsmen to prevent them from travelling with animals to distant places. He said travelling with animals to various places often made the animals vulnerable to infection

because of different environmental conditions, as well as feeding. Another herdsman in Malumfashi, Alhaji Aminu Bello, advised veterinary officials to re-double efforts on disease surveillance. Bello said most households, especially in the rural areas kept one form of livestock or another. He commended the state government for committing huge resources towards ensuring the safety animals through annual mass vaccination campaign. Bello said the campaign would surely promote the healthy animals and would produce good meat for the public consumption. The Director of Agriculture in Kankara Local Government Council, Alhaji Yusuf Gimba, urged animal keepers to submit their animals for vaccination. Gimba commended the Acting council Chairman, Alhaji Musa Duwan, for his support to the success of programme.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

AGRO-BUSINESS

‘Why farmers shouldn’t pay tax’

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HE Federal Government has been urged to exempt farmers from tax payment to ensure food security and make life better for rural families. A consultant to the African Development Bank (AFDB), Prof Biyi Daramola, said exemption of agriculture taxes would help development. He called for a zero-tax era across the country to release millions of farmers from tax burden. Daramola of the Department of Agric Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, said implementing zero-tax policies in major agriculture areas should be part of the national poverty relief programme. According to him, giving

• Daramola Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

priority to achieving sustainable agriculture and rural

development is the basic guarantee for sustainable social and economic development. To further remove financial burdens on farmers, he called on the government to make efficient rural taxation reform. To boost farmers’ initiative and ensure food security, he told the government to increase direct subsidies, to farmers across the country. With the policies and measures proposed by the Minister of Agriculture, Daramola said farmers will become more enthusiastic to grow crops. According to him, the government has worked out a series of agriculture-friendly policies to boost the rural

economy and increase farmers’ income, including subsidies for growers and more subsidies for farmers to buy improved crop strains, agricultural machinery and tools. He said the proposal of the minister will help farmers find a way for self-development by not only increasing their income but implanting some new ideas in their mind that are conducive to local economic development. The government’s resolve to boost farming and increase subsidies, he noted will fire up the enthusiasm of growers, emphasising that tax exemption, subsidies and other preferential measures would help farmers.

• From left: Assistant General Manager (AGM), Agric Services, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Co-operation (NAIC), Dr Victor Ofovbe; AGM Marketing, Mr Bashiru Martins and Managing Director, Mr Kwatri Yusuf, at an interactive meeting with the House Committee on Agriculture in Abuja.

Expert canvasses mandatory e-coli testing for food F

OOD safety expert, Prof Dele Fapohunda, has called for a system to track produce from fields to store shelves and force farmers to protect crops from ecoli (Escherichia coli). He said the government must strengthen the regulating scheme to ensure farmers show their crops are protected against e-coli and other contaminations. Fapohunda said agric produce may be contaminated by e-coli due to exposure or improper use of manure. E-coli is a kind of bacteria that lives in the lower intestine of animals, and gets into the food through improper handling on the farm or in processing. It has been identified in outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to fresh produce. To prevent it, farmers are

enjoined to practise safe and hygienic methods for producing food products. The former President, Nigeria Mycotoxin Awareness and Study Network, said this has become necessary given the spate of foodborne illnesses in the country. In recent years, e-coli has been identified in outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to fresh produce. Fapohunda of the Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Babcok University, Ilishan, said e-coli testing is critical to assure the safety and quality of foods. Fapohunda said effective national food control systems are essential to protect

the health and safety of domestic consumers. He stressed the need to strengthen the food control system and to implement and enforce risk-based food control strategies. He said food producers must comply with food safety laws. Following the outbreak of e-coli bacteria recently, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has expressed concern over the discovery that some top Nigerian hotels are importing vegetables from Europe and, therefore, strongly warned them against the act. The corporation said it has been inundated with inquir-

ies and reports that some hoteliers import vegetables from Europe at the detriment of Nigerian farmers. Apart from raising concern over the health risk of consumers, due to the emegence of E.coli bacteria, the corporation noted that most of the vegetables imported are grown in Nigeria by local farmers. In a statement in Abuja by the Director-General of the corporation, Chief Olusegun Runsewe, the agency said efforts should be geared towards the realising President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda on employment creation in the hospitality sector by patronising Nigerian farm produce like locally grown vegetables.

Jigawa, association to collaborate on livestock

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HE Jigawa State Govern-ment has promised to collaborate with Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association NVMA) to transform the livestock sector. The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Mukhtar Birniwa, made the promise when he received the na-

tional executive of the association led by its President, Dr Charles Ibe, in Dutse. He said in its efforts to boost livestock production and animal husbandry, the government renovated and equipped about 80 veterinary clinics in the state. The commissioner explained that the State Executive

Council had also approved 50 wind mill pumps to be installed in 50 grazing reserves, to revitalise the agricultural sector. The government, he said, has implemented the 100 per cent new veterinary salary structure as approved by the Federal Government.”

Earlier, Ibe said their visit to Jigawa was to sensitise their members about the effectiveness of the association. Ibe disclosed that Nigeria, under the guidance and supervision of the association, became the first in Africa to fight and eradicate avian influenza.

Plateau the land of Irish potatoes By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

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GRICULTURE is the most dominant economic activity for most of Plateau State’s population. It has always employed a large share of the population because of its labour-intensive nature. Crops account for a large percentage of value added in agriculture, followed by livestock, fishing and forestry. The expanded role of the state in agriculture has improved social conditions in the rural areas. Average rainfall throughout the year has helped the cultivation of most crops. These crops are grown throughout the year: rain-fed during the wet season and irrigated during the dry season. Irrigation water is derived from two sources – dams and old mine ponds. The soil and climatic conditions of the state favour the production of exotic crops such as Irish potatoes, apples, grapes, wheat, barley and vegetables. The region produces about 200,000 tonnes of Irish potatoes yearly. Production of corn and beans has increased, as has that of such nontraditional products as melons and flowers. There are efforts to produce improved varieties of maize, beans, pigeonpea, sun flower, rice, banana, sesame seeds, lentils, yellow gram, wheat, finger millet and sorghum. Much of the farming is of a subsistence nature and accomplished with equipment. Tree cutting, land clearing, weeding, and harvesting are accomplished with a few kinds of knives, principally the machete and the axe, which comprise major farm implements. As part of its agrarian reform, the government placed heavy emphasis on organising farmers into collectives for agricultural development. Several organisational forms are available. Organisational forms, include marketing cooperatives, state farms, and specialised producers’ cooperatives for milk, chickens or pigs. The government is channelling large amounts of economic aid to organised farmers. Rural credit was greatly increased; farm machinery was made available; improved seeds and other inputs were supplied; and technical assistance was provided. The state government, on its part, provides a range of incentives to farmers which include subsidised farm inputs and machinery, land preparation and guaranteed loans. Individuals and companies genuinely interested in agriculture can negotiate • Governor Jang the acquisition of large tracts of land in the state in line with the 1978 Land Use Act and will find the state government a co-operative partner in agricultural development. The state has an estimated cattle population of 1.07 million in the hands of the Fulani nomads. A little less than half of these cattle, graze on the cool tsetse-fly free Jos Plateau, while the remainder spend the dry season on the rangelands of Benue plains and move up to the Plateau in the wet season. The rapid growth of cattle population on the Jos Plateau has resulted in over-grazing and very stiff competition for land. Fish farming is gradually becoming a major economic activity in Plateau State. A modern hatchery with a capacity to produce two million fingerlings of tilapia, carp and mud fish for sale to farmers has been established, as well as pond fisheries consultancy service unit to stimulate private investment in fish farming and boost the industry. The mine ponds which litter the Jos Plateau and the new dams are potential sources of fish production in targe commercial quantities. Plateau State has become a major exporter of food crops, especially vam, potatoes and dairy products to other parts of the country. In addition, Plateau apples and grapes can be found in super- markets outside the state. The present output of agricultural products by local farmers and multinational companies in Plateau State points to one fact: with adequate investments, the state can substantially increase the domestic supply of food and animal protein in Nigeria. For the government, integrating small farmers into agriculture supply chains is not only good for them and their families, but it is also critical to the state’s competitiveness in agriculture. There is a movement to bring in private sector executives to foster increased cooperation in agricultural development. There is a focus on developing the productivity of the sector, encouraging investment as well as raising production. The aim of the Ministry of Agriculture is to make the state self-sufficient through investment in projects meant to make the state suitable for agricultural output. Cultivation techniques have been enhanced. Overall, the agricultural sector benefits from government support and continued levels of investment. The state possesses a large pool of cheap labour which is a valuable asset for the cultivation of labour-intensive commodities such as rice. However, the sector still faces some structural weaknesses. Weak infrastructure increases the cost of transportation for farmers. The state remains dependent on a range of key commodities which are essential to meet the demands of its growing population.


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Vol 3 No. 150

•Darey Art Alade, the compere of the Amstel Malta Showtime congratulating Ndubueze Neboh, winner of the comedy segment at the event in Abuja.

Amstel Malta’s Showtime: Empowering the talented Since the Amstel Malta Showtime campaign hit the road, the programme aimed at spotting talents has been featuring big time artistes and youths. It has also been encouraging its fans to be the best in what they do. WALE ALABI. writes

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RAND builders and custodians are playing more prominent and visible roles in promoting growth, good causes and development . With the rising army of jobless and restless graduates, brands have embarked on some positive development programmes to encourage, motivate and empower the youth. Regarded as the leaders of tomorrow, most youths graduated from schools with no job to do. However, some of them imbued with talents have found careers either entertainment or sport. With dint of hard work and in luck, most of them have not only grown to become successful, they are also being looked upon as role models by the upcoming ones. Among the crop of these rising acts are Darey Art Alade, MI, Banky W, Buchi, Jenifa, D’Banj, 9nice, Wizkid, Tuface, Basketmouth, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st and Chimamanda. All of them have beaten the odds to rise to stardom. Impressed by their success, the beverage giant, Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, using the platform of entertainment has begun a motivational, inspirational and empowerment campaign aimed at encouraging the youths to be the best in whatever endeavour they do. Entitled: The Amstel Malta Showtime, the programme features dancing competition, comedy contest and musicals. At the Abuja edition of the event held at the Thisday Dome, top acts, such as Darey, Banky W, MI, Wizkid, Buchi and the dance group, DNMT took the centre stage. The event, attended by students in Abuja and from other parts of the north opened, with the comedy competition. At the end of the hilarious contest, Ndubueze Neboh , a

graduate of Mechanical Engineering emerged winner. Neboh, who came from Enugu, went home with a brand new laptop, N100,000 cash shopping prize and a weekend getaway ticket for two at a reputable hotel in Lagos. He also had the opportunity of sharing the stage with the popular stand up comic, Buchi. Neboh, who said he runs a mechanical firm in Enugu, described the experience as life-changing. According to him, “this prize has changed my life. My life will never be the same. I have

‘First of all, you must discover your talent. But before you discover your talent, you must discover God. After this, you will know that there are lots of potential deposited in you. Actually, while I was performing today, I looked around the hall and I saw a lot of youths like me with huge potential’

stepped up in the comedy industry. Although, I am a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from (ESUT), I am a motivational speaker. And before now, comedy was just my hobby. But after today, I will go full blast into comedy professionally. On his message to other youths, Neboh said: “First of all, you must discover your talent. But before you discover your talent, you must discover God. After this, you will know that there are lots of potential deposited in you. Actually, while I was performing today, I looked around the hall and I saw a lot of youths like me with huge potential. In fact, the average Nigerian youth is blessed, but the only problem is that we are being distracted.” Neboh thanked NB for organising the event. A graduate of Fine and Applied Art, Martin Rock, won in the dancing category. He went home with the star prize of a brand new laptop, N100,000 shopping prize and a ticket for two in a reputable hotel in Lagos. Rock from Delta State University (DELSU) described the show as exciting and excellent. A professional dancer, who started five years ago, said: “After this show, I am going to up my game. Because this prize would open doors for me, I will use the links and contacts I made today to develop my career as a dancer.” Samuel Falowo, a rapper, who connected with the audience with his dazzling stagecraft, won in the music category. Before the Abuja event, the show had held in Enugu and Owerri. The grand finale of the programme holds in Lagos this month.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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The quiet revolution by LASAA

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NE of the agencies tasked with beautifying the state, the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), has been going about its task with quiet efficiency. Responsible for sanitising the outdoor environment and making sure that hoardings and signage do not clutter the environment, the agency has been hard at work redefining the outdoor. To enhance its effectiveness and in keeping with best practices, LASAA is planning to unveil an outdoor master plan that will guide players by the first quarter of next year. “The master plan is a guideline for everything we do. What kind of structures do you put in rural areas, high streets or feeder roads? It will dictate the kinds of structures we put in different parts of the state. Highroads, inner roads, bridges and so on,” discloses George K. Noah, managing director of the agency. LASAA also intends to use outdoor advertising to transform the state by ensuring that a number of areas are illuminated beyond using only street lights at night. Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Falomo Bridge, Ikorodu Road and Outer Marina are already in the agency’s scheme. “We have a design for Falomo Bridge using lights to brighten the whole place. Adeniran Ogunsanya, Allen and Opebi, we want to use outdoor advertising to transform those areas. We want people to drive through Ikorodu Road and see neon lights...We want to make sure that most of our outdoor sites are illuminated so that it brightens the whole place at night and give it a very good feel,” adds Mr Noah who took over from commissioner for Environment, Tunji Bello in August. Apart from illuminating Outer Marina, the agency also wants to fully expose the ocean to enhance the scenery; hence it wants to remove advertisements currently on the walls of the Defence Jetty. “The whole idea is to make a drive through Outer Marina a memorable one,” Mr, Noah explains. However, the objective of transforming Outer Marina, using it as a model is being threatened by a row between LASAA and XL Billboards, the company that owns the advertisements on the Defence Jetty. XL Billboards was given a franchise by the Ministry of Defence to beautify and maintain the surroundings of the Naval Jetty at Outer Marina and advertise on its walls in 2008 as a private-public sector partnership. The company signed a lease agreement with the Ministry in 2009 and wrote LASAA for approval to advertise on the said walls in 2009. LASAA, however, withheld its approval while the company proceeded to adorn the walls. LASAA, thereafter, wrote the company on September 10, 2010 to remove the boundary wall sign noting that the structure contravenes section 27 (3) of the Lagos State Structures for Signage and Advertisement Law 2006 (as amended). After meetings between XL, the Ministry of Defence, the Navy and LASAA over the agency’s insistence that XL Billboard remove its adverts, LASAA eventually agreed to give XL a provisional approval if it re-applies for the structures. But the approval came with a caveat. “Structures to be positioned along the Outer Marina must complement the scenic view associated with the ocean front and should not pose a threat to motorists or pedestrians,” noted LASAA fully aware of its plan for the Outer Marina. The agency was later forced to revoke its approval in July this year, advancing proliferation of structures on military formations as its reason. Even Governor Babatunde Fashola had earlier written the Chief of Army Staff in July when he noticed the clutter across military formations. The Arm however, wrote back, assuring the State of its cooperation. “The NA appreciates the compelling need to partner with Lagos State Government in ensuring aesthetic appealing environment. To this end, all NA formations and units in Lagos State have been directed to ensure that any billboard within

or around their premises that does not meet APCON specification and not within the framework of LASAA’s guidelines be removed immediately,” notes part of the letter signed by Major-Gen B C Azurunwa on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff. Both parties (LASAA and XL Billboards) later met in September to amicably resolve the issue. LASAA, thereafter, wrote the company on October 17, 2011 reiterating its revocation order but offering another site in exchange to XL so it doesn’t lose its investment and as a sign of good faith. Entitled: “Offer for Street Lamp Post Advertisement Signs in Lagos State’ the letter reads: “In view of the state government’s proposal to redesign/rebrand the Outer Marina with a purpose of exposing more fully the ocean view the agency is compelled to revoke the approval previously granted your organisation to deploy wall advertisement panels on the Naval Jetty. However, we offer you in exchange for the revoked sites 84 high masts on Outer Marina, Lagos Island.” But rather than accept the offer, XL replied with a lengthy demand list to be met before it could co-operate with LASAA and remove the advertisements. “We wish that other types of sites be added; ours is a fledgling company that has not had the opportunity of owning diverse billboards in the Lagos area and it will be unfavourable if lamp posts, with that limitations, are all we have after expending so much resources and time on the revoked sites,” demanded XL. It further requested “addition of the CMS pedestrian bridge”; “approval of alternative sites for the two ultra-wave billboards, one presently at the site and the other one purchased on receipt of your approval”; “the readiness of LASAA to refund the N15.5 million and N480,000 committed by client in view of rent and production of materials” and “consideration to pay an estimate of N30 million so far expended on the structures, landscaping and maintenance of the environment being conditions attached to the approvals, “ amongst other demands. It is not certain whether LASAA will agree to the requests. In fact, it appears it won’t because of the practitioner’s reluctance. LASAA has said it will cease to attend to XL, including its application for sites, until it complies with the directive. Hence, plans for the Outer Marina might be put on hold until parties resolve the disagreement. Notwithstanding, LASAA still has a number of projects it wants to execute. It recently conducted an image and reputation audit for stakeholders where it tried to gauge how they perceive the agency.

Other side of business

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USINESS needs businesses. Without other businesses, a business cannot succeed. Operating in isolation, a business would soon become extinct. That is the reason the managing director of a successful (and struggling) companies always searches for business opportunities, business leads that would increase the bottom line and the sustainability of the business. The existence of one business ensures the survival of another business. Without one business, the other cannot exist. It is like the tyre and automobile business. Automobile needs tyres to move. Tyre needs automobile to function. Therefore, automobile and tyre businesses are complimentary. One cannot thrive without the other. That is why the tyre industry is interested in whatever happens in the automobile industry and vice versa. That way, the two industries are better for it. The power behind this is what happens at the other side of tyre and automobile business. What is that? Let us find out. The discovery of what happens at the other side of business may not shock you. However, it should. Nevertheless, one of the things that inspire what happens at the other side of business is the ability to relate with one another, ability to create understanding, ability to communicate. Therefore, it is discovered that the easiest means of getting a business lead is through communication. No matter how you do it: body language, sign language or verbal, you are communicating. So, how do you communicate as an executive? Do you send a physical letter? Or write an email? Do you make a phone call? Or send short message service? Do you call via voice SMS? Or send MMS? Do you engage in teleconference? Or you are present physically? Whatever you do, you are communicating. Without it, there is no business. With it, business survives. With it, business can be conducted successfully over long distance, conquering gulf, overcoming valley and other challenges. Since communication is essential to the survival of businesses, why is it not given adequate attention that it deserves? Some businesses that have made it their business to see to it that other businesses communicate among themselves in a seamless manner have not really tidied some loose ends that always manifest in that space. Is it because it is a vast space? Is it because this vast space, the Internet, come with its own huge challenges? Is it because communicating clearly is a challenge in itself and doing it over the Internet makes it more complicated?

•Managing Director CMC Connect, Mr Yomi Badejo Okunsanya; Assistant Corporate Director Planning and Finance, Mr Raheem Olabode, and Head, Client Service Mr Segun MacMedal during the media presentation of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Golden Eagle Award, in Lagosy. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

According to reports, Funke Opeke, managing director of MainOne, a cable company that laid a 7,000 km fibre optic cable linking West Africa to Europe, said “at least one in three people in Nigeria could have direct Internet access by 2013”. However, as at today, this is not the case. Why is this so? Opeke said providing a number in the 35-40 per cent for internet access penetration over the next 18-24 months would be a worthwhile objective. To investors, this portends strong prospects for web-based businesses. Besides, the market potential in Nigeria is huge. Every business needs communication. No, that should have read every business needs to communicate over the internet but only few has this basic amenity. Without this basic tool, businesses cannot succeed. Do you remember the recent BlackBerry service outage? Save your breath, columnist. We understand Nigeria’s Internet sector is hindered by underdeveloped and unreliable fixed-line infrastructure. However, this is changing. Competition is brewing and new technologies would deliver wireless broadband access to all. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is already carrying the bulk of Nigeria’s international voice traffic. The current deployment of the country’s first Next Generation Networks (NGN) will drive further convergence of voice, data and video/TV, enabling the provision of triple-play services that will ultimately also involve Nigeria’s already competitive broadcasting sector. With this, business can easily communicate with people and people with business. Oga, talk about something else. Okay, Oracle, do you realise that over 400 ISPs have been licensed and a number of data carriers, Internet exchange and gateway operators. With this, nothing is happening. For instance, you have two modems from two prominent ISPs and none of the modems is functioning. Yet, the ISPs expect payment for services not rendered. Business is not run that way. Every little action must add value to the business. Otherwise, you are out of business. What do you say to that? Sometime, you columnists go overboard in your discourse. Are you unaware that the mobile phone subscription market in Nigeria is the continent’s largest with MTN, Airtel, Etisalat and Glo serving as key industry players? The country has over 80 million mobile phone subscribers. At the same time, mobile Internet is quickly becoming the platform of choice for young Internet users in the country. That is the problem with you, Oracle you defend the indefensible. Are you insinuating that million-dollar transaction should be conducted over the phone? The telcos are targeting the youth segment. They are know that. They do not serve the business community, please. In addition, as long as their profit margins keep going up, the telcos would always neglect the SMEs. Do you know why? You need to provide service for the SMEs. You need to be there to answer the calls when the queries pour in. You need to carry the can. The telcos do not provide internet service to SMEs. What is available cannot serve SMEs. The youth market does not engage in serious business that involves serious stuff. All they do is entertainment on the go. What businesses need is high data, value for money internet access. The mobile internet access you are pontificating about does not offer the best absolute internet deal. Visafone and Glo are competing in this realm. However, this is from the mobile platform. Let the operators transfer that to the desktop, and they would be in serious business. Let the telcos provide compelling high data, low cost internet bundles services. What good would it serve an SME that spends its profit on internet connection? It has to be low cost; otherwise, it makes no business sense. If it is not, it is cold. Hey, are we on the same page, Oracle?

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Human Relations Executive - Owolabi Afolabi *Operations Executive - Isiaka Hassan *Creative - Oluwaseyi Sulaimon*Front Office Executive - Blessing Nkeanya * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Drumbeat Media and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. Corporate Suite: 20 Akinremi Street, off Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, , e-mail: korede2000@gmail.com © All rights reserved.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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EDITORIAL/OPINION Comments

EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

Reprobate students •Decadence writ large as students of two schools in Kwara State went on rampage after failing mock examination BOMINATION repeated too often soon becomes the norm, so goes an old saying. Such must be the case in Kwara State recently when students of two secondary schools faced with repeating the class, after performing poorly in their mock examinations, took to rioting and destruction of property. According to the report, Government Day Secondary School, Adeta, Ilorin and Baboko Secondary School, both in kwara State were embroiled in riots in which students assaulted the principal and staff members of the schools as well as destroyed facilities on the school premises.

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‘The government of Kwara State must not relent in seeking ways to reverse this ugly trend of mass failure of students in certificate exams. The shameless, unruly students must be made to face disciplinary measures and be seen to have done so in order to serve as deterrent to others. We urge other states to adopt this simple measure among many others’

They had been piqued by the fact that they had been caught up by a new rule which required that Senior Secondary school students who failed mock examinations would no longer be allowed to sit for external examinations like the National Examination Council (NECO) and the West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE). Instead, they are asked to repeat the class (SSS2) in order to be better prepared to sit for these certificate exams. It was part of the measures instituted by the State Government to stem the high rate of failure the State hitherto, recorded in NECO and WASCE. However, the students, apparently used to entering for these examinations without rigorous scrutiny, found the new policy offensive and punitive. They needed to teach the school authorities a lesson for daring to censure them, to right their misguided steps in their educational pursuit and put them on the path of rectitude. It is apparent that these students are reprobates and bankrupt in character and their riotous response to a policy which has been made ostensibly for their betterment is a testimony to the rot in the educational system and the decadence in the society in general. In the days of yore, students dared not look their principal in the face, how much more confront her. Besides, students who failed in mock examinations hid their faces in shame and were not ones to cause a scene that

might expose them to public glare. Not anymore these days. They seem to glory in their failure and inappropriate behavior. The rate of failure reported in examinations by WAEC and NECO in the past few years has reached such catastrophic levels that people wonder whether there is any tutelage and study going on in our schools. One of the reasons is the now common practice of mass promotion. Under this unstated policy, even the dullest students are promoted through school without passing even an exam. The schools seem to be too overwhelmed that there is hardly any mentoring, monitoring or counseling of young students. All they seem to want to do is to throw them back into the society. This, among other reasons, explains why the rate of failure has become abnormal today. The government of Kwara State must not relent in seeking ways to reverse this ugly trend of mass failure of students in certificate exams. The shameless, unruly students must be made to face disciplinary measures and be seen to have done so in order to serve as deterrent to others. We urge other states to adopt this simple measure among many others, to begin to check the rapid fall in standards in Nigeria’s education. As we all know, quality education still remains the bedrock of the development and sustenance of any country.

Flooded expressways •·Vital roads are decaying

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HE extensive flooding that was recently witnessed along the LagosAbeokuta Expressway, the LagosIbadan Expressway and the ApapaOshodi Expressway are shocking reminders of the advanced state of decay of Nigeria’s roads. The three highways are the country’s busiest highways, and as such are responsible for the haulage of people and goods which are central to the continued fuctioning of the national economy. Two of them serve to connect Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos with its hinterland, while the third, the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, is the major route leading out of the country’s busiest port. In spite of their manifest importance to the nation’s economy and society, these highways have been shamefully neglected by successive Federal Governments over the years. All three are pothole-ridden, very poorly-maintained and

‘It is obvious that this deplorable situation cannot be allowed to continue. The poor state of these and other roads is a major aspect of the nation’s infrastructure deficit, and is a significant contributor to the unbearably high cost of doing business in Nigeria’

have not been upgraded to handle the massive increases in traffic that have occurred over time. The onset of the rainy season has made a bad situation even worse. Commuters on these highways are compelled to contend with the additional dangers posed by widespread flooding. Because their drainage systems are inadequate to cope with the runoff from rainfall, they are covered with water. This makes it almost impossible to avoid potholes and gullies that would have been visible in more clement weather, not to mention the danger water poses to the engines of the vehicles that have to traverse such floods. For a country blessed with one of the most extensive road networks in Africa, it is deeply tragic that it has been allowed to fall into such decay. The reasons are not far to seek, and they include the lack of a proper maintenance culture, public indifference to the proper use of roads and highways, and the absence or improper use of funds meant for road maintenance. It is particularly galling that the country is still unable to get its budgetary procedeures right, particularly as they apply to roads. The Federal Government agencies charged with the repair of roads are only too aware that any effective work on them must be carried out between the months of November and March, which constitute the dry season. Instead of configuring their budgeting processes to take this into account, they appear to continually delay the neccessary approvals, with the result that it becomes impossible for them to begin

work due to bad weather. Just as problematic as the question of funding is the issue of poor public attitudes to roads. A major reason for the flooding of roads is the blocking of drainage canals which make it difficult for excess water to be properly channelled. In spite of extensive campaigns seeking to educate the citizenry on the dangers of blocking canals, the unwholesome habit of dumping rubbish into them has continued unabated. Other bad habits, like indiscriminate parking, burning tyres on roads, and damaging road barriers, have also contributed to worsening the already-bad condition of these highways. It is obvious that this deplorable situation cannot be allowed to continue. The poor state of these and other roads is a major aspect of the nation’s infrastructure deficit, and is a significant contributor to the unbearably high cost of doing business in Nigeria. The negative effects on the individuals who are compelled to endure several hours in traffic jams is better imagined than experienced. If the Federal Government is truly serious about its transformational programmes, it must commence with a total overhaul of these three major highways as part of a far-reaching policy of infrastructural development. It is not just a question of periodic maintenance: the nation’s most important arterial roads must undergo a complete upgrading to meet present requirements and future demands. Anything less would amount to a wast of time.

Greece’s surprise announcement on the economy

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OT SINCE THE NIGHT when soldiers emerged from the belly of a giant wooden horse in ancient Troy has Greece engineered a more stunning surprise: On Monday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou shocked Europe, and the world, by announcing that he would not put a promised economic austerity package into effect until the voters of his debt-strapped nation approve it in a referendum. Mr. Papandreou’s announcement comes on the eve of a Group of 20 summit in Cannes, France, and less than a week after the European Union had agreed to a 50 percent write-down of Greece’s private-sector debt, and billions of dollars in aid, in return for government budget cuts and structural reforms. It puts at risk not only the bailout deal but also the world’s economic future. And for what? Mr. Papandreou says that he needs a popular mandate before putting his country through the long bout of economic pain prescribed by Germany, France and the International Monetary Fund. It is “time for the citizens to reply responsibly,” he said. “Do they want us to implement it or reject it? If the people do not want it, then it shall not be implemented. If yes, we shall proceed.” We certainly understand the prime minister’s predicament. As more and more people took to the streets and members of his own ruling Socialist party opportunistically jumped ship or threatened to do so, a sense of anarchy has been growing in Greece. Perhaps Mr. Papandreou thinks that, by offering the public a choice between the bitter medicine of austerity and the catastrophe of default, he can induce some much-needed responsibility. Certainly, Mr. Papandreou could be forgiven for wondering why he has to be the only adult in increasingly chaotic Athens. He has been a model of realism and political courage until now, having come clean about Greece’s public finances two years ago and then winning parliament’s approval for a series of painful measures to cope with the crisis. Perhaps he believes that the silent majority of Greeks that has sustained him thus far will make itself heard at the ballot box — though recent polls suggest most Greeks would vote against austerity if given a chance. Whatever the motive, we fear Mr. Papandreou’s strategem will go down in history as a terrible blunder. It’s not that the latest bailout package is guaranteed to work. Far from it: The proposed financial “firewall” for Italy and Spain looks big enough at $1.4 trillion to rescue one of those countries, but not both. China’s willingness to provide financing is questionable — as is the political wisdom of Europe mortgaging itself to a communist-ruled country. And the 50 percent “haircut” on private debt would still leave Greece owing 120 percent of its gross domestic product a decade from now, assuming all goes well. But the package is the best hope to avoid a sudden recession in Europe that could reverberate around the globe; without calm and confidence in the markets, even that hope fades. Calm and confidence are unlikely to prevail until January, the apparent date of Mr. Papandreou’s still-undefined referendum. Indeed, his government faces a confidence vote Friday and could well tumble, to be replaced by who knows what. Meanwhile, Mr. Papandreou’s gesture has undermined all the other governments in Europe — creditor and debtor — that have faced down domestic opposition in pursuit of a solution. Monday’s events heighten the contradictions between the financial and economic imperatives of a single European currency, on the one hand, and the political imperatives of democracy and national sovereignty in 17 eurozone countries, on the other. Perhaps Europe’s day of reckoning was bound to come. But that doesn’t mean Mr. Papandreou was wise to hasten its arrival. Washington Post

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EDITORIAL/OPINION

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IR: It is early day yet in the four year tenure of Honourable Aminu Tambuwal-led seventh House of Representatives. But as it is popularly said, morning shows the day. So, it will not be inappropriate to examine activities in the green chamber even in the relatively few months the members have been sitting as a gauge of what Nigerians should expect in the next four years from the House. The House of Representative is gradually emerging as a legislative chamber determined to assert its independence. One readily comes to this conclusion after the intervention of the House of Representatives in the recent invasion of the office and arrest of some senior journalists at The Nation. Men of the Nigerian Police had on October 11 arrested four journalists working with the newspaper in

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Kudos to Aminu Tambuwal’s House Abuja and Lagos respectively over a letter purportedly written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo exclusively published in the newspaper. The former President had claimed that the letter was a forgery. The arrest of the journalists was done without any warrant, just as they were not invited by the Police to defend themselves against the complaints against them. The arrest of the journalists and invasion of their media company

sparked outrage and attracted instant condemnation, locally and internationally. Members of the House minced no words in condemning the attempts to muzzle the press through subtle intimidation immediately it was raised in the chamber through a motion by Hon. Zakari Mohammed, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs. Rather than stop at being part of the chorus of the condemnation, the House mandated its committees on Justice, Police, Human Rights and

Media and Publicity to investigate the arrest of the journalists and report back to it within a week. The committee submitted its report to the House on October 25. The five page report faulted the manner the journalists were arrested which they described as a breach of the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of the pen pushers. The committee noted that it was Bello Adoke, the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF that forwarded a letter in which the former

Students’ results as ASUU’s bargaining tool?

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IR: Professor Gabriel O. Babawale of University of Ibadan recently suggested an alternative to strike by Nigerian universities to enforce their demands from government. He was quoted as saying that although “the general impression is that the only language the government understands is strike and there is truth in that”. He was further quoted as suggesting that in future, ASUU should consider the option of selective strike action. His words – “You can continue with your lectures and give the government a deadline to meet your demands, failing which no results will be released from any university. It now becomes students and government. It is saying: look we have your papers and we have graded them but we are not going to release the results. The ripple effect will be much. NYSC will be stalled; graduation will be stalled. But we will still be going to class and be teaching. I am suggesting that as a new strategy.” I disagree with Prof.’s solution. I am afraid that if students’ results are withheld we turn the heat from the government unto ourselves. Students may pressurize both the individual lecturers and the system as a whole. Prof. Babawale assumed that the students will understand that non-release of their results is government’s fault, but that seems to me a sheer assumption. I find students to be highly sensitive and can be emotional about their results. Secondly, what is the assurance that the students who have not seen their results will be psychologically disposed for another set of lectures? Prof. Babawale’s solution

is also problematic with particular reference to the end-of- session results. How can a new session begin without knowing which student is in good standing and which is not? It is also in the interest of the students to know if they have carry-over or spill-over as the case may be. I have no solution to the strike problem, but I have a question. What does it cost the government to habituate itself to transparent equity and honouring of agreements? The House of Representatives is talking of a seven or six million naira car for each member of the House. Comparatively speaking, what amount of car does a univer-

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sity lecturer merit? Can a vice chancellor, to imitate the Speaker of the House, propose a three million naira car for each professor in his or her university? The car example points to the inequity that we are talking about. Beyond that, the issue of hyper-inflation needs no sophistry, and the rulers make themselves impervious to any level of inflation. Hence fuel subsidy removal is okay with them. Insensitivity seems to be their hallmark. I close the case of strike or no strike to broach another problem. A set of students finish in July or August and they have to hang around (if not languish) for about three or four months before the next

NYSC programme is inaugurated in November. Can’t the programme be continuous, such that students can start the programme about a month after finishing in the university, so that they serve their one year and quit. Is a collective annual NYSC starting and closing ceremony indispensable? It is for the government to review its programme, because of the concern of many students and parents with regard to the NYSC time lag or time wasting period. The challenge may require hard thinking and restructuring, but it should not be dismissed with a wave of hand. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.

President complained of forgery to the IG. The AGF had asked IG to investigate the complaints of forgery by Obasanjo, but the committee said the Police did not do any investigation before descending on the journalists. The report read in part: “It was discovered that the IG did not investigate the matter, rather, he went on to arrest them and went to charge them to court, not considering the fact that sedition is no longer applicable in the Nigerian Constitution”. The lawmakers deplored the arrest of Unachukwu who had only gone to the Police Station to effect bail for his clients . The lawmakers therafter asked the IG to tender a written apology to the lawyer for being arrested while “rendering his professional service to his clients”. The committee also tasked the IG to ensure that “henceforth, arrests are made according to law”. No doubt, members of the green chamber deserve commendation for this new life being given to the fight against wilful violation of fundamental human rights of Nigerians by the security agencies. This is even more important given the frequency with which allegations of violations of the rights of the citizens by men in uniform are being reported in our national dailies in recent time. Just like the lawyer, who will be expecting to receive a letter of apology from the IG anytime from now, Nigerians can be assured that their Representatives are determined to protect their human rights in every and all circumstances. While hoping that the House will continue in this remarkable mode, I think the lawmakers deserve commendations for the way they handled the unfortunate incident. • Edward Dibiana Abuja

Toast to Desmund Tutu at 80

IR: Former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa and Nobel Laureate, Desmund Tutu recently celebrated his 80th birthday anniversary. Although that historic event appeared to have been overshadowed by the unfortunate controversy over the South African government’s refusal to grant travel visa to the Archbishop’s long time friend and associate, Tibetan Spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama to attend the epoch-making ceremony, nevertheless, the event which was well attended by many eminent personalities from within and outside South Africa was successfully concluded without any hitches whatsoever. Encomiums were poured on the octogenarian Archbishop on that occasion for his heroic and selfless struggles against the former racist regime in South Africa. While the oppressed and subjugated black majority South Africans were carrying out their own battle against the obnox-

ious policies of the apartheid regime on the streets of Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Soweto and other cities and Townships, Tutu was carrying out his own battle on the pulpit. He traversed the entire globe with his powerful campaigns against the racist regime using his moral authority to appeal to the conscience of world leaders against the evil and dehumanizing policy of Apartheid. Indeed, it was the Archbishop’s courageous and heroic campaigns across the globe that awakened the world’s conscience on the evils of apartheid and which ultimately struck at the very heart of the regime and its leadership. History, no doubt, will record the Archbishop as one powerful voice that quickened the eventual collapse and capitulation of the oppressive racist regime. While the authentic nationalist leaders including the indefatigable freedom fighter and Nobel Laureate, Nelson Mandela along with his compatriots in the then outlawed African

National Congress (ANC) and Pan African Congress (PAC) were incarcerated at the notorious Robben Island maximum prison cells by the apartheid regime, the irrepressible Archbishop Tutu fearlessly carried the battle of freedom, equity, and justice, without minding the consequences. This great cleric’s uncommon courage and selfless services to humanity during and even after the dark ages of the apartheid era should serve as a great lesson to all peoples of the world particularly the underdeveloped nations of Africa that no amount of personal or collective sacrifices should be regarded as too great for the freedom and emancipation of all her peoples. It is also to the immense credit of the legendary Archbishop Desmund Tutu that he had the singular honour to serve as the chairman of the post apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and in that capacity displayed extraordinary candour and diplomacy to the admiration of the in-

ternational community. The South African experience will continue to serve as a great lesson to all the leaders of Africa that the era of oppression and naked injustice against their own people is over. The unprecedented popular uprisings and general revolt in North Africa and elsewhere in the Middle East region is a clear and powerful message to all political leaders around the world who are still living in the past and hence incapable of reading the handwriting on the wall that their days of naked oppression and flagrant abuses of the human rights of their citizens are numbered. The tragic and ignominious end of autocratic rule is only a matter of time which will surely come much sooner than later. I say 80 hearty cheers and many happy returns to this noble clergyman of destiny. • Nze Nwabueze Akabogu (JP) Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State.


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EDITORIAL/OPINION

Reality Bites T

Olatunji Ololade

RUTH is what we cannot undo. Hence we have learnt never to accept it. Sometimes, it is really as simple as it is: the average Nigerian is a simpleton. It hardly matters what class of the divide he inhabits. No doubt many will argue that such “brazen” pronouncement is unjustifiable but at that, I will insist that there is no flipside to the fact that out of 140 million Nigerians or thereabouts, there is scarcely one out of the cradle about whom my “brazen” assertion presents as contestable truth. Not all of the soundest protestation in the world in or the most certifiable postulation could guarantee our attainment of a better Nigeria. And the reason, as usual, is hardly far-fetched: like ones who have been programmed to self-destruct, we have perfected the knack for prevaricating and applying wrong solutions to every problem. More worrisome is our propensity to obsess and articulate specious sensibility to goings-on outside our motherland. It is instructive to see Nigerians rejoice over the brutal end of the late Libyan autocrat, Muammar Gaddafi. It is even more amusing to see how many recommend similar treatment to unpopular governments worldwide.

Yet for all his unpopularity, after his execution, amazing testimonies are persistently bandied on social networking sites about life in Libya under the late autocrat. For instance, a self-acclaimed “dispassionate social commentator” alleged that under Gaddafi-led government, “there was no electricity bill in Libya as electricity was free for all its citizens.” It even gets more interesting: “there is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans are given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law. Affordable housing is considered a human right in Libya. All newlyweds in Libya received $60,000 Dinar (US$50,000) from the government to buy their first apartment and as a form of state support to every new family. Education and medical treatments were free in Libya. Before Gaddafi, only 25 per cent of Libyans were literate, today the figure is 83 per cent. Also, should Libyans endeavour to take up farming as a career, they received free farmland, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick- start their farms – all for free. In Libya, the government subsidized 50 per cent of the price of every car purchase. The price of petrol in Libya was $0. 14 a litre. Libya had

‘Such pitiful waste of potential leaders and emancipators of the breadlines can hardly be overlooked in the working class’ desperate quest to achieve their fabled share of the Nigerian dream – or national cake if you like’

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HE reactions that trailed penultimate Saturday’s Lagos local government elections really got me alarmed about the level of People Democratic Party’s hypocrisy. Am forced to wonder if the party really expected to get more from the council polls or the whole pre-election drama by them, was a camouflage to disguise their shameful lack of presence in Lagos. For a party that has really not had it good in Lagos since 1999, when Nigeria returned to democratic rule, how come they expected a better deal than they got on Saturday October 22 despite coming to the election from a divided house? Even at the height of Obasanjo’s notoriety as president in 2003, when the PDP unleashed the full weight of it rigging machine on the Southwest, they could only record a laboured victory in Badagry. But things have long changed, especially in the last five years. The massive transformation of Lagos State and other states by the Action Congress Of Nigeria and the promises of a greater future that the party holds makes it almost impossible for any PDP victory in Lagos whether now or in the nearest future. On the other hand PDP have proved grossly incapable of delivery on the promises of democracy both at the centre and most state of the federation. The result of the PDP failure stares us in the face everywhere we go. Even the most basic things of life like power, water, decent transportation and good road are still farfetched after 12 years of PDP rule or is it misrule at the center. There is nothing to write home about the PDP government. And instead of focusing on how to make the most of their reign at the centre and deliver to Nigerians the dividend of democracy, they have concentrated their effort on grabbing Lagos by all means possible, including providing state funds and security support for the party officials at the council poll. This desperation was very evident at the last council elections in Lagos. It was obvious that high ranking politicians in the presidency and the police engaged in an unholy alliance to ensure the PDP was rigged into power by all means, and where that became impossible, to create trouble in a bid to undermine the integrity of the elections. The police were obviously under strict order to protect the PDP interest, and that is why they couldn’t check the violence that resulted. But they obviously underestimated the power of the people of

End of the working class heroes (4) no external debt and its reserves amounted to $150 billion globally. If a Libyan was unable to secure employment after graduation, the state paid the average salary of the profession as if he or she was employed until he or she secured employment. A portion of Libyan oil sale was credited directly to the bank accounts of every Libyan citizen. A mother who gave birth to a child received US$5, 000 as child support. About 40 loaves of bread reportedly cost $ 0.15 in Libya. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.” If despite his reported evils, the late Gaddafi initiated such administrative policies without adverse effects on the Libyan economy, then he would be a national hero, were he a Nigerian. The import of the quote is hardly to celebrate the late autocrat but to serve as an illuminating comparison to Nigerian leadership. The Nigerian crisis is a human crisis. Therefore, even when we manage to moot and evolve the most practicable governmental policies and developmental efforts, we fail woefully. The foundation for progress is basically non-existent in the country and that is because the human elements that are meant to foster and perpetuate such everlasting monument are inherently corrupt. Consequently, we have a ruling class that is basically degenerate and predatory in nature and a working class that excitedly accepts and religiously fulfills their roles as unforgivably docile and self-flagellating lower brutes. The dangerously clear imprudence of the Nigerian working class asserts itself in the upward mobility of certain crucial members of the class across our class divide. Increas-

ing wealth, higher status and social affiliations alienates this band selfstyled and circumstantial leaders from those same self-confessed values and politics that stood them out as vanguards of rights of the underprivileged. Likewise, it re-establishes them as simply another muscle group primed to intimidate, stifle and manipulate their less privileged peers overcrowding the lower rung of the social ladder. Such pitiful waste of potential leaders and emancipators of the breadlines can hardly be overlooked in the working class’ desperate quest to achieve their fabled share of the Nigerian dream – or national cake if you like. That these band of erstwhile potential heroes of the working class comprised by self-appointed activists and opinion leaders across every profession currently substantiates the cynicism that every working class “hero” is inherently as greedy, self-serving and infinitely evil as the higher brutes constituting the nation’s ruling class is an incontestable fact cannot be emphasized. Without doubt, the Nigerian working class like its vanquishers on the other side of the divide, amplifies, albeit convincingly, the innumerable deficiencies of the country’s acculturation process. Even the country’s education experiment – initially geared to accord the citizenry the best of human training and enlightenment resounds with abject failure. It is no different with scions of the ruling elite; despite their enviable access to the best of educational systems across the globe, they are as poorly constituted as their peers whose misfortune it is to school in Nigeria. Although many are able to graduate with prestigious diplomas and degrees, they pass out not knowing the true import and essence of what they were taught. They graduate

Lagos LG elections: the making of an electoral battle By Adekunle Jamiu Lagos State and the popularity of the Action Congress Of Nigeria (ACN). The PDP failed woefully and could not win even a chairmanship position, not even in their acclaimed strongholds. Yet, the biggest concern in this election however has been the unsportsmanlike manner top personalities in the PDP have conducted themselves after the elections. Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro a former Lagos PDP gubernatorial aspirant acted less than noble by encouraging some PDP thugs to violently contest some of the results of the elections. For hours Obanikoro remained inside the Eti Osa election collation center openly instigating people to violence. He paid bikers and political thugs to disrupt activities at Eti Osa. In some instances the situation made too dangerous for the LASIEC official to announce result at collation centers. They had to relocate to a safer place to announce the results. The Lagos PDP is claiming that it won elections in five of the 57 local government areas. This is less than 10 percent of the total process yet it has the whole elections and wants it overturned. But if the party had any sense of honour, it will not be creating so much tension in the state over an alleged victory in just five LGAs out of 57, instead it should commend the chairman, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, retired Justice Adeyinka Abdulfatai who did a wonderful job under very diffucult conditions. Even the United States don’t conduct perfect elections. According Justice Adeyinka 28 political parties contested the council elections but while other aggrieved parties have gone to the tribunal, only PDP took to the street. I like the way one TV analyst summed up the whole show of shame: “It is either they overestimated their popularity or they are as usual too proud to accept defeat”. But in my view, I think it is both. But even if their claims of rigging had

any credit, ACN has shown in the last few years that an aggrieved candidate can get justice at the tribunal, let the PDP do same. Except of course if their claims of rigging is just a fiction of their imagination, like many suspect it is. The five LGAs the party claim to have won include Ikoyi-Obalende, where Obanikoro’s son Babajide lost out, Badagry Central LCDA, LCDA, Eredo LCDA, Somolu Local Government, Agbado/ Oke-Odo LCDA and Ojo Local Government, as well as many councillorship posts across the state. In the results announced officially by the LASIEC, the ACN won all the Chairmanship seats in the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, of the state. The ACN also won 355 councillorship seats out of the 376 seats contested while the PDP won 18 seats and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, won two seats. The councillorship election for Ward H in Mushin Local Government was inconclusive. The last Local government election held across Lagos State in my view is one of the most keenly contested grassroots elections I have seen in a long time. That wasn’t because I thought the PDP or any other party in Lagos for that matter stood any chance against the ACN. But my position was formed by the various opinions of analysts who feared the ACN could lose ground as a result of the issues that emanated from it primaries. Like the results showed, ACN remains as strong as ever in Lagos. The party posted an 100 percent record in the chairmanship elections and more than 95 percent in the other ones. Indeed, it was a no contest despite all the pre-election hullaballoo. And it doesn’t matter if the PDP throws all the tantrums in the world at the ACN and it leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Lagosians seem to know where their bread is buttered politically. Unfortunately, the PDP has not taken it like a

with no sensible aim or practicable occupation for their future. The whole system has proved a waste of time, efforts and finance. The country’s educational process – that is, both formal and informal education – is essentially a theoretical and practical failure. Western scholarship, religious education and alternative mores of humanity and morality have been so fundamentally corrupted that they have evolved like communicable diseases – perverting culture and claiming lives, for the sake of a few relative truths and idiosyncrasies. How many Nigerians manage to succeed in real life? To this end, how many definitions of “success” aren’t informed by and deducible by the yardstick of an obscene lust for wealth and the pursuit of money at all cost? For all our acclaimed vision and depth of perception, the 21st century Nigerian presents a shame and impediment to the Nigerian enterprise. Every Nigerian is degenerate and corrupt – which explains why there is an oft ridiculous and affordable price tag attached to every Nigerian today, irrespective of class, religion, politics and gender. In the face of too many social maladies, nothing works. No solution has worked because we persistently apply our practicable and often farfetched solutions to abstract systems and deteriorating structures even as we consciously avoid addressing the needs of eligible recipients of the curative efforts: you and me. If it is indeed true and defensible that there actually exists an appreciable number of Nigerians capable by character, talent and wisdom to receive that higher training the end of which produces intelligent, broad minded, Renaissance men and women of accomplishments and culture, then we have nothing to worry about. For SMS only 08038551123

good sportsman. The level of noise and disorder we have seen from the PDP the last few days really gives one a cause to worry. Why will a party that is notorious for rigging election create so much fuss about losing and blame their losses on being rigged out by ACN in an election they clear stood no chance to win? In the eyes of most Lagosians, if that election was to be conducted again and again PDP is not likely to fare better. From 1999 when Nigeria returned to democracy, elections have always been peaceful in Lagos and that is because the progressives have always had an overwhelming popularity going to the polls. From the days of the Action Congress which produced the Bola Tinubu and now the ACN which boast an array of intelligent array of revolutionaries. Yet the last council poll would have ended as peaceful if the PDP didn’t overestimate their popularity. Hell was let loose when the party woefully lost out even in LGAs they claimed favoured them. Unfortunately, the template for this brigandage seem to have been drawn up in Abuja. Even security personnel were said to have come under strict instructions from Abuja to provide cover for the PDP rigging machine. But like in previous elections, the PDP failed and this time, they fell shamefully flat on their face. It is instructive at this point for us as country that is serious about growing into the top 20 bracket of the biggest economies in the world to do a rethink of the idea of state police. Ironically, the same reason of abuse that the federal government has adduced for not embracing the state police concept is what they are guilty of. It is an abuse of office and the instrument of power for the federal government to use the police as part of it rigging machine. The ACN on its part has learnt a few lessons. Complacency can cost the party electoral victory or weaken its hold. The message that also rings out loud and clear from the last election is that performance is the key. Any leader who fails to perform and impact the lives of the people should prepare for electoral defeat. The people have served a warning. For Obanikoro and his followers, electoral victory cannot be won on the streets through violence or through negative propaganda and name calling. Also, pray when did Obanikoro resign from being an ambassador to becoming a party agent and collation officer? • Adekunle Jamiu lives in Lagos.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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EDITORIAL/OPINION Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936) British writer/poet. HE 1999 Constitution (as amended) in section 18(3) provides that: ‘Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end Government shall as and when practicable provide-(a) free, compulsory and universal primary education ; (b) free secondary education(c) free university education and (d) free adult literacy programme’. In reality, states across the federation under the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme have been running free compulsory primary education. At the secondary level, it is not in all the states that there exists free education. Even where such is claimed to be in existence, the genuineness of that claim can not stand the test of scrutiny. Free adult literacy campaign especially in the northern states has been on for some time even when the response from targets have been poor. There is indisputably no state across the country that can run or has ran free education at the tertiary education level-not even the federal government with its 52 per cent derivation from the federation’s revenue. The federal government has made us realise that it subsidises education in federally owned tertiary institutions across the country. When would ‘Government shall as and when practicable’ be able to provide effective free education not only at the primary but also at the secondary and especially the university levels in the nation. This question became pertinent in view of the issue of increased tuition fee in Lagos State University, Ojoo. The development is causing serious ripples especially among parents, who believe that being a public school, the Lagos government should not compel them to pay what is publicly considered to be ‘high tuition fees’ in LASU. As someone that has aversion for anything that can inconvenience the masses, my immediate reaction was to condemn the increment out rightly. In my humble view, that amount(N230,000) is too much for struggling poverty-beaten Nigerian parents whose wards have just been admitted into that great institution. But the journalistic instinct in me nudged

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CTUALLY, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) won the recent Council elections held in Lagos massively. By a landslide if you like. But by the same token, the ruling party in the state lost the people (followership) equally massively. Sure it sounds paradoxical that an election a grassroots one at that - was won and lost by the same party but that is the colour of reality. It’s like winning a battle and losing the war. Democracy is about the people and elections are even more so, therefore, how is it possible that a party could win an election in voidance of the people? Simple: The people simply shunned the poll. They expressed their apathy and deep-seated disgust by simply staying away. And that, for discerning party strategists, is a troubling augury. It is a loud wake up call for those who care. In the last 12 years therefore, the Councils in Lagos have progressively become remiss and none existent. They gave the impression that they owed no allegiance to the people. Even when they were increased from 20 to 57, it was as if the woes of the people were multiplied by the same margin. The dicing up was ostensibly to get them closer to the people but in the last three years particularly, it was as if Council officials made it a duty to keep as far away from the people as possible. Hardly anyone knew his councilor not to mention the big man, Mr. Chairman. He became a mirage, a masquerade that only came out at night to attend nocturnal meetings. They deliberately made themselves scarce, they avoided the people. However, on such rare occasions when we had the privilege of sighting them (like the mysterious UFOs),we found to our amazement that they had grown in circumference – wider and rounder; and that they had also acquired a gait that was neither suited for work nor thought. They had become utterly awkward in movement and action and their situation was further circumscribed by a crowd of jobbers, praise singers and hangers-on. It got to a head in the last three years as most communities became unbearably inhabitable. In spite of Governor Raji Fashola’s best efforts at fixing the Lagos super structure, hardly any work was being done in the

LASU fees and misplaced populism

•Fashola

me to seek for information about how government arrived at such a figure. It was then that it became known to me that the decision was the aftermath of a Visitation Panel report arrived at by membership spanning students, parents and other critical stakeholders in the Centre of Excellence. I learnt that only new intakes of the institution would have to pay the new regime of fees which means it is not going to be retroactive in effect. Those in other levels would still pay the old fees of N25, 000 for the remaining duration of their courses. The government was enjoined by the report to give priority to scholarships for

brilliant students irrespective of their state of origin and bursary for indigenes of the state that are in the institution to augment their educational pecuniary needs. The reports contained revelations showing that non-indigenes in LASU collect large sums of money as bursary from their various governments only to pay mere N25, 000 as tuition to the institution. What is more pathetic to me is that part of the report that talks about the high number of courses that failed the National Universities’ Commission (NUC) accreditation test. What is the essence of studying courses that had been de-accredited because of lack of resources by the university to get things right? Any practical person will not disagree with the reality that there is urgent need to put infrastructures that would make the best of education attainment in that institution possible. Not only that, one cannot deny the fact that the institution or any one around the world worth its salt needs funds to entice the best hands in the academic world to themselves. At this juncture too, it is important to ask whether LASU under the prevailing circumstance can afford this. If the answer is no, who will provide the funds necessary to get these things, done? Is it only the government or should parents and the corporate world not be made to partner the government in making the institution meet

EXPRESSO STEVE OSUJI

SMS O8055001684 email:steve_osuji@yahoo.com

How ACN lost the Lagos Council polls 57 Councils across Lagos (just as it was the case across the entire country). Most inner roads have failed, drains are blocked and no sign of government was evident in our wards. How could a prime ACN state regress so much almost to the point of the renegade PDP at the centre which it takes so much pleasure in criticizing? When therefore, election time came on October 22nd, 2011, it was a no event. First, the contestants seemed too ashamed of themselves to stump their communities. And where they made the half-hearted efforts, the people equally made it a duty to ignore them. You notice people not as much as looking up from their chores as forlorn campaign vehicles go by noisily. In fact it was as if nemesis came to town one afternoon when an ACN aspirant’s campaign van got stuck in the mire of a road along Idimu-Ejigbo road (among the worst areas in the state). People could be seen gloating at the scene perhaps wishing the van never got unstuck. On E-Day, the electorate simply stayed home. He couldn’t care less whether it was Sham or Sham-sudeen who won. It didn’t make a difference as far as he was concerned. The show of apathy was full and ramifying as if there was a meeting where a resolution was passed. Let’s say that the ruling party in the state got lucky and got away easy this time; perhaps it is still enjoying residual loyalty and goodwill; maybe it’s because there is yet a credible or better organized opposition. But certainly, if no radical change is wrought quickly, the next Council poll three

years hence is sure to produce a different result. What is to be done? It is utterly disappointing and those sympathetic to the cause of ACN are distraught if not horrified that the party has not shown class in the organization and management of the third tier of government. There is absolutely no difference between a miserable ACN council and its PDP counterpart. Twelve years on, ACN ought to be worried that it has failed to distinguish itself in this department. Okay, the primary election this time was quieter unlike three years ago and elections have been consistently regular unlike in some other parties where elections have not held in nearly eight years but we all know that it is much deeper than these. Yes, building a formidable opposition as ACN has become, against a monstrous behemoth like the PDP powered by an overabundance of bonny light crude oil, is surely not a mean task. But the time has come to consolidate by building the proper democratic culture at the grassroots. The Councils must now be structured to carry out its functions in a civilized manner. Nothing short of this will appease the people. Nothing short will work for ACN in the coming polls. LAST MUG: one for Gov Amosun and one for Gov Okorocha: as this piece was being churned out, news came of the victory of Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun States at the polls and the ridiculous confusion that has beset the camps of his opponents. Suddenly nobody knows who dragged the Gov to

up with expectations of its promoters and founding fathers? I have listened to various arguments. One of them is that tuition fees for tertiary institutions in Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) controlled states should be free. This is because of the perception that the party belongs to the people and also because of its perceived welfarist inclination. This argument is correct but will this be achievable and practicable as provided by the Constitution when there are other competing public needs that government must attend to. Another contention is that the fee of N230, 000 charged by government is too high. Others believed that if this fee is allowed to stand, the government within two years of commencement will force other levels’ students left out ab initio to start paying the same fee. On this, we can only take the governor on his honour. The greatest risk to any country’s development is to have a largely uneducated citizenry. More perilous to national health of a nation is to have half-baked formal education graduates. This is the level to which standard of education has fallen in the country today and this expectedly should give any serious-minded leader food for thought. If ameliorating this reality in LASU is the motivating factor behind Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration, let us give his government the benefit of the doubt. If he fails to achieve this, we can then all take him up. While it may not be bad an idea for the government to reduce the fees to something that would project it as a listening one, it is imperative to let parents know without mincing words that they must be ready to pay tuition fees that would be reasonable enough to provide quality education. Afterall, majority of homes including that of the masses send kids to nursery schools where they pay fees for three terms that runs into hundreds of thousands. One acknowledged the fact that such scenario underscores the lack of confidence in our badly managed public schools, but that should make parents to be determined to partner government through payment of tuition fees that would make LASU one of the best in the world. This is no time for any misplaced populism. court. Let’s someone pick up the appellant’s lawyer, he sure knows his paymasters. On second thought, let winners go make merry and let losers be allowed to lick its wound. Congrats, Your Excellency. Nonetheless, I am inclined to serve up the hot mug of coffee I had prepared. What is this story about buying N2 billion worth of textbooks for students in Ogun State? Let’s assume there is a mix up somewhere because that expenditure makes no economic sense, to say the least. Parents and guardians must make some commitment to the education of their wards. That huge sum can be applied to other pressing needs. By the way, are the students of the returned and re-acquired school included in this textbooks largesse? In the same manner, Gov Rochas Okorocha of Imo State is said to have ordered for school uniforms and sandals from China for onward distribution to all the primary and secondary schools children in the state(too many hare-brained ideas flying around in that part including sharing money to students and building European school blocks). This is said to be in furtherance of the free education policy of his administration. First, just like the example above, this is very wasteful if not fraudulent. Second, parents can kit their children; they had always done so. Third, the wasting shoe factory in Owerri can produce all the sandals needed by all the students in Nigeria and lastly, would all the schools in Imo wear the same uniform? Well, since the uniforms may have been ordered anyway, please let them remember to use the right measurements as Chinese children are usually ‘vertically abbreviated’ unlike their Imo counterparts.

‘In fact it was as if nemesis came to town one afternoon when an ACN aspirant’s campaign van got stuck in the mire of a road along IdimuEjigbo road (among the worst areas in the state). People could be seen gloating at the scene perhaps wishing the van never got unstuck’


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2011

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NATION SPORT

Full doping control at 2011 Obudu race

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full doping control will be carried out during the 7th Obudu international mountain race and the 3rd African Nations mountain running champioships which hold on the 28 of this month at the Obudu Ranch Resort. This was revealed yesterday by the Honourable Commissioner for Information in Cross River state,Patrick Ugbe who is also the media chief for the race. Ugbe told newsmen in Calabar that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) has made provision for a full doping control for the event which has become one of the most anticipated events in the calendar of the world mountain running association. 'The LOC will cooperate with Femi Ayorinde,the only recognised World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) official in Nigeria who is likely to conduct the exercise.This is an annual ritual carried out at the race because of its status.The Obudu mountain race has the largest total prize-money available of any mountain race and is known as "the world's richest mountain race".So we have to conform with international practice that random,in-competition doping control must be carried out'',revealed Ugbe. Ugbe further revealed that the tests that will be carried out will include the use of prohibited substances like all anabolic agents which includes but not limited to stanozolol,tetrahydrogestrinone, methandienone,testosterone and prostanozol as well as some growth hormones.

'I am also aware that such prohibited masking agents like diuretics,desmopressin, plasma expanders,probenecid; and other substances with similar biological effect(s).Apart from the prohibited substances,prohibited methods like blood doping including the use of autologous, homologous or heterologous blood or red blood cell products of any origin will also be tested',he said. Meanwhile, the men and women champions Abebe Dinkesa and Meselech Haileyesus have confirmed their participation in this year's edition. Dinkesa,an Ethiopian who set a then race course record of 41:45mins when he won his first Obudu title in 2008 and became a two-time winner last year is desirous of making history as the first man to win the men's title three times in under 10 years. 'Abebe has confirmed that he will be coming to defend his title on November 28.Dinkesa's Ethiopian compatriot,Haileyesus,the defendimg women's champion has also confirmed she would be at the Obudu Ranch for the race',revealed Sir William Archibong,the head of the LOC for the race. 'We are really delighted that the Obudu mountain race has continued to attract the best mountain runners in the world.With the huge support we are getting from His Excellency,I believe this year's race will be the best ever.The governor has charged us to ensure the organisation of this year's race receives another positive commendation from the president of World Mountain Running Association,WMRA,Bruno Gozzellino',he said.

Two held over abuse on Ameobi

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OLICE in England have arrested two teenagers in connection with racial abuse posted on a Premier League footballer's Twitter account. Sammy Ameobi, who plays for Newcastle alongside older brother Shola, was called a "n****r'' by a follower with the username @JonnnnyPhipps after the footballer tweeted a photo of a black pair of boots.

The 19-year-old, who broke into the first team at the end of last season and is becoming a fans' favourite, retweeted the abuse he received, and his attacker's account was closed down. Both Newcastle United and the player reported the matter to police. A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "On Wednesday November 2 Northumbria Police arrested two young men, both aged 17, on suspicion of malicious communication. "The arrests come after reports of a racist tweet being sent to one of the region's professional sportsmen.'' Ameobi had posted a message alongside the photo of the Nike boots, saying: "There will always be a place in my heart for the all blacks.'' The abuser replied: "Your hand is nearly the same colour. £n****r.'' Retweeting the message, Ameobi added: "Sad to see some people are still racist nowadays.'' Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said: "We represent the local community here and when something like this happens we have to react strongly. We will not tolerate any type of behaviour like that. "With the austerity measures and everybody feeling a bit tight, everybody is feeling a bit narrow-minded and • Sammy Ameobi racism is coming to the fore, so maybe it is not a bad thing. "We have been leading the world, the football world, in terms of dealing with it and maybe we should not become complacent in keeping a lid on it.''

NFF names Falcons’ coach next week N IGERIAN football fans will next week know the new head coach of the women's senior national team, the Super Falcons. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) appears indisposed towards renewing the contract of the immediate past coach, Eucharia Uche. The former Nigerian international's nemesis seems to be her inability to qualify Nigeria for the London 2012 Olympic Games. SuperSport.com gathered from the head media officer of the football house, Ademola Olajire, that the executive board on Wednesday instructed its technical committee to meet next week to recommend a replacement for coach Uche as well as re-constitute the technical crew of

the women's Under17 and Under-20 teams. Olajire informed SuperSport.com that the committee will equally make recommendation to the executive board on the person to be appointed national technical director. The image-maker clarified the appointment of former Togo and Mali coach, Stephen Keshi as Super Eagles coach stating that part of his reference is to qualify Nigeria for the 2013 Africa Nations Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup and take the team to the quarterfinals of the mundial to be staged in Brazil. The new Eagles helmsman will earn exactly N5 million per month as was the case with his immediate predecessor, coach Samson Siasia. Keshi will be at liberty to pick his assistants.

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY

Enyeama, Etuhu, Moses get Eagles’ call-up S

UPER Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and Victor Moses have been called up for Nigeria’s international friendly matches against Botswana and Zambia. Enyeama has been recalled back into the Super Eagles’ setup after he was axed by former head coach, Samson Siasia following a row that broke between the duo before the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying against Madagascar. On his part, Moses will be making his long-awaited debut for Nigeria. It is a first call-up for the Wigan striker

Why we chose Ghana — Dream Team V

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HE need to make good use of the time left between now and the start of the CAF Under-23 Championships in Morocco altered the Dream Team V planned move to Turkey. Making this known in a brief chat the media officer of the Dream Team V, Arafat Aliu stressed that issues with visas and some other factors ruled out the choice of Turkey for the team’s campsite and the preference of Ghana so as to bypass the bureaucracy associated with the release of entry permit. According to Aliu, “You know we really wanted to travel to Turkey for the training tour and if it was according to our plan, we ought to

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri travel this weekend but as at Tuesday this week visas issuance have not been sorted out because the list of those to be in the itinerary has not been sent to the Turkish Embassy. It would have been sent on Thursday which will make it impossible to be processed and meet up with our plan to travel over the weekend. “The Turkish embassy says the whole team will have to come to make an appearance one after the other. The coach feels all those stresses could take about one week off the preparation of the team and he wasn’t ready to waste those days hence his choice of Ghana which is nearby and where her

international passport will need no visas. It has saved the team the luxury of waiting for visa and it will also enable the team to start camping this weekend.” The Dream Team V will leave for Ghana this weekend for training exercise ahead of the Olympics Qualifiers in Morocco and we play alongside the host and the trio of Algeria and Senegal in Group A. 16 foreign based players have been invited to complement the 25 home based players before the final list is drawn for the CAF Under-23 Championships.

since he was cleared this week to swap national allegiances and play for the Super Eagles. The 20-year-old was first called up for Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations clash with Ethiopia in March but he was ruled out of the game as he was yet to receive official clearance from FIFA to play for his country of birth. However, Shola Ameobi of Newcastle United, who was also cleared by FIFA to play for Nigeria did not make the squad as he has been sidelined by injury. Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu has also been handed a recall for the first time since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.Etuhu had a spat with former coach Samson Siasia after he turned down a late call-up for the cancelled friendly against Ghana in August. Yusuf Ayila is also making a return to the national team while Lecce striker, Edward Ofere gets his first senior call up. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced a 28-man squad, chosen by its technical committee, on Thursday in what will be new coach Stephen Keshi's first game in charge. Nigeria expected to play host to the Zebras of Botswana on November 12 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City. Three days later the Nigerian side will clash with Zambia’s Chipolopolo in another international friendly at the Ahmed Bello Stadium in Kaduna.

Odemwingie in fitness race EST BROM boss Roy Hodgson has revealed that Osaze Odemwingie is in a race against time to be fit for Saturday's trip to Arsenal. The Baggies striker, who scored in both games against the Gunners last season, suffered a blow to his knee in training on Tuesday and has not trained since. He will be assessed by the club's medical staff but Hodgson is hopeful

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he will recover in time for the Emirates Stadium clash. "He took a knock in training the other day so at the moment he's not okay," said Hodgson. "He was alright on Monday and the best part of Tuesday until he took a bang on the knee. We'll look at him and hopefully he'll be okay for the game." Paul Scharner and Shane Long (knee) are both out for the North London encounter.

Moses hoping for change in fortune V

ICTOR Moses is hoping that the Latics experience a change in fortune this weekend against a stuttering Wolves side. The young winger has recently received clearance on his nationality switch, allowing him to play for

• Moses

Nigera. Now Moses is hoping that lady luck shines on the blues this weekend and the present run of eight straight defeats for the Latics comes to an end. Speaking to the Wigan Evening Post, Moses said: "That's just the way it's going for us at the moment, and our luck has got to change sooner or later. "It's still early days, though, and we're all confident of turning it round. Everyone is working hard on and off the field, and it has to change sooner or later. It can't go on. "The only way we're going to get out of the position we're in is by picking up wins, and that's the way we've got to look at it. "It means the Wolves game will be even bigger than it would otherwise have been, but we are more than capable of getting the three points. "No-one's looking at the league table at the moment. All we're concentrating on is working hard on putting in another good performance, and hopefully the rest will take care of itself." Moses himself has shown glimpses of his potential, but if the Latics are to survive this season the former Crystal Palace winger needs to have a bigger impact for the duration of the 90 minutes.

• Etuhu

And newly-appointed head coach, Stephen Keshi is expected to take charge of the games. THE FULL LIST: GOALKEEPERS: Vincent Enyeama (Lille LOSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Petah Tikva (Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Warri Wolves, Nigeria) DEFENDERS: Chibuzor Okonkwo (Heartland FC, Nigeria); Gege Soriola (Free State Stars, South Africa); Taye Taiwo (AC Milan, Italy); Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Efe Ambrose (Ashdod MS, Israel); Ayodele Adeleye (SC Tavriya Simferopol, Ukraine); Ugo Ukah (Widzew Lopdz, Poland); Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine) MIDFIELDERS: Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England); Fengor Ogude (Valerenga, Norway); Kalu Uche (Neuchatel Xamax, Switzerland); Nosa Igiebor (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel); Dickson Etuhu (Fulham, England); Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic, England); Joel Obi (Inter, Italy) STRIKERS: Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ahmed Musa (VVV Venlo, Netherlands); Ikechukwu Uche (Granada, Spain); Osaze Odemwingie (West Bromwich Albion, England); Ekigho Ehiosun (Samsunspor, Turkey); Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow, Russia); Chinedu Obasi (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Edward Ofere (US Lecce, Italy)

Eguavoen invites 16 foreign based for Dream Team final camping

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ATIONAL U-23 coach Austin Eguavoen has release a list of 16 foreign based players for the final phase of the Dream team V camping exercise ahead of the forthcoming CAF inaugural U-23 championship in Morocco. The List has three players from Italy, four from Spain, two from Ukraine, and one each from Albania, Turkey, Israel, England, Portugal, Sudan and Ivory Coast. Coach Austin Eguavoen who had last week embarked on a tour of Europe warned that “There is no automatic shirt in this team all players must come prove that they

• Eguavoen

are worthy of making the final twenty one to the championship” The 16 players which included two flying Eagles stars are expected to join up with the Dream Team V next week in Ghana. Coach Austin Eguavoen has November 16 deadline to submit his final list of 21 for the championship. The Dream Team V begins its campaign against host Morocco on the 26th in Tangiers. FULL LIST Nurudeen Orelesi ( FC Skenderbue, Albania) Obiora Nwankwo (Parma FC, Italy) Odion Ighalo( Granada FC, Spain) Uchechi Daniel ( Sheffield Wednesday, England) Haruna Lukman ( FC Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine) Nnamdi Oduamadi (Torino, Italy) Nosa Igiebor (Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Israel) Babatunde Micheal ( Kryvbas FC, Ukraine) Suswam Terna ( Victoria Setubal, Portugal) Daniel Adejo (Reggina, Italy) Lawal Raheem ( Atletico Belareas, Spain) Ekigho Ehiosun ( Samsunpor FC, Turkey) Olaitan Otubanjo (Atletico Madrid, Spain) Stephen Nworgu ( AlMerreikh, Sudan ) Ramon Azeez ( Almeria, Spain) Kayode Olarenwaju ( Asec Mimosa, Ivory coast)

Ogbonna urged to stay faithful to Torino

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ORMER Torino defender Pasquale Bruno is urging Angelo Ogbonna not to leave the Granata. AC Milan and Liverpool are among clubs chasing the young Italy defender. “I would advise Ogbonna to stay where he is,” Bruno told TMW. “Especially if Torino are promoted and are in Serie A next season. “He still has to improve despite his excellent potential and he would find it tough at a club like Milan to play regularly. “You also have to factor in that if Torino want to be protagonists in the top Division then they’ll need his help. “He has really become more secure under Coach Giampiero Ventura this season and I hope Torino President Urbano Cairo does everything necessary to keep him. “He can play at full-back, but he’ll become a great centre-back!”

U-17 LONDON CAMP

Technical committee to scrutinize list soon

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HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Sub Committee Department will soon sit to deliberate on the eight players recommended for the country at the end of a two day practice session in London organised to give players of Nigerian parentage in diaspora a chance to form part of the next Golden Eaglets. Making this known to NationSport, a chieftain of the NFF stated that the coaches contacted to fish out hidden talents for the nation’s Golden Eaglets have since submitted their recommendation and that a statement on whether the players would be invited to form the bedrock of the next Under-17 players would only be made after the Technical Sub Committee had met to rubber stamp their proposal. The source disclosed, “We have received their report from the camp and having sent it.,we (the Technical Committee) will look at it and it is after this we will now know whether it will be wise for us to embark on it or not. It is then we will decide whether there is the need for them to be invited to Nigeria so that the Under-17 coaches here can have a firsthand assessment of them.” The source also revealed the reason why a certain Coach Chika Akujobi with Feyenoord of Holland was the handler instructed to drill the players and not the present crop of the Nigeria Under 17 coaches. “ The Golden Eaglets are presently not in camp and so the coaches don’t really have much to do now. We engaged a coach who is based in

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri Europe and understands the terrain very well.” The eight selected players are Arinze Uade defender (Arsenal U-16), Alex Iwobi midfielder (Arsenal) Oluwatomisin Adeloye striker (Charlton), Joseph Debayo defender (Stoke City), Joshua Odunwo striker (Southend), Keith Orenuga striker (Arsenal). The rest are Fejiri Okenabirhie winger (Arsenal) and Lawson Okimeji defender (unattached)

• Ogbonna

3SC still rebuilding —Adepoju

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X international, Mutiu Adepoju and the team manager of 3SC of Ibadan has said that the club is still in rebuilding process. After losing to Dolphins by a lone goal in a keenly contested Premier League match in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Adepoju noted that the club still has so much to put in place but would definitely bounce back. "As at today, we are not yet we we want to be. We are still in the rebuilding process of the club and it has not being an easy task. We have many things that we are trying to put in place and also, the new government is doing a lot to ensure that the clubs gets back to its normal state". On the match with Dolphins, Adepoju said the best team took the day while commending the

From Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt officiating. "It was an interesting and exciting match. Dolphins matched our play in the second half and I don't have anything against it. The officiating was okay and I don't have anything to say against the officiating of the match because it was a very intersting match and the team that utilized its opportunity won." With two matches to go, the team manager said his team is working very hard. "Everything lies in the hand of God. We are working very hard to make sure that we achieve. We have two more games; one home and one away and as at now, by God's grace, we are not going to drop to relegation," he said.

New league hotshot, Aneke promises more goals EW Nigeria Premier League (NPL) hotshot and highest goals scorer ever, Kaduna United’s Jude Aneke has boasted that he would still add more to the current 20 goals he has plundered before the league season rounds off on November 13th. Aneke who is on the radar of Belgian side, Genk tore the Ahmed Musa’s 18 goals record into shred with a superb hat trick to guarantee his club three points in the NPL

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From Tunde Liadi, Owerri Week 38 clash with Niger Tornadoes which ended 3-1. Daniel Etor scored Tornadoes consolatory goal. A thrilled Aneke told NationSport, “This is indeed my day of joy and today 2nd November, 2011 will be written down and will continue to be in my memory. I never doubted my ability to be the player to break the 18 goals barrier. Having broken it I hope to keep on to add more goals

so that my record will stay for quite some time if it will be broken at all. I am indeed happy.” It would be recalled that Musa who now plays for VVV Venlo of Holland last season while in the colours of Kano Pillars with 18 goals broke the record set by the duo of Ishaya Jatau formerly of Iwuanyanwu Nationale in 1990 and that of Orok Akarandut in 2009 who while with Akwa United. Both scored 17 goals apiece.


EMPOWERMENT Lift for 4,500 women farmers Akwa Ibom 28

CRIME

CARE

Police arrest suspected robbery gang

Payment of stipend to students begins

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Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

Obi boosts security with N200m

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•Obi

NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has released the sum of N200m to security trust fund to fight crime in the state. The battle against vice has been gathering momentum in the state, with the government recently providing over 500 Hilux SUVs for all the security outfits in the state. That was in addition to donations from banks, individuals and other corporate organisations. Vice Chairman of the State Security Trust Fund Chief Godwin

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Okeke disclosed this in Awka, the Anambra State capital in a chat with journalists. Okeke said about N10m of the money released by Obi had been used to purchase over 500 brand new tyres for the police, military and State Security Service (SSS). Handing over the tyres to the security agencies, Okeke said it was a way of complementing Obi’s efforts in crime fighting in the state.

He said apart from the 200m which the governor released to the trust fund, banks equally supported the security community with either cash or other crime fighting equipment. He noted that members of the security trust fund committee were picked from the private sector, the military, the police, SSS, and other relevant bodies, adding that it was a method of making sure that crime was reduced to its barest minimum. Okeke further said that Obi’s effort in the area of crime fight-

ing has drastically reduced criminal activities in the state. The state Commissioner of Police Muhtari Ibrahim was represented by the Assistant Commissioner in charge of operations, B. D. Makama. He noted that most of their vehicles used for crime fighting had worn-out tyres, adding that the donation by the trust fund was a big boost to security operations. •Continued on Page 26

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ROCESSING cassava will no longer be a grind in Umudire community in Imo State, thanks to the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN). The foundation donated a processing plant to the community. It also provided a borehole to supply the farmers water. The gesture buoyed up the agrarian community whose inhabitants are predominatly manual tillers of the land. BATN said its vision is to improve the quality of life of people in both rural and urban areas of the country. Chairman of BATN, Dr. Christopher Kolade disclosed this while presenting an address at the official inauguration and handover of the cassava processing plant to Royale Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative Society (Royale FMCS) Umudire, Umuna, Imo State. Kolade further said that the focus of the foundation is also to make life more meaningful for the people in both the urban and rural areas of the country though the implementation of various community development projects in the four areas of sustainable agricultural development, sustainable potable water supply, sustainable environmental protection and sustainable educational development projects. Kolade, who was represented by the Executive Director of the foundation Mr Gbenga Ibikunle, stressed that these four areas are part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations and the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) of the Federal Government which aims at enhancing employment generation, wealth creation, poverty reduction and value reorientation of the people. According to him, since the inception of BATN Foundation, it has conceptualised and implemented various community development projects in these four focus areas in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. He stressed that it is their belief that the construction and donation

•From left: Mrs Ijezie, Mr Ibikunle, and Mrs Igwe at the inauguration ceremony

Imo community excited at factory’s inauguration

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

of the cottage industry to the community would go along way in improving efficiency in agricultural produce processing, reduce waste and increase productivity. He further disclosed that the ease with which the harvested cassava would now be processed into garri

Foundation donates cassava plant and other cassava derivatives would engender higher product quality, higher income and better

livelihood for members of Royale Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative Society. He stated that the cassava

processing cottage industry is fully equipped with cassava grater, heavy duty cassava •Continued on Page 26


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Council chief rallies councillors

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E-ELECTED chairman of Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State, Hon Olusola Israel Adekunle has urged his team to give their best in order to improve upon the achievements recorded in the last three years. The council boss said even though the Alimosho area has witnessed a remarkable transformation since 2008, there is need for everyone to work harder. “There is no substitute for hard work,” Adekunle said. “Let every individual be a solution provider and not a problem to the local government.” He was speaking during the inauguration of the newly elected councilors at the local government secretariat. “It is a good thing,” he told them, “that in the last three years, we have all been partners in the development process of our various wards in order to bring progress and development to the grassroots.” Adekunle listed some of the council’s developmental efforts. They include: provision of 3,000 units of desks and benches for schools in the council; procurement and distribution of 100 GCE forms; reha•Continued from page 25

pressers, fermentation rack and stainless steel fryers. Stating that in line with their tradition of maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene at donated facilities, the BATN Foundation has equally provided a functional borehole with a 5, 000 litre water

bilitation of classroom blocks at Abati Community, Ebenezer and Shasha primary schools. Adekunle said his administration rehabilitated staff rooms and toilets in Ebenezer, Egbeda and Shasha Primary Schools, fence and gates of Abati and Ebenezer Primary Schools, and constructed drainages in different parts of the council. He listed some of the benefitting areas to include Daramola, Alabata, Ranti Alabi, Modupe, Olatinpo, Banire, Ishola streets, among others. Yet other projects included: procurement and distribution of 10 units of 500 KVA power transformers. The council boss said his administration also supported the police by providing two patrol vehicles for Afonka and Gowon Estate, including a power generating set and walki-talkie, among other logistics. Adekunle said his administration worked hard to prevent flooding in the council by constructing over 40 culverts and clearing drains in the area. He added that roads were paved across the council’s

•Hon. Adekunle (right) at the inauguration of the councillors

seven wards. That is not all, Adekunle said. Women in Alimosho council also benefit from free antenatal

and postnatal care, in addition to free drugs for all age brackets. In the council, hitherto unemployed youths have also been

given jobs, the chairman said. But he cautioned that their new mandate also leaves them with an obligation to work even harder in order to achieve more.

Community gets cassava-processing plant storage tank to provide adequate water for processing activities at the cottage industry and for sundry domestic use by members of the community. In her speech, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural

The focus of the foundation is also to make life more meaningful for the people in both the urban and rural areas of the country though the implementation of various community development projects in the four areas of sustainable agricultural development, sustainable potable water supply, sustainable environmental protection and sustainable educational development projects

Resources, Mrs. Adaora Ijezie commended the management of BATN Foundation for the donation and urged other non-governmental organisation to emulate this noble gesture. Highlighting that the Imo State Government would improve on and

replicate this in all the local governments of the state. In her address, the President of Royale FMCS, Mrs. Violet Igwe requested the approval and support for a training programme for women by the state government on various processing options of

cassava stems and other inputs that would ensure higher productivity. While assuring of their readiness to maintain and sustain the project, the society said that the gesture would remain evergreen in their memory for generations to come.

Obi boosts security with N200m •Continued from page 25

He commended the administration of Governor Obi for its contribution towards crime fighting in the state, even as he assured that the state police command would not disappoint the people of the state. Colonel J. Abuka, the Com-

mander of the 302 Artillery Regiment Onitsha, who was represented by Lieutenant Godwin Dakos, the Awka sector commander praised Obi for taking the issue of crime fighting serious. He also commended the security trust fund committee for its kind gesture, adding that it would help the military on quick intervention on crime fighting. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Colonel George Molokwu (rtd), disclosed to Newsextra that Obi is passionate in his actions on security which, according to him, he sees as bedrock for good governance.

He said that the donations of the tyres were to make sure that the vehicles already donated to security outfits remain operational especially during the Yuletide period. Speaking further, the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of the security trust fund, Okechukwu Nwokoye, told Newsextra that the idea was a private, public partnership aimed at tackling the security problems in Anambra State. He also said the trust fund was taking aback by corporate organisations and individuals on their quick response, adding that the issue of security had been a worrisome one to everyone.

Apart from Obi releasing the sum of N200m to the trust fund, banks had equally supported the security fund with either some cash or other crime fighting equipment…Members of the security trust fund committee were picked from the private sector, the military, the police, SSS, and other relevant bodies

•From left: Principal, Jubilee Model Senior Grammar School, Lagos, Mr Abdul Abiodun Tunde; Public Relations Manager, Indomie, Mr Tope Ashiwaju; Chairperson, Coker Aguda Local Development Area, Lagos, Alhaja Omobolanle Akinyemi Obe; and member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Dr Abdulrasaq Balogun, at the donation of laboratory equipment by Indomie to the school. PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

QUOTE Apart from Obi releasing the sum of N200m to the trust fund, banks had


THE NATION

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

Ebonyi disburses N1b to six mission hospitals

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HE Ebonyi State Government has disbursed a total sum of N1b to six mission hospitals in the state to ensure the reduction of morbidity and mortality rates across the 13 local government areas of the state. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sunday Nwangele, who disclosed this to journalists in Abakaliki while disbursing the money to the mission hospitals, restated the determination of the state government to the transformation of the health system in the state and to ensure the provision of quality healthcare delivery to the people. Dr Nwangele said that this year’s disbursement is the 10th segment of the programme, noting that the

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HE activities of one of the leading microfinance banks in the country, Umuchinemere Pro-credit MicroFinance Bank, (UPMFB) Enugu, is suffering a setback as a result delays by customers in repayment of credit facilities given to them. This, according to the management of the bank, has become a major factor militating against its poverty eradication efforts and that of other microfinance banks in Nigeria. The chairman of the bank, Monsignor Obiora Ike, told the bank’s shareholders at its 15th annual general meeting (AGM) that the bank was compelled by banking rules and regulations to write off over N70m of its profit in 2010 because of the problem of nonpayment of loans by some customers.

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

grant of N100m to each of the rural-based mission hospitals in the state has helped tremendously in the reduction of the number of deaths during child delivery in the rural communities. He said: “This brings to N1b the funds so far 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 in the sustenance of the programme.

“The intervention which is a public, private partnership which is in line with the rural healthcare 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.” Dr Nwangele said the grants had reduced maternal mortality in the state to 219 per 100, 000 live-births and extended free healthcare services to the rural poor. He further said: “The full implementation of CONMESS and CONHESS by the state government was a demonstration of its resolve to improve the healthcare system in the state. He expressed his satisfaction over the achieve-

ments so far recorded by the programme. In a remark, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Hyacinth Ote gave assurance that government would sustain the scheme and urged the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the grants. In an interview with some of the beneficiaries who included 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 N150m and N170m.

•Governor Elechi

Poverty alleviation programme suffers setback From Chris Oji, Enugu

Ike lamented: “Many people came to the bank and collect money as loans; use it to do business but when it is time to repay the loan, they deploy all manner of antics not to repay the money. They tell the bank don’t disturb me, and when the bank comes a second time they change address and when the bank traces them to their new location, they will go to court and say the bank is disturbing them. That is the phenomenon happening in Nigeria: people taking loans are not willing to repay, thereby hampering the efforts of our bank and other micro-finance banks in poverty reduction.”

We are faced with the challenges of delays by some customers in the repayment of loans administered as and when due, resulting in the write-off of such debts from our reserves

The bank boss said however that despite all odds, Umuchinemere Micro-finance Bank was able to eke out a net profit-after-tax of N27.4m, or 11kobo earnings per Share in 2010, which was ploughed back to the bank’s Share reserve to beef up its share capital. While the bank’s customer base moved up from 31,782 in 2009 to 43,172 in 2010, Ike noted that despite the cold operating environment in 2010, the bank made remarkable progress in certain aspects of its financial activities in the year under review, as it recorded appreciable increase in its paid-up capital and asset base from N222, 181,570 to N247, 916,510 and from N1.3m to N1.5m in 2010 respectively. He said the activities of the bank over the years, especially during the period under review, got wide acknowledgment and earned it more investors from both within and outside Nigeria, as Enugu State government, for instance, had finalised arrangements for 200

more cabs to be added to the over 500 fleet in its poverty reduction scheme in transportation area managed by the bank. Dissatisfied that the bank used its profit to repay the loans some of its customers took, as its shareholders’ fund experienced a reduction as a result of adjustments and provisions that included total write off of bad debts, the Umuchinemere bank chairman exhorted loan defaulters to act with integrity and keep their promise to repay their loans, even as he urged the shareholders to enhance their equity participation in the bank. “We are faced with the challenges of delays by some customers in the repayment of loans administered as and when due, resulting in the write-off of such debts from our reserves,” the chairman further informed the bank’s stakeholders, urging them to assist in ensuring that facilities borrowed from the bank are promptly repaid.

Monsignor Ike charged the bank’s Correspondence banks to collaborate with it in activities that will engender progress of the active poor people and not just looking for the bank’s placements. Earlier, the Legal Holder of the bank and Bishop of Enugu Catholic diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Callistus Onaga, represented at the occasion by his Vicar-General, Very Rev. Mgr. Luke Adike, thanked the bank for all its good services to the people of the diocese and the entire Enugu State. Describing the bank as one of the best in the country, the Prelate explained that the bank was not just established to make money but to serve as a veritable instrument of spreading the Good News and proclaiming the gospel through economic emancipation of the people. He therefore urged the bank to keep to banking rules and maintain good relationship. The AGM approved the appointment of three new directors for the bank.

Okorocha declares war against kidnappers

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MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has urged traditional rulers, committee chairmen, community leaders and President-Generals of town un-

•Comrade Kamaldeen Salau-Bashua, Chairman, Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, congratulating Hon Idayat Anifowoshe during the swearing-in of councillors at the council secretariat

ions in Orlu zone to join forces with security agents in order to curb every form of crime in the zone. Okorocha stated this while launching Operation Rescue/ Community Policing for Orlu zone at Ogboko. He warned that government will not spare anybody involved in kidnapping no matter his status in the society, adding that his concern is not even the criminals but those who instigate them. He advised owners of uncompleted buildings to engage the services of registered security men to avoid demolition of such buildings, even as he regretted an incidence where an uncompleted building belonging to a traditional ruler in the state was used for kidnapping activities. The governor, accompanied by his deputy, Sir Jude Agbaso, the Director of State Security Services (SSS) in the state, the state Commissioner of Police and the Speaker of the state House of As-

sembly, also had an interactive forum with all the stakeholders on security in the zone after which he hoped the rate of crime in the zone will reduce to its barest minimum. To ensure that every Imo citizen is safe in Orlu, the governor said government has introduced some measures including local Security Council meeting, joint command of Army, Police, Navy and SSS. Hotline in Government House, Operation Rescue / Community Policing as well as introduction of 1,000 plain police men to check criminal activities in the state. The state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Abubakar disclosed that an information box has been opened at the Police Headquarters Owerri, urging members of the public to drop any information that would help police fish out criminals in the state. He maintained that security is everybody’s business.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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Akwa Ibom empowers 4500 women farmers

• Akpabio

FRSC urges safety during Sallah

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HE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has advised road users to observe traffic rules and regulations during the Sallah celebration and during the ``Ember'' months. The FRSC Sector Commander in Ogun State, Mr Adeboye Oyeniyi, told reporters that the command was doing everything possible to ensure that the roads were safe for all. Oyeniyi said: ``We are not leaving any stone unturned in our bid to reduce carnage on Ogun roads and beyond, the FRSC is ready physically and psychologically to ensure sanity on our roads. "We know that it is going to be a very busy period and it has even started as we are speaking, we understand what is expected of us, and we are going to be up and doing. "All our vehicles have been well serviced, we have been discussing with Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and Federal Ministry of Works so that pot holes will be fixed for these periods. "If that is done, the era of motor running into pot holes and summersault will be reduced to a minimum." According to him, the FRSC will also collaborate with other agencies such as the police, special marshals, and first aid groups among, others during the periods. Oyeniyi also advised drivers to be very sensitive to the weather during the period. He said, ``Harmattan is fast approaching and the weather will be so cloudy during this period.

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

duce was conceptualised as a practical way of making Federal and state public servants have access to our food items and other agricultural produce directly from our hard working farmers (the primary producer)." He expressed the hope that farmers through the fair, would listen to the contributions of consumers, which would in the long run lead to a better packaging and added value to farm produce. Enumerating some of the agricultural intervention programmes of the state which include over N1bn interest-free loan for 4,500 women and the training of 1,200 youths in integrated farmers scheme and the farmers market, the commissioner noted that government is committed to food sustainability by making it available and affordable.

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• The Principal of Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Onitsha, Sister Maria Chijioke Nwankwo (right) after receiving a cheque of N2.7m from Governor Obi to control flooding in her school. Behind them are the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Mike Egbebike and the Senior Prefect of the School, Aboma Chioma

Ijaw communities crave amenities

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HE President of Ijaw Youth Council,Mr Mabiye Kuromiema, has appealed to the Akwa Ibom State government to provide Ibeno and Eastern Obollo communities

with basic amenities. He also urged government to begin the process of creating a constituency that would give the communities appropriate representation at state and federal legislatures to enable them have a sense of belonging. Kuromiema made the call at the 2011 zonal convention of the organisation in Ibeno. He noted with regret that the communities had been marginalised by the state government in spite of their status as oil producing communities. Kuromiema stressed that the two communities were the most underdeveloped in the state, with no social amenities or infrastructure.

He said the two council areas deserved to benefit from the 13 per cent derivation revenue which accrues to the state government. He said the Ibeno and Easter Obollo communities were part of Eastern Ijaw people and shared a legendary history with rich marine resources which had supported the economic development of the country. The Eastern Ijaw, which includes Eastern Obollo and Ibeno, should be given their own political space. We want our own autonomy. We want to have full control of our political offices to move ourselves forward. What sustains Akwa Ibom is the totality of the revenue that comes from Eastern Obollo and Ibeno land space, including the adjourning continental shelf."

HE World Bank has concluded plans to pump $60 million into projects in Edo State following the pass mark given to the government by the bank for the ongoing projects in the state. The new World Bank Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly disclosed this during a visit to the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at the Government House in Benin City, just as the state government revealed plans for two 450Mw Independent Power Projects totaling 900Mw to be sited in the state to boost the nation's power generation. According to Francoise Marie-Nelly, "since the state's policies are very clearly laid out, we have received the go-ahead to proceed. I will like to mention that the amount has been slightly reduced in our discussion with the government because the amount that was approved in the national budget plan is $60 million", she noted. According to her, "we had contemplated having $75 million, but I think what is important is to start doing something. So Mr. Governor, I am pleased to visit you just three weeks after coming to Nigeria and I look forward to start visiting the project sites to see the achievements. "I think there is a reason why Edo is the first State that I'm visiting, first of all my team informed me that there is a dialogue that has developed between the World Bank and Edo State on the achievements you have made. I have done my homework before coming and I have noticed that Edo state's social indicators are above the national average", she noted.

Edo According to her, "I would like to commend you on your performance and to encourage you to continue because you can certainly do even more". Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who said he has been able to make a bold statement that Edo State can work despite its lean resources, noted that there are lots of challenges which government has not been able to address, but however assured that he would sustain the on-going urban renewal projects.

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T •The wife of the Caretaker Chairman of Atiba Local Government Area, Princess Temitope Adeyemi, presenting a gift to Alhaja Hunmani, from Ward 3 during the Women empowerment programme organised for women and old people in the council

Abia lection of some of the taxes "are inhuman as touts are veritably used to intimidate and embarrass innocent citizens. "This primitive method of revenue collection is gradually tarnishing the image of the government." Okoroji urged government to publish harmonised taxes and levies in the state as well as banks authorised to collect them. He advocated the setting up of a tax harmonisation committee by the government and suggested that the committee, made up of men of integrity from both the public and private sectors of economy, should fine-tune and improve the taxation system in the state.

The chamber president said that the committee would equally tackle the issue of touts and miscreants who constituted ``a great menace," in Aba. "Most of them, we believe, without the knowledge or permission of the government, parade the streets of Aba as revenue collectors, collecting chains of unauthorised revenue in the city.'' He gave assurance that the new leadership of ACCIMA was determined and adequately equipped to serve the organised private sector in Aba. Okoroji also assured members that the cham-

SOKO Progressive Union (IPU) has praised President Goodluck Jonathan for nominating Chief Solomon Ogba as Commissioner representing Delta State in the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). In a statement signed its Chairman, Ajiri Egbo and General-Secretary, Mathias Adidi, the body affirmed the nomination of Chief Ogba, as the right choice, considering his pedigree, as exemplified when he was Commissioner for Sports in Delta State. "We are confident that he will represent the

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

ing the yulitide, adding that those who will be using its buses from now onward will have a lot of attractive incentives like food and snacks during each journey. The GM said that everyone travelling buses during Christmas have a chance of winning a • Sen. Gbenga Ashafa with beneficiaries of his ICT programme: Miss Oluwakemi Thomas Kia car as part of ways to encourage their cus- ( Lekki LCDA, left), Miss Oyindamola Balogun (Bariga LCDA, third left) and Miss Blessing tomers, adding that everyone who enters their Nwachukwu (Bariga LCDA). buses should keep their tickets for the draws before the end of the year. Apugo noted that the Abia state transport company is determined not to lose any of its By Jude Isiguzo drivers and passengers, "we have introduced ORTHERN indigenes resident in Lagos the training of its drivers and that all the new under the aegis of Arewa United Group Idi- Araba and Seriki Fulani Ojo and Badagry, buses will be installed with tracking and speed have called on Governor Babatunde Alhaji Hassan Auio and Muhammed Gagari said limit devices for the safety of everyone". Fashola to fulfill his pre-election promise to they want Governor Fashola to come and fulfill appoint one of them as member of the state the promise he made to the Arewa community executive council. before the governorship and local government They stated their position after a special prayer elections. held in Surulere in honour of a prominent According to the community leaders, the Arewa couples. It is designed to help couples renew member, Alhaji Sidi Ali who died recently. people are not inferior to any other tribe in Lagos their love and marital vows. Members also used the occasion to thank God and as such deserve to have a commissioner in the The Church Pastor, Reverend Olajide Oke for the victory recorded by the Action Congress state executive council. said it is the vision of the church to raise great Party (ACN) in the just concluded local The northern leaders argued that the northern people for God. The family unit, according to government elections. people residents in Lagos have been promised a him, plays a vital role in achieving this laudSpeaking with journalists at the event, the Seriki commissioner’s slot since the era of the former able vision.

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HE Chairman, Mushin Local Government Area, Hon. Olatunde Adepitan, has solicited the cooperation of his councillors to succeed in his second term. He made this call during the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected councilors in his council area. The chairman said he enjoyed the first term because the councillors were with him in the struggle to provide critical infrastructural facilities such as good road network, school buildings, primary healthcare, poverty alleviation programmes and others. “As you are sworn in today, kindly make bye-laws that will assist the government to discharge its enormous responsibilities without fear of favour,”he said. He used the occasion to appeal to the electorate to vote for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the bye-election where the councillorship contest was declared inconclusive by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) at ward H. Speaking further , he appealed to the Fed-

eral Government to review the revenue formular in favour of the local government because of the critical roles the third tier plays in stabilising the polity at the grassroots.” “ “People have easy access to their elected councillors and chairman unlike what is obtainable at the state and federal levels. If a councillor or chairman fails to perform to the expectation of his people, he could easily be checked,” said Adepitan. The chairman went further: “To us in Mushin, we endeavour to involve the governed in the administration of their communities; we regularly inform the people about the amount made available to us from the Federation Account and the Internally Generated Revenue. We also involve them when a project is to be embarked upon. We cannot afford to fail the people because they have reposed so much confidence in us. “In this dispensation, we shall launch a programme called “Operation Fill the Potholes.” This is aimed at giving lots of attention to our roads begging for the attention of government. • Hon. Adepitan at the swearing-in ceremony

full interest of every Deltan. This is because Chief Ogba is credible, noted for uprightness and does not exhibit sentiments in performing his duties," the statement added.

Mothers blamed for immorality HE President of Confraternity of Christian Mothers, Saint Joachim and Anne, Ijegun, Lagos,Mrs Christianah Ogbonna, has urged mothers to instill moral values in their children. Ogbonna told reporters during the Annual General Meeting of Christian Mothers, Lagos Archdiocese, that mothers should be blamed for the immorality in the society. "Every child was brought up from a home and so was schooled by a mother in one way or the other; every mother should be responsible for her children,'' she said Ogbonna noted that nobody fell from heaven, and that everyone was born of a woman, and as such, women should carry out their primary duty of teaching their children morals. "If all mothers were awake to their responsibilities, we would have a better society as everyone passed through a home before going to school,'' she said

Fashola urged to fulfil his promise

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Church holds progamme HE annual couples breakfast fellowship organised by Triumphant Baptist Church, Akowonjo will hold tomorrow at 7.ooam. The theme is: Hold me Forever. The breakfast fellowship is a veritable avenue to promote unity and bonding between

Delta

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Abia

Council chief urges co-operation

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• Managing Director /CEO of First Deepwater, Mr Babatunde Babalola (second right) at the presentation of tricycles to some disabled basketball players in Lagos. With him from left are the Head, Commercial and Industrial Sales, Mr Olatunbosun Ololade; Chief Financial Officer, Mr Femi Adekoya and the beneficiaries, Mr Ezekiel Lazeez and Mr Peter Osadare Kelvin. PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

HE General Manager of Abia Line Network Transport Company, Mr Ikechukwu Apugo says the company is expecting Governor Theodore Orji to commission its 60 buses for Christmas and beyond. Speaking with journalists in Umuahia, Apugo said that the governor will also use the period to commission the metal dictator the company has procured to check armed robbers who are in the habit of robbing unsuspecting passengers. Apugo said that the vehicles will come before the end of November and assured that commuters from the state will have an easy ride during and after the Christmas period, as the drivers have been trained with safety behind their mind while operating the new buses. He said that the metal scanners which have been purchased will become operational dur-

• Oshiomhole

Jonathan praised over NDDC appointment

Abia transport firm to launch 60 buses

Aba Chamber of Commerce decries multiple taxation HE Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA) in Abia has expressed concern over the multitude of taxes slammed on its members. The new president of the chamber,Chief Eleanya Okoroji, told journalists in Aba that the number of collectible taxes and levies in Abia, particularly in Aba, the commercial hub of the state, had become worrisome. According to the president, such multiplicity is stifling business activities in the state. Okoroji said: "Perhaps the state government may not be aware of some of them'', noting that most of the levies were stalling investments instead of encouraging them. He also said that the various modes of col-

World Bank’s $60m for Edo projects T

Akwa Ibom

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KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has approved an interest-free loan of N250,000 each to 4500 women farmers in the state. It is aimed at improving the agricultural sector particularly in meeting the challenge of food insecurity. The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Eno Akpan, stated this during the inauguration of farmers market, a programme designed for Akwa Ibom farmers to showcase their products. Akpan said the establishment of farmers market was to showase the rich agricultural produce of the state and make fresh food available to the people especially the civil servants. The commissioner added that the concept was a step to afford farmers in the state an opportunity to exhibit their produce and establish a direct producer-consumer relationship. Akpan stated that the state government through the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture is training about 1200 youths in modern farming across the state. He explained that after the completion of the programme, the youths would be provided with financial assistance to establish themselves. He said : "The establishment of Farmers Market at the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture is to showcase our rich agricultural pro-

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state governor Bola Tinubu, a promise that has not been fulfilled till date. “We are a force to be reckoned with in Lagos. Our people have been contributing immensely to the development of Lagos. We are many in number in Lagos and our people could be found in huge number in Agege, Shomolu, Obalende, Idi-Araba, Alaba-Rago, Constain, Mile 12, Apapa and Ikeja just to mention a few. We have quite a large number of graduates among us, bankers, financial experts, architects, successful businessmen and women among others. So, one of us deserves to be appointed as commissioner in the state,” Alhaji Hassan said.

Briefly

Church marks children's anniversary THE Glory of Zion Band of Melototah Church of Zion, 18/20 Ikale Street, PapaAjao, Mushin will mark its 43rd Children's anniversary on November 6. It will take place at the church auditorium. The event will be proceeded by a vigil on Friday, November 4 and a revival service the following day. Also, there is going to be a counseling session before the revival on Saturday. The grand finale will be the thanksgiving service at the church audito-

rium by 8:00am. According to the Band Leader, Apostle Idowu Akinyomi, this year's anniversary promises to be eventful in many respect as judged by its quality of programmes and calibre of the anointed men of God expected. He said: "We are confident that this year's anniversary will be different as our programmes are spirit-filled and soul-lifting. Nobody will be disappointed attending this great event as Christ will glorify Himself."

Ajimobi’s wife lauded for lifting widows THE wife of the Chairman, Atiba Local Government Area of Oyo State, Princess Temitope Adeyemi has praised the efforts of the wife of the Oyo State Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, for lifting widows and aged in the 33 local government areas of the state. She gave the remark during the inauguration of a mini-clinic for widows and

aged people in the council. 100 women got cash donations to improve their living standard. She said: “Helping the widows and the aged is a confirmation of the fact that the present administration under the leadership of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, is seriously committed to the well-being of the citizens of the state.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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PEOPLE THE NATION

AN EIGHT-PAGE SECTION ON SOCIETY

The Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, is forever grateful to former Vice President Alex Ifeanyichkuwu Ekwueme. As vice-president between 1979 and 1983, Ekwueme was instrumental to the founding and siting of the polytechnic in Oko, his home town. So, when he turned 79 last month, the institution treated him to a welldeserved birthday party. ADIMIKE GEORGE was there

•Dr Ekwueme and his wife Beatrice, cutting the birthday cake. They are flanked by Amb Uwechue (left), Mr Okafor (second right) and Prof Onu

Glitz, glamour as Ekwueme turns 79 T

O the Oko community in Anambra State, former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme is a son in whom it is well pleased. Ekwueme worked for this honour. As vice president he brought a Federal Polytechnic to the community. Twenty-eight years after he left office, the polytechnic remains a reference point of his years in government and a pride of the community. About two weeks ago, Oko, the Orumba North and South Council Areas of Anambra State, rose for Ekwueme when he turned 79. Expectedly, the event, which coincided with the second edition of the Dr Alex Ekwueme Annual Lecture, was organised by the polytechnic. It was attended by Oko’s prominent sons and daughters who took turns to pour encomiums on Ekwueme for bringing the institution to the community. The bash was chaired by the former ViceChancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof Ilochi Okafor. Among the teeming crowd that graced the event were former rectors of the institution Professors Eugene Nwadialor, Uba Nwuba and Godwin Nzewi. Other guests included the Bishop of the Anglican Missionary Diocese of Ogbaru, Dr Samuel Ezeofor; former Chairman of Aguata Local Government and Fellow of the institution, Sir Godwin Osele and former

Head of Department of Mass Communication, Dr Godwin Ibeh, who was one of the masters of ceremony and the Anambra State Chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Philip Atanmuo, among others. The President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, who was the guest lecturer at the event, and the Secretary, Nduka Eya, also showered praises on Ekwueme. The school auditorium, venue of the lecture, was filled to capacity with students, including those billed to convoke the following day. In Ekwueme’s citation, he was described as a man from a humble background whom destiny threw up to be the nation’s number two between 1979 and 1983. He was born on October 21, 1932 at Oko, and completed his secondary school education at King’s College, Lagos on government scholarship. He passed his Cambridge School Certificate Examinations in flying colours in 1949 with a Grade I, coming first in seven of the nine subjects he sat for. The Rector of the polytechnic, Prof Godwin Onu, in his remarks, said the annual lecture is to honour Ekwueme for his contributions to the development of the institution. He noted that the institution, Ekwueme’s brain child, has been repositioned to compete favourably with others in the country. He

added that the school ranked second in choice of prospective students. Onu disclosed that the school has signed a memorandum of understanding with two foreign varsities on research and exchange of programmes. His words:“The improvement in our facilities has attracted more prospective candidates who preferred Oko as their choice institution of learning. We now have about 50,000 candidates jostling for just 4,000 vacancies in our admission profile.” The professor of Political Science also said he had empowered SERVICOM and other disciplinary bodies to closely monitor lecturers to ensure that students were well taught. “Today our efforts are yielding results because there is a tremendous improvement in the quality of graduates we produce. They are now more employable and are winning laurels here and there; that makes me fulfilled,” he said. Onu called on the Federal Government to upgrade the institution to a University of Technology and Engineering. In a paper entitled: “The case for Southeast President,” Prof Uwechue, insisted that the Southeast zone has been “grossly marginalised in leadership positions in the country, not minding the role played at in-

dependence.” He lamented that Ndigbo, over the years, have been relegated to the background, noting that of all the key players for the nation’s independence, only the Igbo had not been given the opportunity to preside over Nigeria since 1960. Uwechue said: “Today, there is the general feeling within the Igbo nation, especially among the young and up-coming generations, that, as a people, Ndigbo are being deliberately sidelined, particularly in the spheres of political leadership of the country. No Igbo person has been so far deemed suitable to be at the helm of affairs, at the apex management position of Nigeria since independence in 1960.” Ekwueme expressed gratitude to the management of the school for organising the lecture in his honour, saying the lecture was appealing. He recounted his contributions at the National Constitutional Conference of 1995, especially as it concerned the six geo-political zones and the five-year single term for president, which he said, should be rotational. He also canvassed a more proactive educational system to liberate the younger generations from unemployment. •More pictures on page 30


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THE NATION FRIDAY,NOVEMBER 4, 2011

SOCIETY

•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (left) and Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Ikem Odumodu

•Prof Laz Ekwueme (left) and Innocent Obodoako of Aguru

•Former Governor Gombe State Danjuma Goje

•Former Governor of Anambra State, Dame Virgy Etiaba

•Member, House of Repressentatives, Hon Uche Ekwunife (left) and Anambra State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Prof Stella Okunna

•Chairman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Anambra State chapter, Dr Nwabueze Atanmo (left) and Eya

•From left: MD Lumos Nigeria Ltd, Chief Louis Odumodu; Sam Odumodu and DirectorSpecial Duty, Mr George Okeke

•Former President, Nigeria Medical Association, Dr George Okpagu (left) and Head, Corporate Affairs (SON), Mr Bassey

•Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Interior, Chinyere Nwigene and President, Aguata Council of Knights, Sir Isaiah Ezeziko

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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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SOCIETY Prominent politician and community leader, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, recently hosted eminent Nigerians to mark his 75th birthday in Lagos. EMMANUEL OLADESU captures the excitement.

A Prince at 75 A

T 75, the prince of Lagos could be mistaken for a man just approaching 60. Hale and hearty, he was decked in a brown lace; a flowing Agbada befitting a Yoruba elder, a brown shoe and a matching cap. His children, grandchildren, associates and relative gathered around him like bees. When he entered the well decorated hall inside the Eko Hotels, venue of his birthday bash, Prince Olusi, son of the late Oba Matiku Sanusi Olusi, was the tallest man in the crowd. He walked briskly without a walking stick to support his gait. His light skin looked fresh like that of a baby. Without the aid of a pair of glasses, he scanned through the programme of event. Sighting his guests from far and near, he beamed with smiles that brightened his face. Full of princely tenderness, the respected politician shook hands with dignitaries, grabbing their palms firmly. He exchanged banters with some, hugged some and waved at many. Guests included Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Senator Gbenga Ashafa; Senator Ganiyu Solomon; Senator Adekunle Muse; former Secretary to Lagos State Government, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun; Hon Adekunle Ali; Chief Lanre Rasak; Hon Olawale Oshun; Hon Yakubu Balogun; Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Hon Oyinlomo Danmole and his Transport counterpart, Comrade Kayode Opeifa. There were also Lagos State Commissioner Works, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; his Environment counterpart, Comrade Tunji Bello; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Layiwola Mohammed; ACN National Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire; Hon Funmi Tejuoso; Wasiu Eshinlokun; Prince Ade Adesanya; representative of Ogun State Governor; Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Alhaji Mutiu Are; Poju Oyemade; Sola Iji; Dr Samuel Adedayo; Ayo Afolabi; Toke Benson; Alhaja Abimbola Jakande; her son, Seyi; Alabi Macfoy; Murphy Adetotro; Seriki Hausawa; Aminu Yaro and Apapa Local Council Chairman, Ayodeji Joseph. There were enough food and drinks to go round, but dignitaries were more interested in learning from the life and times of the Lagos patriot, in whom there is no guile. His royal background had offered a fundamental advantage. However, for a person who had lost his illustrious father at the age of nine, Olusi, quickly acquired adult-like behaviour, climbing the ladder with the dint of hard work, devotion and seriousness. At a tender age, he had placed his hand on the political plough. And he had not looked back. A patriot, community man and religious leader, the prince, as attested to by guests, has a distinguished career in politics and administration

•Prince Olusi assisted by his wife, Alhaja Maryam; Senator Tinubu (left) and Senator Muse to cut the cake

• Oba Adekanmbi (left) and Seriki

•Alhaja Jakande (left) and Mrs Olufunmilayo Banire

• From left: Senator Ashafa; Hon Hakeem Bamgbola and Dr Adedayo

• Senator Solomon flanked by the celebrator’s son, Sola (left) and Hon Alawiye-king

spanning over 45 years. A devoted Muslim, Olusi is the Baba Adinni of Oke-Arin Mosque. He is also the Baba Oba of Apa Kingdom. The Alapa, Alayeluwa Adekanmbi, who witnessed the ceremony, described him as a nice person. The royal father said: “Our father is a good person and lover of common man”. What has sustained him in public service is the appropriate conduct he has always exhibited. His friends and acquaintances are ready to vouch for him on this account. “He has conducted himself very well in private and public life”, intoned Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, a Lagos princess. In fact, all the eminent persons had nice things to say about the celebrator. Former chairman of the prestigious Island Club, Anibaba Seriki, who chaired the ceremony, said “Olusi is worthy of honour,” thanking him for his contributions to the socio-economic and political development of Lagos. “Right from when he was a councilor in his 20s, Olusi

got his friends. As Chairman of Pilgrims Board, he sent me to Mecca. He is also a problem solver anytime”. In the Third Republic, Olusi was the chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lagos. The electoral success of the platform, despite its obvious factionalisation, was attributed to the celebrator’s leadership sagacity. SDP chieftain, Chief Lanre Rasak, who later served as Commissioner for Transport in Oyinlola Administration with him testified to this rare trait. He said: “Prince Olusi is a great brother and leader. He is a prince and he has not betrayed the people of Lagos. He is passionate about Lagos. He united SDP factions in the Third Republic. Leadership is about building confidence. He loves team work and he is rigid too. He is not a pretender. Olusi will not follow anybody blindly. He is blunt and straight forward”. Another SDP stalwart, Basorun, who celebrated his 75th birthday in his Igbogbo, Ikorodu a day ear-

has done much for Akinsemoyin and Ado royal families,” he added, applauding his pro-Lagos stance on issues. As if he was reading his lip, Layiwola Mohammed, who was Chief of Staff in Lagos State, praised Olusi for his sustained interest in the welfare of Lagos. “Prince Olusi is a community historian. He is versed in the history of Lagos. You keep learning when you are with him,” he said, wishing him long life. Senator Oluremi Tinubu prayed to God to keep the good prince alive for long, so that he could continue to guide the younger ones in politics. “We need the experience and guidance of people like him”, she said, thanking him for his wise counsels and support. Olusi’s kind-heartedness was hailed by another associate, Musiliu Balogun, who paid tribute to him for not abandoning his friends when he was in government and other privileged positions. He recalled: “While in positions of honour, Olusi never for-

lier, echoed Rasak, wishing Olusi many more years of health and happiness. “The warring factions of SDP worked for the victory of M.K.O. Abiola in Lagos under his leadership, although the election was later annulled by the military”, he stressed. Another ACN leader, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, also showered praises on the prince. He recalled the cherished moments he had with him as a member of the pre-1979 “Committee of Friends”, which met in Alhaji Lateef Jakande’s house in Ilupeju, and member of State Executive Committee under the military. Ogunleye, former Alliance for Democracy (AD) chairman and deputy governor of Lagos State, said: “Prince Olusi is simple, but forthright, especially when matters appear to be heading for the rocks. He is soft both in outlook and manner, but hard on those he believes are taking undue advantage. He has peace of mind and I believe this is the asset that has sustained him to this ripe age of 75.”


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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SOCIETY

T

•Bride’s mum, Mrs Toyin Muse-Ariyo (left) and groom’s mother, Mrs Mumuni

‘Our day of joy’ •The couple Muiz and Sekinat

The wedding between Muiz, son of Mrs Samiat Mumuni, a director in Lagos State Establishment, Training and Pension Board, and former Miss Sekinat Afelele drew eminent personalities in Lagos. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO was there.

I

Twas the day many had waited for. None looked forward to the day more than Muiz Mumuni and former Miss Sekiant Afelele. For the young couple, it was their day and their looks said it all October 16 was their happiest day. That day, the young couple brought guests from across the state to their wedding at the Darlington Hall, Ilupeju, Lagos. It was a three-in-one affair featuring the Aqdun Nikah and the engagement which were rounded off with a flattering reception. The guests were led by Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and her husband, Abiodun; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji; former Minister of Communicaation, Gen Tajudeen Olanrewaju; former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Otunba Femi Pedro and his wife, Jumoke; Senator Gbenga Ashafa; members, House of Rep, Hon Aliu Kazeem and Alhaji Yakubu Balogun; Hon Mudashiru Obasa; Hon Ajoke Adegeye; Hon Omolola Edet; former federal Permanent Secretary, Dr Rafiq Ogunbambi; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Dr Titi Anibaba. Others in attendance were wife of the Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana, Alhaja Monsurat Obanikoro; Alhaja Sekinat Yemisi-Coker; Kemi Pinhero; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor, Mr Diran Folami; Chairman, State Primary Education Board, Mrs Gbolahan Dawodu; Director, Conservation and Ecology, Ministry of the Environment, Mrs Adebola Afun; Justice Ishola Olorunimbe and his wife, Idowu; Mr Sinari Daranijo; Mr Wakeel

Idewu; Mr Ganiyu Awelenje and his wife, Fausat; Mr Gbolahan Funsho; Alhaji Muri Okunola; Mrs Titi Agbalajobi; Tosin Labinto; Mrs Bisi Abiola; Mrs Morayo Adebanjo; Mrs Dupe Adeleke and Mrs Aramide Masha The Aqdun Nikah was conducted by Sheikh Abdul Baqi Abdul Qadri. Sheikh Abdul Qadri enjoined the couple to pay more attention to religious duties. The cleric urged the couple to be Godconscious. He wished them a blissful union blessed by Allah. Ikuforiji, who chaired the reception, congratulated the couple. He wished them a successful married life. “You are two people from different families, joined together today as one; may you remain one for the rest of your life. May God bless your marriage,” he prayed. Ikuforiji urged Sekinat to always obey her husband and be a good daughter-in-law. He prayed God to grant them twins. The groom, Muiz, decked in a suit, described his wife as “a beautiful and level-headed person.” “I thank Allah for making today a reality. I am happy to have her as my best friend and better half,” he said. Sekinat described her husband as “caring and handsome.” “He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. We understand each other and, most importantly, we love each other beyond description. I am so, so happy,” she said.

•Mrs Orelope-Adefulire flanked by Hon Ikuforiji (left) and Hon Obasa

•From left: Mrs Risikat Akiyode; Hons Adegeye and Edet

•Otunba Pedro and his wife, Jumoke

•Mr Wahab Feshitan and his wife, Tinu

•Alhaja Obanikoro (left) and Alhaja Yemisi-Coker

PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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SOCIETY Penultimate Tuesday, at the Shell Hall of the MUSON Centre, Lagos, businessmen and telecommunications service providers attended a dinner award hosted by MDS Logistics. AMIDU ARIJE witnessed the event.

A night of honour

•From left: Tawanda Mushuku, MD, GSK Pharma, Lekan Asuni presenting an award to GSK Sales Director Yinka Oduneye while Aigbavboa looks on

•Executive Director, Corporate Services, UAC of Nigeria Plc, Joe Dada and Chief Operating Officer, Classic Beverages Limited, Prahlad Gangadharan

T

HE MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, was filled on October 18, when MDS Logistics, a subsidiary of UAC, a foremost conglomerate, rewarded its loyal clients with a dinner and award night in appreciation of their trust and continuous patronage. The beautiful damsels at the entrance of the hall serving dignitaries, who thronged the venue, was an indication of how the night would be. In their eyecatching attires, they registered and welcomed guests courteously. The guests and managing directors

of various companies who are clients of MDS Logistics, wore suits and other attires. Those not in suits stood out in native attires. Serving as the master of ceremony was the ace stand-up comedian, Holy Mallam, who thrilled the guests. Tagged: “Night of Harmony,” the company’s Group Managing Director, Larry Ettah, said it was meant to forget the past and focus on the future. “We will be celebrating growth and those who have been doing business with us.

UNION OF LOVEBIRDS

•From left: Ettah; Manager, Logistics, Promasidor, Yinka Iyalagha; MDS Marketing Manager Rotimi Salau; Opayemi, and Promasidor Head, Legal, Andy Enahoro

“We are also celebrating dedication and fidelity,” he said, adding: “We are saying thank you for your faith in us.” He said the award was to honour competence and consistency of clients. On the bandstand was a group which thrilled guests with their tunes. MDS Logistics Divisional Managing Director Solomon Aigbavboa said the event was to thank and appreciate clients for their loyalty to the company. “Harmony to us is peaceful co-existent among people. It is supply driven relationship. It is also adding value to the business of our clients,” he said.

It witnessed the launch of the Chain magazine, a journal for the logistics industry. It was launched by Mr Ibukun Akinduro, who urged the government to see to the infrastructure need of the country and leave logistics to the private sector. The awardees included MTN Nigeria; Guinness Nigeria Plc; Grand Cereals; Classic Beverages and Promasidor Nigeria Limited. The award was in two categories: Evergreen and Logistics. The evergreen award was for com-

panies that started with MDS, while the second category was for those MDS oversees their logistics demands nationwide. In this category were Promasidor Nigeria Limited, which came first; Classic Beverages, which bagged the second position with Grand Cereals coming third. General Manager, Supply Chain, Promasidor, Mr Stephen Opayemi, in a vote of thanks, thanked MDS for the awards and restated his company’s commitment to doing more businesses with them.

RECEPTION

•From left: Groom’s father, Capt Imeh Ekpo; bride’s mother, Mrs Taiye Yaiyeola; the couple, Imeh •From left: Chairman, Coker-Aguda Local Council Area, Hon Omobolanle Akinyemi-Obe; Viceand Adeshola; bride’s father, Col Babatunde Jaiyeola, and groom’s mother, Mrs Aboye Oki at their Chairman, Hon Ismail Belo and Alhaji Ademola Dadanla, during the welcome party organised wedding at Jhalobia Recreation Park and Gardens for Akinyemi-Obe in Lagos.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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SOCIETY Dignitaries and friends of Otunba Feyi Soyemo, gathered Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State last Saturday to celebrate with him on his 60th birthday. ERNEST NWOKOLO writes

Glamour as philantropist turns 60

T

HE university town of Ago-Iwoye, last Saturday, was in a .- joyous mood when one of its own, Otunba Feyi Soyemo, turned 60. Family members, friends, associates and the towns folk came in large number to felicitate with the accomplished insurance broker, philanthropist and an illustrious son of Ago–Iwoye. His cozy country home made popular by the insignia, Asiwaju Court, could not contain guests, who had arrived to share in the joy of the day with him and join him to pray to God for long life. Soyemo, a man of means, good look and height, seized the opportunity to let friends and well-wishers see how God had been so good to him; his sprawling compound, home to a new architectural masterpiece, served as testimonies to God’s goodness. Moving from one table to another, an elated Soyemo welcomed guests and exchanging pleasantries with them. At the corner of the compound, local musicians thrilled him and guests with praise songs, and drum beats. In attendance to add glamour and class to the event, were some prominent indigenes of Ago–Iwoye, and others from across the state who had made their marks nationally. They included the Ebumawe of Ago–Iwoye, Oba Abdul – Rasaq Adenugba; the former Minister of

•From left: Alaporu of Ilaporu, Oba Jimoh Quadri; Limeri of Awa-Ijebu, Oba Amos Awobajo; the celebrator, Asiwaju Soyewo, his wife Abiodun; Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba Adesina Adenugba and Otunba Olu Onafowora from the United States

Commerce and Industry, Senator Jubril Martins–Kuye; Safety Manager of Forte Oil (formerly African Petroleum Plc), Mr Gboyega Banjoko; Major-Gen Sansaliu Awosanya (rtd); former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Tunji Sharafa; former Deputy Editor–in–Chief, Nigerian Compass, Mr Bayo Oguntimehin, among others. Awosanya, who read a brief citation of Soyemo, described him as philanthropist, having used his Feyi Soyemo Foundation, to help indigent students acquire university education with

many of them graduating in fields cutting across Education, Law, Insurance, Commerce and Medicine.When Soyemo took the floor, all eyes were glued to him and his wife as they danced heartedly to beats from musicians. He was joined by the town’s monarch and one time banker, Oba Adenugba; Senator Martins–Kuye; Alhaji Tunji Sarafa and many others. This was followed by the cutting of birthday cake at the mention of the name of Jesus. Soyemo, an alumnus of University of Lagos and Lagos Business School, be-

gan his Insurance career in 1975 and 13 years after, he started his Insurance brokerage firm. Asked how he felt clocking 60, he said: “I’m elated and quite grateful to God for a day like this, to be alive to mark my 60th birthday. One has to be grateful to God for his protection, mercy and blessings because without him, one can do nothing. I’m also happy to see friends and relatives coming to join me in the celebration, “he said.

It was time for joy when the family and friends of the Lukosi of Igbehinland in Ogun State, Chief Afolabi Oyero, gathered to celebrate his 70th birthday.

Ogun community leader clocks 70

AKURO, a sleepy settlement in Ogun State, has never witnessed such an unprecedented crowd before. The town was literally ‘taken over’ by the crowd who came to felicitate with the Lukosi of Igbehinland, Chief Afolabi Oyero, who clocked 70. Not even the down pour could stop them. The event started with a prayer led by the Chief Imam of Tin Can Island (NPA National complex), Alhaji Mohammed Muritala Awai, who advised the celebrator to continue with the fear of Allah, as it is the only way to describe one as being righteous. He reminded him that the world was full of evils and to know that a day of judgment would come. He also admonished him to continue doing well and maintain his integrity. “All of us should know that one day, we will all be judged with our work. I want to urge Baba to continue to do good in life as this is the only way one can make heaven,” he said. The Akingboye of Igbehinland, Chief Adisa Odediran, described Chief Oyero as a goal-getter, adding, that he has achieved a lot in life. He noted that the Chief had crossed many hurdles in life.

P

•From left: Chief Moruf Ogunmuyiwa; Asoju of Ilu Igbehin, Chief Kayode Akinlawon, Ajiroba Ilu Igbehin, Chief Yemi Soroye; celebrator Chief Fatai Oyero and Chief Adisa Odediran

“Oyero is man of honour, a man of dignity. We’ve known him for a very long time. We can only advise him to carry on the good work,” Odediran said. To the Baale of Igbehinland, Chief Moruf Ogunmuyiwa , Chief Oyero is a chicken that has laid the golden eggs. He said Pakuro and Igbehin land feel proud of him. Oyero started his elementary

education at Anglican School, in 1947 in Orimerunmu, Obafemi Owode Local Government, where he became a senior prefect. Being the first child and the only son of his family, he grew up under the watchful eyes of his father. In 1952, following the completion of his elementary education, Chief Oyero proceeded to Ransome Kuti Memorial School under the tutelage of the founder and re-

nowned educationist, Rev Ransome-Kuti of blessed memory. He started his working career as a clerk with Marketing and Shipping Company of Nigeria (MASCO) He later joined Total where he spent six years. In 1974, he joined Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) as a Location manager. He left NPA in 1978 for Pagtm Glass Nigeria where he was till mid 80s before

establishing himself as an estate manager. In the 2003, he was honoured with chieftaincy title of Sarumi at Igbehin, in Abeokuta South, Ogun State. In 2009, he was made the Lukosi of Igbehinland. The high point of the event was the cutting of the birthday cake by the celebrator assisted by his wives, children and grandchildren.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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SOCIETY For the elected representatives of Edo North Senatorial District, Akoko Edo, as well as federal and state constituencies in Edo State, it was honour away from home on Sunday, October 30 in Lagos, as the Etuno Youth Association (EYA), from Igarra in Akoko Edo Local Government, hosted its lawmakers to a reception at the Grand Villa Hotel, Maryland, Lagos. AMIDU ARIJE and HAMEED YEKINI report.

Honour for distinguished lawmakers M EMBERS of Etuno Youth Association, an organisation promoting peace and unity in Igarra community of Edo State, last Sunday treated federal and state lawmakers of the state to a classy reception at a swanky joint in Lagos. By noon, all was set for the event slated for 2pm. Chairs and tables were strategically arranged to accommodate dignitaries and make room for a comfortable seating. At the entrance of Grand Villa Hotel, venue of the event, beautifully dressed ladies welcomed guests with courtesies and walked them to their seats. They eagerly awaited the distinguished guests of honour. By 3:25 pm, guests started trooping in. Among early arrivals were the Senator representing Edo North, Senator Domingo Alaba Obende; Senator Nurudeen Usman–Abatemi; Senator Gbenga Ashafa and Senator Gbenga Obadara. Anchored by Elder Paul Balogun and assisted by Steve Obajaja, a lawyer, the event started with prayers from Elder Sunday Ajiboye, followed by recitation of the National Anthem. Dignitaries were later ushered to the high table. In his welcome address, Chairman of the occasion, Prof Baiyelo thanked the organisers for the honour he was given to dictate proceedings. He commended them for having the foresight to unite Igarra people. Baiyelo urged everyone present, especially the distinguished lawmakers, to empower youths from their constituency as this will bring development in the state. He said: “Only empowered youths can be members of EYA, but many youths are yet to be empowered. To be useful, youths need to be empowered. Every youth needs to develop himself in terms of education

•Senator Obende (left), Obadara and Ashafa •Mr and Mrs Orisaremi

•Agbaje

•Prof Baiyelo

and training.” The chairman urged politicians to see to work towards giving Igarra a local government status. President of the association Mr Patrick Monday Orisaremi said the gathering was to unite the people of the local government and channel a new way for the council and its people. “I would like to remind you of the genuine cry of the people of Akoko Edo, which to me, should form the thrust of your activities in your various spheres of influence. Without

the fear of being a controverter, I say that Akoko Edo has not got enough in terms of infrastructure, even though this is the oldest local government in Nigeria,” he said. He reminded the people of the reason for the gathering, saying it was meant to honour their elected representatives in various strata of government. “To our leaders, who are the reason for this gathering, let me remind you that the beauty of leadership lies in legacies left behind after you are gone and I believe that everyone wants to

be remembered for good. The opportunity has just presented itself before you; please grab it before it goes. There is a lot you can do to immortalise your names in your communities in the local government area,” he said. Continuing, Orisaremi said: “On behalf of the entire members of the Etuno Youth Association, I formally congratulate our elected and appointed officials both at the state and federal levels. Your elections and appointments justify the confidence our people have in your leadership and so, while congratulating you, let me also remind you of the sacred mandate the people have given you to deliver results, because as a people, we celebrate results not efforts.” Senator Obende stated that the essence of the honour was to celebrate the unity of the people of Igarra and to chart the way forward in the local government area and the state. “I want to state clearly that any politics that does not put food on the table of the common man is not politics,” he said. He assured the people that he

would not disappoint them at the National Assembly as their representative. The special guest of honour, Mr Agbaje Emmanuel, said the gathering was to bring leaders together to challenge them on the need for sustainable development in their local government. “It is an event meant to recognize our leaders and reawaken and challenge them to improve on their responsibilities and to the development of the basic needs of the people,” he said. Also present on the occasion were Director-General, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr Asishana Okauru, who was a Special Guest of Honour; Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Aanena Jemitola; Simon Mayaki of the Nigeria Customs Service; Sir Mike Lawani; Chief Aliyu Umaru and his wife, Ausat; members of the State House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto; Akinola Agbaje and the Transition Committee Chairman of Akoko Edo Local Government Area, Anslem Agbabi; Adebayo Omoh–Ige; Monday Ali and Dominic Odigo among others.

It was a celebration of life at the burial of late Madam Dorah Osobase, who passed on at the age of 105. KUNLE AKINRINADE was there.

A glorious exit at 105 T

O live more than 100 years in this part of the world where death comes cheap as a sachet water, is indeed, a no mean achievement and it is no doubt, worthy of celebration. This is the reason why family members, age-grade, groups, residents and guests trooped out in aso –ebi to the final burial of late Madam Dorah Osobase, a community leader in Ewohimi Community in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State. The ceremony was preceded by a brief inter denominational service before the remains were taken in a motorcade to the family compound for interment. The event witnessed a parade of songs and dance by various age groups from the deceased’s home, while a lavish reception followed at the family compound. A Lagos based businessman and one of the grandsons of the deceased, Prince Lewis Osobase, extolled the virtues of the woman

•From left: John Abulumhen, Alex Ahior, Prince Moses Osobase and Prince Philip Inyanabor

who died at 105. He said:” I am happy that the woman spent her life very well and lived for others to lean on. When my father died, she made sure that I did not suffer or lack anything. She stood

by me and supported my education till I finished from the university. She was indeed, my pillar of support and I can’t but thank God for having her as my grandmother and I will continue to cherish fond memories of

her.” He continued: “As a family, we are glad to celebrate the life of our matriarch because every member of this family has benefited from her kindness including this community where she served as a community leader and the local parish of Catholic Church. Although she died in May but we took our time to organize a befitting burial for her. This is because she was instrumental to the success of the family. The late woman was born on May 24, 1906 and served the local parish of the Catholic Church in various capacities before her death on May 20, 2011. She is survived by five children, 36 grandchildren and 12 great-grand children. In the words of Prince Andrew Osobase, “Today is a special day because our grandmother goes home in a blaze of glory. She was the rallying point for the family in her life time and she took special interest in the well being of all her children and grandchildren to the extent that it would be difficult for members of this family to forget her so soon. It was indeed, amazing that even at old age, she would ask after everyone in the family to know how they are fairing. That is why it has taken us about five months since her death to organize a befitting burial for her because she was indeed, an Amazon not only to our family but to this community at large.”


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SOCIETY Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, Iropora-Ekiti came alive last Saturday when a Special Assistant to Ekiti State Governor on Media, Mr Emmanuel Odunayo, got married to his heartthrob, Miss Comfort Arike. SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN was there.

A meeting meant to be T

HEY met in August 2010 in the course of performing their official duties. The husband then a journalist with The Nation Newspaper had gone to the state High Court to cover a celebrated case. He could not find his way and so he had to ask her for direction, which she promptly offered. This first meeting occurred without a proper record as there was no exchange of contacts. But providence made their paths to cross again as the reporter had another assignment to cover at the same court and there she was again. This then afforded him the opportunity to fill the gaps. They promptly exchanged phone numbers and friendship ensued. One thing led to another and the rest has now been confined to history. So when the nuptial knot was tied last Saturday at Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, IroporaEkiti, friends, family and members from Ekiti State Executive Council made a pronounced presence. The council members were led by the State Deputy Governor, Mrs Funmi Olayinka; wife of the state governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Yemi Adaramodu; Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Alhaji Mojeed Jamiu; Commissioner for Health, Dr Wole Olugboji; Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Hon Funminiyi Afuye and the immediate past Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Ekiti State chapter, Chief Biodun Akin-Fasae Other dignitaries included: His Royal Majesty, the Oniropora of Iropora-Ekiti, Oba Joel Ajayi Olonibua and his Olori, Olanireti; the Obaloja of OlojeEkiti, Oba Peter Afolabi Falade;

•The couple Emmanuel and Comfort flanked by Mrs Olayinka (left) and Erelu Fayemi

• Groom’s parents Chief Abiodun Ogunmola and Madam Margaret Ogunmola

•Bride’s parents Venerable Rufus Adepoju and his wife, Madam Elizabeth

the Onikoyi of Ikoyi Ekiti who was represented by his wife; Senior Special Assistant, Internal Security, Mr Deji Adesokan; General Manager, Adaba FM, Akure, Mr Martins Ayoola; Special Assistant, Public Affairs to the Deputy Governor, Mrs Yemisi Ayokunle and others. Presiding pastor, the Most Reverend S.A. Abe, Bishop of Ekiti and Archbishop of Ondo Province, who delivered a sermon on “God’s intent for instituting marriage,” said the plan of God for

The groom, Odunayo, spoke on his wife, “I thank God for giving me a virtuous woman as a wife with whom I now share my dream and aspiration. It will be an understatement to say she means so much to me.” The bride, Comfort Arike, recalled how they met. “Our meeting was very dramatic as he discovered me while trying to look for something else and it was not love at first sight. My husband is very caring, loving, generous, diligent, humble, compassionate and

the union of man and woman is to live and multiply upon the surface of the earth. He spoke further that both husband and wife are to complement each other, respect each other and not relate on master-servant basis. The cleric counselled them to cater for the family and see to the upbringing of their children, noting that having created man, God went on to create a woman as a suitable mate to complement and help him.

WEDDING

• Daughter of The Nation Borno State Correspondent (Mr Joseph Abiodun), Miss Omotade Olushola, during her wedding with Mr Samuel Agada of Zenith Bank Plc, Maiduguri in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital.

above all, exceedingly God-fearing.” Choirs of St Peters Anglican Church, Iropora-Ekiti, St Jude’s Anglican Church, Ado-Ekiti; The Gospel Faith Mission, International (GOFAMINT), Kajola, Ikere-Ekiti and St. James’ The Evangelistic Anglican Church, Ado-Ekiti took turns to minister in songs to the congregation. After the church service, guests were hosted to a lavish reception at St. Philips Anglican Primary School, Iropora-Ekiti.

DINNER

•From Left: FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed; former Minister of Foreign Affairs,Chief Ojo Maduekwe and Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, at a dinner party in honour of the Special Adviser in Abuja.


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The third suspect Abbas Ayaniyi aged 28 from Oje Oyo State claimed to be a commercial bus conductor plying Okeafo to Badagry route. He resides at No 5, Okeafor Street, Ilogbo, Badagry area. He said: “My work is to plan operation, mobilise and equip members for successful operation. It had not been long I moved to the place. I don’t even know the Baale there. We had already planned our operation. They came to call me and when they came, we wanted to finish smoking because the work is not easy. We had to be in high spirit because the job is akin to a war. It was one of my friends called Tunde that found the house there for me. “He had not known that I have been arrested by SARS. He does not even know I am an armed robbery gang leader. I only followed his commercial bus to work as a conductor because I don’t have a special or permanent motor to be following due to the nature of my sound work which is robbery. “We don’t operate near where we live to avoid being seen as armed robbers. We operate outside. If anybody recognises me during robbery operation, I will not kill him. People who usually die are people who cannot keep their mouths shut. Robbers have no time for anybody unless you over poke nose. The fourth suspect Lateef Hamod aged 25 years from Ilorin Kwara State claims to be a motorcycle mechanic and also claimed the operation he was arrested in was his second attempt. He said: “I participated in only

one operation where I got N3, 500 as my share of our loot I used the money to feed, smoke, drink and take care of my family. Though I am married, I am yet to get children. My wife is still with her mother. She does not know that I am an experienced armed robber. She does not even know that I reside within Oyibo area. If I regain my freedom, I will go and push barrow to feed my family. Armed robbery is bad. The fifth suspect Lukman Jimoh aged 24 is a panel beater at Alaba Market but he had to abandon the trade a long time ago to enable him to do the new work (robbery), according to him. On the wound on his face, he said he sustained it when he had okada accident with his own motorcycle. He said his mother Mrs Hawawu Ayoka had leg problem and was billed N36, 000. All efforts to even get N10, 000 proved abortive. This situation, he said, made him to meet Ismaila for assistance and he told him to follow him to follow and do pam pam pam job. The pam pam pam job turned out to be snatching of handsets. He said it was the second attempt at snatching a handset that he was arrested. He said he apologised to his wife for turning an armed robber but his greatest happiness was that his dear mother survived. He said: “I am very happy that my dear mother survived. I apologised to my wife because I cannot watch my mother die because of money. The sixth suspect, Seun Shoneye aged 20 from Shagamu Ogun State is an okada rider based at Ojuelegba but resides at Ijora Ojueri Railway. He said he wanted to own his own okada or get one on hire purchase but his efforts did not yield positive result. He further said: “All my efforts failed therefore I had no alternative than to join this gang because they accepted me as brother. The first operation with them fetched me N5, 000. The second operation I bought clothes for my wife. The third operation I had N80, 000. I slept with my wife as I do not have a house of my own. She rented a wooden house and sells indomie. I used to assist her till I was arrested. If I am released, I will join my wife in selling food and other legitimate trade. Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Samuel Jinadu said the suspects would be charged to court.

CRIME WATCH

Police arrest suspected robbery gang HE operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command has arrested six armed robbery suspects in a room in Okeafo Ilogbo, Badagry area of Lagos State where they allegedly converged to smoke dry leaves suspected to be marijuana (Indian hemp) and planning a robbery operation. According to police sources, the operatives of SARS had been on the trail of the suspects for quite a while. Police surveillance yielded fruit when information got to the Commissioner of Police Lagos State Police Command Yakubu Alkali that the suspected robbers were somewhere at Okedo village smoking and planning an operation. Mr Alkali then directed the officer in charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police (SP) to mobilise his crack squad and capture the armed robbery suspects. The squad, led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Udo (Obama) moved immediately and arrested them. The suspects were said to have been involved in over five robbery incidents within and outside Lagos. They met their waterloo when information on their hideout got to SARS. The first suspect Usmaila Bankole aged 32 from Okedo Village, Abeokuta, Ogun State is married and has three children. Another of the suspects who is a commercial bus driver and resident of Oyibo Ottoh, Lagos State, said he was arrested at Okeafo Ilogbo at Badagry at about 4:30pm by members of the village vigilance group(OPC men) while smoking in their member’s house at No 5, Ilogbo Street, Okeafo. He said: “We were smoking dry leaves suspected to be marijuana, six of us when men of O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC), sighted us and alerted the scorpions (SARS) who came and surrounded us and arrested us. Continuing he said: “They said they suspected us of being an armed robbery gang that had been terrorising residents of the area. They found in our possession cutlass, iron cutter, one locally made gun. The gun belongs to one of our members called Akeem. Only the cutter belongs to me. The two cutlasses belong to Seha Lateef and Lukman. On how many operations he participated in he said: “This is my second armed robbery operation I have participated in. The first operation was at Orile Iganmu, on the street of Moshalashi. We robbed them when we asked them for

T

•The suspects By Titilayo Banjoko

money and they said they had no money. So, we collected six of their handsets. The house is built with plywood. We were not caught because the operation was smooth. After one month, we went for the second operation which was this one they arrested us. We were smoking and preparing for armed robbery operation before OPC men alerted the SARS operatives and we were all arrested. The OPC men first came and told us that we were strange people and that they had not seen our faces there before. We told them to meet our friend Abbas who incidentally is the owner of the room we were using for smoking Indian Hemp and preparing the operation not known that SARS had surrounded the place waiting to strike. When they saw Abbas, they greeted him and asked him who we were. He told them that we were his friends and that we came to greet him but they insisted that they suspected us to be dangerous

criminals because SARS were looking for us. They first fired Lukman at his leg and later fired Usmaila at the right leg and alerted police to come in and take over. Morobo police first rounded them up and handed them over to the operatives of SARS. The second suspect, Akeem Ganiyu aged 27 from Ilorin Kwara State is married and has four children. He is a welder with workshop at Owode Ikorodu but abandoned it because it was on the road where there used to be incessant motor accidents. He switched over to commercial motorcycle riding where he met members of his gang and became initiated. He said he was using locally made gun because it was cheaper. He said: “I don’t fire victims. I fire into the air to scare victims. I don’t intend to kill. I bought the gun from Ijora Railway at the cost of N12, 500 from one Afeez who was jobless and needed money to feed. He promised to get AK47 rifle if I could afford the price because of the way it is procured.

My work is to plan operation, mobilise and equip members for successful operation. It had not been long I moved to the place. I don’t even know the Baale there. We had already planned our operation. They came to call me and when they came, we wanted to finish smoking because the work is not easy. We had to be in high spirit because the job is akin to a war

Akwa Ibom police boss pledges to curb crime By Jude Isiguzo

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HE Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom State Command, Mr Solomon Arase has declared that the days of violent crime are over. Arase said that he is determined to ensure that highprofile crimes associated with the state like kidnapping, assassination, and armed banditry will become a thing of the past. He noted that with the assistance being received in the command through the state governor Obong Godswill

Akpabio, officers and men are expected to put in their best in the area of crime fighting and management. The police boss, who was deployed to the command about two months ago, said that the level of violent crime has greatly reduced since he took over the mantle of leadership in the state. He said in the past, violent crime was perpetrated in the state on a daily basis, but today, with the various strategies mapped out by the

police and the logistics support provided by state government, police officers and men are working assiduously to ensure that the state is peaceful. Mr. Folorunsho Atta, who visited the state recently said that the reduction in violent crimes may not be unconnected with the arrest of four kidnap kingpins recently by the police. Atta said the co-operation in the area of security between Akpabio and Arase is responsible for the wind of change in the state.

“The decline in armed banditry in the state is a welcome development. As a result of the co-operation of the state government which has led to the empowering and equipping of officers and men, policemen are becoming more effective and efficient in the discharge of their duties. “It is not only kidnapping that has been reduced, armed robbers who were operating with motorcycles (okada) and car-snatchers have been checked in Uyo and other major cities in Akwa Ibom,” Atta said.


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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

•From left: Mr Salami; Onitire of Itire, Oba Abayomi Dauda; Vice-Chairman Alhaja Mulikat Ajala; Hon Bamgbola; Hon Odunsi and Mrs Akiyode

U

NDER the auspices of Lagos State Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Nonformal Education, Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area, in partnership with the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), has produced 107 granduates in vocational and adult literacy programmes. The convocation, held recently at Oba Adelani Hall, Ijeshatedo was first of its kind in the community, hence many individuals trooped out en masse to the hall to witness the event. In his welcome address, the chairman of the council, Hon Hakeem Bamgbola said that education is the bedrock of civilization and key to a country’s development. Bamgbola said the programme was meant to encourage those who could not have the opportunity of going to school in their early days to enable them to know how to read, write and do simple computation at the basic literacy level. “This shows the level of commitment on the part of our learners and to prove that there is hope in any hopeless situation, “The vocational training that commenced in May last year is graduating two sets of vocational learners today. Students used to go to Surulere Local Government to learn the specific trade of their interests. In view of this, we thought it wise to have our own centre where learning would be made

Council graduates 107 vocational, adult literacy students By Osas Robert

easier,” he said. The council chief urged the public to partner with the council to enable more people to benefit from the programme. “The council uses two classrooms at Odo-Olowu Primary School as temporary location. We like to have a separate entity for the location. Government cannot do it alone and we are soliciting support from philanthropists and individuals to assist us. The local government has in mind to have classes for catering services and bead making, among others,” he said. Bamgbola urged the 171 gradu-

ates to make positive impact in the society with the knowledge they have acquired. Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire congratulated the graduates on their doggedness and commitment. Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Mrs Risikat Akiyode, OrelopeAdefulire urged them to make good use of the knowledge and skill acquired. She hailed the council boss for making the people self-reliant. “I’m sure you are all here because you have empowered yourselves. You do not need to look for jobs. If

you still want to go to school, the opportunity is still there. Do not relax now that you have gotten the training and keep your certificates at home. For those of you at the literacy level, the sky is your limit,” she said. The Co-ordinator of the programme, Abiodun Salami said the event was a maiden convocation which comprised 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 sets. Salami saluted the council boss for setting the pace for community development. “It takes an extra-ordinary man to combine community service with politics which is exactly what Bamgbola has done,” he said.

One of the graduating students, Miss Ayoola Adeola who is waiting to be admitted into the University of Lagos described the initiative as fantastic. “After secondary school, instead of seating at home, you have something to keep you busy. The teachers are not like those at the road sides who use their apprentices to run errands. We receive classes, take home assignments every week, we write testsand we do examinations both theory and practical,” Miss Adeola said. Another graduating student, Oluwatosin Ajanaku from the Hair Dressing section said the students do not pay school fees.

Youths root for Oshiomhole

T •Oshiomhole

HOUSANDS of youths from Esan West Local Government of Edo State have pledged to work for the re-election of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. They made this known during a call on the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekemhe. The youths who were led by Capt. Felix Omokhodion, said:

•From left: Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Lagos Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Hon Oyinlomo Danmole; Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs Idiat Adebule and Action Congress of Nigeria chieftain, Pa Abiodun Sunmola during the swearing-in of Lagos council Chairmen at LTV Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Lagos

By Osagie Otabor, Benin City

“After a research, we discovered that the problem confronting our youths is the fact that politicians use and dump them, and later the youths resort to crime. “We have decided against that; we are focused and committed to the party and we will make sure that the Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomhole is voted back, come 2012. “We are here because we want a sustained future for ourselves. We have decided against the immediate pecuniary benefits that are normally used by politicians to deceive us. “This big movement is a delegation of all the youth leaders in the wards as far as Esan West is concerned. If we decided to come with all our members, this place would not contain all of us. “Let me assure you that we are going to deliver for our Governor and the Council Chairman whenever the elections are conducted. We will ensure that the Peoples’ Governor continue in office, come 2012 to complete his good work.” Responding, Imuekemhe said, “I am always delighted whenever I see youths coming together for a common goal especially as it relates to development. The future of this country belongs to the youths and that you are all fighting to achieve the same goal; returning the Governor to office come 2012, is commendable. “I also want to commend you for your ability to mobilise the youths for the Comrade Governor who is ever determined to develop every area of the state. One

of the major problems the governor discovered in Esan area is that of water and the investment in that area was the purchase of industrial drilling machines. You can bear us witness that today we have solved that problem both in Ekpoma and Iruekpen. “This effort of the governor has shown his determination to confront those societal challenges. It has also shown that with the right technology, nothing is impossible. When we talk of the future and sustainable development across the three senatorial districts, it is simply not true that the Governor does not like a particular group of people and you will agree with me that he meant well. “Look at Annunciation Secondary School, St. John Bosco College, among other schools or the roads being constructed in Edo Central by the governor. If this state were positioned in such a manner that we have now, then the state would have been positioned for the best. There are other schools to be developed in Esan and the contracts have been awarded; the problem cannot be solved in a day. “At the end of eight years, if given another opportunity by Edo people, we will all be proud that we are from Edo State. So I want your support to be total because the Governor is ready to give the best by developing the state than giving you money. I believe the governor would be returned by the people of Edo Central, North and South collectively and by the grace of God it would be a done deal,” Imuekemhe stated.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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I am happy now that there is peace in the land. Before now, there were serious unrests in the land with cases of killing, maiming and destruction of properties. But I thank God that since I came on the throne, things have taken proper shape

Monarch marks anniversary amid tussle

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HE Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan has said he is determined to fight against the usurpation of the chairmanship of the traditional rulers of oil-producing communities (TROMPCON), which another Ilaje monarch is said to be laying claim to. Oba Akinruntan, who marks his second coronation anniversary today, said he was ready to take over the chairmanship of TROMPCON as the traditional ruler in whose community crude oil is explored in Ondo State. He said he has decided to initiate the legal battle to reclaim his rightful position, which the period of interregnum that occurred in his community had made other non-oil producing communities in the neighbourhood to benefit from. “I am the brain behind the legal battle. I took the Amapetu of Mahin to court for me to get back the chairmanship position, which rightly belongs to me. I discovered that he has usurped my position. I am supposed to be the chairman of TROMPCON. What happened was that he capitalised on the interregnum that happened in Ugboland when we had no Oba. But we have a monarch now and anything accruing to Ilaje as an oil-producing community must be referred to me as the monarch where oil is being explored,” he said. Oba Akinruntan, who said his two-year-old reign has engendered peace, vowed that he would not relent in his efforts until he takes back what he claimed belongs to him. “When I came in as Oba, he was a chairman of one committee which I did not contest with him. Now he wants to be chairman of TROMPCON. No way. Mine is the only kingdom that produces crude oil in the whole of Southwest,” he said, adding that, “I have shown the court the survey map of Ugboland where oil is being explored. You can not tell the court

•Febson International Hotel nearing completion. Inset: Oba Akinruntan By Seyi Odewale

that you have something without providing evidence to back your claim.” He continued: “His place is dry and if they dig the ground for the next 10 years, they will not find oil. In fact, I am not stopping at that. I have asked him to resign from the chairmanship of the other committee as he does not belong there.” To him, allowing the monarch in question to continue as TROMPCON chairman would amount to laying bad precedent, which he said, he was not prepared for. “I don’t want to lay bad precedents. If I allow him to occupy that position, he and his descendants will soon be contesting with my younger brothers on what acFrom Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

•Okorocha

I

MO State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has commenced the payment of monthly stipend to primary and secondary school students.

The payment took off simultaneously in all the 27 local government areas on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. While primary school pupils receive N100, their secondary school counterparts will get N120. Also, primary school monitors will get N120, while prefects in the secondary schools will receive N150. Addressing journalists shortly after a meeting with Governor Okorocha, top government officials and stakeholders in the education sector in the state, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Prof. Fabian Osuji disclosed that committees have been set up in the 27 local government areas to visit all the schools for the purpose of making the payment. Prof. Osuji added that the fund had been released for the November stipend, saying that Governor Okorocha, his Deputy, Sir Jude Agbaso and other top government officials

tually is their rightful heritage,” he said. Assessing his reign, Oba Akinruntan said he has brought physical development to Ugboland apart from the uninterrupted peace that has reigned since he ascended the throne. “I am happy now that there is peace in the land. Before now, there were serious unrests in the land with cases of killing, maiming and destruction of properties. But I thank God that since I came on the throne, things have taken proper shape. The people are happy because of the peace that has reigned throughout the nook and cranny of Ugboland,” he said. As a result of the pervading peace, according to the monarch, the community has begun to witness physical developments. “Two major coastal roads have

been flagged off; one of them is Ugbo-Owoye Road covering all the communities of Ilaje. Not only this. I have awarded scholarships to many indigent but brilliant students in secondary schools and universities. We have also sent some of them abroad to train as engineers and other professions. All these were not here before. But with my efforts and the support we have received from Governor Olusegun Mimiko and his government, we have been able to bring positive changes to Ilaje,” Oba Akinruntan explained. Parts of the developments, according to the monarch, are the establishment of Oba’s Market; building of a health centre and a hospital, and the construction of an international hotel. “The coastal roads are big development projects meant to open the closed communities of Ilaje. Look at

the efforts put in place to make the roads on the creeks. A lot of sand filling and dredging were painstakingly done. From Ugboland we have commenced serious dredging to Owoye. And my people appreciate my efforts and the support from the state government,” he noted. On his plans to further develop Ugboland, the monarch said that work had begun on the proposed hotel, which he said would draw people, especially those who are indigenous to the area, from far and near to help the community towards an all-roud development. Nearing completion is Febson Waterside International Hotel which I firmly believe would aid tourism in this community. This forms part of the indexes of development that are making my people happy,” the monarch said.

Imo pays stipends to students will equally participate in the exercise to give pupils/students the sense of belonging they deserve from the government. The Special Adviser stated that government would also kick-start the policy implementation on education with the construction of 305 European standard schools in each elec-

toral ward in the 27 local government areas of the state, adding that each of the schools would be centrally sited. He also disclosed that a committee has been set up by government to ascertain the actual data of students enrolled in the already existing schools in the state, as well as

Government would also kick-start the policy implementation on education with the construction of 305 European standard schools in each electoral ward in the 27 local government areas of the state, adding that each of the schools would be centrally sited

infrastructural facilities. The Governor’s aide further stated that a joint committee of SEMB, SUBEB and NUT would be chaired by a top government official appointed by the governor, including the transition committee chairmen and Directors of Administration and General Services. The committee, he said, will be saddled with the responsibility of implementing the free education policy in the local government areas. Prof. Osuji also disclosed that the committee is further charged with the responsibilities of awarding construction contracts, payment of stipends and supervision of the school fencing projects. He, however, stated that teachers in the state will be promptly paid to cope with the challenges of implementing the new state policy on education.


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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

KOGI GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION 2012 As the governorship election in Kogi State draws nearer, politicians jostling for the exalted office are getting their acts together. One of the major candidates is former Governor Abubakar Audu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Correspondent MOHAMMED BASHIR takes a look at the man, his party and his politics.

‘The movement of Audu from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to ACN has been described as a welcome idea by the leadership of the party. It is believed that he has the political wherewithal to deliver the state to ACN. His alignment with ACN has reinvigorated the party and made the election more competitive’

Audu and the challenge of change P

RINCE Abubakar Audu has been an active participant in the politics of Kogi State since it was created in 1992. He emerged governor the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the December 1991 election and assumed office January 1992. That regime was truncated when Geneal Sani Abacha sacked the still born Third Republic in November 1993. At the resumption of democracy in 1999, Audu, then a member of the All Peoples Party (APP),was again elected the governor. During his tenure, Kogi State was put on the path of development among comity of states in Nigeria. Observers of the Audu records have noted that the state fared well during his four year administration. Notable among his achievements are: establishment of the Kogi State University, Ayingba; Obajana Cement company located at Obajana and construction of feeder road. The records were said to have attracted several honours and awards which include that of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) when Professor Jerry Gana was the Minister of Information and National Orientation. Though he lost the 2003 gubernatorial election in the state, he has attributed the failure to victimization against his supporters under the watchful eyes of the army, police, and other security parastatals. The movement of Audu from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to ACN has been described as a welcome idea by the leadership of the party. It is believed that he has the political wherewithal to deliver the state to ACN. His alignment with ACN has reinvigorated the party and made the election more competitive. Audu told The Nation: “ANPP started very strongly, with over five governors, but today the progress of the party is dwindling. Instead of increasing the number of its governors, the party today has lost so many governorship seats and other elected offices. “I chose to move ahead with ACN which started with one governor but now has five and more are still coming, including myself,” he added. While the defection of Audu to ACN, has boosted the party’s electoral value, it is causing ripples as some of the original members of the party kicked against the idea. Worse still his choice of running

mate from t he ANPP did not go down well with the army of ACN aspirants as the former governors settled for Hon. Henry Ojuola representing Yagba East in the State House of Assembly. Their grudge is that Audu should not have picked his running mate from the same party. But in a sharp reaction, the former governor has explained that the matter is a domestic affair. The state chairman of the ACN, Haddy Ametuo said: “We don’t want to see the choice of Ojuola as a big deal or cause for alarm. We will sort it out and ensure we capture power from the PDP, come December 3rd.” Ojuola, in a telephone chat, said that he had resigned from the ANPP on the July 4 and could not therefore be regarded as an ANPP member as at October when the governorshp candidate settled for him. He said the most important things are electoral value and quality. Ojuola a two term member of the State Assembly declared that “I did not just leave ANPP, my supporters especially those who bestowed on me the mandate to represent them at the state assembly asked me to leave and go along with them to the ACN. So, I joined the ACN even before I was made the running mate to Prince Audu. “I am not surprised because this is politics, they thought they could use this to put me down. But they have failed,” he added. It is said that the choice of Ojuola as the running mate, was based on his capability and forthrightness. In the course of shopping for running mate the ACN and PDP ended up looking the same direction. Both Yomi Awoniyi who is the running mate of PDP candidate Captain Idris Wada and Ojuola hail from the same federal constituency. Awoniyi from Mopamuro and Ojuola from Yagba west. Ojuola told The Nation that popularity will be determined by the electorate. “Let watch and see during the election but I also want to remind you that I was elected twice as member of the assembly. I leave the rest for you to answer.” There have also been conflicting issues on how Ojuola will reconcile his present position as legislator and being a running mate. But Ojuola, waived the question,

• Audu

saying that, as a member of the Bar for many decades, he was abreast of the legal implications having also carried out wide consultations before his action. Ojuola defended the allegation that Audu and he had taken over the ACN. He said it was irrelevant as the victory of ACN was the only issue that matters. “ACN and some prominent members of the ANPP went into a merger, I was elected to the House on ANPP platform. Audu is now a full fledged member of ACN. He has long left the ANPP and as you can see. ANPP members who

stayed behind have their governorship candidate for this election. So I still believe that my emergence is in order in the spirit of the merger.” On the chances of ACN taking over power in the state, Audu said the coming election will only take place in Kogi and there will be no room for the PDP’s usual manipulation as the whole world will be in the state to monitor the exercise. He said: “I am not nursing any grievances against anybody. In a game like this it is not possible for all of us to be in one camp, but since the primary is over, we must

close rank and work together to achieve the objective of bringing change to governance in our state”. The ACN flagbearer lamented that incalculable damages have been done to governance in the state in the last nine years of PDP administration, arguing that hundreds of billions of Naira have accrued to the state as external and internal revenues and there is nothing to show for it. The stage is set. Come December 3, the people’s yearning for transformation will be put to the vote. It is one of the few occasions when the people act as the judge.

•Consular General of China in Nigeria, Mr Guo Kun, presenting a gift to Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, when he led a team of Businessmen on a visit to the Government House in Osogbo. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

POLITICS

Challenges before 57 Lagos council chairmen By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

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• Senator Nenadi Usman discussing with Captain Felix Hyat at the Forum.

The agitation for a new state from Kaduna is not new. Senator Nenadi Usman has taken the lead in facilitating a forum for all legistators and leaders of Southern Kaduna to discuss issues related to development of the area, especially to push for Nigeria’s 37th state. TONY AKOWE reports.

Usman, Shekari, Hyat, others want New Kaduna State “I DO not intend to be a runaway legislator and that is why I said I was going to offer consultative representation for my people and tell them what is being done on the floor of the House or to take back what they want me to say on their behalf. So, that will not be the issue for me.” These were the words of Senator Nenadi Esther Usman while campaigning for the senatorial election that brought her into the nation’s Upper Chamber. She brought this to bear recently when she gathered stakeholders from her senatorial district in Kaduna to draw up a legislative agenda for her and other lawmakers representing the areas in both the state and National Assembly. The move has been commended by all. The meeting afforded legislators at both the state and federal levels the opportunity to minds with the leaders of the area on a political platform for the general good of the people. Even though the leaders have always held meetings to discuss the challenges facing the area, this was the first time they were coming together with the aim of setting an agenda for themselves. Conscious of the aspiration of her people and the possibility of working at cross purposes which might be detrimental to that purpose, Senator Usman cautioned agitators for a new Kaduna State to join forces if the state creation dream is to be realised. She told them that if they must make a head-way in their aspiration, everybody in the area must be carried along. She said that the meeting was occasioned by their desire to realize the campaign promises after their election, pointing out the legislators from the area had resolved to collectively pull their strength together in the overall interest of the area. She also urged support for the state governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa to realise the goals and objectives of his administration. Former Military Governor of Kano State, AVM Ishaya Shekari who was supposed to serve as chairman of the occasion sent in words through the Senator. He later came midway into the programme. He told the lawmakers that they must come to terms with the fact that they are part of the leadership at all levels in the country and should therefore see their election as a call to service and to lead the people of Southern Kaduna out of the woods. According to him, the southern

Kaduna area is faced by series of challenges which have left it undeveloped despite the potentials of the area. He noted that “if you take a full survey of Southern Kaduna, you will realise that we are overwhelmed by unemployment and other voices which need to be addressed immediately. I am not unaware of the fact that people will come to you with various demands for assistance. Such demands are not why you were elected, but to make laws for the good governance of the people. Though people will come for assistance, you must face the primary objective of your programmes. You must work together for the educational development of Southern Kaduna since education is the bedrock of any development. We must ensure that our children are given proper education”. He lamented the alleged denial of students of Southern Kaduna origin the opportunity of studying certain courses in some universities in the country, adding that “even our sons who are lecturers in those universities cannot get their children to study those courses in those schools”. He noted that the people of the South Western part of the country never had political power until Chief Olusegun Obasanjo came to power, but were able to use education to their advantage. He pointed out that southern Kaduna should take a cue from the people of the South West in developing their educational potentials. Former Minister of State for Aviation, Felix Hassan Hyat said that the call for stakeholders in Southern Kaduna to come and set a legislative agenda for their representatives was a welcome development and asked the people to speak with one voice on behalf of the people. He told them that “you have gathered us here for a good purpose. You cannot afford to

‘Conscious of the aspiration of her people and the possibility of working at cross purposes which might be detrimental to that purpose, Senator Usman cautioned agitators for a new Kaduna State to join forces if the state creation dream is to be realised. She told them that if they must make a head-way in their aspiration, everybody in the area must be carried along’

fail after this because if you fail, you would have succeeded in going down in history as people who brought their elders together and played on their intelligence. But I know that you cannot fail. It is for all of us here to speak out our mind. We should disagree, but such disagreement should not destabilise why we are here. The agenda we set for you should be that which will last for the first four years in office and go beyond. We pray that the spirit of unity and purpose lead us in the deliberation. The agenda should also be that which will help the governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa to deal with a leadership that is united. We should set an agenda for southern Kaduna which include the governor because he is one of us”. Dr. Ephraim Goje, the President of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) also spoke in the same vein. He said that the time had come for the people of Southern Kaduna to stand up and be counted in terms of development and advancement of the course of the people. Goje argued that Southern Kaduna is blessed with both human and materials resources and therefore does not deserve to remain backward. He said that the meeting was very fundamental to the survival of the southern Kaduna people. He stressed that the area is faced with series of challenges that require urgent solution which he said lies with the people. “The solution to the challenges facing us as a people lies with us. We can only profer solutions by being honest and sincere with ourselves. Let us contribute as much as we can. We can disagree, but it should not undermine why we are here. If she (Senator Usman), succeeds, we have succeeded and if she fails, we have all failed.” Shehu Garba Sarki Noma, the member representing Jama’a/Sanga federal constituency in the House of Representatives contended that the importance of the meeting could not be under-estimated. He admitted the challenges facing the people of the area, both politically and socially, pointing out that “this is the best way to address the challenges facing us. We need to consult both within and outside our zone. So, let us come together and put in place an implementable agenda”. The Majority Leader of Kaduna State House of Assembly, David Umar Gurara acknowledged the fact that “we are not better than others who did not make it during the election. But we are here because God made it possible.”

HE crowd that witnessed the inauguration of the 20 local government councils and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) chairmen was huge. It was a carnival-like swearing-in ceremony. The chairmen and their deputies adorned customised red native caps. Beside them were their wives and husbands. Blue Roof, Lagos Television complex, the venue of the historic ceremony, could not swallow the army of traditional rulers, top government functionaries, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leaders, political associates, clergymen, and other well wishers. It was another milestone in the career of the local politicians. Three years ago, many of them received the mantle of leadership at the same venue. They were charged by Fashola to complement his giant strides at the local level. Not all of them heeded the advice. Those who imbibed the wise counsel were not jittery as they did not face still opposition from voters on poll day. According to voters, lack of performance by some of them made the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to manage to gain an inroad into some wards. However, the onus was on the governor to repeat the charge at the weekend. “The victory you won did not come from your personal capability alone”, Fashola said, advising them to be diligent, hardworking, and service-oriented. “We will not tolerate any act of indolence on your part. You must be firm and show compassion to our people. Local governments should contribute to the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals”, he added. The governor asked the chairmen to focus on four priority areas. These are primary education, primary health, sanitation and empowerment of the people. When the tenure of the chairmen expired, some people suggested to Fashola to appoint sole administrators or executive secretaries as stop gap. By the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) insisted on the constitutional provision stipulating that democratically elected councils should be safeguarded. At a time many governors shy away from council polls, the governor refused to violate the law by hiding under political loopholes. Eyes are on the chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors as they resume office this week. Expectations of the people are high. Before the elections, there was the growing public perception of the council as an inept third tier lacking the competence to discharge the responsibilities allotted to it by the 1999 Constitution. On the campaign ground, ACN leaders, who solicited for votes from Lagosians for the chairmanship candidates, only alluded to the achievements of Fashola, without pointing to the feats of the chairmen seeking for re-election. Thus, many people concluded that there was no evidence of progress across the councils. Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Ademorin Kuye lamented that label of poor performance, which he said, was not entirely true. He submitted that the standard of performance in Lagos councils is second to none in the country. He therefore, cautioned against hasty generalisation. “I have seen an LCDA which built a three-storey health centre, with sophisticated medical equipment. I have seen a local government which commissioned a three storey primary school building. Councils have been purchasing transformers and buying vehicles for the police and these are federal responsibilities”, he added. Generally, local government system is beset with hindrances which hinder effective service delivery. The pre-existing 20 local governments and additional 37 LCDAs are not insulated from these constraints. After casting his ballot at Alausa, Ikeja, ACN national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, dissected the local government administration nationwide, contending that the system is deprived of adequate funding by the federal government. The former governor reenacted the subsisting debate on true federalism, arguing that councils should be under the direct supervision of states. Tinubu said: “You don’t expect miracles from the councils because of the pittance extended to states and councils by the distant federal government”. Fashola was also miffed by this deprivation during the ceremony. He asked the federal government to increase allocations to the states and councils, adding that both levels, which are closer to the people, needed more rvenue to better service delivery. But both Tinubu and Fashola agreed that the shortage of funds should an excuse for poor performance and abuse of office. Prior to the ceremony, Tinubu and the party chairman, Chief Oladele Ajomale, had warned that ACN would not condone recklessness and dereliction of duty, advising the members of ‘Conference 57’ to gird their loins. Former Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Commissioner Prince Rotimi Agunsoye observed that efficient performance is possible. But he quickly added that the council chairmen should be closely monitored by the party and state government. He said: “They have no choice than to perform. All that is needed is dedication and sense of responsibility”. Local council system has undergone a process of metamorphosis in the country in the last 60 years. Unlike the pre-independence period, local government is no more reserved for political failures who could not make it to the state and federal levels. However, it has largely remained the bastion of corruption. The greatest form of corruption that is often concealed is perpetrated by the trio of chairman, council manager and treasurer. At the grassroots, the chairman is perceived as a big man who controls the resources of the council. Party men and women mill around him, pressing for the distribution of cash. Narrating his ordeal, a chairman said, “I cater for 162 party and community leaders monthly”. Asked to expatiate, he added: “These people, you cannot do away with them. They are on the informal pay roll. Then, if party leaders and community leaders are organising personal ceremonies, like naming, burial, house warming and birthday, the bill is sent to the council. When you attend any ceremony, prepare for market women, youths and area boys. It is like that across the councils”. Indeed, not only is the council perceived as a veritable avenue for accumulating wealth, local contractors have also mutilated the treasury by abandoning project sites after collecting mobilisation fund. Money is often wasted on political purposes, especially political mobilisation, instead of funding people-oriented projects. • Fashola


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

COMMENTARY

W

ERE it possible for the dead to wake at will, Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) the great son of Prophet Ya‘qub (Jacob) would have resurrected in Nigeria at the request of Nigerians. And his mission would have been the interpretation of a dream like that of a Pharaoh of centuries ago which saved Egypt of yore from the scourge of a looming hunger. But alas! The absence of a dreaming Yusuf has rendered the situation in this country hopeless. Despite unlimited human and material resources available in this so called ‘Giant of Africa’ Nigeria continues to wallow helplessly under a jaundiced economy like a centipede drowning in a poisoned brook. In two days time (Sunday, November 6, 2011) Muslims all over the world will be celebrating ‘Idul Adha subsequent to Arafah day which comes up tomorrow. But unlike their brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, overwhelming majority of Nigerian Muslims will celebrate that festival without any festivity. At the instance of injustice based on avarice and aggrandisement on the part of the ruling class, the ingredients of festivity have completely been banished in this country. Thus, many worshippers will spend the festival season with hunger. This iron period in which the government is at once promising to emancipate the masses from the scourge of hunger, starvation and abject poverty, while at the same time threatening to guillotine the same masses through the instrumentality of oil is an indicator of indefinite despair. Generally, there is nostalgia in the land, not only for the days of oil boom when life was relatively comfortable for all and sundry but also for the era of abundant farm crops when the thought of feeding was not much of a concern to most citizens. Nigerian Muslims and non-Muslims alike are today yearning for the return of those days when wives could confidently ask their husbands for festival gifts and children could demand for new dresses, shoes and wrist watches from their parents. Those were the days when festival seasons were really festive and the graph of marriage carried some indices of value. Those were the days of friendliness among neighbours, good wishes among colleagues, mutual confidence among spouses as well as general peace and tranquillity in the society. Now, those days are gone. And they seem to have gone forever. Today, we have find ourselves in a situation against which we had long been warned in a couplet rendered by an Arab poet quoting two disciples of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) Ubayyi Bn Ka’b and Abdullah Bn Mas’ud. It goes thus: “This is the period in which truth is subjected to rejection in all its totality while falsehood, corruption and betrayal of trust are held aloft; should this period linger with its woes and tribulations, Nigeria may soon become a country where no one will rejoice over the birth of a new baby or grieve over the demise of a dear relative”. Nigeria is fast becoming a dramatic entity mysteriously coded in parables. It will take an unprecedented revolution to decode it and dislodge the insensitive actors monopolising the stage with boredom. In ordinary circumstances, a forward-looking country should encourage her citizenry to ask some questions such as: Who are we? Where are we coming from? And where are we going from here? Those are some of the questions which all rational human beings should ask themselves constantly. But such questions have been rendered irrelevant in Nigeria because the circumstances of life here have changed the priorities of ordinary citizens. The only question now in vogue, which everybody in government seems to be answering tacitly, is this: ‘what am I getting from being in this office? That very question is the real drama that permanently engages the attention of Nigerian civil servants. It is the question that robes Nigerian Police in a garment of shamelessness with a banished conscience. It is the question that crowns money as a demigod which forbids human feeling. It is the question that fosters greed and fetters Nigeria to the stake of endemic corruption. It is the question that presents mirage to Nigerians as the only substance worthy of pursuit. What can we say of a man who fixes his eyes on the sun but does not see it? Instead, he sees a chorus of flaming sera-

FEMI ABBAS ON Femabbas@yahoo.com 08051101861

Festival without festivities

•President Goodluck Jonathan phim announcing a paroxysm of despair. That is the parable of the country called Nigeria. Like the Israelis of Moses’ time, Nigerians have become gypsies wandering aimlessly and wallowing in abject poverty in the midst of abundance. What else do we expect from Allah beyond the invaluable bounties with which He has blessed us? What is Nigeria not blessed with? We have land in abundance, not in terms of size alone but also in terms of agrarian soil and rich vegetation. At least over 77 million hectares of land is said to be arable in Nigeria. Out of this, less than 34 million hectares is said to have been cultivated for various agricultural activities mostly by peasants. This has even dwindled to about 25 million square hectares as more and more youths are trooping into cities and towns in search of greener pastures. We are blessed with rainfalls that water our plants from the sky and graze our animals to satisfaction. We are endowed with variety of nourishing foods that are enough to feed us from generation to generation without importing from anywhere. The Qur’an testifies to this in chapter 80 thus: “Let man reflect on the food he eats; how ‘We’ pour down the rain in torrents and cleave the earth asunder; how ‘We’ bring forth the corn, the grapes, the fresh vegetation, the olive, the palm, the thickets, the fruit-trees and the green pasture for you and for your cattle to delight in…” Allah’s favour is regular and constant. We cannot deny it. In addition to the aforementioned, we have energetic and dedicated work force that is married to the farm land in Nigeria. We also have intellectual brains that are ready to carry on with research days and nights to ensure agricultural improvement of our country. Nigeria is not lacking in forest and arable savannah. She is rich in rivers and mountains all of which are great resources for people who are seeking reasonable comfort and are not self-deceptive. What she lacks is a responsible government that can sincerely highlight its priorities according to the yearnings of the ordinary people. That food is becoming a threat to Nigerians today is an irony emanating from naivety and massive corruption in our government quarters especially since 1999 when the current democracy first beamed a ray of hope to the people. In Nigeria today, the cost of running the government alone is enough to render the country bankrupt. What are we doing with

49 federal ministers in addition to dozens of Presidential Advisers when even America with her huge economic resources, large population and financial wherewithal has only ten ministers? Why must we have separate ministers for agriculture and water resources? Where is the Federal Government’s farm to justify this? Why must we retain an obnoxious immunity clause in our constitution which facilitates monumental corruption for the serving Governors who are hypocritically chased around for trial on the allegation of embezzlement after they might have left office? Besides, what informs the idea of the socalled constituency allowances for legislators, running into billions of naira without anything to show for it at a time when innocent women and children are crying for food? No one would have thought in 1999 that artificial hunger could be added to the abysmal level of poverty in Nigeria despite the unprecedented rise in price of oil in the international market. The ubiquity of beggars and lunatics in our cities and towns is a confirmation of this assertion. Governance in Nigeria has become an artful trick adopted by a cabal to bamboozle the populace into blind submission. The propaganda in the 1980s was almost hypnotising: ‘food and shelter for all in year 2000!’ That slogan was changed in the 1990s to: ‘Vision 2010!’ And when year 2010 began to approach, the slogan again changed to: ‘Vision 202020!’ Now, without roads, without electricity, without rail transportation system, without jobs for majority of the able-bodied citizens and even without food on our tables, we are still being cajoled into believing that Nigeria, a country without coins, would become one of the 20 biggest economies in the world in year 2020. Isn’t that a deliberate and audacious deception? No country in history has ever been known to have achieved economic vibrancy by magic. Nigeria cannot be an exception. In an FAO report in 2008, about 300 Nigerians were said to be dying of hunger daily in their own country. But rather than reacting to that sad news positively, our government continues to assure us of becoming one of the biggest economies in the world in nine years even as the easy money accruing from our petrol resource is being shared among a few without anything to show for it. The government needs to be told that no miracle can yield any success based on the ramshackle foundation laid down by a ‘Matthew’ (from the prison) who, as President, could hardly reason beyond the siege mentality of a prisoner. A fire brigade approach to food crisis in a country like Nigeria is a shameful reaction to an avoidable melancholy. Yusuf (Joseph), the son of Ya’qub (Jacob), did not know that he could have any solution to a fundamental problem of a country other than his own. Neither did his brothers who sold him into slavery know that he would be a solution to a major problem in another land. But the accident of history never ceases to play itself out. Without Yusuf, only Allah knows what the history of Egypt would have been today. And without a Pharaoh’s dream of drought, the story of Yusuf would have been totally different from what we now know it to be. If Egypt had any major plight when Yusuf was in prison in that country, it was Pharaoh’s dream. It turned out that Yusuf’s imprisonment in Egypt was a blessing, not

only for Egypt but also for Yusuf and his family. What could have been a repeat of that episode here in Nigeria, turned out to be a regrettable bizarre. The rest is left to history. I was a student in Egypt in the 1970s when the hostility between that country and Israel was fierce. Egypt was then an ally of the (now defunct) Soviet Union while Israel was virtually a satellite of the United States. Not only did Egypt suffer isolation from NATO member countries of Europe and America but the Soviet Union which was supposed to be her main ally was also not forthcoming with any meaningful assistance beyond the supply of scanty weapons. Thus, the Egyptian government had to buckle up firmly in other to fend for its people at that critical time. Realising the importance of food supply especially in a war situation, Egypt mobilised all her agricultural resources around River Nile and forgot about any food importation. The result was tremendous and thus, the fear of insecurity was averted. About one decade ago, Uganda, a subSahara African country, found herself in the position of Egypt. A colossal drought broke out in that country killing thousands of people and virtually wiping out the entire cattle in the country. No Pharaoh had any dreamed premonition and no Yusuf was in a prison to translate any dream into a solution. What the Ugandans did to find a solution was to reset the country’s agricultural focus. Rather than concentrating on tilling the land and rearing the cattle, which drought had eroded, a new focus was brought to bear. Uganda took to ‘bee farming’ as a relieving alternative. The seriousness which the government of that country paid to the new focus was such that Uganda today is a country to reckon with in the production and supply of honey and other bee products to the European communities. A substantial amount of honey consumed in Europe is currently supplied by Uganda as well as Kenya and Tanzania. And those products have become the second biggest foreign exchange earner for Uganda after coffee. Today, Nigeria is not afflicted by drought or famine. Neither is she engaged in a war. Yet, the Nigerian government has learnt no lesson from any of the above named countries simply because there is oil in large deposit. Now, the general fear in the land is that of hunger even in times of festivals. How Nigeria arrived at such a deadly scourge is irrelevant for now. What is relevant is how to get out of it. Like Egypt of yore, Nigeria will need a Yusuf to unravel the mystery surrounding the dream that brought this scourge about. It is ironic that people who live by the river bank can’t get water to drink when those living in the desert can find a reliable oasis to combat any drought. Given all the resources with which we are endowed, Nigerians should have no business with poverty let alone food crisis. Capitalism, which was once an economic ideology propelling mercantilism, has moved a step ahead, especially in Nigeria where official theft has become a profession. Capitalism is now a religion through which its adherents worship money. To such adherents, accountability is a mere riddle which only the poor may wish to unravel. Not only Muslims but all Nigerians are now panicking as the date of the so-called deregulation of the oil sector approaches. Our government is always quick in alerting us on an impending removal of oil subsidy. But the same government has never told us the cost of production of a litre of oil if only to enable us confirm any subsidy on that product. It is only in the interest of those in government, especially the legislators who are most active in sharing public funds, to let the national wealth spread across board legitimately if only to avoid the current Lagos situation where every house has become a prison in which the occupants are voluntarily jailed. To ignore the rule of law and shun justice in a land blessed with milk and honey is to cultivate trouble with insecurity in all its ramifications. As Muslims troop out to ‘Id grounds on Sunday, let them pray the Almighty Allah to soften the hardened hearts of those in government that they may reject the dictate of Satan and akin to Allah’s voice of reason.


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THE NATION FRIDAY,NOVEMBER 4, 2011


SHOPPING

49

THE NATION

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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

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

email:- shopping@thenationonlineng.net

What merchants do for money In the bid to engineer sales, events consultants engage in the act of bringing people of specialised trades to converge under an umbrella of trade exhibition to unite with target shoppers. Such gatherings are powered by entertainments, free gifts, raffle draws and even trainings- any attraction to make the shopper ‘drop’. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes. •STORY ON PAGE 50

•Cake and sugar craft exhibition

•Sugar craft

Getting the best out of your juice Page 50

‘I cherish electronics’ Lagos International Trade Fair begins today Page 51

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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

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SHOPPING

What merchants do for money A S the day goes by, proactive business people come up with different strategies for trade development. The objective is always to boost trading by connecting shoppers with products of their choice. The end result is creating a meeting point for buyers and sellers. Trade exhibitions are often organised to achieve such goals. The Lagos International trade fair which begins today is the most popular and elaborate of them all. Other states also hold annual trade fairs to develop trading in their states. Asides the general trade shows, many also organise specialised trade exhibitions for people of same trades. One of such is the cake and sugar craft exhibition, which, like the International trade fair, has also become an annual event. The sixth edition of the show took place at the Golden Gate Hotel, Lagos last week. For cake specialists, sugar craft merchants, decorators and shoppers, it was indeed a place to be. The Fortune hall of the hotel was an array of all manner of items used in the sugar craft industry. The interesting cake decorations would set your mouth watering. Among the exhibitors were Nigeria’s top cake makers and sugar crafters. Among the items on display were cake and sugar craft equipment and accessories, wedding papers, jewelleries, coral beads, wedding and clothing accessories, among others. Since cake is used for different occasions, the fair actually had on display, other attractions that ac-

company it including the way to dress during different occasions, the kind of wine for the occasion, such as traditional weddings and decoration of the table and venue for the celebration. Noteworthy are some of the themes portrayed through the cakes. Some were designed with African themes such as the coral bead, calabash, palm tree and animal skins. Some also portrayed themes signifying floral and wedding gowns. Others have different insignia depicting various occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, golden jubilee and silver jubilee, among others. As would be expected at such events, it was not only an avenue to connect sellers and buyers, but also a money-making venture. Amidst music and entertainment, a convivial atmosphere and colourful displays, shoppers had a good time and a lot to see. Some were on hand to patronise the sellers. Others came to ‘window shop’ and have a feel of the occasion. Some came to learn new skills, just as others came to discover some new styles. Miss Nkechi Ogbuefi, a shopper was visibly excited as she spoke: “I have looked forward to attending this event because my wedding is coming up in December. I knew I would get the latest styles and the best bargain at this fair. You can see that my bag is full. I made it and I am happy” It also served as an avenue for training on various courses in cake making and sugar craft,

•Different themes on display

among which is the new Wilton Cake decorating courses after which course kit, lesson and certificate were given to participants at a token fee. Participants also had the opportunity to interact with sugar craft experts during the conferences and workshops which took place. Crafts such as moulding basket, fruits and jewellery, sugar veil bows and lace mat, among others were also taught.

The facilitator of the show, Mrs Keinde Gbelee of Kogsy Sugarcraft centre expressed joy at the success of the two days event. She said the show served as a one stop shop for cake makers as well as an avenue to foster friendship. “We are solution providers to cake decorators. We nurture, educate and inspire people in cake and sugar crafts. Speaking on the show which she attended as a trainer and exhibitor, Mrs Siku Adewuyi said:

“It was impressive, quite a large turnout and people are eager to learn. Mr Tunde Vaughn, consultant for the show noted: “a lot was done to ensure the success of this event. You can see that it is a perfect platform for stakeholders in the industry to converge and that has been achieved. The kiddies’ fun sugar craft classes, raffle draws and distribution of gifts were part of the attractions.

Getting the best out of your juicer Choosing a juicer is like choosing an outfit to wear. Choosing the right one would guarantee maximum benefit. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes.

•Stainless power juicer

T

HE modern day juicer is designed to have multifunctional purpose. It is structured in such a way that it has different speeds so that while one is used with softer fruits for maximum juice extraction such as black currants, soft peaches, mango, vegetables and pineapples, the other is used for harder produce

such as pears and apples. Before you buy a particular juicer, obtain necessary information about it before you buy. Do not be shy to ask questions on areas you do not quite understand. When produce is exceptionally soft, it is preferable to insert them slowly in order to obtain the maximum quantity of juice.

Wherever possible, drink or use the juice obtained immediately so as not to loose its valuable vitamin content. If it is necessary to store the juice for a few hours, place it in the refrigerator and add a few drops of lemon juice to help preservation. Apricots, bananas, peaches, pears, melons, pineapple, pawpaw and strawberries are soft textured fruits. The juice extracted from these fruits is very thick and is known as nectar. It is best to alternate the processing of these juices with thinner juices, such as carrots and apples. Process soft-textured fruits first, followed by firmer fruits and vegetables, in order to ensure maximum removal of thick juice. One pound of raw juice usually yields one cup (250ml) of juice. Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice or ascorbic acid powder to your juice container before juicing to keep juices from discolouring. Serve juices immediately, since the vitamin content decreases when juices are stored. If it is necessary juice fruits and vegetables sometime before serving, cover container tightly and refrigerate .Do not store more than 48 hours, unless canning or freezing. The flavour, colour and consistency of canned juices will be different from freshly juiced foods. Substitute fruit or vegetable juices for stock or water in cooking. Some pulp remaining in juice is normal. It increases its flavour and nutritional value. Potato juice can be used in place of cornstarch, cocoyam or flour in thicken-

ing. Vegetable juice mixed with carrot juice will produce a sweeter vegetable flavour. Should you wish to prepare large quantities of fruits and vegetables, be sure to check pulp container and juice bowl after processing 1kg of food. For best results, empty pulp container when it is filled near the top. For those who wish for clear juice, filter through layers of cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is also helpful to remove any juice clinging to the pulp of moist foods, just squeeze out additional juice. The centrifugal juicer design is one of the oldest juicer designs. It uses a grater or shredder disc and a strainer basket with straight sides to hold the pulp in the machine. The shredder disk is at the bottom of the basket, which revolves at a high speed (3600 rpm). The produce is put into the top of the machine, pressed through a chute, hits the spinning shredder disc. While the produce is being shred, juice is released. The basket spins at a high speed, much like a washing machine spinning cycle and force pushes the juice through the strainer basket and comes out of the front of the machine, and the pulp stays inside the machine. Generally this style juicer can make one to two quarts before it is stopped and the pulp must be removed before further juicing can take place. The Jaipan brand two in one juicer, mixer and grinder is good for juicing most fruits and vegetables. It is also easy to use, clean and fast. If you are interested in juicing both fruits and vegetables with equal quality, this is the juicer for you.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

SHOPPING

Mall fetes shoppers tomorrow

Shopping Right

In the bid to lure shoppers, some malls are offering discounts on exciting collections, under an entertaining and conducive atmosphere, writes TONIA ‘DIYAN.

with

D

O you seek exquisite life that comes at a price that does not hurt your pocket? This one stop shop situated in Gbagada, Lagos and bringing exquisite living will be entertaining shoppers with delightful activities tomorrow at diya street, between 10am and 7pm. The aim of the event is to make sure everyone goes home with lovely gifts at affordable prices. So while you merry, you have the opportunity of shopping too. The proprietress, Delightsome Gifts Concepts, Mrs Modupe Shopeju promises 50 per cent off every item in stock. Shoppers are advised to pick as many items as desired as the discount offer would ensure affordability. Also there will be kids’ activities to thrill them as they come in company of their parents to shop. Items ranging from kiddies party pack, books, different character gift bags, story books, cartoon, educational toys, games, bicycle, branded favourite cartoon characters such as Ben10, Hannah Montana, Barbie, Spiderman and lots more would be available to them. Household items such as flower vases in their inspiring shapes and colours, wall painting, picture frames, flowers, wall decorations, mirrors, lamps, rugs and high-end quality and colourful range of goods that add value to space,

harmonising it and turning it into paradise, would be on display. Likewise toiletries, beauty products, exotic toilets, luxury laundry products of premium brands, liquid shower soap for male and female, body and hair care products, cosmetics, shaving cream and after shave. There is the personal effects section, where you find authentic individual items such as designer wrist watches, sun shades, jewellery and fashion accessories for both sexes. You will have the opportunity to pick from the numerous kitchen wares ranging from quality stainless steel, crockery, elegant cooking utensils, glass cups and wine glasses, dish washing liquid and scouring powder. You would find exotic photo frames in variety of attractive colours and intriguing designs fit for your purposes either as a gift or personal collection; designer’s wall clocks, ceramics and decorative glasswares in limitless structures to enhance your home or office environment.The electrical appliances section offers microwave ovens, electric iron, pressure cookers, sandwich makers, water boiling kettle, bread toasters and more. Other attractions include musical performances, dances, comedy, good music, assorted food, snacks, drinks and lots to merry with.

FROM MY MAILBOX Dear readers, Welcome to another first Friday of the month solely dedicated to publishing your comments. Special thanks to you because you always spur us to greater efforts. As I anticipated, many people had so much to say in contribution to last week’s expose entitled: Counting the Costs- Did Gaddafi shop right? Here are some of them as space would enable us. Please bear with us if your comment is not published in this edition. Thanks for being there. I love you. Janice. Janice, I have at least found one Nigerian who shares my view on Gaddafi. Whatever the West branded him, he meant well for his people, Africa and indeed a host of others. His

JANICE NKOLI IFEME

bane was the African disease-unending rule. Gaddafi has come and gone, Libya has been left in ruins! NATO exits at the end of the month. What next? Which country would be ‘liberated’ next? What have our leaders leant from the revolution? We are waiting and watching. God bless you. Anonymous Janice, that’s a good piece you put up there on Gaddafi. Your question is did he shop right? For me, I would say that he shopped right in developing Libya to the height of no dependence that even sanctions placed on the country could not bring down their economy. That to me is a slight on the ego of Western powers. No wonder they all converged easily under the guise of NATO to pull down their common enemy, Gaddafi. On the other hand, he did not shop right in the sense that he did not know when to leave the ‘market’. That is my submission. John Onyema, Trader, Sokoto. I am impressed by your write up on Gaddafi who has been a thorn in the flesh of Western powers. Between 1960 and 1970 most African leaders were killed through coup sponsored by Western powers. I hope African Union leaders learn from Gaddafi’s painful death. Akin Abidoye, Ibadan. He shopped right but his bane was his stubbornness and sit tight attitude just like other African leaders. Anonymous Thanks for your write up, ‘Counting the Costs’ I have personally been enlightened. If the transitional council thinks it would take a decade to rebuild Libya because 10 years seems far away, then they should think again. One thing is sure. Gaddafi is gone and Libya will never remain the same again. Emeka Ikedi, Maiduguri. Thanks for your write up, ‘Counting the Costs’. You write with deep knowledge of International Relations. May your pen never run dry. Dr Jide Owoka, PHD International Relations, Moscow. Shopping right with Janice has been a huge success and exciting column to read in The Nation newspaper. I greatly and honestly share and agree with your views on every political issue because you really understand the intricacies of African politics. As for Gaddafi, I believe the cries, weeping of the Libyan people have reached God, that he has to come down by Himself to show Muomar Gaddafi that there will be no two Kings of Kings at the same time, as he claimed to be. I will say what happened in Libya was a battle of alter versus alter, which the lesser alter paid dearly for. Hon C. N Njoku, Businessman, Port Harcourt. Jany, I love your write up but you know something? It is better to remain a slave than to get free land and the rest but live without freedom. Perhaps Libyan men did ask for permission from Gaddafi before having sex with their wives. Given the economy of Cameroun would he have built Libya? Or the population of Nigeria? His extravagance and benevolence was to buy the conscience and loyalty of the poor and less privileged as a strategy to remain in office. Shetima Mike, Enugu.

•Decoration and gift items

Lagos International Trade fair begins today

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HE Lagos International Trade fair is here again. Organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Lagos International Trade fair is the largest in the West African sub-region. It is the gateway to Nigeria’s and Africa’s evolving market, with over 100,000 business visitors over a 10day period (November 4 to 13) It is anticipated that the Fair will attract

over 1,500,000 visitors from within and outside the Country including businessmen, investors, consumers, top government officials and representatives of Nigeria’s important trading houses as well as those seeking jointventure partnerships. This year’s trade show will feature consumer activation platform for food, drinks and allied businesses of all kinds and promises to make a difference.

He over stayed his welcome and overstretched his bounds when he began to attack his people and calling them rats. Instead of him to read the handwriting on the wall and be magnanimous in defeat, he began fighting a losing battle. See where it has landed him. That is what will happen to all those people who are looking for tenure elongation instead of doing what will be of benefit to the people. Franklin Gold, Niger State. Ma, your heroic piece in your column “Shopping Right” “Counting the Costs”, The Nation Friday October 28, 2011 is God’s way of divinely intervening in the affairs of this nation to bring succor to the suffering masses.Many of the handicapped poor in the majority who have suffered deprivation and neglect in a land flowing with milk and honey with the capacity to put food on their table will swoon with the excitement that one day such a dream policy might come through and be replicated in their life-time in Nigeria. Please permit me to quote that dream here. “Anyone who wished to become a farmer was given free use of land, a home, equipment, livestock and seeds. Also free health care, free and high quality education, interest free loans” Dearest Sister, how I wish every Nigerian will get to read or benefit from the heroic (The Nation Newspaper intelligentsia.) expose on front burner issues affecting their wellbeing. John Rabiu Jimoh, Evangelist Janice, I took great interest when the battle for Libya began in February because I was there five years ago. What thrilled me about Libya was their police. You dare not try to bribe a Libyan police because that is big trouble. And if they catch you offending, that one na serious wahalla -it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Libyan police. I wept for Naija police who cause enormous traffic because of the N20 toll fee they always collect at check points. I even heard they want to increase it to N50. That is the level of poverty in Naija. I need a government who will meet my needs, period! Kunle Akinyemi, Ibadan.

•Decoration and gift items

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


52

THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

SHOPPING Shopping for health enhancement

MY SHOPPING

‘I cherish electronics’

S

•Alhaji Adewale Ayinde Tekoma, Musician

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OW do you go about your shopping? I go to nice malls and sometimes it is done by me or my brother. How often do you shop? I do my shopping twice in a month. When was the last time you shopped? Middle of this month. What did you buy? I bought shoes, cloths, jewelleries and other things. Where did you shop for them? Ikeja. Why Ikeja? Because I was born and brought up in Ikeja. Can you tell us little about your music career? Like I said am Adewale Ayinde Tekoma, and am into Fuji music, though it has been long that I launched an album due to one reason or the other but glory be to God because he has given me a way through. Whoa!, now that God has given you a way through, how soon should we be expecting you in the market? By the grace o God, first week in December. Fine, December is a month from now and that is pretty long, can you just gist us the

By Funmi Ayodele‘

title o the album? [laughter] Okay oo…., it is titled Facebook. Hmn, that sounds interesting, can you just tell us the reason for that title? I gave it that title because facebook is a link where both old and new friends meet and I am using this album as a point o connect to my old fans home and abroad and also the new ones coming. That sounds good, back to our questions. How do you see our shopping malls? They are okay for an average citizen What are the things you cherish most when it comes to shopping? What I cherish most abi? (Laughter) Yes Electronics. I cherish them so much Any brand you love? Samsung and in clothing, I love Fendi and Timberland Would you say you are prudent? Yes, of course or do you want to tell me that I am not? No oo. Good. I am but the people closer to me will be able to talk better on that.

•Tekoma A piece of shopping advice sir? One man’s food is another man’s poison. So, I will advise everyone to shop for what he or she likes.

USTAINABLE health is not only part of survival but also a continuously rewarding way to live out one’s entire life.These days, many look out for health enhancing products to improve their wellness and quality of life. A health and wellness product will mean very different things to different people. Wellness products are being looked at in the context of ‘over the counter drugs, health supplements natural homemade health remedies. For one person, a wellness product might be seen as an aid to recovery from illness, while for another it might be a means of further enhancing some aspect of their current health; depending upon who is promoting them at any given time. Whatever your reasons for using complimentary, natural health remedies, herbal health or any other alternative care health services or products, a common goal is to achieve optimised health and wellbeing. As humans, we may not be in control of the factors that cause us to become ill, whether they are genetic, environmental, or something else entirely. There are many avenues we could take to improving our health. Shopping for health enhancing products such as face mask, heat pad, neck belt, cool eyes mask, acupressure foot roller, accu-roller and Morning walker would make you feel good with yourself, while bouncing in great health.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

53


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

54

EQUITIES

Conoil grows profit by 78%

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 3-11-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Company Name PRESCO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded 15 7.80 477,898 15 477,898

Value of Shares (N) 3,557,225.20 3,557,225.20

AIR SERVICES Company Name AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COM PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded 4 1.97 5,872 37 5.61 266,730 41 272,602

Value of Shares (N) 11,597.84 1,488,500.17 1,500,098.01

AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded 9 1.62 93,332 9 93,332

Value of Shares (N) 150,193.60 150,193.60

Company Name ACCESS BANK PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC SKYE BANK PLC. STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 107 22 23 33 69 521 459 58 69 37 231 26 31 220 1,906

Quantity Traded 3,191,694 957,584 129,933 36,581,702 3,358,028 14,624,733 68,389,858 2,928,697 2,207,246 1,591,876 32,395,499 960,518 725,368 31,894,626 199,937,362

Value of Shares (N) 16,149,751.21 3,054,762.40 238,755.05 146,332,685.52 5,827,735.08 145,435,368.21 996,656,711.92 23,021,684.24 10,584,896.22 1,976,246.08 96,843,367.32 543,904.10 430,501.26 402,495,214.46 1,849,591,583.07

Company Name GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded 59 210.00 168,058 179 91.51 1,137,021 238 1,305,079

Value of Shares (N) 34,594,464.48 104,106,474.75 138,700,939.23

BANKING Quotation(N) 5.20 3.30 1.89 4.00 1.75 10.00 14.61 7.85 4.95 1.26 3.00 0.57 0.58 12.86

BREWERIES

BUILDING MATERIALS ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals

47 10 29 34 120

15.01 5.00 103.00 39.10

309,331 124,000 620,917 4,010,298 5,064,546

4,627,590.27 618,892.30 61,985,289.03 156,677,050.53 223,908,822.13

CHEMICAL & PAINTS BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC 5 CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC 34 NIGERIAN-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC 1 PAINTS AND COATINGS MANUFACTURES PLC3 PORTLAND PAINTS & PRODUCTS NIG PLC 1 Sector Totals 44

9.45 16.56 9.51 0.68 5.11

12,500 310,036 250 456,700 6,000 785,486

113,710.00 5,145,499.26 2,260.00 310,556.00 29,160.00 5,601,185.26

250,945 250,945

577,173.50 577,173.50

50,666 575 51,241

407,861.30 1,690.50 409,551.80

COMMERCIAL/SERVICES RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals

10 10

2.30

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ONOIL Plc sustained impressive growth in turnover and profitability in the third quarter with sales and net profit rising by 86 per cent and 78 per cent respectively. Interim report and accounts of Conoil for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2011, showed that Profit Before Tax rose by 78 per cent from N2.6 billion recorded in third quarter 2010 to N4.6 billion in 2011. The report also indicated that Profit After Tax increased from N1.7 billion in 2010 to N3.1 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 78 per cent. Turnover stood at N120.3 billion in 2011 as against N64.8 billion in 2010. With the third quarter performance, Conoil appeared to be in good stead to surpass the N6.5 billion full year profit forecast for 2011. The company is expected to improve on performance in the fourth quarter when activities in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry usually peak. The company assured that shareholders would benefit from the increasing profitability of the company, implying possible increase in cash dividends. While previewing the company’s performance for 2011, the Chairman of Conoil Plc, Dr. Mike Adenuga, projected that the company would record triple growth rate and deliver superior shareholder value.

• NSE resumes upswing with N6bn 298.17 million shares worth N2.34 billion exchanged in 3,459 deals, posted yesterday. Volume and value grew marginally by 2.8 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively. The banking stocks recorded the highest volume of transaction with 199.937 million shares worth N1.850 billion in 1,906 deals. This was followed by the insurance with 67.027 million shares worth N52.463 million in 196 deals. Others with significant volume were Conglomerates, Maritime and Building Materials with 8.548 million shares, 6.124 million share and 5.065 million shares. However, Guaranty Trust Bank emerged the most actively traded stocks with 68.39 million shares valued at N996.66 million in 459 deals. Other equities that recorded significant volume on Thursday were FCMB, Continental Reinsurance, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank. On the gainers table, NCR Nigeria led gainers’ list by 4.95 per cent to close at N8.05. Other strong gainers in the top five brackets are; Okomu Oil, Forte Oil, Paints & Coatings Manufacturer and Presco. Value gains here were due to improved earnings as well as market forces. Oando led the losers’ chart in percentage term by 4.99 per cent to close at N26.09. Other losers are Wema Bank, Eterna Oil, Transcorp and Dangote Sugar.

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

“We have set for ourselves, some very challenging targets; but given the commitment of our people and the burning desire to go the extra mile and be the best, we feel confident that 2011 will be a greater success,” he pledged. He said the foundation for the impressive performance is hinged on the huge investment committed to the expansion of the businesses, the general overhaul of its facilities and equipment, the optimisation of its resources and total elimination of waste in its operations. Meanwhile, the stock market returned to a generally positive pricing pattern as investors increased demand for banking stocks. The All Share Index (ASI) gained 19.18 points, representing 0.09 per cent appreciation to close at 20,521.31, as against its opening index of 20,502.13 points. Similarly, market capitalisation of all equities rose from N6.507 trillion to N6.513 trillion. The uptrend was spurred by gains recorded by Access Bank, Dangote Cement, First Bank, PZ Cussons, Skye Bank, UAC Nigeria, Lafarge WAPCO, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa. Total volume of shares transacted dropped to 306.53 million valued at N2.62 billion in 3,709 deals, as against

COMPUTER & OFFICE EQUIPMENT NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

2 1 3

8.05 3.09

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 3-11-11

CONGLOMERATES PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC SCOA NIGERIA PLC TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIG PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

40 1 46 57 67 211

30.00 6.11 0.61 30.50 26.50

1,036,126 11 3,464,300 1,315,548 2,732,070 8,548,055

30,996,887.62 63.91 2,150,004.00 40,169,092.27 72,389,021.10 145,705,068.90

N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. OASIS INSURANCE PLC PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. REGENCY ALLIANCE INSURANCE COM PLC Sector Totals

1 10 2 2 1 196

C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

7 7

12 12

38.43

JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals

63 63

56,775 56,775

2,073,490.00 2,073,490.00

2 2

1.70

21,000 21,000

36,180.00 36,180.00

12 39 112 73 49 25 19 69 1 2 401

48.00 14.20 5.20 5.15 61.50 3.25 4.28 400.00 21.48 0.50

97,925 384,861 789,258 1,217,001 218,377 417,015 96,830 101,389 810 2,500 3,325,966

4,700,486.73 5,199,052.19 4,144,396.32 6,429,149.33 13,139,750.35 1,326,087.50 417,487.50 40,683,323.82 16,532.10 1,250.00 76,057,515.84

HEALTHCARE EVANS MEDICALPLC. FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. PHARMA-DEKO PLC Sector Totals

3 14 9 14 1 41

0.83 1.40 27.00 2.40 3.50

201,941 158,044 35,733 112,435 1,000 509,153

167,678.67 222,512.78 930,666.30 269,122.70 3,330.00 1,593,310.45

HOTEL & TOURISM IKEJA HOTEL PLC TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

65 1 66

2.27 4.32

4,766,700 1,120 4,767,820

11,448,214.73 4,603.20 11,452,817.93

INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS B. O. C. GASES NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

2 10 10 22

7.10 38.09 5.87

600 55,950 89,037 145,587

4,470.00 2,024,830.50 496,831.46 2,526,131.96

RESORT SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Sector Totals

1 1

2.73

AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CORNERSTONE INSURANCE CO. PLC. CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC GREAT NIGERIA INSURANCE COMPANY PLC GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC

94 1 5 11 1 19 16 1 2 1 29

1,000 1,000

108,000 108,000

92,640.00 92,640.00

0.75

6,123,824 6,123,824

4,592,512.12 4,592,512.12

4,877,507 36,347,675 94,000 157,799 500 2,736,900 302,733 600,000 919,900 8,500 9,915,636

0.50

4,000 4,000

2,000.00 2,000.00

OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 11 11

0.50

3,402,475 3,402,475

1,701,237.50 1,701,237.50

859,090 859,090

1,485,369.85 1,485,369.85

PACKAGING NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COM PLC 44 Sector Totals 44

1.76

PETROLEUM(MARKETING) MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. FORTE OIL PLC MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

10 7 7 16 16 106 23 185

63.86 35.00 4.34 10.04 141.00 26.09 200.00

2,445 4,067 118,700 340,465 6,220 1,951,906 165,060 2,588,863

148,338.15 137,159.50 515,158.00 3,418,268.60 843,300.20 50,925,227.54 32,743,228.00 88,730,679.99

PRINTING & PUBLISHING ACADEMY PRESS PLC. LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals

1 3 4 8

UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals

19 19

2.24 4.20 3.79

1,333 10,100 37,000 48,433

2,985.92 40,299.00 133,570.00 176,854.92

REAL ESTATE 11.95

327,051 327,051

3,921,252.90 3,921,252.90

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST 2,600.00 2,600.00

INSURANCE 0.51 1.00 0.50 2.78 0.50 0.53 1.40 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

3 3

ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC Sector Totals

INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IHS NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

0.89

MORTGAGE COMPANIES

FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

20,000.00 5,185,939.50 325,000.00 3,390.00 500.00 52,462,937.63

MARITIME

ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY CUTIX PLC Sector Totals

40,000 10,371,799 650,000 3,000 1,000 67,026,949

LEASING

CONSTRUCTION JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

0.50 0.50 0.50 1.18 0.50

2,539,057.43 36,347,675.00 47,000.00 427,657.30 250.00 1,435,330.00 409,120.40 300,000.00 459,950.00 4,250.00 4,957,818.00

SKYE SHELTER FUND 1 UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVTMNT TRU 1 Sector Totals 2

100.00 50.00

2,400 100 2,500

240,000.00 5,000.00 245,000.00

ROAD TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

4 4

0.51

93,600 93,600

47,836.00 47,836.00

THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED 17 11.69 188,300 Sector Totals 17 188,300 Overall Totals

3,701

306,386,932

Value of Shares (N) 2,175,770.00 2,175,770.00 2,619,077,977.79


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

55

MONEY LINK

Tax now required for goods clearance, says FIRS

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MPORTERS are now to present tax clearance before they can clear their goods at the ports, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said. This development stemmed from the integration of the FIRS Tax payer Identification Number (TIN) platform with the Nigerian Customs Service. Executive Chairman , FIRS, Mrs Ifueko Omoigui Okauru said yesterday in Lagos that the TIN is to be quoted in all relevant transactions .

By Simeon Ebulu

She spoke through Mr Osy Chuke , Corodinating Director, Corporate Development Group at the launch of the FIRS and Nigerian Customs Service Tax payer Identification Number Interconnectivity Platform. She said the TIN will be required from importers before their goods can be cleared by Customs. If a formal entry is required, she said the freight forwarder will be required to put the ultimate

The project includes the development of National Tax database, which links all revenue authorities and major stakeholders. The system, she explained, will quickly and accurately register, balance and account for revenues received, on a real time basis, and transfer this information rapidly and securely to the Service, Customs offices and other major stakeholders. Already, the FIRS has established transmission of live data with the Customs and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). She said

importer’s identification number on the entry form. Mrs Okauru said soon the TIN will be the major requirement for business transactions across the economy. Consequently, she said that the Service is putting in place structures and an electronic platform for the issuance of TIN to all tax payers. The FIRS boss said the government is developing a national single window for harmonising and standardising tax payer information.

through an online system, the government agencies can effectively process the payment of taxes. On the Customs Tax payer Identification Number Inter connectivity Platform, the FIRS boss noted that it is the first technology driven inter-agency collaborative effort between the two primary revenue generating agencies of the government. For operators at the ports to acquire TIN, Mrs Okauru said company registration number, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) number and their emails. She said registration of TIN with the Customs allows for better and faster processing of customs operations. The comptroller general of Customs,Dikko Abdullahi said the government set up the integrated National Single Window to speed up the customs clearance process.

Access, Global Funds begin SMEs training

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CCESS Bank Plc in partnership with Friends for the Global Fund Africa, Friends Africa, has commenced the training of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. The exercise was meant to empower the trainees to develop effective work-place policies to address adverse effects of diseases profitability. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Access Bank/Friends Africa Workplace Development Policies Workshop for SMEs, Ms Omobolanle Babatunde, Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, Access Bank, said the need to train SMEs was targeted at enabling the entrepreneurs secure get the tools needed to diseases like HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. She lamented the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa, especially in the society, government, organizations, communities and families, noting that the diseases are no longer viewed as health problems but as part of a broader development crisis. According to her, business owners should be aware of the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria

in their workforce. “These diseases are issues very close to business and very close to everyone living and working in Africa. We are all affected by the epidemic in some way, at our workplace and in our private lives,” she asserted. Babatunde noted that the diseases pose serious negative social and economic consequences, especially as they have helped in no small measure in undermining the productive capacities of countries in Africa. She further stated that the diseases have helped in perpetuating poverty in the continent, aggravating social problems, overwhelmed health services weaken the work force of the private and threaten national security. “It is our responsibility therefore, as the private sector to take action and join forces with the public sector in addressing these pandemics,” she noted. Speaking in the same vein, Mrs. Akudo Ikemba, Chief Executive Officer/Founder, Friends Africa, advised stakeholders to pay more attention on prevention, detection and treatment of the diseases. “African businesses benefit the most

SMEs in programmes aimed at eradicating the diseases and other economic issues, saying that focusing only on large companies would amount to ignoring the real drivers of economic growth and development.

from a healthy Africa, as they have a larger, more affluent market to buy their products and from which to draw their employees,” she said. She said SMEs should be incorporated in designing a work-place policy that gives priority to the exclusion of

Yuguda makes case for quoted firms

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HE Federal Government of Nigeria has been advised to give priority to quoted companies in the award of contracts and government projects. Bauchi State Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, who stated this while addressing a public policy forum titled, “Restoring Market Confidence in an Era of Economic Uncertainties: Challenges and Prospects”, in Lagos yesterday, noted that offering incentives to growth sectors of the Exchange will further drive liquidity in the market and enhance restoration of investors’ confidence in the market. He also canvassed for tax holidays for new listings on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in or-

der to increase the number of quoted companies. According to him, if new listings are encouraged and given special concession like tax holiday for a period, it will aid the growth of many firms and flow of investments in the market. “It is essential that companies are encouraged to get listed on the Exchange through various incentives, like making sure that the government gives them tax holiday for a period, while quoted firms should be given major contract as they indirectly contribute to the growth of the market,” Yuguda added. He noted that after the global

FGN BONDS

DATA BANK

Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount

NIDF NESF

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate

7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011

NCR OKOMUOIL FO PAINTCOM PRESCO PZ SKYEBANK HONYFLOUR FIDSON ZENITHBANK ABCTRANS ACCESS

O/PRICE

7.67 19.38 9.57 0.65 7.50 29.01 4.80 3.18 1.37 12.60 0.50 5.10

C/PRICE

8.05 20.34 10.04 0.68 7.80 30.00 4.95 3.25 1.40 12.86 0.51 5.20

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD

147.6000

149.7100

150.7100

-2.11

NGN GBP

239.4810

244.0123

245.6422

-2.57

NGN EUR

212.4997

207.9023

209.2910

LOSER AS AT 3-11-11 SYMBOL

OANDO WEMABANK ETERNAOIL TRANSCORP DANGSUGAR EVANSMED FCMB IKEJAHOTEL AIICO IBTC CAP DANGFLOUR

O/PRICE

27.46 0.61 4.56 0.64 5.40 0.87 4.19 2.36 0.53 8.15 17.10 5.32

C/PRICE

26.09 0.58 4.34 0.61 5.15 0.83 4.00 2.27 0.51 7.85 16.56 5.20

-1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

Bureau de Change 152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

BANK (S/N) (S/N)

Date

450m

452.7m

450m

150.8

08-8-11

313.5m 443m

250m 400m

150.8 150.7

03-8-11 01-8-11

NSE CAP Index

13-09-11 N6.7026tr 21,018.52

14-09-11 N6.760tr 21,199.16

153.0000

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

Aug ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

8.75%

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%

% Change -0.87% -0.86%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 118.15 100.28 0.77 1.02 0.91 1,639.36 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,118,33 193.00

9.08 1.00 117.96 99.71 0.74 1.02 0.90 1,634.12 7.84 1.33 1.80 6,917.31 191.08

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

CHANGE

1.37 0.03 0.22 0.03 0.25 0.04 0.19 0.09 0.02 0.30 0.54 0.12

Rate (N)

250m 400m

NIGERIA INTER

CHANGE

0.38 0.96 0.47 0.03 0.30 0.99 0.15 0.07 0.03 0.26 0.01 0.10

Exchange

Sold ($)

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency

Parallel Market SYMBOL

Amount

EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11

(S/N)

GAINERS AS AT 3-11-11

Amount

Offered ($) Demanded ($)

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

economic downturn, which affected the nation’s capital market in 2008, the Exchange’s market capitalisation has been on a downward trend dropping from N13 trillion in 2008 to about N6.5 trillion yesterday, while investors’ apathy to the capital market has continued to be a major challenge before the market. On his part, the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr Oscar Onyema, while delivering his lecture on the topic corroborated the views of the Governor on the need for tax holidays for new listings, stating that taxes on transaction fees should be reduced or eliminated in order to reduce frictional costs incurred in the course of trading.

By Tonia Osundolire

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

• AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

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

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK Previous

Current

04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011

Bank

8.5000

8.5000

P/Court

8.0833

8.0833

Movement


56

THE NATION FRIDAY,NOVEMBER 4, 2011


57

THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

NEWS Five die in Niger Bridge auto crash From Adimike George, Onitsha

IVE persons were yesterday killed in Niger Bridge when a Mitsuibishi bus ran into a commercial motor bike. Seven others were seriously injured. The crash led to a traffic gridlock for several hours, it was learnt. The cyclist, his passenger and three other passengers in the bus died on the spot. According to eyewitnesses, the bus lost control after the accident and somersaulted,landed on one of the bridge railing. Onitsha Police Area Commander Larry Osita and the Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Ben Akunne confirmed the accident. They said only two persons had been confirmed dead.

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2,000 protest hardship in Ebonyi

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WO thousand Christians yesterday protested in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, over economic hardship, non- payment of workers’ salaries and the slow pace of development in the

state. The protesters, who are mostly members of the Anglican Communion in Abakaliki,marched on Ogoja, Afikpo and Onwe roads. Leader of the group, Evang. Ephraim Ononye, decried the underdevelopment of the state. “Ebonyi is backward among other states in the eastern region. Ebonyi State is the most backward state. People are complaining, people are crying, people are suffering, there is darkness in this state and we need light to shine,” he said. Ononye appealed to the leaders to embark on people –oriented projects to ameliorate the suffering of the people. “I urge the government and the governed to embrace change, we need change in this state. Let the government govern the people well,” he said.

Distillery for Anambra From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

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HE Anambra State Government and South African Distillers and Wines yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a distillery in Onitsha. Commissioner for Lands and Survey Peter Afuba signed for the state government while Kurt Moore, Project Manager of the company signed for the distillers. Moore said the company would be established in the state because of its favourable policies on investment, adding that the closeness of the city to River Niger would enhance the distribution of their products. Governor Peter Obi said the company is the largest producer of wines and liquor in Africa and assured that it would create about 200 jobs for the people.

Lawyers urge court to reverse award of SAN title •Ruling for Nov 18 By Eric Ikhilae

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OME old lawyers, acting under the aegis of the Movement for the Abolition of the Rank of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, have urged a Federal High Court in Lagos to protect its sanctity by reversing the award of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) to some lawyers this year. The group’s lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, spoke yesterday in Lagos at the resumed hearing of two suits by the old lawyers, led by an octogenarian, Pa Tunji Gomez. Others are: Mr. Foluso Fayokun, Mr. Seth Amaefule, Mr. Peter Okoye and Chief Andrew Otokhina. The suits are seeking the abolition of SAN. Braitwaite said his request was to protect the integrity of the court before which the cases were pending. The defendants are: the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), as the Chair, Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC), the committee, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lagos State Attorney-General, Lagos State Judicial Service Commission and the Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos branch. Responding to a preliminary objection filed by the defendants, Braithwaite urged the court to discountenance the issue raised in the objection, describing it as a mere weak technicality that is incapable of affecting justice in the case. He argued that Sections 97 and 98 of the Sherriff and Civil Procedures Rules do not apply since the first to the fourth defendants were served with court processes in Lagos. He said the defendants were different and that the reliefs and claims sought by the plaintiffs were also different. Braithwaite, who cited some authorities, including Ojukwu v. Lagos State, contended that the defendants were in contempt of the court, having sworn in those conferred with SAN this year, despite being aware of the pendency of the cases. He argued that what the defendants did was to steal a show by the swearing-in ceremony when the suit was still pending in court. Braithwaite urged the court to protect its integrity, in line with principle of les pendis, by reversing the swearing-in since the court has the inherent powers to undo what has been done during a pendency of a suit. Arguing the objection, lawyer to the defendants, Dele Adesina (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that it was an abuse of court process. He argued that the writ of summons was not endorsed by the plaintiffs as stated by Section 97 and 98 of the Sherriff and Civil Procedure Rules. He also argued that the suit is a mere academic exercise because the act has since been completed with the swearing-in of the new SANs. Presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, has fixed ruling for November 18.

•Central African Republic President Mr. Francois Bozize inspecting a guard of honour mounted by officers of the Brigade of Guard on arrival at the Presidential Villa in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN

Groups clash over union election in Ebonyi T WO rival groups in Afikpo South Local Government of Ebonyi State clashed last weekend. One person was shot while several others received machete cuts. Four buildings, a car and other property worth millions of naira were destroyed. The crisis erupted following a controversial town union election held at the Ekoli Eddah community in the local government. Security operatives have been deployed in the area to protect the people. The residents have reportedly fled their homes for fear of reprisal attack and a possible mass arrest by the police.

•Property razed

The clash is the second in the area this year since the party’s primaries. One of the victims, Kenneth Okoro-Agha, who is receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre in Abakaliki, said trouble ensued shortly after the election in which he emerged winner. “After my election as the leader of Ekoli Bound of Hope Union on September 30, I had to go to the villages to tell them of the victory and the emergence of a new leadership. On getting to one of the villages,I saw some youths

coming towards me, many of them are From Nguzu Edda. “As we were walking towards them, we observed that they had guns. But since we did not have any problem with them, we kept going. They rushed towards us and we started running. One of them shot me twice, one of the bullets hit me on my hand and the other on my back. “When I fell down, they thought I had died. They abandoned me there before some people brought me to the hospital. Regrettably, the youths that attacked us were not part

of the election because they are not indigenes of our community. They are from Nguzu community and they don’t have any business with the election,” he said. Another victim, Ama Olughu Dike, who is also the Special Assistant to the Coordinator of Afikpo South Development Centre, is also receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre. “The election was conducted under a free and fair atmosphere and Kenneth Okoro Agha won. We accompanied him to inform the people of the new change. But some angry youths attacked us,” he said. Police spokesman John Eluu confirmed the incident.

Tribunal dismisses LP’s petition against Orji

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HE Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, has dismissed the petition by the governorship candidate of the Labour Party Stanley Ohajuruka, for lack of merit. Ohajuruka challenged the election of Governor Theodore Orji of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alleging electoral irregularities. The petition is the last against the governor. Chairman of the threeman tribunal Mobolaji Ojo said the petitioners failed to prove the alleged electoral irregularities . “There is no merit in the petition brought before the tribunal and therefore we are affirming the election of

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

Governor Orji as duly elected as there is no merit in the petition and therefore the petition is hereby dismissed,” he said. Ojo said the state candidate in any election cannot be held responsible for electoral irregularities, “except it could be proved that he personally ordered such actions in the elections”. He said the issue of logo not being on the ballot paper did not confuse the electorates, except the candidate himself voted during the election. “On the issue of the party logo on the ballot paper, two of the witnesses were trying to confuse us, by saying that it is a sign of a man,

BOWEN graduates 978 From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

B

ARRING the unforeseen, the BOWEN University, in Iwo, Osun State will tomorrow graduate 978 of its students. The figure will raise the number of the institution’s products to 4,735 since it graduated the pioneer set in 2006. The graduating students are to be admitted into first degree in various fields in the varsity’s existing five faculties. The Vice Chancellor , Prof. Timothy Olagbemiro, disclosed this while briefing reporters on the institution’s 6th convocation ceremony. Olagbemiro, who was supported by other principal staff members, also expressed apathy about the ongoing controversy over the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), saying each university should be allowed to conduct post-UTME being the surest way of testing the true ability of students. He insisted that public examinations in Nigeria are fraught with malpractices, which are corrected by post-UTME.

woman and a child, while the other said it is a man, woman and two children. It is confusing as it a sign with a family unit only,” he said. He noted that the 1,572 voted during the election represent his true votes which was confirmed by the electoral body, saying the said confusion based on the party logo does not arise. “After considering the petitioners’ case and the defence of the respondents, we came to the conclusion that it was only in two local government areas that minor cases of irregularities were noticed, but which was not enough to invalidate the election. “Even as forensic experts were allowed to inspect the election materials, the petitioners did not make use of them, as they never mentioned that they have materials to present before the election tribunal until the end of the submission of written addresses by both parties,” he said.

He blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its ineptitude during the tribunal’s sittings, “as they were not able to bring the election materials used for the election before the tribunal when requested. It is bad for a public office charged with election materials to behave that way”. Ohajuruka condemned the judgment, saying he would appeal. “If necessary, we will go to the Supreme Court since the amended constitution allows election cases to go up to the apex court in the land”, Governor Theodore Orji hailed the ruling and described it as the will of God. LOSS OF DOCUMENT: I, Fafowora A. Florence–(Mrs) of 11, Ogunsola Str., Ipaja,Lagos wish to report that i lost a bag that contained lost Letter of Allocation. Confirmation Letter. Receipts. LASG ID card & CofO No 68/ 2011B of Blk 87. Plot 2, Isheri North Residential Scheme, Kosofe. Dated 4th Jan. 2011. Members of the public with useful information on the lost bag should please call 08033304797. Lagos State Land bureau and general public should please take note.


58

THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

NEWS Three theft suspects held

SSS parades three suspected bombers of Agip oil pipeline

•Five arrested in Rivers From Osagie Otabor, Benin and Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

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HREE persons, who allegedly conspired to steal a Toyota Camry and N1.3million belonging to a member of the Edo State House of Assembly, Jude Ise-Idehen, have been arrested by the police. They are Idehen’s driver, Peter Solomon (25); Ajibade Akeem (27) and Uyi Edo (30). Deputy Commissioner of Police Mohammed Hurdi said the suspects arranged to sell the car in Lagos before they were apprehended. Hurdi said Jude Osuala was arrested for alleged impersonation. Also hed are Godwin Akpan and Kingsley Otene were also arrested for alleged robbery. Items recovered from Osuala include complete Civil Defence uniform, Airforce uniform, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) uniform and one dagger. The deputy police chief said Akpan was arrested when he fell into a well after robbing some people, adding that one gun, one live cartridge and some phones were recovered from him. He said one K2 rifle, one double barrel gun, one live ammunition for the K2 rifle, two live cartridges, one big iron cutter and one iron bar were recovered from the scene . In Rivers State, five robbery suspects have been arrested . They were found with Indian hemp at Uninny Hotel, Port Harcourt. Joseph, Ikechukwu, Lucky, Oluchukwu and Nsiebe were arrested at the hotel located in Sangana Street, near Leventis Park. Acting on a tip-off, a patrol team from Diobu Division raided the hotel and arrested the hoodlums, who were lodged in a chalet. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam confirmed the arrest. Ugwuegbulam said one of the suspects, Ikechukwu, aka MC, had been on the wanted list of the Mini-Okoro Divisional Police Headquarters, Port Harcourt, over a kidnap case.

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HE State Security Service (SSS) yesterday paraded three men suspected to have blown up an Agip Oil pipeline in Nembe, Bayelsa State on October 1. The men are Donald Joshua (a.k.a Sinada Wait); Dio Ifiemi and Ebi Howell. SSS spokesperson Ms. Marilyn Ogar said the arrest was facilitated by useful information from the public. Ms. Ogar said: “The public will recall recent media reports on plans by militants to resume hostilities in the Niger Delta. On October 1, an Agip Oil Company pipeline in Nembe, Bayelsa State was

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

blown up. “As a result, there was a shortfall in gas supply and subsequent disruption in power supply nationwide. “Shortly after, someone who identified himself as ‘Confusion’ claimed responsibility for the attack. “Consequently, the service received tangible information from the public which led to the apprehension of three suspects.” Ogar said investigation showed that the pipeline was blown up with dynamites provide by Joshua, who carried out the operation with Ifiemi ‘s assist-

ance. According to her, the attack was carried out to coerce Agip Oil to contract the surveillance of the pipeline to them. She said Howell specialises in alerting affected organisations through text messages after facilities have been blown up, for pecuniary gains. Joshua and Ifiemi said they decided to blow up the pipeline to draw attention to the neglect they had suffered from Agip Oil Company. Warning perpetrators of violence that there is no hiding place for them, Ogar said: “It is necessary to state here that no matter how long it

takes, the law will catch up with criminals as Nigerians are now more willing than ever before to cooperate with law enforcement agencies by providing useful information that will lead to their arrest wherever they choose to hide. “We want to appreciate well meaning Nigerians for the necessary backing given to security agencies in the discharge of our onerous duty of securing the nation. “We therefore call on others who are yet to imbibe this culture to do so as we jointly strive to move our dear country forward.” Ogar said the men would soon be charged to court.

10 die in Edo road ORE than 10 persons were killed have been in an accident on the Murtala Muhammed Way, Benin, the Edo State capital. The accident occurred at about 8pm on Wednesday night when a petroleum tanker rammed into several vehicles. The vehicles include a commercial bus with registration number XK 563 USL, a Volkswagen Jetta car with number DG 744 BEN, a motor-cycle and a lorry. Sources said a passer-by was killed when the lorry fell on him. Eyewitnesses said the tanker with registration

M

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

number XC 235 ATM was coming from Sapele Road when its brakes failed. Police officers and sympathisers were said to have freed some trapped victims. The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safe Corps (FRSC), Olatunji Henry, confirmed the accident but said he was not aware of the number of casualties. His words: “What I was told was that the tanker had brake failure. “I wouldn’t know how many people died. The bodies have been evacuated before my people got there.”

3,700 for Chevron scholarship From Okungbowa Aiwerie,Asaba

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OME 37,000 thousand, seven hundred students of Delta State origin have benefited from the scholarship scheme of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC)/ Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) Joint Venture. By December, 1,200 students will have benefited from the Agbami Medical and Engineering Professionals Scholarship (AMEPS), introduced in 2009. General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (Western Operations) Femi Odumabo, who spoke during the 2011 Chris Ikomi Essay Competition Award, in Asaba said 60 have benefitted from the the award. Odumabo said the performance of the 10 recipients of 2011 Chris Ikomi Award, adding that they would be given scholarships. He said the annual Chris Ikomi Essay Competition was put together as part of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chevron’s operation in Nigeria on December 1, 1961.

‘Why Fadama was established’

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HE Rivers State Coordinator of the National Fadama Programme, Kingsley Amadi, has said Fadama was established to increase food production, create employment and reduce poverty. He urged local governments to show more commitment to the Third National Fadama Programme, by paying their counterpart funding to achieve its objectives. Amadi spoke yesterday in

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. He said counterpart funding at the state level and beneficiary contributions from farmers should be paid promptly, to avoid any hiccup. The Rivers coordinator said Fadama had covered 20 of the 23 local governments and 5,000 households in 200 communities.

•Dr. Ademola-Majekodunmi flanked by Professor of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndubisi Eke (left) and President, National Association Of Urological Surgeons, Prof. Alex Nwofor, at the meeting in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO:NAN

Fed Govt reduces fees for cancer screening

T

HE Federal Government yesterday ordered federal hospitals to reduce the fees for cancer screening services. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, gave the directive in Abuja yesterday during the 17th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Urological Surgeons (NAUS).

S

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

According to him, the late diagnoses of the diseases have resulted in high mortality rate of cancer in the country. He said an estimated 100,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed in Nigeria annually. The minister, who was represented by the Director

of Special Duties, Dr. Folake Ademola-Majekodunmi, said: “I have increased access to this service by directing that all federal hospitals provide breast, cervical, prostate and colon cancer screening services at an affordable price so that the disease can be detected early. “In addition, I recently fully equipped University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hos-

pital, Federal Medical Centre, Gusau and VVF Centre Abakaliki with Mammography machines, cryoprobes, video culposcopes, ultrasound, loop electrosurgical excision procedure and enzymelinked immunosorbent assay machines to be used as referral centres for those who screen positive for premalignant lesions.”

Mark seeks sack of MDAs chiefs over default in audit reports

ENATE President David Mark yesterday said heads of 107 Federal Government agencies who refused to submit their annual audited accounts to the National Assembly should be sacked. Mark spoke at the inauguration of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts. He said it was unacceptable that an agency of government created and funded by government should deliberately refuse to submit its audited account as required by law. Committee Chairman Senator Ahmed Lawan said many Federal Government statutory corporations, commissions, authorities and agencies are not up-todate with their audited reports.

•107 MDAs yet to submit account From Onyedi Ojiabor (Assistant Editor) and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

He noted that information from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation showed that of 494 federal agencies, only 70 are up-to-date with their annual accounts and audited reports. He said 315 others are in partial defaults while”107 agencies never submitted any annual accounts since they were established.” Lawan said in the past the committee tried to encourage defaulting agencies to

submit their accounts and reports. “It is obvious today that there is need to use the stick to enforce compliance. He said beginning from this year, the committee would publish an annual list of defaulting organisations and their chief executive officers and accounting officers. “I am surprised that we have as many as 107 agencies that have just taken it for granted that they can just do what they like in government. “This is not the way things work. Development must be an all -round thing, some

people cannot be bringing others down. “Those who are in charge of these 107 agencies I think really want to lose their jobs. “I know it is not a military regime, the President cannot get up one day and dismiss people but there are procedures, there are processes whereby people can lose their jobs if they would not obey simple rules and regulations. “If they cannot conform to what is right then they should be shown the way out because this government is not going to wait for eternity for people to continue doing things the way they want.” Mark also noted that the Audit Ordinance Act of 1958 needed to be repealed and re-enacted because it is out dated.


THE NATION FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

59

FOREIGN NEWS Jordan-Egypt ferry struck by fire MORE than 1,200 passengers have been evacuated from a ferry that caught fire in the Red Sea. Egyptian officials said all the passengers had been saved, but officials in Jordan said a Jordanian man had died after jumping overboard. The ferry was travelling between the Jordanian port of Aqaba and Nuweiba in Egypt. The fire broke out when it was about 15 nautical miles from Aqaba. Most of the passengers were said to be Egyptian migrant workers. A Jordanian civil defence spokesman said 12 passengers had suffered from smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital in Jordan. The rest had been put on other boats to sail back to Egypt, he said. Egyptian TV reported that military aircraft as well as boats had been deployed in the rescue operation. The ferry was owned by Arab Bridge Maritime Company (AB Maritime), a joint venture between the governments of Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, Reuters news agency reported. In 2006, more than 1,000 people were killed after a ferry crossing from Saudi Arabia and Egypt sank in the Red Sea.

Ethiopia reduces Swedes’ charges AN Ethiopian court has dropped charges of participating in terrorism against two Swedish journalists. But Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye still faced charges of supporting a terrorist group and entering Ethiopia illegally, the judge said. They were arrested in July after being caught with fighters from an Ogaden National Liberation Front faction. They had pleaded not guilty to the terror charges, but admitted entering the country illegally from Somalia. Mr Persson and Mr Schibbye could face up to 15 years in jail if found guilty of supporting the ONLF rebels, the AFP news agency reports. Judge Shemsu Sirgaga made his ruling after the prosecution closed its case at the trial in the capital, Addis Ababa. “Though the prosecutors have provided witnesses and evidence to support their accusation, the court does not believe it is substantial enough to prove that the journalists were involved in carrying out a terror attack,” Reuters news agency quoted the judge as saying. Earlier this week, prosecutors screened video footage obtained from the journalists’ laptops, showing the pair travelling in Ethiopia’s Somali Region more commonly known as the Ogaden - holding guns. The two men will remain in custody until their trial resumes on 6 December for the defence’s presentation. Since the 1970s, rebels in the Ogaden have been fighting for the Somalispeaking Ethiopians, who they say have been marginalised by the government in Addis Ababa.

• World leaders at Cannes in France (1st row from left) Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner,. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON

Biya sworn in for sixth term

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AMEROON’s President Paul Biya has been sworn in for a sixth term after winning elections rejected by the opposition as fraudulent. Mr Biya, 78, who has been in power for 29 years, won last month’s election with 78% of the vote.

His main rival, John Fru Ndi, who received 11% of the vote, said the poll had been rigged. Mr Biya has promised to improve oil-rich Cameroon’s roads and electricity supply during his next seven-year term. He took his oath of office

at the national assembly in the capital, Yaounde. The United States and France said the election had been marred by widespread irregularities. Mr Biya’s critics say he leads a corrupt and an authoritarian government charges that he denies.

Most Cameroonians live in poverty, even though the country is rich in oil, timber and minerals. Dozens of people were killed in 2008 during protests after Mr Biya controversially amended the constitution, scrapping the limit to presidential terms.

20 killed in Syrian city of Homs

T

ANKS mounted with machine-guns have opened fire in the Syrian city of Homs, killing at least 20 people, activists have reported. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Baba Amr district came under heavy fire on Thursday. Violence was also reported in other parts of the city. It comes a day after the authorities in Damascus agreed to an Arab League plan calling on the government to pull the military out of cities. The plan required Syria to withdraw all troops from urban areas and end all killing immediately. The Arab League said Damascus had agreed to release all political prisoners and begin a dialogue with the opposition within two weeks. The Syrian government also said it would allow journalists, rights groups and Arab League representatives to monitor the situation in the

country. At present foreign journalists are unable to move around Syria freely and information is tightly controlled and hard to verify. We offered to engage in negotiations to move from a authoritarian regime to a democratic regime” Syrian opposition groups criticised the plan as an attempt by the regime to buy more time. “The regime has accepted the Arab initiative out of fear of Arab isolation, its weakness and lack of options,” a leading opposition figure, Burhan Ghalioun, wrote on his Facebook page. “But its acceptance does not mean it will respect its clauses.” Mr Ghalioun is a senior figure in the Syrian National Council. Another member of the council, Samir al-Nashar, said it had met Arab League head Nabil al-Arabi to discuss the agreement with Damascus. “We are not talking about

a dialogue,” he told AFP news agency. “We offered to engage in negotiations to move from a authoritarian regime to a democratic regime. And we ask that Bashar al-Assad resign.” The pictures emerging from Homs, apparently showing tanks bombarding residential areas of the city, suggest that if President Assad has any intention of honouring the terms of the deal proposed by the Arab League, his security forces certainly aren’t showing it yet. On Friday, opposition groups are planning mass protests across the country to test the Assad government’s promise that it will abide by the league’s terms. It is still unclear when any talks between the government and the opposition will start, or where they will take place. Neither is it clear how strong a presence the Arab League could put into Syria to monitor it’s compliance with the

deal. From Homs, video footage emerged purporting to show tanks firing in a built-up area on Thursday. The voice of the cameraman gives the date and mentions the previous day’s agreement with the Arab League. Protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad started in March but have become increasingly violent. The government has tried to put down the demonstrations using the security forces and pro-government militia. Opponents of the regime have taken up arms and been joined by soldiers who have defected. At least 3,000 people have been killed in the unrest in Syria, while hundreds of others have disappeared. The government of Mr Assad - who took over from his father as president in 2000 says the violence is being carried out by “armed gangs” and “terrorists”.

Rwanda returns smuggledleseminerals to DR Congo BOUT 82 tonnes of authorities at a ceremo-

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smuggled minerals seized by Rwandan police has been handed back to the Democratic Republic of Congo in a sign of improved relations between the two neighbours. The minerals include cassiterite, or tin ore, as well as coltan, used in devices such as mobile phones. The return of the materials follows new international regulations aimed at cleaning up the mineral sector. DR Congo's mineral wealth has been a major factor in years of conflict. Armed groups - local and foreign - have seized control of many mines in the east, bordering Rwanda and few Congolese have benefited from their country's vast mineral wealth. Rwanda has twice invaded DR Congo saying it was fighting rebel groups based there but its army has been accused

of looting minerals during the conflict in which an estimated five million people died. Rwanda's Natural Resources Minister Stanislas Kamanzi handed the minerals - loaded in five lorries - to Congo-

ny in the border town of Gisenye. BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says the handover is a sign of the greatly improved relations between

two countries that have often been bitter enemies. I think we've set a precedent... but preferably they [illegal minerals] will not be allowed into the country if they have not been tagged"

Cuba legalises private home sales

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UBA has approved a law allowing individuals to buy and sell homes for the first time since the early days of the revolution, official media say. The law, which takes effect on 10 November, applies to citizens and permanent residents only. Correspondents say this is the most important reform so far in a series of free-market changes introduced by President Raul Castro. A housing shortage has meant that many Cubans live in overcrowded apartments. An article in the Communist Party daily Granma said details of the new law would be published in the government’s official gazette. Many people have lived and live with the fear of losing their homes because they acquired them in an illegal way. Now they’ll be able to legalise them and to sleep in peace.” The change follows the legalisation in October of the purchase and sale of cars, though with restrictions that still makes it hard for ordinary Cubans to buy new vehicles. The ban on property sales took effect in stages after Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959. Parents were able to pass property on to their children, but buying and selling property was not allowed. The rules have meant that for decades Cubans could only exchange property through complicated barter arrangements, or through even murkier black-market deals, often involving illegal payments and bribes. With the new law, Cubans will be allowed to own a maximum of two properties - their main home and a holiday home.

Greek’s PM Papandreou ‘ready to drop’ bailout referendum

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REEK Prime Minister George Papandreou has said he is ready to drop a proposed referendum on the country’s eurozone bailout deal. He said he had started talks to secure opposition support in parliament which would make the vote unnecessary. His announcement of a referendum angered European leaders and sent shockwaves through its markets. Facing calls for his resignation, Mr Papandreou called for unity in ruling party ranks ahead of a confidence vote on Friday. He has a thin majority. But Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, addressing the Socialist Party (Pasok) MPs immediately after the prime minister, said Greece must say it was not holding a referendum. He said Greece must do everything it can to reassure its international partners it will immediately implement the Eurozone bailout deal. EU leaders say Greece cannot get bailout cash until it agrees the deal. Responding to the recent developments in Greece, French

President Nicolas Sarkozy said that after talks with Mr Papandreou on Wednesday there was more of a sense of urgency in the country. “I think the message that was sent to the entire Greek political class yesterday by Germany and France together has helped in a sort of realisation of how things might develop and in Greece they have realised this,” he told reporters at the G20 summit in Cannes. The opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras called for a caretaker government and snap elections within six weeks, and for Mr Papandreou to stand down. But the BBC’s Mark Lowen, in Athens, says that the prime minister is resisting the calls, hoping that if the threat of a referendum fades he can yet steer the country through the crisis. The EU bailout, agreed last month, would give the heavily indebted Greek government 130bn euros (£111bn; $178bn) and it imposes a 50% write-off on private holders of Greek debts, in return for deeply unpopular austerity measures.


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SPORT EXTRA

Worgu relishes Dream Team V invitation

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L Merrick of Sudan winger, Stephen Worgu has expressed gratitude to the Dream Team V’s technical crew for his invitation to the U23 Camp ahead of the African Qualifiers billed for later in the year in Morocco. Worgu predicted that the Dream Team V has what it takes to qualify for the football event of the London 2012 Olympics despite the recent failures associated with Nigeria football. Speaking from his Sudanese base, the former Enyimba of Aba hitman believes the avalanche of players at the disposal of the team if well managed will deliver the ticket. “We must put behind the failure of the Super Eagles and concentrate on the Olympics in order for us not to put pressure on the team. We have the players no matter where they play,” explained Worgu. He added that: “I’m greatful for being considered for the U23 Eagles and I’m ready to contribute my own quota to the team’s quest for one of the three automatic tickets available. I’m so optimistic that we will triumph over Morocco in our opening match on November 28.” The 21 year old attacker who has scored five goals in 11 matches for El-Merrick in the second stanza of the Sudanese League, solicits Nigerians support for the Austin Eguavoen led technical crew. “The coaching crew is one of

the best in recent times because the experience of Coach Austin Eguavoen, Stanley Eguma, one of the best young coaches in Nigeria and Ben Iroha, not

forgetting Alloy Agu and Peter Rufai cannot be quantified. We need to give them the support for them to succeed,” he admonished.

3SC players sacrifice Salah break for JUTH FC

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OMING from a lone goal away defeat in the hands of DolphinsFootball Club of PortHarcourt, the management of 3SC has called off any Eid-deKabir break for the players as training resumes this evening at the Obafemo Awolowo training pitch, Ibadan. The Oluyole Warriors will expect to shock their hosts Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH)Football Club, to further enhance their status on the log. The team will, however, move to University of Ibadan Stadium for more training sessions on Saturday evening before Monday’s journey to Jos for the match against JUTH FC on Wednesday. The decision according to the team’s media officer Jubril Arowolo is to enable the team have total concentration and adequate preparation for the away match as they target the 3 maximum points at stake. Meanwhile NationSport has learnt that the Oyo Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dapo Lam-Adesina accompanied the team to the illfated game in Port-Harcourt with a bid to motivate and cheer them

By Innocent Amomoh to victory. “Our Commissioner was on hand in Port-Harcourt to cheer the team but we were unfortunate. Hon. Lam-Adesina even arrived early enough to meet the players in the dressing room before joining sizable numbers of Shooting Stars supporters in the popular side”, said Arowolo.

RESULTS Europa League - Group A Rubin Kazan 1 - 0 Tottenham H. S. Rovers 1 - 3 PAOK S Europa League - Group B FC Copenhagen 1 - 2 Hannover Vorskla P. 1 - 3 Standard Liege Europa League - Group C Legia Warsaw 3 - 1 R. Bucuresti PSV Eindhoven 3 - 3 H.Tel Aviv Europa League - Group D FC Vaslui 1 - 0 Sporting Lisbon Lazio 1 - 0 Zurich Europa League - Group E Besiktas 1 - 0 Dynamo Kyiv Maccabi Tel Aviv 1 - 2 Stoke C. Europa League - Group F Paris S.G. 1 - 0 Slovan Bratislava RB Salzburg 0 - 1 Athletic B.


www.thenationonlineng.net

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 7,

C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA

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N the most popular philosophical dialogue, Plato, speaking through Socrates, gave us the allegory of the cave in which some human beings are held as prisoners chained together in a manner which makes it impossible for them to see anything behind them. They can only see the front, and what they see there are only the images and shadows of real objects outside the cave which are cast on the wall facing them by a fire glowing behind them. But given their condition, they take the shadows as realities; they take ignorance for knowledge and appearance for reality. Plato then asks us to imagine that one of them is released from the prison cave, and finds his way to the world outside the cave. At first he would resist the new reality, still attracted to the world of shadows. But with time, he would adjust to the true reality and will even thank his fortune for the freedom that affords him the privilege of knowing the truth. Our freeman will enjoy this freedom so much that he would dismiss the idea of going back to the cave unacceptable as he now considers his former fellow prisoners as an unfortunate and miserable lot. However, in his characteristic philosophical radicalism, Plato suggests that the man should go back because he cannot be fully free until he frees his fellow prisoners from ignorance and injustice. The allegory of the cave speaks to the journey of the intellectual elite from the cave of ignorance to the height of knowledge and back to the cave for the care of the underprivileged and the freedom of the oppressed. Applying Plato’s insight, society is the cave. Every now and then, individuals come by who have special insights on account of their investment in the life of the mind. But then they only make their impact felt, not on account of the theoretical knowledge, but on account of their willingness to apply their store of knowledge to address the ills of their societies. As a nation, we have had flashes of such public intellectuals and lost them sadly without benefiting from their insights. For Plato, the law is not established to make any one class happy but to ensure the welfare of the commonwealth as a whole. The intellectual elite, represented by the philosophically minded with knowledge of justice in its purity, is remarkably well-positioned to descend into the social chaos that characterises the world of matter, to enlighten the folks, practice justice and bring others to the realisation of its imperative. Those who heed the call of the master are never the same again in their lives. Some have argued that the reason they cannot be the same again is that they can be seen as various incarnations of the master—Socrates—himself in different locales. Consider

SEGUN GBADEGESIN gbadegesin@thenationonlineng.net

The battle for justice

We are overwhelmed and overpowered because we have not been successful in democratising the struggle and giving the masses a foothold and a buy-in into the struggle •The late Awolowo

Gandhi or Mandela, or Martin Luther King Jr. or our own sage, Obafemi Awolowo. Each of these took up the challenge to descend from their lofty heights in society; from the ivory tower of their achievements, into the cave of the dispossessed. They did battle with the powerful forces and won in various ways, in two cases paying the supreme sacrifice along the way. The lesson from their stories is that though they paid the supreme sacrifice or suffered long periods of deprivation through incarceration, they won the battle of justice for their people. What lesson can we learn from their stories? Compare the stories of Gandhi, Mandela and King with the stories of some of the departed heroes of our common struggle in Nigeria: Ayodele Awojobi, Beko Ransome Kuti, Aminu Kano, Ken Saro Wiwa, Gani Fawehinmi, to name a few, taken from the list of those who never tasted power. These were selfless fighters for justice and good governance. Sadly, the Nigeria of today is probably worse than the Nigeria of their day.

RIPPLES NIGERIAN POLICE BEST IN THE WORLD– Nigerian in Canada

EGUNJEwise

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

TOMORROW IN THE NATION

‘Trust, like respect, is earned, not bought. It is not an item on display in Onigbongbo market. This government has simply failed to earn that trust by playing hide and seek with a matter that touches on the life of every Nigerian! Pity.’ YOMI ODUNUGA

And while we are not prepared to conclude that they laboured in vain, we must try to find out what is responsible for the failure of their efforts. It seems to me that Gandhi, Mandela, and King, were able to build a coalition of the willing and were able to inspire the masses of their time and space in the struggle for justice with truly grassroots movements that focused on the transformation of their societies. It is remarkable that after the death of King, for instance, the struggle for civil rights intensified, leading eventually to the election of the first black man as president of the US. In our case, we have not had a great deal of success in building mass movements for the transformation of Nigeria, since the nationalist movement secured independence from Britain. Even in that case, we saw the balkanisation of the movement toward the end with the breakup of the Nigerian Youth Movement. More importantly, however, it seems also

HARDBALL HANA’S President, John Atta Mills, has publicly denounced any attempt by British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to link aid with the promotion of gay rights. The denunciation came after Cameron again announced to his British audience that he had raised the issue of gay rights at the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Australia last week. Both Ghana and Uganda in fact asserted early this week they were willing to suffer any economic backlash from anywhere over their opposition to gay rights. Already, the two countries have proscribed homosexuality and condemned the Cameron response. “If the aid is going to be tied to things that will destroy the moral fibre of society, do you really want that?” queried a Ghanaian official. It is instructive that out of the 54 members of the Commonwealth, some 41 of them have laws banning homosexuality, with many of those laws dating back to British colonial rule. Uganda has described Cameron’s threat to cut bilateral aid as bullying tactics. Ghana, which enjoyed some 36 million

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that our intellectual elite need to come to terms with the fact that a go-it-alone approach cannot move the monsters that we must confront in the struggle. It is the loneranging approach of the snake that causes them untimely death, as the Yoruba put it. For isn’t it true that if the cobra leads an army of snakes that include the viper and boa- constrictor, no human will dare them? We are overwhelmed and overpowered because we have not been successful in democratising the struggle and giving the masses a foothold and a buy-in into the struggle. For such an approach to be effective, however, there has to be a sustained effort at educating the masses concerning their real interests. It has been easy for our people to be recruited by their enemies to work against their real interests because they have been impoverished by the policies of the same master looters. What I am urging then is this. We have sacrificed too many of our bright minds and committed progressives in the fight against injustice and greed. The paradox is that they excel in fighting the established order on behalf of the collective. But no one individual can effectively fight a collective battle alone. Jeremy Bentham assembled a coalition of utilitarians to reform the British policy arena. But he used this as a springboard to become a political reformer as member of the British parliament. What is needed is a commitment to fight the progressive battle in the arena that matters, the arena of politics. I have always wondered why the fight appears to be so difficult. My explanation is that progressive intellectuals and activists have contented themselves with protesting on the pages of newspapers or at most with rallies and pamphleteering. On their parts, the rogues and their political godfathers cannot be bothered. They cannot even be bothered by court fights which they know they can fix. From which it follows that there has to be a coalition of the willing, including intellectuals and likeminded progressive politicians. What is important to recognise is that, as Kwame Nkrumah knew so well, we need to capture the political kingdom first. And to do so, we must be willing to bring in the not-so-pure- at- heart; for they can be purified in the process. There are progressive politicians who know the trick of the game of winning political power. Nowhere in the world have intellectuals gone it alone. There is always going to be a need for a coalition of progressives of all categories. Paying attention to this strategy appears to me to be the beginning of political wisdom. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Africa and Cameron’s gay crusade British pounds aid last financial year, says it will not compromise on the matter. It will be recalled that Cameron had been harping on gay rights since early October. He apparently promised his party to take the campaign for gay rights to the outside world, convinced that the British point of view was more salutary than Africa’s. In fact, when Malawi sentenced two homosexuals to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour recently, Cameron responded by slashing $30 million in aid from that country. It is not obvious that Cameron’s gay rights campaign receives massive support in Britain. But even if it did, it is no excuse to harass the rest of the world. Europe may be liberal in matters relating to homosexuality, but Africa is still largely conservative. Christianity in Europe has also become psychedelic, while in Africa it is largely evangelical. The two perspectives are unlikely to meet anytime soon; and Cameron, of all people, ought

to know that. Why the British prime minister is eager to jeopardise more than a century of relationships with many African countries on a matter that is deeply controversial, divisive and even needless is hard to understand. Many African countries are already in the process of enacting legislations on gay issues. They will now press ahead more firmly and dare Britain to punish them for making laws regarding their cherished cultures and societies. If Britain reserves the right to regulate its own society as it deems fit and in consonance with its worldview, surely that country must appreciate how irritating it is to compel Africa to see the world through its cracked prism. Cameron’s campaign for gay rights in Africa is a battle he cannot win; he should limit his agitations to Britain. There is simply no wisdom in risking so much for so little. After all, when it comes to homosexuality, Africa sees British permissiveness where Britain sees liberalism. So, who should teach whom?

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: info@thenationonlineng.net Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation November 04, 2011  

The Nation November 04, 2011

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